Random Things at Random Times

Good afternoon and welcome!

For the regular readers: Hi, how ya doin?

For the unsuspecting others who landed here via the hands of fate (or a search engine), you may be in for a treat! Or possibly just in for a head-scratcher of a time. Continue reading “Random Things at Random Times”

MLB Salary Crisis

Good day. I come to you under the direst of circumstances to talk about what is plaguing Major League Baseball today: Player salaries. There it’s out. Now we can stop ignoring the butterfly in the room…or was it an elephant? Who knows.

Since the 2017 World Series ended and free agency opened up, there have been more than a few player movement deals but not nearly as many as in previous years. For whatever reasons, during this off season the general managers have drawn their line in the sand and shown actual restraint. It has been spooky. Normally by this time in spring training, fans have a plethora of signings to mull over and jabber about for the good and the bad. ‘Franchise X grossly overpaid for this player to fill a need but so did about a dozen others.’ Continue reading “MLB Salary Crisis”

Cleveland Indians Visit Busch Stadium in 2018!

OK I know I just posted but I got a special link to get reduced Flash Sale tickets for Monday through Thursday games on the St Louis Cardinals schedule. In scanning their schedule I ran across tickets for my Cleveland Indians for June 25-26-27 which is just days after my birthday! Rejoice! Yaaaay!

https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/tickets/specials/flash-sale?affiliateId=23CU1652C1-7ZG6

OK I’m better now. But that really pepped up my morning. Yes!

Have a great day!

Peace.

Chief Wahoo and The Cleveland Indians

Hello and welcome to my blog.

As many of my friends and readers know, I am a Cleveland Indians baseball fan. I have said on numerous occasions that I would get a tattoo of Chief Wahoo when the Indians win the World Series. The best chances of that happening may have been in 2016 and 2017. But this week, the evil overlord of Major League Baseball, Darth Manfred finally coerced the ownership of the Cleveland Indians to abandon the Chief Wahoo logo in favor of the scripted ‘I’ or a ‘C’ permanently starting in 2019. So this is our last hurrah as Jake Taylor would say. Continue reading “Chief Wahoo and The Cleveland Indians”

Cleveland Indians 2018 Preview

Good day one and all! This post is about my Cleveland Indians. Spring training is still about a month away and Spring Training games after that. But as of the middle of January 2018 I am looking at my team…and I am concerned. Continue reading “Cleveland Indians 2018 Preview”

Friday – October 27, 2017 – Billy Martin for starters

Happy Friday y’all!

Yes I said y’all, deal with it.

My mind is a bit scattered today. For some reason I got the Yankees situation shoved down my throat this morning by local talk radio personality Bernie Miklasz. For those readers who are not really baseball fans, the Yankees play in New York and their manager was Joe Girardi. They almost made it to the World Series which is a pretty big deal. Joe was at the end of his contract and the powers that be (Brian Cashman) advised the ownership that he should not be retained…so he wasn’t. Continue reading “Friday – October 27, 2017 – Billy Martin for starters”

2017 Cleveland Indians – Final

I woke up this morning and the sky was a hazy gray. When I stepped outside, a fine mist greeted me. It was fitting. Depressing the remote entry button for the car, I proceeded to get into my 2015 Hyundai Sonata and situate myself. After the usual routine of locking in my seat belt, my next order of business was turning on my Zune player and pulling up my Linkin Park folder of albums. From there I selected Play All. Why was this my selection over perhaps some local radio chatter or one of the thirty CD options at my disposal? It just felt like the way to go in my gut, so I ran with it.

Continue reading “2017 Cleveland Indians – Final”

Where are you Jeffrey Maier??

Today is October 11, 2017. This is the month of October and coinciding with the MLB playoffs leading up to the World Series. Let’s step back in time for a moment to 1996, October 9th to be exact. There was a baseball game that took place in New York between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. A 12-year old boy had the biggest influence on this baseball game played by professional athletes. The beneficiary of Jeffrey Maier’s interference was Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees franchise. On this particular day, Derek Jeter hit a deep fly ball near the top of the outfield wall. Orioles’ outfielder Tony Tarasco tracked the ball’s trajectory and settled under the spot the ball was descending towards. Mr. Tarasco reached up to secure the ball, for the catch, for an out…but uh, oh. The ball never reached his glove.

Continue reading “Where are you Jeffrey Maier??”

Kluber vs. Sale – An American League CY Young Discussion

Happy Spiffy Goodish Day!

First off, obviously I am a bit biased as I am a Cleveland Indians fan AND I dislike the Boston Red Sox. Throw into the mix that Chris Sale came from the Chicago White Sox, a hated AL Central Division foe, and the appearance of my bias solidifies even more. To a certain extent I cannot deny these allegations. But for the record, I can see and argue a case for both pitchers. Now, let the nitpicking contest begin!

Both have had dominant seasons. Kluber’s season has a small caveat in that he missed three weeks in May with a DL (Disabled List) stint. Some could argue that the ‘time off’ has helped him recharge, whereas Chris Sale has not missed a single start this season. But even so, their stat-lines are very comparable. Presently Kluber is about 40 strikeouts behind Sale but his other numbers are relative to Sale’s (lower) in: walks allowed and runs allowed in about 19 less innings. They both boast 17 personal victories and for their respective teams, the team winning percentage is above .700 in games in which they start. Sale had slightly more run support in his starts (5.6 vs 5.2) but like I said, at this point it’s just nitpicking.

If we look at the stretch run of August and September, Kluber is 9-1 (team 9-1) and only had one game where he allowed 3 runs (or more) and walked more than one batter (the only game he lost, 3 ER 2 BB). For Sale in August and September, he is 4-3 (team 7-3). He had five games of 3 or more runs allowed and four games where he walked multiple batters. Even so, this is not horrible for Sale’s case within the context of his 2017 body of work. If we annex the month of July to try to illuminate an argument one way or the other for the two pitchers, Sale was 3-1 (team 3-2). But in the games he pitched, he only allowed runs (4) in one of those five starts covering 34 2/3 innings (the bullpen did give up some runs after he left). In Kluber’s five July starts, he was 1-1 (team 2-3) and did not post any shutout games. He allowed only one run in three of those starts but did not receive much support until his last two starts in July.

During the season, both pitchers suffered losses by the count of 1-0 when their respective teams did not score. Sale’s longest personal winning streak in-season was 7 games. Kluber’s was/is five as of today including his current streak. Kluber also had another five game winning streak from July to August. Similar in each losing a 1-0 contest, both pitchers had their shortest outing of the year only last three innings. Both pitchers pitch for first place teams and are their respective team’s aces. One is left handed and one is right handed. With each pitcher probably only making two more starts in the regular season, how will this race finish out?

If you want to crunch and munch some numbers, I’ve attached a spreadsheet of some vital stats (in my opinion). Whether you are a baseball fan or not, hopefully you at least found the post and arguments contained herewith to be somewhat interesting.

Obviously I would like my guy (Klubot) to win but I honestly would not be terribly upset if Sale would take the crown. I would much prefer Sale to capture the Cy Young Award but Kluber and the Indians to capture the World Series title!

#GoTribe #Believeland #ChiefWahoo #CartoonIndiansForever #HeIsSmilingOnMyHat #ScrewYouRobManfred

Peace.

Kluber-Sale Comparision 09212017

<<09-21-2017>>

Flu Shots

Hello! Is it me you’re looking for?

Why yes, Lionel Richie I have been looking for you. But to quote the band U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.

With some silly shenanigans dispensed with, let’s talk about flu shots. Do you get them? How many times have you gotten them? Do you look down on people who do not get them? Are you secretly organizing a movement to ostracize people who do not get the flu shot (free or otherwise)? Let’s put all of our Uno cards on the table and make this interesting.

The reason I bring flu shots up is because my work is offering free flu shots. Actually in recent years, most of my employers have either offered a free flu shot or a reduced cost version to their employees on site. To date, I have never accepted this offer of mass produced safeguard. Why is that? My stock response: what for? Last time I have checked, I have been in existence (this time around) for 4.5 decades. As of today, zero flu shots for me. And to my recollection, I have not died. More to the point, in recent years I have rarely contracted the flu; even though it seems like everyone around me usually does – even the ones who get said flu shot. That is interesting don’t you think?

I mention this because it seems like every year when the flu shots are made available and peers ask if I’m getting one and I respond that I am not, they look at me like I just said “Madonna should really run for president of the United States next time around”. The only thing I could think to do to up the perplexed look factor for other would be to write on my hand, “Need a beef Jolly Rancher flavor” and repeatedly point to my hand. The disbelief and condescension in those looks is priceless when I acknowledge declining the Holy Grail of wellness maintenance. What? I don’t want this tiny injection of mystery goo that may or may not work with my immune system? Oh the madness! My ignorance! Somewhere the Umbrella Corporation powers that be are chuckling evilly and slowly rubbing their virtual palms together.

Now if there was an anti-Noro Virus shot…I would be first in line for that every time. That affliction was uber-nasty and I would never like to experience that again. But for the most part, me and the flu, we don’t really have too many issues. Also if there was a shot to prevent a season’s worth of headaches, I would do that one too. But for now, someone else is welcome to take my dose of the T-virus, uh I mean flu shot for me.

Is it just me or does it seem like flu shots seem to fall into ‘that’ category along with talking politics or religion? If you don’t want to offend some, you just don’t do it (talk about it). So I will take my own advice henceforth and not talk about Flu Shot Fight Club. I think if my life was made into a movie, Hollywood would cast SpongeBob to play me. Aim high! Who plays softball all over the sea: SpongeScott Square Pants! Who is cool and amusing as can be: SpongeScott Square Pants!

Hope everyone out there is having a stress-free Thursday and let’s all convene soon to discuss multi-level marketing as a basis for ill-gotten wealth.

Peace!

<<09-21-2017>>

Cleveland Indians 7-19-2017 Underwhelming Defending AL Champs

Somewhere there is a sunset in progress. It just depends on where on this Earth you are if you can view it or not. That is a nice tranquil thought and mental picture. Now let’s talk about my Cleveland Indians in first place in the American League Central Division of Major League Baseball.

Meh.

That is a pretty accurate way to describe the state of the Indians these days. Five games after the All-Star Break against the bottom feeders from California, Oakland and San Francisco respectively, and the team is 1-4. In those five games they have scored: 0, 3, 3, 5 and 1 in terms of runs. By MLB standards that is sub-standard. In the month of July, for the team that was tied in the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series in 2016, Cleveland has won only 6 of 14 games. They lead second place Minnesota by 1.5 games and third place Kansas City by 3 games. The Indians won-loss record is presently 48 wins and 44 losses putting them on par with the New York Yankees who currently occupy the second wildcard position for postseason play positioning.

From a personnel standpoint, the fourth and fifth starters in the pitching rotation (Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer) have been tough to watch for the most part. For the most part the pitching staff has been quasi-healthy minus Kluber’s hiatus for his back. The enigmatic Danny Salazar was minimally effective before developing a convenient injury. A slew of injuries has put a harsh spotlight on the thin offensive depth of the team. Offensively speaking, there has been a huge hole caused by Jason Kipnis being injured. When Jose Ramirez is plugged in at second base for defense, that opens up a hole at third base. The biggest problem has been the revolving door in the outfield with Lonnie Chisenhall visiting the DL multiple times and Tyler Naquin not being healthy almost all year. Brandon Guyer has been atrocious (period). Austin Jackson has been a nice surprise but cannot stay healthy and Abraham Almonte is a 4th-5th outfielder on most teams. The catching tandem of Roberto Perez and Yan Gomes has given virtually nothing on the offensive side. They both hit right around the Mendoza line and have combined to produce 7 homeruns and 37 RBI while striking out nearly 30 percent of the time. There is a similar production line or lack thereof from Jason Kipnis this year with his 8 homeruns and 26 RBI. He is only striking out about 19 percent of the time but he is also on pace for about 10 stolen bases this year which would be his lowest total since his rookie season when he stole 5 bases in 36 games. Which brings us to Carlos Santana. Is he a first baseman or is he a DH? You look at his body of work this year and with the glaring exception of the homerun category he is on pace to basically do what he has done the past three years. With the presence of Juan Encarnacion, Carlos seems a bit redundant in his skill set.

OK with the rundown of what isn’t working so far this year, the question shifts to what should/can be done to fix it? A Major League baseball team is a tough thing to boil down to a formula. Every single game can hinge on literally one pitch to take a win and make it into a loss. Even the best teams every year find a way to lose around 60 ball games in the regular season. There is no ‘running game’ for a baseball contest to limit the other team’s chances. You have to get at minimum of 27 outs (barring weather shortened games) from the other team and all the necessary pitches and catches that accompany those. Even on the worst teams, there are still guys trying to do well so they can keep their Major League job for this year or to parlay their stats into a big payday for years to come. So here is my list of guys to package up and trade or straight up DFA: Tomlin, Bauer, Gomes, Guyer, Almonte, Santana, Salazar, Kipnis and Jackson. Some of these guys are currently injured which makes this process difficult.

Each team has an active 25-man roster so in doing the math, I am suggesting a pretty significant amount of shuffling of the current roster. The last three players noted are on the disabled list but the rest are all fair game. As I see it, the club currently needs an everyday centerfielder, a new second baseman, a fresh face at catcher and at least one new member of the rotation if not two. It was about this time last year that Josh Tomlin got demoted to the bullpen so history may be repeating itself soon. Bauer has been a perplexing, head-shaking case of talent versus harnessing his talent (see Jason Davis circa 2002).

I know this sounds like the ranting of a frustrated Indians fan and it most certainly is. Last year was such a vicious tease and this year has been a great opportunity that has mostly been squandered. I will suggest trading for the St Louis Cardinals Carson Kelly, the Oakland A’s Sonny Gray and the Atlanta Braves Brandon Phillips. From there I will just hope no one else gets hurt and Tyler Naquin can return and play like he did last year. If not, this team may be done before the first week of October is over.

Go Tribe!

P.S. Tito stop eating all the junk food. Have some asparagus at least twice a week and it will be all good.
P.S.S. On their current pace, the team would finish with a won-loss record of 85 wins and 77 losses which is pretty sad and probably not going to get it done in terms of clinching a playoff spot. #JustSaying

Peace.

I’m not afraid to…

…piss people off.

Hi, good morning. Hope you are enjoining some coffee or your preferred beverage of choice.

OK so let me explain my thought process on this. No, not the beverage thing…my stance on pissing people off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just indiscriminately looking for people to piss off with mindless personal attacks. I’m just saying I am not scared to speak my mind and when I see something I perceive as wrong or a debatable topic, I don’t hold back. I may temper my opinions in a diplomatic turn of phrase but you can usually tell where my point/opinion is going.

Some of you in your minds are saying: here we go pointless drama. Nope. No ma’am, no sir. I am not here to spread gossip to pile on someone having a bad day just to be a bully. Everyone running around or wheeling around today has positive and negative aspects of their lives. Some are great parents, some lavish love and attention on their animals while others run businesses that provide incomes and purposes for others to provide for their families and loved ones. While I can try to find the silver lining in many different human clouds, there is always the ying to their yang.

I’m guessing at this point you are trying to discern a point that may take shape coming from the above fog. I am flawed and at times I am an internal mess. But aint we all? The important thing is not to take yourself too seriously and be true with your actions and words. If you see something that emotionally or mentally goes against your grain, you can do a couple of things. First you can ignore it and remove yourself from the situation and go binge watch GOT episodes. If you feel you must have your voice be heard (either literally or figuratively), think first.

Sometimes another human or an issue can cause such a visceral response that we lash out without thinking. Like when I’m on the highway and I see aggressive drivers switching lanes without blinkers or cutting people off when they could have just as easily have slowed down and settled in behind another car. My list of hated traffic grievances is about on par with the proverbial list of naughty boys and girls Santa has to deal with.

Animal abuse, child punishments, softball drama, social media, my Cleveland Indians and long car trips are just a handful of things I have a strong opinion on and my views may not be all unicorns, cotton candy and smiley emoji’s to the casual reader. Is my position the end all be all of opinions? Certainly not but I will do my best to state my case as to why I think that way about a topic. Have I launched into a tirade before about my opinion only to have someone chime in later with some bit of information I wasn’t privy to? Guilty. Did it radically change my stance? Not really but I filed that addition information away to be digested and further flavor my viewpoint.

Most everyone is so wrapped up in being ‘right’ that they lose sight of the spirit of exchanging ideas. Most people when they express their opinions, whether in the majority or minority, are on the razor’s edge for rebuttals. Expressing a dissenting opinion is on par with attacking that person’s most cherished loved one. One of my most favorite quotes I saw on Twitter said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote is attributed to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. That quote is an ugly truth. I myself am guilty of this about half of the time. It happens when I argue with Kristi or Ayden or a co-worker or a softball friend or on my Sports Stalkers podcast partner Jeremy. We as a society are conditioned to be put on the spot and come up with a quip or an answer to prove our wittiness or competency. So much in our daily lives is submerged in self-doubt and competition, so we must be seen as competent at the bare minimum. And in the panic of the moment when we might possibly lose, we resort to snarkyness and name-calling in lieu of stopping and thinking about the basis of our opinions and how it may be colored by our life experiences as opposed to someone from a completely different background.

Take racism and discrimination for example. And no they are not exclusively the same thing. Discrimination is denying someone or a group based on extraneous circumstances that have no bearing on the criteria needed. Some of the biggest racists I know are the ones who play the race card. In my life I have known some people of color who have been the perpetrators of discrimination. There are no absolutes in this world when it comes to discrimination and racism. There are black people who are racist against white people and vice versa. Just as there are people of all ages who are discriminatory against other age groups.

See no name calling, no gross stereo-types and a note that I myself am not 100% above reproach here (see the listening quote). There is nothing wrong with absorbing and dissecting someone else’s opinion or view. The sticky-wicket is when we start questioning that person’s view and instead of listening to understand what we are asking, they are loading up mentally to respond based on a basal reaction to a perceived challenge.

Enough psychology for one day. I was just trying to simply offer up my ‘excuse’ on why I feel OK about sounding off with my thoughts and opinions even if you do not care. We all have a back story on our opinions. Did your parents instill that view in you? Perhaps your church? Or just life experiences? That is for each of us to carry around with us every day and decide if we are comfortable enough to share and if need be, defend as needed.

As usual, thank you for surfing in and reading some bits and pieces that migrated from my brain to my fingers. I hope you found something amusing, thought provoking or at least something that caused you to stop for a moment to at least consider.

Haffy Hump Day! That is a cross breed of Happy and Taffy just so you don’t think I am a horrible speller!

Peace.