Sunday, April 20, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week - Easter Edition (sort of): "No Rain" by Blind Melon

Coming up with a hit song related to Easter is no easy task.  Outside of church it's not a particularly musical holiday, and eggs and bunny rabbits apparently weren't very common topics for 90s pop artists.

My next thought regarding Easter was something that has to do with flowers and spring, which is where Blind Melon's 1992 single No Rain comes in.  The song and video both have a spring-like feel to them, and the girl's bee costume seems appropriate for an Easter egg hunt.  If you've got a better idea please let me know.




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sizemometer update: He's not hitting, but neither is anybody else on the Red Sox

Grady Sizemore has fallen a ways behind Jacoby Ellsbury in terms of fantasy production (read the explanation of the Sizemometer), but it shouldn't really come as a surprise considering Ellsbury is leading the AL in hitting at .365.

Sizemore's batting average has dipped down to .245, but that doesn't sound so bad when you consider the Red Sox as a team are hitting just .236.

Boston is averaging only 3.3 runs over its past 10 games, and hasn't scored more than four in a nine-inning contest since April 8.

It's time for patience, however.  Sizemore and the rest of the Sox offense should start hitting again soon, and Ellsbury could well sprain something tomorrow and miss the next six weeks.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Season ending Tankometer: Final NBA draft lottery odds - 6th pick is Celtics' most likely scenario

By dropping their final two games of the season, the Celtics managed to pull into a tie with Utah for the 4th worst record in the league at 25-57.  Unfortunately the C's lost the tie-breaking "coin flip" with the Jazz today, leaving Boston 5th in the draft order.

The lottery only actually decides the first three picks; so while Utah and the Celtics have basically the same odds of choosing in the top three, if neither moves up to one of those positions the Jazz will select ahead of Boston.

Each team in the lottery has the opportunity to get one of the first three selections, or slip as many as three spots down from their place in the standings if three teams behind them get lucky.  Because of this the Celtics can't be #4, and their absolute worst case scenario is #8.  Here's a table of the complete odds that I stole from Celtics.com:



Boston has a 10.3% chance of picking #1 overall, and 33.4% in the top three.  But the spot with the single greatest probability is #6, at 34.2%.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smirnoff vodka "deconstructed martini" commercial is absolutely spectacular

I've been bartending for nearly fourteen years now (yikes), and in no way do I consider it an art form.  In my mind speed and efficiency are by far the most important things when it comes to making drinks.  So when I saw this commercial on TV for the first time the other day, I instantly gained an enormous amount of respect for Smirnoff vodka (and a little bit for Adam Scott too):




Remember that craze of youtube videos under the theme "Sh*t (type of people) say"?  This is like the "bartenders" one, but better.

As impressed as I am by the ad, I still don't see myself buying much Smirnoff; one because I'm not a vodka guy, and two because commercials just don't work.

Also it's kind of weird I've written about vodka twice this week, huh?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Baseball managers should be more adventurous with their 9th inning pinch-hitting; who cares if they have no defense afterwards?

Not a power hitter.
Back on Sunday the Red Sox lost to the Yankees, 3-2.  Trailing by a run in the bottom of the 9th inning, weak-hitting utility infielder Jonathan Herrera came to the plate with one out, playing second base due to Dustin Pedroia's hand injury.  Herrera struck out looking.

Jonny Gomes (who's literally about ten times more likely to hit a game-tying home run than Herrera, who has a total of 8 in 1006 career at-bats) was available, but John Farrell neglected to pinch-hit with him because there wasn't anybody else who could've played second base should the game go to extra innings.

You see this in baseball all the time, and it makes absolutely no sense to me.  Is there a chance you might lose the game in extras because Gomes or somebody else is playing out of position at second?  Yes, but I guarantee it's less than the 100% odds of losing if you never even tie it up in the first place.

I'd really like to see an MLB manager just disregard defense completely when it comes to pinch-hitting in situations like this.  Maybe his team would drop a game or two because of it, but I bet in the long run they'd win more.

Plus, it would make things much more exciting from a fan perspective; who wouldn't love to see what happens if Gomes is forced to field a ball at second base?  And considering there were about 17 people at the Sox vs. Sox game in Chicago last night (officially 13,402, 33% capacity of U.S. Cellular Field, but if you saw on TV it was obviously nowhere near that), more excitement seems like a good thing.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Will the date 'April 15th' now have September 11th-like connotations in Boston?


As tragic as the events of one year ago were, obviously they don't compare to what happened on 9/11/2001.  But it's the only appropriate frame of reference for me to use here.  After watching today's tribute, I've come to a realization:

The Marathon will forever be different from now on, that I already knew.  But as it always falls on a Monday, the date changes year to year.  It hadn't occurred to me that the 4/15 anniversary would also be a day of significance to remember.

April 15th is Jackie Robinson Day in the sports world (67 years ago today he played his first game).  It's income tax day as well.  It also happens to be my birthday.  None of these will be quite the same going forward.

Here's my record of the events as they transpired last April 15-19 (scroll down to the bottom of the page first to read them in chronological order, it's worth it), and David Ortiz's iconic address to the Fenway crowd on Sunday, 4/21/13.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Why Don't You Get a Job" by The Offspring

Recorded in 1998 and a hit in '99, Why Don't You Get a Job is borderline old; but hey, at least it's from the last millennium.

However, the things that inspired me to chose it are in fact much older.  The Offspring's track is basically a combination of two other songs -- a little bit of Simon and Garfunkel's Cecelia (from 1970), and a whole lot of the Beatles Obla Di, Obla Da (from 1968).

But when I think of Obla Di, Obla Da all that comes to mind is this:





The 1989 TV show Life Goes On is probably a goldmine for other blog posts at a later date...




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