November 2016

Sadaharu Oh sez, Let the pitch arrive at its own pace, and be there to greet it
Posted by jemanji on 11/25/16
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. Jean Segura's swing reminds you of Adrian Beltre's.  Minus a bit of "oomph" and followthrough.  It's quiet, sudden, compact and its "keeps weight underside." In fact it's "sudden" enough that you have a hard time pausing the tape for the right screenshots.  But here is the video we got the captures from.  In the first pic, his hands are in the most relaxed launch position possible (sometimes his hands are a little lower than this).  You see a loose and neutral body position and you can see the "keep weight underside" effect in the way his armpits are anchored to the dirt: . . In the 2nd... Read More
not exactly a Carter Capps extension there, keed
Posted by jemanji on 11/25/16
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. G-Money's initial squib had been, in the Napoli thread, . Zac Curtis is a short lefty who has destroyed the minors with his 4-pitch repertoire and is basically fearless.  He's a lefty who might not be a LOOGY, but I'm not sure he has the stuff to treat the bigs like he treated the minors.  It'll be fun to find out though. Essentially this was Walker for Segura, and Marte for the 2 others. How you feel about the deal is probably predicated on how you feel about Segura. It's definitely bold, though. DiPoto isn't scared of risk. . ROAR SCHACH, Dept. Zac Curtis is a compelling riddle and a bit... Read More
THAT quote precedes some heavy trade talx, that we can tell you
Posted by jemanji on 11/24/16
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. Say WHAAAAAAaaaaa? Dept. Grizzly points out the obvious: . One statement from DiPoto stuck out to me. Talking about the starting pitching depth: “We are going to look at the free agent market,” he said. “We are certainly not opposed at potential for trades. We still feel like in the big picture that we are 10-11 deep with guys that we feel secure in starting a Major League game. We are comfortable with that group, but we’d like to augment it." 10-11 deep? With guys he would be "secure" in starting MLB games? Is he just glad-handing here? I'm not sure I'm secure with the top 5. . Bringing a... Read More
if you're not willing to go large for Tom Wilhelmsen, that is
Posted by jemanji on 11/24/16
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. MLB Trade Rumors sez, . As for the lost rotation depth, Dipoto expressed confidence that the organization has enough remaining talent to survive a full season, but he also acknowledged that he’ll pursue additional help. “We are going to look at the free agent market,” he said. “We are certainly not opposed at potential for trades. We still feel like in the big picture that we are 10-11 deep with guys that we feel secure in starting a Major League game. We are comfortable with that group, but we’d like to augment it.” While the trade market offers a limitless number of avenues for upgrade,... Read More
Let's see, 86 + 7 equals ... fill in your own punch line, Arte, Sosh
Posted by jemanji on 11/24/16
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. Well, +5.7 if you're using baseball-reference.com.  5.0 if you're using Fangraphs.  Meanwhile in 2016 the M's real-life shortstops had, on the green grass of Safeco Field, -1.2 WAR as a group: . . So we are looking at +7 WAR upgrade at one position.  That's a little bit like trading Seattle Sports Insider for Bill James Online. . DEREK JETER (NON-) LITE Dept. Segura racked up 7.1 runs per 27 outs last season, as compared to Robinson Cano at 6.5 and Kyle Seager at 6.2.  In fact in terms of RC/G, Robinson Cano has never had a better season than Jean Segura just had.  (Well, he got 7.3 twice... Read More
if you don't come get me Jerry I'll pull this arm out of its socket.
Posted by jemanji on 11/23/16
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. What do these two things have in common? Sponge-painting the wall, after a wisdom tooth / gall bladder extraction, but before the Nitrous wears off Jerry Dipoto assembling "young, athletic" rosters out of spare Dae-Ho, Danny, and Napoli parts Never mind.  We'll get back to it later.  But both experiences are both overrated and underrated at the same time, or so we have observed in others. .... Jerry Dipoto's off-the-record surrogates (let me read those two terms again) swore on Ouija boards that Valencia meant the M's were way, way OUT on Mike Napoli.  However, Jim Bowden now says that the... Read More
handfuls of impact talent out there in TRADE
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/16
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. They are discussing "McCutchen to the Mariners" at Brock and Salk.  Huard sez, . “I hope everything is on the table,” Huard said. “They don’t have, I don’t think, a ton of money to spend. This is not a rich free-agent class with lots of difference makers. Andrew McCutchen, you would be getting a little bit low off of his career numbers. Last year he was way down. I don’t think it’s the end of Andrew McCutchen. I think it is very difficult predicting those things but I hope they are entertaining conversations (about White Sox All-Star pitcher) Chris Sale. … I hope they are entertaining... Read More
never a dull moment in post-election 2016
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/16
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  Excellent comment from Seattle Sports ... [not sure the last word in the screen name!]   ..... I'm traveling right now so please excuse this comment in he wrong article/place, for some reason I couldn'5 find the original post. Speaking of the Bill James article with his view of the election - I personally see his statement of the slipping away of toughness and the rise of sensitivity to an extent. However, I sent this article to a friend and her response was quite different. Paraphrasing: this author (with no idea who Bill James is) is complaining about people complaining, that Trump... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 11/21/16
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. Dr. D had missed Sunday's memo.  It notified us that Ben Gamel is the Opening Day left fielder.  Compared to Andrew McCutchen, getting this news is not unlike finding the prize in a box of Cracker Jacks:  you expected them to spend 1c or 2c and find out they actually spent, quite literally 1/20th of one cent. But: 1) Ben Gamel is a AAA Player of the Year 2) Danny Valencia is here precisely so that Jerry Dipoto has the option of trading for an impact corner outfielder 3) The Mariners have, in fact, discussed a trade for Andrew McCutchen Here's the Nov. 20th MLB Trade Rumors article that... Read More
that's about $20M per WAR, according to Steamer
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/16
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. From MLBTR: . The four-year, $30.5MM deal the Cardinals and left-hander Brett Cecil agreed to Saturday is a “market changer,” multiple executives and agents have told Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, who expects relievers to continue raking in big money this offseason as part of a weak free agent class (Twitter links). . So $7-8MM per season, for a lefty specialist who has 7 WAR in 7 seasons, and "Steamer" projects to 0.3 WAR next season in 65 innings.  Four years coming off an injury!  Bill James' Ten Words for the 2015 season was "Mets' young pitchers are exciting; Royals fantastic bullpen... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/16
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. POPULAR VOTE vs ELECTORAL COLLEGE What do we make of YET ANOTHER candidate who gathered more votes but didn't assume office?  It proves absolutely that America remains closely divided.  James did an "election year in 10 words" shtick last week; for 2016 he came up with "Two flawed candidates divide the country, center against the coasts."  That's what James thinks they'll be saying about 2016, long after you and I are gone. :: brilliant!  guinness :: But, are baseball games scored by "Runs" or by "Hits" or "Total Bases" or something else?  It was stipulated before the election that... Read More
handy for stadium placards, neck tattoos, or baseball flame wars
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/16
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. In 10th grade, Dr. D wished to impress his friends and so boned up on his Latin phrases.  It didn't make him as cool in the hallways as he thought it might.  In pace requiescat, foreign-language Fonzie catchphrases.  Nothing much has changed since then; Dr. D is still trying to impress his friends and still coming off more like Wayne Knight than Dennis Miller.  That won't prevent you from taking a selfie, next April 4, with one of these handy SSI in-the-know saber slogans.   You probably know more Latin than you thought you did, eh? . REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM "reduction to the absurd" refers to... Read More
hey, we've had TV people in the Oval Office before
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/16
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. Dr. D learned a new acronym this week:  BLUF Bottom Line Up Front.  Was it Mike Pompeo who brought this up?  Anyway:  I got to thinking "what is a Trumpster?"  And settled on, "Somebody who would drive 50 miles to go to a Donald Trump rally." Which is, to me, a politically and emotionally neutral way to describe the term.  Why would somebody rally for Trump?  Didn't commit either way on that little gem. ..... TJM cracked me up with this line:  "I was an altar boy plus two years of Sister Mary Honora's Latin class  and had to look [ceteris paribus] up.  I find that kinda of erudition . . .... Read More
go west, young man Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/16
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. Like Dr. D, you probably just now put MSNBC on pause to dash in and check for anything new on SSI.  As y'know, we live to serve, even in the iciest couple of weeks of the Hot Stove tundra. I/O:  Zoom is VERY confident that the M's will grab an impact player, way beyond Cozart, this winter.  He's got a friendly wager with SABRMatt who takes exactly the opposite view ... . Last I checked, the M's had a new ownership thing.  Leader of that group, a Mr. Stanton, may be wantin' to make a splash and find some more money to back the roll of the dice. I'm thinking the ownership group will open up... Read More
Dr. D may be exasperating, but at least he's self-aware
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/16
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. Zoom also refers us to this week's chatter on the Rule 5 draft.   Bob Dutton had cast this as a 4-to-make-3 decision, with the 102-MPH Thyago Vieira having the inside track and (presumably) D.J. Peterson close behind.  Zoom sez, . So, David Rollins was claimed by the Cubs. In a column earlier this week, Jonathan Mayonews of MLB.com listed four Rule 5 eligible qualifiers among the top 30 prospects of the M's.  So the 40 man roster now includes 36 names. Will DJ Peterson, Paul Fry, Ty Smith, and Ty Marlette (I guess two ties make a double knot). be added to that 36.  or some other lower... Read More
we can raise the floor HOW high, Igor?
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/16
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. I/O:  M's have a good offer in for Zack Cozart ... CRUNCH:  ... but aren't going to get held up by the Reds.  It sez here the chances for a deal are not bad a'tall. Dutton's column was to the point on the quotes: . Reds general manager Dick Williams made it clear last week that Cozart is available by telling USA Today: "It’s something we’d have to consider. We’ve shown the willingness to trade guys who have been with us if it helps us get better." Several major-league sources cited the Mariners as the most-likely fit for Cozart, who batted .252 this season with 16 homers and 50 RBIs. He is... Read More
again the M's brain trust holding our Stars & Scrubs hopes hostage
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/16
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. It wasn't worth a Konspiracy Korner, but we read some guy claiming that Russian despots have alternated being "Balds" and "Ted Dansons" eight times in a row.  Not eight men in a row; eight pairs of men in a row. Among them, Lenin into Stalin, Kruschev into Brezhnev, Andropov into Chernenko, Gorbachev into Yeltsin into Putin ... Dr. D can counter, though, that all Russian chess Grandmasters have Mufasa-level manes of hair.  Boris Spassky, a dead ringer for the young Josef, is merely the guy whose picture you might recognize.  They all look like that... WAITjustaMINNIT.  Jerry Dipoto has a... Read More
pictured below: typical intersection of Valencia x LHP
Posted by jemanji on 11/12/16
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. Gordon linked us up to the Mariners-A's swap.  As the MLB.com article notes, Valencia was the A's starter at 3B in the first half, switching to a Ben Zobrist role in the second half. Patch his A's two-year stats together and you get .288 with 28 HR and 88 RBI in 177 games.  The big story is that Danny Valencia is baseball's most extreme platoon hitter, or a very reasonable facsimile thereof.  You get a lefty out on the mound that day, and Valencia has demonstrated a 140 bat that lines right up with Cano's, Seager's, and Cruz's. In fact as Valencia ages into his early 30's, he's got... Read More
Dr. D is not exactly used to this kinda cuisine at a campfire
Posted by jemanji on 11/12/16
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. Ryan Divish does a particularly good job on this 'Stove piece.  As y'know, we live to serve.  Exec Sum: ... (1) The new owners are sick of being laughingstocks and see little problem with raising the payroll by $10, $15MM for next year.  Plenty of freedom to do what he wants ta do, sez Jedi. It's a funny thing.  In 2001-12 I talked about nothing else.  But now that the owners are kewl, I barely mention 'em.  That's on me.  But!  How sweeeeeeeeet a 'tis. ... (2) Hadn't realized that Mike Napoli comes without a draft pick.  Say what?  The Indians didn't want to give 1/$17M for a 30-100 man?  ... Read More
Dr. D eager to re-load on a certain KKKKKarnsian tee shot
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/16
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. This particular Greg Johns column is pretty good, you ask me.  Johns does a nice job generally, but this mailbox had a handful of to-the-point questions.  One with respect to the rotation: . Do the Mariners stick with the five or six guys they have for the rotation, or do they look to upgrade this winter?-- Derek B., Norman, Okla. I know GM Jerry Dipoto feels pretty good about having six returning starters in Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Ariel Miranda and Nathan Karns. And he's also pretty high on prospects Andrew Moore and Ryan Yarbrough, who both had big... Read More
we'd like him to work a bit harder on getting his face sandblasted, though
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/16
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. Q.  Lot of smoke around this fire.  Think the M's are serious? A.  Dipoto has been saying a lot of nothing, which is fine.  "We'll continue to refine based on the parameters we set in place last offseason..." meaning what?  Continue to drive a stake through the heart of any possible corner OF defense?  Take a special interest in 282-lb. "athletes" based on their wives' baseball faces?  Use twenty or thirty fairly-promising relievers in a systemic rotation? Dipoto uses whichever of the top 100-200 James Themes applies at the moment.  Of course, he should.  That's what a chessmaster does.  ... Read More
if they ain't gonna put up a Plexi screen, I'll take care of it myself
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/16
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. Dipoto has really only acknowledged the need for lefty relief pitching and righty offensive balance.  Along with perhaps a "tell" that Dae-Ho Lee is a longshot and a 12-AB kid in Tacoma isn't the first choice. MLB Trade Rumors sez, Thursday, . The Mariners have expressed some early interest in free agent lefty Brett Cecil tweetsJon Morosi of the MLB Network, and the M’s are also likely to take a look at southpaw Boone Logan in free agency, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. Morosi notes that the Mariners are “determined” to add a lefty reliever, although that much has been known for... Read More
tremendous baseball face for a vet catcher, man
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/16
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. From the M's website: . The club did add a piece on Monday when it acquired veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz, 37, from the Dodgers in exchange for left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno. Ruiz will serve as the backup to Mike Zunino. "We feel very confident that Carlos Ruiz both provides a good backup and provides someone that in the instance that someone goes down for a period of time, he can step in," Dipoto said. "We feel like between Mike and Carlos, we have two start-worthy type of guys, which is uncommon in today's game." . This has long been a point of fascination with Dr. D, the late-30's... Read More
Morning-After sitdown with the Founding Father (no, not THAT father)
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/16
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. Charles Krauthammer said on Monday night, or was it Tuesday ... if you were a Republican, your life went on during eight years of Pres. Obama, didn't it?  And if you were a Democrat, your life went on during George W. Bush, correct? We're fortunate and blessed to live in a country with many checks and balances.  Those checks and balances are theoretical, yes, but also in practice they have worked stunningly well for over 200 years.  Whichever party you favor, your workday on Friday is likely to be very similar to the one you had last Friday.  There are a lot of places around the world where... Read More
pencil him in for at least 40 Safecos next year
Posted by jemanji on 11/05/16
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. In case you flunked SSI Prospect Class, there is a young right fielder who is the most promising hitter we've had since Shin-Soo Choo.  Even at the AFL All-Star game, which is Arby Big Mountain Sandwich laden with top 100's, the 'casters were saying that the GM's were saying that Tyler O'Neill is a man among men. Well, best since Shin-Soo Choo... maybe there was a Dustin Ackley type or somebody since Choo.  And maybe the GM's didn't use the exact phrase "a man among men."  And maybe SSI can get a little hypey once in a while.  But there was Tyler O'Neill, batting #3 (!) in full view of the... Read More
but who needs information, when you have a captive baseball audience?
Posted by jemanji on 11/05/16
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. Supposing we actually got a ROOT-quality look at ten pitches to Tyler O'Neill ... well, that wouldn't be much, but it would be ten more than we had.  So, here is the video .  Tragically, when O'Neill stepped up in the first there were no smoke machines, pyrotechnics, or dry ice under his cleats.  But here are the impressions anyway: 1) The gentle reader can organize his thoughts with a comparison to the 2016, reduced-swing, Mike Zunino 2) Gets the front foot down nice and quick.  By "front foot down" we're referring to the entire loading process 3) Holds the hands high, angles the bat... Read More
the key is in the eye action
Posted by jemanji on 11/05/16
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. Editor's Warning:  there are no Mariners references in the following post.  It's about baseball only.  Sadly enough for people like me [hold the punch lines!] who don't even watch the World Series, but happily enough for purists. ........ There was a joke circumstance, or a Trump-sized twist of fate, or an unconscionable sense of self-importance operating on Saturday.  First, Dr. D considered writing in to Bill James and asking him what a screwball is.  Nowadays.  In scout-speak.  Whether there is any such thing as a Fernando Valenzuela any more, or whether maybe Fernando was simply... Read More
what - Weber's - fatal flaw might be, we're not too sure yet
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/16
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. Are you kiddies too young to remember Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah in "Roxanne"?  My fave scene is the one in the restaurant where the heavy calls him, sneeringly, "Big Nose."  Now, the casting of Kevin Nealon as the heavy is a POTD all unto itself, a little bit like casting Jesse Chavez as the Mariner-killer, but let's not get sidetracked.   Last setup FOR the kids, Cyrano de Bergerac is a person who can do absolutely everything in the world well, but has a banana for a nose.   Sort of one cup "Limitless" meets two tablespoons "Mask" with "Gandhi" liberally sprinkled on top.  Percy... Read More
Dr. D is having a little trouble with his 8th-grade algebra
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/16
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. JUST THE FA'AX, MA'AM Whoops.  Kiddies here who stumble across the original Die Hard won't get the reference... actually check that.  Cindy and I did a HELOC recently and the bank said we could bring in our printed ta'ax returns or ... fax them?  ... ?!   Like what, drive to Venezuela and get somebody to hook us up with the gear? Brock Huard has a post up at MyNorthwest urging the M's to copy the Cubs' model.  Never mind the flavor of the day shtick; last year it was three great relievers and this year it's invisible runs going first-to-third when the pitching is awesome.  At least Brock... Read More
Kinsella, Cubbies and my buddy Jim
Posted by moethedog on 11/03/16
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Back in the mid-80's, W.P. Kinsella, of Shoeless Joe/Field of Dreams fame, published a collection of short stories.  One of them was a weird/wonderful quasi-apocalyptic tale titled "The Last Pennant before Armageddon."  If you've not read it you should.  Really. As the Cubs zero in on a league championship and then on a World Series title, their grizzled manager becomes convinced that he is having reoccuring visions, sent from God, warning that a Cubs' Series win will signal and bring about Armageddon and the end of the Earth.  What is a manager to do?  End the drought and the curse or end... Read More
see what a single can do for you? yyyeaahhhh baby
Posted by jemanji on 11/03/16
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. Hey Bill had two more interesting light bulbs this week.  Just $3 per month for a historically-great baseball site. 1) James opined that it's NOT our place to ask "How good is this manager?"  Rather it's our place to ask "What does this manager like to do?," meaning, does he shift more, does he yank pitchers quickly when they're struggling, does his use his AAA carousel a lot, does he like to use positive encouragement, is he flexible about young vs old players (all "YES" with Scott Servais). ... 2) James answered a question this way: . Regarding strikeouts, do the Major Leagues have a... Read More
Pictured below: people sharing Seth Smith's work ethic and people skills
Posted by jemanji on 11/03/16
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. QUALIFYING OFFERS The Tigers' SB Nation site has a celery-crisp little article that runs down the free agents and qualifying offers this winter.  For those who need a refresher on the process -- that would be only me -- it goes like this: 1.  Some players, a team can offer them $17.2MM for one year.  If they accept, Deal!  Which would be the M's dream on, say, Zack Cozart. 1a.  This never happens.  Players never want one year for $17M.  What do you think this is, white slavery?  (Adam Jones says there are too few blacks in baseball to wield any power.) 2.  If the player does not accept,... Read More
Zeus has a few hidden bolts for the AL in 2017
Posted by jemanji on 11/02/16
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. Lookout Landing has an article up on James Paxton.  This creates three reasons to call EDITOR'S CHOICE on it: (1)  Anything about Zeus, very obviously (2)  Lookout Landing (3)  The intersection of Zeus and Lookout Landing Mr. Novak starts out on the right track by noting that James Paxton was #5 in both leagues for WAR per start which means, if I understand the implication, that Paxton pitched good.   Pitched good LAST year.  Novak then accelerates onto his correctly-grokked destination by declaring Paxton a "juggernaut."  Myriad sabermetric analysis lines ensue.  We encourage such... Read More
... but hey, Dr. D felt like a kid watching Lee play
Posted by jemanji on 11/02/16
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. Now, you may be aware that it is part of Dr. D's (and Silentpadna's, and DaddyO's, and misterjonez', and I would guess Matt's) worldview that "Pride" is an UNhealthy thing.    If you'd care for a Konspiracy Korner exploring the subject, we're game.  But I'm guessin' not.  :- )  Suffice it to say that respect for self, sense of duty, sense of honor, humility, and other virtues do anything Pride can do for you -- only, without the calories.   (Alternatively, ask yourself how much you enjoy seeing the word TRUMP!!! on the side of airplanes and skyscrapers.  As with many things you observe... Read More
either that, or it's an excuse for Dr. D to talk up Mesut Ozil
Posted by jemanji on 11/02/16
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. CROSS-SPORT TRAINING, Dept. If you like Euro football, or let's just say you like any sports that are incredible, like Secretariat at the 1973 Preakness or stuff like that, check out Mesut Ozil's goal in the Champions' League.   LINK HERE.  You ought-er start at 3:45, but if you only want 10-15 seconds' worth of swoon, go to the LAST ten fifteen seconds.  Which is the eighth replay or something. (1) Start with the understanding that Tae Kwon Do is absurd.  Against a dangerous enemy, you need your feet to ... move yourself around.  Trying to do anything with your feet, while you are moving... Read More