Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Mafia Deepens Its Roots    

Given that I'm headed back to Haverford this weekend, it's an interesting coincidence that two alums have accepted prominent positions with baseball franchises of late.  Congrats to fellow alum and former Red Sox assistant general manager Josh Byrnes, who today became GM of the Diamondbacks.  Also moving upwards is Thad Levine, who is now an assistant GM with the Texas Rangers.  It's clear that my alma mater is secretly plotting to counter baseball's trend towards number-crunching with a healthy dose of liberal arts.  To say nothing of countering the Yankees' infighting with some good old Quaker consensus-building.

The Hot Stove Begins!    

Jose's offseason Keys have been funny so far.  Shocking, I know.
Wells Pines For Return To Sea
Catholics And Soxists Go To Penalty Shootout

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

D! Fense!    

This was supposed to be a response to an email about David Gassko's defensive metric "range" (read The Hardball Times here and here), but my reaction got way out of control.  I admit ahead of time that I'm channeling a general dislike of defensive statistics into my argument against this particular one.  Anyway, here we go...

1) Here's a list of the most egregious goofs, keeping in mind that Gassko only provided his top and bottom 5 for each position:

* Jeromy Burnitz, +15
* Kevin Millar, +13
* Andruw Jones, +2 (ish)
* Vernon Wells, -22
* Alex Rodriguez, -27

(I'm not even including the stuff that's off-the-wall in my personal opinion, such as Miguel Tejada and Jose Valentin (???) being the best shortstops of 2004... I'm sticking to generally-accepted-as-fact-by-knowledgeable-analysts assessments here.)

How can any of these results be considered authoritative when Gold Glove defenders are placed dead last at their positions?  And how could Burnitz and Millar be above 0?  Something's rotten in the state of Denmark.  What kind of margin of error are we working with, +/- 50???  Gassko addresses Wells' bizarre -22 by saying, "he was +9 in 2004, won a Gold Glove and has a generally good reputation as a fielder. I don’t know what’s going on here."  Well, I do... your formula doesn't work.

2) Let's take the example given in the initial article.  In 2004, Derek Jeter made 392 assists, when Gassko estimates he should have had 419, good for a -27 rating raw, -16 converted to runs.  But let's say there's a 5% margin of error.  That's healthy, but not unreasonably big.  A 5% swing would potentially bring Jeter within 392 of 398, putting him in mediocrity where he belongs, or down to 392 of 440, which makes him Edgar Renteria bad.  (The ultimate insult!)  Considering the sample-space problems that Gassko himself cites, how can he put any stock in his "playable" ball estimate?  Given the wild data swings caused by a margin of error that's realistic for your average national poll, I consider the results unusable.

3) Defensive metrics don't work.  Ever.  Given the data available to civilians, defensive value is patently unquantifiable.  Once the starting position and path of the fielder, speed and path of the batted ball, and speed of the baserunner down the path can be tracked, thus allowing "playability" of each ground ball to be calculated, then we can talk.  Until then, any negative stat can be refuted by good old anecdotal evidence, as can any positive stat.

Defensive sabermetrics is therefore, in my mind, an intriguing, well-intentioned, utter waste of time.


Monday, October 24, 2005

When All Else Fails, Hope Still Lives On    

Looks like the Rams have a chance this year after all.  Seriously.  This could be like when Mo Lewis nearly killed Drew Bledsoe on the field, leading directly to the rise of Tom Brady and three Super Bowls.  Drew getting plastered was awful news, but I don't think (in retrospect) that the Pats would have done much with Bledsoe on the field.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Just Wondering    

Anyone else notice that Roger Clemens pulled up lame as soon as Houston really needed something from him? Standard issue Clemens last night; that choking sound you heard on TV in the second inning came from the visitors' showers at Comiskey. It's sad that Houston fans got a taste of the real Rocket... the guy who leaves.

When The Saints Go Marching Out    

It's not that surprising that the Saints are looking to escape New Orleans. It stinks that they are preparing to abandon ship, like everyone else. But, honestly, can you blame them? There is absolutely no reason to give the Saints' stadium situation any attention right now. Since Tom Benson knows he has zero chance of getting ANY public funding for a stadium until the late 2010s, can you really blame him for wanting to leave?

This is not the Browns or Oilers or Colts or Rams, or any of the other teams that have inexplicably left cities behind. Those teams had strong franchises, and abandoned their cities solely to grab more money. Their fans supported the team, and gave their owners tons of money. It is inexcusable for those teams to have moved. Tom Benson isn't exactly bankrupt right now, but the Saints are in much worse shape than any NFL team that has moved since the merger. His stadium is in shambles, the city around it is in shambles, and he will have zero support from his city government for the next 10 years minimum. Would you bet your $400 million business on that situation? Or would you instead try to move to the second-largest city in America? When you stack things up like that, Benson doesn't look so bad by comparison. Bad, but not that bad.

After nearly watching the Pats move out of town twice in the 90s, I feel that no team with a local identity should EVER be allowed to move from a city, unless the nightmare scenario strikes. The floods are the nightmare scenario. I feel for Saints fans, since the team is really piling it on these poor folks by leaving town, but it's tough to argue too loudly.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I've Seen The Future    

His name is Alex Ovechkin.  Sidney Crosby, eat your heart out.  Vech is on a less-talented team with no leadership, and he's lighting it up on a nightly basis.  The Caps are 3-5, when they really ought to be more like 0-8; Vech and Olie Kolzig can split credit for those three wins.  This is not a good team at all.  I didn't see the Tampa game the other night (OT shootout win over the champs) when they apparently clicked on all cylinders, but last night they were back to normal.  Olie the Goalie stopped 47 (!) last night but lost 3-2 to the mighty Roberto Luongo and his Panthers.  Both goals were from Vech, who had a staggering 10 of his team's 31 shots.  He's got 6 goals in his first 8 games, and has scored them in a couple different ways (one-timers from the high slot, cleaning up short rebounds in front, gunning straight towards the net) so as long as he stays aggressive and doesn't tire out, he's gonna have an excellent year. 

Whither Crosby?  He's doing really well (2 G, 7 A) also, and he might close the gap once Vech gets his opponents' full attention, which ought to be pretty soon.  I mean, who's worth defending on the Caps?  Dainius Zubrus, the Joey Harrington of hockey???  No thanks.  But even still, Vech is quite obviously the only player on the Caps who finishes, and thus will get the lion's share of scoring chances.  Crosby, meanwhile, is playing under the estimable wings of Mario Lemieux, Mark Recchi and Ziggy Palffy.  You can argue that their presence creates more scoring opportunities for Crosby, but I'm thinking Crosby's learning-while-doing thing under Mario's wing will end up hurting his numbers (short-term) even though his education will pay off later.  Short-term, the smart money for Calder is on Ovechkin, who will get fed puck after puck after puck by his mediocre teammates.

Through 8 games, the first round in the Calder race goes to Alex Ovechkin.  Nine rounds to go.

you say funny thing. Arise Chicken!    

Courtesy of ESPN's Jayson Stark:

Finally, when he found himself staring Roger Clemens in the eye, the Rocket actually lifted Bagwell into the euphoric night. Asked how high off the ground he thought Clemens had elevated him, Bagwell could only say: "He's one big man."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ho Ho Ho!    

Evil Empire megabucks... denied!!!



I think Houston wins the series.  They still have the edge on paper.  It'll be harder than they expected, but it'll happen.  Neither Mulder nor Morris has been particularly good of late, while Oswalt and Clemens have been.  I also don't buy this nonsense about St. Louis having the momentum.  This is a team that holds momentum by pinching it with two fingers, holding it elevated at a distance, while saying "ewwwww, grody!" through pursed lips.  You have to give a shit about winning in order to grab momentum.  This spin-doctoring about La Russa being the "steadying hand" or whatever... absolute BS.  That's like saying Marty Schottenheimer has a real gift for keeping his teams calm and unconcerned in playoff situations.  The Cards' bench is like a goddamn morgue.  That team needs Kevin Millar to shake things up, and they can have him.  (As unbelievable as it sounds, they actually need his bat too.  Didn't John Mabry establish that he sucked in, like, 1998 or something?  Why does he still have a job?)

Anyway, I don't see the comeback happening.  I certainly hope it doesn't; joyless baseball has nothing to offer me.  I wouldn't be stunned, but people are already writing off Houston based on what happened in 1986.  This is NOT the Angels.  The Astros are way better than the '86 Angels.  And that HR wasn't a shot out of nowhere like Hendu's was... this was Albert F. Pujols, the most dangerous hitter in the National League, earning his paycheck.  The Cards got exactly what they wanted.  (Earth to A-Scrod... put the 9th inning of Game 5 on "save until I delete" status on your TiVo, and play it on a loop until February.)  Will they get lucky tonight?  Does anyone really think Brad Lidge would do that twice?  He was unfortunate enough to have made his first mistake of the year against Pujols.  He's not gonna let it happen again.  Astros win.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Canadiens: U Suck    

4-3 loss, after the Bruins blow a 2-0 lead.  They very nearly got the tying goal in the last seconds despite Montreal having a 2-man advantage.  Fun game though.  So what did we learn?

1. Thank God for Nick Boynton and Andrew Raycroft.
By the third period, the Habs forwards (Kovalev, Koivu, Perezhogin, and Ribeiro the Injury-Faking Scumbag Pussy) were just blowing by every defenseman not named Boynton.  And you can't blame a goalie who gives up four goals but stopped 34 shots nonetheless.  That's on the defensemen, though the rampant power plays don't make holding a lead any easier.

2. Patrice Bergeron will score 40 goals.
On a 5-3 power play, he blew by all 3, deked Jose Theodore, and lost the puck.

3. Mike Ribeiro is an injury-faking, diving, wolf-crying piece of shit pussy asshole.
OK, so we didn't learn that, we merely remembered it.  I hope he gets Steve Moored by somebody.

4. Jose Theodore is The Man.
Good lord.  I forget who it was that he robbed in the 3rd period, but it was incredible.  Knocked the puck out of the air and sent it behind the net.  I wish I could remember who it was.

5. Brad Isbister has come to play.
That's good, because he's a big dude who can play on the scoring line or the checking line and still be effective.  With Samsonov installed up front, and P.J. "Goal-A-Game" Axelsson lighting it up, he'll have to be satisfied on the #3 line with Scatchard and McEachern/Fitzgerald.

6. The NHL is much, much better.

Rangers/Panthers last night, and Bruins/Habs tonight, were both excellent, excellent games.  How can a 4-0 victory be excellent?  Because we saw some goals, that's why.  That same fun-filled 4-0 game would have been a 1-0 snoozefest in 2003.

Gestapo Tactics: Endgame    

It's Gestapo Tactics!

I mean Gestapo tactics, I mean GESTAPO TACTICS! That's right!

Gestapo Tactics, Part Zwei    

How's this for Gestapo tactics?  I say don't stop at the off-court events.  Make NBA players wear the John Stockton short-shorts.  Plenty of people think NBA players are undereducated college dropouts; what better way to dispel that idiotic stereotype than to show the fans a little brain?

I'm actually a little surprised that Der Fuhrer is disallowing players from wearing the NBA throwbacks that have made him so much money.  Typically a league will force you to wear the apparel they're trying so hard to sell.

Oh, wait... maybe this is the official introduction of NBA Formalwear, featuring the finest Italian-made suits.  That makes perfect sense.

Popping A Cold One    

glug glug glug glug

Here's hoping my blue #54 arrives in time for the Indy game.  Here's also hoping he can play friggin' cornerback.

Gestapo Tactics    

Here's one more piece of ammunition for those arguing that NCAA Basketball is a business, not an amateur sport.
And yes, I'm fully aware that using the terms "Gestapo" and "amateur" may lead to some interesting page views. There's no such thing as bad press, after all.

"Ear to ear!"    

A bastardized quote, inspired by the fantastic scene w/Jennifer Connelly to culminate Requiem for a Dream, which describes how big I'm smiling this morning.
Two reasons: I watched the Rangers for the first time since 2003 last night, and they looked fantastic. Jagr potted two sniper one-timers from the top of the zone on power plays, within 45 seconds of each other. The youngins attacked the puck all night and drew a ton of penalties. So many, in fact, that a tiny little voice cried C-O-N spiracy! Could it be that the league has decided to call games tight against Rangers' opponents? Rangers power plays = NY wins, and NY wins = ratings, ratings, RATINGS!
Ok, it's WAY too early to talk about that, but I'll keep it in mind as I watch this year. Especially since Jagr's probably too old to power through people the way he used to, and could benefit from some generous calls against clutchgrabbers.
One last note on the Rangers- either Florida suckssuckssucks (offensively- that Luongo guy is good), or this Ljundquist kid is the shizknight. Weekes? Weak.

But is that why I'm grinning so big this morning? Partly, but not mostly.
Mostly it's due to this sonofabitch being out of my goddamned life forever!
Ding- Dong, the bitch is dead!
I feel like shouting from the rooftops!
Of course, Isaiah is upset that this will break up "the best backcourt in the league", but I gotta say, if you give me a team with 12 tweeners, I too could come up with a backcourt that looks pretty good on paper. On the court? Garbage.

Finally, the Yankees have been given permission to talk w/ Leo Mazzone. I'm not holding my breath, cause this sounds a bit too good to be true. Atlanta would be brain-numbingly stupid to touch the combo they've got at the helm. New York would be equally stupid not to one-up whatever contract Atlanta offers. This guy is worth his weight in championship diamonds. If they sign him, pencil Wang/Chacon/Small in for 14-18 wins apiece next year. That + 35 or so from Johnson/Mussina = AL East Champions, 2006. Ok, maybe I am holding my breath. And yes, I've now jinxed it by talking during the 1st inning of Cashman's Perfect Offseason. Damn.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fox Robs Houston    

Around 11:27, Fox announced that Lance Berkman, who gave Houston a 4-2 lead in the 7th inning, was its Player Of The Game.

Around 11:36, Albert Pujols hit a 2-out, 3-run home run that landed in Galveston. 5-4 Cardinals.

Like anyone with a decent amount of conspiracy theorism under his belt, I blame Fox for the home run. Thanks a lot. More joyless Cardinals baseball. I think the Cardinals pitchers are actually upset that Pujols hit that home run. They had flight reservations! I saw Jason Marquis on his cell phone in the 6th, calling Southwest to cancel his flight to Fort Myers.


They're currently 3-3 on the year, despite enduring injuries to some of their mainstays (Bananaman, Dave Scatchard) and a holdout by their best defenseman (Nick Boynton, who just signed).  While that's nothing to sneeze at, they're in last place.  One can imagine the Leafs, Sabres and Habs eventually giving way, but one can also imagine them keeping it up.  I'd probably put the B's down for third place behind Ottawa and the Leafs, but that's not too confident a statement at this point... the Canadiens and Sabres really aren't that far behind.  The Sens probably own the division, but the rest is anyone's guess.  Jason Allison and Eric Lindros shouldn't stay healthy all season for the Leafs, but they might.  Alexei Kovalev should pot 40 goals with the new rules, but he might not.  Buffalo is scoring goals with Daniel Briere, smoke, and mirrors... is anyone besides Briere and Chris Drury worth worrying about?

The Bruins' offense comes and goes, but has been evenly distributed... Glen Murray, Patrice Bergeron, P.J. Axelsson, Sergei Samsonov, Bananaman and Brad Isbister have all been in the scoring summaries consistently.  Isbister's play has been a big plus... he hasn't done jack in a few years, so his performance has been a nice surprise.  But on the whole, only Shawn McEachern (6 GP, 0 pts, -6 +/-) appears lost.  The checking line (Axelsson/Isbister, Dave Scatchard, Tom Fitzgerald) has some offensive punch as well, so there's a good deal of potential.

Their defense is also evenly distributed... shitty all the way through.  They need Boynton to get his head in the game, stat.  And the rooks need to learn a little bit faster.

If we end up chalking the season up to experience, and just tell Andrew Alberts, Kevin Dallman, Milan Jurcina et al to learn what they can and pray for Andrew Raycroft to bail them out, maybe it'll pay off by springtime.  But if they have playoff aspirations, it looks like their work is cut out for them.

Dora, explained    

makes sense to me.

Especially since he had found out that his cat had died the night before he pulled the infamous slap play.

Ok, poor joke. I still don't give him a free pass, and will continue to call little a Dora, but at least it was at least a combination of factors (grief, lack of clutch, overflow of Jeet Jeet in his drawers)that led to his hideous performance.

Oh, Contreras...    

Looking more and more like White Sox/Astros next weekend...

Congrats to the White Sox. The whole Game 2 thing was unfortunate. But having lived through something like that, you just accept your gift and move forward. And how can you complain about Game 2 when you get so utterly dominated in Games 3, 4 and 5??? Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a postseason rotation! Who can root against a team that doesn't even need its above-average bullpen? I admit to being roughly 800% wrong about the White Sox' starters, having been unimpressed with them all year long. I am a HUGE Jose Contreras fan, by the way... after realizing that every complete game playoff win must be a serated dagger twisting through the hearts of Yankee fans everywhere. Hehehe. But on a less selfish note, I am glad that an odds-on favorite has now emerged. Pitching and defense, folks...

As for the NL, you gotta love the Astros right now. Game 4 was extremely ugly, but I blame Tony La Russa. He knows better. I have no idea why an allegedly superior manager would pull a nutter like that. It just sets a bad example for your players... and wouldn't you know it, Jim Edmonds pulled a nutter himself and got himself tossed in the middle of an at-bat. Granted, Phil Cuzzi should be banned from the next five playoffs for his handling of the Jim Edmonds situation. There's absolutely no excuse for running a guy so promptly; any ump who can't put the players' anger in context doesn't deserve to work in the playoffs. Major kudos to Tim McClelland for trying to keep the game in hand (like he's supposed to) instead of satisfying his inescurities. Further proof that McClelland is the best umpire in baseball, and has been for a long time. Why the umpires can't model themselves after him, as opposed to a hotheaded dipshit like John Hirschbeck, is beyond me. Sandy Alderson should make Cuzzi watch game film of McClelland in a Clockwork Orange chair.

I don't think the Cards are entirely dead, but their only chance at this point is to outslug Houston. St. Louis' rotation has shown its true colors this week... and they're all shades of brown! As good as Chris Carpenter may be, he's not shutting anyone down right now, not even San Diego. Mark Mulder has never been a dominator. And I think we've seen the best from Matt Morris and Jeff Suppan. Since they don't have a money pitcher, it would take a monumental Houston collapse for them to win without scoring runs. I don't know if it's documented here, but I've been questioning this rotation all season, primarily because of their Emperor's New Clothes-type meltdown last fall. Each of their pitchers is beatable. No guts. On the flip side, I've watched Andy Pettitte long enough to know what he does in games like this. He wins them. Doesn't matter what kind of season he had... he could post a 6.00 ERA in the regular season, but go through the whole postseason without allowing a run. He's the white El Duque. Gotta respect that. And you gotta think that between Pettitte, Oswalt and Clemens, one of those guys can beat the imploding Cardinals. Hopefully this thing goes the full seven games, but I'm not seeing it.

In closing, F the Broncos. In fact, F 'em with a capital F... sideways. And make sure that capital F is big enough to really hurt.

Friday, October 14, 2005


1. The call was total BS.  The whole thing about "umps don't overrule each other until there's an appeal" is embarrassing to everyone.  But I guess if it's good enough for the Mafia, it's good enough for umpires.
2. The catcher has no excuse for not doing what every other catcher does in that situation... if it's close to the dirt, always tag the guy just in case.  Game 2 was Exhibit A for why you do that.
3. The complaints about the ump not distinguishing his calls are stupid.  If the game is in the hands of an umpire's STYLE, you mesed up somewhere.
4. I don't play favorites between the two teams, but anything that saves me from a week's worth of ThunderStix is a good thing.
5. Instant replay for all plays except balls and strikes.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again... all sports should have replay.  Nothing is worse than when the officials affect the game.  Nobody likes it, not even officials.  Who should be against this?  Other than Chuck Knoblauch, I mean.

White Tavern Double and Other Cheap Shots    

Ok, so arod isn't the MVP.
Ok, so Sturtze is a giant-sized ass.

Is this news?

I'm still waiting for an ALCS-induced column about the necessity of instant replay in beisbol (BOO!).... yep, still waiting.

You could at least have given little a a week off to recover. And by the way, my new nickname for Mr. Rodriguez is "little a" - I no longer think he deserves the capital Arod. So from now on he's little a. Or, failing that, spell it backward- he's dora.
dora for mvp! It just rolls off the tongue. Much like Jeet's Jeet-Jeet.

Besides, there's a much bigger asshole I love out there begging to be made an example of.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


From ESPN:

Only a few players were in the clubhouse to clean out their lockers. Reliever Tanyon Sturtze talked about the team's charter flight home after the final loss, a departure delayed for 3½ hours at the Ontario, Calif., airport by mechanical problems, then interrupted by a stop in Houston to change crews.

"That was the most miserable night ever," he said.

More miserable than, ohhh I dunno, the night your hometown team eliminated you from the playoffs after being down 0-3, sending your mediocre ass out of the playoffs and into a 25-way tie for the title of Biggest Loser Of All-Time? Or maybe more miserable than getting your face pounded on national television, and having people recognize you primarily as the guy who was bleeding in the Sox-Yankees fight? Well, no matter which of these three options he thinks is the most miserable, at least he can blame it on the same guy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


This season turned out like one of those movies where two guys (Sox/Yanks) slug it out for a whole movie over a girl, and each tries to sabotage the other's date with the girl, until she finally decides she doesn't want to date either of them because they fight so much.  In fact, there was an Arrested Development story arc that played out just like that... straight man Michael (Yankees) is in love with the girl his idiot brother Gob (Red Sox) treats like shit (booing Bellhorn, Foulke and Renteria mercilessly), they end up fighting outside a courthouse, and the girl decides she hates them both and walks off, leaving them to ponder their predicament.  Naturally, after they stop fighting, childlike Buster (Orioles) indignantly demands that someone punch him in the face too, because he feels left out.  Anyway, it's just like that, except instead of realizing what a gift it has been to have such a close, respectable rival at my side all season long, I still want the Yankees to burn in hell, with railroad spikes shoved through their Charlie Browns.

And in closing, anyYankee fan who still thinks A-Rod is the MVP after Monday night... I believe you will be dining with the pro-Graffanino crowd tonight, and your table is ready.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Big Win    

Despite the shpankings delivered by Carolina and San Diego, the injury-riddled Pats will have pulled off road wins in Pittsburgh and Atlanta during this current stretch-of-death.  To recap, here's weeks 2 through 6 for the Pats:
  1. @ CAR: L 17-27
  2. @ PIT: W 23-20
  3. SD: L 17-41
  4. @ ATL: W 31-28
  5. @ DEN: this week
If they come out 2-3 from this stretch, I think that's perfectly OK.  After Denver, their schedule is littered with patsies like Miami, New Orleans, and Indianapolis.  I think, considering their injuries and the filthy pile of poop they call a defensive backfield, they will need to sweep their division in order to win 10 games, cause the rest of their non-division schedule is atrocious too.  Compare it to Indianapolis' non-division schedule:

NE's non-division opponents: OAK, CAR, PIT, SD, ATL, DEN, IND, NO, KC, TB (combined Week 5 record: 29-18)
Indy's non-division opponents: BAL, CLE, SF, STL, NE, CIN, PIT, SD, SEA, ARZ (combined Week 5 record: 24-25)

Since when does it benefit someone to choke games away like a bitch?  Apparently since this schedule came out.  This doesn't help the Pats in any way whatsoever... they can survive and still make the playoffs, but just having lost to some of these tough opponents will mean the Pats potentially lose a head-to-head tiebreaker against that team as well... given that 5 of the 6 non-division teams are going to contend for a playoff spot, they can't afford that.  If they win, all this is moot, but that's only one of many possible outcomes at this point.  With no pass defense, merely-good run defense up the middle, and no running attack to speak of until yesterday, how much can one reasonably demand from them?  They could still pull off 12-4, but they look awfully mortal right now.  10-6 and the division title is probably what will happen.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Good News For Pats    

The Patriots finally got the break they needed: the ESPN pregame crew unanimously picked Atlanta.  This game has therefore become a battle between the Ewing Theory (no Vick today) and the Contrary to Public Opinion Act of 2001 (Pats win SB).

Also, I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO.

Friday, October 07, 2005

If DC Weather Is Any Indication...    

...the ALDS should be over around, ohhhhh, October 23rd.  Rain through Saturday afternoon in the mid-Atlantic means rain through Sunday in New England.  Combined with whatever stupid crap comes from the Midwest.  The NLCS might finish before the ALCS even starts, for friggin sake.  If tomorrow's games actually happen, I tip my cap to ballpark science.

Presuming the game happens, I believe in Wakie Magic tonight.  He's been overdue for a huge playoff outing.  He's been shaky (or bullpen-bound) since arriving, but was NLCS MVP in 1992 or whenever it was.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I was the giddiest kid in the state last night... during a crippling blow to the Red Sox' repeat chances... all because the Capitals and Blue Jackets, probably the two worst franchises in hockey, were on TV.  What kind of sicko would get excited about them?  Me, I guess.  I got an added treat by seeing two earth-shaking plays by Caps rookie dynamo Alexander Ovechkin... the first, a bone-crunching hit on the forecheck, the second a screaming one-timer from the slot for his first NHL goal.  He might be the best player on the Caps, and he's only been in the NHL for 60 minutes.  Definitely the best forward from the look of things.  Nice to see the hometown team might have an identity again.

The Broons, meanwhile, lost to Montreal on a PP goal with 11.1 seconds left in the game.  As Spaulding Smails would say, "DOUBLE farts!"  But Patrice Bergeron picked up where he left off in 2004 by potting the lone goal for Boston.  He and Raycroft (2 GA, 19 sv) are the future.  But it also looks like the depth at defenseman has ironed itself out, even in Nick Boynton's absence.  Leetch, Gill, Dallman, Alberts, Slegr and Moran is kinda mediocre, but serviceable.  Throw in the prospects late in the season (Mark Stuart, Milan Jurcina) along with Boynton, if he ever signs, and 2003-04 starter Jonathan Girard, and you're talking about an extremely deep corps to choose from.  Not that talented, apart from Boynton and Leetch, but deep.  Injuries do happen, after all, so having 8-10 guys who can play is a good problem to have.

Bye Bye Jeremi    

After sleeping on this for a couple days, I have an announcement:


You can't close SHIT, YOU ARE SHIT, hit the bricks pal, cause you are going OUT!!!

Prediction Succeeded: I Am Awesome    

I will now light myself on fire... and put it out by patting myself on the back...

I maintained that Tony Graffanino would destroy this team in the end, and dadgummit if he didn't just do it. Next time you're tempted to fall in love with a player whose primary asset is that he "just plays a good solid [insert position here]"... RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!! He's venomous poison... like poison running through your veins. And here's a message for anyone who thought he'd be more helpful than Mark "I Gave You That World Series, You Ungrateful Bastards" Bellhorn:

Enough said on that.

They're still alive, but they sure don't look like they've got much in the tank. And the pre-August White Sox have made a phoenixian rise from the ashes, although hitting against Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo and Jeremi Gonzeatmyshityouasshole has a tendency to bring that out of a team.

Anyone remember the 1999 Indians? They had Dave Burba as their ace, because their rotation was so dreadful, but they won the AL Central because it was the worst division in years? They went up 2-0 on Boston, who proceeded to win the next three, including a 23-7 drubbing in Game 4. The Red Sox remind me of them. Except they're down 2-0 and are able to win. That's not much comfort, but weirder things have happened... albeit with more talent at their disposal, but still. I be-lieeeeeeeeeve!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


1) Lackey makes the Yankees look very, very bad tonight. Wang pitches well enough but not great, giving up 4 over 6 innings, and Torre tosses a giant can of kerosene on the mound named Al Leiter. ARod hits a titanic and meaningless solo shot in the 9th. Giambi/Tino/Bernie combine for 7 Ks. Final score: 8-3 Angels.

side note: Joe Buck uses/abuses the phrase "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" approximately 57 times tonight, infuriating me enough to warrant 3 separate hits from the mute bong. Seriously... he constantly refers to them using their full moniker, and smirking about it. Meanwhile, he almost always refers to Los New York Jankees of da Bronx as simply, "The Yankees". There's some Pele/Ronaldo hero worship shit going on here, and, frankly, it stinks worse than a Tim McCarver salient point. Just call the teams by their names! They're the Angels. If a viewer can't figure out that they're from LA/Anaheim/Mars, so be it.

2) The New York Rangers of Lower Manhattan will lead the league in penalty minutes.
They will also lead the league in ejections, goals allowed, goalie time spent on the disabled list, and # of times a guy takes off his skate and tries to stab someone with it.
Oh, and they will try to end Forsberg's career every time they face the Flyers, leading to a full-scale brawl that makes us all "put things into perspective". Memo to the Rangers: see if Artest can skate.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What's On My Mind    

This post is saving my eyesight... if I weren't posting, I'd be watching Matt Clement grasp hopelessly with his fastball, like a bar of soap in a prison shower. The only thing keeping me from being upset at him, as I watch him serve Paul Konerko a meatball sub, is ESPN's friendly reminder that Clement is lucky to be alive. (Freakily, he just now got nailed in the leg. Poor guy.) Anyway, here goes.

  • Day One of the Darius Kasparitis Era

  • Defenseman Dale "Gorilla-Looking-MF" Purinton gets a 10-gamer for big-leaguing Bruins rookie goon Colton "No I'm Not, And Stop Asking For His Autograph" Orr in the eye. As the Rangers' senior on-ice consultant Reggie Dunlop would say... "scouts?"

  • This One Writes Itself

  • NBA village idiot Isiah Thomas traded for uninsurable free-agent center Eddy Curry yesterday, ending months of speculation concerning whether Isiah could possibly outdo himself. Now that Isiah has cornered the market on irregular on-court performers, he's now cornering the market on players that insurance companies refuse to insure due to fear of on-court death. Wow. But the real question is... once Curry establishes himself as a 20-10 threat, putting this "court death waiting to happen" crap to rest, how much will Isiah get in return for him from San Antonio? I'm saying a guy on the IL plus a second-round pick in 2009.

  • Rafer Alston to the Rockets

  • Mike James must be some kind of mean MF off the court. The dude can flat-out play basketball, but nobody can trade him fast enough. Now comes the ultimate insult... being traded for a Street Ball legend who is only mildly interested in the NBA. (OK, maybe the ultimate insult is being acquired by Isiah Thomas.) James can be an effective point guard on a crappy team. He doesn't do much with running the offense I guess, but if you're Toronto you don't really care about that anymore... you gotta score points no matter what. Mike James will hit some threes. More importantly, I give Jeff Van Gundy about two weeks before he punches Rafer in the mouth.

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Happy Happy Joy Joy    

    I've decided that I've complained enough for one day.  Let's talk about other stuff.

  • Hockey: T minus 54 hours
  • OLN is about to become one of my favorite channels.  Hawkeeeeeee!!!

  • Todd France: American Hero
  • The Eagles will let him go once Akers is healthy enough to resume kicking, which opens the door for the Falcons to sign him.  That way, Atlanta can have both Todd France and Ron Mexico under contract.  Next to sign should be John San Marino, Fred Kyrgyzstan, and Chad Tchad.

  • This Just In: Pats Crushed
  • Not good news, but I realized I didn't comment on them before promising not to complain about anything.  The 24/7-domination period of the dynasty is on hiatus, at least until they find ONE reliable defensive back.  No more smoke and mirrors!!!  I mean... the guys who are healthy are so bad that Ty Poole would be a godsend.  How messed up is that???  Still, there's worse things in the world than having Brees, Tomlinson, McCardell and Gates ring you up for 41 points.  2-2 in this division is hardly a death knell; this division is not looking nearly as tough as it did last year.  The death of the Jets and the continuing struggles of J.P. Losman could not have come at a better time for this team.  The Pats will recover eventually, but not anytime soon.

    More importantly, did anyone else notice how abandoned Foxboro was at halftime yesterday?  Those mid-level red seats were totally empty.  If you ever needed proof that New England's heart will always belong to the Red Sox, there you have it.  If you have to make a Sox fan choose, you've already lost.

  • Sox Bomb, Sox Bomb... You're My Sox Bomb
  • When people express relief at having drawn one opponent as compared to another, the end result is usually the opposite of what you'd expect.  For example, I dreaded the ALCS last season after the Yankees beat Johan Santana and the no-offense Twins, but the Yanks became the biggest chokers of all-time.  So sometimes a tough draw can be a blessing in disguise.  In a season where three playoff teams win 95 games and a fourth wins 99, can you really argue about who gets to play who?

    Thus the collective rejoicing in New England over drawing the choke-worthy White Sox, as opposed to the always-scarier-on-paper Angels, seems premature.  Personally, I also prefer the White Sox, but not to the point where I would gloat about it.  After all, the Red Sox dispatched an identical Angels team fairly quickly last season, without home-field advantage to boot.  Meanwhile, the White Sox might have gotten their groove back after spanking Cleveland this weekend.  I think the Red Sox will ultimately prevail, but I think they would have beaten either team.

    Speaking Of Which...    

    ...another shining example of the A-Rod way.  Nice attitude.  He should feel fortunate to be in the playoffs at all with that piece of shit team, never mind this bitch-and-moan act about home-field advantage.  Keeping eating shit, buddy, you'll get yours.

    And speaking of stellar leadership skills (as well as eating shit), Darius Kaspar-I-eat-ass is the NY Rangers' new captain?  Who's the new GM, Ulf Samuelsson?  Kaspar-I-eat-ass is gonna run knee-on-knee hitting drills for christ's sake!  They'll be the friggin Charlestown Chiefs(They're too dumb to play with themselves!)  Pitiful.

    Gotta Get This Over With First    

    If you will humor me for a moment...

    I finally get the difference between 2005 and the situations in 1978 and 1995... a playoff berth isn't on the line.  That's the only logical explanation.  After all, the Sox and Yankees did have a coin flip to decide about a division tiebreaker if it was necessary... and the Indians' decision to go home early rendered it unnecessary.  After two days of mental wrangling, it finally makes sense to me.

    But the tiebreaker is still stupid.  Ties in baseball have never been broken using head-to-head matchups.  It works in the NFL because they have no other choice; the logistics would be impossible.  Not so in baseball.  Playing a 163rd game is a minor imposition; sure, you lose a day off, and the Sox don't need to add another stupid white banner when they could add a red one... but beating out the Yankees for a banner is the only thing they didn't do last year.  I would have liked to see that happen without this dumb technicality preventing it.

    Without discrediting the Yankees's "division title" completely, I should acknowledge that if the Sox had not lost 10 of 19 to them, this would not have come up.  The Yankees beat us fair and square.  Additionally I credit the Yankees for winning 95 games, especially after being such worthless piece-of-shit suckbags at the beginning.  But seriously... should they be proud of themselves for being the first division winners to ignore the antiquated formality of winning more games than its opponents?  Celebrating on a technicality seems very A-Rod to me, and will be punished as such by the powers that be.  (Remember, if God didn't hate A-Rod, he wouldn't have given him those ridiculous purple lips.)