Friday, December 30, 2005

Johnny Damon Joins Devil

Just because I thought it was worth posting.

Okay...

So Johnny Damon joined the Dark Side and became a Yankee, big deal...you knew that type of stuff was going to happen. The Yankees are the devil and Damon is a pretty big douche-mongaloid. So what can you do, right?! But here's the thing...this guy right here...




Yeah...that guy up there...is definitely not the guy you're going to be seeing in Pinstripes. No, that guy is long gone and dead. The 2004-2005 version of Johnny Damon is long gone and he is to replaced with this this douche bag right here...



How about a look at what the Yankees are getting for their $52 million...

* A centerfielder against whom even 36-year-old backup catchers will go from first to third at will. Have you ever thrown a baseball or football with your opposite hand? This is precisely what it looks like Damon is doing when he uncorks one of his weak, high-arcing parabolas that leave the cutoff man contemplating a fair catch as everybody moves up an extra base. Yes, Damon will match his predecessor Bernie Williams lollipop for lollipop, so Yankees fans will not have to adjust their expectations when it comes to the arm of their centerfielder.

* A leadoff man who has posted a .342 on-base percentage away from Fenway Park the past four seasons in Damon's athletic prime. He'll still get to play nine or 10 games a season at Fenway as a visitor with the Evil Empire, but Yankees fans can expect his OBP to be closer to that .342 mark than the .383 he enjoyed at the friendly confines. A sampling of hitters who exceeded a .342 OBP last year includes free-swinging Juan Encarnacion, possible Damon replacement Coco Crisp and legendary hacker Shea Hillenbrand, who had a .343 OBP despite walking only 26 times.

* While Damon has shown flashes of power — 20 home runs in 2004 — he dipped to 10 home runs last year. He finished the season with an .805 OPS, which put the one-time Royals outfielder just above current Royals outfielders David DeJesus and Emil Brown (both at .804) as the trio finished 64th, 65th and 66th in the majors in OPS. So I'm assuming Boras believes that DeJesus and Brown are each worth $12.99 million a year.

* To be fair, part of Damon's power dip was attributed to the nagging shoulder injury he battled for much of 2005. Yankees fans should be sympathetic to this since they watched their beloved Bernie struggle over the years with various power-sapping shoulder maladies. I don't know if Boras let the Yankees kick the tires on Damon, but there sure are a lot of miles on those treads. A big part of why Johnny D. was so worshipped in Boston is also why any prospective buyer should have been wary of just what kind of violent collisions their high-priced acquisition had endured.

* You see, Damon never met an obstacle into which he wouldn't happily crash. Boston fans loved him for this, but it took a toll. It may not be as easy as CarFax, but had Brian Cashman looked beyond Boras' propaganda and had a staffer put together a Damon crash reel, he would have seen: Damon being carried off on a stretcher in the 2003 playoffs after going noggin-to-noggin at full speed with Damian Jackson; Damon slicing his arm open on the Toronto scoreboard in April 2005, forcing the Blue Jays to redesign that neon monstrosity in left-center; and countless showdowns between Damon and the Green Monster's metallic scoreboard.

* Damon has put himself through a one-man demolition derby during his four years in Boston. Caveat emptor. But of course the Yankees don't have to be wary. Because even if the Damon signing turns out to be a huge mistake, they'll just swallow the money and overpay for someone else. Luxury tax be damned. As long as the Boss is around and the Empire has its ludicrous TV revenue, the Yankees will buy their way into the playoffs every year, even if it means doubling the payroll of their pursuers.

* Even though his power dipped in '05, Damon enjoyed the highest stolen-base percentage of his career, a gaudy .947 success rate. The downside is that his 18 stolen bases were his lowest total in eight years. In Boras' exotic calculus, the guy who tied for 30th in stolen bases in the majors and ranked 43rd in on-base percentage is a Hall-of-Fame-bound second-coming of Rickey Henderson. In truth, Damon is not the equal of the greatest leadoff hitter of all time. In fact, Damon is not the best leadoff hitter on his new team. Derek Jeter had a .389 OBP last year, good for 16th in the majors. For their careers, Jeter's OBP (.386) is superior to Damon's (.353).

...in closing. Good move for about 2 years...afterwards the Yankees are going to have another Bernie Williams situation on their hands. An overpaid, gimpy old man wandering around centerfield who is a mere shell of what he once was. Good thing they didn't go out and snag someone like Juan Pierre or Torii Hunter who have a good decade ahead of them, smooth move Yanks...smooth move.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Goodnight Billy...

Just a thought I had the other night following an entire day of little wipper-snappers crying and screaming and yelling at Grandmama's place. So I thought to myself, what's a good way to deal with annoying little children and well...here's what I came up with...

..................................................

Here's a good way to provide a little entertainment for young children when you tuck them in at night, and the same time, stimulate their imaginations.

Observe:

"I just came up to say goodnight and tuck you in, Billy. You had a big day, so make sure you get a good night's sleep. And don't forget to watch out for the Boogie Man. Remember what Mommy and I told you about the Boogie Man? How he kills little boys? What do you think, Billy? Is the Boogie Man here in your room, hiding somewhere? Is he in the closet? Is he going to jump out and kill you when I leave the room? He might; you never know."

*Proceed tucking the child in*

"Maybe he's under the bed. He likes to hide there, too. He might claw his way through the matress and kill you. Don't let him kill you, Billy. You know what he does? He sticks a sharp metal tube up your nose and sucks the fluid right out of your brain. It really hurts a lot. I'm going to turn out the lights now and leave you alone in the dark...all by yourself. And I don't want to hear a peep out of you. If I hear any noise come from this room, I'm going to come back up here and beat you. Try to get a good night's sleep."

*Flip off light and begin closing door.*

"Oh by the way, Mommy saw a monster walking up and down the hall last night. The monster had a piece of paper in his hand with your name on it. Night-night."

*close door*

..................................................

Friday, December 16, 2005

Finals Week...

Well folks, I'm not gonna lie Finals Week has pretty much been a breeze. Monday I had an essay test at 10am and I feel I did pretty well on that bad-boy. Then I turned in a 35 page paper for my Creative Writing class. The story is still VERY far from being finished. Currently I'm hoping to someday with time, patience and a good editor turn that bad-boy into a small novel. *crosses fingers*

Also Monday, I realized why I'm getting so chunky...trust me, I am...well not really, but I feel sorta chunky. I eat too much greasy fast food. So I'm sitting in the cafeteria munching down like my 40th Chick-fil-A sandwhich of the semester when I think...damn, these aren't healthy at all. Now realize these guys are like 8,500 calories naturally. Then I squeeze two packets of mayo and two packets of this honey-roasted BBQ sauce onto them and eat the chicken. I follow that up with a thing of greasy, salty waffle fries that I dip in Ranch, mayo and the afformentioned BBQ sauce. Now I realize that I eat like 75,000 calories a day and in reality I've gained only one pound in the last 4 years...yes, one f'n pound. But it still made my kind of sick to think about it...just thought I'd pass that along.

Anywho, Monday night Mike, Alicia and I went to the gym to workout. It was nice to go there since I can't stand going to the gym on campus. Maybe it's just me, but anymore at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is stay on campus even longer after I've already been there for like 10 hours, know what I mean? So it was a nice change. I lifted some weights...always happy when my arms don't snap like the tiny twigs that they are. Then I ran for 10 minutes. I know, big f'n deal, right?! Well since I still haven't done anything that is overly cardiovascular since the whole lung collapse, it felt great! I know I played slow pitch softball all summer...and I'll admit, I may have bounced back too early from lung surgery...I was practicing and playing within a month...eeekk!! But yeah, it felt good to do some exercising on the old wind bag again. I wasn't too winded or dead and I was running at a pretty solid pace, uphill on the treadmill...so that made me happy. Good times.

To follow up that workout session...we decided to do some drinking, b/c what better way to counteract everything you've just done?! We picked up some of the neccessities at the CUB Foods liquor department and headed home where Mike mixed us some MONDO-HUGE Liquid Cocaines. For anyone who has never had a liquid cocaine...your life is a waste. They are great! Why are they called liquid cocaines you ask...or at least I'm pretending you did...well I'll tell you why. Because they are expensive (like $5 in a bar) and once you have a taste...you're hooked!! Needless to say everyone got bombed. Even Alicia, who've I've never seen drunky-poo before. We also played Phase-10 at the same time and I won for the first time ever, turns out all I have to do is get the competition drunk as hell and they're all mine.

Tuesday was just a work day. Then some B-Dubbs for wings and beers and then back home for some more mixed drinks and another round of Phase-10. No one was drunk and I lost. Dammit.

Wednesday was my fun day! w00t! It had basically snowed all night long and continued doing so through most of the morning so there was tons of snow. The best part, it was the heavy, wet kind that's all packed. Well okay, at first it sucked, because I went out and had to scoop out the driveway so Grace could get out and go to campus. Then I did the sidewalk...the other end of the driveway so I could get out...the walkway to and from the garage and Grace's and my cars...and then the kicker...I cleared out the entire space behind the garage...yeah! It was nuts. We are talking about tons of f'n scooping snow, but what the hell it was like right at 32 degrees and I didn't have anything else to do. Good times. Later Alicia took me to Perkins to thank me for the scooping. Which was great, b/c she bought me lunch/breakfast...good times. She gave me tons of info on Portland and Oregon as a whole (it's Grace's #1 choice for Grad School Destinations).

Later I took my application up to KEYC-TV and talked to them about my internship and they were totally cool with me working during the summer and the job is pretty much all sealed up. SWEET-ASS-SWEET!! I'm so pumped to work for a TV station, let alone one as prominent at KEYC. Seriously, they are the 27th highest rated CBS affiliate in the US...holy schnikeys man!! Their noon news is the 13th highest rated in the entire country and they dominate the entire region as the #1 rated station in news, sports and weather! I'm so f'n pumped.

So when I got home, I was a little bored so I went outside and started messing around in the snow. I slid down the driveway behind my car about 30-40 times on my sled and then quickly tired of that...so I decided to make some snow men. Oh hell yeah! The next hour or so was spent rolling snow up, and it comes up just like sod man...it just kept rolling and took the snow right off the grass...it was nuts. And the end result is as follows:



On the left we have Snow Graves and on the right, Snow Mlady. Yeah...I'm seriously that lame. But it was a good time. I came back inside, had some hot cider and read more of my David Wells autobiography...a very good read actually, whoda thunk it?!

Thursday (today) was spent at work and then hanging out with Mlady. We did some Christmas shopping and just bummed around town for awhile, which was a lot of fun. Then I did my usual night-before cram job for my 10am Mass Comm History final tomorrow. You know, for a 400-level class, it's not too shabby, a little on the boring side sometimes, but not too hard. I like that. Well I suppose it's now 1:30 in the A.M. and I need to get a little sleepy-poo before this final...so I'm going to go ahead and sign off now...

Hope you enjoyed the latest installment.

-Graves


PS: One more thing...can we keep some peace on the replies. I know some people have pissed other people off and I'm not going to name any names...but if EVERYONE involved good, bad or ugly could just get along or just avoid...that'd be super-duper!

PPS: For anyone from back home who might be reading this...I'm super-f'n-pumped for X-Mas Break. It'll be nice to kick back and cool my jets for awhile. I'll probably work with my Pappy a little bit, but other than that...I'm looking forward to some hardcore lazy-dayz of winter and of course...FLAG FOOTBALL 2k5!!

PPPS: Lewis Black is coming to Minnesota! He's going to be at Mystic Lake on Thursday March 23rd at 7:30pm. I'm going to try to snag some sweet-ass tickets, should be one helluva good time. I've seen George Carlin live (thanks to a twist of fate and his booze problem), I'm most likely going to see Lewis Black...all that leaves is Chris Rock and my trifecta is complete.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Taming the Masses...

Recently there was been tons of fanmail for me to get this blog updated. Granted when I say "tons of fanmail"...I really just mean that Steven hit me up with a request--once. Either way, I'm back for another installment.

Odd time right now as we are wrapping up the fall semester and I've actually begun to realize that I'm quickly running out of time left to be a normal college kid and avoid all of the "real world" stuff that is going to kick me in the nuts when President Davenport hands me that piece of parchment.

I've loved college. But honestly, who doesn't? I've had good times. I've had bad times. I've skipped class (not since Freshman year). I've been a 4.0 student. I've been drunk and sober. I've been raped and pilleged for rent. I've made great friends and I've lost great friends. I've fallen in love. I've blown a lot of money on stupid things that serve no purpose beyond dorm life. I've put on some weight...well maybe not, but I'm sure I could. I've done the long-hair and beard thing that seems a requirement for all dudes in college. I've been to concerts and sporting events. I've shown school spirit and I've ripped on the administration. I've been overinformed and underinformed. I've been overwhelmed and apathetic.

Needless to say...I've had chance upon chance to do something big and make the most of this time. College is labeled "the best four (or five or six or seven) years of your life," but personally I've never agreed with that. I always thought that set up the next 60 years or so for failure. I've had a great time, but I don't want to assume this is where the fun stops.

Am I scared for what is ahead...HELL YES!! Anyone who says they aren't is completely full of shit. I know that if I wanted to I could stay here in Mankato, get a full-time position in the library and live with Mike and Alicia for a few years to help supplement their house payments...but I can't help but think that I want something more.

In elementary school I wanted to play professional baseball and be famous. In middle school I wanted to be a wrestler or play professional baseball and be famous. In high school I wanted to be an actor or a wrestler or play professional baseball and be famous. When I got to college I wanted to "just be." Then I decided I wanted to be a writer. My feelings toward that have changed many times, with occasional feelings of "what the hell am I thinking" to "this is the greatest thing ever." But in the end...it all still comes down to me and what I decide to do.

I realize I could have done a lot more with my time in college. I could have joined more groups. I could have made more friends. I could have gotten an internship sooner. I could have studied abroad or tried my hand at writing much earlier on and I could have been a published author a long time ago. But either way...it's all in the past now. I'm left with one semester to go and I know it's about time for me to get all mushy and start panicking about what's next, but I just don't want to yet.

This May I know my best friends and I are all headed in different directions and time is getting very limited for all of us to "do our thing" together. We don't get to hang out nearly enough the way things are anymore and we are all at most a days drive from one another. Come this time next year, I could be in Oregon or Boston or California or hell...maybe even, Istanbul...either way no one knows what's in store.

I realize this post has no real focus or point...but sometimes neither do our lives. Which is sorta what I'm feeling right now. I've turned 22...the days of saying, "Hey...I'm just a kid man, back off!" are gone now. I'm going to be a self-succient (hopefully) college graduate in five months' time. And the biggest part of it all is I feel like I'm missing something. Maybe it's just something that movies and TV shows have laid out there...but in my head there should be some defining moment where everything sorta comes together and I realize what it's all been for and what the purpose of everything really is. Granted I won't have the rest of the cast of the OC sitting around me or some pop ballad in the background...but when it happens, I'm finally going to get some sense of "fullfillment" from this whole college-thing.

Wow...that was ubber-lame wasn't it?! Sorry I'm feeling kinda funny now, lots of people I've known for the past four years are done after next week and it's just starting to hit home. My apologies. Anyway, I'll try to get up a coherent post in the very near-future.