Monday, August 27, 2007

The Draft

When are we doing the Draft?

Saturday, September 1, not good.
Sunday, September 2 is best for me.
Monday, September 3, no good.

I think everything else is fine during the week. I have to look at the next weekend to see if Friday or Saturday will work.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Ever wonder what you'd look like as a character from The Simpsons (or Futurama)? No? Oh well, move along then. But if you, check out this site. As you can see from my picture, it's not dead on, but it does sort of bear a resemblance. It's a good way to kill a few minutes. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Old Man

Fifty-nine-year-old Mike Flynt is about to become the oldest man to play college football. He's made the roster at Division III Sul Ross State. He says his biggest regret in life is getting kicked of his college football team before his senior year. His goal now is "helping a bunch of young men to make up for those guys that I let down." In case you're wondering who's crazy enough to play college football at 59, well, let's just say he played for Odessa Permian in high school. What does his wife think? "I feel like I'm married to Peter Pan." I don't think that was supposed to be a compliment.

Baby Barrigar

Bleeding Edge Brazil

For someone who works in manufacturing, this article about one of Ford's Brazilian plants is fascinating reading. Everyone else will probably find it interesting as well. The plant is state-of-the-art, employing lean manufacturing and just-in-time practices, and it has suppliers integrated directly on the floor (I think I'm work-geeking out a little here). Ford would love to build plants like this in the U.S., except the UAW would never allow it. So, Ford struggles to make a profit, union membership shrinks, and Michigan's economy is in the toilet. Good job, UAW.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Because I Can

"And then it all blew up."

Michael Vick is going to plead guilty. Here's Pat Forde on Vick's fall and Len Pasquarelli on the situation the Falcons find themselves in.

Can Vick ever come back from this? Assuming he becomes eligible to play again soon enough to be physically viable, who would want him? Teams always are looking for QBs, but Vick was debated before his legal troubles. It seems pretty unlikely that he'll ever become a good passing QB now. Who would take the risk?

One more thought: does this make Marcus the "good" brother?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Final Thoughts

I'm going to be offline in a couple of days, so here's where we stand on the fantasy football season:

I. All the changes have been made to the league settings, so check them out and make sure you're good with them BEFORE the draft. If you don't bring it up now, don't whine about it later.

II. Here's the draft order if we stick with our system from previous years:

1. Kid Loe
2. Ross
3. Barrigar
4. Andy
5. Adam
6. Haag
7. Schott
8. Fritz
9. Rick
10. Rusty

I also would understand if we wanted to randomly select draft position before the draft, with the stipulation that the teams that ended #1 or #2 last year cannot have the #1 or #2 pick this year.

III. Where's the draft party? When does it start? Are we getting a board, using a computer and projector, or a TV?

IV. The last two need to sign up.

V. Are there any other issues?

Friday, August 17, 2007


How come the guys who have never played fantasy football with us are signed up before Fritz and Ross? Just wondering.

Open Bat Night


That would be my stat line in a baseball tournament last Saturday at Graham Field in Caro: innings, hits, runs, earned runs, walks, hit batters, and strikeouts. Let me start by reminding everyone that I wasn't a pitcher in high school and I've done nothing more than throw batting practice since high school. I have no idea how many hits I gave up. Rarely did they cream my fastball. But rarely could I just blow it by them for strike 3. I never had an "out" pitch. I could get 2 strikes on a batter many many times, but just not the 3rd.

First, I'll hit the positives of the experience:

1. Only 1 walk...first batter of the entire game. But I did hit 2 guys later in the game.
2. I pitched all 7 innings.
3. I didn't get mercied.
4. I had 7 strikeouts, give or take (we had a terrible scorebook guy...where were you Adam!?)
5. I threw a shutout in 4 of the 7 innings.
6. Only gave up one homerun (first inning curveball). The guy who hit it played for Mott College in Flint (didn't know they had a team).
7. Gave up 5 runs in the first inning and only 5 in the final six innings.

1. Needed to change up the pitches more (which I did because I pitched 4 shut out innings in the final 6 innings.)
2. Needed a catcher to move the glove around more to try and hit corners and change locations.
3. Run support. It wasn't too promising for us to score many runs. We nearly had 4 automatic outs in our line up of 10 batters.
5. No real team. We had 3 high school players from Caro, 1 from Reese, 5 from Owen-Gage, and then me.

We only had 2 pitchers on the team; me and a kid from Owen-Gage. I've umpired for him pitching so I already knew what he had to offer...nothing. I didn't know what I had to offer so I was taking the mound. After the 4th inning, I said to the other pitcher, "Eric, are you leading off in the 5th inning?" "Yes." "After you bat, warm up your arm. I don't know how much more I've got."

But then I shut them out in the 5th, so why come out of the game, right? I had 2 outs in the 6th and no runs scored and no runners on base. Then I had 2 runners on base and gave up a hit over the second baseman's head. He was our weakest and shortest player on the team and I think anyone else could have jumped high enough to catch the ball and save those 2 rums from scoring. He he would have caught the ball, I would have had 5 total shutout innings. And then I had a shutout in the 7th, so can you blame me for pitching all 7? I don't mind getting raked and throwing batting practice. I'm not upset because I hit their bats. If I start walking guys, which I never did, then I'm staying in. Walks are boring and lead to runs.

Also, this was supposed to be an "Owen-Gage" team. The only O-G players that showed up didn't arrive until exactly game time, 10 a.m. Then, another one didn't show up until after the first inning. I know I may have bullied my way on the team and bullied my way onto the mound, but if you aren't going to show up until game time, then I don't feel bad "mound hogging" the whole game.

Batting: 1-3, (1B, 1 RBI)

My first time up I laced a single up the middle to bring in our 2nd run in the first inning. After that, the team "shut down" and we never scored again. Or maybe 1 more run. We lost 10-2. Their pitcher is the assistant coach to the Millington Varsity team. I guess he pitched for Northwood in college back 5-10 years ago.

1st Inning: RBI single
3rd Inning: Fly out to Left Field
7th Inning: Ground ball back to pitcher

All in all, it was a blast and can't wait to pitch again.

Finally, a good friend of mine lives by this philosophy:

"If you don't walk anybody, you'll probably be in the game." (Nathan Fritz)

Well Nathan, I only walked 1 guy...but was never really in the game.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dan Patrick...COME ON DOWN!

There may be a slight rumor out there that Dan Patrick may have been contacted to host "The Price Is Right." You can do your own investigating and comment later.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Five people are currently signed up for the league (Adam, Andy, Haag, Rick, and the Kid). I'd suggest the rest of you sign up ASAP so we can make sure everything is ready by draft day. Go here to sign up, league ID 1880, password monkie.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to welcome Rick to the league. I expect there's going to be much smack talk this season, so I'll lay the groundwork now:

I think that will give us enough material to be on Rick "Norwegian Blue" Parrott all season.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

more from IMAO

Know Thy Enemy: Anti-War Activists

* What does an anti-war activist think is important enough for people to die for? Only his own ego.

* Just because an anti-war activist prefers to wave signs and annoy America when America is threatened doesn't mean he hates America. It means he really hates America.

* America also hates him.

* The easiest way to defeat anti-war activists is to declare war on them. You can then easily pick them off while they protest anyone of them that tries to fight back.

* Anti-war activists feel that Vietnam was their biggest success. They hope that the countless slaughtered after America's retreat knew that at least they were helping some privileged Americans feel good about themselves.

(the full list here)

"With the 3rd pick in the 2007 Fantasy Football Draft...

...Nathan selects..."

Thats right, I drew out of the magical hat on Sunday evening the coveted 3rd pick in a 12 team league. That's a little better than the 11th pick I was "screwed" with last year. I wasn't really screwed because I managed to win the playoffs after sneaking in the 8 team playoff bracket with a 6 seed.

So, who should I draft at #3? Suggestions...ADAM?

Speaking of FF, we need to get Rick Parrott. I'll put a call into him to get some email address out of him. Also, I think we have a 10th guy. I talked to Rusty Hudson last week at Brown City Church Camp and he said he'd play.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm still here....

I just haven't had much to post.

Haag, I forgive you for comparing me to Bader.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm Batman

If killing 4 bats in 4 nights doesn't earn me the honor of being a bat man, then how many do I have to kill? For those keeping score at home, that would be two in the garage, one in the dining room, and one in the basement. For those tracking the weapons used, two by hand, one by broom, and one with tennis racket.

Now, I didn't actually kill the bat with those weapons, it's just what I used to knock them out of the air. Then again, swinging with my open hand and hitting the bat "right on the screws" so it slammed into the garage door like a Looney Tunes cartoon, that may have given it brain damage. Oh, and smashing the winged mouse with the tennis racket like it was an Andy Roddick lob over the net into the corner of the wall might have ruined his weekend.

Nathan: 4
Bats: 0


No, I'm not a big fan of the numbers 0 and 8, that is the date of the 2008 Summer Olympics which begins exactly one year from yesterday. Oh, and then we have the excitement of the Presidential election!



Who Cares

Man, 2008 is really going to suck. I'm already tired of the Election and one night of Olympic promos being slammed down my throat.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mythbusters - Special Baseball edition

I was at my parents house tonight which meant I had 75 channels at my fingertips. I just happened to be surfing and around 7:30 I saw a promo on the Discovery channel for tonights "Mythbusters" episode. I thought I'd tune in at 9pm to watch it. My first question is: I haven't watched cable TV in a long time or the Discovery channel and I'm a huge baseball fan, and the night I decide to watch some TV, they do a Mythbusters special on baseball myths. What are the odds of this happening? If I wouldn't have been at channel 49 when the promo commercial came on, I'd missed it completely. Plus, it's not like I'm a diehard "Mythbuster's" guy. I enjoy it, but I've only seen a few.

Anyway, I was a little confused when they proved the myth about corking a bat. In baseball, it's illegal to cork a bat. Why? According to Mythbusters, it puts the batter at a disadvantage. So, why would MLB say it's illegal? If the batter wants to help the defense, then he's just an idiot. I must be missing something. There must be a reason back in 2003 that Sammy Sosa used a corked bat. If corking the bat doesn't hit the ball farther, then why is it so taboo to cork a wooden bat and why is it illegal? How is it cheating? If it decreases the speed of the ball rebounding off the bat, why is that the pitchers problem?

Second, I was really hoping they would prove the myth about sliding into first base or just running through the bag. Instead they proved the myth that sliding into a base you can't run through is faster than trying to run to a base and coming to a stop on the base. Who was debating that? Of course it will be faster to slide. You have to slow down in order to stop on the bag...or you'll keep going and be called out. Sliding helps keep your speed into the bag.

I understand that if it was faster to slide head first into first base to beat out a throw, then everyone would be doing it. But they're not. Also, track stars would be diving across the finish line instead of running with their chests forward. But still, I feel it needs to be proved because once in awhile you'll see a MLB player dive into first base to beat the throw. So, is it faster or not? Prove that.

Meant to Live

Interesting Fact

I was just reading this article at and learned that Tony Dungy is the first coach to beat all 32 NFL teams. This begs the question: How many coaches have beaten every team in the league at the time they were coaching? Also, how many other coaches are close? Is there someone who's beaten, say, everyone but the Ravens (how many times would you count the Browns?)?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Thoughts From An Umpire

This is something that I have been thinking about and has been laid on my heart since the second week of May 2007 while I was at the Central Region Little League Umpire School in Indianapolis.

I’ve been an umpire for 10 years and “hard core” the last 4 years. I’ve seen and experienced a lot in umpiring that I feel parallels the life and role of a Christian. In fact, I’ve felt such a similar comparison between the two lifestyles that I’ve had to write all my thoughts down to point out the direct relationship I’ve noticed. I’m sure the list could go on and on, but here are the main points that have hit me the hardest this year when comparing the life of an umpire to the life of being a Christian. The list that follows isn’t really any particular order, just which thoughts came to mind first.

1. Being an umpire needs to be fun. I think the same should go for being a Christian.

2. Anyone can be an umpire. Anyone can be a Christian.

3. Know your rulebook. You can never know all or too much of the baseball rules. Last time I checked, you also can’t know all or too much of the Bible. Keep studying!

4. Know ALL the rules. There is a reason every rule was written. It might not make sense now and you may never need to apply it, but know it. That concept hit me hard when thinking about Bible study. How well do I know God’s word? How well do I know those awesome verses? Verses (rules) I have read that don’t make sense now, but I have a feeling will come to light in the future. You never know when you’ll have to apply that perfect baseball rule. You also never know when you’ll have to apply that perfect verse!

5. As an umpire, I’ve definitely screwed up. Oh, and as a Christian, I’ve definitely messed up.

6. Our job as umpires is to be a great example for all umpires. We should always be trying to find new umpires and train them to be good umpires. We are to be shepherds of men, fishers of new believers, and showing others what it means and takes to be a Christian (Umpire) and follower of Christ.

7. To be a good umpire, it takes hard work, dedication, commitment, and being willing to be embarrassed or be under heavy pressure with all the attention on what you do or say (in the limelight). If you are in the faith, people with put you under a microscope. How will you react if something doesn’t go as planned and all your fireworks are floating in the lake?

8. An umpire has to wear protection or we’ll be pounded. We need the armor of God or Satan will pound us. Our Bible (“Cup”) is our most important.

9. We need to encourage and support and build each umpire up. We’re all on the same team. The guy you are umpiring with might miss a call. We need to look out for our Christian brothers and pray for them and keep them accountable. It’s not about being the best umpire (Christian) out there.

10. Some umpires have an observer rating them during games. During every “game,” God is rating EVERYONE.

11. Umpires have to continually train to get better. They have to go to camps, clinics, and meetings. If you want to get closer with God, going to church, reading the Bible, and going to Bible study are key.

12. Umpires can’t let one bad call bother them. They have to forget and move on. No one is perfect. We try to be, but we’ll screw up. We’re human. Christians also can’t get down on themselves for every sin they commit. We’re going to make mistakes. We have to forget, move on, and ask for forgiveness. We’re human.

13. An umpire’s appearance constitutes 90% of people’s perceptions before they even walk on the field. If we look sharp, we can at least look like an umpire without doing or saying anything. We can also appear to be Christians, but the outside has to match the inside.

14. Whether you are young or old, experienced or inexperienced, you are still an umpire. The same philosophy goes for the Christian walk.

15. Some umpires are better than others. Some Christians are stronger than others.

16. If you are out of position on the field, it may be tough to convince people you made the right call. If you are in the wrong crowd or environment, it may be tough to convince strangers you are a Christian.

17. It’s very hard to umpire by yourself. The more guys on the field, the easier your day becomes. Well, the more bothers you can have fighting with you, the easier your walk will be.

18. Don’t go looking for boogers. Don’t check every defensive players glove to make sure it is the legal size. Once you start doing that, people will be questioning every call you make and how you make it. Don’t look for the speck in someone else’s eye while ignoring the log in your own.

19. Before every game, umpires “pregame” with their fellow umpire how they will handle various situations. Before you start your day, you should “pregame” with God for wisdom and guidance on (unknown) various situations.

20. Umpires make tons of calls in their career. Some bad, some worse. We do tons of things before we leave this life as Christians. Some bad, some worse.

21. We all have things to work on to make ourselves better umpires. Calling the balk is always tough in baseball. We all have things to work on to make ourselves more honorable before God. Some sins are more difficult to conquer than others. Maybe smoking is a struggle. Maybe it’s alcohol. It might take lots of time and determination to overcome those pitfalls.

You can take any profession and draw these same conclusions and parallels with what the Christian walk is all about. You could be a teacher, custodian, fast-food restaurant worker, pharmacist, etc. Whatever you do, it is the same for any profession with how your job and life should parallel what it takes to be a Christian.

This is something that has really hit me more this year than any other. Sitting in that classroom at umpire school, I really began to see beyond umpiring. I feel I have a bigger job to do than just call balls and strikes. I have two great umpire friends/mentors (Doug and DJ) who have kicked my butt the last 6 years to be a better umpire. As far as I can tell, neither one of those guys has a personal relationship with Christ. What have I been doing for them the past 6 years? Do I have the same passion for being a Christian as I do for being an umpire? Do I have the same desire to lead people to Christ as Doug and DJ have for developing umpires? Do I enjoy being a Christian as much as I do being an umpire? Am I a Christian umpire, or just an umpire? Do people see the difference?

Who are you? What profession are you in?

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Need some help with fantasy football rankings? FoxSports has a list of the top 500 players right here.

Joey's The Man

With Michael Vick suspended, perhaps indefinitely, Joey Harrington is the man in Atlanta, and he's feeling pretty good about it. Harrington says he's much more comfortable in Petrino's offense than Detroit's much-maligned version of the West Coast offense.

I'm going to go out on a limb here: I think Harrington's going to have a successful season. I'm not saying Pro Bowl, but definitely top half of the league (I know, talk about faint praise). Just where would it leave Atlanta if they were successful with Joey and not Vick? This could be interesting to watch.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Calvin Johnson has ended his holdout, signing a contract with the Detroit Lions worth $64 million, $27 million guaranteed. Johnson participated in camp today, practicing with the first team. In other news, the Lions place Drew Stanton on injured reserve after arthroscopic knee surgery, ending his season.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

RE: I'm Straight!

Here you go:

(Do you know how hard it was to find an SI cover in a web search that wasn't the swimsuit issue? But that would just have been disturbing, your mug on Heidi Klum's body.)

In Case You're Wondering

No, I don't drive over the I-35W bridge to get to work. Yes, I've been over it lots of times, especially the past two weekends.

Plane tickets

If we were to fly from Detroit to New York LGA in June 2008 over a weekend, the cheapest ticket I could find was $257. Just to put that in perspective, I was able to go on the KC baseball trip last weekend for a total of $175.

I'm Straight!

I really haven't been wondering, but I have noticed a little absense of Andy lately. Thinking back to our baseball trip last weekend, Adam made a comment about Andy having a lady friend. It seems Andy has met a woman and...poof! He's gone. So, I can't help but remember the post Fritz made a few years ago in the fantasy football league when Bader used to talk smack every week. Then, all of a sudden, no more Bader. No more smack. And then it hit Fritz and that's when he made the infamous statement, "He must have a girlfriend." Andy's absense (girlfriend) explains it all. I do have just one question though for you Andy...does she like Fantasy Football? Because we could use a 10th team. Congrats. Oh, and, you do still have my back when Frank Hawley comes around, right? "FRANK!" (Coach Oesch)

Oh, and about the title of the post. I know we are now living in this world where we have to be all politically correct and embrace everyone and everything. For instance, people who may be homosexual. I can live with that. Let's not be prejudice. If people are gay, fine. But, if we are living in this new world were it's free and enlightening to be gay and make a big statement about it, why do people have to make a statement about it then? (I'm referring to former NSYNC boy band member Lance Bass "coming out" in People magazine and the cover reading "I'm Gay.") That's great. Buy why do we have to make a special announcement...if we are supposed to no longer make a big deal out of someone who is or isn't gay? It just seems like we are contradicting ourselves. Before, you were "special" if you were gay. Now we're not supposed to treat people as "special" if they are different. Fine. So...why are we treating Lance Bass like he is "special" for being gay? If were aren't supposed to make a big deal about someone being gay, why are we making a big deal about someone (Lance Bass) being gay?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'M STRAIGHT. (Okay, where is my photo on Sports Illustrated?)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Iron Man Video

I have to say that Iron Man blowing up terrorists to the tune of "Iron Man" is the coolest thing I've seen all summer.

RE: Changes I'd Be Willing To Make

I made the three changes I mentioned to the league, so you can take a look and see what you think. I still have to but in defensive point values and would appreciate some feedback. We can go back to IDPs, I just thought I'd let everyone see what a different approach would look like.

After looking at the settings I think Yahoo may have solved our problem for us. You can set multiple yardage bonuses now at the different positions. This could be useful for other positions too, but I think it would simplify return men. I would suggest setting points for kick return yards to zero (or very small, depending on how the system interprets it) and set points for certain yardage levels: 50, 100, 150. Maybe those aren't the right levels, but you get the idea. I think this would allow us to reward them without distorting the game. Thoughts?

Changes I'd Be Willing To Make

I could go with the 3 changes Adam has mentioned.

Because I still agree with the philosophy that a yard is a yard no matter what, then I can live with the current system we have as long as more teams are added to the league.

Let's be honest, we only had 6 teams in our league last year. All 6 teams had all the best players and we scored astonomical points. If we have more teams, I don't care what the point values are, not all the good players would be on just a handful of teams. Just adding 2 teams to the league will make a 125 point week a good week, at least I think. Before, a 175 point week was a good week.

I like our uniqueness and would rather remain the same if we can get 10 see how it plays out. I really think that will "fix" everything.

If are my changes, either in addition to Adam's or modifying his:

1. Take kick return points down to 30 yards/point. I've been in a league using 30 and it was a kick in the pants. 50 would really suck. But, that league didn't use fractional points either.
2. To add an incentive to using REAL RB's or WR's or QB's, 2-point bonus for a 100 yard receiving/rushing game or 300 yard passing game. Could be a difference maker...or we all start scoring 225 points a week.
3. Not sure yet.

I think deflating the special teams stats will create more strategy. Before, if you had to decide between a WR or a kick returner who was a WR, you went with the kick returner because the chances of him getting 100 return yards (10 points) was a guarantee compared to the chances of the WR scoring a TD and having 40 receiving hards (10 points). No strategy there, just common sense. If you knock it down to 30 yards/point, you are running a risk of your special teams WR of not getting you many points. A 5 point day by a WR who only returns kicks would be great. A WR who is only a WR could get you 5 points, but could also get you 15...or 2. The 5 point play is a guarantee like the interest rate on you CD. But, you could get more or less depending on the risk you want to take.

Back to our philosophy. A yard is a yard. Correct. But are all yards equal? Are all yards just as easy to obtain? Let's compare the WR and kick returner again.

What does it take for a WR to get 2 points?
1. Someone has to throw them the ball.
2. Get open to be thrown to.
3. They have to catch it.
4. They have to be down field when caught or gain a total of 20 yards on the play.

Oh, and you have to do all that on just one play in order to get the 2 points. How often are there 20 yard pass plays?

What does it take for a kick returner to get 2 points?
1. Catch a kickoff after a team scores or a punt and the returner is always wide open.
2. Run 20 yards with no one within the first 20 yards to touch him.

So, were both 20 yards just as easy to obtain?