Every Year The Yankees Do This To Me

Injuries, injuries everywhere. What kind of training regimen are these guys on that makes ’em so fragile? The season is only a few games old, and it seems like half the starting lineup is already on the IL or facing end-of-season surgery.

In Spring Training, Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks went down and I’m guessing from all the cryptic garbage we hear on their condition, won’t be back until late May at the earliest. Dellin Bettances out until mid-April. Didi Gregorius gone for most likely the entire season.

And now, Giancarlo Stanton out for a week with a biceps injury, and FAR worse, Miguel Andujar, last year’s shoulda-been rookie of the year, gets a torn up right shoulder that might require season ending surgery.

Last year it was Aaron Judge out for six weeks. Jordan Montgomery out for Tommy John surgery (hopefully back this summer).

These guys seem like they’re made of paper maché and glass. What gives? After a weekend of watching college kids take body-slam spills to the hardwood floor and get right back up again in the NCAAs (except for that poor kid on Auburn who ripped his ACL), why are baseball players so damn delicate?

Yeah, I know… maybe the call-ups from AAA like Frazier and Wade and German can become another Andujar-esque surprise, but I’m not holding my breath. They got a relatively easy schedule to start the season – only a 2 game Red Sox series and a series with the Astros loom large alongside teams like Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, the Angels and San Francisco… but how many holes can be filled at once?

Though somehow, watching Sonny Gray have a classic Sonny Gray Yankee-like start for the Reds the other day (walks in runs, over 80 pitches by the middle of the 3rd and gets pulled) gave me some hope that the roster this year’ll be better. Sanchez looks like he’s hitting again. Greg “Mr. March” Bird doesn’t look too pathetic, at least not yet. New additions James Paxton and Adam Ottovino are both pitching well. Sabathia returns soon from his suspension. And the Red Sox are off to a bad start.

But they gotta stay healthy. This is getting ridiculous.

BTW, I found the photo above on this smartass’ dormant Yankee-hating blog, which I must admit made me laugh scrolling through it. It’s funny the intense emotions something as silly as sports bring out of people.

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Yes, I Will Actually Commend Our Tax Bureaucrats

Every year it seems I screw up some aspect of either my Fed or California tax return. I mess up on some aspect of the form that got changed from the year before, or despite double and triple checking the math, fail to identify some piece that will save me money.

Yeah, you read that right, I most often err in favor to the government. This has never bothered me, since it’s never that much money (I guess) and I figure it’d be my ticket out of jail if I ever worried that my plea of “dumbass” was met with skepticism in some tax court.

And yes, I’m too cheap to hire someone or use software since I still fill in downloaded forms and snail mail hard copies of my taxes. I don’t trust the e-file system and they don’t have free software for Macs, far as I know. I prefer the old paper system and there’s no reason to change it. And get off my lawn.

So this year, turns out I messed up the math on adjusting my deductions to California since they made the form a lot more complicated, although for a good reason. With the state & local tax deduction capped at 10K, they added a load of boxes and lines and instructions that, if properly navigated, maintain property tax deductions over 10K from the California state income tax. I don’t pay more than 10K in property tax with my humble abode, and I wound up subtracting some figure I should not have. California tax instructions are up there with the new math in terms of confusion. I messed up, they caught it, and it wound up shrinking my state refund by a few hundred bucks.

They simply refigured my math, accepted that I am a dumbass, adjusted the amount and direct deposited the proper one.

Continue reading “Yes, I Will Actually Commend Our Tax Bureaucrats”

Therapy

To cheer myself up: The local pet supply store I used to get stuff from has a big black store cat. So I went over there just to pet the cat, something I do every now and then when I’m jonesin’ for cat petting.

Well, I must have done it right today, since he decided to get up right in my face and HEAD BUTT ME while purring. Those of us well-versed in cat language understand that means he decided he LOVES ME!!!!

So that was definitely the high point of my day.

Then I trolled the Goodwill around the corner and scored a very nice dark blue 100% Camels Hair jacket in my size for only ten bucks. HELL YEAH!

And then I restocked on wines from Trader Joe’s, and despite the fact that they insist on rearranging that damn store every time I walk in, I managed to find what I wanted.

Now I think I’ll make myself a drink, start preparing dinner, and watch the rest of my bracket go to hell.

Friday Art: Stanczyk by Jan Matejko (1862)

Matejko, arguably Poland’s greatest painter, depicts Stancyzk, the famous Renaissance jester of the Polish court, sitting alone and depressed, away from the festive ball going on in the next room. He just read a letter describing the loss of Smolensk to the Russians. It’s sitting on the table next to him. His jester’s marotte lies on the floor, useless. The wrinkled rug suggests how he fell into that seat in shock upon hearing the bad news.

Along with the discarded marotte, there are a bunch of other symbols all over this work that I could go on about but they’re all nicely handled on wikipedia even, all depicting the coming doom of the then-Polish empire. Matejko painted this while what is now Poland was pretty much carved up by Russia and Austria or served as a Prussian province. So that’s why Stanczyk is so bummed.

But why am I too bummed to discuss symbolism?

I picked this work for today since it’s my current mood after getting a rejection letter from a lit agent. It’s as if Matejko painted me a selfie 157 years in advance. Nobody wants to invite me to the party in the next room, evidently. So I’ll just sit here and sulk. Not sure if red is my color, either. And this hat is too tight.


Life Begins On Opening Day, 2019 Version

Baseball is back tomorrow, with the Yankees opening up with the Orioles at home.

All the predictions I’ve seen for this season essentially have last season’s winners repeating, except for a few people picking the Phillies due to all of their impressive off-season acquisitions.

Gotta say… I mostly concur, especially in the AL, where the Yankees, Astros and defending champ Red Sox are easily the top teams in the league. I doubt the Sox can win as many games as they did last year, but I can still see them and the Yankees at 100+ wins and fighting over division versus wild card with a 90+ win Rays team breathing down their necks. The Astros ought to win the west without a total collapse, in which case the A’s might surprise. The Indians are a safe bet for the central. Neither the Twins or White Sox can really mount a real challenge.

In the NL? A lot of people picking the Dodgers, but I dunno… they might have a real fight for the west on their hands with the Rockies. The central is a tossup between the Brewers and Cubs, the Cards are always in it and the Reds added enough to make themselves into the spoiler. I’d probably go with the Cubs if I had to. The NL east is a good race too – I wouldn’t count the Nats out even with losing Harper, the Phillies should definitely make a run for it, but I think I’d take Atlanta to repeat in the end.

And in the post-season? Well, who the hell knows, with all the playoff tiers and 1 game wild cards and who’ll be injured and what not. Whatever the hot team in September coming into it turns out to be will mostly likely come out on top.

The Yankees? Certainly could be – they got a killer hitting line-up if everyone stays healthy and the stars align. I just hope it won’t be home runs or nothing, though…. doesn’t anyone play contact ball anymore?? Stupid analytics, shifts and bullshit…. math is the enemy of this sport. The pitching is good enough, bullpen strong… but already some health issues with Severino and Bettances. And Paxton has had issues in the past. On the plus side, there’s no more expecting that certain loss on Sonny Gray day.

We’ll see. My hopes are up for this Yankee team, but they got probably the best Red Sox team in history (and that’s sayin’ somethin’) to overcome.

Perhaps I Was Too Hasty In Mostly Abandoning Facebook….

This ad just turned up. No restrictions? I would have thought the only restrictions were what kind of cookies she baked for me before I felt the lash.

OATMEAL RAISIN,YOU WORM!

She’ll also braid you like a challah.

Dunno, I bet a dom who made a mean (no pun intended) maztohball soup and told you to wear a sweater because the dungeon is cold would be refreshingly different for some. And you’ll meet them on Happiness Coming.

Thousands of happy men and women met their soul mates there. And I hope they all stay far, far away from me.

Spring Break 2019

I will enjoy the gentleman-of-leisure life for the next couple of weeks. I’ll watch too much college basketball to kick it off, then begin the baseball season on the 28th when the Yankees open up. Got a ton of movies in the queue, books to get to, and ample time to go on thrift store safaris for even MOAR crap.

AND I will devote some time to work on two new books, one for each series I’ve got going. I‘ll be a good boy, I promise.

AND it’s spring… if the sun ever comes out, I might even go outside.

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