Marching for Science

So I was just wondering, what did we decide about science today? Are we still going to do that stuff? Or did we resign ourselves to die of preventable diseases, ruin the earth for the kids, and generally turn back into neanderthals.

I’m ok with it either way, but please let me know soon. If we decided to be dummies, I’m going to sleep in on Monday.

On Rubbernecking: A Message to Bay Area Drivers

I was driving with some of you up I-280 on Thursday night when traffic starting building up after the CA-92 interchange. As you know this is unusual. Stop and go persisted for a couple miles. Like many of you, I believed that there must have been an accident, and a serious one, to cause such a backup on the usually smooth traveling road. It had rained a little bit that afternoon, and the air was still misty. I was very surprised, with no accident in sight, to see the flow of traffic increase ahead of me as I approached the bridge at the Crystal Springs Dam. Crossing the bridge, I realized, as you did, the cause of the delay: a 90 degree arc of a rainbow. With the mist in the air, the tall span, the evening sunlight, the conditions were perfect. And as I made the realization of its presence, emotion came over me, and I audibly asked no one but the Sled itself, “That’s what we all had to slow down for!!”

Look everyone, I think rainbows are as cool as the next guy, but you know all you need is water and sun. If you have a hose, you can make a rainbow yourself. At home. As in, not on an interstate highway, where I want to be traveling in excess of 65 miles per hour.

Now, I ask you to contrast that with what we witnessed on Friday night on I-580 in Oakland between I-238 and CA-13. On the steep hills east of the highway was a sight much more awesome than a singular, unremarkable rainbow. There were goats. Tons of goats. Covering the steep hill, eating up the grass on the unmowable hillside. Was there any delay? None. Are you kidding me? Hundreds of goats in a major metropolitan area doesn’t faze anyone?

Bay Area drivers, let’s get it together. If we don’t understand what’s worth rubbernecking for, what do we understand? Next time you get behind the wheel, take a moment, think about what you’re about to do, turn that key, and strive.

Opening Day: the inner inner dialogue of a Mets fan

Opening Day! After a long, cold winter, it’s finally here! Instead of following trade rumors and free agent negotiations and news stories about guys in “the best shape of his life” we have actual games to look forward to. And for Mets fans it’s going to be so sweet. We got kicked around last year, but it’s a new year and everybody is tied for first! Hey, we even won our first game of the season. 1-0! We’re on our way back to the top of the National League! That Johan Santana pitched great today!

Yes, Santana will be good, but do you know who starts on Wednesday? John Maine, who missed half of last season with injury, and when he did pitch, he alternated between competent and awful. He’s followed up by Ollie Perez, who also missed half of last season with injury. That was the productive part of his season. Jonathon Niese has eight starts in his major league career and will probably be the team’s second best pitcher.

Oh, but don’t forget Mike Pelfrey! He was a first round draft pick and is a real up-and-comer! He’s a ground ball machine!

Exactly, he’s a ground ball machine. Unfortunately, there’s nobody in the infield to pick up those ground balls. With Mike Jacobs, Luis Castillo, and Alex Cora forming 3/4 of the infield, those ground balls aren’t going to be outs. They’re going to be singles. Get ready for runners on first-and-third all the time, and innings that last 45 minutes.

That’s ok because Casillo and Cora are character guys. They’ll make up for it in the clubhouse! And Jacobs has 30+ home run potential!

Honestly, I would prefer it if Castillo and Cora would stab somebody in the neck. Then at least they’d have to be good at baseball to stick with the team. Jacobs was also released by the Royals. The worst team in the majors, both on and off the field decided that Mike Jacobs was not good enough to be on their team. He was the opening day starter at first base for the New York Mets.

But the Mets have so many stars: David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Frankie Rodriguez!

This is the most depressing part. Wright is brilliant, and Santana is a joy to watch, although he probably isn’t the-best-pitcher-on-the-planet(TM) anymore. Don’t let the nay-sayers fool you, Reyes and Beltran are among the best players in baseball when healthy. Jason Bay is a great hitter as well. Despite having a core group of guys that few teams can match, some interesting young players, the third highest payroll in the majors, the largest TV market in the US, and a brand new ballpark, the Mets are so poorly run that they will be a .500 baseball team struggling for third place. Even with all of those stars, the rest of the team is so bad that they will be dragged down into mediocrity. And not only will they be mediocre, they will be mediocre in the worst possible way, alienating their best players, disrupting the development of their few promising prospects, and generally acting like they have everything under control and if they can just patch this hole and that hole, they will be back in the playoffs.

Hmmm. That’s quite a downer. What is a Mets fan supposed to do then?

Savor every game that Santana pitches and every time Wright is at bat. Pray that Reyes and Beltran come back healthy. And hope beyond hope that Minaya and company are fired before they can do any more permanent damage.

What kind of city is San Francisco?

It’s an un-American one, that’s what kind.

Chicago is an American city. Oakland is an American city. South Bend is an American city. Even Waldwick is an American city. And you damn well better believe New York is an American city.

Because in an American city, when you are angry, you can go to a batting cage.

But San Francisco has no batting cages. Ergo, this is not an American city.

I’m as incompetent as the Mets

How I forget this headline from my last rant about the Mets is as appalling as the headline itself:

Livan Hernandez to first base?

There are occasions when a team might use a starting pitcher as a pinch hitter. Typically, the pitcher in question pinch hits for a relief pitcher (who gets very few plate appearances) when the team is trying to conserve a bench player or is out of bench players. Livan Hernandez has a lifetime batting average of .228, which is pretty good for a pitcher. So Livan Hernandez might be a guy a manager would consider using to pinch hit for a relief pitcher in a special circumstance.


Livan Hernandez’s role is first and foremost to act as a starting pitcher. Livan Hernandez is a terrible in this capacity. He should not be on any major league roster, as a pitcher, let alone as an option in the field. The fact that Jerry Manuel, the Mets’ manager, suggested to a member of the media that Livan Hernandez could be used at first base implies a level of roster mismanagement that is incomprehensible. The fact that this came up in any conversation is proof to me that Mets’ management is entirely devoid of competence and should be not be allowed to make any decisions of consequence.