Thursday, August 25, 2011

MLB Standing Predctions

Well, we're winding down on the 2011 season. This season is fairly unsurprising in terms of who seems to be a playoff team vs. the teams who are going to be left out in the dust (with the exception of the Diamondbacks who I don't think anyone had going to the playoffs heading into the season). With about 30 - 35 games left in the season, I thought I'd give me predictions for the final standings of the season. Feel free to leave yours in the comments section. Current record is indicated in ( )


1. Boston Red Sox: 99 - 63 (79-50)
2. New York Yankees: 97 - 65 (78-50)
3. Tampa Bay Rays: 90 - 72 (70-59)
4. Toronto Blue Jays: 79 - 83 (66-63)
5. Baltimore Orioles: 66 - 96 (51-77)


1. Detroit Tigers: 87 - 75 (71-59)
2. Chicago White Sox: 80 -82 (63-65)
3. Cleveland Indians: 79-83 (63-64)
4. Kansas City Royals: 70 -92 (53-77)
5. Minnesota Twins: 66 - 96 (55 - 75)


1. Texas Rangers: 92 - 70 (74-57)
2. Los Angeles Angels: 85 - 77 ( 71-59)
3. Oakland Athletics: 79 - 83 (59-71)
4. Seattle Mariners: 71 - 91 (56-73)


1. Philadelphia Phillies: 102 - 60 (83-45)
2. Atlanta Braves: 99 - 63 (79-53)
3. New York Mets: 79 - 83 (61-68)
4. Washington Nationals: 78 - 84 (62-66)
5. Florida Marlins: 70 - 92 (58-72)


1. Milwaukee Brewers: 97 - 65 (78-54)
2. St. Louis Cardinals: 84 - 78 (67-63)
3. Cincinnati Reds: 79 - 83 (64-66)
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: 78 - 84 (61-68)
5. Chicago Cubs: 74 - 88 (57-74)
6. Houston Astros: 53 - 109 (42-88)


1. San Francisco Giants: 88 - 74 (69 - 61)
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: 84 - 78 (71-59)
3. Colorado Rockies: 78 - 84 (63-68)
4. Los Angeles Dodgers: 72 - 90 (60-69)
4. San Diego Padres: 71 - 91 (60-71)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Top 10 Albums of 1991

20 years ago there were a LOT of solid albums. In fact, when looking back at the 70s to present, I can't think of a better year for music with the exception of maybe 1994 which, while close, still falls short of 1991. It was the year that Nirvana changed the face of music (which that in itself makes it a great year of music). I've listed what I think, in my opinion, are the top albums of that year. Feel free to add your own.

10. Slint - Spiderland: Easily the most unknown album making the top 10 here, but Slint's Spiderland is often considered as revolutionary as Nirvana's Nevermind. Listening for the first time now might not evoke as much emotion as it did when it was first released in 1991, but Spiderland is a chilling record from start to finish.
Best Tracks (in order): Good Morning Captain, Breadcrumb Trail, Nosferatu Man

9. R.E.M. - Out of Time: An album that surprisingly got a lot of negative reviews from critics, Out of Time in my opinion ranks as R.E.M.'s best album besides Automatic for the People.
Best Tracks (in order): Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People, Radio Song

8. Smashing Pumpkins - Gish: The Pumpkins debut album gets a significantly less amount of attention then their follow up Siamese Dream (which had the huge hit "Today"), but Gish is a great album and an incredible debut. Not as good as Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, but a very good album nonetheless.
Best Tracks (in order): Rhinoceros, Siva, I Am One

7. Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill: There were many good rap albums released in 1991 (including Ice-T's O.G. Original Gangster and Ice Cube's Death Certificate), but the only one to make the top 10 is the best rap release of the year (and maybe the decade); Cypress Hill's self-titled album. It's remarkable how this is a debut album.
Best Tracks (in order): The Phuncky Feel One, Hand on the Pump, How I Could Just Kill a Man

6. Metallica - Metallica: Metallica's Black album was not only their most successful album, but one of the biggest albums in hard rock history. In my opinion, it's not as good as Master of Puppets, but it's the second best album in their entire catalog.
Best Tracks (in order): Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters

5. U2 - Achtung Baby: U2's One from Achtung Baby is often considered one of the best songs from the 90's, but U2's Achtung Baby is a great album as a whole. Not as good as The Joshua Tree or War, but their 3rd best album which, given their extensive catalog, is pretty impressive.
Best Tracks (in order): Mysterious Ways, One, Zoo Station

4. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik: The four studio albums RHCP released prior prior to Blood Sugar could no way anticipate people for the brilliance of this album. Although a lengthy album, it never gets tiresome to listen to and remains easily the best album RHCP has ever released.
Best Tracks (in order): Under the Bridge, Give it Away, Breaking the Girl

3. Guns 'N Roses - Use Your Illusion I: The better of the duo (Use Your Illusion I and 2). Not as good as Appetite for Destruction, but a remarkable hard rock album from of the best bands in the genre.
Best Tracks (in order): November Rain, Don't Cry, Coma

2. Pearl Jam - Ten: While Pearl Jam has many good albums in their catalog, none reaches the brilliance of Ten. Ten is a solid hard rock album from start to finish and includes a handful of Pearl Jam's best songs.
Best Tracks (in order): Black, Jeremy, Alive

1. Nirvana - Nevermind: Nirvana's Nevermind changed the face of music by bringing grunge into the mainstream. A lot of albums that are considered "life changing" tend to be slightly overrated and fail to stand the test of time, but Nirvana's Nevermind has held up and is an awesome record that is not only the best of 1991, but one of the best in history.
Best Tracks (in order): Smells Like Teen Spirit, Lithium, Come as You Are

Honorable Mention: Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hell's Kitchen Power Rankings - Season 9

EDIT: Just as Will revealed he's in the top 2, Elizabeth revealed she's in the top 6. Check out her Facebook pic (she's wearing a black jacket..only rewarded to the top 6): Same goes for Paul (no shocker there):

I don't care what anyone says, Hell's Kitchen is one of the better hows on television right now. Yes it's trashy reality TV and yes I know Breaking Bad is on television, but nothing puts a smile more on my face than hearing Chef Ramsey yell at people. Season 9 isn't one of the better seasons mainly because there aren't people like Aaron (RIP) and Raj, but this season still has plenty of good moments. There are 9 remaining chefs left and I've listed their rankings in reverse order in terms of overall performance up to this point.

9. Tommy: Tommy should have been kicked off earlier, but he has remained on the show because of some fluke good performances here and there. Jonathan is a better cook and leader than Tommy, but because Jonathan is overly emotional his time on the show ended sooner. Tommy isn't vocal, has trouble more than half of the time in the kitchen, and is annoying as fuck (this won't get him kicked off, but makes me want him off the show more). If the blue team loses he'll be off next and even if they don't lose Ramsey might give him the boot.

8. Carrie: I'd much rather see her go far on the show then Elise, but in reality Carrie is much more likely to go home earlier. Her horrible performance in the beginning has put her at an unfair disadvantage, but she's not a strong cook. She can cook well, but under pressure she fucks up pretty regularly.

7. Elizabeth: A shitty spot to be in because it means you're the last one voted off right before the black jackets come out. Elizabeth has been somewhat under the radar and once Carrie (the last of the mediocre chefs) gets voted off she'll become the weakest link. She's not a bad cook, but hasn't really done anything to impress Chef Ramsey and she has huge communication issues which will be her downfall.

6. Natalie: I originally had her going far, but lately she's been struggling (especially on her last 3 services). I expect her to bounce back the next couple of services, but if she screws up once or twice more (which is more of capable of doing) it's goodbye to Natalie.

5. Elise: Can't stand her, but there's no denying that she can actually cook and deserves to still be in the game. Her attitude sucks, but she has proven herself to have the ability to handle the pressure of Hell's Kitchen. I think her attitude will ultimately send her home; either by saying something wrong to Chef Ramsey or the other Chefs getting even further disgruntled with her that they sabotage her. I won't be surprised if she makes it to the top 3 or 4, but no way she's making it to the finals.

4. Paul: A great cook ,but has demonstrated weakness. He was around 2 or 3 about 2 weeks ago until he screwed up terribly on the fish station and wasn't able to recover. Everyone's allowed to make mistakes, but the competition ahead of him is too strong in my opinion for Paul to advance to the finals.

3. Jamie: Jamie is definitely the type of chef that Ramsey's looking for. A good chef and vocal, but also extremely respectful to Ramsey. She could be a finalist.

2. Jennifer: Since a few weeks ago, I've had Jennifer pegged as this year's Nona (weight jokes aside). She's been flying under the radar until the last episode when the red team selected her as "their leader" (which only helps her cause), but hasn't really screwed up much yet and has demonstrated her ability to communicate.

1. Will: Will is easily the strongest Chef in Hell's Kitchen. Minus the last episode when Wolfgang Puck hated his spaghetti he's been PERFECT which no other Chef has been this season. The only issue with Will is that the "obvious" choice for a winner tends to come in second, for whatever reason (think Russell in Season 8 and Kevin in Season 6). The only advantage that Will has over these two is, while still a little cocky, isn't nearly as much of a douche as Russell and Kevin. Plus, if you look at his interview on the Hell's Kitchen site you know he's in the top 2 based on his answers (saying that his biggest accomplishment would be to win the head chef position at BLT Steak even though these interviews were conducted after their appearance on the show).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

NFL Predictions 2011

The lockout is over and even though this is NOT a top 10 list, I've become overly excited about the fact that football is here and decided to create a post about it (that was a mouthful). Here are my predictions for the 2011 NFL season. In parenthesis was the team's records last year.

AFC East

New England Patriots: 13-3 (14-2)
New York Jets: 11-5 (11-5)
Miami Dolphins: 6-10 (7-9)
Buffalo Bills: 3-13 (4-12)

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: 12-4 (12-4)
Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4 (12-4)
Cleveland Browns: 7-9 (5-11)
Cincinnati Bengals: 2-14 (4-12)

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts: 11-5 (10-6)
Houston Texans: 8-8 (6-10)
Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11 (8-8)
Tennessee Titans: 5-11 (6-10)

AFC West

San Diego Chargers: 10-6 (9-7)
Kansas City Chiefs: 9-7 (10-6)
Oakland Raiders: 7-9 (8-8)
Denver Broncos: 2-14 (4-12)

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles: 12-4 (10-6)
New York Giants: 11-5 (10-6)
Dallas Cowboys: 8-8 (6-10)
Washington Redskins: 4-12 (6-10)

NFC North

Green Bay Packers: 12-4 (10-6)
Chicago Bears: 10-6 (11-5)
Detroit Lions: 6-10 (6-10)
Minnesota Vikings: 6-10 (6-10)

NFC South

New Orleans Saints: 13-3 (11-5)
Atlanta Falcons: 11-5 (13-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 10-6 (10-6)
Carolina Panthers: 1-15 (2-14)

NFC West

St. Louis Rams: 7-9 (7-9)
San Francisco 49ers: 7-9 (6-10)
Seattle Seahawks: 5-11 (7-9)
Arizona Cardinals: 5-11 (5-11)