Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Schilling for Senator (in 2010)! Rocca for Punter (in 2007)!

So, apparently, Curt Schilling will be competing for a spot in a (the Phillies???) pitching rotation in 2008, as opposed to competing for a spot in the Senate lineup. It is unclear why the two need to be mutually exclusive- can't he be a Senator on his 4 days of rest (from pitching)?
But he should be ready for 2010, when the current former- Phillies-ace-turned-Senator, Jim Bunning, will likely be ejected.
(It is preferable for the Phillies to have a former ace
pitcher in the Senate, at all times.)
Unlike Bunning, chosen by MLB as a Hall of Famer, and by Time Magazine as one of America's Worst Senators, the Schill is a prime-time player, and does not require a teleprompter. (Perhaps Bunning can return to MLB in 2010 as a 79 yr. old reliever. He could put up a 27.00 ERA in a pitcher's park, and still show improvement over his performance as a Senator.)

In other Curtis Montague Schilling news, he announced that, if not given an contract extension (note: he doesn't want a more lucrative deal, he just wants another year at the same salary tacked on), he will become a free agent after the 2007 season. (He would be quite a good pickup for the Phillies, even as a 41 year old.) So, Theo, if you're reading this, put down the Nathan's Hot Dog, and lock up The Schill for another season. Unless you want to face him 3 times (2 starts, 1 relief appearance) in the 2008 World Series. Which I'm sure you don't.

J.D. Drew is officially (maybe) a Red Sox. Until I see a roster move made, putting Drew on the Sox' 40-Man Roster, I choose to remain in denial.

The Todd Helton trade talks seem to have fallen through, for the time being. I wasn't too excited about locking Helton in as the Red Sox 1B, as he continues along the downward, diminishing returns phase of his Coors-inflated career. Even at $5 million/yr. (after Colorado kicked in some $). Especially if the deal would have cost the Sox Craig Hansen, who I still feel could be an MLB closer. Helton will prob. put up Youkilis numbers this year, and the Sox already have a Youkilis of their very own. Unless the player/$ package was very different than that leaked by the Rockies, this was a good non-move by the Sox.

In NFL news, there's a game being played this Sunday, somewhere in Florida.

The Eagles signed Saverio Rocca, former Australian Rules Football star, as a punter. (I guess the Eagles are reading my e-mails.) I have often gazed longingly at NFL punting statistics, and fantasized about the day that the Eagles would have a Shane Lechler of their own. (Despite the fact that, as a young lad, I was Commanded not to covet thy neighbor's punter.) While logic tells me that Rocca may very well be nothing more than a training camp leg to limit incumbent Dirk Johnson's (24th out of 30 punters in gross avg.) reps, perhaps Rocca will win the Eagles punting gig, and lead the NFL with a 50 yd. avg, on the way to an appearance in the 2008 edition of the NFL game being played this Sunday.

The Flyers continue to lose, despite getting some pretty decent goaltending and even a cameo from Peter Forsberg, who actually played like his skates fit the other night. The Flyers are now attempting to think outside-the-box, (No- not outside-the-penalty-box -they still feel the need to keep that place staffed with at least one player at all times.) and are splitting the remainder of the season into 5 game segments. So, instead of being in last place this season (in the entire NHL), they are in 2nd to last place (in the entire NHL) in their current 5 game segment. Congrats, Flyers!

The Bruins are, possibly, in their worst stretch of the season right now, with 4 consecutive losses, including consecutive blowouts. Their 7-1 loss Tuesday night in Buffalo was one of their worst performances this season.
As a result, I am taking extreme measures to save the Bruins' season. I will be in attendance tonight as the B's try to avenge their Tuesday pasting by the Sabres. So, Mr. Lewis, if the guys need a pep talk, or if you need me to play in goal in the 3rd period, play the point on the PP, D on a 3-on-5, fraternize with the Ice Girls, just let me know. I'll be the dork with the Phillies hat sitting in the rafters. Just send an usher for me when you need me. The losing streak ends tonight.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Top 5 CDs of 2006, Prog. Metal Division

My top 5 CD releases for 2006:
1. Mind's Eye- "Walking on H20" (cd cover: directly to left)
An outstanding conceptual album. If you want to know what prog metal is, check out this album.
2. Wolverine- "Still" (cd cover: middle right)
Well-written, moody, depressive. Well done. Not as good as their The Window Purpose release of 2001, but only because that is one of the best releases ever. EVER.
3. Tomorrow's Eve- "Mirror of Creation II" (cd cover: top left)
Brilliant sequel to their incredible 2003 release.
4. Seventh Wonder- "Waiting in the Wings" (cd cover: top right)
Never heard of these guys before- very surprised by the quality of this release.
5. Into Eternity- "The Scattering of Ashes" (cd cover: middle left)
Overcame some lineup changes to growl and scream their way to another winner.

Opinion still pending: I haven't listened to Wuthering Heights' "The Shadow Cabinet" yet, but, from the clips I've heard, it might be Top 5 material.

I purchased approx. 30 CDs in 2006. My collection is now in the 350-400 range.
I seriously need to put more money into mutual funds and less into CDs...

Walking Tall

"Cause I'm Walking Tall,
Marching down this shattered road,
I've learned,
Pain means alive,
And I'm slowly breaking through."

-SEVENTH WONDER, "Walking Tall"

The Philadelphia Eagles faced quite a bit of adversity this season. A season-ending injury to their starting QB, perennial Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb. Crushing injuries to several other key components. Last second FG losses to New Orleans and Tampa Bay. A blowout at the hands of the AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts, which dropped their record to 5-6, seemingly eliminating them as a viable playoff contender.
But they made the adjustments necessary to save their season. Jeff Garcia and Brian Westbrook took matters into their own hands and led the Eagles to 5 straight wins and the NFC East crown. They keyed a playoff victory over the rival New York Giants. The undefeated run ended in New Orleans, at the hands of the Saints, in a game that either team could have won.
While the season didn't end with a Super Bowl victory, the Eagles achieved quite a lot. Even with a difficult schedule next season, including a road game in New England (!), I am confident the Eagles will continue to achieve. I type this as a football fan who is proud to be an Eagles Fan. All Eagles Fans should join me in Walking Tall- the 1st Eagles Super Bowl win is little more than a year away...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chasin' Mediocrity

Chase Utley had a pretty decent weekend. Picked up a new wife. Also picked up a 7 yr., $85 million contract. Not necessarily in that order. A pretty fair weekend haul.
Five and a half years in the future, I'll probably be complaining about the Phillies' trade of Utley, $8 million, and a serviceable SP to the Yankees for a serviceable LOOGY and 3 randomly generated minor league prospects to fill out the AA roster.
But, in the present, I am saluting the Phillies for locking up the premier 2B in MLB for the long-term, at below-market value.

A disappointing weekend in NFL playoff action. Disappointing in that both teams I was rooting for lost. Brees, Bush, and the Saints, who had my support only because of my eternal dislike of all things Bears, got demolished. I'm not really sure what happened there. One minute it was like 16-14 Bears, then the Bears suddenly had 39 points.
So the Bears are in the fucking Super Bowl. With that shitpisser Rex Grossman as their QB. The Eagles have 3 QBs far better than him. (Note: I am including an injured McNabb in this count. I am NOT counting Koy Detmer because, well, nobody does at this point. Sorry, Koy. But good job with all of the holding.)
The Eagles are FAR SUPERIOR to the Bears. But I am not yet in a place where I can write about the Eagles. Still marching through the 12 steps. (But currently 10 steps ahead of Lindsay. Who, incidentally, does not get nearly enough credit for her transcendental acting performance in Herbie:Fully Loaded. "I'm being car-jacked by my own car!" )
But when I do write on the Eagles again it will be inspirational and/or brilliant. For reals.

The Patriots lost to the Colts in what was a really exciting game. Exciting, but the ending was flawed. The correct ending would have been a game-winning TD catch by Reche Caldwell. Redemption. Or perhaps Troy Brown. History. The Brady INT ending was poorly conceived, and, frankly, not all that believable. Shithell. I don't feel like writing about the Pats either.

In other important football news, I have come to the realization that I hold myself to a higher standard when wearing a McNabb or Akers jersey. I display more speed, agility, and mobility. The ability to throw and kick objects a greater distance, with increased accuracy. And increased pressure on myself to demonstrate considerable leadership skills. Donovan McNabb makes me want to be a better person. A Campbell soup-eating better person. (Though I much prefer Progresso soup when not sporting Eagles attire.)

The NHL is currently in it's All-Star break. They are unveiling new uniforms which are, well, a bit offensive. Last night was the "YoungStars" game, which was also very offensive. As in, goalies and defenseman need not be present, unless they are also all about the offense. (Exactly which teams' offense they are trying to enhance is clearly irrelevant.) The Bruins' mediocrity and the Flyers' ineptitude has soured me on the hockey a little bit this week.

So, David Beckham will be joining MLS as a midfielder/savior. Becks and Posh will, undoubtedly, save the single-entity/non-entity MLS from overwhelming disinterest in the U.S. Kind of like how Pele saved the NASL. And like Steve Young saved the USFL. (Well, except for the fact that Becks and Posh are less Mormon-y and more, well, Spice-y, than Steve Young.)

I miss the USFL. Football as it should be. The Philadelphia franchise as the dominating power, the model for all other teams. Chuck Fusina throwing to Scott Fitzkee. David Trout, the diminutive kicker. Kelvin Bryant. Sean Landeta. The Philadelphia Stars finished 15-3 in their 1st season, losing the Championship game to Bobby Hebert, Anthony Carter and the Michigan Panthers, 24-22. (Clearly, the better team lost.) In the 2nd season, they went 16-2 and beat THE Greg Landry and the Arizona Wranglers for the championship. (Then they moved to Baltimore, and played their home games in Maryland. But we will not speak of that.)

Baseball is only weeks away. The Sox haven't signed J.D. Drew yet, but will any SECOND. Just have to clean up some contractural language. A mere formality. (BTW, I can't wait to see how well-received he will be at CBP as a Red Sox in the 2007 World Series.)
Trot Nixon trotted off to Cleveland. A lot of anguish in Sox Nation, but I think the right decision was made. Trot has made many varied contributions to the Sox, and will always be remembered for his Dirt Dog ways. Fever Pitch III will include a Nixon jersey in the protagonist's closet. A decade from now, he'll probably be a Sox coach.
But, in the present, he has some injury concerns, and the Sox have 5 or 6 OF ahead of him, not including MLers. The Sox made the right move in not retaining Trot, which does not diminish his many accomplishments in a Sox uniform in any way. I hope Trot does well as an Indian.

In local news, after the City of Boston's bigwigs failed to acquire their top choice as the next Poet Laureate, as they were unwilling to meet my more than reasonable contract demands, have, apparently, opted to search for a less distinguished and talented candidate to fill that crucial role. They pursued me fervently, after reading my series of tankas on the Matsuzaka Saga, but just didn't show me enough of the money. (They said they spent it all digging some tunnel.) It is their loss. As well as the loss of the entire City of Boston.

I'll close with a selection from my Matsusaka Tanka Series, as I have been made aware that my blog has been severely lacking in "crappy-ass poetry." (Hmm. Should "crappy-ass" be hyphenated?)

The Monster hurls a gyro sublime
Only 6 million yen
For his agent's time

Just a sample of what you'll be missing, Boston. But, you go ahead and keep digging more holes...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stop! Hannu time!

So Hannu Toivonen gets another chance to participate in exciting NHL action tonight against the New York Islanders. The last opportunity didn't work out so well (5-0 loss in Nashville, in which he allowed 2 goals which were softer than Glen Murray), but he has a much better chance against the Islanders.
My predictions: Hannu allows one fluky goal in a 3-1 win, Timothy Thomas enjoys a relaxing night as a spectator, Hannu plays 35% of the remaining Bruins regular season games and performs better than Wade Flaherty would, the Bruins do NOT waste draft picks trading for a Proven Veteran Backup Goalie, Thomas leads the B's into the 2nd round of the playoffs, and continues to run that Extremely Disconcerting picture of Toivonen every time he plays. (Note: That pic is much too disconcerting to display here.)
Onnea matkaan, Hannu!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Eagles 23, Tikis 20

Well, bringing back Koy Detmer to hold the snaps from The Magician worked out pretty well. (Hmm. Why do I think of Gob from Arrested Development whenever the Magical Exploits of the Eagles Long Snapping Specialist are referenced on just about every FGA/PAT?)
He Who Kicks With Stupendous Accuracy did his thing, and the Eagles will be off to New Orleans next weekend.

The game was a little more nerve-wracking than I would have preferred. What with the game being in Philly, and the Giants being Dead Men Walking and all. But the Eagles got the result, and that's (mostly) all that matters. Have to give most of the credit for this victory to Mr. Westbrook and myself. Westbrook for his brilliant and clock-killing running, myself for the fact that the Eagles are now 6-0 on weekends where I wear my McNabb jersey on game day, and my Akers jersey on the preceding day.

They will need a more thorough effort to beat the Saints in NO, however. I am very concerned by the fact that Lito seems likely to be a sideline observer with Jevon and Donovan. I am hopeful Jeff will perform like he had in previous weeks. And Westbrook needs to reprise this week's performance.

Additionally, while the Eagles managed the last 4 minutes of the game (leaving the Giants with zero seconds in which to make a comeback) extremely well, I still think they would be well-served by adding me to the staff as Time Management Coordinator. I could handle time outs, when to spike the ball, when to allow the other team to score, play-calling at the end of each half, taking a knee, when to allow time to drip off the clock, etc. Sometimes the Eagles seem puzzled by these things. Like at the end of the 1st half when they let 30 seconds drip away before they finally took a time out. Those wasted 30 seconds could have been worth another FG. Andy, let me know if you need me on the sidelines in NO.

In other NFL playoff games, I was excited to watch the Pats win. Not that the Jets were much of a challenge. The Pats have a very tough matchup against the Chargers in SD next weekend, but I think they have a good shot at the upset. I'll be rootin' for them. (And not just because the Eagles have a better chance to beat them in the Super Bowl.)

Glad to see Romo and the Cowboys choke and eliminate themselves. Fuckers.
While I must admit it was pretty exciting to watch LJ shred the Colts for 32 yards (on 13 carries) rushing, and that play with 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter when the Chiefs actually got one of those "First Down" things for the 1st time, that game kind of sucked. Mostly because I was hoping the Colts would choke and eliminate themselves like the Cowboys. But Peyton and boys will do their choking thing next weekend. Just a matter of time.

Flyers had 2 more L's over the weekend. Their strategy of letting the other team shoot on them all game, and then attempting an occasional counter-attack didn't exactly work. More of a soccer strategy, anyways.
Additionally, they are reportedly considering trading Joni Pitkanen. (Apparently, they think having ZERO (0) good D, is an idea worth considering.)
I choose not to think of the Flyers right now. At least they helped the B's get closer to a playoff spot.

The Phillies still need a RF. Also about 7 worthwhile relievers. The Red Sox seem to have no closer (not sold on Pineiro as a closer, they'd be better off with Timlin closing), but about 15 serviceable relievers. The Phillies have a serviceable (but a bit old) closer in Gordon, but not much with him in the bullpen. The Phillies and Sox, obviously, need to merge bullpens, but I haven't figured out all of the logistics of this move. Yet. But it will include (at least) 2 private planes. And extra socks. Lots of socks.

I think I am the only MA resident with a Philadelphia Kixx hat. I win.

I did not watch You're the One That I Want because the wound is still too new. (Not to mention that, years ago, an insufficient financial aid package squelched my dream of doing my undergrad work at Grease Academy. Also quite traumatic.)
But I watched a little of The Apprentice, which appears to be reaching quite a bit. Losers living in tents. Winning project manager in the boardroom helping fire opponents. Trump's daughter (Ivanka?) overseeing things. Yikes.
But Angela Ruggiero is on it. So you have to root for the Ice Hockey Gold Medalist.
I like watching the tasks, but the boardroom shenanigans irritate me. Not a fan of back-stabbing, evil, etc. Plus it is in LA, so my fave character (the receptionist who directed peeps into the boardroom) isn't in it. A bit disappointing. I miss her.
Think I'll stick to watching the sports.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


So the 5-6 Eagles ran the table, finishing 10-6, and winning the NFC East. I am still a little shocked at this turn of events. But I guess that's why they play the games.
Now with a home playoff game this weekend against the eminently-beatable N.Y. Giants, and a playoff bracket that could include winnable road games in New Orleans and Chicago (2 overrated teams), the streaking Iggles have as good a shot as any NFC playoff team to play in the Super Bowl. Perhaps even in a rematch against Thomas Brady and the Patriots of New England. Yikes!
I would have liked to have watched what turned out to be a battle of the Eagles' B team and the Atlanta Falcons, but the FOX Overlords opted to televise a game not involving quite as many birds. Fuckers.
This was a bit disconcerting as I drove at 85 MPH for about 50 miles to not watch the NFC East Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Even at 85 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, I was still getting passed by other vehicles. (What the shithell?)
However, I was totally unconcerned about being pulled over by a trooper. It was highly more likely that they'd see me tooling along in my Eagles jersey, and opt to give me a Mirabelli Escort. Anyways, the troopers were probably all watching the end of the Pats game.
Besides, I drive a flipping Honda Accord. Obviously, I'm going to drive it at high speeds at all times. To not do so would be uncivilized. It would be like buying high performance skis, and then spending all your time in the ski lodge. Or buying a Porsche for the expressed purpose of drug trafficking, and leaving it parked at an airport for a decade, a portion of which was not even spent as a guest of the Commonwealth. Just crazy talk.

A bonus to the Eagles' clinching (which came as the bastard Cowboys lost at home to the 3-13 Lions. hehe.) was that backup QB A.J. Feeley got to play the majority of the game, and he put up some serious stats. If Garcia gets hurt, there is no reason A.J. can't take over and move the offense.
Of course, A.J. will always be best known for his Heather Mitts connection.
Heather Mitts, of course, being the soccer player who is also the Most Attractive Female Professional Athlete Ever. Maybe she was even at the game, but I didn't get to see because of Fox. Craphead.
Anyways, I guess I will take solace in the fact that the NFC East Champion Philadelphia Eagles are, in fact, great. And will probably win the Super Bowl.