View From The Bleachers

January 6, 2013

Morning News: NFL, Two Lances, Dontrelle, & A Fat Guy

Filed under: Featured,General — Jedi Johnson @ 11:18 pm

MLB
Two years ago, the Rangers were spurned by one notable free agent – Lance Berkman. He was rather vocal about the Rangers’ decision to sign Adrian Beltre to a long-term deal. This off-season, virtually every free agent has spurned the Rangers, except Lance Berkman. Texas signed Fat Elvis to be their likely solution at DH and provide a bat that sometimes hits from the lefthanded batters’ box.

Late on Friday, the Cubs signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal that could see him earn an invite to the major league camp for Spring Training.

NHL
Is tentatively back…

NFL
The first three games of Wild Card Weekend provided little intrigue. The Bengals stayed close, until the end – but Houston won. The Vikings were without Christian Ponder at QB, and the Packers easily controlled the game. The Colts were no match for the Ravens, who won Ray Lewis’ last home game. And the final game got out of hand late, as the Seahawks took down the Redskins.

But the real news out of the final game is that the Redskins are being accused of putting RG3 at risk of further damaging his knee. Only it’s the famous Dr. James Andrews leveling the accusation, and he claims they’ve been doing so since he was originally injured in mid-December. Of course you hope RG3 shakes it off and comes back fine in September, but if he doesn’t…

Lance Armstrong = Pete Rose
Everyone knows Lance Armstrong is a cheater. Everyone knows Pete Rose bet on baseball. The difference between the two might only be that Lance has seemingly come to grips with reality about 15 years sooner than Pete ever did. Armstrong is already floating the trial balloon of, “ok, I’ll confess to cheating.” The French are breaking out their finest wine and cheese to celebrate.

NCAA
National title game tonight. I really don’t see how Notre Dame wins this game. In 7 of their 12 games they scored 22 points of fewer. In another game they managed only 29 points total after three overtimes. Alabama scored fewer than 30 points only twice all year – at home in a loss to Texas A&M, against the Heisman trophy winner at the peak of TAMU’s season; and then in a win against division rival LSU. In 7 of Alabama’s 13 games they’ve scored 40 points or more. If the Tide rolls, a few more rednecks will have Nick Saban shrines in that broken down RV occupying the front lawn.

Look Into Your Future America
It’s a New Year, and if you don’t already know it, your take home pay is smaller and you’re also paying for health coverage you won’t be getting for a few more years. But people like this will now get to spend millions to remove the consequences of their irresponsible lifestyle. U-S-A! U-S-A!

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  • Doc Raker

    Taxes went up for everyone who earns, health care costs are going up and choices are being eliminated. Welcome to 1984 er 2013 were a charismatic leaders double speek rules the serfs of Obamaland, the brokest place on Earth.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Yay politics! Yay more whining from anti-Obama people!!

  • YUCottonPickin

    That Adrain guy sure was right about his playoff picks. What a joke.
    Who cares about Lance Armstrong. He just wants to be able to take part in marathons and triathlons, I assume in order to keep in shape and not for winning. Just let him.
    Championship game tonight, go Notre Dame. Can’t pull for the SEC

  • YUCottonPickin

    NO BAMA! The football team AND our stupid president.

  • Chuck

    I don’t care about NFL.  I don’t care about college football (the most corrupt major US sport hands down) except for my Cyclones.  I don’t care about Lance except for the fact that if it angers the French I have to support it.  I don’t care about the NHL.  I think we have been sold down the river by both the Democrats and the Republicans.

    There is not a lot here for me to talk about.  I do root for Dontrelle.  The guy was a big bundle of smiles and positive energy.  I always root for guys to come back from injury.

  • Doc Raker

    More like ‘anti-spending money we don’t have to spend people’ but lucky for our ruling class a happy serf like yourself is crucial to their continued spending. 
    *
    I am glad the NHL will be back shortly although a shortened season is caca it is better than nothing.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Words of wisdom.  

  • Josephine (D)
  • Jedi

    Wow, sorry that the throwaway story about a fat guy at the end distracted so many of you.

  • Doug S.

    Re – NHL
    I’ve stated here before that hockey is far down my list of fav sports.
    The news of the league resuming is making a lot of businesses and people in the service industry very happy around here, they were hurting. So I’ll call this a good thing.

  • Doc Raker

    Agree, the hot dog vendor was out of work as the millionaire’s argued with billionaire’s. Let’s play some hockey and get those sports bars rockin again. The skill it takes to stick handle, pass and shoot all while skating in circles with guys chasing you ready to knock you down is pretty incredible. It is the ultimate team game were speed, skill and strategy come together.  In hockey guys play 40 seconds at a time, why? Because they are expected to bust their fanny every second. What other sport plays at that pace for the entire game? I find it a great balance to the greatests game of baseball’s slower more intelectual pace.

  • Seymour Butts

    Well, there was math involved (a stone is 14 lbs). Incredible photos.

  • Doc Raker

    That’s OK Jedi, the serfs will learn sooner or late.

  • Jedi

    Weren’t they, though?  That guy probably’s had his share of bloomin’ onions.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    I’m not sure how many bloomin’ onions one would have to consume in order to completely loose sight of one’s twig and berries, but it must be a few.  

  • YUCottonPickin

    I was thinking the Michael Phelps diet everyday for a year. 4 lbs of fat everyday, 14000 calories.

  • Doug S.

    I like the use of intellectual to describe baseball, though I struggle with it when I think back to the days of Quade-ball.

  • flyslinger2

    We aren’t a happy Nation.  We aren’t a happy nation because at every turn we are told that we aren’t working hard enough (to give more to those who are less fortunate), we aren’t compassionate enough (to have concern for those who have less then us) and that we are mean spirited if we fuss about any of this.  I, for one, am tired of the Gimmee generation and I refuse to participate in it.  I recently was awarded two contracts to do work for the Army and thus getting myself back into better shape financially as well.  I will not hire one employee which in turn would require me to pay additional taxes as a company owner to support these stupid ideas put forth recently.  I am hiring individuals as contractors and require them to cover their own taxes and benefits.

    NFL-I’m all in for Ravens.
    NHL-Isn’t that a game where a bunch of bullies skate around with half filled jaws of teeth beating each other with sticks? Pass.
    Rose -vs- Lance-both are slugs.
    NCAA-ND all the way. Mrs. Fly and I had our first (and many to follow) kiss at a home ND game.
    Large-give the guy credit for trying to get his life back in order.  Too bad he did major damage to his body and probably shortened his lifespan in the process.

  • Bryan

    Catholics vs. Cousins…rooting for ND but no way they win.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Well he certainly wasn’t on Michelle’s school diet!

  • Doc Raker

    Quade didn’t have much to work with. A manager always look smarter with a bullpen that can actually get outs and pinch hitters that actually get hits.

  • Doc Raker

    You are not alone Fly, many companies are cutting full timers to part timers to avoid the doublespeek effects of the Affordable Care Act and alike. Good to hear you are getting busy. The serfs will learn, like they did in Greece.
    *
    Can’t agree with you on your NHL bashing, I love watching Hockey Night in Canada on a cold SoCal winters night.

  • Jedi

    And when he uses a cleanup hitter who can actually hit cleanup.  During 2011, horse-racing enthusiast Quade managed to start Baker cleanup a whopping 18 times.  Baker didn’t log more than 8 starts at any other spot in the order, and only 45 total starts during that season.  So he was only worthy of being a starter less than 30% of the time…but 40% of the games in which he managed to start, he was the cleanup hitter.  That’s what should be heretofore known as, wildly overanalyzing the splits.

  • Jedi

    mid-40s overnight…what’s that about?

  • Doc Raker

    I erased all of that from my memory, you now have traumatized me with the visual of Jeff Baker hitting in the 4 hole. Please tell me it is over and it will never happen again. I am breaking out in a cold sweat. Starting to cry. Breaking down……no Baker in clea  n    uuuuuuuup sppo  t- help me…..

  • Doc Raker

    About as cold as I want to deal with.

  • Eddie Von White

    Too many Lances’ in the news.

    Maybe the Nats could learn from the Skins or the other way around. Hate to bench a healthy player, but hate to ruin an injured one.

    Watching a hockey game live and in person is the best entertainment available to mankind during the baseball-barren winter months.

    Ideology will no longer change the political arena – it is going to take a major event to change the climate. 40% of my income went to taxes in 2012. I dread what 013 will bring.

  • YUCottonPickin

    Taxes are way too high! I get 20% taken out of mine just lifeguarding. And the last month of the season when I’m working all day every day, I end up getting 25% taken out my taxes. #Obamorons

  • Dusty Baylor

     I dunno.  Until the social security tax increase, from what ..4.2% to 6.2%?   My taxes have been the same for 7 years.

  • Chuck

    My effective income tax rate (excluding SS and Medicare) has been consistently below 5% since I had kids 13 years ago.  The key is to take full advantage of each and every deduction that you have.  The biggest one that people are just too lazy to take advantage of is the charitable deduction.  We donate a LOT of clothes every year with the kids growing like mutant weeds and we keep track of every stitch we donate and it really adds up.  I use the Salvation Valuation Guide to make sure that if we are audited we have a solid basis for the values.  I just use the same spreadsheet every year to make it easier.  I always get a few thousand dollars of deduction out of this and it pays off.
    I will get hammered this year because I got a pretty good bump in pay.

  • Eddie Von White

    That’s what I’m talking about. If you have the fortitude, drive, and will to make a handsome living, you will get hammered with taxes. You can build equity, but when you sell, capital gains will hammer you. You can die with it, but the death tax will hammer your family. On the other hand, if you have a steady job and you live pay check to pay check with a 401k and a slight pay increase each year, you probably won’t feel much tax pain.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    You inadvertently just made a pretty solid case for tax reform.  If you can provide any sort of argument wherein  donating used clothing should be an acceptable form of taxation, I’m all ears.  

  • YUCottonPickin

    Seeing how I’m only 24, living with my parents, and a life-guard and burger flipper, I don’t have any of those. I only get the standard deduction, and this year bc I lived in Florida for 7 months I’ll get the personal exemption too. I wonder if my parents track their donations.

    I like getting hammered though. But I made a resolution to not drink unless I’m in Wisconsin or at a brewery.

  • YUCottonPickin

    But shouldn’t you still build up equity for retirement and such?

  • YUCottonPickin

    How is it different than donating cash? I personally think all deductions and exemptions should be wiped out except teh standard deduction and the personal exemption.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Being in the retirement bussiness, smart people do build up a nest egg, but with the way Obama is going with the spending and taxing instead of the promised less taxes when you retire, it will probably be more.  But on the bright side you will at least have something when you retire as opposed to depending on Social Security which will be bankrupt by 2033.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    I work in the private sector, but I doubt government employees get paid in old trousers.  Something doesn’t add up.  

  • Doc Raker

    Here is an interesting stat for you tax guys. Economist agree that the maximum amount of money a government can collect is 19% of GDP regardless of said tax rates. Tax 0% and government collects nothing, tax 100% and the government collects nothing, there is a tax rate that is best for government revenue and higher tax rates do not always mean more government revenue.
    *
    Our government has been spending 25% of GDP hence our $16,000,000,000 debt going on $18,000,000,000.
    *
    Obamian double speek is to say we don’t have a spending problem and if we can just get the rich to pay their fair share everything will be alright. The serf’s of Obamaland, a.k.a. Brokeastan- the brokest nation in the history of the world, believe Obama. 

  • Doc Raker

    Bagwell, Biggio, Clemens, Bonds, McGuire, Edgar Martinez, Sosa, Raines, Palmero, Trammell, Jack Morris……..am I missing anyone? What a Hall of Fame ballot. 
    *
    Craig Biggio was drafted and brought up as a catcher, he played 250 at catcher, centerfield and second base. Back on the View From the Dome blog back when Biggio was a catcher I floated the idea of Biggio moving to second base. I was met with negativity, I was told I was crazy and all the VFTD experts knew it couldn’t ever happen.
    What is crazier, a catcher moving to second base and having a HOF career or a former second baseman moving from left field to third base? I ask you, VFTB experts.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    So I guess you were Postgrad Raker.  

  • Eddie Von White

    You are correct, Jerry. However, if you retire with “at least…something” but somebody else retires with less than you have, the government will take yours’ and give it to them – after all, that is only fair. Why should you have more than somebody else?

  • Eddie Von White

     Pickin cotton has made you funny.

  • Dusty Baylor

     How old was Biggio when he moved to second base?  26?  At the height of his athletic peak/performance…or close to it?  Was he a bum-kneed, gimpy running 37 year old like Soriano?

  • Eddie Von White

    Yes, equity is good. And even if the current administration wants to tax the crap out of us, there is always the hope that the ones following will want to reward us for our labors and back off. That is my plan. 

  • Seymour Butts

    Do not try to inject logic into this process. Raker has a strong immunity to it and will swat it away like book learning to a country singer.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Seymour Boots had similar anti-Postgrad Raker sentiments on the Astros blog.  

  • Chuck

    I donate old clothes to Goodwill and Hope Ministries and the Salvation Army and the like.  If you can place an accurate assessment of value on those donations, you can deduct them from your taxes.  Just like cash.  It took me years and hard evidence to convince my wife that selling clothes for next to nothing at a garage sale is the worst possible thing you can do with them.  I can’t believe more people don’t do this.
    The people that get screwed the most by the current tax system are the lazy (no sympathy here) and the young and single.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Your plan is brilliant…I’m not arguing with you there.  This is the stupid part. 

    Guy 1:  tax = x% * (earnings)Guy 2: tax = x% * (earnings – pants) 

    Replace pants with mortgage interest or whatever else.  It is basically making a game out of something simple, which has become the issue with income tax.  

  • Chuck

    Congress has long used the tax code for social engineering.  It is/was believed that owning a home made a person more “stable” so they cut you a break to own one.  Ditto for kids.  Even though I feel like I am not paying my fair share, I use all of my deductions to get my money back because I feel it is my duty as an American to do so and I feel that the planet is better off with me spending the money to buy things rather then sending it down the rat hole of the US government.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    So did the fat guy eat all the news reporters yesterday and that is why we do not have news today?

  • YUCottonPickin

    Taking her big butt to Disney World and tying up traffic so she can tell us how to eat. Took me 90 minutes to get to work that day, usually it only took me 15-20.

  • YUCottonPickin

    Good to know. When I start working in the real world, I’m going to have to seek out a financial advisor to discus this. I have a list of long-term life financial goals, this is another thing to add to it.

  • YUCottonPickin

    I’m donating clothes to charities to help those truly less fortunate and not the lazy slobs who do nothing all day. I have no use for the clothes I donate.

  • YUCottonPickin

    I realized this after donating clothes last year. I got the donation in my parents name so the tax deduction isn’t lost, I donated 30 t-shirts and 5 hats, I’d say that’s worth 600 bucks, with them paying 25%, that’s a $150 deduction. MUCH more than you can get at a yard sale.

    Agree with you that the young and single are screwed the worst, that’s why I favor keeping the standard deduction and the personal exemption with a flat tax.

  • YUCottonPickin

    You feel you’re not paying enough? See this is what I don’t like. People say Bush cut taxes too much, and then Barry wants to fix that, and everyone starts having a cow. Make up your mind. Warren Buffet isn’t calling for investment income to be taxed at a higher rate than salary income, he wants them taxed the same and people start flipping out.

  • YUCottonPickin

    The debt has increased 10 trillion since Clinton, but only 15% of that came from Bush’s unwise tax cuts, and Barry’s unwise extension. I still think they’re unwise.

    So 85% of the explosion came from spending. Here is another note:
    From 1776 to 1980, 39 presidents racked up less than 1 trillion dollars of debt, all together, and the government reguarly ran surpluses for the most part. Only for a few years was our debt higher than our GDP, around WWII.
    From 1980-1992, Reagan and Bush Sr. drove it up to 4 trillion
    Clinton ran it to 5.5 trillion, but he left a surplus
    Bush Jr. wiped out the surplus with his unwise tax cuts, and doubled the debt to 11 trillion.
    Barry has since caused it to grow to 16 trillion. I wonder if he can double it like Dubya.

  • YUCottonPickin

    He was moved to 2B early in his career so that his speed wouldn’t get destroyed from being a catcher.

  • YUCottonPickin

    No, the fingers he used for typing are too fat and he was unable to smash the keyboard to get a special typing wand.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Lance Berkman?  

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Be careful with those guys.  From my experience, the term ‘financial adviser’ is largely synonymous to ‘investment salesperson.’  More than one company has made buckets of money on that fake title.  

  • YUCottonPickin

    Well I will need to speak with someone about financial advice. Part of why I studied economics was to help me with being financially secure in my life. Before I took economics classes, I didn’t even know what I would need to seek to be financially secure. For example I didn’t know how health insurance worked, until my teacher was like I have it from the school. Then I thought that that was just something to protect the school if a teacher got injured on school property. So I was like what if you broke your leg in a house accident. Teacher was like, insurance covers it, it’s something for me, not the school

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    You’ve got to be shitting me.  

  • YUCottonPickin

    That was when I was 15. At that age all I cared about was sports.

  • Seymour Butts

    I used to think if earthworms were good enough for fish, they were good enough for me….Then I turned 3.

  • Dusty Baylor

     Exactly.  He was coming into his prime, and the Astros wanted to maximize his talents.  Soriano is at the end of his career, and has finally shown some ability in LF.

  • Buddy

    Just opened my first beer of the day. Thought you’d want to know. 

  • Cap’n obvious

    It’s true, but Seymour was post PhD at that point, whereas Raker was only post OD. And don’t any of you’d forget it.

  • Cap’n obvious

    Ahhhhhh. The little known new brew from Miller-Coors, called 11 comments a day (even when I have nothing to say).

  • Eddie Von White

    Bill Clinton claimed 75 bucks each pair for his underwear donated to charity on his tax return in the 90’s.

  • YUCottonPickin

    If things don’t go your way just keep complaining until your dreams come true.

  • Doc Raker

    Clinton and the Republican Congress cut spending. Obamian double speek talks about Clinton’s surplus and Clinton tax rates but never mentions Clinton spending. The serfs will learn.

  • Doc Raker

    I am thinking a gimpy 37 year old bummed kneed player would be better suited for the more the position that requires less range which is 3b verse left field. Where do you need to cover more ground, left field or 3b? 

  • YUCottonPickin

    Clinton also had a booming economy thanks to the dot-com bubble. High employment helps run a surplus because more people are working and making a buck for the G-Men to tax. He had a much bigger tax base.

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