Thursday, April 30, 2009

And so it was that the Red Sox went soft

The Red Sox principal owner John Henry is a man of numbers. He's made millions in investing, hired the godfather of all stat geeks Bill James to advise his team, and can even expound on the relationship between fractal geometry and the outcome of one-run games. (I made one of those up.)

But who knew he was such a man of letters?

According to an exhaustive Boston magazine profile of John Henry, 59, and his soon-to-be wife Linda Pizzuti, Henry wooed the 30-year-old real estate developer with emails like this one:
I don't have any illusions about capturing your heart. But the world is brighter, better, lighter and warmer when a man imbues a woman he knows-even tabula rasa-with the attributes I believe reside in you. It's the small things that ultimately matter. The subtle things.... No response is necessary because a man doesn't need nearly as much as he thinks he does.
How could any woman resist such pro$e?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Deja vu, you are a tantalyzing mistress

I had deja vu a couple times the other day. It was over some real mundane stuff -- a document I was explaining to someone at work, an e-mail I was reading, etc.

It's a simultaneously frustrating and wonderful moment, when your subconscious momentarily clears its throat. I feel like I teeter on the edge of a great precipice of understanding, only to have the promise of something great disappear as soon as I begin to realize it's there.

It's the mental equivalent of finger-cuffs: The harder you try to get there, the more difficult it becomes.

Is it just me, or have I made that joke before


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fantasy baseball advice sought

I'm not really sure what to do about the Tim Wakefield situation. He's 2-1 on the season with a 1.86 ERA. I want to add him to my fantasy baseball team, but I know that as soon as I do, he'll tank. What's a fan to do?

Just writing about it now is probably enough to send him on a three-game losing streak.

As long as I'm on the topic, I'll point out that Wakefield has 180 career wins, which is bragable.


Monday, April 27, 2009


I've seen a lot of fun things at Fenway -- giant comebacks, base-clearing brawls, Manny making two errors in an inning (on two separate occasions), a World Series win, even a no-hitter. But the one thing I'm missing is the most thrilling play in all of baseball: The steal of home.

With the bases loaded and two out last night at Fenway, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stole home off of the Yankees' unflappable lefty Andy Pettitte. It gave teh Sox a 3-1 lead on their way to a 4-1 win, their 10th in a row.

So what if it's only April -- a weekend sweep of the Yankees sure feels good.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mingo v Macadangdang

I wanted to check back in on the Name of the Year contest, which I suggested you check out last month. The field of 64 is down to two: Bulltron Regional No. 4 seed Barkevious Mingo and Chrotchtangle Regional No. 1 seed Iris Macadangdang. These are people's actual names.

Whether you're a fan of the underdog or you have a 10-spot riding on the Macadangdang, please log on and vote.

As of this writing, Mingo nurses a tiny lead. Every vote matters!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two superpowers finally unite

In the early days of the blog, I got some mileage out of how much I love The King -- the real-life but somehow cartoonish Burger King spokesmodel.

He's equal parts creepy and intriguing, and for whatever reason I just can't get enough.

That's why I'm happy to share his latest television installment -- an ad featuring Sir Mix-A-Lot of all people for a SpongeBob Squarepants promotion at the fast food chain.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A few thoughts on the pirates

The time has come for me to talk about pirates.

A 16-year-old pirate (right) will be in court today in New York. He's described by some as the ringleader of the group that took the captain of the Maersk Alabama hostage earlier this month. A 16-year-old ringleader. Really? What is this -- Lord of the Flies?

A friend recently asked, "Are you pro- or anti-pirate?" I'm a law-and-order type, so I guess I'm anti-pirate. Though I understand pirates blog, so I respect that.

Do you think the Pittsburgh Pirates might change their name because of all the bad press? Maybe they could become the Pittsburgh Seamen.


Monday, April 20, 2009

A holiday from the law

It's Marathon Monday in Massachusetts, with more than 25,000 people running 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, Mass., to Copley Square in Boston. Many more times that number will spectate the race. And by "spectate the race," I mean drink on the street.

There's an important key to tailgating in Massachusetts -- if you break out a beer on the street, you're liable to get shot by a pepper spray bullet from a trigger-happy peace officer.

But you're A-OK if you're using one of these.

That's right. The red solo cup is cop kryptonite. It's as though their powers of perception are rendered useless by its opacity. Of course, I only drink apple juice out of mine.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Blago Update

Oh, Rod Blagojevich, how can we miss you if you don't go away?

The former Illinois Governor who was indicted in a bribery scandal is back in the news this week. Here's a copy of a note (and cartoon) he sent to Cubs manager Lou Piniella, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

In case you can't read it, the cartoon compares Lou's managing style to Rod's governing style. In a post-script, Rod suggests that Lou put Alfonso Soriano in the three-spot instead of batting lead-off.

That sort of incisive baseball commentary would make for great TV. And, lo and behold, Blagojevich is apparently in talks with NBC about appearing on a reality show called "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here."

I won't lie -- I'd watch.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

He also ruminated on the horseless carriage

If I had my pick of journalism jobs, I'd likely choose Supreme Court beat reporter for The New York Times. The workload seems very reasonable, and you get to know the justices as well as anyone in the world does.

The New York Times had a piece last week about a speech Clarence Thomas gave in Washington, which contained several enjoyable nuggets.

Thomas on what's the matter with kids today: "Today there is much focus on our rights.... Shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?”

Thomas on how he unwinds: "I look up wonderful speeches, like speeches by Douglas MacArthur."

And my favorite, Thomas on new-fangled technology:
I have to admit that I’m one of those people that still thinks the dishwasher is a miracle. What a device! And I have to admit that because I think that way, I like to load it. I like to look in and see how the dishes were magically cleaned.
I guess that he's living in the past is all the explanation we need for him being a Nebraska fan.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Terriers. That's right, terriers.

Boston U. came back from a two-goal deficit in the final minute and won the NCAA hockey championship in overtime Saturday. I don't know how many of these championships my alma mater will get, so I'm going to bask in it for a bit. Here's a pic from yesterday's victory parade.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I have been known to burn his crops

Fidel Castro is apparently alive.

Three members of Congress traveled to Cuba and met with the island nation's former leader. As far as I can tell, it's the first independent confirmation that he survived 2006 surgery.

The delegation apparently fell under his noted dictatorial charm. The best quotes on the meeting come from Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), who said he was welcomed into Castro's home by his "lovely wife." According to one report, Rush said Castro was intensely interested in Martin Luther King, and requested books on the civil rights leader in Spanish.

I've got a Cuban cigar I bought in Italy that I've been waiting to smoke until Castro dies, and judging from the Congressional assessment I'll be waiting a while.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Appreciation: Bar Snacks

I'm writing today to praise something that's grown too rare in the bars I frequent: free snacks. Specifically I'm writing about the little panoply of pretzels, cheese crunches and wasabi peanuts that grace bars everywhere -- a trail mix for those on the trail to inebriation.

If you know a spot that does a good bar snack, put it in the comments because I need to know.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Play ball

Nothing jocular today, just an appreciation that baseball season is back.


Friday, April 03, 2009

They should call it the Group of 40 oz.

That's a picture from this week's G-20 economic summit in London. Left to right, we've got hope mongerer Pres. Barack Obama, grope mongerer Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, and nope mongerer Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev. ("In Communist Russia, sideburn burns you!")

This picture has a real facebook feel to it. You know the kind -- you're at a party, maybe a drink or two too deep. You're posing for a picture with people you don't like. You're smiling like a goofball.

I can just hear Obama now. "Silvio -- Don't tag me in this picture, man. Don't do it. I'll totally untag myself."

If the G-20 is as big a party as it appears, I can only hope French first lady Carla Bruni is the drunk girl.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009


Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming outpouring of support yesterday when I (half-)jokingly threatened to pull the plug on my poorly read and largely anonymous personal blog. Your calls, faxes, and singing telegram(s) were enough to convince me to keep going.

A special thank you goes out to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who sent a fine '54 Haut Medoc as a bribe to keep blogging. Who knew he was a reader?

Since the people demand it, I will now provide some jokes.

No jury in the world would convict. A man in Ohio faces a drunk driving charge after he crashed his motorized bar stool (right). When police responded to the accident, Kile Wygle, 28, allegedly told them he'd had 15 beers, which is bragable. He's pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.

He'll coach the Chiefs next. The NaturalBlog has a new hero, and it's Michael Kinahan, the Massachusetts midget girls soccer coach who was fired for demanding his players have the "gritty determination of journeymen who bring their lunch pail to work every week, chase every ball and dig in corners like a Michael Vick pit bull." Kinahan rubbed parents the wrong way with his preseason email, which included the line "[W]hile blood doping and HGH use is frowned upon, there is no testing policy."


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I guess that about does it

Open letter to my fan(s):

As you've probably noticed in the last week or so, the NaturalBlog has really been mailing it lately. So I think I'm gonna call it a blog. Thanks for the love everybody.

April 1, 2009