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MFazio23 Blog

Madden 09 CE

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In case anyone hasn't gotten Madden 09 yet for their PS3, you may want to check Target. They're selling the Collector's Edition (With Head Coach 09) for $45 at some stores.

I got my copy today :)

End of work and moving

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Well, tomorrow is my official last day working at my current company, and I don't have nearly enough stuff done. I know that once I'm gone, it won't matter to me as much, but I still don't want to leave people in a lurch.

U-Haul screwed us over big-time, by not reserving a truck for us at the local store (La Crosse) and instead telling us our truck is in Winona, Minnesota, which is 35 miles one way from here. So we have to drive a huge truck back from there, pay for the gas and if we go over our mileage amount, then pay extra for that as well, because they screwed up. Ugh.

Saturday's the big day of moving, though we'll probably load up the truck at least somewhat tomorrow night thanks to help from friends of my wife and I. But it'll be lots of fun getting the apartment ready after we get everything moved into the place.

That's all for now, I'm wiped from work this week (I have a full week's hours in + 2, and it's only Thursday) so I'm going to the store.

If this doesn't make much sense, I apologize. My brain's beyond fuzzy.

Interview Pt. 3

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Well, I'm still waiting, which wouldn't be as bad normally, but they said people usually hear that day or quickly the day afterwards.

EDIT: Apparently they're pretty close to figuring things out, so I should hear today, but thinks are looking pretty good..

Job Interview, Pt. 2

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So I just got a call asking me to come in for the interview tomorrow, instead of Wednesday. So much for having two days to prepare...

Job Interview

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Just had a phone interview for a job. I think it went well, but trying to get a reaction out of these guys was tough. Of course, this is the type of job I really want to do (Java application development against databases) so I ended up being nervous during the interview itself. I'm supposed to hear something today, so here's hoping it's good news.

EDIT: Well, they called me back at 11 this morning and set up an interview for next Wednesday, so it looks like I'm in good shape right now!

Woohoo!

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http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/story?id=3482166

I was thinking today I wasn't going to bother with the NL All-Stars in continuation of my last blog post since nobody read it. I posted it on here, SportingNews.com and ESPN.com and got a total of one comment between the three.

However, I didn't realize the one comment was from the general ESPN editor's account, and my post was included with their "Hits from the fan bloggers box", which selects some of the best blog posts from the week:

"Among the hundreds of blog posts and thousands of comments posted on ESPN.com each week we observe fan analysis ranging in quality from weak popups and double-play balls to line drives hit so hard a metro columnist would duck.

The [seven] bloggers below impressed us with their offense and earned a spot in this week's starting lineup"

Eat it, everyone whose never won a Nobel Prize! (...or something like that)

AL All-Stars: July 10th, 2008

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Now that the All-Star fan voting is complete, and the full team rosters have been announced, I would like to add my own thoughts to the rosters and the All-Star Game in general.

First off, I want to mention the fan voting again. I have to admit that in years past I've been overly critical of fan voting since some of the selections end up being fitting. However, the same popularity contest issues come up every year. This is due, I believe, to both fan biases and different opinions about what the All-Star Game should really be. The fan bias part is obvious; the teams with the largest markets and TV exposure and hype (If the fans could vote on the pitchers, any doubt Joba Chamberlain is starting for the AL?) will garner the most votes. This always leads to players with mediocre or sub-par seasons receiving way too many votes (Jason Varitek, Kaz Matsui, and Ken Griffey Jr. come to mind). The other issue, while not as significant, is what people think selection to the All-Star rosters really means. Some people think of it as a showcase for players they like, others treat it as a lifetime acheivement award or at least a culmination of the previous few seasons' results. I personally think the All-Star Game should reward players' achievements so far that season until the voting closes. This season, someone like a Nate McLouth or Ryan Ludwick deserves a spot on the team over proven players like Griffey Jr. I do want to clarify that I'm not trying to belittle Griffey's accomplishments throughout his career, including his 600th home run this year. He's one of the greatest players we've seen in the last 25 years, and I firmly believe that he would be considered one of the all-time greats in Major League history if not for the multitude of injuries suffered in Cincinnati (and I don't think many people would argue with me there). However, those feats should not be included in the current All-Star Game. Plus, everyone knows Griffey's accomplishments and talents, we certainly don't need an All-Star selection to tell us that. I do want to include one caveat about my last statement; I will take into consideration past performances in the instance of a personal tie-breaker. For example, if I consider Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols to be equally deserving cantidates for the team, I would take Pujols due to him proving that he's the better overall player. However, that is all the influence I think a player's history should have in their selection to the All-Star team.

Now, onto the rosters. I'll list the actual rosters first (Starters then reserves), then include my own version. For each position, I'll include 10 possible players (20 for the outfield) comprised of the actual players on the roster, the top five vote-getters, and other players who are leading in various stat categories (RBIs, runs, average, OPS). I will also put the rank out of the 10 or 20 players I selected as possibilities.

Note that this is only the position players and not the entire 31 man roster.


AMERICAN LEAGUE

ACTUAL STARTERS:
C - Joe Mauer (MIN) - #1 on my list
1B - Kevin Youkilis (BOS) - #1 on my list
2B - Dustin Pedroia (BOS) - #2 on my list
SS - Derek Jeter (NYY) - #2 on my list
3B - Alex Rodriguez (NYY) - #1 on my list
OF - Josh Hamilton (TEX) - #1 on my list
OF - Manny Ramirez (BOS) - #7 on my list
OF - Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) - #16 on my list
DH - David Ortiz (BOS - Injured) - #7 on my list

MY STARTERS:
C - Joe Mauer (MIN)
1B - Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
2B - Ian Kinsler (TEX)
SS - Michael Young (TEX)
3B - Alex Rodriguez (NYY)
OF - Josh Hamilton (TEX)
OF - J.D. Drew (BOS)
OF - Carlos Quentin (CWS)
DH - Milton Bradley (TEX)

ACTUAL RESERVES:
C - Dioner Navarro (TB) - #3 on my list
C - Jason Varitek (BOS) - #9 on my list
1B - Justin Morneau (MIN) - #2 on my list
2B - Ian Kinsler (TEX) - #1 on my list
SS - Michael Young (TEX) - #1 on my list
3B - Joe Crede (CWS) - #5 on my list
3B - Carlos Guillen (DET) - #4 on my list
OF - J.D. Drew (BOS) - #2 on my list
OF - Carlos Quentin (CWS) - #3 on my list
OF - Grady Sizemore (CLE) - #6 on my list
DH - Milton Bradley (TEX) - #1 on my list

MY RESERVES:
C - A.J. Pierzynski (CWS)
C - Dioner Navarro (TB)
1B - Justin Morneau (MIN)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
SS - Derek Jeter (NYY)
3B - Evan Longoria (TB)
3B - Mike Lowell (BOS)
OF - Nick Markakis (BAL)
OF - Jermaine Dye (CWS)
OF - Grady Sizemore (CLE)
DH - Aubrey Huff (BAL)

COMMENTS:
My issues with the All-Star team have mostly come up right away with the American League catcher spot. However, it's a bit different than normal as the fans got the voting right with Mauer. However, Varitek should not have been the second place vote-getter. This wouldn't bother me as much, except for some inexplicible reason, Varitek was put on the All-Star roster as a reserve. I can understand that most of the players wouldn't be clamoring for A.J. Pierzynski to be on the roster, but Varitek over Ivan Rodriguez? (Who has been way better than I thought) When you've got a player who is only in the top five in two categories (#2 in HR, #5 in doubles) among AL catchers, he's not an All-Star.

As for first base, the top three vote getters were actually my top three as well. While Paul Konerko doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the All-Star Game (10th on my list) getting the top three players right is nice to see.

Second base was good for the top two spots, though Kinsler has easily been the better player so far this year. With the next two vote getters, Robinson Cano was my #10 second baseman and Placido Polanco was #7, but Brian Roberts was #3 on my list, so the voting overall wasn't horrible. I do think Cano will end up the season with much better relative numbers than now, but he's not even close to an All-Star at this point.

Shortstop was a bit of a tough choice, mainly looking at the backup spot. Michael Young has been the best shortstop in the AL this year, but the second place person was a tough choice. Derek Jeter, Jhonny Peralta, and Orlando Cabrera would all have been decent choices here (Only Peralta was not in the top five for voting, too) but in the end, I couldn't get past Peralta's .299 OBP.

Third Base = Alex Rodriguez. It never seems to change; A-Rod always puts together great seasons. Well, great regular seasons at that. The reserve for this spot is a bit tougher. While Miguel Cabrera was the #4 vote-getter at third base, he has actually only played 14 games at third and 73 at first, so I'm considering him more of a first baseman here. If he was at third, he may have been one of the reserves, but instead Evan Longoria and Mike Lowell get the nod.

Wow, the outfield had a ton of good choices. Obviously, Josh Hamilton was an easy selection and it's nice to see the fans realize that as well. In all honesty, Manny and even Ichiro were not poor choices as well, but there were players that were more deserving. It's amazing how different J.D. Drew is this year as opposed to last season, and Carlos Quentin is putting up much better numbers than most people would realize. Jermaine Dye missed out on the final vote, but at least Evan Longoria was a deserving candidate as well. Nick Markakis is in Baltimore, so he had no chance of people realizing how good he's been this year, and I don't mind the choice of Grady Sizemore over him for the actual roster by the players and coaches.

If it wasn't for all the (deserved) attention to Josh Hamilton this year, people would realize that Milton Bradley's numbers are unbelievably good. Who leads the American League in slugging? Bradley. Who leads the AL in OBP? Bradley. Yet the most press he's gotten so far this year is from "wanting to introduce himself" to Royals TV announcer Ryan Lefebvre. Rightfully so, after David Ortiz's injury forced him out of the All-Star Game, Bradley became the starting designated hitter. As for the the reserve DH, I don't know if the ballot didn't include him or what, but Aubrey Huff wasn't in the top 5 voting-wise, yet Huff had better numbers than guys like Ortiz, Hideki Matsui (Who has been injured for a bit), and Jim Thome. In fact, Huff has more doubles, home runs, and RBIs than Bradley, which is saying quite a lot this year.

With the American League this year, the fans did a nice job overall with their voting. They got the obvious guys starting (Rodriguez, Hamilton) and when missing the best choice (Kinsler, Young) their choices were understandable. Even the picks of Manny Ramirez and Ichiro Suzuki were defensible, since both are having good if not great seasons (Though not by either players' standards).

C.C. Sabathia, the MLB All-Star Game and other stuff

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First off, the Brewers have traded for C.C. Sabathia for four prospects. This really should send the Brewers to the playoffs, and I could see them winning the division. If the Wild Card isn't out of the NL Central, I'll be completely stunned. Now here's hoping they can shore up their bullpen a bit more.

The MLB All-Star rosters were released yesterday and as usual, the fan voting was shaky. However, the players voted Jason Varitek to the team, which I still can't understand. I'm working on my full roster selection article, so I'll get that up soon, hopefully.

I went and saw Wall-E this weekend and I'm really sad to say that I didn't enjoy it. I've always loved Pixar movies, but I left this one just feeling depressed and rather confused (My wife was pretty much the same way). I'm going to watch it again when it comes out on video, but I didn't enjoy it this time and I'm hoping that can change because I want to like it.

Back to baseball, why don't baseball video games have a mode where you can pick up from that day in real baseball and play from there? I'd love to take over the Brewers on my game in the same situation as real life and see what happens for the rest of the season. Considering MLB 08 updates every week, this wouldn't be a huge jump. How about adding this weekly, even?

Overnight support

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Woke up at 4 AM because of failures at work. It takes me 45 minutes to get the thing running again (because the program I need to run won't start) and now it's 6 AM, so I'm going to work.

Ugh.