March 30, 2007

Rocker in the Free World

Recently received a noteworthy communiqué from our friend Jesse at Whynatte Inc. The Whynatte, in case you haven’t heard, is the beverage sensation that’s sweeping the Eastern and Western seaboards – and pretty much all the territory in between.

A communiqué, in case you are unaware, is an official bulletin or communication.

Writes Jesse:

So, I'm out at a trendy restaurant in Atlanta last night, meeting up with this girl for her birthday celebration. The place is a total meat market; you wouldn't be surprised to see skinned yak dangling on hooks from the ceiling. Picture the cheesiest guys, all investment banker looking fellows in suits, trying to take home 30 year old women with fake racks.

My party is at a table off to the side of the bar, and at the table next to us is none other than John Rocker. Rocker looks like he's been keeping up with his health, but he has a haircut that resembles something out of a 90's rock video. His locks are almost down to his shoulders, with his hair swept back over his head. Pure cheese.

The most ironic part about the John Rocker sighting was the fact that he was sitting down at the table with AN ASIAN DATE. After berating the Asian population in the mass media, John Rocker has decided that while they may not make such good drivers, they make excellent dinner dates.

What's more, I figured that I would brush aside my disdain for John Rocker, and see if I could get a photo of him drinking a Whynatte. Figuring that he would not be so inclined to take a drink from a male stranger, I sent over one of the attractive cohorts that was hanging out with me at my table. Alas, John was somewhat open to the idea of dropping an ice cold shot of Jagermeister into a hot latte, but he was apparently not imbibing on alcohol that evening.

Not sure about the rest of you, but what we found most strange about this story was the part where Rocker showed a great degree of restraint in resisting not only the tempting allure of the Whynatte, but somehow plugged his ears to the siren song of lady alcohol altogether.

We definitely would have pictured Rocker as the kind of guy who would never turn down a drink, and in fact would tell you to hurry up and get him one -- bitch -- right after he asked you why you were drinking such a girlie beer when he saw your Blue Moon with the lemon wedge in it.

But apparently, what we thought to be the case was actually quite wrong.

And somehow, we’ve just been reminded by John Rocker of all people that preconceived notions are quite often incorrect.

March 28, 2007

Breaking News: Extremely Tall Man Marries Much Smaller Woman

Taking a brief diversion from the world of sports, we wanted to bring you the joyous news that the world’s tallest man – 7-foot-9 Inner Mongolian herdsman Bao Xishun has gone ahead and gotten hitched to a woman who is literally half his size (by "literally," we mean "sort of"): 5-foot-6 Xia Shujian.

Actually, who are we kidding, this is definitely sports-related news. He could totally dunk all over her. (That is, if he had any coordination… which he most certainly does not.)

We must admit to a little bit of shock that a 7-foot-9 man is the tallest in the world. Don’t we have any 8-footers out there somewhere lurking in the Siberian foothills? (The Siberian foothills of course being a well-known breeding ground for extraordinarily tall individuals.)

Seriously though, where have you gone, Robert Wadlow?

Wait -- we’re just now receiving word that Robert Wadlow has been dead for 66 years.

That’s embarrassing. Please accept our apologies. We will return to discussing sports-related matters in due course.

Please Hold... We'll Be With You in Just a Moment

Due to our computer suffering an unexpected and rather nasty bout of chondromalacia (the degeneration of cartilage in the knee), we're making some technical upgrades on this end for much of the day. However, we hope to have some new material online before too long, so please be sure to check back.

As always, we thank you for your patience.

March 26, 2007

Please, Call Me Randolph

You may not have heard the news as of yet, but tonight we – or at least those several thousand of us who tune into the Magic-Knicks game – will bear witness to the unveiling of a rather interesting loophole.

Randolph Morris is expected to suit up, and possibly play, for the Knicks.

Why exactly is this interesting? On a surface level, it’s noteworthy because just eight days ago Morris was dropping 22 points on Kansas in a second-round NCAA tourney game.

Which is great because he can turn to his new Knicks teammates and say, “It seems like just the other day I was suiting up for Kentucky,” and actually have it be true.

But this story is compelling for reasons other than the fact that it represents the rare instance that an overused phrase about our perceptions of the passage of time actually makes perfect sense.

It’s also interesting because it represents an instance in which Isiah Thomas may have scored a legitimate coup on the rest of the NBA.

Because while it’s possible that the Knicks were the only team interested in a 6-11, 260-pound first-team All-SEC forward who averaged 16.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.1 bpg this year, it’s more likely that other teams were interested in Morris but either forgot or were completely unaware of the loophole that allowed him to sign with an NBA team immediately. (Morris was a free agent because he already entered the draft back in 2005 but never signed with an agent.)

For a man who has taken on some outrageous contracts in his day (Malik Rose, Penny Hardaway, Steve Francis, etc.), picking up Randolph Morris actually looks like a legitimately savvy move.

And since this is the rare occasion we’re left at a complete loss as to how to say something critical about Isiah Thomas…

…we’ll leave you with this to think about:

If rookie hazing is really anything close to what it’s made out to be (and we’ve heard stories about first-year players having to do everything from buying donuts and carrying luggage to dressing up as a female on road trips), then can we make the intuitive mental leap to assume that Morris – who just weeks ago was living on or near campus in Lexington, eating in the dining hall and pretending to go to class – is in for the hazing to end all hazings?

And if that’s the case, somehow we just have this feeling that Nate Robinson will be prominently involved.

(Hopefully for Randolph Morris’ sake, naked wrestling in the shower will not be on the docket.)


And speaking of guys named Randolph, Trail Blazers forward Zach was recently spotted at a Portland-area strip club while he was on bereavement leave for the shooting death of a friend.

Apparently, Zach was on his way to the airport on Tuesday before catching a red eye flight to his hometown of Marion, Indiana, when he decided to stop by a place called Exotica.

We can only assume that Zach was dropping in to grab a quick bite to eat or a refreshment, which is perfectly understandable. And even if he was going into the gentlemen’s establishment to peer at clothes-less women, who are we to judge? Certain people probably bereave in different ways.

Yet, at the same time, our detective-like mind can’t quite let this one slide. Here’s the problem: Randolph missed the Blazers’ game against Washington that night for purposes of his bereavement.

If he was taking a red eye flight and had time to stop in at the nudie bar on the way to the airport, without knowing exactly what time his plane took off, wouldn’t you think that he might have had time to suit up and play for the team that’s paying him $12 million this year before grabbing a quick shower and running off to catch his jet plane?

Another way to ask the question is: Did the trip to Exotica overlap at all with the time that Randolph would have otherwise been playing hoops?

The answer at this time is unknown, but rest assured that we plan to launch a full-scale investigation into the matter.

And if we do find any indication of impropriety, our punishment will be swift, decisive and severe:

No bereavement-related strip club visits for one month.

March 22, 2007

Restrain Yourself

In what has to rank as one of the most nonsensical sports-related judicial decisions to come down from on high in a long time, Ron Artest has been ordered to stay a minimum of 100 yards away from his wife and children for the foreseeable future.

And for the record, our disapproval of this legal missive has nothing to do with whether or not Artest should or shouldn’t be allowed to have contact with his wife and kids.

What we object to is the distance that the judge chose.

100 yards? Is His/Her Honor not aware that Artest plays basketball and not football? You know the old saying, “The punishment should fit the crime?” Well, when it comes to restraining orders on professional athletes, the punishment should also fit the sport.

Which is to say, Artest should be required to stay a minimum of 94 feet away from his wife and kids, representing the length of the NBA court.

And if 94 feet isn’t enough for all of you who would point out that 100 yards is almost three times that much, we’ll make it 4700 square feet (94 times 50, the dimensions of the NBA court). Are you happy now? If we’ve got a 4700-foot square (or rectangle) of restrainment hovering around Ron Artest with him standing at the center of the thing, it’s like he’s permanently trapped at the tip-off circle of a giant basketball court with its outer edges providing a protective wall for his family.

Now doesn’t that seem like a more appropriate punishment than the length of one football field?

Additionally, we’d like to propose that Artest get six personal fouls, meaning that if he violates the restraining order six times, he will be disqualified. And by “disqualified,” we mean “sent to Cuba.”

Furthermore, if he complains about the absurdity of these measures while employing any sort of anger, hostility or foul language whatsoever, he will be assessed a technical foul. Two technical fouls will result in an immediate ejection. And by “ejection,” we mean “trade to the Hawks.”

Apologies if these measures seem unduly harsh, but at least they’re basketball relevant.

And as for the judge who originally ordered the ridiculous 100-yard restraining order, we hereby find you in contempt of court.

(There was also an illegal block in the back on the play, but that penalty is declined.)

March 21, 2007

Pac Man's Cry for Help

Some mildly thought-provoking news out of the NFL today – apparently the league is considering preemptively suspending Adam "Pacman" Jones for the entire 2007 season before legal proceedings from a February strip club brawl in Vegas are finished.

Just to clarify, we don’t find this news thought-provoking because we’re fascinated with Pacman as a troubled individual and are interested in how he might get punished for his numerous transgressions.

Rather, we’re fascinated by what he might be doing to the name and reputation of his video game namesake.

Seriously, has a video game company ever considered suing for the rights to the character’s name? Because frankly, Adam Jones is really doing a nice job of sullying the little yellow round guy's otherwise impeccable reputation.

Think about it: The Pac Man we all know, love and occasionally pay tribute to with a 25-cent piece at that one pizzeria in our hometown that has yet to upgrade the video game machine is known for eating copious amounts of power pellets and keeping the world safe from ghosts. (Granted, we don’t know what’s actually in those power pellets – they seem suspiciously like steroids – but otherwise, we can’t find much of anything to convict Pac Man of any sort of offense in the moral court of law… unless it somehow came to light that Ms. Pac Man was under-aged.)

However, his Tennessee Titans namesake is pretty much making current and future generations think that the hungry little round creature is not so much a vigilant and spirited ghost fighter but a self-destructive sociopath.

So why haven’t the creators/owners of Pac Man’s rights taken any action?

If I were to strap on a gorilla suit, call myself Donkey Kong and run through the streets throwing barrels through storefront windows, you can bet your sweet ass I'd be hearing from Atari (or whatever company created that game).

Or at the very least, you can bet that I’d be beaten down and punished by police to the point that I’d probably decide masquerading as Donkey Kong was a bad idea.

But since Pacman Jones is a professional athlete who has the wherewithal (read: money) to escape certain legal troubles, we can’t assume that Johnny Law will appropriately punish him for his transgressions. And we also can’t assume that a one-year suspension will be the most devastating thing ever for a guy who a) already has plenty of money and b) often seems more concerned with what kind of activities he can get into away from the football field.

So at this point, there’s really only one appropriate course of action:

We have to take away his nickname.

Only then can the healing of Adam Jones’ reputation – and perhaps more importantly, the restoration of the real Pac Man’s good name – truly begin.

March 19, 2007

My Dinner with Jose

The OCC and associates deployed to the small desert hamlet of Las Vegas this past weekend in the hopes of observing the March Madness phenomenon in full tilt, with the secondary goals of dropping hand grenades on our livers, bank accounts and sleep cycles.

And by all accounts, the voyage was a resounding success.

But we're not going to sit here and regale you all with tales of blackjack and sports betting conquests and failures, because while there were plenty of each and there are some reasonably entertaining anecdotes, there's nothing you've never heard before/that won't make it seem like we're trying to imitate Bill Simmons – which is quite possibly the last thing on the planet we as a blog would like to do.

Instead, we'll focus on the most unique sports-related event of the weekend, which occurred when we made a pilgrimage to the Mecca of all-you-can-eat American dining, The Buffet at the Bellagio. This place is so outstanding it makes the spread at the Ponderosa look like your young nephew's dookie-filled diaper. (Though, come to think of it, that's how some people might describe the Ponderosa anyways.)

In any case, we embarked on a haj to this sacred dining land in search of such delicacies as Kobe beef.

And much to our surprise, we happened across a very over-sized portion of Jose.

Jose Canseco, that is.

Indeed, when we were escorted to our table – which was nowhere close to the best table in the joint – we realized that we had been placed directly adjacent to a ginormous man who was unmistakably that most famous of confessed juicers, sporting a white jersey with the number 33 on the back, a black cap that looked like a cross between a baseball hat and a railroad conductor's lid and, of course, shades.

To Jose's left was a slightly less gigantic/more svelte/generally more healthy-looking imprint of himself, which, not surprisingly, was the one and only Ozzie Canseco. Joining them at the table were three blonde women of varying degrees of good looks, a few children, and a couple other baseball players, one of whom looked suspiciously like Carney Lansford, though possibly too young to actually be him despite being almost identically mustachioed.

Apparently the five players had just taken part in a baseball match of some kind, because they were all sporting white pants and blue jerseys. (Except for Jose, who oddly was wearing a white jersey for some reason.)

Collectively, those in our group of bystanders did an excellent job of embracing the "act like you've been there before" philosophy, which, in retrospect, is mildly disappointing. The closest we came to being obnoxious was when one among us announced his interest in approaching the two brothers and then turning away from Jose to say, "Ozzie Canseco!!! Can I have your autograph?"

With visions of that particular friend being bludgeoned senseless by four oxen men in the midst of the Bellagio buffet, we managed to talk him out of it.

For the record, don't think for a second that a joke wasn't made about Jose and Co. "juicing" when we saw a large glass of orange juice sitting on the table.

Without a doubt, the strangest part of the whole encounter was when a fan finally approached the Canseco table at the end of their meal, after they had by and large been left alone by everyone in the establishment. Said individual approached Jose and asked him to get in a picture, which he agreed to do.

It was when he stood up to get in the picture that we noticed two things: Firstly, instead of baseball pants (which all of his associates were wearing), Jose was rocking some very tight black spandex compression shorts that were… shall we say… kind of short – about half to two-thirds of the way down the thigh. (Umm... not that we were looking at Jose Canseco's thighs...)

If this wasn't enough, we also happened to notice something odd about his jersey, which was almost entirely unbuttoned all the way to the bottom, made even more bizarre by the fact that he wasn't wearing a shirt underneath. (Umm... not that we were looking at his navel or anything...)

Soon afterwards, the Canseco clan left, and we almost immediately regretted not asking Jose to pose with us for a photo in the classic Bash Brothers pose, a picture we would have had enlarged and framed on our wall for all eternity but will now only have to exist in our imagination. (Note to self: Next time, approach celebrity/former star athlete and be more obnoxious, even if said individual is wearing tight spandex shorts and unbuttoned shirt.)

The following evening – tired, beaten down and essentially ready to implode – we were wandering around Terminal D at McCarran Airport trying to kill one of the six hours we elected to wait for our flight as a means of getting away from the blackjack tables sooner rather than later when a man sitting down in the food court happened to draw our attention.

He was a tall individual wearing jeans and a short-sleeved button down shirt, and we weren't exactly sure why he drew our attention, until a minute later when we realized that he was none other than Jason Richardson of the Golden State Warriors.

For the record, we did not ask him for his autograph or for a picture, because frankly, we were way too exhausted to do so.

Besides, at that point, we were mainly just relieved that his shirt was buttoned all the way up.

March 16, 2007

Please Leave a Message

Apologies for the lack of new posts during the latter part of this week -- we're currently in some city called Las Vegas observing a phenomenon known as "March Madness."

We hope -- nay, expect -- to have some scintillating tales to tell upon our return next week.

Thank you and good day --

The Management

March 14, 2007

The Files are IN the Computer

Since everyone else on is already allocating significant amounts of time and energy to talking NCAA tourney hoops, we’re going to go ahead and avoid that topic for the day.

Though, we did want to remind you to fill out your brackets by no later than Thursday morning, and get them in (along with $20 entry fee) to that douche bag guy in your office who’s suddenly showing motivation and organizational skills for the first time since you’ve known him.

Now, a few thoughts from around the world of sport:


Don’t look now, but the Hawks are winning basketball games. That would be four in a row. And more importantly, that would also be the chances of the Hawks having a high lottery pick evaporating before thousands of our eyes. (If the Hawks’ pick isn’t in the top three, it goes to Phoenix.)

So, Hawks fans (are you all here?), let’s put a hold on those Kevin Durant ATL jerseys and simply enjoy the fact that Josh Smith is currently playing like a hungry and agitated Gremlin – in the Hawks’ first seven games in March, he’s averaged 21.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg and 3.3 blocks.

Many moons ago, during the 2004-05 season, this site’s predecessor ( compared J-Smoove to Andrei Kirilenko, which at the time was very high praise for the young Hawk.

But now, Kirilenko – whose game has strangely evaporated this season (8.5 ppg through 56 games) – should relish any and all comparisons to Josh Smith, who may not have a wife who allows him to sleep with one random woman per year (as Kirilenko does), but currently does the best Kirilenko impersonation of anyone in the league (Kirilenko included).

(By the way, that sound you hear is every grammar teacher we’ve ever had inducing vomiting at the sight of that last run-on sentence.)


In a feature story on Indians’ center fielder Grady Sizemore, who is quickly going from “deeply underrated player” to “guy everyone’s suddenly heard of and can’t stop saying good things about,” we learned two factoids we didn’t already know:

1) Sometimes, Sizemore talks to himself;

2) he owns a blue, four-door 1966 Lincoln Convertible.

To quote Owen Wilson’s character of Ken Hutchinson from Starsky & Hutch, “Your stock just went up in my book, my friend.”


Lastly, before clicking on an article about Eric Gagne’s comeback from elbow and back surgeries (a story with a clever lead that talked about Gagne throwing “well into the 90’s” and then explaining that he was throwing to guys wearing jerseys numbered 96 and 98), we happened upon a current photo of Gagne, and did an immediate double-take.

Dude looks eerily like the Evil DJ character from Zoolander, as played by Justin Theroux.

We can’t be sure, but we have to guess that the resemblance between these two is purely coincidental.

Even so, all we can think about now is Gagne entering Rangers’ games in the 9th inning this year to the song “Relax” that the Evil DJ was using to trigger Derek Zoolander’s assassin training to make him kill the prime minister of Malaysia.

Would this not have outstanding comedic value to any and all Zoolander fans in attendance at Rangers' games on any given night? And furthermore, any fans who haven't seen Zoolander would just assume based on the lyrics that it was time to "relax," because Gagne is so lights out that there's absolutely no need to worry about him giving up the lead.

So, it's agreed then: Eric Gagne will hereto forth be referred to as the "Evil DJ," and the Rangers' P.A. operator will be compelled to play "Relax" not only while Gagne's walking in from the bullpen, but for the entire duration of his stay on the mound, speeding up the song to a more and more frenetic pace (as is done during the pivotal scene in Zoolander) with each successive pitch thrown.

Glad we were able to work that out.

March 12, 2007

Shall We Dance?

Let’s get this out in the open right now – we have absolutely no wisdom to offer as to how to properly fill out this year’s NCAA tourney bracket, or any NCAA bracket for that matter. In fact, we're actually considering filling out our bracket by flipping a coin, blindfolded, while playing Russian Roulette.

The truth of the matter is, we haven’t really felt like we had much of anything resembling a clue since we correctly picked Kentucky to win it all back in ’96.

Actually, that needs to be rephrased: We always think we have a clue as to what we’re doing, but it just so happens that our clues are more often than not terribly misguided.

However, not wanting to be completely useless, we have painstakingly perused the tournament field and come up with a series of thoughts and observations that should enlighten the mind and dazzle the imagination.

(Or if not all that, they might at least be good for a laugh or two.)

Here’s what we discovered:

Gonzaga may not be quite as good as in years past, but the Zags still have ample entertainment value.

First, consider the team’s senior point guard, Derek Raivio, who’s listed at 6-3, 177 and looks like he’s about seven months shy of his 15th birthday. Honestly, this guy looks like Macauley Culkin might have resembled had he gone on to a normal adolescence instead of... well, going on to an abnormal adolescence.

The other noteworthy thing about Raivio is that he likes to dribble a lot, but doesn’t really believe much in passing – he led the team in FG attempts and scoring (18.2 ppg) but only averaged 2.6 assists. Which probably means he’s not that fun to play with.

Sometimes running around alongside Raivio in the back court is a guy by the name of Matt Bouldin, who looks like he ate former standout Zags point guard Dan Dickau, along with Dickau's entire family and unborn children.

It also must be noted that the Zags have arguably the best-named player in all of college hoops – Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes. The only disappointing drawback is that his hoops game is more "Marie" than "Pierre."

And if all of this isn’t enough, there’s even a Pargo on the team. That would be Jeremy Pargo, brother of the NBA’s Jannero Pargo, of the famed basketball-playing Pargo clan. Never mind that Jeremy and Jannero look virtually nothing alike and that Jeremy weighs about 45 pounds more than Jannero and looks like he could crush him with his bare fists – the two are indeed related. And Jeremy may end up being the better player of the two.

Hang Time is in full effect.

Yes, that’s right – for all the loyalists of the spectacular Saturday morning show that nurtured us through many a college hangover with its mix of hilarity, social dilemmas and important life lessons, you’ll be glad to know that Hang Time alum Reggie Theus has his New Mexico State team poised to make a dramatic and improbable run through the tournament field.

How can we possibly pick against legendary coach Bill Fuller in an NCAA tourney game?

We won’t lie – it’s going to be very tough to do so.

But then again, New Mexico State is playing Texas, and Kevin Durant is really, really good.

As much as we’d love to be able to make as many Hang Time references as possible throughout the next few weeks, we have a feeling that even the great Reggie Theus himself won't be able to devise a scheme to stop Durant, who averaged a ridiculous 25.6 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 1.9 spg and 1.9 bpg on 47.4% shooting from the floor and 81.0% from the line as a freshman.

Wow. Is there any question as to whether or not this guy’s the best player in college hoops? And is there any question that he should be the #1 pick in this summer’s NBA draft over Greg Oden? Okay, the answer to question #2 is "yes, there is some question." But from this vantage point, it’s a clear choice – you take Durant.

And now that we’ve made our nomination for best player in the field, it’s only logical that we cast our ballot for the tournament’s biggest goon.

And for our money, there’s no bigger lummox out there than UCLA’s Lorenzo Mata. Have you seen this guy? Granted, he looks more ridiculous when sporting a facemask, and we understand that he can’t help the way he naturally looks, but that doesn’t change the fact that he naturally looks ridiculous. Can’t you just picture this guy hiding out in a dimly-lit alley waiting to strike you in the back of the head with a coin-filled sock?

Did you know that the sons of Patrick Ewing, Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge are all appearing in this year’s tournament?

Did you also know that none of them are very good?

The best of the three is probably the Ainge offspring, a BYU senior named Austin who averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.5 apg this year. We also believe that Austin is the only one of the three to have been mentioned on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website.

And now, a handful of names that caught our eye:

Lukasz Obrzut (Kentucky): a man desperately in need of a vowel.

G.B. Burningham (Weber St.): reminds us of the character of E.B. Farnum from Deadwood, and frankly anything that brings Farnum to mind is a cause for celebration.

Cyrus McGowan (Arkansas): We’re just hoping that in a moment of sheer unbridled ecstasy, Gus Johnson screams out, “Can you DIG IT!!” after a crucial hoop by Arkansas'
Cyrus in a nod to the gang leader from The Warriors. Probably not gonna happen, though. The more likely scenario is that Gus Johnson yells out a whole bunch of other annoying stuff instead.

And lastly...

Ken Tutt (Oral Roberts): We have to say, we’re particularly fond of this one. Here’s a guy who has two of the requisite ingredients for becoming a tournament cult hero: a ready-made nickname (King Tutt) and the game to back it up (he averaged 16.1 ppg this year).

Can’t you just picture #14-seed Oral Roberts springing an improbable upset of Washington State in the first round thanks to a relentless barrage of treys from King Tutankhamen himself, whose name becomes forever etched in the hallowed annals of NCAA tournament greatness?

For some reason, we can picture this scenario with great clarity, and almost feel certain that it’s destined to happen.

Which, given our recent track record, probably makes it a safe bet that Oral Roberts is going to lose by 25.

March 09, 2007

You're Busted, Holmes

In what has to be considered a gigantic victory for investigators in the ongoing nationwide steroids sting operation, former Major League reliever Darren Holmes has joined the list as the latest player implicated.

You remember Darren Holmes, right? Well, don’t you? He was that guy who saved 25 games for the Rockies back in 1993. Ring a bell now? 13-year career, 4.25 ERA, 35-33 record, 59 saves… remember?

Look, if you don’t know who we’re talking about now, that’s your problem. Darren Holmes was kind of a big deal. The guy carved out such a reputation for himself that a google search for his name actually turns up “The Website of Photographic Artist Darren Holmes” as the first hit (artistic nudity warning). There you can find “Abstract black and white photography. Information on the artist, portfolio, and news.” You can also find some mildly racy and/or semi-disturbing images of people of the female gender, one of which involves a pair of legs, and a dead fish, on what appears to be a hospital bed. But now we digress...

In any case, what we really want to know is, at what point do these investigators decide to stop revealing insignificant names until they actually turn up a big one? Because right now, we’re feeling rather underwhelmed by the likes of Gary Matthews Jr., John Rocker, Jerry Hairston, Jr., David Bell and now, Darren Holmes. (We intentionally haven’t mentioned Jose Canseco because we already knew about him, and we’d already written off Evander Holyfield as more or less having lost his mind, so we’re not gonna lose too much sleep over his connection to this whole thing.)

Taking all of this into consideration, our (admittedly unsolicited) advice to the investigators is this: Sit back and just chill out for a minute. What you’re doing now – screaming out against the likes of Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Darren Holmes – is dangerously close to crying wolf. Like an overbearing parental unit who tells a child to be careful crossing the street so many times that the kid eventually starts sprinting across boulevards blindfolded, you’re desensitizing the sports world to this issue – if it wasn't somewhat desensitized already.

So until you’ve got something really good, please keep your journeyman relievers to yourselves. At this point, they're just not doing it for us.

Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to go weep in the corner until the oeuvre of Photographic Artist Darren Holmes has been completely extricated from our brain.

March 06, 2007

The Old Man and the Pee

In a recent article on, Tom Verducci describes Major League spring training as follows:

“Spring training begins every year like some midwinter festival, demanding our attention with its abundance of light, warmth and sense of renewal, but quickly settles into a mundane Groundhog Day existence. It is little more than glorified practice, really, for what is a game of repetition.”

In the following paragraph, he goes on to reference the “necessary tedium” of spring training.

Having never been to Florida or Arizona for any purpose other than impersonating Disney mascots or chopping down insanely large cacti, we can’t speak to whether or not Verducci’s claims about the tedium of spring training are true.

However, we can say that in the midst of whatever tedium may or may not be going on this year (and perhaps every year), a handful of writers are doing a fine job of turning up some noteworthy tidbits from around the various camps.

Here are a few of the things that have caught our eye of late:

1) There’s a midget on the Giants who can throw 100 miles per hour.

Okay, in fairness, the player in question – rookie right-hander Tim Lincecum – is not technically a midget. And we only made reference to him as a midget because we once heard Mark Grace say of Billy Wagner on the Jim Rome radio show, “That midget can bring it.” And we thought that was funny.

Lincecum is actually listed at 5-11 (though according to writer Jeff Passan, who slightly resembles the long-lost love child of Ben Affleck and Chipper Jones, Lincecum is actually closer to 5-10).

In any case, considering that 5-11, 170 is very nearly identical to our own personal listing in the OCC media guide and we topped out somewhere in the low 60’s last time we wrecked our arm attempting to blow up the radar gun on the speed pitch, it’s safe to say we are sufficiently wowed by Lincecum’s ability.

The article draws a parallel between Lincecum’s delivery and that of Astros’ ace righty Roy Oswalt. And if you watch video of Lincecum pitching, that comparison rings very true.

2) Chipper Jones did not actually spawn Ben Affleck’s love child, though he has gone on a unique nutritional program for the ’07 season.

Last season, as Chipper told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I was drinking a lot of whey shakes, eating a lot of protein bars, a lot of oatmeal, a lot of yogurt, a lot of eggs whites.”

As for this year:

“...I still have a lot of egg whites, but with the yolks,” he said. “Candy bars have taken the place of the protein bars. Instead of the whey shakes, I get those cookies-and-cream milkshakes from Chick-fil-A.”

This probably should be something of a red flag to Braves fans everywhere, but we’re opting to give Chipper a free pass here, because a) his training regime clearly didn’t get the job done last year anyways, and b) Chick-fil-A is absolutely delicious.

3) Eric Byrnes is a little bit quirky.

There were few things we were going to read that we’d legitimately find surprising or noteworthy in an article about Eric Byrnes: clubhouse oddball, but thanks to a recent report in the Arizona Republic, we have learned that the D’Backs’ outfielder only washes his hair once every 10 days or so and has been known to “throw a little lotion in there now and again.”

And by “lotion,” Byrnes means body lotion. Asked if this was good for his hair, he responded, “I don’t know.”

We’re not positive, but we believe we find this news to be interesting because we always thought of Byrnes as hard-nosed on the field but ultimately something of a pretty boy surfer type off the field. But now it’s apparent that he’s closer to being just a very strange, semi-dirty caveman type who does whatever the hell he wants to do for reasons he can’t necessarily explain.

And we think that makes us like him a lot better.

4) Speaking of dirty, Greg Maddux may be the most quietly filthy man in all of baseball. Writes Jerry Crasnick on

“For a guy with a CPA's demeanor, he has a sense of humor that a 12-year-old would envy. Maddux is a master of strategically timed nose picking, sidling up to an unsuspecting rookie in the shower and urinating on the kid's leg, and inventing just the right nickname for a teammate with big ears, a prominent schnozz or some other pronounced physical qualities.”

Naturally, the part of this that stands out to us the most is that Maddux has been known to make pee-pee on teammates’ legs in the shower, an odd, disturbing and strangely delightful image, to say the least.

But we’d also like to take note of Maddux coming up with nicknames for teammates with “pronounced physical qualities.” As funny as it would be if Maddux were commenting on some teammate who had an enormously large cranium or terribly misshapen thumb, we have a feeling that the physical qualities Maddux is observing aren’t necessarily so PG-rated. Makes you think that the old professor might just be keeping tabs on certain teammates’ appendages in the shower (that is, when he’s not too preoccupied with peeing on their legs).

As longtime Braves fans, we’d occasionally heard whispers about Maddux being something of an irreverent clubhouse prankster, but some of these gags (particularly the shower micturation) exceed our wildest dreams.

And perhaps that’s what spring training, in its finest moments, is really all about.

March 05, 2007

Note to Self: Hit Self in Face

If you happened to affect a youtube search this morning for the word “Hansbrough” (as in UNC big man Tyler Hansbrough), you would have found that the first result is a video of Hansbrough playing ping pong on the Roy Williams show during his freshman year.

In the midst of playing ping pong against some guy we don’t recognize (possibly a host of the show), Hansbrough puts away a particularly vicious slam and decides to throw out a little smack talk, saying:

“You can’t hit what you can’t see.”

That line seems to have a particularly interesting newfound meaning in the wake of Duke’s Gerald Henderson clubbing Hansbrough in the face while giving a hard foul in the closing seconds of Sunday’s game. (Because while you may not be able to hit what you can’t see, apparently you can hit something (or someone) very hard in the face if you see them doing something that you don’t like.)

And in this case, Hansbrough was going up for an attempt near the basket with UNC leading by 12 with under 20 seconds left.

Needless to say, Henderson clocked him.

Much of the post-game talk seems to have been centered around whether or not Henderson intentionally meant to hit Hansbrough.

If you asked us, we’d say that given the situation, yes – it seems pretty clear that Henderson meant to take Hansbrough down and make him pay for unnecessarily running up the score.

With that said, he may not have meant to make him look like an extra from one of those basement brawl scenes in Fight Club (which is to say, very bloody), but the intention to harm/discipline/physically admonish was clearly there.

We should also mention that the second and third video clips we found of Hansbrough (after the ping pong clip) were both videos of this incident. We bring this up because we found ourselves rather entertained by the discrepancy in headings and descriptions. The first video we saw was described as follows:

Tyler Hansbrough suffers cheap shot from Gerald Henderson
Needless to say, this made me absolutely furious.
Henderson deserved the ejection and one-game suspension he received. This is why I hate Duke.”

And the caption for the second video read:

Gerald Henderson vs. Tyler Hansbrough
Gerald Henderson punks Tyler Hansbrough and makes him cry.”

We have to admit – even though we agree in theory with the UNC fan’s rational (if not slightly annoying) editorial, we do find ourselves amused by the Duke supporter’s much simpler one-line phrase, despite its blatant immaturity and oversight of the evidence.

Actually, who are we kidding – we love it because of its blatant immaturity and oversight of the evidence.

The lesson here is twofold:

1) If you’re going to go up for a dunk or a lay-up in the closing seconds of a game that your team already has well in hand, you first should probably ask yourself if it’s really worth potentially getting your face bludgeoned. (We’re guessing Tyler Hansbrough has probably learned this lesson, at least on some level.)

2) If you’re attempting to make people see things from your viewpoint when posting sports-related mini editorials on youtube, try not to make yourself sound so nerdy and uptight that some Duke fan can just swoop in and completely derail your argument with about 12 seconds of effort just by simply coming across as far less irritating than you, even though he probably is incredibly irritating and has absolutely no rational ground to stand on and juxtaposed next to just about anything other than your argument his claim would look completely ridiculous.

And now for some strange reason we kind of want to lace up our basketball shoes, head out to the court, go up for a lay-up and then throw an absolutely brutal flagrant foul on ourselves, in large part because we’ve just wasted an extraordinary amount of time talking about what two dufuses probably spent about 30 seconds writing on youtube.

In sum, did Tyler Hansbrough get punked by Gerald Henderson, did the UNC fan get punked by the Duke fan, or did we just get punked by ourselves?

We have this sinking feeling that the latter is true.

Now where did we leave those basketball shoes?

March 01, 2007

The Perplexing Tendencies of Cornbread

Breezing through a few random thoughts as we attempt to cross off some items on our “things to talk about” list:

Did you hear the news that Celtics’ radio commentator Cedric Maxwell recently said that female referee Violet Palmer should “go back to the kitchen” during Monday night’s broadcast on WEEI-AM?

Little known fact: Cedric Maxwell’s nickname is “Cornbread.” And isn’t cornbread made in kitchens?

Okay, we’re not sure what this means – we’re just saying, this must have some significance.

As the ancient proverb goes, people in glass houses shan’t smash windows with a mallet.

In this case, it would be something along the lines of, people with food-related nicknames shouldn’t condescendingly tell others to return to a room where food is made. Or something like that – we’re still kind of working it out in our heads.


In other news, there are now rumors swirling around planet hoops that in addition to Scottie Pippen’s planned comeback – which hasn’t really picked up so much steam it seems – there had been rumblings (which were recently shot down) that Reggie Miller could potentially join the Mavericks for the stretch run.

Which begs the important question: What year is this exactly?


Quickly dipping into the medical files, we’ll make a brief stop in Pittsburgh, where outfielder Xavier Nady recently had an exam to see if he had Crohn’s Disease, which, as it turns out, is a disease affecting the intestine.

We always thought this was the condition where you're all stooped over dressed in burlap with a hunched back, crooked wooden cane and a big hairy wart on your face.


And keeping it on the disease tip (because frankly, diseases are funny), it has come to light that guests at a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue soiree on Valentine’s Day may have been exposed to Hepatitis A as the result of an infected caterer.

Certainly not the type of exposure you’d be hoping for at such an event.

By the way, we are not the least bit bitter that we received no invitation to this event and we are nowhere close to clever enough to think ahead and plant a highly infectious disease such as Hepatitis A on an unsuspecting caterer and use him as our vessel to seek revenge.

Something like that would never cross our mind.