Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Notes, July 2010

+ I can't remember a baseball season that's been as fun to watch as 2010 (so far, anyway). Maybe that's because I'm a sucker for pitching duels and low-scoring ballgames. Two and a half years since Barry Bonds' forced retirement put an unofficial kibosh on the steroid era, defense and fundamentals are what's hot while one-dimensional power hitting has gone on the wayside. With all due respect to Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto, this year's MVPs will likely be pitchers; Ubaldo Jimenez could throw his arm out against the AL All-Stars tonight and he'd still be the class of the Senior Circuit. Over in the AL, I'd make a case for David Price or Jered Weaver over Hamilton or Miguel Cabrera. Even my Royals were making great strides... you know, until we were spanked by the first-place White Sox last weekend.

+ The regular baseball season is more than halfway over, and so is roto baseball. My TV.com roster is still in seventh place out of eight, lacking extra-base hits and consistency, not to mention any legitimate excuses. My "other" team on Yahoo has been fluctuating somewhat, bouncing between second and sixth place in a cutthroat league while maintaining a healthy .550 winning percentage. Though I was quite bullish on Pablo Sandoval at the beginning of the season, his 6/34/.263 midseason clip was bringing down both of my squads, so I dropped him. Here's hoping Scott Rolen and Jose Bautista drive in the runs that I so badly need.

+ I'm not sure about you guys, but for me New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner will be forever intertwined in my memory with George's demanding, seldom-seen employer on "Seinfeld." Let's look back at a private moment in the life of a man they called "The Boss."

+ Over on the political scene, it looks like former Speaker Newt Gingrich will throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 presidential race. A recent convert to Catholicism, the native Georgian is an apparent early favorite in one crucial demographic of the GOP, the Christian conservative. On top of that, Newt's possible entry spotlights a portion of the party that hasn't garnered much media attention these past few years: the cluster that doesn't follow former Gov. Sarah Palin around like a flock of sheep. This basically implies that Gingrich not only has a bone to pick with President Obama's policies but he won't drink Palin's Tea Party Kool-Aid, either. Of course, the 2012 presidental election is still 28 months away; fellow theocrat Mike Huckabee could easily jump in and give ol' Newt a run for the money, and in spite of his age Ron Paul could run on a near-identical platform as Palin and stomp on her inexperience. Plus, where would Haley Barbour and Mitt Romney fit into all this? The vast number of scenarios is headache-inducing.

+ Meanwhile in improv, on Friday I'll be signing up for my second conservatory audition --and third overall-- at Second City. (The audition is not until July 30th, but please wish me luck.) Meanwhile, at iO I'm frequently taking advantage of something they don't usually have at SC: free student admission to shows. It's a great way to learn the Harold technique, which is a special type of long-form improv that I'm learning in class, and it's an incentive to spend extra time in the city.

+ Finally, the 2010 World Cup of Soccer ended last Sunday with Spain defeating Holland in extra time. I miss the sound of vuvuzelas so much, yesterday I taped a beehive around my head. ;)

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