Friday, October 29, 2010

Thank You Notes

Dear MLB Experts,

Thank you for your awesome predictions.  John Kruk- you are the man!  Now if you all would like to take the Phillies and Rangers junk out of your mouths, you could start talking about a pretty damn good baseball TEAM that is now up 2-0 in the World Series.  I'm not guaranteeing victory, but it feels like the national media is doing everything they can to not talk about the Giants- but they should start. 

Thanks,
Tony B.

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Dear Brian Kelly,

Thank you for putting a kid up on a scissor lift in 50 mph winds.  That's probably not the best strategy if you want to the kid to, ya know, actually live until the next day.  What kind of a piece of crap practices after you see a kid fall from a 50 foot tall scissor lift?  You should be fired.  Bring back Ty Willingham!

Scissor Me Timbers,
Tony B.

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Dear The Office,

Thank you for making my decision easy to not watch you.  The show has been losing steam for awhile, but it is just not funny any longer.  I don't know what happened, but I get more laughs out of watching Saw III than watching your show. 

Just end already,
Tony B.

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Dear CJ Wilson,

Thank you for pitching a good game last night.  I'm being serious.  I think you're a good pitcher that will only get better.  Unfortunately, your bullpen is probably the worst bullpen in the history of the World Series.  I'm fairly certain their ERA is over 1,000.00.  It's a rough estimation, but who has time for real research?  Not me!

I'll try to draft you again next year in fantasy baseball,
Tony B.

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Dear Halloween,

Thank you for being the best holiday ever.  Besides not getting work off (unless it is on the weekend like this year), everything else is great!  You can dress up however you want.  Girl dress up in scantily clap outfits.  There is almost unlimited candy.  And finally, scaring kids is acceptable! 

Don't ever change,
Tony B.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Giants/Rangers Game 1

I went home sick from work yesterday because, well, I wasn't feeling well.  I tried to sleep off whatever was bothering me (I think it has to do with the change of season.)  I'm still not 100% but I did manage to wake up just in time for the beginning of the game and here are my thoughts:

- The "unstoppable" Cliff Lee was halted by the pesky Giants' bats.  When he made a mistake, the Giants capitalized.  Knocking Lee out in the 5th inning was unpredictable, but really opened up the game in spectacular fashion. 

- Juan Uribe's homerun was sick!  AT&T Park erupted as soon as he connected with that no-doubter.

- Would any Giant haters like to take back any of the crap they were talking before each playoff series?  The Giants are a scrappy team with ridiculous pitching.  Seems like a dangerous combination. 

- I heard that Giants fans gave Bengie Molina a nice ovation when he was introduced.  That is well deserved and classy.  Nice work Giants fans.

- "The Claw" and "Deer Antlers" thing that the Rangers do is officially annoying.  It reminds me of when the NY Giants used to do fake jump shots when they made plays.  I hated that celebration and I hate this one too. 

- Tony Bennett is old.  He looked like he was going to "leave his life in San Francisco" last night.

- The Series is far from over, though.  The Giants need Matt Cain to pitch better than Lincecum did last night.  Oddly, I think C.J. Wilson will more than likely pitch better than Cliff Lee did last night, so Cain will need his top stuff to get it done for the Giants.  I have no stats to back any of this up. 

- Playing a show while mildly under the weather, on a Wednesday, right after Game 1 of the World Series where the "home" team is playing is probably a horrible idea.  Wait- I can confirm, it was not a good idea.  Despite the lack of crowd, the bands I played with (yOya & Greenhorse) were damn good and were cool to hang out with. 

I really hope the Giants finish this off and stick it to all the haters that continue to not believe in this team.  Next up, the Cavs beating the Heat in the playoffs... hey!  It could happen!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Show Tonight at Marilyn's in Sacramento!

Just a quick reminder that I'm playing tonight at Marilyn's in Sacramento at 9pm (ya know, right after the Giants get it done in Game 1!)  And remember, even if they don't win, you can still come to the show and sooth your soul with my music and alcohol.  908 K St in Sacramento.  21+.  $5 cover.  I'm opening at 9pm, and yOya, Monkeyflower, and Greenhorse are also playing. 

Another cool thing that recently came out was THIS ARTICLE in Sacramento Press.  Check it out!  I think it's a well written article about my music. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

World Series Characters

You want my World Series preview?  Ok.  Sure.  Giants in 7.  Their pitching is unreal and their hitting does just enough.  Sometimes, the teams that had to fight and claw to get in the playoffs have an edge because they get used to those pressure situations and know how to naturally react in said situations.  It'll be interesting to see the Rangers reaction when they are involved in close games.  Like I said though, this series will be tight and I'm going with Giants in 7.

But who are these players and characters really?  Let's get to know the teams through some comparisons of some of the players to familiar things/characters. 

Pablo Sandoval -> Any Sea Lion from Pier 39 - You thought I was going to compare him to the Kung Fu Panda voiced by Jack Black?  Sorry to disappoint you.  Sandoval's diet has lead him down a path of ineffectiveness.  Unfortunately, any great hit he gets or great play he makes almost seems by accident at this point.  Wow, I guess he actually does compare to the Kung Fu Panda after all!

Vlad Guerrero -> D-Bo from Friday - Vlad has been a bully for much of his major league career.  He hits balls in the strike zone.  He hits balls better out of the strike zone.  It's too bad his knees were ruined forever in Montreal.  It's also too bad that by the end of the series, the Giants pitching staff will stand above him and say- "You got knocked the f*** out!"

Barry Zito -> Bobby from the Cobra Kai- I'm not sure how good Bobby from the Cobra Kai Dojo ever was, or if he was paid $18 million a year, but when it mattered he wasn't the go to guy.  He had to sit on the sidelines cheering to, "Get him a bodybag- yeah!"  Zito will not be allowed to participate in the "All Valley Karate Tournament" this year.

C.J. Wilson -> Hurley from LOST - In no way is this a comparison in body-types as C.J. Wilson is literally 400 lbs. lighter than Hurley.  However, I happen to know that Wilson is a huge LOST fan.  I also know that he was a highly overlooked character (much like Hurley early on) this year, but by the end his importance cannot be understated.  If the Rangers want to win the Series, C.J. Wilson will have to take responsibility of The Island.  In other words, he has to win at least one game for them. 

Tim Lincecum -> Eli from Let The Right One In - If you haven't seen this foreign vampire movie, don't worry, they re-made it in the US ("Let Me In") and I hear that version is good as well.  Here's the comparison:  1) They have the same haircut:





















And 2) They look like completely innocent and wimpy creatures, but in fact they are both blood thirsty animals.  Lincecum wants to intimidate and drink the blood of the Rangers.  I'm serious- he's thirsty.

Josh Hamilton -> Cameron Poe from Con Air - For years, Cameron Poe's ass kicking talent was locked in jail.  Josh Hamilton's talent was locked up in drug addiction.  Both have cleaned up their act and relish the opportunity to win back the love and respect of their wives.  Hamilton seems to have done that, but he still needs to find a way to safely land a plane full of convicts on the Las Vegas strip while capturing Sirius the Virus.  Oh wait- Hamilton's not the former convict, he's the one playing baseball. 

Brian Wilson -> The Pikey from Snatch - Yeah, yeah, yeah- you wanted me to go with The Machine, didn't you?  Well, unfortunately I've already used up my quota for Nick Cage movie references and The Pikey is more appropriate anyway.  Why?  Well, first they are both f***ing nuts.  They both say ridiculous things that you know are funny, but may not fully understand why.  The Pikey uses his fists for savagery while Wilson uses his fastball.  And finally, they both have beards.  I rest my case.

Cliff Lee -> Robin Hood "Prince of Thieves" - Kevin Costner is not cool, but his portrayal of Robin Hood was pretty damn good.  Cliff Lee is as accurate with his fastball as Robin Hood was with his bow and arrow.  He also seems to rob from the rich teams and give to the poor.  It makes me wonder if he could turn around the Cubs if given the opportunity.  They need a guy with nuts of steel like Lee.  Don't even think that the Rangers would be in the World Series without him. 

Other quick ones- create your own explanation if you choose:

Ron Washington -> Tyrone Biggums

Matt Cain -> T-800 from Terminator 2 (specifically the scene where Arnold is shooting his shotgun at Robert Patrick in semi truck while Arnold is riding a motorcycle.) 

Jorge Cantu -> Edward James Olmos

Bengie Molina -> Gabriel Iglesias

Cody Ross -> Underdog (The cartoon, not the dumb movie)

Bruce Bochy -> Ben Stein

Ian Kinsler -> Zac Efron

Feel free to make up your own and post it in the comments.  I'm excited for the series.  I'm sure it doesn't have the national buzz of past World Series, but it will be a great baseball series.  Remember, the last WS to go 7 games involved the Giants and a team from the AL West.  Get ready, it should be a good one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

It was a pretty crazy weekend and I had to work on Saturday, so I'm just going to dive in and talk about the sports I watched. 

- Giants/Phillies Game 6 - Holy schnikes, that was an exciting game!  Dirty Sanchez was wild and losing his damn mind on the mound.  I would like to take a quick moment to discuss the whole hitting Chase Utley debacle. 

Sanchez clearly didn't intentionally hit Utley.  He was wild and the last thing he wanted to do at that point was put Utley on base.  When the ball hit off Utley's back it bounced on the ground then back up to him.  Utley caught it as he was on the way to 1st base and tossed the ball back to Sanchez.  Tim McCarver said that Utley was not doing anything wrong by tossing it back.  I don't necessarily have a big problem with it, but no one in the world can convince me that Utley wasn't tossing it back to Sanchez to be an asshole. 

He was essentially saying, "You just hit me because you can't control your pitches, have fun the rest of the inning because we're about to break this open."  Something like that.  What else was Utley supposed to do?  I don't know, let the ball drop and allow the ball boy to handle it?  Drop the ball?  Toss the ball back to the ump?  There were lots of choices, but Utley decided to be a jerk about it. 

From that point on, it was up to the Giants bullpen (or more precisely, three relievers and two starters) to throw up zeros for the rest of the game.  That's exactly what they did and amazingly, the Giants won the pennant. 

I don't think anyone had the Giants vs. the Rangers in the World Series before the playoffs started, let alone before the season began.  It's odd that Bengie Molina was on the AL West team that beat the Giants in the '02 World Series, not to mention knows the Giants' pitching staff inside and out from being on the team.  I actually think that will give the Rangers a little bit of an advantage, but I am hoping that the Giants finish this off and win it all.  If for no other reason than for more comments by Brian Wilson.

- Bears/Redskins - I honestly don't want to write anything up about this game because it was such garbage.  The Bears are underachieving in the worst way.  They lost two very winnable games at home the last two weeks.  Lovie Smith is not a good coach.  He challenged a play that was unnecessary and obviously not a touchdown when Earl Bennet caught a long pass from Jay Cutler.  The very next play is called a fumble during a QB sneak by Cutler.  Had they challenged that play, it would've been ruled a touchdown.  He broke the plane of the end zone, but Lovie was too damn gun shy after losing a challenge on the play before.  7 points down the drain. 

Obviously, Cutler throwing poor passes toward DeAngelo Hall didn't help their chances either.  It's pretty obvious that the Bears could've won that game easily without all of their own mental mistakes.  It's dumb to get into the "shoulda, woulda, coulda" backward viewing of this game, but it's the truth.  The Bears are talented enough to get in the playoffs.  They are still in first frickin' place.  But they won't stay there for long if they keep tanking on these winnable games where they make mental mistakes that would cause Corky Thatcher to cringe. 

- Niners/Panthers - And it just gets worse for football viewing and for Mike Singletary.  He wants winners!  Really?  Then you better damn-well call up Nate Davis off the practice squad!  Alex Smith got hurt and Niners fans got what they wanted- David Carr.  His debut showed fans one thing- David Carr is AWFUL.  Just terrible.  His arm seems to be about as powerful as the 46 year old version of Charlie Hough.  Just terrible. 

Also, how about the coaching decision to not pass when it was 3rd and 12 when the Niners were up 20-13?  Grow some balls Singletary.  You're so comfortable with your defense that you'd punt back to the Panthers on purpose with the game on the line.  If I'm able to predict a run on that down in my friend's living room, I'm guess that the rest of the NFL can predict that play call as well.  If you want to play that way, you should actually have the '85 Bears defense and unfortunately, you are the coach and Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Steve McMichael aren't on the field. 

- Packers/Vikings - Brett Favre is the worst.  His picks made me believe that he was having flashbacks to being back on Green Bay.  Also, Favre interceptions make me smile.  Even when he's throwing them to the Packers.  Short of rooting for stadium implosion last night, it was nice to see a sloppy game on both ends (the Packers looked ok in spurts which is why they won the game.)  

Congrats to all the Giants fans who are excited about their team making it the Series.  Such an amazing and unlikely run that could easily end with a championship.  Hey- at least Russ Ortiz isn't on this team's roster! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank You Notes


















Jimmy Fallon's idea made worse on this blog- wanna fight about it? 

Dear San Francisco Giants,

Thank you for making the supposedly tame Northern California Area go crazy for a sports team.  The NorCal teams have been so bad (besides the Sharks) I think the rest of the country was beginning to forget that we existed.  It's nice to have such a hard working and nutty group of guys to get the place riled up. 

Do your thing in Game 6,
Tony B.

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Dear Dr. Lou,

Thank you for your simple 4 things you need in life list-  something to do, someone to love, something to believe in, and something to look forward to.  I mean, it's such a simple list that can help so many people.  Take your average Notre Dame fan and how they would follow your list:

1) Something to do: Watch ESPN College Gameday on Saturdays
2) Someone to love: Brady Quinn & Jimmy Clausen (Pre-NFL) (that's right- they get multiple people to love!)
3) Something to believe in: Touchdown Jesus!
4) Something to look forward to: Dr. Lou's lisp on display every single Saturday and Notre Dame underachieving! 

Happiness is so easy to find! 

Best,
Tony B.

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Dear Nick Swardson's Pretend Time,

Thank you for stealing two half-hours of my life that I can never get back.  The premises of your sketches are actually pretty good and for some reason they just aren't able to follow through with the comedy.  Besides the "Trust Fund Kitty," there wasn't much else that was worth watching.  It's funny that Tosh.0 will be able to use your show as a canceled Comedy Central show by the time it comes back in January. 

Happy Trails,
Tony B.

PS: This actually does disappoint me.  I love Swardson as a stand up comic and this site frequently gets hits from people searching for "Swardson Monkey High Fives."  His TV show should be better.  

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Dear Cast of Jersey Shore,

Thank you for getting Pauly D to lose his cool.  While I was watching I thought to myself, "I have no idea what they are fighting about- this whole thing makes no sense!"  I still don't understand why they get so worked up over someone in the house calling someone else fake or how The Situation managed to instigate the whole "situation" then no be involved in the argument at all.  I'm glad I don't live in Jersey because I'm not sure I would comprehend their douchy communication methods.  On the plus side though, my abs would be ripped!

Confused,
Tony B.

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Dear Chicago Cubs,

Thank you for hiring Mike Quade as your manager.  I wouldn't have been mad with Ryne Sandberg, but it is hard to deny Quade when he had such a successful run during the last portion of the year.  He seemed to energize the club and work well with the younger players.  I'm hoping the Cubs can build around their young players, eventually cycle out the bad contracts, add a piece or eight and be ready to compete. 

Ready for Spring,
Tony B.

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Dear iTunes,

Thank you for finally posting my NEW ALBUM!  Feel free to go on and write a review if you've heard it/have it.  If you haven't heard it, just assume it is the greatest album ever and convey that to possible customers who might want to buy it.  Maybe something like "Sgt. Pepper's meets Led Zepplin IV while being seduced by Kelly Kapowski."  I'm sure you can come up with something better.

Thanks you!
Tony B.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NLCS Game 4

Sooooooo- a quick shout out to all the "Experts" who picked the Phillies in 4 or the Phillies in 5 or even the Phillies in 6.  I know they are a fantastic team.  I know that they should be the favorites going into the series.  I know that this is a great example of why sports are such entertaining theater.  HOWEVER, if the Phillies are going to win, they are going to have to win three straight.  Is that possible?  Of course it is!  I watched my Cubs blow a 3-1 lead in 2003 having Zambrano, Prior and Wood all take losses against the most annoying team of all time (Juan Pierre, Jeff Conine, Josh Beckett, Carl Pavano, Pudge Rodriguez, and Ugueth Urbina getting kissed by Ozzie Guillen.  Ugh- what an awful team!)  So the Giants could still lose this series.  However, they have already proven to the "Experts" that they are a force that cannot be overlooked. 

Last night's game was such a fun baseball game.  Quite possibly more fun than the one I attended the day before.  The Giants took the early lead, the Phillies came back with a 4 spot to take a 4-2 lead, then the Giants fought back to regain a 5-4 lead, before the Phillies tied it then the Giants won in walk-off fashion.  That is what playoff baseball is all about!  Multiple lead changes.  The drama of an underachieving potential stud (Pablo Sandoval) coming through in the clutch.  A rookie catcher (Buster Posey) going 4-5 and making a phenomenal play at the plate.  This game was an absolute gem. 

I've argued with friends that chemistry in the clubhouse can, at times, over come talent in another clubhouse.  I don't think this is groundbreaking information until I have someone argue with me for hours about how talent always wins out.  Look at the NCAA basketball tournament.  The best team rarely wins the championship!  I'd take last year's Kansas or Kentucky teams over Duke, but who won the championship?  That's right- Coach K's Blue Devils.  The same thing applies in all sports.  If your team has a close clubhouse, your teammates can help put you in the right mind-frame to perform at high levels that will help you overcome a more talented yet less focused favorite. 

One more quick thought about the game last night.  Was Charlie Manuel wrong to bring in Roy Oswalt in the 9th after he had just pitched a few days earlier?  NO.  1,000 times NO.  He was completely right to make that move.  Going back to the 2003 Marlins, they brought Josh Beckett in for relief a number of times during the playoffs because he was their horse.  The Phillies have multiple horses and wanted to use one (Oswalt) last night for an inning or two.  These is nothing wrong with that decision and anyone who thinks Charlie Manuel doesn't know what he's doing has probably just listened to one of his press conferences.  But most people can recognize that you don't go to the World Series two years in a row by making horrible decisions.  I think it was the right move, even if it didn't work out. 

The Giants are a hungry team that have been a lot of fun to watch.  I hope the Cubs are taking notes and developing some good young players from within.  The Giants homegrown pitching staff, Buster Posey, and even the Panda have been fun to watch during the postseason and that kind of environment could be possible in Chicago as well (Tyler Colvin, Starlin Castro, Andrew Cashner, etc.) 

I can't wait to see if the Giants can close it out during another phenomenal pitching match up tonight. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NLCS Game 3

Sorry for my quick post that didn't post yesterday.  I had a post scheduled and apparently it felt the need to not actually go up.  I didn't write anything much because I was able to go to the Giants/Phillies game in very last minute fashion.  The back story:

My friend Mark called me and told me he had access to a few tickets for the game.  I just needed to find someone to go with me.  I called my friend Sean, but he was already going to the game with his girlfriend's mom's friend.  I moved on to my friend Woods who didn't pick up immediately, so I went next to my friend Brian.  Brian couldn't go because of work, but luckily Woods called me back right as I got off the phone with Brian and he was able to go.  BAM!  It's game time...

Many great things lined up during the day, so hopefully I can convey them here. 

- I was able to catch a ride with Mark and his wife to the game. 
- We were able to park for free at Woods' place (he lives a few blocks away from the park.)
- Woods made us this Mexican beer/tomato juice concoction that tasted like a lighter and spicier Bloody Mary. 
- Woods and I ended up sitting in the same section as Sean.  He was seven rows below us.  Unfortunately, we were mature and didn't throw anything at him. 
- I introduced Woods to Cha Cha Bowls. 
- There were almost no Phillies' fans in the park.  Awesome.
- Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie sang the National Anthem.  It was the best National Anthem I've ever heard.
- Barry Bonds was in the park!  He was pumped!
- Zoey Deschanel sang God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.  She did a great job as well.
- At a certain point they played "U Can't Touch This" through the house speakers.  Woods said, "I want to see MC Hammer come out and dance on the dugout."  Seconds later, they showed him in a luxury suite waving a rally rag- it was 2 Legit 2 Quit!
- After the game, since I went with Mark and Rebecca, we were able to use the car pool lane.  I was back in Sacramento by around 6pm.  Sweet.

The game itself was awesome.  Giants fans are going nuts for this team and I believe it has helped will the team to compete with the Phillies (who are better than the Giants on paper.)  Matt Cain got out of a few jams, but pitched great.  Cody Ross came up huge again and Aaron Rowand even got in on the action.  Once the Giants were up 3-0, it felt like they were up 100-0.  I felt pretty good about it. 

Fun fact: I've seen Matt Cain pitch a number of times.  He randomly seems to pitch every time I'm at the park.  He is undefeated every time I've seen him pitch in person.  I've even seen him hit two home runs.  Apparently this guy knows when I'm in the park (though, it's not great when performances like this end up being against the Cubs.) 

Speaking of the Cubs- I'm obviously still a massive Cubs fan.  I agree that I'm jumping on the Giants bandwagon here and supporting this team, but keep in mind that I've been writing about the Giants from time to time over the last few years and do follow them because they are the local team.  As long as their performance doesn't impact the Cubs in any way, I don't think there is any problem with cheering the Giants on.  In fact, Mark DeRosa and Mike Fontenot are on the team and I hope they get rings. 

In the end, the Giants won 3-0 and the walk down from section 319 was filled with a massive amount of people yelling "Let's Go Giants!" or "Phillies Suck!"  Such a great environment for playoff baseball.  This town is hungry. 

I've been to a few LCS games previously (one in Atlanta in 1991, one in Oakland in 2006, and yesterday) but this was definitely the best playoff baseball experience I've personally been in a ballpark for.  Great times!  Thank you to Mark for helping me get tickets and thank you to Woods for being able to go (and for the Red Stripe beer he got me at the Cha Cha Bowl station.)  It was just another great sports experience that I am thankful for. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knock knock...

Who's there?

AT&T

AT&T who?

AT&T Park is where I am today at 1:19pm for the first pitch of Game 3! 

It's ok to be jealous.  Unless you're at the park- then come up to section 319 and say hello!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

The Athens show on Friday was AWESOME.  It was great to see them rock after quite a hiatus.  I need to get out to more shows in Sac!

Saturday - My show at Pyramid was awesome!  I had a lot of friends come out to watch and the whole inside of Pyramid was packed for the Giants game.  Let me assure you that the East Bay fans were rocking the house during the Game 1 win.  I wish I had more analysis about the game, but I was driving to, setting up for, and playing the show during the entire game, so I don't have much.  I will say this though: CODY ROSS IS A SAVAGE.

As for the show, it went well.  I played most of the songs off my new album and lots of cover songs.  I'd definitely like to encourage another round of suggestions of good cover songs for me to learn.  A good suggestion is one that most people will know and enjoy, but might not be as obvious as "Brown Eyed Girl" or something like that (by the way, don't forget the "d" in that song title or it will take on a completely different meaning!) 

Sunday - My cat Cosmo woke me up like usual.  I got up and did 6 damn loads of laundry.  A few of them were sheets and towels loads, but still- what a pain in the ass.  Waiting waiting on the laundry, I was able to find an internet stream of the Bears game.  I regret this.  Not because of the moral implications of not going to a sports bar to watch the game legally (we have Comcast which does not offer the full package of games) but the fact that the Bears were putrid. 

Their offensive line IS their downfall.  I agree that Cutler isn't helping himself, but even Peyton Manning couldn't survive behind that toothpick fence of an O-Line.  Even worse is Lovie Smith's trademark defense.  The opportunist defense is fun to watch at times.  Unfortunately, it looks more like a Prevent Defense when the Defensive Line doesn't pressure the opposing quarterback.  Matt Hasselbeck looked like a "Regular Staubach" yesterday because the Bears did not get the necessary pressure on him. 

The crazy thing is a missed field goal, a kick off return called back, and some promising drives that were halted- the Bears only lost by 3 points.  Such a missed opportunity.  I have a feeling this might bite them in the ass down the road.  Bring on G$'s Redskins next week.  These two sloppy teams match up pretty well and they also play to the level of their opponents.  I'm thinking it will be a 17-17 tie between the Bears and the most racist team in football. 

Mrs. B. and I went to Chili's around 2pm and sat at a booth in the bar area.  A Raiders fan was wearing a Raiders hard hat was loudly talking to the TV during the entire Niners/Raiders game.  It was as if he was coaching the team through the TV.  As if this wasn't bad enough, he picked up his phone at one point and was talking on the phone loud enough for everyone in the bar to hear.  He was a solid 25 feet away from us, and it was like he was sitting in the same damn booth.  I'm all for cheering your team on and creating a great environment at a bar to watch a game- but their are limits and this habitual line stepper was way over all of them. 

I then watched the Giants game and we all know that Oswalt was filthy and the Giants could work more on their defensive fundamentals.  Once again, Cody Ross hits a jack, but it's not enough.  This series is turning into highly entertaining television.  I've been pretty impressed with playoff baseball this year- I may even take Tuesday off to watch the afternoon game. 

Hasta manana...

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Weekend Tiiiiime!

Last night I went to Davis to catch Not An Airplane at Sophia's in Davis.  I really enjoyed the show.  I've been friends with Nick (lead singer and creative force behind the band) for a few years now since our days playing Open Mic at the G St Pub. 

I hadn't seen this line-up of the band and I was very impressed.  Some of my personal favorite aspects of this line-up are the stand up bass, the three part harmonies, the use of the banjo, and their overall cohesive vibe that they give off.  Can you believe they actually like each other?  It's nice to see a band that is obviously friends with each other and that translates to the audience.  Great stuff!

You can check out Not An Airplane at their website HERE.

But why does it have to stop there?  My bass player, Dusty Miller, is playing with his old band (The Athens) tonight at Marilyn's.  You see, their lead singer Peter Holden is back in town so they are having a reunion show.  I'm going to head over and check out the show- it should be a good one. 

AND then there is Saturday.  I'm playing at the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek.  7-11pm.  Get out there if you're in the area.  You can pick up a copy of my new CD, listen to some good tunes, request songs I don't know how to play, request Danzig's "Mother" and I will more than likely play it acoustic, and have any one of Pyramid's awesome beers.  It will be a great time! 

Other than that, I'll try to catch some baseball and spend some quality time with Mrs. B.  I'm guessing it will be a fun weekend... especially if Jay Cutler rains down touchdowns on the Seahawks. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vegas vs. Tahoe vs. Reno

I wanted to let the whole "Be The High Roller" championship blow over before posting this because I sound like I'm the non-deceased Billy Mays of Reno with all the positive things I have to say about that town.  This post is aimed to give a potential Nevada visitor some advice as to why they would go to one place over another if they wanted to place some wagers, eat some great food, and drink until the casino cuts you off and escorts you back to your room.

Las Vegas - I've been to Vegas a few times.  I've stayed at Circus Circus (this was for a business trip, not my choice of hotel), the Luxor (I went with my buddy Mike for a few days to play poker and party), and Mandalay Bay (my friend Harrison's bachelor party.)  These were three wildly different trips and different points in my life.  The business trip happened before I knew much about gambling, the Luxor trip happened when I was still a bit green overall but had been playing lots of poker, and the bachelor party happened a year ago and I believe I posted about it here

In my trips down to Vegas, what I realized is that the city is awesome.  You can do pretty much anything you want.  You just have to have deep pockets and you will have a fantastic time.  There is relatively no great value in Vegas.  Sure, if you're an actual high roller you can get great comps.  But if you're just some guy rolling in for the weekend looking to spend $500 and gamble $500, that's probably not getting you much in the way of free comps.  It is possible I haven't gone there enough, but my one sentence review of Vegas is:

Everything is great- except for how much it costs.

Tahoe - Tahoe has a GREAT reputation in the Sacramento Area.  People LOVE going to Tahoe.  I understand the draw, but let's be very clear about the difference between great looking natural surroundings and the actual casinos.  I'm certain that there are people who have a positive association with the Tahoe casinos because of that one time they went boating on Lake Tahoe that time they were 13.  The gorgeous nature has NOTHING to do with the casinos.  Here are the breakdowns:

Harrah's - The only great casino in Tahoe and yet it has a small booth for a Sports Book and no Poker room.  Also, you are not allowed to bet on the Celtics because the owner of the casino owns a share in the team.  Club Vex is awesome and so is their buffet (though it is costly.)  The breakfast place is very good as well.  Harrah's is connected to Harvey's (and owned by the same folks)...

Harvey's - This houses the larger Sports Book and Poker room.  I do not like Harvey's because the environment is quite cramped.  I'm not sure if the ceilings are too low for my liking or what, but I always feel cramped in there.  I prefer to play Craps at Harrah's if I'm there.

Monte Bleu - This is the old Caesar's Tahoe that Harrah's Entertainment had to sell for anti-trust reasons.  Besides the x5 Craps tables, I see no real reason to go there.  They haven't remodeled many of the rooms so it still looks like Caesar's and a much douchier crowd hangs out there.  Not recommended.

Horizon - This casino feels like a nuclear bomb went off inside.  They have NO table games.  I couldn't find a Sports Book or Poker room.  Essentially, they have all slot machines and a movie theater.  Their most redeeming quality is the karaoke they run on Thursdays and Saturdays.  This is HIGHLY recommend.  Every other aspect of this casino should be avoided.

These are the four best casinos that Tahoe has to offer.  Yikes.

Reno - Reno has a bad reputation in Sacramento.  Many people say, "Why would you go to Reno when you can go to Tahoe?"  Well, that's an easy question to answer, but first, let's talk about the term "The Strip."

In Vegas, "The Strip" is the place to be.  It allows you to go from one casino to the next and they are all located on Las Vegas Blvd.  Recently, other casinos have been popping up off the strip.  The Palms, The Rio, and many others offer a great experience just off the main drag.  People take cabs there and no one thinks about it (in fact, most people take cabs from one casino on The Strip down to others still on The Strip.  Those walks are deceiving and long!)

In Tahoe, "The Strip" consists of the casinos I just named.  More than likely, you would end up hanging out one of the four if you go to Tahoe.  It is known as the place to gamble if you're headed that way.

In Reno, "The Strip" sucks.  No two ways about it.  Because people think that "The Strip" is code for "Best Place In Town To Gamble," visitors to Reno will head to "The Strip" and think "This is awful."  Reno's Strip consists of Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, El Dorado, Harrah's, The Cal Neva, and other sad looking casinos.  I'm not saying that there are no redeeming qualities to any of these places, but what I am saying is that it looks like a dump whereas Tahoe looks cleaner from the outside in.

HOWEVER, if we take "The Strip" out of the equation and cruise further down Virginia St, you will find FAR better casinos.  The Peppermill is my obvious favorite, but let's take my biased opinion out of it.  You can also go to The Atlantis or The Grand Sierra and both of those casinos have great things to offer.  All three of these Off The Strip casino/hotels have more modern looks to them, great deals to be had, and great amenities.  Both the Peppermill and the Atlantis have great Spas and Pools.  All three have restaurants worth checking out.  All three will start giving you decent comps early on.

I'm obviously a Peppermill customer for life after my great experiences there, but just remember- if you go to Reno, DO NOT go to "The Strip."  Go to the place that has the nice casinos right down the road.

-----------

To sum up: Vegas is obviously the best if you have the cash.  Tahoe is great if you like outdoor activities but their casinos aren't great.  Reno has the best value for great casino experiences, but you have to go away from "The Strip" to get there.

Happy gambling... damn, writing that post makes me want to make another trip!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (though, can we really call it a holiday?  You don't get a day off for Halloween, unless it's actually on the weekend like this year.)  Mrs. B. and I love dressing up in ridiculous costumes only to troll around town going to parties.  Recently, here are some of my better costumes:

- Convict with a mullet - (this one looked funnier than it sounds- I looked similar to Max Headroom with the plastic mullet I was wearing.)

- Ronald McDonald - My friend was the Hamburglar and we went to buy 30 hamburgers at McDonald's.  Can you believe they did not give us the employee discount when we requested it?

- Ali G - This was the year before they put out the stock costumes that you can purchase.  I spent months grooming my goatee ahead of time, bought a complete outfit and fake bling.  One of my better costumes of all time. 

- Ricky Bobby - This was the first big project where I realized exactly how crafty Mrs. B. was.  We made a fake cast for my arm and she helped make a polo shirt with the Wonder Bread logo on it.  She also dressed up as a pseudo version of Carly from the movie that was themed to match me.  Bonus: we saw a guy dressed as Tupac get tazed by the police at the club we went to.  Awesome.

- Care Bear - That's right.  I was Tenderheart Bear.  Unfortunately, I was so drunk in SF, that I lost my bear gloves and the costume got filthy.  Mrs. B. was a sexy Good Luck Bear. 

- Dharma Initiative - I know it was quite geeky, but Mrs. B. and I were Dharma Initiative workers from "LOST" last year.  It was a great tribute to a great show in it's final season, and it was an easy and comfortable costume. 

So what to do this year?  I'm taking suggestions.  We may go low key again, but if something got me motivated enough, I'd be willing to put in the time and money to make it happen.  Here's what I have so far. 

- Robert Goulet - Much like Ali G, if I dressed up like Mr. Goulet, I would stay in character for the entirety of the night.  I would sing ridiculous renditions of whatever song was requested.  ♫♪ Can't read my poker face, shoo bop sh-bang- Yeeeeees.♫♪

- Jackie Moon - Another comfortable costume that I saw at the store.  They have the Flint Tropics warm up gear at the Halloween store in a size that would fit me.  It would cost me $70 to get the costume and wig.  Too many Will Ferrell characters at this point?  Ok, then...

- The Situation - Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to sculpt my abs, but I would be willing to tan and get a tight fade haircut to make this happen.  I own one shirt that would actually work, so the cost would be minimal.  Plus, it would be funny to lift my shirt, expose my less than muscular abs and say, "We got a situation here." 

- Any Famous Musician - I had a plan a few years ago to learn 20 songs of a musician, dress like them and walk around playing their songs.  Candidates for this plan would be Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, and Fergie.  I don't think I have enough time to memorize that many songs, but this could be a good plan for other years. 

- Zack Morris - One of these years, I'm going to have to get this done.  Blond wig, cuffed jeans, white high tops, and a huge cell phone.  Not to mention I'll need the ability to stop time around me just by saying "Timeout" and making a "T" with my hands. 

Any other suggestions would be welcome.  Unfortunately, I will not be going as Mike Singletary because that would cause me to make one awful decision after another throughout the night.  Also, let me know what you are going as in the comments area.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not Much Today

It was a busy night, busy morning, and busy day so I don't have time to write too much at the moment.  Here are some quick thoughts:

- Go Giants!  They got it done and Bruce Bochy is looking like "The Magic Man" with all of his decisions.  The Giants definitely got some big breaks, but in the end they made their own luck.  Their upcoming series against the Phillies is going to be a tough one, though. 

Oh, I also love seeing Derek Lowe lose.  I hate that guy. 

- Is it hilarious when Brett Favre throws a pick 6 to seal a loss?  Yes.  Did he more than likely need some massage therapy with a full release after the game?  Absolutely.

- I can't bet against Cliff Lee.  I think the Rangers will win today.  Is it really possible that they are the ONLY team in Major League Baseball to have never won a playoff series?  It is because that fact is true.  Where else can you get fun facts like that?  What's that?  ESPN, CBSSports.com, Yahoo Sports, and tons of other mediocre blogs?  Well, that really killed the point is was trying to make. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

I didn't have any shows this weekend, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have fun during my mini-musical break.  Here's what went down:

Friday: Mrs. B. and I met up with our friends the Griswalds- er, I mean John and Katrina.  They were fresh off their European Vacation.  We went to grab a drink at Sophia's in Davis, then decided to keep the party rolling in Sacramento.  After some debate, we ended up at the Riverside Clubhouse.  That place is delicious. 

We were seated in decent time and watched the Giants' game.  We even saw former Phoenix Suns guard and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson walking around at the R.C.  I made eye contact with him when I walked by and he looked at me as if to say, "you're decently tall- but I know I could school you on the court."  Touche imaginary interaction I had with K.J. 

We finished our meal and went back to our apartment to finish watching the game.  We didn't realize it was going to go 11 innings, but it was a fun night nonetheless.  Well, besides the damn parking tickets that John and I both got for parking by the Riverside Clubhouse.  Damn you City of Sacramento!!!

Saturday: I had to work at the UC Davis football game.  They won in a tough game against South Dakota.  There is really only one funny story from the game worth retelling.  A drunk student found the back door to our office at the football stadium and decided it was the perfect place for him to throw up.  My assistant manager looked at him and said something like, "Are you kidding?"  He quickly said, "Sorry" then sobered up enough to disappear into thin air.  And like that... he was gone. 

Some poor stadium worker came over and cleaned up the mess, but we did not find the offending vomitter.

Sunday: In what was the highlight of the weekend, I met up with esteemed blogger, commenter and my 3rd grade classmate from Mrs. Benedict's class, G$.  His wife got them a trip to San Francisco for his birthday, so we decided to meet up and watch the early football games at a sports bar.  I did a few internet searches and we decided on the Taco Shop on Irving in SF.  I had never been there before, but this time the internet did not lead me astray. 

I woke up early and was on the road by 7:15am.  I was concerned about traffic because of Fleet Week in San Francisco.  I wanted to make sure I got to the Taco Shop to get us a decent seat. 

After going over the Golden Gate bridge and taking advantage of the FREE PARKING outside of the Taco Shop (it's the little things) I was inside the bar around 9:15am.  I was the first person in the bar and struck up a conversation with the girls working the bar.  They were quite nice and I immediately felt like this would be a comfortable place to watch some sports. 

Unfortunately, the Bears and Skins games were not on TVs next to each other, but I posted up near the Skins game because 1) I was totally down to cheer against the Packers and 2) G$ is the guest to California so his team's game got the priority.  As it turned out, that was probably the best game of the morning, so it all worked out. 

G$ arrived around 9:45 and I was pretty surprised as to how little introduction was needed.  Based on our blogs and Facebook posts, we really just started hanging out and talking football.  It was less "Damn, we haven't seen each other in 20 years" and more "Let's talk about our fantasy football teams."  Awesome. 

We eventually put down a bucket of Bud Lights and at halftime it was time to order some food.  We both decided to go with the California Burrito (I went chicken, G$ went with the carnitas.)  I think the only requirements to make something a California Burrito are meat, guacamole, and french fries but I think this beast of a burrito had more than that.  They even brought out their house-made green, red, and habanera sauces.  All three were delicious. 

The games ended up working out perfectly.  The Bears won despite Todd Collins' 4 picks and the 'Skins were able to get it done against the mistake-prone Packers in overtime.  I found out later that the 'Skins injured Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and JerMichael Finley.  That is some serious value as far as injuring Packer players goes.  Outstanding work!

After the games, people were rolling in for the SF Baseball Giants game and G$ had to get ready to go to the Sunday Night Football game at the 'Stick.  Hanging out was awesome and it was great to catch up with G$ after over 20 years. 

Unfortunately, my drive home was not as fun.  Luckily, I listened to the Giants game the entire ride home, but I was stuck in SF for an hour and a f***ing half before I was able to hop back on the Golden Gate Bridge.  There was also mild traffic on highway 80 around Fairfield.  All in all, it took me over 4 hours to get home.  No bueno. 

I ended Sunday by watching another tough Niner loss.  Coach Singletary is in big trouble.  His coaching is about as good as his ability to pronounce the word "THink" (it is not pronounced "tink!"  It's not!)  Consider him officially on the hot seat.  Alex Smith- you get to join him. 

You know what is even better?  The fact that I have Monday off!  Boom!  I guess working on Saturday can benefit me in the long run.  Go Jets (at least vs. the Minnesota Favres tonight.) 

Friday, October 8, 2010

SF Giants Win Game 1 (NLDS)

Well, well, well.  Tim Lincecum is apparently still the ace that he has been the last three years.  What a dominating performance.  I'm sure some found it to be a boring pitcher's duel.  The Giants offense looked anemic, but they did manage to squeeze out one run (that probably shouldn't have happened due to Buster Posey being called safe on a stolen base when he was out) which was just enough for Big Game Timmy Jim to take care of the rest. 

14 K's is nothing to sneeze at.  For anyone questioning whether or not Lincecum would be ready for his first postseason action, I guess we got our answer.  Much like Roy Halladay, Lincecum was ready to mow down the Braves and throw a complete game shutout.  Both pitchers took care of business during their first starts in the playoffs. 

It's such an interesting feeling when 1 run by the Giants feels like they just scored 10 because there's no way Lincecum would give up a run.  I'm very happy they let him finish the game and I'm excited to see what Matt Cain do tonight.  Can he put up a similarly dominant performance?  Cain is a savage, but he may fall prey to the usual "lack of run support" that the Giants typically throw on his back.

It's nice to see playoff baseball back in the Bay Area.  The crowd really stepped up their game last night and did Bay Area sports fans justice.  AT&T Park was really rocking!  Good job Giants for getting the "W" and good job fans for going a little nuts. 

I don't have a more official breakdown for you, just that the game was fun to watch and I think the rest of the series will be entertaining as well.  Have a great weekend and enjoy tonight's game!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top 5 Addictions

These are both awesome and bad, depending on how you look at them. I'd like to think I have all of these habits under control, but isn't that exactly what an addict would say?

5. Going to the Peppermill - Clearly this one actually paid off. I went to the Peppermill 4 times in a 7 week period and finished that stretch with the well chronicled stay as their "High Roller."  Even without the High Roller trip, I was actually up money during the first 3 trips, which was phenomenal.  They've clearly earned a longtime customer as I've already booked my next trip (December 10-12!)


4. Wendy's - Out of all the fast food joints, I find myself coming back to Wendy's most often.  I enjoy their Chicken Sandwiches and those Spicy Chicken Nuggets.  The location nearest my work has the fastest drive thru window in the history of the world, so it is all too easy to make a quick stop there if I am starving or running low on time.  I'm not joking, you pay, drive to the next window and your food is typically hanging out the window ready for you.  Could this be a bad thing that food is prepared that quickly?  I have no idea, but it tastes great and never makes me sick, so I still go there ever so often. 

3. Caffeine/Diet Rockstar - I have caffeine withdrawals during the day.  I don't drink coffee regularly.  I have no idea why I don't, but I don't.  Years ago, I started drinking diet soda and now I can't stop.  I moved up the "wake you up" meter to Diet Rockstar cans if I have something important to do (shows, band practice, big household projects, etc.)  I am well aware that soda and energy drinks are not good for me, but so far I can't break the habit.  The worst part is that if I go cold turkey on the sodas, I'll inevitably steer back because no other mixer goes quite as good with whiskey.  They've got me trapped!

2. Burritos - Mexican food is too damn good.  I really want to eat healthier.  By no means am I severely overweight, but I could stand to lose a few pounds.  This clearly isn't going to happen at the rate I eat burritos during the week.  They are too delicious.  It is impossible to stop.  I guess I could open the burritos up and not eat the tortilla- but what is the fun in that?  Between chain restaurants and independent Mexican restaurants, this habit will be a hard one to stop.  Damn you California for having such delicious Mexican food!!! 

1. Chicago Sports - I am a Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks fan.  There's no getting around it.  While the Blackhawks did just win Lord Stanley's Cup, Chicago sports as a whole has driven me nuts my entire life- in a good way.  The psyche of a Chicago fan is quite delicate and it is too easy to make them overvalue their teams, and even easier to make them go into a deep depression with little or no hope.  The Bears were just 3-0, and the fanbase felt on top of the world.  That's nothing the offensive Offensive Line couldn't take care of.  After helping to concuss Jay Cutler, it's time to temper expectations (or like I said, go into a deep depression.)  I wouldn't trade my teams in for anything, but that is why this is my number 1 addiction.

I'm not even sure I absolutely need an intervention on any of these things, but I've tried hard to at least limit them to healthy levels.  Almost anything is ok in moderation.  At least, that's what I tell myself...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Video Day

Is it a mail in?  A cop out?  Sure it is!  But I don't have much to say about the dumb Randy Moss trade or my band's awesome practice last night.  Instead, here are some videos:

Brokeback by the Bell:



Had been debating getting a Microkorg synth. I googled it and came up with this crazy ass video:



Of course, that led me to this guy. He's a bit of a weirdo, but if you've ever wondered how to make a robot voice, then this shows you one way to set it up:



And who doesn't love owners of a cute kitten making a video montage? Yeah they put their cat on a grill:



Here's an old one, but it's awesome. Real Men of Genius:



Yeah, I didn't try hard today. Yeah for Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SF Giants Playoff Roster

How should the Giants set up their playoff roster?  I know that is the question that is burning in everyone's minds today.  Some credit on this is going to my friend Mark who emailed me who he thought will be on the roster, and it was so thorough that I may not be able to stray away from it too much.  Let's start with pitching:

Your number 1 starter has to be Tim Lincecum.  True, his month of August was about as good as BP blowing up an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, but he has rebounded nicely and looks like the pitcher who won the Cy Young each of the last two years.  He's a lock to go Game 1 against the Braves (in fact, I'm fairly certain that has already been announced.) 

My initial instinct is to have Matt Cain saw off the Braves' bats in Game 2, but upon thinking about it, I actually might go with Jonathan Sanchez Game 2.  Cain recently pitched ok against the Padres on Friday night while Sanchez was lights out on Sunday to clinch the division.  Not only that, but it might work in the Giants advantage to go Right-Left-Right rather than Right-Right-Left.  In this case, if they decided to pitch Bumgarner in Game 4, they'd actually have Right-Left-Right-Left with all the pitchers being ridiculously dirty.  Of course, they could go right back to Timmy in Game 4 (or maybe they'll have already swept the Braves at this point.) 

(Author's note: After looking back over that last paragraph, I'm reminding of the old Contra/Konami code- Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Start.  Good times.) 

So there is your rotation.  There is no way in hell you allow Barry Zito to touch the ball as a starter, but do you include him on the roster at all?  Let's see:

Assuming the Giants will keep 11 pitchers and we've already taken up 4 of those slots with Timmy, Cain, Dirty Sanchez, and Bumgarner- the next obvious choice is B-Weezy himself- Brian Wilson (5.)  Other essential pieces to the Giants bullpen include Sergio Romo (6), Santiago Casilla (7), Javier Lopez (8), and Ramon Ramirez (9.)  None of the players I just named off have an ERA higher than 3.00.  They are all locks for the Post Season. 

So who gets the remaining two spots?  There are 4 possibilities:

1) Dan Runzler (3.03 ERA)
2) Chris Ray (3.73 ERA)
3) Jeremy Affeldt (4.14 ERA)
4) Barry Zito (4.15 ERA)

Conveniently, only Ray is right handed.  There is probably a case to be made for all of these guys.  Affeldt and Zito are veteran guys who have playoff experience (yes, Affeldt was on the 2007 Rockies and you well remember Zito battling for the A's.)  Runzler is a young fresh arm who is absolutely filthy.  If the Giants ever get cheap and let B-Weezy go, Runzler will be the next closer.  It's tough to leave that kind of arm off the roster.  Chris Ray has been consistent and could eat up innings if necessary (obviously Zito would be the ultimate inning eater, but should that the #1 reason to keep a guy on the roster?  Probably not.) 

If it were me, I'm taking Runzler and Affeldt.  A lefty cannon arm and a lefty veteran will help out in the playoffs.  Do I expect this to actually happen?  Eh- maybe not.  Bochy might even do the opposite and keep Zito and Ray.  I have a feeling he'll go with the vets and keep Zito and Affeldt.  I'm highly interested to see how this actually shakes out. 

Now to the lineup:

Starters:

1. Andres Torres CF (This guy is a STUD.) 
2. Freddy Sanchez 2B (Another stud- really happy he finally got to the playoffs.) 
3. Aubrey Huff 1B (Ditto F. Sanchez.)
4. Gerald Dempsey Posey III C (He should start going by his real name.  It sounds so regal.  Oh, and he's the NL Rookie of the Year.  No question.) 
5. Pat The Bat LF (Did anyone really expect him to be this good?!) 
6. Juan UUUUUUUUU-Ribe! SS (He swings out of his shoes every time!  Hilarious!)
7. Panda Express 3B (Somebody get Fontenot ready to go... Panda's in for past performance- this could be a bad decision.  He's also needed for back up Catcher.) 
8. Cody Ross RF (He's a former Marlin so you know he'll be pesky in the playoffs.)

Bench (6 spots remaining):

1. Mike Fontenot (Has been a surprisingly great acquisition for the Giants.  Very consistent.)
2. Darren Ford (He's FAST.  He will have 0 at bats and at least 3 pinch runs.) 
3. Travis Ishikawa (Decent bat, great defensive replacement.)
4. Nate Schierholtz (Ditto Ishikawa.)
5. Edgar Renteria (Great playoff track record and will be a solid back up SS just in case.) 
6. Aaron Rowand (His Friday night pinch hit homer gets him on the roster.  Hopefully he'll be the Giants' version of Jeff Conine.) 

Now, the glaring omission is Jose Guillen.  As my friend Mark pointed out (and this line up was pretty much exactly what he had, but like I said, I agree with it for the reasons stated above) Bochy will probably leave Schierholtz off and put Guillen on for some extra pop.  I will not agree with Bochy if he does this, but then again, I'm not the Giants manager so what do I know?

Not a bad little squad.  They are definitely a likable bunch, but I'm not sure that likability wins championships.  I guess we'll find out starting this week.  Playoff baseball in the Bay Area should be fun!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Case Of The Mondays: One Year Anniversary Edition

"This schedule sets up quite nicely.  The Giants and Redskins will both play the Bears tough, but I think they other games will go the Bears' way."

That was what I said on Tuesday after the Bears' Monday night victory over the Packers.  Granted, my overall thought was incorrect (as in the Bears lost to the Giants) but I did have a bad feeling about the game.  The Bears on a short week, going to New York to play a defense that could definitely wreck their offensive line was bound to be trouble, but I didn't think it would lead to the murder of Jay Cutler.  Well, let's move on to more important things. 

The Giants win the West - The SF Giants were doing their best to make Bay Area fans sweat over the weekend.  Matt Cain wasn't able to lock it down on Friday night and we all knew Barry Zito wasn't getting it done on Saturday, so that lead to the Dirty Sanchez himself pitching on Sunday.  What a savage!  He absolutely cemented himself as a big game pitcher on Sunday.  It's going to be interesting to see what Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez will be able to do in a short series against the Braves.  Bobby Cox, in his final season, should just follow suit with the rest of his early playoff exit Braves teams.  I guess we'll find out later in the week. 

Saturday - My lovely cat Cosmo decided to ruin my entire day.  He seems to find it fun to wake me up at 6 or 7 am by stepping on my chest or putting his fur in my face.  I have a VERY hard time getting back to sleep so I tend to wake up and start watching TV or finding something else that will help me kill time.  Pretty much, it leads to me having a headache and being unproductive.  This was the least fun paragraph I've ever written on this blog- I can only imagine that it was even worse to read. 

Sunday - This was our 1 year anniversary!  How time flies.  Activities for the day included a couples massage at Mellow Me Out Spa in Sacramento, eating at Mikuni (delicious sushi), and eating the same flavor of cupcakes that we had at our wedding last year.  It was a great day of low key celebration which was exactly what we needed (between shows, traveling to parties, and private jets to Reno we needed a break!)  To Mrs. B., it's been a great year and I can't wait for what the future holds.  You're the best!

As you can tell, there was not much going on this weekend to make a very interesting blog.  I think I still might be in relaxation mode- who knows?  I will say that Kenny Powers' entrance into the Mexican baseball stadium to "Real American" was definitely one of the funniest things ever on "Eastbound & Down."  I love the fact that he didn't even have his glove during the entire entrance and had to ask for it once his charade was through.  Great show. 

I need to cause some trouble to have something to write about tomorrow...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Owning Your Mistakes

This should be a short and sweet blog for Friday.  LeBron James and his dumb manager were interviewed by CNN the other day and they decided to play the race card like the Queen of Spades in a game of Hearts.  Unfortunately, no one else in the world is dumb enough to take this at face value.  Here is what he said, when asked, "Did race play a factor in the negative reaction to The Decision?":

“I think so at times. There’s always a race factor.”

Ok, I get it.  He is generalizing and saying that race is always a factor in every day life.  It absolutely is.  However, in this case, he is using the race card to mask his responsibility in the worst PR move I've ever seen an athlete willingly take part in.  Instead of manning up and saying, "Yeah, I thought that was going to be a better idea than it actually turned out to be.  I understand why people are upset, but I didn't have bad intentions and I apologize."  That pretty much would clean the slate and get him off the hook.  Don't think so?  Check this out:

- Roger Clemens still won't admit to taking steroids.  He currently is on trial for perjury.  His public perception is that he is a liar.

- Barry Bonds could possibly still face charges of perjury as well.  He also refuses to admit that he took anything more than flaxseed oil.  People in San Francisco barely like him let alone the rest of the country.

- Mark McGwire put on one of the single dumbest most embarrassing testimonies in the history of our Congressional courts.  His "I'm not here to talk about the past" catchphrase made him look like an idiot.  HOWEVER, he did come out and admit to using steroids and he apologized just before the baseball season.  We haven't heard from him since and he's been peacefully working as the Cardinals batting coach this entire season.

- Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte both admitted to using steroids and apologized.  Their transgressions have barely been brought up in the years following.

- Alex Rodriguez admitted to using and apologized.  Though his interview with Peter Gammons was awkward, people have mostly gone back to watching his play on the field rather than worrying about whether or not he's on steroids.

- Tiger Woods had one of the worst years ever.  It took him awhile to come around and publicly apologize, but he did.  And guess what?   No one cares that he's divorced any longer.  The just care about how well he plays at the Ryder Cup. 

The pattern?  Every athlete that owned up to their mistakes has been forgiven (for the most part) and left alone.  I'm sure there are a few fans that talk crap here and there, but the media machine spits you out once it has no more dirt on you.  If Court Jester James would realize that, own his mistake, and apologize everyone would get over it and hate the Heat just a tad bit less. 

The more LBJ decides to hide from taking responsibility, the longer it will follow him.  I really hope their team flops this year.  That would be awesome.  See?  Even I hate their team for no good reason!