Friday, October 17, 2003

Yankees again!

So it's the Yankees and Marlins in the World Series. I couldn't help but root for the Yankees the other night, even though I kept telling myself I should be for the Red Sox. I love Boston - the city - and wouldn't mind seeing the Red Sox win some day - but I've been a Yankees fan since 1998 and even though they dumped my favorite player - Chuck Knoblauch - I'm still too familiar with the team not to empathize with them.
I didn't want to see Roger Clemen's final game be one where he was knocked out in the 4th inning.
Back in 98-99-00 the Yankees had a solid team player in almost every position. The only weak point was left field where they couldn't make up their mind and kept swapping out players - Ricky Ledee, Chad Curtis, Shane Spencer - and then Knoblauch after his arm gave out.
Today, they have adequately filled the Left Field slot with Hideki Matsui - but now they have a weak spot in Right Field where they have yet to find a solid replacement for Paul O'Neill. And I have to admit that Soriano has filled in well at second base in place of Knobby. But now they are weak at third base where no one has been able to step up and fill the shoes left by Scott Brosius (Aaron Boone's 11th inning home-run last night aside). And I also think they are weaker at first base for having traded away Tino Martinez to make room for the unimpressive Nick Johnson.
But the Yankees still have super stars like Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada in the linup and they have added Jason Giambi to that list as well. And their pitching rotation is still first rate with Clemens, Andy Pettite, David Wells, Mike Mussina and Mario Rivera in the bullpen.
Still, I won't be surpised if the Yankees fumble in this Series and lose to the young Marlins team. There still maybe something to the Knoblauch curse I noted in the previous post. We shall see.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Knoblauch Curse

Everybody is paying a lot of attention to the “Curse of the Bambino” in Boston - which has kept the Red Sox from winning the World Series since trading away Babe Ruth - and the unnamed curse that vexes the Chicago Cubs who have not even won a pennant much less a World Series since the end of WWII.

But no one is paying attention to another curse involving the New York Yankees that I think might have an impact this year. I call it the Knoblauch Curse after the Yankees’ former second baseman and leadoff hitter Chuck Knoblauch who faded away into free agent obscurity earlier this year after having a dismal final season with the Kansas City Royals. Knoblauch, a Texas A&M grad who went to my wife’s high school in Houston, was the Rookie of the Year in 1991 when he helped the Minnesota Twins win the World Series that year.

The Yankees have not won a World Series since they decided to bench Knoblauch during the 2001 Series against the Diamondbacks. They began their impressive streak of World Series appearances and back-to-back-to-back victories in 1998 shortly after acquiring Knoblauch from the Twins. But sometime between 2000 and 2001, Knoblauch began experiencing throwing problems and the Yankees were forced to shift him from second base to left field. His hitting started to suffer as well and by the time the playoffs came around they were mostly playing Knobby off the bench. As a result, the Yankees came up short of their fourth WS victory in 2001 and the next year, after they traded Knoblauch to the Royals, failed to make it out of the playoffs.

Maybe this year will be different and the Knoblauch Curse will be shortlived. But if the Red Sox come back and/or the Cubs/Marlins pull off a World Series victory, I will know the real reason.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Where do I sign up?

The National Rifle Association has put together a helpful list of "National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies"

Here is just a sampling of some of the groups on the NRA hit list:

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Medical Association
American Trauma Society
National Association of Community Health Centers
Children's Defense Fund
National Association of Children's Hospitals

No big surprise that there would be a lot of medical and health groups on the list.

So what exactly does the NRA hope to accomplish by compiling this list? Are they urging their members to try and undermine these organizations? To work against them?

This is actually kind of scary when you consider how many people still blindly support the NRA long after it has been taken over by extremist radicals. Not unlike the Texas Republican Party, the NRA today is controlled by a tight-knit group of hardliners who see any reasonable regulation of gun ownership as an affront to the Second Amendment.

The reason that they can come up with a list like this in the first place is because they have defined "anti-gun policies" to such an extreme degree that anyone who objects to the unregulated sale of assault rifles, cop-killer bullets and plastic guns - is included.


To illustrate my point that the NRA is currently controlled by dangerous radicals, here is a quote from a speech by NRA President Wayne LaPierre at the 2002 NRA Convention where he makes it clear how he feels about people who disagree with his extreme views on gun proliferation.

"If you consider the Constitution less relevant, if you ignore or distort the Second Amendment, if you conspire to make lawful firearms less accessible to lawful citizens, if you infiltrate school boards and churches and legislatures and foundations to advance an anti-freedom agenda of any kind - the fact that you were born on American soil won't mask the fact that you're an enemy of freedom and a political terrorist."

I guess that explains why the NRA would want to keep such a list - so they can keep track of all these "enemies of freedom and political terrorists."

Monday, October 13, 2003


Had my wisdom teeth removed on Friday so I spent most of the weekend sitting around the house recuperating and had a chance to catch up on some movie watching.
Here are some quick reviews of the films I saw:

Bend It Like Beckham - A very enjoyable film that was about what I expected after reading all the rave reviews. Kind of sad though to see the film now after the U.S. Women's Pro Soccer League has gone bankrupt. The film is about two British girls who get the chance to come to America to play pro soccer.

The Italian Job - A good crime caper film with some decent action sequences. I like movies where the protagonists are able to pull off a scam without resorting to killing and shooting people.

Down With Love - Much better than I expected. A very clever romantic comedy with some hilarious dialogue. They did a great job recreating the feel of a 1963-era movie.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Disney's classic live-action film from 1953 with Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Peter Lorre. Had never seen the film before that I can remember and really loved it. Still haven't seen all the extra features on the 2-disc set.