Thursday, February 28, 2008

Basketball (not Base-ketball)

This week's episode of Joe & Joe Sports will focus on hoops in America, and we'll get into both professional and college basketball. But not women's basketball. Come on.

As a treat, we've got a guest expert to talk about NCAA basketball, which is good because neither of us Joe's are experts on that topic....or any topic, really. Anyways, it's a step in a positive direction for our show. Speaking of positive steps for the show, don't forget you can e-mail the show any questions or comments at joe.joe.sports@gmail.com, and in all likelihood, we'll respond to your e-mail on the air, since we don't really have any independent thoughts.

And remember, you can always listen to any old episodes by using the link to the right.

Monday, February 25, 2008

We actually shot a satellite out of the sky?

Listen, I've always had all the respect in the world for the United States when it comes to science and military operations. Part of that I'm sure comes from a "home field" bias, a standard feeling of patriotism, but I've always felt pretty confident in the ability of Americans to execute plans.

But I've got to say, this business about the satellite has got me really wowed about where we are scientifically. Word is, we've successfully targeted and destroyed the fuel tank on the satellite, which had posed something of a threat to life were it to come crashing down to Earth. Now, granted, these satellites are pretty large, but the main body of the device was a paltry 15 feet long. This object, with a decaying orbit, was targeted by an SM-3 missile and, according to all reports thus far, successfully destroyed to the point that the debris poses no immediate threat.

If it were a stationary object, it'd be pretty impressive to hit the fuel component squarely from hundreds of miles away. But we're talking about shooting a moving satellite out of the sky whose orbit is decaying. Out of the sky! Do you know how ridiculously large the sky is?

Alright, that's enough gushing for now, especially since there's still a chance that the mission was a failure. But it looks good, and I think that speaks volumes towards what science can accomplish. So be nice to your local nerds; they may be able to pinpoint your bedroom from a missile silo.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

N

I'm sure a lot of you have already played this game, as I remember playing it way back when I was a 25-year-old in the dorm in Altoona (which was perhaps the most awful experience I've ever had). Anyways, it's called N, where you're a ninja hopping around, grabbing gold coins, flipping switches, and trying to escape levels or something. There's a story, but really, it's just a puzzle game. Anyways, it's sweet ass fun, so check it out if you're bored and want to kill some time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spring Training and the Mild Insanity of the Fantasy Baseball Fan

The 6 weeks from the middle of February through the end of March make up an exciting time for the baseball fan and player alike. Everyone's got a shot (yes, even Kansas City), everybody's got reason to be hopeful, and it's not all about the Red Sox and Yankees...yet. You get to hear about all the little position battles throughout the league between the grizzled veterans and the cocky youngsters. You learn the names of some of your team's young up-and-coming hurlers who are getting a shot at the bullpen (but will probably start in triple-A), and you get to look at some statistics that mean absolutely nothing, but will get you reaching for the stars.

Yep, it's great to be a baseball fan during spring training...well, unless you're into fantasy baseball. For a fantasy baseball fan, spring training makes you feel like Santa Claus, marking your lists with "nices" and "naughties." And every day brings a new story about that guy you were watching, or a guy you didn't realize you should be watching. It's hell. You can read a hundred things a day every day from February 15th through March 30th and still not know half of the ups and downs from the baseball exhibition season.

So here's my recommendation: Don't. Listen, the stuff that happens in spring training tends to have only a minimal impact on fantasy baseball. 95% of all starting lineup spots are already set, as well as 80% of starting rotations. And really, do you think you should be that concerned about who the Reds' fifth starter is going to be? Is that the guy you want on your fantasy team? Keeper leagues obviously rely a little more on these battles, as they will sometimes involve stud prospects, but if he's truly a stud prospect, he'll get to the majors eventually anyways. And come on, keeper leagues are more serious on all levels, so you should be used to this kind of stuff.

The one exception, of course, is each team's closer situation. Every year there are a few bullpens whose hierarchy remains undetermined until midway through spring training or later. Remember? Jonathan Papelbon was supposed to be in the rotation last year. But that information can change daily anyways. Your best bet is to check out all the closer battles during the days leading up to your draft and head into your draft with the most current data you can get your hands on. They're mostly a crapshoot anyways (think Joel Pineiro from last year), but as long as you don't use an early pick on someone in a questionable situation, you won't come away looking like a fool. That, of course, is the value of the high end guys (Putz, Papelbon, Nathan, K-Rod); you can draft them with the confidence that they won't get shelved in spring training.

But if you can afford it, if you can delay your fantasy baseball research just a little while, you really should. It's a great time of year to be a fan of baseball. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go update Josh Fogg on my list. He just signed with the Reds, and will be competing for that 5th starter spot.

Top 500 Songs - Dave Matthews Band

This was always going to be the hardest of my band lists, because I like so many of DMB's songs, and have liked them so differently over...