Sunday, March 29, 2009

OK - I Have to Say It

This is part of the reason my friend calls soccer players "grass fairies". NTTAWWT

I apologize!
Pick of the Day

The pick today is Oklahoma getting 7 points against North Carolina. I think this line is too big. Sure the Tar Heels probably end up winning but by more than 7 points? Would it surprise anyone if Oklahoma won the game straight up? This is the same North Carolina team that lost to Boston College.

Villanova won yesterday to move the POTD mark to 8-4 (the B pick of the Bruins game going over also came in).
Wily Mo and Jeff Bailey

Wily Mo Pena was waived by the Nationals. Meanwhile, Chris Carter - the guy the Nationals trade to the Red Sox - is in a battle for the final roster position with the Red Sox. Chances are the final roster position goes to Jeff Bailey who can leave the Red Sox (I believe) if he isn't on the roster by a certain date.

If I were the Mariners - I would pick up Wily Mo and give him a shot at being the DH. It's cheap money on his contract and he could prove to be a 25+ HR guy. A better move would to be arrange a trade for the 30-year old Bailey and make him the DH. Bailey was the International League MVP last year but is at the stage of his career when he can't wait any longer to get into the big leagues. He would do very well for the Mariners or any other team in need of a 1st baseman / DH.

In Boston, Bailey is blocked by Kevin Youkilis being in front of him and stud prospect Lars Anderson being behind him.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Happy 45th birthday to immortal hottie Elle McPherson...What? Peter Gammons had this puzzling statement in his last column: "Crisp was frightened by the death valley that is center and right-center field in Fenway Park." What? Crisp played Gold Glove defense at Fenway. Was I missing something? I'd look for Crisp to be among the favorites for a Gold Glove this year too... I've long wanted to read Shelby Foote's epic The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set) and finally I've got the first volume in my hands. I've read about the first 200 pages and I must say this this may just be the best book of history I've ever laid eyes on... Speaking of Coco Crisp - Jacoby Ellsbury should go fairly high among outfielders in many fantasy baseball drafts. Think of Coco Crisp as a later round equivalent to Ellsbury. I'd look for Crisp and Ellsbury to put up similar numbers this season. Same is true of Joba Chamberlain and Seattle's Brandon Morrow. Both pitchers have about equal stuff but Joba probably goes a few rounds ahead of Morrow... Cy Young was born on this day in 1867. Young's record of 511 wins is often cited as one of the records that cannot be broken. To me, though, the real unbreakable record of Young's is his 749 complete games. Pud Galvin is in second place with 646 and Tim Keefe is third with 554. That's a difference of about 200 complete games between 1st and 3rd place. You won't find an entire pitching staff in baseball these days with a combined 200 complete games.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pick of the Day

Today I like Villanova +2 over Pittsburgh. Villanova may be the hottest team in the tourney right now and they already have a regular season win over Pitt. The over (6 goals) in the Bruins playing on the road at Toronto was my plan B. The Bruins haven't played in 5 days and they are on the road. They should beat the Maple Leafs but I think it'll be at least a 4-3 type of game.

I didn't have time or wasn't motivated enough to post yesterday's pick of the day - which was Cleveland who won and covered by the way. Since I didn't post it I won't be counting it against my running tally which now stands at 7-4 (or 8-4 if you want to give me the Cleveland win).
Top 5 - Things About ShamWow Guy's Arrest

In case you haven't heard - Vince Shlomi, aka ShamWow! guy, was arrested for beating a hooker in Miami. Supposedly he met the hooker in a nightclub and was supposed to pay her $1,000 for sex. Instead, allegedly, she bit down on his tongue when he tried to kiss her and he had to beat her to make her stop biting. Here's 5 thoughts that popped to mind when reading about it.

1. Ha Ha - he paid $1,000 for sex and all he got was arrested and taken to the hospital

2. He's lucky she didn't bite down and not let go on another piece of his anatomy.

3. See kids - this is what you get when you try to kiss a hooker.

4. His mug shot makes ShamWow guy look like McNulty's drug addled brother (if McNulty had a brother on The Wire).

5. Hah Hah - my favorite part of the Smoking Gun story:
Police records list Shlomi's occupation as "Marketing," but make no mention of his affiliation with the ShamWow or the Slap Chop, both of which sell for $19.95 (plus shipping and handling).

Now if only the same thing would happen to the Verizon "Can you hear me now?" guy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pick(s) of the Day

Torn between taking Pitt (-6.5) over Xavier or Villanova (+2.5) over Duke. What the heck - I'll take 'em both.

Last night the Celtics (+2.5) covered against Orlando. The difference was the bench. Who knew Brian Scalabrine would be missed so much? The cover by the Celtics brings the POTD to 6-3 overall.

Alfonso Soriano does have a Big Ass Car Stereo!

I couldn't help but think when looking at the tricked out Hummer that Soriano probably spent more on that truck than what the Red Sox will pay for Brad Wilkerson this season.

HT Baseball Musings
Godless Journalists

Heh heh - I got a good chuckle from this piece on last night's Notre Dame / Kentucky game;
Asked about how he feels about all the judgment he’s facing after posing a 40-27 record in two seasons at Kentucky, [Billy] Gillispie said: “There’s only one judgment I’ll ever be concerned about, and I hope I pass that judgment. That’s the only one I’ll ever be concerned about, and I’m really proud that that’s the only judgment that will ever have a real affect on me, and I hope I pass that one with flying colors.”

Gillispie declined to answer when asked whose judgment he was referring to, saying it was obvious.
To be fair to the AP writer - there is a slight chance that Gillispie was referring to either his wife or Tim Tebow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top 5 - Moments from A Band of Brothers

The guys over at Cold, Hard Football Facts had an interesting post recently on the best scenes from A Band of Brothers. I had some disagreement with their selections - so I'm posting my own (but instead of a top 10 - I'm just selecting my top 5).

1. Spiers takes command of Easy - the scene of Spiers jumping through the smoke to assume command from Lt. Dike gives me chills every time.

2. Liebgott translates the defeated German General's speech to his men. A poignant speech which showed the German soldiers as similar to the men of Easy Company. The humor of Captain Sobel having to salute Major Winters was the cherry on top.

3. Easy Co takes the Eagles Nest. It was nice to see the guys enjoy some well earned R & R (and spoils of war - including a nice cache of booze for Captain Nixon).

4. Easy takes out the German 105s at Brecourt Manor - I've written before that Dick Winters should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

5. Easy retakes their foxhole positions outside of Bastogne. This past winter an ice storm hit Central Massachusetts that was so severe that some folks lost power for more than a week and tree tops in entire forests are missing as if they were blown apart by German tree burst shells like the ones Easy had to endure. I can't drive anywhere in Central Mass without seeing damaged trees (which in turn makes me think of the scenes from A Band of Brothers).

I disagree especially with the choice of top scene from Band of Brothers by the folks at CHFF mainly because of the inclusion of Jimmy Fallon as the jeep driver who supplies Easy with ammunition. Seeing Fallon always ruins it for me.
Pick of the Day

Tonight I like the Celtics plus 3.5 against Orlando. I'm not just picking the Celtics because I'm a Boston fan - they match up really well against Orlando.

Too busy to do a pick of the day yesterday but the overall mark stands at 5-3. It bothers me to think that just an extra bucket by Louisville and the Celtics could have made the mark 6-1-1.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I would love to play Steve Phillips in Fantasy Baseball. I would be willing to bet $1,000 that I would beat him. Against Jim Bowden I'd bet $10,000. I'm amazed that those two were able to land jobs as big league GM's. And while I'm talking about Steve Phillips - he doesn't think that Curt Schilling is a Hall of Fame player because Phillips doesn't give the same weight to Schilling's post-season heroics that others do. Let me ask the obvious - what the hell does Steve Phillips know about the post season?... Interesting read on possible recruiting violations by UConn's men's basketball team. My guess is that we're only seeing one side of the story here and that UConn won't face any serious punishment for any potential violations in this case. Nate Miles, who is at the center of the story, is described as talented but troubled. At some point in your life you start bringing much of the trouble upon yourself. I hope Nate Miles learns that lesson... Gordon Edes makes an excellent point - Curt Schilling now has a better chance of making the Hall of Fame than Roger Clemens. Who could have guessed that three years ago?... Happy 43rd birthday to Tom Glavine...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pick of the Day

Not a whole lot to choose from today so I'm going to go with the Celtics (-15 points) at home against the Clippers.

Yesterday the Bruins game went under to run the POTD mark to 5-2.
Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling has made his retirement official. The question now is whether Curt will be elected to the Hall of Fame. I won't deal with that question just yet but I did want to make the following comparison.

Player A - Season 1 - 22-9 / 2.40 ERA / 156 ERA+ / 158 SO
Player B - Season 1 - 22-6 / 2.98 ERA / 157 ERA+ / 293 SO

Player A - Season 2 - 23-11 / 2.09 ERA / 169 ERA+ / 193 SO
Player B - Season 2 - 23-7 / 3.23 ERA / 142 ERA + / 316 SO

Player A - Season 3 - 22-13 / 2.51 ERA / 130 ERA+ / 159 SO
Player B - Season 3 - 21-6 / 3.26 ERA / 150 ERA+ / 203 SO

Player A is Jim Palmer and the seasons are the three seasons he won the AL Cy Young Award in a four year stretch. Player B is Curt Schilling and the seasons are the years he came in second in Cy Young voting three years out of four from 2001 to 2004. It can be argued that Schilling's seasons were every bit as impressive as the seasons in which Palmer won his Cy Young Awards. It was Schilling's bad luck to have to compete with first Randy Johnson and then Johan Santana. Just one Cy Young from one of those years probably would have cinched the vote for Schilling for the Hall of Fame.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pick of the Day

Today I like the under (5.5 goals) in the Bruins / Devils game. However, if Tim Thomas is not in net for Boston then the bet is off.

Yesterday, Villanova rolled to raise the POTD mark to 4-2.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

According to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo - Oil Can Boyd will most likely play for Ottawa in the Can-Am League. That means there's a good chance I'll get to see him if he pitches against the Tornadoes in Worcester... In 1933, on this day, FDR signed a law which once again legalized the selling of beer and wine. I think I'll go out today and celebrate that fact... With Aaron Boone's heart ailment - does that open the door for a trade between Houston and the A's for Bobby Crosby?... Twenty years ago to the very day - Clint Malarchuck almost bled to death on the ice after having his throat slit by a skate while playing goalie for the Sabers. This was second only to Daryl Stingley being paralyzed as far as scary things to happen during a game in my opinion... My understanding is that the Red Sox released catcher Josh Bard both to give him a chance to catch on with another team and because George Kottaras is out of options and the Red Sox would either have to keep Kottaras on the big league roster or risk losing him through waivers...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pick of the Day

Today I like Villanova -3 in what equates to a home game against UCLA.

Last night Louisville needed just one more hoop to cover but it didn't happen - so my POTD record gets lowered to 3-2.
The Divide

Before the Civil War it was the the issue of slavery that caused a war to be fought where two sides (Union and Confederate) were clearly divided. After the Civil War it was another dichotomy - that of Republican vs Democrat that evolved to become the norm. Today the sands are shifting again. A divide is growing between people who support big government with tax and spend (or just spend and spend) policies and those who are sick of government waste and special interests getting special treatment from elected officials.

An analogy can be draw between the pre-civil war abolitionist movements and the Tea Party protesting that is happening today. In no way do I attempt to parallel the moral equivalence of the pure evil of slavery and the mismanagement of tax dollars. However, the size and widespread aspects of the two movements are similar.

Is a new Civil War brewing? A war based on the proper role of government and the proper use of tax-payer dollars? Is big government waste the new peculiar institution of the 21st century?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pick of the Day

Today I like Louisville -21 to beat Morehead State.The Louisville second team is better than the Morehead State Eagles starting team. I'm hoping that the Louisville second team pours it on.

Last night the Dukies won by just enough to push the POTD to 3-1.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pick of the Day

Today's pick is Duke -22 points. The Dukies like to beat up on weaker opponents (it's the people who can stand up to them that they have problems with).

The Hurricanes came through last night to raise the record of the POTD to 2-1.
Flotsam and Jetsam - St. Louis Edition

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I have not filled out any brackets. As far as I'm concerned that activity has completely jumped the shark. I am in a couple of pools but no brackets for me and in my opinion - I'm a better person for it... Speaking with someone here in St Louis I was told that Budweiser is getting rid of their "Born on Dating" mainly because they had been getting rid of too much perfectly good beer just because the freshness date had passed. I haven't been able to find anything about this on the web but I'll keep looking (and looking at the labels of my Mich Ultras)... Today isn't just a big day for college basketball - it is also a big day for NCAA Wrestling as the NCAA Division 1 championships start today in St. Louis...
Separated at Birth

I've been struck how much Tyler Hansborough looks like Frodo Baggins in the post game press conferences. Sad eyes and all. Frodo Hansborough?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pick of the Day

Today I like Carolina (-$125) against the Devils. This is the second game in two nights for the Devils while Carolina is well rested and playing at home. My guess is that the Devils may have celebrated a bit after Martin Brodeur became the winningest goalie in NHL history last night. I'd also be surprised to see Brodeur in net tonight.

Record 1-1 on picks of the day.
Flotsam and Jetsam - St. Louis Edition

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations from St. Louis.

Happy day after Saint Patrick' Day!!... I had two flights on Southwest yesterday which was nice because Southwest was offering complementary beer in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I appreciated the free beer but if you stop and think about it - it's a pretty negative stereotype. What can you do to honor the Irish on their day of celebration? Give away booze of course because everyone thinks of booze when they think of the Irish... I was surprised to learn that the St. Louis Blues have never won the Stanley Cup. I just assumed that they had. I'm guessing they are not fans of this famous photo... I bought a bottled water at the airport and got a chuckle when I noticed that the bottle proclaimed that it was "Sodium Free". Sodium of course is just another way of saying salt. So basically the label was saying that I was not buying saltwater. I was amused by that... I didn't have time to post my pick of the day yesterday but I had the Devils (-$160) to beat the Blackhawks. The Devils won to give Martin Brodeur his 552nd win. That makes me 1-1 on my picks of the day so far. I'm going to try and make that a regular feature here.... Speaking of the Stanley Cup - on this day back in 1893 Lord Stanley pledged a sliver cup to be given to the hockey champion of Canada. Interestingly enough - Lord Stanley never saw a Stanley Cup hockey game played. It was his son's idea... Part of I-70 in St. Louis is designated as the Mark McGwire Highway. Not sure how I feel about that... Today is Brad Dourif's 59th birthday. I loved Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran on Deadwood but not till today did I realize that he also played Grima Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings trilogy...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today's Pick

Tonight I like San Antonio giving 5 to Oklahoma City. The Thunder average a 5.5 point differential for the season and while they are playing at home they really haven't much to play for. The Spurs meanwhile are trying to hold on to 2nd place in the West. I am slightly worried about a possible let-down by the Spurs after their big win over Houston on Saturday but San Antonio is a veteran team and I'm betting they take care of business.

Today's pick - San Antonio Spurs -5
The Things You Learn

In Arthurian Legend Sir Bors (aka Bohort), Sir Galahad, and Percival go on to achieve the Holy Grail and accompany it to a mystical island in the Middle East called Sarras. Both Galahad and Percival die on the island while Bors is the only one to return. Thus Sir Bors is the lone survivor of the Grail Quest.

In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Sir Bors is played by Terry Gilliam and is the first knight to fall victim to the killer rabbit.
Jay Cutler is No Bernie Kosar - Or Maybe He Is?
"Josh [McDaniels] has never said anything negative to me about my play or anything else, for that matter." - Jay Cutler
If that's the case then what's the problem? I'll tell you what the problem is - Jay Cutler is a whiny bitch.

Last season the Broncos were 8-8 and missed the playoffs. Their losses included whoppers against Kansas City and Oakland (two of the worst teams in the NFL). The Broncos were correct in re-evaluating everything including the head coach and the QB. Yet the QB must feel that he was blameless in the less than stellar results. The QB is deluded.

The situation brings to mind another quote:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
The Jay Cutler defenders will point out his gaudy passing numbers and pass the blame for the teams poor performance on the team's porous defense. Yes the team's defense was awful last year but haven't these people noticed the wholesale changes the new Bronco management has made to the defense in efforts to improve? And not to beat the Jeff George comparison to death but it is worthwhile to mention that George posted some pretty gaudy numbers too. While we're at it - let me tell you about two other QB's with gaudy numbers - Bernie Kosar and Drew Bledsoe.

Bernie Kosar was much more heralded coming out of college that Cutler and yet when Bill Belichick took over in Cleveland - Kosar was pushed to the side because Vinny Testaverde gave the team a better chance to win. Drew Bledsoe was the number one pick in the entire draft but he was pushed aside because Tom Brady gave the Patriots a better chance to win. Both the Browns and the Patriots did better after the QB changes. Do you think those lessons are lost on Josh McDaniels? Do you think the lesson of how even a properly prepared back-up like Matt Cassell can become a Pro-Bowler is lost on McDaniels? How do you become properly prepared when you skip offseason team meeting in a snit to make a point?

I feel bad comparing Cutler to Kosar and Bledsoe. Both Kosar and Bledsoe had much more class than Cutler.

I can't help but notice that all the press leaks on this story seem to be coming from the Jay Cutler camp. I also can't help but notice that in no place do the quotes from the Cutler camp concern themselves with winning. Maybe that's because Jay Cutler doesn't care about winning. He just seems to care about himself.

The Denver Broncos would be better off moving on. Does Jay Cutler think that Jeff Garcia or another replacement QB couldn't also "lead" the Broncos to a 8-8 record? Jay Cutler is deluded and needs to immediately grow up or be traded.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How many people do you think watched Syracuse play for the first time this year and said to themselves, "Jonny Flynn is black?".... It has to be said for emphasis - the Yankees offense will not be close to what it was last year. Of course you have the loss of Alex Rodriguez but you also have the switch from Bobby Abreu (20 HR and 100 RBI) to either Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher in right field plus the loss of Jason Giambi who had 32 HR and 96 RBI last season. Even before A-Rod went down the Yankees weren't going to equal the combined 52 HR and 196 RBI they got last season from RF and 1st base even with the addition of Mark Teixeira... I've got to agree with Mike Mayock. I saw Georgia play a number of games the past two years and not once did I think I was watching a QB who was the best in the land. Matt Stafford I think will be a Joey Harrington type disappointment... I think if the WBC games really counted for anything - then Puerto Rico's 11-1 thrashing of team USA would disqualify Puerto Rico from statehood for all time. As it stands nobody really cares. As a sad aside - I bet at least 50% of high school students today wouldn't be able to find Puerto Rico on a map... Jay Cutler is giving off Jeff George type vibes to me. If winning was important to Cutler - explain to me why he chose to go to Vanderbilt University (no knock on Vandy). Ego is more important than winning it seems to me in the case of Cutler... Happy 30th birthday to Kevin Youkilis....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Links

Some links to peruse at your leisure.

- The greatest art heist in history is still unsolved after 19 years. "The statute of limitations on prosecuting the thieves for the robbery has expired, but those who transport or hide the art could face charges."

- Interesting take on the economic climate.

- Heh Heh: Hi, I'm a Marvel...and I'm a DC: Wolverine and Watchmen (Dr. Manhattan)

- Interesting chat with Dr. Brad Humphrey on sports and economics.
East Boston Bound and Down

The recent Chris Jones profile of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has generated a lot of buzz due mainly to Papelbon's labeling of ex-teammate Manny Ramirez as a "cancer". When it's all said and done though - I hope someone explains to Papelbon that the real joke was on him.

Lost in all the hoopla of the cancer quote is the underlying inferences from the article that Jonathan Papelbon is just not a very bright person. Chris Jones was just one "You are fucking out!" quote away from not so subtly painting Papelbon as a real life Kenny Powers.

Just look at some of the words and phrases that Jones used to describe Papelbon; "trademark histrionics...the character in a comic book...a few days left to summon the rage." Jones writes about Paelbon's wife Ashley needing to "be safely removed" to another car while the couple drives to Spring Training - a drive that has Papelbon cranking his stereo to 11 and screaming out the window. Again - all Jones had to add was that Papelbon was screaming "You are fucking out!" and it would have been a spot-on profile of the fictional Kenny Powers.

Jones tosses out Curt Schilling's assessment that Papelbon was "not exactly a charter member of Mensa" only to refute that Palebon isn't stupid (wink, wink) - he just "says all the dumb things most of us probably think but keep back." How Kenny Poweresque of him.

In the infamous Manny Ramirez section Jones goes out of the way to note that the quotes are UNEDITED as if to say - can you believe what the yokel is actually saying?
"The beautiful thing about our team is, we don’t let anybody get above the team. He wasn’t on the same train as the rest of us." And here Papelbon starts banging his kitchen table for emphasis, the punctuation marks in his sentences changing: "He was on a different train! And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him. That comes from the manager, and it comes from guys like Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz. Nobody is ever going to be allowed to do that. Even a guy like me, just heading into my fourth year in the big leagues — if David Ortiz gets a little, you know — I’ll tell him what’s up! I’m not afraid to do that. I’m not afraid to put him in his place, because I think everybody needs that. And if somebody does it to me, I understand that. I most certainly understand that. Varitek tells me all the time, 'Just shut up. Do what you’re supposed to do.'"
Not on the same train? What sort of metaphor is that? I'm guessing Papelbon in the past probably heard the phrase "operating on a different plane" and misunderstood what was said or meant. And why is the Captain of the team always telling you to just shut up? Is it because of moronic utterances that makes one cry "enough!"?

The not so subtle digs are everywhere. Papelbon's handwriting is a "frantic scrawl", he has multiple garages and loads of hunting gear. Papelbon may read the profile and think it was complementary but others will look at it as him being painted as the stereotypical dumb redneck. As one astute observer noted, Papelbon was just one well placed question away from maybe being the next John Rocker. I prefer to look at it as being just one "You are fucking out!" quote away from being the real life Kenny Powers.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Messing With Joe Biden

"Central Arkansas Campaign for Liberty has one of these [Tea Party] protests scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at 5 p.m. at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock to coincide with Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s big money fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden."

Wait protesters plan to demonstrate outside an event that has Vice President Joe Biden as the main attraction? Don't they know that nobody messes with Joe?

Maybe Joe Biden is there to talk to Lincoln about the $651 million in earmarks she has been part of requesting last year alone? Yeah right.

HT Instapundit
Netherlands Stuns Dominican Republic

The Dutch beat the mighty Dominicans in the WBC. People have been harping on the significance of this upset all morning. In the US, however, this is not the equivalent of Buster Douglas or the 1980 Olympic hockey team. In my opinion this is more akin to Boston College beating the Red Sox in a spring training exhibition game.

Sure the victory meant a lot to the Dutch players but don't you think Boston College players would be similarly pumped if they beat the Red Sox in an exhibition? If you don't think this was an exhibition then explain to me why the Dominican Republic did not have Vlad Guerrero, Francisco Liriano, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano not to mention Alex Rodriguez on the roster. Sure A-Rod started off on the roster but took himself off to have surgery on his hip. If this was truly the championship of the world and not a glorified exhibition - don't you think A-Rod could have put surgery off for a week or two?

The two real lessons to take away from the Dutch victory is confirmation of the cliche that there is no such thing as a sure thing and secondly - never, ever bet on exhibition baseball no matter how much it gussies itself up as legitimate competition.
2009 MLB Predictions

Here are some predictions for the 2009 baseball season.

1. 2009 will be the year a pitcher from the Mets finally pitches a no-hitter

2. Matt Wieters will get injured in AAA when the Orioles attempt to stash him early in the season in an effort to delay his arbitration eligible years. Wieters won't be available for the Orioles until after the All-Star break because of the injury.

3. The Orioles finish last in the AL East (see above)

4. Jason Giambi finishs the season with more HR than Mark Teixeira

5. The Yankees finish the season with a worse record than last year, give Joe Girardi a multi-year extension and then fire him

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spring Training Home Runs

Going into Saturday's action three players lead MLB in home runs this spring with 3 apiece.

Chris Shelton has 3 HR for the Mariners but is a long shot to make the Opening Day roster. Shelton was signed to a minor league deal and if he makes the roster it will probably be at the expense of Worcester's Bryan LaHair - so I'm rooting for Shelton to catch on elsewhere. Someone should take a shot with Shelton - he could be this year's Carlos Pena. Maybe a more apt comparison would be Brian Daubach.

Also with 3 HR is Jason Lane of Toronto who was also signed to a minor league deal in the off-season. Like Shelton - Lane is a long shot to make the opening day roster.

The third player with 3 HR is Mitch Jones of the Dodgers. Jones is a career minor-leaguer who at 31-years old is probably experiencing the apex of his baseball career this spring. doesn't even have a page for Mitch Jones).

I guess the overall point is that spring training home runs really don't mean squat.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

You know - I would never even think about parking in a handicapped parking space. I would rather walk a mile in the parking lot instead. But I don't think twice about using a handicapped bathroom stall. That just occurred to me as strange today... You have a story about Canadian baseball and the nickname stubby - so I thought for sure that the story would be about Matt Stairs. I was wrong... Pedro Martinez as a closer? I know it worked for Eckersley and Smoltz but Pedro as closer at this point in his career just doesn't fell right... Albert "Face-stomper" Haynesworth was involved in a car accident that left a man who was minding his own business disabled. Haynesworth apparently was weaving in and out of traffic in his 2008 black Ferrari when he clipped the car being driven by another driver. Reading the thread made me angry towards Haynesworth but slowly a feeling that Haynesworth will end up broke, broken, alone and disgraced overcame me. I get the feeling that Haynesworth's whole life will eventually be a car-wreck. And we won't be able to turn away...

I saw Watchmen today and I thought I would share a few thoughts on the movie.

The movie is very long (almost 3 hours) but very true to the book until the end. Of course there was no way to fit everything into 3 hours so don't be upset if you don't get the backstory to Hooded Justice (or anything about Hooded Justice at all).

Jackie Earle Haley was excellent as Rorschach. Spot on in my opinion.

This movie is rated R for a reason. Don't take young kids to the movie thinking you are going to see Spiderman. Think more like the Sopranos as superheros - Bada Bing scenes and all.

Dr. Manhattan's penis is a scene stealer. It's like a X-rated "Where's Waldo?" Billy Crudup shows up on screen and your mind goes - "there it is again!" I image the most common interview question Billy Crudup will have to answer will be "was that really your penis?"

Both the book and the movie get two thumbs up.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bad Paintings of Barack Obama

These are pretty funny. Keep refreshing the page to get a new picture.

HT Good Morning Silicon Valley
Heh Heh

Fart jokes are always funny.

HT The Big Lead
A-Rod's Hip Boo Boo

So Alex Rodriguez needs surgery on his hip and could be out 10 weeks? Ha ha!

Timing is everything - how perfect a replacement for A-Rod would Nomar Garciaparra have been? Too bad Nomar signed with the A's just last week. Having Nomar and Jeter on the left side of the same infield would have also guaranteed the Yankees plenty of good press for once.

Do the Yankees go internal for A-Rod's replacement? Angel Berroa, Cody Ransom or Justin Leone? None of those names float the proverbial boat. Do they rush Bradley Suttle? That's not a good idea.

Bill Hall of the Brewers has been mentioned as a possible replacement but I'm guessing the asking price would be too high. Another name to consider is the A's Bobby Crosby. The 2004 Rookie of the Year really hasn't lived up to expectations and with Orlando Cabrerra being brought in - Crosby is destined to be a super sub for the A's this season. The A's would love to shed his $5.25 million contract for 2009 so I doubt if the Yankees would have to part with much in the terms of prospects.

In one regard it's too bad this happened now. I was looking forward to seeing how the steroid revelations impacted his overall fantasy baseball draft value.

One last thing - how ironic would it be if A-Rod is prescribed steroids as part of the normal course of rehab for his hip?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jalen Rose

My most recent gripe with ESPN is Jalen Rose. He is the most monotone announcer in the history of TV. He sounds like a high school student reading a bad paper in English class.

My theory is that some suit at ESPN foisted Jalen Rose on the viewing public as sort of a take that to all those people who were complaining about Screaming Stephen A Smith. The monotone Rose is the anti-screaming A.Someone should explain to that executive that two wrongs do not make a right.

Just awful. Here's an example and he's not even that awful in this clip.
Bad MLB Contracts

Interesting list of the worst 45 contracts in baseball.

I have to agree with some of the comments - I think all things considered Alex Rodriguez's contract needs to be on the list.

HT The Big Lead

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations

The trade of Matt Cassell and Mike Vrabel to Kansas City was a good trade for the Chiefs and a necessary trade for the Patriots. It should be remembered that not only will the Pats be getting the Chiefs 2nd round pick (34th overall) but New England also gets the cap room back. Cap room which can be used to add another impact player. It really was a two player for two player trade... Tom Jones is playing at the House of Blues in Boston. I saw the ad and couldn't help but laugh. To me it seems that Tom Jones has gone from the "I f*cked your girlfriend" vibe to the "I f*cked your mom" vibe... Cubs broadcasting legend Harry Caray would have been 95 today. Here's how I like to remember him. And yes - I would eat the moon if it was made of ribs...
Jim Bowden

Jim Bowden is supposedly "resigning" today as GM of the Washington Nationals. This brings immediately to mind a question; with Jim Bowden gone - who is now the worst GM in baseball?