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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Brady Quinn and Nancy Kerrigan? Oh and a Sox Sweep!


Waaaaay Back to Back to Back to Back
To echo the immortal words of the Kool Aid man. Ohhhhhhh yeaaaaaaa! Hey, I have the right to be excited, don't I? Listen, I know it's April Yankee fans, but I also know that a sweep is a sweep is a sweep. And I also know, that the Yankee bullpen right now is about as sturdy as Heather Mills in a jump rope contest. See, I'm not kidding myself here. It wasn't superior starting pitching that got the job done for the Sox like we all thought, it was their bullpen reigning supreme over the Yanks. The Sox pen, led by the surprise of the year so far, Hideki Okajima, surrendered only one earned run over 6 1/3 innings, while the Yankee pen, led by nobody, went 10.1 innings giving up 8 runs and walking 10. Grrrr-osssss. And this isn't exclusive to this series either. Chew on this. The New York Yankees, with the best closer in the history of the game in Mariano Rivera, have yet to save a game this year. That's right, Rivera and friends are 0 for 6 in save chances this year, and fans in the Bronx are already clamouring that head coach Joe Torre is burning out his bullpen. Easy does it there fellas. I know Torre has a history of over using relievers like Paul Quantrill, Flash Gordon, Mike Stanton and now Scot Proctor, but I think he's done plenty of things right in his tenure too hasn't he? How about this, if Sox fans aren't able to celebrate a sweep in April, then Yankee fans can't throw their coach under the bus after an 8-10 start. Sounds fair to me. But enough talkin' about the Yanks, let me return to reveling in the Sox early season success! Ha zaaa! The bats have woken up, the relief pitching is the best in the league (knock on Heather's leg) and the starting pitching is strong enough to shut down every lineup in the AL besides maybe the Beer League Bombers. And how 'bout those 4 homers in a row off of Yankee hurler (I call him that because that's what he made all Yankee fans do) Chase Wright! Wooo Eeeeee. Even Theo was pumping his fists in the owners box. You just gotta love that, and against the Yankees to boot! Not only did Wright become only the second pitcher in history to give up 4 consecutive home runs (Paul Foytack '63 Angels), but Torre left him in to face another batter before lifting him in favor of Colter Bean. OK, so maybe Torre blew that one a little, but as noted earlier, he probably wasn't exactly itching to go to his bullpen. Good news for Yankee fans though, is that "alleged" minor league stud Philip Hughes is headed to the Bigs to make his first start on Thursday. Should he tank it up, look for real panic to start setting in. It doesn't matter how many homers Mr. April can hit, if this team continues to only get 4+ innings from their starters, they might actually finish the season in 3rd as I predicted.

Overall:
12-6, 1st place in AL East

Diamonds Are Forever
*Well, now that the human biology experiment known as Barroid Bonds has reached 740 career homers, it's time to start tryin' to predict when and where he'll actually break Hank Aaron's all time mark of 755. OK, so let's do some quick math here. He needs 16 "dongs" (as KB likes to call them) to break the record, and he already has hit 6 homers in his first 15 games. So, if he continues on that pace (one home run every 2.5 games), then he will have the record in his 40th game from today. That would mean Bonds would break the record on the road, on June 5th, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. OK, so there's no way he breaks it on the road. Why? Well, there's a good chance he gets semi-booed if he breaks it anywhere other than San Fran, and I'm sure that the Giants owners won't exactly be thrilled either. After all, the only reason they brought his juiced up ass back this year was to reap the benefits of this whole chase. I got some good news for them though. Fact is, whenever a player gets close to a record like this, they tend to freeze up a little bit, much like Bonds did when he passed Babe Ruth's 714 dingers. Roids or no roids, the pressure gets to you when you're knocking on history's door. Add to that, Barry is already 42 years old (and turns 43 in exactly 3 months), so you gotta expect that he'll have to sit out a few games here and there along the way. Like I said, Bonds has played in 15 games this year, but what I didn't mention was that the Giants have actually had 17 games already. OK, so let's assume Barry's gonna sit out 2 games for every 15 the Giants play. So if it was 40 games before, let's call it 45 now. That means Barry now breaks the record on June 10th in an interleague game against the Oakland A's. Not bad right? Bonds gets to break the record at home, and the Bay Area gets to have itself one Giant love fest, pun definitely intended. However, should Bonds slow his pace a little, and break the record between games 49-51 from now, he would be doing so in....dun dun dun....Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Oh man. Can you imagine a venue that would boo him more than Boston? Part of me wants no part of watching this guy break the record, and part of me wants to be front and center so I can boo him to death and possibly hurl a fake syringe at him as he rounds the bases. I think it's real funny that it could work out that way, but at the same time, I really do expect him to hit the wall around 750 and not break the mark till after the All-Star break. So, for my official guess, I say Bonds breaks the record on none other than Friday the 13th of July against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers (at home in San Fran of course). Now how appropriate is that?

*Talk about wishing you made other plans. While in Boston for the weekend, New York Yankee and Metrosexual poster boy Alex Rodriguez was seen dining with none other than FOX's very own Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Yea I know, apparently someone forgot to tell Al Shaprton and Jesse Jackson that Boston was hosting the 2007 FRAUD convention. But seriously, how do you think that dinner went? Well, I had some great jokes and ideas set up, but after reading a similar post on deadspin.com, I figured they put it just about as well as you could. So check there's out, and just thank me for telling you about it. Here's the link http://deadspin.com/sports/baseball/alex-rodriguez-trying-to-steal-jeters-boyfriends-254444.php

*And, while I'm rippin' on FOX, I have to bring up the issue of their radar gun during the Sox-Yanks game on Saturday. We all remember last year during the playoffs and the World Series when Detroit's Joel Zumaya was regularly hitting 100-103 on the FOX gun right? At the time, while I didn't believe he was throwing that fast, I didn't really have any evidence to prove that he wasn't. I mean the guy was known for throwing heat, so I guess it was possible that he was doing it, right? Well, you're not gonna get away with it this time FOX. During Saturday's Yanks-Sox tilt, the radar gun really caught my attention when Josh Beckett was clocked at 98 miles per hour....in the 7th inning! I know Beckett throws hard, but I don't think I've seen him throw a pitch that hard ever on the NESN radar gun. Add to that, if he did actually throw that hard, wouldn't he have hit 97-99 a million times last year when he was throwing almost 100% fastballs? You would think so. Then again, maybe it is the NESN gun. I say that jokingly, but truth is, the next night ESPN clocked Matsuzaka at 97 mph also. Granted, this guy is new, but I had yet to see him top 94-95 so far this season, and all of a sudden he's chuckin' bee bee's. I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. Oh, and Papelbon doesn't throw 99 either, just for the record. These major networks are obviously pumpin' their radar guns up to create some sort of "wow" factor. And while it really doesn't bother me so much, I think a lot of less informed fans are being misled, and that's no good at all. Isn't there enough pressure involved in the game today? Do you really need to create an impossible standard for these guys to live up to? What about the kid who goes to Fenway in hopes of seeing Papelbon or Beckett hit 100 miles per hour, and having to settle for 95-96? It's just stupid. At this point, just do away with the thing if it's gonna be like this. I know it's cool when a guy hits 100 on the gun, but let's not make in an every day event. It cheapens the feat when it actually happens, and it just makes these networks look really ignorant in the eyes of the real fans out there. Besides, it's not like we come to FOX and tinker with their Wildest Police Chases, and make it so all the criminals are now armed with grenades and armored tanks. That would just look dumb now wouldn't it? (slash - please add all that stuff I just said into the next episode)

*One last baseball note for today. Legendary columnist and novelist David Halberstam passed away early Monday morning at the age of 73 when a car he was riding in was struck by another vehicle in suburban San Fransisco. Halberstam contributed many great pieces of writing to both the news and sports worlds, including two of my favorite books; The Teammates - the story of Ted Williams, Dom Dimaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johhny Pesky, and Bill Belichick: The Education of a Coach. And other great sports books like The Amateurs, The Summer of '49 and Playing For Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World he Made. Halberstam was best known for his Pulitzer prize in his coverage of the Vietnam War, as well as his many novels chronicling the US's involvement in the region. What is less known, however, was his dedication to influencing young journalists, and teaching them to push the boundaries of modern journalism. In fact, the car he died in was being driven by a graduate student, who was actually taking Halberstam to meet with a group of young journalism students. He was truly one of the best in the business, and one of the best writers to ever pen a word. He will be missed, but thankfully, his legend will live on through the many works he left us with. If you have never read any of the books I mentioned above, do yourself a favor and get one. I have The Teammates if anyone wants to borrow it. The man had such great insight and perspective, he really opens your eyes while at the same time touching your heart. That may sound corny, especially coming from me, but read some of his work, and I dare you to tell me any different. R.I.P David Halberstam.

News and Notes
*I don't want it to come off like I'm always picking on ESPN Page 2 superstar Bill Simmons, but I do have a beef with him...that's right...again. In a column earlier this week, Simmons touched on a topic that many NBA fans are familiar with, the 1985 draft conspiracy. Many people will tell you that the NBA purposely rigged the draft lottery so the New York Knicks would land Georgetown big man Patrick Ewing. The theory states that if the Knicks landed Ewing, it would make the NBA relevant again in the Big Apple, thus giving the league a tremendous shot in the arm. Now, while I don't totally disagree that the draft lottery was somehow rigged, Simmons explanation (provided by one of his readers) just doesn't fly with me. Here, take a look at the video. Simmons claims that when the Knicks envelope is dropped into the big glass ball, the man dropping it in purposely tosses it against the side in order to dent it, making it distinguishable. He then says that when Stern picks up the envelopes, he feel for the dented one and then chooses it as the #1 overall pick. Hogwash I say. While the man handling the envelopes does appear to oddly toss in the envelope that belongs to NY, all the envelopes are exposed to similar treatment when the big ball is turned around a few times by the commish. If his toss dented the Knicks envelope, then when the ball was rotated several other envelopes were sure to be dented as well. You can judge for yourself, but I for one am just not buying it. I still wouldn't rule out a conspiracy, but this theory looks more like the magic bullet than the grassy knoll.

*If I were "Hot Sauce" or "The Professor" of the And 1 Tour, I'd be a little worried right about now. No, not because I live on a freak bus that stops strictly in dirty south towns like Birmingham, Alabama and Charlotte, NC, or even because you can't take 3 dribbles without that dude with the microphone shouting out your nickname like you're being auctioned off at some Waffle House bachelorette party. No, I'd be worried because it looks like Sebastian Telfair is coming for your j-o-b. Telfair, who's had several scrapes with the law in the past, was pulled over this weekend at 4 am going 77 in a 45 in Yonkers, NY. Upon inspection of the vehicle, police found it contained a loaded .45 caliber pistol under the driver's seat registered to Telfair's longtime squeeze Samantha Rodriguez. Of course, neither Telfair or his boy in the car knew the pistol was there. Hahaha of course they didn't. I find all sorts of shit in my car all the time that I never knew was there. Just the other day I got into my car and found 6 kilo's of smack in my glove compartment. Where'd it come from? Damned if I know. Shit like that just always seems to happen! Uh huh. And if you you buy that, then I got some partially digested Trimspa from you know who's belly that I wouldn't mind sellin' ya. Fact of the matter here is, Telfair is a no good thug, and he needs to be chased out of town. This is the second time he's been stopped with a gun (first time at Logan airport while with Portland), that he claimed he had no idea about. So, either he's an idiot, and needs to be cut from the team, or he's a pistol toting thug, and needs to be cut from the team. Either way, if the Mormon and the Dentist can't get this one right, then Celtic fans are even more screwed than they originally thought. I know he's only 21, and I know he's been an icon since age 13, but that doesn't excuse his behavior. His lawyer wants to say how people prey on him and so he needs protection. Well then why is he saying it's not his gun? Let's get our stories straight here fellas. God, no wonder Lucky wouldn't talk to your dumb ass.

*A lot of people have been asking me lately why I haven't been chronicling the NFL draft here on my blog. Well, to you folks I simply have to say, "If you actually read what I write, then you wouldn't be asking me these freaking questions all the time!" I 'm saying this one more time. I have no idea who the Patriots are going to pick, so I'm not going to bother guessing. You heard right, even I don't want to venture a guess. What I will say, is that the Lions will screw up, the Raiders will take the strongest and fastest guy available at every pick and Brady Quinn will spend more time in the draft room than commissioner Roger Godell. That's right ND honks, your boy is the one that's gonna be left doing his best Nancy Kerrigan impression. "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" If you really wanna know what's what with this year's draft, make sure to either watch it on ESPN, or failing that, listen to the draft show on 99.7 FM or 790 AM. It'll be airing live from Twin River, complete with a fantasy mock draft beforehand and continuing coverage throughout day 1. Feel free to listen to that sucker for all the latest rumors and picks, because Lord knows I will be hard at work making sure that information is readily available to all the talent on air for the day. That's right, I do all the grunt work, so those fools can look good. Some day though my friends, some day. And speaking of that, feel free to call The Score in Providence any time throughout that day and tell them how you want to hear me on the air. You know I'm the man. And besides, if you ever want free tickets, I'm eventually going to need to be in a position to get them. So voice your support dammit!

*Apparently Phat Mickelson just realized what you and I have known for years. Hitting your driver in the woods, or off of hospitality tents during major tournaments, isn't exactly a good strategy if you plan on winning. That's why, this week, Lefty announced that he was making the move to former Tiger Woods swing coach, Butch Harmon. Allow me to be the first to say, DUHHHHHHH. Come on now Phil, why has it taken you this long to realize you have issues driving the ball? I know you finally broke through and won a few majors, but you've been shankin' drives forever. And while I think it's a good idea switching to the guy that helped hone Tiger's swing back in the day, you'd prolly be better off using that money on a good shrink. It seems pretty obvious to me that your poor play in pressure situations has less to do with your actual game than it does with your state of mind. But hey, what do I know, the only green jacket I own is...well...I guess I can neither think of a joke, or actually think of a green jacket I have ever actually owned. OK, I got it. You're a fat loser and I hope you get hit by a truck? Yup, that works jusssssst fine.

Fantasy Update
Last Week: LOSS, 11-13-0 vs Huge Giroballs
Overall: 5th place, 11 games back

*I don't like losing. I like even less when I lose to Frosco (something I seem to be doing a lot lately I might add). However, much like the Yankees, I have a lot of positives going despite my .500 record. My team has been pitching lights out thanks to Mark Buerhle, D-Train, Ramon Ortiz, Roy Halladay and Jonathan Papelbon, and they have even been able to hang offensively despite struggles from big names like Andruw Jones, Johnny Damon and Adam Dunn. If those guys can start producing like they have in years past, not only should my team turn around, but they might become nearly impossible to beat.

*I guess if I keep ripping on American Idol, then it's going to be pretty tough to convince people I don't watch it (I honestly don't. And I say that as a hetero male that watches Project Runway). However, as you know, I have trouble letting things go, and this is no different. No, that doesn't mean I've continued watching the show since my main man Mangina was eliminated (impossible since there hasn't been an episode since, but I digress), but it does mean that another Idol-er has caught my attention, and for all the wrong reasons. This time, it's last year's runner up (she lost to that 60 year old hick I think), Kat McPhee. I happened to be flipping through the channels this weekend when I stumbled upon McPhee's new video on VH1. Not only did the song suck harder than Paula Abdul in the LAX bathroom, but the lip syncing was the worst shit I've seen in my life. Don't get me wrong, I know they lip sync those videos, and I get why they do it, but whoever let this video go to air is without a doubt foldin's his paper hat and heading out to his drive up window as we speak. Seriously, take a look for yourselves. Could this bitches mouth possibly be more wide open? (eh I already made one fellatio joke, I think that's enough) Just goes to further prove my point, that these American Karaoke frauds are just a bunch of losers that have already been passed over by every major record label. Enjoy, or should I say, try not to puke.

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