Playing with house money

BaseballIt seems that those preseason predictions mean there is no pressure now, the Yankees are outperforming all expectations:

4th in the AL East per bleacher report [link]

5th in the AL East per CBS [link]

4th in the AL East per SB Nation [link]

4th in the AL East per 538 [link]

4th in the AL East per USA Today [link]

4th in the AL East per Sports Illustrated [link]

3rd (tie) in the AL East per Fangraphs [link]

And “The Yankees’ rotation will flounder: And being both unable and unwilling to land a top-flight starter via trade, the prodigious Yankees offense is wasted as New York hangs around .500 all year. (As do the Oakland A’s, which tells you everything you need to know about the Yanks’ campaign.)” per FOX Sports [link]

2-2!

Who would have thought?

Pris went to Game 3, and saw Tanaka, Robertson, and Chapman pitch a shutout and Judge steal a home run from Lindor.  And Bird hit one out!

2017 ALDS_Page_4-001

Game 4 was exciting in a different way, with Severino finally calm (and yet not too calm) and the bats alive again:

2017 ALDS_Page_1-001

On to Game 5!

R!-town

The-Real-Town-Murders-by-Adam-RobertsAdam Roberts’ new novel The Real-Town Murders (2017) is more like the author’s Jack Glass (2012) than The Thing Itself (2015), in that it is plot-driven and accessible rather than idea-driven and deep. Roberts entertains with insight and ironic disapproval,* producing a very enjoyable blend of SF and whodunit, with most of the social commentary safely hidden under the hood.

Recommended.

*”And the government departments are still there, of course, because that’s how the inertia of history works. They still have legally mandated and budget-supported real power. So they mostly use that power in a series of jockeyings for position.”

No ado

eclipseIt is nice that Annie Dillard’s essay has gotten some new “airtime”:

“It began with no ado. It was odd that such a well advertised public event should have no starting gun, no overture, no introductory speaker. I should have known right then that I was out of my depth. Without pause or preamble, silent as orbits, a piece of the sun went away. We looked at it through welders’ goggles. A piece of the sun was missing; in its place we saw empty sky.”

Annie Dillard, “Total Eclipse” The Atlantic (1982, republished 2017) [link].

RLW 1947-2017

Robert Wears was my friend.

I am sorry, I know most of you called him “Bob,” but I met him through his wife Diane, and to me he was always “Robert.” With my wife Katherine, we four were members of a book club for the last 20-plus years. We have met more or less monthly, and read well over 200 books together.

I did not know him in his professional life, I was not a member of his family, we shared no school ties, we did not go to the same church. I interacted with him medically only once, and in that moment, as he visited me in the hospital before my abdominal surgery, he gave me permission and I threw up on him. Continue reading RLW 1947-2017