Pages

Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 8 Picks: Frees-E Does It...


So, was that the best World Series game ever last night?  You bet your ass it was.  I know basically nobody saw it, as has been the case with most of this series (they nearly lost the ratings war to the Saints/Colts blowout on Sunday night), but in becoming the first team in baseball history to score in the 8th, 9th, 10th, AND 11th innings of a playoff game, the St. Louis Cardinals made sure that the 2011 World Series will inevitably go down as one of the all time greats...

Carter, Puckett, Fisk and...Freese?
Even in the 1st, an inning I caught on my radio, when St. Louis starter, Jaime Garcia, had to wiggle out of a tough jam just to hold the deficit at 1?  You just knew it was gonna be a good game.  I mean, duh, it was game 6 of the World Series, but you just got the feeling it was gonna be a great game.  In all honesty, I completely lost that feeling around the time Beltre and Cruz homered in the 3 run 7th, but that probably only made from the 8th inning on all that much more enjoyable.  A signature game, for an already epic World Series...

And what about freaking David Freese?  A 2 run triple in the 9th to tie it, and then the game winning home run?!  Sick.  Oh and I confidently tell you, off the top of my head, that Freese's game winner was only the 4th in World Series game 6 history, as he joined  Kirby Puckett, Joe Carter & Carlton Fisk.  And how do I know that so readily?  Well, my friends, that's because it was the AFLAC trivia question in about the 4th inning.  Coincidence?  Absolutely, but I'm sure that's not stopping some enthusiastic conspiracy theorists out there.  They're also betting on which is manager is more likely to have a relapse into drug/alcohol abuse if their team loses, though, so I wouldn't take those degenerati (plural for degenerates) too seriously.  But for the record, the smart money's obviously on Wash, but I also get the feeling that win OR lose, there's gonna be another YouTube of a drunken LaRussa, takin' a dump in an Arby's parking lot or something.  SO take that into account if you decide to toss your loots into the ring...

Arby's. 2 AM.  Bring a hose...
Ahhh, yes.  The Fall Classic.  It really is the complete entertainment package.  So get to watchin', before it's gone.  Or don't, and just watch football.  Which is what you're gonna do, anyway, and why you've come to seek my sage advice.  Can't fault you there, I guess, so here we go.  I'ts week 8, and just as it seems we'd only begun, we're halfway through.  My how time flies when you're raking in the cakes...

Enjoy...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Have a Rally Beer With Mr. Burns...


Seriously, John Henry.  What the Hell are you doin'?  To go on the radio and say you didn't even want Carl Crawford?  Forget the fact that he went in there on his own accord, didn't inform the media relations department, and actually did it on his team's flagship radio station's #1 competitor.  That in itself is just bizarre.  But to actually say that he was more or less "overruled", or at the very least "convinced" to sign Carl Crawford?  I mean, what the Hell is that?  And then claiming that Bob Hohler, whose Boston Globe article last week busted this thing wide open, had already admitted that his source was not from the Sox front office, when in fact Hohler hadn't said anything?  It's just embarrassing.  And his behavior, along with that of the front office, has been far more of an embarrassment than any historic September collapse could ever dare to compare...

OK, so who runs the team???
Look at Henry.  The Principal Owner of the team.  AKA.  The Boss.  The guy that signs the checks.  Yet he's uninformed, unprepared, and simply looking to point fingers and asses blame, rather than accept responsibility.  He wants to be an absentee landlord, and tell everyone that Lucchino runs the baseball arm of his "business"?  Fine.  Not the type of guy I'd ideally want running a team I was rooting for, but I can accept it.  It's business.  However, that means, when things go wrong, the ONLY time he can ever point a finger in blame, is when he's pointing one at Lucchino.  Because if he's pointing other fingers, that means he knows who to blame, and he knows what's going on.  And if he knows whats going on, that means he's involved, and that means he's culpable.  You think he'd be saying these things about Crawford if he had won the Triple Crown?  I guess we'll never know, but I think you see my point.  Henry, Lucchino, they just wanna cover their asses, and in doing so they're coming across as whiny fools.  Not exactly the image fans are looking for when it comes to instilling confidence, and one that's become flat out embarrassing to admit to having faith in...
Don't speak for these Teds...

As for Jon Lester, his "it was only a Rally Beer", excuse, is exactly that.  An excuse.  Which is not what he should have been giving.  Own up, dammit!  Yeah, we were swillin' brews, and it was wrong.  Not this, "we only had a few" crap.  You know who says they "only had a few"?  Someone who was drunk.  And don't even bother with the "we", either.  Just own up to what you did, and apologize.  Even with good intentions, lumping yourself in with other people in moments like this is just never a good idea.  Brewing and selling a beverage called "Rally Beer", however, could turn into a very good and rather profitable idea.  Not to mention potentially delicious.  Oh, and RallyBeer.com? Some language I don't know, and I'm guessing we could purchase it.  Trade it for a few live yaks if we have to.  Or whatever animal it is that people in those countries use as cars...

But seriously, if Yawkee Way hasn't been flooded with applications from Public Relations firms in the last few days, I'd be shocked, because whoever they've got working for them now is just an absolute joke.  I thought the September collapse was embarrassing, but with each passing interview it seems we haven't even begun to see how embarrassing this franchise can get.  I still hold out hope that if they can clean enough house, they might be able to start things anew, but as I've been saying, it's getting to be a little much to take.  It's like the story of emperor with no clothes.  Now that things are falling apart around him, he's been outed not as the silent but powerful ruler of this well run kingdom, but a naked idiot with very little clue, and only one loyal subject...

Larry quick! She can see little Hank!
Haha yeah, they're Mr. Burns and Smithers!  Sure, Lucchino might be straight, but the comparison fits so damn well.  You could even call Lucchino's/Hohler's article, the "releasing of the hounds".  Or for you hardcore Simpsons fans, the releasing of the dogs, the bees, and the dogs, that when they bark, they shoot bees out of their mouths!  Whatever you want to call it, they're headed full steam into a complete meltdown.  And for once, they won't be able to point their bony fingers at the hapless dolts down in sector 7G...

I have to admit, I love the drama surrounding all this stuff, but when it's my team, only to a point.  Seriously, someone get a PR firm up there and save this team from itself before there's nothing left but a Pesky pole, a pink hat graveyard (I picture them blowing around like tumbleweeds) and a bucket of extra crispy...


Results from the weekend:


NFL Picks
Last Week: 9-8-0

Overall: 66-44-3 (.598)

NCAA Picks
Last Week: 10-4-0

Overall: 49-23-1 (.678)


Catcha Friday, friends...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 6 Picks: Larry Can You Smear Me?...



If there's one thing I've learned in my 28+ years on this planet, it's this.  That actions DO NOT, under any circumstances, speak louder than words.  Today's case in point being the aggressive smear campaign that's accompanying the Red Sox unraveling about as fittingly as a glass of milk would accompany a plate full of delicious cookies.  Or, to speak in the parlance of our times, how a nice 6 pack of Lone Star beer would accompany a bucket full of fried chicken...

But all trans fats aside, it's really disgusting what's going on right now up on Yawkee Way.  I mean, it's bad enough that the Red Sox embarrassed themselves on the field, now the entire organization is doing i on the front pages, too.  Back stabbing, finger pointing, and the leaks.  Dear God, the leaks!  How else do you think a scathing piece, like the one Bob Hohler wrote for the Boston Globe this week, gets written?  IT's all about people covering their ass, and making sure that it's made clear that they weren't the one that was causing all the problems.  Apparently these rats aren't of the belief that essentially firing the head coach and the GM has already sent that message loud and clear...

That's the problem.  People are more concerned with placing and assessing blame than they are for owning up to what the problems actually are.  In this case, it seems the problems run all the way to the front office, which is probably why the front office is doing it's best to make sure the exact opposite opinion is being spread to the masses.  Namely team President & CEO, Larry Lucchino, whose longstanding and well deserved reputation for using the media to his advantage, have placed him at center stage.  Essentially, he's the "Sammy the Bull", or "Henry Hill", of this shit.  Except instead of squealing to the FEDs to avoid prosecution, he's squealing to the press, in order to avoid any persecution...

It's just embarrassing, is what it is.  Accusing the fiercely loyal manager of being distracted due to marital troubles and alleged pain killer abuse, floating stories about beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse?  It's the behavior of a front office that knows that ultimately, they're the ones who should be shouldering a good portion of the blame.  It's just apparent that they want none of that, and have instead opted for a straight up smear campaign.  That's why I'm worried going forward.  It's obvious that Lucchino would rather have this organization set up as a puppet regime, with Ben Cherington already installed as the latest puppet, and it's also pretty clear that owner, John Henry, is content with him doing exactly that.  And why not?  They've made a ton of money doing things that way over the last 10 years, and in the end, that's what this business is all about...

Cherington, Hoyer and Lucchino with some of the most awkward smiles I've ever seen...
I'll even go as far as to say that I think upper management was actually happy that an opportunity arose that allowed Theo Epstein to realistically leave the team.  Why?  Not due to lack of success or differences of opinion, but because he'd become too big to give orders too.  They want a guy that's new to the job, and in their eyes, much more receptive to their ideas.  Ya know, a lot like Theo was when he first came in.  Now I know Ben Cherington has been in the organization since '98, so you could argue he has experience, but as the only member of Theo's staff that's never really been sought out by other clubs (Byrnes, Hoyer), he certainly seems to fit the bill as someone who should be easily nudged in one direction or another, depending on ownership's whims...

I know it's business, but there are right ways to doing things, and there are wrong ways.  Ripping everyone on their way out the door?  Not the right way to do things.  IT makes the accuser look petty and weak, and when the accuser is management, it gives the impression that the organization is very unstable.  That's my worry here.  Not the fried chicken, not Tito's alleged road hoes (although I'm not giving Tito or the players a pass).  The fact that management feels so vulnerable in this situation, and apparently lacks so much confidence in their decisions, that they need to make it appear that it was everyone, except for themselves, who were the reason why the season, and at least temporarily the organization, came crumbling down the way it did...

Nothing a few duck boat rides won't cure...
You know the phrase, "you don't wanna see how the sausage is made"?  Well, we just took a look at the process.  And while the sales staff and the workers may not have been doing their best to sell the sausage, the fact that we now know that ownership was is the back filling those intestines with shit, is what's really making this whole thing that much harder to stomach.  We know it's a messy process, the hiring and firing of people and the running of a major sports franchise, but when the mess is created deliberately?  Well that's something that tends to turn people off.  Myself included...

They have had a good run, though.  Talking about Henry, Lucchino & Tom Werner, and this behavior is really nothing new.  It's never unfolded in such a disastrous fashion, but it's not like we haven't seen this behavior out of them before.  So by that logic, as much as I don't approve of their tactics, there's no reason to believe they can't again get things headed in the right direction.  I mean, aren't they kind of right back where they started when they took over?  Team in turmoil with some good pieces and a new GM?  Sure, some of those pieces might have forced their way out of town with their actions (Beckett, Lackey, Lester?), and the turmoil might be greater than it's ever been, but it's not like they're in completely unfamiliar waters.  Question is, is can they win the PR battle fast enough as to where fans will again be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt?  If they can do that, all will be forgotten.  Because I've not only learned in my 28+ years that actions don't speak louder than words, but I've also learned that winning cures all ills.  And if they can get this team winning again, and close the door up to the butcher shop, then all should be right again in Red Sox Nation.  It won't erase history, but it will turn this embarrassing moment in time into just another colorful part of the team's storied history...

That's if they can win this PR battle.  Which is a battle that's just begun, and one where they now find themselves already losing in the court of public opinion.  Yep, it should be one Hell of an off season.  Keep the Bruins off the front pages, at least...


Now, take a look at how I make my sausage.  Wait, that didn't come out right.  OK, whatever.  Here are this week's picks.  Sure to make more than enough money to buy all the sausage you need...or to use to have the image of Larry Lucchino making shit sausage removed from your brain.  Either way.  How you spend it is up to you...

Enjoy...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Week 5 Picks: The Bruins are Back & There's Gonna be Trouble...


I can't believe I didn't see this coming.  No, not the Lions at 4-0 and the Redskins at 3-1.  I actually saw that coming (thank you shady Rex Grossman prediction that I decided was too outrageous not to believe).  I'm not the Yankees losing in the ALDS, either, even though I predicted before the season that they would win the World Series by beating the Phillies in 7 games (Detroit is just pitching too well right now).  And I'm definitely not talking about the turmoil with the Red Sox front office.  Granted, I didn't predict their collapse or that Tito would be fired, but as with any sports fan, I've ceased to be surprised by any moves made by the guys in suits and ties.  Nope, what I can't believe, is that I wasn't prepared.  For what, you ask?  Well, for the fact that all the sports media outlets in this state were going to actually attempt to cover the Bruins for an entire season this year...

Yep, I feel like a dope.  I mean, who knew the NHL season started in October, anyway?  Certainly not this guy, and I've been glued to the Boston sports scene for the majority of my life.  Guess I just figured, that if the Bruins  fans are as loyal and dedicated as I've been led to believe, then there should be no reason why the coverage of the team this year is any different than the coverage of the team from last year.  Ya know, only talk about them for the last month of the playoffs, and otherwise, completely ignore them?  Yeah, I guess that's not the way they're going to be doing things anymore.  Weird.  And here I was thinking that was such a good strategy...

So, yeah.  Needless to say, my sports radio trigger finger is going to have to be at the ready earlier than usual this year, lest I wanna hear QB's and middle infielders talk about a sport that just one year ago they were laughing right off of their daily agenda.  And I know this is a rant that you've all heard from me before, but seriously, I think an entire season of this bull shit may border on unbearable...

Thankfully, I'm not too worried, because I think the "fans" interest will wane considerably even without the NBA to distract them, but it's still something I'd rather not have to deal with.  Luckily, we still have a good 3 months where the NFL should dominate most of the discussion.  By then, with any luck, the B's will have shot themselves in the foot, and without the NBA, the local sports guys will find it in their best interest to start talking some college hoops.  Sure, they don't know any more about that up here than they do about hockey, but at least it would be a topic that I'd be able to intelligently insult them on...

Ahh, but I'm livin' in a dream world.  This town's all in with the Bruins for at least the next 3 years (and drawing dead, I might add), and for the life of me I don't know why I didn't see this comin'.  Oh well, at least I can keep Rooch Nation a hockey free zone, and that's exactly what I intend to do.  Ya know, except for the occasional dig, such as this.  So enjoy this Eurotrash free experience, my friends, and take a look at my picks for this week's games involving players whose last name's you can actually pronounce...

Oh, and did I mention it's Jets Week?  Yeah, because that's happening...

Here are the picks, kids.  So get your pens out, and enjoy...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Stoking the Fire as Boston Burns...


So, apparently Boston is burning.  At least from a baseball perspective. Terry Francona was fired...or maybe he just left; Theo Epstein could be next out the door...or possibly in line for a contract extension; and a main talking point among the fans and media is the alleged beer drinking in the clubhouse.  So yeah, Boston is burning.  It's a fire that appears to have been lit, and now managed, by a limbless pyromaniac, but there's no doubt that it should burn well through the Winter, and still be smoldering when the Red Sox arrive in Fort Myers for Spring Training...

MIA
That being said, I don't really have too much to say about the current state of affairs with that team, other than to say that how they're handling things right now is flat out embarrassing.  Airing private business in the press, pointing fingers, dragging feet (paging John Henry?).  It's just not reflective of how a good business should be run, and it has me worried that the problems with this team flow straight through to the top.  And that, obviously, would be the worst revelation of all.  Screw the fact that the pitchers are drinking on their off days, if this collapse exposes the fact that this is a severely flawed front office, whose main focus is no longer winning World Series titles?  Well that could be the end of the honeymoon for Theo and the Trio in the eyes of Red Sox Nation.  Then not only will the collapse be viewed as the end of the line for Terry Francona, but also the end of a very successful era in Red Sox baseball...

Seymour-Hoffman can play Maddon, too...
But that's putting the cart way before the horse, as the saying goes, and it's doing something I absolutely loathe doing, which is making needless predictions.  Do I think the front office is flawed, and my premonition is closer to reality than many people might think?  Sure I do, but with so much of the story left to play out, I'd rather take a wait and see attitude, than open my mouth and immediately look the fool.  Ya know, like if Theo bolts (or preferably, they can him) to Chicago and they raid Tampa Bay for Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman (Get learned, because he just may be the Jewish Billy Beane. I even hear the book "Matzahball: Beating the Goy at Their Own Game" is in the works).  Then, I'll want to sing their praises.  So I choose not to rip them all now, even though at the current time, their actions aren't exactly instilling a lot of confidence...

So that's my limited take on the Red Sox, right now.  Probably not as detailed as many of you would have liked, but it's just too soon for me to make any sort of call, one way or another.  There won't be any shortage of news to follow, though, so make sure you check back here periodically, so that when something actually does happen surrounding this team, you'll be sure to be kept in the loop.  And trust me, when all the dust has settled, I'll actually have a take on all that's gone down.  Until then, you'll just have to get by on the fact that I'm helping you win money betting on football.  Which I am, and you're welcome...

NFL Picks
Last Week: 11-8-0

Overall: 46-32-2 (.588)

NCAA Picks
Last Week: 5-5-0

Overall: 30-16-1 (.650)


More picks to come on Friday, so make sure you're there.  But until then, I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>