Friday, February 29, 2008

The Race Card -- Which, incidentally, is a 5 of Clubs

-- Dave Stewart was one of the best pitchers of the late 80's, early 90's. He was 9-1 against Roger Clemens, something that I never knew until reading this fantastic article from today's San Francisco Chronicle.

BH and I have discussed the race card many times with relation to Barry Bonds and the steroid mess. In fact, in my only post on Bitterfans.com, I danced around the race card and openly questioned why sports writers were not looking at Roger Clemens sooner. This isn't to say that BH and I knew something the rest of the sports universe didn't know... but it IS to say that Dave Stewart has a valid argument when it comes to Clemens vs. Bonds and the White vs. Black issue.

-- Reggie Theus needs to figure out this Kevin Martin situation (SacBee - registration required). The Maloofs just signed the guy for $55 over 5 years to be the face of the franchise. They didn't sign him to play 22 minutes a night. Hoopsworld points out some serious flaws in Reggie Theus's management of this situation.

-- "It's very easy to outrun a lava flow." For some reason, this story makes me think of the scene from Austin Powers where the slow-moving steam roller inches towards the useless henchman.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I shill for Trader Joe's

I used the TJ's tea tree oil soap for the first time this morning. Rad.

As Giants fans can attest, Rajai Davis was one of the most exciting defensive players in baseball last season. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Tony LaRussa thinks Rick Ankiel taking HGH wasn't against the rules. It was only meant to get him healed quicker and back on the field. Not to gain an advantage. Welcome to the Andy Pettitte School of Stupid Shit. Yah. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

(In a Seinfled voice) A twelve-round shootout? A twelve-round shootout? (Denver Post)

A mountain out of a molehill. Who really gives a shit? No, really? Raise your hand. That's what I thought. (Washington Post)

Woops

After yesterday's report that a picture had surfaced proving Roger Clemens had attended the 1998 party - which both Clemens and Jose Canseco have absolutely denied - that formed the Clemens/Canseco steroid starting point, things are snowballing for the Clemens legal/P.R. camp.

Hardin's latest statement reverses course. "We know that baseball announcers broadcasting the games at the time said Roger was not at the party. Jose Canseco has said Roger was not at the party, as has Canseco's former wife. Roger was playing golf at the time of the party, and has stated that he may have stopped by the Canseco house after playing golf before heading to the ballpark for the game," the statement said.

Well that's a lot different than this:

"One of the things the committee is going to hear on Wednesday is about this party that is supposed to have started this whole thing," Hardin said. "Roger wasn't even at this party."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Someone loves Roald Dahl

Found this link to the Top 50 childrens books in the Telegraph at Deadspin. It's way easier to make fun of a list than create it. The list as compiled through polling of 4,000 parents, and recognizably bears a largely British slant. My overwhelmingly qualified take, you ask?

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Winnie the Pooh totally belong in the top five. Yes. Both are revolutionary. Both are literary masterpeices. Winnie the Pooh isn't really one book, but the volume makes it count as a book for my purposes.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar at #2? I disagree. It is a nice book. Little BH loves it. I guess I like that the list seems to incorporate books for all ages from zero to, twelve, I guess. But hell. What separates Caterpillar from Goodnight Moon? Is it kid appeal, or something? Parent appeal? Anyway, The Very Hungry Caterpillar just ate a huge hunk of no better than #20 on my list.

The Famous Five series is a series. That's like when Major League Baseball had its greatest baseball moments thing a few years ago, and Cal Ripken's consecutive games played record won. Go fuck yourself and your series inclusion, Mr. and Mrs. Stupid Bastard Listmakers.

Where is The Giving Tree? For that matter, where are any of the Shel Silverstein books?

Roald Dahl books make up six of the top thirty, and Fantastic Mr. Fox doesn't make the list? Huff!

Where is Watership Down? No, I'm serious. Where the fuck is Watership Down?! If The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe qualifies, then so does the motherfucking Down. Captain Underpants is in there. Yeah, my name was 'Lumpy Boogerchunks.' Hardy muthafuckin' har har. Room can't be made for some goddamn rabbits, but room is found for Lumpy fucking Boogerchunks? I'm so pissed I can't type right. asdfasv; a;hagfhivjg

Where the Wild Things Are at #33? Beautiful.

From Watership Down:

"We are not concious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air. When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as we think of a rabbit with its fur on."

Come on. That shit will change your life. Famous Five? Captain Underpants? Psshaw.

Intermittent post alert (cont'd)

I'm still kind of moving. Most of my stuff is at the new old place, except my bed and all of my clothes, which are at the old old house. Nothing's hooked up yet, though I am able to get ABC, NBC, and Fox in HD with rabbit ears. Woohoo?

Der

Throw more wood on the already burning quite nicely Patriots cheating fire. A member of the 2000 Patriots says New England was taping at the beginning of that year. (New York Times)

Mike Martz seems less than pissed about it. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

What the fuck are the Mets doing saying anything? Huge favorite to win the East and NL last season...crack under September pressure. For that matter, what the fuck are the Phillies doing feeling like they need to say anything? I mean, the idea that Phillies players were talking, in any seriousness, about a brawl is stupid. That's one of those things reported by someone who's never actually been in a locker room in an athletic, team capacity. (New York Post)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yay for bloggers

Two fat ladies argue in court about calling each other fat on their blogs? Sounds like good reading to me. One sued the other for this or that, blah, blah, blah, the good news is the respondent's first amendment rights got the case thrown out. (Redding Record Searchlight)

The W's beat the C's last night. The Warriors have won 13 of 18. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The New York Times, deciding John McCain has had good publicity for long enough, has run a story regarding his non-romantic relationship with a lobbyist, eight years ago, emphasizing romantic rumors. The piece as a whole, is a pretty dirty hatchet job. A significant portion is spent documenting McCain's involvement with the Keating scandals of the '80's, even though McCain was allowed to keep his office and, oh yeah, re-relected. That something, which really belongs on Page 6, may have happened eight years ago but only shows up today with McCain the likely Republican nominee, seems insane. Even more so, the report is not particularly provocative in that much of the 'reported' information has been available for that past eight years. His advisers at the time, the ones who haven't become "disillusioned, " talk openly about it, citing only concerns. The advisors who are described as disillusioned, seem to represent the foundation of information for this piece. All told, the Times story feels like a smear effort when one isn't really there to be uncovered, especially when the bulk of it recaps McCain's involvement in the Keating episode and subsequent efforts to keep a clean image for himself and all of congress. If the New york Times were actually interested in reporting real violations, they might focus on something other than what is essentially equivalent to a McCain nose-pick, focusing instead on the actually corrupt congresspersons. This is nothing more than reaching for hope to aspire for scandal. It's like the Times has adopted the Clemens offense, recognizing that simply throwing information out, however meaningless, might sway opinion if accompanied by a insinuation, however vague.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pageturd shills for the Dodgers

The important lessons one learns upon reading Pageturd's latest dingleberry?

-He wants you to know he takes himself seriously...

Five minutes into spring cleaning, and Matt Kemp and I are already having a fight."I'll buy," I said, holding out my credit card to the man working the cash register at Mack Daddy's, a soul food place next to his gym on a cluttered street.

"No, no, no," he said, pulling out a large bill to pay for his food."Listen," I said. "I buy for young players. I always have. When you make the big money, you can buy mine."


-He is clever because he calls spring training "spring cleaning."

-Matt Kemp not being a dick, hitting 20 bombs, driving in 80 runs, and OBPing .350 means the Dodgers will be good. Turns out Matt Kemp is Bengie Molina.

-Pageturd writes what the Dodgers want, then makes that clear when he gets a bad reaction...

Those complaints reached the ears of Dodgers management, whose thoughts reached me, so I wrote a column about the possibility that Kemp would be traded.

It wasn't my idea, it was the Dodgers' idea, yet judging from the angry responses I received, you would have thought I put a "For Sale" sign in front of Kemp's locker.In the end, the Dodgers decided to keep him.

-Kemp is represented by Dave Stewart (from the Eurythmics, or the A's? Or some other less important version?).

-Pageturd does that super hacky hack thing in which the most meaningless things an athlete says get assigned slow-motion, movie-moment significance. Like when Rachel Nichols finishes any report on Sportscenter, she'll finish it with a quote, in which the last two words are emphasized so it sounds as if Socrates himself had been reborn, lending all his efforts in profundity to some Nascar driver.

(Nichols): I asked Clint Bowyer if he was worried about his chances of winning on Sunday. He said 'Well, if the car runs well all race and we can get in and out of the pits quickly...(slows down, speaking more deliberately) we'll be in a good position.' At Talledega, this is Rachel Nichols with my head so far up someones ass that I have a job.

So anyway, Pageturd does it eighteen times per column...

"We didn't make the playoffs, we were all frustrated, it was blown out of proportion, we're all learning here," he said.

Learning indeed, Matt Kemp, the Dodgers, all of us.

"See you in Vero," he said with a big grin as he climbed into his dirt-splattered SUV outside the restaurant.

We'll all be waiting.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's this 'Spygate' I keep hearing about?

A former Rams player, ticket broker, and some lawyer have sued some NFL team for some alleged impropriety. I don't remember from my business law classes if a civil suit requires the defendant or respondent or whatever to prove innocence - unlike a criminal case which puts the burden of proof on the prosecutor - but where is this going to go? The Patriots of the Belichick era have already been tainted, and really, I think that's the most that the teams who lost to New England during the span can hope for. Marshall Faulk, for one, doesn't think anything will ultimately come of the pseudovestigation.

McGwire in camp?

Maybe.

“Five years I’ve asked him to come down,” La Russa said. “And I know he’s considered it. Every year, he’s gotten a little later before he says, ‘No.’ I hope he comes.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Friday, February 15, 2008

There's a West Coast now?

Today's 'Morning Headlines' from First Take came from Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Orlando.

An exhaustive MHR study confirms four out of five newsworthy events occur on the East Coast.

By the way, Fantasy NASCAR? MFWTF?

Remember when Roger Clemens said he didn't know what was going to be in the Mitchell report?

Yeah, he's a total liar.

MHR has documented inconsistencies obvious to everyone in Clemens' testimony, statements, and interviews in several posts, and newly released transcripts confirm what we've all known. He, and his team knew about Clemens' inclusion prior to its release.

Also, following the Clemens/McNamee testimony, Rusty Hardin contended that George Mitchell never offered, even refused the Clemens team an opportunity to discuss the report prior to its release.

Asked why Team Clemens didn't contact Mitchell after hearing about McNamee's allegations, Hardin said: "The whole thing was so adversarial at that time, it never occurred to us that Mitchell would have talked to me. Never occurred to me at the time to talk to George Mitchell and try to figure out what was in the report."


From the buried lead department

If you listen to "Le Show," you got it.

You probably know that Barry Bonds was blasted for two hours yesterday after court papers filed by prosecutors revealed that Bonds had failed a drug test in November 2001. Media wonks went nuts, "I told you so'''s were administered, "Legal Analyst" types like Roger Cossack - how does that guy still have a job? Can't the "WWL" find someone a little more credible? Like a twice-convicted embezzling disbarred lawyer - were trotted out. And it was all a big mistake. November 2000. Oooohh, so close. Bonds caught cheating?! Big News!! We fucked up and jumped on an erroneous story? Shhh, shhh, shhh...seventh bullet-point on the list.

Stinky floors

So I get inside the house in which I'm going to move, the one the ex and I previously lived in but had been renting. Things were alright. I mean, there are a couple things here and there, but no major damages except the floors smell like dog piss and my kid's old room is a different color. When I first bought the house, in June of 2001, I found a huge turd floating in the front bathroom toilet. The previous owners had been dead for a couple years, so wither their son or the guys fixing up the house had left it. Fucking gross, right? When I opened the lid in the master bath yesterday, there was a huge turd floating in the fucking toilet. My understanding of this consists of a series of maybe's:


-it's just a coincidence.
-there is some marking tradition among lifetime renters and people who make repairs to homes of which I was previously unaware.
-renters and repairmen generally need two flushes, yet only hit the handle once and walk away.
-when one presidential administration leaves office, there are all sorts of pranks left for the incoming administration. Clinton's people removed the 'W''s from all executive branch keyboards, drawers were glued shut, stuff like that. Maybe the previous administration is supposed to leave a shitbomb in the toilet for the incoming staff.

[edit: that's a shitty picture. Sorry.]

Barry Zito - Anorexic

If Spring Training were a woman, I would have sex with her. I love it that much. So let's talk some baseball...

Barry Zito was named the Opening Day starter yesterday by Bruce Bochy. Zito is, you know, kind of a big deal, what with his $126 kagillion contract and all, so anything he does is going to generate attention from the folks over at the Chronicle or the Merc. Take this story, for example...

Barry Zito's off-season workout included never, ever eating

Barry Zito will carry a lot less weight to spring training this week, figuratively and literally. He has lost 10 pounds, reduced his body fat by 5 percent and shed some of the baggage he carried to his first Giants spring training last year as the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

Did Zito really need to lose 10 pounds? I didn't really think weight was his issue. Kind of thought it was more his 85 mph "heater" than his weight. Regardless, Zito's performance this year will be critical if the Giants want to reach 63 wins.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tarnished legacies

Spygate and Clemens. Clemens and Spygate. We should come up with a new name for the Patriots cheating history and NFL cover-up because, as MHR has stated in the past, any controversy or possible conspiracy gets a 'gate' on the end, which sucks. How about something more relevant to the topic and surroundings? Or maybe no name at all? That would be rad, because wonks would have to actually do some work. We'll just call it "The Patriots have been cheating since 2000, which means everything done between then and 2006, with a nod to 2007, will be evaluated with suspicion, enough so that they do not belong in any dynasty debate." That should do it.

Aside from the media types seemingly beholden to Clemens, it was clear to everyone that he came out of yesterday looking like the loser. Well, him and the Republicans. Three of the four people around Roger Clemens, not named Roger Clemens - his wife, Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch - have confessed to HGH or steroid use as witnessed by Brian McNamee. Clemens is simply not smart enough to continue speaking out of both sides of his mouth, as was demonstrated to death yesterday when being questioned by people much smarter than he. Aside from that, ESPN.com found a body-language expert who's pretty convinced Clemens is a liar.

Intermittent posting alert

Well, more so anyway.

I'll be spending the rest of this week and weekend moving back into the house my ex-wife and I used to, pre-divorce, own together. The family we'd been renting to paid once in a while, painted my kid's old room some hideous Loch Ness Monster shit of a color, and evidently didn't vacuum the whole time they were there. Work involved.

This cop = kind of in trouble

Found at The Big Lead:


Boofy nominee for the week of 2/11-2/18

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dan Barton - Indiana (R): Fucking Clown

If you were able to hear the McNamee/Clemens fiasco today, undoubtedly the exchange between Brian McNamee and Dan Barton caught your attention. Said Barton, at one point during McNamee's testimony, "You're here under oath, and yet we have lie after lie after lie after lie." Then why was he called? Why was the oath administered in the first place? Why would you waste your time and energy on a witness you know will not further your investigation? Barton's grandstanding was a joke - well, the whole thing was a joke - as was the disrespect showed to the witness he used in order to gain attention.



Dan Barton. You sir, are a douchebag.

Backstory

I heard two crazy things which stuck out from Roger Clemens' attorneys during a post-testimony interview today:

1) George Mitchell never contacted us prior to the Mitchell Report's release.

Excert from Clemens' "60 Minutes" interview:

WALLACE Why didn’t you speak to George Mitchell’s investigators?
CLEMENS I listened to my counsel. I was advised not to. A lot of theplayers didn’t go down and talk to him.
WALLACE I know.
CLEMENS But if I would’ve known what this man, Brian McNamee had said in this report, I would have been down there in a heartbeat to take care of it.


2) They will present a taped conversation between Clemens and McNamee from the day before the report's release.

WALLACE Did you know ahead of time what was going be in George Mitchell’s report?
CLEMENS I did not.
WALLACE Did Brian McNamee tell you what he was going to say to—
CLEMENS Didn’t tell me a word.
TRACK: BUT HE DID ASK CLEMENS FOR A FAVOR JUST A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE MITCHELL REPORT CAME OUT.
CLEMENS He emails me and asks me where all the good fishing equipment is down at Cabo that I bought so he can go fishing. Thank you very much. I said, Have a good time, go fishing. Doesn’t say a word that you, that you know I’m fixing to bury you with all these accusations and what do we do about it. Didn’t say a word about it. That’s what pisses me off.

Woody Paige dictates to a monkey using half his brain

The crazy ramblings of a crazy person aspiring to achieve incoherence. Do the editors at the Denver Post cringe every time they have to print a Paige column?

What happened to the game? Performance-enhancing drugs happened.

And the federal government investigates.

Wait. Let me collect the brain dripping out the side of my ear and see if I can stuff back inside my head. Okay, I'm ready. What?

What happened to the game? Performance-enhancing drugs happened.

And knee surgery, and creatine, and better workout methods, and better science, and hitters watching video after every at-bat, and Tommy John, and no more astro-turf, and maple bats, and expansion and lots of other neat stuff that has made it hard to single out PEDs as the lone offending issue when trying to compare eras. Please continue.

And the federal government investigates.

Oh, new paragraph? Rad.

Roger Clemens, winner of 354 games and seven Cy Young Awards, claims he did not take steroids or human growth hormone.

Barry Bonds, hitter of 762 home runs and recipient of seven MVP awards, claims he did not take steroids or human growth hormone.

Rule #3 on the board when you sign up for journalism during your freshman year in high school: Don't use "claim." And Bonds actually said he hadn't knowingly taken steroids or HGH, sort of acknowledging that they had gained entrance into his body.

Strikingly familiar, except for one significant difference. Clemens' former friend and trainer said he injected Clemens with the PEDs. Bonds' former friend and trainer went to jail instead of saying anything.

In. con. se. quen. tial. Ir. rel. e. vant. What. the. fuck?

Today Brian McNamee, Clemens' ex-personal trainer, will assert that he stuck needles containing steroids and HGH into Clemens.

Or he will admit he lied.

Clemens will counter that he took only B-12 and lidocaine shots.

Or he will admit he lied.

Don't expect any confessions.

But you just...I mean...guh. I'm confused. I'm very confused. He will deny, or confess. He will deny, or confess. Don't expect them to confess. I mean, maybe Woody is trying to build the suspense, only to snatch it away.

In a new paragraph.

But I think he's just confused.

Clemens says this is not his first trip to D.C. It's not his first rodeo, either.

???

Meanwhile, pitchers and catchers report, and spring training will commence. And there will be a new season, and we'll wonder about the Rockies and the Red Sox.

So you're interested in baseball? But what happened to the game? Performance-enhancing drugs happened.

And the federal government investigates.

That's why you've written, I mean, you have dictated this to your monkey.

I don't really care about Clemens and Bonds and even less about Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer, and McNamee, a pair of hangers-on who hitched themselves to baseballers.

Anderson and McNamee helped Clemens and Bonds reconstruct their bodies, using whatever methods, and Clemens and Bonds entertained and set records.

It sounds like Bonds and Clemens hitched themselves to trainers, actually. And it's evident you do care about Bonds, Clemens, McNamee and Anderson because you've dictated to a monkey an entire column about them. You've got to keep the monkey fed. Take it to the vet. Spend money on the thing. Give it a name. I mean, it's not like your going to waste the monkey's energy on a subject about which you don't care.

Who I really do care about are the kids. At the Super Bowl a hostess whose husband is a bright minor-league prospect provided more insight than the House Oversight Committee will get from Clemens and McNamee.

"My husband considered using steroids. He saw how much money there is to be made and how famous major-league players can become. There are lots of players around him who did the drugs. But when it came down to it, he wanted to do it on his terms, naturally, and he will."

The only way those three pseudoparagraphs make sense is is by, "Who I really care about are the kids," Woody means the grown up minor leaguers with spouses.

The player will make it to The Show this season.

As Tampa Bay's fourth outfielder.

He plagiarizes too.

When Clemens was asked if thought Pettitte was lying, he said: ''Andy Pettitte is my friend. He was my friend before this. He will be my friend after this. And again, I think Andy has misheard on his comments.''

“I was friends with Hillary Clinton before we started this campaign. I will be friends with Hillary Clinton after this campaign is over,” Obama said at the end of January.

Roger Clemens is an asshole.

[edit: Clemens quote is from this morning. Obama's is from a January 31st debate, I think.]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama and rich white people

Found this at KSK. Very clever.

You see? With one pull of the lever, I’ve got a whole new excuse for all my minor prejudices and subconscious anxieties towards people who are different from me. And that buys me another decade or so to avoid confronting and trying to fix all those pesky inner flaws. Oh, the freedom tastes so sweet!

Jason Whitlock: Interventionist

The one time ESPN contributor and Kansas City Star columnist says Roger Clemens' lying is all about getting his ass kissed. I'll buy that. Clemens said he doesn't care about the Hall of Fame. Then why this whole production? (msn.foxsports.com)

And it turns out Andy Pettitte all but confirmed Brian McNamee's account in sworn testimony. (New York Post)

And more Clemens stuff. (Boston Globe)

Pageturd hates Dodgertown. So he complains. Which seems like energy well spent since the Dodgers won't be player there after this spring. "I get to watch baseball all over Florida all spring...WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! I'd rather cover cricket in Baghdad...WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" (Los Angeles Times)

Lots of voting in the D.C. area today. Barack Obama has a lot of steam, but the constant presence of the "Change" message is wearing thin with some. My ex-wife met him at a restaurant in Washington one night. Apparently he's good looking up close. (Washington Post)

The Heavy Hand

It sounds like your 2008 San Francisco Giants are happy to be rid of the 2007 elephant in the room.

"With his stature, he could trump anybody," Walker said. "His years in the league and his home runs were the biggest trump cards in the deck."

Zito said some players were not "comfortable in their own skin" around Bonds, himself included.
"I'm excited," Zito said, "because people will be allowed to be who they want to be, not who they think they have to be because there is such a heavy presence in the clubhouse, such a superstar player."


"We all know that in a lot of ways, Barry was bigger than life on the field and in the clubhouse. He was a very dominating personality. At least the players I've talked to, they're interested in making a statement."

We all knew Bonds was the boss, but it sounds like the clubhouse was miserable.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays :(

I just saw a commercial about Subway Jared, followed by a commercial about the jewelry store Jared.

And what the fuck is up with not being able to get online at Starbucks on my phone unless I buy the Sprint access? I can't even access my own network. Dammit that pisses me off.

The San Francisco Giants have addressed their anemic offense by signing...Scott Williamson. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Richard Zednik is one lucky human. (Buffalo News)

Jose Canseco says Brian McNamee is a liar. He's even "1000% sure Roger never showed up at the party." I require 1010% to believe, as long as we're making up percentages. Douche. (USA Today)

Rusty Harden is really fucking things up for his client. Seriously, if Clemens is clean, why is his team working sooooooo hard to win public opinion? If he's clean, he's clean, and let the justice, or investigation process do its thing. (New York Times)

The Clemens P.R. team is pissed that smart people made the Clemens Report look stupid and pointless; almost more incriminating. (New York Daily News/ESPN.com)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We're assigning random positions now

Foxsports.com's Dayn Perry, who I think we can reasonably assume gets paid for what he does, has released his 'worst players at each position' list. It might be a worst starter at every position list, I think. Maybe. None of it really matters when you recognize Dayn Perry is an assclown who doesn't actually watch baseball.

3B - Rich Aurillia, Giants

Yes, Aurilia, at 36, is currently atop the Giants' pile — and it is (emphasis his) a pile — at third base. Last season, Aurilia managed an OBP of barely better than .300, and since he's very much in his decline phase, there's no reason to expect improvement. These days, his bat won't play anywhere, particularly at a power position like third base.

Rich Aurillia played exactly 22 of 162 games at third base in 2007. 55 at first base. 99 games played total. Rich Aurillia is not (emphasis mine, bitch) an everyday third baseman anymore, nor is he an everyday player in general, nor is he in line to be the Giants' starting third baseman this season.

SS — Omar Vizquel, Giants

Seriously, props to the Giants, without whom this column might not have been possible. Anyhow, Vizquel has a credible Hall of Fame case, but at this stage he has no business being a regular at the highest level. Defensively, he still makes the routine plays and the occasional highlight grab, but his range is now well below average. His offense is even worse than that. Vizquel will be 41 years old not long after Opening Day, so it's probably time to consider making graceful exit. On a broader level, it's challenging to impart just how bad the San Francisco offense is going to be in 2008.

"His range is now well below average."

In 2007, Omar Vizquel's Range Factor per 9 innings was 4.74, while the league average was 4.44. FP .986, FRAR 30, and rate of 108. He had an awful year offensively, with an OBP of .306, Slg. 315, and an OPS+ of 62. That's pretty crummy, but last year was a huge departure from 2006, which was remarkably similar to the rest of his career when no one really complained about Vizquel's offense. No one knows if 2008 will see the 2007 or 2006 Vizquel, so shut the hell up for now. One bad offensive year augmented by made-up defensive assumptions/assclown lingo doesn't get him on a 'worst' list.*

LF — Juan Pierre, Dodgers

Juan Pierre will compete with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier for playing time, which will probably mean none of them are everyday players. Pierre is not a very good baseball player when compared to other major league starters, but it's stupid to call him the worst left fielder in baseball unless you call this a worst starters list, which it might be. Or might not be.


*I don't know that much about statistical fielding analysis, but after a very quick exploration of the BP site, one can tell that Vizquel is no where near below average defensively.

Traditional Sunday Malaise

Get on itunes and buy the soundtrack for "We Are Marshall." I know it will take a while to download, so I'll wait.

No, it's alright. I've got nothing to do.

Okay. Got it? Just go ahead and click on the next-to-last song. Number nineteen. "Touchdown," it's called. Ready? Now open this link, and start reading. Because this asshole sure as shit expects you to read his column while listening to song fucking nineteen from the "We Are Marshall" soundtrack because he sure as shit wrote it while listening to that song on a loop. So just hit 'repeat' and try not to throw up, er, enjoy.

IT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAME
How Big Blue Grasped Their Place in History


Guh.

February 10, 2008 -- THE ball was in the air for what felt like a lifetime, and David Tyree was perfectly willing to wait it out that long if that's what it took. All around him, the Super Bowl had come to a complete standstill. All around him, every eye, thousands of them, were fastened on a football.

"I couldn't hear a thing," Tyree said. "I felt like I was all by myself."




An already dramatic event needs more drama. Apparently. I'm not sure I actually get the first sentence. 'The' is in all caps, and Tyree was going to wait a lifetime to catch the ball? And can't you just see it? When Eli let the ball go, time stood still. The stadium, no, the WORLD watched only Eli's ball. It hung in the air for what seemed like forever. It was quiet. Fans existed in slow motion, with baited breath. Then, from off screen...David Tyree. Time sped up. God turned the world's volume back up.

WE ARE...BIG BLUE!!

There were, in reality, 71,101 spectators inside University of Phoenix Stadium. There were a couple hundred others, give or take, patrolling the sidelines: players, coaches, photographers, officials, various other folks with lanyards and credentials around their necks. All of them entranced by the football. All of them seized by the moment.



Seized by the moment. They knew, as it happened, it was...shhhh, shhhh, shhhh, quiet down...whisper...a moment. How could they not? Everything was happening in slow motion.

Half of them had come bearing the thinnest sliver of belief that they would see an underdog rise out of the dust and the desert, a literal phoenix in Phoenix, the New York Giants attempting to throttle the throne.

A literal phoenix, rising from from the dust and the desert. Half of the fans at the Super Bowl expected to see a giant flamy bird thing climb out of the ground, presumably dressed in Giants colors. That would be the retarded half.

The Patriots had been professional assassins all season, relishing their role as America's Most Disliked Team. The Giants had settled nicely into the role of cuddly upstarts, three road playoff wins in the bank already, arriving in Arizona bearing the look of gamblers with house money filling their pockets.

The hopes of a nation were riding on the shoulders of the little team that could. Last season's team had been killed in a plane crash. The New York Giants, no, The American Giants, despite having almost had their season cancelled, persevered through a tumultuous offseason, ripe with backstories that made us all closer to the team, closer to the quarterback who was ripped on by his former teammate, and the defensive lineman who likes to crap on ladies chests, and the other lineman who's ex-wife said was gay, and the prima-donna tight end who was injured late in the season. America's cuddly upstarts.

And then, in a heartbeat, it was all prologue. None of it mattered, not with fewer than two minutes remaining in the football season, with the Patriots leading 14-10, and looking to lay a hammer down on New York Giants ' skulls, once and for all, once and forever.



This Goliath, this insurmaountable foe, was done taunting David. David was all but done for, but...

This mattered: Eli Manning , half a second away from absorbing a crunching sandwich of a sack, dancing a Gene Kelly two-step out of harm's way. A football in the air. A Super Bowl at a standstill. Two seasons, two destinies, one championship.

Literally up in the air.

Breathless. Slow motion. America gasped. Literally. Time for a flashback.

THE AIR WAS thick with desperation, with the unmistakable whiff of imminent crisis. Outside was muggy and suffocating, late September in Washington, DC, having turned FedEx Field into a muggy quagmire. Inside, in the visitors' locker room, was something else.



"Guys," Tom Coughlin announced, "this is the time for us to find out who we are as a team. It's as simple as that."

It was bleak that day, my friends. The Giants, still just New York's Giants, were about to go 0-3. The coach was mad. But this was a new coach. A different coach. This was the coach that didn't scream. This was the player's coach. And this moment; this transcendent moment, changed football history. That was B.C. From now on would be A.D.

What followed was the first dividend.

"Fellas," Strahan announced, "we're going to win this game."


A.D. The coach and the leader. Though they had been through ups and downs, thick and thin, it all had lead to this. The leader knew what was right. Volume rises slightly...more horns...

"The season starts right here," Strahan said, "right now."

I just spooged a little.

The new season began with the Giants reeling off 21 unanswered points, then heroically keeping the Redskins out of the end zone in the final minute, stoning them four straight times. Six straight wins followed. Suddenly, in a weak conference, the Giants were solid contenders. Most days, Giants fans could even allow themselves the occasional leap of faith, believing they had the necessary ingredients to piece together a playoff run.

There was only one problem with that formula.

The quarterback kept getting in the way.

The Giants had won six straight games, but the underdog quarterback hadn't been a part of that. They were winning in spite of the kid.

Flashback #2...

IT WAS HARD to determine where the low point came. Week 12 was a good place to start, when Minnesota visited the Meadowlands and threw a frightening jolt of uneasiness into the whole of Giants Nation, and the hole of the Giant offense. Eli Manning threw four interceptions that day. Three were returned for Vikings touchdowns. The final was 41-17. The repercussions were resounding.



"It's pretty simple," Coughlin said. "We need the quarterback to play better than that. He knows it. He's not trying to throw interceptions. He's playing hard. He just needs to be better."

This new coach, this players coach, knew the right thing to do was to throw the kid under the bus.

Four weeks later, inside the swirling, snowy bowl of Ralph Wilson Stadium, he may have been even worse, fumbling the ball five times, throwing two picks, allowing the pedestrian Bills to haunt him and spook him, and having to rely on two long touchdown runs by Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw (quietly emerging as precisely the kind of 1-2 running punch the Giants needed to allow Eli to "manage" games rather than dominate them) and a terrific effort by the Giants' defense.

It should have been a feel-good day, two days before Christmas. The Giants thrashed Buffalo, 38-21. They wrapped up a playoff spot. And later in the day, when the Redskins went into Minnesota and beat the Vikings, it all but assured that the Giants would gain a favorable playoff slot, drawing the Buccaneers in Tampa rather than the Seahawks in Seattle.



The kid was down. The team was winning, but without him. The kid barely took part in the post-game celebration that day, knowing he was a leach. A leach sucking the goodwill earned by his brethren. This lecherous version of the kid wasn't going to help his team. They were dead in the water. They were sitting ducks. They needed the kid. New York needed the kid. America needed the kid. And the kid believed.


New York nodded, and listened, and wanted to believe. A week later, Manning looked sharp against the Patriots, a game less notable for that than for the fact that Coughlin decided to play his regulars, and play them all game long, despite the fact there was nothing tangible to be gained. New York Giants were a locked-in five seed in the playoffs.

The coach knew it was right to play his starters all game long. For motivation. For history. Because it was right.

"The Patriots are 15-0, and they'll be playing to win the game. Why shouldn't we?"

Again, there was another concession to the New Coughlin, the open-minded Coughlin. His players badly wanted to play the game. They wanted a crack at the Pats, because it was so unlikely they would ever get another one. He decided to let them play for a half. Then for three quarters. And then the whole game. The Pats won, 38-35. But it hardly felt like a loss for the Giants.

This was the Coughlin who wanted to win. The New Coughlin. The players Coughlin was the winner. The coach's Coughlin would have been a loser.

They were pretty good. But pretty good and playoffs don't often go together.

Music is becoming more intense...

EXCEPT, IT TURNED out, they were a bit better than pretty good.

Cymbals crashing! Horns blaring!

In Tampa, in the 80-degree heat, they wore down the Buccaneers, winning the franchise's first playoff game in seven years, 24-14. In Dallas, with the glitter twins of Tony Romo and Terrell Owens waiting for them, they ground down the Cowboys, reducing Texas Stadium to a whisper with a 21-17 win. Quietly, the quarterback had played a second straight terrific game, outplaying Romo the way he'd outplayed erstwhile Giant-killer Jeff Garcia the week before.

"He's the best quarterback I've ever played with," Jacobs gushed. "You can have anyone else you want. I want Eli."

A montage of beatdown. The old man who broke the heart of Giants nation is battered. The punks get splattered. His teammates believed; like they always had; like we wated to.

That vast field of candidates would include Brett Favre, waiting for Eli and the New York Giants in the sub-zero frost of Green Bay a week later. There was no way the Giants were walking into Lambeau Field and doing battle with both the 14-3 Packers and the ghosts of Lombardi and walking away with the George Halas Trophy. That was clear.

Extra flashbacks to playoff games at Lambeau field, Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, the Ice Bowl, history. It wasn't just Brett Favre and Ryan Grant and Aaron Kampman on the mythical forzen tundra. Eli and the Giants were facing the ghosts of history. There were 500 men on that field. 500 angry Packers.
Eli dipped and dodged, flinging the frozen pigskin all over the field.

History.

Flash forward. Ball in the air. No, the season. America's season, literally, in. the. air.

Back to slow motion.

THE FACT THAT the ball was in the air at all was a miracle, of course. Eli Manning is good at many things. Escapability is not one of them. Yet he had gotten free and he had heaved the ball.

No, he didn't just chuck some duck. It was heaved, with the might of Zeus and Hercules. With the power of destiny. The Hand of God freed the loping Eli. The Hand of God turned his right arm into a bolt of lightning.

Shh. Shhhh.

Tyree's hands hit leather first. Then trapped the ball against his helmet, of all things. Then reached around. Then held on tight, waiting for impact.


And then held on. An Immaculate Connection.

Big music!!

A few moments later, Manning found Plaxico Burress in the end zone, and a few minutes after that Tom Brady's fourth-down prayer found the grass, and a few minutes after that Eli Manning's knee found the turf, and the final gun went off, and man, oh, man, people will be talking about all of that for as long as they play football games. Or any kind of sports, for that matter.

Oh, and a bunch of other stuff happened that actually mattered more.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I'm starting to like this version of Chris Berman

Since these Berman pissed or cussing videos have begun popping up, I have a new respect for the guy.




Chris Berman on the air: Annoying

Berman in leaked videos online: Much less annoying

'Roided Chickens?

I ate at a seafood buffet last night for some fucking reason. I feel like a fat pile of shit today. See? That's me...

The U.S. Olympic Team is taking their own food to China, because Chinese Food will make you throw up in the pool. And eating food in China will make you sick too. (New York Times)

Some NFL owners want to put a radio in a defender's helmet. (Washington Post)

Does anyone actually pay attention to the Davis Cup? (ESPN.com)

Billy Beane continues rebuilding the A's by signing, Keith Foulke? (San Francisco Chronicle)

There's a big hole in the ground in Denver. (Denver Post)

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Rocketess

Brian McNamee injected Roger Clemens' wife with HGH in preparation for an SI photo shoot?


Yeah, I'll buy that.

I am Wojo Jojo!

From ESPN.com's Gene Wojiechowski:

"I'm not going to make any comment on it," said Kevin Hart, his voice subdued, almost sad. "I don't mean to be impolite. I'm just going to hang up the phone."

You know what would have been really cool? If instead of "his voice subdued, almost sad," Hackdouche had written, "sounding cheery and upbeat, like he'd just watched the Kramer bus-driving bit while beer-bonging three Jolt colas at the same time." WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT HIM TO SOUND LIKE?!

A moment later, click.

Actually, I've found that one hears a few different noises when on the receiving end of a hang up. There are clicks, but I've also heard a 'doink,' gzonk,' and 'ptink.' And it's hackish to use the 'Enter' key after every sentence. I don't know if I've mentioned that it's pretty hackish. It's a hackish way of trying to inject drama.

What began six months ago as a small, ego-driven lie, somehow gained weight and strength and grew into an uncontrollable hoax. It enveloped a school, a town, a family and maybe a future.

Whoa, that is a big lie. A whole town? Fernley is pretty small - about 20,000 people live there - and it does leave something to be desired, entertainment-wise. But enveloped? I'm picturing two old guys in rocking chairs, on a porch, listening to an old radio and drinking lemonade while overlooking the lone, sad highway that eases through Fernley on it's way to bigger things, brighter lights, and the "Biggest Little City in the...." What? Oh yeah. The idea that Fernley as a whole gave a huge shit about this kid is fucking retarded.

You've got to at least give Hart credit for facing the truth. Not that he had any choice.

That's all there is to that paragragh. And no, you don't really have to give him any credit. Facing the truth when confronted with this huge lie you just told, does not win you any points.

Anywhere.

Ever.

New paragragh.

But there are more important questions to ask, such as, where were the adults in this football horror flick?

That is a good question, but I hesitate to think it's more important than "What the fuck is wrong with this kid?"

Tedford, Bellotti and Ault never set foot in Hart's home, never even contacted the family -- all standard recruiting doctrine when you're trying to sign a kid -- and yet, Hart's parents didn't think something was a little screwy? And wouldn't you think Fernley coach Mark Hodges might have been a teensy bit curious why nobody from Oregon, Cal or Nevada never bothered with a visit, a phone call, a letter to him?

I'm just guessing, but Hart's parents have probably never had a kid recruited by a D-I school, which means they aren't familiar with the ins and outs of college recruiting practices. The same goes for Fernley's head coach.

Fernley High principal Dave Regalado, when reached in his office Thursday morning, declined to comment on the situation. He referred all questions to Teri White of the Lyon County School District. White also was unavailable for comment.

The adults hid, but not Hart's classmates.

The adults are probably concerned about the investigation that's taking place. Right now. In which they might be facing questions themselves. Or maybe they're worried that those who would seek to assign blame or sensationalize an already sensational event are looking for dirt from those in a position of authority or knowledge.

Hall's investigation should be completed by early next week. The findings will be submitted to the district attorney, but Hall said he would be "surprised" if charges were filed against Hart for falsifying a police report.

Makes sense. The one truth in all of this is that nobody can do to Hart what he's already done to himself.

I wish the DA where I live thought that way.

That thud you heard

That was just your new Golden State Warriors. Chris Webber had 4 points and 1 rebound in 13 minutes in his first/eighty-third game with his new/old team. (San Francisco Chronicle)

It's old news, but Steve Spagnuolo is staying with New York for a buttload of money. Another sought-after coordinator under an oldish type head coach staying on staff? Hmm, I say. Hmmm. (New York Post)

John Lynch knows the Chargers are good, but the rest of the AFC West is really, really bad. (Denver Post)

The Bonds legacy in San Francisco will never die. Peter Magowan's obituary is going to read something like, "...blah, blah, blah, saved baseball in San Francisco, blah, blah, blah, questions raised about willful ignorance or lack of awareness regarding steroids in Giants clubhouse, blah, blah, blah, ruined baseball in San Francisco...." (Chronicle)

It turns out Tiki Barber went to, and graduated with honors from, The Isaiah Thomas School of Importance with a degree in Delusional Studies. Just too stupid and self-righteous to ever, at least publicly, recognize his issues.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Evidence?

No. Not really. More like pictures of the evidence we heard about the other day when Brian McNamee's legal team announced he'd saved syringes and gauze used when injecting Roger Clemens with steroids. According to a McNamee attorney, McNamee kept the items because he "had this inkling and gut feeling that he couldn't trust Roger and better keep something to protect himself in the future." The Clemens legal/P.R. camp is barely acknowledging the real issue at stake, calling keeping the evidence, "a psycho thing, his sitting on syringes for nine years," attacking McNamee, and implicitly acknowledging that McNamee had something to "sit on" for nine years. That, I think, is more telling than anything else that happened today.

Who's in the rocking chair?

New 'Lost' tonight.

Chris Webber makes his second Warrior debut tonight against the Chicago Bulls, getting the start. Steve Carlton signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1986, who hoped he could recapture some of his old form. This signing seems headed for a similar ending. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Oooohh, the Lakers are coming down off their Pau Gasol high. There are lots of excuses. To hear the exhilaration following Gasol's debut, his acquisition ensured the Lakers wouldn't be able to make excuses. (Los Angleles Times)

ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack is on "First Take" right now, describing how the Brian McNamee physical evidence given to federal investigators, makes him "uncomfortable." That's not legal analysis. Of course it's wierd that the guy held on to syringes and gauze, but that's not the issue. The only part of this that matters is, does this stuff have Clemens DNA and steroids on it? The rest of it is window dressing. I heard a Clemens lawyer call this another McNamee stunt, which is crazy since the Clemens camp has turned this whole thing into a circus.

Video of Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal participating in a cockfight has been found, released, and subsequently removed from, the ever dilligent, youtube. Though some will try to make a connection, this is not the same as Micheal Vick dogfighting, since cockfighting is legal in the Dominic Republic, but it still sucks when seen from a U.S. worldview. (New York Post)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This kid might be messed up or something

It turns out the kid who signed a letter of intent with Cal only to find out he was never actually recruited by the Bears, or Oregon, or any other D-I school for that matter, lied about the whole thing. I don't know what to make of it, other than that anyone who would cross the line from "Hey, that would be crazy if I did that," to the lengths he took the whole fiasco, complete with the press conference/rally in which a Cal and Oregon hat were symbolically placed for the kid to choose, is a little fucked up. Maybe a little. Hopefully he hadn't really thought it through, falsely bragged to someone that Jeff Tedford had called him, and things spiraled from there. I bet the kid is moving soon.

You're all really f-cked now!

Aside from the questions one has about the kind of guy that would save another person's used medical waste, the real news in the New York Times is that Brian McNamee provided federal investigators with syringes and gauze used to inject the Rocket with rocket juice. I don't know if that will be spinable for the Clemens legal/P.R. team, besides trying to sell the 'McNamee might be disturbed' angle. Has anyone actually been inside McNamee's house? I'm starting to think it looks like that scene in Seven where Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman find the decomposing, almost dead guy. Fucking gross.

I hope you can still grow that stuff out

We've found an update at Deadspin about everyone's favorite Patriots fan. A few weeks ago, MHR posted a rant about Victor Thompson's belief that he was a member of the Patriots. He looked stupid then. Now? Well, you know. At least he blames the loss on Brady having a girlfriend. Fuck, if Victor Thompson's going to literally bleed for his team, the least Tom Brady could do would be to remain celebate and asexual during the playoffs so he could spend every single moment thinking and studying all things football. What have we learned from all this? If you get a tattoo having to do with your favorite sports team, you are a stupid asshole. Oh yeah, if you're unfamiliar, the Boofy is an MHR award, given to stupid assholes who do really stupid shit. Past winners have included Jaguars receiver Reggie Williams for dancing after every two-yard catch, media clowns who went nuts covering Shaq/Kobe pre-game greetings but didn't cover the game, George Lucas for having thought Jar-Jar Binks was a good idea, and Joey Porter. We would like to congratulate Mr. Thompson for this well deserved Boofy.


The Boofy

The Arlington Express

Nolan Ryan is the new president of the Texas Rangers. Let MHR be the first to say, it's about fucking time. Chuck Norris has been running around campaigning for some anti-evolution minister when he should be roundhousing escaped convicts and baby killers. Nothing is as effective as a Nolan Ryan fastball at Walker's bean from 60'6" away at forcing Major Scott McCoy off the campaign trail.


Seriously, though, we all know Ryan's history. He is as much associated with the Rangers as any other team he played with, though he's been back and forth about his allegiance to Texas or Houston over the past few years. It's unclear whether he will be allowed to hold on to his Astros minor-league affiliates, but it's hard to imagine Tom Hicks forcing Ryan to give those up, and his kids, whose names do not start with "K"'s since he's not a total douche, are involved with both teams.

Dan Shaughnessy's tears make us happy

Shaughnessy's latest column: Sour grapes, sour grapes remember the Patriots, New Yorkers are clowns, sour grapes, why didn't people talk more about the Patriots, sour grapes, people on the left side of the country are pussies, sour grapes, rip on Giants, rip on Plaxico Burress, call David Tyree Don Larsen while forever deifying Dave Roberts, Robert Kraft = Jesus. (Boston Globe)

Get ready for some Jesse Jackson

It's being reported that during a noon PST news conference, the Seahawks will announce Jim Mora, Jr. as their head coach beginning in 2009. Apparently it surprises no one around the NFL. Mora is a Northwest guy, and didn't warm the heart of Arthur Blank when he called the University of Washington head coach position his, "Dream job." The Seahawks as an organization must be happy, but there are probably going to be questions about their adherence to the Rooney Rule. The Colts faced a smattering of questions when they hired Jim Caldwell, who is black, without interviewing any other candidates, black or white. The goal of the rule is not simply to get minority coaches hired, but to get them interviewed; being talked about as candidates; creating a culture that is more inclusive. So, you know, the Colts violated the rule, regardless of who they ultimately hired. Anyhoo, Seattle probably has some form of punishment coming. Maybe the loss of a draft pick and some money. Matt Millen was fined $250,000 in 2003 after hiring Steve Mariucci. Paul Allen, shall we say, might be able to afford any penalty a Seahawks executive might incur. Plus it's unlikely the Seahawk organization wasn't aware of the questions or penalties they'd face hiring a head coach a year before they'd need him, without having interviewed others. So in the end, Seattle probably decided Jim Mora, Jr. was worth more to the organization than the dollars they'd lose.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday Happy Time

It's funny how around election time the perpetuation of overt racism is welcomed. CNN just ran a segment in which exit polls in California were broken down by white, Asian, Hispanic, and Black voters. What is this shit? I mean, what the fuck is this shit?! Which Democrat got the bulk of the black vote? Where the hell is the Republican version of that question? Are there no black Republicans? I can't help but get the feeling these analysts are trying to analyze races and information with out-of-date textbooks and methods. It's lazy. Who is the real conservative? Why is it assumed Republicans are looking for the real conservative? All rich Democrats are voting Obama, while the beer-drinkers are pro-Clinton? To hell with this election nonsense. Why don't we find out how many people exist in each class, have someone much smarter than me figure out some equation in which no one actually has to vote, and our officials can be elected on the expectation that everyone would have voted based on the stupid fucking idea that no one thinks enough to vote outside the tiny sad box they live in, in which the beverage of choice is beer instead of wine or they are Hispanic instead of white. Hey, there are more rich white people in California that poor blacks, but there are more Hispanics than wine-drinkers, so it's 51-49 Hillary. Easy. Done. Assigning voting behavior by race, income, or religion does a huge diservice to everyone involved in the voting process.

I've been watching election coverage all night. California polls just closed about an hour ago. It's looking like McCain is coming closer to the Republican nomination - though Mike Huckabee is on fire - while Clinton is up big in Cali at the moment.

Barack Obama just said, "It's a choice between looking backward and looking forward," even though a major selling point of his is having opposed the war from the beginning. "If I'm a nominee, my opponent will not be able to say 'I supported the war in Iraq." Eyes forward, everyone. Obama is totally appealing, but there is a built-in culture of shit in politalk that even he can't escape.

[update: 9:27 PM] CNN and MSNBC just called California for Clinton.

The audacity of standing next to a pro-gay marriage mayor

There's a story out of San Francisco today about Barack Obama refusing to have his picture taken with Gavin Newsom four years ago, around the time Newsom was gaining attention for his same-sex marriage stance. Obama's group denies the incident ever took place, but it's pretty clear that it did actually happen.

So she says, "More like a giant paper headache."

Who cleans all this shit up? New York held a ticker-tape parade through some part of New York or Manhattan or somewhere (I don't know the geographical mankeup of New York, at all, aside from various Seinfeld references and Gangs of New York). Parents took kids out of school, workers called in sick, and fans went a little overboard with hyperbole ("This is my generation's V-E Day moment!"). A couple of things come to mind as I read about the parade. Where does the ticker-tape come from? This isn't the 1940's, and ticker-tape isn't really the paltform of choice for relaying stock prices, sports scores, or anything. I wonder if offices along the parade route are simply throwing shredder paper. Does the city provide it? A Q and A from the Bloomberg administration and found on the Times website says 50 tons of paper can be expected to be dropped throughout the parade. I quick check of my long dormant math skills tells me that's a shitload of paper. The Q and A says,

The New York City Department of Sanitation will deploy 317 Sanitation Workers and 38 Sanitation Officers, who will use 126 backpack blowers, 41 hand brooms, 30 mechanical street sweepers, 12 front-end loaders, 12 collection trucks, and 3 water flushers to clean the streets of Lower Manhattan by midnight.

A quick check of my recently revived math skills tells me that's a shitload of workers and equipment. But New York is, if nothing else, familiar with the logistics of throwing a ticker-tape parade. The first came as a spontaneous celebration after the Statue of Liberty was dedicated. In the 20's, 30's and 40's, thinking, "Hey, it looks pretty fucking cool when we do one of these," New Yorkers were throwing one about every five days. But the 50's and 60's saw a huge increase in the quantity, if not decrease in quality, of ticker-tapers, throwing one for seemingly any visiting foreign dignitary (Prime Minister of Australia, President of Panama, President of Liberia) or competition winner (Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition winner, Gold medalists, Ben Hogan after winning the British Open). But in the last forty years, there have been decidedly fewer. Of the last eight ticker-tape parades, seven have been sports-realated. Today's Giants parade will be only the second this decade. What gives? Especially when it comes to throwing non-sports-related parades? Maybe the romance disappeared as the cost of cleanup rose and the post-parade hangover pounded inside the collective New York head. Sanitation workers, police officers, and others getting overtime during and after. 126 leafblowers blaring throughout the evening and night, nauseating the whole area with fumes. Maybe New Yorkers got tired of office workers along the parade route using waste-basket contents as ticker-tape. Maybe they recognized that the whole ticker-tape parade thing was getting a little out-of-hand. Who really knows, but they don't happen very often, which makes one more special for the recipient when it actually does take place. A parade once in a while makes it a public event, rather than a public nuisance.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Taking 2009 bets now

The Patriots are early, very early favorites to win the 2009 Super Bowl, aka Clusterfuck XLIII. This year's champions go off at 8/1, while New England starts out at 5/2 odds. In an even bigger 'fuck you' to the Giants, Dallas and Green Bay arae given better odds than New York. (Boston Globe)

The Rocket hits Congress to lie, er, testify about his embrace and extensive use, er, avoidance of PEDs. Is there a Bible involved? Does this guy even believe an oath means anything? It's clear he feels no devotion to or inclination toward truth. Will there be leaked testimony? By a member of his legal team? Where is the Clemens version of "Game of Shadows?" Where are the Williams and Fainaru-Wada's digging into ever aspect of his past? Where is the...ope, I went a little crazy there. Anyway, the slimeball douchebag is testifying today. (New York Post)

Ron Artest might be on the move again. Because most teams would be interested in a guy who's borderline (totally) unstable at best, has been a distraction (soap opera) at every stop, what with the law breaking and all, and plans on becoming a free agent this summer. (Sacramento Bee)

Plaschke's latest page-turd plot summary: No one believed in Eli, but he's good. Dry to dramatize an already dramatic event. Peyton mention. Brady mention. Old Eli cliches. Semi-local mention. Peyton mention. Homosexual description of Rodney Harrison. Some new mythical moment called 'The Yell" (which looked remarkably like an unraveling and is usually seen as a QB being a dick, but Plaschke describes with reverence). Plaschke foreknowledge of Eli's future magic. Another mythical moment Plaschke calls the "Hail Manning" (which implies the whole thing had more to do with David Tyree than Eli, but efforting to make Tyree sound legendary isn't as fun as putting all that work into a Manning). No one believed in Eli but Eli. (Los Angeles Times)

The Denver Post's Dave Krieger breaks down Roger Goodell's Patriots cheating explanation.
The evidence in question consisted of six videotapes and notes apparently taken from other videotapes, all of it in the Patriots' quest to record and analyze other teams' defensive signals. It has become known as Spygate.
No, dude. Hacky dicknose fuckwad lazy mail-it-in mediaites assigned it the name Spygate. Because all things cover-up must have a 'gate' after a short description. It's not you, Mr. Krieger. It's everyone.

Some Northern Californians weren't able to see the Super Bowl because of a contract dispute between Northland Cable and a semi-local Fox affiliate. Either the Northland owner is really stupid, or very slippery and wiggly, since it would be hard to own a cable provider without knowing the difference between network and non-network programming. (Redding Record Searchlight)

Those were good times

Remember when Bill Simmons was kind of funny? That seems like a long time ago. Now he's not funny, not clever, and a little too self-important. There are waaaaaaaaaaaayy too many "we"'s in his Super Bowl column.

Favorite part-of-the-team-fan nonsense quotes:

You bleed for your team,

No, you don't. They bleed for their team.

Of course, there's one catch: You might never get there.

There's actually no chance you will get there...because you are a fan.

I took the approach of "we didn't deserve to win, we sucked, we choked and I'm not getting distraught over this when the city of Boston has won five titles since 2002"

The Patriots should just stop playing, because they've got three titles in six years. I mean, what else is there to prove for Boston fans? This was just going to be icing on the cake, so who really cares? Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah , nyaaaaaaaaahhh. I didn't really get that into this team, 'cause we've got titles already, so this one didn't matter.

Hackdouche Should Eat It

Last week, Hackdouche gave us 15 reasons the Patriots would win the Super Bowl, maybe three of which were actual possible reasons. Today, Hackdouche blames New England for being wrong. (ESPN.com)

A recap and breakdown of Super Bowl commercials. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Hyperbole laden self-interested throw up from MHR pseudo favorite Bill Plaschke. "Of all the eye-popping plays in what may be the most unlikely ending in Super Bowl history, Belichick's "Sprint Quit" was among the best." Sprint quit? I haven't heard this referred to before, so I don't know why it's in quotes. (Los Angeles Times)

We don't have to worry about 'Spygate' anymore. Damn, there are a lot of people writing about the Belichick smugness today. (Denver Post)

Just in case we'd forgotten that the Patriots played in the Super Bowl, someone makes sure we know the Giants played like Patriots. "Manning was positively Brady-esque during his team's final march." Gag. At least Ellis Hobbs gives the Giants credit. "You set high expectations, but then you go down, and you're 18-1, and that's one big zit. It's one big blemish. We choked. We choked at the end." (Boston Globe)

'He's only giving us 17 points?'

After a night of decompression and disection:

-That was the most exciting Super Bowl in the last 18 years. The Rams/Titans game gets play, but the exciting and hurried finish was on you so fast. Last night, the whole game seemed like a build-up to an exciting end.

-It was not the best football we've seen. Both offenses were pretty blah until the Giants' final drive. The Giants' D had a lot to do with New England's troubles on offense, but Brady missed quite a few open opportunities. At least parity helps encourage an exciting game.

-Oh thank capital G God a whole self-righteous collection of fandom can now shut the hell up. 19-0 a given? Remember this guy?

-Can we but to bed the Tom Brady/Joe Montana comparisons? Please. 60.4% completion, 82.5 rating, 5.5 YPC.

-David Tyree's catch is already being described as one of the greatest of all time, but it's not the new "The Catch." It's up there, but it's not that high up there. Probably the best catch in a Super Bowl though.

-Mercury Morris is obnoxious, and it's too bad shows give this clown airtime.

-There was not one person involved in producing the Sales Genie ads who had the thought, however brief, "Hey these might be pretty racist?" Accents and everything? I mean, those were two super wrong ads, and hopefully, no one will use Sales Genie in the future. Maybe they wanted the racist element in some effort to make them memorable.

-Neither quarterback played better than average last night, but there's some need to assign heroics out there. So today in the media world, it's about all about Eli. Sigh.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Racist Europeans? Impossible

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has been subjected to racist taunts from fans in Spain during testing this week. Oh, you progressive Europeans. Beware the Polish-plumber.

Chad Johnson is mad, and wants to be traded. Johnson is pissed that he can't talk. So he's talking. The worst news here is that he's represented by Drew Rosenhaus, who is probably the most fucktardish agent in sports. (ESPN.com)

Clusterfuck XLII - 2nd half

They handed out lights for the fans on the field for the half-time show? Nothing says psyched for football like a slow song and lights held high in the air.

"Semi-Pro?" I think Will Farrell might be type cast.

The "Plan B" cars.com commercials are pretty good.

Man, the twelve men on the field penalty is horseshit. The camera is on Blackburn like crazy.

Fox has gone to Blackburn on the sideline 50 times in the last two minutes.

Brady sacked on 3rd. Incomplete on 4th. So much for the Blackburn-to-blame angle you stupid assholes.

Dude, my power went out during the Wall-E commercial.

Kevin Faulk grabs his hamstring. "You wonder if that's his hamstring," - Buck

Toomer makes a catch, falls to the ground, followed by a Harrison forearm to the back of the helmet. I can't figure out where this dirtiest player idea comes from.

"When would you think a Bill Belichick coached team would have a defense that's underrated?" - SuperTroy. Uh, the last six seasons?

Assante Samuel hops around after breaking up a TD pass in the endzone. Moron. I think that's really the first extra celebration I've seen all game.

Gay breaks up a 3rd down pass . That's Pass Interference during the regular season, since Gay got there early.

The talking baby E-Trade commercial is saved by the baby burping up at the end.

No, seriously. Bud-Light commercials are like Family-Guy. Nothing to do with the subject matter. It's like the ad team for Budweiser knows Budweiser actually tastes like one of the Clydesdales pissed in it. Hey, let's make it funny.

Brady looks so mehish tonight.

Pam Oliver reports that the Giants are getting bananas on the sideline to combat cramps. Great. You are useful.

Brady misses an open Welker.

I just got a text from Sondog asking what I think of the game. Really, it's pretty shitty football, but at least it's close.

End of 4th. The only thing enjoyable about this game is the Giants' defense.

Peyton shot. Even a "little brother" mention from Buck. Yes!

Shockey shot. Yes, the Giants are better without captain fuckface.

This is a Steve Smith coming out party.

Eli TD to Tyree.

Three Peyton shots is the last three minutes.

Frist and Carville? On a Segway? Well done.

"Ya gotta believe if the Patriots are going to have any success moving the football, it's gonna involve Randy Moss." - SuperTroy. Really? Ya gotta believe that if the Patriots want to score quickly they might want to invlove the best reciever in the NFL?

Brady misses an open Moss deep.

Welker does the looking for a flag thing. That's a 15-yarder in the bhNFL. Giants get the ball back.

Eli misses an open Burress after eluding the rush.

Nice stick by Harrison on 3rd down. Fucker.

Jackie Moon? Semi-Pro? Haven't I seen this moving? When it was called 'Talledega Nights?' Or 'Blades of Glory?' Or any Will Farrell sketch on SNL?

"We ask the question: 'Who wanted it more? Vote for Super Bowl MVP at..." Who wanted it more? God, that is stupid.

Welker is going nuts.

Brady misses Moss open for a TD.

Brady throws behind Welker at the 1. 3rd down.

"Brady is cool and calm." - Aikman. Brady's done shit this drive. Yes the Patriots have gone down the field, but because of YAC and Kevin Faulk.

Brady to Moss TD. 14-10 Patriots.

"Drive put together by the game's best...Tom Brady." - Buck. Brady has extra clean testicles.

Peyton shot.

Tyree grab over Harrison. Over. Harrison.

Eli to Plaxico TD. Peyton shot. 17-14 Giants. Pats will get the ball back with under 30 seconds to play.

Brady's first pass is a Romo off his back foot to no one.

Sack by Alford.

Incomplete deep to Moss.

Dolphins montage. Fucking fuck the fucking Dolphin fucks. The Patriots went 18-0, which the Dolphins did not do.

Brady incomplete to Moss. Game over.

Or not. 1 second left. 1 second left? Really? The NFL is going to make them run it off? Rad. Get everyone off the field so Eli can take a knee. Yes. Very good. Now it's over? Okay. Game over. Seems like Belichick could have done the right thing and stayed when it became apparent there was one second left.

Clusterfuck XLII - 1st half

The Sarah Conner Chronicles looks destined for Saturday afternoon. I want to like it, but I'm probably not going to watch.

Who the shit is Jordan Sparks? American Idol winner? What the fuck? Already Fox has too much to do with this. Why the shit is there a camera in every player's face? Why the shit are player's covering their hearts? This isn't the pledge of allegiance.

Up next, the Fox coin toss.

Oh, but first it's the Man of the Year Award, given to Jason Taylor. Ahh.

How many fucking captains do the Patriots have? Seven? Seven fucking captains?

There are people on the field telling other people where to stand. "No, no. This rectangle has to look perfect. No, Bill Walsh kid, scoot the fuck back!" That this whole nonsense is orchestrated is so nauseating.

A SuperTroy public service announcement about the Super Bowl being important? Rad.

Chris Meyers reports that Brady's ankle is pain free. Didn't this get taken care of a week ago? I mean, didn't this get taken care of a fucking week ago?!

Do pickup companies pay for these crazy contraptions that don't show that their pickups are good, but instead that they can be swung around real hard? Or can stop real fast? Or can battle some crazy monster?

Finally. Fucking kickoff. I turned on the television at 3:18, when the game was supposed to start. Thirty minutes later, we're ready to go. Christ.

Plaxico Burress catches a pass for a first down, then falls down before being touched to end the play. That's toughness.

SuperTroy says Eli has turned the corner. Eli audibles to a run in which Brandon Jacobs goes for 1 yard. Corner turning is overrated.

1st commercial: Bud Light. Seriously, Bud Light commercials are like watching Family Guy. They've got nothing to do with beer, like Family Guy jokes have nothing to do with Family Guy storylines.

Fox Brings you an aerial view of the roof of University of Pheonix Stadium.

1st Peyton shot comes with 9:00 left in the 1st quarter.

Rodney Harrison is a bitch. Nice celebration, bitch.

Tynes good. 3-0 Giants.

The pigeon/Fed-Ex commercial is funny. The talking stain commercial is really funny.

Oooooooooooooohhhh, Gizelle sighting.

Moose, Goose, and Kenny Albert bring you the Pro-Bowl. That sounds really super awful. Not only does watching the Pro Bowl suck, now listening to the Pro-Bowl extra sucks.

Brady sack. This is pretty boring football right now.

Another sack of Brady.

Carlos Mencia is not funny.

Bradshaw's batting an Eli fumble was amazing. Recovered by Steve Smith. I know it'll be a penalty on Bradshaw, but how awesome was that? That's probably the smartest play I've seen in a while.

Pats get the ball back with 2 minutes left.

"When we come back, it'll be the Patriots with the ball and one of the best ever at the two-minute drill." - Buck. Do you really need to build the drama?

The Giants' D is on it tonight.

"Now the Giants are getting it back." - Buck. He means momentum, not the ball. The next play is a Pats 1st down. Momentum in sports is not real.

Troy thinks the Giants want the ball back before the half is over. No shit.

Brady fumble. Joe Montana's not walking through that door, folks.

7-3 New England at the half.

If only there were a football game today

Giant Clusterfuck XLII Sunday. Football fans beware. MHR has always touted the idea that championship events are not for actual fans, especially when Fox is involved, but the abortion that is today's over-the-top, red carpet shit-stain opens new doors of championship extravagance and douchebaggedness.

If the Giants lose to an undefeated team today, they suck forever...because they beat three teams they weren't supposed to beat on the road to actually get to the Super Bowl then lost to a team that some will call the best ever. Sucky bastards. (New York Post)

McCain/Romney has become the Chargers/Patriots of the Presidential race. McCain as the Chargers crying foul about Romeny/Pats excesses, addressing Romney's overreaching claims that he saved the 2002 Olympics or that he doesn't play by conservative rules. The animosity goes back a while. (Los Angeles Times)

Bruce Jenkins releases an old man's best quarterbacks list, mostly consisting of individual talents, like "Best jump-passer" and "Toughest sonofagun." (San Francisco Chronicle)

In case you didn't know, Tom Brady has some shit going for him. Most notably, every male fucking journalist in the country has a mancrush on him. (Rock Mountain News)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I'm on my knees people

Christ Webber is back in Northern California. He hopes fans have forgiven his being a shithead last time around when his departure kind of signaled, or hastened, Golden State's decade-long crumminess. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Mike Vaccaro recognizes that quarterbacks get a lot of attention, all the time, so his column is about giving Eli Manning attention. My favorite part comes about halfway through when he has eight heads on football's Mt. Rushmore and puts Kurt Warner alongside Jim McMahon as a one-hit wonder. (New York Post)

A source says the Patriots taped the Rams' final walkthrough before Super Bowl Bunch of X's and V's and Stuff. No shit? Ope, how'd that question mark get in there? I meant, no shit. Oooooooooooohhh, but maybe the Rams cheated too. It's just that Belichick is better at cheating than Dick Vermiel. (Boston Herald)

Thanks, USDA

I have not been a fan of the USDA's approach to beef regulations for a while, mostly because they allow for too much that is unsafe. The USDA allows the slaughterhouse environment to be viewed on par with a production assembly line. This, of course, is crazy, since one sick, injured, or infected cow being slaughtered with any equipment that is subsequently used without being sterilized, as is allowed and employed in practice, can affect -infect- thousands of pounds of beef. When slaughterhouses are meant to obey USDA rules, responsibility is generally left to the slaughterhouses to make sure those rules are followed, with little to no interaction from the government. What follows when half-assed rules are half-assed practiced? Beef with E. Coli, Mad Cow, and other infections hit the market.

One of the rules imposed by the USDA is that downer cows are not to be slaughtered since a)they are probably rolling around in shit, and b) some part of them is broken, infected, or the cow is sick. So when a Humane Society video popped up this week of sick cows being brutalized, then lead to slaughter, those who harbor suspiscions and doubt about the safety of American beef gained more sad evidence that the USDA's policies and enforcement do not protect consumers adequately. What's really terrible in this whole latest episode is that the bulk of the beef from the slaughterhouses in the video is used for school lunch programs.

The crazy part here is that workers at the offending slaughterhouse very likely do this kind of crap a lot. Let's all understand that this is not an isolated incident and only at this facility. After the video was shown, the abusers were fired and the offending company "got on" investigating the problem. They will offer a "voluntary" recall of the meat likely involved in this lone incident, declaring that they have taken swift and immediate action. While they will suffer through being watched by the USDA with a scrutiny only a few other slaughterhouses have felt, the problem is that USDA scrutiny, along with willful and a wide-ranging disregard for barely useful USDA rules by slaughterhouses, does not lead to safe meat. The problem will not be solved until those in charge recognize that cattle swinging by on a production line are not like electronics or other mass produced goods, and taking money from powerful ranchers associations and lobbyists does not change that fact. One infection on one cow not caught by an inspector compromises thousands of pounds of beef. When hundreds of possibly sick cows, on a daily basis, are taken from rolling in shit to slaughter, well, that's not too good.

I eat beef, but I make sure I know where it comes from. I don't trust anything with a USDA stamp anymore.