June 30, 2004

Extra Nerdy: KotOR and LOTR

According to EB Games, Knights of the Old Republic II has been moved up to a December release date. No confirmation from the official site. For what it's worth, Amazon lists the XBOX version as available 2.1.2005, the PC version 12.6.04.

And with all this talk about KotOR, I've forgotten to mention that Lord of the Rings:The Third Age looks pretty damned sweet too. This is an RPG, very similar to KotOR. It will allow you to create your own human, elf, dwarf or orc and explore Middle-Earth around the time of the movies. As with all RPGs you can choose either good or evil, and your character will intersect with the Fellowship at times. Depending on what path you choose, you will either help the Fellowship, or work for Sauron and try to take the ring. It's based on the same graphic engine from the immensely satisfying Two Towers and Return of the King games from EA.

So, KotOR 2, Third Age, Halo 2, and X-Men Legends (long awaited X-Men based RPG) should all come out within 6-8 weeks of each other. To say nothing of Jade Empire, a martial-arts RPG coming from the developer of the original KotOR. Oh yeah, and the sequel to the Mrs. Frinklin's beloved Zoo Tycoon.

Damn, we're going to be poor for a while this fall.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:38 PM | Comments (1)


I saw this and couldn't resist. The Chronicler comes up with a nickname for Bartolo Colon. Yep, you read that right :The Big Mango.


Posted by Frinklin at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

Howdy! Howdy! Howdy!

I think I have acquired a stalker. Just my luck, it is not a hot babe I slept with and is now boiling my daughter’s rabbit. No, I have a work-hallway stalker. He’s one of our newer IT guys, and unlike the IT stereotypes, he’s nice. In fact he is aggressively, frighteningly nice. I’m constantly running into him in the halls, and every time, every-freaking-time, it’s the same thing.

”Howdy, Howdy, Howdy!”

He has several versions. There is the quick and clipped, in a hurry, “howdyhowdyhowdy”. The Monday morning, slow drawled slightly bleary-eyed version, sometimes coupled with a knowing nod, “Howdy…howdy…howdy”. My personal favorite: Friday afternoon, quick succession, overly enthusiastic, slight head bob, pantomimed quick-draw pistol shot, “howdy-Howdy- HOWDY!”

It’s utterly ridiculous, and beyond that, it’s creeping me out. He always finds me. This morning I had a scary new one: the disembodied voice. I was in the hallway, waiting to talk to my boss and I heard it, seemingly out of nowhere. “Howdy-howdy-howdy.” I looked around, couldn’t find him. Finally, I looked down, and realized his head was poking out from underneath the wall I was standing next too. I’m sure he’s got some cover story about wiring or something, but I think he sets traps for people to howdy them. This has to stop.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:50 PM | Comments (2)

X-Review..well, last weeks anyway

Okay, I’m a little late on these for last week, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t think anyone other them me cares. Two X-books came out on the 23rd, the second issues of both Astonishing X-Men and Excalibur. One great, the other not so much.

Astonishing X-Men #2
This is more like it. After a somewhat underwhelming first issue, Joss Whedon and John Cassady come up with an excellent issue. This is a cracking superhero book, full of cool people doing cool stuff, and being good and angsty about it afterward. There is plenty of good stuff in this issue, and it starts with the basics. Whedon has a nice ear for these characters, especially Kitty and Emma, who have a heated exchange at the end. Kitty, who Whedon has stated was an early influence on Buffy, is again the focal point. It’s a good move in my view, as she hasn’t been a major player in the X-Men for some time.

As you might expect, the dialogue is a treat, with Kitty, Emma and Hank all getting memorable lines. Funny though, the most effective scene in the book is nearly wordless. Whedon allows the art to take over during the fight scene. Cassady, as usual, is spectacular. His artwork is very detailed but never cluttered, and like Kevin Maguire, another of my favorites, he is a master of facial expressions. This is a terrific book, and one that no superhero fan should miss.

Excalibur #2

Now this one is a bit of a mess. I liked the first issue, despite its obviously rushed artwork and glaring Claremontisms, but this goes overboard. Hold on to your hats, I’m about to reveal the big secret. Considering the books been about for a week, and the big secret is on the freaking cover it shouldn’t matter. Yes, Magneto is back. It really isn’t any big deal. Magneto is never dead, though you might remember they left him dead for several years when Claremont killed for his original X-Men swan song. Good Lord, was that really 13 years ago? Anyway, Magneto being alive is not the problem. The problem is the utter disregard for Grant Morrison shown in the way it’s done. It turns out the Magneto from Planet X was some sort of imposter, and the real Mags has been in Genosha all along. What he’s been doing is up in the air, it’s one of those murky, “I was sleeping” things that is so prevalent in superhero comics. His return brings out a mess of continuity problems, such as if Charles knew Magneto was alive, and in contact enough to set up a meeting with him, why didn’t he tell him the other Magneto tore up Manhattan and killed Jean Grey? If that was an imposter, just who the heck was he? This, combined with the Xorn mess over in X-Men, has been an appalling treatment for Morrison. He made the X-Men relevant again, shouldn’t he be treated better than this?

So, beyond that, this issue is aggravating. The art is better, though I still think Marvel erred when they took this book from Igor Kordey. Lopresti is growing on me though. I can understand Claremont reclaiming Magneto. I think his reinvention is the most successful thing he did on the X-Men. Chris seems to flounder here though, having these two titans of X-Men lore in the same book. He’s made the questionable decision to surround them with a terrible group of supporting characters. He includes Calisto, another old favorite, but one who’s seen better days. After flip-flopping between really ugly and really hot, she’s back to being hot. If you disregard the tentacles. Yes, you read that correctly. She has tentacles now. Don’t ask. Add the interesting powers, but terrible execution of Wicked and Freakshow and you have a pretty lousy supporting cast.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2004

Mariner and Padre Notes and observations

I watched the Padre- Diamondback game tonight, congratulations to the Unit for his 4,000 strikeout. It still upsets me some that we get these two giant milestones for Griffey and Randy in different uniforms. It's too bad that egos and dollars get in the way.

I was on such the nostalgia kick I explained the entire 1995 season the Mrs. Frinklin. She umm.. well, she was nice enough to pretend to pay attention. I was stunned by my beautiful and talented wife's innate baseball wisdom though. While watching Robby Hammock flail away at the plate, she mentioned that he seemed really impatient. Well, considering that Hammock sports the sterling OBP of .276, it seems she would be right. I'll make a baseball fan out of her yet.

The Mrs. Frinklin is already a huge fan of Khalil Greene, along with most of San Diego. The kid certainly acquited himself well against Johnson, hitting a double and eventual game winner HR. Plus he made an excellent stop to make the final out on Danny Bautista. His numbers aren't that great (.260/ .337/ .382), but he plays with a real flair, and does the dreaded, undefinable little things to help a team win.

Despite giving up Johnson's 4,000 K, the Padres took the game, making a winner of Brian Sweeney in his first major-league start. The Pads have won 8 out of 10, and have pulled to 1.5 games back of the Giants. According to SI's Tom Verducci, the Padres are looking at dealing for Steve Finley, which I heartily endorse. He's still popular here, and is having an excellent year, especially when you consider he's 39 years old.

Do the Diamondbacks have anything that isn't horrifically ugly? They have 233 different uniform pieces that range from bad to frightening, and the BOB looks like a junkie designed it.


The Beloved M's win tonight over first-place Texas on Rich Aurillia's homer in the sixth. So, which of these two fragments "first-place Texas" or "Rich Aurillia's homer" did you think you were less likely to see about a month ago? Anyway, Miguel Olivo started his first M's game and promptly went 0-3. Welcome to the team, please, PLEASE don't try to fit right in.

I fully support Stephen's Ray Charles Night idea. Not sold on the Mark Kotsay's wife thing though.

So, the Phillies are looking at Bret Boone and maybe Randy Winn. I don't know about Boone, I still think he'll end up a Yankee, but if Bavasi can pawn Winn off on the Phills I'm all for it. Hey, they do need a CF don't they?

Hmm.. not a terribly coherent post, but it will do.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

Amateur Movie Review- Napoleon Dynamite

Pedro offers you his protection...

As I mentioned previously, the Mrs. Frinklin and I went to see Napoleon Dynamite this weekend. This is an exceptionally odd little movie following Napoleon, his sexually ambiguous older brother Kip and their Uncle Rico, who peaked in 1982, and is so desperate to return there he’ll do anything, including buy a time machine off the Internet. Napoleon, yes that is his real name, is in high school in a very small, very backward little town in Idaho. This is not the most coherent movie; it just rather meanders around Napoleon, his school year and the geeky things he does. And Goodness is he geeky. Napoleon and his friends Debbie and Pedro might be the most socially inept teenagers ever seen on screen. This movie is painful to watch at times, and the moviegoer will spend the entire time in a state of permanent cringe.

Napoleon Dynamite is definitely worth seeing though. It can be very funny. I dare anyone to see Napoleon explain how he never gets any girls due his lack of nun-chuck skills or Pedro’s brilliant idea of asking the prettiest girl in school to the big dance via a cake and not laugh. It is inherently sunny as well, wrapping up in an ending worthy of vintage John Hughes. This movie has all the earmarks of a cult hit: unknown cast, bizarre sense of humor, and endlessly repeatable lines. Judging by the reaction at Bob’s Hogs and Wiener Pigs, it already is, as the Mrs. Frinklin’s co-workers constantly wear their “Vote for Pedro” t-shirts.

I want one too.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2004

The Once-Again Beloved Mariners

I'm actually excited about the M's again. Not, hey this could be good team excited, but more of a "can't wait to see what happens next" kind of excited.

What won't be happening next, according to Peter Gammons' chat this morning, is a trade of Jamie Moyer. To wit: Well, to start will, the Ms have told all inquiring teams that they will NOT trade Jamie Moyer. I hope this incorrect. I like Jamie and all, but come on, he's a fortysomething pitcher on a terrible team. Send him somewhere. As I see it we have 3 major chits left: Everyday Eddie, Moyer, Bret Boone. It shall be interesting to see what happens next.

Oh, and my optimism is tempered by Jolbret Cabrera hitting 3rd. Yeesh...

Posted by Frinklin at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

Gore, Clinton, Reagan and Me

In an otherwise excellent defense of Bill Clinton’s legacy, Ronald Brownstein of the LA Times mentions how Clinton and his sexual peccadilloes may have cost Al Gore the 2000 election. I beg to differ: Al Gore cost Al Gore the election. In the election season of 2000, a smarter man (or rather, a man more comfortable with himself) would have gone in front of the country and said something to the effect of “Yeah, Bill was a bit of jerk, but man, we got some good times going right now, don’t we?”

Instead, Al listened to Bob Shrum, supposed political guru. Al then spelled out to Mr. And Mr. American how everyone they could imagine was out to get them the oil companies, HMOs, insurance companies, media companies. However, thankfully, Al was there for them, to protect them. The people against the powerful, remember that nonsense? Al Gore, for all his recent bluster, is political death, and everyone that matters in the Democratic Party knows it. Remember, Howard Dean was on his way to being President until Gore endorsed him.

Oh, and you might notice how I, registered Republican, actually said the words “excellent defense of Bill Clinton”. Well, I did. Now that My (Incredibly Boring) Life is out, my fellow conservatives are attempting to shape the Clinton legacy, much as they did the Regan legacy. It’s to the opposite effect, but same principle. With Regan, we rightists set out to erase anything that did not meet the criteria of Ronald Regan, Paragon of America. Witness what happened to the CBS TV Movie, or the widespread condemnation of Edmund Morris’ book. For the record, the movie was dreck, the book, once you get beyond the stylistic oddities, is excellent.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Ronald Reagan is my political hero. It took me a few years to understand that, but it is very much the case. Ask the Mrs. Frinklin, she will tell you all about my idolization of Ronnie. Nevertheless, the plain truth of it is it’s intellectually dishonest. I believe the facts about Reagan will support my contention that he is the best president of the last 50 years. He was not perfect though. No president is. And I believe that Ronald Reagan was enough of a man to admit that, and I think he’d be a little disheartened to see this rush to canonize him.

So what does that have to do with Clinton? Well, led by Charles Krauthammer and Max Boot, two gentlemen I greatly appreciate, the right have attacked Clinton as the do-nothing president. A president that squandered whatever leadership he possessed on mundane little projects directed by Dick Morris. Now, some of this is true, but to minimize Clinton’s successes is as dishonest as erasing Reagan’s faults. He did have the luck to govern during an economic boom, though one that was spurred by the difficult times in the Reagan and Bush years. Clinton is to be commended on his focus on the economy, for spending down the deficit, and helping along the great economic trend of the 90’s: the rise of average American as investor and stockholder.

Now, beyond that, the most important thing Bill Clinton did for America was to make the Democratic Party a factor in presidential politics again. Brownstein points this out, though he didn’t make the connection between that and Gore’s old-school approach. Clinton realized that the vast majority of Americans don’t hate they rich, they want to BE the rich. Democrats had spent the previous 25 years assuming the former, and trying their damndest to make sure nobody got rich. He also pulled the party out of the post-Vietnam funk, and made the idea of a Democrat who uses force not such a joke anymore. Now, the manner in which he did it, the Kosovo boondoggle and the Sudanese aspirin-plant bombing weren’t the most effective way to prove it wasn’t a joke, but at least he tried. Now, you would think as a Republican I would want the Dems ruled by the Moonbat left, the gimmeee-gimmee-gimmme’s, the permanent victims, the “It’s all America’s fault” lunatic fringe.

Of course not, don’t be ridiculous. We need both parties. Any sane American, Democrat, Republican or whatever should agree. Tyranny of the many is just as dangerous as tyranny of the few or of the one.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:18 PM | Comments (0)


Frinklin Speaks is proud to make a random, haphazard attempt at being your clearinghouse for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords information. Goodness, that title is way to long, need to work on that.

Anyway, for those interested, the official site has some nifty new information. They have begun releasing information about both the characters you’re allied with and the planets you need to visit. The first character is Mira, a female bounty hunter. She is an interesting design, though slightly Rob Liefield-ish. The first planet is Duxun. They have also posted a number of new screenshots, and it’s easy to see the maturing of the game so far.

The most interesting thing posted is a game-play walkthrough video hosted one of the developers. It’s a quick look at two levels. The first takes place on Telos, homeworld of the first games Carth Onasi. While the game is not much changed, this world shows off the tweaked graphics engine. Telos’ combination of rain, lighting and oppressive darkness outclass anything seen in the first game. The second level, which is mentioned as being a lot deeper into the action, takes place in a Sith crypt, very similar to the original game’s Korriban level. This portion of the walkthrough highlights improved game play, starting with two new powers: Force Sight, which allows the player to see through walls, and perceive the aura of other characters, and Force Crush, a devilish darkside power that allows the player to grab an opponent with the force and well, crush them. The crypt level also shows off the improvements made in fighting graphics. A frequent complaint about the first game was how repetitive the combat visuals were. This game corrects that, and alters the visual when each combat feat is upgraded. The overall look of the game is sharper, especially the main character, adding flowing Jedi robes obviously based on Obi-Wan Kenobi’s look in the most recent movie.

Check it out, some great stuff there. Makes me want the game even more. Only 6 ½ more months to go.

Oh, and for those non-comic book fans wondering whom Rob Liefield is: He is an inexplicably popular artist despite limited talent, known best for his endless self-promotion and inability to draw anything close to a normal human figure. You can see what I speak of here

Posted by Frinklin at 06:12 PM | Comments (3)

June 27, 2004

Join Bill in the Rebel Alliance

Yes friends, Tainted Bill has formed the Rebel Alliance, focused on destroying the Evil Empire of baseball.


Posted by Frinklin at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

Garcia to the ChiSox

Now, see what happens when I decide to go the movies. The Mariner Fire Sale begins, with Freddy and Ben Davis going to Chicago for catcher Miguel Olivo, outfielder Jeremy Reed and middle infielder Michael Morse. I'm still not convinced trading Freddy was the best move possible, but this is a pretty slick trade as far as I'm concerned. Jeremy Reed is one of the best OF prospects in the game, and should become the M's starter in centerfield starting ASAP. To swap Ben Davis for Olivo is just icing on the cake. Davis had totally worn out his welcome in Seattle, and Olivo has a very bright future ahead of him. The last guy, Morse, I don't know much about. Baseball America listed as the White Sox #17 prospect, as a hitting middle infielder that will most likely move to third. David from USS Mariner goes farther than that, saying he's the worst defensive SS I've ever seen and a canidate for LF or 1B.

Still, an awfully nice trade for the Mariners. Well done.

Oh, and we went and saw Napoleon Dynamite. Very good, if you like laughing and cringing at the same time.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:36 PM | Comments (2)

Quick question about being sick.

Just how big is my head? How much volume must be available to me in there? I ask this because I’ve been getting over a cold for some time now; I haven’t felt stuffy-headed in about 4 days. In those days I’ve done nothing but constantly blow my nose. So I must ask, just how much snot is up there? Will I ever run out?

Posted by Frinklin at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

But does he know the words to Proud to be an Astro?

Well, the first shoe has dropped. Carlos Beltran, the best player likely to be available this year, has been shipped to Houston in a 3-way deal. The Astros sent closer Octavio Dotel to the Athletics, who sent touted third base prospect Mark Teahen and pitcher Mike Wood to the Royals, who also picked up catching prospect John Buck from the Astros. This is a terrific trade for the A’s and Astros, less so for the Royals.

The Astros get Beltran, a MVP-caliber bat at a premier defensive position, and one that was a glaring weakness for them. He will slot into center, move Biggio to left and Berkman to right. The middle of their line-up, Beltran-Bagwell-Kent-Berkman or some variation thereof, is as good as you’ll find in the NL. The risk is obvious though: Houston only has Beltran for the rest of the season, when he’ll be available to anyone as a free agent. It’s dubious that Drayton McLane will be willing to pay the astronomical amount necessary to keep him around. This also strips them of their closer, but that’s less important than it seems. Brad Lidge has been on the verge of taking Dotel’s job for over a month now, and quality relievers are always available at the deadline. If Bill Bavasi is smart, a somewhat dubious assumption, he will get on the phone and start hawking Steady Eddie to the Astros right now.

For the Athletics, this is just another move that solidifies Billy Beane as the master of the mid-season trade. The A’s bolster their bullpen for what amounts to spare parts. Dotel could close, and shove Rhodes down to set-up with Chad Bradford. It’s a vastly improved situation, and for relatively little. Teahen was never going to play long-term for Oakland after Eric Chavez re-signed, and Wood just isn’t good enough to beat our the current rotation.

The Royals did okay with this trade. Baird was insistent on getting a third basemen and a catcher in return, and the pair he got was certainly better than what the Yankees were offering. It’s puzzling though, after such a disastrous history with Beane, that Baird would make another deal with him. This isn’t nearly as awful as the Jermaine Dye or Johnny Damon trades, but if it goes badly he’s liable to get more blame than he would if Oakland weren’t involved. The prospects he picked up are okay, but I don’t think they qualify as special players. Teahen, a member of the ballyhooed Moneyball draft, is the best of the lot. Adequate defensively, he has good patient and developing power. He does rate as a distant third amongst 3B prospects behind Dallas MacPherson of Anaheim and David Wright of New York. Buck was a premier prospect a couple years ago, but has declined to the point where most scouts doubt he will be a major league starter. Wood is 5th starter- long relief guy, nothing more.

Now that Beltran is off the board, Freddy Garcia is the best name out there. I’m still against trading Freddy, but it seems immanent anyway. Expect a lot of action the next few days. I’m worried the M’s will settle for the Dioner Navarro/Robinson Cano deal. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’d do that for Moyer, but not a young pitcher Freddy’s caliber

Posted by Frinklin at 07:30 PM | Comments (2)

June 24, 2004

Sonics grab clumsy white guy!

Well, this just bites. Tomorrow faithful fans of the sorta-beloved Supersonics will get to read The Sports Guy's NBA draft diary and see that it's the Sonics that get ripped for choosing the perfunctory "overrated whiteguy center" . Good times.

Yep, the Sonics picked Robert Swift, a 7-0 high school center from Bakersfield. All you need to know about Swift is that CBS Sportsline compares him Chris Kaman. Yay.

This might be the first part of a trade. We can only hope.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004

This made so much sense it scares me

Fight Club as Calvin and Hobbes

Pilfered from SteveSilver.net, who found it at at Missives Anonymous

Posted by Frinklin at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

All-Stars vol. 2

All-Stars, AL Version

Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers

When did this become a loaded position in the AL? You can’t go wrong Cleveland’s Victor Martinez, Javy Lopez of the Orioles, or Jason Varitek of Boston. I’ll stick with I-Rod though, as he’s leading the AL in hitting, and sparking a much-improved Tiger team.

First Base: Scott Hatteberg, Athletics
It comes down to Pickin’ Machine over Ken Harvey. While Harvey has a pretty big margin in BA, Hatteberg tops him in both SLG and OBP. You could also make a case for Paul Konerko (17 HR .528 SLG) or the reborn Tino Martinez.

Second Base: Juan Uribe, White Sox
Who? Despite all the noise about Alfonso Soriano, Uribe leads AL 2B in homers, and has a huge .088-point advantage is SLG over Ron Belliard. Uribe also makes me look like a dolt for claiming that the Rockies stole Aaron Miles in exchange for him.

Third Base: Hank Blalock, Rangers
While it’s difficult to ignore Melvin Mora (354 .442 .560) or Alex Rodriguez, I’m sticking with Blalock. His line is pretty terrific too (.304 .368 .565), he has more homers than Mora, and better defense then either of them.

Shortstop: Carlos Guillen, Tigers

Quite the “Name” team the AL is this year, isn’t it? Well, Guillen doesn’t have a prayer of being named a starter, as moron fans are voting for Derek Jeter, who’s overrated to begin with, and has had such a terrible start it made the cover of Sports Illustrated, and Nomar Garciaparra, who has played in about a dozen games. Guillen (317 .381 .550) is absolutely raking the ball, playing steady defense, and is without question the best SS in the AL right now. So glad we traded him for Ramon Santiago.

Outfield: Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
Where would Anaheim be without Vlad? Somewhere around Lake Elsinore, I’d expect. Guerrero (352 .394 .616) hasn’t had any difficulties adjusting to the AL, and has carried the injury-plagued Halos this season.

Outfield: Manny Ramirez, Red Sox

Yeah, it was to pick up Alex Rodriguez, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out why Boston was so desperate to get rid of Manny. Yeah, he’s a head case, and he makes way too much money, but he’s as close to Barry Bonds as you’ll find in the AL.

Outfield: Carlos Beltran, Royals

This is assuming he isn’t a Padre, Dodger or whomever else is rumored to trade for him. He’s been mentioned so often this season he runs the risk of being overrated, but he still has the highest OF OPS in the AL after the big two, and adds the benefit of speed as well.

You might ask where the Beloved Mariners fit in to the All-Star game. I think Ichiro might be picked, and he’s close to deserving it, but the best bet would be Eddie Guardado. I can’t see a team as terrible as Seattle getting more than one All-Star.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:01 PM | Comments (1)

June 22, 2004

Padres win.. barely... again

Over the past 2 nights against Arizona, the Well-Liked Padres have faced the following pitchers: Casey Fossum, Scott Service, Brandon Villafuerte (2X), Steve Sparks, Randy Choate, and Mike Koplove. Of these six gentlemen, only one, Villafuerte, has an ERA under 4.63. The Padres scored a grand total of 5 runs. Tomorrow they take on the Unit.

The Padres seem to be turning into last year’s Dodgers. Right now only two SD hitters have OPS over .800, Brian Giles at .822 and Mark Loretta at .831. Before the season it would have inconceivable to think that between them Giles, Phil Nevin, Ryan Klesko and Jay Payton (the Pads 3-6 hitters) would have 24 homeruns combined, but that is the case. The Padres are obviously still freaked out by PETCO Park’s dimensions. At home, only Giles has an OPS over .800, and he’s at .806, barely making the mark. Nevin (.242/ .343 /.387) and Payton (.234/ .305 / .308) have been especially atrocious at home. And another thing, when everyone talks about Sean Burroughs, it’s always mentioned that his power will develop. Well, Sean will be 24 before the season is out, and he’s slugging .370, when is it going to show up?

Kurt over at Arrive in the Third, Leave After Seven thinks the Padres are already done. I don’t think it’s quite that time yet, if only because neither the Dodgers or the Giants look that much better, but things need to turn around quick.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:39 PM | Comments (2)

Gammons on the M's

Well, Peter Gammons has some M's talk in his column today. He mentions that scouts are getting “the reading we're getting is that the Mariners are not giving up on this season because of their fans. So (Seattle's trading of) Garcia may be a ways off."

Good God people, can we please get over this? This team is dead, dead, dead, dead. Yeah, they’ve played better recently. If they played the Expos, Brewers (sorry Fred) and the Pirates more often they’d be a fine team. But they don’t. They have to play the big kids too. That means the Rangers and Padres this week. How many people can see the M’s taking more than 1 game in each series? Blow the damned team up, please.

More from Gammons:
The Yanks apparently also have interest in Jamie Moyer, who according to someone who knows, would waive his 10/5 rights "in a heartbeat" if he were to land in New York or Boston.

Hello! I think this is the first anyone has mentioned this. Do it, a soon as we can, preferably. Look, I like Jamie as much as the next guy, and his family does great charity work in the community, but he’s 41 years old. The rumored Dioner Navarro and Robinson Cano, while looking like less than perfect talking about Freddy, look terrific talking about Jamie.

Gammons “Trade that makes sense”

Los Angeles trades catcher Koyie Hill, pitcher Joel Hanrahan and outfielders Xavier Paul and Reggie Abercrombie to Seattle for Freddy Garcia. The Dodgers need a starter more than anything. Garcia has pitched well (he's sixth in the AL with a 3.21 ERA and has had only 20 runs of support) and would be a shot in the arm to the Dodgers' staff. Mariners GM Bill Bavasi knows the Dodgers' system well because he previously worked for L.A. and played a big part in restoring it.

Ehh… I don’t think so. There are a couple of nice pieces here, but not enough. Hill (# 9 in the Baseball America Dodger prospect list) is an okay catching prospect, and while we don’t have anyone special at the position, I don’t think he’s all that much better. According to BA he compares to Paul LoDuca. Hanrahan (BA #5) is a nice 3rd or 4th starter prospect and we have plenty of those. Paul (BA#7) is just a kid, who knows what he ends up, and Abercrombie is a guy who will break your heart. He’s #10 on the BA list, calling him “the best physical specimen in baseball”. A specimen who can’t hit, that is. He’s about to turn 24, and his pre-2004 marks are .257/ .306 / .394. His best OBP was in 2002 at Class-A Vero Beach. It was a whopping .321.

Oh, and Mariner Brass: Jeff speaks for us all about this god-forsaken article.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:49 PM | Comments (2)

Dang.. I thought I'd be a little more exciting than this

Which Marvel Superhero are you?

And for my money, the above is the best costume Cyke ever had.

Found at Near Mint Heroes

What NOT to do after being drafted.

Let us say you’re the surprise first player picked in the MLB draft. Your hometown team, the one you’ve rooted for all your life, offers you a truckload of money to sign. It’s a smaller truckload than some, but still more that you’ll need. You spend the next couple of weeks walking around in your very own jersey. What to do while you wait for rookie ball to start? Why, if you happen to be Matt Bush of the Padres, you get your stupid ass arrested. The 18-year old recent high school graduate (recent as in last freakin’ week) was arrested yesterday following an altercation at a Arizona bar. An altercation meaning he bit the bouncer who tried to kick him out.

Look, this doesn’t mean that Bush is some sort of head case, but it is worrisome that three weeks after the draft he’s arrested in a bar. As a high-school draftee, he has a long way to go, and this is not the best way to start.

I haven’t weighed in on this, but I understand why the Padres took Bush over Stephen Drew and Jared Weaver. Neither of them is worth the exorbitant demands they reportedly made. This was a lousy draft, and it’s the Padres bad luck they ended up with this first pick instead of next year, when Justin Upton, who is supposedly better than his brother BJ, will be the best player available.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:24 PM | Comments (1)

NBA Notes

The rumor of the week is T-Mac to the Rockets for Stevie Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato. As a basketball fan, I hate this move. Not because I dislike the Rockets or anything, but I loathe the idea of another exciting player ending up under the yoke of Jeff Van Gundy, Basketball Troll. It’s bad enough that Yao, the best passing center in three decades, is under the control of Van Gundy and his troglodyte schemes, but to add the silky smooth McGrady too? Just ain’t right. As for the Magic, this is about as good a deal as they can expect. Stevie Franchise will be exciting as always, and it’s good to get Mobley too, as the Emergency Backup tiny-guard-who-won’t-pass.

Can anyone afford Shaq? Probably not, as he has $62 million left on his deal. That would be over 2 years. Let’s see here: $62,000,000 for an overweight, frequently uninspired, wanna-be actor who just happens to be the most dominant player in the NBA? The line begins in front. The biggest player so far is the Mavericks, but the Lakers would refuse the deal unless they get Dirk Nowitzki, which Dallas says it will not do.

The Bobcats, awful name and all, get to see what scraps they get to start a team with tonight. Yep, it’s the NBA expansion draft. Don’t all get up and cheer at once. With the move they made yesterday, swapping the 4th pick for the 2nd and promising to pick up Peja Drobjnak, the ‘Cats are unlikelier than ever to pick either Jerome James or Calvin Booth from the slightly-beloved Supersonics, as Drobjnak more than meets their clunky backup center needs. I believe I speak for all Sonics fans when I say “DAMN YOU BERNIE BICKERSTAFF AND ELGIN BAYLOR, DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!”

Doesn’t ANYBODY want to pick from the Sonics’ lovely collection of untalented, uncoordinated, ridiculously overpaid backup centers?

Speaking of the Sonics, the draft won’t do much for them, as they are trapped in the vast limbo of mediocrity. They aren’t good enough to go to the playoffs, much less do anything should they get there and they aren’t bad enough to get a high lottery pick and the chance at an impact player. They aren’t in an exciting enough market to be attractive to free agents, and for such a crummy team, their cap situation isn’t great either. The only noise about the Sonics this week will be about whoever signs Brent Barry. They are also interested in Tyson Chandler of the Bulls as a possible trade target, though why they’d want yet another soft forward God only knows

Posted by Frinklin at 06:20 PM | Comments (4)

June 21, 2004


Right at this very minute ESPN is taking a full hour to unveil this years ESPY nominees. My question is this: Does anyone care? Is there a more worthless non-event than the ESPYs?

Using the PTI guys for this almost makes it worthwhile. Almost....

Posted by Frinklin at 04:31 PM | Comments (2)

All-Stars vol. 1

My All-Star picks, NL version:

Catcher: Johnny Estrada, Braves
Remember when everyone laughed at Atlanta for getting Estrada for Kevin Millwood. The thought was that John Schuerholz was just getting a warm body instead of non-tendering Millwood. Well, he must be doing something right, as Estrada is at .318/. 374/ .478, one of the few Braves who is holding it together offensively.

First base: Albert Pujols, Cardinals
This is a tough one, with half a dozen NL first sackers having excellent seasons so far. You can’t go wrong with Sean Casey, Jim Thome, Lyle Overbay, or Pujols. I’m sticking with Albert (.306/. 401/. 616) just because he’s the best hitter of his generations.

Second Base: Mark Loretta, Padres

Loretta, almost an afterthought on the free-agent market the last couple years, has been the glue that keeps San Diego together. He’s the prototypical #2 hitter, and a class act as well.

Third Base: Scott Rolen, Cardinals

No one is even close at this position. Rolen, making those premature Mike Schmidt comparisons look good, is the NL MVP so far. He’s at .344/ .416 / .1056, plus he leads the major leagues in RBI’s with 70. Oh yeah, Gold Glove defense too.

Shortstop: Jack Wilson, Pirates

Wilson is the best of a pretty weak position in the NL. Edgar Renteria is the usual choice here, but he’s had a huge drop off from last year. Wilson is hitting a sparkling .343 with a modicum of power (27 XBH) and his usual “Jack Flash” defense.

Outfield: Barry Bonds, Giants
All you need to know about Bonds is that he’s leading the NL in slugging and OBP by over 140 points in each category. Despite having an atrocious 49 intentional walks, he’s still launched 18 homers.

Outfield: Lance Berkman, Astros
The hometown fans may vote as many as 4 Astros as starters, but this is the only one who really deserves it. He’s rebounded from a pretty mediocre year last year, and ranks in the top-10 in all major categories. Well, accepting steals, but does that qualify as a major category still?

Outfield: Ken Griffey Jr, Reds
Is this a sentimental pick? Probably, but Griffey is back, hitting a respectable .260/ .363/ .558. Add to that the excitement of his 500th homerun, and that puts him on my All-Star team.

Posted by Frinklin at 04:29 PM | Comments (1)

Moon Knight

An interesting bit from today's Lying in the Gutters: One of the most submitted Epic ideas was a Moon Knight relaunch. This may get the green-light, with Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada as the penciler. No pressure for whomever gets the writing assignment right?

As long as the writer is okay, I'm very much for this idea. Moon Knight is a very cool idea that has never really gone anywhere.

Posted by Frinklin at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

Reload stumbles on....

A couple of new X-Books to check out this week, X-Men #158 and New X-Men #2. Neither of them are all that great.

X-Men #158
This is part 2 of the Day of the Atom storyline. A side note: Remember the halcyon pre-trades day when not every story had to be part something of something? Is this crapola really deserving of a title?

This issue follows two stories. First up is Josh now Jay Guthrie, looking depressed despite having the largest dorm room in existance. His roommate Sammy asks him whats wrong, and they spend much of this issue talking about Austen's terrible X-Shakespeare story from a few months back. Oh, and a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows asking about the Juggernaut. It sure looks like Black Tom Cassidy is said lurker, but this is Austen, who the hell knows what will happen.

The other side of this is the Adjectiveless X-Men landing in China and finding Xorn amidst a pile of wreckage and dead bodies. Now, Xorn was secretly Magneto right? So who the hell is this? We dunno, but's obvious Marvel liked the Xorn visual, so here we go. We get a couple pages of Iceman witlessly baiting Havok, Juggernaut explaining Xorn's secret star-head, and Havok deciding they need to bring Xorn back to the mansion, despite his misgivings.

Then we have an obligatory fight scene, as eight chinese immortals show up, think that the X-Men did all this damage, and attack them despite Havok's protestations. The fight is pretty even-handed, but really hard to follow, as the unnamed chinese guys all wear variations of the same uniform. Gambit hurts himself by blowing up a card in his face, guess those powers aren't quite working right yet, are they? Havok then yells for the X-Men to "hit the dirt" and he blasts the bad guys to smithereens. Good thing the chinese guys didn't duck and cover too. Unfortunately his blast cracked open Xorn's hemet, and everyone starts getting sucked in. The issue ends with the obligatory "We're being torn apart!"

Oy. This pretty much defines mediocre. The Josh stuff is merely a rehash of past issues, and since he's over in New X-Men now, couldn't we have done that there? The China side is just standard superhero stuff, nothing special. We should be glad it's wasn't a Claremont story, then the Chinese guys would have taken a page worth of dialouge to explain who each one of them was. I've promised myself to read these titles through the end of the first arc, and right now X-Men is pretty iffy. It might be worth it just for the art, which is impressive, and the cover is pretty nifty too.

New X-Men: Academy X #2
Something must be done about that title. Marvel needs to figure out if this is New X-Men or Academy X and get on with it. Personally I would far prefer the former, since these guys are most certainly not X-Men. This is part 2 of Choosing Sides, which is exactly that, the various students being split into 6-person teams, each with an advisor, its own design for the uniform, and codenames to boot.

As with last issue, this is a pretty slow moving title, we don't get to the codenames until the very end. Instead we spend a lot of time with the kids kvetching about possibly being split up. We find out that Sooraya, the Afghani mutant who wears a burqa, is now Noriko's new roommate. They don't click, and that quite frankly is due to Noriko, who seems be increasingly snappish. Also, we get some cretin named Julian (I should know him, I just never followed the New Mutants) doing his best Draco Malfoy impression. At the end we finally get to the big payoff, three teams, codenames and costumes.

It's a rather bewildering few pages, as the teams and names are dumped all out at once. Cyclops' team doesn't even get codenames, we just find out that they are the Corsairs (nice name) and they wear a blue version of the uni. Julian becomes Hellion, leader of ummm.. the Hellions. This, obviously is Emma's team, and they get cool updates of the orignal Hellion uniform. Now each Hellion gets his or her own codename, including the guy who isn't there. The line up for the Hellions shows 5 people: Hellion, Mercury, Rockslide, Icarus (Jay Guthrie again) and Dust (Sooraya), but Emma goes ahead and names the final, invisible member of the team. The New Mutants, with Dani Moonstar as their adviser get nifty yellow and white uniforms and codenames. Dani says the 6th member of the team has been chosen, but isn't here yet. For those interested the names: David is Prodeigy, Sofia is Winddancer, Noriko Surge, Laurie is Wallflower and Josh becomes Elixir.

Again, a very slow moving book, and an iffy title for me. Obviously we are going to see an rebirth of the old New Mutants/Hellions rivalry, which is rather pathetic I think. Remember the original Hellions were being trained to eventually take over the world. Other than the Draco wannabe, the new Hellions seem like all right sorts, even considering the overused Jay Guthrie. The idea that 2 teams get the co-headmasters as advisors strikes me wrong. Considering the school has over 100 students now, wouldn't this be something they delegated? The Hellions adviser could have been a nice way to re-introduce James Proudstar, though he seems to be heading for Rob Liefeld-Hell in the upcoming X-Force mini. The most interesting thing this title has going for it is the Dust character, it could be fascinating (or awful, if they decide to make her the crazed Muslim sterotype) to see her adapt to sexualized American teens. The scene with Noriko was a nice beginning. Sooraya seems a likable, modest girl. Reminds me of the early Rahne Sinclair, but worse fashion sense.

The art was improved over the first issue, though I'm still not a Randy Green fan. His style does seem to fit this book, though it times it lacks detail and backgrounds seem to wash out. After last issue's odd cover, this one is wierd too. Last issue showed the 5 New Mutants in costume, with Dust (whom I mistakenly thought was some odd ninja character) as well. This issue they are in action, the 5 and... I dunno, some random 6th character in costume.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2004

Oddball Colas

I'm beginning to find way to many conversation pieces at Mediocre Fred's. Today he mentions how he scored a sample of C2, Cokes new low-carb version. He mentions the halcyon days of the early-90's when companies actually thought people wanted clear colas.

Well, I did. I loved Crystal Pepsi, and I'd buy it every day if it was still out. I'm only slightly ashamed to admit it.

This guy, however, is a little too into Crystal Pepsi.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004

Mediocre Fred 2, Frinklin 1

Well, Fred beats me. I can deal with that. I'm somewhat mollified by someone mentioning the Pilots, one of my favorite obsessions. Ball Four, the best baseball book ever, is my favorite book. My first Valentine's Day with the then-future Mrs. Frinklin, she bought me an autographed copy of the 30th anniversary edition.

When Safeco Field was being built, I wrote letters to the editor to both the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer (one of the GREAT newspaper names in America) demanding that it be called Safeco Seattle Stadium in honor Pilot home Sick's Seattle Stadium.

My request was of course ignored.

I have Pilot fever in the blood. My father, who grew up near SSS in the beautiful Rainier Valley, went to about a dozen Pilot games, and can remember seeing such famous names as Ray Oyler, Fred Talbot and the immortal Merritt Ranew.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)

M's take at least 1 from the former Pilots

Jolbert Cabrera, Scott Spezio, and Randy Winn hit homers today (wonder of wonders) and the Mariner's take the last game in the 3 against Milwaukee.

Just sad.

As far as I can see, the most interesting thing about this game, is Mariner Intelligence noting that Dave Neihaus is convinced that a trade is imminent.

Hallalujah! Break up this damned team!

Posted by Frinklin at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

Interleague play #3

What's more ridiculous? That the Padres ended up with a midweek series with Tampa Bay this interleague go around? Or that they well-liked Padres on the verge of being swept by said Devil Dogs?

That being said, Tampa is improved this year. And to be quite honest, I think its fairly obvious that Sweet Lou's new team is better than his old one.

That hurts to admit.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:46 PM | Comments (2)

Amateur Movie Review: Saved

I’d forgotten to mention this, but over the weekend the Mrs. Frinklin and I saw the movie Saved. You should see it too: it’s fun and funny. The movie is a satire about the modern evangelical Christian movement, set in a Baptist high school. Our hero is Mary, played by Jenna Malone. Mary is about to be a senior, she’s popular, a member of the Christian Jewels vocal group, and in love with her boyfriend, but not too in love: they’re waiting for marriage. Until he tells her he’s gay. Mary is horrified of course, as she’s been taught that homosexuality is a terrible affliction. She’s also stunned: How could her jock boyfriend be gay? And by “jock” Mary means “ridiculously flamboyant figure skater.”

Anyway, thanks to what she believes is a visit from Jesus, she decides to cure him of his gayness. She does this by sleeping with him. It doesn’t work; his parents find his stash of gay porn and send him off to a Christian mental hospital for a cure. How effective this cure is supposed to be is dubious, as his roommate is an equally cute teenage boy in for the same problem. Therefore, Mary has to spend her senior year without him. Oh, and she’s pregnant.

The movie follows Mary through her school year, as she tries to hide her pregnancy and manages to learn about friendship. Saved is a satire, but not a particularly vicious one. There is plenty to mock in the modern evangelical movement, and this movie hits each one. It’s overwhelmingly white (except for the Vietnamese girl adopted by black parents who thanks Jesus daily for saving her from the heathens), co-opts formerly rebellious symbols (skateboarding for Jesus!), attacks perfectly innocent secular traditions (Santa= Satan), and, of course has no concept of human sexuality (the models used for sex ed class have no naughty bits whatsoever).

This movie has a terrific ensemble cast, led by Malone, who has a girl-next-door sweetness to her that stays true, never devolving into saccharine. Her mother, nicely played by Mary-Louise Parker, has a very similar feel, and the relationship between the two feels very natural. Pop singer Mandy Moore is a revelation as Hilary Faye, Mary’s friend-turned-rival. She’s perfectly blond, blandly pretty and brittle as the condescending, self-righteous Barbie queen of the school. Equally good is Susan Sarandon’s daughter Eva Amurri, in the shopworn role of the dark-haired rebel girl with a heart of gold, but she plays it with enough verve to make it, while not original, at least entertaining. Her scenes with Roland, her paraplegic boyfriend, played by Macaulay Culkin of all people, are touching, but don’t sink into schmaltz.

Saved tries to position itself as a black comedy or serious satire, but it’s really neither of those things. At its heart is a feel-good teen movie, one that stresses the idea that we all need to treasure our differences. In this manner it really reminded me of American Pie, the original one, not its increasingly terrible sequels. Once you got beyond the gross-out humor, you found a very ordinary teen movie about guys realizing it was about love, not about sex. Saved is a good movie, funny enough to pay full price for, and maybe even buy the DVD. Its sweet and funny but ultimately harmless.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004

A moment with the Mrs.

I'm really glad that my beautiful and talented wife is good enough at her job to be considered entertainly eccentric instead of stark raving bonkers.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

The LAST Laker post for the immediate future

Well, as you can imagine, it was a dark day at the office. The legions of Laker fans, so smug a couple weeks ago, now walk around with a look of dazed horror.

It’s great fun.

Now the question becomes what to do with these teams. The Lakers will be stripped. Phil Jackson has already dropped very broad hints about retiring. Payton has been gone for a couple months now, and Malone will leave as well. Kobe can opt out, but rumors around here keep floating that Kobe will be resigned and Shaq will be dealt. I can’t really see that, though it’s well-known that Jerry Buss is a huge Kobe fan. All of this goes out the window, obviously, if something dramatic happens at his rape trial.

The Pistons are in pretty good shape. If they can resign Rasheed, they will return en masse next year. I think they will, the market for insane power forwards isn’t what it used to be, and I think he enjoys Detroit. Now I’ve been wondering if they had been this good had they picked Carmelo Anthony instead of Darko. I think a case can be made that they don’t win with Carmelo. Don’t get me wrong, Melo is a fine young player, and I think the Darko pick will come to be considered a mistake of Bowiean magnitude. I wonder though, if Carmelo is on the team, he would play. He would have too, he’s that good. That means less minutes for Tayshaun Prince and his Amazing Length. Less time for Tayshaun and Kobe could have gone nuts this series.

It’s pretty flimsy, I’ll admit.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2004

Happy Rioting Detroit!

Well, there will be more on the Pistons victory tomorrow, but the short end of is this: Detroit just bitch-slapped LA all over the court these last three games. Just remarkable. And thanks for making me look like a dolt.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)

Ralph Wiley

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the passing Ralph Wiley. He was one of the best sportswriters in the business, and will be truly missed. ESPN dedicated Page 2 to him today, running some of his best stuff. Read it, all of it.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

Interleague play #2

As my compatriot Mediocre Fred points out, today starts the long awaited Brewers and Beloved Mariners series. Now, I still have a difficulty thinking of this as an interleague series, it was only a few years ago when the Milwaukee stop was right smack between the Tigers and Twins.

So, how many fans out there knew the Brewers would have a winning percentage 100 points higher than that of Seattle when this series started? Yeah, sure ya did.

Lastly, would it be too damned hard to make this a Throwback game and have the Pilots Vs. Pilots game?

Posted by Frinklin at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

THIS is why interleague play exists!

The miracle of interleague play strikes again. The Well-Liked Padres and their most hated rival of all: the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.


Posted by Frinklin at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

Eventually we'll do some announcements....

The Mrs. Frinklin and I received another reminder of just how bad we are this married stuff. My younger cousin Steve was married a few months before us. This flabbergasted me, and caught those of my family I’m still on speaking terms with completely by surprise. We had always assumed he was Gay Cousin Steve. He always fit Seinfeld’s “thin, single and neat” criteria, and to top it off he moved as far as he possibly could from his slightly-crazed bible-thumping parents. We were wrong though, last year we received a wedding announcement from Apparently Non-Gay Cousin Steve. He had found a lovely girl named Bobbie Sue or Bobbie Jo or some other gloriously silly name.

They eloped too, but with far more panache than the Frinklins. From what others tell me, Steve, Billie Ray and a few select friends spent a weekend in the Bahamas, where they (Steve and Cindy Lou, not the whole group) got married, unbeknownst to just about everyone in either family. Mrs. Frinklin and I, on the other hand, barely planned enough to provide ourselves with clean clothes before going to City Hall. (If you’re interested, my story is here, her version here.) Now, the announcements that Steve sent over a year ago already had the date of the reception. Yesterday we got the official invitation with instructions on how to get there. This has been in planning for like 16 months now.

We have looked at announcements, and we’ve kinda sorta considered dates for our reception. We’ve been married for nearly three months and still haven’t done these things. You’d think that we’d get on the ball just for pure greed. No announcements and no reception mean no presents, right? See, Non-Gay Steve and Billie Jean have it all set up, they’re organized and now they reap the benefits.

The good news? This probably means we’re too damned lazy to ever get divorced

Posted by Frinklin at 06:37 PM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2004

Mourning in Lakerdom

Today was an odd day at the Frinklin’s employer. As I’ve mentioned before a great many of the people here are Laker fans. As one might expect, there was some sadness today, combined with a sense of stunned resignation. Both my boss and my co-minion Raul, who sharp-eyed Frinklin Fans will remember from here, came dressed all in black. In mourning, he said. I told him to cheer up, but he was hopeless. He kept muttering to himself, asking, “how could this happen?”

I felt so bad it was all I could not to skip down the hallway laughing and singing.

He asks a good question though. How did this happen? How did the Lakers go from 4 titles in 5 years to 1 great shot away from being swept? It’s really quite simple, I think.

They are just not that great anymore. Now, let me remind you that Shaq and Kobe are the best 1-2 punch in the game. Only Shaq has been dominant in this series though, Kobe has shown flashes, but has spent quite a bit of time flailing against Tayshaun Prince’s soon to be legendary length. Really wish people would stop talking about his length; sounds vaguely pornographic. Beyond those two, the Los Angeles does not have much. Malone is injured. He tries to answer the bell, but when he has, it’s been pretty ineffectual. Payton is a different story, and it is sad to see the Glove like this. He hasn’t liked the Triangle at all this season. It isn’t the right system for him, and plays to none of his strengths. So he’s been surly all season. That in of itself is not the problem, GP is always surly, and the Lakers should have known that all along. It’s been ugly though, Magic Phil’s expertise in dealing with problem children seemed to have desert him when dealing with Payton. Gary hasn’t helped matters either, yapping about every perceived slight imaginable, and eventually refusing to speak to media altogether.

What about the rest of the team? Fisher, Medvedenko, George, Rush, Walton et al? Nothing much there, though Luke Walton might end up a player. He won’t be anything close to Ralph Wiley’s White Magic nonsense, but a nice complementary player. The Lakers have existed the last few years as 2 superstars and a bunch of nobodies. This year they changed that and brought in 2 more superstars at the end of their career. If anything, this team has been less reliable and more flakey because of it. Are they dead against Detroit? Not completely, but it won’t be easy. Winning three in a row against anybody is difficult, and the Pistons smell blood in the water. I’m done making predictions, especially foolish ones, but I will say this: If Los Angeles can win the next 2 and force a game 7, they will win that

Posted by Frinklin at 06:07 PM | Comments (1)

The NBA Finals

One of the truly suck-ass things about having a blog is that gives me entirely too much of a paper trail. Just last week, after the Lake Show's win in game 2, I posted about how the series was in effect over. Since then, the Pistons have proceeded to beat the bejeezus out of the Lakers, and now hold a commanding 2-game lead in the series.


Posted by Frinklin at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

Now the M's get it!

All we need to do is play the Expos every weekend. The Beloveds would win the pennant for sure then. Seattle's first season sweep, and a bonafide three-game winning streak. Just remember what happened the last time they took 3 in a row: the forgot how to score for about 3 1/2 games.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:01 AM | Comments (1)

June 13, 2004

GeekAlert: X-Men Reloaded

Yeah, I’m all extra-geeky today. When I found out that Marvel was re-launching the X-Men series for the 237th time, I had to check them out. A little history, when I was younger I was an X-Men obsessive. I started in the mid-80’s and lasted to the mid-90’s. Since, I’ve checked out various X-things since then, and read Ultimate X-Men more or less since it’s inception. Now that Reload is upon us, I decided to take a look. It is a decidedly mixed bag, but with enough good stuff and enough nostalgia that I’ll give them a few months.

Astonishing X-Men #1

This is the Big Deal: a new title, a superstar artist (John Cassady) and a Hollywood name (Joss Whedon) for a writer. This is a perfectly fine X-Men story, snappy dialogue, beautiful art and a nicely atmospheric beginning and ending. Unfortunately, due to the intense hype around this title, it’s a bit underwhelming. It shouldn’t be, though.

As I mentioned, the art is fantastic. Cassady has a nice, understated style that reminds me of Paul Smith, one of my favorite old-time X-Men artists. During the opening, where we follow Kitty Pryde returning to the Mansion, there is a flashback piece that comes straight from Smith: Kitty storming out, calling the Professor a jerk. That entire scene is priceless to any longtime fan of the series. Joss Whedon seems to have a good grip on characterizations, and as is expected, the dialogue is highlight.

Gifted is a nice start for this title, and I will definitely continue reading.

Uncanny X-Men #444
This would be the other, smaller Big Deal. Chris Claremont returns to the X-Men.
This would be the third such return, following the rightfully aborted mess from prior to Grant Morrison, and the wildly inconsistent X-Treme X-Men. Thank God that title bit the dust, I couldn’t even think it without cringing. This time Claremont has teamed with Alan Davis, another longtime favorite of mine. These two benefit from the hype surrounding Astonishing: this Reload title has much less pressure. It’s classic Claremont. Opens with the team playing baseball, features a perfectly forgettable villain (the Weaponeers) that we may very well never see again, and some the most ludicrous dialogue ever seen.

Uncanny though, does show some of the stuff that made Claremont the definitive X-Men writer, and it really shines. Nightcrawler and Wolverine are a team again, and it feels perfectly natural, almost like it’s 1985 again. The scene in the Danger Room is classic too, complete with the original uniforms. If you are into the nostalgia trip, this is a pretty great title.

X-Men #157
Okay, try to keep up. X-Men is back to being just X-Men, no modifier needed. It keeps the same numbering it did through the New X-Men run. The new New X-Men is the old New Mutants. Oh, and the new creative team on X-Men comes over from Uncanny X-Men, while half the creators on X-Treme X-Men switch to Uncanny X-Men.
Easy right?
Unfortunately for everyone not in his immediate family, Chuck Austen is still the writer on a major X-Title. I’ve not read everything that he’s put out on Uncanny, but from what I’ve read, and seen from other reviewers and fans, nobody seems to like this guy. Wouldn’t you think that Reload would be the perfect time to shuffle him off somewhere else and try someone, anyone other than him? Does he have pictures of Quesada having sex with a chicken or something?

The book itself is pretty awful, another meet the team story, but this time everyone seems to hate each other. Havok is the leader, but he’s quarreling with his girlfriend, accusing her of sleeping with Iceman while he was off marrying another woman. Polaris is still rather crazy, and Juggernaut is still inexplicably a member of the team. Bobby spends the entire issue acting like a moronic twelve-year old, snapping at Alex incessantly, but with a wit that barely clears the “I know you are but what am I” routine. Rogue and Gambit want to be re-assigned, and really, with this bunch, wouldn’t you?

Not all is terrible however: Salvador Larroca’s art is pretty, and there are a couple of snippets of wit amongst all the melodramatic dialogue, primarily Wolverine’s comment that he “can’t be on ALL the teams”. There are some good ideas buried in this crapola. I wish Austen were enough of a writer to find them.

New X-Men: Academy X #1
Yes that is the actual title, but I’m betting they drop the Academy X part pretty quick. I think that would be a mistake, dropping New X-Men would make a whole lot more sense. This is basically the most recent New Mutants title, with the addition of Randy Green on art. I was a big fan of the original New Mutants, which makes sense, since I started reading the title at 13. It was easy to connect with the muties, since I really wanted to be an X-Man too. I paid little attention to the relaunch last year, what I did see seemed pretty lackluster.

And it still is. This is another tour of the mansion, which must have been mandatory for these issues, since they all have a version of it. We’re introduced, or reintroduced as it were to the team. They move into the new mansion, and end up sneaking into the Danger Room. Now they have a perfectly legitimate reason for being there, as Nuriko’s powers are on the verge of overload. Instead of asking one of the grown-ups, they sneak into Cyclops’ office and steal his pass code. I can’t decide if this is a ridiculous way of propelling the story (they learn they may be reassigned while sneaking around the office), or an accurate representation of how teenagers think. Probably both.

The art on this title is pretty mundane. The layouts are nice, but the whole thing feels rushed. I do like the cover, but it’s rather odd. The cover features the 5 characters followed in this story in a classic superhero pose. The odd part is the 6th person on the cover seems to be some random ninja type. Oh, and who devises superhero uniforms that are mostly yellow and white?
I’ll give this title a chance, but it doesn’t seem like anything special.

Excalibur #1
This is another Claremont title, and it has exactly zero to due with the original Excalibur book. That was a team of X-Men in Britain. This is essentially the Professor wandering around the ruins of Genosha. For those not paying attention, Genosha was the country were mutants were slaves, then the X-Men came around and beat the hell out of that. That started a civil war, which resounded in an extraordinarily boring way in all the X-books. Then Magneto took over and reshaped into a paradisiacal mutant homeland. After that, Cassandra Nova blew it all to hell. And that’s pretty much what it still is.

Charlie decides to wander the place; what for is never really decided. Along the way he talks to himself, using the late Moira McTaggert as the projection of his conscience. He meets some survivors, and in the logic that only works in comics, these survivors of the apocalypse are perfectly well-fed and seem to have met all their fishnet stocking needs. He invites two of them to stay. The girl calls herself Wicked and she seems to have stepped out of any goth club in the US. The boy is Freakshow, and he has the rather cool ability to change into giant random monsters. The Professor is apparently going to set up shop here.

This is a maddeningly inconsistent opening. The idea is really rather brilliant, even considering the nonsensical name. The execution works in some places, but not in others. The scenes with Xavier talking to himself are great, a touching look into a mind that carries far too much guilt and sorrow. As stated previously, the survivors are rather ludicrous, and include the always-memorable Unus the Untouchable. Oh, and there is twist at the end, and if you can’t see it coming you aren’t really trying. There are dozens of explanations about the twist, and only a few of them don’t totally suck.

I still haven’t read District X yet, though I certainly want to. The idea of a police force patrolling a Mutant Chinatown is excellent, and everything I hear about the title is good. A couple of unconnected bits about Reload are worth mentioning. Astonishing, Uncanny, X-Men and Excalibur really have terrific covers, showing iconic X-Men bits such as Wolverine's claws and Nightcrawler's curled tail. Lastly, there was much discussion of putting the X-Men back into costumes. I’ve no problem with costumes in general, but the new (and in the case of Uncanny, old ones) range from bland to hideous. Neither Davis nor Cassady goes anywhere beyond mundane in their redesigns, and the look on characters from X-Men is beyond comprehension. Havok’s Silver-Age costume will always be the ugliest in X-Men history, but his current one is pretty close. It's much of the Silver-Age look, plus a giant bubble-head helmet and some mechanical doohickeys around his feet and hands. It's beyond lame, and I can't belive guys like Alan Davis, John Cassady and Salvador Larroca can't come up with better than this.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2004

The Long Goodbye

I've much of the todays funeral proceedings for President Reagan. As I've stated before, he is the first President I remember, and I think there will always be a part of me where he is still the President.

One small thing I noticed amidst all the beautiful pomp and circumstance today: At the end, the Marine who played Taps on the bugel was named Woodrow "Woody" English. As most know, Ronald Reagan got into show business broadcasting Chicago Cub games on the radio in Dubuque, Iowa. The shortstop on those Cub teams of the early 30's? Elwood "Woody" English.

I think Dutch would have liked that.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2004

Ray Charles 1930 - 2004

Ray Charles died today in Beverly Hills.

It's nearly impossible to say how much of an influence Ray Charles was on music. He was one of the earliest founders of soul, combining the blues with the gospel of his youth. Later he proved the connection between black soul and white country with Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, one of the seminal albums of 20th Century. Oddly enough, for someone as indebted to the Deep South as Ray Charles was, he choose Seattle to launch his career, figuring he should be as far away from his birthplace of Albany, Georgia as he could be.

He will be missed.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

Continuing the Harry Potter theme

i'm in ravenclaw!

be sorted @ nimbo.net

Found at the Cheesemistresses of course

Posted by Frinklin at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

All you need to know about the Mariners

I'm listening to the Mariners get shut out by Houston tonight, and Neihaus accidentally wrapped up the Mariners' problems this year. He was mentioning how money is donated for every home run the Mariners hit, and they almost have one tonight….

Almost is right Dave.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

I'm either a hypocrite or a fool

I actually watched much of NBA Finals game 2.

This series is over, Detroit blew it. When David has Goliath on the ground, you can't let him back up. If you do, you are dead. Up 2-0 going back to Detroit, the Pistons have total control of the series, they have confidence, they know they can defeat the Lakers, and the Lake Show starts running overtime. Now, despite the protestations about splitting in LA, all anyone can remember is Kobe's shot.

Oh, and the Pistons coming apart at the seams during the overtime. Now they know they CAN'T beat LA, not when it counts. This series may well go 6 or 7 games, but the Lakers will win.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

Just to remind you how hopelessly spoiled Southern Californians are

It was 75 degrees outside today where I work, and 74 inside. Yet the several of the people where I work were huddling under heavy sweaters bitching about how cold it is. I sometimes wish our company would up and move to Spokane Washington, where I spent several shivering winters, just to see these people deal with actual weather.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2004

Amateur Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Vastly Improved Movie Franchise

I was feeling stir-crazy enough by Sunday afternoon to head out to the movies. The Mrs. Frinklin and I checked out the latest Harry Potter movie. The Mrs. and I are both Potter fans. The funny thing about it is, I hadn’t ever picked up one of the books until I’d met her. We bought a copy of the first one for the Now-Teenage Boy. He wasn’t a teenager then, but that isn’t important. What is important is that he didn’t read it. I was bored while babysitting one day, and I picked it up. I was hooked.

Now, the only real problem with this movie is it shows how soulless and cold the previous two were. The first two Harry Potter movies were fine; they followed the story in a very perfunctory manner. The looked very slick and polished to a bright sheen. They were okay, never really good, and certainly never great. In told, they were far too forgettable for such a great story and concept as Harry Potter. They had no spark, to put it bluntly.

That has all changed. The new director, Alfonso Cuaron, best known for the teen sex-filled road movie Y Tu Mama Tambien, has spark to spare. This movie is crisper, sharper and far more involving than either of Columbus’ efforts. Like the first two, this movie follows the book closely, dropping a few subplots, but very little of importance changes.
The plotting is quicker, which is due to the book as much as it is the director. It’s also darker, looking at more complex issues of guilt and innocence.

Cuaron is helped immensely by the maturity of his young stars. Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint now embody the characters; instead of just play them, though there is a crying scene that Radcliff obviously had problems with. As with all the Potter movies, the secondary parts are perfectly cast. Alan Rickman returns as Professor Snape, sneering with much apparent evil he chills the blood just by saying, “Turn to page 394.” Michael Gambon, whom I frankly preferred, replaces the late Richard Harris as Headmaster Dumbledore. His Dumbledore is lighter and more mischievous than Harris’ statelier version. The other two big additions are David Thewlis as Professor Lupin and Gary Oldman as the escaped killer Sirius Black. Thewlis, who specializes in darker characters, really shines as Lupin, one of Potterdom’s favorite supporting characters. Oldman’s Black is a nice performance in a difficult role; he spends ¾ of the film only seen as the face on a WANTED poster.

As with all the movies, some missing bits might irritate Potter fans. There is only one Quidditch sequence, but it’s a doozy: the darkness, rain and swirling Dementers (Nazghul-like creatures that suck the happiness from their victims) turn the game into something sinister. The origin of the Marauder’s Map and the identities of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs aren’t revealed, though with a little insight many viewers will figure it out. Slightly more problematic is the lack of explanation as to why Harry’s Protronus (a magic shield against Dementers) manifests as a stag. It is a small, but touching bit that would not have taken more than a few seconds of screen time, and I frankly can’t see why it was dropped.

Still, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a remarkable achievement, a thoroughly enjoyable adventure story, and worthy interpretation of JK Rowlings’ work. Unfortunately, Alfonso Cuaron will not be back to helm Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth (and in my opinion best) book in the series. The director for that movie will be Mike Newell director of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Donnie Brasco. He has a lot to live up too.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:44 PM | Comments (5)

June 07, 2004

Tampa-St. Petersburg: The Metroplex of Champions


A very few short hours ago, I blogged that I didn't really care which way or the other about who won the Stanley Cup. Well, that was before I watched the last 2 periods of game 7. ABC kept switching between the Sea of Red and the crowd at... well, whatever the 'Ning's stadium is called now. The people in Calgary knew hockey, they had it in their bones. Those in Tampa might as well been at a Bucs game or the roller derby. I pained me to see Gary Bettman's big stupid screwup win the Stanley Cup. It was Tampa Bay (why is everything called Tampa Bay, that isn't the damned city's name), it could have been Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix, or Miami. Can someone tell me why these cities have NHL teams, and Portland and Seattle (as Canadian as US cities can possibly be) don't? Just boggles the damned mind.

As for the game itself, it wasn't beautiful, but God was it exciting. The last 10 minutes was as thrilling a sporting event could be. Back-to-back-to-back desperation saves by Khabibulin, ferocious hitting, speed.. it was amazing.

And it might be the last time Lord Stanley's Cup is awarded, for a while anyway

Posted by Frinklin at 08:51 PM | Comments (2)

I hate what politics has become

I do hate to be proved right. The other day Fred and I discussed the dearth of intelligent discourse in politics these days. Well, after the stunning amount of vitriol coming from the far Left after the death of President Reagan saddened me, but didn't shock me. From the cheering at the anti-war rally in San Fransisco to Ted Rall's "turning crispy brown" to the lunatics on DemocraticUnderground.com, there has been an avalanche of outright hatred.

But let's not kid ourselves Republicans. If this were Bill or Hillary Clinton, we would be just as nasty.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:36 PM | Comments (2)

MyWeekend of Sick: The end

Oh, and the Mrs. Frinklin took this opportunity to start renting movies again, even paying off our 8-9 year old late fees at Blockbuster. We saw School of Rock, which was cute, moderately funny but ultimately very forgettable, and Big Fish, which I liked a lot. The modern day scenes with Billy Crudup seemed a little forced at times, but the “story” scenes really did have that sense of fairy tale wonder they needed. It was very charming and light up until the end

Posted by Frinklin at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

My Weekend of Sick: NHL

I saw much of the Stanley Cup game 6 in Calgary. It was an amazing game, definitely a refresher course on how exciting hockey can be. The Sea of Red is unbelievable. It’s one thing to have everyone wearing red, but the same freakin’ shade? I still don’t have any sort of rooting interest in the series. I know most old-school hockey fans are pulling for Calgary, rooting for Canada and against the dimwitted southern expansion. Yet as Fred pointed out, the Flames are a bit of a boondoggle themselves, not an Original Six, an Expansion Six or even a WHL team. I will probably end up rooting for the Flames, if just to see the Cup where it belongs. Especially since this might be the last one for a while.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

My Weekend of Sick: Horses

I also caught Smarty Jones fail in his attempt at the Triple Crown. It was really quite sad, everyone, even the winning horse’s owner seemed to deflate when Smarty lost. I don’t know if this isn’t for the best. This way, every time a horse wins the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness all of America seems to follow the Belmont. If Smarty had won on Saturday, then he becomes the first Triple Crown winner since 1977. Then what? He retires to stud, and when a horse wins the first two legs next year, no one cares. It’s like the Philadelphia Phillies. Before they won the 1980 World Series, they were almost on par with the Cubs, as the team that would never win it all. Then they did, and became just another team. If the Cubs or the Red Sox win the Series, it will happen to them as well. It works the same way in horseracing. If a horse were to win a Triple Crown, then people would forget how difficult it is

Posted by Frinklin at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

My Weekend of Sick: The Mariners

Saturday and Sunday I watched the beloved M’s actually win, against a vastly superior team no less. On Saturday, Ryan Franklin spotted the ChiSox a couple of early runs, but was able to gut it out and win, thanks in part to a massive homerun by Brett Boone. Sunday seemed like it was a microcosm of the Mariner season, at least until the 9th. Jamie Moyer pitched with stunning mediocrity, the bullpen does passably well until Shiggy gives up a gimmee run, and the offense was a disaster. This team just can’t hit. How many popups to the infield can one team have? Yet they win, thanks to a nicely timed meltdown by Billy Koch. So that’s two in a row, and by the end of the game Sunday I almost believe again. Hey, it is only June they can do it. This could be the beginning of a hot streak. Real off 6-7-8 wins in a row, maybe it can happen. Then I remember how awful this team is, I remember that it’s only June 7th, and they are 12 games out of first place. I remember they have exactly two players who are AVERAGE offensively at their position, and then I remember why I’ve written off this team. It was a nice little weekend hallucination

Posted by Frinklin at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

My Weekend of Sick

I was sick this weekend, sick with that nasty sort of summer cold that just wrecks you. I took Friday off work, and stayed in bed almost clear through the weekend. Friday was the worst of it, a real stay in bed and drool kind of day. Saturday I felt a bit better, better enough to pull myself out of bed, lie on the couch, and watch sports all day.

Which, honestly, isn’t that what most guys want anyway?

Posted by Frinklin at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2004

Ronald Wilson Reagan 1911-2004

Ronald Reagan is the first President I really remember. I was 7 when he was elected, despite my parents best efforts. They were good liberals back then, and they were certain that America would go to hell under what they thought was such an incompetent. They, like so many others, were wrong. Ronald Reagan will go down as one the most influential Presidents this country has ever seen. He led the country to the defeat of Soviet Communism, and made it alright to be proud of America once again.

Rest in Peace Dutch

Posted by Frinklin at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2004

Veep Me Baby!

With the Conventions coming up in.. Well, whenever, I had thought I'd take a look at possibilites for John Kerry's vice-presedential nominee.

John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona
-America's favorite politician
-Would attract disaffected Republicans in addition to independents
-Could lock in important swing-state of Arizona
-Is still a Republican and professes to want to stay as such, preparing for run in 2008
-Could upset leftist voters and swing more of them toward Nader
-Would completely overshadow Kerry

John Edwards, Democratic Senator from North Carolina
-Polished speaker with impressive political instincts
-Could deliver needed support in the south
-Effective "Two Americas" idea caught on with Democratic base
-Possibly dynamite campaign theme: "Two Wealthy White Guys Named John"
-Boyishly handsome or handsomely boyish, take your pick
-Weaker than expected in home state
-Still a political neophyte, having served only 1 term in the Senate
-Would completely overshadow Kerry

Hillary Clinton, Democratic Senator from New York
-Very popular amongst Democrats, especially women
-Could garner support from independents, especially those with fond memories of Clinton Administration
-Polarizing figure despised by many Republicans
-Has shown no desire to run for #2 spot, seems to be gearing up for 2008
-Would completely overshadow Kerry

Joe Lieberman, Democratic Senator from Connecticut
-Well-regarded centrist could possibly diffuse some of Kerry's "Massachusetts Liberal" label
-Hawkish on the War on Terror and most other foreign-policy issues, which would lessen effectiveness of the Bush campaign's attacks on Kerry
-Would bring much-needed Joementum to Kerry campaign
-His own presidential campaign crashed pretty quickly
-Many leftist Democrats still not particularly fond of him, especially in Hollywood
-Endless Joementum jokes

Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Commander
-Impeccable resume
-Could deliver needed support in the south
-He and Kerry's combined military record could reflect on Bush's still-questionable service records and Cheney's reputation as a chickenhawk
-His own presidential bid was a disaster, starting out as the perfect anti-Dean candidate and going nowhere with it
-No experience outside of the military
-With failed bid for nomination, his outsider status is greatly diminished

Bill Richardson, Democratic Governor of New Mexico
-Good old-fashioned ethnic politics: would be the first Hispanic to run on a major ticket
-Could lock in a small, but vitally needed swing state
-Little, if any charisma
-Prior to governorship, had a rocky tenure as Secretary of Energy

Tom Vilsack, Democratic Governor of Iowa
-Popular Governor of a Midwestern state
-Kerry owes him, as his wife's endorsement is considered a big factor in Kerry's Iowa win
-Cool last name
-Make that a very small Midwestern state
-Virtually unknown outside of Iowa
-Way to easy to make fun of that cool last name

Bob Kerrey, former Democratic Senator from Nebraska, current member of 911 Commisson
-Popular former Senator
-Adds needed coolness to the drab Kerry
-Vietnam story comparable to John Kerry's
-Has never seemed as good a campaigner as he should be
-Went into 1992 Democratic primaries as favorite, quite frankly tanked in primaries
-Kerry and Kerry? Kerry Squared? Forget it

Dick Gephardt, Former Representative from Missouri
-Huge support from traditional Democratic groups such as the unions
-Will definitely NOT overshadow Kerry
-Very popular in Missouri, a very important battleground state
-Just plain dull
-With almost every advantage available to him, he still could not win Iowa this year
-Would exaggerate Kerry's perception as a flip-flopper. Between the two of them, Kerry and Gephardt have supported every side of every issue known to man.

John Lewis, Representative from Georgia
-Unbeatable personal story, civil rights crusader for decades
-Much like Richardson would be the first African-American on a major ticket. This could energize the traditional base of the party
-Is an old-school liberal, which would turn away centrist undecideds

Max Cleland, former Senator from Georgia
-Has become the symbol of Republican excess to Democrats everywhere
-Compelling personal history
-Despite the revisionist history from Democrats, Cleland lost due to his mediocre performance as a Senator and a dreadfully run campaign.
-Something unseemly about Democrats running him out all the time, as if attempting to insinuate that Republicans are so evil they beat up cripples. Yes, Saxby Chambliss didn't play nice in 2002, but that's politics. If you climb in the arena, you had best be prepared to take shots.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:10 PM | Comments (2)

Big Changes?

Aren't we past the point when those big changes were supposed to happen? All the Mariners have done is swap Nagoette for Meche and Bocachica for McCracken. While it's nice to see Q gone, it just highlights how foolish it was to pick him up in the first place. Bocachica is a replacement level player with a cool name, nothing more. So is McCracken too, but we're gonna pay him $2 million to do it somewhere else. Now the M's have their choice of do-everything-but hit utility guys with Bocachia and Bloomquist on the bench. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to call up Leone and put him in the third and shortstop mix? As for the pitchers: I don't think Nagoette is ready, and if anything he's even wilder than Meche. I'll leave it to people much smarter than me how it is Meche ended up with a option left.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2004

Sad thing is.. this is pretty close to the truth

I'm great. Like gold.
Which Office Moron Are You?
Rum and Monkey: jamming your photocopier one tray at a time.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Say Goodbye to Seahawks Stadium

Say hello to Qwest Field. I know this was inevitable,but it was nice not to have a corporate name on at least ONE Pacific Northwest stadium.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

The NBA: Its FAN-tabulous

The NBA finals are set, the Evil Hated Lakers will take on the unwatchable Detroit Pistons. The Pistons won the Eastern Conference on the strength of a 69-65 game 6 win over Indiana.


There really should be a law against this. I seriously question the sanity of anyone who watched this game for more than 3 minutes in a sitting. Bill Simmons has tried to make the point that this isn't bad basketball, this is really good basketball. He and Wiley tried to argue that this is akin to challenging jazz music, and isn't for less cultivated tastes.

Well, call me a Philistine then, because I hate this. Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not an offense-obsessed fan in any other sport. I love a close, well-pitched baseball game. I prefer a 1-0 to a 6-5 in hockey, watching a good goalie work is one of the great pleasures in sports. This is not those things. This is a winning team never making more than 40% of its shots. This is non-stop fouling and missed free throws. Modern NBA basketball is endless 1-on-1s, countless clanked 3-pointers, and a never-ending supply of 19-year olds who run like antelopes and jump like fleas having no idea what a medium ranger jumper is, let alone how to make one.

This year's Finals will get far better ratings than last years debacle, if only because the Lakers Traveling Circus is in town. If there is any justice (and I can't believe I'm about to say this) the Lakers will throttle the Pistons as quickly as possible. Not only will this put us out of our misery, it will stop the most frightening thing I can imagine: Detroit wins, and everybody else plays like this. Can you imagine? An entire season where nobody breaks 90 points unless it's a 4-overtime game.

Please LeBron, rescue us from this.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Full scale violent confrontation? It lacks something....

I saw this at Ilyka's today. I'm stunned as to why anyone would think this is a good idea. As the article says, the 23rd psalm is, after the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer, the most famous words in the Bible. And to make matter worse, this nonsense about prayers concerning "debt, the developing world, and fair trade" makes me wonder if they think anyone is actually paying attention.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:11 PM | Comments (1)

It's easy to hate the Lakers

Today was not the easiest day at Frinklin's job. You see, many of my coworkers worship the Devil, in the guise of the Evil Hated Lakers. Since the EHL eliminated the Timberwolves last night, many of those I work with have been crowing about it all day, especially in my direction. One of them asked me today why I hated the Lakers so much. I told her the truth, that I'm essentially a good person, while the Lakers and those who follow them are not. I expounded by saying that I believe in the essential dignity of humanity, while Lakers only believe in face time in front of the cameras. This person was my boss, so I offered a reassuring chuckle, of course I don't believe that. It's just that the Lakers are so good all the time, ha-ha!

But I do. And you should too. Let me explain why.

The team is really, really difficult to like in its present form. Shall we start with Shaq and his on-again, off-again commitments to the team and his conditioning? The Big Fella (one of his 1,589 nicknames, most of which are his own idea) is the most dominant player in the NBA, but (say it with me) only when he wants to be. And quite frankly, that's about 45% of the time. The majority of his time he has aches and pains, and tells bad jokes and makes really, really awful movies. This is why he's a dominant player, but not a truly great player. The great ones come to kill you. Magic, Larry and Michael came to kill you every night. And they did.

Kobe? Hey, everyone's favorite accused rapist has shown a superhuman devotion to his team during this whole mess, but it's been creepy instead of inspirational. His withdrawn face and bulging eyes show what he's put himself through, with his mad dashes between courts and desperate attempts to show himself a family man.

The Glove? Damnit, there isn't anything worse than watching your favorite player end up with your least favorite team. GP was the linchpin of the crazy and fun to watch George Karl Sonics, but now is a whiny bit player on this team. The triangle offense does nothing for Payton, forcing him to hold the ball and look to pass inside, what shot he does get are outside ones. Payton's game has always been drive and pass or the low post. He doesn't do either on this team. He knew this going in, but it hasn't stopped him from bitching incessantly anyway.

Karl Malone? How sad is it that Malone may be the most likable guy on this team? Everyone's favorite flopper is doing his best Ray Bourque impersonation, the veteran who has done everything but win at all. What's really odd is that he has turned into Brian Grant, doing the little things and playing defense instead of scoring. I still hate him though.

Phil? Oh yes, the Genius, the Guru, the semi-mystical Yoda of the hardwood. A reputation earned by looking sort of befuddled on the sideline, having a fancy name for his offense, admitting he did drugs in the 70's, and giving his players books. I always wondered if he thought NBA players could actually read. Oh yeah, he also had the best player in history willing his team to victory. This time around with the Lakers, Phil seems to have completely given up. He's gone from looking like he doesn't care to actively hating his team.

But yes, the real reason I hate the Lakers is that they are always good.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)