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Monthly Archives: November 2008

My new favorite Laker

maisa-007

Maisa and Santa don't care about Trevor Ariza, but Maisa's daddy does.

Trevor Ariza is my new favorite Laker. I like everything about him.

He’s a sparkplug off the bench. … He plays terrific defense. … He can shoot a little. … He’s quick to the basket and can score on bigger opponents.

Ariza is out of UCLA, and that makes me like him even more. He attended Westchester High in Los Angeles, and you know how I love SoCal natives.

It must be a dream come true for Ariza to play quality minutes for his hometown team. The Lakers are treated like gods in L.A.

Tonight’s game: At home vs. Toronto, 8:30 p.m. Iowa time. I’m going to try to listen on NBA.com audio. Lakers try to improve on their 13-1 record.

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Oh, by the way, isn’t that a cute photo of Maisa with Santa? I bet you’re wondering why the hell I put it at the top of this Lakers post.

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Posted by on November 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Friday after Thanksgiving

Maisa's new chair

Maisa's new chair

I bought this new chair for Maisa yesterday. It’s such a cute picture I thought you might want to see it.

Not much to say today. Jill is at work and I’m heading there soon. Today will be Maisa’s second day of day care (or night care, if you will). She did great on the first day, and today she’ll only be there five hours.

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Lakers play at home tonight vs. Dallas (the game is televised on ESPN). I’ll be swamped at work and probably won’t get to see any of it, though. Hopefully they can keep on truckin’ — Dallas is merely 7-7.

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I’ll leave you with this Hot Stove League question: What is the best/worst personnel moves your baseball team has made in your lifetime? My short list of the Dodgers’ best…

  • Signing Kirk Gibson as a free agent before the 1988 season.
  • Trading Pedro Guerrero for John Tudor during the 1988 season — Tudor helped us a lot down the stretch and started Game 3 of the World Series.
  • Acquiring Brad Penny for Paul LoDuca and Guillermo Mota in 2004. Penny ended up being a horse for us in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
  • Trading for Steve Finley for the 2004 stretch run. I don’t even remember who we had to give up in that trade, and Finley played great for us.
  • Acquiring Shawn Green from Toronto for disgruntled Raul Mondesi.

And the worst…

  • Sending a young Pedro Martinez to Montreal for Delino DeShields. This is arguably the worst trade in baseball history.
  • Sending Paul Konerko to the Reds for Jeff Shaw. Shaw had some good years for us, but Konerko developed into one of the AL’s best power hitters.
  • Sending Mike Piazza, the greatest offensive catcher of all time, to Florida for Gary Sheffield, et al. Sheff had some monster years for us, but he was a clubhouse cancer and Piazza is one of the game’s all-time greats (on AND off the field).
  • Allowing Adrian Beltre to sign with the Mariners after his breakout 2004 season. I believe that decision cost Beltre a chance to become a Hall of Famer. He was just getting his groove in the NL, and he changed leagues and was never the same.
  • Signing Juan Pierre and Jason Schmidt to long-term deals before the 2007 season.
 
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Posted by on November 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Camelback Ranch

The Dodgers have a new Spring Training home, and its name is Camelback Ranch.

Located in Glendale, Ariz., the facility will be shared by the Chicago White Sox and the Dodgers. The Bums had trained at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., for decades, so this is a big change for fans of the team.

Legendary Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully (aka The Soundtrack of Summer) seems OK with the move, so I guess I am, too.

I’m looking forward to taking a trip down to Glendale one of these years for Spring Training. My brother Tom and his family live in Scottsdale, another Phoenix suburb.

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Maisa had her 2-month checkup the other day. She weighs 11 pounds 1 ounce and is 21 inches long. She was given one oral vaccine and three needle vaccines. Ouch! Her mommy cried more than Maisa did.

Maisa and Daddy are hanging out today. Mommy gets off work at 7.

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The Lakers improved to 12-1 last night with an easy win over New Jersey. Easy, that is, if you forget the fact that the game was close at halftime.

The good news is, the Lake Show won by 27 points despite the fact that Kobe Bryant scored only 12 points.

The Nets were not a great opponent, but rookie Brook Lopez (out of Stanford) was impressive.

Next up for the Lake Show: Friday at home against Dallas.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Let’s give thanks

It’s easy for me to find things to worry/complain about these days. The economy’s in the crapper, the weather is getting nasty, everybody’s laying off workers, and I’m pushing 210 on the weight scale. Sigh, sigh, sigh and sigh.

But for this week, at least, I’m going to focus on the good things in my life.

  • I have a wonderful, beautiful, loving wife who accepts me for who I am.
  • We have a wonderful, beautiful, loving daughter who amazes us every day.
  • The three of us are blessed with good health, more or less.
  • The people I work with are awesome co-workers and friends. And extremely hard-working.
  • I have a good job with a good company.
  • I’m able to pay the bills, more or less. We live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and the roof usually doesn’t leak.
  • My parents and siblings are exactly what parents and siblings ought to be — caring and helpful but not meddling.
  • I have in-laws who can help us with almost any project we throw their way. They ALWAYS put others ahead of themselves.
  • My best friend Al is one of the best people you’ll ever find.
  • I live in a city/state with residents who are (mostly) open-minded and tolerant of all people.
  • My favorite sports teams — the Dodgers and Lakers — are fun to watch and almost always win more games than they lose.
 
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Posted by on November 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

3 of a kind

What do Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson and Jason Giambi have in common? All three joined the Yankees earlier this decade with the intention of winning a World Series — and all three failed.

Johnson eventually went back to Arizona, Giambi will not be re-signed and Mussina retired last week.

To those guys, I say “Ha!”

I hate the Yankees. I hate everything about the Yankees. The fact that they haven’t won a Series since 2000 makes me giddy. The game’s best players are increasingly choosing not to play in the Bronx (It’s not worth the hassle!). The Bombers are a dysfunctional franchise again, and I’m lovin’ it.

How deliciously hilarious would it be to see CC Sabathia accept an offer from the Dodgers worth $30 million less than the one offered by the Yankees?

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Gramma and Grampa B. are here today to watch Maisa. Jill and I both have to work. We really appreciate their help.

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Looking forward to watching some of the Hawkeye game tonight. It’s their last game at the Metrodome, and a victory could push them into a New Year’s Day bowl.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Just Maisa and me

Yesterday was Jill’s first day back to work since having the baby. So I had my first day watching Maisa all by myself. We had a good day together. She slept about half the time and was fussy about half the time, so I can’t complain.

Today is the same drill. Jill’s working 3 to 11, so it’s just Maisa and me during that time. I watched more TV yesterday than I have in a long time (I’m pretty much confined to the house), and I’m guessing today will be more of the same.

It’s fun to spend time with Maisa and really bond with her, and I’m thankful that I’m getting opportunities like this from time to time.

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The Lake Show plays the Bulls tonight. I’m hoping to get that game on my DirecTV, but my TV listings are inconclusive. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. If not, it’s more “American Experience” on PBS, I suppose.

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It was nice to see the baseball writers voted Manny Ramirez fourth in the NL MVP voting. That feels about right. Guys like that who get traded from one league to the other at mid-season really get screwed for postseason awards. The NBA and NFL are much more fair, with just one MVP award for the entire league (baseball has one in the AL, one in the NL).

My friend Al and I were discussing the manager of the year awards last week. He thought it would be fun to vote for “Worst Manager of the Year.” I think my No. 1 vote would go to Ned Yost of the Brewers, who was fired in the last week of the season. He’s a jerk to the media and I was glad to see him fail. Bob Melvin of Arizona also would get some strong consideration in the NL, as he let Arizona’s season slip away after a fast start in a terrible division.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Grandma and Grandpa K. come to visit Maisa

We’re having a nice visit from Grandma and Grandpa Kramer and Dan this weekend. Maisa likes them a lot.

Jill and I have a wedding to attend today, so Mom/Dad/Dan will head over to Steve’s house in Altoona later on.

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The Lakers lost their first game of the season Friday night. Now every team in the NBA has at least one loss.

The setback was very frustrating to watch. Detroit usually plays exceptionally well against the Lakers, and last night was no exception. The Pistons shot about 55 percent and controlled almost the entire game — at Staples Center, no less.

The Lakers’ major flaw in recent years has been the inability to match up against rough-and-tumble teams who play sound defense. Boston and Detroit give the Lakers more problems than any other teams. Finding a remedy for that will be Phil Jackson’s No. 1 objective this season. Because talent-wise and depth-wise, no one matches up with Lakers.

Also, Tayshaun Prince is to the Lakers what Brad Hawpe is to the Dodgers. Both guys are otherwise ordinary players who happen to play great — really great — against my teams.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2008 in Uncategorized