Saturday, December 22, 2007
I hope that a severe thumping in their bowl game vs. Kentucky, lead by the impressive Andre Woodson, will force FSU to shape up...but that is unlikely. Unfortunately there is only one possible to force Bowden and Florida State to change, and that is fine and sanction them (taking away scholarships 'n such).
In honor of his eleventh consecutive double-double, today's SAll-Star is Los Angeles Clippers center and professional caveman Chris Kaman.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Odd trade today concerning the Reds and Rangers. The Reds sent OF Josh Hamilton to the Rangers for Edinson Volquez and a prospect to be named later (likely Danny Ray Herrera). Hamilton, a NL Comeback Player of the Year finalist (although he should have won; Rick Ankiel, who I love, came back from sucking, Hamilton came back from alcohol and crack addictions, slightly bigger issues), hit 19 HRs, with a solid .368 OBP, and an impressive .554 SLG while playing solid defense for the Reds. He was a fan favorite and garnered an NL-leading 150,000+ write-in All-Star votes. Volquez, a good prospect in the Rangers system, had trouble adjusting to the Majors but pitched well at 3 minor league levels last year. Projected as a middle to back of the rotation starter, Volquez is a prospect who can be very valuable to a team without much in the way of quality pitching (as both the Reds and Rangers are). But this trade doesn't make much sense as Hamilton was a solid player who served as a future replacement for the aging Ken Griffey, Jr. and the perpetually available Adam Dunn. And Volquez was a rare pitching prospect for the Rangers who actually had a future.
In the ever-expanding world of ridiculous contracts, the Mariners announced that they have signed SP Carlos Silva to a 4-year, $48 million contract. Silva is an average starting pitcher who makes most staffs, including the Mariners', better. He is a proven guy who can give you a lot of quality innings and will certainly receive a boost from moving to pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. Unfortunately, the Mariners signed him to a deal that is paying him about $15 million too much. League average starting pitchers, while a valuable commodity when filling the back of a rotation, should not be getting paid $50 million. But this deal is indicative of the Mariners since the late '90s. As the legendary Bill Veeck once put it, "It's isn't the high price of stars that's expensive; it's the high price of mediocrity."
Now both these deals are actually encouraging to me because of the implications concerning the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are shopping ace Erik Bedard around the league and will likely trade him either this offseason or before the July 31st trade deadline, barring of course the signing of an extension (which is optimal, I believe). But so far the two teams most interested in acquiring Bedard, a legitimate Cy Young candidate last season until injuring a rib-cage muscle in late August, have been the Reds and Mariners. This bodes well for the Orioles because those two teams are likely to highly overpay for the left-hander, with the Reds likely giving away top-pitching prospect Homer Bailey and the Mariners likely including their best prospect, outfielder Adam Jones. Of course, given the Orioles history, they'll trade Bedard to division rival Tampa Bay for a ham sandwich (the turning point in many a poor deal) and a 2-year subscription to the Tampa Tribune.
Another poor move is the Tigers giving an extension of 3 years and $29 million to the recently acquired Dontrelle Willis. This is a gross over-paying that should be closer to an extension of zero years and $0 million. Willis was a salary-related throw-in in the trade with the Marlins that netted the Tigers the very imposing Miguel Cabrera. Willis has been on the decline since a very good 2005. He gave a very pedestrian performance last season in the inferior league pitching in the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the league. Willis' problem is that he doesn't really have great stuff and he got by earlier due to his funky delivery that threw off hitters' timing; but now hitters have gotten used to it and hit him like any other league average pitcher who doesn't locate pitches with good consistency. Willis is being paid like this because he is a big name with a great personality and this is a trap that all bad general managers fall into, which is why it is surprising that the Tigers Dave Dombrowski is involved, as he is one of the better GMs in the league. In fact, the reason why the Athletics have been successful since the late 90s is because Billy Beane has bought low and sold high, trading off names and their perceived value for production.
The final piece of baseball-related news is Curt Schilling deciding to once again assume the role of moral police of baseball. Schilling stated that if Roger Clemens, greatest pitcher of his generation and noted bag of shit, cannot clear his name from steroid accusations made in the Mitchell Report then he should forfeit his 4 Cy Young awards earned after 1997. I respect Curt Schilling a great deal. He is a borderline Hall of Fame pitcher and one of the finest starting pitchers of the last two decades. He is clearly one of the most intelligent and articulate persons to ever be paid to play a sport. He is the finest athlete to ever come out of the great state of Alaska. He has cemented his place as one of the most important players in the history of two franchises (the Diamondbacks and Redsox). But Schilling's suggestion concerning Clemens is utterly ridiculous. I do not like Roger Clemens at all and I wouldn't mind for him to have to forfeit his numerous awards and accolades, but to retroactively strip him is a dangerous precedent. This means that every single person who has ever cheated must be stripped of their awards that were acquired whilst skirting the rule book or did something illegal. Not only does this include every single steroid user, but also spit-ballers including Hall of Famers Red Faber, Gaylord Perry, and Ed Walsh. This would have to include sign-stealers like Bobby Thompson, who stole signs to hit a homerun that clinched the 1951 NL pennant for the NY Giants. This would have to include players using corked bats, including multi-time all-star Norm Cash, who admitted, after retiring, to corking his bat for most of his career. This would have to include drug users including noted cocaine fiends Daryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, two of the finest players of the 1980s. Ultimately, the players brought up in the Mitchell report, including Clemens, cannot be punished by taking away anything because of the implications it would have on the rest of baseball's rich history. Now going forward, I believe anyone using steroids should be punished via suspension, fine, etc. and those mentioned in the Mitchell Report should be treated with more scrutiny. But as for players such as Clemens and Barry Bonds, whose careers are all but over, or for players such as Mark McGwire who are already retired, I do not believe that steroid suspicions or convictions should interfere with Hall of Fame eligibility. It is true that there is a character clause in the baseball Hall of Fame criteria, however this clearly doesn't mean much if Ty Cobb, one of the largest assholes to ever walk the earth, a dirty player and severe racist, is in the Hall, a post he surely deserves as one of the greatest players ever. Perhaps players such as McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens should be let in with it being noted that they were steroid users (as I feel Pete Rose should be allowed in with it noted that he illegally bet on games). But to exclude them entirely is foolish and simply the product of self-righteous baseball writers who certainly can be accused of severe partiality and cronyism (see Mazeroski, Bill) which would completely destroy the ideals that voting is supposed to be completely impartial.
Quickly: Who is the craziest athlete this side of Mike Tyson?
The answer: today's All-Star, Ron Artest
Artest is a very good basketball player: he has a wide-range of offensive skills and is a first class defender. But what Artest is most known for is being certifiably insane. Of course we all know about Artest's incident at Detroit (which also included the nearly equally as crazy, Stephen Jackson), but the crazy doesn't end there.
In short, there are few who can touch Mr. Artest as a personality in the sports world. And for that, we salute you, Ron.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
It's me, Rico. Rico Brogna. You remember me, don't you, my little chickadees? Of course you do. Who could forget Sexy Rico?
Ain't never been a two-sport athlete like the Brogna, baby. I was recruited to play quarterback for the Clemson Tigers back in the late 80's. They play in the ACC, Sharon.
But I turned them down like every ugly chick that ever wanted to try the Brogna Balogna. I said sorry, babe, but the Brogna had himself a date with the Detroit Tigers of the Major League Baseballs. Perhaps you've noticed I like tigers. Rawr, says the Brogna.
Hey, Meredith, come feel my flexed bicep. Did I ever tell you that I deflowered Coors Field? Yeah, plenty of guys like to brag about how they were some girl's first, but did they ever pop an entire stadium's cherry like the Brogna did? Say, Meredith, why don't we go back to my hotel room?
Don't let anyone convince you that the Brogna wasn't the best players in baseballs during his career. I had 655 strikeouts and 106 home runs in nine years. You think that ratio is easy? The Brogna had so much ass waiting for him in the clubhouse that he simply had to end his plate appearances quickly. The manager always saw it Rico's way.
Did I tell you the story about my spinal arthritis, Gertrude? It's really sexy. You see, just as Brognamania was starting to sweep the globe, I got hit with a mad nasty case of ankylosing spondylitis. It means my balls were so huge that they bent my back.
So I retired. But all was not lost. The Brogna Balogna is still in fine form, ladies.
Once you go Brogna, you never go back.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
HUZZAH FOR THE END OF EXAMS!!!
To celebrate today's All-Star is the incomparable Christian Bale.
There is nobody who can deny Christian Bale's greatness. NOBODY!
Bale, at the very tender age of only 33 (very young in actor years), has already been in great movies such as Empire of the Sun, Treasure Island, Shaft (not really great...but certainly momentous), Equilibrium (confusing as hell and poorly acted, other than Bale of course, but led to the kick-ass action scene below), The Machinist, Batman Begins, The Prestige, Harsh Times, Rescue Dawn, 3:10 to Yuma, and one of the greatest movies ever: American Psycho
In addition, he played the legendary Bob Dylan in the upcoming I'm Not There, and he's filming the next Batman movie, the Dark Knight, and he's been signed to play John Connor in the newest Terminator film...good lord that is awesome.
Basically Christian Bale rocks your socks off. Shame you can't be him. But it's something to aspire to.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Roger Clemens wanted to deny recent allegations of his steroid and Human Growth Hormone use but his massive ass was so weighed down by anabolic horse tranquilizers that he just sent his agent instead.
There are a number of people who feel that the revelation of Clemens' cheating is the biggest black eye on baseball to come out of the Mitchell Report. Many even believe that this is the most disappointing news since Pete Rose bet on the Reds.
I, for one, don't really care. Maybe I'm blindly married to baseball, and I'll never let controversy dim my opinion of its beauty; I think most hardcore fans feel the same way.
But far more importantly, Roger Clemens just isn't news anymore. Again, perhaps my objectivity is subject to question, but I believe Rocket signed away his legacy after the 2003 season.
Consider this: Clemens recorded his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout in the same game of the '03 season. He was given a standing ovation at Fenway in the last Red Sox-Yankees game of the year. Joe Torre even let him manage the last game of the regular season. Follow that with an American League pennant over Boston and you have a truly magical ending to a first-ballot Hall of Fame career.
But no. Clemens was selfish. He was arrogant. He fell in love with hearing his own name. So he un-retired...three times. He pitched four meaningless seasons, won 44 extra meaningless games, and recorded 573 more meaningless strikeouts.
Your place in history had been established already, Roger. You got to 300. You got to 4,000. 354 doesn't mean shit. 4,600 doesn't mean shit. You could have called it a career like you said you would and gone out on top. But you demanded attention and praise, so you kept coming back, not noticing that the laudatory press dwindled with each unnecessary season you pitched.
And now you've been revealed as a cheater and you think it's necessary to fight the charges publicly. You think you're still important, that your image and reputation still matter to us. You're wrong. They don't.
You could have been immortal. You could have had the kind of ageless glory you have so desperately sought for the past four years. But instead, you're an overweight, geriatric cheater. So do us all a favor and don't bother trying to win back our respect by denying the steroid allegations. You had your chance. Nobody is listening, Roger. Nobody cares.
Today's SAll-Star holds numerous prestigious passing records in the ACC, but his most cherished accomplishment by far was made manifest just last week: On December 7th, 2007, former Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke reached the nigh-impossible milestone of Oldest Person Ever.
Weinke, aged 137, was reportedly ecstatic about his sole possession of the new record but was unable to comment due to a lack of teeth and bowels.
"I have to remove shit from my father's small intestine by hand at least six times an hour," said Postlewaite Offenbach Weinke, his 94-year-old son. "My forearms have smelt exclusively of corn and limburger tapioca for almost twenty years."
Weinke shatters the previous record of 122 years by the late Jeanne Calment of France, who in a postmortem interview with Dick Schaap said, "Fuck that old motherfucker. I'm French." She then added, "Oui oui, HONH HONH HONH," before terminating the interview.
Perhaps the second-most notable of Weinke's accomplishments was his stunning Heisman Trophy-winning season for the Free Shoes University Seminoles, which he achieved at the tender young age of 114. Weinke's dazzling accuracy and intoxicating body odor stymied defenses, setting the stage for Weinke's epic midfield bowel movement against in-state rival Miami in the final week of the season. The Heisman voters, nauseated beyond comprehension, awarded Weinke the coveted Heisman Trophy two weeks later.
"HUuuuuuUuuuuUUuUuuUUuUUUUuuuh, I love balogna on rye," Weinke said in his acceptance speech.
Postlewaite Weinke attributes his father's long life to the generous eight-figure salary provided by FSU CEO Bobby Bowden, himself 121 years old, during Weinke's 72-year tenure at Free Shoes.
"Yes, the money was certainly beneficial to my dad in college," the younger Weinke said, "But I'd like to take a little credit for shoveling his feces out of his vital organs for two decades. Not to sound selfish or anything."
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today's All-Star is none other than the Nature Boy, Ric Flair! WOOO!!!
An unprecedented combination of in-ring skill and charisma, Flair is a legend in the sports entertainment world. There are few who could claim to be more prolific or influential in the multi-billion dollar industry. Called the Nature Boy (after his mentor, Buddy Rogers) and the Dirtiest Player in the Game, Flair is so beloved in his hometown of Charlotte, NC, that he could sacrifice a baby and still be elected mayor.
Flair began wrestling in 1972. His career was nearly ended when, 1975, he was involved in a plane crash that broke his back in 3 places, meaning the 26 year old would never wrestle again. Or so they thought. Not only did Flair wrestle again, but he is still wrestling at age 58. Flair is a 3 time tag-team champ, 5 time US champ, 1 time Intercontinental champ, and a record 16 time world champ.
Ric Flair is the "limousine-ridin', jet-flyin', kiss-stealin', wheelin'-dealin' son of a gun." WOOO!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
This is FOX's attempt at a television continuation of one of the greatest collection of films ever, the Terminator series (The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day are legendary films, the third film was also pretty good, though not up to the first two's standard). But one must ask: what good can possibly come of this? Even if we don't take into account the connections to the movies, this looks like a bad action series. But when you bring in a young girl stating "Come with me if you want to live," previously uttered by two greats, Michael Biehn and Arnold, well I'm sorry but I now hate you.
What made the Terminator series were the actors playing truly badass characters: Arnold, Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick. None of those names are associated with this new TV series. I just don't see how this can end well...why try to add to something that has already proven itself to be great?
Coming into their game today against the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins were 0-13 and had lost their last 16 games dating back to last season.
The Miami Dolphins suck.
And yet they beat the Baltimore Ravens. And for some reason Brian Billick is being guaranteed his job next year...in the words of Charles Barkley: "That's turribull."
I'm cautiously excited about this hire. Cautious because our personnel does not match Rodriguez's offense, but excited because of the legend-in-the-making that may follow Rich to Ann Arbor.
Terrelle Pryor is the runaway top recruit in the nation. Some say he is the most promising high school athlete in ten years. As of yesterday, his list of schools included Ohio State, widely considered his preferred program, and West Virginia, which operated his preferred offense. Now that Rodriguez is headed north, so too might Pryor.
I am pooping my pants with excitement over this development. Obviously, Ryan Mallett is totally incapable of running Rodriguez's offense, which Rich promised to Pryor would not change at his new post. The spread option is coming to Michigan Stadium, folks, and we need someone to command it.
But what this news tells me is that Rodriguez wants a championship at Michigan and he wants it yesterday. Pryor would be the best thing to happen to Michigan football since Tom Harmon. And the fact that Rodriguez called him first about his new job shows me a spectacular devotion to winning. I can't even express how impressed I am by that call. Even if Pryor doesn't join the Maize and Blue, we can look at Rich Rodriguez and say that he started working for Michigan five minutes after he got the job. He basically told Pryor: If you come with me to Michigan, I will give you the opportunity to redefine the most storied program in college football history. I want you to reinvent Michigan football.
Who couldn't pass that up?
After a coaching search that left hundreds dead and thousands mutilated, Michigan finally has its man: West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez. This is the second time this year that the Wolverines have seen the departure of a nice yet stale coach and replaced him with a couch-burnin' Mountaineer.
Rodriguez has had great success at his alma mater, posting a 60-26 record and five Big East championships in seven seasons. He has won at least eight games in all but one season (his first), and in true Michigan fashion, he has a 2-3 bowl record.
Rodriguez is one of only two Hispanic coaches in Division I-A (the other is the Cubanly awesome Mario Cristobal of Florida International). He has a tenuous connection to Bo through former WVU head coach Don Nehlen, who served as QB coach at Bowling Green in 1955 while Bo was also on staff. So he doesn't really have any Michigan ties whatsoever.
Rodriguez became Salem University's head coach in 1988 at age 24, the youngest head coach in the NCAA. He took over Glenville State in 1990, where he earned three consecutive West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and four overall. He was named the WVIAC Coach of the Year twice and the NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1993.
Rodriguez left for Tulane in 1997 to helm the Green Wave's offense. His ingenuity helped Tulane go undefeated in 1998. Rodriguez followed Tulane head coach Tommy Bowden to Clemson and served as his offensive coordinator for two years.In 2001, Rodriguez replaced his old boss Nehlen as head coach of West Virginia. Nehlen's 21-year tenure at WVU was marked by inconsistency, reaching nine wins only five times. Rodriguez, widely credited as the inventor of the modern spread offense, overcame a 3-8 rookie season at West Virginia to reel off six consecutive seasons of eight or more wins, including two straight 11-win seasons and three straight ten-win seasons. He is 33-8 in the Big East since 2001. He was named the Big East Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2003. Rodriguez took West Virginia to four consecutive New Year's Day bowl games and back-to-back top-10 finishes, an accomplishment matched only by Pete Carroll of USC, and unmatched by Jim "Piss" Tressel of The Ohio State Penitentiary.
In honor of my impending death by blizzard, today's SAll-Star is a man who seems drawn to wintry roles: Mr. Michael Batman Beetlejuice Keaton.
Born Michael Douglas, Keaton decided that he was too manly to share a name with Gordon Gekko and renamed himself after Annie Hall star Diane Keaton. Because, as we all know, she represents everything that is manly in Hollywood.
After early box-office successes in the realm of comedy (Johnny Dangerously, Beetlejuice), director Tim Burton felt Keaton was capable of portraying the dark, brooding personality of Bruce Wayne as he appears in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Keaton's obsessive performance as Batman led to two of the finest superhero films ever made (certainly the two most adventurous in art direction). Then Joel Schumacher took over the franchise and took a big, steaming shit on it. Batman & Robin was so bad that Schumacher, a man who proudly gave us turds like 8mm and The Number 23, actually apologized for making it on the DVD commentary track.
But the most important reason for Keaton's selection today: Jack Frost. After witnessing a foot of snow descend violently upon me in about 18 hours, I realized that people really can turn into snowmen. Cheers to you, Mr. Keaton. You are the SAll-Star for December 16th.