Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creepy Comparison #65: A Tale of Two Fat Heads


Harnessing the reigns of a team that no matter what is done to stop it, is still heading straight for another season of purgatory, is a tough, tough job. Just ask new Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik. His most potent offensive threat bolted for Philly, his overpaid third-basemen is perfecting the art of insubordination, and he owes $36M to a guy who could blow a 10 run lead over the course of a single inning.

Let's be honest for a moment - this job sucks. Hard. It sucks so bad, that they gave it some fat weirdo who used to work down the block from Safeco at a used Hyundai dealership*.

The only connection between "Family Guy" and The Mariners is they both were good at one time, but have fallen off severely over the past few years/seasons. I blame Communism. And the jerks running Fox. Maybe both. Maybe the Jews. Maybe those damn Born Again Christians. Any one will suffice.


*false

Friday, February 27, 2009

Did Someone Say "Elbow" Tenderness?


While everyone in Queens takes ten minutes from the hour to retire to the bathroom and sob quietly into an old rag, Johan Santana drops some knowledge about his sore elbow:


Santana said he didn't think the soreness was related to his offseason knee surgery.

No shit, pal. But thanks for clearing up the obvious.

I wonder if this setback has anything to do with my plan to scoop up Johan with my 1st round pick in my fantasy draft? Maybe I jinxed the guy. My only hope is AK doesn't track me down and strangle me with his Mets shoelaces, as he's been known to do from time to time.

Don't Believe the Hype

Talk about 4 squares - HEYYYYOOOO!

Right around this time every year, when Spring Training is in its infancy stage and Milton Bradley has yet to murder anyone, you start to hear reporters and scouts and GMs and former blind karate instructors rave about perennially injured players hitting the comeback trail. They'll tell you he "looks great" and his arm "is live as a wire" and the ball "was popping into the catcher's glove" and he hit "a dozen balls out of the park".

Well, it's all horseshit. And it's a vicious, vicious cycle of charred, flaky horseshit. I have no idea why these people refuse to acknowledge that, in most cases, said oft-injured player's best days are behind him. Far behind him. Like, disappearing-into-a-cloud-of-severed-hamstrings-and-re-fucked-groupies, far. And there's never any logic behind the lofty hopes and rumors. Yes, each respective team has vested stock in their players, but this is baseball, assholes, the money's guaranteed! So by hyping up the un-hypeable, you're not fooling anyone!

Here's a short list of players you cannot trust. And remember - kill anyone who tries to sway your opinion in a different direction. Seriously, kill them. I know a guy who can get you a gun, real cheap. Everyone will understand. Even your mom, who can't remember shit after her fucking 8 lunchtime pints of Jamo-and-Ginger. What a lush...


1. SP, Jason Schmidt.

He threw 11 pitches - 9 for strikes. HOLY SHIT! that's it, he's winning the Cy Young this year, everyone else need not apply.

2. DH, Travis Hafner

The man who has raped and pillaged fantasy teams worldwide, two years and running, is back again, playing "King of the Batting Cage". Will he continue his tyrannic spree this season? Will you believe the hype? I'd like to think this semi-retarded slugger makes a sweet comeback, but minus the juice, he's never raking like he did back in 2006. Accept it, and move on.

3. SP, Barry Zito

Okay, so Zito was never injured, but he's been a failure of Ishtarian proportions since signing his $785,000,000 deal with the Giants in 2007. But, someone caught the comeback fever, because scouts and players alike are saying he "looks impressive". Well, I hate to break it to those "Milk" loving fruitcakes out by the Bay, but this guy's fastball barely hits 85. His curve is less-than. He's not fucking anyone famous. Get over it, he's a bust.

4. 3B, Eric Chavez

Hey, remember when Chavez was one of the premier third-basemen in baseball? No? Wait, where are you going? Why are you running away? Listen to me, dammit! I AM THE AUTHOR OF A BLOG! I know what I'm talking about! He was good - no - he was great! I swear! Stop, put the bat down, seriously, I'll leave. No seriously, I'll go. Wait, what the fuck, stay away Goddammit, STAY AW-!


BallHype: hype it up!

Spring Training Injury Update #2: Milton Bradley

"Hey tubbs, you do know I'm already hurt, right?"

Name: Milton Bradley
Team: Chicago Cubs
Injury: Drew walk, left game with Tight Quad
# Games into Spring Training Injury Occurred: 1

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Amazing Untradable Man


Let's forget for a moment that you make less money than most public school janitors, and you have the social skills of an autistic hermit, and let's think hypothetically - If you were suddenly hired as the General Manager of a MLB franchise, would you pay $23M for these numbers:

.300, 27 HR, 99 RBI, .332 OBP

Well, you may advise against, but that's what J.P. Riccardi is set to pay in 2011 for the services of oft-injured center fielder, Vernon Wells. The stat-line above is his annual career average, but keep in mind he hasn't come close to those numbers since 2006. He missed almost 60 games last season. He's already out for 2-4 weeks this season. So why the big contract? Why the huge salary?

For starters, Riccardi - between insulting Adam Dunn and hinting at the inevitable trade of Roy Halladay - he back-loaded this deal, which is more disturbing to look at than a fat Baltimorean trying to eat his shoe by sousing it in Old Bay. Wells (who *laughing* can opt-out of this deal after the '11 season) is set to make, $21M in the final three years of his contract, which ends after the 2014 season. But the odds of Wells backing out of this undeserved gold mine are slimmer than Chris Brown hosting the "Women Against Spousal Abuse" benefit dinner, guaranteeing that Wells' salary will make up almost 25% of Toronto's total budget.

Somewhere in a meager home surrounded by cheap, IKEA furniture and large quantities of generic Costco brand cereal, Billy Beane deletes Riccardi's contact information from his cell phone, and then dry humps a life-sized cut-out of Bill James.


BallHype: hype it up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indians Go Global, Scout Wrong Continent


People of Cleveland, be prepared to replace those 42x30 Levi's 501's with a nice pair of white nylon slacks. Throw away all of your rock music and get ready for the deafening sounds of repetitive German trance music. Do you like the way this shirt looks? Well you better, because Europe is invading Progressive Field.

Most likely taking cue from another cash-strapped club's mind-numbing offseason move, the Indians became the first Major League Baseball Organization to sign a player from Continental Europe. Martin Cervenka, 17, a catcher from Prague, batted .214 last season for a minor league team from Prague, which is similar to hitting .214 for a local little league team.

Only time will tell how quickly local Ohioans take to this European invasion. Most likely it will be short of never, with a slight chance of, well, never. And it may take a while for young Martin to understand American culture. For example, Americans don't start drinking and driving until after 12am, and they don't eat by the ounce, but by the quarter-ton. Smoking is only accepted if you're on the Tigers, and mustaches are only worn by grizzled veterans and porn stars. But, if he follows these tips, and looks to his teammates for schooling, he should injecting steroids, beating his wife, and popping out illegitimate kids in no time.


BallHype: hype it up!

Baseball's Brett Favre?


Nothing - and I mean NOTHING - gets sports reporters and sports analysts all hot and bothered like a player saying he loves to play the game. Megan Fox could be lying naked on a bed eating a perfectly ripe banana with her legs tucked behind her head, and the reporters would be more absorbed with how said player gets up at the crack-of-dawn to shoot a bunch of Canadien Geese with a potato gun and then sling a tennis ball to his 13 year-old mutt named, "Hammer", 3,500 times before breakfast.

I've seen this love connection happen a million times. And now it's happening again.

Soon to join the ranks of those fawned upon and lavished with lengthy praise for being "gritty" and "American" and "not black"? San Francisco's own Tim Lincecum. And if he continues to add to last year's dominance, he could produce a Brett Favre-esque crush with the media. Anytime Lincecum appears, all analysts and color men will be contractually obligated to discuss just how much Tim loves to play baseball. They will asked to produce quadrants graphs detailing how much more Tim loves baseball than all of his teammates. One of these men will almost assuredly makes the assumption that Lincecum would "play for free if he could". All will agree with hearty laughs and more bullshit banter. A circle jerk will ensue, and mediocre America will fall head-over-heels in love with "The Freak".

I of course, will be the guy who's lifeless toes gently bump the bathroom door, about twelve inches from the floor...


BallHype: hype it up!

Back with a Vengeance


Francisco Liriano is ready to make all of you naysayers pay for doubting him. And by "pay", he means, "die a slow and painful death caused by sliders to the face."

And technically, he's not making a comeback - he already made one last season that produced mixed results, which only angered him further, expanding his rage into proportions last seen when God snuffed out early man for being borderline retarded. So yes, this time it's real - this is his real comeback. This time he's not going to stop until you, and everyone you know, is dead.

Well, maybe not everyone, maybe just that bitch you call your girlfriend.

Anyway...

Back in the spring and summer of 2006, I was working for MLB.com. My boss was a mean prick who decided I was a fan of the A.L. Central Division. Obviously, I am not. But what saved my sanity was the inevitable move of Francisco Liriano from the Twins bullpen to the starting rotation. I edited his first start, and watched as he gave up 1 run over 5 innings against a baffled Brewers lineup. He progressed. He got more dominate. Teams looked lost when they faced him. He went 11-2 over his next 13 starts, with a 1.59 ERA and 93 K's over 84 innings. Batters had a horrific .159 BA when they faced him. His slider brought the dead back to life. A Cy Young Award seemed imminent. Then, the elbow injury happened. And some angels died. And so did the Twins hopes of any postseason success.

Then came the Tommy John surgery. Say goodbye to the 2007 season.

But Liriano was set to return last season. He crawled his way through Spring Training, was recalled from AAA April 11th, and came out of the gate throwing beach balls. Over his first 3 starts he went 0-3 with a 11.32 ERA. God became angry. After many human-sacrifices and several thousand forced liposuction procedures, he finally deemed the fans of Minnesota re-ready to witness Liriano's awesomeness, and Liriano did not disappoint. He pitched superbly, going 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA and 60 K's. His fastball and slider returned. All was good again in Minnesota.

Expect a big year from him. He's 25, his health is back, and as I said before, he's ready make Minnesotians forget about that Dutch guy names "Johan".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Strange Sightings

"Money? Denial? No, no, no, I want to win. And the Brewers are winners!"

With Spring Training in full swing, images begin to filter out that are not only disturbing because of content, but also jolting, if only because a grizzled veterans is wearing the colors of a new team, and it dawns on you that he's been around for over a decade, making you feel like a chubby, washed-up, balding loser.

/sobs

This happens every few seasons (sometimes multiple times in one offseason) - a former star who has too much pride to retire - or hates his family with such passion that he can't bare the thought of being around them for more than a few months in the offseason - decides to take a little cash to play for a loser team. Said loser team is looking to fill empty seats because the owner is a greedy cocksucker who is more concerned with lining his pockets with the blood and tears of children and the elderly than delivering a competitive team. Instead he throws the fans a bone by bringing in a crippled, ex-superstar to exploit like a broken down racehorse forced to jump into a dirty, shallow pond for an audience of hicks and fat tourists.

The need is reciprocal in these situations. So, here are a few players sporting weird threads that were as fun to see as Mike Piazza at a Bloomingdale's Labor Day sale.

The Hall of Fame Edition*


Gary Carter - Los Angeles Dodgers, 1991


True, Carter played his bon voyage season on the Expos, but that was more for nostalgic purposes, since he started his career there. 1991 was ploy by the Dodgers' brass to draw fans to see Carter, who grew up in Culver City, CA. And let's not forget to mention The Kid's amazing, and historically overlooked mullet.


Dave Winfield - Cleveland Indians, 1995


Winfield (who looks like he's 60 years old in the card above) was a shell of his former self, batting .191 in 151 AB's, and was left off the postseason roster for the Indians World Series run. He was also never informed that only nerds like John Olerud still wore helmets without an ear-protector.


Jack Morris - Cleveland Indians, 1994*


Yes, he's not in the Hall of Fame, but he should be. When you think of postseason pitchers, you think of Morris. And when you think of Morris, you think of Hall of Fame snubs. What's not to get here? Fuck his career ERA, Morris was dominate in the clutch. And, he had a mustache. +1 for guys with mustaches.


Wade Boggs - Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 1998, 1999


Easily the twilight of Boggs's Hall of Fame career, but still the prime of his drinking career. One can only imagine how many times Boggs resuscitated from a Miller Lite bender wearing this shitty uniform in the middle of a desolate Florida swamp.


Rickey Henderson - Los Angeles Dodgers, 2003


Rickey played for 75 teams. But seeing Rickey in Dodger blue was not only weird for me, but I'm sure it was weird for Rickey too. Rickey didn't fair well either - he batted .208 over 72 AB's. But Rickey was 44 years old, and Rickey did more at 44 than you will do in your life. Just ask Rickey. Rickey isn't afraid to admit it. Rickey, Rickey, Rickey, Rickey, Rickey...

BallHype: hype it up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Creepy Comparison # 64: Dreamy...



"The Next Big Thing." Those can be hard words to live up to. Especially when you're a teen heart-throb/pitcher for a team that calls a cesspool home. We all know the World Series MVP'n, Survivor contestant/Playboy Playmate marry'n, left-handed sling'n fella on the left. That's Cole Hamels, the guy who loves to talk. On the right is someone named "Zach Efron." Sounds like a made up name to me. I don't actually know who he is, but for some reason I was watching a bit of the Oscars last weekend and he was a presenter. It took me 5 whole minutes to stop wondering why Cole Hamels was presenting an award. That was a weird 5 minutes.

What Would Chad Curtis Do? Part IV


After leaving the Yankees (and professional baseball altogether), Chad Curtis has plenty of free time on his hands. How do I know this? Well, low and behold, after I ran into him selling bootleg copies of "Fireproof" in the 6th Avenue tunnel, I learned the man still has those strong Christian opinions that really rubbed everyone the wrong way. While negotiating DVD prices with a customer, he weighed in on the Odalis Perez situation, without any provocation from me.

The Quandary:

After signing a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals, the always mediocre Odalis Perez is refusing to show up for camp.

Chad's Take:

"I can't understand how this guy actually thinks he's in the right here. I know he speaks that crazy Dominican talk and what not, but how in tarnation can he not fulfill a contract obligation? When the great and forgiving Almighty asked Noah to build an ark, did Noah agree and then refuse a few days later? Heck no! When Joe Torre asked for someone to pinch his ass with a monkey wrench to get the water works flowing for the camera, did I say yes and then renege? No, I grabbed a nice chunk of old, flabby Italian skin and twisted the ever loving crap out of it! When Paul O'Neill asked someone to dress up as his wife so he could punch them in the face to get the adrenaline going, did I chicken out at the last second? Almost, but I stood in there and took the shot. I even screamed like a woman for affect. When Derek Jeter asked for a wingman who wouldn't overshadow his slick womanizing abilities, did I agree to take the friend of the girl Derek was having sexual intercourse with and read her scripture for two hours straight? You're darn right I did, even if I wanted to bail out because I was coercing with a filthy, sinner.

You catch my drift here? You see what I'm getting at? A commitment is like the holy sacrament, you either follow through with it, or you die in a fiery lake filled with gays, investment bankers, and Heath Ledger."


*Update - Looks like the Nats took Chad's advice and dumped the moron...

Every Day I'm Hustling

"Hahaha, isn't this fun? Oh, and I'm secretly stealing from
the money you send home to feed your starving family!"


According to reports, Jim Bowden has followed suit with the rest of the sniveling cocksuckers that work in the D.C. metro area, and has been accused of skimming money allocated for player's signing bonuses.

SI.com reported Sunday night that a federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to Latin American baseball prospects is examining the role of Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden.

What's next, Bowden learns to play the saxophone and starts fucking a fat intern? HEYYYOOO!!!

Sweet Mother of God, the Season is Already Over



Holy crap, I just realized something: The 2009 season is already over. I've been out of the country for the past three months and I didn't realize that the Yankees have THE BEST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF MODERN SPORTS.

Is that statement a little overblown? Yes, of course it is. Is it true? No, don't be silly. They haven't even played a game yet. The bottom line, though, is that after a few years of assembling good, yet slightly dysfunctional, teams that failed to perform on the big stage, the Yanks decided to take matters into their own hands and have, by far, the splashiest offseason of any team in baseball.

This means that reality, once again, is suspended in the Bronx. It doesn't matter if the Yankees are actually the best team based on personnel, because ultimately, they're the best in everyone's minds. They're the best "on paper", and that's all that matters. We're now firmly all the way back into the realm of unrealistic expectations and extreme consequences that we found ourselves in after the tangible successes of the late 90's and early 00's, only this time they purchased the lofty expectations with Big Stein's Black Card.

Barack Obama has it tough, but I'll tell you one thing, Joe Girardi just inherited the hardest job in the world. He needs to win it all. I don't just mean the World Series, I mean every single game the Yankees play. 162-0 or bust. And he somehow needs to speed up time and win the Series in the next three months, or face the inevitable question, "I know it's only June, Joe, but why do you think your club hasn't won the World Series yet?"

Anything short of a June World Series victory by Girardi and the Yankees will be a considered a failure, punishable by loss of his skippership.

And let's be clear about one thing: The expectations are based in fact. The Yankees are fearsome. Their rotation features CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain - WTF? They could be unstoppable. Their bullpen is composed of solid lefty set-up man Damaso Marte, who leads up to Mariano - Lights OUT! The line-up has more former all-stars on the bench than most teams will have starting. Now you're starting to see why, not only is their eventual World Series Championship inevitable, but since they'll have most games wrapped up by the 2nd or 3rd inning, they should have plenty of extra time to fight crime or help old ladies cross the street in the Bronx.

But let's just take off our rose-colored glasses for a minute and see if we can't imagine a few problems this team may run into in 2009:

1. AGE
The starting Catcher, Shortstop, Left Fielder, DH, a Starting Pitcher and the Closer are all 35+. ALL are already showing signs of age in varying degrees (whether that be in ability or durability) and have been for the last year or so at least. That's not me talking, that's just a fact even Doc himself would have to agree with. They just ain't getting any younger.

2. HEALTH
This one ties in nicely with concern #1 - lots of the current Yanks, young and old, just looooove to get hurt. They eat it up. It's the bee's knees, the cat's meow, well...it's just the tops. Tell me if you think this line up will go 162-0:

DH Johnny Damon*
SS Cody Ransom
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
RF Xavier Nady
LF Nick Swisher
2B Robison Cano
C Jose Molina
CF Brett Gardner

What you see before you, albeit unlikely, could happen. And if it does, Girardi better have his resume in order.


*Side note - I'm legitimately concerned about Johnny Damon. This is not baseball related. I'm concerned that he might be borderline retarded. Have you ever heard this man speak? My God, something is wrong with him, and I don't mean your garden variety dim witted pro athlete. This guy can hardly form words and manipulate the muscles in his mouth. I think he may have some sort of neurological disorder that has gone undiagnosed for years.

Letter to the Editor - Round II


In between burning crosses on lawns and getting the inside scoop on which underage starlet was caught blowing lines off of Amy Winehouse's dick, the New York Post has just enough time to print poorly written drivel composed by - I assume - psychotic vagabonds living in a fort made out of trash cans. And I just so happen to have the time to critique them. Coincidence? Maybe...

And here we go...

If today's steroid users are going to be banned from the Hall of Fame, then the
cheaters of the past must be removed

Judging by this well formulated topic sentence, this man is obviously getting at something here. Stop tantalizing me with your dynamic lead in and let me in on your ploy!

Ty Cobb, among the first men ever elected, used to sharpen his spikes and go at
second basemen.

He also maimed a disabled heckler, spit on blacks, and bragged about killing a man...so what's your point?

Gaylord Perry made a career of throwing spitters.

Not to mention his name is "Gaylord"!

As far as illegal substances go, let's just void the coked-up 1980's from our
minds.
I don't think being paranoid and concentrating on not shitting your pants while you're trying to protect the plate on a 2-2 count from Bruce Hurst while geeked can really be classified as "cheating".

Then there's the matter of Babe Ruth drinking during Prohibition, when it was
illegal.

This guy obviously wants to nitpick every single flaw every player in history ever had. Hey Mantle, you fucked anything with warmer blood than an ice cube, and you were married - don't you know that's a sin! Hey Gehrig, way to go out and die on us, you jerk!

The past is the past, let's drop the subject and move on.

James Panzo,
Brooklyn

Well, James, you seem like a naive prick, so I'll keep this short and sweet - everything - and I mean everything - a person says when caught red-handed and forced to fess-up in front of millions of people is always, always 100% true. They never lie. So keep believing A-Rod's been clean since '03 and makes sure to leave some extra cookies out for Santa, you fucking rube.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Creepy Comparison #63 - The Closer


I've been severely unimpressed by most of the new shows HBO trots out, as of late - "John from Cincinnati?" How about "Gay-Nerd from Nerdsville"? "Carnivale"? No thanks, I like my shows to have some sort of cohesive plot line. "Deadwood" was solid, but I knew it wouldn't last, because most viewers prefer shows where 4 unattractive sluts fuck their way through Manhattan's male population. Even "Entourage" got all gayed up over the last two seasons - who knows where the HBO exec's heads are stuck at?

But when I came across promo's for Adam McKay's new show, "Eastbound and Down", I knew it had the chance to break the slump. Mixing the perennially underrated Danny McBride, Will Ferrell, and McKay, gives you the perfect formula. Kind of like heroin and ice cream, with less touches with death.

The premier episode made fun of fat people, fat kids, drugs and drinking. Oh hi, best-show-ever. And I'm sure the rest of the season will only get better. Which brings me to the latter half of our equation: The awful and mildly retarded Mitch Williams.

Can't figure out why I'm taking shots at him? Go watch six minutes of him on "Hot Stove" on the MLB Network, and you'll want to take a soldering iron to your eye sockets. He's the real life Kenny Powers - the title character from the show - only he gets paid a lot of money to tell me stuff I already know. He sucked as a closer, and he sucks as an analyst. A drunken John Rocker was my first choice for the position (especially if he's sitting next to a terrified Harold Reynolds) but no, the MLB Network had to hire this monotone bag-of-shit who doesn't understand "relevance", and stammers through his uninsightful and pointless rambling like a virgin trying to score his first prostitute from an Asian pimp.

The Sheff: All The Way Crazy


Now that Gary Sheffield goes through a court-ordered weekly sedation and his mind has already been poured out into his ground-breaking tell-all book, I was starting to fear Sheff would no longer ramble on to the press about inane shit and question people's racial profile. Luckily, I was wrong.

Here are a few highlights from a recent Morning Sun (yes, I too could not believe that Michigan has a paper called "The Sun"!) article giving fans an update on what the Sheff has been up to.

Has the outspoken, contentious slugger turned over a new leaf?

“I hope so,”

You meant to say, "no", right? Or did I misread that?

Asked about the milestone that awaits, one good swing away — a feat achieved by only 24 players in baseball history.

"That was never my ultimate goal. I always look at things in a Biblical situation. Things happen for a reason. I ended up last season one home run shy. That gives me something to motivate myself."

So, you are motivated by shit you don't care about? That's sort of like saying, "I don't like lobster, but if I don't eat one soon, I'm going to blow my brains out with a homemade hunting rifle."

Last year, in a verbal confrontation with manager Jim Leyland, Sheffield expressed his displeasure at being used strictly as a designated hitter.

“I don’t want to DH,” he declared.

On Tuesday, Sheffield changed his tune. “I’m a DH,” he said, smiling.

“Sometimes you have to deal the cards you’re dealt.”

Or fold and play the next hand, that's probably the correct route to take. If you deal the cards you're dealt, security will throw you out. Trust me, I've tried it, it doesn't work.
And they don't care whether or not you know Lou Whitaker, because he tips the dealers poorly.

Last year Sheffield vowed to “get ugly” and take revenge against his former agent, Scott Boras, who beat Gary out of $550,000 in a nasty, five-year court fight.

“It’s not going to be pretty,” Sheffield threatened then. “No fine is going to be big enough. No suspension is going to be long enough.”

But Tuesday Sheffield refused to even discuss the subject.

“No personal stuff,” he said.
Pussy.

He is just the seventh player in baseball history to collect at least 2,500 hits, 450 home runs, 1,500 RBI, and 200 or more stolen bases in his career, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Dave Winfield, Barry Bonds, Frank Robinson, and Reggie Jackson in that elite club.

All but Bonds and Sheffield are already enshrined in the Hall of Fame

And that's pretty much the way it's going to stay, forever.

However, on Tuesday that was the farthest thing from Sheffield’s mind. He had more important things to worry about.

“Hey, my pants fit,” Sheffield exclaimed with a grin, pulling a new pair on for the first time.

“That’s my goal every year. I made it again. This is 21 in a row.”

Now that’s an accomplishment.

No, that is not an accomplishment. Getting a promotion is an accomplishment. Having sex with your secretary and not getting caught is an accomplishment. Winning an underground wrestling match is an accomplishment. But fitting into the pants a professional franchise measures you for and then buys you? No, I'm sorry, that is not, on any planet, an accomplishment.

Failure to Pull the Trigger


Between local reports in the Post, ESPN tickers, and some random guy who walks up and down my hallway blowing an air-horn and screaming about the latest A-Roid news, I can't help but wonder what it would be like if February 16, 2004 never happened. Granted, I was beside myself at the time, not only because I was drunk, but because we had come as close as you can to emotionally raping the Red Sox.

And now, I wish it was nothing more than a "what if" trade.

But wishing eternal damnation on the man with highlighted hair is not the point of this post. After weeping for hours and hours under my bed, I started to wonder about other major trades and signings that failed collapsed at the last minute - ones that if consummated, would have altered the major league landscape.


1. Barry Bonds to the Atlanta Braves - 1992

Way back in '92, when Bonds was slowly assholing his way out of Pittsburgh, then Pirates General Manager Ted Simmons agreed to deal him to Atlanta for Alejandro Pena and prospects. But an hour or so before scheduling a press conference, Simmons called it off. Braves GM John Schuerholz felt slighted.

Imagine, if this trade was pulled off, our hilarious site would never have a title, and dozens upon dozens of fans would be lost.

Interesting Note: Schuerholz thinks if Bonds went to Atlanta, he never would have done steroids. Obviously he takes stock in the whole "geographical" influence.


2. Sammy Sosa, Kevin Appier, and John Wetteland sign with The Red Sox

During the 1994 player's strike, before the union tweaked free agency and killed the real Ken Griffey Jr., Red Sox GM Dan Duquette agreed to contracts with FA’s Sammy Sosa, Kevin Appier, and John Wetteland. But a when the strike finally ended, the rules were changed and all three contracts were voided. Appier went on to excel in above-average mediocrity, Wetteland won a ring with “The Good Guys”, and Sosa had a nice run with the Cubbies filled with bat-corking, steroid abuse and feigning the need for a translator during a congressional hearing even though he’d been speaking fluent English with the press for 10 years (BTW - one of the greatest TV moments of the past 50 years, mind you. Fuck JR, he deserved to get shot).
Interesting Note: If Boston had signed Sosa, he would have joined fellow Mitchell Report members Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn on the ’95 Sox roster. Pshhh, what a bunch of cheaters, right? Right?

(sobs into Yankees jersey)


3. Florida trades Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Texas for Hank Blaylock and John Danks - 2002

This trade is interesting for several (self-important) reasons. 1) If Beckett goes to Texas, he doesn’t carry the 2007 Red Sox to a 2nd World Series ring in 4 years, and 2) Mike Lowell stays likeable – south of Greenwich – and retires without having to absorb the wrath of my death-stare through the TV screen. And it’s a mean motherfucking death stare, I tell you…well, not really, but the Korean lady at the corner store sure seems intimidated when I shoot it her way. That curt bitch…


4. The Red Sox send Manny Ramirez to The Rangers for Alex Rodriguez - 2004

Ah, the trade that, at the time, probably would’ve sent me running into opposite direction Beltway-traffic, but now seems like such a grand idea. To Yankee fans, obviously. Because if the Rod goes to Boston, there’s not a shot in Satan’s Asshole that the Red Sox win Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. It’s a sweep, the Yankees win, I drink until the police fish me out of the Chesapeake, and the curse continues. But noooooo, the Yanks had to be big shots and trade for him and then re-sign him and then not have him secretly murdered while he was sleeping after going on TV and admitting to steroids while dressed like a repressed homosexual...


5. Griffey Jr. to the Mets - 1999

Oh, the love affair in Queens that never came to fruition. If I cover my ears for long enough, I can imagine the sound of the hokey chants, the nonsense screaming, the retarded calls to WFAN professing New York City's new dominate baseball team...oh wait, that did happen in 2000. Whatever. But maybe if Griffey signed, he could have helped bolster the offense during the Subway Series the following October. Who knows how far the Mets could have gone with Piazza and Griffey in the middle of the lineup? But The Kid wasn't having it, and he utilized his no-trade clause to stay off the Van Wyck. I assume when the news broke, high school upper-classmen AK spent the night in hysterics, locked tightly in his bedroom, comforted only by the soothing voice of Edgardo Alfonzo's book-on-tape version of "Watership Down".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Return of King George, Sort of


In a last gasp attempt to instill the fear of God into his drugged-up, free-swinging players, George Steinbrenner made an appearance earlier today at Steinbrenner Field. He arrived in the Steinbrenner luxury sedan, accompanied by armed Steinbrenner guards, and was whisked away in a motorized Steinbrenner wheel-chair. Onlookers confirmed that he was indeed wearing the awkward combination of blazer over mock-turtleneck.

Also on hand was tossed-aside hero Bernie Williams, who is getting ready to play for Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, and probably never felt the urge to smash a shovel over the head's of George Sr's wonder brothers, Hank and Hal.

Not present was former Yankee slugger-for-three-months-back-in-2000, Glenallen Hill, who is presumed armed and dangerous - please approach with caution.

When They Were Kings


Nobody in their right mind thinks the New York Yankees are modeling this year's team after their 1996 championship counterpart. You could find more similarities between David Ortiz and your mom (*hint: they're both fat). In 1996, the team's farm system was blossoming, and with the addition of a few key free agents, the team started to click on all cylinders. In 2009, Dumber and Dumberer went out and bought a bunch of star players, adding to the collection of star players they've already bought.

My question is: can the 2009 Yankees bring the hardware home to the Bronx, and how do they compare, position by position to the '96 team?

Well, I'm glad I asked myself that question. It just so happens that I've worked up an overly indulgent look at the two teams, '96 vs. '09.

- - - -

Catcher


1996 - Joe Girardi: .294, 2 HR, 45 RBI
2009 - Jorge Posada
Girardi split designated driver duties time behind the plate with Jim Leyritz (.264, 7, 40) back in '96. The same situation is bound to happen this season between Jorge Posada and Jose Molina, since Posada's shoulder is currently being held together with used electrical tape and Skoal.


First Base


1996 - Tino Martinez: .281, 28 HR, 123 RBI
2009 - Mark Teixeira

Tino walked into a buzzsaw in '96, replacing demigod, Don Mattingly, at 1B. But impressions changed once New Yorkers caught wind of Tino's meticulously styled hairdo. Teixeira is looking to do the same, only he is planning to use his massive ego and ability to bench press the sun to sway the masses.


Second Base

1996 - Mariano Duncan: .340, 8 HR, 56 RBI
2009 - Robinson Cano

Duncan handed 50 games at 2B to speedy shithead, Andy Fox, but Cano won't be splitting time. And Cano is guaranteed to have a bounce-back season, regardless of what some asshole working for "Lindy's" wants you to believe.


3rd Base


1996 - Wade Boggs: .311, 2 HR, 41 RBI
2009 - Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod will no doubt be a lot less drunk than Boggs, but at the same time, a lot more productive in the power category. Unfortunately, he will draw even more attention to the team, now that he admitted to sticking something in his ass, other than a cock.


Shortstop


1996 - Derek Jeter: .314, 10 HR, 78 RBI
2009 - Derek Jeter

Jeter was thrust into the starting spot after the death of Tony Fernandez during Spring Training (false), and since then, the women of NYC and their sexual fantasies have never been the same. And speaking of "the same", expect offensive numbers this year to be pretty similar to those Jeter put up in '96.


Left Field


1996 - Daryl Strawberry: .262, 11 HR, 36 RBI
2009 - Johnny Damon

This was another platoon area for the Yankees, with The Straw, Gerald "Ice" Williams, and Tim "Rock" Raines making numerous starts. It marked a historic season for baseball; never have three outfielders all shared drug-referencing nicknames while playing the same position. Damon is probably one of the 103 unreleased names on the steroid list. Coincidence? I don't think so.


Centerfield


1996 - Bernie Williams: .305, 29 HR, 102 RBI
2009 - Melky Cabrera

This was Bernie's first of five 100 RBI seasons. This will not ring true this year, with Melky trying to beat out Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher for the position. All three of them are lineup liabilities. And Swisher is fat. Very, very fat.


Right Field


1996 - Paul O'Neil: .302, 19 HR, 91 RBI
2009 - Xavier Nady

Nady is mild-mannered when compared to the certifiable Paul O'Neill. But O'Neill, aside from his cry baby mannerisms, was a fierce competitor, and was one of the main catalysts of the World Series in '96. Nady just wants a piece of the New York box action - and who wouldn't? The girls in Pittsburgh look like skin dumpsters, literally.


Designated Hitter


1996 - Ruben Sierra: .258, 11 HR, 52 RBI - Cecil Fielder: .260, 13 HR, 37 RBI
2009 - Hideki Matsui

Matsui, if healthy, will hit for a higher average than the Sierra/Fielder combo did (Sierra was dealt for Fielder in July), except he will fail to bring no street credit and fail to look as fat and ridiculous as the DH boys did in '96.


Starting Rotation


1996 - Jimmy Key (12-11, 4.68), Andy Pettitte (21-8, 3.87), David Cone (7-2, 2.88), Kenny Rogers (12-8 4.68), Dwight Gooden (11-7, 5.01)
2009 - CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain

Looking at the '96 squad's stats on paper, they're far from dominate (only Pettitte won more than 15). Granted, Cone missed most of the regular season with a brain aneurysm (as will A.J. Burnett, but with a strained ego), and their postseason stats, aside from Key and Cone, were pedestrian. But they had depth and somehow managed to win games.


Closer, Bullpen


1996 - John Wettland (43 SV, 2.83 ERA), Mariano Rivera (8-3, 2.09 ERA), Jeff Nelson (4-4, 4.36 ERA), Bob Wickman (4-1, 4.67 ERA)
2009 - Mariano Rivera, Damaso Marte, Jose Veras, Brian Bruney

If the 2009 team eventually moves Joba to the pen, it immediately becomes dominate. The misconception about 1996 is that they had an amazing bullpen, overall. Not true. Besides Wettland, Mo, Wickman and Nelson, no other regular arm had an ERA under 5.00. Belide dat.

- - - -

Pitting these two teams head-to-head, it seems like the new version would absolutely crush the '96 team. There's more power, a deeper rotation, and a bullpen coming off a better year. But the new Yankees have failed to mesh, thus far, and adding three more stars could mean even more trouble.

Success in baseball is performing under pressure. That's what the '96 Yankees did, as underdogs throughout most of the postseason. I'm feeling sentimental, so I'll take '96, until the new guys can show me otherwise and overcome adversity.

Who ya Got?



BallHype: hype it up!

My 2 Blogs: 2009 MLB Preview Edition - The Oakland A's

Not content with barraging their own respective audiences with dick jokery, the authors of Why's My Head Growing? and 3:10 To Joba are working together. The goal? To provide 30 team previews slathered in truth sauce and degrading humor. Yes, that is the world trembling. Previews will rotate weekly between sites. Wear a cup.

Today your author is J.

Follow this link right here to 3:10 to Joba for the full team preview, and feel free to leave your comments, complaints, unprovoked shots and drunken revelations for the host.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Case Closed

Well, once again, I've done it. I've solved the Rubik's Cube in mere seconds. I've memorized Pi. I've taken String Theory and Dark Matter to the next level. So, A-Rod, enough is enough. Talky, talky, talky...no more talky. Listen to me, now.

This topic is never going to go away, obviously. We all know that. Nothing can be done or said to magically make people stop thinking you're lying about the details of your 'roid usage. In fact, no one even believes you're really sorry you did it. They all just think you're sorry you got caught. Why? Because all you offer to us are words. Empty, hollow words.

You want people to actually believe your sorry, right? You want kids to actually believe you're sincere when you stand up in front of them and say, "Yes I did it, and I was wrong...Really"? Do you know how to pull that off? Well, I'll tell you how:

Give back your dirty money.

Let's review: First, you signed your $252 million deal with Texas. That money is yours, you earned it. But then you - ahem, I mean your cousin - shot you up with 'roids, and then you blasted your way to even more unimaginable riches. You opt-ed out of your first mega-contract to enter into the definitive, supreme. all-time pact-of-evil with the Yankees that was loaded with incentives, each one more ridiculous than the next, most of them pertaining to your eventual chase of the all-time home run record.

However, the big problem is this new contract was fueled by the needle that pierced your ass. We hear you say "I'm sorry", but we also see you laughing all the way to the bank (and to the podium). So, how can we really believe you're sorry? Give away all the money you earned as a result of your roid-fueled performance, that's how. Give it to charity. Give it to the U.S. Government, they need it more than you. Hell, give it to me. Just don't keep it for your greedy, lying self.

Handing over the money, Alex? Problem solved. We now believe you.

What do you think? Should this jerk cough up the cash, or should he be allowed to keep it to buy more of whatever makes his lips purple and glossy?

Carlos Silva Loses Weight by *Gasp* Exercising and Eating Right


Last season was a tough one for the Mariners, and an especially tough one for pitcher Carlos Silva. After being handed ungodly amounts of undeserved money, he reciprocated the kind gesture with a pitching performance that is only comparable to a high-class hooker falling asleep in the middle of sex, and then pissing the bed during the night. He was third in the AL with 110 earned runs allowed, and fifth in the league in losses, losing 15 of his 19 decisions.

You assume the only way to make amends after a year like this is to off yourself with a nail gun. Well, Silva decided to take a different route: He decided to not be a fat, slob anymore. Yes, instead of gorging on vats of refried beans and fried ice cream, he decided to get healthier by hiring a personal trainer, taking yoga classes, and having his wife prepare his meals instead of the fat, gay guy at Chipotle that always hooked him up with extra sour cream.

What a groundbreaking approach to self-betterment.

Unfortunately, Silva is not a good pitcher, and he's going to suck once again, so all you Seattle fans getting your rainy little hopes up need not waste any time; The guy is titanic loser. And have fun with him the next three seasons. Oh, and make sure you tilt the shotgun up when you pull the trigger...

Overthinking Manny


In an offseason marred by a blond-highlighted drama queen fessing up to steroid abuse, frugal General Managers avoiding the free agent market like it's infested with salmonella, and the Yankees throwing around cash like David Eckstein at Comicon, there is still one daunting question that is driving me to the brink of epic madness:

WHY THE FUCK ISN'T MANNY RAMIREZ SIGNED YET???

And more importantly, why isn't the public more troubled by this? Can anyone give me a cognitive reason? No? Well get your heads out of your collective asses, because this is one case of martyrdum I'm not going to stand for.

Yes, I get it, he bent Boston over and gave them a thorough rogering this past July. But doesn't anyone find it redeeming that, after arriving in Dodgertown, he absolutely dominated every single ball that floated in his direction and single handily took the team to the playoffs? He hit .396 over 50 games, and then hit over .500 in 8 playoff games. So what the fuck?

Some people say it's Scott Boras's fault that Manny is still unsigned. Well, to be frank, these people are fucking stupidly retarded. Boras has plenty of clients who have signed with teams this offseason. Even Atlanta's brass - who are notoriously jewey with the wallet - shelled out a hefty sum of cash to sign Derek Lowe.

Other detractors will say it's Manny's on-field behavior and immaturity that's kept him from locking up a deal. Really? Immaturity? Has he ever threatened to kill an opposing TV announcer? Has he ever thrown a bag of balls at an umpire? Has he ever tried to physically attack an ump? Has he ever LEAPED INTO THE STANDS TO ATTACK A FAN? No, I didn't think so. But Milton Bradley has. And he got a three year deal from Chicago, so suck on that.

Manny's the best right-handed hitter of this generation, and one of the most feared players of all-time. Any team that signs him immediately gets better, not only on the field, but attendance-wise. So, all those owner's who bitch and moan about being broke and hemorrhaging money in a tough economy, they need to look no further than last October to see what Manny did for L.A.

And as for Ned Colletti failing to lock up Manny, well, as I've said a million times over, if I was a Dodgers fan, this moron would be getting no love from me. And maybe even a few spiteful letters of disapproval. That would really show him.

My 2 Blogs: 2009 MLB Preview Edition - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Not content with barraging their own respective audiences with dick jokery, the authors of Why's My Head Growing? and 3:10 To Joba are working together. The goal? To provide 30 team previews slathered in truth sauce and degrading humor. Yes, that is the world trembling. Previews will rotate weekly between sites. Wear a cup.

Today your author is LWBH.

Follow this link right here to 3:10 to Joba for the full team preview, and feel free to leave your comments, complaints, unprovoked shots and drunken revelations for the host.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let's Summarize Today's Events


Soooooo, let me see if I got the gist of the whole press conference today:

A-Rod said he bought over-the-counter injectable supplements off a donkey cart manned by Maximo Gomez in the Dominican Republic, while drinking Mamajuanas with a buzzed Santa Claus and a shit-faced Hanukah Harry, under the guidance of Juan Gonzalez his "cousin" , and decided to use these steroids supplements without consulting any experts or professionals, and continued to use them for only the duration of his stay on Texas. Is that right? Does that sum it up?

...

...

Well...I'm sold!

When's the first Spring Training scrimmage again?


BallHype: hype it up!

League Trash is Treasured in L.A.?


The Dodgers sure do love a nice, heaping pile of hot garbage. Or maybe, recycling? Either way, they're taking franchise pride in herding a handful of busted-up, broken-down pitchers, and trying to scrape out any last bit of talent these guys have left.

Camp invitees include:

1. Jeff Weaver - last seen putting up a gaudy, 7-13, 6.20 ERA statline for Seattle in '07
2. Eric Milton - Hasn't posted a sub-5.00 ERA since 2004, out of baseball last season
3. Shawn Estes - hasn't made more than 22 appearances as a starter or reliever in over 5 years

Is this another one of Ned Colletti's wacky experiments? And by "experiment" I mean "dumb-fuck idea". And by Ned Colletti, I mean "mustached dickhead with the brain-power of a stapler". Get the picture?

Maybe instead of wasting time with "reclamation" projects, the team should concentrate their efforts on erasing from memory Jason Schmidt's Carl Pavano-esque performance, or the millions of dollars the team had to literally eat to ship out Andruw Jones's fat fucking worthless ass. Or do fans in L.A. really not give a shit that their front office is being run by a guy who probably couldn't even run a lemonade stand without help from his parents?

The New Spring Lineup

Times are tough financially, and the world of television advertising is no exception. Extra dollars are sparse, and media buyers willing to take chances on new platforms are even more sparing. Is this news to anyone? No, it is not. But even though I have zero knowledge of the MLB network's bottom-line or projected yearly earnings, I do know a way for them to increase revenue, regardless.

I'll even stamp my guaranteed seal of approval on this tasty little experiment.

/stamps picture of Cobra Commander doing pull-ups on a subway car

So, without further ado, here are a few of my new show ideas for the MLB Network, giving them an easy way to lure those oh-so-precious dollars away from their tight-fisted and skeptical clients.



Monday Night: "Drinking with the Stars"


Synopsis: Who doesn't want to get bombed with Tony LaRussa? "Drinking with the Stars" not only lets viewers watch Tony suck-back blindness-inducing amounts of alcohol, but it also gives every fat-fucking drunk sitting on their couch the opportunity to participate in the fun! Join LaRussa as he explores some our country's seediest and most unappealing watering holes that the human mind can barely fathom. Watch Tony drink into the wee hours of the morning, and watch with skin-crawling anticipation as he tries to find a way home. Will he try to drive? Will he try to walk? Does he remember sucking face with that 200 lb monster named 'Cheryl'? The only way to find out is to tune in again!

*Special regional guests include the D-Train and Joba Chamberlain.



Tuesday Night: "Ex-Heroes"


Synopsis: This unfiltered hour-long weekly series gives America the inside scoop on all of baseball's fallen icons. From A-Rod, to The Rocket, to Barry, "Ex-Heroes" has all facets, diamond positions and types of steroid-abuse covered. Our cameras follow these ignorant, stupid bastards from the steps of the courthouse, to the ballpark, to the doorstep of every washed-up pop star you can imagine.



Wednesday Night: "Passing the Blame"


Synopsis: Join Commissioner Bud Selig, America's new game-show-host-darling, as he babbles on nonsensically about who should be shouldering the blame for a decade's worth of steroid abuse. In between discussions of his most beloved hot dog toppings and favorite ballpark restrooms to take a shit in, watch Bud spin the wheel of blame time after time until he lands on a face or a group that he feels is truly responsible.



Thursday Night: "Everybody Hates Ozzie"


Synopsis: MLB Network's newest sitcom, "Everybody Hates Ozzie", is sure to make you want to track down baseball's least favorite manager, and strangle him with an AV cable. Ozzie Guillen has trouble winning over fans, players, and franchise brass, and yet he's still employed. Watch this weekly series in awe as this fat asshole drops off-color remarks and makes lewd gestures that would send any other manager in baseball packing their bags.


Friday Night: The Late Show with Mitch Williams


Synopsis: On-air analyst Mitch Williams takes his muted personality late into the night with a no-holds-barred Q&A with some of baseball's dullest personalities (see: Eckstein, David), and a peak at some of Mitch's favorite hobbies. Viewers get a taste of Mitch's favorite things to do, such as: chewing a whole tin of Skoal while smoking unfiltered Camels, giving his nephew's haircuts, and throwing snowballs at cars on the highway. There's nothing on television as unshocking and bland as "The Late Show with Mitch Williams".



BallHype: hype it up!