30 April 2008


The Sox won a nailbiter last night as Big Papi chugged home from second on a Youkilis single. After the game, Youk had the following to say:

“Even though Papi is probably
not running that well right now, he put it into second gear.”

I love how Ortiz's high gear is second, implying that he's cruising around in first at 5mph most of the time. Just like me trying to learn to drive stick.

29 April 2008


Finally we have a policy difference between Senators Clinton and Obama: the former has jumped on board with John McCain's proposal to suspend the federal gasoline tax over the summer, whereas the latter opposes such a measure. This is the latest maneuver by Senator Clinton to adopt any strategy which will prolong the bloody fight for the Democratic nomination.

This "solution" won't actually help the average motorist: Congressional economists estimate that it would save about $30, on average, over the whole summer tax holiday. Even more importantly, however, it gets the issue exactly back-to-front: the problem isn't that America pays too much for gas, but rather that it pays far too little. Consider that in Massachusetts the total tax on gas (both State and Federal) accounts for something like 12% of the price (and note that the McCain/Clinton plan only affects the Federal slice, which is less than half of the total), whereas in the UK taxes comprise nearly 70% of the price of a litre of petrol.

I don't necessarily advocate European-level fuel taxes, but clearly the US is operating in a fantasyland compared to other modern economies. These taxes have a number of benefits: they raise money to fund public transport and other services, they encourage both fuel conservation and technological innovation (with obvious environmental benefits), and they cushion fuel prices to fluctuations due to oil supply. While Americans have seen prices swing wildly between $2 and $4 over the last couple of years, making it difficult to budget for gas, the price in the UK has slowly, but steadily trickled up by only a few pence.

I seriously hope that Obama stands his ground on this issue.

21 April 2008

Sometimes I wish I rooted for the Royals

I'm going to be in Boston for a week at the beginning of May, so I checked the Sox' schedule to see if I got see a game while home. Turns out the only two home games while I'm there are a Saturday/Sunday pair against Tampa Bay.

Both sold out.

An early May game against the Rays is already sold out? Geez.

18 April 2008


Kyle Farnsworth threw a nearly 100 mph heater at Manny's head last night. After the game, Boston manager Terry Francona was asked about his reaction to the pitch:

Asked about the pained expression on his face when it happened,
Francona said, "I had gas. I was just glad it didn't hit Manny. A 98 at
your lips is going to hurt."

17 April 2008

Conspicuous Patriotism

To my mind, one of the most troubling fall-outs from the post-9/11 changes to public policy is the suborning of 'Patriotism' to a variety of unseemly purposes. Take for instance, this excerpt from the New York Times' wrap-up of last night's Democratic Primary debate:

A voter on video says she’s troubled about Mr. Obama’s patriotism because he doesn’t wear a flag pin on his lapel.

The whole flag-pin thing bothers me in general. If you're serving in the Senate of the United States, do you really need to wear the stars and stripes on your person at all times to remind people what nation you're affiliated with? How can we consider our selection of candidates well informed when we fixate on their sartorial accessories?

16 April 2008

Belated photos

Tabblo from my post-submission trip to the Bahamas.

14 April 2008


Last year at this time Gabe 'the Babe' Kapler was managing in the Sox minor league system. He came out of retirement, however, to play for the Brewers in 2008, and currently has four home runs in 26 at-bats. This is a dude who's mustered that many home runs in only two of the last seven seasons. Given his historical rate of one homer per 36 ABs (generous, since he's 32, now), there's only a half-a-percent chance this streak would occur by chance. Not impossible by any means, but he might want to cool it for a while before Senator Mitchell comes knocking.