Friday, September 11, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Well for one thing, I was not blogging as I discovered while going through the August 2009 archives. But it’s good to be back.. and today is September 11th… and while there is a call for a national Holiday to remember 9/11 – which would be hard to do so soon after Labor Day - here is my proposal:

Flip flop Labor Day and Memorial Day and move Memorial Day to September 11th, although I am not quite sure how that would affect The Jerry Lewis Telethon…. I think it’s a great tribute that they read all the names of those who lost their lives and maybe something like this should also be done on Holocaust Remembrance Day too.

I Summer Baseball

I was busy during the summer doing some volunteering and spending too much time playing Typing Maniac on Facebook. I have also been working on a project that I will elaborate on in a future column. We didn’t do a Baseball Quarterly Report column at the 120 game mark, because for the first time since we started NWOW back in November of 2005, the Mets are having a pretty lame season so my attention to baseball has drifted off as the Met losses continue to pile up. My buddy Walter announced as the Mets dropped under .500 earlier this summer that he would grow a beard until the Mets were back to the break even point. Unfortunately that won’t happen until April’s 0-0 record… but Walter refused to give up and now looks like ZZ Top.

My fantasy baseball team is as lame as usual… but this year our league has a new rule that players can only be protected for 3 seasons, and the team that finishes 5th gets the first pick… which will most likely be Albert Pujols. My team actually rallied over the last month or so led by my nice Jewish boy pitching staff of Jason Marquis and Scott Feldman and pulled within 20 points of that #5 spot. That spot by the way is held by my Fantasy Baseball nemesis Bob Salvo who came from behind to knock me off the top spot in 2007…. Perhaps this year, revenge will be mine!!

Anyway, the Mets tsuris has been covered ad infinitum… and any team whose offense is centered around Jose Reyes and Carloses Delgado and Beltran would run into trouble if the heart of their lineup went down with injury. David Wright’s microscopic home run total didn’t help matters either… I bought new glasses a couple of weeks ago to get a better view of the box scores because I was squinting to see David Wright’s nonexistent home runs. The Mets recently announced that they are not planning to bring the fences in for 2010… maybe its too expensive after they lost so much money to Bernard in his Madoff scheme? Perhaps they should just keep the fences where they are, but just move home plate closer to the fences??

One interesting baseball story caught my eye recently when Reds 2nd basemen Brandon Phillips corrected the media about the status of his broken/fractured hand. Here is how he “clarified” his status:

"My wrist is not broken. I didn't mean to say broken, I know I didn't say 'broken.' I said 'fracture.' I didn't know 'fracture' and 'broken' meant the same thing. My wrist feels like it's fractured. Yeah. That right there.
"The last time I took an X-ray, it said there's nothing broke. Broken and fractured are the same thing. It feels like it's broken, fractured, or broken -- it's the same thing. But my wrist really does bother me."

And to his credit Phillips continues to play every day despite the injury even though his team is totally done for this season.

As for my preseason picks from back in April… memo to the Yankee fans..the team with the best regular season record does not always win the Series. I missed on my preseason pick of Tampa and Chicago going to the post season, but I was right on my Boston-LA Angels post season prediction. I took the safe route predicting the same AL playoff teams from 2008… but, if the Red Sox don’t get their stuff together soon, Texas could very well grab the Wild Card!

In the NL, the Dodgers and Phillies are playoff bound while the Mets and Cubbies are staying home… I think that an LA – Philly NLCS could be quite exciting and I will pick LA as my Mets replacement to advance to the Fall Classic because Philly’s bullpen is not quite doing the job and Brad Lidge has been quite crummy compared to his flawless 2008 performance. And if LA makes the World Series…. Wouldn’t it be cool for Joe Torre to face the Yankees?? Nonetheless, I am sticking to my preseason pick of the Red Sox going to the Series….

Here were my awards picks from the All Star Game…

MVP – Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer
Cy Young – Tim Lincecum and Josh Beckett
Rookie of the Year –Tommy Hanson and Andrew Bailey

I think the only one wrong here is the AL Cy Young…where many think it will go to Zach Greinke… But y’know what?? I’m going on a limb and picking Feldman for the Cy Young and in a different year, you could go with an all Yiddish Cy Young (or Sigh, I’m not so Young and my grandchildren never call me) but Marquis’ excellent season is no comparison to Lincecum or the Cardinals tandem of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

II Where do you get your news revisited??

Some interesting news media trends this past summer… First, one newspaper I have stopped buying is The NY Post!! Their coverage of the Erin Andrews story was just hideous. The entire point of the Andrews story was how terrible it was that a peeping Tom snapped some nudie shots of her in a hotel room and posted them on the internet. The Post’s coverage include still shots of her naked tuchis that were taken from that video.

And isn’t it interesting how Phil Mushnick, the sports media columnist for the Post criticizes every media outlet when their employees don’t say anything about other less kosher aspects of their company? For years he has ripped into Mike Francesa for not publicly criticizing WFAN for running commercials for betting services as has been the case with a lot of others who have found themselves on the wrong end of his poison pen including competing newspapers. As much as he may want to criticize sports wagering ads, those are much less worse than the Post’s Andrews pictorial. And what did the high and mighty Mushnick, the self proclaimed King of all Morals say about those pictures in his paper? Absolutely nothing. What a hypocritical windbag.

By the way, there are some oddities about the story. Why did Andrews lawyer announce those pictures were of his client? It’s very easy to deny it’s her since there is really nothing on her body that would give it away that it’s definitely Erin Andrews. It’s not like she has an old ESPN tattoo of Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann on her tuchis. Some skeptics think it’s a publicity stunt. I am still waiting for the announcement of an arrest of this culprit; you wonder if Charles Kushner might want to hire that cameraman next time he has a relative to screw over?

As I have discussed in the past, most of my News comes from Channel 4 and The Star Ledger but both of their days are numbered as my source for news. I have already switched to channel 7 Eyewitness News on weekends since Channel 4 got rid of Carol Anne Riddell… and now I will also watch Channel 7 at 5pm now that Channel 4 is getting rid of its 5 o’clock news hour in favor of some dreck-y magazine show. Channel 11 is also adding a 6:30 pm newscast (My former radio intern is a producer for that newscast!) competing against the network newscasts. How original… why didn’t anybody think of that sooner? Actually for a long time the “6:30” network news used to air at 7pm and the 6 o’clock news used to run for a full hour back in the days of Dan, Tom and Peter airing at 7 after an hour of Jensen, Scarborough and Beutel.

And the Ledger… I’ve read it since childhood but the quality continues to drop… They got rid of their beat reporters for all the sports teams except the Giants, Jets, Nets and Devils… and pick up the other teams reports from the Daily News and Associated Press. They have no more Sunday sports columnists yet oddly have a Tuesday Soccer column. And worst of all they destroyed the comics over the summer getting rid of several decent ones and then breaking them into regular comics and “Classic” comics… the “classic” comics consisting of the older strips and they are usually tossed in somewhere in the auto classified section… (although for the last wk they have been easier to find in the Today section) They also dropped Frazz when they did this silly move, but then they quickly came to their senses and reinstated it 2 wks later. Frazz happens to be a very clever strip about a guy who is very rich yet works as a school Janitor and has amusing exchanges with the students and teachers at his school…. usually consisting of incredibly clever word play.

And finally, a few weeks ago CBS broke into Craig Ferguson’s show to announce the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. I flipped channels to see how the other networks were covering this breaking story. CNN had its usual post 1AM breaking story blues as the CNN International Team again struggled to cover an American story… However I flipped to Fox News… and nothing!! They were running a repeat of that evening’s Greta van Sustern show and didn’t say a measly peep about Kennedy.

I was never a big fan of Ted Kennedy’s… but I admire his longevity in the US Senate. I am also too young to understand the popularity of JFK and the rest of the Kennedys… but there is one important fact about them – here is this family that is rich beyond comprehension, and they decided that they would dedicate their lives to public service! Yet here we have Republicans who politicize a simple “Welcome Back to School” speech by President Obama… and sneer at any kind of health care reform that would dare take their money and give to the poor in some kind of Robin Hood scheme.

Republicans like to talk about how much they hate the idea of giving their money to able bodied people who are lazy and refuse to work. Even liberals like DAS don’t believe in subsidizing that lifestyle, but the reality of life is that there are more people who are less fortunate due to circumstances beyond their control. And when Facebookers put up a status about nobody being without health care, it’s the Republicans who point out that they want no part of funding illegal Mexicans… as if Illegal Mexicans are the only people who are going to benefit from this.

Perhaps Kennedy’s legacy will be that he ended up richer than all these other Republicans, yet he makes them look bad because he decided to dedicate his life to using his power and money to help make others lives better who are less fortunate.

I was talking to Trophy Wife about the idea of segregating ourselves from the Republicans and having them take half the country and we take the other half… Then they can live their happy lives and figure out ways to keep from paying reasonable taxes and buy their expensive cars and drive to work in them…. But be careful of the bridges, (and no this is not a Chappaquidick cheap shot) as Minnesotans discovered when Governor Pawlenty’s severe tax cut affected budget left them without enough tax revenue money for important bridge repairs!


Pumpy is back for another year of pigskin picks. Last year he went 11-6 and once again despite his total lack of knowledge about anything related to sports, his uncanny picks are usually right on especially early in the season. This year we go with our Met fan Walter's favorite team - The Jets who are at Houston to play the Texans. The Jets are 4 1/2 point doggies. Sayeth the Pump:

"I'm going against the Texans because most of them were so wacky this week when they kept their kids home from school so they couldn't see the Presidents speech about staying in school. Take the Jets!"


Last yr we went 31-19-1... definitely our best season picking games on NWOW.

GIANTS 6 1/2 faves over the Redskins - You gotta love how the Skins sued some fans who ran into money trouble and couldn't pay for their PSLs.

PANTHERS 2 1/2 doggies over Philadelphia - I don't like using the word doggies in a sentence involving the Eagles new QB Michael Vick.

BUCS 6 doggies over Dallas - I am really liking the home team cooking this week.

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