Sunday, August 27, 2006


posted by BH

Tonight on Gamenight on ESPN Radio, Freddie Coleman had this little piece of prognosticative insight:

"If any team competing for the NL wild card wins 11 of 14 games at this point, they are going to be in first place, because no other team is going to be able to match that"

Uh, where to begin? The Giants have won 11 of their last 14 games, and sit two games out of first in the NL wild card. Now, I know what Coleman is trying to say in the last part of the quote. He's saying that at this point in the season, there are no big surprises out there, which means these teams should all play about .500 ball. I guess then, he means no team is capable of an 11 out of 14 run? Or something? If he thinks one team could surprise us all and put an 11 of 14 together, why can't another team do the same? I have an idea. I think Coleman has been focusing his attention on a couple teams in the northeast.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Um... What?

by SonDog

I jumped on the Fresno Grizzlies website tonight to see how the Giants' top minor league team was faring against Sacramento. That was my first mistake.

The main story was this celebrated piece: "Saturday is K-Fed Night at Grizzlies Stadium!"

I can't make this up.

As a matter of fact, the first 2,000 fans receive temporary tatoos.
Sweet Jesus.

Apparantly, K-Fed is a Fresno native. And if you know anything about Fresno, you understand that this explains so much on so many levels.

If it's okay with you, I'm going to go try to forget I ever saw this press release on a website that is affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.

Like an Inmate at Alcatraz

by SonDog

While trying to keep my very loud son entertained until 1 in the morning last night, I decided to throw in one of my all-time favorite DVD's, The Rock. I figured, what better way to entertain him than to play a movie where guys are swearing and blowing stuff up? True, since he's only been outside of the womb for a month, he cannot truly comprehend anything around him other than boobs, poop and pee, however I somehow rationalized that Connery's voice may be soothing on his nerves.

With this in mind, I thought I would take some of the movie's most memorable quotes and dedicate them to many of the participants of the San Francisco Giants 2006 season.

(Editors Note: Seriously, this team still has a chance to win the NL West? Seriously? To use one of my favorite BH lines, I don't think I've ever been more uninspired by a team that's had a chance to win a division. With the exception of last year maybe. This is getting old. No pun intended.)

General Hummell: "Ladies and gentlemen, you're being detained against your will, and for that I apologize. It is not our intention in any way to harm you, you will not be detained one minute longer than is necessary for us to complete our mission."

To the Giants public relations staff. This is what they should have said to the Giants beat writers before the season started, shortly after two San Francisco Chronicle writers lambaste the franchise and the franchise player in a tell-all book. So, combine the book, the daily task of trying to decipher exactly what the hell Felipe Alou is trying to say and trying to come up with creative ways to use the words "failure" and "Armando Benitez" in the same sentence, this must be a hellacious season for the guys who cover the team. Inmates, all of them.

"What do you know about V.X. gas?"
Dr. Stanley Goodspeed: "Liquid; failed pesticide; discovered by mistake in 1952. Uhh, actually, it's kind of like champagne that way. The Franciscan monks thought they were making white wine. Somehow the bottle carbonated. Voila, champagne, and uhh, then the whole thing..."
FBI Director Womack: "The gas, Dr. Goodspeed."
Dr. Stanley Goodspeed: "It's very, very horrible sir. It's one of those things we wish we could disinvent. This isn't a training exercise, is it?"

To the Jamey Wright-experience. Wright started the season great. In fact, he was the team's second best starter for the first six weeks or so. It was happy-go-lucky-joke time. Folks around the team were talking about how Wright was the next great Sabean gem, almost found by accident. Well, turns out, once Wright figured out that the team actually needed to count on him, he crapped the bed. Brad Hennessey should have been the fifth starter all along.

Stanley Goodspeed: "Look, I'm just a biochemist. Most of the time, I work in a little glass jar and lead a very uneventful life. I drive a Volvo, a beige one. But what I'm dealing with here is one of the most deadly substances the earth has ever known, so what say you cut me some FRIGGIN' SLACK?"

To the baseball writers who have criticized Matt Cain for being inconsistent. HE'S 21 YEARS OLD! He kind of gets a pass for that. I can't wait to watch Cain as his career develops. I'll deal with his inconsistency this year because, you know, that's kind of what you get from young players. In fairness, the Giants haven't developed young players in a while (unless you count 31-year-old Pedro Feliz), so maybe the media just isn't used to it.

Stanley Goodspeed: "You've been around a lot of corpses. Is that normal?"
John Mason: "What, the feet thing?"
Stanley Goodspeed: "Yeah, the feet thing."
John Mason: "Yeah, it happens."
Stanley Goodspeed: "Yeah, well I'm having a hard time concentrating. Can you do something about it? "
John Mason: "Like what, kill him again?"

One of my favorite exchanges in the movie is dedicated to Moises Alou. His feet may still move from time to time, but for all intents and purposes, his career is dead. The words "healthy" and "Moises Alou" go together like the words "oil" and "water." While Alou can still rake when he's in the lineup, he can pull a calf just walking to the urinal.

John Mason: "This is more enjoyable than my average day... reading philosophy, avoiding gang rape in the washrooms... though, it's less of a problem these days... maybe I'm losing my sex appeal."

To Felipe Alou. When Alou was in Montreal, he was widely credited as being one of the best managers in baseball and a legend when it came to grooming young players. Then, Jeffrey "Hi, I'm an idiot" Loria fired him for something stupid, and he was off fishing and reading philosophy for a few years. Suddenly, the Giants bring him back to manage the team after Dusty Baker is dismissed, and as Giants fans, we rejoice. Four years later, by all accounts, Alou hasn't spoken to anybody on the roster since he was introduced at his initial press conference. He hasn't really groomed any young players aside from Cain and Noah Lowry. And now, most Giants fans believe it's a foregone conclusion that Alou will retire after the season as he seems more washed up than clothing at a thrift store. I don't have a terrible problem with Alou, but I don't think your manager should be older than the ball dudes.

Stanley Goodspeed: How, in the name of Zeus's butthole, did you get out of your cell?

To Eliezar Alfonzo. After spending 10 years in the minors, Alfonzo was called up when Mike Matheney went on the disabled list. He's been a life-saver for this team. Strangely, Alfonzo was demoted from AAA-Fresno to AA-Connecticut early this season. Next thing you know, he's getting game-winning hits three times a week. Mike Krukow's "Runaway beer truck" description of Alfonzo is priceless.

Cable car conductor: "Damn, this sucks. Where's that son of a bitch? I'm going to hunt him down. That motherfucker ain't safe nowhere."

To Giants fans. If I'm Armando Benitez, I don't show my face anywhere around San Francisco (or Baltimore, or New York, or Seattle). Just the sight of Benitez in the dugout causes most rational fans to spontaneously erupt into a chorus of boos. I can't remember another player in Giants history who was booed as much as Benitez while still wearing the San Francisco uniform. And I love every second of it.

John Mason: "Who's Carla? And why don't you want her to come to San Francisco?"

To Brian Sabean. "Carla" is any player older than 30. And we don't want them coming to San Francisco next year because we're tired of watching guys pull muscles while putting in their dentures. Sabean promised in an online chat on Friday that the team would get younger next season. That said, I don't think it would be possible not to get younger, considering this is the oldest team ever constructed. Sabes, you got one more chance in my book. Make it happen.

[reading Hummel's file] Chief of Staff Hayden Sinclair: "Three tours in Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Desert Storm; three Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars and the Congressional Medal of - Jesus. This man is a hero."
General Al Kramer: "Well, I think "legend" might be a better description, Mr. Sinclair."
Chief of Staff Hayden Sinclair: "Well, now we can add kidnapping and extortion to his list of accolades."

Um. To Barry Bonds.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A little news

posted by BH

And I mean just a little.

I'm teaching some business classes at Red Bluff High School these days as well as coaching the swim team. Best. Job. Ever.

I saw Jason Ellison at that little ice cream place inside the K Street Mall in Sacramento this afternoon. I couldn't think of anything to say.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Giants - Dodgers with the Kiddo

by SonDog

Last weekend was my son's formal indoctrination into the Giants/Dodgers rivalry. We weren't at Dodger Stadium, mind you, we were in our living room in Colorado, some 10 million miles (rough estimate that's probably way off) away.

Entering the three-game set, the Giants were 4.5 games back in the National League West; basically, they were in veritable spitting distance from first place. Granted, the Giants were heading into the series as the coldest team in baseball while the Dodgers entered the series as the hottest team, but I still had high (if not false) hopes that the Giants massive collection of old-farts could pull out one more inspiring hot streak (inspired, of course, by the recent birth of my son).

Those of you reading this probably already know that the Giants were bludgeoned to death with the Dodgers' spikes over three days, the culmination coming with Russell Martin's walk-off, 10th inning homer on Sunday Night Baseball (dropping the Giants to 7.5 games behind first-place and in a coffin). I tried to discuss the Giants' plight on numerous occasions with my son throughout the weekend, but he didn't really want to talk about it. He was as frustrated as I was. After watching three days of "How to Lose a Baseball Game in Nine Innings," Jackson was simply worthless. Just sat there. Couldn't even look at the television. In fact, he even crapped his pants right after Martin's aforementioned homer.

I was somewhat pleased that my son learned about how painful and frustrating it is to be a Giants fan at such an early age. Jax may not appreciate this now, but someday he will. I envision him sitting with me on the couch when he's 10-years-old, both of us pulling down a fine Irish whiskey (I mean... um), discussing the not-so-magical Giants-Dodgers weekend from August 2006. Many tears will undoubtedly be shed between now and then, but as long as those tears are shed with him at my side, life will be good.

On to today's list:

-- My father-in-law's response to Felipe Alou's insertion of Armando Benitez into the ninth inning of Monday's 1-0 game against the Padres: "What the bloody hell are you bringing in that worthless bastard for, you silly old man?"

-- On second thought, that quote could as well be the title to the story that is the 2006 San Francisco Giants season.

-- So, Brian Sabean continues to make trades for guys who were great in 1998 (see: Stanton, Mike) on the premise that youth will screw up your chances of winning, while his former assistant Ned Coletti (now the GM of the rival Dodgers) trades veterans like Denys Baez and Milton Bradley for 26-year-old 3B, Wilson Betimit and sweet-swinging Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, Andre Ethier. And tell me exactly what Coletti learned under Sabean? And why exactly did they give Coletti permission to talk to the Dodgers last off-season?

-- Headline from Sunday's Sacramento Bee, "Kings find Backup Center."

Later I would read that the "backup center" was Loren Woods, who pretty much hasn't done anything since his days at Arizona. Put another way, it was an absolute waste of a story. If Woods cracks the Kings' rotation this year, I will buy his jersey.

-- When your son is a newborn, always remember to cover up his water-cannon when changing him. I've been pissed on more times than Paris Hilton behind closed doors in the last two weeks.

-- The cocktail of quad-shot latte's, gingko baloba, ginseng, ibuprofen and hotel-cafeteria coffee that I'm currently on to combat sleep deprivation is working wonders for my nerves. Yesterday the phone rang in my office and instinctively threw it against the wall. "Wait... What?" has become my most common response to those who ask me a question.

-- Fatherhood is the coolest thing I've ever done in my life.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Observations and Deep Thoughts

by SonDog

-- I think at this point, Floyd Landis has blown past the, "Take it easy, Champ. Why don't you stop talking for a while" stage. His responses have become humorous on so many levels, and not in a good way.

Which reminds me... After watching Lance Armstrong hawk a product during a commercial a couple of days ago, my English father-in-law (G-Pop) said to me, "Wow! You mean people still use him to support their products? That's amazing." It would seem that outside of America, Armstrong doesn't necessarily have the blind faith in his innocence as he seems to in the states. Rather, it is a foregone conclusion that he was on more drugs than Robert Downey Jr.

By the way, if whiskey drinking really could lead to high levels of testosterone (comments that Landis has since tried to distance himself from), then there is a better than strong chance that I will look like a Gorilla somewhere around next Wednesday.

-- There is absolutely nothing on television during the daytime. I learned this while at the hospital with my wife. Whatever happened to the glory days of Saved by the Bell?

-- I was pooped and peed on for the first time in my life during a diaper change on Monday morning. Good times all around. And I really appreciated my wife laughing at me.

-- Hey, have you heard that Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb had a falling out? Really, I heard this during the Sunday Night Football game between the Eagles and Raiders. The guys at NBC (Al "I wish I had a booth to call my own" Michaels and John "I have a video game that's pretty good" Madden) mentioned it about 430 times during the broadcast. I figure not many people heard about it, otherwise maybe they would have talked about football. Maybe. However, I did learn during the game that Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb had a falling out last season. No, no, really. Really, I heard they had a falling out. The third quarter of the game was pretty good, as that's when I learned that Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb had a falling out last season. Al Michaels told me all about it. And then John Madden told me that Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb... WE ALL FUCKING GET IT!!!!!

-- So, Jerry Rice has his own talk show on satellite radio. I don't necessarily remember Rice as the most eloquent speaker on the Niners, but I do know that he's not making many friends in the executive offices of his old franchise. I had not heard this before Monday, but Rice apparently lambasted Alex Smith and the Niners on his show. He argued that whoever was responsible for drafting Smith should be fired (Um, Jerry. That would be Mike Nolan, and it doesn't appear he's going anywhere.). In other news, Rice is in discussions with the Niners about retiring his jersey. Of course it's going to happen, as Rice is the greatest receiver that has ever donned a jersey, but he's kind of sort of picking a bad time to blast the team and the management. What has not been mentioned is that Nolan turned down Rice's "offer" last season to come back for one more season in a Niner uniform to tutor the young receivers. But I'm sure that that has nothing to do with Rice's comments about "whoever drafted Smith should be fired," right?

Friday, August 04, 2006

What the Hell?

by OZ

Keep in mind while reading this article the following:

1. I am an accountant, not a writer. I am not eloquent, experienced in literature, or even remotely up to date on current events. Therefore I apologize in advance if my writing sounds like a 5 year olds text messaging.

2. The only time I set foot in Tehama Hall (the communications building at Chico State) was because I was on the debate team (yes that’s right, an accountant and a debater…..I was just a Sorority girls dream). The experiences in debating lead me to a single conclusion that has worked well in all subsequent arguments; if it doesn’t lead to the destruction of the world, it’s not an argument.

3. I am writing this with a 12 week old baby on my lap kicking me in the chest, so if it seems a bit hastily written, well, there it is.

So, the point of this article is this; not passing a bill to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento will lead to the destruction of the world.

For those of you that are not familiar with the details of a formal debate, and thank god that is the vast majority of the country, the two sides of the argument are called the affirmative and the negative……and I’ve lost every reader because nobody cares. Stay with me here, I promise there’s a point. The affirmative lays out a situation or topic, in this case the building of a downtown arena in Sacramento with a raise in taxes. This topic is backed by irrefutable facts and reasoning surrounding its purpose, otherwise nobody would have thought it was a good situation or topic in the first place.

It is then the negative’s job not to contradict these facts laid out by the affirmative, but rather to bring other complications or scenarios into the debate that they feel are either potentially worse or a better, dependant on circumstance. If you pay attention, pretty much every argument you’ve ever had follows these guidelines.

My specialty was arguing the negative. In fact, I never lost a formal debate when arguing the negative (somewhere around 14-0). I’ve always found it very easy as to win a debate as the negative you have infinite alternatives to whatever the affirmative is proposing, and the affirmative must respond to every single one or the negative wins, but that’s in formal debate, which this happily is not. In this article we will not forget or bypass the irrefutable facts laid out.

Irrefutable fact #1: A downtown arena will earn the city far more income than it will cost.

Irrefutable fact #2: Without a publicly funded new arena, the Kings will move from Sacramento.

Now with these in mind, I’ll address some of the arguments I’ve heard against the proposed tax increase and arena in general. I know there have been articles and talk on this issue in many forms, but I haven’t read or listened to any of them as I’ve been busy with the aforementioned baby. In particular, there was an article recently written in the SacBee that I have intentionally avoided as I absolutely HATE that newspaper, mostly due to their impressive lack of basketball knowledge.

My personal favorite argument against the arena: “The money should go to roads or schools”

See irrefutable fact #1. I have nothing against money going to roads and schools. In fact, there is literally not a single east/west road from my house that is not under construction, and all the north/south roads need to be expanded. There are 2 new high schools within a mile and a third is being planned, which is excellent planning for the growing community that is Northeastern Elk Grove. But there is one very large difference between the arena and these projects……the arena brings IN money, the projects are expenditures and will continue to cost money in the future.

This is one of the many necessary inefficiencies that separate governmental agencies from private business. The revenue that will be earned from the arena will soon surpass the costs incurred to build the arena, and begin to be unrestricted funds that can be spent fixing the roads and hiring teachers for all these new schools.

Arguing the arena will take money from any other public departments is more than just shortsighted, it’s ridiculous.

My personal favorite argument against the tax increase: “I don’t want to pay taxes for something I’ll never use”

OK. Well let’s use the above argument again. For those that will be paying the minuscule tax, thst means you live in Sacramento and you have to commute to and from work, which is a horrible experience no matter where you live or how far you have to go. Driving in Sacramento traffic can be compared to child birth. It’s too large of an object using too small of course. Eventually, you’ll get to where you need to go, but it’s pure pain all the way there.

For example, if you were to make the trip from Arco to my house during non-drive times (not during 6:30-9 AM or 3:30-6:30 PM) it will take around 15-20 minutes. The distance is 23 miles, or 8 miles shorter than the distance between Red Bluff and Redding California. During drive time? Around 55-75 minutes, and sometimes longer. So there is a problem here. The money earned from the arena can go towards things every person in this city uses, and for what would otherwise cost more in tax dollars as the money is being generated from the arena, not from taxes. With this in mind, won’t we be paying less taxes, not more taxes?

To come:

“The Maloofs should pay for it because they have millions”

“The Maloofs will earn million without spending anything”

“The Maloofs are holding the city hostage”

Also, how not passing this tax increase will result in the end of the world.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Edition

by SonDog

While I haven't had much time to post recently, I would like all three of you to know that my kiddo was born last week. Jackson is still in the hospital, but he is doing much better and we are hoping to get him out of the hospital on Friday.

Here's a couple of quick hits regarding his life to this point:

1) The first words he heard were, "Fucking Armondo Benitez." C-lo, you win the pool.

2) I am still in shock that the doctor asked me to hold a leg during my wife's labor. It was truly the Merlin/Maverick, Top Gun moment of the pregnancy. ("You're gonna do WHAT?!)

3) The proudest moment of my life came the first time I was able to share pictures of my son.

4) His first grip on my hand was that of a circle-changeup. I have high hopes.

5) His first words to me were, "Why did Sabes trade for Mike Stanton? I mean... Mike Stanton? He was great in 1995." Maybe I was just dreaming, but I answered him nonetheless.

6) I firmly believe he was faking a bacterial infection just so he could be surrounded by the smokin-hot nurses in the baby ward. To this point, I think he's a genius.

7) The European Union (LeseDog's parents) arrive from London tonight. It's their first grandchild. I'm already putting them on notice that Jackson will be attending "Summer Camp" in Nottingham at some point during the first 7 years of his life.

8) And finally -- My son took a turn for the better just hours after I said to him, "Listen bud, if you get better, I promise I will buy you season tickets to whatever team you want... even if it's hockey." I refuse to believe this is a coincidence.