Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening FUKUDOME Day!

Opening Day Commentary: Kosuke Fukudome had quite a day for himself, huh? While it's unfortunate for Cubs fans that they lost, that is one impressive debut. You hit a game tying three run jack in the ninth and rake Ben Sheets for a double on the first pitch you see in a regular season game, you're pretty good. I look forward to seeing more from him this season. Speaking of the HR, I saw it on the tv at the gym, which prompted me to bellow out, Yeah same old Gagne without the juice. Sorry Brewers fans, but he sucks ass and you're stuck with him.

Twins fans, from what I gathered from the same TV, game Torii Hunter a nice ovation when he batted for the first time, and he tipped his batting helmet in response. Good to see, The Human Web Gem has always been one of my favorite non-Red Sox players. I see ex-Red Sox Eric Hinske hit a home run for the Rays today in a win at Baltimore. Hinske will always be cool for two things, s diving catch to help save a May win vs Detroit when he smashed his face into the warning track in the process, and running over Jorge Posada last September in a close play at the plate.

Also pleased to know that at least for day games in the US, the first pitch in MLB was thrown in Cincinnati, the AL first pitch in Detroit. Just like it used to be. A bit weird with the 1-1 Red Sox not playing bit oh well.

What I do not like: if ESPN is going to show montages indicating this season is the last season on Yankee Stadium every other inning when the freaking Yankees aren't even playing I'm going to turn off the damn channel. Go Sox!!! My first projection: 2-2 heading into Toronto. That won't be bad at all seeing as they always have trouble in Oakland (while games 1-2 were in Tokyo the A's were still the home team).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Shortest MLB Predictions article by a wanna-be pundit

Baseball fans have all read 4,256 different articles on how the baseball season will work out. I'm going to tell you in the shortest way possible:

American League East
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees
3. Blue Jays
4. Rays (team on the rise)
5. Orioles

American League Central
1. Indians
2. Tigers (Wild Card)
3. Twins (always win more than the experts think)
4. White Sox
5. Royals

American League West
1. Angels
2. Mariners
3. Athletics (team on the decline for one re-building season)
4. Rangers

American League Playoffs
Tigers over Angels
Indians over Red Sox
AL Champs: Indians over Tigers

National League East
1. Mets
2. Braves
3. Phillies
4. Nationals (team on the rise)
5. Marlins

National League Central
1. Cubs
2. Brewers
3. Reds
4. Pirates
5. Cardinals (team on severe decline)
6. Astros (see Cardinals)

National League West
1. Diamondbacks
2. Rockies (Wild Card - this was the year I was expecting a playoff team in Denver)
3. Dodgers
4. Padres
5. Giants

National League Playoffs
Rockies over Braves in one game playoff
Mets over Rockies
Diamondbacks over Cubs
NL Champs: Mets over Diamondbacks


I'm a little worried that I have the exact same World Series Matchup as Erik Kuselias, but Drew Carey is going to be one happy mofo this fall. Indians over Mets in 6 games. But do not go to Vegas with this blog, I picked Tigers over Dodgers last year, neither got really close to the post-season.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lost in DC, Found at Ben's Chili Bowl

Okay, I like to run the Exorcist Stairs in Georgetown for a workout. Metro Sports provided a description on a workout a couple years ago. You start at the top of the stairs, run tow blocks east, then one block south down 34th street, take a right at Georgetown Running Company, west to the Exxon station, then up the stairs, all 75 of them. I think they are 75, but I call what I just described a lap. Three weeks ago, 6 laps. Two weeks ago, 8 laps. Today, 6 laps on a warmer day, but I had already gone to spin class earlier on whereas the other two days I had not.

After the stair run, I decided to run a bit more through Georgetown and DC, with the idea of eating dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl. Since it was a 60 degree day and I had no definite plans, I decided to just wing it with no agenda beyond Ben's for dinner. So I ran and walked through Normanstone Park in Northwest DC (in between Rock Creek and Cleveland Park), then ended up by the National Cathedral, which is really nice to look at I must admit. Once I got north of the Cathedral, I had no idea where I was, and it was cloudy so I had no sun to guide me, so I found a street that I ran on earlier, followed that, then found my way through to Adams Morgan.

And then, I checked out the new Target in Columbia Heights. Very, very busy, but that's a good thing, since most if not all of DC itself is quite underserved from a retaill standpoint. Finally, Ben's Chili Bowl is always a great option for dinner. Chili Cheeseburger, check. Potato Salad, homemade, check. Very loud jukebox, still worked for me. All in all a good day of exploring the city.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I really like flying Southwest, so I hope this is the extent of it

And all the grounded planes get repaired, pass inspection, and are beyond safe in the skies. Everything about Southwest is great: the increased cities within the United States, the short and security lines at BWI airport, the quirky staff, and the acceptable fares. The new boarding process by groups is better than the "cattle call" too. Let's hope that this is just a bump and nothing more to be concerned about. I'm confident that Southwest will be up to the task of getting these 41 jets safe.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

My Road Racing Debut

Not only have I been running at fun runs organized byPacers Running Store but I decided a few weeks ago to enter The St Patrick's Day 8K race in DC. Yup, I run road races now. I really like running for many reasons: it keeps me in some resemblance of shape, it keeps me from getting fat, I've met some great people, it gets me outside and about, and I needed a new hobby since skiing here is so so (well, okay gas prices keep me inside the Beltway area more than anything).

Today was my road racing debut, I figured I'd start with a fairly flat, easy course since those of you who know me can attest: I am no speed demon or endurance freak. Runs are often exercises in survival for me, but that's cool. I run more and they won't be, provided my back holds up. I had lots of pre-race jitters, which I guess is natural for a first race. Standing outside when it was quite cold and windy made me say, oh crap I'll be lucky to finish this five mile jaunt in under an hour! Especially if I have to run into the wind!

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. The wind was only in my face at the very end. Yeah! I was actually passing people! Yeah, that doesn't happen at Fun Run! (Truth be told many Fun Runners are training for marathons, I'm just trying to lose some pounds - smileyface) Once I started, I realized two wicking shirts underneath my green, urged to wear by group leader, fleece may have been one too many to wear while running, but I wasn't too hot overall. I wasn't even really tired until the very end, and didn't limp to the finish line.

Final Time: 47 minutes 39 seconds, a 9:36 mile clip. I'm quite encouraged by it, all my friends that told me I would be fine were right. If the Champion Chip that all racers tie to shoelaces doesn't start recording time until I cross a mat with sensors underneath, my time was probably 20-30 seconds better since I was at the back of the starting line. Add that it was cold and nasty windy but I did okay, and I'm going to run some more races. I'm already signed up for Ukrop's 10K in Richmond next month and am thinking of adding two more 10Ks in May, one in Winchester, VA and another in Arlington. I can't wait to do some more running!