Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thanks to all who have stopped by, please send me an email at jmnaylor33 at yahoo dot com with any comments or thoughts

The Baseball Update

Didn't see the Sox game yesterday - just listened to it online while toggling back and forth between Yankees and Sox coverage on mlb gameday. I never thought I'd say this, but I am really missing Jerry Trupiano. Castiglione's partners are either boring, humorless or try too hard - even the consummate professional Dave O'Brien. Guess the devil that you know ("Way Back") is better than the devil you don't ("zzzz").

In the "Thats why they play the games" department - junkballer Sonnanstine with an ERA over 6 outpitches (dramatically) Matsuzaka and the beleagured Rays bullpen improbably holds on. I am a little worried about the Sox bats - not the ability to "come through in the clutch", but actually their ability to beat teams' best pitchers. Seems as though they've been shut down quite a bit lately by teams' starters and only make hay (when they do) against the 7th and 8th (and occasionally 9th) inning guys. Again, just anecdotal evidence for this proposition - I'll look into it more closely later when time permits.

Three Things I Noticed But Didn't See (radio edition): (1) Sounds like Manny chased a high one to end the game - this is a disturbing theme - he isn't striking out at a higher clip than last year, but he is chasing more bad pitches (and letting more good ones go by) than in the past. His walks are down compared to last year (but are in line with historical numbers) - disturbing trend - power drop accompanied by less strike zone control - something to watch as the season finishes (and an enhanced Gameday project for those with the time). (2) Lugo is on fire. Enormously streaky this year and his defense is pitiful, but glad to see he is stepping up (along with Coco) while Ortiz and Manny (and Youk to some extent) are scuffling. (3) Not related to the Sox game, but I was extremely pleased that "Money", as John Sterling referred to him after Monday's near miss, blew the game for the Yankees yesterday. Especially after that monster (seriously - is there an uglier player playing right now than Shelley Duncan - Tavarez obviously excluded as he is not human) tied it in the 9th (Duncan, meet Maas, meet Spencer, meet Muelens, etc., etc.) Put a hop in my step.

Sox off today - Angels this weekend. Here are some good links from yesterday:

Sawxblog trenchatly [ Ed: "Trenchantly", even] captures the optimism and excitement of realizing there's a pennant race on and we're in the lead.

Soxaholix Don't agree with their take, but funny nonetheless.

The Bradford Files Must reading. Daily. By the second most listenable baseball expert on EEI (after Sean McAdam and WAAAAAYYY ahead of Buckley and Massarotti).

The Taxes Update

Slow day in the world of taxes. One interesting thing of note - Pope Benedict XVI apparently is going to come out with a papal encyclical that will "condemn tax evasion as 'socially unjust' and denounce tax havens". The encyclical reportedly will argue that tax evasion and tax havens that seek to "illegitimately" (whatever that means) limit taxes paid unfairly reduce state revenue, making governments less effective and shifting an unbalanced share of the tax burden to poorer citizens less able to pay. Once again - this is from Tax Notes, so can't link, but here is a story in the public press.

The Death Update

No deaths that particularly interest me yesterday, so I will talk about a remembrance of dad. First baseball game - September 1, 1983 (I was 9). We went to old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto and saw the Jays take on the Orioles (Jim Palmer v Doyle Alexander). The Jays were just starting to get good and we went with family friends - the Samsons (Lee and Sean). I was a typical dorky 9 year old, complimenting Palmer on a 55 foot curveball by yelling that it was a "change-down".

At one point I got so excited about a play (don't remember what it was, but looking at (god they're awesome), it must have been a Jesse Barfield home run) that I jumped out of my seat and when I went to sit back down, fell on the concrete floor and smacked my head against the folded seat behind me (it had snapped up in place - man Exhibition Stadium was a pit). I think I was pretty close to crying, but dad helped me up and put me in my seat and that was it. It wasn't anything special. There was no "there's no crying in baseball" speech or motivational poster platitude ("Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something else is more important than fear"). Just something simple. That was dad - no grand flourishes. Just dad. The Jays won, by the way.

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