Thursday, August 31, 2006
I think if Choke Artist were granted an interview with Sprewell, he would have said something like, "Well, I was just picturing PJ Carlisimo and...well that guy really f*cked me the first time around!"
USA BBall..for you party animals
The US team still doesn't have the shooters needed to contend with the zone defenses used by the stronger Euro squads. Listen, the reason why we got embarrassed at the Athens Olympics was Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury. There is a reason those guys will never win a championship. This team is better now, but sure, not perfect.
The real problem here though are the critics of the team. I feel like every writer has written the team off. Well posing as a writer, I haven't. I feel like people want this team to lose. Truth is, I don't know if a single guy on any other team would have made Team USA. Maybe we don't translate as well to the "international game", but if you match up the lineups, these Euros shouldn't have a chance.
Key Question: Could you imagine these competitors- Wade, Melo, and LeBron walking off the court after losing to Nocioni, Ginobili, and a bag of Argentinean Dildos?
I lost a lot of respect when MSNBC said Nocioni may be who "may be the toughest international player in the history of the NBA". I wonder if they've ever heard of Michael Jordan?
Can we please take our heads out of their European asses and support this team?
Terrell Owens finally took the field for the Cowboys. Forget his performance, his presence was significant.
A-Rod had a good game against a good team. Slump over? Only time will tell. Yanks beat Tigers and can cruise to the division title and get healthy. But will they make a run at home field? Only 3 games behind Detroit.
The Mets entered the day with the best record in baseball, although Trevor Hoffman's choke in the All-Star game keeps home field in the AL.
Not much change to the wild card pictures. Cincy has dropped 6 straight.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Charles Barkley: Being Gay is Not an Epidemic
ÂGay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so itÂs not like itÂs going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, IÂm never going to kiss you and say, ÂChris, youÂre sexy.Â
Chris, you are not sexy. If you were, Charles Barkley the Democrat would tell you so because he keeps it real like that. Barkley was also quoted as saying, "I don't know anything about a lot of things". Which is not the best way to promote yourself as a candidate.
Na na na...na na na
As I mentioned in a previous article, ESPN does not exist in Canadia. However, I guess they have obtained licensing to do a Canadian version of SportsCenter. It is spelled SportsCentre which I think is a British spelling, but I'm only guessing. The show lasts about 30 minutes, 20 or so of which are dedicated to Canadian sports. Here are the other differences:
-Instead of Web Gems, or even Top Plays, it is called "The Honor Roll"...which seems more related to having good grades than making a great play. Every nominee makes it, since the show is so short (and mostly devoted to who is signing with which hockey team).
-The entire broadcast is done with Canadian pride (for example, they put a Canadian flag next to each finisher in a NASCAR race).
-They find amusement in Canada. This is my favorite part. After a great play, the female anchor said, "He stopped that ball like a goaltender. We're Canadian so we say things like that." Which is great because I was thinking, "only a Canadian would say that".
Matt Leinart hates condoms...or something. His ex-gf is expecting a baby in November. She's a bball player for USC and pretty hot, actually. I think someone must have told him that impregnating girls who you aren't dating is a prerequisite to playing in the NFL.
The NL Wild Card is now led by the Padres with the Phllies .5 behind, the Reds 1 behind, and the Marlins (who's entire payroll is less than the salary of 6 Yankees) are just 2 games out.
The AL Wild Card is led by the White Sox, .5 over the Twins. Tigers still lead division by a comfortable 5 games.
The A's are very quietly 21 games over .500.
Carl Pavano, still a vagina. After breaking two ribs, his shoulder hurts. Seriously, go to an island with Mark Prior and Kerry Wood and don't come back until you can pitch to real people.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Coming Up Canadia (yes Canadia)
Coming up later this week:
-The Canadian Sports Section (in case you need something to wipe your ass with)
-The Hockey Hall of Fame (if I take enough time away from drinking Canadian beer to check it out)
-Some more hating (on Canada of course!)
The Maple Leafs...So Hot Right Now
The Toronto Maple Leafs
Didn't anyone tell them that "Leaves" is the way to spell "Leaf" when it is plural? But they insist that this is the only game in town. Everyone wants to know if I'm a Devils fan. I say no, I'm a Mets, Giants, Nets fan. Then I'm a Red Bulls and Juventus fan. Then I'm a Serena Williams fan. Then I might even be a NASCAR fan before I'm a hockey fan.
Hockey games are great, but hockey is certainly losing its luster in the US. Record low ratings at this year's Stanley Cup are definitely an indication. The lack of youth and high school hockey teams in the states is certainly one reason. If you grow up playing basketball, baseball, football as a kid, why would you give a flying f*ck about hockey?
Well they do here. I wish the Jays were in town this week though. I was informed that Tuesdays are $2 Tuesdays. You can't even get into a minor league game for $2. That's like $1.85 in US dollars. You can actually pay for your ticket with a coin! (Canada has $2 coins). Wow.
Canada is not an Insider
I thought there was something wrong with my hotel room, but I didn't get a chance to ask the front desk. I happened to mention it at work today when I was met with the dreaded response- "We don't get ESPN".
Canadian: "Yeah, we can't get it at all".
Me: "Regular cable packages don't offer it?"
Canadian: "No, you just can't get it, no matter how much you pay, it's not offered."
Me: "(vomiting on my shoes)"
Me: "How do you live!? (like Hansel in Zoolander when he found out about Melinda's personal life).
Canadian: "Well we get some of their stuff on other channels".
Me: "Like What!?"
Canadian: "Well they'll probably have Monday Night Football and we get PTI sometimes".
Canadian: "No (ashamed)".
Me: "Well what else do you get?"
Canadian: (checking tv schedule) "Stump the Shwab"
Me: (can't wait to go home). No wonder they have less pro athletes than small islands.
Nice Workout, Ay?
After adjusting to the free weights (kilos), I encountered what must have been a French Canadian. On the bike...wearing just socks. I am not a germophobe, but this was gross. Sorry Canada, this is just the beginning. You have only begun to offend my American ways.
Jeff George jokes may begin. He was signed by, who else, the Raiders. After 5 years out of football, he's back. Yes Aaron Brooks sucks that much.
The Panthers were further accused of their steroid and HGH use during the '04 Super Bowl run. Don't you think that when punter Todd Saurbraun was caught, someone would have thought, "Wow, if the punter was doing it, everyone must be." Well, I guess not.
David Ortiz left the Sox with an irregular heartbeat, effectively ending their postseason hopes. Hopefully the Twins make the playoffs, someone like Morneau needs to challenge Jeter for MVP.
Army has already been invited to the Poinsetta Bowl, providing they win at least 6 games. Imagine any other sport where a team could make the postseason before the season even starts. Fix college football!
Dominick Davis may be cut from the Texans due to his endless string of injuries. If you drafted him early...you may IMMEDIATELY REGRET THIS DECISION!
Oh Canada, You Suck
Working out with Canadians
Why do they hate ESPN?
...and more current US-related topics
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Pinch-Hitting the Guy in the Fight....Brilliant!!
Fast forward to the next frame. Ervin Santana (pitching with a 5-4 lead) immediately surrendered a double to Bernie Williams. Due up next was catcher Sal Fasano, and this is where Joe Torre looked really smart. He inserted Posada as a pinch-hitter, knowing that the bean-happy Angels couldn't help throwing at him. Santana then threw behind Posada, advancing Williams to third. After the benches were warned, Posada hit a sac fly and tied the game 5-5.
The Angels, who are fighing to keep with the A's in the AL West could not afford to surrender the lead for the simple purpose of exacting revenge. And hence, Joe Torre wins the battle of wits, using Posada's argument as a way to get the lead in the game. I hate to say it, but that was probably the best managerial "play" I've seen in a long time. Fortunately for the Angels, they won the game anyway.
Monday's Choke Artist
Boston may be plating themselves out of the playoffs after getting swept by the Mariners, now 5.5 out of position.
The NL Wild Card race is heating up between a bunch of mediocre teams who don't deserve it. San Francisco made the biggest move of late, now just 2 games behind Reds. The Abreu-less Phils are just 1 out. The Pirates- still 17 games out of contention.
My Fantasy Draft was Sunday. I got LJ with the first pick so Reggie Bush had to take Alexander with the # 2 pick. Seriously though, someone drafted Bubba Franks in the 5th round. Is it good to let girls in the league because they throw their $ away? It just feels dirty to me.
Team USA blew out Australia 113-73. Looking solid heading into the final 8 against Dirk and the Germs.
Friday, August 25, 2006
As far as the Choke Artist goes, I should be able to post several times per day, just not in the morning as I usually do. I'll try to post later at night so that you can read the next day and pretend like nothing's different. Thanks for reading.
Why Not Us?
Sorry if you are a reader who doesn't know me personally, I just had to vent a little. Anyway, the Simmons article is pretty funny, so that is for everyone to enjoy.
HGH and You
Positives, according to "Play": You inject it, but they did not say if you have to put it in your ass or not. The latter would certainly make it more appealing to me. Even if you don't work out, this stuff builds muscle and takes fat off. You don't get stronger unless you lift though, and if you did, I would take it right now. It has been considered a fountain of youth, of sorts, for older folks who take it (people even older than Barry Bonds...like real people). It also helps injuries heal faster, building both muscle and bone mass.
Negatives, according to "Play": It can lead to blood-sugar imbalances (see: diabetes), high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure. It also triggers rapid cell growth, which makes cancer about a zillion times worse. They suggest that decline in growth hormone over time is actually a naturally preventive measure that the body takes against cancer, so adding more might not be the best idea.
HGH is illegal, and only available through prescription for specific conditions, although it certainly appears to be running wild through pro sports right now. There have still be few studies done on healthy, young people, but I am itching to know how those would come out.
Here is the link to the "Play" article...again, you have to do the free sign up with the NY Times.
Jay Williams- Pretty Cool Jersey Guy
Reggie Bush is in the NFL, and Noel Devine is the next college sensation. Devine, who will be a senior this year at North Fort Myers High, still has not committed to a school yet, but Miami, LSU, Florida, USC, Georgia, and Oklahoma (among others), all have scholarships waiting. He averaged 11 yards per carry and one TD every 7.2 carries his junior year.
Not everything comes easy for this kid. Devine's parents both dies of AIDS by the time he was 11 years old. After disagreements with his grandma, he moved in with the family of a Pop Warner teammate. Well before he turned 18, he "impregnated two girls within a seven month span" and was suffering from poor grades. This year, coaches and teachers alike are pitching in to help Devine academically, while he remains in touch with his two children. After a bizarre episode where NFL star Deion Sanders tried unsuccessfully to adopt Devine, he is back in Fort Myers for his senior year.
This highlight reel is a good one, but I believe it may be from just one year of high school. There are a ton of videos on YouTube if you search "Noel Devine", so peruse them yourself if you wish. I watched about 6 or 7 and they are all spectacular. If you want to read the article, you get read it online here. You need to sign up for an NY Times membership, which is free.
Coming Up Today
- HGH and you
-A couple Jay Williams sightings
-The next Reggie Bush (hopefully complete with video)
Choke Artist of the Week
Carson Palmer's comeback will be evaluated in full when he sees his first game action on Monday. Palmer is expected to start the preseason game. Only problem- my fantasy draft is Sunday, which means we won't know how Palmer will hold up until after the draft. This of course affects Chad Johnson and TJ Housh as well.
The Mets sweep their 2nd straight series, holding off Pujols...I mean the Cardinals. Mets now own best NL record by 12 games and are within 2 games of the best record in baseball (not like that counts for anything). Usually we are talking about next season...what a great time for me to start a blog.
The Redbirds are now just percentage points ahead of Cincy for 1st place. The other problem- wild card teams are just a game behind.
The White Sox salvaged a split with the Tigers, but now face the Twins in a series where they will be without Jim Thome. This series has playoff implications.
Big Papi seems to homer just about every day now. After hitting his 46th, he is within one dinger of his career high. He is also on pace for, get this, 60 home runs. There was a time when that meant something...
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Not Tall, Not Black
There are often nicknames for World Cup soccer teams, for example, the US was "Sam's Army"- like Uncle Sam, the Ivory Coast was "The Elephants"- because there are Elephants there or something, Trinidad & Tobago were the "Soca Warriors"- not sure what it means but awesome name. So I'm sure there is some explanation for the "Tall Blacks" but I haven't been able to find one. And I'm also ecstatic that this picture is the cover of the New Zealand basketball media guide. Could you imagine LeBron and Carmelo in one of these poses? I'm just glad that New Zealand takes basketball so seriously. Did they create this cover on PowerPoint? At least use Photoshop you non-tall, non-black ballers.
Juve Doesn't Care About You
Would You Rape This Guy?
Staten Island Back for More Antics
These guys might be the older brothers of the Staten Island players, however, there is no confirmation. Sound not necessary for this short YouTube clip. The link should work now, I fixed it. If you are from Staten Island, please do not watch the clip, as you will probably never come back to my blog again.
Thursday's Choke Artist
Miguel Cabrera and Joe Crede each hit their 100th home run yesterday. Crede is 28, but Cabrera is just 23. Frank Thomas hit #475, imagine if he had not suffered all those injuries.
Julio Franco turned 48 yesterday. He is the oldest player to: hit a home run, hit 2 home runs in a game, hit a grand slam, steal 2 bases in a game. There were a couple other records of oldness he held also, but I don't recall.
The Phillies continue an improbable run at the wild card, closing the gap on Cincinnati to 1.5 games. If they win the wild card, is Ryan Howard the NL MVP? More on the MVP situations next week.
The Royals (ok you know this is going to be bad) scored 10 runs in the first inning last night...only to lose 15-13 to the Indians. Yeah, that bad.
Action Dirk (pictured, right- at LegoLand) scored 47 points and grabbed 16 boards in Germany's 3 OT win over...Angola.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Making the NFL Player
Here is the top 30:
1. Florida State
5. Ohio State
10. North Carolina
11. Notre Dame
12. Penn St.
15. Texas A&M
Others (in order): Purdue, Virginia, Iowa, Arizona State, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Colorado, Alabama, Stanford.
1. SEC, BIG 10, BIG 12, PAC 10 - 6 Teams (but SEC wins for having 5 of the top 9)
2. ACC- 5 teams
3. Independent - 1 Team (Notre Dame, duh)
And that's your top 30, no Big East teams, which suggests that they may be on the same level as C-USA or the Mountain West at this point. I would say the major surprises are USC (14) and Texas (16). They are preceded by North Carolina (10), a historically mediocre team (and I'm being generous with mediocre).
What's interesting is the rankings displayed here are similar to the actual BCS rankings if you averaged out, say, the last 10 years (with a few exceptions such as UNC). All of the other teams in the top 10 are typically right up there in the rankings. 11-20 is not much different except for Texas and USC. Nebraska has been bad lately but were terrific in the late 90's. And everyone else on the list seems to often linger around the bottom of the top 25.
Which leads me to the conclusion that big-time programs produce big-time players. Genius, right? Playing big games in front of big crowds, having the finest facilities, and the highest paying boosters (what!?) prepares players to be pros. This is exactly why I was nervous about Eli Manning. Did he ever play a big game at Mississippi? I think Eli is coming along nicely, but is this the reason that Alex Smith had about a 3:146 TD to INT ratio last year after coming out of Utah? Ryan Leaf went to Washington State and we all know that he was about as successful as "The Magic Hour". Sure there are exceptions, Steve McNair went to Alcorn State. But I believe that this intangible of playing big games before the NFL is one of the main reasons why players are successful in the NFL.
Since you can customize these, who wouldn't want a Mike Tyson or an OJ bobble head? Or you could just intentionally get bobble heads of obscure athletes. Like, check out my Kevin Mench bobble head (and then people would be confused because it doesn't look like a bobble head, it just looks like big-headed Kevin Mench). If you could get one that twitches instead of bobbles, I would definitely get a Coco Crisp twitching head doll. Or a Leo Mazzone bobble body would be great, just rocking back and forth until the end of time. Of course it would be really fun to freak out someone that you know by leaving a bobble head of that person on their desk at work or something. Come on people, I know you want to give me your own bizarre suggestions.
Wednesday's Choke Artist
The New York Mets got news yesterday that Tom Glavine will soon be back. Then they got news that they traded for Shawn Green for a AAA pitcher...Then they found themselves down 7-1 to Albert Pujols. Pujols had a 3-run HR and a grand slam off of our current ace, John Maine. Then Carlos Delgado homered twice (including his 400th career) and we were left down 7-6 in the 9th. After a Paul LoDuca single, Beltran capped off an eventful day by rocking Jason Isringhausen's first pitch over the right field wall. Mets now lead Cards by 10 games in the NL. Cards lead over Cincy shrinks to 1. Whew, good day to be a Mets fan!
The Yankees got walked off by Adrian Beltre (juicing again?), but little is lost as the Red Sox fell on their faces again. According to ESPN.com, Cashman said the Yankees are losing money this year and lost $50 million last year. Revenue sharing needs some fixing.
Justin Gatlin accepted an 8-year ban from Track and Field after testing positive for testosterone. I bet he won't be as fast when he's 32.
Attention all haters: Tigers beat White Sox again. How you feeling about the 7.5 game lead, "experts"??
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Tiger the Magnificent
Flaw #1: Tiger is in the midst of his career and it is not fair to evaluate someone on potential to win. After his last major, there was a big debate over whether you could call Tiger the greatest golfer ever, even though he had not yet reached the numbers that Nicklaus had put up. I'm almost sure he will, be he hasn't yet.
Flaw #2: While some do not believe it, I do think golf is a sport. It is mentally and physically draining to play tournaments that span many holes and many days (how's that for technical analysis?). Only thing is, golf does not require nearly as much athletic ability as basketball, football, baseball, soccer, or even tennis. You can play until you are 126 years old, and you can play if you are fat.
Flaw #3: Continuing from number 2, how can you even begin to say that someone who plays golf is a better athlete that someone like Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders who each played football and baseball professionally? But seriously, how can you say Tiger is a better athlete than Jim Thorpe? Thorpe won Olympic gold in the pentathlon and decathlon before going on to play pro football and baseball. And then there was this guy Jackie Robinson who lettered in FOUR sports at UCLA. He was a national champion in the long jump, led the basketball team in scoring for two years, and he played some baseball too.
Is Tiger the most dominant athlete in any sport right now? Probably. Is he going to be the greatest golfer ever? Probably. Is he the greatest athlete ever? Probably not. If you use the same definition of "athlete" that I use, certainly not.
Ryan Howard is From Saudi Arabia
Shea Hillenbrand, Lookin' Better
Then Lilly did what I am surprised is not done more often- he refused to come out. The two argued until Lilly ultimately headed toward the dugout. Gibbons followed Lilly into the tunnel and ended up with a bloody nose. Supposedly no punches were thrown. That must have been some world class yelling to get the nose bleeding.
Shouldn't Gibbons be a little more professional? This guy fights more with his players than his players fight with other teams. I understand you couldn't win with a good team that ended up being a large waste of money, but stop fighting your own players. Effectively, this was a bench clearing brawl- except the Toronto bench was the only one that cleared as the two went tumbling to the ground in the tunnel. The A's went on to win 12-10, basically a microcosm of each team's season. So, is Lilly (10-11, 4.64 ERA) available? If he gets shipped to a contender, what a great move this was for him.
Tuesday's Choke Artist
Yankees complete a 5 game sweep at Fenway. Everyone on the radio and tv is touting the Yanks as the best team in baseball. Unless the Red Sox are much worse than we think, how can you argue?
Tom Glavine may just need medication and not surgery, which means he could be back as early as next week!!!
Detroit was getting blasted by everyone yesterday on the eve of their 4 game series with Chicago. A lot of tv and radio guys said that they won't even make the playoffs. Playoffs!? They'll be lucky if they can even win a game! Well they did last night. Rookie Justin Verlander responded by improving to 15-6 with a 7-1 victory over the ChiSox last night. Now Chi-town is only up a half game in the Wild Card.
Staten Island continues to be the laughingstock of the LLWS. After one of there players was on microphone yelling "one more f*cking run!" in their last game, their coach is now criticizing George Steinbrenner for only contributing $5,000 to the league. Alex Rodriguez was criticized for not contributing as well. No word on whether the coach booed A-Rod while asking for money. Staten Island is still the only winless US team.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Choke Artist Public Safety Blotter
1. Tom Glavine hates the Mets. As early as the beginning of this season, he was talking about going back to the f'ing Braves. It his evil Braves blood that is causing this blood clot to happen. I don't know if Yankee fans feel this way about Johnny Damon, but I will never be able to fully accept Glavine as a Met. I respect him, but I'll never have the same feelings for him as a have for Wright, Reyes, even Beltran and Floyd (I mean that in the straightest way possible).
2. Pedro Martinez is from the Terrell Owens school of thought. I can't help but think that Pedro doesn't feel like pitching until the playoffs. Now he has a calf injury? How does that even happen? I think T.O. thinks he's too good for preseason, and to be honest, I don't care if Pedro doesn't pitch another regular season game as long as he shows up in October. Vote for Pedro- even though he's a liar.
3. Coco Crisp has some serious problems. He went 0-6 yesterday, dropping his average to .271. Now before I say this, I looked around and couldn't find anything that suggests him having a problem. But, what is wrong with him? When he's batting, he twitches and looks like some sort of rodent with a bad case of terets. It can't be very easy to hit the ball with all that wild twitching going on. And why hasn't anyone put this on YouTube yet?
4. Jason Giambi has a future in porn. Assuming he still has some portion of his balls left, that mustache is sure to land him a great gig.
Monday's Choke Artist
1 City, 149 wins, Collision Course
The Mets lead the division over Philly by 14 games, and have a huge 9 game lead on St. Louis for the best record in the NL. Damn you, Trevor Hoffman for ruining home field advantage. Even with the currently decimated team we have out there, it seems impossible to blow these leads with 40 games to go. Did I really just say that? If it weren't for the Cubs, I think the Mets would be the most heartbreaking team in the NL. I have many fears as a Mets fan that has been subject to a life of false hope and disappointment. Our pitching staff reminds me of what Entourage would look like if Ari, Johnny Drama, and Turtle all left the cast within a few episodes- people would keep watching, but for how long? Without Pedro, Glavine, (and Bannister and Zambrano if we look back) we keep winning, but how long will it last? Actually, I take that part back about Zambrano, that was like when Dom left the show.
A problem that both teams face- The playoffs have historically been about pitching.
Right Now, the Mets rotation looks like this (in order of best to worst): Maine (rookie), El Duque (11 ER in start last week), Trachsel (67 years old, 4.79 ERA), Pelfrey (rookie), Williams (just made first start). Trachsel is the only remaining member of the opening day rotation and this is not a playoff rotation. Glavine has some sort of freak injury that could end his season. Bannister has had good rehab and is up to AAA Norfolk. Oliver Perez threw a 1-hitter there the other day. But this is what we are doomed to, 12 starters used and counting.
But on the other hand, this team just doesn't feel like your typical Mets team, and we have three MVP candidates in Beltran, Wright, and Reyes. If you don't believe me about Reyes, he is batting close to .300, leads the league in steals and triples, is 3rd in runs, 6th in hits, has 14 HR, 61 RBI, and is the premiere leadoff hitter in the NL, not to mention one of the best fielding shortstops. He has 12 more runs, 12 more triples, 4 more HR, 15 fewer K's, 24 more steals, a higher slugging %, fewer errors, and a better fielding % than Derek Jeter. (Yankee fans: "what the hell is he talking about, Reyes isn't even in the same class as Jeter! This guy doesn't know anything! ANYTHING!!!")
The Yankees have opened up a gaping 5.5 game lead on Boston over the weekend and look poised to rule the East once again. In 20 games with the team, Bobby Abreu is hitting close to .400 with a .500 on base percentage. They have averaged 11.75 runs per game in the 4 games with Boston. Unstoppable is a word that comes to mind. But...their team ERA is 4.37 and Randy Johnson is at 4.98. They are like the Phoenix Suns of baseball. Everyone knows that you don't win the World Series by winning games 14-8. You had that shirt when you were 9- defense wins championships...well pitching, really.
They do have two legitimate pitchers in Wang and Mussina who have combined to go 27-10 so far and they are both in the top 15 in the AL in ERA. In his last 10 starts though, Mussina has only gone more than 6 innings twice (4-2). The Wang has averaged less than 5.5 innings in his last 3 starts, conceding 12 runs. Those starts were against playoff contenders Boston, LA, and Chicago. These guys need to stay tough for the Yanks to advance. Can The Wang and The Moose hold up against the White Sox, Tigers and A's staffs? We'll see.
Both the Mets and the Yankees should still be the favorite to advance to the World Series, and if they do, I just hope the Mets don't get trounced again.
Team USA finished the weekend 2-0 after defeating Puerto Rico and Yao's Chinese Army. Watch some of tomorrow's game while you get ready for work- USA plays Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6:30 am.
The Jets try again, acquiring the underachieving Kevan Barlow from the 49ers for a 67th round draft pick in 2083.
The Little League World Series features a 6-8, 256 pound monster. He is supposedly 13 years old. This is even more confusing to me because he's a big black kid named Aaron Durley and he plays for...Saudi Arabia. Not surprisingly, the "Saudis" are 2-0.
Mets/Yanks to be story features today.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Around the Horn vs. PTI
Around the Horn's personalities are generally likeable. If you don't like Woody Paige, you don't have a sense of humor, he's terrific. Mariotti, Plaschke, Cowlishaw, and Smith are all pretty steady. This core group busts each other's chops a lot and they fit in well. Kevin Blackistone and J.A. Adande are decent, but I'm not a big fan of Bob Ryan, Jackie MacMullan, or Jim Armstrong. Did you know that Michael Smith (36) is older than Blackistone (!) and Adande (both 36)? Reali is only 28 (lucky bastard). Reali calls that "inside information!".
The format has changed a bit since Kellerman left and I definitely like it better now (except for the showdown part at the end). I especially like when Reali makes bets with the contestants and then awards them or deducts points at the beginning of the next show. And who doesn't love it when Paige gets his usual 5 point deductions?
PTI has changed very little since the start (save a couple of new themed segments)- why mess with a good thing, right? The rapid-fire topics with the oft-ignored timer make the show nice and structured. I really enjoy when Wilbon says something along the lines of "Now we move on to YOUR BOY, Darko Milicic". I also like that the banter between the two is harmless, with no resentment, which never makes you feel strangely uncomfortable watching it (like when Clayton and Salisbury debate the NFL). Reali is actually kind of annoying on this show. He scores the portion of the show "odds makers" on the chalkboard and then drops the piece of chalk in a triumphant return to his stat hole.
I do like that they change their segments often, which means variety between "5 Good Minutes", Mail Time, Toss Up, Good Cop/Bad Cop, Over/Under, Role Play, Food Chain, psychic Hotline, etc. I don't like the fact that the end of the show is now merged in with Sportscenter, an obvious ploy by ESPN to keep you tuned in.
My Rankings for the show are as follows
1. Old PTI
2. New ATH
3. New PTI
4. Old ATH
I know there are some people who absolutely loathe Around the Horn, but if you haven't watched it in awhile, give it another chance. Oh God, Bob Ryan is on PTI right now! I'm going to jump.
Jeter Wants You Dead
Best Sports Quotes
Mora's Quote: "Playoffs?! Don't talk about playoffs! You kidding me?! Playoffs?! I just hope we can win another game!"
Iverson's Quote: "We're talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We're talking about practice. I know I'm supposed to be there. I know I'm supposed to lead by example . . . I know it's important . . . I honestly do. But we're talking about practice, man. What are we talking about? Practice?"
So which quote was better, "Practice" or "Playoffs"? Almost anybody who knows anything about sports recognizes these quotes when you say them. I created a few categories to try and determine which of the two rants was better.
1. Star Power- Advantage Iverson. An MVP, 8-time All-Star, ROY, 4 scoring titles. Mora was a decent coach but was 0-6 in the playoffs for his career. 1-0, A.I.
2. Defined by Quote- Advantage Mora. Mora's is in his Wilkipedia profile. Iverson's is too, in its entirety, but Mora's seems to be what he is most known for. Although his quote that his offense "didn't do diddly-poo offensively" is highly underrated. 1-1.
3. Sticking quality- Advantage Mora. Watching both clips, Mora's "Playoffs!?" face is priceless. Iverson's full rant is repetitive, like it sounded right in his head, but all that kept coming out was, "we're talkin' about practice, man". Like we could read his mind or something. 2-1, Mora.
4. Most fun to say- This is a close one. I'll give the edge to "practice" though for the simple reason that "playoffs" has been played out a bit, it got really mainstream. 2-2.
5. Biggest Impact- Advantage Mora. You may argue that Iverson got Larry Brown fired, but Mora got himself fired at the end of that season (not that either was directly related to the specific quote). 3-2 Mora.
6. More Well-Known Quote- Advantage Mora. This was universally used to describe the postseason in any sport for at least 3 years. 4-2 Mora.
7. Best Response to the Quote- Advantage Iverson. Many might not remember that the next day Larry Brown said, "He said 'practice' more times than he's actually practiced". 4-3 Mora.
So there we have it. Two common sports words that you can say in a certain tone and everyone will recognize them. "Playoffs!?" wins by a narrow margin, but they both have a special place in the best press conferences of the last 5 years.
Friday's Choke Artist
Today's Choke Artist will claim the weekly CAW. Of course, we are talking about Kevin Brown. After getting in a dispute over grass clippings, Brown pulled a gun on his neighbor. Kevin Brown who is 6'6" does not need to be pulling guns on people over grass clippings. You just can't make this stuff up. On this subject, I think it's a huge disgrace that he was baseball's first $100 million contract.
Junior Seau looks to be coming out of his one week retirement to sign with the Patriots. What a kick in the nads for the 'Phins.
USA Bball tips off their first meaningful game tonight @ 1am.
Maurice Clarett had alleged ties to an Israeli mob boss. Clarett had gotten bodyguards, a car, and a place to live from this guy. Why the hell would Clarett need bodyguards?
Tom Brady denies being linked to Greg Anderson and Balco. Could you have picked anyone (besides maybe Channing Frye) that would have been more surprising?
Tony Parker broke his finger after getting it caught in an opponent's jersey. He will be out of the World Championships. Did I jinx him by putting that goosing picture up yesterday?
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Just For Fun
Who knew that those French were taught to dribble and goose someone simultaneously?
1. Which was a more fun/memorable/quoteable rant?
-Jim Mora (thanks HHN) and "playoffs!!??"
-OR Allen Iverson and "practice?!"
2. Finally- Around the Horn vs. PTI
3. Other good stuff too. To be determined.
Next time we aren't losing by many touchdowns, I'm going to live-blog a Keith Hernandez announcing performance for the Mets. For those of you who haven't heard one, this will be the perfect time to get acquainted.
Ron Artest, Role Model
He told the kids that he actually likes the guy who attacked him, saying "I like John Green, he's real". He also said of the fight, "someone started something, I ended it". He may have also said "If you need to take time off from playing basketball to work on your album, people gotta respect that." Or he might have discussed Bonzi Wells and could have said, "I've already told Bonzi that if he doesn't come back to the Kings I'm going to feed his children to my dogs". Those last two things may or may not have been said.
The basketball is more of an interesting fact than a stat. As reported by ESPN.com, Dikembe Mutombo is opening a hospital in his native Congo, where the average life expectancy for men is only 42 years. He has donated $15 million of his own money to the project. Mutombo was on a pre-med scholarship at G'Town before being recruited by John Thompson his Sophomore year. Let's just say he picked things up quickly.
More statistically speaking, let's look at Cal Ripken's career stats. My uncle says he would be very borderline for the Hall of Fame if not for 3,000 hits and "the streak". He did play 20 seasons, and longevity is important for The Hall. He was a career .278 hitter with a .340 OBP, batting over .300 just four times in full seasons, with a career high of .323 in 1991. He hit 431 HR's with a high of 34, and had 1695 RBI with a career high of 114. All of his career highs came in 1991. His 162 game average is 23 HR and 91 RBI. In his defense, shortstop was not considered a power-hitting position during this time. Statistically, these are not terrific numbers for his career, and much less than I expected.
Here is my case for him though- the intangibles: In the playoffs, he raised his game as great players do and hit .336 with a .411 OBP in 28 games. He made 19 consecutive All-Star teams, the most ever for the AL team, and trails only Aaron, Mays, and Musial for all-time appearances (he was MVP in 2 of these games). He also won 2 AL MVP's (but so did Juan Gonzalez), 8 Silver Slugger Awards, and 2 Gold Gloves. He led the league in hits, runs, and doubles once each, however, is also the all-time leader in Grounding into Double Plays (but he's followed on the list by Aaron and Yaz).
I think the simple fact that he amassed these stats is the most impressive, he was the definition of consistency and a leader. It is still up for debate whether it is greater to hit .330/40/120 for ten years or do .278/23/91 for twenty years. Ripken did not dominate statistically, but he did dominate the game.
What's your take? In or out?
Tomorrow: Mike Mussina in The Hall of Fame?
A group of girls that like to get around with MLB players have a blog implicating them and their party habits. Yes, this was also in the LoDuca article in the New York Post. They have embarrassing pictures like this one of my boy David Wright. There are other victims as well such as Josh Beckett, Bronson Arroyo, and others who I don't feel like hyperlinking. Is that Kevin Youkilis packing a massive lipper in the picture with Arroyo?
Mo Money for Mo Clarett
You can also see that they are hosting an open try-out which you have to pay for if you wish to participate. But I mean it's only $50 if you register ahead of time, so you can make that back with your first win, right? No location or date is listed, but they have a cell phone number that you can call 24 hours a day, which is reassuring.
You can check out their schedule for the season on their website as well. You may notice that they have no games scheduled against the 4 other "teams" yet. Another team, the Bayshore Brawlers, claims to have "more dance team members than team members". The Pittsburgh 3 Rivers Rats are the only other team who have a website, which consists solely of an article about how they are in a lawsuit over their team name. The other two teams do not have websites, and there is no evidence to suggest that they even exist.
Thursday's Choke Artist
The Angels and Rangers brawled yesterday. This has been brewing for some time (Vlad Guerrerro was thrown at several times on Tuesday).
What those teams should be worried about are the A's, who have opened up a 6.5 game lead in the division.
The Mets lost their third straight to Philly. Phils are only 2. 5 out of the wild card. Is it just me or do the Mets not really try anymore?
Bruce Bowen was cut from Team USA, leaving a 12 man roster for the World Championships. So much for the role player philosophy.
Isaiah Thomas- still an idiot. According to ESPN.com, the Knicks had tried to make a deal for Chris Webber.
Stephon Marbury is selling shoes. The "Starbury 1" is being sold at Steve & Barry's University Sportswear (the Wal-Mart of sports gear) for $14.98. It's not that bad, but isn't it sacrilegious to support the guy who has been partially responsible for the demise of the franchise? Steve & Barry's is a very cool store nonetheless.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Good Stuff Coming Up
*Your favorite baseball players partying and packing major league dip
*How Mo Clarett can get his $5 millon bail
Wednesday's Choke Artists
1. Lee Suggs- not only did he fail his physical, but he lost his chance to be a starter. He'll go back to the bench in Cleveland behind R. Droughns.
2. El Duque- Orlando Hernandez was the first Met pitcher ever to allow 11 earned runs. What a great #3 starter we have there.
3. Wily Mo Pena- Dropped an easy fly ball allowing the Tigers to take the lead and beat the Red Sox.
Today we debut a section called "Stat Rat". My Uncle John often emails me some good stats, so I figured I could share them with everyone. In a pre-roid pitchers era, check out these stats on Babe Ruth:
In 1921, the Babe had a .378 BA, .512 on-base, .846 slugging, 177 runs, 204 hits, 44 doubles, 16 triples, 17 stolen bases, 59 hr, 171 rbi, 145 walks and only 80 strikeouts. Only two teams had more home runs than Babe this year. He hit a homerun every 9.1 plate appearances. When he hit 60 homeruns in 1927, no team in baseball combined to hit that many homers. Oh, and he was a .342 career hitter.
He also had a 94-46 record as a pitcher with a 2.28 career ERA. In 1916, he was 23-12 with a 1.75 ERA. The following year he was 24-13 with a 2.01 ERA. He also made 5 spot starts for the Yankees between 1920-1933, going 5-0.