Friday, October 30, 2009

The trials of Daniel

Meanwhile, back at Redskins Park

The Scene: The CEO's conference room at Redskins Park. Present are Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder, Executive Vice President for Football Operations Vinnie Cerrato, Head Coach Jim Zorn and Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel David Donovan. They have just finished lunch, provided by Johnny Rockets.

Snyder: That was a great vacation. Really, southern France is just wonderful this time of year. No kids either, just me and Tanya. And the hot tub. No fans wanting to put up signs criticising me. Best of all, I didn't have to put up with a lot of crap from those communists at the Washington Post. No Wise, no Wilbon, no Boswell, no Sally Jenkins. Maybe we can have another bye week next month.

There is a knock at the door.

Donovan: Come in, please.

The door opens, a young woman enters holding a steno pad.

Young woman: Mr. Snyder, you have a phone call. Should I put it through?

Snyder (irritably): Amy, I've told you a million times. Don't waste my time, tell me who's on the phone when you come in here. By the way, are you wearing high heels?

Young woman: My name's Maria. I have no idea who Amy is. This is my first day on the job here. And yes, I am wearing high heels. It's Mr. Richard Fain on the phone, sir.

Snyder: Who?

Maria: He says he is the Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, sir, and he needs to talk to you. He says it's urgent.

Snyder: That's all I need right now. What the hell could this be about? Oh, Maria, or Amy or whatever your name is: you're fired. No high heels.

Donovan: Very good sir. Masterful display of executive leadership.

Snyder: Thanks. I feel taller already.

Donovan: Let me put this Fain on speakerphone. (Punches button on incredibly expensive executive speakerphone).

Fain: Daniel! What the hell is going on in Washington? You're causing me a lot of trouble, young man.

Snyder: It's Mister Snyder to you. What trouble can you be having that's my concern?

Fain: Johnny Rockets!! That's what trouble! I've got your stupid faux '50s diners on all my large ships now. I don't know if you know it, but there's a lot of Redskins fans out there and they love to cruise on my ships.

Snyder: That's nice, but what does that have to do with me?

Fain: They're picketing the Johnny Rockets on my ships, that's what! They're saying that Johnny's uses rat meat in the burgers!

Snyder: Well we don't use rat meat. That's absurd.

Fain (louder): I've got a passenger mutiny on my hands, you dimwit! If you don't do something and soon, I'll tell the dockyards to start ripping them out and start throwing all that crap overboard. I'm not gonna jeopardize my billion dollar ships for you, you little fucktard!

Donovan: We have a contract. We'll sue you.

Fain (even louder): Just try it, you sleazoid. It won't be like suing a 72 year old grandmother over club seats. All my ships are registered in the Bahamas, Norway, and Bermuda. Good luck winning a case there - they're all Dallas fans!

Sound of phone being slammed down.

Maria enters again.

Snyder: I told you, you've been fired.

Maria: It's the Commissioner!

Snyder (wearily): Put him on speakerphone.

Commissioner Goodell: Danny! What's with the no sign policy? All the other 31 clubs allow signs. You did until your team started falling on its face against the worst teams in the league. Are you afraid of the fans?

Donovan: We're doing to protect our fans from injury.

Goodell: Oh for God's sake! Just look at yourselves! There's pictures in the paper of a pretty 20 year old who just wants her husband in Afghanistan to know how much she loves him. Are you clowns against love, marriage and our fighting men and women?!? David, I'm a better lawyer than you are after my third martini. I strongly suggest you revisit your thoughts here and bring them into conformance with league policy. (Hangs up).

Snyder: This started out as such a great day. Now it's ruined because everybody hates me, and is jealous of my success. Jerkfaces! Job had nothing on me!

Donovan: I have an idea, sir.

Snyder: Well, let's have it.

Donovan: We could sell poster permits! After all, GEICO pays us millions for letting us give their signs to the fans. Charge them fifty bucks a poster, cash! We'll make even more millions!

Snyder: Great idea, David! Get right on it. But only officially approved Redskins posters, none of this free speach crap. Stupid Constitution doesn't apply at FedEx. Now, Vinnie, let's address the issues on the field.

Cerrato: I see us having a good second half and winning the division. After all, I assembled a playoff quality roster.

Zorn: You're implying that I've messed everything up, then, are you Vinnie?

Cerrato: I'm not implying anything. Two years ago we were in the playoffs. Last year we just missed, but I assembled a lot of new talent, Haynesworth, Orakapo, so forth. So it can't be on me. You're just not the right coach for this team.

Zorn: This is bullshit. We have an offensive line that can't stop a stiff breeze. There's reasons nobody wanted Heyer or Fat Man Williams! It's because they can't play! Rhinehart's a flop. Montogmery tries hard but he's undersized. And your three prize recievers can't catch a cold in Alaska!

Cerrato: The facts speak for themselves, Jim. I've tried to help you the best I could, but you're just not getting it done.

Zorn: How have you helped me? I got an offensive line manned by five guys with banjoes and funny hats! You hire some old fart from a retirement home to call plays, when he doesn't know who half the offensive players are! If this is how you're helping me, I sure wouldn't want to see what you would do if you were trying to hurt me.

Off in the distance, there is a flash of lightning. The sounds of thunder roll through Ashburn.

Snyder (groaning). Jesus! Not again! be continued.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night

Scene: The palatial Potomac mansion of Redskins
owner Daniel Snyder.

The wee small hours of Sunday night. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder sits alone in his private office after his Redskins have just crushed the St. Louis Rams, 9-7. He has just finished watching the Giants win the inaugural game at the new $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium. As he looks out the french doors, he see the black Potomac River slinking down to the Chesapeake Bay. His view is unimpeded by any of those pesky trees that used to be there.

He is still visibly upset by the fans booing the Redskins after a win. He is even more upset that Jerry Jones has a newer, bigger, and far nicer stadium than his. And that the ungrateful fans are selling carloads of tickets on the secondary market.

He hears the faint sound of distant thunder.

Snyder: Funny, I don't recall any rain in the weather forecast.

Suddenly, there is a brilliant flash of lightning and an ear-shattering crash of thunder. The lights flicker briefly before the 100 gigawatt generator kicks in. Three men are in the room. One is a long, lean Texan drinking a cup of coffee.

The second is a large Italian looking man with a glass of red wine.

The third man looks familiar to Snyder. He is dapper, rather elderly man. He is sitting in Snyder's favorite chair. He is holding a martini glass in his right hand, and has an unbelievably beautiful young woman sitting in his lap. The young woman has a full glass of champagne in one hand.

Snyder: Who are you? What are you? What are you doing here?

Jack Kent Cooke: Why Daniel, how quickly you forgot our last meeting. I'm disappointed. Allow me to introduce my friends. The gentleman drinking coffee is Sammy Baugh, of course. (Baugh nods). The gentleman to my left is Vince Lombardi. (Lombardi also nods).

Snyder. That's nice, but does this have to do with me?

Cooke: Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. I'm so disappointed in you. We're the Immortals. We're the men who made the Washington Redskins great.

Lombardi: We're not all here yet, Jack. George Preston Marshall is having his wife re-write Hail to the Redskins. I think they're trying to find a word to rhyme with "mediocrity". And Edward Bennett Williams is looking for ways to keep the Supreme Court from ruling on the Redskins copyright.

But the reason we're here is because we are not happy with the state of the Redskins. Life in Valhalla is not much fun when we have to take abuse from the other Immortals. It's no fun getting a free cruise on the S.S. Raft of Grief from George Halas and Tom Landry. When Immortals get angry at you mortals, well, you can imagine the consequences. If you want a seat at the table with us, then you have to be willing to pay the price.

A fourth man enters the room. He has a dish of ice cream in one hand, and is licking the thumb of his free hand.

Lombardi: George, you're late! Dammit, George, if you were working for me, if you're not ten minutes early you'd be five minutes late!

Allen: Sorry, Vince. Man, this is great ice cream. Thanks, Danny.

Cooke: So there you have it. The greatest player, the greatest dead coach, and greatest might-have-been in the history of the Redskins.

Baugh: Greatest owner, too, Jack.

Cooke smiles, modestly.

Allen: See, Danny, the fans can overlook the miserable parking, that idiot Mark Kessler on the P.A., the horrible rap music with the volume on 12 and the so-called "jumbotron". It's the losing, Danny. It doesn't hurt enough.

Snyder: That's where you're wrong, George. It hurts me a lot to lose.

Allen: Does it feel like part of you dies inside? Not your lungs or kidneys, but something like your spleen or appendix? If it doesn't feel like that, then it doesn't hurt enough. Does it feel like someone just cut out your spleen with a spoon and a Swiss Army knife?

Snyder: Well, no, come to think of it.

Lombardi: You're not making the real effort to win. You keep Vinnie on the payroll and he's either not capable or not being allowed to make football decisions the way a GM should. Build the team from within like the Steelers or the Patriots. George and I were our own GMs, but Jack had the sense to hire guys like Bobby Beathard. This isn't fantasy football, it's the NFL. With a career record of 79-88, it's pretty obvious your methods aren't working.

Snyder: Vinnie's my guy. He can see me anytime. We work great together.

Lombardi: Quid violentius aure tyranni.

Snyder: What?!?

Lombardi: "It is dangerous to have the ear of tyrants". It's from Juvenal. (pause). Jesuit education.

There is another lightning flash and crash of thunder. The lights go out again. When they come on again, Snyder is waking up.

Snyder: Whoa, man. Gotta lay off that Redskins chile. That was a heckuva nightmare.

He see the empty glasses and ice cream dish and is startled.

Snyder: I wonder how those got there. Kids must have left them.

To be continued..........

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coming soon, more news from Redskins Park!

Be on the lookout. Coming soon to this blog.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kodachrome to be discontinued

Yesterday Eastman Kodak announced that production of Kodachrome slide film will be discontinued after 74 plus years.

I can't say that I'll miss it.  I shot a couple of rolls of Kodachrome 200 in 2001.  The results were nice, but no better than I got from Fuji Sensia 100 or Kodak Elite Chrome.  In addition, finding processing for Kodachrome was always a pain and environmentally horrible.  More modern and environmentally friendly films rendered it obsolete years ago.

B&H is now charging $12 a roll for Kodachrome.  $5 for Sensia or EC.  The $7 delta covers the cost or processing and scanning at Penn Camera.  You do the math.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Selig Actions Stun Sports World!

Commissioner takes unprecedented actions against the Washington Nationals

New York (AP)

Major League Commissioner Bud Selig today took actions unprecedented in major North American professional sports by "invalidating" victories by the Washington Nationals over the New York Yankees on June 17th and 18th.

In a prepared statement, the Commissioner's Office noted that the Yankees were without the services of long-time star shortstop Derek Jeter, and additionally, had to endure a five hour, 37 minute rain delay.  "The fact that the Yankees had to play without Mr. Jeter, the most clutch player in the history of clutch, casts doubt on the validity of the Washington victories.  We all know that my actions, and those of Jeffrey Loria and Jim Bowden, have reduced the Nationals to a joke franchise.  Therefore, there is no way that the Nationals could have won the two games without some type of aid.  In this case, the absence of Mr. Jeter's intangibles were critical, and I have awarded the Yankees four intangible runs for each game. "

Invoking his Commissioner's powers to act in the "best interests of the game", Selig also stated that his decision was not subject to appeal.

Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten and Acting General Manager Mike Rizzo were stunned by the announcement.  In a brief news conference, Kasten stated "I have never heard of intangible runs in my life.  I mean, I respect Derek Jeter and all, but we did score more runs than the Yankees in those two games, and had to sit through the same rain delays.  Besides, we've been missing Jesus Flores for a month, and we need him as much as the Yankees need Jeter."  

Washington Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen was reported to be near tears after receiving official confirmation that his first major league victory would come off the books. "I can't believe it", he said "I won that game fair and square.  They couldn't touch me, I mean Texiera, A-Rod, Damon, none of them.  How can they do this to me?  I had a case for the game ball and everything.  It was going to be on my mantel for the rest of my life.  Now I have to do it all over again, get that first win."  When asked what he planned on doing with the ball, he smiled briefly and said "Stick it Selig's ear, I guess".

In a related development, New York's Congressional delegation has introduced bi-partisan legislation to retire the number 2 from the English language.  According to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), "Children will now count one, jeter, three, four, and so forth.  However, in order to not place undue Governmental burdens on the public, the words "to" and "too" will be allowed to remain in everyday use."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Three movies don't always add up to a trilogy

When is trilogy not really a trilogy?  

We're all accustomed to trilogies.  We like trilogies.  The Godfather.  Star Wars (one of them, that is).  Indiana Jones.  The list can could go on and on, I suppose, but trilogies usually have a strong series of connecting elements:  Same lead actors, connected story lines, a reasonably coherent beginning, middle and end.  It helps, as in the case of The Godfather, that the source material is so dense that Mario Puzo's novel could have been the basis for a a three movie deal, without bringing the story forward to contemporary times.

So why is John Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy" called a trilogy?  Beats me.  

The two common elements in the trio (Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950)) are the presence of John Wayne and the "Ford Stock Company".  All are based on James Warner Bellah short stories and have a common technical advisor.  All three were shot in Monument Valley.  That's really about it.  

So, let's examine the trio in a little more detail.

In Fort Apache, Wayne doesn't get top billing on the screen - that goes to Henry Fonda, cunningly cast against type by Ford as a hard-driving martinet.  Shirley Temple plays Fonda's teen-age daughter. John Agar is cast as the freshly minted graduate of West Point, whose father, played by Ward Bond, is also the (un-named) Regiment's Sergeant Major.  That's part of a major plot point as Fonda, is, in addition to being a raving martinet is also an anti-Irish bigot.  That's no small sin to professional Irishman Ford.  Fonda, of course in fine military tradition, manages to both irritate the daylights out his men, and enrage the local Indians.

After Fonda gets most of his regiment killed off in a needless fight against the Apaches, Wayne takes over the Regiment.  Of course, Agar marries Temple, just like real life.  And everybody remembers Fonda character fondly, probably because he's dead.

Best line:  Fonda to Victor McLaglen at Ye Olde Crooked Indian Agent Trading Poste:  "Sergeant, pour me some Scripture".

In the second installment, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Fonda stays dead, Wayne's name has changed from Captain Kirby York to Captain Nathan Brittles.  Temple is gone but Agar stays on and the lovely (and infinitely more talented) Joanne Dru, the pride of Logan, West Virginia takes over for Temple.  Dru had worked with Wayne in Red River, and they obviously enjoy working together.   Dru's brother, incidentally, was Peter Marshall of "Hollywood Squares."

A very young Ben Johnson makes his acting debut as Sergeant Tyree in this one, having been a stunt man in Fort Apache and signed to an acting contract by Ford for his work.  Harry Carey Jr, a long term member of the stock company has a featured role as Agar's rival for Dru's affections.  

As a movie, it's pretty close to vintage Ford.  The plot line centers around the usual elements, crooked Indian agents selling guns to the Indians, with some patented Fordian romantic touches like the former Confederate general (!) serving as a buck private in the Yankee Army.  Ford's touch with the wide angle lens never shows to better effect than a scene where the cavalry are walking the horses as a thunderstorm brews up.  Wayne is surprisingly effective playing a much older man.  I believe he nominated for an Oscar for this one.

A bit top-heavy climax wise, but still a good one.  Best line:  Wayne to Victor McLaglen: "The sun and the moon may change, but the Army knows no seasons."

 The last of the trio, Rio Grande, is probably the weakest.  Wayne is back to being Kirby Yorke, now a Lieutenant Colonel.  The filming is back to black and white.  Agar and Dru are gone, Johnson and Carey stay.  Maureen O'Hara is the Duke's main squeeze, and of course, the usual Indian problems drive the plot.  Claude Jarman, Jr.,  who made it big as a child star in The Yearling makes his adult debut as the Duke and Maureen's son.  Of course, Virginia belle O'Hara is a wee bit irked at the Duke for burning the family manse during "the late unpleasantness".  She forgives him anyway.  Nice going, Mo.  

Still, not a bad outing.  Ford made this one to free up the time and money for The Quiet Man, also starring Wayne and O'Hara.  But he didn't skimp on Rio Grande with a large budget, location shooting and a big name cast.

Best line:  There isn't one.

I'll be back with more on Westerns later.  

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Williamsburg and the Bermuda Triangle

I apologize for taking so long to post these, but it just seem that time got away a little bit.  I may publish some more in the future. 

It was a great cruise, very relaxing, and Bermuda is highly recommended (especially the "Dark and Stormy").

Seven days in May
First day, Colonial Willamsburg

The silversmith shop, always a favorite.

The Colonial Capital:

Sunglasses and colonial hats.  Welcome to America!

Gardens, Governor's Mansion.

Shoe lasts.

U.S.S. Wisconsin from the Grandeur of the Seas

Three carriers.  Closest, CVN-77, George H. W. Bush, center, CVN-75, Harry S. Truman, furthest, CVN-71, Theodore Roosevelt

A good sign, don't you think?

Bermuda, old causeway (left) and Dockyard area.

Grandeur of the Seas from the Commissioner's House, Royal Dockyard.
Galapagos land tortoise, Bermuda

Demonstration firing of a 24-pounder carronade, Fort St. Catherine, Bermuda.

The main building, Royal Dockyard, Bermuda.  The clock tower on the left was called "the four-faced liar" by the workers, as all four clock faces showed a slightly different time.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Back to the past (Thanks, Netflix)

Great movies scenes part 1 (Musical numbers not from traditional musicals)

This week the random movie selection was The Girl Can't Help It.  Perhaps a better title would have been Little Richard, Fats Domino, Eddie Cochran, Jayne Mansfield and Julie London Couldn't Help This Turkey.  As a movie, it's pretty laughable even though it was filmed in Cinemascope and had old pros Edmond O'Brien and Tom Ewell.  In addition, Little Richard, Fats, etc., perform for the first time in a big screen, big budget movie.

So why am I bringing this up?  Part of the backstory is that washed up talent agent Ewell was at one time the agent for Julie London (played by, you guessed it, Julie London).  About a third of the way through the movie she sings Cry Me A River (  It's quite a tour de force. When I figure out how to embed videos, I update the post.  Anyway, the cover to the left might give you some idea of Ms London's considerable charms.  I think every boy in my age group was in love with her.

I saw this movie for the first time in my life this week, so my earliest recollection of seeing and hearing Ms London was in her role as pitch-woman for Marlboro cigarettes, before they went all cowboy.  Still remember the lyrics, too:

You get a lot to like with a Marlboro
Filter, flavor, flip top box

Sung with that slightly husky but charming voice, wearing an evening gown (and of course, smoking the sponsor's product), those commercials probably could have convinced Ralph Nader to take a few puffs.

Interestingly enough, although today she is remembered primarily as a singer (and for super model good looks), Julie started out as a straight dramatic actress.  It was her second husband, actor-songwriter Bobby Troup (composer of Route 66, among others) who started her singing career.  Somewhat underrated as a singer, she used to joke that the producers spent more time and money on the album art work than on the arrangements. 

Jule and Troup later teamed on the TV series Emergency!, which was produced by Julie's first husband, Jack Webb. (Guess he didn't carry any grudges.  More on Webb in a minute). For a later (and totally different) interpretation of Cry Me A River, look on this album.  

One of the pleasures of watching old moves is seeing future stars, or ones just breaking out, when they were young.  Years after Webb had become a big star (and very rich) from Dragnet, I saw him in The Halls of Montezuma (1950), a pretty good World War II actioner, with a slew of future big names including Richard Widmark, Karl Malden, Jack Palance, and Robert Wagner.

That's Webb on the right, with Richard Widmark.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could give you the Icy Blue-eyed Glare of Pure Death (patent pending) like Widmark.  If the Navy could have sent Widmark to the South Pacific during the war, he might have glared the Japanese to death.  For good example, take a look at Widmark staring down Duke Wayne in The Alamo (1960). 

The last movie is related to the first, and to the theme of great musical numbers not in traditional musicals.  By traditional musicals, I mean the classic, song and dance movies like Oklahoma!, or My Fair Lady, or (blech) The Sound of Music.  After all, just because there's lots of music in the movie, it doesn't make a musical.  If that were the case American Graffiti would qualify, to name just one example.  So, the other nominee for the award is The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) starring Jeff and Beau Bridges as piano-punching brothers.  Looking for a new singer, they luck into the young Michelle Pfieffer.  The closing credits feature a grand piano and a red dress sprayed onto Ms Pfieffer while she croons an old standard, Makin Whoopee. Here's an idea:

I rest my case.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Meanwhile, back at Redskins Park.....

Inside the Redskins War Room:

(Tuesday Morning Conference.  Present are Redskins Supreme Maximum Leader Daniel M. Snyder, VP Vinnie Cerrato, Head Coach Jim Zorn and Tailback Clinton Portis)

Snyder:  Vinnie, what the hell is going on around here?  That damn Leonsis and the Capitals are driving me crazy!  Everybody in town is wearing Ovechkin jerseys.  I don't like this.  You were at the Verizon Center last night, what's the deal here?

Cerrato:  Well, your supremacy......

(Suddenly, there is a stupendous bolt of lightning and crash of thunder outside Redskins Park.  As the door to the war room swings open, the lights go out and the temperature drops 30 degrees.  When the lights come back on an elderly, well dressed man is sitting at the table.  An incredibly beautiful young woman is sitting on his lap)

Snyder:  Who the hell are you?  How did you get in here and what do you want?

Elderly Man:  I'm Jack Kent Cooke.  I want my team back.

Snyder:  Jesus H. Christ!

Cooke:  No, just call me Mr. Cooke, Daniel.

Snyder:  You can't be here.  You're dead!

Cooke:  That's not important, Daniel.  Alive or dead, makes no difference.  I did a better job of running this club after my third martini.  You've made a total hash of things.

Snyder, somewhat peevishly:  That's not true.  I have the biggest stadium.  We still have the best fans, the best Tailgate Club and the best Touchdown Club.  We have  200,000 names on the waiting list.......

Cooke, impatiently:  Don't try to kid a kidder, Daniel.  When I was alive, the Redskins were the best franchise in the league.  It was champagne and caviar, not milkshakes and, and, and (pauses) chili dogs!  Johnny Rockets!  Good God, man, even Marion Berry provided better concessions.

Besides, my teams won three Super Bowls.  You've had one home playoff game this decade!  The bloody Capitals have had more home playoff games this week!  And you wonder why I came back.

(Nibbles on ear of the stunning young woman)  Would you care for some champagne, my dear?  (She nods)  Good.  Vincent, my boy, some champagne for me and my friend.  The Mumm's Extra Dry will do nicely.  I'm sure there's a bottle left over from the last Super Bowl.  (Archly)  It's well aged by now, of course.

(Cerrato leaves to find the champagne.)

Snyder:  Look, Mr. Cooke, or whoever you are, we're still the big deal in this town.  No bunch of hockey players are going to push the Redskins around.

Cooke:  Don't be to sure of that, Daniel.  Every kid in town wants to be Alex Ovechkin.  You can't even decide on a quarterback!

Snyder:  For God's sake!  Ovechkin's a Russian!  

Cooke:  Yes.  Semin's a Russian.  Varlamov (now there's an exciting player), he's Russian.  Federov's a Russian, Backstrom's a Russian.  

Gorgeous Young Woman:  Backstrom's a Swede, sweetums.

Cooke:  Sure, sure.  Whatever.  But my point is, they win, and they're exciting.  Your Redskins are just a bunch of dull plodders who finish 8-8 every year.

Snyder:  They're just a bunch of Russians and Canadians.  They have socialized medicine for Pete's sake.  It won't last.  We'll always be on top!

Cooke:  As usual, you're missing the point, Daniel my boy. The Capitals are home grown, exciting and they win!  

Clinton Portis:  Hey, wait minute there, ODG!

Cooke, puzzled:  ODG?

Portis:  Old Dead Guy!  I'm colorful!

Cooke:  So was John Riggins.  But he won Super Bowls and is in the Hall of Fame.  What have you won?

Snyder:  Hey now!  No reason to be insulting.  Me and CP are BFFs.

Cooke:  Speak English, man, will you.  It's CP and I are .....what?

Snyder:  BFFs, ODG.  Best Friends Forever. You know, BFF.

Cooke:  Listen, Daniel.  You're not the only self-made billionaire in the room.  I started by selling encyclopedias door to door in Canadian winters in the middle of the Depression.  But I made billions in cable TV and real estate.  Not marketing or whatever it was you did.  I've operated teams in every major sport!  I didn't just win with the Redskins, either.  I built the Kings from nothing, won the NBA with Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.  And of course, the Redskins!  And I didn't know dick about any of those sports!

I found guys that did like Fred Schaus and Bobby Beathard, let them work and held them accountable.   On the other hand, you, young man,  are a dilettante.

Snyder:  My team is worth a billion, old man.  Plus I own Johnny Rockets and Six Flags, I'm BFF with Tom Cruise......

Stunning young woman:  Jack, I'm bored.  This is going nowhere.

Cooke:  You're right, my dear (glances at watch).  Look at the time.  We'll be leaving now.  Time to head for the ballpark.  The Nationals have a businessman's special today.  And after all, I'm a businessman.
(Lightning bolt and thunder crash.  Lights go out again.  When they come on, Cooke and young woman are gone)

Snyder (to Cerrato):  This wouldn't happened if you had gotten me  Sanchez!  (Pauses)  Maybe I can give that damn Leonsis swine flu for the weekend.

(To be continued.......)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Party like it's 1917!

Happy (belated) Birthday, Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Steinbrenner Cup goes to.....

The Steinbrenner Cup, (pictured at left) is named in honor of New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner, and is awarded annually to that club, in North American professional sports, which creates the biggest off season headlines in the area of personnel acquisition but effectively does nothing to improve the team.

The most recent winners are:

2000 - Washington Redskins
2001 - Washington Redskins
2002 - Washington Redskins
2003 - Washington Redskins
2004 - Washington Redskins
2005 - Washington Redskins
2006 - Washington Redskins
2007 - Washington Redskins
2008 - Washington Redskins
2009 - Washington Redskins

Friday, May 1, 2009

Walking the ballpark

Things got a little grim at the old yard last night.
(The Nationals bullpen, pictured above)

Things were OK for a while, certainly.  Daniel Cabrera (yes, the Daniel Cabrera) left after six with a 4-3 lead.

 Then the bullpen took over.  

Manny used five (5!) relievers for 2 innings:  Hinckley 1/3, Kensing 2/3 (blown save, welcome to the club, Logan), Wells 1, newly annointed closer Julian Taverez 1/3 (5 runs), Gas Can Hanrahan 2/3 (two inherited runners scored.)

Totals for the game:  11 walks, 1 balk, 1 hbp, 3 unearned runs.  Great game, guys.

Atsa some bullpen you bequeathed us, Jimbo.  Have fun in LA.

Your career is pictured below:

Well, at least my nephew Eric had a good time at the game.  Happy birthday, Eric!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Enough sports! Let's get serious!

Courtesy of the Wonkette:

Richmond, The Capital Of The Confederacy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

But these are just Devil Goats, or what Virginia calls

 “the new slave.”

No, I don't know what it means, either.

Barkevious Mingo is Name of the Year!

A signal victory, indeed.  
(Thanks to LSUfreek.)  
Loser Iris Macadangadang (Michigan Alum) is also pictured.  

Epic Fail

Say no more:
Raul Ibanez goes yard against Nationals "closer" Joel (Gas Can) Hanrahan, 4/27/09.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lineup Idiocy

Lineup Changes and Strasburg
|  | Comments (0)

I still don't think we are getting enough speed at the top of the lineup to set the table and cause more havoc for opposing pitchers. Anderson Hernandez good choice to lead off. But lets go with Alberto Gonzalez to bat 2nd. I need to see more movement from those top 2. Ryan Zimmerman logical at 3, always a good spot for him. Adam Dunn power at 4. Elijah Dukes at 5. Nick Johnson at 6. Austin Kearns/Josh Willingham at 7. Jesus Flores at 8 then the pitchers spot. 

I don't know, Byron.  How about getting some guys on base at the top of the lineup?  Most sabrmertrics show that the most important batting order spots are 1st, 2nd and 4th.  So, of course it's perfectly logical to have the two worst hitters bat first and second.  Nothing like having the bases empty for Zimmerman and Dunn.  Because the only movement these two clowns will make is the right hand turn into the National's dugout.

Try this one for size:

Guzman 6

N. Johnson 3

Dukes 8

Dunn 7

Zimmerman 5

Kearns 9

Flores 2

Random second baseman


Thursday, April 23, 2009

That noise you hear on Saturday will be my head exploding.....

Inside the Redskins front office:

(Danny Snyder enters the Redskins war room)

Redskins staff (rises as one):  All hail Emperor Sixtus Flaggus, King of Johnny Rockets, Prince of Hollywood, Duke of Red.......

Snyder:  Hold, peasants. Where is my henchperson? 

Redskins VP Vinnie Cerrato:  Here, Sire.  May I hold your horse?  What about a game of racquetball? 

Snyder:  (Smacks Cerrato with a used Deon Sanders do-rag).

  Shut up, will you.  I've got problems.  Six Flags stock is so low it's selling for Confederate money.  Valkyrie was a flop.  I have to have something to take my mind off my problems!  And sell more jerseys!  And overpriced "Tailgate Club" tickets!  And Touchdown Club tickets!  And "Draft Day Hats"!  

Cerrato:  Well, Your Majesty, we could use this year's first round pick to address either the problems of an aging, injury-prone offensive line or get a stud pass-rusher to take the load off Haynesworth and Carter.  We've traded away the second and fourth round choices for guys who aren't with the club anymore, so we'll have to use the late rounds to try and find some sleeper picks who may have been overlooked.

Snyder:  What about Mark Sanchez?  

Cerrato:  Um....My Fuhrer, he's a quarterback.  He probably won't be available when we draft at 13.

Snyder, eyes gleaming:  A franchise quarterback?  We haven't had one of those since I fueled up Redskins One with Johnnie Walker Blue and signed Jeff George.  Tell me more.

Cerrato, wearily:  Well, your magnificence, he won't fall to us at 13.  Seattle has the fourth pick and they are looking down the road for a replacement for Hasselbeck.  Our best bet is probably a new right tackle to replace the rotting corpse of Jon Jansen.

Snyder:  I don't care about right tackles.  What the hell is a right tackle, anyway? How many right tackle jerseys can I sell, fool? I need a quarterback, a franchise quarterback.  Those bastards in Chicago beat me to Jay Cutler!  I offered two firsts, and Jason Campbell and they turned it down!  Damn, I can't believe that anyone could out-bid me!

What will Sanchez cost me?  

Cerrato:  This year's first, next year's first and probably something more.  

Snyder:  That it?  That's all?  

Cerrato:  And, we'll have to do something about Jason Campbell.

Snyder:  Who?

Cerrato:  This year's starting quarterback, your stupendousness.

Snyder:  Oh.  Him.  But he's not a franchise quarterback, idiot.   Get me Sanchez!

Cerrato:  Sire?  Are you sure?

Snyder:  Sanchez!  Sanchez!!  Sanchez!!! Sanchez!!!!  Get me Sanchez, dammit!!!!! I need to sell more jerseys!  More "Touchdown Club"  memberships!

Staff Scout Rosencrantz (aside to scout Guildenstern): What's a touchdown?  Did we have any of those last year?  

Guildenstern:  Is that where the ball goes into the stands and we run around all the bases?

Snyder:  By the way, Vinnie, I heard there was another big signing in town, and he didn't sign with us.  What the hell is going on around here?

Cerrato:  Sire?

Guildenstern (stage whisper):  I think he means Ryan Zimmerman, Vinnie.

Cerrato:  Do you mean Ryan Zimmerman, your eminence?  He doesn't play football.

Snyder:  Are your sure?

Cerrato:  He went to UVA.

Snyder:  Well sign him anyway.  And Adam Dunn.  And Alexander Ovechkin.  All of them!!!!

Cerrato, genuflecting:  Yes, your grace.

Snyder, exiting:  Sanchez!  Jerseys!!  Draft Day Hats!!!   Ryan Zimmerman!!!!  This will be the greatest day of my life! Ohboyohboyohboy!!

Touchdown Club!  Redskins chili!

I'm a marketing genius!


(With apologies to W. Shakespeare.)