Five Things – 9 June 2016

1.

Mets have been scuffling a bit, but managed to get a win and avoid the sweep in Pittsburgh (never a good thing in my book). They got a game-clinching hit from Wilmer Flores, but they’re going to need better hitting period. Their pitching will keep them in it, but they’re not going to win 60 or so more games 1-0 to make it into the postseason.

O’s are rolling, completing the three game sweep of the Royals

Also, this happened:

Ventura had already thrown at him earlier in the game and really, who can blame Manny for charging after getting hit by a 98 MPH fastball. Especially since Ventura doesn’t have to stand in the batter’s box himself.

I haven’t asked any Royals fans how they felt about this, yet. But as much as they were upset about Noah Syndergaard throwing inside in the World Series last year, I might give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine they’re as as upset as the team is about Ventura doing it now.

Speaking of the Royals, the sweep extends their losing streak to seven. Their injuries have hurt them, but they’re still just 3 games out in a close division.

O’s up 12 games over .500 and in first. Gotten some good pitching lately. Chris Tillman’s 8-1.

Ravens lost a week of OTA’s and really, there isn’t much else to say about them. They’re back at practice. They have a bunch of tight ends on the roster.

Oh, and coach, please don’t join Twitter. The last thing you need is a zillion remarks about your clock management every Sunday night after a close game. Ravens Twitter can be a mess on Sunday nights.

Talking about KC does remind me of last December’s Chiefs at Ravens game. A painful memory. Not necessarily because of the loss, but because of the gold pants:

Never again. Please. We’re not the Steelers.

Oh, the MLB Draft will be on TV and streaming beginning tonight. Mets pick 19 and 31 (compensatory pick for Daniel Murphy). O’s go at 27 (compensatory pick for Wei-Yin Chen). I might order myself a salad and watch and get ready to see these players in a few years.

2.

I’m finally allowing comments on blog posts. I didn’t want to because comments sections are usually cesspools and I wasn’t sure who I was going to be attracting to this site. But I thought it would be interesting to possibly see who might be reading what I’m saying here.

So, comments are there, going forward. Moderated, though, through Disqus. Warm up your social media passwords if you have something to say.

3.

Found out that someone else affiliated with my job is from Baltimore. And not just that, his folks lived not too far from where I grew up. I even attended camp at their former church one summer (though long after they’d moved).

I love meeting Baltimore people outside of Baltimore. Especially ones who are still positive about Baltimore as a whole and haven’t given up on the City being able to come back, regardless of its recent troubles. And believe me, there’s been trouble lately.

4.

As I said in an earlier blog post, I’ve never been to Horseshoe and I’ve only been to Maryland Live once or twice. One of those times, I just went to Bobby’s Burger Palace.

Despite my not having dropped a few bucks into the till, casinos around Maryland aren’t hurting. We’ll see what this means especially for Baltimore, given all the big talk about community investment from casino money, specifically from Horseshoe. Especially after National Harbor’s casino opens later this year.

Meanwhile, AC’s trying to come back from its spectacular hit in 2014 when four casinos closed.

During summers when I was growing up, I remember there being many bus trips from Baltimore up to Atlantic City. The cost of the ticket included your fare there and back as well as some chips or something to play inside the bus’ destination casino. Once the bus got to Atlantic City, you had 12 or so hours before the bus returned. You just went and did your thing.

This went on for years because AC was the only place in the region with table games. If you wanted to just play slots, you could go up to Delaware Park.

And then every state around New Jersey legalized table games. Delaware brought them into Delaware Park and Dover Downs. New York State followed. Pennsylvania’s table games went to new and already established casinos. Maryland Live, Horseshoe, and Hollywood Casinos opened in Maryland.

I wondered then about the fate of AC and the bus tours because if you were going to spend hours sitting there playing slots or cards, you had no reason to go all the way to Atlantic City to do it. Then 2014 happened. I wasn’t surprised, but a lot of folks in AC seemed to be.

Hopefully for the sake of the folks lining up to get jobs, they’ll be able to make something work at (the former?) Revel and Showboat and with the overall AC recovery. As one of the linked articles shows, there were people who put in many years working in those properties who very quickly found themselves out of work.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like in AC going forward with all the surrounding states working to keep the casino dollar at home, but until they can figure out the future of AC, I hope folks there find some relief.

5.

For years, my coworkers have praised me and my boss for keeping things going at the office. Information Technology is obviously important and we do our best, along with our technology partners, to keep things going. Even if I have to hear nearly every day that someone’s default printing settings have changed. Oh how I love to hear yet again that someone’s default printing settings have changed.

However, I have to nominate our HR Director for being the one who really keeps things going there. Anybody who can actually understand the complicated processes surrounding interactions with the health care and insurance industries and help the rest of us with all the documentation and calling and making sure folks get paid while you don’t get thoroughly ganked, is worth their weight in gold.

The documentation and payment process has been nearly as stressful as the hospital stay that produced the need for much of the documentation in the first place. Having someone there to help is pretty invaluable.

I help my coworkers keep their iPhones synced with their office email and the occasional Facebook password reset. And I personally take complaints about user printing settings. I guess there’s value in that, as well.

Writer, et. al.