Saturday, April 9, 2011

Preseason Predictions One Week Later

Again, I'm one week late to the baseball predictions, so I will jump right into it.

The American League playoff spots: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox. The National League playoff spots: Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins. In the World Series, the Rangers will beat the Phillies. I don't have a surprise AL team because I think there is a team that will surprise us. Despite a 1-7 start, I do think the Red Sox will come back with ease. So unless you don't grasp the concept of sample size, they might be a "surprise team." My disappointing AL team is the Minnesota Twins. My surprise NL team is the Florida Marlins, and my disappointing NL team is the Atlanta Braves.


AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez

NL MVP: Hanley Ramirez

AL Cy Young: Brett Anderson

NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson

Manny Ramirez's Retirement

In a surprising announcement, Ramirez announced his retirement yesterday.

Last year, I compared Ken Griffey Jr's career to Michael Jackson's career. In this analogy, Manny Ramirez has to be Lady Gaga, right?

They're both talked about for their antics but both are powerhouses in their field. Click here for a slide show of Lady Gaga's antics.

This YouTube clip shows the three Manny B. Manny moments, which include him cutting off Johnny Damon's throw and catching a ball, high fiving a fan in the stands and turning the double play.

Manny was one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball and he has been linked to performance enhancing drugs. He also brought two World Series championships to the Boston Red Sox and created Mannywood with the Los Angeles Dodgers. All of that is part of his legacy, sure, but on this day, it's time to celebrate the funny.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

(Almost) Everything I've Ever Written

Here are a collection of stories I've written (for fun and for pay).

Sadly, East Valley Tribune stripped away past byline's so it's too time consuming to search for every story. Also, Arizona Foothills Magazine upgraded their Web site halfway through my tenure so a couple of my awesome stories weren't transferred over. I couldn't find State Press stuff. There are a couple of magazine pieces that do not have an online publication and there are some "just for fun" stories on my desktop that need to go through five million edits before I'd post them.

The Day The Clown Cried
This is a b-spot post that features a collection of some of my creative stories. You get the movie theater awkwardness, third wheel awkwardness, etc etc.

Yard Work
This was my second favorite story to write for Media That Deelivers. My favorite story is only available through the magazine, but even my favorite story went through a good 12 or so edits. This went through the typical two to three edits. I nailed it. This might be the only time they used the title I chose too. The thing about this story is that I had a month to collect facts, interview and write it before it went to edits. I got all the interviews and information done within days but I had huge writer's block. Three weeks later, I was working on the story and wrote a good draft. It was missing the opening graph. I took a nap and in my dream, I was writing the opening and it was good. So I woke up and wrote the opening based on my dream.

"From eco-friendly landscapes to alfresco living spaces, our experts dish the dirt on creating a lavish lawn."

The West's Best Architects
The only thing I remember about this was that it didn't take long to write.

Love Sweet Love
This was the last story I wrote for Arizona Foothills magazine (MTD). I actually finished it after I got laid off. In this collaborative piece, I interviewed Pat and Duffy McMahon. Pat requested I interview him at his house. He has a nice house and has a "Wallace and Ladmo" Wall of Fame. Pat was pretty funny, but as you can tell, his wife Duffy provided the story.

Showhouse Gives Back
I wrote the AZ Giving section during my time at Media That Deelivers for Arizona Foothills magazine. In this issue, we wrote about this one ridiculously lavish house. Top notch designers from the valley decorated rooms and we wrote about it all. During the month, readers could tour the home for a price and each week, the proceeds would go to a charity. This just outlined all of that. Not my favorite story to write, but it was a good cause.

Panda's Puzzle Piece
This is another AZ Giving piece for the PANDA organization. This was fun to write but it took me a while to figure out my angle. Once I nailed down the interview with the doctor, I figured out my story and ran with it.

Women Who Move The Valley 2009
This is a collaborative story. I enjoyed talking to the three women I interviewed. I actually met with them all in person. We honored all the women with a breakfast at a resort.

That's My Dad
This is another collaborative story. I had a lot of input with this story at the writer's meeting. The sources weren't already in place so we had to brainstorm a list. I mentioned the idea of getting a Diamondback so I was in charge of producing a Diamondback. I had zero contacts within the organization. So I google searched and came across some emails and sent an email to the head of PR who got me in touch with another PR rep. I had a meeting with the PR rep and we got Chris Snyder on board.

East Valley Tribune Stories

I'm not a big newspaper guy, but I enjoyed my time at East Valley Tribune. The editors and writers were very nice and helpful. I worked five hours on a Friday afternoon every week in conjunction with my News Writing class at ASU. I had to have six published pieces and there was a list of stories we had to write (sports, government, business, etc etc). Sometimes I would come in and the editor I worked with would ask if I could work on a story. Other times, I would go to this bin that had story ideas and sources and choose a story that could be used for my class. Sometimes I would just search for stories on my own that I needed to write. One time I asked one of the editors if I wrote a story about such and such if he would publish it...he looked at me for a few seconds...and said "yeah, that sounds like a good idea."

Dog Serves As A Reading Mentor at AJ School

40,000 Expected To Race For The Cure
The original writer of this story called in sick, so the editor asked if I would go down, interview Betty and write the story. I did. It was the main story in the Saturday paper.

Valley Christian Mourns Star Football Player
Like eight people worked on this story. I contributed a couple quotes and sentences. I actually went down to the school. It was really awkward.