Monthly Archives: April 2011


500+ Mile Commute To Work – Part II

The last time I did one of these, the commute was 576 miles from Boston – this time it was only 500 miles from New Jersey. I’m still not sure if I like these better than coming in the night before but maybe I should ask my family who are up at 4:30 to drop me off at the airport.

I woke up this morning at about 4am and was on the road to the airport at about 4:45. By the time I got to the airport at 5:15, I was fully expecting to be through check-in and security within 5 minutes like the last time I visited Jersey. What caught me off guard was that the Porter employees hadn’t even set up their counters yet. So there were a few of us just standing at the entrance to the airport waiting for them to set up shop before we could proceed. That killed a good 10-15 minutes just watching them at their snail pace. Following that, there was no hassle at the check-in counter except that they printed the wrong gate on every passenger’s boarding pass and sent people going around in circles for a gate that didn’t exist. The security check was probably the nicest experience outside of the people at Logan even though it got a bit redundant. I am assuming the guard thought it was my first flight because he asked me take out my laptop, then take off my jacket, then my belt, then empty my pockets and then my shoes even though I am well familiar with the process by now.

The boarding which was scheduled for 6:25, started right on time even though I have no idea how long we waited in the plane because the flight landed nearly 45 minutes late. I remember falling asleep a little before takeoff, being woken up by the turbulence immediately after taking flight and again at breakfast. My usual routine on flights is get on board, fall asleep and wake up when we land. The flight crew was great as expected for Porter Airlines, where they came back to offer me breakfast even though I was sleeping through their first pass around. It wasn’t the greatest culinary experience of all time but a very decent offering of a blueberry muffin with fresh fruits and a cup of orange juice to start your workday.

P.S. Anyone interested in skydiving in the summer? Check out a pretty good deal from Groupon.


Is The Baseball System Really Broken?

I had yet to decide whether I thought the baseball system as it is, was broken or not but after doing just some simple research, I think I am ready to say that it is okay… for now.

There is no denying that there are the lopsided salaries in just a handful of teams but there have also been 9 different World Series champions (Arizona, Anaheim, Florida, Boston, Chicago (AL), St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York (AL), and San Francisco) in the past 10 years as well as 14 different teams (add Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Tampa Bay and Texas) who have played in the World Series in that same stretch of time. That is just about half the league.

After that, make note of the fact that Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle, New York (NL), Atlanta, Chicago (NL), Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Diego have also made the playoffs in the last 10 years and that brings the total up to 25 teams leaving just the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates to not make it into the postseason.

That is a pretty awesome system where 83% of your league has been in the playoffs in the last decade but baseball has done a really poor job in trying to capitalize off of that. Instead all we hear in the news is of steroids, players not signing extensions and botched efforts to try and keep the all star game relevant.

I would also be interested in seeing similar numbers for other major sports and if I had to guess, I would say NBA is the worst in terms of percentage of teams making the post season in the last decade but I would think NHL and NFL are right up there with the MLB. Maybe if I get time over the weekend, I will pull up those numbers as well.

As for the 5 teams left to make the playoffs since the 2001 season, who do you think will make it there first? I will say either the Washington Nationals or the Toronto Blue Jays but I don’t think either of those two will happen this year, or the next.