Monthly Archives: July 2008

Today’s Idiot: Barack Obama (Vol. III)

It’s getting to the point where every day could have a new Barack Obama edition, as he’s easily one of the most clueless and least qualified people to ever run for President of the United States.

As you may have heard, Barack Obamamania took it’s show overseas. He spoke to thousands upon thousands of Europeans, which in itself is interesting because no matter which position he decides to take, none of those people can vote for him, so I don’t know why he was interested in them.

During his time in Germany, you may have heard that Barack Obama decided not to visit the American troops. McCain and others called him out on this and the Obama Spin Machine kicked into gear. They said that the Pentagon wouldn’t allow them to visit the troops. Which simply isn’t true.

Obama wanted to make his visit to the troops a campaign event, just like every other single thing he does. He wanted all his people there and he wanted cameras. Lots of them. That’s when the Pentagon stepped in and said he could bring a few Secret Service men and a few aides, but that was it.

And all of a sudden, Obama had other things to do. The only reason Obama cancelled his visit with the troops is because he couldn’t turn it into a campaign event. It would have been something done simply for other people, and Barack Obama doesn’t really care about other people, and he certainly doesn’t give a damn about the American military. Obama, just like many other Democrats despise the military.

Also, if you’ll notice, the Democrats are still complaining about the War. But they’ve moved their focus to Afghanistan. Why? Because we’re winning the War in Iraq. Damn. All that complaining about winning.

Finally, the bumper sticker that says “When Women Vote, Democrats Win” is probably one of the truest bumper stickers I’ve ever seen.

Now don’t go crying that Nate says that all women vote stupidly. Because I know plenty of women that are intelligent and vote based on information and qualifications rather than the empty lies that they’re fed.

Democrats favor big government, which is the way to vote if you’re not planning on being a productive member of society. Women (not all, but for the most part) seek security. They want to be safe and secure when raising their children. And it’s someone else’s job to provide that security. That someone else shouldn’t be the government. Call me sexist, but I’m a traditionalist. I’d rather work 2 or 3 extra hours a day to provide for my family than have all these pointless government programs designed to do what individuals should be doing themselves.

Women prefer the word “security” over “freedom”

I’d rather have the freedom to provide my own security. Democrats hate individual success and personal achievement.

So go ahead, believe his tricks but don’t complain if this rock star figurehead ends up in the White House. There are no redeeming qualities to this man. He’s awful.

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JCBC Softball: Game 6

OPPONENT 10, JOHN’S CREEK 6

Another loss dropped John’s Creek to 1-5 on the year, but this was the first game to get through all 7 innings before the time limit. So it was a close and good game for the most part.

John’s Creek only scored in one of the seven innings, but plated six runs, helped in part by two errors by the other team’s shortstop. John’s Creek banged out 13 hits, but managed to hit into a double play and six fielder’s choices to keep runs at a premium. TJ continued his hot hitting with another two hits and JT recorded his first hit of the season. A solid single off the pitcher’s buttock. Nate had two more doubles and James followed his first hit of the season with his second, and drove in a run.

The defense was pretty good, but had a couple of misplayed balls in the outfield that cost them quite a few runs.

Again, with no outs in the third inning, with four runs in already and nobody out for John’s Creek, the umpires decided we were making the game too close for comfort. With Bryan on second and TJ on first, Lou chopped a ball to the shortstop. He flipped the ball to the second baseman who was about as close to the bag as I was, and I was in the dugout. However, Umpire Fatty McButterpants called TJ out. TJ had some well-deserved questions for the umpire who made some spit excuse about keeping people safe.

Huh?

Before I get mad, here’s the abbreviated boxscore:

Dwight: 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI
Bryan: 0-3, R, ROE
TJ: 2-3 (average up to .389)
Lou: 0-3, R
Ned: 1-3
Nate: 2-2, 2 2B, RBI (sacrifice fly)
Robert: 1-3
Darren: 0-3
JT: 1-3, R
Josh: 1-3, R
James: 2-3, R, RBI

JCBC Softball: Game 5

JOHN’S CREEK 20, OPPONENT 13

Finally, a victory. And all it took was Nathaniel not hitting. After going 0-4 in the first four games when Nate hit .636, John’s Creek won Game 5 20-13 with Nate getting only one hit.

Despite the umpiring being “questionable” at best and “outright biased” at worst, John’s Creek was able to slug their way to a victory. Ned, Bryan, Big Lou and TJ all collected three hits apiece and Dwight was on base all four times last night.

Playing down a man last night, John’s Creek played some great defense with Zachary and Dwight both making great plays.

Playing in a church league where your team is the only team that’s not from the same church as the umpires has its’ drawbacks, and these drawbacks had never been as clear as they were last night. Before the season, I read and re-read the league rules and know them by heart. So I’m going to address some things that occurred in last night’s game.

  1. The Roaming Strike Zone: It’s different in the top of the inning and the bottom of the inning. Pitching for the first time last night, I got a good idea about this.
  2. In the second inning, Bryan blooped a ball to shallow left field. I was on first base and with two outs headed to second base on contact. The left-fielder came in and the shortstop went out. As I arrived at second (with the best view of the play), the shortstop caught the ball, tripped over his left-fielder and dropped the ball. As I turned on the jets to score I heard the field umpire (hereafter referred to as Umpire Fatty McButterpants) call Bryan out. Now, the rulebook outlines plays such as these, and lets the umpire rule if a ball is dropped during a transfer from glove to hand. This rule specifies that in order to be ruled “dropped on transfer” the fielders hand has to go into the glove to get the ball. Which never happened in this case.
  3. In the third inning Ned hit a drive to right field and had an easy triple, but the shortstop feigned a tag, causing Ned to slide into second even though the outfielder still hadn’t gotten the ball yet. According to the church’s extra rules, the shortstop’s actions were illegal and penalized with an immediate ejection from the game. This didn’t happen.
  4. In the fourth inning, we were in the field and they had a runner on first with one out. Their batter hit a grounder to our shortstop, Big Lou who stepped on second and threw to first for the double play. But wait, the runner going into second executed an ugly take-out slide, which Lou took exception to. Take Out slides are also supposed to result in an immediate ejection from the game and a one-game suspension. None of this happened. And on top of it, Umpire Fatty McButterpants was at second base to make the out all there, and then proceeded to, from behind second base, call the runner at first safe, even though I received Lou’s throw a step and a half before the runner reached first. I had tossed the ball to the mound and stepped off the field when the safe call came and was astounded that we weren’t out of the inning.
  5. In the fourth inning, I hit a long drive that landed just fair down the left field line. Always hustling, I was rounding first as the first baseman was yelling foul ball and telling me to stop. Having four innings of their bull behind me I kept going and went into second standing up. Again, misleading a runner in this league is bush league and illegal according to First Redeemer’s rule book. So, by my count, there were three players on the other team that should have been ejected, but none were.

But John’s Creek still managed to put up 20 runs for the first time this year and won their first game. Here’s the abbreviated boxscore, which looks better than the first few games, at least for most people.

Dwight: 2-3, 3R, 2B, 2RBI, BB, ROE
Michael: 2-4, 2R, RBI, ROE, 4E (fielding, 4)
TJ: 3-4, 3R, 3B, 2RBI,
Lou: 3-4, 3R, 2B, 3B, 4RBI
Nathaniel: 1-4, 2R, 2B, RBI, ROE, K
Bryan: 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, ROE
Rob: 0-4, 3K, E (fielding)
Zachary: 2-4, 2R, RBI, ROE
Ned: 3-4, 3R, 2B, 3B, 4RBI

Look at all those hits, runs and RBIs. I’m so proud. The next thing to fix is our second base defense. Nine of our 23 errors have come at second base, or nearly 40%.

Today’s Idiot: Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon is the manager for the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s got his young team in first place in baseball’s toughest division and they’re playing well. They’ve pitched well, fielded even better and hit enough to win a lot of ball games.

Last night, the Yankees (3 games behind Tampa Bay) traded four minor league prospects for Pittsburgh outfielder Xavier Nady and left-handed reliever Damaso Marte. Both players were targeted by Tampa Bay, but they balked at Pittsburgh’s asking price. So what was Maddon’s response to the Yankees ponying up the necessary prospects to obtain Nady and Marte?

It doesn’t surprise me, that’s the way they do things. They’re going to buy people at the appropriate time.

I sense there’s some resentment in Tampa. Tampa Bay has a farm system that’s regarded by many as the best in baseball, and much better than New York’s. If Tampa had truly wanted Nady and Marte (who are also under contract through 2009 at a decent price) all they had to do was part with some minor leaguers. They didn’t and the Yankees did. That’s why Marte and Nady are playing for the Yankees, not because New York “bought” them, but because they were willing to take a risk to improve their team this year.

JCBC Softball: Game 4

Not pretty again. The defense improved tremendously, but the hitting continued to slump. A lineup shuffle helped nothing, but the defense made only two errors, both throwing.

Playing against a team that racked up 38 runs in their last game, we held them to a moderate 13 over five innings before getting run-ruled. Robert continued his hot and clutch hitting, driving in two more runs to increase his team-leading RBI total to seven. Michael made his much-anticipated season debut, and with a severely burned left index finger picked up a run-scoring single in the fifth inning.

The defense was markedly improved, committing only two errors in the game and turning in some incredible defensive plays. TJ snagged a rocket at third and Nathaniel made a tremendous diving stop at shortstop to save a run. Robert, Darren and Bryan all played excellent in the outfield against a team that dumped singles all over the outfield.

John’s Creek is winless in four games this year, but are showing marked improvement. I never thought I’d say this about a slow-pitch softball team, but the hitting just needs to get going and we’ll be fine.

Dwight: 0-2
Josh: 0-2 (grounded out to the pitcher. In softball!)
Darren: 0-2
Nathaniel: 1-2, R (hitting .583 on the year)
Bryan: 1-2 (hitting .500 on the year)
TJ: 0-2, 2R 1E (throwing) (reached on an error, hit into a fielder’s choice)
Lou: 0-2 2E (throwing, throwing) (reached on an error)
Robert: 2-2, 2RBI (7 RBI in three games)
Michael: 1-2, RBI, 1E (bobble)
Chuck: 0-2
James: 0-1

Today’s Idiot: Latarian Milton

I don’t like annoying children. And a 7-year-old kid stealing his grandmother’s Dodge Durango and going for a joyride qualifies as annoying.

Meet Latarian Milton. He was mad at his mother (probably because she gave him a reduced-fat muffin rather than fifteen regular ones) so he swiped his grandmother’s car keys from the counter with his little friend and took the car for a joyride. While his 7-year old buddy smoked a cigarette. Joy.

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Other reasons Latarian gave for this little stunt was that he was tired of video games, he wanted to do “hood rat stuff” with his friend and he was pissed that his mother named him Latarian. Okay, so I made that last one up. But he still wanted to do hood rat stuff.

The kid is so gangsta that he ran over two mailboxes, nailed several cars in a parking lot, hit two moving cars and knocked the axel off his grandmother’s car.

You may wonder how a 7-year old puts a car into gear. Let’s ask Latarian.

“I yanked da, I yanked the, I yanked the um .. thing.”

At least the grandmother is thinking appropriately.

“I want to whip his behind, that’s what I want to do right now. If I thought they wouldn’t take me to jail, I’d whip his behind right now.”

Latarian had a different idea for a punishment.

“Just a little bit, just no video games for a whole weekend.

No video games for a whole weekend for Grand Theft Auto! He’s just precious.

Today’s Idiot: John Wiley Price

In Dallas County, TX (where Dallas is) the collections office that processes traffic tickets has been slacking off in recent years. So the county commissioners met to decide what to do with the problem.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that collections office “has become a black hole” because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Buckle you seat belts.

Fellow commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black interrupted his colleague’s report and saying the office has become a “white hole.”

So a black Texas judge, Thomas Jones, is now demanding that Mayfield apologize for his racially insensitive analogy.

This is unbelievable. “Blackhole” is a common scientific term that for Price’s, Jones’ and any other idiot out there who doesn’t know, means “the invisible remains of a collapsed star, with an intense gravitational field from which neither light nor matter can escape.”

Some black people are just looking to call white people racists. There is a scientific phenomenon called a “blackhole” that applied to the Dallas County discussion. There is also a “white hole” although it’s just a theoretical reversal of a black hole. Perhaps it’s racist that a black hole steals any matter that crosses its’ horizon and a white hole gives back to the universe, but Kenneth Mayfield used a scientific term properly. Don’t call him a racist, Mr. Price, just because you skipped Science class.

Surprise, Surprise

Pulled this off ESPN.com

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Can’t say I’m surprised at the results. When I took the survey 783263 had already taken it. That means 408,000 people voted that Derek Jeter was the least deserving of his all-star spot. As I argued here, while Derek Jeter wasn’t the correct choice over Michael Young, but he was a better decision than Pedroia over Kinsler, Ortiz over Bradley and Manny Ramirez over about a dozen guys.

305,000 people decided that Jeter wasn’t the least deserving and instead chose the guy that is far-and-away the best player at his position. Nevermind that A-Rod is hitting .344/.441/.669 with 14 HR and 39 RBI in 45 games since coming off the disabled list (a 50HR, 140RBI pace).

The fact that Joe Mauer and A-Rod got any votes speaks volumes for the ignorance of American baseball fans. I know that most of the people that voted for A-Rod or Jeter have probably been fans since about October 20, 2004 and probably couldn’t tell you anything about either guys’ current season except “he sucks, go Sawx!” but it’s still painful that America’s national pastime has some of the most dense and shallow followers of American sports.

JCBC Softball: Game 3

BLACK TEAM 12, JOHN’S CREEK 5

Not a pretty third game. Only real positive is we played much better defense, cutting the errors from 11 last game to 4 tonight. Robert drove in two and Bryan drove in one and scored two. Other than that, nothing much to put in a note. Our 3-4-5-6 hitters went a combined 1-for-12.

New pitcher JT pitched very well with a shifting strike zone. Tough game at the plate for John’s Creek, but an even tougher game for both umpires. The home plate umpire spent most of the game chatting with some guy behind the backstop and I’m not sure what the field umpire was paying attention to, but it wasn’t what was happening on the field. Now, here’s the boxscore, but I warn you: if you’re expecting offense, you’re going to be disappointed.

Dwight: 1-3 (2 reached on error)
Darren: 1-3, RBI
TJ: 0-3
Lou: 0-3
Nate: 1-3, 2B, R
David: 0-3
Josh: 1-3, R
Bryan: 2-2, 2B, 2R, RBI
Robert: 1-1, 2RBI (sac fly)
Randy: 0-2 (batting .125 through 3 games)
JT: 0-2, R, ROE

All-Star Positional Analysis

In light of the All-Star selections, I figured I’d take a look at the pBRAA and RSAA of the players.  pBRAA is the position-adjusted batting runs above average and evaluates players based on their offensive production relative to other players at their position.  0 is the middle line and anything above that should be considered decent.  The higher the better.  RSAA is runs saved above average, defensively.  Add the two numbers together and you get a decent evaluation of how valuable a player has been. An asterisk denotes an All-Star, a double-asterisk denotes the starter.

 

AL SECOND BASEMAN

1. *Ian Kinsler, TEX – pBRAA (28), RSAA (-1) = 27
2. *Brian Roberts, BAL – pBRAA (16), RSAA (-1) = 15
3. Mark Ellis, OAK – pBRAA (2), RSAA (11) = 13
4. **Dustin Pedroia, BOS – pBRAA (10), RSAA (3) = 13
5. Joe Inglett, TOR – pBRAA (5), RSAA (2) = 7
17. Robinson Cano, NYY – pBRAA (-16), RSAA (11) = -5

>For as bad as Robinson Cano has been offensively, he’s been downright great in the field. His RSAA is tied for the lead league even without Larry Bowa constantly in his ear. Statistically, the AL’s starting second baseman is the fourth-best player at his position, considering multiple facets of the game. He’s certainly handled the bat this year and has definitely been passable in the field, but he isn’t an All-Star this year, let alone the deserved starter. Mark Ellis can call himself snubbed.

AL CATCHERS
1. **Joe Mauer, MIN – pBRAA (18), RSAA (-1) = -17
2. *Dioner Navarro, TB – pBRAA (6), RSAA (2) = 8
3. Miguel Olivo, KC – pBRAA (4), RSAA (3) = 7
4. Gerald Laird, TEX – pBRAA (6), RSAA (0)
28. Kevin Cash, BOS – pBRAA (-2), RSAA (-2) = -4
29. AJ Pierzynski, CWS – pBRAA (6), RSAA (-10) = -4
36. *Jason Varitek, BOS – pBRAA (-6), RSAA (-3) = -9

Keith Law said it best when asked what the biggest surprise in the all-star game selections when he said “Jason Varitek over various multicellular organisms capable of wearing a catcher’s mitt…” Varitek has been the 36th best catcher in the American league this year, and remember that their are only fourteen teams in the AL. And for all the experts that say AJ Pierzynski was snubbed, I disagree. Leaving the 29th-ranked catcher off the All-Star game roster is no crime.

AL SHORTSTOPS
1. *Michael Young, TEX – pBRAA (13), RSAA (-1) = 12
2. Orlando Cabrera, CWS – pBRAA (6), RSAA (4) = 10
3. **Derek Jeter, NYY – pBRAA (7), RSAA (2) = 9

Yes, Michael Young deserves to start the All-Star game (along with his double-play partner) but Derek Jeter isn’t that far off for those that look past home runs and RBI. Cabrera has a case for an all-star selection, but by no means is he a snub.

AL THIRD BASMEN
1. **Alex Rodriguez, NYY – pBRAA (27), RSAA (-1) = 26
2. Scott Rolen, TOR – pBRAA (5), RSAA (13) = 18
3. Mike Lowell, BOS – pBRAA (10), RSAA (6) = 16
4. Evan Longoria, TB – pBRAA (15), RSAA (1) = 16
5. *Carlos Guillen, DET – pBRAA (7), RSAA (6) = 13
9. *Joe Crede, CWS – pBRAA (3), RSAA (1) = 4

This is a confusing selection of players. No doubt A-Rod is far and away the best third baseman of a deep group of players, but Scott Rolen’s defense shoots him way up the list (advantage, Toronto in the offseason swap of 3B). Guillen’s not a horrible choice, as he’s fairly comparable with the three players just ahead of him, but Crede’s selection is seriously questionable. Terry Francona said it was tough not to take his own guy in Mike Lowell, and it’s obvious that he didn’t choose Lowell to avoid looking like a homer, but Francona already looks like a homer for taking his closer over half a dozen more deserving AL pitchers.