Friday, August 17, 2007

Who Are These Guys?

Player A - 2006: 492 ABs 32 HR 90 RBI 89 runs .289 BA .915 OPS
Player B - 2006: 524 ABs 38 HR 114 RBI 89 runs .265 BA .909 OPS
Player A - 2007: 420 ABs 18 HR 69 RBI 55 runs .255 BA .778 OPS
Player B - 2007: 445 ABs 18 HR 58 RBI 58 runs .254 BA .769 OPS

Baseball is Poop

Boy Did They Blow That One
An incredible botched rundown in August 15's Royals-Rangers game. Follow this carefully:
With Tony Pena on first and one out David DeJesus singled to right.
The rightfielder Nelson Cruz hit the cutoff man Michael Young who threw to first and got DeJesus in a rundown. The first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia, threw to Ian Kinsler who chased DeJesus back to first but didn't tag him because he instead threw home to get Pena coming down the line. Gerald Laird took the throw and tagged Pena. A 9-6-3-4-2 out.

But the rundown wasn't over. DeJesus was trying to take second. Laird's throw to second was wild and DeJesus came all the way around to score.

One Bad Game Is All It Takes
Coming into August 16th Jeremy Affeldt of the Rockies and Kevin Cameron of the Padres had given up 17 earned runs in 91 2/3 innings combined so far this season for an ERA of 1.67 (0.80 for Cameron and 2.51 for Affeldt). Then in one fell swoop during the 5th and 6th innings they allowed 8 earned runs and retired 1 batter, for an ERA of 216.00. That raised their collective ERA to 2.45. Their new individual ERAs are 1.39 for Cameron and 3.47 for Affeldt.

Life is Not Fair
We all know that won-loss records for pitchers are largely a product of the quality of the team they play on. But rarely do you see large disparities between pitchers on the same team. But the San Francisco Giants have Matt Cain who has 3.77 ERA. That is less than half a run higher than his teammate Noah Lowry's 3.28. Cain is 4-13 and Lowry is 13-7. That's a difference of .415 in winning percentage. The problem doesn't lie with Lowry, his record is appropriate to his performance, he's lost every game he was supposed to lose and won the games he was supposed to win. In his last 10 victories he's allowed more than 2 runs only once. And in 3 of his losses he allowed 3 or fewer earned runs.
Then you look at Cain. He has 7 no decisions, all 7 were winnable, and 4 of them were excellent starts.
Over a 9 start stretch in May and June Cain went 0-6 with a 3.56 ERA. In two consecutive games he allowed 2 runs in 15 innings and lost 2-0 and 1-0.
In his last 4 starts in April he went 1-1 with a 0.93 ERA. Over that span he allowed 7 hits in 29 innings. In two of the games he allowed 2 hits and 1 run in 13 innings and got a loss and a no decision. Incredible bad luck for Cain. He's still got a bright future, as things like this tend to turn around.

There's No Place Like Home
Brewers closer Francisco Cordero has a 0.58 ERA and 23 saves at home where opponents are batting only .087 against him. But he is allowing about 4 walks per 9 innings.
On the road he is 0-4 with only 13 saves, but even worse he has a 7.64 ERA. Hitters are tattooing him to a .368 clip, but he's only allowing 1.5 walks per 9 innings.

Chris Cooley To Marry Groupie

Redskins tight end Chris Cooley is engaged to be married to former Redskins cheerleader Christy Oglevee.
Oglevee got fired from the Redskins squad for fraternizing with Cooley. Also fired was Christy's friend who introduced Cooley to Christy, while the friend was dating Cooley. Big mistake, don't introduce your hot friend to your rich boyfriend. She will steal him. To this day a lot of the Redskins cheerleaders are still pissed at Cooley over the incident.
There's a lot of cool stuff about Cooley and the future Mrs. Cooley (who is only 21, 4 years young than Chris) in this Washington Post article.

For instance:
Cooley loves '80s hair bands, including Whitesnake, Slayer and Poison. He and Christy went to a Def Leppard concert.

Joe Gibbs yelled at Cooley for eating off the floor of the team plane. "Hey, the applesauce cup flipped over," Cooley explained. "I just ate it out of the cup off the floor like a dog. I didn't think it was that big a deal."

According to Chris, all the Oglevees know a good time. In honor of Christy's 21st birthday last year, Christy's father, Scott, and Cooley threw back 21 shots of Jim Beam bourbon. Apiece. "Oh, we were hurtin'," Cooley said.

Over the spring, Chris, Christy, Scott, her uncle Craig and aunt Shannon ended up at Vixens Gentlemen's Club in West Virginia for what turned out to be a family outing.

"Everyone knew who Chris was," Christy said. "The owner came out, they gave us VIP treatment and all of a sudden I look up and the strippers are dancing to 'Hail to the Redskins.' It was crazy."

Christy seems willing to do just about anything to keep her meal ticket, I mean man, happy, which is good for Cooley.

She appeared in Maxim in 2003 (before she got fired from the Redskinettes) and said her vanity license plate read SMOOT. I hope she never fraternized with Fred Smoot.

I wonder how Christy feels about her future husband's workout shorts.

Like Father Like Son

While I was scarfing down shrimp, bacon and York Peppermint Patties, Diesel was at Best Friends Kennel enjoying the food as well. The thing we like about Best Friends is that they give you a report card about your pet's stay. Normally, Diesel gets "talkative," "active," "excited," and a few other adjectives, but some dogs have problems adjusting to their new environment. Some dogs refuse to poop or eat so there are categories for that. On Diesel's report card under eating, it said "Diesel ate like a little piggy."

At least I taught him something.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Alison and Billy's Wedding

Another domino falls! Little Billy, whom I first met 12 years ago when he was remixing "This Is How We Do It" on his computer is now a married man.

The festivities took us back to Philadelphia.

Traffic, dropping Diesel at the kennel and a ridiculous lack of sleep almost made Mrs. Poop and I late to the rehearsal dinner but we got there just in time to shower and hustle to the rehearsal for Bill to explain to us what a chuppah is.

At the rehearsal dinner, we practiced eating (I still know how!) and Mrs. Poop caught up on baby talk with Mrs. E-Z and Erin. The three of them even went across the street to a baby clothes store...and bought nothing.

Bill took a moment to introduce all of his groomsmen which led to the most inexplicable moment of the evening. When Bill was talking about me, Alison interjected "I swear they're separated at birth." Then Michael interjected "Mary J. Blige." I think he meant that Billy and I are brothers from another mother, and that mother is Mary J. Blige.

Friday night ended with everyone back at the hotel bar. Let me say this, I hate paying $7 for a beer ($21 for 3 yeunglings) but I really enjoyed the hotel bar. At these events I like talking to people I haven't seen in a while and the bar setup, with couches made it easy to hop from cluster to cluster and say hello to everyone, especially the people I don't see that often, like my long lost brother Smokey. And it's nice and quiet (I hate loud bars) so I could hear everyone, even Kristin who seemed to break out of her shell for the first time this weekend, which was nice to see. Plus when Pizza Parlor Derek finally walked in everyone cheered his arrival and he didn't even go upstairs, just started drinking with his luggage in the corner. After the hotel bar closed and they gave me my bill (I thought if you charge it to the room you don't really have to pay), I tried to get some sleep, as I was working on about 3 hours.

Mrs. Poop and I slept so late we missed the gay couples sight-seeing tour, but we did wake up early enough to get cheesesteaks for lunch, or so we thought. We sent Horse, Smokey and PPD to Jim's (or was it Rick's?), but the line was so damn long, that I didn't have time to wait, and Mrs. Poop and Baby Poop, didn't have the patience to wait, so Josh and I walked to Wawa. Wawa was a terrible way to introduce Mrs. Poop to cheesesteaks, but I enjoyed mine.

Then it was time for the wedding. We traveled around the city taking pictures in front of fountains, in front of the LOVE sign and in the middle of the street. Should be some cool photos for the wedding album.

The wedding was held in Philadelphia, so it was sort of weird, because you had this nice outdoor ceremony but you had the sights and sounds of the city.

a row of handsome men with the city skyline behind us

There was a guy parallel parking a Prius, a hot girl on her way back from the pool, Horse staring at her, but most memorably, the valets somehow got stuck with a car that wouldn't start. So they were pushing this car, right behind the bride and groom, where we were looking, hard not to notice. But it was a beautiful ceremony, Billy stomped the glass easily on his first try, and he broke the glass, not his leg and the party began.

Mr. and Mrs.
you may kiss the bride

I love cocktail hours. And I was the first one on line and I took a huge plateful of shrimp, and yes I did offer them to Mrs. Poop, but she declined. I also had two Shirley Temples. I don't know who started the trend, but at the beginning of the night everyone was drinking Shirley Temples. The bartender told me that in 10 years of bartending he'd never served so many Shirley Temples to adults.

I love shrimp

They also had lobster tails, which were delicious, and shrimp prepared several different ways. I don't know how many shrimp I had, but midway through my second huge plate, the ocean called.

Billy and Alison walked in to theme song from Beverly Hills 90210.

Right after that they did a choreographed routine to "Candy Girl" by New Edition, but it was awesome and very creative.

Billy and his Candy Girl

All night the music was awesome, mostly because Billy (acting like Bridezilla) gave the DJ a very detailed list of songs and the order to play them in.

There was a hip-hop section and I could have sworn during "I Need a Girl" the ghost of my friend Coach came on the dance floor and sang "the sun won't shine forever but as long as it's here then we might as well shine together."

Me with Billy and the ghost of Coach

The night really started to pick up when he went into his "rock block" starting with "Living on a Prayer" and "Sweet Child O Mine." That had people, including the bride and groom, dancing on their chairs.

Tommy used to work on the docks
she's got a smile that it seems to me reminds me of childhood memories

And speaking of dancing on chairs, we did a hora. No one loves a good hora more than me, but I felt a little lost without my partner in hora, TallSkott. Michael was a good substitute but too many non-jews were holding the chairs and I was calling for everyone to walk in circles, but it didn't quite work out that way. But most importantly, we kept the bride and groom upright.

mazel tov
i love the hora

The evening took a turn for the better when they brought out the Viennese/breakfast table. There was your normal assortments of cakes and cookies but there was also a chocolate fountain. Chocolate was flowing from everywhere. You stick something in there, and it comes out covered in chocolate. I wanted to stick my head under but Mrs. Poop forebade me. So I had some chocolate covered Oreos. Then I got to the breakfast part. There were pancakes, and sausage and yes bacon. And it was midnight. I took a little breakfast, in the hopes I could sleep later in the morning. So as I was about to eat my bacon I noticed I had a pool of chocolate on my plate from where the Oreos had been. So I tried it. Chocolate covered bacon isn't as delicious as you would think it would be.

So to recap at this wedding I ate: a lot of shrimp (if I had to guess I'd say more than 50), 2 lobster tails, 2 chocolate covered Oreos, 3 chocolate covered bacon strips, and I drank 2 Shirley Temples and about 10 beers.

Yeah probably 10 beers, which is why at some point I found myself manning a bottle of Tanqueray pouring it onto the ice sculpture and into the mouth of my fellow Redskins fan, Christian. I guess my judgment of what constitutes a shot was a little impaired at that point because the bartender came over and confiscated the bottles.

As the night came to an end a couple of special songs were played giving the groom a chance to do his Vabilla Ice Dance, and immediately the bride's family drew up annulment papers.

And then Billy instructed the DJ to play La Bamba and hand the mic to Horse. A very drunk Horse. A Horse who had been getting disgusted looks from Mrs. Horse for the last two hours starting with his magical attempt to make a lime disappear. Here's the back story on La Bamba. When Horse was just a pony, he had to learn the lyrics for a 7th grade Spanish class. He's remembered them and uses it as his go-to karaoke song. At Michael's bachelor party, Horse delivered a rousing rendition. Well, he tried to duplicate that effort and the crowd was really into it.

para bailar la bamba
el caballo necisito una poca de gracia
horses get thirsty

Regrettably, the wedding had to end, but that didn't stop the fun. Nor did it stop Horse. He began a sing-along on the bus ride back to the hotel. He started off with his second favorite karaoke song "To Be With You" by Mr. Big, the song that got him attacked on the DC Metro.

Other songs sung include "Hail to the Redskins" (by just Christian and me), "The Humpty Dance" (the girl behind me knew every single word and even admitted later that yes, she uses words that don't mean nothing like "loopid" and that she did once get busy in a Burger King bathroom. The next morning I saw her wearing a shirt that said "real women don't date Yankees fans". Needless to say, I like her.), "Before He Cheats" and several others that aren't worth remembering.

Those of us who didn't want the night to end (almost all of us) hung out in the hotel lobby til 4am.

I also want to give credit to the best man E-Z who did a great job with his speech which had something to do with a man named Horace, Wheaties and Viagra.

the great E-Z-E delivered a thoughtful well researched meaningful best man speech

E-Z's speech was really about finding things you aren't really looking for. That must have been a theme for the weekend because in the elevator banks on every single floor was a huge, pentagonal cylinder full of Hershey's candy, thanks to a group from the candy company that stayed in our hotel. At first I decided to be judicious and I only took 3 York Peppermint Patties. But with each pass by one of these chocolate havens I became bolder and bolder. By 2am when I was drunk I grabbed as many as I could and when I woke up the next morning after getting yelled at for putting them on Mrs. Poop's pregnant belly, I counted I had taken 35 York Peppermint Patties (not including the 10 or so I'd eaten up until that point).

thank you hershey's

The next morning I actually woke up in time for breakfast which was nice because I obviously hadn't eaten enough so I stuffed my face with a ton of bacon and got one last chance to talk to everyone and say goodbye to the happy couple and wish them well on their honeymoon and to thank them for a beautiful fun weekend.

the happy couple

Former Met Pulls a Marichal

Jose Offerman is playing this season for the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League. He homered in the first inning of a game against the Bridgeport Bluefish on August 14th, then the next time up was hit by a pitch. He charged the mound to go after pitcher Matt Beech with the bat in his hand. Catcher John Nathans came out to grab Offerman but Offerman gave a swing which broke Beech's finger, and hit Nathans in the head on the backswing.
Nathans was concussed and taken to the hospital.
Offerman was arrested and taken to jail.

This reminds almost everyone of the time when Juan Marichal cracked Johnny Roseboro on the head with a bat during a brawl between the Dodgers and Giants in 1965. Marichal only got 8 games for that. He'd get a full season if he were to do that in the majors today.

A few side notes:
Tommy John is the manager of the Bridgeport Bluefish.
Other players on the Ducks include former Mets Edgardo Alfonzo, Danny Graves, Carl Everett and Ed Yarnall (never played for the Mets but was a Mets farmhand who was traded with Preston Wilson to Florida for Mike Piazza in 1997). I'm sure Carl Everett was a calming influence during this fight.
Buddy Harrelson is the 3rd base coach for the Ducks.

What's Supposed to Be Black And White But is Red All Over?

A baby Panda!

Four baby pandas were born in China on Monday, remarkable considering only 10 had been born all year up to that point. It must be a push by the Chinese government before the Beijing Olympics.

it was a cold and gray chengdu morn and another little baby panda was born in the zoo-oooh, if there's one thing that she don't need it's another hungry little mouth to feed in the zoo-oooh

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Bell Tolls For Thee

At a nursing home in Ohio, Scamp, a schnazuer roams the halls comforting patients. But when he goes into a patient's room and barks, or paces, that's bad news. That means the poor old person is about to die. In the three years that Scamp has lived at this nursing home, he's correctly predicted just about all of the 40 or so deaths.

He is so reliable that when he goes into someone's room and starts acting this way, the nursing home staff will call the family and say "get here fast."


A cat named Oscar, with a similar predictive ability lives at a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island.


Now this may seem crazy or made up or coincidental, but since there are no coincidences, I'd like to offer an explanation.
Dogs are proven to be valuable service animals to diabetics and epileptics. They can sense or smell a change in the body's chemistry, and use that to predict an incident (blood sugar drop or seizure). I believe the same general thing is at work here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Holy Cow!

Yankees legend Phil Rizzuto died at age 89. Normally I wouldn't care about a Yankees legend but Rizzuto was a great man, and a part of my childhood.

I remember watching him call the Andy Hawkins no-hitter (that he lost) and Rizzuto correctly predicted that Kevin Maas was about to drop a flyball.

My dad was fond of Rizzuto's lax approach to scorekeeping. His book was full of WWs, which stood for "wasn't watching."

Even though Rizzuto was a homer, for the Yankees, he was a lovable homer and maybe George was right, "heaven needed a shortstop."

Two things I will always remember about the Scooter:

His Money Store commercials:

His name is hard to spell:

A Great Name For a Hippo

A new baby hippo is unveiled at the Berlin Zoo, the same place where they have Knut. Mrs. Poop wants to fly to Berlin immediately. At least they gave this hippo a better name than Porn.

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Maybe He Was Drunk When He Bought It Too

Ronald Tridico, a 39-year old Florida resident, recently bought a $400,000 Lamborghini Murcielago. A few days after he got it he took it out for a spin. And he crashed it. Because he was drunk. Then he fled the scene of the accident. So not only did he fuck up his brand new $400,000 car he got arrested. There's only one appropriate tag for this story.

You Can't Escape Your Past

In 1994, Darryl Strawberry was indicted on tax evasion charges for not paying taxes on income he earned from card shows. He was sentenced to six months home confinement and ordered to repay $350,000 in taxes.

Now the government is suing him to get that money. I have no idea why this took so long but the feds claim he now owes $481,000.

The Best and The Worst

The best skit on Saturday Night Live in a long time (even better than "Dick In a Box"). Yes it does get a little old towards the end, but it's only 5 minutes and most of it is very clever and smart, even though they're telling the same joke the whole time. I guarantee Janet Jackson is a great cork soaker.

The exact opposite of that, is this (Harland Williams on Conan O'Brien):

Chocolate Rain

A drunken Horse kept screaming this out over the weekend so I decided to look into it. Turns out the song is haunting, and it's become one of those internet phenomenons. It's "Chocolate Rain" by Tay Zonday and it's actually about race relations in America.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Baseball is Poop

Who's Hot Edition
The Yanks Are Coming
You can only keep a team with a $200 million payroll down so long. The money is starting to pay off for the Yankees who are 22-7 in the last month, including 11-2 in the last 13 games. They only trail the Red Sox by four games now and are just percentage points behind the Mariners for the AL Wild Card.

The Natural
A young promising pitcher gets shot, works his way back to the major leagues and starts hitting home runs an impressive pace. Ok, so Rick Ankiel didn't get shot, but after his meltdown in the 2000 playoffs he might have wished he had been. Ankiel could never get his control back so he gave up pitching and focused on hitting. After several years in the minor leagues working on his hitting, Ankiel is back in the majors and he has 3 home runs in 16 at bats.

Welcome Back
Since coming off the disabled list Mets outfielder Moises Alou has 5 home runs in 54 at bats (all in the last 32 ABs). Before going on the list, he had 2 in 110 ABs.

Welcome Back II
San Diego Padres outfielder Brian Giles has 5 home runs in his last 12 at bats. He started the season with 2 in his first 287 at bats.

Only 3 More Shutouts To Go
Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb has a 33 scoreless inning streak including 2 straight complete game shutouts. Webb who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2006 has lowered his ERA by 0.61 to 2.77 (4th in the NL) over that span. If Webb can pitch three more shutouts in a row, he will break Orel Hershiser's scoreless innings streak.

Nearly Perfect
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Bobby Jenks has retired 41 consecutive batters over 14 innings (that should be 42, but he came into one game with a man on and got a double play). 41 is the major league record set by Jim Barr in 1972. Hard to believe of all the guys who pitched a perfect game (15 in the modern era), none of them had 5 innings perfect in the game before and or after.

This Happened To Horse First

A Seattle woman attacked a singer belting out Coldplay telling him he "sucked" before she pushed and punched him to get him to stop singing.

When she was escorted outside, the 21-year-old woman "went crazy," throwing punches at everyone.

According to bartender notes, she had only a single shot of Jagermeister

The Happys

It was a busy weekend for milestones.

The woman without whom this blog would not exist (because I wouldn't exist) celebrated her birthday on Saturday. Happy Birthday mom!

And one day later my sister, who has adjusted to being called Step On Me (choosing it as the lesser of two evils when compared to Poop On Me), celebrated her birthday by watching little Jenna walk around.

And Monday is the anniversary of the creators of my wonderful niece. You may them know them as Master and Mrs. Bates but my brother and my sister-in-law are more recognizable as Cayla's parents.

August 13th is also the birthday of Billy, and next year it will coincide nicely with his first wedding anniversary, a wedding about which you will be reading shortly.

Happy birthday and anniversary to all.