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

Friday, March 30, 2007

MLB Predictions    

Couple things to keep in mind before we start:

* I'm fairly hopeful for the Sox.  But reasonably so.  Too many question marks to go around claiming too many things.

* Both AL East playoff teams are built for the playoffs, even with Pavano involved as prominently as he is.  (Seriously, Lehr, do you have a friggin iota of doubt about what's gonna happen?  Honestly?)  But the divisional schedule is too hard.  I can't see either team making it out alive.

* I'm not on board with Minnesota as much as I'm not on board with anyone else, and they have the best pitcher and a deep bullpen.  I could definitely see them sneaking past the Sox or Yankees and wreaking havoc once it becomes anything-goes.

* That said, there's not much separating the top four AL Central teams.  8 games tops.  That division's gonna hinge on a surprise injury.

* Philly is the only NL team that looks even remotely palatable right now.  They were clearly the NL's best team last season, and improved themselves.  But I do see a step downwards for Ryan Howard.  Good luck getting another 50 HR from him after fucking him over on his contract, guys.

* I also see a return to the Braves making the playoffs for no good reason and choking.  Hooray!

Here's to predictions that never work out!

AL East
New York
Tampa Bay

AL Central
Kansas City

AL West

NL East
New York

NL Central
St. Louis

NL West
Los Angeles
San Francisco
San Diego

Minnesota d. Boston
Oakland d. New York
Minnesota d. Oakland

Philadelphama d. St. Louis
Los Angeles d. Atlanta
Philadelphama d. Los Angeles

Minnesota d. Philadelphama


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Birth Announcement    

From Yahoo!:

Former soccer star Mia Hamm, wife of Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, has delivered twin girls.

"Both are healthy and over 5 pounds," Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said, adding the births took place late Tuesday in the Los Angeles area.

Promptly after delivery, both children were placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to March 25) with lower back pain.

They sure are daddy's little girls!  (I kid, I kid.  The babies are fine, and I have unconditional love and appreciation for Nomar.  Congratulations!)


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brothers Giles Update    

Earlier today I railed against baseball media.  Luckily, there's a flip side to that coin.

What could possibly be better than the original Brothers Giles nudity extravaganza, immortalized by the funniest episode of The Dugout ever, and testing the boundary where life stops and The Dugout begins?  Why, another nudity extravaganza, STUPID!!!  Yet again, life imitates The Dugout; this time they even incorporate a nonplussed, grandfatherly Greg Maddux, doing pretty much what his Fresh Prince-obsessed counterpart did in The Dugout.  It's only a matter of time before a Heathcliff-like vortex of nude Gileses blows out of the shower and into the clubhouse in real life.

It is no stretch to point out that a) this must be a concerted PR effort, and b) it is, by orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude, the funniest PR effort in the history of anything, ever.  Even Clinton Portis seems tame and boring by comparison... Dr. Don't Know don't know how to top dancing nutsacks, that's for sure.  The point is, this line of promotion (self-effacing pranks) is an absolute goldmine.  I know I'll be paying more attention to the Pads this year.

Anyway, Brian and Marcus... thank you.

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Dan Shaughnessy: Douchemaster General    

I remember reading Bob Ryan and Peter Gammons as a kid and thinking, "I would love to do that."  And then reading Shaughnessy and thinking, "I'll stick to math."  In my opinion, a mastermind of sports criticism (me) was lost to the field forever thanks to that lipless piece of shit.  But thanks to blogging technology, that talent has been put to use again, albeit for a smaller audience.  In some small way, things have been set right.

Oh wait... Shaughnessy said yesterday that blogs are stupid.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present a man who gets paid to write about sports!

(As befits the crappiest of the crap, I refuse to honor it with the benefit of a direct link.  I'm sure if you Google on "globe boston shiteating douchebag fuckface asshole cunt cunt cunt cunt" you'll find it soon enough.)

I will, however, link to some genuine, honest, and accurate analysis: the dissection of the above piece by American hero Ken Tremendous!  I went in assuming that CHB would get skewered via the Artful Comedy Joke just like everyone else, but it seems like ol' Ken took the anti-blog sentiment personally, to the point where he put down the vitriol, laid it all out plain and simple, and knocked it out of the ballpark.  Rarely does someone get so thoroughly pantsed, even those who appear on FJM on a regular basis.

I can't add a whole lot to Ken's thoughts, other than to reiterate that every newspaper column ever written on the topic of blogs has been neanderthalic, outdated, afraid, ignorant, self-preservationist, closed-minded, and above all else devoid of even cursory evidence.  (It was very hard for me not to add the word "douchebaggish" to that list.)  These are the death rattles of a bloated, unnecessary industry that is being brought to its knees by the proletariat.  It's internet Marxism, and it works.

In closing, I look forward to the day when budget cuts at the Globe force them to lay CHB's mean-spirited ass off, because I will throw the party to end all parties in celebration of his departure.  Oh what a beautiful day it will be.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Optimism and opening day    

You know how everyone loves to wax poetic about opening day, and how every fan is equal and optimistic, and every team has a clean slate?


Fuck opening day.

Ok, maybe not, but double fuck PavaNO.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Just When I Thought I Was Out...    

Jon Papelbon is the closer again.  And just like that, the team looks that much better on paper.  Julian Tavarez will fill it for the time being, until Jon Lester or Kason Gabbard makes the big club an offer they can't refuse.

The interesting thing to me is how closely Paps' journey  followed the post-World Series Red Sox' trademark three-act story arc:

  1. Revelation of a hard-line stance with a difficult-to-criticize rationale
  2. Insistence on their seriousness all winter, forcing everyone to come to grips with the decision
  3. A complete 180 on the eve of the season, followed by public quotes like "Boston's where I belong, love that dir-ty wa-ter" and so on

Sound familiar?  That's because you've heard it before.  Remember the Theo Epstein "leave of absence" a couple years back?  Or the team's annual half-assed attempts to trade Manny Ramirez?  Same deal.  And now the Paps thing is framed almost as a tale of redemption, a comforting return to normalcy, a reassertion of Paps' true self or whatever.  He's a modern-day Prodigal Son, except without the part about being a dick.  I guess I don't necessarily believe they fabricated this whole thing (my gut says this was sincerely Papelbon's doing, and only his) but I sure as shit have my doubts with these clowns.  Well, no matter.  What's done is done, and I don't read the papers anyway.  What's important is that the bullpen's in much better shape.

So, let the Paps-Mo debate resume!  This is as good a time as any to remind folks that Papelbon's ERA never rose above 1.00 in the 2006 season.  He spent one game at 1.00 exactly... that's it.  If Paps had made it through September healthy, his numbers would have been most closely compared to Dennis Eckersley's 1990 (0.61 ERA, 73/4 K/BB ratio) which is far and away the definitive closer season.  So as closers go, you'd have Eckersley, and then you'd have Papelbon.  Hmm.  That was as a rookie, by the way.  Mo's 2005 comes close, but with that beefy 1.38 ERA, a full 2006 for Paps would have bested it.  Even with the praise and hero worship he's received in New England, I don't think the magnitude of Papelbon's dominance last season has been acknowledged properly.  It amazes me that a nearly-full season of sub-1.00 ERA could be underrated, but I honestly believe that to be the case.

Anyway, now all the Sox need from the middle relief corps (Timlin, Donnelly, Romero, Delcarmen, Hansen, Okajima, Tavarez once he vacates the rotation) is for them to absorb enough bullets to get to Papelbon.  HA!  Not a single one of those guys can be counted on.  Normally Timlin would be, but he's 40 and injured, which takes him out of the running.  This group is a real mess right now.  You certainly can't blame the Sox for trying so hard to land Scott Linebrink or Chad Qualls.  The Sox really need someone they can count on in the eighth inning, just to take the pressure of Timlin and friends.  If they don't, I can't imagine them making much noise in the playoffs (if they even get there).

Still, the Sox look like a legitimate contender on paper, and at least the equal of New York.  But this, also, is a story we've heard many, many times before.  The Yankees' rotation has never looked so vulnerable, Torre's getting old, they gotta give it up sometime, blah blah blah.  The fact is, paper doesn't mean shit.  The Yankees always have tricks up their sleeve that must be accounted for beyond what their roster looks like.  Until proven otherwise, the division is the Yankees' to lose.

The question is whether the Blue Jays beat out the Sox.  I still say no, but this situation has gotten worse and worse every year... the Blue Jays looming in the background, waiting to spoil all our American capitalist-moneybags fun.  I don't think Toronto's better than Boston or New York, but that doesn't mean they can't win more games via a statistical anomaly or two (say, a 17-2 record against Baltimore, or winning 80% of their games against the AL West) and sneak in.  The margin for error in the AL East is razor-thin, so this is far from a long-shot.  I'm not ready to bank on it, but I wouldn't be at all surprised.

I see two likely outcomes for the division: Yankees win, Sox second, and Sox win, Blue Jays second.  I cannot stress enough how unlikely that second scenario is... but should the Yankees indeed go down, they'll go down hard.  They won't simply lose out... they'll implode.  Like the Braves did last season.  Again, not likely (as if I really have to keep insisting)... just saying.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Speed Measured By Triples/Doubles Ratio    

Beyond the Boxscore has an interesting piece up (look at me, reading sabermetrics) showing speed as a function of a player's ability to amass triples.  The idea is that a player's ability to turn doubles into triples would be evident in that player's triples-to-doubles ratio; a high ratio means he's fast enough to manufacture triples where the average player won't.  Whether it's all that good an indicator of a player's natural speed/baserunning ability, I don't know.  But it's certainly a neat read, if only to be reminded of names like Luis Polonia and Mickey Morandini.  Fun facts I learned:

* Lance Johnson won this thing in a landslide.  This is about as surprising as Ron Artest landing in jail again.  Put it this way... if they ever build a Triples Hall of Fame, they goddamn better name it after Lance.  They should change the name "triple" to "Lance."  Anyone who collected baseball cards in the early 90s should be familiar with his body of work.  The guy did almost nothing besides land on top of the triples leaderboard every year.  (Earning him a bold, italicized 17 in his yearly stat listings from Topps.)  Anyway, even after the "era" adjustments to discount modern players, Lance came out a full point ahead.  Whatever you can say about Lance as a ballplayer, he had the triples thing pretty well in hand.

* Cecil Fielder has a better ratio than Jody Reed!  That's pretty hilarious, seeing as Fielder takes a dump bigger than Reed twice a day.  Of course, Reed was a Green Monster specialist... meaning that for every double he may have turned into a triple, he probably turned two singles into doubles by virtue of scraping the Monstah with 306-foot pop-flies.  So this isn't as wacky as it looks.  But any excuse to discuss Cecil Fielder's bowel movements is OK by me.  (Well, not any excuse.  Photo analysis wouldn't be OK with me at all.)

* Any stat that slights the late, great American hero Ted Williams can blow me.  Seeing as he's second to last on the list... commence the blowing!!!  Seriously, what's with crapping on his legacy?  Didn't his son do enough damage already?  Besides, this guy was one of our troops.  Doesn't BtB support our troops?????


More pranks    

Spring training: It's wacky! I don't have a whole lot to say about this, but I do find it pretty fascinating. It's no Giles brothers wackiness, by any means, but it's pretty odd.


The Klosterman Speaketh    

There are times when I think to myself, "I could write for a living.  I can identify the heart of an issue better than most people.  I can bring a fresh, candid, entertaining perspective to stuff like this.  I can do this."

And then there are times when I read something like this, and throw my hands up in the air.  Thank you, Chuck, thank you right to hell for ruining my life.  How do I improve on that?  He says just about everything there is to say about the situation that hasn't been said yet.  Worst of all, he makes it look so simple, so obvious.  Why would anyone have to be told all that?  Dammit.  I guess I'll just stick to making fat jokes about El Bastardo Muy Gordo.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Month Of Self-Writing Jokes Continues    

This is just too much.  I'd post the manatee picture, but I feel like Lehr kind of owns that.  I don't want to steal his thunder.  (His thunderous thunder-thighs thunder.)

Yeah, my mind is blown.  What's next, did he fart too?  As revelations go, this is on a par with the average post-game interview.  Yeah, we just wanted to go out there, play hard, give 110%, do it for the fans, night in night out.  Oh and by the way I got fucking diabetes from eating five chicken-fried vealduckens for breakfast every morning, ain't that a kick in the head.  Hey asshole, pass the hot dogs.  In fact, the only thing less surprising than this would be if he gave a press conference while firmly stuck inside in a bathroom stall, incapable of even Vaselining his way out, without first dropping "the mother of all deuces."

So the real question is, can I add anything at all to this situation besides simply pointing and laughing?  I guess I could point out that pinstripes would make him look slimmer, despite exposing the worcestershire stains on his shoulders.  But really, is that that funny?  No.  As you can see, when I get bored, quality gets drunkenly crapped into the hamper, with the last vestiges wiped away with a two-ply sheet of undisciplined blogging.

But since I've gotta say something, here goes:

Jeez, how about that Tom Brady?  That guy oughta switch from roofies to RU-fies!  If ya know what I mean, 'ello-'ello-'ello!

God I'm bored.  I need something more than "fat ballplayer gets diabetes, farts."  Can someone please hop in a shower and terrify an Ivy Leaguer again?


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly    

Pittsburgh Penguins to stay in PA
This news couldn't be any better.

You gotta love when a team stays.  Recent examples of teams avoiding a move: the New England Patriots are the NFL's model franchise, the Buffalo Sabres are an NHL juggernaut and Cup favorite, the New Orleans Saints nearly made the Super Bowl, and the Minnesota Twins are a perennial playoff contender with the best pitcher in baseball.  The Ottawa Senators aren't too shabby either.  The Oakland A's are already in great shape, and they just negotiated a new stadium (though not in the East Bay).  All of those teams narrowly avoided relocation in recent memory.  All are as healthy and vibrant as possible, largely as a result of staying.  100% success.

Meanwhile, how many of the teams that did move have had success?  The St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens worked out, as did the Colorado Avalanche, and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets are mezze-mezze, but look at the Washington Nationals, the Oakland Raiders, and the Memphis Grizzlies.  Heck, arguably the Hornets too.  Barf.  Moving sure hasn't been the solution for them across the board.

(Okay, that's not an entirely fair claim, but it's interesting nonetheless that the teams that stay are uniformly in great shape.  Unless I'm forgetting someone?)

THE BAD (tie)
Bonds talks 2008
I hope he signs with the Yankees, just to fuck with me a little more.  Seriously though, America, can we arrange for this guy to fall into an open sewer and die already?  Someone loosen a nut or something.  Is it really too much to ask?

Pavano staying with Yankees
Yes, waiter, I'll have the Connecticut-blackened human buttocks, please, and a glass of the house Cab.  Oh, and another basket of bread.  Nation fills up on bread!

Another joke that writes itself
It figures that a week after Kevin McHale is named the best GM in the NBA, Isiah Thomas would be given a multi-year extension as both coach and GM.  Dear sweet merciful Jesus.  Didn't this guy, like, sexually harass people?  He's not just ignorant and ineffective (like, say, Doc Rivers) but he's actually malignant!  Stop giving this guy contracts?  He must talk one hell of a game.  And this Dolan character must be remarkably stupid.  I'm so, so very grateful that the Red Sox didn't accept his ownership bid back in the day.

(Although it's fun to ponder what the alternate reality would look like: Bill Bavasi would've been signed away from the Mariners to be the GM, Papelbon would have been tossed into the Beckett/Lowell trade, and J.D. Drew would have been signed to a $70m deal.)


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thanks, CBS    

So the good folks over at have unearthed some hilarious complaints to the FCC regarding the greatest halftime show ever. Yes, apparently America just isn't ready for the sexiest man in history doing his thing, but they are ready to complain using phrases like "cum covered sheet" and "elarged engorged"... hooray America!

No, wait. Screw America. Hooray Prince!
On a side note, I hereby suggest that Prince name his next album Enlarged Engorgeous.

Finally, this one is probably a joke, but hoo boy is it funny nontheless.


The Most Surprising Story Ever About A-Rod    

I'm just so stunned... loss for words... can't believe this actually happened...

Team USA players like to tell the story of Francoeur confronting Alex Rodriguez during the WBC for trashing a clubhouse kid who brought him the wrong sandwich.

File this as the top item in the I Can't Fucking Believe It folder, right?  They must be talking about some other Alex Rodriguez on Team USA.

The real bombshell here, for me, is that Gammo claims other Team USA players enjoy telling this story for some reason.  He makes it sound as if they don't like A-Rod very much!  Personally, I'd like to inspect his sources, because that is just a ludicrous, slanderous statement.

Actually, if I may remove my sarcasmometer for a moment, the honest-to-God revelation is that Jeff Francoeur, the 21st-century Rob Deer, is the guy who dressed him down.  Bra-vo.  Alex, I call on you to join my embargo on all Francoeur-flavored Haterade, because he is an American Hero and deserves our respect and gratitude.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Insert Joke Here    

>From Yahoo:

Matsuzaka threw three scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox when he faced major league hitters for the first time Tuesday. Dice-K allowed two hits, walked one and struck out three against the Florida Marlins.

Damn copy editors.  Let me fix that for them.
Matsuzaka threw three scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox when he faced minor league shitbags for the first time Tuesday. Dice-K allowed two hits, walked one and struck out three against the Gonorrhea Bay Turdburglars.
Ahhhh, much better.  I'll go to my grave wondering how he retired Scott Seabol and Eric Reed.  What a jam!


OH my GODZ    

So's I'm reading the Dugout, right, like always, and there is an hilarious madcap event in which the Brothers Giles get nude together and terrify Khalil Greene in the shower.  I found it highly entertaining, for the idea of two brothers who are not only batshit crazy but comfortable with their own bodies in that manner is indeed a laugh and a half.  And that's before the Heathcliff-esque climax.


I believe this is the first known occurrence of life imitating The Dugout.  And I can't emphasize strongly enough how much I love the precedent it sets.  Here's hoping for the first confirmed real-life incident in which a woman is asked by a certain set-up man to "have sex the Kyle Farnsworth way."

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Speaking of NFL and Hillary    

So.... Let's headline this story, shall we?

Peyton Manning Likes Little Girls
Peyton Parties With Puppy Poonani
Peyton Manning, Lawnmower
Peyton Manning, Killing Jesse One Day At A Time

At this point next month, the Colts will have celebrated their championship by preaching about Jeebus to a room full of hateful, hateful bastards, and by spending an afternoon grabbing itty bitty titty (and getting paid for it). Congratulations, Jesse, on your wonderful choice of team.

And yes, I'm fully aware of the hypocrisy of a Duke fan bringing this up, what with this week's Superly Snuka atomic elbow drop laid on Hansbrough, and Coach K's subsequent use of the Isaiah Defense ("If Chewbacca is still in the game, you must ACQUIT!").

But seriously, Peyton, WTF?


Monday, March 05, 2007

Kaufman on NFL Hillarity    

Describing the NFL's recent efforts to copywrite the phrase "The Big Game" when used in reference to the Superbowl (so that sportsbars can't do avoid paying royalties for showing the game), Kaufman offers up the following gem:

"But doesn't it also seem to you that the NFL is pushing a really dumb rock up a really big hill here, with little payoff at the really silly top?"

Yep. Yep it does.


Sunday, March 04, 2007


LZ Granderson sums up the Seattle situation. It's a lot of what we were talking about before, and not necessarily that interesting. But I'm glad to see the coverage put in this way, even if he's probably right that it could very well mean the end of the Seattle Supersonics. If it does, at least they'll have gone down in flames, maybe even as a testament of sorts to...something. I don't know, but at least it'll be easy to be filled with righteous anger about it all.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Attention Cubs fans:    

get used to seeing a LOT of this.



Thursday, March 01, 2007

This... Is My BROOMSTICK!    

Light a match and drop it on a sofa, cause the Terps swept Duke!

Is this better than an NCAA appearance? As a casual observer, carrying only a mild rooting interest in the Terrapins predicated on their utter disdain for Duke, I say yes. Also, recall that the ACC championship depicted in the above picture softened the disappointment of the Terps' subsequent elimination in the NCAA tourney. This suggests that one needs not judge oneself simply by NCAA Tournament glory.

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