Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Tale of One City

Subtitle: A Tale of Two Teams (Juxtaposition-wise)

Recent phone call:
Lesser Team (LT): Hello?
Bronx Bastards (BB): Listen, we need your outfielder.
LT: Yes sir. Anything you say sir.
BB: Oh, and we need a relief pitcher as well.
LT: Yes sir.
BB: We understand that Nady guy is available.
LT: Well we are about to see if he has worth in the market so…
BB: We’ll take him.
LT: You don't understand
BB: What? What did you say?
LT: I'm sorry sir.
BB: You bet your ass you're sorry. Now let's start again. We'll take Nady.
LT: Yes sir.
BB: And throw in that Marte guy. He’s of no use to you anymore.
LT: But…
BB: Listen to me; do you know who I am?
LT: Yes sir. Sorry sir.
BB: That’s better. I see Nady’s in today’s game. Take him out now.
LT: But it’s early in the game and…
LT: Yes sir.
BB: Are we clear?
LT: Crystal sir. Sorry sir.
BB: That's more like it!
LT: Uh, sir?
BB: What is it now? I have no time for this.
LT: Yes sir, I understand sir, but would you please tell me if we'll get something in return?
BB: OF course we'll compensate you. What do you think we are, heartless? Is that what you're saying?
LT: No sir, of course not I was just wondering...
BB: Stop sniveling. I’ll send some minor leaguers over to you. Look I have to go, my sushi is getting warm.
LT: Thank you sir (click) Sir? Sir? Gosh, I can’t believe I just talked to one of the legends of the game.

Cross-town Scenario:

There’s a long fly ball down the left field line. It hits the foul pole, home run. Carlos D of the Flushing Good Guys (FGG) has hit a homer and, wait a second, wait a second. The BBs are complaining. Let’s listen in:
“Do you know who we are? – Yes sir. And do you know who they are? Yes sir. That was a foul ball – Yes sir. Now get back to your positions and let’s play baseball. Yes sir”
Well it appears as though I was mistaken, as was the entire baseball world and the replay cameras and all the announcers, it was a foul ball.

Well we’re in the 13th inning of a tie game with St. Louis. Jose R was just robbed by the left fielder Schumaker on great catch I think or at least according to the umpire who frankly did not even bother to check and Endy C is up for the FGGs. He hits a grounder between second and third that will be a tough chance for the defense. The throw and he is safe by a foot! Nice try. No wait a second, wait a second, I was wrong, he’s out. Once again I and the entire baseball world and the instant replay cameras were wrong and a lowly out of position possibly moronic or corrupt umpire was right. By the way the FGGs proceeded to load the bases before grounding out without scoring so if the correct call had been made the FGGs would have won it in the 13th inning instead of losing it in the 14th but hey, they’re the FGGs not the BBs!

Another One Bites the Dust

This week another war criminal was captured. This time it was Former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic. There really is no question that this man was and is a bad man and deserving of whatever punishment the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague can levy upon him. You can read his full story many places or you may click the link provided herewith to a CNN news item on the web.
After his capture was announced and his imminent trial scheduled it was reported that other such war criminals should consider themselves on notice. Eventually they will be captured and placed in custody so that Humanity to decide their fate.
But unfortunately this is not a completely true statement. While many war criminals are caught and brought to justice others brainlessly leave office with undeserved and massive oil fortunes while planning their Presidential Libraries.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Specialist Schmecialist

Specialists can be important but they can also get you in trouble. A jack of all trades is better in many cases than a specialist as long as he or she is proficient at the trades they cover.
Baseball philosophy has evolved to dictate that pitchers no longer complete their own games. Instead of taxing their arms or asking them to do that which they were trained to do a specialist reliever is brought into almost every game as it enters the late innings. This practice has taken the brain out of managing a game and placed it in the hands of efficiency experts. It is this brainless automatic thinking that has ruined teams such as the Mets for years and will continue to do so until and unless they realize their stupidity.
Merely because a ‘closer’ was hired is no reason to ask him to pitch each and every 9th inning that involves a ‘save’ possibility. And by the same token you do not have to put a so-called ‘set-up’ man in to pitch the 8th inning. What’s next a specialist for the 7th inning only? Pretty soon you will have 9 pitchers per game. Heaven forbid the game is tied after 9 innings!
The Mets threw away a beautiful performance by their 27 million dollar man, Santana by taking him out of the game in the 9th inning. He had thrown just over 100 pitches and most likely had at least another 25 or 30 good tosses left before he tired. For his salary I would expect nothing less than 125 pitches as long as he was not in trouble.
But trouble is what teams ask for when they switch pitchers merely because the inning is late or the reliever is called a closer.
A simpler – smarter solution to the stupid practice of set-up to closer to loss would be to allow the pitcher who ended the previous inning one more batter. If he gets the out then he pitches to the next batter. Doing this you have a better chance for a victory.
By the same token if your starting pitcher has been removed for whatever reason then the relief pitcher should be evaluated the same way. Just because he was good yesterday does not mean he will be good today.
Met manager Jerry Manuel committed both sins yesterday as he gave away a game he should have had in the bag by removing Santana while still strong and dominant and giving the ball to an incredibly shaky Duaner Sanchez. Sanchez immediately loaded the bases and the rest is history. Manual should be just that, manual and not automatic!
The excuse used for the trio of losing relievers was that the normal closer, Billy Wagner was out with a slight injury. The solution therefore should have been to stay with the starter until he was in trouble. But this team never takes the logical way out.
And speaking of specialists, what do you call a man whose only job is to coach runners around third base? In the case of the Mets you may call him a moron. He made 2 decisions last night and both cost the team runs as the man (Endy Chavez both times) was thrown out at home plate.
Specialists have their place in the world but sometimes others are more special.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Insurance - Part 1 - Auto

There is a funny e-mail circulating these days about illegal aliens and the benefits they receive. When I say funny I do not mean hah hah funny but rather sad funny. It is actually a real letter sent to Senator Harkin by one of his constituents. If you have not received it as yet you may link here:

Many parts will ring true and some of us may really get angry at parts of it but, hey this is America - Love it or leave it.

One part I enjoyed was about the insurance industry as that has always been a bugaboo for me.

Auto insurance is a mandated form of payment to large corporations so that they may send you a form letter at some time in the future stating that whatever it is you are claiming is no longer covered and if you continue to bother them they will drop you.

You naturally respond with the question, "Then why should I even have insurance?" And the trained response is "For peace of mind.”
And why not take a piece of this while you're at it?

My son does not like to drive and does not have a car of his own. However he is back from college now and since he has a license I have the obligation to tell the crooks, I mean insurance comapny that he has the opportunity to get behind the wheel of his mom’s car. When I added him to my auto insurance policy the lovely people at Geico informed me that even though he does not have a car and may never drive he still can. So they insisted on my placing a percentage against his name as to how much he might drive. I repeated that he is not a percentage anywhere but they insisted that they had to put a number against his name or the policy could not written, or rather re-written. I gave in, naturally and offered a 10% maximum figure and placed him on the oldest car we have, a 2000 Honda Accord. Geico sent me my new policy and it lists my “may never drive” son as a possible driver and increased the six-month policy by $450. To put that in perspective my wife is on the policy at $440.00 and she drives every day.

According to our government you must have insurance or you are breaking the law. Once again the laws are in place to protect the corporations against loss of money and to keep the rest of in line so as to not bother them. If you are making me buy insurance by law shouldn’t the insurance I buy be regulated? Wouldn’t it be logical to keep an eye on the insurance companies a little, JUST A LITTLE?
How naïve I am. Of course our government is keeping an eye on them. How else can they see the kick-backs when they receive them?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

American Ingenuity Lags Behind Everyone

I am constantly ranting and complaining about how big business and the government officials in their pockets do nothing to help the average citizen or the environment. I am sure many other people do the same. The problem is we are not heard and certainly not heeded.
For years in this country it was thought that what is good for General Motors, or some other large corporation is good for America. The phrase was coined by Charles Wilson, President of, surprise, General Motors over fifty years ago. And our elected officials have continued the myth making sure they kowtowed to big business at every turn lest they not receive the big bucks in return.
Right now as we end the double term of the most criminal bunch of phony non-elected leaders of this country we can look back on the worst eight years of our country’s history, and I am including the Civil War and the Depression. Those were historical eras were brought on by conditions that were arguable beyond the control of sane individuals. These are hysterical times brought on by the insane leaders of our time.
We are in the midst of an energy crisis the likes of which may change the course of history forever and the best the morons in DC can come up with is to drill for more fossil fuel to pollute the Earth and melt the already shrinking polar ice caps. The bottom line is about profit and greed. The ruling party has made billions of dollars over the last eight years and stands to make billions more as time goes by.
And no one is stopping them.
But they are stopping all efforts to the contrary!
Don’t believe me?
I have said it before and I will now repeat myself, rent the movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car.” Or better yet, look to India and Tata Motors for a solution that is not being allowed into our country until Bush and his bastard friends can think of a way to capture the profits for themselves and their scum friends.
The automotive Indian forward thinkers have come up with a car that runs on air!
Wanna hear it again?
Okay, The Indians and the French have invented cars that run on AIR. They use compressed air and at the moment it costs around two dollars for filled compressed air cylinders capable of taking the vehicle ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILES. This equates to well over Three Hundred Miles per price of a gallon of ARAB & BUSH/CHENEY OIL.
For a wonderful video on the French version click the following link to a “you tube” presentation.
The car may be filled at a compressed air station or by plugging it in to an electric outlet in your home for approximately four hours. Both methods should cost around two dollars. A hybrid version will be able to get from Los Angeles to New York, or vice versa ON ONE TANK OF GAS!
I can hear those rag heads yelling and screaming to Allah as we speak! But they have nothing to fear since Americans will never be allowed to own these ‘World saving’ vehicles as long as they do not pay homage to the likes of Exxon/Mobil.
Angelo Dipietro of Melbourne, Australia has invented an incredibly light weight air engine that makes the French one look wasteful. That is also on the ‘you tube’ video link above. The Indian version is on the road over there already and you can see and read about it by lining here: Do yourselves a favor and click and drool.
Will Washington ever wake up? What makes you think they were asleep? They are still urging us to allow drilling for more oil while the American oil companies are trying to figure ways to steal the foreign technology for themselves. And still Americans rant and rant but in the end we lose. Perhaps it’s time to leave this ridiculous country and head overseas for some Fosters and clean air, right mate?