This Just In: Justin Verlander Thows a Lot of Pitches


I haven’t messed with a Lynn Henning article in a while. Here’s one on Justin Verlander’s high pitch counts. Let’s give it a go.

Arms are not the most interesting of a big-league pitcher's weapons.

Don’t believe him? Ask the folks that worked for Ugueth Urbina.

More absorbing are their brains, which is why it seemed important to visit Justin Verlander's locker in the Tigers clubhouse Wednesday.

“Justin! Lynn Henning from the News. I have important things to discuss. I notice your brain seems f-cked up on the mound. Care to comment?”

VERLANDER: (begins sharpening knives)

Just what word would he use to describe his feelings about pitch counts, which has become a thorny issue for the Tigers ace, given that too many pitches have led to too few innings for a 27-year-old strikeout machine?

I’m pretty sure that he would have liked to give you TWO words, Lynn.

What word would he use to summarize Verlander and the matter of pitch counts? Irked? Irritated? Fatigued?

Angry? Irate? Mad? Outraged? Cross? Incensed? Livid? Fuming? Annoyed? Infuriated? Aggravated? Weary? Exhausted? Pooped?

I don’t know about you, kids. But I’m on the edge of my seat for this one. If only I were allowed in THE CLUBHOUSE!

Or, in the case of a sports writer asking him about it for one too many times, maybe Verlander would prefer to use a different self-description: "homicidal."

Oh, in a perfect world, Mr. Henning. In a perfect world.

Happily, he said no to the last choice.

Damn.

"If I could put one word to it," he said, thinking for a few long moments, "maybe overrated."

/counts words

That’s two.

I love you, Justin. As much as a heterosexual smartass can possibly love a baseball player. But methinks you might be right. You are a tad overrated.

Oh, you meant pitch counts are overrated? Please don’t kill me, good sir. Kill Henning! He started this!

The view isn't shared by Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

A few of Jim Leyland’s views:

-Smoking is good for you.
-Leaving your exhausted closer in a ballgame for several innings in the most important game of the season is a good idea.
-Clete Thomas should bat third in a major league baseball game.
-Don Kelly? He likes the cut of his jib.
-He’s often tickled by things.
-Hmmm…Brandon can’t take three steps without falling down and doing the Peter Griffin “ahhh, sssss, ahhh” thing. Let’s start him again.
-Ryan Raburn makes a good defensive substitution in the outfield.
-Need a starter…Brad Thomas. Bingo.

What I’m trying to say here is that Jim Leyland is batsh-t crazy and I’m getting sick of his views on things. Except for when he’s talking about Jason Grilli.

He's in charge of pitchers and their work loads.

Rick Knapp is only around to buy cigarettes and make sure Gerald Laird’s grandpa stays out of the player wives’ section at Comerica Park.

And because the Tigers have $80 million invested in their staff ace, and because the evidence is so persuasive too many pitches over too many innings is asking for arm trouble, Leyland is getting tough, even if he's a bit of a skeptic.

What’s to be skeptical about? Being at 130 pitches in the 5th inning in every outing is not a good idea. No one does this every start. Except Verlander. Eventually that arm is going to explode like it is Carlos Guillen’s leg when he moves faster than a jog.

He will hold Verlander to a strict count, a number he won't publicly discuss, but one you can bet is south of 125.

Crap. Introducing your new closer: Justin Verlander!

"That's just the way it is," Leyland said, saying the undisclosed number is firm "whether it's the seventh, eighth, or fourth inning.

If JV could ever make it to the 7th or 8th inning in 2010, I don’t think we would be having this conversation.

"I'm not a big pitch-count guy," he added, "but it's not gonna happen on my watch."

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Henning? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Verlander, and you curse the coaching staff. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Verlander being pulled, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that dugout, you need me in that dugout. We use words like honor, code, loyalty…and yes, pitch count. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of professional baseball that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a baseball, and try to teach Bonderman a changeup. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Verlander getting hurt, that is.

You can’t handle the truth, Henning! Okay, I’m done.

The Tigers are sticking by an organizational discipline when it comes to pitch counts, whether in the minors or in the majors, and in this view it's the only way to operate. For every Mickey Lolich, who's everyone's gold standard for pitching long innings on little rest, there are countless others whose names you don't know, or didn't get to know well, because they blew out their arms.

In a seedy hotel, somewhere in the Midwest, the homely prostitute long gone at this point, Matt Anderson sits in a bathtub rocking and sobbing quietly to himself.

Leyland acknowledges Verlander probably is a good candidate to do just that, if he's not watched carefully, "because when you throw the way he does, it takes a toll."

Joel Zumaya in a Gary Coleman voice: Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Mr. Leyland?

Verlander's not having an ace-like start to the season, which is hardly news. His record is 1-2 and his ERA is 5.53. More critically, he's started five games, averaging just more than five innings per outing.

Dombrowski facepalm. Willis, Bonderman, and Robertson taught you nothing. (I kid, I approved of the JV deal.)

This is where the tension surfaces.

Catfight?

Leyland's bullpen has been worn down in April.

…in the D. Dammit. I can’t stop now. And it’s still the Good Luck Joe’s in my head. They won't go away. I can’t sleep at night…

Relievers have been throwing almost as many innings as starters. That's disaster waiting to happen, and not only in the win-loss column. Bullpen arms aren't as durable as starters.

Jesse Orosco pitched until he was 75 years old. I think he was durable. And he pitched every day. Countless relievers have had careers of over a decade. Where are we going here?

They don't have the drive-train to pitch long and often.

What? Many pitch multiple days in a row. I’m confused.

The only way to keep the bullpen from exploding is for Leyland's starters to stay in games. But when pitch counts rise, starters are against the ropes. Consequently, relievers can unravel and end up on the disabled list -- or worse.

Traded to Pittsburgh?

After that, it’s basically a bunch of quotes from JV about throwing better pitches. I’m not too concerned about him…yet. Verlander struggled through April last year, too. He’s going to be fine.

It’s the Porcello kid that has me worried. But that’s a smart-ass hack job on another person’s work for another day.

To escape


I have a stack of lovely books awaiting me, but what I wanted to share today was a small passage from Ursula Le Guin's Tales From Earthsea. I have been reading my way through this series (which until now had escaped my notice), as I finish up semester work and set myself up for a quiet summer.

I've written before of my love for the old stories, the well-told stories, myths and fables and magic. I love to drift into those worlds and then stay a while, feeling the strength of my convictions well up inside me -- that it is good to be close to the earth, to live simply, to do good to those around you, to care for growing things, plant and animal, to accept responsibility, to know when silence is best and when to listen. I've always thought that the stories we tell can hold that knowledge -- the knowledge that needs no ornate language, no elaborate explanation -- only the conviction of experience and something else, something deeper that moves away from the one and understands the many.

So I love these new stories and I also loved what Le Guin wrote in preface to them:

All times are changing times, but ours is one of massive, rapid moral and mental transformation. Archetypes turn into millstones, large simplicities get complicated, chaos becomes elegant, and what everybody knows is true turns out to be what some people used to think.

It’s unsettling. For all our delight in the impermanent, the entrancing flicker of electronics, we also long for the unalterable. We cherish the old stories for their changelessness. Arthur dreams eternally in Avalon. Bilbo can go “there and back again,” and “there” is always the beloved familiar Shire. Don Quixote sets out forever to kill a windmill... So people turn to the realms of fantasy for stability, ancient truths, immutable simplicities.

And the mills of capitalism provide them. Supply meets demand. Fantasy becomes a commodity, an industry.

Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivialises. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their action into violence, their actors to dolls, and their truthtelling to sentimental platitudes. Heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great storytellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-coloured plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, replaceable, interchangeable.

What the commodifiers of fantasy count on and exploit is the insuperable imagination of the reader, child or adult, which gives even these dead things life — of a sort, for a while. Imagination like all living things lives now, and it lives with, from, on true change. Like all we do and have, it can be co-opted and degraded; but it survives commercial and didactic exploitation. The land outlasts the empires. The conquerors may leave desert where there was forest and meadow, but the rain will fall, the rivers will run to the sea. The unstable, mutable, untruthful realms of Once-upon-a-time are as much a part of human history and thought as the nations in our kaleidoscopic atlases, and some are more enduring.

We have inhabited both the actual and the imaginary realms for a long time. But we don’t live in either place like our parents or ancestors did. Enchantment alters with age and with the age.

We know a dozen different Arthurs now, all of them true. The shire changes irrevocably even in Bilbo’s lifetime. Don Quixote went riding out to Argentina and met Jorge Luis Borges there. Plus c'est la même chose, plus ça change.

To escape


I have a stack of lovely books awaiting me, but what I wanted to share today was a small passage from Ursula Le Guin's Tales From Earthsea. I have been reading my way through this series (which until now had escaped my notice), as I finish up semester work and set myself up for a quiet summer.

I've written before of my love for the old stories, the well-told stories, myths and fables and magic. I love to drift into those worlds and then stay a while, feeling the strength of my convictions well up inside me -- that it is good to be close to the earth, to live simply, to do good to those around you, to care for growing things, plant and animal, to accept responsibility, to know when silence is best and when to listen. I've always thought that the stories we tell can hold that knowledge -- the knowledge that needs no ornate language, no elaborate explanation -- only the conviction of experience and something else, something deeper that moves away from the one and understands the many.

So I love these new stories and I also loved what Le Guin wrote in preface to them:

All times are changing times, but ours is one of massive, rapid moral and mental transformation. Archetypes turn into millstones, large simplicities get complicated, chaos becomes elegant, and what everybody knows is true turns out to be what some people used to think.

It’s unsettling. For all our delight in the impermanent, the entrancing flicker of electronics, we also long for the unalterable. We cherish the old stories for their changelessness. Arthur dreams eternally in Avalon. Bilbo can go “there and back again,” and “there” is always the beloved familiar Shire. Don Quixote sets out forever to kill a windmill... So people turn to the realms of fantasy for stability, ancient truths, immutable simplicities.

And the mills of capitalism provide them. Supply meets demand. Fantasy becomes a commodity, an industry.

Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivialises. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their action into violence, their actors to dolls, and their truthtelling to sentimental platitudes. Heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great storytellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-coloured plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, replaceable, interchangeable.

What the commodifiers of fantasy count on and exploit is the insuperable imagination of the reader, child or adult, which gives even these dead things life — of a sort, for a while. Imagination like all living things lives now, and it lives with, from, on true change. Like all we do and have, it can be co-opted and degraded; but it survives commercial and didactic exploitation. The land outlasts the empires. The conquerors may leave desert where there was forest and meadow, but the rain will fall, the rivers will run to the sea. The unstable, mutable, untruthful realms of Once-upon-a-time are as much a part of human history and thought as the nations in our kaleidoscopic atlases, and some are more enduring.

We have inhabited both the actual and the imaginary realms for a long time. But we don’t live in either place like our parents or ancestors did. Enchantment alters with age and with the age.

We know a dozen different Arthurs now, all of them true. The shire changes irrevocably even in Bilbo’s lifetime. Don Quixote went riding out to Argentina and met Jorge Luis Borges there. Plus c'est la même chose, plus ça change.

How to Make Showering Awesome Again


Here at Sueeve, we understand that showering can be one of the most boring, shame and confusion-filled parts of your day and we've made it our mission to fix that!  

-- If the mere sight of a loofah sends you into a gender-confusion-driven, psychotic rage, you need the Shower Hammer!


You no longer have to endure the fluffy, girly bullshit of loofahs.  Fuck loofahs.  The Shower Hammer makes you clean with violence!  


-- Another common problem faced by men the world over is that of smelling like something that isn't awesome enough.  We all know that coconut smells great, but have you ever seen a coconut burst into flames from sheer excellence?  No, you haven't.  That's why we've created the most comprehensive collection of badass aromas ever. 



-- If you are driven to psychological meltdown by the sheer variety of hygiene products available to you, you may want to consider our brand new nine-in-one shower companion!  It not only cleans you, conditions you and helps your razor glide smoothly over your face, it also keeps you company, provides a ready source of nutrients should you be stranded in the shower for any length of time and calms your nerves with a homeopathic antidepressant.  It's basically everything you will ever need in one bottle.  


-- Does your razor resemble some sort of contraption from the dark ages?  Do you feel shame and anger every time you try to shave with such primitive technology?  Do you feel that the number of blades on your current razor is entirely inadequate?  Well, guess what?  

LIGHTSPEED 3000!!! The fastest razor with the most blades ever! 


-- If you've ever wished that your showers were more reminiscent of caged death-matches, then you might be interested in our Gladiator Genie Soap!  Gladiator Genie Soap works just like regular soap, but it contains an evil spirit that will attack you mercilessly as soon as it is summoned


When you begin lathering up, the friction you create will summon the genie contained within the soap.  The genie will attempt to crush you with its teeth and/or defeat you with magic.  If you want to survive, you must fight the genie to the death.  

So if you want to turn your showers from a chore into a multi-sensory, life-or-death adventure, be sure to check out Sueeve products at your local grocery

Hmmmm...

Hi There,

Please click to enlarge the article print ...


A lady who owned a Schnauzer found that her dog had a problem with his hearing and took him to see the vet. The vet found that the problem was hair in the dog's ears, so he cleaned both ears, and the dog could then hear fine. The vet told lady that, if she wanted to keep this from recurring, she should go to the chemist and get some 'Nair' hair remover and rub it in the dog's ears once a month. The lady straight away went to the chemist and bought some 'Nair' hair remover.

At the register, the pharmacist told her, "If you're going to use this under your arms, don't use deodorant for a few days." The lady said, "I'm not using it under my arms." The pharmacist said, "If you're using it on your legs, don't shave for a couple of days." The lady replied, "I'm not using it on my legs either. If you must know, I'm using it on my Schnauzer."

The pharmacist says, "In that case you'd better stay off your bicycle for a week."





While wandering through some of the blogs on my 'favourites' list this morning I came across a couple of pictures in 'Rambling Thoughts of Moon' which fairly tickled my fancy - they seemed somehow to 'go together' if you know what I mean.... I wonder what a phsychiatrist would make of that ...... I do know the difference between a gorgeous chocky cake and an elephant seal (honest) but somehow one reminded me of the other. Yeah, I know I'm doolally! Please excuse me and just accept that I'm menopausal so I can't help it ......

Thanks to Rambling Thoughts of Moon for the above seal and cake pictures...



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

Brandon Inge: Special Little Guy


Good God, I love that picture. Dork.

Before I get into my usual snarky mode, let me wish baseball legend Bob Ueker the best as he is facing heart surgery. I love me some Uek.

Okay, nice guy mode off. Jerkface mode on. Here’s a little fluff piece from last week’s Oakland Press. I only wish I would have seen it earlier and before the little bastard hit two homers yesterday and forced me to cheer for him.

Before Jim Leyland, before Dave Dombrowski, before Pudge Rodriguez, before Magglio Ordonez, before Justin Verlander, before Miguel Cabrera, before Johnny Damon, Brandon Inge was here.

You’re right. He has been here WAY too long. Thank Hades his contract is up this year.

He’s been around since 2001, longer than any other Tiger. Remember Mitch Meluskey? There’s no reason why you should. But he was the catcher Brandon unexpectedly replaced.

In 2000, Meluskey hit .300 with 14 homers, 69 RBI, and an OPS+ of 117 for the Astros. He finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Yes, I remember him. I was excited to get him. It didn’t work out. I blame Inge.

When I look at Inge now, I can’t help but remember the scared but smiling kid who suddenly found himself not only in the big leagues but in the Opening Day lineup that spring.

I’d have been scared, too. The immortal Billy McMillon was the opening day DH that year and batted 5th. I’m amazed we didn’t lose 150 games in 2001.

And doesn’t that seem like a lifetime ago?

It’s only been nine years. I haven’t done THAT many drugs over the years. Have you?

Inge has heard the boos.

Ha! He heard me! Awesome.

He has seen the empty seats. He has felt the anguish and despair.

Little known fact: Brandon was one of the founding members of My Chemical Romance. Can anyone with Photoshop make me an Emo Brandon pic?

He was here when the Tigers hit rock bottom in 2003. And he experienced the joy and the standing ovations when the Tigers went to the World Series three years later.

Indeed. That was all Brandon. Kenny Rogers? Never heard of him. Placido Polanco? Funny shaped head. Magglio Ordonez? Is that a soccer player?

Now that Curtis Granderson is gone, Inge is, without a doubt, the Tigers’ most popular player.

Only with fat girls with tattoos on their lower backs. And bald guys named Keith. Harf. I’m pretty sure Justin Verlander and Magglio Ordonez still have Brandon beat with most other folks.

And this season has been like a new beginning, a rebirth, for him.

Up until yesterday’s big game, he was hovering at the .250 mark with no homers in 19 games. I’d have to say it’s been pretty much the same old, same old.

You know how, sometimes, when you are really sick, you don’t truly appreciate how rotten you felt until after you get well.

I agree. I had food poisoning once and was on the toilet 30 times in 12 hours. That’s the first time I ever bargained with God over poop. Probably won’t be the last, though…

Inge knows that feeling.

“Having legs under me is a whole different ballgame,” said Inge. “It’s like night and day — throwing and hitting and running.”


This just in: Being able to walk helps you play baseball better. No wonder everyone loves Inge. He’s a bloody genius.

And it shows.

On two sound legs again, Inge led the Tigers in doubles with eight going into the weekend. He was tied for third in RBI. He was batting .268, and he was fielding a flawless 1.000.


It’s April. April in the D. Even Chris Shelton isn’t reading too much into the numbers at this point. Calm down.

What a difference a couple of big scars on your knees can make.

Yes. It takes the focus off of those ridiculous looking tattoos on his arms.

During the second half of last season, hobbled by painful tendinitis in both knees, the acrobatic, athletic Inge was slowed to a crawl.

Poor guy couldn’t do cartwheels and round offs to impress the teammates. That had to suck.

After a first half performance that, thanks to reconfigured swing, included 21 homers, 58 RBI, and a .515 slugging percentage, and put him in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career, Inge batted an anemic .186 with six HRs and 26 RBI during the second half.

Yup. That’s why we went to Game 163 and eventually lost. Tell me we wouldn’t have won at least one more game last year with Jeff Larish, Ramon Santiago, or Placido Polanco at third instead of Brandon. The stubborn little prick cost us the season.

For real. It still upsets me. Another little wrinkle here. If Brandon had gone to the DL and Polly shifted to third, we could have called Scott Sizemore up in July last year and actually have seen if he had what it takes to be a MLB second baseman. He certainly would have done better than .185, 5, 26. And if he did well, we would have known what to expect in 2010, making it easier to let Polly go. If Sizemore failed, perhaps Placido would still be at second for the Tigers this year. Food for thought.

At the plate, he had no pop in his bat. It’s hard to swing hard when it hurts. In the field, his highlight-reel range was greatly reduced. It was tough to watch — and even tougher to live through.

“Toward the end of last season, it was a joke,” Inge admitted.


Then why didn’t you be a man and admit that you were hurting the team? Huh, Face of the Franchise? Your selfishness cost us the AL Central and possibly more. I would have loved our chances in a short series with the Yanks, Sawx, Angels or whoever with JV, EJax, and Porcello taking the mound last year.

Every time he made a sudden move — “hitting, or running, on bending over to catch a ground ball” — he felt a “stabbing pain.”

Someone should have stabbed him in the face with a butcher knife.

“You try to pump yourself up, you tell yourself to suck it up,” Inge recalled. “We were in a pennant race, and that’s not a situation where you want to give up. That’s not how I work.”

No, you work by hurting the team when your body was clearly telling you to shut it down. I respect that you played through the pain and wanted to help, but sometimes you have to admit when you can’t do something and take a seat for the greater good of the other 24 guys in the clubhouse. Dick.

So Inge continued to grit his teeth and play. And Jim Leyland, sometimes against his better judgment, continued to write Inge’s name on the lineup card night after night.


Fire Leyland!

But no amount of determination or positive thinking could wipe out the pain.

Inge, who underwent surgery on both knees in early November to repair the damaged tissue, still isn’t 100 percent — especially when he is running and the situation calls for an extra burst of speed.

“My first two gears are pretty good, but third and fourth gear are still a little rusty,” he said.


Which is why the Detroit auto industry is so screwed. Nothing in Detroit runs properly.

“It’s not like it hurts anymore, it’s more that the tendons and muscles are getting used to the new knees,” Inge explained, as he adjusted the sleeves that now protect and support his knees.

You would never know it watching him play third base. But if, in an emergency, Leyland ordered Inge to get back behind home plate, Brandon admits he would have to ask for a stool.


But catching always gave him such a good excuse for hitting .210! That was his bread and butter.

Diving for line drives or chasing down foul pop-ups is one thing. But crouching or squatting are still out of the question.

Not that Inge is complaining.


There’s a change.

He turns 33 next month. His contract expires at the end of this season.

Yay!

He would love to stick around and finish his career in Detroit.

Boo!

In fact, he plans to make his home here, probably in the Ann Arbor area, year-around — whether he is still playing third base for the Tigers next season or not.

“We love the school system,” he explained. Inge’s sons are 5 and 2.

Inge and his wife, Shani, lived in Ann Arbor when he was in the minor leagues. And he is actively involved with the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. “I love kids,” he said.

And they love you, Brandon. Kids, you see, are stupid.

My guess is, Inge isn’t going anywhere. At $6.6 million a year, he remains a bargain.

I just threw up in my mouth. $6.6 million is a bargain for a guy with a career OPS+ of 85 in 4376 plate appearances? I think not, my fluff writing friend. Here’s a real list of bargains in baseball right now for 2010.

Rick Porcello: $1.025 million

Kendry Morales: $400,000

Ryan Braun: $1 million

Ehh, you get the point. It’s not worth the effort. I’m tired.

Besides, who could the Tigers possibly get who could play third base like Inge?

Sadly, no one, barring a trade. I’d like to give you a smart ass answer here, but next year’s free agent class for third basemen, other than Brandon, looks like this:

Garrett Atkins
Jorge Cantu
Eric Chavez
Pedro Feliz
Bill Hall
Maicer Izturis
Mike Lowell
Melvin Mora
Nick Punto
Ty Wigginton

Sigh. Seeya again in 2011, Brandon.

Back Home ......

Hi Folks,


Well, we survived our sojourn into English territory and had a lovely, if quiet, holiday and I thoroughly enjoyed my double topped pokey hat ice cream - rum'n raisin and mint topped .. yummy ! I'll need to find another self-contained flat though, the beds in that one are well and truly knackered and Rob and I both returned to the land of the tartan with backache !!

This morning I had a reading fest checking out the forty or so e-mails sent by my brother in law while we had been gone - the first one I opened is shown below and for someone with a bad back it fairly made me sit up straight ...... talk about backache AWW OUCH !!




I'll try to catch up tomorrow - but in the meantime I'm enclosing 'Cheers' from the land of the tartan and Love, Kate xxx.

Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)


I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Rogo. You’ve got a fun little blog here that must be read by ZILLIONS of people all over the country! I bet you’re beating the women off with a stick, receive thousands of emails a day praising your hard work that you do, and have cash falling out of your ass every time you fart.” Well, sure. Of course I do.

But there is a drawback to this. I have to deal with people like you. No, not you. You either. You’re cool. THAT guy! And THAT chick! Yeah, you people and those of your ilk. You assclowns that take EVERY F-CKING THING I WRITE SO SERIOUSLY! My God, you people are trying to give me a stroke, aren’t you?

What more, please tell me, what more do I have to do around here to let you people know that I am screwing around and do not necessarily believe it when I wish some sort of penis cancer on a player for striking out? What do I have to do to make you understand that baseball is a game played by millionaires and should not be taken as seriously as you psychotic bastards take it?

For example, I wrote a bit recently listing 25 reasons why I hate Don Kelly. It’s right here. I thought it was a cute way to vent after Kelly struck out, yet again, to help lose a ballgame. But, no. Kelly’s Angels are so angry…they could spit! Spit, I tell you! Here’s just one of the responses I got.

Wow! Seriously? Too bad Don, or "Donnie", is the nicest guy in the whole world. Not only can he teach your kids how to play the game of baseball, he can teach them how to be the kind of person anyone would feel privledged to have in their lives. Since you managed to insult my high school, my college and one of my best friends all in one article, needless to say I could come up with 25 reasons why I hate you. Too bad I'm way classier than you and won't waste my time!

No, not seriously. That is the whole point of this blog. F-cking pay attention, jackass.

And I’m sure Don, Donnie, D-Money, D-Bag, whatever…I’m sure he’s a nice guy. Great for him. You know who else is nice? The Dalai Lama is nice. George Clooney seems nice. My mom is nice. Jessica Alba has a nice ass. Ernie Harwell might be the nicest person to ever live on our planet. But you know what? I don’t want any of them playing on the Detroit Tigers, either. Odds are, they all suck at baseball almost as bad as Don Kelly does.

Please keep Don Kelly away from my kid. The boy already throws like Johnny Damon if he had a broken arm. I don’t need Kelly bringing him down any more.

You went to Kelly’s hippie college with him? Is that why you are unable to spell “privileged”? Apparently, these “liberal arts” colleges do not have time to teach proper spelling. Perhaps they did not cover “satire” there, either. Or baseball skills.

And I encourage you to come up with 25 reasons why you hate me. No one hates me more than I do, kid. I can give you around 500 good ones to start. But one of them is not this blog. Asshat.

Finally, as for being classy and not wasting time, well you already did. Congrats. Die in a grease fire.

Ah, hell. Here’s another one.

This article is so absurd. It's truly sad that anyone agrees with this mess in any capacity and/or thinks you're funny, Scott. As someone who has spent time in the clubhouse, let me say that your 'hatred' is misplaced. It's clear that you've never met Don Kelly. Don is a GREAT human being. Not just a great baseball guy, but a great human being. Period. Launching a personal character attack on him and his family is out of line. And I get it, you're just being funny! I hope no one ever writes something like this about you or your son. Don't you have anyone else to hate on? Perhaps someone who deserves it?

Your face is absurd. Ha! Zing! Rogo scores again. Sigh. Anyway...

As someone that has spent time in a clubhouse, I would expect a better argument. I mean, you have been INSIDE the clubhouse. I’m willing to bet that Jim Leyland has you on speed dial when he’s considering making a pitching change. I’ll bet that Dave Dombrowski consults you before he signs free agents. I mean, wow. You’ve been IN THE CLUBHOUSE! Tell me, is Gerald Laird as unimpressive naked as he is at the plate? Do you thank the players when you are done sniffing their jockstraps? In the clubhouse…Christ, you’re practically Peter Gammons.

I do not give two tugs of a dead dog’s dick how nice of a guy Don Kelly is. He sucks at baseball, not just at hitting, but fielding, too. Period. That is all I care about. There’s at least a half dozen guys on the Mud Hens that would be better choices to be on the big club. He can spend all his free time reading to the blind and helping kitty cats out of trees, but it doesn’t change the fact that he makes an out almost every time I see him bat. His urine might cure cancer (has anyone checked?!?!), but it doesn’t change the fact that he is mediocre at best no matter where you put him in the field.

And no. You do not get it. You are a f-cking idiot that should be sterilized. Anyone can write a straight baseball blog that covers each game and gives their useless opinion. And don’t get me wrong, some do it very well. But, I find it much more entertaining, interesting, and personally challenging to try to write something different, off the beaten path, and hopefully funny 2-3 times a week instead. If you don’t like it, f-ck off. Some people don’t like and/or understand my humor. I can respect that. But don’t cry to me about it. Makes me want to stab you in the temple with a screwdriver.

And finally, yes. There are many others to hate on, other than your Sweet Donnie Boy. Jim Leyland, Brandon Inge, Clete Thomas, Gerald Laird, Ozzie Guillen, AJ Pierzinski, Joe Mauer, Luke Scott, Jason Grilli, Matt Treanor, Fernando Rodney, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Larry The Cable Guy, Dane Cook, Steeler fans, Glenn Beck, Peter King, Tony Romo, Jen Cosey (ha)…the list goes on and on. But I like hating on Don Kelly. So does my son. When Kelly struck out the other day (again), the boy called him a “doodiehead”. Priceless.

Thanks for asking about him, by the way. He turns six next week. Help me out and buy the little jerk a new DS. He already broke his.

People, look. I met Don Kelly back in 2004. You know what? He was a nice guy. He even offered up an autograph, even though I had no idea who he was. That’s great. I wish him nothing but the best in his personal life. I even wish his sister well, even though she does spell her name “Ashlee”. Yikes.

That’s enough. I’ve wasted enough time here feeding trolls. It won’t happen again, I promise you. I just wanted to vent a bit and share this with the five of you that get me and are IN ON THE F-CKING JOKE. To the rest of you, please stay away. Go read Rick Reilly. Read Lynn Henning. My God, go read Jamie Samuelsen. He says he enjoys receiving hate mail. But, I would rather have fun and be read by a dozen intelligent readers that can take a joke than be read by ten thousand frigging morons with the collective IQ of a houseplant.

If I end up hearing from Don Kelly’s mom, everybody dies.

Have a nice day!

Your Rod Allen-To-English Dictionary


Many love him, many hate him, but Rod Allen is one of a kind. I think we can all agree on that. For a long time, I wasn’t the biggest fan in the world of the Tiger color commentator. I always preferred the old FSN duo of Josh and Gibby over the team of Mario and Rod. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate Rod and what he adds to a game. He can be insightful, as well as entertaining. Of course, at times he can just be goofy, too. I’m sure by now, you’ve encountered the “Rod Allen Drinking Game” somewhere. Check it out, if you haven’t. But as a companion piece to that, I would like to attempt to put together a Rod Allen-To-English Dictionary. Keep in mind, I understand that Rod isn’t the only one to use some of these phrases. But I’ve included everything that I could come up with that the man is fond of saying. Let me know if I missed anything.

-A-Game: Any player that is playing well. “Ryan Perry brought his A-Game today.”

-Absolute Bullet: A hard-hit ball. “Magglio hit an absolute bullet to the third baseman.”

-Badd Boy: A compliment, usually for Miguel Cabrera. “He’s a bad boy, B-A-D-D!”

-Beauty: A nice pitch. “Ni threw a beauty of a curve to get the strikeout.”

-Big Fella: Any large player, usually Cabrera. “The Big Fella is seeing the ball well.”

-Big League: A non-routine play. “That was a big league catch by Everett.”

-Big ‘ol Contract: Rod likes to joke with Mario about how much money Mario supposedly makes. “You can buy us both dinner with that big ‘ol contract you have.”

-Cabby: Annoying nickname for Miguel Cabrera. “Cabby is capable of putting up MVP numbers every season.”

-Cheddar: A fastball over the plate. “Willis gave him a big piece of cheddar to hit.”

-Cheese: See “Cheddar”.

-Climb The Ladder: A high pitch. “I’d like to see Perry climb the ladder with a nice piece of cheese.”

-Country Mile: A ball hit a long way. “Guillen hit that ball a country mile.”

-Country Strong: Any power hitter can be called “country strong”. It was most commonly used for Marcus Thames when he was a Tiger. “That boy is just country strong.”

-Crime: When something unbelievable happens. “Cabrera hit that ball so far, it should be a crime.”

-Crooked Numbers: Multiple runs scored in the same inning. “We need to put some crooked numbers on the board.”

-Easy Gas: A fastball that looks like it’s thrown with minimal effort, usually referring to Joel Zumaya. “Joel is throwing some easy gas at a hundred miles an hour out there.”

-Elevate: Any high pitch. “Porcello needs to quit elevating the fastball today.”

-Featuring: Whatever pitches a hurler is throwing. “Jeremy Bonderman is featuring a good fastball today.”

-Filthy: A pitch that is working. “Verlander’s curveball is just filthy.”

-From Time To Time: Common phrase for Rod. “Kelly struggles to hit the breaking pitch from time to time.”

-Fun To Watch: Rod’s usual compliment for any retired player. “Cal Ripken was sure fun to watch.”

-I See Ya: Shouted when Rod is excited, usually after a home run. “I see ya, Big Fella!”

-Johnny On The Spot: A player that’s in the right place at the right time. “Sizemore was Johnny on the spot on that play.”

-King Felix: Felix Hernandez’s nickname and the only way I’ve ever heard Rod refer to him. “We gotta face King Felix next week in Seattle.”

-Mr. T Starter Kit: What Rod calls any excessive jewelry on a player. “Sheffield has his Mr. T starter kit on display today.”

-Nasty: See “Filthy”.

-Not A Bad Idea: What Rod says any time someone tries to bunt. “Laird bunts it foul…not a bad idea in this situation.”

-Not Fair: Used to describe when a pitcher is dominating. “The way Greinke is throwing out there today is just not fair.”

-Oh No He Didn’t: A common saying used whenever someone on the Tigers makes a big play. Mario: “Diving catch by Inge!” Rod: “Oh no he didn’t!”

-Pahdnuh: “Partner”, a term of endearment he uses for Mario. “You’re looking sharp today, Pahdnuh.”

-Piece: Rod almost always says “change piece” or “slide piece” instead of changeup or slider. “Bonderman’s been looking to add a change piece for a couple of years now.”

-Professional Hitter: A hitter that makes a lot of contact, used commonly for Placido Polanco in the past. “Derek Jeter is just a professional hitter up there.”

-Rake: Hitting well. “This Red Sox lineup can just flat out rake.”

-Rally The Troops: Referring to someone, usually Jim Leyland, giving a speech to fire up the team. “It’s still early and Jim’s trying to rally the troops even through they’re down 5-0.”

-Rib Eye: RBI. “Magglio is looking to get a couple of rib eyes right here.”

-Seed: Any hardly hit or thrown ball. “Santiago threw a seed to home play to nail him.”

-Skipper: The manager of any team. “The skipper’s got his work cut out for him.”

-Some Kinda Smooth: A compliment. “Austin Jackson is some kinda smooth out there.”

-Special: Rod is always referring to any players with above average ability as “special”. “Jose Valverde is a special kind of player.”

-Steady Diet: When a pitcher keeps throwing the same pitch to a hitter. “Brandon Inge has seen a steady diet of breaking pitches from Lester today.”

-The Game Within The Game: The mental part of baseball. “Leyland is a master of the game within the game.”

-Unhittable: Any pitch that a batter swings and misses. “That fastball by Verlander was unhittable.”

Love ya, Rod. You’re a special kind of announcer.

THE (new) TEAM: Taking Out The Captain's Trash

THE (new) TEAM follows Curtis Granderson and his trusty sidekick, Marcus Thames, as they adjust to lives as New York Yankees. Warning: strong language and stupidity follows.

(Yankee press conference)

REPORTER: Derek, is there anything in particular you can point to in explaining the Yankees’ hot 9-3 start to this season?

DEREK JETER: Well, it’s a team thing. We’ve got twenty-five guys in here giving it their all every day and we’re just taking it one game at a time. It’s a long way until 162 games have been played and we’re just going to do our best every day for the great fans out there. I’m sorry guys, but I have a charity event to get to. I can only take one more question.

REPORTER: How are the new faces fitting in so far with the team?

JETER: I couldn’t ask for better teammates than the guys we have on this club. Curtis Granderson, especially, has been a delight to play with thus far and I look forward to coming to the ballpark every day and playing ball with these guys. Thanks, gentlemen. If you’ll excuse me…

(retreats into clubhouse)

JOE GIRARDI: Great Q & A, Captain. As always.

JETER: F-ck you, Joe. These pricks don’t realize how much I want to stab each and every one of them in the f-cking eyeballs with a fork. A fork, Joe!

GIRARDI: I understand. Now, I hate to remind you, but we still have that problem from earlier to take care of…

JETER: Motherf-cker! Are you serious? Where are those two c-ckwallets from Detroit? I thought I told them to take care of this sh-t!

GIRARDI: I’ll be right back, Captain!

(Girardi returns with Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames.)

JETER: Where the f-ck have you two pillow biting, wastes of space been hiding? I sure as f-ck know you’re not working on your pathetic games.

MARCUS THAMES: C’mon, dude. We’re playing our butts off.

CURTIS GRANDERSON: Yeah, Derek. I’m hitting over .300 so far. And Marcus is hitting .500 for crying out loud.

JETER: What the f-ck did you call me, you worthless twat? Joe…

/Girardi backhands Granderson

GRANDERSON: Geez…I’m sorry…sigh, Captain. What can we do for you this time?

JETER: Are you serious? Joe?

GIRARDI: Guys, come on. Does The Captain look like a bitch to you?

THAMES: Um, what?

JETER: You heard him! Do I look like a bitch?

GRANDERSON: Um, no…

GIRARDI: They why are you trying to f-ck him like one?

GRANDERSON: Isn’t that a line from “Pulp Fiction”?

GIRARDI: No. The Captain came up with it on his own.

JETER: F-ckin’ A, I did. And don’t bring up stats to The Captain. I’m hitting almost .400 and have 3 home runs. Maybe if you two weren’t so f-cking lazy, you’d have some stats to brag about. Now anyway, this is about that “business” that I told you boys to take care of while that f-ggot was singing “God Bless South America” or whatever in the 7th inning.

THAMES: My God…you were serious about that?

JETER: Well, that dead f-cking hooker isn’t going to dispose of herself, is she? I swear, you two f-cksticks are NEVER going to be True Yankees! I mean, Scott Brosius would have those bitches gone before their f-cking hearts stopped!

GRANDERSON: Come on, Der…I mean Captain. This is insane.

THAMES: Yeah. Why don’t any of the other new or younger guys have to do this stuff?

JETER: Are you questioning my f-cking leadership, big boy? Joe?

/Girardi slaps Thames in the face

THAMES: Oww! What the…

JETER: Next time you’ll get a tire iron, you jackoff! If you must know, Gardner is a champion, unlike you two pussy farts. He’s a True Yankee. Randy Winn looks like Bernie Williams to me, and he was a True Yankee! And the other kid…what the f-ck is his name, Joe?

GIRARDI: Francisco Cervelli?

JETER: I don’t speak Mexican, so he’s out. That leaves you two d-cklickers. Toss that bitch in the East River. She’s starting to stink worse that Joe Torre’s beer farts. I’m gonna take a dump, wipe my ass with the American flag, and when I get out, you AND the bitch had better be gone!

/leaves

GIRARDI: I’m really sorry about this guys. Good luck. There’s some Hefty bags in the back of the clubhouse.

(Two hours later.)

GRANDERSON: Whew. I’m glad that’s done. Can you believe this, Marcus?

THAMES: No, man. This sh-t’s off the charts.

/homeless man stirs in an alley

GRANDERSON: Oh no! You think that guys saw us?

THAMES: Yup. Damn…here he comes.

HOMELESS MAN: Change? Can you guys spare some…oh man, you gotta be kidding me.

GRANDERSON: No. God, no. It can’t be.

THAMES: F-ck.

GARY SHEFFIELD: Motherf-ckas! My boys! Charles and Martin, right? Sheff’s missed you sonsabitches!

GRANDERSON: Sure, Gary. Look, we gotta go…

SHEFFIELD: Bullsh-t! You boys out here dumpin’ Jeter’s hookers, aren’t you? Sheff didn’t play that sh-t. But these racist muthaf-ckas won’t give Sheff a job anymore…I tell you what. How ‘bout Sheff comes with you! Sheff can dump some hookers for you! Get Cashman on the phone? Sucka won’t answer Sheff’s calls, but you boys can get me to him! How about…$15 million a year? Sheff will play the game for a while. And as soon as Martin over here…

THAMES: Marcus. Assh-le.

SHEFFIELD: Yeah. As soon as you need a break, Sheff can pinch hit. Sheff can hit .400 if he wants to. I’m healthy! Just give Sheff a chance. And a sandwich. And fifty dollas. What do you say?

GRANDERSON: I hate it here.

THAMES: Yep. New York sucks.

I'm Definitely Not Dead

I woke up really early on Wednesday morning for no reason.  In retrospect, I can see it was probably my body's way of telling me that I might die later that day, so I better get the hell up and start enjoying the shit out of life.

My life that morning was not particularly enjoyable.  I felt like my internal organs had been punched by someone who is really enthusiastic about punching and therefore punches a lot.  In fact, they love punching so much that when they finished punching my internal organs, they moved on to punching my skin and all my muscles and also my eyes.


I don't own an accurate thermometer, but I once calibrated the thermometer I own using an accurate thermometer.


The thermometer read 102.3, so by my calculations, I was running a fever of about 103.5.  I took a couple aspirin and tried to get some work done.  That's when I wrote/illustrated this post.  I may have also responded to a few emails.  If you got an email from me last Wednesday that didn't make a lot of sense, I apologize.  I wasn't drunk.  I was just very ill.  

I eventually gave up on trying to be responsible and just sat on the couch staring off into space really intensely. 


That evening, my friend called to ask me if I'd like to meet her and another friend for drinks.  I didn't feel much like drinking, but I was feeling a little better and I'm almost tragically impulsive, so I was like "heck yeah I'll meet you guys for drinks!" Then I staggered into the bathroom to try and clean myself up enough to go out in public.  


At the bar, I ordered tea because I was really, really cold and even though I'm impulsive and irresponsible, I know enough not to complicate illnesses with alcohol.  The bartender looked at me like I was the first person ever to order raspberry tea in a bar.  

I was able to enjoy my tea for approximately five minutes before I started to feel emergency-nauseous and had to run to the bathroom. The next little bit is kind of a blur for me. I know that I passed out in the bathroom. I don't know how long I was out, but my first thought upon waking was "OH MY GOD I HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR!!!!!! I KNEW IT!!!"


I knew I should probably go to the hospital, but I'm still too poor for insurance, so I tried to convince myself that I was okay and I should just crawl home and sleep it off.  I tried to stand up, but I ended up head-butting the wall and crumpling to the floor again.  I lay there on the ground staring at some graffiti that just said "poop poop poop poop poop."  I started wondering whether that would be the last thing I ever saw.  It was a depressing thought for a few reasons.  

After several more unsuccessful attempts at getting to my feet, I finally made it.  I used this as an excuse to not go to the hospital.  "Hey, look at me!" I thought.  "I'm doing great!  


I staggered out of the bathroom and toward my friends.  I remember my limbs making all sorts of spastic movements as I tried to glide along and look like nothing was wrong.  I ran into the wall and ricocheted off into the other wall.   It felt like I was competing against my need to go to the hospital:  if I could stay upright, it meant I was fine and goddamn it, I was not about to lose that game and give up the entirety my newfound income just to make sure I wasn't dying.  

I finally made it back to the bar and collapsed onto it.  That's when I lost the game and decided to go to the hospital because I was legitimately scared of dying.  That's also where things get hazy again.  I remember the next 20 minutes in little clips.  There's me lying face down in a puddle on the bar, blowing little bubbles in it while trying to breathe.  Then I'm being carried out of the bar.  Then I'm being driven to the hospital.  I was breathing really fast; I remember that because once we got to the hospital, the intake nurse kept yelling at me to slow down my breathing and I couldn't.  My entire body was shaking convulsively and I felt more cold than I have ever felt in my life.  My blood pressure was 70/35.  When I caught a glimpse of those little numbers on the screen, I immediately regretted ever knowing anything about medicine because my knowledge only contributed to making me feel positive that I was going to die.  "Well," I thought, "this is it.  My last words are going to be 'fuck you, I can't breathe any slower!'"  It was all very dramatic.  

 

As is often the case with medical emergencies, it was not immediately apparent what was wrong with me, so the doctor called for tests. Lots and lots of tests.  

Blood samples are easy because they are passive.  You just lie there and let the nurses stick needles in you until they are done.  But urine tests require your active participation.  When you are in the throes of death like I was, providing a urine specimen is a veritable quest.  I could have rewritten The Iliad about my experience peeing into a cup.  

I was still having a lot of trouble maintaining consciousness, so the doctor had to supervise me in the restroom.   

I knew I had reached a pretty low point in my life.  There I was, halfway unconscious on a toilet; trying my hardest to pee into a tiny plastic cup and not on my own hand or the floor.  It sounds like a very simple goal to accomplish, but it isn't. I was crying quietly and drooling on myself.  I didn't even care that a stranger was standing there watching the whole pathetic situation. In that moment, I had no dignity.


Despite my herculean efforts, the urine test didn't tell them anything.  The blood test showed a slightly high white blood cell count, but other than that, it was normal.  The only thing that even hinted at what could be wrong with me was my heart.  After looking at my EKG, the doctor was like "Your heart is being weird." And I was like "Why is it doing that?"  And the doctor was all "I don't know."  

Four hours later, I wasn't dead and the doctors still couldn't figure out what was going on, so they sent me home.    

As I'm sure is the case with many of you, I walk that thin line between hypochondriac and a normal level of concern about my health.  So when I go through a terrifying medical saga only to come out the other side with a tentative diagnosis of "weird heart," I panic a little.  

The past week has basically just been a string of moments in which I feel almost positive that I'm going to die.  



I still don't know what is wrong with me, but I'm definitely not dead and I'm feeling a lot better, so that's good.  

Praying To The God of Baseball


Oh, Mighty God of Baseball:

‘Sup? Your humble servant, Rogo, here. I heard the calling a couple weeks ago and returned to this blog as I thought You wished me to do. I’ve been doing Your work to the best of my ability. I did not do so willingly, but did it anyway. Yet though I have behaved, I don’t understand why my beloved Tigers of Detroit look so friggin’ terrible this season. I thought we had a deal, Man. Please, God of Baseball, hear my prayer.

After the mighty schlong-tease of 2006, big things have been expected from Your loyal congregation in Detroit. Many are without jobs, many cannot stand to be around each other, but still, we have all clung to the hope that You would see fit to grant the Tigers their first World Championship since 1984. Have we not repented enough for the past sins of Randy Smith, Juan Gonzalez, and Gary Sheffield? Did we smite Thee in some way?

Has the Dark Lord of Baseball, Ozzie Guillen, gained in power so much that we are to go without hope? I am hoping that this is false. So, please, God of Baseball, hear this prayer and grant upon me the following:

Please remove the dark curse that surrounds the bats of Gerald Laird and Adam Everett. Though G-Money’s grandfather covets the asses of other men’s wives and Everett appears to be vain with his luscious hair, they are good people and do not deserve this suffering.

Although Thou hast seen to it that Jim Leyland doesn’t get lung cancer despite smoking four packs of Reds per day, could You see to it that the apparent brain cancer he has during games be delayed for another couple years?

Please see it upon Yourself to send a plague of locusts to the city of Minneapolis to descend upon the sideburns of the head of Joe Mauer. He has caused enough suffering to the people of Detroit and many other less important baseball cities. Do not be fooled by the new church they have built in Minnesota. They are all a bunch of bloody savages up there.

Whatever sins Dontrelle Willis committed in the lustful city of Miami years ago, please see fit to forgive him. Hasn't he suffered enough? He has been a model citizen in Detroit and deserves a year of success. If he continues to blow up, the Tiger faithful may see to it to crucify him and no one wants that. Um…right?

And finally, please remove whatever curse it is that has troubled your only son, Justin Verlander, early in the season. Let the world see the wonder that is his right arm in all of its glory. Quit f-cking with us here. We would be happy to sacrifice the body of Don Kelly, who no doubt sold his soul years ago to Dark Lord Guillen to remain in professional baseball despite not having any apparent skills.

I know it is only April in the D (enough of that, too, Lord), but Your followers are frightened. We offer up you this prayer:

Our Baseball Father in Heaven
Higgy be Thy name
In D-Town pin
At least 97 wins
And lead the Twins in September by eleven

I remain your humble servant. For now.

Amen.

More advice


Lately I've been reading travel diaries, biographies and natural history books. Armchair travel, living and exploration.

I am currently reading Out of Africa and am waiting for Durrell's Bitter Lemons to come in to the library. I finished a wonderful book on mosses a couple of weeks ago, and am hoping to find some more books to add to my stack.

Any recommendations?

More advice


Lately I've been reading travel diaries, biographies and natural history books. Armchair travel, living and exploration.

I am currently reading Out of Africa and am waiting for Durrell's Bitter Lemons to come in to the library. I finished a wonderful book on mosses a couple of weeks ago, and am hoping to find some more books to add to my stack.

Any recommendations?

Advice


[The Owl Mocked -- can't recall the source]


From an address given by SJC tutor Eva Brann to the Graduate Students in Classics at Yale, 2006.

"The scholarly world is more and more a virtual world, spatially expansive but often topically restricted. For my part, I think the humanly full life is concretely local and intellectually wide, to be lived in a face-to-face community whose members can talk to each other about anything, where nothing of human interest is interdicted; where you don't have to mount a colloquium to have a colloquy; where discourse does not divide into either shop talk or chat but observes the truly interesting human mean; and above all, where no one owns a specialty so that others have to venture opinions with the disclaimer, 'Of course, that's not my subject.'"

"So don't use words you don't understand or don't mean to come to understand at least partly. Graduate school is rightly more training than education, more preparation for a profession than learning for the sake of being all there. Hence, the possession of a professional vocabulary, often well-invented and always serviceable for expressing yourself within the guild -- and, I can't help but adding, for marking greenhorns and amateurs -- is not only an accomplishment but also a professional deformation. So talk human whenever possible and know something, at least a little, of the explicit or implicit theory behind the language of the humanities. "

"Before I stop, one afterthought: if you could all band together to found a movement for the abolition of the 'original contribution' requirement of the doctoral dissertation you would do the world of learning a great service. For in the humanities the drive for originality and the search for insight are often at cross-purposes."

That final advice is echoed in Borges' essay 'Partial Magic in the Quixote,' which begins:

"It is plausible that these observations may have been set forth at some time and, perhaps, many times; a discussion of their novelty interests me less than one of their possible truth."

In moments of disillusionment with it all, I return to these thoughts.

Advice


[The Owl Mocked -- can't recall the source]


From an address given by SJC tutor Eva Brann to the Graduate Students in Classics at Yale, 2006.

"The scholarly world is more and more a virtual world, spatially expansive but often topically restricted. For my part, I think the humanly full life is concretely local and intellectually wide, to be lived in a face-to-face community whose members can talk to each other about anything, where nothing of human interest is interdicted; where you don't have to mount a colloquium to have a colloquy; where discourse does not divide into either shop talk or chat but observes the truly interesting human mean; and above all, where no one owns a specialty so that others have to venture opinions with the disclaimer, 'Of course, that's not my subject.'"

"So don't use words you don't understand or don't mean to come to understand at least partly. Graduate school is rightly more training than education, more preparation for a profession than learning for the sake of being all there. Hence, the possession of a professional vocabulary, often well-invented and always serviceable for expressing yourself within the guild -- and, I can't help but adding, for marking greenhorns and amateurs -- is not only an accomplishment but also a professional deformation. So talk human whenever possible and know something, at least a little, of the explicit or implicit theory behind the language of the humanities. "

"Before I stop, one afterthought: if you could all band together to found a movement for the abolition of the 'original contribution' requirement of the doctoral dissertation you would do the world of learning a great service. For in the humanities the drive for originality and the search for insight are often at cross-purposes."

That final advice is echoed in Borges' essay 'Partial Magic in the Quixote,' which begins:

"It is plausible that these observations may have been set forth at some time and, perhaps, many times; a discussion of their novelty interests me less than one of their possible truth."

In moments of disillusionment with it all, I return to these thoughts.

25 Reasons Why I Hate Don Kelly


Today, late in the ballgame, Adam Everett was due up in a key RBI situation for the Tigers. Since offense isn’t exactly Adam’s specialty, Jim Leyland looked to his bench for a pinch hitter. Who did he turn to? Was it young Alex Avila, who with one swing of the bat could have potentially turned the tide for the Tigers? Was it the experienced Ramon Santiago, who while will never be confused with Barry Bonds, has put together his share of key hits over the years?

No. He turned to Don Kelly. And Kelly struck out on three pitches, the third looking on a fastball right down the middle.

Don Kelly should not be allowed anywhere near a major league baseball game again. And to help myself with my anger over today’s game, I’ve put together this list of 25 reasons why I hate Don Kelly. Enjoy.

1. Striking out on three pitches looking today.

2. He has three first names as his full name. Donald Thomas Kelly. Never, and I mean never, trust anyone with three first names.

3. Seriously, do you expect a baseball player named “Don Kelly” to ever be good at anything in sports?

4. He is already 30 years old. He’s not going to get any better.

5. The whole missing the fly ball in the Metrodome thing last year. Duh.

6. His career “Joe Morgan friendly” numbers are .222, 0, 3 in 101 plate appearances.

7. His career OPS+ is 53. An average ballplayer is 100.

8. He is not particularly good anywhere on the field. Raburn and Santiago can play anywhere, too. He is not necessary to the team.

9. He was taken in the 8th round of the 2001 Draft by the Tigers. Six picks later, Kevin Youkilis was selected. Sigh.

10. Also selected after Kelly in the ’01 Draft were Luke Scott, Stephen Drew, Geovano Soto, Dan Uggla, Jason Bartlett, Chris Young, Jonny Gomes, Zach Duke, Ian Kinsler, Nick Blackburn, Chad Gaudin, Nick Markakis, and Andre Ethier. Depressing.

11. Even the Pirates released Don Kelly.

12. He went to Mt. Lebanon High School. He is probably a terrorist.

13. His sister spells her name “Ashlee”. Any girl that spells her name with two e’s on the end probably has STD’s, a tattoo on her lower back, and/or owns a Brandon Inge jersey.

14. His sister is a better athlete than he is. This is only acceptable if your name is Reggie Miller.

15. He is currently taking up a roster spot that could go to players that could actually contribute off the bench like Jeff Larish, Casper Wells, and Ryan Strieby. Again, Raburn or Santiago can play the utility role.

16. When he comes into the game, it usually means one of our few decent hitters like Damon or Ordonez are leaving the game.

17. He went to Point Park University, a liberal arts college in Pittsburgh. Really? And he’s a baseball player?

18. He is probably a Steelers fan. If so, he should not be allowed to breed.

19. He is not Marcus Thames.

20. He is not Timo Perez.

21. He will make $405,000 this year. Can you imagine making $400K to be terrible at your job?

22. He killed Corey Haim. (this may not be true)

23. Jim Leyland loves him. That automatically means he is terrible.

24. Sometimes, he is referred to as “Donnie”. This gives me flashbacks to New Kids on the Block and makes my eyes bleed.

25. The worst offense of all: He is making me start to miss Clete Thomas.

Dump him, Mr. Dombrowski. If Don Kelly continues to take up space on my baseball team, there will be dozens of hooker deaths on your conscience. That’s the only way I know of to relieve stress. I hope you can live with that, Dave.

I hope you can live with that.