Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This could turn out to be somewhat painful, if Santana enjoys four or five banner years with the Mets, but I just don't think the Yankees should have traded for him. For the past five years, we really haven't had good luck with veteran pitchers, even seemingly dominant left-handers like Randy Johnson. Santana hasn't logged a ton of innings, but almost 900 over the past four years isn't insignificant either. This, plus all the pressure that'd be put on him with the Yankees, he's probably better off in the N.L.

Plus, now the Yankees keep together their core of young guns: Kennedy, Chamberlain, and, of course, Philip Hughes, who was largely rumored to be going to the Twins if the Yankees got Santana. We also get to keep Melky, who's only 23, and are apparently negotiating a long term deal with Cano, who's 25. It's good to have some up and coming homegrown talent in place to lead the team into the future again. If you remember it was homegrowners like Jeter, Pettitte, Williams, Rivera, and Posada that helped lead us to our last series of World Championships.

Back to the pitchers though, it will be interesting to watch how the young guys feed off each other and push each other forward. I keep going back to the days when the Braves had Glavine, Smoltz, and Avery all coming up together, and hope it works out that well - except for Avery of course, but the other two became Hall-of-Famers. Then again, the Braves did add Maddux, which would be akin to the Yankees adding Santana at this stage of his career, but Maddox was a free agent (so the Braves go to keep their young guns and still add a superstar). I guess, we'll have to count on Pettitte for the veteran leadership, althought this whole steroid thing doesn't look good for him. Right, almost forgot about sinkerball specialist Chien Ming Wang...

Ahh, it's still January, but baseball is starting to permeate my mind. Must be the end of football I guess, except for those evil Patriots and their inexorible march toward an undefeated season...



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Christmas Toy Hangover

Drove by Toys-R-Us a couple hours ago and saw literally two cars in the parking lot.

Streetcar Named Desire

Just finished re-reading (I think I've read it before; I know I've seen the Brando movie) Tennessee Williams' masterpiece last night. Wow! That thing will hit you hard. There's so much in there. You've got wife beating, rape, alcoholism, pedophilia, mental illness, and even some homosexuality thrown in for good measure - and this was written in the late 1940s. It's one of those things that you read, and almost no matter what, you can look at your situation and say, "well, at least I'm better off than they are." So, in that respect it's a feel good story.

But it's also tragically sad when looked at another way. When you consider how unprepared Blanche was for life and how hard reality hit her. After reading it, I decided I must be kinder to people, especially those that may have the sensitive qualities that Blanche's character embodies.

Anyhow, the play got me to doing some serious thinking. Hats off to Tennessee Williams for some quality work.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Championship Sunday

Congratulations to the Patriots and Giants on fine wins yesterday, catapulting themselves into the Super Bowl - to be held in two weeks in Phoenix. The Pats proved they deserved to be undefeated with their style of win. All season, they relied on the pass. However, yesterday, as it often does in the postseason, the passing game disappeared. Weather, nerves, who knows what causes it, but we saw it happen to the Colts last year and now the Pats this year. And both teams were able to persevere with strong and timely defense, as well as a running game. Versatility is what it often takes to win an NFL championship - and the Patriots, who have won a few championships in the past, realize this, which is why they are able to adjust. Their line has been given accolades all year for its pass blocking, but yesterday was able to put its hard hats on, drive forward, and create holes for Lawrence Maroney when it needed to. The Chargers, alas, were trading field goals for TDs, and through three quarters, even though they had won the battle, were losing the war.... And, the Patriots of course have proven they are a fourth quarter team.

The Pack, well, I kind of felt they were somewhat smoke and mirrors all season, and yesterday, they just went up in smoke - or the foggy breath of everyone at Lambeau Field. I am looking somewhat forward to this Giants-Pats rematch because it was such a great game the first time, although I think the Pats proved they were a better team, if only slightly. This game (the Super Bowl) will be on a neutral site in warm weather and should play right into the Pats' hands.



Friday, January 11, 2008


I know that Netflix or some sort of on demand/download delivery is the new and future wave of renting movies. However, I live within a 10-minute walk/3-minute drive of the local Blockbuster and still like going in there to get my rentals. I helps that the liquor store is a couple doors down. I mean wine and DVDs make for a fine evening...

I recently signed up for a program called Blockbuster Rewards. It costs $10 a year and on Monday, Tuesday, and Wed., it's basically rent one movie and get one non-new-release for free. So, for $4 I can get two pretty good DVDs for a week. (I'm also supposed to get a free rental once per month.)

Anyhow, I think I've told some of you, I've been renting the HBO Series Rome. Last night, I watched the first episode of the second season, and I'd have to say it may be the single greatest TV episode I have ever seen. It helps that I recently read a book on the history of Rome, as part of my research on trying to figure out if the U.S. really is the next Rome. (My conclustion so far has been no.) So, I've got some good background going in. But the show itself is phenominal. One thing they did, for instance, was not to show Mark Antony's famous speech at Ceasar's funeral, assuming (I assume at least) that everyone is already familiar with it. Instead, they showed a patron in an underground pub describing what went on. A nice bit of alternative storytelling.

I've enjoyed Rome so much, I decided I'd start watching another cable TV show - Weeds. The premise is that this suburban housewife's husband dies of a heart attack, so to make some money, her brother-in-law hooks her up with an urban black family that sells her pot that she resells to her suburban neighbors. I had read that the show was pretty funny.

I watched the pilot last night, and it seemed a bit strained. It was almost like a slightly hipper Desparate Housewives, but not as heavy as DH was in its first season and a half. However, there was a joke at the very end that absolutely killed me and will get me to watch at least one more episode. If it turns out to be one of those shows that consitently, cleverly sets you up for a big laugh at the end, I think I'll be happy with it. We'll see.



Monday, January 07, 2008

American Gladiators

Had a nasty cold - or something- that took me out of commission for most of the weekend. My brother-in-law is a D.O., and he's a big proponent of hip, back, and neck alignment. I've adopted his thinking on this and spent the weekend stretching out. I'm feeling a lot better today, as I think I've straightened some things out, but still have a bit of a head cold.

Anyhow, in my relaxed state, I was able to enjoy a couple hours of the new American Gladiators show last night. It's an amped up edition of the show I used to enjoy back in high school, when it first came out. Boy, is the new show cheesy, but I guess the 80's one was too - which is/was part of the charm. Of course, in the '80s everything else was cheesy too, so it may have been less noticable then.

Hulk Hogan is the host of this new version, and he has kind of an odd way of talking and moving his hands, that almost makes him look like he's computer-generated. I guess steroid-generated is close enough. There's a second episode on tonight. I'm thinking it will be more entertaining than the BCS championship game, or whatever it's called.



Oh yeah, Danny Carr - is that the name of the guy from Erie who invented Gladiators? - rocks!.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Winter Scene

The globby wet snow
Weighs the branch down
the white carpet rolled out
for the children to own

with their sleds
and their boots
and their new Christmas hats

mittens and snowballs
tossed here and like that

One hits the window
and splatters a mess
it looks like a spider
or the sun at her best

the metallic blue sky
makes me squint to see
the brown rabbit hopping
out from under bare tree

its paws leave their print
soon to be wiped
clear and away
by the winter’s windy might

For she smiles at me
And winks her cold eye
winter’s a mistress
that will never die.