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January 31 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Jim Manning, who managed of the 1901 Senators to a 61-73 6th place finish. As a player he played every position except pitcher, catcher and first base in Boston, Detroit and Kansas City.
Banks of the Anacostia tries to figure out the meaning of the characterization of Alfonso Soriano as a "Happy Man". When I see those words in quotes, I can't help thinking of the story "The Happy Man" by Jonathan Lethem. Click on the profile in The High Hat and search on "happy man" for a brief synopsis of the tale. Compared to that, a surly overpaid player is trivial.
Apparently the crew of the El Dorado, as the ghost ship was known, experienced hallucinations of their worst fears and went mad. Chode is afraid of losing money. Six is afraid of growing old. Gus is afraid of vaginas. Whip is afraid of insects and T'nuk is afraid of being eaten.
All must confront their fears and the hallucinations go away. However, we never get back to the original plot point of running out of fuel and the crew gets back on their ship without mentioning fuel.
January 30 Permalink
I learned a new word - anesis
Anesis: a figure of addition that occurs when a concluding sentence, clause or phrase is added to a statement that purposely diminishes the effect of what has been previously stated. A neat example of the device is the 1925 Rodgers and Hart lyric, “We’ll have Manhattan … the Bronx and Staten Island too.”
Why does a team need more than one mascot? Don't they have more than one suit? The only multiple mascots that make sense are Edgar, Allan and Poe of the Ravens because they are just duplicates of each other.
January 29 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Art Allison and Bill Krieg. Allison played first base, outfield and catcher for the 1875 National Association Nats. Like the Molinas, his brother Doug was also a catcher, but Art really played only three games out of 168 behind the plate. Krieg played first base and outfield for the 1886-1887 Nats.
Frank Thomas wore No. 35 on 35th Street. He was the rock of Mount Soxmore for 16 years, triggering Ted Williams comparisons and wearing out the pinwheels atop the exploding scoreboard. He has been called the greatest player in White Sox history by the team's owner, general manager and field manager. His nickname, The Big Hurt, has stood among the most distinctive in U.S. sports...
Some men are leaders, others are losers. Some are kings, others are mopes. Some are selfless souls who can will a team to a trophy, others are brats for life whose negative vibes interfere with championships. Are you surprised when I say the Sox might not have won the Series if Thomas was healthy all season? That's how destructive his me-me presence can be, as exhibited by his latest Big Blurtfest, far from the triumphant proceedings at SoxFest this weekend.
Interesting that he brings up Ted Williams. You could replace every reference to Frank Thomas with Ted Williams and White Sox with Red Sox and it would be something a print columnist has previously written. Even a war hero doesn't get a pass as a human being. Ted Williams should get as much blame for the Red Sox not winning a World Series until 2004 as Frank Thomas does for the White Sox not winning a World Series until 2005.
Watched the Numb3rs episode "Bones of Contention". A woman dies from a fall down the stairs at a museum dedicated to Native American heritage. She apparently has found a 10,000 year old European skull. This would nullify the claims of the local tribe that makes a lot of money off casino gambling.
It turns out the chief himself did it. He got in with the help of a security guard who got ejected off the tribal rolls for not being racially pure enough. The chief promised to help him get it back. The chief reburied the skull on sacred tribal lands.
Obviously taken from the Kennewick affair, I don't take well to tribal lands being held since they crossed the land bridge. I think any claims should date to whatever federal, state or municipal government that broke the treaties in the first place. Tribal territories were not etched in stone between the melting of the ice caps to the arrival of the Europeans. They changed frequently due to war, disease or treaties.
Also, I think the borderline between family or tribal remains and archaeological dig site should be around 500 years. I'd prefer to put the line at one generation before the generation that someone alive today can remember. We're not desecrating the bones your great-grandmother, it's somebody much further back you never knew.
January 28 Permalink
Baseball Consents To Revised Lease Deal. Apparently they're close and all it took was a baseball academy in the inner city.
Watched the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa". Someone has obviously poisoned a bottle of wine and sent it to Captain Stottlemeyer. The card says it's from the body shop down the street.
During the station Christmas party, the Captain misplaces his gift for Terry, one of the detectives. Alice, Stottlemeyer's assistant, tells him to give the bottle. Later on Terry drinks from it and dies.
The Captain is convinced it was Frank Prager, the brother of someone Stottlemeyer killed in the line of duty. Several months before, Frank shot at Leland and missed. Monk poses as Santa Claus in order to get Prager's daughter to reveal where her father is hiding. However, it's all a red herring and he didn't poison the Captain.
It was Alice who poisoned the bottle, intending it for Terry with whom she had a painful breakup. She knew Stottlemeyer didn't like port and wouldn't drink it. When the time came for presents, Alice took Leland's intended present and suggested substituting the bottle.
Went on to the CSI episode "Still Life". A woman reports her son missing from the playground. She is Karen Matthews, a widow of the war in Afghanistan who has grown estranged from her in-laws.
Witnesses saw the boy Jesse with a man in a Las Vegas 51s baseball cap. The man and his wife are arrested in a convenience store with the boy who they call Adam. The couple are the Espositos and DNA evidence proves Adam is their child, but why does Karen Matthews have pictures all over her house of Jesse?
Archie determines Karen photoshopped Adam in her pictures from ones the Espositos had posted on the net. She did have a real son, but he disappears from photographs just after her husband's funeral where she fought with her in-laws. Apparently that sent her over the edge and she killed Jesse with her own anti-psychotic drugs. Karen buried him in the backyard but reburied the body somewhere else when the neighbor's dog started to dig it up. Since then she's been creating an elaborate fantasy in her home right down to the mess made by a child.
January 27 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Charlie Duffee, Gil Hatfield and Bert Inks. Duffee played outfield, third base and first base for the 1892 Senators. He played in the first major league game in Minnesota, representing the Columbus Solons against the Milwaukee Brewers for the American Association in October 1891. The game was transferred to Minneapolis because of lack of interest in Milwaukee. Hatfield played shortstop and pitched four games for the 1891 American Association Statesmen. He was the subject of three games protested by Pittsburgh when he played for Boston in the Players League in 1890 because Gil was on loan from New York against league rules. Inks went 1-2 for the 1892 Senators. He has the second most at-bats of any player who has a career batting average of exactly .300. Number one? So Inks moves back into first place as long as #1 doesn't bat exactly .300 this year.
I go into the mens room and I see below the partition somebody squatting in a stall. From the cleaning equipment on the cart and the noise he's making, I know he's a member of the janitorial staff replacing a toilet paper roll. Do they purposely make a lot of noise as if to say,"Just changing toilet paper. Nothing to see here."
Harper seems to like big heads. I don't and I make fun of them frequently as Miranda will attest. I give a voice to her Dora the Explorer or a Powerpuff Girl and say,"My head is huge". My favorite line from the Powerpuff Girls has a reporter saying,"God bless you and your huge little heads".
If you asked me what the worst major league baseball mascot is, my knee-jerk reaction would be Raymond, or, as I've described him, the Muppet Retiree. But Harper is right. Gapper and Slider have much worse shapes and colors.
But putting Mr. Met at the top seems to contradicts Harper's own standards. Conceptually, the Metropolitan is no different from Homer the Brave and Mr. Red. Their differences are merely at the margins, so they should all be together at the top, at the bottom, or wherever, depending on what you think about giant baseball heads.
In defense of Screech, the worst thing about it is the name. The way the white head comes down at the back could remind you of George Washington's powdered wig. Screech can do cartwheels.The potbelly and the looseness of the wings on the arms forces the character to strut in a certain carefree way that shows personality. You can't imagine an angry Screech. It's an innocent child and acts that way.
But I do give him credit for linking to a picture either Craig or Dwight took from CollegeQuizbowl.org.
Unfortunately, this is the last day for the Black Table. But they depart with a great article by Greg Lindsey on quizbowl. Like the previous Washington Post article, it focuses on NAQT as if that's the whole quizbowl universe. But with TRASH, ACF, College Bowl, NAC, Panasonic, the various local television shows and other outlets I apologize for forgetting, that would be too much for an unaffiliated reader to absorb the first time.
Watched the Water Rats episode "Die for Me". While Frank is in Melbourne interviewing for a job at twice the salary, Tommy partners with Rachel. A young woman is found dead in a boat, wrapped like a mummy with flowers all around her. She'd been tortured for several days before her death.
A second young woman has gone missing near where the first young woman was found. In addition, an unsolved murder in Brisbane appears to have the same MO and the police suspect a serial killer is at work. The killer takes a big risk by calling the sister of the missing woman, hinting that he's already killed her. He also reveals intimate knowledge of the bedrooms of the dead women, suggesting he may have been a contractor.
No common service companies turn up until Tommy thinks to investigate funeral homes since both families had sudden deaths at home recently. The culprit turns out to be a driver for an undertaker who owns a converted ambulance seen near the scene at all the murders. The killer briefly abducts Rachel before Tommy comes along. Frank returns, having turned down the job in Melbourne.
Went on to the CSI: Miami episode "Urban Hellraisers". Delko goes into a bank to retireve his ATM card when a robbery ensues. In the gun battle one bystander is killed along with a robber as his two accomplices flee with the bank manager.
A University of Miami student had the dye pack explode on her but she claims she thought it was just a bag of abandoned laundry. Eric and Ryan find the bank manager beneath a hockey rink and he says the abductors got from him the time of helicopter shipment of cash from the Federal Reserve. One robber is captured and Wolfe realizes the perpetrators are recreating a video game.
Secret Service agent Peter Elliott returns, still with an eye for Calleigh, and he interviews the Miami co-ed. Ryan realizes the next level of the game is to march into CSI and steal the evidence against you. When the gamers arrive, Elliott is wounded in the shootout.
One gamer is captured in the lab and he leads police to "The Wizard" who referees the game. He is found in the library, living the South Korean urban legend about the gamer who died after over 70 hours of continuous play. However, among his computer equipment, police find an address where someone distributes automatic weapons to the gamers under orders from someone else.
Duquesne accompanies Peter to the hospital and discovers he has a fiancée. He later apologizes, but she takes him to task for releasing the coed who turns out to be one of the most vicious of the killers. The guns were distributed by the game maker and distributor to hype the product.
The myriad incredulities in this episode include the Brad Pitt-type who wouldn't waste his time playing a video game when he could get laid. The girl says,"The guys won't look at you unless you're a gamer." So what are you hanging around the gamers for? Finally, no amount of buzz created by real deaths is going to sell the game to people who don't already know about it.
January 26 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Billy Barnie and Kenny Kelly. Barnie lost the only two games he managed for the 1892 Senators. On January 9, 1875, he managed the winning team in a game played on ice at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Innings were only two outs long. Kelly is everything Jim Bowden loves - a toolsy outfielder who used to play for the Cincinnati Reds. A former Miami Hurricanes quarterback benched for Ken Dorsey, he was released by the Nats after last season.
Reports after the fact indicate it was the wife of Knicks forward Antonio Davis who instigated last week's altercation with a fan during a game. According to ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons, that shouldn't come as a surprise:
"Davis' body language as he entered the stands wasn't, 'Oh my God, somebody is threatening my wife, I'm gonna kill the guy, I have to protect her!' But rather, 'Oh, no, she's doing it again, this just happened two weeks ago at Target, I hope she doesn't stab the guy with her sunglasses or something.' "
I remember the section in Camden Yards where the family and guests of opposing players sat. They were near the press box, but reasonably separated from the rest of the fans. It was a great place to scope out hot wives, girlfriends and groupies.
Peter Schmuck is happy to have Anna Benson in town. I characterized her style to Whitlock as not exactly classy, but not cheap, like most baseball wives. I think the sound and fury in New York was because it was New York and because Anna thinks the world revolves around her. The are other models and actresses out there who are not exactly paragons of virtue, but they don't exactly conduct themselves like Anna. As long as it keeps Schmuck from writing another stupid column about the Nats and their fans.
January 25 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Danny Richardson. He was the starting shortstop and manager for the 1892 Senators. He was only 29 years old but Thom Loverro swears he was merely the puppet of the unrelated 37-year-old Hardy Richardson who only played ten games for Washington before his contract was purchased by the New York Giants.
Got some maintenance work done on my car including fixing a power steering problem. Apparently there was a blockage that kept the fluid from flowing properly. Also went to Hagerstown to pick up a humongous cap and a reconditioned hedge trimmer.
January 24 Permalink
Americans are a forgiving people. After the greatest crisis in its history, the Civil War, when most other nations to would be bathed in the blood of the vanquished. most of the rebellious soldiers were granted amnesty. Although Jefferson Davis was imprisoned for two years, in most other places he would have been shot on sight. Robert E. Lee went on to be president of a University. Americans are a forgiving people.
January 23 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Carney Flynn. He went 0-1 for the 1896 Senators.
Meanwhile, his wife has been seeing Ken who washed out because of a nervous breakdown in basic training. Ken takes Carl's son Ned out for dinner and the zoo, sometimes telling complete fabrications of being a POW and crashing his fighter jet. Many of the POWs who stuck it out to the end are angry at Carl for breaking down and he is not welcome at a memorial ceremony.
Eventually, it is the teenage son of one of his comrades who died in Hanoi that kills Carl. The boy Daniel has been hounding Carl for details about Vietnam that he refuses to talk about. Daniel shoots Carl in anger in the street. I think Carl tells him to run just to prove to himself that he can withstand this torture one last time.
January 22 Permalink
Nothing but TV today. Started with the Veronica Mars episode "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner". Meg is still in a coma but Duncan finds e-mails where she desperately is trying to report abusive parents she babysits for to government family authorities. Unfortunately, all the abuse is mental, not physical or sexual. Veronica takes a number of babysitting jobs and recovers some writing samples. Meg had taken a journal where the child had written sentences over and over. Veronica hopes to match the writing samples to the journal Meg has and identify the child. She and Duncan break into Meg's house and find Meg's younger sister locked in a room behind the closet. Meg's parents find them and turn them over to Sheriff Fuller. Veronica tells the sheriff about the secret compartment. He finds it and releases Veronica and Duncan.
In other news, Woody Goodman wants to incorporate the rich parts of Neptune and make Keith the chief of police. Betina Casablancas returns to grant solace and some money to Dick and Beav. Kendall has no source of income and comes on to Duncan.
Next up the Everybody Hates Chris episode "Everybody Hates the Laundromat". While his parents are buying a television set on a Saturday morning, Chris takes his brother and sister to the laundromat. Tanya uses most of their quarters for a soda and Chris is forced to wash colors with the whites. He is saved by a woman who is charmed by Drew and she gets the whites white again.In the other plot, Julius hates to spend money, but eventually he is talked into buying a new television on credit.
Went on to the CSI episode "A Bullet Runs Through It, Part One". Brass and Curtis join a car chase and gun battle with the uniforms through an unspecified, probably Mexican, Latino neighborhood. Both appear to shoot and kill surrendering suspects. Another suspect was shot was in the leg, but bled to death because help did not arrive in time. An police officer was killed, as found later by friendly, possibly not accidental, fire. Lawsuits look to be flying as the episode continues later on.
I found it unrealistic that so many shots were fired before people were actually hit.
In the Killer Instinct episode "Game Over". A woman killed in her apartment near the water looks as if the CSIs have already combed the scene but it was the killer who left the evidence markers himself. Evidence leads to a man charged several months earlier in another murder who died in lockup shortly after his arrest. Apparently, the real killer is upset that he didn't get credit for the first murder that he committed the second. He takes it personally and targets Lt. Canavaugh.
The killer offs Eden Cavanugh's roommate at college and again leaves his own crime scene markers. He is an estranged video game player who got kicked off an online game for hacking in explicit sex scenes. He recreates scenes from the video game in his killings. He gets to Cavanaugh's door before Jack kills him.
For the Numb3rs episode "Convergence", Colin Hanks makes a guest appearance as Marshall Penfield, Charlie's rival at Princeton. Meanwhile the crime involves home invasions of wealthy people with very expensive and unique art, collectibles and jewelry.
Charlie suspects the gang may be committing crimes other than armed robberies and a search turns up three holdups of wealthy people in their cars. Penfield's work suggests that although the victims used different insurance companies, those firms all insured the very expensive items with riders through the same underwriter. This leads to a former insurance executive who has teamed up with a former cell phone employee who hacks into the victims' cellphones. The muscle is led by a tough with the dubious name "Demento".
For the Thanksgiving episode of How I Met Your Mother entitled "Belly Full of Turkey," Marshall and Lily go to St. Cloud, Minnesota to share Thanksgiving dinner with his family. The Ericksen family consists of huge men who eat salads laden in fat and play bas-ice-ball, a dangerous combination of basketball and hockey.
Lily upsets the rest of the Ericksen clan because she doesn't want to move to St. Cloud or take the Ericksen last name. She excuses herself to go to the bathroom, but instead takes the car to drive to the convenience store where she purchases a pregnancy test. Because the store has no bathroom, she gets arrested for public urination. The test is negative and Marshall agrees they will not move to St. Cloud and Lily can keep her maiden name.
Meanwhile back in New York, Ted and Robin decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Since everyone wants to volunteer at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the shelter is flush with people. Barney is there and is the soup kitchen's Volunteer of the Year. It turns out he's doing community service on a public urination charge.
Again because the shelter is swimming in food donations, the volunteers are taking home the posh selections themselves. This outrages Ted who grabs a package of portobello mushrooms and flings them at the homeless. All three of them get thrown out.
The trio end up at strip club. Barney suggests Ted indulge his generous spirit by giving money so that a homeless man can get a lap dance.
They tell his wife and add he may be having an affair with the woman found dead with him. When the other woman is identified, neither recognize her name. Meanwhile, Marty is suffering from amnesia.
They interview a co-worker of Emily, the dead woman. She recognizes a man who was stalking Emily. That same man goes to the hospital to kill Marty, but Marty strangles him with tubing.
At this point, we start to suspect that Marty is the serial killer and the other guy was Emily's boyfriend. Sure enough, the boyfriend was a meth dealer. When Marty attacked them, he fought back and believed he killed Marty. He didn't want to report it to the police or else his methlab would be uncovered. So he dumped their bodies on the beach.
Carter is able to stop Marty before he kills again. Jack has a heart-to-heart with Marty's son since they both share the distinction of serial killer fathers.
We finally had to call it quits with the Numb3rs episode "In Plain Sight". A meth lab raid goes bad when a housewife stops by to request chroming for her oven. One suspect is killed in the shootout.
Reeves takes another team to the house where the lab is located. Unfortunately, the house is booby trapped, killing an FBI agent as the suspect gets away.
Charlie hacks into a hard drive found at the scene and finds a picture of the suspect along with a bit of child porn. He becomes obsessed with the little girl because it reminds him of a neighbor girl who he suspects might have been sexually abused.
The meth kingpin brazenly enters the FBI office looking for his daughter, the girl in the picture. He uses the FBI to help him track his wife and daughter, but at that point he realizes the Feds are after him. He abandons them and almost escapes by train to Mexico.
January 21 Permalink
Watched the Criminal Minds episode "The Fox". Two separate families are found dead. They share identical characteristics of a father, mother, older daughter and younger son. Someone entered their house through the doggie door and tortured them for several days until he finally killed them, youngest first, father last. Both of these families were about to go on vacation so no one would report them missing for several days.
Tony Todd plays the first suspect, the estranged husband to one of the families. Although he has a history of domestic violence, he still loves his wife and only hit her.
In the search for commonalities, the thread is found in a marriage counselor. He had recently lost his wife in a divorce and she remarried, moving the family to Idaho. The killer attempts to recreate the family he lost in the family he kills. Hotch finds his souvenirs, the wedding rings of the fathers killed and finds seven of them, meaning there are five more unsolved homicides out there.
In the course of the investigation the FBI interview a particularly talkative GAO administrative assistant. I thought the culprit might be her brother because she talked way too much. One witness identifies the killer as having red hair and HMO records lead to a Dr. R. Howard. I suddenly burst out,"Ron Howard! Opie did it!"
Went on to the CSI:NY episode "Manhattan Manhunt", the conclusion to Felony Flight on CSI: Miami. Serial killer Henry Darius has taken heiress Alexa Endicott to New York. They interrupt a pharm party among Alexa's sister's friends. When Alexa opens the safe, there is not money there and Darius kills her and everybody else.
The money consisted of $3 million father Tom Endicott gave to Alexa on her 21st birthday if she stayed clean and sober. However, the unclean, unsober sister Sarah stole the money because she couldn't fulfill the requirements to inherit her share as well. Her psychiatrist's receptionist conspires to take a cut or else she would reveal the theft.
Daddy Tom is played by Michael Gross who refuses to press charges against Sarah for stealing her sister's money. Darius' motive for targeting the Endicotts is that he is Tom's unacknowldged biological son. Darius knows Sarah has the money and she is used as bait to lure him into the arrest.
In the other plot, Rosie is arrested in New York and he confesses to the Johnson murder.
Kat Dennings, who plays is Sarah, is only 19, which should be young enough to play a 16-17 year-old. However, her makeup was done so poorly, she looked way too old to be a high school girl.
Also, why in the world would you give $3 million to someone entirely in cash rather than an electronic funds transfer? And why would you grant access to that vault to the wild daughter?
January 20 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Everett Mills. He played first base for the 1871 Olympics.
On Oct. 27, the AL expanded into Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and back into Washington, DC, and replaced Griffith’s Senators with the new Senators, owned by Bob Short.
The first owner of the expansion Senators was Lieutenant General Elwood "Pete" Quesada who took over on November 17, 1960. Robert Short did not buy the Senators until December 3, 1968. In 1960 Short was too busy moving the Lakers from his home town of Minneapolis to Los Angeles. You may get the impression that Short hung on to an untenable situation for eleven seasons. In fact, he moved the team after only three seasons in Washington and sold it after 2+ seasons in Arlington, Texas.
Quesada was the first administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Between his military retirement and the FAA job he worked for Olin Industries, founded by 19th century Nat Frank Olin.
Went to the Knossos meeting. The book was Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff. The people who liked it enjoyed the humorous nature of the book since recent picks have been rather dark. Those who didn't like it have a mental block against cute stories where cats are major characters. They still acknowledged Huff's deftness with humor. I didn't finish the book so I withhold any comment at this point.
January 19 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Jake Boyd. He went 3-16 for the 1894-1896 Senators. He also played every other position except catcher and first base.
The Natmosphere is once again in full pitchfork and torch mode because Rob Dibble has resurfaced as a candidate for color man on Nats television broadcasts. Fifteen years ago, Whitlock thought Ron Darling was a pretty hot guy and that Rob Dibble was the ugliest man in baseball. So from her vantage point, the MASN TV booth would be going from one extreme to the other. I think she's a little harsh on Dibble, but he definitely has a face made for radio.
We all had our problems with the Nats broadcasters last year. Darling got the most flak for his lack of experience. Voigt got the most praise probably because he replaced Darling and wasn't on long enough to irritate anybody. Still, most of the criticisms centered on broadcast presentation - some deficiency in our mind of what a good announcer should do. I think they were all smart enough to not let on what they didn't know. Dibble, on the other hand, revels in his ignorance.
If Dibble is in the booth, Nats bloggers will never run short of material for posts. When all else fails, just write about the last stupid thing Dibble said. Planet Yuda will think up new terms to describe his rants and his fake postings may surpass Washingtonienne and Jeff Gannon combined. Washington will show no mercy. Rob Dibble will be hated more than Linda Cropp, Alfonso Soriano, Cristian Guzman, Frank Robinson, Jim Bowden, the Flying Monkey or the National Disgrace. And I wouldn't surprised if this is all a devious plan by one of those aforementioned people to distract eveybody's attention.
January 18 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Zeke Wrigley. He played every position except pitcher, catcher and first base for the 1896-1898 Nats. He managed the New Orleans Pelicans in 1903 and played second base for the 1905 Columbus Senators.
Baseball Think Factory has projections for Nats players in 2006. I totaled the wins of all the pitchers and came up with 144 wins. Woo!
January 17 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Holly Hollingshead. He played second for the 1872 National Association Nats, second and center field for the 1873 NA Blue Legs and all three outfield positions for the 1875 NA Nats. He managed the 1875 Nats at the tender age of 22, but some say he was the puppet of 26-year-old Bill Parks. Hollingshead later managed the 1884 American Association Nats. His career managerial record of 16 wins and 66 losses was even worse than Frank Robinson's.
Included in our welcome packet is a flyer from the Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals. Among the neighborhood attractions are "Professional Baseball & Soccer - 99 Home Games Combined!!!" Never mind that I hardly think of RFK as on Capitol Hill. Now which sports figure do you think is pictured? Jose Guillen? No. Chad Cordero? No. Freddy Adu? No. How about Jared Sandberg? That's right. A guy cut in spring training represents the major league sporting activity on Capitol Hill.
January 16 Permalink
Watched the Night Stalker episode "The Source". A man goes to the home of a drug kingpin offering large amounts of cash to be left alone. Suddenly bikers arrive killing everybody except that man. Kolchak arrives a few minutes later to see the remains of the carnage.
The man is Caleca, a DEA agent under deep cover. He winds up in Koreatown where he is nursed to health by Dae, a widow who owns a store. Dae falls in love with Caleca, who has also recently lost his spouse, but he cannot return her affection. Caleca's boss Walton is gunned down by the same bikers but after we think Walton is dead, Caleca gives his location in Koreatown to Walton. The episode ends with Caleca's death at the hands of the same bikers.
The other thread involves Kolchak knowing about these killings because of a mysterious source whose name he doesn't actually know. Fain and the FBI take him to court for the name of that source and Kolchak goes to jail. There are hints the mysterious bikers may have something to do with the death of Kolchak's wife.
Went on to the Water Rats episode "Old Dog, Old Tricks". The drowning death of a Chinese shopkeeper seems to be connected to the protection racket of Terry Madigan. Trevor Chang, a restaurant owner, tips off that Madigan runs a floating casino. When the boat is raided only a small flunky is onboard to take the fall. When Trevor turns up dead Madigan is a prime suspect until Trevor's wife Sophie admits to hitting him with a lamp and he fell unconscious into the water.
Related to this is that Liz's law firm has Madigan as a client. Frank shows up at a shindig just to harass Madigan. Liz is transferred to New York. Frank won't come along and the subtext is that he's staying in Australia for Rachel.
In the other plot, Hawker and Sykes are on competing catamaran teams. McColl is taking bets which cost him a lot of money.
Whitlock's mother came over last night because she lost power. This morning our neighbor put a dent in her car while pulling out of her driveway.
The CSI: Miami episode "Nailed" begins with Delko driving Wolfe at high speed to the emergency room. Wolfe has a nail sticking out of his eye. Delko has been habitually late to crime scenes. The story flashes back to the beginning.
An addition is being built to a mansion. The victim is Brenda, the estranged wife of Gary, a lawyer who will soon marry his secretary Charlene. Brenda has been shot four times with a nail gun.
It looks very bad for Gary. Brenda has his DNA under her fingernails. There's a threatening message from him on her answering machine. The contractor has a record for second degree murder so Wolfe goes into his trailer where he is hit with the nailgun.
The contractor has $5,000 in his possession which he eventually confesses came from Brenda to kill her husband. When they meet in the evening at the work site, Brenda says she wants him to kill her instead, framing Gary. The contractor refuses, but her son has been eavesdropping. He thinks she wants to kill his father and she eggs him on, making him shoot her with the nail gun.
Charlene discovered the nail gun in the son's dresser and, attempting to protect him, goes to the contractor's trailer to dispose of it. She hides in the closet when Wolfe enters and shoots him with the nail gun. Whether it was an accident isn't clear, her real crime was leaving him to die.
I can't watch anymore HGTV scenes involving nail guns.
Finished off with the Bones episode "The Man in the Wall". Montenegro and Brennan go dancing and a fight results in walls breaking, revealing a mummified corpse. The victim is revealed to be DJ Mount who had disappeared several months earlier.
Jewelry in the hallway where Mount died is traced to Eve, Mount's girlfriend who also disappeared at about the same time. Just after their disappearance, Hall, the club owner and record label owner, built a studio for DJ Rulz, a rival of Mount. They suspect Hall killed Mount because he was jumping labels and Eve because she stole his money and meth. A very sensitive dog is able to smell blood in the concrete beneath Rulz studio and Eve's body is found beneath it. Both Mount and Eve had a mysterious depression on their skulls which is eventually traced back to Hall's cane.
In the other plot, Montenegro tries to split up Booth and Jankow by suggesting they're on the road to commitment.
January 15 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Bill Fox. He played a few games at short and second for the 1897 Senators.
January 14 Permalink
Watched the Veronia Mars episode "Rat Saw God". Abel Koontz is dying and wants Veronica to find his daughter Amelia. She was given a multi-million-dollar hush money settlement by the Kane Software company that involved patents. Amelia has been apparently spending the money traveling through Europe. However, she was killed in a small California town by the son of an Argentine diplomat. Veronica lies to Abel about her daughter's true whereabouts.
In other news, Keith loses the sheriff's race, but sneaks onto the damaged school bus to investigate possible sabotage. Logan has been arrested for the murder of a Mexican gang member and his mansion is torched. Joss Whedon makes a cameo as a rental car agent.
Had world-famous media fan Martin Morse Wooster over just to talk and have dinner. Watched the first two thirds of the game between the Indigenous Persons and Seahawks. I knew Washington was in trouble when Mike Greenberg picked them to win.
We missed the rest of the game becuase Martin and I went to see the Maryland Nighthawks play the Florida Pit Bulls. I was expecting to see a sporting disaster but was surprisingly entertained. The Pit Bulls play in the Bank Atlantic Center, the same arena as the Florida Panthers while the Nighthawks play at Montogomery College-Rockville. The Pit Bulls' player coach is Tim Hardaway. Yes, that Tim Hardaway.
I'm not enough of a basketball expert to tell you how good the play was. I think the players could execute as well as NBA players with dunks and fancy passes. They just failed more frequently with turnovers and defense wasn't as strong. Still, the players appeared to dive for loose balls and fight for rebounds. Seven-two Nighthawk center Lee Cooke was ejected for fighting which resulted in both benches clearing. No alcohol was served so the crowd did not get involved. The woman behind me was screaming for everybody to sit down. Maryland guard Frank McQueen pulled away from the altercation and faced the audience while standing at the bench shouting,"Can't we all just get along?"
The sleaziest things about the event were that owner is an ambulance chaser and the ticket said the Montreal Matrix was the opponent. The mascot Dunkin looked professional. Halftime entertainment included a step group of teenaged girls who were good, but unfortunately dressed in red overalls and looked like they were a convict road crew. Five middle school girls also did a dance performance which was great if you're a pedophile.
Former Washington Wizard and Syracuse star Lawrence Moten is the biggest name on the Nighthawks. The used to have Randy "White Chocolate" Gill, but he's signed with a Venezuelan team. Maryland also had yet another Jason Williams. This is not the limo driver killer, the Memphis Grizzly or Jay Williams. This Jason Williams signed with a Chinese team.
I can't say whether the Nighthawks could beat any current ACC team. They're all older players who have strength and acquired knowledge on their side. I'm sure they could beat an average team from a two-bid mid-major conference. I couldn't tell you the score because I can't find it anywhere on the net. I do know Maryland won by four points and scored almost 100 points.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Tickets are ten bucks and you can watch decent quality ball up real close.
Watched the Night Stalker episode "Malum". A boy seems to have an abusive father and people who cross Dad meet bizarre, electrically related deaths. There is electrocution in a swimming pool, lightning that leads to impalement on a flag pole and and a ceiling fan decapitation.
Kolchak learns the father is a defrocked priest who performed an illegal exorcism that resulted in the possessed woman's death. He claimed her son as his own and Kolchak thinks the demon inside the mother has made a home in the ex-priest. But while sneaking through their house, Carl realizes the demon is in the boy.
January 13 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Darrell Rasner and Jud Smith. Rasner pitched a few games in September 2005. He'll never be an ace, but he's only 25 today and he doesn't walk many batters. He could fashion a decent major league career out of that. Smith played all over the infield for the 1898 Nats. Here's an excerpt from the L.A. Times when he played for the Angels and a near-riot broke out. And pine tar wasn't even involved!
Naked suit: You know, if you're a terrorist and you wanna get into a building, you should just say you're from Price Waterhouse or Ernst & Young. Nobody asks any questions.
Guy #1: Well, you know, I am a Mets fan.
Guy #2: Dude, then you're okay in my book. You could murder puppies and that's okay so long as you're a Mets fan!
Guy #3: Um, he does.
Guy #2: Exactly! You can totally murder puppies if you're a Mets fan!
Guy #3: No, he really does.
Guy #2: Totally!
Guy #3: He's a vet.
Guy #1: I am.
Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Felony Flight". A small plane crashes in what I assume is the Everglades. Two young couples investigate, but all four are shot by the convicts riding the plane.
A known passenger onboard is a serial killer named Henry Darius who was being transported from New York because he claimed to have information regarding the unsolved murder of the wife of a radio network executive. Mac Taylor pays a visit from CSI:NY to help in the investigation. The other convict onboard is a white collar criminal who, when captured, says the last time he saw Darius was at a University of Miami sorority house.
The white collar criminal sabotaged the plane in flight on orders from Darius who was supposed to meet Joann, a rich convict groupie at the Opa-Locka Airport. At the sorority house, Darius killed two girls looking for someone named Alexa, but another girl had survived by hiding in a keg refrigerator. Darius kidnaps Alexa, an heiress, from a riding center and takes her to Staten Island where the story will continue on CSI:NY
With regard to the death of radio executive's wife, a fladgling rapper admits to harassing Johnson, the executive, in order to make him hear his work. He hired someone named Rosie to merely threaten the executive. Through a mix-up Rosie instead threatens the wife and accidentally kills her. Somehow, knowledge only Rosie knew, especially about the location of the wife's body got back to Darius in prison.
Went on to the Bones episode "A Boy in a Bush". The body of a boy is found near a generically-named shopping mall that is not the name of any real money-sucking facility in the Washington area. Much of the episode is occupied with the Jeffersonian Institute technicians depression regarding the youth of this particular set of remains.
Mrs. Sanders, the victim's mother has also taken in two more foster sons. She is a divorced single mother with a large family trust fund. Though she claimed the vicitm was the her biological son, she reveals that she unofficially adopted him when his mother died of a drug overdose. He also had weak bones due to a congenital illness. For a while we suspect perhaps one of brothers killed him on overly rough play, the culprit turns out to be a neighbor father.
In the other plot, Hodgins refuses to attend a donor dinner because he comes from one of the rich donor families.
January 12 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Tom Kinslow and Henry Larkin. Kinslow was a catcher for the 1886 and 1898 Nats. Larkin played first base and right field for the 1892-1893 Senators. In June 1892, he got six hits in a game.
Blez: I imagine it must've hurt quite a bit to give up a draft pick.
Beane: The most difficult part of the negotiations for me was that. First round picks for us are such a critical part of this franchise's success in my opinion. Not only that, draft day is one of the funnest days as a general manager. That's one of the toughest parts. I had to make David (Forst) break the news to Chris (Pittaro) and Eric (Kubota) that we were giving up their first round pick.
Blez: That must not have gotten a good reaction.
Beane: It was tough. And Esteban's agent will tell you that I moaned about that more than I moaned about the money. (laughing)
January 11 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Silver King. Although he sounds like a variety of hybrid corn, Silver King went 16-16 for the 1896-1897 Nats. He won 45 games for the 1888 American Association St. Louis Browns, pitched without a windup and used a sidearm motion. Among modern players, Orel Hershiser is most similar.
Bruce Sutter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. What happened to Goose Gossage? Note who is the most similar player to Derek Jeter at the same age. If Jeter gets in, you can't stop the Trammell Express.
January 10 Permalink
Still clearing my head from a dream involving a Friar's Club style roast of my extended family, a British drawing room mass murder mystery and Natalie Portman.
P. J. O'Rourke in a review of Wonkette's new novel says:
Creative writing teachers should be purged until every last instructor who has uttered the words "Write what you know" is confined to a labor camp. Please, talented scribblers, write what you don't. The blind guy with the funny little harp who composed The Iliad, how much combat do you think he saw?
People who write murder mysteries have never killed anybody, technothriller writers are not terrorists and science fiction writers haven't actually been in space.
The Nats have signed Michael Tucker. Combined with Marlon Anderson and Robert Fick, the Yudites have dubbed the Cerberus entity Marbertael Fickersucker. I loved him in L.A. Law, but I don't think he's done anything since the 2002 reunion movie.
January 9 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Frank Olin. Olin played second base and outfield for the 1884 American Association Nats and one game in the outfield the same year for the Union Association Nats. He later founded the Olin Corporation.
Carolina is probably the most dangerous NFC opponent for the Indigenous Persons because Gibbs hasn't played them this year. Which means Washington fans should root for Denver to win the AFC.
January 8 Permalink
Watched the Water Rats episode "The Long Haul". Frank has to serve a summons on a woman involved in a domestic dispute both he and Rachel investigated. When Holloway goes to her workplace, the husband comes in, shoots and kills the co-worker whom he believes to be her lover, and takes the rest of the office hostage. The husband quickly disarms Frank as he tries to pull his pistol.
The rest of the show is a standard hostage drama with Rachel as the prime negotiator. The office is related to an oil refinery and one person escapes to the top of a storage tank. He jumps off into the water with help from Dave McColl. The husband ends up killing himself in the end when he releases all the hostages and is left alone with his wife.
January 7 Permalink
Today is the birthday of George Keefe and Alfonso Soriano. George Keefe, not to be confused with Georgia O'Keefe went 14-29 for the Nats from 1886-1889 and returned to pitch for the 1891 Statesmen of the American Association. Soriano is on the Nats roster but whether he'll play a regular season game remains to be seen. He was called "The Mule" back in the Dominican for his slow feet and, because no North American team would touch him, signed with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. After a lousy 1998 season in the Japanese bigs, Soriano feared he would never get a chance back in the West so, on the advice of his agent Don Nomura, he retired for the 1998 season. The Carp sued Nomura for $1.1 million and threatened any MLB team who signed Alfonso with legal action. In July 1998, Major League Baseball declared him a free agent and the Carp backed off their threats. After signing with the Yankees, Soriano first played in organized North American ball with the Grand Canyon Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. His teammates on the Rafters included Mr. Community Service, Preston Wilson, and yesterday's birthday boy Marlon Anderson. Considering the obstacles Soriano overcame to play in the United States, I don't expect he'll be easily swayed by threats from Bowden and Robinson.
Watched the Killer Instinct episode "Who's Your Daddy". Hale's father Robert, played by Peter Strauss, was a serial killer. He killed people not far from their homes and within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. They were bound incredibly tightly and slowly suffocated over the course of 24 hours. In addition, a page from a book was found within 100 feet due north of the victim with the letters of the victim's named circled on the page, appearing in the correct order.
Another victim has been found with the same MO. The killer turned out to be a scouting buddy of Jack's who turned to Robert as a father figure, including visiting him in jail.
Indigenous Persons win despite setting a record for fewest offensive yards in a victorious postseason game. It wouldn't surprise me if they went to the Super Bowl. It would surprise me a lot if they won the Super Bowl.
Watched the Numb3rs episode "Soft Target". During a Homeland Security exercise in the LA subway, someone actually releases phosgene gas into a train car, but no one dies. John Heard plays a total dweeb from DHS who somehow believes that if the exercises are postponed or cancelled, the terrorists will have won.
For a while, the FBI follow a red herring of an elite counter terrorism squad that engage in commando activities of their own against US targets just to prove their vulnerability. Their leader Nash blames lax security in Iraq for the deaths of two members of his team and sent threatening letters to the people in charge. However, he'd been in Mexico undergoing drug rehab. The culprit was John Heard's deputy who headed the same counter terrorism unit some years earlier. He wanted someone to listen to his pleas for how unsecure urban targets are.
In the other plot, Val, a girl both Don and Charlie liked in high school, has returned to get married in the garden of Charlie and Alan's house. This is an opportunity to reopen the wounds of the Eppes brothers' teenage years.
January 6 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Marlon Anderson, one-half of Marbert Fickerson. He went to high school in Prattville, Alabama, just like my father-in-law. He has a lifetime on-base percentage of .312, which is lower than Jamey Carroll, but higher than Cristian Guzman.
Patrick Hruby fired a shot across the bow of jersey nation last month, by saying anyone who wears a uniform outside a sporting venue is a dork. I agree with him that jerseys don't belong at a wedding or at work. Heck, I'm the guy still upset about business casual. But Hruby forgot what Jerry Seinfeld said - we're only rooting for laundry. The trend is just a logical extension of Jerry's dictum.
Donovan has some advice for the guy who gave his girlfriend a gameworn Jaime Moreno jersey. This is a totally clueless act unless the girl's a Jaime Moreno fan.
Basketball jerseys are totally wrong for streetwear because they're tanktops. You think Wil Corderos make a positive fashion statement? Nobody who is not actually a basketball player looks good in them and several professional basketball players don't look good in them either. So most people wear another shirt underneath which further emphasizes you are a dork and not a basketball player. I have t-shirts for the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies. Shooting shirts could possibly be acceptable for streetwear but I have to think about it.
Football jerseys are okay, but they need a number which means you're wearing somebody else's name on your back. I had a Skins jersey with my name on it for a while. Whitlock got Tony Siragusa jerseys for both of us a few years ago. I only wear mine around the house.
Hockey jerseys are okay, too, especially if you're full-figured. I just got a white Caps jersey last week.
Soccer jerseys are great because they're usually made of some sweat-absorbing material. It still doesn't help when the sun beats down on you in August where Ryan Church patrols. The only disadvantage is that some of them look like polo shirts.
I think baseball jerseys are the best. When the hip-hop baseball shirt craze first began I told myself,"I'm going to wear this even if it goes out of style. These are so comfortable." Whitlock likes them too, but only the cotton ones. She can't figure out how baseball players can function in the heat in the polyester ones.
January 5 Permalink
A lot of comings and goings.Dave Shea is out. I don't suppose we can get Elliott Price. Dave always sounded old to me. I know Ernie Harwell and Harry Kalas and Vin Scully can still do the job, but they don't sound old. His gaffes sometimes felt embarrassing, instead of just sounding stupid or incompetent.
And speaking of incompetent, Ron Darling is headed back to New York to do color for the Mets games. Okay, I'm being a little harsh. He was passable by the end of the season. One is usually led to believe that New York is the top of the broadcasting profession and Darling is far from a star in the broadcast booth. Just goes to show what being a good-looking former New York player will do for you.
She claims like many people that Washington is really a small town. Networking is very important. People make connections by other than the traditional bonds of neighborhood, worship and family. And once they've found their group Washingtonians don't interact as much outside that circle. You can see FedEx Field from the Beltway, but I've seen it only once since it was built and that was six years ago, specifically to see the stadium on my way to Bowie.
I think if you define a group narrowly enough, everybody knows everybody, even the famous and powerful. But outside a group the divides between social classes become even more apparent. So if you're a blogging fan of the Nats, DC United and science fiction, you'll eventually find someone with the same interests, even if you've already met them before.
January 4 Permalink
'Skins keep key assistant Williams with three-year deal. If there's one thing Danny Boy knows how to do it's throw money around.
The Natosphere's favorite flying monkey has rendered his opinion on the stadium situation in the Washington Post. The Nats Blog agrees with the Wicked Witch of the West's minion and Capitol Punishment doesn't.
January 3 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Barney Gilligan. He was usually a catcher for the 1886-1887 Nats but he also filled in at third, short and outfield. He went 2020 plate appearances without ever being hit by a pitch.
The original plaques were hauled away, along with other RFK detritus, by Jack Stone Signs, a contractor based in Landover, Md. During the reconstruction, some folks with a sense of local sports history tried to save specific plaques. Bruce Adams, president of the Bethesda Big Train amateur baseball squad, says he wanted to hang the Shirley Povich and Walter Johnson signs at Shirley Povich Field, his team's home venue. But Adams' effort was stymied when his contact at Jack Stone left the company. Potomac resident Mark Judge says he got stonewalled while trying to determine where the plaque of grandfather and exñWashington Senator Joe Judge ended up after it left the arena. Trevor Stone, a project manager with Jack Stone, says the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, which controls RFK, didn't give any special instructions for handling the plaques other than to remove them from the premises.
Stone says he told Gonzaga College High School it could salvage whatever RFK goods it wanted for a charity auction. Several of the plaques, including those for Homestead Grays slugger Josh Gibson and Redskins all-timers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff, were recently spotted in the lobby of the Gonzaga gym. But what became of the signs of relatively lesser luminaries such as Melissa Belote, Holly Mims, and with-an-"o" LeBaron? "They're probably still lying around somewhere in our junkyard," says Stone.
Heck, I would have found a place at my home for a sign. In addition, Dave McKenna considers L'Affaire Smulyan:
The meanest, dumbest chapter of the Nationals-ownership soap opera came with the anti-Jeff Smulyan campaign, which was really just a pro-Fred Malek campaign in disguise. The Friends of Fred, a club that seems to have members in high places at every major media organization in this market, wants everybody to believe that the only fit owner for the new baseball team is a local owner (read: Malek). Any outof- towner (read: Smulyan) is only trying to land the Nationals, according to these theorists, for an eventual relocation to his hometown.
That argument is silly as hell for any number of reasons. Among them: Anybody stupid enough to pay $450 million to move a team from this market to teensy Indianapolis (Smulyan's residence) wouldn't have $450 million to begin with. Not even the NHL, which awards franchises to less stable locales than Checkers does (Columbus, Ohio?), has a point in Indianapolis.
But even sillier, the Friends of Fred's argument ignores local sports history. The most successful, fanfriendliest sports owner this town ever saw, Jack Kent Cooke, had no area ties before landing the Washington Redskins. He was born in Canada and lived in Los Angeles for several years after taking over the team. Perhaps the Friends of Fred should compare Cooke's job performance and approval rating among area sports fans to those of Bethesda product Dan Snyder.
To say this episode is the meanest, dumbest chapter of the Nationals-ownership soap opera is like saying Colonel Klink was the most sadistic and evil Nazi. What McKenna ignores is that Smulyan has an unpleasant record already with the Mariners, wanting to move them to St. Petersburg. There's no guarantee Malek or Lerner or Ledecky will be any better than Smulyan, but we already know how bad Smulyan is.
January 2 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Sam Crane. Crane played short for the 1887 Nats. This is not the same Nat Sam Crane who killed his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in 1930. There is a sportswriter named Sam Crane who is frequently quoted with regard to turn-of-the-century ballplayers who may be this non-murderous Sam Crane. The 19th century Crane is still alleged to have run off with a Scranton wife and her husband's $1500 dollars.
Watched the Everybody Hates Chris episode "Everybody Hates the Babysitter". Julius and Rochelle have a night out at dinner at a place where they serve cafeteria style, kind of like O'Brien's Pit Barbecue. He makes a fuss about her getting potato salad instead of cole slaw and the place gets held up. One of the robbers turns out to be one of Rochelle's old buddies and Julius tries to get off without giving him any money.
Back home the babysitter brings her baby. While she's out, a man comes by for it claiming to be the father. Chris says,"No black man picks up a baby that isn't his." The babysitter's mother also shows up.
Went on to the CSI episode "Secrets and Flies". A woman finds her sister dead of an apparent suicide. The victim's baby is nearby in his playpen. Since the gun has blood spatter but her hand does not, Willows and Sidle immediately identify it as a homicide.
The victim is Christina, a very religious woman with an intact hymen who gave birth by Caesarian section. She was artifically inseminated by Project Sunflower, a group that saves embryos that will be discarded by fertility clinics and implants them in willing surrogate mothers. The baby's biological parents never could conceive and the father has since died in a car accident. However, according to Christina's will, they are the baby's guardians in case of her death. The killer turned out to be the baby's grandmother.
In the other plot, Grissom is brought in to refute the testimony of Mark Thayer, an expert witness he co-wrote a paper with several years earlier. At contention are flies found on the victim. Thayer says it would take 15 days for larvae to occur, making it impossible for the defendant to have killed the victim since he was in Mexico at the time. He even has a videotaped experiment showing larvae appearing in 15 days on a pig carcass, although the literature says larvae appear in 11 days which would implicate the defendant. Grissom is able to obtain the actual fly larvae and finds the pig was treated with melathion which would prevent the flies from laying their eggs for four days. Thayer is arrested for perjury and obstruction of justice.
January 1 Permalink
Today is the birthday of Harry Berthrong and Miah Murray. Berthrong played outfield, second base and catcher for the 1871 Olympics and was a Civil War veteran. Not to be confused with Mina Murray, Meremiah Murray played catcher and first base for the 1888 Nats.
As discussed in previous seasons, I think playoff qualification and seeding should be handled differently in the NFL. Since each division plays all the teams in one other division in their conference, that should be considered a sub-conference. If one of those divisions is particularly weak, the other division is gaining the benefit of a weak schedule. One could make such a case this year for the NFC East if three of their teams made the playoffs since they all played the weak NFC West. I think it should look like this:
AFC East/West. Kansas City at New England with the winner playing at Denver.
AFC South/North. Jacksonville at Cincinnati with the winner playing at Indianapolis.
NFC East/West. Washington at New York Giants with the winner playing at Seattle.
NFC South/North. Carolina at Tampa Bay with the winner playing at Chicago.
The NFC has the same qualifiers in my system, but the first-round matchups are different. Pittsburgh may have benefited from the playing the Titans and sweeping the NFC North while Kansas City only went 1-3 against the NFC East.
Watched the Smallville episode "Thirst". Lana is going to Metropolis University and joins a sorority that consists of vampires, headed by a girl named Buffy Sanders. Clark realizes there is something wrong with her so he and Chloe attend a Halloween party at the sorority house to investigate. Chloe gets bitten and Clark takes her to the hospital.
Dr. Fine is visiting a colleague and finds Clark and Chloe. It's funny to hear James Marsters say,"Clark, there's no such thing as vampires." Fine takes a look at Chloe's chart and tells Clark to ask Lex Luthor about Project 1138.
Lex explains that Buffy got her vampiric powers from a radioactive cave she was found in. Just as he gives Clark the antidote, Lana flys in to take Clark back to the sorority house. Biting him gives her superhuman powers and she wants to add him to their brood. Buffy says no and Lana disintegrates her with beams from her eyes. As Lana attempts to make Clark drink her blood, he delivers the antidote.
Carrie Fisher makes a nice cameo as the Daily Planet editor. Dr. Fine apparently has some interesting powers as a powerful mechanical hands springs from his body.
Went on to the Criminal Minds episode "L.D.S.K." The title refers to a long distance serial killer AKA a sniper. Someone is shooting people in Des Plaines, Illinois, but only in the stomach, not to kill them.
Sniper profiles are pretty ineffective as Muhammad and Malvo proved. This killer takes out as many as three people at one time, which I think may have enabled witnesses to pinpoint the source of the shots. He seems to strike during the afternoon shift change at the police department.
The first suspect is a police officer who mouthed off during a briefing and leaked the profile to the media. As he's being taken away, he is killed by the real sniper. Although suspicion falls next on an unliked surgeon, the culprit is a nurse who, when found, takes hostages in the emergency room including Hotch and Reid.
Hotch asks for permission to beat up Reid. In the struggle, Reid gets the gun Hotch has strapped to his ankle and kills the LDSK.
Both this show and the Smallville above have an inaudible line that appears in the closed captioning saying,"Paging Dr. Bender." I have no idea what it means.
Finished off with the CSI:NY episode "YoungBlood". A passionate encounter in an elevator ends with the man blown away with a shotgun as the doors open. The scene is processed and the girl is nowhere to be found.
The dead man is Jason Kinsey, a real estate developer who lived in the penthouse and had a taste for teenage girls. The weapon appears to be a makeshift device, fired at close range, but penetrating very shallowly in the body. The girl Melinda is found and she only remembers the flash - nothing of the assailant. Her father has a very young wife.
The killer turns out to be a parking lot attendant and employee of Kinsey who also tried to pick up Melinda at a bar. Since he served time for domestic abuse, he couldn't buy a gun, so he fashioned one from a steering wheel lock. He was trying to kill both of them, but his weapon failed to fire a second time.
In the other plot a young man is found dead in a Central Park pond. He has some expensive clothing and a Rolex along with contradictory items suggesting a homeless man. Turns out he had taken on an alternate identity among the upperclass young folks while living in the Central Park boathouse. Two of the guys he hung out with learned his secret and poisoned him with lobster, a food he was allergic to. He died in the park and the guys followed him, dumping body.
Bonasera says the boys are getting 15 years but I'm sure a good lawyer can bargain it down to probation. After all, shouldn't the victim have tried to get medical help and assistance from the people in the restaurant?
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Last revised January 31, 2006
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