Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The List

I'm bored, waiting for the NFC/AFC championship games, no real baseball news, another debate, just a slow cycle.

Random thoughts, no particular order, no real meaning or worth, just a list of opinions on stuff:

Best QB - John Elway Best RB - Jim Brown
Most Underrated LB - Carl Banks
Most Overrated LB - Cornelius Bennett

Best Player 90's - Ken Griffey
Best Player 00's - ARod
Recent Favorite Moment - Game 7, 2003 ALCS (neck and neck with games 3,4, & 5 of '01 World Series)
Least Favorite Moment - Game 7, 2004 ALCS (neck and neck with games 1-4 of '04 World Series)
All-Time Memorable Moments - Goose hitting Ron Cey in the head, Pine Tar Game, '95 Wild Card Series
Most Disappointing Player - Jason Giambi
Favorite Players - Greg Nettles, Don Mattingly, Paul O'Neil, vacant

Misc Sports:
Best Play by Play - Rick Jenerate (Sabres radio)
Eventual Best QB of all time - Tom Brady
Least Appreciated Heavyweight Champion of the World: Larry Holmes (Lennox Lewis close 2nd)
Most Overrated Women's Athlete - Steffi Graf (what did she do before Seles was stabbed?)
Best Business Career post sport - George Foreman

General Stuff:
Best Central Banker - Paul Volcker (inherited a mess, did what he had to do, we need him now)
Worst Central Banker - Alan Greenspan (created two bubbles, both busted, and in the process damaging everyday ham and eggers)

Best Non-President Civil Servants:
Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton (if you need an explanation you need help)

Best Civil Servant Period: John Quincy Adams (hung with French chicks as a youth, Sec. of State, President, then to Congress, worked until he died - literally)

Best Presidents:
Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Ronald Regan - (these guys are beyond question)

Worst Presidents:
Franklin D. Roosevelt (in a category all his own, the rest below were bad, but luckily for the rest of the world were miles better than FDR)
Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, James Madison, Ted Roosevelt

Most Underrated Presidents:
George H.W. Bush and John Adams

Most Overrated Presidents:
Bill Clinton and Thomas Jefferson

Purgatory/To Soon to Place Final Judgment: George W. Bush (pluses include more sensible tax policies, standing up for what is right regardless of polls, ousting of the Taliban and having Darth Vader as a VP. Minuses include out of control spending for first 6 years, no border enforcement and lack of respect for our nation's sovereignty, dollar devalued as a result of economic policies leading to record high oil, gas, and gold prices - whomever gets elected next will largely determine how history records this administration)

Best Newspaper: Wall Street Journal
Worst Newspaper (tied): NY Times, Boston Globe, Seattle Post-Intelligence

Best Food Network Show: Everyday Italian

Best Business Show: Kudlow & Co.

Best Band of All-Time: Kiss

Least Favorite Show That My Wife Watches With The Volume Way To F%^&*! Loud: American Idol

Seriously, is it time for Pitchers and catchers yet???


old professor said...

I am not sure whether it is 57 or Mid doing this particular blog, but it is obvious they drink from the same bottle of moonshine.

I will only comment on the bad presidents list. You list FDR as the worst president in history. Are you absolutely three sheets short of a full set of sails? FDR was president for three full-terms and elected to four by some of the largest majorities in our electorial history. (There may be only two or three that had higher pluralities). He was elected during one of the worst economic crisis facing the country and was not afraid to try anything to bring the country out of it. While some of the projects failed, many were successful (yes it took World War II to bring us out of the depression completely). He was also able to maintain democracy and the democratic traditions of this country while other countries of the world were looking to authoritarian leadership. And oh yes, he provided stable political leadership to this country during the critical years of World War II.

He was responsible for insuring the banking deposits of the common person so there savings were not completely wiped out (commonly referred to today as the FDIC) and yes created the social security system - which originally was created to care for the widows of WWI veterans. It took other presidents years to subvert what the purpose of the program was supposed to be and turn it into a program where it becomes the only retirement program people have.

Regarding Teddy Roosevelt - I would suspect someone who reads the Wall Street Journal on a regular basis to go after him. He was responsible for some of the best anti-trust legislation in the nations history and created and expanded the National Parks system. And if I am not wrong, he created an agency to oversee food production in this country to ensure the safety of our food and product supply.

Yep those two would qualify as two of the worst presidents we ever had. As for Nixon - he ended the VietNam War brought most of the POW's home, and opened up China to US companies and products - he should have burned the tapes.

Spring Training is only a few weeks away and hopefully we will be able to avoid the political dribble that this current posting published.

Mid said...

Old Prof - FDR was unwilling to lead and take a stand against evil on its own merits. So he sat idly while a few million people were incinerated, allys were being steam rolled, and let PH happen before he felt confident enough to take action.

Nixon gets minus points because of the abuse of power thing.

While the parks are great, wish we had more, I think TR's main contribution to the U.S. would be the support to the unions, which may have helped us back them, but has killed the manuftrng base today.

As for pitchers and catchers: I am really wondering the fate of Mussina. Is Joe Girardi going to make him earn a spot in the rotation or is going to be a given??

Crash said...

Not too much to disagree with on your list Mid...

I like the picks for the 90's and 00's best players, I don't think your best QB, underrated/overrated LBs are out of line.

I would contend that the least favorite moment is not just game 7 but most likely games 5-7. Game 4 could be considered a fluke, they were bound to win 1. Game 5 doubt crept in, Game 6 we were in denial, like this can't possibly be happening, and it only took an inning or 2 in game 7 to realize they blew it.

I would add the worst business decision post sport career would be Hulk Hogan. It goes hand-in-hand with Foreman as Hogan actually passed on the opportunity to be the spokesman for the now globally popular "Foreman" grill. Then ended up on reality TV, had his son get arrested for DWI after putting his friend in a coma from an accident, then have his wife leave him over Thanksgiving. Now he's the host of the new American Gladiators. There's nothing more disappointing than seeing a 50+ year old former icon wobble to the ring with bad knees, a bad hip, bad neck, and bad back for a cameo appearance, just so he can make his next mortgage payment.

Does anyone really follow boxing anymore??? If you do, you're living in the past. Start watching MMA. Boxing is a joke. The most overrated heavyweight champ for MMA: Tim Sylvia. Best pound for pound fighters are Urijah Faber & Georges St. Pierre.

I'll leave the politics alone, and just say you're wrong on almost every front. You're too closed minded to make an informed, educational, unbiased decision.

Mid said...

Politics was injected because I was listening to the Debate vs. American Idol. . . not sure which was the lesser evil.

If MMA is for real, then why is it not on at like 8pm on a main stream channel. Isn't it on at like 3:30 A.M. on the Versus network???

I had no idea that Hogan passed on the Foreman Grill. He had a rough '07.

old professor said...

Let's see why TR would support the unions in the early 20th Century - Child labor laws didn't exist, safety standards in mines didn't exist, safe working conditions in factories didn't exist, workers worked at the discretion of the employer and didn't have the ability or the right to negotiate for a fair wage and Corporate America was destroying the environment and the common man's life. TR was a progressive who supported unions rights to negotiate for a better standard of living and went after corporations who were corrupt and greedy. Working conditions and standards in this country were comparable to Mexico today.

As for FDR sitting on the sidelines - read your history. We had a huge lend lease program with the British and tried to support their war machine - That was called the Lend Lease Program. In 1939 through the Fall of 1941 the country was in no mood to be involved in what was viewed as a foreign war. The US military was a joke thanks to hugh cuts in the size of all services following WWI - FDR had nothing to do with the reductions.

And as this nation approached December 1941, Hitler tried to convince the Japanese to leave us alone because he knew the ramifications of the US entry - He was right in this belief. Even Yamamoto lamented after Pearl Harbor - I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant. Mid you really don't want to get into an argument on history with me because you know you will lose.

Mid said...

When you have the facts on your side, you never lose.

As I mentioned, unions may have been needed back in the day, but, have outlived their use currently.

The country not being in the "mood" is a leadership thing. That is a huge failing, no way to sugar coat it.

I think after this election, you're going to start seeing more pro athletes and celebs getting into politics.

The Scooter said...

Best Dessert: Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Best Wine under $20: Sterling Vinters Reserve Cabernet (oaky, deep chocolately, mild tannins)

Best Ex Sports Star to go on to a career in politics: Dollar Bill Bradley

Best Football Movie: The Longest Yard (the original)

Best Football Color Analyst: Phil Simms

Best Moment in Sports History: The Miracle on Ice

Best Quote by a recently elected Hall of Famer: "You can take it upstairs to the Fatman" Goose Gossage to media referring to George Steinbrenner

Mid said...

I can't believe you mentioned the Miracle on Ice - I was thinking about that on my way into work as something that I left out - I was thinking of the most famous calls in Sports:

Do you believe in miracles

or - I don't believe what I just saw (Kirk Gibson's HR)

As for Best Desert - Boston Shake (hot fudge sundae ontop of a shake). Would have included it had it any other name.

The Scooter said...

I love Al Michaels "Do you believe in Miracles?" call and Jack Buck's "I can't believe what I just saw" is top three, easily.

But I hate to admit is, one of the best call of all time is Vin Scully's....."...So the winning run is on second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. Little roller up along first; BEHIND THE BAG! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!"

Honorary mention to: "The BAND is out on the field!"

and: "MATTEAU MATTEAU MATTEAU, The Rangers have one more hill to climb, baby"

No comment on the "Boston" Shake.

old professor said...

Mid, you finally said something I agree with. The Boston Shake is probably the best dessert out there. Unfortunately, I had one the night before my first glucose test - not real smart.

Scooter, the Miracle on Ice probably is one of the most defining moments in American Athletics. Too bad Herb Brooks could not bring the same level of success to the Rangers.

Scooter, the Scooter's call of Roger Maris' 61st was also classic.

The Scooter said...

Not sure I know that one, Prof (Jesus, you are old), but I'm sure there was a "Holy Cow" or two attached to it.

Crash said...

The only reason I don't like the Miracle call is because Michaels admitted that it was something he thought out and came up with before it happened. So for me it doesn't hold, or rather it lost, that spontaneous feel that other great calls have.

How can you not mention Bill White's call on October 2, 1978...
"Deep to left...Yastrzemski at the wall, he won't get it, IT's A HOME RUN!"

Thankfully no one mentioned anything by Michael Kay...

57 said...

And Kennedy does not get points why? If Kennedy was not picked off, there would not have been a Vietnam war...Johnson wanted that war, not Kennedy...Johnson got what he wanted. Maybe Johnson should be on the list of 'worst'.

I have to admit, Bobby Kennedy saved us from mass descruction and not JFK. Bobby negotiated the deal with the USSR, face t face, and not his brother. Some people don't realize that. Give some points for Bobby (even though he was not a President... he sure acted like one)

But then take away points because he targeted the La Cosa Nostra...and Carlos Marcello and Charlie Tommy Guy (mob speak for Sam Giancanna) would have clipped him in a second if Sinatra was not a friend of Camelot.

Applause to Scooter for mentioning the best sports call of all time.. Vin Scully...game 6...1986.

Let's extend Scully's call to what he said after the game..."If a picture is worth 1,000 words, you have seen about 1,000,0000 words... but more than that... you have seen an absolutely bizzare finish to game 6 of the 1986 world series..not only are the Mets alive they are WELL and they will play the Red Sox in game 7 tomorrow..." AWESOME!

Best call that ended in disaster for Bills fans: "And Norwood can fire the shot heard round the world now" (Van Miller, circa 1991)

Best call in a movie: "And the postgame show is brought to you by.......Christ I can't find it.. THE HELL WITH IT" (Harry Doyle, circa 1989)

Best up and coming football analyst: yours truly

Best call of a homerun: "Paul O'Neil... DEEP... TIED" (Joe Buck, circa 1998)

Best Football Play by Play talent ever: Pat Summerall

Best Football Analyst of all time: Troy Aikman

Best Baseball Play by Play of all time: Vin Scully

Best Baseball Analyst: Tim McCarver

Best Basketball Play by Play: Marv Albert

Best Basketball Analyst: Mike Fratello (The Czar)

Best Hockey Play by Play: Rick Jeanneret

Best Hockey Analyst: Don Cherry

Shame on this blog for not mentioning Pat Summerall. "Simms...Bavaro... TOUCHDOWN...Giants win"

57 said...


Play by Play: Any Atlanta Braves guy on TBS (just beating out Joe Buck, Michael Kay, John Sterling)

Analyst: OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS... need i say more...

old professor said...

Two nominations for worst announcers: Susan Waldman and Tim McCarver (he is really a pompous ass).

Scooter, regarding Maris homerun call, there were several holy cows in it and I was able to listen to it on my transistor radio (ya I know you have only seen one of those in a museum) and yes I also have vivid memories of World Series Games being played only in the day and running in to trouble with my 5th grade teacher because I was listening in on the game versus doing math. He couldn't have been to mad because he asked the score.

old professor said...

God, I wish some of you would have been more alert during history class. 57, early in Kennedy's term, he actually increased the number of advisors in Viet Nam. His brother who was actually the brains (no pun intended) behind Jack convinced him it was a no win situation and that we should look to find a way to end our commitment. This put him on a collision course with his VP who felt the world was threatened by a commie behind every tree. Rumors have it the orders were drawn up by Kennedy to begin a pullout of VietNam, with the orders to be signed when he returned from Dallas. Orders never signed. But he did actually increase our commitment.

Also remember Kennedy was responsible for the debacle known as the Bay of Pigs invasion. And because of faulty intelligence he was threatening to break the CIA up into a lot of little pieces. Some things regarding that agency never changes.

Crash said...

I've noticed that as a fan you either love or hate McCarver. There's no middle ground. I can't stand him. An analyst is suppose to provide insight. He doesn't do this. He makes comments that are just flat out wrong, it's like he isn't even watching the game.

I may be biased on this by I really like the Yankee analysts. Ken Singleton, Bobby Murcer, and Jim Kaat are/were great.

I agree the Atlanta team is terrible. The equivlence of watching paint dry.

Middle Relief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Relief said...

57 is right - hindsight, I am surprised I made no mention of Simms, Summerall, Bavaro. I was just posting rambling thoughts on whatever came to mind. I'd like to think, if it was a planned post, I would have found a way to include them.

I'd give JFK some points for how he handled the missile crisis with Cuba, but outside of that, you can't really put him in the same category as Abe Lincoln, Reagan, or Truman.

In terms of game announcers - I'm partial to the YES network team - but, would have to say that Joe Morgan and John Miller are my favorites. I love it when those guys cover a Yankees game.

The Scooter said...

I'm interested in what the above "deleted comment" was.....Did Old Prof get too "saucy" for this board again?

Mid said...

deleted comment was me - I didn't proof it prior to hitting the post button and there were missing words and just choppy.

old professor said...

Scooter, it wasn't me. It was probably someone either related to or a friend of one of the broadcasters I criticized.

Mid, I cannot believe you put Reagan in the same category as Truman and Lincoln. You have your mothers sense of history. Lincoln preserved the union and paid with his life. Truman (who by the way was the last president not to have a college degree) ended World War II, had to make the decision to annihilate to Japanese cities with atomic weapons and was involved in the early stages of the Korean War. Reagan invaded Granada (now there is a real military power), and happened to be in power when the Soviet Union dissolved - and by the way it died from its own corruption and weight. Recent documents show that President Reagan was beginning to suffer the onset of Alzheimers. I am not degrading his presidency because he ushered in a period of conservative politics the country definitely needed, but he cannot be put in the same category as the other two. And Scooter before you ask, yes I do remember the Truman Presidency (the very end of it).

Mid said...

So, in essence you agree with me on 2 of the 3 best Presidents or 66% of what I am saying. This is a major break through of Morning in America proportions. . I think this means I'll be hanging my "Mission Accomplished" banner again in my office. .

I'm surprised you didn't try to argue on my choice for most underrated Prez. (Bush Elder)

The Scooter said...

I think our current President is certainly one of the least appreciated of all time (although it's typical for a sitting president at the end of 2 terms to be under appreciated).

In my eyes, George W is a visionary, who knew that the choices he made would be largely unpopular with the liberal media and therefore it was only a matter of time before the tide of public opinion swayed against him.

He (and the people he surrounded himself with) were smart enough to realize that if we did not begin the long road to establishing a few democratic strongholds in the Middle East, then the future would certainly hold doom for us. The definition of a true patriot is doing something that may be unpopular today, to insure the future of the country.

He knew full well that the road to democracy in the Middle East would be filled with roadblocks and would certainly not be completed during his Presidency. However, he also knew that isolationism would be nothing more than sticking our heads in the sand (so to speak) and would endanger our sovereignty and our security for years to come.

Sure there were some mistakes (sticking with Rumsfeld for too long was one of them), but show me a presidency that did not gave a mistake or two. Even the King (Ronald Reagan) had Iran Contra.

40 years from now, they will be hailing George W as one of our greatest President.

Mid said...

Scoots - I largely agree with what you were saying.

I do think though, whomever wins the White House will determine how histroy decides to record this admin.

I think everyone would agree, that if the left gets the White House in November, anything that goes wrong during the next 4 years will be blamed on Bush and won't accept responsibility for their own actions (for example - the dems repealing the Patriot Act, we get hit by AQ shortly there after, it won't be because of their weakned defense/intelligence policies it was all because of the prior administration) - see what I'm trying to say?

My biggest beef with Mr. Bush has to do with the lack of border control and illegal immigration - it is a pittiful record and will damage the country for years to come. However, the things I like the most is the offensive stance against Islamo Terro, and that he does what he has to do even when in direct opposition to the defeatist left, and the anti, blame America for the world's problems press (see Surge results). He has shown Harry Reid and Nancy Pelossi to be weak (their record now is 1 for 34 I believe since January) as most of the left is (except Joe Lieberman).

old professor said...

All of you must be drinking from the same gallon jug of Gallo wine or Ripple wine. (Don't know if they actually manufacture Ripple anymore - use to sell for .75 per bottle). Scooter, Reagan couldn't remember Iran Contra. As for establishing democracies in the Middle East, the written plan was developed over ten years ago and was co-authored by Paul Wolfowitz and Ariel Sharon. The belief being that by eliminating Sadaam Husein and creating a democracy there, it would buffer Iran and Syria and spur democratic pushes in both of those countries thus ensuring the security of Isreal.

However, the plan did not consider the other side of the coin. That being getting rid of Sadaam would eliminate a regime that kept three ethnic or religious groups at bay through fear and murder. With Sadaam gone, it would allow the Kurds, shiites, and sunnis to go at one another. It would also remove any effective military deterent to Syria or Iran and finally would actually destabilize the Middle East.

I don't believe we have seen the onset of many democratic traditions in Iraq. The three groups have picked up the centuries old hatred and are killing each other, the new government is completely incompetent, Iran has been emboldened, and Saudi Arabia was going to put to death a woman who was raped. Oh and our military is stretched so thin that we better hope the North Koreans don't invade the South.

Enough of the politics back to baseball: Miguel Tajada may lose his green card and thereby not be able to play this season, Lieber has been signed by the Cubs to a one year contract and it appears the sale of the Cubs has slowed to a crawl. It was also interesting to see the Yankees have resigned Darrell Rasner to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training. The Yankees have also signed Nick Green for another go around. I hope this is not a sign that they hope to stock Triple A with a bunch of major league retreads.

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