June 19, 2008

      Within the last couple of days, the Mariners have fired manager John McLaren and general manager Bill Bavasi. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a major overhaul, though, because (for whatever reason) the wheels have completely fallen off of this year's team. The team chemistry just seems off and the pitching and hitting both appear to be snake-bitten (certain outs at the wrong time, injuries to one or two guys that force many others to play outside their normal roles, etc.).
     This team was actually picked by a few national scribes to win the division, but it's looking already like they won't get out of the division cellar. If this had happened last year, I'm not sure Ichiro would've re-signed -- and he needs to stay because he's a sure hall-of-famer. I think the only guys I would keep long-term are Raul Ibanez, Jeff Clement, Ichiro, Felix Hernandez, Wladimir Balentien and two of the best young starters thrown into the fire during the second half.
     The Angels appear ready to contend for the next five years or so, so we're going to have to start at least winning enough to win the wild card once in a while, but with what I'm seeing from the Tampa Bay Rays and the White Sox, it's going to take a lot of work. So instead of looking forward to playoffs, I'm looking forward to seeing who the manager and GM will be next season and who will fill out more than half of the roster. Sigh.

June 6, 2008

     Today was my last day at the Elections Office. It was tough to go and I'll miss my co-workers there. I also wish them well the rest of this year as they try to get through a presidential-election year under a lot of pressure not to repeat what happened in 2004. I was given a lot of cool stuff at the send-off (and I'll be working on the jar of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts for a long time to come) and I know I won't leave my next job feeling like I made as much of a difference.

February 9, 2008

     The Mariners have just traded four pieces of a possible future team to the Baltimore Orioles in an attempt to get better sooner. Time will tell if this deal balances out, but Bedard is not known for being a positive influence in the clubhouse and he's probably more of an East Coast guy, so I doubt he'll finish his career here. Give the Mariners' front office credit, I suppose, for wanting to end the current string of six seasons without a playoff appearance, but maybe it's time the team officially rebuilds so they can all be good at the same time -- maybe.

January 1, 2008

    Another year and another list of celebrities who passed on during the previous 12 months. Yvonne DeCarlo ("Munsters"), Iwao Takamoto, Solveig Dommartin ("Wings of Desire"), Ron Carey ("Barney Miller"), Molly Ivins, Lew Burdette (baseball), Frankie Laine, Anna Nicole Smith, Hank Bauer (baseball), Richard Jeni, Calvert DeForrest ("Late Show with David Letterman"), Luther Ingram (R&B singer), Roscoe Lee Browne, Kurt Vonnegut, Don Ho, David Halberstam (baseball stories), Jack Valenti, Dabbs Greer, Tommy Newsom, Tom Poston, Wally Schirra, Charles Nelson Reilly, Don Herbert, Laszlo Kovacs, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Merv Griffin, Phil Rizzuto, Max Roach (jazz), Madeleine L'Engle, Luciano Pavarotti, Jane Wyman, Brett Somers, Marcel Marceau, Lois Maxwell, Deborah Kerr, Joey Bishop (last of the "Rat Pack"), Robert Goulet, Joe Nuxhall, Dan Fogelberg, and Oscar Peterson. You will all be missed, but your work will continue to be recognized.