it's 2 am on a friday night (saturday morning)  


and i can't sleep b/c i've scared myself by playing resident evil IV. is this as low as it gets?

An Arcade Fire by any other name....  


I've never seen a
band's name mislabeled as often as Arcade Fire's. For the record, it
is NOT The Arcade Fire. It's mislabeled everywhere, including on
Sirius Radio. That one hurt. Then again, I happened to go to
my inactive myspace page and saw that even I have it wrong in my
profile. But I'm going to go ahead and blame the other sources for
my own mistake.

Wii points and fan boys.  


How much
cooler would the wii be if it also gave you access to a vast catalog of
oldschool NES, SNES, and n64 games for free? There would be
little reason for Nintendo to not offer such things for free (or perhaps a
nominal cost) because there is no longer a market for these games.
However, Nintendo realizes that among their target market is a rogue group of
idiots called fan boys. They will buy anything that Nintendo has to
offer b/c it rulez! And being the cool kid on the block who can
play Ninja Gaiden on their wii is too tempting to pass up. So
they'll pay the 6 dollars (or whatever it is) to download a game that they
already have on the NES and on their computer emulator as well.
Just on that slim chance that they may want to spend a half hour playing it at
some point.

clearly doesn't respect this group of idiots, but why should they?
fanboys clearly don't respect themselves. Now, they may argue that
it's only 20 bucks, or whatever the cost is. But you can extend the
economists theory of "no such thing as a free lunch" to "there's
no such thing as only 20 bucks". Because if you've earmarked
that 20 bucks as expendable, the next step is to realize that there is a choice
in HOW you spend it. And wasting it on a game that you already own,
and will never play, is embarrassing. And while it's YOUR choice,
it still bothers me because it's affecting the market. The Virtual
Arcade (is that what nintendo is calling it?) is clearly something that should
be (near) free. And it would be, if certain people could exhibit a little

Michael Kay is SHOCKED that playoff teams don't play that well in September.  


I only half-listen
to kay, so the details are going to be off, but he was apparently going through
a bunch of "stats" that he found perplexing. One of them was that in
the past x years, the world series winners actually had a worse record in
September than they did vs. the rest of the regular season. In other
words, these teams were not "hot" going into October.

Ignoring the bigger
and more complex argument about whether momentum exists, let's focus on Kay's
confusion. Not only am I not surprised that this fact is true,
but rather, I would have assumed it. It's very rare that a team has
to fight until the last day (or week, even) to make the playoffs. And what
do they do when they've qualified for the postseason? That's right,
they start resting their stars.

Perhaps silence is more polite  


I once read of a professional tennis player who was known for his politeness and etiquette. A true gentleman's gentleman. There was an anecdote about how when he played, it was custom for a player to intentionally hit a ball out of bounds if he felt he was the recipient of a bad call in his favor. Sort of evening things up, if you will. People were always confused as to why this player didn't adhere to such a standard. They thought it was out of character for him to not be polite.

Finally, one day he was asked about it. His response was that it was actually impolite to make such a gesture because it drew attention to the ref's bad call.

I bring this up because I'm starting to wonder if polite chit-chat is actually impolite. There's a secretary/receptionist that I'm forced to pass about 3 times a week. She's on a floor and in a location where she clearly has to "greet" people many many times a day.

Conventional wisdom would say that it's impolite to just walk by her without acknowledging her existence. However, I imagine it would be quite tedious to go through the "good morning. how are you. I'm fine, thanks for asking" routine 30 times a day. The poor woman has to always look up from whatever work she is doing to put on the big fake smile. This woman doesn't care how we are doing, and I doubt she wants to share how she is doing. She's already aware of the weather that's outside, or how quickly the holidays are coming up, or that it's Monday, or almost Friday. Leave her alone already!

note: I still say hello to her and do the boring chit chat, but that's only because I'm a horribly selfish and inconsiderate person.

Michael Kay, meet Bobby Abreu  


Last night... Kay: "Well, there are a lot of ways the Yankees could go. Jeter could try to steal 2nd, Abreu could swing away, or, Bobby's a #3 hitter, so he's probably not a good bunter, but he could try to bunt here."

In Kay's defense, Bobby Abreu is a rookie who he has never seen play b/c Kay doesn't normally do Yankee games, but you would think that there would be some type of pregame notes that Kay could look through to see if Abreu is a good bunter. Unfortunately, he must not have gotten the pregame notes that say that Abreu is NOT a good bunter.

I was reverse-mugged this week on the Lightrail  


Fact: I feel very uncomfortable accepting gifts of any kind. Deep down, i "know" the gifter resents me on some level for accepting the gifts.

Fact: I feel socially awkward all the time, but particularly around crowds of people I don't know.

There's always a moment before I choose to help someone where I wonder if it's going to lead to an awkward situation if I wouldn't just be better keeping my head down and ignoring the person. But for whatever reason it seems like I'm always volunteering my services. So it should be of no surprise that when I overheard someone on the lightrail this week asking directions about NYC, I reluctantly went over to contribute my insignificant sliver of knowledge.

As I took my headphones out of my ear, the woman who had shaken her head no to the questioner piped up "see, there's someone going to the city." Then simultaneously [wow, i spelled that word correctly on the first shot!] as I was asking "where do you need to go?" the questioner started handing me her Metro Card.

-- Here you go

-- Huh? I thought you were asking for directions

-- Oh no, i was offering her this metro card because I don't need it anymore.

--- oh, ok.

--- but here, you take it, she says she doesn't need it. There's about 10 or so dollars on it.

--- Uh, sure [mine had run out, so this was actually going to save me some trouble as I had to meet up w/ friends later in the week up on the east side. so i started fumbling through my wallet to get a 10. mind you, i don't carry a bag anymore so i was holding my eye glass container, cell phone and headphones all in my hands]

--- No, just take it, I don't want money for it. I don't need it anymore.

--- No I can't accept that for free, here just take the money.

--- No, take it.

--- Please, take the money.

[she puts the card in my hand. Now everyone is looking. Of course, I have to assume that everyone is staring at me thinking i'm the selfish person who ran up to her when i heard she was giving away a free card].

I thank her, but now I feel so uncomfortably awkward. We still have three more stops and I don't know how many times I'm supposed to thank her. At some point, we have to go back to standing next to each other and not talk. I'm sweating from the awkwardness.

I'm never talking to anyone ever again.

The 2007 fantasy baseball rant.  


Even though this apparently had absolutely no affect on anyone's decision, I still think it was convincing. Where did I go wrong?

  1. I don’t think Clark and Team C have a secret
    agreement to make Clark’s team better.
  2. Nor do I think Clark acted
    with malice or thinks that he was doing anything wrong with his trades.


  1. I think Team C is very inexperienced at fantasy
    baseball, and thus more vulnerable to manipulation.
  2. I think Team C has shown great apathy towards the
    league throughout the season, evidenced by their lack of waiver wire
    pickups (despite having the worst lineup in the league AND having waiver
    wire priority throughout the entire season), ignoring trade offers,
    failing to fix their rosters numerous weeks, and generally “going dead”
    for weeks at a time.
  3. I think Clark has an unfair
    advantage being Team C’s mentor.
    This goes above and beyond the general advantage that the inner
    circle of Prudential employees has as compared to the outsiders of the
  4. Past evidence has shown that Clark
    acts with a “win at all costs” mentality.
  5. Clark is aware of Team C’s
    poor fantasy skills, and used it to his advantage to the detriment of the
    intregrity of the league.

For those of you voting against
collusion because you have the limited definition of “secret agreement between
two teams” (which again, I don’t think Clark and C had), here are some examples
of trades that wouldn’t fall under that definition, but should still be

Mets and Yankees are neck and neck for first
place. The Redsox, who are stuck in the
middle of the pack, offer the Yankees a ridiculous package because they dislike
the Mets. The Yankees accept the trade
offer, without any secret agreement.

B) Mets and Yankees are neck and neck for first
place. The Mets have stolen bases
completely locked up and are guaranteed a 10.
Yankees have a 9, while the last place team has a 8. Mets, in the last week of the season, waive
Reyes, knowing that the last place team will pick him up, and pass the Yankees
in SBs, thereby giving the Mets the championship.

C) Redsox can’t stand the rest of the gms,
decides to quit the league, and waives all their players in the first week of
the season. All of the bottom teams get
3 very good players each.

all seem obvious. Now here are two more
that are inching closer to what we have here.

I invite my younger cousin to join the league even though I know he is really shy
and won’t talk trades with people he doesn’t know. Furthermore, I know he’s a big Yankee fan AND
I know that given enough time and opportunity, I could talk him into any trade
and convince him it’s in my best interest.
I then go ahead and make three trades with him, all of which grossly
favor me. He thinks he’s helping his team, but he’s not (by the vast majority’s

The Yankees haven’t paid attention to their team all season, and seem content
with wallowing in last place. It’s only
after the Mets, who have direct access to the Yankees, tell them “hey, you
could help your team if you do this”, that the Yankees decided to act, in that
specific act, and only for that narrow window of time. Yankees then go back to not caring about
their team. So, for that small 1 hour
window, they’ve acted in their best interests (in their opinion), but their
inaction during the rest of the season is clearly not in their best interests.

We have three trades in one season
and all are very lopsided. The team
losing all three times is inexperienced and apathetic towards the league. The team winning in all three trades has a
history of being overly aggressive in his tactics to improve his team,
particularly with inexperienced/weaker GMs and/or GM’s that are not in the
inner circle of friends/coworkers.

Here are some anecdotal examples of
things that I have experienced while being in the league. I believe 2004 was my first season in this
league. I definitely felt that Clark (and
others, to a lesser degree) attempted to take advantage of me in my first
season (I guess thinking I didn’t know what I was doing). I tried to be as diplomatic as possible when
I received offers, but they were always extremely lopsided. On the day of my last Law
final, I was drunk at a bbq
when I received a phone call from Clark. I told him that I was in no condition to
discuss trades [Tommy, if you are in fact reading this, drinking is wrong. It’s no fun and only leads to problems], but
that did not end the conversation. He
continued to toss names around until I had to more forcefully tell him that I
had to go. It’s possible that I
remember that conversation more harshly than how it actually went down, but it
definitely gave me an uneasy feeling that this league didn’t attempt to make
“win-win” trades.

In 2005 we had agreed upon a trade
with Perlman for Jeter (pending his partner’s approval, which Perlman felt very
confident in obtaining). I believe this
was on a weekend. The next day,
expecting to see confirmation of the trade on the website, I instead see that
Perlman was trading Jeter to Clark. Perlman would later claim a combination of
his partner not liking Harden (even though they had attempted to trade for
Harden the entire season) and that Clark just happened
to come up with a better offer. Time and
time again, people outside of the inner circle get frozen out of trade
talks. It goes beyond the “well, it’s
convenient to discuss trades with someone who works down the hall from
me”. I think it may border on the
example way above about how one team roots for another to win. Every single season there has been at least
one or two instances where I will receive a couple of trade offers from
multiple GMs all for the same guy in the span of a day. It’s as though there is a group discussion
that takes places where they decide, “hey, that Dunn guy is pretty good, and I
bet dennis doesn’t value him as much as he should.” Of course I would have to be paranoid to believe
it’s a blunt as that, but something is definitely going on. It probably happened 5 times in the first
three years (and has happened to other Gms as well).

2006 was when my opinion of Clark
as a ruthless GM was solidified. Before
the draft, I traded 4 different slots with Perlman in order to get the 3rd
pick of the draft. The goal was to
draft Johan Santana. Now, even though
he’s clearly one of “our guys”, I don’t think it was 100% obvious to the rest
of the league that that’s why we were trading up (I’ve looked back at preseason
2006 draft rankings, and Johan was around 7.
There was no clear #3). Of
course, as a professional curtsey to Perlman (in order to help him better
prepare for his first two rounds), I told him who we’d be taking with the
pick. This is something I’ve always
tried to do with teams to my right because it’s nice to have an idea as to how
the first two rounds are going to go (In fact, I did just that for Mudville
this year, b/c they had the swing picks at 10/11).

When we get to the draft, Clark
immediately comes up to us and tells us we wasted our time trading up b/c he’s
taking Johan. (This week, I learned for
the first time that this was a “joke” according to Clark). Well, it was a cruel joke with no discernable
punch line if you ask me. He offers to
trade us our first two picks for his first two picks. My partner and I now spend the entire pre
draft time 1) trying to figure out if he’s bluffing, 2) reevaluating how the
first three rounds are going to go if we have to take Arod with the 3rd
pick, 3) feeling really shitty for wasting our other draft picks to trade up
and 4) general panic. The difference
between going with a pitcher and a hitter in the first round had such a trickle
down affect that our sheets and draftboard became completely chaotic. Since we already knew that Clark
had a reputation for inappropriate behavior, we decided to just assume he was
bluffing. He was of course. After I overheard him him bragging to
another GM during the lunch break about how he “almost was able to get us to
trade”, I knew that that would be my last season* [or so I thought]. Not only did another GM lie to us for the
sole purpose of trying to take advantage of us (for only one slot up in the 2nd
round!) but it seemed that other GMs had all discussed this beforehand. Again, the inner circle knew that Johan was
the guy we wanted, and this little ruge (or “joke” as clark
likes to defend it as) was a known tactic going into the draft. But, I will say this in Clark’s
defense...I don’t believe he thinks this type of behavior is wrong. Just like I believe him when he says that he
doesn’t think his trades with Team C are inappropriate.

Wow, what happened to my goal of
writing everything in short bullet points?

Anyway, I’m just surprised that
there have been several comments about how “good of a gm” clark
is for constantly throwing numerous trades out there and how these three trades
with team C were just clark being a good GM. Yes, there’s going to be trades where it
seems like one team got the better end of the deal. But in this case, these trades are grossly
lopsided, involved a grossly incompetent team (who has some degree of
protégé/mentor relationship with the other team), and are shifting the
competitive balance of the league. This
is a team in dead last trading over and over again with a team at the top of
the standings (of course they are at the top in part b/c of the trades they
have made with team C).

Victor Martinez is robbed away from
team C under the guise of an upgrade at 3rd (even though I think team C drafted Zimmerman before
Beltre anyway {and the trade occurred very early in the season, when it’s
really hard to ignore pre-draft expectations based on a small sample space of
games). Then, team C trades away Corey
Patterson (who now has 20 sbs) and FAILS TO EVEN PLAY THE GUY THEY TRADED
FOR. Now, without Patterson, they need
speed, so they trade away one of their last remaining quality players for
Johnny Damon.

Here’s a rare example of when there
almost is a duty to shop around a player.
I think we can all agree that Jones is more valuable to the league than Damon, but that in
C’s specific case, it’s possible that Damon might be more valuable. In this rare case, I think the team owes a
general duty to the league to give everyone a chance to get in on the
firesale. A trade of equal talent (or
close to equal talent) is fine, but Jones is being handed over at 50 cents on
the dollar to a team near the top of the league. It’s unfair to a team like Mo who’s actually
in contention. He should at least be
given a chance to get in on the auction.
It’s in team c’s best interest to get as much for jones as they can, and
it keeps the league at an even playing field.
If Mo knew he was available, I’m sure he would have tried to make an
offer, as would any of us. But again,
how are we to know that when team C goes a month without making a move?

Look again at the players who have
been traded between C and G. If there
was collusion (as in a secret hand shake), would the players involved look much
different? These trades are all so
lopsided that it effectively is that secret handshake. You just have to look a little harder because
it occurred three different times.

Finally, I’d like to address and
apologize the issue of the name calling.
I was really wrong for using words like retarded, and even collusion,
because they were done out anger and were mean spirited. I apologize to anyone and everyone that I
offended. It was the culmination of four
years of what I perceive to be questionable behavior and tactics. After already being on edge from insane ours
at work, I come home to see that yet another (!) lopsided trade has occurred
between G and C, and then after someone questions it jokingly (I caught that it
was tongue in cheek), I see G (Clark) pull the traditional “new comers league
mantra” of “stop whining”. Every time
there has been a disagreement in this league, you get a contingent of about 3
people who rattle off the “stop whining” “be quiet” and “it’s just a game, stop
taking it so seriously”. Over and over
and over again. And to be honest,
there’s no name can be worse to call someone (in my opinion) than a whiner. It’s degrading. It’s saying that because you are in the
minority, your voice is of no consequence.
It’s a bullying tactic and it occurs over and over again in this
league. If anyone else archives their
emails like I do, go back and look at some past arguments, and see who starts
in with the name calling first. What I
said was wrong, but it was done out of pure exhaustion by what goes on, and
what’s allowed to go on, in this league.

In terms of the “fun” of the
league, there are three main reasons why I play fantasy baseball. In no particular order, I like competition
(especially intellectual), it forces me to pay more attention to baseball, a
sport I love, and it gives me an excuse to bullshit more with my friends (95%
with my partner, and 5% for some of the guys I’ve met in this league). These trades this season have really cut
away at all three of those things.
There’s no sense of competition or satisfaction when teams become
superpowers by exploiting other teams.
It doesn’t feel right that a team who barely tries and is really bad has
such a huge impact on the rest of the league.
If I was in second, I would feel robbed and if was the team who won that
way, I would feel unfulfilled. I stand
by my statement that if I was offered Howard for Loney, I would reject it. It’s not winning in and of itself that is
satisfying, it’s how you get there.
There can be no satisfaction this season.

The rules state that collusion is
cause for expulsion. Of course,
collusion is never defined. My vote is
that all three trades between G and C are undone (not that hard since they
mainly involve the same position), team C is frozen for the rest of the year
(we waive the 50 dollar penalty for the inevitable last place finish), and team
G is allowed to continue to keep playing (with their original players).