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Category: baseball (Page 2 of 5)

r.i.p. buck o’neil

It’s very sad to read of the death of Buck O’Neil at the age of 94.

Buck O’Neil was a class act. One of the greats of the Negro League, O’Neil was a pioneer in many aspects of baseball. As a player, he was known for his prowess at the plate. As a coach, he was held in high esteem by generations of players for his keen eye on technique and his honest assessment of ability. As a talent scout, he helped discover Hall-of-Fame players Lou Brock and Ernie Banks.

Yet Buck O’Neil never made it into the Hall. He fell one vote short on his last opportunity to enter the Baseball Hall-of-Fame in February of this year. It’s a loss to the Hall, for sure – but O’Neil’s death is more of a loss to all of baseball and its fans.

Swing for the fences up there, Buck.

random thursday thoughts (wikipedia enhanced)

Some random babbling for a Thursday night:

  • It was fun to see the New York Mets win the second game of their NLCS matchup with the Brooklyn Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets seem to be playing as a cohesive unit this season, and it’s paying off: they out-played the Dodgers tonight, and looked at ease doing it. Baseball in October is fun to watch.
  • There’s a long weekend coming up, thanks to Columbus Day. As such, it’s a good opportunity to squeeze in a long bike ride – another century, perhaps. Guess I’ll need to consult the ride listings for the area to see if anybody is planning anything longer than the typical 50 to 60 mile rides of early October.
  • Tomorrow afternoon I get to attend a taping of Hardball with Chris Matthews. The guest is Robin Williams, so it should be a lot of fun.
  • I need to plant some herbs and pansies tomorrow after work – it’ll be nice to get some new plants out on the “step garden.”
  • Tonight’s rain is really, really beautiful sounding. I love the sound of cars splashing through the water, and the sound of the drops in the window wells.
  • Mom let us know earlier this week that she’ll need hip replacement surgery on both hips. She saw her doctors on Monday and got the diagnosis, which is good and bad. It’s good that she found out what was causing her such excruciating pain during my recent visit to Utah. It’s bad that she may schedule the surgery in such a way that it will preclude her from going to Europe in February.

ye need not walk th’ plank!

Talk Like A Pirate DayAfter all, today is “Talk Like A Pirate Day.”

Be mindful, though: if you don’t show your sea legs today, I can’t guarantee that you won’t be held at sword’s end, being eased toward a date with Davy Jones (and I don’t mean the Monkee).

Funny thing: it’s not too tough to feel like a pirate here in DC. Perhaps it’s because the city is already full of the kind of duplicitous folk who would’ve been part of the pirate scene back in the day.

Also, three cheers for the New York Mets!

Let’s go Mets!
Let’s go Mets!
Let’s go Mets!

(As far as the Nats are concerned, there’s always next year. However, Ryan Zimmerman has certainly made the case to win “Rookie of the Year.”)

random day for the random duck

Let’s see, what have we learned today?

  • Apparently a double-header on Fox Saturday Baseball is not really a double-header in a market where one of the featured teams is being broadcast. So while we saw the later game (Nats-Dodgers), we didn’t get to see the early game (Mets-Braves or an AL matchup). Funny thing: Baltimore got to see both games. Peter Angelos should get out of the Nats’ and DC’s hair soon – he’s a pox on the face of the earth, just like Bud Selig.
  • When taking apart a SRAM chain to clean it (love that master link), be sure to keep a tab on the two pieces of the master link, lest you lose one down the sink – a lesson learned the hard way today. Oops. So my plan to ride on the LeMond tomorrow morning has been thwarted, as I lost the link after all the bike shops had closed. Thus, tomorrow’s morning ride will be on the Marin, riding the C&O Canal Trail. Wasn’t the original plan – maybe I’ll go for a long road ride in the afternoon, once I’ve picked up the missing link. At least the chain, cassette, chainrings and rear wheel are really clean right now.
  • I shouldn’t try to cook and clean my bike at the same time. Sorry, sprite.
  • Our landlord rocks.
  • The bathroom sink is now as clean as it’s been in a while (see above for the reason why).

Quite the productive day, right? Tomorow brings the farm market, a bike ride (or two), bike helmet shopping, figuring out our travel plans for this week’s NYC trip, and so much more.

san diego: beach & baseball

Had a lovely day in Sand Diego today.

We spent a few hours at Coronado Beach. The sand was so soft on the feet, and the water was perfect. I body surfed a bit, and got some sun. We watched pelicans as they dive-bombed for fish, and as they flew in formation just above the surf (and within about 10 feet of us). I have a little burn on the shoulders, but it’s not too bad.

Tonight, we went to the Padres-Mariners game at Petco Park. It’s a gorgeous new facility, very good for baseball. The in-park food is also good, but $8 for a draft beer is insane. The Padres won in 10 innings, 2-1.

After the game, we all went back to the house and played Scattergories – good stuff.

Tomorrow: we head back north to Seal Beach, picking up a gift and a bicycle along the way.

san diego – aaaahhhh

It’s lovely out here in San Diego.

The flight from DCA to Orange County was uneventful. At our layover in Dallas, we saw the U.S. Soccer Team lose to Ghana, and thus see themselves eliminated from the World Cup. C’est la vie, I’m afraid. But they were fully outclassed by the Ghanian team and the Czechs – let’s hope that U.S. Soccer finds a replacement for Bruce Arena, as his messing with the team’s chemistry caused seeding and cohesion problems.

The new iPod was nice, too, though I didn’t say awake long enough to enjoy A Hard Day’s Night on its screen. Perhaps on the way back…..

And Danny and David are wonderful hosts. Their house is simply wonderful, and the views from their deck are lovely. Tonight we go to a Padres-Mariners interleague game, which should be fun.

mayoral ponderings

Tonight, sprite and I went to the Dupont Circle Citizens Association mayoral candidates forum. For both of us, it was the first candidate forum we’d been to this election season. In my case, the reason I’ve sat out is that I felt it was far too early to get involved with a campaign that, in the end, will elect an official who possesses very little actual power here in DC – a sad-but-true reality.

So we went, and I took notes for the entire thing – and I will not bore you with them. Intead, I’ll give some highlights:

  • Four of the candidates – Michael Brown, Linda Cropp, Marie Johns, and Vincent Orange – were there from the beginning. Adrian Fenty showed up at 8:00 pm, 20-some minutes into the forum – not a good way to impress a key demographic.
  • Linda Cropp seemed to take claim for almost everything that’s happened in DC over the past 15 years, which isn’t entirely true. She touted experience and “the ability to achieve compromise” as her platform, and promised the world. To me, it was empty boasting, and very distant.
  • Vincent Orange was all about the “three E’s” soundbite (education, employment, economy), and boasted of good development and stewardship in Ward 5, where he is councilman. However, he didn’t seem to offer much (other than audience members who may have been brought to the event from outside the Dupont Circle neighborhood).
  • Aside from his late arrival, Fenty didn’t impress too much. I’ve heard that large-format forums aren’t his forté, and this forum didn’t dispell this info. He’s no slouch, but he isn’t as impressive with putting together coherent arguments in a non-conversational manner.
  • Marie Johns is certainly smart, but she didn’t impress as much as I had hoped. I really wanted her to do well, and I’d heard she wowed the crowds in other forums, but she came across as hurried in tonight’s event.
  • The most impressive showing of the night came from Michael Brown. He showed knowledge and passion that belied what I’d read about other forums. Furthermore, he actually listened to the questions and gave clearn, concise answers. Perhaps he’s a late bloomer, but he’s worth watching.
  • Mark Plotkin was a terrific moderator – not what I expected from a local political reporter who I typically regard as a bit of a blowhard. Kudos to Mark!
  • Perrenial write-in candidate Faith was there with her bugle – gotta love the local color.

The candidates were asked about things near-and-dear to Dupont Circle residents, such as the ever-present parking problem (most favor a public-private partnership to build and share parking facilities), and the ongoing battle between developers and historic preservationists (most erred on the side of compromise). The recent establishment of a DC Office of Baseball drew some differing viewpoints from the three DC Council members, with Fenty being opposed to it, and Cropp and Orange giving non-committal answers, pending reading the legislative act. Most agreed that the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services department needs to be reviewed and split into two organizations, as fire departments have first response duties for any emergency – Johns, Fenty and Brown favor splitting the two, while Orange and Cropp think that “cultural reform” of the system is the solution.

By-and-large, though, I didn’t learn anything substantial from this forum, other than the fact that Brown is much more impressive than I’d originally thought. So that begs the question: where do I stand with regard to the mayor’s race after the forum?

I’ve already ruled out Orange and Cropp from my own personal endorsement list, so that’s the easy part. And up ’til tonight, I thought that my personal top two was Johns, followed by Fenty. But Brown impressed tonight. Sure, he’s a lobbyist, and that usually raises a bit of a red flag. But perhaps DC needs a mayor who knows how to work the halls of Congress – something Brown knows better than any other candidate running this year. And Fenty didn’t wow me, though he’s currently doing well in terms of fundraising and in local polls.

So here’s my ranking right now:

  • Johns (by a hair)
  • Brown
  • Fenty

(Bonus note: sprite had one of her questions asked to the candidates. She wanted to know when last they each rode Metro. Three had ridden Metro in the past few weeks, while two (Cropp and Fenty) hadn’t used it in months.)

hd upchuck, anyone?

I returned home from the Nats game tonight and sat down at my Mac mini to check email and enter some mileage data at BikeJournal.

It froze.

I forced it to shutdown, waited a few seconds, then restarted. The Mac chimed, the screen turned on…

….and there was the blinking-question-mark folder.


I tried restarting again – same result.


So I boot from the system DVD and run Disk Utility on the HD. It finds numerous missing threads, incorrect file counts, and even a missing (or corrupted) master directory block.

Not good.

Disk Utility tries its best to repair the disk. It succeeds with the MDB, but with little else. So, swallowing my pride, I reformatted the drive and am reinstalling the OS.

A lot of things are on an external drive – most notably my iTunes library.

What did I lose? Email, and iPhoto stuff, most of which is backed up on other computers. And I lost my master mileage chart for 2006.


Fortunately, I have the total miles for each week written down, and have the major rides entered on this blog. But it’s a nuisance. I’m gonna take the Mac to the Apple Store this weekend to see what can be done to remedy the situation.


‘Tis the season, and they’re hitting me harder than usual – easily the worst since moving to DC.

But I’m off to see the Mets-Nats game, so that’ll be a nice distraction.

baseball: petulant players and strong bosses

During the off-season, the Washington Nationals acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Texas Rangers. In Soriano, Nationals general manager Jim Bowden saw a marquée player who could hit the long ball and bring fans to RFK Stadium.

The problem: the Nats want Soriano to play in left field, while Soriano wants to play second base, his position throughout his MLB career.

Looking at the facts, Soriano is probably a much better outfielder than infiedler. His defensive skills at second base have always been questionable, and he’s got the speed to get around the outfield quite well. So Nats manager Frank Robinson, one of the best in the sport, tells Soriano that he’s going to play left field, while all-star José Vidro takes his usual second base position. Seems that all is well with the world, right?

But somehow, being paid far too much money to play a kid’s game tends to bring out big egos and playground mentality. In other words: Soriano refuses to play in the outfield.

I have two words for Alfonso Soriano: grow up!

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