Saturday, April 29, 2006

We've Got Bush!

This isn't going to be a "live blog" of the NFL draft as much as a "whenever I feel like it" blog. For live blogs, I recommend checking out MJD over at Deadspin or the Landres Twins over at The Big Picture.

I've only got the ESPN feed, so I don't know how long I'll be able to stick w/ Berman until hitting the mute button. Fortunately, Michael Irvin' craziness might make up for it all.

Most recent thoughts at if you're reading this for the first time, you'll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. It's pretty annoying, I know....sorry for the lack of foresight on my part.

-Shit...Zach posted the same crying did MJD. We must all be getting our jokes from same bloggers central database. Screw it...I'll just recap later tonight...

-Don't worry Vernon...I'd cry if I had to go play for that Niners team too.

-ESPN shockers: Mark Schlereth loves it when the Jets draft an offensive lineman. Tom Jackson loves it when the Packers draft a linebacker. If the Niners follow this up by drafting a birthday party clown, then even Chris Berman will have someone to love.

-Kiper seems a bit off his game today. Wonder if he's feeling some pressure from the NFL Network coverage?

-Doh..I just saw that MJD also had the Bush Bandaid line. But Kolber and Bush doing a 69? That's all me, baby!

-Norm Chow has shown how little influence he has over at Tennessee with the selection of Vince Young. I wonder if they'll still let him call plays?

-I'm disappointed that Reggie Bush didn't wear the "619" bandaids to the NFL draft. One person that isn't disappointed- Suzy Kolber. She's been giving Reggie Bush the "fuck me eyes" all morning long. I think she wants to get to the green room and take the "1" out of 619.

-I have to give credit to Adam Schefter at for being the first one to break that the Texans were serious about drafting Mario Williams. Nice job, Adam. Turns out you weren't full of crap afterall.

-Chris Mortensen has broken a broadcasting record for use of the word "allegedly" in his report on the Reggie Bush scandal. (Side note...about a year ago, I moved out of the neighborhood that Reggie Bush's family was living in until recently. It's a nice gated area, but it isn't anything that you'd want to feature on Cribs or anything.)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Houston, We Have a Problem

ESPN is reporting that the Houston Texans have agreed to terms with Mario Williams.


Mario Williams, meet Sam Bowie...or at least Courtney Brown.

Bayou Backup

The Saints have signed Jamie Martin to be their backup QB. The person happiest about this news has to be Drew Brees, as this should reduce the chances that the Saints will draft Leinart or Young with their first pick overall. Brees has had to spend the last few years looking over his shoulder as Chargers' management tried to hand the job to Philip Rivers. Now it looks like he might actually have a front office that supports him. This will be even more evident if the Saints draft D'Brickashaw Ferguson with their first pick. (I know I said I was sick of the draft, and now I'm talking draft...I have a disease.) I've always liked the way Brees approaches the game, and if God is done playing with Drew's labrum, I think he's poised to have a good season in 2006-07. Well, good by New Orleans standards, which is to say he won't completely embarass himself.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Need To Vent....and a Beer

I love the NFL draft. Back in the pre-internet days, I used to watch the entire draft and track all of the picks in my notebook. (I'd then throw my notes away the next day when all the picks were available in this form of antiquated media known in those days as a "newspaper"; but for some reason, it was important that I have all those picks in front of me for the 12 hours until the paper arrived). The draft has been my Christmas. But in the same way that by the end of Christmas season, I'm ready to go on a shooting spree after the 3,450th Christmas carol, I'm now one more mock draft away from walking over to my tv and punching Mel Kiper in the face. Ever since the Senior Bowl back in the end of January, the coverage of the upcoming draft has been so incessant and exhaustive that it's sucked the joy out of the actual event for me. This horse has been beaten to death. Actually, it's been beaten, butchered, processed into dog food, served to the family mutt, and then pooped out onto the lawn- and now I've stepped in that poop and am trying to scrape it off of my shoe.

Of course, I'll still waste the weekend watching the entire draft, rather than go out and enjoy the day. (This becomes especially pathetic once you realize where I'm staying this weekend. For once, I'm glad that the forecast is 60's and cloudy). I clearly have an unhealthy addiciton to all things football. Either that, or I like poop.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chronic Problem

So it looks like Ricky Williams is going to miss all of the 2006 season, having been suspended for his fourth violation of the league's drug policy. While no official information will be released, there are rumors that he was found to have traces of an amphetamine-like substance in his urine.

Personally, I think he's getting a raw deal on this one. First, I have to confess that I'm biased. During his days at Texas, Ricky Williams won me so much money that he basically paid my rent for me during football season (he and LaDanian Tomlinson are the two greatest gifts the college football gods every bestowed upon us lowly bettors). Still, anyone that's seen an interview with Ricky Williams knows he's not a speed junky. He's a pothead. My guess is that he was taking some holistic treatments which contained some herb that acts as a stimulant. This violation seemed pretty accidental to me, but I guess that's not a factor in the NFL's decision.

As for the violations that set up this larger punishment, I don't really understand why the NFL comes down so hard on marijuana smokers anyway. It's not like pot is a performance enhancer, nor is it any worse for you than the prescription painkillers that many players take, so what's really the big deal? Ok, I get that it's illegal, but other lawbreakers have received lesser penalties from the league. Leonard Little got liquored up to a .19 BAC then got behind the wheel of a car and killed a 47 year old woman- and he only got an 8 game suspension out of the deal. Granted it was only his first homicide, but still...8 games?? The punishments aren't fitting the crimes.

I guess the NFL is worried that corporate sponsors will shy away if its players all start growing dreadlocks and listening to reggae music. But really, they're missing out on a huge opportunity here. Frito-Lay could make a great impromptu commercial by simply throwing a couple cases of Cheetos into a NFL team meeting and watching the players go after it like a pack of stoned wolves. White Castle and Taco Cabana could pay for sponsorship as the "official late night destination of the NFL." The two minute warning would be replaced by a 4:20 warning. The only real downside is that it will mean the demise of the powdered urine market. I would feel bad about those urine farmers going out of business, but it seems like a reasonable sacrifice in exchange for a policy that's actually fair.

Ricky Williams will have the opportunity to seek reinstatement at the beginning of the 2007 season. Unfortunately this will likely be a moot point as by then, his beard will be so long as to prevent him from running without catching a cleat in his scraggly hair.

So this is probably farewell to Ricky. There will never be another player like you. Well except for Rashaan Salaam. Oh, and Onterrio Smith. And possibly William Green. And how 'bout Randy Moss, Jamal Lewis, Mark Stepnoski, Nate Newton, Leon Lett, Marvel Smith, Tra Thomas, Warren Sapp, Chris McAlister, Rashard Anderson, and Michael Irvin.

Sure is a good thing the NFL has cleaned up the league.

All Hail Brett Favre

So, I'm watching SportsCenter during which ESPN breaks the news that Brett Favre will return to Green Bay for another year of football and that the earth may resume spinning on its axis. They then turn it over to Sean Salisbury who gushes over Favre (a member of the media fondling Favre? No way!) and then pronounces Favre to be one of the five greatest QBs of all time! This comment goes down as idiotic statement # 1,235,472 that Salisbury has made in his tenure as an ESPN "expert."

I realize that there's a tendency to hype up any player when they are at the tail end of their career. You need only look back to the Jerome Bettis lovefest during last year's playoffs to see that. Even still, to call Favre one of the top 5 of all time is downright ludicrous. Going just off the top of my head, my top 15 would look like:

1. Joe Montana
2. John Elway
3. Johnny Unitas
4. Dan Marino
5. Tom Brady
6. Roger Staubach
7. Bart Starr
8. Fran Tarkenton
9. Dan Fouts
10(t). Troy Aikman/Steve Young
12. Brett Favre
13. Peyton Manning
14. Sonny Jurgensen
15. Terry Bradshaw

If you'd like to argue with my ordering, go right ahead; but I don't see anyway at all that Favre cracks that top 5.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Fantasy Daily Double

If like me, you think the 1st round of the NBA playoffs is by and large a waste of time, and you need extra motivation to tune into the games, this might help. If you haven't seen it yet, one of the costumes that the Miami Heat dance team parades out for their routines is a schoolgirl outfit. Simultaneously, they are both cheerleaders and schoolgirls. That is perhaps the single greatest act of genius I've ever seen. If they somehow were able to incorporate a little nurse's hat into the showcase, I think my head might explode.

Don't Dis Udonis

The Miami Heat was able to hold off a late charge from the Chicago Bulls to win 115-108 and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, despite being without the services of Udonis Haslem. Haslem had been suspended for one game for throwing his mouthpiece at official Joey Crawford. While Haslem did admit that he made a mistake, he wasn't too pleased with the comments that Bill Walton made while calling the game.
''To be honest, a lot of people have been over the top,'' said Haslem, who never actually mentioned Walton by name. Commentators in the last game went over the top saying `mental instability.' That's not his call to make. He doesn't know me personally, so he can't call me mentally instable.''

This acknowledgement makes Udonis Haslem the first person ever to actually give credence to anything said by Bill Walton, who's been known to speak in hyperbole on an occasion or two. Even still, Walton was just judging Haslem by his actions. And while we've all seen players slam or kick basketball after being upset with a call, this is the first mouthpiece assault I've ever seen. Sure it isn't Ron Artest crazy, but it is at least unusual.

Haslem assured Pat Riley that it wouldn't happen again. He then said he checked with his agent to see if he could get a new mouthpiece that wasn't so easy to remove.

So, just to make sure I have things clear- Haslem is so uncertain of his own self-discipline with his mouthpiece that he feels it might be necessary to weld the thing into his mouth to ensure that he won't start pelting refs with it after each whistle? Sounds mentally stable to me. I don't know what the big redhead could have been thinking.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can a Blogger Get a Lap Dance?

Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend, but I just couldn't bring myself to shell out 20 bucks- which at my current pace, is about 2 years of google ad clicks- for two more nights of hotel internet access. I do love my readers and all, but twenty bucks? That's cover and two drinks at Spearmint Rhino. When I look at it like that, it really wasn't a tough choice at all.

Here's what I missed over the past few days...

-Reeeeejected. "Just For Men" spokesman and former major leaguer turned broadcaster, Keith Hernandez noticed that the Padres had a female in the dugout during a game and had this piece of social commentary, "Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What's going on here?...I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout." The girl in the dugout was Padres' massage therapist Kelly Calabrese who was defended by manager Bruce Bochy as someone who plays "a major role" with this club in getting them ready for the game. However judging by the team's sluggish 8-10 start, management may want to make sure that there are no 'happy endings' provided in those pregame massages. Until then, her presence will be welcomed by all members of the Padres' roster, with the lone exception of Mike Piazza who, according to New York tabloids, thinks that girls hands feel icky.

-Saturday, for the first time in a decade, Barry Bonds hit a homer and Billy Crystal got a boner without any pharmaceutical assistance.

-In a season in which Barry Bonds appears to be aging by the game, 40 year-old Greg Maddux improved to 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA. Can you imagine the tongue bath Maddux would be receiving from Peter King tomorrow if he'd chosen to write about baseball instead?

-In a surprise move, Matt Doherty accepted the position of head coach of SMU's basketball program. It wasn't a surprise that Doherty would take any gig that was offerred. It was a surprise, however, that SMU actually had a basketball program.

-All those who said the Kings were peaking at the right time and were a dangerous opponent for the Spurs felt great shame and quickly denied ever suggesting such nonsense after Manu Ginobili and his flying elbows knocked out Sacramento early and painfully.

-Here's a great example of how statistics can be misleading. During the weekend NBA playoff games on ESPN, the production crew fell in love with this stat: "In a best of 7 series, the team that wins game 1 has gone on to win the series 79% of the time." The announcers then used this number to hype up the game they were calling, saying that this statistic showed how vital winning game 1 is. But in actuality, that isn't what the stat says at all. All that number really illustrates is the rather obvious fact that the favorites, especially the heavy ones, usually win in the playoffs. In any given matchup, the team with the better regular season record will have home court in game 1 and will be favored. That team will also be favored to win the series. Those favorites usually prevail. For example this past weekend, 7 of the 8 home teams won game 1 of the series (New Jersey lost to Indiana). If all 8 of the teams favored to win the series do indeed advance to round 2, then 87.5% of the teams that won round 1 will have won the series. Winnng game one isn't the key to taking the series; being the better team is. While winning game one in the NBA playoffs is still important, it's not the end all and be all that ESPN was trying to portray it as.

In hockey news, umm...well...I'm sorry but my hotel didn't get OLN.

Friday, April 21, 2006

For Love of the Paycheck

I spent the entire night driving along the grapevine, so I didn't get to watch any sports live today. When I logged onto the internet at my hotel, I thought someone must have hacked into the Los Angeles Hyatt routers to put a fake page up. (By the way, with what a room costs at the Hyatt, do they really need to gouge their customers for an additional $9.99 to check their email and porn?) According to espn, Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar have decided to leave UCLA and test the NBA waters. Meanwhile, Larry Brown has decided to leave his nursing facility and continue to drown in the septic tank that is the New York Knicks. I'm not sure who is making the worse decision on this one. I think it's great when people are trying to follow their dream. But if the dream of the former Bruin players and the former Bruins' coach is to actually be successful in the NBA, then they're all making big mistakes. I expect Afflalo to be bluntly told to go back to college and learn to shoot consistently, making this a relative non-story. However because of the lack of decent point guards available in the upcoming draft, Farmar will likely be projected as a 1st round pick and therefore decide to stay in the draft. Someone needs to advise Farmar that just because an NBA team drafts him doesn't mean that he's actually ready for the NBA. While I like Farmar's attitude and raw skills, he still drives exclusively to his right, has trouble protecting the ball against long-armed defenders, and shoots in the 30% range from the college 3pt arc. He'd be much better off with another year in college running the show than sitting on some NBA bench watching the show.

As for Larry Brown...well, I just have no clue what he might be thinking. The team the Knicks put on the court today is pretty much the same team you'll see for the Knicks next season. They have no tradeable parts, other than Nate Robinson who won't command much in return, and Channing Frye, who the Knicks would like to keep- and they have no draft picks. That makes it pretty difficult to change the dynamic of the team. Yet Larry says, "To sit here and think we're going to stand pat is kinda silly." Well Larry, I hate to tell ya this, but Isiah Thomas is a silly man, and you are a silly coach of a silly team.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

While I Was Out

Sorry for the scarcity of updates lately. I've moved from playing limit cash games over at Full Tilt to no limit cash games. Now that every hand has the potential to be a $200+ swing in either direction, I have to be a bit more focused. So that means no multitasking. On the bright side, there is the potential that I'll end up a table with Gilbert Arenas during halftime of a Wizards game; and if so, I'll try to strike up an online conversation with him. My guess is that his online id would be something like, "Assassin0." I'd also guess that he goes all-in quite frequently and is quite happy just to be right 1 out of every 3 tries.

Catching up on the day...

Kansas City continued along their path with destiny by being shutout by the Chicago White Sox to drop to 2-12 on the season. The Royals have lost 10 in a row and 86% of their games this season. In their last three games, they've scored a total of one run. The next three opponents for KC are Cleveland, Minnesota, and Oakland. This is going to get ugly.

Nomar Garciaparra is on his way for Las Vegas for a brief rehabilitation stint. I have visions of Ned Coletti driving Nomar out into the middle of nowhere and burying him in the desert, "Casino" style.

David Blaine's next stunt will be to submerge himself in a "human aquarium" in New York City where he will live for seven days. The only way this can be even remotely entertaining is if while Blaine is swimming around his tank, he has a long string of poo trailing behind him.

Joey Harrington will become a Miami Dolphin in the near future. This works out well for him because Miami is a well coached, up-and-coming team, and their quarterback (Culpepper) may not be ready to play on opening day 2006. Now the only thing Harrington needs to be successful is to learn how to throw the ball to the guys on his own team.

The Dallas Cowboys signed safety Marcus Coleman to a one year contract under the NFL rule that Bill Parcells is not allowed to coach unless he has an over-the-hill former player of his on the roster.

Just in case people had forgotten that #4 over there in Wisconsin isn't the only selfish guy trying to milk out as much press (and cash) before retirement, Roger Clemens announced that he still isn't sure if he's going to play in 2006.

For those who, uh, saw Adam Morrison's, uh, press conference where he, uh, announced that he'll, uh, skip his senior year in college, and uh, go pro....well, if I were a GM and my owner asked my opinion on how Morrison would fare as a pro? Uhhhhhhhh, I'm not so sure about that one.

Alright, it looks like a spot at a good looking table has opened up. Since my loyal readers aren't clicking on any of those enticing google links with reckless abandon, I guess I'll have to go make some money my own damn self.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Propagating Unfounded Rumors

The's Adam Schefter is reporting that there is a very real chance that the Houston Texans will not select Reggie Bush with the #1 overall pick. Schefter claims that the Texans have had no contract talks with Bush and instead have initiated a conversation with defensive end Mario Williams. There are a few explanations for this report:

1. Adam Schefter has exhausted every NFL draft story, but with 12 days remaining until the actual draft, he has resorted to making shit up.

2. The Houston Texans have leaked this story to either entice possible trading suitors or to lowball Bush when it comes time for contract negotiations.

3. The Texans are even dumber than I gave them credit for.

My guess is that #1 is the correct response, but in the event it's actually #3, let's look at the logic behind the decision. The Texans already have Dominick Davis at RB and Jerome Mathis to return kicks, so they have more pressing needs at defensive end and offensive tackle. While that is true, neither Davis or Mathis are players that you would label as a "difference maker." Reggie Bush however has the skillset of a young Marshall Faulk. Now I suppose you could point out that the Colts never won anything with a young Faulk and a weak supporting cast; and to that I would say, "Stop with all of your logic and facts and just nod in agreement with me!"

Some people think that Mario Williams could be the next Reggie White. Personally, I don't see why the Texans would be interested in a pass rushing defensive end when the opposing teams will be running the ball the entire second half to protect their 3 TD lead.

For what it's worth (zero), Marshall Faulk was the #2 overall pick in 1994. The #1 pick that year was a defensive lineman- Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson. I have a strong feeling in my gut that if the Texans do pass up Bush for Williams, history will repeat itself. Or maybe that's just gas.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bunnies, Baseball, and Bonds

It's Sunday morning, and Jesus must be pissed off about all this egg hunting stuff, because it's pouring rain here in California. I'm celebrating Easter in a pretty traditional fashion- by playing no-limit hold 'em online while my wife is at church. I'm at table "Hellbound Heathens" if you want to look me up.

I do appreciate that this is a day for reflection. So today, I'll look back on these first two weeks of the baseball season. Granted, the baseball season isn't even a tenth of the way completed yet, so it's foolish to attribute too much meaning to what's transpired thus far. For example, at this point in the season last year, the Dodgers had the best the record in the majors. By the end of the season, Jim Tracy and Paul DePodesta were out of a job. With that in mind, there are a few early season trends that I think should continue through the remainder of the year.

$200 million doesn't buy what it used to. Despite assembling one of the most potent lineups in recent memory, the Yankees are a game under .500- and that's after having had the luxury of playing a series with the Royals. I don't really expect this team to hover around .500 all season, but it's clear that their pitching is going to be a giant question mark all season long. Mike Mussina still has enough stuff and savvy to be effective, but he's at a stage in his career where you can only count on him for six innings. Randy Johnson has Yankees' fans holding their breath after leaving his last start after five innings with tightness in his shoulder. He should be fine for his next start, but it looks inevitable that he'll take a hiatus on the DL at some point. Jaret Wright minus Leo Mazzone equals...well Jaret Wright, and that's not a good result. Carl Pavano looks like he's just trying to hide on the DL until retirement. That leaves Chien-Ming Wang and Shawn Chacon to close out the rotation for now. If you're a Pirates or DBacks fan, then these guys are acceptable #4 and #5 guys. But when you've spent 200 mil for your team, you want more reliable pitchers than those. The good news for Yankees fans is that their bats should be able to carry them to plenty of 10-7 victories. The Yankees can also take solace in the fact that they've set a precedent for winning it all with an incomplete pitching rotation. In their last championship in 2000, their rotation included David Cone (4-14, 6.91 ERA), a nerve-wracked Denny Neagle who was so broken down by the Bronx crowd that later in life, he was happy to find anyone (click at own risk) that was willing to give him comfort, and a suprisingly effective Dwight Gooden, who showed more control between the lines than hovering over one.

The 2006 Royals might be a historic team
. It was only three seasons ago that the Detroit Tigers set the AL record with 119 losses, but their mark in the record books may already be in jeopardy. Thus far, Kansas City has only won 20% of its games, and that does not seem to be an aberration. This team is just really bad. It's no wonder that Zach Greinke didn't feel like showing up to spring training- this team has no hope for success at all. I really feel for Kansas City fans, if there are any still remaining. This is a once proud franchise that seems to have resigned itself to being a perennial cellar dwellar.

The sports' media is going to suck all the joy out of booing Barry Bonds. Actually, this has already happened. As someone that has watched Bonds hit countless homers out of Qualcomm back in the day, Barry Bonds was a natural enemy to any NL West fan. Actually with his boorish behavior, he was pretty much a natural enemy to any non-Giants' fan. He's been the most reviled player amongst Padres and Dodgers fans for a decade. But the key to that statement is that it was the fan's choice to booo Bonds mercilessly. Now that the media outlets have decided to pile on with article upon article, feature upon feature, the Bonds' experience has been stolen from the fans and put in the control of network executives and sports editors (oh and bloggers too- my bad). Just like the Red Sox championship, the Favre lovefest, or the NFL draft (trust me), the avalanche of hate thrust upon Bonds will soon reach a saturation point, at which time there will be a strong backlash amongst fans. By the time this is all said and done, Bonds may actually be transformed by an unwitting media into a sympathetic figure. Still a jerk. Still a cheater (tho' corporate baseball has to realize that it's not going to have a free pass much longer for being complicit in the steroid era). But by season's end, he'll be a cheating jerk that I feel sorry for.

Open up a Coors in October. The best team in the NL West this year may very well be the Colorado Rockies. Ok, I know being the best in the NL West is like being the best tv show on Friday night- there really isn't much to choose from. But, the Rockies' strategy of starting a triple A team last year may actually be paying dividends this season. The trio of Cory Sullivan, Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe is one of the most underrated outfields in baseball. Garrett Atkins, a late bloomer out of UCLA, is developing into one of the better 3rd basemen in the National League. Todd Helton may not be the dominant force he once was, but he still has something left in the tank. After Jason Jennings, the pitching is a question mark, but the same can be said for every team in the NL West once you remove their ace. This is a division in which a few games over .500 may once again be good enough for first place. The Rockies look more than capable of that achievement.

If my fantasy baseball team is any indicator, you shouldn't trust a word I say about baseball. I'm currently in 10th out of 12 teams, and there really isn't much optimism around the Lounge for any movement up in the standings. Here's all you need to know about my team: Adrian Beltre is my starting 3rd baseman. As anyone in Seattle can tell you, that is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, much like the Mariners organization, I don't really have any options other than just to keep throwing him out there and hoping the ball hits his bat on one of his wild swings.

It's going to be a long year.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Groin Pains

As a UCLA alum, I've taken part in more than my fair share of USC bashing. But there are some insults that are so degrading and insulting that they shouldn't even be attributed to a Trojan. Such an insult was issued recently when whispers around the NFL were heard that LenDale White will be the next Maurice Clarett. When a charge like that is made, the offended party has no choice but to defend himself. White did respond:

"I am not Maurice Clarett. I never violated team rules. I never robbed anyone," he said. "I just haven't run a 40-yard dash and I gained five pounds. That's all that has happened."

Well, that's almost all that's happened. White also learned today that he has a hamstring tear near the pelvic area. I'm no doctor, but I do know that no guy ever wants to hear the words "tear" and "pelvic area" combined in the same sentence. Doctors are predicting that White won't be able to run until May and even more distressing, can't go ballroom dancing with Matt Leinart until June.

So with White unable to run, it's pretty likely that he'll add on a little more heft to those five extra pounds by the time the NFL draft rolls around. Draft "experts" are now predicting that LenDale White could fall out of the first round completely. Personally, I don't see it happening. There's no way Pittsburgh lets him pass by if he's still on the board with the last pick of the first round. Even if White were to balloon up to 260, he'd still be a good 40 pounds trimmer than Jerome Bettis was last year. The Steelers would be happy enough just to have a big back that doesn't need an oxygen mask coming out of the tunnel.

At the end of the first week of January, I thought that LenDale White was the 2nd best runningback available in the draft. I still believe that to be the case. In the grand scheme of things, I think this injury is just a minor setback for White. However, most GM's are too shortsighted and too nervous about a possible injury bust to take a chance on a dinged up player early in the draft. As a result, I think White does slip down to the end of the first round and will be an absolute steal for either Carolina, the Jets, or Pittsburgh.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Does Carl Everett Have a Sane Twin?

This is a story I should have relayed about a month ago, but certain conditions (i.e. laziness) kept me from doing so. But today I came across this article which was referenced in Deadspin about everyone's favorite dinosaur skeptic, Carl Everett; and it prompted me to stop browzing the spring break pics over at Webshots for a minute and actually do a little writing.

This past March, I was in Arizona with my dad and brother for some male bonding and to watch a few days of spring training games and practices. We arrived on a Thursday night and were able to catch the Angels and A's on Friday. Later that night, after something like 150 consecutive days of sunshine, it began to pour rain. It rained throughout the day Saturday, cancelling all of the day's activities. The next day, Sunday, was our last day in Arizona. It was still drizzling Sunday morning, but we went out to Peoria in hopes of catching some of the Padres' practice. Once in Peoria, everyone was informed that the Pads had cancelled practice, but the Mariners -who share the facility- would be holding an abbreviated practice. It turned out that "abbreviated practice" really just meant some stretching followed by time in the batting cages, which for all intents and purposes is closed off from the general public. The only time for the public to interact with the players would be when they had finished stretching and were heading to the cages.

As the players walked from the field to the cages, a few non-roster players stopped to sign some autographs and talk, but most of the veterans and heralded prospects sprinted to the cages. One older gentleman saw Carl Everett and called out to him, "You promised my grandson an autograph." Everett said that isn't how he does things and that he'd sign after he took BP. I just assumed that it was the equivalent of "I'll call you sometime," and we'd never see him again.

After finishing their swings, most of the players headed out to their cars which were in a secure parking lot removed from the fans. In fact, all of the players did, except for one. Carl Everett came back out to the crowd to sign autographs for the kids. But he didn't just sign- he let all of the kids come across the rope that security puts up as a barrier between the players and fans. He spent quite a bit of time with each kid, teasing them and joking around with their parents. At one point, a kid tried to knock off Everett's cap, but instead hit him in the face. Everett picked the kid up and placed him in a corner where he was on "timeout." Later, when a parent was telling his kid that whatever Mr. Everett said must be right, Everett responded with perhaps unintentional insight, "I may not always be right. But I will express my opinion."

Carl Everett continued to talk and laugh with the kids and their parents for at least an hour. I say at least, because he lasted longer than I did, as I was feeling like the old guy at the club and finally took off. But I was amazed by it all. In fact, I would have been less shocked if he had grabbed one of the kids and eaten him than I was by his good natured, playful attitude with everyone. I should also note that there were no videocameras or tv crews around that Everett was trying to impress. He was just making the effort to spend some time with the kids after what had been a weekend full of rain.

Now, this doesn't excuse Carl Everett for his past behavior. And it's also true that the Mariners would probably be better off giving his at bats to a young prospect this season. But for those that think Carl Everett is 100% crazy and evil, this experience reminded me that there is another side to most people that usually gets overlooked.

Well, except for Barry Bonds. He's just not a nice guy. Like, at all.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Money Talks

Wealthy, elitist Duke graduates are upset that their university is being viewed as an exclusive club that only graduates wealthy elitists. Well, elitists and rapists. They've banded together to form the "Committee for Fairness to Duke Families." Their first action was to hire Bob Bennett, a high profile Washington attorney, who represented Bill Clinton in his case against Paula Jones, to serve as their spokesman.

While I acknowledge that it's possible that the accused players are actually innocent, two aspects of this move strike me as noteworthy. First, it's indicative that the only way the Duke boosters can handle a problem is by throwing money at it. Secondly, if you're trying to portray the image of innocence where sexual impropriety is concerned, do you really want to associate yourself with Bill Clinton's legacy?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Click Referral

Since I'm running on empty, here's a recommendation for some quality reading- it's Chuck Klosterman's latest ESPN article. This time he's addressing the Bonds' situation.

...As for me- never you fear. I'll be back with d!ck jokes and pics of scantily clad women in no time...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Know when to Fold 'Em

10:32 PM update of Omaha tournament that started at 10:30 PM: I'm gone. #202 out of #204. I thought I had the perfect hand. I flopped a set and was raised all in by pocket aces. But when an ace came on the river, the perfect hand was nuthin' but a setup.

Andy Bloch has already doubled up by the way. Insomniac=boy. Bloch=man

I'll Take Andy for the Bloch

If you don't have any reason to get up early tomorrow, Andy Bloch is playing in a cheap $10+1 Pot Limit Omaha tournament at 1:30 am Est this Sunday night. It's a relatively inexpensive way to get some experience playing against a pro.

I'll also be participating in the tourney (id: dbruin). Knocking me out should considerably easier.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tonight's Buzz...

Tonight's entry is brought to you by Paulaner Salvator Double Bock. so strong it can help a monk get laid...

Tonight's midnight edition of SportsCenter is hosted by Michelle Bonner, who is the ESPN version of a beer goggles hire. I'm sure Michelle will do a fine job reading the teleprompter and all, but good lawd, I don't even think Stuart Scott's lazy eye would give her a second look. Is it too much to ask to have a Melissa Stark clone giving the reports on a late Saturday night?

Fantasy Baseball update: If you don't have Chris Shelton on your team, then I'm sorry to inform you that you are trailing in your league at this time. Through five games, Shelton is hitting .700 with 2 triples, 5 HR and 9 RBI. At this pace, he will break Barry Bonds' home run record* by the all star break, which will give him plenty of time to script out "Shelton on Shelton" for ESPN2 this fall...

Brett Favre just announced that his next press conference will be next Thursday from a Mississippi Piggly Wiggly where he will finally decide if he wants paper or plastic...

In NBA news: the Sixers beat the Bulls to gain the upper hand in the race to be the team to be swept in the first round by the Pistons...New Orleans was just one buzzer beater, plus 16 more baskets away from pulling off the upset in Dallas...The Cavs and Nets decided to cancel their game and settle the match by virtue of a dunk contest between Vinsanity and Bron-Bron...Even without having Superman on their team, the Nuggets were able to squeak by the Golden State Warriors...Mike Montgomery may want to contact John Calipari, Rick Pitino, or Steve Spurrier and find out the best way to return to the college ranks after flopping in the pros...In a Miami win, Shaq put up 27 points and 10 boards despite having sore nipples.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Catching Up

Reviewing yesterday's action in sports while I cancel my April 26 flight reservations for a record-breaking night in Philadelphia...

Jimmy Rollins may have had his streak end Thursday at 38 games, but at least he can take consolation in knowing that by having a 30+ game hitting streak, he has etched his name in the record books alongside other legends such as Jerome Walton, Ken Landreaux, and Luis Castillo. That's immortality, baby.

The insurance provider for the Los Angeles Dodgers has to be sweating bullets these days. Eric Gagne joins teammates Kenny Lofton and Nomar Garciaparra on the disabled list. Gagne has been experiencing pain in his arm that is so intense that it prohibits him from playing effectively. (It's a toss up which he is finding more prohibitive- the arm pain or the new steroid testing.) Doctors are responding to this latest ailment by removing the functioning pain nerve from his arm. This seems to me like waking up and seeing your house on fire, and then deciding that the best course of action is to remove the battery from your smoke detector.

Also for the Dodgers, Jeff Kent is dinged up and Olmedo Saenz and Sandy Alomar Jr are both eligible for the senior discount at LA movie theaters. The only good news is that J.D. Drew has shocked the world by beating the odds and making it almost a week without an injury. I guess the other good news is that they play in the NL West, where .500 is good enough to be the champ.

I'll never cease to be amazed by SF Giants fans, who once again proved that logic and sensibility have no place in being a sports' fan. During yesterday's home opener, Giants fans gave Barry Bonds an extended standing ovation during player introductions. If there are any Giants' fans that read this blog, can you please inform me if there is anything other than the fact that his jersey reads "G I A N T S" that makes you want to root for this guy? Aside from the whole lying/cheating thing, he never gives anything back to the community, he's a jerk to everyone around him, he doesn't even live in the Bay Area in the offseason (he lives in Bel Air), and he's never delivered a World Series championship to SF fans. Does nothing else matter as long as he can hit baseballs into McCovey Cove? Help me understand.

Viewing tip for Friday
: The MLB package is free for a few more days. For those who can't afford to buy the package for the remainder of the season, tonight might be your only chance to see Felix Hernandez pitch. The Mariners host the Oakland A's tonight with a 7:05 local start. Check him out if you don't have Friday night plans, or Tivo it if you do.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Kid in All of Us

A good evening to you wherever you might be. I'm in a serene mood tonight. I was flipping through the games tonight on the MLB package and came across the Dodgers/Braves matchup; and whose voice do I hear but the legendary Vin Scully. So of course I had to stop and listen to a few innings. Listening to Vin is a wistful journey in nostalgia while still being enraptured by the moment of the game at hand. His love of the game, even at a time when most fans are frustrated with it, is contagious. Rather than dwell on steroid scandals between pitches, Mr. Scully prefers to revel in the kid in the bleachers eating his cotton candy. Golden voices such as Vin Scully, Harry Kalas, and Jon Miller are able to harvest the last bits of unadulterated, unsullied joy remaining in baseball.

So tonight- no jokes or smart-ass comments. Just a tip of the hat to one of the true living legends of baseball. When Vin Scully is calling a game, it's like I'm a kid again and my grandfather is reading me a story before I go to sleep. There's just no better way to end a night.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Puttin the Ho' in Jose

Thank you, LA Daily News for this locker room quote that made me giggle:

"I'm a big fan of the two-hole."

-Jose Cruz, Jr who was moved up in the lineup because of Nomar Garciaparra's most recent injury. may now go back on about your day.

I Can't Believe the Season Is Already 1/162 Over!

As I've been talking to other people, it seems that some of you actually had to work on Monday and therefore missed much of baseball's opening day. That seems un-American to me. Here's what you missed.

Barry Bonds didn't hit a homerun against San Diego, but he did set another milestone in the second inning when he became the first transvestite to score a run in a major league baseball game.

Bonds seemed mildly annoyed when a fan threw a syringe out onto the field while Barry was taking his outfield position. He wasn't annoyed because someone found a somewhat clever new way to taunt him. Barry was annoyed because the syringe was empty.

If it's possible, Chris Berman is even more annoying in a baseball booth than he is in the NFL studios for ESPN. I seem to forget that every year until the season begins. As soon as I heard him say Sandy "Remember the" Alomar, it made me search for a long, sharp object to jam into my eardrums.

Many players whose names have been subject to steroid rumors over the years had very good opening days. Jim Thome, Mike Lowell, Frank Thomas, and Mike Piazza all went deep in their first game of the season, despite all being at least ten pounds thinner than they were a few seasons ago.

Barry Zito was shelled by the Yankees, giving up 7 earned runs in an inning and a third. Last season, his April ERA was over six. If he's ever in a stadium where Roger Clemens is doing his promotional tour, he might want to ask the Rocket how to go about negotiating one of those deals where you don't have to start pitching until May.

The Dodgers' strategy of signing baseball players that were great ten years ago appears to be backfiring. With Kenny Lofton already on the DL, the Dodgers found out that Nomar Garciaparra had injured a rib cage muscle and would be unavailable for the game (anyone surprised? anyone?). In an interview with Erin Andrews, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti hinted that Nomar might have to go on the 15 day DL. Colletti also hinted that he'd like to get into Erin Andrews pants, which would by far be his best move since becoming the GM for the Blue Crew.

Hoop and the Harm

I suppose I should write about last night's basketball game. It will probably be therapeutic, albeit likely incoherent as I'm still in a state of shock. I'm shocked at how impressively the Bruins were outplayed. I'm shocked out how the Bruins were outcoached. The only thing Bruins' fans can take pride in is that they weren't outclassed. While Florida was dunking and dancing all over the court, UCLA at least showed some dignity and kept playing hard without resorting to any frustration fouls or dirty tactics. And yeah, I know that I'm grasping for a silver lining. Other thoughts on the game:

I'm not sure how Florida was only credited with only 73 points as I seem to remember them dunking 347 times during the game.

By the early 2nd half, the UCLA tournament games went from "Save until I delete" status on my Tivo to "oops, I seem to have thrown my tv out the f*cking window."

Billy Donovan set the US speed record for cliches in a one minute span in his "live for the moment" pregame speech to his Gators.

The worst part of the experience by far was the camera shot of Rick Pitino in the stands, hands folded in a smug Dr. Evil pose as he watched the Gators cruise to victory.

Another disappointing side note to the game: I was really hoping that Larry Brown would hold the honor of being the only UCLA head coach to lose in the championship game.

UCLA had been advancing throughout the tournament by imposing their will on other teams. It was readily apparent by the first timeout of the game that the Bruins strategy of double-teaming in the post wasn't going to work. Unfortunately, Ben Howland was too stubborn to revise his strategy. Not that it would have mattered too much last night. Florida was playing a perfect game and was in the zone. There was no stopping them.

Clark Kellogg in the pregame described Corey Brewer as being as versatile as a potato. I think that pretty much summed up the mismatch for the game. Billy Donovan had just too many potatoes for the Bruins to handle. Just too many potatoes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I Need a T.O. Baby

This is going to have to be a quick one. I've been struggling all day after some bad hollandaise sauce this morning. I feel like Glenn "Big Baby" Davis after 5 minutes without a timeout- sweating, heaving, and just praying that I don't have a coronary. But with a bottle of Tums by my side, and a Man Show marathon on G4, I'll trudge on...

At the 18th hole of the Kraft Nabisco classic, there was a reasonable chance that either Michelle Wie or Natalie Gulbis would be making the traditional jump into the lake with a victory. But they both missed some pressure putts, and the victory went to Karrie Webb in a playoff. Fortunately, CBS was running late so they ended the broadcast before the ceremony; however I have a suspicion that had the results been slightly different, network execs would have found the extra time for either of the younger players...

Yes, I'm leading off with women's golf, because it was the only sporting event to have any great drama this weekend. Florida and UCLA both cruised to easy victories and will meet Monday night to determine who is #1 in the country. In preparation for the game, it was certainly noticed by the coaches that both schools have a conference opponent who swept them this season. Florida was 0-2 against the N.I.T. champion South Carolina Gamecocks, while UCLA was winless against the Washington Huskies. Ben Howland will certainly be studying the films from the Florida/USC games and mimic Dave Odom's game plan. Florida may try to do the same with Washington film. But hopefully, Florida will study the wrong Washington game films and end up being conditioned to commit terrible fouls at crucial points in the game.

If you needed a reason to root against Florida in the championship game, be warned that if the Gators win, many people- possibly even Jim Nantz- will be copying the headline recently seen on "You Noah It." On the flip side if the Bruins win and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute ends up with the final rebound, Nantz will go with, "the Prince is King for a day." Still annoying? Sure. But certainly the lesser of two evils.

It cannot be a good sign for Bud Selig that opening night of Major League Baseball was relegated to ESPN2 by girls' basketball, a young ace was injured, and then the game was interrupted by a three hour rain delay forcing the game to conclude around 2 am eastern time. There are Greek tragedies that have had more promising beginnings than this...

In the pregame, Joe Morgan naively remarked at how surprised he was to see how much thinner Jim Thome is this season. He was then electroshocked by ESPN executives who have forbidden their analysts from alluding to steroids until after they've finished promoting Barry Bonds' new reality show...

Tomorrow is the "real" opening day of baseball. Of course, most people will be working during the day games and then watching basketball during the evening games, so viewership will likely be down. Just another stroke of marketing genius from Commissioner Selig!

At the USC pro day, Reggie Bush ran 4.33 40 yd dash, had a 40.5 inch vertical leap, and 24 reps bench pressing 225 pounds. He said he would have liked to have run a 4.29 but one of his "619" bandaids came off causing a bit of wind drag. At the conclusion of his workout, the Houston Texans had him cryogenically frozen until the end of the month when they call out his name as the #1 overall pick.

And now...girls jumping on trampolines!