Hear I Go Google!

Monday, August 17, 2009

No Rest in Fantasy Baseball: Cash for Clunkers, Fines for Plunkers, and Punk'd Moves

Shortly after my last post, Kevin Youkilis decided that a bean ball war needed his escalation. I can understand the need to flex one’s muscles and show that you not gonna be anyone’s Pedro Martinez’s “punk bitch,” but Youk got five games as a pine warmer. (1/10 of Manny "not 100%Manny" Ramirez's suspension for the worst offense we currently rail against…steroids.)

The opposing pitcher Rick Porcello got 5 games, one start out of the rotation. So the punk is on Youk. (bottom of the picture.)

Recently, the cash for clunkers program has taken off. The idea of giving an incentive/rebate to get a hunk of junk and gas-addicted vehicle off the bridge to nowhere has boded well. Baseball teams often take a scrap heap worthy player and rebuild him to his old, not-so- clunkerish form. At least in theory.

And so, the Phillies recently gave cash to a clunker pitcher in Pedro “Punk” Martinez. (I call him one because he threw down a septuagenarian…ex-Bo Sox manager, Don Zimmer.)

But Pedro had a better day than Notre Dame WR/wannabe starter Jeff Samardzija who, along with Sean Marshall, got punked out of the ballpark by the Phillies power quartet: Howard, Utley, Rollins and Ibanez. And another punk in the stands let The Flying Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, have some alcoholic fruit punch to go along with his uniform without a Wailuku Lei.

No Luaus for Mr. Victorino are planned in Chicago. He’ll be happy to sue that bleacher dude, without the surfboard, and whomever feels spry enough to take over ownership of the Cubs this season. Bummer.

Meanwhile, Rich Harden gets cheated by the rain Gods (not in Hawaii) on Sunday, God’s day of rest. My pitching seems more contented to rest – no wins, dead last and a growing gap – than to pitch to victory.

God created the world in six days…then he rested because it was good. Well, in my case, there is no rest for the wicked, wacky, and winless warriors on my punk'd pitching staff. (Aside from Roy Halladay… he got royally punked over.)

All in a day’s work – this punk is over.

(JP currently is running first! in a Yahoo! fantasy baseball league. Just took over that spot today.)

New: Appropo Song by Cage The Elephant: Ain't No Rest For the Wicked

Classic Live Version: Tracy Chapman, Fast Car

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Conan O'Brien: BLOW up my Car!!!

I submitted to Conan's contest to blow up a car on the Tonight Show. I believe I should win because:
1) My car indeed sucks, even if it were just a point A to point B ride
2) Using it to do papers, it sucks even MORE - I have to make sure I don't lock myself out while driving nearly 27,000 miles per year.
3) Winter time is coming and it REALLY BLOWS - therefore, blow it up.

Here's my 120 word submission:
I’ve delivered stale daily newspapers in MY TANK for 15 months. It has NO
power steering but provides good exercise cheaply. The front windows don't come
down, NO A/C , and the child locks refuse to be disabled. Driver's door unlocks
only from inside. Houdini would scratch his head.

The radio has only FM - but I love sports talk on AM. It uses a quart of
oil per week and gets 16 MPG at a cost of $400 per month. The TANK is
desperately seeking a suicide - give it what it wants. My livelihood depends on
a death trap: I can't afford to replace it, but it’s killing me
financially. BLOW IT UP, PLEASE!!!

I believe it is BLOW UP WORTHY. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Library of Congress: Home to Our History, A National Treasure

I've never been to the Library of Congress. The idea appeals beyond the massive size and scope of the collections they have - (the research one can do!) - and the history one can lose one's self in during a visit, hopefully, prolonged.

In doing a baseball book, I know there are plenty of resources for books and images. The images that are older (sans copyright) are a special treat to find. To shape a story about the history of the sport, you have to include the quirky past to understand how it evolved into the sport where $1.5 Billion stadiums rise out of dirt to pay homage to men in tight uniforms. (And to think guys would play for free - nearly - back in the 1850-1860's.)

The Library of Congress though holds much more than the baseball game.

It holds our nation's treasured past, its foilables, its great expansion, and its bloodiest moments. The dreams of ordinary citizens, the lines of poets and playwrights and the hallowed words of Presidents long since gone. It is the written essence of our country - that which Thomas Jefferson sold his vast personal collection of books to keep alive after the War of 1812. (The Brits burned down the original Library of Congress.)

Jefferson's collection doubled the Library's existing volumes to that date. He offered: "I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from this collection . . . there is in fact no subject to which a member of Congress may not have occasion to refer."

Jefferson, who would pass away in serious indebtness ($200,000+ in then 1826 dollars), was a knowledge hound. Much more than most of our politicians and scholars are even in today's information age. He read, in Latin, the classics. Adored Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) a Roman philosopher, orator, and statesman. Indeed, he saw a usage for all books - and organized them by subject matter - thus paving the way for various classification systems utilized by the Library of Congress, and also, under the Dewey Decimal System.

Researchers owe their debts to Jefferson for adding his collection to the Library, his understanding of how knowledge is organized, and later, the ability to find millions of volumes in this Library today. While I have never been to Library of Congress , the libraries in America are stocked with the impetuses of Jefferson (and Franklin). They themselves are National Treasures - but their ideas gave us the most tangible assets we need to hold steadfast in our most trying times.

(This Post was written from the Lowell Public Library, Lowell, Indiana.)