Monday, July 31, 2006

Five Weeks Until Order Is Restored To The Universe

I think this story pretty much sums it all up. I'd give a link, but I don't have one. I received this via email. I would have to assume it's from The Onion:

You Will Suffer Humiliation When The Sports Team From My Area Defeats The Sports Team From Your Area
As you can see from the calendar, the game is coming up next weekend (ok - five weeks from now). I'm sure you are as excited for it as I am, as our cities are rivals and have been for quite some time. Your confidence in your team is high, but rest assured, you will suffer humiliation when the sports team from my area defeats the sports team from your area.

On numerous occasions, you have expressed the conviction that your area's sports team will be victorious. I must admit that every time I hear you make this proclamation, I react with both laughter and disbelief. "Ha!" I say to myself with laughter. "What?!" I say to myself in disbelief. How could you believe that your sports team could beat my sports team? It is clear that yours is inferior in every way.

When the sporting contest begins, the players on your team will be treated as though they are inconsequential. It will be remarkably easy for my team to accumulate more points than yours. There are many reasons for this, starting with the inferior physical attributes of the players representing your area. Strength, speed, and agility are just three of the qualities that the players on the team from your area lack. The players representing my area, on the other hand, have these traits in abundance.

I would not be a bit surprised if the individuals on the team from your area were sexually attracted to members of their own gender. That is how ineffective they are on the field of battle.

Underscoring your team's inferiority is its choice of colors. It is ludicrous to believe that your team's colors inspire either respect or fear. Instead, they appear to have been chosen by someone who is colorblind or, perhaps, bereft of sight altogether. The colors for my team, on the other hand, are aesthetically pleasing when placed in proximity to one another. They are a superior color combination in every way.

While we are on the subject of aesthetics, let us compare the respective facilities in which our teams play. While my team's edifice is blessed with architectural splendor and the most modern of amenities, yours is a thoroughly unpleasant place in which to watch a sporting contest. I know of what I speak, for I once attended a game between our respective teams in your facility. Let's just say the experience left me wishing that my car was inoperable that day due to mechanical problems, rendering it impossible for me to get to your area to attend the game.

If you need another reason why the sporting franchise representing my area is superior, look no further than the supporters for the two sides. Not only are the supporters of the team from my region more spirited, but they are also more intelligent and of finer breeding than you and the rest of your ilk. In addition, the female supporters of the team from my area possess more attractive countenances and figures than yours. Some of the women from my side that I have observed could make a living by posing for pictures for major men's magazines. The women who cheer for your team, I'm afraid, are far too unattractive to do so.

One of the more pathetic aspects of the team from your area is the fact that only people in your immediate area possess an affinity for it. By means of contrast, the team from my area inspires loyalty and affection in individuals who live in many other geographic locations.

To illustrate this point, let me tell a brief story: Recently, I was on vacation in an area of the country far away from my own, and I saw many individuals wearing items of clothing that bore the insignia of my team. I approached one such individual and asked him if he originated from my area. He said no, explaining that he simply liked the team from my area and had for many years. Interestingly enough, during this trip, I saw no clothing or other paraphernalia bearing the insignia of your team.

Do you still doubt that the team from your area is inferior to the one from mine? Just look at our teams respective histories. In the past, we have defeated you on any number of occasions. Granted, there were times when your team beat my team, but those were lucky flukes.

The day of the game will soon be at hand. And no matter how hard you pray to a higher power or how many foam accoutrements you wear in support of the team from your area, your team will be defeated. We will win and you will lose. This is your fate.

Prepare for humiliation. It shall be upon you at the designated hour.

Another reason why I hate David Samson

David Samson still does his weekly radio segment on Dan LeBatard's radio show. Samson is mildly entertaining in this bit because he talks very little baseball. In my opinion, this is a smart thing for Samson to do, because he doesn't know much about baseball.

After droning on about his upcoming Ironman competition (seriously), Samson proved (once again) that he's not as savvy of a baseball person as he pretends to be. Samson uses most of his radio time to talk about movies. He's apparently a movie fanatic. Somehow he's able (he says) to watch a movie each day. I'm not sure how he finds the time, particularly when you consider the amount of time the average baseball exec claims to spend working and/or watching baseball. But apparently David finds the time -- even during the season.

Anyway, last week's movie discussion led to a brief back and forth about "Miami Vice". This talk was a day or two before the movie was released, so neither LeBatard nor Samson had actually seen the movie. Samson said that he was very excited about it, because he had given the filmmakers permission to use the Marlins' name and/or logos in the movie. Mr. Samson informed everyone that when the Marlins are referenced on a television show or in a movie, the team has to give its permission -- and that normally goes through Samson's office.

What struck me as odd though was that immediately after relating that he gave permission for the Marlins reference in "Miami Vice", Samson expressed surprise when LeBatard informed him that the movie (unlike the television show) is not set in the 1980s. "Miami Vice" (the new, movie version, at least) takes place in 2005/2006.

Now, if David Samson is so smart, how did he not realize that it would be extremely difficult for a 1980s-based movie to have a Florida Marlins reference? Part of me genuinely thinks that Mr. Samson may not know that the Marlins weren't a part of MLB during the 80s. I'm sure he knows that when he has a media guide or some other publication in front of him. But between the movie watching and the snack eating at the ballpark, I'm sure that some of this other minutia escapes him.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Beating My Coke Problem

Last week, July 16th to be exact was the first anniversary of the last caffeniated soda that I have ever had. For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that I have always been a big Coke fan. Growing up, I nearly always had a Coca-Cola in my hand. Not a Pepsi, but a Coke. From time to time I'd have a Mountain Dew, Jolt, or Dr. Pepper, but 99 times out of 100 it was a Coke.

As I got a little older (a few years out of college) that switched to Diet Coke. The switch saved me at least 600 calories a day. On a lot of days, it was probably closer to 1,000 calories. The taste wasn't the same, but I needed the caffeine. Really, I did. If I was somehow able to get through the morning without a soda, I'd have headaches and/or feel ill by about noon.

But last year around this time, with Carolina's urging, I stopped cold turkey. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn't. I started drinking copious amounts of water. That made it much easier. Eventually I mixed in green tea. That has helped considerably.

Now I'll be honest and admit that from time to time I have a cup of coffee, or a Frappuccino, or even a caffeine free soda. But it's not the same. I can have one of those once in awhile and leave it at that. Back in the day, one soda led to another and another. I couldn't have a meal -- even breakfast -- without a soda. Now I can. It's much better this way.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Six Weeks Until Order Is Restored to the Universe

Kenny Phillips is better than Sean Taylor. Do you remember Sean Taylor?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wiggins' Useless Picks

Okay - they should be slightly less useless than my World Cup picks, but still...

Here we go...

NL first -

East - Mets (Duh)
Central - Cards (Can't see the Reds holding it together for a real run)
West - Padres (they'll make a trade for a hitter)
Wild card - this one is tough, but I will flip a coin and say that Sheets and Ohka return to lead Wilwaukee to a shocking playoff berth.

AL -

East - Boston finally gets past the Yanks for a division title.
Central - White Sox get past the Tigers who slide as their young arms fade
West - A's (especially if Harden comes back at all, but I think the Angels just don't have the bats, anyway - and Beane has a trade in him yet)
Wild Card - I hate to say it, but the Yankees. Tigers REALLY fade. Yankees get Sheff and Matsui back for the stretch run and squeak into the playoffs.

How's THAT for going out on a limb? Watch out for the Tigers next year. I do believe they are a good team, and don't want to discount what they have done this year, I just don't think they can keep it up. Watch out for the Twins, too. Man - the Central is stacked. The Sox run may be over after two years...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Ins and Outs

Now we've got something of a list going. Maybe we'll add some names as we think of others (and keep using the comments to add names). In this post I'm going to list who I think is in and who I think is out. There will not be any "I'm not sure" type things associated with any name.

Maybe what we can do is that when Wiggins has his list up we can talk about the guys we disagree about. Maybe that will be interesting.

Guys who are in
Greg Maddux
Roger Clemens
Mike Piazza
Alex Rodriguez -- if he retires today, he's in -- unclutch and all
Derek Jeter -- same as ARod, but with clutch
Randy Johnson
Pedro Martinez
Ivan Rodriguez
Tom Glavine
Robbie Alomar
Craig Biggio
Mariano Rivera
Manny Ramirez
Barry Bonds
Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell
John Smoltz
Curt Schilling -- as much as I hate to admit it
Trevor Hoffman
Ichiro Suzuki -- with a couple more good years in the States, his MLB accomplishments alone may be enough to merit enshrinement. He needs 10 years in the bigs to be eligible
Andruw Jones -- he's still young
Chipper Jones
Jim Thome -- when it's all said and done, the numbers will be huge
Mike Mussina -- he'll end up North of 250 wins, but short of 300. Another ring with the Yankees helps his cause
Vladimir Guerrerro
Johan Santana -- he's in the middle of the dominant period of his career
Albert Pujols
Scott Kazmir -- wild guess
Joe Torre
Bobby Cox
Tony LaRussa

Guys who will get in, but who will have to wait awhile
Mark McGwire
Sammy Sosa
Edgar Martinez -- for different reasons than the first two

Not going to make it
Rafael Palmeiro -- I didn't think he was in before the steroid controversy
Jason Giambi
Gary Sheffield
Fred McGriff -- if Palmeiro's not in, how can McGriff?
Carlos Delgado -- I love the guy, but... maybe if he gets a ring with the Mets and has another deep run or two
Jason Varitek -- needs more playoff drama and/or more rings because the stats won't be there
Bernie Williams -- lots of intangibles and team things, but not enough stats
Miguel Cabrera -- intangibles worry me. My gut tells me he won't keep it up
Dontrelle Willis -- I love the guy. He can be great and not make the Hall. No shame in that
Roy Oswalt
Barry Zito
Tim Hudson
Roy Halladay
Rich Harden
Felix Hernandez
Francisco Liriano -- the body of work is too small
Jason Bay -- debuted too old
Carlos Beltran
Alfonso Soriano
David Ortiz -- his Twins years still count
John Scheurholz -- he should be in, but won't make it
Billy Beane -- he's going to need a lot of rings
David Wright -- he'll get in one day. I'm almost sure of it. He'll be in just like Gregg Jeffries -- when he pays his admission just like you and me

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hall of Fame Debate

Wiggins and I will now answer all of your questions, doubts, and worries about who will and who will not one day be enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame. We're going to focus on current players and recently retired (but not yet eligible) ballplayers. We'll break them into categories and discuss from there. Once the list is "complete" (whatever that means) we'll really start to get into it.

Locks
Roger Clemens
Greg Maddux

Near Certainties
Mike Piazza
Alex Rodriguez
Derek Jeter

Randy Johnson
Pedro Martinez
Ivan Rodriguez
Tom Glavine - 4 silver sluggers -- that's cool
Robbie Alomar
Craig Biggio
Mariano Rivera

Manny Ramirez

Steroid Talk
Barry Bonds
Mark McGwire
Sammy Sosa
Rafael Palmeiro
Jason Giambi
Gary Sheffield

Questionable/Stretches
Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell
John Smoltz
Fred McGriff
Carlos Delgado
Curt Schilling - his middle name is "Montague". I hate him.
Jason Varitek
Bernie Williams - 5x All-Star, 4x Gold Gloves, 4 rings
Trevor Hoffman - 436 saves, 146 ERA+
Ichiro Suzuki
Andruw Jones
Chipper Jones

Jim Thome
Edgar Martinez
Mike Mussina - 224 W, 125 ERA+

Need More Quality Seasons
Vlad Guerrerro
Johan Santana
Albert Pujols
Miguel Cabrera
Dontrelle Willis
Roy Oswalt
Barry Zito

Tim Hudson
Roy Halladay
Scott Kazmir
Rich Harden

Felix Hernandez
Francisco Liriano

Jason Bay
Carlos Beltran

Alfonso Soriano
David Ortiz
David Wright

Managers/Executives
Joe Torre
Bobby Cox
John Scheurholz
Tony LaRussa
Billy Beane

I suppose we could get into the uber-prospects too, but that's a little much. Even the younger pitchers listed there are a big stretch, but some out of that group are inevitably going to turn into immortals.

Some of these guys shouldn't even be listed -- but I was just trying to put together more of a list so that there'd be more to discuss. Feel free to add/subtract.

Mike's Fearless Postseason Predictions

Yes, it's mid-July, but I still don't have a handle on who is going to make the MLB playoffs. Here are my picks. After this week's White Sox - Tigers series, I may have a completely different take on everything.

American League
East - Boston Red Sox
Central - Detroit Tigers
West - Los Angeles Angels
Wild Card - Chicago White Sox

I had written off the Yankees going into the weekend. That's a lot different now. Toronto is right there too. The other teams in the Central are too far back. Anything could happen in the West.

National League
East - New York Mets
Central - St. Louis Cardinals
West - Los Angeles Dodgers
Wild Card - Houston Astros

The Reds and Brewers are fun, but neither team is outscoring their opponents on the whole. Plus the Reds traded away a lot of talent last week. Maybe Atlanta, Philly, or a team from the West will sneak into the wild card. Who knows?

It's amazing that we're 90+ games into the season and that everyone in each Western division is within 4 games of the lead. That's fun. A sweep here or there could really give some separation.

Regardless of who makes it, I'll take the AL over the NL in the World Series... but in 5 games.

The trade market hasn't started yet, at least not in earnest. Whatever moves are made between now and the end of July (or August) could end up making these picks look horrific.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hooray Beer -- Now in Multiple Languages

After doing some exhaustive research, we have now translated our page into multiple languages. In addition to reading Hooray, Beer! in the English that Wiggins and I attempt to use, you can now read our site in the following:

Pimp
Smurf
Ozzie Ozbourne style
Redneck (aka some of dem parts of Georgia I be drivin thru from time to time)

I'm not sure which I like best. They're kind of like my children. I love them all in their own special way.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Trying again...

Wow - I suck. First level of the second round, I was god-like...

We won't talk about what has happened since.

Let's try again, shall we?

I'm taking Germany now against I Azzurri - just can't see the home team losing that one - and the Italians play such nasty football, I can't root for them (no matter how much I might like to).

I'm also taking France against Portugal - much as I don't like France as a concept, I do like Zidane and Henry as people and as players. Ribery is also cool - hard not to root for that team. Plus Portugal is a bunch of dirty, cheating bastards. So - Vive les bleus!

Then I guess we get France invading Germany for once! That would be fun to watch... I really don't know how to call that one. France is playing well right now (they beat Brazil for God's sake!), but so is Germany and they have the home field...

Wow.

I still have to go with my heart - and les bleus.

...that ought to curse 'em right good!