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Everything posted by sfaJack

  1. sfaJack


    ...where do we go from here? Damn me and my habit of not boarding hard on the weekends. I missed most of it.
  2. sfaJack

    Top 100 MLB Players of My Lifetime: #40 - #21

    Sandberg ahead of Biggio? While I personally agree with you, such sentiment would get you hanged around these parts!
  3. sfaJack

    The 2009 NFL Offseason

    Because Stanback has shown a lot of ability to play receiver? Or stay healthy? Or do anything at all?
  4. sfaJack

    Worst commissioner in sports?

    How did Brady's injury affect the Patriots' and/or the NFL's marketing? All of the Patriots' games were sold out long before the season started. Fans didn't stop watching games just because Tom Brady got hurt. Not that that would matter anyway--TV revenues were already guaranteed. And it's not like ESPN wasn't talking about Brady's knee/staph infections every goddamn day. So who (other than Brady) was feeling any pain from his being hurt? The Patriots still went 11-5 and sold all their tickets, along with a whole lot of jerseys/tshirts/whatever. Plus, for 2009 the NFL gets to put new 'superstar' Matt Cassel on the marquee in Kansas City in addition to promoting 'THE RETURN OF TOM BRADY = OMG PATRIOTS TO THE SUPER BOWL.' Might it be a win/win in that regard? I voted for Stern, btw. I don't follow the NHL so I won't vote for Bettman. But Goodell gets my vote if the NFL can't figure out how to split the billions and billions of dollars with their players and all or part of the 2011 season is lost.
  5. sfaJack

    More Gay Marriage?

    It'd make a better forum slogan.
  6. sfaJack

    The 2009 NFL Offseason

    Yeah, I can tell you that teams DEFINITELY require season ticket holders to buy the preseason tickets.
  7. sfaJack

    3/23: A Message To SFA Jack

    Ok, you win. I can't trump that card.
  8. sfaJack

    Mailbag Answers

    I got TWO questions for the mailbag. Suck it, kkk. Here are the answers… So why do you hate The Astros despite living in or near Houston your whole life? It’s simple: I’ve been a Cubs fan for about 25 years and the Cubs and Astros have been division rivals for 15 of those years. And since I have to hear the daily Astros’ propaganda living here, well, it makes me root against them. I should say that ‘hate’ is a probably strong word for it these days since I no longer have the energy—or time, thanks to the wife—to spend watching the majority of their games (MLB Extra Innings is useful here, too). Plus the Cubs are just better than the Astros these days so my days of jealously looking at the standings are—at least for now—over. And I do love a couple of the Astros players. Berkman is a terrific, funny guy; one of my favorite guys in sports. And I would LOVE Roy O to get fed up enough with the Astros that, when his contract is up, he decides to pitch at Wrigley for a couple of years. (Of course, the Cubs being the Cubs, he’d probably blow his arm out during pregame warm-ups before his debut and disappear in disgrace like Mark Prior.) But a hack like Brandon Backe being kept around and getting constant adoration because he’s a ‘hometown kid’ despite having never been a good pitcher (or even showing signs of it)? Get the fuck out of here. Also, what do you think of their chances in The N.L. Central this year? I break it down like this: 1. The Astros are definitely worse than the Cubs, which means they’re probably fighting for the wild card at best. I don’t see anything but a number of devastating injuries derailing the Cubs in their quest for a third straight N.L. Central title. 2. I don’t see how anyone can say the Astros are clearly better than either the Brewers or Cardinals. 3. Recent history says that they’re probably better than the Reds, but Cincy’s lineup is fairly solid and you never know what a couple of young, developing guys like Cueto and Volquez will do. If Arroyo continues his good work and Harang bounces back, watch out. The Reds could finish third, which means they’re probably ahead of the Astros, too. (Dusty manages this bunch though so a 66-win, 6th place finish is also possible,) 4. They’re definitely better than the Pirates so they will be no worse than fifth! The fans here point to the Astros second-half charge to 86 wins last year as proof that this team is on the cusp, but the reality of it is despite that, they still finished 3.5 games behind TWO teams for the wild card. So they really didn’t come that close to making the playoffs. They are some other problems: - Oldest team in the National League, and they got a little older with the signing of Pudge - Berkman/Lee is about as solid a 3/4 combination as you can get. But Tejada’s washed up, Pudge is 37 and wasn’t very good last year, third base is either Geoff Blum or rookie Chris Johnson, Kaz Matsui is hurt all the time, and Michael Bourn is a disaster in center. Pence is talented, but he must return to his rookie form if they’re going to have a chance and there is no guarantee that he will. - They subtracted Randy Wolf and added Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz, neither of whom has been effective in several years. Oswalt is scary good of course, but when you have Hampton, Ortiz, Wandy Rodriguez, and Brian f’n Moehler behind him, well, that’s not so good. - LaTroy Hawkins is a key cog in their bullpen. LATROY HAWKINS. - There is almost no help in the minor leagues and Drayton McLane claims the payroll is now maxed out so any injuries could really kill their season early because they probably won’t have any options to replace the injured players. - The second half schedule isn’t conducive to a late run this year. One of the newspaper guys did a breakdown of it a couple of weeks back and concluded that it’s the toughest post-ASB schedule in the NL. Add all of that up and it smells of 76-78 wins and a third or fourth place finish to me.
  9. sfaJack


    As one of the most anonymous posters at TSM with what is probably one of the least-read blogs, I'm sure this idea is doomed to failure. But I'm bored today so what the hell; I'll give it a shot anyway. Ask me anything, whether it's about me personally, something you'd like to get my opinon on, or something really difficult that I'm sure to get wrong and end up looking stupid. Maybe you want to know my favorite color, how I met sfaJill, or why I've lived in or near Houston my entire life yet hate the Astros. Do I have a favorite actor? Movie? Do I like country music? Maybe you need my advice on something (though God help you if you follow it). You could even ask for my detailed thoughts on nuclear disarmament (note: I don't really have any detailed thoughts on this) or suggest topics you actually might want to read about on this blog. Whatever. Unlike an Obama press conference, this floor is open to tough questions and I will not screen any of them. Submit them in the comments here or via PM if you want to be all secretive. I'll take questions through this Sunday night and post an entry with the answer(s) next Monday. If this actually works, maybe I'll do it again every so often. If I don't get any questions, well, fuck everybody.
  10. sfaJack


    That's not a question, asshole.
  11. sfaJack

    College emotion vs professional devotion

    And even if it helped his argument, you're still talking about one guy out of a league of 450 or so. Not exactly statistically relevant.
  12. sfaJack

    The NFL OT Rule

    No. If you're going to change the OT rules, make it the same rules for all regular and postseason games. Two sets of rules would only lead to more confusion for Pro Bowl quarterbacks. I'm fine with the OT rules as they are, BTW. But if they want to change it, make it a full extra quarter, booth replay only, 2 timeouts per team.
  13. sfaJack

    The 2009 NFL Offseason

    But there IS an incentive to winning your division--you still get to go to the playoffs and have a chance to get to the Super Bowl. If you can manage to sell a few division championship t-shirts to some drooling idiots along the way, kudos! You're telling me it's fair that the Colts go 12-4--a great season that included a win over the Chargers--yet have to travel to play the 8-8 Chargers in a wild card game--who barely qualified for the playoffs--just because the Colts happened to be divisionally aligned with the incredible 14-2 Titans and the Chargers' thorough mediocrity was rewarded only by their division mates' total incompetence? That's more unfair than the OT rules.
  14. sfaJack

    Notes From Office 224?

    I don't normally blog too much about office happenings because that can be dangerous in these days of employers using the interwebs to keep track of their employees when they’re not being unproductive at the office. However, this is a big day, for today's post is the first from my new digs as I have moved out of my cubicle home(s) of 7+ years and into a real office with four walls, a couple windows, and...a locking door! Does this mean that I have crawled through the river of shit that is the DAMN HUSSEIN ECONOMY and come out smelling of roses with a promotion that comes with bigger pay, a fancy title, and the tiniest shred of power via a single thin line on some company organizational chart? Uh, not exactly. So what happened? Get comfortable; this could be a long entry if I put in all the details. The events are real, the names may or may not be changed. A brief bit of background to our story: I spent the first six years of my time here working in the general accounting department, mostly doing account reconciliation and audit response. In 2005, my manager was forced to take this one lady, Doe, into our group because Doe’s previous position in the payroll department was eliminated and she needed to find a new home. Why wasn’t she ‘let go’ like most other people whose jobs are eliminated? Because Doe’s mother is a senior accounting manager here. Eh, whatever. I know that’s the way things go sometimes. I accept this…in most cases. The problem here? Doe is a completely worthless employee. Arrive late most days? Check. Leave early often? Check. Unexplained absences? Check. Loud socializing/phone calls in the office? Check. Poor attitude about work? Check. Subpar work? Check. Doesn’t know shit about accounting? Check. Overly inflated sense of self-worth/importance? CHECK CHECK CHECK. Bringing personal drama into the office? BIG GIANT FUCKING CHECK. Within two months of starting work in our group, we all despised her because the rest of us—the ones that actually showed up to do our jobs each day—were constantly having to put up with her enormous amount of drama and bullshit AND cover her substandard work. This was made even worse for me early in ’06 when I was put in charge of reviewing/approving her work each month but was not given any supervisor/managerial authority to deal with her. My manager, Sandy, responded to Doe’s poor work by refusing to give her any promotion or any raise beyond the company mandated ‘minimum living adjustment’ (usually 1-2%), which you get only unless you’re about to be fired or something. Things continued this way until the end of ’07 when management did a little shuffling of the deck chairs, resulting in Sandy going to manage another finance group and me getting shifted over to the project accounting group. I was free! I still had to see her every day (the ones she’s actually here anyway), overhear her inane conversations, and deal with the constant noise—but at least her poor work no longer directly affected my ability to do my job. I even got to move to a different cubicle around the corner from where her and her pals all gathered for their daily social club meetings, eliminating some of the distraction. It was almost as good an office situation as one could hope for… …and then Michaela, who did the tax work for the general accounting group—and whose office was directly across the hall from my new cube—recently left to go work for the corporate tax group. Who was anointed to take over her work? You guessed it! So Doe started sitting across the hall from me on the days she was doing the tax work. She asked John, the new boss of the general group—apparently a competent accountant but completely inexperienced in dealing with Doe—if she could move into the office full time and was told ‘no’ because she is classified as an associate accountant—the lowest accounting rank we have—and that it was not necessary for her to sit there all the time. Doe was PISSED because she isn’t used to not getting her way. So she rebelled by sitting in there a couple of extra days. And then a couple more. And then, before John knew (although those of us who know her know what she was doing), she had established a nice squatter’s existence in the office. The problem? The noise was even worse than before because now she was armed with a speakerphone…which she used—at max volume—for every single goddamn call she placed or received. And I mean EVERY DAMN CALL. This prompted myself and the two other old school guys—who are also not in John’s group—that sat in the same hallway as Doe to complain to John about the noise. We strategically spaced out our complaints over the course of two weeks so it didn’t look like we were all dumping on her at once. I was the last one to complain and was told by John that he had asked her to move back to her assigned space but that she had refused to do it but that he was going to act soon. So here’s a quick multiple choice of John’s possible actions regarding this situation: A) Reprimand her via formal written notice to HR B) Choice ‘A’, along with getting our real estate services department to clean the stuff she had moved into the office out, return it to her assigned cube, lock the office, and leave instructions for security that that office was not to be unlocked without their consent C) Fire her for insubordination and terrible job performance—my personal preference D) Burn the whole building down so there’s no more noise for anyone E) Allow Doe to keep the office, shuffle a couple of your own general accounting people around, and offer the complaining employees—who are all members of the project accounting group—the chance to move into the resulting empty offices on the next hall…where the rest of your general accounting group sits. If you said, ‘E’, you are correct. Unfortunately, there is no prize. So here I sit, out of cubicle hell in office #224. It’s great because I don’t have to see or hear Doe if I don’t want to but, more importantly, it’s a quiet, professional atmosphere. At least I can read TSM in peace now. I just hope that no one can hear me continually laughing at the sheer absurdity of moving 6 different people around—and having THREE people who have nothing to do with your group sit with your group—just so you don’t have to deal with one headcase. God bless middle managers.
  15. sfaJack

    Notes From Office 224?

    It's Dwight from The Office. sfaJill got it for me for Christmas. It sits next to the red Swingline stapler from Office Space.
  16. sfaJack

    The 2009 NFL Offseason

    Yes, yes, yes to the 'team with the better record hosts the playoff game' thing. Please let that happen.
  17. sfaJack

    Notes From Office 224?

    It's a mix of both. Generally, yes I think John is a pussy who would rather just hide in his office than actually deal with any problems. Or one problem, as it were. That said, Doe's mother is a senior manager here so that provides her at least some protection. I say that because I know for a fact that she almost got fired back in 2006 for because of a business trip that she went on. My one coworker who was in that meeting can't reveal any of the juicy details of it, but I have quizzed her enough since then to learn that Doe spent about $13,000 of the company's money on a two-week trip, which apparently included changing her return flight--incurring massive change fees--and (I think) upgrading her hotel without authorization. Bottom line is, she went WAY over-budget and Craig, (Sandra's boss, AKA our boss's boss)--who authorized the trip--apparently actually drew up the paperwork to terminate Doe only to have that vetoed by someone above him because her mother went and protested. So...yeah. To put her trip in perspective: she was gone for 13 days or so (to London and then Dubai and back to Houston) and spent $13,000. Six months later, I went to Cairo for a week and spent $1,900.
  18. sfaJack

    Spring Training 2009

    Yeah, so nothing to do with Pedro... Aaron Boone is leaving the Astros because he has a heart condition involving his aorta and aortic valve that requires surgery. It is unclear if he's ever going to play baseball again.
  19. sfaJack

    Spring Training 2009

    The Astros have called a press conference this morning to 'important announcement' that has 'nothing to do with the rumors about Pudge Rodriguez.' Word around the campfire is that they have signed Pedro Martinez. I guess they think it's still 1999 instead of 2009 with Pudge, Pedro, and Hampton. The cynical theory is that they're signing big name guys since they've lost a couple of major corporate sponsors and ticket sales have been very underwhelming so far. Drayton McLane isn't going to stand for a half empty MMP every night and if signing washed up guys because of their name sells a few more tickets, well, he'll do it regardless of whether they have anything left or not.
  20. sfaJack

    Notes From Office 224?

    Yeah, shared office is definitely better than a cube, especially if they're like the cubes here. They use that 'work surface' shit that hangs on the wall instead of actual furniture that you can arrange. And then they set it up so that your back is facing the 'door', leaving you totally vulnerable to sneak attacks. Fuck that. I chose to turn my computer to the side and sit awkwardly facing to the right--instead of straight ahead with my back totally turned away from the door--to avoid such attacks. I'm sure my spine will pay for it in 30 years, but I don't care. The only saving grace was that my cube was the last one in a row and bordered a hard wall on one side and a hall on the other, meaning I only had a neighbor on one side--the little Venezuelan girl who has a terrific ass. Wait, what was I saying? Oh, yeah. Cubes suck. He was probably making sure you both were 'on task' so that at least SOME work was getting done that day.
  21. sfaJack

    Notes From Office 224?

    Ouch. I would not enjoy sharing an office space with anyone. No way. Each time I have moved to a new cube/office/whatever here, I have taken a few moments to strategically set up my computer screen so that no one can see it but me. It's probably the most important office move decision there is.
  22. sfaJack

    NCAA Tournament

    I, for one, hope you are correct and Syracuse proves to be severely overrated on Friday.
  23. sfaJack

    The Things That Anger You Thread.

    One of my former coworkers used this site to name a star after his wife and presented it to her as a birthday gift. To say she was unimpressed would be an understatement.
  24. sfaJack

    Tommy John Surgery Contest

    Edinson Volquez
  25. sfaJack

    Cowboys release Terrell Owens

    I don't see it. Todd Haley and TO hated each other when they were both in Dallas.