February 2006 Archives for Agony & Ivy
I went for a run late yesterday morning, and it was the kind of morning when one cannot help but feel optimistic. About anything: work, women, life, and baseball, among anything else. The drizzle cleared out somewhere after 3 AM and by the morning there was not a cloud in sight, the kind of morning when it feels much hotter than 65 in the sun and much cooler than 65 in the shade, and where the air smells as though it has been scrubbed entirely clean.
Regarding baseball, I am not an expert in any sense, and certainly not in the sense that I get paid for my opinions, or in the sense that I’m right the most often like Vegas oddsmakers, who also get paid for their judgments now that I think about it. But I do watch all of nearly every Cubs game, and it’s the games most people click off halfway or the stretches people stop watching late in the season when you notice the chronic problems. In any case, I think I was right before 2003 and again before 2004 when I said that the Cubs biggest weaknesses – single likely areas that would cause them to lose winnable games – had been catcher, bullpen, and leadoff hitter. The other things that went right would not have been enough in that magical season of 2003 had not Lofton and Borowski come out of nowhere, and if we’re being honest we were lucky they got so far with a lineup featuring Damian Miller hitting .233.
Well, it’s a rather strange feeling as I print off the schedule and try to plan a visit or two back to Chicago for Cubs games. There’s that Friday game at the end of June when I’ll be flying back for a wedding, but that day the White Sox are across town, rendering that ticket hard to come by. And if I take a last-fling trip to Reykjavik this summer I could parlay that with a stopover in Chicago, but all that is contingent on so much else that I can’t really plan it. In fact, I can’t really plan much more than a few months out these days, and it’s hitting home.
Well, pitchers and catchers have reported, the first sign that baseball is returning to the minds of people other than the obsessives. Like me. And maybe you. Reporters will arrive and dissect Kerry Wood's progress eleven ways from sideways and before too long we'll all be tired of hearing about it, unless the news is good of course in which case we'll become giddy about the prospect of a season with healthy starting pitching. The way we were going into 2004. You know, before two seasons in a row burned us.
Anyway, just a couple of things to note that aren't big enough for their own column.
Hang in there everybody. There’s only a few more weeks until there’s baseball to talk about again. Which means that there’s only a few more weeks of me filing what amounts to the Austin Dispatch just to have something to write about here. Although that’s not totally true, because I think I have a few more things to write before the offseason ends.
Well, a malicious codewriter exploited Agony & Ivy today. There is a vulnerability with Linux webservers that allowed a rogue program to append code to the backend of this page because it uses PHP to present content. Someone wrote a program scanning for servers that had such a vulnerability, and then automatically exploited ones it could. The code it appended was sloppy, however, so rather than going unnoticed it broke the page. I've since tightened security as much as I can, so hopefully that's enough to keep it from happening again... but there's a possibility this is just the beginning of something much bigger than this little corner of the internet, so who knows.
Anyway, if you happened to be swinging by here to read week-old content, sorry that the page was down.
Also -- the discussion forum will also be down for a while. I didn't have a chance to rebuild it as I did the main page. Although, I'm thinking about upgrading it to a new platform anyway, in which case I may not do anything other than bring it back for archival / browsing purposes, while it's replaced for the 2006 season. Especially since my friend KEJ has a great idea for an A&I virtual gathering to watch a game every couple of weeks, with discussion highlights (ie jokes, but also insights) to be posted similar to how I post Best of Game Notes. More on that in the coming weeks.