Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Nightcap

Tonight's Nightcap is being brought to you by Coors Light. We'll save a cold one for you, coach.

I'll always remember Bill Walsh for his class, his intellect, and for making me cry as a little kid when his Niners beat my team on the way to the Super Bowl. That was the one and only time I cried over a NFL game- at least one that I didn't have money on...

Even in his final day, Bill Walsh showed that he was able to get things out of players that other people just couldn't do. Why today, to honor his coach, Joe Montana actually made an appearance on television without requesting an exorbitant sum of cash for his time...

Now the hopes of the franchise lie with Frank Gore, who shrewdly broke his hand in camp Monday in order to protect himself from blowing out a knee before the season begins. That was a veteran move...

Another veteran move reportedly being made today is the departure of Kevin Garnett from Minnesota to Boston in exchange for everything on the Celtics roster not named Allen or Pierce and a few draft picks. I'm uncertain of the long-term ramifications of the deal, but the immediate fall-out of the trade will be a never ending barrage of orgasmic columns from Bill Simmons. This should be fun...

In a mangled analogy, Simmons writes the Celtics moves were "like watching the World Series of Poker and seeing someone say "screw it!" by going all-in with a jack-nine of spades after a flop yielded two more spades. Is it smart to risk everything on the 25-percent chance that you'll get the flush?" I don't know if that cleared up anything for me on the mindset of the Celtics, but it did provide more evidence that Simmons isn't the expert poker player he imagines himself to be. As most poker players can tell you, the odds of hitting the flush in that situation are roughly 35 percent, which in the poker world is oftentimes a huge difference. And he wonders why he was knocked out of at least one World Series of Poker on day 1...

Everyone loves an NBA conspiracy theory, so I'll throw this one out there. The KG trade was orchestrated by David Stern to get people- especially ESPN - to start talking about something other than the Donaghy scandal. In return for the Celtics suddenly having three all-stars on their roster, the commissioner will make certain that the Timberwolves are winners in the 2008 lottery...

Lakers fans cannot be happy about the Celtics becoming a legitimate NBA team again. This is really taking the luster off of those Luke Walton, Derek Fisher, and Chris Mihm signings that Mitch Kupchak masterminded in the offseason...

The Twins traded Luis Castillo to the Mets, which has some people thinking that this means the Twins are now sellers and Torii Hunter is available. That's just not the case. Hearing that Castillo has been traded and concluding that the Twins are starting a firesale would be like seeing a VCR on sale at Best Buy and concluding that they're going out of business. It's just a case of an organization getting rid of some obsolete merchandise...

Finally, in a long, painful turn of events, Daunte Culpepper has announced that he was not able to come to an agreement with any NFL teams this year. Instead, he is looking to sign with the Oakland Raiders.

Labels: ,

The Sublime Genius of Jim Leyland

It's only July, but the Tigers just got themselves one step closer to the world series; and they did it by losing.

If the current standings hold to form, the Tigers and Angels would face each other in the first round of the playoffs (Red Sox vs Indians would be the other matchup.) Last weekend, the Detroit Tigers had a three game set with the Anaheim Angels. At the time, the Angels were reportedly considering various trade proposals with the Rangers that would land them Mark Teixeira. However during those negotiations, the Angels went on one of the most prolific offensive surges of their franchise's history, scoring 34 runs en route to a three game sweep of the Tigers. That production convinced Angels GM Bill Stoneman that his team's offense would be fine with the likes of Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman protecting Vladimir Guerrero. The Angels bowed out of the race for Teixeira, who went to the Braves, and the Tigers now have a first round bye in the playoffs.

It's far-fetched to suggest that the Tigers willingly tanked the Angels series, but it is interesting to note that in the games immediately following the sweep, the Angels were shutout on four hits (Anderson and Kotchman a combined 0 for 8) by the Mariners and the Tigers gave a pitcher named Tata a win in his major league debut as Detroit beat the A's, 5-2.

That Jim Leyland is a wily old dog.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 27, 2007

Is There Ever a Bad Time to Include Women in a Fantasy?

Like many football fans, I'm involved in a fantasy football league. Like many football fans, I'm also slightly ashamed of that fact. While there are certainly enjoyable aspects of the league- the comradarie with old friends, the trash talking, participating in legalized gambling, etc., there are also many shameful aspects of playing fantasy football. At the top of the list is when you're at a sports bar and the guy wearing a Redskins jersey cheers when Marion Barber scores a touchdown and the guy wearing a Cowboys jersey cheers when Clinton Portis scores a touchdown because they have those respective players on their fantasy team. That's just deplorable.

This year, my fantasy football league is considering holding their annual draft at Hooters. At first, this seemed like a stroke of genius. Being surrounded by beer, boobs and tubes is a great way to spend any day. But on the flip-side, fantasy football is inherently geeky; and if you're going to be a dork all day, do you really want to do it in front of a bunch of hot women? That's probably not the best practice to get into.

I'm torn on the issue. What are your thoughts?

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Crazy Thing Is: Deion Sanders Gets Paid To Proffer His Opinion

Tonight's Nightcap is being brought to you by Deion Sanders Kool-Aid. Deion's Kool Aid: it's like an acid trip for morons. The latest serving was in an editorial in the esteemed Southwest Florida News-Press. I haven't seen someone have such misguided logic and reasoning since....well, since the last time I heard Deion Sanders speak. Buckle up your seat belts and carve out your cerebral cortex with an ice cream scoop because we're about to go on a wild ride.

I would’ve never thought Mike Vick, one of the NFL’s most exciting players — the man who makes the network execs smile every time he plays — would ever be indicted for crimes against man’s best friend.

The potential impact could be devastating.

Absolutely, Deion. Excellent start. This already has been devastating to many people- dog lovers, Falcons fans, and anyone who was cursed to be born with a sense of decency. This in it's own little way is having an impact on a major portion of society. Please expound for us, oh wise Seminole:

He could lose millions worth of endorsements. Nike has already suspended the release of his new shoe. He could lose millions he was supposed to get from the Atlanta Falcons, if the club decides to cut him.

Oh you mean it could be devastating for Vick, personally? You mean a guy who mistook his fame and fortune for being above the law might actually lose his millions of dollars if he's found guilty of committing a felony? I hadn't realized that. I really feel for the guy now.

Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.

And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. You’re probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest.

You see, most people don't understand Vick because they're the types of people that show their love with things like kindness and sharing. But other people can only show their love through abuse and punishment, and by killing those that aren't worthy of their love. I'm sure someone must understand this. Elijah Dukes, Rae Carruth, Orenthal- they all know what Deion's talkin' about.

Why are we indicting him?

Because he broke the law? Repeatedly? And they have a lot of evidence? I'm just guessing.

Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else?

Maybe Vick was hanging out with drug lords and mob bosses at his dog fights, and those are the people the Feds are really after. It's certainly possible. So remember kids: if you're ever going to get into crime, be sure to surround yourself with even more heinous criminals than you so that you can be acquitted under the lesser known "At least I'm not as bad as that dude" statute.

I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death.

And isn't that what life is really about: finding your true passion and experiencing it to the fullest? It's not Mike's fault that his passion just happened to involve the reckless destruction of life for sport. We should all be so lucky to live as fulfilling a life as Vick does.

It’s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn’t tap out when he knows he can’t win.

The ultimate fighter is also acting on his own volition whereas the dog has no choice in the matter. Perhaps a more apt comparison is to the Roman Gladiatorial Games in which slaves would meet in front of thousands of spectators and fight each other to the death for the honor of serving their masters in the afterlife. Of course, that sounds barbaric and repugnant in modern society, so instead let's pretend the dog is really Chuck Lidell.

It reminds me of when I wore a lot of jewelry back in the day because I always wanted to have the biggest chain or the biggest, baddest car. It gives you status.

Ok, this is actually just Deion's desperate attempt to make sure the story is at least partially about him rather than Vick, but just for fun, I'll play along with this misguided analogy because I can relate. It's like when I went out to dinner with this girl and I felt like I had to order the porterhouse so I could have status. Then I drugged her and started a prostitution ring out of my house. Because *that's* status. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.

Who shot Darrant Williams? Remember the Denver Bronco cornerback? I’m just more concerned about bringing to justice someone who killed a human.

If Deion were making a commentary about how sad it is that our society has become so desensitized to human suffering, I'd be right there with him. But I don't think that's what he's doing here. He's employing a diversionary tactic by saying that there are worse things out there in the world, so let's not care about this lesser incident. It's an attitude which is both irresponsible and inhumane because it leads to not caring about anything, since there will always be something "more important" to conjure up. It's not like any Denver area detectives were taken off the Williams case to follow leads in Michael Vick's alleged dog-fighting, so why can't we be concerned about both?

We’re attacking this dogfighting ring the same way a teenager attacks his MySpace page after school (by the way parents, make sure you monitor your kids).

Listen Deion: Incoming West Virginia freshman running back and super stud prep star Noel Devine turned down the opportunity to become an instant millionaire and fled your home when you tried to raise him. So spare me the platitudes and parenting tips, Ok?

The reason this is turning into a three-ring circus is that baseball is boring, basketball is months away, football is around the corner and we in the media don’t have a thing interesting to write about.

David Stern would greatly appreciate it if you could inform all other writers and broadcasters that there is nothing to cover in his sports at this time. Just move along. Nothing to see here.

How will this end up? I have no idea. All I know is Falcons fans better pray because Vick’s backup is Joey Harrington. Enough said.

"Dear lord baby Jesus, please reach down with your mighty hand and cast a fire which might destroy the evidence that condemns #7 Michael Vick for brutally torturing and killing animals, hanging out with drug dealers, and illegal gambling so that I, your loyal subject, may bear witness to a 9 and 7 season this year rather than a 4 and 12 nightmare with Joey Harrington."


Labels: ,

It's Still Better Than the "Prison Break" World Series

Remember a few years back when one of the Spiderman movies was about to be released and Major League Baseball was planning on putting spider webs on bases for the all-star game, only to be thwarted by public outcry? No? Well, neither does Rex Hudler or Fox Sports Net. This was from Tuesday night's game:

Actually, I think this is a great idea and should be embraced throughout the league. I know that after Mike Piazza homered today, I suddenly had the urge to see "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." It's a natural synergy.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Peter King Acting Like Court Jester

I just got back and I was getting ready to post my reaction to one of Peter King's latest knee-jerk comments. I know which one, right? This time it was the bit where he uses his column to try to get the upper hand in his ongoing feud with Emmitt Smith. However during the course of my research (yes, I occasionally do a minimal amount of research), I came across this article which echoes my viewpoint in a far more articulate manner:

Peter King: Oh Really?

It's a good read if you get the chance. Once again, Peter King has shown the kind of reading comprehension and intelligent reasoning that is usually reserved for the Caps Lock commenters over at AOL FanHouse.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Now Being in the FBI Means Watching a Lot of ESPN

Inspired by the inanity over at ESPN, the sports scandal landscape has created its own social experiment to see which is more "Now." Each sport has its own embarrassing incident, but fans only can only feign a limited amount of outrage. So where will they choose to focus it, and how would the Worldwide Leader break this down?

Scandal #1: An NBA ref is accused of fixing games to settle gambling debts with mobsters.
Analysis: Tho the Sopranos just ended, mobsters are still very Now. Gambling scandals I suppose are retro-Now. The NBA however isn't nearly as Now as it used to be, tho it does feature some players who are very Now (Wade, Lebron) as well as some Nows of the future (Oden, Durant.)

My take
: My guess is that this story will remain a distant third until the referee is named. The NBA typically does a good job keeping these things under wraps, so don't expect anything public from them unless an arrest is made. However don't be surprised if sometime in the next few weeks, Joey Crawford announces that he's going to take some time off the NBA to give some time to his other sports love, baseball, and spends a season or two as a minor league umpire.

Scandal #2: The all-time home run record will be broken in the next week or so by a player who many people presume to have used performance enhancing drugs during a good portion of his career.

Analysis: The HR record is Now, but steroids and Balco have become "Then." This scenario was actually more Now at the beginning of the season, as there were many fans rooting for Bonds to fall short of the record. But at this point, those fans have taken the mindset of one of Vick's pitbull bitches on a rape stand- it's inevitable, so you might as well try to enjoy it. Or maybe that was Bob Knight's dog.

My take: Even tho my opinion is that the Bonds story grew tiresome a year and a half ago, it will remain prominent for the foreseeable future (sorry, Pedro Gomez).

Scandal #3
: Something about Michael Vick and some dogs.

Analysis: Even tho the football season is "Later," football itself is always the most "Now" amongst sports. Add into the equation man's best friend, who is Now and Forever (to anyone not named Clinton Portis), as well the aforementioned perpetually Now element of gambling which has still yet to be explored fully, and you've got a story that can only be described as the Nowiest Now there ever Was.

My take: I still think once the dog abuse furor begins to subside, the gambling angle will become more relevant. Either way, this story will be featured prominently on ESPN, for better or for worse, for quite some time.

Maybe it's time to take a break from ESPN for a lil' while. Shouldn't there be another Hooters Bikini Pageant coming up on FSN? At least over there, performance enchancers are not only permitted, they're embraced.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vick Has Support of NFL Until Jersey Sales Slow Down

So, I don't know if anyone's told you this yet, but Michael Vick was indicted on charges of dogfighting. Nobody's covering this story anywhere, so I'm sure you're probably in shock right now, but I thought you had the right to know.

The weird thing is, I thought we'd heard from ESPN a week or so ago that all of the information was in, and Vick was not going to be indicted? Maybe next time something like this comes along, Chris Mortensen might want to try checking with federal sources rather than league sources before filing his story. I don't want to say Mortensen has become a shill for the NFL, but well, if it looks like a muppet and talks like a muppet...

To be fair, perhaps there was a breaking development between the time ESPN said Vick was in the clear and when the Feds made the decision to bring charges against the former Hokies QB. My sources* indicate that the Feds were unconvinced of Vick's involvement until they found this shaky, second-hand video in Vick's home which confirmed his interest in dog-fighting:

Right now all of the focus has been on the animal cruelty aspects of Vick's alleged organization of dog fights, which is understandable because they are salacious and will generate emotion and of course, viewers. But eventually, someone in the NFL front office is going to start paying attention to the illegal gambling part of these dog fighting sessions. Vick was allegedly gambling large sums of money on matches, and since odds on these fights weren't being offered by Vegas sportsbooks, it's fair to assume that Vick was also involved in underground gambling. If Vick became indebted to bookies, is it that far-fetched to assume that he might be allowed to cover his losses by shaving a few points off of Falcons games throughout the season? Honestly, Vick would be the perfect guy to target for such a ploy. Would anyone be suspicious at all if Vick were to overthrow a receiver or fumble the ball in a key situation? It happened all the time anyway- he might as well get paid for it.

While Vick may be able to skate on the federal charges, it may be the gambling that is his undoing. Just ask Art Schlicter. Or Pete Rose.

(*sources may be my imagination.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jason and the AutoOuts

Yesterday, the Cubs acquired Jason Kendall and cash from the A's for Rob Bowen and minor league pitcher Jerry Blevins. It should have sent up a bunch of red flags that A's GM Billy Beane was actually willing to pay someone to take Kendall off of his hands, but the Cubs were apparently undeterred. I imagine the conversation at Cubs headquarters went something like this:

GM Jim Hendry: Hey, the A's just called to help out with our catching problem. They say Jason Kendall is available.

Asst to Hendry: Oh great. Thanks, but no thanks.

Jim Hendry: I think we should go for it.

Asst: What??? But sir, Kendall can't hit the ball anymore. Like at all. He is not a good hitter.

Hendry: I got a question for you- Has Jason Kendall ever been to an All-Star game?

Asst: Well...sure, but...

Hendry: Listen, kid. Let me teach ya something about this game. Any time you get an opportunity to trade for an All-Star, you gotta make that deal.

Asst: (prepares resume for after Cuban clears house).

Just a couple of weeks ago, ESPN writer Rob Neyer had this to say (insider membership) about Kendall:

"This season he's quite probably the worst everyday player in the majors."

Kendall's slugging percentage is .281, which is the 2nd worst amongst all regular position players in the majors. I know Kendall provides all of the intangible qualities you look for in a catcher- handling the staff, studying hitters, umm..getting hit by pitches?; but the Cubs now have two automatic outs at the #8 and #9 spot, so Kendall had better be really good at breaking down opposing hitters to make up for that loss of run production.

I dunno, maybe the Cubs just wanted a catcher that would fight with opposing pitchers instead of their own.


On The Road

Too much going on this morning. Update to come a little after noon (pst).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Butterfly Effect

For what is traditionally the slowest sports day of the year, there were actually quite a few headlines throughout the sports pages today. While they might not seem like that big of a deal now, many any of these moves will have an impact that will be felt for years to come. Let's take a look, shall we?:

Indians sign Travis Hafner to 4 year, $57 million extension.
Effect: CC Sabathia sees Hafner's deal and increases his contract demands beyond the Indians' means. In 2009, Sabathia becomes a free agent and signs a 7 year, $135 million contract with the NY Yankees, leading them to the World Series under first year manager Don Mattingly. In 2011, Sabathia tears his rotater cuff and is never the same again. From 2011-2015, Bill Simmons (who is still working at Page 2) features a line in every one of his columns which mocks the Yankees for the Sabathia deal- and then asks readers to buy his book which is still available in paperback at second-hand stores everywhere.

Portland Trailblazers buy out Steve Francis for $30 million and then release him.
(To recap: The Blazers traded Zach Randolph and spent 30 mil just to make sure that Greg Oden wouldn't be influenced by a few troubled players.)
Effect: Portland also files a restraining order in which Francis must remain 20 feet away from Greg Oden at all times. This initially appears to create a problem when Francis signs a free agent deal with the Clippers, requiring him to play four games against the Blazers during the season. However, it is quickly realized that Francis hasn't driven into the lane or helped anyone on defense in five years, so he is still able to abide by the terms of the order.

Rickey Henderson is hired as the new hitting coach of the NY Mets.
Effect: After Henderson instills his rule of "always talk about yourself in the first third person," chaos reigns over local beat reporters as they can never tell if Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado are talking about themselves or each other. Then after Willie Randolph is ejected in a game in August, Rickey Henderson takes over as manager. He tries to put himself in as a pinch runner for Shawn Green all while yelling, "Look at Rickey. I told ya Rickey can still run. Watch Rickey steal another base." He is fired the next day.

Kevin Seitzer fired as hitting coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Effect: My massive collection of 1987 Fleer Rookie Kevin Seitzer cards plummet in value from $.05 each to a mere penny a card. This hit on my overall net worth forces me to start eating off of the value menu at Taco Bell. While dining on a fresco style 1/2 pound bean and potato burrito, I discover that one of the potato lumps is in fact a mouse head. I settle with Taco Bell for a nice chunk of change and immediately invest it in one of Bob Stoops' pyramid schemes. I use the resulting fortune to buy the Chicago Cubs. I hire Kevin Seitzer as my manager.

NCAA orders Oklahoma to vacate all 2005 victories as a result of three players being paid under the table for summer jobs.
Effect: Oklahoma boosters put up a "No-Peat" billboard around USC campus and start a website which details all of the allegations surrounding former Trojan running back Reggie Bush. After another two years of dragging their feet, the NCAA forces USC to vacate all of their victories from 2004, including the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma becomes the de facto 2004 national champions, their 8th overall.

Orlando Magic sign Rashard Lewis to a 6 year, $127.2 million contract.
Effect: Magic become a perennial #4/5 seed. After their 3rd consecutive season of losing in the first round of the playoffs, general manager Otis Smith is found unconscious and bloodied outside an Orlando hotel. Hotel surveillance tapes reveal two men dressed as Mickey Mouse and Goofy brutally assaulting Mr. Smith. The video quickly hits the internet and news, and parents respond by refusing to visit any Disney properties. Disney begins to hemorrhage money, and in a cost-cutting move, fires all of their ESPN tv personalities, to start anew with humbler, cheaper alternatives.

Otis Smith- Impulsive fool or prescient American hero?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Jesus Take the Word Processer

If you are a head coach and your team wins a championship, then it's pretty standard that you'll be given a book deal. I mean even this guy has a book out. So it really comes as no surprise that today marks the release of Tony Dungy's memoirs: Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life. What was unexpected however was this lead-in on the SI.com story covering the release of the new book:

Colts coach Tony Dungy said some football fans may be surprised that his memoir "Quiet Strength," which hits stores Tuesday, goes beyond Super Bowl tales and delves into his Christian faith.

Which football fans would those be? The ones who were out of the country for the months of January and February and missed every playoff interview with Coach Dungy? He called out God's name more than a teenage boy receiving his first hummer. I'm actually more surprised that the memoirs go beyond his Christian faith and actually delve into Super Bowl tales. In fact, I fully expect his retelling of the Super Bowl to read something along these lines:

As the rain began to fall in Miami, it was as if I was being baptized all over again. I usually get baptized every Saturday anyway just to remind the Lord how committed I am to Him, but this baptism fell especially purifying. Then the Lord appeared before me in the form of two shaking pom poms and said, "Fear not. For last night, I sent an Angel to Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera who told him to play a soft cover-2 defense without putting any pressure on the quarterback. And lo, while Peyton Manning may toucheth a man and Dominic Rhodes drinks often from old wineskins, today they are made clean. For you are the chosen one who shall bring glory to My Name. Now go tell your people that we are even for that whole Katrina thing."

I think he's got himself a bestseller.


Monday, July 09, 2007

We May Miss Dan Patrick More Than You Ever Imagined

Now that Dan Patrick has made it official that he will be leaving ESPN August 17 to pursue other interests, it's time to speculate on who will be hired to replace him on ESPN radio. I'm sure Colin Cowherd will be vying for the job, but his schtick seems to fit in best with the morning radio crowd. Steve Mason certainly has the credentials for the job, tho I don't know that he necessarily has the name recognition. But there is another guy out there who already has a big following amongst ESPN viewers and has recently begun a foray into radio. As he himself might write in the announcement:

Oh my God! That's Bill Simmons' music!!

Granted, this is a bit far-fetched, but in some ways, it makes sense. For example:

-Despite what you might read from blogs, Simmons is one of the most popular personalities at ESPN.
-Simmons has made it clear for years that he's frustrated with only being a blogger, and now that he's pushing 40, is looking to do more.
-This summer, Simmons began his "BS report" podcast on espn, and has been a frequent guest on Adam Carolla's radio show. Could it be that ESPN brass has known for some time that Patrick is leaving, and these were presented as some preliminary opportunities for training before getting called up to "The Show?"
-In recent months, Simmons and Colin Cowherd have entered into a bit of an ongoing feud. Could this have been fabricated to create a rivalry between the two to generate interest in a back-to-back lineup of Cowherd and Simmons?

Of course, there are some factors working against this move. Other ESPN radio personalities have seniority and would certainly be upset if Simmons were to leapfrog them. Simmons works better when he has someone to play off of, and it's unlikely that ESPN will hire Sully and J-Bug to co-host. Simmons is in LA and the national shows tend to be broadcast from Bristol. Finally, and most importantly, Simmons has a terrible radio voice (tho really, is it any worse than Cowherd's?)

All in all, I'd consider it unlikely for Bill Simmons to outright replace Dan Patrick. However, given the recent added exposure that ESPN has given guys like Steven A Smith and Stu Scott, I suppose anything is possible.

Labels: ,

A Very Late Nightcap

A few thoughts to end the day- or start it, depending on your perspective...

ESPN Classic shows Kiana's Flex Appeal at 4 AM? How long has this been going on, and how did I possibly not know about it? Now I have to check their schedule to see if Bodyshaping is ever on the air anymore. I used to love the thinner blonde on the show. Remember her? She couldn't lift a paperweight, but Cory sure did seem to like her...

I'm a bit late on this, but The M Zone found a very well-reasoned and sobering article about the realities of trying to make a living out of blogging. It doesn't paint a pretty picture for those of us at the bottom of this pyramid scheme. But while the pay isn't great, there are fringe benefits such as searching for videos of a Hooters bikini pageant all in the name of going the extra mile trying to provide a service to readers...

A week ago, ESPN violated a MLB mandate by making the all-star rosters public before TBS had aired their exclusive selection show. As a punishment for their transgression, MLB has told ESPN that it won't be allowed to air it's all-star edition of Baseball Tonight live from the ballpark. I'm not sure that even qualifies as a slap on the wrist, but I'd like to thank Bud Selig nonetheless. I don't think I was prepared to see John Kruk's hair blowing in the San Francisco wind. I think the net effect would be a cross between catching Medusa's gaze and watching the videotape from The Ring...

I have to imagine that right now, there are 31 GMs in contact with Brian Urlacher's agent to make him an offer once he becomes a free agent. The Bears are going to cut him after allegations of harassment and abuse from his baby's momma, aren't they? They cut first, and wait for the judicial system to take its course later. Isn't that the precedent they set with Tank Johnson?

This isn't really sports related at all, but the timing was so uncanny that I think to appease The Fates, I should hand out a link. A couple days ago, for no apparent reason whatsoever, I had images of the old Billy Idol "Cradle of Love" video stuck in my head. Then, lo and behold, earlier tonight, I stumbled across a site called The Friendly Friends which is in the midst of, "The Definitive 1000," the longest countdown endeavor that I'm aware of. They are currently at #986 - The Cradle of Love Girl. It brought back some great memories, and I can only hope that this is just a sign of things to come; and soon I will find myself in the company of a pretty young thing in a bra and short skirt, crawling around on her hands and knees. I'll probably have to head out to a strip club to make it happen, but if that's my destiny, so be it...

Here's another awesome find by the folks at WBRS Sports Blog. That would look great right next to a Mark McGwire endorsed Juiceman Juicer...

In peripheral sports news, both Jose Canseco and Bill Simmons were eliminated from the World Series of Poker in day 1. I imagine Canseco was easy to read as he'd start twitching anytime he got a good hand...

Finally, if you're a UCLA or LSU fan, or perhaps a Trojan with a good sense of humor, you've got to check out the pic at the bottom of this post on Bruins Nation. That image is so amazingly hysterical that it's hard to believe it wasn't staged.

UPDATE: Sunday night there was a transcript of the online chat w/ Andrew Feldman and Norman Chad on ESPN.com. In that transcript, Feldman said that Bill Simmons was knocked out of the World Series of Poker early. However I'm now no longer able to find that link. It looks like it's been replaced by another chat from the World Series today in which Feldman was once again asked if Simmons played. This time his response was:

"Nope, he bailed. K-10 is not a good hand. That is not the last time I will say that."

I dunno. Maybe the first time, Feldman just saw some other Mass guy w/ a backwards cap quoting Rounders and mistakenly assumed it was Simmons.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

NBA GMs Make It Rain When the Free Agent Dance Begins

It's been a busy week in the NBA. Here's a quick recap of some of the bigger deals that went down recently:

Orlando signs Rashard Lewis to max deal (roughly 5 yr, $75 mil.)

Positives: In the diluted East, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard become a diluted version of Kobe and Shaq. This deal likely will prohibit Orlando from re-signing Darko Milicic, which I view as a net positive. The Orlando fan base just finished the Grant Hill experience, so they're well accustomed to their team being saddled with overblown onerous contracts.

Negatives: Rashard Lewis isn't much better than Gerald Wallace, who could have been had for less money. Lewis never emerged as a leader in Seattle, so it's difficult to imagine him elevating his game in Orlando. Once Howard signs his 5 year, $80 million-ish deal, that's going to be a good chunk of Orlando's cap space eaten up by two players for the next five years, making it difficult to add any complementary veterans.

Boston trades #5 pick to Seattle for Ray Allen

Negatives: He's about to turn 32, has only a few years remaning in his prime, and will be playing for a team that already has an outside shooter in Paul Pierce. Boston probably should have concentrated on youth and building through the draft, but instead wanted to appease one veteran by signing another.

Positives: Boston fans can take consolation in the topless pics (nsfw) of Rebecca Gayheart that surfaced recently. Like Ray Allen, the ideal time to have Gayheart would have been 10+ years ago in her Noxzema days, but Gayheart shows that just because you're in your 30s and can't drive doesn't mean you've lost all of your game.

Seattle hires former Spurs' employees Sam Presti and PJ Carlisimo to be their braintrust

Positive: If you're going to pick a team to emulate, the Spurs are the best candidate out there.

Negatives: Putting Nick Collison at the 4/5 slot and calling yourself "Spurs Northwest" is like putting red bathing suits on the cast of The View and calling yourself Baywatch A.M.

Toronto Raptors sign Jason Kapono to 4 year, $24 million deal.

Positives: Toronto desperately needed some reliable outside shooting to complement Chris Bosh's inside game. 51% from three point land is certainly reliable. With the experience of having played four years under Steve Lavin, Kapono should have no problem adjusting to Sam Mitchell's tendency to struggle in playoff games.

Negatives: Potential family issues could arise. Judging by these pictures of her (the one w/ curly hair and Kapono forehead) recently posted to a message board, Kapono's sister Jillian is going to be pissed that visiting her brother now means a trip to Toronto rather than the clubbing mecca that is Miami. (note: I can't confirm that the first picture is her, however it was found in the same set.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Patriotic Girls Shall Set Them Free

Hope you enjoyed your Independence Day. My tradition of spending the 4th on the beach has been delayed until the weekend. Of course, since I'm spending this entire week almost entirely indoors, I can expect to get burned to a crisp once we finally make it out to Hermosa Beach. But it will be worth it.

I'm having some trouble uploading from the hospital this week; but if I make a coffee run later this afternoon, I'll be sure to throw a post up while I'm out. And if I can't think of anything to write, maybe I'll just toss up a pic of a chick in a bikini. Judging by my hits the last week, I have a feeling people like that kind of thing. You perverts.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Japanese Ingenuity Continues to Inspire

I never would have guessed that a competitive match of the old childhood game, "Red Light, Green Light" could be entertaining. But that was before I saw this clip. There's just something about it that I find so enjoyable and uplifting. Maybe it's the feeling of nostalgia for a game I played when life was so much simpler? Maybe it's the inspired 1980 soundtrack that makes me wish this clip wouldn't end? Or maybe it's something else that I haven't quite put my finger on just yet? In any event, enjoy. Oh, and if you're at work, be careful as to who might be looking over your shoulder.

Damn- This really should be an Olympic sport.

Labels: , ,

The Nightcap

If you were to make a list of the early candidates for the NL Cy Young Award, one of the very first names would have to be Chris Young. He's 3rd in the league in ERA (2.14), 2nd in WHIP (1.09), 1st in opponents' batting average (.197), 4th in strikeouts per 9 innings (8.38), and 9th in wins (8). Yet somehow, Chris Young is not an All-Star this year, at least not according to the coaches and players. He is however a candidate on the Final Vote ballot at MLB.com, but given that more popular names such as Carlos Zambrano and Roy Oswalt are also listed, I'm skeptical that Young will get his rightful honor. Normally, I could care less about All-Star appearances, but for such an egregious oversight to be made is ridiculous. Don't be surprised if this error comes back to haunt the NL when they loses any chance at home field advantage in the World Series after the AL shells "all-star" Brian Fuentes and his 6 blown saves and 4.17 ERA...

Barry Bonds made a late charge with voters and was announced as a starter, which means Bud Selig is now looking for excuses as to why he won't be able to attend the game this year...

In a move that was surprising only in its timing, Mike Hargrove resigned today as head coach of the Seattle Mariners. During his press conference, Hargrove said he initially made the decision to resign on June 20, however general manager Bill Bavasi asked him to delay his announcement until the all-star break. In perhaps related news, it was June 21 that Joe Girardi turned down an offer from the Baltimore Orioles to be their head coach. This is pure speculation, but could it be that Bavasi contacted Girardi on the 20th to let him know that the Mariners position would soon be available? Bavasi is on the hot seat in Seattle, and hiring a hot name like Girardi could go a long way towards helping him save his job...

Waking up early on a Monday is something I usually try to avoid, but there's more rain in the forecast for London, England and Ana Ivanovic is scheduled to compete at around 8 am PST. That could make for some captivating television...

Cristie Kerr won the LPGA US Open today, beating out #1 player Lorena Ochoa. Of course, nobody bothered to watch because Michelle Wie had already withdrawn from the tournament. As much as the other players on the tour resent Michelle Wie, they absolutely need her if they want their sport to gain any sort of prominence. Maybe the LPGA should start putting remote guidance into her balls so she can make some cuts and boost ratings?...

The Lakers finally made a move that should make Kobe Bryant at least a little bit happier, agreeing to a 6 yr, $30 million contract extension with Luke Walton. Walton is Kobe Bryant's kind of player- meaning that Luke is more than happy to just pass the ball off to Kobe and rebound his misses...

By the way the research on that previous article included an added bonus that I wasn't expecting. The front page of the sports section of the LA Times website includes a picture of Christine Daniels- formerly Mike Penner, the sportswriter who hated his penis- and well, it's just as scary as you might imagine. Seriously, I think Barry Bonds made a more convincing woman last year at spring training.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who checked out the site over the weekend for my in-depth analysis of the NBA draft. It goes to show that Manny Coon's sage advice extends to all realms of art - even sports blogs. (If you're pressed for time, you can forward to the 3 minute mark. Warning, the clip does contain some language that may not be work appropriate.)