--Due to a power outage two weeks ago at our school we must go an extra half day tomorrow with attendance expected at around 25% which in turn repeatedly prompted this conversation today:

STUDENT: Guess what?
ME: You have an end of the year gift for me?
STUDENT: No, but I'm not coming to school tomorrow.
ME: That's the greatest gift of all...

Now that school's out I can spend more time on my own non-censored home computer...a scenario in which I believe everybody wins...

--In other work related news I was on my way to an interview Thursday when I realized I could not be bitter and/or sarcastic which, quite frankly, is tying my hands right there. Or as an ex-girlfriend once noted, "if it wasn't for bitterness and sarcasm you'd have no personality at all." All things considered...probably didn't get it.

--Now I see it. That's the actress who played Sue Ellen Mischke, the Bra-Less Heir to the O. Henry Candybar fortune, on Seinfeld in the ad for the new Dallas on TNT. So thank you IMDB for saving me from having to watch that steaming pile of garbage.

In 1995 we loved actress Betty Strong and her free-wheeling, Devil may care attitude...17 years later hopefully she's thrown a blouse on...

--On June 1 Mets manager Terry Collins was on the horns of a dilemma after Johan Santana had successfully completed 7 hitless innings vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. On the one hand  Mets history regarding this possibility was akin to how Hawkeye Pierce liked his martinis, "dry, drier, driest...a veritable Dustbowl of no-hitters", but at the same time if the surgically repaired shoulder of Santana was going to complete the feat it would require him to throw enough pitches to make Iron Man Joe McGinnity wince (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_McGinnity). In the end Collins left Santana in, he threw 134 pitches, but got the first no-no in franchise history...So was it all worth it?

    I'll say mostly yes and a little no. Yes because loyal Mets fans deserved it. Now I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of this Mets club as a playoff contender, but in the parity of the NL it's not out of the question. Still it's nice to have some seasonal highlights to hang your hat on if the whole thing does tank lest you wind up with a season-ending video like that of 1979 Mets (63-99) titled "Turning It Over" and featuring shots of every single one of Frank Taveras' and Doug Flynn's league leading double plays (defensive, not offensive). Additionally Santana is not a youngster. He can determine his own breaking point and if he decides he wants to push it, well Hell, he's likely not coming back anyway when he contract expires so the risk is his own.

    On the other hand are no-hitters really that big a deal anymore? Kevin Milwood and a cast of several that included such luminaries as Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge and the naughtily named Charlie Furbush twirled one on 6/8. Not to mention Phil Humber's back in April. A feat that has produced worse followups than M. Night Shamaylan with Humber going 2-4 with a 6+ ERA since. Additionally 2011 saw hitless hurling from Ervin Santana and Francisco Liriano, 2010 from Ubaldo Jimenez and Dallas Braden, all moundsmen whose careers have turned considerably downward since those efforts. Toss in the fact that the Metropolitans really took one step forward/two steps back as the high pitch count forced Collins to push Johan's next start back in favor of Jeremy Hefner who got his ascot knocked off in a 5-3 loss to the Nats. And even when he did return he admitted to fatigue being the cause for a 5 IP, 6 ER, 4 HR performance against the Yankees.

    So in short, no-hitters...I could take 'em or leave 'em, but as a Mets fan I'm happy for Johan Santana's cherry-popper....You always remember your first.

Did we mention Scott Podsednik was signed as a free agent by the Red Sox...well now we did...so this picture of his wife is no longer gratuitous...

--Working at a school I get to see every even moderately special event turned into a Papparazzi fest that would make you think Kim Kardashian was going down on the ghost of Michael Jackson every other day in our Multi-Purpose Room. Or as comedian Jim Gaffigan once put it, "parents today have more photos of their kids than times my father even looked at me."

    In other words it's easy these days to make too much out of a small thing, but I do think there is something to be made of Tigers recent 8-4 run coinciding with the return of CF Austin Jackson. Now I'm no huge fan of Jackson who rode an inflated BABIP to an All-Star season in 2010 only to regress by 20-50 points in every triple slash category in 2011, but he is a table-setter scoring 193 runs while stealing 49 bases in those years.

    The real benefit of Jackson's return is that it has allowed the benching/scuttling of several Jim Leyland pets. I've always maintained that when you can no longer distinguish the feces from the food you're but a housecoat and pair of ratty slippers away from a spot on Animal Hoarders and by throwing personal favorites like Brandon Inge, Andy Dirks, Clete Thomas, Don Kelly, Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn into the outfield mix over the first two months Jimmy L. began to resemble nothing so much as the Crazy Cat Lady from The Simpsons as the Tigers floundered several games below .500.

    But surprinsingly the Jackson injury allowed irony to show its face in the Detroiters favor...no, not the Alanis Morrisette fly in your soup ironic which isn't ironic, but simply unfortunate, more like the first person to clone a sheep being a Scotsman kinda ironic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_(sheep  ...in that it produced the callup of Quintin Berry (.305 BA, .389 OPS), a player so far down the minor league pecking order that even hardcore MLB Annuals didn't have him on their radars.

    Now Inge has been released, Dirks DLed, Thomas traded, Kelly benched and Santaigo/Raburn confined to a 2B platoon that improves the Tigers by halving the number of positions they can drag into the Replacement Level abyss. Of course since I started this rambling dissertation Detroit dropped two of three on the road to Pittsburgh. Still Berry/Jackson have become the top of the order guys needed in front of Fielder and Cabrera while their speed and glovework drastically improves the outfield D and consequently the staff particularly pitch-to-contact guys like Rick Porcello and Doug Fister, as well as, flyball throwers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

    Additionally the Motor Citizens have played 45 games vs. +.500 teams vs. only 26 vs. sub-.500 squads, a stark contrast to the near 50/50 split faced by AL Central leaders Chicago and Cleveland. The bullpen is messy, but deep with Benoit, Coke and Dotel all able to take high leverage turns until Jose Valverde gets straightened out (figuratively, not literally), the starters might get a boost if 21 year-old phenom Jacob Turner can followup on his decent 2012 debut (5 IP, 1 ER vs. St.L.) and if a bat can be added at the deadline the White Sox and Indians may be sorry they didn't bury the Tigers when they had the chance.

--News reports indicate that fans at a Wrigley Field performance of "The Wall" by Roger Waters remained unmoved when a small remote control plane crashed into the side of the stage and caught fire apparently thinking it was part of the act. Then again after 104 years of pennant-less futility perhaps they were just "Comfortably Numb".

Finally, a chance for me to get some reading done...

--And finally in the ongoing aftermath of the Roger Clemens acquittal I'm sure you'll hear him blame his plight on everyone from Brian McNamee to George Mitchell to the owners to the media. The one person/group you won't here him excoriate though is the one most responsible for his ordeal, his fellow players.

    Clemens wants us to believe he's somehow different than McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Palmiero and the litany of liars that have been exposed before him. And to disassociate himself from the Canseco's, Caminiti's and Jason Grimsley's who have already revealed the sordid underbelly of the sport during Clemens' prime(s). He wants to stand alone and be judged which seems quite convenient considering he was happy to stand silently together with these same folks when the late 80s Collusion Ruling sent salaries skyrocketing or the MLBPA refused to even discuss drug testing of any kind in their collective bargaining.

    That the studly ex-ballplayer and his Barbie Doll wife were able to sway a jury better than a confessed drug dealing, divorcee who falls somewhere between Ratso Rizzo and the guy who played Luther in 48 Hours on the Pauly Shore Scale of Weasliness is hardly a shock.

Hard to believe the same guy also played a character named Luther in The Warriors...what range!

 But while it may fool 12 people who, as they say, weren't smart enough to get outta Jury Duty I'm proud to say it's not enough to fool true baseball fans.

    Police have often faced the same skepticism of their integrity when the vaunted "Blue Wall of Silence" has been erected to coverup malefeasance and bad cops. The difference is we are willing to forgive these indiscretions since these people, particularly in inner cities, put their lives on the line everyday and for that we accord them some latitude. Clemens and company play a kid's game for 100 times the salary. Their "Wall of Silence" was built of greed and ego and that deserves no latitude at all. In the long run maybe time will make it seem meaningless, but in the short-term here's hoping folks save their sympathy and their HOF votes for the more deserving.

OK, now this one's gratuitous...

--Wow, heavy stuff...where did that come from? Not really sure, but we'll be back by the end of the week with more crap including our update on bat-finding Red Sox starter Aaron Cook and his consecutive K-less inning streak, some Fantasy Football stuff and what the Hell a Corn Dog! Yeah, at this point I don't know either...Comment below...and Good Night!!