The Vulture Report: May 23rd, 2016

Sorry for being tardy with the Vulture Report. Yesterday was Victoria Day in Canada (HOLIDAY!) and we went to the Zoo. It wasn’t quite Zoo with Roy but good enough. Among the many different animals we saw a VULTURE:


Ok, there’s way more grass than vulture but he was really far and it was a stupid phone camera not a Nikon. Cut me some slack, I’m not gonna lug my Nikon around to take pictures of zoo animals. If I want great pictures of zoo animals I can google them. I’m there for the experience not to record my life as if this were The Final Cut (nice movie BTW, Jim Caviezel makes a totally believable bad-ass quasi-villain)

In my expedition I also found two more vultures, let’s take a look shall we:

May 17th. Ryan Madson of the Oakland Athletics. Ryan Madson. Madson. Mad Son. Former Phillie of years gone by Ryan is your prototypical failed starter that became an awesome bullpen arm. He was with the Phillies for years and became one of the games superb and reliable setup men behind Brad Lidge. In fact he was bit like the dog Brain to Brad Lidge’s Inspector Gadget: you’d watch him mow down the heart of the opposing order in the 8th and then Lidge came in the 9th to take down the 7-8-9 hitters and get the glory.

C’est La Vie. When his final year was up he was talking a four year contract with Ruben Amaro Jr. when he became the team’s official closer in 2011. Everyone was questioning Ruben’s sanity over a potential 44 million 4 year contract. Then he turned it up to 11 and signed Papelbon for 50 million dollars.

As it was, it turned out to be somewhat prescient since Madson suffered an arm injury which took him out of baseball for the next few years. I guess Ruben dodged a bullet… by jumping into the path of a wrecking ball.

Madson seemed destined for ignomy because he only managed a one year contract with the Reds when he was injured for the year. Then the following year it was the Angels turn to pay millions for an arm that didn’t throw a single ball on the field. Madson would take an impressive 4 years before finally coming back healthy playing with Kansas City last year. And what a comeback. Sure, not as a closer. That ship sailed when in KC you already had a monster bullpen. But he was supremely reliable if somewhat prone to the long ball in the postseason. He got another ring. That must be a fantastic story.

Oh wait I’m supposed to write about the vulture! Not a Madson bio. Sorry. Madson holds a special place in Phan’s hearts. Well this one’s anyway. After KC he managed to get a gig with the A’s ostensibly as the setup guy. But Doolittle’s shoulder injury opened the door for him to shine as the Closer once again. He hasn’t disappointed. At age 35, Madson’s still got it. Except on May 17th. Well no one’s perfect right? (Shut up and sit down 2008 Brad Lidge, you magnificent bastard, we’ll always appreciate 2008 but enough already)

It started off well enough. Leading 4-3 in the 9th, it looked to be another 1-2-3 slam the door shut for Ryan. He got a swinging strikeout and popup to first base. Then came a foul Odor to the plate. He of the swinging right hook, slapped one into the outfield to get on first. Then Ian Desmond did this:

Well, THAT escalated quickly. Madson and the long ball do have a history you know. Fortunately for him, Khrys Davis had a grand slam walk off in the bottom of the ninth to erase the embarrassment and the federal deficit in one swing. He even got the W, which of course is undeserved. But I’m sure Khrys won’t complain. Madson blowing the save allowed him to boost his numbers and act heroic so in this instance I’m confident Davis will be buying Ryan a beer instead of the other way around.

May 20th, Mychal Givens of the Baltimore Orioles. Why do people do this to their kids? Giving them a normal sounding name and then screwing up the spelling just to be different? (And yes I realize Khrys falls into this category, he gets a pass this time around for the Grand Slam).

Anyway Mychal got into this hot mess because starter Mike Wright ran out of gas by giving up a Mike Trout single (that’s three Michaels for those counting at home) followed by a Pujols walk, a Cron strikeout and a Johnny Giavotella single scoring Trout (making the game 4-2). One throwing error later filled up the bases. Enter Mychal.

He managed to induce a fly out which is NOT ideal because the sacrifice fly cut into his lead and then Gregorio Petit singled plating the tying run and putting runners on second and third. Finally, Yunel Escobar grounded out to mercifully end the inning. Despite being responsible for two of his inherited runners scoring this did not impact his sparkling 2.08 ERA because those runs were unearned.

In the next inning the Orioles regained the lead with a Chris (properly spelled) Davis home run plating two more runs. Givens was allowed to continue in the bottom of the 7th and got two outs before allowing a Pujols single. Smelling disaster looming Buck Showalter decided NOT to give Mychal another chance to fuck it up and brought in Darrin O’Day to face C.J. Cron, who struck out (again) to wipe out the potential threat.

Overall I can’t say Givens covered himself with any kind of glory here. This was a mediocre performance in general although the bottom of the 7th proceeded well enough. This tells me that maybe Givens should be given a clean inning to start with rather than bring in him in the middle of a raging fire. But I don’t watch this team regularly. Maybe this is just a one off bad performance for Mychal? Is he usually more reliable? I’ll let scouts tackle that one.

I’m off for the rest of the day but may have time for a bonus post. I’m watching Captain America: Civil War. Pretty soon I’ll see what all the so called controversy is all about.

25 thoughts on “The Vulture Report: May 23rd, 2016


        I walked in there expecting to be on Captain’s side. I always liked his character. Cap + Widow in Winter Soldier = BFF. I walked out wanting to throw out my commemorative popcorn tin that had his face on it. He was such an arrogant jerk. (I am not interested in discussing the comic books. I understand things were changed. This is about the movie.)

        I lean Iron Man. I am actually on Black Widow’s side. If you noticed, she had a very nuanced take on things which Iron Man did not appreciate when she let Captain go because she saw continuing to fight was futile. It would only hurt them all. So, not quite so black and white. I thought Cap was a stubborn ass. He would not even listen. He was right and that was it. Because he’s Captain America and Bucky is his friend/lover and he has a doctorate in psychology and he is certain Bucky is no threat despite a MOUNTAIN of evidence against that. Finally, it was Bucky who locked himself away. He recognized, I am a threat. Put me away. In the end, the psychopath is the smart one.

        I understood Tony’s humanity. If I saw a video of my parents being murdered, I would also want to destroy the person who did that to them. Bucky said something like, “I remember them all.” He had some level of consciousness of what he was doing. I thought Iron Man was wrong to try to kill him. Vigilante justice was kind of what he was trying to curtail. Bucky needed to be brought to trial.

        My point has been also that no one is above the law including superheroes. You can’t just do whatever the hell you want just because you have talents that are better than other people. If that were the case, I’d be doing everything I wanted to do all of the damn time. 🙂

        Also, did Cap wait for Peg’s body to go cold before he started macking on the great niece? Because I almost puked and I am no puritan.

        Finally, I wanted to slap the Scarlet Witch into tomorrow. Whine whine whine. “Oh, my powers… I’m so tormented…” Of course, she’s with Cap. I don’t tolerate a lot of complaining.

        The kicker is that Chris Evans, Captain himself, said he is Team Iron Man. I saw it in an interview. He agrees that superheroes and vigilante justice need to be checked, needs balance. I would love to discuss this further with Mr. Evans. It sounds like we agree on world views.

        My girl friend (who is a sci-fi fantasy uber-nerd) and I have gone over this again and again, and we agree. She’s even more strongly Team Iron Man than I am. Maybe it takes being a colored girl to understand? 😉


    1. Um, no. Not so simple. If you recall, I said I was on Black Widow’s side. She had the most nuanced take of all them. Because generally speaking, boys are kind of dumb and have too much testosterone. I still really like them a lot, but they really need us to show them the way.


  1. The monkeys stand for honesty
    Giraffes are insincere
    And the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb

    Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages.

    And I have it on good authority that the zookeeper is very fond of rum.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW, African Vulture? I’ve only seen one of those.

    It does not look like any species of North American vulture.


      1. That’s funny about the zebras. Gotta love kids.

        My only experience with African Vultures was at a falconry exhibit years ago. They had rehabbed an injured bird from a zoo. The falconer had an unusual amount of protective gear on to handle the bird. Basically looked close to armor. He held up a turkey leg and asked the crowd to count to ten. By the time we got to “seven” the bird had stripped the bone clean, grabbed it out of his hand, and swallowed the thing whole. You could watch it go down his gullet.

        Scariest bird I ever saw in my life. But if you think about it, they have to argue with lions and hyenas over carcasses. It’s good to be mean.


  3. Go lie down in the middle of the Gulf Freeway for a few minutes. You’ll see all kinds of vultures, bro. And a lot of them will be handing you business cards.


    1. My brother-in-law (the lawyer) was out on a fishing trip and fell out of the boat.

      The sharks refused to eat him. It was Professional Courtesy.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Q: What’s the difference between a dead skunk and a dead lawyer?
        A: No skid marks in front of the lawyer.

        Two lawyers walking down the street are passed by a gorgeous blonde in a tight skirt. One lawyer leans to the other and says, “wow, I would love to screw her!” The second lawyer asks, “Out of what?”

        Heh. This is endless….

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Like it. I bird as a hobby.

      That’s about the bluest wings I have ever seen on one of those guys. I usually picture them a little grayer and a little more off the shoulder.
      May be the light. But it’s a great shot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always been fond of the wastrels. Down here in Macondo we have the northern wastrel, which often roosts in the rafters of Macondo Banana Massacre Field and squeezes foul yellow mutes from beneath its fanned tail onto the fans. In the Carolinas, the Minnesota wastrel can be recognized by the figure-eight shaped marking on its breast. The lesser wastrel can be identified by its eight foot wingspan, and Danton’s wastrel can be distinguished from the greater wastrel by its enormous head. I’ve also spotted California wastrels in Oregon, identified by the dark mask over its eyes.

        Wastrels are brood parasites. They only lay their eggs in the nests of other wastrels.


  4. Cut me some slack, I’m not gonna lug my Nikon around to take pictures of zoo animals. If I want great pictures of zoo animals I can google them. I’m there for the experience not to record my life as if this were The Final Cut (nice movie BTW, Jim Caviezel makes a totally believable bad-ass quasi-villain)

    All of this ❤


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