Saturday, March 29, 2008

The 2008 NY Mets--As Good As It Gets!


After pulling one of the worst choke jobs in the history of baseball (’51 Brooklyn Dodgers, anyone?) the New York Mets are better for one reason: Johan Santana. It was a major move getting the all-star pitcher and the dividends should be immediate. If he wins 15 games, it will be a disappointment, let’s put it that way. There are still several question marks on this team, however. One is age. Moises Alou, Luis Castillo and Carlos Delgado aren’t spring chickens anymore. The other is catching. Newcomer Brian Schneider may not be the answer. And the third question is named Pedro. Can Pedro Martinez be the all-star pitcher he once was? Will he rebound from injury? If he can, the Mets will be tough to beat, with a starting rotation led by two of the finest hurlers in the game. Throw an improving John Maine and a tough bullpen led by Billy Wagner into the Big Apple’s picture, and what you have is a lot of opponents’ whiffing and whining. Manager Willie Randolph seemed surprised that he wasn’t fired by GM Omar Minaya after last season’s debacle. If he doesn’t win with this stellar squad, he might not get another chance. With Jose Reyes leading off and jumpstarting the offensive attack; David Wright holding down 3B and hitting taters; and Carlos Beltran doing what Beltran does – the Mets are the team to beat not just in the NL East, but in the entire league.

The Atlanta Braves have four future HOFer’s on their team (Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz) if you also include Skipper Bobby Cox. It’s hard to believe that they won only one World Series after taking all those division titles. One of the problems is that Glavine is 42 and Smoltz is 40. Glavine didn’t have a great year last season (4.45 ERA) and Smoltz seems more hittable than ever, which isn’t surprising when you consider his age. The Braves have some solid bats throughout their lineup, including Jones, Mark Texeira, Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur. Andrew Jones is gone to LA-LA Land, but the team picked up Mark Kotsay to replace him. The way A.J. was hitting, it might be an improvement. LF Matt Diaz is a top prospect and could contribute almost immediately. On the mound, the Braves are hoping that Tim Hudson can regain his old form, because their prospects for a decent fourth starter look dim. Mike Hampton, the guy who has made a career out of hauling in huge money while being injured, is slated for the spot, but he has proven to be more fragile than a porcelain China doll. Pitching prospect Jair Jurrjens has a live arm and could step in, as could either Jo-Jo Reyes and/or Chuck James. I like a lot about this team and with a few breaks they could make it to the postseason. But, it’s more likely that they’ll finish far behind the Mets and several games out of the wild card spot.

The Philadelphia Phillies made a great run last year, right up until they ran head-on into a surging Colorado Rockies squad. They won’t even make the playoffs this season, in my estimation. This team is loaded with top-tier talent, with names on their roster like MVP Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. But, the departure of Aaron Rowand to San Francisco will hurt the Phils more than they probably realize. This Pete Rose throwback never stops hustling and all his teammates love him, so that fact that he’s gone isn’t good news. Philly’s pitching rotation is a case of Cole Hamels and not much else. Brett Myers will go back into the starting five after being used as a closer late last season, but with names like Moyer, Eaton, Kendrick and possibly Benson after that, this team’s pitching is likely to be its Achilles Heel in 2008. GM Pat Gillick went out during the off-season and picked up reliever Brad Lidge, who is coming off a knee injury and may not be ready when the season starts. Trouble will reign if he isn’t ready to go. Manager Charlie Manuel may also run into problems if some of his marquee players start reading their press clippings. The City of Brotherly Love will flirt with the playoffs, but in the end I just don’t see them putting it together enough to make it happen this season.

The Florida Marlins traded their two best players to the Detroit Tigers, but they still have a ton of good, young kids on the field and in the pipeline. The Tigers gave the Big Fish a group of promising future stars who will be the nucleus of the team within the next few years. And now that the Marlins look like they’re going to get a new stadium, they can stockpile some good players and try to build another contending team. With an influx of cash (which a new ball park should bring) there’s no excuse for this team to trade away top players once they become too expensive. But, for now, the Florida Marlins (who will be changing their name to the Miami Marlins when their new park opens) are pretty atrocious. Dan Uggla, Jeremy Hermedia and Josh Willingham have proven they can hit. Cameron Maybin is a promising kid with many skills. The pitching staff is full of unknowns-NL teams will regularly feast on these arms-and the Marlins will hook themselves some victories here and there. But, they surely won’t contend-at least not anytime soon.

The Washington Nationals have a new stadium. That’s the good news. They have to field a team to fill the place. And that’s where the bad news begins. Manager Manny Acta has a team that is full of huge holes and big problems. Not one of his pitchers has ever won more than seven games. And he’s got two new guys who have three-and-a-half egos between them (Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes). If the Nats can be even slightly competitive, it will be close to miraculous. The fact that they won 73 games last year was amazing and a tribute to Acta. Don’t get me wrong. This squad has a few bright spots within an otherwise pretty dim-looking crew. Paul Lo Duca, Aaron Boone and Austin Kearns should provide a little pop at the plate and some much-needed leadership. Willy Mo Pena (if not injured) is a solid part to this confusing puzzle. And Chad Cordero will save some games if there are any that need saving. All in all, it will be a long season in a nice, new park for the Washington Nationals in 2008.


One hundred. That’s the number the Chicago Cubs are going to be forced to live with all season long. They’ve been hearing it all winter, and they’re going to hear it all spring and summer long. The Cubs have not won a World Series in 100 years, and just to get there, they’re going to have to make the postseason for the second straight year—something they also haven’t done in a century. Fortunately for the Cubs, little has changed in the inferior NL Central, with no divisional opponent spending hundreds of millions of dollars on players as Chicago did last year. Better yet, the Cubs are walking into the new campaign feeling more at ease, having proved they can win after burdening $300 million dollars worth of expectations upon their shoulders last season. If Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome is every bit the equal of, say, a Hideki Matsui, he’ll provide some terrific glue to an already potent offense that includes Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. A fine starting rotation is anchored by Carlos Zambrano, who not only brings 18 wins from last season but is feeling content to boot, having signed for five years and $90 million. The only mystery at Wrigley Field remains who will close; the sexy option is former starter Kerry Wood, but he’ll have to prove he can condense all that gas into his arm for one inning every couple nights without—all together, now—re-injuring himself. All in all, the Cubs will KO one century-old drought by returning to the postseason. Will they overcome the other, far more famous 100-year run? In today’s MLB, when even the Colorado Rockies can reach the World Series, anything is possible.

Dusty Baker is a fast starter. In his first year managing San Francisco, the Giants posted 103 wins. When he managed the Cubs for the first time, in 2003, they came within five outs of a World Series appearance. Now Baker brings his act to the Cincinnati Reds, a team with two hitting stars (Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr.) each in the last year of their contracts, two upscale starters (Aaron Harang and Brandon Arroyo), promising stars of the future (Joey Votto and Homer Bailey) and a legitimate closer via free agency (Francisco Cordero). Put all of this together, and the Reds, in my opinion, will be the closest thing to a surprise in the NL. Then again, they’d better make an impression; if Baker can’t work his first-year magic and Dunn and Griffey bolt after the season, there will be a sense of starting over in 2009. So the future is more or less now for the Reds, and Baker is the perfect tonic to make the present a good thing.

The Milwaukee Brewers are getting a lot of attention from the pundits following a solid showing last year, and much of it is justified. It’s hard to argue against a team that has two under-25 sluggers (Prince Fielder and reigning NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun) who went nuts with the bat in 2007. But the Brewers are handcuffed with some major disabilities; the defense is atrocious, they carry two catchers (Johnny Estrada and Jason Kendall) who can’t throw any base stealers out, and closer Francisco Cordero (44 saves) has left town, replaced by Eric Gagne—whose 2007 went from good (Texas) to bad (Boston) to worse (the Mitchell Report). What ultimately may keep Milwaukee upright is its starting rotation, but only if Ben Sheets and Chris Capuano can stay healthy and effective.

I picked the Houston Astros to win the NL Central last year. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…well, the Astros are doing everything to try and cast shame on me and win now, but I doubt that’s going to happen. The team has cleaned house; there’s a new manager (Cecil Cooper), new GM (Ed Wade), new closer (Jose Valverde) and just two everyday position players (Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman) returning from Opening Day of last season. Yes, Houston also snagged Miguel Tejada, but his production isn’t what it used to be and will likely suffer further now that the Mitchell Report will dog his tail wherever he goes this year—not exactly the intangible the Astros are looking for. This team should hit; besides the vets, they have last year’s rookie sensation Hunter Pence (.322, 17 homers) and a potential A-list slugger in rookie catcher Justin Towles, but for all the production they put up, the Astros will pray that something good comes out of a weak rotation beyond premier ace Roy Oswalt. To be honest, this team is something of an enigma. I doubt I’ll get fooled again.

Next, we have the Pittsburgh Pirates who don’t do anything. After finishing with the NL’s worst record in 2007, the Pirates stood pat. Now, that’s okay if you’re the Boston Red Sox; they’re the champions. But Pittsburgh, a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 1992? Even some of the team’s better players (Jason Bay, Xavier Nady) are scratching their heads over the Bucs’ do-nothing philosophy, and they used the team’s winter funfest—an event designed as a feel-good mixing of players, fans and media—to air their complaints. The state of affairs in Pittsburgh has become almost criminal; the Bucs have the beautiful ballpark they told fans had to be built so the revenue can pour in and allow them to compete. The public certainly did its part by providing the funds to build PNC Park, but the Pirates have not carried out their end of the bargain. The team does hold promise—especially with a starting rotation that’s developing more slowly than anticipated—but “promise” has become a tiring word to Pirate fans, who would rather hear “results” instead. Not this year. Again.

But wait—I’m not picking the Pirates to finish last. I’m reserving that spot for the St. Louis Cardinals, who have tremendous potential to completely collapse in 2008. It’s all but assured if megastar Albert Pujols’ bad elbow finally gets the better of him and is forced to shut down sometime during the season. Beyond Pujols, there’s trouble everywhere with this team. Chris Carpenter will not pitch until late in the year if at all; Mark Mulder will be back sooner, but he needs to prove, for the first time since 2005, that he can pitch effectively; Juan Encarnacion is out all year, still recovering from that freak on-deck circle injury late last season; and boomers Troy Glaus and Rick Ankiel have been fingered as steroid users and have not responded well to their accusations. Then there’s a clubhouse still drenched with the afterthoughts of Ryan Hancock’s drunk-driving death and the recent release of Scott Spiezio, who survived his own drunk-driving adventures but faces a scroll’s worth of misdemeanor charges back in California. Otherwise, the level of talent on this roster is approaching paper-thin. Tony LaRussa somehow signed on to all of this for two more years, but if he gets this team anywhere over .500, he’s Manager of the Year.


The Arizona Diamondbacks are a young, balanced and well-coached team that will win the NL West and with any luck could make it all the way to the Fall Classic. Manager Bob Melvin must be salivating like one of Pavlov’s mutts when he views this team on paper. When you look at their starting rotation, featuring stoppers like Brandon Webb, newcomer Danny Haren, Doug Davis and Mike Owings--not to mention future HOFer Randy Johnson—it’s hard to believe that this team won’t win 100 games. Offensively, the D-Bax are stacked as well--with names like Byrnes, Drew, Reynolds, Hudson and Upton. They lack power, but make up for it with smart play and enthusiasm. There are no prima donnas on this team, just hungry solid performers. Arizona got into the playoffs last season, even though their opponents outscored them by 20 runs. That won’t happen this year. The only big question with this group is—“Will Brandon Lyon be able to replace Jose Valverde’s 47 saves?” If he can, watch out. The D-Bax are ready to break out and this is the year they could do it.

Fans in Colorado rode a Rocky Mountain High last season when the Rockies came out of nowhere and nearly took the whole thing. That’s not going to happen this season. The team just has too many question marks and holes to fill. For one, the starting pitchers are very good, but there’s little depth. After Francis and Jimenez, you have a bunch of guys who have never put together anything more than a semi-successful season. The bats on the Rockies are formidable – Matt Holliday had an MVP season last year and should be one of the league’s toughest outs again this season. And Troy Tulowitzki is an amazingly poised player for being so green. But, guys like prospect Ian Stewart and up-and-down sluggers like Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins will have to have stellar seasons if this team is to repeat last year’s performance. Don’t bet the house on it. This team is more likely to get lost in the mountains than it is to climb to the pinnacle of the NL once more.

In the City of Angels, the Dodgers are looking forward to exiting Vero Beach as their Spring Training site and moving their camp to Arizona next year. Joe Torre is at the helm and ready to look good wearing Dodger Blue. But, unfortunately for the Hollywood Bums this team is full of more holes and question marks than they were last season. No one knows if Jason Schmidt will pitch effectively again. Juan Pierre is out-of-place and feels unwanted. And the team paid big bucks for Andruw Jones, who they hope can provide power. Sure, the team has some young studs (Kemp, Loney, Ethier, LaRoche and Billingsley), but they also have a lot of brittle oldsters (Garciaparra and Kent). Yes, the Dodgers’ staring rotation looks good with guys like Penny and Lowe leading the way. And with Saito in the pen, you’re bound to get 30 to 40 saves. But, to pick this crew to win any more than 75 games this season would be crazy when you look at the other dynamic teams in this division. Get your young kids some valuable experience this year, Torre. L.A. is at least a year away from getting into the playoff picture.

If pitching wins games, the San Diego Padres have a shot at winning this division. Unfortunately, you also have to score a few runs to be victorious on a consistent basis. The Pads’ starting rotation is awesome – lead by Cy Young winner Jake Peavy and followed by names like Maddux, Young and Wolf – but their bats are weaker than a Happy Hour drink at an airport bar. CF Jim Edmonds is old and tired, as is 2B Marcus Giles. Up-and-coming 3B Kevin Kouzamanoff is still a couple of years away from being a stud and rookie Chase Headley will need time to develop. There’s just no pop in this lineup. Playing in home run unfriendly Petco Park means they could set an all-time record for fewest dingers. Future HOFer and Trevor Hoffman (who choked big-time late in the season last year and showed he was merely mortal) definitely won’t be closing out as many games as he did last season. His team will rarely be ahead late in games. San Diego will drop a lot of 3-2 and 2-1 contests this year and will fade quickly in the NL West race.

The San Francisco Giants have a slogan this year that says something like “We’re going full out all season.” What it should say is “We’re going to be out of it all season.” If the Giants lose their first series this season, they won’t spend a single day atop the NL West. Everything on this team is suspect--from a young, pitching staff led by Cain, Lowery and Lincecum--to an aging lineup led (or misled) by names like Roberts, Vizquel, Durham and Aurilia. These guys might be going through a re-building stage, except for the fact that they don’t have enough to re-build with. The Giants are the midgets of the NL West and will dwell all alone in the cellar all season.


Ed’s playoff picks:
NL: New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs
NL Champion: New York Mets
AL: Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels
AL Champion: Detroit Tigers
World Series Champion: Detroit Tigers

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Tigers Will Soar in 2008!

Here are my picks for the 2008 American League. Enjoy!
(Special thanks to Eric Gouldsberry, my partnet on


The Boston Red Sox were as well-oiled as a team could be in 2007. They streaked out to a great start, didn’t collapse in a contrast to tradition, and with the exception of spotting Cleveland with delusions of grandeur in the ALCS, sailed through the postseason. The winter after has been every bit as good for the Red Sox; they re-signed everyone they wanted back (including World Series MVP Mike Lowell) avoided messing with chemistry by not trading for Johan Santana and was largely steered clear of the Mitchell Report. Outside of what to do with Curt Schilling’s shoulder and who’ll start in center field (Coco Crisp or rookie Jacoby Ellsbury—a good thing, as management loves competition), there’s been very little controversy in Boston heading into 2008. For now, they have it all: Veteran hitting (David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez), veteran pitching (Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield), veteran leadership (Jason Varitek), terrific Japanese imports (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima) and hot young stars of tomorrow, if not today (Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon and Dustin Pedroia). Unless there’s a mass outbreak of injury, the Red Sox should have no problem returning to the top of the AL East.

To say what I just said of the Red Sox sounds awfully dismissive of the New York Yankees’ chances. That’s correct. I’m not anticipating another fall of the Yankee Empire, but there’s serious potential for some cracks to start developing with a roster that’s either aging or inexperienced. Think about it. Reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez is one of the younger pups on the everyday roster, and he’s turning 33 this year. Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon are all older, and they’re not getting any younger while other teams, including the Red Sox, are. But an even bigger concern for the Yankees is pitching. Chien-Ming Wang, with nearly 40 wins over the past two seasons, is the only reliable starter. Mike Mussina (age 39) is all but washed up, Andy Pettitte (36 in June) has Mitchell Report distractions to fight off, Kai Igawa has yet to prove he truly belongs, and a young group of prospects (Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy) show promise but not much proof as of yet. And closer Mariano Rivera, at age 38, is exhibiting less A-game than he used to. In a very competitive league—and a much tougher division than in years past—the Yankees are showing severe vulnerability. It would be something of a shock if they could overcome the Red Sox—and not one if they slipped to third place.

The Toronto Blue Jays did well to finish above .500 considering what went down last year north of the border. An early shutdown for B.J. Ryan, leaving the team without a reliable closer. A season-long slump for prime power source Vernon Wells. Sizeable absences from starting pitcher A.J. Burnett and first baseman Lyle Overbay due to injury. Troy Glaus cowering under steroids accusations. In an AL with a black-and-white separation of haves and have-nots, the Blue Jays are one of the few teams—maybe the only—residing in the middle-class neighborhood. Whether they can accomplish an upgrade or avoid relegation from that center depends on the health of the roster, which is essentially the same as last year. The only major addition—if you can call it that—is Scott Rolen, a brooding, oft-injured presence who replaces Glaus. The Jays have the makings of a balanced, scrappy unit that could overachieve, but that’s asking a lot in the powerful AL.

Now here’s three words you never thought you’d read together in relation to baseball: Watch Tampa Bay. I see you chuckling, but don’t laugh. It’s very possible that the team which has taken the “Devil” out of its name will give opponents a devil of a time like never before. The Rays have two quality starters (Scott Kazmir and James Shield) and possibly a third (Matt Garza); a well-rounded batting order led by Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and comeback bopper Carlos Pena; improved defense with shortstop Jason Bartlett; a third baseman of the future in rookie Evan Longoria (who does not hail from Wisteria Lane); and a potentially solid closer in Troy Percival, who pitched wonderfully at St. Louis in 2007 after being shelved for two years. Perhaps best of all, the clubhouse was cleaned of malcontents with the trading off of Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes. Some issues remain, including suspect depth in a bullpen that was beyond sorry last year, but the Rays may very well develop into the surprise of the AL, and a solid bet to set a franchise record for wins—though with their current high at 70, that’s not a tall order. True, a postseason appearance is not likely given Tampa’s placement in the Division of Death with the Red Sox and Yankees, but a third-place finish is not out of the question—and, hey, if you’re in Vegas and you have a Hamilton to burn, it’s not so insane to plunk it down to win $1,500 on the Rays, 150-1 longshots to win the World Series.

The Baltimore Orioles pretty much reached rock bottom at the end of 2007. The team stunk, the bullpen completely imploded after a 30-3 loss to Texas in August, the fans vanished from Camden Yards (whoever expected that?) and Miguel Tejada, Jay Gibbons and Brian Roberts were prominently named in the Mitchell Report. Now comes the hangover in 2008—and it won’t be pretty. But at least the Orioles have finally asserted some hope for the future. They dealt away Tejada and ace pitcher Erik Bedard, because the team could just as easily lose with them as they could without them—but more importantly, the two trades netted ten players, many of them solid young prospects, including highly-thought of Adam Jones, who may end up as an Opening Day outfielder. What’s left of the Orioles isn’t much; the pitching staff from start to finish remains awful and the lineup is filled with players (Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora, Ramon Hernandez) who have never fulfilled the stardom they hinted at early in their careers. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s going to be a long, dark ride.


The Detroit Tigers have everyone talking. There hasn’t been a lineup like this one in Detroit since 1968, when guys like Cash, Kaline, Horton and McClain won the whole enchilada. With a starting nine featuring power (Ordonez, Sheffield and Cabrera); speed (Granderson, Polanco and Jones) and hits for average (I. Rodriguez, Renteria and Guillen) one would be hard-pressed to find any weaknesses with these bats. Ditto with the Tigers’ starting pitching—with Verlander, Rogers, Willis, Bonderman and Robertson—I can’t find a weak sister in the bunch. If there’s one question mark with Detroit’s stellar crew this year, it would have to be their relief pitching. If Joel Zumaya’s shoulder rebounds, that question will be satisfactorily answered and this team could win 120 games. The fans at Comerica will be seeing some amazing baseball this season and the Tigers are on everybody’s “can’t miss” list. Unless they experience a complete breakdown at every level, Manager Jim Leyland’s job should be stress-free and as easy as writing the names on the scorecard every day. Maybe the Skipper will be so relaxed that he’ll even be able to quit smoking. Who knows? The Tigers have all of the right pieces in all of the right places and should win the Fall Classic if they play just 75% of what they’re capable of.

The Cleveland Indians have been cursed ever since they traded Rocky Colavito approximately 50 years ago. Since then, they’ve run into a whole slew of problems—from bad trades to season-ending strikes, all the way to players getting cancer and being involved in fatal boating accidents. Last season could have been such a triumph for the Indians. But, they folded like a plateful of paper-thin crepes against the Red Sox in the playoffs and handed Boston a shot at the World Series after being just one win away. Cleveland should be much tougher and a little wiser this season. Guys like Peralta, Sizemore, Hafner, Garko and Blake are more experienced and will be a little hungrier. One of the first things GM Mark Shapiro needs to do is take the Master Lock off his wallet and sign C.C. Sabathia to a multi-year mega-deal. You would think Shapiro would have learned a valuable lesson after the Twins let Johan Santana get away. It will be interesting to see how Japanese pitcher Masahide Kobayashi does—is he the real thing or just another Usual Suspect? And Closer Joe Borowski is a major accident waiting to happen. All in all, however, the Indians should do well enough to capture the AL wild card. They have the personnel, the attitude and the talent to break the Curse of Colavito and make it into the postseason once more.

The Chicago White Sox bid for free agents Torii Hunter (didn’t everyone?) and Aaron Rowand, but whiffed on both. Now they’re without a quality CF and will have to make due with either Nick Swisher or a plethora of unproven names (i.e., Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Quentin and/or Rookie Jerry Ownens). When you look at what Detroit did during the offseason, the Chisox pale by comparison. Sure, they have some solid performers—guys like Thome, Konerko and Dye are gamers who come to play every day—but they lack depth and if someone gets hurt, they’re in real trouble. Chicago’s pitching staff is light as well. Vazquez and Buehrle are semi-first-rate, but after that you have a group of unproven has-beens or wannabes like Floyd, Contreras and Danks. The bullpen is fairly strong, with arms like Jenks, Dotel and Linebrink. The only thing that will plague the Hose this season is the same ailment that will be make every other member of the AL Central sick this year—they have a lot of games against both the Tigers and Injuns in their immediate future. GM Ken Williams needed to make more moves this winter and he didn’t get it done. Consequently, he’ll be on the sideline watching the playoffs along with all of the other front office people who couldn’t get the Santana’s and Hunter’s of the free agent world.

The Minnesota Twins aren’t re-building, according to GM Bill Smith. They’re doing what’s called “re-tooling.” Re-tooling is for teams that are close to being a winner, but just need to tweak a few things to get to where they want to be. After losing their two best players (Torii Hunter is gone to the Angels and Johan Santana is off to NYC), the Twins are in a state of major flux. They did make a couple of good moves – adding OF Delmon Young and leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez in the Santana trade will help – and the Twinkies have a ton of young, untested talent on the back burner. But, their 2008 campaign is so full of if’s, and’s and but’s that I just can’t consider the Twins a contender in the super competitive AL Central, arguably the toughest division in baseball. To add to their woes, no one knows if SP Francisco Liriano will rebound from a rather serious injury. If he can’t, Minny’s starting rotation will be thinner and weaker than Gandhi on a hot summer day. Whether or not Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer will continue to be formidable is also subject to debate. The sad fact is that this squad will have to play the Indians and Tigers a whole lot, and that will mean a good number of “L’s” for this team. If Minnesota can make some type of run, I would say they’re a long shot for a wild card spot. But, other than that, they’ll swim along in third or fourth place, out on the lake that is called mediocrity.

Just how long have the Kansas City Royals been bad? Well, do names like Bret Saberhagen and George Brett ring a bell? Unless you’re in your 30’s or older, you might as well be talking about Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson. The Royals have stunk for so long the fans in K.C. have lost their sense of smell. During the offseason, they made a play for free agent Torii Hunter, but he opted for L.A. and they settled for Jose Guillen ($36 million, three years) Ouch! There is hope on the horizon, however. The Royals are slowly getting better. After stockpiling draft picks and prospects, General Manager Dayton Moore has assembled a team with great potential. But, potential won’t win games. Much ballyhooed 3B Alex Gordon got better during the second half last year, and kids like Billy Butler, Luke Hochevar and Brian Bannister are impressive and will only improve if given time. The Royals could spoil a lot of other teams’ dreams in 2008, but are several seasons away from achieving their own. It will be another nightmarish year for the kids (and the fans) from K.C.


Last year, I picked the Seattle Mariners to win the AL West while everyone else thought nothing of them. Give us credit for reading between the lines. The Mariners were the surprise of the AL although they missed out on the postseason, and…they’ll likely miss out again in 2008. It won’t be because of the pitching, which has been strengthened with the addition of Erik Bedard and an overpaid yet serviceable Carlos Silva, both of whom will flank around the still very young, bound-to-be-improved Felix Hernandez (22 in April). Or because of the bullpen, anchored by J.J. Putz—far and away the most underrated closer in the AL. You may know where I’m headed, but before the defenders waive the M’s .287 batting average—second best in the majors in 2007—at me, do the homework a little more and you see a lot of singles, few long hits and even fewer walks attached to that figure. And if you think Silva is overpaid, $14 million better get the Mariners something more from Richie Sexson than his .205 average, 21 homers and 63 RBIs from a year ago. Seattle’s close, but they still have some work to do.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have done theirs. They gained pitcher Jon Garland from the White Sox to fortify an already stout rotation, and nabbed outfielder Torii Hunter via free agency, adding more fear factor to an everyday lineup that’s starting to look sharp from top to bottom. Otherwise, there are few weaknesses on this team. If you want to carp in that direction, you can find some fault in a relatively inexperienced infield (all the more so with Gold Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera gone in the trade for Garland), or that an overcrowded outfield may lead to some clubhouse dissension courtesy of the odd man out, or that closer Francisco Rodriguez is an angry guy after losing his arbitration battle. But these are minor issues. So how good are the Angels? I’ve gone this far without mentioning Vladimir Guerrero. But now I have, and now you see. The Angels are the team to beat in the West, and quite possibly all of baseball.

Gertrude Stein once wrote that there’s no “there” there in Oakland. If A’s front office czar Billy Beane keeps trading away his best talent, there won’t be much “there” there in the Coliseum, either. And because of the team’s low budget and relative small revenue streams playing in a multi-purpose stadium, there will be a continued lack of “there” until the A’s become the Oakland A’s of Fremont. (And if you thought there was no “there” there in Oakland, wait ‘til you see what’s around the A’s proposed ballpark in Fremont.) Over the winter, Beane traded away the team’s best pitcher (Dan Haren) and best hitter (Nick Swisher), and rumors are flying rampant to the point that the remaining A’s are keeping the nearest U-Haul location on speed dial, just in case. The A’s, as they currently are, might make a dent in the West—but they need solid production and good health from starting pitcher Rich Harden, third baseman Eric Chavez and shortstop Bobby Crosby—all of whom have given Oakland neither over the past few years. My old standby is that you can never count the A’s out, but if they start off awful, who’s left “there” in Oakland may well get cleaned out to other teams.

If anything else, the Texas Rangers will be interesting to watch this year because their two biggest offseason pick-ups were players with deeply troubled pasts: Josh Hamilton (drug addiction) and Milton Bradley (hot-tempered addiction). For the Rangers to have any chance of success, they’d better hope these two major talents don’t relapse during the season, because the rest of this roster is a virtual repeat of last year’s last-place finish—and less. Good P.R. was spent bringing Nolan Ryan back as the team’s new president with the hope he could reverse the franchise’s ill fortunes of the past eight years; if only the 61-year old Ryan could still pitch. No one else on the Rangers’ staff seems to be able to. Texas has no closer, not much power (Hank Blalock returns, but it remains to be seen how much pop he has minus a rib) and, as the norm so far this century, not much hope—unless owner Tom Hicks can convince baseball to change the rules to something more like soccer and borrow some of the lads over from Liverpool for the summer.

Bed Liners Make Life Finer

As I have said on this blog before -- if you have a truck and are out there jamming along at 85 mph on the open road -- you need to get yourself a high-quality bed liner. If you have a nice truck, it's a major investment. Protect that investment with a bed liner that is well-designed and well-built. Sure, you can save a little scratch by buying an inferior, less expensive bed liner. That's a fact, there's no doubt about it. But, to really protect your truck with something that will lats you a long time -- check out

Call Me the Toy King!

I am one of those kids who has never grown up. I still love toys, even though I will be 50 this year. When I have time to kill, I will stop into toy stores to browse. I especially like the older, antique toys -- they were so well-made back then. If you're looking for great new toys, I would strongly suggest that you visit They have some really amazing prices on some top-tier, super high-quality toys. I love everything about toys. Somethings you just never lose a passion for. For me, it's toys!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Memory Store: Don't Forget It!

If you're looking for more memory for your personal computer, I can highly recommend a place called They have compatible memory for all your major brands, like Apple, Dell, Digital, eMachines, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sony, Sun and Toshiba. They offer free shipping, a lifetime warranty and a money back guarantee. They're the computer memory experts and can hook you up the right way. Don't get caught short of memory. Visit today. Don't forget you heard it first here at LIFE ON THE EDGE.

LCD Monitors...What Have You Heard?

A friend of mine just purchased a really nice-looking lcd monitor. I have been thinking of getting one myself. The sharpness and overall picture quality is really outstanding. The technology has really skyrocketed over the past few years within the lcd monitor world, so the prices are more affordable and they're just better built and more reliable, which obviously makes them a smart investment. For a top-level display, you really can't do any better than an lcd monitor.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

There's Gonna Be a Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On...

There is going to be a major earthquake in the Bay Area very soon. Since I live in a 4-story Victorian house in San Francisco, this is a major concern of mine. My residence was built in the 1890’s and survived both of the big ones (1906 and 1989), so I guess I’m fairly safe, but they’re saying this could be a bigger one than either of those.

We aren’t prepared for the shaker, either. We don’t have food or water stored; we don’t have a generator or a first aid kit or even have a working flashlight. I imagine we’re in the same boat as a lot of other people. You just don’t think about earthquakes that much. But, that’s going to change. When the big one comes, we’ll be ready. And I w0uld suggest that if you live in San Francisco you do the same.

This appeared on yesterday:

The next major earthquake on the Hayward Fault - inevitable anytime now, experts say - will be the Bay Area's own Hurricane Katrina, affecting more than 5 million people, causing losses to homes and businesses of at least $165 billion and total economic losses of more than $1.5 trillion, scientists warn.
And that's from ground shaking alone. If major fires break out - think 1906 in San Francisco - the total losses would be far higher, they said.
The staggering numbers come from new predictions of losses resulting from a magnitude 7 temblor on the fault, in which ground shaking could spread from the quake's epicenter directly on the fault to communities as far off as Santa Rosa and San Jose - or beyond.
Seismologists and quake loss experts joined Thursday to report the latest assessment of what scientists call "the single-most dangerous fault in the entire Bay Area."
The analysis came from the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, from Risk Management Solutions, a scientific and engineering firm in Newark, and from the Association of Bay Area Governments. Their view of the past and future was sobering.
Records and geologic trenching show that five major quakes struck along the Hayward Fault between 1315 and 1868 - an average of one every 140 years. The 140th anniversary of the last big one falls on Oct. 21.
Quakes don't follow timetables, of course, but "a repeat of 1868 is becoming increasingly likely with each passing year," said Survey seismologist Thomas Brocher. He is a leader of the "1868 Alliance," a consortium of quake experts and local officials working to persuade Bay Area residents to learn the elements of earthquake preparedness, to retrofit homes and businesses, to hold earthquake drills in every school and to keep emergency supplies on hand.
Brocher and Mary Lou Zoback, former chief scientist of the USGS earthquake hazards team and now vice president of Risk Management, noted that the Bay Area's $165 billion forecast for losses to residential and commercial buildings far exceeds the $141 billion damage to New Orleans buildings from Hurricane Katrina.
They pointed out that in New Orleans, 60 to 70 percent of total economic losses from the hurricane were uninsured, and in the Bay Area more than 95 percent of all homes and 85 percent of all commercial buildings have no insurance against earthquake damage.
According to Jeanne Perkins, a quake expert at the Association of Bay Area Governments, fewer than 40 percent of all Bay Area homes have been retrofitted to resist quake damage, and fewer than 10 percent have been strengthened enough to withstand "violent damage without becoming uninhabitable."
"When the Big One hits us, 27,000 homes in Oakland alone will be uninhabitable," said Sue Piper, a policy analyst for City Councilwoman Jean Quan. And most of them, she said, will be in houses occupied by low-income families who can ill afford the costs of retrofitting without some kind of assistance.
The biggest small-building hazard, all the experts agreed, will be from what they term "soft story buildings" - the kind where garages or storefronts occupy most of the ground floor and the heavier floors lie above, raising the odds of collapse. Houses like those, whose fragile underpinnings collapsed throughout San Francisco's Marina district when the Loma Prieta quake hit just over 18 years ago, should be a warning sign for every building owner to retrofit, Brocher said. Unreinforced corner buildings, he said, are the most dangerous.
The Loma Prieta temblor of October 1989 hit with a magnitude of 6.9. Sixty-four lives were lost, but the damage total was only $6 billion.
The loss figures from a magnitude 7 quake on the Hayward Fault will total $90 billion for residential buildings and their contents and $75 billion to commercial property, Zoback said.
According to the risk management firm, half of all homes seriously damaged by the quake would be in Alameda County; 24 percent of damaged homes would be in Santa Clara County; 10 percent in Contra Costa; 7 percent in San Francisco; 5 percent in San Mateo County; and 4 percent in the remaining Bay Area counties.
Forty-three percent of all commercial property losses would be in Alameda County; 24 percent Santa Clara County; 8 percent in Contra Costa; 16 percent in San Francisco; 6 percent in San Mateo County; and 3 percent in the rest of the area.
Then there's the danger to lifelines - the roads, rail tracks and bridges that must carry ambulances, fire trucks and fleeing cars after the quake; the airports that are bound to be unusable; and the crucial power and gas lines whose damage costs haven't yet been figured in but could cost many lives, the risk experts agreed.
At least 1,100 Bay Area roads could be closed by a Hayward Fault quake, Perkins said - 900 in Alameda County alone.
In San Francisco, said Keith Knudsen of the national nonprofit Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the downtown area south of Market, where well-engineered high-rises are rapidly filling the neighborhoods, would be particularly dangerous in a major quake because the low-lying filled land there is subject to liquefaction.
Those new buildings might well remain standing in the coming Hayward quake, he said, "but if the streets there settle by a couple of feet, those buildings will be isolated."

Can I Be a Fashionista?

I think it may be time to improve my appearance. I know I'll never be able to pull off the outfit in the above photo, but maybe I can step it up in the clothing department a little bit. For those of you who know me, you're aware of the fact that I am not a fancy dresser. I have improved my look since meeting my lovely fiancee Angelina, but I am still very far from being a GQeek or a Fashinonista. I know several guys who like to dress well. They spend a lot of $$ on things like nice suits, Italian leather shoes, expensive jackets, etc. They shop at high-end men's clothing stores and drop the big bux. Me, I am more comfortable wearing football jerseys and sweat pants. I have two suits that I wear for work and that's it. Maybe I should be buying my clothes from and look into some of the great men's fashion trends they're obviously on top of.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Massage Chairs

I am thinking of buying a massage chair. The technology of these types of chairs has really come a long way. I have been working out every day (and I've lost approx. 30 lbs. since Jan. 1) and part of that means I'm sore a lot of the time. My back gets achy and I am creaky a lot of the time, so a massage chair would be nice to sit in while I'm at home watching TV or sitting at my desk writing and attempting to meet my crazy deadlines. Massage chairs are pretty affordable too. So, what are you waiting for? Check them out today and make a smart decision. You can live LIFE ON THE EDGE, but once in a while it doesn't hurt to make a prudent move now and then.

Get the Best Buy with

Human beings instictively want the best price on things. It is one of the things (other than opposable thumbs) that separates us from other forms of life. We all went to make the best buy. And that's why we all love web sites like The Internet has really helped people save money on just about everything. The consumer has really benefitted from the advent of the World Wide Web. It just makes good sense -- why would you want to spend too much money on something unless you really have to? Check out next time you're thinking of opening up that wallet of yours. Be a little smarter than the kitten in this photo!

What Happens in Vegas...

Sin City. The Big "V." The Den of Decadence. People have called Las Vegas many things, but I just call it one thing -- FUN! With all the great restaurants, shows and attractions, Las Vegas isn't just for gamblers and degenerates anymore. If you're headed to the Dusty City, I would suggest you check out a site called They have some of the best deals on Vegas rooms that you will find anywhere. If you're going to party like it's 2008 down on The Strip, take a tip from Life on The Edge -- save yourself some bucco bux and visit http://www.i4vegas/ first! Sve your money and get a nice room at a great price. You'll be thanking me big-time, baby!

Great Deals on Books!

There's a web site called that offers some amazing deals on books. If you're into reading, this site is something you really should check out. I myself like to read strictly non-fiction. I don't think I've read a novel in 20 years. In my opinion, real life is more entertaining than anything the human mind can conjure up. Don't get me wrong -- I love good literature and I have read all of the greats, including Shakespeare, Hemingway, Faulkner, DeClue, Bradbury, Berghammer, Wolfe and more. I like to read about true crime, baseball (my real passion), biographies and historical analysis. I have also gotten into the habit of reading books randonly. I will open up the book at any point in the story, read for a while, and close the book. The next time around I do the same thing. It drives my fiancee mad!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't Get Caught with Bad Life Insurance

You see this guy? Why is he so upset, you ask? Well, it's because he bought some bad life insurance. There are so many different life insurance policies available out in the market today. Finding the best one and purcahsing it can be a difficult proposition. That's why you need to go to for your life insurance needs. Don't be angry like the poor schmuck in this photo. Get the best life insurance from an established company like It could be the smartest move you'll make this year!

Where are you going on vacation?

Now that the nicer weather is right around the corner, a lot of folks out there are starting to think about sunshine, beaches (bikinis) and relaxation. It's also a perfect time to look for the best travel deals out there. I found a great web site called that features some of the best travel deals in the world. I'd love to visit beaches of Antigua (see photo). I've heard that they are among some of the finest beaches in the entire world. You'll be pleasantly surprised when you find out how great some of these discounted vacations are. Now is the time to search for the good deals before they all run out!

Logo pens

As I have said many times before to all of my faithful blog readers -- I am a huge fan of free logo pens. I go to a lot of conventions and trade shows for my writing job, and I always like it when I can pick up a free pen, especially if it's a quality pen that I can use for a while. Logo pens are perfect promotional items for businesses. Every time someone uses a pen with your name on it, they will think nice things about you. Unless, of course, it's a cheap pen. Then, they will think hurtful, evil thoughts about you. That's why you should always order your pens from

Family Insurance: It's Important

What do you know about family insurance? Honestly, have you considered the importance of keeping your family insured? There are so many different types of insurance out there -- car insurance; health insurance; life insurance; renter's insurance -- they even have pet insurance out there. If you want peace of mind and the security only a relaible, reputable insurance program can provide for you and your loved ones--think about family insurance and think about it today. We only go around once in this masquerade we call life. So, why not protect yourself and your family with family insurance.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Delectable Trio

Here are three restaurants I recently reviewed for What a great gig. I get to eat incredible food and I get paid for it!

There is a spot on the Mendocino Coast called Stevenswood Spa Resort (or the Restaurant at Stevenswood; 8211 North Highway One; (707) 937-2810; that serves some incredible contemporary American cuisine that is both inspired and creative, using the best fresh and local ingredients you'll find anywhere in Northern California. This secluded, tranquil resort and spa is amazing all by itself; but when you throw this amazing restaurant into the mix, you get a very unique and exciting place. They've won a ton of awards, such as the James Beard Recognition award and the Top 40 Restaurants in the Bay Area recognition from Zagat. The other night when we were there, we had some incredible dishes, including a Akvavit Cured Gravlax Tartare (with Russian Sevruga Caviar, Cucumber, Red Onion, Mustard Dill Sauce and a Caper Emulsion); a Dungeness Crab Martini (with Asparagus and Avocado Mousse); a Wild Chantrelle Risotto (Topped with Truffles, Fresh Rosemary and Local Porcini); a Duck Confit Ravioli (with Micro Greens and a Port Reduction) and a Warm Lobster Salad (with Endive, Butter Lettuce and a Champagne Beurre Blanc). Everything was superlative, and the service was excellent. All in all, we had a great experience at the Restaurant at Stevenswood.

Restaurant Sent Sovi (14583 Big Basin Way in Saratoga; (408) 867-3110; serves Seasonal French Californian cuisine that is really outstanding. I've had French Californian food in the past that seemed too complex and featured so many flavors that it ended up being confusing and simply didn't work. But, at Sent Sovi, highly regarded Chef/Owner Josiah Slone (see photo) has created a menu that is balanced and simple. Good chefs don't see a need to show off and will let the food do their talking for them. Inexperienced chefs seem to want to show off their skills all the time and will combine 10-15 ingredients in an entree that would have been just as food with 3 or 4. The other night at Sent Sovi, we had the Grand Tasting Menu for $125 each. The Tasting menus change daily, based on market availablity and the whims of the kitchen. It was outstanding. First, we had a Arugula, Fennel, Avocado and Kumquat Salad with a Tarragon Vinaigrette with Parmesan Flakes; an Intermezzo course of Blueberry Sorbet in Champagne; For our entree we had a Porcini Rubbed Niman Ranch Pork Chop with Rosti Potatoes and Sautéed Greens; and for dessert, we sampled several items, including a Strawberry Soup with Burnt Italian Meringue and Candied Walnuts. The service was exceptional and the experience sublime. We love Sent Sovi!

The Grand Cafe (501 Geary Street, San Francisco (415) 292-0101/ is a French-California brasserie featuring contemporary French cuisine influenced by earthy seasonal flavors using strictly local, fresh ingredients. The service was more than adequate, the portions are generous (unlike many top-rated restaurants) and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. My fiancée hates loud places and the Grand Cafe is quiet and relaxing. The menu at Grand is full of seafood, roasted meats, great salads and amazing desserts. We had a truly unforgettable meal there recently. Once in a while, we visit a restaurant that provides a flawless experience, and Grand pulled it off in a big way. Some of the more memorable things we ate included the Pancetta Wrapped Scallops with sweet corn and cherry tomatoes; Escargot Baked in Hazelnut Chartreuse Butter; an incredible bowl of "Moules Frites," which consists of mussels steamed in Sauvignon Blanc with garlic and herbs, accompanied by some of the best French fries you'll ever have; a sublime Onion Soup Gratinee with enough cheese to spike your cholesterol level a couple hundred points; a Beef Bourguignon with braised short ribs, baby vegetables horseradish puree with lemon and parsley, and finally--a "Grand Cassoulet," with crisp duck confit, garlic sausage, braised lamb and garlic roasted marrow beans. If you love food, the Grand Cafe is Nirvana.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Get Down with Comfort

If you are looking for down comforters, there's a web site called that really has a wonderful selection of them. We were in search of a down comforter for the conjugal bed recently, and we really liked what we saw on this site. There is really nothing like a down comforter to make you feel safe and satisfied in your own bed. The feel, the look and the feeling that a good down comforter offers is very special. As I get older, I find that a good night's sleep is a very important thing. Down comforters can help you get there.

This One Goes to 11!

Last night I had the pleasure of being at the San Jose Shark’s hockey game at HP Pavilion. If you’re not a hockey fan, you’re probably not aware of this team’s amazing 11-game winning streak. It’s the longest streak in the NHL this season and the most impressive run of consecutive victories since the New Jersey Devils won 11 in a row two years ago. The all-time record is 17 straight, accomplished by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993.
To say that San Jose is excited about their Sharks right now is a huge understatement. Last night the arena (aka “The Shark Tank”) was absolutely electric. San Jose has only one professional sports team and they really support it. That place was rocking from the second the first puck dropped, all the way until well after the game. Downtown San Jose was packed with partiers and happy fans. It was like Mardi Gras – people were drinking in the street and women were flashing their breasts.
San Jose hasn’t been this hyped up over something since November 27, 1933 when a mob of vigilantes lynched two guys named Thurmond and Holmes in Saint James Park for kidnapping and killing a kid named Brooke Hart. But, that’s a whole different story.
Here is what Yahoo Sports said about last night’s game:
The San Jose Sharks have been playing their best hockey of the season over the last few weeks. What they did in the first period against St. Louis took it to another level.
Milan Michalek scored on the opening shift, San Jose added three more goals in its highest-scoring period of the season and the Sharks coasted to their franchise-record 11th straight victory, 4-1 over the Blues on Friday night.
“We came out flying,” forward Jeremy Roenick said. “The first shift set the tone for the whole game. That’s what we have to continue on here, our strong starts. We’re tough to beat when we get a lead.”
Roenick, Brian Campbell and Patrick Marleau also scored in a dominant four-goal opening period that helped San Jose increase its lead in the Pacific Division over idle Dallas and Anaheim. The Sharks are three points ahead of the Stars and four in front of the Ducks, with two games in hand over both teams.
That’s quite a turnaround from the end of last month when San Jose was 11 points behind Dallas. All it took to erase that was the longest winning streak in the NHL since New Jersey won its final 11 games of the 2005-06 season.
“It’s a good win for us,” Campbell said. “It’s what we need right now when we have games in hand. We have to take advantage of those.”
While many of those games were close—all decided by two goals or fewer with two going to shootouts and a third decided in overtime—this one was over almost from the start against a Blues team that has lost 11 of 12.
San Jose’s top line led by Joe Thornton applied heavy pressure on the opening shift and it paid off when Campbell fed Michalek, who beat Hannu Toivonen into the top of the net just 1:10 into the game. The Sharks didn’t let up and the onslaught was on from there.
“When you have the lead, you can afford to make a mistake here or there and you’re not going to be behind,” coach Ron Wilson said. “It keeps the other team on their heels and gets your crowd into it. When you have a first shift the way we did with three or four quality scoring chances before we scored you create in them, ‘Oh no, here we go again.’ You just have something to build on.”
Roenick tipped in a shot from the point by Craig Rivet just 1 second after Andy McDonald’s high-sticking penalty ended to make it 2-0 midway through the period.
Less than 2 minutes later, Thornton fed a trailing Campbell for a one-timed shot that beat Toivonen for his seventh goal of the season.
“It’s almost a nightmare at times when you step on the ice and you have a line of Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Thornton coming at you full speed,” Blues forward David Backes aid. “When you dig yourself a hole like that in the first 10 minutes of the game, to expect to climb out is unrealistic.”
The scoring barrage was capped when Erik Johnson pulled Marleau down from behind for a penalty shot. Marleau converted from there to make it 4-0 at 13:2
Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves for his league-leading 41st win for the Sharks, allowing only a power-play goal by Backes 54 seconds into the second period.
San Jose swept the four-game season series from the Blues, outscoring them 11-2.
“That’s one of the best teams in the NHL,” Toivonen said. “We have to find a way to play like that and then maybe we’ll win games.”
(I would like to thank my brother Gino—he goes by the name Yoko Ducked as a BrooWaha Reader-for letting me use his tickets last night.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What Will Video Spygate Reveal?

Former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh, the main figure in the "Spygate" controversy, may be ready to talk to officials from the NFL.
The Boston Globe reported Monday that Walsh, who has asked for immunity from the league, and the NFL are nearing an agreement that would allow him to come forward and tell what he knows. And evidently, he must know something that could prove damaging to the Patriots. Otherwise, why would he be asking for immunity?
Five weeks ago, Walsh told the Globe that he possessed possible damaging information about the Patriots' videotaping.
Walsh's testimony could help NFL commissioner Roger Goodell complete his investigation into allegations that the Patriots filmed opponents' signals. For the past month, however, attorneys on each side have been unable to come to an agreement.
The fact is that it’s becoming quite clear the Patriots didn’t just videotape a few practices and games illegally. We’re going to learn a lot more real soon and I think the evidence might shock some folks.
The question is –what will the NFL do once they get the information they’ve been waiting for? Will Walsh waffle and fold under pressure, or will he tell all he knows and reveal exactly how rampant the Patriots’ videotaping was? Furthermore, will it show that the Pats’ had an advantage by videotaping?
"In the last seven days, the lawyers have had intensive and constructive discussions regarding some new and promising approaches," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement released Monday by the league.
"They have made substantial progress toward and agreement that will allow Mr. Walsh to be interviewed. Both sides are optimistic that any remaining issues can be addressed successfully."
Monday's announcement contradicts comments made by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who told the New York Times that the NFL does not want to speak with Walsh.
Specter, who has been highly critical of the NFL's handling of the situation, wants Goodell to release letters exchanged between the league and Walsh's attorneys, according to a report in the Times.
Two days prior to Super Bowl XLII, Specter questioned the quality of the NFL's investigation of the Patriots' videotaping practices and Goodell's decision to destroy evidence uncovered by the league earlier this season.
Goodell fined New England coach Bill Belichick $500,000, fined the team $250,000 and took away a first-round draft pick after the Patriots were accused of videotaping defensive coaches of the New York Jets in the season opener September 9.

Horton Hears a Hoodia

Many people are losing weight by taking a thing called hoodia. But, not many people know exactly what hoodia is. Let me clear up a lot of speculation throughout the nation and give an-depth explanation of this worldwide situation that is causing a major sensation. Authentic hoodia is one of the rarest botanicals in the world. It is a cactus like plant that grows exclusively in South Africa . Scientists have isolated several compounds in hoodia that helps suppress appetite. It contains a molecule called P57 that is 10,000 times as active as glucose. It goes to the mid-brain and makes those nerve cells feel as if you are full and this in turn stunts the appetite. It basically tricks the brain into thinking that you are full. To date, there are no known adverse side effects caused by the use of hoodia.

Exercising Has Never Been Easier than with Ellipticals!

If you want some equipment to use for working out at home, I can strongly recommend getting one of many ellipticals. Pro Form makes a few that are high-quality and made to last. The Pro Form Epic 1200 Pro Ellipitcal is around $125.00, and it is a great way to work out. When you're using an ellipitcal, you get to work all of your muscles. For a full body workout, it's really the very best way to go. Pro Form's ellipticals comes with a Lifetime Frame Warranty, and they'll let you make payments for as little as $25 each. And you can also get Free Shipping from them, in many cases. Check out the newest innovations is ellipticals. You'll be impresses by what you see!

Drug Rehab: Could it Have Saved Them?

Janis Joplin, River Phoenix, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious, Kurt Cobain, Bert & Frank Vanella -- we've lost a lot of famous people to drugs and alcohol over the years, and it's really very sad. Could they have been saved if someone had intervened and convinced them to get into drug rehabs? Maybe, who knows? There's a place you've heard me talk about and it's called Cliffside Malibu. They've really helped a lot of folks with drug addictions turn their lives around. We've lost too many celebs over the years and it's time it stopped. If you know someone who is addicted, get them into Cliffside Malibu today!

Johnston and Murphy: Leather Luggage at its Finest

Johnston and Murphy makes some of the finest leather luggage you'll ever see. Rich leather is wonderful, because it essentially gets better looking over time -- just like my lovely fiancee! Johnston and Murphy has been making quality footwear for over 150 years, and now they're taking those same skills and using them to make hig-quaklity bags and luggage. They make a series of amazing leather computer briefcases, Fabric Tall Slimline Laptop Briefs, cabin/sport duffels, Road Agent suitcases and Fabric Road Agent duffel bags. Each piece is top of the line all the way, with superior craftsmanship throughout.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Get with the Franchise Gator--It's no Crock!

I found a great web site called the Franchise Gator. If you're looking for a franchise opportunity, this is a site for you to check out immediately. Franchise Gator features a wide range of businesses for sale and franchises that, in many cases, you can get into cheaply and with little or no liquid capital. From automotive franchises; to computer and Internet franchises; pet franchises; children's products; -- a plethora of services and other business opportunities that you can take advantage of and make bucco cash! They also have a feature called the Entrepreneur's Source, a service where you can talk to a business franchise consultant. Check it out!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sunset Malibu

Do you have a friend who is messed up by drugs and needs some good addiction treatment? Many of us do. If you're in a situation where someone you know is involved in drug addiciton, you should do what you can to come them into a place like Sunset Malibu. They're addiction experts and top-notch counselors. They really know how to help folks who have messed up their lives by using drugs and alcohol. Help your drug-addled friends now. In the end, they're going to have to help themselves. But, by doing what you can while it's still not too late is a smart way to go.

Ahhhh, North Carolina Land

With prices through the roof here in California (and especially in over-priced San Francisco, which is really just completely insane) it's a good time to consider North Carolina land for sale. There are some very reasonable deals in North Carolina right now that you wouldn't believe. North Carolina has nice weather, great (friendly) people, all kids of attractions and so much more. I am beginning to think that California is over rated in so many ways. Sure, the weather is nice, and you're close to the beach and the mountains, but there's too much traffic, too many rude people (especially in A-Holeville, aka San Francisco)and rent, gas, food, and entertainment is way too expensive. All of sudden, North Carolina is looking real good!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Performance Review Software

All of us at one time or another have most likely been the subject of performance reviews. That's basically where your employer sits you down and either praises you for doing a good job or chastices you for doing a losuy one. The end result can be a raise, a suspension, a promotion or you might get terminated, which is never pleasant. There is a company out there that makes halogen software. It's a program that makes performance reviews easier for companies to perform. As an employer, it can be an invaluable tool. If you work in human resources, own a company or are a supervisor, take a good long look at this excellent performance review software.

Overstock Coupons

There's a great Web site out in Cyber Space called, and right now they've got an offer that is so great that I feel compelled to tell all my blog fans about it. If you're a reader of LIFE ON THE EDGE, you will want to take advnatge of this deal. Right now, you can get Free Overstock coupons from It represents and awesome opportunity for you to realize some incredible savings on items sold through Overstock. Sace $25 if you spend $400; save $15 if you spend $250; get 15 percent off watches and jewelry; and 10 percent off select sheets. You can also save a lot of cash on many select items. Check it out! We all need to save $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Paris & Her Pets: It's a Doggone Shame!

For years now, we’ve been hearing about what an animal lover Paris Hilton is. Now we’re finding out that it’s all a sham.
As reported on several web sites and in a handful of blogs, Hilton uses local dog rescue groups as her personal mutt exchange. She’ll adopt a dog, and then when she tires of it, she will return it like a Gucci handbag. Then, the other day, authorities from the ASPCA found one of her dogs hungry and neglected in a closet.
A few years ago, readers of two dog magazines selected Hilton as the worst pet owner in show business, for treating animals like fashion accessories. Paris is always toting her frightened, little Chihuahua named Tinkerbell to parties and movie premieres. Every time I see the dog in photos, the poor thing looks terrified, and I can’t blame it. Chihuahuas are high strung and extremely nervous creatures as it is, so I’m sure the flashbulbs and screaming photographers can’t help.
I have one question. Does the dog ever urinate on her designer duds? I sure hope so. And another thing. What does Paris do with Tinkerbell once she goes into a party? Does she check him like a coat? At one point, Hilton lost Tinkerbell, and then replaced him with a smaller, cuter Chihuahua, and then eventually replaced that one with a ferret . She’s even been seen parading around with an illegal kinkajou monkey-thing. Good thing she’s not a fan of Meerkat Manor, or she’d probably want to buy a couple of them.
Whatever happens, readers of The NY Dog and The Hollywood Dog magazines don't appreciate the way she takes care of her pets – and I can’t blame them. Hilton loves the idea of being a pet lover, but when it comes time to step up and take care of the creatures, she treats the poor animals like one of her many ex-boyfriends. Here today. Doggone tomorrow.
Paris should not be able to own pets unless she can be a responsible owner – just like the rest of us peons. No wonder her grandfather wrote her out of the will. She ‘s clueless, mindless, heartless and talentless. And hopefully soon – she’ll be pet-less as well.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Picked Clean at Pier 39

Last night I went down to Fisherman’s Wharf. I wanted to see my buddy’s band play, so I ventured down there. I normally don’t ever visit this part of San Francisco. It’s a tourist trap and pretty tacky.
It’s the kind of place where they sell those cheap t-shirts that say “I Did Time at Alcatraz” and “I’m With Stupid.” Last night I saw a very fat lady wearing a t-shirt that said “I Conquered Anorexia.” Fisherman’s Wharf is where you’ll find portrait artists who will draw a cartoonish picture of you for $12; street musicians; break dancers; a guy dressed like a bush who jumps out and scares people; all amongst the Hooter’s and In ‘N Out Burger and over-priced seafood restaurants. It’s a freak show, essentially. Bobby Joe and Billy Jean from Iowa will like it. But, people who live here stay away like the plague.
Last night I also found out who else frequents Fisherman’s Wharf. And that would be pickpockets. I know because I was a victim. At least for about five minutes. Let me explain.
I was walking at Pier 39 on a crowded sidewalk when a little girl who I figured to be about seven or eight years old was walking toward me holding two shopping bags. She ran right into me and dropped her stuff. When everything went flying, I bent over to help her pick up her things. And while I was bent over, someone came up behind me and lifted my wallet.
And they would have succeeded, except for the fact that I felt them take it. By the time I had turned around, the person who picked my pocket was long gone, lost in the crowd. Thinking fast, I grabbed the little girl’s arm. I realized immediately that she was in on the scam and that if I had any hope of getting my wallet back, I couldn’t let her out of my sight.
The little girl started crying and yelling, “Hey, let go of me, you’re hurting me!” She was a good little actress; I have to give her that. Pretty soon, a group of people were gathering around me with accusing stares. One man said. “Hey, let her go!” I told him to mind his own business. Luckily, there were two cops one block away. Otherwise, I would have had to choose between letting the little girl go and losing my wallet forever or getting my ass kicked by a couple of hicks from North Carolina wearing NASCAR hats.
The policemen knew instantly what was going on and had seen this little girl in action before. They took the both of us off the street and into a side alley. Within no time, the little girl came clean and said, “My daddy makes me do this stuff.” I don’t know if she was being sincere or if it was all part of her act.
Anyway, within no time a guy showed up and handed me my wallet. The cops retained him and got my name and phone number. They asked me if I wanted to press charges and at the time I said yes. But, now I don’t know it I want to – I actually feel bad for the little girl and I also found out that nothing will happen to them anyway.
The cops told me that pickpocketing is a big problem on Fisherman’s Wharf. They told me to put my wallet either in the front pocket of my pants or in my inside jacket pocket to avoid getting pickpocketed in the future. I left relieved and a little wiser. I also called my bank and cancelled all my credit cards.
Here is what says about pickpocketing:
Pickpocketing is one of the oldest and most widespread crimes in the world. The appeal is its relative safety: A skilled pickpocket can make off with just as much money as an armed robber, without much danger of confrontation or risk of being identified in a line-up. By the time the victim even realizes what has happened, the pickpocket is long gone. And since no weapons are involved, pickpockets who do get caught face minimal jail time.
All of this is bad news for the rest of us. When you're travelling, a pickpocket can easily ruin your trip, lifting your money charge cards and identification in a few seconds. And there's very little hope of getting any of your stuff back.
In this article, we'll see how these thieves can rob people blind without them even knowing it. We'll also find out what you can do to avoid being a "mark" (a con or pickpocket target) and what you should do if your wallet is stolen.
Just as in a magic show, the major method at work here is distraction. Human beings usually focus their attention on one thing, so if you give them anything interesting to focus on, they won't pay attention to their money and valuables.
In the pickpocketing world, distraction can get pretty elaborate. Two members of a team might stage a fight while the third member takes advantage of the inattentive crowd. Child pickpockets may try to show something to a mark, like a drawing or a toy, while other children sneak up from behind. Another common trick is to surreptitiously spray someone with bird droppings, or a convincing facsimile, and then offer to help clean it off.
One of the most effective distractions is sex: An attractive woman, usually pretending to be intoxicated will touch an unsuspecting man affectionately, and lift his wallet or watch while he's distracted.
Some pickpockets play on compassion in their distractions. They "accidentally" drop change or shopping bags on the ground so that someone will stop to help them. While the mark is kneeling on the ground with the first pickpocket, another member of the team steals his or her wallet. At the beach, one member of the team may pretend to be in trouble in the water. When the mark runs in to help out, another member of the team walks off with whatever the mark has left on the beach.