We panicked

You hear about the gas shortage?

Depending on where you live you’ve either been not affected at all or you’re in a complete gas desert, apparently a result of your neighbors’ panicking when told they might not be able to buy gas soon, filling up plastic bags and such with gasoline.

(By the way, filling a plastic bag is not a good idea. The government said so. And speaking of governments, and the regulation of gas prices… don’t even get me started, this post is about panic shopping.)

Loudoun County Virginia? Yeah, we panicked.

If soon all of us are just not driving anywhere at least we have a precedent, right? It’s the March 2020 routine!

We were all going to be hiding in our houses avoiding the cicadas anyway, right?

DeGrom update… because this is what we do

New York Mets pitcher (and frequent mikeoconnelljr.com subject) Jacob deGrom left his start Sunday after only five innings, “right side tightness” later declared to be the cause. Following a “clean” MRI, deGrom was nonetheless placed on the 10-day injured list, meaning for the next week and a half the Mets will be without their ace…

and I’ll have to find something else to blog about.

Mother’s Day

Many holidays have found me confused, not about the spirit of the day or its merit, but rather… how to spell it. (I swear I’ve seen “Presidents’ Day about six different ways.)

Mother’s Day? No such problem.

Seems as though the holiday’s founder (that would be the mother of Mother’s Day) foresaw this potential confusion and in fact codified the spelling! Ms. Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase “Second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, Founder,” in 1912. (The holiday was celebrated with increasing formality for nearly a decade before President Wilson proclaimed it formally in 1914.) Ms. Jarvis specifically noted that “Mother’s” should “be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.”

If only all government orders were so clear.

Can’t be conservative and serious all the time

Every so often I like to keep up with what “the masses” are reading, embarking on a fiction journey worthy of third-grade prose and soap opera substance.

That’s me reading 28 Summersthe 2020 beach book written by the dean of all beach book authors, Elin Hilderbrand.

I think my opinion of its literary merit is already clear, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t enjoy the guilty pleasure of such artistic slumming. The book is not without its amusing sections. And I love how the conflicts last only a few pages, like a series of rom-coms all with happy endings.

Case in point, when our protagonist (who, ironically, would laugh at beach books) meets an apparent Mr. Right at a Nantucket bar. (A few pages later it’s revealed he’s married… whoops!) Suitor discloses he doesn’t read much fiction,  perhaps only that related to sports or history or other unwoke subjects. I should have known he was not a perfect mate when he admits his favorite book is David Halberstam’s October 1964.


My favorite book!

One of the funnier bumper stickers I’ve seen in recent years reads: “I’d rather be living in an Elin Hilderbrand novel.”

That does sound great…

though I’d probably be the bad guy!

DeGrom update

I knew the deGrom jinx would work.

Walking off the mound Wednesday evening, having given up an awful one run in six innings, deGrom’s otherworldly ERA+ had fallen to 744, only about triple that produced by the greatest pitchers in the greatest seasons of all time.

DeGrom has given up exactly two earned runs this season in 35 innings. Both have resulted in losses. His record is 2-2, probably the most spectacular 2-2 in history. He’s pretty much been snakebitten his entire career; remember, this guy won two straight Cy Youngs being a total of four games over .500.

Several times this season deGrom has helped himself at the plate. (Maybe that’s the only way he can get a W.) Alas, ol’ Jake was 0-2 with the bat on Wednesday, his average crashing down to .462.

Still not bad, I guess.

DeGrom’s stats are almost beyond comprehension

I know, I know, small sample size, but you gotta love this one, from the world of baseball.

New York Mets (and former Binghamton Met) phenom Jacob deGrom’s first four starts this year have yielded an ERA+ of 1227.

(Dramatic pause.)

A little context on what that actually means.

Your average pitcher has an ERA+ of 100. There’s a little more to it that this but let’s go with the following, that an ERA+ of 200 means one is twice as good as the average pitcher, and an ERA+ of 300 means he’s three times as good.

So yeah, deGrom is 12 times as good as the average pitcher so far this year.

(Pause again.)

A little more context…

The highest single-season ERA+ in modern times is Pedro Martinez’s 291 in 2000. Greg Maddux approached 300 a couple times in the ’90s as well. A paltry sum compared to deGrom.

Sandy Koufax in ’66 had a 190.

Bob Gibson in ’68?


So yeah, deGrom’s about five times as good as that.


And he’s hitting .545.

Georgia laws

I can see it now… those Standard Time diehards, protesting the state of Georgia’s proposed legislation to make Daylight Savings Time permanent. Pretty soon they’ll be canceling Atlanta sports contests and boycotting peaches and such over it.

I tried to attend one of their rallies but I mistakenly showed up an hour after it had already started. Or maybe I was an hour early. I was pretty confused about the whole thing.

Just in time for the postseason

Don’t look now but my hometown NBA team (that would be the Washington Wizards) are in sole possession of 10th place—and the final playoff spot—in the Eastern Conference.
Tonight the Wiz take on the once formidable Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC has lost 12 straight games and is ripe for unlucky number thirteen. Washington, meanwhile, has won eight of 10.
A few more and even I’d vote for DC statehood.