Wednesday, October 28, 2009

208 versus 111

That is the million dollar payrolls for the two teams that take the field tonight.  Guess which one is which?  This is a great article that talks about how the some of the players compare both in salary as well as stats. 

I am not a fan of either of these teams, but my second favorite team is anyone playing the Yankees.  I like the hitters on the Phillies, big fan of Ryan Howard, Werth and Vicorino.  Of course, having two of the three on my fantasy team also helps.  Pitching wise, the Yankees have the upper hand in the bullpen as you can never rely on Lidge.   

So, who are the losers here?  Game one features the last two AL Cy Young winners going head-to-head.  Thank you Cleveland.  And, how can we forget the Mets fan.  Not only is your “sister” team in the series, but also your most hated rival.  So, who do you vote for?

Here’s to a good series, go Phillies!  If you are curious how the other teams stacked up in payroll this year, here you go

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Giving credit where credit is due

I dislike the Yankees like nothing…well, except BYU.  But the performance turned in by CC on 3 days rest is something that needs to be recognized. 

I realize the Brewers ran the gas tank dry with CC on many starts with only three days rest last season.  This was his first with the Yankees so he was not worn out from the abuse the Brewers put him through.  To pitch 8, almost unhittable, innings is pretty good. 

I dislike A-Rod as much as any other player, but he is as unstoppable as herpes right now.  I think that basically sums up his performance this post season.

I am disappointed that the Angels are only going to last, at most, 6 games.  I had it in my mind that they were a team that could put the Yankees away.  Apparently I was wrong.  I know teams have come back from being down 3-1 before in the ALCS, but I don’t see the determination in the players faces as I do on the other side of the field. 

Not real excited about an east coast only series…go Phillies!  At least they have 2 decent Mariner alumni on their team with Moyer and Ibanez. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday night, what a night!

The Angels gave us a small glimmer of hope and the Phillies have all but closed the door on Dodger blue.  Angels fan or not, having back to back extra inning games is exciting.  Also, have back-to-back walk off hits in the same day in October really makes playoff baseball exciting.  Not to mention, the football game.  I tried to watch all three.

During Monday Night Football, I couldn’t help from noticing that Denver did not roll over and play the “Prevent to win” defense near the end.  They were coming after Rivers and crew up until the final whistle!  I hope that the Seahawks coaching staff was watching.  Denver “finished” that game, they did not let San Diego back in at the tail end.  I thought it was impressive, but than again, I am accustomed to seeing my team go “prevent” putting my heart in panic mode.  Maybe it is the young coaching staff or just the young head coach that is willing to take risks and has faith in his players. 

Josh Daniels is only 33, ugh!  I am now at the age where NFL coaches are younger than me. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dr. Seahawk and Mr. Seachicken

What a tale of two weeks.  I would blog about this, but this article really sums it up nicely.

Today, talk radio is all over the “blame the GM” game.   It is funny how a GM can be a hero one minute, and a goat the next.  I think it is fair to say that the negatives do outweigh the positives.  I find it hard to blame a GM for the 2-4 start.  I understand they help put players on the field, but he is not a legitimate reason in my mind.  Oh, and of course, people are once again calling for Matt’s head on a platter.

Funny, the same team that shutout the Jaguars the week before, can look like such buffoons the very next week.

Bye Bye Kenji and other M’s news of note

Not really a huge surprise, but Kenji Johjima is opting out of the remainder of his contract and returning to Japan.  It was rumored earlier this year that he was considering this option.  All of us as Mariner fans wish him luck

The 2007 first round pick Phillipee Aumont is playing the role of closer for the AFL Javelinas.  So far, he has only had one appearance and pitched a perfect inning.  He experienced some arm troubles in his starter role in “A” ball, so moving him to a closer/relief role could be a wise move.  He should receive an invite to Spring Training.

Josh Wilson is also on the Javelinas roster.  I am not sure what his role will become in the organization if he does not win the closer job someday.  My guess, if Aumont pans out, Wilson is traded for some offense.  Just a hunch.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why are good TV shows hard to come by?

I learned today that one of my favorite shows, Friday Night Lights, is only showing on DirecTV starting on October 28th.  After the season completes, it will then air on NBC for us with just cable and/or digital rabbit ears.  Apparently, DirecTV has been the one funding this show so they get first shot. I find this horrible.  FNL is a great show, well written and tells a fun, adventurous story of life.  A show that I think should have staying power, apparently does not.  Rather, reality TV and some poorly written sitcoms seem to rule the roost.  (“The Office” and “30 Rock” excluded). 

I have tried to get into “Modern Family” but that seems to be missing the mark with me.  It is the dad in the “normal” family that I cannot stand.  It has great potential and could be a success, but needs to take a different direction and quickly.  I rarely find myself with a good belly laugh during most sitcoms today.  ABC has tried, but all the new shows are missing.  I have caught a couple of episodes from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.  This show is pretty funny and pushed the envelope in a “Family Guy” sort of way.  Perhaps I need to look elsewhere than the big 3 networks for humor. 

On a positive note, I am really digging “Mad Men”.  I would say that it lives up to the hype surrounding it.  Great character set with good on camera chemistry and well written.  I did not grow up in the time period depicted in the show, but the emotion from this generation is felt. 

Another show that I have great interest in is “Sons of Anarchy”.  A show that does a good job of putting you in the middle of the action.  I always have to watch a low key show afterwards to calm down from the emotional rollercoaster the show produces. 

I should try to write my own sitcom on what I think would be funny.  According to George Castanza, it should be easy. 

A reason to track the AFL

Dustin Ackley will be playing all the outfield positions during his time in the Arizona Fall Leagues.  He is playing for the Peoria Javelins and should see a fair amount of playing time over the next 6 weeks. 

I don’t think we will see him wearing a Mariner’s uniform next season.  If he hits in the minors like he did in college, I could see him being called up for the 2011 season.  He does have 4 years of college on his side, which could equate to a fast rise through the minor ranks.

As for Griffey, we may have a decision on his return by Thanksgiving.  It would be nice to know one way or the other.  If anything, it would remove the distraction and the story line entering Spring training.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leadership

On the field leadership is what the Seahawks needed this past weekend.  With the return of Hasselback, the teams confidence was restored. 

I only saw the second and fourth quarters yesterday.  In the second quarter, Matt looked as good as he has in previous seasons.  He led the Seahawks on two impressive quick striking drives and the team never looked back. 

Not only was the offense on a roll, the defense was unstoppable scoring two touchdowns of their own.  As of today Aaron Curry, the rookie LB, is leading the team in tackles.

This should quiet most Hasselback critics.  It was not more than two weeks ago that talk radio around here was asking for the Seahawks to draft a new quarterback in the April draft.  Saying that Hasselback was washed up and old.  He is only one year behind Brady in NFL career length and younger than Peyton Manning.  I understand that the Patriots and Colts have had more moments of success, but you don’t see these teams looking for new QBs.  Seahawks fans are fairly finicky, some may even say fair weather.  But now with a brilliant performance, the critics should be silenced for another week.   

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CRD update

It has been while since I talked about our diesel Jeep.  I have a killer gas app for my iPhone called Gas Cubby.  It allows me to not only track service and service reminders, but also MPG.  We did a pretty good trip this past July to Glacier towing our 18 foot (3000 pound) Jayco trailer.  Going to Missoula, we were sitting at 14.1 MPG on average.  Coming back was a different story, we averaged about 13.5 MPG due to a head wind.  To put this into some perspective, we are able to achieve about 20-21 mixed city and highway.  Our best highway mileage was 28. 

To optimize this engine, I have consider a couple of “mods”.  The first is by a company called Green Diesel Engineering (GDE).   Their Eco Performance kit retimes the turbo for increased fuel economy and a cleaner burning engine.  On average, people have seen a 3 MPG gain with this feature.  Also, on the discussion boards, owners rave about how well their Jeep tows after the Eco Performance kit.

Another mod is going to be the SAMCO sport turbo hoses.  These hoses are specially lined to not burst when saturated with oil, which happened to us on top of Snoqualmie pass a couple months ago.  When the hose burst, we lost all turbo power and had to limp home.  Replaced with stock hoses, so it will happen again, but hopefully not for a long time. 

Overall, a good vehicle for us and getting as good as MPG the 1989 SHO.  We sold the SHO about 2 months ago as it was starting to become expensive to maintain so now the Jeep is my primary vehicle.  I will keep you posted should I do any of these mods on my own.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A final update on Win7

I am sure you are getting tired of reading about this, but I want to show that Win7 does work on older hardware.  At least the Enterprise version.  I am sure with Ultimate and all that it packs, 1 GB of RAM would not even come close.  My machine meets the minimal requirements for Win7 32-bit in terms of RAM and I have yet to see this PC brought to it’s knees.  If I did this with Vista, it would have been a miserable user experience. 

The RAM on boot takes up about 605 MB or so.  Letting the computer idle down for a bit with nothing open, it will works its way down to only using 389 MB.  I do have an anti-virus program running, but have disabled active scanning.  I would define “a bit” being somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes, I have not timed that part yet.  I am using Live Writer for this blog, and since I booted up and typed the RAM in use is down to 440 MB and seems to have settled there with this one active application. 

It is very nice to see that we have a Windows OS that can replace XP.  Over the course of time, 95 was pretty good, 98 not bad, ME was a disaster, XP was great, Vista a complete bust and now 7.  Known only by the name George Costanza would have given it.  To be fair, we do have 2 MAC’s and 2 iPhones in the house, but I feel confident that Win7 will re-energize the business and home windows world.  Perhaps the “I’m a MAC” ad campaign was a motivating factor in putting out a solid product, who knows. 

Five minutes to under two

I am sure about 90% of that is tied to the fact that I cleanly installed Win7, but still that is a great improvement to me. The exact time for me when pushing my power button to an online desktop is 1 minute and 42 seconds.  

The entire install look just under 1 hour from start to online with Windows.  No need to search the internet for drivers, everything was there.  Again, pretty good for a 5 year old AMD 3200 (2.19 ghz) proc and only 1 GB of RAM.  Bill A, I did consider 64-bit, but figured this machine only has 3-6 months until a new cheap machine arrives, I decided to hold off. 

For those server buffs out there, I learned that Win7 and Win2k8 server are built on the same kernel.  Why is this a good thing?  I could see this lowering the application problems today from a server based deployment (Citrix and TS) to a PC based deployment.  Especially as things like VDI stir the pot in the IT world. 

Thursday, October 08, 2009

XP life is officially over for me

After a long internal debate, I have decided to upgrade my main home PC to Windows 7.  This machine is far from impressive with an AMD 64-bit processor and 1 GB of RAM.  But rather than put the $80 toward maxing out the RAM to 2 GB, I will purchase a new quad core tower for $450 with 8 GB of RAM sometime later next year.

Why upgrade?  5 years of patches and service packs have degraded my performance to a 5 minute boot time.  So, rather than just re-installing XP, we are going to run the latest and greatest.  I have had Windows 7 on my work laptop since the release candidate was, well, released in May.  This will be an operating systems that most if not all companies will move to over the next 2 years, just my 2 cents.

I will keep you posted on how my iTunes library and applications move over to my “new” old PC.  Before I did this, I also verified that TurboTax 2009 will be supported on both Windows 7 32 and 64 bit operating systems. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Injuries…really?

The Seahawks just released their injury report for Week 5.  It says, "See week 5 from 2008."

All kidding aside, I am growing tired of the Seahawks, or more accurately their fan base, putting all the excuses for a 1-3 start on injuries.  True, we are missing key players, but I am not sure if they suddenly return, they can turn things around.  Matt Hasselbeck was still playing when Frank Gore ran all over the field in the San Fran game.  Not sure if Lofu would have had much of an impact either.

From what I saw of the Colts game, I think a few key players were still on the bus trying to get to the game.  Again, I predict a crushing defeat this week at home.  I am going to go out on a limb and say we lose 28-10 and give up over 200 yards rushing. 

Monday, October 05, 2009

Close but no cigar

(Warning: this is a geek-filled post)

My team fell short during my championship battle for my third consecutive crown in Fantasy Baseball.  It proved to be a fun and stressful Sunday as my opponent won during the last game of the day between the Padres and Giants.  Damn you Pablo and your home run!

We are starting our first off-season of keepers.  It actually will be somewhat difficult to pick just two as I had a couple of surprise players.  I will make them a priority during next springs draft.  Only 5 more months than back at it!  I am already starting my draft board for next year while some of this information is fresh in my mind.

Congratulations to Steve L. for winning the championship out of the 4th place position. 

Sunday, October 04, 2009

And the winner is….

Come on Felix!  As he won his 19th game of the year, Felix has complicated the decision that voters will face for the Cy Young later this year. 

Apparently the race is between Grienke, Felix and a distant third, CC Sabathia.  Felix finished on a strong note, only .1 innings away from tying Halladay for innings pitched, and acquiring this career high 19th win.  Felix is behind Zach in strikeouts (242,217), complete games (6,2), earned run average (2.16, 2,49) and shutouts (3,1).  However, he is ahead of Grienke in wins (19,16), games started (34,33) and innings pitched (238.2, 229.1). 

One thing I have not heard anyone talk about is opponents average,  Felix leads this list of 3 with a .227.  C.C. Sabathia stands at .232 while Grienke falls in at .230.  I bring this up because I feel this helps strengthen his play and brings strong support to the “quality starts” statistic.  Felix had 28 quality starts while Grienke had 26 quality starts.  (For those of you wondering, a quality start (QS) is a pitcher going 6 innings or more giving up no more than 3 earned runs. 

No matter how you cut it, Felix deserves a shot at the Cy Young. 

Thank you Griffey!

While we wait and see what the offseason brings, the city of Seattle gave Griffey a great send off today.  A standing ovation for his last at bat, and a loud uproar for his routine base hit.  As he was replaced at first base with a pinch runner, you could see the tears in his eyes are he entered the dugout.  Later, a gaggle of teammates gave Griffey a shoulder ride around the ballpark during the team’s farewell tour to the fans.  That is why we love this guy so much.

Giffey’s stats are not something to to be overly proud of this year, but his timely hitting won many a game.  His value comes from the smile on his face and the charisma that has defined his place in history.  I was fortunate enough to be at the Kingdome when Griffey walked onto the field in 1989 against the Orioles and at Safeco when he hit a home run this past season against the A’s.  Not to mention many other memorable moments in between. 

Some additional notes on the stats.  The DH position (Sweeney and Griffey) for the M’s produced a combined 91 RBIs and 27 HRs.  Not bad for a position we have struggled with since the departure of Edgar Martinez.   

This fan is looking for one more year.  For the 4 faithful readers of this blog, please know that should Griffey return I will have tickets for opening day and the last game of the regular season. 

Saturday, October 03, 2009

4-0 Preseason, 1-3 regular season

A lot of people were falsely excited about our first 4-0 preseason in franchise history.  I am not a believer in having a strong preseason record, in football or baseball.  In fact, I want .500 or less.  That way, you show off all the errors and faults of your squad with the intent to change moving forward in serious play. 

I learned early on being a Mariner fan that there is was a direct correlation between a great spring training and poor season.  This year was not bad, we finished 2 games below .500 in spring training, and are now going to finish the season better than .500.  In 2008 the M’s finished at .500 then went on to have the first 101 lose season for a team with over 100 mil payroll.  My correlation is not bulletproof, but I hope you see the point.  We will have to wait and see where the Seachickens end up come December.

A lot of people blame injuries around here, and yes that does play a role.  However, it not something that you can always say is the cause.  Watching last weeks game, we left a lot of points on the field from missed field goals to overthrown open receivers. 

We now face Indy in Indy.  I don’t see us staying competitive in this game and predict a score somewhere close to 28-10 taking our start to 1-4.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Testing from iPhone

I don't use the iblogger app very often. Just doing a quick update.

If this works, this may help me pass time at the airport.

Green Uniforms…Seahawks, not Sounders

For those that watch the Seahawks leave about 14 points on the field last weekend, they should have also left the jersey’s. 

The Seahawks also have management ties to the Sounders.  My concern is that this “tie” is trying to build one “brand”.  Something I am totally against.  The Hawks have been around since ‘77.  Yes, not much to show for 30+ years of life, but I digress.  The Sounders are in their first year of MLS play.  I am not anti-Soccer or anti-Sounders, but do not blend the marketing message or colors.  I find this as a lame and stupid attempt to achieve whatever goal they are trying to achieve. 

Bring back the solid blue and grey pants from Zorn and Largent days.  I would rather go down the retro track than the soccer uniform track. 

Alex Smith update…

A long time ago, I stated it would take him 3-4 season to be an NFL caliber QB and later updated my prediction.

Apparently, I was way off the mark.  He is entering his 5th season and has yet to take over and keep the starting role.  Some of his career has been plagued with injuries.  For example, he did not play in 2008. 

I was fortunate to see him play while I was in Utah.  His last year at Utah is something to be amazed by with 2900 yards, 32 TD and only 4 INTs.  He obviously was a great QB at the D1 level, but continues to experience some obstacles achieving success at the NFL level.  He is currently the backup QB to Shaun Hill. 

.500

Whew!  And, in large part, thanks to Brandon Morrow.  He pitched 8 strong innings for the best outing of his professional career.  This is exactly what Morrow skeptics needed to see.  He was also able to get a little boost from Junior as he hit HR number 629 of his career. 

The latest talk on the airwaves has been about what a waste it would be to bring back Griffey.  As I have stated before, his stats are no better than our DH’s in recent seasons.  It is his clubhouse and bench vibe that will help mentor the younger talent that owns a majority of the Mariner population.  I also hope that Griffey aids in talking to Felix and providing him with the guidance to stay with the M’s for as long as possible.

Felix is having a Cy Young year, and would win it if it was not for Greinke.  The ERA that Greinke is producing (2.06) we have not seen since Pedro Martinez in 2000.  On that note, Felix’s ERA (2.48) is lower than the past 8 Cy Young winners in the AL:

2008

Cliff Lee

2.54

2007

CC Sabathia

3.21

2006

Santana

2.77

2005

Colon

3.48

2004

Santana

2.61

2003

Halladay

3.25

2002

Zito

2.75

2001

Clemens

3.51

2000

P. Martinez

1.74

What I find most interesting about this list.  With all the dominance that Halladay shows us year after year, he only has 1 award. 

The Mariners need to start positive communication with Felix between now and the winter meetings/next season.  I think he is eligible for free agency after 2010.  It would be a shame to have him up and leave Seattle, especially if we receive nothing in return.  I am for signing him, and doing so post haste.  Drop/trade Bedard, Silva and Batista.  The amount money tied up in these 3 individuals is astounding.

 

Games

ERA

Salary

Batista

53

4.19

9.5 Mil

Bedard

15

2.82

13.4 Mil

Silva

8

8.6

12.25 Mil

Felix

33

2.48

3.8 Mil

Pretty sad.  Our “ace” is the lowest paid player of the group.  I realize there are better stats to look at then just ERA.  Both Bedard and Silva have spent well over half of the year on the DL.  I realize the talent of Bedard, but his talent has a direct correlation to how often he is on the field.  I could tell everyone how great my fastball is, but if no one is going to see it what’s the point.