Wednesday, October 24, 2012

World Series Preview . . . with a 5 year-old

This is breaking my rule of posting anything over 201 characters but I think it was too good not to publish.

I'll preface this World Series discussion with my daughter by saying that I am guilty of indoctrination. I teach her to love the Padres and Chargers. I teach her to hate (in the context of sport) the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Raiders and Patriots. On the Indoctrination Front that's absolutely it. There's no religion, politics, or jingoism. With the exception of choosing teams to root for I believe wholeheartedly in free thinking . . .

Daughter: Daddy, I want one of your Padres bobbleheads.

Me: How about I get you a bobblehead for Christmas.

Daughter: Yes, I want 100!

Me: Well we don't have enough money to get you 100 bobbleheads. But I'll see what I can do.

Daughter: Cool.

Me: But if I get you a bobblehead you have to do something for me. You  have to start watching more baseball.

Daughter: OK. When the season starts.

Me: No. It starts tonight. Game 1 of the Worlds Series. Giants versus the Tigers. The first one to win 4 games in the Champion. Tonight we watch and cheer AGAINST the Giants.

Daughter: Against?

Me: Yes. We're rooting AGAINST the Giants and FOR the Tigers. So we have to root for the Tigers tonight.

Daughter: Because they're America?

Me: Uh . . . yes. Because they're America.

Go Tigers. Do it for 'Merica!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Fences Are Coming In!

The fences are coming in at PETCO Park. So what does this mean for breakfast on the warning track prior to Sunday games?

Thank God! It is Sunday breakfast, after all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Los Angeles Dodgers: Looking like a whore

As a former writer for the Wall Street Journal and the author of The Extra 2%, Jonah Keri's financial views on the game of baseball are always well worth the read. Keri wrote a great column at Grantland the other day about the financial direction of the Los Angeles Dodgers. With a Gazillion dollar television deal on the horizon Keri wonders, "When you throw every fiscal strategy of the past decade out the window are you crazy . . . or genius?"

It's an interesting read. Ultimately, Keri comes to a conclusion that I don't entirely agree with: that the Dodgers might actually be smart. But it's Keri's Fault! I used the facts he presented to draw my conclusion.

This is the part of Jonah Keri's column where I became giddy:
"The value of this franchise is represented in the price we paid — that doesn't go up or down with one or two players' salaries," said Mark Walter, the Dodgers' principal owner and chairman. Walter was then asked if the Dodgers have a spending ceiling. "Somewhere, I suppose," came his oblique reply. Then, the coup de grace. Someone asked Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten about the possibility of butting up against MLB's very punitive luxury tax. "Mark and Magic don't even ask me about that," he said of his bosses' instructions, or lack thereof.
 At first blush the idea that the Dodgers are now like the free-wheeling Yankees is a scary thought. But fear not. The Dodgers are like a rich housewife whose kids are now off at school. She has little to do with her time so she fills the void by shopping. She adds new shoes to an already filled closet of shoes yet she rarely finds the time to wear these expensive accoutrements. The truth is that none of this really matters because she looks like a whore in most of those shoes anyways.

That's the Los Angeles Dodgers in a nutshell: A rich whore spending money on tons of crap for one reason and one reason only . . . she can.

I say keep doing it. Keep paying arms, legs, and shoes for players over 30 you dirty whore of a baseball team!

Go read the article to see every move the Dodgers have made this summer. It's a list of crazy stupid. Which I endorse.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Deciphering a Darren Smith Conversation with Adrian Gonzalez, robot

Yesterday, Darren Smith of XX1090 spoke with Adrian Gonzalez -- native San Diegan and new first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The interview was insightful on varied levels.

As a dedicated listener to Darren's show, I always marvel at his capabilities as an interviewer. Darren provided a comfortable setting for Adrian to open up to his hometown of San Diego about his time in Boston, putting on the uniform of the enemy in LA, and persisting through the modern world as a robot.

DARREN SMITH: Adrian, as always, a pleasure. Thank you very much for a few minutes

ADRIAN GONZALEZ: Hey. Darren. How are. You. Doing.

DS: Have you got use to that yet? Adrian Gonzalez the first baseman for the LA Dodgers?

AG: Yeah. As much. As. You. Can get. Used. To. That's. For Sure. The minute I. Heard. I. Was. Traded. I'm. Used. To. It. As. An. Artificial. Life. Form. I have. The ability. To adapt. More Readily. than my human. Counterparts.

DS: I was gonna say, 'Hey, congratulations or I was gonna say 'Hey man, I'm sorry it didn't work out.' What do you say to somebody like yourself in this situation?

AG: No. Congratulations. I. Mean. You. Know. We didn't win. Like what. Was. Expected. Of us in. Boston. But. The. Fact. That I. Don't think you can. Say. It. Didn't turn out. Or work out. Again. I am. Showing my. Abilities. As a 21st century. Machine. To Adapt is my. Primary function. Artificial. Intelligence can. Do this. Have you. Seen. The Incredibles?

DS: When did you first start hearing about the rumors about the possibility and when did you think it was going to become a reality?

AG: Um. Yeah. I mean. Friday. Same thing as. You. Guys. As. Artificial Intelligence. I am not yet. Equipped. To analyze. Predictive models. I. Was surprised. As surprised. As. A. Robot Can. Be.

DS: How surprised are you when you hear this, especially at the tail end of the month of August?

AG: Yeah. No. It's. Definitely. Surprising. The. Day. Before. That. On. Thursday. I. Never would. Have thought. Of it. As I. Mentioned previously. Despite. My. Programming. I was. Surprised. By. Robot. Standards. Anyways.

DS: Could you describe what the experience was like in Boston? I know it's a tough thing to ask and it's a tough thing to answer in 60 seconds or so, but overall, what was the experience like playing for the Red Sox?

AG: It was. A great. Experience. The. Fans. Were. Awesome. The Atmosphere at the. Ball. Park. Playing on the. Road. The. Whole. Red Sox Nation. They were all. Incredible. But. As a. CV-1000 model. Artificial. Human. I don't perform well. At. The. Particular. Line of latitude. Where Boston. Resides. Look at my. History. I have been. The property of. Florida. Texas. And. San. Diego. My. Circuitry. Is best suited. For. Sustainability in. Southern climes. This is really just. Robot 101.

DS: Was there anything that you didn't like about it? Was there anything that really didn't seem like a good fit for you?

AG: No. I mean. Personally. I had a. Great. Time. I loved my. Teammates. Except for. Josh. Beckett. He put. Chicken grease. In. My. USB. And airports. Which drastically. Reduced my power. Capabilities. Ironically. The Dodgers acquired. Beckett. As well as a machine. With artificial. Intelligence. I am. Surprisingly. Adept at detecting. Irony. Humans make. Strange choices. When. Large. Amounts. Of. Money. Are at. Their disposal.

DS: Did you take a good look at yourself in that Dodger uniform and what did you think when you put on that Dodger blue?

AG: Oh man. I was so. Excited. Of course. This is a contrived. Response. Written by my. Programmer. While I am in. A. Constant. State. Of evolution. Emotion is still. Very. Difficult. To grasp.

DS: Is it weird in any capacity that you do grow up in this area, knowing what the Dodgers mean to this fan base, was that at all bizarre for you, whatsoever, to think about that?

AG: Well I. Mean. You know. It's. We. Uh. Grow. Up. As. A. Fan. And. But. When you get. Into. This business. And you. Play. The. Game. You realize that. The thing that. Matters. Is. Playing to. Win . . . Again. This is. A Difficult question. The circuitry sequencing. In. My. Power Cortex. Does not. Discern. Geographic irregularities. As long. As. Weather. Patterns. Remain constant.
DS: When you were a kid (robot) though, growing up here as a Padre fan, what did you think about the Dodgers?

AG: Fernando.Valenzuela. Played. For. The Dodgers. So you always. Follow Fernando. And you. Know. It's the Padres' rival. So. It's. Always. Exciting. While I was. Very. Young. When. Fernandomania. Was. At it's peak. My. Advanced. Processing. Capabilities. Allowed. Me. To understand what. Many humans. Refer to. As. A Phenomenon. My search capabilities. Also indicate. That. Fernando. Played. For. The. Padres. During the. 95-96. Seasons. Padres fans. Should. Love. The Dodgers. I look forward. To their. Adulation when. I return. To. San Diego.

DS: So, you never went to Qualcomm Stadium and booed the Dodgers when they would come to town?

AG: Um. You know. I was a. Kid. I mean robot. You. Just go. Watch. Baseball.

Go to XX1090 to listen to the rest of Darren's excellent interview with Adrian Gonzalez, robot. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Friday Rumor Mill

If you live in Cox country you are presented with a not-so-unique opportunity tonight. At 5:30 PM you can turn on Padres POV prior to the start of the game in Arizona and have a beer with Bob Chandler, RJ's Fro, and myself.

The Fox program filmed us last month during a Padres and Pints episode we had scheduled with Chandler, the great Padres play-by-play man.

Tune in and watch it. Maybe we'll get invited back like Harry the Heckler who is fast becoming as familiar on FSSD as an SNL show hosted by Alec Baldwin or Tom Hanks.

Rumor: Adrian Gonzalez is on his way to the Dodgers.
Truth: The Red Sox put AG on waivers and the Dodgers claimed him. This should be interesting moving forward.

Rumor: People think that the Padres wearing blue uniforms is a stroke of genius.
Truth: Bring back the brown, baby.

Rumor: Jed Gyorko will be in San Diego when rosters expand in September.
Truth: Jed Gyorko will be in San DIego when rosters expand in September. Or he won't.

Rumor: I'm 6'3".
Truth: Measurements indicate that I am actually 6'2 1/4" despite generally telling people I'm a shade under 6'2". No links will be provided.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tales from AT&T Park: A trip to the restroom

Yesterday I finally linked up the story that chronicled my trip to San Francisco to see the Padres play a three game series at AT&T Park.

Three days in a city like San Francisco while watching three baseball games yields a lot of detail, so much so, that it's nearly impossible to write the entire experience. Here's a very short story about my trip to the bathroom on night one of the series.

The Padres had the lead and Corey Luebke held the Giants in check on an extremely cold Friday evening in the Bay. This would be Luebke's last game before discovering a torn ulnar collateral ligament. But that's not what made me have to pee.

Our seats were out in center field. It was late in the game, the temperature dropping quicker than the passing of each half inning, and a day of drinking in the city had caught up with me.

The closest restroom required me to exit the section, walk 20 yards past the Anchor Steam beer bonanza, and walk down a set of stairs. As I reached the bottom of the stairs I turned left and came upon a rookery of Giants fans.

They collectively stared, confused by the misplaced minority in Padres gear. Only one within the group had the temerity to address my presence, though. He was thin and stood about 6' 4" tall.

As he primed himself to speak he made a face -- a mocking upside down smile, puffing out a pouty lower lip. He then said these words exactly:
"Awwww . . . did someone lose a bet?"
This is not a picture of the 6'4" Giants fan. But it is how he had dressed himself.

I smiled and thought to myself, "Yes. Yes. It is I who lost the bet. I lost. Me. I'm the loser."

But I didn't need to say a word: His appearance was satisfaction enough.

I continued on my way to the AT&T Park commode basking in the glow of not only a Padres lead that would eventually bring a victory but the knowledge that I have a wife who would never let me leave the house looking like that particular Giants fan.