April 30, 2006

Sunday Evening Static

Remember that scene in "High Fidelity" when Jack Black's character spots John Cusack's choice of wardrobe and in a quintessentially bizarre Jack Black voice refers to the horrendous shirt as a "Cosby sweater"? Well, with that in mind, I have a new term to add to the lexicon: The Kobe Sweater. Did anyone else happen to catch the footage of Kobe at Sunday's postgame press conference? He was sporting a beige, sleeveless V-neck sweater over a button down. He made a comment during the press conference about how he and some of his teammates aged 10 to 15 years during Sunday's thriling OT win over Phoenix...well, wearing that sweater made him age about 25 to 30 years. Horrendous. Without a doubt one of the dorkiest sweaters I've ever seen on a pro athlete, or on a human for that matter.

Am I being a bit harsh on Kobe at this precise moment? Okay, probably so. But I'm guessing his ego is soaring pretty high after his last second jumper in Game 4, so I think making fun of his clothing is justified if not completely necessary to take him down a notch.

As a side note, I once peed in the same bathroom as Jack Black. He was using the urinal, I chose the stall. Didn't want to pull up next to him at the urinal and get caught with stagefright. If I had it to do over, I'd walk up to the urinal next to him and engage him in conversation to see if I could psyche him out and force him to cut off his stream prematurely.
Now that I've clearly gone one step too far on that topic, we switch gears:

-Take a look at this section of the play-by-play from Friday night's Giants-D'Backs game:

K. Frandsen singled to center
R. Winn singled to right, K. Frandsen to third
R. Winn stole second

Aside from the strangely irritating last name of the Giants' second baseman (Frandsen), something stands out about this. First and third, Barry Bonds at the plate, and Randy Winn steals second. I'm not sure what I think of that move -- you're basically taking the bat out of Bonds' hands, but you're also most likely loading up the bases when he's intentionally walked. What would you rather have -- Bonds up with first and third, or Moises Alou up with the bases full? In this particular case, the D'Backs pitched to Bonds for some reason and he got a hit and an RBI, but in most cases stealing second guarantees he gets intentionally walked. I guess you have to be aggressive and take whatever bases you can because that's the right way to play the game, but when Bonds is in peak form he's such a game-altering force that you have to reconsider the way the game is played. And I think there's something to be said for staying on first base to maximize the chances the opposing team gives him something to hit.

-In closing, I present you with my thoughts on the Minnesota Timberwolves at slamonline.com.

April 25, 2006

Operation Crack Rock

Ever hear a piece of news that really should be kind of stunning just because it's so serious in nature but in actuality is not surprising in the least because of who it involves?

Well, along those lines, Derek Bell -- the man who brought us "Operation Shutdown" and famously lived on a boat during his stint as a New York Met -- apparently smokes crack rocks. That is, assuming that you, like me, believe that being found with a still warm crack pipe in one's car is appropriate reason to infer that the individual in question was making like Pookie in "New Jack City" and French kissing the proverbial glass dick. Gross image? Yes, well, crack is foul business, my friends. (Or so I hear.)

At any rate, you can bet that in light of this news I have taken down all of my Derek Bell posters (of which I have none). And my son (who does not exist) will no longer be playing with Derek Bell Starting Lineup action figures.

On a completely unrelated side note, in the process of Google News searching for "Derek Bell crack," I came across a headline in the Ottawa Sun that read, "Ex-Jay Bell Found with Crack Pipe," which immediately made me think of Jay Bell being caught with a crack pipe, which for some reason made me happy. Which is as good of a sign as any that it's time to end this particular topic of discussion.
-Good to see the Nets win Game 2. Add the Pacers to the short list of teams (Spurs included) that I don't want to see advance any further. The starting lineup including Jeff Foster, Stephen Jackson and Anthony Johnson (along with Jermaine O'Neal and Danny Granger, who I do like watching) has to be the least intriguing of any playoff squad.

-Just watched Barry Bonds hit his second dinger of the year live and basically limp into the dugout after the slowest trot in history as though he had been peppered with buckshot in the right leg. In between innings he disappeared into the clubhouse and somewhat surprisingly returned to play left in the top of the third. The magic of ibuprofen never ceases to amaze!

April 20, 2006

Thursday Ponderances

Some random thoughts as I daydream about being reincarnated as Josh Smith:

-Glorious baseball experience yesterday. Set out for Shea Stadium at noon from downtown Manhattan. Four hours and five minutes later I was home. In that time frame, I saw a lightning-quick (two hour) 2-1 Braves win from $50 field level seats scalped at face value. Aside from the fact that Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria, Marcus Giles, Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd sat out, the game had everything you could want -- brilliant pitching from Tim Hudson and Tom Glavine, a prodigious Andruw Jones homer, a glorious outfield assist from Braves' left fielder Matt Diaz and, best of all, Mets fans were quite salty with the outcome. As I was walking out of the park on my way to the 7 train, a guy drove by in an SUV and asked the score. When I replied that the Braves had won 2-1, he screamed, "Fuckers! Atlanta sucks!" On this day at least, the Braves were still kings of the NL East.

-Have any of you out there discovered the glory of MLBTV.com? A better 80 dollars you probably will not spend. Well, actually, that's not true. I can think of a number of better ways to spend your money, including (but not limited to) purchasing a fleet of gerbils, dressing them up in aviator jackets and helmets and launching them from one of those water balloon catapults while playing the soundtrack from "Top Gun." But MLBTV is pretty great -- for a mere 8,214 Sri Lankan Rupees you can watch every single Major League game on your computer. And -- shhhhh -- multiple people can use the same password to log on and watch games at the same time.

-I'm going upstate for a bachelor party this weekend. I don't think I realized that people went upstate for much of anything other than going to prison. Hopefully the bachelor party will not have too many similarities to the prison experience.

-In what may or may not become a recurring feature on this site, I bring you: Ask the T9 Dictionary, in which I type in a word to my cell phone's automatic speller and in return it gives me complete nonsense. Today's word: Karaoke. T9 says: "Japanle." Thank you, T9!

-Would anyone out there disagree that Dwayne Schintzius' mullet is truly one of the most disastrously wonderful hairdos of all time?

-Speaking of miserable haircuts, soon-to-be NFL QB Jay Cutler's hair is about on par with the chop jobs my dad used to give me when I was eight. Seriously, Jay -- do something about that. Also -- you should look into purchasing jaycutler.com if you can. The other Jay Cutler is kind of making you look bad.

April 19, 2006

It's Only April

Last night I overheard a couple of baseball fans talking at a bar, and one said to the other: "I think your boys [the Mets] are going to win 100 games this year." Said baseball fan then went on to explain how the rest of the division is so weak that this is finally the year that the Mets just beat up on everyone.

Without being able to put my obvious biases aside as a Braves fan, for this dude and every other overzealous Mets fan on the planet, I have a few words. Most notably: Calm down, and act like you've been there before. The entire city of New York is abuzz about the Mets, which is great -- except that they've played the majority of their games against the toe jam of the National League (Marlins and Nationals). Excitement is great, but it's also annoying when clearly unwarranted. Particularly to those of us who want the Mets to fail.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I must run -- off to Shea, where first pitch of Mets-Braves is in one hour, 26 minutes.
But first, a couple of thoughts:

-Buried in this article about the shooting of Julius Hodge is a tidbit about Earl Boykins' recent rehab from injury, during which he has been playing tennis. Does the image of Earl Boykins playing tennis strike anyone else as funny? Not that short people can't play tennis, but for some reason I picture him out there with a giant racket running around like a maniac. Come to think of it, Earl is probably pretty tough on the tennis court, being that he's one of the quickest humans on the planet.

-And now some words about one of the craziest humans not on the planet, but at the very least in the NBA: Gilbert Arenas.

Full report on Mets-Braves to follow, unless of course the Braves get demolished and I decide to weep into a pillow instead.

April 13, 2006

Thoughts on Bearded Spurs and Other Oddities

Because I feel incapable of and uninclined towards giving this post a coherent theme, I give you more random thoughts:

-You know it's a grueling close to the season in San Antonio when Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Brent Barry, Robert Horry and Sean Marks are having a beard-growing contest. Apparently Duncan and Marks have bowed out, which surprises me. I would have thought Marks would be so happy to be included in any kind of team-related activity aside from practice that he would have grown a facial accompaniment that would make God jealous. But obviously I know very little about this sort of thing.

-On the subject of things I know very little about, someone recently re-enacted Game 6 of the '86 World Series on the old Nintendo game RBI Baseball, complete with Vin Scully on the play-by-play. To say that this guy had a smidge of free time on his hands would be an understatement. But rather well done nonetheless.

-Here's a question: Is there ever an instance in which the words "new age" should not be immediately followed by "bullshit"?

-As I continue to ponder just how valuable King Leo was to the Braves all of these years, it has crossed my mind that the biggest problem for the currently horrendous Braves' pitching staff is the psychological loss of not having Leo around. Because with Mazzone's new Orioles currently sporting a 5.06 team ERA, it's not like he's exactly working miracles there yet. So I suppose what I'm saying is that the Braves pitchers need to quit being a bunch of Nancy Boys (should that be capitalized?), stop worrying about the loss of their beloved, mustachioed pitching guru and start focusing more on getting some outs before new pitching coach Roger McDowell is verbally bludgeoned beyond recognition by the no longer friendly citizens of Atlanta.

-In closing, I leave you with my thoughts on Elton Brand's MVP candidacy at SLAMOnline.com.

April 10, 2006

Donnie Mac's Parking Tix, Stevie's Mom, Dirk's Little Secret and More

Some thoughts from a random day in April:

-Big news from the day: It's been announced that according to DNA tests, Duke lacrosse players aren't tied to the rape of a stripper (yeah, we're starting out on a heavy note today). Perhaps it's just my resistance to front-page news, but am I the only one who doesn't really care that much about this story? Not to belittle what may or may not have happened and any suffering that may or may not have been caused, but I just don't find anything remotely redeeming to take away from this particular tale.

-Keeping it on a similar tip, I'm going to channel T.O. for a moment here and say this: Donovan, you're pathetic. Contesting a $256 fine for parking in a handicapped spot? How does this possibly make you look good? (McNabb and teammate Jeremiah Trotter were found guilty and ordered to pay fines). Whether or not you think you did it, you have more money than Joe Johnson (well, actually...you might have less than JJ, but you get the point) -- just pay the thing! The whole ordeal probably goes away and no one hears a peep of it. But by pleading not guilty all you do is call attention to the fact that your vehicle was parked in a handicapped spot, which is -- in a word -- not classy. I've gotten more parking tickets than Newman in my days on this earth, but this performance puts The White Whale to shame.

-On a similarly morbid note, but at least starting to transition towards the absurd: Steve Francis has likened the pain of the Knicks' season to the death of his mother. But then again, this is a man so dramatic he refused to play in Vancouver, which is by all accounts one of the great cities in the world. So I suppose we shouldn't take him too seriously. Whatever the case, good times in Knick land. At least Jamal Crawford is having fun.

-In a decidedly happier and more amusing piece of news, Dirk Nowitzki has a secret.

-And on an upbeat note I simply could not top if I tried, linked below is a video montage of people dunking on/swatting Shawn Bradley over the years. I particularly like the title: "Shawn Bradley, NBA Bitch." Well put. Was that a Robert Pack sighting? And better yet, I think I have found Ed O'Bannon's finest NBA moment. Now this is therapeutic.