Chicken

This week’s meals all had a very common theme.

On Sunday night, we ate a rotisserie chicken.
On Monday night, I made chicken marsala.
For lunch on Tuesday, I had a chicken strip basket.
On Tuesday night, we had chicken wild rice salad.
For lunch Wednesday, I had leftover chicken marsala.
On Thursday night, we went out to Lucy’s Fried Chicken.
On Friday, we had lunch at Fresa, a Cuban chicken place.

That keeps in sync with my diet for the past 30+ years. I was a very picky little boy, so more often that not I would wind up eating chicken nuggets or chicken strips regardless of what meal was prepared for the rest of the family. I insisted on eating at McDonald’s whenever we went to Huron as a youngster and never got anything but chicken nuggets. There were dozens of various shapes of chicken at school lunches–chicken patty, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, chicken rounds, chicken squares, chicken rhombuses, chicken stars, chicken soup. Then in college we went to countless wing nights where we routinely ate 25 wings in one sitting.

If I figure I have eaten on average one chicken every week for the past 30 years, that is 1,560 chickens in a lifetime. If you consider that some of these chicken entrees were pieced together with the meat of various chickens, then I’ve probably eaten a part of 10,000 or more chickens. I hope there isn’t some bizarro afterlife where all the chickens I ate get the chance to eat me. But I’m probably safe from that, as I’ve never personally killed any of the chickens I’ve eaten.

This would be the rough equivalent of how many chickens I have consumed in my lifetime.

Chicken sure is good. It’s still my favorite food to this day. Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I’ve had some good Indian chicken vindaloo… maybe for lunch.

Ryan’s 2015 MLB Predictions

It’s time for my annual pre-season baseball predictions!

Last year, I incorrectly predicted a lot of things. I had the Red Sox and Cardinals in the World Series, I had the Twins losing 105 games, and I only predicted 4 of the 10 playoff teams correctly (Tigers, Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers). I even had the two teams that met in the World Series–the Giants and Royals–finishing with losing records. So how will I do for an encore?

Twins Preview
The Twins seemed like they were handcuffed a little bit this offseason. They have too many uber prospects about to join the team, so they couldn’t go spending big on free agents to fill those spots. Instead they pretty much stood pat at key positions, aside from bringing back Torii Hunter and adding Ervin Santana. I’m cool with that. I maybe would have tried to find a better stopgap center fielder like Peter Bourjos, but we’ll see what the Schafer/Robinson duo can do.

I doubt the Twins will move up the standings much in 2015, but I could see them winning 4-7 more games and finishing around 78-84 if all breaks right. They are in a surprisingly tough division all of a sudden, with the White Sox loading up, the Royals fresh off a shocking World Series appearance, and the Indians apparently everyone’s sleeper for 2015. I think the Tigers are on the downhill trend, but will still be competitive for the next year or two.

I imagine there will be a lot of evening out from last season. Overachievers like Danny Santana and Kurt Suzuki are bound to come back down to earth a little, while underachievers like Joe Mauer and Josmil Pinto are probably due for a slightly better year. If Santana and Vargas really are as good as they played in their rookie seasons, Mauer bounces back, Dozier continues to be a force in the top of the order, and they get anything whatsoever out of their center fielders, they should be a great offensive team again. I like the starting rotation of Hughes, Santana, Nolasco, Gibson, and Milone, but the defense behind them–especially in the outfield–is going to skew their numbers into looking worse than they are. Everyone is down on the Twins for their lack of outfield defense, and that’s a fair argument. Arcia and Hunter have very poor range. Even Schafer has a negative career UZR in center. That could be the Twins’ Achilles heel.

Officially, I’m predicting 76-86 and a last-place finish. But I think 2016 will be the year they challenge for a playoff spot… and if not then, definitely 2017.

 

AL East W L GB NL East W L GB
Boston 87 75 Washington 105 57
Toronto 84 78 3 Miami* 88 74 17
NY Yankees 83 79 4 NY Mets 81 81 24
Tampa Bay 82 80 5 Philadelphia 67 95 38
Baltimore 78 84 9 Atlanta 64 98 41
AL Central W L GB NL Central W L GB
Chicago WS 91 71 St Louis 97 65
Detroit* 87 75 4 Pittsburgh* 92 70 5
Cleveland 86 76 5 Chicago Cubs 81 81 16
Kansas City 77 85 14 Milwaukee 76 86 21
Minnesota 76 86 15 Cincinnati 73 89 24
AL West W L GB NL West W L GB
Seattle 90 72 LA Dodgers 93 69
LA Angels* 89 73 1 San Francisco 91 71 2
Oakland 86 76 4 San Diego 86 76 7
Houston 80 82 10 Colorado 69 93 24
Texas 69 93 21 Arizona 67 95 26

 

AL Wild Card: LA Angels def. Detroit
NL Wild Card: Pittsburgh def. Miami

ALDS: Seattle def. LA Angels, Boston def. Chicago
NLDS: 
Washington def. Pittsburgh, St Louis def LA Dodgers

ALCS: Boston def. Seattle
NLCS: 
St Louis def. Washington

World Series: St Louis def. Boston (I’m hoping I’m way off. It’s a World Series I wouldn’t watch.)

AL MVP: Mike Trout, LAA
NL MVP: Andrew McCutchen, PIT

AL CY: Felix Hernandez, SEA
NL CY: Jacob DeGrom, NYM

AL MGR: Robin Ventura, CHW
NL MGR: 
Mike Redmond, MIA

AL ROY: Rusney Castillo, BOS
NL ROY: 
Jorge Soler, CHC

AL Comeback Player: Prince Fielder, TEX
NL Comeback Player: Ryan Howard, PHI

AL HR Leader: Jose Abreu, CHW, 48
NL HR Leader: Troy Tulowitzki, COL, 43

AL Batting Champion: Carlos Santana, CLE, .332
NL Batting Champion: Anthony Rendon, WAS, .336

Got any predictions you’d like to officially add for the record? Leave a comment and we’ll check back in October!