Friday, April 17, 2009


So, Koolz (formerly Kool Aid) told me he didn't visit The Root Down anymore because there were too many posts about music (more specifically) hip hop and since he didn't know anything about hip hop (and apparently didn't want to), he decided to complain to the author. It's not like I have a staff like, "Hey, j4, I need that humor column for Wednesday. j7, you were chasing down that story on Billy Ocean, what's the status? j2, when are you gonna be down with that sports column?" It's just me, duke. I can't please everyone every time. But I'll do my best. Geez, "too much hip hop"--didn't think it was possible. Maybe it is for a guy who warms up for Roundhouse softball by watching Selma Blair movies. Whatta softie. Apparently, he didn't read the post below this where I publicly admit to almost strangling a teenager. He probably would've liked that one. But too many posts about the best recordings ever. Gotcha.

Well, Angry Tim and I visited the wonderful Hill Country on Wednesday on some business. We didn't have the rapping flight attendant. Both of us were kinda bummed. You kinda feel bad for a guy with a schtick like that because you know, he can never not do it from here on. If he just wanted to do the instructions normal, someone would be yelling at him, "C'mon man, I came here to see your ass rap! So rap!" If I met him, I'd want him to rap everything.

Like when he came by and asked me what I wanted to drink, "Sir, coffee, water, cocktail?" I'd just say to him, "Try it again, homie." He'd stand there dumbfounded and then I'd just say, "I need you to rap it, dude." Then I'd start beatboxing for him. That's what I'd do if I met the rapping flight attendant.

I almost didn't make it anywhere because my license was expired. Yep, expired more than a month ago. How in the hell am I supposed to remember that? I get a tetanus more often than I need to renew my license. I was in the security line at the Yellow airport and the woman's looking at my license and she said, "I'll let you board even though your license is expired." I laugh at her like she's joking. I then look at it and sure as sure is, it's expired.

So, how am I going to get a rental in Austin? I walk up to the counter and hand my confirmation and driver's license over to the man. He then says, moments later, "Okay, all I need from you is a written statement saying that you'll bring the car back by 6:00 and a valid driver's license." Confirming what I heard, I reply with, "So just a written statement saying I'll bring it back? Like I just write it out on a piece of paper?" He nods. "Okay, I can do that and, uh, you have my license." He says, "Yeah, I need a valid driver's license." I say, "Uh, valid? That's the only license I have, bro." He then tells me what I already know. "The computer didn't accept it because it's expired." Lucky I had Angry Tim there.

As our punishment, they rented us a pearl white PT Cruiser. I swear there are more PT Cruiser's on rental lots than in the garages of America. Nothing absolutely screams "the cool" like flying down the highway in a PT Cruiser.

Tulia, Texas made CNN Headline News this morning because some nincompoop got caught in flash flood waters. The anchor called it two-LEE-uh. It's actually, TUL-ya.

How is it that Wolf is still getting snow? They're expected to get another 20 inches today through tomorrow on top of the 16 that they got two days ago. I wish I lived in the mountains.

Back to the traveling adventures from Wednesday. While we were on board in Dallas, I saw the great Craig James from ESPN's college football broadcasts. I think he dyed his hair. I couldn't think of his name for the life of me. Pretty sharp dresser.I really don't like airports. People are so smug in airports. Everyone dresses like they're going to a formal and make sure they're recognized as someone important so everyone's either banging on a laptop, talking on a phone or walking around talking into one of those Bluetooth headsets. I just sit there and look at the floor. Apparently, though, I'm not as creepy as I used to be because people will actually sit next to me in an empty seat on the plane. I should really grow my terrorist beard back. Creepy comes in handy when you're on a plane. Not when you're looking for a date, but definitely when you're on a plane.

Got locked out of the exit row again. If there's one thing that absolutely pisses me off it's that cat that gets to the exit row before you and he's no more than a buck-twenty and five feet tall. He sits there like he doesn't see your six-foot plus ass walking down the aisle. Like he won't even make eye contact with you. Dude, if you got balls enough to take the most comfortable seat in the plane away from a person who, physically, more deserving than you, I'd be ready to defend it. Cat wouldn't even look at me. He just sat there looking out of the window. Punk. I wouldn't have even trusted this dweeb to be able to open the exit door with his stick arms. We would've all died.

Remember how to exit a plane in the case of emergency. Man, what I would give to do this on a slide out of the side of the plane. I'm just wondering how in the hell you get that much speed to launch like that.
Oh yeah, I guess you're pushed as we see in this image...personally one of my favorite images in the history of emergency instructions on planes.
I also love the disclaimer at the bottom about the color of the slide like if you saw this image without the disclaimer, there would be apprehension if you were looking at a yellow slide. "I don't know, honey. This picture shows it to be grey in color...not yellow. Let's die instead." Apparently, this man is exiting out of the "white" side of the plane. What's up with racist planes? I thought our society had finally moved past this sort of stuff.

ALIENATING MUSIC DISCUSSION WARNING: Went to Waterloo and bought an armful of vinyl. Jimmy Smith, Cannonball Adderley, Funkadelic, Yesterday's New Quintet and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. That's an arsenal of vinyl that you just don't want to play with. We then went next door and enjoyed a pint of ale at the Icehouse. I tell you want, that's a very positive music purchasing experience. I think that every music purchase should be followed by a beer. Love Waterloo. Don't really like the staff. It's alright, though, because they don't help you anyway. They just stay out of your way or avoid you like you're overcome with some horrible disease. When I was paying out, the girl asked me if I needed a bag. You would've thought I asked to dump eighty barrels of toxic chemicals into Lady Bird Lake. Militant greeners who wear dark denim with really small t-shirts: that's the Austin experience. Oh, and apparently body odor is too. Dale and Sarah, no offense to you. You all wear proper fitting clothing and smell good. I think. Can't touch their vinyl offering in Texas though. Except, Pirahna Records in Round Rock had three copies of De La Soul is Dead on vinyl. Angry Tim took one of his hands. I've never seen three copies of that record in one place. Impressive.

Roundhouse got rained out last night. Ugh. I love playing me some Roundhouse softball. Hate it when it gets rained out. I'm with the rest of the team. I feel like Mother Nature's got something against us because every Thursday, it seems, the weather goes south on us. Last night, it was tornados and ping pong ball-sized hail. Can someone give me the exact difference in size between a ping pong ball and a golf ball? I was hearing both reports in fact some hail that was between golf ball and ping pong ball. I thought they were close enough in size that it's either one or the other, but not between.

Spanks lost their first game in the new $1.5 billion dollar-Yankees Stadium. Their bullpen blew a 1-1 game in the seventh losing the game to the Cleveland Indians (who had two wins coming in), 10-2. Awesome stuff.

Sox are heading home to Fenway. Thank gawd. Man, I hate the West Coast. Everytime we go out there, we get absolutely annihilated. Four-set with the Orioles. The East is beastly this year. Orioles, Jays, Rays, Yanks and Sox. That's a division you want no part of.

It's Friday and, oddly, I wish I had a couple of more days this week of work. I'm so behind. Brutal stuff.


Anonymous said...

Please take a look at Pedroia stats compared to Kinslers. Maybe you will witness who is the best 2nd baseman in baseball. He has the power of a young NOMAR, the range of REYES and the speed of LOFTON. Ultimate 5 tool player. Pedroia has only the 5 in his height to compare. Sorry to point this out brother man, but you need to recognize and give props. I will brag as long as the Rangers are still somewhat in contention.

Timmy "baseball" Brown

j3 said...

props given, but the only thing he doesn't have is heart. technically pedroia hit a cycle last year (the year he won MVP) however, he decided to run right past first and score two doubles instead of a double and single. that's because he's not interested in individual achievement, but rather the success of the team unit. after that game, he mentioned that he had no idea he was a single away from a cycle. that's hustle and that's heart. guarantee you if your rangers (from organization down to the fans) legged out singles into doubles, scraped, clawed and fought for everything they could, they wouldn't have had losing records eight out of the last nine seasons. great players, but not great teams. that's texas rangers baseball. you notice the cycle that kinsler hit, the rest of the world notices that the rangers are 4-7 and just lost to the royals, 2-0, at home. he's a great fantasy player, but being the fan you are, it's gotta be frustrating seeing such a great collection of players fail so miserably every year. i don't care how pedroia does this year (even though, admittedly yes, i'm a fan) it's the sox that have to win. i don't care if we ride mike lowell's bum hip all the way to the series and pedroia hits .180 for the rest of the year.

Anonymous said...

how can the Rangers compare to one of the most popular sports franchises in history? Kinsler is a great one to watch and who knows, the Rangers may surprise you this year... that is of course if they are able to literally stay in business. Word on the street is that Tom Hicks has put vendors and creditors on notice that he will not be able to meet his financial obligations and that he will soon declare bankruptcy - too many irons in the fire seems like to me and attendance at the ballpark hasn't been what its been even in the last couple of years, troubled and troubling times. You gotta like the players though unless you have a red wool sock pulled over your eyes.

j3 said...

here's how to make money as a franchise: win ballgames. and here's how to win ballgames: pitching. homers are nice, but not if you're down 1-8 to the royals. you need pitching. it's not the popular move, but it wins ballgames and winning franchise don't have any issues paying the ballpark frank guy or the new era rep on time. b'lee dat. i can name ten great sluggers from the last decade in texas rangers baseball, but i can't name three great (hell, AVERAGE) pitchers. think that has anything to do with their sub-.500 performances the last decade?

Anonymous said...

winning more games would help cash strapped fans be more motivated to come to the ball park - no doubt the Rangers have a sorid past around decisions in their pitching I would clean house starting at the GM level and move up. Some franchises never get it and maybe the Rangers are snakebit that way but still worth pulling for I think Hick's woes go beyond poor attendance at the ball park, the stars aren't real steller right now and his soccer team is blowing as well. Tie all that in with some wretched economic circumstances and there you have it. b'lee dat?? what is that some kind of semi-lame secret code language?

TX said...

Craig James' kid is a receiver at Tech, too. That's another plus.

Regarding Hicks...his other problem is that he invested in a soccer team. Is there a more irrelevant sport in America on a professional level? Oh yeah...I forgot hockey.

Anonymous said...

soccer for sure that is the sport made for woussies now hockey I don't think you can say that and Hicks has been flying high in recent years with the Stars and the town has embraced them and at times the Starts were easily the #1 sports ticket in town with the Mav's next then the Rangers then the Rough Riders then the cowboys b'lee dat cracker?

Anonymous said...

Hicks situation discussed below
Hard Economic Times Coming To Sports Franchises
By John Royal in SportsWednesday, Apr. 15 2009 @ 9:45AMThe NHL doesn't have a team in Houston, so I'm pretty confident that most of you don't follow the league, and don't have any idea about some of the severe financial problems facing many of the southern teams. The NHL has intervened in Phoenix in an attempt to find new ownership for the club. A part owner of the Nashville Predators recently pled guilty to securities fraud - some of the proceeds from the fraud were used to purchase the Predators. There have been reports that the Atlanta Thrashers had difficulty with meeting payroll, and there are a lot of questions about the viability of the franchises in Tampa Bay and Miami.

Though you probably haven't read about those problems, there's a chance that you're aware that Chase Bank and the Bank of America loaned the NBA $175 million because 15 unnamed franchises are suffering severe financial difficulties. And since the Bank of America received TARP funds, it can be argued that your tax money is being used to subsidize the NBA.

I bring this up because the financial difficulties affecting the rest of the nation are now impacting Major League Baseball.

The Hicks Sports Group, the company owned and run by Tom Hicks, owns the Texas Rangers of MLB and the Dallas Stars of the NHL. As our sister paper, the Dallas Observer detailed yesterday, Hicks is refusing to pay off the debts of the Hicks Sports Group (HSG), and this has led his creditors to declare that HSG is in default. The Observer, linking to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, also reports that both teams are unable to pay both their operating expenses and their debt service.

Tom Hicks is attempting to spin this by saying that he defaulted on $10 million in interest payments on $525 million in loans because he wants to restructure a new deal with his lenders while finding partners to join him in the ownership of the Rangers and Stars. Hicks is quoted in the story as saying "the current situation does not make economic sense." So he wants a deal that is more favorable to him than it is to the lenders.

You know, I went to two rather expensive private law schools, and I paid for those schools by getting student loans. Now I'm still paying off the loans, and I've got to admit, this current situation doesn't make much economic sense for me at the moment, especially as I was laid off last month and I have yet to find a new position. But if I were to decide to default on my loan payments so that I could dictate the restructuring of a new deal with my lenders, I would be laughed at. Well, laughed at as well as taken to court for every penny in my possession and the complete and total destruction of my credit rating. So I'm not buying Hicks's spin. I don't think he's defaulting to get a better deal. He's defaulting because he can't make the payments.

Now if you want to read about the ramifications to the Dallas Stars, I suggest you go read The Third Intermission where I discuss this matter in depth. But since hockey is a minor sport here, I'm interested in discussing the ramifications this might have on major league baseball.

The immediate worry is that the creditors will actually foreclose. But as of now, the creditors have agreed to hold out following through on this action for 180 days. And as old-time Astros fans remember, it's possible that the creditors could take control and run the Rangers until they find a possible buyer. If they don't want to do that, then it's possible the creditors can force an MLB-sanctioned sale of the Rangers. (Seeing as how I believe Tom Hicks still owes Alex Rodriguez money, maybe A-Rod should do like Mario Lemieux did with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the late-90s and just take control of the team in lieu of payment.)

Now MLB ownership is known as a "Friends of Bud Selig" club. If you're not a Bud-approved buyer, then you're not going to be allowed to buy the team, no matter how much more financially superior your bid might be. As Mark Cuban or several prospective buyers of the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals can all attest. But if the Rangers are forced into foreclosure, it's likely that they, and not Bud Selig, will have final say.

But forget the Rangers for a moment because in the coming months, more teams might be experiencing financial problems. The owners of the New York Mets were big investors with Bernie Madoff. The San Diego Padres are currently being sold to a former co-owner of the Arizona D-backs, but the deal has funny financial structuring that essentially has the current Padres owner financing the deal. The Oakland A's are in a market where they can't draw fans, and their grand plans for a new stadium in Fremont just fizzled. And things are such with the Astros that Drayton McLane is now forcing his game-day employees to pay for their meals.

It's probable that this thing is just limited to Tom Hicks and his franchises. But it's highly probable that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that soon we'll be seeing more teams in MLB and then in NFL joining their brethren in the NHL and NBA in economic distress

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