Posted on: October 27, 2010 1:24 am

A Thinking Man's Guide To Fantasy Baseball

As the fantasy baseball season has mercifully drawn to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to dispense some wisdom and advice for those who are hopelessly hooked on this game. Call it the Goldilocks Guide, if you will. Too early for next year, too late for this year. Just right for those who are wallowing in self pity because they made the playoffs riding Josh Hamilton to that last playoff berth only to watch him break a couple ribs on the eve of the finals.


Important Tip # 1:


Don’t try to outsmart the league rankings. You’re not trying to build a team for 2013, so all those gems in AA ball you’ve been studying for weeks won’t do you a bit of good. Likewise, you’re not trying to build a team for 2008, so forget about all your favorites that have treated you well in the past, especially if they are over 35 and have been spending more time on the disabled list than in the lineup.


Important Tip # 2:


Don’t make any comments on the league message board. Nobody cares. Nobody wants to know you’re willing to trade your third catcher for a starting pitcher. Nobody wants to know that you have a third catcher. And if you misspell a word or use bad grammar, you’ll be called out on it by somebody. Which brings us to Important Tip # 2A – If you insist on posting on the message board, make sure you DO us bad grammar and misspell a few words. This will accomplish two things. 1 - People are more likely to read what you write; and 2 – they will get a smug feeling of superiority about you which will put you in a position to outsmart them later on.


Important Tip # 3:


Never make a trade with another manager. The player you trade will ALWAYS do better for his new team, and the player you get in return will ALWAYS do worse. Always. Amazingly, this works both ways, just like when you walked to school barefoot in the snow when you were a kid. Technically, it shouldn’t be uphill both ways, but it was.


Important Tip # 4:


Never carry more hitters than you have in your starting lineup. Nothing is more sickening that when your carefully chosen lineup goes 2 for 25 with a couple of singles and a caught stealing while your bench players go 5 for 8 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI’s. Save yourself the agony by just carrying enough hitters to fill your starting lineup.


Important Tip # 5:


Do not, repeat, DO NOT look up how your team did the day before. In the words of Mark McGwire, “I’m not here to talk about the past.” Nothing good can come of this. Particularly if you ignore Important Tip # 4. You’ve seen the standings or where you are in a head to head matchup. It’s time to move forward. Do you think you’ll feel better if you discover you forgot to start Tim Lincecum when he threw a 3 hit shutout with 14 K’s? Of course not. It’s like those horror movies when somebody opens a door or something just for a peek. Don’t peek. There’s nothing there but bad news.


Important Tip # 6:


This is the most important of all. If your player is going to do well, make sure he’s in the lineup. If he’s going to have a bad day, leave him out.


So there you have it. I hope it helps. It’s made my life much easier and less stressful and it can do the same for you. Well, that’s not entirely true. I can’t seem to follow my own advice. And it gets me every time.

Posted on: February 15, 2010 12:57 am

The Pro Bowl and Other Lies

What a wonderful harmonic convergence of events we had today. As nightfall descends on our humble home sweet home on this Valentine's Day, my sweetheart and I can hear the frogs chirping outside our back window, children quietly playing in the family room. All is right with the world. 
Upon this veritable paradise it seems to me that it is a perfect day. And there is nothing that can quite top it off by sitting on the couch, flipping on the television and watching the Pro Bowl.
But what's this? The Olympics? 60 Minutes? A Nightline 20/20 and a special with Barbara Walters interviewing Miley Cyrus? Where is the Pro Bowl?
A quick, horrifying search of the internet delivers the terrible news! I've missed it!! I've missed the Pro Bowl! 
It's always a week after the Super Bowl, What happened? Worse, what am I going to do now for Valentine's Day?
Thank you BUD SELIG, you've done it again.
How am I going to break this to my darling wife? Go to the video sore and rent Xanadu? A poor substitute, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I'm already planning for next year so there are no mixups.I just got my airline tickets to Dallas. We'll get there on January 29th. 
It's gonna be great!
Category: NFL
Posted on: December 5, 2009 1:34 pm

Tiger's World

With apologies to Antsy McClain, without his great song "Way Cool World" this could not have been written. Look it up on Pandora or itunes and you can hum along while you read this.

I hopped into the Caddy to take it for a drive,
I didn't see the tree or the fire hydrant.
Elin's coming toward's me with my new 5 iron,
Up to now she never even knew where I went!

I'm laying in the street and it's just about three,
My mouth is all bloody and my cheeks are sore.
She was swinging like the branches in a sycamore tree,
but what bothers me most is she never yelled fore!

Oh it's Tiger's world (yes it's Tiger's world)
and it's cavin' in (yes it's Tiger's world)
Oh it's Tiger's world (yes it's Tiger's world)
and it's cavin' iiiiiiiiiiiiinnnn
(yes it's Tiger's world)

I was drivin' to the Walmart for the Black Friday sale.
I had to get up early 'fore the good stuff was gone!
I can't believe the tabloids aren't buying my tale,
They're talking to my neighbors who called 9-1-1!

(repeat chorus)

She went digging through my cell phone and she found some texts.
I don't think she was happy with what she found out!
With a house full of golf clubs you know what happened next,
like something out of a Holyfield-Tyson bout!

Oh it's Tiger's world (yes it's Tiger's world)
and it's cavin' in (yes it's Tiger's world)
I said,"Don't let this little thing get your head hurtin'
Then she took the fuzzy head cover off my Nike 3 wood!
Oh it's Tiger's world (yes it's Tiger's world)
and it's cavin' iiiiiiiiiiiiinnnn
(yes it's Tiger's world)
Category: Golf
Posted on: July 1, 2008 1:08 am

Flamingo Fest West


Time for a short review of Saturday night's concert with Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours, otherwise known as Flamingo Fest West, in Davis, California.

The Pre-concert Flock Block Party began at 4 pm with Flamingoheads from as far away as Washington State, Idaho, Canada, and North Carolina gathered and enjoyed each other's company as well as a little hang time with Antsy and some of the band before the show started at 7:30pm. They were filming for a DVD, so the audience was given a few ground rules (Flamingoheads, as a rule, are not about rules), and other instruction that was largely ignored throughout the evening.

The frist set was highlighted by an appearance by the one and only Tommy Smothers who put one a classic comedy routine with Antsy before singing "(Your Sweet Talk Made Me Love You) The Prozac Made Me Stay)." Later, Tommy came back and did a stint as The Yo-Yo Man. Many of you may not know or remember that Tommy is an expert with the yo-yo and is absolutely hilarious.

After a break, Antsy played a number of acoustic solo numbers before bringing out the band for an acoustic set, then had the band get set to rock it on home. The next song was "Ron Howard's Brother," which featured another special guest - Clint Howard himself who appeared on stage with his attorney (Bernie) to announce they were suing Antsy for defamation of character for his portayal of Clint in this song. (If I was Ron Howard's Brother, I'd have it made in the shade. I'd hang around with famous people like Jim Belushi and Randy Quaid. Folks would see us at the mall and everybody'd know my name - "Hey! It's Ron Howard's Brother!!")

Well, before we knew it, it was just after midnight and and time to head on home. 4 1/2 hours of great music and comedy, and still had more great songs they could have played. What a show. If you're in Santa Cruz or the Bay Area in late July, or Pennsylvania or North Carolina in August, go and see them. You'll never regret it and soon you will be wearing funny clothes and following them everywhere!

Enjoy the Ride!!

Category: General
Posted on: April 29, 2008 12:41 am

Help Me Digitize My Record Collection

Slowly I've been digitizing my records one by one. It takes about an hour each and can be quite painful if I get distracted and miss a track and I half to rerecord a track or start over. Or, if my turntable decides to go into 16 1/2 mode, making Neil Young sound like Louis Armstrong, well, that's a problem as well. Anyway, while I've recorded many, I've done a little inventory and found that I've missed a number of great albums and hidden gems, so I'm asking for help in prioritizing the many albums I have left. I will list a small portion of my collection I consider digitization worthy and would like for you to rank the top ten, twenty or all if you want. Then I'll publish the results or go with the currently popular bracket system, or try something new, like pit each record in a schedule against another and post the standings each week. In the meantime, if I digitize anything, it will be something not on this list. For lesser known acts, I will add a bit of an explanation to help you decide. Thanks and have fun. To make it easier on you and me both, simply put your rank to the right of each artist. If you have any commentary to add, please do so, especially if you have a memory of an artist you are surprised to see on this list or you think nobody else has ever heard of. Here we go, in no particular order.

  • 1972-6 Kerrville Folk Festival - featuring live performances by Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson (Turn Out the Lights), and Guy Clark, among many others
  • Who's Next - Somehow I missed this one
  • Loudon Wainwright III - Final Exam - features a sports themed tune - Golfer's Blues
  • Loudon Wainwright III - I'm All Right - Includes a minor hit "Wine With Dinner"
  • Joe Louis Walker - Cold Is the Night - Robert Cray-ish blues
  • Stephen Stills - Illegal Stills
  • Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story
  • Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic
  • Maurice John Vaughn - Generic Blues Album - bought this at used record store years ago and never listened to it!
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs - Best of (Little Red Riding Hood, Wooly Bully)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - Mardi Gras (post John Fogerty except Sweet Hitchhiker and one other)
  • Asleep at the Wheel
  • Beat Farmers - Tales of the New West - Country Dick Montana sings the unforgettable Happy Boy and The California Kid.
  • Harry Chapin - Verities and Balderdash ( one of the first 5 albums I ever pruchased- includes Cat's in the Cradle)
  • Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials - Chicken Gravy & Biscuits - Always a sucker for food songs, I bought this for the title cut.
  • Marshall Tucker Band - Searchin For a Rainbow - Nearly wore the grooves off this one 20 or 25 years ago, haven't heard it since!
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - A Christmas present from my brother  after it came out.
  • The Doors - Classic debut album on MFSL
  • Heart - Dreamboat Annie
  • Robert Gordon with Link Wray
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Southern Accents
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Long After Dark
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Hard Promises
  • Blues Brothers - Original Soundtrack
  • Kansas - Leftoverture
  • Carole King - Tapestry
  • Doobie Brothers - Stampede
  • George Thorogood - Move it on Over
  • Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy
  • Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues
  • John Fogerty - Centerfield
  • Weird Al Yankovic -  In 3D (featuring "Eat It")
  • George Thorogood  - Bad To the Bone
  • Graham Parker - Squeezing Out Sparks
  • Chuck Wagon and the Wheels - Red Hot Women and Ice Cold Beer (the featured band at disco demolition night because of their only hit - Disco Sucks - and one of my favorite regional bands of the late 70s and early 80s)

Feel free to influence other voters with your opinions. Let's make this interesting!

Category: General
Tags: albums, music, ranking
Posted on: April 14, 2008 11:33 am

Signed Up With (Or At Least I Tried!)

 I was referred by good fried RockFlorida to and had some difficulties with their service. It seems like you can get an awful lot of good music for a good price, but my situation didn't quite work out. Here is my story . . .

Ok, here is my correspondence with

My first question: I was referred to emusic by an email from a friend, but I am unable to sign up because you are unable to authorize my credit card. This card is American Express and works for everything else including concert tickets I bought on line last night.

Can you help?

The answer: Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.  We wanted to provide you with an immediate reply to your issue. If this response does not fully address your concerns, please reply to this email and we will assist you promptly.

Tell A Friend credits are issued 30 days after the referred friend becomes a paying subscriber. Full terms of the offer are available at

If the Tell A Friend credits do not appear after the referred friend has completed his/her first paid period after the free trial, please let us know.  We will need both the referred friend's e-mail address as well as the e-mail address of the person who made the referral.  If you are the referred friend, please ask the person who referred you to provide us with this information.

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.  Thank you for taking the time to refer a friend to eMusic.

I didn't think that answered my question, so I pressed on: I would like to subscribe to, but for some reason you don't like my credit card. I was able to buy $40.00 worth of gas with it yesterday. Please help or I will have to cancel my subscription before it even starts.


The reply:  Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.

We are having trouble processing your credit card. Please contact your bank to determine the reason for this issue. Once you resolve your issue, you should be able to proceed accordingly. 

If you would like to update your credit card information or provide a new card:

1. Login to eMusic - you will be presented with the update credit card screen
2. Update your credit card information and submit.

This will store your new credit card information. As soon as we are able to successfully charge your card
your account will become available for use.


Abbey - eMusic Support

Then I noticed my account was active, so I downloaded my 50 free tracks, but couldn't upgrade because of the credit card issue I thought was solved:  When I signed up, your system wouldn't take my credit card. Now it apparently has. I've downloaded my 50 free downloads, but when I try to activate the account to start my subscription, the system doesn't like my credit card again! What is up? Can you help? I'm trying to spend my money here, and it's frustrating to get nowhere.


The Reply:  




Your account is active and these are the terms.

The offer you accepted was for the eMusic Basic plan that includes 30 downloads for $9.99 per month as well as 50 extra downloads FREE for your first month:  Per the information presented before you accepted:

Clicking the continue button indicates that you have read, understand and agree to our terms and conditions. 
If you are enjoying your eMusic membership simply do nothing and your trial subscription will roll over into the subscription plan you chose above.

This confirmation was presented:

Your eMusic Plan

eMusic Basic 30 downloads for $9.99 per month Plus 50 FREE  for your first month

Again, I am sorry for any confusion you experienced.  I hope this helps you understand the charge you received.




My reply (by the way, I had never received a charge): 

Hi Amber,


I appreciate your help, but now I'm really confused!! I logged in tonight and get the same message about my credit card not being accepted, I have 0 downlaods available, and cannot upgrade to the $9.99 account, let alone to the $14.99 or $19.99 levels. I have not received any charge yet on my credit card. Do I have to wait 30 days before I get 30 downloads?


Musically yours (almost),

Amber replies:  Our subscription records indicate that your eMusic account associated with the email address


was not charged during the free trial period.  When you registered with eMusic, we authorized your credit card with a small temporary charge. Many financial institutions display this temporary charge online for several days even though it is subsequently removed. Please be assured that you will not be charged for this account authorization. (then she listed all my 50 downloads)

Seems like we are making progress here, so I write:  Thank you again Amber,

 I have gotten the 50 free downloads as listed below, but I am ready to start my account in earnest, but I am still receiving the following message:

 "We were unable to authorize your credit card. Please ensure that the information below is correct, or enter a new credit card."

 Since you have authorized my card for the free trial, I'm hoping it can be authorized for the full-on membership. Do I have to wait the entire 30 period before I can do that?


Wait, it's not over yet:


Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.

Our records indicate that your credit card was declined because the zip code you entered did not match
the zip code that is on file with your credit card company.

The zip code for your eMusic account under the email "<!--ustomerEmai--> " is: ZIP CODE

Please verify that this zip code matches the zip code associated with your credit card.

To update the zip code associated with your eMusic account you must input the correct zip code during the registration process. To do so, go to
, enter credit card information, choose a plan and click submit. If the zip code you provided previously does not match the one on file with your credit card company, an error message will be displayed and you will be prompted to enter a new zip code. Enter the correct zip code and click submit.

Once you complete the registration process, you can start downloading immediately!

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Amber-eMusic Customer Service

Ok, I'm getting a little irritated at this point:

Sorry, but the issue is yours, not mine, unless I'm not filling out the form properly somehow. I buy gas with that card, used it a K-Mart two days ago, and it's the card I use most often - without any issues. Somehow, after getting the same message when I originally signed up, one day I discovered I had 50 free downloads. I was never given any indication my card was okay at that point, but I assumed it must have been since you required the card for the free trial. I'd really like to subscribe, but if you won't accept my credit card, I guess I can't. I you can't resolve this issue, I will cancel.

 Thank you,

And so are they!!

 When attempting to process your credit card we are receiving a decline message, which would be coming from your bank. 


As I have stated before, you would have to contact your bank and inquiry why our attempt for payment is being declined


Abbey - eMusic Support

So now I'll try a little humor:  Well Amb, is it all right if I call you Amb? I feel like we've bonded so we can be on a first syllable basis. I appreciate your help, but I give up. The zip code was correct, but I re-entered it anyway, and still got the same message. I tried clicking on the link below, but cannot sign in there because I already have an account. I really can't understand how I was authorized in the first place, since I've never changed my information and I was inititially rejected, then rejected again after my 50 free downloads. Now I'm dejected that I've been rejected and ejected.

 Have a nice day!

So much for humor!!:

Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.


Your trail has been cancelled.  Due in part to the authorization failing on your card.  Please follow the instructions below to sign up for a new subscription.  Since you already had a free trial it might charge your card for a subscription plan.

To reactivate your eMusic account just visit and log in with your current account information.  You will then be able to re-activate your account.


Amber-eMusic Customer Service

I like the part where she says my "trail" has been cancelled. Good stuff.

Category: General
Posted on: April 14, 2008 12:15 am

Send Me Your Tour Dates

If you are a musician wanting to get your name out or if you have a favorite musician or band you want people to know about, feel free to add a comment here. If I know anything, I'll add my two cents in. If I don't, I'll try and find someone who does. In the meantime, the WAYLT? Jukebox (or What Are You Listening To? thread here on the CBS Sports message Board is a fantastic place to learn about new or emerging artists and discuss ones who have been around a while.


Enjoy the Ride!!

Category: General
Tags: live shows, music
Posted on: April 14, 2008 12:08 am

Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours

Antsy has a solo acoustic show in Winters California at the Palms Playhouse on April 18th, followed on the 19th with the Trailer Park Troubadours joining him in Benicia.

The next weekend, the band will perform in Cincinnati, Ohio at the St. Xavier Performing Center for $20. For ticket info, go to

Don't miss one of the best and brightest singer-songwriters in America who's been described as a "natural showman." The Troubs live shows are not to be missed, and have fans so dedicated they will fly to his shows or drive as much as 16 hours and 16 minutes just to see a performance!

Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or