Al's Ramblings

Thursday, December 31, 2015

(12/31/2015 03:43:00 PM) - Al

Nap time.

Midnight comes a lot later than it used to when I was young.

12/31/2015 03:43:00 PM

(12/31/2015 03:40:00 PM) - Al

A 9 – 7 week tied you for 56th out of 132 experts.  The best expert pick for the week was OddsShark (SB Nation) with a 12 – 4 record.
For the season you have a 150 – 90 record which puts you in a very respectable 33rd place.  Josh Latzowitz (Forbes) continues to lead at 162 – 78.
The tough games to pick are Detroit at Chicago, Washington at Dallas, and Minnesota at Green Bay.
Have a good New Years!

They are all tough this week, as you have no idea who will play to win and who will play the reserves and the like.  Many feel GB would be better off not trying to win, as a road game vs. WASH would probably have them a larger favorite than a home game versus SEA or MIN. That's just one example.

My feeling on this is repeated often, I'd rest my top 5 players and my starters with injuries that will possibly get better by not playing for two weeks (last Sunday to next weekend). Teams overemphasize seeding and home field.

12/31/2015 03:40:00 PM

(12/31/2015 02:44:00 PM) - Al

I got Bama and Oklahoma to win, but I'll take both dogs to cover the spread.

That's pretty dull, but it's what I got.

12/31/2015 02:44:00 PM

(12/31/2015 01:35:00 PM) - Al

Those in the business do not predict huge viewership decline this year, and neither do I.

I predict down a tick because last year was "special" being the first, and also Ohio State is a far sexier "name" than Michigan State (I think I read the 3 highest rated games of the season all involved Ohio State). Clemson/Oklahoma isn't a matchup that reaches out and grabs you either.

I'll say 24M for the afternoon and 26M for the late game.

We went to Wal Mart today, and the Rambling wife bought me slippers and socks as a late Xmas gift. Note I wanted the gifts I used to be disappointed with, especially socks, as I think I was down to less than 6...not pairs, socks; for work that is, I have tons of white ones. I do not buy fancy dress socks, as they hurt my feet, I buy dark "work socks" which are very thick. On days when I run out, I have to wear "backups" I have in my drawer, and my feet hurt all evening. Now, lucky me, I can throw those out.

[I think some folks are going to laugh at this, especially those who pay $10+ for a pair of fancy socks. So be it. It beats saying, "hey, where's my other sock with the green stripes?"]

The old saying in the movie theater industry that every day between Xmas and New Year's is like a Saturday...100% true. They had about 75% of the registers open, and people were 3-4 deep in each. So, while yes, there are people working today, there ain't many. Many are out shopping or doing other family things.

UPDATE: Just went through the sock drawer and tossed about 20 socks, 3 of which, wait for it, had no match, even though I've been buying the same socks for at least 5-10 years. Kept the few old ones as "backups," new ones in front.

Geez, I'm cool. 

12/31/2015 01:35:00 PM

(12/31/2015 12:45:00 PM) - Al

I truly do not think anyone has ever told him that he is not the king.

80K pages of things taking away freedom and designed for a single purpose...taking money and power away from individuals and business to redistribute to the rubes that voted left.

12/31/2015 12:45:00 PM

(12/31/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Without fake hate crimes, we wouldn't have hate crimes.

Crime is crime. The motive is usually directly related to the criminal being a criminal.

12/31/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/31/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al


I'm off until next year, so they'll have to wait until 2017 to punish me more.

12/31/2015 10:00:00 AM

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

(12/30/2015 05:56:00 PM) - Al

The president, on vacation of course, does not attend, nor does he bother sending any representatives to funeral for NYPD detective and reservist killed in Afghanistan.

Remember, convicted criminal Freddie Gray had 3.

We're in the best of hands.

12/30/2015 05:56:00 PM

(12/30/2015 05:12:00 PM) - Al

51st for the 3rd year in a row.

That said, check out the links that sound good, you'll probably add to your bookmarks like I did.

12/30/2015 05:12:00 PM

(12/30/2015 04:59:00 PM) - Al

I'll be posting minimally the rest of the long holiday weekend, though I will be scheduling some of my and your favorite posts from past years.

Taking a few days off to relax, reflect, and reset. If the Brewers make a trade or sign someone, I'll share my thoughts, but otherwise, new stuff will be limited to my NFL picks and a short thought or three.

See you next year.

12/30/2015 04:59:00 PM

(12/30/2015 04:55:00 PM) - Al

I often look at things a bit differently than others, which often leads me to having contrarian beliefs. Years ago, I interviewed at a video store, and I asked them what their "season" was, their busiest time of year.

The guy said they were basically steady all year, but they were busier in the winter and busier on weekends. But, he said, by far their busiest week of the year was the week between Xmas and New Year's, with New Year's Eve being their busiest day most every year. He said that while some folks choose to "party" New Year's Eve, most spend it at home with family.

I think this is actually brilliant programming by ESPN, they are taking a day in which there is usually nothing of note on (until the annual NYE shows) and "creating" a tradition for many. The one weakness I see is the first game takes place far too early in the day, as many will still be working or doing something else, like attending a movie. The perfect time would be 4PM first game, 7:30 2nd game, Eastern of course. 4:30/8 would be good, though many games last way too long, especially if they have a long halftime show.

12/30/2015 04:55:00 PM

(12/30/2015 03:34:00 PM) - Al

Dodgers DFA Daniel Fields, who they just claimed from the Crew a month or so ago.

If they can get him outrighted, it's a brilliant, albeit rather low ceiling move, as "true," high level prospects always get claimed.  

12/30/2015 03:34:00 PM

(12/30/2015 02:00:00 PM) - Al

Gun control and being anti police is not much of a combo platter for being crime free.

Who woulda thunk it? 

12/30/2015 02:00:00 PM

(12/30/2015 01:55:00 PM) - Al

The good news...the Rambling son got some great news today.

The bad news...I'm starting to seriously question if I'm his biological father.

12/30/2015 01:55:00 PM

(12/30/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

I, for one, am shocked.

Snopes verifies, though threats of physical harm may be a bit overblown.

12/30/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/30/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Kids are off you as you believe in big government and higher taxes.

12/30/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/30/2015 07:30:00 AM) - Al

I do too.

If Davies, Jungmann, Santana, and Knebel were still eligible, it might be top three.

Those predicting a 5+ year rebuild have no idea how stacked the upper levels are. They're already a full year in, and they added 7 prospects at the deadline. 2016 might not be a pretty campaign, but it's not going to be a half decade of futility.

12/30/2015 07:30:00 AM

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

(12/29/2015 07:57:00 PM) - Al

Eagles part ways with Chip Kelly. 9 wins a season without a QB...he should be getting an extension. Teams don't realize how lucky they are until they turn into the Browns and wonder what happened.

Remember a few years ago, when the Titans fired Jeff Fisher. The Rams are winning games they shouldn't, and TEN is in the mix for a top draft pick...just like last year. Yeah, winning 60% of the time just isn't good enough. Heh.

12/29/2015 07:57:00 PM

(12/29/2015 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Disneyland was at their 85,000 capacity by 10:15am this morning. Incredible.

1. And people scoff at me when I say no one is working this week. 

2. I'd rather have someone wrap barbed wire around my neck...and pull really, really tight.

12/29/2015 07:47:00 PM

(12/29/2015 04:30:00 PM) - Al

Those of you not watching or DVRing Superstore should start doing so right away.

If you've ever worked retail, even moreso.

12/29/2015 04:30:00 PM

(12/29/2015 03:26:00 PM) - Al

Stearns continues adding versatility.

Always liked EY Jr, as he walks and runs like the wind, and can play 2B/OF. Hits equally from both sides, but is very gifted stealing bases versus RHP, 86% for his career.

We have not talked much about it, but Stearns' penchant for adding switch hitters seems to be more than a coincidence. 

12/29/2015 03:26:00 PM

(12/29/2015 02:00:00 PM) - Al

How do I know he's lying?

I have a pulse and a memory. You can support him all you want. It just means you don't believe in anything either.

Since I'm better than that, I do not.

12/29/2015 02:00:00 PM

(12/29/2015 12:17:00 PM) - Al

Is the sun rising in the east "alleged" too?

The thing is not that they are unapologetic in their bias. It's that they don't even pretend to hide it.

12/29/2015 12:17:00 PM

(12/29/2015 11:49:00 AM) - Al

Guilty as charged. Loves me some SVU.

12/29/2015 11:49:00 AM

(12/29/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

It's just weather. It ain't always the same. They do not seem to realize how stupid they are arguing that a planet that has experienced at least five major ice ages, not to mention minor ones; variations of the Earth's orbit; the fact the continents used to, in all probability, be one gigantic land mass.

The only thing constant about the climate in the history of the planet has been the never ending change. It's simply the result of an incredible state of self importance that some are unable to comprehend this...and are now using it for their own selfish, taxing needs.

It's all about coming up with ways to separate money from the successful. Finding methods to minimize wealth gives the government more power. It's all about control. All the rest is just details.

The irony here, of course, is that Sanders and Obama agree on about 95% of all policy and economic theory. Bernie is honest enough to admit he's a socialist. Barack, not so much.

12/29/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/29/2015 11:00:00 AM) - Al

Chris Rock used to say this too, asking if you ever met anyone in Africa who was lactose intolerant. Says no one has ever been turned away from the pearly gates for eating a pork chop.

I tend to agree, but as I am with most everything, I can't say I have one ounce of concern for what anyone besides myself eats, does, or says; as long as it doesn't effect me or how much I owe the government. 

12/29/2015 11:00:00 AM

(12/29/2015 10:10:00 AM) - Al

Yeah, but I'm afraid it might drop quickly.


No one knows how this will end, I've heard $1B in domestic thrown around often, and it would not surprise me at all.

{I'd put the over/under at $1.25B myself, as I think it will have incredible legs.}

Most films end up with a total of about double what it does in the first 9-10 days, and while TFA was heavily frontloaded by the diehards, it's also off the charts as far as repeat business. The fact is, it's going to not just break/destroy/crush Avatar's record, it's going to do so after about 2.5 weeks...Avatar did $1M+ for 15 weeks.

I was working at a party store during the week between Xmas and New Year's in 1999. My store usually did about $1K a day, that entire week, we did $5-7K a day. That first week of January, my boss walked in, and said, "We probably won't live long enough to ever see anything like that again."

That's what I keep thinking about TFA, but there will be, heck, it might be the next one, due out in the summer of 2017.

12/29/2015 10:10:00 AM

(12/29/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Think about that. The only thing we've improved in the last century is redistribution.

12/29/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/29/2015 09:35:00 AM) - Al

Rubio rightly blasts the lack of a strategy.

The only thing they are concerned about is continuing to spin terrorism as a reason to confiscate more cash from those who earned it. The real problem will be kicked down the road until 2017, because they don't have the desire to rid the world of evil.

12/29/2015 09:35:00 AM

(12/29/2015 09:30:00 AM) - Al

Fun but meaningless fact of the day:

Jets and Giants never played the same time (except when they played each other) for 25 years.

Will do so for the 8th time in 7 years Sunday.

12/29/2015 09:30:00 AM

(12/29/2015 08:30:00 AM) - Al

Funny because it's true.

12/29/2015 08:30:00 AM

Monday, December 28, 2015

(12/28/2015 04:59:00 PM) - Al

Ryan tells us about the books he's read.

I would read more, but hey, this DVR ain't gonna clear itself...

12/28/2015 04:59:00 PM

(12/28/2015 04:04:00 PM) - Al

This is the type of trade David Stearns will look to make in a couple years...find a player that other teams shy away from for some reason, unrelated to how good/dominant he is, and go get him. Said player might be pudgy, have past alcohol/drug problems, have poor media/social skills, and so on.

Bryce Harper is not available. The secret is to find the guy who might be Harper like in a few years who has faults today. Those faults are what makes him affordable and available. In Chapman's case, he is a known addlebrain who now has legal troubles hanging over his head. Even worse, he has very politically incorrect troubles hanging over his head, which held down his value immensely.

All that said, he is a GM's dream, the best at what he does available "on sale" because of something unrelated to him being the best at what he does. So instead of being worth X, the Yankees probably got him for 50-60% of X.

Are there possible problems? Absolutely. He probably has a suspension to deal with, due to MLB and other sports leagues having to "send a message" because of those who don't understand criminal penalties are not the responsibility of the employer...but of the criminal justice system.

12/28/2015 04:04:00 PM

(12/28/2015 03:25:00 PM) - Al

18K shipping containers on a single ship.


12/28/2015 03:25:00 PM

(12/28/2015 01:00:00 PM) - Al

Wal Mart does this every disaster too, often donating semis of bottled water and ready to eat foods, like pop tarts and granola bars.

Funny, you rarely hear about it. Coincidence I'm sure.

12/28/2015 01:00:00 PM

(12/28/2015 12:10:00 PM) - Al

I don't have cable, I don't have a DVR, so I only recently got access to Netflix.--seen on Facebook today

Not surprisingly, this is from one of the goofiest, just a bit left of Lenin and Marx on the political landscape people you'll ever meet. I guess he's spent his evenings sitting in the closet trying to avoid the government mind probes. 

Today he was arguing that a certain TV show is racist because the "bad guys" are often Asian, Asian American, or black. Oof.

12/28/2015 12:10:00 PM

(12/28/2015 11:00:00 AM) - Al

Obama worked so hard on the urgent Paris climate deal, he's going to recover by taking a carbon-spewing jet 10,000 miles to Hawaii and back.--Hale Razor

It's funny because it's true.

Not to brag, but I haven't left the house since last Wednesday. Sure I had a stomach bug, but the fact is, my carbon footprint is smaller, and I'm not a hypocrite.

12/28/2015 11:00:00 AM

(12/28/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

He's as clueless as he is conceited.

If this goes as well as his anti gun rhetoric, he might get Trump elected early. And, no, the fact he's ignoring issues to talk about Trump overseas is not lost on me; it's so stupid I can't say anything more other than to point out the facts.

12/28/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/28/2015 08:30:00 AM) - Al

Embedded image permalink

It ain't a coincidence that it's never worked. Those who fail to learn from history are just ignorant enough to believe they can be the first.

It ain't about healthcare, it's about convincing the rubes to allow the government previously unheld control over their lives. Once step one is granted; step two, step three, and so one becomes easier.

12/28/2015 08:30:00 AM

Sunday, December 27, 2015

(12/27/2015 09:58:00 PM) - Al

Packers open as a 3 point favorite over the Vikings, on the game just flexed to SUN night next week.

Was 5.5 on the advance line. GB looked bad, MIN looks great, moves it 2.5 points.

12/27/2015 09:58:00 PM

(12/27/2015 09:10:00 PM) - Al

Email wondering if GB would be favored over DC, I'd say GB would be favored by 4-5 points...MIN by 2-3.

That could change if one or the other looks especially weak next week, as the Pack did today.

12/27/2015 09:10:00 PM

(12/27/2015 08:48:00 PM) - Al

Several casual fans saying the Packers should lose on purpose to MIN do they can beat WASH before an inevitable loss to CAR/ARI.

They do not seem to realize that the loser of the GB/MIN game might well be the #6 seed and have to play at the winner's stadium. It is funny how terrified most are of SEA, a team that's now lost twice to SL.

12/27/2015 08:48:00 PM

(12/27/2015 08:22:00 PM) - Al

Article shows receiving the ball has worked just over half the time.

If you have a good defense, I feel kicking off is the better idea. If you do not, or have a superb offense, I'd want the ball.

12/27/2015 08:22:00 PM

(12/27/2015 06:41:00 PM) - Al

So, since NBC is promised a game "with playoff implications" next Sunday night, does that mean MIN/GB will be moved to that spot?

I'd say it's either that or Seahawks/Cardinals, with the other being the late game on Fox.

12/27/2015 06:41:00 PM

(12/27/2015 06:25:00 PM) - Al

Seems to be a decent strategy. I thought this had just been done, and I was correct, MIN did it earlier this year and it worked to perfection.

Of course, in this case, the Pats' player said it wrong, choosing to kick instead of choosing the wind.

12/27/2015 06:25:00 PM

(12/27/2015 06:19:00 PM) - Al

I know facts get in the way, but it always used to be that teams kicking off won more overtime games than those receiving the ball. Now that it takes a TD to win without the other team getting the ball, I would assume that's still the case, probably moreso.

Anyone have numbers? Because unless I have a terrible defense, I kick off every time.

12/27/2015 06:19:00 PM

(12/27/2015 06:05:00 PM) - Al

I don't think they ever switch the home team markets, but why isn't the rest of the country watching the SL/SEA contest, as it's far closer and playoff important?

12/27/2015 06:05:00 PM

(12/27/2015 05:41:00 PM) - Al

I would pull Rodgers now and run the ball most of the rest of the way. Teams rarely do this in the NFL, regardless of the score, but we'll see it more and more, as health and rest will be focused on more. I would not be at all surprised if teams a few years from now have their franchise QB's scheduled to play 12-14 games. 

12/27/2015 05:41:00 PM

(12/27/2015 05:27:00 PM) - Al

I think now that Mike McCarthy is calling the plays again, everything will be fine. 

The funny thing is, people were actually saying this 3 hours ago and having people agree with them.

12/27/2015 05:27:00 PM

(12/27/2015 05:17:00 PM) - Al

If the Seahawks win today, the Vikings clinch a playoff spot.

Of course, I assume MIN wants SEA to lose, as they can go ahead of them for the #5 seed if SEA loses and MIN wins.

Ironic, huh?

12/27/2015 05:17:00 PM

(12/27/2015 04:57:00 PM) - Al

So do the Vikings rest Peterson tonight knowing next week is winner take all?

Someone doesn't understand how attractive the #5 seed is, with SEA losing and playing ARI next week. One could argue being the #5 seed is as good or better than being the #3 seed.

Casual is as casual does.  

12/27/2015 04:57:00 PM

(12/27/2015 03:26:00 PM) - Al

Email asks me what I think of this pitching analysis.

I have no idea, other than to say it does not take a genius to know the Crew is loaded at all levels of the minors, pitching and position players. And, as pointed out here, they have several prospects who are young for their level, a key many casuals overlook, and continue to overlook even though they embarrass themselves annually by insisting 25-26 year olds at AA have a future.

12/27/2015 03:26:00 PM

(12/27/2015 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Embedded image permalink


It's funny because it's true. He's the greatest gun salesman in the history of the world.

12/27/2015 03:00:00 PM

(12/27/2015 12:17:00 PM) - Al

Ian Eagle calling two NFL games in 20 hours.--506 Sports

What's funny about that is how TBS insists Brian Anderson travels 24 hours ahead of time and misses the Brewers' game even if they play SAT afternoon.

12/27/2015 12:17:00 PM

(12/27/2015 11:51:00 AM) - Al

I always feel bad when unsubstantiated crap like this comes out.

If nothing else, this is extremely damaging to the Cooperstown chances of Taylor Teagarden.

12/27/2015 11:51:00 AM

(12/27/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Our government at its finest.

12/27/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/27/2015 08:00:00 AM) - Al


12/27/2015 08:00:00 AM

Saturday, December 26, 2015

(12/26/2015 07:00:00 PM) - Al

Sometimes, I wonder if they just put out hilariously bad content in some sort of peculiar attempt to get out of their contract.

12/26/2015 07:00:00 PM

(12/26/2015 04:51:00 PM) - Al

Elian Herrera tweets out he has signed with the Dodgers; a minor league contract I assume.

Good luck to him. He's a nice fit on most any roster.

12/26/2015 04:51:00 PM

(12/26/2015 02:30:00 PM) - Al

Embedded image permalink

And we will again.

Well, after Neville Jr. leaves office.

12/26/2015 02:30:00 PM

(12/26/2015 01:00:00 PM) - Al

Tim Dillard brought back to be a veteran journeyman at the back of the bullpen in AA or AAA.

I will give Dillard this...he does get RH hitters out. He is simply awful versus LH's, so his only potential benefit is as a roogy, and there's no use or room for a roogy except in September.

12/26/2015 01:00:00 PM

(12/26/2015 01:00:00 PM) - Al

Fun with numbers, part 2:

Player A: .339/.458, 797 OPS vs. RHP, 297 OPS vs. LHP
Player B: .343/.457, 800 OPS vs. RHP, 656 OPS vs. LHP
Player C: .341/.442, 783 OPS vs. RHP, 674 OPS vs. LHP

A is Scooter, B is Neil Walker, C is Daniel Murphy.

12/26/2015 01:00:00 PM

(12/26/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Fun with numbers:

Player A, career versus RHP: .315/.410, 725 OPS
Player B, career versus RHP: .314/.423, 737 OPS

Is there static in these numbers? Of course there is, as there are with all stats. Player A destroys LHP, while Player B really struggles against them. Also, Player A was rushed to the majors and did not hit much his first few seasons, but is now a very good hitter.

Scroll down for the answers.

A is Carlos Gomez, B is Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

12/26/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/26/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Albert Brooks takes advantage of Star Wars and loose wallets.

12/26/2015 10:00:00 AM

Friday, December 25, 2015

(12/25/2015 04:44:00 PM) - Al

I mentioned I have an appointment next week. We agreed I would call them either Sunday or Monday to set up a day and time...they said they had nothing planned all week, as they're celebrating Xmas, wait for it, today, on Xmas. I did not say so, but I wanted to avoid bad weather, as it's about 45 minutes away.

I had planned on Monday in my head, but we were supposed to get an inch or so of snow that day, so I wanted to wait until we got closer to see what time of day looked best. Today, I glanced at the weather, 5-8 inches of snow, starting about 2PM, with the best chance after 7PM.

No idea when the bad weather will hit a few days before, but they're "certain" it was a quarter degree warmer a century ago. Color me skeptical.

12/25/2015 04:44:00 PM

(12/25/2015 02:27:00 PM) - Al

If Home Alone was released today, they'd have to stop the movie so the criminals could go into mandatory concussion recovery protocol, as mandated by the burglar's union.

12/25/2015 02:27:00 PM

(12/25/2015 01:00:00 PM) - Al

Hogwash dipped in malarkey.--Kennedy on Obama's policies

That may be the most apt description I've ever seen of the past seven years. 

12/25/2015 01:00:00 PM

(12/25/2015 11:31:00 AM) - Al

If the pope just took the day off and gave the same speech as last year, would anyone notice?

Peace? Less terror? Those two things do not go together, to say the least, but at this point, he's just a parody of himself.

12/25/2015 11:31:00 AM

(12/25/2015 11:11:00 AM) - Al

The left dreams of this happening in the USA.

This is how they make "everyone equal." They make everyone into have nots.

12/25/2015 11:11:00 AM

(12/25/2015 10:36:00 AM) - Al

This makes perfect sense...if you're a darn fool.

It's painful anyone thinks this is a good idea.

12/25/2015 10:36:00 AM

(12/25/2015 10:30:00 AM) - Al

So I saw this and thought to myself, "Self, there's no better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus than with painfully bad puns."

12/25/2015 10:30:00 AM

(12/25/2015 10:20:00 AM) - Al

How did I know he was lying?


12/25/2015 10:20:00 AM

(12/25/2015 08:00:00 AM) - Al

The #1 title on Netflix today.

Our ancestors would be so proud. And to imagine, people used to waste time reading classic literature.

12/25/2015 08:00:00 AM

Thursday, December 24, 2015

(12/24/2015 08:53:00 PM) - Al

As the Rambling wife said, if you wait until the 23rd to order something, you're at risk of not getting it on time. Fed Ex going the extra mile by being open tomorrow, but they shouldn't bother.

The Rambling wife says she's going to buy me some slippers after Xmas. A normal person accepts this.

12/24/2015 08:53:00 PM

(12/24/2015 04:59:00 PM) - Al

Most transparent administration EVER!!

You know, I do not feel the need to dump my dirty laundry on Xmas Eve.

They do. They are an embarrassment to honest Americans everywhere.

12/24/2015 04:59:00 PM

(12/24/2015 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Annual Rambling family viewing of Christmas Vacation complete.

The Rambling wife plays in the bell choir at church early this evening. Coincidentally, I have a nap scheduled about that same time.

That's why our marriage works.

12/24/2015 03:00:00 PM

(12/24/2015 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Spend whatever you wish, DC will bail you out; because, the successful should pay for the failings of others.

We're in the very best of hands.

12/24/2015 03:00:00 PM

(12/24/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Problem with this?

They are supposed to be satire, not the truth.

12/24/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/24/2015 11:00:00 AM) - Al

Hi Al,

Nice prognosticating!  You have been on an upswing lately and your 15 - 1 week put you in first place among the 135 experts.  That was the best week of anyone since Geoff Ulrich (Draft Kings) went 16 - 0 in week 3.

Picking 15 games correct enabled you to surge up into 29th place with an overall record of 141 - 83.  Josh Katzowitz (Forbes) continues to lead the pack with a record of 152 - 72.  If you have two more weeks like the last one you could maybe move up into the top ten.

This weeks games that appear to be the hardest to pick the winner of include Indianapolis at Miami, Jacksonville at New Orleans, and Washington at Philadelphia.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!


I got the Raiders and the Eagles this week in the early games. Merry Xmas to all. 

12/24/2015 11:00:00 AM

(12/24/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

We miss him and his leadership greatly.

Let's not pretend the next president won't have their hands full cleaning up the mess. We ignored Putin's invasion of an ally and have made Neville Chamberlain appear to be some sort of hawk.

12/24/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/24/2015 08:25:00 AM) - Al

Record cold last year, record warmth this year.

It's almost like this weather thing, you know, varies from year to year; even day to day.

Of course, if one was incredibly self important, one might think this was somehow directly related to your own existence. And ignore the fact weather has been deviating since the beginning of time.

12/24/2015 08:25:00 AM

(12/24/2015 06:23:00 AM) - Al

There’s a lingering concern that Star Wars sales might fade more quickly than bullish analysts anticipate: Lots of fans were eager to see the film quickly to be in on the national conversation, and avoid spoilers.--Deadline Hollywood

Seriously? First of all, many people have seen this movie more than once already, and it's been out less than a week. Repeat viewings alone will lead this to the all time record.

The Rambling son and I went to see it yesterday. I could go into more detail, but I am left with two, non spoiler thoughts.

1. If you liked the original, you will really enjoy TFA.

2.Daisy Ridley was pretty much unknown when she was cast as the female lead, but it's really difficult not to adore her in the role. The old saying that is very fitting? Women want to be her, and men want to date her.

12/24/2015 06:23:00 AM

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

(12/23/2015 07:21:00 PM) - Al

Jaso signs with the Pirates. I thought he might be a fit in MIL.

For those curious, Jaso is the heavy half of a 1B platoon, and he's making $4M, while Mark Reynolds is the light half, making $2.5M (and backing up 3B too, I assume). Platoon players have value. Heck, Gerardo Parra is basically a platoon guy and he's going to make $8-9M per.

12/23/2015 07:21:00 PM

(12/23/2015 07:07:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife just asked how many ounces of cheese it takes to make 1.5 cups of shredded cheese for a dip she's making. I googled it, and came up with 12 ounces.

While doing so, I came across a place where people ask questions, and one was "How many 8 ounce packages of cream cheese does it take to make a pound?"

I shudder for the future.

12/23/2015 07:07:00 PM

(12/23/2015 05:34:00 PM) - Al

How do I know they're lying?

Their lips are moving.

12/23/2015 05:34:00 PM

(12/23/2015 05:32:00 PM) - Al

Only six?

Me thinks they did not look very hard.

Luckily, we have an unbiased, completely fair old media. None of which have asked Obama or Clinton where they were the night Americans were killed in Benghazi and why they did nothing.

We're in the best of hands.

12/23/2015 05:32:00 PM

(12/23/2015 05:24:00 PM) - Al

Crew claims three off waiver wire while I'm at the movie.

All are a bit surprising, as I would say all are more reserve type players than higher ceiling guys. That said, Stearns might just be using his high waiver position to make claims and then either slip them through waivers later or convince them to sign minor league contracts when room is needed later. The cost is so minimal, there's no real negatives to be had.

12/23/2015 05:24:00 PM

(12/23/2015 02:28:00 PM) - Al

...where every student is above average.

Hillary needs some work on her math, it would appear. That and truth, videos, videos again, lies, and so on.

What a freaking loon.

12/23/2015 02:28:00 PM

(12/23/2015 01:00:00 PM) - Al


Hey, Meghan McCain and Chelsea Clinton took it upon themselves to enter the fray, and can be mocked (or lauded) all they wish. As is, we all know what the standard is...Dems' kids are off limits.

The left's silence on this topic makes me wonder about their shocking as that is.

12/23/2015 01:00:00 PM

(12/23/2015 12:09:00 PM) - Al

TFA records set, and how much it will do this week if it follows the same path as Avatar, which it is so far.

The Rambling son and I are off to see it this afternoon.Don't worry, posts are scheduled, you poor saps stuck working, you'll never know I'm gone. I might be there now...

12/23/2015 12:09:00 PM

(12/23/2015 11:34:00 AM) - Al

Meghan McCain just blasted the Washington Post for their Cruz cartoon.

She's so lovely when she's mad. I will update with video when it becomes available.

12/23/2015 11:34:00 AM

(12/23/2015 10:15:00 AM) - Al

Officially off for Xmas.

That said, I do have an appointment for next week. It's what is best for the client, so I will be there. That said, I don't expect many tears for working a three hour week.:)

12/23/2015 10:15:00 AM

(12/23/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Kids are only protected if they're the offspring of liberals.

Maybe someday, we too will be as polite and civil as the left.

12/23/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/23/2015 09:00:00 AM) - Al

Maybe I'm just a freaking genius, but, I'm struggling to ponder how one struggles to drive in a roundabout?

It's a one way thing, so you can't mess up too badly unless you go the wrong way. And the funny thing is, if you want, it's perfectly legal to just drive around in a circle if you wish. If my son was a decade younger, I think he'd laugh and laugh at that.

12/23/2015 09:00:00 AM

(12/23/2015 08:00:00 AM) - Al

What used to be normal is now politically incorrect.

Pure silliness, of course. All mock problems created to mask the real ones.

12/23/2015 08:00:00 AM

(12/23/2015 07:21:00 AM) - Al

Happy Festivus.

The airing of the grievances begins at 6.

12/23/2015 07:21:00 AM

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

(12/22/2015 05:01:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling son and I were going to attend Star Wars today, but ran late because we had to pick up the Rambling wife's car from a tune up (and stopping to get snacks, as Dollar Tree sells those $4 movie theater boxes of candy for, wait for it, $1, but hence, I digress). Seeing it may not be a good day to show up at 4:38 for a 4:40 movie, we decided to skip it.

The Rambling wife belongs to a fitness club in the same strip mall as the theater, and says the parking lot is as full as it was last Thursday night, when the first two showings of TFA were sold out. Marcus does a $5 promotion on TUES (yes, even on TFA), and apparently, it's quite popular.

The Rambling son and I decided to wait until tomorrow, which will get me to the office earlier anyway. Win win.

12/22/2015 05:01:00 PM

(12/22/2015 04:30:00 PM) - Al

I guarantee you several others have done this and no one even knows.

12/22/2015 04:30:00 PM

(12/22/2015 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Last night in the Ramblings houseehold:

Me: Look, the DVR is over 50%.

Rambling wife: Wow.

Me: By the end of New Year's weekend, it will be at 0.

RW: That's pretty ambitious.

Me: You know me...I always set my goals high.

12/22/2015 04:00:00 PM

(12/22/2015 03:37:00 PM) - Al

In the future, they will only list the box office records not held by TFA. $40M on a Monday. Great googily moogily.

Gonna be a short list.

12/22/2015 03:37:00 PM

(12/22/2015 03:26:00 PM) - Al

I called this, but did not think it would work out because I assumed Moore was still getting paid to coach Chicago, and he'd be working for free. Regardless, welcome back.

12/22/2015 03:26:00 PM

(12/22/2015 03:20:00 PM) - Al

With Jason Rogers in PIT, I could imagine a scenario in which Chris Johnson is a platoon/reserve utility guy in MIL.

I don't think he's ever played OF (1 inning, BR says), but he could always learn to do this point, I assume he'd be happy to do so (that whole beggars/choosers thing). He is also a guy who'd look mighty tempting to a contender in August if their everyday 3B went down, and their backup hits like Yadi Rivera.

12/22/2015 03:20:00 PM

(12/22/2015 03:08:00 PM) - Al

I think I'm the only person in the office working this week. Even when I call clients, they say "I thought you'd be off this whole week."

I have to go in and fax in some stuff tomorrow, and even the Rambling wife says there's hardly anyone working tomorrow in her cubicle farm. Tis the season.

Next week, of course, hardly anyone is working, as it's by far the most taken week off the entire year, annually (July 4th week is a close second, in case you were curious). If you do work, you probably only work a short week.

12/22/2015 03:08:00 PM

(12/22/2015 02:00:00 PM) - Al

They never see it coming.

It always costs twice as much and takes twice as long, because the projections are always best case scenario. 

And don't forget, the private sector would have built one had there been any demand for it, so the taxpayers end up paying for it every year it exists.

12/22/2015 02:00:00 PM

(12/22/2015 01:00:00 PM) - Al

73% of K-12 schools are on holiday recess Monday as well as 87% colleges.--Rentrak

The Rambling son has school yet today, and some schools even have class Wednesday. I asked him if there was anything special going on, and he matter of factly replied, "Yeah, we're going to watch a movie in the afternoon."

Thank goodness it counts as a day so they hit that all important quota that insures they are edumacated.

12/22/2015 01:00:00 PM

(12/22/2015 12:29:00 PM) - Al

Solid pitcher? Check.

Probably sign for one year? Check.

Could be valuable at the deadline? Check.

12/22/2015 12:29:00 PM

(12/22/2015 12:00:00 PM) - Al

All food was farm fresh and life expectancy was 40 we added chemicals now its north of 80.--Charles Payne

I've pointed this out on numerous occasions.

12/22/2015 12:00:00 PM

(12/22/2015 11:43:00 AM) - Al

Many continue to insist the huge fees paid for live sports will hit the wall.

Beta will kill movie theaters too.

12/22/2015 11:43:00 AM

(12/22/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Chelsea Clinton, philanthropist, pregnant with 2nd child.--Facebook

I guarantee you if Meghan McCain had chosen to live an identical life to Chelsea, the headline would say, "Meghan McCain, unemployed and fat, once again knocked up."

12/22/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/22/2015 07:30:00 AM) - Al


Never has one become a hero by accomplishing so little.

12/22/2015 07:30:00 AM

Monday, December 21, 2015

(12/21/2015 06:02:00 PM) - Al

Spoiler free, as far as I can tell, comparison of Star Wars to AFW (I have mentioned the constant theme of freedom versus the evil government), and kudos to George Lucas' ex wife.

12/21/2015 06:02:00 PM

(12/21/2015 02:46:00 PM) - Al

Worst week for sports books (or, best week for the public) in 2015.--RJ Bell

I do not pick games against the spread, but I'm 14-1 for the week on NFL games, and I usually play the favorites all but a game or three. Games went pretty much as expected.

I took the Lions tonight, and none of the ESPN "experts" did. Time will tell. DET is only a 3 point underdog, but most folks like NO at home.

12/21/2015 02:46:00 PM

(12/21/2015 02:41:00 PM) - Al

TFA ends up with $248M over the weekend, $10M more than estimated by Disney.

Disney appears to be a firm believer in the "upod principle"*.

*under promise, over deliver

12/21/2015 02:41:00 PM

(12/21/2015 01:17:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers don’t want to sell low on Jonathan Lucroy in the wake of his underwhelming 2015 season, though they could be taking a risk by waiting to make a trade, Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan writes in a piece for FOX Sports.  If Lucroy’s concussion and injury history continues to diminish his ability, Milwaukee will have missed its window to recoup significant value for the former All-Star.  Midseason deals for catchers are also somewhat uncommon, as it’s somewhat hard for a new catcher to instantly develop a rapport with pitchers.--MLBTR

You always run the risk of a player getting injured or losing value. Lucroy could fall down the stairs after too much eggnog or hurt himself lifting weights. I assume many teams would like to see him catch, meaning a deal is far more likely after the teams report to Arizona and Florida. 

12/21/2015 01:17:00 PM

(12/21/2015 09:00:00 AM) - Al

Me no understand supply and demand!!

We have found some Obama/Sanders voters. And they're as dumb as we thought they were.

By the way, I wish the Rambling wife and I could teleport to Manhattan for New Year's Eve. Neither of us has ever made anywhere close to $50 an hour in our lives, and by God, she even has skills!

12/21/2015 09:00:00 AM

(12/21/2015 08:00:00 AM) - Al

I know this is a first world pain, but I'm a little tired of shows being listed as "new" in the guide, when in reality, it's the same damn show that was on last time, only with little bubbles of info. They refer to them as "enhanced."

I refer to it as a fib.

12/21/2015 08:00:00 AM

Sunday, December 20, 2015

(12/20/2015 08:41:00 PM) - Al

Bucks win finale of road trip in Phoenix, Kidd announces he'll miss 6-8 weeks as he is having hip surgery.

The casual bloggers will now have to overreact to minor adjustments by Joe Prunty.

Alos, Giannis missed the game with a previously undisclosed knee injury, which has probably been a reason for his up and down playing time.

12/20/2015 08:41:00 PM

(12/20/2015 03:52:00 PM) - Al

Matheny arguing his core is better by mentioning three injury prone guys far past their prime?

It's like Custer saying his army was tougher because they died with grit. You can debate lots of things, including who'll be better in the short term. But to deny how good the Cubs' young players are by comparing them to guys who struggle to avoid the DL annually and are in their mid 30's?

He lost the argument without a rebuttal.

12/20/2015 03:52:00 PM

(12/20/2015 03:45:00 PM) - Al

that was a game giants v panthers moral of story never give up.--Charles Payne

So sad two players were too selfish to care about the game. Coaches did not seem to have the heart to discipline them either. 

Be interesting to see if the Panthers go for the win or just play out the season. Rivera has hinted he will try and win every game with his best squad, but seeing Newton get banged up today would lead to many taking a week or two off.

12/20/2015 03:45:00 PM

(12/20/2015 01:52:00 PM) - Al

ESPN is suffering exactly what happens when folks think they are bigger than the stuff they are reporting.

If they'd spend a fraction of the time reporting on sports instead of trying to coin catchphrases and find "gotcha" moments most folks don't care at all about, they'd be a printing press...heck, they still are, for the most part.

12/20/2015 01:52:00 PM

(12/20/2015 12:58:00 PM) - Al

Every once in a while, I hit one on the head.

The Cards are so used to keeping FA's, I think they overestimated Heyward's worth for a single season. Considering the haul ATL got in return, they would especially like that now, instead of the draft pick.

The irony is, team control is the most important aspect of a trade, and the least talked about. 

12/20/2015 12:58:00 PM

(12/20/2015 11:56:00 AM) - Al

I do not understand why CBS would feel people want to watch prohibitive favorite New England defeat Tennessee, but they do.

This is why so many watch Red Zone.

12/20/2015 11:56:00 AM

(12/20/2015 09:30:00 AM) - Al


12/20/2015 09:30:00 AM

(12/20/2015 07:19:00 AM) - Al

Tonight is coming in better than anticipated with industry analysts putting Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Saturday between $65.5M-$68.7M. That’s a -43% to -46% decline from Friday’s opening day record of $120.5M, which includes $57M in Thursday previews.--Deadline Hollywood

I'm embarrassed to be reading such drivel from math challenged fools.


Um, decline? Have another drink and try and imagine a world in which we compare one day's totals to two (or 1.5) and say it's down.

12/20/2015 07:19:00 AM

Saturday, December 19, 2015

(12/19/2015 10:21:00 PM) - Al

If Hillary loses, it will be because of 9 words (on ISIS): "We now finally are where we need to be."--Frank Luntz

This is why they insist on a Saturday night debate. Hillary must have only taken 2 of her 3 fistfuls of anti stupid medication today.

12/19/2015 10:21:00 PM

(12/19/2015 09:18:00 PM) - Al

Incredibly cool item for auction.

Sadly, I just spent my last $10K on a handful of magic beans.

12/19/2015 09:18:00 PM

(12/19/2015 09:10:00 PM) - Al

Ordered a couple items from a couple days ago, such a huge discount, could not resist buying unnecessary Xmas gifts for the Rambling wife and son. Said it would be delivered, for free, by 12/24. No big deal, they would understand if we had bad weather or something and it arrived late.

Showed up today. They ain't the greatest retailer in history because they're lucky. They simply do things extremely well.

12/19/2015 09:10:00 PM

(12/19/2015 09:02:00 PM) - Al

DVRing a bunch of movies to watch over the holiday while I have the movie channels today and tomorrow. The DVR will probably be 70-80% full when complete.

First world pains.

I will attempt to explain this negative situation to the folks who walk ten miles everyday to collect a container full of dirty water. Of course, that is where many would gladly take us if they could. They want to confiscate enough wealth so that everyone is a have not.

They never talk about making everyone comfortable; they only talk about equality. There's a reason for that.

12/19/2015 09:02:00 PM

(12/19/2015 08:51:00 PM) - Al

The Dems debating on a Saturday night seems designed to limit viewers.

Maybe Xmas Eve and Day were already taken.

12/19/2015 08:51:00 PM

(12/19/2015 08:40:00 PM) - Al

Lakewood Church, which is that kind of successful one Joel Osteen has, says Joyce Meyer will be taking the weekend services the first week of January.

I don't really know Meyer, but know she is very successful in her own right. Lakewood is so big, it can draw in the big names so they can sell their stuff, I guess.

12/19/2015 08:40:00 PM

(12/19/2015 06:39:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife tells me there was a shooting at East Towne Mall today, and that the mall is a gun free zone.

I thought that was impossible!


12/19/2015 06:39:00 PM

(12/19/2015 04:31:00 PM) - Al

I got the Jets tonight.

And for those of you not in the know like me, there's a special edition of Thursday Night Football this evening, I assume to make up for the lack of one on Xmas Eve. 

EDIT: Silly me, not only do they have a game next THU, on Xmas Eve, they have it at night, 7 our time.

If that's not the lowest rated game of the year, I'll be shocked.

They also have one SAT night next week, which will compete directly with bowl games. 

12/19/2015 04:31:00 PM

(12/19/2015 02:04:00 PM) - Al

It's funny because it's true.

12/19/2015 02:04:00 PM

Friday, December 18, 2015

(12/18/2015 09:06:00 PM) - Al

Biggest opening or not, I am just glad that Star Wars is doing well. It’s the type of film that gives hope to the world, and inspires kids to dream. In my opinion, that alone is worth more than all the money in the world.--Andrew Costello

It's a movie about freedom and how freedom is so important it should be fought for.

I'm surprised they aren't protesting in on college campuses.

12/18/2015 09:06:00 PM

(12/18/2015 08:53:00 PM) - Al

TFA did $57M yesterday.

Next top 30 movies did $5.4M combined.

Gosh darn.

12/18/2015 08:53:00 PM

(12/18/2015 08:33:00 PM) - Al

39% of the people attending TFA are going alone.

Imagine how much the movie would take in if only they could get a date!

12/18/2015 08:33:00 PM

(12/18/2015 08:30:00 PM) - Al

It is difficult to believe how whiny these college kids are about unimportant things.

I get it. It's called Americanizing foods to meet our likes and dislikes. The food we call "Chinese" would be unrecognizable to a person from China. The Rambling wife and I loved Chi Chi's, a Mexican restaurant which prided itself by not having any spicy food on their menu at all, unless you ordered it with their hot sauce. Heck, I usually ordered the seafood enchilada, which wasn't any more "Mexican" than mac and cheese.

What's really sad is they are not only complain about such things, but are too stupid to understand why they don't serve oriental foods to Americans who, by and large, would not like them.

12/18/2015 08:30:00 PM

(12/18/2015 06:41:00 PM) - Al

CCB can wear or not wear anything she darn well pleases.

I have lots of Xmas ties, some with Santa, some with trees, some with gifts. People like all of them. No biggie.

12/18/2015 06:41:00 PM

(12/18/2015 06:05:00 PM) - Al

What did we learn from the Jason Rogers trade?

--No one, even young controllable players at positions without organizational depth, are safe. That's important because there are a few names no one has even mentioned in trade rumors...Nelson, Gennett, Maldonado, Santana. They are all just pawns to Stearns.

--The Brewers' system is loaded. The Pirates' 15th best prospect became the Crew's 30th best. While those rankings are often done with little thought, that's still pretty impressive, moreso when one considers that many of the Crew's very good young players have between 1-6 months of major league experience and are therefore not included in said rankings...Knebel, Goforth, Jungmann, Davies, Santana, to name a few. I realize every team has players like this, but considering the Crew acquired so many kids at the deadline, I assume they have more of them.

--The SEA deal should have proven this, but they not only do not mind young, low level, unproven players, they seem to be going out of their way to add them. This may be for several reasons...40 man space, teams are willing to give up kids in rookie ball more than AA/AAA players, or maybe the new braintrust believes in the pyramid model...a wide base of talent in rookie/A ball leads to more rising through the ranks, to AA, AAA, and eventually the bigs. Math is math, I'd much prefer having 25 prospects in the low levels than 15.

12/18/2015 06:05:00 PM

(12/18/2015 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Since our family Xmas celebrations are the 26th and 27th this year, we just made our Xmas Eve and Day menus. The Rambling wife insisted we go out for Chinese this year on Xmas Day, just like they do on The Xmas Story. I thought I better call to ensure they were open.

Chinese place: Wah wah. (I'm telling you, that's exactly what the gent said.)

Al: Hi sir. Are you open Xmas Day next week?

CP: Yes we are. 

Al: What hours are you open? 

CP: 11-9.

Al: Is that your normal hours?

CP: Yes. 

Because, why wouldn't you be open for a normal day, right? 

12/18/2015 05:36:00 PM

(12/18/2015 05:27:00 PM) - Al

I'm no math whiz, but...if TFA did $57M from 7PM on Thursday, and people are predicting it will do $100-110M total at the end of the day Friday...they are projecting $43-53M Friday...less all day than in the evening Friday?

Cmon fellas. You gotta figure at least $60M FRI, and probably $70-75M, for $130Mish. Don't forget, almost everyone that saw it opening night loved in, and many will see it again.

12/18/2015 05:27:00 PM

(12/18/2015 04:36:00 PM) - Al

For anyone keeping track, Jason Day's wife was injured sitting courtside at an NBA game.

Will nets be installed around the court now? The idea is ludicrous, as the netting would ruin the view of the people paying $250-5K for those seats. But in baseball, the nets will be extended dugout to dugout.

May you live in interesting times. 

12/18/2015 04:36:00 PM

(12/18/2015 03:45:00 PM) - Al

As difficult as that is, I see #3 being the most difficult hurdle for Chris to overcome.

12/18/2015 03:45:00 PM

(12/18/2015 02:15:00 PM) - Al

One analyst noticed that heading into post 6AM shows today that business for Force Awakens is tracking down 10% from the preview shows.--Deadline Hollywood

Imagine your life hanging around this negative nellie all the time, no matter how beautiful she is.

Picking on a movie that took in a now reported $57M in 5 hours last night because it's 10% down today?

Sure he can walk on water, but can he swim?

12/18/2015 02:15:00 PM

(12/18/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Gotta admit, not a single leak about the Rogers trade until it was announced. Stearns has continued the Melvin lockdown on info.

12/18/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/18/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Who would have guessed Americans are concerned about terrrorism?

Not the president.

How out of touch can a human being be?

At least Pravda admitted they were run by the government.

12/18/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/18/2015 09:23:00 AM) - Al

Star Wars The Force Awakens did $55M last night after 7PM, and I have yet to see anyone who did not love and adore it.

Just think how much it would have done if movies were not dead. :)

12/18/2015 09:23:00 AM

(12/18/2015 09:16:00 AM) - Al

Another minor league signing, hard thrower, high K/9, loogy.

12/18/2015 09:16:00 AM

Thursday, December 17, 2015

(12/17/2015 09:48:00 PM) - Al

I do not have much knowledge of how David Stearns thinks, but do I think he'd trade the guy who was likely to be his starting 1B without a backup plan?

You bet I do. The difference between Rogers and a veteran AAA player at 1B is likely less than a couple wins. For the Pirates, adding a victory for near the minimum salary is a big deal.

Plenty of veterans who might sign for a year; including Alvarez, Morneau, and Pearce. All would probably be attractive at the deadline to contenders too. Also, allow me to throw out a longshot in John Jaso, a former catcher who has mostly played corner OF and DH'd of late since suffering concussions in the past. Of course, any one of dozens of 1B may be available in trade.

12/17/2015 09:48:00 PM

(12/17/2015 09:05:00 PM) - Al

Stearns says Broxton will be a part of the CF picture/competition.

Supak was a sought after prospect and arm, very happy to add him to organization.

I think much of the concern about 1B is silly. Most likely, the 1B who plays most of the time is probably not on the roster right now.

Supak's MLB scouting report:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45 The Pirates went over pick value for the second straight selection when they signed Supak out of the supplemental second round, giving him $1 million to sign out of Homer Bailey's alma mater rather than attend the University of Houston. After two seasons in Pittsburgh's system, Supak was traded along with Keon Broxton to the Brewers in December.

Supak's fastball typically sits in the low 90s, and there's room for added velocity in his 6-foot-5 frame as he adds strength. He should also be able to learn to throw more downhill, with more life to his fastball, as he progresses. He has a feel for spinning the ball, and his curve has shown glimpses of being a solid breaking pitch. He has some aptitude for a changeup, but it's behind the other two. More consistency with his delivery and arm speed will help sell it, though it does have some fade.

It may take some time to wait for Supak to mature physically, but he has the chance to have three major league average of better pitches when all is said and done. With a father and uncle who both starred in college, he has bloodlines on his side as well.

12/17/2015 09:05:00 PM

(12/17/2015 08:18:00 PM) - Al

This is a major leaguer physically, mentally, and spiritually. I mean, he believes in it,and he is physically gifted. He has a good savvy, a good instinct, his work ethic is outstanding, and when it all comes together, he is going to be a leaguer somehow, somewhere. Hopefully it is with us.--Pirates' OF coach Rick Sofield

Sofield loves him. He has produced in AA and AAA. Blocked in PIT by a young group of OF's. Good guy to give a chance to. 

12/17/2015 08:18:00 PM

(12/17/2015 07:59:00 PM) - Al

Here's a surprise, Jason Rogers dealt for two players.

I have long said I expect Rogers to continue to hit, though I doubt he will age well, since he is built like me. Still at 27, he should have 3-4 good, inexpensive years left. Good luck to Jason in PIT.

Odd, the CF the Crew got for Rogers is a lot like Jason, Keon Broxton walks a lot, old for his levels, and so on. The pitcher, Trey Supak, is a 2nd round pick from 2014 who has had poor results in rookie ball, but, stop me if you've heard this before, had an outstanding K/BB ratio and a low HR/9 number last season, just like every other arm acquired in the Stearns era. Broxton is heralded for his plus defense and arm, and while Stearns has not picked up a lot of guys known for D, he has not picked up many up the middle guys either.

As of now, I would expect Broxton and Alex Presley to fight for a reserve spot in the spring, but would not at all be surprised if Khris Davis is dealt and Santana becomes the LF.

12/17/2015 07:59:00 PM

(12/17/2015 05:55:00 PM) - Al

Hi Al,

You had a very respectable 10 - 6 week for 37th place out of 142 experts.  Walter Football was number one at 14 - 2.  You're slowly climbing up the overall standings and are now in 56th with a record of 126 - 82.  Josh Katzowitz (Forbes) continues to lead at 140 - 68.

This week we start on Thursday night with a tough game to pick, Tampa Bay at St. Louis.  54% of the experts are going with Tampa Bay.  Other head scratchers are Miami at San Diego, and Buffalo at Washington.  Green Bay is picked as the favorite over Oakland by 79%.

Good luck picking!


56 of 142 puts me square in the top 40%.

At least I did not peak in high school.

12/17/2015 05:55:00 PM

(12/17/2015 05:42:00 PM) - Al

Facebook friends now admitting they may cry when movie begins and/or ends.

12/17/2015 05:42:00 PM

(12/17/2015 05:28:00 PM) - Al

People are sending out pics of themselves in line for or ready to see The Force Awakens.

I just told the Rambling son to get me a tub of hot water so I can soak my feet so the swelling of my corn lessens, so I can put a cushion pad on it.

I'm not sure if I was ever winning at life, but I'm almost positive I'm way, way behind at this instant.

12/17/2015 05:28:00 PM

(12/17/2015 02:48:00 PM) - Al

I got the Rams tonight, though I hate picking them, as I think they won last week and TB lost. I just think they'll win, what can I say.

12/17/2015 02:48:00 PM

(12/17/2015 02:36:00 PM) - Al

Carlos Boozer had meeting with Milwaukee's Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond in Los Angeles.--Yahoo

Might be why they are trying to trade Plumlee. Team looks to need veterans for leadership as much or moreso for production. Losing Zaza and Dudley was devastating for accountability and defense. Kidd still trying to overcome almost two months in.

12/17/2015 02:36:00 PM

(12/17/2015 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Mark A writes to the fans, and admits they have begun building for the future.

I was unaware they had drawn 2.5M fans nine years in a row. Right now, I think most would set the over under at less than that for 2016, but that kind of gives the a bar to aim for.

12/17/2015 02:27:00 PM

(12/17/2015 02:06:00 PM) - Al

The predictions seem to be going up as far as how much Force Awakens things that puzzled me, I've seen several times now that advance sales hit $100M a few days ago...with $55M of that for this weekend.

Tell me, who would buy an advance ticket for a film and not go right away, as it will only be 50% as busy anytime after the opening weekend? That's a puzzler. And, unless you are going to a tiny small town theater, there's another showing 30 minutes later.

12/17/2015 02:06:00 PM

(12/17/2015 01:33:00 PM) - Al

Advance tickets to TFA sold in each format: 60% 2D, 23% 3D, 17% IMAX 3D--Gitesh Pandaya

I don't understand why so many people are buying their tickets in 2D...if there was ever a film meant for 3D, it would be a Star Wars sequel. Almost as many people have bought IMAX, which are few and far between in all but the largest urban areas.

I told the Rambling son we'd wait and go after the crowds settle down, and after saying he did not want to see it before, he agreed to be my date. TUES matinee it is. Hearing nothing but great things.

12/17/2015 01:33:00 PM

(12/17/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Lettuce far worse than bacon for the environment.

That does it, no more lettuce for me.

12/17/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/17/2015 07:00:00 AM) - Al

Um, again I, realize I'm a contrarian by nature, but who is surprised by this?

1. The whole reason they have shootarounds (which is a light practice the day of the game) is to get players incentive to get to bed, otherwise they'd stroll in about 10AM, sleep 8 hours, and taxi to the arena an hour before the game.

2. I'm a bit surprised they still have them, as many veteran teams have either done away with them or rarely have them, and rarely late in the season. Even college coaches are scrapping them, as they would rather their team get plenty of rest and maybe do a walk through or watch tape just before the team meal.

3. This is why I was surprised the Packers had a curfew before a night game. Most do not.

4. Do people really think these extremely wealthy young athletes are nestled in their hotel bed at 9:30, reading a Hardy Boys' mystery ("Joe fell into the water and the current swept him toward the waterfall!"), with the TV tuned to the 700 Club?

5. I'm failing to see the correlation between Greg Monroe injuring his knee during practice...did he weaken it watching and tipping dancers?

12/17/2015 07:00:00 AM

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

(12/16/2015 09:22:00 PM) - Al

Am I the only person who realizes that the best players do not always start in basketball? There's a hundred reasons why Kidd may not be starting Giannis.

These are the same folks who saw last year's success and gave all the credit to dunks and other silliness. Now, they are so over their heads not understanding that defense and teamwork actually win games, they're just grasping at straws.

12/16/2015 09:22:00 PM

(12/16/2015 06:36:00 PM) - Al

How has the mom the year committee managed to overlook her incredible work?

12/16/2015 06:36:00 PM

(12/16/2015 06:23:00 PM) - Al

Surprised Nava got a major league contract.

That may well have been the sticking point between he and the Crew, or they may be waiting on Alvarez.

12/16/2015 06:23:00 PM

(12/16/2015 04:34:00 PM) - Al

Difficult to ponder the future of Badgers' basketball without Bo Ryan at the helm. We all knew this day would arrive. No one really knows why now, and if this was done now to give Gard a chance, as Alvarez seems committed to bringing in an experienced proven D1 head coach, that makes perfect sense.

As many have pointed out, Gard is not being set up for success here, as he has a very young team and a very tough conference schedule to navigate through. He could have interviewed and had his choice of 2nd and 3rd tier jobs, but he stayed in Madison with Bo. He has a small sample of games to coach, and recruiting will pretty much just sit on hold, as few recruits will even think about committing to a program without a coach on a long term contract, especially at the Big Ten level.

12/16/2015 04:34:00 PM

(12/16/2015 12:30:00 PM) - Al

Glenn offends everyone who has ever been a JV player.

12/16/2015 12:30:00 PM

(12/16/2015 11:30:00 AM) - Al

Colbert's ratings suck because all conservatives hate him, and his so called "good" ratings on Comedy Central are only acceptable on late night basic cable.

I do not understand the appeal of Fallon either, but while he's a goofy frat boy with an alcohol problem doesn't do it for me, at least I don't despise him.

12/16/2015 11:30:00 AM

(12/16/2015 10:30:00 AM) - Al

Kennedy compares president to Lumbergh from Office Space, don't get Meghan McCain mad.

Other than that, things are looking up!

12/16/2015 10:30:00 AM

(12/16/2015 09:30:00 AM) - Al

Not only is it funny, it's not exaggerated a bit.

12/16/2015 09:30:00 AM

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

(12/15/2015 09:23:00 PM) - Al

Brandon Phillips is "reasonably compensated" making an average of $13.5M for a 725 OPS, while many aren't sure if Scooter is a good deal near the minimum with his 742 career OPS.

 I'll give you Phillips is a better defender, and that Scooter should probably have a platoon partner. Is that worth $13M per? Not to me.

12/15/2015 09:23:00 PM

(12/15/2015 07:48:00 PM) - Al

Just in...The Force Awakens hits $100M in advance ticket sales, almost entirely for the opening weekend. Most seem to think it will blow away the $208M record set by Jurassic World this past summer. I'm thinking $250M, given the repeat viewings and sold out crowds expected Thursday night/Friday.      

Officially, I'm expecting a $100M+ Friday (yes, for reasons no one really knows, Thursday night rolls over into Friday), probably $120M.

Gonna be huge. Even my little local theater has sold out the 7 and 7:30 shows on Thursday night. Shows have sold out there before, but never more than a few minutes before the film began. 

12/15/2015 07:48:00 PM

(12/15/2015 06:36:00 PM) - Al

Love the Cubs reworked lineup. But I've still got PTSLFD: Post Traumatic Schwarber in Left Field Disorder.--Jen Lada

Making fun of PTSD. Classy broad.

Quick, guess what party she belongs to?

Maybe tomorrow, she can pick on those with Down syndrome. 

12/15/2015 06:36:00 PM

(12/15/2015 06:16:00 PM) - Al

Stearns says the fact Middlebrooks bats RH and Cecchini LH is "not a coincidence" and that while he sees them both as 3B, they may work their way into 1B also.

Says team remains active in the CF and 1B market.

12/15/2015 06:16:00 PM

(12/15/2015 03:54:00 PM) - Al

ISIS Declares Death to Children With Down Syndrome 

Note to muslim terrorists: Over my dead body. 


Sarah Palin

So nice to see someone talking tough to terrorists. I'm sure our president is monitoring the situation, at least when he's not traveling with his food taster strolling in a national park with a British urine drinker.

They're just the JV squad. 

12/15/2015 03:54:00 PM

(12/15/2015 02:15:00 PM) - Al

Add Middlebrooks to the 3B battle.

Might be a Pat Murphy connection here, as Will does not fit the "plus OBP" skill set we have seen with most of Stearns' signees. Might just be for minor league depth, though he has played 1B/SS and has had some success versus LHP.

Also, guys like Will might see that 3B spot up for grabs and be calling the Crew. These minor league deals have no risk and no downside.

12/15/2015 02:15:00 PM

(12/15/2015 11:00:00 AM) - Al

I love this.

If you do not get the joke, Rice has admitted to a "relationship," lasting a night or two, with Ms. Palin back when she was a young, single TV sports babe. I don't think Palin has ever confirmed or denied this, but usually silence speaks volumes.

I get Rice's point, I'd tell everyone too.

12/15/2015 11:00:00 AM

(12/15/2015 10:30:00 AM) - Al

One inch of rain falling on 1 acre of ground is equal to about 27,154 gallons and weighs about 113 tons.

We were surprised to hear the sump pump running last evening, and it continued all night long. When you see numbers like that, it reminds you of how much rain falls...we got between 2.5-3 inches over a couple days, and it rarely rained hard, so almost all of that soaked right in, Our backyard is nowhere near an acre, but even if it's a 1/5th of an acre, by my math, that's about 14K gallons. Imagine walking out the back door with a bunch of people for a few hours and pouring out 1000 gallons...I'm sure you'd notice it being sloppy. 14 times that equals a lot of water soaking it's way through the ground.

12/15/2015 10:30:00 AM

(12/15/2015 10:00:00 AM) - Al

Liberalism is a man at podium, fresh off his private jet ride and surrounded by armed security, there to tell you to give up your guns and reduce your carbon footprint.--Nick Borth


12/15/2015 10:00:00 AM

(12/15/2015 08:23:00 AM) - Al

Up since 3:45.

I have been waking up often in the night and not being tired. I have a couple things to take care of, but I assume I will sleep several hours today.

12/15/2015 08:23:00 AM

(12/15/2015 08:18:00 AM) - Al

No one is more anti royalty than myself (realistically, I'm anti winner of the genetic lottery,anti taxpayer waste, and anti fictional importance).

That said, when you're talking about Pippa, I'm interested, because unlike Kate, she's actually visually appealing and weighs more 89 pounds. All I can say is, good for Harry.

12/15/2015 08:18:00 AM

Monday, December 14, 2015

(12/14/2015 10:08:00 PM) - Al

Can't say I watched it or really even liked it, but still heartbroken over Mike and Molly being canceled.

Always nice to see people that look like yourself on TV. I forget the guy's name, but he is a funny standup comic as well.

12/14/2015 10:08:00 PM

(12/14/2015 06:44:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers have signed IF Jake Elmore, RHP Daniel Tillman, and OF Alex Presley to minor league contracts with Major League spring

You may remember Elmore as being on this list (we now have two of them in the organization, which probably says more about a blind squirrel and an acorn than anything else). He fits the Stearns mold, as he puts up a good OBP and plays more than one position. Also, AGM Matt Arnold knows him from his days with the Rays. He's probably as much of a twin of Colin Walsh as any player in baseball, which some would call a coincidence, but I would not.

We talked about Tillman a few days ago. 

Presley is a LH bat who Stearns may have known from his HOU days. Reserve OF type, and is able to play CF. Could he be "the true CF" they have spoken of? Depends on if they want a starter or a defensive replacement. Or he could have been signed as AAA depth just in case they don't find anyone else. He has no discernible splits between LHP and RHP. His defensive work is almost exactly average except for his time in MIN, where he shows up as poor. 

12/14/2015 06:44:00 PM

(12/14/2015 04:21:00 PM) - Al

The Pirates and Brewers, who both have had prior interest, could be a fit for a trade of 1B James Loney.--TB Times

An emailer said he preferred Loney the other day to the FA's available. Sounds possible, but I assume the Rays would have to eat some salary, and I doubt they would, as it goes against their operational beliefs. I'm a fan, as he's a plus defender and his offense would likely jump playing in Miller Park, giving the illusion of improvement.

Loney is almost an 800 OPS guy versus RHP and away from home in his career.

12/14/2015 04:21:00 PM

(12/14/2015 04:08:00 PM) - Al

The two SP's I would not have touched at anything near market value this offseason were Greinke and Cueto, due to past "issues" that their signing teams chose to completely ignore.

They might end up being accurate and they might end up being correct. I wish them luck.

12/14/2015 04:08:00 PM

(12/14/2015 03:19:00 PM) - Al

Packers/Cowboys have 2nd highest Sunday afternoon NFL rating of 2015.

I saw someone predict it would be the highest because they are the two most watched teams...both loved and hated. Good prediction, just missed.

12/14/2015 03:19:00 PM

(12/14/2015 02:59:00 PM) - Al

Peter--If anyone needs me, I'll be out on my drinking couch.

Lois--I thought you said we were going to try and get the garden going again today. 

Peter--I know honey, but then I realized how stupid that is. 

Family Guy remains the funniest show on the air. 

12/14/2015 02:59:00 PM

(12/14/2015 02:26:00 PM) - Al

Most all large companies self insure, because it's cheaper.

They still might take out some form of reinsurance to protect itself against major illnesses and huge costs, but, while it sounds cruel, those folks tend to not be insured for long periods of time, if you get my drift.

12/14/2015 02:26:00 PM

(12/14/2015 02:12:00 PM) - Al

Another day, another self important, shortsighted decision by a school.

And the beat goes on.

12/14/2015 02:12:00 PM

(12/14/2015 02:00:00 PM) - Al

The coincidences are just overwhelming.

12/14/2015 02:00:00 PM

(12/14/2015 01:14:00 PM) - Al

And you say she plays tennis too....

12/14/2015 01:14:00 PM

(12/14/2015 12:57:00 PM) - Al

Grylls said a team of about 50 Secret Service personnel, a food taster, snipers and helicopters accompanied the pair during the day-long trek through a forest and across a glacial outwash.

Money quote above, but you can read the whole thing here, if you can bear to read how millions of dollars of our money, not to mention enough fuel to heat Siberia for weeks (imagine the carbon footprint!), were wasted because our president is an attention whore of such immense magnitude he volunteered to pretend to go on a hike with a guy best known for drinking his own pee.

A food taster? Good God almighty.

12/14/2015 12:57:00 PM

(12/14/2015 12:48:00 PM) - Al

So much wrong with this (players with some experience will not make the minimum, no one knows who will be on the 25 man, not to mention players on the DL count too), it hurts my feelings, but, that said, the gist of the piece is correct, that the Crew will likely have a low payroll, likely bottom 5.

12/14/2015 12:48:00 PM

(12/14/2015 12:30:00 PM) - Al

Embedded image permalink

We are in the very best of hands.

12/14/2015 12:30:00 PM

(12/14/2015 12:28:00 PM) - Al

The ladies simply cannot appreciate us for our minds and personality.

Thank goodness I'm not like that.

12/14/2015 12:28:00 PM

(12/14/2015 11:00:00 AM) - Al

Church was too loud, even "without electric amplification."

I'm all but positive they're having far more fun at church than most do.

12/14/2015 11:00:00 AM

(12/14/2015 09:00:00 AM) - Al

What do you do when you can’t contain actual threats? Invent nonexistent ones and then pat yourselves on the back for bravely leading the world to victory.--Michelle Malkin


Note the irony of continuously flying back and forth to Hawaii, often flying separate from the wife and kids, on fuel guzzling private jets while celebrating the fact that your country will "reduce greenhouse gas emissions"...though, no timeframe or strategy given as to how. Reminds me about how they brag how they reduced spending, while the deficit and debt skyrockets under their watch (gonna match the first 233 years in 8, way to go).

I'm so glad they're not on my side. They make Neville Chamberlain look like Chuck Norris.

12/14/2015 09:00:00 AM

(12/14/2015 08:30:00 AM) - Al

Saturday's Army-Navy game on CBS drew a 5.1overnight rating, highest-rated Army-Navy game in 19 years (5.5; 1996)

I wonder why. I assume it is directly related to the competition, as I watch it every year, and many people never do. There were lots of college basketball games on, but none of note. 

12/14/2015 08:30:00 AM

(12/14/2015 08:00:00 AM) - Al

Sssshhhh. This is why the left insists you can't do this...because it works.

Nothing they hate more than accomplishing stuff without punishing the successful.

12/14/2015 08:00:00 AM

(12/14/2015 07:00:00 AM) - Al

Funny because it's true.

Hey, it's easier than dealing with actual problems. 

12/14/2015 07:00:00 AM

Sunday, December 13, 2015

(12/13/2015 10:00:00 PM) - Al

Riley Dearing will transfer from Wisconsin.

Dearing never developed as hoped, as right now, he doesn't seem to be able to do anything but shoot 3's.

Never understood why players transfer at semester, though since he's already redshirted a season away; he only has 1.5 seasons left, I suppose. Probably look to go to a lower level conference and look to get some playing time.

12/13/2015 10:00:00 PM

(12/13/2015 09:49:00 PM) - Al

Ran across this interview with Counsell, not sure who did it, as they misspelled Khris Davis, so I doubt it is Adam's work.

Again, he does not say Stearns is looking for a starting CF, and hints strongly Santana will play all 3 OF spots.Until one is acquired, we won't know if they are looking for a part time starter and defensive replacement, or a guy who will start 4-5 days a week.

12/13/2015 09:49:00 PM

(12/13/2015 08:24:00 PM) - Al

I'm so glad he isn't on my side. Luckily, as a far lefty, he gets away with everything.

12/13/2015 08:24:00 PM

(12/13/2015 02:23:00 PM) - Al

Say what you will, but I never had this problem.

12/13/2015 02:23:00 PM

(12/13/2015 02:15:00 PM) - Al

David Price was a huge addition. Two relievers and a platoon/reserve OF? Not so much.

I know you were told there would be no math...BUT:

Last year, the Red Sox threw 501 relief innings and allowed a 4.24 ERA. I'll say Smith and Kimbrel stay healthy and combine for 140 IP and 2.50 ERA. That would would lower the team bullpen ERA to 3.74. That's 28 fewer runs allowed, using the rule of 10, almost 3 wins. BOS won 78 games, so 3 wins gets them to 81. Price alone, if healthy, will throw 200+ innings, and could well be a 5-6 win improvement over their worst SP.

Bullpens are "hot" right now, I get it, as people overreact to whatever the best team does. The Royals had the best bullpen, so, that's some sort of "secret," right? Well, sort of. It's all about runs scored and runs allowed, though the playoffs remain a crapshoot, as 1, 5, and 7 game series will always be in a sport in which 90% of the teams win between 40 and 60% of their games. And bullpens do matter. However, who had the 2nds and 3rd best bullpens in the AL? CLE and BAL. SF and MIL had top 5 relief corps in the NL, and it did not lead to success.

Run differential is the key, as all 5 of the NL playoff teams had the best +/- on runs, while 4 of the 5 AL postseason clubs did (TEX was more lucky than good). How you get there is a matter of talent, but getting there is the key to success. All the rest is just cliches and people talking to hear themselves talk.

12/13/2015 02:15:00 PM

(12/13/2015 12:29:00 PM) - Al

A few Badgers' thoughts:

What we're seeing is the exact opposite of the past two years...those teams were experienced veterans, with great players like Dekker and Kaminsky, but very good players like Gasser, Jackson, and so on. They would play teams like Northwestern, full of freshmen and sophomores, and you'd almost feel sorry for them. My God, Duje Dukan was the 8th best player, and he's cashing an NBA paycheck for the moment.

Not only were the opponents often far outclassed, it was literally men versus boys, as most players put on 20-30 pounds of pure muscle in their 4-5 years. Not so much fun being on the other side of that.

Not only is it a mostly very young, inexperienced group, their two "big" in state recruits, Diamond Stone and Henry Ellenson, are playing and starring elsewhere. Ironically, Ellenson is said to have gone elsewhere because the Badgers were so focused on Stone; so basically, when they lost Stone, they lost both. While both look to be 1-2 year guys, they'll win a lot of games while there.

One has to remember, while a great baseball player might be worth 7-8 wins a season, a great basketball player, like Lebron, is probably worth 15-20. Imagine this current group of young Badgers with Dekker.

Or even more frightening, Dekker and Stone or Ellenson.

I've thought this several times, but think how Greg Gard would be suffering had Bo retired with little notice and Gard had been named the interim coach. No matter how hard you work, you can't turn youngsters into upperclassmen.

12/13/2015 12:29:00 PM

(12/13/2015 12:09:00 PM) - Al

A few Bucks' thoughts:

Not only did the Warriors simply miss shots they usually make, I promise you, Jason Kidd and his staff will point out how the Bucks played harder and hustled all over the court, and ask why that does not happen every night.

And while that last statement is true, holding GS to under 100 points is something to build on.

One has to wonder how much media/marketing mentions the city of Milwaukee will receive in the 24-48 hours following the win. It's probably worth millions, but, it's not only difficult to estimate, it's impossible to gauge the effect.

12/13/2015 12:09:00 PM

(12/13/2015 11:27:00 AM) - Al

Top 34 movies did $74M this weekend, Star Wars will do at least 2-3 times that next weekend.

I thought it might do $400M, but industry predictions are well below that, the highest I've seen is in the $300M range. Some have pointed out it's "only" at 3900 theaters, while some have opened at 4500. It will be playing on several screens (here in Wausau, it will be on 6 of the 10 screens) at all but the small town theaters that only have a single, but, you do have a group of moviegoers that do not travel, that will only go to the closest theater to their home...those 600 theaters do make a difference.

And, while no one is saying it other than me, I think many folks are like me...they don't want to go opening weekend because of all the geeks that will be there. I still recall the KQ morning show in the Twin Cities discussing this with one of the Star Trek films...Bob Sansevere, who often went to 2-3 movies a week, said he loved going opening weekend to a full theater with true fans. Tom Barnard said he'd wait until Tues/Wed and go at 1PM with 7 other people in the theater. Star Wars will have a huge Xmas week, as many will want to see it again, and many folks are probably planning on seeing it with family.

EDIT: Reports today indicate Force Awakens will indeed be in 4000+ theaters, as 3900 was the "low estimate." 

12/13/2015 11:27:00 AM

(12/13/2015 09:30:00 AM) - Al


12/13/2015 09:30:00 AM

Saturday, December 12, 2015

(12/12/2015 09:53:00 PM) - Al

Bucks defeat Warriors.

Celtics deserve an assist, GS looked tired and a step slow all night. They didn't shoot 3's anything like they usually do, and the only reason they were in it towards the end was their offensive rebounding.

A sellout and a loud crowd. Some don't understand the appeal of pro sports in their city. Thank goodness those folks are too busy cursing at the sun for shining and pretending to be offended to notice.

12/12/2015 09:53:00 PM

(12/12/2015 06:35:00 PM) - Al

I have long chided the casuals for acting as if SL, CHC, and PIT will be good forever, basically ignoring the ebb and flow that success cycles bring. Several folks have said there's no use trying to compete for several seasons.

Ironically, the Pirates admit they will "retool" in 2016 and while not giving up, admit they are aiming for 2017 and beyond.

Other than that...

12/12/2015 06:35:00 PM

(12/12/2015 04:48:00 PM) - Al

Brewers keep getting mentioned as a favorite for Pedro Alvarez if he does not end up with the Orioles.

12/12/2015 04:48:00 PM

(12/12/2015 03:02:00 PM) - Al

Stearns has said he would like to have a "true CF," though he has not really indicated if he is looking for an everyday option or a reserve/defensive replacement. Options?

Possible CF fits

Justin Ruggiano--Mainly a lefty masher, but a solid 4th OF for years.

Denard Span--Also pretty much a platoon bat, a quiet almost 900 OPS career vs. RHP career. Coming off an injury, he might welcome an opportunity to reestablish himself on a one year deal. Defensive metrics loved him until the past couple seasons, which could be a result of natural aging, not being 100%, or just a small sample.

Guillermo Hernandez--Cuban who is best known for his defense, would probably be a longshot, as he will probably spend a couple seasons in the minors.

Alejandro De Aza--This would probably be my favorite, as he's been a reserve or a platoon guy most of his career, and would probably jump at the chance to patrol CF most days. Lefty with minimal splits, and plus range and a below average arm balances out to be plenty passable in the field.

Rajai Davis--Has been been mentioned as a fit for several teams, but at 35, he might accept a one year deal to get playing time and would be a perfect tradeable asset at the deadline. Plus defender forever, though not on the Gomez/Schafer level.

Wil Venable--Platoon/reserve most of his career, good defender, decent bat. A lot like DeAza, hits LHP at a tolerable level.

Austin Jackson--Very unlikely, as he'll probably get a 3+ year contract, solid everyday CF.

Drew Stubbs--Speed and defense guy, has never hit a lick outside of Coors Field.

David Dejesus--Out of the box, as he has not played much CF the past couple years, but an outstanding defender in the corner OF, would be OK in CF, much like Parra was. Again, an older vet who would likely accept a one year contract and be attractive in late July.

Jeff Francoeur--Not as out of the box as you may think, as the Crew was linked to Jeff a while back, and he played for Pat Murphy in AAA...where he played some CF, but more importantly, is known as a tremendous clubhouse presence.

12/12/2015 03:02:00 PM

(12/12/2015 01:25:00 PM) - Al

Another thing we do not know about Stearns' outlook...he has not shied away from acquiring players without options (Villar/Flores)...does that mean they will be retained and handed a job, or will they just cut bait and move on if they do not win/earn a roster spot?

12/12/2015 01:25:00 PM

(12/12/2015 12:21:00 PM) - Al

The Astros may have given more talent for Giles than BOS did for Kimbrel.

I'm on record as saying those clubs are overvaluing those 70 innings the closer gives a team. However, while closers are no longer paid like they once were, their value in trade have never been higher.

12/12/2015 12:21:00 PM

(12/12/2015 11:00:00 AM) - Al

The old media can't be bothered to cover the news if it might, you know, offend folks.

Great googily moogily.

12/12/2015 11:00:00 AM

Friday, December 11, 2015

(12/11/2015 11:14:00 PM) - Al

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the CF's who may be available in free agency or trade that fits the Stearns' criteria, or as many as possible.

12/11/2015 11:14:00 PM

(12/11/2015 11:09:00 PM) - Al

Hi Al, enjoyed your write up on the early portion of the Stearns era. I never even thought of how long his deal was. And I didn't care, but now I would be interested in knowing. But I could care less, as I like his style so far and the moves he's made. I know this rebuild will take at least 2-3 years if not longer. But with Attanasio, Stearns, Arnold, Montgomery and Counsell at the helm I feel we are in the best of hands and they will get this franchise turned around. He has set a good start to that path and I look forward to all the stops along the way back to a contending Brewers team. In the meantime, I will just enjoy the ride no matter how few wins the early years bring. 


I would assume it is at least 3 years, and probably not more than 5. So, 3-5 years is a pretty good and accurate estimate. I too feel good about the braintrust, and also really like the fact Doug is still there, probably trying to stay out of the way but imparting his wisdom. I'm sure there are many times David has said, "What would you do, Doug?" And Doug has probably replied he would look at this or that, but he was always looking to get to .500 or contend, as he wanted to change the perception. In his 3rd season, they were a .500 team, and in his 6th, they were a playoff team. 2008 began a success cycle that lasted 7 seasons, in which they were competitive annually, never winning less than 74 games.

The one thing to keep in mind? Doug took over a hapless club that has won 56 games the season prior, had not won 81 games for more than a decade, whose farm system was close to being bare, and what talent they did have was in the very low minors. Many folks are saying "this rebuild will take 5 years minimum"...are simply overreacting.

I don't expect a playoff berth next year, but let's not forget, in my mind, the "reset" began with the Gallardo trade, meaning it's a year old NOW. Taking that into consideration, and that Doug managed to take over a much worse team with a much worse minor league system and he improved them 25 wins in 3 campaigns, I don't think 2017 is a write off yet. As I have said before, those 5 AA/AAA prospects they got from BAL/HOU will be the key; Santana, Davies and the others are a huge influx of near ready talent all at once. That's 20% of a major league roster, if they all make it and stay healthy.

12/11/2015 11:09:00 PM

(12/11/2015 08:04:00 PM) - Al

Daniel Nava is close to signing with a team other than the Rays. He was one of the 1B possibilities mentioned the other day by Crasnick, and he would probably be a nice fit, as he's a switch hitter and his versatility allows him to play corner OF also.

Nava is a far better LH hitter, so he'd be a good platoon fit with Rogers.

12/11/2015 08:04:00 PM

(12/11/2015 03:48:00 PM) - Al

Your post made me look this up on and was quite impressed by similarity of their yearly wOBAs since 2010.  It almost looks like collusion.  Or Jason being damn sure that Pedro fella ain't gonna out-wOBA him no matter what.


That would almost make me think Alvarez is one of the most underrated players on the FA market right now. I think Stearns is looking at finding a one year stopgap and go from there. If Pedro ends up getting 3 years, I doubt it will be in MIL. 

12/11/2015 03:48:00 PM

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