Orioles in HD!

I know that many of you are sick of hearing about baseball, but you’re going to have to deal with a bit more. We have the Orioles in HD! Last year, the Comcast feed from MASN was not in HD, and it was absolutely terrible. It was poor even for a non-HD channel. But today, I came home from work a bit early to watch the Orioles opening day, and we have MASN HD. Now all we need is an Orioles win.

Ok, back to baseball. And politics.

Nats 3, Braves 2 What a heck of a way to break in the new stadium. I don’t think anyone could have scripted a better first game at Nationals Park. Cristian Guzman singled on the first pitch a Nationals player saw in the new park. The Nats scored two runs in their first inning. And then Nats golden boy Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off home run to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Never mind that the home run was just about the only ball any National hit hard all night, it was still a great win. And, perhaps more surprising, George W. Bush hung out in the announcer’s booth for a few innings after throwing out the first pitch, and actually sounded like a human being. He didn’t talk about terrorism, even when they brought up 9/11. He joked with the announcers, and just generally talked like a baseball fan. I wonder what would have happened (Bear with me here, I know this is a stretch) if he had become MLB Commissioner instead of the President of the US. First, it would save us from Bud Selig, who, despite his recent minor victories in the steroid battle, is still a schmuck and not good for the game. Second, I think many of Bush’s qualities that I hate in a President, I would love in a commissioner. I’d be fine with a preemptive strike into Florida (Or Baltimore) to bring about regime change before another Marlins fire sale. I’d be fine with tax cuts for the richest teams – I think these revenue sharing deals are dumb. if the Yankees and the Red Sox want to have payrolls that are twenty times that of anyone else, let them. The A’s and sometimes the Marlins have proven you don’t need to spend that much to compete, so poor teams shouldn’t be getting handouts. I’d be fine with the commissioner acting as if he were endowed by god with infallibility. The commissioner is supposed to be the final word, and while there are issues on which I disagree with god on how to run a country, I’m pretty sure I’m cool with the way god would run baseball (I’ll bet he’d raise the mound a little bit and abolish Coors Field, for example). As baseball commissioner, Bush wouldn’t be in control of the military, so there would be no waterboarding of Jose Canseco, as much as many people might like to see it. We would still have to deal with the pro-Texas bias, but I think that’s a small price to pay. Too bad no one thought of this about ten years ago.

Homemade Seitan

Homemade Seitan recipe If you’re in the same boat as I am, where you don’t really eat a lot of meat at home, but when you cook something like a stir-fry, you like to have meat-like lumps of protein. But you also don’t like to buy heavily processed meat substitutes. Well, you’ll like this recipe. It’s really easy to make. The vital wheat gluten flour and nutritional yeast flakes can be tough to find. I got mine from iHerb.com, and you can get them from Amazon, too. And you must bear in mind that this stuff looks kind of disgusting as it’s cooking – you’re basically putting a doughy blob into water and simmering it for an hour. It looks like something you’d put out at an elementary school Halloween party, telling kids it’s brains. The recipe makes a lot. It instructs you to cut the dough into three pieces before you simmer it, and each one ends up being a pretty good-sized hunk of meat substitute. I made stir-fry with one chunk, and we ate it last night, and both have lunch for today. The other two thirds are still in the fridge. And it’s quite good. I’d heard that some vegetarians/vegans won’t eat seitan because it’s too much like meat. I did not have that reaction to it. It’s probably a little more meat-like than typical store-bought extra-firm tofu (I think I have more hyphenated compound words in this post than anything I’ve ever written), but you aren’t going to sneak this in to a dish and fool meat-eaters into thinking it’s steak. According to the comments on the recipe, it sounds like you can do a lot of tweaking the recipe for different dishes. Since the seitan soaks up a lot of the broth in which it simmers, I imagine that you could play around with the flavor a lot. And I’m sure we’ll try.

More Orioles crap

Marred with a possible drug suspension, Orioles release Gibbons

Gibbons is owed $5.7 million this year from the Orioles and $6.2 million for 2009.

That must be kind of depressing for Jay Gibbons. The Orioles have told him they’d rather just throw away $11 million than have him on their team. I’m not terribly sad to see him go. Even though his picture in MLB 2005 for the Gamecube looks just like my brother’s friend Jay, he’s only managed 500 at bats in a season once. His OPS+ last year was 62. Since 100 is average, it follows that 62 is bad. He’s 30, so his durability is unlikely to improve. Still, he was a career Oriole – all his major league at bats are for Baltimore. And you hate to see the guy just dumped so unceremoniously. Oh, well. I’ll write about something non-baseball related tomorrow.

Please, just get this over with

The Official Site of The Baltimore Orioles: News: Roberts seeks closure on trade front

“I don’t know what the resolution is — I haven’t heard anything except what somebody told me,” Roberts said Thursday. “[Andy and I] talked for two minutes here yesterday. ‘Highly unlikely’ doesn’t seem like a resolution to me.”

I still think this trade is going to happen. And quotes from Roberts, obviously unhappy that it’s not resolved, reinforce my point that he’s not going to be on top of his game. No one wants to be strung along, not knowing what city he’s going to be in next week. At this point, it’s ridiculous not to trade him. Just make the deal already. I think it sucks if he leaves this way, but I don’t see how you can salvage much of anything at this point. The whole situation is soured.

Now that they’ve said that . . .

The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Roberts deal appears unlikely

Baltimore manager Dave Trembley has consistently said that he can’t imagine his batting order without Roberts, a switch-hitting fixture at the top of the lineup. However, he’s also said that he’ll do whatever he needs to do.

Now that they’ve said that Baltimore is unlikely to trade Brian Roberts, I expect a trade to come through in the next day or two. I mean, why wouldn’t the Orioles get rid of a switch-hitting second baseman who stole 50 bases last year with a 112 OPS+ and happens to be one of the biggest fan favorites on the team? I mean, everyone in the league gets 42 doubles out of their second baseman, right? I know, it makes sense to deal him if you’re rebuilding. And if the Orioles aren’t rebuilding, then they’re completely insane. I just don’t see his value going up as the season progresses. The team is a mess, so I don’t expect a career year out of him. The Orioles should probably take whatever the best offer is right now and call it a day.

You want to see something scary?

Go to Google and type in “mccain nude” without the quotes. You’ll see that, as of today, this is the very first hit. You may ask how I know this. No, I was not searching for nude pictures of John McCain, or of anyone else. But someone else may have been, because someone found my site with that Google search. I’m only sixth when you search for “mccain hates bears” without the quotes, but first if you include them. I’m first for “nude mccain hates bears”. Anyway, none of this is really that important, but it’s amusing.

I’m so glad baseball is back.

Even if it’s just Oakland playing the f’ing Red Sox in Japan, I’m so happy that the baseball season has started again. Just looking at box scores, seeing that Daric Barton walked twice more, bringing his OBP to .444 despite not getting a hit yet, and seeing Rich Harden make the Sox look silly, striking out nine in six innings, it just brings a smile to my face. Never mind that the Orioles aren’t expected to win even 70 games this year. I’m not going to worry about that right now. Instead, I’ll point and laugh at Jason Varitek, 0-8 with six Ks so far. And who knows – maybe the Orioles will flash back to 1989 and unexpectedly make the playoffs. I can’t imagine Jeff Ballard is too busy these days . . . Edit: Article here mentioning Barton as an AL Rookie of the Year candidate.

Barton has never hit up to corner-infielder standards — though he’s still young enough to develop the power — but he has never not hit, topping .300 everywhere he has been. He is a remarkably disciplined hitter at a young age — his Minor League totals show 303 walks versus 255 strikeouts.

I like this kid more and more. He’d probably be the poster boy for Moneyball II – What Can Billy Beane Get for Huston Street?

Complaint about merchandise that has never been sent

I have come down to the place of complaining about the Astorclub.com. I purchased a fire place insert from this company back in January. They were paid. The money has been taken from my account. I have never received the merchendise. I have tried to call them. Each time they are closed, or will not be open until Monday. They are never open. I have emailed them and they never return their email. I want to warn people to never shop with the AstorClub for anything. They will take your money and you will not receive what you have ordered. Thank you for listening. I just want to keep someone else from loosing money to this company. Thanks, Wayneb