“They didn’t even need me tonight”

AP Photo/Dave Weaver

What do you do when a team you didn’t care about 5 months ago is playing for a national championship? You write a running diary of course! Read on, after the break.

A brave new world

Since free agency began in 1976, much has been made of small-market teams’ inability to compete with teams from large markets. In 1977, for example, perhaps the earliest case of a high profile free agent came along in Reggie Jackson. The Yankees were far from the only team able to afford him, but nonetheless Jackson signed what was at the time one of the largest contracts in the game: almost $3 million over five years. Backed by the new owner George Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ payroll exploded to over $60 million by 1997, and to $209 million by 2005.

To infinity, and beyond…again…and again!

At some point, Pixar is going to make a bad movie. I mean, it has to happen at some point, right?

Right?

Note: I don’t think I give anything away, but consider this a general warning that I will be talking about Toy Story 3 in the paragraphs that follow.

“Rick Monday…you made a great play”

Today is Flag Day, perhaps the least remembered of the U.S. Patriotic holidays. June 14th is when the school year is over, the summer is just beginning, so it’s not surprising that for many people, June 14th is just a normal day.

We’re obviously not celebrating a piece of fabric; we’re celebrating what it means. The flag is a symbol of freedom, sacrifice, and honor, and represents the best our country can be.

Welcome to the jungle

Since Big Prize Giveaways took off in September/October of last year, we’ve been almost exclusively developing Facebook applications of some sort, whether they’re for Page tabs, canvas pages or external Connect “Login with Facebook”-enabled sites.

The platform has changed; almost to the point where it’s completely different today than it was just 9 months ago. In today’s landscape, changes to web services and APIs are inevitable: first versions are designed and implemented hastily, with newer versions having better organization and technology. Normally, changes like these are announced, with timelines, transition plans, and, if all goes well, overall improvement to the service. After all, the point is to make things better for developers using your service, right?

The day the world changed

66 years ago today, the world was completely different. It was no longer a certainty that the entire world would be a part of Hitler’s Third Reich, but with German researchers furiously working towards an atomic bomb and the V2 rocket, it wasn’t out of the question either. But on this date, in 1944, The United States and her Allies set about retaking Europe. This was the message General Dwight D. Eisenhower passed on to our soldiers as they were about to invade Normandy.

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

– Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (source)

Perhaps the most important words on the world’s most important day of the 20th century. Just thought it was worth reflecting on today.

“The best ballpark in America”

This past Memorial Day, after more than a year-long hiatus, I resumed my quest to visit every ballpark in America in Pittsburgh. PNC Park, home of the Pirates, has gotten rave reviews by everyone who’s been there, my dad grew up a Pirates fan, and my parents live a mere three hours from the stadium. A visit was long overdue.

PNC Park claims throughout the park and on its website that it is “the best ballpark in America.” Does it live up to its billing? In a word, yes. Read on for the details.