Friday, August 31, 2007

White Night

If you were to look at my reading list of almost 1100 books that I have read since 1974 (how insane is that??), you would quickly see a pattern. Apparently, I'm a big fan of fantasy and science fiction. Authors who make repeat appearances on my list are the likes of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Tolkien, yes, J.K. Rowling, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephen King, Spider Robinson, and more recently, Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher. I believe I have read everything Jim Butcher has written, at least fictionally speaking, as of last night. (I put today's date on my list, but I just realized I finished White Night last night.)

White Night is Butcher's latest installment of the Dresden Files, an ongoing saga of a wizard in a modern world. Harry Dresden helps the Chicago police investigate crimes of a supernatural nature. His best friend (he wishes there could be something more) is Karrin Murphy, who works for the Chicago PD. She used to head up the "S.I." division (Supernatural Investigations), but got busted down in the last book because of some activities of questionable legality.

In White Night, Harry and company discover that some ladies are being murdered in a way that looks like suicide. The catch is that all of the ladies have some kind of magical affinity. The ensuing investigation results in a grand finale of epic proportions as three houses of the White Court of vampires duke it out in an underground cavern with Harry as the guest of honor. It left me breathless.

All of the Dresden File books are well worth reading, if you are a fan of this genre. White Night is the ninth book in the series. If you want to start at the beginning, find a copy of Storm Front. It can also be acquired as an audio recording with none other then James Marsters, of "Spike" fame from Buffy, as the reader.

Next up on the reading queue (that's a fun word to could get carried away...queueueueu...) is Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.

TTFN, y'all

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Day of Mourning

First of all...

Dear Lord, please tell me, someone, that I did not wake up this afternoon to see that the dreaded Evil Empire had once again beaten the Beloved 5-0 to sweep this series?? Please??


Oh, well. *hitches up pants* The Red Sox are still the best team in baseball for now. And there is a three game series left at Fenway next month.

Ok. Now for some serious stuff.

I'm reading in the Gospel of John this afternoon, and I read the passage where the soldiers, led by Judas, come to arrest Jesus. I used to be really tough on Judas, until I realized that the poor man was nothing more than a pawn in God's plan. Yes, me made a choice, but that choice was pretty much cosmetic. Jesus, himself, said that it would have been better for Judas if he had never been born.

Anyway, over the years, I have heard people of the more "charismatic" persuasion use this passage as an argument for the mythical condition of "slain in the spirit." Mind you, it is my firm opinion that this is one of the most unbiblical of all of the "charismatic" beliefs. As I was reading the passage this afternoon (you know, where all the soldiers fall down to the ground when Jesus announces that "I am he!"), it occurred to me that it is impossible for this to be an example of "slain in the spirit." There are several reasons for this. First, the "Spirit" was not there yet. Jesus just said two chapters earlier that he had to leave for the Spirit to come. Second, these soldiers were not "in the spirit," anyway. In order for someone to be "in the spirit," they must be believers in Jesus Christ. In fact, at this point in history, the only person who existed who could be said to be "in the spirit" was Jesus Christ, himself! So there you go. Can I explain what happened to these soldiers at this point? Not really. But that doesn't matter. I can certainly explain what did not happen to them. And they most definitely were not "slain in the spirit."

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Great Day

I'm departing from baseball talk for a brief moment (even though the Red Sox have just finished an incredible sweep of the White Sox wherein they scored an amazing 46 runs to the opponent's 7!!) to describe what was an awesome Sunday morning at South Haltom Community Church.

We have a couple in our church that has been coming for a couple months, I think. Joe, who accepted Christ about a month or so ago, lives just across the street and down a house and was living with his girlfriend, Hope. Well, he started bringing her with him, and I guess they were attending the Thursday night meetings that a group called Mercy Heart also holds at the same location.

Just a little back story, here. Mercy Heart is an organization founded at Glenview Baptist Church in Fort Worth. It is a support/ministry group that focuses on ex-offenders and families with inmates. It's a prison ministry that ministers to those who have been released or those whose wives/husbands or mothers/fathers are in prison.

About 7 or 8 years ago (can't remember exactly), Glenview purchased an abandoned church building in south Haltom City and cleaned it up for Mercy Heart to use each Thursday night. I was involved pretty regularly leading worship at their meetings.

Finally, about 7 years ago, they started having church services there on Sunday morning. They wanted to church to be sort of separate from the prison ministry, so they made it a "mission" church and called it South Haltom Community Church. It's basically Baptist, just doesn't say that in the name.

So anyway, back to today. Joe and Hope started bringing Hope's sister, Bridget, along with them. Hope got saved two weeks ago. This morning, we had a very unusual ceremony in our church. Immediately after our music portion, Hope and Joe got in the baptistry with Mel, who leads our Family Relief Outreach and is heavily involved with Mercy Heart. Mel then presided over a wedding ceremony in the baptistry for Hope and Joe! They had decided to make their union a proper marriage. Immediately after the wedding, they were both baptized together, husband and wife!

The pastor, Bill, had a brief message which was, essentially, the gospel. Who could believe it, but right after that, during the invitation time, Bridget, Hope's sister, came up and gave her life to Christ, as well! Talk about an emotional time! It was awesome.

During the worship time, I used a rather unorthodox song. I'm sure someone has done this before, I have just never heard it. Last Monday afternoon, I awoke (I work nights remember? Not just being lazy!) with the song "You Are So Beautiful" running through my head. You know...the old Joe Cocker love song. Actually written by Billy Preston and some other guy I can't remember. As I was laying there comtemplating this Sunday's service, I thought, "What is keeping us from singing this love song to Jesus??" So...I learned it and put it in the service this morning, and segued straight into Chris Tomlin's "Enough." It was very effective. And when Joe and Hope heard me practicing the song before church, they asked me if I would sing it again after they got in the water. Of course, I did that for them.

It was a good time. God is good, all the time.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Red Sox Increase Lead

While we were watching the Rangers lose to Seattle, 4-2, last night, the Red Sox totally dominated the White Sox, 11-3 and 10-1.

Josh Beckett became the first 16 game winner in the MLB, as he got the win in the first game. And, as is the style of Boston, there was only one home run in that game, by Jason Varitek in the ninth inning. That's something I have noticed about the Red Sox this year, as they have rolled like a well-oiled machine over the MLB throughout this season. They have done it playing what many call "small-ball." They methodically defeat their opponents while mostly keeping the ball in the park. In fact, if you look at the team stats, the Red Sox are way down in the middle of the pack in the home run column. As is normal, some of the worst teams are leading the majors in home runs, such as the Cincinatti Reds, who are only a little better than the Texas Rangers (however, they are only 8 games out of first in their division).

The Red Sox are even in fourth place in total runs, almost a full 100 runs behind the Evil Empire, who lead the league in runs. The reason for that is that the Yankees tend to win games by really large margins.

Anyway, in the second game, Curt Schilling dominated over six innings, as they won 10-1. This game featured three home runs, two by Papi and one by Youk. Incidentally, the Chicago pitcher in game two was none other than John Danks. Rangers fans will remember him as part of the infamous "DVD" package that Hickman and the Boy Wonder weren't ever going to sell off or trade, because they were supposed to be the salvation of the Rangers.

How's that workin' out for you Hicks?? finally traded Danks and got um....Brandon McCarthy for him. Probably ok, because Danks has floundered in Chicago (Danks never got a major league start for the Rangers, by the way). Edinson Volquez (or however he spells his first name this year) has been just short of horrible (he has gotten several opportunities to start for the Rangers). He was the "V" portion of DVD. And Thomas Diamond, the other "D," well, he has spent this season on the disabled list and we have yet to see him start in the big show, either. This continues to cement in my mind that Jon Daniels, the Boy Wonder, has no clue what he is doing. By Hicks thinks he is doing just fine. I wonder if Tom Hicks actually watches the Rangers.

Ah, but this blog is celebrating the success of the Red Sox yesterday. 'Nuf Ced about the Rangers. (And someday, I will post a blog relating the fascinating story of "Nuf Ced" McGreevey and the Royal Rooters.)

Also, while we were watching the aforementioned badly failing team, the Evil Empire was in Detroit, watching it rain. For four hours! For some reason, the refused to call off this game, so it began about the time ours was hitting the ninth inning. Sometime between 9 and 10pm, Central time. Almost four and a half hours later, Carlos Guillen hit a walkoff three run homer to win the game for Detroit. Hehehe...I bet the Evil Empire wishes they had called that game for rain. And poor, poor Roger Clemens. Denied another win. But he didn't get the loss, because they were tied up until the bottom of the 11th inning! So....after a four hour rain delay, they wound up playing extra innings. I'm not sure what time this game finally ended. But these guys had to have been exhausted...that's over 8 hours, and four spent sitting around watching it rain.

Bottom line...the Red Sox increased their lead by a game and a half, putting them 6.5 ahead of the Evil Empire.

It was a good day.

And Stephanie got her face on the big video board at Rangers Ballpark after the 5th inning, during the "Birthday Parade." Cool. We have a picture. As soon as I figure out how to get it in this blog, I'll post it. Or I'll just post it on flickr and put a link in.

Mmm....I think the coffee's ready.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Birthday Bash

Tonight, we go to Rangers Ballpark to have our "Birthday Bash" for Stephanie. Even thought the birthday was last Sunday. Because the Rangers were out of town last weekend, so we couldn't do it then. The play the Mariners tonight. Maybe they'll score 30 runs again.



Oh, and in the top of the ninth in Chicago, the Sox are leading the Sox (wait....), ok, the Bosox are leading the Chisox 9-3 (they scored one run while I was typing this!) in the first of a double header because yesterday's game was rained out. They could conceivable gain a game and a half on the Evil Empire tonight...

TTFN, Y'all

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What the....???

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers did something that has not been done for 110 years. They scored 30 runs in one game. 30. Thirty. Three Oh. I can't help but laugh just thinking about it.

This happened in the first game of a double-header in Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. Here's a team that has had one of its most mediocre seasons ever, and they went to town on the poor Orioles.

What makes it even funnier is that they only scored in four innings! Five runs in the fourth, nine runs in the sixth, TEN runs in the eighth, and six in the ninth. Marlon Byrd had a grand slam in the sixth, which just happened to be the Sonic Slam Inning. That's right. Some lucky Rangers fan won 25,000 dollars plus a little extra because someone else hit a home run in the same inning. Then Travis Metcalf hit a grand slam in one of the other innings. There were lots of singles, though. It wasn't all home runs. Just hit after hit, salted with a few walks. It was pretty incredible.

When I got to work last night, someone asked if there wasn't some kind of "mercy" rule. Nope. Not in the bigs. No ten run rule. On the one hand, it would have been nice to save 20 or so of those runs for other games. They only needed four runs to win the game. On the other hand, though, they now have the modern-day record for runs in a game, AND the modern-day record for most runs in a double header, breaking the previous record of 36 when they won the second game 9-7.

Needless to say, Kason Gabbard got the win in the first game.

Sadly, Benoit blew a save in the second, then got the win when the Rangers came back. Reinecker would have had the win, even though he gave up five runs.

That brings up the subject of a badly needed rule in baseball. It should not be allowed to blow a save then get the win. There's rule that a pitcher can't pitch his way into a save situation. Why isn't there a rule that a pitcher can't "steal" a win by blowing the save? There needs to be. Maybe someday, when baseball has a real commissioner, such a rule will be instituted. But as long as Bud Selig is pretending to be a baseball commissioner, that's not likely to happen.

Oops. I went and got on a soapbox, didn't I? Dang.

Oh, well. Congrats to the Rangers for making history. It made an otherwise bad day a little bit of fun. It was otherwise bad because the Devil Rays beat the Sox 2-1, and the Evil Empire finally managed to beat the Angels. So the Sox are back to only 5 games ahead. But...they are still the best team in baseball. For now.

TTFN, y'all!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wakefield Delivers Again

Once again, Tim Wakefield has shut out the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Sox won 6-0 last night with Wakefield shining again, for what, I believe, is his second shutout in a row. And the Angels continued their domination over the Evil Empire, as they scored a run in the bottom of the 10th inning to win 7-6. This put the Sox back to 5 games ahead of the Yanks.

The Rangers and the Orioles were postponed by rain. In the meantime, the Rangers' first baseman hit two three run home runs for the Atlanta Braves. It's too bad Tom Hicks would rather "contend" than "win." I'm not sure he knows what that word means.

TTFN, y'all!

Chase Bank: Liars and Thieves

I got one of those annoying phone calls today from Chase Bank.

Now, I am on the "Do Not Call" list, but since I have a couple of Chase credit cards, they can call and annoy me, trying to sell me stuff like identity theft protection, insurance to pay my bills if I get hurt, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Let me tell you something about Chase Bank. Earlier this year, they were going to raise my interest rate to 31%! Yeah, you read that right. I was nowhere close to my limit, but I was late on one payment. I simply forgot to set up a payment online (I had gone paperless with them). But it was only once. It wasn't like I was habitually late. So I found a way to pay off my Chase accounts and will never use them again.

The other thing is this: Those annoying calls? They always come from India. It would be so bad, if the caller didn't identify himself as "Steve." C'MON!! STEVE??? I actually badgered one once until they admitted that the name they gave me wasn't really their name, but they wouldn't tell me their real name. This just agravates me to no end. It's bad enough that we are out-sourcing all of our jobs overseas, but don't lie to me! Especially when your accent is so thick I can barely understand you. I don't care if their name is Jeevan or Deepu, or Chopak, or whatever. That won't influence me against a phone caller. But lying to me will. I refuse to do business with a company that blatantly lies to me.

And Chase Bank lies.

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Good Day, Mostly

Last night turned out good for both teams that I watch. The Red Sox finished strong and managed to beat the Angels 10-5. Of course, that helped the Rangers, too, and they beat the Twins 5-0. Kam Loe had a strong outing, after coming back off the disabled list. Oakland lost, too, which means the Rangers actually gained some ground in the AL West. Lessee....they are*takes off shoes*...Hah. 17 games out. 5 behind the A's.

I say it was a good, "mostly." The one thing that kept it from being an excellent day was the Evil Empire beating the Tigers 5-2. So the Sox maintain a 5 game lead over the Yanks. I suppose it's going to come down to that last series beween the Sox and the Yanks, just like every year. But then, it wouldn't be baseball without that, would it?

Today is Stephanie's birthday. She turns 14 today. She has already opened her presents (at about 6:30 this morning), and has scored a new laptop, mouse and lap desk. Along with a new dvd player for her room and a set of Full House dvds (season 6, I think). All the grandparents are meeting us at church and we are going out to Bennigans afterwards, so she will likely get a few more presents and a little bit of cash, to boot. Should be a good day.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Split Decision

Yesterday's double-header with the Angels was a mixed bag. It looked for a few minutes, like the Sox had pulled off another miracle come-back. Then Gagne blew another one. Here's the deal. I liked Gagne as a Ranger. But I'm hating him as a Red Sox. That was a pathetic performance last night. Then that umpire made the worst call ever. Youk foul-tipped a pitch on the second strike and the up called him out on strikes, said he missed it. The camera showed over and over that the ball hit the end of the bat and changed direction. Francona was subsequently ejected, as was Youk. They had to pull Youk away from the ump. But, hey. The ump was flat wrong. And I'm proud of Francona for getting tossed on a call like that. I would, too. I've seen Rangers managers not argue calls like that. If I'm a manager and the ump makes a blatantly wrong call, I will get tossed. He needs to know how wrong he was. And frankly, I think the club owner, in this case John Henry, should be able to throw the ump out of his ballpark! Yeah, that's it! Henry should have come down and tossed out the ump. "And don't EVER come back to MY ballpark!!" Yeah.

Oh. I forgot to say that the Sox won the first game in the double-header handily.

Then after that was over, I had to endure listening to Jamie Wright lose a game for the Rangers. On a wild pitch. Egad.

So yesterday, two Red Sox pitchers threw brilliantly, only to have the game lost by another. Well, technically, Kason Gabbard isn't a Red Sox anymore, he's a Ranger. But he pitched very well and got no decision, as it was tied when he left the game. Same happened to Josh Beckett, who is trying to get his 16th win. He may have been behind when he left...can't remember. I just know they were ahead when Gagne took over.

Tonight's game...another knuckle-biter. It's currently the bottom of the 6th, and the Sox are ahead 6-5 after a 6 run fifth. This included a fabulous grand slam home run by Papi!! Everyone knew it as soon as he swung, too. He just watched it go, started trotting towards first, and tossed down the bat, as if to say, "So, there!" Hah!

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Mixed Week

This week, Red Sox fans were treated to two exciting finishes and one disappointment. In Monday's game, we saw Tim Wakefield take a no-no into the seventh inning. I didn't actually start watching the game until the 5th when I logged on and saw that Wake was throwing a no-hitter. I figured that as soon as I started watching, he would lose it, but it went for another two innings. It wound up being a two-hit shutout.

Then, Tuesday night, we were treated to a rare, ninth inning rally for a win. They were behind, 1-0, and a stat was announced that the Sox had only won something like 1 game all season when they were behind after the 8th inning. Well, anyway, Mike Lowell proceeded to hit one over the Green Monster, out into the street, to tie the game. This was after Manny struck out looking (on a pitch that was around ankle-high). After Lowell's blast, Youk struck out looking. I think his third strike really was a strike. Much closer than Manny's anyway. After Youk's out, Tek blasted a ground-rule double into the right field boxes. This brought up Coco Crisp, a healthy part of this balanced breakfast. No, wait. Sorry. I just always thought his name sounded like a breakfast cereal. And I'm certain that I am the first person to think that. Coco hit a nice single into right field. That's all we needed. Tek scored, and the game was over. Stephanie and I had a high five, and I went to work.

Wednesday afternoon, they weren't so lucky. The rally didn't quite make it, so they lost while I slept. Fortunately, the Evil Empire also lost, so no ground was lost in the standings. Oh, yeah. I think it was on Tuesday that the O's beat the Yanks 12-0. Life is good.

As I'm typing this, Detroit has beat A-Roid and company yet again, making three losses in a row. The Sox rested today and gained a half game. Today, they have a double header against the closest team to them in the MLB, the Los Angeles California Anaheim Orange County Angels. Did I get all the names in there? I was hoping for a really great matchup between Beckett and Lackey, but the Angels moved Lackey's start to game two. What a game that would have been!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Child Leaves the Nest

We have now successfully(?) moved one child out into the world. I guess the success remains to be seen. At any rate, Rachel is now an official resident at the Waterview Apartments on the campus of University of Texas at Dallas. She is officially a college student.

Her classes start this coming Thursday, August 16, almost two full weeks before Stephanie will start school this year. Rachel will be majoring in Psychology. I think she might have a minor in English.

Yesterday's (Saturday, August 11) move went very, very well. In fact, it went more smoothly than we could have asked or imagined.

We arrived at around 1pm yesterday afternoon (we chose to go late because the guys delivering Rachel's new bedroom furniture wouldn't be coming until after 4pm), and Rachel got signed in, paid her first ever month's rent, and got her keys. Yes, I said "keys." FOUR of them. She quickly figured out what three of them were for, but between her and all of her roomies, could not figure out what the fourth one was for. It wasn't until we were having dinner with our dear friend Lindsey (a long time P.A. at UTD) that we found out that the fourth key is for the clubhouse and study rooms.

Anyway, we got to the apartment (first floor---YAY!) and started moving stuff in. I got lucky and got a parking place for the van right in front of the building Rachel lives in. I took in a couple of things and came back out to find three P.A.s standing behind the van, asking, "Where are we going?" And they proceeded to grab stuff out of the van and carry it to Rachel's apartment! Without us even asking for any help! Wow!

Everything got moved in, arranged, and then we waited for furniture. When we first arrived, two of Rachel's new roomies were there, Melissa and Lauren. Melissa was just leaving for the day, so we didn't really spend much time around her. A bit of information, here...Rachel met Lauren and Kayla on orientation day, and they hit it off famously, so they requested to room together, and that request was, miraculously, granted. Lauren was adorable! We met Kayla later (she had gone back to get more stuff, including a couch that her dad donated to the cause), and she, too, was wonderful. Christi and I both felt very comfortable around both girls and their parents.

The furniture arrived around 5:30 and was set up quickly and efficiently by the Ashley Furniture guys. That's a plug, by the way...if I had not been supremely satisfied, I wouldn't have mentioned the name of the store. They were great. The bedroom suite is beautiful (I had never seen it...Christi and Rachel picked it out), and fits perfectly in her little room.

Rachel called Lindsey, she was free, so we took her to Chili's for dinner. Afterwards, we swung by GameStop so Rachel could get a memory card for her new PS2 that we gave her, and she found a used wireless guitar controller for Guitar Hero for $29. Then we dropped her and Lindsey off at the apt., gave big hugs and came home. Oddly, there were few tears. It was emotional, yes, and I'm getting some tears right now, as I type, but it all went so well, and we felt so marvelous about the whole thing. It simply felt, well, right. I don't think it could have gone any better.

Praise the Lord. And many thanks to all who prayed.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Who Is This Jesus?

There have been debates over the years, and will be still, as to who Jesus was. History does show that he was a real, breathing, walking person, who lived on the earth around the time our calendars changed from A.D. to B.C. Here are some words about it:

"This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God." These are the words of John, in his gospel, chapter 5, verse 18.

But if that isn't enough, hear the words of Jesus, himself:

"The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."

There it is, straight from the proverbial "horse's mouth." And I'm not calling Jesus a horse.

There is no getting to God without going through Jesus. Jesus is the judge. God has granted him that privilege/responsibility. Anyone who does not acknowledge and honor Jesus Christ, no matter how hard they try, or what lofty words they say, does not honor God. Hard words, but truth.

Well, the van is mostly packed and we will be leaving for Richardson soon. Here we go.

I had hoped to have good news to report this morning, but the Red Sox lost to the Orioles in the bottom of the ninth inning last night. At least the Rangers won, thanks to Frank Cat Ala Knot Oh. The Sox have now allowed the Evil Empire to creep to within 5 games of first place. They'd better wake up!

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Moving Rachel to College

Well, tonight is the last night that Rachel will stay at this house as her home.

Geez, that sounds

Tomorrow, we are moving her to her college apartment.

She's not going very far, though, so that's good. She will be about an hour from us, in Richardson. Going to Univerity of Texas at Dallas. But tomorrow is the day.
It's been creeping up on us for a while, but we've been thinking about it, too.

This morning, Christi started thinking about time and stuff. We've been together for almost 22 years, now. We've produced two wonderful kids, each with their own set of challenges.

Now, life will change for us. We will have Stephanie alone for a few years. I'm thinking that might be a good change for all of us.

We will miss having Rachel here and will have to kind of reconfigure our evenings. But, again...probably a good change coming.

We are proud, so very proud of Rachel. And, hopefully, we will remaing proud as she takes the world by the horns and tames it.

Or something.

TTFN, y'all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

National Day of Mourning

It is a dark day in baseball history.

Barry Bonds has cheated his way into the record books. He is not the reigning home run king of Major League Baseball, as he overtook Hank Aaron's record last night.

I have to say that I agree 100% with Jim Reeves, local sports columnist for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. In fact, rather than try to quote parts of his column, I will link to it. This should do it.

I don't know anyone personally who wanted Bonds to break this record. But now it's over. Now, just maybe, he will go away. Maybe he will stop trying to play a game that he has been physically unable to play for years. Everyone knows that the only reason he was still hanging around was to get this record. He can barely run around the bases. And he certainly can't adequately play a position. His knees are shot. He will probably die young, likely from heart failure, from all the steriods and other junk he has put into his body.

We can only hope that A-Rod will hurry up and catch him so that his name won't disgrace the record books for very long. And I don't even like A-Rod. But he is the youngest player to reach 500 home runs. And he doesn't look like he's pumping up with 'roids. Who knows, though?

It's a dark day in baseball. Let us all hang our heads and mourn.

TTFN, y'all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Standing on the Rock

Our pastor gave us a good message last Sunday, and it just happens that it was the same teaching that he gave to a bunch of adolescent boys on a canoe trip. But just because it was originally put together for a group of teenage boys doesn't mean it couldn't be applicable to gr'ups.

Essentially, the study was about being on "the Rock," which is a representation of Jesus. The pastor made an anagram (or is it acrostic?) of the word "R.O.C.K." This is what it looks like to be "on the Rock."

C.="Centered" (I really liked that one)
K.="Knightly" (Not Keira)

Anyway...all I could think of after this message was a really old Petra album called "Beyond Belief." For anyone who isn't old enough to remember, Petra was the original Christian hard rock band, formed by guitarist Bob Harman. For the first (and still best) few albums, they had a really kickin' lead singer named Greg X. Voltz. Then John Schlitt from the secular group Head East became the lead singer until the group finally retired a year or so ago.

There is a song on "Beyond Belief" called "I Am On the Rock." I dug it out and listened to it last night at work. What memories! Heheh....good stuff.

TTFN, y'all.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Was the Teixeira Trade A Good One?

The buzz around the MLB was that the Rangers actually came out pretty good for this year's trades. I'm not so sure.

While it was obvious that the "devil in baseball," Scott Boras was NOT going to allow Tex to stay in Texas (and Tex is foolish enough to think that Boras actually works for him...), there was still a year left in his contract. Hickman and the Boy Wonder claim that Tex turned down a multi-year contract worth $140,000,000. The problem is that Tex did not turn it down, Boras did. I wonder if Tex ever even knew it was made. That's just the kind of agent Boras is. Every fan of baseball should detest Scott Boras. Oh, sure, he's great for the players...or is he??

Most Rangers fans should remember the glory days of Rafael Palmeiro. Rafe wanted to stay with the Rangers. Boras lied to the Rangers and said he had a better offer. So the Rangers backed off and let him go. There was no better offer. So Palmeiro wound up in Baltimore instead.

It's my opinion that every MLB owner should band together and refuse to even talk to Boras. Ever. Don't even acknowledge that he exists. It would only take one season with all the top name players having contracts before they get smart and fire him. And yes, baseball could survive one season without all of them. Look at how much fun it is watching the Rangers right now. They are a bunch of (mostly) young, hungry players. They are barely playing .500 right now, but so what. This season is pretty much over for them. If they manage to claw their way up to .500 before the season is over, most fans will consider it a success. And they might not even finish in dead last!

Ok....lemmee step off of that soap box now. So far, the mediocre first baseman for which we traded a great first baseman is 1 for about 11 at the plate. In the meantime, Tex has hit two homer in his first two games as a Brave. I understand we got some "prospects" for Tex, as well. But how well have the Rangers' "prospects" ever worked out? Anyone remember this infamous "DVD" bunch? Danks, Volquez, and Diamond? Zilch. Nada. Never panned out worth anything.

And...we traded our only closer to the Red Sox. Now, mind you, it tickles me to no end to see Eric Gagne with the Sox. He's got a sure shot at some playoff action this year. A possible World Series ring. And the Rangers got Kason Gabbard out of the deal. That shocked the heck out of me...but I guess if you have talent out the wazzoo, you can afford to throw some away. But even Gabbard lost his first outing with the Rangers, after being 4-0 for the Sox so far. And the Rangers still have no closer until Otsuka gets off the dl. So there you go.

Only time will tell if the Rangers actually did well this trade season. My bets are on "no." Because that's the Rangers style, and it's definitely Jon Daniels' style.

And by the way...a note to the Rangers fans...probably some of the worst in all of baseball. Both Tex and Gagne got huge standing ovations from their new fans. When have Rangers fan EVER done that?? When have Rangers fans ever waited in a block-long line just for the hope of getting a ticket for a sold-out game? When have Rangers fans ever bought enough tickets that there is no hope of the opponent's fans even getting in the ballpark. And yet they whine and moan when they hear cheers of "Let's Go Red Sox!" wafting through the Rangers Ballpark. Pft. Every Rangers fan should be required to visit Fenway Park at least once. At Fenway Park there is no "cutesy" organ music urging fans to clap for the players during the inning. The Fenway Faithful need no urging. If one tries to start up a cheer of "Let's Go Rangers!" during an inning in Arlington, he will be a lonely voice, getting some stares from other fans indicating that he is just south of sane. Another thing I noticed about Fenway Park is there is NO promotional schedule. They don't give away anything. They don't have to. No stupid "chatter bats." No bobbleheads. No stupid "Wingo" games. And DEFINITELY no stinkin' CHEERLEADERS!!! I still think that's the dumbest idea that Hicks has ever come up with.

At Fenway's just baseball. And it's glorious!

TTFN, y'all!