Thursday, May 31, 2007

A-Rod likes "she-males"; In other news water is apparently "wet"

Today's Daily News had probably the most beautiful quote I have ever seen in a New York newspaper:

A petite stripper at the Hustler Club said A-Rod "likes the she-male, muscular type. They brought me up to the champagne room one time. I spun around once and that was it. I'm not his type."

This was after pictures were in the Post yesterday of A-Rod leaving a strip club in Toronto with a mystery blond. Supposedly Alex likes the strip clubs but not the feminine ladies. Uh, yeah that's totally normal. I usually go to strip clubs and ask for the stripper with the five o'clock shadow and an adam's apple. *cough* gay *cough*

At this point, there is really no where to go with this. I mean the jokes write themselves. For everyone who hates A-Rod with a passion this just gives them so much more ammunition (personally I am giddy for what The Dugout will do with this). The guy really can never win in New York. No matter what he does the press jumps all over him.

I am surprised that the media ran with this story. I mean, don't most ballplayers cheat on their wives? I just assumed based on Major League, and we all know movies don't lie. I figured that the media just had an understanding with most sports stars to stay away from these stories. Not that I mind, I think everyone should have their dirty laundry aired on the front page of New York Post. If you are famous, don't be a fuck up and do stupid shit. Otherwise, deal. I hope this all leads to more stories about sports stars involved in torrid affairs such as:

- The Manning Brothers caught in bed with each other. Turns out Eli is actually the top.

- Manny and an inanimate carbon rod he thinks is a woman.

- Maria Sharapova dying tragically due to exhaustion after 23 hour sex marathon with me.

- Michael Vick torn apart by rabid highly evolved dogs.

Ok that last one doesn't really work, but I hope to see that story in the paper someday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kobe asks for trade, Buss asks for breathalyzer, Shaq backs Kobe...what's going on?

So Kobe has asked to be traded; besides the bizarre fact that he announced on the Stephen A. Smith show, it's not all that surprising that the situation has gotten to this point. The Lakers front office has been a mess, and it was only a matter of time before leaks started blaming Kobe for the team's position. So, you have arguably the best player in basketball on the market.

Who makes the deal for him? There has been talk of a deal with Chicago involving Luol Deng and Ben Gordon; they would probably have to involve Ben Wallace to make the money work, and it would be interesting to see if LA threw in anyone else. LA has another big bargaining chip in Andrew Bynum, who a lot of people in the league like; he's young and was playing reasonably well at the beginning of the season.

It should be an interesting summer though, to see how quickly this gets resolved, and whether Kobe is still a Laker when training camp rolls around.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Jim Gaffigan Riff on Hot Pockets

Ok, if you haven't seen this, you really need to. Anytime someone can go on a five minute riff about Hot Pockets it is something special. The main reason I am posting this is because I was drunk last night and had at least a 20 minute discussion with someone about the cover of the hot pockets box. Yeah, we're winners.

Take it away, Deuce...oh wait, that's me

So, taking off from RC's points about the latest Yanks/Sox tilt, here are my observations:

1) I give YES credit for pointing out the drop in Moose's velocity, even from last year. His fastball seems to have dropped a good 5-6 MPH, which makes his off-speed stuff...well, not so offspeed. I don't have a good grasp of his peripherals, but something is not right with him, and if his velocity doesn't improve...well, we're looking at the end of a solid career coming much faster than people would have guessed.

2) It cracks me up that all of a sudden people have begun "noticing" Kevin Youkulis. The stathead community has been a believer in him since his minor league days with the Sox, when he was the "Greek God of Walks." Of course, the attention has largely been due to his high batting average, that most overused of statistics in the mainstream media. One would like to think that, while looking at his average, people will gain an appreciation of the other things he does offensively, and will learn to appreciate other high-value guys like him. But, then again, that would be asking a bit too much.

3) My biggest worry with this season isn't that the Yankees will miss the playoffs. If they do, it will be disappointing, and something will probably get broken, but it's not the end of the universe. It's not that the Yanks will fire Joe Torre; again, it would be upsetting, but that time will come eventually. No, the biggest worry is that the team will fire Brian Cashman, and start over with another yes-man for the Tampa contingent. Cashman is doing things the correct way, rebuilding what had been a putrid farm system, and showing some sort of financial restraint (well, besides the Clemens thing). The Yankees are, as weird as it sounds, in a sort of rebuilding year this year, and in the beginning of what is most likely a 5-7 year plan to get back to the dynasty stage. To fire Cashman, who has done a great job thus far, would be a mistake, one that the Yankees may not recover from for quite some time. So, George, chill out, let the man do his work.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What will become of Zombie Pavano?

So it appears that the Carl Pavano is going to have Tommy John surgery and the Yankees are going to let him loose. Really just so sad.

Congrats Carl on making 39 million dollars for a little less than 20 starts. Seriously, I hate the Yankees but they should really ask for their money back. How much did they get screwed? Not only was he pretty much the most useless player on their roster for three years (although last year it might have been the dessicated corpse of Bernie Williams), he got into trouble off the field with the whole car crash fiasco.

Good thing he has Gia above to comfort him. Wait no, no he doesn't. Let's all stop a moment and laugh at Carl and the Yankees. It will make everyone feel a little better.
Oh, and if you don't get the Zombie Pavano thing, go read The Dugout. Seriously, it might be the best site on the interwebs.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why Canada is the Real Loser in the Stanley Cup Finals

One of two things will happen depending on what team ultimately hoists Lord Stanley's Chalice. 1) A team captained by a player born outside of North America will win the Stanley Cup for the first time ever or 2) A team named after a Disney franchise starring Emilio Estevez will win. Given the choices, Canada is in a no win situation.
As the red-headed step child of North America, Canada has an inferiority complex to rival France. While the French are rude and snobby, making it much easier to dislike them, Canadians are for the most part very polite and patriotic to a fault. They are almost like the mildly retarded kid every one can cheer for because they are doing their best with what they have even if some of things they say are ridiculous. When their done they still get a cookie and milk. To make matters worse, their is a whole province of Canada that was settled primarily by the French (For those of you that are unaware provinces are similar to states in the US).
As an example of how a typical Canadian thinks, we should look at the views espoused by the person voted to be one of the top 10 Canadians all-time. I of course mean the flamboyantly dressed Don Cherry. Among the many things Don has been happy to harp on in the past is that Europeans are soft and are ruining the game of hockey. With the European Daniel Alfredsson leading the Senators into the finals, this creates quite the dilema for any lemming-like Canadian that is anti-europeans but pro-canadian sports teams. The best Canadians can hope for is a repeat of the 1919 Stanley Cup finals that was cancelled due to the Spainish Flu epidemic. This will ensure that the neither the Disney Ducks or the Euro-trash Senators win. The Sabres will be rewarded the Stanley Cup by virtue of their regular season triumphs. And there was much rejoicing.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

No, just that last sentence, and this one explaining it . . . que?

Interesting series with the Yankees this weekend - I was able to watch most of it (missing about 5 innings of the middle game - slow-pitch softball 4 lyf!), so I figured a 'take-away' discussion starter for Collin would be in order.

First, the decline of Schilling is striking - his fastball is down to 88-91, even the four-seam job. Now, this is not unexpected for a pitcher on the wrong side of 40, but it really is striking to see him attempt to get by with location and guile. Indeed, last night his location was WAY off, and against a patient Yankees lineup it hurt him quite a bit. The homers mostly came on misses up in the zone, which (SURPRISE!) is pretty much bound to happen against NYY. He can still pitch well when bad teams swing at bad pitches, or when he can locate - but when he's off, he's eminently hittable. It will be interesting to see if he goes more to the curve/cutter/2-seamer - he's not hard-headed (unlike, say, 2006 Beckett) . . . watch his next two starts. Seriously, it will be fascinating on a metagame level.

Second, Wang owns the Red Sox, while Pettitte and Moose really aren't even fearsome elements in that rotation anymore. The Sox have traditionally hit lefties poorly, but The Nose really doesn't scare me anymore, regardless of last night. With Clemens being literally outpitched by Clay Buchholz in AA yesterday, the Yankees rotation just does not scare me, as a Sox fan - although it will be more than enough to make a run, especially once Hughes is back (who may very well be their 2nd-best pitcher right now).

Third, Varitek looks atrocious at the plate, and Crisp is probably making better contact than his hit rate suggests. Manny's struggles, however, really seem due to a slow bat (or the mental feeling of slowing down), as he is just flying open when missing. Remy did a great analysis on the NESN broadcast in Game 2, and the SOSH thread really goes well into the details, so I won't bore you - but when inevitable regression comes for Lowell and Okajima, it may not be good to assume these three will rebound much. Also, Bob Abreu is useless as a baseball player - he looks like a statue in the field. Some have suggested that these guys used their 'free' amphetamine/non-steroid PED exception and are now feeling the downswing - I'm not willing to go that far, but I get the feeling it's a reasonable thought process.

Fourth, I'm eminently appreciative of Tavarez's willingness to gut out 5.1 innings of decent ball recently - the ability to keep Lester's innings controlled and ease him back will be fantastic, especially having a fresh lefty in the rotation at the end of the season should the Yankees make a run or make the playoffs. Good work, you crazy fuck.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Note to NBC: You Suck Horribly

It seems two hours of pregame is what is needed for a horse race that no one really cares about. The only people who should care about The Preakness are the drunk people at the race. They probably don't even have any idea there is actually a race going on.

So, NBC why do you switch away from a tied NHL playoff game going into overtime to show two twats talking about horses? I know they showed the rest of the game on Vs., but it took about 10 minutes for Vs. to switch away from monkey bowling or whatever the fuck they were showing. Is this really what is has come to for hockey? A possible series clinching game is going into overtime and the network switches to a marginal event at best? I don't know about anyone else but that makes me incredible sad. I mean the NHL these past few years after the lockout has been extremely exciting and enjoyable (more so then let's say the NBA) and the networks are screwing it over.

Maybe I am just projecting because the Sabres lost and now I have to root for the Ducks. Really? God I hate Canada.

In review:

1.) Canada is full of jacktards.

2.) NBC should be firebombed.

3.) People who care about horse racing don't exist.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Kickball: Game 2

Boom goes Dynamite.

Game 2 went a lot better than Game 1. We ended up scoring about 11 runs and held our opponents to only two. So we got that going for us, which is nice. We had a new ump for half of it, and she was actually pretty good. Then of course we got the guy from last week and he screwed us over again. Seriously the guy has it out for us. I don't know why, I think it is a vast conspiracy.

I think the best part was the guy on the other team who took it all a little too seriously because we shelled him early on. Always have to love that guy.

Everything went well, even if I did injure myself. Yes, I freaking got a cramp in my leg while running home. Seriously, how sad is that? Maybe I should start working out a little more. Nah.

In other news Betsy pitched a complete game and we had a lot fewer errors in the field.

Next week is memorial day so there is going to be a pick up game instead of a real one. The whole plan is to drink before. I think this will work out great.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Concert review: Tapes 'n Tapes (Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines)

Friday night, a few iron-clad degenerates ventured to THE PREMIERE CONCERT VENUE in downtown Des Moines to see some greasy degenerates play rock music. Tapes 'n Tapes came to town, both supporting their independently-released smash The Loon and trying out some new material on the road.

We started with a solid cast knocking back Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout at the Royal Mile, a full-service "English pub" that has the dual benefits of being right next door to the rock club, and having tons of heavy beers so I can be lit pre-show. The jukebox also does not suck.

The particular group of degens includes my concert buddy Reno, who is basically my doppelganger (except he makes it into the gym more than once a week), Jay and Allison (a married couple who dig indie rock, very cool kids) and Mike (who loves Kings of Leon, but has enough good taste to make up for it). This is completely unimportant, but did allow me the classic RC maneuver of "buying rounds of 5, then being completely unable to carry them back to the table" . . . some things never change?

Opening act Ladyhawk showed some spark and solid chops, finishing with two hook-laden tracks that did not really separate from the indie pile - probably something to check out, but nothing that got the crowd moving. Pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a $12 early show on a regional tour.

Anyway, TnT started off strong, opening with "Just Drums" - it's always an interesting gambit to start the concert off with the first track on the album, but here it just worked. No intro, just jump right in - and already, the crowd was rocking. Few sang along, but that wasn't any bother - the TnT guys just appeared happy to be there. The set was solid, and the live show very tight - everything was in order, no technical issues other than the keyboard levels being a little low for my tastes - and the band's cohesion was second-to-none.

Tracks played much more strongly live than on wax, with tracks like "Ten Gallon Ascot" becoming rocking monsters with crowd backup during the chorus. TnT even inserted a little odd tension at times (see: "TGA"), leaving me the impression that the next record could show strong growth . . .

. . . that is, except for the new tracks they played. Generally without exception these tracks were mediocre, showing a different slant on the straightforward TnT sound but without any of the hook or free-wheeling lo-fi spirit that made The Loon great. Indeed, they even left the best of the new tracks, "Buckle", completely off the setlist, a questionable decision at best.

With a late scheduling change forcing the band off early (10pm show, some random DJ, added at last minute in a classic "WTF?" moment), there was no encore - instead, there was a raucous, loud, incredibly fast version of "Insistor", and the best performance of the night was certainly reserved for the best tune on the album. With a little more pace and some screaming vocals (plus an infusion of the formerly-introduced tension into the bridges), the house came down . . . only to be let down with another mediocre new track to finish, then lights-up without encore.

Overall, a solid showing, one that indicates the band is coming together strongly - however, the new tracks let some of the air out of the room, and don't portend well for the next album. Unfounded indicators of sophomore slump aside, though, a great night indeed.

I woke up at 3pm the next day - again, some things never change.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kickball: Game 1

So, it turns out that I'm not the only one who sucks.

Thankfully my whole team is pretty terrible at kickball. We didn't even score a run. We lost 5-0 in kickball. Yes. We didn't score. I'd like to think we are the Kansas City Royals of the kick ball world. If there is a kickball world.

I did learn something on Friday though. I learned no one should make fun of Manny for forgetting how many outs there are. As hard as we tried, we couldn't seem to remember. I think it was due to a massive conspiracy by the ump to screw us over, or it could be that everyone on the team drinks heavily. Either way, cut Manny a little slack.

All in all though it was fun. Never hurts to run around outside and act like a kid again. Plus I've taken to first base pretty well. Even if I can't kick the ball out of the infield. Don't look at me.

In other news, I don't want to speak about the Sabres. Anyone who mentions them will be shot.

P.S. That picture is of Allison Stokke. If you haven't heard about her, go do a search. She should make everyone feel better.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Sport of Kings: Kickball

So tomorrow me and about ten out of shape kinda lazy people take to a field on the Lower East Side to compete in a test of wits and agility. Yes, we are going to play kickball.

This all started a couple weeks ago when a friend of mine called me up to ask if I would like to participate in a co-ed (beer?) league that plays kickball every Friday night. How can one say no? I think this is the same league that also plays dodge ball, which I think would be better suited for. I'm actually kinda nervous for tomorrow.

You see I am the most nonathletic human being alive. I'm pretty sure Mike can vouch for my high school P.E. days (huzzah awkward volleyball!) and I know that Collin and RC can vouch for college where I went out of my way to not do any physical activity. I was the second laziest person alive, the number one was my old roommate who smoked himself retarded and dropped out of college.

So you can see my problem. I'm hoping that the game is as easy as I remember. Someone reminded me that everyone is good at kickball. Apparently they have never seen me involved in physical activity. Either way, I will keep track of our progress here. Tomorrow Team Drop Kick (I wanted to be Jim Thome's Crushed Rib Cage but nooooooo) will take on Team Cubbyhole which I'm pretty sure is a reference to the lesbian bar in the village. Enjoy your death trap ladies!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Rangers/Sabres: Live

So amazingly I got a call at 10am on Sunday morning asking if I wanted to go to the Sabres/Rangers Game 6. Uh yes I think I would quite enjoy that.

So I slipped on my new Sabres shirt (with the unfortunate buffaslug, seeing as I couldn't find anything with the old school design) and headed to the shitshow that is MSG. I found something out wearing a Sabres shirt in the city: Buffalo people are really friendly. I don't really remember them being that friendly when I lived there. Maybe it was the four years in Boston followed by the four years here in Hell, err NYC, that caused me to be wary of anyone smiling and take that as a sign they want to eat my spleen. Anyways, I talked to more strangers than I have in awhile and went into the game feeling good (with my spleen intact, I think).

Once inside that went away quickly since Rangers fans are bitter new yorkers with a chip on their shoulders. The guy behind me keep yapping about how the Rangers should have won the two games they lost and how the refs are giving the series to the Sabres. Ok fella, sure.

When the game started, I really could notice how crazy the playoffs could get. The energy in the place was awesome, like the soup Nazi was giving away free soup or something. The first period scared the crap out of me though. The Sabres had outplayed the Rangers but were down 1-0. They had to turn it up and take the crowd out of the equation.

Apparently Lindy can read my thoughts (he might be a warlock), and the Sabres came out and had an offensive explosion all over Lundquist's face. That really took the crowd out of it. Except for the fact that the Ranger's seemed to score on every power play, the rest of the game was just as exciting and I finally got to see one of my teams clench a series before my very eyes. I left after I bowed to Chris Drury (he is some sort of god) and to jeers of "Go Ottawa" from the guy behind me.

All in all, a satisfying experience. Bring on Ottawa and their slightly insane goalie.

The Clemens post

As the Yankees fan on this blog, I suppose I am obligated to comment on the Clemens signing, so here goes:

- The theatre of the whole thing was well planned. These days, with the speed of the internet and intrepid bloggers, there are very few secrets in sports, and baseball in particular. Many of the trades and signings that occur are known hours or days in advance. Not here; while many people thought it was likely that Clemens would sign with the Yankees, by no means was it certain, even with the team's obvious starting pitching troubles.

- Am I excited that Clemens is back? Well, I guess it depends on your definition of the word. I'm a baseball history geek, so having the best pitcher of this generation (or maybe any other generation) on my favorite team's pitching staff is great. Plus, the fact that he'll be replacing the Chase Wright's of the world is nice. There's a little bit of worry on my part about how much this will hold back Philip Hughes when he gets back from the DL, but overall I'm positive in this regard.

But, am I truly out-of-my-mind happy about this? Not really; I would call it more of a guarded optimism. Will this make the Yankees rotation any less fragile? Will a 6-inning starter put any less strain on an already-overworked bullpen?

No, of course not. I'm happy about the addition, but it isn't a cure-all.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

Let me start by saying that Shaun of the Dead is one my favorite movies of the past few years. Best Romantic Comedy Zombie movie ever, no joke. Plus I've seen a few episodes of Spaced on the interwebs and I really wish that they would release it on a DVD set in the states so I can actually watch the whole series.

So on to the movie. I guess everyone is saying whether they liked it better than Shaun of the Dead. I did not. Not to say that it isn't hilarious and enjoyable, but I just got a kick out of SotD that I didn't get here. Doesn't mean I won't buy on DVD though when it comes out.

The jokes in this one were a little more subtle and I did enjoy the mix of the absurd action movie with the small British village comedy. You could really tell Simon Pegg has a sincere love for action movies and all the utterly insane things that happen in them but make little sense. I guess my two qualms with the movie are the following:

1.) The editing: I get what they are going for with the quick cuts and the sweeping camera movements, but to be honest it got old after the first few times. Cute joke, but it was pissing the hell out of me by the end.

2.) The middle lagged a little: They probably could have cut 20 minutes out of the movie and it would have still worked.

Fix those and I think everything would have clicked a little better. In the end though I think Simon Pegg's line after watching Point Blank really sums things up nicely:

"Well, I wouldn't argue that that was a no-holds-barred, adrenalin fuelled thrill ride, but there is no way you can perpetrate that amount of carnage and mayhem and not incur a considerable amount of paperwork."

Fuck yeah.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hope for the future, and a reminder of the past

(I was going to talk about Torre, but RC summed up my feelings pretty well. I asked what the NY sportswriters would do now that they couldn't pile on A-Rod; I guess the answer was that they would pile on Torre.)

Anyone who saw last night's Yankees game probably walked away (before the injury at least) with a positive outlook on the future ace of the staff, Philip Hughes. For anyone who did not see it, Hughes had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning, when he left with an injured hamstring. It wasn't perfect by any means (3 walks), but for a guy in his second major league start, it was something to remember. There's an argument to be made that Hughes has more pressure on him than any Yankee not named A-Rod. The struggles of the Yankees minor league system have been well-documented; the team put too little effort into scouting and the draft, and ended up with one of the weakest, if not the weakest, farm system in baseball. Now, players like Hughes, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, and Jose Tabata have given some hope for the future. We shouldn't get carried away with the performance last night, but I do find myself getting carried away with the idea that the team may have it's #1 starter of the future.

I like to say that my penance for being a Yankee fan is being a Giants fan, and the draft seemed to justify that feeling. For a team that desperately needed a tackle, especially with the loss of Luke Pettigout, I can't understand how you don't pick one until the end of day two. With the running back position unsettled, how do you wait until your last pick to pick someone? Nothing against Aaron Ross and Steve Smith, both of whom are fine players. The team did need another corner, and an extra wideout doesn't hurt. However, they just drafted a wide receiver last year with a high pick, they signed Sam Madison last year, and Corey Webster is still improving. While corner and wideout were needs, wouldn't it have made more sense to go for Joe Staley with the first round pick? Why not get another back in the second round? It wasn't as bad as Philly's draft, but the Giants moves leave some questions going into the season.

That's that; law school finals this week and next, so this may be my last post for a while.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Well that was a goal

Now I have to deal with one of our company's lawyers calling me and bragging and I can't tell him to shove it. Well I can, but I probably shouldn't. I'm glad the NHL hasn't gotten tired of screwing the Sabres, I was getting worried for awhile. Argh.

In other news, my Papelboner is gone. Maybe I should consult my physician.