Monthly Archives: August 2008

Congrats to Maggie and Brandon

We attended Maggie and Brandon Jenkins’ wedding in Omaha on Saturday. A nice ceremony and reception, and I did a little whiskey flasking. ūüôā Maggie worked with me for a few years, and Jill has known Brandon for a long time.

Stayed at Jill’s parents’ house Saturday night, then came back to Des Moines on Sunday morning.

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Jill will be staying at home for the rest of her pregnancy because of the swelling in her legs and feet. Her blood pressure is fine and all the other tests are looking good, but she is just having a heck of a time walking and bending her legs.

She’s sad about having to stay home, but it’s the best thing for her and the baby.

It’s not bed rest, but rather modified bed rest. She can get up and do things, but the doctor told her to take it easy.

Please say a prayer or two for Jill and the baby whenever you have a second.

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Manny Ramirez is on a tear again, with eight hits in Friday and Saturday’s games. We’re up 8-0 over Arizona in the sixth inning tonight (Sunday), so hopefully we’ll be able to take 2 of 3 from the D’backs. That would put us 2.5 games behind in the NL West.

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Every fan knows that his or her team has opponents that dominate them. Usually they’re non-superstars. They are called Cub killers, Dodger killers, Yankee killers, etc. Here is my list of Dodger killers…

1. Brad Hawpe, Rockies — incredible career numbers vs. the Bums. Check them out on

2. Dave Roberts, Giants — haunts his former team in key situations.

3. Randy Winn, Giants — a very tough out for us. Thank goodness he doesn’t hit for power.

4. Stephen Drew, D’backs — seems like he gets a hit every time he comes to the plate vs. L.A.

5. Albert Pujols, Cardinals — his bat is a lethal weapon against most teams, but he REALLY loves playing against my guys. If the Dodgers played in the Central, Pujols would make a run at .400.

I want to hear from you. Which players seem to explode offensively every time they play against your team?

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Posted by on August 31, 2008 in Uncategorized



Hit and miss

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. My home computer has been a little hit-and-miss. Kind of like the Dodgers offense. Hahaha. Six losses in a row for the Bums, with an opportunity to get swept by the last-place Nationals tonight. Go team! Sigh.

But, alas, they’ll have a chance to get right back atop the NL Worst division this weekend, with three big games at ‘Zona. Wouldn’t it be funny if the Dodgers swept those games and ended up a half-game back (or even a half-game ahead)? As bad as they’ve played recently?

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Headed to Omaha this weekend for Maggie Tomasek’s wedding. Maggie used to work with me, and she has become a good friend of Jill’s. Hopefully the car ride won’t be too uncomfortable for my pregnant wife.

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Posted by on August 28, 2008 in Uncategorized


It’s getting uncomfortable

It’s been painful to watch the Dodgers this past week. They’ve lost seven of 10 and got swept by the Phils tonight. I think they scored four runs in the four-game series.

To top it off, the Bums scored no runs on 13 hits in tonight’s series finale. Only two teams have had more hits and got shut out in a 9-inning game.¬†It¬†hasn’t happened since the 1920s.


But I need to keep things in perspective. My wife Jill¬†is about a month away from delivering our first child, and her level of discomfort is increasing daily. As difficult as it is for me to understand what she’s feeling, I’m trying to be sympathetic. She’s a real trooper, still going to work every day and making preparations for the baby. I’m proud of her.

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From my eastern Iowa correspondents: Epworth beat Farley in the Farley Tournament semis, and Dyersville beat Epworth for the title. The Hawks knocked off Cascade for the third-place trophy.

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A lot of people have called or e-mailed about Tom Barker’s passing. My colleague Mark Emmert is taking donations for the Animal Rescue League — per the Barker family’s request. If you’d like to contribute, let me know and I’ll get your $$$ to Mark.

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Posted by on August 26, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Trying something new

Decided to blog DURING tonight’s game. Usually I blog after the game.

Need to change the Dodgers’ luck. They’re not scoring many runs this week.

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I attended a memorial service this morning for co-worker Tom Barker, who died Wednesday. Spoke briefly to his wife, daughter and son — I had never met them before.

A lot of people from my work attended, which was nice to see.

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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Uncategorized


Ugly loss, but a lucky break

Greg Maddux was roughed up in his Dodgers debut. Phils won 8-1.

History will show that it was a bad idea to give up two prospects for Maddux. He’s washed up and should retire.

Luckily for the Bums, Florida rallied to beat Arizona in the desert. Ex-Dodger Cody Ross (whom we gave up for absolutely nada a few years ago) hit the go-ahead homer, his 18th, in the eighth inning. So a big Dodger thank you goes out to the Marlins. By the way, 18 home runs would put Ross on top of the Dodger team stats.

Still two games back in the West, hoping for better things the rest of the Philly series.

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Posted by on August 23, 2008 in Uncategorized


A sad day

A good friend and work colleague, Tom Barker, died late Wednesday night in a traffic accident. Tom was hired shortly after I was hired, and we had a lot of fun conversations over the last eight years. He was very popular and well-liked in the department.

Another colleague of mine summed up Tom pretty well (I’ll paraphrase): Tom enjoyed drinking Red Bull, smoking Pall Malls, talking about politics and laughing at George Carlin’s jokes. A retired stockbroker, Tom certainly didn’t need this job, but he truly enjoyed the camaraderie and the work itself. He will be greatly missed.

A story about the accident that claimed Tom’s life can be found at this link:

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So who is the National League MVP, if the season were over today?

My best buddy Al asked me this question today, and I debated it with my co-worker Jamie this evening.

My top 3:

1. Brandon Webb, Arizona

2. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee

3. C.C. Sabathia, Milwaukee

I don’t think pitchers have ever held two of the top three spots.

Jamie’s top 3:

1. Sabathia*

2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis

3. Braun

*-only if Sabathia continues his unbelievable run with the Brew Crew.

What do you think? Who’s in your top 3?

How about the American League? Who’s the MVP over there?


Posted by on August 22, 2008 in Uncategorized


R.I.P. Dodgers of 2008 (and beyond?)

Today’s USA Today had an article about the Minor League player of the year finalists. One of them is a catcher by the name of Carlos Santana, whom the Dodgers sent to Cleveland in the Casey Blake trade. Santana is a switch-hitter and was the first minor-leaguer this season¬†to reach 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored.

Pardon me for a second¬†while I¬†… SIGH.

The 2008 Dodgers team is not going to win the NL West, no matter how many desparation¬†trades Ned Colletti makes. Our bullpen is trash, Manny Ramirez has stopped hitting and Arizona keeps winning. But there¬†was Colletti¬†earlier this week again, sending one or two prospects to San Diego for 42-year-old Greg “Five Innings” Maddux.

So, we¬†traded 5 or 6 prospects to acquire Blake, Ramirez and Maddux — all to ensure a 2nd-place finish in the NL West.

Am I over-reacting? Possibly. But we lost again tonight to Colorado, and we have a 10-game road trip starting Friday at Philly. If the Dodgers lose another game in the standings on Thursday, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they’re toast.

And that, my friends, would mean that the Blake, Ramirez and Maddux trades were bad trades. I’m afraid that we’re going to regret those moves in a few years.

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Latest report from my Dubuque County correspondents:

The Farley Hawks will play Epworth in the semifinals of the Farley Tournament on Thursday night. Farley’s pitcher (a kid named Seabrooke) struck out 14 batters in four and two-thirds innings Tuesday. The last batter he faced grounded out to end the string of whiffs. Farley beat Worthington 8-0 in five innings.

The crowds have not been good at the Farley Tournament, or at any of those tournaments. It’s a shame. If I was 20-something and living in that area, I’d go to a lot of those games. What else is there to do? It’s cheap entertainment, the beer is cold and the people are friendly. And the baseball is good.

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Posted by on August 21, 2008 in Uncategorized