Baseball Chatter…

•April 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Plans are set for next week when Boston rolls to town for a three game set with Oakland.  Monday I’ll be going with Teddy, we were both shocked to find 10th row seats STILL available five days from the game – I do think smaller market teams are going to be absolutely struggling to stay afloat this year.  I see massive bargains at the trade deadline for teams still making money, as most of the smaller market teams are going to see far less attendance than they think.  Perhaps the Sox can score a guy like Matt Halladay off Oakland once they are out of the race a few months from now.

Tuesday I’ll be going to the game with Emily, Lady B, and Brian.  We have seats ten rows off the dug out, Sox side.  Should be awesome, and an excellent time to utilize Emily’s new camera – I can’t wait.  Hopefully we get some good pitching matchups.

Sox now 1-1 after Lester got hammered today by Tampa and failed to put up many runs.  Yanks fell to 0-2 behind a pretty poor performance by Wang (the guy just last year they called their “ace” with pin striped colored blinders on)  Been reading fans opinions on the Yankees on a sports gambling forum I stop by once in a while.  I’m shocked to see bold predictions by many of the guys who are the best at capping.  Lots of chit-chat that the Yankees will again miss the playoffs, a few guys went ahead and even said they are by far the most overrated team in the league.

I think in part most fans just want to see the Yankees do poorly, and are driven by confirmation bias.  I see the Yankees having a good year, especially if A-Roid comes back on schedule.  Their pitching should be alot better than last year, and they wern’t entirely far off from making the playoffs last year.  Also, plenty of bats available mid way through the year if they find themselves in need though I personally think they will be more in need of pitching than hitting.  Looking back on the Santana trade, and the Yankees decision to not fork over a package of Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and another low level prospect…I have to imagine some fans, and people in the front office regret that move.

Melky is now designated bench warmer, Hughes has been unable to pitch at the major league level essentially since he came up from the minors with the exception of a small period of time, and Ian Kennedy has been far from irreplaceable as well.  A pitching staff of Sabathia, Santana, Wang must make Yankees fans drool.  Of course, Hughes and Kennedy have plenty of time to turn things around but I am nearly certain Hughes won’t live up to a half of the expectation and optimism Yankees fans had for years.

As for the Red Sox young talent, we either have a damn genious drafting our young kids, or we’ve gotten extremely lucky – probably both.  Pedroia, last year’s MVP is homegrown, as is Lester who was in Cy Young consideration last year.  Papelbon, though it appears he has lost a bit of his dominance, has been a top five closer his entire major league career thus far…and while Jacoby hasn’t lived up to expectation yet, he should be a decent option in CF for the remaining years we control him for.

It is my opinion that Theo evaluates talent better on the minor league level than he does the major league level though his track record is pretty impressive in the bigs as well.  Alot of his best moves came by way of *not* signing players.  Nomar, Pedro, and Damon to name a few.  Many fans were outraged at the lack of desire from the front office to keep those guys around… but it appears Theo knows best.

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Opening Day!!

•April 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Baseball is finally back.  Because of the rainout yesterday, Boston began their season against the young potent squad of Tampa Bay.  Josh Beckett got the nod, and pitched 7 strong innings, striking out 10 while giving up only a single earned run in his two hit outting.

This game alone Josh looked alot better than he did at any single point last year.  As is the case with Beckett, this is an odd numbered year and should his “on for a year off for a year” career continue, he should return to dominance this year.

Boston put up 5 runs, two coming by way of solo shots from Pedroia and  Varitek – a pleasant surprise, the guy can actually still hit the ball once in a while.  I don’t expect a ton from him offensively this year, in fact he’s the only weak spot in the entire batting order… but a HR here and there should keep people off his back a bit.

The Sox won the game 5-3 after Okijima did his best to throw the game in the 8th, giving up  two runs in .1 innings in the 8th.  Okijima is someone Sox fans tend to not worry about, his numbers will again be there in the end.

Great opening day for the Sox – the most encouraging thing was Josh being able to keep Tampa on the ropes for an entire 7 innings, and fanning 10.  He hit that mark only twice last year, once against Baltimore and once against Tampa.  For him to come into the season so strong and allegedly far more healthy is certainly a positive for this team right now.

For the Yankees, not so much… CC got lit up like a Christmas Tree in his season debut for the Evil Empire, giving up 6 ER in 4.1 innings, failing to strike out a single batter.  Sabathia has had a tough time in April over the past few seasons so this is no shock to those paying attention.  Perhaps more telling than the bad outting however was CC’s lack of a fastball.  He usually can find the fastball even when he’s pitching poorly, but yesterday that wasn’t the case.

Teixeira’s debut as a Yankee didn’t go beautifully either.  Teixeira went 0-4, with 4 men left on base, several coming in key situations when the Yankees offense was beginning to show a little spark.  I do expect Teixeira to be the most productive signing of the off season.  Teixeira, like CC has started off fairly slow in year’s past, we will see if the trend continues.  In the end, Teixeira will be worth the money the Yankees gave him and he’ll end the year with 36 bombs and 140 RBIs – he should see more pitches inside the tough Yankees lineup.

In any case, it sure is great to have baseball back.  4 o’clock Pacific Time just got a whole lot more exciting!

Lucky Number Twenty Seven

•April 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Celebrated my 27th Tuesday night at Aqua Bleu for a wonderful meal and drinks with friends.  A great restaurant with some of the more reasonable prices for the quality I’ve seen in Santa Cruz – we’ll be celebrating more good times there in the near future!

Dinner was followed by a few more drinks at Reggae Night @ Cypress Lounge.  All in all it was a solid Birthday.  After celebrating my last two Birthdays in Costa Rica and Vegas, it was nice to have a relaxing evening with buddies.

Spending time here in Santa Cruz has taken on new appreciation since I came to the decision I’ll be moving away in what could be as little as three months from now.  The weather has been beautiful here, and summer is right around the corner – this town does take on a new life in the summer and I’m looking forward to enjoying my last one here.

Good relationships that are sometimes taken for granted in what seems like a natural occasional thing we humans do at times are also being looked at through a different lens lately as I know my time here is limited.  I really do look forward to the change, and something about throwing myself completely out of my comfort zone is thrilling… lots of question marks make me want to fast forward and get things started.

In the end the move is only an hour and a half up the road, so seeing the crew here and enjoying Santa Cruz’s natural beauty and serene lifestyle is always just a few short hours away which makes the move more care-free than most I could think of.

Trying to plan my summer out is proving to be a bit difficult as there’s just so much I want to do, but limited time and money.  For now Grippi, Tony, and I are set to see all four nights of Red Rocks in late July, and after those shows we have a day to relax before heading back out to see Shoreline from the 5th row.  (way to go Emily, and Phish Tickets by Mail – a huge score!)  We’ll have to bring Emily’s camera as we should be able to get some incredible shots.

After that, the tentative plan to go then go to the Gorge after a day of rest after Shoreline, but I’m beginning to think the five shows in six days may be enough to have me tired enough to forgoe to the trip to Washington.  I’ll likely book a flight to the Gorge in case, with the $20 protection in case I do want to cancel.  I’ve done shows for well over a week straight, but this body can’t handle what it used to.

On a last note, baseball season is one week away and Boston is wasting no time coming to the west coast this year.  We so far have tickets to one of the three games, the middle game in which Dice-K is currently slated to take the mound for.  We have great seats… about 10 rows behind the Sox dug-out… should be a good one.  I think I’m officially done with sitting in the bleachers for baseball games… I’d rather pay double the money for good tickets and only see half the games.  It may be the only game we catch of the series in anticipation of seeing Dark Star in San Francisco on Thursday.  Some friends are trying to talk us into going with them on Sunday to see Dark Star as well.  Approaching a summer in which so many things seem to be happening, I can’t do it all.. but I will certainly try my best!!

Until next time…

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future.
You must break out of your current comfort zone and
become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”

-Denis Waitley

Red Rocks, here we come…

•March 26, 2009 • 1 Comment

After purchasing tickets at an outrageous price of $350 a pop for Red Rocks, Turkey has secured me a ticket to each night of Red Rocks at face value – I am fully fucking pumped and ready to rock and roll.

By our calculations the chances of getting Red Rocks tickets via mail order was in between 1\3 and 1\2 of a percent.  Not only was I able to secure the tickets, Tony and Grippi also got tickets from Rachel’s order.

We truly defied the odds.  I never in my wildest dreams thought all three of us would be able to attend the shows at face value, afterall we were one of the many willing to pay a stupid amount of money to be able to catch what is clearly the most coveted shows of the Summer Tour.

We hold the Golden Ticket, and I must say it feels wonderful.  I’ve had absolute shit luck with mail order since Phish opted to switch over to the lazy method, electronic submissions for mail order.  Gone are the days of going to the post office with self addressed stamped enveloped and weeks later receiving just about every ticket you asked for.

Every scalper and Phish fan not even planning to attend the shows has the time to push a few fuckin’ buttons and request Red Rocks tickets.  Essentially anyone with enough space on their card submitting orders for any others Summer Tour shows added Red Rocks to their order, full knowingly that they would be able to trade the tickets for their shows of choice.  Even folks not planning to attend a single show understood it takes thirty seconds to request the tickets, and if you hit you could very well make well over a thousand dollars on the tickets.

We have our plane tickets reserved, all tickets “in hand” and we are set to go to four nights of Phish in Colorado later on this summer.  Emily was also lucky enough to score 5th row tickets for Shoreline which will be a treat in itself.  It appears we’ll be seeing 7 shows in 10 days… better get my dancin shoes ready, and give the liver a little break before the madness begins.

I only hope we aren’t completely worn down by the time the Gorge rolls around.  It’s going to be a wild week and a half, that is for certain.  I do hope Frank is able to score tickets for the shows at face value.  What a kick in the balls it would be to pay scalped prices for a hometown show, he can apparently see the light show from his back porch.  We have a whole group of people trying to get him tickets, so we will see if our luck continues tomorrow when the rest of the lucky winners scoop up the remaining 7K tickets per night.

Some things are just too hard to wait for…

•March 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

red-rocks2

A picture says a thousand words the sang goes.  Pictured above is Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.  Phish, as many rumors speculated, just announced a four night run at the legendary venue at the end of July.  Passing up on Hampton was difficult to do, but I focused on the Red Rocks shows, and freeing up money that would have been spent in Hampton on making damn sure I attend this run.

Red Rocks is one of the most talked about venues in the entire country boasting what I’m told are great acoustics, and absolutely stunning views for fans to enjoy during the show.  When I first heard the rumors… Phish four nights, the first time Phish has played there since the highly coveted 1996 shows, I knew this one was I wouldn’t pass up on.

The Phish ticket frenzy is officially back and will full force.  I thought perhaps it would die down after the Hampton shows, and while I think Summer Tour tickets are going to be easier to come by… Red Rocks is no ordinary Summer Tour show.  The venue holds a grand total of 10,000, a full 3,000 less than Hampton.  Not only that, but it is the only set of shows longer than two on the entire Summer Tour.  These tickets will be as difficult, is not more difficult than Hampton to get.  Those willing to fork up the funds for pricey tickets to Hampton had no problems getting the tickets, well, as long as they were willing to open up their wallet to the tune of $400 early on in scalper ticket sales, and come close to show time those wanting to buy last minute tickets were forking over a whopping $1000 PER ticket for the three night run.  People who jumped on board early and bought tickets at below market value often times got screwed by greedy scalpers who fully realized the potential to make more cash.

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The venue  alone has appeal to even the most casual of live music fans in the country, and it’s one of the few of decreasing number of venues I haven’t yet made it to, that I always said I would see at least a few shows at.  The fact that my favorite band that I’ve been attending live shows since 1996 is playing there leaves me with a no brainer and a wallet sheepishly waiting to figure out what type of damage this show is going to inflict.

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The mail order period is short on this one, so I will know if I hit the lucky Golden Ticket via mail order by the 25th.  The following day tickets will go on sale to saclp–err, I mean the public will have their chance to get tickets.  Hitting the mail order would be absolutely an amazing feeling, I would love to just have my tickets in hand and not need to worry about getting lucky via TM on the morning of the 26th, or worse, resulting to buying tickets of scalpers who sometimes don’t deliver tickets.  The thought of purchasing the tickets and waiting day by day, week by week, only to have the tickets never arrive is a thought that makes me feel ill – what disappointment.

I will have about 15 mail orders in, and several ticket savvy people on the look out for me, so I’m going into this with a leg up compared to most people who are looking on their own, with perhaps an one or two mail orders thrown in there.  I’m sure plenty of other fans are doing absolutely everything they can to secure tickets as well, it simply won’t be easy.

A friend, who won’t be able to attend the show has been nice enough to tell me that his attempts at getting tickets will be first to serve me with what he knows I want so so badly.  To him and others doing their parts to help out a friend instead of trying to get tickets to make money off of… I am extremely grateful.

In a week fans will have it figured out… they either got tickets via mail order or were luckily able to get through on Ticket Bastard before the show sold out in a matter of minutes.  I hope I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve had extremely good luck with tickets in the past but so far have been unable to to land a single ticket on either the mail order or Live Nation.  One could say I’m due but then again I’m sure so many people are saying the exact thing to themselves.

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I know one thing, and it’s that Phish is back and so is Phish Mania.  A good percentage of my conversations in the last month have had to do with them coming back, between the Hampton ticket frenzy, the actual shows.. and then right back at it with Summer Tour tickets being the topic of conversation… it simply hasn’t stopped.  This week we enter our mail orders, crossing our fingers we’ll be one of the lucky ones to get our names drawn.  A week from now, the remaining 7,00 tickets go on sale to about 40,000 people, scalpers, and every asshole with a computer and two thumbs via Ticket Master.  In the end, if you end up with nothing… it’s time to figure out exactly what the experience is worth to you.

The time has come for changes…

•March 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Welp, after a year and a half of conversations between Emily and I trying to figure out if we could move up to the city together… it appears I will be going on my own.  At first, Emily had considered coming with me, but wanted to work another year at her current job at KUSP before we moved to the city together.  As we quickly realized her job may be something worth hanging onto, the conversation shifted to whether or not we’d be able to keep a serious relationship going if I moved there on my own.

The plans became final on Sunday after we spoke some on Saturday night about her desire to possibly get her own place instead of getting another home together here in Santa Cruz.  The conversation quickly made me realize it’s time to move and do what is right for me, when it’s right for me.  Living in San Francisco is something I’ve lusted for a long time, and soon I’ll be able to do just that.

It comes with many changes, a new school, a new home, new sets of friends and all that jazz.  The biggest change though comes with Emily… we have lived together since three days after we met… we are here now three years later.  It’s been the most serious relationship of my life, and to have it dramatically change over night when I move up there, that comes with a certain amount of natural apprehension.

I do believe if the relationship is meant to work out, my moving an hour and a half north won’t be the event to break us.  A temporary break in the relationship  doesn’t eliminate all possibilities of ending up together later in life either.  That said, our very first intention is to keep the relationship as is.. a mutual loving relationship with complete commitment to one another.  I think an important part of appreciating things  in life is having the ability to put yourself into a mindset where you can imagine what life would be without that person.  For that reason, I personally am going into the move understanding and respecting the distinct possibility that things don’t work out for us for one reason or another.  It’s neither of our intentions, but sometimes life gets in the way of our intentions.

I’m sure yet of where I will live, or with whom.  I’ve begun to network out and look for friend of friend’s who are possibly in need of a room mate.  I far prefer this method than the traditional Craig’s List way.  My worst fear of the move is moving into a home and finding myself wanting to move within a year or so – moving blows.

Bronco and his lady Ali have mentioned they might be interested in getting a two or three bedroom with me, which would be pretty cool.  How ironic it’d be that Matt and I were not entirely great friends in highschool but seven years later we’d be living together: life has a series of interesting and often hard to predict curves in it… it’s refreshing to have those curves pop up and possibly work out really well.

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Even if my first house in SF isn’t completely idea, I know moving from Santa Cruz though difficult, is without question a better move for my life.  I have become stagnant here, life has become predictable and not nearly as refreshing as it once was.  I think I may be one of those people that needs a change of pace every few years, but really… I’ve been in Santa Cruz over six years now – it was a good run, but I can’t wait for the opportunity to have a new environment to explore.  San Francisco seems like a place of endless possibilities s compared to Santa Cruz, a town of 55,00 with limited action.  Those possibilities have kept me up at night in anticipation over the last few nights and it’s a wonderful feeling to look forward that much to moving somewhere…I really am blessed to have parked myself in the wonderful state of California.

I however have always prided myself on being a realist.  I know many people who think everything bad in their life with magically go away, and the things they love will immediately start coming at rapid speed just because they changed their living space.  As with anything in life, with the positive comes the negative.  Some aspects of San Francisco will take a good amount of adjusting to become used to, and aspects of life living in Santa Cruz will certainly be missed.

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Living a half of a mile from a beautiful beach is something not everyone can say they did in their life.  The weather in this area simply can’t be beat… it’s fully made me a weather snob, possibly, though I hope not, for life.  The small town atmosphere and friendly vibrations here in Santa Cruz are magical, they really are – it’s been an absolute pleasure to live in this place and I will miss it dearly.  I don’t however, think I will be like many people I know, find myself in the position where I want to move back here after a year of being gone.  Change is a good thing always, it keeps people on their toes.  I feel like although I will look back on my Santa Cruz years as a period of happiness… the move to San Francisco has come two years later than it should have.  In making a final decision to move, I’ve realized just how long I’ve felt this way…

I had done my best to justify reasons to stay here because I’m in love with Emily.  The truth is I was ready to move when I first met her but the strong nature of love caused me to avoid what I really wanted, in order to stay close to the person who I loved, and continue to love each and every day.  They say it’s crazy what people will do for love, and I don’t disagree with that notion.

Emily’s Breakfast Time Risks

•March 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

On Sunday we again went to Sunrise Cafe, this time with Tony and my prayers were answered.  Emily, as she has requested I put in this blog, ordered the Sunny Scramble with chorizo (a whole dollar extra!)

Let it be noted that I ordered a Reuben (again as Emily said!) and I am now being called a hypocrite for constantly reminding the people we choose to get breakfast with of Emily’s inability to take risks – she proved me wrong this weekend!  Now if I could just get her to agree to sky-dive as I’ve been subetly requesting for months…