October 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

[...Posted by Ted H]

So, ya know how I've been all quiet this past month? Yeah, just saving all my will for the upcoming month.

National Novel Writing Month -NaNoWriMo- starts on thursday, and I have every intention of repeating from last years victory of 50K words.

Rather than start a different project, I've decided to pick up from where I left off. Little has been done and I may hit a huge wall this year, what what the hell. Best chance I have at finishing this thing is if I write the hell out of it for 30 days rather than chip away at it for 30 years.

...As always, keep up with me: http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/reted

October 7, 2012

The 2012 MLB Turtle-Wax Awards

[...posted by Ted H]

What the hell is this?
Yeah, nothing new as I actually missed an update...aaaaaand Ill be missing a few more since it's playoff time.
A few years back I ran a Yankees blog on MLB.com. It's tapered off since but at the end of each year I came up with my own awards thing to rival the usual assortment of awards baseball hands out. I enjoyed doing them and since I wont really have anything interesting to post until November, then you shall endure the Turtle-Wax Awards!

Read previous awards? Sure, but beware, fan rantings ahead...
2011 Turtle-Wax Awards
2010 Turtle-Wax Awards
2009 Turtle-Wax Awards


[The 2012 Turtle-Wax Awards]

I had a joke planned on the whole 2012-Doomsday thing if the Cubs made the playoffs, but I guess that's not happening.

These are the awards you DON'T want to win.

The "You Don't Belong Here" Award
Awarded to 1 of the 8 10 playoff teams that shouldn't be in the playoffs
[Previous winners: 2009 Minnesota Twins, 2010 Texas Rangers, 2011 Tampa Bay Rays]

---The Detroit Tigers---

The "Sucks To Be You" Award
Awarded to the team going home with a better record than a playoff team
[Previous winners: 2009 Texas Rangers, 2010 San Diego Padres, 2011 Atlanta Braves]

---The Tampa Bay Rays---

I like Selig's idea of playing around with the playoff format, but I consider myself part of the vocal minority that the one game playoff game is a bad plan. Why invalidate an entire seasons worth of hard work with just one game? This idea along with the division realignment to me represents a missed opportunity. Why not condense the divisions back to two per league, and expand playoff teams to two division winners and four wild card winners per league? Then the wild card teams can play each other and the survivors can play the teams that won their divisions and earned a free pass. Best of one or even best of three. That would still keep a lot of emphasis on winning the division...but I digress.

The Braves won 94 games this year...the Cardinals just 88. Any other year, this wouldn't be an issue. Hell, the AL wild card match up featured two 93 win teams who would have had to play a sudden death match anyway under the previous format. If you really wanted a playoff format that rewarded good teams, then my playoff idea would fly. Tampa Bay was waaaaaaaaay better than Detroit this year, but got cheated out because Detroit played in the weakest division in baseball.
...Speaking of which...

The "Orioles And Blue Jays Would Rather Play In This Division" Award
Awarded to the crappiest division in baseball
[Previous winners: 2009 AL Central, 2010 AL West, 2011 AL Central]

---The American League Central: Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Indians, Twins---

Never mind the fact that this was the only division in all of baseball to not yield a 90 win team. How about a whopping 6 teams in the same league finished with a better record then the division winning Tigers. Two of those teams finished third in their own division.
And of the four teams in the entire AL that had at least 90 losses, the AL central represents three of those teams.
Honorable mention has to go once again to the NL Central who brought us two different 100 loss teams, but the other four teams in that division did somewhat decent and the division winning Reds had the second best record in baseball.

The "Steroid Accusation Rookie Of The Year" Award
Awarded to the slugger who is probably gonna get accused of steroids next, if not already
(I am NOT accusing the winner of steroids, just sayin...)
[Previous winners: 2009 Aaron Hill, 2010 Corey Hart, 2011 Jacoby Ellsbury]

---Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays---
2012 HR total: 42
Previous high: 26 in 2008

This is more of a benefit situation of Jose Bautista being hurt, and the fact that he isn't even 30 yet, but when you mention this guy, all I can think of is the guy who you can always pick up in the late rounds of a draft or in free agency and who will never, ever hit a homer unless he's on your bench. So when I hear he put up solid numbers all year, then my first reaction is to call you a liar.

The "What The Hell Happened To You?" Award
Awarded to the team that fell off the map when they were suppose to be contenders
[Previous winners: 2009 New York Mets, 2010 Seattle Mariners, 2011 Cincinnati Reds]

---The Miami Marlins---

So, new name, new stadium, new logo, new uniforms, new manager, new players...same old Marlins? This was a team that went out and spent recklessly, acquired a bunch of high priced free agents (all except the biggest one of all) stormed out of the gates this year, only to fall over and die despite the delusions of grandeur they had.
A nice change of pace I guess, they only reserve the right to promise so much and deliver nothing for when they win world series titles. But I guess that was a Florida Marlins thing...the Miami Marlins are all about sucking like that year after year.

The "Shut Your God Damn Mouth" Award
Awarded to whoever talked too much without backing it up
[Previous winners: 2009 Chicago Cubs, 2010 MLB Network, 2011 Carlos Zambrano]

---The Boston Red Sox---

The Red Sox talked a big game over how last years collapse wasn't gonna happen twice...and Bobby Valentine talked a big game over how he was gonna fix this team...well now this is awkward considering how the whole season played out.
Alright, so, you choked so back you made history last year. Management brings in a new manager this year to correct that problem but it turns out it only made things worse. I can understand the frustration here. I can also understand the frustration behind the other side of the equation; Getting a job to correct a team that choked, only to start the season and they pick up where they left off in choking.
But guys, seriously, bitching about each other is only making you look like a joke to the rest of us.
And Bobby V isn't the problem here. He isnt personally losing those games for the Red Sox...the Red Sox sucking is losing those games. That team needed a major overhaul, and they need to keep changing this offseason.

The "This Years Miracle, Next Years Rays" Award
Awarded to the team that made a surprise playoff run this year, and will fall short next year 
[Previous winners: 2009 Colorado Rockies, 2010 Tampa Bay Rays, 2011 Tampa Bay Rays]

---The Baltimore Orioles---

The feel good story of the year will not be making the playoffs next year. I wanted to give this to the Rangers since I like the Os chances more than the Rangers next year, but the only surprising thing about Texas's playoff run this year was that they only settled for a wild card entry...
The Os play in the AL bEast division, so the Yankees will never let them win, and too many teams like the Rays, Angels and even Blue Jays exist for me to honestly believe the Orioles will be making back to back postseason appearances...
(I am 2-1 in making this prediction. My only mistake was only made because the 2011 Red Sox choked, allowing the Rays to make the cut...)

The "This Years Royals, Next Years Miracle" Award
Awarded to a team that sucked this year, but can make a run next year
[Previous winners: 2009 Chicago White Sox, 2010 Chicago White Sox, 2011 Washington Nationals]

---The Seattle Mariners---

Why the hell not? They're getting younger, gonna play the AL less next year and the NL more, and if Montero can mature and the team adds one or two more decent hitters, obviously on top of keeping King Felix, then there's a chance the Mariners can make a run, especially if the Rangers start fading.

The "AAA Team In Disguise" Award
Awarded to a team that might have better luck in AAA
[Previous winners: 2009 Washington Nationals, 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates, 2011 Boston Red Sox]

---The Houston Astros---

I'm pretty sure these guys went an entire month without winning a single game. They sucked so bad, the NL decided to kick them out.

The "Dull Knife In The Drawer" Award
Awarded to the biggest mental error this year
[Previous winners: 2009 Washington Nati(o)nals, 2010 Barak Obama, 2011 Brian Sabean]

---Derek Norris of the Oakland Athletics---

Here's the play if you wanna watch.
Norris decides to cover third, which would make sense if not for the fact that it didn't matter and that you left home plate wide open.

The "Results May Vary" Award
Awarded to a player/team that didn't live up to the hype
[Previous winners: 2010 Stephen Strasburg, 2011 Carl Crawford]

---The Los Angeles Dodgers---

So in the thick of the pennant race, the Dodgers decide to make some bold trades. They bring in failed superstars like Hanley Ramirez and a quarter billion dollars worth of failure from the Red Sox and the expectation was that they were going to win? really? Have you guys been watching the Red Sox suck for the last year? And you decide that you need that kind of expensive failure?

The "Joe West Level Of Incompetence" Award
Awarded to the umpire who made the biggest BS call(s) of the year
[Previous winner: 2011 Jerry Meals]

---Sam Holbrook---

The "Outfield Fly" situation of the wild card game between the Cardinals and Braves easily trumps any other bad call this year.

The "Ozzie Kind Of Crazy" Award
Awarded to the manager who had the most entertaining season to watch

---Bobby Valentine of the Boston Red Sox---

Part of me feels like Ozzie Guillen should win the award that I named after him, but Bobby V clearly ran the bigger circus this year. Lord knows that Ozzie will win it in the future. Maybe he should try making a day 1 decision to ban beer and automatically lose clubhouse support, insult one of your fan favorite players then drive him to be traded, threaten to punch a radio host and a wealth of other crazy things like Valentine did this year.
Good luck Bobby, maybe the Mets will hire you next year. I would love that.