Monday, February 28, 2011

The Session #49 - A 'regular' beer

Alright, so I am doing my first session blog post. This session is all about 'regular' beer and is from Stan at Appelation Beer. What is a regular beer? What is your regular beer of choice? Why is it your regular beer of choice? Sounds simple right? Hmmm.... maybe not. I think that the problem begins with that first question. After that, it should come pretty naturally.

So, what constitutes a regular beer? Is it something that can be found easily? Is it something you drink on a regular basis? Is it something that can be obtained by the masses (relatively) easily? I say yes to all three of these. But, that still leaves a pretty broad classification. And to that, I agree. No reason to narrow down your regular beer. If that is the case, it isn't really a regular beer now is it?

Ok, on to regular beer and my personal choice. To be honest, this is a style that changes from month to month and sometimes even day to day. What may be a regular beer for me today isn't necessarily what will be a regular beer for me tomorrow. A regular beer can evolve with the seasons. It can evolve with your tastes. It can change with accessibility and location. So, basically what I am saying is that as you grow, so does your regular beer (or at least it changes). For the past few months, my choice of regular beer has been from a local brewery to me in Westport, Massachusetts. The brewery is known simply as Just Beer. The beer that I have as my regular beer right now is called Moby D. It is a nicely hopped American Pale Ale. It sort of straddles the line between pale ale and IPA, but is a great beer that goes with all kinds of food. It is exceedingly drinkable and at 5% abv, a single bomber in a night is just about right. I can have it alone, or if I feel like not having much to drink, my wife and I can split it.

The reason this beer is regular to me is that it is relatively inexpensive (I purchased a case of 12 bombers at the brewery for about $25, 3 cases for $60) and is a year round beer available at the brewery. And the brewery is easy to stop by and pick it up. Maybe that is tough for some people but for me, it is on my way back and forth between Providence (where I live) and Cape Cod (where my wife's family lives). Westport is right off of the highway and an easy side trip. We can stop by, pick up a case (or three) and get right back on the highway where we were going. So, it is easy to find (at the brewery!). It is something I drink regularly (and can be drank regularly). It is pretty inexpensive and can be purchased without much problem. So, it answers all of the criteria I set out when starting this. It is my regular beer for the time being.

With all this being said, I have had regular beers in the past be Narragansett Lager, Heavy Seas Marzen, and Yuengling Amber Lager among many others. This isn't my first regular beer and it won't be my last. This just happens to be the regular beer of the moment. Here's to regular beers!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mister, Fred, Bernie, and The Donald

Oh you poor, poor Mets fans out there. In truth, I am partially one of you (although I am a bigger Red Sox fan of course). Mister Met has the right look there. The mess that has been made of the Mets organization now (and going forward) is amazing and I ain't talking about the Amazins.

So, Fred Wilpon et al decided to put all their investments into funds with that upstanding citizen Mr. Madoff. And then, when the market crashes, and their funds keep going up and up, they don't stop for, oh I don't know, two seconds, and ask themselves why that is the case? Yeah, I don't think that they did anything technically wrong, but the amount of stupidity is just unreal. How did this happen? Why did it happen? More importantly, how is Freddy the head of a major corporate entity such as the New York Mets? It is just tragic, that's what it is.

And now, what does he want to do? Well, Freddy is trying to sell a portion of the team. But no, oh no, he still wants to be the guy making the decisions, so there will be no majority sale of the team. We all know that Freddy makes such great decisions, don't we? Why wouldn't a new minority owner want him to be the guy heading the show? I mean, it's a no brainer right? According to the Wilpons, they have lots of interest in someone buying a minority share.

Yes, I will believe that when I see it. Why would anyone do that? What possible reason? Not only are you buying into a team that has had some remarkably bad press (I mean really, they are connected to the scum of the past century in Bernie Madoff), but the team is a true mess on the field. Add to that that the Wilpon's have the entire team ALREADY borrowed against and that silly little BILLION dollar lawsuit going against them in court now and you have what makes little sense for anyone to want to get involved with this team. But they have a lot of interest. Yup.

So, now we get to The Donald. Not going to say too much about him, but he has supposedly contacted the Wilpon's about purchasing a majority of the team. Well, this is definitely unlikely right now since of course the Wilpon's don't want to sell said majority. And then, beyond that, do you think Bud Selig and his fellow cronies want The Donald as part of baseball? They didn't want Mark Cuban*, so why would they want another over-the-top personality like The Donald?

So what is this going to do to the Met's team on the field? Initially, not much. The team is what it is though. Not much in the way of new free agents or players that are received via trade. So, the team you saw out there on the field last year is likely to be the same one you see this year. In other words, it may not be pretty. Johan Santana is out to start the season. Hopefully he will be back sometime during the season. But, there isn't much otherwise. Some decent pitchers in Pelfrey, Niese, and Dickey. But, nothing spectacular there. Offense has lots of injury prone guys like Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay (sort of with the latter). The team could be decent, but likely isn't going to be great. And in the NL East, that just isn't good enough. Atlanta and Philly are just better teams. Well, Philly is at least. And Florida isn't so bad either (although losing Uggla hurts).

But, we are really going to see how things are affected following the draft and especially next offseason. The draft will tell us if the Mets are going to actually pay to get the good picks. That remains to be seen. Next offseason, the Mets have a TON of money coming off the books as well. I doubt they will sign Reyes. I know they won't sign Beltran. Castillo and Perez will be lucky to make it through camp on the team (and this would be bad.... real bad.... for the Mets as a team). So, if they are somewhat aggressive on free agents next offseason, then we will know that the team is a bit more solid than it appears right now. But, I am not sure that that will happen. I think this is a sinking ship. Sandy Alderson and his team in the general management office have a lot of work ahead of them. Thankfully, they are good and are likely to be able to keep things going there. There is likely few who could do better in this situation. But, oh, what a mess. This will be a tough year or two to follow the Mets.

I still am not sure I see a situation where the Wilpons manage to hold onto this team, but Bud and the gang may be able to work something out for them. I just don't know how it will happen, and it scares me what damage this will do to the team itself.

*By the way, MLB made a huge mistake in not giving Cuban a shot with a team, but that is another story entirely.