Saturday, September 27, 2008


Friday, September 26, 2008


SCENE: A remote dusty crossroads somewhere in the Southwestern United States. A MAN IN BLACK stands stoically at its center. MIKE RILEY enters stage right.

SATAN: Michael. I've heard your cries of anguish in the night. You've come to the right place.

RILEY: Where are we?

SATAN: This is where all the greatest blues musicians have come to trade their souls in exchange for musical prowess.

RILEY: Blues? I'm from Idaho. I coach football.

SATAN: Oh, my faithless son, you think this place has no power over football? How do you think Elway went 14 seasons without a Super Bowl win and suddenly wins two back-to-back despite the body of a 62-year-old Parkinson's victim?

RILEY: Well...

SATAN: Have you heard from Elway in the last ten years? Has anyone?

RILEY: Hey, wait a minute...

SATAN: Haven't you noticed that one of the "greatest quarterbacks of all time" doesn't even do Nutrisystem commercials? He's down here now. I let him go to Disneyworld first.

RILEY: Okay, I'm sold.

SATAN: Now, what is it you desire?

RILEY: I want Oregon State to be the best team in the country year in and year out.

SATAN produces a small TV remote control.

SATAN: Ooh...the whole team? How about your running back Jamiroquai?

RILEY: No, no, he's good enough as is. I want team success.

SATAN: It's just, aha, you know, these things, gosh, it's not really good with big targets. It's more for individual use. Most people who come to me are pretty selfish.

RILEY: Just do it.

Three years pass. The date is October 3rd. RILEY's Oregon State Beavers have just lost to Utah, 68-3. The screen fades into the same dusty crossroads. RILEY paces furiously in front of SATAN.

RILEY: What is this shit?!

SATAN: Hey, bro, I told you this thing was inaccurate. But chill yourself, hood rich, I figured out what the deal be.

RILEY: What? Stop talking like that.

SATAN: I can't quit this thang. I used it on myself. I just wanted to be cool.

RILEY: Whatever. What did you do to my team?

SATAN: Peep this. What happened was it made you totally mediocre, except you're completely invincible against USC at home.

RILEY: That's it.

SATAN: That's it, baby.

RILEY: That's bullshit! That's not even close to what I wanted!

SATAN: Hey, slim, cool it. You're the greatest gimmick coach in America! You can't beat anyone...except the best team in the country! You're totally unique!

RILEY: No I'm not! Harbaugh does exactly the same thing!

HARBAUGH enters stage left Road Runner-style, his legs moving in an indeterminate vortex below the waist.


RILEY: What are you doing here?


SATAN: Hey, baby, cool it. I'll have it in three days. That's a big tab, you dig? I can't just snap my fingers and make it so. You know how it is.

HARBAUGH produces an Israeli anti-tank RPG and fires it point-blank at SATAN's head. SATAN explodes and dies. HARBAUGH sprints away.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This Is Not Enough

So, Matt Millen is finally gone after seven seasons of defecating on the Detroit Lions. However, we don't even know if he resigned or got fired. He simply no longer works there.

I am so furious I don't even know how to put it into words. This man cannot be allowed to slink out of the stockades like this. I want to see Barry Sanders kick him in the testicles once for every Lions loss under his tenure as president. I want to see Night Train Lane clothesline him once for every horrible draft pick in the past seven years. I want Herman Moore to stomp on his feet once for every undeserved second chance he got from the comatose Ford family. Matt Millen is a repugnant sack of shit who is unfathomably bad at his job and is probably a misogynistic racist, too.

Rot in hell, Matt.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brass Tacks

Here's how I think the MLB playoffs will unfold:

The Angels, Rays, and Red Sox have all clinched berths in the American League. The only spot still up for grabs is the Central Division champion. An underrated race, thanks to the heavy media coverage of the NL East's final week.

Chicago currently has a game and a half over the Twins but began a hugenormous series with Minnesota tonight (the Twins won the opener, 9-3). The Sox are likely to start John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, and Vasquez in their final four games. Rookie Clayton Richard will get skipped. The most important duel will most likely be the last game of the season when staff ace Buehrle faces likely Cy Young winner Cliff Lee.

Minnesota, meanwhile, will finish with Francisco Liriano, Glen Perkins, and Scott Baker in their three-game homestand against the Royals. Their most important matchup will be the 12-4 Baker against KC's Gil Meche, also the last game of the season.

I think Minnesota will in fact overtake Chicago's division lead just in time for postseason baseball.

In the National League, only the Cubs have clinched anything at all and they've guaranteed themselves the best record in the senior circuit. New York is falling apart and it looks like Philadelphia will once again sneak past the festering car accident in Queens and take the NL East crown. The only real race here is between the loser Mets and the also-loser Brewers for the right to lose to the Cubs in the first round. And although the Brewers have a one-game disadvantage, just like the Twins, I think they will make up the one-game deficit just in time to make the playoffs.

AL East: Rays
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Angels
Al Wild Card: Red Sox

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Brewers


Rays over Twins
Red Sox over Angels


Phillies over Dodgers
Cubs over Brewers


Red Sox over Rays


Cubs over Phillies


Red Sox over Cubs

This postseason is going to annoy the hell out of virtually everyone. For some reason I can almost smell the total disgust of good, honest baseball fans. Let's be honest: If you have a soul, you hate the Angels. They're a bunch of turds. Their team is full of jerks, their name is stupid, and it's impossible to look at their manager without wanting to punch him in the face. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the Duke basketball of professional baseball. They're always good, sure, but they're completely unlikeable and they never win the big one. They are content to coast on stale, meaningless archived success. Just like Michigan football! We saw this matchup in 2004: division champion, well-rounded Angels face high-scoring wild card Red Sox. Red Sox, despite inferior pitching talent, go on to win the World Series. The 2008 Red Sox are perhaps 40% as good as the '04 Sox, but whatever.

I think I've identified why these playoffs make me so angry: the insincerity. There are three teams worth rooting for: The Rays, the Twins, and the Brewers. Two of those teams might not even make the playoffs. If we're stuck with three weeks of Ozzie and the Mets bullpen wrasslin' for a World Series, I'm simply not watching. The Red Sox have grown fat and arrogant, the Rays are a nice story but they're all wide-eyed kids with no experience, the Cubs are cursed beyond value, and the Phillies' star player is an undeserving glorified Mo Vaughn with less talent. Ryan Howard does one thing: hit low outside fastballs to left field. He does this moderately well--about 24.8% of the time. He strikes out 25% of the time. No, really. He has 600 at-bats and 200 strikeouts. What a stud.

I'm probably going to be wrong about every single series from start to finish, but maybe that's not important. Here are the playoffs you want to see:


Rays over AL Central Representative (sweep if it's the White Sox, five games if it's the Twins)
Red Sox vs. Angels--canceled


Brewers over Cubs
Dodgers over Phillies


Brewers over Dodgers (LA has enough on its mantlepiece)


Brewers over Rays

That's right, you want to see the Brewers win the World Series. The Brewers have C.C. Sabathia. The Brewers have Ryan "SuperJew" Braun. The Brewers have Bill "William" Hall. Unfortunately, none of this will happen because the Brewers fired Ned Yost and replaced him with Dale "Steal Home" Sveum. But we can dream.

This Place Looks Different

Hello strangers.

On Sunday, I went to the Stanford Lipsey Student Publications Building as I do every Sunday during the school year. My assignment that day was to cover our field hockey team's game against Connecticut at the Storrs Invitational. While I was editing my story one of the editors said that John Lowe would be coming back to the Daily for the fall since baseball season was wrapping up and the Tigers aren't making the playoffs.

And I felt bad.

You see, John Lowe is the MLB beat writer for the Detroit Free Press and the man who encouraged--actually, flat-out told me to start a blog--and I can't face him next week and tell him that indeed, I started one, I posted regularly, and then sometime in July I simply abandoned it.

"Why?" he would ask, his mole-laden face bunching up into a frown.

"I don't know," I would say. After all, there are no editors here. I can literally say whatever I want and my articles can be as long or as short as I want. So I have no excuse for leaving Ben all alone here at Sal's. In April, this blog had over 9,000 hits. Not bad for a site that has no ads and one group on Facebook. In August, it had 2,700.

I'd like to say we're back to the Daily SAll-Star grind, because that "feature" definitely gave us a concrete schedule to adhere to, but realistically, it's probably not going to happen. Ben is the offensive coordinator and QB's coach for a fraternity that's in its first year in Division I. And I am a hardcore journalist now writing for two newspapers with a potential career-maker in a few weeks (and you will be among the first to know if it goes down). But! Rest assured that I am back in action. You can expect considerably fewer links and embedded videos from me; I've read some of the archived posts and most of the stuff I put up here is altogether uninteresting. But you can expect spectacularly witty prose as only the Suave can deliver.

Finally, I realized that I never declared a winner between Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. The victory goes to: