Sunday, February 25, 2007

The M's week in review

Some of the headlines on the Mariner website kill me. "Mariners expect more from Beltre". Seriously? This isn't a given? Of course we expect more from Beltre, we signed him to a huge contract the year after his NL MVP run. His numbers are not horrible, but the manner in which he came to Seattle, I had some high expectations.

I am sure Ichiro will start the season in the lead-off spot, he is probably one of the best lead-off hitters we have seen. I think we are going to have a "scrappy" offense this year. Betancourt and Lopez appear to be at the end of the lineup, which is actually a good thing. Don't be surprised if the our 7-9 hitters have higher than normal averages for players in that position. The middle of our defense is going to be great. With Ichiro officially taking over CF duties and Lopez and Betancourt playing 2nd and SS respectively, teams will have a tough time hitting to this section of the park.

Edgar is back in M's camp, this time to help Vidro hit the ball. Great, a DH that needs help from a past DH. I hope he learns from Edgar, we need consistency in this spot.

Pitching. I don't have much to say on this topic currently, I am holding back until I can see a few spring innings.

The random week in review

For those of you that loved the REAL NBA, Dennis Johnson passed away this week. He was the glue on many championship Celtic teams of the 80's. Don't forget, he was the MVP of the '79 finals, the only championship for the Sonics. Here is a link to one of my favorite calls by the late Johnny Most. He deserves to be in the hall of fame. You will not find a player like DJ in the "modern" game.

The weather in SLC has been crazy. Last Sunday, we had a high of 62 degrees, on Monday we woke up to 3 inches of snow. On Thursday, thanks to a high around 68 degrees, all that snow had melted in time for yet another big snow storm to hit the area on Friday.

Why is Anna Nicole still in the news?

BOTW: Crescent City Brewery

Since I am in the big easy, why not review a local brew. If possible, I might try to do several reviews from here.

Crescent City Brewery Black Forest

A very malty beer. Not as dark as say a porter would be, but a very deep dark red/brown. Very little hop taste, just enough for a slight hop finish. The more overwhelming smell is the roasted/chocolate aroma that spills over from your glass. This brewery only brews lagers, so you ale fans may want to stay clear. I plan on going back to review a few of their other offerings.

Beer rating: Very drinkable.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fun with out of office

I will be out of the office from February 23rd to March 6th attending Niceville, Florida's 2nd annual Canoe and Potato "In like a Lion" celebration. I will have limited access to email during this period. I will return all messages upon my return.

Thank you
Josh

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Commish

He rules! Not only did he sign us up on "opening signing day" (achieving a league ID well below 2k, a feat never accomplished) we have a killer draft time and he upgraded our league to Yahoo! plus.

Thanks commish! (so, gently knuckle knock to chin).

...Now, the money collection beings.

Shocker!

Cowher is going to be a football analyst for CBS. Boy, I am shocked and awed by this. This was eluded to during Super Bowl coverage, plus we all know what "spend more time with the family means." All that is a regrouping phrase that people use when the are getting tired of something and want to reevaluate.

Apparently, this years goal of the M's is to throw strikes. Funny, I am surprised that is not our goal every year. I listened to a few games last year as well as watched the "game center" online. Our hurlers did achieve a lot of 3-1 counts on batters. I am not sure if our stellar starting five can produce strikes but the pen seemed pretty good at this. I think with Reistman setting up for Putz, we could have a great setup/save combination. The weak link will be run support.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I never fails

As much as I would LOVE to see the Tacoma Rainers come to SLC, the two times they do arrive, we have plans. Both involve camping trips. We obviously made our plans prior to the release of this schedule, but give me a break! This is the second straight year I will not see the Rainers play...UGH! So much for my minor league recruiting.

Looks like Clement is ready to get his grove on this Spring. He is destined to be placed in Tacoma, probably for the entire year. Perhaps in '08, he can be Johjima's backup.

I am very excited to see a slimmer King Felix pitch this year. I have stated before, this could be his "breakout" year.

Pitchers and Catchers

Woohoo, yesterday was the day they all reported. Today, they actually get out there and play a little toss. Spring is officially in the air. I am attempting to bribe my commish to make sure he sign's up our league tomorrow.

Pettitte returns to the Yanks, the Red Sox determine who should close and M's are suppose to "contend" for the AL West title. I am big fan, obviously, but I currently do not see the "contending" writing on the wall. Spring training is a decent barometer for this. If they can finish well below .500 in Spring ball, we should fair well during the season, trust me on this.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Self Check-out

I recently returned from the grocery store where I purchased 20 or so items. The person behind me had 2 bananas. Yes, 2. Not 2 pounds, not 20 pounds, but 2 individual items. The Smiths that I go to has 4 self check-out lanes. At the time I noticed the lady behind, 1 of the self check lanes was in use.

I understand the frustration of the self check-out lane as it yells at you to "place the item in the bag" even when it is already placed in the bag, requiring the "over-worked" attended doing their best "W leaning on the podium" stance to clear the computers frustration. I hold my self-check out to about 8 items, max.

At any other grocery story lacking a self check out lane or express lane, I would have allowed the person to go ahead of me….not in this case.

If you are trying to buy 2 frickin' bananas don't blame me for holing up the line when the self check out is wide open.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Stats, stats and more stats

After seeing that googlemaps have a plug-in for myspace participants, I used that dreadful tool "google" to find something for blogs. Come on bloggers! We cannot let the 12 year boys and girls on myspace kick our blogger asses!

There is a place called Blog Flux that offers bloggers a lot of different tools, including a google maps add-on.

William, this will require you to actually visit my site.

In looking at some early stats, this google maps thing is scary how close you can get to someone's actual physical location. Damn you subnetting...DAMN YOU!

Beer Rating systems

Since I have rarely come across a beer I do not like, (MGD falls into this category, and that is all), I have a "drinkable" rating system.

1. Skunky - This is what MGD is to me
2. Somewhat Drinkable - the name speaks for itself. Something you power through. For example, Hamms when camping is a "very" drinkable beer, however at home it is falls under the "somewhat" category.
3. Drinkable - A decent tasting beer and seems to disappear. Most beers will fall into this category. Classic drinkable beer, High Life.
4. Very Drinkable - A beer that you have a hard time putting down. You want to savor each sip, but the taste is so great, you tend to drink faster. Not that anyone else agrees with me on this, but this is where Kokanee, Moose Drool and Trout Slayer fit in.

Side note, I did not realize that Labatts runs Kokanee now, interesting.

BOTW: Dead Horse Amber

Dead Horse Amber. This beer can only be classified with a smooth hop taste. Not in a bitter way, but in a smooth hop taste up front that dissolves away before any aftertaste takes hold. The smell is a bit hoppy, but smells more like grass. Some may say skunky, but I did not mind it. The dead retention is a bit weak from the bottle. The color is a nice golden hue. If anything, you have to love the slogan "You can't beat a dead horse". I need a case of this for my next managers meeting. There are better beers out there, but for a Utah beer, it is pretty good. The Scorpion Ale is my favorite from the Moab Brewing company and I hope to review that next.

Overall rating: drinkable

Thursday, February 08, 2007

one more week!

Pitchers and catcher report next week, I am excited. I would be more excited if my Fantasy baseball commish would get off his lazy ass and sign up our league. I beat Greg last year.

Nothing big on the M's website or in the M's rumor news. They made some trade for some minor league players with Detroit. Sounds like we have a decent OF coming our way, and it cost us a decent pitcher. Other than that, I have no opinion on this.

Fantasy ranking are emerging, so that means I should probably do the same with will be called "MEARFT 2nd Annual Bullcrap Predictions". These will be done by Mid-March (see if I can make that prediction of when my predictions will be). To see how I did last year...hint, click on year. Apparently I was wrong on Bush going to the Texans. Only need to read the first 6 or so, the others just drown on and on about worthless crap that has run its course.

Pieces out!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Way to go Colts!

So, Hester had 1 play that was all. They respected Hester so much, they gave the Bears the ball close to their own 35 each kickoff. What did the Bears offense do with it? Not much.

I thought the Colts defense really stepped up this game. This defense look horrid during the regular season, but the playoffs has been a different story. I go so far to say, the Colts, as a whole, played more aggressively and physically than the Bears.

Let’s examine the road the Colts took. They had to play probably the best defense in the Ravens, and play them in Baltimore. Then in the Super Bowl they defeated probably the #2 ranked defense in the league. I would say they beat them down. The Bears offense didn't help either with “3 and out” type series. Instead of trying to move the chains, the Bears offense was having a crappy quarterback rely on the long ball. The games not as close as the score indicated. The Bears defense did make some big stops in the redzone.

Onto baseball!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Welcome Alaska!

And it appears I have a new China hit as well.

I appear to have heavy hitters from Missoula, San Fran, Minneapolis,Chicago, somewhere near St. Louis and I think NYC. This is cool!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Super Bowl

It is about time I made my prediction for the battle on Sunday. Who I am rooting for and who I am picking to win are two different teams.

The Bears are going to win, and here is why. They have the advantage in 3 areas: Defense, special teams, and running game. Even is Hester only has a 30 or 40 yard returns, he will be putting a mediocre offense into some type of scoring range. We know the defense for the Bears is good, and will do what they can to keep Manning in check.

Having Jones and Benson in the backfield is a better combo than Addai and Rhodes. The Seahawks were able to run on the defense, however, Addai and Rhodes are going to have their work cut out for them.

You cannot compare passers. Comparing Manning to Grossman would be like comparing Brian Bosworth to Dick Butkus or Mike Singletary...you just can't. Grossman needs to have a Dilfer type game for them to win. No more than 20 passes, maybe 12 completions for around a buck 75. The key to the Bears victory will be no INTs. The more INTs thrown the more chances Manning has to dismantle the Bears.

I am rooting for the Colts, I cannot stand the Bears. I have been a Manning fan since he entered the NFL. The boy has talent and should not be judged on his ability to win the big one. Don't you think Marion, after all these years, gets tired of hearing that bullshit? In large part since they beat the Seahawks...I still dislike Pittsburgh.

Don't be surprised to see the Colts use the TE a lot more this game. With Urlacher covering the slot receiver a lot, the TE should have a slower LB covering him if he is covered at all. The TE option will play rather large on LB blitz plays as a quick out.

One last prediction, if the Bears win, the WR as an MVP winner streak will stop with Hester. If the Colts win, Manning is about your only good option here. A WR probably won't win it, since Manning will be aiding in that.

My Final prediction: No lineman will score a touchdown on Sunday.