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|Monday, October 16th, 2006|
|Baseball and BizOrg
Today was a rather eventful day in BizOrg for me. It’s the sort of class in which you can reasonably expect to be called on once, maybe twice the entire quarter. Not counting having to rap in front of the class last week, I’ve now been called on three times. I had read and think I sounded pretty competent, but I'm getting called on a lot in that class, relatively speaking. I’m not complaining*, but it’s someone else’s turn to take a case or two.
More importantly, we covered a case on the 1919 New York (Baseball) Giants (and not the one I got called on for). One of the directors of the corporation was John McGraw, who our prof described as one of the president and primary shareholder’s “friends”. Which is sort of like referring to a case on the Green Bay Packers and saying “some Lombardi guy”.
OK, I know I’m a huge baseball dork. But John F’n McGraw! The Little Napoleon! He’s only one of the greatest managers who ever lived. The only guy to win more games was Casey Stengel, and that’s just because he continued to manage after he was legally dead. From 1903 to 1932, McGraw had two losing seasons. Two. He also won 10 pennants and 3 World Series.
John McGraw was so awesome that when he got in trouble with the owner, he tanked the season, drove down attendance and thereby the purchase price of the team, and got one of his rich buddies to buy the team for him to run. All so he wouldn’t have to serve that suspension for attacking an umpire (and you thought Lou Pinella was intense). And our case today was McGraw and his buddy muscling out Tammany Hall. Yes, THAT Tammany Hall.
And John McGraw was nobody’s friend. He is one of the all-time biggest jerks to ever play baseball, though you could make a pretty outstanding team of nothing but gigantic jerks (I’m leaving off pitchers, who are just known as weird, not jerks):
C Thurman Munson (really not many mean catchers, though Carlton Fisk was sort of a pill, but I really liked him)
1B Dick Allen
2B Rogers Hornsby
3B John McGraw
SS Alvin Dark (Wow, most famous shortstops were also famous nice guys. Thank God we have one unrepentant racist in the bunch)
RF Pete Rose
CF Ty Cobb
LF Ted Williams (War hero? Yes. But also a famous jerk on the level of Albert Belle)*Editor’s note: this is law school speak for “I’m complaining”
|Sunday, October 15th, 2006|
Why is it that I always end up sleeping on the love seat? I simply don't fit on those things.
|Meet the Beatles
Since I've been challenged by J Ray
, I guess it's my turn. First off, his question assumes the Beatles are the greatest band of all time, and I'm much more of a Stones guy than a Beatles guy. The Beatles were a great pop band, the Stones were the greatest rock band ever. And their best album is Let It Bleed
. So now that we've dispensed with that, on to the Beatles.
Am I the only one who thinks the White Album is overrated? It's got some great stuff on there, but a lot of filler. Did the world really need "Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"? Especially since Yoko Ono sings on that.
My dad had the record (those big vinyl things) and we'd play that thing to death. Going back to my theory that what makes an album great is your personal relationship with it, Abbey Road is the album I grew up listening to. In fact, it was the only Beatles record we owned (my dad was a folkie, we had loads of Bob Dylan and the Weavers). So it's the only Beatles album that really had a chance with me.
The opening track, "Come Together" is one of their best rockers. It's absurdist, like a lot of great Beatles song ("Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease"), but it's not nearly as jaunty as their earlier stuff. Great song. And the Aerosmith remake ain't bad either. (Speaking of remakes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers would release an Abbey Road EP
, which isn't really a remake, but it does have a cover depicting the RHCP walking across Abbey Road wearing nothing but strategically placed socks. It also has one of my favorite Chili Peppers songs -- "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes" -- but I digress)
But what makes the album great is the second side. The Golden Slumbers medley is one of those things I could listen to over and over again. It's one of those things that normally would not be my cup of tea. But it's just so brilliant and I've listened to it about a thousand times. Actually, after "You Never Give Me Your Money", no song clocks in at longer than 2:19 (And probably my favorite song on the album, "The End"). The songs just come in, make their point, and then leave. But all of those short moments add up to one cohesive whole. It's actually one gigantic song.
But it's the story behind the album which cinches it for me. This is the last album the Beatles recorded (though Let It Be was released after it), and the band had almost totally disintegrated. Lennon famously hated the album, probably because McCartney did the second half of the album (the brilliant part) almost entirely on his own. And it amazes me that the Beatles could still be at their creative peak when they were hardly speaking with each other. Just goes to show, you can still to great things when the world is falling apart around you.
|Friday, October 13th, 2006|
Just a quick note of encouragement, people. If you’re not too busy on Saturday, you really should come to the Moot Court finals. Winning this thing, to paraphrase a prof, is a big darn deal. To help make it a big darn deal, let’s have a big darn audience.
Get out there and support your classmates. Besides, there will be free food.
Finals are coming
Do I have enough coffee?
Must stock up today
|Thursday, October 12th, 2006|
|Hot Profs and Deans
Let Swanburg post boring contests
about law school prof of the year. There are more important awards at stake. Most notably, our beloved Assistant Dean Jackson (also known as Prof. FedTax) is up for Hottest Law School Dean.
She's currently ahead in the voting, and we're a small school. So stuff the ballot box and suck up to those in power. Baylor Law: both smart and attractive.*Also, where the heck is the new dean of Campbell law school (formerly Prof. Torts) on that list? Is there some sort of eligibility requirement and she hasn't been dean for a long enough time? I demand an investigation.
|Bring the Noise
Since I missed karaoke this week, I guess it was inevitable I was going to have to rap in BizOrg. And no one really needed that to happen. Though it was nice to see the vocal stylings of K-Hill again. I think he should drop out of school right now and take up a career as an MC.
Actually, as soon as the prof mentioned dragging poor schleps to the front to do a BizOrg rap, I could hear the murmur of my name across the room. Because let’s face it, if there is an opportunity for a student to make an ass of himself, I’m so there. I’m happy to be recognized for my talents.
Speaking of making an ass of yourself, has anyone else noticed the sudden proliferation of Baylor law blogs? It’s out of control. Look, these things are a bad idea. It makes you a walking target, which is especially bad your first year, when I highly recommend a duck-and-cover strategy. Don’t hold up a sign which says: “PLEASE CALL ON ME AND MAKE ME LOOK FOOLISH”. Just because me and Swanburg are gigantic morons doesn’t mean you should follow in our footsteps. You think I’m going to be able to lay low in PC? How much is that going to suck?
Besides, you’re stealing some of my readers.
|Wednesday, October 11th, 2006|
I think there should be a class about nothing except the Howard Hughes litigation. Because that is some entertaining stuff right there.
Besides, our prof didn't even get into the fact that the litigation is still ongoing. That's right, a mere 30 years after the crazy bugger shook off this mortal coil, people are still fighting over the many billions of dollars he left behind. On June 12, 2006, Melvin Dummar
sued the COO of the Hughes estate, claiming he was defrauded out of his share when the "Mormon will" was ruled to be a fake. You know, just because it was in Melvin's handwriting, had no witnesses, and had Melvin's fingerprints all over the envelope.
There's a pretty terrible movie about it, Melvin and Howard
, made by the same guy who would later make the far superior Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme). Actually, it's not that bad, but it's one of the charter members of the "That Movie Won An Oscar?" Club (Best Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay). Sort of like Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite or Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny. That's right, My Cousin Vinny won an Oscar.
And the real tragedy is that Ralph Macchio didn't win one as well.
|Tuesday, October 10th, 2006|
|Moot Court Goodness
Congratulations to everyone who made the break! Just wait until you see how much of an impact those whopping 3 QP's make on your GPA. I was happy to partake in that celebratory quesadilla at Ninfa's.
I still have two more rounds to barrister, tomorrow's octofinals and then the semifinals. I'm also happy that my partners have allowed me to be Chief Justice to pad my extraordinarily large ego (except Janet, but she IS the Chief so it was cool). I also received the best compliment I have ever received in law school, when one of the people I judged compared my questioning style to a combination of Serr and Trail. Which I guess means I like to use long hypos and then call you a dumbass. Being compared to both Trail and Serr is like being called both a car and a truck. Which makes me the El Camino of Barristers.
And that's Chief El Camino to you, pal.
|Monday, October 9th, 2006|
I gave the new knee its first trial run tonight in intramural basketball. Early returns are mostly positive, though I miss my old brace. We've been through so much together. And the old one didn't give me a case of shin splints. But any time I can walk away from a sporting event, I'm pretty happy with my orthopedic equipment.
However, I ended up at the hospital anyway. It wasn't for me though. J Ray
is the first member of the basketball team to go on the injured reserve, as he broke his wrist tonight.* It only took the doctors three and half hours to treat him, a record for emergency room efficiency.
But what were the odds really of me ending up at the hospital at the end of the night and NOT be the patient? I don't even think oddsmakers would have taken that bet. Lucky for us, I was a prepared law student and had my T&E outline in the car and we passed the time away going over the intricacies of trust law. No word on what is more painful, studying for finals or breaking your arm.*I get to blog about this incident first because the dude has a broken wrist. It's not like he can type faster than I can right now. He can give you his version later.
|Sunday, October 8th, 2006|
|Bourbon and Freud
Last night I had a discussion with a guy I had just met on whether the legal community is dominated by the id, ego, or the superego. There was bourbon involved*, so I'm not really sure what the specifics of the conversation were, but I'm sure it was interesting. But when he started comparing case law to Levi-Strauss (not the jeans guy, this guy
), I tapped out. Mainly because I think Levi-Strauss is remarkably full of crap, even for a philosopher. Unfortunately, this lead the converstaion towards linguistics, a subject
A) I know nothing about and
B) Have no desire to learn
The lesson here is that I really think law students should hang out with guys with a philosophy background more often. But only when there is good bourbon available. The bourbon is key. Though one may substitue a good red wine in a pinch.* Poseur endorses Blanton's single barrel bourbon. If they would like to place their ad on this space in exchange for a few bottles, I'm sure an arrangement could be reached.
|Saturday, October 7th, 2006|
Got a call this morning from my best friend, Jim. It's rare he'd call me in the morning, particularly a Saturday morning. But I picked up the phone and he immediately asked me,
"How would you like to be my best man?"
So congratulations to Jim and Leigh. I was looking for something this weekend to put me in a good mood, and I just found it (though the pressure is on to come up with a good speech, Jim gave a truly outstanding toast at my wedding* and now I have to return the favor). I'm just so happy for those two.*I already have him penciled in for best man duties again when I meet the next future ex-Mrs. Baker
|Friday, October 6th, 2006|
|Christmas in October
My knee came in the mail. I’m like a kid on Christmas. I’m wearing a knee brace around the apartment just because I can. Besides, with my luck, it’s entirely possible I could blow out an ACL writing a brief about extraneous offenses for sentencing enhancement. Difficult, but I think I could swing it.
As for my bad poetry...
Computer is broke
Lousy technical support
Best Buy is evil
Many posts a day
Osler is out of control
Boy, I am lazy
|Wednesday, October 4th, 2006|
|Mojo Nixon Is the Key to Understanding
Osler is out of control. Beyond assigning us haikus for Friday posts (I mean, Baylor Law poetry is kind of terrifying), he put up three new posts
in 12 hours.* Assuming Osler sleeps, and he is not some sort of cyborg who is trying to throw us off his scent by joking other professors are cyborg killing machines
(I'm on to you, Osler), that was a post every two hours. And all of them were pretty damn funny.
I simply can't keep up with that. If he keeps up this pace, people will expect me to write more and actually have interesting things to say. And I think we all know that isn't going to happen. Damn professors keep raising the bar...*I do have to add I was a big fan of the Mojo Nixon reference. Mojo is responsible for one of the greatest songs about our chosen profession, "Destroy All Lawyers". Hmmm... the theory that Osler is a cyborg killing machine gains momentum. This was a hidden warning to all of us. Run for the hills, people!
Bowling for 80s night? How perfect. Was someone from SBA spying on me when I was in high school? If it's rock-and-bowl, it'll be 100% accurate. Like stepping into a time machine. Really, how many people at the Immunity Day 80s party will have actually attended high school in the 80s (ok, it was just one year, I still graduated in the 90s).
But it is weird to see the retro 80s style. The bright colors and things never really made it to me and my friends in the 80s. We were like the negative of the picture. I was the Go-Bots to the rest of the decade's Transformers. The Night Court to the Cosby Show. The Walter Mondale to the Ronald Reagan. Hell, I even liked Cindy Lauper over Madonna (anyone else remember when that was an actual debate?)
But if someone shows up in gummi bracelets, I'll be so stoked.
|Monday, October 2nd, 2006|
|Pitching Wins Nothing
I’m just going to talk about baseball, so if you’re not interested in that topic, you shouldn’t read today’s post. I’m not kidding. To help you out, I’ll give you something else to do. Why don’t you play a game? Here, play some curling with animated puppies.
OK, now that I’ve given the majority of my audience something to do, let’s talk playoffs. Actually, I’m only curious about on thing, the fact that the Yankees are a gigantic counterpoint to the traditional wisdom that Pitching Wins Championships. The Yankees boast the AL’s 7th best ERA, and their rotation borders on completely atrocious. Yet everyone and their best friend’s sister are picking the Yankees. The Yankees can’t pitch (aside from Rivera) and we all still think they are going to win. And this isn’t a new scenario.
The Yankees have won 26 titles, or 15 more than the second best team in history (the Cardinals). And their pitching has never been great. In fact, they have never really had a great pitcher for an extended period of time during his actual period of greatness. The best pitcher in Yankees’ history is pretty clearly Whitey Ford (well, best starting pitcher, Rivera’s got a case, but let’s leave him out of things). Whitey Ford is a fine pitcher, and a Hall of Famer. Bill James ranked him the 22nd greatest pitcher ever. The number two guy in Yankee history is either Ron Guidry, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, or Andy Pettite. All really good, but hardly the pitching equivalent of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, and Derek Jeter.
The Yankees have won a ton of titles, much more than anyone else, and they have done it by mashing the hell out of the ball. Yet we’re still conditioned to believe pitching wins championships. How many titles do the Yankees have to win based almost solely on their hitting before we chunk that canard as just an empty cliché?
Seriously, let’s look at the best pitcher on some of the worst franchises in baseball history (teams which have existed for over 30 years and have one title or less)
Astros (1962 – 0 titles): Nolan Ryan
Royals (1969 – 1 title): Bret Saberhagen
Brewers (1969 – 0 titles): Teddy Higuera
Phillies (1883 – 1 title): Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Pete Alexander
Padres (1969 – 0 titles): Jake Peavy (yes, already)
Rangers (1961 – 0 titles): Nolan Ryan, Gaylord Perry
Expos (1969 – 0 titles): Pedro Martinez
OK, the 1969 expansion teams have has some pretty awful pitching, particularly the Brewers and Padres, but the Astros and the Rangers have both had some pretty fine pitchers and it’s gotten them nothing. And don’t even talk to a Phillies fan. Check out how many Phillies pitchers are in the Hall (min – 5 seasons with the team):
And check out the results. 123 years. 6 Hall of Fame pitchers (including three guys; Carlton, Roberts, and Alexander; who are clearly better than Whitey Ford). 1 World Series title.
And you wonder why Philly fans are so angry.
Pitching doesn’t necessarily win titles. And the Yankees have perhaps the best offensive machine since, um, the Yankees of the late 1990s. * I should pimp my beloved Orioles right now. They are still the only team to have four 20-game winners on the same team (Pat Dobson, Dave McNally, Jim Palmer, and Mike Cuellar). They lost to the Pirates in 7. The Orioles were also the last AL team to allow less than 500 runs in a full season (497 in 1968, to put that in perspective, the Tigers led the AL this year with 675). They finished second to the Tigers. The ace of their last World Series winner in 1983? Scotty McGregor. I rest my case.
|Sunday, October 1st, 2006|
|Incoherent Ramblings After Studying Too Long
My brain is fried. The T&E reading was little long. As in, it was about 90 pages, with statutes on top. It's the candy coating that makes it all go down easy. Prof. Biz Org gave us our longest assignment in a long while as well. I know, I know. It's nothing compared to PC. But I had wanted to get all of my research done for my project for the DA's office this weekend, and that is looking like it ain't gonna happen.
Then again, considering I started the day knowing next to nothing about pen packs, sentencing guidelines for habitual offenders, and the sufficiency of evidence or standard of review... I think I've come a long way in a day. I'm still in the tall grass, but I think I've found a path out of the woods. Or maybe its just a path to the witch's house, who is going to boil me in the same stew as Hansel and Gretel. (Oo, look! A gumdrop!)
The point is, nothing makes sense anymore, so I'm packing it in for the night and I'll tackle this all again tomorrow. And I feel I could have gotten more done on this project if it hadn't have been for the mammoth reading assignment in my classes. But that's the way it goes. Or maybe I'm still a little bitter about the lack of a computer and I'm doing my Lexis searches up in the computer lab. Feel free to come by and say hi.
I haven't eaten yet. I'm going to have a burrito.
|Saturday, September 30th, 2006|
Yeesh. It took Best buy over 42 days to "fix" my laptop, and about half that time for it to break again. We currently in negotiations on them giving me a new laptop. I'm not amused, and the timing is, of course, impeccable. Who needs a computer as we near in on finals? Certainly not me.
I've got nothing else right now. Talk amongst yourselves.
Oh, except to add my obligatory Friday haiku. If a professor requests it I shall do it. Luckily, Osler did not declare Friday the day the law bloggers should poke badgers with a spoon. Anyway, here's my post-deadline haiku. I didn't know about the deadline because, believe it or not, this is the first time I've been online since Wednesday.
My haiku is late.
Missing this deadline will not
Cause me to repeat?
|Tuesday, September 26th, 2006|
|John Rocker Speaks Out On Race Relations
So I'm cruising along the information superhighway, trying to get some information on the biggest collapses in baseball history, and I stumble across John Rocker's webpage.
Yes, that John Rocker. Go check it out and be absolutely flabbergasted. I'll wait here.
[INSERT ELEVATOR MUSAK]
Back? Okay, good. I think we can all agree when I say, "WTF?!"
Let's just list the things wrong with that website:
1. John Rocker has his own webpage.
2. He's going to be on TV. And not cable access, he's going to be on the O'Reilly Factor. Exactly what does a guy have to do to be effectively shunned by the people who book guests for these shows? Is there really someone out there waiting to hear John Rocker's take on anything? Oh, thank God we now have the cogent analysis that only John Rocker could provide.
3. Is he really sponsoring the "Speak English" campaign? Are the comedy gods really that generous? You'd think John Rocker of all people would know to just keep his yap shut about the status of race relations. What moron was trying to gain some traction for this issue and thought to himself, "You know who would be great spokespeople for our movement? Ms. Bikini Universe 2004 and an ex-baseball player famous for two things: 1) blowing saves and 2) making racist comments to Sports Illustrated
." John Rocker's not the most racist person on earth, but he's quite possibly one of the dumbest. Can you imagine being dumb enough to tell a reporter, who you know is taking notes, this about New York: "It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark, looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."
Now, I'm not the biggest fan of New York on the planet, but I generally try not to describe it in these terms. And if I was already in trouble for calling my African-American teammate "a fat monkey", I'd certainly avoid saying anything which could be construed poorly to a damn reporter of a magazine which is among the highest circulation periodicals in the country.
With astute marketing like this, the Speak English movement will be a rousing success, I'm sure.
Though I am curious to hear more from Miss Bikini Universe 2004.
4. The guy had the guts to quote Abraham Lincoln. Okay, he botches the quote, but it takes some serious cajones to invoke the Great Emancipator when you are, you know, John Rocker: "Without assimilation, America will grow more and more divided; and a country divided against itself cannot stand."
I'm also pretty surprised Rocker knows how to use a semicolon. I'm not surprised he leaves out the house metaphor.
5. Quoting from the page again:"Many of you have inquired about Rocker T-shirts and how to get an autograph."
There's no way that's true. How many people are clamoring for the autograph of a marginal reliever who pitched in a grand total of 255 innings with a career 3.42 ERA? From a strictly baseball standpoint, Kerry Ligtenberg had a more significant career, and I can't imagine anyone asking him for his autograph (nothing against Ligtenberg, who was a pretty decent pitcher, but I'd bet dollars to donuts you didn't know he played for the D-backs last season).
6. I can't believe I wrote this much about the guy. I must really not want to study right now.