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6.28.2007

Sigh 

Well, the US B-team threw everything they had at Argentina, took a 1-0 lead, and ended up losing 4-1. Argentina's first goal was a complete piece of crap, the next two were top-notch, and the last one was just a result of the US's completely gassed back line letting a guy through.

Holy crap 

USA leads Argentina 1-0 on a penalty kick by Eddie Johnson in the Copa America.

Masshole drivers have the lowest auto fatality rate in the nation 

No, really.

See, we're insane drivers, but at least we're good at it. Also, Darwin probably already took care of the crappy drivers. Also, Ted Kennedy was probably on a long vacation out-of-state.

Time for the quarterly "Joe Torre sucks" post 

Yesterday Joe Torre let Scott Proctor pitch the ninth inning of a 2-2 game at Baltimore instead of Mariano Rivera. Proctor put the first two men on before recording an out.

Instead of letting the greatest reliever of all time put out the fire, he let Proctor stay in the game and walk the next batter.

Instead of letting the greatest reliever of all time put out the fire, he let Proctor stay in the game and walk in the winning run.

Today, Torre let Rivera pitch the eighth inning with a 4-0 deficit because Rivera needed to get some work in.

6.24.2007

Inside enemy territory II: The Chargers still suck 

Went down to San Diego to watch the Red Sox play the Padres on Saturday. The highlight of the game was watching Terry Francona get tossed from the game after the same third-base umpire blew two calls and had them overturned after the rest of the umpires convened (Manny Ramirez catch -> single, Josh Bard foul ball off the LF pole -> home run). After a team gets two big calls turned agaisnt them, it is pretty much mandatory for the manager to get himself ejected, and Tito did a fine job sticking up for his team.

I am kind of surprised that the Manny "catch" was ruled a hit -- umpires usually don't turn outs on the field of play into hits. Because the ball is still live, it cannot automatically be assumed that the hitter would have remained on first safely (as opposed to getting thrown out at second or something like that).

Also, Padres pitcher Chris Young struck out about 45 or so Red Sox hitters en route to a 6-1 victory.

The announced attendance was 44,457, which according to this box score is approximately 104.6% of Petco Park's official capacity and supposedly a new record. However, by my reckoning only about 93% or so of the seats were actually full, and about 35-40% of the fans in attendance were Red Sox fans. Especially amusing was the top of the 9th inning, after the Sox finally put a run on the board. The Sox fans erupted and the Padres fans clammed up with the potential tying run only four batters away. As Doug Mirabelli walked up to the plate, the Padres fan behind me said "please, no two-run homer".

I guess I understand why people hate Red Sox and Patriots fans so much -- it must be really uncomfortable for the fans of a small-town team like San Diego to be completely overmatched by the visiting team's fans.

6.22.2007

Message in a bottle 

I hope someone gets my message in a bottle. The message is, "remind me never again to attend a concert in Anaheim, unless it's a Disney Mouseketeers concert. And if I ever do see a Mouseketeers concert, remind me to shoot myself."

So The Police played in Anaheim last night. I was planning to see them perform in Dodger Stadium in LA on Saturday, but I changed my plans on account of wanting to see the Red Sox wipe the floor with the Padres in person. I acquired a ticket for Anaheim and jettisoned my ticket for LA. Apparently there's a reason why the show still hadn't sold out hours before it was to start, and the reason is that people in Anaheim are lame. The Honda Center was filled to about 92% capacity, lots of people were sitting for the majority of the show, they missed when Sting cued them to sing/clap, and so forth.

Fortunately, The Police can still play. Below is the setlist, which seems to be pretty standard for the tour (if you don't want to see any spoilers, you probably should just stop reading here):








Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity 2
Walking on the Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When the World is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me (sounds like the album version, not the '86 live version)
Driven to Tears
The Bed's Too Big Without You
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking in Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
Roxanne

King of Pain
So Lonely

Every Breath You Take
Next to You

Random notes:

Sting hit the high D on Roxanne in the first verse, but not during the chorus.

Stewie Copeland had an entire B-stage set up with chimes and a huge gong for Wrapped Around Your Finger and King of Pain, giving both pieces somewhat of an Eastern flavor.

During Invisible Sun, the screens showed a few silent video clips of what presumably was Iraq -- children going to school and playing, a little girl holding an American soldier's hand, a couple soldiers slumped beside a vehicle, a bombed-out car and piles of rubble, people mourning. It was done quite graciously and humanely, I thought.

For some reason nobody sang the closing line "I'll be watching you" during the coda to Every Breath You Take. Sting sang the backing lines over and over (Every breath you take/every bond you break/etc.) in his full voice. I dunno if he was expecting the crowd to fill in or what.

6.16.2007

Slightly less failure 

Had my second ultimate frisbee match of the season tonight. I went running a few times in the 10 days in between, and as a result I played more points tonight at higher intensity than I did during the first game. I never thought I'd reach the point where I had to do conditioning work to stay in shape for rec league ultimate, but oh well.

I picked up an outstanding phantom D a few points into the game -- we were forcing straight-up up to midfield, I face-guarded my guy and the thrower put up a bladey throw to him going deep. I closed in, swiped at the disc (probably a good thing, as I very well might have macked it straight up into the air), and watched the guy pancake it so hard it flipped out of his hands.

Offensively, I was more productive than last time -- had a nice endzone give-and-go combo for a score, and roasted a guy going deep. Unfortunately, I got served a low, hard forehand bullet on the deep cut instead of the high, curving throw I expected. I had the chance to make a sick dive that would have landed a foot short of the disc and given me an itchy rash for a week, but wisely declined the bid. I have no idea what sorts of plant life or fungi live on those fields, but apparently they're pretty vicious.

6.13.2007

8 am final exams are inhumane 

I bet that way more people (students, TAs and profs) would be happy than would be upset if UCLA bumped up its final exam times an hour (up to 9-12, 12:30-3:30, 4-7, 7:30-10:30 instead of 8-11, 11:30-2:30, 3-6, 6:30-9:30).

6.09.2007

Nobody wants to hear bad beat stories 

No-limit hold'em at the Commerce, $3-5 blinds, 9 handed. I'm sitting in the 1 seat, just to the dealer's left. The entire right side of the table is populated with maniacs, who have been playing and raising complete trash preflop and betting/calling large with weak draws, second pair, etc. On my left is Über-nit, who has been playing only premium hands (even limping KK once) and bitching when they get cracked most of the time.

For this hand, I'm under the gun with $150 behind, and the maniacs are on the button and in the blinds. I get dealt pocket aces. As is customary, I have folded my first 25 non-blind hands because I've been getting dealt complete trash, and everyone has verbally indicated that they have noticed this. Obviously no one is going to give me action if I raise UTG, so I limp, hoping to trap the maniacs behind me in a huge pot. Über-nit limps, as do a middle position player and the maniacs on the button and in the small blind.

Five players to the flop, and no raise. This is a moderate disaster for AA, but at least I can get away from the hand relatively cheaply if I start getting some heat.

Flop comes Q54. I fire $20, Über-nit calls, everyone else folds. Über-nit has me covered, and I have one pair out of position against him. Reverse implied odds are a bitch. Not good times. Bad times.

Turn is a 8. I check, he bets $40. Okay, with only $125 behind, it's pretty much stack time -- either raise all-in if I think he might be pumping top pair, or fold. He knows I'm a very tight player, and I know he's a tight player as well. By betting into a field of 5 players on the flop, I have strongly suggested that I have a strong top pair or better, and he is unimpressed. I can't convince myself that he's pumping top pair or KK here -- I think it's more likely he has a set. I reluctantly fold.

Über-nit turns over pocket queens, top set.

I'm not sure whether bad beat stories or monster laydown stories are worse. Certainly from someone like Phil Hellmuth, they're both pretty unbearable.

6.07.2007

Dammit 

Julio Lugo, you officially suck.

Breaking news 

After eight innings, Curt Schilling has put together a completely unremarkable pitching performance that no one should suddenly start to watch under any circumstances.

6.05.2007

Failure 

Had my first game of this year's LA ultimate summer men's league tonight. After pretty much not touching a disc and not getting a whole lot of aerobic or anaerobic exercise for the last 10 months, I made it my goal not to get injured tonight, and couldn't even pull that off -- on the penultimate point of the game, I sprinted deep on defense to help out on a long throw and got clipped in the ankle. (For the results-oriented among you, the guy who hit me was slowed up enough to not make the catch, but it's unlikely he would have gotten it anyway. And we turned it over on the ensuing possession and allowed them to score.)

Fortunately, it has 10 days to swell up and swell back down before the next game.

6.01.2007

Grudging hat tip 

Lebron James is pretty good at basketball.

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