Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’

1st-Place Teams So Far

April 20, 2012

Well, folks…we’re 13 games into the 2012 regular season. If you didn’t notice, some crazy things are happening. For example, the Orioles are doing it again – leading the AL East early. And there’s anarchy in L.A. – The Dodgers are in first by three games and the Angels…well, the Angels are paying Albert Pujols nine figures; one for each loss.

There are six divisions, so six first place teams, so six things for me to talk about:

AL East:

Really? The Baltimore Orioles? One of four teams I figured would have a legitimate shot at losing 95 games this year?

I know what you’re thinking. Is it for real? Well, put simply, no. Expect this division to be flipped by next month. It’s just one of those random hot streaks paired with some poor play by division favorites. Four of the five teams are within 1.5 games already, and the Red Sox being in dead last will change soon.

The A.L. East will still finish Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles.

AL Central:

Detroit Tigers…obviously, bro. They haven’t disappointed, coming out of the gates hot and laying the smack down on the Red Sox to open the season.

One team I’m disappointed with so far is the Kansas City Royals. I am very bromantic about guys like Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Luke Hochevar. I’m not too worried about the Royals climbing back into contention, but will it be too late?

The Tigers are leading the Central and that won’t change anytime soon. The order will be: Tigers, Royals, Indians, Twins, White Sox.

AL West:

The Rangers are 11-2, have a 4.5 game lead in the division and the best record in baseball. Where have we seen this story before? Texas might be even better than the last two seasons. That’s terrifying.

The A’s and Mariners are both 7-7 and have played each other about 14 times in 2012. Or so it seems. How about the poor A’s having to face Felix Hernandez THRICE already? Ouch. Am I worried about the Angels? No, but thanks for asking. Let them figure it out and talk to me in a month when they are alone in second place, hot on the Rangers trail.

Despite how incredible Bartolo Colon is, the A’s are still a last-place team. They could lose 100 games. So, the division order will still be Angels, Rangers, Mariners, A’s.

NL East:

Told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, told ya so, TOLD YA SO. Suck it. The Nationals are in first place with a 10-4 record. And Mike Morse hasn’t even played one game yet.

You have to love seeing the Phillies in last place, a game under .500, despite the ridiculous pitching staff. They are really hurting for offense. When are Ryan Howard and Chase Utley coming back again? The Braves have bounced back impressively from an opening weekend sweep at the hands of the Mets. Speaking of the other New York team, they have started to fall back down to Earth a little bit.

Expect the result to stick: Nationals in first, then Philly, Miami, Atlanta, and New York.

NL Central:

Isn’t it cliche these days to say the Cardinals are in first? Well the word “cliche” makes me feel fancy. And I like that. So, the Cardinals are in first. Again.

They have a three-game lead and have by far looked like the most complete team in the division. I still think it’s going to be Cincinnati at the end, but the more I see Milwaukee and Pittsburgh play, the less impressed I’ve been. Ryan Braun just went 0-12 with a ton of strikeouts in three games against the Dodgers. But one guy who IS having success if Carlos Beltran in St. Louis. He has five more home runs than Albert Pujols in L.A. Oh, and Beltran has five homers total. Sooo…do the math.

This division will eventually be: Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Cubs, Astros

NL West:

*Coughs*. *Makes throat sounds suggesting “hey look at this”*. *Winks*. Allllll that nonsense can only mean one thing. My Los Angeles Dodgers are sitting pretty atop the NL West. And it feels so good.

Is it real? Well, biases aside…this is one of the greatest rosters ever assembled in any sport in the history of the universe. And yes, they can continue this success into the postseason. It’s not just Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw this season. In fact, Kershaw hasn’t even gotten warmed up yet. But Andre Ethier is raking, Juan Rivera is driving in runs like nobody’s business, and the rest of the rotation has done wonders. Oh, right. There are four other teams in the West. But…whatever.

The only division I’ll change my order in: Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Rockies, Padres

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

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Aces Wild

April 12, 2012

Let’s match the ERA’s to the aces through the first week of the 2012 season:

Matt Cain – 7.50

Tim Lincecum – 12.91

C.C. Sabathia – 6.75

Yovani Gallardo – 5.91

Zack Greinke – 6.75

Josh Johnson – 8.38

Dan Haren – 6.97

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

I know it’s early, but my goodness those are some crooked numbers. My fantasy team got hit especially hard yesterday, when Sabathia, Lincecum and Johnson all got absolutely rocked in their respective starts.

Well, who’s for real? Who is going to bounce back and who is in trouble? I’ll tell you…NOW!

First of all, let’s be realistic. These guys are aces for a reason – there are four Cy Young awards spread throughout that group and a whole bunch of pretty stats. So they will all bounce back. But only to a degree. Here goes nothin’:

1. Matt Cain, Giants

The Giants made Cain a very, very rich man recently. How does he go out and reward them? By posting a hefty 7.50 ERA in his first start. Well, let me point a couple things out. Cain was throwing on the road against a red-hot Diamondbacks offense. Not to mention, I watched that game and it was really just a couple bad innings. He looked pretty solid for most of the game, but the hits kept piling up when he was missing location in a couple innings. Cain will be just fine.Panic Level 1-10 (10 is high):3

2. Tim Lincecum, Giants

The Freak is a huge reason why the Giants are floundering in last place early in the season. When Barry Zito (CG, 0 R, 4 H vs. Rockies) is your most reliable pitcher, things need to change. And quickly. Lincecum’s double-digit ERA is especially frightening, because he’s looked awful in his two starts. He’s lost velocity on his fastball, the breaking balls aren’t biting, and he can’t hit the broad side of a barn consistently. This is the second year in a row Lincecum’s velocity has dropped. Panic Level: 7

3. C.C. Sabathia, Yankees

I picked C.C. as my pre-season Cy Young favorite in the American League, so the big boy has a lot more than just his stats to worry about. I mean, would you want this human bicep coming at you?! Stop laughing…anyway, Sabathia’s 6.75 ERA is frightening. He’s getting on in age, and his last start was against the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, they have a penchant for big offensive outputs, but it’s still a last-place team that was ripping C.C. apart. Panic Level: 5

4. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers

Gallardo got absolutely torched by the Pujols-less Cardinals at the Milwaukee home opener last week. He allowed four home runs. In one inning. It was just stupid. Gallardo has a tendency to be very inconsistent. His stuff is some of the dirtiest in the game if he can get it over the plate. But when he starts hanging breaking balls like he was against St. Louis, the Brewers are in for a world of hurt. I’m calling this early-season struggles, rather than a decline in talent. Panic Level: 4

5. Zack Greinke, Brewers

Has the rest of baseball figured Greinke out? Aside from his Cy Young year in Kansas City, Greinke hasn’t been THAT good. He’s similar to Gallardo, where his stuff is dirty, but he needs to consistently get it over the plate. If both these guys struggle in 2012, the Brewers are in for a very long season. I think Greinke will bounce back to have respectable numbers, but he’s never going to return to the award-winning form we’re accustomed to. Panic Level: 5

6. Josh Johnson, Marlins

Okay, Johnson worries me. He got shelled by the oft-injured Phillies lineup yesterday, and got touched up for a few runs by the Cardinals on Opening Day. It’s not his abilities that have me wary – it’s the fact that he’s coming off an arm injury. Is he fully healthy? I hate to speculate, but this is so out of character for the young righty, that I think something must still be bothering him. Panic Level: 8

7. Dan Haren, Angels

The Angels have been struggling big time, despite their big free-agent transactions this winter. It’s partly due to an offense that is still struggling to find its identity. But Haren isn’t helping matters either. He only allowed three runs to the Twins in his last start, but got hit hard against the Royals in his first. I’m not worried about Haren yet. He’s still got a 12:2 K-to-BB ratio, and is always solid. Give him another start or two before the panic meter rises. Panic Level: 2

There you have it! Comment below and let me know who I missed or who has a level that’s terribly skewed. Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Season Ticket’s Itinerary is UP!

April 2, 2012

Check it out! After hours (literally) of dealing with the hell that can be Google Maps, and endless searches of MLB teams’ schedules, I’ve got a final itinerary laid out for Season Ticket! 

Feel free to check out the website and the YouTube channel, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

We’ve pushed the start date back to April 27th, so as to allow for more planning time. BUT it works out perfectly. We’ll be starting in St. Louis, where last season ended! Seems fitting, right? I have always been a sucker for poetry…

So, I’m pretty excited because we’ll see my Dodgers five times, including in San Francisco against the Giants. We get the Battle of the Bay (A’s vs. Giants), the Freeway Series (Dodgers vs. Angels) and potentially TWO chances to see the Red Sox and Yankees battle it out.

Plus, Kelsey’s Cardinals are on the slate thrice, including a game AT Wrigley Field against the arch rival Cubs. We’ve made room for hitting the All-Star Game in Kansas City, and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown!

And the journey will end in Miami, where we’ll run the clubs and bars all night long with our newfound celebrity! Okay, truth be told, we’ll probably be passed out on the beach all day and in a hotel room by 9 p.m. at night…that’s how we roll. 

Five solid months of driving. Nearly 15,000 miles. More than thirty games and 223 hours of driving. Tons of preparation, attention to detail, writing, reporting, uploading, crappy radio rap, etc. 

And it will be worth every second. Check out the links above, but for now, here’s the schedule in it’s fullest form (give us a shout if we’re going to be in your town when you are there!):

Game 1 – 4/27/12 – St. Louis, MO: Milwaukee Brewers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Game 2 – 5/3/12 – Kansas City, MO: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals

Game 3 – 5/11/12 – Arlington, TX: Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers

Game 4 – 5/18/12 – Houston, TX: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros

Game 5 – 5/23/12 – Phoenix, AZ: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Game 6 – 6/1/12 – San Diego, CA: Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

Game 7 – 6/3/12 – Anaheim, CA: Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels

Game 8 – 6/11/12 – Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Angels @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Game 9 – 6/22/12 – Oakland, CA: San Francisco Giants @ Oakland A’s

Game 10 – 6/25/12 – San Francisco, CA: Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants

Game 11 – 6/28/12 – Seattle, WA: Boston Red Sox @ Seattle Mariners

Game 12 – 7/1/12 – Denver, CO: San Diego Padres @ Colorado Rockies

All-Star Game – 7/10/12 – Kansas City, MO: National League vs. American League

Game 13 – 7/13/12 – Minneapolis, MN: Oakland Athletics @ Minnesota Twins

Game 14 – 7/16/12 – Milwaukee, WI: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

Game 15 – 7/19/12 – Detroit, MI: Los Angeles Angels @ Detroit Tigers

Game 16 – 7/23/12 – Chicago, IL: Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox

Game 17 – 7/27/12 – Chicago, IL: St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs

Game 18 – 7/29/12 – Toronto, ON, Canada: Detroit Tigers @ Toronto Blue Jays

Game 19 – 8/5/12 – Cincinnati, OH: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds

Game 20 – 8/9/12 – Cleveland, OH: Boston Red Sox @ Cleveland Indians

Game 21 – 8/13/12 – Pittsburgh, PA: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Cooperstown – 8/15/12 – Cooperstown, NY: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Game 22 – 8/18/12 – Bronx, NY: Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

Game 23 – 8/21/12 – Boston, MA: Los Angeles Angels @ Boston Red Sox

Game 24 – 8/24/12 – Queens, NY: Houston Astros @ New York Mets

Game 25 – 8/26/12 – Philadelphia, PA: Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies

Potential Bonus Game – 9/11/12 – Boston, MA: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox

Game 26 – 9/13/12 – Baltimore, MD: Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles

Game 27 – 9/18/12 – Washington D.C.: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals

Game 28 – 9/20/12 – Tampa Bay, FL: Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays

Game 29 – 9/25/12 – Atlanta, GA: Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves

Game 30 – 9/30/12 – Miami, FL: Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins

Keep pimping the video out to The Ellen Show! We just need a little more confirmed sponsorship to set the trip to “official!” Until tomorrow (okay, later today…close ENOUGH to be counted as Sunday!)…

The Stars are Fading

March 13, 2012

I was talking with a buddy about this via text earlier today: All the stars from our generation in baseball are starting to retire. And it hurts. We’ve already lost Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey, Jr. to retirement.

Alex Rodriguez is a hobbled old man (but really, who liked him anyway?). Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones are winding down their careers. It’s just a sad, sad time for us 90’s kids.

The one that kills me the most is Mariano Rivera. As we all know by now, Mo has decided to be frustratingly covert about his post-2012 plans. He has hinted at coming back and hinted at retiring, but when the contract is up, he’ll have a big decision to make.

Rivera is getting on in years, but he’s still one of the best closers in baseball and is absolutely dominant in the postseason. He hasn’t had any major health issues, so this is purely brought on by being satisfied with his illustrious career.

It’s not often that a player gets to go out like that, but nobody is more deserving of such an honor than Mariano.

Whether or not Mo decides to retire after the season, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and go down as the greatest closer the game has ever seen. He’s won five rings with the Yankees and has an almost microscopic postseason ERA. The numbers will be remembered, but there are so many other intangibles that stand out about Rivera.

The reasons I will miss him (and let’s be real…the reasons I’ll cry when he retires) formulate an endless list. First and foremost, he is one of those rare players (like Jeter and Bernie Williams) who have the humility and class to make any baseball fan root for them.

I hate the Yankees – I’m in the majority there. But if you tell me that you hate Rivera, you will get a swift kick to the groin. Unless you’re bigger and faster than me. It’s impossible to hate a guy that has earned the sport’s respect with his play and his demeanor.

I remember watching an E:60 special on Mo a few months back. He hails from a small town in Panama, where he often returns in the off-season to help rebuild and financially strengthen a poor community. He is trying to spread the gospel of baseball in the place he grew up.

That’s not necessarily out of the ordinary for a successful Major Leaguer. But, Rivera is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players whose scope of influence is so vast that it can literally touch any fan, player or person on multiple continents.

Rivera never had a controversial moment in New York, even under the bright lights of the big city. He never basked in that spotlight, even amidst a wealth of prima donna teammates like A-Rod.

And perhaps best of all, Rivera is a great sport. Despite serving up the World Series-winning rally in 2001 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in one of his rare moments of failure, Mo never made excuses about his play.

Rivera is a true champion and a model human being. For my sake, your sake, and baseball’s sake, let’s hope he sticks around for another contract or two and continues to dominate hitters for a living. Bromantic tribute, end.

Wednesday Top Ten!

March 7, 2012

Like how I throw that title up there as if this is a regular thing? I’m not going to lie…it’s because I’m wholly unmotivated to be creative today. Instead, I’ll just blow you away with insight and analysis. So ladies and gentlemen, put on your best snuggies and let’s get rollin’.

Today’s top ten will be all about baseball. Because it’s the best sport. Feel free to argue with me on that point, just don’t complain when this happens. You’ve been warned.

I want to discuss the ten best pitchers in baseball. There’s a helluva lot of them. The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies could probably make a top ten list by themselves. But we’re going to do it anyway. I’m feelin’ crazy. By the way, I’m a Dodgers fan. So you can guess who number one will be. Muahaha!

10. Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels – Oh boy that rotation in Anaheim is going to be scary in 2012, ain’t it? Haren is the best of the bunch, and the first pitcher on the list who doesn’t have a Cy Young to his name. He should, he could and he might before his time is done, but time will tell. Six seasons of 14 + wins ain’t too shabby though.

9. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – Okay, really? If Carp is ninth on this list, you know it’s gonna rock your socks off. This big righty has dominated for the Cards and has two rings and a shiny Cy Young (2005) to show for it. He’s got one of the best curveballs in the game and is possibly the most dominant postseason pitcher on this entire list.

8. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – It’s tough to NOT feel bad for King Felix. Stuck on the Mariners his whole career, he hasn’t racked up huge numbers. Just imagine what the 2010 Cy Young winner’s numbers would look like on a team that could actually score runs.

7. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – How can a two-time Cy Young winner (2008-2009) only be eighth on this list? Easy – he’s on the Giants and he went to University of Washington and I’m a spiteful, Dodger and Washington State-lovin’ bastard. So that says something that I felt compelled to still include The Freak on this list at all.

6. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels is the first of a trio of Phillies to appear on my list (how is that even fair?) and the second who doesn’t have a Cy to his name. Yet. He’s still got plenty of time. What Hamels does have is a mean fastball, some filthy control and a World Series MVP. Not too shabby.

5. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels’ southpawtner in crime DOES have that Cy Young award (2008) but less postseason success. Lee dominated last year, going a cool 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA for Philly. And his awesome birth name (Clifton Phifer Lee) boosted him at least three spots alone.

4. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees – The lefties just keep on comin’. I have a special appreciation for Sabathia, because he hails from the Bay Area like me. That’s not the end of our similarities though. I’m ALSO a 6’7″, 290-pound black man with a Cy Young (2007) and World Series ring…By the way, C.C. has 176 wins at age 31. Don’t tell me 300 isn’t viable for him.

3. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Finally, the Philadelphia onslaught comes to a merciful end. But there is no doubt in my mind that Doc Halladay is the best of the bunch. The 8-time all-star and 2-time Cy Young winner (2003 and 2010) has been so dominant for so long that it’s just a foregone conclusion he’ll put up 15+ wins every season. Oh, did I mention that no-hitter in the playoffs? That’s impressive I guess.

2. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – Last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner in the American League has finally reached the height of his potential. And I don’t think he’s planning on regressing anytime soon. Verlander’s 24-5, 2.40, 250 strikeout 2011 was far and away one of the best individual pitching seasons I’ve ever seen. And the scary thing is he’s only 28.

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – You want to talk about incredible seasons at a young age? How about the next coming of Sandy Koufax (I think I just heard you gasp from here…)? Kershaw cruised to the pitching Triple Crown in the National League last year, and won the Cy Young as a result. Here’s the thing though. Kershaw is 23 years old. Like, my age. What the HELL!

That’s my list. Thanks for helping me kill time. Comment below and tell me why I’m absolutely right-on with all my picks. Or if you must, disagree and make suggestions. I’ll probably ignore you, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

And I ammmmmmm outta here!

Three Up, Three Down Premieres Tonight!

March 4, 2012

Hello fellow baseball lovers! Today is a big day! Because later this evening, myself and five other MLB Fan Cave candidates who didn’t quite make the cut are recording our inaugural podcast episode of Three Up, Three Down!

Each one of us represents one of the divisions. I’m a Dodger fan, so I’ll be the NL West extraordinaire. And my lovely co-hosts will be:

Kurt Peter (affectionately known as KP) – Brewers/NL Central

Bryan Mapes (surname only, please) – Braves/NL East

Brian Boynton (responds to Brian and RangerfanBrian) – Rangers/AL West

Angelo Fileccia (or Godfather, if you will) – Tigers/AL Central

Abby Mollenhauer (AbbyMo we want some Mo we want some Mo!) – Yankees/AL East

And while we won’t have Denzel as a guest quite yet, I’m not going to completely shut out that possibility. Because when you put six motivated, knowledgeable and passionate baseball fans into one podcast all about America’s pasttime…impossible is nothing.

Our podcast is going to be epic, there is no question about that. And tonight will be the first step towards glory – just stay tuned for updates on where you can listen to it. And when you become mesmerized by our collective genius, put 3u3d on your calendar for every week.

The basic format, as it stands now, is that we will each take time to discuss the biggest stories from our respective divisions. Then the entire group will jump into a more general baseball discussion. And don’t worry, the Three Up, Three Down moniker has a purpose (and an awesome logo, being revealed soon). We will also work in a segment with three hot hitters/three cold hitters, three fantasy pick ups/three fantasy drops, etc.

For now, you can take my word that this podcast is going to rock. And what can you do, other than tune in and listen? How about following @3u3d on Twitter to get all the updates you’ll ever need? Or maybe like the 3u3d Facebook page!

And did you notice how I linked in the six hosts’ Twitter handles up there? Now would be a good time to click, follow and love us. Baseball season is in full swing (puns aplenty, just wait until we’re on the airwaves), and with it comes a gritty, funny, informative podcast about the sport we all love.

I’m excited. You should be too. Remember to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and to LISTEN to the first episode, set to debut for your auditory pleasure in the next 48 hours.

While We’re Young, Wild and Free

February 2, 2012

Well, we can officially put the “Blake Griffin is a God” talk to rest. As I pointed out yesterday, his dunk over Kendrick Perkins was significantly overrated and not even close to one of his ten personal best. Then, some doopster (dude hoopster) laid this beauty down in a college game. And suddenly, rightfully, Griffin is old news.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you finish a dunk.

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen some footage of the Egyptian stampede that took place after a soccer match yesterday. The death toll right now is at 74. I’m sure most people here don’t care because 1) it’s soccer, 2) it’s Egypt, but everyone needs to take notice. The United States essentially explodes from within when a streaker so much as tweets that he or she will storm the Phillies’ outfield.

Real fan violence takes place overseas, where soccer is king and passion falls like rain in Seattle (that’s a LOT, if you’ve never been). Take that into account next time you complain about that meany pants with the spiky face at the Raiders game yelled you suck to your family at the game. And if you go to a soccer game abroad, please be careful.

I finally have some baseball news! First, this. Because it’s the Yankees and they get too much pub to begin with, I’ll just hand you the link and tell you to read the first line and sit back in shock. And then you can think about it and realize how much sense Brian Cashman’s assertion makes. That’s all.

But even cooler, we have a Nyjer Morgan sighting! If you don’t like Nyjer, you must be either a commie or a Cardinals fan. But T-Plush is as bad ass a ballplayer as you’ll ever see. He’s the T.O. of baseball, minus the baby mama drama. So get a load of this guy taking on another sport! I love it.

Lastly, I have some punishment to dole out. Let me explain first. I have a raging bromance with Aldon Smith. He single-handedly gave me hope that the 49ers’ pass rush has a prayer in the next few years of returning to form. By the way, what’s the female version of bromance? I suggested homance and heavy flowmance, but my female friends didn’t take kindly to it. If you’re willing to risk public verbal flogging, comment below and tell me what the answer to that timeless question is.

Oh, right. Back to Aldon. He got a DUI the other day. The kid is barely old enough to drink. And as one of his fans, I wish I could just tell him this and let him walk. But he needs to be docked some serious pay by the NFL and a timeout from Coach Harbaugh. If he can make Alex Smith a respectable NFL quarterback, I’m sure he can help crank a few common sense life lessons through the younger Smith’s dense skull.

And it wouldn’t be Thursday without my P.T.Z.D.I.T.H.W.A! (Same title, but shorter. Whatever, just look.)

So THAT’S Why Dwight Wants Out!

January 27, 2012

Holy guacamole we have a lot to talk about today. The last 24 hours in sports has gotten me buzzin’ on the good stuff. Winter X-Games is in full gear, the Magic have 99 problems but a swish ain’t one (actually it is), and hockey really is the best at something! Here we go (Oh, come ON. Totally fake, that house would not be livable)!

I’ll be honest. The reason I’m bringing up the Winter X-Games is because the guy who won gold in Snowmobile Freestyle laid down the first acceptable Tebow (short for Tebowing in this case) I’ve seen in months. First of all, I don’t know what a hippie-haired kid from Texas is doing winning a Winter X medal, but he killed it and then nailed the pose in front of Tebow’s Colorado faithful. Check it out.

On to the NBA, where Magic tricks are pulled on a daily basis. Or so it seems. I actually feel bad for Orlando (but I definitely don’t feel bad for this British broad…eat an apple, woman!). Not only does Dwight Howard want out, but they are giving him no reason to stay, and doing so in a losing-to-Boston fashion. And nobody likes Boston teams. Not even Boston likes Boston teams. Oh god, I can hear the mob of chowdah-slinging ruffians coming at me from here!

But really, the Magic got absolutely blown out by the Celts a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday, they built up a HUGE halftime lead. As in insurmountable. As in the only team who could blow that type of lead would be the 2004 Yankees (ZING! And Boston loves me again). Yet the Magic vanished, and they did blow that lead and any hope they had of retaining their big man. I no longer blame Dwight for wanting to bounce. That was simply embarrassing.

They were up 21 at halftime, had a big lead of 27 in the second half…and lost by eight. Twenty five points in the second half for Orlando, including being outscored 27-8 in the fourth quarter. Yikes. Sayonara, D12. I’m not even mad. That’s amazing! It must have been more difficult to screw up so royally than to actually win the game.

In other NBA news, I learned I’m very much in the minority. Not only because I hardly care about or follow professional basketball, but because I thought the ABA uniforms in the Grizzlies vs. Clippers game yesterday were freakin’ SWEET! Seriously, the NFL is going to let Nike’s blind fashionistas design next year’s uni’s when they could go with awesome throwbacks like that? I hope they wear those every night!

Before I move away from basketball altogether, I’ve got a little surprise for you! Remember the big posterization I mentioned from the college game a couple of days ago? Happy learned how to Google! Sit back, relax and enjoy this face mashing. That’s the most offensive thing I’ve seen since war and famine. Okay, I’ll stop stealing movie lines.

Moving on. Let’s talk a little football. First, the boring stuff. The Bucs hired former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to take over the head coaching gig. Hey, if you think his college record that’s one game over .500 is that impressive, good on ya. Turning around the Rutgers football program is no small task, but an underachieving team full of rich, thuggish prima donnas is a helluva lot bigger problem. If Schiano can get QB Josh Freeman to regain confidence, leadership and the decision-making ability he showed in 2010, there’s a chance. Otherwise it’s going to be early curtains for the coach.

According to ESPN’s Cold Hard Facts segment, they think Rex Ryan is on the hot seat for next season. I’m a bigger fan of Rebecca Black than Rex Ryan, so after seeing that on the tube, this was me in my living room: Wahoo! I’ll bet you 50 pesos that you can’t watch that commercial without cracking a smile. And I’m so, so sorry if you clicked on the Rebecca Black link. I really am. But at least we know what day it is now…ugh.

Before I move on to some tear-jerking football news, can we just settle something? I respect Yahoo! Sports, I really do. I get a lot of breaking news through them and generally enjoy the blogs and articles I find on there. But my God, if they aren’t the worst at mis-titling their stuff. At least once a day I find something like this that was originally titled “Harbaugh Disses Californians.” Um. What?

And most recently the media has been getting its collective rocks off to a Peyton Manning vs. Colts’ owner Jim Irsay spat that isn’t a spat at all. In fact, the media made it news in the first place. It’s extremely frustrating to see a sports media outlet putting misleading titles on stories that aren’t controversial, just so they will get more reads. It’s cheating. It’s like drinking Four Lokos at a party – obviously you’re going to get drunk first and at the cheapest price. Be a man and drink a beer! “Firing back,” my ass.

Now, I don’t have much to say about these next two. Except they make my tummy feel funny in a good way. Not like the first time I saw Hayden Panettiere all grown up. More like that choking-back-tears feeling I get at the end of The Green Mile (spoiler alert). Check out Kyle Williams’ biggest little fan, and why Jason Pierre-Paul’s biggest supporter has never seen him play.

Lastly, for football, JoePa’s service took place yesterday. ESPN covered a bit of it, but a couple of things really struck me. First of all, 12,000 people showed up to support Paterno. Twelve. Thousand. That’s incredible. If I have a quarter of that many people who care about me when I’m gone, I’ll consider my life a fantastic success.

That being said, and I’m sure I’ll take flak for this one, Nike chairman Phil Knight had absolutely no reason to bring up the scandal when he was speaking. It was nice of him to whip the crowd into a frenzy for pro-Joe sentiment, but blaming what happened during the Jerry Sandusky investigation solely on the investigators is pure ignorance. I understand it’s not the time or place to acknowledge that Paterno played a role in everything, but that’s when you just keep your mouth shut.

Alright, we have one more bit of business today. I promised you that hockey actually does something better than every other sport. And now I’m here to deliver. The NHL All-Star Game is perfection. The MLB game is insanely flawed, the NBA version is over-the-top, and the Pro Bowl in the NFL is irrelevant. But in hockey, two captains get to choose teams in a draft format out of the pool of All-Stars. It’s fun for the players and the fans, and actually keeps the viewer interested.

And how awesome is this? Every year, the last guy picked in the “draft,” wins a new car. It’s like Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft, except they actually get to play…and then drive away in a sick new ride. Well done, hockey. Well done.

Whew. That was a lot. Hope you enjoyed it. And since it’s Friday, everyone’s getting ready to party this weekend, and I definitely need to redeem myself for linking to Rebecca Black earlier in the blog, here is the Friday Song of the Week. Because who doesn’t like a little fun? See what I did there? Seriously though, this band rocks.

Peace!

A Contract Fit for a Prince

January 25, 2012

Hah! Get it? My title is clever. First of all, let me apologize. This post is going to be a little shorter than usual. See, I’m channeling my inner Warren Miller (R.I.P. Big Guy) and hitting up some fresh pow pow in Tahoe the next two days. Gnarly shred time, bruh!

Also, I may or may not have forgotten my laptop charger. Wich is bad because my computer is older than Newt Gingrich’s first butt lift (one point for unnecessary, abstract political attacks!). The laptop doesn’t hold a charge unless tethered to an outlet.

So I’m typing on my iPad. Which is awesome. Actually, the fact that I have one and you don’t makes me awesome. But awesome only goes so far when I have to type like a middle schooler with just pointer fingers for an entire article. Impressed? Me too.

Now that I’ve sufficiently bored you with my blabber, let’s get to the real issue at hand. Just when we had forgotten Prince Fielder existed, he up and signs a 20-year, $400 million contract in Detroit. Okay, the numbers are slightly less than that but they still are gargantuan.

What does this mean for baseball? Well, for one, the American League absolutely owns life. Their top six teams (Angels, Rangers, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays) are so much better than anything the National League has to offer it’s just comical. Secondly, how is a 3-4 combo of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera even fair? Opposing pitchers are going to start demanding an adult diaper clause be added to future contracts.

Well, at least it will be a hell of a pennant race in 2012. Hopefully there will be a trail of dollar bills in the wreckage for those less fortunate teams to scrounge after.

And what does Fielder’s contract mean for you and me? Well, your life is still boring and meaningless, I still can’t hit a ball over 300 feet, let alone make it look cool, and we are now left to wonder if Prince is officially the richest man in Michigan. But at least I have an iPad.

I love me some baseball news so let’s keep it coming. I’m looking at you, Yeonis Cespedes! Until tomorrow, enjoy the Weird Wednesday Web Story.

Seriously? The most famous school in that entire state is the Cougars. And as a proud alum of another school with that mascot, I’m offended. At least more offended than any drunk, horny, college-frat-star-chasing soccer mom ever will be. At the very least, go with the Mountain Lions. Same shit, different name. It would still rip your freakin’ head off.

And with that image, I bid you adieu.

“I’d Like to Thank the Good Lord that I’m a Yankee”

January 24, 2012

What’s up, dudes and dudettes? I’ve got some cool stuff to chat about today. But before we go anywhere – further proof that T-Sizzle from Ball So Hard U is freakin’ awesome. Props to the writer of that blurb, too. Screw you, Skip.

**

Let’s start in Indy. No, not the Super Bowl – everyone West of Iceland is already sick of that coverage. Including certain players on the Ravens. The “UnSuper Bowl?” Really, dude?

Anyway, I was talking more about Peyton Manning here. The guy who basically owns the city of Indianapolis. All morning, SportsCenter has had a fire in its loins about comments he made concerning the atmosphere around Lucas Oil Stadium right now. If we’re being real, the Colts better be sure his neck is really screwed, because this season proved that Peyton is the best player in the NFL. He is worth at least ten wins a season. Logically, he should be a front runner for MVP. And before you call me crazy, try to give me another reason that virtually the same team from 2010 that made the playoffs, went 2-14 with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins under center.

**

Now here’s something you won’t see from me every day. Two, count ’em, TWO hockey stories in one entry! First off, the Bruins’ star goalie Tim Thomas was not in attendance at the White House, when President Barack Obama honored the team for their Stanley Cup title last year. To say the least, Thomas was not polite with his reasoning:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL. This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

Um. What? Not polite, sure. Definitely not specific either. I understand what he’s saying here. But that is by far the most vague, formulated excuse I’ve ever seen. A lot of people feel that way, and trust me, they will tell you why. In layman’s terms, Thomas is saying “I won’t come to the White House because the government is a doo-doo head!”

That’s all fine and good if you’re anti-government. And I know as a recognizable figure in the very, very popular sport of hockey (Get it? It’s not popular.), he needs to be careful with how deeply he allows his publicist to delve into the topic of politics publicly. But there are two huge flaws. Thomas claims that it’s not a matter of party because both are at fault. So certainly, he can’t blame Obama solely for the state of our government. But still he won’t go shake the leader of our country’s hand? Give me a break. At least this doesn’t make him look like an awful, selfish teammate or anything.

And secondly, he gives no real reason except general distaste for the state of affairs in the United States. How have they grown out of control, Tim? Give us something! That’s like me saying, “Sorry, Mom. I can’t go to Great Granny’s brunch because she smells weird. Supporting her is against my morals. This is a protest.” Yeah, exactly like that.

I think there’s only one true explanation for Thomas’ absence. It all adds up – he plays hockey, therefore he’s at least 25 percent Canadian. He hates the U.S. government. He has a beard. GASP! Tim Thomas must be voting for the Canada Party! Traitor.

Okay, I promised you two hockey stories. I didn’t forget. But the only thing I have to say about this second one, is one of John Kerry’s friends finally stepped up for the good of humanity and did something all of us have wanted to do but didn’t have the balls or the bail money to actually pull off. Check this out. Damn, I wish I was cool enough to kick a politician’s ass!

**

We have a retirement to discuss. It’s the most consistently boring Yankee of all time and the subject of undoubtedly the worst “This is Sportscenter” commercial ever made. The Boss of Barehand. I’m all out of nicknames. It’s Jorge Posada. He quoted Joe DiMaggio in his press conference today, saying he’d like to thank the good Lord that he’s a Yankee. I don’t blame him. He must be so damn rich!

But really, Posada was a great player in his time. He retires with four rings and a slew of all-star appearances. And according to ESPN’s Pointless Statistic Department, he is retiring with the fifth-highest OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) ever for a catcher. Well, that clinches it! The guy is a Hall of Famer!

**

I’ve got one more story for you today. And it’s back to football. It’s terrible, terrible news. Nike is going to take over the apparel business from Reebok for NFL uniforms, starting next season. You know what this means, right? All your favorite players and teams will be decked out in hideous versions of the Oregon Ducks’ jerseys. And they will each have 173 different combinations of helmet and jersey. And they will all be stupid and ugly.

But seriously, save for one or two random gold mines, has Nike ever produced a good-looking college football or basketball jersey? Yeah, yeah they are all technologically-advanced or whatever. But since when do improvements in comfort require the Phillie Phanatic to have explosive diarrhea all over a shirt that was bedazzled by Perez Hilton?

**

Thanks for reading. Until tomorrow, enjoy the Tuesday Tweet of the Day:

https://twitter.com/#!/atmosphere/status/161864790145384448

Creepy.


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