Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Enjoying Win7 even more

This is a just a quick note on a few things I think Windows 7 does very well.

Home networking.  With the “homegroup” feature it is extremely easy for my work computer to share documents, photos and videos with my home personal computer.  It does not take a network certification to do this.  It is my hope that Windows 7 does not have any future security risks with this feature, as it is favorite of mine.  Especially since I have 3 computers at home that need to exchange files on a regular basis.

The divide screen for 2 windows.  I am not sure how to even describe this feature, I believe it is called “snap”.  I would almost go so far as to say you really don’t need that second monitor now.  When writing my blog, I like to have web pages next to my Live Writer program for stats and quick hyperlinks.  Now with these windows side-by-side, it makes it very easy to find and enter information.  This feature is used by dragging a window to the bottom right or left corner.  The window will scale to that half of the monitor.  Drag another program to the other lower corner and presto, a nice side-by-side view is presented.    The feature can be viewed at the 7 second demo page

The MAC ad about how things will be different this time, is the best ad they have right now.  But I have to say I am starting to feel that Windows has finally turned a page into the realm of a stable and functional operating system.  Perhaps we can thank MAC for this, as I am sure the competition and negative PR these ads generated did help. 

Congratulations Zack Greinke

Felix did finish second, as expected.  I know a few people out there wanted to see CC in the top 2, but I believe the voters got this one right.  It would have been great to have a Mariner win this award, first since Randy Johnson in 1995.  How did Felix from ‘09 compare to Randy of ‘95?

Johnson 18 2 2.48 6 3 294
Felix 19 5 2.49 2 1 217

Not bad, clearly Randy had a killer year with nearly 300 strikeouts and 6 complete games.  Other than that, wins and ERA are basically even.  Overall, the numbers that Felix put up are decent and should be noted his career is just starting to take off at the age of 23.  One stat that I did leave out, Felix had 4 more starts than Randy, 34 to 30.  I did not take the time to find out how many of Randy’s were defined as “quality starts”.  For those of you keeping score at home, another favorite of mine, Verlander, came in third. 

What 2009 proved to me was that Felix is capable of being the go to ace the Mariner organization expected from him.  That is a lot of pressure but he rose to the challenge.  Now, if Griffey can just convince him to stay with the Mariners.  I believe he is under club control for at least the next two years if not for a third.  The rush to sign him is not there yet.  I have a feeling that Jack Z. will not be one of those GM’s that sits on his hands until the very last minute. 

Here is to a great 2010 for the King. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Playon for Wii

Playon is an interface application that allows your gaming consoles to access streaming content such as Hulu, YouTube, etc.  They have this now for the Wii…well sort of.

The way it works, you install a small client on your and PC and add the internet channel to your Wii console.  In the browser, you navigate to playon.tv and all works well.  The one time charge of $35 is required once your 14 day trial expires. 

The overall performance is somewhat slow, but it is still nice.  I had a little mouse tell that Hulu has a “plug in” to Media Center in Win7 which would solve my main need.  The problem, I do not have any more room in my living room for a PC.  Perhaps a nice NetBook would do the trick?  Bill A, care to comment?

Securing the shortstop

Again, no surprise.  The Mariners sign Jack Wilson to a two year contract.  He only played 31 games this year, but offers better defense that Yuni was able to offer.  I hope that he is able to bring up his average to around the .260 range.

Not much else to say on this signing but that I like it.  I hope that Jack can stay healthy next year.  I think securing up your center defense is key. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sesame Street…WTF?!

With all due respect to this American television treasure, what just happened?  We noticed on our Tivo that we finally had a 2009 episode of Sesame Street.  (Oh, I should note this is for my son, I don’t record these for my own enjoyment).  I was excited for fresh meat as I can only see Brian Williams report on the case of “mine-itis” or Fiest sing to the number 4 so many times before I grow bored.

The intro.  New graphics and characters playing different roles, not sure if I have seen enough of this intro to have a true opinion.  So far, neutral on this piece.

We have two of them recorded and I have only watched the first 30 minutes in one of them.  They appear to be going for a more “edgy” camera angle when filming these opening 10 minute skits.  Again, not sure how I feel about this.  It is nice to update this cinematography, but I am not sure if the extra close shot of baby bears face was really necessary to show his fear of bees.

The overuse of CGI.  I realize that CGI is in basically everything.  But we now have to contend with Abby’s “Fairy School” being completely CGI based.  Part of the joy and mystic of Sesame Street to me was the characters.  Having Abby go “digital” on us really stinks.  This is starting to bring back feelings that I have kept deep down inside about the “new” Star Wars prequels.  All sense of story, character development, and decent acting went out the window for annoying CGI characters as Jar-Jar and overly CGI’d fight scenes. 

Also, no more letter or number of the day.  In the episode I saw, Murray did some little ditty on “F”.  No real introduction to the letter or anything.  I loved the fact that episodes of this show were sponsored by letters and numbers and not Lucasfilms Inc..   

This blog post was brought to you by the phrase: “Dude, WTF?” 

3,000 hits?

So, what does this mean for Griffey?  He is currently sitting at 2763.  If we was to get close, say 125 away, does he really try to come back for a 3rd season?  If so, would it be with the Mariners? 

Griffey has never been one to show much interest in career numbers or milestones.  However, this milestone has a limited class size. 

Pete Rose 4256
Ty Cobb 4189
Hank Aaron 3771
Stan Musial 3630
Carl Yaz 3419
Honus Wagner 3415
Paul Molitor 3319
Eddie Collins 3315
Willie Mays 3283
Eddie Murray 3255
Nap Lajoie 3242
Cal Ripken Jr 3184
George Brett 3154
Paul Waner 3152
Robin Yount 3142
Tony Gwynn 3141
Dave Winfield 3110
Craig Biggio 3060
Cap Anson 3055
Rickey Henderson 3055
Rod Carew 3053
Lou Brock 3023
Rafael Palmeiro 3020
Wade Boggs 3010
Al Kaline 3007
Roberto Clemente 3000

Pretty interesting company.  Names that I somehow missed this career accomplishment, Rafael Palmeiro and Craig Biggio.  Just plain awesome to see Paul Molitor so high up on this list.  And good ole Honus Wagner, most people only know him as the expensive baseball card. 

It would be nice to be in this list, for sure.  Biggio. Boggs and Winfield did this at age of 41, Rickey at 42 and Cap at 45.  I would be willing to bet if he is close, he would have to return for yet another year. 

Of the names above, only 4 of them are also in the 500 Home Run club, Aaron, Mays,Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro.  Take Griffey and his (at the time of this writing) 630 HRs and that is a nice 5 member club.  Well 4, does Palmeiro really count?

In all honesty, with his current rate of play, this would take a pretty good effort.  Last year, he only was able to muster 83 hits.  The previous year between the NL Reds and AL White Sox, he grabbed 122.  That number would be about what he would need to average in 2010 and 2011 to grab an illustrious spot on the list above.  I guess, only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One final year!

Welcome back Griffey!  I was surprised to see this announcement so soon.  Perhaps they wanted to complete this “sure” deal so they knew exactly the money pool they would be dealing with between free agents and arbitration.  Now I guess I need to live up to my promise of attending opening day and the last game of the season…shucks. 

Another reason could be free agent recruiting.  I would be naive to think that money does not play a major role in where a players lands.  But perhaps providing players the opportunity to play next to someone like a Griffey is what the Mariners are hoping to achieve.  Or, they want to attract a younger crowd to the organization.  “Come play in Seattle, be mentored by one of the best”.  I can already hear the critics about the lack luster stats that Griffey produced last season and how that will translate over into 2010.

I do not see us making it into October in 2010, but it would be nice.  Now, the rest of the free agent signings by Seattle will be interesting.  If Jack Z plays his cards right, we could contend for a wild card birth.  The potential is there.  The team in 2001 was really a bunch of no names outside of Seattle, and they were able to tie for the best record in the history of major league baseball.  Anything is possible. 

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Hot Stove league

With the Seahawks tanking, this is a great time to start the process of the Mariners free agency offseason discussion.  Stay tuned to this website to track who signs and where. 

Big names for the Mariners are Beltre, Griffey, Sweeney and Branyan.  Or, that is how I see it.  I am not including Bedard or Batista as I see both of those guys pitching somewhere else in 2010. 

Beltre would be great to keep, even though he has yet to live up to those NL MVP numbers he achieved before signing in Seattle in 2004.  His defense is something that would be nearly impossible to replace.  Matt Tuiasosopo is not the next greatest third baseman.

Griffey and/or Sweeney?  The hometown would love to see Griffey back, but most baseball fans would rather have Sweeney in DH as he was able to produce in that role.  I see Sweeney going elsewhere and Griffey returning for a swan song of a season.  To show you what a class act Sweeney is, here is Jim Street’s blog

Russell Branyan had a career year, even though the last 2 months he spent most of his time day-to-day or on the DL.  Leading the team in HR’s should warrant a return trip to the Emerald City.  Ibanez did the same last year and was playing the World Series this year so who knows what decisions will be made.

Regardless of the fait of our free agent eligible players, we need to find ways to improve the offense.  We were dead last in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored.  That does not look good.  Especially when the top 4 offensive teams in the American league played in October.  Our pitching was good last year, first in ERA.  The trick will be raising the bar on offense without having adverse affects on pitching.

Here’s to an exciting hot stove league and I cannot wait for November 13th!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Poor angry ex-A-Rod fan’s

I fit into this category and our joy has come to an end.  We hoped and prayed that A-Rod and his greed would never see a World Series title, but that dream has come to end.  The Yankees, and their 3 pitcher rotation were able to out last the Phillies and their dry hitting.   Besides the fireworks in game 5, the Phillies seemed almost vacant in this Series compared to last. 

As far as fan base goes, I have to say I have new found love for the Philadelphia faithful.  The energy that was portrayed through the idiot box during games 3-5, was a nice change from the almost “crowd track” noise from Yankee stadium.  I know I am biased being anti-Yankee, but you get the point.

Seattle Mariner fans can move on with their hatred and dislike for A-Rod, only if they choose.  I actually hope to make the Yankee series next year as this team is full of hall of famers, whether I like that or not. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The front office

If your starting pitching breaks down, you have to out hit the Yankees.  That is exactly what the Phillies did last night as Chase Utley entered October lore by tying Mr. October for the most home runs in a World Series. 

So, what is aiding in making the Phillies so great of late?  Let’s take a look at the front office.  Pat Gillick has left his mark on this ballclub.  Wherever Pat has gone, so has success.  He led the Blue Jays to back to back titles in 1992 and 1993, took the Orioles deep into the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 then helped turn the Seattle Mariners around from 1999 to 2003.  All three of these teams have not seen the post season since Pat departed as GM.    The only caveat to this, he retired in 2008 from the Phillies and here we are 2009 with the Phillies in the World Series.  It appears the streak has been broken. 

Gillick was able to achieve success without the use of blank checks, such as the Phillies opposition.  It is interesting to see how successful ball clubs can be with a stable and visionary front office.  I do hope that Jack Z can bring that same level of success to the Seattle Mariners.  According to what we saw in 2009, we are headed in the right direction.   

Monday, November 02, 2009

Big D got the better of us and damn Yanks

WTF was that this weekend?  Talk about laying an egg.  Everyone around here wants the Seahawks to server up the GM’s head on a platter before Thanksgiving.  I heard some disgusting stat this past week.  Since the Super Bowl in ‘05, the Seahawks have gone 25 and 30, including this past weekend  Keeping in mind, 19 of those 25 wins came in the ‘06 and ‘07 season.  Meanwhile, the Steelers won another Super Bowl in ‘08 and still compete and scare opponents to this day. 

I know the fans want answers and they blame management at this point.  Between ‘07 and ‘08, we did not lose a lot of players to free agency.  In ‘07 we had 10 wins, in ‘08 we had 4.  People blamed the public retirement of Holmgren for that mess of a season along with a higher than normal injury count.  Now we have our new coach, still some injury issues, but have improved personnel overall with an equally bad result.  Perhaps the front office is full of football halfwits, but it is the same front office that was able to achieve a trip to Super Bowl 40.  Perhaps the old guard does need to go, but for what?  Holmgren as GM?  Making a change now, will have little to no barring on the rest of this season.  I know it seems like a long season, but really 16 games is a very short time to do much, let alone the last 8.  By making the change mid-season, it would demonstrate a desire to get back on track as soon as the season ends.  Hit the combine camps with some intensity and start looking for valuable free agents.  (Deon Branch was never considered valuable by this blogger). 

Moving on to the last game in Philly.  Come on Phillies!  This is becoming embarrassing.  Why do we not cover third on a shift?   Who forgot their assignment, Lidge!?  We always knew Lidge was bound to return to his Pepto-Bismol ways, and he did so last night.  I hate the Yankees for everything they stand for, even heads-up base running and 9 pitch at-bats.