Monday, October 29, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: October 29th

It's hard not to think about millions of people in the Tri-State area about to get hammered by Hurricane Sandy.  I feel just terrible.   It looks like all of NYC and CT/NJ are going to get flooded up to the gills.  May you all be safe.   I'll carry on for the moment...

The Giants won the World Series in a sweep last night.   First of all, congratulations to the Giants for an incredible postseason run.   However, if I may, as a Dodger fan this has to be the lowest of the low one could be as Dodger fans go.  The Dodgers should learn a lesson from the modern day Giants.  You don't build a championship by overpaying for big names.  PERIOD.  The way to a championship is 1. Good Pitching 2. Good Attitude and 3. Consistent hitting.  Building an offense around a home run does nothing.  In fact, it's a hinderance in the playoffs, as Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera will be happy to tell you.  Both of those goofs were a shut down for most of the Postseason.

The Dodgers are now sitting on 25 years without a World Series *appearance* and the Giants have just won two titles in three years.   They haven't even come close!  Two NLCS appearances and two blowout losses in those two series.  The biggest problem with the Dodgers is that they don't look like they have a plan at all.  "Oh!  Look who's on the market!  Let's go after him..."  How about thinking about how the man works within the context of the lineup first?   Baseball people are not running our franchise.  Entertainment people are, in my humble opinion.

Lastly with the Dodgers, I'll say this:  The Dodgers are the most overrated franchise in all of sports.   They haven't done squat for a quarter decade, when you get down to it.  How are they still revered as one of the iconic franchises?

Anyway, going back to the Giants:  I was talking to friends about this and it seems like this is the best 5 year period in modern Giants baseball history.   Can anyone remember a 5 year period when the Giants were more successful, had more playoff runs, and as many World Series?  The years in between were near-misses.  The two years before the World Series season, Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young award. It's been pure magic for San Francisco, and for their fans, they have earned it.  They suffer enough with the Giants.  It's about time!

Unfortunately I won't have much to offer with football thoughts.  I was entertaining family for the entire weekend, including Friday.  I missed the entire NFL schedule save for a few plays here and there.   I did a little better with College Football, and saw some chunks of various games.  My college football thoughts:

  • First of all, how about a hand for Notre Dame?  I challenged them all season to prove me wrong and they've done it every time.   Oklahoma has to be the tipping point.  That defense AT Norman was off the charts good.  30-13.  It pretty much said it all.   Really, 7 of those points were from a momentary lapse of judgement.   It was a total shut-down for the Sooners.  Doing that sort of thing at South Bend is good enough, but on the road, it's outstanding.    It's been a tough schedule, brutal even for the Irish, and they have come out way ahead so far.  Now the obvious worry for Irish fans is the let-down game.  OHHH THAT'S RIGHT BABY... you are now the hunter not the hunted.    Get ready for a taste of what I go through with SC... letdown games, lackluster losses, all of that.   Think Wake Forest is a cakewalk?  Think again!   We'll see what happens.
  • Called it -- DID I CALL IT?  USC at Arizona.  Loss.   The funny thing is, the Trojans really did outplay Arizona for most of the game.  It seemed like they were in the red zone every other possession.  Yet, the penalties, and terrible defense killed them.  The Turnovers killed them.   This is what USC is:  a tease.  They have talented players, but they don't know how to PLAY.   That's on Lane Kiffin.   It's going to be years before they become a top level team again.   It might not even be because of lack of talent.   Bear in mind, some of the best USC players to thrive in the pros came from one of the all-time worst coaching regimes:  Carson Palmer and Troy Polamalu were both Paul Hackett-era players.  Talent does not equal wins, and that's basically been my problem with SC since Kiffin took control.   Offense has never been the problem either.  They just have no command for winning games, especially close games.   Clock management is a joke too: who fails to spike the ball with only 20 seconds left in regulation after a first down completion up the middle?  WHO?  Kiffin and Barkley that's who.   The Trojans didn't beat anybody!!   Did they beat one big-time team all season?  It's just as well.  A lot of folks were blind-sided by this loss but to be honest, I knew better.  I just hope USC can at least beat Oregon to save face.  Notre Dame is going to be the mother of all embarrassing losses later on.
  • See ya later, Florida -- People were very skeptical of the Gators when they rose up the charts like a song about teenage crushes.  I was on board with that too.  It was hard to put confidence on a team that can barely muster a first down once every five tries.   Fittingly, it was another underperforming program that unseated the Gators, that program being the Georgia Bulldogs.  Aaron Murray is still a goofball, though.  
Last night in sports was pretty brutal.  When I got home, I didn't really have the heart to do much of anything, but there was ONE item nagging at my mind.  A bedroom stereo system!

I found my Harman / Kardon Vintage 430 Stereo Receiver in storage at my Mom's house this weekend, so I took it home, knowing it still worked.  Then I moved in my primary speakers, the turntable, and dug out the SACD 5 disc changer.   Putting it all together it was a dream.  The system sounds amazing!  Here's a couple of photos.

This kept me up to 1am last night, but it was worth it.  My swimming schedule took a dive (so to speak) since I got so excited about building these stereo systems.   I will need to get a stand for it though, but I bet  I can find a cheap TV stand/audio rack.

Programming note:  I'm not planning a "Dave in the City" Monday Night podcast tonight.  I intend to be at friend's house tonight for Monday Night Football, so I won't make it back in time to do a show.  Hopefully we'll be back at it on Wednesday.

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