Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Commentary on Steroids in Baseball

Before we get into this a bit, I'd like to throw out a big congrats to Money Shot blogger, G$. He's getting married tomorrow and is currently moving into his newly purchased house. He's all growns up! Congrats man, have a great wedding day and honeymoon!

Back to the topic of the day- Steroids. This topic refuses to go away. The list of 104 users form 2003 is getting leaked one or two names at a time, helping paper publications have something to talk about. Their "professional journalism" is not only breaking the law (the names are under court seal and are not supposed to be released) but it's sucking the life out of my ESPN watching. As much as it was hilarious to watch David Ortiz's self-righteous comments from Spring Training this year get shot right back in his face last night on ESPN, will this ever end? Nomar Garciaparra actually said he knew guys who failed this test on purpose because they were clean, but wanted testing in place (he has incentive to do so as he was on the 2003 Red Sox and the first half of the 2004 team that broke "the curse.") So will this crap ever end?

I don't know. But I did read THIS ARTICLE BY BILL JAMES (highly respected baseball statistician) and it was quite an enlightening read. I really think he took a lot of emotion out of the discussion and worried about the things will eventually shake out. When people get involved in bad relationships, many times, it's hard for them to see the actual problems or separate themselves from the situation because they are to close to it. I see the public involved in a bad relationship with steroids in baseball right now, that is causing a lot of emotional debate for almost no reason.

So the title of this blog may be misleading, it's not "great commentary" from me, it's great commentary from Bill James. He brings up many great points about how the post-steroid generation will be viewed. I have a feeling he's right. I mean, the American public used to lap up TV sitcoms where the man and wife slept in separate twin beds. Now we've seen virtual (or very real) orgies on The Real World. What changed? Well, for one, time. For another, as Bill James calls it, a breached battle line with "no organized point of resistance."

I'm fairly sure Jose Canseco came out and said yesterday that there is someone on "the list" that is already in the Hall of Fame. While Jose Canseco the lowiest of characters (plus he got beat up by Via Sikahema and Danny Bonaduce), he's been fairly accurate with his steroid info so far. Let's suppose he's right for the moment. A Hall of Famer is already in that used steroids. This would make Bill James' prediction of weakening defense lines against steroid users to have legs far sooner than he thought it would. I'm assuming the public will eventually just become so sick of the topic, that we will become desensatized to it, throw up our hands, and say I give up! Who cares anymore!

Make sure you read the Bill James article. If nothing else, it is a very well written article that provides some decent talking points and a little bit of a new spin on the whole steroid issue.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cubs Aquire Grabow and Gorzelanny

The Cubs get the lefty reliever they were looking at (John Grabow) and some extra starting pitching depth (Tom Gorzelanny.) They give up their starting pitcher from today's win, Kevin Hart, pitcher Jose Ascanio and third baseman Josh Harrison. Seems like a decent trade on the surface.

Gorzelanny was optioned to Triple A, so I wonder if that means Ted Lilly will be back for his next turn in the rotation, or if they have someone else to spot start in four days.

Last, Russ Ortiz was released by the Astros after getting lit up by the Cubs. This means that the two starting pitchers from the Cubs/Astros game earlier are now not on the teams they started for in less than an hour after the game completed. That's rough!

MLB Trade Deadline Approaches

This is the official last time I'll be talking about this guy, but yet again, the steroid guy was at the gym last night. This time he was jumping rope in the main gym area and yelled at an unsuspecting dude that "walked too close" and interrupted his rope skipping. On top of that, he was wearing an electric blue spandex tank top that hasn't been seen since Buddy Love in the first Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy version.) If this guy fell through a man-hole to the center of the Earth I would feel no sympathy and the world would be a better place.

Beyond all that, we have the Major League Baseball trade-deadline coming up tomorrow, and there are many things going on with a lot of different teams. Let's look at some of the trades/possibilities:

Phillies - Acquired Cliff Lee from the Indians without giving up J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabeck, or Dominic Brown. Organizationally and publicly this looks like a steal. The Phillies were adamant about not giving up ALL THREE of these guys for Roy Halladay, and as it turns out they didn't give up any of them. I do think the Indians got a decent haul for Lee, but you have to think they could've asked for one of these three guys, right? Now the interesting prospect is, if you were the Phillies, would you go get Roy Halladay now? You still have the guys the Blue Jays want, and a rotation of Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers (almost healthy), and Jamie Moyer would be sweet. You even have Pedro Martinez as insurance. Ok, so maybe that is a bit crazy, but there definitely is logic to that scenario. Overall, great acquisition of Lee by the Phils.

J.P. Riccardi - Doesn't he seem like Billy Beane's little brother who never gets it right?

Giants - Acquired Ryan Garko from the Indians for Scott Barnes and Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates for Tim Alderson. Hmmmmmmmm... There are a lot of ways to look at these acquisitions. To start, let's make it clear that the Giants are better today than they were yesterday. Both Garko and Sanchez are professional hitters that should do well in AT&T Park. They won't lose much power (it wasn't there to begin with) and there is more room in the field to hit for average (more doubles/triples for Freddy Sanchez?) I think Garko for Barnes is a fair trade, but Sanchez for Alderson really made me raise an eyebrow. Giants AM radio projected Alderson to be just slightly less talented than their best pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner. GM Brian Sabean doesn't have a terribly great track record when it comes to trades, and this may be just another bad trade. However, you do have to give up something to get something, and I do think Freddy Sanchez is the type of proven commodity that the Giants need.

Red Sox - First, how they hell do these guys keep coming up with blue chip prospects all the time? They're always trading for guys and giving up prospects, how does their system always keep the highly rated prospects? One answer is that baseball as a whole has overrated the Red Sox system because of their two recent World Series championship (likely.) The other answer is that are like the bully on the bus who's always trying to trade multiple common player baseball cards for Ken Griffey, Jr. Upper Deck rookie cards (also likely.) Teams need to start holding out for more when the Sox come calling.

Anyway, the Sox have been linked to Victor Martinez, Roy Halladay and Adrian Gonzales. If they are able to snake any of these players away from their respective teams, that team had better get Clay Bucholz. There's no excuse for even considering a deal without getting the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox system (who's already thrown a no-hitter.) Each of the named trade bait players are under control through next year and all are proven commodities that the fans like. Don't give them up for nothing!

Yankees - They seem content with their team, and why shouldn't they be? They have (or are close to) the best record in baseball. You had Mark Texeiria, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia in the offseason and you had better be doing well. Texeiria and Sabathia were two of the huge trade acquisitions for other teams last year, and while the Yankees paid a pretty penny for them, it looks to be panning out.

Cubs - Looking to add a left handed reliever like John Grabow, and/or maybe a left handed bat to supplement Milton Bradley's underachieving ways. At this point, they really shouldn't give up much to get anything. It seems like the team is getting a bit healthier and, more importantly, they are hitting the ball more. They're only a half-game back of the Cardinals and it looks like it could be Cubs/Cards all the way until the end. How great would that be to see close division races from all of the best rivalries in the sport (Yanks/Sox, Cubs/Cards, Giants/Dodgers.) The Giants have some catching up to do, but let's make it happen!

There are many other important trades going on, so if you're ridiculously interested, go to mlbtraderumors.com for more info. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the trade deadline!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Teen Wolf


I could talk about many things today from the Cubs 11-6 loss yesterday all the way through how much I've grown to hate ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker (hey- let's show only hands where someone says "All-In!") but today I will be talking about a great American Cinema classic, "Teen Wolf."

I took the time to watch the entire movie last night. I remember loving the movie as a kid, and I understand why, but I'm not sure the movie holds up quite as well these days.

First off, I'm 100% certain my 7th grade basketball team could beat any team featured in the movie- with or without "the Wolf." I'm glad that movie-makers take a bit more time to make sports more realistic on screen these days. Michael J. Fox is less believable as a basketball player in "Teen Wolf" than the movie "Independence Day" is as a whole. I do love that their team mascot is "The Beavers." There's no way that's not a purposeful sexual innuendo.

Next, the general premise of MJF's girl issues. The movie portrays him as this good guy that's try to date the popular girl at school. If only he could take her to the party, he could save her from her ruffian boyfriend from the rival school (mascot "The Dragons.") That's all well and good, but the fact remains is that it encourages young dudes who don't know any better to pine after girls that are already taken. It was never MJF's business to try to get with the popular blonde girl (who leaves a lot to be desired in the hotness department.) She gives him the cold shoulder numerous times and he still wants her no matter what. He's even rewarded later in the movie by getting busy with her and her granny-panties in the high school theatre dressing room! It sends a bad message to teenage boys who are told, "Don't worry, be as annoying as possible and one day, you may turn into a wolf and get it on with the popular girl who has a boyfriend!" The erosion of our moral standards, indeed.

Lastly, we have to move to the character that was such a star in this movie, that people have even taken his name. Rupert "Stiles" Stilinski was Michael J. Fox's best friend and trouble maker in "Teen Wolf." He pretended to surf on top of MJF's family's business van. He wore ridiculous T-shirts. He tried to persuade MJF to pretend hold up a convenience store to get a keg for the big party that they were trying to get into. As it turned out, MJF's wolf powers allowed them to get a keg, but there were already 10 kegs at the party, and no one seemed to mind them coming in. And here's where it gets odd, for someone that was worried about even getting into the party, Styles all of a sudden is running all the party games (such as whipped cream bondage, jello down the shirt of some girl, and two minutes in the make-out closet with a werewolf.) Why would someone be able to just take over the party and start running games when they were barely on the guest list? It either takes a confident young man or a bad 80s movie plot device to make magic happen!

The movie holds up enough to watch it and be mildly entertained, but I'm not rushing out to buy it on DVD any time soon. Ah HBO, you've done it again- I wasted another night watching a ridiculous movie!

PS: Was the less popular love interest really named "Boof?" Is Boof Bonsor named after her?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top Five People I'm Sick Of

5. The Steroid Guy At The Gym - For those that missed it, a couple weeks ago I posted about a highly imbalanced individual that frequents the same gym I do. Well, I was reminded of him when I saw him doing ridiculous side gallops on a treadmill (no idea what else to call this exercise.) While I am particularly tired of this specific individual, he is not the only one of his kind. This stereotypical meat-head exists in most gyms threatening people that use equipment that he'd like to be using, threatening people that make him feel insecure, and looking like he wants to fight inanimate objects such as dumbbells and elliptical machines. The funny thing is that it almost seems like the more self-loathing this guy can muster, the better work out he'll get!

4. Ricky Rubio - What the hell? Did you really fly all the way out the NBA Draft, get drafted in the Top 5, then complain when you happened to go to Minnesota? Did no one tell you that when you play in the NBA, you don't get to pick which team you play for? Did you really complain about how your mom doesn't like the cold, then say your preference is to play in New York for the Knicks? I'm fairly certain it's cold there as well Mr. Ru-Ru-Rubio. Oh, you have an $8 million buy out from your team in Europe that has to be personally out of pocket? Then what the hell where you doing at the Draft in the first place? I know some Kings fans were mad that GM Geoff Petrie passed on Rubio, but at this point it looks like a ridiculously smart decision. I bet Sacramento is "too cold" for Rubio's mom as well.

3. Milton Bradley - I can't stand Milton Bradley. He's overpaid, under-performing and overrated. I'm 100% certain that the Cubs are worse with him than without him. I know my man-love for Mark DeRosa has been stated previously, but what about the other piece of the puzzle that the Cubs gave up to get Bradley (and by gave up, I mean traded to clear payroll)- Jason Marquis? Marquis is currently 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA while pitching home games at Coors Field! Marquis was an All-Star this year. Now, there is an argument to be made that Marquis needed a change of scenary to succeed to this degree, but I respectfully disagree. Since 2004, he's always been a competitive pitcher that has matured into to a very good pitcher. His records since 2004 are 15-7, 13-14, 14-16, 12-9, 11-9, and currently 12-6. Not too shabby. The Cubs could definitely use this stability at the back of the rotation, especially when Ted Lilly is on the DL and Ryan Dempster broke his toe jumping over the fence after a game. The point is that Milton Bradley affected the current roster, and has done nothing to help the Cubs offense. Believe me, he'll be my favorite player in the world if he hits a game winning home run to clinch a World Series win, but as it stands now, he's a massive bust.

2. Michael Vick - While this topic did help to bring the worst slip up on radio yesterday from Scott Van Pelt (he said, "Vick's been off for two years, and each year out of the NFL is like dog years for a quarterback... Oh, wow. I didn't even mean to say that. I didn't even think about it..."), who isn't sick of hearing about Vick. Hey guys! Let's debate even more about whether he should be suspended now that he's back! If he should, how many games should it be for?! Tony Dungy is mentoring him, that is going to help him find God, right [be careful, you know what God spelled backwards is, right...]?! I feel like ESPN is in a never-ending, downward spiraling converation with the public, and guess what folks, I'm out! I'm done! I don't think Vick is ever going to be a great quarterback in the NFL. His highest potential is for 10 snaps a game in the Wildcat formation, which is in and of itself a gimmick. Why waste so much time on someone who committed awful crimes, paid for them, then wants to get back to playing football, but isn't as good as people once thought? I'm OUT!

1. Brett Favre - Oh great, Brett Favre is back in the NFC North (maybe.) To be honest, this is awesome. Not because it sucks the life out of my ESPN watching, but because the Vikings are going to be bad this year. It doesn't even matter whether he plays or not. If he plays, he's old and not as mentally tough as he once was. I give him 8 decent games before he gives up (just like last year.) If he doesn't play, the Vikings' coaches and players have publically admitted that they don't have confidence in their current QB's. Nothing rips a team apart like a good ol' fashioned Favrian drama. You've done your damage Favre, you can make up your mind now and enjoy the Vikings 8-8/7-9 record. It's going to be awesome.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Back to work... well as they say, all good things come to an end. But not to fear, it had to happen in order to make way for such things as my bachelor party, wedding and honeymoon. As I ease back into the work force, here are some quick things I'll mention:

- The Cubs are back in first place. Let me say that again... THE CUBS ARE BACK IN FIRST PLACE. They are hard to watch. Can barely score runs. Haven't made a big splash on the trade market. In fact, they made their team worse in the offseason. They've been injured. And despite all that- they are in first place. If they can work things out, watch out folks. Oh, how I'd love to see the Cardinals trades for Mark DeRosa and Matt Holliday ultimately mean nothing! That would be so sweet!

- Playing two nights in a row for 4 hours each night is difficult! I accomplished that feat this past Friday and Saturday while playing at the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek. I really didn't think it would be that big of a deal, but I definitely could feel my voice short out a bit during the Saturday show. I still think it sounded alright, but it forced me to expend more energy than normal and by the end of the show, I was beat. I did have a great time and I'm looking forward to making it back there August 12 and 21!

- Speaking of my shows, on Saturday, there was a girl in the crowd that was one year older than me in high school. I'm not sure I've ever talked to her, but she was one of those girls was super hot and seemed untouchable to a large majority of the rest of the high school. Anyway, she was there with her boyfriend, and I'm not sure I even recognized her right away. Before leaving she went up to my friend John, and said, "Hey, tell Tony he's awesome and that I totally remember him from the high school days." When John told me that during a break, we both had to laugh about it. He said, "Too bad you can't go back in time and tell that to 10th grade Tony." Indeed.

- The strip of highway between Sacramento and Davis is called "The Causeway." It's essentially a straight road that travels just above the wildlife preserve that engulfs it on either side. I've often wondered why there is ever traffic on this stretch of freeway. Just drive straight!!! That's all you have to do!!! There was traffic on Friday when I brought my car in and I have no idea why. It's one of the worst things about living in Sacramento and working Davis. [Update: Awful traffic this morning coming to work as well. Looks like someone fell off their motorcycle and that required and ambulance, two police cruisers, and two firetrucks. Once again, just drive straight!]

- I loved Entourage last night. Ari's lecture to Turtle was actually pretty inspiring... maybe I need to get off my ass as well...

That's all I've got today, be back tomorrow with more tales of wonderment.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Last Vacation Day

Well, it's been a fairly productive two weeks, but this is it. My last vacation day is today, and I couldn't be more sad. On Monday, I'll return to my day job and start to get to work on the projects that have been sitting all this time. Not to mention, I've completely checked on the California budget situation, so I'll also figure out if I'm getting a pay cut or a furlough or maybe the budget problems were solved by my vacation (highly unlikely.)

I did essentially everything I set out to do. I worked out every day (except yesterday.) I didn't drink (besides two Bud Lights at my show in Roseville last weekend.) I got into the studio twice (I swear this album is getting close to done!) I went to visit my firefighting Best Man in Monterey (who was in the ER this past weekend, but is ok.) Finally, we even had band practice for the Live Band Karaoke band last night (anyone feel like singing Possum Kingdom?)

I picked up an extra show this weekend, so if anyone wants to see my twice at the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek, I'll be playing both Friday and Saturday 7-11pm. Come out, bring your friends and lovers. The one stipulation is that there will be no rape allowed at the show, so don't even think about bringing Ben Roethlisberger. Ok, that was a cheap shot- and I'm really bummed out about this charges because I am a Big Ben fan. I hope it comes out that nothing happened, but I have a feeling we'll never know. I do know that if some of the reports about Harrah's are true, then they did everything in their power to make this go away, and they may be in more trouble than Big Ben. While I enjoyed my birthday winning money at a Harrah's Craps table, I can see where the casino environment could create a more likely scenario for problems (lots of alcohol, money being thrown around, and tail everywhere- especially during the the Celebrity Golf Tournament weekend.)

More athletes should take a cue from Albert Pujols. He may take it to the extreme by not even getting on an elevator if it's just him and a woman, but you'll never hear about him being accused of anything.

Anyway, I have no idea how my post went from vacation to rape charges, but such is blogging. Have a great weekend and I'll catch you back on Monday.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Say Halladay, I Say Holliday

One cannot turn on ESPN these days without hearing a Roy Halladay update. Is he getting traded? If so, to where? Will this trade be the key component to a team's championship?

Answers: Maybe, Phillies, Maybe

The lead teams to trade for Doc Halladay are the Phillies and the Dodgers. Now, the Dodgers don't make as much sense because they would have to give up Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has already established himself as a pretty damn good pitcher, and he's left-handed to boot. The addition of Halladay along with the subtraction of Kershaw does not help the Dodgers as much as the addition of Halladay would help the Phillies. In fact, the main reason the Dodgers have to trade for Halladay would be to keep the Phillies from getting him.

The Phillies could give up a number of prospects for Halladay without affecting their major league roster much. This would help the Phillies immensely due to their lack of starting pitching depth. Kyle Drabeck (son of Doug, my former arch-nemesis from when I was 8) is the lead candidate to get traded from the Phillies.

This Halladay talk is all well and good, but the scariest thing I've read is the Cardinals inquiring about Matt Holliday from the Oakland A's. Holliday has been swinging the stick awfully well and if you put him in a line up with Albert Pujols and you will find out exactly how dangerous Holliday can be. As the Cubs have worked their way back to just a game back of the Cardinals, this report scares me. The Cardinals would be a clear favorite if they can grab Holliday. Prospect Brett Wallace (first round pick from last year) is the bounty that Billy Beane and Oakland are looking to grab from the Cards.

This has really been a painful season watching the economy affect so many teams. It also has been painful watching the Cubs (and Giants, really) not be able to hit ever. Not in regular situations, not with runner on base. Not for power, not for contact. Not in a box, not with the fox. It's awful.

I'll be happy to see these trades get made, if for no other reason than it will free up ESPN to put more Favre coverage on- wait- ah crap.

PS: Saw the LeBron video where he gets dunked on. It's no big deal at all. Nike and LeBron shouldn't have made it an issue by confiscating the tape in the first place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Dos Equis Dude

Today, this blog is paying tribute to The Most Interesting Man In The World. I've taken the liberty of posting many of his videos right here so you can watch them and be in awe. He is truly interesting...

















Basketball Memories: The Day I Almost Quit

In life, things work on in a weird ways. This happens to be the story of one odd thing that ended up shaping my life for the better:

As a basketball player in eighth grade, I was decent. I would have great games, and I would have mediocre games. There wasn't much in between. Looking back on it, I think because I grew so fast, my body's coordination was not able to catch up how tall I was getting, thus making me a loose cannon. It was really hard to predict how well I'd play on any given day.

Lucky for me, I was feeding into Northgate High School where the head basketball coach, Frank Allocco, had just guided the school to a State Championship. I went to his basketball camp for the first time that summer, and promptly won Most Outstanding Player in my age division for the first week of camp. This probably set expectations high, and Coach Allocco was looking to see how quickly I could make an impact on the Varsity level.

What ensued was many months of pushing me to limits I was definitely not comfortable with. The problem was that people were telling me to do things that I would literally try my hardest to accomplish. Unfortunately, I hadn't "grown into my body" and I wasn't able to be as consistent as The Program needed me to be. I was relegated to playing on the Freshmen team- at least to start the season. With the expectations out of whack, I became disenchanted with the whole situation. I approached the Freshmen coach, Coach Strawn, about quitting.

He said, "Tony, give it one year. If by the end of the year, you still want to quit then you can walk away with no problem."

It seemed like an easy idea. I knew his militarily run Freshmen team wouldn't be easy, but I hated the idea of actually being a quitter, so this seemed like a way to mentally ease my way through the whole process.

What ensued was one of the hardest years of my life. Maybe there will be another post about it, but it brought me to the brink most days.

On the practice before our last Freshmen game, I revisited the idea of walking away.

"Coach, you said that I should give it a year, and if I still feel like quitting, then I could leave without any judgment. Well, I don't want to take someone else's jersey during Spring and Summer league, so I think it's time for me to give it up."

To which Coach Strawn replied, "Are you sure? You've made a lot of progress. Do you want me to talk to Coach Allocco about it?"

"No, no," I said. "I'd rather leave Coach Allocco out of it."

Sure enough, the next day I was cornered by Coach Allocco, Assitant Varsity Coach Sullivan, and Coach Strawn. My back was to the back-side of the bleachers forming one wall, and the coaches formed the other three.

Coach Allocco started in. "Tony, after the Freshmen season, we'd like you to be a part of the Varsity team."

I looked at Coach Strawn... I was set up. And yet, as far as set up's go, this is more of a reward, right?

Coach Sullivan (three ways of describing him would be: scary, awesome, close-talker) prompted me. "Tony, this is a huge honor for a Freshman, would do you think?"

Uncomfortably, I said the only thing I could think of. "Yes. Of course I'd love to join the team."

Like the garbage pit from Star Wars: A New Hope, the walls made of coaches, stopped and backed off. But I was now committed to another month (three years?) of hoops. That year, we won the North Coast Section Championship beating San Ramon, we won the NorCal Championship at Oakland Arena beating Woodside, and eventually lost at Arco Arena to Tayshaun Prince's Dominguez Hills in the State Championship.

By the end of the experience, I was hooked. I'm not sure if I could mentally deal with the amount of effort the coaches asked of us, or if I was just impressed by the post-game sandwich spread that they had at Oakland and Arco arenas, but either way, I knew that I wanted to stick with basketball. This is definitely one of the most difficult and rewarding decisions I ever made.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Luckily, I barely remembered it is Monday. You see, I'm still lost in the space-time continuum that is going on vacation from work, and not physically traveling anywhere (there's another word for it, but I refuse to use it.)

Not too much is going on, but I'll try to cover whatever comes to mind:

- I've literally worked out every single day I've been off. That trend will continue as soon as I'm done with this post. Yesterday, I blasted my bi's and tri's- it's not important, it's just my life.

- Also yesterday, I went into the studio for four hours, and finished backing vocals for "As You Wish," "What's Inside," "Kids Playing Guns In The Street," and "What's the Past Got In Store?" We also decided that the main vocals for "KPGITS" needed to be re-done, so that happened as well. Singing back up vocals is one of my biggest weaknesses as a musician, but I must say I am improving. We once did a full four or five hour session on only finished one song, and this time we got through five vocal lines in four hours! That's increased productivity.

- The Cubs have won four games in a row! The catch? They were all against the lowly Nationals. Sunday's win was the most impressive because they scored seven runs in one inning, but let's be honest, it was against the Nationals! We'll see how good they are in a hurry as they face the defending champion Phillies today. The Phillies have won eight games in a row.

- Just saw the Erin Andrews video (didn't know about it until G$ mentioned it in his blog.) It's five minutes of Peeping Tom action. 70% of me was impressed by how hot she is, and 30% of me felt dirty and started wondering what kind of hotel has peep show holes to the rooms. Do you think all the rooms have them, or it was a conspiracy to put EA in the particular room so she could be videoed. Well, if the video taper is smart, he/she never will reveal their identity, but the hotel is probably going to get sued big time.

- I played a great show on Saturday at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. It's a fairly new Irish Pub/Restaurant, and the people there were really nice. A very solid crowd that were definitely into my schtick. I'm playing there on August 1 and August 22 so come on out! I also just realized that this is my schedule for the August 20-22:

August 20 at 6:30 - Show at Pyramid Sacramento

August 21 at 7pm - Show at Pyramid Walnut Creek

August 22 at 9am - Show at the Farmer's Market in Downtown Vacaville

August 22 at 9:30pm - Show the Boxing Donkey in Roseville

I had better be well rested for those shenanigans.

Have a fantastic Monday- especially with the knowledge that I'm on vacation and just relaxing... all day long...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cover Song Recommendations

Hey folks! I just got back from playing at Pyramid in Sacramento, and I'm bored of playing many of the same songs over and over and over and over again. I'm looking for some solid suggestions of songs I should learn and play in a mostly acoustic format. Some of these songs may end up working for the Live Band Karaoke band, but let's not jump ahead of ourselves.

One idea I had is to learn a song by the Who. It seems ridiculous that I don't have one in my bag of tricks, so it's officially been put on the to-do list. What song should I learn? Right now I'm thinking "The Kids Are Alright" but I could be swayed.

The main thing is, don't be bashful. Create a marathon comment of suggestions if you want. I'm not promising I can/will learn every song suggested, so the more, the better. I'm definitely looking for variety so don't feel like any suggestion is out of bounds.

So there you go... it's up to you. Freshen up my setlist!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You Should Respect Me Kid!

After taking a day off to visit my friend in Monterey, you'd think I'd have a blog about the hike we went on, watching the All-Star game, seeing a dead Sea Lion on the beach, or even going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (yes, this was an activity packed 24 hours.) I might have even had a post about my cat, Cosmo, who hunted and killed a bird only to bring it back to our back porch as a gift for us.

Oh no, my friends. I may get to some of that stuff later, but tonight, I saw something way more ridiculous. I went to the 24 hour fitness on Fulton and Hurley in Sacramento. I lifted chest, then went into the aerobic room to stretch and craft my abs of steel (still working on those...) I immediately noticed that it was a bit more crowded than normal for a Wednesday night at 10:30pm. The other thing I noticed was the muscle-bound meathead sprinting back and forth at full speed in this small aerobic room (must be the size of half a basketball court, if that.) I thought to myself, "This seems like a ridiculously inconvenient and inefficient way to do wind sprints." My second thought was, "I bet this guy does steroids." With his cutoff T-shirt, his unnatural tan, and his baby ponytail, his was a strong candidate for douche bag of the year.

I had my headphones because I love listening to music, and I love tuning people at the gym out even more. I grabbed a mat and made sure not to get in this 'roided out freak's way. Other people were not so careful. One unsuspecting guy walked in the room and headed to the front next to the mirror. The running man stopped his sprint just to yell at the guy for getting in his way. Then Roidy McRoidson hopped around like a boxer as if to let everyone know that he was trying to calm himself down, but he may not be able to help himself if someone else gets in his way.

Without fail, another guy walked in the room looking to do some plyometrics, and mildly walked near the area where the jerk was running. The roid rage continued. With a serious of passive aggressive grunts and hand gestures, it was made obvious that the roid dude was displeased.

I'm fairly certain this second guy to disrupt the workout was also perturbed and intentionally got in the dude's way a second time (this is strike three for anyone who has been counting.) The roid rage could not be contained.

"C'mon man?! Why the fuck are you getting in my way?!"

"Seriously dude? What is your problem?"

"I'm trying to get a workout in and stay looking good." (Is this guy serious? Yes. In fact, he was very serious.)

"You need to chill out"

"Don't tell me to chill out! I'm 36 and you're just a kid! You should respect me!"

"Ok, buddy."

"You got nothing on me! Nothing! (Lifts up his own shirt and flexes his abs) What you got?! You got nothing on me!"

"Stop being such an asshole."

"You wanna race?! I will smoke you!" (Yeah, I'm still not joking about this. This really happened.)

"Dude, I'm good. Just chill out."

"That's right! You're just a kid and you know you would lose!"

At this point he walked out of the aerobic room and into the night. I hope he doesn't rape anyone.

When Future Mrs. B. came into the aerobic room, I relayed the story. Not surprisingly, she asked if he was wearing a gray cut off T and had a crazy look in his eye. I told her she had seen the culprit. She told me that "he was in the cardio area looking at machines like he was angry with them. Like he wanted to make one of them his bitch!" Sounds about right, huh?

Kids, don't do steroids. Work out, and feel good about life, but for the love of California's Governor don't become so vain that you try to have a race and/or flex off with a random person in a 24 Hour Fitness on a random Wednesday. That is ridiculous and I wouldn't mind calling for mandatory vasectomies for such people. We don't need new humans of the same ilk.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tim McCarver Sings?

Proving he has an additional way to pulverize your ears, former baseball player and current baseball announcer, Tim McCarver put out a CD recently. Apparently he sings lounge songs that will make any animal within a 30 foot radius of the music cringe in fear. I suppose there are two ways to go with this blog entry - "Things I'd Rather Do Than Listen to the New McCarver CD" or "Fictional Titles to Songs on the New McCarver CD." I think I'll opt for the latter this time:

"I'm Singing You Something You Already Know"
"I As Good At Crooning As I Am Announcing"
"I Heart St. Louis"
"Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me (I Guess I'll Go Eat Worms)"
"Who's Idea Was Scooter The Talking Baseball?"
"Wouldn't It Be Funny If We Were Lovers?" (feat. Joe Buck)
"The Thong Song" (I imagine this one being sung in Will Ferrell's Robert Goulet fashion)
"Put Me In Producer, I'm Ready To Announce Today"
"It Hurts Me When You Mute The TV"
"I Make My Living At The Viewers' Expense"
"Bring The Noise, Bring My Voice"
"Why Are Nelly And The Dude From The Backstreet Boys In The All StarCelebrity Softball Game?" (Ok, this probably isn't a song, but I'm watching that right now, and wondering that very question.)
"I Enjoy Ears That Bleed"
"You Have No Choice But To Listen"
and finally "Jeremy" (by Pearl Jam- now, that would be ridiculous!)

I hate Tim McCarver, and him selling his CD for $15 a pop is absolutely a slap in the face to musicians everywhere that are struggling to get their work out to the masses. Stick to your day job, McCarver! On second though, don't do that either...

Monday, July 13, 2009

MLB All Star Break

Well, the All Star Break is here and nothing teaches me that I know nothing about baseball like the actual results of the games! I posted predictions on February 26 and 27 about how I thought this baseball season would shake out. Ugh. I should've waited until after the World Baseball Classic, but I couldn't help myself. These predictions were pretty awful, but let's look back:

NL West Prediction: Dodgers, D'Backs, Giants, Rockies, and Padres

Oops! I wanted to pick the Giants higher, but I thought I had been brainwashed by all the Bay Area Sports Talk radio I listen to! The Giants pitching is stupid and deserves more respect than I gave it. They are 10 games over .500! 10! Props to G$ for giving them their preseason love. PS: Giants fans, almost half of the games are still left, don't go getting on your high horse so early... I feel it coming from a lot of you and you have to realize that there is a lot of season left.

NL East Prediction: Phillies, Mets, Braves, Marlins, and Nationals

Not bad. I have the Phillies on top, which they are, but they are followed by the Marlins, Braves, then the Mets, and finally, the awful Nationals. I should've known the Mets would just continue to get worse. In fairness, they've been quite injured (Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado) but you can't drop pop-ups to lose games and get respect on this blog.

NL Central Prediction: Cubs, Cards, Astros, Brewers, Reds, and Pirates

Pretty bad. My love of the Cubs has shadowed my ability to make predictions. I'm not sure if being unbias would have changed anything though. The Cubs won 97 games and are still trotting out a similar line up to last year. Milton Bradley may have been the worst signing of the offseason. If he disagrees with that, then he can start hitting and stop bumping umpires and trying to fight Gatorade machines. At least fight Sweet Lou or Big Z. That would be eerily reminiscent of the movie "Major League."

AL West: Athletics, Angels, Rangers, Seattle Ichiros

No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! I'm sorry general public, there is really no excuse for this one.

AL Central: Indians, Twins, Tigers, Royals, White Sox

Umm... I'm 2 for 2 picking American League celler dwellers for first place in their respective divisions. Ouch.

AL East: Yankees, Red Sox* (Wildcard), Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles

Phew! At least this one is close! It would've been better had the Yankees played better this past weekend (swept by the Angels?!) but I stand by this one. I pretty much have to because none of my other predictions are worth a damn.

So in retrospect, I made horrible predictions, but hey! At least my fantasy team is still in first place! I hope the All Star festivities are more worthwhile than my picks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Vacation!

I'm off from work for the next couple weeks so my postings may be more randomly spaced out. When I'm not on a regular schedule, I find it harder to consistently blog, but I promise I'll try to still post here and there.

I had a fantastic show last night at Pyramid Walnut Creek! Great crowd, pretty solid mix of songs, and overall a great time. My new boisterous friends from the table on the side were a riot! And yes, I will try to work out a version of "Man in the Mirror" for next time!

Now I'm about to watch the 9th inning of Jonathan Sanchez's possible no-hitter so we'll see how it turns out... ok, gotta give him my full attention!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

VOTE FOR PABLO!

The vote for the last spot on the National League All Star Team ends today at 1pm (Pacific). Apparently Shane Victorino is winning with 10.8 million votes, but Pablo Sandoval is trailing just behind. This is my last ditch effort to get people to Vote For Pablo for the NL All Star Team! Here is the link:

CLICK HERE NOW AND VOTE!

And here is a video that someone made to encourage you to vote for Pablo. I'm not sure if it helps or hurts, but you should vote for him either way. Why? Because Shane Victorino is a tool, and there aren't any better options.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Random Thoughts Wednesday!

Michael Jackson is dead. Steve McNair is dead. Billy Freakin' Mays is dead! Tragic as these deaths are to many, none of these celebrities are folks that I have massive stories about how they've inspired me. Instead, I have a few random thoughts to share before calling it a job (semi) well done.

- It's been exactly one year since I asked Future Mrs. B. to marry me! I've been really pleased with our long engagement. It's given us time to get all the wedding details in order and not kill each other in the process. For anyone who has planned/had their wedding, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Getting everything in order is expensive, time consuming, and somewhat stressful. But it also will all be worth it when it all comes together!

- I went to the Sacramento Zoo yesterday for the first time. I tagged along with FMB and her (my future) niece (who is almost five.) While the Sacramento Zoo is definitely not the biggest or nicest zoo I've ever been to, I was shocked at how close we were able to see some of the animals. We saw a Red Panda, two Snow Leopards, Giraffes, and two Lions all at ridiculously close range. The highlight had to be when one Lion came right up to the cage and went back and forth a few times. He stopped to make eye contact and then lazily walked away. Once he was a few steps away from the cage, he let out a good sized roar. Definitely a great experience to see up close!

- The Cubs couldn't get it done against the Braves. The Braves hadn't won a game at Wrigley in a few years, so I guess they were bound to pull one win out of their hats, but that better be it! We can't have Braves fans tomahawk chopping all over the Friendly Confines!

- The Giants are the most ridiculous team. Their pitching is unreal. Even Barry Zito decided to get in the mix yesterday by pitching 8.1 innings of scoreless ball against the evil Florida Marlins. It's hard to buy into them as a legitamite contender based on their hitting, but as "they" say, good pitching beats good hitting. I'd also like to encourage everyone to vote for Pablo Sandoval for the last spot on the NL All Star Team. He 100% deserves it and he is fun to watch! You won't regret voting him into the Mid-Summer Classic. As also has a new theme song they played on KNBR this morning. It's to the tune of "All Night Long" by Lionel Ritchie. "San-do-val!"

- If you watched the commercial I linked just above this, I'd also like to point out that I saw Lemurs at the zoo that look awfully similar to the ones in that clip!

- I'm working on a new music project with my junior year high school Social Studies teacher. He has a lot of lyrics that he's written over the years, but no music for them, so that's where I come in. So far, I have two songs completed (one is more complete than the other, but I digress.) It makes me feel a little like Wilco when they were taking old Woody Guthrie lyrics and putting them to music. I'm excited to record some demos and if they sound good enough, I'll post them somewhere (who knows, maybe even here!)

That's all for this Wednesday... almost... on... vacation...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fantasy Baseball All Stars

The Major League All Star Teams were announced over the weekend, and this seems like a perfect time to take stock of my Fantasy Baseball Team. Here is my current roster:

Mauer, Joe C MIN*
Gonzalez, Adrian 1B SD*
Roberts, Brian 2B BAL
Zimmerman, Ryan 3B WAS*
Tejada, Miguel SS HOU*
Braun, Ryan J. LF MIL*
Crawford, Carl LF TB*
Suzuki, Ichiro RF SEA*
Helton, Todd 1B COL

Carpenter, Chris SP STL
Hernandez, Felix SP SEA*
Lowe, Derek SP ATL
Penny, Brad SP BOS
Wolf, Randy SP LA
Papelbon, Jonathan RP BOS*
Wilson, Brian RP SF
Blackburn, Nick SP MIN
Floyd, Gavin SP CHW
Happ, J.A. SP PHI
Pettitte, Andy SP NYY
Strasburg, Stephen SP WAS
Downs, Scott RP TOR
Peavy, Jake SP SD

7 out of 9 offensive players on the All Star Team?! I would say that is the obvious reason why my team is 11-2 and is the highest scoring team in the league. I definitely could use a few more All Star pitchers, but one thing I've learned in Fantasy Baseball is that it is easier to put together a patchwork pitching staff than a patchwork offense. Average pitchers are almost always closer in points good/great pitchers than average position players are to their great counterparts.

It definitely hurts that Jake Peavy has gone on the Disabled List for an extended period of time. In fact, the only two weeks I lost happened after he was on the DL. Get well soon Jake!

You may also ask yourself, why in the name of Mark Prior would you have Stephen Strasburg on your team? Well, we're in a keeper league, and because my team is dominating, I have the luxury of not worrying about the roster spot that Strasburg is taking up. I'd prefer to have him on my roster to see if he signs or gets any action this year. A few years ago I made the mistake of not picking up Tim Lincecum and look what he has done. Either way, I'd like to be the one in control of his rights (for now) and make a hopefully educated decision later on. The alternative is that maybe someone would want to trade for him, and I can get a proven commodity for an as yet unknown entity. Bottom line, I probably wouldn't do this if my team wasn't so awesome.

My team had really stuggled over the last few years, but I glad I finally have a team I can be proud of. I originally thought my draft went well, but don't owners always feel that way? I couldn't imagine exactly how savage this collection of players would be. Hopefully things will continue through the second half of the season- we'll see though...

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Case of the Mondays: July 4th Edition

As I write this, I am still hurting from Saturday's drinking. I know I've mentioned it a few times, but my recovery time is not what it used to be! In order to be as productive as possible during my sabbatical from work starting at the end of the week, I will not be drinking any alcohol until August 10th-ish. My bachelor party is soon after that, so of course I'll be drinking that weekend, but I've noticed how unproductive my weekend is if I drinking a lot on either Friday or Saturday night. I have stuff to do! Get in better shape, finish a record, and learn how to watch the Cubs without wanting to drink (their performance over the weekend was quite helpful in this cause!)

Back to the beginning, I played another Live Band Karaoke gig at the G St Pub on Thursday, and it was awesome! We had a better idea of what we were doing (at least I felt more comfortable) and we may even get together soon to expand the song list. Any suggestions are welcome- and G$, if you ever get out to the Sacramento area, I've got Danzig reserved for you to sing!

Friday, I did manage to go running at McKinley Park, which was solid. The best part is that I recently bought the MLB iPhone application. I listened to the Cubs' radio feed while I was running. It's funny because Ron Santo (one of their radio announcers and former player for those not in the know) is known for cheering on the Cubs in ridiculous fashion during the games, but also for loud "OOOOOOOH NO's" if anything goes wrong. After having listened to an entire radio broadcast (first time in many, many years) it is even worse/funnier than I remember. Carlos Zambrano pitched pretty well, though it seemed like he lacked pinpoint control during the game. Santo would say things like, "Oh jeez- he just has no control what-so-ever!" [Ump calls a ball.] "Oh c'mon! You gotta throw strikes!" Now that is somewhat paraphrasing, but it was hilarious. Big Z did pitch well, yet Santo was still announcing like it was gloom and doom. The Cubs ended up winning, but the biggest win was realizing that I get to listen to more Cubs' radio for the rest of the season!

Saturday morning I played at the Vacaville Farmer's market- and it was excellent as usual. I admit, I intentionally played more covers (especially ones I felt would help in the tips department) because I was trying to raise money for our cat Cosmo's cardiologist appointment (I believe I mentioned that last week.) I'll be dedicating my next few shows to his cause. Either way, the show went very well and I had a great time!

Future Mrs. B. and I met up with my Mom after I was done to eat at the place where we will have our rehearsal dinner (Fuso in Vacaville.) The food was great, and they pretty much sealed the deal because of that factor alone. After lunch, I got a birthday present from my Mom and Brothers- an official Ryne Sandberg jersey! So awesome. Thank God, I now have a jersey that won't be ruined when a player moves from the Cubs to another team (or gets injured, or falls of the face of the earth, etc.) My Mark Prior jerseys definitely went to waste, so going with a Cubs Hall of Famer is definitely the route to go with a jersey. Thanks family!

And then it was on... FMB and I went to our friends' house for some Fourth of July BBQ action. The food was very, very good. Kabobs and all kinds of appetizers. There was tons of beer and many rounds of Kamakazee shots. Games that we played: The Tank game on Wii Play, Bowling on Wii Sport, Ping Pong, Darts, and Rock Band for the XBox 360. Hell, people were even trying to learn how to ride a unicycle! This party was no joke!

FMB left at a certain point to go grab some fireworks, and she brought back enough for our own fireworks show. I don't even know what she got, but it was definitely great value. There were three big ones that provided a big finale, and one of those three went for what felt like 20 minutes (it was probably more like 4.) All in all, it was a fun time.

Sunday, I slept most of the day. I meant to get into the studio, work out, and record a couple demos at home, but none of that happened. That is why I need to take a break from drinking. It's going to be tough with multiple shows coming up, a wedding, UFC 100, and many other temping events, but I will stay strong and not drink. I don't mean to give off the impression that there is any problem- there's really not, I just noticed that it was getting in the way of a few of my goals, so I decided to correct that over the next few weeks.

That's all for Monday, I'll be back tomorrow to brag about how many of my fantasy baseball players are on the real All-Star team!

Friday, July 3, 2009

High School Basketball Memories: Coach Carter

What high school athlete does not like to wax nostalgic about "the good old days?" In the tradition of Al Bundy (4 touchdowns in one game!) I'll occasionally write about some of my best and worst experiences from high school basketball. Here's one right now:

It was March of my Junior year, and our team (Northgate) had finished second in league. We were quite good, but in my opinion, had a difficult time finding our identity after our head coach (Coach Frank Allocco) had left us for league rival De La Salle. We'll save those details for another day...

We were headed into the Division II North Coast Section tournament. I believe we were ranked 4 overall. Our first tournament game was against the Richmond Spiders who were coached by none other than Coach Ken Carter. You might ask- didn't Samuel L. Jackson play that guy in a movie? Hells yeah he did! Let's just say, Hollywood made him into a better guy than he may have actually been.

Anyway, this game took place the year before the famous "lock the players out of the gym for publicity and because they were about to play a ridiculously awesome St. Joe's and to a lesser extent academic reasons" stunt. You may ask yourself, "Hey! In the movie, they portrayed it as if that was Coach Carter's first season coaching Richmond!" Once again, Hollywood will do whatever it takes to make a great (or semi-watchable) movie (did you know that Benjamin Button didn't really age backwards! Mind-blowing!)

Despite my gripes with the movie Coach Carter, Richmond had a very athletic team. They were a tough first round match-up and gave us all we could handle. I remember they had two guys that were about my height, yet were way more athletic. I had an awful shooting night and I was doing everything I could to correct it. Luckily, some of our other players stepped up to keep us in the game (I don't mean to mislead anyone in this statement, I probably was the third or fourth best scorer on the team that year, but I had occasions where I would go off- I was far more consistent my Senior season.)

As I recall, I was 2-13 shooting with 4 points going into the final minute of play (I did not know those stats at the time, but the newspaper felt it necessary to point that out the next day.) With less than 10 seconds left, the game was tied 37-37, and one of our Seniors, Eric, was driving to the middle of the key. I was positioned on the right low block. My defender went up to help and Eric saw the opening. I got the pass and quickly laid the ball off the backboard and in. The gym went crazy! Quite a great feeling!

There were still a few seconds left on the clock, so Coach Carter called a time out to try to set up a play. I say "try" because our defense was the strongest aspect of our program. I think they had 3.4 seconds left, and they ended up settling for a half court shot that banged safely off the backboard. We had triumphed over Richmond and Coach Carter that day.

It wasn't until the next day that we heard that Coach Carter was protesting the game. Why you ask? Well, he and his players claimed that "racial remarks" came from our crowd and that our school should have to forfeit the game. Makes perfect sense doesn't it? First, I'm fairly certain if someone in the crowd is being an asshole at an NBA or NCAA game, you point them out during the game and have them removed from their seat- you don't wait until after the game and use it as a means to get the other team to forfeit. Second, and most importantly, we had a Black guy on our team! Wouldn't racial remarks offend him as well? Oh, maybe because our school comes from a better area, our Black people are immune to racial remarks? Highly doubtful. We had White players, Black players, and Asian players in our program every year I was involved in the program- lots of diversity. The main point is that it would be ridiculous to even request this, unless you were, say, a media hungry egomaniac. Coach Carter's complaint went nowhere and we moved on in the tournament.

Years later, when I found out they were making a movie about Coach Carter, my friends and I discussed the possibility of them opening the movie with this game. They could have shown their loss against us, as motivation for the following season. The details then got out of control.

"What if Coach Carter explains to the movie writers there was a racist crowd, and the easiest way for them incorporate that into the movie is to make your character hit the winning shot and then use racial slurs to rub it in their face!"

"Then after that, they'll show your name on the back of the jersey so everyone will think you're racist!"

"Then, you might take a girl on a date to the movie, and then she you on screen and think you're an evil racist bastard! That would be hilarious!"

While I'm fairly certain they couldn't legally use my likeness without my consent, it was still funny to think about. Obviously, there was no mention of our team or me in the movie, which is disappointing. I was hoping I'd at least, once in my life, hear Samuel L. Jackson say, "Yes, Tony B.- you deserve to die! And I hope you burn in hell!" One can only dream...

Have a great Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trade Zambrano?

Apparently there was a poll on the Chicago Tribune site that asked Cubs fans "Should the Cubs trade Carlos Zambrano?" 57.2% said "Yes." Paul Sullivan of the Tribune asked Big Z what he thought of that. Z replied by saying, "Fine. Trade me to Boston."

Ha! Hilarious! That's pretty funny Zambrano. Funny on many levels:

- Go from the Cubs to the Red Sox- Going from one talented team that presents a challenge in the form of mental pressure because of lack of winning (Cubs) to another talented team that has already beat their curse and continues their winning ways with almost sick ease (Red Sox.) Way to step up to the challenge, coward.

- Why are Cubs fans turning on Zambrano? Could it be because his talent is constantly compromised by his antics? It gets to the point when fans grow tired of him yelling at umpires, destroying Gatorade coolers, generally not being mature on the field and in the media.

- Why in the name of Ted Williams would the Red Sox want Zambrano? They have the cash, but they don't need him in the rotation, and I have a feeling they would not give up anything for him. I would trade Z tomorrow for either Jon Lester or Clay Bucholz. That would be the easiest decision I'd ever make if I were Jim Hendry. While you're at it throw in Milton Bradley, Candyland, and a Culver's Hamburger (I've never had one but they always advertise on WGN.)

The Cubs have a huge problem coming up. They are getting old and have a lot of salary committed to steadily declining players. I'd like to call it Yankee-itis, but at least the Yankees went to the playoffs for 14 (was it 14 years?) in a row, and were feared throughout the league. No one fears the Cubs because they can't get out of their own way. Until they stop making mistakes with fundamentals, letting their temper destroy good performances, and lose even the most loyal of fans' love they will not go anywhere. No playoffs, no championship, no nothing. They need to start making Harry Carey proud- right now he's just rolling in his grave.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wilco at Harvey's/Harrah's in South Lake Tahoe: 6.28.2009

The main reason Future Mrs. B. and I went to South Lake Tahoe this past weekend was to see the Wilco concert. Jeff Tweedy and Company did not disappoint! I do not have a setlist, but I think I can cover it in out of order fashion. The easiest way for me to do it is in order by album:

Wilco (The Album): Wilco (The Song)(opened with this), Bull Black Nova, One Wing

Sky Blue Sky: Side With The Seeds, Hate It Here, You Are My Face, Leave Me Where You Found Me, Impossible Germany, Walken

A Ghost Is Born: Company In My Back, Hummingbird, Spiders (Kidsmoke), Handshake Drugs, I'm A Wheel (closed with this song)

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Pot Kettle Black, Jesus Etc., War On War, Reservations, Heavy Metal Drummer, I'm The Man Who Loves You

Summerteeth: Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway (again), A Shot In The Arm

Being There: Outtasite (Outtamind)

AM: Casino Queen

Mermaid Ave: California Stars, Hoodoo Voodoo

This is fairly accurate. It is all from memory, so I can't give out the 100% guarantee, but it is damn close. The one thing I thought was odd, is that they didn't play their new single "You Never Know." They played it on the Tonight Show a few nights earlier, but not in Tahoe. The other thing that stood out was that the show was pretty under sold. I would bet they sold out the show the night before in Berkeley (8500 seats), but I heard a Craps dealer say they only sold 2000 out of 7000 seats. While this may not be the most accurate way of getting info, the concert looked a bit sparse. It's disappointing that they didn't sell more, but to be honest, it provided for a more intimate show. It was quite comfortable.

Hey, Sunday in Tahoe may not be the most popular night to go to a show, but this didn't affect Wilco one bit. They rocked as hard as ever.

Jeff Tweedy was hilarious on the mic. He was joking about a few audience members sing-a-long skills. He gave the audience a lesson in how to clap "like you're at a Queen concert." He was also doing aerobics around the stage. It was a great show all the way around. What a way to celebrate a birthday! I'll say it one more time- go check out Wilco if you haven't already! It's an investment in time that you won't regret!