Archive for May, 2010
It’s been a strange season for baseball so far. Who could envision that Kelly Johnson would lead the NL in home runs or that Casey McGehee would be second in baseball in RBI? With so many new players leading the league statistically, it’s a good time to look at the top 5 offensive players surprises of fantasy baseball 2010:
5. Paul Konerko, 1B of the Chicago White Sox
2010 Stats: 21 R, 14 HR, 30 RBI 0 SB and a .262 BA
Konerko is leading all of baseball with 14 home runs and now has half of his 2009 total only 2 months into the 2010 season. I expect him to continue to hit home runs, but he will not hit 40 by the end of the season. Still, hitting 30 plus will make his fantasy owners pretty happy as he’s now 6 HRs better than Albert Pujols.
Konerko hits a home run against the LA Angels
4. Vernon Wells, CF of the Toronto Blue Jays
2010 Stats: 29 R, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, and a .301 BA
Wells hit only 15 home runs last year with 66 RBIs. He is only 5 shy of his 2009 total while hitting 40 points higher on his batting average. This is back to where he should be with his numbers, though his stolen bases are down as he stole 17 in 2009. I can see him keeping this up to 30+ HR and 100+ RBIs with double digit stolen bases. It might have just taken him this long to tweak his mechanics and recover from the injuries he’s had over the past few years.
Vernon Wells hits his first home run of the season
3. Kelly Johnson, 2B of the Arizona Diamondbacks
2010 Stats: 29 R, 12 HR, 25 RBI, 3 SB, and a .260 BA
Johnson also appears to be healthy once again and is benefiting from Chase Field being more of a hitters park than Turner Field in Atlanta. He’s currently hitting over his head as he is not a Chase Utley-type offensive second baseman, but remains a strong offensive player for his position. His power numbers will plateau over the course of the year, but the rest of his numbers should stay in line. He’s already surpassed his 2009 HR total and is hitting almost 40 points higher, just like Wells.
2. Casey McGehee 2B/3B of the Milwaukee Brewers
2010 Stats: 23 R, 9 HR, 37 RBI, 1 SB, and a .325 BA
The question often asked this off season was if McGehee would be able to replicate the numbers he flashed in his shortened 2009 season after he was called up. Most said no, but he is proving them wrong so far and I expect to see hit reach 25 HRs with 75 RBIs with a batting average well above .300.
Casey McGehee hits his first Grand Slam in 2009
1. Ty Wigginton 1B/2B/3B of the Baltimore Orioles
2010 Stats: 20 R, 12 HR, 27 RBI, 0 SB, and a .305 BA
Wigginton is playing mostly 2B with Brian Roberts on the 60 day DL. He has already hit one more HR than he did all of last year in a part time role and he should shatter his 2009 totals all around if he can stay in the line-up, but I don’t think he can keep up this HR pace and his average will eventually drop into the .270s. The biggest question is if Roberts returns in 2010, where do the O’s play Wigginton or will he have regressed into a back up role by then? I think they will have to find a place for him or trade either him or Luke Scott for them both to find playing time on this Oriole’s team.
*Legend: R = Runs, HR = Home Runs, RBI = Runs Batted In, SB = Stolen Bases, BA = Batting Average — All stats current as of May 21, 2010*
B-school is good. There’s free pizza everywhere. And I can’t even get that mad about summer classes. It’s like summer camp, except with reading. There are still some things that take some getting used to, however. The Professors try to cram the word “synergy” into every other sentence. Everyone curses Greece hourly. And in the time it took me to write this sentence, I got five emails for sublet apartments in Chelsea.
Here are six other lessons after one semester:
6. Law school kids are right. Business kids have more fun.
2. Its empowering.
I spent over a year cloistered in a dimly-lit office in Midtown Manhattan. Bernie Madoff bilked investors out of $50 billion two buildings down. Citibank threatened to topple the global financial system right across 3rd Avenue. And a few Subway stops downtown, Lloyd Blankenfeld and the Goldman Sachs crusaders carried out “God’s Work”, also known as: deceiving and plundering investors in the name of quarterly profits.
Compared to those Dark Ages, business school is a veritable Renaissance. You are pushed and prodded by the brightest minds the world over, there’s nice artwork, and the Italians are everywhere. Attending business school is back to the purest of endeavors. Your job is to learn for learning’s sake.
1. It’s worth it.
Yes, graduate school is expensive. Most of us will be saddled with a Mt. Everest of debt when we graduate. To cynics, its $168,000 for a shiny piece of paper. And it can be, if you are foolish enough to let it. A scruffy tour guide once told me you can achieve 2 of 3 things at school. You can i) meet a lot of interesting people, ii) learn a lot, or iii) gets lots of sleep. Why would you ever choose option iii? Business school is a serious investment. But it’s an investment of the best sort. In yourself.
P.S. Please send socks. Lots and lots of socks.
When you woke up one morning from uneasy dreams, you found yourself changed in your bed into LeBron James. You are America’s best and most beloved athlete. You are so famous the President says he’s you: “I’m LeBron, baby. I can play on this level. I got some game.” The press is literally calling this is the Summer Of You. You are 25 years old, and you are on the market. It’s good to be King. You report on the set for your first Hollywood movie in a couple weeks.
Then there’s Joe Mauer. It is impossible not to pull for Joe Mauer. He speaks like the guys from the “Fargo” movie, unwinds Sundays by mowing his lawn at his log cabin, and is only the greatest catcher since Johnny Bench. Joe Mauer spurned the Yankees and Red Sox to take a sizable hometown discount and stay with the Twins. It’s been hailed as a sign that small market teams can still keep their superstars. Joe Mauer single-handedly saved Minneapolis tourism for the next 8 years.
Imagine you are LeBron James. You have four choices. Pick one:
A) LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: LeBron going to the Clippers would be like Megan Fox marrying Donnie Wahlberg. Right house, definitely wrong brother.
B) CHICAGO BULLS: Even President Obama is pitching his city of Chicago. And LeBron has never played with a point guard like Derek Rose. But playing in Jordan’s House is not conducive to leaving Jordan’s shadow.
C) STAY IN CLEVELAND: Home is where the heart is. And the Cavs are still a championship caliber team. To GM Dan Ferry’s credit, he did everything right except for two big man trades that didn’t happen with Los Phoenix Suns. In 2009, Ferry couldn’t pry away Shaq to be the Kyptonite to the Dwight Howard Superman. In 2010, Ferry wouldn’t put up the extra rookie for Amare Stoudamire. Ferry opted for the Wizards’ Antwan Jamison who wilted versus Boston (scoring 9 and 5 points the last two playoff games).
D) NEW YORK: You will always be from Akron, but there is nothing like being King of New York. Ask your best friend Jay-Z. Then have a little chat with your buddy Dwyane Wade about coming too. What can you buy with $30 million a year max contract you can’t buy with $20 million? Besides, you and Mr. Wade would recoup it with interest when you bring NYC four straight NBA titles.
“Why do American girls play these games?”, my buddy asks. He’s French. Now in New York City, he’s a 21st century Tocqueville of sorts. But instead of seeing the boundless potential of American democracy, Jean is puzzled by the Byzantine paradoxes of the American dating scene: “Why do they always wait 2+ hours before texting back?”, “Why are they so sarcastic?”
Now I know in Europe there are probably Absinthe-fueled sex parties on the regular, but we’re in America. Call us quaint, but we never did shed our Puritan roots. And we’ve impeached a President for less. There are rules here:
She Asks, “Does This Make Me Look Fat?”: Smile sweetly and say, “Nothing could make you look fat.” WARNING: Any variation from this answer may result in death by impalement.
McFlurries: The ideal date dessert. And Oreo, not M&M. You need the crumbles.
She Says Nothing Is Wrong: She means, everything is. All hands on deck. We’re at DEFCON 5.
The 3 Day Rule (Alternatively: The 7 Day, Second Tuesday From Now, Sometime Before Labor Day Rule): You seem desperate if you call that Sunday evening. I hate this rule and fortunately the taboo seems to be lifting. I’m not calling you the next day because I’m miserable. I’m calling you the next day because I like you and really want to talk to you.
Gold Diggers: See: Manhattan, The Upper East Side.
Pick Up Lines: The Most Interesting Man In The World from the Dos Equis beer ads put it best: “There’s a time and a place for them. The time is never. I’ll let you figure out the place for yourself.”
“The Game” Pick-Up Artists: A book “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists” hit bookshelves in 2004 and has ruined malls and parks ever since. The book empowered legions of sketchy dudes to pursue girls by picking on their self-esteem. Tactics include: carrying around a piece of lint and placing it on the target’s shoulder; off-putting lines (called “negs”) like: “Your eyes are pretty. May I touch them?” I won’t deny these creeps occasionally outpunt their coverage. But I also won’t deny they dress like fairies and have no friends.
The “Super Bad” Rule: No, not one-name fake IDs. Or that awkward, angst-ridden teens will conquer the world. But Seth Rogen’s tip, “a major turning point in my life was when I realized you don’t want to meet a chick in a bar. Go to a farmer’s market or a pumpkin patch… depending on the time of year.” a) You don’t want to tell your kids you met their mom during a sweaty game of flip cup at Brother Jimmy’s. b) If a girl hooks up with you the first night at a bar, you aren’t her first, nor the last. You know when Woody Allen quips, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” It’s kind of like that…
Woody Allen: Woody achieved arguably one of the greatest human accomplishments of the 20th century in 1977. He made bespectacled, neurotic Manhattan Jews sexually viable, even desirable, to women with the movie “Annie Hall”. Think of NASA astronauts who walked on the moon and what they’ve done since.
Once you reach the zenith of human achievement, what do you do with yourself on sleepy Saturday afternoons? Most drink, get depressed. Woody Allen opted to cheat with and then marry his girlfriend’s adopted daughter.
Mila Kunis: Sure, Megan Fox and Jessica Alba crack every fella’s top 5 hottest women on the planet list. But deep down, we are obsessed with Mila Kunis from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Her smoldering, white-hot looks overshadowed only by her down-for-whatever, Hawaiian persona. Deep down, every 20-something guy wishes he was with her. Ironic because she’s dating Macaley Culkin. Who every 20-something guy wishes he was… when he was 7.
What Could Have Been: The four saddest words in the English language. Just ask her. Obviously, easier said than done. But worst case scenario, she says no. Best case, she’s your wife.
Take heart, Jean. The love of your life will be one in a million. So if she’s in New York City there should 7 of them.
Ever been Chatroulette pranked? A buddy, lets call him Jean, catches you in the packed school library and raves about this scintillating new website—Chatroulette.com. Its part YouTube/part Facebook, and its completely taking the web by storm. Even Jessica Alba and Ashton Kutcher use it, he says. So you check it out, spin through the crystal-clear video chats. First time you may get some college frat dudes. Next, probably an empty room, maybe a Goth chick. But within 5 or 6 spins BAM! there’s a pudgy Eastern European naked—or worse—staring right back at you. Except he wasn’t just staring at me. He was also scoping out the mortified Corporate Finance study group seated behind me. He gave them a creepy little wave, and… it was awkward. In honor of graduation and the pending Senior Pranks here are five legendary pranks to pull on your school or my “friend”:
5. During the 2006 World Cup, German hooligans painted cement balls over to look exactly like soccer balls. The pranksters then added signs reading: Can you kick it?
4. Jimmy Fallon has his own late-night show. Trust me. Bored NBC executives have been pranking all of us. I’ve just been waiting 15 months for the punchline. And the first result for ‘Jimmy Fallon Is Not Funny’ in Google is his performance at the VMA’s… I can hardly disagree:
An unsuspecting Japanese businessman ambles down the street when suddenly 100 screaming people run in the opposite reaction. Sometimes they chase down the businessman, other times they swarm as a mosh pit and toss him up and down in the air, but every time is a sure bet to YouTube away your afternoon.
1. New Trier High School students in Illinois master-minded the granddaddy of all high school pranks: the Pig Prank. Seniors scooped up three massive pigs, Sharpied #1, #2, #4 on their backs, and let them loose, hog-wild in the school. School administrators located piggies #1, #2, and #4 within the hour, but they closed the school for several days before realizing there was no piggy #3.
Because there is a new idiot in town. And his name is Justin Bieber:
During an interview on a New Zealand television show, he was asked if “Bieber” meant “basketball” in German. After admitting he didn’t know what ‘German’ meant, he responded by saying: “We don’t say that in America.” What?
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