Monday, April 27, 2009

Shit sandwich

Instead of turning this blog into one of those whiny emo discussions I hate, I'm taking the approach that when life shits on you, make a shit sandwich. The fact it reminds me of Spinal Tap doesn't hurt either.

I've had to travel a lot for work, and my project I spent the last couple of months on was cancelled. But hey, I got paid for all that meaningless work. Mmmm, shit sandwich.

The fact that I'm bandless means I've been searching around on Craigslist trying to get a new gig. But I get to meet all kinds of interesting people this way. Kinda like going to the fair. The shit sandwich is so moist.

Plus, I've been fighting a stomach problem the last few days. I guess this is a literal version of the shit sandwich.

Seriously, I've been getting kicked around a little these days, so I'm not feeling real humorous right now. I'm sure I'll be back to my infantile style of humor in a few days. Until then, enjoy this picture of a cool explosion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The day the music died

After much soul searching, I decided to leave my band. It's one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. I just have a different vision of what I want than the rest of the band.

Unfortunately, when I told them Thursday that I was done, all hell broke loose. They were pretty upset with me. They didn't want me to leave, then they didn't care if they ever saw me again, and pretty much everything in between. I guess you could say it got pretty emotional.

So it's over, and it was my decision, and yet I feel horrible about it. I've joked that a band is like a marriage, except with more people, and this feels like a divorce lite. I know I made the right decision, but I'm still pretty bummed out. I've put so much time and energy over the last three years into this group. It's really hard to walk away.

The thing that has me pretty pissed off though, is that all the problems I was complaining about, they are addressing with their "new" group. I'm thinking, "If you guys would have done these things earlier, I wouldn't have left." So I'm kinda upset about that, but oh well.

I'm hoping to hook up with some new people and get a new band going. I'll definitely make sure we are all on the same page before we begin. Maybe some new blood will get my mojo going again.

I know, I'm sounding like a whiny gash, and not being very humorous. Sue me. This has really gotten me down right now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A blog that actually made me think

A commenter who has some insight on our last Golden Umbrella winner has told me that he probably won't accept the award. If that is the case, this will be a first. Honestly, I'm surprised how good of sports everyone up to this point has been so far. This whole thing started as a way to give some recognition to blogs out there that I think have been more entertaining than 99.9999% of the blogs out there.

And Midtown Miscreant didn't fit the profile of any of the other winners. Most of the winners were silly blogs, and very humor oriented. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I like humor. His, while it had some gallows humor in it, was of a more serious tone. But it struck a nerve with me. And the reason it did was because I realized while reading it (and I damn near read every post), under slightly different circumstances, this could have been written by me.

I've made a couple of references to my "wild past", but never in any detail, and always in passing. I was not a good kid, and I certainly didn't grow up in any idyllic TV sitcom type situation. I was shuttled around between family members (a clue to why my grandmother was so important to me). I've had immediate family members in jail. I've been surrounded by addiction and violence since I was a baby.

I was also a really bright kid, which got me into even more trouble. I found that I had an ability to get others to do things that I wanted to do, even if it wasn't in their best interests. A lot of times, these things were not legal. When I was about 14 or 15, I had a scam going which was ripping off some small time businesses. I was pulling in about $1K a week, which is pretty good money to a kid. One night, one of the guys doing the grunt work for me got caught. I was scared shitless. The gig was up, and I knew it was a matter of time until the cops showed up for me. However, he was very loyal to me, and kept his mouth shut. He got sent to juvie for his efforts. Nothing happened to me. And when I was reading the second half of this post, it really hit home, except I was the one on the other side of the story. The guy who got caught has been in and out of trouble his whole life, and I'm the one doing well.

Most of the money I was making back then was going towards drugs. We all know that drugs are a one way street towards trouble. Even while I was involved, I knew that, but I didn't know how to get out of there. Rehab was for the wealthy. I was stuck.

And then, I came to a crossroads. When I was 17, I got myself involved in a situation that I realized was WAAAY over my head. I knew that was the point in which there was no turning back. And for whatever reason, I had a moment of clarity and realized I didn't want to live this way. So I joined the military, and got as far away from the situation as I could. To this day, I believe this was the smartest thing I've ever done. I never went back.

Every once in a while, I come across a name from my old crowd. It's never good news. They've been arrested, or they have died. I've attended three funerals in the last three years of guys who I used to hang with. I go to them, but not to show respect. These guys were not good people, and even though they were my friends, I don't really respect them. I go to constantly remind myself of what my alternatives could have been.

I used to think that the reason I never got caught was because I was smarter than the average thug. It's probably debatable whether or not I was smarter, but it isn't the reason I never got caught. The reason I never got caught is because I was lucky. I don't care how good you are, you will get caught eventually. And I wasn't anywhere near as good as I thought I was.

MM had another post that also made my think. I'd link to it, but I can't seem to find it now. He was talking about how with the current economic situation, how easy it would be to go back to some old habits. His argument is that once you cross that line, it is really easy to cross it again. This is one that he and I differ on. I understand where he is coming from. The first time you do something, whether it is shoplifting, or getting high, or whatever, there is some nervousness. However, it gets easier and easier, and the stakes gradually get higher and higher. I knew what I was doing was wrong, I just didn't care. That being said, I don't think I will ever cross that line again. And the biggest reason is my kids. I don't think he has any, so that is where we differ. I don't want my daughters to ever go through those things. And I want to show them a good role model. My dad was a violent addict who has been in and out of trouble forever. I don't want to be that guy.

All of these old memories came back while reading his blog. Most of the people I hang with these days have no idea about my past, which is fine by me. I don't advertise it. But while I'm not necessarily proud of my past, as weird as it may sound, I don't regret it either. Everything that happened has made me into the person that I am today. And while I'm pretty rough around the edges, I think I turned out OK. I'm a good dad, and I feel like my kids are going to turn out better than I am. That's all I can ask for.

I guess the whole point of this long winded ramble is this. MM, if you even read this, and you want the award, great. If you don't want it, no sweat off of my back. But I just wanted to let you know that there is one guy out there in this wide wide world of webs who was really moved by your blog. And I just wanted to let you know that. We all like to be recognized for our efforts, and this award, while it may be silly, is my way of saying "Well Done".

Friday, April 10, 2009

BEAT LA! BEAT LA! (another D-Backs live blog)

Coming to you live from my living room, and missing the top of the first inning. We pick up action with Lopez leading off bottom of the 1st.

Bottom of 1st: Um, didn't I just say that? Still no start for Augie. I think he might be the only guy on the roster without a start this season. James McDonald pitching for LA. And a strikeout to start the game. Fucking Lopez. Byrnes bats 2nd. Yes, the 4th different lineup in 4 games. Melvin's a genius. Weak groundout for the 2nd out. Drew, one of the only guys hitting well right now, grounds out. BTW, this is McDonald's first career start. If we can't hit him, it's going to be a long season.

Top of 2nd: Garland, the D-Back's newest acquisition, is pitching tonight. He got through the first inning walking Manny, and then a botched pickoff, but that was it. Back in real time, Drew makes a fantastic diving stop, but Tracy can't pick the bounced throw. Kemp hits a ground ball to Lopez, but they can only get the out at 2nd. Again, where's Augie? He would have turned two. Kemp steals second, and Lopez can't make the tag in time, although it looked like they got him to me. And the replay shows the ump blew this call. Even they hate Lopez. On a side note, Matt Williams is doing the color for this game. This guy has as much personality as a soap dish. I think it's time to start drinking. Garland walks Blake to give runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Ausmas finds a hole between Lopez and Tracy, and Kemp scores. 1-0 Dodgers, and the fans start to boo already. However, this whiskey sour I made is freaking AWESOME. See, I can be positive. Now the pitcher is up, trying to bunt, and Garland can't throw a fucking strike. It's only the fourth game, and this team is killing me already. However, with a 3-1 count, the pitcher swings (?) and hits into a double play. I'm chanting "ROOKIE" while my daughter looks at me like I'm an idiot.

Bottom of 2nd: The announcers are just as confused as I am on that last play. They are showing Joe Torre, and for some reason I am immensely amused by the fact that his bald spot is peeking out below his cap. Connor flies out to start the inning. Tracy grounds out, and now Reynolds is up. His nickname is The Sheriff. After last season, I call him Special K. Guess what he did? 6 up, 6 down, to a guy making his first career start. Fuck me.

Top of 3rd: I love ESPN's streak for the cash. I have my best streak ever going right now at 8. I picked the Suns to beat Memphis. I can't believe this is going to end my streak. Phoenix sports is absolute shit right now. The Cardinals are the best team. Unbelievable. I missed the first out during this. FSN is smart, and is talking about Pat Tillman right now. Even they know this game sucks. Orlando Hudson, a guy who should have been replaced by Augie, draws a walk. Is it time for Manny to get us? No, he hits a grounder to Reynolds. However, he bobbles it and can only get the out at first. Not an error, but another miscue for Reynolds. Let's see, he set a record for strikeouts, led the league in errors. Yep, that's our guy. For those that don't know, he came straight from AA to the majors. He started out pretty well, but makes way too many mistakes. That's what happens when you skip AAA. Ethier grounds out to end the inning. Good, that guy always kills us. He's a Sun Devil, of course he's clutch. 1-0 Dodgers.

Bottom of 3rd: It's a final, Grizzlies 106, Suns 89. Way to compete. Sad thing is, I was second guessing this pick, thinking the Suns might not have much intensity after being eliminated from the playoffs. But then I remembered the Grizzlies are horrible. Way to be professional, Suns. I blame Steve Kerr. Chris Young just blasted one over the left field wall to tie it up. Atta boy Chris, THAT'S how you welcome someone to the big leagues. Snyder flies out. I think Manny Ramirez should just go all out and have a dread beard as well. Wow, they just showed some chick in the crowd practically dry humping the guy next to her. Yeah, she was holding a beer. Dude thinks he's getting lucky tonight, but it's only the third inning. She doesn't know how to pace herself. I hope he likes puke. Garland just walked. OK Lopez, get a hit here, and I will not give you any crap for the rest of the game. Matt Williams just gave us some awesome insight by saying "I'd bet the farm a changeup is coming here." Fastball. The worst part about Matt Williams is that I have a man-crush on Mark Grace, so this is adding insult to injury listening to him instead. Lopez walks. Not a hit, so let the crap continue. Byrnes gets hit with the first pitch he sees, and now the bases are loaded with Drew coming up. They just showed a stat saying Drew hits .182 with the bases loaded in his career. Yikes. McDonald definitely showing some nerves here as the count goes to 3-1. Drew fouls off the next pitch, and the first BEAT LA chant starts. Ball four, walked in a run. Four straight batters reach without a hit. McDonald throws a 55 foot curveball, which prompts a visit to the mound. He's definitely rattled. Jackson needs to make him pay. Action in the bullpen as the count goes to 3-1. Jackson pokes a shot into right which scores two runs. 4-1 D-Backs. That's it for McDonald. And a perfect time for me to piss. Trancoso in relief. Tracy hits a deep fly ball out to center to score Drew from 3rd. Reynolds up, and I'm predicting his 2nd K to end the inning. Jackson steals 2nd, which will make the impending strikeout a little more painful. I was wrong about the strikeout, weak dribbler to the pitcher instead. Good inning though. 5-1 D-Backs.

Top of 4th: FSN is showing commercials for Digger merchandise, that fucking rodent that they use as a mascot for NASCAR. Seriously? Do people really buy that shit? I know a few people that watch NASCAR, and they all think he's annoying as fuck. Is there even such a thing as a casual NASCAR fan? Some questions may never be answered. Loney grounds out. OK, time for a rant. They have the AFLAC trivia question, and then the announcers answer it before the viewers can guess. This drives my batty. Give me a fucking chance, OK? Rant over. Kemp hits it pretty hard, but right at Chris Young. Blake flies out to Byrnes, who manages to stay on his feet for the catch.

Bottom of 4th: I picked out a great femullet in the last crowd shot. It's a gift of mine. Rain Man can count shit, I can find mullets in a crowd. Someday I'll figure out how to profit off of that. Chris Young leads off with a double. Looks like he's breaking out of his slump. Snyder pops up, and now it's time to see what they do with Garland. I'm not sure how many at bats he got in the AL. He's swinging. I think this is the right decision, even though it probably won't be pretty. Matt Williams is killing me. He's claiming since Garland is tall, he's probably played some basketball, so he has agility. Uh, Matt? Gheorghe Muresan was tall. You're an idiot. Garland grounds out advancing the runner to third. Lopez gets a hit to drive Young home. Byrnes drives one off of the pitchers mound, causing a weird bounce away from the second baseman. Lopez advances to third. I may have to start pushing for Augie to play third if Lopez keeps playing well. Drew grounds out to end the inning. 6-1 D-Backs.

Top of 5th: Hey look, it's Gretzky. I forgot to mention the Coyotes when talking about how much Phoenix sports suck. Ausmas grounds out, and then Trancoso strikes out. Furcal hits a weak grounder by the pitcher to first, and Tracy throws it about 7 feet in the air. Good thing Garland is 6'6" tall. He snares it with a nice reach. What agility. Or is it height?

Bottom of 5th: I had some Vietnamese vodka with dinner tonight. Not bad. However, the combination of the vodka and whiskey has given me a nice buzz. My focus will not be as good, so deal with it. Jackson grounds out. Shot of the folks at the pool. No, that's not a euphemism. Why is it that whenever anyone is at the pool, they have to act like total douchebags? Tracy flies out. Special K comes up and gets a single up the middle. Hmm, he hasn't struck out since I gave him a derisive nickname. Coincedence? Chris Young is up, let's see if he can keep his good night going. He scorches one down the line, but the third baseman makes a great stop. Not so great was the throw, which went into the dugout. Score it a hit and an error. Runners on second and third. Make that bases loaded as Snyder draws an intentional walk. OK, here comes Mr. Agility. You know, I have to admit, his swing is pretty nice. He doesn't swing like a pitcher. However, he hits like one, as he strikes out on a couple of nasty curveballs. 6-1 D-Backs.

Top of 6th: I think Stuart Appleby should beat Ryuji Imada in the Masters tomorrow, don't you? Time to start a new streak. Hudson grounds out. Not his best return so far. Manny hits one past a diving Drew. Ethier hits into a double play to end the inning.

Bottom of 6th: Lopez grounds out. The crowd is doing the stupid dance I hate. I don't know if it has a name or not, but it looks like they are jerking off a couple of horses. Sexy. Byrnes and Drew fly out to end the inning. Still 6-1. Time for more whiskey.

Top of 7th: Loney flies out as I enjoy my next whiskey sour. I hate places that use Minute Maid to make whiskey sours. Does that make me a snob that I have to ask if that's what they're going to do when I order one? Kemp laces a double to left. Mr. Agility has been pitching well today, hopefully this isn't a sign that he's tiring. Question answered as Blake blasts one over the left field wall. And now, the bullpen is active. Byrnes tracks down a deep shot by Ausmus. That almost sounds dirty. I think for the bottom of the 7th, I am only going to speak in sentences that sound dirty. A little exercise to increase my writing creativity. Hopefully it's a quick inning. Pinch hitter with a Polish name that I'm not even going to try and spell in my current state. Mr. Agility gets the pinch hitter to fly out to end the inning. 6-3 D-Backs.

Bottom of 7th (the innuendo inning): Mota coming for Trancoso. Connor takes a couple of balls before grounding out. Tracy sends a screamer to Ethier. Blake gobbles up Special K's ball to end the inning.

Top of 8th: That was difficult. I'd like to say because I have problems resorting to toilet humor, but that's just not the case. Pena comes in for Mr. Agility. Nice debut for the D-Backs against a tough lineup. Hey look, Augie's at third! MVP! MVP! Is Bob Melvin reading my blog too? He's being pretty discreet about it. Furcal leads off with a double. We might have Meatball Tony today. Hudson hits a high chopper that Drew makes a nice play on. Furcal to third. C'mon Augie, distract him and then get the pickoff. You can do it! Manny hits one up the middle to make it a 6-4 game, and now Ethier is up. The D-Back killer at the plate as the tying run. Fuck. That's it for Pena, definitely Meatball Tony today. Oh goodie, Schoenweis is in. He gets Ethier to ground to first, Manny advancing to second. Loney to the plate. If Schoenweis gives up the hit here, he is officially the Jewish Mike Myers. Myers was our last lefty specialist, and the only thing he specialized in was giving up hits to lefties. It got so bad he would get booed when he was warming up. Loney works a full count. Maybe Manny will space out and leave on the pitch. Nope, a hard ground out to second. I'll have to come up with a new nickname for Schoenweis.

Bottom of 8th: Another reason Augie should be starting in front of Lopez is that Augie doesn't have a ridiculous chinstrap. I hate those things. Chris Young up, and needs a triple for the cycle. I'm not holding my breath. Mota walks him. Snyder is bunting. Makes sense, I assume with the double switch that Augie is on deck. Get that runner in scoring position. Snyder gets the bunt down successfully, and it's AUGIE TIME!! And of course, he drills it to right, scoring Young. MVP! MVP! Why isn't he starting? Unfortunately, that single knocks his slugging percentage to 1.500. But like the team player he is, he doesn't worry about stats, he just needed to get that extra run home. And the crowd is changing BEAT LA again. Augie's drawing throws to first. Smart move by Mota. Can't forget about Augie. He can beat you in so many ways. Lopez sees that his starting job is in jeopardy and hits a deep double. Augie flies around the bases, scoring another run. Lopez spent too much time admiring his shot, and should have ended up on third. And this time I'm not being snide, he really thought it was gone and was jogging. Byrnes draws a walk, and I can't believe Mota is still in there. I spoke too soon, here comes Torre. Ohman comes in to pitch, and almost picks Lopez off of second. Drew pops up for the second out. Jackson is now up. I like Connor, even though he looks a little retarded. Not as bad as Tyler Hansborough, but still. Jackson comes through with an RBI single. Tracy grounds out to end the inning. 9-4 D-Backs.

Top of 9th: Qualls, the closer, comes in. He spent a LONG time warming up in the bullpen last inning. Hopefully it doesn't affect him. He strikes out Kemp to start the inning. Blake takes a called third strike for the second out as the BEAT LA chants are getting louder. Ausmas fights off a pitch and gets a seeing eye single to right. Loretta coming in to pinch hit. He grounds out to Drew to end the game.

Season stats for Augie: AVG 1.000, SLG 1.500, OBP 1.000, OPS 2.500, 1 RBI, 1 R. More importantly, the record when Augie plays is 2-0. When he doesn't, 0-2. I think that should tell you something.

Golden Umbrella winner, accidental find style

Based on my posts, I'm sure most of you think I'm some sort of neanderthal idiot. While that may be true, I like to think of myself as all intellectual and shit. Which is why I have a weakness for nonfiction.

Right now, I am reading The Gulag Archipelago. It was written by some Russian dude who spent quite a bit of time in the gulag, or Russian prison system. It's a pretty interesting read.

Part of my job at work involves running parts through a machine and taking a shitload of data. It's simple work. Mostly babysitting a machine, and changing parts every five minutes or so. It takes anywhere from 8-16 hours to complete. It's easily the most mind numbing portion of my job. However, it makes for some good internet surfing.

So in light of my reading, I was surfing around and learning about Russian prison tattoos. Very fascinating stuff to me. Well, as surfing tends to do, one link led to another, and I ended up reading a blog series called Prison for Dummies. It was really interesting, and it was part of a blog called Midtown Miscreant. Yes, we finally have a new Golden Umbrella winner.

Midtown Miscreant is written by Midtown Miscreant. Kind of like that song Talk Talk by the band Talk Talk, except the blog doesn't suck. MM is a dude who spent his early years running on the wrong side of the law, got caught, and did some time. Most of his blog is his takes on crime, and related topics. Believe me, it is way different than you expect. He's got the unique insight from his time on the inside, and it makes for some really interesting thoughts. I've spent a good chunk of my afternoon reading it. I can't give a bigger endorsement than that.

All right MM, here comes the rules. In order to be added to my esteemed 'Winners of "Umbrella's Blogs That Don't Suck" award (AKA the Golden Umbrella)' list, you must make an acceptance speech in the comments section. You can also post the picture on your website to let anyone who might stumble on to your site immediately know you are awesome.

A nice addition for your new digs.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Little league mentality in the majors

Augie Ojeda's MVP quest is not going so well. His numbers are phenomenal, he just isn't getting any playing time. However, Bob Melvin can't ignore him forever.

What I have a problem with is Melvin's lineups. Three games, three different lineups. I don't get it. He got the nickname "The Mad Scientist" after his first season. He juggled his lineups constantly, and seemed to do well. However, last season, he did the same thing, and the offense was horrific.

Fast forward to this season. Game one, nine runs scored. Hey, let's mix things up. Games two and three, two runs total scored. Note that Augie didn't play in either of those games. I don't think this is a coincidence.

I just don't know why he feels the need to play so many players. This isn't little league. Everyone doesn't have to play. Why not stick with the hot hitters until they cool off? He's got to know that our bullpen is horrible, and we are going to need to score runs to account for that. Our starting outfield yesterday is hitting a combined 1 for 24. Yuck.

Here's my idea of the best lineup, at this point.

C - Snyder
1B - Clark
2B - Ojeda (obviously)
SS - Drew
3B - Tracy
LF - Jackson
CF - Young (He's slumping, but his defense keeps him in)
RF - ???

Upton and Byrnes have both been struggling. Unfortunately, the D-Backs only have four outfielders on their roster right now. There was talk that Upton would begin the season in AAA after a poor spring. Maybe that's not a bad idea. Of course, now that the AAA team is gone from Tucson, I haven't been able to see them in person like I usually do.

And yes, I realize the season is only 3 games old. However, I've seen this drill all last season, and my patience is thin.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Drunken bracket, the epilogue (AKA how to turn a negative into a postive, degenerate gambler style)

I had to work a bit late last night, so by the time I got to see the game, it was already into blowout mode. Fitting. Since Michigan St. didn't win, my drunken bracket finished 8th. My sober bracket finished 10th. Middle of the pack for both. My conclusion, it doesn't make any difference if I'm drunk or sober, I'm still mediocre when picking brackets.

However, I'm not mediocre when it comes to gambling. I had two entries in our pool, at $5 a pop. There were 20 people, and it was winner take all. So if Michigan St. won, my $10 would have turned into $200. Not bad.

But deep down, I just didn't see Michigan St. winning that game. So I hedged my bets, to make sure no matter what, I was going to win a little bit of cash. And this is how I introduce my new class, Sports Gambling 101.

There were only two possibilities for this game. Either North Carolina would win, or Michigan St. would win. As I mentioned above, if Michigan St. wins, I win $200. But if North Carolina wins, I lose $10.

So I covered my bets by making a bet on North Carolina. If you ever go into a sports book in Vegas, you will see all sorts of funny symbols. It can be confusing. But that is why you are here, to learn how to read these things. In basketball and football, you will see something that looks like this...

Michigan St North Carolina
+7(-110) -7(-110) 153

The first number is the point spread. This means that the folks in Vegas expect North Carolina to win by 7 points. If you take Michigan St., you get to add 7 points to their score, and if you take North Carolina, you subtract 7 points from your score. This bet pays even money, which means if you bet $20 and win, you win $20. This is probably the most popular of the bets. But betting North Carolina on this bet wasn't the smartest move for my situation. If North Carolina wins by 3 points, I lose my bet, as well as losing my pool. Bad move.

The next number is for a straight up win. -110 means that I have to bet $110 to win $100. Now we're talking. If this were legal (ahem), I would have called my bookie and bet $110 on North Carolina to win. Let's see the possible scenarios:

Michigan St. wins - I win $200 in my pool, I lose $110 on my bet, for a net profit of $90.
North Carolina wins - I lose $10 in my pool, I win $100 on my bet, for a net profit of $90.

The last number is the over/under. This is the combined total points in the game. For the game last night, the final score was 89-72, for a total of 161 point. Since 161 is over 153, the over bet wins.

So by making that alleged bet, I win $90 no matter what happens in the game. Yeah, it isn't big money, but in case you haven't heard, the economy sucks right now, and I'll take what I can get.

I think someone else is reading my blog

During yesterdays live blog of the D-Backs game, I mentioned how my boss talks like a fucking baby whenever he is talking to his wife. I've been bitching about this forever. Last night, my lady friend tells me about a SNL skit that mirrored my frustration. Take a look.

I live this every damn day. Well, at least the beginning part. Apparently a SNL writer is checking out my blog as well.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Augie for MVP (and opening day live blog)

Today begins Augie Ojeda's quest for MVP. Yes, the fellow on my avatar will rise up and shock the world this year. I thought it would be fun to track his progress as the season goes along. Unfortunately, when I talk about Augie, the most common response is, "Who?" This is un-fucking-acceptable. I will use my blogging powers to educate the world of his greatness. This will be awesome! And as an added bonus, I will be live blogging opening day for you. I tune in to opening day on the radio when I hear...

"Batting first, at 2nd base, Felipe Lopez."

Wait a minute, where's Augie? WTF? This is bullshit! I'm now pissed off, and we haven't even thrown a single pitch in the season. How can I blog the awesomeness of Augie if he isn't even playing? Lopez better fucking bring it.

Bottom of 1st: Lopez leads off the game with a home run. Bah, it was a bad pitch. Augie would have hit it further.

Top of 2nd: I didn't think it was possible, but I hate Bud Selig more than ever. I have to work from my desk for the rest of the afternoon, so I can't listen to the radio in the lab today. However, I can listen online. I find the station, and it tells me that due to MLB rules, they can't do streaming of the D-Back games. So I check out, and they want to charge me to listen to the game. Fuck you Bud! Gametracker is now on.

Bottom of 2nd: Check out this article. Hopefully MLB won't charge you to read it. Looks like I'm not the only one unhappy with the starting lineup. Still don't know why they didn't mention Augie. Also, Chris Snyder just doubled home Connor Jackson to make it a 2-0 game. He crushed that ball. Actually, I don't think crushed balls and Chris Snyder should be mentioned together. And Lopez leaves Snyder stuck on second to end the inning. Choker.

End of 2nd: D-Backs lead the Rockies 2-0. Why aren't the Rockies considered our big rival? It makes sense. Both of us are young teams. We're in the same division. And all the California teams all hate each other more than either of us. Seriously, this could be a big rivalry. I could learn to hate Denver. They've had two of the biggest whiny bitch QB's in Elway and Cutler.

Top of 3rd: Lopez's choke is apparently affecting Brandon Webb. Runners and 2nd and 3rd, one out. Groundout to 2nd, runner scores. Augie would have used his big guns to get the out at home. This second choke job of the game has Webb really rattled, as he's walked the bases loaded with Hawpe coming up. And Hawpe just cleared the bases with a double. It says he advanced to third on the throw. I bet Lopez missed the cutoff. Webb gets the third out, but the damage is done. Rockies lead 4-2.

Bottom of 3rd: My boss' cubicle is right next to mine. He is talking to his wife on the phone. Whenever he talks to her, he uses baby talk. It's disgusting. He uses this sing-song voice, makes his R's sound like W's, and his S's sound like SH's. So when he says "I'm really sorry", it sounds like "I'm weally shorry" in a stupid voice. I have to listen to this crap, but I can't listen to the radio. Sigh. D-backs making some noise, runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out, Chad Tracy up. I like Chad. He was really cool when I met him in AAA ball here in Tucson. I can't wait to go to another game. Oh wait, we don't have a fucking team anymore. And Big Red comes through with a single, scoring our Chris Young. 4-3, runners on 1st and 3rd, and Eric Byrnes coming up. This is the perfect spot for him to hit a pop up to third. I'm wrong, as he hits a fly ball to center, scoring Drew. Tie game. No pitching today. Tony Clark hits a two run bomb, making it 6-4, and making my lady friend very happy. Clark is her favorite player. And that was the last straw, as the Rockies make a pitching change. Sorry Rockies, we just shelled your ace. Rusch comes in as relief and ends the inning.

Top of 4th: For fuck's sake, what is going on? Tulowitzki leads off with a homer. Did they shorten the fences? And then Iannetta follows with another shot. Tie game. Webb is sucking today. I think they need to pinch hit Augie for him. Webb finally settles down and retires the side.

Bottom of 4th: Lopez leads off with his 2nd homer of the game. He must have realized Augie is lurking right behind him on the depth chart. The rest of the side goes down in order. 7-6 D-Backs.

Top of 5th: Oh God, Slaten relieved Webb. I hope my lady friend isn't watching. Every time he pitches while she is watching, he gets shelled. It's gotten so bad that as soon as he comes in the game, she leaves the room. I think my superstitions are rubbing off on her. Maybe she doesn't realize it's a day game. Hawpe has been nails today as he drills a two out double. He's 3-3 with 3 RBI's. Nice start to the season. Crap, she must be watching. A two out rally scores a run, tying the game. And that's it for Slater. Nice to see he's picked up where he left off last season. Billy Buckner comes in, and I'm realizing we are in huge trouble if our starters don't pitch complete games. This bullpen is bad. And right on cue, Buckner throws two wild pitches to advance the runner to third. Right as this is going on, my phone rings. It's my lady friend. Her words? "Why do they keep bringing Slaten into close games?" I knew she was watching. Buckner manages to keep the runner on third by striking out Tulowitzki. 7-7 game.

Bottom of 5th: Byrnes strikes out swinging for the second time. He's in mid-season form. Clark hits his 2nd bomb of the game. When it comes to my lady friend, he is the anti-Slaten. Congrats Tony, you've just chased the second pitcher of the game. The rest of the inning is uneventful.

Top of 6th: I think I've figured it out. They should bring Augie in to pitch. He can't do any worse than anyone else right now. Unfortunately, Buckner is back out there. He promptly confirms my fears by walking the first batter. BREAKING NEWS: CBS is claiming that Memphis announces Josh Pastner as their new basketball coach. The reaction from Umbrella? BWAHAHAHA. OK, back to the game. My gametracker has been stuck on a 1-1 count for several minutes now. This is not good. It just unfroze in time to see that the inning is over. Way to go Billy.

Bottom of 6th: I just looked up to see when Billy Buckner was born. It was before the Red Sox-Mets World Series. Damn, I can't blame his parents for the name. Do you think that is why he goes by Billy, instead of Bill? I personally would stick with William. Ryan Roberts (who?) pinch hitting for Buckner. Where the fuck is Augie in this situation? It's only a one run game, let's get the future MVP in there. I had to look Ryan Roberts up. This is his second career at bat. However, he makes the most of it with a leadoff single. Augie would have stretched that into a double. Lopez is up to bat, and he caused my gametracker to freeze again. I'll bet he started a brawl. And now, we've reverted back to the top of the 6th, where it was frozen before. This sucks. Gametracker is fucking up now. I think Lopez is on first, with Roberts on 2nd, but I'm not sure. Young lines out to third, and Roberts gets doubled off of 2nd. THAT'S why you don't throw guys with one career at bat into close games. Augie would still be on 2nd base. Embree comes in as the new reliever, and gametracker shows him wearing an A's cap. I blame Bud Selig for this. Lopez gets thrown out at 2nd to end the inning. First inning the D-Backs haven't scored this game. This inning also showed how important Augie is to this team. Bob Melvin better figure this out quick.

Top of 7th: Gametracker is showing an ad for MLB.TV during the break. I am continuing to get pissed off over this. Some dude named Schoeneweis is now pitching for the D-Backs. I've never heard of him. Gametracker doesn't even have a picture for him. Before I can look him up, he promptly gives up a lead off home run. This is followed by a single. According to the wiki, he's been around a bit. Why doesn't gametracker have a photo for him? Also, he has only given up one career home run to a lefty. In one at bat with the D-Backs, he's doubled that. Perfect. He was also named in the Mitchell report. Looks like I have another reliever to hate. He gets a couple of outs, and is relieved by Tony Pena. Which Pena are we going to get today, Nasty Tony, or Meatball Tony? Pena gets a K to end the inning.

Bottom of 7th: For the 7th inning stretch, I decided to take a shit and missed the bottom of the 7th. It looks like Chad Tracy hit a home run, and nothing else happened. 9-8 D-Backs.

Top of 8th: Tracy's home run was the fifth D-Backs homer in the game. I looked up what the team record is, and that one tied the record. I can't find what the combined team record for the D-Backs is, but we're currently sitting at 8. Pena retires the first two batters. Hoping I don't jinx him, it looks like we've got Nasty Tony today. He strikes out Barnes to end the inning.

Bottom of 8th: I'm really hoping for some insurance runs here. I haven't seen any spring training games, so I'm not sure who the closer is, but I'm assuming it's Qualls. I don't have a ton of confidence in a one run game. Pitcher's spot is due up 2nd this inning, so here's hoping for an Augie at bat. Snyder flies out, and coming up to bat is...AUGIE!!! Hell yeah! And what do you know, he doubles to left. MVP! MVP! As long as Lopez doesn't choke, and puts the ball in play, Augie will probably score that much needed insurance run. Lopez grounded out, but Augie still hustled his way to third. This guy can do it all. Unfortunately, Young strikes out to end the inning. Augie's teammates let him down again. Let's hope they do the double switch and leave him in the game at 2nd.

Top of 9th: Gametracker still showing MLB.TV ads. Just rub our noses in it. This is like giving out Ding Dongs at a weight watchers meeting. Top of the order coming up for the Rockies, and it is indeed Qualls as the closer. And hey, Augie stays in at third base. He's so versatile, he can play any position, including pitcher and catcher. Qualls retires the first batter. The second batter grounds out, and it is up to Helton. He grounds out to end the game. D-Backs win a 9-8 slugfest.

Season stats for Augie: AVG 1.000, SLG 2.000, OBP 1.000, OPS 3.000. Hall of fame numbers.

Apparently, I have a famous reader

Not long after my last post, sources reported that Sean Miller changed his mind, and will accept the job. I apologize to my fellow Devils fans for convincing him to come to Tucson. I have to remember that I have no idea who my readers are.

Arizona's coaching search

As an ASU fan, I am thoroughly enjoying this debacle known as the Arizona basketball coaching search. We are rapidly heading towards them having more rejections than wins this year. However, I have some compassion. So with all due respect to David Letterman, here is Umbrella's top ten list on why coaches should take the Arizona coaching job.

10. Winning the press conference guarantees at least one win.

9. They will have better hair than Herb Sendek. (This excludes Seth Greenberg).

8. If they put "coaching the Wildcats" on their resume, maybe people will assume they were at Kentucky.

7. Two words, David Hasselhoff.

6. When they get booed, they can convince themselves the fans are chanting "Luuuute"!

5. They won't be as hated as John Mackovic.

4. They will never have to pay for a meal due to the loyalty of the fans, as long as they show up at Furr's Cafeteria on Senior discount night to cash in.

3. Josh Pastner won't be around to hog all the camera time.

2. The new ad campaign: "At least we didn't hire Reggie Theus".

And the number one reason why they should take the Arizona basketball job...

1. If they aren't successful, Steve Kerr will hire them for the Suns job.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Drunken bracket is still alive

Miracle of miracles. I have a chance to win my pool with my drunken bracket. I was the only one to pick Michigan St. to win it all. However, sober Umbrella doesn't see it happening.

That being said, GO SPARTANS!