December 9th, 2009

baseball

And so Pudge came to Washington...

...for two years and $6 million, which everybody and his sister is ripping as a waste of money by the Nationals. To be fair, Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus is defending the contract as understandable (the critics are in the comments) considering the Nats signed Strasburg and may want Rodriguez to mentor him. Others point to improvements in the Marlins and Tigers' young pitching staffs, to which the response is "Oh yeah? So why was I-Rod sitting there with his mouth shut while Redmond did all the pre-game pitcher briefs (with the Marlins)?"

To me, the answer isn't just Strasburg or all the young DC pitchers or the front office's desire to have a surefire Hall of Fame catcher on the roster so they can sell a few more tickets, or the need to have a reliable backup catcher because Jesus Flores develops an arm injury on days of the week ending in "y" and the next decent catcher in the system just graduated from A ball at Potomac this season. It's all of those things, and while no doubt some of the other free agent catchers out there could have filled some of those roles, nobody else could fill all of them. $3 million a year may be a little stiff, considering he was paid half that last year, but this is a last place team in a tough division, and the sad fact is those teams have to pay a little extra to attract the good free agents. Now, if the combination of Desmond & Maxwell at short and second along with Morgan in center and Pudge behind the plate 2-3 times a week leads to a great improvement in pitching and wins -and therefore attendance- then that $3 million will be a heck of a deal. That's what we play the games to find out.
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wombat

sit down and pipe down, thank you

Today's substitute assignment was supposed to be a half day, but the regular teacher never showed up, so I got a full day's work (and pay) out of it. As with my first assignment, I laid down the law right away with the kids at the beginning of each class. I think that was a big reason I only had to run one student down the hall to the vice-principal. I also got a chance before school started to talk to the teacher I subbed for back in October. She was very impressed by how I did (especially since it had been my first class with civilian students) and was going to request me tomorrow, but unfortunately I had this prior engagement with the leg-cutters downtown...

...which wound up being scheduled for 1230 tomorrow. So I could have done the assignment anyway. Oh, well. Anyhow, yeah, P is going to pick me up at 1100 and cart me home after the cutting is done. I admit to being a little nervous about it. This is my first surgery since they took my appendix out in sixth grade, and since my bulk and (lack of) definition prevents a spinal tap (THANK YOU GOD) they're going to put me under. Not that I don't have confidence in the staff or anything, but accidents happen. I just hope one doesn't happen to me. Prayers would be appreciated from those of you so inclined. It's supposed to be day surgery, and let's hope it actually is.
the mark

Iron Man

Did Robert Downey nail this role, or what? I've always had a soft spot for Iron Man; it was one of the few comics that I got a chance to read as a kid, although I never quite got around to getting a subscription to it later. Anyhow, the movie was very well done, FX well done but not obtrusive, and from what I gather on Wikipedia, they actually stuck fairly close to the original continuity. Also, kudos to the scriptwriters for keeping Pepper Potts a 1940s-style Girl Friday. (Her put-down of the trashy Vanity Fair reporter is priceless.) Highly recommended, though most of you have probably already seen it. #^_^#