Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back to the Midwest tomorrow

Back to the cold. Back to work (new job). Kinda sucks really.

So how did I spend my last few weeks?

Countless visits to the hospital (my dad's a lot better, thanks)
4 rounds of golf
3 trips to court (don't ask)
2 visits to Indian casinos
2 trips to In-N-Out (I know, only two)
2 dinners at a really good Mexican food restaurant
1 wedding (not mine), including reception and rehearsal dinner
1 trip to Palm Springs (for the wedding)
1 trip to San Diego (saw Borat with an old college roommate)
1 Kings home game
1 high school football game
1 meet up with Welch, Halofan, the Chronicler, Cupie, and Steve Smith.
1 trip to the UCR bookstore

A fairly eventful couple of weeks, I guess. Midday flight tomorrow means missing most of the days' college football, which sucks, but it is what it is.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bud Black to the Padres

Well, this stings a little bit, but it wasn't unexpected. Bud Black has accepted an offer from the Padres to be their next manager. It's the job he's been waiting for, and probably just about the only one he would have taken in the next few years. Good luck to Bud and the Padres.

What's this mean for the Angels? Under Black, the Angels have developed Jarrod Washburn (who actually started under the previous regime), John Lackey, Ervin Santana, and Joe Saunders. He was able to get better performances than he should have gotten out of Ramon Ortiz and Kevin Appier in his tenure. Interestingly, following the World Championship in 2002, the Angels only had one (that's right, 1) above average year from a starter in the next two seasons. Of course, they turned that trend around in 2005 and 2006, winning a Cy Young, and producing eight above average seasons in ten rotation spots (if you consider Colon/Weaver/Saunders as one rotation slot - all three were below average last season).

But Black's legacy with the Angels will the success of the bullpen under his tenure, always above average and frequently at the top of the league. He got productive seasons out of such luminaries as Lou Pote, Al Levine, Ben Weber, Brendan Donnelly, Mark Petkovsek, and others. That's not exactly a hall of fame waiting list. Add those to terrific seasons out of Scot Shields, Frankie Rodriguez, and Troy Percival, and well, his successor will have his work cut out for him. Bullpens are notoriously unreliable from one year to the next. Black and Scioscia hit on a formula that appeared to effectively minimize that volatility. Hopefully Scioscia can find a replacement who can fill that role with the same effectiveness.

In addition, Scioscia and his coaches have always seemed to be on the same page. His relationship with Black has, from the outside, appeared to be fairly close. Can he find a replacement who fits into the Angel family just as well as Black? We'll see. Who will it be? Hell if I know. Check this Halos Heaven thread for speculation.

Kings 6; Lanche 5

Man, what an exciting game. I mean really entertaining. Just enough bad goaltending to lead to a lot of goals, and just enough good goaltending to remind everyone that goaltending is really hard. Nice effort by Avery, and underrated play by Koptitar to steal the puck and set up the Thornton goal.

And oh yeah, it's election night. I don't do a lot of political stuff, because there are a lot of people who do it a lot better, and I don't want to alienate anyone. But just take a look at the sidebar. Yeah, I've had worse nights.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lost Weekend

Got back from the desert last night after spending the weekend without TV and internet. Fortunately, I was there for a wedding and the accompanying festivities, so the monotony didn't completely wear me down.

Also fortunate was the fact that the lack of a connection to the wired world meant that I didn't have to witness the Kings losing, the Bruins losing, and Derrick Rose choosing Memphis over Illinois. Of course, I have some experience witnessing all three, so I was able to just imagine all of the losing and still feel like I was there. Oh, I also lost at the casinos, or rather, the casino (Agua Caliente). I won at Fantasy Springs. I also took $10 from the groom's dad at Terra Lago the day before the wedding (That's right, Dan, I was playing golf).

Speaking of golf, I've squeezed in rounds at Oak Valley, Rustic Canyon, and Oak Quarry, the latter two for the first time. Must be something about the grasses used out here, or the time of the season, but courses in the Midwest are generally in better shape. Never noticed it until this trip. Oh well, 90 degrees here today, so I'll soak up a few more days of sun before heading back to Chicago.