Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Much-Needed Boost

Joe Blanton threw 118 pitches (78 for strikes) in his first career shutout win today over the Kansas City Royals, and Jason Kendall hit his first homerun in 961 at-bats. After a disappointing streak of tough losses that seems now typical in May, the A's finally get something to smile about.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weird Game

It was a strange outing for the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium on Mother's Day.

  • Nick Swisher nearly broke his 31-game on-base streak, saving it only with a walk on his fifth at-bat.
  • Jay Payton hit his first home run of the season, after a 36-game drought.
  • Antonio Perez got his first hit and RBI of the season, with the bases loaded.

  • Dan Haren pitched his first complete game of the season, holding the New York Yankees to just six hits and just one solo home run. He needed just 100 pitches, 67 thrown for strikes.

  • Second baseman Mark Ellis beat first baseman Nick Swisher to an Alex Rodriguez foul ball over the tarp.

  • Randy Johnson gave up his first home run from a left-handed batter Mark Kotsay, and the Yankees lose their first day game.

  • Bobby Crosby was able to duck a tag just long enough for Nick Swisher to score from third base.

  • Nick Swisher ended the game with a rather confused and unassisted double play.

  • The A's stole three bases, having stolen just five in the last 36 games.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2006

    It's Official

    I look dorky. A man drove up in an SUV while I was getting in my car, and showed me a calling card with Versace, Armani, and maybe two or three other brand names I couldn't recognize. He started to ask me if I spoke Italian, and having been through this before, I just told him I couldn't help him. But it's now clear that I look like a "mark." Damn.

    But this really got me wondering what the scam was. A bit of searching on the web shows that it's a variation of an old theme: lost my money, need to get to the airport and pay for the rental car. The Italian suits are just to convince you that he'd rather not pay taxes on them.

    Monday, May 1, 2006

    It's Good to Be the King

    Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh reached a deal with prosecutors after being charged with obtaining excessive amounts of prescription painkillers in 2003. He admits to no guilt in the matter, but will continue treatment for his addiction, cannot own a gun (for the next 18 months?), and will refrain from violating any other law. He will also repay the state the sum of US$30,000 to cover investigation costs, and be subjected to random drug testing to ensure that he remains clean.

    According to, Limbaugh makes US$31 million a year, so the investigation costs will take just under two hours' work to pay for. The moral of the story is that the penalty for breaking drug laws is basically "don't do it again" if you're rich and well-connected. No public admission of guilt, no real punitive fine, not even actual inconvenience (he can easily hire a bodyguard if he really needed guns), much less jail term of any sort.

    Almost as if it never happened.