Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Congress 1, Paulson 0?

Some people act as if this were the OJ trial, where they only get one shot at it. They will circle the wagons and keep at it until it passes. But, at least they didn't just roll over.

I'd like to think that Congress, made to pass the Patriot Act without reading it and green lighting the Iraq war after buying the load of horseshit pitched to it, has finally decided to push back.

{opens up locker, puts that next to deed to Brooklyn Bridge} It might just be more posturing.
But, even if unintended,the question to the banks is posed: WTF would y'all do if we didn't hand over the money?

I'm sure that the banks could get out of this mess if they had to...they just don't want have to use their own money to do so. Paulson doesn't have the financial system's needs or the People's needs in mind; he's looking to bail out his homies...with the People putting up the bail.
While I hate to have to hand over (more) money to these crooks, every panic/depression in US history went down because the banks couldn't/wouldn't supply money. Would the banks scuttle the financial system to be spiteful and/or predatory (or in to save their asses)? I'm not sure if we, as a People, have the balls to find out and/or play the game.

Monday, September 29, 2008

And that's that!

I'm not here to rant and blame. Aside from Johan, they're all heartless, spineless cunts. But, I was right about the Mets shutting down the Dump by being eliminated on the last day. It just goes with the way they do things and furthers the Wilpon jinx.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gangsta!

That's what ya' man Jerry Manuel called Johan's performance. But, all that happened was that the Mets cashed in their Johan chip a game early. It was a big-time gamble bringing him back on short rest, but Johan manned up and was legend.

It brings back into play my original sentiment that the Mets, jagoff organization that it is, will close down Shea by getting eliminated on the last day. The chances are pretty good, with Sabathia going for Milwaukee and Perez going for the Mets.

To put it out there, I would not send Perez out there today because he's on short rest and I do not like to double up the lefties. I would send Brandon Knight- yes, Brandon Knight- out there because I trust him more than Perez to throw 5 innings of one run ball. I think Perez will have far better results on full rest in a Monday game against the Brewers. Even though the Brewers allegedly crush lefties, the Mets swept the Brewers in Milwaukee starting three lefties.

Usually, you don't know what you'll get out of Perez. Some Mets fans- God love them- actually think he's a big game pitcher. With Perez on short rest, it probably means that the bullpen will again have to get 12-15 outs. If they have the balls, they can probably use Petey or Maine to get six of those outs. I don't think you can use both to get 12 because the average result figures to be 3-4 runs. Combine that with the 3-4 that Perez will give up and the Mets will need at least 7 to win. I'd use Petey (it's his side session day) and hope for the best.

I won't even get to see the game. I have grown up shit to do. The Mets had better get out fast. They need to play from ahead.

RIP Paul Newman...legend. Quality of life just downticked. They're not going to stop making that salsa, right?

Friday, September 26, 2008

All right, throw out that last post

Let's try this again.

It's just as well. Once Murphy K/B'ed, I figured that they'd win in spite of themselves. I've never seen a team come back from more brutal losses. I suppose that's why Mets fans have almost violent swings in sentiment.

I don't care what Petey is at this point, and I don't care if Hoffpauir was mashing, lifting him for a mexican league reject is assinine. No matter the result, but I'd have much rather that Hoffpauir beaten Petey.

That was crazy. After holding Delgado the previous night, when he was a good bet to score, they sent Church, knowing that the throw was going to beat him by 30 feet. Even though they might have been putting Church at risk- you can just tell that the dude ain't right-I would have sent him as well. I thought that it was one of those times that you have to say, "Fuck it." It turned out crazy and comical.

So, now we do an almost 180. I still think that they're less than 50/50 to advance. I think the philthies are out of reach and I think Milwaukee will win 2 of 3 against the Cubs. Tonight's game (I think they'll be able to get it in) would seem like the swing game becuase they can expect to win on Sunday, but not tomorrow.

In any case, they will need the fans' support, no matter how bad it looks. These aren't the same schlubs that pissed it away last year. But, they are shaky, easily spooked and need support to get through this. Just don't expect me to chant.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So, what are the chances?

After all that, I didn't proclaim the Mets as done. I mean, c'mon, after last night's game, do you need further evidence? All right, all right. Nonetheless. with four games left, I wanted to (by the numbers) assess the chances.

Note that it was 3-3 when I hit "New Post." It was 6-3 by the time I finished the first sentence. Hoffpauir's HR didn't land until after the second sentence.

The four starters are Petey, Pelfrey v Volstad, TBA v Nolasco and Johan v Olson. You can't realistically hope for better than 2-2. The division is out of the question because the philthies are not going 1-3 at home against the Nationals.

I suppose 2-2 could earn a tie with Milwaukee. It would kind of bring everything full circle...needing a win on Sunday against the Marlins, with Johan earning his keep by coming through where Glavine could not.


Having sat through this, do you really think they can win two games?

Dump-du-dum-dump

I wanted to drop a "D-O-E-N...done!" but I'm not quite ready and it's not so simple.

Right as I'm gathering up to leave the day job, I get caught up in a corporate fire drill. Bad karma for posting on the company dime? Somebody decides at 6:10 that they needed something that night. Luckily, I had semi-planned for that eventuality and it was only a matter of dressing it up all nice. I would up looking like a star to the bosses. As I always tell the children, learn to anticipate and you'll never have to react.

I roll up in the top of the second, right after DeRosa's HR. We have those box seats in right field where the seats are tilted towards the plate. Face value was $44. If you're inclined to pay for tickets, for the dump, it's actually not bad. The company was two Mets fans, one rabid, one moderate, a Yankees fan respectful of his surroundings and me (passive Mets supporter). By the middle of the third, it's apparent that this game is going to take all.fucking.night. Both Oliver Perez and Carlos Zambrano must have gone to the John Franco school of pitching, as neither of them would throw strikes.

The most comical moment, other than the right field ball boy throwing like he had a dildo lodged in his rectum, was Jose Reyes prancing down the third base line. With the Delgado shift employed, the third baseman was playing 50 feet from the bag. Reyes was like the class clown and Zambrano the substitute teacher. At one point, Reyes was closer to home than third. I half-expected Zambrano to bean Reyes. But, everything was fucking with Zambrano. He alternately looked coked-out and cracked-up. Eventually, he served up a grand slam to Delgado.

Aside - Delgado is not the MVP; Pujols is. You're not the MVP when two other guys on your team have 110 RBI and you certainly are not the MVP if you dog the first 2-1/2 months because you don't like the manager. Besides, if we're going to give out MVPs for partial year tears, then Manny would get it.

I had to remind a few giddy fucks that the bullpen was going to have to get 15 outs. I was close, as Perez lasted 1/3 inning longer than I predicted. I also said, about the time Sanchez was escaping the 5th inning, that the Mets would need 12 runs to win the game. Turns out that 10 would have done it and the bullpen actually got 16 outs reasonably comfortably, when it needed 17...close enough, right?We weren't sticking around for that shit. It cooled considerably and the snail's pace made it all the worse.

In the top 7th, with the score tied, the issue came up as to how long we were going to stay. They all hemmed and hawed, so I broke it down in terms of whether we were going to commit to this game, however long it ran, because I was sure that the two Mets fans would not want to leave if this was tied going to 9th. That swayed them all and we broke out. The Yankees fan suggested that I take a good look, for it was the last time I'd ever be in there. I didn't bat an eye. My response was that the only fitting sendoff for this dump was for me to take a dump on it.

It was still too early to go home, so I went to the local bar. Apparently, after the Cubs took the lead, the Mets blew a 1st and 3rd, no out chance in the seventh. Reyes, not bothering to steal second with a man on third on any of the four previous pitches, was doubled off on a screamer by Daniel Murphy. Here comes the fucking rant...

...and everyone wonders why they lose ball games.

Since it is largely a series of one-on-one matchups, baseball lends itself to quantification. Like accounting, we can assign a value to every event. Routine ground outs are all the same, we're led to think. So, there is nothing to distinguish Ryan Church's 6-3 ground out in the bottom 4th from Zambrano's 4-3 in the top of the 5th. Nowhere will it note that Church, apparently having a bout of post-concussion syndrome, downshifted half way to first, while Zambrano, fat bastard though he might be, barreled towards the bag as if someone left a plate of paella on it.

Similarly, Reyes' reticence will not be noted. Neither will Delgado not scoring from second on Beltran's single in the 8th. Neither Delgado nor the coach that held him understood circumstances; that the opposition's priority- with the state of the Mets bullpen in mind- was to keep the go-ahead run off second. According to the progression of the inning- Jeff Samardzija, fresh out of Franco's school, walked in Delgado- this didn't tangibly effect matters.

Wright's strikeout in the ninth will just look like a strikeout. After Murphy, savage baseball player, worked Howry and legged out a leadoff triple, Wright took 3 balls, only to strike out on ball four, up and away. It was odd, as Wright laid off three high balls, as he typically does. This allowed the Cubs to walk both Delgado and Beltran to get to the soft part of the order. Church, suddenly unreliable, forced Murphy at the plate and Castro, who makes Zambrano look fit, gave away his at bat.


In our daily grind, we have a general obligation to bang out our work. Sometimes we're on the clock but, for the most part, we plug along and we work a little harder than necessary to keep our jobs. That probably explains our lot in life. As explained above, baseball is a series of one-on-one matchups. A field player, not being involved in most of those matchups, is called into action about 12-15 times per game. You figure that it's about 10 minutes of the game, or about 5 or 6 percent of his work day. Again, like the rest of us, that's plenty of time to stand around and scratch his nuts, fart or whatever. He can't fuck off on the Internet, so we have that on him.

Anyway, I'll break that down further and say that a baseball player is given, maybe, 5-6 chances to shine during any given ball game. 4 or 5 of those chances are going to be his at bats and it's probably 4-5 times more than the rest of us will have to shine in any given work day. When I'm given a chance to shine- and most of the time, I have to determine it for myself and seize the moment- I go full bore to leave no doubt to my bosses' minds that I got this shit and I'm holdin' it down like a fat kid on a seesaw.

You can derive your score or results, in sports or any other work, from the sum of all the good plays you make. It would seem relatively simple, but it's hard for most to apply this and even harder to apply to baseball and its focus on one-on-one matchups. There is often no tangible incentive to give it the "ol' college try." The embarrassment of being caught taking off plays or giving up a base is not enough, because those things are seldom quantified. Everybody wants to make the big play, score the goal, touchdown.

In my view, the good plays that you make- and the attitude necessary to want to make them- put you in better position and give you more opportunities to make big plays. If you're on code yellow in a code red world, as the Mets have been for about 225 games, chances are that, when it comes time to seize those increasingly rare moments, you'll seize up.

Stretching Ayala to a second inning was asking for it. He got the bullpen's 15th and 16th outs easily enough, but his undoing must symbolize the larger Mets demise...single, stolen base, excuse-me double down the line. I bet some dude, who was rooting against the Mets, a beer that a home run was to follow. Hey, the fucker paid up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Night at the Dump

Scored some free tickets to the Dump*, so I'll be on hand to determine whether the Mets can maintain their tenuous grasp on the NL wild card spot. Last year, I went to the 5th to last game. When I walked in, some broad screamed, "Oh my goodness gracious, Bokolis is in {redacted} box!" About the 7th inning, I declared the Mets, still a game and a half up after that loss, dead. My hosts weren't too happy.


This time around, I'll be amongst the commonfolk...I'll try and hold my nose. With the exception of a rare $5 upper-decker night (and I sneak down to the blue seats), I refuse to pay to go to the Dump. I've got beef with the Mets going back to the Sun Ray.

I have no sentimental feelings for the Dump. I'd pay good money to push the (implosion) button on the Dump, but it's against city regulations. Swinging the wrecking ball would get rather tedious. Can I at least blow up that apple?

I would love to poke fun at that hokey lovefest for the dump in the Bronx (they can call it a cathedral if they like, but it's still a dump), but I'm quite confident that the Wilpon's hokieness will trump the Yankee hokiness.

We'll see how it goes. It would make perfect sense that the Mets would get eliminated on Sunday, just like they did last year, closing down the Dump for good.


* - Now that the Big O, the Vet and RFK are either gone or in disuse, Shea gets the title of biggest dump in MLB. It doesn't help that Shea is located next to the junkyards.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Everybody gets it, the whole crew

You know shit is getting bad...in telling us to stay tuned to its "coverage" of the breakdown of our financial system, CNBC is playing actionmoviejingle. FishLips looks beaten. Dubya got this morning on and looked geuinely pissed. Either he's sore that they've made his brother look like a piker, or he must not like it when he can't crack jokes. I want to believe that he just wants to get the hell out of there.

With the this credit crisis ratcheted up another level, the government has stepped in to save AIG. It deemed that Lehman was not worth saving. This is all- I think- unprecedented in US history, where the government, through the FED, which it funded through T-Bills, has taken a position in a company. Surely, there's more to follow.

Is this a landmark point of the corporate state, a furthering of corporatism, or, perhaps more properly, corporatocracy...probably worth considering, but another game for another day.

Regardless, comparable level of government market intervention must have occurred during the Panic of 1907. Even then, it took J.P. Morgan to rally the banks to pull off the move the FED is now attempting. This time around, the banks don't appear so healthy. They own these non-performing assests
  • directly
  • in securitized form, through their brokerage/investment banking units
  • exposed, via credit default swaps, through their insurance/inverstment banking units.
It's the credit default swaps that must be protected. Its holders are, in theory, responsible for making good on those non-performing assets. Apparently, there's about $60 trillion of these instruments out there, easily enough to derail the world's financial system. The possibility of such a meltdown came into play in 2002, where the Dow tanked to 7286 (lowest point was 7181). Back then, the banks had money, so it wasn't as much of an issue. As we're seeing, this time, it's going to take a little more finagling.

Somewhere along the line, maybe two or three days into my career, I- someone who only pretends to be smart- learned to never (all caps emphasis wouldn't do it justice, so imagine Yosemite Sam yelling "never") chase yield. I guess those in charge of this Ponzi scheme are too smart for their own good.

Both the causes and effects of the failures here are systemic. A la China, the citizens (taxpayers) have been told to sit down and shut up at every step, starting with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (didn't take that long for them to fuck up shit, did it?).

Of course, in China, whenever someone exhibits such (criminal, in my view) negligence, they usually get executed. These muthafuckas would be getting off lightly.

However, I favor capitalism over government intervention. My suggestion: Put the prosepect of a 30 or 40 year prison term in front of those deemed responsible, put out the Ken Lay poison pill punch bowl and let the market take its course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Football it's not

Normally, I put on the Jets games so I can get some sleep on a Sunday. As I've pointed out, that shit works better than Ambien. Yesterday, that went out the window. Because I was out chasing ass until 6 in the morning, I woke up about 10 minutes before gametime and I'm stuck watching rugby for fairies. I don't understand why the rest of America insists on calling it "football." Yesterdays Jets-Dolphins game furthers the point.

At some point, Ted Nugent, the Jets' placekicker had gotten hurt...don't ask me how, I wasn't yet coherent and I was probably watching the Eagles. So, the Jets have to go for it on 4th and 12 from just outside the 20. No big deal, Mangini can just tell everybody that, now that he's got the gunslinger, 4th and 12 ain't shit. Favre, in the face of pressure, optimistically (and correctly, given the situation) throws it up for grabs as he's hit. The ball finds a wide open Jets receiver for a touchdown.

J-E-T-S JETS...JEtsss...what the? They're going for two?

In another context, I would applaud the move. The Dolphins were probably still scratching their heads at that touchdown; why not try to steal a point? Of course, the corporate philosopy doesn't allow for such risks. They had to go for two because no one on the team could kick the pigskin 20 yards through the uprights.

Insane. Surely, the punter can do it. Well, the punter kicked off...he looked like a black guy kicking.

Aside- yes, I'm sure that, these days, there are plenty of black people that can kick a football. I grew up in the hood. There were 1000 black guys in the projects, but none of these muthafuckas could kick a football. I had to kick the ball for them. Before 17, that's probably the main thing that spared me harrassment and ass-whuppins...after 17, none of them could whup my ass, so they became much more conciliatory.

At some point, they showed Kellen Clemens (that's not one of Roger Clemens' kids? WTF is he doing with a first name that starts with K? Gotta be a bastard son or someting) on the sideline, in regular football shoes, trying to kick the pigskin, with a hobbled Nugent trying to give pointers. Why embellish, it can't get any funnier.

It's one thing to pass up a 40-yard field goal. I've kicked 40 yarders; it's not easy, especially in a game. But, you would think that a 20 yarder should be no issue because it's harder to miss from that close. I'm reminded of when John Madden- back in his somewhat more coherent CBS days- said that two things that everyone thinks they can do is play tennis and kick field goals.

(pregnant pause) All right, maybe not so coherent.

Regardless, how can someone be around a pigskin as much as these players and not know how to kick it? How can people insist on calling this game "football" when no one knows how to kick the ball?

I fell asleep at some point (works like a charm) and woke up for the final drive. The commentators were playing up the kicking snafu as the fish, down six with a healthy kicker, were driving towards a game winning touchdown. The Jets held and Benigno was talked off the ledge. Just as well.

Oil is Slick

I'll address this because I get way too many people whining to me about gas prices. As most people are ignorant, people who make believe that nothing is wrong until they're crying (crying on me), suffering them is painful and thankless. People ask the Arab gas station attendants to give them direction on gas prices, as if the dude's uncle sits on the OPEC board or something. It's more likely that the dude's cousin was the one of the people in the previous post. Having taken advice from an uneducated slug, they offer this "insight" to anyone who will listen.


I saw this shit coming from before the stench left Ground Zero. I was mentally prepared; $4.50/gal. gas didn't faze me. At this point, $3.50/gal. (Jersey) is like a treat. I'll start to gripe when it hits $6.50/gal.

Quite simply, as "cheap" (light sweet) crude will become less readily available, the price will have to move towards the market price of the next plentiful oil stash, which is the sandy stuff up in Canada and Chavez' sludge. I don't know what that price is (I'm going to guess $125/bbl.), but, even though we're not yet at that point, it was quickly factored into the market price (and then some).

Just like the late '90s stock market, which factored 30 years of growth into about two, there was going to be some pullback. When Crude was up in the $140s, my (electronically limited) friends, who didn't believe me 5(+) years when I told them this was coming, now tell me I was absolutely right. Even they understood that $140s Crude was unsustainable (at that point), so they optimistically prodded me, in the hopes that I would tell them that the price would go back to $60 and stay there. My response was that, at every stage of this 7 year rise, the price has dipped to a collection point, gathering momentum for the next push. Even if the price were to drop to $90 (I picked 90 because it seemed just outside the realm of probablility), it wouldn't stay there for very long.

As Crude action "settles" down, its price will become a function of the expectation of the timeframe for the migration from Saudi light to Canadian tar and Chavez sludge.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

HOW CAN SHE SLAP?!

Don't ask me the premise. See chic slap...see chic get slapped back even harder...see dude turn into a bitch when accosted by host/douche. I guess it was unscripted. Ya' think the host may be banging this chic on the side?






Nonetheless, it was a pretty impressive slap. Here's what led up to it. Apparently, you can swear in English with impunity on Indian television. Even better, I say. This provides enough inappropriate ethnic humor to last months, easily.






I say the broad had it coming. Like Charlie Murphy said, first of all, you don't slap a man. I would have come on and talked some shit about keepin' your pimp hand strong. I'd like to tell you that a bitch is fair game once she raises her hand. But, you can't make the argument on justification because this dude turned into a sniveling little bitch. He sat there whining and crying as the douche lumped him up. It all just reinforces some people's contention that only cowards hit women. Then again, if someone would have cracked the broad from The Weakest Link, an OBE or Medal of Honor would have been in order. Still, I took a small measure of satisfaction from seeing this one humbled for a hot minute.

That said, no one should take seriously anything on television. All of television is professional wrestling. As such, when someone prostitutes themselves- literally or figuratively- for the camera, everything is in play...including getting the taste slapped outcho' mouf. Check out the remix.




The post-mortem here.