Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The smoke appears to be cleared...

So, now that everything appears to be all said and done (there still could be some moves being reviewed and what not that could be announced later), the Bravos have added big Tex, Ron Mahay and Octavio Dotel to boost their chances in the race for October.

Not too shabby, if I say. Tex provides a huge bat in the middle of the lineup, Mahay gives the Braves a much-needed lefty out of the pen, and Dotel partners up with Rafael Soriano and Bob Wickman for a pretty fearsome threesome at the end of games.

So what he have here is a pennant race folks, buckle in and enjoy the ride.

As for the O's... I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed that nothing was done. There's just no logical explanation to keeping this team in tact, regardless of how well they've been playing lately (teams need to win all year long, not just for random 8 game stretches).

Strike one, Andy McPhail.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Busy day

Well, we know where to begin

So -- barring any failed physicals -- the Braves have acquired Mark Teixeira from the Rangers. Also in deal are lefty reliever Ron Mahay, headed to Atlanta, and heading the Rangers' way are Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS prospect Elvis Andrus and two other minor leaguers (both said to be pitchers).

So far, all the talk seems to say that both teams win in this trade -- and I'd agree. Tex adds another big bat to the lineup, and puts it right on par with the Mets' lineup. Mahay gives the Braves a lefty out of the pen. The Rangers get two top prospects, and potentially two more. Salty will kill the ball in the very hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. I mean, he'll be a .330/25-30 HR/100+ RBI guy in that park.

So, even though I really wanted a starter for Salty, I realize the market is extremely thin and getting Tex will help immensely. Besides this year's help, if the Braves can't resign Andruw Jones after the season, Tex's bat will help ease that loss.

As for the pitching, the Braves are also rumored to be pursuing Royals reliever Octavio Dotel. Joe Kennedy is another name I've seen mentioned in Braves trade talk.

So, we'll see what happens in the remaining hours until the deadline.

As for my other team...

I... am... PISSED right now. There has been exactly no talk about the O's doing anything regarding a trade. How is that possible? How is Andy McPhail not doing a damn thing? The O's should be hosting a fire sale right now, and instead they're standing pat?

What the fuck, man? Do you think a team that is 14.5 games back is going to figure out how to win in the off-season? No, they're not. The O's have a shitload of players starting who are nothing more than glorified bench players. And all of those guys should be traded to a contender -- where they'll contribute off the bench or in a platoon role -- for prospects.

If I'm running that team, I'm having a crazy "everyone must go!" Florida Marlins sale. The only guys who are on my "you ain't touching this guy, no way, no how" list: Erik Bedard, Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis. I'm also trying to keep Kevin Millar for clubhouse leadership, but I'm willing to listen to offers.

But other than that, Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada, Corey Patterson, Daniel Cabrera, Jay Payton and Steve Trachsel are being shopped like a dealer trying to get rid of his stash before the cops get him.

I am not happy, not at all.

My dream scenario

Because dreams are all I have in baseball nowadays...

Anywho, big Tex helps lead the Bravos back to October and possible a Series title. The Braves manage to resign Andruw Jones, and they get back to October in 2008. After that, Tex signs with his hometown Orioles and behind his bat and 2009 Cy Young winner Erik Bedard, and 2009 ROY Matt Weiters, the O's return to October as well... all because new owner Cal Ripken and his investors -- who acquired the team after the "unfortunate" passing of Peter "Sith Lord Darth Asbestos" Angelos -- opened their wallets to bring championship baseball back to Charm City. Rejoice.

Baseball teams not the only ones making blockbuster deals

In NBA news, it appears that Kevin Garnett is headed to Boston to join Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in Celtic green. Interesting.

An incredibly sad loss in the football community

Coaching LEGEND Bill Walsh lost his battle with leukemia today, just a really sad day. Not only was Walsh the innovator of the West Coast offense -- the most copied and influential offense of modern football -- but he has groomed an immense family of coaches. Just check out his coaching tree.

Thoughts and condolences go out to the Walsh family.

In non-sports news

While it lasts, here's a bootleg video of the Iron Man trailer. Looks damn cool, and Robert Downey, Jr. seems to be a perfect cast.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Weekend 6-Pack

I have nothing else to say really, I'm about to go to one of those cool choppy choppy Japanese restaurants and then a BYOB duckpin bowling alley. Good times shall be had.

On with the 6-Pack:

Hinder - Extreme Behavior
Alabama - Feels So Right
Alabama - Just Us
Stone Temple Pilots - Thank You
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti (2 discs)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

OK, maybe...

Maybe I'd be happy with a trade involving Salty if it was like this. This = Salty & a pitching prospect (say Jo-Jo Reyes or Kyle Davies) for Teixeira and either lefty RP C.J. Wilson or back-on-his-game Eric Gagne.

The pen has been struggling of late, and could REALLY use a lefty out of the pen. Still, I'd be a lot more comfortable getting an experienced starter to compliment Smoltz, Hudson and James.

A lot of buzz is growing surrounding these talks, so maybe something will happen sooner than later.

More positive feedback about upcoming music

Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum says Lars Ulrich played him a bit of Metallica's upcoming album (most likely due early 2008), and it was "sick." Sounds good to me. Most of what I hear/read about this one says it will be in the mold of early/mid Metallica, somewhere around ...And Justice for All and The Black Album. Works for me, just as so long as Kirk Hammett actually solos this time around.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday, she's looking for a friend

Seeing as I fancy this as a sports blog, I reckon I better get to blogging about them there sports.

The Barry Bonds thing

Oh, I suppose I shall give an opinion on Barry Bonds as he approaches Hank Aaron's home run record. When it happens, I will applaud Bonds. I will recognize the GREAT player that he is, and the great accomplishment it is.

Am I a Bonds fan? No, not really. Do I think he used some performance enhancing substance? Yes, I do. But I also think the about 85% of MLB players used them during the Steroid Era. I also know that it wasn't illegal by MLB rules during the time. I also know that -- in America, where you are innocent until proven guilty -- Barry Bonds has not tested positive for anything.

He has been a consistent top-tier player since the early 90s. He has one of the smoothest swings you will ever see. He is also one of the smartest hitters you will ever come across -- look at his walk totals and on-base percentages over the years, hell, watch one of his at-bats.

Of course, the substances he probably took helped him some. But that doesn't change the fact that Bonds is so incredibly patient at the plate, that he should be remembered not only as a power-hitter, but as one of the best pure hitters in baseball history. If he did indeed, take something, it isn't the only reason he hits the way he does.

Besides, if it were all the cream, clear, juice or whatever, how come we haven't seen any other 43-year-olds hit the way he does? The guy can rake. 756 should be applauded and celebrated, and we should do the same the day Bonds is rightfully enshrined in Cooperstown.

The Michael Vick thing

I'm sick of hearing about it, that's what I think.

Dogfight is deplorable, sickening and just plain disgusting. But again, Americans are innocent until proven guilty. There may be overwhelming evidence, but we shouldn't publicly crucify Vick just yet (although I think the NFL is doing the smart thing by keeping him out of camp, strictly to get him out of the spotlight and let the players do their jobs).

Although, I have read some interesting things. First, form an ESPN.com chat with Bomani Jones:
Josh (Lincoln, NE): Do you agree that the people trying to make the Vick thing a race issue are way off base?

Bomani Jones: Depends on what part of the thing you're talking about. Is the government out to get Vick just because he's black? Doubt it, though some lawyers have told me they were surprised the Feds would pursue a dogfighting case.

But I've heard people lump Vick's actions into the behavior of a larger group--"those thugs." That makes me wonder if this is just about dogs.
Now, I won't even speculate about the race thing. But it does seem weird that lawyers would be surprised at the Feds going after a dogfighting case. Maybe they're looking for a big name, maybe it's something else.

Also, I'd be surprised myself if Vick did big time. My take? He does at most a year, then the Falcons welcome him back with open arms -- unless Joey Harrington can find his Oregon form... I'll give you a chance to stop laughing. OK, let's move on.

The NBA Ref thing

Whoa, Nellie. This ain't good, not at all. David Stern says this is an isolated incident... but how can he be sure. This is going to seriously HURT the NBA. I mean, every bad call will now be scrutinized more than ever. Fixing games is the lowest, dirtiest thing you can do in sports.

The NBA was already reeling, now it has some serious image issues to fix. Bill Simmons has a solid take on the situation.

Braves trade rumors

I swear, if I hear Salty's name come up one more time I'm gonna hurt somebody. Why is there an overwhelming urge to deal him for some mediocre back-end starter who'll be with us for half a season? Yes, I know we have Brain McCann, so move Salty to first. There'll be growing pains, but he'll adjust.

I just think he's too good of a bat to lose for anything less than a stud arm or two. I know what we need, and we need to get them to contend -- but I don't think giving this guy away is the answer.

Besides, the common consensus is that Salty will not be a catcher in the long run, because he is too tall (6'4") and that would wear too quickly on him.

SEC Media Days start up

Always a circus, and always good for quotes. Apparently Auburn DE Quentin Groves is all fired up about something Nick Saban said in his introductory press conference.

Ooh, I'm scared, they're using our coaches token press conference "whip the fanbase into a frenzy" words as motivation. Good, you use that, and we'll use the fact that you fuckers have won the past five Iron Bowls as motivation.

Also, I love the irony here. Auburn is a program hell bent on beating Bama. That IS their goal. Apparently, this moron forgot about his own coach's little "fear the thumb" slogan last year.

But you know what, we have a saying about this in Bama Nation: Auburn focuses on beating Alabama. Alabama focuses on winning championships. And for the record, Bama owns the series advantage over Auburn (38-32-1) and the championship advantage as well (SEC titles: 21-6, National titles: 12-1).

Dammit, is it kickoff time yet?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Finally saw Transformers

And it was AWESOME. Seriously, I loved it from beginning to end.

There are three simple things I want in an action flick:

1. Hot women -- Megan Fox and Rachael Taylor, check.
2. Comic relief -- Cheesy jokes galore and Bernie Mac, check.
3. Cool action/fight scenes -- Giant robots blowing shit up and fighting each other, big fucking check.

Now, my biggest fear coming into this one was Michael Bay, naturally. The man started off strong with Bad Boys back in the day, but then a mediocre The Rock started a horrible downhill trend which led to Bay making sappy love stories that doubled as action flicks. I feared that Bay would turn this into a tale of a boy going after a girl and forget what Transformers is about: the aforementioned giant robots blowing shit up.

And then there's Bay's over-the-top special effects that he gets so into, he forgets there's actually a story to be told (Bad Boys 2, anyone?).

Lastly, there was the fear that Bay wouldn't really keep in line with Transformers tradition. The boys over at Penny Arcade illustrated this fear perfectly when the movie started creating buzz last year.

But, by perhaps some miracle of a higher power, Bay made a great movie. There wasn't one point where I went "Dammit, Bay, you suck" during the film (well, I sort of did in one scene towards the end, but it ended being alright).

Now, I don't know if this is because Bay finally adhered to all the criticism he got for films like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, or if Steven Spielberg being an executive producer had something to do with. I'd like to think it's a mix of the two, with Spielberg being a big Transformers fan and having a word with Bay that went something like this:

Spielberg: "Look, I love Transformers, and so help me God if you screw this up I will bitch slap you up and down Sunset Blvd."

Bay: "But--"

Spielberg: "Don't back talk me, boy, I'm Steven fucking Spielberg. I made Jaws, the Indiana Jones Trilogy, Jurassic Park and like a bazillion other awesome films. If it weren't for me and my homeboy George Lucas, you wouldn't be making these big ass blockbusters, got it? Fear the pimp hand."

(Yeah... that sounds about right)

With all that said, it was a very solid action flick. Naturally, you're gonna get stuff that comes along with being an action flick: some storylines evolving too fast, some undeveloped characters, and just some overall cheesiness. But all of that is acceptable for me if the three things on my check list are pulled off. And they were, and I am happy.

It also helped that Peter Cullen was still the voice of Optimus Prime, and that the cast was so expansive you got good, big name actors and a few "that guys" to boot (namely John Turturro).

So, thank you and congratulations Michael Bay, you didn't fuck up one of the three most cherished cartoons series of my youth (the other two being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the lesser-known Dino-Riders). If you're a fan of the series or looking for a fun action movie, go see it.

Quick bonus funny side-story: As we were watching the end credits, my buddy Jimmy goes, "Man, that made Spider-Man 3 look real bad." To which I responded, "Jimmy, Spider-Man 3 made Spider-Man 3 look bad."

Autobots, roll out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

NCAA Football 08 & the Weekend 6-Pack

Got the PS2 version of the game on Tuesday, and well... it's the same damn game, pretty much.

We lowly "current-geners" don't get all the fancy next-gen additions. Nope, we get new rosters and some minor changes. Those minor changes are mostly superficial things like new animations, a slightly new presentation, medical redshirts, the "My Shrine" thingy and some other ones I can't remember.

So, naturally I'm upset, right? Hell no! I look forward to this game every year, the day this comes out is like the first day of football season.

Sure, it's basically a copy of last year's version, but I'm such a fan of the series the updated rosters and minor tweaks are all I really need. Now, once I upgrade to a next-gen system, my expectations will go up significantly (but that's a whole 'nother convo).

With that said, I'm happy with the product I got. I mean, I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary to come out on the PS2 this year. The system is all but dead, and really EA has done all they could with the current-gens.

So, I'd give it a solid B+, and I'll enjoy it like I do every year.

Also, for any PS2 online players, my handle is "The Kooly" -- look me and up challenge me... and lose.

Weekend 6-Pack

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium: Mars
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium: Jupiter
The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker
Buckcherry - 15
Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Audioslave - Out of Exile

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh, guilty pleasure you complete me

I'm just gonna go ahead and put this out here, right here, right now: I love Kelly Clarkson. No, seriously, I want to meet her, marry her, have her have my kids, and grow old with her. OK, I may have exaggerated a bit there, but you catch my drift.

I just can't explain why. True, she ain't the hottest girl out there. You're right, she was an American Idol. I know, she is still technically pop music by definition. Yes (so unfortunately yes), she once made From Justin to Kelly.

But, for some reason, I'm strangely transfixed by her. The down-home girl personality, the cute neighbor girl looks, the quiet demeanor that still gives way to a sneaking suspicion she parties like a mofo... I love it all. And now, now I find out she has a bit of a badass side to her. I want her.

And I like her music. Especially the newer "I hate you, you scumbag asshole I hope she gives you herpes" angry pissed-off lover stuff.

If you don't like it, screw you, it's MY guilty pleasure... at least it isn't Coldplay.

Julio!

Braves sign Julio Franco

Well, that should shut all of those Mark Teixeira rumors up. Although, I wonder who gets demoted now? Is Scott Thorman going to Richmond? We'll see.

NCAA Football 08 review sometime this week.

Monday, July 16, 2007

You know what's a weird ass video?

STP's "Vasoline" -- well, I suppose all of their videos are pretty damn weird, but this one sticks out to me.



In other news, three Bama football players were arrested over the weekend. Seems to be minor stuff, nothing that doesn't happen every Friday night outside of a college-town bar. Should be interesting to see the outcry for Saban's punishment and such and such. Yawn, whatever, I know we need some discipline injected into the program and all, but let's not get carried away and call for these guys to be banned from the state.

Besides, who cares? NCAA 08 comes out tomorrow!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Déme la libertad o déme la muerte

I like loud music. I really do. It's just plain fun to roll the windows down, crank the stereo up and rock the fuck out.

That said, Velvet Revolver's Libertad does not disappoint. It's loud, it hard, and it doesn't let up until it's over.

Right from the opener, "Let it Roll," the energy is cranked up and never ceases. Even slower songs like "The Last Fight" have an up-tempo feel to them. As usual, Slash is the fucking man and well, that's all you need to know.

However, what I really love about this CD is that I can hear more of Scott Weiland's influence in the songs. Contraband was awesome, but sounded like Guns N' Roses just got a new lead singer. Libertad actually sounds like Velvet Revolver has finally become their own band. They took what worked on their debut album, and said "alright where can we improve and expand?"

This shows especially in songs like "Get Out the Door," "Pills, Demons & Etc." and "Mary, Mary." There's an even ELO cover to boot, "Can't Get It Out of My Head."

It's a great CD that continues to make 2007 a very good year for rock music. It's worth the buy/download for any fan of good, hard rock.

Weekend 6-pack
Shooter Jennings - Electric Rodeo
Waylon Jennings - Ultimate Waylon Jennings
Hank Williams, Jr. - That's How They Do It In Dixie
Velvet Revolver - Libertad
Kid Rock - Live Trucker
3 Doors Down - The Better Life

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I like where this is headed

Kid Rock's upcoming album sounds like a winner.

Not only do I LOVE the name -- "Rock and Roll Jesus" -- but this sounds promising:
The album is hot shit: a balls-out rock record with strip-club-ready bangers like “So Hot,” giant AC/DC-style guitars, better singing than ever and only one rap song.
It's been a solid year of music so far, and looks to get better.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On second thought...

Ah, the day after the MLB All-Star Game... it sucks. Officially the worst day of the year -- excluding the Sunday after any Iron Bowl loss.

So, what to write about? Why, go back and review baseball picks, naturally.

AL East
Pick: Boston -- 10 games up and the only team in the division above 500. Yeah, I think I'm looking good here. I, unlike many, do not foresee a Yankee comeback -- simply because the pitching is just not there, and it would take a BIG collapse by Boston to lose that lead. Ain't happening.

AL Central
Pick: Detroit -- A game up on the Indians and currently the hottest team in baseball, another point for me.

AL West
Pick: Anaheim -- Looking solid, but Seattle is gaining ground and fast. Should be interesting to see who does what at the deadline in this division.

AL Wild Card
Pick: Minnesota -- Well, ya can't win 'em all. Still a lot of baseball to be played, though, and having Joe Mauer back and healthy should help. But seven games is a lot to make up, and I don't see them making a big move for another bat.

NL East
Pick: Atlanta -- Well, it's been ugly, but the Bravos are only two back at the break. But, there are a lot of ifs: Chipper staying healthy, Smoltzie healing quickly, Hudson regaining his early season form, Salty getting the full-time 1B job, making a deadline deal to get another starter. And what's this big rumor going around about Mark Teixeira? I swear... don't give up Salty unless it's for Erik Bedard or something ridiculous. It's possible I could be right here, but things need to happen for Hotlanta to reclaim their NL East throne.

NL Central
Pick: Milwaukee -- Now, I know I wasn't exactly the only one to pick the Brew Crew as a semi-surprise over St. Louis, but it still feels good.

NL West
Pick: L.A. -- One back and with the possible NL Cy Young in Brad Penny, I feel good about this one. However, I'd feel a lot better if San Diego didn't have two guys named Jake Peavy and Chris Young.

NL Wild Card
Pick: New York -- Well, they're leading the East, although it seems like they don't want to win it. Maybe everyone is going for that Florida Marlins approach and trying to just win the Wild Card en route to the Series. Still, you have to think the Mets will be playing in October unless the pitching falters and bats like Carlos Beltran don't heat up.

Overall Grade: A -- I'm still in the running for a perfect slate if some chips fall right, but more than likely I'm looking at a 5/6 outta 8 exact picks and possibly a 7 outta 8 in who makes the playoffs.

Other notes

James Hetfield is a terrorist!

Well, no wonder the new CD is taking forever to make.

Oklahoma doesn't win some games they really won

Don't even get me started on the NCAA... no I'm serious, don't do it, I've got shit to do.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming

Sorry for the absence, I was at the beach (oh, be jealous).

As my penance to you, the valued reader, I give you a completely random rant:

There is a certain group of people that I don't get -- well, there are a lot of groups I don't get, like "vegetarians" who eat bacon-flavored stuff but say bacon is evil... weirdos. The group I am specifically talking about is a certain group of country fans. I was perusing Facebook last week and noticed one of my friends belongs to a group called "Big & Rich are the worst thing to ever happen to country music" or some shit. I find this extremely funny considering they listen to "country" artists like Rascal Flatts and some pretty boy fag named Billy Carringsomethingoranother. Those two are "country" only because Clear Channel Radio says so.

ANYWAY, I was reading the reasoning of some of the members and I found it extremely laughable. A lot of them pointed to artists like Cash and Waylon and Willie (and the boys...) as "real country, man!"

Now, I agree wholeheartedly -- that is the best country music ever made. HOWEVER, what they and many people fail to realize is that in their day, those guys weren't considered "real" country, they were "outlaws" because they went against the traditional sounds of country. And yet, these same guys hate people like Big & Rich because "they aren't real country...man!"

Well, that should mean we should embrace people like B&R and Shooter Jennings as a new outlaw country movement -- because they won't give in to what Nashville tells them to put out. Country, more so than any other musical genre, is about the establishment and "tradition" and falling in line. But it seems that we forget that so many of our favorite artists we idolize now were outlaws in their day (I once asked my grandma if she liked Johnny Cash, and she responded "No, he was a jailbird druggie."), and that's what made them the icons they are today. I mean, if those guys fall in line we have a bunch of Conway Twitty's running around (now he has one or two good tunes, but he bores me most of the time).

Yet, Big & Rich are largely hated on because they do their own thing and aren't ashamed of it -- as they proclaim right away on their first track of Horse of a Different Color: "Brothers and sisters, we present to you country music without prejudice!" What's even funnier is that no one bothers to listen to more than "Save a Horse" or "Comin' to Your City" -- believe you me, if you listen to a B&R cd you will not mistake it for anything other than a country record.

That brings me to their second argument, which was someone using George Strait's duet with Alan Jackson "Murder on Music Row" to point out that even "real" country stars know what's up. Well, first that song was recorded in 1999 -- well before the Muzik Mafia (B&R, Gretchen Wilson and a bunch of relative unknowns) hit the scene. And that was speaking to more of the pop-country movement of people like Shania Twain and... well, whoever the hell else is on the radio, I don't know I don't listen to country radio anymore.

But, as much as I love AJ and respect George Strait, that just points out the prejudice B&R speak of: unwillingness to accept new sounds. One line just kills me in that song (which I like for the most part): "But drums and rock 'n' roll guitars / Are mixed up in your face" -- are you kidding? Johnny Cash was more rock n roll than most rockers were at the time, as well as all the Outlaws were. And AJ gave up his traditionalist card when he recorded a song with Jimmy Buffett -- who isn't traditional anything other than himself. Another quick side note: the most recent addition to the Muzk Mafia family? Traditionalist John Anderson.

It's like country is afraid of evolving, ever. Hell, even Alabama -- my favorite band ever, who admittedly are very establishment, especially at the end of their career -- caught flak coming into the scene. First, they couldn't make it because they were a band, and bands only backed people up in country. Then, they wouldn't work because they were "too rock n roll" -- it's amazes me that the country scene won't accept any change at all.

Now, I know this was been probably all obvious shit -- and I've kind of forgotten where I'm going with this. But, people who hate on an artist because he or she ain't "real" country should shut up and go away. Now, hating on these pop acts I understand -- they're too much about image and not enough about music (which I guess is to be said for ALL genres nowadays).

But the fact that people like Big & Rich, Shooter, Cross Canadian Ragweed and others get dissed is plain insulting to what people like Waylon, Cash, Hank Jr. and Willie fought for. Like I said, I don't listen to country radio, mainly because it seems every country station is a Clear Channel station and they all play that same pop crap.

But I do watch CMT from time to time to see what's going on, but mostly I just watch "Wide Open Country" because it has the good stuff. Well, the other day I saw something that just reaffirmed my beliefs. First, WOC is supposed to be videos of "fringe" artists that "aren't quite country" -- well they play bluegrass and stuff like Old Crow Medicine Show that fits that mold. But they also play CrossCR, Shooter, Pat Green and the like -- which to me are all country artists. Now the point: I was watching one time and they played something that is so straightforward country it is ridiculous that it would even be considered for WOC: Dwight fucking Yokam.

And it didn't piss me off, it made me laugh. Why? Because everyone aruges about "real" country and "fake" country and they rail artists who dare to do something against Nashville's will. Yet, not only are they being hypocritical (as I probably am too somewhere in here), but so is the country establishment itself. So all the while country music is setting about protecting its "tradition" and "values" -- but it can't even agree with itself on what exactly country is.

[end rant]

Quick MLB All-Star game note or two:

Brian Roberts should have been the AL starter at second base, he and Bedard are the only players worth a damn on that team.

If it's been said 234980329480 times, it hasn't been said enough: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are the absolute worst announce team in the history of sports.