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Friday, January 23, 2009

Pap Smeared, Bauer Jeered...

No time for small talk and pleasantries today, kids. Let's get right down to bidness...


Barry Obama

Earlier this week the Nation welcomed it's 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama, to the Capital with a welcome fit for a conquering ruler. Only problem, was that he sounded to me more like a guy that had just accepted a job as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. I mean was it me, or was there a lot of "we have talent, and we used to win, so dammit we can win again!" type shit in there?

Ah, well whatever you think of the man and his policies, I hope as I am, you're looking forward to a fresh start. Maybe not the radical changes a lot of people are expecting, but at this point, a new guy at the helm couldn't hurt...

Let's give the guy a shot, huh? Give the guy a chance. I figure, if he can look at the Raiders and see a contenders, then maybe, just maybe, he'll be able to pull this country up by it's boot straps, and once again lead us to the promised land...Ah, shit. I just got caught up in that idealism shit, didn't I?...

Quick, let's move on to some sports news before I decide to completely embarrass myself...


AFC Championship

I guess it's poetic justice really. I mean before the season began, I picked the Baltimore Ravens to go 4-12 and be in utter disarray. So I guess it's only appropriate that in all 3 post season games they played this year, they somehow managed to bend me over against the spread, and make me their San Quentin Meat Puppet...

In reality, the better team won, and that's really all there was to it. Now the Steelers move onto the Super Bowl. And while most fans think the game is against the Arizona Cardinals, some of my friends seem to have the delusion that this Super Bowl could very well determine whether or not the Patriots were the premier team of the first decade of the new millennium...

Now I'd get into stats and break down why that argument is ludicrous, but I'm deciding instead to refer to all my friends as pink hats. I mean should I really listen to such a pointless argument from a group of people who didn't know what time a single playoff game started since their precious Pats weren't playing?

Yeah, I think not. Get some knowledge in your system, and maybe then we can talk...Maybe...


NFC Championship

Conversely, the Cardinals have been pretty damn good to me this post season, but it has virtually nothing to do with how well they may have been playing on the field...

Against Carolina, I just thought that 10 points was way too much. I mean it's the playoffs Divisional round of the playoffs, right? I mean how often do teams get blown out? Personally, I don't even have the answer to that question, I just felt that 10 points was a tall order to ask of any team at that point of the season...

Against the Eagles, it was my distrust in all things Philly that led to me taking Kurt Warner's crew. My logic was that the Eagles would blow the game in the final minutes, but their choosing not to show up in the 1st half turned out to work out too. The out-of-this-world play of Larry Fitzgerald didn't hurt my cause either, but I'd rather end the talk of this game by saying the Eagles blew it, and now their free to shave their hideous beards...


As for my Super Bowl prediction? I'm holding off til next week, but I'll give you a heads up towards my thinking...

About a week ago when Cuse was playing Georgetown, I asked my buddy Jared Hutter to send me the spread from his iPhone. It's Syracuse + 6.5. I comment to him how that seems like a lot, and ask him if he feels the same. His response? "Either we cover, or we get blown out". Not exactly Nostradamus, but I gotta admit that's how I'm feelin' about the Cardinals. Good thing I have another week to figure out which way I'm gonna lean...



Jonathan Papelbon

I can see it coming, and it aint gonna be pretty...

My bread and butter, the thing I like to promote the most about myself when it comes to my sports rhetoric, is that if nothing else, I try to have as little bias as possible when it comes to analyzing and commenting on my "home town" teams. But Jonathan Papelbon? Dudes startin' to put me in a pretty tough spot...

The always high energy and loquacious Boston closer was on TV again this week, saying he though he deserved the same $14 million a year type contract that New York Yankee legend Mariano Rivera is set to get paid in 2009. Paps, fresh off signing a 1 year deal for $6.25 million to avoid arbitration, has always been boisterous, and this is not the first time that he's compared his game to that of the Pin Stripes sure fire Hall of Famer. Now I admire the confidence he has in his game, and there's no doubt he's one of the best closers in baseball, but all this talk about being somehow equal to Rivera is just making him look straight up like the back woods hick he undoubtedly is...


Don't believe me? Well then let's just check out the tale of the tape:



Mariano Rivera

39 years old (11/29/69)

14 seasons (9 time All Star)

482 career saves / 2.24 career ERA

4 World Series Titles

34 post season saves

9 seasons of 35+ saves

12 seasons of 65+ innings pitched


And here's the kicker. Rivera didn't start making more than $6.25 million until the 2000 season. Up to 2000 he had 129 saves in just 3 season as NY's full time closer...


Jonathan Papelbon

28 years old (11/23/80)

4 seasons (3 time All Star)

113 career saves / 1.84 career ERA

7 post season saves

2 World Series Titles

3 seasons of 35+ saves

2 seasons 65+ innings pitched


So at this point of his young, and yes very impressive career, Jonathan Papelbon has done absolutely nothing in my eyes to suggest he's even living on the same planet as Mariano Rivera. Is he a great pitcher? Yes. But Kobe Bryant's a great basketball player too, and he's no Michael fucking Jordan, now is he?


Listen, Jono, it's like this. If you wanna be the wild and crazy hick, that's cool. Just don't expect people to take you seriously when you try to talk about business or your place in history. You're a closer, and a damn good one that's been very important to the Red Sox success. But the contract you signed, says you have to deal with this arbitration process for the 1st 6 years that you're under the Red Sox control. Bobby Jenks just got a deal for a little over $5 mil a year, and he's got more saves (117). Granted his ERA is a little more than a run higher than Paps, but that's where that extra $1.25 mil comes from, am I wrong?

The act is just getting tired. Mariano Rivera is a once in a lifetime talent, that turned one simple pitch into more than 500 saves, 4 World Series titles and well over 100 million dollars. You are just a great closer, with the "potential" to one day be considered one of the greats. And with closers, that's an iffy proposition. At no other position do guys go from looking like sure fire prospects, to middle relief throwaways more quickly. Just as Mark Wholers, Mitch Williams or Derrick Turnbow. 40 saves one year, Home Depot the next...

I won't say you should consider yourself lucky, because that's just being arrogant. But shut up and pitch man. Let people like me bring up the comparisons to Mariano. It's your job to make as much money as you possibly can, I get it. But mouthing around and making yourself sound stupid usually isn't the best way of getting the bigwigs to crack open the wallet and hand you that long term deal...

So keep Riverdancin' and chuckin' heat, and there won't be a problem. But keep yappin' like a Ted, and you'll receive a spot on the roster of Sox I despise. Right next to JD Drew. I doubt he'll talk to ya, but at least you won't feel so lonely...


Jason Varitek

Thanks to what one would refer to as "double secret underground sources", it's come to everyone's attention that Jason Varitek was now fully aware of what he was getting himself into when he turned down Boston's offer of salary arbitration. If you believe the rumblings, Tek had no idea that when he turned the Sox down, it meant that any team wishing to bid for his services would have to in exchange, give up a 1st round pick and send it the Boston...

Uh oh. Is there a chance the mighty Scott Boras made a mistake? One that could cost his client in excess of $10 million? That can't be good, can it?...

Well, looks like it should be good for the Sox. To me, it's becoming clearer by the day that Jason never really wanted to leave Boston, and that now the Sox have him in a bind and should end up getting him back at a bargain basement price. And let's face it. Whether he hits .220, .200, .190 or .350, I'm not willing to make it a month into the season only to realize we can't replace his play-calling and defensive ability. Not saying his necessarily the reason the pitchers do what they do, but for short money and short years, I don't think Sox fans are eager to find that answer out the hard way...


Jack Bauer...

...sucks, and so does his show! The show has barely been goin' again, and already I'm sick of that modern day MacGyver and his man-love for all things to do with nuclear weapons and suave, yet equally dangerous international terrorists...

And you can add LOST to the list I'm sick of people talking about as well. Listen, the only mystery left to solve on that show, is what's going to happen to the careers of the actors and actresses that are as we speak thriving from the shows impressive success. Oh, wait. That's no mystery. Previously unknown actors? Big time hit show that all but type casts you for the rest of your career? Oh, you'll be fine. Just ask these fellas...



http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/article/5951/poker-stars-signs-actor-jason-alexander

Yeah, this is exactly where we thought these two would land after their epic run on one of the most popular shows in television history (at least you can see Jennifer Tilly's cleave in the background). And don't even get me started with Julia Louis Dreyfus. Sure we all wanted to bang her as Elaine, but her attempts at her own show have been about as successful as Steven Hawking's attempt to swim across the Atlantic...

Ahhh making fun of the less fortunate with no chance of reprecussions. Does it really get any better?...


Al Gore's Greatest Hits...

This one comes to me courtesy of media mogul, and lover of all things Kobe (up to and including the rope he used to gag that chick from Colorado he had "consensual sex" with), Mr. Robert Slavin...

...and Rob, via his back room connections to the entertainment industry, was also able to pass along the knowledge that the TV program "Better Off Ted" is in the works, and should soon be coming and going from a TV schedule near you. Oh, and if you don't know why that's absolutely hysterical, then you're just not as fortunate as the rest of us...


And Then There's These...

*The NHL has narrowed it's choices down for next year's Outdoor Classic. The choices? Pasadena, Las Vegas and New York City. Right. Cuz outdoor hockey in the desert makes a lot of sense...

I don't even follow hockey and I know that for years players have complained of choppy and slushy ice in places like LA and Dallas. Then again, this is just more of what I've come to expect from the league that allowed FOX to trail their puck with a glorified laser pointer. The only thing missing there was the video game voice guy screeching "HE'S ON FIRE!!!".

Just collapse this league already and spare me having to waste my time pointing out how a deaf monkey with no right arm and no controls of his bowels could put forth a more watchable product...


(NOTE: Rick Tocchet says the odds of Pasadena getting the game are 9 to 1m easily making the best bet)

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/ny-spnhl0115,0,2975512.story


*PETA's fired the first shot over the bow in their "Keep Michael Vick From Making a Living" campaign. They took time from tossing red paint on fur coats to draft up this little statement regarding the Don King of the Dog Pit, and his desire to actually get on with his life and try to put this whole thing behind him.

http://www.examiner.com/x-426-Sports-Examiner~y2009m1d22-PETA-demands-Vick-have-mental-evaluation-before-return-to-NFL


*Vegas knows what's up. The odds are already out for next year's Super Bowl, and the New England Patriots have been installed as the 6 to 1 favorites. I get it. Brady's back and you essentially have the same team that went 18-1. Makes sense, right?...

And speaking of Brady. Tom Terrific broke his media silence in Toronto of all places this week, and says his knee rehab is going "really well", and he probably the "best taken care of knee patient in history". Good to hear, Tom. And on such a reputable and relevant station too. Yeah. Needless to say I wouldn't go taking any of what was heard in that interview as any sort of real "update" on how he's coming along. Canada sucks...

http://www.fan590.com/media.jsp?content=20090121_184331_42676


*VS, the TV network that brings you hockey, slam ball, and the world's sketchiest police chases, has joined forces with Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys to perhaps chip off whatever credibility and dignity "America's Team" had left. According to reports, Irvin is set to host an American Idol type football show where the winner will be awarded a spot on the Cowboys roster entering training camp...

All I can say is, if any of this surprises you in the least, then you're reading the wrong blog...


*Curt Schilling took time out from blogging to co-shot WEEI's Big Show on Thursday, and I couldn't help but finding myself asking the same question again and again as I listened. "Does this guy even still play for the Red Sox anymore?" Hey, just throwin' it out there. Cuz if I don't know for sure, I'm damn certain you fools probably have no idea what's up. I just know that he showed up wearing a Jack Lambert Steelers jersey, and told the Terry Francona impersonator that he'd like "matching up against him" in what was discussed as being a "future October match up". Prolly Curt just being Curt and stirrin' the pot, but I'm certainly intrigued to see how this saga unfolds over the course of Curt's rehab...


*Mark McGwire's brother is sellin' him out. According to Deadspin.com, Jay McGwire is set to release a book that will allege that his brother got into using steroids and HGH during the 1994 season. Granted, this whole thing wreaks of "jealous brother" or "broke ass junkie", but I'm sure it's gonna be a solid read. I mean, who has better shit on you, and would know how to make you cry, better than your family?


http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3851381

And for the record, have you ever heard a nickname disappear from common usage faster than "Big Mac"? I mean Hell, PacMan Jones asks people to stop using his nickname, and they don't even try, but shove a few needles up your ane and lie about it? Well they'll strip you of that thing faster than you can say "I thought it was a supplement"...


Change + Hope

I figure I started with Barack Obama, so I'm gonna end with two words that we all know are very near and dear to his heart. Change, and Hope...

I started off '09 by telling you that while this may be a new year, that you were still gonna be getting the same Rooch. Naturally I then tweaked the format of my posts, and changed my weekly College Hoops Top 10 into the now legendary Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25. So I've changed. Maybe not a lot, but I think in a few positive ways that have helped streamline my process, and help better define the type of sports journalist that I still one day hope to be. And with this change, has come to desire for more change. Nothing drastic mind you, just more ways to help, again, streamline the process...

In this case, I'm talking about the comments link on the bottom of the page. A) I know it's beat. But I've gotten in touch with Kevin "Frosco" Tomasso, my web master extraordinaire, and he's on the case. After all, it's been my goal for quite some time to get some banter going with my readers, and really get down to business, but the format for the comments has always and continues to muddy that process...

So as I "change" the format, I "hope" it will encourage you to attempt to go tow to toe with yours truly...

Oh, and I finally caved and joined Facebook. Yet another thing you can blame almost exclusively on Frosco, and the rest of you Intraweb hustlers that just wouldn't leave well enough alone...

And on that note, thanks for stoppin' by, and have fun as you conitnue to hustle...

100...

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