Friday, April 20, 2007

What's Up Big Perm? I mean Big Worm

Wicked Big Series Kid

When it comes to judging how successful your team's season was, all that really matters is how they performed in the playoffs. Isn't it? Sure, if your team's been down for a while, a good season can be simply vast improvement, but that only flies for one season. The next season, you better be back in the playoffs, and doing well, or it's your ass. So basically, regular season games mean shit in the grand scheme of things. That being said, I am so pumped for this weekend's tilt between the Sox and the Yanks. I know that what happens in this series won't necessarily be an indicator of how each team will play for the rest of the season, but I really don't care. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Schilling, Beckett, Dice-K. Wooo-eeee it doesn't get any better than that! Damn! Friday, blam. Saturday, blam. Sunday, blam. I mean if a weekend series against the freakin Rangers lines up against those 3 aces it's a delicious weekend treat, let alone it's the Yanks and it's at Fenway! And seeing as I'm so amped for this series, nothin' is gonna stop me from breaking it down like it's Super Bowl 2-hundy.

Line 'Em Up
Before I dive into the pitching match ups for the series, I'd be remiss if I didn't break down the two team's lineups. After all, it might be pitching that wins most games, but to just ignore the offense is just...well...ignorant. Especially when there is such a disparity. And when I say disparity, what I mean is, the Sox can't score, and the Yanks can't seem to stop scoring. Examples: Alex Rodriguez (10) has only two fewer dingers than the entire Sox team (12 for the mathily impaired); The Yanks are hitting .280 as a team and scoring 6.4 runs a game, and the Sox are hitting .249 and only plating 4.8 a night; Rodriguez is off to a rocket start (I'll get into that more later), and Manny just hit his first home run of the season. See, all the offensive trends seem to favor the 8-6 Yanks over the 9-5 Sox this weekend. Lucky for us, all that is or show, and pitching actually wins these suckers! Ha!

Friday 7:05 pm
Curt Schilling (2-1 2.84 ERA) vs Andy Pettitte (1-0 1.50 ERA)
*Fine. Maybe I was a little preemptive with the "fat man" blasts in regards to Schill, but that'll happen when you show up lookin' like Al Roker (not when he was thin for like 10 minutes after that stomach job), only to get smacked around by the Royals, it's bound to happen. Turns out, Schill still seems to have a little left in the ole tank. The heater may only be topping out in the low (very low) 90's these days, but he's still hitting spots and keeping the walks down. Not much more you can ask for.

Saturday 3:35 pm
Josh Beckett (3-0 1.50 ERA) vs Jeff Karstens (2-1 3.80 ERA)
*The early AL front runner for the Cy Young, takes on some minor league scrub that I wouldn't let park my dinged up Honda Civic. And that's being generous, seeing as from what I can tell, even the Yanks aren't sure who they're trotting out there on Saturday. I guess it's gonna be fresh off the DL rookie Jeff Karstens, but who knows. No matter which of their bums they chose to send out there, I gotta say I like the Sox chances. Granted, when Beckett misses, he tends to hang pitches, but he hasn't been hanging many this year at all. In fact, Beckett's curve right now is one of the best weapons of any pitcher not named Santana in the league, and if he can keep the Yanks off balance with the change and the heater, then look the F out!

Sunday 8:05 pm
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-2 2.70 ERA) vs Chase Wright (1-0 5.40 ERA)
*I've been tellin' people for a while now that Dice K's first start against the Yanks has me a little worried. And while he's pitched much better than his 1-2 record, I must admit I'm still pretty scared. Why? Because the Dice man likes to leave pitches up in the zone, and the Yanks lineup is stacked with guys that take those high pitches, and deposit them on Landsdown St, or use them to take a chunk out of the Coke bottle. As for Wright, well, let's just say he didn't suck in his first career start last week, giving up 5 hits, 3 runs, and 3 walks while striking out 3 in a win against Cleveland. But he is young and inexperienced, even more so than Dice K! So you gotta give the edge to the Sox in this match up as well!

Diamonds Are Forever
*Yea yea yea. A-Rod has 10 home runs. Sure, he's on pace to hit a zillion home runs. How is this even news? The guy is always mashin'. Should we be so surprised that a guy that's averaged a .306 batting average, 44 HR and 126 RBI over his 14 year career is off to a hot start? The guy is probably going to be the all time home run leader before he retires right? So what's the big deal? I'll tell you what it is. It's that everyone is choosing to forget, conveniently enough, that this guy is still a choke artist. And guess what, we actually have some games that matter comin' up this weekend bra. I'll still be here after you go 2 for 14 with 7 strike outs. And hey, if you rip us for a .500 average and 4 dingers, I'll be here anyway talkin' bout how the regular season don't mean shit! How you like me now A-Fraud? (I only call him out because I heard a rumor he reads my blog on the regs)

*Hey there Mark Buehrle! When the Chicago White Sox hurler threw a no hitter on Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers, not only did he become the first Sock to do so since Wilson Alvarez in 1991 (that name sounds familiar...weird), but more importantly, he did it for my fantasy team! Good work by you Buehrle. In this day and age, when a "good" ERA in the American league is in the high 3's, it's always good to see the pitchers get over once in a while. Yea, yea, I know. Chicks dig the long ball. But hot chicks dig dudes that dig no hitters. So I got that goin' for me...which is nice. And you have to hand it to Buehrle also for letting his boy and teammate Jon Garland off the hook. Apparently, the two had a "bounty" of $10,000 where whoever threw a no hitter first was owed the loot by the other. What a nice guy, right? OR Maybe he just wants to seem like the good guy, and then have Garland go to the local Wendy's and order him 10,000 junior bacon cheeseburgers. D-freaking-licious.

*Everyone loves the classic coach vs media confrontations. And everyone also loves watching Philly teams makes asses out of themselves. That, my good friends, is what makes this story so God damned perfect! Philadelphia Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, flat out blew up at talk radio journalist Howard Eskin during his post game press conference this week. Manuel, as laid back and as southern hick as they get, felt Eskin was basically saying that Manuel and the Phillies "enjoyed" losing. I won't bore you with describing the events, since the video is right there for ya, but I will say this. You can't be surprised when this shit happens. Why? Because it's your basic jock vs nerd situation, adult style. What Manuel really wants to do, is give Eskin an atomic wedgie and shove him in a locker. That little dweeb is mouthin' off to him, and you can tell he wishes to no end that the cameras were off and the room was cleared, so he could make sure Eskin eats the rest of his steak and cheeses' through a straw. Take a look (and make sure to wait it out and pump the volume).

News and Notes
*With the first pick in the 2007 NBA draft...the Boston Celtics select...some dude that looks like Robert Parrish? Might sound silly, but with Greg Oden officially declaring for the NBA draft last night, it could soon be "The Return of the Chief" in the Hub. That's right. Even though he scared a few Bostonians with the talk he might return to Ohio St. for another run at a title, Oden eventually made the right decision, and decided to make the jump to the NBA. He's probably a rare case of a guy that can't hurt his draft stock by staying in school (a la Josh McRoberts and the NFL's Matt Leinhart), but it's still the right choice to turn pro. The money is there now, and while all the skills might not be, he's ready to start bangin' with the big boys, and takin' his game to the next level. What shouldn't be lost in all of this, is the fact the his teammate (both in high school and at OSU), Mike Conley Jr., is also declaring for the draft. What should be lost in all of this, is that so is their other teammate, Daequan Cook. While Conley proved in the tourney that he was more than capable of being a great NBA point guard, who the hell does Daequan Cook think he is? I mean maybe he's trying to ride the wave created by his fellow frosh stars, or maybe he's getting some info from NBA teams that he should declare, but I just don't see it. He averaged 9.8 pts (4th on the team) and 4.3 boards (3rd on the team). Seriously bro. If you are barely in the conversation for the third best player on your own team, you better be on the '82 Tar Heels, or you need to stay another year in school.

*From mocking Robert Parrish, it was only appropriate that I move on to bashing Kevin McHale. The Minnesota Timberlwolves VP and GM, who Forbes Magazine named the "most efficient GM in the NBA" (again, funnier than anything I could make up myself), has come out this week and said that not only will he not trade Kevin Garnett, but he wants to overhaul and rebuild the team around him. To go further, McHale said that the team reminded him of the team he inherited 11 years ago, a team in need of an identity and in need of, well...talent. That's right, he basically admitted that the team sucked when he took over, and while he may have done well at some point, the team sucks again. And I wanna know who exactly he plans of trading to make his team better. Celtics duds Ricky Davis and Mark Blount? Journeymen Trenton Hassel, Eddie Griffin, Mark Madsen or Troy Hudson? It wouldn't make sense to get rid of newbies like Randy Foye and Craig Smith right? And nobody is going to want to take on Mike James' $6 mil price tag. Sooooo? Look Kev, if I can call you Kev. After looking at for about 10 minutes even I came to the realization that if you don't trade KG, then you're gonna have the same team next year that you had last year. And the year before, and the year before. Face it Kev (I've decided I'm calling you that even if you don't like it because I was never conscious during your titles, so there), the team has been about .500 since you've been there (.52988505 to be exact), and the best you've done in the playoffs is a Western Conference Finals loss in 2004. Basically, I don't care what Forbes magazine says, it's time for you to go. The fans are sick of you. And if this team is gonna be saved, it's only gonna be after you trade Garnett, and even then it's gonna take a minimum 3-4 years. We all know you're not gonna be around for that, so just do us all a favor and quit. Hell, come back home buddy. At least maybe then we can get rid of Donnie Marshall on the NESN pregame show. I know he does a good job and all, but how is your claim to fame the fact that you were the second best guy with your own name on your college team? (played at UCONN with Donyell "Donnie" Marshall) Pretty beat street right? If there's another Brett Ferruccio with a blog out there, I'll fight his ass and possibly cut him. Better than bein' "that other Donnie Marshall", right?

*This just in. College kids smoke marijuana. I know, I couldn't believe it. In my four years at Syracuse, not once did anyone even broach the topic of smoking marijuana! So you must imagine my shock when it was reported by Pro Football Weekly that top NFL draft prospects Calvin Johnson, Amobi Okoye and Gaines Adams admitted in their NFL Combine interviews that they had indeed "experimented" with weed during college. First of all, unless there were some test tubes, Bunsen burners or beakers involved (and no I'm not talkin' about when people "go MacGyver style), I don't want to hear the words marijuana and experimented in the same sentence. They were smokin' it! They were ripping the bing, burnin' the L, takin' g-hitters or boxin' out their whip. So? The question now is what NFL teams chose to do with that information. Could they have the next Sticky Icky Ricky Williams (ahhh that's where he's been) on their hands? Or might it be a Warren Sapp or a Randy Moss, who's draft stock dropped due to known Maryanne Jane tokage? You can never predict what will happen on draft day, but something tells me these guys are straight. No, not because teams won't care, because of course they will! The upper management in the NFL is a bunch of old grey beards. They like to sit around, sip brandy and discuss the pork bellies market. Weed scares the hell out of them! All them young people, smokin' dem tweeds! No, these guys won't suffer because of the fact they are too good! All 3 were projected as top 10 picks before this report, and I still expect all 3 to be gone by no later than pick 12. Even so, a little free advice for the next time someone asks you if you've ever used drugs. JUST SAY NO! We admire your honesty, but seriously fellas, this is a job interview here. And unless you're applying for a job at High Times magazine, Krispy Kreme or your neighborhood "incense shop", answer no when they ask if you've toked up. One more thing. Anyone else think it's a coincidence that this information was leaked the day before 4/20, the world wide weed smoker's holiday? Yea, I didn't think so. Maybe new commissioner Roger Goodell is a little more hip than we thought. From now on, we'll just call him Smokey. And you know!

*First, the Patriots signed punter Todd Sauerbrun to a preliminary deal. That deal allowed other teams to still negotiate with Sauerbrun, but gave the Pats the right to match the offer or let Sauerbrun go. So, in come the Denver Broncos, and they ink Sauerbrun to a one year, $850,00 deal. Then, the Pats match the offer, so Sauerbrun stays put. Well...not so fast. Turns out, the part of the contract that said the Pats had the right to match the offer, was on a separate piece of a paper from the rest of the contract. No big deal right? Wrong. According to the labor agreement, such language needs to be on the same sheet of paper as the rest of the contract, or the deal is void. Yea, seriously. So now Todd Sauerroids is a Denver Bronco. How sketch is that? Is this just the Patriots playing more head games with the league, and the Broncos in particular? Or did they just not know that was the rule? Freakin' weird whatever it is. It's like one of those bets you make with your buddy, but when they actually complete the dare, you make up some other stipulations to avoid paying up. You know what I mean. "Oh, I said you had to eat the left over chicken wings out of the actual trash can. It doesn't count that you took them all out first!"

*And while we're at it, I might as well mention the most recent addition to the New England Patriots, cornerback Tory James. James, the former Bengal and 11 year vet, signed a one year deal with the Pats this week, worth a possible $2.7 million. James is a quality corner (4 picks last season; career best 8 in '04) to throw in the mix, a lot like Tyrone Poole was when the Pats brought him in a few years back. The real question here, is whether James is here to solidify the Pats at the DB position, or because the Pats are predicting they'll be without Asante Samuel next season. I really hope it's the first reason, and if so I really like the move. Also, it appears that Corey Dillon may actually be retiring after all. Adam Schefter, from the NFL Network, is saying that he is hearing that's the case. Then again, Schefter is a whiny little prick, so what the hell does he know?

*Management for star running back LaDanian Tomlison claims that the single season TD leader was offered the cover of Madden 2008, but turned it down. EA Sports says, that Vince Young was their #1 choice. Now, I can't blame EA for saying that no matter what the truth is, but does anyone really believe them? Come on now. If I had taken a poll beforehand, and the question simply was "Who should be on the cover of Madden 2008?", LT would have won in a land slide. And that's without giving any options. You ask someone, they would have said Tomlinson, simple as that. So the question becomes, was LT scared of the Madden curse? You have to think he was at least a little weary of it, and who can blame him. Hey, I don't consider myself superstitious at all, and I used to play Madden like a mad man, but even I would have probably turned them down. First off, the cover gig pays a mere $200,oo0. And seeing as the odds are you're career will spiral into oblivion once you're on the cover, LT's prolly makin' the right move by sittin' this one out. What I wanna know, though, is will LT still be doomed for even being asked? Curses are weird like that. It's like a bad case of herps (no typo; prnounced "hurps"). One minute your scratchin' your back up against your friends' door, the next minute your saying to your significant other "Oh I always get cold sores this time of year". Gross. Gross. Gross.

*I've seen American Idol twice. And both times, it was to watch that pony hawk fool, "Mangina", make a fool of himself, yet somehow not get eliminated. I'm aware of all the efforts people like Howard Stern, and, to keep this joker on the show, but I must admit it did draw my attention. Don't get me wrong, I still think Ryan Seacrest is the poster boy for Metrosexuality, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy what I saw. The kid was so bad, he left the judges speechless, and even brought angry Brit, Simon Cowell, to the point where he said he would quit if Sanjaya actually won. That being said, he probably would have been the best winner! Look, aside from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, the rest of the winners on this show have been straight up flops. There was the black guy that looked like grimace, the black stripper that had fewer brain cells than teeth (and that was easier said than done in her case), and that grey haired freak. Where are those fools at, huh? Exactly. And, from what I've seen this season, the prospects aren't much better this season. There's the Miss Piggy look alike, a beat boxing poser, a kid that straight up resembles a penis, a chick with 99 triple Ds, and some other chick who I can't come up with a clever way to bash. Screw you American Idol. You kicked off the only guy worth watching on your show, and left us with the Dawg, the Druggie and the Deuche. Listen FOX, if I wanna see a drugged up cheerleader sitting next to a "huge black", I'll just stick to the Internet, thank you very much.


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