Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'm Cecil, class. I used to be one of the three legs of the indomitable Iron Triangle, before I got a job with the city and stopped breathing. Government work will do that to you.
It's past time--I mean, really past time, like I-can't-believe-my-blogger-log-in-still-works past time--for me to jump back onto this heezy. For shit's sake, my Broncos are 6-0. 6-0! The Nuggets opened up with a YUGE victory over the historically racist Utah Jazz, the Colorado Avalanche are evidently a hockey team and Dan Hawkins looks more and more like Alley Oop with each passing hour.
So, catching up. I've been killing my recent spare web-surfing time at The Big Lead. You probably know it, it's one of the interwebs' bigger sportin' blogs and is mildly famous for being victimized by a Colin Cowherd-sponsored DOS attack. I prefer it to Deadspin for a variety of reasons, chief among them that it doesn't make me want to hang myself with a cloth belt. But there are some cracks in the foundation, ever-widening chasms of netfail that might potentially chase me back to, sigh, work.
Let's start with the biggest: the guy who runs the site (and goes by an eponymous handle) loves, loves, loves him some Jason Whitlock.
Whitlock, to my mind, is the most egregiously awful fraud in sportswriting. He's endlessly egotistical, enamored of his own nonexistent wit, misogynistic to the point of repulsiveness and grossly obese. His voice is fey and cloying, yet he's always on radio and television. He hold meaningless grudges, coins stupid nicknames and is as big a hypocrite as you're likely to encounter over the course of your natural life. I suspect, as well, that he's an editor's nightmare--the dude's practically even admitted as much, saying that he needs someone who "isn't afraid of working hard." By which I guess he means, someone who isn't afraid of waiting for late, shitty copy tossed off by a guy who frames his own clippings.
But because TBL scored an interview with him way back in the infancy of the blogosphere, he's evidently permanently in Big Sexy's camp, no matter what. Fuck, if I see another "you won't believe what Whitlock said now!!" post, I'll switch to the online Christian Science Monitor and start, uh, learning about Christian Science (I think they are for it, but not totally sure).
Second issue: there's this newfound tendency for the commenters to start in on wrestling. Like, Hulk Hogan and shit. With actual opinions, considered arguments, favorites and theories. Fucking wrestling. I had no idea that anyone over the age of 11 and not permanently time-looped in the year 1986 actually cared about wrestling. Honest, I didn't. Nor did I want to find out that, all this time, I was wrong and that there they were, hiding out in cyberspace, telling each other tall tales of Rowdy Roddy Piper and the NWO. I can handle the occasionaly political blowups, the meatheads who think they can punch you through their computer screen and even the Bears fans who wake up each morning with a tall glass of Pure Delusion, but wrestling? Fuck me. I don't want to think about wrestling, even by accident. Thanks a ton for that, TBL.
Otherwise, good blog.
Coming into this World Series (that's the World Series of Baseball, not to be confused with the ongoing poker reruns), I felt that the Yankees had the better club and would win their 27th championship. Not much that happened last night changes my gut feeling, although a few things surprised me. I knew the Phillies had a deep, patient, AL-caliber lineup, but the fact that they could run C.C. Sabathia's pitch count up in seven innings and get to New York's vulnerable middle relievers was eye-opening. I also couldn't believe that Cliff Lee was that good against the Yankee bats. How in the world did this dude go 7-9 in the AL before his midseason trade to Philly?
I know the Phillies have an excellent ball club, but my biggest doubts concerning their title hopes lie in the remainder of their starting rotation, specifically tonight's pitcher Pedro Martinez. How can a guy who was unemployed for most of the summer after his disastrous four-year stint as a Met be the No. 2 starter for a Series contender? Did you see Pedro pitch the last two seasons? He was terrible.
I know, he's been solid in Philly thus far, and he helped clinch the NLCS with seven innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers last week. But seriously, what can you expect out of Pedro tonight, against baseball's most potent offense?
The media loves the idea of old guys shining in huge spots when everyone has written them off--this is because the media is packed with old guys. Cue Brett Favre leaping into the arms of a lineman, or Tom Watson chugging down a British Open fairway. If Pedro comes out tonight and mows down the Yankees, giving his team two road wins with the next three games scheduled for Philly, the aged sports-hack gallery will shower him with accolades. For his "grit" and "poise" and "defiance of Father Time," or whatever cliches they'll employ.
I'm not saying this can't happen, I'm just saying I seriously doubt that Pedro won't get hammered this evening. I don't want him to fail--Pedro is one of my favorite pitchers of all time and I'd love to see the Yankees lose this Series. I just can't suppress my rational side to allow my hopeful romantic self to believe in Pedro tonight.
What I can believe in, however, is the probability that the Phillies will pound A.J. Burnett just as hard as the Yankees abuse Pedro, and that this game will get thrown to the bullpens, and that Philly could end up winning anyway. That's an outcome I can get behind that doesn't involve a belief in unicorns, UFOs or Pedro turning back the clock.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Surprised? You bet your sweet ass you are. These here are good durn times, boy. It's late October. It's raining in New York. Yankees fans can chug pureed sewage topped with rotten eggs, and the House of Georges says, "Let's talk World Series!"
Things we know: Joe Buck is unbearable. Pedro Martinez will pitch well in game two. Alex Rodriguez likes the prison showers, and Joe Posnanski Tweets way too freaking much during playoff baseball games. Sweet Christ.
But it's all good. It's October! Let's hop past the leap and see what a championship club needs in order to bring home the jewelry. Go Phillies!
Let's face it:
You gotta be in shape to compete in any professional sports post-season.
Class? Well, that helps, too, but...
...that comes in many forms.
You can classily deliver the same game face in different environments.
But you gotta have fire,
and a serious knack
for some hard-core
I mean, you gotta know when to put your own ass on the line,
when it's time to put your ass in the face of your competitors,
and when it's time to just plain turn your ass out of the way.
Havin' some tough ass in your corner always helps, too,
especially if you're delivering straight from the chest.
Knowing that you're surrounded by other ass...ets,
helps tremendously when you need someone else on your club to shoulder the load.
In fact, a whole team load of tough asses
can land you in the winnner's circle more often than not.
Jessi Jade Mrochko
Whether it's baseball or not, you wanna have your Heisman pose ready at all times.
You can't take the seriousness of a championship contest sittin' down.
You've gotta stand up and be ready to stomach whatever comes your way.
A champion has to be poised on
his her toes,
and ready to shock the competition,
force them into submission.
If you're not ready to bare it all, why even show.
Every once in a while, a team will have a star that goes by one name. You know: Ichiro, Yao, Joselyn, they're all big-time players.
Equally important is the roster member that's a one-time smash.
On occasion, a club'll have two of those on board.
They pale in comparison, however, to the smokin' hot star that'll get the other club off their game each and every night.
You never know where they're comin' from,
but you know they're gonna getcha'.
A good surprise factor's always nice, too, when it's tucked away in the arsenal.
A journeyed veteran that can look in the mirror with confidence? Huge.
It's nice to have youth,
and it's nice to have culture,
but above all, you gotta have the veterans.
Line 'em up,
sign 'em up.
They're gonna deliver,
teach your youth,
show their flair,
strut their stuff,
and leave the other guys wondering what hit 'em.
Veteran contributions are immeasurable,
and always impressive.
You should never let one mediocre apple spoil your veteran sauce, either,
because there's always another spicy vat o' cider right comin' up the pipes.
Grab it when you see it.
You won't be disappointed,
you won't be left behind,
and in the end, you'll be all smiles.
No championship squad is complete, however, without an ace.
Whether you're talking Twin Towers,
a grizzled hip-checker,
or a key performance on the mound, your ace is your casino chip. Cash it in.
That's it for this
week quarter. Check back in again sometime. We'll have refreshments, courtesy of our sponsors.