December 2008 Archives

Bring On Baseball 2009


I'm crazy amped for the upcoming Yankee 2009 campaign. The club addressed several needs during the Winter meetings. Looking at these off-season moves, I am impressed that Cashman et al were committed to upgrading the club. The irony is that we still have holes that need to be resolved. The outfield still lacks speed, and much needed pop. However, the loss of Abreu seems to be much less of an issue.

Let's run down the newest acquisitions

  • Nick Swisher 1B/OF

  • CC Sabathia LHP

  • A.J Burnett RHP

  • Mark Texiera 1B

The Swisher pick-up will bolster our bench and immediately provide alternatives to playing Damon in the outfield each day. Damon is also in his mid-thirties, it is unlikely that we can expect huge offensive numbers from Damon next season. As stated earlier, we still do not have speed in any of the outfield positions. Watching Abreu field balls against the right field wall was pretty painful; nonetheless, he routinely reached 100RBIs each season. I don't see any immediate help for outfield coming from our farm system. Time will tell.

I suppose with all of the hype behind off-season signings, people have forgotten about our homegrown youth movement. Pitchers Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are still considered the future. Hughes is much closer than Kennedy, but he'll need to prove himself to get another crack at the now loaded lineup. Big Joba Chamberlain is also going to be a treat to watch next year. I fully expect to see him continue to improve our chances of returning to another World Series.

Lastly, I want to address the nonsense I have been hearing from these small market clubs. The question I keep hearing is "Are the Yankees Good For Baseball?" My response is an emphatic YES. Whether you love them are loathe them, postseason baseball always means Yankee Pinstripes. If you know anything about baseball you've at least heard of the Bx Bombers. To be clear, dollars cannot buy a championship. In a 162 game season, anything can happen. For instance, look at the toothless Tigers 2008 campaign. They spent big last year and finished dead last in their division. They brought in players that had limited success in other uniforms, their pitching bottomed out and they were unable to finish above the .500 mark.

I will never understand why people think a salary cap in baseball would bring parity to baseball. People use weak rationale and then point to the NFL and NBA as shining examples of how parity works. Total bullshit. Salary caps are not going to keep dominant teams with dominant culture/pedigree from dispatching weaker foes.
The salary cap is not a panacea. I don't care what anyone says. With all the salary caps in place, the NFL still crowned the Pats champions 4 of the last 7 years.
If small market teams wish to compete, they ought to find investment instruments to help create other income streams.

The Yankees have the YES Network, partnership with Dallas Cowboys and a newly built Stadium. It truly is a very diverse business entity. Not many baseball programs are as creative. Not to mention they have 27 World Championships to their credit. It is no wonder why free agents _want_ to play baseball in the Bronx.

Can't wait till April gets here..

Last Straw - Time for Freedom

Richard Stallman giving a speech at WSIS-2005
Richard Stallman giving a speech at WSIS-2005

I will soon convert my pop's machine from XP to Linux. Typically every 2yrs he runs into a problem which renders his computer unusable. At this point I have stopped remembering each incident, suffice to say that myself or someone else gets tasked with formatting the disk and re-installing the OS. When dealing with a M$ system this inevitably means that you must hunt for drivers and anti-virus / anti-adware programs. I often thought about storing a disk image on his network, so when the system became corrupted an image could simply be restored. Unfortunately, I never got around to it.

The latest episode was driven on by the nebulous and spurious "Genuine Microsoft" message that appeared routinely during system reboot. In truth, so many hands have touched that machine it is very likely that a so-called non-certified copy of WinXP Pro ended up on his hard drive. So what is a law abiding citizen to do? Heh, apparently he was spooked by the messages and more importantly his box was left out off the patch Tuesday fan fest..

So he decided to download WinXP SP2 from Redmond. Now the fun begins. For whatever reason the existing SP2 was improperly installed or installed twice. He also installed SP2 via CD as he ordered it via USPS. What a cluster... I have no idea how you could be 'allowed' to install the same Service Pack twice on the same Registry. Obviously, this corrupted the Registry and sent the machine into an endless loop, that prevented the machine from booting. Intelligent design at its best.

Eventually, he reformatted his drive and lost everything on the hard disk. Of course, if I were home, I would have booted the machine with a Knoppix Live-CD and mounted NTFS partition and restored the essential files from ...\My Documents\ etc... I then would have blasted away the OS and installed a Linux distribution.. Most likely I will give him Ubuntu 8.04 Hearty Heron. It would probably be the most windoze-like environment for him.

Bottom-Line: I never want Pops to be told he is a criminal by some software company.

Importance of Loopback Device

There are times when I simply create problems unintentionally. I spent probably close to an hour wondering why I couldn't bind to localhost to some arbitrary port. It never occurred to me that 'lo' was missing. Playing around with Debian / Unstable I noticed that networking seems to be handled differently than on Slackware.

While I know that Debian is most similar to SysV and Slackware has always modeled the BSD system of start-up scripts. It sure would be nice if networking was handled in some uniform way on all Linux Distros. Though this issue is not central to the problem that I experienced a couple weeks ago, nonetheless, it can be annoying. For instance, when you wish to make sure that your DNS information is set correctly the average CLI junkie will simply fire up your favorite editor and modify /etc/resolv.conf and modify nameserver and search path and IP address as appropriate. I believe this is universal on all distros. What I have noticed is on Debian systems, it appears that 3rd party programs can utilize wrappers to prevent direct editing of this file without using some weird switch.

Clearly a different behavior, that I have never witnessed on a Slackware system. Perhaps this is because I never needed to use any sort of wrapper on a Slackware box? Who knows? Very strange, indeed.

Anyway, to address the loopback problem, on my Debian system I simply ran 'ifconfig -a' as root and noticed that ' lo ' was missing. As root running ' ifconfig lo up ' solved the problem.
So now I can bind to port 8118 and TOR / Privoxy play quite nicely.

Regression to the Mean

*Disclaimer* - The thoughts expressed here are not those of my employer, but my own -

I have discussed these matters previously in earlier posts. Nonetheless, I thought it necessary to emphasize a point. Sometimes when talking about social-political problems, I often utilize mathematics to help provide clarity in an unbiased fashion. When we talk about labor compensation and the so-called "race to the bottom" it is important to understand an objective viewpoint.

Developing nations, which historically have trailed the U.S are closing the technology and manufacturing gap in a very methodical way. Obviously this phenomenon did not occur overnight. Essentially, these developing nations, particularly China and India, understood that they would have to begin to provide goods and services if they were to improve their quality of life. They seized an opportunity to get a leg up as it were due largely to America's huge shift to being a consumer nation. Some might ask, "Wasn't the US always a consumer nation?" Well not always, I would venture to guess that since Industrial Revolution, the US shifted from producing to consuming. If my historical reference is incorrect, someone please educate me.

The Symbolic Gesture

*Disclaimer - The thoughts and opinions shared here do not reflect those of my employer*

There you have it, the obligatory indemnification statement. These past few weeks many people have asked for my comments regarding the auto industry bailout and the very difficult circumstances that have beset the American automakers.

To be clear, there is much blame to go around. I don't think there would be much argument that US auto industry has its work cut out. It will not be an easy task to remove the perception that greed and lack of foresight were major contributors in its demise.

I would probably need to write a novel to chronicle the rise and fall. However, that isn't the purpose of this entry. Methinks the recurring theme of executive compensation is the subject that seems to rub most people. Obviously this applies to many industries not simply US automakers.

When Chrysler was nearly bankrupt circa 1970's, Iaccoca made the symbolic gesture of accepting a $1.00 for his annual salary. While I have no idea what sort of compensation package Iaccoca landed as CEO of Chrysler, I would venture to guess he would be fine with a buck for 1yr salary. The gesture sent a message to Congress that he was confident that his company would survive.

The irony is that nearly 40yrs later the big 3, err I mean Big 2.5 find themselves in a similar pickle. All 3 CEOs were asked the same question. Take a buck, save your industry, show a bit of humility. There is no doubt that all 3 are well paid, so it truly would be a symbolic gesture at best. The former Boeing exec was the only CEO that was reluctant to accept the $1.00. It does appear that he has changed his tune recently.
Clearly, I was miffed by his statement of, "I'm good".. Indeed, the symbolic gesture would've have sent a clear message to the troops, but he failed miserably.

Now there are caravans heading to DC, combined with a more strategic plan for recovery. Let's hope its not three weeks too late and a dollar short. More on this later.

Housekeeping - Cleaner Style Sheets / Rebirth

I've finally gotten around to fixing some of the broken style-sheets that have plagued my site since I upgraded to MT 4.2. To be clear there is still much to do, and I'll likely be working on this effort well into 2009. Nonetheless, I will be able to publish thoughts again and leverage the powerful new features of this much improved blogging publishing engine.

Never have I been confused as style nut, I never really stressed over how the blog looked. All I ever cared about was the data and the value/accuracy of the data shared. Some folks change their blog style-sheets like underwear, I have too many other more pressing matters in my life.

Besides, I'm an engineer/ geek technical person who doesn't give a damn about appearances. Just the data :)

I can't wait to begin using Action Streams, so that I can aggregate all of my micro-blogging content and begin to take advantage of the 'brand' which is BKAEG.

Will certainly share it as stuff develops. The nuff wayward netcast, err I should say not wayward, but certainly neglected netcast. For the record, 'AG Speaks' is alive. Despite those who might think otherwise. I do have some guests lined up and will shock the world with more insightful dialogue. I just need to finish setting up my shiny new Slamd64 workstation and upgrade my Asterisk PBX box.

So thx to everyone for your support and interest. Especially those that continue to subscribe to my RSS feeds.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 4.25

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.