Friday, September 30, 2005
Dreaming of You was catchy as hell and the rest of album was pretty sweet too. They got called 'pirate rock' cause of their sound. They had a lot of references to treasure or skeleton keys or sailing and the like. Either way, the whole album was a delight to listen to. The standout tracks include Waiting for Heartaches, Skeleton Key, Shadows Fall, Goodbye and of course, Dreaming of You.
Then I bought their second (and third?) album, Magic and Medicine. I liked it, but not as much as their first one. Gone was the 'pirateness' of The Coral. Some songs still stuck out however. Bill McCai is far and away my favorite track on the CD. It's about a middle aged man who doesn't exactly care for his life. Maybe it sounded a little bit like Dreaming of You, I'm not sure, but either way, I love it. I love the chorus (And everyday when he gets the train/Looks out the window and thinks in vain/If I could only be that boy again) it's bouncy and fun (plus there's a lot of cowbell). My only complaint is that the song only clocks in at 2:37, I could've gone for a lot more. Magic and Medicine has more folk elements to it (when compared to The Coral), the album it reminds me of the most is The Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies. I like the CD a ton, just not as much as their debut, but the highights on the CD are: Liezah, Don't Think You're the First, Pass it On and my favorite track Bill McCai. Though, no matter what the songs sound like, the Coral always seem to have a weird undercurrent to their tunes.
Magic and Medicine came with two dics though. The other was Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker, a album of weird songs and weirder lyrics. I'm not gonna lie, I never got into this album and only gave it a few listens; nothing really stood out to me. The longest song is at 3:15 (Sorrow or the Song) and the shortest is Why Does the Sun Come Up? (clocking in at 0:38). Needless to say, it's a weird album, mostly experiemental stuff, and I'm glad it came free with Magic and Medicine, so I didn't spend money on it.
Which brings us to their newest album, Invisible Invasion, what was I in for? Was it a return to the pirate rock? Was it more weird shit? Was there going to be one song I absolutely loved? Was the album going to be worth it? In order, no, kinda, of course and yes.
The was no long awaited return to the pirate rock I loved on their debut... however, the weird shit I love about this band is alive and well. Listen to Arabian Sand. Delightful. Was there one song that just stood out and was welcomed into my list of "songs I would put on mix CDs for my friends"? Yes, and that song is their first single from this album, In the Morning. What a sunny, bouncy song. This song should be huge, it should be in movies, it should be on the radio. I love it. The band is still dark and weird, and I don't want to say less experiemental, but I think definitely more accessible. So Long Ago has a jangly folk rock feel to it while The Operator has a harder, driving feel to it. A Warning to the Curious sounds like it belongs on the first box set of Nuggets, it belongs right in the middle of the 60s. Anyway, unless you couldn't tell, the CD is definitely worth 15 bucks. In the Morning by itself is worth $15.
Anyway, that's my brief history with The Coral. If you don't want to check out the albums, fine. But do youself a favor and download Dreaming of You, Bill McCai and In the Morning, you won't regret it.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
The last few games the Indians have lost by scores of: 5-4, 5-4, 1-0.
Yea, the losses hurt, and maybe the fact that the other teams in contention have lost too dulls the pain, but the Tribe can't win every single game. Sure this is a bad time to go on a 3 game skid, however, it's not like they've been getting killed. Three straight one run losses.
Last night hurt, cause the Tribe showed again that it cannot bunt the ball. I know what Wedge was trying to do, Broussard hits lead off double, try to bunt him to third and all you need is a fly ball to tie the game. They had the same type of situation against Tampa Bay before, and Wedge had Belliard attempt to bunt (it failed). Last night it was Boone.
Personally, with Boone seemingly to have a knack for big hits, I would've let him swing. Hindsight is 20/20 and it showed us that Boone can't really bunt either. Was it a poor choice? Not really, you try to manufacture runs. But this is what worried me about the Tribe's hot stretch, they hit a TON of home runs. It worked, they won, no complaints. But they never really had to manufacture runs, or have a rally with out them.
They still are tied with Boston for the wild card, so it's not like their chances for the postseason are shot, the division is almost completely out of reach. Still, it's gonna be a sweet last weekend.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
In response to your second question: It's more fun to argue about sports, but it's more interesting to argue about music. When someone argues about music, you can usually get a remarkably clear portrait of their personality -- you can get an idea of how they view authority, or if they have an adversarial relationship with mainstream culture, or if they are extremely worried about being cool. You can deduce which subcultures they experienced in high school, and you can figure out how much they are engaged with modernity. Of course, the downside is that people who always want to talk about music tend to be profoundly annoying (and often unshaven). Which is probably why it's more fun to talk about sports.
Arguing about sports is the ultimate cultural equalizer: I can't think of any subject that so many people know so much about. I feel like I personally know at least 100 guys who have a "near expert" understanding of the NFL. If you watch the games each week (and especially if you grew up watching the games each week), you can easily have a 90-minute conversation about pro football with a total stranger in any airport bar (assuming said stranger has had a similar experience). There is a shared knowledge of sports in America that is unlike our shared knowledge of anything else. Whenever I have to hang out with someone I've never met before, I always find myself secretly thinking, "I hope this dude knows about sports. I hope this dude knows about sports. I hope this dude knows about sports." Because if he does, I know the rest of the conversation will be easy.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
First of all, I started classes again at OSU, and I also (re)started my job at Barnes and Noble. Also, I'm taking my old job back at the OSU Music and Dance Library, so full time student, plus 30+ hours of work = goodness.
Also, because of the aformentioned jobs, I can't watch as many games as I would like, because I work at night (and weekends). So there.
Anyways, hopefully I'll work out a schedule for updating and crap.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The Wedding was beautiful, the music was great (string quartet and violin soloist), though I didn't care too much for the DJ. He wasn't bad by any means, but at the same time... meh.
OSU Football kicked some ass (Smith's won the job, but the O still needs work), plus Michigan AND Purdue lost. The two teams I hate most, awesome.
Tribe won, I was getting updates at the reception, so I was up to date all night. But they didn't gain any ground cause the White Sox won too.
There are two great articles right here. One is from Billmon, and it talks about pulling out of Iraq and the pros and cons, a really good read. The second is by Digby and talks about the college Republicans, it's an extremely interesting read.
Friday, September 23, 2005
The logic: Feingold votes for John Roberts, even though he doesn't agree with much of what he says, but he is qualified. Since Feingold votes for Roberts now, one day when a Democrat is in office, Republicans will vote for his/her nominee because Democrats played nice with Roberts.
Oiy. It doesn't matter, I don't understand how we haven't gotten this through our heads yet. In theory, the Moose and Feingold are right. But it doesn't matter. Republicans opposed Clinton in Kosovo, saying they love America but don't agree with Clinton. Then when people oppose Bush and his war(s), they're called America-haters and are helping the enemy. The whole fillibuster debate was the same crap, they used fillibusters on a ton of Clinton judges (if not other parlimentary rules) while they were the minority party. But when Bush is in the White House, and they own the congress, they change the rules, make it harder to block nominees and try to eliminate the fillibuster all together.
So to think because Feingold does the right thing, that Republicans will do the right thin in the future is just stupid. That isn't how it works. They don't care about hypocrisy.
Dibgy sums it up pretty well (different subject, foreign policy, same idea):
On what planet did liberals think that the modern Republican party gave a flying fuck about what they thought about anything? It certainly wasn't planet earth circa 2003. Bush had just recaptured the Senate and was striding around the country, codpiece bursting, proclaiming to the entire world that he didn't care what they thought. Did liberal intellectuals actually believe some fantasy that Bush could blow off Europe and ultimately the entire security council but listen to them? My God.
Why are people so unwilling to admit what they are seeing before their eyes, even today? The Republican party is corrupt, incompetent and drunk with power. And no matter what their intentions, they are incapable of setting things right. We have seen this over and over again.
Yet still I see a flurry of earnest discussion about how we should deal with Iraq and what plans should be implemented --- as if they have real world implications. They do not. As I wrote earlier, I think there is political value in doing this as it pertains to positioning for the next election. But I have no illusions, and never have, that anyone in the Bush administration gives a damn what we think or will follow any policy advice from liberals, hawks or otherwise. They do not operate that way.
I don't believe in purges or demands for disavowels; they have a faint whiff of Stalinism that rubs me the wrong way. Nobody has to apologise to me for what they believed about the war. But, considering that their credibility is more than a little bit tattered, it would probably be a good idea if the liberal intellectuals who backed the war finally recognized that everything they say and do is being used for political fodder and adjust their thinking and writing accordingly. They are not going to affect Bush administration policy. There is still a chance they could affect politics, however, if they will just stop pretending that the Republicans are operating on a logical basis in which they can find some common ground.
I think this is where we separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls. If, after all you've seen these last five years you still believe that the Bush administration can be given the benefit of the doubt, that they will do the right thing, change course, follow sage advice, reevaluate their strategy, bow to the facts on the ground --- then you have the same disease the Bush administration has. As Ben Franklin said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Here's the deal, Jeff Gannon was a reporter for Talon News and got to ask the president quetsions in briefings. He always asked softball questions. People started to wonder who this guy was, asking such partisan questions. They looked into Talon News and discovered that it was owned by a huge right wing donor. So they aren't exactly a fair newspaper. Then people looked into Gannon and learned that he wasn't exactly qualified to be in press briefings, found out his real name was Jame Guckert and used to work as a prostitute. Also, a lot of his stories were copy-paste jobs from real news sources or republican talking points. So a former male hooker, using a fake name, got to be in the same room as the president.
He was hired by a gay newspaper called the Washington Blade. Even though a lot of Gannon's old stories were against gays, and he has never himself said he's gay, he was hired.
And the editor of the paper write a column about how we should hear all voices, even if we don't agree. Of course I agree with that, more voices, more point of views, hoorary. But Gannon?
The problem with Gannon isn't that he's gay or republican or that he has different views. It's he was unqualfied, used to work in prostitution, lied about his background and commits intellectual fraud (by lifting stories). It's really not too hard to understand.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
"I dunno if this is gonna work, God," says me.
"Wattayamean, it's not gonna work!" says God. "I'm God! Of course it's gonna work!"
"Well I'm just not sure if you can fit em all," says me. "The brachiosaurs weigh fifty tons each just by themselves an that's not countin the other seven hundred dinosaur species we gotta get on the boat."
"Well of COURSE they're not gonna fit if you bring 'em on full SIZE!" says God. "First you gotta let em dry out so's they shrink back down to their original pill form. THEN, once the flood's over, you take 'em back outta the package, add water, and watch 'em grow!"
"Well," says me. "I GUESS that could work."
"Trust me," says God. "I had like fifty of these things when I was a kid. The first thing you do..."
"RRRAAAAAARRRRRRHHHHH!" says the T-rex chompin God.
"AAAA!" says me runnin away.
"OH GOD!" says God. "So many teeth!"
"An that's why bad things happen to good people," says me.
"Giblets wants ice cream," says Giblets.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
When Bill Clinton went on This Week With George Stephanopoulos's Hair this past Sunday, the Big Dog used the razor shank like a blood artist on the Bush administration. One line in particular had a breathtaking undercurrent of viciousness and hatred, but stated in a way that seemed matter of fact, which, indeed, it was. When George Stephanopoulos's Hair asked Clinton about accusations of racism in the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, after listing his administration's accomplishments for black Americans, Clinton said, "[A]ll I can tell you is that what, when James Lee Witt ran FEMA, because he had been both a local official and a Federal official, he was always there early and we always thought about that, but we, both of us came out of environments with a disproportionate number of poor people."
Look at that fuckin' line. Look at how much is contained in that compact statement. Clinton says that he brought in experienced, highly-qualified people to do their jobs. And then he slices: it's about social class (or, as ever, "It's the economy, stupid"). See, Clinton and Witt knew that poor people would be affected mightily by disasters because they knew that poor people exist because, at some point in their lives, they were poor people. In other words, George W. Bush and his cronies are incompetent, elitist nitwits who understand fuck-all about the reality of poverty. It's fuckin' brilliant. As ever, the Rude Pundit says that he'd've blown Bill Clinton if the Big Dog had asked. And he'd've washed his spooge-encrusted clothes.
I think I have some good information. I certainly know a lot of the people involved. And last week, I said: There is no way the Green Bay Packers are losing to the worst team in football, at home, on the day Reggie White's number is retired. There is no way the Chargers start 0-2. The Ravens, with whomever at quarterback, are going to squash Tennessee. And the Vikes. Those Vikes. Daunte Culpepper is due for a monster day against a suspect Cincy secondary.
I went 4-12 in Week 2 just picking winners. No spread involved. I am 14-18 on the season. If I just picked teams playing at home (including the Giants Monday night), I'd be 23-9. But nooooo. I have to be the smart guy.
And the NBA Developmenl League is finally going to act like a real minor league system. The Cavs get the Arkansas team.
Monday, September 19, 2005
First of all, I never would've traded Rany Moss. And if I did I would've gotten more than 1 first round pick (and a pretty good linebacker). Moss made Randal Cunngingham and Jeff George MVP canidates, think about that for a second.
Every time a QB left the Vikes, they've done worse (stats wise at least, Brad Johnson did guide the Bucs to a Super Bowl). Cunningham, George, Johnson... these guys haven't exactly lit it up around the league.
But this entire offseason no one, I repeat no one, seemed to think that Moss was that important to the Vikings offense. Culpepper would be fine everyone said. Then the season starts and lookie, Culpepper has 8 INTs in two games! EIGHT! Thats a season for some guys (or a game for Ty Detmer).
But for whatever reason I love seeing the Vikings lose right now. Maybe its the fact that Culpeppers struggles are proving me right or maybe I just hated his dumb retarted arm dance thing. I dunno, but whatever it is, I'm lovin it (ba da buh buh baaah).
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Plus, Dilfer Dilfered it up in Green Bay today, giving the Browns their first win of the year.
Indians start a series with the White Sox tomorrow, in Chicago. This is gonna be huge.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
The defense looked superb yet again. Well, except for that little guy (80 yard first play of the game), but I wouldn't worry about that little guy. The linebackers were all over the place, making big plays all day.
I could use a bit more from the D-line, besides Kudla no one is really standing out.
And then there's the offense. Wow, they are a fun bunch to watch... Smith had some nice plays, but he also had some not so nice plays. A few picks were dropped and he ended up tossing one. He did run for two TDs though. One was nice 9 or 10 yard designed run and another was a 1 yard push over center.
Personally, Smith didn't do enough to make me think that he owns the job for good. I don't think Zwick has started his last game this year. However, I wouldn't read too much into Zwicks 9/10 performance late in the game. He just did what he was supposed to do with the second team, complete passes and keep the clock running.
All in all an enjoyable time today. The atmosphere was so different than last week, it was amazing. Today it was overcast and the opponent was San Diego State, the crowd just wasn't the same.
Grady Sizemore, a struggling Class A hitter at the time who earned raves for his athleticism and demeanor, is probably the team MVP this season. Lee leads the league in winning percentage and has grasped the art of pitching more easily in two years than Colon did in his first six.
The measure of that deal beyond dollars is that you can't complain about it three years later, despite Colon's success and despite the highest-rated prospect in the trade disappointing.
Preparation isn't foolproof. Or Brandon Phillips wouldn't still be struggling even after that odd finishing school the Indians held for him at the big-league level this season.
The national media has finally caught on to the Tribe, who are 9-1 in their last ten. The Indians are in this weeks SI and have been all over TV and radio lately.
Now if only people would show up to the ballpark....
Friday, September 16, 2005
Again, I totally agree. Though my favorite part of preseason was watching Frye play, if I see him during the regular season, it means the Browns are worse off than we all thought.
The New Pornographers fit right in. From Amazon.com:
Imagine a loose consortium of musicians who combine the lilting melodies of the Zombies with the driving hooks of the Kinks. Sure, it's what all the kids are doing these days, but Vancouver's New Pornographers are one of the few--along with the Shins--to get the balance right. Their third full-length offers more of the same smart power-pop that made Mass Romantic and Electric Version instant classics, plus some surprising new moves. As singer/songwriter Carl Newman (The Slow Wonder) has noted, "You can't play ebow without sounding like Eno," and indeed, Brian Eno's sublime early recordings are evoked on this more introspective offering. There are also strong new vocalists joining Neko Case: Nora O'Connor (the Blacks) and Newman's piano-playing niece, Kathryn Calder. If there was a flaw with previous efforts, it was that the contributions of Dan Bejar (Destroyer), fine as they were, sounded somewhat out of place. Just as they're better integrated this time around, Twin Cinema offers every member of this insanely talented ensemble the chance to shine
The album begins with the title track, Twin Cinema, an upbeat, fuzzy guitar driven tune. The opening hook is ridiculous, it'll stay with you all day (and trust me, you won't mind). The second track, The Bones of an Idol, slows things down a bit, and is more vocal driven tune (but no less absorbing).
The third and fourth tracks, Use It and The Bleeding Heart Show are possibly my two favorite tracks on the album. Use It reminds me of Good Day Sunshine (Beatles) and The Bleeding Heart Show starts off sparsely and picks up, ending with a section reminicent of the coda of Hello, Goodbye. Needless to say, both songs kick ass.
Track 5, Jackie Dressed with Cobras brings back the style of the title track. Track 6, The Jessica Numbers has a great triplet feel and some awesome drum and guitar interplay. These are the Fables follows and starts off with accoustic guitars and piano and builds throughout the song. Fables lyrics are haunting and the song uses silence extremly well.
Sing Me Spanish Techno (track 8)is another one of my favorites (actually, there isn't a song I dislike on the album, but I hate when I ask people what the best tracks are and they say 'all of them!'). This is another fast track with the fuzz guitars and the vocals are ridonkulous. Falling Through Your Clothes has some moments where it sounds like the vocals are skipping (but in a good way if that makes sense). It's a very unique sound, but it works extremely well.
If there's a throwaway track on Twin Cinema, it'd be track 10, Broken Beads. It's not a bad song by any means, but it doesn't stand out either. I really like the next track though, Three or Four. I love the vocal lines and the driving guitars underneath.
Star Bodies (track 12) starts off with the some trading vocals and has a nice chorus. There's some good catchy stuff thoughout the song ("take me to where your sister lives"). Streets of Fire, is a nice little accoustic track, with some more lovely vocal lines. And the final song, Stacked Crooked sounds like a finale, if that makes sense at all. It sounds bigger, grander, like it should be the closer. Stacked Crooked has a big sound, a ton of instruments (trumpets!) and some more great vocal lines, it's also one of the longer songs on the album, clocking in at 4:18.
So there ya go, the review of Twin Cinema by The New Pornographers. The CD gets the Ben Cox Stamp of Approval.
(also, I got some more reviews coming up and I'll be experiementing with track by track reviews or an album overview with specific track highlights, tell me what you think - that is, if you actually have an opinion on the matter)
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Roger Brown may dislike the guy, but resigning Z needed to be done. Sure, he's not the best defensive center, but he is above average at offense. A lot of defense is pure hustle, and at times Z has shown that he can play.
I cannot wait for this season to start.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
The actual article is about the Eagles not having a cakewalk towards the playoffs. But still... oiy.
Last autumn's drama might have given Boston a pennant, but it took away the defining characteristic that made it a team worth following elsewhere. Now, the Red Sox are just another team. There is no more reason to root for them than there is to root for the Orioles.
Actually, they're worse than just being another team. The Red Sox are the new Yankees.
Both the Red Sox and Yankees are recent world champions. They both have bought those titles with payrolls far exceeding every other team in baseball. They both have rosters stocked with players from other organizations (the Red Sox even more than the Yankees). They both have fans who think the world revolves around their team. Cripes, David Wells pitches for Boston now. It's almost to the point that if it weren't for the pinstripes and Johnny Damon's hair, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.
Who cares whether either the Red Sox or the Yankees win the AL East anymore? It's like choosing whether you want Halliburton or Bechtel to get the latest war contract.
It's been a pretty eventful 5 days or so, not a lot of sleep. Lets recap:
Wednesday - was out late at a bar in Hudson, came back and got sick (and in the process woke up my parents - awesome!)
Thursday - recovered, watched a movie and spent the night on a couch
Friday - Tribe game, bar and a ride home that can only be described as eventful and a late night visit to Kent. Got to bed at 4, 4:30ish
Saturday - Woke up at between 7 and 8, packed the car and drove down to Columbus. Got my keys, unpacked the car, went to the storage unit, loaded up the car, unacked it again. Walked around Columbus in the sun before the game. Went to the OSU-Texas game (which was awesome for the first 3 hours and not so much the last 20 min), yelled and stood for all of that and then passed out at 1:30-2ish.
Sunday - Woke up at 10, loaded up the car, parents came down and we moved shit in. Got the rest of my crap set up, desk, bed, dresser etc. Made 434398 trips to Target, bought a ton of crap. Got to bed at 4:30
Monday - Woke up 10ish, went on a giant grocery run. Drove up to Circuit City to get my paycheck. They informed me that they sent it out, but couldn't tell me which address, "the one on your application." Drove back to campus, stopped by my old place and told them if any mail comes for me to call my cell. Helped the roommates move a TV and watched Shaun of the Dead (pretty good, I enjoyed it).
Today - Woke up at 11, went to take a shower, half way in our water turned off. Dried off, got dressed, door knock. Cable guy here to set up our cable and internet. Looked outside and I see a fire hyrdrant basically flooding the street and learn my entire complex doesn't have water. Pay the cable guy, come upstairs, find that my internet is actually working and I type this.
So thats whats up with me, I'm now back online trying to get up to date with whats been going on in the world for the past few days.
Friday, September 09, 2005
I know it was only one game, but it looks like the 2005 Raiders will become the first team to employ the "Screw it, four times a half, we're throwing it deep to Moss and seeing what happens." I have been arguing this strategy for six years. Why not? In the average Moss game, he'll catch two of them and maybe even draw a pass interference on a third one. So why not roll the dice? I never understood this.and:
Eagles (PK) over FALCONS
Quick preview impression of Michaels and Madden on Monday night:
Michaels: "Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb?"
Madden: "Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb."
Michaels: "Which raises a great point -- Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb."
Madden: "Absolutely. Al, this is what it's all about, right here -- Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb."
Michaels: "Let's go down to Michele Tafoya."
Tafoya: "Al, I just talked to Andy Reid, and he said, 'Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb Terrell Owens Donovan McNabb...'"
It isn't the Most Valuable Pitcher award. It isn't the Which Pitcher Gets the Most Run Support award. It isn't the Living Legend award. It has nothing to do with team records, previous close calls, guest appearances on "The Simpsons" or most of the many other side issues people often want to attach to it.
It's about who has pitched the best. Period.
And even though we're beginning to wobble on this slightly -- as the win disparity between Carpenter and Clemens grows -- you'd still have a tough time convincing us that anybody on this planet has pitched better this year than Roger Clemens. Even that California Little League kid who struck out 18 in six innings.
"This is legendary, what Roger has done," Astros manager Phil Garner says. "Chris Carpenter has done a great job, and he's had a great year. But I don't know that people would say it was legendary."
Legendary. That's one powerful word. But it's also a word that stops us every time we think Carpenter has taken the lead in this Cy Young duel.
p.p.s. I'll have some more links for you later, currently Ohio.com is acting up and I can't link my recent stories on Jones or my notebook today where I report the Cavs may sign Alan Henderson.
That could be a nice move too.
I remember Henderson mostly from his days with the Hawks, he was on Dallas last year. He's been hurt a recently, missing a lot of games the past few years, but when he's been healthy, he averaged above 10 points a game. He's 6-9 and he can play some center. If the Cavs sign him, I'd be very surprised if Drew Gooden stays here. We shall see.
The 2005 Indians are a phenomenon, coming from where they've been. Few teams have torn down and rebuilt this quickly. Few front-office types have accomplished the feat as boldly as Shapiro has. But if there's one thing the '05 Indians are not, it's the Indians of the late '90s. The '05 Indians are not a group of overpaid, aging veterans. They're not the high-scoring, slug-happy team of yesterday.
These Indians can score -- they're fifth in the league in runs -- but they are more balanced than the old Indians and probably the most hole-free team among the AL contenders. The Indians are stacked with young talent; switch-hitting catcher Victor Martinez (26), shortstop Jhonny Peralta (23), and center fielder Grady Sizemore (23), to name a few. They have a good mix of starters, including C.C. Sabathia (25), Cliff Lee (27), Jake Westbrook (27) and veterans Kevin Millwood (30) and Scott Elarton (29). They have an OK defense and the best bullpen in the league, with 36-year-old stopper Bob Wickman at the end.
And, of course, they're cheap. The 2001 Indians, who lost a heartbreaking five-game playoff series to Seattle, had a payroll of more than $93 million, fifth-highest in the majors. The '05 Indians started the season with a payroll around $41.5 million, fifth from the bottom, which makes Cleveland the lowest-rent franchise among the high-flying contenders.
Overall, a pretty good article, but I wonder how many Tribe stories are out there that DON'T mention Travis Hafner. Just sayin, he might be key part of this team...
Thursday, September 08, 2005
It should be no surprise that criticism of the president, or the federal response, in the wake of the disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina, has been portrayed as partisan pot-shooting. That is the default setting of our world, after all. We take sides on everything.
Well, except for 9/11, when Mr. Bush's approval rating was 90% and his disapproval, 6%.
And also, except for right now, when the idea that only Liberals or political opportunists are being critical, is not just intuitively nuts — it's factually ludicrous.
Read the whole thing.
He explains the games like your a 5 year old, and he doesn't exactly have deep insights. And in case you forget, he used to play baseball professionally. Plus he never seems to give the Indians credit.
So I found this website: FireJoeMorgan.com. It is a delight.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
So that team in Cleveland that LeBron wants to leave looks something like this:
PG: Eric Snow (if not traded)/Damon Jones
SG: Larry Hughes
SF: LeBron James
PF: Drew Gooden (if not traded)
C: Zydrunus Ilgaulkas
Bench: PF Donyell Marshall, SF Luke Jackson, SG Sasha Pavlovic, PF Anderson Varejao, SF/SG Ira Newble and the other half of the Jones/Snow combo. And it looks like they might sign Jahidi White. Also, there's still a chance Snow and/or Gooden could be traded. There's still that whole Knicks/Warriors/Cavs deal out there (Cavs trade Snow and/or Gooden, Knicks trade Jamal Crawford and the Warriors trade Derek Fisher and Troy Murphy).
They got some outside shooting with Jones, Marshall and Jackson and some defense with Snow, Hughes, Newble, Jones and Varejao.
Man, I would hate to be on that team, in my home town... lets go sign with the Knicks!
With a wealth of salary-cap space scheduled to become available by 2007, the Lakers reportedly have their sights set on making LeBron James an offer he can't refuse.Then you click on the link expecting a big expose or some shit, and here's what you get:
Though the Lakers have a number of players in mind, sources have indicated for a number of months that LeBron James is indeed their primary goal in 2007.Well, damn, what a story assholes. The Lakers might target LeBron as the top free agent of his class. Excellent reporting. Now for a follow up, the same one I always ask: Why would LeBron leave the Cavs and play for the Lakers. Will theLakers have a better team? Not likely. Can the Lakers offer him more money? Not at all. Has LeBron showed any signs of wanting to leave Cleveland? No. Oh, yeah, and finally, why would any superstar want to share a court with Kobe Bryant? I mean, he couldn't get along with Shaq. And we all know how tough it is to get along with the big fella..... *crickets chirping*
Look, I get it's the summer and I get it's the Lakers. There's not a lot of news, I understand. But SI makes it sound like there's this great offer out there, which as far as I can tell reads something like this:
"In the summer of 2007 we're gonna offer LeBron a chance to leave Cleveland for the sunny city of Los Angeles. Sure he'll make less money, will probably have to play second fiddle to Kobe Bryant, a nortorious ball hog, and it's highly unlikely Phil Jackson will still be here. But hey, at least its likely he'll be leaving a better team for less money. Isn't that how most major atheletes do it?"
What a scoop!
And Justin Zwick.
Here's the thing, whatever you think about Zwick, he won the bowl game and won the opener, and in both games he looked good, plus, unlike Smith, he's kept his ass out the paper and trouble. So you can't just bench him like that. However, Smith may (I say may, cause I really don't know, I'm not sold on Smith like some Buckeye fans are) give OSU the best chance to win and the stadium will be calling for Smith the minute Zwick steps on the field.
There are wores problems to have in college football than two more than capable starting quarterbacks.
It also looks like the Cavs are close to a deal with Jahidi White, while not the greatest, could provide some solid backup minutes.
Blake Stepp who played well in the Cavs summer league is looking like he'll be in the Cavs training camp. There are reports that he signed trainging camp contract. This a good move, I think Stepp could provide big backup minutes for a pro team (and the Cavs need all the pg minutes they can get).
One site I read daily is Most Valuable Network, they have some sports blogs almost for every major sports team.
The Cavs one seems to be the best of the three Cleveland teams (but both the Cavs and Browns haven't been updated in some time...). The Indians guy seems to know his stuff, but he seems about to kill himself after every loss. Like, I get it, they shouldn't have thrown the ball away, but theres 932437 games a season in baseball, you're gonna lose some here and there.
But I know kids who do that all the time. The Indians lose and they're calling for peoples heads. I don't know, in baseball (and basketball for the most part) as long as the losses don't pile up, I don't tend to worry. In baseball just keep winning series and you'll be doing alright. In basketball... I dunno, this year may be different for the Cavs, since their older now. But still, I tend to take losses pretty well (except playoffs, obviously) and the Tribe writer from MVN seems to go off the deep end if they have a bad game. But anyway, good shit.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Now, here's my thing.... how retired has he been? He just finished his latest Tour de France a little while ago, how long exactly has he been retired?
This same crap happened a few years ago where Roger Clemens 'retired' from the Yankees, then 'unretired' by signing with the Astros. Nevermind that the Rocket never missed any of spring training, let alone the regular season... HE'S BACK FROM RETIREMENT!!!
Should the headlines be something like, Armstrong Not To Retire? or Clemons Sings With Astros, Decides Not To Retire? I mean, has Lance missed any of the 2006 cycling season? If he hasn't and he does 'come back' he never retired.
I love the way Frye has played, but I hope he sees only garbage time this year. Let's hope the Browns can have a startign QB that can stay healthy the whole season... that would be awesome (looking at you Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Jerff Garcia and the offensive line from 99-04)
Name: B Thompson
Hometown: Annandale, VA
Much to my total amazement...the following countries have offered to help us here in America... Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
What is more amazing is that in all of the recent politicians thanking each other for failed rescue efforts in New Orleans, not one of those thanks went out to one these countries. So here I am...Just one broke American ashamed of what we have become... but, I want to say one thing. Thank You Very Much From the Bottom of my Heart to... Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
Also, this ones for Nick, their very first movie, Puddle Cruisers will be released on DVD on December 13th.
Monday, September 05, 2005
This is a Global War on Weather and like any successful war it can't be won on the defensive. If we spend all our time reacting to hurricanes instead of attacking them where they live, we will only embolden further hurricanes! The only language hurricanes understand is force - and possibly hurricanese, which is difficult to learn and involves the use of many glottal stops. We must take the war to the enemy by fighting nature where it lives so it can't fight us at home!
The first step we must take is a series of "decapitation strike" air raids to wipe out threateningly puffy-looking cumulus clouds - some of which, Giblets observed the other day, may already resemble ferocious animals! Next we must take out a major cold front with a series of MOABs and low-yield "bunker-buster" nukes. Stage three must be the invasion and occupation of the jet stream, complete with a massive influx of several military and national guard units to rebuild and keep the peace. Some namby-pamby skeptic-types say "oh you cannot occupy the jet stream, you will only antagonize the native cloud-people and plunge several thousand feet to your death below." Well all Giblets has to say to that is shut up, storm-symp! The people of New Orleans would be ashamed of you if they weren't so busy looking for food.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Here's my point: For the baseball fan, isn't the bottom line how the team produces on the field? Is it winning? Is it moving in the right direction? Does it make good trades? Is it fun to watch?
Who buys a ticket to watch an owner?
It just seems the Indians are delivering on their promise -- they said they'd contend for the playoffs in 2005, and that's what they are doing.
I like this team. Key players such as Victor Martinez, C.C. Sabathia, Travis Hafner, Coco Crisp, Cliff Lee, Sizemore and others will be around for a few years because of their contract extensions or they simply are not close to free agency. The farm system is healthy. Even if they do lose Millwood, they have other pitchers coming -- and can use his $7 million to sign someone else.
I really don't understand the negativity around a team that could win 90 games.
Here's my thoughts on this, back in the 90s, you could tell which games the Indians were going to win. Like if they were playing a bad team, you could tell they were going to win and win big before the game or series even started. With this team, you know they should win, but you never know? Does that even make sense? Like they'll get swept by Tampa Bay at home in one series and then go 5-2 on a road trip.
But it shouldn't matter... they don't mash like the old teams, but they win. That's all that should matter.
Zwick is the quarterback who lost three Big Ten games a year ago but he is Tressel’s kind of player. Smith is the one who accounted for 386 yards against the Wolverines but got suspended and busted down to the scout team.Pluto:
So what to do? Tressel no doubt would love to beat Texas with Zwick starting. The risk is obvious. Tressel called the Miami game a “good workout.” Texas is nobody’s glorified scrimmage.
But with Ted Ginn Jr., Santonio Holmes, a spread offense that would put a sneer on Woody’s face and a defense that shut out Miami until two late scores burned the second- and third-teamers, don’t put it past him to stickwith Zwick. “A lot of people I think tried to get these guys to think a little ahead and think out forward,” the coach said. “But I thought we focused on the task at hand and took another half step.”
While some OSU fans will stay up nights wondering who will be the quarterback, they actually should sleep well. Having Smith and Zwick isn't a problem, it's a luxury. Both could start for most major-college programs, and that means the Buckeyes are protected against injuries at the most important position on the field.
Fans also should be content to know the defense comes as advertised. It constantly pressured Miami's quarterback, while at the same time shutting down the run.
First of all, I was out of town most of the day (in Columbus for the OSU game), so if you actually check this daily, it went un-updated today.
Secondly, I've been thinking about what I want this blog to be like. I origionally wanted this to be a good Cleveland sports blog. A place where I can talk about the Cavs, Tribe and Browns (and mabye some OSU football too) and share my thoughts. I like to think I'm pretty knowagable on sports and the like, and I wanted to talk about that (and I think that is what I write about the best). I wanted this to be a sports blog. Somewhere people could go for Cleveland sports commentary (yea, I can dream right?).
Most blogs I read are political and stay political. It's more of a news source than a personal journal and that's what I was going for.
But at the same time, I'm interested in a ton of things and I wanted to comment on them as they happened. Mostly politics, but other news too, like music and movies and crap.
So the blog turned into a 'what is interesting Ben at the moment' blog. Which is fine, I can still focus mainly on sports, but also dabble in politics and music and what not.
I started this definitely not wanting to be a Xanga type journal. Like 'today I did this and I feel this and I had a weird dream and blah blah blah.' I didn't want this to be a personal journal as in all my deeps thoughts and shit, but at the same time, every once in awhile I'd like to get some shit off my mind, ya know? (Not that I'm dissing Xanga or Xanga users).
But my focus was on sports, I wanted to have a sports blog, and I feel like write intersting things on sports. But I'm driving down to Columbus last night after a movie/date-not date thing (lets be clear, for the record, again, I'm dumb) and I have the radio on one of those coast-to-coast late night radio programs.
And while I'm driving down to Columbus for a football game, I have a Mt. Dew, a Starbucks Frapachino thing and a Starbucks Double Shot thingy in my car (as I said, I left after a movie, I needed to stay awake) and the whole time I'm glued to the radio. It just hits me like a ton of bricks how fucking lucky I am. I have more than enough liquid for me. I'm not drinking to stay refreshed, I'm drinking for the caffeine. And there are people in my own country who haven't had a drink for days. And I'm drinking three drinks on my way down for a sporting event.
Like does this even matter? The mayor of New Orleans is pleading for more help, faster help. And I'm supposed to go on like everything is cool? Pretend like nothing is wrong? Pretend like there's not thousands of people dead and dying in my own country? Lets go see a football game? What else can I do? Part of me wanted to keep driving and just go try to help out. But I have no clue what the fuck to do. I have no idea what I can do, I've donated money, but there's tangible things that need done.
LIKE FUCKING FOOD AND WATER.
I'm worrying if OSU can stop the run and other people are worried if their baby will wake up tomorrow in the Superdome. I mean, what the fuck.
Do I just go on? Talk about how good Ohio State looked today? Talk about a quarterback controversy between Zwick and Smith (I'm a Zwick guy). Talk about the great game baseball game the Tribe lost today? About the wild card? About Anderson Varejao's shoulder sugery?
Do I go down and help? How do I even begin to do that? Is the effort coordinated at all? I mean I can't just drive down and pick up a shovel can I? Get in peoples way. Who knows.... send down clothes? Books (I mean these people have nothing right now, nothing, and they're stuck in a dome, I'm sure they need something to do)?
So will I continue talking about sports? Yes, definitely. I need the break from the news, if I keep thinking about Katrina and New Orleans I'm gonna get sick, I swear to God. Not to forget, because I think we can all understand where sports and movies ranks on the "important things in America list," not very high. But to help me cope with all this, this grand mess. (And I don't even have any personal connection to this).
Any way, that went pretty long and for that I apologize. If you made it all the way through that rambling mess... well... thanks for caring I guess. And if you think I take this small, little blog too seriously? Suck a fat one. I like the idea of having my thoughts semi-published for all to read and I like writing them. And I do take this seriously. Peace.
Friday, September 02, 2005
It's a great idea, but 3 million from all MLB, NFL and NBA players is nothing (not that it's nothing, everything is helping, but for the 3 major sports leagues to raise what Kevin Ollie makes in a year is a bit low). Shaq or A-Rod could cut that check and not even blink. Let's hope they destroy that modest goal, and lets hope that they get good participation numbers.
For all the pros (or everyone else) who read this, here's the Red Cross.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
At some point here, some wise, ambitious, and none-too-cynical member of Congress, perhaps Chuck Hagel, perhaps Russ Feingold, needs to say the obvious: Hurricane Katrina offers the ultimate exit strategy from Iraq. What other excuse need there be to pull vast numbers of troops and billions of dollars out of our overseas failure?
The patently absurd waste of billions of dollars will be brought to light by the suffering along the Gulf Coast. A couple of months from now, whenever some worthless, stupid right-wing fuck puppet declares that the U.S. has built schools in Basra, it'll simply be a reminder of how much faster things could have been done in Biloxi if all those funds and all that personnel were readily available.
Instead, a brave politician can step forth and offer a resolution about the magnitude of the disaster being nearly unprecedented in U.S. history and that a nation needs to take care of its own before it secures another country. (If he/she wants, he/she can even say that it's a homeland security measure because, with all the attention being paid to Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, the country is wide open to attack.)
The exit strategy works on so many levels: it's actually a graceful way to pull out of Iraq. We're not cuttin' and runnin'. We need the troops back home. And even bloated hogfuckers in Congress and the Administration, who wanna keep the government largesse in the pockets of Halliburton and other companies, can get on board. Fuck, get private contractors to take care of various and sundry shit along the way. Move the whole goddamn "rebuilding" operation to the southeast U.S. They need bridges, infrastructure, water, food, shelter.
But seriously, watch a game. It's not good. I'm with Simmons on this, I love basketball and I can't bring myself to watch this.
Is it purely the looks of the players? Tennis and volleyball get decent ratings, and I've been known to watch a womens water polo game in my day. Possibly.
But womens march madness does okay. Why not the WNBA?
One thing that I think could really help is if the NCAA played the women's basketball tournament in April instead of March. The games are well played and exciting, the problem is so are the mens games. And people would rather watch the men than the women.
But if their games are in April.... when nothing is going on. Early baseball, no football, late NBA season... nothin. Put on some womens college games; the excitement, the do or die games. Players stay for all four years, you can actually follow people. Then after watching some players for 2-4 years in the tourney, they move on to the pros and you might want to keep watching. (this isn't my idea, it was in a Page2 column a few years back, I can't find that column, but I support it completely).
Read the column, he comes off pretty angry, but it is good stuff.