Friday, February 22, 2008

February's Lunar Eclipse...

Jim's first attempt at astrophotagraphy netted him several respectable pictures of February's lunar eclipse.

These pictures were taken through a 32mm eyepiece on a 8" SCT telescope. Magnification would be about 60x.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Adam writes: “It's been a LONG freakin time, but I want to hear your perspective on something. How come the Cardinals, reigning MLB world champs, have such a mediocre season this year? We were in the easiest division in baseball. What are the top reasons, in prioritized order, for why we went downhill?”

Why were the Cardinals so mediocre this year? A better question may be how did they manage to do so well this year.

Let’s start by taking a look at the pitching. Last year our main rotation was Carpenter, Suppan, Weaver, Marquis, and Reyes, with Wainwright as the closer. During this winter we lost Suppan, Weaver and Marquis to free agency. Were Jockety and the owners pinching pennies or were spending responsibly? The money those three pitchers were offered were outrageous so I can’t blame them for letting them go but they should have had a better plan to replace them. They did obtain Kip Wells who turned out to be probably THE worst acquisition of Jockety’s tenure here. Wells was a total bust and couldn’t be salvaged even when moved to the bullpen. Then they brought Looper, Wainwright, and Reyes in from the bullpen. Wainwright’s transformation was inevitable, he was being groomed as a starter anyway. Looper did quite well considering he pitched more innings by June than he had pitched in any previous season. Reyes is just one pitcher that can’t pitch in the Duncan school of pitching.

So, at the best, you have a fragile rotation that you hope can keep you in the race until Mulder comes back. Then Carpenter pitches one game and he’s out, Wells falls flat on his face, they keep throwing band-aids on the rotation, Mulder comes back at the end of the year, pitches a couple of games and he’s back on the DL and getting surgery. In the course of the year eleven men were marched out to start games including the likes of Thompson, Welemeyer, Maroth, Keisler, and Piniero. A collection of relief pitchers, minor leagers and has-beens.

Now we go to the position players. Pujols was banged up and had a sub-par (for Pujols) season. Second base was split between Kennedy and Miles. Miles was a bench player that only played because Kennedy was such a bust (another failed Jockety move). Eckstein missed 50 games. Rolen missed 60 games (no surprise, he’s always been fragile). Edmunds missed 63 games. Duncan started only 91 and Encarnacion 72. Ankiel was about the only positive story all year (and that silver lining had a dark cloud in front of it).

I haven’t even mentioned the tragic death of Josh Hankock.

With all that went wrong and all the injuries, the Cardinals were in it right to the very end and played hard even after they were eliminated.

If you just change a few small things, the Cards would still be playing and the Cubs would be on the links by now. If Carpenter wasn’t lost, we’d be in it. If Mulder came back, we’d be in it. You could go down the line and name a dozen “if onlys”.

That being said, especially with Jockety gone, I hope Larussa decides to not come back. I’d like to see a whole new organizational structure. Make a clean slate and start a whole new rebuilding process. Larussa and Jockety did a great job. It has been very entertaining to watch them build a team, fill in the wholes, patch up the cracks and put it all together. The 2004 team was awesome. 2005 was even better. 2006 was starting to show wear even though it was the year they went all the way. 2007 was like watching a once great locomotive sit out in the weather and rust. It’s time to cut your losses, get some young faces in here and see what they can do.

The Jockety-Larussa era has been one of the most productive eras in the history of the franchise but it has run it’s course. Let it go.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ask Jim's Theme Song!!!

Thanks to my favorite daughter, Ask Jim now has a theme song. If you know what's good for you, you'll click on this link to listen to it!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Too many questions... too little time....

Adam writes:hey jim,

it seems like you haven't been answering a lot of questions lately. is it because you don't have time to tell, or is it because you don't want to be asked anymore? i hope it's not the latter.

I apologize to all. It's definitly not a matter of not wanting to be asked the questions. It is simply a matter of not enough time. My sweetheart Bluebelle has been a very bad girl and has been demanding much of my time. After rebuilding her a nice new engine, she has responded by not wanting to start which has been a vexing development that has preoccupied most of my time lately.

Hopefully things will get back on track soon and I'll be back to answering all your questions.

BTW Sarah...

The simple answer to your question is nipple rings are like little time bombs that could go off at any time. You would do well to go straight to anyone you would know that would have such abominations and quickly tear them out. Believe me, once they realize you have their best interest in mind they will thank you for making them better, healthier people!