Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chris Carpenter: Asshat

Troy Renck of the Denver Post weighs in. Even the hippies in Colorado think he is a douche.

Carpenter: An expert pain

NEW YORK — Not sure how I missed it.

But sometime in the last year, there was a baseball-related Maury Povich Show. Remember, it was the one where a DNA test confirmed that Abner Doubleday is the father of Chris Carpenter.

How else to explain Carpenter's vast knowledge of the game. He's not only the smartest player ever, but I am pretty sure you have to know a secret handshake just to say hello to him.

Let's get this straight: Carpenter is a brilliant pitcher. He could have won the Cy Young Award last season. Probably would have, had teammate Adam Wainwright not split the vote. Carpenter, at 13-4 with a 2.95 ERA, could just as easily win this year, though Wainwright is the current favorite. His intensity ranks somewhere between the Ravens' Ray Lewis and the CIA's Jason Bourne.

That is admirable. Who wouldn't want a teammate that takes his craft that seriously? The problem isn't the ERA, it's the IQ.

He knows everything about everything. Dare I say it — he's become the next Curt Schilling.

Last September, he accused the Rockies of having a different slope on the visitor's bullpen mound, creating an issue when the pitcher entered the game. The Rockies measured it the next day with the umpires watching, and that still didn't satisfy Carpenter and the Cardinals. As if Rockies groundskeeper Mark Razum threw on a miner's hat and broke out the shovel and the laser level the night before.

Then, Carpenter went nuts at Houston's Carlos Lee this season. Not because Lee hit a home run. That would be logical. No, he got hot with Lee because the Astros' slugger had the audacity to scream in disgust when he popped up. Carpenter was insulted that Lee reacted in anger. He barked at Lee. Lee stared back incredulously. This is quite possibly the lamest incident of the season — telling a hitter how to act when he makes an out. Not when he gets a hit. When he gets an out.

Which brings us to last week. The Cardinals make a big deal about never showing opponents up. Apparently that doesn't apply to teammates. Carpenter lectured shortstop Brendan Ryan for showing up late on the field and with the wrong glove. He provided a lecture in the dugout that was more fitting for a police officer than a pitcher. With a six-run lead, Carpenter then glared a hole through Ryan when a single slipped through into left field as the shortstop was shaded up the middle.

Carpenter called it a misunderstanding. Labeling it inappropriate would have been more accurate. Then, he finished by weighing in on basebrawl etiquette. You know the back story by now. The Reds' Brandon Phillips popped off, calling the Cardinals "little (bleeps)." He tried to make nice, by tapping catcher Yadier Molina's shin guard in his first at-bat the next day. Molina, not surprisingly, called Phillips out, making it clear that they weren't friends and everything wasn't cool. A fight ensued.

During the melee, as tempers began to cool, Carpenter screamed at Reds manager Dusty Baker. Former Cardinal Scott Rolen pushed Carpenter toward the fence to defuse the situation. As the moshpit moved that way, Johnny Cueto was pinned. He began kicking, striking catcher Jason LaRue on the head. Was it cowardly or self defense? He didn't have to kick, but he had the right to save himself from broken ribs.

He was suspended for seven games. Probably should have been 10. Carpenter — who else? — weighed in afterward, explaining that Cueto was never told how to fight correctly. Thank you, Dana White. Appreciate it. Can you get me a sparring match with Brock Lesnar?

It just never ends with Carpenter. I am rooting for him to make next year's All-Star Game so he can explain the immigration law and its psychoanalytic impact on the minds of future generations.

Chris, if it's all the same to you, could you just pitch and button your lip? Thanks in advance.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thoughts on the fight and a look ahead

Let me first say this: Brandon Phillips shouldn't have said what he said. I know why he said it but I don't think it was right to tell it to reporters. The past few years, the Cardinals have done a lot of bitching and moaning. They accused Bronson Arroyo of having something on his hat to doctor pitches. Twice they have accused the Reds of not having sticky enough balls even though they are the same they have always been. Funny that there was no complaint about the balls this week when they won all 3 games. The Cardinals also complained about the Brewers untucking their shirts after games. I would have thought the Cardinals wouldn't be able to see that from their high horse. So in general, they complain. Everyone knows it. No need to say it Brandon.

Having said that, the Cardinals handled it very poorly. The way it should have played out was for Garcia to fire a fastball into Brandon's back to start Tuesday's game. Message sent: Message received. Move on. Apparently, that isn't the Cardinal way. They would rather start a fight.

Brandon tapped the shin guard of Molina and the umpire just like he did the night before and every other game this year. It is his way of saying have a good game. It isn't a buddy-buddy thing because he tapped the guard Monday, an hour after he made the comments. Molina didn't like it. He should have given the sign to hit Brandon in the back but he didn't want that. He wanted a fight so he got in Brandon's face. Let's fight. There was pushing and the benches cleared but nothing serious. Dusty and Tony argued to protect their teams and increase a crazy feud they have between them. Everything was calming down until Asshat Carpenter got involved. According to John Fay, he dropped the big two words which set off Rolen and the rest of the Reds. The fight moved to the wall and netting behind home. Cueto, who had just finished pitching the top of the first got caught up against it. His body went parallel. He didn't have time to think and went into survival mode. He couldn't punch back because he was horizontal so he did the only thing he could do and kicked like hell. He caught Jason LaRue and Jonny Gomes. Maybe a few others. Then it stopped and the game continued after both managers were ejected. Fine. No big deal.

Then the Cardinals started bitching again because when you are called complainers, the best way to shed that label is pick a fight, escalate the fight, then whine when the other team fights back. Mr. Sportsmanship, Tony DUI La Russa, complained about the way Cueto fought back. I guess he was supposed to stay there and risk serious injury. That is what a Cardinal would have done. The Reds fought back and someone got hurt. Guess what? It was a fight Molina started. Don't whine when we fight back. God I hate the Cardinals.

So to sum up, Brandon shouldn't have opened his mouth, Molina shouldn't have gotten in his face, and the Cardinals need to quit whining.

Now on to the Marlins. Need to win 2 of 3 and get some momentum before the west coast road trip that will define the season. Josh Johnson goes tonight. I recommend everyone watch because he is amazing. Probably the best in the NL right now.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Biggest Home Series in a Decade

Biggest home series in a decade. Too nervous to focus longer then a few minutes. Here are some quick thoughts:

-After an amazing weekend in Chicago, I will refrain from Dusty bashing. He did pull Cordero Saturday instead of letting him blow it. I nearly ran on the field to take out Cordero myself after he hit Castro. Thank you Nick Masset. I will post some pictures tomorrow but suffice it to say it was very satisfying to go up there and be obnoxious after all the times I have had to put up with those assholes at GAB. Winning all 3 certainly helped. Now to whip up on the other obnoxious fans of the NL Central.

-The Reds traded Chris Dickerson for Jim Edmonds. Not too upset with this move. Dickerson could never stay healthy and had no place in the Reds future. Edmonds is a rental who will be gone next year so as to not block any of the young hitters in the minors. He also brings leadership and playoff experience and if he gets hurt, so what. We got him for practically nothing. At the very least he can give us some tips and steal some signs from his former club the next few days. He crushes RH pitchers and could be a great platoon with Stubbs and/or Gomes.

More tomorrow after the game. Go Reds!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Time for a Road Trip

In honor of the First Place Cincinnati Reds (never get tired of typing that) I am headed up to Chicago for the weekend series. A friend and I picked out this weekend early in April and had no idea the Reds would be in first place. Never in our wildest dreams did we think they would be 13.5 games better then the Cubs, .5 games up on St. Louis, and leading the NL Central on August 6th. Goes to show you what can happen when you get solid players and good pitching. Dusty has stayed mostly out of the way (now that Cabrara is hurt there is almost no way to mess this up) and the Reds have been awesome to watch. I will try and get some good pictures as we invade the Bar that happens to have a baseball field, also known as Wrigley Field. You will probably hear me since I will be one of the few people paying attention to the game and not the hotdog/beer guy/fat chick buffet that is Wrigley. Any suggestions for the trip? Taunts for Lou Pinella? I may even share in our mutual hatred of the one, the only, Corey Patterson. Have fun and Go Reds!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bring Back Donkey! Who is this Donkey?

So was going to write a quick post that we should bring back the Donkey. We have been shut out more than any team in the league and this guy can hit it out of the park. Now i know he is a defensive liability (but so is our SS and he can't even hit), but his bat makes up for it. Sure Lance Nix has been decent, but with one more bat we have a top of the order that will score runs (again excluding Cabrera which Boose has covered many times). If we are serious about winning the World Series then lets take a chance, bring back someone the city loves and have two guys on the team battling for the HR title. If you are going to post that he strikes out too much, please also provide evidence that a strike out costs you more outs than a ground out before embarrassing yourself.

Now that I've covered the Donkey coming to Cincinnati. I ran across this article written by a Donkey, A look at the current Reds vs. the last World Series team in Cincinnati. Interesting question so I gave it my time. Lets go fjm style and break it down:

With the Cincinnati Reds being contenders with a lot of young talent, talk around Reds Country has been how the current Reds measure up to some of the great Reds teams of the past. I have seen the Reds win the World Series three times in my lifetime and I won't insult your intelligence by comparing the 2010 Reds with the Big Red Machine of 1975 and 1976 other than to say no current Reds' every day player would crack that lineup at the same position.

You could argue that, but I would give Votto's current MVP year slightly ahead of Perez in 1975(15th in MVP voting),1976(no votes). Also OPS 1.012 vs. .816/.776. But agree this team all around isn't nearly as good.

However, it is not uncommon to see the current Reds compared to the 1990 team that went 91-71 but won the World Series. Breaking the teams down position-by-position, I agree.

The first sentance makes little sense: they had a good record, but (which means contrary to what the first thought would convey) they won the post season tournament of the teams with good records.

Catcher: Joe Oliver/Jeff Reed vs. Ramon Hernandez/Ryan Hanigan. None of these guys will be mistaken for Johnny Bench, but they are adequate. The current team is better offensively, 1990 was better defensively. EVEN.

Given he decided that statistics are irrelevant here. So will I. Looking stuff up is hard with all the internets and since neither of us are professional writers it doesn't make sense... Wait this guy gets paid to write about baseball and can just give us "Four catchers aren't as good as one of the best catchers of all time". Well done indeed. Without looking it up I'll agree that we are even at catcher.

First base: Todd Benzinger/Hal Morris vs. Joey Votto. Good journeymen vs. an MVP candidate. EDGE: 2010.

Worth noting that Hal Morris was on steroids as well. That is embarrassing that he still sucked.

Second base: Mariano Duncan/Ron Oester vs. Brandon Phillips. Duncan had a career year and Oester was solid in his final year, but Phillips might be the best second baseman in the National League this year. EDGE: 2010.

Love a shout out to Ronny O, my favorite player of all time. Phillips might be the best second baseman in the NL this year, but to figure that out I'd have to look up how he compares with others this year and that seem like a lot of work

Shortstop: Barry Larkin vs. Orlando Cabrera. As good as Cabrera has been this year, Larkin should be in Cooperstown. Next question? BIG EDGE: 1990

Here is where he started to lose me "As good as Cabrera has been." How good has that been really? Is it the fact he gets more outs than anyone on the team or the fact he isn't that great defensively? It should read, guy who should be in the hall of fame vs guy who should be backup on my softball team

Third base: Chris Sabo vs. Scott Rolen. Different type players. Sabo's was perfect for the vast alleys at Riverfront Stadium, Rolen is great for Great American, is a bit better defensively but is often hurt. EVEN.

One was good at one ball park the other was good at another ball park. Dynamite stuff here. I wish someone would invest a stat that normalized for stadiums... wait... they do... Crazy, OPS+ Sabo 119 vs Rolen 139... Loved the goggles on Sabo, but Rolen is much better despite the injuries

Left field: Eric Davis vs. Jonny Gomes/Laynce Nix. Gomes, especially, and Nix have been solid. At times, Davis was incredible. EDGE: 1990.

"At times," does he mean various years or at times throughout 1990. 1990 wasn't Davis best year statistically, but agree he was better throughout the year than our guys. Aren't we comparing 1990 with 2010 or the careers of the players in 1990 vs the careers of the players in 2010 (the later makes no sense, but would make the Rolen vs Sabo discussion fairly easy)

Center field: Billy Hatcher vs. Drew Stubbs. This one is closer than you might think. EDGE: 1990.

(Note: Hatcher and Davis both played center and left in 1990. I used the World Series lineup.)

So it is closer than I might think. Why is that? I guess you did some research to prove these guys are statistically closer so please elaborate. Does he mean Stubbs OPS of .706 vs Hatcher at .708 which is very close. In fact so close that you would need to look deeper to prove Hatcher is better or just give it a push.

Right field: Paul O'Neill vs. Jay Bruce. In 1990, O'Neill hit .270 with 16 home runs. Through Saturday, Bruce was hitting .262 with 10 long balls. EVEN.

The first sign of statistics here and we go with bating average and home runs to call it even. I guess this is a start. Ironically Hatcher had 5HRs with BA of .276 vs. Stubbs 13HRs and .235 (so not sure what any of this means).

Starting pitching: Then, the staff had a bit more experience and a legitimate hammer in Jose Rijo. Currently, the staff has more depth and a couple of potential hammers in Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. SLIGHT EDGE: 2010.

I'm not going to bother to look at the entire list from 1990 because it is pretty long. I'll say Rijo was good and compare him to two of our other guys. Based on that I'll give it to 2010 because they have two guys with potential to be as good as one guy was during the time period in question (remember this isn't a question of which players will have the longest careers, but which team is better in a specific year. The fact Voltron or Cueto may be as good as Rijo one day is irrelevant to if the 2010 team has a better pitching staff than the 1990 team.).

Bullpen: Are you kidding? The current Reds' pen is getting better statistically but it has too many blown saves for me. The Nasty Boys might have been the greatest pen ever put together. HUGE EDGE: 1990.

Are you kidding ME? Explain "getting better statistically". I bet he is thinking that because Coco has more saves than he did in the beginning of the year he is getting better. Also too many blown saves for you, so it is really just the closer you have a problem with then. I mean Masset doesn't have any blown saves, but he isn't good. This is the reason we won't win the World Series, but hopefully they continue to get better statistically.

Bench: Very similar, from Luis Quinones to Glenn Braggs vs. Miguel Cairo to Chris Heisey. EVEN.

Don't care, as the next one will really put this over the top.

Managing and intangibles: Everything Lou Piniella touched 20 years ago turned to gold. Dusty Baker sure seems to be proving his skeptics wrong this year. But where the teams are most alike is they both seem to have that swagger, that cockiness that great teams have.

Dusty has not proven anything to this skeptic (see all previous posts). Both teams have swagger, which is leads to winning and is not a result of winning. When I was a freshman in high school at 5'2'' 98lbs, I got my butt kicked because I lacked swagger. My lack of cockiness had nothing to do with getting my butt kicked. The rest of this discussion isn't worth the response

Overall: The current Reds are good, not great, but have some pieces in place to be good for several years. Still, I give the 1990 team the advantage in four areas, the current team in three. Given the huge gap between The Nasty Boys and the current pen, the I believe the Reds' last world champion is just a bit better than this team.

Prediction: The Reds have what it takes to win the National League Central, which I think they will. But unlike 1990, the big trophy will go elsewhere.

So we aren't great yet, but might be someday (which isn't relevant to the current discussion). Based on the every one of his categories is equal the 1990 team barely gets passed this one coupled with the huge disparity in the area that will cost us the championship. Unlike 1990 the trophy will go elsewhere because we don't have Terry Hatcher and Rolen isn't better than Sabo. Great analysis here. Also if we make the post season in what round do we play the 1990 Reds. I would be much more worried about the Yankees or Red Sox, but hopefully we can take down those guys from 20 years ago.

--John Herndon

Thank you John. I'm glad linked to your article. It was very insightful

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nice little comeback

It looked bad their for a minute. The Reds went from solidly in first to 1.5 games back in a little over a week thanks to an awful 4 game sweep in Philly then a tough split with the Nationals. They were teetering on the edge of irrelevancy until a nice little weekend in Houston, taking 2 of 3 including one from noted Reds killer Roy Oswalt. Now they sit a half game back, with 3 in Milwaukee followed by a quick 3 game homestand against the Braves. Let's hope that is a battle of first place teams.

Scott Rolen has been hurt (shocking!) but is hopeful to return in the next few days. As usual, the Reds have struggled on offense without him, having been shutout in 4 of the 12 games. Cabrara continues to put up a ton of outs. Even with his solid week, his OBP is below .300 and he will probably get the second most PA's of anyone on the team, behind Brandon Phillips. I have a thought: Let's not give the guy who makes the most outs the second most opportunities to make an out. No wait, that is both logical and simple. Dusty can't handle that. Keep that "SS must bat second" mantra. Works great. The Reds have one of the top 5 players in baseball batting 3rd and a player with the least valuable bat in the NL. How many runs have they lost because of this idiotic lineup construction? How many wins? In a division and wild card that will come down to only a few games, it is a crime to give away runs like this. If you insist on playing Cabrara, bat him lower in the order. Not in front of one of the best players in the majors. Mark it down: If the Reds miss the playoffs by less then 3 games, this will be the reason, and it is all on Dusty.

A commentator mentioned that all I do is whine. I guess he expected a site called Fire Dusty Baker to be about hope, rainbows, and unicorns. Then again the commentator also called it a web log. He should have used "that twitters" and "the internets" just to round out the "Ways to sound like a total idiot when talking about technology" trifecta.

Anyway, since the Reds have been treading water, not much has been going on. Maybe a trade is about to happen or some other major news. Until then, I will be watching and hoping this team and overcome the giant obstacle in the manager's office and make the playoffs. Go Reds!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Glad I haven't had much to write about

-It has been a few weeks since I have written on the blog. My little brother got married last week so that took up a good amount of time but the real reason is the Reds have been playing very well. Despite Dusty's best efforts, and I think he is trying to kill me by continually playing Cabrara, the Reds have taken their largest lead in the Central since Lebron James was in High School, 2002. How long ago does that sound now? The Reds have four all-stars and a few other players enjoying career years. The pitching has held up and with one win this weekend they will ensure a winning record on this 11 game road trip. Didn't think that was possible. I will have a longer Reds post during the all-star break but for now let's enjoy the First Place Cincinnati Reds. Onto other things.

-The World Cup has been amazing. I have watched nearly every game and thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle and the sport. The USA's dramatic goal against Algeria brought the nation together like no other soccer game. The only thing comparable was the gold medal hockey game. The loss to Ghana was crushing but at least there was no controversy. We just got beat. It happens.

I can't wait to watch the finals on Sunday with Spain vs. Holland. A certain someone picked Spain to win it all so why change now. They have played well since their shocking first game loss to Switzerland and have stars all over the field. Holland was great against Brazil, beating the favorites in one of the most exciting games of the Cup. The most exciting was the Uruguay-Ghana game. I have never seen anything like that and I have watched a ton of sports in my day. The swing from one side to the other so fast and so dramatic had me yelling at the TV multiple times. I just hope the final isn't settled on penalties. I hate PK shootouts in the final. I could see it in the rounds before since you don't want one team gaining a huge advantage of not having played 30 more minutes then the other but in the final that doesn't matter. Let them decide it on the field. Give them bigger rosters, 3 more subs, 10 more subs, however many it takes. I just want someone to win it on the field, not in a glorified home run derby/free throw shooting contest. It is unfair to everyone.

-LeBron in Miami is going to be awesome. The one hour special was stupid but I have one thing to say to all those that complain about it; turn the station. The decision will be the same tomorrow as it was last night. Why watch if you think it is stupid? I watched the Reds game until right before he announced. Once he said Miami I turned back. Simple. He even coordinated it so it would be during a Reds TV break.

I also don't get how he is bailing out by going to Miami. Didn't he get killed for not winning a title by himself? Wasn't everyone saying he needed better players? Now he goes to the team with the best players and it is bailing out because he isn't doing it on his own? No one did it on their own. He tried, it didn't work. Kobe needed Gasol. Michael needed Scottie. Shaq needed Kobe. KG needed Allen and Pierce. Every superstar needs another elite player. It doesn't matter where you do it, just as long as you win. It is a smart decision. He will be on TV nearly every night, play in front of sold out arenas every night, play with good friends who he knows can help him out if needed, and win a ton of games. They don't just mail him the trophy. He will have to earn it and you know Boston, Orlando, LA, etc. will be gunning for them with all they have. How is that bailing out? People say he needs to win. He is trying to do that. Why not go to the best situation?

Will have my first half review next week. Until then, Go Reds.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rick Riley is Not Interesting

So the Reds are looking pretty good and frankly I'm afraid of jinxing it. Rumors of the Tang trade are out there, which is nice. Also I'm too old to stay up for games on the west coast. Who stays up past 10pm? That is crazy, so I'll be back with reviews next week and maybe even a live blog of the Strausberg game on Monday depending on how the Little Big Deal is.

So now on the World Cup, I have been sitting on this for a few weeks, but frankly had to say something. Rick Riley has decided the most popular sporting event on the planet is broken and needs him to fix it was too much. I ignored it for days, but espn kept the link on its website for so long, curiosity got the best of me. After reading it, I remember why I’m not a huge fan of Riley (and by not a huge fan, I would rather read Ben Rothlisberger’s book on how to woo a lady than read Riley). I've decided to break it down FJM style for our loyal reader. So without further ado, my first attempt at humor in quite a while

From Rick Riley’s article Here's how to fix the World Cup.

Again this implies that is it broken and needs fixing. I’m sure that all those people who watched the last few games were thinking, “I’m enjoying this, as are 2 billion other people, but it is broken. Where is some enlightened person to make this right.?”

Here are the top 10 most annoying things about watching the World Cup already:

By the way, you don’t have to watch. It isn’t the law of the land, so if it annoys you turn it off. Kind of like everyone in the world does with the WNBA.

  1. That pesky cerebrum-blowing incessant buzzing sound coming from the TV set. "Babe, something's wrong with the TV," my wife said Saturday. But there wasn't anything wrong. It was the dreaded vuvuzelas, the yard-long plastic horns (voo-voo-zella) that South African fans blow all the time, without rhyme nor reason, when something is happening and when it's not (it's usually not), during timeouts and time ins, during halftime and at the breakfast table and while they're on the bus and while doing their taxes, until you just want to stab two fondue forks deep into your ears and stir.

Turn the sound down on your TV. This is a fairly easy fix and frankly after a few games you don’t really even notice it. I know it is popular to make fun of them, but its been a little overdone. Also why do you have the TV on while you are doing your taxes? Just turn it off or is that too difficult

They never stop. It's like having a desk in the center cubicle at American Bee, Inc. They sound like 80,000 yaks getting sick. They are the leading cause of Tylenol sales in the world today.

We get it. You think they are loud and annoying and for some reason you are incapable of turning down the volume on your TV.

  1. The embarrassing photographer bibs the guys on the bench have to wear during the game. They're very purple and dorky. My God, who knew you could make a World Cup team and be made to look like a geek? Hey, are you on the American national soccer squad or do you throw bags for Northwest Airlines?

This one is funny because people who do manual labor look funny and are beneath me. Yeah throwing bags at the bag counter, what is more demeaning than that.

  1. The Twinkie-fingered gloves goalkeepers wear. No wonder the English goalkeeper allowed that easy shot to give America a 1-1 tie in the Group C opener. You couldn't stop a beach ball with those big goofy things. What, is Hamburger Helper a sponsor? Why must they be so huge? Doesn't Roger Rabbit need them back? And where do the batteries go? How are goalkeepers expected to hang on to the ball with them on? And is it difficult to play goalie while also taking things out of the oven?

Do all his articles have one-thousand questions which say the same thing? Does he just write down every joke he can think of and hope one is funny? Does he have an editor? Why does the fact the gloves are big bother him? Does he have to wear them?

  1. The godforsaken vuvuzelas! Make them stop! One of the charms of soccer is the singing that fans do. There is always loads of singing and chanting because every game is 1-nil, so there's plenty of time for singing and chanting. Soccer fans sing and chant inane hilarious things like, "We are from Norway! We came on a plane! And we are very drunk!" But we don't get to hear the singing and the chanting because of the horrible, hideous, heinous vuvuzelas! My god, they should take them into the mountainous caves region of Pakistan and play them until Osama bin Laden comes running out, screaming, "OK, OK! I give!"

This is funny b/c he already mentioned that he doesn’t like them. I like how he does this because it gives him an opportunity to try another couple hundred jokes that aren’t funny on the same topic. Jay Leno makes a living at this everything.

  1. All the faking. I haven't seen this much bad theater since I saw former "American Idol competitor" Ace Young starring in "Hair" on Broadway. These guys collapse as though they've just caught a javelin in the groin every time an opponent so much as asks them for the time. These guys make Paul Pierce look sincere. Sell it somewhere else, Sven. We live in the U.S., where hockey players pop their eye back into their socket without missing a shift. This will be the new rule when I'm made president of FIFA: If you stay on the ground longer than 30 seconds, you're out of the game; 45, you are taken directly to the nearest hospital; 60, you get a telethon.

Frankly I’m kind of with him on this one. Granted referencing Paul Pierce illustrates that it happens in every sport. I also like how hockey (the national sport of Canada) is used to show the US is much tougher and rarely fakes injuries. Why not use football (and then he could have used a funny joke about the difference between our football and theirs, but I feel one may be coming anyway)

  1. The yellow cards. I love the way the refs come running up to the player as though he has just taken out a chainsaw and sawed somebody's hand off. The ref looks very stern and upset. And then all the ref does is snap his little yellow piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and stick it in the offender's face, as though the little yellow card has some kind of superpower. As if to say, "Ha! you are powerless against my little yellow piece of paper, which shows your less-than-average marks from third grade!" I'd love to see that in the middle of an NBA fight. Can you imagine seeing some ref come running up to Rasheed Wallace after laying out Carmelo Anthony with a roundhouse right and sticking that yellow card right in his face? He'd soon be digesting it through his ear hole.

I would say we need yellow cards instead of technical fouls in basketball. How much more fun would this be? How is a yellow card less effective than a technical foul? I’m guessing that if Rasheed laid out Carmelo Anthony putting a “T” sign with your fingers isn’t going to have much more of an effect. I think he was reaching here… but wait it gets worse.

  1. The ties. In the NFL in the past 10 years, there have been two ties. As of Tuesday morning, in the first 11 games of this World Cup, there have been five ties. You will not see more ties at a J.C. Penney's Father's Day sale. I hate ties. Doesn't anybody want to win in this sport? All these ties are about as exciting as a Jonas Brothers roundtable on sex.

He doesn’t like ties because they bore him. Also he again makes 2 jokes on the same subject, neither of which are very funny. I mean JC Penney’s does have a lot of ties, which is a good observation but not very funny. The Jonas Brothers don’t have sex, which must also be funny.

  1. The World Cup itself. Really? All this running and vuvuzela-ing and pulling off shirts for that trophy? It looks like somebody soldered it together in their basement -- after drinking a handle of Jack Daniel's. It looks like something you'd use to prop open your Tuff Shed door during spring cleaning. It's gold and small and looks like somebody accidentally melted it somewhere along the way. I mean, there IS chocolate in the middle of that thing, right? Maybe I just don't get it.

Finally he makes some sense. Yes you just don’t get it. I’m assuming the "it" he is referring to in the last sentence is sports, writing and comedy, but maybe I only glossed over the paragraph. By the way we get another mention of the vuvuzela. Other than the Stanley Cup, the trophy is secondary to the accomplishment of actually winning the competition. I mean the football on a stand or basketball on a stand are that much better than a soccer ball on a stand?

  1. Stoppage time. Why can't we know how much time is left? Why must it be such a mystery? Whose idea was this? Why do only the refs get to know? Wouldn't it be more exciting if we all knew? You tell me which is more exciting:

You do know b/c they hold up a sign that tells you. Would have been more funny if it was written 10 years ago. I would say this means he hasn’t seen a single game this year, but remember he mentioned the vuvuzelas

A. "Ten seconds left now! Kaka needs to get a shot off here or it's over! Five seconds! Kaka wheeling! Two seconds! There's the shot! And … "

B. "Well, the ref should be calling this game shortly. A minute or two. Maybe more. Actually, I don't know. Nigel, do you know? Kaka seems confused. He's dribbling. Wait. Now he's stopped to examine a small scab, and well, that's it. The ref says it's over. I guess that's it, then."

All we get is B. Somebody needs to put some stoppage to stoppage time.

Actually his analogy is flawed. Say what you will about stoppage time, but it normally leads to the ref letting the attacking team finish out before blowing the whistle. So instead of getting guys kicking the ball from midfield where they have no chance of making it (i.e. kind of like the end of hockey periods), you sometimes get a well run play down the stretch and more excitement (see US goal or Italy finish yesterday)

  1. The vuvuzelas from eardrum-hellas! Don't tell me it's discrimination to want them to stop. Don't tell me it's an essential part of South African culture. If it is, it's an annoying part of their culture. Yes, I know that centuries ago, the vuvuzelas were made from animal horns to call the village elders in for a meeting. And I'll bet you five wildebeests that when the elders finally got to the meeting they said, "Would you STOP already with the blowing? You're making me crazy!" I've been to Africa four times. They do some of the most beautiful singing you can imagine. At the World Cup, I'm hearing no singing. I'm hearing no chanting. I'm hearing 80,000 kazoos on steroids.

No such thing as a dead horse here. These vuvuzelas are not entertaining and he doesn’t enjoy them. Thanks again for mentioning.

But it still sounds better than Ace Young.

And in Bozich style he references a prior bad joke to end the column so as to prove he is witty. So in an article about ways to fix the most popular sporting event in the world, we get a list of 10 (well actually 8 b/c 3 are on there twice) things that bug some guy. So I can’t help him with all of these, but for numbers 1, 4 and 10, just turn the TV down.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick Reds Update, World Cup Thoughts

Thank goodness I was in New Orleans drinking my face off and missed the latest Dusty Baker stinkbomb. No one could hit and he refused to do anything about the black hole at the top of the lineup. Cabrara kept playing and managed to drop his terrible OPS+ to 67. He has the 4th worst OPS of any player in the NL. And he bats leadoff. HOW CAN DUSTY BE THIS DUMB? Congrats on being the new Corey Patterson. Didn't think it was possible. Dusty benched him last night and they won. Of course it took a Coco blown save to get there but whatever. It has been a rough couple of weeks. I need a break. The Reds need a sweep of Oakland and at least 2 of 3 against Cleveland to get back at the top of the division. Probably won't watch too much since the greatest event in the world is really heating up in South Africa.

The World Cup has been amazing. Everyone is talking about it so we can finally get rid of all the "no one watches soccer" argument once and for all. If you still think Americans don't care then you have been under a rock for 2 weeks or you are a UK fan. It is all me and my friends have talked about and will continue to talk about until America takes home the Cup(I wish).

America was robbed last Friday and I sure let some expletives fly from Bourbon St. but it is still win and move on which is fine. If we can't beat Algeria we don't deserve a spot. I think we will win 2-0 and England will win 1-0. That is how it should be just so we can watch England fans get excited again before having their hearts ripped out next round.

We now know 4 of the final 16 and I don't like to brag but I got 3 of them. Tomorrow morning should be fun.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Upcoming schedule, Cabrera rant

Tough weekend for the Reds. Losing 2 of 3 to the Royals is unacceptable even if one was to Zack Greinke. He was amazing on Sunday, dominating every Reds hitter except Joey Votto. The big disappointment was the pitching. The Royals and Giants are bad offensive teams but they crushed the ball all over the field. Now the Reds get the Dodgers, a good hitting team. I shutter to think of what they will do this week. But don't fret Reds fans, relief is on the way. Beginning Friday, the Reds start a west coast road trip that takes them to Seattle and Oakland before returning to play 3 against the Indians. I see the Reds winning all 3 of those series and taking control of the Central. Let's hope the pitching comes around in time.

One quick Dusty note: He keeps playing Orlando Cabrera and batting him leadoff. This is unacceptable. 2 years ago I started this blog partly because he kept playing Corey Patterson, he of the .238 OBP, and batting him leadoff. I was not pleased. Last season, it was Willy Taveras and his .275 OBP. Now it is Cabrera and his .296. I think he is doing this on purpose to piss me off. It is by far the lowest on the team and I can't imagine anyone looking at the numbers and batting him leadoff unless they were trying to lose. I don't care what leadership he brings. A real leader who take a backseat when it is clear they were hurting the team. ANY PLAYER ON THE ROSTER, INCLUDING HIS BACKUP, WOULD BE BETTER. Why does Dusty keep putting the guy who makes the most outs at the top of the order? Does he not understand baseball? Is he sniffing glue? Is he a communist? I wish I knew the answer to any of those questions.

I will be at a bachelor party this weekend so I will not be able to post Friday. I will try and post some World Cup thoughts Thursday but if not, I will be at a bar in New Orleans Friday morning cheering Sam's Army on. Go 'Merica.

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup Preview

Finally. It is here. I have been waiting for this since Euro '08 ended. Here are some thoughts on what to watch for and what I think will happen:

Group A-Mexico, South Africa, France, Uruguay

I feel this is Mexico's group for the taking. They looked very good toward the end of qualifying, beating the US in Mexico City and taking care of the rest of CONCACAF soon after. The have a great young player in Giovani dos Santos and the new Manchester United player Javier Hernandez. South Africa has the home field advantage which has become a huge factor. Every home team has advanced out of its group since I began watching the World Cup in '94. Having said that, I don't think they can overcome all 3 of these teams. France is very up and down. They won it all in '98, failed to make it out of the group stage in '02, then made the finals in '06. I sense another fall back which is why I think the second team to qualify from here will be Uruguay. Not many people know about them but they have one of the best scoring tandems in the world with Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. I think Mexico wins the group and Uruguay places second.

Group B-Argentina, South Korea, Greece, Nigeria

This one is all Argentina. They have the best player in the world, Leo Messi, and a ton of other elite players such as Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, and Angel Di Maria. They have an insane coach in former World Cup superstar Diego Maradona who will be either the best thing to happen to them, or the worst. Not much in between with him. I could see any of the other teams rising up and taking second in this group but I am going with Greece. They won the '04 European Championship with unusual tactics and they will be able to use them again to advance here. South Korea made a great run at home in the '02 World Cup(thanks to some "questionable" officiating) but have otherwise been unimpressive including a 3-0 loss to China. Nigeria has a great player in John Obi Mikel but not much else. They are not the African team I am picking to advance.

Group C-USA, England, Slovenia, Algeria

Let's get his out of the way: England and the US will advance. Slovenia is not bad but too young to contend and Algeria needed a playoff just to qualify. The biggest match of the opening round is this Saturday: England vs. USA. I have been thinking about this since it was announced last December and can't believe it is actually here. It feels like the gold medal hockey game a few months back but ten times more intense. I will be singing every patriotic song I can find, drinking beer from that great English ass-kicker Sam Adams, and wearing my T-shirt that says Don't Tread On Me. Go 'Merica!

Group D-Germany, Serbia, Ghana, Australia

OK, here is where I am going a little off the grid. I like Ghana to be the African team that advances in this group. They have a solid team even without the injured Michael Essian, whose replacement Kwadwo Asamoah, is more then capable to take over. They should be able to handle Australia and I think they can tie the other 2, helping them finish second. Germany should win this group because they always play well at the World Cup but without Ballack it could be a struggle. Klose will not let them miss the knockout stage but I don't see them advancing much past the round of 16. Serbia plays a wide open attack which will come back to bite them when they surrender a few counterattack goals that keep them from advancing. The Socceroos are fun to watch but don't have the skill of discipline to compete with these teams.

Group E-Netherlands, Denmark, Cameroon, Japan

This group looks simple on paper and I think it will be just that. The two European squads are full of stars and the other two teams are not. The Dutch have Robin van Persie, Durk Kyut, and Wesley Sneijder, all elite players. Denmark has a great defensive line led by Simon Kjaer and a great attacking midfielder in Christian Poulson. Cameroon has a great player in Samuel Eto'o but not enough else and Japan is one of the worst teams here. I like a bit of an upset with Denmark finishing above the Dutch but both will advance

Group F-Italy, Paraguay, Slovakia, New Zealand

The defending champs have a pretty easy group and will easily advance. They are a few years older so I don't envision another deep run but qualifying for the knockout stage should be easy with Andrea Pirlo running around and Gianlugi Buffon in goal. For the second spot I am again going with a South American squad over the European one. Paraguay looked great in qualifying and has a solid attacker in Oscar Cardozo. Slovakia hasn't been able to put it all together but has a very exciting midfielder in Marek Hamsik. New Zealand looked great in the Lord of the Rings movie, not sure about their soccer team.

Group G-Brazil, Ivory Coast, Portugal, North Korea

North Korea is the worst team here and will be lucky to score a goal. The round robin between the other three teams will be fascinating. Brazil is the obvious choice but not a slam dunk. Robinho and Kaka are two of the best players in the world and will be a joy to watch. Portugal also has a former player of the year in Christiano Ronaldo although he has yet to excel on the international stage as much as he has on the club stage. This should be his time to do that and take Portugal out of the group stage. Ivory Coast was a sleeper for many until their leader and one of the best strikers in the world, Didier Drogba, broke his arm. He is trying to come back but will not have the same impact as he would have had if healthy. Because of the Drogba injury I will take Brazil and Portugal to move on.

Group H-Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Honduras

Spain has been amazing the past 2 years in international competition. The only game they have lost was last summer in the Confederation Cup to 'Merica. Aside from one bad game, they have been dominant. The only problem is their history. They have never won a World Cup and, frankly, have never really been close. They haven't made a final in a few generations and will need to overcome some major demons to win here. The other three teams seem pretty equal. This time I am taking the Euro team over the South American one. Switzerland made the second round in '06 and returns a few of the players including striker Blaise N'Kufo. Chile has a solid scorer in Humberto Suazo but lacks the experience needed to succeed at the cup. Honduras needed a miracle US goal to qualify and will be hard pressed to do much here.

In the knockout rounds I have Mexico-US in the round of 8 with the US advancing. On the other half of the bracket I have Denmark-Brazil in the Quarters with Brazil advancing. The third spot I have going to Argentina after getting by England in the Quarterfinal. The final team I have is Spain after beating the Dutch. In the final 4, I see Brazil beating the US and Spain beating Argentina setting up one of the greatest finals ever and Spain finally winning their first cup. Have fun and enjoy the games.

Well Done Coco and Challenge Thoughts

I thought I would take a quick moment to compliment CoCo on doing his job last night. It is about time. Granted this would be like you guys complimenting me for using the toilet like a big boy, but still worth mentioning. If we extrapolate last night's performance, we can say something like "CoCo is back and hasn't given up a run in almost two days." 1.5 game lead going into a series with the Royals.

On another note, I just watched the RR/RR Challenge finale last night via TiVo. This was another great season filled with the usual cast of characters. The highlight was during the after show when Kenny admitted he is on the show to be famous. He pointed out everyone is on the show to be famous, otherwise they would join a local softball team in their hometown rather than fly to some unknown place to play this game. Refreshing to see someone actually speak honestly, and with that he has my support to run for public office. He is too young for President, but congress seems about right. We need someone in DC, who gave himself the nickname "Mr. Beautiful" and is able to outsmart the likes of Wes in a made up game. I think that qualifies him to battle the intellectual heavyweights of Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi.

Lastly, I heard a rumor that the Reds contacted Stormy Weathers about a possible comeback. If that is true my head will explode. I'd rather we hire this person.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strasberg and Other Reds Thoughts

Yes, I'm back to writing, but lets not make too big of deal b/c we know it may not take (see my other posts entitled "I'm Back"). So I broke down and got the MLB package in order to watch my Reds this year. As we continue towards the NL Central crown, it will clearly seem like a good investment (though Mrs. Big Deal may disagree after having watched more baseball in two months than the past four years of our marriage). Even if the Reds weren't on a path to a first round loss in the playoffs (more on the reason below, but as a hint the problem rhymes with Boco bodero), the ability to watch Strasberg every five days pays for the package. I was prepared to write my first post about if Mike Leake was named Strausberg he would be all over the front pages of the newspapers and think kid is all hype and a product of the modern media cycle. Then I sat down and watched a Nationals-Pirates game on a random Tuesday. Here is my initial reaction:

The stadium was packed and the atmosphere of the game was something you rarely see outside the post season (and in Atlanta you never see it). Apparently the Nat's fans were there 40 minutes early just to watch the guy warm up. I tuned into the Nat's TV station to watch Nat's pregame so I guess I understand. His first inning the crowd is on their feet and the place is going nuts. I'm thinking there is no way this lives up to the hype and then... 3 up 3 down as he is throwing the ball all over the zone. The game progressed and he blew threw the line up giving up 1 bad pitch that was taken yard, but otherwise dominating the hitters in a way Pedro used to do in the 90s. I figured the second or third time through the order, the guys would catch up to his speed and he would look mortal. Wrong, the kid got better and the 6th and 7th inning was flat out amazing. After watching this performance, I want to make sure I don't miss another start, because who knows what's next.. 20 strike outs? no hitter? Both in the same game? I wouldn't be surprised to see both. I'm not going to call him the second coming of Walter Johnson just yet, but I'm also not going to miss a start all season (maybe even a live blog one of these days. If we can find a day where he and Leake are both pitching, I'll try to do the double live blog to get instant thoughts on both guys).

I'll be back with my Reds thoughts next week (goal will be to post weekly on Wednesday or Thursday depending on work and how Big Deal jr. is doing), but wanted to give my initial thoughts on the season. Reds look great and have quite a bit going for us right now. Our young arms are finally showing up and we have great starting pitching. Dusty is staying out of the way the best he can with the bats (choice of lead off hitter excluded) and we are getting the luck needed to remain in contention. The problem lies in the bullpen, which has been terrible. I feel like the Mets' fans had to feel when they were playing well, but knew Wagner was the closer so games were never over. You can't win in October with a bullpen that will blow at least 1, maybe 2 games a series (especially in a 5 game series). It is time to make a move and I agree with others who have suggested we move LaClure out to the bullpen. I'd make him a closer (who knows maybe he could be like Papelbon and the move will be worth it, but worst case he continues to get big league experience and we find another closer next year). Begin to use Rhodes as our 8th inning set up man (I understand the man is old and we can't use him everyday, but as the season goes on lets begin to bet the farm and make him the go to set up man. We have a decent left hander making $30mm in the minors who could come up if Rhodes goes down). Speaking of the $30mm left hander, lets bring him up and put him out in the bullpen as well to throw gas. Again, I understand that starters are worth more than bullpen guys, but we have a shot to win this year so why not go all in. That still leaves one extra starter with Leake, Harang, Voltron, Bronson, Bailey and Cueto. I'd hold onto all of them until closer to the trade deadline to make sure Voltron comes back in ok shape and Dusty doesn't ruin the arm of Leake, Bailey or Cueto. If we are still in it at that point, time to move one of Harang or Bronson to get a bat from a contender looking for that 5th starter or go all in and move Cueto or Bailey to get a big name on loaner for the remainder of the year, who we could possibly sign with the money saved from Harang/Bronson/CoCo rolling off in the next 2 years (i.e. Hanley Ramirez).

Ok that is all for now. I'll have a more thought out post next week, where I'll go through exactly how bad our bullpen is and also discuss how great this season of RR/RR Challenge is.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Off Day Thoughts

Well thank God that is over. The Reds are done with the Cards until August, which is nice. Now its time to pad our record against some below average teams. First up is Washington, followed by San Fran and finally the Royals. For the Reds, the pitching matchups work out pretty well. Washington is holding Strasburg back until right after the Reds leave, Lincecum misses the Reds by 1 day and Greinke should miss the Reds by a day as well. As a Reds fan, this is great news that we don't face 3 of the best pitchers in the game. As a viewer and possible attendant of these games, I am a little disappointed. Strasburg's first start will be like a rock concert. Glad ESPN is picking it up so I can watch it. Lincecum is great to watch on TV and I imagine just as fun to see live. Hope I get a chance to see him next year. I went to KC last season and missed Greinke. Now the Royals are in Cincy and I miss him again. 3 great pitchers, none of which I get to see live. O well. The Reds better capitalize on missing these guys with some wins. I expect no worse then 6-4 and 7-3 seems more realistic.

Now, onto other things.

-The NBA finals start tonight. 2 teams with unbearable fan bases square off. Not interested. Lakers in 6. I will check back in a few weeks when it is over and their fans finally shut up for a few minutes to see if I was right.

-I could not be more excited for the World Cup next Friday. It is one of my favorite events, along with the Olympics and big horse races. 32 countries from around the world go to South Africa to compete in the biggest soccer tournament ever. Every single game will get more viewers then every NBA finals game combined. The crowds are great, the players are amazing, and the drama is like nothing you have ever seen. Each of these players are rockstars back home and scoring a major goal is an achievement of a lifetime. Anyone who scores goes down as a legend. I remember watching in '94 when the US shocked the world and beat Columbia. I watched in '98 as France won on its home soil. I woke up at 3 am in '02 to watch the games in South Korea. In '06 I watched nearly every game thanks to a new thing called TIVO. I hope this World Cup is as exciting as the past few have been. I feel it will be. Go 'merica!

-Belmont stakes is Saturday. No Derby or Preakness winner. The sexy pick seems to be Ice Box, the second place horse from the Derby and the one who cost me my exacta. I think Ice Box loses but haven't decided who beats him. Right now I am thinking Stately Victor or Fly Down. Either one can grab it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reds keep Rolen

I must say I am shocked at how well the team has played since the debacle in Atlanta. I expected a slump and extended losing streak. I expected mental errors and poor fundamentals. None of that happened and I am starting to think it has something to do with a certain veteran infielder.

Scott Rolen is having his best season in 5 years and the rest of the team is feeding off him. His stat line is very impressive at .272/.341/.556/.897/134 for an above average, 35 year old thirdbasemen. The young guys see what he does and learn from it. Phillips has learned to take more walks, walking at a rate of 9.4% when his previous high was 6.8%. Joey Votto has improved his defense and has an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of 3.9. The next closest firstbaseman is 2.2. Bruce, who had been in a bit of a power slump until last night, hasn't let that bother him. He has put up .278/.379/.457/.836/121 while playing the second best rightfield according to UZR. Johny Gomes is have a career year. Drew Stubbs has turned it around after a terrible start. Janish and Hanigan have played so well that they could be starters at any time. And Cabrara has.....well he has some RBIs. Yeah. The big change the Reds made between last year at this time and now is Scott Rolen. Everyone talks about how seriously he takes his job and how much he works at his game. It seems to be working. As long as he is in the lineup, the team looks very confident. They are fun to watch, something that hasn't been true in recent years. So from everyone in Reds Country, thanks Scotty.

(Yeah, I am totally glossing over the fact that some of this may have to do with Dusty not sucking but I don't buy it. He still sucks. If you want to hear how great he is, you probably shouldn't visit a website entitled Fire Dusty Baker)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Movie Talk

So no Reds today. Will have something Friday.

For Christmas, my in-laws got me a book called 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. It is awesome and prompted me to try and see as many as I can, whether I had seen it or not. I have watched, or rewatched in some cases, about 60 thanks to friends with large DVD collections and Turner Classic Movies. Here is a quick list of the Best, Worst, and Biggest Surprises so far. I will try and update later this summer since we will be watching a lot more with the television season finished.


The Graduate - Great story, great acting, and great music. It is also referenced in a ton of movies that came later. Dustin Hoffman makes the movie with his awkwardness. He is the 1960's version of George Michael Bluth.

On the Waterfront - Marlin Brando was one hell of an actor. The fact he could make this great movie and come back twenty years later and do the Godfather is amazing. This movie has a ton of great scenes as well that are referenced all the time.


Crimes and Misdemeanors - I must be missing something about Woody Allen. Maybe its because I am not from New York but his acting is just weird. I can't relate to anything he does because I have never met anyone like him. The closest comparison is Larry David and I have never met him either. This movie bored me.

Rebel Without A Cause - I don't get it. There was no real plot and James Dean wasn't that great an actor. The fact he died tragically just before this movie was released has made people think it is amazing when in reality, I thought it was bad. Then again, James Dean isn't my type.\


The Matrix - I guess the two sequels clouded my judgment because I had forgotten how good this movie was. The action scenes are amazing and Keanu Reeves overacts just enough to make it enjoyable. I would recommend everyone to rewatch it and pretend their weren't two awful sequels.

Platoon - Haven't gone back and watched Saving Private Ryan but it will be hard pressed to beat this movie. Tons of great actors all around and Charlie Sheen is pre-hooker so he is still trying to act.

Friday, May 21, 2010

And the run is over

What a 48 hours. They beat the Brewers on an amazing 9th inning comeback, head to Atlanta sky high. Then it blows up. 2 straight walk-off losses including yesterday's epic collapse. I am still recovering. This will stay with the team for a while and may well be the beginning of the end. The past few seasons have had a major turning point where the Reds lose a heartbreaking game in a similar fashion and never recover. Dusty putting Harang in and effectively ruining him in San Diego two year ago comes to mind. Now we will look back at this game as the turning point. I think the team will go downhill. There is a chance they can recover and rise above it. I don't see it happening. Maybe the Cleveland rivalry will take their minds off it but I doubt it.

This is why you have a manager. He is supposed to get his team refocused and ready to move on. This is all Dusty. Either they recover and continue to compete or they fall and the Dusty Baker Farewell Tour picks up steam. Your move Dusty.

In other news, the World Cup kicks off in 3 weeks. I simply cannot wait. Tomorrow is the final of the Champions League which will be a nice tune-up but will pale in comparison to the passion and skill of the world cup. The U.S. should be strong and will have start the tournament with a grudge match 225 years in the making when they play England June 12. Don't Tread on Me. Nike has produced a great commercial to get people excited. Here it is:

Write The Future from Nalden on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One hell of a run

So I managed to attend the only game the Reds have lost in the last 10 games. Sounds about right. The pitching is fantastic and the offense has done enough. Amazingly enough, Dusty seems to be doing something right which means there is not much for me to write about, so let's enjoy the ride.

Cincinnati2316.590-14-99-7188185+3Won 49-1
St. Louis2217.564111-611-11166136+30Won 14-6
Chicago Cubs1722.436610-107-12178190-12Won 24-6
Pittsburgh1622.4216.59-97-13133236-103Lost 23-7
Milwaukee1524.38584-1411-10206222-16Lost 82-8
Houston1325.3429.57-156-10112176-64Lost 44-6

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Game notes, Preakness notes

Made the decision to go up for the game last night with Drew, a Cards fan. Driving up there was a lot of buzz on the radio about the team. Sitting only 0.5 GB, most thought there would be a good crowd. We got seats in right field and got out there by the bottom of the 1st. Decent size crowd, numbering over 27,000, and we were treated to a pretty good game. Harang pitched decent, getting out of a first inning jam but then violating the one rule I live by, DON'T PITCH TO PUJOLS! Just before the pitch I told Drew they should walk him. Five seconds later it was 2-0 Cards. now he has confidence for the last 2 games of the series. Awesome. The Reds went down 4-0 when some scrub hit one just out of the reach of Bruce. If the wind is blowing anywhere but directly to right field, that is an out and the score stays at 2-0. Drew Stubbs clubbed one late to bring the Reds to 4-2 and the Reds threatened in the 9th. They scored one and had first and second with one out when Hernandez hit into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play. Tough way to end.

I thought the Reds played pretty well. they fought back from down 4-0 rather then roll over as they had in the past. Dusty had an awkward episode where he yelled at the umpires for a while because they ejected Cairo. I don't get what that was about. Cairo pinch hit, struck out looking, then argued with the ump. Seemed simple but was a little too much for Dusty to wrap his head around. Typical.

The Preakness runs today. Let's hope Super Saver can win and set up an exiting Belmont stakes in three weeks. If I were a betting man, and I am since I am going to Churchill today, I would take a longshot since Super Saver is beatable. The race runs about 6 on NBC. You should watch since the Reds aren't until 7 and the NBA is taking its mandatory 5 day break in the middle of the playoffs. Got to regroup after the most likeable player got eliminated Thursday. Now the best bet is the Canuck Steve Nash. Let's hope he beats the Rapist from L.A.