Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Wisdom just oozes from my very pores, I tell you.
My new job is going fine, but the commute I've picked up along with it is free-time prohibitive, to say the least. My eight-to-ten hour workdays have been puncuated on either end by an hour and a half worth of travel by truck, bus, and BART train (and about two blocks worth of walking, too).
Working in downtown San Francisco has its perks and is a nice experience, but I cannot wait until January when I will be working in a different location. If my commute was something like 30 minutes each way, I'd be fine with it. As it stands now...
All of this means, of course, that the precious little free time I've had has not been spent here or on my Warriors site (which was a decent enough idea, but ended up being poorly timed). But, not gone, and not considering stopping writing, but I am for all intents and purposes simply too busy at the moment to do more than one entry per week.
So for those who still are visiting, thanks, and bear with me through the next month or so.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Was there for four days, and the most exciting time I spent up there was the time training for my new job -- looking at instructional videos, taking little mini-quizzes on the training modules I studied, and getting to know some of the products we sell.
What about gambling, you ask? Well, I gamble down here enough, thanks. Slots have always bored me to tears, and I've never been into roulette, craps, Pai Gow, Let it Ride, Keno, etc., etc., etc.
Of course, being pretty much broke could have influenced my feelings about gambling on this little trip. I would've at least played some blackjack, but I know better than that.
No, just waking up, going to work/training, eating lunch, finishing work/training, going back to the hotel, eating dinner, and going back to the room to read a book or study.
In any case, that's a large part of the reason posting has been non-existent this past week, so hopefully that ought to change a bit in the next day or three. I'll throw in my two cents on Ned Colletti's hiring by the Dodgers in a couple/few days, although I will tell you that his defection doesn't exactly evoke strong emotions in me on way or another.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tino Martinez is a free agent, and the sinking in my gut is paralleling Martinez' rise to the top of the Giants free agent 1st baseman list, I think.
Hey, you might call guessing, but I call it divination.
He's hits lefty. He has some power. He won't be expensive. He's old. He's won World Championships. He's from New York.
He's a veteran. He's savvy. He's salty. He's crafty. He's handsome. He was a Yankee.
And there is no way on God's green Earth that you could convince me that Brian Sabean won't covet him on some level.
Don't get me wrong -- it wouldn't be the worst move Sabean could make. If Martinez was guaranteed to put out the same production as last season (.249/.328/.439 with 17 homers, 49 RBI in 303 at-bats) in a platoon role with Lance Neikro, then I really don't think it'd be too bad. I'd rather have those Tampa Bay numbers from 2004, but then, I'd also like to win the lottery, too.
But he is 37, going on 38 within a month. While I realize Sabean has faith in the Fountain of Youth that has apparently been renamed McCovey Cove, I don't share the same faith, and I bite my nails whenever he signs anyone north of 35 years old.
(sigh) As long as he was cheap, I guess. Oh, yes, cheap. Think baby chickens. Cheap. The Yanks declined a three million dollar option they had on Tino, and the Giants should decline to pay him that much, too.
Two million, do I hear two? Sold! To the native East Coaster with the perpetual goatee!
You heard it here first, never forget.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Oh, and it's very nice being right. The Cubs and Neifi Perez agreed on a two-year, five million dollar deal on Tuesday, proving that every now and then, I'm spot-on (I made note of the timing of Neifi's improved play earlier this year -- just as opportunity presents itself, Neifi starts playing better ball until he hits a payday and is exposed). Neifi's pattern of pay-and-play is eerie. Let's follow along:
- Starts in Colorado, where he seemingly hits well in a big-time hitter's park. Before the year of his highest yearly salary to that point (4.1 million), he's traded to the Royals, who played in a pitcher's park. Neifi sucked, his numbers dropped, and he was waived.
- Picked up off waivers by the Giants, Neifi put up some decent offensive numbers (at least, for him) for a while right as Rich Aurilia was going through some injury troubles and the Giants had no real 2nd baseman. Nevermind that his numbers didn't end up good at all -- he had made himself useful and started off hot with the bat, impressing Giants GM Brian Sabean enough to...
- Give Neifi more money. Going from a four-year low of 1.5 million in 2003, Neifi parlayed his spurt of hitting and usefullness into a one-year, 2.75 million dollar deal. After almost doubling his salary, Neifi sucked, his numbers dropped, and he was released.
- Picked up as a free agent by the Cubs, Neifi put some decent offensive numbers (at least, for him) at the end of 2004 and for a while in 2005 right after Nomar Garciaparra was going through injury troubles and the Cubs had no real SS. Nevermind that his numbers didn't end up good at all -- he had made himself useful and started off hot with the bat, impressing Cubs GM Jim Hendry enough to...
- Give Neifi more money. Going from a six-year low of one million in 2005, Neifi parlayed his spurt of hitting and usefullness into a two-year, five million dollar deal. After more than doubling his salary...is there an echo in here?
- (we'll leave this bullet-point for 2006)
But, c'mon folks. Isn't that...eerie? The guy keeps saving himself by hitting a little at the exact right times -- when his new team needs it most. He hits a bit, makes himself useful defensively, and gets a raise, after which his promptly starts sucking again.
And the Cubs fell for it.
Monday, November 07, 2005
The Los Angeles Dodgers interviewed their first candidate for the vacant GM position yesterday. Let's break down some facts about this candidate, along with my shock level:
- The candidate isn't White. (shock level of 5.1)
- The candidate is Vietnamese. (shock level of 7.9)
- The candidate is a woman. (shock level of 12...must...release...pressure...argh!)
The story behind Kim Ng's interview is here, and you'd better believe it's required reading. There will be a quiz later.
None of those three points above should be taken to mean I am against any of those three things in a MLB GM. Far from it. They are simply to illustrate my utter and complete surprise that all three of those things were true about one candidate at the same time.
It isn't as if she's come out of the blue -- she was Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Yankees from 1998-2001, apparently, although this tidbit of interesting information must have somehow slipped by my network of informants. I've never heard of her before yesterday.
All of this causes me to root against her ever so slightly, however. Why? Because if she gets the job, I'll find it extremely difficult to root against her. I would want her to succeed. Thus, she can't get this job, but another one would be just fine and dandy -- outside of the NL West, please. This is the Dodgers we're talking about, you know. Wishing for the success of their GM would pose philosophical and moral conflicts within my being that I would be hard-pressed to overcome without risking my sanity.
At this time, the realist in me cannot see this as more than a PR move on the part of the Dodgers, what with bigger, more experienced names out there. However, the fact that she has been interviewed could be a gateway further down the line for either her or another woman to try for this type of position. It's only a single drop of water in the lake, but the ripple-effect is going to reach out and affect other things -- at least, one would hope.
Good job, Miss Ng.
Update: For those who might wonder what Miss Ng looks like, as well as wondering if there are other women in the pipeline to possibly become a GM down the road, go to this article, which was written at the time of Ng's hiring in Los Angeles. I now know there are two other women could become candidates in the near future.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
It's illegal in about 45 states to look this good.
Since I'm spending most of my blog-time currently over at my other site, Way of the Warriors, I'm obviously not spending as much time here.
But I don't want to neglect this site, so...Jessica Alba. Jessica Alba looking good. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Check it out, Way of the Warriors is another place I'll be doing some sports writing. And since it's brand new, please feel free to use the comments section to let me know what you think about how it looks -- and, of course, any comments about anything I've written. I've put up direct links to player stat pages for a little extra convenience, and plan to eventually link to all mainstream Warriors info, so that after reading an article there you can jump to any point to delve further into the team or check on something Warriors-related.
See ya there!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
But I did not know about Red Sox GM Theo Epstein resigning.
I'll touch on the former first. Firing a GM nowadays can't be seen as that big of a deal, especially after losing 90 or so games in a season. But this is the epitome of not only impatience, but has a hint of betrayal, too. What owner hires a guy, watches the guy build a division winner, then fires him after the very next season, disappointing as it may have been?
Sure, DePo made a lot of acquisitions that may have been head scratchers. But the Dodgers poor play this past season was not simply a function of having the wrong team -- rather, it was a function of not having the team DePodesta put together on the field together for long enough. Consider:
- J.D. Drew playing all of 72 games. Now, Drew's durability is something many of us (including myself) wondered about, but as far as the player himself goes, Drew put up the numbers he was supposed to. But it's hard to overcome the team's best overall hitter missing 80 games, right? Giants fans know a skoche about missing their best hitter for a while.
- Milton Bradley missing most of the season. Another player that was hitting well, but could do it for enough games to help the ballclub. Behind Drew and Jeff Kent, Bradley was the next best hitter -- and he missed about as many games as Drew did.
- Cezar Izturis missing time. While I'm not about to say this was a season-changing occurence in any way, Izturis too missed a large chunk of the season, and I'm sure that wasn't in DePodesta's plan.
- Eric Gagne making 14 appearances. I mean, are you starting to get the picture? While I'm not one of those who says a closer can make or break an entire season, Gagne is one of the best relievers around, period, and is one of the few who actually makes a significant contribution in terms of wins out of the bullpen. Well, at least he could've, if he was healthy.
- Odalis Perez both being injured and regressing. He missed 10+ starts, and wasn't the same pitcher as last season.
I could go on, but isn't that enough? While nary a tear has ever been shed by yours truly on behalf of the Dodgers, I'll give the DePodesta situation a confused headshake. One year removed from a division title, and with all of those huge injuries from their top players to contend with, there simply is no way he should've been fired. Couple this move with the firing of manager Jim Tracy only a couple weeks earlier, and there isn't any doubt that man at the helm of the Dodgers, owner Frank McCourt, has decided that he'd rather have the winds of fate guide his team than anyone with a plan. For any of us who've ever thought Giants ownership was poor in this or that situation, heh, complain no longer. At least we don't have that guy.
Epstein's situation is baffling as well. He walked away himself one year removed from putting together the team that won the World Series, and after a season that saw them reach the postseason to defend their title. Why?
Epstein and the Red Sox were in the middle of negotiations for a contract extension, apparently, but due to negotiation problems and other issues between the Red Sox front office and Epstein, couldn't come to an agreement.
I can't help but think that this is not only bad news for the Red Sox, but very bad timing, as well. They've got some flaws on their team to fix, a new trade-me-now rumour going around about Manny Ramirez, and now they're without a man to spearhead the efforts to solve those problems right as the offseason is starting to kick into gear.
The former Red Sox GM won't have the slightest of problems finding a new gig, I'm sure. Even if he doesn't take a job this season, I think it likely there will be another two or three vacant GM spots after the 2006 season.
Let's all hope the Dodgers don't pick up Epstein. That'd be...ewwww. Not good.