My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, June 2

Trump, Sports Stats, & Reality TV

Wiley’s done it again. Jabbing at Donald Trump, that is. His point here is in the gullibility of those who support Trump in the polls. And that gullibility, if he’s elected, will get them eaten by the smiling bears (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, to name only the most obvious). Every time a newsperson asks him HOW he’ll get done what he says he’ll get done, he simply shrugs and says, “Believe it. It’ll get done. I’m a financial wizard and I’ll use my expertise to fix all the problems that Obama and his cronies have stuck us with in the last eight years.” There it is again, fluffy words with absolutely no substance. Come on, November, you just can’t get here soon enough.

A word or two about the current love affair sports people have with statistics. I see it most often in golf and baseball, but all sports can be tracked with endless, mind-numbing data. The most obvious meaningless stat in golf is the fairways hit. It doesn’t take into account how far off the fairway a drive might be. A drive two inches into the short rough counts the same as one hit a country mile left or right. And all that conversation about strokes gained putting, total number of feet of putts made, velocity of swings and speed of ball off the clubface, percentage of sand saves and up-and-down saves, and on and on. As for baseball, the color commentators can tell us how many of each kind of pitch has been thrown, the various speeds of those pitches, the batting average of opposing batters from both sides of the plate, and on and on and on. Here’s a stat that may shock you as much as it shocks me. Pitcher Zack Greinke signed a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $200 million over five years. That comes out to $40 million a year. The average number of innings he will throw in a season is around 200. That comes out to about $200,000 per inning. He will probably throw about twelve pitches per inning. That comes out to just under $17,000 per pitch. Per pitch! Astounding. Now, whenever I tune into a D-Backs game and he’s pitching, I can’t focus on anything but that ridiculously huge number of dollars he’s getting every time he delivers one to the plate.

For lack of anything else on the tube last night, we watched American Ninja Warrior. I’m not much of a fan of reality shows, but this one won me over. I think I’m muscle sore from all my empathetic moves as I tried to help the competitors through the obstacle course. It was interesting enough that we’ll probably watch the whole series. Two other reality shows we’ll probably watch: So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent. We’re a little disappointed that SYTYCD is now called The Next Generation, meaning that we’ll be seeing only contestants from eight to thirteen. Yes, they can dance surprisingly well, but not as well as the seniors we watched and fell in love with in the first twelve seasons. Ah, well, we’ll see how it goes. And we can now welcome Simon Cowell back to the tube, this time with America’s Got Talent, on which he's replacing Howard Stern. It’s a curious show in that some of the performances are so very good and some so very bad. One of the good ones had thirteen-year-old Laura Bretan singing a Puccini aria, "Nessun Dorma," and singing it so well that Mel B hit the gold button to send the girl straight to the live show. But then there was the bad. We watched a man stick a pair of scissors up his right nostril, all the way up, and then he licked the blades when he pulled it out. Yuck! Then he brought out a stainless steel hook that he inserted in that same nostril, all the way up, and then he fastened the hook to a line above and hung suspended, all his weight hanging on that hook. I have to ask myself, how in the world did he discover this disgusting talent and why would anyone want to watch him do it? Apparently the judges were enough interested that they voted him through to the next round. I think I’ll skip his next turn. What can he possibly do that would be different from what he’s already done? Maybe shove a chain saw into that cavernous sinus cavity and cut his head in half? Just think of the number of hits that would get on YouTube.
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