Anticipating 2017

I am not much for New Year Resolutions.  But, here’s a few things that I am going to attempt to curve or change for the upcoming year.

Limit my social media.  You would think that with the amount of things that are posted that you would actually learn something new or at least be able to have a chuckle at some thing.  This is not the case.  One thing is clear.  We find one topic and tear it apart until every single blade of the topic has been picked, and all that’s remaining is a wasteland of memes and wasted time.

Read more books.  There is so much good literature out there that nobody has ever heard of.  There isn’t a much more satisfying moment of setting that completed book down.  Hopefully this will equate to less of the above point.  This will require me to pay off my library fine unfortunately.  I feel that the library should send you a hand written letter when your book is super-overdue.  Also, if you are trying to right a wrong in retail; write a letter with pencil.  You will never see a company jump as quick as when head-office receives something written in pencil.

Look for more music.  There is quality music out there even if you don’t want to believe it.  Using Spotify and Apple Music has allowed me to find bands and solo artists that I never knew existed.  I am currently listening to Solange on Spotify, and it’s absolutely fantastic.  I know it’s extremely easy to get into that routine of only listening to what you know.  There are 75 radio stations that agree with you.  30 day challenge.  Find a solid album every 30 days, and post a review online about it.

See more live things.  Plays, music, stand up.  Need to support these artists.  There is so much talent out there, and they continue to struggle while fu**ing Chewbacca Mom becomes insta-famous.

Then there’s the obvious.  Eat healthier, hit the gym, less take out food.  This should always be a New Year goal for each and every person.

Stop eating those memberberries.  Reminiscing and focusing on when times were a certain way.  Brexit and Trump are both causes of memberberries.  People need to adjust to what the world creates.

Spend more face to face time with people.  Internet friends are cool, but nothing can replace the in person pint discussing what the Jays should do next with their ball club.

Try to only post original thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.  Need to keep this brain moving and shaking.  Can’t fall into the trap of complaining and trying to change every single thing that’s wrong with this world.

Farmers Market vegetables yo.  This is such an easy change.  There is a market that’s a 15 min walk from my place every Saturday morning.

Have a Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

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ALCS Preview

ALCS Preview

If you are wondering exactly who the Cleveland Indians are I will explain.  They are a well-managed scrappy bunch of hitters that have a fantastic bullpen, and suspect starting pitching.  Sounds oddly familiar to the team that the Jays lost to last year.  What seems to be different about this Jays team is that they are able to answer when the opposition puts up some runs.  Even though I was secretly rooting to play the Indians instead of the Red Sox; this will be no cake-walk to the World Series.

Let’s start with where the Jays have the biggest advantage – starting pitching.  The Jays have 4 starters that they could throw out there for game 1 without any question.  Estrada, Happ, Sanchez, and Stroman.  If I were in Gibby’s shoes I would throw out the exact same rotation to the Indians that they threw at the Rangers.  The Indians have Cory Kluber.  He’s a former Cy Young winner that has had a very good season, but the Jays have some decent numbers against him.  They have two very good pitchers that are both injured currently in Salazar and Carrasco.  The Jays are definitely dodging a bullet with this.  Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer are the other two starters that the Jays will most certainly see.  This is a heavy edge for the Jays and they will need to jump out to leads early in games to capitalize on this.  Salazar has a chance to be back for this series, but this is still a big question mark for the Indians.

Bullpen – The difference in the bullpen will be Andrew Miller.  He’s an absolute nightmare for lefties and righties.  The lumbering lefty came to the Indians in a deadline deal with the Yanks, and has been lights out since his arrival.  Cody Allen is a solid closer and Bryan Shaw is a very good 7th inning arm.  The Jays will need to play ahead to stay away from the back end of the Indians bullpen.  Roberto Osuna is the key for the Jays.  He has been dynamite.  Gibby has relied quite heavily on his 21 year old closer, and will probably continue to do so at least until Benoit is back from injury.  The one area that the Jays are really hurting is situational lefty spots.  Cecil has been inconsistent, Liriano is a starter by nature and might still not be ready to go, and Loup – well is Loup.  This is the one area that the Indians can expose the Jays.

Lineup – This will be more evenly matched then people assume.  The Indians are excellent at getting on base.  They walk a pile, and don’t strike out nearly as much as the Jays do.  Where the Jays can excel is once again by hitting with power.  Other than Napoli the Indians don’t have a true power hitter.  They will walk, single, and double you to death.  This lineup is good from top to bottom.  Not an easy out in there. On the other side we have seen murderer’s row heat up (minus Bautista’s game 3).  If we continue to see Donaldson, Encarnacion, Bautista, and Tulo hitting the way that they currently are the Indians will have a tough time dealing with this Jays lineup.  This is the Jays that I was expecting from opening day.  A quick strike offence that could erase 2 and 3 run leads with one swing of a bat.  The Indians current set of starters other than Kluber are not strike out heavy pitchers.  They are finesse pitchers that will try to pick corners constantly, and make you get yourselves out.

In the end I don’t think the Indians have the depth at starting pitching to make it out of this series.  With a healthy Salazar and Corrasco I think they would have the edge against the Jays.  The Jays will continue to hit the ball well, and the Indians will have a tough time keeping up against the best staff in the AL.

Jays in 6

John Gibbons: The Encino Man

I am not really sure when I got off of the South Park train, but I am sure glad that I am back on.  Weekly story lines that portray to the exact things that are going on in the world at that exact time. Using characters from the show to portray the stupidity of the human race.  It doesn’t get any more genius than that.

Are the Hydro one people still calling people to give them job interviews without knowing anything about the person – then not telling the person what they are applying for or if they applied at all?

“We would like to bring you in for an interview.”

“Who is this?”

“Doesn’t matter.  We would like to hire you.”

Businesses that use sign twirlers must have zero respect for the dignity of a human being.  We would like you to stand at this corner with a sign and twirl.”  You are one step above a hydro pole and one step below the flailing arms man.

There is an exception to the rule though.  I did see a dance off once between the Little Caesars man and a dude in a pita suit.  That made my day.  I sat across the road on a patio with wings sauce all over my face laughing hysterically for 37 minutes.  Polishing off pitcher after pitcher of Bud Lite and elbowing guys next to me to ask if they are seeing this.  It was a great day.

While at Playdium last week I pondered why I didn’t enjoy myself quite as much as in the past while shooting baskets into a net that was 3 feet away.  It wasn’t the fact that my arm could almost touch the rim, and it seemed to a bit too easy.  It was the fact that they don’t give out paper tickets anymore, and put the tickets on the card instead.  There was nothing better than seeing that machine spit out 50 tickets.  You would stomp up to that desk, and demand the pencil with Snoopy on it like a mutha-fu**in’ boss.  Then go back and waste another $20.00 trying to get the Charlie Brown pencil sharpener; because by golly you haven’t owned a pencil sharpener in 16 years.

To work at a record shop you need to have an attitude.  That’s one of the requirements.  If somebody comes in asking for a particular record that you don’t carry; they must feel shame for even liking that band.

I wouldn’t even hire John Gibbons to run my slo-pitch team.  I would rather have a blind dog that barks only because he can’t see what’s going on making the decisions.  I would hold up signs and ask the dog to bark at which lineup card that he would prefer to go with.  Sorry Johnny boy, unless you make it past the first round this year you will no longer be there to eat your hay and have naps in the dugout.

The Hunt for the Wilder People – 9.6/10

Oktoberfest – the only part that is good is that you are celebrating drinking.  Food’s terrible, polka’s terrible, and they are serving the extremely authentic German classics Budweiser and Coors Lite.

The lowest form of human interaction is the ‘share if you remember this pictures’ that are circulating Facebook.  Yes, I remember 8 track players.  Why do you want me to share this?  You want me to share this for no other reason than they existed at some point and I listened to music on them?   This goes to the same part of the brain that secretly enjoyed Encino Man.

For those that don’t remember Encino Man.  It was a film that starred Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser.  They were put to the test of their acting ability in this absolute gem.  Finger waving jocks and car driving Neanderthals.  It doesn’t get any better.

Going Back in Time with Will Ferrell

Even as the words came out of my mouth I knew that they didn’t make any sense.  “I thought Sausage Party would be a little bit wittier and smarter.”  It’s called Sausage Party.  Why would I think that?

The golf clubs might be hung up for another year.  They went out with a high, and it’s very unlikely that they will strike the ball that well for the rest of the year.  It’s called the George Castanza. You go out on top, and don’t look back.  The high for me is shooting an 84.

If you uttered or thought the comment “was that on 9”; you have no shot in the stand-up comedy scene.  Any laugh that you receive on that joke is called a pity laugh, and most people hope that you go away after saying it.

I was notified today by Sara that there are people drilling holes in new iPhone 7 thinking that there headphones would work after this was done.  These people should be put down.

Trump and Hillary have a debate coming up this weekend.  The person on the news believes that Trump is more likely to say something that will hurt his chances than Hillary.  On the contrary.  He could state that blowing up the moon with laser cats is a good idea, and he wouldn’t lose one supporter.

Sausage Party – 5.6/10

Where has the smart humor gone?  There hasn’t been a solid comedy that has come out in a few years.  They actually usually coincide with the good of Will Ferrell and every time Wes Anderson releases a flick.

There is new music to talk about as well.  Have you been missing the sounds of Echo and the Bunnymen?  No, or never heard of them?  Well, move on.  If your answer was yes.  Then have a listen to the self-titled album by the Preoccupations.  It’s one of the first solid albums of 2016.

Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth are playing Halloween night at Centre in the Square.  Rumors are that when the clock strikes 10pm on Halloween night with these two bands and their original line up together that every fan will be transported to a half-price flannel sale in 1995.

Sunday morning is excellent for banana pancakes and the largest coffee that you can possibly find.  You will have a weird sugar and caffeine high clutching your pro-line tickets watching the clock with anticipation until 1pm when football starts. You will then hit a wall at 1pm after you come down from the high, and probably have a nap at 1:47pm watching a scoreless Bills/Cardinals game.

I am debating buying goaltending equipment to begin to play hockey again.  Then I remember how much damn equipment that you need to be a goalie.  I also remember how much getting hit in the groin by a puck hurts.  You always have that guy that’s on your team in warmups that wants to show how hard his slap-shot is from the hash marks.  He never knows where it’s going, and his laugh is similar to a stoned Seth Rogen.  Even after saying all of this I have opened 3 Kijiji ads for hockey equipment.

As we watch the Blue Jays march towards that Wild Card Playoff game remember that getting to the playoffs is a fu**ing difficult thing to do as a mid-market team in the AL East.  Enjoy every moment of it.

Spirit of the West Bobbleheads Available Out-West

Went to something extremely unique last night.  The National, Hayden, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), and members from the Arkells played in a local church in Hamilton.  All proceeds went to helping Syrian refugees.  Not only was it one of the most intimate shows, but extremely emotional.  Hayden playing an acoustic version of Ahead by a Century almost brought the house down.  Seeing a big band in a small venue is the reason that you see live music.

Radiohead – Moon Shaped Pool – 8.9/10

Any music lover knows that Radiohead is adored by the masses in the indie rock world.  But, I put it similarly to Wes Anderson.  When you knock every single God damn thing that you do out of the park you should be worshipped by everybody that’s cool.

There is only one job that I am capable of handling while wearing a construction outfit – sign twirler.  Unless you count that summer that I want on tour with a YMCA tribute band.  That was rough times.  Playing retirement homes for Swedish mints, and candy that is all stuck together.

Blue Jays are playing some great baseball right now.  Anybody want to still sign Price instead of Happ and Estrada for 5 million dollars more a season, and for 4 more years?  Bueller, Bueller, White, Antholopous.

Bobblehead day at the Jays game was nearly disastrous.  Showed up at around the 10am time frame.  Waited in line for about an hour to receive the bobblehead.  Take it out of the packaging to take a picture with it (just want to make sure that everybody knows all of the awesome things that I am doing 24/7.  Even sleeping soundly I set up my phone to take a picture when I am in my deepest of sleep.  Look how awesome I am sleeping is the hashtag) Bautista and company fall to the floor and smash in 4 separate pieces.  I react very slowly.  Then Sara comes up with a brilliant plan.  It came out of the packaging like that.  As I tell the staff person my story, she gives me the “I know what you did” look and hands me another bobblehead.

Pet peeve #29.  Going through the drive-thru with somebody to grab breakfast, and they don’t know what they want to drink by the time the microphone person speaks up.  Drive-thru isn’t the himming and hawing area.  Go stand with Gord and Rose to talk about the shrubs inside of the restaurant if you are going to pull this nonsense.

The Path is a decent show.  It stars Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and is about a cult.  Starts great, then lulls, but then hits hard near the end again.

I know that British Columbia is a beautiful place, but I find it funny that Canadians are so in love with the idea of “out-west”.  It’s the California of Canada.  Everything is just going to come together out-west.  Sitting on the edge of those Rockies – I will understand the meaning of life, but only out-west.  What should really be said? Everything is going to come together up-north.  You realize who you are when it’s been dark outside for 20 consecutive hours.

Top 3 things that happen at buck and doe’s (also known as stag and doe’s to people in the city) that people don’t know about

3 – Spirit of the West is only appreciated at exactly 12:59am.  If you play any-time before this you will be mocked.

2 – Flirting with the DJ while attempting to get your song played will not work.  You have “woooooood” 3 times, accidentally spit while you were talking twice, and nearly tripped on cables once.  Also, you requested a song that you don’t know the name to, and only know that the person’s name starts with “T”.

1 – Bringing the DJ drinks works every single fu**ing time

Eating Dirt in Ireland with Fred Durst

There is a job for people to eat dog food to see how much they like it.  I am not sure if we as humans are a good judge for dog food taste.  I think you find the 5 most sophisticated dogs in the world and fly them all over the world for taste testing.  These dogs would be known as the Persian Pups.

Well that day has come.  I have actually uttered the words that I am watching my carbs.  In unison, my last Korn CD fell from the shelf of my hometown’s residence and smashed into 3 pieces that looked oddly similar to potato chips.

Is Fred Durst still doing it all for the Nookie?

To say that I am concerned about the Jays would be an understatement.  The starters have been great.  Donaldson and Bautista do what they do, but they are striking out a bunch, and are not taking a thinking approach to any at bats.

There should be more lemonade stands.  Those days of walking past a .25 cent stand are long gone.  Those were the days that you learnt about capitalism, and a Nintendo game was your 3 story house.  Now people just think that there will be a roofie pill in a lemonade given out on Victoria St in Kitchener.  Well, this might be a bad example, but you know what I mean.

I was never a child that ate dirt.  It didn’t smell, taste, or look appetizing.  I never judged Steven for it, but I always thought it was the incorrect move to eat it.

Sara, Sarah, and I leave for Ireland in June.  Sarah is a friend that Sara met on the AT.  We are hiking a couple of trails.  Should I say Sara 1 or just say Wife when attempting to get my significant others attention?  I find that most women don’t like to be called Wife.  They always believe that we are going to say something extremely sexist right after.

I have found a new massage therapist.  I knew that she was the one when she spoke of wanting to have a jackhammer to loosen up my shoulder, and then made the noises of a jackhammer.

Everybody Wants Some – 9.0/10

The Invitation – 8.7/10

It’s very strange when people just seem to fall off the face of the earth.  Then you think about them years later, and say.  “I forgot that they even existed.”  Then I go back to enjoying my drinking box and apple slices.

Descendants in Kitchener finally opened up.  It’s been many months of this beautiful sign outside that on Victoria St that says coming soon.  Daryl and a few family members walked through the door with glee – trying one of everything, to our dismay it was the no name pizza pops of craft brewers in the area.

The movie Keanu looks like a great movie.  It’s done by Key and Peele.  Watch the trailer and if you are able to go through the whole trailer without saying “aaaahhhh” you are a terminator, and are probably sent here to kill 4 humans over the next 7 years.

Cheers to those awkward times where your foot slides on something, it sounds like you farted.  You look around nervously.  But nobody has seemed to notice.

My proudest moment as a human being is after driving 14 consecutive hours trying to get to Florida, a friend of mine asked me if I my ears just popped after going down a massive decline on a road.  I stated to him that I didn’t have any ears.  That was the point of my life where I knew that I was hilarious.

The trade that could help the Jays make the playoffs.

The Jays are on a roll. This might an understatement. They are on absolute fire. Everything on this team is clicking right now. When you have Ryan Goins belting three-run homeruns in key times you know things are going just a little too smoothly. Up and down this lineup everything is firing on all cylinders. You know at some point that this has to slow down. They have holes on this team that will hopefully be filled before the gravy train of runs out of steam.

What do the Jays require to make a real run at a division title? They need a top level starter, a closer, and a utility player. Reyes is injury prone. Bautista still doesn’t look right throwing. Colabello is a sore spot in the field. There is a team in the American League that have all of these things, and could be selling at the deadline. The Oakland A’s.

Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard, and Ben Zobrist all in the final year of their contracts. The A’s are a miserable 13 games under .500 and could be looking to deal. Kazmir would instantly become the Jays ace. He has been extremely reliable over his time in Oakland, and can match-up with any pitcher in the AL East currently. Clippard is a solid closer. He throws strikes, and has had a history of closing over the past two years in Oakland and Washington. Zobrist is an ultimate utility player. He can play nearly every position on the field. Having a high on-base percentage and can hit in every part of the lineup. Best part about it. You don’t have to take on that much salary. Reasonable contracts without any term.

What do the Jays have to give up? Well, these are three valuable pieces. This would be a costly trade. It wouldn’t cost them Stroman or Sanchez. But it might cost them Norris, Pompey, and Hoffman. I know that’s a huge return. But look at last year’s deadline and what yielded Lester, Price, and Samardzija? Addison Russell was one of the top prospects in baseball. Drew Smyly is going to be a top of the rotation pitcher, and Yoenis Cespedes was a proven all-star. This is an awful lot to give up though. Especially if they end up not making the playoffs. What’s the alternative though? Aaron Harang from Philadelphia? Kyle Lohse from Milwaukee? How much better are these guys then what you already have? Then there are Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto. They would cost the Jays two to three top prospects on their own.

Say this trade does go down and they end up losing all three players to free agency. What do they receive? The Jays would receive compensatory picks. It could be 3 first round picks. Or 2 first round picks, and a second. Regardless, it’s not all for nothing if you don’t make the playoffs. Is this worth the investment? Hoffman could be a potential ace. Pompey a starting outfielder, and Norris a middle of the rotation guy. I am not sure if I would make this deal. But it’s what it would take to get those 3 players out of Oakland. With so many teams having a shot at post season play it becomes more and more difficult to find rental players. Which is why they have become so expensive. The one thing that I do know is that Scott Kazmir versus David Price sounds a lot more appetizing than Drew Hutchison versus David Price as a Jays fan.