Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alex is stuck at 499

Tonight the Yankees blasted 8 homers, and A-Rod was shut out. Interesting. I wonder how much the hundreds of flashbulbs going off affect him. They sure bug me.
I guess the biggest reason they bug me is because the flash works in a range of maybe 10 feet or so. Yet the schmuck in the upper deck snaps away as if he is getting a shot that will make the front page of the Daily News.
The Yankees still have a great shot not only for the wild card (3 games back) but I think they are going to catch the Sox. It didn't become any easier today when the Sox added to their bullpen by getting Gagne, but I still think we have enough to take them. Hughes will be back, and Giambi has been banging the ball on his rehab assignment. Once Igawa gets straightened out (again) they are going to have a bullpen that is good enough.
Mo has not been so dominant this year, but I wonder if that is a function of the team rather than his age. He has pitched at least a few times in non-save situations because Joe wanted to get the win. And, the Yankees have had streaks where they absolutely smashed teams, and Mo didn't pitch for a week. That is not how a closer stays sharp. His ERA is a respectable 3.05, but it's not the lights out numbers he usually puts up. He did have a few bad days in April, and for a guy who pitches so few innings, it is not easy to lower his ERA. All in all, I'm not worried, though.
One concern I do have is the hitting. When they are hitting, they score like no team I've ever seen. But then, they will get shut out the next two days. Frustrating as hell. I don't get it. And, for some reason, with Clemens or Pettitte on the hill, they don't seem to score at all.
But they will get catch the Sox. It may be in the last week of the season, and I won't even be surprised if it is a 1 game playoff.
Wang vs Beckett for it all.
You read it here first.
And Melky Cabrera will play the role of Bucky F'ing Dent.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Making the move

Finally, the Yankees are running on all cylinders. Sure, they are currently feasting on the soft underbelly of the junior circuit, but that is what they should do. They need to keep the relatively weak hitting teams in check, while they smash the pitching of the sub .500 teams. They have been successfully getting out the starters early, and then really abusing the long/middle relief.
That was the formula in the great 96-00 run, and along with decent pitching should get it done again.
As my Yankee friend has said since spring training: 27 in 2007.
That would look great on a t-shirt.

At this point, Yankees are 6 behind the Sox and only 4 out of the wild card. Isn't it funny how quickly things change. Just a few short weeks ago, nearly everyone was ready to write off the Bombers. Now today, it seems like they are jumping on the NYY bandwagon. I don't mind the sportswriters/talking heads. Their job is to be controversial and also to try not to show any favoritism. I'm a huge fan of Mike and Mike in the morning, and had no problem with Golic picking the Yanks to finish out of the playoffs. First, he's a TV personality. He's a former football player, so what does he know? His job is to fill the air with 4 hours (or more) of talk per day. The show would be boring if he just agreed with Greenie (Yankees fan and long time pro sports guy.)
But these aren't the guys I have trouble with.

Yankees fans. Guys who profess to be dyed in the wool fans, gave up in May, fergawdsake.


Guys who claimed to bleed Yankees blue (or pinstripes?) gave up with over 100 games to go. Before they hit the half way point, they conceded the pennant, and all but gave up on the wild card.

What a bunch of second rate fans.

I just want all of us regular fans, the ones who wouldn't give up the ship until the first pitch of the playoffs, not to allow those who jumped to get back on. Sure, I always make room during the playoffs for fans of other teams and allow them a chance to become a Yankees fan. Sort of like amnesty for those who were so misguided and misinformed. But I have no patience for those who gave up. You guys can go root for the Cubs.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Moral Orel

TV Sherpa checking in. I've been busy watching a lot of bad TV lately.

Does anyone care what the hell ever happened to Chachi or the 2 Coreys? I know I don't. I'm sure I'll eventually get around to review all these shows, but heaven knows I'm holding off as long as possible.

Unfortunately, the executives consider to produce crap on the major networks, and our only hope is cable's endless choices. Sadly, though, the crap level on cable has been increasing as they fill the void left by the big boys.

Not so with today's show I'm reviewing. Moral Orel, found on the Cartoon Network at 12:15 a.m. on Sunday night (ok, not exactly a prime time slot.)

This show is 15 minutes of quality viewing. The look of the program is very Davey and Goliath. Orel even closely resembles the aforementioned Davey. The surrounding cast, while also looking like Davey's friends and family, well, that's where the similarity ends.

Dad is an abusive scotch drinking kind of guy. Mom also appears to enjoy the occasional drink. An occasion could be Tuesday. Various religious people are in the show, and while they do wear the vestments, most do not share characteristics normally associated with the clergy.

Episodes from this year have included Orel being in a "Praying Bee" against his school's rivals, The Praying Mantises. In another his dad got in an argument with neighbors about the wording of the "Our Father."

The show has been described by others as Davey and Goliath meets South Park.

Maybe that would be an ok description. But I'm not 100% with that. South Park is much funnier, and much more topical, along with satire that is a bit more biting.
That said, I like Moral Orel. .

It's a pretty decent show with a lousy time slot.
I rate it a very solid 8. I wish it were longer and at a better time slot, although that would not affect my rating.

It's been a while, so here's a quick review of my ratings system:
10--a prime show. The Sopranos or 24 would rate a 10.
9-- definately worth watching. Think South Park or Seinfeld re-runs. Not as funny as the first time, but still great TV fare.
8-- Pretty darn good stuff. If you can't be home, you'd consider setting up the VCR. Some solid 8's would be Earl, or Everybody Hates Chris.
7-- Not quite good enough to tape. But you can look forward to watching. The Office is the first show that comes to mind as a 7.
6--Now we get into the shows that are ok, but only a first choice if other shows are re-runs.You won't mind watching a 6 at a different time. Britcoms are 6's.5-- Think of a movie you liked, but have seen a dozen times or more.You'd choose the movie over the program, then the program is a
5. Mash and almost everything on TVLAND has become a 5.
4--Crappy show, but with some redeeming quality, like it features hot chicks. Any show with Pam Anderson would be a 4.
3--Only worth watching if the only alternative is infommercials. Fishing shows are 3.
2-- About the same as a good infommercial. QVC is a 2.
1-- Infommercials, unless they are The Knife Collector Show. They sell swords!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Talking Heads, Bobbleheads and Knuckleheads

When I was growing up, sports coverage was fairly limited. The Yankees were on Channel 11 (with about half the games broadcast,) the Mets were on Channel 9, and the game of the week was on Channel 7 on Saturday afternoons. The TV news usually featured a short nightly sports report. So, what has changed?
Sports now has a bunch of TV channels just devoted to it. MSG, FSN, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic (just in case I really need to watch a 30 year-old bowling tournament) and a few others. The Yankees have their own channel and every single game is broadcast. The Mets and Sox have their own channels/networks also.
On the surface, this would appear to be great. Baseball fanatics can now satisfy their thirst for every single statistic as the networks have hours and hours to fill. But, I disagree. I believe we are in statistical overload.
It was just announced that Joe Maurer hit a walk off game winning single for the first time in his career last night. If I were a big Joe Maurer fan, that would mean something to me. I'm not, so it doesn't. However, because I believe that my brain can only contain and maintain so much information, I have now lost some bit of important info I may need at a later date. Did I lose the ability to figure out square roots?
Probably not because I couldn't do them before. So I worry about what I did lose.
And since sports networks have so much time to fill, we have to endure so many programs that should not be produced. Yes Network is busy touting a Tino Martinez Yankeeography. Ok, I like Tino as much as the next guy, but he sure doesn't warrant an hour special. If the network didn't have to fill 18 hours of daily programming, Tino would just be a part of the late 90's Yankees teams. So now, we get hours of dumb programming, hosted by even dumber ex-jocks as they interview players nobody cares much about.
Important update: Phillies are facing their 10,000th defeat as a franchise. Good thing Joe Morgan just pointed out that the Phillies can avoid this devastating defeat by outscoring their opponents. Even the most ardent fan couldn't possibly care about this alleged "milestone."
Is anyone thinking if only the 1972 team had just won a few more games? Just another meaningless statistic to fill the airwaves and my mind with senseless clutter.
How I miss the Scooter with his birthday announcements and his cannoli pandering.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Your TV Sherpa weighing in today. Psych is one of the many shows on USA network. New shows come on Friday evenings, but they are repeated constantly. In fact, last night's show has been on maybe 4 or 5 times today already.
The basic premise for the show is simple: The star pretends to solve crimes using psychic ability. In actuality, he is just a really great detective. He is very detail oriented, and catches many of these relatively insignificant clues missed by the regular police. He does a good job of faking psychic powers, so he is called on often for the really tough cases. With his partner, they have a detective agency, and enjoy a modicum of success.
The show is ripe with interplay between his dad, a retired detective, and his partner who knows the real deal, and the regular police who have some doubts, but recognize that he has some gift. The show is loaded with laughs, so much so that it is hard to decide if the show is a comedy or a detective show.
It doesn't matter, it is what it is, and I really like it.

I'm rating it a very enjoyable 8.6.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The second half begins

I've been in the hospital for part of the last month, and busy trying not to barf the rest of the time. But now I'm back. Starting to feel almost human again, so I need to get back to what I do best: Support the Yankees and watch TV.

Start with the Yankees. We enter the second half of the season 10 games out of the AL East pennant race, and 8 1/2 out of the wild card. These are desperate times indeed.

But I'm not ready to throw in the towel. Not even close. I can not find another starting 8 that I would swap even up for the Bronx Bombers. They are led by not 1, not even 2, but 3 legitimate MVP candidates. A-Rod, Jeter, and Posada. Each would be considered THE man on any other team, but on the Yanks they are just a part of the best lineup in baseball.

The starting staff is coming around, and as long as Pettitte is not injured (why has he gotten blown out in his last 2 starts?) Wang, Pettite, Mussina, and Clemens are enough to get us into the playoffs. And once there, easily enough to take on all comers, even the Tigers or Sox.

I'm looking for a huge second half surge by our pinstriped representatives of NY. A friend and fellow fan says 27 in 2007, and I see no reason to jump ship.

We still have a lot of baseball left this season.

As the great Lawrence Peter Berra once said, "It ain't over til it's over."