22 December 2005

Top Ten on the ol' iPod

This is something I did on my old website, and I think I'll try to resurrect it.

Current Top 10 songs on my iPod.

10. Easy/Lucky/Free - Bright Eyes
9. Creep - Afghan Whigs
8. Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson (don't ask)
7. Morning Wonder - The Earlies
6. Big Bang - Aesop Rock
5. A Mariner's Revenge Song - the Decemberists
4. Behind Blue Eyes - Rupert Giles (I said, don't ask)
3. Public Service Announcement - DJ Danger Mouse & Jay-Z
2. Tribulations - LCD Soundsystem
1. Start Wearing Purple - Gogol Bordello

Ok, off to Boston this evening. What fun. Wish me luck.

21 December 2005

Top 20 of 2005

Here it is (and yes, sorry, its in PDF format).

Top 20 Albums of 2005.


Damon is a MFY

Ok, well, I wanted to avoid posting about this, but I can't get around it.

Johnny Damon signed with the Yankers for 4Y/52M.

If the news folks are to be believed, that a full $12 MILLION higher than the Red Sox 4Y/40M offer. And with that sort of ridiculous overspending, I'm glad Damon went to the Yankers. Why spend that much on a 32 year old CF who can't throw? He'll be a LF by the time the contract ends (at best). Now, there isn't a lot of good CF options in the FA markeet right now (Encarnacion? Preston Wilson? Jamal Strong? You get the idea) and althought I like the Jeremy Reed-for-Clement deal that been suggested, I don't think its apt to happen. However, I don't think that not signing Damon is the "colossal mistake" that some people think (well, Buster Olney, who's a schill for the Yankers anyway). Sure, in 2006 Damon might be worth $13M, but in the long run of the whole contract, this is like the Yankers replacing Bernie Williams with, well, Bernie Williams.

Of course, many Sox fans are moaning and claiming that the management doesn't have a plan. I think that this non-signing is exactly within their plan: rebuild the team with good, young players. The Sox have acquired this winter one of the best young pitchers in baseball (Josh Beckett), the #1 prospect in baseball (Andy Marte) and have a cadre of great young pitchers in their farm system like Jon Papelbon, John Lester, Craig Hansen & Edgar Martinez. They think Dustin Pedroia should be ready to start at 2B by 2007. Kevin Youkilis will likely be the starting 1B in 2006. Sure, the team has holes right now, but (1) its December! and (2) unless you're the Yankers, with a $250M payroll, everyone has to be creative. Go sign a Matt LeCroy to platoon at first. Go trade for a Brad Wilkerson to play CF. I know many Sox fans can't stand the idea of rebuilding, but look at the 2005 Indians? That's how a team is built for a long run of success, not by signing aging OF for too much $ and too many years.

20 December 2005

Top 20 Albums of 2005

Ok, so I've been in a chipper mood lately. Thats good!

First things first:
1 - The Rangers gave up a lot for 1 year of Adam Eaton and 37-yo Otsuka. We'll see, maybe they plan to swing Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox or something.
2 - Rudy Seanez signed with the Red Sox. Woo.


My top 20 albums of 2005 will be finished soon and I'll post a link to the PDF when thats done, but as a teaser, here are #16-20

16. Magic Numbers - Magic Numbers (Capitol Records)
17. White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan (V2)
18. Stephen Malkmus - Face the Truth (Matador)
19. Sigur Ros - Takk (Geffen)
20. Brakes - Give Blood (Rough Trade)

and for the fun of it, here are the near misses (aka honorable mentions)
Iron & Wine + Calexico – In the Reins (Overcoat); Death Cab for Cutie – Plans (Atlantic); Metric – Live It Out (Last Gang); New Pornographers – Twin Cinema (Matador); Mon Frere – Real Vampires (Cake); Kanye West – Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella); Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punks (Side One Dummy); Bright Eyes – Motion Sickness (Team Love); Silver Jews – The Tanglewood Numbers (Merge); Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty); Gorillaz – Demon Days (Virgin); Xiu Xiu – La Foret (5 Rue Christine); Dangerdoom – The Mouse & the Mask (Anti); Jens Lekman – Oh You’re So Silent Jens (Secretly Canadian)

And the worst albums? Easy:
Moby - Hotel (V2)
Weezer - Make Believe (Geffen)

19 December 2005

Notes for 12/19/2005

A few comments for today:

(1) Nomar signing with the Dodgers - I'm sure he'll be happy in LA. Good for him.

(2) If you haven't heard it already, the Brakes album Give Blood is excellent, especially for their cover of Cash/Carter's "Jackson"

(3) I'm cheerful today.

16 December 2005

Coming next week...

Erik's Top 20 albums and songs of 2005.

Big fun!

All Names Team

Here it is, with help from Big Lou

1B: Doug Mientkiewicz (KC)
2B: Mark Grudzielanek (KC)
SS: Nomar Garciaparra (N/A)
3B: Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
C: AJ Pierzynski (CHA)
LF: Scott Podsednik (CHA)
CF: Take your pick: Hiram Bocachica (OAK) or Adam Hydzu (TEX)
RF: So Taguchi (STL)
DH: Erubiel Durazo (DH)
SP: Mark Buehrle (CHA); Scott Schoeneweis (TOR); Doug Waechter (TB); Wes Obermueller (ATL)
RP: Yhency Brazoban (LAD); Justin Duchscherer (OAK); Bartoleme Fortunato (NYM); Shigotoshi Hasegawa (SEA)
Closer: Jason Isringhausen (STL)

Yes, the Rotation is hard. Any suggestions?

Let's give it to the Royals!

They might suck, but they'll win any "hardest team to spell" competition!

Royals sign Doug Mientkiewicz (1B) and Mark Grudzielanek (2B). Throw in Garciaparra at SS, and talk about an infield.
Any suggestions for 3B?

12 December 2005

12/12 in the Windy City

Big Lou is right ... The A's are stockpiling pitchers ... maybe its time for the A's and Rangers to trade OF for SP, eh?

I'm in Chicago right now, and I like it. Maybe I miss the east coast ... although Chicago isn't fully east coast, but it does have Dunkin' Donuts on every corner. Ah yes.

Best New Music
Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks - Think Molotov meets the Leningrad Cowboys. Or something.
Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger - Fun, dancy rock stuff.
Molotov - Dance and Dense Denso - Think Molotov. Its that easy.

11 December 2005

Post-Winter Meeting Baseball Musings 12/11/05

Well, its been a long week, not only thanks to the fact that I was at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, but also trying to keep track of all the Winter Meeting Madness. It seems like baseball has lost its mind and suddenly trading is as shiek as ever. Everybody loves to trade. Trade trade trade! Like baseball cards as a youth. So, here's my quickee ratings and comments on these trades.

(Ratings are out of *****)
12/4/05 - LoDuca (C) to the Mets for 2 minor leaguers - Mets ***; Marlins ** - Mets get a catcher who usually only lasts 1/2 a season, Marlins get a bag of doorknobs (but save $). This is one of these trades that makes me say "meh." Yes, I said "meh".

12/5/05 - Chad Gaudin (SP/RP) to A's for PTBNL - A's *; Jays **** - So, how do you score four stars for getting a PTBNL? Well, its easy. Gaudin, for all intents and purposes, became B.J. Ryan as the Jays moved Gaudin to make room on the roster. So, in an alternate universe, Billy Beane made a terrible trade.

12/6/05 - Steve Kline (RP) to Giants for LaTroy Hawkins (RP) - Giants *; Orioles * - Maybe I should have saved my "meh" for this trade. Just please, oh please, don't let Hawkins be the closer for the O's. On second thought, go ahead!

12/7/05 - Dewon Brazelton (SP) to Padres for Sean Burroughs (3B) - Padres *; DevilRays ** - Let's see, how many infielders do the DevilRays need? They have Cantu, Upton, Green, Lugo, Burroughs, Huff. Burroughs looks like a future Geoff Blum, except maybe with less power (thats scary). My guess is he will be backing up all the infield, or starting at 3B if the Rays don't get anyone else. Brazelton, on the other hand, looks like he might have burned out already, at least mentally.

12/7/05 - Mark Loretta (2B) to Red Sox for Doug Mirabelli (C) - Red Sox ****; Padres *** - My first reaction: Ha ha ha ha! Loretta was stolen from the Padres (if he's healthy) and give the Sox a solid 2B to keep the spot warm for Dustin Pedroia. Now, lots of the media are saying Dumpy Doug will be a backup in SD. Why? He's solid defensively (he caught Wakefield for chrissakes) and can be potent versus lefties. I think they should give Mirabelli a fulltime look. As for the Sox, who becomes the backup for Varitek? Maybe they'll let Shoppach learn to catch Wakefield (he's caught Sox knuckling farmhand Charlie Zink).

12/7/05 - Ray King (RP) to the Rockies for Larry Bigbie (OF) and Aaron Miles (2B/SS) - Rockies *; Cardinals ** - Ray King said he wanted a trade if he wasn't going to be used in St. Louis. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. King. The Cardinals have found their Abraham Nunez replacement in Miles and maybe their Reggie Sanders replacement is Bigbie.

12/7/05 - Danny Kolb (RP) to the Brewers for Wes Obermueller (SP/RP) - Brewers -*; Braves ** - Yes, thats negative one stars for the Brewers. How often can a team trade for a player, then the player sucks it up and the team can send him back to the first team? And actually get someone for it? Obermueller did an OK job filling in for Sheets (for a while), so I see the Braves using him as MR.

12/7/05 - Mark Redman (SP) to Royals for 2 minor leaguers - Royals **; Pirates ** - Royals get an OK starter. Wow.

12/7/05 - Yorvit Torrealba (C) to Rockies for PTBNL - n/a - Woo.

12/7/05 - Juan Pierre (OF) to Cubs for Sergio Mitre (SP/RP) and 2 minor leaguers - Cubs **; Marlins *** - Its always good to stockpile pitchers, so Marlins get the edge. I've never been too impressed with Pierre, and Baker doesn't like to steal. Hmmm. I might have taken a chance on Felix Pie or Corey Patterson over Pierre.

12/7/05 - Johnny Estrada (C) to Diamondbacks for Lance Niekro (RP) & Oscar Villareal (RP) - D-Backs ***, Braves ** - I guess the Braves really trust Brian McCann. A key point to remember: You can no longer say "well, they'll be working with Leo Mazzone" when mediocre pitchers go to Atlanta. Now, they will be learning from "shoes on fire" Roger McDowell. We'll see how that works.

12/8/05 - Sean Casey (1B) to Pirates for 2 minor leaguers - Pirates *; Reds ** - Weird. I like this trade for the Reds because it means that Kearns & Pena should play with Dunn moving to 1B. I don't like it for the Pirates because it keeps Brad Eldred at AAA. Odd "additional by subtraction" trade in my books.

12/8/05 - Tony Womack (IF/OF) to Reds for 2 minor leaguers - Red 0; Yankees ** - Yankers get positive points for ridding themselves of the plate appearance sink that is Tony Womack for anything larger than the time of day.

12/8/05 - Edgar Renteria (SS) to Braves for Andy Marte (3B) - Red Sox ****; Braves *** - 1. The Sox gave up on Renteria too quickly; 2. The Braves gave up way too much for Renteria and most of his contract; 3. With that being said, everyone wins! Of course, the Red Sox now have a 3B logjam of Marte, Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis. My question that no one I've read has asked: Why can't Lowell play 1B?

12/9/05 - JC Romero (RP) to Angels for a minor league INF - Angels ***; Twins * - He complained, he was traded. Angels get a lefty in the 'pen. Done and done.

12/9/05 - Alfonso Soriano (2B) to Nationals for Brad Wilkerson (OF) and Termell Sledge (OF) - Rangers *; Nationals *** - The Rangers now have half of the OF in the league and the Nats have 2 All-Star 2B. Hmmm. Why do I feel like this trade isn't the end of the story.

02 December 2005


Well, I've been kind of in a funk lately, so I think I may hold off in posting until after the Winter Meetings and after I digest some of the Bill James Handbook. So crazy projections in that book (Brad Eldred = .300/38/107?).

A few parting thoughts before the winter meetings in Dallas

- I'd say its 60/40 that Manny stays with the Sox. We'll see. If not, they need to get a lot for him.

- Jermaine Van Buren (RP) was traded to the Red Sox from the Cubs for a PTBNL. I think it's a good dead. Van Buren is a live arm that could help fill in the bullpen so the Sox don't have to turn to the likes of DFA'd Remlinger or Harville.

- Closers are making waaay too much money, especially after Tom Gordon got 3 years @ 11-12M from the Phillies. Wow. And he's 38!

- Zito will not be on the A's come 2006.

That's all for now.

28 November 2005

Baseball Musings 11/28/2005

More on the Red Sox-Marlins Deal - So, the Red Sox ended up getting Guillermo Mota in the Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell deal as well, which is quite a good, high ceiling addition if you ask me. He can hopefully be no worse than Matt Mantei, and will hopefully be on par with Scott Williamson minus the constant injuries. Otherwise, the Sox got a great haul in Beckett, Lowell & Mota. Now, of course, comes the wailing and gnashing of teeth when it comes to the place Kevin Youkilis has on the team. Does he play first? Third? Second? For the Twins (for J.C. Romero?) I'd love to see him stay, but only if he finally gets a chance to play regularly.

Blue Jays Go Mad - Best comment right after the B.J. Ryan deal for 5 years/$47M was announced (courtesy of the SOSH): "I hope that's Canadian dollars." This officially marks the end of Moneyball outside of anywhere that Jerry Brown isn't mayor. To give a guy who will be makes >$1M per career save is almost insane...don't get me wrong, Ryan was filthy last year, but this sets the bar so high that Billy Wagner (who has a much longer track record) could break 4 years/$50M. For a closer. Who pitches <100 innings a year. Yowzah!

22 November 2005

Baseball Musings 11/23/05

I'm a little behind on the baseball writing these days, so lets get started.

Has the world gone mad?

Big News! Josh Beckett (SP) and Mike Lowell (3B) to the Red Sox - Anibal Sanchez (SP), Hanley Ramirez (SS) and Jesus Delgado (RP) to the Marlins. - The deal isn't final, but looks like it will be soon. On one hand, I love the deal. How often do you get, arguably, the best 25-year-old starter with World Series MVP credentials in any deal. On the other hand, Sanchez could be great. Overall, Sox make out pretty well, especially if Lowell can get his swing back.

Two crazy trades today:
Carlos Delgado (1B) to the Mets - Y. Petit (SP) and Mike Jacobs (C/1B) to the Marlins - Woah. Do the Mets just enjoy getting fleeced? First they give up Kazmir for a bag of doorknobs, now they send Petit for a 33 year old 1B. Not that Delgado is bad, he's not, but with lots and lots of money in the back end of his contract, the Mets take on a lot for giving up two good to decent prospects.

Jim Thome (1B) to the White Sox - Aaron Rowand (OF) to Philadelphia + a dumptruck full of money to Chicago no doubt. This one is a shocker to me. But at least Ryan Howard will have a place next year.

Some ramifications for these trades:

1. Does Delgado going to the Mets end any Manny to the Mets rumors? Or, could the Mets flip Delgado to the Sox in a Manny trade? Oh, the options are endless.

2. Does Thome going to the White Sox mean that they don't think they'll be able to resign Konerko? Or does Thome replace Frank Thomas? And why would you take on the monster Thome contract than resign Frank Thomas at a lower price?

3. With Beckett in the rotation in Boston, who does to the pen? Papelbon? Arroyo? Neither?Does it matter - If the Sox send Wells to the Padres, they will likely not be getting an starter, so that opens the rotation to one. So, the Sox rotation next year could be: Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wakefield, Papelbon (or Arroyo). And now, the Red Sox have 3 of the last 5 World Series MVPs on the team (Schilling, Manny & Beckett). We'll see how long that lasts.

19 November 2005

Baseball musings 11/19/05

Well, a day late (it's been a bad week), but here is a little baseball update...

Endless Red Sox GM Search - Yes, the search goes on and on ... and on ... and on ... and on. Second interviews for Jim Beattie and Jim Bowden, first interview for Dave Wilder. Will it never end? We'll see...

Cameron-for-Nady - Pads acquired Mike Cameron for Xavier Nady. My question: how long is Cameron's stay in SD, especially considering all the Wells-to-SD rumors.

Marlon Anderson signs with the Nats - Sounds like a rich man's Jamie Carroll to me.

Scott Eyre cashes in - Get an MVP vote, and cash in with the Cubbies for 2 years/$11 million. Not bad for a middle relief pitcher with a career ERA of >4.00. Ah, how easy it is to separate an MLB owner from his money.

Jason Bay signs 4 yr/$18.25M contract - Finally, the Pirates made a move that has them thinking about the future. Maybe this is the first step to take Pittsburgh out of the basement of the NL.

16 November 2005

Manny to nowhere?

ESPN is reporting (INSIDER) that Mike Cameron is about to be shipped to the Padres ... the upshot of that is Cameron was supposed to be a key component for any Manny-to-the-Mets trade. And with the Angels also saying they have little interest in Manny, it looks like he won't be going anyway soon.


Albert Pujols finally won his MVP after 4 years of Barry as MVP. Good for him!
Andruw Jones and Derrek Lee also got first place votes for the NL MVP.

A look at the final voting reveals some interesting things as well, such as Houston players are speckled throughout the list (Ensburg, Berkman, Clemens, Oswalt, Pettitte and Lidge all got votes). David Eckstein outpolled Roger Clemens. But what I find most interesting is that Scott Eyre got votes for MVP. When was the last time a middle relief/setup pitcher for a sub .500, non-playoff team got an MVP vote? My guess is never.

Red Sox GM Search - The fiasco continues, as candidates are dropping out like flies. Dayton Moore pulled his candidancy even after getting a second interview. What's the deal? Are the Red Sox that uninteresting/messed up after winning the World Series?

That crazy Scott Boras - The Boston Globe website is reporting rumors that Johnny Damon might be asking for ... wait for it ... SEVEN YEARS/$84 MILLION. Yes, that Johnny Damon. Good luck with that. You and Rafael "$50 Million" Furcal can enjoy sitting around waiting for what you deserve.

15 November 2005

Jayson Stark on Papi for MVP

Jayson Stark (ESPN) makes a compelling argument about how voters missed the boat on this one, both philosophically and statistically.

14 November 2005

All MVP Votes

It's always fun to look at the complete AL MVP voting. Never thought you would live in a world where Jorge Cantu got an MVP vote? AL ROY Huston Street got the same number of votes as AL Cy Young Winner Bartolo Colon? Colon, in fact, got 56 fewer MVP points than Cy Young also-ran Mariano Rivera. Heck, even Bob Wickman got 2 points...And the until now unknown "Corey Sizemore" got 3 points. Ah well.


Sadly, baseball sportswriters proved, once again, they know nothing:

Slappy beats Papi for AL MVP

A-Rod: .321/.421/.610
Papi: .300/.397/.604

*edit* - OK, maybe I'm biased ... but honestly, this came down to two things because they were so similar:

A-Rod: .321/.421/.610
Papi: .300/.397/.604

1. Is a DH a legitimate player?
2. Is A-Rod a leader?

As I mentioned with my comments on Ryne, #2 is a moot point. #1 is harder to prove...Except that A-Rod's VORP is 99.7 and Papi's VORP is 85.8. Where does that difference come from? For VORP, the biggest factor might be that there is a bigger step downward at 3B than DH for a "replacement player", instantly giving A-Rod an advantage. Defense doesn't enter into VORP, so offensively, A-Rod would be more valuable merely because he was so far ahead of any other 3B versus how far ahead Papi was of any other DH.

So, why do I think A-Rod is a poor choice? Take him out of the Yankers lineup, and you still have Giambi, Sheffield, Matsui, Posada, Jeter to pick up the slack. Remove Papi from the Sox, you have Damon, Manny, Varitek and a bag of doorknobs. Ah well, just shows that sometimes, when all the stats line up, it all comes down to who you like better. So much for science.

Baseball Musings 11/14/2005

While we wait for the announcement of the AL MVP ...

Ryne Sandberg is an idiot - Thanks to Big Lou, I found Ryne Sandberg's article on how he would pick the Cy Young winner. His main criteria include: if the pitcher is on a playoff team, ERA and wins. Hmmmm. Of those three stats, how many does the PITCHER HIMSELF control solely? Exactly ZERO. So, by Ryne's argument, the best pitcher should be the guy who happens to find himself in a happy place where is team wins a lot, scores a lot of runs for him and has decent defense. Nothing to do with the pitcher's actual performance with his control, or ability to keep runners off the bases, or ability to pitch deep into games. No, just if he happens to be on a good team that gets him lots of wins and gets to the postseason. This is what, my friends, we can garbage sportwriting/analysis based on conjecture and hunches. Its like "intelligent design" applied to baseball.

This is not to say that Chris Carpenter was not deserving, but to dismiss Dontrelle Willis offhand because the Marlins miss the playoffs is an affront to Willis and to all intelligent baseball fans. Just to show, yet again, that Ryne Sandberg is a poor man's Joe Morgan: They base all of their picks on the old school ideas like "intangibles", "leadership", "carrying the team on their shoulders" and garbage like that.

Anyway, here are some of the Cy Young winners since 1990 that would not have won by Ryne's standards:
2003 - Eric Gagne & Roy Halladay
1991, 1997-98 - Roger Clemens
1996 - Pat Hentgen
1994 - David Cone

10 November 2005

NL Cy Young to Carpenter

Well, it wasn't Dontrelle.

Chris Carpenter wins NL Cy Young. Now, if Dontrelle played somewhere else than Miami, would he have won? Hmmm.

09 November 2005

NL and AL Managers of the Year

My first miss:

Ozzie Guillen (CHW) and Bobby Cox (ATL) named Managers of the Year.
Maybe I just like Eric Wedge because he used to be a catcher in the Red Sox system. Ah well. He did come in second.

Baseball Musings 11/9/2005

Kind of slow in the "actual things" happening in baseball right now, but lots of crazy rumors, including...

A's to San Jose?. San Jose has bought an abandoned sausage factory and thinks this gem will lure the A's down to San Jose from Oakland. Well, before Jerry Browne sends his brownshirts to keep the A's in town, a highly placed source in Oakland says that its not going to happen. Expansion then?

New Red Sox GM will be ... Theo? Rumors are rampant that Theo may replace Theo. That would surprise me, but after Macha and the A's did a similar dance, maybe its the new trend: quit and then reconsider. However, as Gordon Edes says in his blog from the GM Meetings: "The Theo-back-to-Boston rumors? Right now, it remains only wishful thinking, even if 99 percent of the Sox organization would take him back in a heartbeat. Nothing has been set in motion that would lead to Theo's return." And, of course, Dan Shaughnessy tries to get back into the mess, but should just be ignored if we know whats best for us.

Rocco Baldelli gets 6 years/$33 million from the D-Rays What? Huh?

Neifi Perez reups with the Cubs Whoppee! Like, I said, slow week.

More Sox GM News The Red Sox are apparently interviewing a lot of people, including Jim Bowden of the Nationals (ugh), Jim Beattie, formelly of the O's (ugh), Chris Antonetti, asst GM of the Indians, Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays along with all the internal candidates like Jeremy Kapstein, Jed Hoyer and Peter Woodfork.

08 November 2005

AL Cy Young

3 for 3! Colon wins Cy Young. The question becomes: Is Bartolo is the fattest Cy Young winner ever? Way to go Fat Sack of Crap Jr.!

07 November 2005


2 for 2!

Street wins AL ROY, Howard wins NL ROY.

Baseball Musings 11/7/2005

Here is my NL ROY argument, as I've been getting some flack about picking Howard:

for 2005

Wee Willy Taveras (OF-HOU) - .291/.325/.341 for an OPS of .666 (ha!). Good numbers, but of his 172 hits in 592 AB, he had 20 extra base hits. That leads to an EXAVE of .034! Also, you ideally want a leadoff/#2 hitter to have an OBP of >.325.

Big Ryan Howard (1B-PHI)- .288/.356/.567 for an OPS of .921. Admittedly, it was in 280 fewer AB than Taveras (312), but Howard had 41 extra base hits in that, leading an EXAVE of .128, a full 3.8 times higher than Taveras.

and for kicks,

Jumping Jeff Francoeur (OF-ATL)- .300/.336/.549 for an OPS of .884. Jeff's numbers were in only 257 AB. He had 35 extra base hits in those 257 AB, leading to an EXAVE of .136, not too much higher than Howard's, and negated by Jeff lower OBP.

So, there you have it, why I like Ryan Howard. Of course, who knows where he'll be playing next year thanks to Jim Thome.

06 November 2005

Award Picks 11/6/2005

Here are my picks for the 2005 Awards, before they start coming next week.

AL ROY: Huston Street (RP-OAK)
NL ROY: Ryan Howard (1B-PHI)
AL Cy Young: Bartolo Colon (SP-ANA)
NL Cy Young: Dontrelle Willis (SP-FLA)
AL MVP: David Ortiz (1B/DH-BOS)
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (1B-STL)
AL Mananger: Eric Wedge (CLE)
NL Manager: Bobby Cox (ATL)

04 November 2005

Music Musings 11/4/2005

Oh yes, I'm supposed to write about music too!

New to my iPod:
Wedding by Annie - I heart Annie. I don't know why. I just do. This track from her DJ Kicks album is much less poppy and more clubby, which is good.
Tanglewood Numbers by Silver Jews - There is just something enjoyable about this rootsy/country indie rock. See my upcoming review on TIG.
The Campfire Headphase by Boards of Canada - Honestly, I haven't spent much time with this yet. I will.
One Way Ticket... by the Darkness - Yes, new Darkness. They must have subliminal suggestion in all their songs, as I can't find a single reason why I like them so much.
My Boyfriend's Back by the Raveonettes - Cute.
Play by David Banner - Can someone explain to me how this is a Top 40 hit? It's got to be the raunchiest song I've heard since Flower by Liz Phair. Man, it just makes me blush when I'm driving.

My most recent TIG reviews:
Invisible - Invisible
Mon Frere - Real Vampires EP
Xiu Xiu - La Foret
Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir

Baseball Musings 11/4/2005

Here we go!

Brian Lawrence (SP) to Washington, Vinny Castilla (3B) to San Diego - Four main things fall out of this trade: (1) Sean Burroughs is not long for the Padres. Look for him to head to Minnesota or Pittsburgh or Boston; (2) It's very hard to believe that in any trade, the team getting Brian Lawrence is the winner. Well, at least he eats innings (I've never really understood that phrase. Heck, I could eat many an inning myself); (3) If this is an example of Kevin Towers trading prowess, I'd like to pass on him becoming GM of the Red Sox; (4) Ryan Zimmerman becomes the Nats third basemen. This I like.

Yankers corner the market on ex-managers - The Yankers now have Joe Torre as manager, Larry Bowa (formerly Phillies mananger) as third base coach, Tony Pena (formerly Royals manager) as third base coach and Lee Mazzilli (formerly Orioles manager) as bench coach. Never has a team had so many chefs ... and we all know where that leads.

Matt Lawton, busted - Hmmm. Again, what are the benefits of the 'roids if your year-end line is .254/.356/.396?

Sox resign Mike Timlin - This is good, as long as (a) he doesn't close and (b) never has inherited runners. His ERA with no runners on: 0.90. Runners on: 3.57. RISP with 2 outs: 5.14! Thats not what you need from your #1 bullpen man.

Padres hire Glenn Hoffman as third base coach - How did I miss that Glenn and Trevor Hoffman are brothers?

Finally, Sean McAdam has a good summary of the free agent market this winter.

02 November 2005

Baseball Musings 11/2/05

I know, I know, I promised no more Theo-related info, but too bad. Red Sox owner John Henry takes the blame for Theo leaving in today's Sox press conference, and says Lucchino did not force him out. Theo also denies that the Globe article had anything to do with his decision, but makes it clear that the article was a travesty.

And for those of you who enjoy Boston media, transcript from the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI. They had Curt Schilling on the line and played back some of Dan Shaughnessy's earlier interview:

Shaughnessy: You got Curt Schilling’s take on this thing the day after it comes down. Why is that? Is that because you guys have a relationship because of the show? And I got to read Curt say that he picked up the Sunday paper and knew that was a lie. Tell Curt to go ask the people who paid him $13 million to win eight games last year about that situation. Maybe they can explain it to him.

Schilling: Wow… that’s awesome. (Shaughnessy tape: Tell Schill I love him). That’s good stuff. You know what… I mean Dan knows that I think he’s a tired act and I don’t like him and he doesn’t like me, so take that for what it’s worth unfortunately or fortunately I’m not in the minority in that situation. Dan is Dan.

On to other news...

The Phillies introduced Pat Gillick as their new GM. Gillick arrives after stints with the Orioles and Mariners, leading both teams to the playoffs in the late 90s and early 00s. He's a sharp baseball mind, albiet not a "new generation" type, but hopefully he can right the Phillies. They have a lot of talent (Abreu, Utley, Burrell, Floyd, Madson to name a few). Look for the Phillies to make a move in the East next season.

Arod is supposed to stay away from illegal poker houses, according to Yankers sources. Ah, maybe this is where Arod gets so far into debt to the mob that he has to throw the playoffs. Oh wait, no, thats just his sub=.200 playoff hitting.

Everyday Eddie Guardado will be back with the Mariners next season (unless they trade him). He was pretty sharp last year for a guy pitching through an injury all season: 2.72/1.19/3.20.

Moneyball is over! Scott Hatteberg had his option declined by the A's. Of course, they way Billy Beane works, he'll have Hatteberg back in the fold by next week. Of course, Hatty's 30 point drop in OBP might sour Beane to him. Also, the A's hired Gerald Perry as their hitting coach.

Oh yes, and the Gold Glove Winners were announced. Winners included the first Red Sox (Jason Varitek) since Tony Pena in 1991 and still wildly overvalued Derek Jeter (just as the BP crew what they think of Jeter's defense).

01 November 2005

Final Theo Thoughts 11/1/05

Bill Simmons does an excellent job of wrapping up the Theo Fiasco, although I think he underestimates Theo's baseball prowess a bit. Now we can begin the process of guessing who comes next, and whoever it is has the toughest act to follow up in Boston since 1919.

Gammons weighs in for the second time in 2 days (Insider). "The mistake would be to try to win the 2006 world championship in December and January. This is an organization with a lot of talent close to the major leagues, and it needs to integrate Jonathan Papelbon, Lester, Hansen, Edgar Martinez, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia into the equation in 2006. With the right trades, the Red Sox can make their run in 2006, and by 2007 be in position to be the best team in the division for a five-year run."

Theo Musing 11/1/05

Who would have thought that this failed trade may have brought down the Sox and Epstein.

To Boston: Larry Bigbie, Ryan Sheely
To Colorado: Kelly Shoppach, Abe Alvarez, Adam Stern

It seems now that Theo just didn't want the pressure and agony of running his childhood team. As a friend of mine said "Why would anyone turn down 1.5 million per to do a job most baseball fans would do for free?" I suppose that speaks volumes about why Theo might have walked away. Fans like us would do it for free because its perceived to be a fun job, like running your fantasy team, but in Boston, where the media is constantly hounding every little move ("How dare they not bring up Roberto Petagine? Theo is a idiot" seems familiar), the joy and excitement of running the Sox must have been lost. I hope Theo finds a situation more to his liking, but we'll always be thankful for what he brought to New England after so many other people failed.

31 October 2005

More Epstein fallout

Peter Gammons take is that Theo just didn't like the job anymore. (Insider Article). He also suggests Gerry Hunsicker or Dave Dombrowski as possibly successors, neither of which thrill me too much.

Sean McAdam reports much the same thing, except placing more of the blame on Larry Lucchino and the now imfamous Boston Globe article.

Baseball Musings 10/31/05, Part II

Well, the Red Sox got a trick they sorely didn't need today. Even after the Boston Globe reported the deal done, Theo Epstein resigned as GM of the Red Sox. Supposedly his office is empty and he's left Fenway Park. I'm sure the Boston media will have a lot of speculating to do about how this happened, but most signs point to Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, who seems to like to drive people out of town. But we may never know what caused Epstein, the GM that brought the Sox back to the promised land, to resign. Will the Red Sox continue to follow the "Moneyball" philosophy? Or have they returned to the Yawkey-era "bow to the players" mantra? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Read the Globe article that supposedly pushed Theo over the edge.

Baseball Musings 10/31/05

First off, The Red Sox
Can they do anything without drama?

Epstein signs - See? I told you so. 3 years/~$1.5 million. Now we can get down to business ....

Manny Manny Manny - 2 weeks ago, I was the staunches supporter of Manny staying next year. The guy is possibly the best right handed hitter in baseball, and thats hard (no, impossible) to replace. However, after his latest (leaked) demand to be traded or he won't show up for Spring Training, it seems like Manny's tenure with the Sox is over. Much like the Seattle Monorail Fiasco, Manny has taken it one step too far in his on-again/off-again relationship with the Sox. I hate to see him go anywhere else in the AL, but that may be the case. He has 10/5 rights to veto any trade and has already said he wants to go to Los Angeles (of Anaheim) or Cleveland. Cleveland is unlikely with the money involved, but Arturo Moreno likes hispanic superstars and has deep pockets. Maybe the Sox can get Ervin Santana, Casey Kotchman and Darin Erstad (+ PTBN?) for Manny. Even with thats, its hard to replace a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Other MLB News

dePo gets canned - The first Moneyball failure? Thats what some writers want to call it. Instead, I think Dodgers owner Frank McCourt hired dePo as a trendy move towards the "moneyball" movement. However, he then surrounded himself with old school advisors like Tommy LaSorda who likely bristled at dePo's moves (trade Paul LoDuca? But he's a gamer!) If there anything we can learn from Moneyball, its that you can't change a team overnight, but the Dodgers weren't willing to wait, especially with free spending (and successful) Arturo Moreno making the Angels big SoCal winners. dePo will end up somewhere, whether as an assistant to Billy Beane or Epstein, or maybe even in Tampa Bay, but you have to feel bad for the lack of a real chance he had to make the Dodgers respectible again.

Cashman reups - Nothing negates a hatred for your boss like big money.

Roger McDowell becomes Braves pitching coach - Most of my memories of Roger McDowell, besides being an OK relief pitcher (think the late 80s/early 90s version of Mike Timlin), is that he was a nut. Interesting to see how he compares to ever-serious Leo Mazzone, eh?

28 October 2005

Baseball Musings 10/28/2005

First things first: it's the offseason!

And considering I'm always looking for lists like this, here are the 206 players eligible for free agency. Players must file before 11/10. Among the 62 who filed on the first day were Paul Konerko (1B), Billy Wagner (RP), Kevin Millar (1B, RF), Bill Mueller (3B), Benjie Molina (C), Mike Piazza (C/1B) and A.J. Burnett (SP).

A few players exercised their options or had their team option exercised for 2006, including (player option) Moises Alou, Ray Durham, LaTroy Hawkins and (team option) Jason Schmidt and Randy Winn (sorry San Fran, you're not getting any younger).

GM Watch
Red Sox: Looks like Theo Epstein could sign by today. Like I said, the non-story of the year (well, possibly after the idea that Karl Rove could be indicted. He makes teflon look sticky). Oh yes, and note to the Red Sox management: I also have a degree in history from a small liberal arts school, i.e., prime Assistant GM material. Meanwhile...

Diamondbacks: Red Sox Assistant GM Josh Byrnes will be named GM. Again, another younger whipper-snapper taking the helm of a team. With the Jon Daniels being named GM of the Rangers, I think the average age of new GM this offseason is 32.5 years old.

Stadium Name Watch
For those of you who don't keep up with Money Magazine, SBC Communications and AT&T recently merged. What does this mean to you? Well, San Francisco's SBC Park (formerly Pac Bell Park) will likely change it's name again. I can't wait! Combine that with the name changes for the Oakland-Alameda/Network Associates/MacAfee Coliseum in Oakland, and the Bay Area is leagues ahead in ridiculous stadium name changes.

Favorite news wire article headline
It speaks for itself:
Schmuck becomes BBWAA president.

26 October 2005

World Series Musings -- Chisox Wins!

Congratulations Chicago White Sox!

If this was not one of the most dominant runs in the postseason, I don't know what is. 11-1 with 4 CG and 2 sweeps. Jeez. So now the Cubs must bear the burden of the uber-curse.

Game 4 was a great game for people who like baseball. Backe and Garcia were on fire (although Buck and McCarver only seem to notice Backe ... more on them below): they just made hitters on both sides look goofy. It wasn't until Lidge came in that the Chisox squeaked their way through with Willie Harris and Jermaine "MVP" Dye. The Astros offense just shut down, no hits in the last 29 AB in Game 4 and no runs in over 13 innings over Games 3 and 4. Jermaine Dye might have been the best Free Agent signing of 2005, and after no one really wanted him, he goes and has the highest BA in the World Series ever (.438) and topped it off with the World Series MVP. He deserves it.

In the Astros defense, Brandon Backe was great and he will be great in 2006. One thing to ponder: Brandon Backe was acquired by the Astros in a trade with for ... yes, Geoff Blum. Now, if this trade doesn't happen, do the Astros win the Series? Blum doesn't hit the HR in game 3, Astacio starts Game 4 for the 'Stros and Wandy Rodriguez throws in the 14th in Game 3. Hmmmm... OK, maybe not.

Back to the White Sox: How clutch was Juan "Mr. October" Uribe defensively? In the ninth inning, not only did he dive into the stands to get the 2nd out, but he also made an amazing grab on the bouncer over Jenks head to throw out Orlando Palmiero. Combine that with his great throw in the bottom of the 8th and he should get an assist for Jenks' save of Game 4. (As Peter Gammons said "The role of Derek Jeter tonight will be played by..." Of course, I think any comparision to Jeter is an insult to Uribe).

By the way, notice how eerily similar Game 4 of 2005 ended to Game 4 of 2004? Man on second, 2 out, bouncer back to the mound. Jenks didn't have the vertical to snowcone it like Foulke did last year, but the result was the game. Sox win the series. (Just no eclipse this evening). First back-to-back sweeps by different teams since 1989/1990 (Cincinnati and Oakland).

So again, congratulations to the Chicago White Sox. "Chicago, go crazy!" as the Chisox radio guys said at the end of the game.

(P.S. McCarver and Buck are TERRIBLE. McCarver just repeats himself over and over and over. How many times did he say that Garner hoped that Ensburg would "run into one" to break his slump. Then, to top it off, in the 9th, McCarver said something to the effect of "The Astros have advanced men to 2nd, to 3rd, but not home." Well, duh, the game was 1-0 White Sox. Thank you Announcer Obvious. Joe Buck just lapped up McCarver's garbage all night long. At least I read that Fox's contract is up next year. We can only hope.)

(P.S. #2 Will Guillen retire? Remember he did say he would retire if the Chisox won the Series. Hmmm.)

Baseball Musings, 10/26/2005

World Series Game 3 Musings

Game 3 was long. I had enough time to leave work, go to a Pakistan Earthquake relief fundraiser (a series of short films), head to Whole Foods, come home and still watch 2 hours of baseball. Now that's long.

First, the good: The Chisox bullpen (after Politte, Cotts and Hermanson in the 8th) were lights out. How lights out? 6 IP, 0 hits, 0 R, 8K. Of course, they did issue 8 BB too, but none of them hurt. And heck, the Astros bullpen was great until they threw in their 2 #5 starters in the 14th: 7.1 IP, 2 hits, 0 R, 7K and 2 BB, lead by Chad Qualls who was just nasty for 3 innings. Ozzie Guillen must be in tune with the universe for using Geoff Blum in the double switch with Iguchi/Jenks instead of Pablo Ozuna. I've always liked Geoff Blum, he can play whatever position you want and doesn't have a terrible bat ... well at least better than Ozuna's (.251/.314/.391 career vs. .271/.307/.331 career). And Ozzie going to Mark Buehrle, in his first relief appearance since 2000, to close it out? Why the heck not? It worked and now Ozzie and the boys can be sipping champagne as early as this evening. And does anyone else think that Bobby Jenks is a golden-armed, younger version of Bob Wickman?

The bad: Ezequiel Astacio just fell apart after giving up the HR to Blum. I mean, Astacio had 2 outs after an amazing double play and then just threw a really bad pitch to Blum. Suddenly its 6-5, but then to give up single, single, walk, walk to the next 4 hitters and its 7-5 is just terrible. And yes, the only option left for Houston, short of the Rocket or Pettitte was Wandy Rodriguez, but couldn't Scrap Iron get Rodriguez in there sooner? However, in Garner's defense, I did enjoy Fox showing Garner throwing his stool across the dugout after Blum's HR. Speaking of Fox, Tim McCarver is an idiot. After Blum's HR, he said something like "the White Sox play mistake-free baseball". They do, do they? 3 errors and 2 unearned runs worth of "mistake free baseball"? Come on Tim, what you really meant to say is that the Chisox capitalize on the Astros mistakes (like Astacio's pitch). And Joe, yes, we get it, the game is going long. How many times do you have to remind us? Ah, if only Fox didn't have World Series TV rights until 3012.

Game 4 Preview
Well, the Chisox could be WS champs tonight, exactly one year after the Red Sox won it. No lunar eclispse to portend victory this time though. Freddy Garcia vs. Brandon Backe, and I'd have to put my money on Garcia. Sox look like a team possessed and they win it tonight. Hopefully not at midnight Pacific, but they will win it nevertheless.

Other baseball musing

Larry Bowa (Third Base Coach) to the Yankees - Am I the only one amused by this? Yes, Bowa will be such a calming influence on the Yankees staff. Yes. That's it. Imagine if Torre did leave and they hired Big Lou Piniella? Wow, I'd love to see Piniella and Bowa on the same staff. Heck, why not hire Lloyd McClendon as first base coach? And Zombie Billy Martin as bench coach. Now that would be excellent.

The Theo Epstein Saga - If this isn't the biggest pile of Boston sport media bu*$#@it ever, I don't know what is. Epstein will be back. Ah Boston, calm down a bit, OK?

25 October 2005

Quick Game 3 Thoughts

The White Sox should thank me. I got home for the 9th, watched the game until the top of the 14th, only to turn the channel for 5 seconds to check the weather and flip back to find Geoff Blum in his HR trot. And honestly, if the Chisox can get game winning HR from Blum and Podsednik (heck, Ozzie might as well hit, he'd probably homer too), then nothing will stop them. More on game 3 tomorrow.

Baseball Extra

In BP-style...

Lowest Opp OPS - 2005
(Between 20 and 50 TB allowed)

1. M. Cain (SF) .479
2. J. Padilla (NYM) .489
3. C. Hensley (SD) .503
4. A. Rhodes (CLE) .532
5. B. Medders (ARI) .529
6. J. Taschner (SF) .566
7. M. Miller (CLE) .575
8. F. Cabrera (CLE) .592
9. J. Accardo (SF) .596
10. T. Corcoran (TB) .604

1. M. Gonzalez (PIT) .493
2. O. Moreno (NYM) .541
3. J. Crain (MIN) .551
4. K. Calero (STL) .552
5. J. Colome (TB) .604
6. R. Dempster (CHC) .610
7. R. Mendoza (BOS) .611
8. Y. Brazoban (LAD) .620
9. T. Williams (BAL) .630
10. R. Colon (ATL) .631

Change in the schedule

Well, after some consideration, I've decided to not have a politic day on this blog. Mostly, its because I find most political punditry useless and irritating, and I'd rather not add to that heaping pile of ... well, you know. Instead, I will add to the heaping pile of baseball punditry, with a little music mixed in.

And on that note, my message to the Democrats: GET OFF YOUR ARSES.

(I hope against hope for a Cheney indictment ... sigh ... I guess even if he were indicted, he'd disappear anyway, right?)

24 October 2005

Baseball Musings 10/24/2005

After a quality morning slicing rocks into tiny pieces ...

World Series Musing
When was the last time that a player with ZERO home runs during the regular season went on to hit TWO in the postseason, let alone a walk-off HR. Well, I guess the answer to that is 1 day ago, as Scott Podsednik made the Chisox look like the team that God doesn't want to have lose this postseason. Combine Pod's HR with the mysterious Jermaine Dye HBP that lead to Konerko's no-question-about-it Grand Slam off Chad Qualls, the Chisox may pull of a 2004 Red Sox and just wipe out the Astros in 4 afterall. Go figure. The Chisox have been getting timely hitting out of odd sources (Juan Uribe? Yes, he of .500BA, 2 RBI and a SB so far in the Series) and good pitching from almost everyone, especially Cliff Politte, off of 2 weeks rest, just made the 'Stros look silly - 11P, 8 for strikes, 1K before the Bobby Jenks Express hit a bit of a speedbump last night.

You have to feel bad for Brad Lidge. After all the press annointed him the best closer since sliced bread, he's given up 2 game-losing HR in his last two appearances. Maybe its the workload catching up with him, or maybe the sports media is just too giddy trying to find their Mariano-in-wating for the postseason (am I the only one who just doesn't care if the Yankers are in the postseason?). Lidge will bounce back next year, but he's lost a little bit of that infallibility that allowed the Astros to trade Billy Wagner and Octavio Dotel to let Lidge close.

And it could be a short series for the Astros consider their main offensive threat so far in the Series has been Berkman, Wee Willy Taveras and Bashing Brad Ausmus. Everybody else seems to have taken a vacation, even in a hitters park like US Cellular Field. With the series returning to Houston tomorrow, all the sports pundits are saying Houston will get back into it, but part of me thinks that the Astros may just roll over like the Cardinals last year (remember how much home field helped them against Petey and D-Lowe). The last few World Series have really shown that great pitching will dominate anyone, anywhere.

And so far, we seem to have few symptoms of Iguchi Fever (.125 BA). Ah well.
(Oh yes, and I wish Yahoo! wouldn't reset the player's stats for each series. Grrr).

Of course, to contradict everything I just said, my Game 3 Prediction (Garland vs. Oswalt): 3-1 Astros. Why? Oswalt is just that cool. Of course, if Pod gets up with RISP in the ninth, watch out!

22 October 2005

Wells to Seattle?

I fully endorse the likely totally unsubstianted speculation of David Wells going to Seattle. If the Sox could get a good, young, live arm (e.g., Piniero, Soriano, Nagoette) I'm all for it. And I'd love to see Wells partying in Pioneer Square.

21 October 2005

Baseball Musings 10/20/2005

As seen below: Chisox in 7.

I, for one, am impressed with the Chisox 4 straight CG wins in the ALCS. Ozzie Guillen is the coaching equivalent of last year's Red Sox Idiots.

Some coaching moves:
Leo Mazzone (Pitching Coach) to Baltimore - Never has so much press been dedicated to a pitching coach. And (almost) rightly so. At least he spurned the Yankers who, if we're lucky, will hire Steve Howe as their next pitching coach. What is Steinbrenner's obsession with hiring former Yankee players as coaches? I'm also perplexed by these coach-for-player moves. Atlanta acquired minor league pitcher Moises Hernandez from Baltimore in exchange for Mazzone. How does that make Leo feel when Big Lou Piniella cost Tampa Bay a pretty good major league outfielder (in the form of Randy Winn, who has now turned into Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba for Seattle).

Joe Girardi (Manager) to Florida - Maybe they're looking for some Eric Wedge magic, but heck, if the new qualification to manage is "Yankees bench coach," the Marlins ownership might have wanted to check with Baltimore about their previous manager, former Yankees bench coach Lee Mazzilli. I get the impression they weren't too happy with him.

Dale Sveum (Third Base Coach) to Milwaukee - Gasp! Does this leave an opportunity for the return of Wendell "Wave 'em in" Kim to Boston? *edit - Sadly, the answer is no. Sox announced DeMarlo Hale as the new third base coach. Hale spent the last few years as the same for the Texas Rangers.

Brian Price (Pitching Coach) to Arizona - Musical pitching coaches these days. Hopefully he'll have better luck with Halsey, Valverde and the other young Arizona pitchers than he did in Seattle with Meche, Piniero, Soriano, etc.

Music Update 10/21/2005

So, here are some of my recent additions to Ipod-land:

Xiu Xiu - La Foret : 4/5 - If you want to be frightened and sad, you'll love this. Think Bjork meets Aphex Twin and Bright Eyes.
Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir: 3/5 - Oddly quaint.
Adam & the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier: 4/5 - Classic. Dirty.
Metric - Live It Out: 3.5/5 - Less dancy, more rocky. Emily is great though.
Franz Ferdinand - You Can Have it So Much Better: 5/5 - Mere brilliance, that's all.

Some new tracks I enjoy these days:
Madonna - Hang Up - See earlier post. Oddly hyponotic. You can hear it on her website.
Bloc Party - Two More Years - More gems. Like a freaking mine. You can watch the video for "Two More Years" along with a bunch of other Bloc Party stuff on their website
Interpol - Slow Hands (Dan the Automator Remix) - Still good stuff 1 year down the road. (Preview in the iTunes store)
Keane & Faultline - Goodbye Yellowbrick Road - Sadly, quite good. (Preview in the iTunes store)
The Strokes - Juicebox - Not to be picky, but this seems a bit like the Strokes trying to catch up with Franz Ferdinand. Mind you, not a bad song, just, well, pedestrian. Luckily you can judge for yourself in the news section of the Strokes website.

Future versions will have more details, but Lauren is impatient today.
If you're bored, you can read my latest reviews on the excellent Three Imaginary Girls.
Stellastarr* - Harmonies for the Haunted
Feist - Let It Die

Hyvaa Paivaa! En puhu soumea? Anteeksi!

Well, enough with introductions I say.

A few parting shots across the bow:

1. Yes, Joe Morgan should be fired. So should Skip Bayless. So should Steve Lyons. So should Joe Buck. So should Tim McCarver. *edit - How did I forget my current enemy #1, none other than the poor man's Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg. Somebody explain why these HOF 2B are such terrible analysts?
2. You heard it here first: Chisox in 7, walkoff by Iguchi. We'll all have Iguchi Fever right before the Avian Flu.
3. You heard it here, well, maybe third or fourth: Manny stays in Boston. However, Foulke doesn't. If Epstein learned anything from Billy Beane is that closers are a dime a dozen. (Oh yes, this means Epstein stays too).
4. Madonna + ABBA = good. The math seems flawed, but I can't find the error.
5. Tom DeLay makes Ollie North looks like saint-material. Mark my words, DeLay has no soul, or, at least, possibly Dick Cheney's resold soul.
6. If I hear another "Houston we have a problem" play of any sort in relation to the World Series, I will be violently ill. It's almost as bad as the "Manny being Manny" pandemic.

Thats all for now.