crazy colored glasses

Monday, April 30, 2007

Torre on the Firing Line... WHAT

I was going thru my morning ESPN reading, and havent realized that the local papers have all been abuzz over the fact that Joe Torre is on the firing line because of the Yankees slow start. I don't generally read the local papers because of the overly critical nature of the local press. Also, we had just come back from San Diego so I hadn't realized the big to do.

Now yes, the Yankees are off to a ridiculous start. They've lost 8 out of their last 9 games, and when your payroll is $195 million that to some is unacceeptable. Do people forget that the Yankees were 11-19 after 30 games last year. Also, when Chase Wright, Jeff Karstens, Darrel Rasner, Philip Hughes and Kei Igawa are getting key starts, you have to realize that injuries are a problem in the rotation and that has a trickle down effect. Very green starters are making starts and not making it deep into games which causes a young but talented bullpen to pitch more innings than any manager would like.

Yankee starters are averaging less than 5 innings a game. Is it Torre's fault that the old pitching staff that Yankee brass has assembled has broken down. Short of Chien Ming Wang (who has yet to pitch well) the other starters are all in their 30's. Pettitte started the season hurt, but has since pitched well. Pavano is now hurt and has been a huge waste of a contract since he was signed 2 years ago. Mussina has yet to pitch. Once these guys get healthy (short of Pavano, who I hope never pitches for the Yanks again) the Yankees will be better. They will get the consistent pitching that a veteran staff gives. This team will be playing much better in May than they have in April.

I also think they should continue to leave Philip Hughes in the rotation. This kid is the future of that pitching staff. At 20 he looked nervous in his first start, but he showed great stuff. I'd be excited to see how the season develops with him in the back end of the rotation. I mean seriously, how much would it hurt to have a 20 year old fireballer at the back end of the rotation. He's a definite upgrade over Wright, Karstens, Rasner and the soft tossinf Igawa (even though he pitched well Saturday versus the Sox).

The offense has been playing well (ARod has been sick even with his little mini-slump). They are working deep into counts and scoring runs. So right now the pitching is the problem. The starting pitching more to be exact. Once the starting pitching falls into place every thing else on the pitching end will be fine. The bullpen will be pitching less innings and be stronger. They will be more than fine.

Joe Torre has been a great Yankee manager over the last 12 seasons. He's earned the right for us all to be a little patient. He's not the GM of the team. He didnt build this old pitching staff that has broken down, but he has to deal with it. When they all get healthy the Yankees will turn this season around and go on to contend for the World Series. Everyone just needs to relax. Joe Torre should not be fired, he deserves to walk out of Yankee stadium on his own terms wth his head held high on his own terms.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Super Family Illustrations pt. 3... Wonder Woman

Finally... Completion

After getting back from a nice weekend in San Diego (although there was no hot tub) we went back to the normal Tuesday routine of going to work, leaving early to get scrappy, getting scrappy home (doing homework, cooking, giving her a bath, watching Idol, reading a bedtime story and putting her to bed), then finally sitting down, popping open a Heineken and getting to work on my long delayed Nightwing, which I want to submit to one of my favorite websites for review.

I'll post about Nightwing tomorrow, but wanted to first post about the completeion of the super family. As I started the piece, I realized I had never, ever drawn Wonder Woman (at least that I could remember). So not only was this the completion of the Super Family , but it was a monumental first ever WW drawing. I probably should have tried something a little easier than a classic Wonder Woman cover from Identity Crisis, but I liked the look of it and thought it would fit perfectly with the other two family images. Plus, it fit the criteria of being a Michael Turner cover.

It took about about an hour to do the pencils, and then about 3-4 hours to do all the inking and shading. All in all I think its one of the best ever pieces I've done. The black background really amped up the drama of the illustration. Then going back in and adding additional shading with pencil helped add some depth to the piece. Truly one of the best pieces of my life.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Team Scrub

I purchased the new MLB game for the PS2 when the season started. Graphics, Audio, Stat keeping and gameplay are all perfect on MLB07 The Show. Its the first MLB Sony game I've ever owned. I was also very loyal to the EA Sports games, so when they lost the MLB contract I was quite sad and knew I would have to find a new MLB video game. After doing some research I decided on MLB 07 The Show over MLB 2K7 for the PS2 as opposed to the PSP.

Now, anyone who knows the way I like to play sports games, knows what came next. I don't like to play with my favorite team (unless we're talking Madden which I almost always play as the Cowboys) which would have been the Yankees, but I like taking a team of scrubs and trying to make them competitive. One of my favorite features on past baseball games has been the expansion draft mode (very different from the fantasy draft mode which I only like in Madden) which unfortunately wasnt available in this game. So what I did was take Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview issue and decided I would make a team of players that were listed as bench players, number 5 starters, and backend relievers. I then decided that I would take this team and because I thought they would suck, I decided to put them in the most hateful of places... Boston. I would play a season with this ragtag group of backups and never has beens in awful RedSox uniforms.

Here is what the lineup generally looks like:

Rocco Baldelli - CF
Jamey Carroll- 2B
Frank Catalanatto - DH
Craig Wilson - 1B
Wily Mo Pena - RF
Eric Hinske - 3B
Melky Cabrera - LF
Mike Lieberthal - C
Chris Gomez - SS

The lineup is solid, its the bench that really sucks unfortunately... only 1 kid on the bench I think I can go to with any regularity... here it is : Matt Murton (my 1 go to), Andy Philips, Jason Philips, Marco Scutaro, Maicier Izturis

The rotation also is quite solid:

Mark Prior
Carl Pavano
Tim Wakefield
Tomo Ohka
Jaret Wright

The bullpen is:

Geoff Geary
Jimmy Gobble
Rafeal Betancourt
J. C. Romero
Scott Proctor
Kerry Wood

A strange thing has happened though, in about a month of playing with this team (yes they are still under .500) I've grown to like these loveable losers. They havent hit that well (part of the problem is I still dont run the bases well), but the pitching has been surprisingly good. I think they can finish the season over .500 and fight for the wild card spot. I dont think they can beat the Yankees, but for now, I'm okay with that. I'm enjoying playing with these nobodies.


Monday, April 16, 2007


It seems to be a problem that has plagued the comic community for years, but has been compounded in recent months.

My love for DC Comics is no secret, but they are the biggest culprits of this recently. As much as I'd love to sign on and complain about the lateness of Civil War (which I have other issues with and will get to) and all the titles that were effected, it really is a huge problem over at DC which is turning off lots of comic fans.

I mean as a Superman fan I was excited to hear that Action Comics would be written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner illustrated by Adam Kubert. The first two issues shipped on time and the story was great. So good that MS read and enjoyed as well. It was a great read, then a long delay, turned into a longer delay, turned into fill-in issues, and now the story wont even be completed in Action Comics, but in an Annual. So ridiculous.

How does the comic industry expect readers to continue to follow stories when theyve made it impossible. They have no respect for the common fan. Action Comics to me is the top example, because its an extremely important book to me and a story I was loving, but it's not the only example of a late title. Marvel's Civil War and Avengers have been late as well as the relaunch of Iron Man (Adi Granov's work was beautiful but ridiculously late), DC's Wonder Woman has been a worse culprit, but worst of all is All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder and Marvel Ultimates which are both months late. I'm all for trying to get A-list creators on books, but if they continue to be late you owe it to the fans to get the story out on time... just replace them and continue the story. The reason Batman Hush and Superman For All Seasons worked best was because they pre-worked on enough of those year long runs to get a leg up. Why isnt this more of a common practice.

DC claims they have a huge announcement about who will be taking over for Kubert on Action Comics. My money is on Mike McKone, whose work I love and who can keep up a monthly schedule. As much as I love the work of a Kubert, Jim Lee or Steve McNiven, I also like to read my books on a monthly basis. DC and Marvel should keep that in mind before they lose too many more fans.

Now, let me take a quick second to write about Civil War. I hated it. Another in the line of huge Marvel disappointments (Spider-Man: The Other, Daredevil Father, Deadly Genesis, House of M) for me. I think the best moment in the whole series was Hercules destroying the Thor clone in the final issue. As a reader who supported this title, I kept waiting for a big payoff... and got Captain America stop fighting and turning himself in. WHAT!!! Thats ridiculous. Then the next week Captain America getting shot in his own title and dying (which I don't believe he is dead, and am sure he'll be back in like 2 years when a Captain America movie will be released and Marvel will return him). Cap's "death" should have been handled in Civil War and not in the singular Captain title. In the same month Spider-Man goes back to his black costume (to put him more inline with how he looks in the movie). To have outside influences dictate what is happening in the comic is absurd. Its almost like in some boardroom a decision was made that Spider-Man had to be in the black costume because Tobey is in the black costume in the movie, as well as the Sandman being involved in Uncle Ben's death (oh... look at Peter David's Spider-Man were lo-and-behold the Sandmans dad is involved in the shooting of Ben Parker... hmmm I wonder how that happened). I hate what has happened in Marvel comics.

With the death of Captain America (besides Daredevil and the Hulk), there is no top-tier Marvel comic. It's sad really that so many characters I loved are now being mistreated. Marvel needs to take a closer look at a story like 52 and see what a company wide event looks like, and how death and major events should be treated. Create a full complete universe, similar to what DC has done. Kudos to DC yet again.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Super Family Illustrations pt. 2... Supergirl

So after taking a few weeks off (MS had no class last Tuesday, and I was just lazy the week before), I finally got back to drawing the rest of the Super Family. After consulting with MS about the changes that needed to happen to Scrappy-fy Kara Zor-El (no bare midrif, dark hair) I finally put the pencil and the Sharpie to the comic board.

What I ended up with was a different looking Supergirl than what currently runs, but one that fits in more with our family. She still has the same wide eyed wonderment that makes her a great character... I've just removed a bit of the Britney.

Next week comes the daunting task of drawing Wonder Woman from the cover of Identity Crisis... very heavy blacks, very moody piece. Looking forward to adding her to the collection. Having her done will mean the family is complete, and ready to be framed and placed above Tiny.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

One Shining Moment...

Anyone who is a college basketball fan patiently waits up till the end of the championship game to see the little montage CBS has created for this years tournament. (No offense to the late Luther Vandross, but I really wish CBS would go back to the original I believe sang by Teddy Pendagrass. It for me was more classic, but I'm sure I'm in the minority there.)

Except this year the tournament really lacked drama (and I'm not just saying that because my upset filled pre-tournament bracket was basically irrelevant by the second weekend.), very few upsets, the top seeds dominated, and the team that entered the tournament as the highest seed (defending champion Florida) went on to win it all. There were some great individual games VCU-Duke (damn you Duke), Georgetown-Vandebilt, Georgetown-UNC, Ohio St-Xavier to name a few... but for me the tournament all in all was just a little flat. That could just be that March Madness meant something different to me this year.

Running between my office, the bank and Tiffany's really gave new meaning to the term March Madness. My "One Shining Moment" came a little earlier in March and had nothing to do with the tournament. I asked the love of my life to be my wife (and she said yes).

I think most people have a hard time realizing how the back of yellow taxi would be an appropriate place to ask the love of your life to spend the rest of your life with you... but it was very us. It was in the back of a yellow taxi where I came to the realization that I did want to spend the rest of my life without her. Most of our early dates ended with me dropping her off home (or around the corner) in a yellow taxi... it was then that I realized how much I loved her, and how I couldnt spend the rest of my life without her. So sitting in the back of a yellow taxi with a ring in my bag, the time felt right.

I love you baby... I can't wait till the day I get to call you my wife.

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