Poll for the Boston Sports Fan


RedSox Nation – is it time to panic?


Prior to the start of the 2011 Baseball season, the majority of “experts” selected the Boston Red Sox to be the hands down favorites to win the World Series.   Now that the Red Sox have started the season 0-6, many are no doubt jumping off the bandwagon.  The real question, however, should the members of Red Sox Nation hold open those October nights, or is it time to start looking towards next year.

Based on analysis of the World Series Winners 1980 – 2010 losing their first six games has put the Red Sox in a hole, there is some light still at the end of the tunnel.  16 of the last 30 World Series Champions (47%) each had losing streaks of at least six games over the course of the season.  37% (11 of 30) had losing records after five games and 20% (6 of 30) had losing records after 10 games – most recently the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies who started off 4-6 and finished the season 92-70.

 

World Series Champion

 

LLS

5 games 10 game 40 games 81 games Season
W L W L W L W L W L
1980* Philadelphia Phillies 6.0 3 2 5 5 22 18 44 37 91 71
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 5.0 5 0 9 1 29 11 50 31 63 47
1982 St. Louis Cardinals 4.0 2 3 7 3 25 15 45 36 92 70
1983 Baltimore Orioles 7.0 3 2 6 4 23 17 45 36 98 64
1984 Detroit Tigers 4.0 5 0 9 1 35 5 56 25 104 58
1985 Kansas City Royals 5.0 1 4 4 6 22 18 41 40 91 71
1986 New York Mets 4.0 2 3 7 3 29 11 56 25 108 54
1987 Minnesota Twins 6.0 4 1 7 3 20 20 45 36 85 77
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers 3.0 4 1 7 3 23 17 48 33 94 68
1989 Oakland Athletics 4.0 3 2 6 4 27 13 49 32 99 63
1990 Cincinnati Reds 8.0 5 0 9 1 29 11 51 30 91 71
1991 Minnesota Twins 7.0 2 3 2 8 19 21 46 35 95 67
1992 Toronto Blue Jays 5.0 5 0 8 2 25 15 50 31 96 66
1993 Toronto Blue Jays 6.0 3 2 6 4 21 19 48 33 95 67
1995 Atlanta Braves 5.0 4 1 7 3 23 17 52 29 90 72
1996 New York Yankees 5.0 2 3 6 4 24 16 49 32 92 70
1997 Florida Marlins[W][X] 5.0 4 1 8 2 24 16 48 33 92 70
1998 New York Yankees 4.0 1 4 6 4 31 9 61 20 114 48
1999 New York Yankees 5.0 4 1 7 3 23 17 50 31 98 64
2000 New York Yankees 7.0 3 2 7 3 24 16 44 37 87 75
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks 9.0 2 3 4 6 22 18 50 31 92 70
2002 Anaheim Angels[W] 6.0 3 2 3 7 23 17 47 34 99 63
2003 Florida Marlins[W] 6.0 2 3 4 6 18 22 40 41 91 71
2004 Boston Red Sox[W] 5.0 2 3 6 4 24 16 44 37 98 64
2005 Chicago White Sox 7.0 4 1 7 3 28 12 55 26 99 63
2006 St. Louis Cardinals 8.0 3 2 5 5 25 15 44 37 83 79
2007 Boston Red Sox 4.0 2 3 6 4 28 12 50 31 96 66
2008 Philadelphia Phillies 6.0 2 3 4 6 22 18 43 38 92 70
2009 New York Yankees 5.0 3 2 5 5 23 17 48 33 103 59
2010 San Francisco Giants 7.0 4 1 7 3 22 18 41 40 92 70
Average 5.6 3 2 6 4 24 16 48 33 95 67
LLS = Longest Losing Streak during season Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/
[W] = wildcard team
*= Strike Shortened Season

Have you burned your Koran today?


Or…What Would Your Founding Fathers Say?

It has been over a year since I posted anything in this blog.  The biggest reason is that upon returning to work, I found I had less time to ponder the “big issues” in life, such as why there are so few Johnny Cash tribute bands.   Well…it was that and the fact that it really cut into my efforts to set the world record on 

Bejeweled Blitz.  However, the recent “Koran Burning” being organized by Terry Jones in Gainesville, FL has lit a small fire within me – pardon the pun. 

I am not going to debate whether the media’s response to Mr. Jones’ event was overblown – not every lunatic with a misguided mission deserves coverage.  To steal a quote attributed to Jim Rohn – if you take a bunch of idiots and motivate them, you end up with a bunch of motivated idiots.‎

This current situation, combined with the recent legislative efforts in Arizona requiring immigrants to carry identification documents at all times, and the ongoing debate about whether a mosque should be built near Ground Zero, are examples of everything wrong in America. 

Perhaps rather than burning books – and increasing the level or rhetoric – might I suggest that sometime over the next two weeks (or even better on 9/11 itself) make an effort to locate your local Islamic house of worship.  Stop by.  Introduce yourself.  Become educated. 

I take issue with the talking heads on FOX News and elsewhere that seem to have the ability to channel the thoughts of our “founding fathers”.  As it relates specifically to the Islamic faith and our founding fathers, here are some interesting facts – with hyperlinks as available

Thomas Jefferson was a staunch proponent of religious freedom in America including those of Muslims.  He was also responsible for bringing the concept of “Separation of Church and State” into the public domain in a letter to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802.  In his writings on the religious freedom movement in Virginia, Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims. His autobiography includes the following “[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom… was finally passed… a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The proposed insertion was widely rejected, indicating that the groups included in the Bill’s protection should include “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.”

In 1776, John Adams published “Thoughts on Government” in which he praises the Islamic prophet Mahomet (Mohammed) as a “sober inquirer after truth” alongside Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, and other “pagan and Christian” thinkers.

In 1776, On June 7 Richard Henry Lee, made a resolution in the Second Congressional Congress know known as Lee’s Resolution, which urged that the American colonies declare independence. “True freedom,” Lee asserted, “embraces the Mahomitan and the Gentoo (Hindu) as well as the Christian religion.”

In 1777, Morocco – a predominantly Muslim nation- was the first country to formally recognize and seek diplomatic relations with a tiny former British colony called “The United States of America”.

In 1785, George Washington stated a willingness to hire “Mahometans,” as well as people of any nation or religion, to work on his private estate at Mount Vernon if they were “good workmen.”

In 1790, The South Carolina legislative body granted special status to the subjects of Sultan of Morocco, Mohammed ben Abdallah through passage of The Moors Sundry Act. It recognized Moors as `white` people with Jury duty as a privilege. {As an aside, I cannot reference the Moors without paying tribute to George Costanza and his prowess at Trivial Pursuit – “Alright bubble boy, who invaded Spain in the 8th Century?” “I’m so sorry it’s the Moops.”

In 1791, Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography wrote that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania, designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Noting “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

In 1796, then President John Adams signed The Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Tripoli declaring the United States had no “character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen“.

So….If this review of some of the historic figures in US History isn’t proof that the Founding Fathers would take issue with a Koran burning ceremony, perhaps the words of a modern day champion of religious freedom in the United States will get the point across.  Of course, I am referring to George W. Bush.  Ahead of hosting a Whitehouse iftar celebration President Bush said the Islamic religion “is a great religion that preaches peace,” and that Americans are free “to worship any way they see fit….” stating his own belief that the global community, regardless of individual faiths, “prays to the same God

The following are President Bush’s complete remarks made at the event.

Thank you all for coming. Please be seated. Ramadan Mubarak. Laura and I are pleased to have you here for our seventh Iftaar dinner. Tonight we celebrate traditions of Islamic faith, which brings hope and comfort to more than a billion people. For Muslims around the world, the holy month of Ramadan is a special time of prayer and fasting. It is a time for charity and service to those less fortunate.  It’s a time to celebrate Islam’s learned and vibrant culture, which has enriched civilization for centuries.

Ramadan is also a good time for Americans of all faiths to reflect on the values we hold in common — including love of family, gratitude to the Almighty, devotion to community, and a commitment to religious liberty. The freedom of worship is central to the American character. It’s the first protection in the Bill of Rights. It holds together the fabric of American society — supporting every individual’s right to practice his or her beliefs without fear.

Today, our world is at war with violent extremists who seek to tear the fabric of our society — and stop the advance of freedom in Muslim societies around the world. They attack holy sites, destroy mosques and minarets, and kill innocent men, women and children — including Muslims who do not share their radical views. They believe that by spreading chaos and violence they can frustrate the desire of Muslims to live in freedom and peace. We say to them, you don’t represent Muslims, you do not represent Islam — and you will not succeed.

America is standing with mainstream citizens across the broader Middle East. We stand with nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for a democratic future for their children. We’re standing with Afghan people, as they defend their young democracy against the Taliban and al Qaeda. We’re standing with the Lebanese people, who raised the banner of a Cedar Revolution to reclaim their freedom and independence. We’re standing with all who seek the blessings of liberty — and the peace that freedom brings.

Americans have a history of standing with Muslims facing suffering and hardship — and it’s a proud history. Our country defended Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo after the breakup of Yugoslavia. We supported Kuwait after it was invaded by Saddam Hussein. Americans came to the aid of victims of devastating earthquakes in Pakistan, India, and Iran. Americans responded with urgency and compassion to the wreckage of the tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka and Thailand. We’re rallying the world to confront the genocide in Sudan, and deliver humanitarian aid for those in dire need. And we support the establishment of a Palestinian democracy to live side by side with Israel in peace.

As you break your Ramadan fast at this Iftaar dinner, let us renew our faith in the universality of freedom. Let us celebrate the millions of Muslims that we are proud to call American citizens. And let us honor the many Muslim nations that America is proud to call friends.

Johnny Cash is Dead…and his house burned down.


I came across this song online and decided I had to get out of my month long funk related to posting.  I’ve been a Johnny Cash fan as long as I can remember.   My dad is responsible for leading me down this path.  I remember listening to  Cash’s albums (yes albums, for those of you who only know music as coming in electronic formats, ask your parents) singing along in the bedroom of my parent’s house. 

I grew up in a small 3 bedroom ranch.  The basement was unfinished when we moved in, but my dad worked during his freetime to build a bedroom, laundry room and sitting area/library.  I shared my bedroom with my brother who is almost three years older than I am.  We were so eager to move into the room that we didn’t wait for the electrical outlets to be installed, but rather used extension cords (hopefully my firefighting brother-in-law will forgive us). 

I can confidently state that while country has enjoyed an explosion into the mainstream over the past 15 years, it is safe to say that in the late 1970’s early 1980’s there were not many kids from the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area that knew all the lyrics to “Folsom Prison Blues”.  I think that being a closet country fan has served me well through the years.

If you enjoyed the song above (or even if you didn’t) here is one of my recent favorite country songs to close out today’s entry.

10 Things That Not Even Bacon Can Make Better : I Love Bacon Story & Experience


If you like Bacon, check this out…or even better, go see Jim Gaffigan
10 Things That Not Even Bacon Can Make Better : I Love Bacon Story & Experience

Shared via AddThis

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About


I wish I could take credit for this content, but rather than steal someone’s content, I just share it.

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About

Posted using ShareThis

Absolutely Powerless.


I arose this morning, well rested and happy to see the sun in a blue sky.  For those of us on the East Coast, this has been a very long, wet, cool summer.  In the past, I would have walked outside for my copy of the Boston Globe but since I get nearly all my news online, we have downsized our subscription to the Sunday paper only. 

So, I fire up the Dell, click on Google News (not ready to give my life over to BING yet) and immediately wish I had left well enough along and turned onSportsCenter

AP- Report: Too few officials knew of surveillance

Most of the intelligence leads generated under what was known as the “President’s Surveillance Program” did not have any connection to terrorism, the report said.  But FBI agents told the authors that the “mere possibility of the leads producing useful information made investigating the leads worthwhile.” 

I am not sure which bothers me more, the fact that so few people knew about it, or that despite invading our privacy, the information gathered was of little use.

Figuring I might be a bit more encouraged by looking in the business section, I come across this gem.  What the folks at GM don’t get is, touting what a great job you have done in such a short time would be fine, if you did it on your own nickel.  However, I think even the kids who sell lemonade at their parent’s yard sales would be able to make hay with a plan to eliminate 30% of your workforce and 50% of your dealerships funded by a generous $40 billion in taxpayer capital.  Where exactly is all the job creation and help to the US economy in all of this?

 Washington Post- With Bankruptcy Behind It, GM Focuses on a Culture Change.

Company officials yesterday seized on the company’s emergence from 40 days in bankruptcy to advertise efforts to restart the failed automaker…The new GM will have only four core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMAC.  By the end of 2011, the company plans to operate 34 plants, down from 47 in 2008.  Its U.S. employment is slated to shrink from about 91,000 to about 64,000 by the end of this year.  The number of dealers will shrink from 6,000 to 3,600 by the end of the year as well.

Perhaps the sports section can stop that feeling of nausea growing in my stomach.  Maybe there will be an inspirational piece on Lance Armstrong or Michael Phelps. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer- Valley Club president says safety the issue

John G. Duesler Jr., President of the Valley Club had arranged for three day-camps to use the pool this summer.  But when 65 black and Hispanic children from a city camp called Creative Steps Inc. showed up at the club on June 29, lifeguards and other club members were overwhelmed, he said.  “It was just too many kids on top of each other,” Duesler told reporters, some of whom had camped out in vans in front of the club throughout the day.  “Many of them couldn’t swim.”

In his first comments to reporters on the matter, Duesler said, “there is a lot of concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion . . . and the atmosphere of the club.”

Um…I guess not.

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