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

Monday, April 30, 2007

That Is A DISGUSTING Act... But Boy Do I Love It    

The further I get from the initial shock, the more I love the Randy Moss trade.  I am now, officially, pumped about football.  (What's-a-kay Matsu-who-za?  Never heard of him.)

My immediate reaction upon seeing news of the trade was reservation.  Well, not quite... since Moss' most likely word-association-game hits are "lazy," "selfish," "underachieving," "mari-ja-wana," and "quitter," my very first reaction was the word "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO," give or take a few O's.  But ten minutes later, not only was I on board, I stood sat in awe of how obviously fantastic the move is.  I even giggled this morning.  The Pats' acquisitions had already been the big story of the NFL offseason, but this is the throat-slashing maneuver that earns them a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration.  It is an absolute masterstroke.

From a football perspective, there is no questioning this deal.  Moss is the best deep ball receiver in NFL history.  He's tall, he's fast (rumors aswirl that he posted a 4.29 40 time for Bill Belichick over the weekend), he's got great hands, and he's got perfect field presence.  Even when he's half-assing it, which is frequently, he still commands double-teams.  He's never failed for a talented quarterback, and I don't see that being any different with Brady.

Further, there's no pressure.  The media will manufacture some, but I doubt we're going to see anyone bitching that losses are, somehow, Moss' fault.  Which is great for Moss.  All the hard work has been done, so he just has to catch balls and cash in next offseason.  Everybody wins.

The part that pisses off so many people is his character.  He is definitely pretty weak in that regard.  He's been a guy whose play on the field is a direct reflection of his happiness off the field.  He appears unwilling to elevate bad teammates.  He's admitted to taking it easy on occasion.  He's far from the prototypical superstar, at least in terms of his persona and aura.  And that makes people crazy.

But that's basically the "if I were making $X million, I would stop smoking weed" line of thought.  Yeah, sure you would.  He's being judged against potential more than reality.  They see that he breaks records while half-assing it, and wonder why he's not doing more.  That's all well and good, but that's pretty unfair.  He seems to be doing just fine without behaving himself like a librarian.

I also think a lot of the flak he catches comes from losing, from being on bad teams.  That's not going to be a problem anymore.  Will he need to STFU?  Absolutely.  Will his petulant, immature tendencies be tolerated?  Absolutely not.  But he doesn't need to find Jesus, he doesn't need to see therapists, and he doesn't even need to give up weed.  He's got nothing to publicly apologize for, like a DUI or a sexual assault or something really serious like that.

In fact, when I refreshed my memory this afternoon, I was surprised by how little indefensible stuff he's done.  It's mostly just weed and laziness.  If I may put on my apologist's hat and recap his transgressions:

  • Beat up a racist West Virginian piece of shit.  Give his ass a damn medal.
  • Hits from the bongggggg!  Right, who cares?
  • Admitted to playing lazy on occasion.  Which makes him candid more than evil.
  • Won a bizarre showdown with a meter-maid who thought she was a lady cop.  He wanted to pull a U-ie, she got in front of him.  The meter maid was actually disciplined for her role in the ordeal.  Nobody looked good here, but this is the worst thing on the list, and it's pretty much inconsequential.
  • Pretended to moon a bunch of fans who did some actual mooning three hours earlier.
  • Squirted water on a ref.  Anyone really think the referee is totally innocent?
  • Quit on the Vikings and Raiders and stopped performing at his best.  (Which makes him... a Viking and Raider.)  The infamous Redskins game became a media problem more than anything.
To reiterate... no rape, no DUI, no wife-beating that I could find.  What I see is that he got kicked out of Florida State and Notre Dame for stupid shit, and it's haunted him ever since.  Given some forgiveness from Lou Holtz and Bobby Bowden, two of the most indefensible assholes alive, maybe none of the rest of this crap becomes such a big deal.  Because it's always been the "history" of transgressions with Moss.  Never the individual acts, always the running total.  But believe me, if you think I'm going to side with Notre Dame, Florida State, meter maids, referees, West Virginians, the Packers, taskmasters and teetotalers against a candid guy like Randy Moss, you're in for a surprise.

Let's also recognize that Moss has never, ever played for a real football team.  How can any of us predict what Moss will do for a guy like Bill Belichick, and a franchise like the Patriots, when he's never been in anything remotely close to that context?  Maybe he'll take to one of the NFL's model franchise like a horse to water.  We don't know, but we do know he finished an answer in yesterday's press conference by saying "I can't believe I'm a Patriot," after having given up about $18 million worth of contract to make the deal happen.  Does that sound like the prototypical narcissistic malcontent to you?  I know better than to put too much stock in media quotes, but Moss has never been much of a bullshitter.  In fact, it's his candor that has helped get him into so much trouble so often.

The worst you can say is that he should know better than to let the media get involved in his stupid shit.  Not only can you say that about EVERY football player caught doing anything, but the Pats have already locked down the media in New England.  Unless he does some stage-diving, Moss is safe.  Like the on-field issues, the Pats have that stuff taken care of on their own.  So I'm not worried about that.

In conclusion, this looks like the ideal situation for everyone.  Randy Moss gets one more chance to stick it in America's face, and I suspect Randy Moss wants to do that as much as I want to see it.  Hence my optimism.  Look out below, bitches.


Now if I could only write the columns . . .    

Bulls Expel Heat, Clear Path to the Second Round


Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Funny    

I was working in the office, late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight:


Seriously, that's the friendliest mummy since this adorable lil guy.

I hear he's a great dancer. He prefers the Monster Mash.

Yup. He hit a home run last week- it was a graveyard smash.

Love those flesh-colored bandages, eh Torii?

Ok, getting hit in the face probably isn't something I should be laughing at. The guy could have been killed. But, well... I just can't help myself.

Why couldn't the mummy answer the phone?

She was tied up!

(he did the mash...)

What music to mummies like best?




Thursday, April 26, 2007

Color Me Unimpressed    

Here's what I want to know.

Why has America been so accepting of A-Rod's statistical deeds when that was never in doubt in the first place?  The nation has been given the opportunity to stand up and say "historic pace my nuts... let's see what you do in October, A-Rod," and yet nobody is saying it.  Why is that?

Sure, he's on a historic pace.  You have to hand it to him as far as the power output is concerned.  The two walk-off HRs are the big thing for me... last year those would be double plays.  Hats off to him for coming up big while the rest of the team is dying.  The losing clearly has nothing to do with him.

But that doesn't mean his recent success rebuts the criticism in any way whatsoever.  If the book on A-Rod is that he's all about stats and doesn't win the big games come playoff time, how does an historic April address that?  How does it affect the likelihood of GIDPs in October?  Heck, there's even a case to be made that this is just more evidence that he sucks, though it's admittedly a stretch.

More importantly, why are people generally accepting this?  Why should the mood be any different?  If he does something statistically historic, but still fails to win a World Series, we know the criticism would return.  So why is everyone giving him a break now?  Can baseball fans really fail to recognize that A-Rod's aggregate stats aren't even remotely germane to the discussion?

Historic pace my nuts.  Let's see what you do in October, A-Rod.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I've got a love chaser for that pint of haterade, Jeff    

Big Sal is back.
You may recall, last season, Sal stormed onto the Philadelphia fan scene, garnering heroic status for his workman-like approach to the game and his everyman attitude. He was Philadelphia. Fans were growing hair where there was no hair before. He was sending pizzas up to his loyal fans in the 300 level. Chants of "You Got Stached" could be heard throughout the crowd after each of his vision-defying throws to second.

Sal, Hero

Then, he was traded, unceremoniously and without adequate explanation, to the Yankees. The YANKEES! The team that thinks workman-like is something reserved for their gardeners and fluffers. Fans in Philly were heartbroken, and the chants turned to anger, "You're no Fasano!"

Sal, Sad.

Suffice to say, Sal didn't exactly fit in in NYC, and was cut after the season ended.

Sal, Corporate Shill

And now, Big Sal is back in our lives, albeit up in Toronto.
I hear they dig bears up there.
All is well again in the universe.

Welcome back, big guy. You've been missed.



Subtitle: In Which Jeff Sees Something On The Internet That Makes Him Crazy

See, here's the difference between Yankee fans and Sox fans.

When the Red Sox get swept by the Yankees, the world has ended. Even in April. The unavoidable truth of the situation is in our faces, and we take the additional step of rubbing our own noses in it, since we know it's coming anyway. The Yankees have beaten us again. There's no denying it, no "yeah, but..." to be spoken. Our only option is to lament our fate, excoriate the Sox themselves, and adjust to the new world order, in which we totally and completely suck and have nothing to say about anything. Extreme? Yes. But fully rooted in reality.

When the Yankees get swept by the Red Sox, the response is full-blown denial. It's as if they'd fallen into an alternate universe for a few days, returned immediately after the sweep, and continued to act as if nothing happened. Even a "yeah, we got swept, big deal, see you in August" would be fully reasonable and mostly justified, since there's still that tiny iota of acknowledgement. But that's what you get when they choke away four straight playoff games. The rest of the time, it's utter fantasy, in which anti-Yankee events simply did not happen.

For example, check out this response to last weekend's sweep. Making fun of Schilling because he gave up HRs to A-Rod. In a game the Sox won. Seriously. Three winnable games in a row, one of which was blown late by the greatest closer in history*, and the response is not the allowable "ahh, so what," but rather the absurd "IN YOUR FACE!" Yes, in our face for giving up HRs while winning the game. Gee, we really suck.

Try to picture the reverse scenario. Imagine if Sox fans were applauding Big Papi for having a huge weekend while being swept in the Bronx. How sad would that be? That's what this is. NYYFans is supposed to be the New York equivalent of SoSH. If someone posted the Red Sox equivalent of those pictures after a three-game sweep, they would be banned. That guy RUNS THE SITE. Come on, guy.

Further, isn't this precisely the sort of shit A-Rod was being run out of town for a month ago? Then, putting up ridiculous stats in defeat was proof that he wasn't a True Yankee. Now it's cause for celebratory Photoshop contests. Funny, because I seem to recall that game coming out a bit differently:

Eat it, bitches. See you Friday.

* - The history of fruitbats, that is. Cut fastball my ass.

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The Game, Week 4    

Well, let's take a looksee at the games coming up and recommend one to watch, eh?

Today's matchup between the DBags and Padres is appealing, what with maybe the two best pitchers in the NL, Webb and Peavy on the hill.

Of course, if hype is our barometer, it's pretty tough to beat tomorrow's Yankees/Jays game, featuring the debut of Phil Hughes.

Saturday's Sox/Yankees matchup looks to be one for the ages, but only as providing an example of the "throw a lot of shit at a wall and see what sticks" mentality of filling out a rotation, as Kei Igawa faces Tim Wakefield. Boo this game.

Or, you could pick a random Orioles or Tampa game, cause both teams are outperforming expectations.

Not a lot of likely instant classics on the docket this week. I'll go with the Hughes game, for obvious reasons, but honestly, that Webb/Peavy game is the one most likely to be good.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hockey Stuff    


* Atlanta vs. New York Rangers
A team cannot be vag-handled any more completely than the Thrashers were by the Blueshirts. Sean Avery beat them nearly single-handed. The Rangers get full marks.

* Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa
Also not close. The Penguins looked lost pretty much all series, though not for lack of effort. I love that team.

* Buffalo vs. New York Islanders
I thought the Islanders acquitted themselves fairly nicely, in a "just happy to have won that shootout" kind of way. Buffalo looked less than their best, but not so much that anyone needs to worry. What a juggernaut.

* New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay
Didn't see a second of this series. Thank you, NHL and Versus. I didn't want to see those games anyway... after all it's only THE MOTHERFUCKING PLAYOFFS YOU NHL DICKBAGS

* Anaheim vs. Minnesota
No surprises here... except I'm surprised they even played the games.

* San Jose vs. Nashville
Same here, though I did think Nashville would have a bit more in the tank. Peter Forsberg looked like a shell of his former self. Methinks it's time for that early retirement to Sweden, where he can slash and maul to his heart's content without having to score goals.

* Detroit vs. Calgary
Points to Calgary for stretching the series out. But they're a bunch of filthy thugs. The whole Jamie McLennan thing is exactly how much class that team has. Good riddance. That said, Detroit looks vulnerable to me. If a bunch of shitbags like Calgary can keep them under control, what could a real team like the Sharks or Ducks do?

* Dallas vs. Vancouver
A classic. One of those "if only both teams could win" series. More than one sudden-death OT game, both won by the Canucks. Two identical teams plus an epic goalie battle. Marty Turco went toe-to-toe with Roberto Luongo, which is pretty much a superhuman feat nowadays. So full marks to Dallas despite losing.

(Let's also point out that the Canucks whipped out their throwback blues for Game 7 last night. The only thing that could have pleased me more would have been the black and yellow skate logos, but hey, I also want a toilet made out of solid gold. The Canucks have the best throwbacks in hockey. Well played, sirs.)


* Buffalo vs. New York Rangers

Sabres in six. It'll be way closer than the scoreboard shows, though. I could see the Rangers taking it if Jagr and Avery go absolutely out of their minds, but that's awfully unlikely. Buffalo's just so ridiculous.

* New Jersey vs. Ottawa
I could give a rat's ass. I don't much like either team. But the goalie situations are... well jeez, Marty Brodeur vs. Ray Emery? Jersey in five, max.

* Anaheim vs. Vancouver
Best second-round series. I'm praying that one of the Ducks pulls off his skate and goes after Trevor Linden. I'm gonna go with Anaheim in seven, but very, very reluctantly. Luongo has serious "I am the reason my crappy team got all the way to the Finals" potential.

* Detroit vs. San Jose
Ho-hum. Detroit in seven, Joe Thornton goes scoreless, leaving us to wonder whether the Sharks could have won had Bananaman not disappeared again.

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5th starter, found!    

He is coming.

oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

why do I feel this will end not so well?

so, let's discuss... good move, bad move?
Obviously panic move, but would you have done it? If not, what would you have done?

Personally, I'd have had Farnsworth wail on his lats for three hours straight, then translate the added sexy into him starting, and move Kei to the pen, and Chase to the shrink's office.


Monday, April 23, 2007


Today, we hunt for that rarest of beasts... the elusive 5th starter.

I think we'll begin up in Seattle.

hee hee hee (thanks, lookout landing)

Seriously, how terrible were the Yanks' starters this weekend that I wondered, for a moment, what it would cost to bring back Weaver?



Friday, April 20, 2007

Apparently Not    

Some weird leak in the organization that misinformed a number of Seattle bloggers and whoever updates the official Mariners website. Fair enough. It's almost certainly better this way, but I was getting kind of excited.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

More Hargrove Hilarity    

You just have to laugh. Ostensibly trying to hang on to a 2-1 Washburn-over-Santana lead, Hargrove completely submarined the team's chances in the 7th last night. I mean, Washburn was looking done with runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out, with Mauer-Cuddyer-Morneau coming up, and what does Hargrove do? Walks Mauer and hands the game over the Julio Mateo, again, with the intent of getting the double play (despite the fact that Mateo is one of most extreme flyballers in the majors and just generally not very good).

I was laughing already by the time Mateo gave up the double to Cuddyer, before walking Morneau and giving up more doubles (5 runs in total--incidentally, the Mariners lost 6-5). I mean, what would the football equivalent of this be? Deciding you really need this third down conversion, so we better bring out Coy Detmer, because he usually takes the snap with 3:15 left to go in the third quarter? It's probably similar to sitting your star player in basketball for most of the second half because of mild foul trouble, and then barely losing because he wasn't able to quite rally your team back from a 12 point deficit in the last 3:00. Neither matches up that well, but it's completely shocking. I mean, Mateo ended up being the only Mariners reliever with a high-leverage score for the innings he pitched, because he pitched so badly that there were no more high-leverage innings for Mariners relievers.

Anyway, as far as the substantive stuff, USSM has it well covered, but damn. I mean, you laugh, you have to laugh, but it also a pretty unique experience watching someone mismanage a game so completely and so obviously. There are literally thousands and thousands of baseball fans, even just Mariners fans, who could make strategic in-game decisions better than Mike Hargrove. It is astounding how shockingly bad at that part of his job he is.

Dear Bill Bavasi, you have to DFA Mateo or this will keep happening. Make him go on the DL...something, anything. Even if Felix is out for only 10-20 days, we can not afford to be losing games this way. Please, please, please, lose Mateo. Also, make Mark Lowe healthy again and see if you can trade Horacio Ramirez to the Braves for Rafael Soriano. Nah, nevermind, the Braves would never make that trade. Fuck.

This Twins series was probably about as informative about the nature of this team and its chances as a series could possibly be:

Game 1) Jeff Weaver completely sinks Mariners' chances to win. Also, Hargrove fails to take him out right before a grand slam, when it was obvious to me at least that he needed out of that game. Granted, it was the 4th, and we might have lost anyway, and maybe Hargrove needs to see how Weaver handles himself in those situations (hint: not that good), but still...this kind of thing is going to happen a few more times this year, I guarantee it.

Game 2) Everyone realizes how much the season depends on Felix, but despite a bad start the team holds it together and almost manages to come back. For me, overall, a very encouraging game about every aspect of the Mariners except Felix's health.

Game 3) We carry a lead against Johan fucking Santana into the 7th and Hargrove single-handedly blows it with mind-numbingly stupid decision making...though of course there's no guarantee we would have won it without said stupidity. Everyone except Mateo does their job. Would be encouraging except that you know it's going to happen like this a lot.

Prediction: If the Mariners miss the playoffs, which they probably will, AND Felix is healthy and at the top of his game for the rest of the season (knock on wood), THEN the number of games we miss the playoffs by will be less than the number of games lost for us by either Weaver or Hargrove.

P.S. If you haven't, you all should really read FJM's take on the NY Media's obsession with Jeter's horrible start.


Abandon Ship!    

Not to mix metaphors, but the Phillies bandwagon has careened off the cliff. Their NL-worst record led manager Charlie Manuel to a landmark week of stupid... see if you can follow me:

Team loses badly to division rival Mets. Manuel continues to parrot his "we're GOING to win" routine. Reporter/douche Eskin calls him out for his BS. Manuel challenges him to a fight. Not to put too fine a point on it, but when you start fights with the media, all you accomplish is advertising your own idiocy. ANYway, continuing his wonderful steerage of the good ship Illaphi, Mr. Manuel proceeds to move his overall best pitcher-cum-wifebeater, Brett Myers, to the bullpen. Because, well, we all know that setup men are more valuable than starters. That's why so many of the games' premiere hurlers are in the setup role, right? Myers is by no means a world-beater, but one glance at his stats tells me that any team in the league would love to trot him out there every 5th day. Oh, and as for last night's game, the Phillies managed to lose to the NATIONALS, in 13 innings, without their best reliever, Tom Gordon, throwing a single pitch. Bra-fucking-o, Mr. Manuel. That's hard to do. By the way, Chris Snelling scored the winning run.
Ordinarily, I defend managers. I think it's too easy to place blame for organization-wide mistakes at their feet. And I generally like the calm, optimistic, player-supporting managerial style (see: Torre, Joe) of which, until this week, Manuel has been a good example.

With his blowup this week, he's shattered that. Couple it with his panic moves (Flip-flopping on the Chase/Howard batting order, Myers to the pen) and it's pretty clear that he is neither in control of the team, nor following any sort of larger strategy. Manuel even dropped a "Myeh" the other day. Seriously, read this. Quoth the Flyin' Hawaiian, Shane Victorino: "Everything is bitter around here."

So, in short, it's time for Charlie to go. Don't let the door hit your fat ass on the way out, you ancient, idiotic shithead.

Kate is a huge Phillies fan, but even she's starting to wonder if it isn't time to dump Billy Zane.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Doin' It For The Shorties    

Short, half-eaten bites of ideas...

* Daisuke Matsuzaka is indeed looking like the next Pedro Martinez: no run support.

* I'm sad that the Penguins are about to lose to Ottawa.  I like them.  I've become accustomed to seeing my pet playoff picks make it out of the first round... how can I lose my new friends so soon?  Those stupid Ottawas are stupid.

* The Lions are finally in position to draft a franchise quarterback, franchise defensive lineman, franchise offensive tackle, or god knows what else, and the top player available to the Detroit Lions at #2 will be... another wide receiver.  Do it, Matt.  Do it.

* Obama/Arenas '08.  Does Agent Zero realize he can't stuff these ballots the traditional way?

* Bye, Joey Crawford.  One down, and like fifty to go.  How can a league of the NBA's caliber have zero quality referees?  At least the NFL has a few winners like Ed Hochuli mixed in with its motley crew of lineman-blinding, whistle-swallowing, coin-flip-mangling morons.  The only thing the NBA has going for it is gender equality... along with all their idiotic, spiteful male refs, they employ an equally idiotic and spiteful woman (Violet Palmer).  I'm still a little amazed that the NBA actually suspended Crawford; it might be the very first fitting punishment handed down in Der Führer's tenure.

* On a different topic, Stern made an excellent point in a TV interview last night regarding recent calls to revamp the lottery process.  He reminded us that the lottery first consisted of seven envelopes pulled at random, one per team, so as to prevent tanking.  But anyone who's heard the "cold envelope" story knows how much trouble Stern got into when the Knicks won the Patrick Ewing lottery.  So I doubt we'll see any meaningful changes... certainly nothing to deter tanking, that's for sure.

* Finally, if I run that lottery simulator one more time and see Joakim Noah going to Boston at #3, I'm going down to Bristol and hosing down Chad Ford's light blue Datsun hatchback with a gallon of liquid turds.


Insert Pirate Joke    

One of the common criticisms of MLB's Extra Innings Package is that it alternates between teams' broadcasts, so that, say, during a given Sox/Yanks series, a Sox fan might be forced to watch Yes Network's broadcast, instead of being able to choose their preferred NESN team.

While I understand this criticism, I find the alternating broadcast format fun, because it allows me not only a break from the usual suspects, but also allows me to check out the announcing teams from around the league. I get to see how other teams market themselves, through their broadcasters and through the commercials for the teams, promotions, ticket plans, etc. For example, while the Yankees have the understated and abstract slogan, "Pride, Power, Pinstripes", that capitalizes on the hypersaturization of the market by their classic uniform, the Devil Rays were a year or two ago marketing themselves with a slogan like "We come to play" which conjures images of little kids, in it for the love of the game, and dispelling notions that quality is measured purely in wins.

But that's all beside my main point. The biggest reason that I like the alternating broadcast format on Extra Innings is that I get to check out the local commercials from across the country. Every city has their beloved and hilarious local ads, such as Jeff Garcia's hilariously closeted "Is Barbera the Best?" ads.

Ah, but the Minnesota Twins have them all topped. Behold, the power of MENARDS.
This contest is over- give that man the $10,000.

And today, I got a surprise in the mail. Say hello to my little friend!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

League Optimization: NBA    

George Orwell once said that any word not critical to the expression of a thought can be edited out. The same is true of sports teams. Today I lipo-suck the fat from the NBA, leaving behind a leaner, more elegant basketball league.

There are fewer unhealthy NBA franchises than, say, NHL franchises. The league is pretty bulletproof at the moment. But that doesn't mean teams are in the right cities, and it doesn't mean they need 30 teams.

As with the earlier NHL optimization, this is primarily a work of fantasy. I'm looking at fan-support issues, not the financial realities of each team's situation. For example, I drop my boxers and shake what remains in the face of anyone who thinks that the Seattle SuperSonics should leave The 206. Regardless of the arena deal and whatnot, I'd think the NBA would prefer that they live long and prosper in Seattle. Sure, the league would be fine with the Sonics in Vegas or Oklahoma or Bismarck or whatever, but basketball done right in Seattle has a higher ceiling than that of any potential suitor.

Anyway, here are the teams I'd consider moving or folding:

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Charlotte Bobcats
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Orlando Magic
  • Toronto Raptors
Atlanta Hawks
I will parrot my cry from the NHL post: this is not a city that can support four teams. Even three teams is a stretch. There is no love affair in Atlanta sports. The Braves are a habit, like brushing one's teeth every morning, more than a passion. The Falcons are probably the team that needs to succeed the most. The Thrashers and Hawks, however... jeez. The Hawks have tons of history, with Dominique and Spud Webb and all them, which is a fair point. Then again, they have a ton of history in St. Louis. Hot dog, we have a wiener! MEET THEM IN ST. LOUIS

Charlotte Bobcats
Bill Simmons took the city of Charlotte to task recently for not supporting their shitty team. While that seems like a great reason to yoink their team away, I think the Carolinas are too basketball-obsessed to abandon like this. Given the choice between pro ball succeeding in Charlotte, Atlanta or Orlando,I'll take Charlotte every damn time. STAY

Memphis Grizzlies
Am I allowed to vote for contraction simply because Dahntay Jones plays for them? Absolutely. I do have other reasons... the franchise is in horrible shape (pending Oden's arrival), and Memphis isn't exactly crying out for a team. But mostly it's because of Dahntay. Dahn-na-na, na-na, na-na-nah, hey, YOU FOLD

Orlando Magic
Peter May didn't dub this city Hooterville back in the 90's for nothing. What is the NBA doing in this city? They make Atlanta look viable and vibrant. Look at it this way... the state of Florida is overpopulated, well above ecological sustainability. The underground aquafers are stretched beyond the point at which they can support the state's existing level of industry and residence. In that sense, it's really in Mother Earth's best interests to start Florida on the path towards environmental recovery by shitcanning the Dwight and Darko show. It's what Al Gore would do. (I suppose Gore's actual revenge against Florida would look different, but this is a good start.) FOLD

Toronto Raptors
I'm all for putting hockey teams back up there, but when your players actively dislike playing for you because of the financial situation, I think that's a bad sign for future growth. And it's a legitimate gripe, too... there's a ceiling on how successful the franchise can be, given NBA culture. Building legitimacy for Canadian basketball is already an uphill battle, and that's a big strike against it. Even the Raptors' current Atlantic Division supremacy, and the upward spiral of Chris Bosh, won't change my mind. Oklahoma City did such a bang-up job with the Hornets, I say we throw them a bone... or, should I say, a fossil? Ha ha! MOVE THEM SHITS TO THE OKC

Seattle SuperSonics
There have been rumors circling that they will move. However, those rumors exist because of arena/lease issues, and ownership issues, not fan support or team success. Again, the league is way, way better off with Seattle than without them. STAY

New World Order

New York
San Antonio
LA Lakers
LA Clippers
Oklahoma City
St. Louis
New Orleans
Golden State


Not nearly as drastic as the NHL changes. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the Atlantic and Pacific are entirely identical to their alignment prior to the Bobcats' arrival. The main switch is pulling Minnesota into the East, and moving the OKC Raptors into the Midwest, such that geographic rivalries are maintained. Doesn't it make more sense for Minnesota to go up against Milwaukee and Chicago? Or for New Orleans to compete against not only nearby Texan cities but the "other woman" that tempted their current team, Oklahoma City?

The dispersal draft would have a huge impact for the worst of the worst, but not really for the rest. There are exactly three impact players (Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Mike Miller), some rotation players/curiosities (Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick) and a bunch of shitty flotsam (J.J. Redick). I would think the league could hold a separate lottery for dispersal purposes, thus preventing anyone in the top 3 of the rookie draft from getting a top 3 dispersal pick.

So there you have it. Bask in the glow. (Stings a bit, doesn't it?)

Whither Canada?

The main obstacle here is Der Fuhrer, David Stern, and his insufferable promotion of NBA internationalism. He'd sooner move the Raptors to La Paz than return them to America. He is wrong. Internationalizing the teams' location is the wrong move; if it were a reasonable proposition, the European soccer leagues would have expanded themselves by now, because no sport is more international than soccer. It's no damnation of Canadian basketball to admit that NBA basketball in Toronto is dead.

Besides, the real way to develop Canadian basketball is for them to make their own league, a la the CFL. Look at how many undrafted college grads and NBA castoffs are going overseas and playing in friggin Israel and Turkey and shit. How many of them wouldn't opt for Canada if the money were about the same?

The reason this could work, and why it's such a provocative idea, is that Canada's league wouldn't be competing with the NBA: they'd be competing with the NCAA. Play in Canada until age 20, and jump to the NBA without college, just like the average European superstar would do.

I think there's a real beauty in this. Canada has no reason to give a rat's ass about abiding by either the NBA's 20-year-old age limit or the NCAA's de facto minor-league status. And they can offer a legal, reasonable alternative to college for all the kids who wouldn't take it seriously anyway. Not to mention a paycheck, over the table, that could likely match what they'd be getting under the table at college. There's really nothing the NBA could do from a legislative standpoint to prevent a Canadian pro league as a legitimate sidestep to the age limit.

Look at a basket case like O.J. Mayo. The benefits of college, and possibly college basketball as well, would be lost on him. So why make him go? Given the choice between a year of basket-weaving classes at USC, versus a season in Toronto or Montreal making bank while playing against professionals and developing NBA-style skills, what do you think Mayo would do?

Is it smart for the average high school player to do this? Probably not. But at the same time, I'd think a legitimate Canadian league could stock its roster with enough Kevin Pittsnogles to be selective when it came to high schoolers. It wouldn't necessarily be a way around school for kids who need it.

Am I missing something here?

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The Game: Week 3    

So, I was going to pick yesterday's Sox/Angels game for the must-see game of the week, if only because it means staying home from work, and commencing drinking at 10 AM. God bless Patriots Day, and the wonderful people of Boston for keeping alive this idiotic, utterly invented, regionally important holiday.

As it turned out, the game itself was delayed by two hours due to the wintry conditions, which puts a damper on the drinking, unless you're drinking whisky. +1. Josh Beckett pitched a strong 6, and Ervin Santana got smacked around- seemed to be unable to locate his breaking stuff, and the Sox just went to town on his fastball. Howie Kendrick went deep, which almost made up for his brutal play in the field. Yikes that throw to second was positively Knaublachian. Is it just me or are we seeing a LOT of crappy baseball being played in this cold weather? Finally, a tip of the cap to the Sox bullpen, for holding down the big lead with three guys I've never heard of. Bravo. Overall, I count this one in the win column for my Game of the Week picks, simply cause any time you can stay home from work for baseball= a win. In other words, his one was a gimme.

What's that? I suck for failing to get this Game of the Week out before the game itself was played? Screw you. But anyway, to make amends, I'll provide a recommendation: Tomorrow's Baltimore v. Tampa game, featuring Eric Bedard (who looks like the coach on Friday Night Lights - TV) vs. Scott Kazmir. No, neither of these teams is going anywhere, but there's plenty to like on Tampa's team from a fan's standpoint, and you can also get a good laugh by watching Bedard pitch and realizing that this dude is their bright spot. God they suck. Finally, a shiny quarter to anyone who can confirm that Scott's entrance music is Zeppelin... wait, do starters even get entrance music? They should. Kaz should strut out to a Page riff every damn inning.

Ok, so maybe you can't take a Baltimore v. Tampa game seriously. But hey, it's early in the season, and EVERY recommendation can't be for a Sox or Yanks game. Oh, wait... lookie here:

Friday, Apr 20
7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees (5-6, 3-3 away)
Boston (7-4, 4-1 home)
NYY: Pettitte (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
BOS: Schilling (2-1, 2.84 ERA)

Seems like old times, don't it?

PS- Youkilis = Mr. Horny Potato Head.


Monday, April 16, 2007

The Mariners actually have a chance    


OK, it's still early, but Oakland looks like a train-wreck in the making, Texas still sucks, and it seems to me like Anaheim (while probably the class of the division) isn't really so great either. Of course, Billy Beane could always pull some miracle trades, but if Harden's really hurt, I can't see it being enough. And consider this:

By my extremely rough count, if the Mariners end up winning 75% of Felix's starts and 50% of the rest of the rotation's starts, that'll put them at 89 wins. I think it is highly likely that 89 wins takes the division easily. In fact, I think 86 could do it. Of course, this team is one injury to Felix or Ichiro (or maybe a couple of other guys) away from being completely hopeless, so I won't feel safe at any point this season. Not even if we were to stay in first place the whole time, which obviously we won't (barring total collapse from every other team in the division).

But in the spirit of this, I think it'll be a fun couple of stats to keep track of every so often:

FW%, the percentage of starts made by Felix that the Mariners win...


RW%, the percentage of starts made by anyone else that the Mariners win.

I'll probably post them somewhere in the neighborhood of every two weeks, starting once we lose a game that Felix starts. It should be a nice barometer of how the playoff hopes of the Mariners are developing, and it should give you guys a good opportunity to make fun of me for how pathetic the 2-5 starters in our rotation are.


Friday, April 13, 2007

League Optimization: NHL    

I've been thinking today about how so many major sports franchises are mismatched with their cities.  Hockey in Miami?  Basketball in Memphis?  And so forth.  So I thought I'd evaluate each of the four major leagues and present some ideas... just fooling around, for the most part, seeing what would look good from a fan's perspective rather than an economic one.

Since it's playoff time, and nobody will care about hockey in a few weeks anyway, I'll tackle the NHL first.  This is a league that has at least four teams too many, and not enough teams in places that actually care about hockey (hrmphCANADAharumph).  Further, you have three teams in the New York market, two of whom have trouble drawing fans, so one of those teams has to go.

Let me reiterate that I'm not attacking this from an economic standpoint.  I'm not an economist, don't pretend to be, and don't give a hoot about whether teams are profitable vs. in the right location.  I'm looking solely at whether teams are truly succeeding in their cities, and whether their fans' potential for support is enough to justify the team's existence.  After seeing what's happened in Buffalo and Pittsburgh this season and last, I think looking at your fan base's potential, and their performance during the good times, is a much better way to approach market feasibility than arena age, luxury boxes, and so forth.

Excused from the list, despite suckage

Easily the worst franchise in hockey.  They have been gutted like a fish by that piece of shit Wirtz.  But you can't move them.  Chicago's too big.

Boston: Same reason.  The team is atrocious, but it's too big a hockey town when at its best.  And the place still fills up for Habs games, which is somewhat stunning to me.

Nashville, Carolina, Tampa: They get a bad rap, like hockey doesn't belong there or whatever, but they have supported those teams.  Hockey's thriving in those places.  Atlanta too, but they're not safe.

The Chopping Block

Seven franchises could safely move or fold, all in questionable hockey cities.
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Washington Capitals
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • New York Islanders
  • New Jersey Devils (they have no fans!!!)
  • Florida Panthers
  • Atlanta Thrashers
Blue Jackets
There is absolutely no reason for this team to exist.  At least visiting teams have a good time visiting Miami.  Who wants to go to Columbus in February?  They haven't done well enough for anyone to care all that much.  In fact, the most notable event in their history was when Espen Knutsen killed that girl by accident with a stray puck.  This team has everything you want in a contraction candidate.  FOLD

I can't in good faith offer up the Caps for contraction or relocation.  Washington has supported hockey in the past, and we are capable of doing so again.  But that is a long, LONG way away right now.  Ted Leonsis is absolutely killing hockey in DC.  Nobody gives a shit about the Caps, and at $35 a pop just to sit in the upper level, how could we be expected to?  I'm sure the economics of the situation are such that prices are where they ought to be, but it says loads that nobody's coming out to see a guy of Ovechkin's talents.  I say it'd be shrewd of Leonsis to give back a little money every night in order to revive his dwindling fan base.  Otherwise, the economic arguments (fans pay the high ticket prices when the team wins) may not work out as well as Ted hopes.  I honestly don't think he should be daring us to stay away from Verizon Center.  SPARED, BUT NOT FOR LONG

The best thing this team has given Phoenix is air conditioning.  Fastest growing city my ass, those fuckers belong in Winnipeg.  Seriously, can anyone think of a single reason why we shouldn't shove a big fat "Return To Sender" sticker on the Coyotes?  I hope the Great One is secretly gutting the team with the intention of moving it back to Canada as a contribution to preservation of national heritage.  MOVE

NY/NJ: Islanders
Between the Isles and Devils, one of these two has gotta go.  The Isles are the natural choice, given recent history.  But much as the Isles are woefully mismanaged, I kinda like them where they are.  Their fans have a lovable sort of "why me?" mentality.  They have a franchise identity dating back to the 70s and 80s... Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, all those Cups.  They're likely to support a good, competent team.  Besides, this is my list.  SPARED

NY/NJ: Devils
Devils fans, on the other hand, could give a rat's ass about their team.  Despite being a legitimate Cup contender pretty much every single year since about 1994, they can't sell out the Meadowlands unless the Flyers or Rangers are visiting.  Given how far out of his way Lou Lamoriello goes to alienate everyone in a 50-mile radius, I can't blame those fans either.  Further, they've only been in New Jersey since the early 80s, so we're not talking about uprooting an institution of any kind.  So I'd move them to Portland, and rename them the Oregon Trails.  ("You lost two oxen.  Scott Gomez got two minutes for roughing.  Patrik Elias got dysentery and died.")  MOVE

If a hockey team folds on the beach, does anybody care?  FOLD

Yeah, they won the division.  Yeah, they count Lil' Jon as their unofficial mascot.  Doesn't matter.  That city doesn't give a shit about sports.  The Braves are the only team that sells well, and it's mostly to do that obnoxious, racist chant all night.  They've got no business having any of their teams, let alone a fledgling hockey team.  However, I can't fold them at this point, because that'd leave us with an odd number of teams.  So we have to move them.

Now, I really enjoyed that part up above where I put the Coyotes back in Winnipeg.  I want more of that feeling.  Quebec City should get its hockey team back, since they were so loyal to the Avalanche even after they'd moved.  And doing that would leave Denver without hockey again, despite having proven itself to be a very worthy hockey city.

So I propose moving the Thrashers to Colorado, calling them the Avalanche, and restoring Les Nordiques to Quebec City.  Everybody wins... Denver gets better players, Quebec gets their team back, and we don't have to deal with shitty Atlanta being in the league.  MOVE

New Alignment

While I'm at it, let's rename the divisions back to what they were in the first place: Norris, Patrick, Adams, and Smythe.  Old-time hockey!!!  I think the following alignment makes a bunch of sense:

Los Angeles
San Jose
St. Louis
Tampa Bay


This'll never happen.  Union concerns about lost jobs and whatnot.  And the thrust of this proposal is moving teams back to Canada!  Ha!  Still, as a genuine hockey fan, I think the league you see above looks a hell of a lot stronger than the one you see here.  It preserves all the key rivalries, both geographical and practical.  It puts the two best young teams on the planet, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, in the same division.  It even puts Detroit and Colorado in the same division, which could get ugly.  (That's good.)  And it returns hockey to Canada in a significant way, since America generally has no need for it.

There wouldn't be any huge shifts in talent via the contraction dispersal draft... you're looking at Rick Nash, Olli Jokinen, Nathan Horton, Fredrik Norrena and Jay Bouwmeester moving to the five worst teams in hockey, Sergei Fedorov landing somewhere new and making you say "hmmmm," unsigned entry draftees becoming the property of new teams, and the rest just adding to depth.  Still, the league's talent level would be that much better, which really has to help.

Well, this is what I think they should do.

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Did someone say R.I.P?    

Cause about all I've been doin' is feelin' sad about Kurt Vonnegut.
Until I read this.

On a side note- caption contest in the comments- what should be his epitaph?
My vote is for a single asterix, and nothing else.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Drew Bledsoe: R.I.P.    

Godspeed, you white emperor. Goodnight, you king of Maine, you prince of New England. So long, and thanks for all the picks fish.

I'm actually pretty sad about this. I always liked Drew Bledsoe. He was the first legitimate hero to play for the Pats in my time as a fan (which does predate his arrival). His was the first Pats uniform I ever had. His Super Bowl run in 1996-97 was the first I was able to really enjoy.

For eight seasons, he was the face of the Patriots. He symbolized my team's newfound legitimacy. He shepherded the team from the very bottom to the verge of greatness. He was the personification of the Bill Parcells-led rise to annual respectability. He was the best thing the team had going for it during the Pete Carroll water-treading era. Two playoff appearances with that knucklehead Carroll, and both of them were due in large part to Bledsoe's leadership on the field.

And we wouldn't have won that first Super Bowl without his heroic performance in the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh. Tom Brady got hurt, and Bledsoe bailed him out, with a little help from his friends. No Bledsoe = we lose. We lose = no "dynasty." That's one of the footnotes that gets lost in the rush to stick Brady in Canton... none of what's happened since would have come true without Drew Bledsoe.

For that, I owe him a debt of gratitude.

I wish the rest of New England would realize that. Despite all that he accomplished for us, Bledsoe was a tragic figure in Boston. Never mind that a good 80% of the fans would never, ever have become Patriots fans if Bledsoe hadn't arrived. As a traditional pocket passer in an era where quarterbacks were becoming more mobile, he became an easy target for the fans. He was never good enough for them, and they always took such delight in nitpicking his style and performance.

He's so emotionless. He's not a real leader. He's not athletic like Mark Brunell and Kordell Stewart. He pats the ball.

Man, I haven't thought about that ridiculous ball-patting shit in years. That was the best thing about Bledsoe's departure (besides the Super Bowls)... never again having to endure that stupid shit from those stupid people about him patting the ball. Yeah, he patted the ball... right before throwing every single one of his touchdown passes, you fucking nitwits.

The point of all that is that he was treated worse than shit by the fans and media, but deserved pretty much none of it. He was a good quarterback. Not great, but definitely good enough.

What's so remarkable to me is that he was perceived as a failure despite having done pretty much as well as he could have. If he wasn't giving his best, that'd be one thing, but I don't think anyone with a brain for football can question his effort. Let's not forget that when Mo Lewis hit him in 2001, while running for a first down as so many people wished he'd do more often, he nearly DIED. Then he busted his ass to get back on the field as soon as he could. He wasn't a jerk. He wasn't mailing games in. He wasn't pulling goofy Manny Ramirez superstar shit on or off the field. He gave New England his best. And people still killed him, just because he didn't win a Super Bowl. That right there is some ignorant shit. Going to such extremes to blame a #1 overall pick for not bringing home a Super Bowl, like he's a big failure or something, just exposes how little the Boston media and fans understand football. Take him down a peg or two, sure. Cut him, go in a different direction. But don't shit on the guy. Don't be happy about his predicament.

Anyway, when Bledsoe was unceremoniously benched in favor of future Pro Bowler and sperm rocket Brady, and was subsequently traded out of town, he had every right to flip us all off on his way out of town. But instead, he handled it with class. He thanked Patriots fans graciously for their years of support, even though the vocal majority of fans had all but declared a state holiday in celebration of his benching and departure. And still he took the high road. I appreciate that.

I felt loyal to Bledsoe. Still do, as you can probably tell. After Brady's injury in that first playoff run, I felt that Bledsoe had earned the right to start the Super Bowl. I thought he'd been screwed out of his job, that an injured Brady would be a liability, and that benching a healthy player of Bledsoe's caliber in favor of an injured first-year starter was effectively an insult. I was wrong, of course, but I don't regret feeling that loyalty. Unlike the majority of Patriots fans, I always rooted for Bledsoe to succeed. Even in that Dallas uniform, I would have liked to see him do well. And I'm sad that he didn't.

That's not to say I wish he'd stayed. I'm glad his downward spiral happened elsewhere. But in my view, he never got the credit he deserved. He played a crucial role in the construction of the Patriots dynasty; I hope people recognize his achievements someday, once they're done polishing the bronze on Brady's Hall of Fame bust.* And I hope history is kinder to Drew Bledsoe than the present was.

* - Speaking of Canton, Bledsoe's numbers present an interesting Hall of Fame argument. He's #7 all-time in passing yards, and #5 in both completions and attempts, which if nothing else is a sign of persistent success. While I loathe that argument in baseball, you can't amass numbers like that if you're that bad. They don't say anything about greatness, but you definitely can't say he sucks. Ultimately I think he and another similar player in his area of the record books, Vinny Testaverde, are more likely to be left out, proving how little numbers matter when it comes to the football HOF. But the fact that there's an argument to be made is proof enough that his treatment and perception have been unfair.

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Multiple Overtimes: The Way REAL Men Do It    

I love playoff hockey.

Why?  Because the NHL does away with those lame-ass shootouts and decides games the way they were meant to be decided: sudden-death overtime.  None of this retarded soccer-bitch gimmicky bullshit with penalty shots.  They play forever, until someone scores a goal.  The way it should be.  And when they actually score... it's unbelievable.  "Ridiculously long playoff hockey overtime" is #2 on my list of Most Exciting Sporting Spectacles, a fraction of a hair behind "NCAA Tournament buzzer-beater."

That's why I'm so thrilled that the Canucks and Stars took four overtimes to decide last night's this morning's Game 1.  78 minutes of overtime, after 60 minutes of regulation.  Roberto Luongo made 72 saves.  SEVENTY-TWO!  The game ended sometime around 3 AM on the east coast.  Goddamn right it did.  THAT is how you decide a hockey game.

Glad to see we've already had two overtime thrillers (Sharks-Preds went into 2OT) and we're only one day in.  Let's hope this continues.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Johan who?    

I'm not expecting a Cy Young caliber season or anything. He's still a kid and a lot can go wrong over a season (not to mention a career).

But I'll bask in it for now. And for all the doubters, just because of a little sophomore slump (ahem...Simmons...still prefer Weaver the younger?), eat a bag. Long live the King.

P.S. King, incidentally, is the name of his dog. God fucking bless him.


Suck it, Caple    

Maybe Ichiro should have volunteered to play center earlier. Maybe he should steal in dicier situations (though I'm not sure; we all know you have to be successful a lot in order for stealing to be worth it). And maybe he should try to hit for more power a little more often.

But this article is still stupid:

"You need to swing for the fences when the situation calls for it, the way you show you can in batting practice."

Batting practice? That's your evidence he can hit for more power and that he just chooses not to? Are you kidding? I think it's time we move past this idea that Ichiro could hit tons more home runs if only he wanted to. Game situations are a little different.

"You need to crash into those fences a little more often, too, and dive for some balls."

Ugh. Ichiro led the ML in plate appearance in 2004, was second behind Jeter in 2005, and second behind Rollins in 2006, because he doesn't run into fences. What little evidence we have suggests he's among the best center fielders in baseball defensively. We have seen him run down balls we're not sure anyone else would have gotten to. What is the point of complaining he doesn't get his uniform dirty enough? He doesn't have to.

If Ichiro was the best player Ichiro could be, with a little extra power and every single extra inch of defensive range he could get by diving for every play potentially catchable ball, the Mariners would not be significantly better. And does anyone consider how poorly Latino and American players might take being yelled at by a Japanese player? I think it could be a little awkward. More importantly, does anyone really think that there are Mariners who would be better players if they just tried harder? If they were more inspired?

No, they're just bad. Beltre is clearly at his worst when he feels under pressure, so no additional fieriness in the clubhouse is going to improve his at-bats, and most of the rest of the underperformers actually suck. Jose Lopez is the one guy I think you could really make a case for needing to work harder on certain things, and that would be telling him to ignore the coaching staff and stop trying to hit singles the other way.

I'm not saying Ichiro is perfect, but when he saw that Hargrove wasn't willing to give the job to Jones, he did step into center field. Then they traded away the guy he stepped into center field to create opportunities for...for Jose fucking Vidro. This is a badly managed team with a severe talent shortage. That is why they are bad. Better leadership might make the Mariners more fun to play for, but it will not get them to the playoffs. What we need are some more talented hitters and some more talented pitchers--both of which we had more of last year than this year.

If the story of Ichiro's walk year is his lack of leadership, I'm going to be sick. How about surrounding him with some players who are worth leading? I guess it's easier to pick on the Japanese player who has the gall to actually expect leadership out of his manager.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Game: Week 2    

So I thought it might be fun to take a look at the weekly pitching matchups, and make a recommendation- if you were to watch only one baseball game this week, which would it be? How often would it live up to the hype? How often would it be on national TV? How often would it be announced by a member of the three-headed hydra of suck that is McCarver/Buck/Morgan?

This week's there's an obvious choice:

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, 4/11) , 7:05, ESPN.
Daisuke (1-0) vs. Felix (1-0).
aka Red Sox (3-3) hosing Mariners (2-1)

Mute out Joe Morgan, pop a cold one, and enjoy.

For future weeks, i'll go with Monday-Sunday, and make the pick on Monday mornings, assuming I remember/get around to it. I haven't quite figured out how to overcome the fact that you can't always predict the pitching matchups 5-7 days in advance, so leave a comment if you've got an idea about that.

And yes, I'm mostly doing this as a way to set priorities for my baseball watching, so I don't waste a night watching Kei Igawa "battle" Sidney Ponson the night before Sandy Kaufax comes back and dukes it out with recently-called-up Jose Canseco.


Got no time for you triflin' ass broke breezies...    

...cause the playoffs are here.

(thanks Deadspin for the pic)

Now, full disclosure, I haven't watched basically ANY hockey this year. I think about 5 minutes is the longest stretch of game I've watched. I couldn't name the top line on any NHL team. I don't even know what the seeding is. The closest I've been to an NHL game is this:

So without further ado, is my Ignorant Playoff Preview. You down with IPP?

The Contenders:

Penguins v. Ottawa
Team I'll be rooting for= Penguins.
Why= They could go from near-eviction to cup champions in a three month span. Such is the life of a pimp.
Slogan= Let my nuts go, bitch.

Atlanta v. NY Rangers
Team I'll be rooting for= Rangers.
Why= My second favorite team in sports, the Rangers have fallen out of my life since the season-cancelling debacle. Now, with a younger, faster, better league, and with the Rangers back in the playoffs, there's every reason for me to get back into hockey. If the Rangers can pull off a few wins, I'll likely be hooked.
Slogan= Give me a reason to love you (I just wanna be a woman).

NJ Devils v. Tampa Bay
Team I'll be rooting for= Neither.
Why= Cause Tampa should not have a hockey team, and cause fuck the Devils, that's why
Slogan= Security on my dick bitch, I don't give a fuck!

Buffalo v. Islanders
Team I'll be rooting for= Buffalo.
Why= Much like Philly, Buffalo could use some love. And fuck Long Island.
Slogan= Well get it crunk, mothafucker get crunk.

Detroit v. Calgary
Team I'll be rooting for= Calgary.
Why= Cause I'm rooting for Pitt over Ottawa, and you gotta root for a Canada team.
Slogan= Old man McGirt, lookin' under your skirt. Fucked the pussy til' it's orange, like Ernie and Bert.

Anaheim v. Minnesota
Team I'll be rooting for= Minnesota.
Why= A closer call than I would have thought- Anaheim have the beast that is Chris Pronger, and Scott Niedermayer, a video hockey hall of famer. That said, this is hockey, people, not a fake bake contest. Fuck Anaheim.
Slogan= I need unguent.

Vancouver v. Dallas
Team I'll be rooting for= Vancouver
Why= Vancouver has the best logo in the NHL, and is on the short list of cities I really really want to visit. Dallas has gun racks and Jerry Jones. Fuck Dallas(Man, these geographic matchups are making choosing sides really easy).
Slogan= You can run but you can't hide from the westside.

Nashville v. San Jose
Team I'll be rooting for= San Jose
Why= Cause with every Joey Bananas playoff win, a little piece of Jeff dies.
Slogan= Did you think you can fuck wit us, BONE, BONE-BONE-BONE-BONE.


Monday, April 09, 2007

File under: Couldn't they set the Cuyahoga on fire and melt the snow?    

Old and busted: New Orleans
New hotness: Cleveland.

Seriously- The Cleveland Indians will host the California Angels in Milwaukee. For the record, Milwaukee and Cleveland ain't exactly the twin cities. Of course, they play in California May 8-10, so they could have simply switched the site for the two series, but that would have made WAY too much sense. Yep. Enjoy your 435 mile ride, Wahoo fans.

Of course, if one of the Indians hits a tater and we get to see a dude in a giant Chief Wahoo costume impersonate Bernie Brewer, all will be forgiven.
Just kidding. Cleveland, you want my sympathy? Toss this guy into the river and never look back.


Thursday, April 05, 2007


7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K, 5/5 GB/FB

You're all fucked... proper fucked.  And I couldn't be happier.  EAT A BAG OF DICKS, AMERICA!  Hopefully it'll be a bag of Sour Cream & Onion dicks... we all know plain and BBQ just don't cut it.


They got it right    

Well, baseball at last got it right... in the most ass-way possible.

That's right, cable subscribers can shell out their $160 to get the Extra Innings package this year, despite MLB's attempts to whor-... sell exclusive rights to DirecTV for the next decade.

I've argued that, as with NFL's Sunday Ticket package, selling exclusive rights to broadcast these packages is highly stupid, as it is limiting your audience. Even though exclusive rights sell for heap big wampum, the long-term limits it puts on growth just aren't worth it financially, especially at a time when baseball is clearly in the healthiest financial state it's been in history, and fan interest at home and abroad is spreading like HPV in America's university system.

So, Bravo, MLB, for going the smart route, for now. And Bravo, Senator Kerry, for using this issue to waste some of Congress' time.

Of course, if you're a Dish Network subscriber, you can go fuck yourself.

As for me, I had made the decision to switch to DirecTV over this matter, cause I am as hopelessly addicted to Extra Innings as Fry is to Slurm.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Two Days In, Two Things Learned    

The Nationals
They are TERRIBLE. Like, 2003 Tigers terrible. 1988 Orioles terrible. It's bad enough that they can't hit or pitch, but they screwed up yesterday's game by booting ground balls all over the place. Hideous stuff.

The shame of it is that I want to support them. I feel horrible that the team is this pathetic. In a fledgling market like DC, you can't afford to be so awful that you're irrelevant; for proof, just look at the Capitals. Given how badly the District fucked itself over financially to get the Nats in the first place, I'd hate to see baseball fail yet again. In that sense, seeing RFK so empty is a little scary.

Barry Bonds: Apparently He's OK Again
ESPN is right back to banging Barry down our throats like a dick. So I guess it's really not that important that he cheated? Oh, well I feel much better.

The real story is in two parts: a) that he's gonna break the record by having cheated so goddamn obviously, and b) that ESPN is back to selling his "achievement" as a positive. They might as well hire O.J. as a football analyst.

Listen, ESPN tools... nobody gives a shit about him. Nobody. We all know he cheated, and we all know his record is bullshit. Please stop celebrating him. And for the love of God, please stop embarrassing yourselves by acting like nothing happened.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Photo Essay: One down....    

Ok, so today we look at opening day, and reasons for optimism...

When last I cared about sports, this was the dominant image:

Then, the offseason was marked by wonderful images such as:


Ah, but yesterday was opening day- time to turn over a new page and steam ahead with confidence.

As you can see, Jeet had his good luck charm handy. It's just like kissing a peanut.

Oh, and here's young Phil Hughes, who will be the Yankees ace by the end of the season. Kid's a beast.

Ok, that's actually Lidle's kid, but whatever.

Bottom line is that Yankees won, Sox lost, and I'm feelin' pretty good today. Almost as good as
this guy:


Monday, April 02, 2007

8 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 14 GB, 1 FB    


Just in case...    

... you needed one MORE reason to love Pat the Bat.

I'm calling it- Pat's having a career year in '07. Too bad it won't be for the Pfhightins.