Thursday, December 28, 2006

R.U., Baby!!!

Leading by 21 late in the game, looking like a sweet RU win in their second straight bowl appearance (unfortunately lost last year, but tonight would be their first bowl win even. I, of course, am listening to the game on a streaming feed on my laptop, while I type this down. - RU now up 34-10. Oddly, I am rather enjoying the game under these circumstances.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Brief Rebuttal

"It is whining because when you state that well known fact, you are assuming that there is a direct correlation to victory for every dollar spent. Truth be told, the top 4 or 5 spenders have just as much a chance as anyone else. There just isn't as big a difference between the best player at a position and the second, third, fourth, or fifth. Then add in statistics on whether they will all play well at a given time, impressive rookies, etc, and it makes it all the more random.

Also, if you are going to be fair, you should point out just as often that Yankees at least get into the post season with their payroll."

This is a response from my post the other day regarding the Yankee payroll. This response is from one of my best friends, but since I don't know if everyone reads the comments sections, I figured I would cut and paste this here and then offer a rebuttal.

If you read my post again, you will first notice that I am not necessarily assuming anything. While it is possible that I implied that possiblity, I believe my buddy inferred that was the message I was presenting. However, to be perfectly clear, my point is larger salary provides more opportunities and insurance for problems throughout the season (underperforming players, injuries, etc. ) It isn't necessarily about the best player at every position, but it allows the Yankees to control their own agenda in terms of roster. In short, the Yankees will never lose a player because he is unaffordable, since they operate without any real budget. They may decide a player is not worth his asking price, but not beyond their means.

Also, in case I have never before stated it, I agree with his point re: making the playoffs. The amount of money the Red Sox spend, to me as a fan, means that any less than a playoff spot (even wild card) is a failure.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sports in the Cellar

Sunday Morning arrived and as I flipped through my morning paper I flipped on ESPN. Sports are usually a pleasant distraction from the misery of the real world (not mine personally, thank God, but the National and World landscape). Ah, but today was full of some of sports biggest assholes, intruding upon my enjoyment.

Isiah Thomas, failed architect of the disaster that is the N.Y. Knicks, took exception to his team being blown out, at home, again. Rather than taking his wrath out on his team to, maybe, play better, he decided that it was time for one of his players to commit a flagrant foul on a Denver Nuggets player on a breakaway. (This is typical Isiah, by the way. Back in the day, when I was a rabid hoops fan, I came of age during the Celtics/Pistons battles when Isiah was a player for the Pistons. I will acknowledge he was the greatest small guard I've seen play the game. As opposed to a scoring guard like Jordan, or an Hybrid player like Magic, Isiah was a 6ft 1 inch hard nosed SOB on the court, and I respected his game. However, he often started trouble with other players and then ran for cover behind Rich Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer. (Or as legendary radioman Johnny Most used to call them, McFilthy and McNasty) - Fast forward, and Isiah the coach is threatening Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, telling him to avoid the paint, because... well, let's just call it a veiled threat.) - So anyway, a brouhaha starts, suspensions are handed out yesterday, and surprise, surprise, Isiah walks away unscathed! In effect, the man who orders the hit walks away scot free while the executioner takes the heat.

Then there's old friend Terrell Owens, who happily acknowledged spitting in the face of DeAngelo Hall during the Cowboys/Falcons game. What more is there to say, really. T.O. is a despicable human being, a piece of garbage who was blessed with a world of talent and not a shred of integrity or character, but as usual, the league did nothing. 35 thousand dollar fine is a joke - how about suspending him for 2 games, hurting the team, and sending out a message that signing T.O. brings nothing but misery to your franchise? Nah, the NFL wouldn't have the balls for that.

Is it any reason sports have lost much of their appeal to me?, and that I often find myself picking teams to root for simply because they have a core of "good guys".

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's Not Whining

I often find myself berated by my friends who are also (inexplicably) fans of the evil empire (a.k.a. N.Y. Yankees, for the uninitiated) - they accuse me of whining about the yankee payroll - let me make this perfectly clear. IT IS NOT WHINING TO STATE FACTS! The last I checked, 200 was more than 135. (The approximate payroll, in millions, of the Yanks and Sox, respectively.) As long as the Yanks spend more than double the MLB average on payroll and nearly 1 1/2 times as much as the second highest spender (last year, the Red Sox), I can make the point. That's it. Yankee fans seem to hate to have the truth spelled out, but the only way this will change is if a) another team goes nuts and surpasses the Yankees in spending (unlikely, since no one else can afford it), or b) A legit salary cap is instituted. I would love to watch the Yankees compete with all of baseball, with equal resources. Alas, the Yankees (much like Notr Dame football) view themselves as bigger than the game. Hell, they view themselves as bigger than human beings (remember 2004, when hurricanes were buffeting Florida and people were losing their homes and all their personal possessions; the Yanks do, because they pleaded with MLB to offer them a forfeit win, since the Tampa Bay Devil Rahys were unable to make it back to play scheduled games - ah, Yankee land, always classy.

The Monster Has Arrived!!!!

Despite the efforts of scumbag agent Scott Boras (one of the most despicable sports agents around, along with Drew Rosenhaus), the Red Sox have signed Dasuke Matsuzaka to a 6 year deal. the hopes and dreams of Red Sox Nation now reside on the frame of this 26 year old phenom. In a perfect world, the Rotation for the Red Sox becomes Father Curt at the 1 spot (based on past performance), a resurgent Josh Beckett at 2 (hopefully with a little more variety in his pitches, so he doesn't serve up as many freaking long balls), Dasuke, Soph Phenom Jonathen Papelbon at 4 (if he doesn't have to pitch as the closer again), and old faithful Tim Wakefield at 5. That staff should be enough to keep the Sox battling for the A.L. East all year, despite the bazillion dollar Yankee payroll.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hypocritical State Legislator (pt. 2)

As Public Employees continue to be hammered in the press and by the "tax reform" minded legislature, today's spotlight is on Nicholas Scutari, another democratic legislator who's asking for public employee givebacks and cuts. However, a quick review of the facts shows: (info availabe via wikipedia, and the financial filing form available via pdf file for Nicholas Scutari

- Over 50 thousand dollars from his law firm
- Over 50 thousand dollars from City of Linden
- nearly 50 thousand for his NJ state legislature position
- over 50 thousand from C.A.U. (a social service agency, by the way, that works hand in hand with many public employees while serving developmentally disabled - the same employees he would like to take a cut, while he is paid more than most of them for this, his fourth job.

So once again, someone receiving at least 2 tax payer funded pensions and 200 thousand annually points the finger of blame at the public employee making, at best, 50 thousand. Do the papers point these facts out - hell no! Wonder why, hmm!?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hypocritical State Legislator (pt. 1)

The pic shown here is of N.J. State Senator Stephen Sweeney. A Democrat (depressingly enough) who is making a name for himself by attacking state workers in the state of N.J. I just wanted to offer a couple of quick facts about this "champion of the regular folks", this crusader for the regular folk, promising to solve the property tax issues that have plagued this state for many years. His solution, of course, is to hammer the state employees.

"State unions have pointed out that Sweeney's multiple public and private sector jobs add up to much more than the salaries of the vast majority of their members. Sweeney makes $123,000 at Local 399, according to its federal disclosure form, as well as $49,000 as a state senator. Sweeney told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he donates his $18,000 salary as Freeholder Director of Gloucester County to charity and would like to take only one public pension, but can't. All told, Sweeney's income from these multiple sources appears to place him at an almost 4 to 1 advantage over the typical state worker's compensation (amounting to about $50,000) which he seeks to cut." (From the Wikipedia entry for Mr. Sweeney)

So his 3 public pensions and 190,000 dollar salary has led him to point the finger of blame at those who deserve it; the social workers and human service employees who help those in the state most in need. Damn those people and their attempts to assist low income families in need, people with disabilities in desperate need of shelter, health care, and a host of other needs, from the most basic (eating) to attempts at improving the quality of life by finding employment opportunites for this underserved population. Damned those DYFYS workers trying to protect vulnerable children.

Sadly, I rarely read anything in the states largest newspaper (Star ledger) defending the worker. Instead, Sweeney sycophants like Tom Moran and Paul Mulshine continue to point the finger at the rank and file, never questioning the hypocrisy of legislators like Sweeney. Unbelievable.