Thursday, May 31, 2012

Twins MLB Draft Preview

With the MLB Draft coming next week, and TRE's post about the NBA draft spurring me on (it's the one right below this one, genius) I figured we might as well take a look at the MLB draft, particularly since the Twins are so involved.  Involved as in they have the #2, #32 (thanks Cuddy), the #42 (thanks Kubes), and the #63.  So this is pretty much a really great time to reload the system.  Here's what I'm thinking:

The pick at #2 should be either SP Mark Appel from Stanford or SP Kevin Gausman from LSU.  My personal preference would be Gausman, a sophomore who put up excellent numbers in the SEC, the best conference in the NCAA.  The major difference between Gausman and Appel is that although both throw in the mid-90s and can get up to 99, Gausman has two secondary pitches that rank as "plus" while Appel has just one.  There are also concerns about how Stanford treated Appel and what effect that may have had on this arm, such as when he threw 149 pitches against Oregon.  I also read somewhere that Appel is super religious and that's pretty annoying, so just another reason to prefer Gausman.  I'd actually be pretty happy with either pitcher seeing as how both throw mid-90s and have the stuff to become a #1 or #2 in the majors.  Of course, the Twins' brass hates guys who strike batters out, so I'm sure there's some soft-tosser with #4 starter upside they're drooling over.

If they don't go with one of those two pitchers at #2, the only possible acceptable alternative is High School OF Byron Buxton.  He's the one guy pretty much every scout is drooling over, has been called "the highest upside prospect in the draft" by ESPN, and is toolsy is as toolsy does.  He's fast as the dickens with a tremendous arm (hit 97 on the gun), but he has yet to show a whole lot of power (at age 18 remember, so there's still plenty of time) which does make me a bit nervous, and it's not like he's the first guy to have this kind of "all-around awesome" scouting report.  Sometimes it works out and you're set for years (Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun), sometimes it doesn't (Alex Gordon, Delmon Young), and sometimes it REALLY doesn't work out (Scott Moore, Luis Montanez - no I don't know who these guys are either).  I strenuously prefer the college arm, but if they take Buxton I'll at least understand.  Anybody else and I'm going to fictionally throw things through my window.

As far as their other three top picks, I still prefer pitching since that's what they're going to need to rebuild this shitty organization, and as TRE said in his first post here they need to start looking at pitching differently.  Guys like Chris Stratton from Miss State (led the SEC in Ks), Pat Light of Monmouth (mid 90s fastball), Nolan Sanburn of Arkansas (up to 98mph), Pierce Johnson of Missouri State (mid-90s with a "power" curve), and Damien Magnifico of Oklahoma (hit 102 this year and is said to reach triple digits on a regular basis in relief) are guys I hope they'd at least consider.  None of them profile as a Radke/Slowey type, but that's got to be considered a positive at this point.  Now, they all have question marks - Stratton is already 22, Light is a little more sidearm that you'd like to see from a starter, Sanburn and Johnson have dealt with injuries this year, and Magnifico basically only has one pitch, but don't you want to see some guys with some "stuff" and see if they can develop from there?  There's a couple of college pitchers who I can just see the Twins taking (Martin Agosto and Brian Johnson) who are low-90s types and I'm just tired of it.

[NOTE:  There's also a guy from a JUCO named Dylan Baker who gets up to 97 and has kind of come out of nowhere.  Like Magnifico he profiles as a reliever right now because he doesn't exactly have what you'd call a great repertoire of pitches, but I wouldn't mind him either.  Also, how sweet a last name is Magnifico.]

Of course, they could always go position players or HS pitchers, but what am I some kind of scouting service?  I can't very well cover every single player here so maybe you should do some of your own legwork once in a while.  I'm just saying I want to see some freaking pitchers who can actually strike somebody out, even if they'd probably just get traded away (Matt Garza).  I refuse to believe anybody actually enjoys this "pitch-to-contact" garbage.  I REFUSE.  Change.  Now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NBA Draft Preview

Let's see if I can do better in my second post after running away from my other blog in the middle of the night like the Baltimore Colts.

Damn you, Marko

The year was 2005.  Kevin McHale was in charge of a sputtering Wolves team that had missed the playoffs for the first time in 8 years by just one game. In June, they hired Dwayne Casey as head coach.  That summer, they CRUSHED the draft by locking up Rashad McCants and Bracey Wright.  They weren't done there though, friends.  Not by a long shot,

During the offseason, they traded All-Star Sam Cassell and a protected future first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers. They also signed free agent Nikoloz Tskitishvili.
BOOM SUCKAS!  We get rid of a 9 year pro, former all-star and 2 time NBA champ as well as a future first round pick for MARKO?  Where do I sign?  What? Did someone say Marko had missed 32 games as a Clipper with bilateral toe weakness and that he's never averaged 10ppg?  Well, needless to say Marko sucked, the Wolves sucked and they continue to suck to this day. Oh yeah, and don't forget about NIKOLOZ TSKITISHVILI, GEORGIAN BASKETBALL LEGEND!!!!

Taking it to ze rack.

What does that have to do with today? Well, that long lost first round pick has finally become eligible as the Hornets, who got the pick from the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade, will have a 6.10% chance at a top 3 pick in tonight's lottery.  If this where the Wolves' pick you can virtually guarantee that they'd either remain at the 10 spot or slide back a pick.  It's just how they like to roll.  Since the Wolves don't have the pick, you can bet they'll manage to move up.

The good news is master trading strategist KAHN has garnered a pick from Utah for the Al Jefferson trade in 2010.  They'll swing for the fences at #18 overall.  So what can we get at #18?  What do we need?

The Timberwolves need two things the most in this guy's opinion:  a) a knock down shooter at the shooting guard or small forward position, and 2) that guy should also be able to play some defense.  Look, they've been grooming Wes Johnson to do both of those things, but it appears he's incapable.  Martell Webster can do a little bit of each of these things, but he's always hurt and can completely disappear from games dispite his new, totally awesome FISHBONE haircut.

Here are some guys of interest and some buzz words on each player:

SF Moe Harkless, 6'8" 218lb Frosh - St. John's

Moe is long and able to get his hands on a lot of balls. The jumper from long range isn't there yet, but he has size and upside and clear athletic ability.  Maybe a poor man's Paul George?  NBAdraft buzzwords: "tremendous upside!", "could slip into the lottery with good workouts", "promising mechanics", "struggles to create easy shots for himself"

SG Doron Lamb, 6'4" 200lb Soph - Kentucky

Lamb was kind of a do-everything guy at Kentucky.  I'm just not sure that there's a boatload of upside here.  He's also a little smaller than you'd like, but he does have a 6'7" wingspan.  He also has a shot, putting up some great FG%.  Seems like more of a smart, glue-guy type though.  Buzzwords: "tweener", "extremely active", "crafty", "assassin-like", "jumpshot mechanics are clean"

SF Quincy Miller, 6'9" 210lb Frosh - Baylor

Quincy is another guy in the Harkless crazy-long mold.  Miller may not have stood out as much on a semi-loaded Baylor squad (teammate Perry Jones will likely go top 10). He's got a good jumper despite it looking a bit awkward.  Buzzwords: "ridiculously lengthy (7'3" wingspan)", "crafty shot creator", "inconsistent", "appears lackadaisical"

Those are my top 3 for the 18 pick, a couple of others that intrigue me:

SG Terence Ross 6'6" Soph Washington: "good court vision", "lacks a conscience", "shot has good lift and form"

SG John Jenkins 6'4" Junior Vandy: "pure shooter", "does damage from the perimeter", "doesn't have the size and foot speed to be an elite defender"

Finally, if we would have never heard of the name Marko Jaric and had the pick still, here's who we could get and who I'd love to have:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Week in Review - 5/29/2012

I think I've solved the issue with the lack of content/posts on the site.  I've decided to bring in a partner.  TRE from  He's a pretty funny dude and a good writer, he's a Twins and Gopher fan, and this should increase the amount of Gopher football coverage on this site by eleventy billion percent.  He's already written one post, on a weekend no less, and basically called me stupid so he should fit in here just fine.  I've always thought I had a tougher road because I'm the only Gopher blog with only one writer and especially lately I haven't been bringing the quantity or quality, but now we don't have to worry about that anymore.  So welcome aboard, TRE.  If you suck you won't just be fired, you'll be killed.


1.  Justin Morneau.  His batting average last week was actually pretty crappy at .240, but of his 6 hits four of them were HR bombs which is a great sign, and his batting average on balls in play was just .125 which says he was pretty damn unlucky last week, outside of hitting the ball 1000 miles a few times.  If you remember last year, before captain softhead was put down for the season the big problem was that he wasn't hitting the ball with any kind of power.  His ISO (which is slugging-batting average and measures raw power without it being a function of a high average) was .106, which was less than half his career average and nowhere near what he usually does and was a huge reason many people, myself included, were wondering if perhaps the head injury had broken his brain enough where he had turned into a slap hitter.  Well I'm not really worried about that anymore.  Now I'm just hoping they can trade him for BOATLOADS.

2.  Stephen Strasburg.  I've never made it a secret that I'm desperately in love with the Stras but he's kind of like Natalie Portman and the more you learn about him the more you love him and now apparently he can hit, too.  No, I won't waste your time drooling over his pitching again because you already know he's basically unhittable, but after going 1-2 with a monster dinger and 2-2 in his last two games he's .389 this year with an OBP of .421, slugging of .722, and OPS of 1.143.  To put that in perspective he'd lead the Twins in every offensive category and it wouldn't even be fucking close which is actually pretty depressing.  I mean, it's probably a bit fluky considering he was 1-26 in his career before this year and was hitting just .143 six games ago, but since then he's gone 6-11 and four of those six hits have been for extra bases, plus he hit .400 in his (admittedly short) minor league career.  I guess what this really does is beg the question, "could Strasburg get Strasburg out?"  We should ask that tootsie pop owl guy, he seemed pretty sharp.

3.  Mike Stanton.   I'm not going to call him Giancarlo just because somebody tells me to even if it's this guy himself and even if there's a good reason.  I honestly don't know if there was a good reason because I didn't really pay attention and when I first saw the Giancarlo thing I wondered if they were brothers because I'm stupid but the point of this story is that Stanton destroyed the ball this week and even broke the scoreboard off Jamie Moyer (and watch him pimp this home run):

Dude's 22 years old and hitting .291 with 12 dingers already after hitting 34 last year and 22 in his half season rookie year.  Take notes, Twins' fans.  This is what we need to hope Sano is.

4.  Anaheim Angels.  Maybe it's stupid to write nice things about the Angels on the same day Jered Weaver gets pulled because of an injury after pitching to just three batters and getting none of them out, but the Angels seem like maybe they've kind of figured this shit out - finally.  Dan Haren, who had been knocked around all year by such horrendous offensive teams as the Twins and the Twins, finally looked like the Dan Haren we used to know by throwing a complete game shutout against Seattle with 14 whiffs (yes Seattle but still), Albert Pujols is hitting the ball again like a man, and Kendrys Morales is hot.  If they could figure out how to get Morales, Pujols, and Trumbo in the lineup at the same time or just trade one of them they'd be in better shape, but after a pretty lackluster start to the year they've won six straight, and even if it's against crappy teams like Oakland and Seattle it still counts and those teams are in their division too so it counts double.  Plus these guys used to lose to the Twins, so you know.

5.  Kevin Garnett.  I know he's probably always been an ass and he's definitely become an ass since he won that title with the Celtics, but for some stupid reason I find myself rooting for him, again, and he was probably the biggest reason Boston made the finals, because outside of game 4, KG was a monster in the entire series against the 76ers.  He outscored his season average in six of the seven games (averaged 19.7 vs. 15.8 reg season) and grabbed more boards in six as well (11.0 vs. 8.2) and shot 50% from the floor.  Basically he completely raised his game in a big spot, which is something I'm not sure he's ever done - or at least not very often.  I have a feeling KG, Jesus Shuttlesworth, and Pierce know this is probably their last shot since they all have been worn down like a porn star when she hits age 30.  Time for one last shot at glory, no reason to hold back now.  I also predict if they get bounced at some point KG loses his mind a decks somebody - probably Rondo.


1.  Jason Marquis.  We all saw this coming, right?  I know it only cost $3 million or whatever, but what exactly was the point?  What was his upside?  He hasn't hit 150 innings since 2009, hasn't finished a year with an ERA under four since 2004, and gives up almost as many base runners as Nick Blackburn over the course of their careers.   Then he missed spring training, as understandable as that was, and jesus what a disaster.  An ERA of 8.47 and WHIP of 1.94 in his seven Twins' starts, which really shouldn't have been a surprise considering his performance in three starts after being traded to Arizona late last year, where he actually put up worse numbers than he did for the Twins (ERA 9.53, WHIP 2.29).  I know the Twins have a tendency to try to grab guys who are looked at as old and mediocre and sign them on the cheap and hope they get solid production, but lately it always seems to be a Marquis or a Tony Bautista or a Nishioka, and I can't remember the last time they hit on somebody but I'm gonna say Chili Davis.  That was 100 years ago.  That was the same year Dahmer was arrested and the Super Nintendo was released.  That's how long it's been since the Twins made a really good free agent signing (although Willingham seems promising at this point).  Chicks who were born that year can now go out and get drunk legally.  Kinda hot, now that you mention it.

2.  Hakeem Nicks.  Hakeem Nicks is one of my favorite receivers.  In our keeper league I took him with the 3rd overall pick his rookie year and everyone was like dude what?  and I was like, this guy is going to be a rock star.  And mostly I was right.  He's easily one of the most talented receivers in the entire NFL, and has put up over 1,000 yards each of the last two years.  But there's a minor problem - he's always hurt.  He has yet to play a full season (14, 13, and 15 games in his three years) and although he hasn't ever come up with a major injury that's kept him out an extended period of time he's always freaking dinged up to the point where you never know if you can put him in your lineup until like, right up until the game when they announce he's going to play and if he plays Monday night you end up starting somebody else like Mike Sims-Walker instead you sucks and then Nicks does well and you lose.  Sucks.  And now he's got a broken foot (suffered at an offseason workout for god's sake) and could be out up to 12 weeks which I'm not really sure when that is but it seems like it won't affect the season but whatever.  He's pissing me off.  I'm gonna trade him now.  If you're in my league and read this blog please ignore this entry and pretend I wrote something about Jamey Carroll instead.

3.  Chicago Cubs.  I heard something on the radio about how the Cubs won today and it was like their first win in the last 10 games.  Then I just looked it up and they did win today, but this was actually their first win in 13 games so it was even worse, which is kind of funny but makes sense because the Cubs suck and are still paying Alfonso Soriano ten trillion dollars and I can't guarantee it but I bet they're still on the hook for Zambrano as well.  So yeah, they're really bad.  Until today they hadn't scored more than four runs in nine straight games, which included four games with 1 or 0 runs.  Earlier this week the Cubs had 10 hits in a game against Pittsburgh but managed to not have an extra base hit and got shutout.  They also lost a game on a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the ninth.  Things aren't going well.  But this will happen when you're counting on Brian LaHair as your clean-up hitter and Paul Maholm features prominently in your rotation.  Oh who am I kidding, I'd kill for Maholm on the Twins right now.  He'd be the freaking ace.

4.  Joe Blanton.  I've always disliked Joe Blanton and routinely bet against him.  He looks like a fat baby, he has one of those goatee things that's all shaggy but doesn't have the mustache part, and he's a right-handed junkballer with shitty stuff who can't break 90 but won a lot of games when the A's were good despite terrible stats and everybody thought he was good because most people are morons and now he's making $8 million per year.  And then it almost kind of looked like he had maybe figured it out this year with an ERA under 3 and at least 6 innings pitched in six of seven starts this year.  Then this week happened.  In games against St. Louis and Boston he never made it out of the fifth with a combined statline of 8.2 ips, 19 hits, 13 earned runs, and 6 homers to balloon his ERA to a much more Blanton-like 4.55.  It's kind of creepy how much better I feel now.

5.  Oakland A's.   I'm a Billy Beane fan and I mostly think the "moneyball" related criticisms of him are pretty ridiculous, but I just have no idea what that team is doing, and now they've lost six straight (including one to the Twins lolololol) and have gone 4-10 to suddenly drop off the map.  Mostly I'm just confused with how they're handling pitching.  Why trade Trevor Cahill when he's only 24 and looking like a future 2/3 type?  Why trade Gio Gonzalez at age 26?  Why trade Josh Outman (age 27) and Guillermo Moscoso (age 27) for Seth Smith who completely sucks?  Cahill and Gonzalez, especially, and they had just hit arbitration so they weren't looking at the big-time expensive franchise killing contracts yet (Mauer -> hi).  Beane used to make turning vets into prospects into an art form, but the A's won because Giambi, Tejada, Chavez, Hudson, Zito, Mulder, etc. were able to mature into great players before they were shipped out.  Seems now like those same types of guys are getting moved before they even have a chance to develop.  Can't win that way.  Moneyball?  More like Stupidball, amiright?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oh, Hello

Oh, hello.

So, I think this is actually happening.  DWG and I got drunk at Duke's in Oakdale?  Maplewood?  Somewhere around used to be Beer Belly's or Sargent Peppers or something.  Anyway, we talked about joining forces and he actually remembered it and sent me an invite.

I guess we're doing this shit.
The cool thing about me agreeing to do this is my life partner, Swan, was out of the country.  So, I'm totally cheating on him right now.  Is there any coincidence that Sting's"If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" is playing on music choice channel 422 right now?  Case closed.

So, I think I need to start with a Twins post because DWG's pie-in-the-sky trade scenarios are brutal and really, trades aren't how this team is going to get better at this point.  Obviously, if you ca2n rape some poor dumb bastard by giving them Capps, you do it.  That shit isn't happening though.  There are a couple of easy fixes that have to lead the way.  To whit:

1) Change the way you look at drafting pitchers.  The Twins kind of went out of their realm by taking Kyle Gibson, who is a pitcher with big time stuff, but unfortunately he went down with Tommy John surgery or we'd be look at him in the rotation right now.  The Twins have this thing where they value poise and control over anything.  It's time to throw that shit out the window.  Brad Radke is not walking through that door.  They need to abandon this polished, under control, safe pitcher for a some of these guys that can be explosive.  It's time to try hitting some home runs, Willie Banks style.

I'd draft you, long time.

2) Get rid of Joe Vavra and get a real hitting coach.  Ever notice how we bring up young players and they're totally unprepared.  Hell, ever notice how you know how the opposing pitcher is likely to work against THE ENTIRE TEAM; yet nobody makes an adjustment?  I mean, WTF.  THEY'RE GOING TO THROW YOU A LOT OF SLIDERS, DUM-DUMS.

3) This thing is going to need a total pitching re-load.  Getting guys like PJ Walters and Scott Diamond are good tries, even though they aren't upside guys. However, they also need to get some horses that aren't 37, like Carl Pavano.  I was for throwing 4 years and 40 million at Edwin Jackson.  He's not a stud, but in the grand scheme of starting pitching, he's worth it.  He signed a one year deal with Washington this year, so they have a chance to do that again.  He has a 3.38 ERA through 9 starts, btw.  With a ridiculously low WHIP.

4) Get a little more spendy.  Here's the deal; we cut the payroll this year.  I can understand this because the free agent market was mostly poo.  So, there weren't many mid-level bargains beyond Willingham and Doumit, who they landed.  And that rocks.  I had this dream of Yoenis Cespedes going to the Twins and after looking at the deal the A's got him for; we're going to be sad that we didn't get in there.

Mauer is a sunk cost.  No one will trade for him at this point and we made a Mauer-proof stadium, which is pretty genius.  Morneau is quickly working his way to earning some money.  Maybe the poor Canuck will give us a discount since his brain is broken.  Pavano isn't worth the cost, so he either gives a deal or goes to the Orioles.  The payroll is lower than the year prior, by like $15MM.  So, go out there and get a couple of dudes already.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to rebuild the Twins

 Although the Twins are pretty much hamstrung and stuck with Joe Mauer for the foreseeable future, that doesn't mean there aren't some moves they could make to try to rebuild quickly - which they'll have to do in order to become contenders again before Mauer is completely out of his prime assuming he isn't already.  Obviously the #1 priority should be the draft, where the Twins have the 2nd overall pick and three picks in the top 40.  I'd like to see them concentrate on high upside, college pitchers who won't have to spend 4-5 years in the minors, and I'd specifically like to see them draft Mark Appel out of Stanford or Kevin Gausman out of LSU with that #2 overall, then look at more pitching with picks 32 and 42.  Pitching-Pitching-Pitching.

Beyond that, there are some trades that need to be made.  Namely:

1.  Justin Morneau.  Contenders like the Marlins (who just sent Gaby Sanchez to the minors), Dodgers (who have crappy no power James Loney), Rangers (great offense with wasteland at 1B) and Blue Jays (who have given up on Adam Lind) all could use the power Morneau would provide at first base and all have the money to handle his contract, if they aren't too wary of his health issues.  Health issues and the big contract might mean his selling price is down, but a package of 3-4 players centered around one high upside prospect at a position of need would be a good move.  The Marlins have 3B Matt Dominguez in AAA and although he's not a great hitter he's supposed to be a plus fielder and let's face it, the Twins are pretty much out of 3B options.  The Rangers are loaded, including the minors, and that might make them willing to move future stud starting pitcher Martin Perez, who would give the Twins their first ace type pitcher since Johan.  The Dodgers system is loaded with starting pitching (with 8 of their top 10 prospects starters), and the Jays have enough young pitching that they could part with a semi-highly regarded pitching prospect or three without hurting their long term outlook.  Morneau is a great trade chip as long as he keeps hitting with power, and he's not going to be around by the time this time turns itself around - they need to use him to get the turnaround started.

2.  Denard Span.  I like Span and he's a quality leadoff hitter, but Ben Revere is a very similar player with less power, less discipline, and better defense, and the former two can develop with more time - time he's not getting.  The Nationals have been sniffing after Span for a couple of years now and were even willing, or close to willing, to give up a real young, real good reliever in Drew Storen last year.  I don't know that you can get a blue-chipper like that anymore, but the Nats are contending and are sorely lacking in the leadoff hitter department so they'd still probably love to have Span.  With all their young pitching maybe you can get a MLB ready, middle of the rotation type guy who is still young like Ross Detwiler.  Given Ramos's injury they need a catcher, so maybe throw-in Doumit and get a prospect back or even whichever second basemen they hate less, Steve Lombardozzi or Danny Espinosa - either would be a better 2b of the future than anything the Twins have right now.

3.  Carl Pavano.  I'd say trade the entire rotation, but I can't really see a team parting with anything other than "cash considerations" for anybody other than Pavano or Liriano, and trading Frankie when his value is at an all time low is probably not the right idea, so that leaves Pavano.  He's not exciting, but he's consistent, a decent big league pitcher, and somebody (or multiple somebodies) are going to be looking for that around the trade deadline (not to mention he's affordable).  All four AL East contenders have worse than average rotations so as that divisional chase heats up they're all going to be trying to outbid each other for pitching help, so depending on who else would be on the block Pavano could be near the top of their wishlists (although I don't know if the Yankees would be willing to bring him back).  He'd bring back less of a return than either Morneau or Span, but getting a mid-tier prospect or even a youngish player who is blocked on one of those teams would be worth looking into.

4.  Matt Capps.  I really don't know if anybody is stupid enough to "pull a Twins" and give up something of value for a shitty closer who has racked up saves in his career more out of opportunity than talent, but if anybody is willing to trade anything they should jump on it.  Same with Glen Perkins or really any other pitcher on the entire team.

Pull all that off, and maybe you're looking at a future of:

C - Mauer
1B - Miguel Sano (I'm guessing this is where he eventually ends up) with Parmalee backing him up
2b - Lombardozzi or Espinosa with Plouffe backing up
3b - Dominguez/Travis Harrison
SS - Levi Michael/Brian Dozier
OF - Revere/Benson/Hicks/Rosario/Arcia/Kepler
 with a rotation starting with Kyle Gibson, Appel/Gausman, and Detwiler with Baker/Diamond/Walters (if either of them is real)/other draft pick pitchers/Wimmers/Hudson Boyd/Madison Boer/Adrian Salcedo also in the mix and Deolis Guerra your top bullpen arm.

I dunno.  And that's not even counting in any other prospects that come back in trade other than Dominguez and the Nats' guys, although even though Dominguez is a 3b which the team sorely needs I'd still take Martin Perez over him if they have that option.

And yeah, I realize I'm just playing fantasy baseball basically, but the team is in the shitter and going nowhere, and you have exactly four tradeable assets so trade them.  None of them are going to be around when this team gets close to contending again, so trade them now while they have value.  Anything.  Just do something this year rather than sitting around with their thumbs up their asses like they did last year.  This is what I'd try to do. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I think this Joe Mauer contract might have been a bad idea

-  Quick, what's the flukiest home run season in history?  You thought of Brady Anderson's 50 in 1996, right?  Of course, I'm pretty sure everybody did.  He's as out of place on a list of players with 50 homers in a season as most of this blog's readers would be in a book store, and I'm pretty sure he's the first name most people would come up with.  But wait.  Check this out:

These are the home run % (% of PAs the player hit a homer) for Brady Anderson and Joe Mauer by season, with season five obviously both of their big HR year.  I looked at the four seasons prior and three after because that's all Mauer has, and looked at HR % instead of total HRs because Mauer is injured more than your mom.  The two charts look awfully similar, no?

Even more, if you take each players' average HR rate outside of the fluke season, Anderson's was 2.7% (which jumped to 7.3%) and Mauer's was 1.4% (which jumped to 4.6%).  What's that mean?  It means Anderson's season was a fluke by 2.7x his career average, while Mauer's jumped by 3.3x.  So in other words Joe Mauer's big-time season, the one that landed him that $300 million contract or whatever it was, was a bigger HR fluke than Brady Anderson's.  And since the whole point of giving him all that money was based on the idea that he'd be more than just an average hitter, I'm pretty sure it's the worst contract in baseball history other than probably Barry Zito or either of those Rockies' pitchers (Hampton, Neagle) from a few years ago (although depending on how Carl Crawford and Jason Bay finish out they'll probably end up on this tier as well).  

The extra good news is that he hasn't even come close to duplicating any of his other numbers from that year either, but hey hey, he's on pace to set a new career high in walks!

But wait!  There's more.  Here's a list of the highest paid players this year:

1.  A-Rod, $29 million
2.  Johan Santana, $24 million
3.  Joe Mauer, $23 million
4.  Prince Fielder, $23 million
5.  CC Fatbathia, $23 million
6.  Mark Texeira, $23 million
7.  Cliff Lee, $22 million
8.  Vernon Wells, $21 million (Note:  Holy fucking shit)
9.  Miguel Cabrera, $21 million
10.  Adrian Gonzalez, $21 million

And here's a list of the highest paid players last year,

1.  A-Rod, $31 million
2.  Mauer, $23 million
3.  Sabathia, $23 million
4.  Wells, $23 million (jesus christ somebody fucked this one up)
5.  Santana, $23 million
6.  Texeira, $23 million
7.  Cabrera, $20 million
8.  Ryan Howard, $20 million
9.  Roy Halladay, $20 million
10.  Todd Helton, $19 million (lol)

You'll not most of those names are the same.

And here's that same list in WAR order, which is a metric which attempts to give players a value in Wins Above Replacement, which means how many wins that player has given their team over an average AAA player at the same position the last two years combined:

1.  Cliff Lee, 9.5 WAR
2.  Roy Halladay, 9.4 WAR
3.  CC Sabathia, 8.6 WAR
4.  Cabrera, 7.9 WAR
5.  Adrian Gonzalez, 7.6 WAR
6.  Prince Fielder, 4.7 WAR
7.  A-Rod, 4.2 WAR
8.  Texeira, 2.8 WAR
9.  Joe Mauer, 2.5 WAR
10.  Helton, 2.2 WAR
11.  Ryan Howard, 0.8 WAR (hasn't played yet this year)
12.  Johan, 0.6 WAR (missed all of 2011, would be 5.1 using 2010 instead) 
13.  Vernon Wells, -1.1 (this is hilarious)

 So Mauer ranks ahead only of an old as shit guy, one of the worst contracts in the history of baseball (sorry I missed that one but holy shit that Wells contract is/was brutal) and two guys who have missed an entire year. 

I know I should probably be celebrating the Twins' ability to steal the next great pitcher (PJ Walters, yo) however it was again they got him but I started writing this before the game so I'm pretty much stuck in negativity mode.  If you don't like it, you should probably just find a blog that updates more than once a week.

Seriously, I wish we could all go back in time, but I ain't got 1.21 jigawatts of plutonium laying around, you?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Six Very Important Things from Last Night - 5/17/2012

Maybe this will get me posting more often.  Be careful what you wish for.

1.  The Twins beat the Tigers today, which would be newsworthy all on its own, but even more shocking is that gives them two straight wins over the Tigers (just the second winning streak of the entire season) and since this was just a 2-game series that means the Twins just swept the preseason division favorite, even if they are two games under .500.  Even more shocking is they did it with Blackburn and P.J. Walters (who?) pitching the two games.  Blackburn sucked as expected and is now on the DL, but the Twins actually decided to hit for once with a couple of homers (Dozier & Plouffe) and six doubles, managing to score 11 runs which I have to assume is a season high, to pull out the win.  Then today Mr. Walters goes all no-hittery through the first four innings en route to a very nice game, picking up his second major league win and lowering his career ERA to a shade under seven.  Still, it's a two game win streak against a supposed good team.  Just 14 more to go to get to .500.  We can do this.

2.  It was a shitty day in daytime baseball if you were an ace-type pitcher or took the under on total runs scored today.  Mat Latos got knocked around by the Mets and only managed 5 innings, C.J. Wilson couldn't find the plate and walked six without getting out of the fourth, Matt Cain got knocked around pretty good by the Cards, while Adam Wainwright showed once again that he's all kinds of not back from his injury that made him miss all last season whatever it was.  Maybe this isn't really all that newsworthy but it matters to me because I took the god damn under on total runs which of course didn't cash because I'm on one of the all-time cold streaks, my friends.  It's enough to make me quit gambling if that wouldn't mean my life would be cold and empty.

3. The Pacers completely rolled the Heat 94-75, and you know me and I hate jumping to conclusions or throwing out opinions with little to back them up, but I think this is over, dudes.  Here's why.  First, that one game the Heat lost earlier they had a chance to tie and Lebron didn't take the shot (of course) and Wade didn't take the shot but Mario Chalmers took the shot.  And I like Chalmers and everything especially for when he pissed on John Calipari's dreams that one year, but come on.  Then tonight Lebron scores 22, which sounds like a slightly down game, but then you realize that only 7 of those came in the second half, Wade scored just five points on 2-13 shooting, and Chalmers was the team's leading scorer with 25.  Plus, here's stiff Roy Hibberts pt/rebs in the 3 games:  17/11, 8/11, 19/18.  Roy fucking Hibbert!  Does any of this sound like a team who has its shit together?  It's over.  I'm guessing sportsbooks will still have the Pacers only at like -150 or so to win the series or maybe even better - jump on it.

4.  The Colonial Athletic Conference is losing everybody now that Old Dominion has announced it is leaving for Conference USA.  First VCU bolted to join Butler in the A-10 and now ODU is taking off, and I'd be stunned if George Mason didn't join VCU in the next few days which means the three biggest basketball powers in the CAA are all leaving.  Apparently CAA is going to try to bring in Davidson and Charleston out of the SoCon and Boston out of the America East, but with ODU, VCU, and GMU (I'm assuming) all gone I'm not so sure leaving the SoCon would even be a step up for Davidson and Charleston (although it clearly would be for BU).  I assume at some point all this conference realignment will stop and it better stop soon because at the rate I drink alcohol my brain cells are getting very close to not being able to keep up with all this.

5.  Toronto's Brett Lawrie dropped his appeal of his four-game suspension for losing his mind on an umpire, and it's probably a good idea because look at this shit:

In response, I've prepared this video:

6.  Happy Birthday to Mrs. WWWWWWW.  I know you're lucky to have me, but what you probably don't realize is that I'm super lucky to have you.  Mostly because you're so hot.  Happy birthday, baby.  Way to always keep it classy:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Musings

-  Biggest news of the day is the Big 10/ACC match-ups have been released, and your Gophers will be traveling to Tallahassee to play the Seminoles of FSU.  This should be one hell of a good test to see how good the Gophers are next season, because FSU loses only two of their top 6 players from last year's NCAA team, and they always play well at home (where they always seem to beat Duke or UNC every year).  Add in a very good recruiting class and their killer defense and this is one of the better teams the Gophers will face in non-conference play in the Tubby Smith-era.  If the Gophers can handle FSU's defense, they'll be able to handle any Big 10 team's defense.  I'm very much looking forward to this one.  With the Gophers in the Battle 4 Atlantis with team's like Duke, Missouri, Memphis, and Louisville they have all the potential in the world to build a really nice resume before we get to conference play.  Or crash and burn and make sure we all now we are once again in for another thrilling year of mediocrity.  I know which one I'm hoping for - although the mediocrity thing does have a comforting ring of familiarity to it.

The other matchups:

North Carolina @ Indiana - has the ring of a marquee matchup to it, but with Indiana installed as the favorite to win the National Championship by Vegas (it's true) and UNC basically gutted from last year this is going to be a 10+ point spread.

NC State @ Michigan - One of the three top matchups (along with Gophers/FSU and Duke/Ohio State), and a really good test for an NC State team that is suddenly finding itself the ACC favorite (even more so if Amile Jefferson picks them today/tomorrow).

Maryland @ Northwestern - The Terps lost most of their talent from an already poor team, while Northwestern's window has probably closed on that elusive first NCAA bid.  Even so, the Wildcats should walk here.

Iowa @ Virginia Tech - Va Tech is going to be super terrible this year, but this is actually a pretty perfect match-up for an Iowa team trying to reach up and grab mediocrity.  This game will go along way towards telling us if they're there yet or still a year away.

Nebraska @ Wake Forest - yeah nobody cares

Ohio State @ Duke - This will be billed as the top matchup and not without reason.  Having the game at Cameron evens the odds a bit, because OSU would roll if this was played in Columbus - and might anyway

Virginia @ Wisconsin - You ready to hear about what a great match-up this is and then be bored to sleep within the first five minutes?  This one might not break 70 total points.

Michigan State @ Miami - Really interesting match-up here.  The Spartans are probably better talent-wise but will still be working on playing without Draymond Green, while Miami has a nice core group of Durand Scott, Reggie Johnson, Kenny Kadji, and Shane Larkin back from last year's team that almost made the NCAA Tournament.  I think at home the Canes might sneak this one out.

Purdue @ Clemson - I have no idea what to make of Purdue this year since the whole team from two years ago is gone.  Clemson's losing it's entire starting back court who just happened to be their top two scorers.  Call this a toss up.

Georgia Tech @ Illinois - The Illini were horrid last year and now bring in a new coach.  Getting Georgia Tech at home is the kind of major opponent they need - shitty, but still a major conference team.

Boston College @ Penn State - oh my god, gross.

If I had to pick it right now, I'd go Florida State, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Wake, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Miami, Purdue, Illinois, and BC.  That's 7-4, Big 10.  

 -  One other college hooops note, I was going to do a little writing on Julius Mays, the guard who graduated from Wright State but still has a year of eligibility so was looking to do that thing where you pick a school you want to go to and then find a grad program they have that your current school doesn't offer so you can just transfer and play right away who was considering both Illinois and Purdue.  He would be a pretty important piece considering the lack of guards the Illini and Boilers are both currently sporting due to his 14 points per game and also because Julius Mays is a pretty sweet basketball name.  Kentucky, however, was also interested in Mr. Mays and because Kentucky is awesome and the Big 10 sucks, Mays will be a Wildcat next year so I guess there's not much more to say about that, is there?  These things will happen when you can't motivate yourself to post more than once a week because the Twins have punched you in the nuts.

-  Speaking of the Twins, yuck.  The worst part of this is that when your team totally sucks you should at least be able to look forward to watching the future start playing, but who on this team is even the future?  Scott Diamond, suddenly, and Brian Dozier?  Maybe?  There's suddenly no third basemen at all.  I mean there's nothing now that Valencia is apparently a total flop and Luke Hughes was traded or released or whatever.  We're looking at a solid 3 years or so of crappy old free agents before Miguel Sano is ready, assuming he sticks at third and doesn't get moved to the outfield.  Will it be Kevin Kouzmanoff next year?  Or Mark Teahen?  Maybe Ty Wigginton (that's who I'd put my money on)?  You can be sure that no matter what, he's going to be old and suck.  But at least Sano is keeping things interesting while we wait.  Big thanks for Snacks for emailing me this:
Sano stood in the batter’s box awhile to watch his homer against relief pitcher Carmine Giardiana. He trotted the bases, but virtually stopped a few feet before touching the plate, taking off his batting helmet as Kernels catcher Abel Baker barked at him.
Sano glared at the Kernels dugout after finally touching the plate, with Kernels players continuing to give him significant grief. He took a step toward Baker, and the dugouts began to empty, with umpires Fernando Rodriguez and Paul Clemons, as well as both teams’ coaching staffs, doing a good job of squelching what could have been an ugly scene.
Oh hell yes.  So anyway I don't really know what to make out of Scott Diamond or Brian Dozier, but at least so far they don't make me want to put myself into a coma until the end of baseball season so they got that going for them.  Considering Dozier is hitting just .250 and doesn't walk (with so-so pop) and Diamond has looked good in his two starts but is doing it with a ridiculously low BABIP I'm pretty much clearly grasping at straws, but I think straws is all we got.  Like a homeless clown at a chocolate milk collection.

-  I didn't really like Bryce Harper from day one since he sounded like kind of a douche, but I've done a 180 on him because apparently the mainstream media (more like Lame stream, amiright?) is way too all over hoping this kid fails and makes a fool of himself.  Over the weekend I saw a few different headlines and they were all like "Harper injures self in clubhouse tantrum" or "Harper may miss time after embarrassing spaz out" or something of that variety.  So I read them because, at that time, I wasn't a fan and was hoping it would be really bad (with apologies to Bryce's dad, who was maybe the second best Twins' catcher ever), but holy shit are people stupid.  After going 0-5 with 3 strikeouts he hit the wall with his bat, which ricocheted and hit him in the head.  First of all, who hasn't done something similar like hitting the wall with your bat?  Secondly, when do you think the last time this kid went 0-5 with 3 ks was?  I'm going to guess never, which will probably torque you off a bit, and hitting something with a bat has got to be nearly as common place as getting crabs from a "fan" when you're a major leaguer (or minors even, from what I hear Brendan Donnelly). 

Between this retarded witch hunt and Harper's attitude after getting intentionally beaned by Cole Hamels - all he did was trot to first with no looks, no attitude, no nothing - I'm starting to become a fan.  Then you add him to the best pitcher in world history in Stephen Strasburg, one of my personal faves in Gio Gonzalez, the underrated Jordan Zimmerman, a bunch of young players who some of at least have to workout, and yet another future star in minor leaguer Anthony Rendon and I'm suddenly a Nationals fan.  May even have to get a hat.  But they also have Jayson Werth, so I really can't be that much of a fan.  F that guy.

-  Apparently Josh Hamilton is over how he killed that guy because in case the Twins have made you turn off baseball for good this year he's destroying everything that gets thrown near him.  I find it semi-fascinating because I am fascinated easily but also because he's such a unique player.  Without getting bogged down in the nitty gritty stat world, he's aggressive as hell and swings at anything.  He swings at the highest percentage of pitches of anyone in the majors, and the rest of the guys on the list are either shitty hackers (Clint Barmes, Delmon Young), strikeout machines without the power (Alfonso Soriano, Chris Davis), or solid, but not power, hitters (Starlin Castro, Brandon Phillips).  Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera are #11 and #14 on the list and are near his production levels, but they do it because they make contact a lot with all those swings (85% and 83%) while Hamilton is at just 67%.  In fact, that 67% is the fourth worst in the majors behind human fan machines Yeonis Cespedes, Adam Dunn, and Carlos Gonzalez.  So he swings at way too many pitches and misses way too many of them, yet he's leading the majors in basically everything.

So how is he doing this?  Obviously by crushing the ball when he does make contact, but it's not by hitting line drives where he's around league average, it's that when he gets the ball in the air it's flying over the fence.  Nearly half of the flyballs he's hit this year have been home runs, tops in the league (Matt Kemp is the only other player even close to Hamilton), more than double his usual percentage, and a number nobody has approached like, ever (or since 2002 when this data became available).  He's also hitting .407 on balls in play, but the numbers say that should be around .330 even on this hot streak.  So I got some news for ya - Hamilton is going to go down in a big way, whether it's simple regression, injury, gets a hankerin' to chase the dragon again, or finally gets charged for murdering that guy with a baseball.  If you have him in fantasy, trade him.  Or just watch him burn.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


IPB Image

Pic credit to here:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Talkers

Well my derby picks didn't exactly work out, but Mrs. W randomly picked the winner, "I'll Have Another", probably because she's a raging alcoholic and that brought in some dough.  Which, naturally, she immediately assumes is hers and has already been trying to figure out what to buy with it.  Funny how that works.  When I win and make a withdrawal, she's buys something.  When she wins and I don't make a withdrawal, she's buys something.  Frankly as long as she keeps reading that book I don't much care what else she does.  In any case, sorry for the shitty derby picks.  Here's some other thoughts on what's going on.

-  Gopher dream transfer Trent Lockett picked Marquette over the Gophers, and it appears that your favorite team was never really in the mix.  Whether it's because Lockett had no interest (understandable), Tubby and no interest (ridiculous), or simply because they didn't have a scholarship (come on), from what I can tell from very limited research he never even considered the U.  It's too bad because he would have been the second or third best player on the team depending on where you want to slot Dre Hollins, but if the Gophers were going to lose a player (well kind of) losing one on the wing was the way to go.  They should have enough perimeter guys to get them through, but this puts a ton of extra pressure on the Hollins twins.  Assuming Mbakwe is healthy (yes a big assumption) it's going to be on those two how good/how far this Gopher team can go.  Well, them and Charles Buggs, the next Hakim Warrick/JaJuan Johnson.  Give it time.  Love has patience.

-  Sticking with college basketball, inside sources have confirmed for me that Butler is moving to the Atlantic-10, which is a great move for both parties.  Butler gets to step up and challenge itself with programs like Xavier and Temple (assuming they're not moving because frankly I can't keep up with all the moves), while the A-10 grabs another marquee school (I know they weren't last year, but back-to-back Final Fours says a lot).  Apparently the A-10 is also looking to grab VCU and George Mason out of the Colonial, and that pretty much has to vault them ahead of the Mountain West for basketball power, doesn't it?  Certainly Conference USA if they weren't there already, and possibly even the Pac-10 the way things are going lately.  Crazy basketball world.    Next thing you know San Diego State will be in the Big East.

-  I know, I should talk Twins but they suck worse than Woody Allen movies.  I mean, all these people are in the lineup tonight:  Komatsu (I literally have no idea who this is, where's Ben Revere?), Brian Dozier, Danny Valencia, Trevor Plouffe, Drew Butera, and Jamey Carroll.  How many of those guys are big league hitters?  Valencia and Plouffe combined make one?  Honestly how many Twins could you even write anything positive about this year?  Span (for being a good leadoff guy), Willingham (for not completely tanking after his hot start), and Doumit (for doing exactly what he's supposed to - be average at everything with average defense at 3 positions)?  I mean for fuck's sake they were just praising Mauer for hitting a double - a double that was a blooper down the left field line (yes I'm actually watching the game, but just until Mrs. W is out of the shower because she won't watch this garbage and they're way too shitty for me to go all the way downstairs to watch.) 

I guess the bullpen has been better than expected because three guys are having good years out of there (Burton, Gray, Burnett), but you Burnett and at least one of those other two is going to go back to sucking, the most important reliever (Capps) might be the worst one in the pen not named Maloney, and pretty much all of this is moot because the Twins have to have the worst rotation in all of baseball.  And there's no hope for the future.  None.  The only possible prayer is the Twins' knock this upcoming draft out of the park with a bunch of college players who are going to be close to ready and can get here before Morneau and Mauer are completely washed up, because you know damn well the Twins are stuck with those two for the rest of their careers because nobody else is going to overpay to that extent.  A terrible present and a non-existent future.  This is exactly how the Wolves used to feel.  I guess the Twins need a Rubio in this draft.  What would that be, some kind of pitcher with studly stuff who makes the game fun to watch?  Yeah, I'd take that.  Thanks for nothing, Kyle Gibson.  But apparently this team completely owns Dan Haren, which makes total sense.

-  Staying with baseball for a moment, did you see my boyfriend Cole Hamels got suspended for five games for admitting to intentionally hitting Brian Harper's dickhead kid?  And here's how it went down - Hamels plunked him in the back, not the head or anywhere, but the back - the most accepted place to hit someone intentionally.  Harper went to first without a look, without a glance, without a reaction (which was kind of surprising because unlike his dad I thought he was kind of a dick).  Then later Hamels comes up and Jordan Zimmerman hits Cole in the leg, to which he just jogs down to first without a look or reaction.  Hard-nosed baseball where all parties understand exactly what's going on.  But because Hamels admitted it he gets rung for five games (which for a starting pitcher means 1 game but still).  What about Zimmerman, shouldn't he get a game too?  It's all so stupid.  I'm not a big whiner about the "pussification of America" since I think football and surfing should be outlawed as too dangerous, but this is so stupid.  If somebody hits a dude in the head then yeah, hammer him.  But this was harmless.  Hamels should pitch in a skirt next time.  If nothing else it'd be kinda hot.

-  Last baseball thing quick.  I was following a Mets' game the other night due to a wager I made (3 actually, and I won all 3 so suck it) and these were some Met players:  Kirk Nieuwenheis, Andres Torres, Josh Thole, Justin Turner, Ruben Tejada, Mike Baxter, and Mike Nickeas.  Those are all batters.  I'm in a pretty deep fantasy baseball league and regularly play baseball player prop bets so I know players quite well even in the NL, and I'm only vaguely familiar with a couple of those guys.  That team may be more messed up than the Twins, and they have more money (although most of it is wrapped up in Jason Bay lolololol oh wait Twins/Mauer right).  Actually bite my tongue because apparently when your recreations all involve following players you sometimes miss shit like the Mets are 17-13.  I'm not going to go sever my own limbs with a chainsaw and then drown myself in my own blood. 

That was pretty morbid.  Go Twins.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Derby Picks

I tried to write a real post tonight.  I really did.  I started and then stopped like 4-5 times.  I don't know, I think when the only thing to write about is Twins' futility it gets kind of boring.  I'll get back into the swing of things I swear.  I'm planning on doing a weekend review for your Monday pleasure because at least that will get the ole writing juices going, at a minimum.  As an apology, please accept my Kentucky Derby picks as my apology.  Keep in mind that I have done pretty well on the Derby since I started taking it semi-seriously the last three years, including hitting Super Saver 2 years ago at 14-1. 

Your best bets for the odds:

Gemologist at 6-1: of the favorites, he's my favorite
Daddy Nose Best at 15-1:  he's a closer and coming from a track that's produced Derby Winners in the past
Hansen at 10-1 and Trinniberg at 50-1:  both are big time front-running speed, and although they're likely to jump out in front and then fail (particularly Trinniberg) we've seen wire-to-wire winners before. 

If it turns out this is going to be a muddy track, throw some coin down on El Padrino at 20-1.

If you're playing a Trifecta, I think your best horses are Gemologist, Daddy Nose Best, and Dullahan.  For a superfecta, go ahead and throw Union Rags in there.

Personally, I'm taking the four horses above along with Dullahan to win, then throwing a trifecta box out there with Gem, Daddy, Dullahan, Hansen, and Union Rags.  Good luck to all.  Please buy me something nice or at least some White Castle when you win the big bucks.  Here are some good pictures for no good reason:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Talkings

I know you're wondering if this blog is dead.  It's not, I promise.  I've just been really busy.  What with work, heading to the cabin, kids' stuff, and my wife currently reading 50 Shades of Grey, I just am having trouble finding time to blog anything.  And there isn't exactly any motivation either.  Look at the Twins.  They're terrible, and the Gophers don't play for like, 100 years.  I don't know.  But I haven't been following any sports too closely the last few days/weeks, so let me look around and see if I see anything interesting. And I better hurry too, because it looks like Mrs. W is cracking the book open again.

- Because right now I can't possibly summon the will to blog about the Twins but I know I should at least try to start with something local I suppose we could discuss the Vikings' NFL draft.  Obviously everyone knew Kalil was the guy the whole time and the Vikings did quite well to get three extra picks to move down a spot and still get their guy, especially because it turns out nobody else was remotely interested in moving down to that spot so suck it Cleveland.  That safety they moved up to get at the end of the second round sounds pretty cool too since I heard somebody say there were really only two good safeties and they moved up to get one of them.

As far as the draft after that I am willing to admit I don't have a clue and if you know a whole lot about the rest of who they picked you should be embarrassed.  Seriously, anybody who watched more than the first round of that garbage should be forced to take a class on not being a moron.  I bet you're the kind of guy who watched the 3-hour show on ESPN the day the NFL schedule was released.  Seriously you people and your football.  As Jessie Spano once said, "who wants to watch a bunch of barbarians kicking each other's butts"?  Ok I'm not quite there because I enjoy watching football, but the obsession in this country makes me realize why Nickelback and Olive Garden are so popular.  Oh, and blood sausage.  People like blood sausage.

Seriously, people are morons.  Why do you think they end up making money at the end of Field of Dreams?  Because people get in their cars and drive to Iowa without knowing why to pay money to stare at a ball field full of players they can't see?  Everyone always says the ending of that movie (wanna have a catch?) is so great but it just pisses me off.

-  NBA Playoffs are up and running and since that's the best time to watch the NBA I might as well comment, even though we're only a couple games into round 1.  And obviously it's super lame with the Dwight Howard fake back injury and the Derrick Rose ACL because the Heat are going to just waltz into the Finals.  You can try to talk yourself into the Celtics, especially if you're Bill Simmons, but it's looking like they're going to struggle to even get past the Hawks and I just don't see them mounting any serious challenge to the Heat, nor anyone else in the East.  Which I guess is good in a way, because what's better than rooting against a villain?  There's something very satisfying about watching LeBron make it to the finals again and lose.

Who will he be playing is the question?  Going into the playoffs I'd have said Oklahoma City and I don't see any reason to change that prediction.  I'm not ready to say they're ready to be the champs quite yet but going against the defending champs and winning a couple of close games is the way to get there, even if the defending champs don't have Tyson Chandler anymore who is a complete stud pimp.  But really I can see any team other than the Jazz ending up coming out of the West.

The Nuggets would probably be the least likely and it'll be tough for them to get past the Lakers, but Ty Lawson is all crazy good now all of a sudden and this late season emergence of Kenneth Faried make them interesting (and am I the only one who finds "Manimal" a little bit racist?  Anyone?  No?  Let me guess you think the gorillas in the barnyard weren't racist either.)   Every other team at least has a shot, and the Spurs have the #1 seed, a collection of second round picks, and are supposedly the favorite but that just seems weird because Tim Duncan is a hundred years old and kind of a poofer.  I almost feel like I'm going to have to root for the Lakers because I don't know who else can beat the Heat.  But what if the Heat played the Lakers?  Who would I root for?  It would be like choosing between my two kids.  Actually, do you have two kids under the age of 4?  Because I'm totally lying, it would be almost exactly like picking between my two kids.

-  I just did 36 push-ups.  Suck it.

-  Who grounds out to second base more than Mauer?  Nobody, that's who.  Is there a way to look this up?  I'd do it but I'm running out of time.

-  Seriously question though, do you think when Marky Mark goes home for like, Thanksgiving dinner he just teases the shit out of Donnie?  I mean really?  Rizzoli and Isles? Blue Bloods?  Zookeeper for fucks sake?  Those are the last three things on his imdb list.  When Marky makes a bad flick it's something like  Contrabrand (made $66 million) or Date Night ($98m) which at least makes money, and he's getting nominated for awards along the way.  Donnie was just in a TV movie with Brian Dennehy who I'm pretty sure is dead.  Really, I bet when they get together for Christmas everybody gets drunk and Mark starts wadding up and throwing hundred dollar bills at Donnie's head and at first Donnie wants to fight but then he realizes if he keeps sitting there and taking it eventually he's going to get his rent paid so he just takes it and then he ends up making Marky Mark a sandwich.

-  Gotta go