Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bills, sox and other thoughts

An excellent sports Sunday. Let's take 'em one at a time.

1. The Bills. Solid 17-14 win over the Jets. There was a little bit of nervousness at the beginning (shades of the season opener against the Broncos), but they pulled it out thanks to Pennington's second INT of the day (very nice to see Terence McGee back in there). A few things to note:

-- The game ball goes to Trent Edwards. I don't know if, or why the playcalling was different today than in the first three games, but Edwards took advantage. There were more 10-20 yard pass plays today than the first 3 weeks combined. He was well protected so had time to check down when necessary. He needs to manage the pocket better (he got sacked in the first half simply because he held on to the ball too long), but he seemed even to do that better by the second half. An auspicious start.

-- Jabari Greer is growing up right before our eyes. Pressed into starting duty, he was solid, breaking up a couple of sure Jets completions. I did not see him get burnt all day.

-- Nice of Lee Evans to show up, but, again, who knows how much of that is playcalling.

-- Evans and the other WRs bailed out Edwards on a few occasions, making circus catches.

-- The Jets running offense and pass defense are awful. Run D is less awful, but still failed when needed most (Lynch's only real impressive run of the day - the first Bills TD).

Next week, Dallas at home on Monday night. GO BILLS.

None of Blfo Blog, Buffalo Rumblings or Buffalodown have the game stories up yet, but check them out later tonight.

2. The Sox. I haven't blogged about them (or anything) this past week, but they obvously were able to hang on and take the division. Everyone is healthy, Schill, Dice-K and Pap have momentum going into the postseason. Beckett too, the last start notwithstanding. First round matchup is the Angels. As of today, I don't know if the Sox will be playing the series with the extra day, but I like the matchups overall. Presumably, it will be Beckett-Lackey, Schilling-Escobar, Dice-K-Weaver, and then, if necessary, Wakefield-Colon or Santana. I like every one of those matchups for the Sox.

The on-field celebration Friday night was tremendous. Fans were in Fenway watching the end of the Orioles come from behind 11-10 win over the Yanks and once that was complete, the celebration commenced. Papelbon is a nut. I haven't found great isolated video of Papelbon doing the G.O.B. dance from Arrested Development, but once I do, I will post it. In the meantime, I have this:

go to about 2:39 to see Pap walking around like an idiot and 3:25 to see Ortiz, ahem, "giving it" to Pap with a bottle of champagne.

And then here:

At 1:34, you can see the Bud Light helmet, at 6:35 giving a beer shower to Katharyn Tappen. Oh, and at 3:50, you see Varitek actually acting like a human being.

3. Taxes. Via the Tax Profs Blog, is this story about a new bill introduced by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), that would limit the tax deduction for stock option compensation to the amount reported to investors for financial reporting purposes. Of course, the amount reported for financial reporting purposes is the fair value at grant, while the tax aspect is the spread at exercise. We'll see what happens, but there is parity in the tax law already on this - a firm deducts only the amount already included in an employee's income.

More on dad later.

Where have I been?

It's not appropriate for me to have this blog and take a week off, but that's what I've done.

In my defense, it was a tough week (first anniversary of dad's death - more on that later today (promise)), mom was visiting, sis had the new kid, etc., etc.

Anyway, Three posts today - first up NFL picks. Disgusting week last week - 5-8-3, which just further proves to me that I should never bet on sports, ever. Hopefully this week will be better.

Second post will be baseball and football related with a little tax news thrown in.

Third and last post of the day will be my recollections of the day dad died.

On to the picks. As always, home teams are in ALLCAPS and I don't know what the &%$# I am doing...

BILLS (+3.5) over Jets. Again, I don't pick against the Bills. They actually could do well against the Jets. They've shown, at least against Denver and NE and in the first half against Pitts, an ability to bend but not break on defense. Given the Jets' lack of a solid running game (I don't count Thomas Jones's day against the banged up Fins last week), they hopefully should be able to limit Pennington to underneath stuff. Key will be third downs. I see a low scoring affair 13-10 Jets. Also,'s Will Leitch will be in attendance, so the Bills have that going for them.

Raiders (+4) over DOLPHINS. The whole "it's hot in Miami and Oakland will be wearing black" card is ridiculous. Miami's O-face is less competent than Lunberg and Oakland's D is staunch as advertised. Combine that with Daunte getting the start and Miami's D being banged up and I see an Oakland win outright.

Ravens (-4.5) over BROWNS. Jamal Lewis looks good so far, although I don't think anyone has really run on the Ravens yet this year (nope - 62 ypg). Everyone is awfully down on the Ravens, but this team still went 13-3 last year, has basically the same team back (plus McGahee) and a stout offense as well. Derek Anderson is going to have a good day? I don't think so.

FALCONS (+2.5) over Texans. Joey Harrington is turning into a decent QB. Matt Schaub already is a decent QB. This one should be close.

Bears (-3) over LIONS. Brian Griese is better, statistically, than people remember. He went 16-12 as a starter in '01-'02 with a very good TD/INT ratio in '01. The reason why he got kicked out is that he didn't have the confidence of his teammates - lacked the leader instinct. Maybe that was just youth. Seems like Manning had those problems early in his career (Eli too, Chris Simms too - wonder if it is a son of a QB thing). Anyway, the Lions certainly are high-powered and the Bears are missing a ton of guys on D, but this seems like one the Bears will gut out.

Packers (-2) over VIKINGS. I am picking against a lot of home dogs this week, which will probably come back to bite me. Anyway, Packers look like the much better team and that line is within a FG, so I can't imagine not picking them.

Rams (+13) over COWBOYS. I hate these 2 TD lines. In a lot of cases, they've been covered (including a couple last week). And I know that Bulger is hurt and S-Jak may not play, but still. 13 is a lot of points. Rams are capable of putting up garbage time points, so I'll take them.

Bucs (+3) over PANTHERS. David Carr against a Bucs D that has been in shutdown mode so far this season? (12 ppg so far). And they're a dog? Sounds good to me. LOCK OF THE WEEK.

Seahawks (-2) over the NINERS. The Niners are proving to be what people said they would be. A little bit smoke. A little bit mirrors. They are 2-1, but they have been outscored on the season (granted the Steelers game was lopsided). I still stand by Seattle as my SB pick from the NFC and say they win this one in a laugher.

BUZZSAW (+6) over Steelers. I hate the &#!@*&! Steelers.

CHARGERS (-12) over Chiefs . This is the only +10 line I am taking this week. The Chargers must be pissed and are much better than how they have been playing. The Chiefs are awful, last week's win notwithstanding.

Broncos (+9.5) over COLTS. Another high line, although I can see a 27-17 win. The Colts have played teams close thus far and the Broncos haven't been that impressive; however, again, I think the Colts are due for a gashing 150 yard rushing performance against them, and this is the team to do it.

Eagles (-3) over GIANTS. Again, I hate the Giants as well. I also cannot go against the Eagles after the display last week and going up against the Giants weak D. If McNabb gets time, they should light the Giants up.

Patriots (-7.5) over BENGALS. As usual, I use the SG's lines which he prints on Friday. It opened a 7 and now you can find (-9) on some websites. I was leaning toward laying the points anyway (only thing that worried me was Bengals ability to keep the score close with their weapons), and with the movement of the line, my decision is solidified.

A few links to kick off this great Sunday:

Indispensible for fans of Buffalo sports is Bflo Blog. Many of the stories are now transitioning to the Sabres (thank God), but this link will take you to the "tailgate" summary for today's Jets-Bills matchup. Excellent work by these guys, including an open thread during the game.

Here is the open thread for today's game on, and here is the excellent summary of "what to watch for".

Unfortunately, many of the other Buffalo-themed sportsblogs (such as the funny Goose's Roost) have transitioned to Sabres coverage.

That's all for now. I'll be firmly planted on the couch today watching the Jets-Bills game. Unfortunately, we're stuck with Ian Eagle and Crazy-Eyez Solomon Wilcots. To wit:

Why can't we get Gus Johnson.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quick NFL Picks

More to come later. Hope Teams in Caps

Colts (-6) over TEXANS. O.k. My lack of faith in the Colts D has been beaten down worse than Carlo Rizzi. Houston without Andre Johnson is like a gun with no bullets (although the gun wasn't that impressive in the first place).

Chargers (-5) over THE FAVRES. I'm hoping for a solid outing by the grey bearded one for my fantasy team's sake, but the Chargers are a better team than they looked last week (although still not as good as they think they are).

CHIEFS (-2.5) over Vikings. The Chiefs are downright terrible, but there must still be some advantage to playing in Arrowhead (the geographic arrangement of which is strange - it's out in a barren industrial area outside Kansas City, and right across the street from Kaufman Stadium).

Bills (+16.5) over PATRIOTS. I thought the college games were all yesterday. Nobody circles the .... whatever.

BUCS (-3.5) over Rams. The Bucs D still looks relatively impressive and Garcia is no joke. Also, I hate the Rams.

Lions (+6.5) over the EAGLES. Looks like Kevin Jones will play and apparently the Lions have God in their corner. Re. what McNabb said - I agree to a point, but the Eagles fans are going to give it to him right in the ear upon the first misstep.

Niners (+9) over STEELERS. The Steelers are good, but they've beaten up two sorry teams (I refuse at this point to believe that the Browns are decent). The Niners have been struggling with unreasonable expectations, and I think this is the week that they put it together and lose by 7.

JETS (-3) over Dolphins. Jets are another team that aren't awful. They got smoked by the Pats CLEARLY because the Pats were cheating and were a dropped pass or two away from beating the Ravens.

Buzzsaw (+8) over RAVENS. Arizona will do enough on offense to keep this closer than 8.

SEAHAWKS (-3) over Bengals. Seahawks are the best team in the NFC.

REDSKINS (-3.5) over Giants. Washington looks relatively frisky as well. Plus, I hate the Giants.

RAIDERS (-3) over Browns. See above.

BRONCOS (-3.5) over Jags. I don't care if it's the "obvious" game. Denver are beasts at home.

FALCONS (+4) over Panthers. I still believe. Although, COME ON JAKE DELHOMME.

Cowboys (+3) over BEARS. I agree with the SG that the Bears are overrated, although the Cowboys would be supreme wimps not to punt to Devin Hester.

Titans (+4.5) over SAINTS. Don't care that it's in NO. They've looked disgusting and I will not support them until proven otherwise. I thought they were America's team. Also, Reggie Bush is now a poor man's Warrick Dunn.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Baseball Update

Well, of course the Sox. 1.5 up with 9 to play. The odds are still on their side to win the division and the wildcard is practically in the bag.

Still, these Sox remind me of the 1987 Blue Jays who blew a 3.5 game lead with 7 left (going 0-7). Parallels abound....

1. Key injury to a key player? Tony Fernandez in '87, Manny/Youk in '07. Fernandez went down in a collision with about a week left, forcing Manny Lee into the lineup. Lee made critical errors down the stretch which cost the Jays at least one game. In '07, Manny's been out, forcing Crisp and Drew to play more and forced guys like Brandon Moss into the lineup.

2. Key power hitter going into a funk? George Bell in '87, David Ortiz in '07. Bell went something like 1-21 over the last week of the eason. Ortiz is on a 1-14 jag right now.

3. Ugly ass second baseman? Nelson Liriano in '87, Pedroia in '07. 'nuff said.

4. Solid starting staff? Steib, Key, Clancy in '87. Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K in '07. Unfortunate pitchers whose pens let them down time and time again.

5. Overmatched manager? Jimywocky in '87, GradyTito in '07. Seriously, what the hell is up with Tito's decisions the past few weeks? Better than Grady, but possibly worse than Jimy. At least he's not asleep like Cito.

6. Gritty veteran catcher? Whitt in '87, Varitek in '07. Varitek is a dead ass hitter. Whitt was always great.

We will see what happens the next week, but I'm inclined to call this season Manny Lee's Revenge.

Some links: Coming Soon.

Keep your Sox on has a good piece advising everyone to just relax. Good tonic to the ridiculousness of Mike Adams on EEI last night. His math? If you are more concerned about the playoffs than the division, then you must want the Yankees to win. No, Mike. I would love for them to win the division, but it's not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Kind of in the same vein, but expressing the frustration is Over the Monster who still have revenge/Yankee hate on their minds. The sentiment is understood, but eyes on the prize people.

38 Cliches is back and reports (via Scott's shots) that the unbearable Glenn Gefner will see his role calling Sox games greatly reduced next year. Thank God. I'd prefer the color guy from Major League.

The Taxes Update

The biggest news from my perspective was the announcement that the US and Canada are signing a protocol to their treaty, extending treaty benefits to LLCs and their owners.

Until now, Canada did not recognize LLCs as residents of the US for purposes of the treaty with the US, and it did not look through the LLC to the owners to determine if they were entitled to treaty benefits. The result was that, for investments into Canada that resulted in a withholding tax (like an investment in shares of a privately held company), an LLC that made the investment would be subject to a full withholding tax, even if all of the members of the LLC would have been eligible for treaty benefits had they invested in the shares directly.

The protocol is long overdue and will make it much easier to structure investments into Canada.

The death Life Update

TaxSis is in labor as we speak. Very soon TaxNephew will be born. We are all very excited. No idea what the name will be. The dad wants him to be a junior. My sis wants to name him Jackson William. We will see. A good night for the tax family in advance of the one year anniversary of my dad's death.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'd prefer Greg Gagne

.... if i had to choose...

The Baseball Update

The Sox made a tremendous showing tonight, going down miserably 4-3, mainly due to Eric Gagne's incompetence. He ruined a fantastic start by Jon Lester. I question why he was even in there - Papelbon had not pitched since Saturday. Now should not be the time for experimentation, Tito.

From Brooklyn to Boston has the game story, as usual. Well done recap, by the way. I think the Sox are the Scanners.

And Jere at Red Sox Fan from Pinstripe Territory has a similar take. I love the characterization of Gagne "pulling a himself".

Update: Drunk Jays Fans just posted their take from tonight's game. It's apparent what Ricciardi was paying for in Burnett. His hook was, well, off tha hook tonight.

The Taxes Update

I must be a pretty shitty tax/sports blogger to not have posted thoughts about whether Bill Belichick can deduct his fine. Personal income tax really isn't my bag baby, but the consensus among tax profs and commentators seems to be that it should be deductible on the theory that it is an ordinary and necessary business expense under Section 162 (subject to Secttion 67 and 68 limitations). The Tax Profs Blog had a discussion here and here.

And the always enjoyable TaxGirl (no relation) has her discussion with comments here.

Of course, the Patriots are not allowed by league rules to pay his fine, but they could gross up his salary for the fine and deduct the bonus as a comp expense.

The Death Update

So today is September 18, 2007. One year ago was a brutal week at work. One particular deal was out of control. I was looking forward to visiting mom and dad for the weekend. Dad was in and out of the hospital at that point, with, let's see.. the cancer, a heart arrythmia, and at this point, pneumonia from the hospital stays. He still sounded relatively o.k., if down, and had recently finally come to grips with his diagnosis, through conversations with a relatively down to earth priest. He had decided no chemo or radiation treatment, so the diagnosis was down to months.

Anyway, I was figuring that the visit would be one of the last times we would be able to hang out and talk before he ended up in a hospital for good (maybe Thanksgiving, and we were thinking, maybe, maybe something for their anniversary in October, but only if he was feeling up to it). I did not have an agenda or anything in mind - just wanted to see him, to talk movies and sports, to mow their lawn.

Monday (actually Tuesday) Update

I've updated the pick results at the left and have included the Sportsguy's: picks. Poor second weekend. Neither the Saints nor the Falcons were who I thought they were.

Patriots obviously just destroyed the Chargers last night. It was very cool to see a team come out and just TCB like that, especially after all the ridiculousness of the past week.

Sox are officially worrying me. Not for the division - I think they're golden there. But there is a worrying inconsistency there. In all facets. We just came off three solid starts in the Yankee series, which went for naught because of one bad pitch by Schilling and one massive bullpen meltdown. But the bats were weak last night and tonight. I didn't get to watch the game and was too busy at work to pay much close attention, so no Three things I noticed, but I don't thin my input would add anything to the frustrating inconsistency.

I'm not one of those people who would say "even though the Sox have the best record, they're not the best team", but the Yanks have definitely outplayed them, against a more difficult schedule, the past 50 games.

Only Tax Update of the day was a report by to Penn economists that pointed out what I, along with many, have already pointed out - that as far as real revenues from carried interest in funds go, like Oakland, there's no there there. Carry constitutes about 20-25% of comp/payout to GPs of funds. A minor part of overall comp. Naturally because this is an average, it includes all the zeros to lower-performing funds, and for top-tier funds, carry is probably 70-80% of ultimate comp; however, it further gives lie to the notion that this is a tax loophole that is bleeding the Treasury of money that could be used to offset an AMT fix (which absolutely dwarfs the cash that would be raised by raising taxes on carry).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Evening Update



Nachos! (at least my lunch wasn't ruined)

The Bills were putrid in nearly every phase of the game today. (The punting was, as usual, good). Losman looked lost (Lostman?). Lynch was mainly shut down (mostly because the blocking up front was not good). Even against the non-stop blitzing, the playcalling did not adjust - didn't see any screens, draws, etc. Where was the coaching staff? And at some point you have got to take the training wheels off. Let Losman throw the ball downfield. I only counted two attempts over 25 yards in the entire game. Unacceptable.

On the other side of the ball, the Bills played a bend but don't break defense in the first half, which absolutely killed them on third downs. The Steelers converted 7 of their first 9, including a 3rd and 7 and a 3rd and 10 (at least). They could not get any kind of pressure on Roethlisberger and when they did could not contain. At some level I understand the Steelers are simply better, but apart from holding them to field goals at the end of drives, the Bills just did not look interested.

Now, the Kevin Everett situation may have been weighing on the team, but I don't think so. They didn't look flat, at least in the first quarter. Lynch was fired up. Defense was fired up. They just executed really, really poorly, and then gave up late in the game.

Two plusses: Moorman, as usual. And i do applaud Jauron's decision to go for it on a 4th in Steeler territory (around the 40 iirc). Even though they didn't convert, it was the right call.

Buffalo Rumblings has a good pseudo-live blog.

Also putrid so far - My NFL Picks. 5-8-1 through the late afternoon games. Thankfully, my Bears pick in my suicide pool is still alive.

Off to watch 60 Minutes (the highlight shows are now unwatchable), then flipping back and forth between the Pats-Chargers (27-17 Pats) and the Sox-Yanks (4-1 Sox). See you all later.
The Baseball Update

Thankfully, I didn't see much of Friday night's meltdown, but all was made better by yesterday's win. Lead back to 5.5 with 13 to play. Gives them a magic number of 9. Not saying it's over (I remember the '87 Jays who blew a 3.5 game lead over the Tigers with 7 to play - damn you Manny Lee), but it's pretty close. Magic number to clinch at least the WC is 7.

From last night's game, Three things I noticed: (1) Varitek is done as a productive major league hitter. He should be dropped to 8th in the lineup (leave some speed at the 9th spot with Lugo). I was talking with a guy at work who said Varitek looks like a "guess hitter" at this point in his career, and judging by his swings last night, I couldn't agree more. (2) Tim McCarver and Josh Lewin might be the worst combination of baseball announcers this side of the South side of Chicago. Master of the obvious (McCarver) and master of the annoying (Lewin). Their discussion of the Joba Rules was silly and only something an actual Yankee fan would find interesting or clever (the idea that after midnight, it's the next day and now the Joba rules no longer apply. Ha. Very funny). And it only took them 'til the second batter of the top of the first to remind us all about Bucky Dent and 1978. Thanks, guys. WE GET IT!!! (3) Not worried about Beckett (although he had way too many full counts). Marginally worried about the following guys: Dice-K, Okajima, wakefield (although he always gets straightened out). Offensively, so long as Youk is not seriously injured, they will be fine, especially if they get Manny back.

Speaking of the Joba Rules, Here is a funny bit on the "expanded version" of the Joba Rules (Bugs and Cranks).

Some other links:

Red Sox Diary has the game story from last night's game Here

Vegas Watch is a great blog, some statistical analysis, some Vegas odds, and some links posted today.

One more Dying Quail has an interview with Tina Cervasio of NESN. (found via Vegas Watch).

The NFL Picks (no taxes or death update this weekend - possibly a life update later today as my sister appears to be in early labor).

This week, I'm going to use the same lines as Simmons as apparently there were pushes last week that didn't get reflected in my picks (either way, I was .500).

So away we go (Home team in CAPS)

Falcons (+10) over JACKSONVILLE. I'm a glutton for punishment, but I refuse to believe that the Falcons are 10 points worse than the Jags. Especially as the Jags have a lingering case of the Del Rios, which should be worth at least 3 points to ATL.

Bills (+10) over PITTSBURGH. See last week's post. I don't pick against the Bills. Their defense is seriously banged up, but I think the emotions from the Kevin Everett situation will keep them close. Losman looks disgusting, however.

Bengals (-7) over BROWNS. Cleveland also looks disgusting. PREDICTION: Quinn sees time today and will be starting by Week 4.

GIANTS (-1.5) over Packers. The interesting thing coming out of last week's debacle against the Cowboys was that Derrick Ward actually looked better than Brandon Jacobs.

TITANS (+7) over Colts. This one is screaming for a PUSH. As everyone knows, the Titans played the Colts close last year and are improved on offense this year. I know I said I was not convinced by the Colts D and, despite the Week 1 showing, I'm still not fully convinced. We'll see.

PANTHERS (-6.5) over Texans. Now watch as Delhomme pulls his Mr. Hyde impression after being Dr. Jekyll last week.

Saints (-3) over BUCS. Tampa's D looked relatively good last week, but I don't think there is any way the Saints are as bad as they looked against the Colts. Another one screaming for a PUSH. I'm guessing 17-14 Saints.

Niners (+3) over RAMS. Man, another team that looked much worse than people expected, the Niners were lucky to escape AZ with a win. Not sure, actually, why I am picking them here. I guess because Week 1 seemed like an inaccurate representation of many teams (Niners, Saints, Falcons) - which will be corrected this week.

Cowboys (-3.5) over DOLPHINS. Seems like a no-brainer. miami is gross.

Vikings (+3) over LIONS. I'm picking against a lot of home teams this week, but the Vikes looked pretty solid last week; although so did the Lions. Understand this: I have no idea what I am doing here.

BEARS (-12) over Chiefs. How, exactly, is Herman Edwards still employed? LJ does not look good, either.

Ravens (-10) over JETS. Mangenius is a genius if only for diverting attention from how lousy the Jets played last week. Pats could have scored 1 or 2 more TDs easily.

Seahawks (-2.5) over CARDS. So, the Seahawks made the Super Bowl two years ago and have essentially the same cast as they did then? And they're just 2.5 point favorites over the Cardinals? Okaaaaaay.

Raiders (+9.5) over BRONCOS. Denver did not look particularly good against the Bills and, but for a ridiculous decision by the Bills to throw a bomb on 3rd and 5 with 2:42 to play (???) and a ridiculous effort by Elam to kick the winning FG, they would be 0-1 with questions flying around about Cutler's accuracy. Raiders D is better than the Bills. I see the Raiders actually winning this game.

Redskins (+7) over EAGLES. Jeez, how many teams are there in the NFL anyway? I'm getting tired.

PATS (-3) over Chargers. So I guess this means these teams are essentially even. Thankfully none of the talking heads on Boston sports radio were talking about "distractions" this week. They're going to blow the Chargers off the field.

A couple of football links:

The Tailgate from bfloblog. a breakdown of the Bills-Steelers game. My score prediction is 27-20 Steelers.

The Patriots Roundtable via Boston Sports Media Watch. Good breakdown of the Pats-Chargers matchup.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Baseball Update

Flipping around the games tonight. Sox are still down 4-3 in the 8th as I write this but, you know, It's the Devil Rays.

The NL Central and wild card races are a mess. I just caught a little of Cards-Reds, but the Cards look horrible. I can't figure out where the runs come from in that offense, and at this point, I've lost track of how many retreads they have in their rotation. Looper? Pineiro? (who I actually like). The Brewers seem fun to root for and will be amazing on offense for a long time (the guys who aren't already signed to long-term contracts won't be free agents for a while). The Cubs, hey, what can you say. I picked them to win the division at the beginning of the year, so of course I'm rooting for them (and for the story as well). But they have significant flaws (the Big Z, the way he is going, the pen, offensive balance). Fun chase, the best going, but no worthy playoff teams.

Last I checked, the Yanks were having their way with the Jays. The Jays really are a sad story. Kind of like the Bills in a certain respect. Neither has been relevant since the early '90s, and while both teams make significant moves/splashes (Jays: B.J. Ryan, A.J. Burnett, Bills: Takeo Spikes, Peerless Price), the guys they get, aren't nearly as good as how they played before they arrived. The Bills, of course, have had more near-misses and have never attained the prize (although, as a former Jays fan, I think their "prize" was tainted in that they basically bought the championship and then pulled a '97 Marlins following '93 - even without the lockout they would have had to drastically slash costs). I don't know. Seems like a lot of moving sideways, which is worse in my book than tearing it down and starting over.

So.. Three things I noticed: (1) Following on this post, tonight, the little things went the other way tonight - Youk getting called out on a horrible mis-call by the first place ump on a checked swing. Totally changed the momentum of the inning. There were first and second with one out when Youk struck out. Who knows how that AB would have ended up had the ump gotten it right ... Then Varitek, grounding out on a 2-0 pitch (it was ball 3) after back to back walks by the TB pitcher. HOW DO YOU NOT TAKE IN THAT POSITION? Or at least "cut down the zone". Instead, he swings at a pitch practically in the dirt. Again, he is slipping. Big time. Anyway, the little things made the difference tonight. (2) I shouldn't rag too much on the TB pen. They had a good night tonight. Ed. Note: Until the last hitter. YEAH!!!! Actually, Edwin Jackson had a great night, the HR to Papi notwithstanding. He's a beacon of hope for the Rays. The guy is 23 years old and after starting the season 0-8 has gone 4-6 since with a 57/39 K/BB ratio (it was better before a couple recent starts). Not great, I know, but (i) he's dropped his ERA by more than 2 runs since starting 0-8, (ii) he, like Kazmir, is only 23 and (iii) had sick numbers for the Dodgers in the minors before being prematurely called up. (3) The Sox should shut Lester down for the rest of the year. He's not particularly effective and just hasn't seemed right since he came back. Great story and all, but there is no need for him to pitch in games right now. They can have him throw on the side and pitch sim games if they want, but him pitching in these games is doing no good. Tavarez would be fine in that role.

Some links:

A Sox Fan in Hell with a great haiku - I particuarly like the fifth stanza (do haikus, or senryus, for that matter, have stanzas?)

I have no idea what the guys at Maldanado over everything are talking about, but it seems fun. I like the idea of a blog dedicated to a slightly-above average outfielder who just happened to have posted the best OPS among Jays OFs since 1992.

An EPIC Take down of a Mike Pagliarulo site (apparently offering scouting services or something) by Ken Tremendous at A bit long, but worth the read. And no, I've never heard the phrase "money blanket" before.

The Death Update

Joe Zawinul, fusion keyboardist. Played with Miles. I don't have any of his tracks, other than "Birdland" when he was with Weather Report (see below). I will need to get some. Forerunner to Herbie. Solid. Obit is here


The Taxes Update

No update. Slow day today. New farm bill to be introduced

So, to recap. Devil Rays pen? Not so good. Papi? The MAN.

Funny bit from Drunk Jays Fans on last night's tribute in Toronto to the 9/11 first responders.

Morning Links

Fire Brand of the AL has last night's game story.

Keep Your Sox On compares last night's game to a traditional Greek tragedy. So who was the chorus?

Over the Monster breaks down a just awful, Stark-ian, if you will, piece on about the AL Cy Young race. Any piece that (1) puts Wang in the top tier of Cy candidates and (2) even mentioned Joe Borowski in the same neighborhood as Cy Young is DOA.

And I went for the easy joke and called Joe Maddon a Uncle Junior lookalike:

Surviving Grady does much better by describing his "Grandpa who digs on The Arcade Fire and knows the guy from Yo La Tengo personally" eyeware. Well done.

Hopefully Kevin Everett will walk again. Good news, really remarkable news, so far.

Buffalo Rumblings details the now thin Bills defense since Ko Simpson is now out for the year. It's going to be an ugly season.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Baseball Update

I don't believe in curses, so I am fine with saying that the Sox will win this game (currently up 16-9 in the 8th). By the time I got home, I had missed Wakefleid entirely and got to see the glorious comeback.

Three things I noticed: (1) Aggressive baserunning. I know I've heard some people complain about Demarlo Hale as a latter day Send 'em in Kim, but the aggressive baserunning paid off. Lugo first (although he should have been nailed - Upton has an absolute gun) and Youk second. Key plays. (2) Man, is the D-rays pen awful. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Some power arms (Dohmann in particular had a nice hard FB going), but can't spot, bad command (Dohmmann's 2 walks to start the fifth started the carnage). Did them in. (3) As much as I hate people who say this, because usually they're advocating something silly like "Smallball", it was the little things that made the difference - Navarro dropping Upton's absolute strike from 300 feet, but then Upton giving up on Youkilis's triple to center. The former would have gotten the Rays out of an inning where they gave up 2 more runs. The latter would have been a momentum killer.

The Taxes Update

Not much new today. The goverment's case against KPMG and R.J. Ruble (et al) seems to be turning slightly back in its favor with David Makov, a former promoter of the Blips shelter, agreeing to testify for the government.

The Death Update

Nobody in particular I want to talk about today. On 9/11/01 I was home watching the Today show when they cut to coverage of the first plane hitting the WTC. Like most people, I imagine, I assumed that it was a pilot error and headed into work. Even by the time I got to my desk at 9:30 or so, the news hadn't really broken in Boston. It was only after breathless emails to the whole firm from our lovable, but horribly not competent physical plant folks, that the truth became clear.

Around 11:30 or so (maybe closer to 12) building security ordered an evacuation. By then, we were all trying to make calls on our cells, unsuccessfully. I walked with a small group of friends to the Back Bay. Nobody really knew what was going on. We decided to have lunch. If you can believe that. After realizing that the Parish Cafe was shut down, we had Thai on Newbury. Then we went back to the apartment of one of the folks and were glued to CNN for the next 5 hours. We knew when we were having lunch what happened, and it was then that some of us tried to get in touch with friends and family in New York (TaxSis worked in the village. TaxBro lived uptown - both were fine).

I suffered no personal loss that day. I did not know anyone in the WTC or on any of the flights who died (although I went to school with Mark Bavis, I didn't really know him). Still, I, like many people I am sure, went to church on Friday following Tuesday, at a hastily arranged memorial service. And prayed. Not knowing what for or really even whom to.

I find that now, after I have experienced real tragedy, real loss, I still cannot find the words (and often go out of my way to find really vile words because of my anger). Whether that's struggling with faith or a lack of imagination, I don't know. I do know that it sucks and I imagine that many people who had the misfortune to really experience 9/11 knows that it sucks. No matter how much you try to close your eyes to it.

Everett Reportedly Slightly Better

This from is encouraging. Kevin Everett apparently has some movement of his arms and legs. Good for him. I hope he has as full as recovery as possible.

The whole story reminds me of course of Travis Roy. I saw the game on tv and it wasn't clear at the time how severe the injury was. 11 seconds. Now that was a Moonlight Graham (Peter King had called Everett a "Moonlight Graham" in MMQB this week because his career stats are 1 catch for 1 yard). Of course Roy never walked again.

Client Alert - Tax Exempts Investing in Hedge Funds

Here is the alert on Rep. Levin's new proposed legislation which would allow (some?) tax-exempt organizations to invest directly into hedge funds on a tax-efficient basis, rather than requiring them to invest through Cayman corporations. Questions? Leave a comment or Email me

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Baseball Update

Didn't get to see much of tonight's 1-0 loss to the Rays. And that would appear to have been a good thing. 7th time shut out this season. Kazmir's stuff did look nasty.

Three Things I noticed: (1) Coco was again fantastic. Great catch in center against the garage door, then another SB in the 8th to try to keep the Sox's hopes alive (unfortunately Lowell struck out - and, ahem, Lowell is 3-27 in his last 7 games). (2) Man, but is Pedroia fiery. That should shut Eric Wilbur up (he had this typically annoying Dirt Dog-esque piece about the Sox' lack of identity). Between Pedroia's "F*CK" after striking out in the 8th and his comments about Daniel Cabrera from over the weekend ("he's a moron") I think we have our fiery mascot. Move over Hudler, here's the new wonderdog. (3)(a) Andy Garcia was in the crowd at Fenway and man has he gone to hell. (b) The NESN cameraman has a knack for focusing on an attractive woman right before a pitcher pitches at a crucial moment. Without fail, he pans around the crowd for a bit, then just before the pitch, zooms in on some blonde. I guess it must take the rest of the time between pitches to find an attractive woman at Fenway.

The Taxes Update Finished my client alert today. Won't be posted until tomorrow. Here is Proskauer Rose's alert on the new rules applicable to tax exempt investors in funds.

The Death Update Jane Wyman, Ronnie's first wife, passed away today at the age of 93. Here is a piece on the lesser-known Jane Wyman-Lew Ayres romance. And the obit is here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Football Update

Yes, a diversion to regularly scheduled programming...

The Good: (1) Patriots demolishing the Jets and their jerk fans. Seriously Jets fans? Cheering for Kellen Clemens after Pennington LIMPS off the field to save your team a time out? J E T S JERKS JERKS JERKS. Pats win 38-14. Moss goes off 9-183-1. Ho-hum. Brady must be like the kid whose parents have been saving up for years for a cool present for Christmas and then but him a freaking Mustang. (2) Packers topping the Eagles on a last second figgie. Only because that's one of the few I got right on my picks this week (shows what little I know. as I said, what I know about football you could fit in a golf ball). (3) No three, because...

The Bad: (1) Bills game. (2) Specifically the 15-14 loss on a ridiculous last second field goal by Elam after the Broncos converted 2 fourth and 2s and scampering on the field with just seconds left. For the record, I told the TaxSister with 3 minutes left that the Bills would blow it and lose 15-14. (3) Prayers go out to Kevin Everett who flew into the wedge on a kick return and went down like a sack of potatoes. I guess because he went head in without using his arms and shoulders to cushion the blow - a la Jason Street on FNL. Anyway, it does not sound particularly good for Mr. Everett. I wish him all luck in recovery.

The Ugly: The aforementioned Jets fans. Also, Randy Cross and John Madden in HD (or so I hear).

Bflo Blog has the game story and great perspective, although, having become a fan of teams not located in WNY, I understand other people's pain (not Clinton-level, but still).

And Circling the Wagons has the report card.

The Baseball Update

Sox win 3-2 on Beckett's 18th. Paps with his 35th save. Yanks win too. Looks like a Sox-Yanks ALCS, unless the Angels can knock off the Yanks.

No three things I noticed today. Was too busy watching football.

The Taxes Update

O.k., so I have been through all the testimony from Thursday's private equity taxation hearings. Now I'm getting a little nervous. All kinds of proposals were and will come out of last week's hearings.

Seems at this point that some action will be taken on taxation of carried interest. Still probably not this year unless Rangel is really able to fold it into a real amendment of the AMT (/skeptical given the cost). Two things that are likely to get done - (1) Rep. Sandy Levin's bill to encourage tax-exempts to invest directly into hedge funds rather than through Cayman corps. (2) Rep. Emanuel's bill (as yet unintroduced) to minimize ability of hedge fund managers to defer comp from offshore funds. Client alert will be published tomorrow.

The Death update

No new notables tonight and I'm tired. More tomorrow all.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Baseball Update

Just ugly tonight. Sox lose 11-5. After being up 4-1. With Dice-K on the mound. Against a rookie pitcher with no major league wins to his credit. This did not look like a team ready for the postseason. For the most part, it looked like one bad inning by Dice-K, but approaches at the plate were bad, mop-up guys were bad, and apart from one inning where the Sox again got some gift runs from the O's, the bats looked bad.

Three things I noticed: (1) Dice-K, as mentioned everywhere, not just here, really needs to be able to work through adversity. It seems like once things start going downhill he almost gives up, or gets stubborn. Not sure what the issue is, but man does he get burnt by big innings. (2) What was Francona waiting for? Letting him "work through it"? It as clear after the Sox had their long top of the third that Dice-K did not have his command. Gary Thorne (if you can believe it) and Jim Palmer (best color guy going) made a good point on Dice-K's warmups. Kevin Cash didn't go out to warm Dice-K up after Varitek struck out (again) to end the top of the 3rd. This delayed Dice-K's warm-ups an may have added to the mess that was the third. (3) Charles Nagy is apparently in the Indians hall of fame (watching the Angels-Indians game now. Go ERVIN!) Wow is that sad. According to baseball prospectus, the closest career comparisons to him Loaiza, Hentgen and Woody Williams. Yuck. Of course, I had him several times on fantasy teams in the 90s.

Joy of Sox have the Game Story.

The Tax Update

Tomorrow. Carried Interest Summkakke.

The Death Update

No obits today.

Thoughts on dad though. Couldn't help get a little dusty in here last night watching Joba Chamberlain's dad get teary-eyed watching his kid pitch in the majors for the first time in person. Very sweet. Very cool also how he appeared to wish well all the moron Yankee fans who came over (beers in hand, Natch) to wish him and Joba (Jabba?) well. Just a great moment. I went to precisely 5 major league baseball games with my dad. The aforementioned Jays game. Another Jays game during the CNE, and three Sox games, one an Easter weekend, one my bachelor party night and one in between. I'm not poetic or smart enough to put into words what makes baseball such a powerful thing for many fathers and sons, but I can say that whenever we talked on the phone, once we ran out of "real" things to say (usually pretty quickly after hearing his latest movie review - nothing ever got fewer than three stars), we talked baseball. How well the Jays were doing. How well the Sox were doing. How the Yankees were doing, whom he secretly rooted for. I realize now. I don't think I ever called him when the Jays won their series. And I don't know why. But I would love to call him now, even just to talk about how lousy Dice-K was tonight. Make that call whenever you get the chance.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Baseball Update

Quick one tonight. Sox just won 4-0. Solid, if unspectacular performance by Lester against the Orioles. Three Things I noticed: (1) Coco My man. He Loves us. I don't even mind if he dances with my date. Another great scrappy hitting night. No spectacular defense tonight, but that's o.k. (2) I am now convinced that Jim Palmer is probably the second best ex-player analyst in any sport (Jaws, so far, is number 1, but I'LL BE WATCHING MONDAY). He was spot on on why Cabrera balked (didn't pitch from the stretch) and generally was witty, candid (noting the reason why Devern Hanseck threw the no hitter in a monsoon on the last day of the season last night was because the Sox didn't want to give up their $2.5M gate) and generally smart. I dig Remy, but I could get used to a guy like Palmer too. (3) Daniel Cabrera is an idiot. Not sure what the hell happened there, but he's starting to remind me of a famous quote about Rod Stewart. i'm paraphrasing... very rarely is a man so gifted with talent and even more rarely does someone screw it up so badly.

The Taxes Update

Huge day today.

(1) Fallout from yesterday's Congressional hearings. The House had a marathon hearing on all kinds of tax issues, none of them I have confidence they will actually solve. Thankfully, my man Charles Rangel (D-Harlem BABY!) wants to totally revamp (renovate, novate?) the AMT in connection with any tax reform. Well, I fully applaud that, but am skeptical that this Congress with this President would be able to push something like that through without any obvious revenue raisers out there to offset the cost.

(2) Senate also held hearings yesterday, more focused on the effect raising taxes on carried interest would have on pension fund investors. Answer - not much. Well, duh. The big gorilla (I don't like elephants) in the room is that private equity, while extremely important in mergers and acquisitions and turnarounds, still is a niche investment allocation for most investors. 10% or so for pension funds. I'm still surprised that this is a surprise.

Anyway, my &*!# IT department failed to record the hearings for me, and I don't expect that C-Span will rebroadcast the hearings, so I will see what I can find online and review the prepared testimony from the hearings.

The ever indispensible Dan Primack did a liveblog of the hearings here which has links to lots of other good stuff. Check it out. He really is the man.

(3) Rep. Sander Levin has on his website text of a bill that may or may not have been introduced in the House today which would extremely liberalize the rules on tax-exempt investments into private equity and hedge funds. You can find the text here. The issue is that tax-exempt investors are taxed on proceeds from leveraged investments (i.e., any buyout deal, or investments on margin). As a result, many tax-exempts invest through cayman corporations to avoid the tax (the corporation blocks the negative tax effect). This bill is an attempt to bring these investments back "onshore" by eliminating this tax, at least for "securities". There are important technical requirements that need to be met for this new beneficial tax treatment, but it's an auspicious bill. I will have a client alert on this Monday which I will link to here.

Lots of other small things too, but a big Friday for taxes.

The Death Update

Of course Pavarotti died the other day. God bless. Today, however, Madeline L'Engle, author of "A wrinkle in Time passed away. She was 88. Basically, if you've ever been in 4th grade, you've read this book, even though it was repeatedly rejected by numerous publishers. Funny story, the TaxWife presented this book (actually the whole series (!)) when she was a skirt-wearin' catholic school kid and apparently repeatedly mis-pronounced the O'Keefe family as the "O-Keefe-eys". whoops. Apparently the teacher was a bitter repressed, um. woman. Anyway, the obit is here.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Baseball Update

All glory be to Rick Ankiel on a truly massive day today. 2 HRs, 7 RBIs. Cards win. Still have hope. He was the first starting pitcher I took in my roto draft the year after he melted down in the playoffs (I had taken Benitez before him - ugh). Needless to say, my pitching was not fantastic that year. Anyway, it really is a tremendous story - not quite the real life Natural (maybe Tommy John is a better analogy - someone who truly had to reinvent himself), but quite impressive.

The Viva el Birdos blog captures the true excitement and joy of a fan watching an amazing event involving his team better than I could. Check today's thread out here and scroll down to the comments around 4:30. Just tremendous.

Sox, as I write this, are p 7-6 in the top of the 9th against the Orioles. Covelli (a/k/a Oscar Gamble Jr.) is having a tremendous night - 3 run HR, 2 singles, stolen base, fantastic catch of a Tejada liner on a dead sprint toward the centerfield wall. I like him better and better each game, even with his struggles. Three things I noticed: (1) I think we are seeing the beginning of the inevitable Mike Lowell slow-down. I think at age 33 (my god - I am older than someone who has gray hair in his beard), on pace for high ABs, and based on his second half track record, he appears to be slowing down and needs rest down the stretch, the race for top 5 in the MVP vote notwithstanding. (2) The Sox have at least 3 guys who do not use batting gloves - Crisp, Mirabelli and Kielty. This must be some kind of high among major league teams. I wonder if they all do the Alou to keep their hands supple. (3) Gary Thorne is possibly the worst play by play guy in MLB (yes, I am including Michael Kay who at least tries to instigate discussions among his myriad color guys). He insists on calling a three run home run a "3 RBI home run". He also continually misidentifies hitters, pitches, etc. Palmer is especially prescient, so he almost covers for him, but yeesh. Awful.

The Taxes update

Huge day in Congress as twenty witnesses testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee regarding all manner of tax issues, from taxation of carried interest in investment funds to AMT to taxation of publicly traded partnerships. I'll have a full report later once I am able to review the testimony, but initial thoughts after reading prepared remarks and seeing initial commentary is that nothing will get done this year unless it is part of an enormous tax bill which proposed a major overhaul of the AMT, nothing will ultimately end up getting done on taxation of carried interest because (1) not enough revenue there to make it worthwhile and (2) lawmakers will be convinced that taxpayers will just develop a workaround anyway (which they will) and (3) they're deathly afraid of doing anything to harm the economy in the current climate. This is an initiative that would have better been taken up when consumer confidence was higher, people could feel comfortable spending against the equity in their houses and the debt markets weren't in the crapper.

IRS also released more liberal rules on reverse 704(c) allocations for hedge funds. I am reviewing.

The Death Update

Former DC first lady Effi Barry passed away today at the age of 63. She had been suffering from Leukimia. To paraphrase Dave Chappelle as Rick James, Cancer is a hell of a disease. One could argue that Ms. Barry did more for the poor of DC than Marion ever did. Anyway, the story is here and of course my thoughts and prayers go out to her entire family.

It was about a year ago, after we told that the TaxBoy was in fact going to be a boy (and hopefully a lefty), that I decided I'd better fly home and see dad. We knew he was terminal at this point, but didn't know how long he would have. Patients with small cell lung cancer at his stage have an amazingly short life expectancy so I figured 6-12 months, even with treatment. Maybe double that if we were lucky. Anyway, I hadn't seen him since the July 4 holiday (and a stressful one at that) and so wanted to see him. I booked a flight on American Eagle for the week of 9/22. I really wanted to show him the movie review book Ernest Ng and I had put together (ranking the Top 10 movies each year since the advent of commercial film - to see how many I had wrong). Didn't get to really show it to him.

The Obligatory Picks and Predictions Post

regular programming later tonight

So for the zero readers who may want to put down some fake money (wait, [0] times [fake money] = Rich Rich Rich!!!), herewith are the picks and predictions.

The Picks (home teams in CAPS)

Saints (+6.5) over the COLTS. No built in advantage playing in the dome. Everyone seems healthy. Just seems like too many points and I'm not sold on the Colts D.

BILLS (+3.5) over the Broncos. Just because. This is probably a bad pick, but I never pick against the Bills at home. Even in September. Plus, one of my fantasy teams is named Losman's flowing Locks, so I'm obligated here.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over the BROWNS. I have no idea what to make of the Browns. This seems like an easy one.

Philly (-2.5) over GREEN BAY. Although I hope for the sake of the aforementioned Losman's Locks that Favre reverses recent history against the Eagles.

HOUSTON (-1.5) over Kansas City. Seems like Houston should be at least (-3) at home. KC is horrible.

Tennessee (+5.5) over JACKSONVILLE. Was Del Rio actually ever a good coach?

Atlanta (+2.5) over MINNESOTA. I think I might be drinking the SG Kool-aid.

Pats (-5.5) over JETS. J E T S Shut the $!&* Up!!! God I hate the Jets. I still remember Frank Lewis almost busting one against them in the '82 postseason only to get dragged down short of a TD.

RAMS (-1.5) over Cackalacka. This looks like another one I will be wrong on. Especially with Holt's injury.

WASHINGTON (-3.5) over Miami. Art Monk Belongs in the Hall of Fame! Art Monk Belongs in the Hall of Fame!

OAKLAND (-2.5) over Detroit. I have not drunk the Detroit Kool-Aid. Shaky QB? Check. Ponderous RB situation? Check. Mad Scientist Offensive Coordinator? Check.

WHALE'S VAGINA (-5.5) over Chicago. Line seems high, but I am scared of San Diego this year.

SEATTLE (-6.5) over Tampa Bay. Tampa has the chance to ruin about 99% of the suicide pools out there.

DALLAS, (-3.5) over the Giants. If there is a god. And I hate the Giants.

Baltimore (+3.5) over the CRIMINALS. They won't go 13-3 again, but they should walk in that division (and given that McNair is their QB, walking seems about appropriate).

SAN FRAN (-3.5) over Arizona. Please. Arizona? Neither party is mine. The Jackass or the Elephant.


AFC Playoff Teams: 1. San Diego. 2. New England. 3. Indianapolis. 4. Baltimore. 5. Pittsburgh. 6. Buffalo

Indy over Buffalo, Pittsburgh over Baltimore

Pats over Indy, San Diego over Pittsburgh

Pats over San Diego

NFC Playoff Teams

1. New Orleans. 2. Seattle. 3. Chicago. 4. Philly. 5. San Francisco. 6. Washington

Chicago over Washington, Philly over San Fran

Saints over Philly, Seattle over CHicago

Seattle over Saints

Pats over Seattle in the Super Bowl

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I am NOT Etta James

But at last..the updates.

The Baseball Update

Nobody reads this blog, but if they did, they would say "wow you suck at blogging" and "why are your baseball updates Red Sox updates?" Point taken.

My man Yovanni Gallardo pitched great for the Brewers tonight as they took the Astros to the woodshed 14-2. It appears that his confidence was not bruised that much by being left in to be pasted by the Rockies a few weeks ago.

Yankees. Screw them.

John Maine continues his downward spiral tm NIN in the second half of the season. Doesn't matter though as the Mets are in like Flynn to the postseason.

And yes, the Sox blew it tonight against the freaking Jays (ahhhh my first love. Wherefore art though Jorge (nee George) Bell?). I didn't see the bloody show aftermath, but it appears that Okie-dokey is Okie-Nofuckingwayhehaveupanotherhit. Mildly worried about pen depth now. Three things I noticed: (1) Varitek has become an all-or-nothing guess hitter. More of his ABs have resulted in the Three True Outcomes lately than ever before (check it out - last 10 games, 41 PAs, 3 HR, 10 BB, 9 Ks. More than 50%. (2) Ellsbury stands to become a folk hero in Boston, almost regardless of performance - a Dykstra/Hudler type, which would be unfortunate because he could be so much better and deserves not to instantly get labeled with the Damon, Jr. stereotype. (3) Schill isn't sharp, but generally will keep teams in games (like tonight) until the Sox have a chance to come back. Anecdotal jibber-jabber, I know (who said jibber jabber besides, or better than, Mr. T, anyway?).

Links - A funny riff from Jere at a Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory (dude, I feel your pain) on the disconnect between certain commercials and the show they are interrupting. I hear that, although I never run into that problem when I'm watching lifetime. The flammable mattresses must be a big seller...

A view from across the border at Drunk Jays Fans. That is. Just wrong. Some view.

The Taxes Update

Big day tomorrow as the House holds a marathon hearing on the taxation of carried interest, impact on the investment world, impact on workers, etc., with two tax professors, Jack Levin, pe folks from Carlyle, etc. I actually asked our legislative affairs liaision whether it would be televised on C-Span.

In any event, the whole thing is smoke and mirrors. The JCT and CBO have come out with estimates of the revenue raisers from changing how carry is taxed - hold on to your hat, $3 to $5 billion. Total. A far cry from a dent in a chink in the armor ... o.k.. anyway, a far cry from the amounts that would be required to substantially reform the AMT (estimated in the $100 billion range). Click here for a link via Victor Fleischer's Conglomerate blog to a paper estimating the revenue that could be raised.

Update (11/9): These numbers need clarification. The estimated revenue raised is $25.6 billion over 10 years

The Death Update

Finally, the death update. Not a household name, but William Hudgins died last Friday in New York. He, along with Jackie Robinson founded Carver National Savings Bank, the largest black-owned bank in the country (there is a branch in the building at 145th and Bradhurst, I believe). He helped move the black community in Harlem in the mid-20th century into the traditional bank lending market and away from traditional lending arrangements. A fantastic success story and a man who did good for his community and his Community. He was 100. The obit is here.

Coming up shortly on the 22nd. Can't believe it has been almost a year. Mom leaves town tomorrow to go home for the weekend. I felt worst for her when dad died last year. Will feel extremely bad for her as the anniversary approaches. Hopefully little Jackson/Luis Junior/Sam (a friend suggested Samuel Luis Jackson as a compromise - funny) will come before then and occupy her.

All for now - need to fix the links.
To come shortly - ca. 6 pm - last night's Sox game, tomorrow's carried interest hearings on capital hill and the timeliest death of the day... sorry for delay, too busy at work

Monday, September 3, 2007

Once again, I've been away/busy, so haven't posted... Here are today's updates

The Baseball Update

Since my last post the Sox have gone from 5 up to 8 up back to 6 up, just the typical late season swings. Their pitching is still, for the most part, their main strength as the offense comes and goes. Watched most of yesterday's game against the O's. Three Things I Noticed: (1) Lester still doesn't have a lot of arm strength back. His fastball isn't really fooling anyone and his control isn't really there right now. Luckily he was able to strand 8 of the 10 baserunners he allowed. (2) Ellsbury looks like a real player which will make personnel decisions interesting for next season. Everyone knows the club has a 20M option on Manny next year, Coco is signed through '09 at 10.5M (plus a 500K buyout for '10). Drew... well, let's not talk abut Drew. Unless the Sox let Manny go or deal Coco (which wouldn't make a lot of sense because he is the cheapest of the incumbents), Ellsbury will be without a position next year. 4th OF, coming in for speed and defense, and to spell Drew, wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but the kid has nothing left to prove, except my contention that he doesn't really look like Damon. (3) Pedroia is the AL ROY. There are about a half dozen legitimate candidates. Here they are in a fancy chart (please scroll down - not sure why there is such a huge gap):

10/4/07 - Just figured out how to format so there are not breaks - table fixed


Pedroia has the best OPS of any AL rookie, and, as I write this, is tearing Jays pitching a new one tonight - 3-3 with 2 RBIs. He's also had some memorable defensive plays in the middle of a pennant race, which voters can't help but ignore (as an aside, I love how the bar is set higher and higher each year for winning any of these awards - individual excellence itself is not enough - you need to perform in the crucible of a pennant race. Tough luck if you're a Royal competing for one of these awards - or as the TV voice over guy used to say, "Sorry Tennessee").

In any event, as I (now) finish this, the Sox are up 7-1 and the Yanks have lost, so it's 7 games up with 24 left. Go Sox.

The Taxes Update

Quiet last couple of weeks on the tax front. There were various reports that came out the last couple of weeks indicating that tax revenue from a tax on carried interest would be a few billion at best, and likely less (perhaps even revenue neutral) because of likely tax planning around any new bill. So any idea that a tie-in to AMT relief (which would cost hundreds of millions to even Band-AidTM) is just plain silly-talk. Horse-hocky, if you will.

Also, Lee Sheppard looked appropriately stlyish, if a little deer-in-the-headlights in a NYT business section profile earlier this week. Click here for the story an a look at her gorgrous Gaultier outfit to which page C6 did not do justice.

The Death Update

Michael Jackson died. No, not that Michael Jackson (hee-hee). Michael Jackson, the beer conniouseur and advocate. I used to own one of his beer guides through which I learned that mead wasn't just what Beowulf had for dinner. It was an actual brew still in prodiction in various vampire-infested areas of Central Europe. Anyway, the obit is here. Raise a glass to Mr. Jackson.

Also, in the death update, mom is in town this weekend, getting ready for sis to have her baby. It was about one year ago (Sept 6 actually), that we found out Rex was going to be a boy, and that I found out my dad definitely was terminal with small cell lunch cancer - advanced stage. I remember how bummed out he was on the phone talking to him and remember how happy he was when we told him we were having a boy. I knew then that it was extremely unlikely he'd ever get to meet his grandson, but I was happy that at least for that day, some sunshine broke through the gloom. I miss him.