5’s All Around

On the back of 5 solo home runs, the White Sox and Dallas Keuchel took down Trevor Bauer and the Reds 5-0 to reduce their magic number to clinch the Central Division to, you guessed it, 5.  Meanwhile, on the north side, the Twins have a 7-1 lead over the Cubs heading into the bottom of the 7th, so it doesn’t look like we will be getting any additional help there tonight.

In other news, Tim Anderson raised his batting average up to .366 and trails DJ LeMahieu by .001 points for the league lead.

RIP Tom Terrific

Former White Sox pitcher and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver passed away Monday at the age of 75.  Seaver won 311 games, had a 2.86 earned-run average and struck out 3,640 batters over a 20-year career that began in 1967.  The 12-time All-Star led the National League in wins three times, ERA three times and strikeouts five times.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992, earning 98.8 percent of the vote, the highest voting percentage ever received at the time.

Seaver joined the White Sox at the end of his career, acquired in the free agent compensation draft in 1984.  He quickly made his mark on the south side, earning two wins in the same day by pitching the final inning of a suspended, 25 inning contest from the day before and then starting the regularly scheduled game against the Brewers.  On August 4, 1985, Seaver threw a complete game to earn his 300th career victory against the Yankees in New York.

Seaver is survived by his wife Nancy and daughters Sarah and Anne.

Post Mortem – Criminal Minds

Premiering on CBS on September 22, 2005, Criminal Minds ran for 324 episodes over 15 seasons, wrapping up its run in February with a 2 hour finale.  16 different agents served with the BAU over that time, with Matthew Gray Gubler’s Spencer Reid being the only constant for all 15 seasons.  The show somehow also managed to outlast both of its spinoffs.

The show had obviously run its course, but I’m still kind of sad to see it go.  15 years is a long time and I’m not sure there will be much coming to replace it on my schedule.

Opting Out

The White Sox announced tonight that pitcher Michael Kopech, who had yet to report to camp due to personal issues, has decided to opt out of the 2020 season.  Kopech, who missed the 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, will not accrue service time and will not be paid for the season.  Assuming the 2021 season starts on time, opening day will be 939 days since his last outing in September of 2018,

Kopech becomes the first Chicago player to opt out and the first major league player to opt out for whom the missed service time would make a discernible difference.  I doubt he will be the last.

Play Ball

After weeks of corona virus related delays and petty bickering back and forth with the MLB Player’s Association, MLB owners voted last night to proceed with an abbreviated 2020 season under the terms of their March 26th agreement.  The agreement gives Commissioner Rob Manfred the power to implement a schedule that will likely be between 50 – 60 games.  Because the two sides could not come to an agreement, none of the proposed changes (universal DH, expanded playoffs, uniform ads, extra innings nonsense) can be implemented.

The next step is for the MLBPA to determine if players can report for a second “spring” training starting on July 1 and to agree on the health and safety protocols.  Following that, a strange season will unfold starting in late July and grievances will be filed, followed by another winter of sanctimonious arguing leading in to a labor war that will engulf the 2021 season, the final season of the current CBA and will likely lead to the sport’s first work stoppage since the disastrous 1994 strike.  What a time to be a fan.

Post Mortem – Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, the latest comedy from Mike Judge, wrapped up its 6 season run in December.  Premiering on HBO in 2014, the show centered on a startup that, for every step forward they took, ended up taking two steps back.  The last season saw them finally master their algorithm and the path to making it profitable, but found out that releasing it would destroy the concept of privacy and the online world as we know it.

Most of the crew, save the ostracized T.J. Miller, who was booted off in season 4, should continue to find good work that will entertain us for years to come.  Zach Woods has already appeared on HBO’s Avenue 5 and Kumail Nanjiani has found himself cast in The Eternals, part of the next wave of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Corona Update

The CDC issued a guidance on Sunday that any in-person events that consist of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed for the next 8 weeks.  Assuming the need to re-prepare for a season following a 2 month layoff, that means that the 2020 baseball season is unlikely to begin before June, with some rumors saying things wouldn’t get started until July.  This would put the kibosh on my west coast trip in mid-May to see the White Sox battle the Giants and the Padres.

In more local news, schools, restaurants, and bars have been closed throughout Illinois for the remainder of the month, after revelers disregarded warnings to stay home and packed bars on Saturday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Plus, I’ll be working from home until further notice, after a call on Sunday night to not come in.

The Decade In Exercise

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade. Today, we finish off the series with exercise, specifically my step performance between 2010 and 2019. I started tracking my daily step totals in July of 2011, thanks to a program at work that ““encourages you to track your steps and help you to focus on your fitness in a simple and accessible way.”  The GlobalFit Destination: You program lasted until late January, 2015.  At the point, I had enough invested that I wanted to continue, so, after looking at a couple of options, I purchased my first Fitbit as a replacement option.  The rest of the decade used one of 4 Fitbits I’ve had (with the most recent coming this past Christmas), giving me about 8 1/2 years of data for the decade.

In just over 3 1/2 years on the GlobalFit program, I finished with 6,511,500 steps.  This estimates out to about 35,197 steps per week, or 5028 steps per day.  My best day came during a 2013 trip to Disney World, where excursions to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended with 24,988 steps.  I finished with 45 days over 10,000 steps, 4 days over 15,000 steps, and 2 days over 20,000 steps.  Over the last year and a half, my highest weekly total was 60,216, thanks to a trip to southern California in 2014, and my lowest total was a mere 15,800, thanks to a long Christmas vacation that caused me to lose data before I could check back in at work.



For the nearly 5 years remaining in the decade, I put up 13,041,430 steps tracked with a Fitbit.  That averages out to roughly 2.6 million steps per year, or 50,159 steps per week, or 7165 steps per day, over a 2000 step increase over the GlobalFit program.  My best day came during a 2018 trip to New York, where the day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and, finally, the Empire State Building.  I finished with 216 days over 10,000 steps, 36 days over 15,000 steps, and 11 days over 20,000 steps.  My highest weekly total was 105,924, thanks to a trip to Washington DC last summer, and my lowest total was a mere 18,510, which really only consisted of 3 days as I switched over from GlobalFit to Fitbit.

Overall, I logged 19,552,930 steps in the 8 1/2 years I was keeping track, with 261 days over 10,000 steps, 40 days over 15,000, and 13 days over 20,000.  I completed 2 BTN 5Ks, 4 Sprint & Strides, 1 hike up a mountain, and numerous trips to foreign countries, amusement parks, and tourist destinations.  My highest step total by locations were: Continue reading →