Friday, June 27, 2008

My Sports Life is a Rock Song: "Say It Ain't So"

Time now for another installment of "My Sports Life is a Rock Song," and I'll just go ahead and say it: I don't mind Weezer at all. Sometimes I kinda dig 'em, even. I'm sure there are plenty of varying opinions on them, as is always the case with music, but the purpose of this feature is to (at least attempt to) mix the emotion associated with a track with a personal feeling regarding the sporting world. For tonight's purposes, this band and the selection fits a purpose. For reals. Jump on it.

Given the tendencies of my colleagues, I'm surprised that the recent tear of Royals wins hasn't already generated a post with sentiments similar to this one. Having defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 tonight, the current KC trend looks something like six wins in a row, 9-1 in the last 10, and a 13-3 record thus far in inter-league play this year. Of course, being 4-0 against St. Louis is pretty sweet, too. None of this, however, should be a hint, or a suggestion of any kind, that the Royals should've taken the opportunity (if it really ever existed) to switch leagues.

In many ways, I'm an old-fashioned guy. I like my baseball (with stirrups) American League-style, with the Brewers and the Royals in it, and plenty of designated hitting. Divisonal and post-season realignment don't really bother me anymore, and in fact, never did. I'm still a little unsure as to how I feel about the still-semi-new scheduling format, but it's not terrible by any means. Anyway, I've always considered the AL to be more competitive, and I don't think I'm in the minority, but I wouldn't take a KC league swap for anything, even if it meant more Royals victories. It just wouldn't hold the same meaning. I feel the same way about my sports equipment. I don't want better sneakers to improve my hoops game. I'll pass on the spendy driver to get more yardage out of the box, and I don't want a nicer stick just so I can improve my slap shot. I want to get better at all of those things with practice, and then get the fancy gadgets. The same goes for the Royals being a competitor in the AL Central.

If this club has things semi-righted, and will do as I think they might, I want them good where the competition is tough. The Central has faltered a bit this season in terms of best division in the game. Both the West and the East have three plus-.500 teams, while the Central only has two. And of course credit is due to the NL Central thus far as well. The point is that the Royals must continue to display the (of late) desirable balance of good pitching with decent bats, now that inter-league play is drawing to a close for the season. When St. Louis leaves town, KC travels to Baltimore, a club that's given them consistent troubles in recent years, then to Tampa Bay, and back home for a White Sox/Mariners home stand before the break. And it's time to translate this potentially competitive baseball playing to the league in which they play.

Ultimately, I'm grateful that they never really even considered a move, as that is not the way to improved baseball playing in my book. While entertaining the notion might be amusing or bizarre to some, I simply say it ain't so. The Royals are an American League club, that once inhabited the West, and for my money, will always inhabit the Central, barring any unforeseen future realignment. If I were a Red Sox fan, I'd probably relish in the opportunity to watch my team battle the Yankees, Jays, Os, and Rays on a consistent level, just as I enjoy matches against the Twinkies, Tribe, Sox of White, and Tigers.

I do believe that baseball is back, its wrinkles will be ironed out, its popularity continue to grow. I enjoy the game now more than any other time since childhood, and I look forward to 2010, when I plan on loading up my basement with AL Central Champs material. In the meantime, I wish for the boys in blue to keep playing hard, and of course, stay classy.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday ThumbTubes and YouNails: 6-25-08

Okay, so I guess the title of this post should have had something in the way of "limited edition" attached to it, but I'm flippin' beat, not even sure what day it is, and have to be up in like six minutes to do it all over again. But, who cares. Right? There's some business going on, and we're going to address a small fraction of it, just after the jump.

While I'm not really that stoked about linking to this, it must be linked to, because...actually, I don't flipping know why, beyond sheer entertainment, but there it is.

When is it safe to just come out and say "fibber?" You stay classy, Denver.

In case our readership didn't already know, Jesus does not love Cleveland. The Big Lead reminds us of another example of how, with details. But don't take them for everything they say; they're optimistic for the potential accomplishments of the 2008 Denver Broncos, which, silly can you be?

Man, is that dangerous. But, uh...yo, so is this action:

Hey, look! Some non-draft NBA biz...

(courtesy of Awful Announcing)

And the best sporting event of the decade? Me going to be. 'Night kids.
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Baseball In The Daytime: 6-26-08

Grab your boots and your lunchpail, boys, it's time once again to clock in for the day shift. And by clock in I obviously mean take a spot on the couch or the back deck, pop a top and tune in to a little Baseball In The Daytime.

On tap today is a six-pack of heady brews, none imported from Canadia. Nope, this is some All-American swill. Unless you count all the players from Korea, Japan and various states in the West Indies of course. But we wear a coat of many colors here at BITD. Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of utility infielders and lollipop curveballs, and we'll put 'em to work. Your schedule is after the jump.

Tampa @ Florida, 10:10 Mountain One of my problems with naming teams after states is that you get awkward pairings such as this. How could Tampa/St. Pete, only the third-largest metro area in the state, compete with the entire commonwealth? That's not even fair. But don't you worry, I'm hearing that one of the conditions of the Marlins finally securing their new park at the site of the demolished Orange Bowl is that they switch their name to the Miami Marlins. And then all will be right with the cosmos. Matt Garza and Mark Hendrickson throw first in this one.

St. Louis @ Detroit, 11:05 This is, of course, the final game of the rematch from the 2006 World Series. The Cards shocked the sporting public in that one, capitalizing on numerous Detroit boners to snag the NL's third title this century. So Detroit is the only American League to lose the World Series other than the Yankees during that span, which is awfully embarrassing. Don't mention it to today's Tiger starter Nate Robertson, who was on that '06 club. Cardinal Todd Wellemeyer couldn't care less, he worked as a car wash attendant and male stripper that year.

Baltimore @ Chicago, 12:20 The O Show sets up its act in front of the ivy at Wrigley today, headlined by the mound stylings of Radhames Liz. That's an actual person, albeit one with a grotesque ERA of 6.27. The best part about Radhames Liz? His middle name is Corey. He'll face Jason Marquis of the Cubs.

Chicago White Sox @ LA Dodgers, 1:10 The Cubs' South Side rivals are out on the Left Coast, matriculating at Chavez Ravine until their big weekend rematch with the Baby Bruins at US Cellular. In a showdown of young lefty flamethrowers, Clayton Kershaw hosts John Danks, bro. It's probably a pretty good day to bat righthanded, if you have those kinds of options available.

Philadelphia @ Oakland, 1:35 After charging into first place, these Phillies have hit the skids. Their win last night halted a six-game losing streak, but they've won just two of ten and four of their last 14. Starting pitching is always an issue with this bunch, but the fearsome offense hasn't stepped up of late either. Today the call goes to Adam Eaton, who'll try to outshine the A's Rich Harden.

Minnesota @ San Diego, 1:35 In the annals of fat outfielders with surprising speed, it's hard to find two better than Kirby Puckett and Tony Gwynn. Both played their entire career in one city, both are enshrined in Cooperstown, both took their team to the World Series. Only Kirby won a ring (two actually), but only Tony was able to avoid getting charged with groping a woman in a restaurant bathroom. Their former clubs face off today, hopefully the ladies will be able to take a leak in peace. Scott Baker and Josh Banks mount the rubbers. Have a good shift, and Play Ball!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We Are Hot Chicks Wednesday: I Go to Work

Eight years ago, we started The Tradition I went to work for this company, and shortly thereafter, the location I was at broke ties with that company, and became its own. Nine months ago, I left that company to pursue another opportunity with the company to which my previous company used to belong. Then, about three months ago, I went and worked (on my own time) for my previous company, and my then-current company didn't like it, so they fired me. Now, these companies still communicate, so new/original company called separate-entity company to request that they not employ me again, which is totally illegal, but lawyers are expensive, and I'd be breaking my word if I went that route. Separate-entity company, however, doesn't really care for new/original company, so they called me and offered me a job. Now, the spite was only a fraction of it; they actually desired my cervixes. Thus, my first-and-hopefully final stint riding the unemployed pine has come to a close. I know. Totally boring, right? Don't worry. There's mammalian protruberances involved. I just had to type some crap long enough to get me below the picture of Kool Moe Dee. Looks like I've succeeded.

KMD was an interesting rapper. He was hip yet nerdy, fly but straight-edge, and full of beats, but occasionally boring. Ultimately, he earned lots of street cred for working hard, thus the name of one of his biggest hits. If you've made it this far, there's no turning back. What follows is a long list of hard-working folks, all of whom are card-carrying members to that exclusive club known as the human race.


When it comes to hard work, there's seldom a better example out there than the lovely Amy. Believe you me, when I tell you that she's got it covered.

Be it the front, or the back end of the task, rest assured the job will be done.

She puts forth a stern countenance, and a rigid gut into her every task,

allowing her to view the angles, both near and far, of the work at hand.

In the end, she always raises her hand with confidence and a smile,

certain that no points have been left exposed.

With Amy aboard, one can lay down and relax; all systems are go.

Candy Christensen

Miss Christensen boasts a similar work ethic; every corner of every fabric will be lifted when she's appointed.

Her efforts are always sincere, very hands-on,

and her final product is always something to show your superiors.

Elsa Benitez

A worker like Elsa is always someone you can lean on.

Vacationing? Never to worry if she's in the thick of it.

Know that you can sit and relax with her commanding the controls.

Kori Koether

Kori provides a different type of morale to the work force.

Her methods are direct, yet always effective, a win-win for the boss world.

Lichelle Marie

Training Miss Marie is a totally different animal.

She won't say much, and perhaps you the trainer may wind up asking more questions than she does.

It's almost expected with her, and she'll produce just as effectively, nonetheless.

Marissa Miller

Marissa's work is well-known, and dynamic. She logs the long hours,

but manages to look comfortable doing so, a great example for other employees.

Sara Tommasi

Sara's efforts are so commendable that you're constantly thanking her for getting down and dirty.

Inside or out, her immeasurable efforts stay true.


And the lovely Teah will make employers forget their concerns, her charm winning over nine out of 10, 75 percent of the time.

That and her tactics, which have been documented as "occasionally distracting."

Zdenka Podkapova

Sometimes it's best to just watch a pro in action, and learn.

Some can learn with the nutshell explanation, while others need frame-by-frame illustration.

If you employ the latter, I recommend using her model, and not being reluctant to rewind.

More often than not, the results will be sweet,

the after-effect stunning,

and the work-space ambience enjoyable.

That's it for this week. Don't forget, workers: Punch your Gorilla Mask card on the way to the Daily Niner for happy hour.
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Baseball In The Daytime: 6-25-08

This one goes out to the unemployed. I spoke yesterday to a buddy of mine, a big Cubs fan. He sold his house at the peak of a crazy real estate market and pocketed some healthy loot. He's moved to Denver now, where he halfheartedly seeks gainful employment and a new home. You might think he's down in the dumps right now.

On the contrary, he's having the summer of his life. Freed from the constraints of a mortgage and a J.O.B., my buddy is sitting on his ass and watching Baseball In The Daytime and every single Cubs game (often one and the same). His club has the best record in the majors and a preposterous 32-9 mark at Wrigley. So he sits, and he watches, and he blows through his nest egg. Good times indeed.

My friend will surely be tuning in to today's lone BITD affair, a matchup of two of the Cubs' National League rivals. I know you'll be joining him in spirit, unless you have a job...

Milwaukee @ Atlanta, 11:05 Mountain Since the AL has two fewer clubs than its big brother, you always have one lonely NL series going on in the midst of all the interleague hoopla. It's kind of like a big orgy where everyone finds a partner except two dudes in the corner, and they just sort of jerk each other off without making eye contact.

The Braves and the Brewers will grip those sticks today and look for a good stroke. Jeff Suppan starts for the visitors, while Jorge Campillo brings the home whites to the rubber. That'll be all the tortured gay sex references you probably need for the afternoon--enjoy the game and Play Ball!
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tradition Tuesday: Scoping the Choncosphere: 6-24-08

If the rough focus of this blog were the rivalry between the Colorado Rockies and the Kansas City Royals, I'd probably have been live-blogging tonight's one-out-away win over the Rockies at Kauffman Stadium. I'd probably mention last night's win (Update: It's over, with 14 Ks for KC!), which gives us the series victory, and I'd probably talk about how the American League Central has all but devoured the National League this year, and if I were a Colorado sports fan, I'd say something ultra-predictable and lame about how bad my opponents are, and how their fan bases come from a chemically-tainted, microscopic gene pool. But I'm not, and that isn't the focus of this blog. In fact, such a rivalry doesn't even exist. No, in case readership finds itself confused at this very moment, the focus centers on the rivalry between the Chiefs and the Broncos.

In a nutshell, The Iron Triangle attends both Chiefs-Broncos contests each year, clad in our clubs' gear, and while most road games are miserable, we somehow manage to have fun. Thus, Tradition Tuesday, where we keep the fire burnin' once a week with some exclusively KC-Denver highlights.

We know we ain't the only kids on the block that cover the Chiefs or the Broncos, but we could likely be the only ones that blog both. Therefore, we occasionally scope the efforts of those that clearly sit on one side of the fence.

Kim over at Predominantly Orange is, uh, bustin' some Bronco rhymes. Get your beatbox on, girl.

The crew over at Arrowhead Addict turned me on to the Pro Football Talk "Turd Watch," which is interesting to say the least. AA also links to this ABC story, that delicately suggests that former Chief Jared Allen struggles to steer clear of that demon liquor.

In the realm of Chonco player blogs, Chiefs safety DaJuan Morgan offers a two-part post on his trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Funny, he doesn't mention anything about there being too much red and gold in Canton.

Of course, we can't forget BroncoTalk. Kyle and company have pronounced this glorious stretch of seven days "Smack Talk Week," where they're laying it on thick to all non-Bronco AFC West crews. Conveniently, today is Chiefs day, and BT had to work painstakingly hard to narrow its "Why the Chiefs Suck" list down to a mere five. Poor little donkeys. Now, the HoG is amicable with a few of the Broncos and Chiefs bloggers out there, and BT has even invited fans of smacked teams to return it in the comments, but I'm going to keep it in the House, and lay out my thoughts here.

Hey, look: We can start with the headline, "Five Reasons the Chiefs SUCK." Well, it's a good thing that last word was capitalized, because I'm certain most folks would've just overlooked it. Intro paragraphs aside, this quaint summary of Chiefs SUCKiness was ruined with the first listing. Why? It's called overstating the obvious, something so many Broncos fans get SUCKed in by all too often. The Chiefs haven't won a Super Bowl since 1969. Bee-dee-deep-buh-dee-beep-boop...This just in. Oh, bad. They haven't even been to one since then. Glad we cleared that up, because I'm certain most football fans had no idea that the Chiefs haven't made the big dance in such a spell.

But, hold the presses. The second item makes a funny! "You play to win the playoffs." That's good stuff right there. Not only does it cover the small amount of playoff wins the Chiefs have had since their last Super Bowl appearance (Editor's Note: If memory has failed, see previous paragraph.), but it makes fun of their head coach, too. Here's my favorite excerpt from reason two:

This brave organization must have at least a few playoff victories to show for its merits, right? Wrong. Since winning Super Bowl Numero Quatro, the Chiefs have a won a grand total of three playoff games.

Hmm. That's peculiar. Last time I was in school, I'd been taught that "a few" and "three" were synonymous, but that was some 40 years ago. Nineteen Sixty-nine, I think.

Next, it's stated that the Chiefs SUCK because they're honest about their rebuilding, a concept labeled just as such any time there's a change in head coaches. New guy, new philosophy, new system, new players. Pretty simple. I mean, even Dan Dierdorf understands. Then it's on to the statement that the April 2008 NFL draft wasn't successfully executed by the Chiefs. Right. Every expert and analyst that have been covering these things for their entire careers are wrong, but that's cool. Throw in a handful of exclamation points and some chat lingo, and your case is much more believable.

Suffice it to say that the final paragraph examines the apples-to-oranges Cutler vs. Croyle debate. The select sentences in said 'graph are so ridiculously tainted by orange and blue lenses, they're not even worth mentioning.

Speaking of champions that hoisted trophies 40 years ago though, Chris of Arrowhead Pride fame has been running a great series called "When We Were Champions." The latest installment features former Chiefs wideout Frank Pitts, but take heed: only those with secret decoder pins will understand the writing, as it's written in a hybrid of Sanskrit and ancient Hebrew, a relic of that aged Chiefs era of excellence.

Finally, there's this video, which I find baffling. I don't know why the NFL Network has published footage on the Web of an athlete describing how his former team operates in specific situations, unless of course the NFL hates the Broncos, which is certainly feasible. Have a look though, at former Bronco Clinton Portis demonstrating a Denver offensive line blocking scheme. And certainly, take special note, you in-denial chanters of "incomplete," at how he is put on the spot, and acknowledges, the cut blocking employed by his former club.

And that's gonna do it for this week. We'll do it again some time, Tuesday?
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Our Second And Last NBA Post Of The Year

I may have miscounted, it's very possible this is the third. Regardless, we need to extend hearty congratulations to the Celtics and the citizens of Boston, who finally, finally broke through and won a title last week. No longer will you be affiliated with the likes of Cleveland in terms of championship droughts.

I kid, of course, everyone hates Boston. Even me. And I'm a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation. That allegiance was hatched out of family history and the lack of an MLB team in Colorado during my youth, however. I've never lived in New England, so fack those pricks. Fack the Pats and the Celts to boot. No matter what, if you bogart that much hardware you come off as an asshole. Share the wealth, fellas.

None of this has anything to do with anything, though. It's just an excuse to link to the fantastic Shaq video making the rounds (you can find it here, TMZ is a bunch of bitches for not enabling the embed feature). Now I don't know where you come off on Shaq--some hate him for being big and buffoonish, others appreciate his skill and place in basketball history, as well as his wit. Count me among the latter, I've always liked the big dope.

Likewise, I've never liked Kobe. I respect his talents, and he is right now unquestionably the finest player alive. But he's a prick, and he'll sell out a teammate in a second, and those teammates hold grudges. Thus Shaq's bit of eloquence here. Enjoy.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Way To Go Fans, But You Still Belong Behind Glass

I have returned to the House, and I need to send out a few thank-yous. Thanks to Bank for covering my Baseball In The Daytime shift. Thanks to all of you who expressed concern over my absence. And thanks especially to the Toronto Blue Jays, who canned their manager and hired Cito Gaston. Cito Gaston! That is certainly a blast from the past. Next thing you know the Braves are gonna bring back Bobby Cox.

I wish my hiatus had been a fun one, filled with topless serving wenches mixing mai tais. No dice. It was, alas, related to the old day job. Luckily I can now slip back into the mindless sloth of my normal workday and bombard you, dear reader, with fairy tales about baseball.

I've missed pretty much the entire College World Series, but I understand that Fresno State and Georgia have made the final, which begins its best-of-three tonight. That should be ping-tastic. Up in the bigs, we're in the midst of another round of interleague, but a lot of the focus has turned to the upcoming All-Star Game. Specifically, it's now Bitch About The Fan Vote season! Now I harbor no love for the typical baseball fan, and I have in fact proposed packaging them in aquariums. But just this once, I have to give a pat on the back to the millions of knuckleheads who have voted for the All-Star rosters. You didn't fuck it up nearly as much as normal.

I relinquished my role as Commissioner of our main fantasy baseball league last season, mainly to spend more time writing here. Not that it's a full-time job or anything, but I think a fantasy Commissioner has some basic responsibilities that need to be met. Get to trade approval in a timely manner, plan a decent draft, and give an appropriate amount of shit to deserving parties on the league news page. As they say in Canadia, that's aboot it.

Our pal Rustoleum has taken the reins, and aside from being a douchebag Yankee fan he's ably filled the spot. Lately, though, he's gone on several tirades about the leaders in fan voting for the All-Star game, specifically the number of Cubs leading at this point. Let's look at what's transpired so far and assess how Joe Fan has done.


If the voting ended right now, your lineup would look something like this:

1. Ichiro CF
2. Pedroia 2B
3. Ortiz DH
4. ARod 3B
5. Manny Being Manny LF
6. Josh Hamilton RF
7. Yook 1B
8. Mauer C
9. Jeter SS

Big Papi almost certainly won't play in the game, so you'll need to find a replacement. Unfortunately, the DH crop this year blows. Travis Hafner is in the tank, and your next four vote-getters are Godzilla, Thome, Frank Cattalanotto(?) and Sheff. That, my friends, is unsavory. Do you have to pick a real DH for that spot? Couldn't you just take the next most deserving hitter (Milton Bradley, for instance) and DH him?

Aside from the Papi selection (which isn't actually a bad one, he's just hurt), the only other egregious pick is Jeter. He's not having a good year. But you know what? Neither's anyone else, and I have zero problem with giving a legend like the Captain a spot, especially when they're closing down Yankee Stadium after this season.

Rusto bitches about Pedroia at second, and there are some issues with him. He's tailed off after a hot start, and Ian Kinsler has better numbers. But there is nothing wrong with Red Sox fans stuffing the ballot box to get a favorite like Pedroia in there. They're the consensus best team in the AL, the defending World Series champ, and if a club like that gets disproportionate representation so be it. Plus Pedroia's gritty, which appeals to all the folks that think Pete Rose is better than Barry Bonds.

And for all of you aggrieved Kinsler partisans out there, relax--he's still going to make the club. Both he and Pedroia deserve to make it, so why quibble over who's starting? It's only when someone completely undeserving gets in (like we'll address in the National League outfield) that folks should bunch up their panties and yell. The AL voting gets my conditional stamp of approval thus far.

Just one thing: where in the hell are the fans of the Angels? I can understand why no Bay-Rays are going to get voted in, nobody goes to their games. And the underrepresentation of the Tigers and Indians is directly proportional to their shittiness on the field this season. But there's no excuse for Vlad in 4th and Torii Hunter in 11th in outfield voting, and to see Casey Kotchman not even in the top 5 at first is dumb.

Meanwhile, the Rangers faithful are exercising their suffrage masterfully. Set aside the deserving nod for Hamilton, who's having a lights-out campaign. Kinsler and Michael Young are second at their positions, Cattalanotto(?) is fourth at his, and Hank Blalock is in the top five at third base. Never mind that Hank Blalock is no longer a third baseman, and never mind that he's been on the DL since April 29, and never mind that he's not really that good. Stuffing the ballot box is a grand American tradition. Vote early and vote often!


Now here's where it gets a little dicey. If I were filling out this lineup card, I'd go in this direction (keep in mind that these are starters as of June 3, the most recent release of figures):

1. Hanley Ramirez SS
2. Welcome To The Fukudome CF
3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Lance Berkman 1B
5. Chipper Jones 3B
6. A designated hitter (Pat Burrell?)
7. Ken Griffey Jr. RF
8. Geovany Soto C
9. Alfonso Soriano LF

Soriano won't play, which lets you slide Carlos Lee, Matt Holliday or Burrell into that spot (obviously further up the order). You could also insert a true centerfielder like Nate McLouth to improve your defense (just please don't give it to Carlos Beltran).

It's nice to see fans reward Berkman and Chipper for their great first halves at the expense of fixtures Albert Poo Holes and David Wright. And although Miguel Tejada is exceeding expectations in his first year in the NL, Hanley deserves the nod as the Senior Circuit's finest shortstop.

As for the beef about Soto, he is inferior to Brian McCann and Russ Martin, no doubt. But let's acknowledge the flaw of voting for essentially a quarter of a season--most of the votes that will be cast have already been counted, and Soto had a tremendous start. Plus, there's nothing wrong with rewarding the Cubs for posting baseball's best record. They're going to win the World Series--count on it--so I say fill 'er up.

Just don't do it with Soriano. Vote for Derrek Lee or Aramis Ramirez. Vote for Theriot and DeRosa, who gives a shit? But please don't reward Soriano for being an awful baseball player. He's already making hundreds of millions of dollars, don't throw him this bone.

And then there's Griffey. Like Jeter, he meets my criteria as a certain Hall of Famer--so why do I have such a problem with his inclusion in the starting lineup? It's because he can no longer play baseball at a high level. His bat speed is long gone, he's a serious defensive liability, and watching him makes me sad to be an American. Don't take it personally, Junior, Tim Wakefield does the same thing. To me, casting a token pity vote for Griffey makes a mockery of his great career. At least Ripken could still acquit himself admirably in his twilight, and at least Jeter's current bad year is .279/4/32 in the Triple Crown categories. Compare that to Griff's .249/8/32 at a less demanding defensive position.

OK, all this defense of Derek Jeter has made me feel icky and I need to take a shower. Leave all of your reasonable criticism and witticisms in the comments.
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Monday Miscellany: 6-23-08

What a wonderful weekend. I have no idea why I just wrote that. We're actually looking forward to this week getting underway, what with hype over what Maria Sharapova will wear at Wimbeldon, and the opportunity to pit many of photo of here, side by side with some of Ana Ivanovic, too. And hey -- the Rockies come to town to play the Royals, and, well, I suppose we're a mere month away from training camp at this point, too.

In efforts to hype the series nobody in Chicago knew about, Windy City tubes displayed this tasty treat for stickball fans catching Sox-Cubs at home.

If that doesn't spell "awesome," I'm clueless as to what does.

(courtesy of Awful Announcing)

In case you missed the latest Balls Deep column, it's a pretty good read, as usual. That guy's also doing the unspeakable, known as plugging his own book on his own site.

Bugs and Cranks re-caps the weekend in MLB inter-league play.

The Big Lead clued us in that Sports Frog reports that Dr. Z. thinks the Vikings will be competing for a Super Bowl trophy. Yeeeaah. That would be awesome, especially if Jared Allen blew out his knee in week two.

And the 700 Level has done a bit of market research to figure out what MLB park has the cheapest beer.

That's how the morning looks. More later. Much later.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Evening Fracas

We're a half hour away from the beginning of the Royals-Giants series getting underway at Kauffman Stadium, and, well, I've got some drinking to do. So we'll try and keep this brief. Be sure to check back in this evening, though, as Old No. 7 has all but promised a doozy-laden feature to set your weekend off right. Until then, jump aboard for some developments that may or may not've coerced a few of us 'Mericans to knock off early for the weekend.

If you're a Red Sox fan, you've certainly got an affinity for bloody foot garments and world championships. The Big Lead suggests that this might be the end for a certain religious-like pitching blogger.

Of course the big quote streaming the Bottom Line of that one network looks a little like this:

“My season is over and there is a pretty decent chance I have thrown my last pitch forever.”

And you know what? I don't mind Schilling. He seems like a heckuva dude. Clearly a great pitcher with phenomenal strikeout stats through the years. Hall-worthy? Dunno about that; the win-loss ratio's a little tough to swallow. If he's done, I'll tip my hat to him for a great career, and I'll also flip that four-letter network the bird for devoting five gazillion clips, and hours of air space hashing out this rumor. This just in: Not everyone is a Red Sox or a Yankees fan. Spread the footage out. Do some digging, some investigative journalism into some other subject besides your usual Tom Brady-BRS-NYY-Brett Favre-Manning Bros circle jerk. Christ.

Moving on.

I've been called pretty handy around the kitchen a time or two, and one of my prize possessions is my spice cabinet. If you open it up, and look in between the Curry Powder and the Garam Masala, you'll find something known as Dill Weed. I'm considering scratching out the label on it and renaming it Javon Walker. Now, I don't really care -- and really it's no surprise -- that allegations are pointing to him being full of shit with this whole Vegas deal. In a twist of genuine surprise, I'm kind of finding myself sorry for the Denver Broncos in this whole ordeal. I mean, most often, that franchise and its fan base (Editor's Note: Not my colleagues and families of. We cool, baby. We cool.) can gargle the grainy roux that simmers around my sweaty summertime sac, but this is just disheartening.

Let me retract. They're (Bronco Country) in the clear for having cut the ties, but when they signed him two years ago, I was like, "Leapin' lizards!" only it was a touch more profane. I expected that guy, in the years he had left, to give Rod Smith's and Shannon Sharpe's numbers a run fo' dey money. And career afternoon after career afternoon would likely come at the expense of the greatest football franchise in history. Factor in the injury, and the Darrent Williams scenario, and the since-being-waived comments towards Denver, and, sheesh. What a massive tool. I'm actually glad for them that they got out of this mess before it was their own. But don't worry. The sinister side of me is certain that B-Marsh (Note: That is likely the gayest nickname in pro sports history.) has plenty up his sleeve for many a season to come. We should write a song. And it should start like this:

"Don't say Clarett,
Don't saaaaayyyyy Cla-rett!
Don't say Lelie,
It huuuuurrrrrrts me!
Or Tra-vis Hen-ry,
'Cause in your throooooaaat I'll pee!
Don't say Ja-von,
Don't saaaayyyy Ja-von!
'All those fools gone,
Denver haaaaassss moved on!
It's the Wal-ker show,
I like's throooow-in' snow!
I's tha' real deal,
I slips on Haaaaap-py Meal!

Foreward, with other shunned-from-the-foreground pieces of work that have not been employed by the Denver Broncos, it's Awful Announcing cluing us in to the continuing demotions of one Stephen A. Smith. How's the progression of his sign-off going these days? We all know the obnoxious sionara from his show: "Remember y'all...this my house!" At his last gig, what'd he wave goodbye with? "Remember y'all...this my porch!" And now? "Remember y'all...this my corner of the dumpster in the alley!" Here's a tip: Try not to be a pompous, obnoxious ass, and maybe the career ladder might move the other direction. Brah.

In the heart of blogs and sports journalism, there is an aorta. Maybe it's not. Could just be a ventricle. But it has some tributaries, some common ground to cover. It can get a little monotonous, but hell, there's always Fire Joe Morgan to make it interesting without all the bells and whistles.

And hey, look! Someone's live-blogging the NHL draft! Okay. Not someone. Melt Your Face Off. Either way. Just the news you were looking for.

It's Friday, and what would Friday be without a look at Kissing Suzy Kolber's Cheerleader Biography installment? Not very fun!

That's gonna do it. I could write more, but the Royals just took a 3-0 lead in the first, and I'm a homer, so I've got to check it out. How much of a homer? So much so that I'll include a free plug of Joe Posnanski's new book. Get your click on so you can get your read on. And support a fabulous writer.

Happy Weekend!
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Baseball in the Daytime: 6-20-08

Today we have one -- count 'em, one -- sunshine-sparked contest on the diamond...ah-ah-ah. And of course it involves the Cubsters of Chi-town. But wait...this single unit of day baseball is bursting with windy-city glory as, you guessed it, the visitors are Ozzie Guillen's stockings in white. You don't need me to tell you that that's good stuff, folks. We'll examine the game a smidge, along with some other news of the diamond sort, once we (Editor's Note: Please. Use your best Casey Kasem voice for these next four words.) jump,' wail.

Read Jump Jive An’ Wail lyrics

Alrighty then. Now that that's done...

Sox @ Cubs, 1:20: Really. Call the contest what you will. It's a battle of lefties, the challenge of Chicago, an Illinois scrap of first-placers. Either way, John Danks dukes it out with Ted Lilly in a dual of last names with endless joke possibilities. Danks and the visiting stockings bring a 41-31 lead (4-4/2.90 for the hurler) into Wrigley, while the Baby Bears sit at 45-28, and place Lilly's 7-5/4.76 in front of them. The leaders of both these Central divisions will be eager to gain ground on their second-place foes as each starts a new series today. The Cubs are coming off a three-game skid, but slightly relish in the fact that St. Louis just dropped three in a row as well. The White Sox, on the other hand, have won three straight, but so have the pesky Twins. Currently, St. Louis is three and-a-half games back, while Minnesota must chop one more contest out of the first-place way. Anyway, catch this gem on the WGNs, of course. The DirecTVs will also have it, if you crank that dial to the 722 mark, while 184 can plug you in to it over on W-BALZ the XMs.

In evening games of HoG noteworthiness, the Giants come to KC for a visit, and neither team has Barry Bonds on the payroll. Thank. Christ. We would never've heard the end of that one. The Red Sox travel to Busch Stadium for a rematch of the '04 World Series, and, as has been the gig throughout this inter-league run, one of these kids is doin' his own thing; Los Mets travel to Coors Field for some regular ol' NL baseball.

Elsewhere in the baseball 'spheres, Walkoff Walk has an extensive write-up on the Seattle manager firing. Speaking of firings, here's an interesting dilemna, thanks, Bugs and Cranks. In other Mets news, Cousins of Ron Mexico scared me with this post on The Big Lead. And everyone knows you can't mention New York baseball without talking about the Yankees, so Knuckle Curve reminds us that Derek Jeter is overrated. By a lot.

That's it for today, y'all. Enjoy your weekend of great baseball matchups if you're in the stands. If you're on the diamond, I beg you: Please hustle on the base paths, especially down to first on those infield grounders.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday ThumbTubes and YouNails: 6-19-08

We're back -- and full of material someone else published that we discovered -- for another installment of ThumbTubes and YouNails. In a feature that always guarantees good times (Editor's Note: Not really.) , we've got a small collection of photos and clips spanning the sports world of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and even some non-patented, unoriginal miscellaneous nonsense. So get your mouses loosened, your speakers turned up, and your browsers refreshed. All that, some pretty bad writing, and more, after the jump.

In baseball news, the Royals just completed a sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis, which tops the good-times heap in my book. Being a bit out of the loop last week, I hadn't been aware of the situation between Royals TV announcer Ryan Lefebvre and Texas Ranger Milton Bradley. Here's a clip of what was said during the game:

(clip courtesy of Royals Review)

And here's a summary of how Bradley responded. Being a longtime fan of Lefebvre's, I'm already biased to the situation, which I really don't think it was much of one anyway. Prior to last year, I already thought Bradley was a piece of work. Then, when a transaction with Bradley and the Royals fell through at the last minute (Editor's Note: Given aforementioned opinion, I was not in favor of such a trade.), it only added to my perception of the journeyman outfielder. Now I think he's more a piece of work than ever. (Note: I do not mean to imply that I was only temporarily out of the loop; I am frequently -- I only just learned, via that linked story, that Nolan Ryan is the president of the Rangers.) In other news, Bobby Petrino no longer coaches the Falcons, and Bob Knight has left the Texas Tech courtside.

In notes of random, Thunder Matt's Saloon speculates on what the Cubs need to do to take it to the next level, while the Big Lead offers a follow-up to their bit on sports journalism salaries, and the NFL's image continues to take a beating with bizarre off-the-field incidents.

We tend to leave the gratuitous pictures of intoxicated professional sports figures to the more professional sports bloggers. On occasion, we'll jump aboard, especially if we ain't talkin' 'bout practice.

(photos courtesy of Drunk Athletes, via What's Poppin')

Um, the Celtics won the NBA championship the day before yesterday, and Kevin Garnett stopped in for a succinct summary of super-emotion...awk-ward...

(clip courtesy of Can't Stop the Bleeding)

And Awful Announcing has one of their own...

Stuart Scott works for ABC? Clueless. Somebody, quick: Construct a noise meter, see who gets booed louder, David Stern or Gary Bettman. Then get back to me. Or not.

In other Awful Announcing bits, they're monitoring the Jemele Hill story quite closely. Apparently, a Boston radio station seeks to enact upon Hill the same repercussions she expressed for Don Imus back when Imus made his infamous statements that led to the termination of his employment.

If interested in Euro 2008 soccer news, go here. If you're only interested in the "part" of the tournament wherein topless Austrian porn stars in body paint and thongs played a match

against Germany, and were photographed, go here. Yeah. Me too.

(courtesy of those palindromists, Lion in Oil)

And if you like mullets, and I know you do, Campus Squeeze (courtesy of Gorilla Mask)

gives us a decent look at some of the better ones in sports over the years.
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