Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blogroll Updates

He's ready.
flickr: eurodana

A little housekeeping on a Saturday afternoon. Light rain, cool & grey, waiting for that 8:35 p.m. first pitch.

Removed: The Soul of Baseball. Joe Posnanski has suspended his original and is now posting at this eponymous JoeBlog, which has been added to the blogroll in its place. He still writes at length and obsessively. I look forward to his every post, even though sometimes they're so long I have to skim.

Removed: Don to Earth. Don last posted in March that he is not dead yet, but his blog appears to be.

Removed: Informed Comment, Booman Tribune, I Blame the Patriarchy, Overheard in New York, Tree Hugger, and Crooks & Liars. I've stopped reading them regularly so they're off the roll. It's not like any of them blogroll me, anyway. I think the only blog on this entire blogroll that blogrolls me is skippy the bush kangaroo.

Additions: Boltgirl on the Loose, who I have grouped with the women's soccer blogs, though she posts on gay issues as well as personal stuff. A good read. Plus my blogroll's not gay enough. I won't blogroll Americablog because I'm banned there (for complaining about John Aravosis insulting someone by calling them a "Big Girl"; what a maroon.)

Sideline Views, for Andrea Canales reports on women's soccer (she also writes for ESPN's Soccernet, but I won't blogroll ESPN as they hate soccer. Maybe if they fire Dave O'Baseball as soccer announcer I'd reconsider.

Kickster, another women's soccer blog.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Wish I Wrote This

Esquire: TheSide: Blog
Why You Should Root for the Boston Red Sox
Because they represent everything that is good about America. (Of course, not everyone agrees with this.)

Read the whole thing; it's hilarious. For this:

I've left out some people, I'm sure, but that's basically your 2007 Boston Red Sox: two Japanese exchange students, a feisty runt, a tough-looking Jew, a Navajo Indian, an idiot-savant, a right-wing asshole, the human embodiment of charisma, and a man named after a breakfast cereal. That's America, right there. And, ain't that something worth cheering for?

And this:

Eric Gillin: The Colorado Rockies? Seriously? How can anyone cheer for the Colorado Rockies? They're like a bag of Wonder Bread with a jar of Miracle Whip -- a bland collection of forgettable ballplayers with candy-ass names like "Taylor" and "Jamey." If you could buy the Colorado Rockies in the grocery store, they'd come in a white box with giant black letters across the front saying BASEBALL TEAM. Their lineup looks like it came off a Mattel production line, a ball-free collection of multicultural Kens with the occasional goatee and the underwear already stamped in.

I know this is unfair, but I still consider the Rockies a bush league marketing ploy that allowed baseball to sell more black merchandise when all the pro sports leagues overexpanded in the 1990s. I know I'm going to regret this later, but right now I have trouble taking the franchise seriously. They play 5,000 feet above sea level. They've never won their own division. Their Website crashed when World Series tickets went on sale. Their uniforms don't have sleeves.

And this immortal video of Manny Ramirez petting Julian Tavares' head:

Hat tip to Cursed to First.

Random Red Sawx Notes

Boston Globe

- I just drove by two girls, maybe 10 years old, in a park on the edge of Main St., holding up a sign that said "Honk if you Love the Red Sox", both outfitted in Sox shirts and sunglasses, screamingly gleefully at each car that honked as it went by. Pure joy.

- What's with Clint Hurdle and the bobbing cap? I've never seen anyone chew their gum so intensely that those little muscles on the side of your temples could move your baseball cap. It's really weird to watch.

- Someone please give Tim McCarver and Joe Buck a big cup of STFU. I would pay extra for a TV that let me mute announcers and listen to nothing but the crowd noise.

- What's with all the limp dick ads during the World Series? Pee medicine, erection medicine, ewwwwwwww. Last night I noticed that the first one came on at 10:00 p.m. Luckily the two kids in the room were already asleep, so I didn't have to explain weak stream or four hour erections to teenagers. Are baseball fans the target audience? Is there a high percentage of men with defective equipment watching the Series? Personally, I'm sick of hearing about it.

- Jonathon Papelbon is married. Can you imagine living with him? Does he make that face at home? Is it his Baby let's do it face? (That question is definitely influenced by all those limp dick ads I've been forced to watch for the last two weeks.) Dance? Talk crazy? I'd imagine that he is exhilarating, infuriating and exhausting, all in the same day.

- Did anyone else feel kind of icky hearing the bullpen band banging out the Atlanta Braves Indian tom-tom rhythm while Jacoby Ellsbury was batting? And a couple of them were doing the tomahawk chop. To me, that's racist and not cool. John Henry: a little education is in order here.

- Ellsbury a/k/a Tacoby Bellsbury wins America a free taco with an uncontested steal. Appropriate as he is the fastest guy on the field. This NYTimes writer is offended by the taped conversations in the dugout about the Taco Bell challenge; to me they make sense. These guys didn't come from money. They probably still go to Taco Bell while making their million dollar salaries.

- I love love love Pedroia the Destroia. Especially since I'm convinced I can look him in the eye. He's listed at 5'9", but Francona says he's 5'7", and on ESPN the other night Peter Gammons said what I believe to be true: He's 5'5". He's the Muggsy Bogues of baseball! Some other guy on ESPN said Pedroia has the smallest hands he's ever seen on a major league baseball player. They don't look freakishly small to me, but the camera does put on 10 lbs.

Feel the Pedroia love: Arizona Republic, USAToady, Boston Globe, The Republican,, East Valley (AZ) Tribune, Boston Herald (his mom), Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune.

- Best sign of the night had to be the giant dancing Papelbon puppet. The swinging legs! The compression shorts! Two-dimensional Cinco Ocho.

- Hope the Sox resign Mike Lowell, if just to save me from the horror of having to watch Alex Rodriguez, the pretty loser. I just can't cheer for the guy. Let the Cubs have him; let the Cubs prolong their agony.

Boston Globe: Photoshopping the Sox

Genarlow Wilson: Free at Last

ABC: A handout photo from the office of his attorney, shows 17-year-old Genarlow Wilson, now 21. Wilson has currently served more than two years of a ten-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex when he was 17 with a 15-year-old girl in 2003. (Genarlow Wilson) Court says teen sex conviction 'cruel and unusual' punishment

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- The Supreme Court of Georgia ordered Friday that Genarlow Wilson be released from prison, ruling that his sentence for a teen sex conviction was cruel and unusual punishment. Court: Free Teen Jailed for Consensual Sex
Georgia Supreme Court Found a 10-Year Sentence for Oral Sex With Fellow Teen 'Cruel'

Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote in the majority opinion that the changes in the law "represent a seismic shift in the legislature's view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants."

Sears wrote that the severe punishment makes "no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment" and that Wilson's crime did not rise to the "level of adults who prey on children."

Edited to add: Click on the label "Genarlow Wilson", below, to read all posts on this travesty of justice. This kid served two years for a blow job; Scooter Libby committed treason & he's sitting home free.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Turkeys Everywhere

Boston Globe: Turkeys take to cities, towns

I saw a turkey on my daily walk yesterday, along with a circling redtail hawk, a kingfisher, and plenty of crows. The turkey had just drunk from the Wachusett Reservoir and was hurrying back to a copse of trees as I came along the path.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Greg Ryan

WaPo Soccer Insider: Ryan Out As Women's Coach

Better late than never. The guy should have been fired in the middle of the World Cup for pulling that stunt of changing goalkeepers midstream. I wouldn't want to go hunting with Sunil Gulati. By the time he decided to shoot, it would have changed seasons.

We're Melting

WaPo: At the Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate

For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it's not fiction.

The scenes are playing, at the start, in slow motion: The relentless grip of the Arctic Ocean that defied man for centuries is melting away. The sea ice reaches only half as far as it did 50 years ago. In the summer of 2006, it shrank to a record low; this summer the ice pulled back even more, by an area nearly the size of Alaska. Where explorer Robert Peary just 102 years ago saw "a great white disk stretching away apparently infinitely" from Ellesmere Island, there is often nothing now but open water. Glaciers race into the sea from the island of Greenland, beginning an inevitable rise in the oceans.

Animals are on the move. Polar bears, kings of the Arctic, now search for ice on which to hunt and bear young. Seals, walrus and fish adapted to the cold are retreating north. New species -- salmon, crabs, even crows -- are coming from the south. The Inuit, who have lived on the frozen land for millennia, are seeing their houses sink into once-frozen mud, and their hunting trails on the ice are pocked with sinkholes.

"It affects everyone," said Carin Ashjian, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute scientist who spent early September with native Inupiats in Barrow, the northernmost town of Alaska. "The only ice I saw this year was in my cup at the cafeteria."

At the South Pole, ancient ice shelves have abruptly crumbled. The air over the western Antarctic peninsula has warmed by nearly 6 degrees since 1950. The sea there is heating as well, further melting edges of the ice cap. Green grass and beech trees are taking root on the ice fringes.

Antarctica's signature Adelie penguins are moving inland, seeking the cold of their ancestors, replaced by chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, which prefer open water. Krill, the massive smorgasbord for a food chain reaching to the whales, are disappearing from traditional spawning grounds.

Hope Solo: The Backstory

Watch this video telling the story of Hope Solo and her father, who died this spring. And think about how abysmally her teammates treated her for daring to tell the truth, that their coach made a huge mistake by replacing her in goal for the Brazil game. Once you see this story, you'll see that their treatment of her was especially cruel. Like kicking a puppy. Just wrong.

Hat tip to Kickster.

Fire Him Or Else

If USSoccer doesn't fire Greg Ryan, they reveal themselves to know NOTHING about soccer. Nothing. I won't go to a USWNT game until he's gone.

WaPo: Greg Ryan Announcement Monday

USSF President Sunil Gulati and Secretary General Dan Flynn will address U.S. women's national team coach Greg Ryan's status during a media teleconference at 4 p.m. (Eastern) on Monday.

The sins of Greg Ryan:

(1) Adopting bootball tactics instead of the beautiful possession game.

(2) Blowing the 2007 World Cup by putting in rusty, over-the-hill Brianna Scurry for hot, best-goalie-in-the-world-right-now Hope Solo. Stupidest decision in the history of sports. Brianna Scurry was the best goalie in the world in 1999. Not 2007.

(3) Hired all male assistant coaches.

(4) Had the players practicing separately by position. What?

(5) Played Kristine Lilly too many minutes, in the wrong position. She's a midfielder, you dope.

(6) Losing to Brazil in a win-or-go-home game against Brazil, he made DEFENSIVE substitutions. Moron.

(7) Inability to adapt tactically, like having Cat Whitehill come from the back to take throw-ins while the US was down a man to Brazil (lead directly to the third goal in the game).

(8) Choked under pressure. Who can forget him chattering like a monkey on the sidelines during the North Korea game? I'd freak out if my coach acted like that during a game.

(9) Humiliating Hope Solo after she spoke the truth. She would have made those saves.

(10) Destroying the reputation of the greatest women's sports team in the world. Unforgivable.

ALCS celebration
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon celebrated on the field after the Red Sox won the AL pennant.
(Getty Images Photo / Al Bello)