Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tigers Dodge Bullet

Bad news: Tigers lose to Toronto. First place in central division in jeopardy.
Embarrassing news: Twins lose to Kansas City on the same day.
Good news: Tigers still in first place in central division.

UPDATE: Scratch that. Tigers just shot themselves in foot, and this time Minnesota squeaks by KC.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saddam's iTunes Playlist

A recent picture from Saddam's trial reveals he's not really paying attention. He's rocking out.

(I think he's beatmatching. His right hand appears to be working one of his turntables.)

This is what's on his playlist:
1. Jimi Hendrix: All Along the Watchtower
2. Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues
3. John Lee Hooker: I'm Prison Bound
4. Otis Redding: Chaingang
5. Jefferson Airplane: No Way Out
6. Grand Funk Railroad: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
7. Pink Floyd: The Trial
8. Patsy Cline: A Church, A Courtroom, and Then Goodbye
9. Queen Latifah: Court Is In Session
10. Les Miserables Soundtrack: Who Am I? [Saddam apparently likes to shout out "24601" at random moments in his trial.]
11. The Byrds: Life in Prison
12. Eric Clapton: County Jail Blues
13. Wesley Willis: He's Doing Time In Jail
14. Iggy Pop: Little Electric Chair
15. Ice Cube: When I Get To Heaven (from the "Lethal Injection" album)
16. The Cardigans: Hanging Around

And don't forget Rock, Paper, Saddam!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Pessimism about Tigers Reaches a Season High

Since August began, I've had that nagging voice in the back of my head: "There's no way the Tigers will make the playoffs." I've kept this to myself until now. I'll just come out and say it: There's no way the Tigers will make the playoffs. But if they do make the playoffs, it will be as a wildcard. Why?

(1) The Tigers just lost two games (at home) to the Mariners, who hadn't won a road game since Reagan was president.

(2) The Tigers released Dmitri Young. What? That guy (if he can keep his nose clean) will be in the hall of fame.

(3) A month ago I was excited about the fact that the Tigers' last nine games of the season are against the Royals (six games) and the Blue Jays (three games). But the Royals recently have taken two of three from the Twins, two of three from the White Sox, and one of three from the Yankees. What's the deal with that? That's respectable. That's not the Kansas City team I've come to know and love.

(4) Carlos Guillen is injured (considered day-to-day).

(5) Todd Jones (you know, the Detroit closer) has a 4.56 ERA. Color me unimpressed. Remember when Jeff Reardon was pitching for the Braves in the 1992 World Series? Everyone said he was supposed to fill their need for a closer. But Ed Sprague took Reardon's fastball for a ride over the leftfield fence to win game two. Todd Jones reminds me of that Jeff Reardon.

(6) Jeremy Bonderman hasn't won a game since July 19.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rowling on Why It's Good That Voldemort Is So Bad

I have always felt that cardboard baddies make weak heroes and that Harry deserved a really deluxe model, so I have done my best to make Lord Voldemort a real person, red eyed and snakelike though he might be. He, of course, is one of the reasons the Harry Potter books are often banned, but I remain of the firm belief that we need our imaginary villains, the better to brace ourselves for the ones we need to fight in reality.

There are a few other comments from JKR here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tigers Lose; I Blame Apollo

Did you see the Tigers-Angels game tonight? Tigers ended up losing in ten innings.

The Tigers were one out away from winning in the ninth, but Izturis reached base on a throwing error by starting shortstop Carlos Guillen and moved to second on an infield single by Cabrera. Vladimir Guerrero then blooped a tying single off Jones, ending his streak of 19 successful save opportunities.

Now why did Guillen miss on what would have been the final throw to first base? There didn't seem to be any reason why that throw should have been wild. But having recently reread the Iliad (Fagles trans.), I suspect some foul play on the part of the gods. Their intervention is quite often noted by Homer, but one of the most blatant ocurrences is in book 16, ll. 914-24:

Then at the fourth assault Patroclus like something superhuman--
then, Patroclus, the end of life came blazing up before you,
yes, the lord Apollo met you there in the heart of battle,
the god, the terror! Patroclus never saw him coming,
moving across the deadly rout, shouded in thick mist
and on he came against him and looming up behind him now--
slammed his broad shoulders and back with the god's flat hand
and his eyes spun as Apollo knocked the helmet off his head
and under his horses' hoofs it tumbled, clattering on
with its four forged horns and its hollow blank eyes
and its plumes were all smeared in the bloody dust.

Just so, Apollo must be an Angels' fan to descend to give such a heavy blow to the unsuspecting Guillen. (And later in the game, Guillen injured "himself" running out a double; or was his injury also due to Apollo? Did Guillen somehow offend the lord of the silver bow?)