Friday, October 16, 2009

MLB Post Season Viewing Options

During the Division Series, TBS gave viewers four different play-by-play & analyst combinations, one for each series it was broadcasting. This meant that viewers were only forced to listen to Chip Carey once every four games. Now that the playoffs have reached the League Championship Series level, Fox (Big Fox) has picked up the AL Series and TBS brings us the NL Series. Now viewers are forced EVERY game to listen to HORRIBLE play-by-play broadcasters who live on their family names (Jack Buck of Cardinal's lore paved the way for Joe while Harry, who was a drunken, slobbering fool, and Skip, who was excellent, have made Chip Carey's path resistance free).

Do you know who Joe Buck's biggest fan is? I do. Its Joe Buck. On Sundays when I have a choice of two NFL games to watch at the same time, I will most likely choose the CBS game because their is no Joe Buck. Fox Baseball also makes viewers suffer through Tim McCarver. I never saw McCarver play catcher, but I understand he was very good. Its too bad that the same is not true for his analyst work.

Chip Carey is fantastic... at over-sensationalizing EVERY play. He often botches his play-by-play as well. Many a time I have heard him have to correct himself in the middle of a play where he first called the play completely incorrectly. Just this evening I was watching Game Two of the NLCS. The Dodgers executed a sacrifice bunt with a man on first. Carey called the play saying that the Phillies' pitcher, Pedro Martinez, had only one play which was to first. Before the next batter, as the crew was recapping the bunt on video, both Ron Darling and Buck Martinez, who were working with Carey, pointed out that Pedro likely had a legitimate play at second, but with one out already, he chose to take the safe play at first.

Poor broadcasting makes me sad. Being given no alternative makes me sadder. Maybe I am spoiled by growing up listening to Pete Van Wieren, SKIP Carey, Joe Simpson, Don Sutton, and Ernie Johnson SENIOR. Jon Sciambi proved the last two years to be quite proficient himself. He also proved to be outstanding with factual knowledge, even of baseball that was before his time (He is only 39 or 40). He is an outstanding study of the game. Fox Sports Net in Atlanta definitely lost a good one. ESPN has won a victory for its viewers here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Great Sports TV Day

These are the type of Saturdays I live for. This evening there are two Major League Baseball Playoff games on TV (Neither of which will have Chip Carey on the broadcast team). Likewise, all day has good college football match ups. Here in Atlanta we can watch:

#17 and undefeated Auburn at Arkansas
Surprising Boston College at #5 and ACC favorite Virginia Tech
Close to good Tennessee hosting 'how good is this team, really?' U[sic]GA
#3 Alabama (featuring former Georgia Tech TE Colin Peek) at trendy early season pick #20 Ole Miss.
Wisconsin at #9 Ohio State

and then the 'trifecta' at 8pm:
Tebow-less #1 Florida at a very suspect #4 LSU
Tate Forcier led Michigan at 5-0 #12 Iowa (only the 4th night kick-off at Kinnick Stadium where temperatures will get down to the 20's).
and my beloved Yellow Jackets will be playing in Tallahassee (where it will be significantly warmer than the 20's) to go for a 2nd consecutive win against beleaguered Florida State.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Reaffirmation that the Nobel Peace Prize is Meaningless

Lets review some of the recent winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

1994: Yasser Arafat - President of the Palestinian National Authority

2002: Former President Jimmy Carter
The reason he was given the award translates into his 20+ years of pushing his socialist agenda on the rest of the world. The same socialist agenda that gave us double digit inflation and record unemployment.

2007: Former Presidential Candidate Al Gore
He was recognized with the award for his efforts to promote knowledge of and spark further efforts to counteract the mythological phenomenon of man-made global warming (which has since been renamed "climate change" in light of the fact that the cyclical nature of the Earth's climate brought about cooling to further dash the leftists claims that the Earth is getting warmer.) Essentially this recognition came because of his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," the premise of which is 11 admitted "untruths," or LIES!

...And Finally..

2009: The messiah himself, Barak Obama.
President Obama's nomination for the award was official on February 1. That is 11 days after he was sworn in as president. In those 11 days his time was mostly spent arguing with Rush Limbaugh and touring various foreign cities apologizing for America and its "arrogance." Essentially Obama was nominated based on his presidential campaign and what the socialist lefties who dole out the award expect his policies and actions to be during his term. Furthermore, it was likely given to him in an effort to thwart even more the likelihood that he, as president of the United States, would take any strong action towards corrupt regimes such as the Iranian government fronted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who denies the holocaust, swears by a philosophy that wishes to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, and is rapidly developing nuclear weapons which would give him the ability to do so.

Before today's announcement I had already decided that the Nobel Peace Prize deserved little if any credibility. This confirms that position.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Matt Diaz' Season Much Better Than Playoff Eliminating Blunder

Braves fans,

It has been a week since the frustrating end to the local nine's playoff aspirations. By now, every Atlanta baseball fan has undoubtedly seen Diaz' critical baserunning mistake that ended the Braves comeback in the ninth.

For those who may be inclined to criticize Diaz be aware that Bobby Cox, and a large plurality of the Braves' clubhouse, consider Matty D. to be the team's best baserunner. Diaz also had one of the team's highest, if not the highest (I need to check the official stats) batting averages all year. Diaz said after the game that he was trying to be aggressive, even anticipating a hard slider in the dirt on which he might be able to tie the game on a pass ball/wild pitch.

Without Matty D. the Braves most likely would not have even been playing in a meaningful game that night. Let me be among those who say to Diaz, "Thanks for all your effort and unselfish play this year and before."

Go Braves!!

I Officially Wil Not be Purchasing an iPhone Because:

For the reasons outlined in the following Michelle Malkin blog posting, I now can say with the highest level of certainty that I will not be purchasing an iPhone, nor consciously supporting Apple in any way. These corporations who are playing the game of bowing to the Obamas and the rest of the leftists in order to emerge as a favorite of "The Party" when the socialist state does away with the freedoms that have made America the greatest nation on the face of the planet are just despicable.

Read Michelle Malkin's blog here

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

I wish I would have been able to get to post this yesterday, but alas, I was not able.

Today is the day that Jews and many Christians observe Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement. God gave instructions to the Hebrews in Leviticus:

Chapter 16:
29 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves [b] and not do any work—whether native-born or an alien living among you- 30 because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. 31 It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.

Chapter 23:
26 The LORD said to Moses, 27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, [d] and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. 28 Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. 30 I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath."

Most Christians do not observe any of the Jewish holy days, holidays, or festivals. A few observe some of them. Yom Kippur is one of those holy days that is right for Christians to observe. Once a year (at least) it is right for us to deny ourselves (fast) and spend time with God in earnest prayer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Obama's Blasphemy

President Obama's statement to a group of Rabbis as reported by Politico on August 19:

"We are God's partners in matters of life and death."

I do not wish to say anything further right now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Isaiah 43

First, let me apologize for my failure to write recently. Sometimes the time or muse just is not there.

I haven't written much in these spaces about matters of faith. Today I am going to do a little of that. I was very delighted with my churches contemporary worship service today. The word was brought straight from scripture all throughout the service.Mrs. Okra is very stand-off-ish when it comes to practices such as responsive readings. The sermon was a breakdown of the importance of the Truth contained in The Apostles' Creed. When Mrs. Okra recognized that we were going to be reciting the Creed, she was not so excited. I believe that the Apostles' Creed is very important to the Christian church across the world. It states precisely the elements that unite and save us as Christians. Pastor Fleming, in examining the parts of the Creed, not only alluded to various scriptures, but directly quoted countless times the scriptures that are not just the capstones of the Creed, but are the entirety of it.

Pastor Fleming preached the same message at all the services and the music at the traditional service was fantastic. The minister of music, Andy Bayles, blessed the congregation with his performing of "Amazing Grace." The anthem, Hayes' arrangement of "In Christ Alone," was powerful, and the words are perfect. "I am his and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ!" It goes on so wonderfully.

It was the contemporary service, however, that resurrected my muse. We closed with "My God Reigns," which is a proud proclamation of the fact that we serve the victor. Ms. Amy Hoyle blessed us with a great musical selection and proclaimed beautifully that, "The Love of the Lord Endures."

It was the praise and worship that first inspired me. One of the songs that we sang together was "Isaiah 43." I am fond of this song, not because of its sirring music, for the music is not particularly profound, but because it is ALL SCRIPTURE. Not only is it all scripture, but it is scripture that bore meaning to the Israelites in Persia 700 years before the birth of Christ, to the early Christians, and to the Jews and Christians of today. Isaiah 43 speaks of how the Israelites were ransomed by God because the Persians were given the people from Egypt, Cush, and Arabia to take the place of the Israelite captives. Hell was given the spotless Christ to take the place of us people (who deserved what Christ received) so that we can live forever with God. Christ did go on to defeat his Captivator on the third day.

The 43rd chapter of Isaiah tells us, as it did the Israelites, not to fear. God has redeemed us and is with us. He calls us by name. We are His. When we pass through the waters, the waves will not overcome us. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned and the flames will not consume us. When we face trials, He is with us. Do not fear, for He is the Lord.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hockey is Coming

So, I started getting excited about hockey today. At a recent (hockey) draft party I won a pair of lower bowl tickets for the Thrashers. Also, I work where many of the local Fox Sports guys are my customers and we have been talking about their upcoming coverage of the boys and the new rookie, Evander Kane. So today I was doing some hockey reading, prompted by an email from the Blueland Outsider.

So, here's what my excitement has found:

Evander Kane should be a stud. If not now, then soon.

Last year we grew to be fans of #47, Rich Peverly. Here's hoping that The Pevs Dispenser (credit to whoever coined the name and to the Blueland Outsider for the pic) is able to build on last year's success.

Kovy is getting better every day. He transformed himself after Pevs arrived and the Thrashers put the "C" on his chest. It pains me to say this but there was a good article in the Atlanta Liberal Daily today about Kovy. Check is out here:

Season and Home Opener is October 3rd. Are you ready?

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Injuries stink. I know that they are a part of baseball, but they still stink. The Amazin' Mess in New York has suffered from the injury bug worse than any I can recall. Here's a quick run down of what the Mess have been missing this year:

J.J. Putz (The eighth inning man acquired to help bolster the bullpen, especially in the absence of the next guy)
Billy Wagner (He was traded this week and they knew he was out this year, but still?)
Carlos Beltran
Carlos Delgado
Jose Reyes
and most recently, the team's leader, David Wright

Each of these six guys are perennial All-Stars and capable of carrying a team that has decent starting pitching.

Back here in Atlanta, the home team is facing a sudden rush of health problems. Today's starting center fielder is Reid Gorecki - he was last night's center fielder as well. Reid was playing in Buford just last week (I know, I was there to see him). I would say that he is no higher than third or fourth as far as the choice in Braves optimal decision for center field behind McLouth, Church, and Infante. If McLouth were not on the DL, Gorecki would still be with the G-Braves.
Here is today's key injury listing:

Nate McLouth
Ryan Church
Garret Anderson
Martin Prado

I realize that this is only four guys and one is actually on the DL, but consider that the Braves carry 13 position players. Eight start leaving five bench players. Three are likely unavailable (Prado is uncertain, but likely out today), that leaves two reserves for today, one of which is the back-up catcher, you know he is staying on the bench for an emergency. That makes Greg Norton our lone bench option for today. Yikes.

Go get 'em boys, but don't get hurt, there isn't anybody available to play behind you except maybe Kris Medlin.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Something to Get You Pumped Up

I found this today. Only two weeks 'til kickoff.

Your Tax Dollars

I was troubled, but not really surprised, to read that the president is using tax dollars to run an advertising campaign supporting the health care (d/r)eform bill. Despicable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Favre, Strasburg, and Bertuzzi

So.. Favre is back....again. First he screws the Packers last year (And blames the team for how they handled the situation). Now, after insisting that he is retired for good, he signs a $25 Million contract for tow years with the Vikings. But he screwed them too. He waited until after training camp and after the first two pre-season games because he doesn't like camp. He claimed a rotator cuff problem, but I don't buy it. Favre has become the latest poster boy for lack of class.

In baseball...
Number one overall pick, Stephen Strasburg signed a $15 Million deal last night for four years with the Nationals. Strasburg has never pitched a single inning above college ball yet he is signing a deal like this. This entitlement syndrome (Like I mentioned previously) is catching on and it's not a good thing. Kansas City draft pick (#12 overall) Aaron Crow was drafted ninth overall last year by the Nationals, but failed to sign a deal and played in an independent league last year then re-entered the draft this year. He is exempt from the deadline this year and has until one week from next years draft to sign. The deal he turned down from Washington was worth $3.5 Million. Why do these agents keep filling these kids' heads with nonsense?! The first contract is not the important one. If they are any good, they will get to the show and make their dough. At this pace these kids are just making everyone mad.

And in hockey...
The Wings, who have seen several forwards leave for various destinations this offseason, just signed thug Todd Bertuzzi to a $1.5 Million deal. Yes, that Bertuzzi. I love the Wings, but I still don't know whether Bertuzzi deserves to be in the league. His victim, Steve Moore, who was in the middle of his first full season, still hasn't played another NHL game since the suckerpunch. Is it fair that Bertuzzi has played several seasons since?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How Jeremiah is Relevent Today

First, let me apologize for taking six days between posts. I may not have many readers out there, but I might have a few. Its been a week filled with work, week 1 of Disciple Bible Study, and a lack of muse, so to speak.

Now, onto things that matter. In Jeremiah 23, God tells the Hebrew people:

Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams. They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least.

Declares the Lord, in verse 32.

Immediately our president and the leaders of Congress came into my mind when I red this passage this morning. I think of the rhetoric and bold-faced lies being thrown about concerning health care (d/r)eform. Through Jeremiah, God is warning his people about false prophets who speak of magical, Utopian ideas and only tell the masses what they want to hear. There are many examples of such idea politicking, it is not just a phenomenon common to Washington D.C. It just seems to show up most often in D.C.

Friends, it is up to us to actively seek out God and listen to his direction. We must follow the command God gives us in II Chronicles, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Pray for our country. Pray for our country's leaders. Repent. A common theme of the prophets is repent and turn from our ways of sin. Repent and Pray.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Entitlement Syndrome

San Francisco 49ers #1 Draft pick is a prime example of one of the major flaws impacting America today. The former Texas Tech University star wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, is yet to sign a contract with the 49ers, who have the exclusive rights to sign him. Crabtree is threatening to hold out all year and re-enter the NFL draft next year if the Niners fail to offer him the money that he says he "deserves." Crabtree is yet to prove a thing about himself and his ability to compete in the NFL except that he has a star sized ego. The since of entitlement displayed in the sentiment that he is "owed" a certain exorbitant amount before having earned anything is, unfortunately not unique to Crabtree. We each see it everyday in the people we interact with. Most everyone seems to think that they are entitled to certain privileges and prizes. Sometimes they believe the government owes them, other times it is their employer, or some other party. None of these people have done anything to deserve these rewards, in fact the Bible tells us that what we deserve is eternal damnation. I believe this entitlement sentiment is getting us further into trouble. Where is personal responsibility?
If I were the 49ers, I would hold Crabtree to his word and make him sit out all year. They will have greater success without him and he is ruining his own chances for finding a team that will welcome him in the future.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ABC Coverage of the Sotomayor Confirmation

ABC is the latest of the media juggernauts to blatantly display their liberal bias. The network referred to the confirmation of Sotomayor as a "Jackie Robinson" moment. The problem is that all these democrat senators who according to the left did such a great thing by confirming the first Hispanic justice to the court are mainly the same democrats who, in 2001, had the opportunity to confirm a Bush nominee, Miguel Estrada, to a lower court, the D.C. Court of Appeals. Rather than do so, however, they conducted a filibuster and Estrada never received a vote. Estrada was magna cum laude at Columbia University and later the same at Harvard Law. From there he went on to have a fantastic career. The mainstream media had no problem with the democrats opposing the nomination of Estrada to the D.C. Court of Appeals, yet they were in complete upheaval at those who voiced legitimate dissent with the nomination of Sotomayor, who is an outspoken racist and has been praised for her ideals of decisions based on empathy, rather than the law and the opportunity to legislate from the bench. This double standard is disgusting.

Hot Braves Pitching

Since the Base-on-Strikes on Friday night, the Braves pitching staff has worked 25 2/3 innings. In that span they have allowed three runs to the NL's top team by record. That is a 1.05 ERA. One of those three runs occured in the bottom of the ninth in Sunday afternoon's game when the local nine held an 8 to 1 lead and were working Manny Acosta, who in 2/3 of an inning allowed a run before being removed in favor of Peter Moylan. These guys are H-O-T. The problem is that we have ... ready ... the Nationals for two games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nats? you say. Yes the Nats have won eight straight at the time of this post. 4 1/2 half out as of Sunday night. Go Braves.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Strike... now take your base?!

Garret Anderson and the rest of the Braves lineup, including Nate McLouth, Yunel Escobar, and Ryan Church, saved Eric Cooper from having his blown call (among the worst I have seen, and we have seen some bad ones) decide the game.

With no outs and a man on first, Jurrjens threw a strike on the outside corner. With Rafael Furcal attempting to steal second on the pitch, home plate umpire Eric Cooper signaled a called strike two, witch second base umpire Chuck Meriwether observed before turning to see the play at second, on which he called the would be base stealer out. One out, two strikes, nobody on base. Except that Ethier was awarded first base on a mystery walk, making Furcal safe at second. After striking out Manny Ramirez, Jurrjens mist his target by a foot and a half to Casey Blake who sent a three run homer to left. That mystery walk cost the Braves one run for sure, and possibly two or three, as well as their starting pitcher in the game.

Since the boys from the A-T-L managed to come back and win in the 12th, all Cooper's botched call cost was some extra work by the 'pen, which did an excellent job (7 2/3 socreless innings). However, I went to sleep thinking we had lost this one and wondering how serious the no doubt ensuing appeal would be taken by Major League Baseball.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yanks v Sox

Tonight's marquee game (as proclaimed by the Northeastern media juggernauts) is the Yankees versus the Red Sox. The Evil Empire versus the "Nation." Just what we need, another nationally televised (MLB Network's game of choice) Yankees-Sox game. On the mound is Joba Chamberlain, who I am sick of hearing about, and John Smoltz, who claimed Atlanta's offer of $2M guaranteed with incentives of up to $10M if he pitched enough innings (which he could do if he was/is as healthy as he claimed to be over the offseason) was not good enough for someone who had given what he had to the franchise. I want to see both pitchers get lit up, maybe see the Yanks' youngster David Robertson get the win, and Mo get another save to add to his amazing career (I currently prefer the "Empire" to the "Nation").

New Racism - The Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor

New racism is just as bad as old racism. And now, the U.S. Senate is supporting it. Today, the senate voted 68 - 31 to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. I believe this is a terrible precedent. The nine republicans who rejected their principles (part of the reason I do not claim to be a republican, but rather a conservative) will be listed later.

Sotomayor is one of the justices who decided that the Connecticut fire department that threw out the results of the promotion exam due to the fact that only one minority candidate scored a grade worthy of promotion was legitimate. It was a case of racism that was later overruled by a higher court. The racism was against the 16 white males who worked hard and scored a grade that would have made them eligible (out of 17 total who passed, the other was an Hispanic male).

Sotomayor is also the justice who as a guest lecturer stated that a wise Latina's experiences would lend her to make better decisions than a white male. She is stating publicly, as a guest lecturer at university campuses, that she is racist.

One of the characteristics of Sotomayor that President Obama stated publicly as a reason for her selection was her likelihood to make decisions with a level of "empathy." The bench is not supposed to look at a person's position. The bench is supposed to make decisions based on the law and the Constitution.

As promised, here are the nine republicans that voted to confirm Sotomayor, courtesy of Fox News:
George Voinovich of Ohio, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Kit Bond of Missouri, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Mel Martinez of Florida, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

I feel like we are living in Israel or Judah circa 600 B.C. We are headed the wrong direction. Will we listen to those trying to warn us, or like Israel and Judah will we be overcome?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Truth and The Remnant

I am blessed by many things in my life. I have a beautiful wife who loves me and loves God. I have a job, and I enjoy what I do. I am healthy and so is most of my family. I could go on and on.

Another of the many blessings in my life is that my pastor shares and reinforces many of the beliefs and opinions that I have. In fact, I believe that all of the ministers at my church are fantastic and I appreciate the fact the God has placed each of them where they are.

The pastor that I speak of and I both believe that there is a right and a wrong. Apparently, according to a recent Gallup poll that Pastor Fleming cited, he and I are in the minority. In the poll, over 70% of Americans agreed with the statement that, "there is no such thing as objective truth; different people can define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct." Pastor Fleming went on to say in his sermon the following four points which are the backbone for this post:

I. It matters what we believe.
I remember speaking the same idea 11 years ago when I was a graduating senior in high school. I encouraged my fellow students in the church to take the time to know what they believed.

II. It matters that what we believe is the truth.
I could reiterate Pastor Fleming's words here, but I suspect that this blog will be long enough.

III. There is such a thing as truth.
As Pastor Fleming says, God has revealed to us that we can know Jesus Christ, and he, and only he, can save us, and that is truth. There are some things that God has not clearly revealed and in these matters we must not be rigid. However, on the things in which God has clearly made himself known, we must not waiver.

IV. Truth is unchanging.
God's truth is the same today as it was 6000 years ago, and before the world began. It will be the same for all eternity. Likewise, it is the same here in Georgia as it is across the country or across the world.

In II Timothy chapter 4, Paul tells us that there will be many false prophets and those false prophets will be welcomed because they will tell the people what the people want to hear. The prophet Amos was scolded by King Jeroboam and his false prophet. Jeroboam was close to this false prophet because this false prophet told the king what he wanted to hear. Amos, contrarily, spoke God's call for Israel to repent and return to God. The king and the people did not want to listen.

Amos is not the only prophet like this. There have been many. Jeremiah spoke out to Judah, but he too was outcast. Judah's sins were so great that God told Jeremiah to not intercede for them because he (God) would not listen. He also instructed Jeremiah to be celibate, and not to attend funerals or mourn the deceased as a statement against the evil in Judah.

I discovered Jay Albert Noch while reading an issue of National Review magazine. Noch has an essay called, "Isaiah's Job." That is a job like a chore, not Job, the man that God was so proud of 5000 years ago in the time of Genesis. Noch points out that when God called Isaiah, he warned him that the people would not listen. Isaiah wondered why God was sending him, if the people would not listen. God's response was that Isaiah was being sent for the benefit of the remnant, those that didn't drink the mainstream Kool-Aid. This lesson is important today just as much as it was then. There are going to be times when we need to speak the truth. There is truth. Many, likely most, will not listen. Speak the truth for the remnant.

Credit to Rev. Terry Fleming for his sermon titled, "The Importance of Good Doctorin'[sic]"
and to Mr. Jay Albert Noch for his essay, "Isaiah's Job"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The State of Baseball

The Okra Blogs wishes to apologize for the 2-3 days of silence recently. I was returning home with not enough time before I had to get up the next morning. Still, I have two new posts for your perusing.

There has been some serious shake-ups in the world of baseball this week. Here's a quick look:

Roy Halladay, still a Blue Jay (I called that one).

Jake Peavy is now a member of the White Sox. I forgot all about Peavy as nobody had made offers since the spring that came close to what the Padres wanted for him. The Sox gave up four young pitchers. Clayton Richard, who is 25 years old, has appeared in 26 games this year (14 of which were starts) and put up a 4 and 3 record with a 4.65 ERA. Aaron Poreda, who is 22, was sent back to the minors July 21. Before that this year he was 1 and 0 with a 2.45 ERA in 10 appearances out of the pen. He was a first round pick by the Sox in '07. Dexter Carter has been pitching at A-ball. The 4th pitcher is Adam Russell who made 22 relief appearances for the Sox last year with a 5.19 ERA. This year has has pitched at Triple A.

Cliff Lee is now a Philly. The Phils got him for a steal, but I have doubts about his effectiveness.

The Pirates shipped Ian Snell, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, and Adam LaRoche. Earlier they sent Nate McLouth to the Braves. Quick, name another pirate player. waiting.....waiting..... that's what I thought. What is this team's plan?

By trading a younger shortstop for Orlando Cabrera, the Twinkies showed they want to win. He wins everywhere.

Scott Rolen goes from the Jays to the Reds. When healthy and in the N.L., he is fantastic. He is older now that before.

The Red Sox made lots of news. In trades, the acquired Victor Martinez. He can give the captain, Varitek some time off behind the plate, He can DH, and he can play first. Big win for the BoSox. They also traded for Casey Kotchman, who I believe is as good as anyone at first with the glove. Move Yukilis over to third and these Sox are right back in it with the Yanks.

Kotchman was traded for Adam LaRoche, who returns to the Braves. If LaRoche has a typical second half, this is a decent move for the Braves. If he hits .250 which is less than we get from Kotchman and costs us even a little with the glove I will be unhappy with the deal.

There was a little bit of other news surrounding the BoSox this week. More of the notorious 2003 list was revealed. On the list was Manny Ramirez (no real surprise considering his suspension this year), and David Ortiz. I really thought Ortiz was clean and that his decline was due to Dominican age tricks. I guess I was wrong. This whole list is a shame. Performance enhancing drugs are bad for baseball. I hope the MLBPA figures out how to fix things.

Trade particulars from

The Ongoing Battle in Health Care (D/R)e-from

At current, it appears that any votes on health care reform will be waiting until after the August recess. It also appears that there WILL be congressional votes in mid-September immediately following the August recess. In the house, three separate committees (the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, and the Education and Labor Committee) have passed versions of the bill that must now be combined and then voted on. The Senate Finance Committee is looking at a September 15 vote deadline.

You may be saying, "What can I do?" Well, during the August recess, members of congress don't just run away to Aruba or some nice vacation spot. Many do for a short time and some do for longer, but most are campaigning in their constituent arenas. There are going to be quite a few of the now famous town hall meetings. Find one near you and go. It is a great place to give your opinion. Also, you can call their office. Those of us hear in Georgia will most likely meet less resistance that those of you elsewhere. Our congressmen from Georgia have an office that is fairly receptive to the messages we send them. You can find the phone number for your congressmen here and here If getting through by phone doesn't work, send them a note.

Whatever you do, my advice is to tell anybody with a vote the following:
Please vote "No" to any version of a bill that mandates health insurance or to any bill with a government health insurance option.

Instead, encourage those with a vote to seek legislation that helps to eliminate frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs for doctors and hospitals. Also encourage them to vote for legislation that will give individuals who acquire their own insurance the same tax breaks that business which provide insurance for their employees receive. Legislation such as these will go far in lowering the cost of health care in America.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Three Yellow Jackets Named Pre-Season All Conference

So today the Atlanta Liberal Daily (a.k.a. Atlanta Journal-Constitution) reported that three Georgia Tech players were named pre-season All-ACC. Jonathan Dwyer is no shock to anyone and actually received the most votes of any player (41 of a possible 44) to go along with being the pre-season pick for conference player of the year.

Another pick that many Tech fans might have been expecting is the selection of Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett who received 34 of a possible 41. Burnett finished his sophomore season last year tied for the NCAA lead in interceptions with 7. In 2007, the entire Georgia Tech team had 5. Jon Tenuta who?

The less obvious and slightly surprising pick for pre-season all conference is that of WR Damaryius Thomas. In a run-happy offense Thomas finished last year with 627 yards on 39 receptions. I am surprised to see any GT wideout selected due to Coach Johnson's style of offense (which I constantly believe in more and more).

I am a little surprised that DE Derrick Morgan was not a part of the list. Morgan is the only returnee from a stellar defensive line from 2008.

Is anyone else excited?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jonathan Dwyer is Named ACC Preseason Pick for Player of the Year

This should come as no surprise, and is hardly newsworthy, but I need a positive talking point after hearing about you-know-what. Dwyer was last year's ACC player of the year after amassing over 1600 all purpose yards as the B-Back in GT's triple option offense. Some local reporters are suggesting that Jon is a Jeisman candidate. With the past two Heisman Trophy winners both still playing college ball and another very popular Big-12 QB also gunning for the trophy, I consider Dwyer's candidacy purely wishful thinking. Still, it would be nice to see a Georgia Tech player in New York for the celebration, even if only as a finalist.

Here's to the upcoming football season and all the possibilities it holds.

Nancy Pelosi and Pres. Obama are Attempting to Pull a Fast One

The report is that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama are planning to "bulldoze" Nationalized Healthcare through the house THIS week. Although the president claims that those wishing to keep their current health care will be able that is barely even part true. Much like medicare (which the government has run unsuccessfully), the "public option" will force private insurance to subsidize, or pay more, so that it can pay less to the providers. Eventually, this will run all private insurers out of the market. This is only one of the many ways that everyone will be forced into the "public option."

Something ironic about this whole initiative, is that it comes about as a response to the belief that too many Americans do not have insurance. For instance, among children, only 11% are uninsured. Even among children living in poverty, over 82% HAVE health insurance. This is according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Some other figures from the Census Bureau on WHO is uninsured in 2007.
Over 21% of the uninsured people in the U.S. are not citizens. This means they don't pay taxes, nor will they when we offer them healthcare that we are going to pay for for them.
20% make OVER $75,000 in income per year. These folks have CHOSEN to not carry insurance and pay for their medical bills out of pocket and save the insurance premiums. Do we really need to "protect" them from being uninsured?
Another 20% did not work. Likewise, with no income, they are not paying taxes.
That leaves less than 40% of all uninsured people in the U.S. that do not make $75K or better, and actually pay taxes. The uninsured rate of all people in the U.S. is 15%. That means that we are planning to destroy our system for the sake of 6% of the people in the U.S.

In the bill is some shocking legislature. There is a section that discusses end of life counselling. In order to help control healtchare costs for the public, our elderly will be "counseled" on ending their life, rather than use more public healthcare. On the same lines, I can't wait for the government to force expectant mothers to have certain pre-delivery tests to see if an unborn child should be aborted rather than become a burden to the system. The bill lays the groundwork for government rationing of healtcare. My mother is a cancer survivor. I am thankful that she acquired her cancer before any of this mess happened. I would hate for the government to tell her she is not eligible for treatment because she has already satisfied her usefulness to the system.

The government is not just stopping at healthcare "De-form." The CDC announced that it favored a tax on sodas as a measure to combat obesity. The CDC chief said, "Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort. We are going to have to do it for you." That is awful. Not only is the government relieving us of our personal responsibility to maintain a healthy weight, but they are saying only they (the government) can control obesity.

I have to go. I need to find a sad sports story to lift my spirits.

Husbands, Love Your Wives

Beware of the deciever at all times. Mrs. Okra is currently working overnight shifts to coincide with regular hours in Taiwan. As a result, she is not seeing much of anyone, including yours truly, and is likely a little lonely. Today, I was doing my morning quiet time when she returned home. Caught up in trying to leave to get to work, I neglected to give her proper attention and likely made her feel awful. Even when we are spending time with God, the deceiver can interfere with our lives. Husdbands are commanded by God to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. I failed at that today.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome and First Post

Welcome to The Okra Blogs. I appreciate you stopping in. Let me take this first post to say that I am deeply concerned about the direction of our nation and, regardless of your opinions of our president and government leaders, I want to encourage each of you to pray everyday for our nation and its leaders. They need God and our prayers more than we can ever know.