Monday, July 31, 2006

Can't buy me happiness

A good article by Suze Orman on how money has been talked down way too much in the role it plays in our happiness. She makes some good points, nothing earth shattering, but a good counter argument to that sugary, Ricki Lake-type nonsense of money not "being that important."

Trade Deadline

This is one of my favorite times in the baseball season. All the speculation, all the imagined trade scenarios, it's like a video game - every GM trying to get as much as they can from everyone else and hoping it works out.

The Cubs traded Maddux and Walker and got a young arm and a gold-glove SS/2B that I assume will play 2B (Izturis).

I guess that's not bad, considering they weren't going anywhere this season. I assume this means Rich Hill will be in the rotation for the rest of the year now, which I think is a good idea.

The Mets were very active and pulled off a number of deals, it'll be interesting to see how that pays off (or not) in the playoffs.

Now the only rumors will surround waiver claims, and the Cubs may have a move left with Phil Nevin at 1B. Although, if they trade him, they have no one to take his place, unless they get a 1B back (Durazo, Pena, anyone?).

That is all. For the best coverage, check out Baseball America.


OK so Mindy and I finally got to go on our hot air balloon ride. This was supposed to be her birthday present a year ago, August 10th. So it's a year late but after all the shit I had to take to get this done (not from her, she was an angel about it), I finally did.

No, I did not get scammed. The weather just has to be perfect.
Yes, I already paid. It's standard practice.

Yes, it was awesome.

There were other people there who had waited over 2 years for it, too, which made me feel like I had brothers in this struggle to ride the balloon.

Was it scary?
Not really, but the only thing close to it happened on take off, when all of the sudden you just start going up and the ground starts to get further and further away from you. It kind of feels like when you go over one of "those" bumps on the highway that make your stomach kind of fly up into your chest and it tickles you, only different.

We also hit a couple of trees with the basket, and considering how high up we were, it was a little nerve racking. But the view was great, the people on there were great, and as a whole it was a fucking blast.

The pilot was very interesting, having ballooned in Katmandu, Australia, and all over the world. He's a real adventure type and he had some pretty amazing stories. He was British though he sounded Australian.

They have chase crews that follow on land to pick everyone up (and the balloon). It reminded me of caddies because it was mostly young, high schoolers. There is a high turnover and the pilot sometimes got annoyed with them because they didn't do things as he was used to.

I'll try to post more on this later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Why I like Ozzie sometimes

He's honest and speaks the truth. Plus, as evidenced by thisarticle, he isn't prone to that oh-so-common attitude of "We have to get big name to win, we need it."

Nope. Here's what Ozzie says about that:

''People ask me one question: 'What do you need to win this thing?''' Guillen said. ''You know what I say? 'Play better.' Because I believe in what I have here. And I know for a fact they are good. I know they are good because we did it before. If you don't have the talent and the people to do that, then it's hard. But we've got the people.''

Thank you.

The answer is PLAY BETTER, not go out and get another guy.


Getting Shown up in baseball

From an article about Guillen showing up his pitchers in front of cameras and fans:

The videotape of the confrontation between Guillen and Garland has been repeatedly replayed and conveys the manager may have been showing up the pitcher, which Van Slyke also found objectionable.

"Do I like what he does sometimes? No," Van Slyke said. "Would I like it if he showed me up like that in the dugout? No. I probably would have punched him. But I think the players have adjusted to his style and type of managing."

This is ridiculous. It just shows you how full of themselves players become once they get to the highest level of baseball. They get too big for their own good. They know nothing of humility and respect for authority. It's why you see minor leaguer Delmon Young throwing his bat at the umpire and guys almost getting into fistfights with managers (see the Hillenbrand debacle).

I've seen it in person too, especially when a player believes he's being talked down to from what he sees as a lesser player, baseball-wise. It's a fine line, but there should always be respect for the manager, no matter what. There are proper ways of airing these grievances. If you messed up so bad the manager is chewing you out, then look in the mirror. You probably brought it on yourself.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Barry Bonds in deep shit

So now he's in trouble with the IRS, possibly for not reporting income he made from selling memorabilia on his website and "selling" autograph sessions in hotels and conference rooms.

Read about it here.

Anyway, after reading that I got curious about the types of stuff he sells on his site. Check that out here.

Look at the shit he's got on there.

$2000 for an autographed ASU jersey?
$800 for a signed hat?

I hate this guy more every day.

And by the way, I keep hearing this argument all over the place: "Lay off Barry, he's never failed a drug test and he's innocent until proven guilty, right? This is still America."

Sorry bub, but this is your fault for being lazy. Read the books that have been written about this and you'll see how obvious it is Bonds took steroids. But of course, people will decide to wait for the movie version, so until then they can just relish their ignorance.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Skip Bertman and Baseball Stuff

I was reading this article over at Baseball America about the most significant people in the game. It's a nice article, and it turns out Skip Bertman (former LSU coach and baseball legend—I actually went to his summer baseball camp) is on the list. I liked this part the best:

Bertman's philosophy is best captured in a quote that ran every year with his biography in the Louisiana State media guide: "I've always believed that anything you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must, absolutely must, come to pass."

It reminds me of Think and Grow Rich, an old book I read recently about making the things you want happen. It too is big on visualization and really believing in order to succeed.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Urbina and Spanish/English stuff

Today I asked myself, "what ever happened to Ugueth Urbina, the Major League pitcher?"

Well, I knew he had been in a bit of trouble in Venezuela last year, but I never heard what happened last.

In case you don't know, some people got burned and wounded with machetes at his ranch and he's accused of doing it. He's in jail right now (I think, still, since I can't get the latest on the case).

But if you read all the news on it in English it's one thing. It reads like a standard news report.

But read the same news in Spanish and a different feeling comes over me: The WAY things are in Latin America.

Let's let Ugueth's words tell the story:

GÓMEZ: ¿Cuánto ha sufrido tu reputación por eso?

URBINA: Me imagino que será difícil volver a jugar béisbol nuevamente. Todos sabemos cómo son los norteamericanos. Yo simplemente estoy tratando de solucionar mis problemas y limpiar mi nombre lo mejor posible para poder regresar a los terrenos. Si no, me quedaré tranquilo en casa.

It's a very interesting interview and I don't have time to dissect it now but maybe later. Just read it and I think you'll get it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

High Pants or Low Pants?

The debate on how high or low to wear baseball pants rages on.

Me? As high as I can go, old school.

Cristal and rappers

Nice article about free advertising and the most referenced brands in popular music.

Mercedez was number 1.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Viagra Pro will charge your penis batteries.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What set off Zidane?

According to this article, he was called a "dirty terrorist." Does that make it any better?

Wednesday, July 5, 2006


I don't remember how long it's been since I began to show an interest in Golf, but I finally went out on my first round on an actual golf course, courtesy of Dr. Jerry Markowitz.

It was awesome. The results weren't so fantastic, but the green grass, the incredible look and feel of the course (s), it was a lot to take in and I loved every minute of it. As for the sport itself, I'm definitely hooked. It's incredibly addicting when you do well. Since it's such a tough sport, it humbles you a lot (in my case, it humbled me for 97% of my shots), which I like. But if you work hard and focus, it will reward you too, which I like.

It's a very tough sport and it's competition on a one-on-one level, which I don't get to do very often (baseball being a team sport and all). It's almost like pitching in that it's a one on one confrontation that feels so good when you win and so crappy when you don't. And also, you either win or you don't, you do well or you do horrible - rarely is there an in between. This high-risk, high-reward is something I like and aim to feed off of as I play golf more regularly.

Anyone out there have any tips now that I'm officially a beginner golfer?