Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MLB allows Red Sox a 41-man roster

Well, try as I might, I just cannot see how this is an acceptable contract under Major League Baseball league rules. Andrew Miller, the once-promising Tigers prospect who flamed out in Florida, has signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox. He could have gotten major league contracts from the Pirates and Indians of the world, but he's with the Red Sox.

That's something baseball can't fix. People will take less to win, just the same as the Heat loaded up on decent veteran players who decided to take 50% or greater pay cuts to play with Wade/James/Bosh.

Miller's contract, on the other hand, is not the same thing.  But the contract he has with the Red Sox is egregious and unfair to the game.  If the Red Sox put him on the major league roster, he gets $1.3 million.  Fair enough. If he then gets sent to the minors, because he can no longer be optioned, he would have to be designated for assignment and, therefore, made available to all teams.  But in this case, it's different. If he gets DFA'd and someone claims him, he has an option for $3 million that vests for 2012.  In other words, the Red Sox have a ready-made 41-man roster, because they can take him off the 40-man at will, so long as no one feels interested in paying $3 million for a player the Red Sox deemed unworthy of playing in the majors.

That MLB allows this kind of provision defeats the entire purpose of being designated for assignment.  The 40-man roster is supposed to make it so that teams like the Red Sox will occasionally have to lose off 26th men that might prove to be solid roster pieces -- or even starters -- for lesser clubs.  Instead, it will just make the rich richer -- players will sign these poison pill contracts with the teams they don't want to leave -- the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Phillies -- but the Indians? No way.  Bud Selig needs to exercise his authority to act in the best interests of baseball and void the contract.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life in DC

Today is actually a weird day for me. I'm not used to having spare time, I've had none of it since I moved here, really. I'm in my office for at least 12 hours every day (admittedly, since it has a gym, I'm not always working 12 hours -- or, more typically, I am working 12 hours, but some of those are at home), commuting takes at least another hour, cooking and buying groceries have taken a lot of time. I've had to trek to and from my old apartment with considerable regularity, my first weekend here was spent at the DMV, etc.

But now my wife is gone to Iowa, I don't have much work to do (and am not motivated enough to do it now), and I lack the motivation to hike down to Georgetown to see Cedar Rapids, since 1) it's not worth driving because it's only a mile or so, 2) I don't want to deal with the ludicrous winds by walking, and 3) I just have a hard time going to movies or any non-sporting events that actually have a set time. I have a very DVR attitude toward things, if they can't be done on my schedule, then it's not worth me going, even when my schedule could have accommodated going to the movies at any of the five times it was playing today. I would still have had to make that decision, and I make decisions for a living. I don't do that in my spare time. And, of course, since I now had a weekend to spend at the Verizon Center without feeling guilty at all, it's Disney Princesses on Ice all weekend. Every weekend this month, the Wizards are home. The one weekend I know I can go? Disney Princesses on Ice. Two shows today. Given that my life's goal list starts and ends with "don't appear on a sex offender registry", I figured I'd sit that one out.

Not much new

My wife tried to get Stamford into the Iowa State vet clinic, since she got invited to be a guest lecturer in Iowa and was flying out anyway. He might have been able to go so they could see what they could find out, but his vet's office never called Iowa State. I'm not terribly optimistic there is anything that can be done, but I am frustrated that an entire office of 10+ veterinarians couldn't pick up the phone on an urgent matter that may be life and death.

He's pretty much stopped eating, though, admittedly, it's hard to tell. He was never a big eater and it's hard to track the dining habits of three cats -- the other two were easy to tell, since they are both fat. That makes it easier. But we're now giving him the cat supplemental milk for kittens who were weaned too early. He clearly likes the taste of it, but he still has to be force-fed. It makes me feel bad to have to do it, to impose my will on a creature who's giving up on survival and actually has the mental focus to just not eat, but part of me still has a shred of hope. He's seen so many veterinarians (these aren't as second opinions, I'm not vet shopping, he's just had to go to vets in two locales and to two different 7-day 24-hour veterinary ERs, but once he tested positive for the feline coronavirus, every veterinarian just determines that anything that's wrong with him is FIP. Every symptom in the world except good health is a symptom of FIP, and in fact, good health is a symptom of it too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This is a hard time.

So Stamford (the kitten with a vast array of health problems) has been defecating and urinating outside his box for a couple of weeks now. His vet just said it was probably a stress reaction to having a new cat in a very confined area (when I moved, I brought my cat to join the two kittens, who'd already had to live with him for considerable periods of time, but with more rooms and opportunities to separate themselves in my apartment). So, after he continued to get worse and worse about it, we got him cat prozac -- which is, apparently, human prozac, but it's mixed to supposedly taste like salmon.

Well, last night, I found out it was likely all in vain. I took him to the ER at an all-night veterinary hospital because he's having issues with his back legs. He doesn't look balanced, he has had increasing difficulty jumping, and the one time I saw him go to the bathroom in the living room (not in his box), he was just walking along, and all of a sudden, it was like his back end just twisted.  I didn't even realize he'd pooped, but my wife could smell it immediately. It was like he didn't even know what he was doing.

The bad news is that it seems that he doesn't. He has no idea.  Given his feline coronavirus and the wildly varying symptoms of FIP, the veterinarian thinks that he's experiencing primary FIP infection and it's causing neurological symptoms, which have explained the progression in his loss of ability to use his back legs.  In short, she thinks he's going to die in the very near future.

I've spent thousands trying to keep him alive.  It has really been more than $2,000 at this point with all the vet bills. Most people would be glad to have it end, no more wiping up urine every time I need to use the bathroom, no more trying to squeeze in trips to the vet in between 14 hour work days. Not me. I just want my friend. And that, apparently, is what I can't have.

Monday, February 14, 2011

50 book challenge

Back when I was on livejournal, in those distant distant past days, my friend Ryan got me intrigued at the so-called 50 book challenge, wherein people read (unsurprisingly) 50 books in the span of a year. At the time, I'm sure I'd read somewhere between one and five books the prior year, since I was prone to just starting tons of books and never finishing any of them. Since it became a quasi-competitive thing, I've had no such problem. This year, even though I no longer regard it as a particular challenge, it's going to be much more of an uphill climb. Moving, starting a new job that involves far more work, certain other complications (the subject of which will be clearly revealed when you see the books I've finished) and the time that it takes just because I actually see my wife have all limited my reading. So I'm at a mere 5 books for the year, though I feel as if I'm simply forgotten something that I read.

January (3)
Black and Blue: How Racism, Drugs and Cancer Almost Destroyed Me by Paul Canoville
Home Buying For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
Tips and Traps When Buying a Home by Robert Irwin

February (3)
Mortgages for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
The Damned United by David Peace
The Quitter by Harvey Pekar

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chief Wahoo's Trail of Tears has updated!

Yes, this was the blog I was actually intent on keeping current, so much so that I sponsored some baseball-reference.com pages. Then I got busy and the Indians did not. Whoops. Anyway, here's the link.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Accurate Perception Syndrome

So I'm trying to get a psychological disorder that I've discovered (and named after myself, of course) into DSM-V when it comes out. DSM-IV launched Asperger's, autism, and ADHD into the realm of super popular diseases. I think I should do the same for cynicism.

TK's Disease or Accurate Perception Syndrome is a crippling psychological disorder that is associated with a bleak worldview and the belief that whatever foods will help keep you from becoming obese will ultimately give you cancer, and those things that don't give you cancer will give you heart disease or an increased likelihood of being hit by a bus or shot by a tea party activist. It, like life, is invariably fatal.

Bill Belichick Summoned to Roger Goodell's Office to Explain Academy Award Nominations

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reportedly requested a face-to-face meeting with Bill Belichick after his film NYJ Walkthrough 12/3/10 received 3 nominations for Academy Awards last week.  

NYJ Walkthrough 12/3/10, a 98 minute film of a final walkthrough of a game plan by New York Jets players and staff, which received nominations for Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor, has garnered near-universal acclaim in the cinematic community as a visceral portrayal of futility and despair.  The film, which was shot from the stands at the Jets' practice facility, was rumored to be intended for Belichick's personal game preparation, but has instead become a dark horse to triumph in the Best Picture category over films like The Black Swan and The King's Speech.

Belichick has denied comment on the film, stating only "I have not seen the film, i had no role in its making, and I was operating under the belief that the NFL permitted the conduct that the Academy suggest I played some role in. I would decline any Academy Awards that were given to me."

Heralded cinematographer and fellow nominee Roger Deakins (True Grit) rejected Belichick's response as false modesty.

"I've seen few videos that so captured the grace of Right Red 42 and the weaknesses in D'Brickashaw Ferguson's ability to pick up a right end stunt. It was moving. The gravitas of it all was so much that it looked like the Jets could barely even get the ball moving. It was as if Belichick's film just had a paralyzing effect on them, like the Patriots saw everything coming and the Jets saw the futility of the game," Deakins said.

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper was among the critics who lauded Walkthrough's single-hidden-camera framing. 

"The single-camera shot is relentless.  It takes the intensity of Hitchcock's Rope and says 'listen, if you're going to have nothing but 8 minute shots, we're going to have a single shot that bears down on the same spot on the field for 98 minutes.'  And the eerily silent soundtrack really harkens back to Von Stroheim," Roeper said.

LaDainian Tomlinson was alarmed to hear of his nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of an aging, broken-down running back refusing to concede the inevitable.

"I'd like to thank the Academy, but that's a bunch of shit," Tomlinson said. "I'm as fast as I ever was."

Uncredited executive producer Rex Ryan claimed full credit for releasing the films to theaters in New York and LA against Belichick's wishes.

Ryan said, "I knew this could really appeal to the [expletive deleted] public. I mean, millions of [expletive deleted] people watched the  [expletive deleted] Pro [expletive deleted] Bowl. Football sells."

Former Browns and Jets Coach Eric Mangini agreed that the film was worthy of Roger Goodell's attention, but believed the meeting would do nothing to allay Belichick's cinematic career.

"Of course [Goodell]'s calling Belichick in, he probably wants to congratulate him. I mean, this is Roger Goodell, and it's not like Belichick celebrated a touchdown. He'll be fine," Mangini said.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Fun with homonyms

Listen, the hair is bad. I will grant you that. But this is a mockery. In competition with Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady is named NFL Offensive Player of the Year.  Not even close. He's nowhere near as offensive as they are.

There may be posts in the pipeline, but the move has sapped me of my strength and the solitude that led me to post things in the first place. We'll see. Things that might be discussed: my response to the Academy Award nominations (which I started a week ago), why fantasy sports no longer hold any appeal to me (I certainly haven't grown up), my top Onion Articles, and my top songs and albums for years from 1960-2009 (it takes me a while to catch up, sorry).