Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I was not able to see the game live in Denver, but I tried to see the highlights as soon as I heard what happened. After seeing the footage and taking in the commentary of every sports reporter capable of picking up a pencil or opening his/her mouth, I have tried to stay as objective as possible. For the most part, I agree with the majority that the suspensions were not severe enough. Anthony Reddick (a.k.a. Dat Helmet Swingin' MoFo) should be gone. Not just off the team, but out of the school. Brandon Meriweather (a.k.a Sir Stomps-A-Lot) should be suspended for the rest of the season. As my boy Adler said, "every time he stomped it cost him like ten grand (in NFL Draft money)." As for the rest: one game for anyone involved and at least two games if you came off the bench. I realize that if the Canes win out this year, they still have a shot at a BCS game, but honestly (and this is saying a lot, coming from me), I would rather they forget about wins and losses for the rest of the year and concentrate on getting the program back on track.
There is a certain swagger or cockiness that goes along with wearing "The U," but you have to be able to back it up. Right now there are ZERO players on the roster worthy of being on the same field as guys like Ken Dorsey, Edgerrin James, Santana Moss, Jonathan Vilma, and Ed Reed. Some of the aforementioned players weren't very highly recruited (Santana Moss came to UM on a track scholarship), but they were given a shot, coached correctly, and their attitude came across as deservedly confident rather than entitled cockiness.
I don't know if Larry Coker will be back next year. I feel bad for the situation his players have put him in, but at the same time he has the final say on which kids get the honor of playing for the Hurricanes. He hasn't done a very good job recruiting quality individuals. The physical talent is still there, but while the Canes of 3-5 years ago played beyond their years, the present squad seems to have all the patience and poise of a class of second graders visiting Colonial Williamsburg.
All that being said, it seems like most analysts were just waiting for the program to stumble so they could pounce. I sure many writers had their Mad Libs-style columns ready to go... insert head coach's name here, insert school president's name here... it stinks worse than Lake Osceola on a hot summer day. Of the columns I've read, Bill Curry's seems the most thought out.
The program will survive this melee, but not without scars which will never fade for some. Even after all involved parties have left the school, Miami will still be known as "Thug U" or "Convict U," which is something that, as hard as we may want to change, will always loom until a coach, athletic director, and school president are in power who are not afraid to carry out a zero tolerance policy for athletes.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
So yeah, just like I thought...It's all Papelbon.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
With a little more than a week left until the kickoff of the World Cup, I am fully ready and amped to cheer on the U.S. MNT (Men's National Team) for the next month and change. "But-- but JB, soccer is boring and sucks a lot." Give it a chance, I say.
Over the past several weeks I have been spending much of my down time at work doing my research on the sport. That includes, but is not limited to: thorough breakdown of several team rosters, figuring out who the best players in the tournament are and watching appropriate highlights (thanks YouTube), watching Fox Sports World Report, keeping up with the news, and catching as much of the U.S. friendly matches as I could.
I casually followed the happenings in the English Premier League last season, but in a relatively short amount of time, I have come to have a new appreciation for the sport. My boy J-Mazz and I were all about the World Cup in 2002, but I have a feeling it will be on a whole new level this time around. I'm not going to get into specifics as to why I think I now like soccer, but if you know me, and you respect my knowledge of sports as a whole, you won't give me any crap. I've done my research, and yes, soccer is legit in my book.
I'm going to try to use the World Cup as an excuse to start updating a little more regularly, so that alone should be reason for the five of you that check this on a regular basis to respect the game a little.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
- The ABA2K season has wrapped up and awards aren't due to be handed out until the Commissioner stops weeping himself to sleep.
- NECBL2 (damn we need a new name) hasn't quite hit full stride yet and seems to be inching perilously close to a season where every team finishes .500
- Nobody can start planning their ALF draft strategy until next week, when all the Trojans and Hurricanes have been assigned to their respective awful pro teams.
On Sunday 6/5/88, the eyes of the Elm City - nay, all of greater Cheshire County - were focused on the hallowed and dew-soaked grounds of Alumni Field. There, girls and boys from Alstead to Zwanzey battled each other for bragging rights and the coveted Blue Ribbon of Participation and Fun. Here then, are selected results from the 1988 Junior Olympics:
Boys Long Jump
1. Nick Goulas, Chesterfield
2. Jason Chamberlain, Symonds
3. Mike Eyman, Fuller
(NOTES: Goulas!...Not a good day for Symonds, as you'll see...same for Wheelock - nice job East and West Keene!...Jason Chamberlain was already 6'8" 125 lb)
(PREDICTION: Watts will crack up at the name Mike Eyman)
GIRLS LONG JUMP
1. Emily Dobson, Franklin
2. Celena Chickering, Chesterfield
3. Stefanie Rosinski, Daniels
(NOTES: Dobson prevents the Chesterfield sweep, but would later become sister-in-law to the boys winner. How fucking weird...Celena got so pissed, she kicked everyone's ass for the next 10 years...StefRo just took a normal step and finished 3rd)
(PREDICTION: Celena Chickering will not marry Jason Chamberlain)
BOYS 40-YARD DASH
1. Nick Benjamin, Chesterfield
2. Craig Blanchard, Franklin
3. Marco Salce, Fuller
(NOTES: What is in the Connecticut River water in Chesterfield? Must be all the amphetamines Westmoreland dumps in it...Blanchard still holds the record for fasted time while baked...Marco went on to way easier athletic endeavors, such as catching and wrestling)
(PREDICTION: None of these guys can run 40 yards anymore)
GIRLS 40-YARD DASH
1. Julie Nowak, Daniels
2. Nicole Castor, Wheelock
3. Karilyn Saunders, Franklin
(NOTES: Quite the diverse group here, huh?)
(PREDICTION: Karilyn keeps her bronze medal right next to her Dartmouth diploma)
BOYS 440-YD RUN
1. Mike Cody, Chesterfield
2. Dan Moylin (sic), Symonds
3. Tom Askey, Fuller
(NOTES: Who are 2 people who have never been in my kitchen, and one who has been in my kitchen with the word "Tombo" shaved in the back of his head. Good times. Did they spell Danny Sprinter's name wrong or was this some prototype version of the Moylan we grew to know later?)
(PREDICTION: Tom Askey will never catch for Rick Ankiel)
GIRLS 440-YD RUN
1. Erin Aeschilman, St Joe's
2. Kim Fuller, Chesterfield
3. Chloe Wampler, Fuller
(NOTES: That's all 3rd place finishes for the mighty Fuller School Panthers so far. Is there anyone out there who can close the deal?...Hell, a Fuller took 2nd, and she's from Chesterfield...Whatever happened to that Aeschilman girl, anyway?)
(PREDICTION: So many Chloe Wampler running jokes, so little blog)
GIRLS SOFTBALL TOSS
1. Mary Tolman, St Joe's
2. Beth Hammond, Fuller
3. Julie Johnson, Wheelock
(PREDICTION: Beth Hammond's granddaughter will medal in this event next year)
AND THE MAIN EVENT:
BOYS SOFTBALL TOSS
1. Ryan Friedman, Fuller
2. Jason Thomas, Chesterfield
3. Rejean Guerriero, St Joe's
(NOTES: TAKE THAT, STINKTOWN!..What a murderers row of accuracy experts. Right?)
(PREDICTION: I will never touch a softball again)
By the way, the FOURTH GRADE boys softball throw podium?
That's enough for now. Sorry I don't have the Class of '98 covered here for the tall kid sector of KFS. Coming soon...Stats from the 1988 and 1989 Junior League Orioles, and the complete schedule for Rec League Basketball.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
A) Team X finally wins their championship, thanks to great health and the dominating performance of Andres Nocioni
B) Team X finishes 5th as Shaq leads new squad to 105-0 record
C) Team X's other 2 remaining keepers get hurt, they finish 2nd again, and Aubrey Huff trips on a frigging bullpen mound and lands on the DL.
Make some room on the bench, Chris. Here comes King James (and Al Harrington). And make some room on the Yahoo!Mantle! while you're at it. Daddy's bringing home another silver trophy.
If LeBron comes back, please disregard this post. Except for the Aubrey Huff part. He's a loser.
Monday, April 10, 2006
- Losing your first week builds character... or so the Devil Jays would have us believe.
- Adler's wins need to get a lot more impressive if he's going to live up to the hype created by Frieds. He won 7-2, but would have lost to anyone else. Including ME!
- Ffej has stopped caring about KFS entirely.
- I still hate the Yankees... but now for either losing or winning by 8+ runs.
- Bartolo Colon and Livan Hernandez are still just big fat Jugs machines.
- Maybe the Braves WON'T win the NL East this year.
- Maybe the Rockies WILL win the NL West.
- Speaking of the NL West, I hope none of us ever have to have a nerve removed from any of our elbows.
- Adler thought Chris Shelton was black.
- I still think Khalil Greene is black.
- How weird does the Red Sox lineup look this year? J.T. Snow?
- It turns out Matt Murton ISN'T this year's Clint Barmes. The rest of the league is safe from Woosta... for now.
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Friday, March 31, 2006
One word. Carets. Yep, I picked up a new player this morning, went to edit my lineup for Monday, and there they were. Two wonderful carets staring me in the face. Sure, one of them was attached to Oliver Perez, one of many awful early draft picks last season, but even that couldn't put a damper on the excitement. Huddy's getting two starts too, at Dodger Stadium and AT&T Park (I had to look that one up) - two great pitchers parks.
More could follow tomorrow, when Tuesday's starters are usually given The Mark. Those of us who keep track of the wire to make sure our pitching staff is maxed out on games are most definitely smiling this morning, knowing that our season officially begins today.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Yes, we have tossed around ideas about doing an auction, keeping more players, and adding money to the mix. Over the course of the past couple of days, all of that came to fruition and them some in the form of gamedayritual.com. When looking at the trial section of the website, it looks awesome. It's got a great layout, a ton of features, and takes care of the keeper issue by itself. But after reviewing the biblical players' guide, it's a little scary. Like enrolling in a class that is a little over your head, it's hard to keep straight how the league actually works and what it's going to take to be successful. Maybe that's why we're having a hard time filling the league, because it's scaring people away.
In any case, I'm excited to see how it all plays out. I think the extra features, like being able to customize a stadium (distances, wall heights, elevation, etc.) that directly affects how your team performs, add a layer of fun and strategy to the game that will outweigh the initial frustration of not knowing what the hell is going on. So, at least for right now, the Denver Bighorns have taken the spotlight from the Mile High Mackerel.
Monday, March 27, 2006
While I appreciate your notes from yesterday on Craig Hansen...
"He did not allow a run this spring with the Red Sox, but when he gets sent out, the overall feeling is that he needs to either start or pitch in three-inning stints to develop both his fastballs, slider and changeup. In Hansen's case, saves for Pawtucket or Portland are irrelevant. He needs to prepare to pitch in the major leagues, and closing in his case isn't development."...and the shout-out to my current place of residence...
"If Armando Benitez does break down, don't be surprised if the Giants turn to Merkin Valdez -- who's had a great spring -- and Brian Wilson, who shot through the organization last season with his power stuff. Brian Sabean has to like Wilson, as the fireballer is a fellow New Hampshire native out of Londonderry."...I could most likely go on with my day without reading this...
"All the Team USA pitchers -- and pitching coach Marcel Lachemann -- were in awe of Roger Clemens. But one thing they weren't ready for was Clemens taking that Icy Hot that pitchers rub on their shoulders and arms and spreading it over his upper thighs and private parts. "He doesn't want to get comfortable on the mound," says Jake Peavy, who tried the same trick Friday night in Phoenix."If that the kind of substance abuse we're going to be hearing about in this post-steroid era, I'd rather go back to the Bash Brothers. Anyway, if anyone else knows of a pitcher who starts rubbing cream on his ballsack, please let Adler know so he can add him to the stable.
Kenji Johjima (MHI)
Javy Lopez (COL)
Jorge Posada (ROC)
Josh Willingham (MHI)
Derrek Lee (MHI, AUR)
Richie Sexson (ROC)
Mark Teixeira (COL)
Jeff Kent (ROC)
Mark Loretta (MHI)
Brian Roberts (MHI)
Rickie Weeks (COL, AUR)
Garrett Atkins (MHI, COL, ROC)
Hank Blalock (MHI)
Troy Glaus (ROC)
Clint Barmes (COL)
Orlando Cabrera (AUR)
Khalil Greene (AUR)
Miguel Tejada (MHI, AUR)
Omar Vizquel (AUR)
Bobby Abreu (MHI)
Lance Berkman (COL)
Brian Giles (AUR)
Luis Gonzalez (MHI, AUR)
Vladimir Guerrero (MHI)
Manny Ramirez (ROC)
Gary Sheffield (AUR)
Mark Buehrle (COL)
A.J. Burnett (ROC)
Daniel Cabrera (MHI, COL)
Roger Clemens (COL)
Bartolo Colon (MHI)
Felix Hernandez (COL)
Tim Hudson (ROC)
Pedro Martinez (ROC)
Matt Morris (MHI, AUR)
John Patterson (COL)
Mark Prior (AUR)
John Smoltz (MHI, AUR)
Carlos Zambrano (COL)
Brad Lidge (MHI, AUR)
Joe Nathan (MHI, AUR)
Mariano Rivera (MHI)
Obviously I love Garrett Atkins. In the Aurora league put-outs count for points, which is why I have so many seemingly shitty shortstops.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
With a bottle of Grey Goose at my side, I sat down for another fantasy baseball draft, fully prepared to let my drafting policies follow my sobriety. The 2006 version of the annual meeting of NECBL2 owners had all the major surprises one would expect from an honest to god competitive fantasy league, not the least of which was that there were n'an surprises in the first five rounds. Still, I went to sleep last night, woke up this morning, and Adler still drafted Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. I'll break the draft down in the following sections...
Rounds 1-5: Keepers Kept
For once, the keeper rounds went smoothly. It turns out that Stanley wasn't kidding when he said he was keeping Chone Figgins and I was kidding when I said I was keeping Jonny Gomes. I love how the draft starts and it's hard to keep up with the chat line, then as the final round of the re-draft starts people start to disappear a little bit. I'll admit I was scrambling up until the first pick... but we're not there yet.
Worst Keeper: Chone Figgins (New Haven Traffic Cones)
Riskiest Keeper: Ryan Howard (Baltimore Devil Jays)
Rounds 6-10: Hello... Again...
The rounds following the keeper rounds saw many familiar faces walk across the stage. Some players shook hands with familiar owners, while others are going to try on new team colors in 2006. Carlos Beltran openly wept as he was drafted #1 overall by Steve Adler's Tiger Army, officially ending his chances of ever making the playoffs. Yahoo!'s rankings and draft guesstimates were completely thrown out the window by NECBL2 owners, which I love. Here are some examples of why our league is awesome: Bonds and Sizemore going in Round 6, Jeff Kent going to New Haven, and Watts essentially drafting the same guy twice (Brian Giles & J.D. Drew). Funston be damned, I say!
Weirdest-Looking New Uniform: Hank Blalock (Mile High Mackerel)
Most Obvious Pick: Jeff Kent (New Haven)
Rounds 11-15: Adolescence
Is it just me, or are rounds 11 through 15 a pretty good representation of years 13 through 18 in life? It seems like some of us don't know what we're doing, we wind up making bad decisions, and we try to hang-out with "the cool kids" even though they'll be working at K-Mart in 5 years. What the hell was up with these picks? Round 11, Livan Herandez. Round 12, Cliff Floyd. Round 13, Jeremy Hermida, Jason Giambi, and Randy Winn. Round 14, Trevor Hoffman and Julio Lugo. Round 15, Placido Polanco and Eddie Guardado. And I've already stated that I'm refusing to believe that Adler took Andy Pettitte even though he tried to hide it by taking Jason Varitek 2 seconds later. I'm not saying those were all bad picks, mind you, but I know I hate looking at my cheat sheet and saying to myself "damn, I have to draft Livan Hernandez, don't I? This sucks."
Most Likely To Be Done By May: Tie. Josh Beckett (Chavez Ravine Squatters), Cliff Floyd (New Haven), & Ken Griffey, Jr. (Woosta Pimp Roostas)
Quietest Pick: Mark Prior (Woosta)
Rounds 16-20: The Plot Thickens
Like Adler at a bar at 2am, most owners seem to loosen their standards as to who they are willing to take chances on as the evening progresses. Rookies and old-timers alike were given chances to play in the big show and owners around the league thanked Stanley for only pre-ranking 125 players. There was a good mix of age in almost every round of this group, and I commend owners around the league for making some shrewd picks. There was a rookie or a second-year player drafted in every round as well as veterans with upside such as Roger Clemens, Jim Thome, Armando Benitez, Javy Lopez (who was later cut, for some reason), Torii Hunter, and Pudge Rodriguez.
Pick That Signaled Stanley Was Done: Scott Podsednik (New Haven)
Man-Crush Of The Year: Steve Adler on Lyle Overbay (Chicago Tiger Army Of New York)
Rounds 21-25: I Don't Care Anymore
Rounds 21 through 25 are a lot like rounds 16 through 20, except they're not as good and the last one doesn't count. Frieds drafted a guy who in currently in AAA, Rich drafted Rocco Baldelli, and I hit that Bong... hahahahahahahahahahahah!
Best Chance To Not Get Cut: Freddy Garcia (Marshall St. Menace)
2006 Best Name Pick: Yorman Bazardo, who will probably win the Cy Young this year (Woosta)
Friday, March 24, 2006
In a totally blatant effort to get Chabot and Watts to start contributing,what are your top 5 PJ ditties of all time? And Rich, "That one that goes 'I kicked a baby seal'" is an acceptable choice
1. Low Light
4. Red Mosquito
I've been out of the music scene for quite a while, but that song this morning got me going. Other band discussion is encouraged. Except for Tool.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Case in point, the article written today by two RotoWire columnists in which one of the contributors tells us how much he has devalued Abreu and Tejada. They proceed to go back and forth via e-mail seemingly for days.
First of all, I think almost everyone in the Keene Fantasy Sports family is just as qualified as those tea bags to write for a fantasy sports rag like RotoWire or even Yahoo!, so I usually take what these guys say with a grain of salt. Just a few weeks ago another writer from another website wrote an article in which he valued Abreu higher than Jason Bay.
Still, for some players that I've owned for a long period of time, when amateur writers dig on them, I feel like I have to defend their honor as if I was their agent or publicist. Is this normal behavior around the league? In my opinion, the biggest conflict of interest in KFS leagues is in Woosta where Red Sox-friendly owner Colonel Rice relies heavily on Alex Rodriguez to continue his dominance of fantasy sports. Does the Colonel feel like he needs to defend A-Rod when he is repeatedly called a choke artist or Slappy McBlue-Lips? Or is ignorance bliss?
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
So I got to thinking, once again, that this league needs prizes. This sweatshirt cost 24 bucks, including shipping and the discount coupon that you seem to get every time someone else refers you. If we made that the prize, it would cost everyone 3 bucks and change each. And this is pretty much the most expensive item you could order from the site. If the winner wanted a bumper sticker, I'd pay for it myself.
I'm completely willing to make new graphics for people who win. "I Beat the Squatch" for example, or "Pimpin' Is Easy". I don't know how I'd get everyone's money to order the item, but if you want to put 3 dollars in an envelope and send it to me, that's all it would take.
Anyway, just a very cheap way to potentially add a little fun to the league. Thoughts?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
- Chicago: Barry Bonds – Bizarro Adler can’t help but jump when presented with the opportunity to draft this steroid infused baseball demolition machine. This slugger has no keeper potential and does not play left field for the Red Sox. Alternate: Jorge Posada.
- Speedway: Pedro Martinez – In true bizarro fashion, Speedway drafts Pedro Martinez; electing to make this the year that they don’t throw their best player from the previous year over to the Woosta squad. Alternates: A-rod, David Ortiz.
- New Haven: Roy Oswalt – In order to gear up for their usual two-start pitcher approach, New Haven starts off their draft with Pedro Martinez light. Alternate: Dontrelle Willis.
- Chavez Ravine: Hideki Matsui – Bizarro Chavez is all about the reliable veterans, and for them it doesn’t get any better than this war tested Native American chief / Japanese Yakyu MVP. Alternate: Jim Edmonds.
- Marshall St.: Jhonny Peralta – Marshall St. goes out on a limb and drafts this generally likeable human spelling error to fill their MI position. With only one season under his belt and his non-pitcher status, he’s just what the doctor ordered. How Bizarre. Alternate: Climt Barnes.
- Baltimore: Ichiro Suzuki – Bizarro Baltimore knows to steer clear of the trash left over from last year’s MHI squad. This year they get the party started with the master of batting average and steals (they are, after all, the 2 most important categories in BNECBL2). Alternate: Juan Pierre (the NL version of Ichiro).
- Mile High: Eric Chavez – Look up the definition of bizarro in the dictionary and it says: “ bizzaro (b -zär o) adj: Eric Chavez not on Woosta. (Syn: Speedway making good trades, NECBL2 draft going smoothly) (Ant: normal, regular)." Alternate: None.
- Woosta: Jeff Bagwell – Cementing their position on the bottom of the NECBL2 ladder, Woosta drafts this 1B who can’t throw overhand. Their reasoning? Bizzaro Rich’s Rawlings baseball glove from little league (the last time Rich actually payed attention to MLB) was the Jeff Bagwell model. Alternate: Jon Dowd.
Of course, that alone doesn't mean anything. What it does mean is that I got to make a wish, and in that wish, I asked for a championship season. And like that? You're all losing.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Then, the team with a frigging tire tread for a logo crushed me in the inaugural Package Series (hey, that name stuck!). Robb Nen single-handedly beat me that week. The extra B is for bring your own ligaments. So then I panicked. I moved the team to a racetrack next to a nudist camp (true story) and ever since, I've been mired in mediocrity. Completely due to bad luck of course, and not horrifically poor trades and otherwise shoddy decision-making. Just look at the hitters I used to have:
- Paul Konerko
- Adam Dunn
- David Ortiz
- Mark Teixeira
- Lance Berkman
- Alex Rodriguez
So while you guys get juiced up for fantasy baseball season, I'll be going for the second leg of the Gallup Slam over in Hoopsville. And remember to draft Barry Bonds in the first round. He's good for .410/47/95. And don't get me started on his VORP...
Pena batted .254 with 19 homers and 51 RBIs last season and struck out 116 times with 20 walks. A 24-year-old right-handed hitter, he could play right
field instead of lefty Trot Nixon when left-handers pitch against Boston.
What Adler sees:
.254 with19 homers and 51 RBIs last season and struck out 116 times with 20walks. A 24-year-old right-handed hitter, he could play right field instead of lefty Trot NixonSteve Adler when left-handers pitch against Boston.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
- Getting "sick" in high school for the first couple of days of the tournament.
- Spending all of the days leading up to that in school pining over brackets at the expense of my education. As fate would have it, I was actually preparing for life in the working world.
- Watching March Madness at Midnight Madness at the Keene YMCA. It was madness, for lack of a better word.
- Burning a UConn pennant after their victory over Duke. It was given to me as a present by a friend of mine who went to UConn.
- Rigging an entire box of aluminum foil to my TV antenna in college so I could more clearly see though the haze of static that blanketed Miami's local CBS affiliate.
- Three words: "One shining momennnnnt..."
I'll admit, I've become less of a basketball fan in general than I was a few years ago. I blame the NBA and it's lenient draft entry policies which I believe thins out talent at the pro and college levels. Still, we all know that there are few things in sports that are as universally addictive as filling out an NCAA bracket and following your picks through at least the first two rounds (depending on how you do). Today, I proud to say that this year, finally, I have become one of the millions of employees across the nation who is blowing my company's money by watching the tournament at work. Ahhh, America.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
- Chicago: Pedro Martinez – Do we honestly think Adler can resist seeing Pedro staring him in the face and pointing to his own head at the top slot? The answer is yes. But not with alcohol in his system coupled with the fact that Adler will have been swimming in a sea of blue and orange for the weeks leading up to the draft. Alternate: Carlos Beltran
- Speedway: Joe Nathan – Nathan lit it up for Adler last year, and is the best available closer who is not a Yankee. At 32, Nathan might be 15 years too old to don the ‘Wipes uniform. Is this the year Frieds fights the urge to rob the cradle? Alternate: Dontrelle Willis
- New Haven: Mariano Rivera – No doubt. Alternate: None
- Chavez Ravine: Dontrelle Willis – It just fits. Bob went with the youth movement last year and adding Willis would give the Squats a scary one-two punch for years if/when they finally part ways with Alfonso Soriano. Alternate: Carlos Zambrano
- Marshall Street: Roy Oswalt – With no Clemens early in the year, Watts needs another big time pitcher, and J-Dub has never been afraid of drafting nasty, nasty pitchers. Also, Oswalt can not be given the chance to go back to Woosta. This must happen. Alternate: Ichiro
- Baltimore: Carlos Zambrano – Even though Zambrano didn’t play for Mile High at any point last year, Baltimore may be throwing everyone for a loop here. Zambrano, along with Oswalt, was a cornerstone of the Pimp Roostas championship squad. DosBot was not afraid to raid the champs last year, and that won’t change in 2006. Alternate: Roy Oswalt
- Mile High: Bartolo Colon – For the second time in two years, I will likely have to “settle” for Bart and trade him two weeks into the season before his stock really begins to rise. Alternate: Carlos Lee
- Woosta: Carlos Lee – He’s a good hitter, on an up and coming team, and was on Rich’s squad last year. Those are three things in El Caballo’s favor. Alternate: Eric Chavez
Note: I think these are all still accurate. If people didn't go changing their keepers every week...
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
I was never much of a Twins fan, in fact I'm not even sure if I watched any of the 1991 World Series against the Braves. However, Puckett was one of baseball's most personable and likeable players at a time when I was learning a lot about the game from its ambassadors. Players like Puckett, Will Clark, and Ken Griffey, Jr. were, if not role models, men I emulated on my a daily basis on homemade Whiffle Ball fields against the likes of my friends' and cousins' favorites, Gary Sheffield, Wade Boggs, Dan Pasqua, and Kenny Lofton. At 45, Puckett was taken too early, but I feel privleged to have been able to see a player with his enthusiasm and talent play the game. He had his problems off the field after he retired, as I'm sure many players do, and not much can excuse chasing your wife around the house with a circular saw. The last few years of his life were undoubtedly tragic ones, but I will remember him as I knew him: on the field playing hard and getting teammates to follow. If I ever have little ones who are aspiring outfielders, I will most certainly tell them stories about Kirby Puckett.
Monday, February 20, 2006
You can officially lump me into the group of people who are genuinely interested in curling for the next week and a half. MSNBC has been showing many matches in their entirety, and with the bits and pieces of rules and terminology I've picked up, I think I actually understand the basic ules of the game. There's a sort of relaxing trance that I get into when watching the sport... er, event. My interest is strange to me, becuase I wouldn't consider watching old people play shuffleboard, which is essentially the same thing. Perhaps curling is such a bizarre and almost laughable game that it seems to have gotten its hooks into me.
I am getting a lot of satisfaction watching Bode Miller continually fail. I get the feeling that a lot of athletes that are representing our country are the type of people that the rest of the world hates. Miller seems to be the poster-boy for the "I-Don't-Give-A-Fuck" attitude. That works great when you can back it up with results, but as far as I know the guy doesn't have a medal yet. He ran his mouth an awful lot leading up to Torino, and hey, something worked because his Nike commercials are airing non-stop on NBC. He is proving himself to be a major flop, and has been mediocre in every event thus far, but all he can talk about is how the media puts unrealistic expectations on athletes and how the Olympics don't really mean that much. Good point, Bode. Personally, I'd much rather have an X-Games trophy autographed by Suzy Kolber and Chris Fowler than a gold medal signifying that I was the best skier in the world.
Bryant Gumbel is a fool. For those of you who didn't catch it, he made some strange comments about the games on his "Real Sports" show on HBO. Here it is:
Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t care about them and won’t watch them. In fact, I figure that when Thomas Paine said that “these are the times that try men’s souls,” he must’ve been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the winter games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sportswriters pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it — these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin."
The problem with how often I write in this thing is that by the time I touch on something, everyone else has already beat it to death. However, Bryant Gumbel has to be one of the whitest black guys in the public eye, who works in a profession dominated by whites. For him to suggest that the games would be better off if there were more black athletes may be correct, but it's an irresponsible claim to make. I'm sure if the U.S. Olympic team knew that there were better curlers somewhere in the county who just happen to be black, they would love to get them on the team. The reality is that there aren't a whole lot of black athletes on the bobsled course, ski jump, or figure skating rink. There are still only a few in the NHL which is a fairly mainstream league around the world. Several radio show hosts around the country have said that if a white host were to say that they don't watch the NBA because there is a "paucity" of white athletes, they would be hung out to dry and fired. This sitation sort of underlines the strange racial tensions that exist in this country. Somehow it's become okay to criticize the white athlete for being white, but not the black athlete for anything that comes close to race. The great thing, if you're a host of some sort, is that when you bring up racial issues you will almost always get national publicity. However, I think a lot of journalists are off base when they bring up discussions about race in sports. Still, Gumbel is wise in his hypocrisy. He called the Olympics "...little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February..." and I wonder how many people will tune him in once word of his controversy spreads...
I couldn't care less about what Gumbel said really, I'm just excited to see the U.S. Men's Curling squad in the medal round.
Thursday, February 9, 2006
The Super Bowl, regardless of what the TV ratings tell me, was pretty boring. If it wasn't for my boy A-Dawg deep frying a turkey and providing good conversation, I probably would have fallen asleep. Still I'm sort of glad that Pittsburgh won, partly because their other sports franchises are in dire straits, but mostly because I don't know if I could handle Seattle winning a championship of any kind. I just can't wrap my brain around it.
So now we set our sights past the Pro Bowl and to April 29th's NFL Draft. I'm no expert, but I am positive that the first three picks will be Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Vince Young, not necessarily in that order. It's going to be another odd year for Hurricanes fans at the draft. 2005 saw only one Cane go in the 1st Round (Antrel Rolle), and Mel Kiper, Jr. doesn't have any on his Big Board. Still, this year's draft will provide much more drama than 2005's, which was about as exciting as a girl's high school JV basketball game.
Last week was also a big one for college football programs around the country as Signing Day (the equivalent to a NCAA Draft) came and went. For days on end I had to listen to Adler tell me how awesome USC is, even though they have one of the longest losing streaks in the country right now. Anyway, most reviewers had their recruiting class ranked #1 or at least in the top 5. How great for them. Larry Coker, on the other hand might be in a world of hurt come this time next year. Not only did he fire a handful coaches after the Peach Bowl disaster, including Canes staple Art Kehoe, but he didn't hire anyone to replace them until just before Signing Day. Still, in the press conference he said the only lost one recruit between Christmas and Signing Day, but I don't know if I believe that. Every year it's the "best class ever, and we're very happy with our class" speech. The Canes did manage to grab 4 of the top 30 RBs in the nation. Maybe some of those dudes can catch the ball because I'm about done watching Greg Olsen gets his bell rung while Ryan Moore and Lance Leggett drop balls all day long. Also they grabbed Ray Lewis, Jr. and Bryant McKinnie, Jr., but they won't be eligible to play for another 10 years or so.
So we enter the dark days of the sports calendar... with little sustenance but for the NBA, if you consider that a sport, and the NCAA tournament, which I will have little to no interest in this year... but wait, what's this? Baseball starts in less than two months? There is a light at the end of the tunnel!