MLB Instant Replay, Roid Rules, and Catcher safety. . . .

Major League Baseball needs to show their fans some integrity. 

A lot of change is underfoot, from Steroid oversight and penalties, to Instant replay and even protecting catchers form baserunners. 

From what I understand, some players are advocating a 2 strikes, and you’re “Banned for life” rule. Makes sense to me. 

I don’t understand why they aren’t tested year round.  For an athlete to compete at that level, he’s likely been on a regimen of healthy food, exercise, supplements and training that would knock most of us out. Yet they can’t be piss tested WAY more than they are now? Please. It’s so easy for an athlete to cycle in and out of steroid usage. I’m sure of this, because of what I’ve seen the past few years. If it were more difficult, and you were likely to get caught if you cheated, not so many people would cheat, its that simple. Sure, there will always be your Balco situations of trying to be smarter than the system, but it would at least dissuade most of them form going that route. 

Then, Instant replay. . . I heard something about the league talking about using it for “game changing foul ball” decisions. . . . I really think they can do better than that. How many times have you watched a game, and seen an obvious out at first get called safe? It doesn’t take a long time to establish it with a replay during a game on TV, so why is it so difficult on the field? Why can’t we have an ump watching a replay of each play that is even borderline questionable?

I really hope they use instant replay to it’s full potential, to avoid any more situations like what happened to Galaraga’s “near-perfect” game. That was a travesty, and while the ump showed some class by acknowledging and apologizing, it really shouldn’t have happened. Galaraga won’t get close to that again in his whole career, and there’s no way to fix it. I feel like that should change. 

Now, the last hot button, is plays at the plate. Scioscia chimed in, said he feels it should stay the same, Torre said it was how we’ve been playing for so long that we shouldn’t change it, but I wonder. 

I played catcher in little league for two years. I was SO relieved to move to outfield after those two years. I got bonked on the head, spiked in the arm, hit with bats, and yes, charged down and run into by an overzealous baserunner on a couple of occasions. It hurts. Still, it is part of the position, and this is why nobody expects a catcher to move really fast. It’s a position that’s known to wear you down, shorten your careers, and generally break strong men. 

Now, there is talk of banning collisions at the plate, giving a baserunner a clear lane to run in, and the catcher his own space to make the play. A plate charging stocky baserunner is probably one of my favorite plays to watch, but I have to sympathize with any catcher who wants no part of it. It leaves too much room for injury, and gives an oppurtunity to do something dirty as well, like throw up a forearm, or ruin someone’s career ala Pete Rose vs Ray Fosse in the 1970 all star game. He was an all star, and never quite the same after taking that hit. I love Pete Rose, but that seemed to be just dirty to me, probably because I was a catcher. It’s a philosophical split to be sure, and your opinion likely falls with where you identify, in that play at the plate situation. . . . Do you see yourself as the baserunner charging down the catcher, or as the catcher bracing yourself for the baserunner? 

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, I’ve been out of baseball for a couple of years, basically since the last steroid mess, which is still panning out. I’m not sure if they can get me back as a full fledged hardcore fan again, but at least they seem to be making changes, to get fans like me back. For now, I’ll watch with a wary eye. . . . 

Some progress on my Dodge Coronet 500

This weekend I had a chance to wrench on the car, and really take a look at just how bad my interior is. i don’t even want to post these pics, they make me sad. So I need to something about it. Here’s what it looks like, and what I’m gonna do. 

1. The Steering wheel is an unavoidable one. It’s the one part of the car you are ALWAYS in contact with, so I really do need to replace it. I found an original one online for $50, so I’m probably gonna pick that up. It’s not the right color, but it’s better than copping out and putting a GRANT wheel on. 

2. Seats. My seats are beyond torn up. The driver seat wasn’t even with the car when I picked it up. Luckily, I found 2 bucket seats from a 1969 Satellite online, and picked those up for $200. i should have thought this one through more, because the seats didn’t come with the rails they sit on. I ended up spending another $200 on ONE set (Drivers side, cursing that missing seat). Don;t ever throw ANYthing original away on a car until you’re COMPLETELY done! 

3. Disc Brake conversion. My goal, is to make THIS, look like THIS (Or close enough to it) So far I’ve only gotten THIS FAR, but they’re fully functional, and now the car can stop. No point making her go, if she can’t stop! I really like the look of the powdercoated parts in the clean pic. . I think I’ll go that route when I give the undercarriage some more attention. 

4. The Engine bay. It’s really coming along. . . this is the part that’s had the most of my attention, from cleaning 6 years of arizona sand off the frame to 45 years of grease that was stuck on the K Member, cleaning up the engine bay was a hell of a headache. I’ve never had a piece of a car beat me up so much. I feel really good about this part of the project so far. So much more encouraging than the interior is. 


I really hope this is the summer I finally get to bring my car out to the beach, and maybe take a nice long road trip, radio off, the motor providing the soundtrack. . . . . . 


– Fred. 



Posted this in the Mopar B Body forum.


A little background on the post:

I’m rebuilding a 1968 Dodge Coronet, and have been getting a lot of advice from this website. I posted the below, after finding some mountain biking pics from a couple of months ago…….Posting here for the same reason I posted there. .. any info ?  


Spotted this while riding my mountain bike in Daley Ranch, Escondido, CA.

Half buried in the earth, like a car crawling out of a shallow grave, full of bullet holes and disposed of where nobody would look. . .

Here’s another angle, you can see how deep it is. . . .

Anybody know the story behind this thing? I wonder whose fence that is?

Love the site, by the way, I’ve gotten so much help here it’s amazing. My 68 Coronet 500 (318/904) will be up and running soon, then paint and interior, and some road trips!

Thanks all!

– Fred.

Interviews today. . . .with a twist. . . .

The twist is, that I’m on the other side of the desk. 

Being the interviewer is new for me, I’ve sat in on interviews at other jobs, but never was really the interviewer. It will be interesting. 

I hope the opportunity presents itself to ask one of those curve ball questions that really lets you see a person think. 

I don’t have a degree. I have a GED, but I’ve taken tons of college courses, have always read as much as I can, and never shy away from a difficult book. Right now, for example, I’m reading a biography on Daniel Boone for some history, I’m reading the Count of Monty Cristo for a classic, and I have Don Quijote on my desk at work for some Spanish practice. 

Point is, Momma didn’t raise no dummy. Today feels like a bit of a vindication. A sort of proof that I’ve been doing ok. 

Gonna be a new point of view, looking at somebody on that side of the table, in that respect. 

Vacation plans

Just booked and purchased airfare to Puerto Rico in Mid April! 


Looking forward to drinking some crazy tropical thing on a white sandy beach, with that azure water lapping against my toes, sitting in the sun. . . . . 


Sounds like a million miles away right now, but at least I have found some awesome looking accommodations, and am now obsessively researching the “best of” to find some good stuff. 


So far, I know I want to check out the local music, except for the reggaeton, and maybe have some Rum, with a nice Cigar from the proper latitudes. . 

Going with Dr. Jones, and I hope our adventure stays on target, and we don’t get too sidetracked by the women, drinks, or laziness! 


Soundgarden review Feb 18, 2013

(Taken from my last blog entry, pulled out the relevant soundgarden bits)


……….. Got home, had some lunch, then showered up again, and jumped on the train to Wilshire and Western, as I had 4 tickets to see SOUNDGARDEN!!!!

I grew up listening to these guys, in fact, when I was probably 17, I opened a BMG Columbia   House CD account, and I remember Soundgarden being one of the first CD’s I ever purchased, if not THE first. They’re huge in my influences, on the heavy side, and definitely on the bass side. I’ve been following them ever since, but hadn’t seen them to date. After they broke up, I regretted never seeing them, but they’re back now, and I wasn’t going to miss them again.

We showed up and at first pushed our way toward stage right, where Kim Thayil was, but the sound was just awful there, so we moved up to the spots right behind the soundboard, and got a much better earful.

Soundgarden to me, are a staple. When I first purchased an Ipad, one of the first things I did was to record a cover of “Blow Up The Outside World” in garage band, to test it out. People went crazy over that little thing when I showed it to them, telling me I should start a band, and all kinds of crazy nonsense. It was just a test, but even recording that one song, I saw how much my playing relied on some things they may have taught me.

So the sound from behind the soundboard was great, although the bass was a little difficult to make out. They were recording the whole show for some kind of Audio Visual production, and because of this, there were big cranes everywhere, blocking the view, which really sucked. Still, we were in the perfect audio space, and it was nice to look at the editor guy’s monitors for close ups of the show live.

The backdrops and art were incredible. Pine trees silhouetted by a raging forest fire behind them, done in the most mindbendingly trippy way. This would cut to big panels of outdoor scenes, and mixed with the flashing lights and big LED array above them, made for an eyeful to match he audio.

The visuals were incredible, although I’m not sure what the band means with their new logo type art. It looks like a spider crab leg or some thing, intersecting with a typeface X and a couple of wrenches thrown in. Going to have to look into that a bit more. At times, the crab leg thingies took up the whole of the backdrop, looking almost like a massive writhing pile of these things, coming at you in a big line like a charging army. Perhaps that is the intent, and I’m thinking about it too much, still, it made an impact, and was pretty awesome.

I have to admit, this first half of the set, where they played mostly new or more obscure material kind of worried me, but then after they got through it, and the hits started raining down, my face was thoroughly melted. I felt like I was the only fool jumping around, and I probably was, but it didn’t matter. In my head it was around 98, and I was that kid learning to play better bass, and listening to these guys religiously. I kept thinking back to when I was a youth, these songs had that effect on me, and I was reveling in it. Black Hole Sun was second to last, and a little choppy, but awesome. At the very end, Ben Shepherd did this CRAZY heavy distorted bass outro to the whole show, while Thayil made his guitar feedback and eventually left his P Bass facing his wall of bass amps, summoning the bass feedback gods in all their fury and heaviness. . . sounded like he had de-tuned his bass also, as it sounded like the strings were flopping around all over the place, drenched in echo and slapping against pickups in a hot noisy mess. Before walking off the stage, he lit a cigarette, or a joint, and walked off the stage in a puff of smoke. . . . .

As for why I would think it was a J, well, they were definitely burning up on stage. Shepherd was even sharing blunts with the audience, and he and Thayil passed one back and forth on stage while Cornell told a story at one point.

One thing that bugged me, but also bugs me every time in this great city of ours, is the lack of audience participation. I felt like I was annoying people for moving around, while they all stood their holding jackets and staring vapidly at the bad. I was jumping around, bumping into Rob and his brother Danny, who joined me along with Rob’s wife Jeanette. Having a blast, but I guess people thought that the floor was only for standing on, cause they would park themselves RIGHT in front of me, and I would have to like bump them along and keep them moving. I imagine that bigger bands would hate playing in LA, because of the apathetic crowds, and Sunday night, well, it was pretty embarrassing  Like I say though, I don’t let it get to me. I felt really bad when someone tried to start a pit, and the CROWD shut him down. . . Security didn’t even have to get involved, he was just ostracized from where you could see and hear the band, and you could tell he wanted to have way more fun, than the crowd was allowing. Terrible.

The Wiltern however, always nice.  I’ve seen a few choice shows there, and it’s always a good time. It was also nice that they had BIG Lagunitas IPA’s on tap for $8, and I definitely took advantage of that.

The last song they played was “Ty Cobb”, and it made me wonder if Cornell did that as a tongue in cheek way to scream at LA, “Hard Headed? FUCK YOU ALL”  over and over again. Totally reasonable in my opinion.

Got out of the show at about 11, so that made the whole show about 2 and a half hours long! home by around midnight on the train, which is nice. Didn’t have to drive, or pay for parking, and living by the Gold line, I got home in less than 45 minutes. When I got home, I pounded 1.5 liters of water, being dehydrated from a whole weekend’s worth of drinking, took an Alleve for a headache that was just starting, and crashed hard and heavy.

Woke up this morning, feeling like I needed to write about the Soundgarden show the way you need to write about a dream RIGHT after you wake up, lest you lose some of the more interesting and defining details. It was my first time seeing them, and I’m listening to them now after writing this. You can tell by my drunken tweet last night that I was in a hell of a mood, freshly face melted and kicked in the ass by a night of solid rocking.