— Anne Frank
Have you ever been reading a newspaper article or something and come across a phrase like "the ceremony was an historic occasion?" God knows I have, and it has always confused me.
I don’t know about you, but I was taught to use “an” before words that begin with a vowel. The word “historic” clearly starts with the letter “H,” which is a consonant. Soooooo, what’s the deal??
I looked into it, and here’s what I found out: “an” is the form of the indefinite article that is used before a spoken vowel sound: it doesn’t matter how the written word in question is actually spelled. So, we say ‘an honour’, ‘an hour’, or ‘an heir’, for example, because the initial letter ‘h’ in all three words is not actually pronounced. By contrast we say ‘a hair’ or ‘a horse’ because, in these cases, the ‘h’ is pronounced.
There are three words in particular that tend to cause problems: historic, horrific, and hotel. If hotel was pronounced without its initial letter ‘h’ (i.e. as if it were spelled ‘otel’), then it would be correct to use an in front of it. The same is true of historic and horrific. If horrific was pronounced ‘orrific’ and historic was pronounced ‘istoric’ then it would be appropriate to refer to ‘an istoric occasion’ or ‘an orrific accident’. In the 18th and 19th centuries, people often did pronounce these words in this way.
Today, though, these three words are generally pronounced with a spoken ‘h’ at the beginning and so it’s now more logical to refer to ‘a hotel’, ‘a historic event’, or ‘a horrific accident’.
So there you have it, folks, I was right all along. Don’t write “an historic.” You’ll look like an idiot.
When the Royals signed Raul Ibanez three weeks ago, I assumed that it was primarily to provide leadership, and to supplement intangibles like team chemistry with his temperament and veteran presence. While he mayrarely play in the outfield, he would mainly be used as an occasional DH and pinch hitter—nothing more. That would have made sense to me. Instead, they’ve played him fairly often, both exposing his ineffectiveness (at this point in his career) and making it virtuallyimpossible to provide any of those intangibles mentioned above. One can’t very well inspire his teammates while going 4 for 34 and committing a number of defensive gaffes.
At this point, given the circumstances, I don’t see Ibanez doing much more than taking up space for the rest of the season. But fear not, there is another aging ex-Royal out there apparently looking to make a comeback! Johnny Damon recently told the Associated Press that he has been staying in shape, swinging the bat and is very eager to return to the majors. “When you feel you can still outhit at least half the league and you don’t get that call, it’s rough,” he said.
Perhaps Johnny was exaggerating a bit, or maybe he’s just delusional—either way, if it’s veteran leadership the Royals are looking for, he’s got plenty to offer. Damon, who helped the 2004 Boston Red Sox end an 86-year championship drought, has a .284 career average (better than Ibanez) with 235 home runs, 1,139 RBIs and 408 stolen bases (waybetter than Ibanez). He has 2,769 hits (better than Ibanez) and his lifetime on-base percentage of .352 is higher than every current leadoff hitter this season except Jose Altuve, Coco Crisp, Matt Carpenter, Shin-Soo Choo and Brett Gardner.
And it appears Johnny isn’t the only one who thinks he could still play in the bigs. Rob Potts, a batting practice pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, reportedly ran into Damon last month in Wilmington, Delaware. He ended up throwing to him for about 15 minutes in the stadium and came away so impressed that he told Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to check him out.
"Johnny looks like he could play today," Potts said. "His last swing, he said: ‘I’m gonna go yard’ and he just turned on it. You can’t teach someone how to win a World Series and he’s won two. He’s a great clubhouse guy, had success playing in the bright lights in New York and Boston. In the ninth inning in a pressure situation, I’d still want to have Johnny Damon hitting for me."
So what do you think? Should the Royals give Ibanez the old heave-ho and bring Damon back to KC? He is two years younger, after all…
A few nights ago, I sent a text to someone I work with to see how they were doing. They’d been in a fairly serious bicycle/car accident about a year ago, hadn’t seem him since. He responded by saying he was doing OK, and asked if I’d be able to get together this week. A date was set, plans were made, and all was right in the world. Thursday night, 7:00, cool little place on the lower east side.
Few days go by, Thursday arrives, and just as I’m approaching the restaurant, I get a text.
"I’m at a bar. 1st Ave & 6th Street. Coal Yard. I’m here with some friends. You mind just coming here?"
Keep in mind, this was 4 minutes before we were supposed to meet. He and I are “work friends,” and it was his idea to get together! Planned it days in advance, said he was looking forward to it, the whole nine yards. So then for him to text me at the last second, and so flippantly suggest I walk to some bar and meet up with him and his friends…is he fucking insane??
Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of going somewhere I don’t like to spend money I don’t have on things I don’t want with people I don’t know? Not appealing. At all. I did not go and meet them.
How would you respond/feel and what would you think if you were in my shoes? Would you think nothing of it and walk over to meet him and his pals, or would you get annoyed, not go and write him off as a flaky piece of whore?
More than anything, I can’t help but wonder…why the fuck did he suggest getting together in the first place??
The Royals’ performance last night against the Twins was an unmitigated disaster. It was unquestionably one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Walks, stupid errors, mental mistakes, wild pitches, a worthless offense, you name it. The game was so painful to watch, I doubt many Royals fans made it past the 5th inning.
All athletes have an off night from time to time, and every team has the occasional bad game. This was more than just a bad game, though. This was a downright fiasco, and the team should be embarrassed. Hopefully it will serve as a wake up call.
This team has so many problems, and a lot of them are off the field. One thing in particular that has bothered me since way back in Spring training is the fact that they seem both complacent and delusional. Hell, you couldn’t possibly be complacent on this team without being delusional.
"The players doused him with water – they insisted they would not waste beer for such a celebration — as the stereo system’s bass pulsed and a strobe light flashed through the room."
That’s from an article written on June 15, right after the Royals beat the White Sox. The guy being doused with water was Ned, who the team deemed “player of the game.” Ned was ejected in the bottom of the 1st inning that day. It was his 3rd ejection this season…and he’s not a player.
Here’s another one from an article written on June 30th, just two nights ago:
"Sitting in his office about 10 feet away from the Kansas City Royals’ locker room, manager Ned Yost’s voice was nearly drown out by the thunderous hip hop music blaring and the full-throated cackling from his players in the next room"
The Royals had just won their 4th game out of the previous 11.
Here’s what Billy Butler had to say last month, right before the series against Detroit:
"Obviously, we’re the hotter team coming in,” Butler said. “One of the hottest teams in baseball, if not the hottest."
This was before the Royals had their 2 day stint in first place, and they had yet to win a single game against Detroit. They also had a worse record than at least 8 other teams in MLB.
Here’s a gem from Eric Hosmer, written in the same article as that Billy quote:
“We need to have this same swagger going into Detroit,” Hosmer said. “If we make a statement like we did here [in Cleveland], that’s big.”
Swagger? Strobe lights? The hottest team in baseball?? Are these guys completely out of their minds??
The Royals won 86 games last year, finishing 3rd in the AL Central. A nice season, sure, but they didn’t make the post-season and didn’t win jack squat! Now, to be dancing around, blasting music and popping champagne every time they win a game? What a bunch of buffoons! I’m embarrassed for them.
While the Royals were busy getting their asses kicked by the last place Twins, and doing no damage against the worst pitcher in all of baseball (statistically), the Tigers took their second win from the first-place A’s and extended their lead in the AL Central to 4 1/2 games.
As the great Bob Knight once said,
"Complacency is always going to lose, particularly when complacency is confronted by somebody energetic, and somebody really working to prove a point.”
No team has more to prove than the Kansas City Royals, and no team should be less complacent.