Monday, December 31, 2007

Ainulindale vs The Magician's Nephew

I have recently read both the Ainulindale[A] and The Magicians Nephew[MN] and thought I would do a comparison between the two. Now the Ainulindale is part of The Silmarillion if you actually want to find it. This can also be seen as a comparison between J. R. R. Tolkien (author of the Ainulindale) and C. S. Lewis (author of The Magicians Nephew). These two were part of a literary group known as the Inklings and probably shared each of these stories with the group. Therefore I think that these two accounts probably have some each person interwoven into them even though they reflect the author in the end.

First off, both of these stories are most likely elaborations on the the biblical genesis story. Both of the authors were Christians and no doubt had interesting views of how it all began. The theme of music is shared by both is used as the method of creation. No doubt both men had visited cathedrals and heard choirs of voices resounding throughout the massive buildings. The view of creation as a beautiful harmony seems almost natural if you have heard certain masterpieces. The instrument of the music is different in each. In [A] the Ainur are created by Iluvatar (represents God) and they in turn sing the part of the song that was put in them. In [MN] the singer is a singular person in the lion Aslan (represents the Christ, son of God). The Lewis version of having the Son involved in creation reflects thoughts presented at the beginning of the gospel John. John chapter 1 verse 3 states
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Aslan therefore is the personification of this scripture. Tolkien's presentation could be best described as God creating angels and giving them a purpose. Those angels then fulfill their purpose in creating.

The literary style in [A] is much closer to the actual biblical account of creation than [MN]. Tolkien himself was a linguistics professor and wrote many languages for his books. This knowledge of the origins of many languages most likely caused him to write a structured and believable account of creation. For his writing style can easily be seen to closely mimic ancient stories from almost all origins. This style can be perceived as distant or detached to some people, but it is nonetheless accurate from a historical standpoint. Lewis on the other hand uses [MN] to take the reader to the date of creation and makes them an observer. The creator seems much more personable. He even laughs with creation. Most people tend to prefer this version because it seems more personable and fits better with modern times.

The timeline presented by Tolkien is somewhat vague. For an unknown amount of time creation was occurring being designed. The actual creation process in his account takes many centuries to complete. Lewis has the account occur in a singular day and would fit more literally with the Genesis account. I think that you also have to take into account the intended audience. While Lewis's audience was explicitly stated to be children, Tolkien's book takes on a much more scholarly take. This take presents a much more serious and intricate look at things than a mere children's book would.

Taking all things into consideration, it is hard for me to choose a favorite. Although from a personal standpoint, [MN] gives me a much better feeling.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This film has been trashed by more than its fair share of critics of late. But you just can not deny that it is fun to watch. If you liked the first film, you will definitely like the second. I had the pleasure of viewing this with my family on Christmas afternoon and it was a great way to end the day.

Just like its predecessor, this film is rooted in history. I put that in italics because it of course pads the truth for the sake of the plot. However, as a guy who loves history, I think that they do quite a good job of drawing people into the field. This (like the DaVinci Code) has lit a fire in people who would otherwise be bored by the subject. The history is accurate enough for my take.

As for the constant conspiracy theories and the like, put me down in the not buying it category. Its either that or the don't care enough about it to worry category. I just don't buy that there are vast hidden conspiracies out there all the time. I know I know, that is what they want me to believe. But I figure that I have enough to worry about without having to worry about what I don't know.

A big plus to me in the film was the character of Riley Poole, played by Justin Bartha. The humor that he constantly added to the film was much needed and provided the main (if not only) humor in the film. Without his character, this movie would not flow well.

Nearly everyone is raving about the must-see portion of the movie... the Goofy short. Disney pulled a Pixar on us and showed a 5-10 minute short film that was quite witty and unexpected. I was quite impressed at how well the animators and writers developed the skit. It was very true to the Goofy namesake, and it was very good.

There were 2 downsides to this movie, and only 1 was correctable. First, the ending was a bit slow paced after such a roller coaster ride of a film. It just did not seem to have the bite that the rest of the script had. The quest for historical significance has been overplayed in many films before (i.e. Troy) and I just didn't buy it. Next, and this is my pet peeve, the security of high international installations was way too easy to bypass. The Buckingham Palace, White House, and Mount Vernon scenes were laughable in that respect. They movies always feature a hacker who can bypass any security. As a computer person, I know that this is not the case. If you are in the oval office and getting into the president's desk (below), the secret service will stop you faster than anything. I can guarantee that.

Overall this movie was fun to watch, not at all realistic, and a great way to relax at the theater. I would definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The Rangers over the holidays dealt another piece of the coveted DVD trio (Danks, Volquez, Diamond). This time Volquez was sent to Cincinnati for outfielder Josh Hamilton. This feels like a slight upgrade, just like the previous trade did. We trade the promising future for a more tangible now.

I have been hearing about the promised land of DVD for maybe 4+ years. I had heard of Danks (major / minor) prior to his Ranger draft in 2003 for a bit on the high school circuit. He graduated the same year as my brother. I am not sure yet how his trade for McCarthy (major / minor) will be looked upon in the end. But for now, I don't think we got taken in the deal.

The same thing applies to this Volquez (major / minor) trade. We rushed him to the majors too early. For the past 3 years we have brought him up during the garbage time of the season to see what he was made of. This year, we had to send him all the way to A ball because his head got messed up. His stuff has become better, but I am not sure what his ceiling will be. Watch for Hamilton (major / minor) this year. We brought him over to fill our depleted outfield. He, like our vaunted DVD trio, came in with much promise and is now resurrecting after several lackluster years and a drug issue. He hit 292/368/554 last year and looks to be on the upswing. Of note is also the fact that we brought his coach over as well. Our outfield has been full of platoon players for some time and hopefully he can fill and thrive in center. His major league portfolio is a bit more extensive than Volquez and hopefully he can adjust and improve on American League pitchers.

We still have the last piece of our future here in Thomas Diamond. He spent the entire last season recovering from surgery. So for me, this will be the year we find out if he is the real deal. Thankfully the Rangers have beefed up the farm system and so we have several backups. But it would be nice to see at least 1 of the 3 become successful on our major league team.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Too Good To Be True

I have often been told that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I mainly got that lecture after signing my father up to win cars at the mall when I was younger. Well, this phrase can certainly apply to business and investments. I have been told a couple times to get in on the ground floor of the next Google and both times rejected it. This isn't to say that I will never accept risk, but some things are too risky or far fetched for me.

This brings me to the recent banking meltdown. I read a recent article in Fortune magazine that really shed some light onto how banks were caught. Carol J Loomis did an interesting piece on part of the issue that is plaguing Citigroup. Citi used solid safe investments (is there such a thing?) to get some easy cash. This process came back to bite them:
Citi started then to have ominous dealings with CDO's [Collateralized Debt Obligations] that carried a "liquidity put." What Citi did a couple of years ago was insert a put type of option into otherwise conventional CDOs that were backed by subprime mortgages and sold to such entities as funds set up by Wall Street firms. The put allowed any buyer of these CDOs who ran into financing problems to sell them back - at original value - to Citi. Last summer, with the whole world suddenly unwilling to finance CDOs, the holders of the liquidity-put CDOs began to return them to Citi. And that's where they now reside - $25 billion of them
Now CDOs were considered very safe and Citi did some creative accounting to get them off their balance sheet. Well now it is coming back to bite them. Selling puts on safe items will never come back to haunt you...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

He Said She Said

  • Like many Americans, I feel like I am getting polled out. I think every day they shuffle the deck of politicians and see who is currently winning. I paid attention for a couple days and was thoroughly underwhelmed. So from now on, until someone actually wins or loses, I don't care what the polls say. That attitude really frees me up to choose the candidate that I like best.

  • Mud is being slung in all directions at this point. I know too much about various candidates 3rd grade aspirations at this point. I know that all sides seem to do this, but I am not voting based upon the latest National Enquirer report. What about voting on actual political records or stances on core issues? Now there is a unique idea.

  • I ran across this video series featuring Victor Davis Hanson and it is excellent. I really appreciate his ability to take a broad historical look at the current times.

  • Is anyone else tired of Iowa and New Hampshire deciding who gets to be president? I know I am. March 4th, 2008 is when my state holds its primary. I hope that the candidate I like the most is still around by then. From what some tell me, if you don't do well in Iowa, you might as well drop out. Give me a break!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Nearly everyone that I know who has seen The Shawshank Redemption has considered it a good movie. Well it seems that 2 guys in New Jersey escaped using the same method. They hung a poster over the hole that they carved out. From the AP article
They hung photographs of bikini-clad women to hide the holes in the walls.
According to police, Blunt, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds, squeezed into Espinosa's cell through an approximately 16- to 18-inch hole.
The two inmates wiggled through another 18-inch hole in the outer wall. From a roof landing, the two men "took a running jump or they were standing and they jumped approximately 15 feet out and about 30 feet down," Romankow said.
Then they jumped a razor-wire fence onto a New Jersey transit railroad bed to freedom
The best part for me is that they taunted the guards by saying:
"Thank you officer -------- for the tools needed, you're a real pal, Happy Holidays," the note read, with a smiley face drawn next to it.
I guess this means that they won't be showing that movie in the prison anymore...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

They Call Him the Streak

I know that it is a day late for this post, but I thought that I would go ahead and get the info in before the next set of games start. I am torn this week between my favorite sport and the sport that my entire city is talking about. Since it is the playoffs, my favorite sport gets my top nod.

The Major League Baseball playoffs have in recent years become more of a "who is hot right now" contest than a "who is the best team" challenge in my opinion. This year I think that it would be hard to argue that the NL is anywhere near as close to the AL in overall competitiveness. However, just like last year, a hot NL team could run the table.

The Red Sox have been scary all year; their problem has been getting everyone on the same page at the same time. And oh my have they clicked at the right time. Their firepower at the plate seems quite superior to me in the ALCS and that should take them through to the next round. Fausto Carmona is throwing for Cleveland tonight and gives them their best shot to take a game. Sabathia has as good a chance as any player to take the Cy Young award, but his performance last night was not good at all. Pitching, like it does so many years in baseball, made the difference yesterday.
Boston 4 games - Cleveland 2 games

The Colorado Rockies have quite an explosive lineup and their pitching the past month has been good enough, if not excellent. Taking out Brandon Webb in game 1 was the key to this series an basically spoiled the Diamondbacks chances. With their lineup, the Rockies streak is even scarier than a typical hot team. This team has some sustainability. It all rests on their pitchers to see how far they can go.
Colorado 4 games - Arizona 1 game

Now to the granddaddy of them all, the NFL. Nothing has stirred Dallas in quite a while like this Cowboys team. I predicted a good year, but nothing this solid. I am personally pumped that they had their screw-up game last week vs. the Bills. The Patriots however are a different beast. I think we match up quite well against them except for our pass coverage. I think our running game is better, but in the end we will get burned too many times. So I will have to go against my beloved team overall, but I think they will cover the spread.
New England Patriots 31 - Dallas Cowboys 27

Overall record on outright winners, 3-0

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The New Revolution

Every time that I turn around, another stock with the word China in its title is going nuts. It is hard to go a single day without seeing a different stock go up double digits percentage wise. This sort of reminds me of '97 or '98 when anything tech would seem to jump like nuts. However, this new wave of stock mayhem stems from a billion people strong country that is unleashing companies out of communism. This could easily be the basis of major economic growth across the globe for years to come. Here are just a few examples of recent movers:

That is an average return of 82% over the past 2 months. All that I would have had to pretty much do is pick a random stock with the word China in it, and I would be set. And too bad that I didn't. Now the current question is whether this has true merit or is just a bubble of hype. For that, we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I have been recently studying for the Java 1.5 certification exam. The book that I am using is over to the right of this page. It is over 800 pages, but I am making it through. It is also quite thorough and good for preparing for the exam. I know enough to pass the exam, but not enough to do it all perfect afterwards.

Therefore I am for the first time since college, seriously studying for a test. It is at this point that I realize several things. First and foremost, it is really hard to create a programming competency test. It is far too easy to say that you know a language or concept. Resumes are filled with supposed knowledge, but applying it to a job is entirely different. So after 3 years of applying my knowledge, I find it hard to translate that knowledge back to the academic realm. It is not that the information needed for the test is pointless, but the hypothetical situations that the test turns into 'gotchas' just drive me batty. Who on earth sets up a polymorphic tree with 17 levels and every access modifier in the book? I have not seen the situation arise in my line of work, and I write enterprise level software. At the same time, I don't know that if someone completed this certification they would be ready for real life work.

So today is my day to rant about the large gap between learning syntax and knowledge that can only be gained with experience. I certainly don't know a solution off the top of my head, but it seems near impossible to tell on paper is someone is worth a hill of beans in real life situations.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Big Weekend

This is an excellent weekend to be a pro sports fan. The college lineup is a little week, but the MLB and NFL are as exciting as ever. Here once again on record are the things that I know will most likely happen if everything goes my way.

Let's start with baseball and the exciting pennant races that are going on right now. Being an American League fan, I have long since figured that everything was aligned back in August. However the National League is up for grabs. So a couple of notes...
  • I predicted the AL standings to a T 6 months ago
  • I am always modest
  • The Cubs will win at least 1 game and the Brewers will lose at least 1 game, therefore clinching the playoff berth for the Cubs.
  • The Padres and Diamondbacks will tie for the top of the NL West and spoil the Rockies feel good story.
  • This will cause the following rule to be invoked:
    In the event of a tie in the standings at the close of the regular season, league rules provide for a one-game playoff (with the home field determined by coin flip) to determine which of two teams participate in the Division Series. If three teams are involved in a tie, a two-game playoff may be played. If two teams are tied, but a tiebreaker would result in both participating in the Division Series anyway (due to one being division champion and the other being wild card), then no playoff is played and seedings are determined by head-to-head record.
  • I want the Phillies to win the East, but I think the Mets will not choke enough to make it happen. (And yes I know that is not the popular consensus)

Since I am a big Dallas Cowboys fan, I will always make a prediction for their game and at least 2 other games. So for week 4 of the NFL:
  • This is an obvious pick for a Cowboys win, which is exactly why many people are scared of this game. I would be too, but I think the lack of Steven Jackson will allow the defense to really attack the quarterback. I expect the secondary to give up a couple of big pass plays, but overall contain the Rams. I see the boys putting up pretty good number on them so this game should go well.
    Dallas Cowboys 34, St. Louis Rams 17
  • The big game of the week is the Vikings vs. the Packers. This is definitely a battle of good defenses. This game should come down to who has more sacks, interceptions, and big stops. I would personally rank Minnesota slightly higher than the Packers on the defensive depth chart. However, Green Bay has a definite offensive advantage. If they can contain the Viking running game, as I expect them to do well enough, than they take this game.
    Green Bay Packers 24, Minnesota Vikings 13
  • And finally, I have to check out the Colts and Broncos. This has the most intriguing match ups with the wide receivers of Indianapolis going against the defensive backs of Denver. This game should highlight how well Joseph Addai really is. Watch for the Colts starting out with a strong running game and then exploiting holes in the Denver defense when they try to plug up the line of scrimmage. The status of John Lynch will have a huge impact upon the game. The Broncos will have to utilize their potent air attack to best the Colts in this game.
    Indianapolis Colts 23, Denver Broncos 20

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

View From the Political Sidelines

Its been a while since I threw out any political observations, but I will attempt to keep this current.

  • I watched a News Radio episode the other day from 1998. Bill McNeil (Phil Hartman) sings political songs from the day and mentions that Fred Thompson thinks its bunk that Bill Clinton had the Lincoln Bedroom up for rent.

  • Sometimes we take our freedom for granted in America. Its scenes like the one in Burma of monks protesting that remind us that not everyone enjoys the simple basics of life.

  • As of this morning the UAW and GM are back on speaking terms. You hardly need to spend much time with me to know that I think 99% of unions are out-dated and corrupt. The UAW and its hold on the industry here are why foreign car companies are easily beating out our national brands. It is sad to see these 2 entities entwined so tightly, because I fear that it will be the downfall of both groups.

  • Since we are still over a year away from a presidential election, I will not call this race a done deal. I frankly think people are starting to get "election weary" already. Even if you like the person, they have been out there too long at this point.

Friday, March 30, 2007

2007 Baseball Predictions

I figured that before the season actually starts I had better get my stuff in writing. That way if any of it actually comes true, I can point it out to you way too often. Playoff teams are in italics. Bold if they make it to the League Championship. In the end I pick Boston over St. Louis.

AL East

  1. 94-68 Boston Red Sox

  2. 92-70 New York Yankees

  3. 83-79 Toronto Blue Jays

  4. 70-92 Baltimore Orioles

  5. 66-96 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

AL Central

  1. 91-71 Cleveland Indians

  2. 87-75 Detroit Tigers

  3. 85-77 Chicago White Sox

  4. 81-81 Minnesota Twins

  5. 65-97 Kansas City Royals

AL West

  1. 90-72 Los Angeles Angels

  2. 86-76 Texas Rangers

  3. 83-79 Oakland Athletics

  4. 71-91 Seattle Mariners

NL East

  1. 94-68 Philadelphia Phillies

  2. 91-71 New York Mets

  3. 82-80 Atlanta Braves

  4. 73-89 Florida Marlins

  5. 62-100 Washington Nationals

NL Central

  1. 90-72 St. Louis Cardinals

  2. 86-76 Chicago Cubs

  3. 82-80 Houston Astros

  4. 77-85 Cincinnati Reds

  5. 73-89 Milwaukee Brewers

  6. 68-94 Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West

  1. 89-73 San Diego Padres

  2. 86-76 Los Angeles Dodgers

  3. 81-81 Colorado Rockies

  4. 77-85 San Francisco Giants

  5. 75-87 Arizona Diamondbacks

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Initial Movie List

My wife was asked in church on Sunday what my favorite movie was. She answered quite respectably and I in turn started to wonder myself. Therefore I started writing a list and what do you know, it became quite large. So for the first round of my debate I present my list in chronological order. Obviously since I am semi-young this will be slanted towards movies in my era. No explanations at this point, just a straight listing. Also, feel free to let me know which ones I left out. It is hard not to skip ones with such a large list. In case you are counting, this is my top 100 (and yes I had to cut some).

  • 1934 - The Thin Man

  • 1938 - The Adventures of Robin Hood

  • 1938+ - Charlie Chan with Sidney Toler

  • 1939 - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

  • 1942 - Casablanca

  • 1946 - It's a Wonderful Life

  • 1947 - The Bishop's Wife

  • 1951 - Strangers on a Train

  • 1952 - High Noon

  • 1953 - Roman Holiday

  • 1956 - The Searchers

  • 1957 - The Bridge on the River Kwai

  • 1958 - The Sign of Zorro

  • 1959 - North by Northwest

  • 1960 - The Alamo

  • 1960 - The Magnificent Seven

  • 1961 - The Guns of Navarone

  • 1962 - Lawrence of Arabia

  • 1962 - To Kill a Mockingbird

  • 1963 - Charade

  • 1963 - From Russia With Love

  • 1963 - The Great Escape

  • 1965 - Shenandoah

  • 1966 - The Professionals

  • 1975 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  • 1977 - Star Wars

  • 1981 - Chariots of Fire

  • 1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • 1983 - Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

  • 1985 - Back to the Future

  • 1986 - An American Tail

  • 1987 - The Untouchables

  • 1989 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  • 1990 - Home Alone

  • 1990 - The Hunt for Red October

  • 1992 - Aladdin

  • 1992 - The Last of the Mohicans

  • 1993 - Groundhog Day

  • 1993 - Jurassic Park

  • 1993 - The Fugitive

  • 1993 - The Sandlot

  • 1993 - Tombstone

  • 1994 - Clearn and Present Danger

  • 1994 - Maverick

  • 1994 - The Lion King

  • 1994 - The Shawshank Redemption

  • 1995 - Apollo 13

  • 1995 - Braveheart

  • 1995 - Crimson Tide

  • 1995 - GoldenEye

  • 1995 - Toy Story

  • 1996 - The Rock

  • 1997 - Air Force One

  • 1997 - Contact

  • 1997 - Men in Black

  • 1998 - Saving Private Ryan

  • 1998 - The Negotiator

  • 1999 - Galaxy Quest

  • 1999 - Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

  • 1999 - The Green Mile

  • 1999 - The Matrix

  • 1999 - The Mummy

  • 2000 - Cast Away

  • 2000 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

  • 2000 - Gladiator

  • 2001 - Enemy at the Gates

  • 2001 - Monsters Inc.

  • 2001 - Ocean's Eleven

  • 2001 - Rat Race

  • 2001 - Shrek

  • 2001 - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

  • 2001 - The Score

  • 2002 - Catch Me If You Can

  • 2002 - Spider Man

  • 2002 - Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

  • 2002 - The Bourne Identity

  • 2002 - The Count of Monte Cristo

  • 2002 - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

  • 2002 - The Rookie

  • 2002 - We Were Soldiers

  • 2003 - Finding Nemo

  • 2003 - Open Range

  • 2003 - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  • 2003 - Secondhand Lions

  • 2003 - The Italian Job

  • 2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • 2004 - Hidalgo

  • 2004 - National Treasure

  • 2004 - The Incredibles

  • 2004 - The Passion of the Christ

  • 2004 - The Polar Express

  • 2005 - Batman Begins

  • 2005 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

  • 2005 - King Kong

  • 2005 - Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

  • 2005 - The Greatest Game Ever Played

  • 2005 - The Legend of Zorro

  • 2006 - Night at the Museum

  • 2006 - The Prestige

Monday, February 12, 2007

Initial AL West

I have been reading some interesting reads by columnist Tim Brown whose work is posted on Yahoo Sports. He is doing a quick around the league and I am basing much of my comments on his work. The following are the highlights and my added opinion.

Also I would love to point out that once again Yahoo Sports is my preferred internet venue for sports news because of its clean layout. I have tired greatly of the extreme broadband requirements of other sites and love the fact that I can enjoy the site on dial-up or a T1 line.

FYI, I will be making my official predictions about records/playoffs and all before the season begins, but after Spring Training ends.

  • The Orioles look to be stuck in neutral again this year. They might make some early noise in May, but a weak rotation with Bedard as its high point will eat away at the win column. Combine that with an overpaid closer in Baez and the birds will have trouble holding a lead.

  • Here is the scary part: "Devil Rays starters had a better ERA in 2006 than Red Sox starters." So what did Boston do but go out and sign a big name in the offseason. Now their rotation looks like Schilling, Beckett, Dice-K, and Wakefield. If Papelbon is allowed to join them then they look scary. Their bullpen will prove to be either the savior or the Achilles heal for this team.

  • The Bronx Bombers are back once again and a healthy Matsui should prove to be vital. And yes, here we are again discussing whether or not they can outhit the other team. This team is like the Phoenix Suns in their approach to the season. Simply outscore the other team and hope that the defense (pitching) does enough.

  • Tampa Bay is going to be hard to take seriously again because of their general lack of talent. Kazmir and Wiggington will hopefully provide some inspiration to this otherwise AAA team.

  • Toronto is once again going to be bearing the brunt of the AL East haterade. They have a solid rotation in Halladay, Burnett, and Chacin. Their outfield should outhit the world again (unless Vernon Wells had a contract season). Watch for them to take 2nd in the division.

  • The White Sox have a 'great on paper' rotation again that can take them to the top if they regain their form. Dye, Thome, and Konerko need to step up once again though to keep them in contention.

  • The Indians seem to be stuck in neutral and their lineup and rotation seem ok i guess. They seemed destined to be either 3rd or 4th in the division.

  • Detroit looks really scary. They added Gary Sheffield for some extra power and retained their elite pitching staff. The key will be whether or not the staff is worn down or overused. Having 4 starters hover around 200 innings last year was mighty nice, but let's make sure that they don't wear out late in the season.

  • The Royals.... yup.

  • The Twins are going to have to turn into a Yankees-esque team and muscle their way into the postseason. Their pitching is going to be quite down with the loss of Liriano. Even with Santana doing his usual changeup magic, the rest of the rotation is mediocre at best. Having Mauer and Morneau leaves them open to some pop as that could bring them hope. I have them slated comfortably in 3rd.

  • The Angels of 'whatever city they pick this year' look to be stacked to take the division. If Vlad comes back strong and Colon starts blowing people away, their team will do well.

  • Oakland keeps losing good pitchers and so it is hard for me to believe that they will maintain a high level of performance. I am uncertain about the Piazza for Thomas DH swap and think it will be quite hard for Mike to equal Frank's output from last year.

  • Seattle has spent a lot of money chasing contract year players and are getting hit with the brunt of those bad decisions. They look destined to be bottom feeders this year.

  • The Rangers seem to be quite a wild card this year. They have built their team around a lot cheap what ifs that could pay huge dividends. If Sammy starts slammin again and Gagne is lights out with Otsuka in front and Brandon McCarthy steps it up and Hank Blalock decides to play again, they win the division. As it is, it is hard to bet on higher than a 2nd place finish in the division.

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's That Time Again

Now that football is over I can officially bask in the attention that Baseball is now given by the media. Now I can start formulating my opinions on all of the teams since I have more information. Therefore I will start posting my thoughts on the upcoming season and my favorite team.

  • Some poor shmuck up in New York decided to sign Chan Ho.

  • The Rangers lost Gary Matthews Jr. to the Angels this offseason. He had a steller year last season, but I am thinking that it may be short lived. He played several years for us and only had this one good season to speak of. Matthews is 32 years old and his lifetime average is not that good (.263 including his breakout year). His contract year play has payed off for him, but I am glad to see the Rangers not chase his escalating salary. And as always, I will probably eat these words.

  • Bud Selig is not really sure if he is going to follow the breaking of Hank Aaron's home run record. It is quite interesting how shunned the bombers have become in recent years.

  • The Rangers this year are all about second chances, or third chances. Eric Gagne would be huge if he works out. However, I am hearing talk of dumping Otsuka if he turns out to be good. Even though we could upgrade the outfield in a trade, Otsuka is the most stable part of our sometimes shaky bullpen. Sammy Sosa is worth an extra 2000 tickets a game at least in my book, so I am happy to give him a shot. Kenny Lofton just seems to be too old though for his speed to still be great.

  • For years Rangers fans have been hearing that the future lies with our 3 perfect pitching prospects (Danks, Diamond, and Volquez). We have refused all trades for them. The only one to actually pitch in the majors in Edison Volquez who has a steller 1-10 record with a 9.20 ERA. Danks and Diamond have never even pitched in the majors. So we finally dumped Danks this offseason for Brandon McCarthy who at least had a 1.25 whip last year. The Rangers betting all their pitching future on these 3 minor league prospects has not payed off.

  • The major loss for the Rangers in the offseason was Mark DeRosa. He was a solid .296 utility player who reminds me of Michael Young. I think the Cubs will really like this pick-up.