Buy Stuff

As you know, I am a huge baseball fan.  For many years, I have had my eye on the Ken Burns miniseries Baseball.  The new price never dropped below $100, and used copies were hard to find for a good price (if you’re a big enough baseball fan to buy it, why would you sell it later?)  A few days before Christmas, I was pleased to find the miniseries – including the new 10th Inning – for just $49.99 on Amazon.  It was temporarily out of stock, but I immediately jumped at the chance to pick it up for that price.  It’s still temporarily out of stock, but the price has begun to climb – it’s now $50.99.  To grab your copy before the price jumps more, head over to Amazon today (note: we do receive a small commission on Amazon sales).

While you’re at Amazon, pick up a copy of Ron Shandler’s 2011 Baseball Forecaster.  Shandler’s approach on predicting performance is based on component analysis – rewarding players for the skills they exhibit rather than the resulting numbers (which can be skewed by external factors or just plain dumb luck).

Ohio State Suspensions

Five Ohio State football players are being suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season after running afoul of NCAA rules regarding improper benefits.  Players are being accused of trading autographs for tattoos and selling rings, jerseys, and awards.  The suspension may cause those players – include quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Boom Herron – to jump to the NFL instead of returning for half a season next year.

Why aren’t the players being suspended for the Sugar Bowl on January 4?  The NCAA says it is because the players “did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred.”  I call BS on that.  If that’s a valid excuse, then why would the NCAA lower the boom on them with a 5 game suspension?

The real reason, of course, is money.  Take those players out of a BCS bowl game, and ratings would plummet.  Sponsors would not be pleased.

NFC West

My wife’s St. Louis Rams and their adversaries, the Seattle Seahawks, both won their games on Sunday.  The two teams now head into next week’s game with identical records of 7-8.  The winner of the division will end the regular season at .500.

For the past few weeks, many of the talking heads have expressed concern about the possibility of the NFC West champion qualifying for the playoffs with a 7-9 record – while a 10 win team from another division could be left out of the playoffs.  I was hoping this would happen, just for the novelty.

Andrew Gallo

Andrew Gallo, the drunk driver who cause the accident that killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others in 2009 (and injuring a fourth person), was sentence to 51 years in prison.  Was the sentence influence by the fact that one of the victims was an athlete?  No.  It was influence by the fact that Gallo has previously been convicted of DUI and at the time signed an acknowledgement that if he cause a fatal accident while drunk, he could be charged with murder.  This has become common practice in Orange County, California – the Gallo case was not an aberration.

Why Bloggers Hate Christmas

As readers of The Soap Boxers (and search engine visitors) headed out to visit family and friends for the Christmas holiday, traffic to the site fell off a cliff for a few days … and traffic will likely be a bit slow until New Year’s Day.  Sadly, advertising revenue takes a similar hit.

But do bloggers actually HATE Christmas for this reason?  Nah.  I sincerely wish my readers a happy Christmas season.