Random Ramblings: Wednesday Night #Comedy

If I suddenly had a full head of hair again, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Not a clue.

I wonder if anyone has ever been killed by a big sculpture. “Cause of Death: Art.”

It should be illegal to name someone William Williams, Robert Roberts or any other variation.

The gym parking lot should have mandatory workout stations.

I wonder what the longest URL ever was/is. Is there a limit? Could you put an essay before your “.com?”

If you haven’t been to a McDonald’s PlayPlace since you were a kid, do NOT go. You will be insanely jealous of how awesome they are now. 

Not sure I could ever get one of those car wraps to advertise while I’m driving. Because sometimes I am impatient with other drivers and make mean faces.* (*Understatement.)

I haven’t been to a banquet in a really long time. I haven’t received an award in a really long time. Connection?

Actually, I lied. I won my 2010 fantasy baseball league. And it was glorious. But no banquet.

Dear Guys Who Use an Electric Razor to Shave While Driving: So you just go around all day with little hairs all over your neck, shirt and pants?

Oh, Rick Springfield on a billboard. Your stubble makes you relevant.

If your company has a “combined 140 years of experience,” that means something. It means you can do math.

New Policy: If I see another driver picking his/her nose, I will hold up my phone to pretend I am snapping their picture.

I want to study the psychology of numbers that end in -9 and prices that end in $0.99.

Passed by “Ultimate Furniture.” Immediately imagined The Ultimate Warrior running from end to end at top speed and giving rambling speeches over the P.A. system.

When someone says to you “don’t be a stranger,” you should respond with “I couldn’t possibly be a stranger. I’ve been your nephew for 39 years.”


Fantasy baseball: Draft report

OK, so I had my draft this past Saturday night. (And on the heels of that last blog, it was pretty clear that this particular hobby will be taking a back seat to many things once the twins are born.)

Anywho, these were my keepers:

C: Dioner Navarro, TB, $7; Taylor Teagarden, TEX, $0 (Prospect)

1B: Albert Pujols, STL, $40

2B: Kelly Johnson, ATL, $11; Emilio Bonafacio, FLA, $1

SS: Alexei Ramirez, CHW, $10

3B: Ryan Zimmerman, WAS, $13

OF: Matt Kemp, LA, $25; Colby Rasmus, STL, $0 (Prospect)

SP: Matt Cain, SF, $14; Jered Weaver, LAA, $9; Max Scherzer, ARZ, $8; Jonathan Sanchez, SF, $5; Ubaldo Jimenez, COL, $4; Joe Blanton, PHI, $1; Jordan Zimmermann, WAS, $1; Shaun Marcum, TOR, $1 (will go straight to DL); Scott Elbert, LA, $0 (Prospect)

RP: None

So the draft was its usual fast-and-furious auction bidding war, with plenty of good-natured ribbing and fun. At some point, we were discussing Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman’s anatomy, but such is the rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness mindset of the drafter.

As you can see above, I clearly needed help in the outfield, bench depth, an ace pitcher and an entire bullpen. Lemme know if you think I addressed those needs:

–Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, BOS, $32

–Corey Hart, OF, MIL, $32

–Jonathan Papelbon, RP, BOS, $28

–Andre Ethier, OF, LA, $26

–Joakim Soria, RP, KC, $23

–Jose Lopez, 2B, SEA, $12

–Hong-Chih Kuo, RP, LA, $7

–Andrew Sonnanstine, SP, TB, $4

–Felipe Lopez, IF, ARZ, $3

–Ryan Madson, RP, PHI, $3

–Hideki Okajima, RP, BOS, $3

–Brandon Lyon, RP, DET, $2

–Jason Kubel, OF, MIN, $2

–Denard Span, OF, MIN, $2

–Chris Snyder, C, ARZ, $1

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I never posted the results of our Prospect Draft (we get to carry six minor leaguers now):

–Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX

–Carlos Triunfel, SS, SEA

–Jesus Montero, C, NYY

My other three prospects were the keepers listed above.

And there’s a trade in the works for another guy’s Prospect – sending him $2 for next year’s MLB Auction Draft.

Fantasy geek out.

My brilliant season

(Pre-emptive apologies to non-fantasy baseball fans…you really have to be a participant to “get” most of these jokes, but you still might find some humor in there. At the very least, it’s a funny preview of my upcoming novel: “How to Finish 11th out of 14 in Fantasy Baseball.”


Ah, 2008, I hardly knew ye. The fantasy baseball moves I made this season for my CBS Sportsline team, with 20/20 hindsight…

4/14 Add NFigueroa
–This is the kind of move that wins championships, folks.
4/21 Add GLaird, JHuber
–Again – a platoon catcher and a platoon OF. Going to be great in 2008!
4/21 Got RHill from Force for Adenhart/Pelfrey/KSuzuki
–Maybe one of the worst deals ever made. Hill flamed out horribly, and Force got a good prospect, a solid #3 SP and a decent C. First sign of a bad year?
4/23 Got JHermida from NYMeats for GGonzalez/BWood
–Ah, what a five-tool player I got. See how good he was by looking at what happened on 9/25 below. At least the guys I gave up didn’t do much.
4/23 Add Garland and AGalarraga, drop Huber
–Garland actually won a bunch for me, and Galarraga would have if I had been smart enough to hold onto him.
4/26 Add MValdez, drop GLaird
–Hello, crap. Goodbye, crap.
5/1 Add JJReyes
–No, I knew I wasn’t getting Jose Reyes. Jo-Jo was actually hot for a while before completely imploding.
5/7 Add Iannetta, drop NFigueroa
–One of the greatest “adds” of all time. (Or at least this season.)
5/7 Got CVillanueva from Roid Rage for BMolina
–Advantage: Roid Rage.
5/9 Got JHardy/Teagarden from Sioux for DlmYoung/Veal
–Kind of a wash. Hardy was really good this year, Teagarden looks to be good next year or in 2010. Delmon could be a superstar, though.
5/12 Add Werth and Marquis, drop AGalarraga
–Smart move, getting Werth. Dumb move, cutting Galarraga and also dumping Werth a mere three weeks later.
5/19 Add EdwRamirez
–What was I thinking?
5/21 Add Guardado, drop EdwRamirez and Marquis
–That’s better.
5/21 Got Hochevar/Meloan from B-12 for Guardado/BLyon
–This deal actually hurt both of us. Physically, emotionally and statistically. Maybe Hochevar can turn it around next year on an improving KC squad?
5/22 Drop RBetancourt
–Held onto him way too long, figuring he’d be the CLE closer.
5/25 Add Shouse
–Another Einsteinian move.
5/26 Got MBradley/Garko from Dirtbags for FRodriguez
–I’d say I got ripped off, but MBradley hit like crazy when he was healthy.
5/26 Add STorres, drop Shouse and Willits
–Plus, I somehow knew that Torres would reel off a bunch of saves.
5/31 Add RamRamirez
–What’s with me and Ramirezes? I had Edwar, Ramon, Alexei and Manny this year.
6/4 Add UJimenez, drop RamRamirez
–Nominee #2 for Harley Move of the Year. Not sure who cut Ubaldo, but thanks.
6/5 Add AlRamirez, drop Meloan
–Nominee #3 for Harley Move of the Year. I’m on a roll!
6/8 Drop Werth
–Oh, the roll ended.
6/9 Add JCarlson, drop DWillis
–Hello, crap. Goodbye, supercrap. I think between Verlander and Dontrelle, the DET pitching single-handedly killed my staff.
6/9 Got THunter/BMyers from Roid Rage for RHill/Ichiro
–Can’t blame Mark for giving up on Myers – the odds on him turning it around were like 167:1.
6/12 Drop JCarlson
–Hey, Jesse, I need to see you in my office. Oh, never mind, just pack your stuff, you’re cut.
6/20 Got Manny/RSoriano from Bonds for KGreene/THunter/PHughes
–OK, you’re thinking this was stupid. (And I’m finding it hard to argue.)
6/20 Add Maholm
–Hey Paul, welcome.
6/21 Add AlGonzalez, FPaulino
–Loading up my DL.
6/23 Add Burriss, drop Maholm
–Hey Paul, see you later.
6/26 Add HBailey, drop Burriss
–How the mighty have fallen.
7/1 Got Towles from Sluggers for HBailey
–And the mighty get traded. Crapped-out prospect for crapped-out prospect.
7/9 Add SGallagher, drop MValdez
–Hello, decent arm. Goodbye, hurt arm.
7/16 Drop AlGonzalez
–You know, Alex, you’re not even good enough for me to keep on the DL.
7/16 Got JBaker/CRay/Volstad from B-12 for Figgins/Helton
–If CRay comes back strong next year, this has to be one of my best trades. And I did it against Wes! (Of course, he was picking up “pieces” for his championship run – I was/am rebuilding.)
7/17 Add JBlanton, drop Garko
–Hopped on Fat Joe quickly, but gave up on him 10 days from now. Garko at this point can’t even hit as well as Orko, the wizard-guy from He-Man.
7/21 Drop JJReyes
–Oh Jo-Jo, your precipitous collapse was both unforeseen and unfortunate.
7/22 Drop Towles
–Maybe J.R. should stand for Just Rancid.
7/27 Add Ohman, drop Blanton
–Ah, bullpen help when you’re completely out of the running. That’s what I need.
7/29 Add Spilborghs and JuRivera, drop Owings
–Micah, we gave you a really long rope. And you hung yourself, so we’re cutting you and getting a couple useless OFs.
7/31 Drop Ohman
–Oh man.
8/3 Got Colvin/Lind/BWood from NYMeats for Uggla/SGallagher
–Gave up the boppin’ 2B for an interesting group of young’uns. We’ll see.
8/4 Add CHansen
–Former BoSox prospect getting a chance in PIT? OK!
8/6 Add Burriss, drop JuRivera
–Needing future SS more than OF…or so I thought.
8/11 Got HKendrick/Pie/JOSanchez from Dirtbags for Manny
–This deal was pulling teeth, and I really need these guys to live up to their potential in ’09 to feel good about it.
8/11 Drop Garland and Burriss
–Eh, who needs wins or a future SS?
8/27 Add FLopez, drop CHansen
–Former BoSox prospect getting a chance in PIT? Never mind. I’ll get the formerly great Felipe Lopez!
9/3 Drop FLopez
–Now I’ll cut him prematurely and let somebody else reap the benefits!
9/15 Add RCedeno and McPherson, drop Spilborghs and JBaker
–Just havin’ fun at this point.
9/17 Add Shealy, drop RCedeno
–KC’s next 1B? Not if my luck rubs off on him.
9/25 Add Maholm, drop Hermida
–Hey everybody, Paul’s back! What a way to finish a season! Oh, and goodbye Jeremy, you perennial prospect you.

This about sums it up.

This about sums it up.

Random Ramblin’s: My Royal Return!

Sorry I’ve been so remiss in posting. (I know you care.)

July 4th was really cool. After the usual BBQ, we drove over to this spot in Frisco where we could see fireworks (albeit most were far away) in like five different towns at once. Of course, the ones at Pizza Hut Park – which claim to be the best in North Texas –  might have been just that.

Saw Incredible Hulk and Indiana Jones.  Loved the first, liked the second.

Got my “Heart Rate Monitor for Dummies” as part of the master plan to try interval training. My friend Charlie says it’s the latest thing – short bursts of maximum effort to get the heart rate up, which is basically anaerobic activity that gets you the benefits of aerobic activity.

(Or something like that.)

I don’t know what it is about Caffeine Free Pepsi. Maybe it’s sweeter than other soft drinks.  But we love it.

Finished my two-month, contract-to-hire-oh-never-mind gig. Do NOT want to talk about it here.

Currently freelancing on-site at a Dallas agency. Much better.

Interviewed last week at a major utility company for a client-side gig. Should hear something this week.

Fantasy baseball-wise, I’m pretty much craptabulously done. I’m starting to think I’m really a lousy competitor, even though so many trades I make work out better for me than my trading partner and I’m able to find great bargains and young talent.

I pretty much HAVE to get a haircut every four to five weeks, or it starts to look godawful (like it does now). See, the part that grows fine (sides and back) overtakes the growth of the super-slow top part of my head, and I end up looking a bit like a pumpkin without the green stump part.

Our forecast here is like 95 to 98 every day. Of course, we’re all indoors most of the time. And on the weekend, the closest pool is usually near-empty.

The Phillies are in first place. Wonder if it’ll last. Not likely if they don’t get better pitching.

The Summer story writing contest is coming up. (If you recall, I entered the Spring contest with horrendous results.) But now I’ve got a much better idea of how to approach it. And hey, it’s only $5 to enter.

Ad Campaign I’m Loving: The Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World.” Heard a radio spot for it today and laughed out loud. THAT is saying something. Euro RSCG New  York, I salute you, you magnificent bastards! (And stay thirsty, my friends.) I actually went and bought a case just to support the company.

OK, time to brush my teeth and head to bed. Nightie-night.

“It’s got cache out the yin-yang!”

[[UPDATE: Many of my visitors are being directed here…please view THIS blog for an explanation:

My blogapology to misdirected readers.

September 26, 2008]]


Ah, George Costanza. One of television’s greatest characters.

Welcome back to my insane ramblings. I hope you missed me. I missed you…or at least the thought of actual people out there, bathed in the soft light of your monitor, reading what I type in off the top of my head. I appreciate you very much.

Fantasy baseball update, Yahoo league: Still bouncing between 7th and 9th place out of 11 teams. Traded away Lance Berkman, J.D. Drew and Heath Bell for Carlos Quentin, Jon Rauch and Chris Perez. I figure for a keeper league, Quentin is a big-time guy to have – and his numbers were Berkman-like for much of this season.

Fantasy baseball update, CBS (and money) league: Also still bouncing, although I had a tremendous week and went from 13th to 7th for a few glorious days. I thought that some of my long-time slumpers were finally living up to their usual stats, but then they kind of went back into suspended animation.

Turns out I will *not* be staying on at my current freelance gig, at least not in the same role. We’ve discussed another position in the company, but I still need to talk about it with the person who would be my supervisor. If this doesn’t pan out, I’m working on some other options. Stay tuned…

No big boxing this past weekend, but that’s OK because we were in Philly for my friend Howard’s wedding. They had it at this little winery north of New Hope, PA. (I enjoyed their sweet riesling.)

This weekend, it’s pool time for sure. Dallas has been hovering around 100 degrees the past couple days, and it’s supposed to “cool down” to the mid-90s for a while. And summer officially starts this weekend.

Our apartment complex is being really jerky about trash. We were putting out our trash bags (no garbage can be left out unless it’s in a bag, by the way) the night before trash pickup – which is 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It wasn’t hurting anybody. But the complex policy, which was redistributed in memo form, says that we can’t do that anymore. So trash has to be out some time between sunrise and 8:30 a.m. This is an inconvenience that annoys me.

The Phillies are doing very well. Of course, now that I’ve said that, they will probably begin to suck. Sorry for the jinx, boys.

Writer’s block, jet lag and overall malaise have overtaken me.

I promise…

…to blog more often soon.  When I can.  Probably the weekend.

Life has just been hectic, for more reasons than I have the energy to go into right now.  (You’ll just have to trust me.)

Still diggin’ the two-month freelance on-site corporate gig, still wondering/hoping it’ll turn into full-time.

Heading back to Philly again for another whirlwind weekend in mid-June.

Fantasy baseball update: My teams suck.  I made a bunch of cuts to my Yahoo team, and I’m working the trade talks in the CBS league.  This is just not my year at all, fantasy-wise.

Just got two songbooks in the mail–Ben Folds and Rent.  Guess which is for me and which is for Shannon.  I’ll probably start practicing them on my keyboard this weekend.

I’m halfway to 70 (have been for several months now), but does it really count like that?  I barely remember any of the first five years.

It’s late and my contacts are still in.  But not for long.

Peace out.

Fantasy baseball update

You might remember me saying I have two teams in two different leagues.  As of this moment, I’m in 12th place in my 14-team league (the money/CBS Sportsline league) and in 9th place in my 12-team league (the Yahoo league for pride).

Why do I stink so badly?

I always claim my problems are injuries and slumps (and a heaping helping of bad luck).

The problems facing my CBS team:

–Next to last in HR, last in RBI, last in Slugging (but hey, first in Steals)

–My pitching isn’t all that bad, close to the middle in most categories

–Injuries to Phil Hughes (who was pitching badly) and Dontrelle Willis

–Ichiro Suzuki only batting .281 (he’s normally about 50 points higher)

–Delmon Young only hitting .252, 0 homers (I just traded him–so watch for him to improve immediately)

–Nick Swisher only batting .205, 3 homers (expected big things from him)

–Khalil Greene only batting .204, 1 homer (never a big average guy, but where’s the power?)

–Rafael Betancourt with a 5.52 ERA (bullpen “ace” got chance to be the closer, bombed)

–Justin Verlander with a 1-4 record and 5.92 ERA (top 20 starting pitcher? Yikes.)

–Manny Delcarmen with a 6.92 ERA (set-up guy extraordinaire has been anything but)

–Francisco Liriano with a 16.88 ERA and 3.56 WHIP (didn’t quite come back from Tommy John surgery as quickly as hoped)

The problems facing my Yahoo team:

–J.R. Towles only batting .164 (not hitting his weight, a bad sign)

–Robinson Cano only batting .182 (always a slow starter, but jeez)

–see Nick Swisher, above

–Jeff Francoeur hitting .263, only 3 homers (big power guy was predicted to get to 30–better hurry up)

–Troy Tulowitzki only hitting .152, 1 homer (horrific slump for a Colorado Rockie, now on disabled list)

–Adam Jones only hitting .228 (superstud prospect struggling)

–see Rafael Betancourt, above

–Jered Weaver has a 5.59 ERA (young Anaheim ace has been yucky)

–C.C. Sabathia has a 6.55 ERA (Cleveland ace has been hammered)

–not one pitcher with more than 2 wins

If you’ve read this and have any kind of clue as to how to fix this, drop me a line.

So now I’m a commissioner.

Had my Yahoo fantasy draft today, and it was a crazy mess.  Miscommunication and misunderstanding led to problems with guys keeping their keepers and all that stuff.

My buddy Charlie is the commissioner, but he’s (his words) working 60 hours a week and writing his doctoral thesis.  So he asked me to help out, and gave me his spare set of virtual keys to the league kingdom.

So I went into everybody’s team, took away the guys they shouldn’t have and gave them the guys they should have.  The whole thing should be resolved in a few days, although we had to basically kick out one owner and a couple others are pretty pissed.

At least I’m very satisfied with my squad. 😉

Fantasy baseball: Money League Draft Results

Had our auction draft this afternoon.  Only had 9 spots to fill, had 25 keepers.  And I had $162 to do it.

Here’s how it went down–players I got, salary, and reasoning:

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners OF ($39) = A fantastic–and most importantly for fantasy baseball, consistently great–player, Eeeeeeee-cheeeeee-rooooo will help with batting average, runs, stolen bases and on-base percentage…at least.

Chone Figgins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3B/OF ($34) = Very much like Ichiro, should help in same categories.  Since I didn’t get Miguel Cabrera, I went another way and figured on Figgins.

Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies 1B ($19) = He’s not the superstud slugger he used to be, but he hits for average, still gets RBIs, and will be a monster for OBP and slugging percentage.

Bengie Molina, San Francisco Giants C ($4) = This was a steal, even though I already have two catchers.  But they’re kind of unproven young guys (Oakland’s Kurt Suzuki  and Texas’ Jarrod Saltalamacchia), so grabbing the best-hitting of the three Molina brothers for only $4 was a no-brainer.  He may even bat cleanup for the Jints.

Khalil Greene, San Diego Padres SS ($6) = He’s no Jimmy Rollins or Jose Reyes or Hanley Ramirez.  But last year, he scored 89 runs, hit 27 homers and knocked in 97 runs.  And since I don’t need a speedy SS, I got the best power guy at the position.

Shaun Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays Starting Pitcher ($10) = A really solid young pitcher surrounded by other good young pitchers.  Had really good stats last year, and that’s even as a young guy pitching in the tough American League East (hello Yankees and Red Sox).  Marcum was the last guy I got in the draft, and so I used all $10 I had left even though I probably could have gotten him cheaper.

Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers Relief Pitcher ($12) = I actually traded for Broxton last year, but couldn’t afford to keep him.  He’s a giant bulldog of a pitcher who blows people away, and should end up as the Dodgers’ closer some day soon.  In the meantime, he’ll help me with ERA, strikeouts and WHIP.

Rafael Betancourt, Cleveland Indians Relief Pitcher ($10) = Like Broxton, a guy who will give me stellar numbers and is a closer-in-waiting.  He’s behind Joe Borowski, who might turn 56 this season.

Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Relief Pitcher ($28) = One of the top three closers in the game.  Matthew Berry (The Talented Mr. Roto) of ESPN.com swears by never paying for saves, but this is an exception I’m sure he would allow.  My only other true closer is Brandon Lyon in Arizona, but his hold on the job is not exactly tight.

All in all, I addressed many if not all of my needs.  So here’s my full roster:

C: BMolina, KSuzuki, Saltalamacchia

1B: Helton

2B: Dan Uggla (FLA)

SS: KGreene

3B: Figgins, Mark Reynolds (ARZ), Brandon Wood (LAA)

OF: Matt Kemp, Ichiro, Nick Swisher (CHW), Delmon Young (MIN), Cameron Maybin (FLA), Reggie Willits (LAA)

Starting Pitchers: Justin Verlander (DET), Dontrelle Willis (DET), Phil Hughes (NYY), Francisco Liriano (MIN), Marcum, Micah Owings (ARZ), Mike Pelfrey (NYM), Max Scherzer (ARZ), Gio Gonzalez (OAK), Nick Adenhart (LAA)

Relief Pitchers: F-Rod, Broxton, Betancourt, Manny Delcarmen (BOS), BLyon

Prospects: Scott Elbert (LAD SP), Chuck Lofgren (CLE SP), Jeff Samardzija (CHC SP), Donald Veal (CHC SP)

It’s the most…wonderful time…of the year?

Fantasy baseball is gearing up. A whole season lies ahead, with me preparing to “field” two teams again.

My more important league is $50/person with 14 teams, and is run by two very cool and committed guys from a previous league. All of the owners are active, judging by the tons of trades I made over the past couple months. We’ve already cut down to a $150 salary cap before the draft. For the draft on March 16, I have $162 in salary to spend on 9 roster spots. To compare, the other guys have anywhere from 14 to 26 spots to fill, with anywhere from $135 to $179.

In preparation, I’m putting together lists of all the guys who weren’t kept (or weren’t owned previously), compiling their stats from last year, then ranking them based on stats and my gut instincts.

The other league is a no-money league with my buddy Charlie and various friends and colleagues of his. It’s more for pride, that league. We’re only allowed to keep six guys from the previous year (a lame rule that most of us dislike), no salaries involved. I have to submit my keepers soon, and just asked for advice from a couple guys in League #1.

I have a rather extensive history with fantasy baseball. My first team, Rubin’s Rookies, was in the U.R.B.L. Tea League at my undergrad alma mater. (Ursinus Rotisserie Baseball League, if your curiosity was piqued.) I was the first student allowed into the league, which had players including the dean of academics, the baseball coaches, the sports information director, one of my English professors, and the director of admissions. I will never forget riding my bike back to my house on a warm night, thrilled that I had Darryl Strawberry for cheap. (He sucked.)

Charlie actually helped me a bunch the following year, when the Rookies became Harley’s Wallbangers. After graduating, I ended up in another league I found online with a bunch of mostly Pennsylvania guys. But the money league I’m in now is far superior.

Nutshell: 15 years of fantasy baseball, 0 championships on my own. Last year, came in 5th out of 14 in the money league, and 3rd out of 15 in the free league.