Friday, April 17, 2009

Moving On, and More on NY Baseball

Well, my first day as a Mookie Champion was surprisingly just like every other day before it. I got to my office and waited at the door for about 5 full minutes for someone to come out, roll out a red carpet and hold open the door for me. But no one. And there was no brass band welcoming me, not even one of those pianist types with the tuxedo and the white gloves, nobody. I suppose it's possible that they just don't know about the Feat I accomplished on Wednesday night, but I mean, word travels, right? I mean, how could they not know?

Otherwise, life has just kinda moved on since The Feat. I still had to go to the bathroom when I woke up on Thursday, I still have to wipe my ass like the rest of you, and I'm still in the end just another working stiff that's part of the rat race here in the biggest city in the country. Much to my surprise, having won the Mookie really hasn't had any impact at all on my day-to-day. Well, I mean, other than the smugness. Previously thought to be impossible, you should see the increased level of derision I have been bringing to all of my dealings, both at home and at the office, these past couple of days. I mean, within minutes of me arriving at the office on Thursday, some clown had the temerity to schedule me for a 5pm meeting on Thursday afternoon. Now of course the old me woulda just accepted the invitation and moved on with my day, but now that I'm a Mookie winner? Puh-lease. I may not know all the details of what being a Mookie champion entails, but I'm quite sure members of such an exclusive group do not take 5pm meetings the day after their most respected of victories. I could not have taken more than, oh, 5 seconds before sending along the "decline" via Outlook, citing simply "previous engagements" as the culprit, a personal favorite excuse of mine. And, why, just this morning my 3-year-old asked me if I would read her her favorite book before I left for work today, and I was like "What? You cannot really expect me, a winner of the Mookie, to actually sit down and recite single-syllable words to a mere child? Why, Mookie winners have personal assistants and live-in nannies for that sort of thing! Now run along, child, and find someone like that nice lady over there asleep in bed who seem more worthy of such a request." As you can see I am focused on not letting this get to my head. It's hard sometimes though, just after fulfilling your lifelong dream and all.

Speaking of that, a number of you have asked based on things I have said in the past, but no the blog is not going away now that I have won the Mookie. There was a time not too long ago where I was very clear with anyone who would listen that I would immediately be shutting down the blog if I won the Mookie. I said it back then, and I meant it too. Some time ago I was really dissatisfied with the blog and the kinds of attention it had brought me over three years of near daily posting. I mean, it's one thing to have yourself be a prominent subject of three or four other people's blogs out there, that kind of thing can be almost flattering in its own way even when the things being said about you are less than complimentary. But when I've got people impersonating me over email and blog comments, representing that I have said and done things which I did not, and people registering eerily similar IM, facebook and twitter IDs to mine and then bogusly contacting people in ways I would never do, it really makes a guy think "Why the hell am I doing this again?" So several months ago, before I changed some things up about my focus in life as well as on the blog, I really was looking for an exit strategy, and winning the Mookie was going to be it. If I ever won the Mookie, I knew exactly what I would do, which would be make one final post, decrying anything and everything about what has changed in this group of poker bloggers over the past four years or so, and then hang em up. Just like that.

But over the past many months, things have really changed. The bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, and with it I went through an incredibly stressful and tumultuous time of my own. A whole lot changed in my life during 2008, most of it in a semi rushed, semi frantic fashion, and with some of those more tangible changes came also a different outlook on my life and on the things in it that tend to contribute positively or negatively to my degree of happiness at any given time. One of the many lesser effects of all this was my somewhat abrupt change here on the focus of this here blog. What had previously been largely a daily diary of my poker-related thoughts became much more broad, frankly, because that's what I wanted to write about at the time. That's what I needed to be writing about at the time. So I did. And you know what? It's turned out A-ok with me. As I said, writing about poker all the time for several years ended up bringing me a significantly outsized proportion of grief and negativity as compared to the positives, so I just stopped writing about poker all the time. Lately, as I am quite aware, there has been very little poker here on the blog, and I'm ok with that too. I expect to focus more on poker over the balance of this year, but the changes from an all-poker, all-the-time focus here are probably gone. The downside of that of course is that you poker strategy hounds will not be as satisfied as you maybe once were with the content of my daily musings. But the upside is not only a broader, and I think more interesting range of topics (certainly from my perspective), but more generally, it buys my happiness, and my satisfaction with the direction this blog is headed.

So no, I'm not taking the blog anywhere despite the fact that I have finally, mercifully won a Mookie tournament. Some of you will no doubt be very disappointed by this, but it turns out I won the Mookie about a year or two too late for it to be the cause of blogicide. If this was 18 months ago, I tell you you all would have had a whole lot fewer words to have read over that time, because I would have happily been gone. But instead, now I think you're still stuck with me here for a while. And incidentally, I have some interesting poker-related stuff in the works over the near term, as I actually find myself missing writing about poker as much as I used to, so I look forward to getting back to that over the near term, in addition to making some of the changes to the blog's appearance and structure that I had written about as part of my New Year's goals posts for 2009.

In other news, the Yankees and Mets just continue to frustrate, with both teams managing to lose their respective home openers to ruin the debuts of each team's brand new stadium, and providing the best imaginable fodder for me to listen to on sports radio all day long. The Mets began the fun by losing 6-5 to the lowly Padres on Monday this week, in what was supposed to be a setup game to the Mets to steamroll the worst team in the National League in their home opener, and my favorite part about that was Padres leadoff man Jody Gerut smacking the first pitch of the day from the Mets' Mike Pelfrey over the left field wall, thereby getting himself and the Padres into the stadium record books with the first hit, run, home run and RBI in Citi Field history rather than some random Met player.

The Yankees fared slightly better in their own home opener on Thursday night, as they too gave up their new stadium's first run and RBI to an Indians player, but they did at least manage to record the new Yankee stadium's first ever hit from Johnny Damon in the first, and its first home run when the ageless Jorge Posada put one over the wall in the 5th inning. And then the Yankees promptly gave up 9 runs in the 7th, and got killed 10-2 to open their own stadium in style. So sweeeeeeeeet.

So the Yankees fell to 5-5, 2.5 games behind the upstart Blue Jays, through ten games so far in the 2009 season, which may not sound so bad given their starts in recent seasons, but which is certainly viewed as unacceptable by ownership who has once again provided manager Joe Girardi with far and away the greatest team money can buy, from a pure talent perspective. CC Sabathia's line from last night in the Yankees' loss? 122 pitches thrown in 5.2 innings pitched, giving up 5 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts and just one earned run. So it wasn't a terrible start, but you have to wonder where the 5 walks in 5 innings comes from, or the 122 pitches that caused the Yanks' ace to be pulled from the game in the 6th and leaving its bullpen out there to eventually throw the game down the toilet. So far over three starts, Sabathia's stats are 19 hits, 10 walks, 10 strikeouts and 7 earned runs allowed in 17.2 innings pitched, providing an ERA of 3.57 and a WHIP of 1.68 that is not exactly encouraging for the guy the Yankees need to perform like the best pitcher in the American League. Add up Sabathia's and Chien-Ming Wang's stats so far this young season, and you're looking at a 1-3 record and 22.1 innings pitched featuring 34 hits, 16 walks, 11 strikeouts and 22 earned runs allowed. That's half of the Yankees' starting rotation right there. Thank God AJ Burnett has been the real deal so far for the Yankees, or they would be in serious trouble. But you've never heard the rabid Yankee fans calling for A-Rod to return to the team so quickly, I'll tell you that.

The Mets, meanwhile, currently sit at 4-5, a full 4 games behind the surging Marlins already, and the fans and announcers are just tearing their hair out all over the radio trying to figure out what is wrong with this team. I know exactly what it is, and it ain't exactly rocket science. So far in two starts, Mike Pelfrey, who like Sabathia and Wang for the Yanks was being relied on as steady consistent pitchers for the 2009 season to go as planned, has had a horrible beginning, pitching 10 innings and giving up 13 hits, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts and 9 earned runs, including 3 home runs already in just two starts. #2 man in the rotation John Maine has also pitched 10 innings, giving up 9 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts and 8 earned runs. #4 starter Oliver Perez's line looks eerily similar, with 10.1 innings pitched over two starts, and giving up 8 hits, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts and 9 earned runs. When 75% of your starting rotation has a combined ERA of over 8, I don't think you have to look far to understand just what is wrong with the team.

OK before I go, I just wanted to remind everyone that this coming Sunday night at 9:30pm ET is the latest of Miami Don's Big Games, but this time with a twist. Instead of the usual $75 buyin for the Big Game, also part of the BBT4 which begins the second half of its run on Sunday, this Sunday will feature a $26 buyin, and will be a 1-rebuy, 1-addon tournament instead of its usual freezeout format. So the game is still no-limit holdem and all, but it's $26 to play, and you get one $26 rebuy anytime during the first two levels, followed by a $26 addon as well for a maximum contribution by any one entrant of $78, but giving the possibility of someone winning their way in with just one $26 investment. This may be the first time a blonkament has been played with a 1r+1a format like this, and I think it should make for a fun time and a nice break from the regular nlh freezeouts we seem to play most other days of the week. Me, I plan to be there and to play a game befitting of someone who just won the Mookie, who regularly crushes the Big Game, and who has some money to burn. So keep your eyes peeled for that on Sunday night, and of course for my Mookie profile when it gets up, probably sometime next week over on Mookie's blog, and for my own blog, which will be back here and better than ever on Monday and not gone dark like some of you had feared (or looked forward to).

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Blogger Astin said...

Wait... you wipe your OWN ass? That's a thing people do? And I thought Consuela was full of shit when she told me that wasn't in her job description.

I remember when I won The Mookie. For a solid week I had people pushing elevator buttons for me, lifting me in a sedan chair to my chair at the office (which they freshly dusted), and blocking the paparazzi while rerouting the supermodels to my private room in the back. Then some other douchebag won the following week and it all disappeared.

Go Jays Go!

12:24 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

When I won the Mookie, I was legally allowed to have one person of my choice killed.

Of course, the economy was still good then.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

Go Jays Go!


2:53 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

The yankees and mets play so bad they could win back 2 back mookies!!

2:56 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

good stuff

3:12 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...


3:12 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

pigs really do fly!!!

Woot and congrats.. .A little late to the dance but better late then never...

I and all the previous Mookie winners (or at least some of them) welcome you to our elite club.

5:12 AM  

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