Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Field Report: Detroit Tigers

Oh you poor AL bench players. You will forever be pinch runners.

Sunday I had the day off and the opportunity to day trip to Detroit to catch an afternoon Tigers game. After waiting for almost an hour, I caught the city bus headed for downtown. On the way, I was highly disappointed in the endless poor neighborhoods I passed through. though I guess "disappointed" means I expected much, which I didn't.

The stadium was beautiful. Right downtown, none of this suburia mess, Giant Tiger statue out front. I was impressed with the completely sold out stadium. I went to the box office, and picked up one of the few tickets remaining, not unreasonably priced. (Read: Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox; Right field, $22)

Entering the stadium I picked up my $1 scorecard (free pencil!) and was ushered to my seat. The scorecard was nice, thick paper stock, nice picture on front. As I opened it up, I was disappointed with the poor layout. Only 10 spaces to write names??? Are you kidding? Oh yeah, in the AL theres no reason. Barely any subs, aside from pinch runners.

Curtis Granderson hit a homerun that lands 5 feet from my seat. As always, its given to a small child.

The guy behind me is also filling out the box score. These fans are traditionalists.

Tigers ended up taking the game, avoiding the sweep.

Other than that, it was overrall a pretty pleasurable experience, aside from things not working out so well at the airport. I had to check in at 550am and didn't land until midnight.

I lived.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Numero DOS!

Ok, if you would, please allow me just one moment..JUST ONE! to be smug. ok, here it is.

YES! This is the second time I've won the coveted award. When people find out about it, they ask me what I did to win it. Well its simple really...well...yeah I dunno. Just one day you get a letter in the mail.

Also take note of the beard. I tend to go in cycles..I trim it real short before work..kind of a five o'clock shadow sort of thing, then I don't shave until I have to go back to work. Usually my crew asks about it by day 3. And as you can see, I haven't worked in a while.

Also we went on a recent 14er hike, Mt Elbert. Highest peak in Colorado, and one that I almost climbed when I was on Trek. But the weather did not permit. This time the weather was splendid. Really, check out the pics, some of them are really cool.

Mt Elbert


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mistakes that make my job MUCH MUCH harder

I'm hot about this one:

Biggist Mistakes made by the luggage industry. Well, good for them, terrible for us.

1. Putting wheels on luggage. Hooray! Allows folks to bring along...well pretty much EVERYTHING. (Sonny, would you mind lifting this over your head and putting it into the bin for me? Be careful, It's filled with books.) Or gold bars.

2. Putting wheels on briefcases. Nice, now we can't even carry around paper. It must also be wheeled. And why is this bad? Case in point: Kansas City to Chicago, lots of business men who think the whole wheeled briefcase thing is completely awesome. They bring their allotment of 2 carry on items, luggage plus briefcase, however they fill both up, expand them, so now BOTH can ONLY go into the overhead bin. (DID YOU KNOW that as an airline we can be fined by the FAA for allowing people to put 2 items up there??) It just won't fit underneath the seat. Awesome. Only 60 of 137 people have gotten on and all the overhead bins are completely full. I walk around the plane looking for more room, and I see wheeled briefcase after wheeled briefcase. I just don't have the time to pull down briefcases, find out whose it is, ridicule them, and check their bags. RIDICULOUS. And the poor people behind them have nowhere to put their luggage.

Although I would like to congratulate Matt Holliday and Aaron cook who represented the Rox quite well at the all-star game. I mean, bases loaded non out and you get 3 ground balls and 3 outs at home??? amazing.


Monday, July 14, 2008

AL vs NL, Revisited

I know, I've done this before. I admit, the American League beats us time after time. Intereleague, All Star Games, World Series. We keep getting beat. We'll probably even lose tomorrow night.

I ran across this article by Darren Everson in the Wall Street Journal? of all places, and it was very interesting. It tried to explain the disparity that has happened between the two leagues in the past years, and it came up with some very interesting theories.

1) Designated Hitter. Obviously. AL teams basically can sign big fat guys who can flat out hit, but are average or below fielders (Frank Thomas). NL teams have to worry about fielding, while in the AL it is a non-issue.

2) New Ballparks. The Tax Reform Act of 1986. This is sort of complicated, but in short, due to this officials started charging teams little or no rent, making it highly attractive for teams to demand new stadiums. More AL teams were playing in stadiums that needed replacing, so it all began with the Orioles building Camden Yards. Between 1992 and 2000, 8 AL teams have built new stadiums, while the NL built none between '78 and '94. All of a sudden AL teams were making more money than NL teams, and in a game with no salary cap, that makes a huge difference. The American League could now afford higher priced athletes.

3) The Oakland A's. They were poor, and couldn't build a new stadium, and couldn't afford high priced free agents, so they hired Billy Beane who took a new approach to building a team through what basically amounts to number crunching. It was a wild success. Since 2000 the A's have won more regular season games than anyone except the Yankees. So to compete, other teams started adopting the same techniques. The Red Sox have used techniques from the A's to win the Series in '04 and '07. Meanwhile, NL teams didn't have to compete with Oakland, so they didn't, and ended up blowing tons of money on Stars on the decline, a-la Griffey Jr.

4) Then came the ridiculous pitching deals. 105 million to Kevin Brown. 121 Million to Mike Hampton. 126 Million to Barry Zito.

So there you have it. No, I'm not bitter, I just think it's very interesting is all.
And at least it gives me something to blame.

:) JJ

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Do they never learn???

Ok so the new iphone came out. People lined up to get it. Store sells out in minutes. Remember when people did that when the first iphone came out, then apple decided to drop the price 200 bucks, and those very people were mad because they got ripped off? WELL YA DID IT AGAIN! Just don't get all pissy this time, ok?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Road Biking Denver

I don't like it when I'm trying to work on the plane and someone tail-gates me in the middle of the aisle. Give me a sec and I'll move! Just give me and my bum a little room, will ya!??

This past week I thought that I might finally get my new road bike out and take it for a real ride. So far its just been a couple jaunts around town. So I told Tami that I'd ride to her house, which normally is a 20-25 minute drive. I get there when I get there.

See theres a trail that I notice driving towards downtown Denver. I see people biking on it all the time. So I decided to see where it leads. Little did I know that not only does it connect to the loop trail in Golden, but I rode 95% of the way to Tami's apartment without having to get on a street. The Clear Creek trail literally runs 50 feet from my back door, intersects the South Platte River trail 20 miles or so downriver, then arrives at Tami's, Via a beautiful downtown trail, about 10 miles south. It was a spectacular ride, and come to find out these trails run all over the denver area. Simply spectacular.

Unfortunately I was pretty whooped, then realized I had to make the ride back the next day. 2 days later my legs still haven't recovered. Road biking is fun.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

All Star Outrage

I'll just jump right into it.

It all figures that the teams with the highest fan base, boston and chicago cubs, had the most all stars in a system that selects its all stars by fan votes and you can vote however many times you want?? It doesn't seem right to me. I was irritated to see that Matt Holliday, hitting .340, and gets to ride the pine behind a completely overrated Fukudome whose hitting .287?? I enjoy that the fans get to play a part in the selection process, but when this happens, the system is obviously broken. The starting lineup for the AL represents only 3 teams other than Boston and New York. Strange how they are the teams in the AL with the largest fan base...hmm....

In every category that Boston has a player starting, theres at least one person more deserving.

Dude, Jeter, there are arguably 7 AL shortstops who are having better years than you are. Michael Young is by far the All Star in that category.

That said, here is MY All star team:

American League

1B Justin Morneau (Min)
2B Ian Kinsler (Tex)
3B Alex Rodriguez (NYY)
SS Micahel Young (Tex)
C Joe Mauer (Min)
OF Josh Hamiltion (Tex)
OF Jose Guillen (KC)
OF Ichiro Suzuki (Sea)

National League (not a whole lot different, just getting rid of those overrated and over-voted-for CUBS

1B Lance Berkman (Hou)
2B Chase Utley (Phi)
3B Chipper Jones (Atl)
SS Hanley Ramirez (Fla)
C Giovanni Soto (Chc)
OF Matt Holliday (Col)
OF Nate McClouth (Pit)
OF Carlos Lee (Hou)