Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Andre Day

It must be the day of the Hawk. I found this recap earlier and now Joe Posnanski has joined the parade with a remembrance of his '87 MVP.

I remember him fondly. My brother and I had a great share of baseball fun as kids who were born in the late 70s near Kansas City and crazy for George Brett, but roiling with Cardinal blood. We moved outside of St. Louis in late '83 and finally made a full conversion to the Redbirds in 85, what a year to have those divided loyalties. I say we fully converted, but that might apply only to me. Come '87 my brother's favorite player was Dawson, and so it remained until Bo Jackson [1]. I can still see his "Hawk" and "Black and Blue" posters, and I remember our first trip to Wrigley to watch Andre play. We sat behind a pole.

[1] Joe has the definitive entry on him as well. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Progress

Steve grows impatient. Rightfully so. I have something serious brewing, and as much fun as that might not be, it's not completed, so I'll regale you now with something in the vein of this blog's intention, even if it is second hand and from a couple of days ago. I'm a fan of vicarious knowledge. I give you the poor fellow who happened to sit beside me and his delightful approach to the women on his other side:

So, would it be alright if I talked to you? I mean it's okay if you don't want to.

That my friends is ineffective. I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Apologies

I know that I've been absent -- criminally so. But I promise that I've been cogitating more than my share. Thoughts will come.

James

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Finally a solution

The education question has been answered...


Little Becky Prank Call

Crash? Wallop? Bang!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

TILD, Number Cruncher

I recently acknowledged my error in understanding the pitching legalities in MLB. Scenting blood, Steve decided to press the issue. All kidding aside, he had a great question, in fact it was one I pondered myself:
So how come a softball would get such wicked velocity and movement over a baseball thrown underhand? Is it the marginal weight difference or is it the size?
In researching the issue, I've come to understand that my initial thoughts were well founded, and to prove it, I've whipped up a little spreadsheet. If you take into effect the compressed distance in regard to the break of the ball the effective response time decreases even more and I'm sure many of the people playing the game are grateful for aluminum and composite bats -- and one wonders why the pitchers and corners don't demand catchers masks being so close to the action due to the decreased distances.

I've also uploaded a new scoresheet and I'm aware that I still owe some issues from this weekend's Cubs series, but they might have to wait until my computer is less cranky -- this is the fifth time I'm composing this entry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yay!!!

Tired of the Bonds spectacle? Too much of a homer to relish in Biggio's chase for 3000? From Deadspin today is something I think we can all get behind. That's four 0s folks.

LET'S GO PHILS!

Hopefully I'm Still Human

I suppose this is a third-removed post or such. No matter how many quotations are in affect I have to reference this story. If for nothing else I just came upon my own new glove, but in addition, I love the light they shine on Manny. I've grown accustomed to his dismissal by almost everyone and this seems a delightful reclamation of his spirit. I'm most enamored by his recursively quoted statements about getting back in the box after receiving four balls:
He said, ‘I don’t keep track of the balls.’ He said, ‘I don’t keep track of the strikes, either, until I got two.’ Then he said, ‘Duke, I’m up there looking for a pitch I can hit. If I don’t get it, I wait for the umpire to tell me to go to first. Isn’t that what you’re paying me to do?’
I've got a new appreciation. I'm not in love, per se, but I'm fascinatedly in-giddy.


Revelation

Well, friends, this is why I don't usually talk to folk. Steve asked a question and I was certain of the answer. Well it turns out I was wrong. I always thought it was barred. But it turns out it's a physical limitation as he originally opined; Damn him:
Some pitchers choose to throw using the 'submarine style,' a very efficient sidearm or near-underhand motion. Pitchers with a submarine delivery are often very difficult to hit because of the angle and movement of the ball once released. Walter Johnson, who threw one of the fastest fastballs in the history of the game, threw sidearm (though not submarine) rather than a normal overhand. True underhanded pitching is permitted in Major League Baseball. However, it is difficult to generate enough velocity and movement with the underhand motion.
That's one helluva long link, but I'm not clever enough to narrow it down right now.

I realize that I owe you a couple of scorecards, but life has eclipsed my opportunities to post them so far. As an aside, even with the season opening 1 run showing the Cards are averaging 8.3 runs on Sunday to 2.1 for the other days of the week. Even with my career disgruntlements, I haven't hoped for it this strongly since my childhood summers, but a month of Sundays would be quite welcome.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Heartbreak in the 12th. Film at ... tomorrow.

I'm too dispirited to box or post the scorecard right now. I'll additionally eschew all commentary except for this. If you're stealing home, Steal Home. Sheesh. It looked like a broken play to me, but still a rundown gets you nowhere there, you might as well barrel through. And not that he could have forseen it, but with Bengie's bobble a slide would have plated the run.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Italian Letter

Even with all that we knew and now know, not to mention the things that should have been evident, I can't help but be surprised and aghast at some of the blatant deceptions that have put us into this awful position. You'll recall that letter from Niger promising 500 tons of Uranium a year to Iraq. From the ABC News article:
But if the CIA had done a simple Internet search on some of the terms used in the letter, the agency would have quickly learned that it was a forgery.
It Continues:
...Eisner told ABCNEWS.com. "Anybody, you or I, could have taken this and fact-checked this thing and we would have learned that this was nonsense. We would have learned that the organization in the letterhead hadn't been in existence for many years, that the person who signed it last served in that post in 1989 and that the court in Niger had been renamed in 1990."
The article goes on to relate how an Italian journalist,
Elisabetta Burba, had failed to report on the letter prior to Bush's famous State of the Union in which it was presented because it lacked credibility after 15 minutes of scrutiny. In it's conclusion, another issue is raised:
Although much of the mainstream media reported the explosive claims as fact, some TV outlets and newspapers expressed doubts.

"Many were sold a deal the same way that the administration did that to the Congress and to the American people," Eisner said. "The media loses some of its critical analysis in a run-up to war and instead there was a drumbeat — the words 'mushroom cloud' were used repeatedly, battering the airwaves."

And in that, the truth. Despite its tenor to the contrary, we are all accountable.

I suppose that my ire might be unusually whipped up due to the two documentaries from America at a Crossroads I've watched this evening, but Lord I'm eager for some accountability. I don't seek punishment, but as I said accountability and responsibility. In the second film, "The Case for War," Richard Pearle,
in an attempt at absolution, states to a war protestor that, "I'm not the President." And there it is, I may have pushed and orchestrated, but I didn't make the call. There is only one man that's responsible, but he doesn't admit to mistakes.

There's plenty of this to go around. I've expressed to many people that I cried at the rise of the last Intifada and it's senseless necessity, and on the invasion of Iraq. There is enough independant suffering in the world without us organizing, on both sides, even up to a state level to perpetuate it. Yet, I didn't speak outside circles of like or similar minds, I didn't decry loudly enough the idiocy before me. There is only one man that's responsible, and he was too busy preaching to the choir for the President to hear him.

A google search could have stopped the war? So could've a conversation.

Monday, April 16, 2007

170 turnaround

We almost turned it all the way around. I suppose all of the commentary I really care to give is here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Mr. Robinson Day

The Cardinals celebrated in style. Additionally, there were a couple of great pieces in the KC Star today that varied a bit from the standard fare I've been seeing on Jackie. The others have been great too, but it's nice to have a little different perspective on occasion.

On a side note, does it ever appear to anyone else that some umpires are just out to keep the game interesting? Paul Schrieber's strike zone today was, well let's say variable.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Cheap Butt

Back when the mighty MOX was still broadcasting our Redbirds* I was travelling to see my parents in northeast Arkansas on a Thursday or Friday night, a trip of about four and a half hours**. I picked up the vibration of the ether soaked leviathan as I was exiting St. Louis and the game's lullabyes sang me through southern Missouri (or was it a cadence), its ebbs and tides slinging me over and around the hills and valleys of the Mark Twain National Forest. I subconsciously accellerated and coasted according to the current count, breathing it in nervous measure out the window.

We coallesced just outside my parents house. It was the bottom of the 14th and Houston had loaded the bases. The newly warmed up Ray King (perhaps he was responsible for the 3rd base runner, I really can't recall) was now called upon to quash the fire and redeem the chances of our visiting club. As I carreened down the driveway desperately wishing arrival and a chance to watch the inevitable rally on my parents T.V. I pulled to a stop at the delivery of the deciding pitch. I exploded from the car and sprinted into the house surprising my waiting parents -- also glued to the call and only remotely anticipating my arrival. "He hit him!" I heralded. "How could he possibly have hit him?!" The game's first and final pitch had shoehorned my drive and despite the outcome I've never experienced a more pleasant or quickly tallied drive. The love and appreciation of free baseball courses through me.

We had our first taste of it in 2007 this evening, a full third of a draught beyond our share and the outcome was delightfully different, and I am overwhelmed. In addition to our team's ability to make opposing pitchers look remarkable when we have an off night, especially soft tossing lefties (did I see a 59mph on that 2nd or 3rd inning curve? Surely a mistake), Gorzelanny also overcame his NHL name to pitch a respectable game. For our boys, Keisler arrived from AAA to plug a Carpenter sized gap and did so with aplomb giving up 2 in 6 innings and giving us a chance. Spezio's timely hitting in the ninth followed a pivotal, runner-advancing fly from Pujols, and when all else seemed to fail in the 12th, Snocone forced his way past a great throw on an atypical sac fly and Izzy sweated us through 3 outs.


* Before the trip described would take 6-8 station changes as it does today.
** At this time, I leave it as an exercise of the reader to dig up this paricular game of 2005

Monday, April 9, 2007

Biology Project Lawsuit Update

I previously included a link to an NPR story about a student suing a teacher and school district over a late assignment.

Coming to us today, courtesy of, "Talk of the Nation," is the story of a high school student with a 4.5 GPA to her name suing a teacher for an "F" she received for a late assignment. It seems she was on a student council field-trip on the due date and feels, litigiously, that she should be excused the deadline as she turned in her work the following day.

Among other claims in the suit are provisions claiming "emotional stress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of scholarship potential."


The subject came up in conversation this weekend and I was driven by curiousity to see how things developed. Well, it looks like they haven't, not to completion anyway. The madness continues.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Eventually...

I've been hovering around South St. Louis for five and a half years without incident. It seems overdue that I returned to my car this evening to discover a broken window. The ambiguous they stole a bag of my already read books and a few journals along with some quiz cards. I hope the bastards find some use for the shit. I can't help feeling a bit violated as, if nothing else, they took my words as they intruded into my space. I'm recalling the worse atrocities that have been visited upon my friends and feeling thankful, but only to the degree that I'm better off than them. The idea that there are a few folks out there polluting the world against the rest of us is not foriegn to me, but I'm recently reminded of their impact.

Game 5

It was Roy Oswalt, what did we expect? He dropped and drove throughout the lineup and only faced 4 more batters than was required. What a performance.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Mike Shannon speaks on Willie

Mays never caught air
Shoestring catches were on stride
Base runners beware

Friday, April 6, 2007

Halleluia

Well looky there! Little Dunc had a great night, even if he was a bit greedy in the 6th, and Wainwright and Co. flashed some leather. I'm going to stick to the positives and allow myself an evening of grins. 158 to go.

Oh, and there was a 1-2-3 DP. Rejoice!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Game 2

Kip Wells looked pretty good after the first even if the gamble didn't pay off in the sixth, hat's off to El Duque. But dadgumit if we're not on pace for 0-162.

I will not panic.
I will not panic.

And if anyone from the 25 man roster is watching:

I will not ground into double plays.
I will not ground into double plays.

P.S. Is the 2007 jinx against players respected for their defense in effect? Jeez, let's hope not.

Spring

Leather creaks and gives.
The delivery sails true
And the maple sings.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Opening Day

Well, at least Eckstein had a good night. The same cannot be said for Taguchi, it seems that his fielding has continued to decline from last year's mid-season slide. For someone whose appeal is supposed to be predominantly solid defense, he just doesn't look comfortable. And neither am I. Harumph.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The future is plastics...

Nothing is quite so frustrating as a newly constructed engine shuddering and laboring under the supervision of an insistent starter without firing. There comes the natural muttering and cussing -- my father's choice, "You little dickens," and "You sorry sucker," rolls off his tongue, cause daddy never worked blue. I, on the other hand, exhausted an unabridged Webster's of its colloquialisms into my shirt pocket, mostly out of his earshot.

A lively discussion ensued regarding the short block's indifference to top dead center on the compression stroke or exhaust, or the lack thereof. After losing the argument for no better reason than, "it ain't workin'," I lay on a creeper and slid under the car to divine the difference of the identical circumstances that were apparently ruining us. As I poked around uncertain of my quarry I was saved from above. "Hey, where does this go?" He held a final, unconnected module in his hands and I almost immediately found its home on the crankshaft with my wandering fingers. Two men who'd carefully aligned perfect timing chuckled in the final connection and a purring engine, having, only hours before, eschewed the reassembly checklist as unnecessary.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

In Review: Vacation Week 1

I've reclaimed the belief that there are few things in life that can't be remedied by three days spent in the afternoon sun. Along with two days in a car, one elbow deep in a car's engine, and one spent building a pole barn lean-to, those three days have comprised the first week of my vacation (and tonight there was fishin'). And it's been a blast, although one that currently defies further explanation. I'll have to elaborate when I'm not drop-dead exhausted.

Oh, and it seems I turned 30 about an hour ago (at least by the calendar, I'm sure the folks well again remind me at what precise time I arrived when we're having breakfast). More on that later as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

To Regain a Positive Vibe

The World Series is now available. I've eschewed commentary on each page so far, but it's coming.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fasten Your Seatbelts

We're deforming our children. What was once a rather well-rounded if clumsy process of molding has deteriorated into bumble-headed myopia.

Some might rightfully question my authority to dispense opinion on this particular topic. I've not taken on the responsibility of raising a child, I've merely dabbled with the idea of a career in education, and I'd hazard to posit that my own schooling would be considered atypical by most. But I assert a right to incredulity in the light of our current state of education.

I'll allow Sarah to kick us off with an exposition on the lack of enforcement which has left us with so many tubs of goo. What else can we expect in a world wherein so many grandparents are the disciplinarians in our kids' lives. Please pardon me as I stand on my head to see if that can ever, possibly look right.

In other news, I stumbled across an article and blog post on Saturday. They both kicked off with a wonderfully perceptive story:
“In America, you test your students a lot, don’t you?” She replied, “Well, indeed, the United States has a national policy that requires testing of all students in certain grades.” The Indian educator said, “Here, when we want the elephant to grow, we feed the elephant. We don’t weigh the elephant.”

We'll return to the effort involved in getting a reluctant elephant on a scale in a moment. For the time being I'd like to draw attention to the end of the article, in particular:

Dweck described how seriously students took this neurological learning: "When they studied, they thought about those neurons forming new connections. When they worked hard in school, they actually visualized how their brain was growing."

And here's where we get down to it. Understanding leads not only to an improved perception of reality that more readily allows our more dynamic selves to take form, but indirectly fosters curiosity in order to continue the experiment and watch our brains grow. And ultimately understanding fosters an awareness of our ignorance, and true curiosity kicks in. In that, a child begins to grow.

As for the poundage of the precocious pachyderms (and they generally are, precocious that is, just take a minute to talk to them and see). I struck up a conversation with Allison on the subject and received quite a shock. In her position as an adjunct teacher at a local elementary school she's given time off so that her students can take the mandated state aptitude tests. Her vacation amounts to 5 weeks -- 1 week for practice, 3 for testing, and 1 for makeups. As a person whom envisaged the two days a year they took for testing as a child whenever I heard, "no child left behind," and remembered the interruption it caused, I can't discuss this topic more for lack of suppressive control of my gag reflex.

I'd be remiss to exclude this conclusion, and in so doing, forget the other end of the spectrum. Coming to us today, courtesy of, "Talk of the Nation," is the story of a high school student with a 4.5 GPA to her name suing a teacher for an "F" she received for a late assignment. It seems she was on a student council field-trip on the due date and feels, litigiously, that she should be excused the deadline as she turned in her work the following day.

Among other claims in the suit are provisions claiming "emotional stress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of scholarship potential." There goes that reflex again.

Incongruously we've beaten some of our children into caricatures of complete people while we've allowed other to wallow in the soupy puddles of their inadequacy. Still others suffer, as they always have, pressed through the colander of adolescence and circumstance, a topic for another day, but crowded by the additional walking wounded we now foist upon them day after day.

P.S. upon futher reading, the phrase, "an arbitrary and capricious act." was used in conjunction with the lawsuit. Blaaarrrghech!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Contagion

Well ain't this stuff addictive? It seems I've gone and expanded my online presence. It's just a skeleton right now, but here's an example of what I'm going for. I figure that I can foist my obsession on the uncaring world and maybe, just maybe, someone might get a kick out of it.

So, enjoy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Lord

I've been spelling this incorrectly for such a long time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

3/6/2007

retinue (n): Etymology: Middle English retenue, from Anglo-French, from feminine of retenu, past participle of retenir to retain Date: 14th century:
a group of retainers or attendants.

ossification (n): Date: 1697
1a: the natural process of bone formation
b: the hardening (as of muscular tissue) into a bony substance
2: a mass or particle of ossified tissue
3: a tendency toward or state of being molded into a rigid, conventional, sterile, or unimaginative condition

denude (vt): Inflected Form(s): de·nud·ed; de·nud·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin denudare, from de- + nudus bare — more at naked
Date: 15th century
1: to deprive of something important
2a: to strip of all covering or surface layers
b: to lay bare by erosion
c: to strip (land) of forests

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Pimentos

Allison asked the question. My favorite source responded.

Friday, March 2, 2007

RIP

It's gone. My much loved vehicle is a pile of useless, mashed components that thankfully managed to avoid placing itself entirely in my lap in its last moments. It performed its final and highly prized task, keeping my tuckus unharmed. And now it's gone. And I'm liberated.

In a day when I should be frantic -- I work 31 miles away from my home, outside of walking distance by a fair sight -- I find myself pleasantly at ease. I'll carpool to work for a while, Dan's great about it. I'll walk or bus it other places. I've got some money in the bank. My folks are looking to get a new car and I like what they currently have. I'm certain that things are going to work out, and that's unusual for me as of late.

I've had things to do. There were (and are) definite steps to be taken. I think that that's what I've been missing. Amidst the calamity of my work and the shiftless nature of the remainder of my recent life, it took the destruction of something I loved to give me a little direction. Now to carry that on.