Friday, October 26, 2007
I'm making a special guest appearance to congratulate Stanicek on passing the BAR. Sure, the news of his BAR success comes at a horrible time, but I guess there's a silver lining. Now if UGA can somehow pull off a miracle in Jacksonville, it'll probably be a top 5 weekend in his life. So jig like you haven't jigged before boyyo, you deserve it.
Picture this...replace Chris Leak with a picture of Stanicek. Now replace the Championship trophy with the bar exam. Now replace Florida Gator shi* with UGA paraphernalia. Now replace the confetti with beer spraying everywhere. MMM...what a sight. Way to go TK...YOU'RE #1 according to all of us and the BCS (Bar Champtionship Series).
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I wish I could have been there when they said - "here you go Joseph - one year, incentive laced deal...if you make the World Series you're back for another year" and he just said "World Series this" and flipped a lit match onto the board room table on which he had secretly spilled 2.6 gallons of gasoline...it ignites, he turns, dons some shades, then walks to the hallway as the executives burst into flame and tells a passing youngster "now that's what I call a hot streak". Yep. That's how it went down.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Indians over Red Sox in 7 - now you may think this is a biased pick because I think the Red Sox are a festering pile of runny, noxious, repellant bodily discharge but that's only partially true. The Indians will be tossing four games of CC and Fausto at the Red Sox and no matter how good Beckett is...I see Beckett v. CC being a split...Fausto takes his two over Dice-K, and then it's just a matter of Westbrook or Byrd winning one out of 3...and Athens' own Jake Westbrook is up to that challenge. Tribe prevails over the forces of evil.
D-Backs over Rockies in 6 - I have picked against the Rockies at every turn this season -said they would lose out on a playoff spot, said they had NO chance of beating Peavy in the one game playoff, was POSITIVE J-Roll and Ryan Howard were going to club them like little bastard baby seals...and yet they're still here. Now they go up against the D-Backs, a team with fans that apparently couldn't give a flip about them and with a roster that barely anyone outside of Buster Olney's circle of friends knows. But I'm nothing if not consistent...so I'm going with the D-Backs...and again I'm going to say its because of pitching. Webb...Livan...and Doug Davis...yeah, I just said Doug Davis is an asset - you got a problem with that? Compare that with Francis, Jimenez and Morales and I got to go with the staff comprised of a Cy Young winner and a former NLCS and World Series MVP. I know Jimenez and Francis have looked strong down the stretch but this run has to come to an end...right?
So there it is....MLB and Fox's worst nightmare...an Indians-D-Backs World Series.
On another note - I stopped putting pictures in the blog - does it really make a difference? I used to try to find funny little pictures and put in funny little captions, but it got to be time consuming and really...I just didn't want to do it anymore. Let me know via the poll on the right if you want pictures back.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Red Sox over Angels - it pains me....PAINS me to pick this but hey it looks pretty much like a lock. The Angels are banged up, the Red Sox have the pitching to dominate a short series and the hitting to get by. I would say the Red Sox have the edge in playoff experience but after Epstein dismantled the 04 squad its pretty much Schilling, Ortiz, Man-Ram, Varitek...OK they have the experience. This pick in no way alters the fact that I pray each and every day that the Red Sox lose every game from now until Major League Baseball is forced to contract them.
Indians over Yankees - as Pasqua and I were saying yesterday - it's not that we really dislike the guy but wouldn't it be great if this "A-Rod sucks in the postseason" story continues forever. He will be the greatest hitter that all his teams hated EVER....Yankees hate him, Rangers hate him...OK the Mariners like him but they are West Coast pansies. Anyway - got to love Sabathia and Carmona pitching 4 out of 5 of these games and as for that other Indians starter - well that would be Madison County's own Jake Westbrook...going in Game 3, 6:30pm IN Yankee Stadium against Roger Clemens! WOOOO-WEEE! That's drama
Phillies over Rockies - I would like to see this Rockies Cinderella story continue but let's be honest...Jeff Francis? Josh Fogg?....and....they don't know...that's right -the Rockies have no idea who is going to be their third starter for this series. Not a good sign - especially when you are staring down at Cole Hamels for two of these possibly 5 games.
Cubs over D-Backs - basically I am picking the Cubs for two reasons - 1) the Cubs are a great story - win or lose and 2) I DETEST Eric Byrnes - not because he's a shameless self-promoting "dive for balls even when I could just walk up and grab them", "do crazy runs and dances on the base-paths for a infield fly dinkus, but because he was a solid if not pretty dang good player EVERYWHERE he went....EXCEPT the Baltimore Orioles. The O's in the middle of an almost-maybe-could be in contention season traded for Byrnes at the All-Star Break...how did ole Eric "Hey can I be on Fox? I'll let my dog drown" Byrnes do? Glad you asked - he batted .192 with as many homeruns as errors...3. I hope he and the D-Backs make an early exit and Eric is forced to eat sheep testicles during the 7th inning stretch of the NLCS as part of Fox's new "Fear Factor"-style humorous vignettes.
NLCS picks to come when all of these predictions are verified on the field....
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
- Holliday didn't touch the bag - and I have no idea why home plate ump Tim McClellan didn't call him safe immediately and then just casually did after Barrett already was scrambling back to the then screaming in pain runner. Why didn't he just do it immediately? I know he's notorious for delayed calls but still...
- I have absolutely no idea whether Atkins' hit was a homerun - it seems like it caromed an awfully long way for just hitting the top of the padded fence but still - I never saw definitive proof that it was O-U-T gone. John was basing his call of no homerun on the fact that the lady next to the wheel chair was upset after the ball ricocheted back out. My answer to that is that she was simply sad that she didn't catch the ball.
- But that brings me to my next point - what was up with that lady? Was she using the wheelchair? And if so she was pretty spry in trying to catch that ball...was this just a woman who uses wheelchairs like the fat people in Kroger...you know the people that run over your foot in their Rascals and then when they really need to get their on sale Jiff get out of the chair and walk all the way down the aisle? Can someone find out what this woman's story was? Kudos to John for pointing out that on multiple occasions Joe Simpson referred to her as "that gentleman behind the wall".
- Back to baseball: Jake Peavy BLOWS when it counts - in three games (two post season, one tiebreaker) he has pitched 16 1/3 IPs and surrendered 29 Hs and 19 ERs. That ERA puts him somewhere north of 11.00 and would certainly not help those of you in a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball tiebreaker...yeah Josh - you know I'm looking at you.
- Trevor Hoffman may now only be remembered for his titanic chokes - the All-Star game and now TWO times in the last THREE games he has the opportunity to clinch for the Padres and blows it both times, once at the hands of the son of the greatest Padre ever no less. Yeah, he was probably the best closer in the NL over the past 15 years but does anyone 1) think he is anywhere CLOSE to as good as Mariano and 2) as Pasqua told me today - really think this guy is first ballot HOF material?
So there you have it - if the postseason is anywhere NEAR as exciting as last night's game I may have a coronary by the NLCS.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
WC) Red Sox
-Of course this is the fan in me - I am praying ever dang night that the Red Sox lose this division...why? Because I hate the Red Sox and yes I know it will cause more whining Red Sox fans to pipe up and say they are cursed again but you know what, I'm fine with that as long as they are all in agony and know that I am laughing at them. I'll deal with their incessant whining when all of us are sitting at home watching the World Series together.
-A no brainer. Tigers are kaput.
- As bad as it looked yesterday at this time - a win last night and a loss by the Phils went MILES towards getting them the division crown. Now they're up 2 1/2 with 10 to play - they'll win enough to get the job done and the Phils are goin' home.
- I would love, LOVE for the Brewers to win this...it's my attachment to hard-luck franchises I guess...but now that Sheets is gimpy there is no way even Prince Fielder can carry a team throwing Suppan, Bush, Capuano, Vargas, Gallardo (even though he's been pretty dang good) and whoever else they find in the scrap heap. Unbelievably...it's the pitching of Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis that pull the Cubs through.
- Padres are ONNN FIRE! Hell, even Bret Tomko is pitching well for them...BRET TOMKO! And if you've played fantasy baseball and been seduced by the Tomko siren song - you know how astounding that is. The young, upstart D-backs fade.
Pasqua sends along this killer article highlighting the issue - you be the judge.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
And in no way did I post this just to make some of those that I tailgate with angry.
Remember to recycle!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Sure there were money issues but Scheurholz always seems to make things works when he wants to make them work and he just didn't seem to want to go the distance to make sure Tommy stayed around to finish his career with the Braves. The thing was - Glavine wasn't asking for a ridiculous salary when free agency rolled around a few years ago - less than what Smoltz had already signed for....but the Braves backed down, the Mets took over, and the pennants stopped being hung at Turner. Definitely one of the few huge mistakes Scheurholz has made during his tenure in Atlanta.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
[One more notable omission - the junkie ad for Musician's warehouse ("he got hooked on the savings...my son's a discount junkie!!") - I love the acting in that spot - ten times more convincing than anything Josh Hartnett has done]
1) Music Exchange - this is the new spot, unfortunately the old spot with the cartoon band playing the ad out has been dispensed with...fortunately the timeless jingle remains.
2) Uncle Otto's (Formerly Achim's K-Bob) - Classic song, classic style. I dare you to get this jingle out of your head.
3) Vision Video - good quality - stirring narrative - happy ending - I'm not ashamed to admit I cried for several hours after this was through.
4) Club Oasis - have to admit I have never seen this ad nor heard of the establishment but good lord...did you see the cash that kid is flashing? AND it's named after a favorite band of mine (it is named in loving tribute of the Brothers Gallagher correct?)!
5) Krystal - doesn't technically count as a local commercial but still - you have to respect Krystal going for the not-at-all subtle lesbian crack at the opening. And as an interesting sidebar - I was asked to be in one of these commercials during filming last year and flat-out rejected those SOBs because I can't think of many things more repellent than the menu offerings at Krystal.
An REM video - just because it was lumped in with all the other Athens commercials when I did the search and when presented with a kickass REM video you always got to play it.
"...we've kinda sorta maybe turned into the Yankees. Like them, we spend more money than everyone else. Like them, we make expensive roster mistakes (Drew, Lugo, Matt Clement, Edgar Rentería, et al.) without any repercussions. Like them, we're detested by opposing fans because we invade their stadiums and taunt their teams. And like them, we're sucking in all the soulless bandwagon kids who pick their favorite teams in first grade based on winning percentages and superstars."
Ahhh...sweet vindication. The mouthpiece of the Red Sox nation freely admits they are the Yankees. I am at peace once more.
Now you'll excuse me if I go see how the Orioles will humiliate themselves today...I don't know maybe B-Rob, Tejada, Millar, Hernandez and Mora all collide on a pop-up knocking them all unconcious forcing Garrett Olson, Brian Burres, or whatever other horrific starter they have throwing tonight to chase the runner all the way around the bases in Keystone Cop fashion ultimately resulting in baseball's first infield inside the park homerun.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Don't plan your wedding during the Auburn-Alabama game: These folks have a previous engagement.
"As a matter of fact, in the state of Alabama, I wouldn't even plan a funeral when Alabama is playing Auburn," he says. "You can die, but you're gonna wait 'til Monday."
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The AJC kills two birds with one stone with this picture by 1) pumping up the UGA fanbase by re-publishing Pasqua and our tailgate on the front page of its website and 2) offers police a great lead and a potential suspect in that serial molester case (look under "More Headlines").
Tent City can't BUY publicity like this....THIS IS TERRIFIC! So please take note, if you don't like Papparazzi or the constant "pop" of flash bulbs, or parties crammed full of A-list celebrities you may want to avoid our tailgate this season. On second thought, if we don't know you don't even bother stopping by...we are the Studio 54 of tailgates and you're just too dang fat.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Stole the climax of this timeless classic you say? More like lovingly borrowed.
but NO....IT'S BACK!! A second season of The Cover Two podcasts!!! Enjoy my minions.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
I DEMAND the O's go back to this logo which was used during the 60s.
This looks like the kind of mascot that will lay waste to opponents over nine innings and then, in the throws of a drug-induced bender, feast upon the flesh of the vanquished and then torch the stadium...only to wake up the next morning clueless as to what happened the night before and puzzled as to why he holds the severed head of Jason Varitek in his left hand.
Alright - that's all. I shan't speak of it again.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
After almost a decade of sub .500 finishes...but the Orioles continue to come up with new ways to emasculate its fan base. A few of my favorite tidbits and quotes from the game I'm pretty sure...unfortunately....that no one will forget:
- Ranger Marlon Byrd, who hit a grand slam in the victory, said afterward, "You start to feel bad for the guys on their team."
- Roch Kubatko from the Baltimore Sun - No matter how many times I write it or say it, the absurdity nearly overwhelms me. 30-3. Who knew Daniel Cabrera would end up being the most effective pitcher? And no, I don't believe the Rangers were piling on, though the on-side kick was a bit much
- The Rangers reliever got a save! A SAVE!!! Though I will say the bottom half of the eight was tense - the O's loaded the bases and they were THIS close to cutting the lead down to 23.
It is down right sad when Marlon Byrd who couldn't even keep a job with the NATIONALS and is currently starting for the second worst team in the American League is SORRY for you. Oh lord.
What awful timing too - Trembley gets an extension after turning the club around this year - Bedard is positively lights out - the team is on the brink of making a run at +.500 and then...the a nuclear bomb in the form of guys named Vazquez, Saltala-whatever, Botts, Cruz and Murphy. Seriously - go look at the Rangers lineup from last night - I call bullsh*t if you knew anymore than 4, maybe 5 of their starters.
There are explanations I suppose for the meltdown - it was a doubleheader so Trembley didn't want to use too many relievers, plus the game was out of hand so we wasn't going to use his go-to guys...therefore, the sacrificial lambs came in - poor rehabilitated Paul Shuey and Rob Bell. They should get a purple heart from the organization for this.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
And, yes, I do realize that hardly anyone checks this anymore and you know what I say to that? Good! Good riddance! We've cleared out the deadweight, streamlined the readership and now its "damn the mother f-in' torpedoes, full speed ahead!" So sit back and relax cause I'll be back to posting semi to maybe even just plain regularly.
First up...my complex and thorough evaluation of what each and every MLB playoff contender has to do if they hope to make it to the World Ser...hey! Where are you going!? Dammit!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Now - if we can just get him to work on that unwiedly nickname.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
"The planet has a fever," Gore said. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action."
The planet has a fever? Well then, as the great Doctor Professor King Poet Laureate Reverend Christopher Walken once said..."the only presecription is more cowbell".
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
- After UGA baseball got off to a sluggish 0-3 start against Oregon State things turned around somewhat on the strength of our pitching. The club took 2 of 3 from Purdue and was inching towards respectability when...they got swept by USC (the REAL one, not South Cack), and dropped 4 of 5 to Kennesaw State, Western Carolina and Gardner-Webb. THEN - BLAMMO - with 18-3 #20 Auburn coming to town the Dawgs get some clutch hits and continue to throw the snot out of the ball and come out of the weekend with a sweep. We go to Tennessee this weekend for another SEC series. Tennessee has struggled this year to a 13-9 record against less than stellar competition so this is a prime opportunity to score a few more Ws.
- At least South Cack is consistent...seems even the baseball team is not immune to off the field transgressions.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Mark my words...UGA is going to have a Top 5, possibly Top 3 class for 2008. So, with that piece of good news, who really cares about the upcoming season? Games are boring...it's the recruiting battles that actually mean something.
Although he gets on my nerves, it's pretty impressive that Bill Simmons kept an entertaining running diary for yesterday's first round games. Must be a hard life to get paid to watch basketball, drink, joke with your buddies and make an "article" about the comments they make. If you sense jealousy, it's because I'm jealous. Jealous as fudge.
Monday, March 12, 2007
There were those that said the AL West preview was too long – not snappy enough – too many words – an abundance of letters – and so on. Those people were Pasqua and I because judging from the site meter we are the only ones that read this blog. Quite frankly I am ashamed of all you. But if my Dad taught me one thing it is how to peel and eat an orange while driving....if he taught me two things, it was give the masses what they want....so watch as I toss aside the shackles of wordiness...cast off the burden of length...the oppression of going on and on and on about virtually nothing just to fill up a page and marvel at my own brilliance...yessir, time to cut to the chase, right to the quick, snap to i.....
1) Los Angeles Dodgers
Lineup: LA’s lineup features an eclectic mix of the young and the old, the speedy and “the pace of a Merchant-Ivory film” slow. The top of the order (Furcal and Pierre) could conceivably steal upwards of 2,000 bases IF Juan Pierre can stay healthy and Furcal, sober. Add to that speed the veteran presence of on again, off again steroid abuser Luis Gonzalez, the surly but lovable Jeff Kent and the “Mike Hampton of hitters” in the oft-injured Nomar. Mix with young talent like Wilson Betemit, Andre Ethier, Russell Martin and Jason Repko and you got yourself an interesting little lineup.
Pitching: A strength for the Dodgers and I would definitely say one of the top 5 rotations in MLB. Lowe, Penny, Billingsley and now Schmidt? There hasn’t been this much talent in LA since the last time the cast of “Charles in Charge” had a cast reunion at the Applebee’s on Vine. The bullpen features the return of everyone’s favorite fantasy free-agent pickup, Takashi “Sushi on a Stick” Saito. Say what you will about him, that he has bad breath, that he can’t carry the tune to “Piano Man”...but the kid’s got the goods (100+ Ks in 75 IP).
2) San Diego Padres
Lineup: So much of me wanted to put the Friars at #1. I love that stadium even though it’s so large that if Babe Ruth played there he would have been the “Sultan of Slap Singles”....I like their new third baseman, Kevin Kouzmanoff acquired from the Indians in the Josh Barfield trade – it’s just fun to say Kouzmanoff, sounds like an evil Russian Commander from Red Dawn. But we all know why this team will make a serious run this year....Marcus, Marcus and Marcus. The Braves foolishly got rid of him (despite a valiant effort to trade him to the O’s which would have been better than apple butter on an English Muffin – but Angelos nixed it) and that has turned into the Padres gain. If they just learn not to hit him leadoff you will see ole Marc-e-pie crank out 50 doubles this year and swat about .320.
Pitching: Another strong rotation in the NL West headlined by drunken airport arrestee Jake Peavy. Ole Jakey took a step back last year but I think a return form is in order. Following up Jake are two veterans who share absolutely NOTHING in common with each other – Greg Maddux and David Wells. I bet David Wells will give Greg so many atomic wedgies he’ll be split in half by the All-Star Break. Add in Chris Young...funny how the one time Texas actually develops a decent pitcher they trade him away, HA, that’s SO Texas....and Trevor Hoffman and you got yourself a potential Wild Card contender. But NOT the Wild Card.
3) San Francisco Giants
Lineup: Of course I loathe and despise Barry Bonds as much as the next guy and seeing as such, I will not mention his name again, just know he returns to ooze banned substances onto leftfield for the Giants. What is there to say about the Giants except they have mediocre hitting at best supplied by some of the oldest and boringest names in baseball? Randy Winn in right? Rich Aurillia at first? Ray Durham at second? Omar Vizquel at short? Oh God, I’d rather watch deleted scenes from The Prestige than the Giants hit.
Pitching: Here is some actual and interesting talent. The G’ints spent top dollar to land Barry Zito and I imagine he will benefit from making the switch to the National League. I see big things for ole Baked Zito, he is high on my list for potential Cy Youngs. The Giants also have some good young pitchers like Matt Cain and Noah Lowry, so again, another solid staff in the West. Now, about that bullpen...is Armando Benitez REALLY the closer? Ouch. And Steve Kline as setup...oye. Of course after what he said about Baltimore - I wouldn’t support Steve Kline if his nostrils dispensed Cal Ripken jerseys and lumps of imitation crabmeat.
4) Arizona Diamondbacks
Lineup: I would give anyone a shiny Idaho State Quarter if they could give me 5 of the 8 starting position players for the D-Backs off the top of their head. The March 10th depth chart reveals: C – Chris Snyder, 1B – Conor Jackson, 2B – Orlando Hudson, SS- Stephen Drew, 3B – Chad Tracy, LF – Eric Byrnes, CF – Chris B. Young, RF - Carlos Quentin. Try that little game at your next cocktail party or anonymous masked orgy.
Pitching: The D-Backs do have a solid ro-ro. Webb, Big Unit, Livan, Doug Davis...a good righty, lefty mix and continues the trend of solid NL West staffs. Then you look to the ole bullpen and see Jose “6.00 ERA” Valverde out there and now you know why they won’t climb any higher than 4th.
5) Colorado Rockies
In the interest of brevity and due to the fact that I am about to be late for a plane I will confine my analysis of the Rockies to this....they are relying on two former Oriole Lopezes in CRITICAL starting roles – Rodrigo as the #3 starter and Javy as starting catcher....read that line again, go ahead. Got it? That’s why they’ll be in last place.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
My guess is that the Angels will represent the West in the playoffs and there won’t be a Wild Card coming out of this division. When you do a breakdown of the teams, this is the easiest division in the AL, and possibly all of baseball, to predict,.
Hitting: Bill Simmons’ man crush, Howie Kendrick…and the #1 rated “Guy who sounds like he played in the 1910s” just by his name…”and another hum digger from Howie Kendrick. Golly, he’s hotter than a kettle of coals. Someone tell Pulitzer and Hurst we think they got em, do they got em…NO!!!” (sorry, that ran a little long and I inserted a “Newsies” lyric that really didn’t flow, but “not flowing” is how I write, phew, is in the bigs for a full year in ’07 and will solidify an already stout hitting lineup. Vlad’s coming off one of his worst years and will undoubtedly improve. The addition of Gary Matthews will pay dividends on defense, which is all they can expect since there’s no way that he’ll duplicate his roid-enhanced ‘06 numbers (I can’t wait to see him go 3 rounds too early in the upcoming fantasy draft). Chone Figgins is one of the most versatile weapons in baseball AND has one of the most confusing names.
Defense: Another year for Ervin Santana who continues to improve every year. Lackey, Escobar, and Weaver will be solid and don’t forget about Bartolo Colon who’s slated to return in April from injury. Guy was the 2005 Cy Young for pity’s sake. They still have the best closer in the division with K-Rod (I’m not sold on Gagne in Texas) and a great setup man in Scot “Deflector” Shields.
Hitting: I know this team is going to find ways to keep the division close, but their hitting is weak…WEAK I SAY. Piazza isn’t going to put up the numbers Frank Thomas did last year at DH, Kendall will continue to hit 3 HRs/year, Chavez will continue to be overrated, and they have Mark Ellis slated to start at second. The outfield of Swisher, Kotsay, and Milton Bradley scares me about as much as a poodle drowning in milk. This team’s going to have to rely on their pitching to get the job done…
Defense: They’ll still be one of the best defenses in the field, good thing since the pitching staff has only gotten worse since ’06 with the departure of Zito. Even though I hated him, his numbers didn’t lie. A lot depends on Rich Harden (I won’t go there with the obvious nickname) and if he can live up to his potential…personally I think he’s the next Mark Prior. Danny Haren is solid and the A’s always have a starter step up. Plus, their bullpen will keep them in games.
Hitting: I like this team and they made some moves in the off-season. While I disagree with Vidro as a DH since he’s an average hitter at best, I love the addition of Jose Guillen. The big question is the corners, Beltre and Sexson. Seattle has relied on these yutzes and they’ve both produced like REM since signing that huge contract with Warner Brothers. I do like Ichiro (doy), Lopez at second, and Johjima proved he has the sand to play in the bigs. The offense has a high ceiling and a medium basement because they’ll do damage with Ichiro, Guillen, and Lopez even if Beltre and Sexon continue to be a couple of blowhards.
Defense: OK, you know you’re in trouble when the bullpen adds Chris Reitsma. Putz was actually great last year and will probably be a closer that gets overpaid in an upcoming off-season’s (I’m still peeved that Stanicek grabbed this guy in our fantasy league 5 minutes before I did). King Felix will improve and the addition of Jarrod Washbun as their #2 adds the stability that only an 8-14 pitcher can (gyyyyyosh). A lot will depend on Horatio Ramirez getting healthy and if Miguel Batista can get back to his Cy-Young contending ways. Man, this pitching staff wreaks.
Hitting: One word. Sosa. As Guster says, the guy’s a one-man wrecking machine. Back to reality…Teixeira has to improve from ’06, right? You know what you’re getting out of Michael Young. Another stellar outfield of Brad Wilkerson, Kenny Lofton, N. Cruz (I had no clue who this guy was, had to click on his name, and found out it was Nelson. Needless to say, I was disappointed in Nelson being his first name. I was hoping of something more along the lines of Niagra or Narthul). Texas used to try and out-score everyone…now I’m not convinced they can even do that. Gonna be another long year.
Defense: One word. Koronka. Actually, he’s not horrible for a 5th starter. The problem is having Vicente Padilla as the #2 and Brandon McCarthy (who’s still 2 years away from being reliable) as your #3. Back that up with a questionable bullpen, and you’ve got the making of a horrific season.
STANICEK' S AL WEST PREVIEW
It t’aint no secret that baseball is my love, my passion, the cat’s pajamas, the creamy middle in the chocolate cocoon of a Cadbury egg, the reason to wake up in the morning, and so on and so forth. But even baseball can’t warm the cockles of my heart to sports on the West Coast. I am an unabashed supporter of West Coast bias....a liberal and civil rights supporter in every other respect...I support the internment of all West Coast sporting squads and the deportation of its owners and managers. I can’t fully explain it – I suppose it has something to do with the fact that they REFUSE to play their games at a decent hour...come on, 10:30? Who wants to watch a game at 10:30? Maybe it’s the fact that all the celebrities refuse to watch anything but Laker basketball...LAKER basketball?! The only more boring than a West Coast sporting event is an NBA West Coast sporting event. To me events like the 2002 World Series didn’t even exist – once the Championship games were over I tuned out and in a regrettable moment of impulse became a fan of Scottish sheep-dog herding for a week...Go Spaniels! However, my unbridled hate for all things sports on the Wrong Coast will not stop me from providing you with a thorough and entertaining preview of the AL and NL West divisions...so without further adieu...
1) Anaheim Los Angeles California Angels of Greater Orange County:
The division begins and pretty much ends here – Billy Beane be damned. The Angels have a good blend of established veterans and up and coming younger type rookie guys.
Lineup: One must question the multi-contract given to HGH-filled, one year wonder Gary Matthews, Jr. My hatred of Matthews of course stems from the fact that the O’s poured their heart and soul into that guy and only received a handful of bunt singles and a steroid probe in return. But still – one year does not a career make and relying on this guy is like relying on Michael Hammond to plan ahead and bring beer to an informal get together. But all is not lost with the Angels – they still have Vlad, whom my esteemed colleague seems to think had a Podsednik-esque year but in fact turned in a season almost exactly on par with past years. I will note that his numbers did trend down somewhat and that could be a concern...Vlad may be on his way out and may not crank 40+ again...but fear not Angel fans I think there’s juice left in that funky swing yet. And yes I do realize that the chances of an actual Angels fan reading this are equal to or less than the chances of LOST introducing its new character Skippy, the lovable rapscallion that always seems to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong, this season.
Pitching: This is a big time strength for the ‘gels (as no one calls them). At some point over the past three years John Lackey went from fringe fantasy starter that was picked up and dropped more in fantasy leagues than a dollar bill smeared with melted chocolate on the down-facing side...to bona fide solid stud. Youngsters Santana and Weaver look to get even better...though Weaver seems like a Tommy John blowout waiting to happen, why? No idea...just watch. Follow those kids up with journeyman Kelvim Escobar and 458 pound former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon (once he recovers from injury) and you got yourself a staff. Closing things out is one in a long line of unfortunate nicknames spawned in the aftermath of Alex Rodriguez....K-Rod...one of the best in the game. Add everything up and if the Angels don’t win this division I will light my Entertainment Weekly Issue #345 featuring the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond on the cover...on fire.
2) Oakland A’s
Alright so I went waaaay too long on my Angels preview so from here on out we cut the fat and get to the skinny...
Lineup: Pitching and Hitting, this is a Billy Beane team through and through. Who are these guys? How are they going to score more than a run a game? Can Jason Kendall look more like a serial killer? But you know what? They are going to be good...just not wild card good...because they always are. I do think that Piazza is going to have a strong year, maybe not quite on the Frank Thomas level – but good – he’s out of that national park of a stadium in San Diego and he doesn’t have to catch anymore, I’m thinking .300, 25 HR, 100RBI.
Pitching: Zito, Mulder, and Hudson have moved on to suck royally in other places. Seriously, what happened to those bums (I realize that Zito hasn’t started to suck yet, but he will, especially now that he’s fraternizing with Bonds)? A new crop of bright-eyed youngsters have grabbed the torch of “Rock the AL West for three years, hit free agency, sell my soul to Beelzebub and Scott Boras and then tank the rest of my career while getting tore the F up by the major market medias”. Still the rotation is solid with Harden (who every analyst says pitches like Jesus would if he could stay healthy...Harden that is, not Jesus), Haren and Blanton. Huston Street returns to close out games and take the fun name to call out at fantasy drafts title.
3) Texas Rangers
Lineup: Call me crazy but this is the team that I think could make a run at some big things this year. The lineup is more schizophrenic than the guy on the street in front of the newsstand that spends the day laughing at his juice box...but still, if Tex finds the power, Kinsler continues to develop and Blalock finds his stroke – they will score runs. And oh...I haven’t even gotten to Sammy....the kid is raking, RAKING in Spring Training. And it would be JUST like the Gods of baseball to have me suffer through Sammy’s season in Baltimore bringing plagues of locusts, steroid probes, and boiling seas of blood, only to return and win Comeback Player of the Year with Texas. So mark it down – Sammy = Comeback Player of the Year.
Pitching: Always a sore spot with the Rangers (“the Rockies of the AL” is what my gun-toting, semi-crazed, one armed Vietnam veteran neighbor in Augusta used to call them)...but they bring in Gagne to close things out, steal Brandon McCarthy away from the White Sox (another causality of Ozzie Guillen’s “berate them on national television for missing the corner of the plate once and then disparage them with homophobic slurs” style of managing) to add to solid starters Millwood and Padilla and I think they might have enough to contend in this “creamsicle on an August day in Savannah”-soft division
4) Seattle Mariners
Lineup: Oye. This is a train wreck of a team, so let’s spend no time on them....the lineup is weak, and then they invest in Jose “I’m a .280, 5 HR DH” Vidro. The M’s show little to no signs of any dynamic improvement over last year in which they ranked second to last in the American League in runs scored (beating only the D-Rays).
Pitching: Again, a team that was middle of the pack in team ERA last year turns to Jeff Weaver, Horacio Ramirez and Miguel Batista to save them? (I should note that Pasqua whiffed in saying Washburn was an addition, he was in Seattle last year...no wonder he lost in fantasy baseball) AND they are relying on a 20 year old with a 4.50 ERA as their staff ace? AND their closer is...alright I straight up worship their closer, JJ Putz struck out 104 in 78 innings last year, walked only 13 and scored 36 saves with a 2.30. The guy had a terrific year. Overall though – Mariners are on a one way train to Last-ville.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Fear not, my friends. In the upcoming weeks we'll be posting our long awaited baseball preview, of which we've been getting daily emails from readers wondering where the hell these baseball nuggets of genius are. In due time.
Meanwhile, I thought this was a fun article that followed up on the most ridiculous youtube moment in the website's history. Enjoy...
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
This began as an innocent email interchange between Pasqua and I regarding what to name the trophy cup for our fantasy baseball league. Pasqua brilliantly suggested the Lemke Cup after former super-stud Atlanta Braves second baseman Marcus Ignatius Octavius Lemke. What followed was a bloody, rude, crude, sometimes fruit-filled debate about the pros and cons of one Turner Field...
Pasqua: You're welcome for the Lemke Cup. Maybe we can bring it to a Braves game and have that short fuc* sign it.
Stanicek: Yeah right - like those "fan friendly" wonks at Turner would let you bring something like that into the stadium. I had to get a full body cavity search and an implanted electro shock chip just to bring in a pen and ask for autographs.
Pasqua: Yes, you're correct. Turner sure does blow because of how fan friendly it is for kids (I dred the day I have to take my kid to Turner…), and how about those walkways? They're so spacious you don't have to rub up against a 400lb man to get around. How ridiculous is that? Oye vay, and Turner certainly has jacked up ticket prices. I mean $1 seats!!! What kind of lunacy is that???
Now THIS is a stadium - skyline is a focal point, recognizable immediately and incorporates something unique about the city into the design...and no interstate highways don't count.
(Editor's Note: The following comment was not part of the original email interchange but because I was the one that posted I get the final word - fair? No.)
Stanicek: Don't even get me started on Turner BLATANTLY STEALING the Baltimore Orioles' 7th Inning Stretch tradition. That's just another nail in Turner's stale, generic, characterless coffin - having no originality or tradition of its own Turner goes out and steals "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" from the Orioles (the song, I should note, is in a National Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit in Cooperstown under Baltimore traditions). As for the bars - granted - they have two bars where you can buy purchase $9 beers to your heart's content and watch the game from some of the worst seats in the house. But seeing as I generally try to avoid spending upwards of $72 for alcohol at baseball games the bars are moot. Finally, this whole skyline issue - I realize they had to build the stadium there but did that prevent them from orienting it so that Atlanta's skyline would be the skyline out over centerfield? I can't count the skyline as a plus for the stadium when the only people who can see it are in the upper deck craning their necks.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
- Can't wait to check out Half Nelson tomorrow. Ever since Roeper and Ebert fill-in Kevin Smith basically said that they'd give their first born to see this movie again, I've been amped up for this release. Plus, it's got an Oscar nomination for Gosling...so. Yep.
- Nice work by my counterpart getting everyone amped up (yes, I just used "amped" twice in back to back bullet points) about UGA baseball and then the team goes and gets swept this past weekend. Speaking of dissapointing UGA news...
- Mike Mercer going down may have ended the basketball team's chance at a tourney appearance. That injury literally broke my heart. After hearing the stories of him shooting with one hand in an empty gym for hours on end showed the dedication and how much trust he had in Coach Felton. Sure, he's been a bit hyper on the floor but he's the best athlete we've got. Poor Mike Mercer.
- Does anyone else wonder if Steve Newman isn't kicking himself for not coming out early last year? This year's draft class is going to be stacked and it's going to really hurt where he gets taken.
- Like I've been saying all along, anyone who was dissapointed in UGA's 2007 recruiting class need not worry about skill players in the upcoming recruiting season. So far, UGA has recieved verbals from 3 of the Top 100 players in the country according to rivals.com and we're in the lead for some other highly touted players. The best of the bunch is this kid, AJ Green out of South Carolina...could be the #1 overall high school player in the nation when it's said and done-ski.
- I officially admit that SNL has lost it. Though SNL traditionally goes through ups and downs, this season is pretty brutal. There are lights at the end of the tunnel in Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig...who I have a crush on. All they need are some funny writers, a better supporting cast, and some good recurring characters. I came up with the solution...holla at me Lorne. What kind of name is that anyways?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
2006 witnessed a marked offensive improvement after a somewhat, sort of, kind of, totally, absolute, utterly abysmal 2005. Yes, we all marveled at the offensive-stylings of such powerhouses as Josh Morris, Bobby Felmy and the incomparable Joey Side...just one problem...they’re all gone. Ouch. So where do we go from here? Do we throw in the towel like sissy little nancy (is that capitalized?) Boys (man I got this capitalizing thing aLl f-ed uP? NO! We ante up and kick in like men...LIKE MEN! So without further adieu meet your soon to be record setting squad of hitting people...
LF – Jonathan Wyatt – senior – LH (throws right) – (.360, 4 HRs, 40 RBI) – fan favorite Jonathan Wyatt is back and yes he still spells his first name like a normal human being, unlike other Jonathan’s I know. Wyatt was the catalyst of the offense last year, especially after moving to the leadoff spot. He also impressed in the postseason batting .370 with 2 dinger dongers and 10 ribbieques. The guy is a beast and also uses what quite possibly is the largest glove to ever be utilized in organized baseball. I don’t know if it just looks oversized or is in fact, as many claim, so large that it blots out the sun.
1B – Ryan Peisel – junior – RH – (.310, 2 HRs, 45 RBI) – I can’t decide what I like more about Peisel, the fact that his last name reminds of me of my favorite dessert – sweet, delicious pie, that he stepped in and started all 70 games last year after transferring from East Carolina, or that he was coached by my favorite lug this side of Gwinnet – Steven Craft. Anyway you slice it this guy is a winner in my book. Peisel will be moving to first base this year leaving his spot at third where he started 67 of 70 games last year. It will be tough to fill the shoes of prodigious power hitter Josh Morris and I don’t think two homers out of first base this year, on a team that isn’t sure where its power will come from, will cut it in 2007.
OF/DH – Matt Olson – junior – LH (throws right) – (.326, 1 HR, 19 RBI) - so begins our army of OF/DHs...just who will see the most starts out of the next few cats is out of my realm of knowledge, which is saying quite a bit. Olson played in just over half the Dawgs games last year and responded competently. Started both the Dawgs games in Omaha last year so one would think in a lineup full of question marks Matty boy will see significantly more action this year. One worry...Matt has all of one career homerun, granted he has only appeared in 38 games but still...we need some power is what I’m saying.
OF/DH/C – Matt Robbins – senior – RH – (.301, 2 HRs, 24 RBI) – started a heap of games last year (36) but all at DH...which leads this intrepid reporter to believe that maybe Matty aint so hotty in the field. Not many gold gloves heading his way. Regardless, because of his substantial experience last year (appeared in 49 of 70 games) it looks like Perno will be counting on him for some “O”.
OF/DHs – Matt Cerione – freshman – LH/Rich Poythress – freshman - Cerione hails from Chattahoochee for all you Alpharetta natives out there, Poythress from Greenbrier for you loyal readers in the greater Augusta metropolitan area. I think that Poythress might actually be a corner infielder but inside sources tell me that coaches may be looking at him as more of an OF/DH. Of course I may have just made that entire thing up and/or just pulled it from a press release but would you know – nope. Anyway, looking at their bios didn’t give me much info – they weren’t ranked on any Top 100 list of incoming freshmen but what does Baseball America know? They both had ridiculously gaudy high school numbers (i.e. .550, 20 HRs, etc).
C – Joey Lewis – freshman – RH – From Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville, which sounds like a made-up high school so I prefer to think that he was genetically engineered in a lab out of the parts of lesser baseball players to form SUPER-CATCHER. Anyway, he batted .506 as a senior, won Fayette/Coweta player of the year by the AJC and was named a Louisville Slugger High School All-American. Plus, in a picture on rivals.com that Pasqua sent me he looks a lot like Matt Stafford...so he’s got to be good.
2B – Mike Freeman – freshman – LH (throws right) – tragically this kid hails from Florida, happily he has the same name of my next door neighbor growing up who was AWESOME...so he’s got that going for him. Freeman was drafted by the Friars of San Dee-ah-go in the 41st round last year but chose to come to UGA. Wise choice Mr. Freeman (sorry, that’s what I used to call my neighbor, this will take some getting used to). Also was among the Baseball America Top 300 class of 2006.
3B – Luke Stewart – freshman – LH (throws right) – PASQUA ALERT – this guy is from ILLINOIS kid! Normal, IL which sounds like a very nice, middle of the road, not out of the ordinary in any way whatsoever place to grow up. Luke was also drafted by the San Diego Padres, alas he was drafted in the 42nd round – rivalry with Mr. Freeman anyone?! And just to make everyone feel really old...Luke was born in 1988. Wow. I bet he doesn’t even remember the Orioles starting out the season 0-21 that year.
Pre-season rankings generally have us in the same place – Baseball America slapped us in the face and called us Sally by ranking us 27th. Other publications (I believe the Collegiate Baseball Writers of America or some such) have us as high as 19th. Obviously we have a lot of talent to replace. You don’t lose practically your entire lineup, plug in true freshman in as many as five positions and expect instant success. To make matters worse UGA just so happens to play in the best conference in America which has four, count ‘em, four teams in the Top 11 (6th – South Cack, 7th – Arkansas, 8th – Vandy, 11th – Tennessee). Throw on top the fact that UGA is not playing any sissies out of conference including matchups against USC (the REAL one, not South Cack), Clemson, Georgia Tech, and a season opening series against the defending national champs, Oregon State.
So what’s going to happen? Obviously the sports writers don’t give us much of a chance seeing as they predicted we would finish 5th in the SEC East. I refuse to believe that. Everyone’s darling the Tennessee Volunteers showed they weren’t as mighty as they believe opening up their season last weekend getting BLASTED by a lower ranked (18th) Florida State, getting outscored 32-9 in the three game set. So there is hope. There will be significant growing pains, especially amongst the position players but I think our pitching will become a big strength by season’s end (assuming we find some middle relievers to get to Fields). Look for a sturdy third or fourth place finish in the SEC East, a better than expected performance in the SEC tournament and another trip to the NCAA tournament. I don’t think we will be strong enough to host a regional but I could see us getting in and making some noise. Realistically I think an exit in the opening regional is more likely than another super-regional and/or trip to Omaha. So sit back and enjoy the show...first pitch is TOMORROW!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
You can almost hear the drunk guys on the deck heckling the opposing rightfielder...
So to ease your transition into the coming college baseball season and to help you sound like the smartest guy in your (insert one): A) Sad, soul-sucking cubicle row, B) Bank-breaking, loan-check swallowing classroom, C) Despair-breeding teacher’s lounge, D) Workers-comp laden construction site, or E) Other....I give to you the 2007 UGA Diamond Dawgs Preview:
Using little to no hyperbolic language, the Diamond Dawg’s 2006 season was a roller coaster ride of jaw-dropping, biblical, apocalyptic proportions. Finishing 47-23, the Dawgs reached the College World Series for the second time in the past three seasons. In getting to Omaha the Dawgs finished second in the SEC East, won thrilling regionals and super-regionals (against South Carolina...man, I love beating them in EVERYTHING) and tallied the second most season wins in program history. Unfortunately, once in Omaha the Dawgs dropped their first two games in heart-breaking fashion to Rice and eventual national champion, Oregon State and were bounced from the double-elimination tournament. Repeated pleas via emails to the NCAA office and some unspeakable favors performed for the higher-ups in charge in Omaha by me were of no avail...the season ended.
The world's smallest picture.
But like the mythical Phoenix Cardinals rising from the ashes...wait...that’s wrong...like the mythical Arizona Cardinals rising from the ashes, the 2007 season starts anew against the opponent that ended the Dawgs highly successful 2006 campaign, Oregon State. Many of the familiar faces from the 2006 squad are gone:
SP - Brooks Brown (1st round pick – Arizona Diamondbacks)
Brooksie is gone but maybe we will all be fighting to acquire him in a not-so-distant fantasy league draft
SP – Mickey Westphal
RP – Rip Warren (free agent signee – New York Mets)
C – Jason Jacobs (20th round pick – New York Mets)
1B – Josh Morris (12th round pick – Atlanta Braves)
OF – Joey Side (6th round pick – Arizona Diamondbacks)
OF – Bobby Felmy (22nd round pick – San Francisco Giants)
OF/DH – Kyle Keen
Consequently, the Diamond Dawgs will heavily rely on new faces, especially amongst the position players. So without further adieu...
There is returning talent here despite the departure of Friday night ace Brooks Brown and steady innings-eater Mickey Westphal. Four sophomores look to take on increased responsibility in the rotation:
Here they are - Beckham, Holder, Moreau, and Leaver...wait not Beckham, we'll get to Beckham later.
Nathan Moreau – sophomore - LHP – 6’4” - (8-1, 5.50 ERA) – started 12 games as true freshman, was named #3 starter behind Brown and Westphal toward the end of the year, and tied Derek Lilliquist’s UGA freshman record for wins with eight. I imagine he will be our #1 out of the blocks.
Trevor Holder – sophomore - RHP – 6’2” – (5-3, 4.70 ERA) – started eight games last year, appeared in 21 games. However, he was DYN-O-MITE in the post season notching a 2-0 record with a 0.87 ERA in over 10 innings of work (including one start). Hopefully that hot hand continues into this year.
Jason Leaver – sophomore - LHP – 6’1” - (3-2, 4.95 ERA) – started seven games but one of those games was the Regional Championship win against Florida State and man...what a start it was (5 IP, 1 ER) for a true freshman.
Stephen Dodson – sophomore - RHP – 6’5” – (1-0, 4.86 ERA) – used mostly in relief last year (19 appearances, 1 start), but he’s the same height as me so I like him.
There are a few true freshmen and a junior in the mix but I would anticipate the vast majority of the starts to come from some combination of the above four sophomores. These four give us a nice righty-lefty mix and having a year under their belts (a year in which all four received substantial, pressure-filled experience) should help.
Herein resides the Diamond Dawgs’ biggest superstar....
Closer: Joshua Fields – RHP – 6’0” - (3-2, 15 SVs, 1.85 ERA) – a consensus preseason 1st Team All American by practically every publication and/or organization covering college baseball. Fields is also ranked as the #8 Major League prospect in college baseball by Lindy’s. Throws upwards of 98 MPH...this guy is wicked. Last year was 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-SEC and led the SEC in saves (while also tying a school record). Yessir, come the 8th or 9th opponents are going to be in trouble...now about getting to that 8th or 9th....
Rest of the relievers:
Adam McDaniel – senior - RHP – 6’1” – (2-1, 8.53 ERA) – converted third baseman, last year was his first on the mound for the Dawgs. Made 21 relief appearances and in a truly troubling sign....accolades include “Member of All-SEC Academic Honor Roll and SEC Good Works Team”. Reminiscent of the old baseball cards for players like Rene Gonzales, on the back would say things like “Rene enjoys fishing in the offseason”.
That’s...about....it, the aforementioned freshmen and junior who figured to get the occasional start will also be called on to round out the bullpen. There is some indication that a true freshman, Ryan Woolley (RHP, 6’1”) might be a step ahead of the others in the bullpen...but that’s just me reading between the lines of press releases and Perno quotes. Initially, there doesn’t seem to be that lock down middle reliever like Rip Warren, hell there doesn’t seem to be a Rip Taylor or Warren Beatty...but I have confidence one of these guys will emerge.
Listen, if he can pitch and we can count on him the clutch I don't care what he wears out on the mound.
Tomorrow (or Thursday)....position players and prognostication....until then...
I have no reason for posting this picture other than for its sheer comic value.