Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Buy my friend's book

My friend Gerry Doyle, copyeditor extraordinaire and evidence that the University of Kansas isn't all bad, has written a book. I haven't read it yet, but I suspect it's excellent. Gerry also has a funny blog.

Anecdote: Gerry once saved me big-time after I edited a story about church leaders trying with mixed success to get their perspective heard at a meeting about HIV/AIDS, but coming away with optimism. Here was the headline he caught before it got into the paper:

Religious Leaders Take Positives
Away from AIDS Conference

Friday, October 19, 2007

Coincidence or gamesmanship?

The Red Sox managed to win at Cleveland last night -- in spite of the fact that the national anthem was performed by Josh Beckett's ex-girlfriend. Per ESPN:

Danielle Peck, a country music singer who also happened to date Red Sox ace pitcher Josh Beckett, will sing the national anthem and "God Bless America" at tonight's Game 5 in Cleveland. Beckett is scheduled to start the game for Boston.

"It's an incredible coincidence. Honestly," said Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio.


"She's from Ohio. Her entire family are Indians fans. We did not know anything about her connections to Beckett. The next day, we find out the rest of the story," said DiBiasio of Peck. "How are we supposed to know who Josh Beckett dates?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just plain weird

The internet -- sports sites, specifically -- keep getting weirder and weirder. This Steve Spurrier dress-up doll takes the cake.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

99 Years of Cub Losses

Sorry Dan, this is required listening, but it's going to hurt.

"99 Years of Cub Losses," to the tune of "99 Luftballoons."

The Original Empanada

For those who don't know, the original empanada wager was between Tom and me over a Cardinals-Brewers series in May 2005. I won the wager.

I never received this empanada. A few weeks ago, Tom and I decided to go double or nothing on the Wisconsin-Illinois football game. I won. Tom owed me two empanadas.

This week I faced Tom in fantasy football, and we wagered a bowl of pho and iced coffee if I won, and he didn't owe me the two empanadas if I lost.

I lost.

So the original empanada bet has finally reached its conclusion, with me never receiving the empanada.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Please excuse a serious post

This blog post will also appear shortly on the Dana Press blog. But it's important enough that I want to post it here, too.

This morning I received an e-mail from my parents with news about a family friend:

… she awoke and could not talk. Everything else was ok, so [the person with her] did not insist that she go to the hospital immediately. However, later in the day he called the hospital and they said she should get to the emergency room right away.

She had had a stroke, and the hospital did operate on her carotid artery.

Here’s how I replied to my parents:

How upsetting, and not just because [our friend] is such a dear person …. Please assure me that if you ever have any signs of a stroke—not just a blatant sign, such as not being able to speak—you will go to the hospital or call 911 right away. Do so even if your symptoms seem to pass; that could be what's called a transient ischemic attack, which is a tornado siren: the storm might miss you, but you go to the basement anyway.

Any one sign of a stroke means you assume that nothing else is OK, even if everything else seems OK.

There is a stroke treatment that is extremely effective in ischemic stroke (80 percent of strokes are ischemic) when administered within 3 hours of the start of symptoms. (It's a "clot buster" called tissue plasmonigen activator, or tPA, if you want to look it up.) One of the sadder facts in neuroscience is that the vast majority of stroke patients take time to see if their symptoms will subside — and experience far greater impairment (if they're lucky and don't die) because of it.

Please feel free to lift this text and send it to your own parents and friends. Heck, clip it and stick it to your refrigerator. It may help someone survive. As for our friend, she is lucky to be in speech therapy three times a week. Doctors are not sure she’ll be able to return to her own home.

For more information on stroke, please see Dana's pages on ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke, from The Dana Guide to Brain Health’s online Condition Center.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Suppan-Weaver Award

Based on a discussion I've been having with Dara on my blog, I'm announcing that it's time to start taking nominations for the first annual Suppan-Weaver awards.

A little background....

Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver both had good-to-great postseasons last year for the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff Suppan, despite not being very good in the division series or World Series, pitched two gems against the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series, giving up one run in fifteen innings. For the postseason, he posted a 1.43 ERA (compared to a 4.12 ERA during the regular season).

His reward? The biggest contract in Milwaukee Brewers history... 4 years, $42 million.

He has started off his contract by going 12-12 with a 4.62 ERA.

Jeff Weaver is an even more amazing story. Between the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals during the regular season, he posted an astounding, PH4H MVP candidate worthy 5.79 ERA in 31 starts. In the postseason, he posted a 2.47 ERA, winning games in the Division Series, Championship Series and World Series.

His reward? A one year, $8.3 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. His 2007 performance? 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA. PH4H MVP candidate numbers yet again!

So who's the leading candidate for the 2007 Suppan-Weaver award? Right now, the frontrunner is none other than former National Livan Hernandez. He went 11-11 with a 4.93 ERA for the Diamondbacks in the regular season, and has given up one run in six innings (a 1.50 ERA) so far in the postseason. He's a free agent.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

We should all be able to sleep soundly

This makes me feel safe. How about you?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Best baseball quote of the day, possibly the year . . .

. . .courtesy of Slate:

"Doug Mientkiewicz: greatest Mientkiewicz in baseball history, or just the latest in a long line of great baseball Mientkiewiczes?"

The second-best quote from that same article:

Many fashion experts feel that the Diamondbacks' success can be attributed to the team's offseason decision to change from a calming purple/teal color scheme to a more robust Sedona red. Many fashion experts also feel that slimming vertical stripes and a sassy green fedora would look great on Bob Wickman.

PH4H Chokers' Series

I propose PH4H sponsor a meaningless best-of-7 postseason series between the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres, both of whom overcame remarkable opportunity and talent to miss the playoffs. Yes, I know they're both NL teams. Doesn't matter. This is PH4H.