It's that magical day -- HALLOWE'EN! Actually, my favorite day is tomorrow when the stores sell discounted candy. Be sure to visit the Eye-Opener for some FRIGHTENINGLY BAD HALLOWEEN COSTUMES! Thanks especially to Retrocrush who showcased some of those old plastic mask/smock combo costumes that were prevalent back in the 70s. I forgot how monumentally bad some of those were. I think I had an Underdog costume back in 1974 and I'm shocked they didn't have it.
Lisa: I don't think the real Radioactive Man wears a plastic smock with a picture of himself on it.
Milhouse: He would on Halloween!
Some random thoughts:
* I completely avoided MNF on ESPN last night and I feel that I'm better for it. Instead of merely showing you a sporting event, they beat everything to death with a stupid stick, and it seems as if it's produced for an audience with an I.Q. of 75 that likes flashing lights and, apparently, heapin' helpings of Hank Williams Jr. It's unbearable. I'm convinced that ESPN hates sports fans.
But I have an idea that can save MNF. Recently they've been doing this ESPN Full Circle Jerk thing for college football, where all of the ESPN channels are devoted to different aspectse and angles of a single game. Why don't they do this for MNF? For those who don't care about all the ancillary Hollywood nonsense they've injected into the show, devote one channel (ESPN2) to JUST SHOWING THE GAME. No commentary, no special guests, no bullshit, just football. Plus, they'll get great ratings on BOTH channels. Think of how great that will be for the advertising dollars You can thank me later, ESPN.
* I tuned into the Flyers/Hawks game for a few minutes and saw a lot of people wearing orange afros in the crowd. I wasn't shocked, since it's the day before Halloween, and there's nothing else to do in Philly. But apparently, they unofficially set a Guinness world record by getting 9,315 fans to wear wigs during the game (beating the old record of 6,213 set at a Pistons game in 2004). First of all, why is there a record for that? Man, this country is doomed. And second, that's the highlight of the Flyers season.
* It may have been a fever dream, but last night I'm pretty sure I saw Steven Colbert join Barry Manilow to sing "I Write the Songs", which was hilarious. Right after that, I switched to David Letterman to see Borat, Tiki & Beck, which sounds like a name for one screwed-up law firm. Borat even joined Beck on stage for a minute during "Nausea". Very funny. Sasha Baron Cohen is a weird guy.
* Interesting article from Slate: PROOF THAT INTERNET PORN PREVENTS RAPE. Discuss amongst yourselves.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
It's that magical day -- HALLOWE'EN! Actually, my favorite day is tomorrow when the stores sell discounted candy. Be sure to visit the Eye-Opener for some FRIGHTENINGLY BAD HALLOWEEN COSTUMES! Thanks especially to Retrocrush who showcased some of those old plastic mask/smock combo costumes that were prevalent back in the 70s. I forgot how monumentally bad some of those were. I think I had an Underdog costume back in 1974 and I'm shocked they didn't have it.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I'm getting more and more cynical every day. Everything bugs me to some degree, whether it's commercials, politicians, or car salesmen. I'm trying to figure out what's causing it. Why is this? Have I changed my diet? Not really. Have I changed anything else in my life? Nope, been living/working at the same place for 5 years. The only thing I can trace it back to is this: I spend way too much time reading blogs.
Blogs are filled with negative energy, it's basically just a way for people to complain, bitch and moan about the world. That's fine, but it starts to affect you after a while. But as far as sports information goes, I only go to Sportsline when I want to get some stats, and rarely if ever visit ESPN, because I can't take their self-righteous self-importance. I read an inordinate amount of stuff from blogs and Deadspin approved sites because I much prefer sites that ridicule athletes than those who take them so seriously. For instance, I would rather read ExBurgher's hilarious Tecmo NFL previews than put up with the pompous Peter King's picks.
Okay, I really came on here to blab about football (I loved seeing the Trojans lose to the Beavers yesterday as well), so let's go.
THIS WEEK IN THE NFL:
BARBER BOWL! Yes, Tiki and Ronde will be on opposite sides of the ball in the Bucs @ Giants game today FOR POSSIBLY THE LAST TIME EVER, in case you haven't heard. Crazy stat: Ronde has 2 TDs on defense, while Tiki has 0. That's absurd. Tiki will finally get in the end zone at a blustery Giants Stadium today.
MONDAY NIGHT FUCKTARDS. Paris Hilton is going to be on this week. Fuck ESPN.
WHO THE HELL DAT? Here are some of the starting QBs today: Damon Huard (or rookie Brodie Croyle, if he can't go), Charlie Frye, David Gerrard, Brad Gradkowski, and Seneca Wallace. Who the hell are these guys? Is this the NFL or the World League?
NEW VIEW. Black Bear in White Plains, which I am going to visit right now. Apparently, they have all HD screens, unlike most bars in the area. I'll give my review later.
MY UPSET PICK: I was going to say Cleveland over the Jets, but the Browns are favored at home by 2. So it's Seattle (+4) over KC.
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:34 PM
Friday, October 27, 2006
Did I ever mention how much I miss MST3K? If not, I'm mentioning it now. Well, RiffTrax is the next best thing! Satellite of Love-less Mike Nelson has recorded commentaries you can download and listen to along with movies like Top Gun, The Matrix, Halloween, and of course, Road House, for $1.99-2.99. And Kevin "Tom Servo" Murphy and Bill "Crow 2" Corbett even join him for a few of them! (I suppose you have to draw your own silhouettes on the bottom of your TV to get the full MST3K effect.) I might have to buy Star Trek V! Wait, I'd also have to buy the DVD for Star Trek V, and I don't think that's gonna happen.
* Click here for Rifftrax samples.
* Here's a secret super hidden Road House clip!
* Coming soon: The Phantom Menace.
* Pick up MST3K Volume 10 DVD if you haven't already!
* Rhino is losing the rights to the Volume 1 and Volume 3 movies, so get those DVDs before they go out of print. Because if you don't own The Sidehackers, you don't own SHIT.
* Mike Nelson also riffs the California Governor's race on YouTube, for Phil Angelides and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:16 PM
Maxim magazine has compiled a list of Hockey's Toughest Bastards. Here it is:
15. Gino Odjick
I guess he gets on this list because of the cool "The Maniwaki Mauler" nickname. Fair enough.
14. Doug Jarvis
Yes, he played in 964 consecutive games, but he's not a "tough guy".
13. Todd Bertuzzi
Of course, he's only going to be remembered for his Insane in the Zidane cheap shot of Steve Moore.
12. Doug Gilmour
Again, whoever made this list must like nicknames (his was "Killer"). I'm not buying it.
11. Wendel Clark. When they were both Maple Leaves, he made Gilmour as tough as he was, so they cancel each other out.
10. Dave Semenko
"Gretzky's bodyguard". If that's true, he did a hell of a job.
9. Peter Forsberg
What? This is where the list started to lose me. He shouldn't even be in the top 1000. Plus, it seems like he's made out of glass nowadays (currently on the DL).
8. Billy Smith
Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Battlin' Billy was a crazy bastard, but a goalie at #8?
7. Gordie Howe
Absolutely. Why not higher? He also played hockey (in some form) in 6 straight decades.
6. Maurice Richard
5. Bob Probert
No argument there. I don't want Bob pissed at me.
4. Bob Baun
Scoring the winning goal after fracturing your ankle: now THAT'S a hockey player, but not this high.
3. Scott Stevens
Now, being a Devils fan I'm a bit biased, but I thought he should have been #1. So that means the top 2 are going to be real badasses, right? Right?
2. Mark Messier
Okay, a Rangers fan made this list, there's no doubt. Because he "guaranteed a win", he gets a tough bastard award? I don't think so. Yes, the Captain was a resilient leader, and a prolific point scorer, but not the 2nd "toughest" of all-time.
1. Mario Lemieux
Are you kidding me? He shouldn't even be on this list! Recovering from non-Hodgekin's lymphoma is pretty impressive, but not a criteria for naming someone #1. If it wasn't for guys like Ulf Samuelsson protecting him, he'd be nothing.
It's interesting that guys like Tie Domi, Bobby Clarke, Clark Gilles, Stu Grimson or Darius KasparMINUS aren't on here. I'd even put Ryan Smith on there before freaking Mario. What a crap list, especially the top player on it. What would you expect from Maxim, one of the most moronic magazines out there? It's clear they know next to nothing about hockey.
Try this list out instead: Hockey's Tough Guys
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:09 AM
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
While watching commercials tonight, which were occasionally interrupted by LOST, one break had two separate but similar ads. One was hyping a Taye Diggs TV show about deja vu, and another one hyping a Denzel Washington movie about deja vu called, well, Deja Vu. I'm having that weird feeling like I'd just seen this somewhere before, and there's a name for it I can't remember . . . oh yeah, the word is "UNORIGINAL".
I heard that Bob Seger passed the Chevy commercial torch over to John Mellencamp at the World Series the other day. What a special moment, a changing of the mud guard, so to speak. Too bad I missed it (and according to the ratings, so did most of the country). John Cougar (what a cool rock name, so of course he changed it), it was nice knowing you. I hope you enjoy your free pickup truck, you useless whore.
Those Coors Light commercials with fake press conferences featuring Bill Walsh and Dick Vermeil AREN'T FUNNY, despite what other people may tell you and what you think (currently, I'm not charging money for this service).
A couple of complete morons, who are inexplicably dining at Taco Bell with a cute chick, discuss some godawful "crunchy, cheezy and chewy" delicacy and try to create a single adjective to would describe it. Wait, you forgot to include "chest-clutching". How about "crunchestclutcheesewy"?
Circuit City's commercials are amazingly inane. "Looking for that new TV? We've got just what you needed!", is the claim they make while The Cars song of the same name plays in the background. "Our web site has thousands of customer reviews so you can find out everything you need to know about our hottest gear." Let me get this straight: you're going to help us out by making us read what CUSTOMERS recommend? In other words, they couldn't tell you a single thing about their own merchandise, so they're not even going to try. Here's what I envision their employees saying as you walk in: "Hi, are you looking for a new TV? Well, I don't have the faintest clue, but why don't you ask that guy over there? He comes in the store every week and just hangs out for an hour, and I think he has three TVs at home, he probably knows more than me! Oh, and we take VISA, MasterCard and cash!" That's the best you can do? How do stores like this stay in business? Let me guess: staggering amounts of volume to cover up their severe ineptitude? Can you do us all a favor and please go out of business already? Why can't every electronics retailer be like HARVEY ELECTRONICS or CRUTCHFIELD?
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:02 PM
Devils Fan 1: I like that new defenseman that the Devils called up.
Devils Fan 2: Oduya?
Fan 1: Yeah, I do. He's pretty good, I have to find out his name.
Fan 2: Oduya.
Fan 1: Yes, I just said that! Do you know his name?
Fan 2: ODUYA!
Fan 1: No, I don't! That's why I'm asking you!
Fan 2: ODUYA!!!
Fan 1: Do I what?
Fan 2: JOHNNY ODUYA!!!
Fan 1: YES I DO! AND DON'T CALL ME JOHNNY!!!
[A donnybrook ensues.]
Posted by Jeff K @ 3:48 PM
This just in: Evgeni Malkin is the real deal. Last night, he scored a goal against the Devils to make it 4-2, cutting through two defenders and backhanding it past Marty's glove side. That was the prettiest shot I've seen a Penguins player make since the 90s. If you have the means to find the highlight, I highly recommend it, it is so choice.
The shocking thing is that at 20 he's the oldest of the young skaters in Pittsburgh's EXPERIENCE THE EVOLUTION: Sidney Crosby is 19, and Jordan Staal is 18. If Fleury (only 21) emerges as a top goalie, Pittsburgh could be scary. Sure, they're shockingly in first in the Atlantic Division right now, but I give them a year or two before they're serious contenders. It's good to see a league where skill and youth can make a difference. And the city of Pittsburgh deserves this, it's been a while since they've had a winning team. Wait, no it hasn't.
Meanwhile, enjoy this Malkin goal from the 2005 World Championships:
Are you Malkin kidding me?
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:45 PM
Monday, October 23, 2006
We're seven/seventeenths of the way through the NFL season, so what better time than now for some notes from another Sunday in the NFL!
* That's right, my upset special came through for me as the TEXANS upset the JAGS yesterday. Of course, if I was actually a betting man, they would have lost.
* Bucs kicker Matt Bryant kicked a 62 yard field goal to beat the Eagles. Just like Jeff Weaver and Kenny Rogers, thanks for doing JACK SHIT WHILE PLAYING IN NEW YORK!
* Ronde "Twin Brother of Tiki" Barber ran back two interceptions for touchdowns on Sunday. I think he should retire now while he's at the top of his game. In fact, why doesn't he just play for the Bucs AND the G-Men next year, I bet no one will know.
* God, I hate having to sit through Peyton Manning's audible extravaganza before very snap. It's maddeningly irritating.
* About this Tiki retirement stuff, I'm starting to think that maybe he has a bigger ego than previously thought. He was probably thinking all week leading up to the Dallas Cowtippers game, "T.O., T.O., always talking about T.O. Fuck that, it's Tiki time! Let's give them something to talk about!" Okay, he didn't quote a Bonnie Raitt song, because that would be gay. But I have no doubt he "mentioned something in passing to a reporter" to stir up some Tiki talk time. And still, the best he could come up with is "I want to talk about football on TV." Yeah, that's super. Great choice. Way to go.
OKAY, IT'S MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TIME!
* That asinine ESPN gimmick where some random celebrity "picks up the helmet" has to go. Although Samuel L. Jackson did it this week, and you know what? I'm ready for some muthafuckin football! And then Hank Williams, Jr. made me realize that I'll never be ready. What a no-talent hick whore. Oh good, he's going to be in the booth. I've officially turned on WFAN radio, which is 5 seconds behind (vs. FOX which is 5 seconds ahead--WTF?). Now I'm listening to Bob Papa, Dick Lynch and Dave Jennings, who just gave some fascinating punt analysis. They're a little homerish, but light years more tolerable than the MNFers.
* Okay, I missed the Plaxico TD. I hear it was pretty.
* LaVar has decided to show up tonight, because reports are that he sacked Bledsoe in the end zone for a safety. Wait, is that confirmed? Are we sure that was him? Hey LaVar, I love your soap, I buy it all the time. Oh, that's LEVER, as in LEVER 2000, the last year LaVar was a factor. See how that works?
* A camera shot of Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman in the booth, stonefaced and emotionless. Man, that looks like a wild duo. Can we get Al Gore in there to lighten up the mood and tell some knock knock jokes?
* Strahan just equaled LT's sack total. Of course, they didn't even invent the "sack" category until LT's second season, so who knows for sure?
* Umenyiora (I finally can spell his name right without looking it up) just got a sack even though Bledsoe threw the pass for the completion. Yeah, this rule is supposed to "protect the QB", but it can sometimes cost you too.
* Dallas fans: "WE WANT ROMO! NOT THE HOMO! WE WANT ROMO! SEND DREW HOMO!"
* On 3rd and inches Eli threw a perfect strike into the end zone, so accurately lobbed that only the defensive back could catch it. NEWMAN. Everytime I think Eli is starting to mature and not make dumb mistakes he flings a ball of feces like that.
* And now LaVar is hurt. Something happened to his left leg and they're carting him off. Thanks for the half a game you played this year. Well done.
You can feel the tide turning now.
* Bledsoe ran and was STOPPED SHORT OF THE END ZONE . . . but naturally it's called a TD, and it's not challenged.
* Tiki fumbled and got hurt on the play (or maybe vice versa), Dallas is going to score again. I think I've watched enough. If Tiki gets knocked out, the G-Men are done. And now Osi is hurt???
I KNEW I wasn't ready for some football.
* Bledsoe is picked off at the end zone by Samuel L. Madison, muthafucka! Dodged the proverbial bullet there. "TAKE OUT THE HOMO! PUT IN ROMO!"
* Jerry Jones is now standing on the sidelines. Are there more than one of him? Oh god I hope not. Is he going to start coaching now? 12-7 G-MEN. What a mess of a first half.
* "ROMO! ROMO! ROMO!" First play, rollout, tipped by Strahan, INTERCEPTION by Pierce, first down on the 14 for the Giants! And the Romo love fest is over. "BLED-SOE! BLED-SOE! BLED-SOE!"
* After Shockey's TD catch made it 19-7, on the ensuing drive T.O. dropped a WIDE OPEN PASS on 4th and 2 at the 30 and his eye on the end zone. What a shame, he seems like such a nice happy-go-lucky lad!
* The Giants are winning but players are getting injured: Osi (groin), LaVar (out), and now Strahan (hammy) and Madison (?). Not to mention Tiki looks like he's a little concussed. Actually, you can't be "a little concussed", you either are or you aren't. Let's just say Tiki's probable "with a head". I like Tiki, but even this ass-kissing MNF is giving them is making me ill. And I trusted the media not to make a big deal about this until after the season! ESPN is slowly killing me.
* Why are they talking to Emmitt Smith? There's a GAME GOING ON HERE, and the Giants are MOVING THE BALL! Can we at least get some live shots of Emmitt dancing with some hot piece of ass?
* Eli runs to the 2, 4th and inches. (Brandon Jacobs. Brandon Jacobs. Brandon Jacobs.) Surprisingly, they had it off to JACOBS and he shakes off about 5 guys to score! That was a monsterous bull rush. 26-7 Giants. What a swing.
UPDATE: Allegedly, LaVar tore his Achilles tendon. It's over for him, just when he was getting started (no one told him it was Week 7).
* Cowboys scored a TD in about 57 seconds. Way to sit back and let them score, Big Blue. Ugh.
* Hey, nice drive of -8 yards, and great job killing some clock (0:52), and giving the ball right back! The Cowboys are going to win this, the G-Men D wore themselves out in the first half, and they're beat up.
* And there's another ROMO INT! Dallas fans, are you sure this is better than Bledsoe? Two G-Men wrestled for that one, and Fred "Tim" Robbins ended up with it. Now, CAN WE KILL SOME G.D. CLOCK PLEASE???
* And they got a Feely FG, give that man a Nat Sherman cigar! 29-15 G-Men.
* HICKORY DICKORY DOCKERY runs back a Romo INT 96 yards for a TD! 36-15 G-Men!
* G-Men win it, 36-22. The Giants notch their FIRST EVER MNF WIN IN DALLAS (it's about time), and are in first place in the NFC East. Now if only they didn't injure half the defense today, I'd feel better about next week . . .
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:59 PM
The city of Boston broke the Guinness World Record for "most carved and lit pumpkins" over the weekend at their Life Is Good Pumpkin Festival, reaching a total of 30,128. As impressive as this is, I'm sure this rankles the town of Keene, New Hampshire to no end, as they have been hosting their own pumpkin festival since 1991 until Boston decided to steal their thunder in 2004. In 2003, Keene set the record at 28,952 carved and lit pumpkins until being knocked off the throne this past weekend.
I attended the 2004 Keene festival, and I was both impressed and shocked at how many people showed up and crammed into this tiny town. And holy gourds, there were a lot of pumpkins, which looked fantastically eerie as night fell. Of course, people who enjoy the baked by-products of this festival probably enjoyed it more than I did, since I only eat the seeds. I can't even imagine how many pounds of pumpkin guts were discarded in the aftermath.
But what does Boston have to prove? Why not leave the pumpkin festival to the good people of Keene? Don't they have better things to do? (I may have answered my own question there.) If Bostonians want to see a whole bunch of jack-o-lanterns it's only an hour and a half drive. Plus, for a city of 600,000 people to beat the record set by a small town of 22,000 by only a couple of hundred pumpkins is pretty pathetic, if you ask me. For the past 6 years running, Keene has produced MORE PUMPKINS THAN RESIDENTS. (Although, judging by the people walking around, there may have been more LIT ATTENDEES.) So until you surpass that feat, Keene's the winner in my book. Let's face it, Beantown really knows how to ruin a good thing: look what they've done to tea parties, highway construction, and the Red Sox, the once lovable losers who are now a coast to coast Nation of irritating braggards. Well, now its citizens have something else to brag about, as if they weren't arrogant enough.
Next year I predict there will be an all-out carve 'em up, scoop 'em out, jack-o-lantern border war, as countless knives will be brandished and the streets will run orange with the blood and pulp of thousands of pumpkins. I don't know who will win; all I know for sure is that it's going to be pretty sloppy.
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:07 PM
Sunday, October 22, 2006
After their worst start in 17 years (1-6-1), Flyers GM and annoying jerk Bobby Clarke quit and fired coach Ken Hitchcock on his way out (who had just signed a 3 year contract). Like Domi, he finally realized that he's a dinosaur in this league and it's time to hang it up. See ya! I stand by my prediction that they're missing the playoffs-they are horribly slow, the Sabres were skating circles around them. Some other notes:
Goalie's Gone Wild! I made a joke while attending Game 1 of the 2000 Devils/Stars Stanley Cup Finals when Eddie Belfour was pulled, saying "Now I can tell my grandkids I saw Manny Fernandez play." (The Stars coach at the time? Ken Hitchcock.) Well, the joke's on me because the Wild finally lost their first game Saturday, and The Man is 6-1 with a 1.60 GAA/.945 SV.
Got Malkin? Geez, I can't wait to see these shirts in Pittsburgh (right next to the Big Ben 'Drink Like A Champion Today' shirts). But plenty of other teams now wish they had Russian rookie Evgeni Malkin, who has scored in each of his first 3 games.
Senators re-elected. Off to an iffy start, they completely blew the Devils off the ice, scoring 6 against Marty before the 2nd period was over en route to a 8-1 win. I'll hold off on my excitement until they make it to the Stanley Cup finals.
No relation to John Maine. Rick "The Franchise" DiPietro finally notched his first win on Saturday in 4 tries (4.11 GAA). It's not his fault his dumb ass owner gave him a 15 year contract, who wouldn't sign on the line for that? So I'm going to stop bashing him, primarily because I want to see the Isles back in the playoffs, and secondly because he's an American from the state of Maine. (Lewiston/Auburn, Cities of the Androscoggin! Sorry, it's a local Maine commercial, you had to be there.)
Home Grown. Speaking of American players, the New Jersey Devils have the most with 15 currently on the active roster.
It's Tricky. In this video about trick shots, it appears Oiler prospect Robbie Schrempf has got some skills. I can't wait to see something like this in a shootout.
Hold on, isn't that a high stick? When he goes around his shoulder, it's way above the crossbar. (And while we're at it, you can't legally do that on the golf course, although that's impressive.)
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:01 PM
Saturday, October 21, 2006
My last blog entry about baseball for 2006 will be an upbeat one: here's THE CATCH starring ENDY CHAVEZ.
SCREW YOU GOOGLE FOR REMOVING THE VIDEO FROM YOUTUBE!
Oddly enough, it's on Google video. Huh?
Just incredible. Not only the catch, but the circumstances surrounding it. (And yes, Willie got lucky because he should have taken out Perez after walking Edmonds. But I digress.) I was hoping their hitting would explode after that, but alas, they left the bases loaded in the bottom of that inning as well as the 9th (I'm still waiting for BEAST-TRAN to swing). And I hate to keep pointing out how old the music at Shea is, but playing Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" from 1978 after that? Ugh.
At least I don't feel like I did after 2000, that the Mets' postseason appearance was an anomaly. I think this team can make it back here next year, but hopefully not another Game 7 because that might kill me. And no, I won't be watching the World Series (the last game I watched a significant part of was Game 1 of the Sox/Cards series in 2004), and I suspect everyone outside of Detroit and St. Louis couldn't give a shit either.
Kris "The Biggest Sabres Fan In France" Salo pointed out: "What kind of name is 'Endy?' I mean, they could've gone with "Eddy" or "Andy" but no, it has to be some messed up name..." Well, I don't know anyone else named that but it could be a popular Latino nombre del hombre, or his mom declaring that she's done having kids (get it???). Maybe they're saying "What kind of name is 'Jeff'? Couldn't they name him 'Jose' or 'Jesus'?" From now on, you can call me the Open Hockey Jesus.
ENDY CHAVEZ - THE CATCH [FOX]
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:36 PM
Here are some pix from Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS at Shea.
HEY RON, LOVED YOU IN SHALLOW HAL!
Beautiful day @ Shea.
Karl, Mike, Scott at the 2006 NLCS. Not to be confused with Mike Scott, MVP of the 1986 NLCS.
And now for the HAPPY RECAP, Mets fans: it's TANQUERAY TIME!
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:05 PM
Friday, October 20, 2006
Man, it's been a crappy week. Along with the Mets finally succumbing to the mighty bats of the Cardinals (seriously, you guys have an awesome juggernaut of a team, relying on Yadier Molina to get it done, way to go, Tigers in 5), here's another bit of depressing news: Tiki Barber is leaning towards retiring after this NFL season. The worst part of it? He's thinking about persuing a television career. Really, that's all you've got? Are you sure you don't want to become an astronaut for the Mars mission, open a cancer research center, or become a nuclear scientist? I'd rather he pulled a Ricky Williams and say he wanted to "find himself" (which turned out to be "find himself the best marijuana in the entire world"). Say it ain't so, Teek!
Some are writing it off as a "non-story" or as a "contract negotiation tactic", but I don't think so. This comes as a shock to me. Right now, at the age of 31 he seems to be at the peak of his career. At a time when most running backs seem to be breaking down (Larry Johnson, Cadillac, Portis, Edgerrin), he's in phenomenal shape and could easily produce for years to come.
By all accounts, Tiki's a fairly intelligent guy, and it probably kills him to have to hang out with dumbass football players all the time. But there's nothing further from highbrow than having to hang out with sports broadcasters. I understand not wanting to get pummeled 30-40 times a week by chemically enraged 275 pound linebackers, but willingly trading analysis and witticisms with the likes of Michael Irvin and Terry Bradshaw might be a worse psychological beating.
Former Giants QB Phil Simms said it best: "Life after football is long. In fact, my wife now wants me to TALK TO HER FOR HOURS ON END, and I have no idea what we're even discussing half the time. Luckily, she bought the excuse that I'm physically unable to cuddle due to my various football-related surgeries." Well, maybe I'm paraphrasing a bit but you get the idea.
All I can say is that I hope you're sure about this Tiki (if you're reading this). If so, please let me know so I can hurry up and buy my Fathead poster.
Now unlike Favre this year and Bettis last year, the media can SHUT UP ABOUT THIS until the end of the season, and let's play some football.
Posted by Jeff K @ 1:49 PM
Thursday, October 19, 2006
BOTTOM 8TH. While showing a Detroit Tigers highlight, FOX used "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted "Motor City Madman" Nugent in the background. They even used the title, "THEY'RE GRRRRREAT!" Oh, I get it! FOX is off the chart on the CLEVEROMETER!
They keep showing David Eckstein in the dugout . . . why? I think FOX has a man crush on Li'l Davy.
The big guys (Beltran, Delgado, Wright) are up, and Suppan is still in. Leadoff walk for BEAST-TRAN! Tim McOldass will tell you 43% of those guys score. What he won't tell you is that Tony La Russa is planning on making 7 pitching changes to prevent that from happening.
ALERT: "That's" So Taguchi is playing right field, and Billy Wagner is warming up. I'm praying we get about 10 runs here, because I don't want to see these two meet again.
Flores relieves Suppanman, and gets two K's and a ground out. NO HITS FOR THE METS SINCE THE FIRST INNING. Egads, that's not good.
I have a very bad feeling about this next inning . . .
TOP 9TH. After a hard-fought Rolen single, Yadier hits a two run HR off Heilman. A 216 hitter in the regular season. WITH ONLY SIX HOME RUNS. It's always the unlikely hitter than ends up winning these games, and you can't get any unlikelier (?) than Yadier. There's no one Yadier than him tonight. He is, dare I say, the YADIEST!
It's over, people. Drive safely. There will be extra 7 trains running tonight.
BOTTOM 9TH. Adam "Loudon" Wainwright III comes in to close it.
Bloop base hit from Jose #2. Okay, still alive.
Base hit from Endy into left field. Two on, none out! Uh oh.
Clifford Floyd is pinch hitting, and hopefully he won't have to leg out a hit. No worries, he strikes out.
Lo Duca walks to bring up Carlos Beltran with the bases packed. Man, I can't take this.
He strikes out looking to end the game, and the Mets season. Put it in the books. What a frustrating team, going down NOT swinging.
In other news, the Devils lost 4-3 to Nashville, and Tiki Barber is talking about retiring after this season. So no, I have no good news.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:46 PM
TOP 6TH. ENNNNNNNNNNNNN-DEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! He just jumped and reached over the wall and took a 2 run HR away from Rolen, and doubled up Jim "Dave" Edmonds! Holy CRAP, what a PLAY! It would be a different score if Cliff Floyd was out there, methinks.
BOTTOM 6TH. Endy with a double curtain call, on a DEFENSIVE PLAY. First time I've ever seen that.
We need a run. We need a Carlos to unload a payload. Man, I'm getting punchy.
3 BB for DEL GONE-O, brings up Davey Wight. Rolen with a Knoblachian throw into the expensive seats on the first base line! They walk the bases loaded, but get Jose #2 on a K, and Endy on a pop out to end the "threat". Shit.
TOP 7TH. The O.P. is done for the night, giving us 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 88 pitches--more than you could ever expect. Submarine pitcher Chad Bradford comes in. I wonder what his favorite movie is, "U-571", "The Hunt for Red October" or "Das Boot"?
BOTTOM 7TH. I loved Chris Tucker (Karl joke) in "Rush Hour 2", but he sucked in "Rush Hour 1". That's the best joke I have right now. Three up three down for the Mets, Suppan is at the 99 pitch mark and looks unhittable. Ugh. This has all the earmarks of a looooooooooong game. And it's raining harder in Flushing. Crap monkeys. I wonder if I should make some coffee.
TOP 8TH. Aaron "Seig" Heilman on the mound. Scott Speizio, who stole Scott Weiland's facial hair from 1993, strikes out looking. Rolen is still not talking to La Russa. In fact, he's not even making eye contact, and whenever Tony talks he puts his fingers in his ears while shouting "LALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" After a walk to Poo Holes, Heilman K's Encarnacion.
Note: it looked like Puj has a herpes sore on his lip. I didn't need to see that, FOX HD!
Posted by Jeff K @ 10:55 PM
I thought I'd blog some random thoughts as this game progresses, so one day I can look back on it and, oh who knows. I'll probably never read this again. So let's get it started.
I decided to watch the first 20 minutes of LOST instead of the FOX pregame crap. I think I made the right choice. Locke is the best character on this show, and I would rather see one of his fake hair flashbacks than see Kevin Kennedy's real mustache in HD. Call me crazy. Wait, there are two polar bears?
TOP 1ST. Ollie vs. The Soup Nazi! We have Mets "Rally Rags" as the giveaway today, or whatever they're called. They're oddly mesmerizing. Great, now Shea looks like every other dumb stadium crowd.
Bad 2 out error by Delgado on a pop up in front of the mound, but it didn't hurt them.
Perez does that "jumping over the foul line" thing like Turk Wendell. Egads, I'm having flashbacks to 2000. Not good.
BOTTOM 1ST. I have nothing to say about Suppan. He's a blank slate. I have no jokes, not even soup related ones.
Nice 2 out 2B by Beltran, even nicer slide.
Big spot for David Wright, 1st and 2nd. BTW, the hottest girls at Shea wear his jerseys, to which Karl replied "They're all looking for Mr. Wright." I set him up for that joke. Dink shot to right, base hit, Carlos B. scores, 1-0 Mets!
TOP 2ND. Joe Schmuck said that Scott Rolen doesn't talk to Tony "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" LaRussa. What a pair of douchebags.
Cards pull out "The Safety Squeeze", a song made famous in the 80s by Men Without Hats. 1-1 tie.
Perez is already shaky. He's driving me crazy, so it's time to check on "The Office".
BOTTOM 2ND. I watched Jim & Pam talk on the phone, and they nailed that "awkward phone call between two people with unresolved feelings towards each other". I've had about 74 calls like that in my life. Jim needs to bang that multiracial Justine Bateman chick in the Stamford office, and then drive over to Scranton and nail Pam on the weekends. He deserves it.
TOP 3RD. Double play to end the inning by Encarnacion. THAT'S WHY YOU WALK POO HOLES.
BOTTOM 3RD. Devils are losing to Nashville, mainly because Clemmenson is in goal. Yeah, I just switched to hockey, what are you going to do about it? Islanders are losing 2-0 to Pittsburgh. What is DiPietro's GAA, a 5.00? Although, they went on a mini-winning streak with Dunham. Coincidence?
TOP 4TH. I think I missed an entire inning. Nothing happened. Most unlikely hero for each team: Preston Wilson, and Shawn Green. The latter uses "Be Yourself" by Audioslave for his intro music, but back when he was hitting HRs he used Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden. Coincidence?
BOTTOM 4TH. Schmuck and McCracker are talking about socks. Not White Sox, not Red Sox, but sanitary sox. FOX on SOX! Good lord, I hate them. If this goes 14 innings, I'm driving off the Tappan Zee bridge.
Hey FOX, stop showing the "DIRT CAM", it looks like CRAP! Especially on my HDTV.
The in-game interview is the worst FOX invention yet, but at least Tony "Elwood Blues" LaRussa took off the shades. Wait, but now you can't bluff like Chris Moneymaker! I hate that I know that. Fuck you and your poker, ESPN.
Jose "Rican Rhapsody" Valentin takes it on the chin--LITERALLY. I kill me.
A light mist is falling as the inning ends. I'm praying for a rain delay. Shoot me now.
TOP 5TH. 2 on for the Ollie, I hope he doesn't get rattled now. Preston Wilson just struck out for the 3rd time, and Pooooooooo pops it up to end it. The O.P. gets through 5 innings, 1 ER. Wow.
Posted by Jeff K @ 9:20 PM
I feel like an idiot saying this: I actually feel nauseous about Game 7 of the NLCS. I don't think Yankees fans ever feel this way before a must-win game, which they've been winning less and less of lately. They just walk around with this cool confidence, pretending it doesn't matter, expecting to win. When they don't win, they just brace themselves for the next-day's teasing, practice saying "Well, I never liked [INSERT ALL-STAR NAME HERE] anyway, he always chokes in a big spot." or the old stand-by: "Oh well, we have 26 championships."
Mets fans? We brace ourselves for the worst to happen: Oliver Perez sucks (he was dumped by the freaking PIRATES!), David Wright has shrunk just when we needed him, Wagner is a sissy-mary. And on the other side, there's the "gritty" and "tough" Eckstein, the "fat" and "ugly" Ronnie Belliard, the "poo" and "holes", and the 45th Molina in baseball who is the most amazing defensive catcher since the last Molina. Jeff Suppan is attempting to win his SECOND GAME 7 IN A ROW (last time was against Clemens vs. the Astros in 2004), and although that sounds absurd, I fully expect it to happen. Why is that?
I have to stop reading Deadspin, since they spin everything towards the Birds. Althought I appreciated this tête-à-tête between a Mets fan and a Birds fan, it doesn't take away the sick feeling I have right now. Maybe it was the Bud Light I found myself reluctantly drinking at Shea last night to take the edge off, an evil Anheuser Busch product JUST LIKE THE CARDINALS.
The last Game 7 I anguished over was when the Avalanche beat the Devils. (I hate Patrick Roy, and I always will.) But as a Mets fan, I haven't been here in a long time. And it's a feeling I don't want again for a long time.
(I had to use the "got [blank]?" line as the subject, because I hate the "got postseason?" shirts I've been seeing, with "WE DO!" on the back. Please, that old milk ad parody was played about 8 years ago.)
A Cards Fan and a Mets Fan Discuss Game 7 [Deadspin]
Posted by Jeff K @ 5:22 PM
Holy crap, I'm tired. But it's a good tired, because I'm happy that the Mets won Game 6 by a 4-2 score, to forcibly force a cliche-inducing decisive do-or-die-all-or-nothing-all-hands-on-deck Game 7 tonight. Just a few notes before I pass out:
* John Maine. What a great job by the rook. Going into this start, I thought he could either pitch 4 or 5 solid innings or get completely shelled, with nothing in between. Thankfully, he did the former, and for that I'm not even going to make a stupid pun regarding his name. And the turning point in the 1st, as he hot out of a bases loaded jam, and Reyes lead off the bottom of the inning with a HR. Shea Stadium was literally rocking, with the upper deck swaying in an alarming fashion.
(The best thing about witnessing a home run in person: you watch the ball reach its apex, and your brain extrapolates the distance the ball will travel, and you already know a few seconds ahead of time that it's going to clear the fence. Of course, it depends on what angle you're watching it from, but I could see this from our LF upper deck box seats, and it's a great feeling. You can't get that at home, HD or no HD.)
* Loooooooper! It was sweet to see Braden Pooper choke away 2 runs late in the game, which ended up being the difference. No, they're not booing, they're chanting Loo--wait, no, they're definitely booing. (Yes, I've used that joke a billion times, but it's still funny to me, and that's all that counts.)
* Billy Fucking Wagner. After another spotty effort, that's his new middle name. Sweet Jebus, can't he throw a 1-2-3 inning, or at least not piss away a 4 run lead, and 8 shutout innings by Mets pitching? Of course not, not only does he give back two, but he puts the tying run at the plate. He still throws hard (he hit 96 on the Shea gun) but it must not move at all, because he made So Taguchi look so good (again). It really harshed the buzz in the crowd when it was apparent he didn't have it. I've heard people curse Wagner's name before but never 55,000 simultaneously. (Scott and I agreed after seeing Heilman needing only 12 pitches to cruise through the 8th that he needed to start the 9th. Of course, Willie pulled him.)
* At first, the "Jose, JoseJoseJose!" chants made me think I'd just wandered into a World Cup match, but it creeped into my brain and I was singing it the whole way home on the 7 train. Note to Shea: stop with the sissy 8th inning Neil Diamond sing-a-long garbage. It's not some random game in May, it's not 1 AM and we're listening to a bar jukebox, this is the MLB NLCS. As for the other song choices: "Takin' Care Of Business" (BTO, 1973), "Time Has Come Today" (Chambers Brothers, 1967), and the entire The Who greatest hits album--who's DJing, Chris Berman? Can we select one song that's been recorded in the past 30 years? Somehow FOX sounds more timely and current by using "Just A Job To Do" by Genesis (from their 1983 eponymously titled album, thanks Karl), which is a full decade newer.
* Two guys in front of us each had a two-sided sign that when read together either said "BEAST" and "-TRAN" (for Beltran) and "DEL" and "GONE-O" (for Delgado). But since we could only see the back of them we couldn't figure out for a while what they were trying to convey. "TRAN BEAST"? "DELTRAN"? "GONE-O BEAST"? We tried out every combination. I don't know why I found that funny.
* Note for the designers of the new Mets stadium: PLEASE BUILD MORE BATHROOMS. I walked all the way to the mezzanine behind home plate just to find one that had less than 100 guys waiting on line.
* Does anyone know how that giant Shea Home Run Apple works? Is it remote control? Is it hydraulic air-powered? Are there a team of immigrant workers who live inside it? And what size top hat would that be, and would it fit on Barry Bonds' enormous head? I have to research this.
* Final note to the MTA: you suck. There's no reason it should take 8 hours round trip from White Plains to attend to a baseball game (5:33 PM to 1:39 AM, 3 hour game, 4 hours travel time, 1 hour of dead time). Because of our lateness we had to buy tickets on the train, and we anticipated being charged extra--but not $11 one way vs. the regular $6.25 price! Not only that, but the conductor wouldn't sell us a round trip ticket, forcing us to buy a ticket on our way back. All of this is ostensibly to force people to use the ticket machines, but I call it price gauging, so they can line the pockets of their corrupt officials and exceedingly overpaid union workers ($52,000 average, with subway operators makin $63,000!!!). (Meanwhile, the average NY teacher makes $53,663. Yeah, that's fair.) And when 20,000 fans head to the subway afterwards, it would help if you didn't have only 10 MetroCard turnstiles open. Or how about this: let people get on the trains for free! Yeah, right. MTA, if you want people to take mass transit, stop giving people reasons not to.
This Mets postseason has been a typical rollercoaster ride: anguish, delight, tension, excitement, fresh fruit, drama, frustration. The Shea faithful were great last night, but not in a "wearing the same color and swinging around hankies like a drooling zombie until developing elbow tendinitis" way, but in an ebullient yet cautiously optimistic way. The booing of Scott "Crimson Tickler" Spiezio was confusing, but the standing O given to Maine was chill-inducingly fantastic (and well-earned).
Game 7 tonight, Oliver "Massive ERA" Perez vs. Jeff "Campbell's" Suppan. Should be a hell of a game either way. I hope in the Mets' favor.
LET'S GO METS!
(I have some pictures from last night, I'll have to post them later.)
Posted by Jeff K @ 2:31 PM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I'm off to the NLCS Game 6. The last Game 6 at Shea was on 1986, the "Bill Buckner" game, and of course we all know what happened after that. I think it should be the "Calvin Scharaldi" game. Anyway, maybe that's a good omen. Or a bad one. I can't decide.
LET'S GO METS!!!
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:14 PM
I was going to try to do a "week in review" for the NHL, but I only sporadically blog on this thing, and even then I don't get all my thoughts out there. Okay, so it's more like a "Weakened Review".
Let's Go Buffalo! I didn't say "let's go TO Buffalo", mind you. They had 14" of snow on Sunday night, causing massive power outages and much strife, but Sabres fans still packed the HSBC Center for the home opener vs. the Rangers. They weren't disappointed as they cruised to a 7-3 win thanks to a Briere hatter. Last night they blew out the Flyers 9-1, and skated circles around their defense. This is a scary team. They are going to be the cream of the Easter crop this season. Out west, Minnesota is off to a great start, but the Sharks are the most impressive scoring team.
Speaking of hat tricks, there have been a flurry of them lately. Three natural hat tricks were recorded in ONE DAY, on 10/12/06: Brian Gionta, Ryan Smith (who scored all 3 in a 2:01 span, breaking Gretzky's old Oilers record by 17 seconds), and Jonathan Cheechoo all netted three unexplained goals. All told there have been 8 hat tricks, 7 of them in the past 10 days: Mathieu Schneider, Ryan Smyth, Jonathan Cheechoo, Brian Gionta, Mats Sundin, Chris Drury and Williams. That's a lot of donated hats.
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:09 PM
Monday, October 16, 2006
That makes for a great movie title, doesn't it? After administering a 12-5 Game 4 Carlospanking Sunday night, the Mets and Cards are all tied up at 2 games apiece in the NLCS. Most importantly this means I will be attending the now-necessary Game 6 at Shea Stadium (named after Cuban guerrilla leader, Ché Stadium). That's right, it's Home Game 3, the Mets vs. the . . . Brooklyn Cyclones? These are the most useless printed tickets ever, they barely even say "NLCS" and "Mets" on them. We should have chosen "print it yourself" instead.
My Mets musings from the weekend:
* Los Carloses have more than earned their paychecks this postseason. Beltran now has 3 HR and 5 RBI (and 11 postseason HRs in 19 games, 7 off Cards pitchers), and Delgado is 12-for-29 with 4 HR and 11 RBI and 27 total bases in 7 games.
* David was able to Wright the ship and finally got off the schnide, getting a hit in the NLCS after going 0-for-9 (man, that was puntastic). He needs to perform, because it can't be Team Carlos every night.
* Poo Holes has 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4-for-14. Let's reiterate what Albert said about Glavine shutting out him and his team in Game 1: "He wasn't good, he wasn't good at all." Uh huh, look who's talking. I have a feeling he's going to bust out any minute now, and it's going to be scary.
* I'm going to just come out and say it: Scott Spezio's facial hair, which I've dubbed "The Crimson Tickler", is fucking stupid looking. But he did have key hits which helped the Cards win Game 2 and Game 3 so maybe he--no, forget it, that facial hair is retarded. Baseball players officially have the stupidest looking facial hair in all of sports, and maybe in the entire Western world.
* In what could be his final Mets game (he's a free agent, and white, so I'm guessing Omar won't resign him), Steve Trachsel pulled himself out of Game 3 with a "bruised thigh". Oh, okay. It probably didn't help that he walked 5 guys and gave up 5 runs in 2 innings. But I'll remember him for something positive: after 297 pickoff attempts this postseason, he finally got Eckstein in the 1st.
* Cliff Floyd's injury is a blessing in disguise, because now we get more of Endy Chavez, who is the Timo Perez of the 21st Century. (Sorry, I just had to use that phrase, because I loathe it almost as much as "Since 9/11 . . . ")
* I don't want to say "I told you so, Willie leaves Mota in too long", but I did and HE did (if that makes sense). I just hope the season doesn't come down to Mota, Perez or Hernandez. Yes, they have the advantage at middle relief over most teams (including St. Louis' neverending cavalcade of Joshs) but any of those guys can go Benitez on you in a flash. Not to mention "Never trust a Wagner". (Shit, I mentioned him.)
* Why does FOX continually show crowd reactions of St. Louis fans? Every time I looked, they weren't doing anything at all. When their team wasn't scoring, they sat there fairly emotionless and sluggish, like they might have ate too much pie before the game. So they're considered the best fans in the majors because they all remember to wear red shirts? Please. The Mets fans win hands down when it comes to enthusiasm and incomprehensible signs ("PICK YOUR POISIN"). I really want to bring a whole bunch of hand scrawled posters with me for Game 6 in which key words are misspelled, with the coup de gras being "LET'S GO METTS".
* And I'm not sure recently fired Steve Lyons is a racist, but he certainly isn't funny either. He also made fun of a blind Mets fan who needed special goggles to watch the game (of course, he didn't know he was blind at the time).
So we've got Glavine vs. Jeff "Dream" Weaver in Game 5 tonight, although it looks like it's going to rain. The rest could be good for Glavine, but bad for the Mets if the Cards decide to start Carpenter.
Bottom line: they cannot go down 3 games to 2 to a team that only won 83 games.
LET'S GO METTS!
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:26 PM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I was thinking of writing a live diary of this game, but I decided against it because it's been done to death. Instead I'll just write some thoughts I had while watching this. To avoid the comedy stylings of Buck & McCarver, I tuned in late and flipped between this, hockey, and "The Office" (which was hilarious). Apparently, I missed a tribute to Bob Murphy and Jack Buck to kick things off. In honor of the Murph, I'm going to have a Tanqueray Extra Dry martini tomorrow. Mets fans, it's Tanqueray Time!
I have to say that although the Mets fans were great tonight, they have some of the lamest signs. Along with the requisite "Ya gotta believe" posters, one of them was a n incredibly ugly cut-and-paste $100 bill with Randolph's picture inserted and "IN WILLIE WE TRUST" scrawled below it. Another one in the upper deck in left said "FIELD OF PRAYERS"? What does that even mean?
Cliff Floyd blew out his Achilles almost immediately, I think it was during the National Anthem. He should NOT have been added to the NLCS roster, their bench is weak enough as it is. Replacement Endy Chavez ended up making a great diving catch 2 innings later; Floyd's arm would have probably fallen off if he'd tried that.
The HD picture on FOX looks great tonight, about 4 million times better than the ESPN game that they tried to pass off as HD. Except what is that thing on Jeff Weaver's left cheek? Is that a scar, possibly incurred during his Yankees days?
It's not time to panic yet, but Jose Reyes needs a hit. I think his problem is that, like the Warren Zevon song, he's just an excitable boy. He's pressing, and let's hope it doesn't reach A-Rod proportions. I'd tell him to start off Game 2 with a drag bunt to get things going.
Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel doing a VW commercial, selling guitars with built-in pre-amps that you can plug directly into your car stereo? That's interesting. Pretty funny commercial, compared to every other commerical out there (except the Hummer magician ones), though Christopher Guest is looking rather gaunt.
That Beltran HR was an absolute BOMB, that went about halfway up the scoreboard. (I'm not sure why they've decided not to encorporate a huge scoreboard like Shea's in the design of the new Mets stadium, but then again they didn't ask me.) 9 postseason dingers? That's a lot.
(Side note: I was also keeping tabs on the Rangers/Penguins and Devils/Leaves games during this. Before Beltran belted that HR, Crosby scored a PP goal off Ward's skate with 0:03.3 left to beat the Rangers 6-5, when it certainly looked like OT was coming. Right after the HR, the Devils tied their game with 37 seconds left, 6-6, thanks to a a natural, organic, grain-fed hat trick by Gionta, and won it in a shootout 7-6. Both high scoring crazy games, unlike the baseball. But I digress.)
Tomas Glaveen pitched a fantastic game. 89 pitches, 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, a couple of key line drive DPs. You can't ask for more than that from the crafty southpaw veteran hurler.
The old timey footage of Julio Franco was insane. Althought it wasn't really that old (1981), I thought I was watching recently unearthed footage from "When It Was A Game", or maybe Tengen's RBI Baseball on Nintendo. Was that Memorial Stadium in Cleveland? Hey, was that Schoolboy Rowe pitching to him in old Shibe Park?
Mota really pisses me off. He was all over the place, and almost walked the two guys ahead of Poo Holes, and I really thought a 3 run jobber was forthcoming. He has a chance to blow one of these games Benitez-style, because Willie leaves him in too long. They obviously don't like Heilman, because he should be in the 8th, and Wagner in the 9th. Maybe they're saving him for long relief in case Maine can't go long in one of these starts, but sheesh, he kills me.
Apparently, Paul "He's From Brooklyn" LoDuca wants to put on his Boogie Shoes every time he's at bat. Add to that the Night Ranger "Sister Christian" clip ("Your Mota ran!"--get it?) and we've got half the Boogie Nights soundtrack. All we need is someone to request "Driver's Seat" by Sniff n' the Tears.
Looper came in to pitch the ninth, and the fans weren't booing they were chanting Loo--no, never mind, they were booing. Or at least sarcastically saying his name. Closer upgrade Wagner worked a surprisingly efficient 9th for the save; I didn't even have to throw anything or drop a single F-bomb.
BTW, FOX's radar gun is complete bullshit. I was listening to Howie Rose's WFAN radio call (which is unfortunately 5 seconds ahead of the TV, so I can't really do both at once), and when he said "Wagner threw that one 98", it said it was 99 on FOX. So when the Tigers pitchers hit 103 on the FOX gun tomorrow, they're just jacking it up to add to the drama. Shh--drama!
All in all, a solid 2-0 win, and a successful return to the NLCS for the Mets. Tomorrow night is Game 2, and hopefully the Cards won't Dismember the Maine.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:48 PM
I accidentally tuned into a New York DiPietros game the other night, and I was shocked to hear Jiggs McDonald doing the play-by-play. The last time I heard his voice, he was on SportsChannel announcing the Patrick Division winning Islanders as they upset the Penguins in 1993. Rob thought he was dead, but apparently he's subbing for Howie Rose while the Mets are still in the playoffs.
Bob Sheppard is apparently no longer doing PA announcements at Giants games (he retired after the playoffs in January), although his replacement Jim Hall (and his backup for the past 40 years) sounds EXACTLY LIKE HIM.
I just found this out: in their ongoing effort to prove they know nothing about sports broadcasting, FOX SportsNet fired Mike "Voice of the Penguins" Lange. He's the announcer that brought you such phrases as "Scratch my back with a hacksaw" and "Get in the fast lane Grandma, this bingo game is about to roll!" What a dumb move.
I hate to admit it, but I missed Doc Emrick. You know fall is here when you feel that chill in the air, the laves start to turn, and you hear the first "OOHHHH AND A SAVE MADE BY BRODEURRRRRR!" Must be hockey season!
While we're at it, can we get a nightly NHL highlight show somewhere? ESPN2 used to have one, back before they sucked and starting showing nothing but poker and billiards. How about it, OLN--uhm, Versus? I hear TSN does one every night, how about you show that instead of Extreme Rodeo clips? Or is that too Canadian for you?
Posted by Jeff K @ 9:40 AM
The Onion presents: NHL Week One Highlights.
* Dead-set on protecting his 15-year, $67.5 million investment in goaltender Rick DiPietro, Islanders GM Garth Snow puts him on the bench where he won't be hit by flying pucks
* A 13-round shootout between New York and Philadelphia ends when Rangers' left wing Marcel Hossa wins an exciting, exhilarating coin toss
God Bless the Onion!
Posted by Jeff K @ 8:32 AM
The Mets got rained out last night, and in light of recent events I was eager to avoid baseball altogether anyway. And thankfully, I wouldn't have to listen to the Card-centric team of Buck & McCarver all night. So I watched LOST instead, which was enjoyable for the first 59 minutes. However, even though it's on a completely different network, I COULDN'T ESCAPE JOE BUCK! He calls every sporting event! That's what he DOES! That's ALL HE DOES! YOU CAN'T STOP HIM!
(They used a FOX TV clip of the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series either to illustrate that not everyone on the island is cut off from the rest of the world, or solely to annoy me. Take your pick.)
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:17 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Bizarre story today: Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor both died after his plane crashed into an apartment building. I heard about the plane crash after lunch (and had endure my co-workers' paranoid conspiracy theories), but didn't hear the Yankee connection until I was driving home. A weird story with a very sad ending, and you have to feel horrible for his wife and kid whom he was going to fly home to spend time with (now that the Yankees season is officially over). But here's another thing I wouldn't wish on anyone: his last interview (10/9/06) was with Mike and the Mad Dog. He was trying to defend comments he made about the team being underprepared, and they were steadfastly defending Joe "One More Year" Torre, predictably being complete assholes towards him in the process. In light of what has happened, their douchebaggery is even more appalling, and their existence seems even more irrelevant than ever. That's it, I'm officially done listening to sports talk radio.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:55 PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
* Don't ask me why I'm having these strange urges. Maybe it's the return of NHL hockey, but I have the weirdest desire to rent Strange Brew, starring Bob and Doug McKenzie of SCTV fame. It's one of the dumbest movies ever, but it's just so CANADIAN; in fact, Canadians themselves consider it Shakespearian. I even have the cassette copy of the soundtrack which I stole from a friend, which introduced me to the term "pube toupee" (which I haven't heard before or since). Anyway, with the way things are going around here, I might be moving up north. And with global warming, in a few decades Thunder Bay might be as warm as Myrtle Beach.
* Global warming apparently will melt the polar ice caps, and the resulting influx of cold water from the Arctic Circle will block the warm water currents that flow through the north Atlantic Ocean to Europe, lowering the temperature for the entire continent. In other words, global WARMING will make Europe COLDER. Whah? I think it's time to change the name of this so-called phenomenon. Al "Lockbox" Gore, you invented the Interwebs, how about you invent a less stupid term for the media to abuse?
* Martin "Brodeur" Scorsese's new movie The Departed looks great, and it's the first movie in a long time that I might actually go see in the theater. And then I remembered that all the characters have Boston accents, and it will probably just annoy me.
* Yesterday, I finally got to buy some bagged spinach! Whoo hoo! It says on the bag "product of Canada", so it must be fine since there's no such thing as E. coli there. In the off chance this should kill me, please donate my CD collection to the radio stations in the New York area, because they all blow. Not only can the U.S. not make a decent car, we can't even make a decent SALAD.
* Sean "P. Daddy Puffy Diddy Puff Pastry" Combs is changing his name once again. This time it's "P. Diddly Doodily" to profess his love for Ned Flanders. (Stupid sexy Flanders.)
* WARNING: Gold Bond Powder contains menthol and burns your balls. Why don't they put that on the label?
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:45 PM
Monday, October 9, 2006
* Kris, The Biggest Sabres Fan In France (I assume, just like this guy is the biggest Blues fan in Sweden), is already trash talking with his team in first place in the Mostly Canadian division. Take it easy, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Besides, I don't see Toronto or Montreal threatening them, and Ottawa will end up with 98 points and a first round playoff exit.
* The Rangers won in an entertaining 13 round shootout on Saturday night. 13? Either these guys can't shoot, or these goalies are incredible. I think the first 8 Flyers skated in and shot right at his glove side. Interesting note: Lundqvist and Niitiimakiii last met in the Sweden/Finland gold medal game of the 2006 Olympics. More interesting note: it is impossible to spell Niittymaki correctly without looking it up.
* The Stars have given me another reason to hate them: the oft-concussed Eric Lindros, who scored the insurance goal late in a 3-1 win against the Devils. Blargh. (Perfect ad tie-in: "This insurance goal brought to you by Allstate." Don't laugh, someone should really use that one.)
* The Islanders are on the West Coast Road Trip To Nowhere. Come on inside!
* The Penguins were bought by a Canadian businessman, who allegedly wants to keep them in Western PA. No, really. I give them 2 years until they move to Hamilton or Moosejaw or somewhere.
* The over/under on Dominik Hasek's first injury: Thanksgiving, 2006. Kris and I are taking the under.
* I'm THIS CLOSE to buying an XBOX360/PS3 and NHL '07. It looks phenomenal. (Does Bob Dylan get residuals from the "How Does It Feel?" Tiger Woods '07 slogan?)
Players to watch:
* New Jersey Devils center #19 Travis "Pat" Zajak. Looks good, especially alongside the lovely Colin "Vanna" White.
* Capitals forward Alexander Semin, who scored not once, not twice, but thrice against the Carolina Nascars. Semin was all over the ice that night, it wasn't pretty. I hope my gushing praise of Semin isn't premature. (Sorry, that's the best I could come up with.)
Now some mini-blognostications for you . . .
Surprise teams who will make the playoffs: Minnesota, Boston, Atlanta.
Surprise teams missing the playoffs: Philadelphia, Colorado, Tampa Bay.
Posted by Jeff K @ 2:59 PM
"YANKS SHOCKINGLY LOSE TO TIGERS! JOE TORRE TO BE FIRED! A-ROD TO BE PUBLICLY LYNCHED AT MIDNIGHT ON HALLOWEEN! [Oh, by the way, the Mets won.] PINELLA GAINS CONTROL OF BRONX IN BLOODLESS COUP! STEINBRENNER DECLARES WAR ON NORTH KOREA! [Yeah, I think the Mets thing was a sweep, or something.] ANARCHY AND CHAOS SWEEP THROUGH THE BASEBALL WORLD!" You have to love the New York media. Wait a second, no you don't. It's perfectly okay to despise them, because they're patently awful.
I know I said I wouldn't blog baseball until the Yanks/Mets Subway Series, but since that's been derailed (get it?) allow me to go a bit off-track (GET IT???). I would say that watching the Mets' Steve Trachsel pitch is like watching paint dry, but that would be an insult to paint. It's like watching paint dry, flake off the wall, and having your pet ingest it and eventually die of lead poisoning. Seriously, it seems like every game I've attended over the past few years has featured either Al "110 Pitches Over 5 Innings" Leiter, Bobby "Not The Golfer" Jones or "Blood On The" Trachsel. At least he gives you plenty of time to go on a beer run, while he's throwing over to first to keep the runner close 17 consecutive times. Instead of commentators constantly labeling his pitching style as "deliberate", just once I want to hear one of them say "incredibly boring" or "mind-numbingly slow". If I ever make Game 6 of the NLCS (10/18), I guarantee Trachsel will be on the mound, stepping off the rubber and into my nightmares.
Thankfully, ESPN's done with baseball for another year, ending Joe Morgan's reign of terror. Some advice for the future: Steve Phillips should not be allowed to provide color commentary during Mets games, and certainly not casually chat about his "days with the team" as a GM, a job from which he was unceremoniously shitcanned. This is like Rich Kotite giving us "insight" during a Jets game: it's insulting and just plain wrong, and really should be illegal. His deals almost killed the team after their 2000 World Series appearance, which they acheived in spite of him and now looks like an aberration. We're only recovering now, stop opening up old wounds.
I've seen Tiger Woods at Yankees games and wearing Duke shirts, so it's only natural that he should now become a Detroit Tigers fan. And now that Detroit, St. Louis and Oakland are in the LCS, FOX might actually have to show some baseball, due to the lack of notable celebrities in the crowd. Unfortunately, expect them to ratchet up the stargazing at Shea. Kudos to FOX for using some recent songs during the postseason, as I've heard some Audioslave, The Walkmen, Black Keys and Gnarls Barkley mixed in there. A refreshing change from the Emerson, Lake & (Jim) Palmer "You gotta see the show" days.
Is "Pods" the proper shorthand for Padres? Because writing "Pads" looks weird, like I'm talking about a Kotex commercial.
Speaking of, the worst ad campaign award goes to Holiday Inn, with ads featuring a guy with "poor hot tub etiquette" sitting too close to another guy, and Joe Buck. Need I say more? Jeez, the games are hard enough to sit through. And Taco Bell, Dominoes, Olive Garden, and T.G.I. Friday's have determined that the average American is NOT FAT ENOUGH, and have teamed up to provide more fudgy brownies, enormous cheesy burritos, fatty dipping sauces, and creamy pasta dishes than any human being should consume. I think it's time to get a TiVo so I can FF through the ads, the vast majority of which are apparantly written for third graders with eating disorders.
On a sad note, Tyler Florence, former "celebrity chef" (what an asinine title), officially died this week after selling his soul to Applebee's. Just a tragic loss, and I send my condolences to his celebrity family and the Food Network. I won't be eating good in the neighborhood again for quite some time after this shocking news. (Shouldn't it be "eating well in the neighborhood"? Horrible food, horrible grammar.)
Best ad I've seen lately features a "magician" using his "powers" to force a Hummer to avoid filling up at a gas station. I can't describe it, but it cracks me up every time.
"Hummer - Skipping the Gas Station" [YouTube]
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:20 PM
Saturday, October 7, 2006
The NHL is back, in case you were wondering. Here are some quick early notes:
The first goal of the season was scored by Jason Pomenville in the Sabres win (will they score the last?), Shanahan is awesome, Sens are overrated, Flyers will not make the playoffs with that crappy goaltending, the Preds/Hawks played the 3rd with both goalies pulled just for the hell of it, and DiPietro gives up 6 goals in 2 periods (causing Isles fans to scream "15 MORE YEARS OF THIS???").
Last but not least, Martin Brodeur shut out the Canes last night (it would have been nice if he'd done this last June) and tied Sawchuk with 447 wins (81 of them shutouts). The Carolina Hockey Outhouse, uhm, I mean the RBC Center hosted a SECOND STANLEY CUP BANNER RAISING (can you say "milking it?") and still lost. Also, the Devils scored their first goal 26 seconds in (by Zach Parise), besting newly named captain Jagr's 29 seconds on Thursday.
In closing, DEATH TO THE BUFFASLUG!
Posted by Jeff K @ 10:15 AM
Friday, October 6, 2006
This Deadspin article, written by Jason Fry of Faith and Fear In Flushing, is dead on.
Met fans are pessimists.
There are limits: Unlike pre-2004 Red Sox fans, we don't turn our misery into mythology. We leave wallowing in pity for Cubs fans and corrosive self-loathing for Phillies fans. But we're not a cheerful bunch. We don't expect the worst, but we're not particularly surprised when the Worst rings the bell and won't get off our porch.
The 2006 season was strange territory for us -- the Mets dominated the league without having to try particularly hard, at least until the team stumbled in the last couple of weeks (see you in the spring, Pedro) and reminded us of how we usually feel. We just aren't used to cakewalks. Sure, the 1986 and 1988 clubs steamrolled the NL, but something always looked off about the '88 team. Which leaves the legendary '86 club, the bad guys who won. No surprise that this year's most-common question from younger Met fans has been, "Was this what it was like in '86?"
But even '86 wasn't exactly easy. That team barely survived a terrifying NLCS against Houston and needed something little short of divine intervention to avoid becoming a footnote in the World Series. (Nobody would read a book called "The Bad Guys Lost!") And so it has gone for the Mets, far more often than not. The '69 team will forever be the Miracle Mets, and miracles by definition are things you don't see coming. (Though much of that miracle was great starting pitching.) The '73 team rose from the dead and won the division on the final day of the season, but then coughed up the World Series. The '88 team self-destructed in the playoffs. The '99 team went home on a bases-loaded walk. The '00 team overachieved, but then only managed one World Series win against the hated Yankees. And now Pedro's gone and nobody can hit, particularly not if the pitcher's left-handed, and our regular-season romp seems a long time ago. Ours was the first team to clinch; now we might be the first fans to jump off a bridge.
But in a weird, sick way, this feeling is more comfortable than euphoria and a sense of invulnerability. We've seen this before. Our crabby ex-Yankee manager starts Tom Seaver and Jon Matlack on short rest and leaves George Stone on the bench. Our star pitcher "writes" a column that Tommy Lasorda turns into a call for jihad. Kenny Rogers winds up with the bases loaded and a three-ball count. Our idiot rookie outfielder starts prancing on what he thinks will be a home run. Armando Benitez comes in to face ... well, anybody.
Sure, every team has its heartbreak moments, but for us there's always the fear that heartbreak will be followed by years and years of being horrible. The Marv Throneberry years are amusing now, but there aren't many funny stories about 1977-1983, or 1991-1996, or 2002-2004. Now throw in that the Mets play in the shadow of the Yankees, with their better uniforms, stadium and track record at spending gobs of money. As Met fans, we can give you a litany of reasons why we hate the Yankees. But we usually miss one of the biggest reasons we should hate them: Because the Mets are constantly measured against the Yankees, we have this illusion that our team is some kind of small-market underdog. Which might be kind of true in our narrow, jealous-little-brother view of the baseball world, but is complete nonsense outside it -- and infuriates fans of actual small-market underdogs.
We've had lots of slogans, from the ridiculous ("The Magic Is Back!") to the blandly arrogant ("Excellence, Again and Again"). But the one that got closest to the mark was an unofficial rallying cry -- Tug McGraw's "Ya gotta believe!" Never mind what Tug would later claim -- he coined it down the stretch in 1973 in mockery of a condescending, can-do speech delivered to a silent clubhouse by M. Donald Grant, the Montgomery Burns of the Met front office. (Grant would later trade Tom Seaver and is now roasting in Hell.) "Ya gotta believe!" assumes that you don't -- it's equal parts commandment and plea, with a touch of smart ass.
And so it is with us. It's not that we assume that this year will end with an L -- the 2006 Mets have an intimidating mix of power and speed, a great bullpen, canny vets in the starting rotation, clubhouse leadership out the wazoo, youthful exuberance (the only thing more fun than a Jose Reyes triple must be being Jose Reyes and hitting it yourself) and a remarkably even-keeled manager. The Mets can win this thing. And if they do, we'll parade through the streets of New York and Long Island and New Jersey, whooping it up and yelling silly things and mocking Yankee fans.
But if they don't? We won't say we didn't see it coming.
I totally agree with these sentiments. And although I barely watched baseball after the Mets were up by double digits, I figure I'd better watch the postseason because it could be the last time they're in it. I no longer have an emotional connection to this team as I did the 80s teams; maybe it's free agency that makes Pedro, Delgado, and Glavine feel like hired hands to me, while I felt the opposite about guys like Mookie, Lenny, and The Straw. The whole "Our Team, Our Time" nonsense leaves me cold; this team feels like it's marketed towards and created for someone other than me. If they packed up and moved to Canada tomorrow? Meh. I can't get too excited one way or the other, because they'll probably just let me down in the end.
So I basically blame the New York Mets for making me the pessimist I am today. (And I blame A-Rod for everything else, up to and including my car's transmission dying this week.)
Where My Team Stands - New York Mets [Deadspin]
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:30 PM
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
This is what I've been looking forward to since April: John Maine is the starting pitcher tonight for the Mets.
John. Freaking. Maine. Game 1. NLDS. The Team. The Time. John Maine.
One word: unfuckingbelievable.
The Maine Man is in there because Mr. Postseason Orlando "El Douche" Hernandez tore his calf running at Shea Stadium yesterday (man, they can't bulldoze that place fast enough for me) and has been SCRATCHED from the NLDS roster, and possibly the entire postseason. (He really shouldn't have followed Pedro's workout regimen.) Oliver Perez will take his place in the rotation, boasting a gaudy team leading 6.55 ERA and a fantastic 3-13 record (1-3, 6.38 with the Mets). I will now dent my skull with a fungo bat while the "Meet The Mets" song plays on an endless loop at a deafening volume.
Did I tell you I got my NLCS Game 6 tickets in the mail yesterday? WOO HOO!! Looks like I won't be needing those! Oh, and they're $110 a piece for upper deck box seats (I don't think I've spent that much on upper deck seats at Shea in my ENTIRE LIFE), with a $10 fee per ticket. This means that if they sell 50,000 tickets they still make HALF A MILLION DOLLARS PER GAME, regardless if they play it or not. I'm so glad I gave money to the Pedro Needs A New Hot Tub For His Panama Mansion Fund. What a joke.
NEW WORLD SERIES BLOGNOSTICATION: Yanks beat Padres in 5.
* * *
As for last night's Yanks/Tigers game, I tuned into FOX for about 5 minutes and instead of baseball I got treated to gratuitous shots of Denzel Washington and other various celebs that were in the crowd. NOTE TO FOX: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT! I don't care if Donald Trump is getting a hummer from Regis Philbin, POINT YOUR CAMERAS AT THE GAME! Not even my mute button (greatest invention ever) could help me with this. For those of us who follow baseball all year and look forward to the postseason, we get rewarded with broadcasts that pander to the lowest common denominator, kissing every demographic's ass as they try to interest those who don't watch baseball all year. Awful. Get ready for 7 more years of this. I never thought I'd actually be BEGGING for a YES Network feed of this game.
I think it's time to make sports TV broadcasts more like DVDs, with selectable camera angles and commentary. If you don't like the announcing team on channel 1, switch to your local team's announcers on Channels 2 and 3. If that doesn't cut it, you can listen to Channel 4, where comedians will give you an R-rated MST3K-like cavalade of sports jokes. It's the best idea I could think of to get the annoying smug voice of Joe Buck out of my ears.
One other question: why do they show the Yankees during every weekday primetime slot? And don't tell me that it's because New York is the biggest market, because NEW YORK is playing LOS ANGELES today, the two biggest markets on the PLANET, and it's on at 4 PM ET. The Yanks? They're on at 8, of course. Friday? 8 PM! Do you see a pattern here? Oh that's okay, I haven't seen the A's play once this year, why should I expect to see them in the playoffs?
Posted by Jeff K @ 12:56 PM