Nokia Lumia 925 (Revisited Again)

This is my 3rd time to post on this phone.  I suppose I’m still writing on it because although I purchased it nearly a year ago, it was almost a $600 investment, I use it everyday, there have been some improvements with updates, and in my opinion there are still some things left to be desired.  So I’m gonna pick this thing apart.

After a year of use, what have I used it for the most?

  • First, I don’t talk on the phone much.  I’m a single dude, and I’m quiet to begin with.
  • I text more than I talk.  Texting is definitely a primary function I use.  I like the word prediction, and texting is easy and intuitive.
  • GPS.  No major problems with the turn by turn GPS voice navigation.
  • Podcasts.  I listen to these regularly at work.  They download overnight over Wifi connection.  Catholic Answers, How Stuff Works, and the Dianne Rehm show are my most listened to ones.  Definitely helps get me through the day.
  • OneNote.  A handy app I use to make lists, random things to remember, or even keeping a journal.
  • Camera.  8.7 MP camera takes some good pictures, and is good for low-light.  Has a video camera and rapid photo taking option, but I haven’t used either of those much.
  • Checking my e-mail.
  • Weather updates.  Checking for rain in the forecast, how hot or cold it will be in the upcoming days, looking at the radar if a storm is in the area.
  • Calendar.  Making reminders for upcoming plans.
  • News, Sports updates.  I like the Bing News app alot.  However, the Bing Sports app has been frustrating.  When trying to get some news or scores, several times the connection is “unavailable”.
  • Games.  I player Solitaire every now and then, not much more than that.
  • Flashlight.  It has a strong light, def has come in handy.
  • Alarm.  Use it every morning for work and many times for my nap during lunch.
  • Dictionary app.  Use it when reading.  I remember when you used to have to get a big book out anytime you wanted to look up the meaning of a word.  Now every word can be on your cell phone.  Amazing.

So that’s 14 different functions I use my phone for.  That’s impressive.

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent for a second.  I think it’s important to keep in mind the main point of a phone — communication.  It’s about reaching out to the people you care and love.  Some people let their phones own them.  I avoid Facebook and Twitter for that very reason.  I believe that some people check their phone compulsively for unimportant events or conversations when they should be focusing on relating to the people right in front of them.  Cell phones and the several different “apps” have hurt our social skills in some ways.  If you ride a bus in these times, you will see less conversations, and more people hunched down looking at their 5 inch phone screen.  The connection between your eyes and your phone screen acts as a barrier to interacting with other people.  I think it’s a good idea to keep your phone away at dinner and when you’re having conversations with people.  Keep yourself open to friendly conversation.  That’s my 2 cents on that.

What has improved?

  • They’ve fixed the problem where I couldn’t text over Wifi.  That was a major frustration.  Good job there Windows/T-Mobile.
  • Notification of a text not sending isn’t sent through a separate thread anymore.  It’s within the text now, which is much more user friendly.
  • If you hold the “back” button down on your phone, it will show all your open apps, and you can X out of them completely rather than having to push back multiple times.  Particularly comes in handy for Internet Explorer.
  • Haptic feedback is now an option instead of mandatory.  I’ve never liked the feel of it, and I also hated thinking about how it was unnecessarily using my battery.
  • Even though it’s not ALL the way there, you can see turn by turn directions to a place in Here Drive BEFORE you click on “Start” to begin the navigation.  It’s better, but Android has it where you can switch views DURING the navigation.  It seems like a very important feature to me to be able to see what turns you’ll be making in 2 or 3 turns down the road instead of only being able to see the immediately next one.  Especially if you’ve got someone riding with you…then they could give you the rundown of the turns, and you wouldn’t have to rely on the phone voice.

What is lacking? (First world problems, I know..)

  • As mentioned above, GPS still does not have a turn by turn menu.  You can see it before you actually “start” the map, but once you start it’s no longer available to see.
  • Battery life.  According to the AT&T website, the 925 model should have a battery life of 12 days if on standby.  Well, I’m not a heavy user, and I don’t even come close to that.  I basically need to charge daily.  I’m looking at 50-60% of battery left after half a day of moderate use (maybe listening to an hour long podcast and light texting, no calling).  If I use GPS for an hour or more it drains even more quickly.  That’s really disappointing.
  • The Microsoft sports app continually says “Service not available” or something similar when I clearly have phone service.  This is very frustrating when I’m trying to check the score of a game currently going on.
  • Manually having to update through the Windows store for apps and your phone.  You can auto-download podcasts over Wifi, but not important software updates.
  • Privacy on the internet.   History is automatically saved, and you have to manually delete it.  I want an auto-delete upon exit feature with the browser.  You can do it for Internet Explorer on your computer.
  • Audio on the video camera.  My friend and I went to the Formula 1 race in Austin last year, and we both got video of a passing of the cars.  He has an Iphone (not sure which one), and his audio sounded like you were there.  My audio was pretty crappy compared to his.  Mine sounded much more quiet and less crisp.
  • Internet explorer doesn’t have a homepage.  Really? If you pull up IE, it goes to the most recent page you were on.  I’d rather have a homepage of Google every time.  There’s a work around, but then your tile looks weird.
  • There’s no “stop” button for audio.  If you pause an audio, and lock your phone, anytime you change the volume, the track you were listening to stays on the audio status bar at the top of your phone for a few hours, kind of annoying.  You can pay for an app for a “stop tile”, but I would expect a stop button to be programmed on the phone already.

The Lumia Cyan update

There is an anticipated update for the Windows 8 Phones called the “Cyan” update.  It’s actually already available for AT&T users (AT&T is also the provider that carried the Nokia Lumia 1025 Model, which has a 41 MP Camera rather than my 8.7 MP).  I have T-Mobile, and still not available for me.  T-Mobile has stopped selling the 925 Model,  so I’m hoping this update doesn’t get put on the back burners because of that.  I would hope this month sometime.

There’s really only a few things I’m looking forward to in the update:

  1. A notification center.   Consolidates your notifications into one place (texts, updates, news(?)).
  2. Windows Store updates will auto-update over Wifi.  It is a pain to manually update your apps and features all the time.
  3. Another 2 columns for your live tiles so that you can fit more tiles onto your screen.  I think this will come in handy as there are several useful tiles.
  4. “Cortana” is the female voiced “assistant” that can help you make calls, get directions, etc., through voice command.  I honestly don’t see myself too hyped about this one.   If I’m going to query my phone or perform a task, I’m more comfortable using my fingers than my voice.

 

 

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2014 World Cup – USA 2, Portugal 2

Oh mannn..USA played good, really good this game. We didn’t deserve a win last game, but this game we at least deserved a tie, and probably even a win. We had great scoring opportunities and kept better possession. I could point to a few things that would have provided a different result. There was a fatal mistake by Geoff Cameron in the 5th minute of the game where he shanked a clearance which ended up right in front of Nani, who finished off the easy goal. Bradley had a shot where he had space, only 6 yards in front of the goal, and no goalkeeper to beat, but still shot it right at a defender on the goal line.

But the one that gets me the most is the last goal USA gave up. It definitely felt like the last 5 -10 minutes of the game momentum totally shifted away from USA and towards Portugal. There’s the saying that the best defense is a good offense. Well, Wondolowski, Bradley, and Yedlin had some runs at the very end of the game, but we didn’t have anybody forward so it was a lost cause. The rest of the team was so focused on staying back it was next to impossible for us to score in those last 10 minutes. I would have liked to have seen us have a more attacking mindset during the last part of the game and at least give ourselves a chance to get that 3rd goal, which would have completely devastated Portugal. But instead, it was Portugal laying the pressure on us at the end, and the end result – them coming back and getting a goal in the 85th minute, a cross from Ronaldo to Varela. We were definitely milking the clock at the end, which is to be expected, but I appreciate it more when I see a winning team fighting and playing rather than pretending to be hurt or walking off as a sub to buy time.

The rest of the game though, passes were more sharp, we looked more fit, Dempsey making more runs, and Bradley better passes. The goal by Jermaine Jones was sick, and the stomach-bump in by Dempsey was well deserved. Zusi was a good replacement for Altidore, and Klinsmann also seemed to make the right move by bringing Yedlin on at the end for some raw speed. After the first 5 minutes, a draw felt welcome for a U.S. fan. But when Dempsey scored in the 81st minute, a draw made you sick to your stomach.

Christiano Ronaldo was a no factor – other than the cross at the very end. He was not involved in the game, and the few free kicks or shots he did have were way off target.

Match Stats:

USA Team Portugal
2 Goals 2
15 (10) Shots (on Target) 20 (9)
47% Possession 53%

Group H Table:

Team

Pts

GD

P

W

D

L

F

A

Germany 4 4 2 1 1 0 6 2
USA 4 1 2 1 1 0 4 3
Ghana 1 -1 2 0 1 1 3 4
Portugal 1 -4 2 0 1 1 2 6

Scenario for U.S.: If U.S. draws with Germany they both advance. If U.S. loses but Ghana and Portugal draw, U.S. advances. If U.S. loses, and the other game results in a decision, U.S. will advance if their goal differential (goals scored – goals conceded) is greater than the winner of the other match. For example, if U.S. loses 1-0, and Ghana wins 2-0, Ghana will advance with a GD of +1 to USA’s 0.

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2014 World Cup – United States 2, Ghana 1

The United States opened the tournament with another match versus Ghana.  Ghana has been a thorn in the U.S.’s side the last 2 World Cups.  In 2010, they beat the U.S. 2-1 in the knockout round.  In 2006, again they defeated U.S. 2-1 in the last game of the group stage to eliminate U.S. from the tourney.

This time around was a different result.  America defeated Ghana 2-1.  But the score line doesn’t tell it all. Dempsey scored in the first minute. I honestly didn’t even know how to react, I was expecting to have to bear down as a fan and hope for that first goal, and we had it before I could even ask for it. But from a U.S. perspective, things weren’t so bright going forward. In the 23rd minute, Altidore, our go-to forward with a strong physical presence, pulled up with a bad hamstring. For the remainder of the game, Ghana dominated possession and shots.  I felt like it was only a matter of time before they tied it up, and they did in the 82nd minute.  At this point, I was just hoping we wouldn’t end up with a defeat.  We looked inferior. But football is a funny game, and the better side does not always prevail.  John Brooks, a late substitution, scored a late header to put the U.S. ahead of Ghana 2-1, which was the final result.

Match Stats:

GHANA Team USA
1 Goals 2
21 (8) Shots (on Target) 8 (7)
60% Possession 40%

USA will play Portugal in a few hours. If US wins, they advance and Portugal is eliminated. If not, US will have to get a positive result against Germany in their final group stage match.  Germany tied Ghana 2-2 in their second group match, and has looked strong in their first 2 matches, so I feel as if U.S. needs at least a tie here.  I hope Bradley has a better game and Howard will continue to perform as a great goalie. Altidore will be out, and it will be interesting to see who replaces him – Wondolowski, Johannson, Zusi?

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How Yellow and Red Cards work in 2014 World Cup

villayellowcard

I tried to find something from the official FIFA website for the 2014 World Cup and cards, but the best explanation I could find was here:  http://www.socceramerica.com/article/38551/new-yellow-card-rule-good-for-the-game.html

2 Yellow cards in a game = immediate suspension from the remainder of the current game and automatic one game suspension in the following game
1 Red card = immediate removal from current game, automatic one game suspension in the following game, and review for possibly more games depending on the severity of the foul

There is one point in the World Cup tournament where all Yellow Cards are “wiped off” and everybody again has a clean slate.  Before 2010, this happened following the group stage, the first 3 games.  For the 2010/2014 WC and going forward, this happens after the quarterfinals round.   The reason for the change is Yellow cards in the semi-final games will no longer cause a player to miss the championship games.   Previously, a player could get a yellow in the knockout round, a yellow in the semis, and then have to miss out in the final.  This was the case in 2002 when Michael Ballack, many considered Germany’s best player, was forced to sit out in the Championship game b/c of a yellow card in the semi-finals.

A player must now go 5 games without being carded 2 times to avoid being banned a game, whereas previously it was 3.  By moving the “clean state” period to a later stage in the tournament, everyone without a red card will be able to play in the final, but it also means anybody with a yellow card must play cautiously through the first 5 games of the tournament.

I do think it encourages more goals, especially through the first period of the tournament, but I also think physical defending may not be as present b/c of players fearful of racking up cards.   Yellow cards are given nearly every game to at least one player on each side.   To go 5 games without 2 for a physical defender can be a lot to ask.  Yellow cards are given frequently enough that I’ve even thought having yellow cards wiped clean after every match would be about right..

The 2006 Cup in Germany saw the most cards ever with 345 yellows and 28 reds in 64 matches, averaging nearly 6 cards per game.

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2014 World Cup Coverage by ESPN, 2018 and 2022 Cups to be by FOX

I thought it was worth noting ESPN no longer has rights to World Cup coverage after 2014.  ESPN has covered the event the last 6 times, meaning since 1990 since the Cup is held every 4 years.  FOX will take over coverage for at least the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cups.  Apparently a blind auction took place, and ESPN was outbid.  According to Fortune, the auction was worth $425 M, 4 times as much as the $100 M ESPN shelled out to cover the 2006 and 2010 Cups.  FOX hopes its new sports exclusive channel FOX Sports 1 will compete with ESPN.

Univision is also losing its rights as they were outbid by Telemundo for the 2018 and 2022 cups.  Univision paid $325 M for the 2006/2010 Cups, and Telemundo upped that to $600 M for the 2018/2022 Cups.

A few stats regarding soccer and sports viewership in the U.S.:

  • The 2010 World Cup viewership was the most ever, averaging a 2.1 rating (2.29 million households and 3.26 million viewers), a 31% rise from 2006.
  • 15.9 million watched USA play Ghana Monday night between ESPN and Univision.
  • This crushed the viewership of the NHL Finals Game on Friday (~6 million) and competed with the NBA Final Game on Sunday (17.9 million).
  • 24.7 million watched the World Cup Final on Univision/ESPN in 2010.
  • This is still a long ways from the NFL, which touted 111.5 million viewers for the last Super Bowl.

I will be curious what the viewership for this World Cup Final will be.  I expect much larger.  Regardless, the stats are there — futbol is growing in America, and I like that.  A lot more money for TV coverage, and a lot more viewers.

The last point I wanted to make here is the high bar ESPN has set for World Cup coverage this year.  There are 64 total matches over a one-month period in 12 different stadiums.  ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC are covering every single one of them in high definition, with ABC covering 10.   They also have 6 different pairs of commentators (6 play by play, 6 analysts), with certain analysts always paired together to call for the England, USA, and Mexico games.   I think this is very important for the viewing experience as I enjoy listening to an Englishman analyzing a England game, an American a USA game, or a Venezuelan a Mexico game.

Finally, ESPN is providing the coverage on their WatchESPN app, which means if you have a cable provider, you can watch any of the games and their replays over the internet on your computer, phone, or tablet.  It’s what I’ve been using, and it’s been playing high definition quality on my computer with no problem.  It is awesome to me how much dedication and resources ESPN has put into this Cup.

And to be honest, this is why I’m a bit disappointed that ESPN lost future cups on a blind auction.  I don’t understand why there wasn’t negotiating involved.  It makes me weary that once the baton is passed, the standards won’t be as high.

It will be up to FOX to prove that.  I hope they will at least be on par with ESPN with their dedication, wide coverage, access to all, high technology, and expert commentary/analysis.  I fear it could be different…such as charging to have access to stream the games, not covering every game, or not having the all-star commentary that ESPN has brought in this year.  FOX has began using Gus Johnson as a play-by-play guy for some soccer matches on their network, apparently prepping him to be the go-to guy for future World Cups as Ian Darke has been for ESPN.  I really enjoyed listening to Gus commentate during March Madness and College Basketball.  He has a great voice, and his passion for the game comes through his voice.  But when I first heard him talk during a soccer match, it was different.  He doesn’t know the game as well, and it was awkward at times.  There were stretches of him being quiet, and since he’s just recently learned the sport, it seemed he wasn’t even familiar with all the rules.  It seems like a bold idea by FOX, to throw someone with no background of the sport to the forefront of calling the biggest soccer matches in the world, but its 4 years away, and we’ll see how it unfolds.

All I’m saying is — FOX, you’ve got a high bar to live up to.  And ESPN — Thank you for the awesome coverage this year.

 

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Nokia Lumia 925 (Windows 8 Phone) Revisited

So I’ve had the phone for about a month and a half now, and since I’m more familiar with it now, I thought I’d write my thoughts on what still stands out to me about it.

Coming from an Android phone, I have to say (unfortunately) that Windows is still behind Android.  If I could trade my phone in for the Galaxy S4 at this point, I would, but it’s too late for that now.  I would advise anyone with Android over Windows at this point.  I can’t speak on the IPhone b/c I’ve never owned one.  Windows simply doesn’t have as many customizable options, and the system is just lacking and not as intuitive as Android at this point.

This is what I mean:

  • The battery status doesn’t update.  I completely charge my phone, but the meter will read 70% or 80%.  I have to turn my phone off before it will read correctly again.  This is a big deal for me b/c I want to know my true battery life, and it being off by 20-30% is not a small difference.  Just a bad operating system.
  • I’m not sure if it’s something about the reception with this phone or what, but I’ve had more failed text with this phone in the last month and a half than I usually did with the Android I had.  I live 30 miles from Dallas and in a highly populated suburb, so reception should not be a problem, but sometimes I’ll send a text 5 to 10 times in a row and it still doesn’t send.  I’ve realized that I can either wait 10 minutes or so and re-send, or usually turning my phone off, then on again will get the next text sent, both of which are a major inconvenience.  Are you listening Windows? I paid 500 bucks for this phone, and it can’t text as well as my $150 phone from almost 3 years ago!
  • To expound the problem of the failed text–notification of a failed text is sent through an entirely new text message thread instead of within the current one, and it only provides the phone number of the failed message, not the contact.  You’re not able to just hold the message and “resend” as in Android.  Again, a major inconvenience.
  • For GPS Navigation (Here Plus), you’re not able to see the next turn or exit you’ll need to take.  Instead, it only shows the road you’re currently on, and you must rely on the voice to tell you when to turn.  There is no screen for you to look at that gives you a list of turns you’ll be taking at which roads.  Inferior to android.
  • Not able to disable haptic feedback.  I don’t need it, and it uses extra battery.  Android had a way to turn it off.
  • At first, I liked the little square Icons and how you could customize them.  I still like how you can customize the color, but after some time with the phone, the squares seem over-simplified to me now.  In android, the icons were more distinguishable from each other–these all seem to blend in together with the same color, shape, and size, so that finding an app can take a second longer than with Android. 

But, it’s not all bad.  Here are a few good things about the phone:

  • It has a solid, good look.  Aluminum casing, black front, white back.  Looks slick.
  • There’s a camera button on the side of the phone.  That’s a feature many phones don’t have.
  • That camera is very good, which was part of what sold me on the phone.  I’ve had some good shots with it.
  • The predictive text bar it uses when typing texts or anything else is very efficient, and easier for me to use than swype was.
  • There is an app called OneNote that’s a sort of notepad for writing down notes or checklists or anything, and it’s a nice little app.
  • Easy to save pictures, etc. on the Cloud so you can access them on a PC without having to send them via e-mail or connecting your phone with a wire.

All in all, in my opinion, don’t get a Windows phone.

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Game 163, Tampa Bay 5, Texas 2

As a Rangers fan, the season is officially over.  It’s a tough one to swallow, b/c even though it’s practically a “playoff game”, it’s only one game instead of a series, so it’s only one pitcher instead of more of your rotation.

The Rays beat the Rangers 5-2 tonight.  It was a close game–the Rays did not score the 5th run until the top of the 9th.

  • Longoria came up huge with a 2 run HR (2 RBI), a double, a single, and 2 runs scored.
  • David Price, even though coming in with a record of 1-7 against Texas, grinded through the entire game, going the full 9 innings and giving up 2 ER.  His command was off at times and he gave up 7 hits, but he was effective enough.
  • Martin Perez, on the other hand gave up 3 ER in 5 1/3 innings.  The homer by Longoria was killer b/c there were 2 outs, and it wasn’t a bad pitch either.  Not a bad outing by Perez, you would want better from him in this type of game.

Cruz came back tonight after a 50 game suspension, and the crowd went crazy for him with the “Cruuuuuz” chant as well as “Nellie, Nellie, Nellie”.  It was pretty cool seeing such a warm welcome for him.  Unfortunately, though, he went 0 for 4 on the night.

One thing I did like — Longoria said in an interview after the game that he savored beating Texas with Texas beating them in the postseason in 2010 and 2011, and he talked about how hard it was to play in Texas against the Rangers.  Props to him; you don’t hear the players give credit to the opposing team or fans like that much.  I have a higher respect for him after that comment.  David Price, on the other hand….well, he was jawing throughout his entire performance.  It was a gem of an outing for him, but I don’t like seeing a player’s mouth run that much.

The Rays now play in the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday night in Cleveland for a spot to take on the Red Sox.  The Reds play in Pittsburgh tmrw night for the NL Wild Card for the spot to play the Cardinals.

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2013 MLB Standings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
East W L GB
Boston 97 65 -
Tampa Bay 92 71 6
Baltimore 85 77 12
NY Yankees 85 77 12
Toronto 74 88 23
Central W L GB
Detroit 93 69 -
w-Cleveland 92 70 1
Kansas City 86 76 7
Minnesota 66 96 27
Chi White Sox 63 99 30
West W L GB
Oakland 96 66 -
Texas 91 72 5
LA Angels 78 84 18
Seattle 71 91 25
Houston 51 111 45
NATIONAL LEAGUE
East W L GB
Atlanta 96 66 -
Washington 86 76 10
NY Mets 74 88 22
Philadelphia 73 89 23
Miami 62 100 34
Central W L GB
St. Louis 97 65 -
w-Pittsburgh 94 68 3
w-Cincinnati 90 72 7
Milwaukee 74 88 23
Chi Cubs 66 96 31
West W L GB
LA Dodgers 92 70 -
Arizona 81 81 11
San Diego 76 86 16
San Francisco 76 86 16
Colorado 74 88 18
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Rangers Win Game 162, go to 163

Well, in a 162 game season, it came down to the last one to decide with 2 American League Wild Card spots — and it still hasn’t been decided.  Cleveland has clinched the top Wild Card spot with a record of 92-70.  Texas and Tampa Bay are tied for the second Wild Card spot, each one game behind Cleveland with records of 91-71.

It’s amazing how this came about; this last week and a half all 3 teams have been exceptionally hot.  Cleveland ended their season on a 10 game winning streak, Texas ended theirs on a 7 game winning streak, and Tampa Bay ended theirs by winning 8 of their last 10, but losing 2 of their last 3.  They also narrowly won today, winning 7-6, and getting out of a bases loaded, 1 out jam in the bottom of the 7th with a crucial double play.

Texas also took care of business today, beating the Angels 6-2.  Yu Darvish pitched 5 2/3 innings, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 4 hits.  He was having some command issues, and his pace seemed was getting slow at the end of his outing.  I thought it was a tough call for Wash to pull him in the 5th and 84 pitches, but also thought it was the right call.  Cotts came in and gave up a hit, but got the next out after that.

Adrian Beltre came running home limping on one play, grabbing his hamstring.  He stayed in the game, and later hit a home run, but that will be something to watch in the remaining games.

Leonys Martin bunted a ball badly for a sacrifice,  and started and watched the ball as it stayed fair.  The catcher picked up the ball off of the plate, threw to 2nd, and they proceeded to first for the double play.  It really made me sick, seeing Martin just gaze at the ball instead of running the play out.  Why don’t you watch Genrtry, Martin? He doesn’t pull crap like that..

The bullpen for Texas has been rock solid this season.  There’s been a lack of run support, and starting pitching has been solid, but — not as consistently good as the bullpen.  Cotts (7th inning), Scheppers (8th inning), and Nathan (9th inning) all have an ERA of under 2.  So if the starter goes 6, you feel pretty comfortable as a Rangers’ fan.  There’s also so weapons like Ross and Frasor who aren’t doing too bad themselves.

The Rangers finished 14-4 versus the Angels, and had to sweep them in the last series this season to make the playoffs, which they did.  Also had to beat CJ Wilson in one of those games, who gave up a run by hitting a batter, and on the following batter threw a wild pitch which scored another run.  Pretty sweet stuff.  The Angels came up flat as the true rival I expected this season.

The Rangers fans were chanting “Baseball-Town” in the bottom of the 8th after Soto blasted the second solo homer of the inning over Hamilton to give the Rangers a 6-2 lead.  I loved it.  He got that quote shoved right back in his face.  More people in Dallas may prefer football (not me!), but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Dallas has a huge baseball following.  After he flied out in the top of the 9th, he gave a sarcastic tip of the hat to the Rangers’ fans.  Guess he couldn’t help himself.  Guess the boos will keep coming after that too..

Ernesto Frieri, the Angels’ closer.  Wow.  He has had a nightmarish time with the Rangers.  He’s given up 11 homers the whole season, but 6 of those 11 are against the Rangers.  He’s given up 10 ER in 6 2/3 innings against them (13.5 ERA).  He’s 37 of 41 in saves, but 2 of the 4 saves he’s blown have been against the Rangers, and 2 of his 4 losses this season are against the Rangers. Whew…if it wasn’t for the Rangers, his ERA would go from 3.8 down to 2.76.

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Rivera Retires

rivera, last game

http://wapc.mlb.com/nyy/play/?tcid=mm_nyy_vid&c_id=nyy&content_id=30965689

It was a touching moment, Rivera’s final game at Yankee Stadium, where he came in and was removed in the 9th by long-time teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite.  Even though the Yanks had no playoff hopes, Yankee Stadium was packed, and they roared as he tipped his hat.  The opposing team also gave him a standing O.  He grasped both Pettite and Jeter and had a hard time letting go.  After giving everyone in the dugout a hug, he heard the crowd roaring “We Want Mo!”, and he obliged with one last tip of his cap on the field.  What an incredible moment.  The legacy that he built, the number of people he’s loved by.  What a player, what a man.  That was a great moment for baseball.

But he meant more than that to me.  His attitude.  He was never flashy.  No showboating.  He was competitive, but always in control of himself.  It says alot that Boston gave him a standing ovation in his last appearance there as well.  He will be missed.  He is a classic.  Epic.  Legendary.  He always came out of the bullpen to the “Enter Sandman” song by Metallica.
Rivera was a 5 time World Series Champ (’96, 1998-2000, 2009) and a 13 time All-Star.  He had 42 saves and a .70 ERA in the postseason, and finished with the most saves all time with 652 saves, a 2.21 ERA, 1173 K’s in 1283.2 Innings Pitched.

The Yankees missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years this year.  They had the highest opening day payroll of $230 million dollars.  With the retiring of Pettite and Mariano, Jeter aged at 39, A-Rod involved in a likely suspension and aged at 38, and Robinson Cano becoming a free-agent next year, I see some tough years ahead for them.  I loved Mariano, but facing him when he was playing your team was like you were already watching a loss.

Thank you Mo, thank you Mo

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