Tuesday, July 26, 2005

On Hiatus.......

I am taking a little trip to Montreal, home of Pierre Trudeau and about 2 million chain smokers. I was there once before a couple of years ago to watch an Expos game and its a beautiful city so im going back.......... my posting will return sunday.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Weimar Republic/ B.E.T. Un-cut

Still having trouble with the titles for these posts, so I thought I would put my history degree to use and start naming these things after certain people, governments, and places that I had overheard of before falling asleep in one of the many hundreds of classes I went to over the last four years. Thats one thing Im going to miss the most about school..........the sleeping in class, and Im not b.s.ing about this either I wasnt one of those people who pretended to sleep as a way to attract attention and once the teacher called on me wake up alertly and look for a cheap laugh, oh no I never slept more peacefully in my life than when I had the sounds of a professor droning on for over an hour, but I digress. I didnt get a chance to watch tonights Tigers game because it wasnt on Fox Sports, but I do know they lost, and from what I read in the Detroit News it was ugly. Jason Johnson got lit up to the tune of 8 runs, same as he did earlier this year but at least he lasted longer than a third of an inning today.

So I have really nothing to add about todays game, so Im going to write about something that I think is long overdue. Earlier this year I posted about how Nick GAS was the greatest late night television network ever. This may have been the stupidest thing I ever wrote. Although GAS is great, nothing will ever be able to top B.E.T.'s Un-cut. In case your unfamiliar with this program its three hours of the most sexually explicit videos from the most obscure rap "artists" in the country. I put the parentheses around artist not because I don't respect rap music, but the people that appear on this program would a hard time drawing a crowd to the Holden Hall 2nd Floor Meeting, or if these guys were holding a live show in my garage I dont think I would go check it out.

The first ballot hall of famers for Un-Cut would be:

1. A rapper known as Isaiah who seemingly puts out a new video every week, which isnt that hard as the only thing required to shoot his video is a jacuzzi, a bottle of Arbor Mist, and lots of drugs not too mention an endless supply of white sorority girls, who are giving their dads a class action brain aneurysm, as well as the most hit out, worn down, depressing strippers the city of Decatur has to offer.

2. Hustle Mania: This is a pair of rappers with a combined weight of 1300 lbs., which is exactly half the total number of girls who shake their....... err......I mean p-pop in their video, tastefully titled Bend Over.

3. Black Jesus: He is responsible for the worst rap song of all time. Me and my friends couldnt believe it was actually happening, so we Googled his name, and got ZERO search results.......at least for rappers with that name.......which led us to the conclusion that this actually may not have happened, seeing as how we saw the video after 10 hours of Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. and we all know Nintendo eyes can be just as dangerous as any hallucinogen.

4. The Mighty Casey: 2 words "White Girls". 4 more words Greatest Rap Song..........EVER.

Another great part of Un-Cut, at least for a sports fan, is identifying the thousands of throwback jerseys worn by said obscure rappers. This isnt as easy as the mainstream rappers, who stick to the Dr. J's, Bill Russells, and Walter Payton's of the world. Oh no this is far more challenging, as tonight I saw a throwback Haywood Jefferies jersey. Haywood Jefferies. Apparently the Stephone Paige jerseys were sold out. The contemporary jerseys are always pretty good too because it allows you to see whats on sale at the Sports Authority without actually leaving the house. I can think of no stronger evidence to support this than the fact that I saw two Joey Harrington Lions jerseys tonight alone. The other cliches in these videos that never get old, and are always wildly entertaining is the slow motion smoke pouring out of peoples noses and mouths, and its always amazing at how adept all rappers are at riding ATVS. I think this skill has actually replaced rhyming as the most important qualification on becoming a rap star. In an attempt to allow the owners and programmers at BET to sleep at night, or possibly avoid going straight to hell, they immediately follow up Un-Cut with about 5 hours of religious programming, which performs the task of a mass exorcism for the whole network. So the next thing you see after watching a girl shake her blurred out crotch in slow motion while two guys pour Boones Farm on it is a man who looks a lot like Phil Hartman telling you of the evils of everything you just watched. If your not careful the quick 180 may be enough to cause a great amount of internal bleeding or at least the loss of your 3:30 A.M. Strawberry Pop Tart.

I don't know what kind of tone this post has taken but I certainly hope it isnt preachy because I by no means intend to condemn B.E.T. or lecture the reader about the evils of rap and p- popping, in fact I encourage you, implore you, to watch this program. Hopefully I ve made Bob Johnson a little richer, and maybe one day he can reward me for filling his pockets by letting a true American Hero The Mighty Casey sing the national anthem at a Charlotte Bobcats game because it would help me unwind. (White Girls running through my mind...................)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tigers Mid-Season Report Card cont.

First Im going to quickly finish up the midseason grades.

Kevin Hooper: Grade I. I ve only seen this guy in the lineup a couple of times, and was surprised to see that Eddie Gaedel was still so nimble at the age of 80, and yes I had to look up his age, had I been able to give the birthdate of the only midget baseball player off of the top of my head I would have hanged myself.

Omar Infante: Grade C-. I was expecting big things from Omar this year, but he was disappointing to say the least. At least hes got style though. Ive always been envious of Latin baseball players because they are always able to pull off the baggy white pants, white cleats look, which I kind of like. If I were to play I dont think I would have a choice but to rock the stirrups, or flood as bad as Jason Johnson does, because Im white and goony and I think it stipulates somewhere in the rulebook that those are the only two looks allowed to people who fit such a description.

Brandon Inge: Grade B+. This grade should probably be an A just for the fact that he is NOT Eric Munson, or Chris Truby, or Jose Macias. Inge has been solid though and Im glad to see him doing well, seeing as where he came from just two years ago when he was just absolutely atrocious at the plate.

Flaccido Polanco: Grade A. Polanco has been great, Ive raved about him a couple of times already and really dont have much to add because he hasnt played in the last 7 games. However a friend of mine came up with an even better description of his head. Milk Dud shaped. Perfect.

Meat Hook: Grade D+. Ive been disappointed by the Hook this year seeing as how he is one of my favorite players on the team, but I think he might be getting tired pitching under the assumed name Fernando Rodney (they have to be the same person). I mean this was a guy who was on pace for 486 homeruns at one point this season and now hes got only 16. What happened.

Nook Logan. Grade B. Maybe this should be higher seeing as how he is a rookie, but a B seems about right. Hes definitely cooled down a little bit with the bat but hes so fast its still exciting to watch him, way more fun then Milt Cuyler ever was, or Brian L. Hunter and his .096 OBP.

Craig Monroe. Grade B+. Monroe is great but I cant like him because my friend Tizzy LOVES him. Me and Tizzy went to a Tigers game two years ago and he called a Monroe homerun and the two have been in love ever since. Even more amazing than calling the homerun was Tizzy calling a Chris Shelton swinging bunt, during a game about a week ago. I also like Monroe after he got caught trying to steal a belt that cost like 30 dollars. My friends and I came up with the theory that it was Monroes way of keeping it real, you know not letting the gangstas in Texakarna think he had forgot where he was from.

Magglio. Grade A-. This will probably be an A + by seasons end if he keeps hitting like he has the past week or so. I still cant believe this guy is a Tiger, its so weird to see someone that good in a Tiger uniform, no offense to Pudge but he just doesnt have the same kind of plate presence that Magglio has. Hopefully that electroshock/banned in the US/performed by a backstore Austrian knee "surgeon"operation this offseason holds up for the next five years, and to think that scared other teams off. Pffft.

Rondell White. Grade A. Or Rock as Rod Allen and only Rod Allen calls him. Rondell is great, just because hes so solid and so cheap making only three million this year. Hopefully they work something out with him because I wouldnt mind seeing him stick around a couple of more years. Hes also a guy who seems like he should have had a much better career than his actual numbers indicate.

And that concludes the midseason report on the Tigers, an accomplishment for me because I think its the first post Ive actually set out to do started and completed even if it did take me two days.

Now some quick thoughts.

The other big news in Detroit is the Larry Brown saga. Personally I think its kind of anti climactic, although there was a moment a week ago that I actually thought Brown would be coming back. Oh well both Brown and the Pistons got what they wanted out of the arrangement, which was almost back to back NBA titles, and now begins the Flip Saunders era. I like Flip because, well, his name is Flip, and the only other Flips Ive heard of are pretty good. Flip Wilson and Flipper Anderson (yes that counts) who I racked up 383 receiving yards with in a game of Tecmo Super Bowl. I also like how Flip always looks drunk, I mean thirty seconds into every game his tie is loosened, jacket open and hair messed up. I like the disheveled look in coaches. However I think if I were the Pistons I would have given Izzo a call just to see if he would be interested, because why not?

HomeRun Derby took place at Comerica, and Pudge represented the Tigers well. The highlight of the night was Bobby Abreu, not for his 24 homerun first round record, but for my dad mistaking him for a different person twice in the same round. First asking if it were "Axelrod" and then Sammy Sosa. Also do you think Andruw Jones felt a great swell of pride representing wooden shoes and windmills for the Netherlands?

Article in Entertainment Weekly where Tawny Kitaen took time out from scratching Chuck Finleys eyes out and fighting him in the car to rate the Paris Hilton/Jessica Simpson commercial and video respectively. You mean she was available for this, how could one White Snake video lead to 20 years of pseudo fame. Amazing.

Finally I want to start wearing a poncho. I think they look cool, but Im not bold enough to ever act upon this feeling. Ill think about it, get frustrated thinking of all the things I want to tell the poncho, how I feel about it and such. Sit silently, and then start crying. And why were ponchos popular in the deep south and Mexico, who thought it was a good idea to wear a heavy blanket over clothes in 100 degree weather?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tigers Mid-Season Report Card

I havent posted in nearly two weeks, because I have been battling a viral infection, so im sorry to my two regular readers and all of the people who accidentally click on the link to this page from the 1996 Detroit Tigers baseball-reference page that I sponsor. To get an idea about how pathetic my page viewings are I have put a counter at the bottom of this site. Apparently there are blogs that contain family photos of vacations to Yellowstone that are more interesting than anything I have to write. But yes I have been sick, nothing life threatening, but just sick enough to where I don't feel well enough to do anything. Compounding this sickness is the fact that it has been on average 265 degrees during the month of July here in Michigan, which means I have been fortunate enough, or finally had an excuse to do nothing but watch baseball, namely the Tigers. So Im going to do a quick midseason report on the Tigers, with grades and everything, because frankly thats my favorite sports writing gimmick. So enjoy Kevin................... Ill resume my RBI rundown at a later date, and don't think I dont want to finish that series because that game is great and it allows me to draw on my bank of useless baseball trivia, about non descript players from the 80's whose drug dealers dont even know they played professionally let alone have had a knife thrown at them.

Kyle Farnsworth: Grade: A. I was going to give Farnsworth an A- even though his performance on the field this year has been amazing. Hes gone something like 25 innings and only allowed a single run. However I was going to give him a minus because I had been disappointed with him in the fact that he hadnt lived up to his psycho billing, and then stated that he was more mature this year and ready to take on responsibilities. Boring. Responsibilities? What! wheres the guy throwing lawn chairs on the field, kicking air conditioners, being to hung over to pitch in day games, what happened? Well the Farnsworth I had hoped to know and love but was giving up on came through against the Royals on Sunday. When he circled the scrum and tackled Jeremy Affeldt to the ground, which was reminiscent of his Paul Wilson beatdown he delivered a few years ago. Not only that but he took down the Affeldt who was fantasy baseball poison for me last season, and yes I hold lifelong grudges against 20th round fantasy picks who fail to perform How can you not love a pitcher who has a signature bench clearing brawl move. They need to sign this guy to an extension, make him the closer give him big money. Please Mr. Illitch, Mr. Dombrowski, anybody............... please.

Doug Creek. Grade: I. Doug Creek plays for the Tigers? Who is this guy, did Matt Ginter change his name. Where is Matt Ginter, are him and his banjo back in Triple A. Did he even exist? How can a guy like Creek with a career ERA over 5 play 10 big league seasons? Oh hes left handed thats right. When I have a kid Im going to tie his right arm behind his back and make sure hes lefthanded just so he can enjoy a long big league career no matter how ineffective he is. Go ahead call Child Services. Im going to make Marv Marinovich and Bing Crosby look like Fathers of the Year.

Craig Dingman. Grade: I. Craig Dingman is back with the Tigers? How? Hes not even left handed.

Sean Douglass: Grade: A. So far hes pitched well, I remember he used to be an Orioles prospect or something, but was a total spazz (or is it one z) and never stuck with a team that long, But as long as he keeps pitching as good as he has this season hes alright.

Franklyn German: Grade: B+. He hasnt really pitched well in his appearances since the break, but so far this season hes been a effective reliever.........errr I wish I could add something about him, but I cant think of anything noteworthy that hes done, which is good if your a reliever.

Jason Johnson: Grade B. I dont think Ill ever really warm to this guy because he seems like he would be a total prick for some reason, and not the good kind like Reggie Jackson, or Terrell Owens, guys who are so brash and arrogant that you cant take them to serious. Johsnon seems like a whiny brooding jerk. That and he had a bitch session after being pulled out of a game after the seventh that the Tigers ended up losing. Hes been good though and deserves more than the 6 wins hes gotten this year.

Mike Maroth: Grade C+. Maybe Im being to hard on Mike, but he seems so hittable, I think I could get a hit off of Maroth. Hes so effortless and slow that it looks like hes throwing batting practice. He has been pitching better of late though, and hes seems like the one Tiger I identify with the last five years or so of bad teams because hes always been there, and Id hate to see him gone.

Nate Robertson: D-..........no B. I hate Robertson because he pitches EVERY GAME I GO TO. I dont think hes pitched since the last time I was there either, and I plan on going again this weekend and if hes pitching Ill refuse to watch, no offense to him, but I need variety, I need excitement, I feel like Ive been in a long relationship with a girlfriend and need some time to myself for a week or two. Or at least thats what my friends in relationships tells me it feels like.

Fernando Rodney. Grade A-. If Farnsworth leaves Rodney has got to be the closer next year. This guy throws changeups ranging from nasty to unhittable. The 7 K's the other night against the Royals over three innings was incredible. The ball was disappearing, and the Gotay's and Teahans of the world have no chance. Speaking of which, I wrote earlier this year that the Devil Rays were the saddest, most irrelevant team, but after watching the Royals series Im having second thoughts, but Im not going to elaborate here. Anyways a nasty changeup is my favorite pitch to watch, and Rodneys is awesome, not Santana awesome, as the immortal Rod Allen was comparing it with but nasty in its own right.

Chris Spurling. F. This is a "what have you done for me lately" grade and the last thing I remember Spurling doing was giving up three bombs including one to Juan Uribe that was so huge had it been on RBI it would have made such a high pitch whistle as it was leaving the park that it would have made your ears bleed. Also Spurling has a horrible tattoo on his right elbow, and wears that ridiculous medallion with his number on it. This guy seems to take himself way to serious, especially for a middling relief pitcher whose only been in the big leagues for two years. I wish we would have kept Matt Roney and his size 11 3/8 head instead of Spurling. Yuck.

Jamie Walker: Grade A-. Walker has been good at what he does...............whatever that is.

Jeremy Bonderman. Grade A. Bonderman is great, Ive wrote at length about him a couple of times and really have nothing new to add at the moment. To bad he couldnt have gone to the All-Star game instead of Kenny Rogers, although Im glad Detroit fans booed Rogers both before and during the game, not so much for what he did to the cameraman but for taking Bondermans spot. Because who cares about cameramen, their not even human.

Pudge. B. After batting .500 last June, I had high hopes for Pudge this year as I expected him to carry that average through a whole season, but alas. He has been tremendous behind the plate cutting down runners better than ever. However Pudge is scary looking because he always seems so intense. Like he would stab the shit out of you if you crossed him. Had he come to prominence in the 80's I think he would have thrived in Miami as a cocaine dealer, wearing the pastels and cutting and shooting people for fun.

Vance Wilson. Grade D: He is putting up Craig Paquette numbers, which is never good. I may have posted this before but I am still convinced that Wilson is just Matt Walbeck in disguise.

Carlos Guillen. Grade B+. Hopefully hes finally healthy and I like the way he reacted after he got beaned sparking the brawl. Hes been solid but it would be nice to see him drive in some more runs.

Ill finish this tomorrow...........

Monday, July 04, 2005

California Angels

I am continuing my RBI baseball posts after a little bit of a break. That last post was so large in scope that I had to take a whole week off to recover. However before I delve into the Angels RBI prowress, I would like to talk a little bit about the Tigers game I went to today against the Yankees. Ive been to three Tigers games so far this year and they have all been horrible. Firstly I have seen Nate Robertson pitch in all three games that I have attended, a feat that even Steve Sparks didnt achieve, when their was a run in which it seemed like every game I went to for three years Steve Sparks pitched.. Now I have nothing against Robertson or his goggles but it would be nice to have a little variety when I go to the games. Secondly the Tigers have lost all three games Ive been too, which makes me feel personally responsible for their current position of being three games under .500. And lastly not only have they lost the games but theyve lost quickly, with none of the three games lasting over 2 and a half hours. However tomorrow should be an exciting day with the MLB debut of Justin Verlander. Now on to the Angels, and Ill try to keep this one shorter than the last post.


1. Gary Pettis. I love Gary Pettis because he was such a thin guy and as I mentioned in an earlier post us tall skinny guys have to support one another, and Gary Pettis checked in at 6'1 and 165 which is about an inch shorter and twenty pounds heavier than me, so he qualifys. He also had the appearance of a skinny crackhead who looked like he had straggled in off the streets outside old Tiger, a look that someone like Tim Raines always hoped for but could only dream about. Pettis is also the most exciting defensive outfielder that I can barely remember for the Tigers and won a couple of gold gloves with them. The Tigers were also able to steal him from the Angels, as they traded Dan Petry who gave them to horrendous seasons before re-signing with the Tigers and later becoming a serviceable color man for the always wildly entertaining and sorely missed UPN 50 Tigers broadcasts. Hes good for his speed on RBI especially if you hit grounders to the left side of the infield he can usually beat them out and remain disruptive on the basepaths.

ER: 6.5/10

2. Doug DeCinces. I dont know much about DeCinces in real life other than the fact he was overwhelmed with the task of taking Brooks Robinson's third baseman job for the Orioles in the mid 70's. This game came out towards the end of his playing career, but he is still a dangerous power hitter and servicable although he is a little out of place batting second it seems.

ER: 7/10

3. Wally Joyner: Joyner is a great lefthanded power bat on the game and owner of a career I never quite understood, because his best seasons were his first two and he never really reached the power numbers he enjoyed during those first two years for the remainder of his career. For someone who played there whole career outside of Detroit I have quite a few favorite Wally World Memories. 1) He broke up Walt Terrell's no hitter with two outs in the bottom of the ninth or so my dads told me. 2) He had a buck knife thrown at him at Yankee Stadium which hit him handle end first and landed sticking straight into the ground. 3) He was a free agent disaster for the Royals for about 3 years when making 4 million dollars was still a big deal. and 4) on the night of my prom which me and my friends skipped to go to a Tigers Angels game we heckled Wally mercilessly for all 12 innings of the game, like a day or two before he quit. So much for a victory lap type season, I like to think I played a direct role in his demise.

ER 8.5/10

4. Reggie Jackson. I think Reggie is the most powerful hitter in the game and a constant home run, extra base hit threat. However his career pales in comparison to hall of famer who doubled Jacksons numbers, Steve Chilcott who was wisely selected No.1 over all by the Mets ahead of Reggie in the 1967 draft. Wait Im mistaken Chilcott never made it to the majors and flamed out after six minor league seasons. Sorry Mets fans. I think I would have liked Reggie in his hayday because he seemed like a total prick, and for some reason I like athletes who are pricks, probably for the same reasons that all girls do, which explains all my friday/saturday night posts. but enough of that.

ER 9/10

5. Brian Downing. This guy is OK, hes got decent power but hes slow as hell. He played for the Angels forever but always had a tough postseason as he would change his stance so that he batted with both hands around his neck, which proved ineffective.

ER 5/10

6. Bobby Grich. I remember nothing of this guy as he had played his full carrer and retired by the time I was 3. I never play with him in RBI either because of Anaheims deep bench. I know his name gets tossed around as one of the games most underatted players and had a monster season as a second baseman for the Angels in 1979, as well as being an excellent fielder. Apparently was also a hero of Clint Barmes, when Grich wrenched his back carrying an air conditioner up a flight of stairs.


7. Dick Schoefield. Schofield had a long and unremarkable career, and never plays in RBI because of the bench depth. Schofield was the third overall pick in the 1981 draft and was a disaster of Cade Gaspar proportions.


8. Bob Boone. He also gets taken out. I detest the Boones for some reason. I never liked Brett or Aaron and therefor dont like the man who spawned them. So hes out. It also seems like I read somewhere that Bob Boone was a prick, and he was a crappy manager. Also he was almost traded to the Tigers in the mid 70's after a drunken agreement between the Tiger's and Phillies GM's, which is how most trades were handled in the Randy Smitth era 20 years later.


Rick Burleson: Another Angel who was before my time I usually sub him for Boone. Hes a consistent hitter with decent speed, second fastest next to Pettis. In real life had a series of rotator cuff injuries which affected his career.

ER 6/10

George Hendrick: Solid power of the bench, whom I usually sub in for Schofield. Hendrick was involved in a trade that sent the incomporable John Tudor to the Cardinals from the Pirates and allowed him to be on RBI. He was another Angel whose career was essentially finished before I can remember.

ER 6.5/10

Rob Wilfong: His career was essentially over too by 1988 and I dont remember him. Never really used in RBI either.


Ruppert Jones: A member of the 84 Tigers. Also the first person selected by the Mariners in the expansion draft a title he would later share with the distinguishable Nigel Wilson and Dave Nied. I usually sub him in for Grich and hes pretty good. Hits for decent power and average on the game.

ER 7/10

Pitching: Mike Witt: Witts ok on this game. He doesnt throw all that fast and he doesnt have a lot of movement but hes good for four innings or so to start the game. He pitched a perfect game in reality, and was a bust for the Yankees who traded Dave Winfield to get him. He was also over 10 feet tall and weighed 126 punds.

ER 6/10

Don Sutton: No matter what anyone says this guy is the worst hall of famer ever. Based strictly on the 1989 Upper Deck cards where he was still rocking the ghastly late 80's perm. Jesus Christ who honestly thinks perms are good looking on guys, or on anyone. Also I hate him on the Braves telecasts. Hes good on the game though as hes got some pretty wicked movement, and decent speed, it also seems like I can get a good 5 to six innings out of him on a regular basis.

ER. 7.5/10

Doug Corbett. This guy sucks, no speed, no movement avoid at all costs.

ER. 1/10

Donnie Moore. I dont like to get sentimental but this guy was a sad case. It feels creepy bringing him into a game, it would be equivalent to playing Tecmo Bowl with Ray Finkle on the team, I mean if Finkle ever really existed. Im sure many of you know the story, well not many because not many people read this blog. But he gave up the game ALCS home run to Dave Henderson which lost the series. Felt personally responsible sending his career into a tail spin. Was out of baseball in a couple of years feared being rememberd only for surrendering Hendus homer so he became remembered for something even worse. Battled depression and then killed himself and his wife in front of their three children. I blame Red Sox fans for his death, because they suck and its another reason to hate them, no matter how absurd.

ER 7/10