March 26, 2010

2010 Postseason predictions

Note - I'm not busting out any numbers here, these are just my WAGs as to who I think will make the playoffs this year (so I can laugh at myself come September)

East: Yankees (97)
Central: Twins (91)
West: Mariners (88) (this division is the hardest to pick)
WC: Red Sox (94)

East: Phillies (95)
Central: Cardinals (89)
West: Rockies (92)
WC: Braves (91)

Yanks over Mariners
Twins over Red Sox
Yanks over Twins

Phillies over Cardinals
Rockies over Braves
Phillies over Rockies

WS: Yankees over phillies (again)

March 12, 2010

Off the top of my head...

I was skimming through this BBTF post about quote-machine Ozzie Guillen's comment that 7 of the top 10 players of the game are Latino. I don't really care about how this stuff is distributed, but a discussion broke out in the comments as to whether A-Rod belongs in the top 10. Well, duh, of course he should. This if just off the top of my head (no peeking at WAR leaderboards etc), but this is what I think the top 10 should be. For ranking purposes let's just talk about next year, instead of the next 5 years or whatever

1. Pujols
2. Mauer
3. Utley
4. Halladay
5. Hanley Ramirez
6. Lincecum
7. Tulo
8. A-Rod
9. Felix Hernandez
10. Teixera

What would be yours?

Who will be Fukudome's caddy?

The big news the other day was that Nady won't play 'regularly' until June, which led to much gnashing of teeth in the Cubs blogosphere but a fair number of shrugged shoulders around the rest of the interwebs. Reading the tea leaves, It sounds like Nady is likely to make the roster but should primarily be a pinch hitter.

After my initial WTF reaction, I'm not quite as teeth-gnashy as I was before but I still think the Cubs should do something. Nady will still have some value I guess as a PH, but this would mean we would get ~2 months of Fukudome or someone batting against LHP. Without Nady, who would this be? Based on the current projected roster (and my handy platoon split calculator), here's what we have

PlayerwOBA vs LHP
Fukudome (L).317
Fuld (L).307
Hoffpauir (L).314
Millar (R).325
Tracy (L).286
Colvin (L).296

In other words, ick. Millar is the best option, bat-wise, but he would probably make Hoffpauir look good in the OF.

I guess what will happen is that Fukudome will just have to hit 8th. Or maybe Fuld - he's hit lefties well in his very small sample of PAs, and Fukudome has a rep for a guy who needs a little more time off.

Luckily since the Cubs lineup is so RH anyway, they should be pounding LHP so this shouldn't be much of a big deal.

March 07, 2010

New food

We went to not one but two new restaurants this weekend. Well, technically one of them wasn't new for Dovie but it was new to me. They were both quite good, and we'll be back.

Granite City

On Friday night we headed over to Granite City, which is a chain brewpub. It opened several years ago, but I've always been kind of leery of the place, mainly due to the fact that it's attached to the mall. I didn't know for sure if it was a chain but kind of had that feeling. But, I wanted to hit up Best Buy and Barnes and Noble and they were over there, so we figured we'd check it out. Eating there definitely overcame my prejudices

Our food was great. I ordered their schmancy bacon cheeseburger, which was quite good albeit a little too big. The rest was my lunch today though, so I'm not complaining. It came with some waffle fries, which are always delicious. Dovie ordered a burrito, which she said was good but not particularly memorable. She was super jealous of my burger and will probably order it next time. We also got cups of clam chowder with our meals, which were the real stars of the show. Both of us declared it to be Alien Abduction* clam chowder after our first bite. It came with some decent bread too - nice and chewy in the way I like.

*Alien Abduction X is what we call things that, if Aliens came to Earth and told us that the fate of the entire planet hinged on how good generic thing X is, we would offer them this version of it. The soup was that awesome.

The beer was pretty good too. The only real complaint was when the waitress screwed up our order. I ordered their wheat beer, and Dovie ordered a Mountain Dew. Somehow Mountain Dew was mistranslated into 'Bock', but it wasn't that big a deal since that was the next beer on the list I was going to try anyway. I also finished off dinner with their Stout, which was good but not as much as the first two beers (though to be fair, I wasn't in as much of a Stout-y mood, I just wanted to try theirs). They were a little more beer-snobby than I would like. I enjoy beer, but don't really care that much about things like beer-dish pairing or any description longer than 10 words or so. Maybe I'm just a Philistine. A to Z's review complained that the place was tooting its own horn at every turn, but we didn't feel that way. It could just be that they visited the place not long after it opened. We did get an ad for their weekend brunch on the takeaway box afterwords.

All in all, it was pretty good. The menu and the general ambiance of the place reminded me of Blue Ridge Grill back in VA, which is a mini-chain that my parents are big fans of. I actually like GC better since it's cheaper and has a great beer selection. We'll definitely be back (prob on a friday night again for the chowder).

Post-script to this meal - after I finished off that last beer and was a little tipsy, we headed over to Barnes and Noble, where I basically ignored this post of mine and bought the rest of the Wheel of Tedium books that I don't own.

Manna Cafe

Manna Cafe is a coffee shop/restaurant/bakery in a extremely unassuming strip mall the north side of town. Dovie had lunch there with her on-maternity-leave boss a few weeks ago and loved the place. We headed there for brunch this morning and it was pretty good. I figured it would be a hole-in-the-wall place based on the exterior, but it was quite nice inside and waaay larger than it looked. I think it was recently renovated.

I ordered the french toast with bacon, because I'm a sucker for french toast and their variety was made from cinnamon sticky buns. But as usual I was kind of underwhelmed by it. The strawberries on top were probably the best part. A few years ago the platonic ideal of french toast in my brain must have changed, because since then it has seemed that every time I make/order it I've been disappointed. It was still good, don't get me wrong, but it still felt like kind of a letdown. I thought their bacon was a little too crispy too, so I might get something else on the side next time (i.e. potatoes). Dovie ordered the Wisconsin Omelet, which had Chevre (PURE WIN), caramelized onions (yet more win), basil. tomato, and other things that I'm forgetting, and a side of potatoes. I tried some of both and they were incredible.

I'd love to go back here for lunch. Jennie got their turkey club last time and declared it an Alien Abduction sandwich. The rest of their menu looks pretty intriguing to me too...

March 02, 2010

Nerd Glee ensues

The HBO Game of Thrones TV series has been greenlit!!! (linikifcation).

It makes me very glad that by the time this comes on the air, I will have a job that will actually allow me to afford things like cable.