Al's Ramblings

Thursday, December 31, 2009

(12/31/2009 11:28:00 PM) - Al

I have to wonder why these facts have never been brought up elsewhere. Getting money back from the government you never paid in...I guess that's "spreading the wealth", but it reeks of anti-free market principles.

12/31/2009 11:28:00 PM

(12/31/2009 10:33:00 PM) - Al

Brian Anderson is calling the Gonzaga/Oklahoma game on ESPN2.

I wonder if he's going to be doing a regularly scheduled game, or if they just needed him because they have six games today. I was shocked to hear Terry Gannon discuss doing his 3rd game in 48 hours much for research and film work.

12/31/2009 10:33:00 PM

(12/31/2009 09:09:00 PM) - Al

This is going to be a pretty weak post to conclude 2009, but here goes...Has anyone else not known what day it is all week? Tonight, I wondered why Cops wasn't on at 7...because it's not Saturday, me guesses.

{Yes, I realize my enjoyment of Cops makes me a hick to many. They just don't appreciate the complete ignorance of the criminal mind.}

I'm out, as I struggle to stay awake, despite playing poker and enjoying sports on TV...I think I've become addicted to naps.

See you next year.

12/31/2009 09:09:00 PM

(12/31/2009 08:19:00 PM) - Al

Palin as Man of the Year.

I think it's safe to say Don's never looked at Google's images page of Sarah, 90% of which have her in a skirt.

12/31/2009 08:19:00 PM

(12/31/2009 04:40:00 PM) - Al

Here, here.

There is a correlation between Obama bad mouthing the US every time he steps on foreign soil and his incredible shrinking approval ratings...most of us are well aware that the USA is still the greatest nation in the history of the world, and in 50 years, it will only be better.

Those who are critical turn a blind eye to what a hole most of the rest of the world is...there's a reason why children in Africa dreams of being an American every night, and not a single American dreams of being an African.

12/31/2009 04:40:00 PM

(12/31/2009 04:29:00 PM) - Al

The left's argument at the moment seems to be that terrorism isn't a big deal...Michael Moore said that ages ago

"There is no terrorist threat," Moore insists. "Yes, there have been horrific acts of terrorism and, yes, there will be acts of terrorism again. But that doesn't mean that there's some kind of massive terrorist threat."

and it is even more moronic today.

Terrorism is not heartburn...something to accept as inevitable and take a tablet when it occurs. Some of us are still extremely angry about 9/ fact, far angrier than the old media is. This is one of many miscalculations the current administration has made.

12/31/2009 04:29:00 PM

(12/31/2009 04:23:00 PM) - Al

Lose arguably your best player for almost half the problem, as the Badgers rout the 15th ranked Buckeyes.

I don't think Bo Ryan will ever really be appreciated until he's not the coach anymore, and that's a shame. It's just a joy to watch his teams play.

12/31/2009 04:23:00 PM

(12/31/2009 04:19:00 PM) - Al

It's just astounding that people can talk about Byrd and never mention his incredible home/away splits. Forest for the trees.

12/31/2009 04:19:00 PM

(12/31/2009 02:33:00 PM) - Al

Several Dems are quitting before they even run...yet you never hear any of this in the old media, who just burying their head deeper in the sand to avoid seeing it.

I have to wonder if some more conservative Dems, Heath Schuler comes to mind, will switch parties before November.

James Carville said months ago that 2010 might be "far worse" than 1994, but he's the only one saying it publicly.

12/31/2009 02:33:00 PM

(12/31/2009 02:12:00 PM) - Al

Cards seem to be bidding against themselves for Holliday...5-8 years? Zoiks!

12/31/2009 02:12:00 PM

(12/31/2009 01:50:00 PM) - Al

Cubs sign Marlon Byrd, 3y/$15M.

Certainly not a financially devastating deal, but Byrd is very mediocre away from the bandbox that is Arlington.

I wouldn't be surprised if Carlos Gomez puts up a 716 OPS next year, and Byrd is not a superb defender like Gomez is.

12/31/2009 01:50:00 PM

(12/31/2009 11:59:00 AM) - Al

The Rambling son is leaving for grandma and grandpa's in a little while, so I told him if he wanted, I'd go to Taco Bell, his favorite, and get lunch. It gave me a chance to try the new 5 layer burrito I see advertised every few minutes on TV.

I will say this...for 89 cents, it is very big and very filling. It weighs about as much as 3 regular tacos, and is loaded with beef and beans, and has plenty of cheese sauce. The reason I went to TB's web site was to figure out what the 4th and 5th "layers" are supposed to be...I did not see any cheese on mine, and it had very little sour cream, I could not taste what the white stuff was.

If you only have $2 to spend, buying a couple of those behemoths is as good a fast food option as there is out there.

12/31/2009 11:59:00 AM

(12/31/2009 11:12:00 AM) - Al

Glenn links to nine stories missed by the old media...note the trend.

12/31/2009 11:12:00 AM

(12/31/2009 10:26:00 AM) - Al

The Palins were forced to leave Hawaii due to media whores, Pelosi and Obama ignored (except for the president's orchestrated official press, which is always heavily controlled).

The double standard, especially involving the minor children, has grown so obvious I don't think anyone will even pretend it does not exist. The Obama kids might as well be on the South Pole, as you never see them, as the old media, as they did with Chelsea Clinton, simply ignores them. Sadly, no punishment seems to be forthcoming, as even the respectful outlets don't seem to want to call the others on their abhorrent behavior.

12/31/2009 10:26:00 AM

(12/31/2009 10:20:00 AM) - Al

Liz Edwards meets John's other kid, insists he pay huge child support.

It's really hard to muster up an iota of respect for the former senator, who is literally a step-by-step guide on how not to live your life.

And yes, I know it's the Enquirer, which broke the Edwards affair after the old media managed to bury it for two years...the LA Times banned their people from mentioning it after the Enquirer broke it, as they feared Dem backlash.

12/31/2009 10:20:00 AM

(12/31/2009 09:27:00 AM) - Al

Dave Barry with his annual review of the year that was.

12/31/2009 09:27:00 AM

(12/31/2009 12:29:00 AM) - Al

It sure is a pleasure to see Northwestern ranked in the top 25 and almost defeat a higher ranked Illni team in Champaign. I always thought Bill Carmody and his "Princeton" offense was a perfect fit, but you'd never know it by his first few seasons.

By the way, the Wildcats are ranked 25th...first time they've been ranked since 3 months before I was born, January of 1969.

12/31/2009 12:29:00 AM

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

(12/30/2009 11:06:00 PM) - Al

Eric links to this piece showing the Crew signed Chris Waters to a minor league contract. I swear I mentioned this, but cannot find it, so I guess not. Maybe it got bloggered.

Waters is a nice AAA arm to have around, and adds more depth to Nashville. They've signed a couple lefties, you never know if one of them might stick as a loogy as well.

I think the braintrust is making a real effort to have 4-5 true AAA arms in the rotation at Nashville, probably in addition to Josh Butler, so when/if they need to dip down for a start, they'll have more than one guy...last year, Burns had pitched nicely, but his stuff gave no indication he'd be able to repeat that in the bigs. However, it was well hidden, but he did pitch very nicely out of the 'pen.

12/30/2009 11:06:00 PM

(12/30/2009 10:17:00 PM) - Al

Glenn with a brilliant idea that I doubt anyone else has thought of.

12/30/2009 10:17:00 PM

(12/30/2009 07:19:00 PM) - Al

An overlooked factor seems to be that once the fear of failure is gone, it throws off the whole "market works" scenario. Let's remember Enron...they went broke, and stockholders lost money...that's how it's supposed to work. With the constant flow of cash into these poorly run companies, it throws off the whole the cream rises to the top, survivor of the fittest part of capitalism.

Recall the textbooks we read that spoke of the Soviet record wheat harvests rotting in warehouses, as bread lines formed in the cities...because the government had no incentive (profit) to get it there.

Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The market works, but only if government lets it.

12/30/2009 07:19:00 PM

(12/30/2009 06:52:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother checks in to say he's surprised so many people think Jason Bay is far inferior to Matt Holliday defensively, as he often sees Matt make awkward looking plays, and would even say Braun is far better than Holliday. I have no idea, and looking at UZR/150, Bay is -8, Holliday +6...of course, other metrics may show other things, as there is no one defensive stat that "works" like OXS does, and often times, they disagree with one another.

The thing I find most troubling is that a poor defender like Brad Hawpe can somehow be saddled with a -47 one season, despite having less than two chances a game in the corner OF. Either Hawpe played without a glove, or it is a stat that is still being developed, and is far from perfect.

12/30/2009 06:52:00 PM

(12/30/2009 05:52:00 PM) - Al

Nelson begins running ads, not up for reelection 'til '12.

Maybe I would too if I was down, ahem, 31 points.

12/30/2009 05:52:00 PM

(12/30/2009 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Why do they keep hiring Charlie Sheen? I have to ask why women keep dating him?

I'd also like to add, I find it's amusing that he gets paid millions to portray himself.

12/30/2009 05:36:00 PM

(12/30/2009 01:57:00 PM) - Al

I'm torn on the Texas Tech situation, as it seems like one kid telling half-truths may well have been all it took to fire Leach, as he was due $800K tomorrow. That said, it's difficult to work up much sympathy for a guy who gets a settlement of $1.6M and appears to be in high demand already.

12/30/2009 01:57:00 PM

(12/30/2009 01:28:00 PM) - Al

The Orioles made an eight-year, $130 million offer to free agent outfielder Matt Holliday, according to Tracy Ringolsby of

BAL already has 5 decent OF options, though young guys like Pie and Reimond would have plenty of trade value and be cheap enough to keep as reserves. BAL needs a 1B or a 3B and some pitching, but can't help themselves when they think they can sign an elite FA.

12/30/2009 01:28:00 PM

(12/30/2009 01:09:00 PM) - Al

When the far-left columnists start criticizing Obama, it may well be a wake up call to change directions.

12/30/2009 01:09:00 PM

(12/30/2009 12:56:00 PM) - Al

Also in the news, the grass is green, and the sky is blue.

Working hard and not being able to keep that money drives people batty...that's why when tax rates go up, they collect less money, because people take more questionable deductions and the like.

The only question I have is, who will be the next Reagan and have the guts to tell it like it is. Many are afraid that with so many folks getting government benefits, it will be a losing battle to run on a "let's get rid of them" platform, but considering the polls, I don't think so.

12/30/2009 12:56:00 PM

(12/30/2009 12:25:00 PM) - Al

The UK media sure is unafraid to be critical of the nonexistent security policies. C'mon, this is the administration that banned the word "terrorism" from being uttered, and said the enemies captured on the battlefield need to be read their Miranda's pretty clear national defense and security is well down the list of priorities.

Remember, when W was playing golf, he didn't care, when Obama's playing golf he's "taking a low key approach". The irony is, the public is not fooled.

12/30/2009 12:25:00 PM

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

(12/29/2009 11:47:00 PM) - Al

Word is former Badger Alando Tucker has been traded to the Timberwolves. Good luck to beats Sioux Falls, where many ex-UW guys play.

EDIT: An article on Joe and Greg, with a sidebar stating Krabbenhoft has left to play in Korea for the season.

12/29/2009 11:47:00 PM

(12/29/2009 10:47:00 PM) - Al

“We have given up hope that network operators will move to improve security on their own, but we are hoping that with this added attention, there will be increased demand from customers for them to do this,” he told the Financial Times.

Those hackers, always looking out for the rest of society, with no thought as to their own well being.

Yeah, right.

12/29/2009 10:47:00 PM

(12/29/2009 10:07:00 PM) - Al

"Stimulus" money for Montana goes to a Minneapolis company to build tennis courts.

Notice how no one even bothers trying to defend the stimulus package anymore. Tax and spend, spend and tax, film at 11.

12/29/2009 10:07:00 PM

(12/29/2009 10:00:00 PM) - Al

The Senate Dems are in desperate need of some good press.

12/29/2009 10:00:00 PM

(12/29/2009 09:26:00 PM) - Al

Just confirmed my very exclusive new years plans - Twilight zone Marathon and making dinner w/ my mom and sister:-)--Meghan McCain

Suddenly, my plans, which involve dinner at the in-laws, don't sound so pathetic.

12/29/2009 09:26:00 PM

(12/29/2009 07:37:00 PM) - Al

Proof that people still have far too much money.

12/29/2009 07:37:00 PM

(12/29/2009 06:38:00 PM) - Al

DeRosa, over the last three years.

However, this is a bit of a stretch when looking at his future projections, because Mark was dominant playing half his games at Wrigley Field, where he raked.

Let's look at his numbers the past three seasons, using only his road stats from '07-'08:

2007--.349/.417, 766 OPS
2008--.347/.448, 795
2009--.319/.433, 752

Just to average them out, you're looking at about .340/.430, 770...considering Mark will be 35 soon, would not project him higher than that

Let's look at a pair of comparable players who do not seem to have nearly the reputation DeRosa does, make less money, and are younger:

Mark Teahen's last three years .330/.407, 737...playing half his games in KC, which holds down offensive production by about 2%, using BR's park factor.

Ty Wigginton's last three years .332/.460, 792, though he was aided by playing in HOU's bandbox for about half that stretch as well.

Another apt comparison may be Aaron Rowand...his past two years in SF is probably almost identical to what I would project DeRosa to accomplish...Giants' fans have to be underwhelmed by that, as I have not heard a lot of calls of "If only we had more guys like Rowand in the lineup"...they now have two guys that hit like the average NL 2B did last year...not exactly what you want from your 3B and CF.

As I said, DeRosa is far from a bad player, but he sure isn't a difference maker either. Add that to SF getting him for his years of 35 and 36...and the fact that Sandoval goes from being a superb offensive 3B to just another guy at 1B, it sure is easy for me to think the Giants would have been far better off signing a big bat to play 1B (Carlos Delgado jumps out at me) every day than DeRosa.

12/29/2009 06:38:00 PM

(12/29/2009 06:27:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son and I just had a talk about this, the second full moon of the month, and a New Year's Eve blue moon for the first time since '90.

He was all excited, it turns out, because on one of his video games, something is only for sale when it's a blue moon. He says it is also called a "harvest moon" because supposedly, it is bright enough for a farmer to pick his crops...ditto for hunter's moon, I would assume.

12/29/2009 06:27:00 PM

(12/29/2009 05:54:00 PM) - Al

Mets sign Jason Bay to 4y/$66M deal...$14-16M less than than he was offered by the Rockies and Red Sox.

12/29/2009 05:54:00 PM

(12/29/2009 01:22:00 PM) - Al

Ben Nelson better hope they have short memories in the flat land.

12/29/2009 01:22:00 PM

(12/29/2009 12:36:00 PM) - Al

This was just pointed out to me yesterday...six months ago, a Newsweek goofball could say "Obama is like a god" and not get laughed off the planet, while now, Obama's approval rating is off-the-charts bad.

Evan needs to spend a few minutes outside DC and in flyover country, we know how to separate our political leaders from those we worship...this, my friends, is why the old media will soon be a distant memory.

12/29/2009 12:36:00 PM

(12/29/2009 11:05:00 AM) - Al

Cards thinking of Felipe Lopez now that DeRosa is off the board.

I was just thinking last night that DeRosa may well have managed to reach the echelon of "overrated", though he isn't a bad player, by any means. He seems to get a lot of credit for his versatility, but in reality, he can't play SS anymore, so, while 1B/2B/3B/LF/RF is indeed nice to have, he doesn't hit enough to play anywhere except 2B or 3B everyday. He's also not a young man anymore, and while casuals tend to ignore that because "players keep themselves in good shape" nowadays, you still don't see many guys 35+ still producing at prime levels.

Between naps (why yes, I am on vacation), I may well do a compare and contrast with DeRosa later today.

12/29/2009 11:05:00 AM

Monday, December 28, 2009

(12/28/2009 11:27:00 PM) - Al

As I have done many times, National Review wonders what happened to Andrew Sullivan, who was an intelligent, well-written conservative at the beginning of the decade, and is now a conspiracy minded loon.

12/28/2009 11:27:00 PM

(12/28/2009 11:07:00 PM) - Al

CNN's ratings down 30% in a single year.

As bad as it is, that seems low to me. Larry King, Andy Cooper, unwatchable. The rest, merely putrid.

12/28/2009 11:07:00 PM

(12/28/2009 06:17:00 PM) - Al

The irony here is twofold...the incredibly thin Demi Moore is being photoshopped to appear painfully thin, and both her and hubby Ashton Kutcher have denied that the image was altered, which now appears to be a bit of an untruth...needless to say, most people don't send lawyers after people who end up being the truthful ones.

Those two deserve each other.

12/28/2009 06:17:00 PM

(12/28/2009 06:05:00 PM) - Al

If the best idea your newspaper can come up is to say we'd be better off if Amazon took more of our money and gave it to the government, you need a new newspaper.

12/28/2009 06:05:00 PM

(12/28/2009 05:00:00 PM) - Al

Everything went according to clockwork.

Failed miserably.

And, she's claiming the original quote is being taken out of context, which is of course code for "I'm a blithering idiot."

It's such a bad quote, you'd think Biden said it. Time to order another teleprompter.

12/28/2009 05:00:00 PM

Sunday, December 27, 2009

(12/27/2009 05:58:00 PM) - Al

AC/DC concerts may be canceled...rare birds don't like loud music.

The nanny state is alive and well. 20 years ago, those fools would have been laughed out of the room, today, it's a serious concern.

Maybe that's what killed the dinosaurs...

12/27/2009 05:58:00 PM

(12/27/2009 05:45:00 PM) - Al

ABC News has airline passengers complaining that they got to the airport late and had their tickets canceled...and there's no extra seats available.

Where do they find these people? It's the busiest travel day of the year, and they're supposed to save a few seats for the chronically tardy?


EDIT: I forgot to add one couple is going to miss their cruise because of this. Of course, if I had tickets for a cruise, I wouldn't be late to the airport and I wouldn't be flying out in the morning when the cruise leaves in the afternoon. The sense of entitlement and the total lack of common sense is literally overwhelming what used to be a nation that pulled itself up by the bootstrap and did whatever it took to be successful.

12/27/2009 05:45:00 PM

(12/27/2009 05:42:00 PM) - Al

Meghan McCain has become a household name because of the overreaction of a few to her picture in a tank top. If you wrote a story like this, they'd throw it out for being "unbelievable".

My gosh, can you imagine the furor if Meghan got a job at Hooters? Some people's heads would literally explode...

12/27/2009 05:42:00 PM

(12/27/2009 05:31:00 PM) - Al

Apparently, "the system" is designed so terrorists can bring explosives onto airplanes, only to be tackled by other fliers.

Did dhe get her job by finding a prize in a cereal box?

EDIT: Glenn puts together some links, this may be Janet's Waterloo.

12/27/2009 05:31:00 PM

(12/27/2009 02:28:00 PM) - Al

Week after week, I see oodles of personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that are just pure stupidity.

You wonder how guys dumb enough to make such mistakes are intelligent enough to find the stadium each week.

12/27/2009 02:28:00 PM

(12/27/2009 12:44:00 PM) - Al

He was quiet, kept to himself, kind of a loner...but I never dreamed he do this!

12/27/2009 12:44:00 PM

(12/27/2009 11:48:00 AM) - Al

Turns out, Gitmo may turn out to be one of the best ideas ever.

12/27/2009 11:48:00 AM

(12/27/2009 11:32:00 AM) - Al

How is it possible that it is colder in my garage than it is outside? Where's Al Gore when you need to ask him a cold weather question?

12/27/2009 11:32:00 AM

(12/27/2009 11:02:00 AM) - Al

The irony here is, everyone is furious with Nebraska...but in the back of their minds, unhappy with their own dudes for not bringing pork back to their state, as this Nevada piece correctly points out. At the end of the day, the only people happy are the ones who said, "You know, if we just expanded Medicaid by 30M, our problems would be solved!"

12/27/2009 11:02:00 AM

(12/27/2009 12:44:00 AM) - Al

Panthers, Raiders, Texans, Cowboys, and Vikings for my NFL picks, in addition to the other home teams, with the Raiders and Colts to beat the spread.

I'm 1-0 for the week thus far, thanks Chargers.

12/27/2009 12:44:00 AM

Saturday, December 26, 2009

(12/26/2009 10:32:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son, dog, and I spent the day traveling to and fro my family Xmas...the Rambling wife also attended, but will not return until tomorrow.

On the way home, the DS ran low on battery, so for the last 30 minutes we discussed volcanoes, dialects, erosion, and foster care. I also shared my belief that the Rambling dog will not still be with us when summertime rolls around. While I hope I'm wrong, the Rambling son's response was "Well, that would not be good", which is eerily similar to what I say all the time. Even in a world full of technology and astounding change, you still pick up an awful lot from who you spend time with.

Numerous times over the years, I would think of the Rambling dad, who of course, passed away several years ago now. He was always self-employed, and I never knew him to work for anyone else. When I would ignore corporate direction and just do what was best for myself and the store, I would often figure that's exactly what he would do...I also thought to myself no less than a few hundred times over the years that if my dad was working for a company that was so backward and inconsistent, he'd turn in his keys and walk out in disgust.

Some things don't change from one generation to the next, even though almost everything has.

12/26/2009 10:32:00 PM

(12/26/2009 10:29:00 PM) - Al

I gotta agree with the author at the link Glenn gives us...I see no change at all. Obama spoke unfondly of the US while he was running, and still does, moreso when out of the country. His wife implied she'd never been proud of the US until her hubby was nominated for president. He went to what is quite likely the only church in the nation where the phrase "God d*** America" has been spoken.

If you think he's changed, you were just drinking the kool-aid and not paying attention.

12/26/2009 10:29:00 PM

Friday, December 25, 2009

(12/25/2009 10:22:00 PM) - Al

A song about pretending you like those awful Xmas gifts.

12/25/2009 10:22:00 PM

(12/25/2009 05:19:00 PM) - Al

I'm taking the Chargers tonight, though I wish the Titans would make the playoffs.

12/25/2009 05:19:00 PM

(12/25/2009 01:10:00 PM) - Al

The legal version of The Night Before's funny because it's true.

12/25/2009 01:10:00 PM

(12/25/2009 11:57:00 AM) - Al

On the early NBA game, they were discussing Tim James, a former player who enlisted in the Army and is currently serving in Iraq. Here's an article about him from August.

It is amazing the stories the old media have every chance to tell but ignore. The fact James is not a household name because of a plethora of media coverage...yet the Octomom is, pretty much explains what a pathetic job they do on an ongoing basis.

As I often point out, he's not covered because he does not fit the narrative that the military is full of people that have no other options, never mind that's patently untrue.

12/25/2009 11:57:00 AM

(12/25/2009 08:04:00 AM) - Al

Hollywood ignores the fact video games are thriving with a pro-US message, only puts out anti-war stuff.

The thing is, they wonder why no one in Peoria bothers to see their film. I can't see the forest, all the trees are in the way.

12/25/2009 08:04:00 AM

(12/25/2009 01:31:00 AM) - Al


Merry Christma, I enjoy the blog daily. I finally have reason to write as you discussed bottles of booze costing $25-35 at Target.

As a bit of an expert on the subject, let me tell you that there's no reason to spend that much on a bottle, though many amateurs, probably Todd and Margo themselves, will pay more for a well known brand name or a fancy colored label.

My favorite, Evan Williams, usually sells for less than $10, and many others, Jim Beam for one, is just more than that.

As you would say, if you someone who is spending $25+ on a bottle, you probably don't want to hang out with 'em anyway.


I'd never heard of EW Robert, but after a quick search, found it's probably the most beloved "bargain" bourbon on the market. Thanks for the e-mail and the knowledge.

I should mention, whenever I see Modern Drunkard magazine mentioned, I always enjoy a good laugh.

12/25/2009 01:31:00 AM

Thursday, December 24, 2009

(12/24/2009 09:37:00 PM) - Al

Why It's A Wonderful Life used to be out of copyright, and now is not.

What a mess those laws are.

12/24/2009 09:37:00 PM

(12/24/2009 06:53:00 PM) - Al

Dodd heckled at airport. I know folks want to think the anger and disgust will soon pass...but it's only been getting stronger.

Paying off Nebraska and the various pork in the bill won't make it go away.

12/24/2009 06:53:00 PM

(12/24/2009 05:08:00 PM) - Al

I woke up from my Xmas Eve nap a while ago, and now the Rambling wife is off to play at church, so I thought I'd share a few observations from this morning.

---I went both to the grocery store and to Target, as we needed a couple things because our travel plans changed due to the weather. I don't think I've ever seen the grocery busier. The wife says it's because they close early tonight and are closed tomorrow, but I would say it's more than likely because almost everyone, either tonight, tomorrow, or over the weekend, are having a big meal or get together to celebrate the season.

--After spending years in retail, Xmas Eve was always a letdown, because while business is decent, it's far less than the days leading up to it, as a good percentage of people are either on the road, tired of shopping, or already at a get together. The nice thing about it is, especially when I was at the toy store, was the questions about the hot stuff ends, as Xmas Eve is a time to buy, not to ponder what sold out. Target only had 5-6 registers open, and were not busy at all.

--A couple days ago, I read some school suspended a teacher for taking a field trip class to Hooters (given recent trends, I'd just like to commend her for just taking them out to eat without dating any of the students). Apparently, healthy young women wearing tight shirts and shorts was "too much", even though the teacher said they were the only restaurant that had seating for 40. I see nothing wrong with Hooters myself, and the irony to me is, the cashier at the grocery store today was "showing more skin" than a Hooters gal.

I always have to wonder at how many things a person who finds Hooters bothersome must be negative about. All I can say is, I doubt I'd like to be around such a negative nellie. I also always chuckle how many young women wear Hooters souvenir T-shirts and tank tops...apparently, they have gotten over it, others should too. If you choose not to frequent a restaurant because (gasp), their servers wear sexy attire, all I can say is, thank goodness, I won't have to wait as long for a table.

You want to see suggestive clothing, hang around with the 16-25 year-old demographic in the summer months...Hooters associates will be telling them to cover up.

--At Target, they were changing an endcap right next to the registers to bottles of liquor, I suppose designed for people to pick up as gifts for their hosts. I am not a drinker, but was shocked to see they cost $25-35...jeepers. I was surprised store brand cream of mushroom soup selling for 99 cents (luckily, "Clear Value" brand was 49 cents, a far fairer price for a few ounces of salt/milk/shrooms).

--At the grocery, as I stood in the line of the cute college-aged woman, I was behind a young couple that could have stood in for Todd and Margo in the Xmas Vacation film. Both were dressed up a bit, he in a tie and jeans (always a giggle inducing look, make up your damn mind) and a hat (continuing the now 40 year run of men that looked ridiculous in hats...I can't believe some still think it'll work for them), she in a fuzzy white hat and heels (how she must have cursed the slushy parking lot), and their purchase included 3 bottles of wine, organic herbs, a pre-made gift basket (which I saw when I was looking for bags of bread for stuffing...a cheap basket, a couple apples and oranges, and a fruit that this small-town boy did not recognize, with shrink wrap around it) which rang up at $9.99...I'm 90% sure both myself and the cashier stifled a chuckle at the same time, as I know that's like a 90% margin item. The minimal purchase added up to $77, and "Todd", after throwing his scarf around his neck like a girl, had to be assisted by the cashier how to swipe his credit card through the machine.

Let's hope he doesn't have to fill the Lexus with gas on the way to their get together, as "Margo's" hat might get dirty as she helps him with that confusing "hose and pump thingie".

---I just checked, and my favorite poker site has over 155K people on it. I'm sure those who find Hooters offensive are somewhere calling them all "devil worshipers" and the like. I just hope, when I log in later tonight, that the ones at my tables have consumed a lot of the $30 a bottle alcohol.

Kids, drinking and driving, bad. Drinking and raising...good.

Merry Xmas Eve everyone.

12/24/2009 05:08:00 PM

(12/24/2009 05:07:00 PM) - Al

Steve e-mails to say I have the wrong Machado. Details below after the bold.

BA tells us the Crew has signed Alejandro Machado to a minor league deal. Machado was probably signed to provide AAA depth, but he's a guy who might see time in MIL, especially if the Brewers decide Adam Heether should spend a couple weeks getting some AB's, as they have done with Joe Dillon and Gabe Gross in the past. Machado is a switch-hitter with good speed who has a career .356 OBP in over 1100 AAA AB's, who has played mostly 2B/SS over the years.

He's a guy who you wonder why he's never been used for a year or two, as he runs fast and is cheap, two nice things for a backup INF.

EDIT: I have to wonder about his arm, as he's played far more 2B than SS, and has only played 5 games in his career at 3B...a very low amount for a guy who has played a decade in the minors, where you'd think he'd pick up a couple games per season due to injury and running out of players.

UPDATE: Anderson Machado is also a switch-hitting INF, but his OBP is only .326 in a plethora of AAA AB's, though he has played a lot of SS over the years. As Steve guesses, at some point, the Crew will likely send Diaz to AAA, removing him from the 40 man. Machado is probably insurance in case Diaz is lost.

Ramblings regrets the confusion, caused by BR labeling Anderson as "Andy".

12/24/2009 05:07:00 PM

(12/24/2009 04:55:00 PM) - Al

Helen Hunt's mom on a beach somewhere.

What...that's Helen Hunt?

The idea that's the same gal who wore a tank top through the entire Twister film is astounding.

EDIT: Darren says we should credit Hunt for not going the plastic surgery route. I will not disagree, but the fact she's aged 30 years in a decade is not comforting.

12/24/2009 04:55:00 PM

(12/24/2009 01:39:00 PM) - Al

Seth McClung with a politically incorrect but funny tale of an Asian-American woman at the bank.

12/24/2009 01:39:00 PM

(12/24/2009 01:24:00 PM) - Al

The best reliever left standing: Jose Valverde, who is, at this point, probably destined to take a major hit. He declined the chance to make $8 million to $10 million from the Astros, and given that he is a Type-A free agent and has draft-pick compensation hanging on him like an anchor, it's hard to envision his getting anything close to that kind of money -- to be a closer. The Pirates aren't going to spend big dollars on a closer (Dejan Kovacevic says they are talking with Octavio Dotel and Kevin Gregg in this piece) and it's hard to imagine the money-conscious Marlins -- who hang onto their draft picks like family heirlooms -- diving in. The Tigers are in cutback mode, which is part of the reason they didn't retain their own late-inning relievers; Valverde may or may not be a fit, but presumably it would be at a lot less than $8 million to $10 million for Detroit.

Now the question is whether a team like the Mets or the Cardinals would pay Valverde well to be a set-up man if the Bay or Holliday negotiations go badly -- but again, his tie to a draft pick could be a crusher.--Buster Olney

Like the buffoon who represented Sheets last year, it is truly remarkable how badly these agents misread the market, and lack common sense, and end up costing themselves 5% of millions...and their clients 95% of millions.

It may pay to have a guy trying to get you endorsement money, but as bad as they are at judging things, I think I'd rather do it myself and keep 100%. At least then, I'd know who to blame.

12/24/2009 01:24:00 PM

(12/24/2009 12:54:00 PM) - Al

Jim finds out that he, despite promises otherwise, will not be able to keep his health insurance.

I, for one, am shocked.

And no offense to Nebraska, but the idea that I and the rest of the federal taxpayers, will now have to pay for their Medicaid, plus my own state's, is just enough to push me over the edge...luckily for me, I was already there.

Somehow, when the tea parties begin anew next spring, I have to imagine "Nebraska" will be in the rallying cry.

12/24/2009 12:54:00 PM

(12/24/2009 12:07:00 AM) - Al

CNN with a piece on Festivus...and I didn't even spot any glaring factual errors!

Wait 'til Andy Cooper blames W for all the dead kids in the Superdome, caused by the airing of the grievances...

12/24/2009 12:07:00 AM

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

(12/23/2009 05:15:00 PM) - Al

What is being passed today is simply nothing like what was talked about during the campaign...of course, not that anyone except a lonely blogger bothers to check.

I've never heard a Medicaid expansion even discussed...and why am I the only one who thinks many of those covered are already covered now...but will gladly drop current coverage to get better, free or near free government coverage. I would like to think that somewhere in those 2K pages you can't qualify if you opt out of current coverage, but considering that hidden amongst the ink is billions for Nebraska, $100M for a hospital in Connecticut, and who knows what else, common sense stuff may have been missed.

12/23/2009 05:15:00 PM

(12/23/2009 12:59:00 PM) - Al

I'll try and open it up for questions about 11, otherwise, e-mail them to me and we'll answer them that way. For many of you, this is the last day before Xmas, and it's a good opportunity for you to waste some time before heading home.

MerryXmas, and Happy Festivus to one and all.

Scroll down for more recent posts...

EDIT: The chat is open for questions, just click and type. You can even remain anonymous if you wish.

12/23/2009 12:59:00 PM

(12/23/2009 10:13:00 AM) - Al

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin wanted to upgrade his rotation this offseason, but he had to do it within the parameters of Milwaukee’s moderate payroll.

So, he signed Randy Wolf to a three-year, $29.75 million contract.

But Wolf was willing to work with him on how big his paychecks will be in 2010. Of Wolf’s $9.25 million salary, major league sources say $4 million will be deferred without interest.

The reason: Milwaukee’s payroll will be tighter in 2010 than 2011. Melvin should have a little more flexibility after next season, at which point Dave Bush will become a free agent and options will come due on big contracts for Jeff Suppan, Trevor Hoffman and David Riske.

The Brewers aren’t necessarily through upgrading their rotation for 2010. (At present, Wolf is in a starting group that includes Suppan, Bush, Yovani Gallardo and Manny Parra.) Jarrod Washburn, a Wisconsin resident, remains unsigned for 2010 and has previously shown interest in pitching for the Brewers.

“The thought of playing close to home has always appealed to me,” Washburn said in an e-mail earlier this offseason, in reference to the Twins and Brewers.--Fox

It should be noted that if you count Bill Hall's $7M or so, I think they're close to $90M. I am under the opinion they "wrote off" Hall's '10 salary in '09, but that's just me. This is why people get upset about the Yankees and Red Sox, who can just ship off problems like Mike Lowell and eat almost the entire thing.

Also, they could have easily let Bush go by non-tendering him, but decided he was better than other options for the same price...which he probably is, but only if he returns to health.

I've said it often, but they'll bring in at least one more arm, but it'll probably be a swingman who can start or relieve. I still like Brett Myers, though his off-the-field stuff may have him off the list.

12/23/2009 10:13:00 AM

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

(12/22/2009 11:24:00 PM) - Al

If I had a dollar every time I heard that movies were dead, I'd have almost as much as the record box office.

Repeat after me, long after we're gone, movies and movie theaters will be alive and well.

12/22/2009 11:24:00 PM

(12/22/2009 09:53:00 PM) - Al

Obama's disapproval rating higher than W's was at the end of his second term.

Funny, that seems to have escaped the attention of the old media...

12/22/2009 09:53:00 PM

(12/22/2009 09:23:00 PM) - Al

It just dawned on me how ironic it is that BYU, where 90% of the students and fans are Mormon, is playing in the Las Vegas Bowl, where every day, much of what occurs would leave those of the LDS faith shaking their head in disgust.

EDIT: Per Wiki, 98% of BYU students are members of the LDS.

12/22/2009 09:23:00 PM

(12/22/2009 07:35:00 PM) - Al

English bookies set odds on all things Tiger.

12/22/2009 07:35:00 PM

(12/22/2009 07:06:00 PM) - Al

Happy Festivus Eve, my friends.

12/22/2009 07:06:00 PM

(12/22/2009 07:03:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers are playing a "classic" game on FSN tonight, FYI. I think I'll flip between that and BYU/Oregon State, which is #14 versus #18, one of the best non BCS games being played.

12/22/2009 07:03:00 PM

(12/22/2009 06:42:00 PM) - Al

Apparently, NY did not get in on all the "under the table" deal making that went on, also known as bribery.

Note NY thinks the new plan will lead them to bankruptcy...I think many of us feel that way about all 50 states...

12/22/2009 06:42:00 PM

(12/22/2009 06:37:00 PM) - Al

When even the ultra liberal private colleges are censoring words and literature, I believe we can all agree the nanny state has come full circle.

Remember when the left was against censorship? Not if they can protect us from ourselves.

By the way, the word in question...sissies.

Stop the world, I wanna get off.

12/22/2009 06:37:00 PM

(12/22/2009 06:31:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a recap of the highlights of the year. Some power and some fine plays by Escobar, Cameron, and Braun.

12/22/2009 06:31:00 PM

(12/22/2009 03:29:00 PM) - Al

Coyote hit by car survives, stuck in plastic bumper.

12/22/2009 03:29:00 PM

(12/22/2009 03:12:00 PM) - Al

Kids, stay in school, and don't do drugs.

12/22/2009 03:12:00 PM

(12/22/2009 03:01:00 PM) - Al

Vasquez to Yankees, Melky and 2 solid prospects to the Braves.

On the surface, a steal for NY, which is exactly what you can accomplish if you can pick up eight figure salaries. Melky is what he is at this point, a decent enough option in CF if you get him cheap enough, but certainly not above average offensively, and I recall the defensive metrics being mixed back when the Crew was interested. He'd be a very good 4th OF, but he's too spendy for that, and he doesn't hit enough to play LF/RF on a daily basis.

Vasquez is probably the best pitcher on the market, and while only signed for one year, that isn't a bad thing for a SP, especially when you have the Yankees' payroll each offseason. The link even discusses that this frees up cash for the Braves to add a bat, so when all is said and done, that'll have to be considered.

12/22/2009 03:01:00 PM

(12/22/2009 02:55:00 PM) - Al

Brandon Morrow to TOR for League, prospect.

Jack Z seemed destined to rid the Mariners of Morrow, who is a hard thrower who has never been more than mediocre, though he's young enough to break through. That's puzzling to me, though he may have a good reason to dump him.

I think the old saying goes, if you find out he's a bum, trade him before everyone figures it out. On paper, it's hard to see how this improves SEA, who need offense desperately, and instead got an OK reliever, which to me, is pretty much what the floor for Morrow is.

12/22/2009 02:55:00 PM

(12/22/2009 02:47:00 PM) - Al

Yankees signed C Mike Rivera to a minor league contract.--Rotoworld

There's really only two thoughts about Rivera...either he should have been the starting catcher or he's lucky he was inexpensive enough for the Crew to carry the past two years.

I'm pretty firmly in the latter camp, as his only real ability is HR pop, though that was nullified completely by the fact he got out 70% of the time. No offense to Mike, whose defensive skills are probably just a bit below average, but they were magnified by the fact the catlike Kendall usually was in that spot.

I think he'll probably spend part of '10 in the majors somewhere, but he is best suited for AAA.

12/22/2009 02:47:00 PM

Monday, December 21, 2009

(12/21/2009 09:14:00 PM) - Al

Info on the house and set used in the greatest Xmas movie of all time, Xmas Vacation.

12/21/2009 09:14:00 PM

(12/21/2009 08:49:00 PM) - Al

Eric e-mails this Jeffress article and asks if I think he'll make it.

Needless to say, the odds are against him. As I've said many times, it's difficult for me to believe a guy this stupid can ever be a successful major league pitcher...but of course, the fact he throws 95 consistently makes lots of stuff moot.

12/21/2009 08:49:00 PM

(12/21/2009 08:25:00 PM) - Al

Yankees look to be close to trading for an expensive SP...Harang, Lowe, Vazquez all mentioned.

12/21/2009 08:25:00 PM

(12/21/2009 05:39:00 PM) - Al

Nothing cheers me up more than to see the whining fools who, whoa is them, have been stuck in an airport for 12-24 hours because of bad weather delays and cancellations.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's a pity...but c'mon. People go camping all the time, by choice; into hot, wet, bug infested regions. The airport is a palace compared to your average KOA...not to mention that in much of the world, spending an evening on the floor of the airport would put them in the upper reaches of the economic stratosphere.

When you decide to fly across a huge country in a few hours for a capitalism induced low price, once in a while, you may have to cool your jets (no pun intended) because it's not safe to travel 600 mph in the snow/ice/fog. If you don't like it, you're welcome to stay home, drive, or my personal preference, shut the hell up about your minor inconvenience.

12/21/2009 05:39:00 PM

(12/21/2009 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Two weeks ago, the NBC show aired a sketch during "Weekend Update" in which cast member Abby Elliott performed an impression of Murphy, who had recently been fired from a film project. The impression portrayed Murphy as spacey and living in the past.--AP

It's always sad when someone passes away at 32, but it's difficult to hear the above and a young, sudden death without thinking the obvious.

12/21/2009 04:00:00 PM

(12/21/2009 03:33:00 PM) - Al

Liberal talk show hosts claims White House sends Morning Joe messages during show.

Just when you think you've heard it all.

12/21/2009 03:33:00 PM

(12/21/2009 02:00:00 PM) - Robert R.

I've said many fine things about Netflix before. I think they really are far ahead in their thinking firmly establishing a grasp in the "on demand" market years before most everyone else.

They've outdone themselves now by aligning themselves with Criterion and having many of the greatest movies in the world available for streaming. They've leaped so far ahead of everyone else, it's hard to imagine them not being part of a streaming marketplace for years to come.

Full list of instantly available Criterion titles here.

12/21/2009 02:00:00 PM

Sunday, December 20, 2009

(12/20/2009 09:07:00 PM) - Al

With the glut of DH's on the market, I just keep thinking how much the Twins could improve their team by bringing in Jack Cust or Jim Thome and letting Jason Kubel play LF, instead of Delmon Young. Given a promise of 500+ AB's, one of them might sign for $3M and hope to parlay it into a multi-year deal next year, and/or a chance to contend.

12/20/2009 09:07:00 PM

(12/20/2009 08:39:00 PM) - Al

The thing is, Russell is the greatest survivor ever. He's coming off as cocky tonight, but it ain't bragging if it's true. Sometimes, you just gotta tip your cap and recognize who did the best job.

I can't imagine the jury ignoring this, but time will tell.

12/20/2009 08:39:00 PM

(12/20/2009 03:52:00 PM) - Al

Norm Chad with a hilarious look at a day in Tiger's life.

12/20/2009 03:52:00 PM

(12/20/2009 12:01:00 PM) - Al

"Kill it," says Howard Dean. "Kill it," says Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. "Kill this monstrosity," says Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos Web site, which vigorously fertilized Obama's grass roots. Meanwhile, Obama's poll numbers continue to tumble. A Rasmussen poll released Monday shows that just 40 percent of voters favor the health-care plan and 56 percent oppose it. Sixty-three percent of senior citizens oppose the plan.--Washington Post

This may go down as the bill they approved while holding their nose. I can only imagine how thrilled the Senators will be, sitting in DC thousands of miles away from their families on Xmas Eve, as they vote for a bill no one likes.

The irony here is, I don't see it accomplishing a single thing that it is supposed doles out cash (a common theme) and expands Medicaid just a bit. There's no public option, there's nothing for the 55+ people to avoid paying sky high premiums, and the changes in preexisting conditions will simply raise prices for all, because the only other option is for insurers to accept a loss (as John Stossel says, that's like insisting you and I pay the same car insurance premium as Lindsay Lohan)...heh.

The only thing it does is (wait for it) raise taxes, and cut Medicare...even though it's supposed to cost less, using the fuzziest of fuzzy math. There's plenty of time before the midterm elections for the electorate's anger and disgust to fade...but it sure seems like we're saying that a lot.

It's bare bones, to say the least.

12/20/2009 12:01:00 PM

Saturday, December 19, 2009

(12/19/2009 11:39:00 PM) - Al

Texans, Cards, Pats, Vikings and the other home teams.

I like the Rams to beat the spread and the Steelers to cover...same reason I liked the Cowboys.

12/19/2009 11:39:00 PM

(12/19/2009 10:26:00 PM) - Al

I'm taking the Saints tonight, but I almost picked them to lose for the 2nd time in a row. Dallas should beat the 8 point spread.

UPDATE: Dallas 24 Nawlins 17.

No guts, no glory.

On a semi-related note, this is another crushing blow to the idiot sports guys who said "it was destiny" that the Redskins missed what would have been a game clinching field goal a couple weeks ago, that allowed the Saints to win a game that was all but lost.

It is difficult to fathom that grown men cannot understand what "good luck" is. There isn't always a master plan, sometimes, layups get missed, as do chip shot FG's and routine grounders. It ain't divine intervention, it's simple good (or bad) luck.

12/19/2009 10:26:00 PM

(12/19/2009 07:52:00 PM) - Al

FG takes a look at Parra and why he seems to underachieve.

12/19/2009 07:52:00 PM

(12/19/2009 07:04:00 PM) - Al

Proof anything can be deep fried.

Caution, I gained 4 pounds just clicking on the link.

12/19/2009 07:04:00 PM

(12/19/2009 06:21:00 PM) - Al

A joke reprinted without permission:

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day the farmer drove up and said, 'Sorry Chuck, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.'

Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.'

The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I went and spent it already.'

Chuck said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'

The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with a dead donkey?'

Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'

The farmer said 'You can't raffle off a dead donkey!'

Chuck said, 'Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that dead donkey?'

Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.00.'

The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?'

Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.'

Chuck now works for JP Morgan.

12/19/2009 06:21:00 PM

(12/19/2009 05:25:00 PM) - Al

Gord Ash was on Milwaukee radio, notes...

...Will see what pitchers are left late in the offseason, hope the prices go down towards then.

...Doesn't know what the future holds as far as payroll, for now, close to the top.

...Wolf is a veteran guy, who will help with mental aspects with the younger guys as well as being a solid arm.

...Hawkins is a great add because SP's are so hard to come by...if SP's only go 6 innings like most do, you need good relief guys.

...Always consider everything, but this team needs Prince's bat in the lineup. Will talk to Boras about an extension later. When he has a year left to go, and no sign of a long-term agreement, may have to listen to offers.

...Feel defense will be improved in CF and SS. Pitching hopefully better. Offense still the key, not a club built to win 3-2 games.

...Always need to replace high priced vets with younger, cheaper guys from the farm system. That's part of the ongoing process.

...Pitching symposium will happen in mid-January, over 100 topics to go over. Everyone will be on same page at that point.

...Gamel has a good future, sometimes, you get impatient, but he will hit and hit with power. The question is out if he'll play 3B, Don Money thinks he can, he makes great plays and sometimes lets his mind wander and misses routine ones. He's LH power, and that would fit in nicely with the current lineup.

12/19/2009 05:25:00 PM

(12/19/2009 05:00:00 PM) - Al

I could not remember what I posted a poll about, but it looks like most everyone likes the Gregg Zaun signing.

12/19/2009 05:00:00 PM

(12/19/2009 02:18:00 PM) - Al

Rolen signs an extension which actually will have him earn less next year, but guarantees him $23M over the next three years, his years of 35, 36, and 37.

12/19/2009 02:18:00 PM

(12/19/2009 11:23:00 AM) - Al

On the bright side for LeAnn's Rhimes ex, Elin Woods is available.

12/19/2009 11:23:00 AM

(12/19/2009 11:09:00 AM) - Al

Now that the Crew has Matt Treanor in the fold, next on the agenda, bring in reliever Casey Daigle, who has a more famous Olympian spouse.

12/19/2009 11:09:00 AM

(12/19/2009 11:02:00 AM) - Al

There is something Jimmy Carter like about weather service upgrading from winter storm to blizzard as global warming conference wants US $.--Newt Gingrich

Carter's name just keeps coming up. Of course, it would help if he stayed out of the public eye and stopped saying ridiculous stuff.

12/19/2009 11:02:00 AM

(12/19/2009 10:15:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers sign Kameron Loe, a RHP who has pitched with the Rangers in the past. e could be a diamond in the rough, as he has a career sub 4 ERA outside of the hitter's haven that is Arlington.

He is a groundball pitcher, so if he is keeping the ball down, he could easily step into the bullpen or rotation. Only 5 HR's allowed in 142 innings outside the Rangers' home park...this has the makings of a memorable signing, no risk, and a very high ceiling.

Doug is loading up the Nashville staff with quality depth, to be sure.

12/19/2009 10:15:00 AM

Friday, December 18, 2009

(12/18/2009 10:48:00 PM) - Al

I'm sorry you're going to have to work harder than this to make me feel sorry for Tiger.

Heck, substitute poker for golf, and I could live on "cereal, cartoons, and poker" for a couple weeks...that's the life many of us dream of. Gosh, add in a cute blonde neighbor and a goofy landlord, you got yourself the makings of a hit sitcom.

12/18/2009 10:48:00 PM

(12/18/2009 10:40:00 PM) - Al

Be interesting to see if Keillor is crucified (no pun intended) for his anti-Semitic remarks, or if his standing as a member of the far-left will gain him a pardon in the media, as it did Jesse Jackson years ago.

The irony there is, he complains about racist remarks Rush Limbaugh never made, when he actually made them! That takes some real guts, let me tell you.

12/18/2009 10:40:00 PM

(12/18/2009 06:18:00 PM) - Al

$13M thrown into a defense bill to pay for a road to nowhere.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm just gonna go shuffle off, shuffle off, shuffle off in front of a truck.

$13M here, $13M there, pretty soon, you're talking about real money.

12/18/2009 06:18:00 PM

(12/18/2009 06:01:00 PM) - Al

Annoying habits of diners.

12/18/2009 06:01:00 PM

(12/18/2009 04:57:00 PM) - Al

Vargas passes his physical, and the Crew signs C Matt Treanor to a minor league deal.

If nothing else, I hope Matt's wife makes an appearance, with any luck, wearing the attire of her profession.

12/18/2009 04:57:00 PM

(12/18/2009 03:07:00 PM) - Al

All pork, all the time...but only if you voted the right way.

Remember, the "stimulus" was bigger than the federal budget Reagan signed. It's about the spending, stupid.

12/18/2009 03:07:00 PM

(12/18/2009 02:57:00 PM) - Al

White House chides Congress for playing politics, casually forgetting one of the senators who voted against "funding the troops" a couple years ago.

Irony is so delicious. Those that live in glass houses...

12/18/2009 02:57:00 PM

(12/18/2009 02:33:00 PM) - Al

For instance, adding Nick Johnson would have been a brilliant move by the Mariners. The idea the Yankees got him for $5.5M is hard to believe.

12/18/2009 02:33:00 PM

(12/18/2009 02:20:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman loves what Jack Z did today with Bradley, and so do I, as Milton still has a ton of ability. I seem to be the only person who is not much of a fan of trading three solid prospects for a single season of Cliff Lee, and wonder how they expect to improve their league worst offense by losing Branyan and Beltre, but maybe he's got a master plan.

Doug says there is nothing ongoing with SEA about a rumored Gamel/Morrow swap. As Tom H correctly points out, you could get a lot more proven SP than Morrow for Mat.

12/18/2009 02:20:00 PM

Thursday, December 17, 2009

(12/17/2009 08:18:00 PM) - Al

Even Ahhhnold is putty in Palin's hands.

This Facebook response network she has is nothing short of brilliant, by the way. It reminds me of what Obama would be doing, had he not won, and now must wonder each day exactly where it all went wrong.

Palin is now able to choreograph everything she does without that pesky governing getting in the way...write book, make fortune, do book tour, criticize others when it's easy to do so. Almost every day, it's getting easier to see why the left has attacked Palin so, despite taking a hit with women by doing so...she just seems to be better at this politics stuff than the boys.

12/17/2009 08:18:00 PM

(12/17/2009 08:08:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother wrote earlier to remind me to pick the NFL game tonight, but as I told him, I'm not about to pick against Indy.

12/17/2009 08:08:00 PM

(12/17/2009 07:54:00 PM) - Al

I don't think I've discussed Survivor this year at all...allow me to say, the reaction of the jury tonight when Russell announced he was just going to keep his immunity idol as a souvenir rather than playing it, may have been the best moment in series history.

Early in the season, supposedly, everyone hated Russell...I was watching the Brewers, but it was all over the web. Since then, he has grown to be almost larger than life...I've seen him called the best player in the history of the game so many times, I've lost track. In addition, he's just a joy to watch...always scheming, always critical of others, and most of all, finding immunity idols without a clue.

He's such a heavy favorite at this point, you almost figure he can't win...can he?

12/17/2009 07:54:00 PM

(12/17/2009 07:50:00 PM) - Al

Americans trust tea partiers more than either party...Janeane Garafalo must be turning over in her grave...and she's not even dead yet!

12/17/2009 07:50:00 PM

(12/17/2009 07:36:00 PM) - Al

If the health care bill is too far left for Howard Dean...

12/17/2009 07:36:00 PM

(12/17/2009 07:33:00 PM) - Al

Cold and snow at the warming conference.

12/17/2009 07:33:00 PM

(12/17/2009 07:22:00 PM) - Al

Everyone agrees that it's a terrible idea to bring Gitmo prisoners to the US. I have to wonder what the 30% are thinking. It's no coincidence all the European/Mideast nations all told Obama they wanted no part of the scumbags.

12/17/2009 07:22:00 PM

(12/17/2009 06:38:00 PM) - Al

After reading this article about the glut of 2B on the market, my only thought was:

In Doug we trust.

Sure, the Crew might have been able to trade Felipe with his 1y/$5M arby reward, but maybe not. We probably could not have signed Hawkins until that was done, and there's no way LaTroy waits around for the Crew to get their financial house in order. Once again, Doug just proves how much he "gets it", while the casuals simply have no clue.

12/17/2009 06:38:00 PM

(12/17/2009 04:39:00 PM) - Al

ESPN's Keith Law doesn't mind the Orioles' Mike Gonzalez signing, but finds the loss of a decent draft pick to be the "real negative." Law does not expect much from Garrett Atkins.--MLBTR

Law worked for a short time in TOR, and he really lacks imagination. Atkins is unlikely to ever reproduce his Coors Field numbers, but if he is healthy, he may be a very productive everyday 3B. For a team like BAL, he's a perfect risk.

12/17/2009 04:39:00 PM

(12/17/2009 04:26:00 PM) - Al

Tom H says there's not many spots open, even months away from Opening Day.

I think Chris Narveson has a spot locked up, because he's out of options and will be kept due to his place as a "reserve SP", but I suppose it's easy to disagree about the last few spots.

Even the worst teams only have 5-7 roster spots open, and it's such a small sample, spring training can't be counted on to mean anything. Last year, you'll recall Brad Nelson and Chris Duffy "won" spots, and were soon quickly dispatched to AAA, while Casey McGehee also did, and then had 400 AB's that proved he belonged.

12/17/2009 04:26:00 PM

(12/17/2009 03:52:00 PM) - Al


I don't know why I read Rob Neyer anymore. He is nothing but a far-left hack that uses his blog to espouse his liberal views. Today he links to the following piece of trash from the Washington Post.

Basically, they are both advocating dropping God Bless America from being played in the seventh inning as being one of the easiest fixes to help shorten games. Nice that these far-left people don't even care to show proper respect to our great country when we have men and women in harm's way overseas.

I hope you link to this on your blog and call out these jerks for what they really are. As you can tell, I'm an angry American and I've about had enough.


I had to edit Eldon's e-mail for language, so he is upset. I have not yet read the link, but I have stated many times my preference for God Bless America being played every game, and how pathetic the Brewers sound the games that they just play Roll Out the Barrel, which is politically incorrect on a variety of levels.

If the best the group can do is shorten it by a 60 second song, they've already failed. On a related note, I quit reading Neyer ages ago, he's gone from being ahead of the curve to being a grumpy old codger who is nothing but a fair weather fan (he claims to follow both the Royals and Mariners, but only when they do not suck), and he lost me when he wrote a bad review for a Fenway Park book under a pseudonym, coincidentally right after his Fenway Park book was not published due to the publisher not liking it. Sadly, much of the advanced stat community is also like this, using little known, very unproven metrics to argue a certain player is as good as another.

And yes, the idea of not singing the song, while members of the armed forces are in harm's way, probably could have been saved for a later time.

EDIT: I just read the article, and it's a yawner. The only non-silly suggestion is "make relievers face at least two hitters", which would basically make loogys less valuable. The rest is a bunch of "have the relief pitchers hurry up", which pretends the umpires are capable of, you know, enforcing these things, while the men in blue have trouble making a fair/foul call a few feet away and, actually watching a baserunner's feet on a tag play.

Basically, I would simply tell the current group of umpires that they suck, and to enforce the rules as written now (the same thing I also say every time someone wants to introduce a new gun law, even though there are thousands on the books now), or they won't have a job much longer. Then, follow up. As long as we have a group of arbiters that think they are above the game, not caring to hustle, get in position, or give a decent effort, all changes with the best of intentions will be wasted by incompetence.

12/17/2009 03:52:00 PM

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

(12/16/2009 08:14:00 PM) - Al

We know now why the Crew went with Hawkins instead of Gonzalez...though Mike is a fine signing for BAL. I admire what the O's have accomplished the past couple seasons, they have a team that might be able to contend if they were in the AL Central. Sadly, they're not, so they're a year away at least, but they have a nice nucleus to build around. Get them a Looper type or two and infield corners, they have a nice little club.

12/16/2009 08:14:00 PM

(12/16/2009 07:17:00 PM) - Al

I wouldn't trust the buffoons in Copenhagen to feed my dog over the weekend. Chavez gets a standing ovation? I'd walk out and never return.

12/16/2009 07:17:00 PM

(12/16/2009 04:49:00 PM) - Al

It sure is refreshing not to see the scorned wife standing dutifully behind her hubby at the press conference. Last I saw, the count of alleged "girlfriends" was up to 14....I can't help but think a former model has to be thinking, "Hey, I'm supposed to be the other woman".

12/16/2009 04:49:00 PM

(12/16/2009 04:43:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers had scouts on hand to watch Kelvim Escobar throw today.

He would fit in nicely as a pitcher penciled into the bullpen but who cna step into the rotation if needed.

12/16/2009 04:43:00 PM

(12/16/2009 02:08:00 PM) - Al

A store that's thriving despite rarely opening its doors.

Basically, she's creating her own demand. I recall a business class that explained how a liquor brand went from being a bargain brand to top of the line...just by raising the price. This is similar, but it only works with unique lines...people need groceries, so they'll just go elsewhere. But with certain items, people will overspend because they equate quality with price, or in this case, how hard it is to find the place open.

12/16/2009 02:08:00 PM

(12/16/2009 02:02:00 PM) - Al

Energy savings is for the little people.

One has to wonder how British royalty could become anymore meaningless.

12/16/2009 02:02:00 PM

(12/16/2009 01:54:00 PM) - Al

Our Xmas lights look a lot more like the house on the right.

12/16/2009 01:54:00 PM

(12/16/2009 08:31:00 AM) - Al

No one realized that traffic lights giving off heat would be a good thing in the Upper Midwest?

Somehow, I bet a private firm might have considered that before changing all the bulbs to the far more expensive, energy efficient ones.

12/16/2009 08:31:00 AM

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

(12/15/2009 10:18:00 PM) - Al

It'll soon be news when someone finds Gore said something that wasn't a complete falsehood. I mean, fibbing about mosquitoes? Shut up and fly somewhere in a private jet.

12/15/2009 10:18:00 PM

(12/15/2009 10:07:00 PM) - Al

Moving all the Gitmo guys to Illinois...that's gotta be just off the chart ignorant.

Safer...nope. Better...nope. Closer to major cities in case of escape...yep. Easier for a grand scale breakout attempt...yep.

Always good to see just how how far down the old priority list they can put national security...I don't think it can be any lower now. Politics over everything else.

12/15/2009 10:07:00 PM

(12/15/2009 06:24:00 PM) - Al

A UK paper gives 100 reasons why global warming is natural, which ironically, is 100 more reasons than you'll ever find in a US paper.

12/15/2009 06:24:00 PM

(12/15/2009 06:06:00 PM) - Al

Adam reports DiFelice has signed a minor league deal for '10 and will oversee his rehab.

12/15/2009 06:06:00 PM

(12/15/2009 05:56:00 PM) - Al

How to cut a pizza...perhaps the most anal article I've ever seen. The phrase "Shut the hell up and eat" keeps going through my mind.

12/15/2009 05:56:00 PM

(12/15/2009 04:31:00 PM) - Al

Adam corrects his arby eligibles to include Weeks.

12/15/2009 04:31:00 PM

(12/15/2009 04:24:00 PM) - Al

Andrew Sullivan has people blogging for him.

I'd like to think that the vast decline in quality is related to this, but sadly, as pointed out, no one is dumb enough to let someone else post hundreds of items about whose uterus Trig Palin was delivered from. Between Sullivan's pot arrest and his inability to even manage to fill a blog...despite this being his full-time job, I seriously have to wonder if he is healthy.

12/15/2009 04:24:00 PM

(12/15/2009 02:43:00 PM) - Al

This report from a few days ago says the Brewers and Mariners have discussed Brandon Morrow, as they did last summer as well. We'll see if the Mariners feel they can spare some pitching now that they have Cliff Lee.

12/15/2009 02:43:00 PM

Monday, December 14, 2009

(12/14/2009 10:07:00 PM) - Al

Gore caught making up numbers...again...which you'll be happy to know, Al's total fiction was reported as fact by ABC Nightly News tonight.

If the networks were anymore in the tank...

12/14/2009 10:07:00 PM

(12/14/2009 08:08:00 PM) - Al

Cameron deal all but done, 2y/$15.5M...all those folks who wondered why the Crew didn't just resign Mike to a 1y/$5M deal are casuals of mammoth proportions.

12/14/2009 08:08:00 PM

(12/14/2009 06:56:00 PM) - Al

Doug says another major free agent signing is unlikely. However, I still expect another "minor" FA signing, you know, in the $1-2M range.

12/14/2009 06:56:00 PM

(12/14/2009 06:10:00 PM) - Al

Cameron may be on his way to BOS. A two-year deal would be a surprise.

12/14/2009 06:10:00 PM

(12/14/2009 04:40:00 PM) - Al

Is Gerut's ability to play centerfield worth his increased salary, lesser bat, and weaker corner defense compared to Gabe Gross?


I'd rather have Gerut too, though Gross would have been a fine option for less cash.

12/14/2009 04:40:00 PM

(12/14/2009 03:48:00 PM) - Al

This reeks of complete fraud. Al Gore will be lucky to not be in prison in a few years, as he's made a fortune off this "science".

12/14/2009 03:48:00 PM

(12/14/2009 03:42:00 PM) - Al

Cliff Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, told the New York Times' Tyler Kepner that he has not heard from the Phillies about a trade.

A handful of reliable news sources are reporting that a three-team deal has been agreed upon that would send Cliff Lee to Seattle and Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. It's odd that an agent whose client is involved in the trade would have no knowledge of the negotiations. Stay tuned.--Rotoworld

He's under contract for next year, so the idea of the agent needed to have his hand held is laughable to me. Considering he'll get his 5% regardless of how little he works the phone, the agent is lucky to have such a nice job.

12/14/2009 03:42:00 PM

(12/14/2009 03:39:00 PM) - Al

GM Doug Melvin says "Claudio Vargas will be returning." Another relief arm.--Adam on Twitter

I assume they have a verbal agreement or a signed fax sheet, but Claudio is playing winter ball so is unavailable to come north to sign actual contract.

12/14/2009 03:39:00 PM

(12/14/2009 03:09:00 PM) - Al

The French are very good at marketing their products as superior, even if they are just hype. I know nothing about wine, but I do know Evian was sold the same way until people wised up.

12/14/2009 03:09:00 PM

(12/14/2009 03:03:00 PM) - Al

Halladay to the Phillies, Cliff Lee to the Mariners, and kids to the Blue Jays, 3 team deal reportedly done, PHIL working out an extension with Halladay.

12/14/2009 03:03:00 PM

(12/14/2009 02:50:00 PM) - Al

Lackey signs with BOS, 5y/$85M.

Getting Wolf for 60% of the years and 60% of the cost per year...priceless.

12/14/2009 02:50:00 PM

(12/14/2009 02:24:00 PM) - Al

Counsell returns, 1y/$2.1M, plus games played incentives. Considering far inferior players got $2M, this is a bargain if Craig stays healthy.

12/14/2009 02:24:00 PM

(12/14/2009 11:57:00 AM) - Al

Lackey taking a physical with the Red Sox, close to signing.

Have I mentioned lately how glad I am the Brewers aren't in that division?

12/14/2009 11:57:00 AM

(12/14/2009 11:51:00 AM) - Al

Apparently, Newman ran out of room in Jerry's storage closet.

12/14/2009 11:51:00 AM

(12/14/2009 11:13:00 AM) - Al

I'm surprised they scrounged up 5 people to "fact-check" something they're trying to bury.

12/14/2009 11:13:00 AM

Sunday, December 13, 2009

(12/13/2009 09:46:00 PM) - Al

I've heard Palin was wonderful on Conan, but every time I try to watch, Hulu times out...which I guess means lots of people are trying to watch it.

Tiger Woods needs to hire whoever did Sarah's book tour...people lined up as if they are about to see a rock star, media not allowed military base visits, priceless shots of Palin walking to the bus and waving...though not on a campaign, it looked and felt like a campaign.

Meanwhile, Woods has gone from esteemed media star to punchline in a couple weeks. He'd be totally dropped by now if Gillette and others were willing to call what they already gave him "sunk cost"...but they're not.

12/13/2009 09:46:00 PM

(12/13/2009 05:56:00 PM) - Al

Hope and change...spending more money on government bureaucrats hoping to find enough money for more government bureaucrats.

Note, the mere idea of spending less isn't even an option in DC these days...

12/13/2009 05:56:00 PM

(12/13/2009 01:54:00 PM) - Al

Government adds more workers at higher pay.

So, is there anything they don't suck at? Seriously, this is why government's role needs to be as tiny as possible. St back, drink tea, and tell each other how brilliant you are.

12/13/2009 01:54:00 PM

(12/13/2009 01:12:00 PM) - Al

Obama now tracking at a -19 approval...despite the old media fawning over him breathlessly (on 60 Minutes again tonight). In that link, check out the Daily Kos reads like pure depression (Dems 4x more likely to be negative about their party).

You know, it's been less than a year since he began at a +30...

12/13/2009 01:12:00 PM

(12/13/2009 12:38:00 PM) - Al

White Sox non-tendered RHP D.J. Carrasco.

As much as Ozzie Guillen seemed to like Carrasco, it was rather surprising to see the White Sox come to the decision, even though it was clear in recent days that they were leaning this way. Carrasco finished with a 3.76 ERA in 93 1/3 innings. He's not a good bet to do it again, but he shouldn't have much trouble landing a major league deal. He intends to sign with a team that will give him a chance to contend for a rotation spot.--Rotoworld

I'm not sure I see a spot for him, but this type of that has had some success in the bullpen but would prefer starting, is probably exactly what Doug is looking for right now.

One thing to keep in mind is Carlos V does still have an option (maybe two) as well. That's far from a perfect solution, as you still have to pay him, but it does give you a way to pencil in 13 arms even if everyone remains healthy (which is unlikely).

EDIT: The more I think about this, the more this would be a useful, if unspectacular move. Carrasco would solidify the bullpen while also adding depth to the rotation. If he and Narveson would be the final two guys in the proposed bullpen, and CV, Butler, maybe Mulder, and new addition Austin at AAA, that's a half-dozen SP's in reserve.

12/13/2009 12:38:00 PM

(12/13/2009 10:05:00 AM) - Al

I'm 0-1 for the week, and amazingly, I'm picking all the home teams the rest of the NFL weekend, including the Falcons to upset the Saints.

EDIT: Oops, Jets are a road team, I missed them. Now, the Bucs are all but guaranteed a win.:)

12/13/2009 10:05:00 AM

(12/13/2009 09:30:00 AM) - Al

Tim recaps some of the stranger non-tenders. Add Clay Condrey of the Phillies to the list, in my eyes at least.

12/13/2009 09:30:00 AM

Saturday, December 12, 2009

(12/12/2009 11:46:00 PM) - Al

Vince e-mails with news that the Crew has signed AJ Murray, a lefty who has started and relieved and had success in AAA.

Murray looks like he could have well been one of the top ten available minor league free agent pitchers. Doug probably drafted him while GM of the Rangers.

12/12/2009 11:46:00 PM

(12/12/2009 09:17:00 PM) - Al

Can't we all just get along?

Obviously, those ladies just needed some folk music, that would have fixed everything.

12/12/2009 09:17:00 PM

(12/12/2009 09:11:00 PM) - Al

One gentleman drove all the way in from Racine to get Brandon Jennings autograph.--Jim Paschke

Um, Racine is like 30 minutes away. Many people commute an hour each way. Jim must be thinking of wagon train distances.

12/12/2009 09:11:00 PM

(12/12/2009 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Prince William to take over some of Queen's duties.

There goes 15 minutes a day.

You have to wonder how many centuries of paying the monarchy millions to do nothing it will take for them to wise up. I mean, at least we don't pay the Kemnedys...they just won't go away.

12/12/2009 09:06:00 PM

(12/12/2009 08:56:00 PM) - Al

Doug asked about Correia, but much like my single days, never heard back.

12/12/2009 08:56:00 PM

(12/12/2009 07:45:00 PM) - Al

Brewers basically have deal in place for INF Craig Counsell to return. It will be announced on Monday.--Tom H, twitter

That's superb news, to say the least. The bench is taking form...Counsell, probably Heether, Gerut, backup catcher...that leaves one spot, I would say most likely an OF with some pop, probably a RH or switch-hitter.

12/12/2009 07:45:00 PM

(12/12/2009 07:41:00 PM) - Al

I feel that the fact there were so few non-tenders probably means they aren't as close to the top of the payroll budget as we may have thought. At least, we can hope.

12/12/2009 07:41:00 PM

(12/12/2009 07:34:00 PM) - Al

McClung, DiFelice, and Rivera not offered a contract for next year, meaning Bush, Gerut, and CV all were, along with no doubters Hart, Gomez, and Coffey.

12/12/2009 07:34:00 PM

(12/12/2009 07:19:00 PM) - Al

Correia off the market.

Word is, on Tuesdays and Fridays, he has to help hose down the seats after the game*.

*May be fictional sarcasm by the author.

12/12/2009 07:19:00 PM

(12/12/2009 07:10:00 PM) - Al

Still no word on the Crew's tenders, but Tom H has his Sunday column up, explaining how thew Brewers were able to outspend teams for Wolf and Hawkins.

12/12/2009 07:10:00 PM

(12/12/2009 06:12:00 PM) - Al

Badgers beat a decent Marquette team, though I suppose they should at the Kohl Center.

12/12/2009 06:12:00 PM

(12/12/2009 04:07:00 PM) - Al

Jonny Gomes is non-tendered by the Reds, and arguably becomes the 3rd best corner OF on the market...and far more affordable than Holliday or Bay.

12/12/2009 04:07:00 PM

(12/12/2009 02:54:00 PM) - Al

Add Scott Olsen to the guys on Doug's list of non-tenders. The more the merrier, because that just leaves more bargains toward the end.

12/12/2009 02:54:00 PM

(12/12/2009 01:58:00 PM) - Al

Wang is up for grabs. If he's healthy, he will have many suitors.

12/12/2009 01:58:00 PM

(12/12/2009 01:39:00 PM) - Al

Both players the Braves non-tendered, Kelly Johnson and Ryan Church, would be fine pickups for depth purposes.

12/12/2009 01:39:00 PM

(12/12/2009 01:34:00 PM) - Al

Getting ready to enjoy Army/Navy game...I always root for Army, though I really do not know why. Good luck to both teams, and to all those in both academies.

One parent just described it as "the good guys versus the good guys". That's a fine description if I ever heard one.

12/12/2009 01:34:00 PM

(12/12/2009 01:33:00 PM) - Al

Senator and American hero John McCain is back with more "stimulus" examples...oof.

12/12/2009 01:33:00 PM

(12/12/2009 01:23:00 PM) - Al

I don't think the Brewers have the cash to pick up Kelly Johnson, but he is available.

UPDATE: He has been non-tendered. He'd be a perfect fit in Minnesota's new ballpark to pair up with JJ Hardy up the middle. Someone mentioned him as a younger, cheaper alternative to Mark DeRosa, though Johnson has never played 3B. As a lefty bat who can play 2B/LF/RF, he'd be a perfect fit for many teams, though I'm sure he'll try and find a starting (or platoon) job first.

12/12/2009 01:23:00 PM

(12/12/2009 01:14:00 PM) - Al

War for oil? Sounds like another false truth to me.

Notice how the war protests have stopped as well. That's because they were never war protests, they were W protests. Now, it would be anti-Obama to protest, so they do not.

How blatantly transparent.

12/12/2009 01:14:00 PM

(12/12/2009 12:17:00 AM) - Al wonders if Bush and Gerut "should" be offered arby.

I was thinking the same thing, as both are very tough calls. Bush would be far easier had he returned in September and pitched a couple good games. As is, I have no idea if he's healthy.

Gerut's a nice player, and Doug has liked him for years. He's a good fielder, a lefty bat, and performed admirably with regular playing time. Seemingly, he's a nice complement to Gomez as well...but I think he'll get $2M+ in may well find a similar player for less, or Gerut himself later on for $1M or so. Is there enough of a difference between Gerut and say that Oltjen kid they just signed to a minor league deal to justify $1.6M? You might be able to get a far better SP if you have $3.6M to spend rather than $2M.

12/12/2009 12:17:00 AM

Friday, December 11, 2009

(12/11/2009 11:53:00 PM) - Al

I guess Ted Rall was "too busy" to take part in this little USO tour.

And, too much of an ignorant wussy boy.

12/11/2009 11:53:00 PM

(12/11/2009 11:32:00 PM) - Al

Read about how the "stimulus" money is being spent...most of it looks to be just thrown down the sewer.

It's astounding how poorly the government does spending our money.

A billion here, a billion there. All that, and not a penny for the troops. Mindnumbingly pathetic.

12/11/2009 11:32:00 PM

(12/11/2009 10:57:00 PM) - Al

Ummmm... It isn't golf Tiger needed to take a hiatus from.--Alyssa Milano on Twitter

Tiger has thus far been a "how to" in handling a bad situation horribly. Note how he keeps making public statements asking for privacy. Whoever is advising him really, really sucks at it.

12/11/2009 10:57:00 PM

(12/11/2009 09:28:00 PM) - Al

A former VP candidate posted this...I'll let you figure out which one.:)

The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He’s a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ‘square-away’ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this. A short lull, a little shade, and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.--No author noted

I will only mention I think they misuse the word "average", as they should say "the mean age", as there is no way the math works that they can "average" 19.

I'm glad they're on our side.

12/11/2009 09:28:00 PM

(12/11/2009 09:12:00 PM) - Al

Democrats in control of Congress, including then-Sen. Obama (Ill.), blasted President George W. Bush for failing to contain spending when he oversaw increased deficits and raised the debt ceiling.

“Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” Obama said in a 2006 floor speech that preceded a Senate vote to extend the debt limit. “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”

Obama later joined his Democratic colleagues in voting en bloc against raising the debt increase.

Now Obama is asking Congress to raise the debt ceiling, something lawmakers are almost certain to do despite misgivings about the federal debt.--The Hill

Heh. As the wind blows, he changes what he stands for. Vote against the war, send more troops. Did you catch the part about being critical of President Bush not being able to contain spending? The sweet smell of irony.

There's nothing there. We asked what "hope and change" meant not having to admit your long-term plans are completely and utterly non-existent. Now if you'll excuse me, I think the breeze just changed direction...and I assume with it goes the US foreign policy.

12/11/2009 09:12:00 PM

(12/11/2009 08:45:00 PM) - Al

Seth McClung has been told he will be non-tendered, making him a free agent. He is tweeting his goodbyes to fans and thanks to Doug and Gord as I type. He did not mention Macha, not sure if he forgot or if he was still unhappy about not being used much when he returned. Of course, they had Vargas, Coffey, and Hoffman who were lights out, so it's puzzling he expected to pitch in close and late games.

Sometimes, guys are just too close to understand.

12/11/2009 08:45:00 PM

(12/11/2009 07:40:00 PM) - Al

Tom H says the Crew will sign Counsell, that they delayed it until Monday to give the Brewers the opportunity to concentrate on the non-tender deadline...which tells me they are working the phones...either trying to pick up a player who may be non-tendered or trying to deal a player who they plan on non-tendering.

12/11/2009 07:40:00 PM

(12/11/2009 07:21:00 PM) - Al

Royals give Kendall 2 years, $5-6M total.

Zaun's deal looks better every day.

12/11/2009 07:21:00 PM

(12/11/2009 06:28:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al,

Was it determined that Chien-Ming Wang's problems last season were injury
related? If so he is likely to be non-tendered by the New York Yankees
tomorrow and seems like the perfect buy low/high reward type that would fit
really nice in Miller Park. Wang is a ground ball pitcher and a innings
eater if healthy.

Also, have you heard about the Milwaukee radio rumor that has Dave Bush
being sent to the San Francisco Giants for some guys name John Bowker and
Kevin Frandsen?


Wang is one of a dozen guys that may be available for a decent price...Correia is another, Brian Tallet of the Jays is another. Doug will look for a bargain, as he is limited financially. As is always the case when a sharp dropoff in production occurs, injuries and subsequent adjustments because of said injury all but certainly played a role.

I had not heard of such a rumor, though Bush may well have some value is he is to be non-tendered. That proposal sounds host generated, as a reserve infielder and reserve 1B/OF does not sound like it would have much appeal to the Crew...guys like that can easily be claimed on waivers or picked up in free agency. If they were to make a trade, it would likely involve receiving a young player in return that did not have to be placed on the 40 man roster.

12/11/2009 06:28:00 PM

(12/11/2009 04:47:00 PM) - Al

Adam thinks Gerut and Carlos V will be offered arby, but McClung probably will not. Rivera seems to be a question mark.

12/11/2009 04:47:00 PM

(12/11/2009 09:50:00 AM) - Al

ABC cut the bejeebers out of Charlie Brown Xmas, it would appear.

The Rambling wife and son watched it together the other night, I'm surprised she did not mention it.

12/11/2009 09:50:00 AM

Thursday, December 10, 2009

(12/10/2009 11:17:00 PM) - Al

I keep forgetting to mention that the UIGEA, which led to several poker sites pulling out of the US market, is now being "delayed" in implementation, meaning banks are not being required to pretend to be enforcing the they know which companies out of a zillion are being used to fund accounts.

Many "insiders" have predicted a repeal of this legislation this year, or for a "poker exemption", because, as we all know, poker is a game of skill.

We can hope.

12/10/2009 11:17:00 PM

(12/10/2009 08:58:00 PM) - Al

Add Mike Lowell to the list of pretty decent players you could have had for nothing, along with Luis Castillo, Milton Bradley, and likely many more, as many teams are smart enough to keep that in house.

12/10/2009 08:58:00 PM

(12/10/2009 08:12:00 PM) - Al

If someone would write a movie about Hank Reid, they'd send it back with a post-it that read, "Unbelievable".

If he was any more transparent, they'd call him Casper.

12/10/2009 08:12:00 PM

(12/10/2009 07:44:00 PM) - Al

After less than a year, W is almost back to even with Obama. It's been an incredible ride down the polls. I never would have thought it could happen with the speed it has.

12/10/2009 07:44:00 PM

(12/10/2009 05:39:00 PM) - Al

The Dodgers were given a chance to sign Randy Wolf -- I heard he would have returned to L.A. for a two-year deal, for something in the range of $14 million to $16 million -- but Ned Colletti says this was too expensive for the team.--Buster Olney

I have no qualms with Wolf offering the team he really wanted to play for a discount.

Sadly, not many players are from Wisconsin is all.

It seems very likely if the McCourts were living in marital bliss, the Crew would be talking terms with Jon Garland right now. Hey, them's the breaks.

12/10/2009 05:39:00 PM

(12/10/2009 12:46:00 PM) - Al

I stopped home for lunch, and Doug says he's confident about keeping Counsell, though the Reds are still offering a deal, probably for a little more cash.

I can't believe Craig would rather live away from home for a small amount, but if the offer is a starting SS job, you never know.

12/10/2009 12:46:00 PM

(12/10/2009 12:45:00 PM) - Al

Nathan finds this ad that features someone eyeing up US soldiers in a rifle's scope offensive...but apparently, Facebook doesn't.

Stay classy, FB.

12/10/2009 12:45:00 PM

(12/10/2009 08:44:00 AM) - Al

Brewers upped offer to Craig Counsell this morning. GM Melvin, "confident we'll get it done."--Adam on Twitter

Sounds like they probably met in the middle. It will be a successful week if Craig is back in the fold, without a doubt.

I'm out the door.

12/10/2009 08:44:00 AM

(12/10/2009 08:35:00 AM) - Al

The Brewers take Chuck Lofgren in the Rule 5 draft, but he seems very unlikely to stick with the team...maybe he was selected for another team.

Lofgren is a big LH pitcher, but is only 23 and had a 5+ ERA in AAA last year. I wish he was in AAA for the Brewers, but I don't see him sticking in the bigs all year.

12/10/2009 08:35:00 AM

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

(12/09/2009 09:38:00 PM) - Al

Hope Brewers GM Doug Melvin makes it home Thursday. The valet at a local steakhouse lost the keys to his car. Trying to get them replaced.--Tom H

Amazing a professional key handler would err like that.

12/09/2009 09:38:00 PM

These are the good old days. Some folks are just too busy wishing the streets were paved with gold to enjoy the good times.

Whatever strikes me as interesting, and serious Milwaukee Brewers thoughts. If you are a believer in respecting OBP, throwing strikes, and keeping the ball in the park, you may have found the place you've been searching for. I believe in low taxes, small government, and am not afraid to be labeled patriotic. If you are interested in sausage race results, walk up music, or professional wrestling, you may wish to click elsewhere.

The Ramblings' manifesto can be found here.

I'm happy to pay taxes to help the helpless. I don't like paying taxes to help the clueless. Look at the Occupy movement...I'm forced to pay taxes to help those whose plight I delight in.--Dennis Miller

If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, and your life will be brief.--President Trump

Never have lives less lived been more chronicled.--Dennis Miller

I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.--Mad Dog Mattis

I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.--Thomas Sowell

Ramblings makes me want to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick.--Marxist sympathizer (one of Ramblings' proudest moments)

If you would like to advertise on Ramblings, pen a guest article, have a comment on a post, or have a media request.

Al is @suitedconnect on Twitter

Al's WTMJ appearance from July, 2015 with Justin

Al's postseason WTMJ appearance with Justin


MLB Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors

2018 stats by position


Any Soldier
Website that gives info on how to send comfort to our military overseas

Tribute to Robert Warns II
Never forget the sacrifice of our military, and why we enjoy the freedoms we have.

June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019 December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020