Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day!

I know, the Sox played two games in Japan last week, and Washington opened their new park last night. But today was the real Opening Day.

A lot of results from today's games will carry over for the rest of the season. For instance, the Orioles lost. They're going to do a lot of losing this year. Baltimore is a bad team, and it has to play a lot of games in the division, where the Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays are very good, and the Devil Rays should finish .500. Baltimore will be lucky to win 70 games.

The Giants didn't just lose, they were also shutout. Not for the last time. It's going to be a painful, painful year, even for a team with a great rotation.

And Johan Santana won. That's going to happen a lot.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Torch Run

Well this is encouraging.

The police say that they won't restrict protests when the Olympic torch comes to town. Now they just have to release the route.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Naturally, I think this is terrific news.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008


While San Francisco waffles, kudos to Nancy Pelosi:

If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China's oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world....The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world

Saturday, March 22, 2008


The Olympic Torch is scheduled to come through San Francisco April 9 on its (schmaltzy marketing-driven) tour of the world before heading to Beijing.

This is all very well and good, except that China is very touchy these days about any protests against its actions in Tibet (i.e. invading a sovereign country, shooting people, etc.). This affects San Francisco because the organizers of the event here are trying to keep even the route of the torch secret to hinder protestors. It sounds like they cannot even stomach the idea that having protestors near the torch--apparantly that might hurt the torch's feelings. They also talk about herding protestors into "free speech zones", which would presumably mean keeping them out elsewhere.

This is horrendous. I was under the impression that our entire country is a free speech zone. It is insulting and absurd to try to limit protestors here, especially people protesting against a foreign government. Eventually, the city will have to back down and the route will become public. I'm sure that when it does, the protestors against China will be out in force, as they should be.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Michigan Basketball Wins Tournament Game!


Ehhh, the Big 10 tournament. Against Iowa. It's generally not a good sign when the first sentence of the game summary reads:

Michigan missed 13 shots in a row during a stretch in the second half.

But somehow Michigan won the game. Michigan plays again tomorrow and I believe after that I'll be able to resume not paying attention.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bartolo Colon

The Sox have somehow brought Bartolo Colon to spring training. On the one hand, he won 64 games in four years from 2002-2005 and won the Cy Young in 2005. On the other, he's tailed off badly since then and (how to say this gracefully?) he's looking rather big boned these days.

In the "I don't know which way it cuts" category is the fact that his listed birthday is May 24, 1973. So he's 35 in Dominican Republic Years.

Back when he was in Cleveland, I would complain that he was a headhunter. But that was a long time ago and I'm prepared to let bygones be bygones because it's always good to have more pitching.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

...getting closer...

I went for a run along the Embarcadero yesterday and ran past the Phonebooth. One of its cool features is that one can see the diamond from outside the right field wall.

When I last ran past a couple of weeks ago it was all torn up (they had one of those motorcycle-jumping-dirt-heaps events there a month ago). Now the grass is green and it looks great.

Which is not to say that the Giants will be any good. They had posters up with their marketing slogan this year. The theme seems to be "______ is a gamer." As in "19 years, 11 Gold Gloves, Omar Vizquel is a gamer."

Ehhhhh, he may be a gamer, but he can't hit. Vizquel was the worst hitting shortstop in the National League by FAR last year. He had the lowest OPS of anyone with 500 at bats and Jimmy Rollins had more than TWICE AS MANY total bases. I suppose he is a gamer, though.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Iraq costs

Aside from the cost in blood, this war is also costing us money. Lots of money. Like, two trillion dollars. With a "t".

Here's a story from 2006 pointing out that the war could cost as much as one trillion dollars. Now it's doubled. More interesting is how the Administration originally estimated the whole thing would cost "just" $50 billion. Oops.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mitchell Report

American Lawyer magazine is perhaps not the most widely read publication out there, but it had a moderately interesting article on the Mitchell Report.

Apparently it cost Bud Selig* $20 million. Was it money well spent? I don't know, but it sure would have been a lot easier if he had taken action ten years ago, or five years ago.

The article does make it very clear that Mitchell reached out repeatedly to the Players Association. Roger Clemens can yammer on all he wants about how easy he is to find, but that's hardly George Mitchell's fault. He ought to be complaining to his agents and the Players Association.