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.

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.

2013 MLB Standings

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
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

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.

Rivera Retires

rivera, last game

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

Los Angeles Angels 2013 Brief

Wanted to make a few notes about the Angels.  Not much of a rival this year:

  • 2013 Record:  78-84
  • Opening Day Salary:  $127,896,250 (7th in Major Leagues.  Texas is 10th, at $112,939,500)
  • Mike Scioscia has a 10 yr, $50 M contract (2009-2018), which is unusually long and high for a manager contract.
  • Josh Hamilton (32 years old):  5 yrs, $125 M ($25 M/yr, 2013-2017).  2013 Stats:  .250 AVG, .307 OBP, .432 SLG, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 158 SO.
  • Albert Pujols (33 years old):  10 yrs, $240 M ($24 M/yr, 2012-2021).  2013 Stats:  99 GP, .258 AGV, 17 HR, 64 RBI
  • C.J. Wilson in his career versus the Rangers is 0-2 with a 7.65 ERA in 5 games, and an OPP BA of .333.
  • Mike Trout is the diamond in the rough.  In his sophomore year, hit .323, OBP of .432, had 110 walks, 27 HR, 97 RBI, and 33 SB.  That’s exceptional.

I expected Pujols to be a force when he signed with the Angels, but he has played bad and he’s been slowed by injuries.  The Angels invested heavily in him, and signed him until he’s 42.  I don’t understand a contract of that length.  Ten years is extremely risky.  Has A-Rod’s been worth it?

Postseason Scenario

The A’s have clinched the West.
The Rangers have still not won a series since my last post.  They have lost 6 of their last 7 series, and split the other.  Wow.  In September, they are 5-15, have been shutout 3 times (twice in Arlington), and have 6 games where they have only scored 1 or 2 runs.  Yikes.  Run support.  It was pretty cool seeing Kansas City stadium roaring with fan support in this last series.  Unfortunately, had to watch them doing it against the Rangers.

So, there is one week of the regular season left.  Here’s where we stand:
A’s clinched West.
Boston clinched East.
Detroit – Magic Number is 2 to clinch Central.
Atlanta clinched East.
Dodgers clinched West.
The only real race — AL Central, 3 way race between St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.  St. Louis currently has a 2 game lead over the other 2 teams.

So, the AL Wild Card:

Team W L WCGB Games Left Opponents Left
Tampa Bay 86 69 +.5 7 1 vs. BAL, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ TOR
Cleveland 86 70 0 6 2 vs CHW, 4 @ MIN
Texas 84 71 1.5 7 3 vs. HOU, 4 vs. LAA

Well, for a Ranger’s fan, playing Houston at home is a plus.  With all respect to the Astros, if we don’t win that series, we don’t deserve to be in the postseason.  Then again, Houston and LA would like nothing more than to come to our house and bust up our hopes of making the playoffs.

All coming down to the wire.  Only one more week of baseball, and we’ll finally have the postseason picture.