Friday, December 28, 2007

Baked in Beantown


Post #35 Topic: Boston Glee Party

So I’m doing the unthinkable. I am returning to Boston for new years for a 3rd time in four years (last new years was spent in Israel). Several people have asked me why I insist on venturing back to Boston, a city that has left with me more black eyes then memories (in all fairness my own actions precluded said memories). The answer is somewhat complex, however, I will do my best to explain it within the confines of this here posting (although there aren’t actually any confines and I could potentially write forever… keep reading below to see if I actually do!!!!)

Boston is a fun city. I can’t stand Boston. Nor can I stand its people. I can’t stand its annoying accents, its terrible pizza and Chinese food, its antiquated public transportation system, its Harvard and M.I.T. pompousity, its “old-american” markets charging “new-american” prices, and most of all I can’t stand duck tours; seriously, Duck Tours f-in piss me off.

Strangely enough, its all of these nuances that keep my coming back year after year. There’s something enjoyable about getting popped in the face by a southie from Harvard in front of a bad Chinese restaurant when the duck tour patrons are driving by pointing at your bloody face. Only when all of these elements combine, does the synergy of misery propel my sentiment towards the city up from distaste to… MMMMMM tasty.

But no, the real reason is that a majority of my life’s strongest acquaintances live in Boston and New Years and other faux holidays give us a great excuse to relive our college days of debauchery. Here’s how our night will play out: At 7 PM we will order food, most likely greasy. Several toilet jokes later we will begin drinking, probably with some beer, but quickly morphing into rum and cokes. Soon thereafter I will wake up on a couch at 2 pm with falic symbols drawn all over my face; oh how I love Boston.

But this is a sports blog, not a DC’s personal life trials and tribulations blog, and you would be foolish to believe that I would sell my devout followers short of their expected dose of sports knowledge, especially given the enormous layoff preceding this entry.

So why then do I scribe about Boston? Well turns out that this year there is a little extra treat awaiting me upon my disembarking the luxurious Fung Wah Drug Runner bus. This year, the night of the Saturday upon which I arrive, the Patriots will seek to finish the regular season 16 and 0 and become only the second team since the merger of the AFC and the NFC to do so.

But DC, New Years isn’t until Monday, why not stay in NY and watch the game there? The answer is the basis for this very blog entry.

There is something exhilarating about watching an athletic accomplishment in the making on TV. There is something even more special about watching it in the city from where the team originates.

I’m no Patriots fan, in fact I’m hardly a dedicated football fan. I do however know enough about the sport and the Patriots to understand the significance of the degree of perfection they are prepared to reach. But not being a Patriots fan, it is likely that if I were to watch it here in NY, my personal interaction with the game would come to an end as soon as time expired. I would then retreat to my trusty computer and await the onslaught of e-mails from my Bostonian friends telling me how great it is to be in Boston. Well if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

By watching the game in Boston, I will better appreciate every different turn the game takes. If I were to watch the game here, the people with whom I would be surrounded would likely experience a feign in interest as the game progressed. By going to Boston, the exact opposite will occur. In Boston, every kick-off will carry the potential of a return, every pass the possibility of a pick, every run the ability to invoke a “bumbling, rumbling, stumbling” remark from Chris Berman come that eve’s sportscenter.

Have you ever been to an arena for a sporting event, only to find your team out of the game before the half-way mark? It truly sucks to be in those situations. You start watching your clock wondering if you’re going to be out early enough to squeeze in some “other plans” for after the game, you feel cheated for having spent 8 dollars on a beer, you get annoyed at the guy sitting next to you that’s sleeping, and the other that’s insanely obese and physically spilling on you.

Consider a change of scenario. Now your team is winning and playing some of their best _____ of the season. Suddenly time is going too quickly and you’re worried that the game is almost over. You start guzzling more 8 dollar beers so that you can take considerable part in the post-game celebration and mocking of the losing team’s fans. The guy next to you is not sleeping, but rather standing and screaming in support of your team (or if you’re really lucky, for his losing team), and the fat guy went from annoying you to injecting you with that extra sense of joy that only people who really enjoy their food seem able to exude. The truth about sports is that an event is only enjoyable as those fans with whom you are watching it!!!!!!!! (See Bible)

Watching a game with involved, interested and captivated fans is the one true necessity to a “great sporting experience”. A real sports fan can distinguish between good fans and bad fans within minutes upon entering the stadium.

Case in point, take the reactions of three different groups of people watching the Orangemen win the National Championship in 2002.

1. The people who didn’t go to cuse that were watching the game outside of cuse: These are the people that call you after the game to say, “cuse won!”, as if you hadn’t noticed. They’re happy that they won but quickly change the topic to the next break or vacation or girl or what have you. It is clear that these people missed out on a large part of the winning experience.

2. The people who didn’t go to cuse but were at cuse watching the game: These people have no allegiance to the team. Prior to the tipoff they don’t even know who the star players are, the specific ups and downs of the regular season or the chances that the team winds up victorious. However, during the game they get sucked in. The energy of a room full of people supporting their team en route to a championship is contagious, and soon, whether they choose to or not, these “temporary fans” become immersed in the amazement that is unfolding on the high-definition screen in the center of the over-crowded room.

3. The people who went to cuse and were watching the game at cuse: These are the people that make the game fun. They’re constantly cheering, hooting, high-fiving, eating, drinking, and cheering some more. They have “fives” on a seat but seem never to remain seated for more than a minute at a time. These people are the refs, the coaches, the players, the fans, the commentators and the analysts all in one. Its these people that make the viewing experience memorable. It is on these people’s faces that a newcomer fan can truly appreciate just how much is truly on the line.

My return to Boston will seek to combine two of these prototypes, 2 and 3. The two will be me. Where I otherwise would have allowed the game to pass without much emotion, I will now be smack dab in the middle of a jungle of fans waiting in anticipation of what can not be considered less than a remarkable achievement.

The three(s) will be my friends. These guys are true Patriots fan, and therefore like the day cuse won their title, they will be writhing with every tackle. On a side note, I love watching people on couches call time-outs for their teams. Yelling time out is not enough, rather these crazy-fans must actually make the T symbol with their hands… This is both hilarious and symbolic; symbolic of just how involved a home-city fan can become in their teams successes and failures.

Applying my Syracuse formula, the excitement coursing through the room will infect me. I will start to understand exactly how crucial every minute of the game is to the end goal. It will become nearly impossible for me not to become nervous, playing out a million different scenarios in my head, disagreeing with calls and yelling at Randy Moss for not seeming to be trying only to be silenced by some acrobatic leap that humans normally don’t make.

With every Patriots score I will smell the chances of remaining undefeated. With every Giants stop I will insist that “they’re not going to do it, they’re not going to win”. Given the alternative, watching the game on my couch with a few friends who couldn’t care less about the outcome of the game, I think that my positioning (in Boston) will be conducive to an ultimate sporting experience.

With such a journey necessarily comes the spoils. How do we as sports fans define our dedication to our favorite sports or our home teams, or our allegiance to the world of athletic competition? I would guess that all fans have their own unique way of chronicling their evolution as fans. For me, the most picturesque way to define your life as a fan of sport is through specific memories of specific milestones one is fortunate enough to attend.

Amongst my collection of unforgettable sporting experiences: Wayne Gretzky’s last game, and the game where he broke the scoring record with ASSISTS ONLY, watching Cuse win the championship while school was in session, witnessing Messier’s first return to MSG, watching the Rangers win the Stanley Cup outside of the garden but with my own team of fanatics, and perhaps even watching Boston win their first world series in ages in a house full of Bostonians, watching Patrick Ewing’s last game as a Knick in the Garden, and (depressed) watching the Yankees beat the Mets in the Subway Series. This list is young and naive, in need of some variety and some more drama. The list needs some football or basketball, some new cities and some great athletes. Often times these experiences are unplanned, but happen as a matter of coincidence or, “being in the right place at the right time”. Fortunately, with this new years celebration comes an opportunity to expand my portfolio of great sporting performances experienced amongst the fans most touched by the “special” happening. That is of course, unless the Giants manage to defeat the Patriots, which I assure you will be equally as “special” as the Patriots winning their 16th regular season game. Watching a team undertake a historic accomplishment can not hold a candle to the emotional impact of a historical collapse. So I’ve left a spot in my album of great sports moments with an incomplete headline reading… “The Patriot (Win/Lose, sealing the fate of their season-long attempt at perfection). While I won’t admit which result I would prefer… Man do I hate Boston.

Other Notes:

Man vs. Wild sucks. This guy is a real sally. How come when the show is on we never see the deadly crocodiles or sharks or snakes?

The Stampeders are often ignored despite having paid homage to a delicious snack: Like a country mornin', all snuggled in dew. Ah she's got a way to make a man feel shiny and new. And she sing in the evenin', oh familiar tunes. And she feeds me love and tenderness and macaroons

Monopoly is really a sweet game. Seriously, if you haven’t played it in a while do yourself a favor and pick up the dice. Oh, and be the shoe.

Chronicles of Narnia sucked.

How come everyone thinks they’re an interior decorator? If you want the painting to be on the wall then put the painting on the wall… Don’t tell me how it goes well with the other elements of the room. It’s a freakin painting.

You know what really makes a party? Fluffy whip. But not when you put it on stuff.


Loyal fans: I apologize for the delay in the arrival of my next post. BUT, may your minds rest easy, for come tomorrow, I shalll bequeath to you the return of DCMSG. Post will be up by noon tomorrow. Welcome back and happy new year

Friday, December 14, 2007


Post #36 Topic: What’s worse?

Allow me to begin by issuing an apology. In my last post I was quick to jump the gun in labeling several players (Pujols, Varitek...) as steroid users when in fact their names did not appear on the actual Mitchell Report. I bold actual because this, although careless of me, was not my fault. The list published by prior to the actual release of the Mitchell report contained these names. As a firm believer that news is always the truth and never exaggerated to garner viewership, I feel that my mistake should be pardoned, and my credibility restored to Zero (which is better than negative zero).

As a baseball fan I am glad to know that Albert and Jason are not actually on this list. They represent many of the good aspects of the game and I find their innocence reassuring; to hear that they don’t yet wear all black and speak out of a microphone built into their dark helmets is refreshing in this time of holiday glee.

Other than those two minor mistakes, I do not retract anything I said in my last posting. Wally Joyner still has a squishy head, regardless of his steroid use, and squishy heads are still pretty damn funny (see picture in previous post). What I do retract is my failure to mention the repercussions that this report will have on baseball as a game rather than its players.

Forget rescinding MVP’s, Cy Young’s, or even World Series titles (although the Yankees cheated. They cheated and won world series. The only two rebuttals I’ve heard to this statement are 1) that everyone else cheated and 2) the report was bullshit. In response 1) they cheated and they won. Whether or not other teams cheated is irrelevant. Sure the report named a lot of Yankees and left some “probables” that played for other teams (Red Sox) off the list. But we do not know for sure if these other players did cheat. What we do know is that the Yankees who took the steroids were too dumb to cover up their tracks, both in their steroid purchasing and on their arms. Furthermore, they won having cheated… this statement is irrefutable. And 2), the report was not bullshit. Somewhere in the laws of evidence it is stated that where a person makes a statement against his penal interest, and implicates other defendants, that the statement regarding the other defendants is hearsay, regardless of whether the other defendants were co-conspirators or not. HOWEVER, hearsay is admissible when the declarant is available for cross-examination in court, and therefore, all this statement needs is 1 form of evidential corroboration to be worth its weight in gold in court), what’s back under the gun is baseball’s reputation. Now an optimist would say that baseball recovered once before, after the strike, and it will recover again. What that optimist is failing to consider is that the recovery was the result of none other than… that’s right, STEROIDS.

Along comes Jose Canseco. Outside of T.O., Jose’s got one of the biggest mouths in professional sports. Unlike T.O., Jose does not back his blabbering up on the field, which causes him to lose credibility; but not all of it. Amazingly, Jose has been remarkably accurate to this day in regards to his comments on steroid use in baseball. After all, it was his book that spurred this Mitchell investigation; were it not for Jose, Steve Finley could be three home runs shy of 70 in April.

Before we finish with Jose, lets consider another jackass: A-Rod. I don’t care how many times he apologizes or how many agents he fires, A-Rod could have demanded that Boras wait until after the Series to announce his plans to decline his Yankee option. Options aside, A-Rod now has a lot riding on his shoulders. The way I see it, the only way for fans of the sport to forget the steroids is to have someone else come along and out-perform these roid-ragers sans performance enhancers.

So not until A-rod beats Barry’s home run record can we say that baseball’s records are once again pure and that steroids won’t have an unerasable mark on the game. Not until A-Rod brings the Yankees a world series can we say that the Yankees have won a World series in the 21st century without cheating. Not until A-rod gets his 1st Cy Young can we forget what Roger did ON FIVE SEPARATE OCCASSIONS. Ok A-Rod doesn’t appear to be poised to win any Cy Youngs in the near future. Fortunately, a Cy Young award is not an individual record, rather its given every year. In fact, I bet that few baseball fans can even recall who won last year’s NL Cy Young (Brandon Webb with a league high 17 wins). Nonetheless, a lot is riding on A-Rod to wipe the cheaters out of the record books and to make baseball whole again.

But back to consistently accurate Jose. Jose’s attempt to build publicity for his new book should not defeat the credibility of his statements; the statements that put this problem in motion were made to promote his last book which according to the Report was factually truthful. But now what Jose is saying is even worse than before, that there is no chance for baseball to recover. Jose was “shocked to hear that A-Rod was left off of the list of players that had used steroids”. Call me insane but I believe him.

The following is merely conspiracy theory, but pretty genius nonetheless. Several hours prior to the actual list being revealed, rumors were circulating that Pujols and Varitek were on the list. As I mentioned before, the dignity of the game now resides almost solely within these two players, and thus along with A-Rod, it has been bestowed upon them to remind people that baseball is in fact a good game and indeed, America’s Past-time. Then when the list shows up, they’re not on it. Surprised? No, not at all. Its entirely understandable that one media source would use sourceless gossip to further their advertising revenue needs. However, by no means can we declare that the actual list is complete. Missing from this list were: Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzales, as well as several others. HMMMMM. There is less than a hint of doubt that these players were using steroids during what is now so appropriately called the “Steroid Era”, for crying out loud McGwire admitted it. These names did however appear on the earlier released list. HMMMMMMMMMM.

Consider also that the 1st list named many incidental players that most fans never even knew existed. Raise your hand if you know what team Manny Alexander played on (no hands). Raise your hands if you know what team Alexander Manuel played on (again no hands). TRICK QUESTION, there is no Alexander Manuel (well there probably is but seriously, whatever) but the point is clear. Most of the guys that appeared on the list you’ve never even heard of. How is it then that the 1st list coincidentally contained all the same no-name players as the 2nd list. I think I’m on to something here.

Seems to me like the 1st list was in fact based on the actual list. Why then would Pujols and Varitek be missing from that 2nd list? LOOK ABOVE AGAIN. These guys are supposed to be “good baseball players”. The league has already tarnished its image enough. No harm is done in exposing Clemens (retired), Tejada (past his prime), and other has-beens. Much harm is done in exposing a guy like Pujols who could someday help A-rod erase Barry from the record books.

Back to Jose’s point. What about A-Rod? While I don’t believe that this theory is necessarily true, I must inquire: Is it not possible that MLB requested that certain names be left off the list to give baseball a foundation upon which to rebuild. These guys could not possibly be dumb enough to still do steroids. Therefore, leaving them off the report erases any last evidential ties to their guilt. Consider that Jose Canseco had a source for his information. This source had connections to many teams. If the source was able to implicate other Rangers, or Mariners or whomever, why couldn’t he also have known about A-Rod. Assuming he didn’t know about A-Rod, why is Jose “Honest Abe” Canseco so surprised.

I believe that there is a distinct possibility that MLB coerced Mitchell to leaving certain players off of the list in order to protect some aspects of the game, especially A-rod who just signed a 10 year deal and is almost guaranteed to break Barry’s records. Can you imagine what would happen if A-rod hit 1000 home runs and we learned that he was on roids the whole time? The game would collapse… we could almost be certain that the home run record would never again be broken, and baseball’s pride and mystique would be forever ruined. Sure A-rod is a good ball player and physically gifted… But is he 100% more physically gifted then Henry Aaron who himself played for many many years? I doubt it. Not surprisingly, so does Jose. Then consider the fact that A-Rod is hitting all these homers off guys who ARE ALSO ON ROIDS, and suddenly our faith in the-rod (as I prefer to call him) disappears

My point is this: what would be worse? Finding out that A-Rod used steroids, or finding out later that MLB has knowingly disguised this information? I’d say the latter. Tell me everything now, give me a clean slate, let me put weight on the young players. Don’t give me false hope that there is one remnant of baseball that is good only to find out later that I was mislead.

I want to believe A-Rod is innocent, but before I do that I want to see a full list of all the players who cheated. If A-Rod remains off of that list then I will have no reason to accept baseball’s admission as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me statue in the corner of my room. But until you give me everyone on that list, I have a hard time believing that A-Rod is free of guilt, regardless of whether his name appeared on the actual list or not.

Other Notes

Need more contributors. Stop being such a wus (according to Fast Times at Ridgemont High, this is a combination of a whimp and a pussy) and get your voice heard. Especially to all my mute friends; NOWS YOUR CHANCE

I saw Biggie in a pizza shop in Chelsea yesterday. Yes the Notorious B.I.G., I saw him, he’s alive and he’s friggin huge. Oh, and he has a 5 foot 4 gay jewish boyfriend. I swear it was him, I swear.

Want to see someone looking at you weird? Wait until there’s quiet in a room full of people you don’t know. Then start whistling the Lassie theme song. Then wipe a tear off your face. Then talk to yourself in a low voice for a minute, smack yourself, shake your head and “snap out of it”. Then return to whatever it was that you were doing. Guaranteed success.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Juice than O.J.

Post #35 Topic: Santa LOVES the Mitchell Report

Every year, Santa spends months and months trying to figure out who is naughty and who is nice. This is a lot of pressure for one man to handle, even the robust figure known around the world as Santa Claus (St. Noel). How could one man possibly chronicle every child and adult across the entire globe into one list, especially when so much rests on the creation of this list. To think that one man’s gift-receiving fate can be erroneously determined by a simple elfin clerical error is a low down dirty shame.

Throw in the fact that there are thousands of kids that the census doesn’t even know about and you can imagine the scope of Santa’s job. Compiling this list is like preparing for finals for Santa. In August he’s skipping class on Wednesdays to watch hockey. On Thursdays he’s leaving the library early for happy hour. On Saturdays he’s the king of “Wake ‘n Bake land” to brush off the yester day’s hangover. Finally, on Sunday, so worn out by it all, Santa takes a day off to watch football and unwind… how else should he get prepared to do it all over again.

Come September, Santa can smell finals; they’re literally right around the corner. So he starts casually consolidating his notes. Johnny? Dece. Billie? NAUGHTY NAUGHTY. David? JEW! Don’t listen to the words of the song, Santa does not check the list twice. In fact, he hardly even checks it once. Rather, often times his naughty or nice judgment is based on a whim and how delicious his sandwich was at lunch that day.

Then in November, Santa starts panicking. Out of the 5 billion people on this earth (jesus China/India… get some Jimmy Hats!), he’s only chronicled 392,027. He starts cramming, staying up long nights to force more children onto his list, just so he can maintain that 40% efficiency rating that his followers have come to expect. NO COOKIES FOR YOU SANTA… TWO MONTHS!

Finally in December, Santa is working 24 hrs a day up until the time of his mass delivery. Unfortunately, BROWN can do less than nothing for Santa. But this year Santa has some reprieve, in the form of none other than a list. This list will help Santa eliminate at least 80 people off of his list, albeit a small number but in this town, good help is hard to find.

The Mitchell Report is out (actually its not out yet, but because of my generally high regard in the industry these types of documents are usually ran by me prior to their public release… my approval can make or break a list OF ANY SORT’s reputation). On the Mitchell report are a lot of names that we as baseball fans should not be surprised to see. Mo Vaughn, Albert Belle, the Boone bro’s, Juan Gonzales, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Jeff Bagwell amongst others. Quite frankly, if these men weren’t on steroids then our government is foolish not to be cloning them and using them as a freak-militia to send terrorists back to 30-virgin land. What comes as a surprise on this list, are some of the names that we didn’t expect… or at least hoped (for the sanctity of baseball) wouldn’t appear.

I shall discuss several:

Roger Clemens: Other than Nolan Ryan, not too many guys throw 95 mph heat into their mid forties. Roger Clemens loves his own swagger like hybrid drivers love the smell of their own farts. His casual walk to the mound reeks of “I’m better than you” and his calm demeanor suggests a major superiority complex. Well Roger, if we’re putting asterisks next to Barry’s Home Run records, then perhaps your Cy Young’s deserve the same… unless of course CY YOUNG HIMSELF was on steroids but something tells me that its your 28 million dollars pro-rated that is what spurred you on whereas Cy Young was paid with Jack Daniels and hookers.

Jason Grimsley: Grimsley might be the biggest proponent for the asterisk to be taken off of Bonds’ ball. See Jason Grimsley sucks. He’s never been good. He’s always been a back of the bullpen reliever, a guy with a bad attitude and an inability to control his fastball (which coincidentally was his only pitch). If Grimsely could suck so bad ON STEROIDS… then Barry has a good case that his 756 was the result of his god-given talent.

Nomar Garciaparra: Nomar… Come on! Now I hate the Sox but in his hey day, it was hard to argue that Nomar was one of the top short-stops in Baseball. At that time, the AL was a breeding ground for the position with A-Rod, Jeter, and Nomar all established and Miguel Tejada working his way up the ranks. Then Nomar got hurt. If Nomar’s steroid use was strictly in response to his injury then I, as the ultimate judge of character, give him a free pass. IF NOT… NOMAR, then you best be keeping your early year habits a secret.

Jeremy Giambi: Hi I’m Jeremy Giambi.

Wally Joyner (left): The one thing I remember about Wally Joyner, other than his career longevity, was that he had a really squishy face. If squishy face is the result of steroids then I’m all for steroid use because squishy face has the potential to add a lot of humor to an otherwise dry game.

Pujols: Say it ain’t so. At a time when St. Louis was being admonished for their McGwire support, you came along and restored some dignity to this historical club. Now they’re saying that you were using as well. SAY IT AIN’T SO(oooooo) Albert. You’re supposed to be one of those guys who erases Barry’s Carbon footprint, not one of those guys who shrugs and says, “Steroids aren’t really that bad

David Segui: Hi I’m Jeremy Giambi.

Mo Vaughn: Is it possible that Mo was accidentally slipped steroids, perhaps into his cheesesteaks or double bacon burgers. This man literally looked like he was going to sink in the sand on his way to 1st base, what a monster. The story behind Mo was that the Sox called him up one year and he did nothing. They sent him back down that same year. The following year when they called him back up he went on to produce MVP numbers… Why is it that critics weren’t suspicious of such fluctations in player production back then? Perhaps we should blame ourselves for Mo’s subsequent deterioration seeing that all the signs were there and we could have intervened earlier. Then the Mets brought Mo in and, like another steroid abuser (former Canadian wrestler)… he choked.

Jason Varitek: Varitek’s a catcher, which in my mind is the one position that should be permitted to use steroids. These guys crouch for 162 games and are expected to maintain homo-erectus structure. It’s surprising that they’re not reduced to crawling in and out of the stadium by their 4th year. Heck, I can’t even crouch over the toilet for 5 minutes without getting a Charlie Horse.

Where do I stand? F-it. Seriously, its quite clear that this Mitchell report list is not all-encompassing. We can assume that there were some athletes that foresaw the crackdown and were smart enough to be secretive in their “pumping up”. I would venture to say that nearly half the league was at one time on the roids. But we can’t be hypocrites. We Americans elected a governor, in one of our biggest states, with a publicly-known past steroid addiction. How we can ever hold our baseball players to a higher standard than our politicians is well, pretty damn stupid.

So I say, free steroids for all. Lets juice up the statistics. Lets see the 110 MPH fastball. Lets enable the legends of the sport to play into their 60’s. After all, who can deny that baseball is A LOT MORE FUN, on steroids.

Other Notes

Check out my sister-page at, where my first staffer, the squirrel master preaches about lessons in life taught through sports.

Given how much better Cherry Pepsi is than regular Pepsi (same with coke), why not put cherries in everything… literally. Seems pretty foolproof to me.

I know that using paper kills trees. But we use a lot of paper. How many trees are there? There’s gotta be at least a thousand or something.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SHES A VEGETERIAN... manny more manny more

Post #34 (i know the last one was labeled 34 but it was really 34, my mistake) Topic: All We Are Saying, is Give Manny a Chance

Boston Fans. Give Manny a chance. Let him prove to you that he is a textbook “play as long as you pay me” type guy. Give Manny a chance to show you that he knows his performance is judged by the latter 1/5 of the season and that beforehand he is entitled to “take days off” and let the green monster do his fielding for him.

Actually Bostonians, whether you decide to give Mr. Ramirez a chance or not, I will still hold my ground that the negatives of being associated with a city like Boston far outweigh the not-but-temporary ecstacyical positives of having a few winning teams.

Manny Ramirez is not the subject of this here post. No, this post involves a Manny that sports fans should appreciate. A kid (still) with a good hockey story that has fought his way up to the “regular day player” status that he at such a young age was destined to inherit.

Manny Malhotra was not long ago, a 17 year old being rushed to the youth-abusing ice of the NHL. Most players from Canada spend at least a year in Juniors. A majority of the remaining spend three years there, and maybe even one in the “A”, the NHL’s wholly owned, minor league subsidiary.

But prospect management is often times directly related to a team’s ability to build a contender. Unfortunately the argument is circular given that in order to win a cup, in an era with no salary cap, a team would often resort to the sacrifice of their entire prospect management program. This would tend to leave cupboards, as they’re so boringly referred to in professional sports, bare and/or dry.

So we have these teams with no top prospects left, a bunch of “experienced” veterans absorbing a majority of the ice-time, and ONE more chance to win a cup before… delaying the necessary and inevitable fire-sale that survives through a Gretzky stint and a Messier Retiring tour. What then is this team to do when their Larmer’s and their Noonan’s pick up their putters and their sand wedges and donate their skates to charity? They panic! They sign any and every free agent “expected” to restore the team’s pride. They fill their lines with players who once occupied very specialized niches in the league, but subsequently found themselves too old to do so effectively (poor Bruce Driver).

What then of the prospects? Well the prospects are, as a result of the WideSpread Panic, immediately labeled as boom or bust and divided and assigned accordingly. The busts fill the farm system and serve as a connection to the team for those poor souls living in what was Binghamton, and is now Hartford. The booms are rushed to the club. They’re labeled as saviors, given 1st line minutes when they’ve never played more than 30 games in a season, and expected to PRODUCE NOW. Then, when the team’s high-priced veteran new-comers fail to anchor (and start injuring eachother… Mike Keane…bastard) the team, the fans start wondering why the rook isn’t in the Maurice Richard race. So management reacts, shipping the “disappointment” out of town in exchange for some more filler roster players.

Its not until the GM’s ass is on the line that he makes the “finally necessary” house-cleaning and is left with no choice but to develop a core of young players. The recipe nearly guarantees success. Case and point, the rangers home-grown talent: Petr Prucha, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Henrik Lundqvist, Daniel Girardi (who was signed as a free agent to the ECHL several years ago. What’s the ECHL? EXACTLY), Fedor Tyutin, Marc Staal, Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts (sort of), Nigel Dawes, all of whom have played at least 5 games this year. Take away Dawes and they’ve missed a combined total of 18 (3 by lunqvist, and 15 by Callahan due to an injury).

Meet Manny Malhotra. Several months before the draft in 1998, ESPN The Magazine featured an article highlighting Manny’s story. Manny was the 2nd Native American to play in the NHL, and was being hyped as the “the new-age NHL player”.

Manny was the 7th overall pick in the ’98 draft. The remarkably unremarkable draft is responsible for but a handful of NHL regulars including: Vinny Lecavailier, David Legwand, Robyn Regher, Scott Gomez, John Cheechoo, Brad Richards, Jaroslav Spacek, Andre Markov and Pavel Datsyuk, IN ALL 9 ROUNDS.

Manny however, was going to be really really good. He was a two-way forward who could score, back-check, play the power play and work the penalty-kill; guy was a CAN’T MISS.

Oh boy did Manny miss, and missed BIG. But it probably wasn’t his fault. The Rangers fit the above description to a T (they re-wrote the “how not to run a team” bible), and screwed up his development (whether they forever screwed it up we’ll never know but it makes a better story to assume yes).

As a rookie Manny played 73 games, and for a 17 year old, put up a respectable 8 goals and 8 assists while compiling a -2 +/- rating on what was a god-awful Ranger team. Taking only 61 shots on net, that equates to a 13% scoring percentage, and given the other numbers, Manny would have appeared like a shoe-in to be a dominant PK’er. In the 1999 season, Malhotra was limited to 27 games. Reducing a teen’s minutes significantly from his 1st to his 2nd year is a cardinal sin in prospect development. Not surprisingly Manny scored zero points that year, and only 12 in his next season of 50 games (coincidentally, Manny’s +/- dropped 8 points and his shooting percentage fell to %8). Manny was officially ruined. Fans began to notice and started talking about how disappointed they were; it wasn’t until several years later that people began to agree he had been rushed. At the time rushing seemed like the only option, given how bad the Rangers’ fortunes had become since winning the cup. But Manny was rushed harder then the ditzy girl with the Prada purse and the Cayenne on rush day.

Several years later, after a stint with Dallas (equally discouraging) Manny was all but gone. In 2004, mid-season, the Stars decided that the experiment had lasted long enough. They shipped Manny out to Columbus. Sorry! Not shipped: released without protection. So Columbus swooped him up and something drastic happened. In the remaining 56 games that season, his ice-time up 8 minutes a game, Manny put up 25 points. 25 points for a 4th liner is pretty damn good anyway you swing it

The next year in the same amount of games, Manny’s time went up, his points went up, he entered the positives, and starting throwing the body around somewhat like he was originally expected to do. Took him nearly 8 years. How convenient that it wasn’t until 8 years later that the Rangers actually needed a player like Manny Malhotra.

Even though none of you readers like Hockey, if you’ve read this far I can assume that you’ve read some of my earlier Hockey posts and have become maybe slightly interested in some of the hockey-related banter that any sports fan should appreciate. If by chance you’ve made it this far, you are among the 1st to witness the creation of the “Get Manny Back in New York” campaign.

Side Note: Henrik Lundqvist just proved he is not human by making a save with some sort of 13th arm or leg or something. What the f*ck are they feeding the Swedes.

The Rangers try to roll 4 lines. Their 4th line gets about 10 minutes a night each (ok sometimes less), but they are often pitted against the other teams top line. Ryan Hollweg has shadowed Lecavailer (league’s 2nd best player). Blair Betts is a penalty kill staple. And Colton Orr mysteriously learned how to play responsible hockey over the summer. The only thing they don’t do is score. If they did score, then there would be a lot less pressure on the top 3 lines to produce, a thus a lot more room for them to do just that. While Hollweg and Orr have done a formidable job so far this year, each one should really have the wherewithal to assume both roles, which although different are not much… different.

So let them fight it out. Winner gets a job and loser gets – well - shipped in a trade to Columbus with either Prucha or Hossa for Manny and a 3rd rounder pick. With Prucha/Hossa (the teams two most expendable parts) gone, Nigel Dawes gets a chance to show that his 5th in the AHL scoring ranking despite playing half as many games as the league leader is no fluke.

Then Manny comes in to the 4th line, hopefully adds some scoring, and resumes top PK minutes giving Shanny and Drury and Gomez some more rest and the legs to log more minutes come crunchtime.

And Manny could fill the role that he was originally nominated to fill. The missing piece that could restore the Rangers to a Stanley Cup Caliber team. Only this time, he would be the final piece rather than the 1st.

Other Notes

The other day I was bored during my test. I had been looking at the same numbing information for days and was outright tired of Federal rules and constitutional controls. Now during the past week there has been a food drive at my school; cans and stuff. So, while sitting there in class, unable to look at another question, I devised an idea. I the followed through. I signed out of the test, went to the food bin, stole a cup of noodles (sorry unidentified hungry Somalian). I took it to the cafeteria, warmed it up in the non-kosher microwave, and sat and had myself a cute little lunch. Feeling refreshed, I returned to the test and failed as originally planned.

People don’t say, “in your neck of the woods” enough.

No one goes to Subway and doesn’t order extra tuna no charge (I’m raising a presumption that everyone orders Tuna and nothing else).

Wait till Otis sees us… HE LOVES US!

Porterhouse for two please. Extra butter. Thanks!

Monday, December 10, 2007


I'm sitting here working on my next entry, and had a couple thoughts i wanted to get across. I apologize to all ye faithful for my deficiency in posting regularity over the past few weeks. I have been busy studying and have only found a couple minutes here and there to add. I assure you that i will have some good stuff during my break.

Also, i am proud and pleased to announce the expansion of DCMSG.
Starting two weeks from today, i will begin posting "regular" guest columns featuring some rather unique and interesting perspectives.

Keep your eyes open for "Fleisch on fate, faith and football".

Also, if you or anyone you know is interested on shedding some light in an otherwise dark dark world, encourage them to email me at with their submissions.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

He who dies with the most toys, still dies.


Post #34 Topic: You Beg My Pardon!

By no means am I modest. I think modesty is for the mute. If you’re good with words then why not twist your accomplishments to shed them in the most illustrious light possible? Taken one step farther, why not spin those accomplishments that are “expected” as per a reasonable person standard and make them seem, in a word, super.

To admit greatness is to acknowledge one’s shortcomings. If one were without shortcomings one would never be presented with an opportunity to improve oneself; or so I opine. And only through improvement can people reach levels of notoriety in society.

We’ve all heard the story of Michael Jordan not making his varisty basketball team until his junior year and then coming off the bench at North Carolina. Had Jordan been given a full 48 right from the get he would never have had cause to address those flaws which made him less than the perfect basketball player that he eventually became.

There’s the story of Tom Glavine who was originally drafted by Los Angeles. Not the Dodgers mind you, nor the Angels. Rather, Tom Glavine was a 9th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. A little known pesky goal-scorer by the name of Luc Robitaille was drafted several rounds later. Tom must have realized that his baseball skills were less than applicable to a the needs of a major league franchise, which in turn left him with two choices. Flounder in the depths of minor league hockey, or improve his baseball skills. Having this past year won his 300th game (with the Mets), we can deduce that Tom took his failure to make the majors as a sign that he had better make some adjustments; and adjust he did. Had he not adjusted, Tom might have been nothing more than a middle reliever, coming in to games in the 4th inning after Steve Trachsel had already given up 6 HRs, serving no purpose other than to eat innings, and eventually succumb to the pressures of steroids only to be dumped for a 4th string catcher and a collective managerial sigh of relief (Good-bye Guillermo, you shant be missed).

Being unable to presently recall any areas in which I have needed improvement in my life I shall save the Colombusesque exploration that such an inquiry would require for a later post. In the meantime, I acknowledge that I am less than perfect and that there somewhere out there is (or might be) an area in my life in which I have needed improvement (undertones of sarcasm).

YOU (yes you) should be satisfied by the mere fact that I’ve admitted that which precedes this sentence. In addition, such admission should enable you to comfortably digest the following sentence in which I plan to disclose a great great secret of the sports entertainment world: DCMSG invented P.T.I. If you paid any attention to my opening paragraph you will understand why I feel comfortable making this bold (get it?) statement. I have admitted that I have shortcomings, which necessarily permits me to boast (and gold-plate) that with which I have graced the universe (to limit my impact to earth would be ignore the water-cooler discussions going on this very moment in Uranus). Yes indeed, I invented P.T.I.

I have yet to confirm this fact with ESPN, but I’m certain that their own factual inquiry would uncover the same, and therefore I am confident that this disclosure is neither slanderous nor fraudulent.

Here children… is how it all went down, from the very beginning.

In high school I was certain that I was going to be the next Bob Costas or that Bob Costas was the predecessor to me (whichever one is sweeter). Growing up my parents never instilled the value of “sports fandom” upon me, which lead to me picking up the hobby at a later age then most of my acquaintances (friends are nuisances so I keep acquaintances). But my infatuation with the world of professional sports came, like a teenager, fast, furiously and almost unexpectedly. Pretty soon I found myself immersed in statistical analysis, trading card valuation and begging of my father for tickets to games.

So in High School, I was confident that Bob Costas would soon be introducing me at the Olympics, referring to my analysis on Real Sports and writing books about my genius. How ever was I going to let him know that I existed?

My sophomore year of high school (the following is a true story), I started a newspaper called The Sport Section where I wrote the articles, edited the articles, paid to have the articles printed (thanks for your support Mom… as soon as I start making some money I will never stop thanking you… and you too Dad) and distributed the articles to my classmates. It didn’t really bother me that most of my paid for newspapers were used for paper airplanes and as rolling papers… my thoughts were getting out there and I liked the feeling. As my readership doubled from me to me and my friend Ian I realized I needed more opinions, and began recruiting my friends to write for my paper. My selling point was that anyone who contributed could place my fine publication on their college application, which at the time was quite important… to our parents. Inviting my friends was a BIG mistake.

As is always the case, my friends soon betrayed me. Another big sports fan (and no joke, now a former friend) decided that he could do a better job running my newspaper than I could. How preposterous a thought. So I started campaigning amongst the five other writers, all my friends. On a side note, when I was in middle school I ran for school president and lost. My friends promised they all voted for me. Imagine my chagrin when I created a fake AOL screenname and chatted them only to find out that they didn’t in fact vote for me; I remain bitter to this day.

Well as in middle school, my friends apparently thought that my campaign opponent could do a better job than I could and elected my competitor to the position. As any true future politician would do I demanded a recount. The vote had to have been fixed. Either that or my competitor was sleeping with the club advisor who was responsible for tallying the votes. (Ironically and truthfully, that Male advisor was several years later arrested for having illegitimate sexual relationships with under-aged high school boys – perhaps my premonition was in fact dead on).

In a similar situation, most young gentlemen would give up their dreams and default to law-school, but not I… yet. Luckily I had a contingency plan; I was going to work for ESPN The Magazine. Secretly, all the while I had been sending copies of my newspaper to one of the editors of the magazine who had expressed his appreciation for the formidable job I was doing. Having been ousted from my own creation, I refused to return in a diminished capacity. Instead I would wait to see if the organization could survive without me, which it did. Fortunately, my persistent hounding of ESPN resulted in a summer internship in their NYC offices where I confirmed that I would one day be the world’s foremost sports journalist.

But something funny happened on the way to the L.A. Forum (Where the Lakers used to play). I realized that my vivid personality was far too vibrant to be contained within the 2 dimensional pages of newspapers and magazines. In addition, I had at an early age discovered a love for the stage, for the pressure of the lights and the jubilation of a satisfied audience. That summer my career plans matured, as I decided that I would start my own television show to be called, “The Scarsdale Sports Reporters” (E-mail me at to purchase the back-collection of Scarsdale Sports Reports, on sale for the introductory price of, $10.99 per DVD, and receive another classic episode every month for the next 7 months (at which point if you wish I will send the same episodes dubbed over in Spanish for only $29.99 – everything is funnier in Spanish)).

My plan for the TV show was simple yet revolutionary. Soon after establishing the structure of my show I discussed my plans with my then boss, the Editor-in-chief of ESPN the magazine himself. My show would be an hour long, and cover 10 sports-related topics. There would be a panel of several speakers with varying sports-backgrounds and specialties. We had a college football guy, a baseball guy, a hockey guy and a guy once so endearingly referred to as “No-Turn”. The broadcast was to have a display in the top right corner of YOUR TV screen stating the current topic, as well as the duration of that topic’s related discussion. Beneath this info bar would be listed the remaining topics of the day, listed in the order they were to appear.

The idea was simple but novel. A show that told viewers what was coming and when, that eliminated the common requirement of watching an entire show to see the one segment you were interested in seeing. With Scarsdale Sports Reporters, you would know exactly when your segment would be on, and what segments would precede it.

Needless to say my boss thought that the idea was great and more so, one that I would be foolish not to effectuate. So we effectuated; Me, H-Eisman, Jake, Ian, no-turn and various other members. We even had a trivia-babe (thank Jenny) who would end each episode by offering our dedicated public access audience with a stifling trivia question while wearing a short skirt. We even furthered gender-equality by featuring our very own Linda Cohn, only much much cuter (thanks Jen… it was Scarsdale, all girls were either named Jen, Rachel or Ali and all the guys named David or SheQWUAn). The show was a hit. We got a local rapper to do a theme song which to this day remains #1 on the all-time scarsdale theme-song billboard charts. We even had a “production guy” who turned our VHS copy into raw T.V. entertainment. Of course this required me telling him every second of the tape that should be edited out as bloopers, but nonetheless, we had a production guy. Unfortunately, as my high-school education came to an end, so did the Scarsdale Sports Reporters. However, its impact would be felt for generations and generations of fruit fly offspring (average lifespan 6 minutes).

Soon after I began production of my television show, my former ESPN boss received a promotion to Vice President of Programming for ESPN (also entirely true), where he was made responsible for the rejuvenation of ESPN’s original sports entertainment. One of the first shows my former boss introduced to the new ESPN line-up, later to become fondly known as P.T.I., was Pardon The Interruption. P.T.I. became famous for, and by no coincidence: having a display in the top right corner that stated the current topic, as well as the duration of that topic’s related discussion. Beneath that info bar was listed the remaining topics of the day, listed in the order they were to appear.

While I never received written confirmation of what I believed was beyond a reasonable doubt certain, I to this day am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that P.T.I. is my brainchild. That Wilbon and Kornheiser (get him off MNF… quickly!!!!!!!!) are my messengers. That ESPN is my avenue of communication, like motha-uckin star-crossed lovers or something.

So now that I’ve got you hooked on my blog, convinced of my credentials as the best in the biz, and yearning for my next post, I beg you to keep in mind that what you read on these here pages is an extension of the genius that brought you the show that helped you mourn the death of SportsCenter (another post as well). I am proud to bring you your daily dose of MISGUIDED SPORTS GENIUS, right from the fingertips of DC himself.

Other Notes

I am creating a registry for myself. I’m not getting married and my birthday is not coming up. However, I think that I am entitled to gifts from my friends. You may ask, “DCMSG, why should I buy you gifts”? Ah young apprentice, your questions indicate wisdom beyond your years, yet I assure you that there is in fact a simple and logical explanation for what would otherwise fall into the “conundrum bin”. From now on I will be ranking my friends on a bi-weekly basis. If you are interested in moving up the rankings, simply knock a gift or two off of my registry (Lizzie the Beast, 494 U.S. 323 at 496 (2007)) –See also Swizzie the MONSTER

I do not buy DVD’s unless they come from the wal-mart $5 bin. However, once I see the $5 bin, I am guaranteed to buy DVD’s which is why I own three copies of Total Recall and four Martin Short movies.

I don’t wear watches. I’m important enough to “sport” time-pieces.

Oh play me, some mountain music like grandma and grandpa, used to play.

Then I’ll float on down the river to a Cajun hideaway.

Drift away like Tom Sawyer, ride a raft with Ol’ Huck Finn.

Take a nap like Rip Van Winkle, daze dreamin again.

Quick, staring contest, you and me. YOU WIN AGAIN… you always do!

I have been listening to Puff The Magic Dragon on repeat for an hour. I tried to shut it off but Puff blew fire at me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blue Marlins? No, Marlins Blew.

12/5/08 – I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
- The day, the Yankees died!

Post #32 Topic: Ain’t No Such Thing as Halfway Crooks

For any new readers, allow me to update you on one of the central themes of this here blog. I have a personal vendetta against the President of the Florida Marlins. While I acknowledge the seemingly awkward nature of such vendettm (plural of vendetta, GOSH!), there is in fact some method to the madness, and the story goes something like this:

Several weeks ago my wonderful law school presented students with the opportunity to attend a “question and answer session” with the President of the Florida Marlins. However, this question and answer session was as legit as a Shawn Kemp offspring. Instead, the event consisted of the owner of the Marlins chastising me in front of my classmates for 30 minutes. Of course I was honored to be the target of such a little man’s enormous anger, but I assure you that his aggression was not unprovoked (for that would be totally out of my character).

After starting his presentation by insulting the Mets as a franchise (me team and my baseball bloodline) only one day after the finale of their historic collapse, SOMEONE needed to stand up for all that is great in baseball (the Mets). So I raised my hand and said (amongst other legal jargon which you lay person are too lay to understand), “don’t you think that 35 million dollars is an awful lot to spend on the Mets farm system?”

Well I was wrong with my statement and today I apologize for it. The Marlins aren’t the Mets farm system. Rather, they have effectively become ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’s farm system. Hence the name of today’s post.

There is no such thing as halfway crooks. You never steal half a pack of TRIPLE MAGNUM condoms. You never steal one sleeve of a sweatshirt. You never steal your best friend’s girlfriend’s ass but not her personality, and you never steal a look at the sexy girl in your Con Law class with only eye. You are either a crook or not; never can you be a half-way crook. The Detroit Tigers are the embodiment of crooks in one of the few areas of professionalism where crookdom is rewarded substantially. The Detroit Tigers are 100% crook. But baseball law says that the Marlins shall provide all other teams with their talent, and the statute survives constitutional muster (the Marlins have become a suspect class, but the rest of baseball has a compelling interest in destroying this franchise and the means are narrowly tailored to achieve these ends)

I love baseball off-season… almost more than I love the baseball season itself. The baseball season is long and arduous, and predictions never prove righteous or foolish until the last several weeks of the regular season. The off-season is fast-moving, exciting, unpredictable, often shocking and simulates jumping from Tundra, to Rain forest, to Taiga, to Plains and back again in a matter of moments (ever changing landscape). One moment the Marlins are the worst team in the East, the next they’re the worst in the NL, the next they’re the worst baseball team in Florida (Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida Southern, Central Florida, North-Southern Tallahassee State Tech, etc, etc, etc…). One minute Johan Santana is a Yankee, the next a Red Sox, the next he’s playing for Bobby V. in Okinawa.

I love the feeling of standing up in the library in search of a baseball fan willing to discuss how ridiculous the Rangers are going to be when the sign Alex Rodriguez… I love looking at my phone waiting for it to ring, as if I were an agent waiting for the next offer for my star client when in reality I know its just my friend in Houston telling me that Kaz Matsui is going to restore the Astros to mediocrity!!! (Heilman and Milledge for Oswalt? Done!). And I love hearing my friend, “The Dirty Dog ©” tell me his updated world series predictions every five minutes. To quote this canine constitutioner… WOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW!

But most of all I love to see the Yankees given no option but to fall beneath 2nd fiddle in a league in which both they and their fans have come to expect nothing short of domination. Well misery loves company, and thanks to the Tigers and the Red Sox off-season, the 2007 Yankees will soon be joined by the 2008 Yankees as co-mayors of disappointment city, co-trustees of the embarrassment fund, co-presidents of belowparville and co-principles of Bitchesoftheredsox High.

But I’ve spent enough time mashing my keys talking about Johan “don’t call me Johon” Santana. Lets do some Tiger-chat cause theyrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre (going to be) GGGGRRRRRRRRREAT!

The most common rebuttal to this presumption is that the Tigers mortgaged their future to bring in Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Before I re-rebut, allow me to make some convincing arguments in favor of the dominance that these two will bring to the AL Central.

Miguel Cabrera: 24 years old; less than 8 mill a year; career batting average of .313 and slugging % of .542; 34, 26, 33 and 33 home runs over the past four years, not one during which he accumulated less than 110 RBI’s; hasn’t missed more than 4 games since his rookie year (when the Marlins won the world series). Miguel Cabrera is the best (not most valuable, clearly different qualification and a title that belongs to David Wright) 3B in baseball… A-Rod is a primadonna, not a 3B.

Dontrelle Willis: did not care to play baseball last year. How else do you explain career highs in E.R.A., losses, runs given up, walks and hits, while career lows in Wins, K’s, CG’s, SHO’s, IRA’s and LOL’s. We’re talking about a 25 year old power pitcher who is entering his prime, will be supported by one of the game’s best catchers ever, will have the backing of a freakishly potent offense, and only 2 years ago went 22-10, struck out 170, walked but 55, gave up a meager 11 HR’s, and finished with an E.R.A. of 2.63. It is not a coincidence that these numbers collapsed this past season. Dontrelle knew his team wasn’t concerned with fielding a winner, so why should he feel compelled to fight the powers that be? (Here we apply the rationality review and apply deference to Willis’s decision that playing hard in Miami was simply not a worthwhile expenditure of his energy streater v. little). In that situation, not even Spike Lee would Do The Right Thing.

The Tigers are not an old team. Nor would they have been had they not acquired these two steeds. Todd Jones is 39, Kenny Rogers is 43, Pudge is 36 and Gary Sheffield is 39, but other than Kenny Rogers, none of these guys have shown any signs of slowing down. Nor will any burden be placed upon them that would compel them to falter. Not while Magglio Ordonez – 33, Jacque Jones – 32, Edgar Renteria, Carlos Guillen, and Placido Palanco – 32 and Curtis Granderson - 26 are holding the weight. As for their pitchers, where age catches up with a player more quickly: Zumaya – 23, Verlander – 24, and Jeremy Bonderman – 25… and if you don’t know, now you know ____. The Tigers are by no means pulling into Nazareth, feelin’ bout half past dead.

So all of you up and coming Peter Gammons out there who say they gave up six prospects and are going to be too old best hold your horses. First of all, do you think the GM’s don’t know how old their players are? Second, do you think any team has 6 homegrown players in their lineup, or rather, has space to insert 6 prospects? Do you think any team would empty entire their entire cupboard of prospects? Do you think that a GM doesn’t know where his true gems lie and can’t sneakily keep such assets while instead working trades off the hype that other more known prospects have built up (Joba Chamberlain was an unknown until last Thursday, figuratively speaking)? And do you think that there’s a GM in the league that can’t outsmart the Marlins’ Brass? If my intuition serves me correct I’d imagine that the Marlins management creamed themselves envisioning six players, which could only have been better if they got seven.

Prospects or not, the Detroit Tigers are crooks. As of now their roster shapes up like this: Brandon Inge at 1st, Placido Palanco at 2nd, Edgar Renteria at short, Miguel Cabrera at 3rd, Curtis Granderson in center, Jacques Jones in left, Magglio Ordonez in right and Gary Sheffield in DH (which means he will be and stay healthy, and you can be sure he didn’t flush all of his HGH). Some fat dude will be playing catcher but if all turns out well he’ll have a decent season. With Bonderman, Verlander and Willis as their top three, the American League has become a dangerous playground… a railroad turn-table if you will.

The AL Central is now baseball’s best division… BY KILOMETERS. White Sox and Tigers and Indians oh my… and Twins. And if the Royals are the only team willing to Sign Andruw Jones and have already added Jose Guillen, still have David DeJesus, Mike Sweeney and young stud Alex Gordon, we can assume that they will win a few more games than the respectable 69 they won just last year. The White Sox have already improved, the Indians are young and will get better, and Santana or not the Twins are poised to add a star pitcher (Lester, Bucholzs, Kennedy or Hughes) plus a utility outfielder (Cabrera or Crisp) and top ten prospect (Ellsbury or Tabata). Throw Delmon Young into that equation and you have a team that is drastically improved.

What does it all mean DCMSG? It means that there is a lot more pressure on the Yankees (assuming Santana goes to the Sox giving them the 2 best pitchers in baseball) to win the AL East, since we can assume that the wildcard is destined to come from the Bible Belt.

Who stole the Marlins dignity from the Marlins dignity jar? Who me? Yes you! Couldn’t be! Then who. THE TIGERS STOLE THE MARLINS DIGNITY FROM THE MARLINS DIGNITY JAR! And like a double bacon-cheeseburger, the Marlins dignity came with a side of the Yankees swallowing their pride… HOOGAH!

Other Notes

O.J MAAAAAAAAAAAAAYO, is tired of cutting Biology, let him play in the NBA for free.

Why do people say “Don’t get me wrong”. Unless you mean the opposite of what you say, having not said anything before saying Don’t get me wrong, I probably will take your only statement as being solely representative of your feelings… jerk.

When Anderson Varejao is your savior you know one of two things. You’re either the Marlins, or you need a new cheese heroin dealer.

Hardees, a fast-food chain everywhere in the country but NY has invented thee (the extra “E” highlights the exclusiveness of the otherwise bland the) best sandwich. It is a Phili Cheese-Steak in between two extra pieces of bread sandwiched in between a double bacon chees-burger. Sheyit.

AOL is the new g-chat. This means that G-chat is the old AOL and is therefore vintage, and is therefore way sweeter. But then again, new is the new vintage. I’m still not sure what it all means.


NEXT POST: How I invented P.T.I.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

This doesn't mean I like Boston (see you new years)

12/04/07 – postdated to make it seem like I don’t waste all of my time doing this… DAD

Post #31 Topic: Nostradampierce

This is going to be a short post because there is not a lot to say on the subject. But here it is, the most ridiculous and absurd prediction I have ever made, but at the same time, the most likely to hold true. The Boston Celtics will win 71 games this year… if not more.

I know that this is easy to say at 14-2, and I know that everyone else knows that the Celtics have Garnett, and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and Kevin McHale (asshole), but I don’t make this or any other prediction lightly (BTW the Rangers are going to win the Stanley Cup). Instead, I am truly convinced that the Celtics will win AT LEAST 71 games.

Hur’s why. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are all averaging 20 points per game. That’s 60 points per game according to my TI-89. The big three play a combined 112 minutes per game. Given that there are always 5 men on the court, and the game lasts 48 minutes, there are 240 minutes to be played total. Assuming that on average a team need 90 points to win a game (purely speculative but safe nonetheless), the Celtics need only get another 30 points out of their remaining 128 minutes… a feat even the Knicks accomplish (more on the Knicks later). As it appears now, teams can stop 1, and some teams even 2 of these guys. But the limits imposed by the rules of the game eliminate any chance of running 3 double teams and in turn, no team can shut down all 3 (assuming continued health).

I would go as far as to say that if the Celtics put two stone columns in the lane and had these three as the only animate objects on the court that they would still win a considerable amount of games.

But the big three are not what make the Celtics scary. Rather, it’s the attention that they command and the space that is subsequently left for their young players to develop, and they certainly are developing. Rajon Rondo is getting impressively better each game. Fortunately for the C’s, he doesn’t need to score more than 10 points per night to be effective, so long as he’s getting the ball to KG inside. Needless to say, the more he plays with KG the more the ENTIRE TEAM will benefit. Subtract Rondo’s 10 points per (an expected average, he’s currently at 8) and the C’s need only account for 20 more points per.

In college he was a scoring machine, and although he doesn’t get starting minutes in the big leagues, when Eddie House is on the floor he is effective to the tune of 8 points in 19 minutes per night. Throw in a couple rebounds, a couple assists and a steal per diem and you have yourself a great 6th man.

As one of the last player to be drafted out of high school, the draft day trade that brought the C’s Kendrick Perkins is starting to pay dividends (Dangling Modifier my butt). Perkins is on an 8 points, 5 boards and 2 blocks per game pace and is only seeing 25 minutes a night. With Houses’s 20 minutes, Rondo’s 30 and Perkins’ 25, the Celtics still have 50 minutes to account for and have already reached their 90 points per game… And Perkins and Rondo are getting better each night.

Then there’s big baby, the proud product of your NATIONAL CHAMPION LSU TIGERS???, whose draft status was unmeritoriously dropped courtesy of Tyrus Thomas’ emergence in the NCAA’s two years ago. While Glen is only getting 4 points and 2 boards a night, he’s only seeing 8 minutes of time. Against the Cavs Davis put up 10 points and 7 boards in 20 minutes, which is VERY respectable on a team whose possession’s revolve around 3 players 99% of the time.

But points and minutes and rebounds and the such aside, the Celtics aren’t only winning games, they’re winning games impressively (their only two losses came to the scary Orlando Magic (next article) and the Lebron James Gang). Out of their 14 wins, the Celtics have won 7 games by 15 points or more, 5 by 20 or more and one by 45. Scarily, that 45 could have been more. More scarily is that they are winning games with their stars on the bench. This past Sunday the Celtics beat the Cavs by ten, with Garnett and Pierce contributing only 16 points combined, in a game that Garnett spent 22 minutes on the bench. Although the Cavs didn’t have Lebron in that game, Paul Pierce only took 7 shots, and thus the stakes were somewhat even.

Not convinced? On Friday November 30th, the Celtics beat A FULL KNICKS ROSTER by 45 points in what ESPN called a “colossal romp”, which sounds more like a Grecian God Porno Flick then a basketball outcome. In that game, Garnett only took 5 shots in 23 minutes of time. The message: only two of the big three need to be on their game for the Celtics to win… and win big. Against the Knicks Doc Rivers gave Leon Powe, Gabe Pruitt, James Posey, Brian Scalabrine, and Glen Davis 89 combined minutes… WHO????????????? Who is Gabe Pruitt. I swear that’s my Corporate Tax Professor’s Daughter.

Imagine how good this team will be when they’re actually accustomed to playing with eachother. A sense of familiarity goes a long way in every sport. In hockey, linemates build chemistry that results in a line-specific playing style. In football, quarterbacks learn when their wide-outs make their cuts and come to time their passes so as to arrive on the numbers in an admirably timely fashion. In baseball, catchers learn what pitches a pitcher can and should throw in a variety of situations to: calm down, get a ground out, or fool the batter. Basketball is no different. Its no surprise that Steve Nash knows exactly where Shawn Marion (NBA’s most valuable player, (not an official prediction just an observation) is in relation to the rim on ever possession. Nash knows Marion’s habits so well that he often shoots not aiming to score, but aiming the ball so as to create a rebound directed EXACTLY WHERE MARION WILL BE AT THAT MOMENT (he’s Canadian, they learn puck-control before they learn to get hair-cuts). If Rondo could make Randolph Morris look dominant after 2 years playing together, imagine what he can with Garnett in 1?

The Celtics next 5 games are against the sixers (win), the Raptors (tougher than the sixers but a win nonetheless (a point by a U.S. team is worth more than a point by a Canadian team), Bulls (what the hell is wrong with the Bulls? – win), Kings (queens – Win) and the Raptors for a follow up beating. Ironically, the names of the next teams to appear on my Celtics schedule are irrelevant. For the following 5 games I predict win, win, close game – Orlandowin, win. Fortunately for my prediction the Celtics only play the Magic that one more time, and Dallas, San Antonio, Denver and Pheonix a combined 7 more times. Assuming come May that they have won 1/7th of those games, I will be owing you all an apology for severely underestimating my prediction. GO NETS!!!

Other Notes

Is Lance Armstrong really still selling Lance Armstrong bracelets? Can’t we find another motivational comeback story or is Lance going to still be pedaling bracelets when he’s robotically pedaling his rascal?

Do not drink Heineken Light in my company… Ever.

Chinese is no longer a type of food, it has become a way to describe food that falls into no other descriptive field. Some food is good, some great. Some food is tasty some food is filling. Some food is “too much” while other food is “so-so”. Chinese food is just that… Chinese.

Someone should create misfortune cookies. This seems like the perfect way to make eating funny, which is an as of yet underexplored combination.

In my recent fraternity newsletter, the chapter advisor issued an apology for, “a student being beaten so badly by a stripper that he fell down the stairs… twenty feet from where the beating took place”. Some things I believe are better left unmentioned.




Post #30 (believe it or not I made it to 30) Topic: Demands to be MET

So the Mets are officially out of the Johan Santana sweepstakes and I can’t say that I’m upset. Although I am not disclaiming my recent powerful statement that Johan is the best pitcher in Baseball, as per the grapevine it appears that Twins GM Bill Smith (hi I’m generic nice to meet you), was trying to bully Omar Minaya. Lucky for Bill Smith Omar Minaya no longer cuts bully GM’s balls off and feeds them to Montreal Expos fans under the false nomenclature of Putin.

The modern day Expos (assuming the Marlins are not even considered a major league franchise (4-0)) probably figured that: given the lack of competitive pitchers on the market and the Mets need of a quick fix after a disastrous season before heading into the new Citi Field, that said Mets would be willing to mortgage their future for an Ace. WRONG! Although Reyes collapsed at the end of last year he is only 24 and is several years away from his prime. Plus Dominicans don’t do well in the frosty winters in the land of 10,000 ice-fishing permits, hence Santana’s exodus (movement of the pee-cher).

Now had the Mets traded Reyes for Santana, I would not have panicked. Hanley Ramirez is only a year away from Free agency and is probably dying to get away from Miami just as direly as Cuban refugees are dying to get to it (the Marlins jokes will never TIRE). But there’s something special about building a championship team from scratch, and doing so allows Sports Fans several special privileges including: Being able to say that you remember when X player was only a rookie and that you knew one day he would bring you a championship; saying that you were worried that X player was going to be traded but the GM luckily discovered your intuition and made the right move; and that your team did not buy their championship.

Despite my detestosity towards the Yankees, their fans and their ownership’s continental shelf-resembling deep pockets, I must acknowledge that despite their willingness to drop the cheddar, their success and more recent failure is indicative of just how important home-grown talent really is. Case in point, when the Yankees won their string of championships they did so with home grown talent: Jeter, Posada, Petitte, Rivera, etc… (I consider Paul O’Neill homegrown talent as well because he was considered nothing more than a “good player” during his tenure with the Reds, and the Yankees were the first (and only) team to exploit his true worth on the Diamond). But with winning comes pressure to win more. So the Yankees opened their pockets even more. And then the Red Sox won and with the Red Sox winning comes the pressure to win even more. And on cue the Yankees once again opened their pockets. Now… several years removed from a sustained run at the Series, the Yankees are beginning to understand the importance of home grown talent (see previous posts regarding Hank’s two weeks of dedication to rebuilding).

Furthermore, look at the Ducks of Los Angeles of Anaheim Of California of the United States, who won Lord Stanley’s Chalice by employing a deadly combination of veterans (Pronger, Neidermayer, Selanne) and HOMEGROWN TALENT (Getzlaf, Perry, Beauchemin (he counts), Penner, Giguere…).

So the Mets aren’t getting Santana. But in this I see two positives. Excuse me three.

First, the Yankees and Red Sox will engage in a bidding war that will drive the price of Santana far above his actual worth, and will be forced to add their top prospects to any equation. Then, several years down the line when the Twins and their Dairy Queen sponsors can not afford to re-up these budding stars, the Mets will swoop in and pick up whoever is necessary. Had these players stayed with the Yanks and the Sawx, assuming decent performance and given the landscape of today’s sports contracts (different topics but Rick Dipietro for 15 years? You gotta be f-in kidding me), they would be spoken for until they reached Johnny Damon status and began competing for a DH spot on a team like the Devil Rays. These players staying with the Yankees would reduce the crop of available free agents in X year, driving up the price of lower quality players, and forcing some poor team to pay 11 million a year for Gil Meche, (which contrary to popular belief is not what ya’ shorts are made of).

Second, the Mets won’t be pressured into mortgaging their currently hair-club-for-men-needing farm system (THIN!!!) for a high priced pitcher upon whom the team’s entire collection of hopes would rest. This is not a pleasant scenario for a pitcher or a team (see Mike Hampton on the Rockies, Mike Hampton on the Braves, and Mike Hampton on the Braves…. And Mike Hampton on the Braves).

Third, Redemption in the form of Scott Kazmir. Yes, I believe that the Mets are going to be given the opportunity to make amends for what was one of the worst trades ever (and probably made out of spite by a GM who knew that he had both feet out the door but had his scarf caught on the coat rack). Tampa Bay actually has the making of a good roster. They have Pena at 1st, Crawford in Right, Upton at 2nd base, Scott Shields as their ace, and just acquired Matt Garza (young stud pitcher) from the Twins. They have last years 1st overall pick in young pitching phenom David Price, and signed Troy Percival to make the bridge to top-notch closer Al Reyes. With Kazmir approaching free agency and sure to command major ducats, the Rays would be wise to unload him now at full value and allow their 36 fans to get accustomed to the team that is going to take them into their new stadium (which might be Joe Robbie (5-0)).

With Delmon Young gone the Rays have an opening in their outfield. Also, with young pitchers leading the staff, the Rays could use a versatile long-relief, 5th starter type guy. Oh and of course the Rays could use some salary cap relief. Enter the Mets. A package of Fernando Martinez (high-ceilinged young outfielder) and Aaron Heilman and rookie pitcher Philip Humber get this deal done, and restore some of the dignity the Mets sacrificed in trading for Victor Zambrano several years ago.

Whether Kazmir is the man for the job is of course purely conjecture. But the Mets need a starting pitcher that can comfortably assume the place at the front of the rotation, which implies several requirements. The player acquired must be able to pitch 200 innings. The Mets can not afford a “Kerry Wood” who will show signs of brilliance in the 1st inning only to need Tommy John in the 2nd.

The player acquired must register Strike outs, and a lot of them. Strike outs are the only statistic that accurately reflect the effectiveness of a pitcher. Many fans would disagree and tell you that E.R.A. is the appropriate method by which to judge a pitcher’s talent level, but these people are the same people that advise you to take one more shot after you’ve already forgotten your name; they shant be trusted.

E.R.A. is how many runs a pitcher forfeits, on average, over 9 innings. However, a lot of chance is factored into this number. For example, E.R.A. fails to account for how athletic your fielders are, how much ground they can cover and how willing they are to sacrifice their body to make a catch. A good outfield can shave a considerable amount of points off of a pitcher’s E.R.A. In addition, E.R.A. fails to account for how a pitcher accumulates outs. Pitchers want to induce ground outs. Doing so symbolizes superior control. Pop-outs on the other hand, although still outs, suggest that if a player swung slightly earlier or later that he would have had a home run or a line drive; again not factored into E.R.A. With Strikeouts, you see that the pitcher is not allowing a player to put a ball into play, and thus eliminating the omnipresent element of luck in an at-bat. It is no coincidence that the same group of pitchers lead the league in strike outs year in and year out. Pitchers that don’t throw strike outs are more susceptible to fluctuating E.R.A. (see Tom Glavine).

So this limits the class of pitchers that the Mets should target. Mind you that settling for a 2nd tier pitcher to fill a 1st tier spot in a 1st tier baseball market is unacceptable and subsequently not worth the cellular minutes required to negotiate such a deal. Targets (pitchers that threw 200 innings and more than 150 K’s, and are potentially available): Kazmir, Erik Bedard (less than 200 innings but young and had a small injury so he’s still eligible but might be too expensive), Aaron Harang, Javier Vazquez (yes, the numbers support it – 216 innings, 213 K’s, 3.74 E.R.A (you happy ERA fans?)), Dan Haren (DING DING DING, the A’s love cheap prospects and hate established pitchers (Mulder, Hudson, Zito)), Rich Hill from the Cubs (who quietly had a great year – 183 K’s, 195 innings pitched, 3.92 E.R.A. (wins are irrelevant)), Ian Snell from Pittsburgh (this would be nice, for a young pitcher he seldom walks batters), Daniel Cabrera (shitty E.R.A. but played for Baltimore… the other numbers were there), And DONTRELLE who fell below my statistical cutoffs but was flat-out disinterested this year (6-0).
Any one of these guys would be the perfect addition to the Mets staff, and I’m confident that Omar and crew feel the same.

What about Brad Penny, Mark Beurhle and Miguel Batista who all won 15 games, threw 200 innings and had E.R.A’s under 4? The Strike Out formula should disqualify these guys… don’t trust your favorite SportsCenter anchor’s Home-Run excxitement act… Mets fans would MUCH prefer winning 2-1 every game than 8-7, and E.R.A. is as previously eluded to, not a stable statistic.

Last Point: People criticize Omar’s Milledge trade but in reality, this was a plain example of good GMING for several reasons. 1: Milledge was slated to start in right field this year, and whether or not he wound up putting up good numbers, other teams would start to see just how thuggish he was which would significantly reduce his trade value. Imagine he didn’t produce!!!!! Which leads to 2: Getting rid of him while we could was a great move. Milledge doesn’t figure as a part of this team’s future as two other prospects have the corner outfield spots in a virtual lock. 3: What do Oliver Perez and John Maine have in common? They both have the potential to be 20 game winners but both incur periodic collapses. Having a catcher notorious for calling one of the best games in baseball will help their consistency tremendously. Add to that Schneider’s 29% throw-out rate (amongst baseball’s best) and his decent production (don’t forget he’s platooning with Rrrrrrrrrrramon) and you have a solid backstop, both figurative and literally. 4. Church is a quality player. Great in the field, good against righties and a STABLE PERSONALITY. But don’t buy Omar’s claim that he is this team’s right fielder. I predict that by mid-season Carlos Gomez will have proved his worth in the minors or if he hasn’t, that Omar will go get someone who has. 5. Carlos Delgado. It’s a make or break year for C-del (does that work?) and he has a miserable year to atone for.

The one downside is that the Mets could potentially face an all-star Milledge 18 times/year. But so long as the Nationals are in rebuilding mode, Milledge’s bat does not scurrrr me.

Other Notes

The honorable Justice Bradley (of the Supreme Court) once said: man is or should be woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and BENIGN offices of wife and mother - bradwell v. state 83 U.S.130, (1873). My how far we’ve regressed.. I mean come.

I feed my plants seltzer. I get bored of simple old water and carbonation is a easy way to spice your life up. My plants deserve the same.

You know a movie is good when you watch it fo the 487th time and find a new line to laugh at that you didn’t laugh at before.

Given that, why don’t I stop putting gel in my hair, go to college and start wearing blue jeans?.