Return to Normalcy?

Posted July 9th, 2010 by Rob

So, plenty has happened since I last posted. The main highlight was the ceremony in Massachusetts when our unit was dismissed to go home. The police escort was probably 20 cruisers, some motorcycles, and the state police helicopter (the brother of someone in the unit is the pilot) and they met us halfway through CT and proceeded to close down route 91, then the Mass Pike so our buses didn’t have to deal with traffic. Then we got to the Ware, MA high school where all of the families were and after a very, very brief ceremony we were released. It was very special to see all of my family and especially my grandparents there.

I moved into my new condo, which is in great condition, and then the next day I bought a 2008 Cadillac CTS. I’m pretty sure it will be the nicest car I ever own. It might be more than I need but it is really nice so it doesn’t bother me. It has all of the options, like the extra long sunroof, touchscreen navigation, tinted windows, heated/cooled seats, keyless entry/remote start, leather, etc. It does barely fit into my garage, which is a good thing.

I’ve been taking care of a lot of other business too since I’ve been back, like setting up bill payments (there are so many), getting my veteran status on file with the town clerk, trying to figure out how to get the state of CT “Welcome Home Bonus” for soldiers returning from combat, scheduling a time to get my 2009 tax returns done, etc.

Now, as for sports. The Red Sox are definitely in need of the All Star break. They’ve used more unknown players this season than ever before due to their numerous injuries. Even as a fairly involved Red Sox fan, I’d never heard of some of them. Some have played well, others have not. Nava, Darnell McDonald, Eric Patterson, Doubront, Gustavo Molina, Ryan Shealy, and Niuman Romero (dreadful player) are some of the “highlights”. They even had to bring in ::gulp:: Kevin Cash because their top 4 catchers are down with injuries. The top 4 outfielders have been out of commission at various overlapping times during the season. Their star second baseman is out. One of their ace pitchers has been out for a while. All of this makes you wonder where the team would be if old David Ortiz wasn’t having a productive season. Hopefully with Beckett and others back after the All Star break they can return to normalcy. Kevin Youkilis should have made the All Star team over Swisher – with the rosters as big as they are it is kind of sad that he isn’t on the team, but first base is a deep position. I hate how the All Star game “counts” now, but it could still in theory end in a tie. I really want to see the game go into the 13th inning tied.

This whole Lebron James thing is just more proof to me that the NBA is a joke. In what other sport can the 3 best free agents conspire to play on the same team and change the face of the sport? Basketball has the fewest players on the court/field/ice of team any sport, and players play both offense and defense for almost the entire game, so each player has more impact than in any other sport. Isn’t this reverse collusion? I almost hope that one or two of them get injured and the Heat are burned for using their entire salary cap on 3 players, and I definitely hope there are chemistry problems on that team. I will certainly be rooting against the Heat for the duration of that trio’s stay.

I’ve already written plenty so I’ll have to save my iPad review for another post. I’ll also be able to post a review of the new iPhone in a few days since mine is on its way. Everyone should definitely expect less frequent posts from me now that the deployment is over.

18 Responses to “Return to Normalcy?”

  1. father

    FIRST!

    I don’t believe that there was actually a PRIME TIME announcement for Lebron. They must be kidding, right? He probably made a million just for being there to announce??

    Yes NICE CAR Robert, especially the way the disguised-as-a- radio-all-encompassing-LCD monitor electrically slides up out of the dash, to reveal its pure functionality and beauty.

  2. carigs

    I don’t want to defend Lebron, or the NBA, as that announcement show makes it easy to hate him. But remember 2 offseasons ago when the Yankees signed the 3 best free agents? That wasn’t even three “friends” trying to play together, the Yankees just offered them way more money than anyone else would.

    At least Lebron took less money, supposedly to put himself in the best place to win a title. I certainly don’t think he was ever gonna win in Cleveland, he was there for 7 years and who was the best player he played with, Mo Williams? That foreign white center who’s name I can’t remember?

    Usually athletes are lambasted for the media for taking the most money instead of looking for the best place to win, this time Lebron does just what they ask, and he is still killed by everyone in the media.

    Also, all of the proceeds from that announcement show went to charity.

    Still, I’ll probably be rooting against the Heat, unless they play the Lakers.

    Oh yea, and sweet car, I have to stop by and check out your new place soon as well.

  3. Jim

    I do like both your condo and your car Rob. Very nice. I’m still waiting for my invite to your housewarming party though. I believe it was supposed to be today.

    I have no issue with Lebron’s decision to go to Miami and I agree with it, I just don’t respect the way he announced it. His PR reps should be fired. Sure, he helped out a good charity, but it was still a selfish way to make the announcment. Plus, he showed he doesn’t give a crap about Cleveland fans. Not even an apology or sincere word for the fans there. On top of that, he decides to announce it in Bridgeport, Knicks territory. He pretty much gave all of them false hope and punched them in the gut. I was planning on starting to watch the Knicks if he came there, but now I’ll have no problem continuing to just ignore the NBA.

    The Red Sox are still in good shape compared to last season’s Mets. That being said, it’s clear they can’t hang on much longer and need to get some of their guys back soon. Now that it looks like Cliff Lee is going to the Yankees, their only hope is to hang around and win the wild card. And why do the Yankees need Lee? Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Vazquez and Hughes isn’t enough? That’s just plain selfish. Who’s going to the pen?

  4. Rob

    Carigs, don’t look at it as “3 players”, look at it as “60% of the team in the game at any one time”. This couldn’t happen in any other sport.

    Also Cleveland couldn’t offer much more money, and Lebron would also need to have done a 6 year deal with them. With Miami, he gets no state income tax, almost as much money, and a chance to become a free agent again after 5 years while he is still closer to his prime than he would have been had he taken the Cleveland deal.

  5. carigs

    Yea, it is unprecedented in any case, and I wonder if Bill Simmons’ “too many alpha dogs” predictions will come through, but mostly I’m just curious how this will play out.

    I would probably have chosen Miami over Cleveland based on the weather alone.

    I think the Red Sox basically have to respond with Werth (if he is truly available) if the Yankees get Lee. (which I dislike for fantasy and real team reasons, the double whammy)

  6. Roger

    For all readers of therobsmith here are pictures of my wedding. Please laugh at all pictures of Malone
    http://davesandberg.smugmug.com/Weddings/Roger/12855311_jjzYM#P-1-15

  7. Jim P

    The Lebron thing was ridiculous. Did we really need an hour long special? I must be terrible to be a Cavs fan right now. Also, Jim Gray is terrible and should never do an interview again.

    Looks like the Cliff Lee deal to the Yankees fell apart. Now it looks like he’s going to the Rangers for Smoak, Mark Lowe and some prospects. This makes the Rangers a little scary in the American league.

    Roger, there is a picture of Malone with another women, this must be a mistake.

  8. father

    Jim, in a previous post, “…all rob’s blog..” members were invited to the party.

  9. Jim

    Nice pictures Roger… you don’t look like a doofus in all of them so that’s a plus. I look pretty heinous in a couple, but oh well.

    Father, I didn’t mean his welcome home party, I meant that he needs to host his own housewarming party at his condo for friends. I don’t think he plans on doing it, but we will give him a hard time about it either way.

    Cliff Lee should just retire.

  10. carigs

    I did not expect the day to end with Cliff Lee on the Rangers, unfortunately, this deal still helps the Yankees, since they won’t have to face Lee tonight.

    “father”,

    I believe Jim was referring to a smaller gathering at Rob’s new condo.

  11. Jim

    Also, who trades an ace inter-division? That’s poor planning. And shame on the Yankees for trying to trade an injured player. That’s something I’d expect from Philly.

  12. father

    Yes, sorry, i failed to recognize the ..”housewarming.” part of the question. I can blame that error on age maybe.

  13. Mom

    Beautiful pictures Roger! Congratulations!!!

  14. father

    It was definitely a pleasure meeting Michelle kiwi” today. Michelle if you have a blog or such that we might follow you during your upcoming tour of duty, please let us know. Or at least make sure you check in here now and then.

    Again, very nice meeting you.

  15. Jim

    Yes, it was nice meeting you Michelle. My wife likes your name.

    Rob, please post your ipad review and a RDD review immediately. Enough fooling around.

  16. carigs

    The NCAA announced the format for the new “first round” of the tournament:

    The bottom 2 automatic qualifiers will have the “play-in” game to become a 16 seed and play a 1 seed.

    In addition, the bottom 2 at large teams will play a game to become a 10, 11, or 12 seed.

    That plan is better than I expected from the NCAA, the bubble team game should feature some recognizable major conference teams, so college basketball fans may actually watch the opening round or “First Four”.

    Unfortunately, the games will be aired on TruTV for some reason.

  17. Jim

    Carigs, the way I read it, there are actually 8 teams competing for those “first 4” spots. There are the last 4 automatic bids playing each other and the bottom 4 at large bids playing each other. Except they don’t do round robin, they just pick 2 teams to play each other for a spot on the bracket. So there are actually 4 opening round games now and not just 1.

    I do agree that it’s not a bad way to expand the tournament. I agree that I may actually feel like watching some of those 4 extra games now, at least the 2 bubble team games.

    Roger got a new puppy and named it Leia after the Star Wars character. I don’t think more needs to be said.

  18. Roger

    Nor should anyone be surprised. How do you add pictures here? I can put up some pictures of my puppy.

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