The Occasional Tendown: Easterdown 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dear Internet:

It's a Tradition unlike any other.  Easterdown!

153 is here. This is Tendown 154.

1. Meanwhile, in Florida
About 15 years ago, when I was just starting to teach, I had a lesson on symbolic speech where I asked students if my tearing up an American flag would be offensive.

After getting some measure of equal action on both sides I took a piece of loose leaf notebook paper, spent about 30 seconds pencil drawing a flag, that, while having the appropriate sections where 50 stars and 13 stripes might be located, was really just a collection of squiggles that I nonetheless called "An American Flag" before I tore the paper in half to a healthy howl of protest.

The discussion then unfolded about the nature of personal offense and when it is that legislation is an appropriate remedy to protect from offense and finally about why it is that students saw an American flag in that piece of paper, despite (more evident upon my reconstruction of said paper) only the label to reasonably indicate such.

But this was an Age Before the Wars.  Not the actual wars, the ones in the Middle East with hundreds of thousands of fatalities, but instead before the right wing noise machine's imaginary wars on Christmas and Easter.  So, when a Communications professor at Florida Atlantic University taught a similar lesson by having students write the word "Jesus" on a piece of paper and step on it -  the result was the university apologized, the lesson was removed from the curriculum, and the instructor has been shifted to online only courses given resultant death threats.

Which I guess is a good demonstration of the power of symbolism.  Or the power of power.

2. Almost Always Wrong.  
Absent the ability to argue "Gays Make Jesus Sad", the anti same sex marriage arguments in the Supreme Court this week were awfully toothless.  More fun would be walking through a recent history of right wing attacks on marriage equality get ready for some man on dog excitement!

3. Hannity Ends Ben Carson's Presidential Aspiration
Right here.

4. Coming A Theater Near You...
The Criminalization of Christianity!

5. I Thought Rodman Fixed This?
Have you considered the relationship between the Supreme Court hearings over marriage equality and potential nuclear attack by North Korea? The President of the Southern Baptist Convention has.

6. Yet Another Clue
My affection for Survivor has not diminished despite Mark Burnett's clearly playing to the crazies with the "Obama=Devil" makeup for his mini-series.  And those crazies exist.  The radio host from #4 - here was his view.

I believe Mark Burnett and his wife and the History Channel. I don’t believe they intentionally portrayed the Lucifer character to look like Mr. Obama. I think God guided the hand of the makeup artist and blinded the eyes of everybody on the movie set while it was being recorded, and the spiritual blinders were removed Sunday night when the program was broadcast nationally on the History Channel. How many clues do we need from Heaven to understand that the man in the White House is a devil from Hell?

How many indeed.

7. A Bible I Can Get Behind

Good stuff.  2215 entries under "absurdity" 1313 for "cruelty and violence" 472 "contradictions.   

8. Equal Opportunity
I don't care whose name you stomp on.  Here's the annotated Quran.


10. Baseball's Back.

Flags fly forever.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,


2013 Fantasy Baseball Top 200

Saturday, March 30, 2013

1.Braun, Ryan LF NL MIL
2.Cabrera, Miguel 3B AL DET
3.Pujols, Albert 1B,DH AL ANA
4.Trout, Mike LF,CF AL ANA
5.Kemp, Matt CF NL LAN
6.Fielder, Prince 1B AL DET
7.Stanton, Giancarlo RF NL MIA
8. Tulowitzki, Troy SS NL COL
9. Votto, Joey 1B NL CIN
10. Cano, Robinson 2B AL NYA
11.Bautista, Jose RF AL TOR
12.Reyes, Jose SS AL TOR
13.McCutchen, Andrew CF NL PIT
14.Verlander, Justin SP AL DET
15.Kershaw, Clayton SP NL LAN
16.Strasburg, Stephen SP NL WAS
17.Pedroia, Dustin 2B AL BOS
18.Lee, Cliff SP NL PHI
19.Gonzalez, Adrian 1B NL LAN
20Hamels, Cole SP NL PHI
21Hernandez, Felix SP AL SEA
22Choo, Shin-Soo RF NL CIN
23Longoria, Evan 3B,DH AL TBA
24Upton, Justin RF NL ATL
25Harper, Bryce CF,RF NL WAS
26Encarnacion, Edwin 1B,DH AL TOR
27Weaver, Jered SP AL ANA
28Cespedes, Yoenis LF,CF,DH AL OAK
29Cain, Matt SP NL SFN
30Halladay, Roy SP NL PHI
31Sabathia, CC SP AL NYA
32Wright, David 3B NL NYN
33Price, David SP AL TBA
34Posey, Buster C,1B NL SFN
35Heyward, Jason RF NL ATL
36Phillips, Brandon 2B NL CIN
37Mauer, Joe C,1B,DH AL MIN
38Gonzalez, Carlos LF NL COL
39Greinke, Zack SP NL LAN
40Rollins, Jimmy SS NL PHI
41Zobrist, Ben 2B,SS,RF AL TBA
42Hamilton, Josh LF,CF AL ANA
43Rizzo, Anthony 1B NL CHN
44Kinsler, Ian 2B AL TEX
45Zimmerman, Ryan 3B NL WAS
46Holliday, Matt LF NL SLN
47Ellsbury, Jacoby CF AL BOS
48Darvish, Yu SP AL TEX
49Latos, Mat SP NL CIN
50Altuve, Jose 2B AL HOU
51Kimbrel, Craig RP NL ATL
52Weeks, Rickie 2B NL MIL
53Craig, Allen 1B,RF NL SLN
54De Aza, Alejandro CF AL CHA
55Sale, Chris SP AL CHA
56Gordon, Alex LF AL KCA
57Upton, B.J. CF NL ATL
58Jones, Adam CF AL BAL
59Cruz, Nelson RF AL TEX
60Konerko, Paul 1B,DH AL CHA
61Trumbo, Mark 1B,LF,RF,DH AL ANA
62Medlen, Kris SP NL ATL
63Bourn, Michael CF AL CLE
64Goldschmidt, Paul 1B NL ARI
65Beltre, Adrian 3B,DH AL TEX
66Wainwright, Adam SP NL SLN
67Lincecum, Tim SP NL SFN
68Aoki, Norichika RF NL MIL
69Napoli, Mike C,1B AL BOS
Bumgarner, 70Madison SP NL SFN
71Desmond, Ian SS NL WAS
72Davis, Chris 1B,RF,DH AL BAL
73Haren, Dan SP NL WAS
74Kipnis, Jason 2B AL CLE
75Ramirez, Aramis 3B NL MIL
76Jackson, Austin CF AL DET
77Hosmer, Eric 1B AL KCA
78Soriano, Rafael RP NL WAS
79Dunn, Adam 1B,DH AL CHA
80Papelbon, Jonathan RP NL PHI
81Walker, Neil 2B NL PIT
82Beckett, Josh SP NL LAN
83Kennedy, Ian SP NL ARI
84Beltran, Carlos RF NL SLN
85Butler, Billy 1B,DH AL KCA
86Hunter, Torii RF AL DET
87Bruce, Jay RF NL CIN
88Hill, Aaron 2B NL ARI
89Howard, Ryan 1B NL PHI
90Cueto, Johnny SP NL CIN
91Ogando, Alexi SP AL TEX
92Rivera, Mariano RP AL NYA
93Pagan, Angel CF NL SFN
94Santana, Carlos C,1B,DH AL CLE
95Jennings, Desmond LF,CF AL TBA
96Rios, Alex RF AL CHA
97Romo, Sergio RP NL SFN
98Gallardo, Yovani SP NL MIL
99Castro, Starlin SS NL CHN
100Utley, Chase 2B NL PHI
101Davis, Ike 1B NL NYN
102Cabrera, Asdrubal SS AL CLE
103Andrus, Elvis SS AL TEX
104Suzuki, Ichiro LF,RF AL NYA
105Wieters, Matt C AL BAL
106Crisp, Coco CF AL OAK
107Marte, Starling LF NL PIT
108Gardner, Brett LF,OF AL NYA
109Martinez, Victor C,DH AL DET
110Prado, Martin 3B,LF NL ARI
111Victorino, Shane LF,CF AL BOS
112Street, Huston RP NL SDN
113Wilson, C.J. SP AL ANA
114Morales, Kendrys 1B,DH AL SEA
115Willingham, Josh LF,DH AL MIN
116Hellickson, Jeremy SP AL TBA
117Nathan, Joe RP AL TEX
118Werth, Jayson RF NL WAS
119Reynolds, Mark 1B AL CLE
120Zimmermann, Jordan SP NL WAS
121Chapman, Aroldis RP NL CIN
122Peavy, Jake SP AL CHA
123Putz, J.J. RP NL ARI
124Marcum, Shaun SP NL NYN
125Middlebrooks, Will 3B AL BOS
126Aybar, Erick SS AL ANA
127Hanson, Tommy SP AL ANA
128Uggla, Dan 2B NL ATL
129Reed, Addison RP AL CHA
130Markakis, Nick RF AL BAL
131Jansen, Kenley RP NL LAN
132Sandoval, Pablo 3B NL SFN
133Montero, Miguel C NL ARI
134Nolasco, Ricky SP NL MIA
135Marmol, Carlos RP NL CHN
136Grilli, Jason RP NL PIT
137Motte, Jason RP NL SLN
138Gonzalez, Gio SP NL WAS
139Betancourt, Rafael RP NL COL
140Lester, Jon SP AL BOS
141Freeman, Freddie 1B NL ATL
142Hardy, J.J. SS AL BAL
143Molina, Yadier C NL SLN
144Arencibia, J.P. C AL TOR
145Swisher, Nick 1B,RF AL CLE
146Rodriguez, Wandy SP NL PIT
147Crawford, Carl LF NL LAN
148LaRoche, Adam 1B NL WAS
149Fowler, Dexter CF NL COL
150Hanrahan, Joel RP AL BOS
151Johnson, Josh SP AL TOR
152Carter, Chris 1B AL HOU
153Harvey, Matt SP NL NYN
154Shields, James SP AL KCA
155Ramirez, Alexei SS AL CHA
156Hudson, Tim SP NL ATL
157Minor, Mike SP NL ATL
158Johnson, Jim RP AL BAL
159Rodney, Fernando RP AL TBA
160Anderson, Brett SP AL OAK
161Balfour, Grant RP AL OAK
162Scherzer, Max SP AL DET
163Pence, Hunter RF NL SFN
164Perez, Chris RP AL CLE
165Espinosa, Danny 2B,SS NL WAS
166Jones, Garrett 1B,RF NL PIT
Granderson, 167Curtis CF AL NYA
McCarthy, 168Brandon SP NL ARI
169Cabrera, Everth SS NL SDN
170Youkilis, Kevin 1B,3B AL NYA
171Frazier, Todd 1B,3B NL CIN
172 Belt, Brandon 1B
173Morneau, Justin 1B,DH AL MIN
174Kendrick, Howard 2B AL ANA
175Soriano, Alfonso LF NL CHN
176Burnett, A.J. SP NL PIT
177Ethier, Andre RF NL LAN
178Moustakas, Mike 3B AL KCA
179Gomez, Carlos CF NL MIL
180Griffin, A.J. SP AL OAK
181Moore, Matt SP AL TBA
182Iwakuma,   Hisashi SP AL SEA
183Garcia, Jaime SP NL SLN
184Garza, Matt RP NL CHN
185Ruggiano, Justin LF,CF NL MIA
186Berkman, Lance 1B AL TEX
187Morse, Michael LF,RF AL SEA
188Axford, John RP NL MIL
189Holland, Greg RP AL KCA
190Cahill, Trevor SP NL ARI
191Ackley, Dustin 2B AL SEA
192McDonald, James SP NL PIT
193Morrow, Brandon SP AL TOR
194Wilhelmsen, Tom RP AL SEA
195Ortiz, David DH AL BOS
196Simmons, Andrelton SS NL ATL
197Headley, Chase 3B NL SDN
198Madson, Ryan RP AL ANA
199Lynn, Lance SP NL SLN
200Murphy, Daniel 2B NL NYN

2013 MLB Predictions

Friday, March 29, 2013

Projected win total and former Giants spread across the league included.

AL East
1. TB 90
2. Tor 87 - Melky in LF. Rajai Davis is the 4th OF. Mark DeRosa looks to break camp as the utility player.
3. NYY 85 - Chris Stewart, recent 3rd string catcher, starts for the Yankees. Onetime prospect David Aardsma did not make short relief. Former farmhand Thomas Neal is not going to make the club.
4. Bos 82
5. Balt 79- Travis Ishikawa is not going to make the club.

AL Central
1. Det 92
2. KC 80 - Xavier Nady, a late season pickup last year, is maybe in line to be the last man on the roster or a AAA call up.
3. Cle 78
4. CWS 78 - Jeff Keppinger, 2011 second baseman, is the third baseman for the Sox. Conor Gillespie, who has a 2012 ring, breaks camp as the utility player.
5. Min 65 - longtime Giant Kevin Correia is in the rotation.

AL West
1. LAA 91 - Jerome Williams is the longman.
2. Tex 88 - the hated AJ Pierzynski is catching, one of the men we traded for him, Joe Nathan, closes. Eli Whiteside probably does not make the club.
3. Oak 84
4. Sea 75
5. Hou 67

NL East
1. Wash 91
2. Atl 88
3. Phil 80 - Native son Kevin Frandsen is the utility man.
4. NYM 75 - sometime this season - Zack Wheeler.  Now even a better prospect than when we moved him. Somewhere in the pen - 40 year old LaTroy Hawkins
5. Mia 63 - we released Wilson Valdez (thank god) last week; he just missed making the Marlins as a utility guy.

NL Central
1. Cin 92 - Emmanuel Burriss does not look like he'll make the club.  Neither does Clay Hensley
2. StL 83 - the man whose 2 months were somehow worth Wheeler, Carlos Beltran, continues as the Cards RF.
3. Mil 80
4. Pit 78 - Jonathan Sanchez and Francisco Liriano might wind up batting for a spot in the rotation if/when Liriano comes off the DL.  One time superprospect Jason Grilli is the new closer
5. Chi 75 - the RF? Nate Schierholtz.

NL West
1. SFG 88
2. LAD 87 - Juan Uribe, still getting his 2010 playoff bonus paycheck, looks to open the season as the third baseman.
3. Ari 82 - injured to start the season, but eventually the RF is Cody Ross
4. SD 78 - briefly a Giant, Jesus Guzman pinch hits. In the battle for the last man standing from the 2002 Giants left in MLB, Cody Ransom breaks camp as the utility guy
5. Col 71 - The other half of that battle, Yorvit Torrealba looks for one more backup catching season.

AL Post season
1. Det
2. LAA
3. TB
4. Tex v. 5. Tor

ALCS: Detroit v. LAA.
AL Champ - Detroit

NL Post season
1. Cin
2. SFG
3. Was
4. LAD v. 5. Atl

NL Champ - Cincinnati

World Champion - Cincinnati Reds

AL MVP - Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy - Justin Verlander
NL MVP - Joey Votto
NL Cy - Clayton Kershaw

Your 2013 San Francisco Giants

1 CF Angel Pagan
2 2B Marco Scutaro  
3 3B Pablo Sandoval
4 Buster Posey  
5 RF Hunter Pence  
6 1B Brandon Belt  
7 LF Gregor Blanco/Andres Torres 
8 SS Brandon Crawford  

Hector Sanchez  
IF Nick Noonan  
IF Joaquin Arias  
C Guillermo Quiroz

Starting Rotation
1 RHP Matt Cain  
2 RHP Tim Lincecum  
3 LHP Madison Bumgarner  
4 LHP Barry Zito  
5 RHP Ryan Vogelsong  

CL RHP Sergio Romo  
SU RHP Santiago Casilla  
SU LHP Javier Lopez  
MID LHP Jeremy Affeldt  
MID RHP George Kontos  
MID LHP Jose Mijares   
LR RHP Chad Gaudin  

2013 MLB Top 100 Players

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baseball posts all week long.

MLB Network did their "Top 100" list a couple of months ago

First, on each list will be my choice.  In parentheses, the MLB pick. This isn't a fantasy ranking

100. T. Lincecum (Howard)
99. D. Haren (Ortiz)
98. S.Romo (Darvish)
97. A.Chapman (Andrus)
96. J.Ellsbury (Utley)
95. D. Jennings (AGonzalez)
94. N.Cruz (Ellsbury)
93. P.Alvarez (Martinez)
92. B.Belt (Zimmerman)
91. E.Encarnacion (Bourn)
90. A.Ethier (Chapman)
89. T. Hudson (Wainwright)
88. I.Desmond (Lester)
87. RA Dickey (Moustakas)
86. A.Avila (Lowrie)
85. C.Kimbrel (Morse)
84. M.Wieters (Craig)
83. B.Phillips (Hunter)
82. A.Cabrera (Granderson)
81. BJ Upton (Ruiz)
80. J.Shields (McCann)
79. J.Kipnis (Montero)
78. H.Kendrick (Granderson)
77. M.Prado (Johnson)
76. C.Beltran (Motte)
75. J.Willingham (Desmond)
74. C.Headley (Headley)
73. A.Jackson (LaRoche)
72. J.Johnson (Gallardo)
71. P.Goldschmidt (Bumgarner)
70. P.Konerko (Gordon)
69. J.Hellickson (BJ Upton)
68. J.Cueto (Shields)
67. J.Werth (Freese)
66. I.Kinsler (Hardy)
65. A.Pagan (Lohse)
64. D.Uggla (Miley)
63. B.Lawrie (Cueto)
62. D.Freese (Papelbon)
61. B.Butler (Rivera)
60. B.Harper (Ortiz)
59. A.Wainwright (Heyward)
58. A.Ogando (Jackson)
57. C. Utley (Greinke)
56. CJ. Wilson (Sale)
55. C.Gonzalez (Butler)
54. M.Montero (Harper)
53. J.Bruce (Jeter)
52. A.Beltre (Castro)
51. Y.Molina (Tulowitzki)
50. R.Halladay (Dickey)
49. B. Zobrist (GGonzalez)
48. A.Jones (Wieters)
47. M.Bumgarner (Pierzynski)
46. M.Latos (Halladay)
45. K. Medlen (Cain)
44. G. Gonzalez(Sandoval)
43. Z. Greinke (Willingham)
42. C. Sale (Cespedes)
41. C.Hamels (Holliday)
40. J.Heyward (Kinsler)
39. SS Choo (Encarnacion)
38. A.Gordon (Mauer)
37. S. Castro (Weaver)
36. C. Santana (Bruce)
35. J.Hamilton (JUpton)
34. Y.Cespedes (Pedroia)
33. J.Reyes (Konerko)
32. D.Pedroia (A. Ramirez)
31. J.Mauer (Phillips)
30. S.Strasburg (Gonzalez)
29. M.Holliday (Zimmerman)
28. J.Upton (Bautista)
27. P.Sandoval (Kimbrel)
26. R.Zimmerman (Strasburg)
25. C.Lee (Reyes)
24. D.Wright (Y.Molina)
23. CC Sabathia (Jones)
22. A.Gonzalez (Wright)
21. J.Bautista (Posey)
20. M.Kemp (Hamels)
19. Y.Darvish (Lee)
18. P.Fielder (Sabathia)
17. E.Longoria (Pujols)
16. MCain (Longoria)
15. A.McCutchen (Stanton)
14. D.Price (Pujols)
13. R.Cano (Beltre)
12. J.Weaver (Price)
11. T. Tulowitzki (Fielder)
10. B. Posey (Hamilton)
9. F. Hernandez (Votto)
8. A. Pujols (Cano)
7. C. Kershaw (Hernandez)
6. G. Stanton (Braun)
5. M. Trout (Kershaw)
4. J. Verlander (Kemp)
3. R.Braun (Cabrera)
2. Mi. Cabrera (Verlander)
1. J.Votto (Trout)

2013 MLB Top 10 Right Now - Pitchers

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Baseball posts all week long.

MLB Network did their "Top Ten Right Now" series a couple of months ago, naming the top ten players at each position for 2013.  Bill James also named his.

First, on each list will be my choice.  In parentheses, the MLB and James picks.

Starting Pitchers
10. S.Strasburg (Strasburg, Lee)
9. C. Lee (Hamels, Hamels)
8. CC Sabathia (Price, Strasburg)
7. Y. Darvish (Sale, Weaver)
6. M. Cain (Weaver, Sabathia)
5. D. Price (Hernandez, Hernandez)
4. J. Weaver (Halladay, Greinke)
3. F. Hernandez (Kershaw, Price)
2. C. Kershaw (Lee, Kershaw)
1. J. Verlander (Verlander, Verlander)

Relief Pitchers

10. M.Rivera (Balfour, Nathan)
9. F. Rodney (Johnson, Soriano)
8. H.Street (Papelbon, Motte)
7. JJ Putz (Jansen, Axford)
6. K.Jansen (O'Flaherty, Jansen)
5. G. Balfour (Rodney, Frieri)
4. J. Papelbon (Uehara, Rodney)
3. S.Romo (Rivera, Rivera)
2. A.Chapman (Romo, Papelbon)
1. C.Kimbrel (Kimbrel, Kimbrel)

2013 MLB Top 10 Right Now - Outfield

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Baseball posts all week long.

MLB Network did their "Top Ten Right Now" series a couple of months ago, naming the top ten players at each position for 2013.  Bill James also named his.

First, on each list will be my choice.  In parentheses, the MLB and James picks.

Left Field
(Blanco/Torres are 24th)

10. C.Quentin (Willingham, Murphy)
9. J.Willingham (Prado Willingham)
8. B.Harper (Cabrera, Cespedes)
7. C. Gonzalez (Cespedes, Harper)
6. A. Gordon (Gonzalez, Gonzalez)
5. Y. Cespedes (Harper, Prado)
4. J. Upton (Gordon, Gordon)
3. M. Holliday (Holliday, Holliday)
2. M. Trout (Hamilton, Hamilton)
1. R. Braun (Braun, Braun)

Center Fielder

10. J.Jay (Bourn, Pagan)
9. J.Ellsbury (Jones, Bourn)
8. D. Jennings (Jay, Choo)
7. BJ Upton (Granderson, Jackson)
6. A.Jackson (Choo, Ellsbury)
5. A.Pagan (Ellsbury, Jones)
4. Jones (Jackson, Granderson)
3. SS Choo (Kemp, Kemp)
2. M.Kemp (McCutchen, Trout)
1. A.McCutchen (Trout, McCutchen)

Right Field

(Pence - 11th)
10. A.Ethier (Bruce, Pence)
9. J.Werth (Ethier, Ethier)
8. C. Beltran (Swisher, Rios)
7. N.Cruz (Hunter, Markakis)
6. J.Bruce (Zobrist, Stanton)
5. B.Zobrist (Upton, Beltran)
4. J.Heyward (Beltran, Bruce)
3. J.Hamilton (Heyward, Bautista)
2. J.Bautista (Bautista, Zobrist)
1. G. Stanton (Stanton, Heyward)

2013 MLB Top Ten Right Now - Infield

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baseball posts all week long.

MLB Network did their "Top Ten Right Now" series a couple of months ago, naming the top ten players at each position for 2013.  Bill James also named his.

First, on each list will be my choice.  In parentheses, the MLB and James picks.


10. AJ Ellis (Ellis, Hanigan)
9. B. McCann (Avila, Santana)
8. C. Ruiz (Wieters, McCann)
7. M.Wieters (Santana, Ruiz)
6. A. Avila (Perez, Pierzynski)
5. M.Montero (Mauer, Wieters)
4. YMolina (Montero, Montero)
3. C.Santana (Ruiz, Mauer)
2. J. Mauer (Molina, Molina)
1. B. Posey (Posey, Posey)

First Base

10. A.Craig (Napoli, Rizzo)
9. F.Freeman (Encarnacion, Konerko)
8. E.Encarnacion (Goldschmidt, Goldschmidt)
7. B.Belt (Konerko, Freeman)
6. P.Goldschmidt (Craig, LaRoche)
5. P.Konerko (Teixeira, Goldschmidt)
4. A.Gonzalez (Fielder, Teixeira)
3. P.Fielder (Gonzalez, Votto)
2. A.Pujols (Pujols, Fielder)
1. J.Votto (Votto, Pujols)

Second Base

(Scutaro is 17th)
10. J.Altuve (Murphy, Uggla)
9. N.Walker (Kipnis, Weeks)
8. B.Phillips (Kendrick, Kipnis)
7. J.Kipnis (Walker, Hill)
6. H.Kendrick (Uggla, Utley)
5. I.Kinsler (Phillips, Scutaro)
4. D.Uggla (Kinsler, Phillips)
3. C.Utley (Utley, Kinsler)
2. D.Pedroia (Pedroia, Pedroia)
1. R.Cano (Cano, Cano)


(Crawford is 21st)
10. JJ Hardy (Ramirez, Castro)
9. Y. Escobar (Hardy, Aybar)
8. H.Ramirez (Desmond, AEscobar)
7. E.Andrus (Jeter, Hardy)
6. J.Rollins (Aybar, Cabrera)
5. A. Cabrera (Andrus, Rollins)
4. I.Desmond (Cabrera, Andrus)
3. S. Castro (Castro, Tulowitzki)
2. J. Reyes (Reyes, Jeter)
1. T. Tulowitizki (Tulo, Reyes)

Third Base
10. M.Prado (Sandoval, Freese)
9. C. Headley (Freese, Seager)
8. D.Freese (Lawrie, Rodriguez)
7. B. Lawrie (Headley, Rodriguez) (injury knocks him below Freese)
6. A. Beltre (Ramirez, Zimmerman)
5. P. Sandoval (Zimmerman, Headley)
4. R.Zimmerman (Longoria, Longoria)
3. D. Wright (Wright, Wright)
2. E.Longoria (Beltre, Beltre)
1. Cabrera (Cabrera, Cabrera)

Athlete of the Month, March, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

February was here.

LeBron James. Runners-up: Patrick Kane, Dwyane Wade, Kyle Dake

Three months down:
Jan - Colin Kaepernick
Feb - Joe Flacco
Mar - LeBron James


Thursday, March 21, 2013

This is the kind of thing that's going to get me to start tweeting.

I watch a lot of Bravo; I'd say that probably, at this point in my life, I watch as much Bravo as ESPN but that would be untrue as I absolutely watch as much Bravo as ESPN.

Bravo's got it's own vocabulary, filled with terms both used by and which can properly be applied to the characters who make up the programming.  If I raise my finger and say "Bloop" those conversant in the lingua franca know that I'm putting an exclamation on whatever point I'm making. "I got a Trump Check. Bloop" After the Super Bowl, Beyonce said she felt "Gone With the Wind Fabulous" - meaning she's bulletproof, beyond any critique.  "You say I watch too much Bravo?  I'm Gone With the Wind Fabulous."

This week, between myself and my lovely bride came the creation of two words.

1. Buddyguard.  That refers to the tendency Real Housewives have to bring a friend to events in order to deflect criticism and serve to voice thoughts they'd prefer come out of someone else's mouth.  Faye Resnick is Kyle Richards's buddyguard.

And that led to the seemingly obvious need for:

2. Bravocabulary - a way to compile said terminology.

If I tweet, I'm going to adopt the Jay Bilas strategy of following no one.  I can maybe get behind that.

2013 NCAA Basketball Brackets

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I made these picks here, using a slightly different method.

We'll start with the Midwest, giving the upsets.

Round of 64:
9. Missouri over 8. Colorado
12. Oregon over 5. Ok St
11. StM over 6. Memphis

I've got chalk the rest of the way.  That means Louisville.

Now the West.

Round of 64
11. Belmont over 6. Arizona
10. Iowa St. over 7. NDame

Round of 32
5. Wisconsin over 4. KSt.

Elite 8
5. Ohio St over 1. Gonz (note the replacement of Gonzaga in for Wisc from the hard bracket)

Round of 64
11. Minnesota d. 6. UCLA

Sweet 16
3. Florida d. 2. Georgetown

Elite 8
3. Florida d. 1. Kansas.  That means Florida.

Round of 64
14. Davidson d. 3. Marquette
10. Colorado d. 7. Illinois

Chalk the rest of the way.  That means Indiana.

Final Four
Florida d. Indiana
Louisville d. Wisconsin

National Title Game
Florida d. Louisville

Play in Game Picks

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I've got my brackets done (I'm taking Florida to beat Louisville in the final); I'll wait until Wednesday to post it (if St Marys wins tonight, I'll take them to advance to the Round of 32. I may do the same if its Mid Tenn).

Here are my first 4 picks:

St. Marys d. Min Tenn
NC A&T d. Liberty
Boise d. LaSalle
LIU d. JMadison

2013 March Madness Bracket Picks If Selected Based on the USA Today's Listing of Each Team's Notable Alumni

Monday, March 18, 2013

For the past quarter century, I’ve gone out the Monday morning after Selection Sunday to buy two copies of the USA Today.  Why?  Giant brackets (one to fill out, one to populate as the tournament played out) and team capsules.  For several years, really through law school, I cut out those capsules, put them in a baseball cap, and would throw each team away as it was eliminated.

I still occasionally got laid.  I can’t explain it myself.

Today, the capsules are largely as needed as a hard copy of the TV Guide but I was still surprised this year to see that discussion of the players has been replaced with lists of “notable alumni” of each of the 68 tournament teams.

That leads to this.

The 2013 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament as Predicted by The Notable Alumni as Listed in USA Today.

First Round (these are play in games, don’t let them tell you different)

NC A&T (Jesse Jackson) v. Liberty (Sid Bream) – Jackson’s one of the pivotal civil rights figures of the past 40 years, Sid Bream’s career WAR is 9.7 – Winner: NC  A&T

Middle Tennessee St (James Mcgill Buchanan) v. St. Mary’s (Robert Hass) – This is only evaluating the alumni actually named by USA Today, so as to avoid researching where all of my favorite federal judges went to law school…except for this game.  I used to go out with a Mid Tenn St alum, which, since it was an amicable break up, would lead one to believe they were the side – except that I was still seeing her when I met the woman who I would eventually marry, and that’s not a door that needs opened lest I risk her writing about her exes. Ain't nobody got time for that.  Winner – St. Mary's

Boise St. (Steve Appleton) v. LaSalle (Peter Boyle) – Frankenstein’s Monster against some former CEO.  Please – Winner: LaSalle

LIU Brooklyn (Terry Semel) v. James Madison (LeRoi Moore) – Moore was Dave Mathews’s saxophonist, when Semel ran Yahoo, the employees could still work from home – Winner: LIU

Let’s go to the regions.

1.Louisville (Mitch McConnell) v.16. NC A&T (Jesse Jackson)
I voted for President when I was 17; I fell into a loophole in Ohio where because I would turn 18 by the time of the 1988 general election, that I could vote in the Democratic primary even though I was 17.

I cast that vote for Jesse Jackson. I don’t know how many other white 17 year olds who ever voted for Jesse Jackson, but I’m guessing we could fit in a really tiny car that would drive as fast as it could away from Mitch McConnell. Winner – A Shocker! – NC A&T

8. Colorado St (John Amos) v. 9. Missouri (Sam Walton). Let’s see, the founder of a non-union shop or James Evans, Sr., who, in a different time or place, would have been rebounding from one of those “temporary layoffs” with an overnight shift at WalMart.  This is a blowout.  Winner – Colorado St.

5. Oklahoma St. (Barry Sanders) v. 12. Oregon (Ken Kesey). This is a war – how can the author of Cuckoo’s Nest go home in the first round?  By hitting maybe the greatest college football player I've ever seen.  Winner – Oklahoma St.

4. St. Louis (August Busch IV) v. 13. NMex St (Harold Reitsema) – One of these guys has an asteroid named after him.  It ain’t the heir to a brewery.  Winner-New Mexico St.

6. Memphis (Fred Thompson) v. 11. St. Marys (Robert Hass) – Hass and his wife got beaten up by a cop at an Occupy rally.  Thompson probably wishes he were swinging the club.  Winner – St. Marys

3. Michigan St (Magic Johnson) v. 14. Valpo (Not Magic Johnson)Winner: Michigan St.

7. Creighton (Bob Gibson) v. 10. Cincinnati  (William Howard Taft) – I’m not an institutionalist, but as great as Gibson was, he wasn’t both President and Chief Justice.  Plus – fat guy solidarity.  Winner – Cincinnati

2. Duke (Richard Nixon) v. 15. Albany (Harvey Milk). There was a book a year ago alleging Nixon used to bang Bebe Rebozo.  Too little, too late.  Winner – Albany

Round of 32:

8. Colorado St. (John Amos) v. 16. NC A&T (Jesse Jackson) – a 16 seed in the Sweet Sixteen?  Winner – NC A&T

5. OK St v. (Barry Sanders) 13. NMex St v. (Harold Reitsema) – Ask Harlon Barnett who wins this game.  Winner: OK St.

3. Michigan St. (Magic Johnson) v. 11. St Marys (Not Magic Johnson) – Winner: Michigan St.

10. Cincinnati (William Howard Taft) v.15. Albany (Harvey Milk) – If Taft doesn’t run for re-election and instead endorses Teddy, who made a sharp left turn while on safari, that third Roosevelt term is probably more progressive, certainly on race, than Wilson’s.  Winner – Albany

Sweet 16:
5. OK St (Barry Sanders) v. 16. NC A&T (Jesse Jackson) – Sanders averaged 5 yards a carry for his career, Jesse’s kid’s going to jail for using campaign funds to buy one of Michael Jackson’s hats for 4 grand.  Winner – OK St.

3. Michigan St. (Magic Johnson) v. 15. Albany (Not Magic Johnson) – Winner: Michigan St.

Elite 8:
3. Michigan St. (Magic Johnson) v. 5. Oklahoma St. (Barry Sanders) – Barry Sanders is one of the greatest backs in NFL history.  He’s Not Magic Johnson.

                                  MIDWEST REGION WINNERS – MICHIGAN ST.

1.       Gonzaga (Bing Crosby) v. 16. Southern (Randy Jackson) – Bing Crosby’s been dead 35 years; he released a duet with Michael Buble 3 months ago.  That’s the definition of survive and advance. Winner – Gonzaga

8. Pitt ( Gene Kelly) v. 9. Wichita St. (Bill Parcells) – there’s a story, perhaps apocryphal,  of Parcells eating a Dove Bar while on a treadmill – that’s some pretty nifty footwork needed to pull that off.  Unfortunately, on the other side of the court is Gene Kelly.  Winner – Pitt

5. Wisconsin (Errol Morris) v. 12. Mississippi (John Grisham) – Art battles Commerce in the Round of 64.  If there’s one place where art should still win that game, it’s college.  Winner: Wisconsin

4. Kansas St. (Erin Brockovich) v. 13. LaSalle(Bill Raftery) – Send it in Jerome! Winner: LaSalle

6. Arizona (Garry Shandling) v. 11. Belmont (A couple of popular country singers).  You could put all the popular country singers you can find in the same Intro to Sociology Course at Belmont and they still don’t beat Larry Freaking Sanders.  Winner: Arizona

3.NMexico (Brian Urlacher) v. 14. Harvard (the 44th President of the United States).  Harvard’s also got Conan O’Brien.  The Crimson are gonna be a tough out.  Winner: Harvard

7. Notre Dame (Regis Philbin) v. 10. Iowa St. (George Washington Carver).  I’m allergic to peanuts.  Winner: Notre Dame

2.       Ohio St. (Jesse Owens) v. Iona 15. (Richie Guerin).  Yeah, that seems like an unlikely upset on anyone’s bracket.  Winner: Ohio St.

Round of 32:
1.       Gonzaga (Bing Crosby) v. 8. Pitt (Gene Kelly) – without looking it up, I don’t think Kelly was ever accused of beating his entire family.  Winner: Pitt

5. Wisconsin (Errol Morris) v. 13. LaSalle (Peter Boyle) – I enjoyed Everybody Loves Raymond as much as did anyone who only watched two episodes, but it didn’t get anyone freed from a Texas penitentiary.  Winner:  Wisconsin

6. Arizona (Garry Shandling/Geraldo Rivera) v. 14. Harvard (Conan O’Brien/Barack Obama). Here’s where depth comes into play; Conan/Shandling is a lean to the Wildcats – but then not only does Harvard come at you with Obama, they do it against Geraldo.  Geraldo!  Even the most hardcore where’s the birth certificate/terrorist fist jab/get your government out of my Medicare wacko couldn’t give it to Geraldo.  Winner: Harvard

2.       Ohio St. (Jesse Owens) v. 7. Notre Dame (Regis Philbin) – I’ve met two of the alums in this tournament; about five feet from where I’m currently sitting is the pen I may have taken from one of them.  No, I do not have Jesse Owens’s pen.  Winner-Notre Dame

Sweet Sixteen
5. Wisconsin (Errol Morris/Joan Cusack) v. 8. Pitt (Gene Kelly) – It’s a good battle between Thin Blue Line and Singin’ in the Rain – but Joan Cusack hits you with Say Anything and Broadcast News and In and Out and School of Rock and Perks of Being a Wallflower and it’s the Badgers who advance.  Winner-Wisconsin

7. Notre Dame (Joe Montana) v. 14. Harvard (Conan/Obama) – I buried the lede.  The Irish have a second listed alum.  Conan’s good times, but he ain’t Letterman and while the Obama legacy isn’t written yet FDR seems pretty far away.  It’s that second group that Montana’s in.  Winner: Notre Dame

Elite 8
5. Wisconsin (Morris/Cusack)  v. 7. Notre Dame (Joe Montana) – It’s the same game as the previous round, you can find better documentarians than Morris and better Cusacks than Joan.  But you don’t get better  than 13 TD (rushing and passing combined) and 0 picks in 4 Super Bowls.  Winner: Notre Dame



1.       Kansas (Wilt Chamberlain) v. 16. Western Kentucky (Kenny Perry).  It could be that I went through a multi-month interview process with one of these schools to just come up short at the very, very end.  It could be.  Winner-Kansas.

8. UNC (James K Polk/Mia Hamm) v. Villanova (Don McLean/Maria Bello). I mean, have you seen The Cooler?  Have you seen the Cooler?  One side invaded Mexico and the other side is The Cooler? Winner: Nova

5. VCU (Stephen Furst) v. 12. Akron (the drummer for the Black Keys)
-Much like Howard Stern, I think the Black Keys are good, but Flounder is closer to my milieu.  Winner: VCU

4.Michigan (Arthur Miller) v. 13. S.Dakota St. (Adam Vinatieri)
-Shockingly, it wasn’t a South Dakota St. grad who wrote Death of a Salesman.  Winner: Michigan

6. UCLA (Jim Morrison) v. 11. Minnesota (Thomas Friedman)
-Friedman is almost always wrong about almost always everything.  Morrison was the Lizard King.  Winner: UCLA

 3.Florida (Erin Andrews) v. 14. Northwestern St. (Bobby Hebert)
-My boy Maury is a Gator grad.  What up Maury!  And that’s how I avoid any reference to illegally obtained  videos which blew up the internet.  Winner: Florida

7. San Diego St. (Joe Gibbs) v. 10. Oklahoma (James Garner) 
-I’m not generally swayed by iconic maleness – you give me John Wayne, and I’ll talk about a cartoon tough guy who liked to rhetorically punch hippies after avoiding military service himself.  But James Garner?  The Rock?  That’s my dude.  Winner: Oklahoma

2.       Georgetown (the 42nd President of the United States  v. 15. Fla Gulf Coast (I’ve been teaching in higher ed in Florida for a decade – there’s a school called Florida Gulf Coast?) Winner: Georgetown

Round of 32
1.       Kansas (Wilt) v. 9. Nova (Maria Bello) – Wilt averaged 30 points and 20 boards for his career.  He’s Babe Ruth.   Winner: Kansas

4.Michigan (James Earl Jones) v. 5. VCU (Stephen Furst) – Michigan can leave the playwright on the bench for this one.  Winner: Michigan

3.Florida (Erin Andrews) v. 6. UCLA (Jim Morrison/Rob Reiner)- The Lizard King and Meathead?  That’s a gritty, veteran backcourt.  That’s Mike Warren/Lucius Allen right there. Winner: UCLA.

2.       Georgetown (Bill Clinton/Bradley Cooper/Allen Iverson) v. 10. Oklahoma (James Garner) – That’s a bad locker room for the Hoyas, a lot of guys needing the ball and time at the mirror.  Winner: Oklahoma

Sweet 16:
1.       Kansas (Wilt) v. 4. Michigan (Arthur Miller) – Wilt slept with 20,000 women.  Miller married Marilyn Monroe.  Winner: Michigan

6. UCLA (Morrison/Reiner/Jackie Joyner Kersee) v. 10. Oklahoma (Garner) – Have I mentioned I’m a big Garner fan?  Winner: The Rock!

Elite 8:
4.Michigan (Miller) v. 10. Oklahoma (Garner) – Miller wrote Act I of the greatest American play in less than a day.  With malice toward none and charity to all, we say goodbye to the Sooners.  Winner: Michigan


1.       Indiana (Will Shortz) v. 16. LIU (Terry Semel) – who doesn’t enjoy a good crossword every now and again in 1998?  Winner: Indiana

8. NC St (John Edwards) v. 9. Temple (Bill Cosby) – Did you know from the ages of 7 to 15, that Cosby thought his name was Jesus Christ and his brother Russell thought his name was Dammit?  Really tragic stuff.  I mean, not as bad as Edwards, but still.  Winner: Temple

5. UNLV (Kenny Mayne) v. 12. Cal (Gregory Peck)
-Remember when I told you I’ve met two of the listed alumni?  Did you notice the first one is in the Final Four?  Winner: UNLV

4. Syracuse (Jim Brown) 13. Montana (Carroll O’Connor)
-Holy cats, can you imagine such a round one game?  Now peep this.  I’m taking Archie Bunker. Winner: Montana

6. Butler (Thad Motta) v. 11. Bucknell (Les Moonves)
-Moonves is married to Julie Chen and that keeps my favorite American reality competition show, Big Brother, in business.  Winner: Bucknell.

3. Marquette (Chris Farley) v. 14. Davidson (Steph Curry)
Among the more overrated comedians of my lifetime – Farley.  Among the more underrated players in the NBA – Curry.  Winner: Davidson

7. Illinois (Roger Ebert) v. 10. Colorado (Rick Reilly)
-One of these guys is a terrific, important writer and cultural commentator.  And the other is Rick Reilly.  Winner: Illinois

2. Miami (Dwayne Johnson) v. 15. Pacific (Pete Carroll)
-Much like in the upcoming Wrestlemania, The Rock ends the evening on his back, looking at the lights.  Winner: Pacific.

Round of 32:
1.       Indiana (Will Shortz) v. 9. Temple (Bill Cosby):  Seriously, I almost voted for John Edwards – that would be a tough one to walk back.  All that filth and foul, filth.  Temple gets an extra round just for having to go through it.  Winner: Temple

5. UNLV (Kenny Mayne) v. 13. Montana (Carroll O’Connor): If I had finished 1st instead of 3rd, maybe this result would be different, Kenny.  Winner: Montana

11. Bucknell (Les Moonves) v. 14. Davidson (Steph Curry) – you know the metrics say Curry is one of the great outside shooters of all time?  He’s buried out there with my Warriors….oops.  I mean, I’m completely objective, I don’t at all root for the Warriors (Go Warriors!). Winner: Davidson

7. Illinois (Ebert) v. 15. Pacific (Carroll) – If this were a half dozen years ago, when Pete was leading the resurgence of my Trojans, instead of today when he’s my chief enemy in Seattle, this game has a different result.  But unless there’s been an email chain on which I’m not CC’d, it is not, in fact six years ago.  Winner: Illinois

Sweet 16:
9. Temple (Cosby) v. 13. Montana (O’Connor) – Archie knocked off Jim Brown, but gets his comeuppance in the Sweet 16.  He should have listened to Edith all along.  Winner: Temple

7. Illinois (Roger Ebert/Nick Offerman) v. 14. Davidson (Steph Curry) – My affection for Ebert is virtually boundless, but when he meets the GSW (Go Warriors!  We Believe!) point guard he looks to be outmatched….until he’s joined by Ron Swanson, who builds a pyramid of greatness right into the Elite 8. Winner: Illinois

Elite 8:
7. Illinois (Ebert/Offerman) v. 9. Temple (Cosby)  Shorts over 6 inches are capri pants.  Shorts under 6 inches are European.  Winner: Illinois

                                                 EAST REGION WINNER: ILLINOIS

So, your final 4, three Big 10 Teams and the Irish

                                                     Michigan St. v. Notre Dame
                                                             Michigan v. Illinois

-Michigan St’s got Magic Johnson; they also have creepy Dateline host Chris Hansen.  Notre Dame has the greatest quarterback who ever lived and a guy whose pen I now have placed next to my brackets.  Pen!  Pen!  Pen!  Winner: Notre Dame

-Michigan’s got the genius playwright and Darth Vader’s voice.  Illinois has a venerable movie critic and Ron By God Swanson.  Even Ebert, I’m guessing, would not suggest he should go over Arthur Miller, and even Swanson would bow before Lord Vader.  Winner: Michigan

                               In the real world, I’m taking Florida to beat Louisville in the finals.

But here – in the USA Today Notable Alumni Bracket we have:

                                                         Notre Dame v. Michigan

You guys know I’m from San Francisco, right?  I mean, if it's Montana vs. My Last Breath I'm taking Joe.  I didn't hit Dwight in the back of the end zone.  It's only right.

                                         National Champions: Notre Dame Fighting Irish. 

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