Defending Gary

With Sheffield gone, I'd say that 90+% of the reaction that I've seen has been positive about it. And as much as I like and respect all of the guys and gals that make up our little Tiger blog community...I just don't get it at all. Sure, the guy could be a jerk, but you just want to let him walk with $14 million and get nothing for it? People are actually happy about this, but not me.

"But Rogo, he's old and sucks." Gary is getting old. I agree. But he's better than anyone else we have to replace him. Old Gary is better than Young Marcus, Young Clete, Young Ryan, Young Jeff, and Young New Guy From The Braves. See below.

"But Rogo, what about Thames? He can play every day now!" I like Marcus. He's a great guy, probably second to only Granderson in the "great guy" department on the team. But just compare an injured Gary Sheffield to a healthy Marcus Thames last year.

Sheff: .225, 19, 57, .326 OBP, 83 K's, 418 AB's.
Thames: .241, 25, 56, .292 OBP, 95 K's, 316 AB's.

Healthy Thames has more power than an injured Sheffield. But he gets on base less and strikes out a hell of a lot more. More importantly, Gary is healthy this year, finally. Those numbers are going to get a lot better. And how many times have we tried to trade Thames now? There's a reason no one wants him. He's Rob Deer with a great tan.

"But Rogo, Sheff has sucked this spring. So what if he's healthy?"

Gary's hit .178 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's this spring. Thames has hit .171 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. But, Sheffield has LEAD THE TEAM in OBP this Spring (.387) in guys with at least 45 plate appearances. Only Laird and Granderson have had higher OBP this spring. (.409 and .424) But Gerald has only had 43 plate appearances and Curtis has had 30 in a Tiger uniform. Gary had 58. Yes, he only hit .178. But did he see a friggin' pitch all spring with Magglio, Miguel, Carlos, and Curtis playing WBC ball? No. And he still made it on base 39% of the time with a team leading 13 walks. (Larish was second with 9)

"But Rogo, now we can get Magglio, Carlos, and Cabrera time at DH and play other guys!" What was stopping this before? Was anyone expecting Sheffield to play 162 games this year? Play him 110 games and keep him fresh. Rest Maggs and the other old men the other 52 games. So what if he complains? A healthy, angry Sheffield with something to prove in a contract year would have been great to see in an Old English D. And now we'll have to see it in another uniform.

Gary Sheffield might be a jerk and Marcus Thames might be a saint, but if I'm trying to field the best baseball team possible, I'm going to play the best player I have...not the nicest. Especially if I owe him $14 million whether he plays or not.

Good luck, Gary. At least we can retire #3 now.

Sheff, We Hardly Knew Ye

Bondo and Zoom are on the DL again. Dontrelle's crazy. Nate's Nate. Many sportswriters are picking Detroit to finish last again. Rough start before the season even starts. At least we've still got Gary's #500 to look forward to this year, right?

Nope. Gary's been released. Sheff Haters are high-fiving each other as I write this. My initial thoughts? Not a fan...two reasons.

1) We're on the hook for $14 million. That's a lot of cash to let walk away for nothing. A year ago, if you told me that by next season Pudge and Sheff would be gone and all we'd have to show for it was a couple crappy months of The Farns? I'd be looking for Randy Smith with his hand up a DD puppet.

2) I understand that Gary hasn't been great in Detroit. He's old. He's been hurt. He hasn't hit well. But the man gets on base. He walks a ton. And we haven't had a chance to see him healthy yet, until this year. Along with Cabrera and Maggs, he's the guy other teams wouldn't want to face. Thames, Larish, Josh Anderson, or Super Clete...those guys can't affect a game by just standing in the batter's box like Sheff can.

I hope Larish turns out to be great. And if it's Marcus getting a chance, I wish him well. He's a good guy and I like hearing Rod talk about Marcus' grandmother. But throwing $14 million out the window to find out what we have is a gamble that I wouldn't have taken.

Without Make-up / Funnies / The Asylum Game / End of C.Sense ..

Hi Folks,

Ladies, If this doesn't make your day - nothing will !

I vote for Goldie Hawn's make-up artist. No wonder it takes a whole team of professional make up folk to enable these women look half as good as you do on a normal day. Imagine what their teams could do with the raw material YOU present!

Have a great day and KNOW that YOU are gorgeous inside and out.
And you thought they were natural beauties?

Do not leave small children unattended with dogs!

Please read! If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a 'dangerous breed' category and you also have a small child please take this as a warning..... Don't leave your dog with the child unattended under any circumstances. Only a little moment was enough for the following to happen. See the photo above .....

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam ... on the motorway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What's going on?" "Terrorists have kidnapped Mugabe, Jacob Zuma, Jackie Selebi, Thabo Mbeki and Tony Yengeni. They're asking for a R310 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with petrol and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection." The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving, on
"Ohhhh about a litre."
Good Day and welcome ...... to a brand new edition of 'ASYLUM'. Today's program features another chance to take part in our exciting competition: HIJACK AN AIRLINER and win A COUNCIL HOUSE! We've already given away hundreds of millions of pounds and thousands of dream homes, courtesy of our sponsor, The British Taxpayer. And don't forget, we're now the fastest growing game on the planet. Anyone can play, provided they don't already hold a valid British Passport, and you only need one word of English: 'ASYLUM' Prizes include all-expenses-paid accommodation, cash benefits starting at £180 a week and a chance to earn thousands more begging, mugging and accosting drivers at traffic lights.
This competition is open to everyone buying a ticket or stowing away on one of our partner airlines, ferry companies or Eurostar. No application ever refused -reasonable or unreasonable. All you have to do is destroy all your papers and remember the magic password: 'ASYLUM' A few years ago, 140 members of the Taliban family from Afghanistan were flown Goat Class from Kabul to our international gateway at Stansted where local law enforcement officers were on hand to fast-track them to their luxury £200-a-night rooms in the fabulous four star Hilton Hotel. They joined tens of thousands of other lucky winners already staying in hotels all over Britain ... Our most popular destinations also include the White Cliffs of Dover and the world famous Toddington Services area, in Historic Bedfordshire.
If you still don't understand the rules, don't forget, there's no need to phone a friend or ask the audience Just apply for legal aid. Hundreds of lawyers, social workers and counsellors are waiting to help. It won't cost you a penny. It could change your life forever. So play today. Iraqi terrorists, Afghan dissidents, Albanian gangsters, pro-Pinochet activists, anti-Pinochet activists, Kosovan drug-smugglers, Tamil tigers, bogus Bosnians, Rwandan mass murderers, Somali guerrillas..... COME ON DOWN! Get along to the airport! Get along to the lorry park! Get along to the ferry terminal! Don't stop in Germany or France ! Go straight to Britain And you are: GUARANTEED to be one of tens of thousands of lucky winners in the easiest game on earth. Everyone's a winner, when they play 'ASYLUM' ....

I blogged about this man last week and now he is so fed up and scunnered that he has given up - Is this not absolutely nuts ......

Language ban Postmaster quits ...... A postmaster who refused to serve customers who could not understand English has told how he was "forced out" of his Post Office after a backlash in the community. The postmaster who refused to serve customers who did not speak English has resigned Sri-Lankan-born Deva Kumarasiri said he turned away five people from his Nottingham post office for "wasting time and holding up the queue" by not speaking English.

The 40-year-old father of two, from Carlton, Nottingham, said most people had come out in support of his stance, but a "small minority" launched a petition against him. Now he has quit the Sneinton Boulevard post office at his own request because he was left with no choice, he said. From now on he will be based at a different Post Office in Nottingham, but hopes to move back to his former branch in the future. "I was forced out by a small minority of people who don't want to integrate into society," Mr Kumarasiri said. "I was threatened and Muslim leaders in the community started a petition to get me out, so today I moved at my own request.

"The manager didn't like my policy either and said I lost him a lot of trade, but I only banned five people. If I could I would be out campaigning about this every day, but I have a mortgage to pay, I have to work. "I didn't impose a complete ban, I told people to learn some English or come back with an interpreter. They come back with the right attitude now.

"It is just common sense. If these people are coming into our country they should practice our language and culture. As far as I am concerned, if you can't be British you should go home. This is our country, let's work together to save it because the Government doesn't have the backbone to solve the problem."
A Post Office spokesman said: "We are continuing to monitor the situation."

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.


Still swamped -- until some semblance of freedom returns, some Musil [from notes on 'the novel' in his diary]:

And Robert was exceedingly arrogant. When, yet again, he had read a book without getting anything from it, indeed even when he seemed fated never to find the right way, he was ashamed to confess this to a comrade.

Often he came home, firmly determined to give up reading altogether rather than to read the kind of books he studied up till then -- when he went into his room he was seized by a sense of sadness and pointlessness and, as if to rescue himself, he forced himself down on the chair at his desk to work at his books in the place where he sat as a child.


Still swamped -- until some semblance of freedom returns, some Musil [from notes on 'the novel' in his diary]:

And Robert was exceedingly arrogant. When, yet again, he had read a book without getting anything from it, indeed even when he seemed fated never to find the right way, he was ashamed to confess this to a comrade.

Often he came home, firmly determined to give up reading altogether rather than to read the kind of books he studied up till then -- when he went into his room he was seized by a sense of sadness and pointlessness and, as if to rescue himself, he forced himself down on the chair at his desk to work at his books in the place where he sat as a child.

Wild Night/Wanda's Dishwasher/Senility Prayer / Funnies...

Hi Folks,

A Wild Night At My House ......
Another year has passed and we're all a little older.
Last summer felt hotter and winter seems much colder.
I rack my brain for happy thoughts to put down on my pad,
but lots of things, that come to mind just make me kind of sad.
There was a time not long ago when life was quite a blast.
Now I fully understand about 'Living in the Past'
We used to go to friends homes, baseball games and lunches,
Now we go to therapy, to hospitals and after- funeral brunches.
We used to have hangovers, from parties that were gay.
Now we ask for doggie nags. Come home and take a pill.
We used to travel often to places near and far.
Now we get backaches from riding in the car.
We used to go out shopping for new clothing at the Mall.
But, now we never bother ... All the sizes are too small.
That, my friend is how life is, and now my tale is told ...
So, enjoy each day and live it up. Before you're too damn old !

Wanda's Dishwasher ... just quit working so she called in a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, 'I'll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you a cheque. Oh, by the way don't worry about my dog Spike. He won't bother you.'
'But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!

When the repairman arrived at Wanda's apartment the following day, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen. But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his work. The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling. Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled,
" Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird ! "
To which the parrot replied,
"Get him Spike" .........
"See !!! Men just don't listen " ......

Serenity / Senility ......... Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, 'How old was your husband?' '98,' she replied, 'Two years older than me' 'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented. She responded , 'Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman: 'And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?' the reporter asked. She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.' The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs. I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, New knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, Take 40 different medications that Make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia .. Have poor circulation; Hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.

Another old lady said I can't remember if I'm 89 or 98. I've lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license. I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to Join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, By the time I got my leotards on, the class was over. My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out. It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker. These days about half the stuff In my shopping cart says, ' For fast relief.'

The Senility Prayer ......
Grant me the senility to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Oh - and Always remember ......
You don't stop laughing because you grow old,
You grow old because you stop laughing ......

and a last wee funny ...
Did you hear what happened to Angus Broon from Glasgow?

Angus Broon of Glasgow comes to the little lady of the house exclaiming 'Maggie, cud ya be sewin on a wee button thats come off of me fly I canny button me pants.' 'Oh Angus...I've got me hands in the dishpan, go up the stairs and see if Mrs. MacDonald could be helpin ya with it' . About 5 minutes later there's a terrible crash, a bang, a bit of yelling and the sound of a body falling down the stairs. Walking back in the door with a blackening eye and a bloody nose comes Angus.

The little lady looks at him and says 'My God, what in Hells name happened to you? Did you ask her like I told you?' 'Aye' says Angus.. 'I asked her to sew on the wee button an she did, everything was goin fine but when she bent doon to bite off the wee thread..... Mr. MacDonald walked in!

Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love, Kate xxx.

DD's Mistake Kills The Pen

Rotoworld points this out to me. In yesterday's game, Fernando Rodney blew a two-run lead in the eighth and Brandon Lyon gave up a run to lose it in the ninth. Now, if the pen keeps pouring gas of the fire this year like it did last year, they point out the huge extensions that were given to Nate and Dontrelle after crappy 2007 seasons by our friend, Double D. $7 million to Nate and $10 to Dontrelle this year alone...for what? Looking like crap? Imagine who we could have gone after for the pen with that money. Instead, we have dumb and dumber (with a crooked hat) anchoring our pen. Combined, they have given up 19 runs (13 earned) and 28 hits in just 17 innings this spring. Again...what could we have done with that money?

Instead, this is what Nate is doing with his "hard earned" money.

Yes...I know this is nothing new. I just wanted an excuse to show this ridiculous photo. Thanks to Derek for sending it to me.

I hate this team...

Cartoons / Funnies / Speed Cameras / Real 911 Calls...

Hi Folks,

" F R O G " We all need one !
Isn't the little green guy sort of cute?

I was told a story about a lady in the hospital who was near death when an area Chaplain came to visit her. This Chaplain was a very young female with long blond hair. She listened to the lady who was ill and left her a small gift for comfort. It was a tiny ceramic frog. The next day one of the people from the lady's church came to visit. The lady told her friend about the beautiful young Chaplain who had come to visit her. The friend was so impressed with the way the lady had improved and felt the need to talk to the young Chaplain.

In her search to find the young gal, she was repeatedly reassured that the chaplains are never very young and that there was never a gal that fit the description given. Upon returning to the lady in the hospital, a visiting nurse entered the room and noticed the ceramic frog. The nurse made the comment "I see you have a guardian angel with you." As she held the little frog. We asked why she made the comment and we were informed that the frog stood for:

FUNNIES ......... A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal, its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, "When I get to heaven, I will ask Jonah."
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?" The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

(2) A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

(3) A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honour" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy, the oldest of a family, answered, "Thou shall not kill."

(4) The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. "Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor'."A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

(5) A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face." "Yes," the class said. "Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position, the blood doesn't run into my feet?" A little fellow shouted, "Cause your feet ain't empty."

(6) The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching." Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Information on Speed Cameras ...... I thought you might be interested to know that following the UK Government's freedom of information act you can now get access to ALL
speed camera offences registered in the last 12 months. Did you know that every time your car goes past a speed camera, even 1mph over the set limit, it is registered and put on a database? You only get a ticket if you are way over the limit or, (this is the bit that I didn't know) if you receive over 10 near misses, you will be classed as a serial offender and get a ticket the next time you go just over the limit.This is why you hear of people being done for 34mph in a 30mph limit area, whilst others doing 39 do not. You can check what has been registered against your vehicle at the following web address: Just enter your car registration. If there is any data on your vehicle you can click on the camera window to see a copy of the photograph.

Hope it's useful. If the link doesn't work just put " <> " in Google.

These are Nashville, TN's Real 911 Calls ...

(1) Dispatcher : 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown house on the corner.
Dispatcher: Do you have an address?
Caller: No, I have on a blouse and slacks, why?

(2) Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller : Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich .
Dispatcher : Excuse me?
Caller : I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.
Dispatcher : Was anything else taken?
Caller : No, but this has happened to me before and I'm sick and tired of it!

(3) Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I'm trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn't have an eleven on it.
Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one
Dispatcher: Yes, ma'am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I'm not stupid.

My Personal Favourite ......

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What's the nature of your emergency?
Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart
Dispatcher: Is this her first child?
Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband!

And the winner is ......

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What's the nature of your emergency ?
Caller: Yeah, I'm having trouble breathing. I'm all out of breath. Darn....I think I'm going to pass out.
Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?
Caller: I'm at a pay phone. North and Foster.
Dispatcher: Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic?
Caller: No
Dispatcher: What were you doing before you started having trouble breathing?Caller: Running from the Police.

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and Heather, Love Kate xxx.

3 Pigs/Disturbed Peoples Day/Stud Rooster/Credit Card Scam..

Hi Folks ......

The Three Little Pigs ...... This proves how fascinating the mind of a six year old is. They think so logically. A teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where first pig was trying to gather the building materials for his home. She read. 'And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said: 'Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?' The teacher paused then asked the class: 'And what do you think the man said?' One little boy raised his hand and said very matter-of-factly ...... " I think the man would have said - Well I'll be ' jiggered ' a talking pig !" The teacher had to leave the room ......

It's International Disturbed Peoples Day ...... So please send an encouraging message to a disturbed friend... just as I've done. I don't care if you lick windows, take the special bus or occasionally pee on yourself.. You hang in there sunshine, you're special Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Today's Message of the Day is: Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.

The Stud Rooster ...... A farmer went out one day and bought a brand new stud rooster for his chicken coop. The new rooster struts over to the old rooster and says, 'OK old fart, time for you to retire.' The old rooster replies, 'Come on, surely you cannot handle ALL of these chickens. Look what it has done to me Can't you just let me have the two old hens over in the corner?' The young rooster says, 'Beat it: You are washed up And I am taking over.' The old rooster says, 'I tell you what, young stud. I will race you around the farmhouse. Whoever wins gets the exclusive domain over the entire chicken coop.' The young rooster l aughs. 'You know you don't stand a chance, old man. So, just to be fair, I will give you a head start.' The old rooster takes off running. About 15 seconds later the young rooster takes off running after him. They round the front porch of the farmhouse and the young rooster has closed the gap.
He is only about 5 feet behind the old rooster and gaining fast.. The farmer, meanwhile, is sitting in his usual spot on the front porch When he sees the roosters running by. The Old Rooster is squalking And running as hard as he can. The Farmer grabs his shotgun and- BOOM - He blows the young rooster to bits. The farmer sadly shakes his head and says, 'Dammit.....Third gay rooster I bought this month.'

Moral of this Story? .... Don't mess with the OLD FARTS -
Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery Always overcome youth and arrogance!
Watch your Credit Cards ......
Scene 1 : People sure stay busy trying to cheat us, don't they? A friend went to the local gym and placed his belongings in the locker. After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker open, and thought to himself, 'Funny, I thought I locked the locker. ? Hmm, ?' He dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure all was in order. Everything looked okay - all cards were in place. A few weeks later his credit card bill came - a whooping bill of $14,000! He called the credit card company and started yelling at them, saying that he did not make the transactions. Customer care personnel verified that there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been stolen. ? 'No,' he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit card, and yep - you guessed it - a switch had been made. ?

An expired similar credit card from the same bank was in the wallet. The thief broke into his locker at the gym and switched cards. Verdict: The credit card issuer said since he did not report the card missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them. How much did he have to pay for items he did not buy? $9,000! Why were there no calls made to verify the amount swiped? Small amounts rarely trigger a 'warning bell' with some credit card companies. It just so happens that all the small amounts added up to big one!

Scene 2 : A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card. The bill for the meal came, he signed it and the waitress folded the receipt and passed the credit card along. Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket. ? Funny enough, though, he actually took a look at the card and, lo and behold, it was the expired card of another person. He called the waitress and she looked perplexed. She took it back, apologized, and hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of the man. All the waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong expired card to the counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked down and took out the real card. No exchange of words --- nothing! She took it and came back to the man with an apology. Verdict: Make sure the credit cards in your wallet are yours. Check the name on the card every time you sign for something and/or the card is taken away for even a short period of time. Many people just take back the credit card without even looking at it, 'assuming' that it has to be theirs.


Scene 3 : Yesterday I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order that I had called in. I paid by using my Visa Check Card which, of course, is linked directly to my checking account. The young man behind the counter took my card, swiped it, then laid it on the counter as he waited for the approval, which is pretty standard procedure.. While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started dialing. I noticed the phone because it is the same model I have, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then I heard a click that sounded like my phone sounds when I take a picture. He then gave me back my card but kept the phone in his hand as if he was still pressing buttons..

Meanwhile, I'm thinking: I wonder what he is taking a picture of, oblivious to what was really going on. It then dawned on me: the only thing there was my credit card, so now I'm paying close attention to what he is doing. He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open. About five seconds later, I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been saved. Now I'm standing there struggling with the fact that this boy just took a picture of my credit card. Yes, he played it off well, because had we not had the same kind of phone, I probably would never have known what happened. Needless to say, I immediately canceled that card as I was walking out of the pizza parlor. All I am saying is, be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Whenever you are using your credit card take caution and don't be careless. Notice who is standing near you and what they are doing when you use your card. Be aware of phones, because many have a camera phone these days.

SO JUST BE AWARE ! Never let your card out of your sight..... check and check again!

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Maxine / Family Court Joke / Dad's Blessings / Little Girl in the Pink Dress..

Hi There,

I'm typing tonight's blog after having spent the day with my sister and my friend who is lucky enough to 'still' live in Helensburgh. Sis and I, accompanied by the usual addition of my credit card in hand left home this morning early to have a day away from home (Chinese lunch) and to have a wander round the shops afterwards. We also had the chance to inhale the salty fresh air of the sea-side town. So tonight, I'm feeling relaxed, renewed and ready to face whatever the next few weeks have in store.

It's amazing how much a day away there can re-charge the batteries, I do sooo wish I still lived there now and hate to leave after having visited though no doubt I'll be heading down the road in another few weeks to visit again - but it's not quite the same as being able to see, hear and smell the sea every day.

Right ......... now back to this blog entry, as anyone who reads my blog knows by now, I love stories with a message and if they have a heartwarming soppy theme then that's even better . So have a look-see and enjoy these - the first one is a funny, so no hankies will be needed - well not for that one anyway......... enjoy !

How people get to Family Court ...... A husband walks into Victoria's Secret to purchase a sheer negligee for his wife. He is shown several possibilities that range from $250 to $500 in price -- the more sheer, the higher the price. Naturally, he opts for the most sheer item, pays the $500, and takes it home. He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him. Upstairs the wife thinks (she's no dummy ), 'I have an idea. It's so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won't put it on, but I'll do the modelling naked, return it tomorrow, and keep the $500 refund for myself. ' She appears naked on the balcony and strikes a pose.The husband says, 'Good Grief! You'd think for $500, they'd at least iron it!' He never heard the shot. Funeral on Thursday at Noon. - Closed coffin. UH OHHHH!!!

Dad's Blessings ...... A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said "With all your money, you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make any arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he did, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL ...... How often do we miss something wonderful because they do not arrive in the way we expect ?

The Little Girl in the Pink Dress ...... There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak. She never said a word. Many people passed by her, but no one would stop. The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was yesterday, and still with the same sad look in her eyes. Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone.
As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl's dress was grotesquely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to speak to her.As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped-over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK; I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, "Hello." The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a "hi," after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back.We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me with a sad face said, "Because I'm different." I immediately said, "That you are!" and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder and said, "I know." "Little girl," I said, "you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent."
She looked at me and smiled, then slowly she got to her feet and said, "Really?" "Yes, you're like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all those people walking by." She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she opened the back of her pink dress and allowed her wings to spread, then she said "I am - I'm your Guardian Angel," with a twinkle in her eye. I was speechless -- sure I was seeing things.She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done."I got to my feet and said, "Wait, why did no one stop to help an angel?" She looked at me, smiled, and said, "You are the only one that could see me," and then she was gone. And with that, my life was changed dramatically.
So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and Heather, Love Kate xxx.

George Kell 1922-2009

George Kell Pictures, Images and Photos

Normally, I'd leave an obituary-type piece to someone more qualified and stick to my usual brand of poop-joke-humor, but without George Kell, who died in his sleep last night, I'm not sure that I would be the baseball fan that I am today.

Kell was a ten time All-Star that despite his close association with the Tigers, only played for them from '47-'52. He started with the Philadelphia A's from '43-'46, went to Boston after Detroit from '52-'54, next went to the White Sox from '54-'56, and ended in Baltimore from '56-'57. He hit over .300 nine times and retired with a lifetime batting average of .306 with 78 homers, 870 RBI's, and 2054 hits. In 1949, Kell denied Ted Williams his third Triple Crown by barely taking the batting title the last week of the season at .343. Late in his career, he took a liner to the face off the bat of Joe DiMaggio that broke his jaw. Kell said about it, "I got up, made the play at third, then passed out." That's a ballplayer. George was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983 by the Veteran's Committee.

After his playing career, Kell became a broadcaster, and that's where in 1985 a fat 8 year old kid in Toledo, OH with the attention span of a gnat discovered him and the Detroit Tigers on his television one day. Kell, I guess, wasn't what you'd call a great play-by-play man like Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, Jon Miller, or whatever, but he had a down-home charm that I can't really explain when he called a game. He and Al Kaline educated me to the game and I truly came to love baseball and the Tigers listening to them call the action. When he retired some years back, listening to a game just wasn't, and still isn't, the same to me.

Thank you, George Kell. You were one of a kind.

How to stay young / OOOppps../ Learning English ..

Hi Folks,

We all need to read this over and over until it becomes part of who we are ...

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
1. Try everything twice. On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph: "Tried everything twice…loved it both times!"
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)
3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!
4. Enjoy the simple things......
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it.. If it is unstable, improve it.. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is...
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. I love you, my special friends..
11. Forgive now those who made you cry.

Remember! Lost time can never be found.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
How to Load a Boat onto a Ute......

1. Load up beer, 2-3 ice chests full
2. Relax, have beer.
3. Hook boat trailer up to Ute
4. Drink lots of beer
5. Drive real fast
6. Hit light pole (needs to be a solid one)
7. Boat will load itself onto Ute.
8. Relax, have another beer.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Is it any wonder why its so hard to learn English..
You think English is easy? Have a decco at this...

Read to the end . . . a new twist
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce .
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present .
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10 ) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row ..
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a 'crazy' language.

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ? You lovers of the English language might enjoy this . There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.' It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ? We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP ! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP..When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, is time to shut UP!
Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
Oh . . . one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night? U-P...........

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Pretend This Dog is a Marlin

...and you'll know how today's Spring Training game went. I've never even heard of a Spring Training no-hitter.

Two positives...

1) At least it was our B-Squad.
2) Verlander, Rincon, and Williamson looked good again.

'Til our next adventure...

The Emperor and the Seed / Rescue at Sea / No Difference...

There ya go I did it with a little help from me friends !!

Hi Folks,
This is more of these inspirational stories I love - Enjoy !

The Emperor and the Seed ...... Once there was an emperor in the Far East who was growing old and knew it was coming time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or one of his own children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It has come time for me to step down and to choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom!"
There was one boy named Ling who was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing. By now others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot, and to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the others laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try." When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

Rescue at Sea ...... Years ago, in a small fishing village in Holland, a young boy taught the world about the rewards of unselfish service. Because the entire village revolved around the fishing industry, a volunteer rescue team was needed in cases of emergency. One night the winds raged, the clouds burst and a gale force storm capsized a fishing boat at sea. Stranded and in trouble, the crew sent out the S.O.S. The captain of the rescue rowboat team sounded the alarm and the villagers assembled in the town square overlooking the bay. While the team launched their rowboat and fought their way through the wild waves, the villagers waited restlessly on the beach, holding lanterns to light the way back.
An hour later, the rescue boat reappeared through the fog and the cheering villagers ran to greet them. Falling exhausted on the sand, the volunteers reported that the rescue boat could not hold any more passengers and they had to leave one man behind. Even one more passenger would have surely capsized the rescue boat and all would have been lost. Frantically, the captain called for another volunteer team to go after the lone survivor. Sixteen-year-old Hans stepped forward. His mother grabbed his arm, pleading, "Please don’t go. Your father died in a shipwreck 10 years ago and your older brother, Paul, has been lost at sea for three weeks. Hans, you are all I have left." Hans replied, "Mother, I have to go. What if everyone said, ‘I can’t go, let someone else do it?’ Mother, this time I have to do my duty. When the call for service comes, we all need to take our turn and do our part." Hans kissed his mother, joined the team and disappeared into the night.
Another hour passed, which seemed to Hans’ mother like an eternity. Finally, the rescue boat darted through the fog with Hans standing up in the bow. Cupping his hands, the captain called, "Did you find the lost man?" Barely able to contain himself, Hans excitedly yelled back, "Yes, we found him. Tell my mother it’s my older brother, Paul!"

No Difference ...
Small as a peanut, Big as a giant,
We're all the same size When we turn off the light.
Rich as a sultan, Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same When we turn off the light.
Red, black or orange,Yellow or white,
We all look the sameWhen we turn off the light.
So maybe the wayTo make everything right
Is for God to just reach out And turn off the light!

Shel Silverstein.

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.


[van der Weyden - Portrait of a Lady]

I'm continuing on in my series of posts on Women, Beauty and Love -- many of these thoughts have been born in the interstices of conversations, in moments between steps on my walk home, in moments in the darkness of night, trying to fall asleep and yet also trying, for the first time to see this mess I've discovered -- a mess which perpetuates the worst sort of dualism between mind and body, a mess which perpetuates 'battles' of the sexes and confusion both in relationships and in identities, a mess which makes people long to consume abstract things because they cannot find the nourishment they actually lack, a mess which turns external 'controllable' uncontrollables into a currency by which value is determined and traded for -- a mess I cannot help but see all around me.

I'm going to first look at a way of understanding the dangers of the longevity of the classical myths of beauty and love -- a brief foray into theories of identity-formation as a process in narrative-formation and role-creation -- then on to the contemporary Beauty Myth and its persistence, and finally where we might go from here. I'm not sure when these installments will come out, but that's what to expect.


[van der Weyden - Portrait of a Lady]

I'm continuing on in my series of posts on Women, Beauty and Love -- many of these thoughts have been born in the interstices of conversations, in moments between steps on my walk home, in moments in the darkness of night, trying to fall asleep and yet also trying, for the first time to see this mess I've discovered -- a mess which perpetuates the worst sort of dualism between mind and body, a mess which perpetuates 'battles' of the sexes and confusion both in relationships and in identities, a mess which makes people long to consume abstract things because they cannot find the nourishment they actually lack, a mess which turns external 'controllable' uncontrollables into a currency by which value is determined and traded for -- a mess I cannot help but see all around me.

I'm going to first look at a way of understanding the dangers of the longevity of the classical myths of beauty and love -- a brief foray into theories of identity-formation as a process in narrative-formation and role-creation -- then on to the contemporary Beauty Myth and its persistence, and finally where we might go from here. I'm not sure when these installments will come out, but that's what to expect.

Another Nate Article

From the must-be-getting-bored-again-writer, Jason Beck at the Tigers site the other day...

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers asked Nate Robertson to pitch more left-handed, as they put it.

No kidding. He's been throwing right handed? That would explain why he sucks so bad! Silly Nate!

Taking a few examples from prototypical lefty Kenny Rogers was a pretty good place to start.

Ahh, but which lesson? Pushing a cameraman? Pitching with tar on his hand? No...sadly it's the one where you keep pitching when you have nothing left in the tank.

"Maybe I'm learning about what you do after you throw a thousand innings in the big leagues," Robertson said.

What's that, Nate? Become the worst starting pitcher in the majors?

Statistically, Robertson picked up where he left off from his last outing by tossing four more scoreless innings, scattering two singles on Friday against the Nationals.

Yet, realistically, he was pitching against the friggin' Nationals. The Nats who have one good hitter, Adam Dunn, and he's in the WBC. His last outing was against the Astros, whose hitting this Spring has resembled that of my last place finishing Little League team that I was on when I was 10.

From a pitching standpoint, however, it was a little different performance.

Not an abortion of an outing for once?

He was still the aggressive Robertson, but he mixed his mode of attack from inside to outside and back. He mixed his pitches and sequences in a way that kept the Nationals tentative, rarely squaring up a ball that came out of his left hand.

Almost like a REAL pitcher!

The results seemed more like Robertson circa 2004 or 2005. He struck out five Nationals, three of them on called third strikes, and walked one batter when he couldn't finish off Elijah Dukes with a 1-2 count in his final inning.

In 2004, he was 12-10 with a 4.90 ERA. In 2005, he was 7-16 (!!!) with a 4.48 ERA. Why bring up those years, Jason, when you're trying to make him look good? Next time, use 2006...the only year he hasn't been a trainwreck.

Those four innings required just 52 pitches, low enough that manager Jim Leyland sent him out to the bullpen to throw 10 more pitches and finish out his afternoon rather than start him into the fifth.

Way to not push your luck, Jimbo. Next time, make him throw 5 more pitches followed by a half hour of pilates!

"I sure as heck had a lot left in the tank," Robertson said.

Nate followed with such dated gems as "Golly, gee!", "I tell ya, I love these fellas!", and "Well, that was a sure sticky situation! Ha, ha ha ha...". "Sure as heck"? Ugh...I hate this team. Higgy would have punched him in the crotch if he were still around.

Leyland essentially said afterwards that Robertson's success was legitimate.

Leyland also thinks 3 packs of Marlboro Reds a day keeps the doctor away.

"You can throw badly and still get good results," Leyland said. "Today he threw real good and had good results."

I did a post the other day about old Sparky Anderson quotes. There will be no Jim Leyland words of wisdom posted on this site anytime soon.

At least 15 of Robertson's strikes were called, six of them on the first pitch of the at-bat among the 14 batters he faced. Three others made contact on the first pitch and flew out. That meant a lot of working ahead in the count for Robertson.

Working ahead. Who'd a thunk it? Now if only that idiot Verlander was maybe watching...

Once he got ahead, he put some of his lefty thinking to work, mixing up his locations rather than simply pounding hitters inside.

Lefty thinking. As opposed to righty reacting? What? Does Randy Johnson do lefty thinking? Beck's hitting the pipe...I'm sure of it.

"I've been a guy in the past that's worked inside a lot," Robertson said. "But when you can open up the inside by showing them what you're going to do away, then you can make it relatively easy. I was able to just come in and get back out there, come in and get back out, and throw a slider off of it from time to time."

No, Nate, you've been a guy that leaves mistake after mistake over the plate and they get hammered 400+ feet into the upper decks of stadiums across the country. If you could hit the inside corner with any consistancy, we wouldn't be having this "exciting" 5th starter battle.

Robertson struck out the side in the opening inning, including two batters after Nick Johnson's double put a potential early run in scoring position for Washington. Ryan Zimmerman took three strikes, including a four-seamer inside for the second out, before Dukes went down swinging on a slider.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be a Nats fan when Nate Robertson makes you look bad at the plate? Wait...Nats...Nate. Oh. That's funny.

When the Nationals lineup came back around in the third, Robertson put up back-to-back called third strikes on Lastings Milledge and Johnson. Against Johnson in particular, Robertson adjusted from throwing the fastball that resulted in a first-inning double down the right-field line. Once Robertson put Johnson in an 0-2 count, he threw back-to-back sliders and got him looking.

Mixing up pitches. Again. Almost like a real pitcher. God bless Gerald Laird and Rick Knapp. If they pull off this miracle...oh, by the way, even though he's terrible, Lastings Milledge has the coolest name in baseball. Even better than Elijah Dukes.

If that seems more like another Tigers left-hander, it isn't coincidence. After pitching coach Rick Knapp talked to Robertson about more of a typical left-hander's approach, Robertson gave Rogers a call earlier this week.

Kenny proceded to yell at Nate for twenty minutes about ruining naptime after Matlock and giving 40+ year old pitchers a bad name by being compared to them by scouts.

More than simply a discussion of pitching, though, Robertson talked with Rogers about the challenge of competing for a job in camp as a veteran.

"Here's a guy that's found his way for many years," Robertson said. "His encouragement to me was just if you have confidence in knowing that you can go out there and get outs, and you've got the opportunity in the first place, that's all you can ask for."

Good idea, Nate. Ask the 2nd worst starter in the majors last how he did it. Plus, you're like 10 years younger than him.

In past years, Robertson could work on a pitch or an approach without having to worry about the results, since his rotation spot was safe. Now, he doesn't have that luxury, and back-to-back solid outings probably isn't going to decide anything yet.

What about last year? When he was moved to the bullpen? And with his contract, he's guaranteed a spot. Plus, all he has to do is outpitch Dontrelle "I'll take 3 Big Macs, 2 large fries, and a Diet Coke" Willis for the starting job.

"The fact of the matter is, the plane's flying out of here in less than two weeks, and here we are," Robertson said. "There's no answers yet. I know that at least my luggage will go back to Detroit. I have a home there."

Or if they really want to make a point, Toledo's only a 45 minute drive from there. I'd love to see you at 5/3 Field, Nate. Plus, AAA hitters are only a little bit better than the Nationals. You'd do well.

That said, his performances over the past week surely help his chances. Among the starting pitching candidates not named Rick Porcello, Robertson has by far the strongest stats. Since Angel Berroa hit a three-run homer off of him in a wild two-inning stint against the Yankees on March 8, Robertson has a seven-inning scoreless streak going with three hits and a walk and six strikeouts.

(cough) AstrosandNationals. Bigf'ndeal. (cough)

Leyland said Thursday that he's free to talk with players if they're worried about their status, but he doesn't have a whole lot that he can say. Robertson isn't likely to do that. If he had a confidence dip towards the end of last season, it isn't apparent now. He said after his last outing that he saw this as his job to lose, and he carried himself like someone who wanted to take the job now.

I'm better than Willis or Miner. Wheeee! C'mon, how much can Pedro really be wanting? Give him an incentive deal, Double D!

"To me, the confidence is there that I can pitch," he said. "I'm going to be successful at this level. In my mind, I know that I can do that.

I'm good enough, smart enough, and doggonnit, people like me.

Finding the strike zone wasn't necessarily the problem last year.

Yes it was. That or throwing it right down the middle at 87 mph.

It was when the ball [was] in the strike zone, what the ball was doing.

Leaving the park?

When those guys are swinging and missing like that, they're not recognizing pitches, then I'm getting my stuff back to where I want to be."

That...or you're playing the Nationals.

The Story of a Mothers Day/The Making of a Mother/Love,Time...

Happy Mother's Day ......

Hi Folks,

As it's Mothering Sunday tomorrow and I found some typically soppy pieces of writing today on the 'net I just had to publish them here - I have no doubt that a few tissues will come in handy during the reading of them for folk who are as soft-hearted as me, so I'll just say - "Have a look and enjoy the stories as much as I did and have a very Happy Mother's Day! "

The Story of a Mothers Day ... A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the Kerb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother.But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars." The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose."He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers. As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother." She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.The man returned to the flower shop, cancelled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.

The Making of a Mother ... By the time the Lord made mothers, He was into the sixth day working overtime. An Angel appeared and said "Why are you spending so much time on this one?" And the Lord answered and said, "Have you read the spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not elastic; have 200 movable parts, all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up; have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart; and have six pairs of hands." The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. "Six pairs of hands! No way!" said the Angel. The Lord replied, "Oh, it's not the hands that are the problem. It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!" "And that's on the standard model?" the Angel asked. The Lord nodded in agreement, "Yep, one pair of eyes are to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head are to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair are here in the front of her head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a single word." The Angel tried to stop the Lord "This is too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish." "But I can't!" The Lord protested, "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand in the shower." The Angel moved closer and touched the woman, "But you have made her so soft, Lord." "She is soft," the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.""Will she be able to think?" asked the Angel. The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason, and negotiate."The Angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like You have a leak with this model. I told You that You were trying to put too much into this one.""That's not a leak." the Lord objected. "That's a tear!" "What's the tear for?" the Angel asked. The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her disappointment, her pain, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride." The Angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything for this one. You even created the tear!"The Lord looked at the Angel and smiled and said, "I'm afraid you are wrong again. I created the woman, but she created the tear!"

Love and Time... Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered. Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you." "Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself! "Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her. Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who Helped me?" "It was Time," Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?" Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

You Know I Can't Resist This One...

Big, BIG, thanks to Stephanie for this. Nice job.

Anyhoo, Jayson Stark reports that an unnamed AL Scout says that Nate "pitches like he's 40 years old. No life whatsoever. His stuff has gone backward across the board."

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever, EVER heard.

Nate does not pitch like he's 40. Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson, Kenny Rogers in '06, Greg Maddux, that juicehead Clemens, etc. Those guys were/are 40+ and pitch(ed) great.

Nate pitches like he's at least 50. And crippled. And blind. I blame the pilates.

I'm rooting for Dontrelle or Miner...

...and Timo.

Salute the Danish Flag Article ??

Hi Folks,

My whole blog today is from something I received in an email recently - It is something completely different from my usual - but when I read it I thought it made some some very interesting points and sounds a fair minded intelligent article ..... but there again I am a bit of a dimwit where intelligent comments are concerned. I'm offering it here so that others can have a read and decide whether or not the points made are valid.

Salute the Danish Flag - it's a Symbol of Western Freedom By Susan MacAllen .
Susan MacAllen is a contributing editor for ( ) , South Africa
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
In 1978-9 I was living and studying in Denmark. But in 1978 - even in Copenhagen , one didn't see Muslim immigrants. The Danish population embraced visitors, celebrated the exotic, went out of its way to protect each of its citizens. It was proud of its new brand of socialist liberalism one in development since the conservatives had lost power in 1929 - a system where no worker had to struggle to survive, where one ultimately could count upon the state as in, perhaps, no other western nation at the time.

The rest of Europe saw the Scandinavians as free-thinking, progressive and infinitely generous in their welfare policies. Denmark boasted low crime rates, devotion to the environment, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism. Denmark was also most generous in its immigration policies - it offered the best welcome in Europe to the new immigrant: generous welfare payments from first arrival plus additional perks in transportation, housing and education. It was determined to set a world example for inclusiveness and multiculturalism. How could it have predicted that one day in 2005 a series of political cartoons in a newspaper would spark violence that would leave dozens dead in the streets -all because its commitment to multiculturalism would come back to bite?

By the 1990's the growing urban Muslim population was obvious - and its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society was obvious. Years of immigrants had settled into Muslim-exclusive enclaves. As the Muslim leadership became more vocal about what they considered the decadence of Denmark's liberal way of life, the Danes - once so welcoming - began to feel slighted. Many Danes had begun to see Islam as incompatible with their long-standing values: belief in personal liberty and free speech, in equality for women, in tolerance for other ran an article by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard, in which they forecasted accurately that the growing immigrant problem in Denmark would explode.

In the article they reported : "Muslim immigrants constitute 5 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending." "Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark's 5.4 million people but make up a majority of the country's convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims arenon-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes." "Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less to mix with the indigenous population. A recent survey finds that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane." "Forced marriages -promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death - are one problem"

"Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark's Muslim population grows large enough - a not-that-remote prospect. If present trends persist, one sociologist estimates, every third inhabitant of Denmark in 40 years will be Muslim." It is easy to understand why a growing number of Danes would feel that Muslim immigrants show little respect for Danish values and laws. An example is the phenomenon common to other European countries and the U.S : some Muslims in Denmark who opted to leave the Muslim faith have been murdered in the name of Islam, while others hide in fear for their lives. Jews are also threatened and harassed openly by Muslim leaders in Denmark, a country where once Christian citizens worked to smuggle out nearly all of their 7,000 Jews by night to Sweden - before the Nazis could invade.

I think of my Danish friend Elsa - who as a teenager had dreaded crossing the street to the bakery every morning under the eyes of occupying Nazi soldiers - and I wonder what she would say today. In 2001, Denmark elected the most conservative government in some 70 years - one that had some decidedly non-generous ideas about liberal unfettered immigration. Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe. ( Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of "racism" by liberal media across Europe - even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.)

If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark 's history, culture, and a Danish language test. You must live in Denmark for 7 years before applying for citizenship. You must demonstrate an intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark, you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won't find it so easy anymore to move your friends and family toDenmark with you. You will not be allowed to build a mosque in Copenhagen. Although your children have a choice of some 30 Arabic culture and language schools in Denmark, they will be strongly encouraged to assimilate to Danish society in ways that past immigrants weren't.

In 2006, the Danish minister for employment, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, spoke publicly of the burden of Muslim immigrants on the Danish welfare system, and it was horrifying: the government's welfare committee had calculated that if immigration from Third World countries were blocked, 75 percent of the cuts needed to sustain the huge welfare system in comin g decades would be unnecessary. In other words, the welfare system as it existed was being exploited by immigrants to the point of eventually bankrupting the government.

"We are simply forced to adopt a new policy on immigration. The calculations of the welfare committee are terrifying and show how unsuccessful the integration of immigrants has been up to now," he said. A large thorn in the side of Denmark's imams is the Minister of Immigratio n and Integration, Rikke Hvilshoj. She makes no bones about the new policy toward immigration, "The number of foreigners coming to the country makes a difference," Hvilsh? ys, "There is an inverse correlation between how many come here and how well we can receive the foreigners that come." And on Muslim immigrants needing to demonstrate a willingness to blend in, "In my view, Denmark should be a country with room for different cultures and religions. Some values, however, are more important than others. We refuse to question democracy, equal rights, and freedom of speech."

Hvilshoj has paid a price for her show of backbone. Perhaps to test her resolve, the leading radical imam in Denmark , Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, demanded that the government pay blood money to the family of a Muslim who was murdered in a suburb of Copenhagen, stating that the family's thirst for revenge could be thwarted for money. When Hvilshoj dismissed his demand, he argued that in Muslim culture the payment of retribution money was common, to which Hvilshoj replied that what is done in a Muslim country is not necessarily what is done in Denmark.

The Muslim reply came soon after her house was torched while she, her husband and children slept. All managed to escape unharmed, but she and her family were moved to a secret location and she and other ministers were assigned bodyguards for the first time - in a country where such murderous violence was once so scarce. Her government has slid to the right, and her borders have tightened. Many believe that what happens in the next decade will determine whether Denmark survives as a bastion of good living, humane thinking and social responsibility , or whether it becomes a nation at civil war with supporters of Sharia law.

Meanwhile, Americans clamour for stricter immigration policies, and demand an end to state welfare programs that allow many immigrants to live on the public dole. As we in America look at the enclaves of Muslims amongst us, and see those who enter our shores too easily, dare live on our taxes, yet refuse to embrace our culture, respect our traditions, participate in our legal system, obey our laws, speak our language, appreciate our history we would do well to look to Denmark, and say a prayer for her future and for your own..

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

P.S. I can only speak as an ancient brain addled Scotswoman who looks on at her country and can see what's happening to it - but even I, as a dimwit can see how folk are ruining and taking advantage of the "Social Services" we are lucky enough to enjoy here..... I'm not so dumb or stupid as to think that it's only Muslims who are the baddies of the day ... I'm well aware that loads of others are taking the pi** too! If we're to survive and 'have a ruddy future' we sure need another Obama or Rudd and as sure as God made apples there ain't many of them about !!

Love K. x.