Monday, July 31, 2006

A fantasy baseball rant

I'm in a 20 team head to head baseball league. The categories:
R, RBI, SB, Avg, OBP, Slg, IP, W, SV, ERA, WHIP, K/BB

To win any pitching categories, you need to have 25 IP through the week.

I am currently in 4th place, with the top 6 making the playoffs. The top 2 finishers in the regular season and the playoff winner moves up to the next division (the league is patterned after the English Premiership).

Here is my team as of Saturday:

C AJ Piernzynski
1B Craig Wilson
2B Tag Iguchi
3B Kevin Youkilis
SS Derek Jeter
CI Prince Fielder
MI Khalil Greene
OF Miguel Cabrera
OF Adam Dunn
OF Trot Nixon
OF Nick Markasis
Util Edwin Encarnacion
Util Brian Schneider
Bench Reggie Sanders (currently on DL)
SP Scott Kazmir
SP Tom Glavine
SP Bartolo Colon
SP Mark Hendrickson
RP Luis Vizcaino
RP Byuhn-Hyun Kim
RP Mike Timlin
P Jon Rauch
P Ron Villone
P Rudy Seanez
Bench Casey Fossum
DL John Patterson
DL Keith Foulke

Since Saturday, the following has happened:

  • Scott Kazmir went on the DL

  • Bartolo Colon went on the DL

  • Trot Nixon went on the DL

  • Craig Wilson was traded to the Yankees, where he will not play daily

  • Casey Fossum threw 7 innings of shutout ball (only mentioned because he was on my bench for some reason that I can't understand, since he wasn't on my bench yesterday.)

  • Chris Shelton was sent to AAA (mentioned because I traded him for Glavine)

With 5 weeks left and my place in the playoffs only secure by 9 games, I really could have used a few less injuries and players being traded into a bench position. In the meantime, go Mark Hendrickson!

The baby kangaroo

(Note: this post is about poker and/or Las Vegas, and is really just for somebody who would want to hear about it, but wouldn't frequent the site where it can be found.)

At this year's World Series of Poker, two professional poker players had an interesting bet. The loser of the bet would be the person who had the worst showing in the preliminary events leading up to the World Series of Poker main event. The winner would then decide what the winner would wear during the duration of the main event (which will be 11 days). The attire would be mostly superhero costumes.

The poker players? Joe Sebok and Gavin Smith. Joe and Gavin are also hosts of The Circuit, a radio show that can be heard live on Sirius Radio and through their website on And the winner is...Gavin Smith. Thus far, Joe Sebok has had to wear three costumes:

On the very first day, Sebok wore an old-school Robin costume.

On the second day, he wore a baby cub costume. (Sebok is known as the Cub.)

On the third day, he wore a Spider-man costume.

(Second and third day pictures are taken from Dr. Pauly's site - The Tao of Poker. If you have any interest in the professional poker scene, or even poker in general, you should be visiting there on a daily basis.)

But don't feel sorry for Joe - according to Norm, Sebok (or Sobek, as Norm refers to him as) and Shannon Elizabeth are an item.

(Aside on the Norm column: Somebody missed the ball on that one. First, the Sebok/Sobek mix up occurred, but I can accept that I guess since Sebok isn't a household name. But calling Tobey Maguire "Batman"? That's a horrible mistake that should have been caught by an editor if not Norm himself.)

Tit for Tat

Legendary poker player Doyle Brunson was roasted on Thursday. Among the attendees was Pamela Anderson, who had just announced her own poker website in conjunction with Brunson. Well, the roast had it's ups and downs, but it seems like the target was squarely on the head of Pam.

From Norm Clarke:
Things got tense when a member of Anderson's entourage yelled at Garrett as Anderson walked off the dais after making the short speech of the night.

"When are you going to get funny, Brad?" a member of Anderson's entourage yelled as she headed for the door.

"Come on," huffed Garrett, calling out the heckler. "When you're done shooting up, we'll go toe to toe."


Sources tell me Garrett was asked by Anderson's people before the roast to "lay off" her. Garrett, who was a co-star on the long-running "Everybody Loves Raymond," wasted no time in targeting Anderson's famous curves and her headline-grabbing sexploits.

And another account can be found here - scroll down to the entry named "A Moment to Exhale".

One thing that should be noted was that Pam's official stance is that there was an agreement made between her, Garrett agents and everybody else involved (but not necessarily Garrett himself) that Pam would not become the focal point of the roast. But still, it was not a good night for Ms. Anderson.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The power of the gods

This photo is one of the coolest that I have seen. Then again, it combines two of my favourite photo subjects - Las Vegas and lightning strikes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breaking up is hard to do

I participate in a lot of fantasy sports leagues. The most common way to win fantasy leagues is to pick players in the middle to late rounds and have them exceed expectations by far. As such, once you get past round 7 or so, you are really trying to find the player most likely to have a better than expected season.

With all of this in mind, there are players that you get attached to. These are the guys who are decent, but you know have the talent deep down to be amazing players. As such, you end up taking them year after year, thinking that this will be the year they live up to your expectations. And after they once again put up their decent numbers that you could have gotten from a number of players, you manage to convince yourself that next year will be the year.

I have a few of these players that I always seem to fall back to: Dick Tarnstrom, Jaroslav Spacek, and Sergei Samsonov(*). This year was going to be the year that I had a clean break from them. Spacek has established himself as a solid 2/3 defenseman, but there are enough defensemen that can do what he does. But then, it happened. After weeks of inactivtiy, Bob Gainey woke up and made three moves:

So here's my dilemma: My brain is telling me that this is not the best signing for the Canadiens - Samsonov is a fast, undersized skilled player who is easily hurt and doesn't necessarily fill a need. But my heart is saying "Greatest addition ever! What number is Samsonov wearing? 14? How soon can you get his jersey?"

Right now, I'm doing a good job of not letting my emotions run wild. I haven't run out and bought the home and away jerseys, but at the same time, I know that having Samsonov on the second line is better than what they previously had. But come October, should Samsonov have 14 points in his first 5 games, make sure you say hi to the crazy guy wearing the Samsonov jersey in the GTA, and I'll make sure to say hi back.

(*): You'll also note that all of these players were on the 2006 Edmonton Oilers team that almost won the Stanley Cup; truth be told, the Oilers also have Ales Hemsky, who is very close to being a charter member of the club.)

What all the really cool kids have

RoboSapien seems like a regular robot, but add in a flame thrower, and you get a dangerous, cool toy.

Not the greatest display of judgement

A month ago, fans of the Edmonton Oilers were debating whether Robbie Schremp should be dressed to help their power play during the Stanley Cup. Now, they agree - Schremp should just remain fully dressed.

Check out his MySpace account here.

(h/t: Tyler)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blogging the funny

The funny being the ridiculousness that is the Islanders' bizzare move to fire Neil Smith.

First, the summary:

- Neil Smith gets fired after a month of being GM,
- Smith is considering legal action because of a contract dispute (he might not have signed a contract or had a sub-par contract - the actual reason is not clear),
- Pat Lafontaine resigns after the new conference announcing Smith's firing,
- Garth Snow goes from back up goaltender to GM of the Islanders. The owner cites Snow's integrity as one of the main reasons he got the job.
- Pictures of Snow hanging out with hot chicks who make out with each other start circulating

All in all, a lovely fiasco. How is the blogging community covering this?

  • Off wing Opinion has been all over this, bringing links to all of the local stories explaining what is going on.

  • Meanwhile, James Mirtle has been covering some of the larger issues surrounding this move. He also has one of the funnier headlines for an item that is tangentally related to this story

  • Tyler at MC79 Hockey has his thoughts under the title The Awesomest Story of the Summer. His idea that Wang is running a Trading Places like competition makes as much sense as any other theory I've heard. He also takes the Islanders to task for not coming up with a better title for their press release, and makes suggestions.

  • Of course, the best headline goes to this from Say It Like It Is

  • The wacky Battle of Albertians feel that now might be the right time to make an offer for Rick DiPietro, and they share a Pierre Lebrun anecdote.

All in all, Charles Wang might become the gift that keeps on giving to hockey bloggers across the land. Who knows what to expect next? Maybe Ted Nolan gets replaced by Eric Cairns?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The unintended post

I really wanted to make my next post something a bit longer, but I have come across a couple of things that I think should be shared with the mass audience that is my 4 readers.

First, this is a link to a YouTube video of Chris Chelios talking about his favourite coach. And it's not Scotty Bowman.

Second, this might be the greatest obituary ever written.

And finally, this eBay auction looks like something this guy might purchase. No truth to the rumour that the next set is the Claude Lemieux/Kris Draper dual figure set.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The JayRo's Musings 100th Post Milestone Extravaganza!

(No, not Milestone's Bar and Grill, makers of fine foods at almost reasonable prices.)

Though if you look at my count in Blogger, it says 101 posts, this is actually post 100. There is a dummy post that I used to start storing links to my Survivor Exile Island posts (and I'll have to update soon). And I can't think of a better way to celebrate the 100th post than by posting the blogger's best friend: the quick shot, multi-point, multi-link post!

  • Survivor: Thailand winner (and occasional soft-core porn actor - Link NSFW) Brian Heidik was arrested for shooting a puppy with a bow and arrow. What has been under-reported in the story is that Heidik was accused of hitting his wife. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article goes into some of the problems that Heidik has apparently had since coming back from Survivor, and is a bit disturbing to read. (Note: In the past it was Mrs. Heidik accused of sposal abuse. And these are still allegations against Mr. Heidik, which haven't been proven one way or another.)

  • In a somewhat surprising announcement, ABC's The One: Making a Music Star have announced a host - George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC's The Hour and resident punk fan. An interesting selection to say the least, and Strombo's definitely not Ryan Seacrest or Ben Mulroney. I just hope he realizes that his credibility is on the line here.

  • Here's an interesting article about the glut of poker dealers in Las Vegas, and the growth of poker rooms in the Las Vegas casinos.

  • has a profile of MGM Grand's president Gamal Aziz. What's interesting about this is Aziz's interesting alternative to revenue projections. Instead of projecting revenues and then discussing whether the projections were met, Aziz sets the maximum amount of revenue that each part of the operation can earn, and then discusses what percentage of that revenue the operation actually reached. As well, it discusses his agressive style trying to increase revenues by not being afraid to re-think major money making sources. Even if you are not that interested in Vegas, you should read this article.

  • MASCOTS GONE WILD! Benny the Bull was arrested for misdemeanor battery and driving within a parkway, while Reedy Rip'It was charged with a misdemeanor charge of molesting.

  • Good news on the book front: Paul Wells has finished his book on the 2006 election, and it should be out in the fall. Paul is one of the best political writers in Canada (if not the world), and the article that was the basis of his book was a great combination of insight and inside information. I will be pre-ordering this as soon as I can.

  • For the first time I can think of, the Las Vegas Monorail was shut down because it broke down at no fault of its own.

  • Before his time? On Friday, Chris McMurtry posted a hypothetical about the Ottawa Senators trading Martin Havlat to the Chicago Blackhawks for Mark Bell and a prospect. In the comments, Rachael went further, proposing Havlat and Bryan Smolinski be traded for Mark Bell and Kyle Calder. On Sunday, Havlat and Smolinski were traded to Chicago for Bell and prospects...kinda

  • And finally...Kate Beckinsale reveals a useless talent.

(UPDATE: In an unexpected bonus, Bonnie Bernstein is doing interviews on the field of the Home Run Derby. WHOO-HOO~!)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Harrah's in a rebuilding mode


From the juicy rumour department: Harrah's has offered the Rio (and possibly another casino to be named) in Las Vegas to Boyd's Gaming Company for the Barbary Coast in Las Vegas.

(Aside 1: The Business Press suggests Westward Ho as a possible property to be traded by Harrah's to Boyd's. The problem is that Harrah's doesn't own the Ho. They could probably get it if they wanted to use it to trade away, and if they did, I would imagine that the current owners would be very happy with their purchase and flip.)

Why would Harrah's give up Rio and it's huge lot for Barbary Coast? Well, take a look at this map. All of the red properties are owned by Harrah's. If they were to own Barbary Coast, they would have a stranglehold on the middle of the strip, and could develop it to their heart's delight. Meanwhile, Boyd's Gaming would get the Rio, which is right next to their own Gold Coast property. And if they could get another property out of it, all the better.

(Aside 2: Why hasn't MGM/Mirage purchased the Jockey Club/Cosmopolitan site yet? The Southwest side of the strip could be theirs very easily.)

So, why am I blogging about this? Beyond this proposal being a trade of properties, which I'm sure happens quite often but never realy at this magnitude, this has an interesting side story should it occur.

The World Series of Poker was held at Binion's Horseshoe since its inception in 1970. In 2005, it moved to Rio (except for the Main Event final table, which remained at Binion's for one last year because of the Las Vegas Centennial celebrations). Should the Rio get traded, the Series would have to find another home at a Harrah's property. The question is, where would it move to? The obvious answer is Caesars Palace, but Harrah's might choose another property to give it some business.

All in all, it will be interesting to see what happens with this rumour.

July 9th Update: Las Vegas Business Press has issued a retraction of sorts on their story. You can find it here (see We Blew It 2). The gist of the update is that they messed up and there are two different rumours for how Harrah's will acquire Barbary Coast. One is that Harrah's will give up the Rio for Barbary Coast and some cash. The other is that Harrah's will acquire the Westward Ho site and then trade it for Barbary Coast.

To be honest, both options make sense for Boyd Gaming. Getting the Rio would be huge because it's a money maker, and it is across the street from the Gold Coast. But the Westward Ho site is right next to the Stardust, which Boyd Gaming is going to be redeveloping, and the extra room would be nice to develop with. As well, without the Barbary Coast Boyd would only have the Stardust as a presence on the Strip. I'm not sure if they are that concerned with a huge strip presence (how many people know of the Barbary Coast), but having that extra room to develop whatever the future is of the Stardust would be good as well.

As for the World Series of Poker, it might be time to look at a suggestion made by Howard Lederer on The Circuit Radio Show. Lederer suggested that Harrah's use more of their other properties to run the earlier days of the main even (and some of the other tournaments that have a lot of players entered). For example, this year's main event will see 8,000 entrants. Because of this, the first day is actually being split into 4 real days - a player will only play on one of those days, and each day will play down until they have a certain number of player remaining (I would guess 800, but don't quote me on that). And then "day 2" would be spread over 3 days in the same manner. This means that "day 3" would actually start on day 8. If Harrah's were to put each of these groups of players into other casinos (say, Harrah's, Bally's, Paris and Caesars Palace) they could actually run a real schedule of Day 1, Day 2, and then move the players into Caesars (for example) for the rest of the playdown. It would also allow them to speed up some of the tournaments, get traffic into their other casinos and if they really wanted to, run more events. It makes too much sense to not happen.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Story of the week update~!

You might remember the Eddie Griffin story I relayed on the weekend. Well, here's a video of a news report on the story, complete with the video of Griffin saying he's drunk. Around 1:26 in, you get the witness talking about Griffin's masturbation while driving. Please note the hand jestures while the discussion is going on.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is Canada Day, birthdate of the great nation of Canada. To celebrate, I give you YouTube links to one of the funniest specials to air on Canadian Broadcast Corporation...Talking to Americans.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Also, a bonus link to the parody of the "Hand in the Pocket" commercials that air in Canada. For those who don't live in Canada and haven't had an opportunity to see these commercials, go ahead and watch anyway, it is still funny.

Your bizarre story of the week

Eddie Griffin, NBA player, is getting sued for a traffic accident he had on March 30th. What's bizarre about it?

  • Griffin was driving without a license,

  • Griffin apparently was drunk and admitted as much, but wasn't charged, even though he has a history of getting in trouble with the law (including marijuana possession), causing an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of the officers investigating the incident,

  • Griffin was masturbating to porn while driving