Friday, June 29, 2007

The "NFL Europe" Never Really Existed

The most startling thing about this piece of news is not that the league that began life as "the Waffle" is going away, but that its actual name was "NFL Europa." Europa? Seriously? I guess if you consider the NFL to be Jupiter, then "NFL Europa" accurately describes the difference in scale between the two. Also, then we could call University of Phoenix Stadium the Great Red Spot.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rotoworld Gets Their Sarcasm On

Rotoworld is a very interesting site. Like many people (but unlike most of my fellow contributors, as far as I can tell), I have a fantasy baseball team or five, and it's indispensable for news on my current players and pretty open about sharing information. There's a sidebar on Boston Dirt Dogs for Rotoworld information about the Sox, and occasionally they put out a really funny blurb. I think that's why I like them more than other knockoffs like Rotowire, KFFL, Stats Inc, etc. Plus they've got a nicer website. Anyway, some faithful Rotoworld readers compiled a list of really funny ones themselves, so instead of blatantly steal like I usually do, I'll just link. I particularly like the David Terrell and Taco Wallace ones. The reason for this post, of course, is because I came across a particularly cutting and amusing one tonight:
Kason Gabbard - BOS
Kason Gabbard issued two of his six walks with the bases loaded in the first and gave up four runs in 3 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Mariners.
It should have been worse, but Manny Delcarmen bailed him out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. The Red Sox just butchered this one tonight. The first mistake was going to Gabbard against a team that is quite a bit better against lefties. They watched him almost completely blow the game in the first. Besides the walk, there was also a bases-loaded HBP in the frame. Then the Red Sox trotted out their worst relievers one-by-one. Perhaps the most incredible moment of the season so far came in the sixth. Lefty specialist Javier Lopez, in his second inning of work having already given up a two-run homer to Richie Sexson, intentionally walked the only left-handed hitter in Seattle's lineup (Ichiro) before being removed from the game. That it worked out hardly made it any less bizarre. Judging from Lopez's presence in the contest in the first place, we can only assume that Joel Pineiro passed away last week and no one bothered to alert the media.

This, of course, is quickly followed by:
Joel Pineiro - BOS
Joel Pineiro has been unavailable the last two days because he rolled an ankle working out on Monday.
So it wasn't his time after all.
Source: Boston Herald


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Joys of Sox

It's 3 months into the baseball season, right? And this is a sports blog, right? And I am a massive Red Sox fan, right? And the Red Sox are currently leading the AL East by 10.5 games, right? Right. So why hasn't there been any Red Sox-related posts from the most rabid Red Sox fan on this site?

Well, for one, pretty much every news site/blog/major television network just keeps talking about the Red Sox/Yankees ALL THE TIME. Give it a rest, guys, or else this old lady is totally going to gently ask you to tone it down.. after she gives you some of her home-made brownies, of course.

For two.. Sox fans are big believers in karma, which is amusing considering Yankees fans, as a general rule, are complete akarmaists. Gloating about a big lead is just simply bad karma, and I don't want to tempt fate. I like our team a lot, and think we're going to win the AL East this year. (Gasp!) And yes, every Red Sox win and every Yankees loss makes me happy - not because I like to see the Yankees suffer, but because it means our lead is more and more secure. The most gung-ho about it that I'll get is my response to someone teasing me about whether I'm scared now - "Ask me that again when the Yankees are closer to 1st place in their division than Washington is."

I went to two Boston games at OaklandMcAfee Coliseum a few weeks back just so I could say I actually attended a game or two in this hopefully historic season. We lost both games pretty easily. (Yes, we lost the first one in extra innings, but we all knew Terry Francona wasn't too interested in winning when he paraded out Joel Piniero, J.C. Romero, and Kyle Snyder in order in a close game.) In fact, Schilling had to pitch an entire game himself just to keep us from getting swept. I should have felt upset at their performances, but I just can't. They're too lovable.

They're a great team to watch, especially since they have so much fun playing the game. They have a ton of chemistry, unlike another certain unnamed team that is pretty much a collection of All-Stars. It starts from the top, with Manny Ramirez selling pretty much anything he can get his hands on and grooming his teammate in the dugout and David Ortiz hugging the other teams' players, on down to Mike Lowell wanting to start up Manny's blog and Julian Tavarez.. well, where to start? Wearing a "Manny Being Manny" T-shirt? Dreaming of being a porn star? Even long-time announcer Jerry Remy is getting into the act, pulling a little air guitar on the air with predictable results and playing Zapruder in the case of the flying pizza. This clip is just about the funniest Red Sox-related thing I've seen all year. Enjoy. I know I am.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

If Corporations Were Allowed To Vote On All-Stars

My office drinks a fair amount of Diet Pepsi, and in the latest batch, I noticed that one can had a baseball player on it, as part of an All Star Game tie-in. A few names sprang to mind: A-Rod, Griffey, Ordonez, Ichiro, Fielder, Bonds... not all of them leading in votes, but at least close. But no, upon closer inspection, the name of the player on the can is...Johnny Damon.
In fact, of the three cases of Diet Pepsi we got in this week, the number of cans with a baseball player other than Johnny Damon on them is: zero. I mean...really? Johnny "ninth in All Star voting even though he's on the Yankees" Damon? Johnny "one place above J.D. Drew" Damon?
When we go to the MLB site listed on the can, all is revealed: "Check out Pepsi's new MLB-themed commercial featuring Johnny Damon and Joe Mauer," a caption under a completely different video entreats us. I guess I can figure out who else is on the other Limited Edition cans.
Meanwhile, if this Damon can ever becomes valuable, we've got like a hundred of 'em here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kobe Bryant is a Spoiled Rich Girl

I had a dream the other day... Okay, it was after lunch this afternoon as I was daydreaming about things I could be doing if I wasn't where I was, which was in the office.

In the dream Kobe Bryant was being chased by Scooby and the gang, who were dead set on finding the reasons behind his abnormal behavior.

'I want to be traded!'

'Well, maybe not!'

'Bring back Jerry West and I'll be Happy!'

'Never mind! I hate you all! Trade me! Trade me! Trade me!'

When Scooby and company finally caught up with Kobe, Fred reached out and pulled on Kobe's face. SCHLOOP! The mask came off!

Underneath it was Paris Hilton.

Yes, Kobe is a spoiled, rich girl whose never known what it's like to go through a down time. I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who already has 9 All Star appearances and 3 championship rings before he hit the age of 30. And now! Oh no! He may have to suffer the indignity of playing through a REBUILDING PROCESS! Poor, poor Kobe! Let's all feel sorry for him now!

I have some sympathy--SOME--for the great players who ask to be traded in the twilight of their careers to get one last shot at that ring. Guys like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Ray Bourque, or Cris Carter. Guys who never got that ring (though I have more respect for guys like Marino, Reggie Miller, or John Stockton who stick it out with their teams without crying about never getting their chances).

If I were Mitch Kupchak I would trade Kobe.

To the Mnnesota Timberwolves, for Kevin Garnett.

They could make a Simple Life-like reality show out of it where Kobe would find out what it's like to REALLY have to rebuild and play for a team that REALLY has incompetent management.

Monday, June 18, 2007

And This Is Why He's Playing Basketball

I have to admit that the idea of the 11-foot rims in basketball intrigues me. But that in itself is not enough to justify a Three and Out post (you may have noticed that very little sports news meets our exacting standards recently). Making fun of a minor league athlete? Hey, we can't fire up Blogger fast enough.

One of the players who came in for the exhibition game with 11-foot rims (and how were they selected, anyway? Volunteers? picked out of a hat? Happened to be wandering by? Kidnapped by Tom Newell and forced to play along with his dastardly scheme?) was an IBL player, who made an incisive observation on how the game changes when you raise the rim by a foot:

Dontay Harris, a 6-8 former Drake player now with the Tacoma Thunder of the International Basketball League, noticed an immediate difference in inside play.

"You can't just get the ball and turn around and drop it in," he said. "Now there's another eight inches to go. It's definitely a challenge."

It's no use asking whether he graduated from Drake, really, is it? (Just as it's no use asking whether I can dunk on a six-foot rim, let alone ten or eleven.) But really, we should be thanking Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times for selecting that particular quote. You just know he was sitting in the gym thinking, "I can't believe I have to cover this...wait, did he really say 'eight inches'? Oh, I am so using that."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

They Put The WTF in the FTW

Following up Friday's post about the Allen Park Cabrini softball team, a short note. Not only did they go out and win the championship, team stud Katie Osburn pitched another shutout, sealing the record for fewest runs allowed in a season (one). Oh, and she pitched a no-hitter, too. Her 12th of the year. Take that, Nolan Ryan! (Seriously, check out the "Cabrini by the numbers" section of the linked article--26 straight shutouts? a .730 average for their leading hitter? Crazy.)

But even though Cabrini went 35-0, it was only Osburn's 32nd shutout of the year. So counting the one game where she allowed a run (her ERA was 0.0435), there were two games where I guess she got the win but didn't finish. Well, she's coming back next year, so she'll have a chance to improve on those numbers. But Allen Park Cabrini is moving up to Division 3. I'm not sure whether to say "watch out, Monarchs" or "watch out, Division 3!" Maybe some of the players on the field behind Katie will actually have to shake themselves awake next year.

Friday, June 15, 2007

This Is Not Your Mother's Softball League

When I was growin' up, softball was the game you played when you wanted to let the girls have fun too. The games were always low-key and high-scoring on account of the ball is huge and the pitches underhanded. Let us just say that defense and pitching did not figure highly into the team choosing. The pitcher, in fact, was anyone who could at least 75% of the time get the ball near enough the plate that someone could hit it.

That's not how they roll in Michigan, where up Battle Creek way, the Allen Park Cabrini high school softball team is advancing to the finals on the arm of Katie Osburn, who not only drove in the winning run in their 1-0 semifinal victory, but also pitched a one-hitter.

The only game of softball I ever played that ended 1-0 ended in the first inning after the second batter hit the ball and it rolled into the street and a truck flattened it.

But hey, lest you think this Katie Osburn is a one-game wonder, here's another stat for you. The Monarchs have allowed one run all season. That's 34 games. They've won 73 straight, and are (obviously) 34-0 this year. And what do you think Osburn's record is? If she were the Steve Carlton of her team (Carlton won 27 of the Phillies' 59 victories back in 1972), she'd be something like 15-0. But no, she's better than that. Her record is the same as the team's, 34-0.

Which means, for those of you keeping score at home, that over 34 games, Katie Osburn has started every game and surrendered exactly one run. That is some serious softball. I mean, I can't even imagine. I wonder if Katie would be willing to come out to Cali and pose as my daughter for the office softball game. That'd show those jerks over in Sales.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ride The Horse That Got You There

I'm done with NBA basketball. I've had a few friends ask me about what I thought about the Spurs or the Cavs-Pistons series, and my answer has been "Don't know, don't care." Yes, yes, I'm a Celtics fan, but falling to 5th in the draft was just the last straw; it's been brewing for a while. The game simply isn't fun to watch anymore. I don't know if it's the coaches or the fact that the players are uncoachable, but the Suns are the only team that are even vaguely pleasant to watch play. How can you win basketball games without a game plan? When your opponent doesn't have one either!

Last night me and a couple of friends happened to catch the end game 5 at a grinder place. The game was definitely compelling, but my logic kept guilting me about how terrible the spectacle was. LeBron, with two hands in his face, raining 20 footers.. wow, he nailed another one!.. wait, why is he having to force all these shots? Where are his teammates? I didn't see anyone on either team manage to take an open shot the whole 2OTs! This is the game of basketball now? I can appreciate LeBron's feats as impressive while still hating the game I see. I blame this on Simmons for pointing out the Cavs' game plan or lack thereof.

Anyway, Spurs will get another championship, and I'll be done. I've got my Red Sox. I've got my Patriots. Since pro seasons are 6 months long these days, I'll be pretty much set.

Regardless, I couldn't help modifying the "headline" photo on Deadspin this morning with a line from commenter Weed Against Speed. It's just too perfect, considering my love of cat image macros. And since I can't finagle a commenter account there, I'll just have to actually update our dying blog.