Tra Phuong and her friend were having a good time. They swayed to the tune of jazz melodies crooned by a French singer, not put off by the sounds of clinking glasses and exhortations of "zo zo tram phan tram" (Vietnamese for "bottoms up") coming from a nearby table. Phuong came to the bar after her dance lesson at 9 p.m. The marketing and sales professional ordered a glass of beer, then a cocktail and she and her friend enjoyed the live music while making small conversation. At 11:30 p.m., the band stopped playing. The sounds of chitchat and clinking of glasses continued, but these were getting feeble, too. A few minutes later, Phuong and her friend paid their bill and left. All entertainment and other business establishments in the capital city, bars, pubs, restaurants, shops starting winding down close to midnight, when Hanoi police patrols set out, reminding them to shut down, turn off electricity, clear motorbikes off the sidewalk street - a practice aimed at maintaining public … [Read more...] about Don’t stop the clock at midnight, nightlife seekers tell Hanoi
Time will tell lyrics
What those same people don’t remember and never will without looking it up is which team had the best farm system that season. Or which front office did the best job of managing the payroll in 2018 so it stayed under Major League Baseball’s luxury-tax threshold. Winning the World Series is all that matters. The Dodgers have won seven consecutive division championships and assembled a player development machine that churns out high-end talent. But they still haven’t won a championship since 1988. The Yankees have done everything right under Brian Cashman, investing in analytics and building up their farm system. But they have one championship in the last 18 seasons. For all the cognoscenti who laud the Athletics for their enlightened frugality, their last World Series was in 1990. The poor Twins have managed to lose 16 postseason games in a row since 2004. But that’s better than the Mariners, who were last in the postseason in 2001. Jamie Moyer, who won … [Read more...] about Now is not the time for Red Sox to trade Mookie Betts
The only half-decent team they played was the Fool’s Gold Bills, who featured the worst quarterback most of us have seen. You certainly can’t do any better than 5-0 when you’ve only played five games, but New England’s degree of difficulty has been a joke. The mighty 2-3 Giants are next, and they just allowed 490 yards to the Vikings. The Patriots are 15½-point favorites Thursday. Then, it’ll be the (still winless) Jets again. Even Bill Belichick cannot be a fan of this. There has been no true measure. Are you entertained? ■ Theo Epstein and the Cubs really know how to fire people. When Theo decided it was time to break up with Joe Maddon, he shared a bottle of wine with Maddon the night before the final game of the season, then, before the Sunday finale, he held a joint press conference with the manager who’d won him a World Series. Contrast that with the Red Sox’ secretive, chaotic, ham-handed handling of the … [Read more...] about Why we can’t tell how good the Patriots are, and other thoughts
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman isn’t under contract for 2020. There is no evidence that suggests he would leave Los Angeles given how he has helped set up the team for long-term success. But he has yet to agree to a new contract. Team president Stan Kasten expects it to happen. But until Friedman signs a new deal, the Red Sox have to at least investigate the possibilities. He would be a perfect choice. Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim (pronounced HIGH-em) Bloom fits the Sox’ criteria. He’s a rung below Erik Neander in Tampa Bay’s structure but has been influential in putting the roster together. The Rays have won only six fewer regular-season games than the Red Sox over the last two years spending despite roughly $333 million less on payroll. Friedman left the Rays for the Dodgers and instilled financial discipline while remaining successful. Bloom could do the same for the Sox. The Dodgers combine … [Read more...] about Red Sox willing to take their time replacing Dave Dombrowski
I've been married to my second wife for the past decade; it's her second marriage too. Our marriage has had its ups-and-downs, but mostly downs of late as the legal cost of her ex's meddling (he is still fighting custody order) has been growing exponentially. Basically, her entire income goes to lawyers. When I brought up marriage counseling about a year ago, her response was to talk about selling our house, separation, and divorce. It took me by surprise because I was not thinking about divorce. We tried counseling, but it made things worse. Ultimately she made it clear that she realized she wanted to stay with me because she needed my financial support to make ends meet and keep fighting for her child. She flip-flops between "I can't imagine not having you in my life" and "I don't want to be seen in the same room as you." It is really toxic for me and my therapist agrees. Recently, I went to the wake of a high school friend. There, I ran into my high school crush (whom I never had … [Read more...] about Is it time to end my second marriage?