Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ice Cream Boat: Deluxe Edition

Last summer I wrote about an "ice cream boat" that some kids were operating along a beach on Cape Cod:

Today I saw the new and improved version:

And check out the menu:

Starbucks Frappucchino?  Credit cards accepted?  This thing is no joke.  I'm surprised it doesn't offer free WiFi...

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Red Sox outfield doesn't stink anymore

Back on June 11 Boston's five outfielders were batting a collective .215.  If the Red Sox are still trying to win this year (which they may not be after dropping a third straight game in Toronto yesterday to fall to 47-55), the common perception is that they need to bring in some outfield help before the trade deadline next week (July 31).  In reality that's no longer the case:

Since being introduced to the outfield Brock Holt is hitting .317 while player all three OF positions.  And speaking of team MVP Holt, how about this:

Daniel Nava got sent down to the minors due to his horrific April, but since being recalled in late May he's batting .314 with a .391 on-base percentage.

Shane Victorino is 8-for-19 (.421) in five games after finally getting healthy again.

Even Jackie Bradley Jr. has been an above average hitter of late.  Seriously.  He's hitting .298 over the past five weeks.

This is just some of what you can read in my latest Bleacher Report article:

3 Bold Predictions for the Boston Red Sox at the 2014 Trade Deadline

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vladimir Putin and I are not on the same page when it comes to daylight savings time

In 2011 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev decided that Russia would no longer change its clocks for daylight savings time, and put the country on a permanent "summer" setting (where it's light an hour later in the evening).  Now Vladimir Putin has decided to go the opposite route, and will switch the country to a state of permanent "winter" (so the sun comes up an hour earlier in the morning).

Either way I like Russia's notion that changing the clocks twice a year is dumb, but I think that extra hour of daylight is way more valuable in the evening.

On the other hand, I don't live in Russia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's impossible to judge the Celtics' Evan Turner signing without knowing the length of his contract

I'd always been under the impression that Evan Turner was a pretty talented NBA player, in large part because he knocked off the Celtics with a clutch buzzer-beater in each of the past two seasons (oddly enough by identical 95-94 scores):



Neither Jeff Green nor Evan Turner is the go-to guy you want.
With the Sixers last year, Turner posted 17.4 points, 6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.  But here's the thing: Philadelphia was a terrible basketball team.  It's easy for guys who aren't very good to put up big numbers on bad ball clubs; the points have to come from somewhere.

After Turner was traded to the Pacers his averages dropped off to just 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.  So which guy is Boston getting?  Probably the second.

The Celtics are in line to have a ton of salary cap room next summer to go after big-time free agents.  I'll be a lot happier about this Turner signing if it doesn't mess that up.

For whatever reason, the details of Turner's contract still aren't known.  It's probably going to be around $3 or $4 million per season, but I'm a lot more concerned about the length.  If it's just for one year, or a two-year deal with a team option for the second, great.  But if it's guaranteed for more than one season, I think it's a very bad idea.  I'm a little shocked that this hasn't been mentioned more.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Some numbers behind the Red Sox becoming the hottest team in baseball

On July 9, the 39-51 Red Sox trailed the White Sox 4-0 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.  Boston rallied for 3 runs in the 8th, 2 in the 9th (partially inspired by my tweet?), and beat Chicago 5-4.

The Sox have only lost once since (an annoying 3-2 defeat in Houston in which Boston actually pounded out 13 hits), and now sit at 47-52.  Winning 5 straight and 8 of 9 makes the Red Sox baseball's hottest team (although their fellow AL East basement dwellers down in Tampa have also won 5 in a row and 16 of 21, keeping the entire division just 8 games apart; things could get very interesting down the stretch).

The Boston outfield, which was so pathetic at the plate for much of the year, has suddenly come alive (more on this in the days ahead).  In each of the past two games all three Sox starting outfielders have posted at least two hits.

Yesterday the Red Sox plated 14 runs in just 5 innings.  Twice this season Boston went 7 full games without even scoring a total of 14 runs (May 16-23 and June 15-21).

The hot streak directly coincides with the release of catcher A.J. Pierzynski and the promotion of Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket.  Boston is undefeated (5-0) in games in which Vazquez has played.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Not all $1 hot dogs are created equal (and other thoughts on Atlantic City)

All over the boardwalk there are signs advertising hot dogs for $1 (also sunglasses, hats and maybe even t-shirts too, although shirts tend to cost $2.99 and up).  I sampled three of them.  One was solid, another not so good, and a third downright spectacular.  I don't think there's any way to know ahead of time though, it's a crap shoot (see what I did there?  AC gambling analogy).  The place with the best $1 hot dog looked the grossest, and one I expected to be good was the worst.

I stayed in a hotel that cost $2.4 billion to build, and has already filed for bankruptcy twice (including last month) since it opened in 2012.  Below is what it looks like from the ground, and what I saw outside my room in the tower:

Now here's a zoomed in view of the beachfront properties next to it:

My best guess is that's another hotel that either never got finished, or was abandoned a long time ago.  You'd think the people who spent $2.4 billion on the place I was in might have considered that ahead of time (rumors are it may shut down in September).

And finally, I'd say roughly 50% of all people on vacation in Atlantic City this time of year are there for bachelor/bachelorette parties; I'm not sure there's enough of them around to keep the whole boardwalk functioning though.  Also, apparently it's mandatory for every bride-to-be to wear a pink sash across her chest like she's in the Miss America Pageant (another AC tradition that probably won't keep the city from going under).

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Awesome New Song of the Week: "Word Crimes" by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Twenty five years ago I was a huge fan of "Weird Al" Yankovic (Examples A, and B).  Amazingly he's still around making fun of contemporary pop music.  Yankovic just released a new album entitled Mandatory Fun, and each day this week he's revealed a new video on his website  After 30+ years in the business, his Blurred Lines parody "Word Crimes" may be his best work yet:

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