Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball!

I fully understand the logic that there are 161 games left in the season and nothing that happened today has any bearing on what will happen in October (unless a race is decided by one game). However, I could not care less about this logic and say that there are some definitive truths we can take away from Opening Day: God hates the Yankees, the Cubs may go another 100 years, and the Mets will win it all, being three of the more prominent ones.

I watched four games on Opening day: Royals at Tigers, Giants at Dodgers, Angels at Twins, and Astros at Padres. Besides hating the Dodgers, I don't really care about any of these teams, but it's baseball, so who cares? I did notice quite a few things from around the league.

-It really is amazing that someone named Reggie Willits is white.
-The Johan Santana trade is going to be very good for both teams. Santana threw a 7-inning, 3-hitter for a 7-2 win for the Mets. Carlos Gomez was 2 for 3 with 2 steals and 2 runs scored in a 3-2 win for the Twins.
-There's always next year for the Cubs. This season marks the 100th anniversary of their last World Series win. They are a National League favorite. They opened at home against Divisional rival Milwaukee. Everything seemed great: Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Marmol combined for a 9-innings of shutout ball, and their franchise hero Kerry Wood came in in the 9th to hold the Brewers so the vaunted offense could win it in the 9th. Let's just say that after Wood's first game as a closer, his ERA is 27.00. Cubs came back to tie in in the bottom of the 9th, only to lose in the 10th. Could any single pre-All Star Game loss have been more painful?
-CBS news anchor Paul Magers said today that being a Cubs fan is like having a chronic illness.
-Miguel Cabrera is absolutely huge and is no longer a cute little chubby kid. Good trade Marlins, thank you.
-I feel bad for Reds fans. They hired Dusty Baker which means they are not going to win much (as though there was any question about that anyway). But at least that gets him off my TV all summer.
-Tom Glavine paid for his sabotage of the Mets by returning to the damned Braves and launching them towards an 0-2 start. Glavine only made it 5 innings and the Braves lost in the 13th inning. My favorite non-Met Xavier Nady went 4 for 7 with 2 home runs, 4 runs scored and 4 rbi. The Braves may not win a game this year.
-I am not sure which big-time pitcher I am more happy the Mets missed out on: Darren Driefort or Barry Zito. The Giants may not win a game this year either and I am not even kidding this time (sorry Josh).
-What stopped the Yankees from their magnificent final Opening Day in the House the Ruth Built? God. The game rained out. God hates the Yankees.
-Scott Schoeneweis and Jorge Sosa prevented two inherited runners from scoring. And they faced the other team's 3 and 4 hitters. But it was the Marlins' 3 and 4 hitters. But still! Mets win World Series.
-I hate the guy with the speed gun at Dodger games with the white hat. Screw that guy.
-The NY Giants were back at the Giants' facilities today after nearly two months off. The last two months have been a perfect storm of sports happiness for me: Giants win best Super Bowl of all time, USD upsets St. Mary's, Gonzaga and UConn, Mets win opener. Sure the Mets game is less important but after last September/October, I will never take a win for granted again.

I have lots of things to say about the Dodgers' Coliseum debacle, but no time. My last shift (during which I generally shirked my duties, as this posting attests to) at CBS is over and I am going home. But seriously, if you're hiring, email me. Seriously. No joke.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March Naptime Is Here

Whatever happened to the Tourney being interesting?

The opening weekend was pretty good - a few good upsets and lots of tight games, especially in the second round. Then this weekend has been blowout after blowout, with higher seeds winning every game but Davidson's Sweet 16 game. Memphis took the mystery out of this morning's game in the first five minutes, and there is pretty good reason to think that Kansas will romp over Davidson (although lots of teams thought they were going to romp on Davidson).

So we are all set for the first ever all-1 seed Final Four which should provide some great games. I hope. If Howland can't find a way to keep Memphis from getting a lead, all the crappy foul shooting in the world won't keep the Bruins in the game. And if Memphis shoots free throws like they shot against Texas - goodnight Tournament. Kansas and North Carolina could be an absolute classic.

Is anyone else tired of Calipari saying his 1-seed, 1-loss, formerly #1 nationally ranked team is under-appreciated? I know he is making all these "they're mentally tough; their mechanics are good" comments so his kids will start to believe it is true. But why do I have to hear it all the time?

And why do I have to hear all the TV and radio experts talk about what a lights-out shooter and phenomenal athlete and pure scorer Stephen Curry is. They all say he may be the best sophomore in the country and should be in the conversation for the Wooden Award. They say Davidson is a true threat to the NCAA's royalty. They say all this as though anyone who thinks otherwise is a slack-jawed moron.

Where were these experts two weeks ago? Where were they when Davidson (a top 25 team) drew a 10-seed? I don't remember a single person saying they had been robbed and were underrated. I remember people saying they'd beat Gonzaga - they were a sexy first round upset pick. But what about the second round? Or third? Everyone talks about them like they always believed, but most of these people couldn't have named what state they're from, let alone who their star player was.

Not that I saw this coming either, but why do the experts always have to pretend to be experts? When will one of them go on TV and say, "I don't know where they came from, and I don't know how they're doing it."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

American League Predictions

A few days ago I made my predictions for the National League Division winners and playoffs. So far, all of my predictions are right. Despite that the American League is stupid, here are my AL picks:

AL West: Mariners - The Angels are the presumptive favorites, but their pitching is a little banged up right now. Granted, there may still be time left in the season for them to heal up, the Halos seem to have lost the winning edge they had in previous years. Plus, I hate Garrett Anderson. The Mariners may have the deepest rotation in baseball after adding Carlos Silva and Eric Bedard. The A's simply cannot win anything because of moneyball. The Rangers can't win because they're the Rangers. 90-72.

AL Central: Cleveland - Did anyone notice that the Indians won the most games in baseball last year, didn't win the World Series and then returned basically the entire team, now angry and hungry? So the Tigers added that fat third baseman and one of the most overrated pitchers in history. Dontrelle Willis had one great year. He was 10-15 last year, but on a bad team that doesn't tell much. His 5.17 ERA and career high in hits, walks, runs, earned runs, ERA, and home runs in 2007 don't bode well now that he is in the better offensive league.

AL East: Who cares? I am sick of the American League East. Screw the Yankees. Screw the Red Sox. Screw the rest of them for never being remotely good.

Wild Card: Whoever is second in the East.

ALDS: I don't care.
ALDS: I don't care.
ALCS: I don't care.

World Series: Mets over some poor, sad American League team in 4. Mets score a World Series record run total and hold the AL to no runs.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dodgers vs. Red Sox at the Coliseum: Enjoy!

115,000 tickets have been sold to the Dodger-Red Sox exhibition game at the L.A. Coliseum tomorrow. There are a lot of stupid people in this city.

Being a preseason game, neither team is very likely to play their starters for more than 4 innings. The Dodgers will likely start Esteban Loaiza (good news for Sox fans!) since this is the last day before the season starts, and they start with the top of their rotation that day. Of course the Red Sox are in the same situation, and we will likely see Lester or Wakefield (good news for Dodgers fans).

And if the game is close and winds up tied, it will stay that way since it is the day before the season and they won't play to win even if it is a record crowd and some of them paid $400+ to be there.

Not there for the game, but the spectacle: I will give you that. Seeing baseball played in one of the world's great stadiums is pretty cool. And the photos and video I have seen look pretty cool…until you have to use the bathroom at the coliseum and you begin to wonder if Julius Caesar used the same bathroom 2000 years ago. Or if you have get hungry or thirsty along with 114,999 of your sweatiest fellow Angelenos.

Of course, you can always leave early if it gets bad. But then you paid $40 to park in someone's front yard for only an hour or two. And you never know if there will be an engine left when you get back to the car. Of course you could always take the subway and a bus or two. That's convenient. You can park at Dodger Stadium for free and take a free shuttle. But then you have to wait on the shuttle lines to get back to the car and then you get to enjoy the world famous Dodger Stadium exit-traffic.

And you will miss the Louisville vs. North Carolina game. Enjoy.


Overheard in the sports newsroom at CBS as Davidson cruised to a 15-point lead with 8-minutes to go against Wisconsin: Guy: Dude, you still think Davidson's gonna lose? Other Guy: No, but I think you're a tool.

Simple. Elegant. Well played.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

UCLA vs. Western Kentucky

The second week of the Tourney strikes again. UCLA was up by 21 at half over the last of the Cinderellas - Western Kentucky - before scraping together a surprising close win.

Davidson can't be considered a Cinderella because although they have pulled off two upsets, they were nationally ranked entering the Tournament. Anyone who didn't see this coming, or at least didn't see the Gonzaga win coming, should have.

And Villanova plays in the Big East which eliminates them from the Cinderella ranks, as far as I am concerned.

While it is too bad to see Brazelton and Co. go, I was glad this game was not close early on because I thought there was no way CBS would air the second half of it. That meant we would get to watch the other game which had Jay Bilas and Dick Enberg announcing, rather than Vern Lundquist and Bill Raftery. Trading Lundquist (who only blows by association) and Raftery (who is basically Vic the Brick Jacobs without the certifiable insanity and awkward and possibly dangerous man-crush on Kobe Bryant) for Bilas and Enberg (who are both charming, eloquent and intelligent) is like trading Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol.

Fantasy sports makes us root for these types of strange things sometimes. "Come on Mariano - no earned runs, but blow the save anyway." But rooting for strange occurrences so you get to listen to a different announcing crew is an NCAA Tournament staple.

UCLA's defense truly is spectacular when they are on. I don't know the stats at halftime but a few minutes to go in the first half, UCLA was up 30-15 and Western Kentucky was shooting 4 for 22. I swear they had not taken a single shot without a hand in their faces. Between that, Love's outlet passes and magical nose for lose balls, and Daren "the One-Man Press Break" Collison, I don't see UCLA losing. Yes, they have struggled in their three wins, but they just get it done.

Western Kentucky's Brazelton is a spectacular player won't likely get any NBA looks, but he is brutal. He single-handedly carried them in their opening round upset of Drake. Then he got USD's Brandon Johnson and the great Darren Collison to foul out trying to keep up with him. He doesn't take bad shots, he doesn't play out of control, and as John Wooden would appreciate, he plays fast but not in a hurry.

I was a little torn at halftime because MTV-HD was airing the U2: Rattle and Hum documentary. I admit I turned off UCLA long enough to watch "Bad" with the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" mixed in. But that will be on again, and thus can't compete with live sports once they came back from halftime.

Speaking of live sports, I got to watch the Mets take the Braves to the woodshed this morning on ESPN. It was my first Mets game of the year. They played about 3 starters (No Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Delgago, Alou, or Beltran) and crushed the Braves starting 8. That made me happy.

I was set to do an American League season breakdown today, but I realized I don't really care about the American league. I will get to it before the North American portion of the season starts.

I was very surprised that CBS stuck with the UCLA-WKU game after halftime since it seemed like a blowout and the other game was close. Boy, did that decision turn out to be prescient! WKU crawled back in and trailed by just 4, fouled Collison out and got four fouls on Shipp and Westbrook, why Louisville wound up crushing Tennessee.

Nonetheless, when they returned with that 21-point UCLA game, I wonder in how many households did the following conversation took place:
Her: This is over. Come on, turn on the figure skating championships.
Him: There is another game. They'll switch.
Her: We watched like 50 games last weekend.
Him: It's the Tournament! Plus, how many world championships do they have in figure skating?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

National League Predictions

While I do not recognize the Red Sox and A's two game miniseries as part of the regular season because it took place in the wrong hemisphere, Baseball is basically here. ESPN has the Season Opener on Saturday night, many teams play Sunday and everyone is in by Monday. My fantasy league has drafted, Sports Illustrated has released their Major League Baseball preview (though I haven't received it because my mailman steals things), and Mark Prior is injured. So it's time to look at the season ahead.

It would have been fun to make 86 predictions for the upcoming season, in honor of the 1986 Mets, but who has time for that? Plus, I'd end up having to start predicting some really obscure, pointless facts (like by how many games the Dodgers miss the playoffs - 6+). So I will stick to the stuff that matters, first the National League:

NL East: Mets - The offense will be decent, not a juggernaut like the last few years were expected to be. But the pitching will be stellar. Pedro is the new 14-15 win, 4.00-4.50 Pedro, but that is fine for a #4 starter. John Maine is a front line starter now despite that he was undrafted in my fantasy league (I promptly dumped Todd Helton for him). Perez was a consistent and consistently good throughout 2007. No reason to think he won't be again. El Duque will be El Middle Reliever. Pelfrey is the #5 and will be good for 10-15 wins depending on run support. Santana is the best pitcher in baseball and he is going to a pitcher's park in a pitcher's league. ERA will be sub 3.00 and he'll win 20 and the Cy Young. The starters are conservatively good for 70 wins. An average relief staff can scrape together 25 more, and this isn't an average staff. 95-67

NL Central: Cubs - Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill are a solid starting three, plus Leiber, Marquis and Demptster will fill out the rotation. Their offense is very good with Ryan Theriot and Alfonso Soriano leading off, and Fukodome may be fantastic (or he may be Kaz Matsui). The Central generally stinks and this team will feast on the biggest, weakest division. 97-65

NL West: Giants - Just kidding. Diamondbacks - No team in the league has the front-line starting pitching of the DBacks. The Dodgers are the sexy pick, with all these young guys and especially with Torre, but I don't buy it. They were a fourth place team last year. They have no track record of success, and are known more for choking late that anything else. Is Torre enough of a motivator to fix it? Perhaps. But what have the Yankees been known for of late? Choking. The Rockies were magical but there is simply no way that every single player has a career year again. It took a 20+ game win streak to get them to the postseason (and through most of the postseason) can't rely on that. The Padres have Mark Prior. The Dbacks are like a secret out there in Phoenix. But Brandon Webb and Dan Haren are a lights out 1-2 combo with Micah Owings and The Old Unit bringing up the rear. Upton, Young and Byrnes may be the best defensive outfield in baseball. The West is very even and the win totals will be low (thus hurting their Wild Card chances). 92-70

NL Wild Card: Braves - It was fun while it lasted, the Braves are good again. Chipper doesn't need to be the man with Tiexiera there and Andruw Jones is gone which is the best thing they could hope for in the off season. Glavine will probably turn into Nolan Ryan since he was a saboteur on the Mets the whole damned-time anyway. Smoltz is Smoltz. Hudson is awesome. Chuck James is decent. Hampton sucks but he'll get hurt so he won't hurt the team. Kelly Johnson, Mark Kotsay, Larry Jones, Mark Tiexiera, Matt Diaz, Brian McCann Jeff Franceour is a tough top 7. Their pitching is either too old or too young to match up with the Mets, but they will hover around the 90-win mark. 90-72

NLDS: Cubs over Braves in 6 - Zambrano beats Hudson twice. Chipper flops. Soriano strikes out at curve balls a lot. Tiexiera is a one man show, but the Cubs balanced offense eats up the tired, old Braves pitching.

NLDS: Mets over DBacks in 4 - Santana throws four perfect games in the series, David Wright pulls a Carlos Beltran and hits 7 home runs.

NLCS: Mets over Cubs in 7 - Cubs go up 3 games to none. Steve Bartman, wearing a Jim Kelly helmet, black socks, a Babe Ruth jersey, Brian Leetch's skates, Arizona Cardinals shoulder pads, Jim Brown's costume gun from The Dirty Dozen, and Turk Wendell's necklace, brings a copy of Madden, a Sports Illustrated with Kerry Wood on the cover, and a billy goat to game 4 so all curses can be broken simultaneously and the universe gets angry. Mets win four straight.

I will have the AL winners and World Series champ (take a guess) soon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baseball's Opening Night

Opening Day is not happening in Major League Baseball this year. Or it already did...kinda.

Opening Day in baseball has always been a great spectacle. For whatever reason, there is more excitement about it than there seems to be in other sports. I suppose that it is that 6 months from now, you may be pissed off about the whole thing, but for today, you are in first place. Even the Rays. "Next year" is always "this year" on opening day.

I understood why they moved the first game away from Cincinnati. Having it be a rematch of the World Series winner's LCS was a great idea. I never understood why teams would play a game and then sit a day and then finish the opening series, but I can deal with's logistics - they have to finish the series on Thursday so the next one can start on Friday.

That had become a fun tradition. But this year, Major League Baseball took this American spectacle to Japan and played the opening game at 3 a.m. Pacific time. I could have forgiven them the move to Japan had the game been played at a watchable hour here (like the NFL did with the London game last year). But instead, the league basically gave their entire American fan base the finger, and told us to deal with it.

My frustration has nothing to do with being a "purist" or "traditionalist." I am fine with playing games in other countries. But the U.S. fans got screwed on this one.

If the game had been played at 10 a.m. in Japan (admittedly a bit early for a day game, but still a reasonable hour), it would have been at 6 p.m. in Oakland and 9 p.m. in Boston (the home cities of the teams involved).

What makes it even more maddening is that the league essentially admitted how stupid this all is with the rest of the scheduling this week. Both the Red Sox and A's will return to the States and play more Spring Training games before re-starting the remainder of their regular season schedule!

Had these Japanese games been exhibition games, the league wouldn't have lost anything. They'd get their international outreach. They'd get the Daisuke Matsuzaka-media frenzy in Japan. They would have sold out the games still. They would have sold the TV rights still. But they wouldn't have alienated their American fans.

Good thing Bud Selig got his contract extended again. What a great job he's done!


For the past few months, I have written a daily sports column on and have now brought it over here. I will continue to write daily as long as I am inspired to, especially being that this is the best time of year for sports (NCAA Tourney, NBA and NHL playoffs and MLB is starting).

That this is my own site and I don't have bosses looking over my shoulder, so I will be able to stray from the sports world as well, which is good because let me tell you, it is not easy to write on the same topic day after day and keep it moderately interesting.

I now have the ability to add polls, slide shows, photos and videos directly to my babbling, so maybe that will make things more interesting. You can also post comments to what you read/see here.

You can search for old posts directly on this site, so if you want to find something you read before, use the search bar. You can also email posts to friends when you want to point out to your family and friends what a moron I am.

I added an advertisement section to the page, which apparently Google will update with new ads that somehow relate to what the page is about. I don't know how that works, only that I get a penny every time you click (actually, I don't know what I get), so click often.

Don't forget to bookmark this page so you can come back often. If you are on another computer and feel a desperate need to find my page, go to and search my name, or just go to

Oh, and if you're hiring, email me.