Thursday, May 31, 2007


Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Eldridge Recasner...I have never seen any of these men play better down the stretch of a playoff game than Lebron James did tonight. The guy is on another level. I don't know what else to say about it.

Lebron is going to save us the boredom of another Spurs/Pistons final. We are at the dawn of another golden age of NBA basketball. Ignore those who say otherwise.

The A-Rod Apologete: Cheating on his Wife? On the Field?

So apparently Alex Rodriguez is having an extra-marital affair. A professional athlete cheating on his wife? You could knock me over with a feather! Sports writers have been keeping such things secret, since the cigar-chomping, derby-wearing days. Suddenly they choose to break precedent and smear A-Rod's name. Thank you, New York Post. Last summer, they exposed Rodriguez as a (gasp!) sunbather. Yesterday, they ran "Lindsay Blo-han" on the front page and "Stray-Rod" on the back page. Job well done; equal parts clever and hard-hitting! Today their front page story was "A-Rod Spotted with Blond in 5 Cities". If you don't think they have an anti-A-Rod agenda, you are completely lost.

Yesterday Alex Rodriguez shouted something while passing Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark, distracting him and causing him to let a routine pop-up fall. If Pete Rose did it in 1975, it would have been considered a heady play, by a guy who just wants to win. Since it was A-Rod, it was labeled a dirty play. Was it Bush League? Sure, but I love it. In fact, I hope this is a sign of things to come.

Alex, besides me, nobody likes you anyway. Therefore, you should just embrace your inner-heel. Be the dick everybody thinks you are. Tell children that there is no Santa Claus. Trip old ladies. Move to the San Fernando Valley, dye your hair blond, and a join a dojo whose sole purpose is to torment the working-class Italian kid that just moved from Jersey. Enjoy yourself. What's the worst that can happen? You'll get bad press?

SYHD'S Amateur Student-Athlete of the Week

SHYD is proud to honor Allison Stokke as our inaugural amateur student-athlete of the week. Allison was the 2006 California State Pole Vaulting champion and currently holds five amateur pole vaulting national records. Congratulations Allison on this magnificent accomplishment!

Bad News

I'm off to Florida to attend the wedding of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart's daughter so I will not be able to post today. Don't worry though, I'll try to update from the Sunshine State tomorrow and hopefully I'll have some good pro wrestler interaction stories for Monday. In the meantime, I hope some of my fellow contributors can pick up the slack. This weekend will only be a success if The Anvil signs my wrestling haiku or if Bret Hart throws me in a Sharpshooter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

From the Rumor Mill

ARod isn't the only married ballplayer cavorting around town with a women who is not his wife (Kudos to the NY Post for the "Stray-Rod" headline). A very reliable source has informed SYHD that Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek was seen canoodling with America's favorite sideline reporter Erin Andrews last week at the W Hotel when the Sox were in for their series against the Yankees. Tek and Andrews were getting cozy at the bar and later were seen entering an elevator together. Somewhere David Wright would be crying in his beer if he hadn't just made a cool $20M from the sale of Vitamin Water to Coca-Cola.

P.S.: This same informant witnessed Wright courting Andrews last summer.
P.P.S: I don't give one iota about journalistic responsibility.

You Hate Him-But You Want Him

A bombshell was dropped in Tinseltown today when everyone's favorite heel- Kobe, a.k.a.-the mamba, a.k.a.-the rapist, Bryant demanded a trade from Jack Nicholson, Dianne Cannon and the rest of Lakerland because he feels he was misled about their alleged desire to compete for a championship immediately following the departure of The Big Aristotle. Granted, noone was more unlikable over the past 8 years for a multitude of reasons-the three straight championships, the incident in Eagle, running Shaq out of town, his amazing trick flailing elbow, etc...But im guessing any NBA fan who has read this article has already run the trade scenario of what his team would have to give up to obtain Kobe through his head (personally I think a package of Shawn Marion, Leandro Barbosa, a first this year and the Hawks unprotected next year would work nicely.) Knicks fans aside who no doubt wouldn't care, (they would sign Charles Manson to an eight year deal at this point if he had a jump shot) I would bet thatfans of the other 28 teams would have a new take on #24's trials and tribulations. Suddenly "the rapist" would be "the guy who was framed by that crazy white chick" and the "ballhog" would be a "scorers fist mentality with a killer instinct". And thats what makes sports great-if the most talented jerk in the game is traded to your team he will suddenly in your eyes make a heel to face turn quicker than if he took a steel chair to the back of Vince McMahon's head. Lets face it-you hate him now-but you want him.

Looks like the Mets Lead the League in FORP

Built on the shoulders of VORP and WARP comes FORP. What is FORP? Fun Over Replacement Player, and the Mets have three of the top FORP players in the league. The author gets instant credibility for naming "The Human Rain Delay" Steve Trachsel as one of the least fun players in the league. Check out the article here.

(Thanks to Dan Shanoff)

An Ode To James Blake's Girlfriend

In keeping with our minor running theme of commenting on professional athletes wives/girlfriends, recent French Open dropout James Blake has a really hot girlfriend. I actually think that she looks better (at least facially) in the non-Maxim photos. Though he may have never defeated Roger Federer on the court he clearly has whooped him in every girlfriend hotness tournament they have played. For reference, here is a pic of Federer's gf.

Separated At Birth?

Everyone's favorite designated driver/NBA owner Jerry Buss and flamboyant "comedian" Rip Taylor

Mets vs. Giants, 5/29/07

An early summer classic last night. Delgado awakens from slumber, NL East crumbles. All is right in Queens tonight.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pun of the Day


Lakers 74 year-old owner Jerry Buss was arrested at 1am last night for suspicion of DUI. He did, however, have a 23 year-old woman with him. Nice pull.

15 Years Ago This Would Be Child Abuse

My kid better be able to sing this song when he pops out of the womb, otherwise I'll consider him a disappointment and shun him for life.

Because It's a Slow Sports Day

Here is footage from my favorite MTV reality episode ever- True Life: Looking For Love on the Jersey Shore. MTV followed around the ultimate guido, Tommy, a 30 yr old constructor worker who rents a house in the Jersey Shore every summer and looks for his soulmate amongst those extremely classy Jersey girls. Along the way he eats late night/early morning canolis, almost fights some kids at the cheeseball stand after he cuts them in line, dances with glowsticks to techno (or is it house or industrial), and tries to get into 10 more fights, all the while spouting lines that make Paulie Walnuts sound like Descartes. This guy singlehandedly perpetuated Italian stereotypes throughout the country and for that I consider him a hero. So for your viewing pleasure here is a clip from that True Life:

Knock Knock Knockin on the Cellar Door

NY Yankees Record: 21-28 13.5 Games back
TB Devil Rays Record: 21-28 13.5 Games back

Just some food for thought as many readers blood sugar levels are dipping at this point in the day.


The San Antonio Spurs have become the red-headed stepchild of the blogosphere. It seems like nobody wants to see them in the NBA Finals and I include myself in that group of playa hatas. I started analyzing why I feel that way and realized my reasons for wanting the Spurs to lose the series were not completely founded on their on the court product.

Contrary to prevailing opinions, the Spurs don't play an inherently boring brand of basketball. They have guys who can penetrate and slash (Parker and Ginobili), shoot (Bowen), and feature arguably the second-best player of the post-Jordan era in Tim Duncan (Shaq being the best). Even with Duncan dominating the low post, the team moves the ball extremely well, which I think is the most exciting part of half court basketball. The team is a nice blend of skill players and blue collar types, plays defense so well that Larry Brown no longer needs to watch German Scheizer (sp?) vids, and is generally efficient in both open and half court settings.

I'm also surprised by the general ambivalence shown towards the Spurs. They have three very hateable players- Ginobili and Oberto (based on their Eurotrash looks and playing style), and Bruce Bowen, who would've been right at home playing for the Bad Boy Pistons. Those three alone should generate enough heat to where the Spurs are one of the biggest heels in the league, but for some reason this has not yet occurred.

My only real explanation for the attitude toward the Spurs is boredom. Boredom based not necessarily how they play, but because they have been so good for so long there is simply nothing interesting about them. NBA fans have seen Duncan, Parker, and company countless times in this situation. At least the Cavs-Pistons series has some cache because it's Bron Bron's first time in the Conference Finals. For the Spurs there are simply no new angles. No player captures the imagination and attention of viewers. There is surely a sizable black lash against the Spurs because of the way they beat the Suns, but I believe that even if the suspensions had not occurred and the Spurs had still won, the public attitude would still be the same. After beating the Suns, there was initially a small sentiment of outrage, but those emotions have morphed into were ambivalence. It's more of a statement on human nature than on the Spurs basketball aptitude.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

When wrestling him
Do not headbutt Junk Yard Dog
Only yours will hurt

Requiem for a Team

On Memorial Day, I feel fairly comfortable declaring that the season is over for the Yankees. Like the film referenced in the title of this article, I half expect this season to end in the triple tragedy of electro-shock therapy for Steinbrenner, Carl Pavano having his injured beyond repair arm amputated, and Cashman and Torre going ass-to-ass on a double sided dildo for money. Almost everything that could have gone wrong has.

Predictable Problems

1) The First Base Situation- You simply can not carry 3 players that can not play anywhere but first base, especially when 2 of them are not very good hitters. Even the Bush Administration would recognize this as poor planning. Mientkiewicz has been as useless as expected and Phelps has been only marginally better. Both of these men should be playing out the rest of their careers in Triple-A, hoping for an injury to a real Major Leaguer. Instead the Yankees are carrying both of them.

(This Yankees season should permanently put to rest the notion that any team can "carry" a bad hitter, particularly a first baseman. This notion has always been ridiculous and coincides with the equally ludicrous idea that a team can have too many superstars and not enough role players. Baseball is unlike the other major sports in that every one of your starters has nearly an equal amount of opportunities to affect the offense. The Lakers can run nearly every offensive play through Kobe Bryant. They would be wise to surround Kobe with guys that don't need many touches in order to have an impact on the game. Baseball does not work this way. The Yankees can not decide "This is an important spot. We want the bat in Jeter's hands." He only gets to bat one out of every nine plate appearances for the Yankees. In baseball, one can never know who he will need a big hit from in any given day. Therefore, teams should try to field a lineup in which all nine guys can get a hit.)

2) Carl Pavano's Injuries- This guy is likely to finish his 4 year Yankees career with 19 starts. I have nothing original to contribute to the discussion about the most deservedly maligned New York athlete of my lifetime. I will just say that I would depend on the late Mr. Perfect/Curt Hennig (the backstabbin'est backstabber in an industry of backstabbers), before counting on Carl Pavano to stay healthy for a season.

3) Kei Igawa's Struggles- I gave Cashman the benefit of the doubt on this signing at the time, hoping he saw something nobody else did. He was wrong. Igawa pitches as effeminately as he looks.

4) The Bench- The thing that intrigues me most about Wil Nieves is how he manages to suck and blow at the same time. He put up a .644 OPS last year in Triple A. This year his is 3 for 29. I know pickin's are slim at back-up catcher, but Cashman should have found SOMEONE a bit more competent.

Miguel Cairo is in his third year of riding out his surprisingly mediocre 2004 season. It's amazing how many chances guys get once they receive the label "Major Leaguer". Cairo's resume shows nothing to suggest that he is of any value to a Major League team at this point.

Unpleasant Surprises

1) Injuries to the Rotation- Wang and Mussina missed significant time with leg injuries. Capable replacements, Jeff Karstens and Darrel Rasner are both out for several months on injuries suffered on come-backers. Phil Hughes pulled his hamstring in the midst of a no-hitter. The Yankees have used already used 11 starters this year. Nobody could have predicted that.

2) Age Catching Up with EVERYBODY AT ONCE- Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Bobby Abreu are all looking like shells of their former selves. Mike Mussina is rarely touching 90 MPH anymore. Mariano Rivera has joined the ranks of the mortals this season. If you told me two of these guys were going to slip, I wouldn't have been shocked. That all 5 of them have played as poorly as they have is killing the Yankees.

3) Robinson Cano's Junior Slump- In his third year, the league seems to have adjusted to Cano's free-swinging ways, by consistently throwing him garbage. Recently he has shown signs of life, but his season has still been an unmitigated disappointment.

4) Bad Luck in Close Games- As poorly as the Yankees have played, they have still outscored their opponents by twenty runs this season. Based upon this, they should be 26-23. However, they are 21-28, due mostly to a 2-9 record in one run games. While a teams record in one run games is mostly a function of luck, that is of no consolation when faced with a 13.5 game deficit in your division.

With Clemens joining the team and Phil Hughes returning soon, I think the Yankees will finish the season with 86 to 88 wins. That will probably be about 5 games too few wins to win the Wild Card. Despite his mistakes, I hope Brian Cashman is able to keep his job and Joe Torre is given the Jeff Van Gundy treatment.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Best News of the Week

The NCAA will be moving the 3 point line back a foot for the 2008-2009 season. It's about time. The three-pointer benefits the sport, when it is used to keep defenders from clogging up driving lanes and double-teaming the post with impunity. Unfortunately, since Gonzaga began it's great run in the late-90s, slow-footed teams have built their offenses entirely around it. They use all 35 seconds on the shot clock, setting screens and moving the ball around until somebody gets an open look at a three. The three-pointer originally added excitement to the game. Now it is taking it away. Kudos to the NCAA for recognizing the problem, even if they were almost a decade too late.

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

"You may not like it,
but you will learn to love it"
said the Nature Boy

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mike and The Mad Dog- Laughing All the Way to the Bank

For those of you who don't know, pictured above are the "kings" of NY sports radio. The meatball-eating Italian on the right is Mike Francessa and the effeminate walking speech impediment on the left is Chris "Mad Dog" Russo. They have the highest rated sports radio talk show in the tri-state area, are carried on the YES television network, and make over $1M/yr to spout their opinions on sports.

So you would think that they actually watch sporting events, right? WRONG. Today they opened their show discussing the Mets-Braves game played last night. Neither of them had actually watched the game though. At least they admitted that, but on a relatively slow sports night they couldn't find time to watch just a few innings of the rubber match between the first place hometown team taking on their division rivals, who were just 2 1/2 games out of first when the game started? Mike's beloved and Russo's hated Yankees weren't even playing and neither them likes the NBA anymore (they think it's too thuggish) so what could they have possibly been watching? Furthermore, when Mad Dog was discussing the Braves lineup he lauded praise on Francoeur, "that second baseman, and the catcher." For chrissakes, it is his job to follow sports and he can't even call Kelly Johnson and Brian McCann (both all-stars if the game were played today) by their proper names.

Another pet peeve of mine is that they openly flaunt the fact that they don't watch basketball (college or pro) or hockey during the regular season, yet when the NCAA Tournament or NHL/NBA playoffs come around they believe their opinions are the gospel and pontificate as if they are on the summit of Mt Sinai. I really wouldn't have a problem with this if these guys were insurance salesmen or financiers, but they are paid to deliver analysis of sporting events . How can you be taken seriously when a when your opinions are based solely on Sportscenter highlights or NY Post articles. It's just plain lazy. OK, I will now get off my soapbox.

Mr. Hypothetical

With 10 seconds to go in a basketball game, would you rather be up by one point and playing defense or tied with the ball? ( I realize the answer to this question can vary depending on what type of team you are on and what type of defensive/offensive team you are playing against, but assume that both teams are league average in offense and defense)


Who the hell does Harvey Walden think he is? Did he not watch the "Bayside Triangle" Episode? Before you talk to Screech Powers like that, you better understand what he is capable of. I mean, just ask Zack Morris or his torn up shirt. Let me refresh your memory:

Zack: This has gone far enough, look I'm sorry I hurt you, all
Screech: Sorry? You're sorry? You were my best friend, Zack. You
had any other girl in the school...why Lisa? Why'd you have to
steal my dream? I hate you! (violently rips off Zach's shirt)....[May
I add, without tearing any buttons]

Even if, for some crazy reason, Harvey thought he could handle Screech, doesn't he know that Zack Morris and A.C. Slater are waiting for him backstage? I doubt that he would want to mess with somebody who got a wrestling scholorship to Iowa. I guess he also missed the famous "Fight Episode."

All I can say is that Harvey is really lucky there were a bunch of cameras around, otherwise I think he would have needed to be "Saved by the Bell."

Thoughts on Cavs-Pistons Eastern Conference Finals

- I feel sorry for Lebron, the team surrounding him is simply awful. Drew Gooden, big Z, and Larry Hughes scored a combined zero points in the second half last night. Seriously. The playoffs are a time when supposedly good players can define themselves. In the last few years, the status of guys like D Wade and Chauncey Billups was created in the playoffs; even guys like Robert Horry solidify their status as great role players. The Cavs not named Lebron have done the opposite. Gooden and Hughes were both lottery picks who can now do absolutely nothing on the offensive end while playing with arguably the best creator in the NBA (Steve Nash is great too, I know). Hughes couldnt even hit a wide open 10 footer in the last few seconds- and he was supposed to be Lebron's big counterpart? I think if the Cavs would have kept Carlos Boozer they would be Eastern Conference Champs this year.

- Jason Maxiell would be the second best player on the Cavs. He dunked on Lebron, Sasha P, and Sideshow Varejao each on separate occasions in the first half of Game 2.

- Tayshaun Prince is 1 for 19 in Games 1 & 2, and the Pistons still won both. This is not good news for the Cavs.

- Mike Brown could not coach his way out of a wet paper bag.

CARDINAL SIN: You have got to be Josh'ing Me!

What is the world coming to when a drunk driver's parents are suing the bar that provided their son drinks on the night of his fatal accident? What a novel concept, a bar decided to serve alcohol to a drunk guy. Who would have thought this type of behavior was allowed? For those who have not heard, Josh Hancock's parents are suing the restaurant where their son was drinking the night of his accident. But it gets much better than that. The restaurant they are suing is Mike Shannon's Restaurant, who was a longtime Cardinal's broadcaster and played on three Cardinals World Series teams in the 1960's. If suing Mike Shannon was not enough, the parents have taken the "kitchen sink" approach and also sued: his daughter (the restaurant manager), Eddie's Towing (the company whose flatbed tow truck was struck by Hancock's vehicle), tow truck driver Jacob Edward Hargrove, and Justin Tolar (the driver whose stalled car on Interstate 64 was being assisted by Hargrove). Also, Kantack said "others could be added later as defendants in the suit. He declined to speculate on whether the Cardinals or Major League Baseball could be added to the suit..." For what? Can you imagine getting your ass kicked in a drunken bar fight over the weekend, and then deciding to sue your crappy job on Monday morning? Although this might be a great concept for each of us individually, I do not think this is the type of precedent we want to establish. Now, if the parties being sued are not ridiculous enough, let us examine the merit of this claim.

A lawyer for Dean Hancock, said. "It's our understanding that from the moment Josh Hancock entered Mike Shannon's that night that he was never without a drink." Bravo! I salute that bar for their wonderful service. How many times have you tried to fight your way through layers of douche bags and tit sacks, just to get one crappy Popov Vodka and tonic that was being served in a cup, similar in size to the Snoopy Cups provided at the water fountain at my pediatrician's office? What a great business plug for Mike Shannon's Restaurant. I am buying stock in this place as we speak.

Although Josh Hancock did make a power play in selecting a great bar, how come Mike Shannon has not pulled out the "Two-beer queer" defense. Lets think about this. Josh Hancock weighs in around 217 pounds according to Baseball Reference (so probably more like 205 -210). Now, Josh Hancock's blood alcohol level (BAL) was not even twice the legal limit. For him to reach that BAL, he had to drink about 8 drinks in a two hour period. I do not know what is worse, his career pitching stats or his drinking zing! But seriously, we have all played Power Hour before (and probably 80 percent of us have driven home afterwords). Power Hour comes out to over 7 beers in a one hour time frame. And, that number does not consider the fact that many of us are not 217 pounds. When I go out, the DD is usually putting up those kind of numbers. I say that instead of suing all these people, Mr. Hancock should offer his son as the new poster boy for Zima.

Lastly if bars were not allowed drunk people, bars would no longer be in business, and ugly fat chicks everywhere would go home alone.

Calling For a Ban on Steroids...Articles

Can someone please declare a moratorium on steroid-related articles. There are absolutely no fresh takes on this issue and there haven't been in a couple of years(or ever), yet seemingly everyday, almost all major newspapers in the country devote column space to this tired topic. According to various polls (of which I'm not willing to research), outside of Barry Bonds, the average fan does not care that much about players using performance enhancing drugs. If the sportswriters/talking heads were really the barometer of the fans' moral conscious then why aren't attendance/ratings/merchandise sales down across the board? Instead, in light of all of the allegations the game is absolutely thriving.

Here is my theory on why steroid stories continue to permeate newsprint. The stories write themselves. Combine 1 part Barry Bonds is cheater with one 1 part moral outrage, sprinkle in a few hack jokes, mix thoroughly, and in 20 minutes you will have your very own steroids article. Sports scribes simply churn out one of these prefabricated stories whenever they have writer's block, are on a hard deadline, or in a food related coma after hitting the buffet spread too aggressively.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

He is Jim Neidhart
His friends call him The Anvil
You are not his friend

Winner of the Day- Carl Pavano

He was once the best prospect in the deal that sent Pedro Martinez from the Expos to the Red Sox. Now he has become a punchline in Yankee folklore. Carl Pavano will undergo Tommy John surgery, an operation that will most likely signify the end of his Yankee career. Pavano will go down in the annals of history as the worst Yankee free agent pickup to date, and probably one of the biggest busts since Andy Messersmith decided to exercise his employment rights. His failures must make Met fans look fondly upon the likes of Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilla, and Kaz Matsui. At least Alyssa Milano had the foresight to dump this loser to start dating somewhat less fragile Dodgers starter Brad Penny.

But in actuality being Carl Pavano isn't so bad. First of all he plays baseball for a living, which is awesome. Secondly, he is a starting pitcher, which is probably the best gig in baseball (more stress, but generally more job security than being a utility man or long reliever) . Third, he parlayed a career year in 2004 into a $39.95M/4 yr contract. During that time span he has started 19 games. So according to my math, he has made a little over $2M per start. Those are Clemensian type numbers. Pavano has done almost the absolute minimum, but thanks to his guaranteed contract he has netted all the money he signed for. I would would love to show up to work 25% of the time and still get paid my full salary. I guess rehab is not supposed to be that much fun, but it's not like he is spend that time in hell holes like Staten Island or Northern New Jersey. Instead, he gets to hang around the Tampa complex and run in a swimming pool or stand on a balance ball, both of which I'd rather be doing than researching case law on Westlaw. Man, I would trade lives with him in second.

Deadspin is Killing Me

I swear I was about to post about the farce that is ESPN Classic, since they very rarely ever show a "classic" sporting event. Unfortunately Deadspin beat me to the punch. Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

A cane and top hat
For a mountain of a man
Beware rice in eye

Joe Pa- Old School

Near-centenarian Joe Paterno has laid down the law. Because of an embarrassing off the field incident involving many of his football players getting into a fight, Joe Pa has mandated that the entire football team clean the stadium the Sunday after home games. Hey, it's better than changing his Depends every hour.
(Thanks to loyal reader Jimer for the tip)

Pun of the Day

Tampa Bay OF tells wife to put up her Dukes.

Apparently Elijah Dukes and his wife aren't getting along. He texted her a picture of a handgun and followed up by leaving a voicemail that said, "You're dead dawg. I ain't even [expletive]. Your kids too." This is a pretty severe reaction to your wife forgetting to Tivo "Wayans Brothers" re-runs, but to each their own I guess. Seriously though, this is Elijah's sixth arrest since 1998, so it will be interesting to see how Tampa Bay handles their young slugging outfielder. To be fair he had a very troubled upbringing and I believe that both of his parents are some combination of incarcerated for very serious offenses and dead. In no way does that rationalize his behavior, but he obviously needs some psychological help.

Of course, a few hours prior to this story breaking I picked up Dukes on one of my fantasy baseball teams. I will now have to come up with a clever team name. I'm thinking Dukes of Hazzard.

John Mayer, Not Too Funny, But Still Funnier Than Dane Cook

Here is some youtube footage of wuss-pop acoustic guitar rocker John Mayer doing his stand-up routine at the Comedy Cellar. If you ask me I think he needs a catch phrase.

Everest in Peace

Apparently a 17 yr old girl just climbed Mount Everest. That means that pretty much any guy can do a crabwalk up the world's tallest peak.

I Hope Oden and Durant Brought Their Raincoats

In the most exciting thing to happen to the Pacific Northwest since Kurt Cobain took a shotgun to his head or Starbucks started selling Orange Creme Frappuccino, the NBA Draft Lottery order is in and the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Supersonics are #1 and #2, guaranteeing either team a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.

Initially, I thought this outcome was substantive proof that the draft lottery is not fixed, but this draw seems sure to ignite the Blazers-Sonics rivalry and may even lead to the Sonics remaining in Seattle. So ultimately this draft may save basketball in the Pacific Northwest.

That being said, having Durant and Oden hanging out in the Goondocks may have a negative impact on the the NBA since East Coast fans will generally not be able to watch the two most hyped rookies to enter the league at the same time since Magic and Bird. Fans like myself are going to have to rely on Sportscenter highlights, the early TNT/ESPN game, or when they come to town to dismantle the Knicks in order to view 'the future" in the present.

The big winner in all of this? The Trailblazers of course. They already have an impressive young nucleus featuring last year's Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy and #2 overall pick Lamarcus Aldridge. Oden would be a perfect fit next to the offensively minded Aldridge and will be able to get some easy baskets off of Roy's penetration. But what to do with Zach Randolph? The Blazers could go the Durant route, pop him into the SF spot, giving them a lineup featuring Roy, Durant, Aldridge, and Randolph. That is potentially as talented a lineup as any team in the West and can create matchup problems at four positions. It's a good time to be a Blazers fan. Of course they could say screw it and draft that Chinese 7 footer. That would be Sam Bowie's pick, so that he would no longer be considered the biggest blunder in franchise history (The Blazers drafted him over Michael Jordan).

The big loser? Bill Simmons. He must feel like an idiot now for having devoted 1000,000 to Durant/Oden/the Celtics tanking.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Rasheed is the Coolest Guy in the NBA - continued

4. Sense of Humor: Rasheed is funny. Despite being the NBA's posterboy for petulance and anger, Sheed is actually a big hit amongst fellow NBA players. If you watch Pistons' games closely (I know that can be tough sometimes) Sheed can be seen cracking up opponents while lining up for free throws. Anyways, here is some video evidence (special thanks to

Pondering the NBA Draft Lottery

If the Knicks win or place second in tonight's NBA Draft Lottery thus handing the rights to either Oden or Durant to the Chicago Bulls, will Isiah be fired on the spot?

The Triple Frown

Betting on Preakness is the worst. In the Kentucky Derby the field is large and relatively wide open. The handicappers only have so much information to go on and many of the horses are relatively unknown or unproven. This makes for great betting. It's possible to hit an exacta or trifecta for hundreds or thousands of dollars, respectively. In fact I hit an exacta for $600 on the 2003 Derby. The Preakness is the exact opposite. The winner of the Derby is the prohibitive favorite in the Preakness and for good reason, since the track is similar in size and the horse had already performed well on a big stage. Over the last several years, more often than not, the winner of the Derby has gone onto win or at least place at the Preakness making gambling pay-offs extremely low, even on lower percentage bets. The only way to make a big pay day at Preakness is to bet the favorites very heavy (no fun) or to shy away from the Derby winner (not prudent).

This year was no different. All of the action was spread over Curlin and Street Sense, and wouldn't you know it, they finished one and two in that order. In fact the top three favorites finished 1, 2, and you guessed it..3. So if you boxed a trifecta you won $50 on a $12 bet.

Thankfully, the Belmont is a longer race and will be a bit wide open, but after watching Curlin close on Saturday, the smart money would be on him. The best bet is to pair him up with a couple long shots and hope that your ship comes in.

I hope I didn't step on SYHD contributor Pete Rose's shoes with this post.

Pun of the Day

In a recent interview former world heavyweight champion George Foreman was grilled on the Rumble in the Jungle and stated that he believes prior to the fight that he was rope a doped in more ways than one. Foreman claims that his trainer handed him some water which tasted like medicine. Foreman drank the mystery liquid and by third round felt as if he had already fought for fifteen. This sounds like sour grapes from the current world indoor grilling champion and it's very interesting that this story has come out just as his memoirs are being released. When asked if he was aware of any possible drugging of Foreman, former world champ Muhammad Ali shook his head "No."

Tremont, You Wanted a Tyler Clippard Picture and You're Going to Get a Tyler Clippard Picture

Now that this picture has surfaced from Tyler Clippard's Myspace account, it may be increasingly difficult for heterosexual Yankee fans to root for the young hurler. Since there are so few heterosexual Yankee fans however, revenue will not be effected in the slightest. In a related story, while the Yankees announced that they have placed an order for 500,000 pink Tyler Clippard jerseys, they have also banned all team personnel from having myspace accounts. Giambi will now have to meet young boys on street corners like a run of the mill perv.

Who does this kid think he is? Brady Quinn?

I Just Missed the Trifecta!

Ok both Deadspin and Withleather have posted this so it's not a scoop, yet I felt this had to be put on the blog because it is everything SYHD stands for. Yes, it's Port-O-John racing from Preakness and it's all you hoped it would be.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Belated Thoughts on Yankees/Mets Series

- I am starting to believe Oliver Perez is the real deal. At this point, acquiring Perez from the Pirates may well be Omar Minaya's most impressive transaction.

- David Wright has answered all of my recent concerns about him. I was still justified in questioning his performance, as he had been mediocre over his last 100 games.

- The Yankees played the Mets just about dead even this weekend, despite throwing their number 3,7,and 11 starters and having to use their bullpen for 9 innings on Saturday. The Yankees are probably still as good as anybody, but they won't make the playoffs. You just can't spot good teams 10.5 game leads (8 games in the wild card).

- Tyler Clippard was very impressive last night. He displaced pretty good command, a nice slider and changeup, a deceptive motion, and a visage disturbingly similar to Clay Aiken's. He kept an excellent Mets lineup off balance for 6 solid innings. If he can stay healthy, I'm fairly high on the Yankee Clippard. I'm only cautiously optimistic that I will eventually be able to watch him pitch without thinking of America's favorite effeminate, Southern, reality show runner-up.

P. S. I couldn't find a pic that properly captured Clippard's resemblance to Aiken. Watch him pitch and you will see it.

Greg Ostertag Body Spray, Prepare Your Disclaimer Now

Clinton Portis, best known for dressing as a pimp and a clown, has chosen an odd issue to make his first high profile political statement about. Global warming? Who cares? Stem cell research? Genocide in Darfur? Dar-what? No, this dummy is taking a pro-dog fighting stance. On Michael Vick's most recent legal troubles, Portis said "I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property, it's his dog. If that's what he wants to do, do it. I think people should mind their business."
Ironically, friends of Massa Portis in 1850, may well have used a similar defense to justify the abuse of Clinton's ancestors. His next goofy costume should be a Snausage suit, that he is forced to wear in a room of starving pit bulls.

On a unrelated note on animal-based sports, can we knock it off with the horse racing already? I understand that the sport basically exists to facilitate a day of boozing and gambling. Ordinarilly I'd be all for something like that. In fact, I attended the Belmont Stakes a few years ago, for this very reason. However, I will never support the sport again. After seeing Barbaro kick up a storm and still get forced into the gate, then suffer a fatal injury at last year's Preakness, I was forced to face the fact the horse racing is another form of animal cruelty. Besides, it seems rather arbitrary to get excited about who the fastest 3 year old horse is, in a 1.25 to 1.5 mile race. Why don't we care which 5 year old koala can climb a 80 foot tree the fastest? Isn't it odd that three times a year, we get worked up about horse races, when we can only get it up once every four years to see who is the world's fastest man?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

What a grand entrance
Flying in from the heavens
Check the zipline first

Friday, May 18, 2007


I enjoy over-hyping prospects as much as anyone. For instance, I sincerely believe that Kevin Durant has a good chance to become the greatest basketball player ever. That statement will likely look ridiculous in 10 years, but trying to project the future is 80 percent of the fun of being a sports junkie. Besides nothing I have ever said, or even thought, will ever look nearly as ridiculous as this... asks us "What happens when you cross Yao Ming with Allen Iverson?"
-F**k my a**!!! You get a guy who is both the tallest and fastest man in basketball, with the heart of a lion, whose crossover dribble and jump hook are equally unguardable. You have a guy that should average 50 points, 25 rebounds, and 12 assists a game. In short, you have a man who is head and shoulders above anyone who has ever played the sport.

"You get a prospect like Yi Jianlian, a fundamentally sound 7-footer from China with a sweet stroke, great handle and world of intrigue."
-I don't know whether be excited to see this guy play or disspirited by the knowledge that the knowledge that whichever team drafts him will lock up the next 15 NBA Championships.

You Tube Clip of the Week

In what has to be the funniest video of Toddler violence since the infamous "kid's melon getting obliterated by basketball" video-a young child accidentally wanders in front of an underground Hip Hop breakdance performance and pays the price. (which coincidentally is SYHD founder Mookie's former breakdance troop). Is it safe to say she officially got served?

Separated At Birth

Carrot Top, Beeker from The Muppets, and SYHD contributor Fat Dizzle

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lord, Please Kill These Men

I'll keep this brief, because I know you are all busy. I hope the next story I read about Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens, or Brett Favre is in the obituaries. As you were.

NBA Police, Stern But Unfair

In a classic example of biting off your nose to spite your face, the NBA by suspending Stoudamire and Diaw will have severely damaged its present and future product if the Suns do lose this series. As I alluded to in yesterday's Memo to Stern post, the NBA is a copycat league. The best thing for the league is for one of these run and gun, high scoring teams to win an NBA Championship. Such success will lead other GM's and coaches will emulate that style of play, thus ushering in a new NBA golden age. If San Antonio or Detroit wins, the league will remain in a status quo because nothing will have changed much over the past few years. While the Spurs and Pistons play the game well, they do not have captivating styles of play.

Even if the Suns overcome the 3-2 deficit against the Spurs and beat the Jazz to reach the NBA Finals, the copycat effect will only take place if the Suns win the title. Otherwise their system will be viewed as one that can get you close to the top, but not all the way there and the old adage will continue to hold true- Defense wins championships.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

You won't lose a no
Disqualification match
If you bring a gun.

Proof of just how dull the Yankees really are.

For more proof that the Yankee players are a bunch of dull, lifeless robots, look no further than wrestling promoter/Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldman. Towards the end of her painful, over-the-top reaction to Clemens announcing his return, she screams "You should see whats going on in the Yankee dugout!!" You would think the players were dancing around giving eachother chestbumps having a jolly old time. But no, these are the corporate Yankees. What was "going on in the Yankee dugout" was that a few of the guys were sitting there smiling. They weren't even really talking to eachother.

Waldman, who deals with Yankee players on a daily basis, is so used to dealing with these mindlessly boring players that she's lost perspective. To her, that was a CRAZY reaction. And to this Yankee team, that WAS a bonkers reaction. Oh well, at least there's one exciting team in New York.

Thanks David Stern

If the Suns lose a close game tonight and subsequently the series, it will be one of the greatest stains on David Stern's legacy as a commissioner. That a toss-up series that may well decide the NBA Champioinship, may be decided by a few inconsequential steps onto a court is beyond ridiculous. He created a stupid rule in the first place and is compounding his error by not using discretion in enforcing it.

I believe that Stern is so terrified of the "thug" image his league has developed that he lost his mind. He is sabotaging one of the most compelling series his league has had in years, in an effort to preserve the NBA's reputation. However, by suspending star players, he has called further attention to an otherwise completely forgettable minor skirmish. Double whammy: Worse on court product and more negative press.

Coming to the defense of a person you care about is the right thing to do, in just about any other context that I can imagine. I don't mean you should start swinging your arms like a psychopath, but making your presense felt in such a situation is more than appropriate. The fact that they were able to be restrained by a simple nudge from a middle-aged assistant coach shows that their intentions were not to start a brawl.

So what are the lessons learned?
1) If you are losing a game, have a scrub flagrantly foul your opponent in front of their bench and hope to provoke one of their stars to leave the bench.
2) Don't run to the defense of your teammates.
3) If you do impulsively leave the bench, you might as well not restrain yourself, because you are going to get suspended anyway. Jump right into the fray.

Does any of this make sense?

Comeback Names

While writing my letter to Charles Barkley, it occured to me that you don't really run it to a lot of guys named Charles/Charlie/Chuck under the age of 40. I find this disappointing, because it is such a solid name. You immediately want to be friends with a fella named Charles. It is long overdue for a big time comeback. Here are my top three names that are more likely belong to your father's friends than your's, and need to be brought back in a big way...

1) Charles/Charlie/Chuck
2) Francis/Frank/Frankie
3) Raymond/Ray

Comments? Any names that I missed?

Did Horry do it on purpose?

This is a topic that not many people have entertained, but I think its worth discussing. It just doesn't seem feasible to me that Robert Horry had a "meltdown" the other night. The guy is a veteran in the truest sense of the word, and has been in at least the 2nd round of the playoffs every single season of his career. He has also won 19 championships. Why would he suddenly make such a ridiculously short-sighted decision, and shove Steve Nash off the court right at the end of an extremely close playoff game.

This conspiracy theorist feels that Horry realized that he was right by the Phoenix bench, and he would sacrifice himself getting suspended, to get a couple of key Suns players suspended when they would instinctually run out to defend Elizabeth Hurley's former beau.

What it comes down to, is the fact that Robert Horry is either way too smart, fooling just about everyone, or way too dumb, considering that he has more playoff experience than just about everyone in the league. You be the judge.

Newsday Trying to Start Some Trouble

This is the backpage of today's NY Newsday. In case you can't read it, the blurb under "Rocket Strike" states, "Clemens says Yankees need to 'get it together' before he arrives." After reading that I was all prepared to construct a rant about how selfish Clemens is to accept over $1M per start and then say that he is not going to pitch until the Yankees start playing better. The headline proved to be extremely misleading however, as the "get it together" language taken out of context. Here is the entire quote:

"I guess all I can tell you is that, when I made the appearance at Yankee Stadium, Derek said it best. I'm not going to be there for two or three weeks, so they have to get it together and get things going."

Nowhere does Clemens gives the ultimatum that Newsday alludes to on the backpage. He simply wants the Yankees to start winning. This is hardly worthy of backpage fodder. It's just a shoddy job by the heads sports editor, but I'm sure it will sell some papers.

Also at the rate NY papers are going, headline writers will run out of Rocket puns by June 1.

Memo To David Stern

The NBA should mandate that pure point guards be the highest paid players in the league. Watching a game involving Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, and even TJ Ford and Chris Paul is infinitely more entertaining than a game involving a lesser point guard. The ball and player movement that takes place on teams featuring these guards is so much more fluid and entertaining than games featuring more shot oriented point guards. If the market significantly rewards the pass first play maker over shoot first pg then younger players will begin to emulate the Nashes and the Kidds rather than the Iversons and the Francises. With more pure point guards, games will be more exciting, the product will be better, and league/team revenues will increase thus negating the increase in pg salaries. It's a no lose scenario.

I understand that perhaps pure point guards can't be manufactured. That there is an inherent skill and talent in seeing the court a certain way that can't be taught. That no matter how hard a talented guard may try, he simply can't duplicate the way Nash weaves in and out of traffic constantly looking for the open cutter. This is certainly an intriguing argument, but I believe (albeit with no empirical or anecdotal evidence to back me up) that players as naturally gifted and talented as a Marbury or an Iverson, if indoctrinated at a young age, could do everything that a Jason Kidd does and more. But the shoot first guards developed their games playing a lot of pick up ball, where a combination of lack of cohesion and their natural talent led them to play one on one basketball, breaking down the defense and generally looking for their own shot because they could get it and make it the vast majority of the time. And they were rewarded by that style of play through accolades, respect, tall tales, recruitment to college, and for the most talented, the NBA. Just as Iverson was hitting college recruitment age, the NBA had moved into a game dominated by isolation offense and individual matchups. Players like him were (and still are) a much sought after commodity, so other players surely couldn't be faulted for developing and patterning their games similar to Iverson or Michael Jordan.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Iverson, or Francis, or Marbury. They have been very good basketball players over their career. Iverson will most likely end up in the Hall of Fame and did lead a marginally talented team to the NBA finals. My point is that those 76er teams were not that much fun. Sure Iverson could put on a show individually, but I did not get the same sense of excitement watching that team as I do watching the Suns, Nets, and yes even the Jazz.

The NBA is a copycat league, so the best thing that can happen is for the Suns to win the NBA Championship. Then every team will be looking for their Nash and players realizing that will try to change their games accordingly. Many at higher levels will not be able to do that as it's tough to teach old dogs new tricks, but if more younger talented ball players try to emulate Nash and Kidd the NBA will be much better off in the future. Plus you won't have those cranky blue collar middle aged white guys lamenting over all those selfish thugs playing basketball anymore. That alone is well worth it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

Chyna giving X-Pac
naked bucking broncos makes me
want to vomit myself.

*The extra syllable in each line is for Chyna's extra bulbous clitoris.*

The new revolution in pitching.

In a bizarre story, former pitcher Mike Marshall claims to have developed a pitching delivery that will revolutionize the position and eliminate arm injuries. The rotation involves no leg kick and no rotation of the hips. One of his students describes it as "we kinda throw like a girl".

Its fascinating to watch, and at first almost looks like the pitcher will throw it underhand. The article features a video of 35–year-old, former major-league pitcher Jeff Sparks, a Marshall student.

Some say he's nuttier than a fruitcake, but others are realizing that he has something here. It may take years for baseball teams to even consider adopting Marshall's ideas, but whoever decides first may have an advantage. Maybe the Yankees bullpen will give it a whirl.

Random Question of the Day

Am I just a complete weirdo, or has anyone else ever had the undying urge to buy one of those Ron Popeil spray paint cans full of hair and just blast it on Manu Ginobli's bald spot?

The Vin-Sane Asylum

Vince Carter is like that annoying kid you got stuck on the team with in your high school gym class. You know, the one that feels he has to take and miss every single shot, while you can't do anything except watch?

Is Vince Carter a good player? Of course. Is he a very good player? Yes. Is he a great player? No way, Jose Reyes. I said it when he first arrived in New Jersey and i'll say it again - you'll never win with Vince Carter. You're more likely to win a championship with Teen Wolf on the court. Vince is the quintessential ballhog. When he gets control of the ball, the entire offense goes into a standstill. He dribbles it for a decade before shooting, and by that point

Vince is anti-clutch, and the anti-superstar. He insists on taking the game in his own hands as if he's one of the greats in the league. He shot less than 25% last night, but still demanded the ball at the end of the game (not to mention the stomach churning missed free throws). You can't handle this role, Vince.

I understand why the Nets dealt for him a couple of years ago. Rod Thorn admittedly made a mistake letting Kenyon Martin go. This doesn't look as bad because Martin's basically played 9 minutes in the last 3 years, but no one knows if he would have gotten hurt had he stayed in the Garden State. The Kenyon Martin Nets' teams were tremendously fun to watch. They played fluid on offense and defense, and played as a team, with no one insisting on controlling the ball even when he was playing like shite.

Vince is a tough guy to like. He demanded a trade to the Nets, earning him the venom of all Toronto Raptors fans. But the thing that bothers me the most about him is that he ALWAYS seems non-chalant on the court. Always. Vince, you're not Dylan McKay. You're a professional basketball player. It seems like he feels that if he plays well, he plays well, but if he's off that day, so be it. Thats not what you want in your star players. He also seems WAY too concerned with being everyone on the other team's best friend. Have you ever seen him right before the game starts. He's hugging eveyone on the other team like they just met up at the Ghostbar in Vegas. And when he's playing, you almost feel that he'd rather lose and make sure everyone still likes him on the other team, than win and have someone be mad at him.

You're a frustrating player, Vince, and i'm glad you're not a Knick. I get to watch WINNERS play every night - like Marbury, Steve Francis, and Eddy Curry. Its damn great to be a Knicks fan.

A Preemptive Rant

The Suns' season was all but done midway through the fourth quarter in last night's thrilling Western Conference Semifinal game 4 when all of a sudden Timmy, Manu and the rest of the whiners started thinking about who they should knee in the nuts and kick in the achilles next round-Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, or both (or perhaps have Jacque Vaughn give Andrei Kirilenko the shocker). Then something amazing happened: the Spurs, notorious for closing out games out home, completely folded under the pressure and are now heading back to the valley of the sun tied at 2 games a piece. And in the final moments the Spurs, knowing their fate was sealed handled the loss the way any classy championship veteran team would-by cross-checking the 2-time league MVP into the eighth row in the waining seconds. It was at this point that a minor melee ensued in which Boris Diaw and Amare Stoudemire took 3 steps onto the court from the bench to defend their teammate. And this finally brings me to my point: league rules currently stipulate that leaving the bench during a fight is an automatic one game suspension. Has there ever been a dumber rule in the history of organized sports? Should the outcome of an already great playoff series hinge on whether Diaw and Stoudemire took an extra step over an arbitrary line? Are the bigwigs in Seacaucus thick-headed enough to understand that they will be cheating the players and the fans out of what should be a spectacular game five in Phoenix? For the sake of the fans (a Detroit-San Antonio series has the appeal of watching a rectal exam in HD for three hours), and for the sake of the game, lets hope not.

Monday, May 14, 2007

An Open Letter to Charles Barkley


I'm a big fan. I loved you as a player and love you even more on Inside the NBA. I hold you in such high esteem, that I feel bad about criticizing anything you do. I mean, you are a larger than life figure and a fine ambassador for the game of basketball. Who am I to tell you what you are doing wrong?

Sir, with all due respect, please put Dwyane Wade in your Fave 5. Either that or definitively tell the kid that he will never achieve this status. Whichever you choose, he needs some closure and frankly, I do as well. There's a fine line between good-natured ribbing and unnecessary callousness. I believe you may have crossed it. If you continue on this path, you may lose a friend in Dwyane and a fan in me.


Nightly Wrestling Haiku

A bionic arm.
The torture rack. Yes, he is
The total package.

Pun of the Day

There is no fair way to deal with golf coach whose behavior was not up to par.
(Now yelling "fore" because this pun is awful and missed its mark)

Actually there is a fair way to deal with him, they fired him, but I didn't want to ruin a perfectly good pun. Apparently University of Georgia women's golf coach Todd McCorkle behaved extremely inappropriately with his players by continually making sexually explicit statements and showing his team the Paris Hilton sex video. This guy is in some deep....rough.

While We Are on the Nostalgia Tip, This Guy Was One Sharp Shooting Mother Tucker

Here is a clip of my all-time favorite basketball player, Trent Tucker, nailing two game winning shots against the Bulls. The second shot was hit on Martin Luther King Day 1990 and still ranks as my favorite moment of in Knicks history. It came with one tenth of a second left on the clock and prompted the NBA to make a rule that no player can catch and shoot a shot with less than .3 left on the clock. How many players can say that they altered the NBA rule book? I truly tried to pattern my own game after Trent by hanging around the 3pt line, shooting as soon as I get the ball, and by never driving to the hole, rebounding, or playing defense.

Tom Chambers Makes Me Smile

I know it has been played a thousand times, but it still never ceases to amaze me. Here is Tom Chambers throwing down from 10 feet away with his entire torso over the rim, Teen Wolf style.

Random Thought From the Weekend of Sports

Sorry, no full fledged weekend wrap-up today because I went on a little getaway and did not catch a lot of the weekend's action. But I was able to catch the moment generating the most water cooler talk this morning-B Diddy absolutely crapping on AK 47 right here:

After the dunk, I began wondering who will get the royalties for the the inevitable posters to be printed of this emphatic posterization. Will the Warriors get the majority of proceeds because Davis is their employee and thus own in game images of him? Can the NBA sell the poster without kicking money back to either Davis or the Warriors? What percentage of the profits will Davis see? After all it was his gravity defying behavior that is responsible for the lasting image. Also Kirilenko should really get something out of being on the receiving end of the facial. AK played a pivotal role in the slam's ascension into NBA folklore. Without his unsuccessful block attempt, the dunk would have just slipped in and out of the public consciousness without nary a second thought. He deserves to be justly compensated as well.

Still this is just the second best playoff dunk shot I've ever seen. Number 1? Well, let's just refer to it as "The Dunk." I think Michael Jordan still wakes up in a cold sweat from this baseline jam, though when he does wake up he is probably comforted that he is a multi-millionaire and the best basketball ever and then goes right back to sleep.

Nightly Wrestling.Haiku

I do not believe

That Isaac Yankem was a

Certified dentist

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The A-Rod Apologete (Vol. III)

I apologize that my final installment of The A-Rod Apologete is about as timely as the Vatican's admission of the heliocentric nature of the solar system. I have deliberately avoided completing this series for over a month, as presenting the statistical analysis debunking the myth that Rodriguez can't get the job done in the playoffs is by far the most tedious chore of my defense. It is far easier, and more fun, taking pot shots at the common fan.

In his 53 postseason at bats prior to joining the Yankees, A-Rod batted .340, with 3 doubles and 3 HRs. He was good for a .375 OBP/.566 SLG/.941 OPS. His career regular season OPS is .962, which places him among the handful of greatest players in the history of the sport. The difference between .941 and .962 is
a) completely statistically irrelevant based on the number of at bats and
b) less than one would expect given that
1) teams with bad pitching rarely make the playoffs
2) 5th starters never pitch in the playoffs
3) the ass-end of bullpens rarely see the light of day in the postseason

By now, you should be convinced that Rodriguez was an excellent postseason hitter, before becoming a member of the Yankees. But what of his playoff performance in New York?

Alex Rodriguez's was phenomenal in his first Yankees playoff series. In the 2004 ALDS against the Twins, Rodriguez went 8 for 19, with 3 doubles and a home run. For those sabermetrically inclined, he put up a .476 OBP/.737 SLG/1.213 OPS.

"Surely he compiled these numbers in the midst of blowouts, right?"
Not at all, straw man. Allow me to walk you through it.

After losing Game 1, the Yankees were in nearly a must win situation in Game 2. They could not afford to go down 2-0 in a best of 5 series. Alex Rodriguez broke a 3-3 tie in the 5th inning with a home run. He then singled in a run in the 7th to extend the lead to 5-3. The resilient Twins rallied back to tie the game up in the 8th inning. The game remained knotted at 5-5 until the 12th inning, when Rodriguez came up with runners on first and second. He proceded to blast a game-winning ground-rule double into the gap.

A-Rod's Game 2 Numbers: 4 for 6, a double, a HR, 2 Rs, 3 RBI. He was the only player on the team with more than one hit. He put the Yankees ahead twice, including the game winning hit in the 12th inning. Certifiably clutch performance.

Up 2-1, going into Game 4, the Yankees needed a win in order to avoid playing a deciding Game 5 in Minnesota. In the 9th inning of a 5-5 tie, Alex Rodriguez led off the inning with a double. That his teammates couldn't drive him home does not make this hit any less clutch.
Still tied in the 11th, A-Rod ripped a one out double. He then stole third base. He then scored on a wild pitch. So he single-handedly scored the winning run of Game 5. Unquestionably, Alex Rodriguez was the MVP of the 2004 ALDS, saving his best games for the two hard-fought extra-inning affairs.

"Yeah, but he sucked in the next series against the Red Sox!"
Straw man, you are making this far to easy.

The Yankees started off the 2004 ALCS up 3-0, due in no small part to the fact that A-Rod went 6 for 14 with 2 doubles, a HR, 7 runs, and 3 RBI! Then in Game 4, A-Rod hit a 2-run homer to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the game that could easily have been the game that clinched the series for them.

So at this point in his career, Alex Rodriguez had had 88 postseason at bats. All he had done was hit .375, with a .414 OBP/.670 SLG/1.084 OPS. Those numbers are slightly better than Lou f'n Gehrig's career regular season OPS of 1.079. Not too shabby.

"Fine, but he choked in Games 4 through 7".
Straw man, you clearly have shit for brains!

First, like I already said, Rodriguez hit a go-ahead homer in Game 4. Granted, he went 0 for 3 after that at bat, but he still did his part that day.

The next day, A-Rod went 0 for 4 with 2 walks. While obviously not a great performance, Game 5 was only a big game IN HINDSIGHT. The Yankees were up 3-1 in the series, with homefield awaiting in Game 6 and 7. They were still playing with the house's money at this point. You can't decide which at bats are clutch ex post facto. If nobody thought those plate appearances were crucial at the time, it's hard to make the case that Rodriguez crumbled under the pressure.

Rodriguez then went 1 for 4 in Game 6, which while not great, seems highly forgiveable, given his track record to that point. Finally A-Rod went 0 for 4 in Game 7. Not good. But what if you found out the Red Sox won 10-3 and were leading 6-0, by Rodriguez's second at bat. Had he hit 4 home runs, they still would have lost the game. In fact, if he hit a solo homer and a 2 run dinger in said game, they would probably remembered as "more meaningless A-Rod home runs".

This is where he first develops his reputation as a choke artist? In a post season in which he bats .320, with 3 HRs, 11 Rs, 8 RBI in 11 games. Absolutely ridiculous!

I can't defend the 3 for 29, Rodriguez has put up in the past two post seasons. But these things happen, even to great players. He has shown that he is capable of being brilliant in the playoffs before and he will again. Perhaps the only thing stopping him is the utter lack of support from his home fans. After hitting like Paste in Bases Loaded for 8 playoffs games, A-Rod was treated like a bumbling Fredo figure, dropping the revolver and letting the Yankees' World Series hopes get shot to shit in the last three. He must feel that he has to be super-human to please Yankees' fans. That can't be a good thing to have in your head, as you step to the plate in a big spot.

(Check to verify all stats)

Pink Bats Are Gay

I hate to be SYHD's resident insensitive prick, but the shoe fits so well...

Rarely will I use this space to get my Ralph Kramden on, but come on. Can we just let men be men, at least while playing sports? The pink wrist bands and bats on Mothers' Day are really irritating. I can sympathize with anybody who has suffered from, or knows anyone who suffered from "women cancer". My own mother had breast cancer several years ago. Any effort to eradicate this awful disease is noble. However, there has to be a better way to raise awareness than giving the appearance that you have turned over accessorizing duties to a 4 year old girl.

Tremont: Master Prognosticator

I wrote this on April 30; "The Bulls are even better than I thought. I think they will represent the East in the NBA Finals. They don't have any weaknesses and now have a star to carry them in Luol Deng".

On April 21, I opined "Everyone is talking about how Golden State swept the 3 regular season games between these two teams. I don't think this is particularly relevant, because the first game was played during the Mavs' 0-4 start and the last two occured after Dallas had all but locked up the 1 seed... Mavs in 5." And this "I think Houston will make relatively short work of Utah...Houston in 5, with a genuine chance of going all the way."

Had I been around at the time, I probably would have warned Columbus that he was going to sail off the face of the Earth.

Least recognizable president in U.S. History

The award for least recognizable president in U.S. History goes to 15th president James Buchanan. Has anybody heard of this idiot?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Met-ro Sexuals

Because uniforms were not enough to identify the Mets as teammates, the players collectively decided to shave their heads. I can't decide if this act is more juvenile or gay.

Seriously, if your co-workers approached you with the idea of getting the same haircut as a show of solidarity, the two most appropriate responses would be "What are you 10 years old?" or "I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong idea, but I am heterosexual".
I am still waiting for Mike Pelfrey to show even a glimpse that he might one day become a quality Major Leaguer. Even when a future star struggles, you usually at least see SOME flashes of brilliance. Pelfrey doesn't strike anybody and walks a lot of guys. Not a good combination.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

Somehow Irish whips
Send guys into the ropes and
Back with equal force.

And this Ricky just loves that sticky-icky-icky

Can Ricky Williams possibly have ANY desire to play football? I honestly don't think he cares about playing at all. One year after being suspended, and one month from being reinstated, he got busted again for smoking sensimilia.

This is humorous because he was on the Dan Patrick show (ESPN Radio) last month and was asked a series of questions about his marijuana use. He claimed that he had just been tested 5 minutes earlier, and that he hadn't gotten high in 3 years. To quote Lisa Turtle, this might happen "when worms have ears."

Some of us quit our youthful marijuana habits to function better for our $40,000 a year jobs, that might not even test for drugs. This guy couldn't quit his tree habit for a multi-million dollar job that basically offers you a choice of which smoking-hot model you want to take home each night, and one that 100% definitely WILL test for marijuana.

Maybe paranoia and the munchies really are better than fame and fortune.

Oh really, Rickey? You still want to play?

So Rickey Henderson is mulling a comeback after being inspired by the Rocket's return. The 48 year old Henderson stated "I’m going to look at it at the end of the year. I might come out with some crazy stuff, a press conference telling every club, ‘Put me on the field with your best player and see if I come out of it.’ If I can’t do it, I’ll call it quits at the end.”

Now, Rickey may be fooling the casual fan into thinking that he spontaneously became inspired to return just this past week, but i just ain't buyin' it. This is a man that has been yearning to play in the major leagues for the past 3 seasons. He played with the San Diego Surf Dawgs of the Golden Baseball League, a Class-A independent league, in 2005. In fact, the man was insisting in May 2005, that he was still capable of playing in the majors. He'd cut his taint off for the opportunity to be in the major leagues, and he's trying to convince us that he's doing baseball a favor by coming back.

Rickey Henderson, if anything, is opportunistic. He seized a pretty good opportunity to create some publicity for himself. But Rickey, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people, pal.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

Fear the Camel Clutch
No one is safe from its grasp
Michael Richards you're next

a Byrd of its own feather

Lets put an end to the debate about just how Marlon Byrd has affected Major League Baseball. There's almost a John Cena-esque split among baseball most hardcore fans - half of them saying that Marlon Byrd will lead us to baseball's downfall, with the other half endlessly praising Byrd's every passing of wind as if it were the Emancipation Proclamation.

Facts are facts, people. Baseball attendance has risen EVERY YEAR since Byrd has joined the major leagues. Every. Single. Year. Lets never question Byrd's prominent place in sports history again, okay, people?

The Education of Deron

This is gripping stuff, people. Even if you could care less about the inhabitants of the Bay Area and Utah. Deron Williams (who had two fouls in the first minute!) is icey-water-in-veins guy for life, backing down Baron Davis like an overweight Uncle does to his nephews at a BBQ. Can you think of another draft that produced two point guards like Chris Paul and Deron Williams? I can't...The Atlanta Hawks and their nine swingmen are a total mess and they missed on this twice! THE NBA PLAYOFFS: WHO KNEW?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nightly Wrestling Haiku

Never attempt to
Expose a turnbuckle for
It always backfires.