Post #3,000: I’m basically the Ichiro of brogging

Unlike when I surpassed the 2,000th post to my brog, I was very aware of my post count as I crept closer and closer to #3,000. 

As a baseball fan who loves statistics and numbers, I knew a post like this was going to take shape.  3,000 is a big deal to baseball fans, because it’s among the most immortal of milestones, primarily when it comes to strikeouts for pitchers and hits for batters.  And because I’m a baseball fan who likes to write and brog, it’s a big deal to me that I’m closing in on my 3,000th post.

Furthermore, it’s always been a big deal to me to remain consistent, dedicated and committed to my personal brog that nobody reads, because throughout the passage of time, I’ve witnessed countless people try and start blogs, and they’ll do great for a few days, weeks, and maybe a month, but inevitably, they all give up. They throw in the towel, make excuses, and just plain fail.

Professional athletes, interesting people, wrestlers, baseball players, and numerous friends and acquaintances that I know all fall into this category.  There are people who have even been paid and made an occupation of blogging, who even fail and lose their resolve and give up.

And all these people who fail and give up, it’d be easy to say not mad just disappointed to them all, but I know I am in the tremendous minority of minorities of people who can remain dedicated to something as senseless and important to nobody but myself as I am.  Instead of passing too much judgment whenever I see someone start their own blog, I just kind of take a mental stopwatch and try to remember when they started, so I can try to guess when they invariably failed.

Because not everyone can be like me.  I’m like the Ichiro of brogging, which is a little ironic considering there’s a nationalistic dislike for him which is made all the more appropriate considering at the time I’m writing this, the World Baseball Classic has started up again and Korea has already shit the bed and is going to rely on a win against Japan in order to have a chance at survival.

But in spite of my feelings about Ichiro, he’s still arguably the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, with over 3,000 hits in MLB, and almost 2,000 more from his time in NPB.  And despite the fact that this is officially post #3,000 on my WordPress, there were still 483 posts over ten years from my brog when it was way more primitive, and I was posting individual HTML files to my old site.  Those are like my Japanese hits that few but me want to acknowledge, but in the grand spectrum of things, they’re just further justification of my brogging greatness.

So 3,000 posts in the can, and I have zero intention of ever stopping.  Sports and wrestling can come to an end but I’ll always find something to write about.  I have kids, I have a city where I live where I’m always going to be critical of, and I will always have an opinion on everything, and sometimes I will write about them.

It’s taken 13 years for me to make 3,000 posts on WordPress, I wonder if in 2036 I’ll be at or near 6,000?  Either way, as long as I live and breathe, we will eventually find out.

I’m not perfect but I still did the right thing

So I’m out doing my food delivery moonlighting, and I get a ping that has me making a pickup at a Taco Mac.  I get to the Taco Mac, and as I’m walking into entrance, I’m pleased to see some bagged orders waiting at the host stand, hoping one of them is mine, so I can grab it and be on my merry way because time is money, and I might be able to eke out one more fare before it gets too late.

Unfortunately, neither of the orders are mine, and when the hostess has to go to the back to check on it, I know I’m in for a wait, which is always an annoyance because again, time is money, and when I’m waiting, I’m not earning, and I’m always concerned customers will take their frustration out at getting their food late on me, by virtue of pulling back tips.  The hostess comes back and says sorry, it’ll be like 10-15 min, is that okay, to which I roll my eyes and don’t give a real committed answer because I don’t want to cancel the fare because there’s no guarantee I’ll get another one as good immediately, but I also don’t want to wait that long.  I opt to wait, and resign myself that this is probably the last one of the night, and I go sit in an adjacent booth.

My foot hits something, and when I look down, I see that it’s a wallet.  Immediately my brain starts popping with the opportunity of finding some rich schlub’s wallet, and the prospect of an immediate payday, but at the same time, I don’t want anyone to really see that I found a wallet, lest anyone think I’m some sort of crook, even though my thoughts are immediately wondering how much cash could be in it.

I discreetly pick it up and a minute later, I pull it up onto the table like it was mine all along and I’m rooting through it, because there’s no harm in looking.  I see the driver’s license of some older white male, 6’0, white hair, lives in the same city as the restaurant.  I find a voter registration card, and based on his look and where we are, no surprise that he’s a registered Republican.  There’s no platinum or black cards anywhere to indicate that he’s particularly wealthy, but the address points to an area of some very affluent homes regardless.

And then we get to the cash, at first I find only a five a bunch of ones, but then I discover that there’s a second pocket, to where he clearly separates larger bills from the smaller ones.  Even still, there’s a few twenties, and we’re looking at $91 in cash here.

My mind is racing at this point, and I’m seeing the scales of justice in my head as I could easily hand this over to the hostess and be done with it, but at the same time having watched the lackadaisical and lackluster behavior of the host staff, I didn’t trust that they would do the right thing with this wallet, and if they were going to pilfer the cash, why shouldn’t I do it myself and benefit from it instead?

Which brings us to the other side, where I could be a complete shithead and just walk away with the wallet, keep the $91, toss the rest into the garbage and be done with it.  Brian McJoneserkowski has a bad Monday but ultimately lands on his feet after he freezes all his cards and goes to get a new license and loses not even a hundred bucks.

Because that $91 is basically a really good night of doing food delivery.  That $91 offsets the cost of breakfast for my household plus in-laws this morning.  That $91 is $91 that I didn’t have that I now have, which would be useful because I never feel comfortable financially and it would be a nice little break to get for once.

All this decision pondering was going on through my head while I was waiting for my tardy order to arrive, and I knew that I had to come to a decision soon, because once the food came out, I was on the clock to get it to the customer.

A part of me was pondering doing the real hero thing and delivering it back to the person’s home, but it was close to 10 pm, and I don’t imagine how well received it would be for some rando to show up at someone’s home at that late at night to return a wallet, and considering they were a white male and I was a minority, I’d probably get shot and/or arrested for suspicion of theft.  Because if this didn’t get resolved tonight, there’s no way I was going to give it any thought in the following days, and then I would’ve ended up keeping the cash and throwing the other effects away and have done the shithead thing in the end even if I didn’t intend to.

Ultimately, the decision I made is that in spite of the temptation to abscond with a free $91 and the fact that I admit to being tempted, and I admit to rooting through this guy’s wallet with not-quite so honorific thoughts in my head, at the end of the day, I’m no thief.  I’m not perfect, as I’ve so disclosed, but I’m not a thief.

To get around my distrust for the hosts, I went to the one worker who probably deals with left behind wallets and personal effects on a regular basis: the bartender.  I dropped it off with her, and hopefully she does the right thing and puts it into a safe or something, and isn’t sneaking off into the back to pocket the $91, but at this point it’s no longer my concern.

In the end, I know that I did the right thing, even if I took a very roundabout and questionable route.  Hopefully Charles McRepublican the III sobers up in the morning and has the wherewithal to get in touch with the Taco Mac and discover that some honorable paragon turned his wallet in without stealing any of his effects, and hopefully this earns me some positive karma that will benefit me in some positive fashion in the future.

I also think about the fact that I’m a dad with kids, and even if they weren’t with me, I’d have a hard time looking them in the eyes and trying to convince them that dada’s a good person, so even when they’re not around, I still feel like I need to be setting a good example for them, regardless of how tempted I might’ve been.

A feeling really old moment

I went to Willy’s the other day to pick up dinner, and like most intelligent human beings who value their time, I placed an order online with the hopes of timing my drive just right to where I could arrive right at the expected time of ready to pick up, grab my food and be on my merry way home, with minimal waiting necessary for me, my kids, mythical wife and our au pair.

As if I can’t say more positive things about my de facto favorite eatery chain in Atlanta, Willy’s is usually really good about meeting their estimated times, and more often than not, whenever I place an online order, it’s ready and waiting for me whenever I do arrive, and whenever that’s the case, I’m satisfied and feeling smug at walking out with my food while there are a line of schlubs waiting to order.

Except for this one particular location, which ironically is the one closest to my home.  There was once a point where I could quite literally say that I’d been to every single Willy’s location, so I could say with conviction that this one is the worst Willy’s in their entire company network.  Now I know they’ve expanded a little bit since I was the Burrito King of Atlanta but I’d still wager that this specific location is probably still the worst of them all.

And it’s not because they’re in the hood or somewhere unsafe and sketchy, quite the contrary, they’re in one of the lily-whitest, upper-middle class parts of the Metro Atlanta area.  But the problem remains as predictably same as any poor performing restaurant, the fault of bad employees.

The thing is, the employees aren’t bad because they’ve got attitudes or are lazy, it’s just this particular Willy’s location is that they’re staffed from the pool of people in which they’re located in, which in this case is a bunch of mostly white, high school teenagers, whom mostly come from a place of privilege.  And it’s no more prevalent than how often this place is completely overwhelmed by basic orders, leading to long waits, mistakes in orders, and a whole lot of reasons why I should really stop going to this location, but I keep coming back because I like Willy’s, and I keep telling myself that things might have changed by now.

Anyway, the reason this brog post comes to fruition is because when I got to this Willy’s, I was right on time to the estimated time of readiness, and I enter the restaurant and walk straight to the shelf of online orders and lo and behold, there’s no bag with my name on it waiting for me.  In fact there’s no bags at all, but then again I’ve realized that I’m smarter than most people in my area by how much more I seem to utilize online ordering than others.

I stand around for a minute or two, hoping someone would emerge from the prep area with a bag bursting with my order, which doesn’t happen, so I put myself into the line of sight of the cashier who’s this blond, teenage-looking Chad.  At this point, I can see a couple of tickets hanging from a board.  Chad doesn’t say anything to me despite making eye contact with me, so I blink first and ask him about my order which was scheduled to be ready by now.  He has no answer to my query, and resumes making pre-made baggies of tortilla chips.  My eyebrow scrunches at this completely useless response to a simple question.

There’s a manager pacing between the grill, kitchen and the prep area, and when he sees me, he blurts out to Chad why he’s not helping me, and that I’m clearly standing in front of him because I need some help.  I explain that I’m waiting on my online order, and that I can see my ticket there, and it looks unfortunate that I’m behind what appears to be a fucking catering order and who the fuck makes a catering order at 5 pm on a Friday and why would they even take it much less try to fulfill it right before the dinner rush??

But then for the next few minutes, I watch as the poor overwhelmed manager has to basically hold Chad’s hand at instructing him to demonstrate some common sense and feel for the room, because it’s clear that Chad has absolutely no understanding of customer service work, and I’m feeling really old in thinking that the kids these days are fucked and spoiled and that the future is fucked for white America and it’s no wonder the food service industry’s reputation is in the shitter now.

  • Chad has to be told to stop bagging chips and to help customers in front of him
  • Chad has to be told to look at the growing row of completed burrito orders to locate mine.
  • Chad has to be told to use his head and not put a burrito on top of a bag of chips come on now.
  • Chad has to be told to count the number of items on the ticket and make sure it matches the number of items in the bag (he was wrong)
  • Finally, Chad has to be told how to arrange bags inside of a bigger bag to fulfill my order before handing it off

I get my order finally and leave the restaurant noticeably agitated.  What should’ve been a quick pickup took an extra 12 minutes of time that my kids could’ve been exploding in my car, and traffic could have been getting worse, seeing as how it was right at the top of the 5 pm hour.  I’m astounded by the sheer incompetence from Chad, and how this location just can’t seem to ever get any reliable help.  Seriously, no other Willy’s I’ve been to has been so poorly operated, and at this point I’m left with no other conclusion that they are as a result of the employment pools in which they operate in.

But I just felt really old because I remember my first jobs when I was still in my teens, and how I never seemed to get any heat from my employers because I had common sense and a work ethic, and beyond initial training, rarely ever needed to have my hand held as much as this fucking Chad needed to have his held.

And how I need to stop coming back to this fucking location, because they just suck.

I hope he has a decent plan B

Sore loser vibes?  After being relegated to minor league camp, pitcher Jordan Yamamoto opts to retire from baseball outright

Normally I tend to applaud when professional athletes up and retire on their own terms, because in my opinion it’s like them telling their respective sports and teams that they aren’t above them, and whatever bloating money they were making isn’t worth it, and that I dig that because I think professional sports organizations need to be taken down a peg or fifty every now and then.

But it really only has effect when the players in question that refuse to be a part of the machine and retire, were actually any good.  Or were guys that were actually making substantial money to where it could be perceived as an insult to the team to think that someone would turn their nose up at rockstar money and put something as silly as their own personal lives above it.

So when a guy like Jordan Yamamoto, who I had to look up in order to find out who he was, decides to pull the vanishing act and retire from baseball outright instead of accepting his assignment to the Dodgers’ minor league camp, my first thoughts are, who?  And that it must have been a tremendously slow news day in the world of the Dodgers if a guy like Jordan Yamamoto is making a headline at all.

I mean good on Jordan for believing in his own self-worth and thinking he’s too good to be in the minor leagues.  The career 6.05 ERA and -0.3 bWAR at the major league level doesn’t agree with his assessment, but judgment by numbers are subjective anyway.

What really makes me question his judgment though is the fact that he’s still pretty young (26), and he hasn’t really been around a lot to have really earned enough money to where he might be able to really comfortably retire.  Sure, he’s made enough appearances at the big league level to possibly have cracked $1M in earnings in his career, but after Uncle Sam has taken his cut of all of that, he’s still basically a guy that’s maybe made $450K over the last four years, which is actually less than my household income over the same span.

I get that he might feel slighted being sent to the minors and but even a Triple-A guy makes somewhere around $60-80K to play baseball for five months, and any time he gets called up to the big league squad, he’s making a prorated portion of the MLB league minimum which is currently around $775K.  From a financial standpoint, I don’t feel like a guy like Jordan Yamamoto made the particularly best decision for his personal interests, unless he’s got a rock solid plan B in his back pocket for his career post-baseball.

Because if he’s not good enough for MLB, he’s definitely not good enough for NPB, even if his name is Yamamoto.  Japanese hitters would dinky hit him to sepukku for his honor, and because his name is Yamamoto, no KBO team would want his inferior blood polluting any of their teams, so baseball is kind of off the table once he signs the papers to make his retirement official.  He has no college education as he went straight to pro after high school, so I sure hope he is good with kids, because a little league instructional coach seems like the only career that might be left on the table unless he wants to, and can afford to, start from scratch.

Again, normally I like when professional athletes spontaneously retire out of the blue, because I like seeing teams and their fanbases squirm at the prospect of abruptly losing a key member of the squad.  But I don’t think a guy like Jordan Yamamoto fits that bill, and without this slow news day article, I don’t think anyone in Dodgers Nation is hardly going to even notice his departure, much less the team’s bookkeeper, so I’m left with no other opinion than wondering if he made the smartest move, which I’m definitely leaning towards probably not.

Sorry not sorry, Jordan.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic Post

Typically I don’t like to consolidate topics too much, but in the interest of never having the time I’d like to have in order to write, as the kids say today, LFG.

So, by the time I got to stealing finding the time to write something, Korea has already been eliminated.  Again.  This is the third straight WBC in which Korea has crashed out in the opening round, after making it into the final four in 2006 and played in the championship game in 2009.

I’m part of a KBO group on Facebook, which has been interesting throughout the years, because after years of following MLB and being a part of baseball communities on the internet, it’s kind of like going back in time following the KBO, because there are a lot of complain-y fans there that most MLB fans usually work the kinks out of themselves before not taking everything so seriously.

But all the same, it’s been kind of refreshing to see the fanbase and fandom of baseball in Korea, and the KBO is definitely fun in its own right, and over the last few months, it’s been exciting witnessing the preparation of Team Korea as they embarked on another World Baseball Classic.

However, as much excitement there was in the build-up, the execution was completely lackluster.  In a tournament as small as the WBC, losing the first game is basically the kiss of death in the round robin tournament, and that’s precisely what Korea did, by losing to Australia of all countries.  Frankly, Korea should’ve been the #2 team in their group, considering they were in with the likes of Japan, China, the Czech Republic as well as Australia. 

Unsurprisingly, Japan mopped the floor with Korea in the second game, because Japan takes baseball more seriously than any country on the planet and it shows, and after immediately starting the tournament 0-2, Korea’s chances were pretty much over.  They took care of business by beating the Czechs, but after Australia beat them days later, Korea was mathematically eliminated.

Even this morning’s 22-run bukkake-ing of China doesn’t change the fact that Korean baseball just isn’t what it used to be in comparison to 15-20 years ago, and I feel like I’m seeing a pattern of Korean sports over the last decade or so, where they seem to save their best for when it doesn’t really matter anymore, or just fall short

  • 2017 WBC: Korea defeats Taiwan after they’re eliminated
  • 2018 World Cup: Korea defeats Germany after they’re eliminated
  • 2020 Olympic baseball: Korea goes 3-1, loses three straight to not medal
  • 2022 World Cup: Korea eliminated after getting blown out by Brazil, 5-1

Regardless, with Korea getting bounced already, that kind of frees me from having to care much more about the WBC beyond this post.  But here are some other quick takes on the WBC before I proceed to go on and try to live my life without feeling obligated to care:

Continue reading “The 2023 World Baseball Classic Post”

Yeah I doubt this was an isolated incident

Veteran maneuver: employee of the year-caliber teacher found to have alcoholic beverage on school premises during school hours

Considering mythical wife’s choice of profession, stories like this always catch my attention.  Frankly, even if she weren’t a teacher, it would probably still pique my interest because of how ironically funny and horrifically frightening it is at the same time.

The thing is, this teacher was caught very recently having booze in the classroom, but I would wager a substantial amount of money that this is far, far, faaarrr from an isolated incident.  Make no mistake, this teacher has probably been microdosing her alcoholism for years, and this was the only time in which she got caught.

It’s the classic suburban white Karen move, of carrying around an innocuous-looking reusable plastic cup with a straw that looks like it’s just water, green drink or some Karen-y shit like Crystal Ice, but it’s really one of those things plus three fingers of Dewars or Ketel One, or it’s straight up a screwdriver or a Sex on the Beach, and the lid helps obscure it.

Except that this broad was a teacher, and doing all of the above, on the clock while being in charge of at least 17+ children belonging to other people, and not smuggling her margarita out of TGI Friday’s in her kid’s sippy cup, which adds to the horrific revelation of this story.

Like I said, the scariest part about this is that there’s no question that she’s been doing this for a while.  Like a functioning addict, her justification to herself is that the booze is probably what makes her as effective of a teacher worthy to be an employee of the year, to where she feels justified to keep doing it.  But I guess she got a little too cocky, too complacent, or a little too tolerant, and she was a little heavier on the sauce than usual to the point where she slipped up and put herself in a situation where she was discovered.

Obviously, she’s gone, and no longer in charge of any other human beings, but the damage in trust has been done.  It’s bad enough there are schools in America that have metal detectors and bag searches for the students, I’m sure security protocols would be thrilled with having to add bottle sniffing onto their responsibilities, not just from the students, but the teachers as well.

The ownage just never seems to end for Patrick Ewing

Oof: after a 75-109 record over the last six years, Patrick Ewing will not be returning to coach the Georgetown Hoyas

You know, back when the news broke that Patrick Ewing was going to become the new head coach for Georgetown, I actually thought hmm, this might actually lead to something interesting with the Hoyas.  After all, Ewing had spent the better part of the last 10+ years as an assistant coach in the NBA, even if Michael Jordan was cockblocking him repeatedly from getting a head coach position, surely he would have some experience and merit now and have something to contribute to someone.

And being the Georgetown legend he is, who better else to make a union with than his alma mater that he led to a National Championship back in 1984?  He’s still an NBA legend, and often times, young, impressionable prospects tend to look up to former players, especially with the pedigree of a Patrick Ewing.  I thought that maybe Ewing could usher in a new generation to Georgetown, where his name could easily boost recruiting, and maybe we’d see a new era of college hoops where the big man reigned supreme once again.

Well, we certainly did see a different era of Georgetown basketball over the last years, under the tutelage of Patrick Ewing; one of colossal failure, unfulfilled expectations, and save for one freakish Big East championship run out of nowhere, just a whole lot of what Patrick Ewing has been best known for: getting owned.

How naïve of me, or blindly optimistic I was to think that Patrick Ewing would deliver anything else.

Seriously, Georgetown was always one of those teams where their name alone could draw some recognition.  John Thompson, Jr. built a program whose reputation alone probably won more games than they should have, where the reputation alone boosted performance long after the level of talent probably existed there.  Thompson III continued a fairly consistently good program when he took the reigns in 2004.  They were pretty much always a lock to be in the NCAA tournament, and just about every time I saw their name in the bracket, I’d at least give them a win in the first round, because usually they were reliable for at least that much.

I can’t say I blame the Hoyas for going in the direction of Patrick Ewing, being an NBA legend as well as a John Thompson product, but man did they ever whiff on colossal proportions with that choice.  75-109 is pretty horrendous, and that doesn’t illustrate some of his more punctuated lowlights, like where there was a stretch where he went 0-29 in conference play.  I mean really, Villanova, Xavier and St. John’s were some tough draws over that stretch, but Ewing was also losing to schools like DePaul, Providence and Butler, school most people probably don’t even know are even in the Big East.

His tenure was so bad, Ewing was trying to get the tradition of the post-game handshake line abolished, because after 29 straight conference losses, I think I’d be sick of having to congratulate the winners during all those losses too.

Anyway because this doesn’t need to be a novel like I so often try to remind myself when it comes to my brogging habits, yet another chapter in the book of Patrick Ewing comes to an end, with failure, unfulfilled expectations and just plain getting owned.  Seems like all those times MJ refused to promote him to a head coaching position are validated, considering Pat couldn’t even shape young, moldable talents into winners, so god forbid he have any better luck with a bunch of boneheaded knuckleheads like the vast majority of the NBA is today.