Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kentucky Derby Advice

Hit these three:

Jackson Bend 15-1:  Odds are lower than they should, but he finished second twice recently, both losses coming to the horse that would be the Kentucky Derby favorite if he wasn't a scratch.

Super Saver 14-1:  Has a top jockey, top trainer, and has won at tracks like Churchill Downs before.

Backtalk 50-1:  Smarty Jones was his dad, which is good enough for me.

Obviously, odds are none of these horses win (smart money is on Lookin' at Lucky at 3-1) but if you're looking to toss a low wager with high odds at something, like I am, these are your best bets.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


FACT:  Bert Blyleven is a liar - or at least has a poor memory.

If you watched tonight's game, you might have heard Bert tell a charming little story about how he threw a slider only once in his career.  He said he threw it to Cliff Johnson when Johnson was Bert was with Cleveland, and Johnson hit it "about 500 feet."  Bert said he threw it because Johnson had fouled off about seven pitches already so he tried to mix it up.


Bert did indeed give up one home run to Cliff Johnson in his career, but it was when Bert was throwing for the Pirates in 1980.  You would also think he'd remember a bit more, considering Johnson's home run came in the top of the ninth in a 4-3 game, tying the game, which would eventually last twenty innings (Bert pitched 10).  Seems like a pretty memorable game and home run.

Just sayin'.

Thank you

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

About this Ryan Howard contract

I was planning on saving this for something that sucks for my Monday review, but the more I think about it the more I want to write about it.  Plus, it's better than watching the Biggest Loser.

In case you haven't heard, Howard was just given a $5 year, $125 million contract extention by the Phillies, which kicks in AFTER next season.  The contract also includes a team option for $23 million in the sixth year, and if they choose not to exercise it they have to pay out a $10 million buyout.  Plus, there is a limited no-trade clause involved.  In short, this thing is monster that pays more per annum than what the Twins dished out to Mauer, and ranks behind just A-Rod on a $/Season basis.

This, in short, is a bit of a problem.  You see, both Howard's body type and statistical profile don't hold up well into the mid-thirties, and this contract will run until he's 37, not even including the option year.  Think Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder, or even our very own David Ortiz.  Howard is a good hitter, maybe even a great one now, but six years from now?  There is essentially zero chance he will be worth that money.  Big, overweight, slow, mediocre-to-poor fielders who can't hit lefties and strike out a lot don't generally produce until they're forty.

The two counter-examples I have heard are Jim Thome and Frank Thomas, who have hit well into their late thirties.  But there are some differences.  Neither Thome or Thomas was paid as if they were the second-best hitter in the league at that point in their career; Howard is.  Secondly, both of those guys lost about 10% of their ability in their late years.  That made them into the equivalent of Ryan Howard.  If Howard loses 10% of his ability, he'll be Michael Cuddyer.  Do you want to pay $25 million a year for Michael Cuddyer?  Hell, I don't even want to pay him the $9 million he's making this year. 

And that's not even counting what it might do to the Phillies long-term.  Jayson Werth, an underrated 20/20 guy with 30/30 upside, is almost certainly gone now.  The following year they are going to have to answer some tough questions about Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels as well.  And all this from the team that declined to pay Cliff Lee $8 million to have a rotation of Halladady, Lee, and Hamels.

I like the Phillies, and I like Ryan Howard, I really do.  But for what he is now, and what he will almost certainly be at the end of this contract, this is going to hamstring the Phils for at least the last two years of the deal, if not more.  There is something to be said for holding on to "the guys who got you there", but damn.  What is Pujols going to make?  $40 a year?

Oh, and also I'm willing to say that Francisco Liriano is back now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week in Review - 4/26/2010

Obviously the big news of the weekend was Cory Joseph signing on with the Texas Longhorns for next season.  I'm disappointed, of course, but not surprised.  When every article discussing him and his possibilities only talked about Villanova and Texas, I started to think that maybe Gopher fans were fooling themselves, much the way Iowa State fans acted about Harrison Barnes - the rest of the world knew they were just in as a finalist as a courtesy.  I don't know if that is the case with Joseph and the Gophers or not, but he's going to Texas and should do well.  Of course, the delusions are already coming, as I read from one Gopher fan that "Cory isn't as good as Devoe" and expect a lot more to come, as well as quite a bit of reveling in any Texas misery that may come their way this year.

I say good luck to Cory, and I have no real issue with his decision.  Texas is a far better program than Minnesota, and I don't know how anybody could argue otherwise.  Despite cries that Rick Barnes underachieves with the talent he gets, and he probably does, he still makes the tournament every single year and puts players in the NBA.  Really the only thing the Gophers had going for them were that Cory's friend and his brother were here, but Texas had two of his former teammates as well - one of which who was a pretty good friend.  I'm pretty sure if I were in the same spot (and didn't have my homegrown Gopher bias) I would have made the same decision.  It would have been a hell of a get if Tubby could have pulled this one off.  It's time to close up shop and go into next year with what's already in the holster - I don't really like anything that's still out there for 2010.  This team should be around a 6-7 seed this year, and hopefully good enough to finally win a first round game.


1.  Justin Morneau.  I'm guessing you haven't realized this because you really aren't all that bright, but guess who leads the major league in on-base percentage;  yep, the giant-headed Canadian.  He's currently reaching base at a .511 clip (including .607 this week), which combined with his .368 average and .647 slugging means he is straight up mashing the ball right now.  Even when he's not lacing base hits he's walking like crazy - 20 times already this year, leading the major leagues.  That actually brings me to another point, which is that the Twins are actually leading the majors in walks as a team.  They're leading the league.  Doesn't that just seem bizarre?  Did you ever think you'd see the day?  Morneau obviously leads at his position, while Mauer is fourth, Hudson fifth, Hardy 7th, Brendan Harris is 12th in limited playing time, and amongst outfielders Span is second and Kubel is fourth.  Really out of the important batters only Cuddyer and Delmon don't walk (Thome has more than either of them), and it's just fun to watch a bunch of guys on the same time who know how to get the pitch they want and know how to work the pitcher to get it - and it's effective to, as seen by them having the AL Central basically locked up already.

2.  Mike Leake.  He didn't have two wins this week and wasn't especially dominant, but he did pick up his first career win so it's time to recognize him a bit.  Snake is the one who tipped me off to the Cincinnati rookie, so of course he's on our fantasy team, and he's looking really solid this year - just one year removed from Arizona State.  He was picked by the Reds ninth overall last season, and made his debut this season with no minor league ball in between - something the Nationals are too stupid or too cheap to due with Strasburg.  He's gone at least 6 and 2/3 innings in each of his three starts this year, and his overall numbers are a 1.55 WHIP, 3.92 ERA, and a 13/13 K/BB ratio.  None of those are especially impressive, but remember those are through just three professional starts at any level.  Once this kid makes the adjustment he's going to be very, very good.  Think Mike Mussina-like.

3.  San Diego Padres.  I suppose it's time to recognize that the Padres have a good team.  There's still a chance it's all a fluke, and a good chance at that, but with a - record it's time to at least consider the possibility that the Padres have turned it around and are a quality team again.  They're 11-7 now after losing to the Reds on Sunday, but before that they had won 8 in a row, and still sit atop the NL West, ahead of the Giants, Rockies, and Dodgers.  And, as you would probably guess, they are doing it with pitching.  Their team ERA is just 2.73 - tops in the majors - and both the starters and the bullpen and having great years thus far.  They'll most likely fade by the all-star break, but there are enough good young arms here that if they get any offense at all they might be able to play the spoiler.  In any case, it's a lot of fun having the Padres be a good team.

4. Ike Davis.  The Mets promoted Ike to the majors a bit early in order to jump start their offense and fan interest, and so far Mr. Davis has responded well and done exactly what they needed him to.  He has hit .318 since he was called up on Monday, has reached base in every game except last night's shortened game, and the Mets have gone 6-1.  They're still a crappy team, but they are playing quite a bit better in the last week.  Clearly, it's all because of Ike Davis.  This guy must be the next David Eckstein - you know, how he makes everybody else on the team better.  Or he's the Mets answer to Jeter, but far less gay and annoying.  Looking like a Twins vs. Mets World Series.  Book your tickets now.

5.  Doug Fister.  You've probably never heard of this guy, I know I certainly hadn't, but he's a second-year starter for the Mariners and he's putting up some pretty impressive numbers so far this year.  He'd be sitting at 3-1 right now if the world's worst closer other than Bobby Jenks, David Aardsma, hadn't blown his win on Saturday.  Fister went 8 strong innings, giving up just 2 runs on 8 hits, which followed up his earlier outing on Monday, when he went seven solid against the Orioles, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits.  He's currently at just a 1.67 ERA with a WHIP of 0.93.  His lack of strikeouts (just 4.5 per 9) and a sickly-low BABIP against (.212) say that he's not the kind of ace who is going to be able to keep this up, but for now at least he's looking like a pretty solid middle-of-the-rotation type starter.  And also "Fister?  I hardly knew 'er!" 


1.  Royals' Bullpen.  Seriously, how many games of Greinke's are these guys going to blow?  Zach's struggled a bit out of the gate, but on Wednesday he left the game after the 7th with a lead after giving up just two hits (of course, one of the was a 2-run home run) and then people named Josh Rupe and John Parrish take just three batters to blow the lead.  And I guess I just answered my own question.  Look at these names before you get to Soria:  Josh Rupe, John Parrish, Dusty Hughes, Robinson Tejeda, Juan Cruz, and Kyle Farnsworth (and we saw most of these guys melt-down to varying degrees in the Twins series over the weekend).  Pretty much all these guys have already failed elsewhere, and I don't mean failed as starters I mean they've already failed at being middle relievers.  The only guy who was every good was Farnsworth, but along with the weird perm and nerd glasses he's lost the ability to pitch as well.  Just brutal.  And I know you don't care about mine and Snake's fantasy team, except that really you do if you just admit it to yourself, but we need those wins from Greinke.  It looks like he's going to have to go 8 innings to get to Soria or just finish it out himself if he's ever going to win again.  And if he keeps not throwing enough strikes he's never going to get there.  Nobody can hit you Zacky, just toss that pill over the plate.  And win, baby.  Win.

2. Carlos Zambrano.  There really isn't a good way to spin getting demoted from #1 starter to bullpen set-up guy into a positive.  So, uh.  I guess that's it then.

3.  Pittsburgh Pirates.  So much for the great Pirate resurgence.  They started out pretty well, but unlike the Padres have been unable to sustain it, going - this week, and man, the fall has been spectacular.  They started the week 7-6 and are finishing it 7-12 after getting swept by the Brewers and the piss-poor Astros.  And that Brewer series was especially horrible, with the Pirates losing 8-1, 8-0, and 20-0.  Overall for the week they were outscored 55-9.  Special shout-out to their pathetic offense, by the way.  Akinori Iwamura 1-18.  Ronny Cedeno 2-17.  Lastings Milledge 2-14.  Delwyn Young 1-14.  Just a really spectacular effort all around. 

4.  Seattle Seahawks.  I suppose on the weekend of the NFL draft it's inevitable that I'd have to comment on something football related, and the Seahawks are the lucky team to draw my considerable wrath.  This is about their draft, which based on my limited knowledge actually looks like a really good one, but it's based on their brand new stable of running backs.  The returners are Julius Jones and someone named Justin Forsett, and they actually traded for LenDale White and Leon Washington this weekend.  Like, actually traded for them, not just signed them to a minor-league deal or whatever.  Look at those four running backs.  You know, you can keep throwing turds in a bowl, it doesn't make it a salad.  And, more importantly, you don't win friends with salad.

5.  Jason Kubel.  You know I frickin' love the guy, but what in the holy hell is going on?  This week was just a complete nightmare (1-19, 1 single, 8 Ks), which dropped his season average to .169 and his slugging to a Punto-esque .288.  He's still walking (13 this year) so even when he isn't hitting he brings value to the team, but he needs to stop being so crappy or I will totally break up with him.  I still have faith, but I'm pretty sure he's getting benched for this fantasy week.

I feel like I should have had some kind of NBA playoffs thing in here somewhere, but so far they've been pretty boring.  Also, in my defense,

"FISTER?  I damn near killed 'er!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL draft blog

I'm going to be paying halfway attention the the NFL draft tonight - only halfway because Mama W would kill me if I tried to make her watch the whole thing and also because I would end up bored out of my mind - so I figured I might as well put down some thoughts while I wait for the Vikes to make a terrible pick sometime after my bed time.

-  So far I've already heard the Donkey Kong Sue is a "great gap penetrator."  That was followed by me giggling for about twenty minutes.

-  We just had pick 5, safety Eric Berry to Kansas City.  I'm still on the channel and I heard him compared to Kenny Easley and Ronnie Lott in teh same sentence.  I think maybe everybody should calm down.

-  Are the Twins ever going to sweep?  Yeah, yeah, it's early and all that jazz, but this lack of a killer instinct popping up already isn't exactly my most favorite thing ever (that would either be Spicy Garlic wings from BW3 or Audrina Patridge.  No wait, my daughter.  I meant my daughter).  That's the third time now they've won the first two games of a series and then lost the third one with the opportunity to sweep, and I know I'm not the only one who noticed because I got an email from Snacks about it and I heard Barreiro talking about it on the radio.  Also that's four straight games where Rauch hasn't picked up a save.  How is he supposed to beat the record (is it K-Rod's now, or still Thigpen?) at this pace?  And how is he supposed to win us our fantasy league as the SOD?  I'm very irritated with the hometown 9 right now.

-  I did get to check out Target Field earlier this week, however, and I can say that all the praise you've been hearing is accurate, and might even be underselling it.  It's a great, great place to watch a ballgame, there's great food and plenty of places to get it, and there are bars and booze kiosks everywhere.  Honestly, my first reaction is that it is PERFECT.  They could have just given us any old outdoor park and people would sing its praises, but they really nailed it.  I could easily just live there happily.

-  I'm not exactly sure why people are talking about the Vikings getting Claussen at pick 30.  If he does start to slide into the 20s, some team with an early second rounder is going to trade up to leap frog the Vikes and get him.  I'm not even sure I really want him.  Not sure about Tebow either.  I think Snacks summed it up pretty well in this email he sent me earlier today,  
"I don’t know that I would be that much more excited about Claussen than I would about Tebow though.  I don’t think Claussen’s a sure thing.  Plus the newest reports all talk about his giant ego and other makeup issues (so he’s basically the anti-Tebow:  less doubt about ability and more doubt about makeup – this might be the first time I’m favoring the guy with the better makeup over the guy with the arguably better talent in my life.  Although I read something about Tebow being a virgin and that’s just silly.  I judge him negatively for that and view it as a character flaw.)"
Makes a lot of sense.

-  Naturally, the Raiders have to go off the board.  I won't pretend to know anything about the guy they took, but I know from reading that he was more of a mid-late teens kind of guy according to most of mock drafts and all that I looked at.  Which amounted to one.

-  Spiller to the Bills, huh?  Interesting.  I've heard two different scouting reports, one of which called him the next Chris Johnson, the other which said he's more of a Reggie Bush.  I don't think you can get much more separation than that.  That's like if you're out of town and the concierge tells you he can send a girl up to your room, and she'll either remind you of Megan Fox or Tony Siragusa.

-  If you're a big enough nerd, you might have heard that Marquis Teague, a class of 2011 point guard who is ranked as the #2 overall prospect by Rivals, committed to Kentucky today.  That shouldn't be a huge surprise given that he's the top point guard for the class and Calipari has a pretty good legacy (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight) so it's practically a tradition, but one guy who is really seeing things suddenly fall apart is Rick Pitino.  Teague's father played for Pitino a long time ago, Pitino had been recruiting Teague two solid years before Calipari came into the picture, Pitino hired Teague's high school coach as an assistant, and Teague was essentially all but committed to play at Louisville last summer.  Combine this loss with top 10 recruit Michael Chandler's decision to de-commit from the Ville and the loss of Jeremy Tyler to play overseas last year after having committed to play for Pitino, not to mention all the personal crap going on, and it feels like Pitino is taking the program down.  Down, down, down.   

-  Chargers trade up to take Ryan Mathews out of Fresno and no relation to Cory.  I predict he will be the first pick in many, many fantasy keeper leagues this year.  Welcome to Bustville.  Population = you.

-  This is a lot more entertaining that I remember the draft being in the past.  When Mama W gets home and makes me change the channel I'm actually going to be kind of bummed out.  Oh well.  Booze always kills those feelings of sadness.  That Nic Cage guy had it right in that Las Vegas movie.

-  So the NCAA Tournament is expanding to 68 teams, which I think is awesome if they don't make the four play-in games between the 8 worst teams, thus essentially eliminating four conferences from the "real" tournament right away.  They need to make the play-in games between the last 8 at-large teams in order to grab the four twelve seeds.  They could make a whole day of it, one game each at like noon, 3, 6, and 9pm and call it Bubble TuesdayTM. That's got a magical ring to it. I'm glad I thought of it and came up with it all on my own and Bogart didn't come up with this idea five years ago at all, no matter what he tells you.  Remember, all lawyers are liars.  Just watch Liar Liar.

-  I'M JOSE CANSECOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-  Good god is New York State of Mind or whatever it's called overplayed at every single sporting event that has anything remotely related to New York.  It's gotten to the point where it's almost as irritating as the wave or Chris Berman.

-  Mort, who is starting to look suspiciously like a cross of John Madden and Pat Summerall, tells us that if the 49ers don't take Claussen at 17 he's going to fall to the end of the first round.  I can see Arizona taking him at #26, but other than that if he doesn't go at 16 to Tennessee (he will) or the 9ers at 17 there's nobody else who needs a QB.  But again, it's almost certain somebody would trade up to jump the Vikes to get him.  I'm now dreading the almost certainty that they're going to draft Tebow, although I'm strangely titillated at the thought as well.

-  Derrick Morgan is also the name of a character on the pretty good CBS show Criminal Minds.  Good show.  When Inigo Montoya left I thought it was going to go downhill, but the Voice of Fat Tony has been even better.  Plus, both A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster?  Rawr.

-  Claussen officially slips past the 49ers.  Let the games begin.  I'm finding myself hoping he slips all the way down to the Vikings.  Who knew?

-  They just showed a trailer for a movie called "The Losers."  I missed most of it, but I'm assuming it's about the readers of this blog.  Zing.

-  The talking heads on ESPN want us to know that this is the year the Texans finally break through.  Yep, for the fourth year in a row, THIS is the Texans year.

-  Interesting.  They sent a reporter to the house of each of the three borderline first-round QBs:  Erin Andrews to Jimmy Claussen's house, some other nubile young blond to Colt McCoy's house, and Jeremy Schapp to Tebow's house.  I wonder if they planned to send a chick to all three, but when the girl got to Tebow's house he was like "Begone foul temptress!  The sight of thine flesh offends God, and brings a plague of demons uponest the earth!  Thou art banished from my home!  Go forth and pray for forgiveness, vile strumpet, for the stain of the devil's sin is upon your bosom!"

-  Denver takes Demaryius Thomas over Dez Bryant because they are so afraid of a little attitude from their wideouts since they had to ship out Brandon Marshall.  Seriously, you need swagger from your receivers if you want them to be good.  Name one good receiver who wasn't cocky?  You kind of want to say Marvin Harrison, but then you have to remember he shot a bunch of holes in people with a fat-ass handgun, so you can't really go there, can you?  Case closed.

-  This is really going to suck if the Packers take Dez Bryant here.

-  Good.  This Beluga kid was a possible top 10 pick so it sucks the Pack got a steal, but I really didn't want them to get Bryant.  Remember how Randy Moss lit up the Pack his rookie year?  It would have been the same thing.

-  Mountain Dew or Crab Juice?

-  Dez to the Cowboys.  This is either an absolutely perfect match or it's going to be a complete and total disaster.  There is no in-between.  You hear me?  There is no in-between.  Honestly, what a great pick.  This is going to go down with the Vikes' pick of Moss as one of the great first round steals of all-time.  I love this guy.  I think his downside is Chad Johnson.  Yes, downside.  Which means his upside is Jesus.

-  Tebow to Denver?  How odd.  I mean, it's clear to anybody with a brain that Orton isn't exactly the answer, but didn't they just trade for Brady Quinn?  What, exactly, are they doing?  I kind of feel like that McDaniels guy thinks he's a lot smarter than he really is.  Like he's trying to be all creative and innovative and live up to Bill Belichick's example, but this feels like a waste of a pick to me.  Maybe they'll make him a fullback.

-  Some nerd is interviewing Tebow right now and I desperately wish I was watching the actual TV coverage instead of a silent internet feed, but instead we are now watching the Office so I can't complain.  And Pam or Erin has become a legitimate question at this point.  I think I secretly wished the Vikings got Tebow.  My god, the jokes.  God I hope the Vikings draft a super religious virgin.

-  Holy crap this god interview is going on forever.  I wonder god what Tegod is saying?  I wonder if he god referenced god at all, or if it was god about football questions about god adn how he thinks he can god make an impact on the god field as a god quarterback god god.

-  Arizona takes a non-Claussen, which means there are three picks before the Vikes and Claussen is on the board and I'm officially really hoping he ends up a Viking.  Seriously, he could have been a top 10 pick and they can get him at 30?  And he lines up to take over for Favre perfectly.  I really hope this happens.

-  Damn, the Pats have this pick, and they're the kings of trading down, so I fully expect somebody to jump up grab Claussen right here.

-  Nope, they keep it and take somebody something.  Neither Miami or the Jets need a QB, so it's either a trade or they got a shot at Claussen.  They have to take him, don't they?  The guy could have been a top 10 pick and nobody would have batted an eye, and now he can be had at 30?  And it's a position of need?  God, they have to do it, right?  This would be a steal.  I'm actually excited.

-  By the way, how much did Tebow and all his ding-dong friends look like they belonged on Jersey Shore?  But with more bibles and probably more working out.  And also likely more suppressed longingly gay looks.

I'm going to miss the jokes so much.

-  Miami and the Jets both pass on Claussen, so he's just sitting there for the Vikings.  They better take him.  There is zero reason not to.

-  And they trade the pick to the Lions.  That's super boring, although I guess it makes tomorrow more interesting.  Oh, and with that I'm bored and going to stop typing.

NFL Draft

I don't really have anything to say about the draft tonight, other than I'm already sick of the overcoverage and I hope the Vikings don't pick Tebow.  Instead, I'm just going to link you to a mock draft I did last year that got a pretty good response.  If you haven't read it, it's new to you.

2009 NFL Mock Draft:  Video game style

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cory Joseph Odds

As made up by me

Villanova -200
Texas -150
Minnesota +125
UCONN +180
UNLV +500

My money is on Texas.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Latvian dude committs to Gophers

Pioneer Press link.

Tubby has been busy securing commitments here in the late signing period for 2010, snagging his second one in a week in 6-6 Latvian forward Oto Osenieks, late of Illinois.  He's an interesting dude, given that he's a 6-9 Euro whose most often cited skills are his outside shot and his ball-handling, and that he weighs just 215 lbs. and would get snapped in half by the average big ten power forward.

I can't find a whole lot about him since he's fairly new to the national picture, playing just one year in the U.S., but it seems there are a lot of questions about his size and athleticism, but he's got a high basketball IQ and a dead-eye shot - he's also 20 years old, which I see as a positive in this type of player.  He's probably already close to his overall potential, but he's also probably honed his on-court smarts more than your average freshman and knows his limits.  When I picture him and try to project him into the big ten based on the limited info and few youtube highlights I've seen I'm seeing an upside of a John Shurna with the downside of can't play defense and is killer in mop-up duty.

Osenieks is the fourth player to sign for the class of 2010 and the fourth player who projects to more of a role-player/contributor than a star.  Not that there is anything necessarily so bad about that.  After two consecutive top-25 nationally ranked classes, sometimes you just need to fill in some gaps.  But, really, it's a pretty underwhelming class so far.  Mo Walker looks like the only guy who's going to be a contributor right away, so the returnees better all continue to improve or we're looking at another 10 seed at best.  We can evaluate this class better down the line, obviously, so I'm not going to rip Tubby for this.  I'll save my Tubby ripping for the mistakes he makes during games this season and his lineup choices.

Make sure you check out this link of Oto in action.  Seriously.  You need to see this (and yes, it's really him).  I'd just embed it, but youtube is being a real douche right now.

Week in Review - 4/19/2009

I was really hoping to be able to write up how Cory Joseph decided to sign with the Gophers on Saturday since he had said he'd make his decision after the Jordan Brand game, but apparently "after" didn't mean right after like it did for Josh Selby and Doron Lamb, but instead means "eventually."  The good news is that at least he didn't declare for somebody else yet, so the Gophers are still alive.  The latest rumor is that he's already made up his mind and it's been a three team race for quite some time, which probably means it was down to Minnesota, Texas, and Villanova.  I'm still guessing he ends up at Texas, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  The final date to sign is May 19th, so I guess we'll know by then.


1.  Francisco Liriano.  I'm not ready to go with the whole "he's back" thing or anything, but Thursday's outing against the Gay Sox was a very good sign.  Looking a bit deeper into the numbers, Liriano seems to be closer to the 2006 version of himself than last year's.  After the injury, he was too reliant on his fastball, throwing the pitch over 50% of the time (54% in 2008 and 56% in 2009) compared to 44% in 2006 despite having lost velocity (90.9mph average in 2008 and 91.7 in 2009 compared to 94.7 in 2006).  The good news is he's very close to recapturing his 2006 numbers so far this season.  He has thrown his fastball just 46% of the time and the velocity is back up at 93.6mph on average).  He's also throwing more strikes, with 64% of his pitches going for strikes compared to just 60% last year (and he was at 66% in 2006).  He's also working the change up more often, throwing it 24% of the time, a career high by 4% thus far.  Like I said, I'm not saying he's back, but to be able to thrown 7 shutout innings with 8 Ks and to do it throwing just 96 pitches is huge for Liriano.  Backing it up with the numbers above is a good sign.  Now, his overall K/9 are down, his BB/9 is up, and his BABIP is a fluky low .238 right now so I'm not jumping into the bandwagon with both feet just yet, but things are heading in the right direction.

2.  Chase Utley.  Hey guy.  Small white second-basemen aren't supposed to rake like this, just ask Steve Lombardozzi or Wally Backman.  But instead, Utley just does his own thing and continually hits the ball out of the park, something he did five times this week in six games, including four in his three games against the Nationals.  This guy is just an absolute stud.  If you look at his last five years, and take the worst year he had in each statistic and combined them, he still ends up at .282-22-93.  Those are his worst numbers, and don't forget we''re talking about a second basemen, something that of course means nothing to Dawger who probably thinks Utley is no better than Michael Cuddyer.  That is if Dawger has even heard of Utley.  That guy's knowledge of national league players is on par with my cat.  Oh, and I looked up Utley's height and he's actually 6-1 so he's not really all that small, just seems like it because he's so white.  

3.  Matt Garza.  Two weeks into the season, and two weeks that Garza has made this list.  On Sunday all he did was shut down the Red Sox, giving up no runs and just four hits in 8 innings of work, and that followed up his outing on Monday, where he shut down the Orioles giving up just one run and six hits in 8 more spectacular innings.  That runs his season totals now to 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP, and he's struck out more batters than he's allowed hits.  Sigh.  At least Delmon is starting to hit the ball - the numbers might not show it but he's raking the ball, just not getting hits out of it - but I think this trade goes down as a suck no matter what.  Ignoring the peripheral players and just look at the main pieces, Delmon would basically have to end up hitting like Albert Pujols or A-Rod to make this into a fair deal.  Seriously Garza has become a top shelf stud.  He has a fastball that reaches the mid-90s and has a foot of tail, a mid-80s slider that breaks two feet, a killer slow curve and has finally developed that change-up that caused all the drama back in the day.  Plus he has a cute little beard.  Sigh.

4.  Livan Hernandez.  I'm trying to think of things that are less likely than Livan throwing a complete game shutout, which he did on Saturday against the Brewers.  So far all I've come up with is a threesome with Brad Pitt, Rosie O'Donnell, and Roseanne, Al Nolen leading the conference in three point percentage, Colt Iverson hitting a shot from further than 8 feet out, and Snacks becoming a big fan of Mike Cuddyer.  There are a whole lot Brewers who need to be embarrassed.  Not Rickie Weeks though.  That guy is the shit.

5.  Ubaldo Jimenez.  The funny thing about Jimenez tossing a no-hitter on Saturday against the Braves is that my co-worker, Elk, was just telling me about how he was coming around and looking really good this year.  Since Elk has him on his fantasy team, I was pretty sure he was just talking up his own player, like how Gardy tries to keep telling us all that Matt Tolbert is awesome.  Turns out, the guy can sling the pill.  I caught the last inning of the game, and Ubaldo was still hitting 98 on the gun in the 9th.  That's pretty impressive.  So maybe this guy is pretty good.  If only a regular reader and commenter on this blog was a Rockies' season ticket holder, maybe we could get some real insight.  Oh, and you better hope Huston Street comes back quick, because Morales is freakin' terrible.  You can't trust a left-handed closer, everybody knows that.  
(what the holy hell is the point of this stupid thing?)


1.  Jose Mijares.  If there is a dark lining to this silver cloud of a Twins season thus far, it was been the struggles of Jose Mijares to get anybody out, now culminating in a trip to the DL in what I suspect is as much of a "figure this thing out" kind of move as it is an injury move.  Mijares has thrown a total of 3 innings over five appearances, and is allowing nearly three base-runners per inning (6 hits, 2 walks) and currently sports a 6.00 ERA and has struck out just two batters so far this year - not exactly the kind of numbers you want to see from an eighth inning guy.  I don't know if it means anything, but his fastball is down about 1.5 mph compared to last year and he's throwing his changeup about twice as often this year as he used to.  Has he lost something off his fastball and subsequently lost faith in it?  I don't know, but I do hope whatever is going on this little DL trip can fix it, because as much as I like Duensing him and Mahay as the lefties out of the bullpen doesn't fill me with confidence.

2. Jason Marquis.  Hey, remember when the Nationals signed Marquis to a 2-year/$15 million deal this offseason coming off a 15-win season for the Rockies?  And remember how Rockies' fans were like, "take him" and everyone else was kind of like, "whoa, really?  $15 million for Marquis?"  Well, his living up to that this week.  In his two starts this week he managed just 4 and 1/3 innings, allowing thirteen base-runners - every single one of which scored.  Yes, that's 13 earned runs in 4 and 1/3 innings.  His season numbers right now are and 0-3 record with a 20.52 ERA and a 2.88 WHIP.  Yes, and ERA over 20.  He's certainly earning that $7.5 million this year.  My favorite part was when he pitched against the Brewers on Saturday and it went single-single-single-hit by pitch-walk-hit by pitch-single-Marquis yanked.  Quality outing.

3.  Jason Frasor.  You wanted him to be a Twin, which once again proves you don't know what the holy hell you're talking about. You're also probably really impressed that he has three saves, paying little attention to the fact that he's blown two also and is currently rocking a 5.68 ERA, which is already improved from the 6+ number he was carrying at the beginning of the week.  At least the Blue Jays are paying attention, and they've yanked the closer role away from Frasor and given it to the decidedly average Kevin Gregg.  What this all means is that the guy you wanted to the Twins to trade precious prospects for to close games for them was beaten out for the role on a crappy Blue Jay team by a guy who put up an ERA north of 4.70 the last time he was closing games.  Good call, genius.

4.  Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds were so awesome this week they were actually swept by the Pirates, in what was the first Pirate sweep since 1987, or so I assume without looking anything up.  And it wasn't just during that series that the Reds sucked, they've been pretty rough so far this year and sit at 5-8.  Out of their players who qualify for the batting title, Joey Votto is the only one hitting over .250 - Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs are hitting under .200.  And it's not just the hitters.  Aaron Harang looks to have fallen off the cliff, Johnny Cueto isn't developing, and speaking of not developing Homer Bailey is starting to look like the type of prospect who has all the tools on paper but can't ever pull it together - like David West but with more talent.  They have yet another new little youngster arm in Mike Leake who has looked really good so far, but if the rest of the youngins' don't start playing and stay just "potentially good", it's going to be yet another losing season in Cincy. 

5.  Chef Boyardee.  Can someone please tell me why the Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs has a different sauce than every other Chef Boyardee?  The Ravioli is top notch, and the peripheral spinoffs like Beef-a-roni and Lasagna are basically the same thing, but then you get to the spaghetti and meatballs and it's like WTF, Mr. B?  We shove this at WonderbabyTM every so often and she likes most of it (as do I, if we're being honest here - try the mini raviolis, top notch) but we tried the spaghetti the other day and it seriously made her angry, like an old man sending back soup at a deli.  So I tried it, and it was like eating evil.  Why would you use the exact same, deliciously sodium-filled sauce on the majority of your project and then detour into some sort of unholy combination of what I can only assume is fire and brimstone on what should probably be your flagship pasta variation?  For shame.  And did you know there isn't even an actual Chef Boyardee?  So nobody actually has to answer for this abomination.  Except for the sham executives.  You know who you are.  Between this and all the dead hookers, I bet you can't even sleep at night.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I can't believe you are two already....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fare thee Well, Justin Cobbs

As you have probably heard by now, Justin Cobbs is "probably" transferring, presumably to be closer to home in California, and I'm pretty sure the "probably" means "definitely but not quite committing to anything just in case."  I'd expect him to turn up at a second-tier school in California like Fullerton or Pepperdine and he'll probably turn out to do quite well.

I know a lot of people thought Cobbs was pretty bad and not really a Big Ten caliber point guard, but I saw a freshman with potential who never felt confident in himself.  Now, by potential, I don't mean star potential, but I think he would have been a solid back-up and possible starter by his senior year.  Sure, he made a good amount of mistakes, but he was a freshman.  Freshman make mistakes, and when they're pulled from the game as soon as they make one it limits their minutes considerably and each miscue seems magnified.  I saw the mistakes, but I also saw what looked like a smart player who understood how to play the point as a pass-first guard, to the point where he seemed to rarely even look for a shot.  This, despite the fact that he won the team's preseason three-point contest.

I really do just think it was a matter of confidence and time, and Cobbs didn't have enough of either.  All in all, going someplace like a Santa Clara or Long Beach will be good for him, and I wish him luck.  I wouldn't rank losing Cobbs up there with losing Carter, in fact, it will probably affect the team little, if at all, so everybody wins.

Naturally, rumors abound that Cobbs decided to transfer because Cory Joseph has let it be known to the team that he's coming to the Gophers, but these reek of homerism and/or blind optimism.  Cobbs seemed unhappy almost the entire season, things were pretty clearly not working out, and rumors about his transferring have been buzzing since mid-year, so I don't think this has anything to do with Cory Joseph (and please please please please please stop calling him CoJo.  Please).  Of course, I hope it does, but I also hope the Deschanel sisters show up at my door step one day and say "choose."  (To which I'd say "both" and then they'd say "ok.")

Things do get interesting if Joseph doesn't choose the Gophers and Cobbs does end up leaving, because the academically and offensively challenged Al Nolen becomes the only actual point guard on the roster.  Despite his Jacque Vaughn/T.J. Ford-level jump shot there's no doubt Nolen is a Big Ten starting point guard, and Devoe did do an admirable job filling in, but the team would be well served to get some PG-depth if not for next year, then for the future.

For 2010, it sounds like the Gophers have some interest in 3-star PG Ben Brust, a former Iowa commit who luckily escaped due to the coaching change and is also getting heat now from Wisconsin, Cal, and Wake, but he looks like one of those annoying white dudes who always go to Iowa or Purdue and he's more of a combo guard anyway, so I'll pass.  There is also a rumor that Johnnie Lacy, late of Providence College, is interesting in becoming a Gopher, but he's facing assault charges for putting the beat down on some poor sap who shouldn't have been standing there so I'd imagine there's no way Tubby would be interested in dealing with another legal headache.

I'm much more intrigued by Shane Larkin, Rivals #22 point guard and #96 player for the Class of 2011 who is described as a "floor general" and a player who excels at the "drive and kick" offense.  Sounds perfect.  The Gophers haven't offered him yet, and right now his only high-major offer is from Clemson, but it sounds like Georgia Tech, Wake, and Cal are getting into the mix as well as the Gophers.  He's from Florida and likes to play a wide-open style so I'd bet he ends up in the SEC some where (I'm going to predict Arkansas), but he's a name to remember for the future and a player I'm interested in.  Not sexually, though, perv.

Oh, and if you are thinking Bryant Allen is the answer at point guard you are completely out of your damn mind.


FACT:  It was 10 years ago today Cal Ripken Jr. got his 3,000th career hit against the Twins.

FACT #2:  It was also 10 years ago that we were at that game and while everyone else was standing and applauding a great career accomplishment, Dawger was firmly planted in his seat calling everyone else a sell-out and comparing Cal Ripken to Michael Cuddyer, which also berthed one of the greatest internet cartoons ever on DWG, which I can no longer find.

I'll still have some Cobbsy talk tonight, maybe, but I wanted to give everyone the chance to celebrate this moment in history.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The Orioles lost today to the Rays 9-1.  The reason?  They gave Matt Wieters the day off.

Also the Gophers got the official commitment from Mo Walker today.  Awesome.

[EDIT:  Somebody want to explain to me why the hell they sent Alex Burnett down in exchange for the world's oldest relief pitcher]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PLACEHOLDER: Mo Walker committs to the Gophers

Star Trib Link Here

Or maybe we need to slow down on this.  Despite reports from everyone from Rivals and that Maurice "Escalade" Walker will be committing to your Golden Gophers tomorrow when the spring signing period officially begins, there seems to be some question as to just how much of a "lock" this "lock" is.

From what I've picked up from various sources culled from the Gopher Hole posters, both Walker and his father have backed off a bit, with the dad reporting that Pitt, Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky are all still in the mix and Walker himself telling GopherLady that he hasn't made a decision yet.  Of course, these reports directly conflict with some earlier reports, including a text directly from Walker saying that he has decided to play for the Gophers but was asked by Tubby not to announce anything until tomorrow so "out of respect I'm waiting until tomorrow to make everything official."

There seem to be two schools of thought as to what's going on.  The first, most optimistic and I think most likely is that Walker has made up his mind to play for the Gophers but for whatever reason - Tubby, his dad, wanting to make his choice a bigger media spectacle - he's backing off so he can make an official announcement with at least a little drama.  The second, which seems a bit too doom and gloom even for me, is that he really is changing his mind due to Cory Joseph. 

If you follow Gopher recruiting, you know that Walker and Joseph are good friends, good enough even that Walker was trying to get Joseph to come play with him wherever he signed.  It was also obvious that Walker loved the Gophers and Tubby, and was basically ready to sign before he even stepped foot on campus.  So the conspiracy thought is that Walker decided to be a Gopher and was expecting Joseph to follow him, but has since talked with Cory and found out that he has either decided on another team (Texas) or has eliminated the Gophers from his list without making that info public. 

Personally, I think it's the first one.  Or at least I hope so.  Walker is a great get - 6-10, 300 lb. centers with offers from Kansas don't exactly come knocking at the door often - and I love the idea of sticking somebody with that kind of size next to Mbakwe next year at times.  Hell, Ralph can play small forward. 

Let's hope this is all nothing and we'll get official word tomorrow that Walker has signed and that we hear Joseph is following him here a few days later.  If not, I don't know what plan B is, but the Gophers would end up with one of the worst recruiting classes in the Big Ten, and I would probably cry for three days.

Speaking of crying for three days, JaJuan Johnson has entered the NBA draft, thus ending his reign as "The college KG" and giving the NBA a Hakim Warrick clone.  I won't miss him lighting up the Gophers, but I'll miss watching that sweet J and his excellent work on both ends of the floor.  I won't be following his career further because I don't watch the NBA because I'm not retarded.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week in Review - 4/12/2010

 I heart baseball. And the Masters.  And nice weather.  Truly, this was a glorious weekend.


1.  The Twins.  A 5-2 road trip to start the season, with the two opponents being the Angels and White Sox?  Hell yes, great start to the season.  Rauch looks like the next Mariano Rivera but white and a foot taller.  Delmon Young has improved his patience (decreased swing %) while at the same time increasing his aggressiveness (anecdotal, but it seems like he puts it all into every swing and has mostly eliminated those weak "make contact" swings he got into the habit of doing last year).  The starters have been solid save the first time out from Baker, and the bullpen has been nails in front of Rauch, except for Mijares who has been brutal so far.  The new guys, Hudson and Hardy, have been solid, Mauer and Morneau have picked back up as MVP candidates, and even this year's slow starters - Kubel and Span - have found ways to contribute.  Assuming Hardy and Delmon are really this good and Kubel and Span are the same as last year, this lineup is absolutely loaded.  With a good bullpen and above average starters, they have a very good look about them through week 1.  Needless to say, I like what I'm seeing.  I'm going to stop now because I'm pissing myself off with my pollyanna optimisim and I don't want to have to kick my own ass.  

2.  The Masters.  We didn't get the drama of a playoff, but there was still plenty to enjoy at Augusta.  Tiger came back and played well, only to melt down on the back 9 on Sunday with both the driver and the putter, Anthony Kim went on an Anthony Kim-like run of birdies to become a factor, Lee Westwood did what the 54-hole leader seems to do in every major and shoot right around par, and Tom Watson and Fred Couples hung around long enough to give the old-timers some hope.  In the end though, Phil Mickelson managed to out last his own hitting the ball in the woodsness to play an overall brilliant back 9 at -4 while everyone else was making mistakes, including Tiger's 3-putt from 6 feet on 14 and a few makeable birdies Westwood burned by the cup.  I'm not a huge Phil fan, but I'm not an anti-fan either, so overall this result pleases me.  Plus that jackass Cink missed the cut, which is always a positive.

3.  Matt Garza.  Oh hell.  Damn hell.  Garza pitched the kind of game aces pitch, going 8 innings against the Orioles giving up just four hits and an earned run while striking out 9.  Don't dismiss the Orioles, either, they have a pretty good lineup this year, so perhaps the Garza we were waiting for has arrived - only he's wearing a different uniform.  At least Delmon is sort of starting come around.  In any case, I picked Garza for runner-up in the Cy Young race, and this start shows he's got the stuff.   At least we still have Scott Baker, who has the same kind of stuff and mental make up and could also end up being a shut down ace, right?  Blackburn?  Slowey?  Crap.

4.   C.C. Sabathia.  Well I don't like him or the Yankees, but tossing a near no-hitter against a pretty good Rays squad is impressive so he probably deserves some credit.  But instead of doing that, I'll just tell you how brutally homerishly awful the Yankee radio announcers are.  I douwnloaded the MLB At-Bat app for Blackberry, which is awesome, and was listening to it and my god, the chick announcer on there is so rah-rah she's probably humping most of the roster.  There was a play where Carl Crawford overslid second on a force play and was tagged out by Robinson Cano, and she couldn't stop talking about "what a great heads up play" and "how alert Cano is" and "how it's just instinctive."  In case that wasn't enough, she drops this one, "You know who else makes plays like that?  Derek Jeter.  Stand next to Jeter long enough and you start making those kind of plays."  Good lord, lady, he tagged a guy out, pull your dress down.  Also, after a strike out looking she said that "Cervelli framed that so beautifully without moving his glove, that's why Sabathia got that call."  Basically the entire time I was listening she was auditorially servicing each player - worse even than Gladden.  For reals.

5.  Blue Jays. The Jays are a bit surprising at 5-1 to start the year, but even more surprising has been the quality of starting pitching they have been getting.  Going into the year, nobody was really worried about their lineup, but they had something like 10-12 pitchers, any of whom could have won a rotation spot and nobody was guaranteed to be there.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but they have been pretty lights out so far, holding their opponent to four runs or less four times, and never allowing more than six in a game to this point.  Shaun Marcum nearly tossed a no-hitter on opening day and then followed that up with a 7 inning, 2 hit performance against the Rangers on Sunday, while Dana Eveland threw a shutout and Ricky Romero and Brian Tallet chipped in with quality starts.  If this pitching is for real, and it's almost certainly not, Toronto could actually contend in the East.


1.  Matt Howard.  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFFFFf.  There isn't an OOF oofy enough to quantify this oof.  I swear the entire first ten minutes of the championship game was nothing more than Butler constantly dumping the ball into Howard on the block against Zoubek or a Plumlee, whereupon Howard would use some truly nifty footwork to go under/around his man and get himself in good position to score around the goal.  Of course, then he would just miss.  And miss.  And miss.  I swear he missed five shots in the first four minutes, and then decided instead of missing he would just spend the rest of the game in foul trouble.  He played better in the second half, but that slow beginning really set the tone and if he had hit a few more shots Butler spends most the game ahead instead of behind.  But don't cry for Butler, because they lose only one contributor and he's not all that significant - Mack, Howard, and Hayward are all back - so they have a good chance at making it here again; at which point no doubt a bunch of morons will try pegging them as a Cinderella again.  God you people are dumb. 

2.  Jim Furyk.  The good news is that Furyk shot four shots better on the second day than the first at the Masters.  The bad news is that the first day was an 80.  80!  A freaking 80.  You know who else shot an 80 in either of the first two rounds?  Michael Campbell, Ian Woosnam, Anders Hansen, Sandy Lyle, Ben Martin, and Henrik Stenson.  One good player, two 100-year-olds, a flash in the pan, and two never-will-bes.  Jim Furyk doesn't belong in that group (neither does Stenson, but I don't think he was considered as having a good shot to win this thing like Furyk was).  This is just mind-boggling.  Furyk officially finishes 91st out of 96 golfers, although one of the guys withdrew even though he had a better score, so really he was more like 92nd.  Not that that distinction really matters.  Just an absolute stinker by Furyk, reminiscent of watching Drew Butera try to bat.  Although pretend Butera was a mult-time all-star and was still in his prime, but suddenly looked lost like he did the other night.  Yuck.

3.  Houston Astros.  There is just one winless team remaining in MLB, and it's the lowly Astros.  More impressive than the 0-6 record, however, is how they've managed to lose.  Here are their run totals for the six games:  2-0-4-0-6-1.  Yes, that's two shut outs mixed in there, by Barry Zito and J.A. Happ of all people.  And the games where they scored 4 and 6 they actually had late leads but lost due to bullpen meltdowns, which I guess is to be expected when you sign Brandon Lyon to be your closer.

4.  Mike Gonzalez.  And speaking of closers, it looks like we might have the first closer demotion of the year thanks to the Orioles' Gonzalez, who blew two saves this week in three tries and blew them spectacularly, giving up two runs in each outing to not just blow the save, but lose the game as well.  Even in the one game he managed to not blow he still walked two and gave up a hit in his one inning of work, and is currently rocking a 18.00 ERA and 4.50 WHIP.  He's basically a pretty good set-up man, but really just not a good closer.  Very LaTroy Hawkins-ish, only left-handed and less black. 

5.  Taylor Teagarden.  With Rangers' starting catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the DL, Teagarden was elevated to every day catcher for Texas.  He has responded by going 0-12 with 7 strikeouts.  He's a semi-well regarded prospect type, although not considered an offensive force, so he'll probably be fine, but that is not a great start to your season.

If you are going to the opener today I hate you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but Mama. W is all knocked up again and I'm pretty sure it's mine so I'm pretty interested in what's going on with this here kid, and we found out tonight that we're having a boy, which is awesome because we already have a girl named WonderbabyTM as you probably know.  Since we got that bit o' good news I figured I'd celebrate by having a couple of little screwdrivers and watching the Twins.  Join me, won't you, on this magical ride I call life? 

8:51 - No, the Twins haven't started but I'm watching the O's/Rays thanks to the free MLB package preview Directv is nice enough to give us, and I'm torn.  The Orioles are leading 5-3 in the 8th and I have the Orioles at +155 but I also have the Rays' closer on my fantasy team.  Some might look at this as a win/win, but I look at it as sucky and am trying to figure out how I can cash in on both.  I'm looking for the Rays to tie it up, Soriano to pitch 2 shutout innings, and then the O's win and somebody else gets the loss.  Win/win.

8:57 - So we had a nice girl's name that we agreed on, but we haven't been able to come to an agreement with a boy name at all.  Mrs. W wants Lucas, while I'm trying to convince her to go with a first name-middle name combo of either Optimus Prime or Matt Wieters.

9:02 - By the way that wasn't me who picked Furyk to win the Masters.  I think Dr. Acula hacked my account.

9:04 - I'll be watching the game, at least for now, via internet feed and it is behind real TV by anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, so if you Tivo'd the game and play it back later to match up the times with this blog it won't work.  Sorry to spoil your Friday night plans.

9:05 - Gail Simmons has large boobs, but she's no Audrina.

Audrina and Vegas in the same picture?  Is this heaven?

9:11 - Good god this is a terrible internet feed.  It's like watching the game through a Viewmaster.

9:17 - Morneau strikes out with runners on second and third and only one out which means all he had to do was put the ball in play and the Twins go up 1-0.  And if I know one thing about facing Joel Piniero, it's that you need to score the runs when you can because a shut-down pitcher like him doesn't give you many opportunities to score.

9:19 - Text from Snacks "God Cuddyer is a fat piece of crap."  Sums it up.  Not much more to add.

9:20 - Oh, I forgot to mention that my soon to be son has a gigantic head.  Like, their computer program actually moved up Mrs. W's due date by a full week because the kid's head was so gigantic.  Apparently he's basically like a toothpick with an orange on top in there.  He's pretty much either Stewie or Justin Morneau.

9:22 - Slowey strikes out the leadoff batter, Aybar, on a pitch that I have no idea what it was because I only saw the windup and then the result, but that's a good sign.  I was worried about Slowey a bit because any time you miss as much time as he did I worry about rust a bit.

9:27 - So that would be back to back hits now by Fatbreau and Torii.  I take it back.

9:30 - I think he got out of it.  I can't tell because the feed froze.  Whoever is after Matsui either popped out to Hardy or Hardy couldn't get quite get back there and Span was being not Gomez and couldn't get up there and it fell.  And nevermind he caught it.  I'm going to try to find another feed because this is a nightmare.    And not like the new one with Kelly Leak, I mean more like Robert Englund.

9:33 - Thome again?  He better not be playing for Kubel again.

9:34 - Thome walks and here comes Kubel.  Sorry Delmon.  And it's about time for Kubel to get a god damn hit already.  It's not like he's Denard Span.

9:35 - God Kubel sucks.

9:44 - I was poking around for a different feed, which I didn't at all find, and now I come back and it's 1-0 Angels?  What happened?  God it's like Slowey just hates me.  And also we're still watching Viewmaster style.  Actually I think it's more like a flip book.

9:50 - Span grounds one back to the pitcher to officially move to 1-14 on the season.  What's the deal here?  Gomez gets traded, Span gets a fat contract, and suddenly he's like a big fat cat sitting on top of a swimming pool full of money?  God I miss Gomez.  At least he's a gamer.

9:57 - Slowey walks Torii Hunter.  Isn't that kind of like some kind of reverse unstoppable force meets immovable object kind of thing?

9:58 - Hideki Matsui's eyes are really doing nothing to dispel stereotypes.

10:06 - Ok I'm on to an actual television now.  We just stared the top of the fourth and it's 1-0 Angels.  I can't believe they haven't scored off of Piniero yet.  That guy always has a four+ run inning in him, you just have to crack the shell so it comes oozing out.

10:09 - Another 1-2-3 inning as the Twins go down meekly like a tentative high school kid.  This is getting embarrassing.  It's Joel Piniero for christ's sake.  I'd be really upset right now but I'm seeing Clash of the Titans tomorrow so really nothing can bring me down.  Also we're having a son.  That too.  That is also important.

10:17 - Slowey sets them down 1-2-3. I'm either going to have to get more entertaining or this game is going to have to get more interesting.  Hope for the game, I think.

10:20 - Thome with a double, leaving Kubel as the only Twin without a hit this year I assume without looking anything up, not counting that fake catcher guy.  And there you go, game-tying run-scoring single by Kubes, which is also worth 2 fantasy points.  Our team is so good.

10:22 - Hardy, with 2 homers already this year, is ordered to bunt.  Jesus christ Gardenhire, you have an actual offense this year.  I know you're used to having a bunch of Matt Tolbert's in the lineup and you have to scratch and claw for every run you can get, but not this year.  Just chill out, sit back, and let the Hardy boy mash like he wants

10:23 - Mama W just described Hardy as "cute."

10:26 - Holy F Brendan Harris just destroyed the ball, and the Twins are up 3-1.  Can we please, please, please start Harris at 3B more than once a week?  I know he never slides into first and isn't some minority scrappy guy but he's a much better hitter than Punto and doesn't exactly suck defensively.  Stop being retarded, Gardy.  You know you need more Harris in your life.

10:29 - Hudson reaches on error which is apparently his best shot at getting on base.  He's been bad at the plate and his defense has been less than impressive as well.  Since I believe you can easily make blanket judgments about the entire season after just four days, I'm going to go ahead and say this guy sucks.

10:46 - Massive computer problems kept me off of here for the past 17 minutes.  I saw some things in the game I was going to comment on but now meh and also I can't really remember.  Instead I will let you know that Matt Wieters (a rich man's Joe Mauer) did not hit a home run tonight, instead electing to go 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.  I don't know why that's all he did, and you don't either, but who are we to question his plan?

10:49 - Kubel got out again.  How odd.

10:50 - I'm lame.  I'm too tired to keep going.  I've stayed up for all three games, and with early rise times I'm just plain tuckered, so it's either keep drinking or go to bed.  As much as I'd like to keep drinking, it turns out they frown upon employees who show up reeking of vodka, so it's probably in my best interests to pass.  Don't judge me, I'm old.  Plus I have little Optimus Prime on the way, so I need to save up my strength now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fare thee Well, Paul Carter (+ Masters Preview)

In definite bummer news, it came out early this morning from Nadine at the Gopher Hole that Paul Carter is transferring to be closer to his family.  If you remember, his sister is sick with something I don't remember so I'm going to say cancer, and since Carter is close with her he feels he needs to be there for his family.  While most Gopher transfers have simply been players who shouldn't have been recruited to the Big Ten in the first place (Limar Wilson, Engen Nurumbi, Aliou Kane), discipline problems (Brandon Smith), or just unhappy (Antoine Broxsie), this is a transfer that actually is a bummer, although it makes a lot of sense for him.

I was hoping Carter could be next year's Damian Johnson, and his offensive game was progressing nicely outside of the 2.5 missed layups per game.  Not to mention it was always fun to debate who would win a no-rules bar fight between him and Westbrook.  I wish Carter nothing but the best, and hope he has much success wherever he ends up. Whoever is lucky enough to snag him will be getting a good player, a by all accounts great person, and I assume one hell of a bar fighter.  This also ensures the Gophers will have enough scholarships for Maurice Walker, Cory Joseph, and Royce White, should that come to fruition, so if you're looking for a silver lining there you go.

With that said, this weekend is of course the Return of Tiger Open held at Augusta, so I feel the need to give a bit of a preview, top ten style.  If you're itching to talk Twins we'll get their eventually, but it's only been two games so settle down, nerd.  I will say that Delmon looks great, not just because he slimmed down but he seems like he has an idea of what he's doing at the plate.  More on that later this week or maybe next. 

If you're looking to wager on the tournament, your best bets (for the money) are Furyk at 15-1, Dustin Johnson at 33-1, Nick Watney at 45-1, Mike Weir at 50-1, and Zach Johnson at 55-1.  Anyway, here are your top 11, much like I do with NFL odds:

1.  Jim Furyk.  More of a hunch than anything specifically pointing to him as the favorite, but it's not as if it's a total shot in the dark.  Furyk won just a few weeks ago at the Transitions, which, granted, isn't the most high-profile of tournaments but there is still a pretty decent field and it was Furyk's first win since 2007 so he's got momentum.  He followed that up with an 11th at the Arnie Palmer against a very good field, and he's always been pretty good at Augusta with four top tens in his career (T-10 last year) and has only missed the cut here once.  Plus, there's nothing better than watching that sweet, fundamental swing of Furyk's.  That's why they call him "The Big Fundamental."

2.  Lee Westwood.   Nobody hates it more than me when a dirty Euro comes over here and tramps all over our country and steals our women and our green jackets, but Westwood has the look of a player who is ready to finally win his first major.  Also the look of someone with terrible teeth, dumbo ears, and who needs a shower.

3.  Ernie Els.  With the way this jackass is playing he should probably be your favorite to win this week, but he's played as many holes on the weekend at Augusta the last three years as I have (hint:  it's zero).  Prior to those missed cuts, however, Els had five top tens from 2000-2004.  How much of his crappy play the last few years was due to injury and how much was just being bad?  Is he back and awesome or was it all kind of a fluke?  I don't know.  You tell me.

4.  Tiger Woods.  God, I don't know where to slot him.  I'm not worried about him mentally since he's basically a robot programmed soley to golf and have sex with whores, but he hasn't played competitive golf in months, and playing practice rounds isn't the same thing.  I think he's a lot more likely to blow away the field and set a course record than he is to implode and miss the cut.  Plus it would be kind of sweet to watch/listen to all the spazzes who hate him cry.

5.  Ian Poulter.  Poulter is a dingleberry who wears hot pink pants and he missed the cut in his last start, but I can't help but shake the feeling that he's going to be in the mix on Sunday.  He seems to live for the big events, even though as I now look at his career in majors it really isn't all that impressive.  Huh.  This could be one of those "perception isn't reality" kind of things.  I guess we'll find out how stupid I am by Sunday.  Or, god forbid, Friday.

6.  Retief Goosen.  He seems to be popping up on a lot of lists as a favorite, and why not?  He's playing as well as he has in years with five top-10s already this year, and he's an absolute majors horse.  He has four career top-3s at Augusta, and prior to missing the cut last year he had finished top-20 seven consecutive years at the Masters.  He's almost certainly going to be a factor again this year.   

7.  Delmon Young.  Is there anything he can't do?

8.  Nick Watney.  I love this guy.  He's just a solid all-around player with no major holes in his game and who rarely seems intimidated by a strong field, a famous course, or a big tournament.  He's been solid, if unspectacular this year, but has shown in the past that he can get around at Augusta.  In his two career appearances here he's finished 11th and 19th.  I think things are lining up for him to jump up and surprise this weekend.

9.  Charl Schwartzel.  Kind of a sleeper pick, but when he's everybody's big sleeper is he really a sleeper anymore?  Schwartzel has played in four tournaments in the States and has three top 10s (including two WGC events) and has two wins on the European Tour to boot.  His name is retarded, but he can clearly play and he's from South Africa where apparently everyone is good at golf and racism.

10.  Steve Stricker.  He has to be on this list because he's just so damn good and consistent, mostly because he's so good with the putting stick.  Now that Adam Scott died, he's clearly the best golfer without a major victory and he's been in such a zone that he's almost certainly going to get one this year.  Why not now?

11.  Padraig Harrington.  He's so good in majors that you can't possibly discount him, even if he sort of seems like he's been coasting since that incredible run where he won 3 out of 6 majors.  But like I said, you can't discount him.  Like an Ipod on Black Friday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



Matt Wieters is a six-tool player.  The sixth tool is AWESOMENESS.


Garrett Jones:  2-4, 2 HRs, 3 runs, 3 RBI, BB

Carlos Gomez, 4-5, HR, 2B, SB, 2 runs, RBI


Monday, April 5, 2010

Week in Review - 4/4/2010

Baseball baseball baseball baseball baseball.  Seriously, this NCAA hoops championship matchup really sucks, but at least we have baseball.  Hell, I even enjoyed the hell out of the Yankees/Red Sox last night, and usually I'd rather die than watch those two teams play.  Now, if some of their fans want to go at it, who am I to stand in the way?

God bless baseball.


1.  Harrison Barnes.  Did you happen to check out any of the McDonald's All-Star festivities this week?  If you did, you would have definitely noticed Harrison Barnes.  First was all the goofy stuff, in which Mr. Barnes finished third in the three-point competition and third in the skills competition while eschewing the dunk contest because he was too pimp and knows that dunk contests are for the same people who love monster truck rallies and Big Buck Hunter.  Then he went out and dominated the actual all-star game, scoring 18 points and grabbing I think something like 40 rebounds.  He is going to be a beast.  Remember the part where I said he finished third in both the skills competition and the three-point contest?  Yeah, he's also 6-7.  And I read where somebody called him "the most competitive high-school player since Kobe Bryant."  I have no idea what that means since I never saw Kobe in high school, but I have to imagine it's some kind of compliment.  Should've picked the Gophers, Harrison.  Your bad.

I should also mention that soon to be Duke PG Kyrie Irving's favorite book is Catcher in the Rye, which automatically means I'm a big fan of his and he's now my second all-time favorite Dookie behind Ricky Price, who was god on Coach K for the Genesis.

2.  Missouri State/Virginia Commonwealth.  Congrats to these two teams for winning their tournaments, Mizz State the CIT and VCU the CBI.  Unlike the NIT you can actually take pride in winning these two tournaments (more on that below).  Your team sucked and wasn't worthy of an NCAA bid and probably had no shot since day one, but you get to keep playing against other semi-crappy teams and if you win you've proven you're the best of the lousiest.  Hey, it's something.  Better than being Iowa.

3.  Eric Hayes.  I know you don't know who this is, so I'll just tell you.  He's a graduating senior guard on Maryland who averaged 11 pts and 4 assists per game this season, but more importantly he took his 45% three-point shooting to the NCAA Three-point contest earlier this week and won the whole thing, and dominated while doing it.  He posted the best score in each of the three rounds while shooting his way past guys like Ryan Wittman, Jason Bohannon, and other assorted whities to grab the title and join the prestigious list of past winners which includes nobody who I can remember right now.  And that's really I have to say about Eric Hayes.  You can expect Blake to be in this thing next year.

4.  Butler.  I have no idea why I'm not solidly behind Butler.  I mean, I'll be rooting for them since they're playing Duke who are all gays or jerks or gay jerks, but I'm just not buying into the whole underdog thing.  Maybe it's too much of being shoved down my throat and all the retarded comparisons to Hoosiers.  I don't know.  I just know that I'm not a Butler fan.  Except for tonight.  Tonight I will be praying to god that Butler wins, and you know God cares about this one because everybody knows Duke is Satan's team.

5.  The Taco Hawks.  Seriously you guys, me and Snake's Fantasy Baseball team (named after former WKU star Orlando Mendez-Valdez) is just stacked.  Check this out:
C - Matt Wieters.  See here
1B - Justin Morneau - 30 homers + fun factor?  Perfect.
2B - Rickie Weeks - he walks often and has power, expect a big year after his injury last season
3B - Evan Longoria - you know you have a crush on him too
SS - Jason Bartlett - last year wasn't a fluke.  Nice trade, Twins.
OF - Matt Kemp - 30/30 is his downside
OF - BJ Upton - he's back, baby.
OF - Jason Kubel - yet another MVP candidate on our team
UT - Billy Butler - keeps getting better

SP - Zach Grienke - will probably win 20 even on that shitty team
SP - Cole Hamels - thanks for letting him slide, draft-mates
SP - Chad Billingsley - a lock for 20 wins
SP - Tommy Hansen - stud
SP - Matt Garza - yes, that's five Cy Young candidates on our team
RP - Rafael Soriano - plenty of chances for saves with the Rays
RP - Jon Rauch - Believe it.

And that's without even getting into the potential breakout pitchers on our bench - Stephen Strasburg, Homer Bailey, and Madison Bumgarner.

I told you - we're stacked..  And we did it without a single Yankee, Red Sock, or White Sock, so there are no dirty feelings.  Although you should know Snake was pushing to take Jeter around the fourth or fifth round.  Ick.


1.  J'mison Morgan.  No, he's not here for that horrendous spelling of his name, but because he seems like he might be following the Jaron Rush school of squandering your talent.  Morgan was the #25 recruit coming out two years ago and the #4 center in his class.  Since signing with UCLA, however, he hasn't done much and was dismissed from the team earlier this week.  Morgan was suspended for a game in early March for missing a meeting and didn't play in either of the Bruins Pac-10 Tournament games, and pretty much struggled with being fat all season long.  When he did play he didn't do much, averaging just 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per game over his two years, with career highs of 8 points and 4 rebounds.  UCLA has now lost Morgan and Drew Gordon this season, but honestly they're probably better off.  Howland really needs to recalibrate his recruitilizer before he ends up without a team.  I hear Monson is gunning for the UCLA job.  Also nice name, jackass.

2.  Dayton.  I know that I've ever said anything good about Dayton, and I'm not going to start now just because they won the NIT.  Hey morons, how about you play like this during the season, actually live up to expectations and make the NCAA Tournament instead of winning something that almost ten people in the whole world even know is going on.  Chris Wright, Marcus Johnson, and Chris Johnson all had a couple of really nice games in Madison Square Garden in the Flyers' wins over Ole Miss and UNC, but where were you all season long?  If you were a little more consistent you wouldn't have lost to St. Louis.  Or Duquesne.  Or St. Joe's.  I swear winning the NIT is nothing more than a reminder that your team shit the bed and way underachieved all season long.

3.  West Virginia.  Da'Sean Butler didn't bother to show up until the game was mostly out of hand, the Mountaineers played basically zero defense and little offense, they couldn't keep Zoubek off the glass, and for some unfathomable reason Bobby Huggins never went with the 1-3-1, despite the fact that it was the team's go-to defense all year long and that man-to-man was doing nothing but giving Duke wide open looks.  If you were worried about going zone against a team with shooters like Duke, trust me, they couldn't have gotten more open.  Just an ugly, crappy, shitty game by a Mountaineer team that on Saturday didn't come close to resembling the team they were all season long.  Ugly. 

4.  Chicago Cubs.  Guess who the Cubbies' fourth starter is this year?  Come on, guess.  You'll never get it.  It's Carlos Silva.  It seems he's not only still in baseball, which seemed unlikely enough, but also beat out Jeff Samardzjia and Sean Marshall, which means those two should probably start considering killing themselves - or, failing that obvious move, retire.  I can't even come up with anything else to say here.  Carlos Silva won the fourth spot in the Cubs' rotation really just speaks for itself.

5.  Red Sox.  They actually allowed the Yankees to pull off the double steal, first and third thing.  Seriously, what is this, little league?

Finally, I leave you with the following:

"The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

National SemiFinal #2

I'm still basking in the glow of the world's greatest fantasy baseball draft, but I'm also basking in sitting in my bed with a Michelob Golden Draft Light 12 oz. can and watching the basketball game on a 19 inch television and since I'm here I see no reason why I should hide my most intimate thoughts with you, dear friend.  Keep in mind that I have made my biggest bet ever on this game, a 15-unit wager on WVU +2, so I care more than I probably should.  I also know that Snacks is "All in" on West Virginia.  I don't know how much money that actually encompasses after the Michigan State loss left him a broken man who stopped watching at the ten minute mark, but at least he's on my side.  I also know that Bogart has 5 units on WVU scoring first.  Let's get to it.

20:00 - Oh, I also have 5-to-win-15 that the first basket of the game is a 3-pointer.  Had the same bet in the first game and it hit, so if it hit here it would just be gravy.

20:00 - I hate Duke so much.  Other than this chick, I mean;
20:00 - Stay with me now, perv.  Eyes up top.

20:00 - You realize the Gophers beat Butler, right?

20:00 - I just read something where the guy was saying that Butler winning is terrible for CBS.  What?  That's the best thing that could have happened.  The only people who care about Michigan State are their own fans, die-hard college hoop junkies who were going to watch anyway, and gamblers.  Causal fans are going to be interested in the Butler story.  Hell, I told Mrs. W about Butler and even she's interested.  And I can tell you this month, like every March, she is so sick of college basketball right now she's probably strongly considered taking a croquet mallet to my cubes.  And yet, she perked up a bit when I told her about Butler and all the blah blah crap.  So, in conclusion, that guy who wrote that thing is an idiot.

20:00 - I hate it when they don't tell you the major of the players when they do the intros.  I bet at least 4 out of 5 WVU starters are majoring in African American Studies and the other guy is in Communication.  And what do the Dukies major in?  Like, is Singler majoring in Bio-Chem and Nolan Smith in Genetic Engineering?  Or are they in Communication too?  I seriously want to know this.  Someone go look it up.

20:00 - AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGgghhhhhhhhhh!  Sorry, I thought there was a gigantic female chicken running lose.  It was just Singler.  My bad.

19:49 - 5 second call on Mazzulla to open the game.  They already miss Bryant.

19:12 - WVU with a blocked shot on Singler and a offensive rebound already in the first minute.  They're going to athletic Duke to death. 

18:54 - And Mazzulla throws his layup attempt over the backboard.  It might be time to sit him down for a few minutes, ask him why exactly he's attempting to take over the game when he averages like 6 points per game.

18:10 - Easy lay-up for Wellington Smith to tie the game at 2.  If Huggins doesn't melt down WVU could end up running away with this, they look far better than Duke.  And there's a third blocked shot by the Mountaineers.  This is like that scene in Rushmore where Bill Murray rejects that dumb kids shot.

16:39 - Well somehow Duke is up 7-4 after a Scheyer three.  And since I know you're wondering, no, Scheyer didn't close his mouth at any point, and he's seriously threatening Tyler Hansbrough's NCAA record streaking of never ever closing his mouth. 

15:12 - Between this Robin Hood movie and Clash of the Titans I am as amped for movies as I have ever been.  I think the only times I've been more exited were when Lord of the Rings were coming out (happy about the result), the Star Wars prequels (so-so), and Jurassic Park 3 (kill me in the neck).

14:41 - Shot clock violation on Duke for being gay.  Time for WVU to get after it.  And there you go, they go inside and get a foul.  Kevin Jones misses both, of course, but at least they got the ball inside.

13:57 - Jesus Duke is just shredding the WVU defense at this point.  They can't stop penetration (like your mom) and can't seem to figure out a high pick-and-roll.  This does not bode well.

13:26 - At least Singler is still shooting like that guy at the Y who sucks but thinks he's good so he always shoots no matter what even though he hasn't hit a shot in a month.  And as I say that WVU throws up an airball from 15.  You can tell they're feeling a lot more pressure than the Dukies right now, even though the pressure should be the other way around.  Because all of the media really want to give the Duke players handies if they win, and the Duke players really want handies, so that's why.  Feel free to re-arrange that sentence into something more coherent.

12:30 - That perimeter handoff is not supposed to result in any easy layup for Duke.  Everybody runs that play, and unless you are the Gophers and you're playing Wisconsin it doesn't ever work.  Until tonight.  It's only 13-9 Duke but I think this one is over, and I'm going to have to root for freaking Butler.

11:05 - And the big giant chicken hits a three.  18-11 Duke.  The Blue Devils are hitting everything, and it's not luck, it's just piss poor defense.  Huggy Bear needs to do something here (he called timeout), but I think we're in trouble folks.  Huggins isn't exactly what I consider a great good mediocre adequate fair in-game coach.  God I hate Duke.  More like Puke, am i right?

10:55 - You know one thing I hate about summer?  Those people who are a little too into grilling, you know what I mean?

7:50 - A second three of the game for WVU's Flowers and it's 23-21 Duke.  Flower si s aguy who was something like 6-20 from three on the season, but that makes both Duke and Kentucky who basically played defense on him by backing off in the lane and daring him to shoot, and he hit a huge one against Kentucky and like I said that's now two tonight.  I don't get it.  He's 6-20, not 0-0.  It's obviously not a huge weapon of his, but he's not worthless out there as if he was Al Nolen or something either.

6:16 - This is the worst game I've seen WVU play all year.  Poor defense, tentative offense, just sick.  Duke now up 31-21, and Huggins is barking at his players which means this one is done.  Almost not even worth watching.  I'm going to try to hedge my bet a bit with a live bet on Duke.

5:47 - God Mazzulla is basically Al Nolen without the defense.  He can drive, but he just jump stops and picks up his dribble with no idea what he's doing.  And then Duke misses, offensive rebounds, and hits a three.  Ugh.  Can't this at least be entertaining?  37-24 Duke. 

3:44 - Alright let's move on to 2011.  I'm predicting Michigan State to win it all.  And speaking of winning it all, have you heard about me and Snake's fantasy baseball team?  Wow, just crazy good.  Want to hear our starting pitching staff?  Greinke, Hamels, Billingsley, Tommy Hanson, and Matt Garza.  Wow.  And waiting in the wings we have have Strasburg, Homer Bailey, and Madison Bumgarner.  Yeah, we're loaded.

3:40 - 5 seconds on Duke trying to inbound.  This is the break we need.  LET'S GO MOUNTAINEERS.

3:22 - Ebanks with a nice move for two, 37-28 Duke.  I feel a run coming except then instead Nolan Smith found a wide open layup.  I can't get over this suddenly shitty WVU defense.  It's just awful.  Duke currently shooting 59%.  Ridiculous. 

2:54 - Ebanks with another nice move and a three-point play.  He's single-handedly keeping this from being a blowout.  Where the hell is Butler?  1-4 for two points.  Nice job assface.  You're telling me he can't score on Lance freaking Thomas?  Disgusting.

0:47 - Christ, Zoubek must have 10 rebounds already.  I have no idea what is going on.  This West Virginia team is not the same team I saw all year and bet on.  Huggins you killed yet another talented team somehow.  This guy is a bigger choker than Darius Washington.

0:00 - 39-31 Duke at half.  I'm no so much worried about the score, but the defense of WVU is just crap right now.  CRAP I SAY!!!

20:00 - Ok I'm back.  Took a short break there to watch an episode of the Office ("Frame Toby", hysterical) and grab a couple of Stroh's Lights out of the fridge.  Yep, Stroh's Lights.  WVU doesn't deserve better right now.

19:49 - Da'Sean Butler and Nolan Smith are basically complete opposites of each other right now. 

19"17 - Mazzulla hits from 17.  I guess he's not like Nolen after all.

18:59 - Wide open jumper for Singler.  And I mean WIDE open.  This is baffling.

17:27 - I can't quite give up on WVU as Wellington hits a three to make it 36-43, but they need to get their defensive scheme figured out in a hurry because Duke is one short run away from blowing them out.

16:04 - Duke just not missing.  This is like the opposite of watching Trajan Langdon in a Final Four.  WVU hanging in, but right now if feels like when the Gophers played Xavier and you knew they were basically just holding on for dear life and any moment they were going to be out of it.  WVU just hanging on by a thread.

15:21 - Another open Sheyer three wins me my OVER 14 threes for the game bet, but that is pretty meaningless considering I have 15 units on WVU.  This sucks.

13:43 - Another Duke layup and it's 51-42.  This is like watching the Gophers play defense.  I probably won't post anything else.  Game over.  I suck.

12:41 - Huggins completely melting down and just started screaming at Flowers.  If it wasn't over already (it was) it's over now.  Guy is really not a very good coach.  I have no idea why I was backing him so hard.  Pretty sure it was nothing but anti-Duke bias coming through. 

11:44 - Looks like Nolan Smith took a nice shot to the nads.  Of course it would happen to the only duke dick that I don't hate.  I would pay good money for somebody to take a shot at Singler's giblets.

11:44 - Technical on Duke for hanging on the rim after dunking back a miss.  Butler shoots the free-throws and makes both, which is one more field goal than he has on the night.  That should tell you what kind of night it is.

10:35 - I just took the Yankees to win tomorrow night for a unit, just to make me feel better. 

10:02 - I'm sad.

8:59 - I'm almost positive Huggins is trying to make out with Da'Sean Butler who is down after some kind of knee injury.  This probably actually a good coach/player moment but it looks really creepy on TV.  Also Duke is up 63-48 and I'm guessing with Butler now out and being carried off that takes whatever energy/motivation WVU might have had left and kills it.  Duke's going to win by 25.

6:37 - It upsets me greatly that Duke is going to win the National Championship.

0:00 - Well that ended up being pretty boring.  At least they hit the over.  I can't believe I'm going to be rooting for Butler.