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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Because I'm bitter    

What the fuck is wrong with the Yankees pitching? If they bring up Hughes and/or IPK and they struggle, Dave Eiland should be fucking fired. He mentored both of them, as well as Wang (YPOS) in the minors, and is more responsible than anyone for the staff's early season failures. OK, Cashman is also to blame, and the organization as a whole for rushing and overhyping their prospects (TNSTAAPP, you shits). But still, we need a scapegoat here, people.
Oh, and also, this:

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Saturday, April 25, 2009



Ahh, I feel better now.

Translation: the Patriots are tweeting their draft picks on submit, which means the two minute lag between Chris Berman and Keyshawn Johnson shutting their stupid mouths up and the announcement of the pick is avoided! I can just watch @realpatriots when the Pats are on the clock, bypassing ESPN's self-fellative, unendingly annoying setup entirely. What the hell do I care whether Chris Berman is surprised by something? He'd be surprised to learn about Twitter! Why would his surprise at Sebastian Vollmer's selection mean anything at all to me?

On another note, the Pats are KILLING IT today. Through four picks, they get about an A-, all things considered. Traded their first-rounder twice and netted the #41 and two third-rounders from it. They'll likely turn some of those third-rounders into 2010 second-rounders.

Of today's four picks, S Patrick Chung and CB Darius Butler are high-profile super-athletic defensive backs, something this team hasn't had since, ugh, Tebucky Jones. (Let's never compare those guys to Tebucky again.) Either way, FINALLY, the defensive backfield's depth chart is full. I feel young again! If Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite expand their roles appropriately in their second seasons, this is suddenly an area of strength. Best possible development of the day.

Outside linebacker is still a gaping hole shaped like Mike Vrabel, but that and fullback are the ONLY holes left on the team. And with four third-rounders tomorrow, I'd be stunned if they aren't both addressed within minutes of the opening bell.

Only one minor complaint: not crazy about letting Pat White go to the Dolphins. A team that loves trick plays like the Pats and uses them as frequently as they do could have really used a multi-positional Kordell Stewart/Seneca Wallace type weapon. But given that the reason to skip White is defense, I'm fine with it.

In summation, I'm happy. And presumably I'll be even happier tomorrow. Did I mention FOUR third-rounders?

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Submitted without comment    

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bruins/NHL Playoffs Talk    

Make sure Nutty's playing as you read:

I am psyched this year like I have never been before. Psyched and mortified, but mostly psyched. I have an odd feeling about this team, after having watched nearly every single game: hope.

Every time the Bruins have landed a top seed in recent years, there's always been a stench of overachievement all about them. The playoffs would arrive, the smoke and mirrors would dissipate, and an exhausted bunch of losers would fall to the Canadiens. I can't lie: this thought has crossed my mind several times once the Habs were confirmed as the Bruins' opponent.

But this time really is different. The B's have literally no weaknesses. They can win with the neutral-zone trap, and against it; they can win 1-0 over any team you can imagine; they can win in a track meet; they can overcome your clean checks, and they can overcome a Hanson Brothers-style brawl too, as they proved last week against the Habs. They have one of the NHL's best offenses, with three lines that can carry a team's scoring for the game; they have its best defenseman, in certain Norris candidate Zdeno Chara, and a front four that can absorb any offense in the league; they have its best goalie, in near-certain Vezina winner Tim Thomas, recent winner of the Jennings Trophy for fewest goals against on the season (despite Manny Fernandez's best efforts to blow it for him).

In short, there hasn't been any overachieving. It's not like their breakout players shouldn't have broken out; Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic... these guys were all SUPPOSED to do exactly what they're doing. It's not as if Chuck Kobasew scored 50 goals or some bullshit like that. In fact, given that Lucic and one-time 30-goal scorer Patrice Bergeron have only been themselves the past couple weeks, I would say they underachieved. They could be rolling three lines full of 20-goal scorers, and they're not. How about that.

There's just no formula for beating this team. None. Your best bet is to a) hit them as hard as you can and HOPE that they, against their track record, don't feel like hitting back, and b) pray to Jesus Christ himself that Thomas doesn't have "it" tonight. You require goddamn divine intervention to beat the Bruins on paper. I've never been as happy with the Bruins' depth chart as I am now.

The only player bad enough to sink this team is Manny Fernandez, a goalie who figures to not play one minute between the pipes from here on out. If he does, it means Thomas is hurt, the playoff run is over anyway, and Fernandez's performance doesn't much matter anyway. Maybe Shane Hnidy is a true weak link, but he's the team's 8th defenseman now! Of course he's a weak link. But seriously, look at how far you have to go before there's a true weak spot. You're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

On top of all that, they've got a pretty nice draw as far as playoff opponents go. At reasonably full strength, the B's have only had a worrisome amount of trouble against Washington and San Jose, neither of whom will turn up until a couple rounds in. I'm not gonna say it will be a cakewalk, not when Philly is lurking, but they've set themselves up nicely for a long run.

I wouldn't be totally stunned to see them lose earlier, but I don't see it. Doesn't make sense. This is the year.

On to the predictions:



Last Thursday's old-time hockey exhibition was a good indicator of the sort of bush league nonsense we can expect Bob Gainey to pull over the next week and a half. But that kind of crap can distract the Habs as much as the Bruins, as their loss indicates. And although the B's went without a win against the Habs last year, and still managed to take the Habs to a seventh game, the Bruins were a disciplined, bring-the-game-to-us type of team even at their worst. Montreal is just a bunch of wandering, underachieving boobs. They're about to be thoroughly outclassed.

Prediction: Bruins in 5


While I think the Rangers are a solid team, and have the potential to ride Henrik Lundquist as deep as they please, Washington is just too good at every position. Jose Theodore is merely a Flyers-caliber goaltender, but he doesn't have to be much more than that with the team in front of him. He only has to be Chris Osgood good, not Roberto Luongo good. I don't see this being much of a series, no matter what Sean Avery does.

Prediction: Caps in 5


While it's widely known that Carolina stinks on ice, that knowledge is nowhere near as wide as Martin Brodeur's ass. The Devs are struggling; the magic is over. Carolina, meanwhile, is hotter than anyone, and just as well-built as the Devils. They're a little too trendy a pick, but it's for a good reason.

Prediction: Canes in 6


I really, REALLY hate to say this, but I don't see the Flyers NOT getting into the Pens' heads this year. Marc-Andre Fleury has been a mess, the defense is a sieve at best, and Sidney Crosby is like fresh fish to the scummy likes of Scott Hartnell and Mike Richards. Regardless of Philly's preposterously persistent porosity problems in the pipes, I don't see Crosby + Malkin + Nobody Else putting a dent into them. I definitely don't see Pittsburgh taking a Game 7 from them.

Prediction: Flyers in 7



I don't get why everyone's in love with Anaheim. Jonas Hiller is going to shut down the best team in hockey, is he? Just because the Ducks have pedigree? Give me a break.

Prediction: Sharks in 4


Columbus is the most annoying team in hockey. They have Rick Nash, and that is literally it as far as actual scoring talent goes. What, I'm supposed to be enthralled by the offensive exploits of R.J. Umberger?!? Give me a break. All they're good enough to do is delay the inevitable for no good reason.

Prediction: Wings in 6


The Blues are the biggest story of the NHL season. From perennial playoff team to perennial doormat and, in the absence of their best players (Paul Kariya, Erik Johnson), have made the biggest leap of anyone. Not only did they sneak into the playoffs, but they have an eminently beatable Vancouver team as their opponent! I have literally no idea how Chris Mason and the Blues did this. And despite my pro-Vancouver sympathies, I can't help but root for St. Louis to take down the weakest of the six division winners.

Prediction: Blues in 7


I can't think of one good reason to root for a team that blew a 13-point division lead over the phoenix-like rebirth of the Chicago Blackhawks. A fun team to watch and a fun team to root for.

Prediction: Hawks in 5


BOSTON over Carolina
Because the Canes never put up much of a fight against the B's this year.

PHILLY over Washington
Because it wouldn't be the Flyers if they didn't piss you off.

BOSTON over Philly
Because by now, Biron will be tenderized and ready to eat. And because fuck the Flyers.

SAN JOSE over St. Louis
Because the dream has to end eventually.

DETROIT over Chicago
Because the Hawks aren't quite THAT good.

DETROIT over San Jose
Because the Sharks always do this eventually.

BOSTON over Detroit

They've shown they can beat Detroit, and by a lot, too. If it were the Sharks, I don't think I'd have the same amount of faith in a Bruins victory. But a matchup with Detroit, a team craftier than it is talented, strikes me as a lot more favorable towards the Bruins.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Warning: Exposure to the Washington Nationals may cause boredom, death    

RIP, Harry Kalas. At least you go out as a World Fucking Champion.

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Bruins In Playoffs, Look For Real, Have BEST COMMERCIALS EVER    

When I post about the Bruins, there's usually some kind of apology attached. Not now. After living an entire lifetime ashamed of my cheap, uncaring hockey team, this is the first time I've ever been proud to be a fan of the Boston Bruins. This, this moment right now, is the greatest moment in the franchise since the '72 Cup finals.

No, not the B's having the top seed in the East... I'm talking about these commercials.

I award this series of ads 5 Ranger fan shoes out of 5.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Baseball Teams As Hip Hop Labels    

I'm impressed by how well the label descriptions fit the teams... I'm no expert but when you call Dr. Dre the George Steinbrenner of rap, I understand that completely.  [h/t]

Massholes On Parade: Inaugural 2009 Masshole Edition    

Spring has officially arrived: it's Masshole season! Last night, a Sox fan was caught peeing off the upper deck at Fenway:

As officers were attempting to escort the fan from the park, the fan broke free and began yelling, “I’m not leaving!!! I’m not leaving!!!”

This one doesn't stink of Massholity like other posts you'll find on this tag. In fact, the suspect is from New Hampshire, making him more of a Hamphole. But in this day and age, when all you have to do to piss off a sports fan is mention Boston, we don't need a shonda for the goyim making things worse. We have too many as it is...

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The Dark Knight Returns    

From yesterday's pregame ring ceremony.

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Phillies to Braves: UR doin it wrong    

From yesterday's game, for which I foolhardily gave away my tickets.

Bottom 7th: Philadelphia
- E. O'Flaherty relieved G. Norton
- S. Victorino grounded out to third
- C. Utley singled to center
- R. Howard hit by pitch, C. Utley to second
- P. Moylan relieved E. O'Flaherty
- J. Werth walked, C. Utley to third, R. Howard to second
- R. Ibanez singled to left, C. Utley scored, R. Howard to third, J. Werth to second
- P. Feliz singled to center, R. Howard scored, J. Werth to third, R. Ibanez to second
- M. Stairs hit for C. Ruiz
- M. Stairs walked, J. Werth scored, R. Ibanez to third, P. Feliz to second
- B. Boyer relieved P. Moylan
- C. Coste hit for C. Condrey
- C. Coste walked, R. Ibanez scored, P. Feliz to third, M. Stairs to second
- J. Rollins walked, P. Feliz scored, M. Stairs to third, C. Coste to second
- J. Campillo relieved J. Campillo
- S. Victorino singled to right, M. Stairs scored, C. Coste to third, J. Rollins to second
- C. Utley walked, C. Coste scored, J. Rollins to third, S. Victorino to second
- R. Howard grounded out to first, J. Rollins scored, S. Victorino to third, C. Utley to second
- J. Werth flied out to right

8 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors
Atlanta 10, Philadelphia 11

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The torch has been passed    

Monday, April 06, 2009


Mike Lupica has morphed into the godless lovechild of Joe Morgan and Peter King. Like Morgan, his column on the Yankees future with Jeter is absurdly myopic and bereft of the slightest, you know, evidence to support his assertion that the Yankees MUST renew Jeter's contract ad infinitum. But then, on page 3, BAM! He shifts into serious Peter King mental spew mode. Perhaps a FJM/KSK style line by line breakdown is in order. Perhaps this shall become a regular feature.

Derek Jeter in a class by himself for Yankees
Saturday, April 4th 2009, 11:10 PM

DETROIT - So Derek Jeter opens a new Yankee Stadium in exhibitions against Sweet Lou Piniella now and for real in a week or so, seven months or so from when he took the microphone and officially closed the old Stadium last September. He moves across the street as people are already moving him toward the door, like he is moving up on being one of the Yankee ghosts he is always talking about.

You really chose to open your column with two consecutive run on sentences with utterly bizarre syntax (a week or so, seven months or so) and a mixed metaphor (he can somehow move across the street, and towards the door… but not the door of the new stadium, the imaginary door that leads out of town). Actually, this is but a taste of the mysterious power of Captain Intangibles… he can move across both space and legend in seemingly opposing directions. He has mastered the 5th dimension. Like a handsomer version of Nightcrawler. With a more agile tongue.

Jeter runs out to short in this McMansion of a Stadium - call it The McStadium –

No. Call it Yankee Stadium.

the way he did for the first time as a regular across the street, in 1996, when the winning started.

Yankee WS Championships, pre-1996: 27

Even as he does, people really do act as if they want to move him off short the first chance they get and wonder where he plays after that.

No, people don’t “act” as if they want this, we DO want this, and we DO wonder this.

Everybody wonders how the Yankees are going to pay him when this contract, the second-biggest in baseball after the last two Alex Rodriguez has signed, is up the season after this one.

Biweekly paychecks work for most… does Jeter demand hand delivery of a sack full of pirate gold by a bare-tittied Amazon astride a unicorn? If so, Jeter fucking WINS.

And that's fine, it is going to be the most fascinating conversation about money the Yankees have ever had with a guy on his way to the new Monument Park.

Reasoned debate based on conflicting facts = fascinating. Debate between perceived (emotional) value and demonstrable value = not fascinating.

This one matters because Jeter still matters, to the Yankees, and Yankee fans, as much as anybody they've had since Mantle. Whether he has lost a step or not.

But to dwell on all that, or begin to obsess on it the way we do with everyting (sic) Yankee-related, is to miss the great drama of the captain of the Yankees, trying to win again, after a start to his career when he thought he would win forever. Jeter won four World Series in his first five years and now hasn't won the World Series for eight straight years. You know it is something he never saw coming.

Which didn’t he see coming, the winning a lot or the not winning forever?

It is still a great Yankee drama watching him try.
He will be in the Hall of Fame

Probably. Probably won't belong there, either.

and still isn't the kind of baseball immortal that Mo Rivera is, because Rivera isn't just the greatest closer of all time, he is the greatest single pitcher the Yankees have ever had, with all due respect to Whitey.

While I of course agree with the statement that Rivera > Jeter (even though it’s apples > oranges), why are you tossing this in? In a piece meant to canonize Jeter, it seems like an unnecessary fuck you to Whitey Ford. Look, Ricky Bobby, just because you say “with all due respect” doesn’t mean you can insult someone and they shouldn’t see it as a slight.

But in all the important ways, representing what the Yankees used to represent before they became like some bank of baseball, Jeter has been the most important of them.

All the important ways besides those we can measure, that is.

It is why I hope he stays at shortstop as long as he wants to and I hope he gets paid again when the time comes.

“As long as he wants” might be the single stupidest phrase uttered about players who hold a special place in the hearts of fans.

George Steinbrenner is out of the picture now and Joe Torre is in Los Angeles. Maybe that is why the presence of the old Yankees and Jeter in particular seems more meaningful than ever before, as they try to do it one more time.

Because, you see, we few, we happy few, we True Yankee Fans hold onto the past, forever looking back, as our ship careens down the 5th dimension q-axis that leads to third place in the AL East.

The main criticism of Jeter, before everybody moved in on his loss of range, is that he never said enough, that he wasn't a vocal enough leader or a fascinating quote. But he never signed on for that. He signed on to win, and after those first five years thought he was going to win as much as Joe DiMaggio did.


He is still everything the Yankees want to be.

Gay? (rimshot)

He is old-Yankee class at a time when they open this monument to excess and act as if they have done something as noble as building a library, or a church. If A-Rod is the face of the excess of this decade, Jeter is the face of the last one. The fans liked the last decade better.

/head explodes

Jeter has made his money, you bet. Signed that contract for $191 million right after A-Rod got his $252 million off the Texas Rangers (before Hank Steinbrenner came along to show Tom Hicks, the Rangers' owner, that he could sign Rodriguez to an even dumber contract than that one). But somehow, because of all the winning, he has never been thrown in with the $200-million-a-year All-Stars who haven't won it all since the Subway Series of 2000.

Hm… you seem to be implying that it is correct for him to not be lumped into that group of chokers. Here’s a thought- perhaps playing a marginal all-star player $18M a year has something to do with the Yankees’ failures of recent years?

It was the end of what will be the last great time in Yankee history, the four in five and three in a row between 1998 and 2000, the closest thing in the last half-century to the Yankees winning five World Series in a row between '49 and '53. Jeter's Yankees doing that in a world where you have to win three playoff rounds and 11 October games to win it all.
Jeter's Yankees giving you 1998 and what might have been the best Yankee team of them all.

I agree- the Yankees of 98-00 were an incredibly good team, likely the best I’ll see in my lifetime. Congratulations on making your first accurate point.

"We played the way you're supposed to play and won the way you're supposed to win," he said to me once.

In one of the most tired and generic sound bites this side of “you have to take ‘em one game at a time.” I thought it was hollow shit like this that made the NY media criticize Jeet in his early years?

It is not just Yankee fans that want things the way they used to be, on the other side of 161st St. It is Jeter, too. The Yankees will win another Series eventually, maybe even this season at McStadium.

All this week: free supersize upgrades on all Scrappy Meals(TM) at McStadium.

Jeter may still be at short when they do. But it won't be the way it was. The Yankees of today are the new place. They're A-Rod. Jeter was made for the place across the street.

The place that reeked of urine and had random chunks of metal and concrete falling off it all the time? That sounds about right, actually.

If those Yankee tickets are going like hotcakes, how come they had to run a full-page ad about tickets in the Times the other day?
Because they are charging $2,500 a ticket for the seats that are left. Because they can. Because it’s NY, and New Yorkers are rich and egomaniacal.

Every time I see one of the Steinbrenner sons out in public, I wonder all over again how long this family is going to stay in the baseball business.
Just from the slide shows alone, you only have one question about the Yankees' new clubhouse, and it comes off an old Bob Newhart line:
Where's the gift shop?

Mike Lupica talks to clubhouses. Alert security.

Glenn Beck cries on television like he's reading the ending to a dog book.

And here begins Lupica’s foray into Peter King territory. No real segue, no warning, no nothing. Buckle up, we’re going on an amazing ride.

Seriously: He's the only guy working who's under the impression that his own material is a four-hanky job.

I can think of another four-hanky job that Lupica would be ideally suited for. Far more suited for that than sportswriting.

Plaxico Burress finds out now what a lot of guys like him find out, that you go right out the door the moment you become more trouble than you are worth.

Wait - which door is this one? Is there a leprachaun on the other side?

The truly amazing thing about Plax is that he still is under the impression he's negotiating from strength.
But don't say the Giants are better off without him, because they're not.

Then, um, he would be negotiating from strength, you twat.

I can't be sure about this, but I think Al Harrington just got T-ed up somewhere.

Ok, I’ll just let Lupica do his thing.

Don't you get the idea that when Harrington goes to the gym, they need a SWAT team to get him off the chin-up bar?

Maybe before the next billboard of Nate Robinson he'll decide to cover somebody besides Will Ferrell.

How do the Knicks sell another season like this to fans still paying top dollar for tickets?

John Calipari was saying yesterday in Detroit as he walked up Jefferson Ave. that the first time he was ever in Rupp Arena was the second-to-last row of seats the night Villanova beat Georgetown in 1985.

Then he said, "Only took 24 years to make it down to the court."
Maybe one of the reasons James L. Dolan was able to spend the money he spent defeating the West Side Stadium is because he's still working off an obscene deal with the city where the Garden doesn't have to pay taxes.

Why? Because Ed Koch was afraid they might leave the city, that's why.

Mayor-for-Life Bloomberg ought to take that off the books now and ask this question:

Where you going now, Jimmy?

If the Nets really want to come to New York and Brooklyn comes off the table, how come they don't do something with the Islanders on all that land on Willets Point?

This would involve the next Nets owner, of course, after Ratner inevitably sells the team.

I will say this again on Jay Cutler: For all those yards and all those touchdown passes, there was a reason Josh McDaniels wanted Matt Cassel.

And a reason Pat Bowlen was this willing to give up on the kid this soon.

Cutler got a case of hurt feelings because they wanted to trade him and now he's supposed to be the leader of Da Bears?

You know what's the best thing Bud Selig has done for baseball, despite all the kneejerk and uninformed pounding he routinely gets from coast to coast:

He took the game back from the union.

He took it back from Fehr and Orza, who thought they were the real commissioners of the sport.

You don't get banged around for something like that. You deserve a medal.

And that's before you talk about a drug-testing program the sport would not have if Selig hadn't gotten that survey five years ago.
But none of that is supposed to matter because he hasn't shown the kind of remorse that somebody like Mike Vick is supposed to show.

The Jets have to declare on one of their young quarterbacks and then stay with one of them for more than 20 minutes at a time.
That way they don't have to look for a new savior every year.

The Final Four really is such a wonderful thing for Detroit, one of the great cities in this country, and one of the toughest.

Say it for the last time: Michael Imperioli was the best thing on "Life on Mars."

I'm predicting right now that Jon Voight has the antidote to cure Jack in "24," not that you asked.

Happy 17th Birthday today to the youngest of the Lupica boys, Zach.

He's the point guard of the family, the one who's played bigger than he is his whole life.

Mostly because of his heart.

Aaaaaaaand…. scene.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

#51 kickin it corporate    

Best guitar ever?

Best guitar ever.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Moving Back To DC In 3... 2... 1...    

Steinz just posted the new beer list at Nationals Park this year. Look what's on it:

Not an April Fools' joke. Arrogant Bastard and 90 Minute IPA at the park. Bravo. I was always pleased that HopDevil could be found at RFK, but this is a totally new frontier. Damn near makes the price of beer worth it!

If Fenway had offerings like that... well, my life wouldn't be any different at all, cause I never go. But in theory it would be nice to find a decent pint closer to my hypothetical seat than the Boston Beer Works.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

MLB predictions for '09    

AL East:
NYY (leading to the firing of Girardi and hiring of (gulp) Sweet Lou)

Al Central:
Chicago Sox

Al West:

NL East:
NYMets (WC)

NL Central:

NL West:
San Diego (incl. june fire sale)

WORLD SERIES OF THE WORLD: Boston over Philly, in 6 games, leading to me having a whole new reason to loathe Boston, and multiple homicides along Broad Street.

Top MVP candidates:
AL: Yook, Perdooia, Teix (darkhorse - Mariano)
NL: Utley, Pooholes, Manny (darkhorse - Lincecum)

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