Friday, September 30, 2011

Post mortem

So it's been a couple of days since the Red Sox season went down in flames, and I've watched to see the fall-out/rationalizing come to the forefront.

In interviews the other day, both GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona mentioned team chemistry problems and physical conditioning.

?!?

This is a major league ball club. How can they have conditioning problems in this day and age? It's not like 20 years ago, when teams were just starting to get away from the archaic notion that you couldn't work out and play baseball. When I played baseball in high school, my coach was one of the first people ever to initiate off-season weight training for players. Most folks thought he was nuts! The mindset was that weight training made you stiff and inflexible, notions that have thankfully been disproved over the years.

When injuries begin to multiply on a team, the fingers usually point to lack of training/conditioning. I find it hard to believe the Sox aren't up to speed in these areas, but who knows?

The team chemistry thing is weird. To be sure, when Francona came on board, the team had a cast of characters right out of a comic book -- Manny, Papi, Damon, Ortiz, Millar, Schilling, Nomar, Pedro, etc. They were a loosey-goosey jumble of talented ballplayers who Tito molded into World Series champions. And that isn't the team now, for sure.

There was an odd mention of something that happened at the beginning of September, before the swoon started. The Sox had just crushed the Blue Jays 14-0, and both Tito and Theo saw something that worried them. Worried them enough that both men called separate closed door meetings with the players to talk about it. Apparently those meetings didn't work because the wheels came off soon after. No one is saying what happened and I cannot remember for the life of me any "incident" from that game.

But with his agreement today to leave the team, Francona mentioned his inability to "reach" the players on "this" team. With a core group of home-grown players like Pedroia, Buchholz, Ellsbury, and Scutaro, combined with hold-overs like Ortiz and some new acquistions -- I don't know, this team is like any other. Players come and go and it is the manager's job to get them all on the same page.

I'm saddened by Tito's departure, but it shows his class and understanding of the game, that he realizes he cannot get this particular team to perform at the level they should be performing at. This is, after all, two consecutive seasons without reaching the post season, and with the money spent, that is unacceptable.

Who can they bring in to replace him? The only name that I've got at the moment is Bobby Valentine, who inexplicably is still out of baseball. One of the most brilliant managers in the sport's history, he's been sitting on the outside looking in since he left the Mets. I cannot imagine legendary Yankee Lou Pinella with the Sox, and other than those two, who's out there that can handle the pressure of baseball in Boston?

I don't know if it would be a good thing, but I'd like to know about that early September incident and I'm hoping some more info on who they thought was "out of condition" comes out. One thing about the internet -- I'm sure it will.

Until then, like all Sox fans, I'll suffer the interminable taunts and relentless jeers that are coming from the haters, especially local Rays fans. The guys will be back. Hopefully next year.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And our long national nightmare is over

Boston lost a rain delayed game to the Orioles 4-3, while the Rays make a stunning comeback against the Yankees to win 8-7 and clinch the wild card berth.

Leading 3-2 going into the ninth, the reliable closer Papelbon blew only his third save in over 30 tries this season. A tough time to do so, to be sure, but Pap's been a rock all season and it shouldn't have come down to this. But it did.

I think overall, the Orioles won this six out of the seven games they played against Boston here in the closing weeks.

I said before, that Boston didn't deserve to be in the playoffs with the way they've been playing. Who knows, the Rays have been scrapping like mad the last few weeks. All they need is for their hitters to get going and they can cause some real trouble in the post season.

One thing to remember is that the Yankees won't be bringing their farm club next time if Tampa gets that far. I think the first series is against Texas (?), so nothing's a gimme yet.

That said, congrats to the Rays!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Late night hotness . . .

No sweetheart, we're standing with Gibson guitars . . . *sighs*

hannah perez

Political periods

Last night at the Reagan Library, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie slammed the door on the pundits and so-called conservative intelligensia who've been clamoring for him to enter the Presidential race.

In his usual charming way, he pointed questioners to a video collection posted at Politico that is a series of his statements saying he won't run for the office all strung together.

Also last night, Sarah Palin made the most definitive statement on her intentions while chatting with Greta at FOX.

When asked point blank, once again, about if she was any closer to making a decision on entering the Presidential race, Sarah replied that she wasn't sure having a "title" would make it easier on her to effect the changes in this country she believes are necessary.

Her point was that she wondered if the constraints put on a candidate and eventually the office holder were too limiting, whether it would cramp her style, so to speak, to have to be more "diplomatic" with how she brings her views and ideas about this country to the public forum.

I find that position interesting on two levels.

First, it shows a good grasp of the fact that Presidents are constrained by their office. Every decision and statement has nearly global ramifications. If being a governor is complicated, being president is that multiplied by a thousand.

I'm not saying Sarah doesn't think she's up for the job or that it would be too overwhelming for her, what I'm saying is that I think she feels it's easier to shape opinion/steer the conversation from the outside where her rhetoric can be a bit more incendiary and less nuanced than if her words would be considered the voice of the leader of the free world / have the imprimitur of an official position of the US government.

Secondly though, I wonder if a politician who's reveled in the cloak of being a rogue or a maverick wouldn't also revel in the possibility of changing the nature of the Presidency. I wonder if she wouldn't find the task of bringing a more take charge attitude to the White House. After all, haven't we constantly chided Obama for leading from behind? Christie slammed him for just such lack of leadership in his speech.

Of all the candidates on the Republican side at the moment, she is the only one who strikes me as the sort that wouldn't mince words about her position or the country's position on any given situation. She strikes me as the sort that would bring back a bit of Teddy Roosevelt to the office -- some swagger and bravado and down-to-earthness/common manness that we haven't seen in a while.

Personally I'd like to see her get in if for no other reason that to upset Mitt's apple cart. He's on cruise control with no one to challenge him as pundits continue to annoint him as the front runner.
We've got until Oct 14, that's the deadline for filing for a couple of the state primaries. We'll see.

Still tied

The Sox held on by the skin of their teeth last night, beating the Orioles 8-7 to remain tied with the Rays, who beat the Yankees farm club 5-3.

Called up to fill in for injured Tek and Salty, Ryan Lavarnway had the night of a lifetime, pounding two homers and showing some great defense. The guys were crusing towards an easy win until the perplexing Daniel Bard nearly gave the game away. Team management is grooming this guy to be the closer, but if they'd traded Pap as they were planning, this team wouldn't be anywhere near the playoffs at this point.

If both the Sox and Rays win tonight, and I'm sure the Yankees will lay down like dogs to insure a Rays victory, there will be a one game playoff in St. Pete for the wild card. Not sure who Tito going to put on the mound tonight -- does he save Lester for a playoff or try to use him on three days rest to guarantee the win tonight?

Pity it's come to this, these guys should have won the division, not be fighting for their lives just to get the chance to have the well rested Yankees pound on them in the first round of the playoffs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quote of the day

“When I got dressed, I was wearing Petals (nipple covers) and an industrial strength bra… my dancing dress also had a bra sewn into it. I have been judged guilty without a trial.. I will go to my grave denying the nip slip.”

Nancy Grace gets her Perry Mason on defending herself against accusations of a wardrobe malfunction on Dancing with the Stars.

btw -- I've seen the evidence in this case *shudders*

And we're tied

Josh Beckett melted down in the sixth inning again versus the last place Orioles to help his team to a loss that coupled with Tampa's win over the Yankees, puts the Sox in a tie for the wild card slot with the Rays.

With both Tek and Salty questionable for the remaining two games, I'm not quite sure who Tito's going to put behind the plate. The injuries are getting voodoo freakish with this team and it's getting to the point where, as a fan, I'm just waiting to see what calamity can befall Boston.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are doing everything they can to insure their hated rivals don't get into the post season. Starting a rookie, Hector Noesi, with a whopping 56 innings to his resume, and filling their line-up card with the lightest hitting players on their squad, the Yanks gave the Rays every chance to win this game.

Now I'm not saying New York is throwing their final games, but with even Rays manager Joe Maddon talking about the Yankees fielding their JV team, all this talk about how New York isn't letting off on the final two games sounds a bit hollow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie review -- Triangle

triangle movie poster

Caught this flick on cable the other day and I decided to do a review because it impressed me so much. It's a 2009 release and has a decent pedigree, so I don't know why I haven't heard of it before. But anyway . . .

The movie opens and we see Jess, played by Aussie hottie Melissa George, dealing with her autistic son and doing some mundane household stuff. The movie is set in Florida, Miami to be precise, so it's fun for me to see familiar scenery. There's a vaguely unsettled feeling to the beginning, Jess seems distracted, her doorbell rings and no one's there. But eventually she's off in her car.

We next see a yacht at the marina. The boat's name is Triangle, hence the movie title. Or is it? On board is Greg, a guy who fancies Jess the waitress, and a random dude -- Victor. They are joined by the preppy Downey and his sort of bitchy wife Sally who brings along her friend Heather, whom she hopes to hook up with Greg. Sally dislikes Jess and isn't shy about it.

Jess joins the group and seems a bit out of it, claiming she's tired. Everyone is dressed in upperclass boating attire except Jess, who's in tight short denim shorts and a cleavagey tank top with hoody sweater. Which only exacerbates Sally's disdain for the commoner.

Off they go and things seem more normal. Then suddenly the wind drops out and they find themselves becalmed. One of those ominous movie storms appears on the horizon. As Greg calls the Coast Guard to find out what's going on they intercept a garbled distress call. Then the radio goes dead. And then the storm gets ugly.

The ship is pounded almost to pieces then capsized. Heather is washed overboard, and the remaining survivors are left to sit on the hull and ponder their fate. Jess is oddly on edge, looking around as though she expects something bad is going to happen. Suddenly out of the mist, a cruise ship appears.

Miraculously, the ship slips right next to the capsized yacht, close enough for everyone to hop onto the gangplank. As they climb aboard, the group finds the ship deserted.

It's an old cruise ship, and yet it is still running and the ballroom has fresh food spread out on a buffet. As the group heads toward the bridge, Jess is more and more edgy claiming a sense of deja vu. A jingling sound appears down one of the empty hallways. They find a set of keys. But they're Jess'! Which she left on the yacht. How did they get here?

Things degenerate from there as one by one the group gets killed off. Nothing makes sense as different members of the group tell conflicting stories. Eventually Jess goes face to face with the killer, who is dressed in the de riguere movie fashion of overalls and canvas bag with eye holes cut out.

Jess fights fearlessly and defeats the killer, forcing him to the railing of the ship. The killer is saying something, but it is muffled by the mask. It sounds like he's begging Jess to kill him. She obliges, knocking the killer overboard. Looking at the time, it's only 45 minutes into the movie at this point. So . . . ?

Jess hears something off the side of the ship and looks down . . . it's the Triangle, capsized with the group, including Jess, waving and calling out for help. Just as it had happened earlier in the movie.

And away we go.

I read a book back in high school called "The man who folded himself" about this guy who found a time travel device and began jumping back and forth in time. The book covered the various ideas about changing the past and thus the future, meeting yourself in the past, and so on. This movie does the same thing.

It rolls over itself time and again as Jess begins trying to understand what's happening and seeing if she can change it. Is the name of the cruise ship a clue to what's going on? Mythology buffs might have an answer to that. But it's a whirlwind that doesn't seem like it's ever going to reach a conclusion. Can Jess get off the ship and back to her son, whom she claims is waiting at school for her to pick him up? There are clues in the scenes that suggest this has been going on a long, long time. Why? If the answer is there, I didn't see it in only one viewing. Which is going to make me want to catch it again.

Melissa George does an excellent job with her portrayal of Jess. At various points Jess is scared, determined, confused -- a wide range of emotions and George pulls them off well. In her mid 40's, she's still bangin' and in fact, one wardrobe situation made me chuckle as after the storm and the capsized boat and the swimming around and all, there's a long view shot that shows she still has on her 5" stacked wedgy sandals. A conceit by the director to accent her toned legs and nice white girl booty I suppose. No complaints here :-)

All in all, it's a nicely done movie that I think will hold up well under repeated viewings and in fact, probably requires them. No nudity or sex and the killings are done with modest gore -- fairly realistic without devolving into the Saw-like overindulgence so popular today.

I definitely recommend it.

As a bonus, here's a few pics of Melissa in all her Aussie hotness:

melissa georgemelissa georgemelissa george
melissa georgemelissa georgemelissa george
melissa georgemelissa georgemelissa george


Did you find this review helpful? Check out my other reviews for my thoughts on the flicks and the occasional gallery of hotness that accompanies them:



You can only push Sarah Palin so far . . .

sarah palin hunting

Douchebag creepy author Joe McGinniss published a book of the most ridiculous lies and liberal wet fantasies about Sarah Palin recently. The book was so over the top, filled with absurd and unsourced stories that even left wing pundits, newspapers and blogs panned it.

Sarah Palin's been fairly quiet about it until now.

ABC News reported today that Palin's attourney contacted Crown Publishing, a division of Random House, and warned them that a lawsuit was imminent.

The letter of intent also clearly mentioned the fines and legal ramifications of anyone at Crown or Random House accidentally deleting files, e-mails, or any documentation that pertains to McGinness' slanderous book.

I'm no lawyer, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but what with the e-mail published by Breitbart and the lack of verifiable sources for McGinness' smut, I think Sarah's got a good chance at taking down Random House with a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

And this is me hoping she puts them completely out of business over this affair!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Congrats to Tony Stewart . . . again

tony stewart wins loudon

Tony Stewart won the Sylvania 300 today in Loudon, NH. That's two in a row for Smoke to start NASCAR's Chase, and puts him in the points lead.

It is also sweet karma for Stewart as last year at the same track, he was leading when he ran out of gas on the last lap and was passed by Clint Bowyer. This time, Bowyer was leading the last lap when he ran out of gas and Tony slipped by for the victory.

Earlier this year, Tony and teammate Ryan Newman finished one-two at this track with Newman getting the win. Though Ryan started on the pole today, late race tire trouble relegated him to a back of the pack finish.

It's way early, but I'd love to see Tony win another title, this time as an owner/driver. Especially as he'd be beating the Hendrick juggernaut with their own equipment.

And speaking of equipment -- early race drama as Kurt Busch had his car impounded briefly for a 1/32" discrepency in wheel alignment. I know there has to be a line somewhere, but seriously? That little fraction of an inch isn't giving him an advantage. And Busch is making it hard to be sympathetic with his cranky style towards reporters these days. What's up with that?

A better look at Nolan's Catwoman

So more pics have leaked off set (I know, wow -- what a shocker, right?) from Chris Nolan's new Batman pic. We're now getting a better look at Anne Hathaway in character as Catwoman:

anne hathaway as catwoman

So . . . uhmmm . . . I was right when I said Anne had the curvy body to look hot in a catsuit. And the suit is sort of what I expected, which is something more functional for a cat-burgler as opposed to a fetish model. The boots/heels are obviously pushing it a bit, but he can't have her in flats after all.

I see he managed to get "ears" on the suit. It'll be interesting to see how those are justified. So I suppose the basics are covered.

I'm sure the fanboys will be outrageously outraged at the fairly benign look. But the problem with letting all these images leak out now is that people are forming opinions about the film/characters without full context. Nolan's no slouch, and I doubt he's punting on this thing. But there are a lot of imperious fanboy types that are going to see this pic in theaters with a huge chip on their shoulders, expecting to hate it based on pre-conceived notions formed from these leaked production images.

Not sure why Nolan's running such a loose production this time, but I think he's setting himself for more grief than is necessary on this movie.

Rays win, Sox lose

And just like that, the Rays are realistically within reach of the wild card slot in the American League East now only 1 1/2 games back.

Jon Lester didn't get out of the third inning, giving up 8 runs on 55 pitches against the hated Yankees. It's the worst performance of his career when the team needed him the most. I had to laugh at someone trying to silver lining the situation by saying Lester'd be good to go on three days rest if they need him for the season finale.

Heh, what a joke. They should just sit him now, because this season is over. The Sox play a day-night doubleheader against the Yanks, starting Tim Wakefield in the day game and John Lackey in the night game. There's a possibility the Yankees will score about 40 runs in those two games with the way Wake and Lackey are pitching of late.

It'll be tough to watch the Sox stumble out of the playoffs like this as well as having to listen to the bandwagon-jumping, fair-weather Rays fans in my office rubbing the collapse in my face. These would be the same fans who were groaning at the beginning of September about how impossible it is for a small market team to play against big spenders like the Yanks and Sox. Of course now they'll be thumping their chests and strutting around like roosters bragging on the little guys they had given up on only a couple of weeks ago.

I hate spineless hypocrites.

That said, the Sox got some work ahead of them for next year. Beckett and Lester are okay and I'm hoping Bucholtz will be back and effective. After that though, the rotation's a mystery. Wake hasn't been the same since a knee tweak earlier this year. Lackey's a total bust and Bedard is still a question mark without enough starts to judge his health. There's talk of putting Aceves into the rotation which might work. And this kid Andrews has some possibilities. Dice-K might be done after shoulder/elbow surgery.

I think this team is going to have to drop some coin on a legitimate pitcher at some point. Someone who isn't a retread or rehab project. The Yankees are just going to keep throwing money at a title and the Rays have a very impressive rotation of young arms locked up contractually. If they can get some consistant hitting, they'll be legitimate contenders for the division title for a few years to come.

There was noise earlier this year that Theo Epstein was eyeing another GM position. If he leaves now, the Sox will go in the dumper. This could be a real pivotal offseason for my favorite team.

Rule 5 Sunday -- Kim Kardashian

kim kardashian

Today's Rule 5 submission is the petite and exotic looking Kim Kardashian.

I'm always perplexed by those that are famous for being famous. I mean, I understand Paris Hilton, her family is obscenely wealthy, and everyone knows the Hilton name. But Kim? Is there any "there" there?

She certainly isn't much of a singer as her attempts a music cd have been groan-worthy. And she's not much of a dancer as we saw on DWTS. She's only done a couple of bit parts in movies and Helen Mirren isn't hiding her Oscars in a closet thinking of Kim on the big screen. Of course, there's the leaked porno vid, but I hear that isn't even much to watch.

Kim's claim to fame seems to be that she knows how to dress and shows up at everything and everyone likes to photograph her. It's made her famous and wealthy; the American Dream I suppose.

But I'll admit, she's got a crazy, groovy, curvy body and that's a fact. And when she isn't troweling on the make-up, I think she's very pretty. So . . . enjoy these borderline nsfw pics of our obsession with celebrity.

click on the thumbnails for full-sized images.




Rule 5 Sunday suggested by this.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Understatement of the day

"We believe there's some sort of distribution or sales out of his home."

So says Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman with the California Dept of Justice after authorities tracked a marijuana shipment from California to the Kentucky home of Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson.

D'oh!

The package they were tracking contained about 2 1/2 pounds of pot, but when the police searched Simpson's home they found 6 more pounds of dope, pipes, scales and so on.

Nah, that 8 1/2 pounds of pot was for his glaucoma, I'm sure. Distribution . . . sales . . . as if.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Groan, another Republican debate

Oof, another one of these things. Okay, let's get right to it:

I will grudgingly admit that Mittens does a good job in these debates. But he should. He's been campaigning for 5 years! His answers are polished from repeated debates and q&a's. Didn't we just elect a guy that was all flash and no substance? Mitt is a serial flip-flopper and if he's going to keep bringing up Perry's record, I'm hanging RomneyCare around his neck like an albatross.

Rick Perry did poorly, he still looks very uncomfortable up there. He's struggling to come off smooth and it is taking away from his answers which aren't all that bad. He's got to work on his presentation. His biggest strength for me is something he has in common with George Bush -- I didn't always agree with shrub, but I appreciated that he believed what he was saying and never backed off a stance. Perry's the same. He won't back off the hpv vaccinations or the education for children of illegals. And I thought he was going to deck Santorum over their border dust up. That means something to me as a voter.

Ron Paul came off better, but only because they didn't give him anything to go off the rails on. I still think he's a nutbag, and a nightmare scenario would be for him to get the nomination because he'd be a disaster as president.

Michele Bachmann did much better this debate as she seems to be getting more comfortable on the stage.

Newt had the line of the night about ex-President Carter being a recovery. Wonderful. VP would be a good slot for him, but not the top post.

Herman Cain is very likeable, but he's just not electable. I'm sorry. We can't put somebody in the White House that is so uninformed about foreign affairs.

I initially liked Rick Santorum, but he's become the Howard Beale of these debates -- the angry white guy. And that's a turn off for this voter.

Huntsman is still meh and Gary Johnson was good for that shovel ready joke, but other than that -- nothing.

This was the best moderated debate of the lot. The YouTube stuff wasn't as bad I feared it would be. I'm still tired of them pitting the candidates at one another, and f*ck, still with the Gardasil! Give it a rest guys. It's a pity all the candidates didn't answer the last question about picking a vp. Like Cain says, have a sense of humor folks.

Of course, having the delicious Megyn Kelly helping out with the moderating is always going to be a plus for me. So that in and of itself made tonight a winner for me:

megyn kelly hotness

Update:
For the record, let me just say that if Perry's bad debate performance begins to drive his number down to where Mittens looks like a shoe in for the nomination, I believe that is the scenario that might prompt Sarah Palin to enter the race. She's no fan of Romney and realizes his lack of a spine on conservative issues is anathema to everything the Tea Party stands for.

Rays lose, Sox lose

Josh Beckett unravels in the late innings as Boston loses it's second straight to the last place Orioles 6-4. With this the last game played at Fenway, the Sox travel to NY to play a three game series against the now division champion Yankees.

Meanwhile, the Rays were losing a day-night doubleheader by 4-2 scores in both games. The Rays are now 2 1/2 games out and tied with the charging Angels behind Boston for the wild card birth in the playoffs.

I'm reminded of one of those open mic moments from NFL Films back in the old days. Bum Phillips of the Houston Oilers was grumbling along the sidlines in one of those games where his team was matching turnovers with their opponents late in the game.

Turning to his assistant on the sidelines, Phillips growls "Don't nobody here want to win this game?"

This has been the exact opposite of a race to the playoffs, more like a tumble down a flight of stairs as we, the fans, wait to see who doesn't break their neck at the bottom.

sheesh

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Late night hotness . . .

. . . what light through yonder window breaks?

ashley grace

And while I'm on a video kick . . .

Here is Rick Perry's first campaign commercial -- sort of a "I'm here to kick ass and chew gum . . . and I'm all out of gum!" beginning to his campaign:


It's pretty slickly produced and without setting specifics, is a nice introduction for the Gov. I see some bloggers are griping about the lack of stats and plans in the ad, but it's only his opening salvo and he's showing that, at least at the outset, his plans are to highlight this administration's awful jobs and economic record.

And away we go . . .

Best explanation yet

The Jewish/Palestinian conflict and history explained in 11:37

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where's PolitiFact on this one?

So I ran out this morning . . . okay, actually I didn't run, that's the problem with bad knees, but I popped out to get a copy of the local mullet wrapper -- St. Pete Times, because I knew their vaunted PolitiFact would be all over the President's whoppers in his speech yesterday morning.

So with the economy in the tank, unemployment rising, the nation looking for leadership, what does PolitiFact check -- Michele Bachmann's anecdote about Gardasil!

Barack Obama has literally made his career on straw man arguments, and lately, with bald-faced lies and distortions. His comments vis a vis his new Buffett tax are only the latest. But they are the easiest to debunk.

Though he shrieks the mantra "pay their fair share" like Al Gore on crack, when demonizing the job creators in this country, the facts simply don't back him up. IRS data shows that the top 1% of wage earners, those with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $380K, already pay over 38% of all income tax collected each year. Additionally, 46% of households (the low and middle income families) will pay no income tax at all this year.

So who's not paying their fair share Mr. President?

The President's comments about millionaires paying less taxes than their secretaries is so absurd, it should serve as a litmus test for anyone wanting to vote in the next election -- if you believe the Prez' statement, you aren't smart enough to vote!

Households with earnings over $1 million will pay 29.1% of their income in federal taxes, households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15%, those making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay 12.5%, and finally those making $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent. Now the President says it's not class warfare but math. Well the math looks pretty obvious to me.

The only good thing to come out of this election speech, and that's what it was as he still has not submitted a single piece of actual legislation going all the way back to his joke of a jobs bill, is that even left wing publications are pointing out the blatant falsehoods in the President's speech.

Except the St. Pete Times of course, they're so in the tank for the President they're burying stories like the Solyndra scandal deep in the paper while they put every story about the Tea Party or the Republican candidates on the front page.

My bet is that when PolitiFact finally addresses this situation, they'll use the same thing they've done in the past to protect liberal politicians -- cherry pick the data to support their biased agenda.

Pitiful.

Congrats to Tony Stewart


Tony Stewart won the rain delayed Geico 400 yesterday to move himself into second place in NASCAR's chase for the championship.

Playing the gas mileage game, Tony finished just ahead of Kevin Harvick who moved into first place in the chase. After gambling like this last year and running out of gas to derail his championship hopes, this had to feel like a bit of redemption for Tony.

Also a bit of redemption for Dale Earnhart Jr. as he too played the mileage game and finished third moving up in the Chase standings as well. Jr. has been much maligned and perhaps justifiably so this season for not performing up to expectations. His old crew chief has Jeff Gordon as one of the favorites to win the Chase, while Gordon's old crew chief can't seem to get much out of Dale Jr.

I'm getting a little tired of all these races being run on Mondays and Tuesdays this season. Don't know if it's a fluke or the fact that with so many races being run up north, the weather's more of a factor or what. But with attendance down, this kind of stuff isn't helping the sport out much.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sports and such

The Rays beat Boston 8-5 to cut the Sox's wild card lead to 2 games. Tampa Bay has 7 games left against the Yankees and 3 against Toronto. The Sox have 7 against the Orioles and 3 against the Yankees. New York has to play tough to keep their division lead intact and both the Jays and the O's got nothing to lose, so both teams have an uphill battle ahead of them. Boston has the worst or next to worst record in the majors this month. They need to get their stuff wired or they'll be sitting at home watching someone else play in October.

The Bucs beat the Vikings 24-20, which means I won the office pool (woot!). It would seem Tampa's working on last year's plan -- sort of a football version of the rope-a-dope, where they just hang around for the first half getting pummeled, then turn it on for a dramatic comeback. I think Minnesota out-gained them 270 to 60 yards in the first half (or something close to that), and the Bucs were down 17-0 before starting their comeback. Like I said before, I don't agree with how they are running this team and I don't understand how they're successful, but something's working. Yippee, I guess.

NASCAR got rained out -- again. So no race until Monday or Tuesday -- again. Is this the most rainouts in a season or what?

Floyd Mayweather won his title fight by cheap-shotting Victor Ortiz on a break. Then he proceeded to talk smack to 80+ year old Larry Merchant after the fight. Classy. If boxing had any integrity, they'd invalidate the results of this fight and make them do it over. Oh yeah, boxing . . . integrity . . . what was I thinking?

So how's that Day of Rage workin' out for ya?

It would seem the great occupation of the hated Wall Street by freedom loving anarchists has been less than successful. By all accounts, instead of the hoped for 20,000 protestors the group seems more likely numbered at around 200.

The NYPD effectively blocked off Wall Street long before the protestors began arriving and used a conspicuous display of polite force to imply that no shenanegans would be tolerated.

The hipster doofus anarchist movement always makes me laugh. I don't have anything against being fired up for you principles. We should all be motivated to take a hand in our own governing. But have some idea what you support and/or oppose, ya know?

These guys are all over the place:

"Shall we demand that President Obama reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act; outlaw flash trading; impose a 1% tax on all financial transactions?"

"We could demand Obama set up an American Democracy Reform Commission tasked with ending the monied corruption in Washington? Or perhaps a Presidential Commission to rethink the American banking system?"

Really?! You're railing against what you consider organized financial improprieties, and your solution is more government interference? Been watching much tv there dude? How's that big government thing working out so far?

But on and on they go throwing everything against the wall in the hopes that something sticks that they can hang their hat on. Though on some level they seem to realize that nothing's really going to happen:

"A reform project like this requires a constitutional amendment that would take a few years and a whole movement to achieve."

Damn that pesky government. If only we could do away with it, right? Kinda sounds like our current President in a way -- "If I could only go around Congress somehow, you know?"

There's a quote from their occupy Wall Street website that cracks me up on a couple of levels:

"Be prepared. We need to be a mobile force. A modern army of nonviolent protest. They will bring tear gas, riot shields, undercovers, and rubber bullets. I’m sure they’ll have choppers a waiting too."

Every see V for Vendetta? Doesn't that sound a bit like the penultimate showdown in the underground railway? Where V reminds the chancellor's tough that they don't have guns, they have bullets . . . and the hopes that when they've fired them all, he's not still standing.

I mean, when you have to crib your cool sounding rhetoric from a movie, maybe you just don't have any original ideas of your own.

There's another part where they refer to themselves as "legion." In the objective, not "a legion" but simply "legion."

That phrasing gets thrown around a lot these days, but plenty don't really know where it comes from. In the Bible, in the book of Mark, Jesus and the disciples take a boat to Gadarenes. Upon disembarking they are approached by a man possessed by Satan.

When Jesus asks the man's name, he replies "My name is Legion; for we are many."

Now the last way you're going to earn my sympathies as an activist, is to start acting as though Satan has all the cool phrases and stuff.

Look, I like horror movies, I like Black Sabbath and BOC, but I still understand that the devil isn't the one to emulate in life. And that's kind of where I really wonder about these guys. They all want the government or the financial sector to collapse. Well then, who runs things when these entities collapse?

The guys with the guns or the clout to be the most powerful would end up in charge. It's a pity these so-called intelligent protestors don't know any history. Do they really want to go back to the days of barons and serfs? Of monarchs? Of a societal schematic that resembles a pea on a flat board?

The weakest, frailest amoung us can take the richest person in the country to court. We have rights that cannot be denied. The system is twisted, there is no doubt of that, but it is still in place and can work if we try.

And the alternative would be a chaotic mess. Pity these guys are all show and no go. At least in the 60s, protestors had an idea of what they wanted to replace the government they so despised. But back then, the protestors were all from colleges where they actually learned something, not just sit around whining and get grades for showing up.

Rule 5 Sunday -- Pamela Anderson

pamela anderson

This week's Rule 5 submission is Pam Anderson.

These celeb bloggers always find the most unflattering candids of Pam and photoshop the crap out of them to exaggerate every wrinkle and blemish so they can ply their trade of snark. But considering the fairly hardcore life she's led -- she looks pretty good for 44.

I always thought that Barb Wire was the perfect role for her as an actress. No one else had that straight from the comic book look down, and for how the movie was written, I thought she did an admirable job in it. The one scene where she's crouched down shooting with the two Desert Eagles -- a great iconic image.

She's more of a look than anything now. I personally would like to see her soften her image a bit -- the extreme eye make-up isn't working sweetheart -- but maybe she thinks she still has to bring it hard for every appearance.

Anyway, here's some older Playboy stuff to remind that there's some serious beauty under all that eye shadow.

click on the thumbnail for full-sized image




Rule 5 Sunday suggested by this.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aaaand we're back to three

Rays starter Jeff Niemann turned in another solid performance as Tampa Bay beat Boston 4-3 to reduce the Sox's wild card cushion to three games.

With Wake on the mound Sunday against David Price, Joe Maddon may end up getting his wish and leave Boston only 2 games back.

Got to hand it to the Rays, they've owned the Sox all season and coming to Fenway doesn't back them off a bit now. I could do without all the whiny nonsense about umpire favoritism and such, but you can't dismiss how the guys up their game against Boston time and again.

Tampa Bay was nine or ten games behind at the start of September, and like I said, I don't know if this is epic or historic or what, but if the Rays can overcome the Sox and make the wild card based almost soley on pitching -- that's just got to be seen as something amazing!



A side note: I don't want to rain on Ron Artest's parade, but his name change to "Metta World Peace" . . . sorry Ron it's been done already -- meet World B.Free:

world b.free

NBA stats:
1975-1991
17,955 career points (20.3 ppg)
2430 career rebounds (2.7 rpg)
3319 career assists (3.7 apg)

The lead's back to four

Red Sox win last night 4-3 as Josh Beckett comes back from a sprained ankle to throw six solid innings against the tenacious Rays.

Giving up only 3 runs, and getting 7 K's while throwing just over a hundred pitches, the Sox's ace kept them in the game against the formidable James Shields who forced Boston to play small ball to keep up.

Evan Longoria continued his re-awakening with another monster home run off Beckett. Pity he had that mystifying slump late in the season. They could have used some reliable power from their marquee player.

Maddon got ejected late after arguing balls and strikes as the umpires seemed to be favoring Beckett with their calls. This isn't the first time the Rays have complained about this and I've got to agree, it seems a little blatant at times. You hope for things to be called down the middle in important games like this . . . but I've seen enough calls given to big name pitchers and hitters, it's one of those things where you just have to accept it as a part of the game.

Takes some of the fun out of a tough pitcher's duel at the end of the season though.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Well that was a nice start

The Red Sox went down in flames last night to the Rays 9-2 to have their wild card lead cut to just three games.

24 year old call up Kyle Weiland didn't even make it through four innings before getting yanked as Jeremy Hellickson continued to show the promise that the Rays hoped for when bringing him up last year.

Beckett's on the mound tonight and I'd like to see the guy that was cruising towards 20 dominating wins this season, but frankly the way this season is going, I won't be surprised if he gets blown out of the stadium.

I had such hopes for this team once they got off of that crappy slow start, but seeing the injuries mount and watching them stumble in these last weeks -- they were leading the division at the beginning of Sept(!), it's kind of like watching the old Dan Duquette era Sox all over again.

If the Rays get in the post season, it'll certainly be fun down here. And hopefully these indifferent local fans will fill the stadium for the games. But it's no guarantee.

Also no guarantee is either Boston or Tampa Bay in the wild card game -- I think the Angels are closing in fast and it would be the ultimate irony for both of these teams to pummel each other out of the playoffs.

Thursday, September 15, 2011