Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weekly Picks

My New England strategy worked for the second straight week, this time, just barely. But it was good enough to salvage an otherwise mediocre week.

CLEVELAND -5 miami
The Browns are actually a pretty decent team. They could be 3-2 right now with losses only to the Steelers and Patriots if not for the bullshit time out that cost them the Raiders game. Even so, they play tough and put points n the board. The Dolphins are horrible.

houston +6 1/2 JACKSONVILLE
I haven't been picking enough underdogs this season, but so far my record when picking road dogs is terrible. I actually believe in the Texans even though their last two weeks were a loss to the Falcons and a near-loss to the Dolphins. But this is a pretty big spread for a Jacksonville team that doesn't score a lot of points.

new york giants -3 ATLANTA
The Giants are playing good football right now. Their defense has turned around a lot since two embarassing performances in the first two weeks. They are running the ball pretty well, and they are playing against the horrible Atlanta Falcons.

CHICAGO -5 minnesota
The Bears had a nice bounceback week against the Packers. They should be able to keep it going against a turnover prone Minnesota team. The Vikings can defend the run, but not the pass, so I hope Griese can move the ball around without throwing the interceptions that ended the tenure of his predecessor.

new england -5 DALLAS
Even if I weren't picking New England every week blind, I would love this game. The Cowboys are so overrated that this spread should be about 10. The Patriots are on a different level right now. I don't expect them to have a letdown in what is billed as the game of the year.

Last week: 2-3 (3 points)
Season so far: 12-13 (13 points)
Best bet: 1-0 (3-2)
Home favorites: 2-2 (5-4)
Home underdogs: 0-0 (2-0)
Road favorites: 0-1 (4-6)
Road underdogs: 0-0 (1-3)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Smooth Soul Jams

Anyone wishing to make a baby this weekend should enjoy this post. Some good R&B songs have come out in the past few months. I didn't want to make them song of the week because I like to mix up genres in SOTW and I already have choices selected for the next 6 weeks. So enjoy these songs, and if you're bold enough to listen to all 6 (I'm sure Billy and JLeary will even though they've probably heard them all before), tell me what you think in the comments section. Just don't say "this song is on a CD that came out last year." Because unlike Gay TON I don't buy Justin Timberlake CDs, I only hear his songs when they get radio airplay.

"Crying Out for Me" - Mario

"How Do I Breathe?" - Mario

"Bed" - J. Holiday

"Please Don't Go" - Tank

"Til The End of Time" - Justin Timberlake

"When I See You" - Fantasia

Baseball is Poop

Postseason Awards
NL MVP - Matt Holliday
This was a tough one but right off the bat I eliminated anyone on the Mets because they all choked down the stretch. There was no offensive player on the Diamondbacks or Cubs who merited consideration. So I looked at the Rockies against the Phillies. Each had 5 players who had huge offensive seasons (OPS of .838 or higher). And this is where it got hard. How much value (the key part of most valuable player) does a player have when his team has four other great guys. I chose Holliday because I think the Rockies would have lost more without him, than the Phillies would have lost without Rollins or Howard (but they are my 2nd and 3rd choices).

Our MVP scored the winning run in the last game of the season, and he didn't even need to touch home plate

AL MVP - Alex Rodriguez
This one was much easier. A logical reasonable debate can't be made for anyone else. Not only did A-Rod have stats far superior to anyone else, he didn't have as much help this year as the Yankees usually have. Plus he got a lot of big hits this year for a change, including 2 off Jon Papelbon that spurred the Yankees' late season resurgence. Any voter who doesn't put him first should have his voting privileges revoked.

NL Cy Young - Jake Peavy
He won the pitcher's triple crown (wins, ERA and strikeouts). His ERA was half a run better than second place. He was first in innings, first in WHIP, every reasonable measure of pitchers you can find, Peavy led the NL.

AL Cy Young - CC Sabathia
This will be a very tight race between Sabathia and Josh Beckett, but a better case could be made for Fausto Carmona and maybe even John Lackey over Sabathia. Beckett gets headline attention because of the wins, but the two extra wins are a product of his team. It's really hard to argue based on stats over a group of guys this closely bunched, but what set CC apart for me was his 241 innings.

NL Rookie of the Year - Ryan Braun
This is a no brainer. He had one of the best rookie seasons ever. 34 homers, 97 RBI and an OPS of 1.004. And he missed a almost two months. With a full season his stats would have been expected to be at the minimum, 40 and 115.

AL Rookie of the Year - Brian Bannister
This was a very tough choice. He only pitched 38 innings with the Mets in 2006 so he's still considered a rookie. He went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA for an awful Kansas City Royals team. But I was most impressed with his consistency. He had a couple bad starts but for one 9 start stretch he was 7-1 (on the Kansas City Royals), he never allowed more than three runs and had an ERA of 2.17.

NL Manager of the Year - Lou Piniella
A close call here because his team did have the 5th best record in the National League, while playing in the worst division. But I chose him because the Cubs got off to such a bad start, and their reversal seemed to be linked to his antics which presumably got the team fired up.

AL Manager of the Year - John McLaren
Another iconoclastic choice. He took over a mediocre team in the middle of the season and got them on an incredible tear. They sank like a stone late in the season but that doesn't diminish what he accomplished as an interim manager.

NL Comeback Player of the Year - Dmitri Young
After a tough year in 2006 with legal, personal and health problems, Young bonced back hitting .320 with 13 homers and 74 RBI.

AL Comeback Player of the Year - Carlos Pena
The most amazing season in baseball in a long time. After being almost completely written off he had MVP type numbers: 46 homers (2nd), 121 RBI (4th), 103 walks (3rd) and a 1.038 OPS (3rd).

The Whole World is Caught Up In It

Fat turd Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for making a movie full of lies and scaring people.
Just to be clear, I think there is such a thing as global warming. I think a lot of the things we are doing (factories, SUVs) make it worse.
But it's unclear how much of the global warming is caused by us, and how much of it is natural.
Remember, there used to be an Ice Age on Earth. The place where you are right now was covered in ice. We didn't have factories and SUVs contributing to that climate change.
Here's what I think Al Gore did. He took a problem, a problem he thinks is serious, but a problem that has no real answer. He wanted to get people's attention so in his movie he used only the most dire forecasts and analysis.
More importantly, how does he get a Nobel Peace Prize for this? What does any of this have to do with peace? In fact, his global warming push has probably caused more discord.

Al Gore is just worried that global warming will melt all his ice cream

Staten Island Justice

The kids at IS 49 in Stapleton play (or at least they used to play) a game called "quiet." Everyone is quiet, and the first one to speak loses. The loser gets pelted with text books.
Chaz Carvalho was playing with his class when he said something and the textbooks flew.
He avoided some of them but one hit him in the side. He was on the floor in pain when the substitute teacher told him to get back in his seat.
Turns out the book ruptured his spleen and needed a splenectomy like Chris Simms.

splenectomy ain't no joke

NLCS Game 1 In Pictures

Alyssa Milano was covering the game for TBS.

is alyssa milano still hot, sometimes I think yes, like here, other times I think, not so much

The Diamondbacks did not sell out Chase Field for this one. They called it a sellout but there were a lot of empty seats.

I named my son after this Stadium

Kaz Matsui once again played a key role in this one, his RBI single in the 3rd inning gave the Rockies the lead for good. He now has 7 RBI (including a grand slam) in 4 playoff games.

why couldn't he do this for the Mets?

Eric Byrnes was called safe on this play, Helton has the ball but his foot is off the bag.

Gnarly Hustle

The game took an ugly turn in the 7th when the Diamondbacks were poised for a comeback with 1st and 2nd and none out. Justin Upton slid hard into second base taking out Kaz Matsui. He was called for interference resulting in a double play. It was the right call. Like the fateful Marlon Anderson play, Upton used his arm to obliterate the fielder.

The Arizona fans who did show up disagreed with the call and threw bottles and other shit onto the field. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle pulled his team off the field. The game was delayed about 8 to 12 minutes before the game resumed.

workers pick up bottles being thrown onto the field
an angry Diamondbacks fan

The Rockies won 5-1, to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The Rockies have won 18 of their last 19 games.

Halloween at the Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo decorates its gorilla exhibit for Halloween. Both the pumpkin and the ghost were filled with healthy treats. Gorillas hate peanut brittle.

Soccer Players Are Pussies

AC Milan goalkeeper Dida was suspended for 2 games for faking an injury after being "attacked" by a fan of the other team. After he allowed a goal a fan savagely brutalized him. Check out his reaction, he ran two steps, then collapsed in a heap and was carried off on a stretcher, hysterical.

He Had the Runs Again

Joe Paterno, was probably running to the bathroom again, when he got into a traffic dispute last week.
Paterno explained on his radio show that he saw a woman run a stop sign. After she stopped he “pulled up beside her because there was nothing coming the other way,” Paterno said. He added that he pointed at her and said, “Boy, you went through that sign.”
He also told her that he had taken down her plate number, when he really hadn't.
Then the woman's husband got out of the car, knocked on Paterno's window and said "that's my wife."
To which Paterno replied "Boy, that's your problem."
Internet reports took the story and ran with it, with one account saying Paterno cut the car off, then got out and starting yelling, cursing and giving the couple the middle finger.
The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between these two stories.

I Hope He Can Find a Baggy Enough Orange Jumpsuit

Snoop Dogg will spend 160 hours picking up trash at an Orange County park as part of his sentence for carrying an illegal weapon in an airport last year.
The rapper, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., will do "everything from raking leaves to painting benches" in order to meet the 160 hours of community service he was ordered to perform.
"He's glad to make a contribution to Orange County."
Dogg chose the park site from a list of probation-approved community service sites and will be supervised by a park ranger.
Officials declined to release the name of the park, citing concerns that media and fans might interfere with the work.
"He feels 'whatever it takes' to get this behind him. His goal is to make music, not court appearances," his lawyer said.
The 35-year-old rapper pleaded guilty last month to one count of felony possession of a dangerous weapon. He was arrested Sept. 27, 2006, after the discovery of a collapsible baton in his computer bag at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
Authorities said the baton was a dangerous weapon. Snoop Dogg said it was a prop for a video he was filming in New York.
The rapper asked to perform his community service by working with children.
However, the court and prosecutors did not want him involved with children, gangs or football.
The rapper already has his own non-profit youth football league.
"The purpose of a sentence is punishment and we don't consider it to be punishment for a person to participate in activities that are already part of their daily routine."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What Do You Give Me For? Rockefeller Butts and Suge Knight

Kevin Michael Richardson aka Rockefeller Butts and Marion Knight aka Suge Knight

SU Professor Steps In It

Syracuse University Professor Boyce Watkins, in his haste to say something more condemming than the next guy spoke to CNN about the Bill O'Reilly Sylvia's incident. Please remember that O'Reilly said nothing remotely racist, but his comments were taken grossly out of context. Watkins in an interview with CNN called O'Reilly a racist and twice called Juan Williams (who was discussing the Sylvia's dinner with O'Reilly), a "happy negro."
Thankfully, new SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor didn't condone Watkins's ridiculous comments.

The NFL is Poop - Week 5

Stay Down Mother Fucker
Miami Dolphins quarterback Trent Green attempted to throw a block on Houston Texans defensive lineman Travis Johnson on a play in which Green fumbled. Green went low on Johnson and Johnson nailed Green in the head with his knee. Johnson was initially furious because he thought Green was taking a cheap shot at his knees to injure him. Johnson got up and yelled at Trent Green as he lay motionless on the turf. Green had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. That should have made Johnson regret his actions, but instead after the game he was still mad saying "he like the scarecrow, he want to get courage." I don't know what's more embarrassing, taunting a seriously injured guy or not knowing who needed what in the Wizard of Oz.

Oh My!
Prescient call by Dick Enberg during the Jets-Giants game. After Jets center Nick Mangold left the game with an injury, Enberg pointed out his replacement and the potential danger of a bad snap due to his inexperience with Chad Pennington. Sure enough, on the very first play the ball got snapped right into Pennington's chest when he wasn't looking.

They Are Who We Thought They Were
The San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears had huge bounceback wins this week. The Chargers pasted the Broncos 41-3 showing that their offense is back. The Chargers haven't proven themselves to me yet, but they are tied for second (and last) in the AFC West at 2-3 with the Broncos and Chiefs, only half a game behind the Raiders. I expect them in the playoffs this year. As for the Bears, their defense dominated by forcing turnovers and they knocked off the previously undefeated Packers. They still trail the Packers by two games, and they still have a terrible offense, but they made great strides.

Miraculous Cover
The New England - Cleveland game was a perfect example of why gambling keeps people interested in NFL games. New England was favored by 16 1/2 and took an early 20-0 lead. That closed to 20-3, then 20-10, but New England scored again to get back into covering territory at 27-10. But with 6 minutes left the Browns scored to take the spread back. The Patriots then marched down the field on a long drive that ended at the 4 yard line. But they went for it on 4th down (the right move, not an effort to run up the score) but they missed, and all seemed lost. But on the next play Kellen Winslow fumbled and Randall Gay returned it for a touchdown. So it seemed like a cover for New England. But with 37 seconds left the Browns moved the ball 48 yards in 3 plays. But with 3 tries from the 10 yard line the Patriots held on and covered the spread.

Randall Gay saves the day

Game of the Week
Dallas Cowboys 25 Buffalo Bills 24
The Bills seemed ready to knock off the Cowboys with a little help from Tony Romo. 5 interceptions, 2 returned for touchdowns. Add a kickoff return TD and the Bills offense did nothing. But the Cowboys got a late TD, then in 20 seconds got an onside kick and threw two passes to set up a field goal. This is where awful coaching came in. From the 43 yard line with 7 seconds left the Cowboys needed to go for another short pass. The Bills played off the receivers allowing Crayton to catch the ball and run right out of bounds with two seconds left. If they play tighter coverage it would have taken longer to get open, or they could have made the tackle inbounds, or worst case, the Cowboys catch a deeper pass, as long as they don't score a touchdown they'll likely run out of time. Why were they protecting against the deep ball that couldn't hurt them? Terrible call. The Cowboys completed an 8 yard pass to cut the field goal down to 53 yards. Nick Folk made the kick...but wait, Dick Jauron did the ridiculous last second timeout gambit and Folk had to kick it again. He did, and he made it again.

Game of Next Week
New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys
Two of the last 3 undefeated teams facing other. The two teams that were once America's Team and are now probably the most hated franchises in the league. They score an average of 70 points combined. I actually think the scoring in this game will be way down but it should be a great game.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Great game by Jason Campbell, his best as a Redskin. I think the Lions just weren't very good because every play, running or passing was gaining 5 or 6 yards. They also played great defense and although they didn't force a lot of turnovers (they got two, late in the game leading to the last ten points) but they played good solid defense and won he battle of field position. The most disappointing aspect is that they should be 4-0 if they hadn't folded against the Giants.

Cheerleader of the Week
Jessica D. of the Buffalo Jills
The Buffalo Jills have by far the worst website of any cheerleading squad in the NFL. Each girl only gets one picture, a wide shot and you can barely see their faces.
I like Jessica because her favorite things about Buffalo are the wings and the Bills. Her music choice is the typical "everything" but she specifically mentioned the Goo Goo Dolls. That seemed weird, until I remembered the Goo Goo Dolls are from Buffalo. Jessica is afraid of "CLOWNS!" Hysterical.

Jessica Double D

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
It's actually going to be played on Sunday so at least I'll be able to pick a new team depending on the result. But right now I'm sticking with New England Patriots 38 Dallas Cowboys 21.

Getting More Attention By Not Talking

T.O. says he doesn't want to talk about this week's game against the Patriots. So he hung this note in his locker knowing full well it would get him even more attention. But I will get my popcorn ready.

Not a Mitzvah

This cartoon appeared in the student paper at the University of Arizona, "The Daily Wildcat." While I don't mind making jokes about certain groups of people, I don't even know if this is a joke, or just an outright insult. It certainly isn't funny. I've always said people need to relax a little bit more about stuff like this. But as it pertains to Jews in particular, my objection to this is, the Holocaust started based on thinking exactly like this. That makes it a little dangerous from my perspective.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Song of the Week

"Young Folks" - Peter, Bjorn & John
Mrs. Poop has been whistling this for a whole week

Spoken Like a True Staten Islander

New York City Councilman James Oddo who represents Staten Island sat down for an interview with who he thought was a Norwegian journalist. Turns out she was from a comedy show. After the second ridiculous question he went Staten Island on her ass.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

what a sad face

Does Anyone Else Want to Kill Ron Jaworski?

I try watching Monday Night Football and his segments on PTI but Jaws drives me up the wall. I hate his inflection.
His voice goes up at the end of every sentence. He ends every statement as if he's a television anchor tossing to a package on tape.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Willie and Omar Try To Explain

Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya got spoofed on Saturday Night Live this weekend. I don't think this is funny at all, but decided to share it anyway.

The George Stone Quandary

Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge finds himself confronting a situation I refer to as "The George Stone Quandary."

In 1973 the New York Mets continued their epic comeback from last place in August and took their 82-79 regular season record into the World Series against the heavily favored Oakland A's. After losing 2 of the first 3 games the Mets took games 4 and 5 to take a 3 games to 2 series lead heading back to Oakland.

Manager Yogi Berra decided to bring back Tom Seaver and Jon Matlack on 3 days rest to start games 6 and 7 respectively. His other option was to pitch George Stone in Game 6 and Seaver in 7. Stone was 12-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 1973. Matlack was 14-16 with a 3.20 ERA. Stone had pitched one inning in Game 2 of the World Series, so he had plenty of rest. Complicating matters was the fact that Matlack had pitched 2 great games in the series against the A's. In Games 1 and 4 he allowed 0 earned runs (3 unearned) and only 6 hits in 14 innings, while going 1-1.

Berra obviously thought his best chance to take one game was to pitch his better pitchers. As it turned out Seaver pitched well in Game 6 but the Mets got nothing off Catfish Hunter, and Matlack got bombed (4 runs in 2 2/3) in Game 7 costing the Mets the series.

Eric Wedge must decide whether to pitch Paul Byrd in Game 4 and give himself only one shot with one of his two best pitchers, or bring back Sabathia and Carmona on short rest (correction: Carmona would be on regular rest). In this day and age pitchers, even the best pitchers, have done poorly coming back on 3 days rest in the playoffs, probably because they do it so infrequently.

I would go with Byrd in Game 4 and give myself the best chance to win a Game 5 with a fresh Sabathia.

Windy City Heat

The Chicago Marathon was run in 80 degree heat. That is way too hot for a marathon. One guy passed out on mile 18 and died on the course. Hundreds of other runners suffered heat related illnesses. After 3 hours, race organizers shortened the race, cutting off people at mile 21 and encouraging everybody else to quit.

I hope the temperature is no higher than 50 degrees when Reissberg hits the road for the NYC Marathon on November 4.

Disturbing Trend

An alarming amount of athletes and coaches are using the term "strap it on." And I'm not even quite sure what they mean.

"It makes it tough to come to work, strap it on and fight another day." - kicker John Carney said about the 1-15 season he experienced as a member of the Sna Diego Chargers in 2000.

"As a team, we didn't strap it on like we were supposed to." - Mavericks forward Josh Howard on the team's first round exit in last year's playoffs.

"It'll be good to get a few days off, then strap it on and go to work." - Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain about getting ready for the playoffs.

"I pretty much have the old-school mentality where you just strap it on and go play." - Dodgers catcher Russell Martin on the rigors of his position.

"I'm sure they're saying we have some guys down, but we're going to strap it on." - Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell about playing despite several injuries.

The Post-Virginia Tech World

Current SU student Greco got this e-mail about a security incident on Friday:

"Late this morning, DPS responded immediately to a Link Hall computer cluster following a report that a student may have been in possession of a gun. Officers identified and questioned the individual and others present, and searched the area. No weapon was found. The student cooperated fully and was released.

It was determined that the student had entered the computer cluster while wearing headphones and listening to music, and recited out loud lyrics from a song to which the student was listening that referenced holding a gun. A staff member and students nearby heard this and contacted DPS. This matter has been resolved, and this incident posed no threat to the campus."

What's Bugging the Yankees?

Game 2 of the Yankees Indians series will go down as one of the most memorable playoff games ever thanks to a swarm of bugs that descended on the field during the 8th inning.
Joba Chamberlain may have let the bugs bug him as he blew the lead and the Yankees eventually lost the game.
But the big loser was the manufacturer of Off bug spray. That stuff does not work. They emptied the entire can on Joba and 15 seconds later the bugs were camped out on his neck again.