Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Panel: Records in week 7
Aaron: 7-7 (56-46)
Andy: 8-6 (60-42)
Joel: 7-7 (59-43)
Nihar:6-8 (56-46)
Phil: 10-4 (57-45)
Vivek: 9-5 (53-49)
Curtis: 10-4 (63-39)
Zach: 11-3 (64-38)
Coin: 7-7 (49-53)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Panel
Same group as always

Arizona at Dallas
1:00 p.m.
Taking Arizona: Vivek (C)
Taking Dallas: Nihar, Aaron, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach

Chicago at Detroit
1:00 p.m.
Taking Detroit: Nihar, Andy
Taking Chicago: Aaron, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach, Vivek (C)

Cleveland at Houston
1:00 p.m.
Taking Cleveland: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Curtis
Taking Houston: Phil, Zach, Vivek, (C)

Green Bay at Cincinnati
1:00 p.m.
Taking Green Bay: Joel, Vivek (C)
Taking Cincinnati: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Curtis, Zach

Jacksonville at St. Louis
1:00 p.m.
Taking Jacksonville: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Vivek (C)
Taking St. Louis: Zach

Minnesota at Carolina
1:00 p.m.
Taking Minnesota: Vivek (C)
Taking Carolina: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach

Oakland at Tennessee
1:00 p.m.
Taking Oakland: Aaron, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C)
Taking Tennessee: Nihar, Phil, Zach

Washington at N.Y. Giants
1:00 p.m.
Taking Washington: Aaron
Taking New York: Nihar, Andy, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach, Vivek (C)

Kansas City at San Diego
4:05 p.m.
Taking Kansas City: Vivek (C)
Taking San Diego: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach

Miami at New Orleans(Baton Rouge, LA)
4:05 p.m.
Taking Miami: Nihar, Aaron , Joel, Phil, Curtis
Taking New Orleans: Andy, Zach, Vivek,(C)

Philadelphia at Denver
4:15 p.m.
Taking Philadelphia: Nihar, Andy, Joel, Vivek (C)
Taking Denver: Aaron, Phil, Curtis, Zach

Tampa Bay at San Francisco
4:15 p.m.
Taking Tampa Bay: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach, Vivek (C)

Buffalo at New England
8:30 p.m.
Taking Buffalo: Andy
Taking New England: Nihar, Aaron, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach, Vivek (C)

Baltimore at Pittsburgh
9:00 p.m.
Taking Pittsburgh: Nihar, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Phil, Curtis, Zach, Vivek

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Song quote of the day
I'm taking in the Indian Summer
I'm soaking it up in my mind
I'm pretending that its paradise
on a golden Autumn day-- Van Morrison

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Happy Birthday
To Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, who turns 83 today. He actually finished his career with the Indians in 1955.

Indian Summer
Chicago baseball fans saw something this evening that multiple generations in the city have not seen. The White Sox, their players and their manager are not exactly favorites of mine.
But for what happiness it brings Chicago, well, that's good.
Baseball fans in Chicago can now enjoy what baseball fans in Boston felt last year.
Again, a good thing.
It might even be uttered by some fan that "this is the best day of my life."
Just speculation on my part, of course.
The thing that you realize after a number of years, however, is that sports is just a small dessert in the meal of life.
As a sports writer, I tend to dramatize things. But really, sports doesn't matter. Who wins and who loses doesn't matter. Who had a game-winning shot doesn't matter.
Family matters. God matters. In the grand scheme of things, sports is just there, a nice distraction from the sometimes harsh realities of the outside world.
We shouldn't forget that.

Mainstream media
Apparently, USA Today didn't think Condoleezza Rice looked evil enough. So it took matters into its own hands. Shame on you, USA Today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Continental Divide
The true benefit of getting Home Box Office is the ability to see movies you have always wanted to see but couldn't.
In college, the old movie store used to give me this ability, and I used it to rent Acadamy Award winners.
Now, getting HBO allows me to see the two star films I never wanted to be seen at the checkout counter renting, like He said, She said.
Or Continental Divide.
No review of the film has ever judged it as spectacular, but I nonetheless wanted to see it anyway. John Belushi stars in the film, but it's not a John Belushi movie. He plays it fairly straight in this romantic comedy with Blair Brown (He was also, by most accounts, clean during its filming).
Make no mistake. Continental Divide is by no means a great movie. It's barely a good one.
What it is though, is a glimpse, a look at what John Belushi was capable of.
I love Animal House and The Blues Brothers. But when watching those films, you only see a few sides of Belushi.
And for a man as talented as he was, it's a shame we didn't see more of the type of characters he played in Continental Divide.
Certain actors are known as comics. But have you ever seen Jim Carrey in The Truman Show? Or Bill Murray in his recent films? Those movies are funny at times, but they also show versitility, and allow us to appreciate the men as actors and performers.
Continental Divide allows the viewer to wonder what Belushi could have done, perhaps what he should have done, had he not died so young.
As for the film, charming, but little else. It's more a study in lost potential, though few knew that at the time.

Hold on the Frye
I agree with Erik on this one. It's not Dilfer, it's the whole team.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Column for the day
I refuse to jump on any conservative bandwagon regarding Harriet Miers. But the thing that strikes me the most is how conservatives I respect have yet to come up with a good reason for her to be on the Supreme Court.
If Miers is confirmed, she will likely be there much longer than President Bush occupies his position. In that sense, I assume Bush cronyism will only be a temporary cat call that will plague her career.
Once we get past that, though, I wonder how Miers will be viewed.
I'm no legal expert and am actually uncomfortable writing on the topic, because I know I'm out of my depth. To assert otherwise would be dishonest.
At the same time, when I look at Miers, it's not what her detractors are saying, but rather what her defenders are saying that concerns me. Are we to be satisfied with mere competence on the Supreme Court?
George Will's column is a must read.

The Panel: Week Seven
Aaron Rund: Nihar wants to know why I make Mike Tice jokes. Nihar has never met Aaron Rund.
Andy Barch: Did Andy buy Texas real estate this week or something?
Joel Hammond: Southern Mahhahan
Nihar Vasavavada: DOES own Texas real estate
Phil Prusa: Much like Rod Tidwell, loves the Cardinals. Or, at least he picks them a lot.
Vivek Vasavada: Star of Lancing Legal
Curtis A.: Tied with the Master after six weeks

Detroit at Cleveland
1:00 p.m.
Taking Detroit: (C)
Taking Cleveland: Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Aaron
The final word: I wonder how many losses the Browns will have before we all stop picking them.

Green Bay at Minnesota
1:00 p.m.
Taking Green Bay: Nihar, Vivek, Phil, Andy, Joel, Aaron
Taking Minnesota: Zach, (C) Curtis
The final word: The "cruise" they were on is nothing for Minnesota; the state elected Jesse Ventura, after all.

Indianapolis at Houston
1:00 p.m.
Taking Indianapolis: Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Phil, Joel, Curtis, Andy, Aaron
Taking Houston (for some unknown reason): (C)
The final word: Dear West Virginia. Stop. Requesting drug testing for my friend Andy Barch. Stop. Losing his mind. Stop. He changed his pick at 12:48

New Orleans at St. Louis
1:00 p.m.
Taking St. Louis: Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Aaron (C)
Taking New Orleans: Phil
The final word: Phil picks NO because Bulger is out. Logic? In the Panel?

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
1:00 p.m.
Taking Pittsburgh: Vivek, Zach, Phil, Curtis(C),
Taking Cincinnati: Nihar, Andy, Joel, Aaron
The final word: I hate both teams. I hate the Bengals more now because they have a better record. Plus, Pittsburgh has Nate Washington.

San Diego at Philadelphia
1:00 p.m.
Taking San Diego: Zach, Phil, Joel (C)
Taking Philadelphia: Nihar, Vivek, Andy, Curtis, Aaron
The final word: This is the game of the week; no question.

San Francisco at Washington
1:00 p.m.
Taking Washington: Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Phil , Andy, Joel, Curtis, Aaron (C)
The final word: Doug Williams and Joe Montana couldn't make this game interesting. Actually, they could. Think of the science.

Dallas at Seattle
4:05 p.m.
Taking Dallas:Aaron Nihar, Andy, Joel, (C)
Taking Seattle: Vivek, Zach, Phil , Curtis
The final word: Lets see if Dallas can avoid OT if they have the ball with 1:09 left and a seven-point lead this time.

Baltimore at Chicago
Taking Baltimore: Nihar, Vivek, Andy, Curtis
Taking Chicago: Zach, Phil, Joel, Aaron (C)
4:15 p.m.
The final word: If I were running things, the Ravens would have too many players in jail to make the trip. Then again, Chicago is 0-2 against AFC North teams.

Buffalo at Oakland
4:15 p.m.
Taking Buffalo:Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel (C)
Taking Oakland: Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Curtis
The final word: Phil writes: Is it fair to say that JP Losman has kissed the starting BQ job away for this year? That depends. Does he mean QB, as in quarterback, or BQ, as in Kelly Holcomb's famous Barbeque sauce?

Denver at N.Y. Giants
4:15 p.m.
Taking Denver: Nihar, Vivek, Aaron
Taking New York: Zach, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis (C)
The final word: Can Denver gain revenge for 1987? Eh, who cares.

Tennessee at Arizona
Taking Tennessee: Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Joel, Curtis (C)
Taking Arizona: Phil, Andy, Aaron
The final word: Is it me, or does Phil pick AZ a lot?

N.Y. Jets at Atlanta
Taking Atlanta: Aaron, Nihar, Vivek, Zach, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis (C)
The final word: Bad MNF scheduler. Bad.

Friday, October 21, 2005

One Mistake
The suicide of performer Charles Rocket last week may not have raised too many eyebrows. His biggest claim to fame was being a performer on Saturday Night Live for one season.
He was also in the films like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Dances With Wolves.”
In fact, his career may not have been noteworthy enough for his death to have made the national news wires.
Well, except for something that happened in the spring of 1981.
On Saturday Night Live’s season finale, Rocket was on stage and did the unthinkable: he uttered the word of all words on live TV.
For that (in part, anyway), Rocket (and pretty much the entire cast) was dropped and the show itself went in a new direction.
Sadly for him, when you hear the name Charles Rocket, you thought of that one moment, that one slip up. That’s of course, if you remembered him at all.
That’s the way the newspapers chose to remember him.
Valerie J. Nelson of the Los Angeles Times opened the obituary with this:
Charles Rocket, an actor and former "Saturday Night Live'' comedian who gained notoriety almost 25 years ago for uttering an unscripted obscenity during a skit on the NBC show, has died. He was 56.
Rocket lived 56 years. Yet it was those two seconds of error that defined him in the eyes of most.
Rocket is by no means alone.
In sports, there are several similar cases.
Mention the name of Bill Buckner, and they will remember that fateful day in October where Mookie Wilson’s harmless grounder went through his legs.
Unlike Rocket, Buckner’s career was a memorable one. He had over 2,700 hits in his career and drove in over 1,200 runs. He might have even been considered a borderline hall of fame pick.
But hear the name, and you think of 1986.
Buckner isn’t even the most troubling story from that season.
Donnie Moore committed suicide in 1989. Three years earlier, when pitching for the Angels, he gave up a homer in the 1986 to the Red Sox’ Dave Henderson that helped to end the Angels season.
No one can believe that the homer and the suicide were closely related. Moore obviously had demons.
But hear Moore’s name, and you connect the two. Type in Donnie Moore’s name and you’ll find countless articles about the year, the game, the pitch.
We all fail in our lives. We all have moments we’d like to forget, words we wish we hadn’t said, days we wish were not there.
Luckily for most of us, those moments don’t come when the world is watching.
Some are not so lucky. You have to feel for them.

The Panel: Friday Edition
Aaron Rund: Rocket Man
Andy Barch: Honky Cat
Joel Hammond: Crocodile Rock
Nihar Vasavada: Benny
Phil Prusa: Levon
Vivek Vasavada: Candle in the Wind
Curtis A.: Still Standing
Zach: Mad Hatter

Kansas City at Miami
Taking Kansas City: Andy, Joel, Phil, Nihar, Vivek, Zach
Taking Miami: Aaron, Curtis

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Manny wants to come back
Ramirez' agent, Greg Genske, made comments on that ``(Ramirez') preference would be Anaheim. He also still loves Cleveland, and would go back there.''

If nothing else, the talk shows will have something to talk about in Cleveland.
Every Indians fan, whether they will admit it or not, still loves Manny Ramirez. More than that, they'd love to see Manny in a Tribe uniform.
Having written that, I want to make this clear:
It will not happen.
Here's a number to consider:
That's how much money Manny took in this past season.
Do you know how many Casey Blakes Dolan's money could buy for that?
Case closed.

Song quote of the day
I'm in way over my head
now she think that I love her
Because that's what I said
though I never think of her-- Mamas & the Papas

The Panel Results
Aaron Rund: 8-6 (49-39)
Andy Barch: 10-4 (52-36)
Joel Hammond: 9-5 (52-36)
Nihar Vasavada: 11-3 (50-38)
Phil Prusa: 13-1 (47-41)
Vivek Vasavada: 11-3 (44-44)
Curtis A.: 12-2 (53-35)
Zach: 9-5 (53-35)
Coin: 6-8 (42-46)

My cell phone rings at 4 p.m. It's Curtis A.
"I wanted to ask you to put the panel results," he said. "I want to know how I'm doing."
This struck me as odd. But after I tabulated the results, I knew why he was so eager.
My brother put up a 12-2 record, which ties him for first with me. His record would have been the best before this week. Sadly for him, Phil broke all records with a 13-1 mark.
Everyone did well this week. Well, except the coin.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

On trial
No matter what words we use, no matter how emapathetic we try to be, we will never have any idea what it was like.
When I write "we," I'm talking about Americans, and westerners in general.
Saddam Hussein went on trial the other day. For some late night talk shows, it was a punchline of sorts -- both Conan O'Brien and David Letterman made jokes about it last night.
We don't know if Iraqis or those in the region will be able to laugh as quickly.
Everyone knows Saddam was a tyrant. We in the west have read about it, heard about it and seen some of it on television.
But we will never know and never have any idea what it was like.
Over at the amazing Iraq the Model site, there is a very interesting post about the trial, the importance of it, and what it means to a new Iraq.

Zach's 25 Most Played Ipod list --Oct. 2005
25. How Much I've Lied-- Gram Parsons
24. Chest Fever-- The Band
23. Son of a son of a Sailor -- Jimmy Buffett
22. I shall be Released -- The Band
21. To Kingdom Come-- The Band
20. Magnet and Steele -- Walter Egan
19. Kiss the Children -- Gram Parsons
18. That's all it Took -- Gram Parsons
17. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down --The Band
16. Helpless -- CSNY
15. Such a Night -- Dr. John (With The Band)
14. Long Black Veil -- The Band
13. In a Station -- The Band
12. Troubadours -- Van Morrison
11. The Weight -- The Band
10. Pretty Boy Floyd -- The Byrds
9. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere -- The Byrds
8. We'll Sweep out the Ashes -- Gram Parsons
7. We can Talk -- The Band
6. The Unfaithful Servant -- The Band
5. Caravan -- Van Morrison
4. Return of the Grievous Angel -- Gram Parsons
3. Hickory Wind -- The Byrds
2. Caravan -- Van Morrison (With The Band)
1. Tura Lura Lura --Van Morrison (With The Band)

Song quote of the day
Here it comes
Here comes the night-- Van Morrison/Them

Astros win
Dave Henderson retired in 1994. I forgot to mention that.
Congratulations to Houston. With the Texans looking like a 2-win team, the championship must feel pretty good to the fans there.
Astros v. White Sox. I can't believe that's the World Series.

Chomsky named top intellectual
Blech. At least Christopher Hitchens made the top ten.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Like Dave Henderson
Albert Pujols' homer last night was one of the most dramatic I've seen. The Cardinals, dead to rights two batters earlier, now have to be perceived as the favorites with two more games left.
Houston was as close as you can get, but now will need some kind of speech from Phil Garner.
In 1986, Dave Henderson's two-out, two-run homer allowed the Red Sox to stay alive in the ALCS. Boston had to fight and claw just to win that game, but once they did, Gene Mauch's boys never had a chance on the road.
Now, 19 years later, the Astros will look to avoid the same end.
Baseball is the best.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Panel: Week 6
Aaron Rund: Not telling us everything he knows about that cruise
Andy Barch: Veteran broadcaster
Joel Hammond: Tells it like it is
Nihar Vasavada:Next in line for Supreme Court
Phil Prusa: Has to watch Ariz(zzzzz)ona
Vivek Vasavada: On retainer
Curtis A: Takes the C-Bus

Atlanta at New Orleans(San Antonio, TX)
1:00 p.m.
Taking Atlanta: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek
Taking New Orleans: Zach, (C)

Carolina at Detroit
1:00 p.m.
Taking Carolina: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, Zach (C)

Cincinnati at Tennessee
1:00 p.m.
Taking Cincinnati: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar,Vivek, Zach
Taking Tennessee: (C)

Cleveland at Baltimore
1:00 p.m.
Taking Cleveland: Curtis, Aaron, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, (C)
Taking Baltimore: Andy, Zach

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
1:00 p.m.
Taking Jacksonville: Phil, Vivek (C)
Taking Pittsburgh: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Nihar, Zach

Miami at Tampa Bay
1:00 p.m.
Taking Miami: Zach
Taking Tampa Bay: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, (C)

Minnesota at Chicago
1:00 p.m.
Taking Minnesota: Aaron, Andy, Joel, Vivek, (C)
Taking Chicago: Curtis, Phil, Nihar, Zach

N.Y. Giants at Dallas
1:00 p.m.
Taking New York: Aaron, Joel
Taking Dallas: Curtis, Andy, Phil, Nihar, Vivek, Zach (C)

Washington at Kansas City
1:00 p.m.
Taking Washington: Aaron (C)
Taking Kansas City: Curtis, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar,Vivek, Zach

New England at Denver
4:15 p.m.
Taking New England: Aaron, Andy, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, Zach, (C)
Taking Denver: Curtis, Phil

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo
4:15 p.m.
Taking Buffalo: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, Zach, (C)

San Diego at Oakland
4:15 p.m.
Taking San Diego: Curtis, Aaron, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, Zach
Taking Oakland: Andy, (C)

Houston at Seattle
8:30 p.m.
Taking Seattle: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, Zach (C)

St. Louis at Indianapolis
9:00 p.m.
Taking St. Louis: (C)
Taking Indianapolis: Curtis, Aaron, Andy, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, Zach

Friday, October 14, 2005

10,000 Maniacs
As of today, my site reached 10,000 hits. Thanks to everyone for stopping by over the last 19 months.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Panel: Week Five Results
Aaron Rund: 7-7 (41-33)
Andy Barch: 9-5 (42-32)
Joel Hammond: 11-3 (43-31)
Nihar Vasavada: 9-5 (39-35)
Phil Prusa: 7-7 (34-40)
Vivek Vasavada: 7-7 (33-41)
Curtis A.: 10-4 (41-33)
Zach: 9-5 (44-30)
Coin: 11-3 (36-38)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

When the leaves come falling down
Van Morrison's Back on Top is a good fall album. I am listening to it as I write this, feeling that refreshing chill which awakens me from allergy trouble, and thus, turns me into a new man of sorts.
The depression from the Indians season has subsided, somewhat. A Browns win and a promising start to the start of the NBA preseason have awakened the the optimistic fool that lies within the confines of this soul.
Of course, the Yankees being eliminated from postseason also helps. God bless New York and its wonderful people. But I hate the Yankees and their 200 million dollar payroll. Good riddance.
Which, of course, brings us to the league championship series.
As the national media takes a collective gasp at the demise of their two favorite teams, the rest of us can expect two tight contests between four deserving squads.
I expect St. Louis to win it all of course. They looked downright unbeatable against the Padres. Of course, it was the Padres.
I had wanted to write about the 18-inning game between the Braves and the Astros, which I thought was the best baseball game I had seen in about a decade. Of course, it didn't happen in Boston or New York, so good luck in it being remembered.
Houston, with it's starting staff, will likely take Houston to seven games. In the American League, I like the Angels because Chicago seems to be missing something. I know we were joking about Ozzie Guillen being a choke artist, but he appeared to be taking it rather literally in Cleveland.
(It's times like these I wish I had the patience for pictures. If I did, I'd post Guillen making an ass of himself at Jacobs Field last week. Maybe Sussman will post the picture at some point.)
So, Angels in six, Cards in seven.

The Roe v. Wade question
One of the great mysteries of my life will be how certain parties became so steadfast with a point of view. Actually, there are many high profile pro choice Republicans. Arnold, Rudy, Condoleeza all come to mind.
But the fact is that that while Bush has taken heat for choosing some for the Supreme Court who *might* overturn Roe v. Wade, there is, in fact, little reason to believe he is trying to get it overturned.
I am (surprise, surprise) against abortion except in the extreme cases such as rape and incest. Sometimes, despite what he says, I think President Bush has little interest in helping to overturn the decision. My support for the President was not based on abortion, and I'm ok with him not appointing justices who will overturn it and send it to the states.
But I wonder why those of us who are pro life get painted into an extreme corner.
I have people who I love and respect who disagree with me on this issue. They are not immoral, they just have a different opinion.
My concern is not over the Supreme Court, but rather that a pro life ideology is now being viewed as extreme right. It's not.
If Bush were to choose a justice who was against abortion, it wouldn't be time to sound the alarm. He just would have chosen someone with an opinion similar to many Americans on the issue.
At present, that does not appear to be the case.

Yankees Eliminated
Did the Yanks blow it? Who cares. All I know is that the Yanks and the Sawx are gone, baby.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Bill Maher Panel
Andrew Sullivan ... Salman Rushdie ... Ben Affleck.
One of these three is not like the others. One of these does not belong.
I'm sure Affleck will be able to "enervate" himself into the discussion.

The Panel: Week Five
Aaron Rund: The Panel's Problem Solver
Andy Barch: Lead announcer
Joel Hammond: Southern corrospondent
Nihar Vasavada: Dr. Death
Phil Prusa: The Pete Axthelm of the Panel
Vivek Vasavada: Legal Counsel for Vitamin Z
Curtis A.: Mr. Cool

Baltimore at Detroit
1:00 p.m.
Taking Baltimore: Nihar, Andy, Curtis
Taking Detroit: Zach, Phil, Aaron,Vivek, Joel (C)

Chicago at Cleveland
1:00 p.m.
Taking Chicago: Zach
Taking Cleveland: Phil, Nihar, Andy, Aaron, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)

Miami at Buffalo
1:00 p.m.
Taking Miami: Phil, Nihar, Aaron, Joel, (C)
Taking Buffalo: Zach, Andy, Vivek, Curtis

New England at Atlanta
1:00 p.m.
Taking Atlanta: Phil, Andy, Vivek, Curtis
Taking New England: Zach, Nihar, Aaron, Joel (C)

New Orleans at Green Bay
1:00 p.m.
Taking New Orleans: Phil, Aaron
Taking Green Bay: Zach, Nihar, Andy, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)

Seattle at St. Louis
1:00 p.m.
Taking Seattle: Nihar, Aaron, Curtis, Joel (C)
Taking St. Louis: Zach, Phil, Andy, Vivek

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Jets
1:00 p.m.
Taking Tampa Bay: Zach, Phil, Nihar, Aaron, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)
Taking New York: Andy

Tennessee at Houston
1:00 p.m.
Taking Tennessee: Zach, Phil, Nihar, Andy, Vivek, Curtis
Taking Houston: Aaron, Joel (C)

Indianapolis at San Francisco
4:05 p.m.
Taking Indianapolis: Zach, Phil, Nihar, Andy, Aaron, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)

Carolina at Arizona
4:15 p.m.
Taking Carolina: Zach, Phil, Nihar, Andy, Aaron, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)

Philadelphia at Dallas
4:15 p.m.
Taking Philadelphia: Zach, Phil, Aaron, Vivek, Curtis
Taking Dallas: Nihar, Andy, Joel (C)

Washington at Denver
4:15 p.m.
Taking Denver: Zach, Phil, Nihar, Andy, Aaron, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)

Cincinnati at Jacksonville
8:30 p.m.
Taking Cincinnati: Zach, Nihar, Andy, Aaron
Taking Jacksonville:Phil, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)

Monday, Oct. 10
Pittsburgh at San Diego
9:00 p.m.
Taking Pittsburgh: Zach, Vivek, Curtis, Joel (C)
Taking San Diego: Phil, Nihar, Andy, Aaron

Red Sox lose
There is, of course, one advantage to hating every team in the American League playoffs.
Somebody has to lose.
Funny thing is that I didn't hate Boston until last year. It's one of my favorite American cities, has a great ballpark, and is full of fans that share my passion for the game.
Then Boston won the World Series.
Then Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner started showing up at every playoff game.
Then we had 2,000 documentaries made about the curse, and a feature film.
Then we heard the term "Red Sox Nation."
Pretty soon, the Red Sox were just as annoying as the Yankees.
I don't like the White Sox either, but at least they sent the fans down a notch.
Now if only Anaheim can get it done tonight.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Baseball Playoffs
At this point, I have watched maybe 15 minutes. Still, here's hoping the Cardinals or Astros win it all, and Anaheim takes the American League.

Positive news
With the scary news about a threat in New York, there also came some encouraging signs that America is making headway in the War on Terror.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Panel: Week Four
Aaron: 9-5 (34-26)
Andy: 7-7 (33-27)
Joel: 10-4 (32-28)
Nihar: 8-6 (30-30)
Phil: 7-7 (27-33)
Vivek: 5-9 (26-34)
Curtis: 7-7 (31-29
Zach: 7-7 (35-25)
Coin: 5-9 (25-35)

Boy, has the coin fallen off the pace or what?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hackett to run for senate
One had to figure this was coming. Paul Hackett, the anti-Bush Iraq war veteran has decided to run against Mike DeWine. I have only seen one interview with Mr. Hackett, conducted by a softball-throwing Bill Maher.
It's easy to see why Democrats are enamored with the man. At the same time, his interview with Maher caused me to believe he was a little ...uhh ... out there.
Still, given that DeWine has sailed through elections before, this one might be more difficult.
This one might get interesting. But I think DeWine (who I met when I was 11 and he was Lt. governor), has done a fine job in the senate.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush selects Miers
I know nothing about her. But I hear this selection has irriated much of the right and, well ... most of the left will hate Bush no matter what he does.
We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Love Hurts
You have to start with the Indians today, because really, with the Browns not playing and the political world not particularly interesting at the moment, there is nothing else.
A week ago, after the Indians gave away a game to Kansas City, I got that sinking feeling. Somehow I doubt I was the only one.
Few wrote about it; I even tried to put a positive spin on it on Monday. But the truth is that deep down, we had to know the Indians were in trouble.
Eric Wedge preached "one through nine" all year long. The funny thing is that the Indians were a one through nine team. When they succeeded, the whole team (save Casey Blake and Aaron Boone) played well.
When they failed, they failed together. Cleveland hit .116 on the homestand (going into the final game) with runners in scoring position.
Sunday was a textbook example of a pressing team. Grady Sizemore gets on base to start the first, and Coco Crisp, the team's best bunter, hacks at a few pitches and pops up. The inning eventually fizzles.
The Indians did nothing well offensively on the homestand. Personally, I take little solace in Wedge's use of the terms "good swings." Ted Cox had a good swing, according to Ted Williams. He also was a 4-A player.
To an extent, I understand Wedge's desire to stick with the guys that got him to 93 wins. In some ways, it paid off. Blake, death with runners in scoring position, drove in two runs Saturday, and Aaron Boone found his swing.
Sadly, no one else did.
But the Indians lost six of seven and I was hoping Eric would shake things up. Instead, it was the same pressing team that came out. The White Sox, with very little to play for, nonetheless dominated the Indians.
The Indians scored five runs in the final three games. The team lost six of the final seven games by one run.
It was a sad way to end a baseball season.
So, where do the Indians go from here?
A few thoughts for each player:
1B: Ben Broussard- Let's just say he'd not be my first choice to be the starter next year.
2B: Ronnie Belliard- Certainly pressed in the last week. No matter. Needs to be back.
SS: Jhonny Peralta: Back for another great season. Hopefully his defense improves, because a move to third is at least two years away.
3B: Aaron Boone: Will be back and should be very solid next season, particularly if he doesn't play basketball this winter.
C: Victor Martinez: The MVP. Still, the Indians might want to get a better backup for him.
RF: Casey Blake: If he returns as a starter, it will cause me to question the Indians front office. The sad part about Blake's solid final series is that it might fool the Indians into thinking he's worth keeping.
CF: Grady Sizemore: Possible MVP next season.
LF: Coco Crisp: Best year this year, possible trade bait in the offseason because of the outfielders at AAA. Then again, Crisp shouldn't ever be traded. Forget it.
DH: Travis Hafner: If he could only play first, he'd be an MVP. Like Belliard, a rough final week doesn't obscure his greatness.

SP: Kevin Millwood: Will have a great season in 2006 ... for the Yankees.
SP: CC Sabathia: Pitched like an ace for the final month. Hopefully he avoids past vices and comes back in form.
SP: Jake Westbrook: Not a great season, but an effective one. Same in 2006.
SP: Cliff Lee: Unrattled in the final week. The best is yet to come
SP: Scott Elarton: Solid, although last two starts were sub-par. May not return.
RP: Bob Wickman: My prediction is that Bob has pitched his last Indians game.
RP: Bobby Howry: Return odds also not great.
RP : Fernando Cabrera: Probably a setup man next year.
RP: Arthur Rhodes; Hopefully back.
RP: Scott Sauerbeck: same.

Song quote of the day
And he swore
the fiercest beast
could all be put to sleep
the same silly way-- Gram Parsons

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Panel, Week ...uh, what is this? Uh... 4
Going with a Gram Parsons Feel this week
Aaron Rund:Strong Boy
Andy Barch: Pretty Boy Floyd
Joel Hammond: Hickory Wind
Nihar Vasavada: Devil in Disguise
Phil Prusa: Somebody Else You've Known
Vivek Vasavada: Man in the Fog
Curtis A: Hippie Boy
Zach: Grievous Angel (Like I was going to give Gram's best song to someone else. What an ego.)

Buffalo at New Orleans(San Antonio, TX)
1:00 p.m.
Taking New Orleans: Zach, Joel
Taking Buffalo: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Andy,Curtis, Vivek, (C)

Denver at Jacksonville
1:00 p.m.
Taking Jacksonville: Nihar,Phil, Aaron, Andy, Zach, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C)

Detroit at Tampa Bay
1:00 p.m.
Taking Tampa: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Zach, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C)
Taking Detroit: Andy

Houston at Cincinnati
1:00 p.m.
Taking Cincinnati: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Andy, Zach, Joel, Curtis (C)

Indianapolis at Tennessee
1:00 p.m.
Taking Indianapolis: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Andy, Joel
Taking Tennessee: Zach, Curtis , Vivek (C)

San Diego at New England
1:00 p.m.
Taking New England: Nihar, Phil, Zach, Curtis
Taking San Diego: Aaron, Andy, Joel , Vivek (C)
Seattle at Washington

1:00 p.m.
Taking Seattle: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Andy, Joel , Vivek(C)
Taking Washington: Zach,Curtis

St. Louis at N.Y. Giants
1:00 p.m.
Taking St. Louis: Nihar, Phil,Curtis
Taking New York: Aaron, Andy, Zach, Joel, Vivek (C)

N.Y. Jets at Baltimore
4:05 p.m.
Taking New York: Vivek (C)
Taking Baltimore: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Andy, Zach, Joel, Curtis

Dallas at Oakland
4:15 p.m.
Taking Dallas: Nihar, Aaron, Vivek (C)
Taking Oakland: Phil, Andy, Zach, Joel,Curtis

Minnesota at Atlanta
4:15 p.m.
Taking Atlanta: Nihar, Aaron, Joel, Curtis
Taking Minnesota: Phil, Andy, Zach , Vivek (C)

Philadelphia at Kansas City
4:15 p.m.
Taking Philadelphia: Nihar, Phil, Andy
Taking Kansas City: Aaron, Zach, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C)

San Francisco at Arizona(Mexico City)
8:30 p.m.
Taking Arizona: Nihar, Aaron
Taking San Francisco: Phil, Andy, Zach, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C)

Monday, Oct. 3
Green Bay at Carolina
9:00 p.m
Taking Carolina: Nihar, Phil, Aaron, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C)
Taking Green Bay: Zach

Six new messages
So said my cell phone last night after I returned from a high school football game. I had asked Curtis A. to keep me posted on then Indians happenings, then promptly forgot my cell phone.
The messages all started with a familiar sentence:
"Be glad you're not watching this."
Some of my friends have said they are already pleased with the Indians season. The team is, after all, contending.
But I can't shake off some criticism. Specifically, my concern is with the future.
Kevin Millwood, Bobby Howry, Bob Wickman and Scott Elarton may not be back next season.
Millwood has pitched himself out of the Indians price range. The other three are also free agents.
Regardless, the staff will look quite a bit different in a year.
After 1995, I remember having dinner with my dad, and telling him that I was just pleased the Indians made the World Series. Just getting there was a great accomplishment.
My father, a Dayton-native who had cheered for the Big Red Machine, didn't miss a beat.
"No," he said. "When you get there, you've got to win it."
That's how I feel about the Indians right now. General manager Mark Shapiro has done a masterful job. But he's only signed for two more years. Why would he want to languish with Larry Dolan when there are teams with deeper pockets that could come calling?
The Indians have stayed healthy for the most part this season. They have won despite poor years from Casey Blake, Aaron Boone and Ben Broussard.
My point is the opportunity to win is now. There is no telling when or if another will come up.
After last night, it's difficult to believe this season will be more than a wasted opportunity.