Saturday, June 18, 2005

Angels 2; Marlins 1 ......... White Sox 5; Dodgers 3 ...... Cog Hill 1; Me 0

Missed the Angels game, except for a few innings of the radio feed, for a couple of reasons. Lots of traffic coming back from Cog Hill, and left early to tailgate before the Sox game (which didn't happen, also becuase of traffic). Also, any saturday games on the regular Fox will be missed because MLB is stupid. Not much to say on that other than what everyone already knows. Vlad is awesome. The bullpen is getting it done. Lackey is starting to really put it together.

As for Sox-Dodgers, I was pulling for the Sox, or rather, against the Dodgers. Dessens was very sharp, and Sanchez was blowing it by the Sox. Freddie Garcia got in a lot of early trouble, but ended up pitching pretty well. Brazoban was not good. And can someone explain the inexplicable defense by the Dodgers that allowed Willie Harris to practically walk to second base after pinch running for Carl Everett? I will say, it was nice of the Sox to provide me with a walk off home run, since I missed Vlad's. Too bad it had to be from Pierszynski, who's a dick.

My round at Dubsdread? Hit the ball OK to good, couldn't putt (although it was an improvement over Coyote Crossing), but mostly couldn't get up and down, which means I couldn't score (86). Exorcised some demons on 5, 9, and 11, finished with some good drives, and aboslutely BOMBED a couple of two irons off the tee on 8 and 16. I'm talking 240 or so with the two iron. So there were some encouraging signs, and there are a lot of places I can make up strokes when I head back in July. Those greens have me psyched out, though. Especially when the pin placements are as stupid as some were today (#14, I'm looking in your direction). My buddy had a four footer for birdie after hitting a beautiful four iron (I hit five iron, because I'm so fucking long). He barely missed and was left with a 20 footer for par. That's just dumb. Anyway, time to hit the range and work on a few things before the next trip.

Angels 3; Marlins 2

Not much on this one. I really walked in the door just in time to see the last pitch of the game (date night). Honestly if this gets more serious, I'm gonna have to limit dates to dinners after work on West Coast game nights.

Great at bat by Davanon to end the game. Reminiscent of Spiezio, only less important (slightly). Nice comeback after the last two demoralizing losses. The moral: sometimes you fuck up (Finley, I'm looking in your direction), and sometimes you benefit from a fuck up. Tough break for Alex Gonzales and Brian Moehler, but the Angels needed it after the Rangers win.

Boy, tough series in Arlington, huh. Too bad someone has to win. On the plus side, there's a loser in each contest as well.

Tomorrow's game is radio only in this household, and I'll probably head to Commiskey to tailgait before the Sox game, so I'm not sure what I'll come up. Cog Hill #4 in the morning, so if I show up to play, I may write something about that.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Book Meme - 'Cos I'm Bored

The Fatman tagged me for this thing (before he knew I had a blog, and after I'd been blogging for about two months), and I've been putting it off, but since today's on off day, and since we all need a little bring down from the week's excitement to this point, I figured I'd give it a shot. Prepare to be extremely unimpressed.

1) Total Number of Books I Own: Who the fuck knows? I'm certainly not going to go count them. 50? 100? Something in between sounds about right. I do know that I have books from college that still have the plastic wrap on them.

2) The Last Book I Bought: Here comes the boring part. The last two (bought at the same time) are So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless, both by Douglas Adams, and the last two books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series. Never got around to reading them, and wanted to read them before I saw the movie, which I still have yet to see. But hey, if this whole girl thing works out, I might start seeing more movies.

3) Last Book I Read: Currently reading both Mostly Harmless (about 30 pages left), and the Crossing, by Cormac McCarthy (put on hold while I finish the Adams books). I'll probably move on to All the Pretty Horses before finishing the Border Trilogy with Cities of the Plain.

4) Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me: I don't like the way this one sounds, so I guess I'll do my five favorite books, or those I'm most likely to re-read.
  • You Gotta Have Wa, by Robert Whiting - Seminal book on Japanese baseball, and an interesting look at the cultural differences between Japan and the U.S. through the prism of baseball. A lot of great stories, including one by one of the Lee brothers, in which he relays the tale of a manager who called a squeeze with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count so as to avoid a double play. The sign was stolen, so the opposing manager called for pitchout, which would of course walk in a run. The batter, afraid of failing to get the bunt for it, lunged, missed, struck out, and the runner from third was a dead duck, resulting, of course, in a double play. This one was a secret Santa gift when I was a freshman in the dorms from a very creative guy that lived across from us (he hid the gifts and gave clues on where to find them). I don't think he was gay, he was just kind of cool. He was big Echo fan, too.
  • Into the Wild, by John Krakauer - I like Krakauer's writing style, and this was a fascinating story, set in many parts of the country which I've visited. I've read this book at least five time.
  • Bankruptcy Anthology, by Charles J. Tabb - You're probably thinking "what the fuck?" I have an acknowledgement from having done a fair amount of work on this one. Any book with my name in it automatically makes the list.
  • Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese, by Mike Nelson - I've never, ever, laughed so hard at a book before. So it's just a collection of bad movie reviews. Who cares? It's fucking hilarious.
  • Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser - I read this book four years ago, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've eaten at McDonalds since. But not only did this get me off mega-chain fast food, it praised In-N-Out to the hilt.
5) Tag Five People and Make Them Do This on Their Blogs: No. Seriously, no. The only other people I'd even consider sending this to are probably the other Angels guys, and they do pretty much primarily Angels stuff. If anyone wants to have at it, though, be my guest.

Baseball's Ike Turner

Sean channels Ike Turner, or probably more likely, Tim Meadows playing Ike Turner:
Guillen is baseball's Ike Turner, ladies and gentlemen. "Treat me with respect, you piece of garbage! You're a damn piece of garbage! Oh, baby, you know I don't mean that...c'mon back to Jose. Please? Jose loves you so much. Look, I brought you these flowers. Aren't they pretty? What are you still crying for? Look, will you just take the flowers? TAKE THE DAMN FLOWERS, BITCH!"
He doesn't allow comments, so I can't post this on his site, but damn, that's some funny stuff. Enjoy your deal with the Devil, Gnats fans.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Nationals 1; Angels 0

Colon goes back to getting the Escobar treatment. He was terrific, but the offense returned to their mid-May form and couldn't pick him up. Steve Finley continues to disappoint, picking the absolute worst time to strike out. Roenicke finally made the right decision, and in retrospect, with Erstad running, he probably would have been better off making the wrong one. As for Bengie, at least he didn't hit into a double play.

McPherson is sliding a bit again, but his defense has still been excellent, a nice surprise.

Not much more to say about this one, really. No fireworks, just good pitching. Three more games and I can go back to not giving a shit about the NL East again.

The day after

I'm just going to reiterate what I posted on Primer for the benefit of the Yudites and the Ballpark Guys, who seem to be far too angry at Rob for some odd reason.

Donnelly broke the rules. No one is denying that. It's not important if he was doing it to add movement to the ball, or if he was doing it to get a better grip, or if he was doing it because he thought it smelled neat. Not the point. He was wrong, he should have been kicked out, and he should be suspended.

Frank Robinson has every right to challenge any Angels pitcher who takes the mound. Scioscia has exactly the same right, and Robinson shouldn't be surprised if Scioscia does it. As long as there's no disincentive (like in hockey) for being wrong, why not do it? Especially if you know it's going to piss off the opposing manager. Gamesmanship is a two way street.

None of this changes the fact that I think Frank Robinson is a prick. He would still be a prick even if he hadn't had Donnelly thrown out. Anybody who walks into a press conference with only one issue of importance and immediately declares that issue off limits for discussion, then gets pissed off when people bring it up, is a prick.

I see no reason to discontinue comments, mostly because I rarely get any to begin with, and I won't start here. If anyone feels that they need to attack me the way they apparently attacked Rob, have at it. The Yudites didn't have a problem doing it on a site I didn't know existed, so they ought not have a problem doing it here.

And thanks for the traffic. I've had about 3 to 4 times my normal number of hits today. Feel free to come back anytime. It's not ALL Angels here, just mostly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Corksuckers 4 + Cabrera 2; Angels 3

Well, the kid looks like he can pitch a little bit.

Two guys I didn't know were still alive: Carlos Baerga and Wil Cordero.

Unfortunately the wheels totally came off when Frank Robinson decided to have Donnelly's glove challenged. I don't know what they found, probably pine tar, but Shields was awful in the 8th, getting knocked all over the yard, including a homer to public enemy number one (yes, I've turned on Guillen as quiclkly as he turned on the Shields slider). If I'm Bart, the fist pitch I throw to Guillen tomorrow hits him square in the numbers, asssuming the rumor about him ratting Donnelly out is true.

Man, Frank Robinson's a real dick, isn't he?

Oh well, I can't talk about this one anymore. This is too depressing.

Orlando Cabrera sucks. Man, I can't say it any plainer than that. Guys in my softball league play shortstop better than that.

EDIT: Title update, Roman Moroney style. Ya know, for the kids. And thanks, Rob.

Blogger, WTF?

Question for any of you out there who use Sitemeter:

Do you occasionally get a bunch of hits all of the sudden from other blogspot sites? I mean, like 5-10 in succession, in a short period of time? What's up with that?

In the past hour, I've supposedly received hits from USAMediablog, Fallbrookinstsyle, Vishu8, depression1resources (I know I just turned 32, but I'm not that depressed. yet.), compteachis10, maristarrynight, dermatiteatopica (I thought no one knew about that rash), wordonthestreetis (word on the street is your blog sucks - j/k), omdatikvanmeou (I don't even know what language that is), and lordofthedamned (this one could actually be a real referral). Thanks to each and every one of you. However, I'm guessing these aren't actual people, but rather some random glitch in blogger software that occurs every few days.

So, anybody else getting crap like this? Anyone know why?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Angels 11; Exponats 1

I'm reminded of a song by one of my favorite bands:

Bottle yours
when the rain starts falling
bottle yours
in my heart
bottle yours
Hey, I love a good blow out as much as the next guy. I just don't want to see them turn around and end up with about three hits tomorrow. But who am I to complain?

This one was fun to watch, even if you had to watch some of it on TiVo and missed the first three innings (I'll get to that later). Missed the first few runs, but man o man did Dallas crush that pitch. Not too many balls make it up on to that hitters' backdrop, and he flirted with it earlier this season. Nice to see him pop one up there early in his career.

I'm no doctor, but my Bill Frist "Diagnosis by Video for Dummies" training tells me that Vlad is OK. But seriously, don't take my word for it. Check the box score. The only really surprising thing about his day at the plate was the ball he hit out didn't get out by very much. But hey, horseshoes and hand grenades, right?

How bad was this one for the Nationals staff? A Figgins triple, homers by Vlad, D-Mac, and Juan Rivera, and a double by Davanon? That stuff's gonna happen. But you really know you're going bad when you let Kotchman hit one to the outfield.

I can't say I approve of the negative response to the introduction of Guillen. Sure, he's a headcase, but I really think the guy gave it his all on the field for the Angels last year. He played hurt at times, and I think deep down, he just wanted to win, and I don't think the Angels would have won the West without him. However, he also went ballistic over one of the most obvious pinch run situations in the history of baseball, and the way he had swung it over the previous month+, I don't think the Angels would have won the West with him in the lineup over the last week+. I've documented it somewhere else (probably Primer), and I'll see if I can find it again, or maybe I'll redo it this week, but his replacements didn't exactly fall on their faces. And one of them provided a HUGE double (Curtis Pride) that tied the game in the ninth at Texas, a game ultimately won on a Troy Glaus homer.

Lost in the offensive explosion were excellent performances from Paul Byrd, and Steve Yan. Byrd has a tendency to give up runs after he gets them from his offense, so it was nice to see him hold them down while the offense could take off. Steve was unhittable. Great stuff from him. Wouldn't it be great if he could do it when it mattered?

Hey, is it just me, of was Figgins playing WAY too shallow on that double by Wilkerson? The guy has 25 doubles this season. Who the hell was positioning him?

Missed the beginning because I was at the Sox game for seven innings. It was really over after Contreras got knocked all over the yard in the second. Good game to go to if you, like me, don't really care all that much about either team. The heavyweights showed up, with homers by Sean Green, Luis Gonzales, Troy Glaus (about the fifth or sixth I've seen him hit at Commiskey), Frank Thomas, and............Chris Snyder (one of these things is not like the others). He really didn't get hit that hard at first, a few singles just squeaking through, and Jermaine Dye pulling a Garret Anderson on a ball that dropped in shallow right. But before too long, he was getting absolutely pounded. Give him credit, though. He hung in for six innings and saved the bullpen. Weird night for Dye. He loafed on the blooper, got easily doubled up on a ball that Royce Clayton bobbled, but also made a diving catch and a nice catch at the wall.

Date night, as the new girl I'm seeing came out with yours truly, a buddy, and his fiancee to the game. She doesn't mind going to baseball games, so that's a major point in her favor. Although, somewhat inexplicably, she doesn't mind hanging out with me, so I'm gonna have to figure that one out. Next step is to she if can handle a concert.

Best. Blog Meme. Ever.

Right here. Damn, that was hilarious. I may take a shot at that one right after I get to that book meme that Fat passed along to me.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Angels 4; Mets 3

Well, this was a nice surprise after yesterday's giveaway. Pretty much a solid if unspectacular game. The defense was good, the pitching was good, the hitting was timely, and the bullpen did it's job.

Great job by Peralta to come in knowing he was probably only going to face one batter, and get the strikout. You really can't do much better than Shields did. When he has that two seamer going, and he's getting the low strike, he's really good.

It's really easy to be down on Finley after what he did last night, and the two double plays he hit into in his first two at bats didn't make him look any better, but credit where credit's due. That was a huge double he hit. And great at bat by D-Mac to put the ball in play and drive in the tying run. Big enough for me to overlook the big strikeout that came later.

Anyway, not much else to report on this one. They let one get away yesterday, and they won one that, on paper, they probably shouldn't have today. It all evens out. 6-6 on a twelve game trip is fairly respectable, especially against the teams they played. Sure, there were games that they let get away, but that's going to happen, especially on the road. Great trip? No, but it could have been worse.

Spoon w/ the Clientele at the Vic, June 11, 2005

I've already covered Spoon here, so I'm not going to rehash everything. But for starters, the Clinetele was not so good. I mean, I guess they were OK, but they were kind of like the Innocence Mission with a guy singer. There are times where I want to listen to the Innocence Mission. Last night was not one of them.

So with that out of the way, let's get to the headliners. Incomplete and out of order set list (except for the first song, Chicago at Night, which they probably always lead off with in Chicago):
  • Chicago at Night
  • Beast and Dragon Adored
  • Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine
  • I Turn My Camera On
  • My Mathematical Mind
  • Delicate Place
  • Sister Jack
  • I Summon You
  • Infinite Pet
  • Small Stakes
  • Way We Get By
  • Jonathan Fisk
  • Paper Tiger
  • Everything Hits at Once
  • Me and the Bean
  • Lines in the Suit
  • Fitted Shirt
  • Anything You Want
  • Utilitarian
  • Metal Detektor
I think that's it. I may have missed one or two. Nothing from Telephono (which was not available at the merch booth, not even bootlegged), and only a couple songs from A Series of Sneaks, and those came during the encore. I wanted to hear Nefarious, Don't Buy the Realistic, Not Turning Off, Plastic Mylar, Car Radio, and The Guestlist/the Execution, but I guess I'll have to settle for a 20 song set.

Personally, I thought they rocked. And that's with my opinion jaded by two things: 1) the Angels blew two leads in the late innings on lost on a Cliff Floyd homerun (I was checking the wireless web on my phone during the show), and 2) my buddy walked out halfway through because he wasn't enjoying the show, which I thought was a little weird (but it was really hot in there). The latter was mitigated by me taking his spot, from which I could see everything very clearly, compared to the crappy spot I was in before that.

Britt Daniel looked like he was having a pretty good time, and that encouraged the crowd to do the same. Jim Eno was smiling throughout as well, and when the band is having fun, it usually makes for a pretty good show. So despite the Angels thing and the other thing, I give it a thumbs up.

Angels 3; Mets 5

Didn't see it. Was at the Spoon show. I'm just going to act like this one never happened, and I suggest you do the same.