It's another Sunday afternoon and I'm wondering where the rest of the weekend went. I wish I could say it's been a productive and fulfilling weekend but it really hasn't. Then again, I didn't want much this weekend either. It was a long week again, but I did get a fair amount done. Still sorting and putting away stuff at home during the week as well. And getting used to living here. I don't wake up at night and have to remember where I am now but I'm still not sleeping really well here. Finally it appears I am coming down with a cold. I noticed it Friday that I was coughing a little bit. Saturday it got a little worse and today it's no better, maybe a bit worse. And it's deep within my chest so I fear it will be a while before I can shake it, especially with how warm the weather is now where I am constantly going from heat to AC and back.
What else has been happening? I have been watching the Yankees disintegrate with a certain amount of glee. What is it the Germans call it, Schadenfreud? I just looked it up and it's Schadenfreude so ding me one point for spelling. But it definitely applies. The Yanks have been handing out money on all of these long term contracts like candy corn at Halloween and it looks like it might be coming back to bite them a bit. Is it possible for even the Yankees to spend too much money on contracts and lock up stars into long term deals for too long? Jorge Posade is the least of their worries too as he is on the last year of his contract. They still have 4 years and 92 mill for Sabathia who has looked far from all world this year. Derek Jeter is owed 34 million and though he is much improved from his early season slump, is .267 the hitting you expect from a guy earning over 15 million? And let's call those gold gloves over the past 2 years what they really are, reputation gold gloves. Yes he is a fine fielder who doesn't make many errors but he also doesn't get to near the amount of balls now that a lot of other shortstops do.
Now lets talk about the biggest overhang of all. They are paying 32 million this year to a guy hitting a whopping .252 with 6 homers and 22 RBI's. Now those aren't horribly bad statistics (Posada is hitting all of .165) and there is a lot more baseball to come. He could turn this around and have another A Rod type season with 35 homers, 110 RBI's (maybe 1 or 2 in the clutch) and hit .300. But the man will be 36 in a couple of months and will earn an average of 25 million until he is ......42. I would not expect too many more big seasons from him unless he can channel his inner Barry Bonds as he ages. I mean Ted Williams flirted with .400 as a 38 year old and even hit .316 in his final year at 41 but A Fraud is no Ted Williams. And he's set to make about 174 million over the next 7 seasons.
The Yanks started the season pretty strong but lately have looked kinda OLD. They've lost 4 in a row, the last 2 in the Bronx against the hated Red Sox, and after finishing up against the Sox today they come down to Fla to play the Rays. Could be a bad stretch for them. The Sox have come back from a poor start to attain some degree of respectability and are only 1 game below .500 now. Nothing they'd like more than to get to .500 by sweeping the Yanks in NY. The Rays got off to an even worse start than the Sox, saw Evan Longoria hit the DL after 5 at bats and Manny Ramirez retire in semi disgrace after a 2nd positive drug test and managed to keep it together and go on a tear. The starting pitching has been excellent, the bullpen much better than expected and even though the hitting is one too great, it has improved significantly from earlier in the year. A few days ago they passed the Yankees to take over 1st in the AL East.
Matt Joyce has finally been given a chance to play every day and is leading the AL in hitting. Casey Kotchman was picked up to replace Carlos Pena's slick glove at first and has not disappointed there but has also shown much more at the plate than expected. Both of them grew up in the area, Kotchman just down the road from Tropicana Field and Joyce across the bay. And though his hitting has cooled significantly from the start of the year, Sam Fuld has done an admirable job replacing Carl Crawfords glove in left field and his feet on the base paths.
Outside of baseball, what else is happening? Why the Stanley Cup Playoffs of course. I want to thank Very Josie for attending the first game of the Bruins/Lightning playoff series last night. She didn't say she was going to the game but she must have because the Lightning put it to the Bruins 5-2 last night and Boston is a town where they almost never win. How could that happen? Only the curse of the Very Josie can explain it. Unlike last series, I don't expect a sweep by the Lightning this time. Both teams are very similar, with good goaltending and defenses. Of course the Lightning don't have Gigantor playing defense for them like Boston does but the Bruins don't have St Louis, Lecavalier, and Stamkos playing for them. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the series plays out. On the other side, I'm picking San Jose to take down Vancouver out West. I think San Jose got a huge monkey like an 800 lb gorilla off their back when they took down Detroit in 7. It was not so much that they didn't blow the series after a 3-0 lead but that they finally won a clutch 7th game in the playoffs after so many disappointments. It was really nice to see ex-Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle get some nice publicity from the media and I expect another tough series out there as well as here.
On the poker front, I didn't recap last Saturday's tourney. I didn't last too long but I felt really good about my play. I was determined to be much more aggressive this time and it paid off for me. After losing an early hand to a lady when I flopped top pair and turned a straight draw but she turned 2 pair after flopping middle pair. She refuses to leave a hand when ever she hits nearly anything until the river. She knocked me out once before when she kept luckboxing crap hands into two pair and trips against big pocket pairs. I have yet to see her hit the money though as she is as adept at giving it away as she is in making it.
I got her back later on when I raised in position with a crappy 6-5 off. Flop was ugly 8-3-2 and she called my continuation bet so I figured she had probably hit an ace. Now I know she knows I play tight so she is either putting me on a big pair or more likely AK, AQ. Turn is a 10. I make a 2/3 pot bet representing a pair but she calls again. Now I know I'm beat. The river is an ace and she checks again. I was gonna give up but said screw it, I know she is weak but that ace might scare her. So I bet another 2/3 the pot and she makes some comment about that ace making it for me and folds. Whew. I took another pot off her later on with a similar hand when all I made was a low pair. It felt good. I went out on a bit of a freaky hand.
I was on the button with 34 suited. We are only in the second blind level. There was one caller then the guy 2 seats to my right raised it up 4x. I didn't give him a whole lot of credit for a hand though he could have one. He hadn't played too much but I felt he was more than capable of stealing there even with the blinds fairly low. So I called. So does the first caller. Flop was beautiful. Q33. It's checked to the raiser who bets 1000 into a 1300 chip pot. I didn't want to appear too eager so I just called him. Then the first caller raises to 3500. The original raiser thinks for a moment and makes the call. Then it comes to me and I start to think. I didn't put the original raiser on QQ though I did think he might have KK or AA. More likely I put him on AQ instead. The last raiser I wasn't sure about. Again I doubted it was QQ and didn't think it was AA or KK though it was possible he slow played AA to that point. I really thought he had KQ or QJ or maybe JJ or 10-10 and he thought the flop missed us both. Turn is a 7 putting 2 spades on the board. The last raiser pushed all in and the original raiser folded. Time for me to think hard. Again I didn't put him on queens or 7s but it was a small possibility. I could not see him reraising the 7s like that after the flop and that was a little strong to have QQ for flopping nearly the absolute nuts with no real big hand possibilities out there. I really put him on a queen with maybe a flush draw or maybe Q7 for top 2 at that point. He had been in one other hand where he pushed hard on the turn and he had a good hand but not the best one. Unfortunately he showed almost the same hand I did when he turned over 6-3. That surprised me a little only because he called preflop with 6-3 off then called a substantial raise out of position. He lucked into trips like I did. When he sees my cards he says "chop-chop" as we both have trip 3s with a Q7 but the dealer then turns over the river and it's a 6. Good bye to me. I had to laugh, wished everyone good luck and went off to see how the PQ was doing.
PQ was surprised to see me so soon. I told her it was one of those things, 3 outer on the river. She was doing well, being more aggressive and taking some shots. The DJ from the radiostation was 2 seats to her right and I told him he better look out as she was gonna take him out. Turns out a bit later she did. She raised with KK and he called her with AJ. Flop was Jack high and he pushed hard so she put him all in and cleaned him out. So she was pretty happy though she ended up going out about 12th when her JJ lost to A10. And that was our Poker tourney. Haven't played in the week since then and am not sure when I will again. This no poker really sucks as I feel I'm getting rusty as hell. Well can't be avoided as I am too busy and broke to play live right now. Maybe in a few weeks when everything settles down. I can dream can't I?
So that's my life such as it is right now. Hope everyone else is doing well and for those who are still playing regularly, stay lucky you nuts. Go Rays and Bolts.