With A White Bitch?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome the newest member of your Boston Celtics, Jesus Shuttlesworth himself Ray Allen. It only took the Celtics trading away Delonte West, who averaged 12.4 ppg last year and Big East Player of the Year Jeff Green (aka No. 5 Pick), also Wally and his amazing technicolor expiring contract. This is great news for Celtics fans what we get is the hardest worker in the NBA. Ray Allen is a great human being and will be a leader in the community. He will bring a work ethic to the Celtics that will be an example for the young nucleus of the team.

Ok seriously Ray Allen fucking lazy-ass one dimensional Ray Allen is what Danny Ainge cooked up for the Celtics. What is the best possible outcome of this trade for the C's? Allen scores 24 or 25 a game all while being a defensive liability and taking shots away from Pierce and Jefferson. Maybe if we are lucky Allen will just decide to tank the season and fake an injury. At least the Celtics didn't give up their future to get KG.....

Danny Ainge you are on notice. Who knows what I'm capable of?

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Team Full of Injuries

In case you don't know, or just aren't a fan of them, the Phillies are hurt. Very, very hurt. So hurt that they have started J.D. Durbin and J.A. Happ in two out of their last games. I don't know if you have heard of these two initialed men, but neither have I. Durbin looked atrocious in game one of yesterday's doubleheader against the Mets, and I'm not looking forward to Happ's start against Mets pitcher Jorge 'Not Sammy' Sosa today on NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Why God? Why have you doomed this team? We began the series 3 games back of the old Metropolitans, but now are 5 back, in third place behind the Cox and Balls' Atlanta Tomahawks, and the best we can hope for is breaking even and remaining 3 back of Willie Randolph and the New York Other Team. Of course after Fireballer Happ's start today we get the (Ssshhh) surprisingly strong Kyle Kendrick in the fourth game. But SERIOUSLY!!! When does the pain end?!?!?! I truly know what its like to root for an injury plagued team...plus I have MLB TV so I get to see it live and in person.

The Phils Current Rotation:
1. Cole Hamels (AKA Captain Gopher Ball, but a strong, generally reliable ace(But not last night))
2. Jamie Moyer (AKA Grandpappy- Very Old, unreliable, but decent)
3. Adam Eaton (AKA Adam Eat-Me- Older, unreliable, terrible)
4. Kyle Kendrick (AKA The Rookie- Good thus far, but fairly untested...)
5. AAA Schmuck (AKA Revolving Door of guys they send some other terrible reliever down for)

How would you feel if this was your pitching staff? Probably bad.

Lets look at the facts here:
1) 6 Pitchers Currently on the DL- 2 Relievers, 2 Starters, 1 Closer, and 1 Closer/Starter
2) 1 Other injured, But its Jason Werth'less', so it could be worse.
3) Chris 'East vs. West' Coste (Nickname courtesy of WSBGM's) a Phillie once again! And hit a solo homer before Rod Barajas decided to be Rod Barajas and give J.D. Durbin two more ER's on his immaculate resume.
4) Chase Utley a very good candidate for NL MVP (God bless his UCLA soul)
5) Pat Gillick as GM.
6) Worst of all: Charlie Manuel as Coach.

So, in conclusion, the Phillies are screwed. I'd like to think they aren't, but they are the Phillies, and they play in Philadelphia, so they will enjoy a nice golf filled month come October. Meanwhile, I predict that Bobby 'Suck My' Cox and the Braves will return to former stature and play in October.

...Also, I predict the Pirates will miss the playoffs.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner, unless Baby is a Philly sports team*.

On an unrelated note, I'm at work and just heard Easy Lover on the radio. I thought of you Jason.

*See Sixers '07 draft, 1993 World Series, 2005 Super Bowl, the last 15 years of Flyers hockey, 2006 Phillies, 1980 Eagles, the list goes on and on...

You Fuckers Are Ruining The Marathon: A Guest Post by Gent Nicely

[Editor's Note: The following is a rant by a Mr. Gent Nicely. This man cares about running. The rest of us, frankly, couldn't care less.]

Hey guys, long time listener, first time caller. Little about me, I lack the coordination or temperament for team sports and so I run. And you pricks are ruining it! I gotta lot of problems with you people, and YOU'RE GONNA HEAR ABOUT IT!!! I figure I can do this one of two ways. An overlong, meandering, inchoate expression of blistering curmudgeonry with at least one ridiculously flawed metaphor, or a series of well thought out, concise pieces about all the things that stick in my craw and elsewhere, but that's really Jason's turf, and I wouldn't want to mess with his little fiefdom of the mind. Here goes nothin'!

1. Stay Out Of The Marathon, Deadbeat!
History lesson, the first guy to run a marathon goddamn DIED. Yea. And now celebrities, fatties, and fat celebrities are cheapening one of the most meaningful and apocryphal parts of my sport's history. A marathon is a grueling, brutal trial of your own endurance and self denial. It's not supposed to be a media event, in which you make that Burberry-draped, pet Tanqueray salesman of yours hold a Ziploc bag to collect your piss. You piss on the ground, just like everybody else! You hear me, Diddy! Piss on the ground! Next!

2. You Are Not a Runner.
No, you're not. yes, you are capable of running, much the same way that a blind, stumbling, placenta caked baby calf is. And the only mother cow who's going to lick your coat clean of flabby, squodgy afterbirth of fat and laziness is you. And given the choice between metaphorically or literally licking uterine lining off a cow, most of you would probably go with the latter, you sick lazy fucks. Completing a charity fun run, 5k or even, say, a marathon doesn't make you a runner. It makes you an obstacle to the real runners in the race. 26 miles isn't far. You can walk that in 6 hours, so if you can't get 26 miles out from under you in less than 3, you probably should just stay at home, licking the Helmann's jar clean. If you don't look like the unholy product of the coupling of a freshly released Holocaust survivor and a slutty strip of beef jerky, you don't stand a chance out there. That little attention hogging 8 year old, who's just *got* to muscle his way to the front, is lucky that runners are nimble, light and able to hurdle a 4 foot obstacle. That 'roided out leviathan? Congratulations, your calves are thicker than my neck. Muscle is dead weight, meatstick, and by running all you're doing is burning it up. I'm sick of circumnavigating you at the quarter mile mark. You probably think I'm being a sour bastard at this point. Imagine if you will one of your Ty Cobbs or Jackie Robinsons going out to catch a fly ball, and getting low bridged by some toddler dicking around in the outfield. Or Lebron or Kobe or Kanye or whoever the fuck trying to fight his way down the lane through a pack of frat brothers trying to raise enough money for charity to not get kicked out of their house for date raping freshmen. You'd want some exclusivity to your sport too.

3. This Is Not 'Nam, There Are Rules!

Although no one explains them running has pretty clear Do's and Do Not Do's. Do Not Swerve In Front Of Someone Trying To Pass You. This isn't Ben Hur, and you aren't Charleton Heston, and if you are you're a human piece of despicable crap anyway. If I'm running faster than you, I am going to pass you, and there is nothing you can do about it other than make me want to throw you into the nearest tree or lightpole. You want to pull that shit on a racecourse, fucko, paint a bunch of corporate logos on your car, join NASCAR, wreck and die. DoLose Graciously To A Girl. You're in an endurance sport. Women don't stand a fucking chance. The Men's world record is 13:19 for the 5k. Women's 14:24. And it's not because girls get barbies instead of trainers in school. The people who set those records never heard of Barbie, and probably didn't have shoes for most of their lives either. They had goats. If they're lucky. And now here you are, supposedly carrying around a Y chromosome and getting edged out by a woman. If you aren't running 17:00 or better there's nothing you can do to save face right now. You're in terrible shape. If you throw down every measly bit of exertion you'd been saving up like a hibernating camel (They do. The fact that you don't know only shows you're ignorant.) not only are you physically a waste of time and space (In the Fooouuurrth dimension!) but you're basically saying that you have an 8-year old's insecurities when competing against girls. Hope you got your cootie shot before the race, dick.

4. I'm Not Running "For" Anything
Running is about the only sport, correction, only REAL sport, (Nascar, Skelton, and Luge don't count, and you know it) in which every competitor is on his own against a huge field of others. It attracts loners and misanthropes like an abandoned cabin in the middle of the Mojave, stacked with guns, whiskey, and Bukowski. Just because I have a shirt that says cancer, or prostate, or whatever on it, does not mean I give a damn about any of these charities, or the people they help. I'm there to compete with myself, for myself. I'm trying to think of a cause despicable enough to illustrate my point, but all I can come up with is a mental image of a card-carrying NAMBLA member, standing in front of the open door of the furnace to some sort of steam engine, with a shovel full of little kittens. And he doesn't tip well. I would pay that man $15 to run in a race that he sponsored to allow him to keep doing what he's doing. $20 if the T shirt is cool looking.

5. I Like Skinny Girls, Ok!
I stand 5'11" and weigh 147lbs. Fully clothed. My body fat after coming off a long, inactive winter was 7%. I've named my ribs. And I eat like a goddamn bear. Or, proportinally to my weight, a bird. Look it up! But somehow I'm a shallow perpetrator of unhealthy body image because I think that paris hilton is the only person on the planet unattractively skinny. You show me a guy who wants a woman that weighs more than him, and I'll show you one of my wierd maternal cousins that we don't really talk to. My options are limited! Get off my back, Brewer! Ok. that felt good. See you guys probably this weekend, if I ever get my damn car fixed.

- Gent Nicely

The Best Just Got Better!

The reasons no one has posted in a week? Trade talks.

After the Celtics and the Lakers dropped the ball on KG we made our move. We've got a three-way deal that would bring in KG and we'd only be losing Jason and a blogger to be named later.

Anyway, new look here at Forty Minutes of Hell. Not that much different, just a bit of a clean up.

The comments section looks a lot better. So feel free to tell us what you think.

Canadian Beer Sucks Too

Its time for my favorite sporting event, a USA-Canada international. Most of the time this epic battle gets relegated to the ice where the Canucks dominate us in hockey. Every once in a while though we get the maple syrup lovers in a game that we can dominate (see the ass whipping the original Dream Team put on Canada at the old Alamo Dome in 1992).

The semi-finals of the Gold Cup have drawn the United States and Canada. Canada has been a somewhat surprising semifinalist. Led by Julian De Guzman of Deportivo La Coruna they have played some of the best football in the tournament. On the other hand the US National Team has played well enough to win. The big question is can the Canadians playing the best football their country has seen beat a US team that looks like shit?

Quite frankly (STEPHEN A SMITH) all the US team needs to do is show up to win the game. Don't let any of the hype by the socialist Canadian media worry you. The US should win by sheer force of our developed military industrial complex. While the Canadian National Team sits back complaining about our every move and watching Trailer Park Boys the US is driving towards world domination. We are trying to spread democracy while the Canadians are busy giving old people cheap medication, you hear that cheap medication. Next thing you know good wholesome American teenage dramas will be replaced with Degrassi and all its incarnation. I'll tell you this Canada I don't need somebody with a funny accent telling the youth of America about date rape.

Its a slippery slope with the Canadians and their backwards culture and we can stop this by a total victory in Chicago.

My prediction Canada wins 2-1 on a goal by Dwayne De Rosario. Don't blame me when your kids are wearing Maple Leafs jersey's, listening to Avril Lavigne, and drinking Labatt Blue I tried to warn you.

You Can't Fight In Here, This Is The War Room!

I spent this past weekend at some lake in Western Maryland [not Vegas and J-Bug and House weren't there], which meant I watched only about 1/3 of the sports that I usually do. With that aside, I still haven't seen much coverage of the Derek Lee/Chris Young bench-clearing brawl on Saturday. Just an article or two, a Jay Mariotti rant, a segment on ATH/PTI and that's about it. Two Major League Baseball players swinging at each other, Carlos Zambrano taking off his belt, and every other player on the field and we get yet another "boys will be boys" shrug of the shoulders from sports media and the general public?

Had this fight taken place on a 94' x 50' area of hardwood, however, the sports media as well as American sports fans would be up in arms. They would be calling for season-long suspensions. They would be calling for player bans. They'd be calling for a drastic overhaul of league rules. In fact, this is what happens every time there is a fight in the NBA.

If Ralph Wiley were still alive, he'd be writing this. Except, you know, a lot better and much more professional.

This double standard in sports happens all the time.

The NFL is big brother, so everything slides. The entire Bengals’ roster gets arrested and then people start to notice. And one team gets the blame. Pacman Jones shows white America what "makin' it rain" is all about and it's just one thug. Meanwhile ESPN shows NFL Live three times a day, every day, even in the off-season, because we need to know about mini-camp for some reason.

Major League Baseball is America's Pastime. Fights happen. Brush back pitches happen. Maybe a few guys get suspended, but for the most part no one seems to care. Baseball even looked the other way on steroid abuse for more than a decade and is only now holding witch-hunts in a lame attempt to save face. Once they string Giambi and Bonds up everything will be all right and the past will fix itself, you'll see!

But in the NBA nothing slides. When the NBA Finals aren't very entertaining [see: this season] they say the system has to be changed. They say the product is no good. But no one was saying that last October when the Cardinals became the most unimpressive and least talented team to ever win the World Series.

When a fight breaks out in the NBA the media goes crazy. Fifteen game suspension handed down to Carmelo Anthony for being involved in a "fight" during this past NBA season was seen by some as too lenient. He slapped a dude in the face and then ran away. Lee and Young get five games in a season that is twice as long for the same thing and most everyone is all right with that?

There's a very good reason behind all of this. The NBA is seen as a "black league.” The MLB isn't. The NFL isn't.

When most of your fan-base is white, you're going to have trouble marketing a "black league.” You're going to have trouble getting people to tune in. You're going to have trouble in getting people to relate to the league. And all this happens, to an extent, with the NBA. But there is also another standard by which the NBA is held.

In the 70s, before the arrival of Bird and Magic, the NBA was seen as a bunch of coked-up black guys who could jump really high. Then Larry Legend, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan changed a lot of that, but not for good.

Now, the league is once again unjustly looked down upon. It's viewed as a league of over-paid, apathetic thugs. Everyone waits for the NBA to falter, and then points it out. People wait for LeBron James to be a bust and yell out "I told you so" instead of waiting for him to do something amazing. The media is far more interested in Kobe Bryant as the self-involved head case instead of Kobe Bryant as (arguably) the best professional athlete on the face of the planet.

And it doesn't seem as this is going to change any time soon. The NBA keeps skewing younger. The culture is a youth culture. And that scares the old white men who are writing columns about the league and who are running the TV stations that televise the league.

The NBA isn't obsessed with itself quite in the same way that other sports are. Major League Baseball worships its own past like a religion. And don’t you dare blaspheme that for some reason the present might be more important than the past. In the same way, the NFL takes itself way too seriously. You cannot question Big Brother because the league is Number One. You cannot challenge the decisions handed down by the NFL. It’s football’s world, we’re just paying rent.

The NBA stills realizes what they are doing out there, which is in some ways oddly refreshing. This is a game. It's a business. It’s about fun. It means nothing more than that. It isn't holding America together. It isn't the end all be all.

Maybe this is the reason that the NBA is looked down upon. Maybe it is really because the NBA is just a league that is having fun not taking itself too seriously. Maybe the MLB and the NFL have to take a step back and realize it's just a game. It's there for entertainment. It's not any more important than that.

Or maybe we're just all really afraid of black people.

Sic Semper Tony Parker!

So that's it. Seven and a half months of NBA all wrapped up in a nice little dominant performance. Tim Duncan gets his fourth ring. Robert Horry gets his seventh. America gets a French Finals MVP. The Cavs get Mike Brown.

I suppose this letdown was inevitable. This Spurs team was too good. Easily the best of the four championship teams. No one was going to beat them. In reality the Cavs had played over their heads to get there. They weren't ready to compete against a team like San Antonio. Not yet at least. So where go these teams go now?

The Spurs aren't looking to get any worse. They aren't losing anyone, their best players are at the peaks of their careers right now. There's no reason (barring an unforeseen injury) to think this team can't come back and do this again next year. You know, except for the fact they've never been able to come back and do it again next year.

The West is going to be just as touch next season, just expect some big changes. Dallas will look to make a move or two. Nothing huge, but defiantly something to shake things up. Something to shake off the funk of the last two post-seasons. The Lakers will get Kobe the help he needs, but who knows if it will be enough. Other than installing a new offense, the Rockets look to come back with a lot of the same lineup, but hopefully more of a hop in their collective step. Denver has an entire off-season to let their team gel. And look for Phoenix and Golden State to make some big moves, as both teams realize they have to win now or never.

Younger teams will pop up in the West. Portland could makes some waves, but I don't see them doing much damage yet. And just like every year in the wild, Wild West, they'll battle it out to see who gets to take on a sub par team from the East.

As for the Eastern Conference, it doesn't look like the 2007-2008 season is the one in which we see a swing of power. Not by a long shot. But that isn't to say that things won’t improve. There are a lot of teams in the East on the rise.

Cleveland has quite a season to be proud about, but they've also got a lot of work to do. This isn't a championship contender. Not quite yet. The problem is that they don't have a lot of moves they can make. They’ve got to try something though. If they don’t improve, and quickly, expect to see LeBron playing somewhere else in two years.

They have a core that they can build around, but they need more. Boobie Gibson played well in the post-season. And that wasn't a surprise to anyone but Mike Brown. Anderson and Drew Gooden can stick around as well. Other than that, they've got to mix it up and move some pieces around. They might still be building, but the East is getting better and better.

The Heat looks to have at least one more run left in them, but they're going to have to contend with the likes of Toronto and Chicago. Detroit's best days are behind them, but that isn't to say they can't resign Billups and try to will their way to the Finals. What happens in the East will depend on a lot of the big names that are being speculated about, particularly KG and The Matrix. If one or both those players end up in the East, the dynamic of the entire conference is shifted. The East can shift from a potential 2 or 3 contenders to a solid 5 or 6, depending on how the draft/trades go down.

As for the league itself, the NBA has to take a long hard look at some of its policies this off-season. Flopping has got to go. Stern's mustache needs to come back. They need to do something about the playoffs. This might be as simple as reseeding, just like every other major sport in America. They need to take another look at the stupid "no leaving the bench" rule. They really just need to sit down and look at the product and figure out how - in some cases - its gotten so bad and how they can fix it.

As for now, we take a long needed break from the NBA. And hope to God that the Spurs don't try to take over the world. Because I'm not sure we can stop them.

Are You Trying to Sell Me Haitians in a Cuban Wrapper?

The world may stop holding its breath. Children may return to school and our regularly scheduled programming will resume. All the members of the Haitian U17 soccer team who attempted to defect to the US in the last day or so have "pussied-out," so to speak, and have returned to their team and, eventually to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Personally, I find the most amazing part of this story is that anyone actually came back. How do you work up the balls to defect from your fucking country and then sour on the idea within a matter of days?

Leave it to the Cubans to show their Carribean neighbors to really defect. The most interesting part of the story is its contrast with the Haitian one; there are no concerned parties (granted, we're not talking sixteen-year olds in this one) or miffed diplomats. Apparantly the Cuban government's attitude towards defecting athletes has now been officially redefined as "fuck 'em."

Furthermore, coach Raul Gonzalez is now my linguistic hero. I oneday also hope to answer questions by first angrily stating that I will not answer it, thank you very much, and then directly answering it with a bizzare, borderline nonsensical Daoist sayings. You have been put on notice, people I know.

Sometimes you just can't find an appropriate picture. Sometimes you use a picture from "Song of the South." Can you feel the inherent racism in the air tonight?

NEVER! I REPEAT NEVER! Try to WALK to Dodger Stadium. NEVER...

As anyone on my email chains already knows... my boss has decided to dedicate his day to mowing his lawn and picking his Father-in-Law up from the airport so I have found motivation to continue my baseball stadium reviews.

So we left off after my last adventure with a dutch kid to Anaheim stadium, I took a few days off from baseball and then on Wednesday morning I set off from Anaheim to attempt a long public transit adventure across the vast expanse of LA sprawl to the baseball holy land that lay in Chavez Ravine.

I decided to check with the locals on the easiest way to Dodger Stadium and luckily none of them had the heart to tell me the truth... there is no such thing as an easy way to Dodger Stadium. So after meeting a lot of crazy locals and riding two buses and two trains and walking about 1.5 miles in a total of two and a half hours I had finally made it... to Chinatown.

On a map of LA Chinatown is the closest neighborhood to Dodger Stadium only about a mile or so to walk it, but after walking through crazy pet stores, bootleg clothing and karaoke DVDs I found no one that could tell be the best approach to walking that one mile. I decided to take a break and have a Tsing-Tao in the Golden Dragon where I caught the first 5 innings of Sox-Yanks with the owner who's grasp of the English language consisted of "Chang-Ming Wang" and "very good." Suffice to say I had four beers and very little conversation before just calling in a favor of Mel to talk be through the hike with the use of Google Maps.

The only approach to the stadium that was not on a freeway was to slide down the side of Chavez Ravine through the backyard of some vacant lots. This was scary and apparently (as I learned afterwards) totally covered in poison ivy/oak/sumac (which I now have the worst case in the history of man kind.) But after the slide/tumble down the cliff (the one behind the stadium with the green in the poster.) I hike through the traffic and numerous parking lots to the front gate of Dodger Stadium with 15 minutes left before first pitch!

The stadium is super huge and gorgeous. If you sit in the upper deck of come in through the front gate the entrance is awe-inspiring. Your enter the stadium from the very top deck behind home plate to take in the field, the two scoreboards (old LED board and new HD video screen) with the lovely green foothills behind the single deck of bleachers in the outfield. The left field hills feature letters in a HOLLYWOOD sign-esque style, which say "THINK BLUE" in large Dodger blue letters that are well lit and provide a cool signature besides the amazing baseball that has taken place on the field and the well publicized traffic.

The one down side to the large stadium is that on a weekday night game against the Brewers, it can feel really empty. The crowd was a respectable 37,000 but in a stadium that holds 55+ it sure shows when there are 20,000 empty seats!

Overall the stadium has a great vibe and knowledgeable fans that love their team and have this wonderfully understated hatred of the Giants and all things associated with the Giants. As the man seated next to me, listening to the Giants game on am radio stated, "Oh its okay I don't hate Giants fans, they'll all burn in hell anyways." Totally calm and totally serious! It was a highlight.

As for the Dodger dogs... they are pretty good but seem to be living off their catchy name. They are long and made by Farmer John but kinda skinny and not juicy enough for a ballpark dog. The food and beverage and tickets are on the higher end... I made the big mistake of not sitting in the all you can eat bleacher seats for 40 bucks!! But there were Tecate 24s for 10.50, dogs for 5.75 and my seat in the second row of the top deck behind home plate was 28 bucks. But NEVER NEVER walk there!

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Ribery You Gonna Be The Death of Me

Football is a sport populated by phenomenal athletes that most of the times look like romance novel covermodels. From time to time though some of the ugliest human beings in the world play the "Beautiful Game". The first column in this collection is about the kinf of ugly Franck "Freddy Krueger" Ribery.

Recently, Ribery was transferred to sleeping Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. Most football fans remember Ribery from the World Cup playing on the left wing for France. He is the heir apparent to the playmaker role of Zidane's on the French National team. On the field Ribery is a tremendous player that combines pacy runs and control passing. Bayern is going to use Ribery to give them more width and pace. Absolutely one of the more entertaining and skillful players on the European scene.

However, never watch a game that Ribery is involved in drunk or on anyother mind-altering drug. Watching Ribery play football is like watching a 90 minute horror movie. The plot appears to be that Ribery uses football skills that he developed after being stabbed in the face with a sodering iron to infiltrate large stadiums. Once in these stadiums Ribery plays 90 minutes of football without incident, then in the locker room he murders backroom staff. At a former club in Turkey he murdered 37 towel boys and one boot changer. During his time at Marseille he went on a Ted Bundy style killing spree in which he buried 12 female attendants in a locker.

So watch out ladies, young boys, and cats of the greater Munich area. You are in store for the greatest killing spree Deutschland has seen since Germany played Argentina in U21 action and Carlos "Carlitos" Tevez killed 14 mastodons with a rock and one of those baseball bat style clubs. Get the joke he looks like a caveman.

Kauffman Stadium...Outfielders Hell!!!

Congratulations select readers of the 'Forty Minutes Insider' Club, I will now inform you as to why the Kansas City Royals are terrible.

Drumroll please...

Kauffman Stadium!

Literally may be the worst stadium design I've ever seen...and I grew up going to Phillies games at the Vet.

Ok, so here's the deal. I was watching the Philthies two days ago, with Jon Lieber pitching what would become a gem of a complete game shutout. The game started at 7:10 EST, which, I thought, was the same time in KC. Turns out I was wrong, and that they are an hour behind. Mistake #1.

The thing is, when you start a game at Kauffman Stadium on a sunny day with two and a half odd hours of sunlight left, you may as well do that trick little kids do to ants where they burn them under a magnifying glass. Its literally like taking six blind people and saying 'Hey guys, wanna play outfield in the major leagues?'

Needless to say, when you combine the power of the sun with outfielders that already play like they are blind, you have problems. The starting outfield consists of: At Center, David De 'The Real' Jesus, at Left Joey Gaith'wrong', and in right Mark Teahen. Mark Teahen isn't even deserving of a nickname because his last name is Teahen. Make it two words. It's funny. Tea hen.

So back to the game. As I watched the first...oh...two innings, I watched Gaithwrong commit two of the silliest errors I've ever seen. He was literally right under the ball and the ball of fire blinded him as he simultaneously realized he has no talent and he dropped the ball.

Trust me, it gets even more mysterious. The Phils won because of Lieber, and the so-called 'errors'...non-existent. I don't know if they HAVE scorekeepers at 'The K' (which just adds more irony to the debacle that is the Kansas City Royals...), but it certainly doesn't seem like it.

And as an added bonus, not only do the outfielders get to contend with the sun, but they also have to contend with...WATERFALLS!!! THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF GALLONS OF PURE UNADULTERATED WATER FROM THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER*. Now I must admit, having waterfalls in the outfield is definitely cool. But not if you're an outfielder! Why would you want that gushing sound invading your ear drums?

So, in review,
WATERFALLS: Cool looking, not for drinking out of, loud.
SUN: Bright, hot, menacing, full of Machismo.

And thus ends my analysis of Kauffman Stadium. If they ever rename it, they should rename it Purgatory Plaza, because it feels heavenly due to the waterfalls, but blinding sun is there to remind you that you play for the KC Royals...which is hell.

As an addendum to my last post...acquiring Jose Mesa was, as predicted, a horrendous idea. He threw two wild pitches which scored two runs, and looks a lot older and worse than the Joe I used to know and love. I don't even want to look at the strike/ball ratio, because its embarrassing.

That's all for now, back to work. Have a great day, and be happy you aren't a Royals fan! (Or if you are...God bless your sad, sad soul.)

*Maybe...that was just a guess...could easily be the Missouri River too.

Rolling Off a Horse Onto a Slightly Smaller Horse

The Gold Cup is a hard tournament to follow. Not only to you have to have Fox Soccer Channel and copious amounts of free time, you also have to have the willpower to watch people from Trinidad and Tobago attempt to compete. Furthermore, you have to pronounce everyone's full names in order to communicate with other human beings. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I had very few tables at the bar yesterday and started trying to come up with nicknames. Furthermore, remember the movie Feivel? So far everyone I've talked to has remembered the name of the movie as Feivel and not as An American Tail. Even more interesting is that the most in-depth plot anyone has remembered has been "he has to save his friend," which I have estimated to be roughly 40% correct. Chew on that for awhile, then proceed bravely onwards...

Frankie Hejduk - The Bone Diggity

Carlos Bocanegra - The Captain's Daughter Carlos Bocanegra

Pablo Mastroeni - Pablo Pigasso. That is the worse joke I've ever made, but since I stole it, everything's gravy.

Benny Feilhaber - Soccer Jew 5000

Michael Bradley - This picture comes up when you enter "nepotism" into Google image search. Therefore Bradley is now The Vinyl Experience.

Eddie Johnson - The Balls

Taylor Twellman - Feivel, if only as an excuse to run this picture.

Justin Mapp - Foodboner, which is shockingly safe to search for on Google Image Search. Try it, but remember I don't vouch for anything past the first page.

So there's some things for you to chew on, if you happen to be in a chewing (chewy?) mood. Also, I'm thinking of breaking some new ground and maybe doing a running diary of the NBA Draft. As a Celtics fan, I look to give you some insight and commentary you can't find anywhere else. Also, I plan to be very, very drunk before the draft even starts, so that'll be fun for everyone. Expect Hemingway-esque prose and sharp, perhaps even cutting insights. Expect me to also borrow someone else's laptop because mine gets uncomftorable when moved from my desk. Expect me to attack Grant if the C's draft anyone Chinese, and not in a fun-loving, pissing on his desk at five in the morning way.

I Thought This Was America

This just in: Major League Baseball has declared war on the city of Chicago. No word yet what this has to do with the ongoing steroid investigation. Jason Giambi could not be reached for comment as he was dousing himself with water at the time.

Ted Lilly was ejected from a game against the Braves on Sunday night a mere two outs into the first inning. When questioned as to why he ejected Lilly without warning, home plate umpire Jim Wolf claimed he "knew [Lilly] would do it" and that he was "waiting for it". Umm. Alright. Apparently Jim Wolf can now see the future.

Following Lilly's ejection, Atlanta's Edgar Renteria punched Mike Fontenot in the face on a hard slide into second base. Renteria was allowed to stay in the game.

Lilly's ejection comes on the heels of two noteworthy Chicago suspensions this past week. Last Sunday, Cub's manager Lou Pinella was suspended for kicking dirt onto third base umpire Mark Wegner. On Saturday, Chicago White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski was suspended one game for throwing a batting helmet in the general vicinity of the home plate umpire in a game against the Yankees.

There you have it. Cold, hard facts. The man is keeping the Second City down. Look for Bud Selig to suspend Tank Johnson an additional eight games in the 2007 season.

NBA Roundup: Does Marion-era Sauce Go With Lobster?

Some NBA news and notes hours before Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Why did you have to schedule Game 2 head to head against The Sopranos, Stern? LeBron and Duncan vs. Tony? It's too tough a call right now, but I'm betting most people go with The Sopranos. And if Game 1 were any indication, they're not likely to turn over the ABC at 10:00pm. Anyway, on to some non-Finals news.

1. The Boston Globe is reporting that the Celtics are shopping around their No. 5 pick in this year's draft. Probably a wise decision, if they can get someone like Shawn Marion. At the 5 spot, the best player on the board is most likely going to end up being Florida's Corey Brewer. The last thing the C's need is another small forward, so why not look elsewhere. Marion would fit in really well in Boston, and would bring some much needed help for Paul Pierce. With Marion on board, the Celtics can continue to develop their young talent while not letting Paul Pierce's best years go to waste.

HOWEVER, these are the Celtics, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this end in (yet another) disaster. It all depends on how dead set Boston is on getting rid of the pick. If this alleged Marion deal were to fall apart, the C's could always get a little to anxious with that No. 5 pick and trade it away in a terrible deal. Does anyone have an alcoholic with an awful contract they're looking to unload?

2. The sound you heard earlier this afternoon was that of the collective panic in the greater D.C. area. Today, Gilbert Arenas told the Washington Post that he's going to opt out of his current contract with the Washington Wizards following the 2007-2008 NBA season. Arenas is claiming it's "just business" and he very well could be using this as leverage for a bigger deal to stay in D.C. But remember, this is Agent Zero. Who knows what he's thinking? He can do anything and I don't think anyone would be surprised. This can't feel good for Wiz fans.

It should be interesting to see how Zero performs in his contract year. Can he continue to improve his game? Can he carry Washinton deep into the playoffs? Can the Wizards contend in the East against the likes of Chicago, Miami, Cleveland and Toronto? The drama unfolds only on TNT!

The Triumphant Return of Joey Table!!!

[Editor's Note: Pictures removed not only because Grant can't resize any picture, but also because the one's he picks don't work. Well done.]

Let me preface this post by saying that I'm including this picture of Joey on the Pirates A) Because I think its funny and he looks overly happy, and B) Just so we remember that he once pitched for the Pirates...along with the majority of the rest of the MLB.

...But seriously JOEY TABLE IS COMING BACK! How sad is it to be a Phillies fan, hopeful and excited to hear of 72 year old Jose Mesa's return*? And wholeheartedly believe that it might actually help the team's closing woes? The answer, of course, is very sad. Honestly though, when your current closer, the third of the young season, is Antonio Alfonseca, who wouldn't another Dominican back on the team? Plus, if its Dirty Joe, you know you'll enjoy making fun of him.

So the Phillies made the inevitable dumb move and allegedly signed Table. Jose has now played for nine teams, and I really feel like putting all of his team photos in this blog, because they all are hilarious. For now, here's one from the Rockies.
I can't figure out how to make the picture smaller, but having it big makes him seem even more joyful. And, as an added bonus, I found his stock photo from his days (now numbered) on the Detroit Tigers, further proving that he has perfected what I like to call the 'Table Smirk'.

I mean seriously...someone must have just photoshopped a different hat on his head, or else this mans expression is unchanging.

Who knows what lies in store for Jose's triumphant return to the Phillies, but I for one am excited. I am probably the only one excited, being that the Mesa's season stats are currently 1-1 with a 12.34 ERA in 16 games for the Tigers (who bought out his contract last Sunday), but nonetheless I know I will not be wanting to fly to Philadelphia and yell at Charlie Manuel everytime I see Alfonseca in the pen when we have a lead in the ninth.

Chances are this will be a brief encounter with Jose (please God let it be), because Flashy Flash and Smiley Myers are slated to come back soon. Though I know this acquisition could and probably will be disasterous, embrace it. We don't know how much more time we will have with this gem of a closer, and his veteran optimism should be welcomed in the pigpen that is Phillies relief. Hey, at least there'll be someone there that we know. I swear if I have to see 24 year old fat phenom Mike Zagurski or Rebel Yoel Hernandez relieve again, I'm going to try out for the Phillies come next spring training.

In closing, remember the good times we've had with Jose. Pitching on the same team as Albert Bell in two World Series with the Cleveland Indians. A gun charge which was reduced in 2000. Seeing him in your local dive bar drinking cheap tequila. My my, it's been quite the career Jose, and I've loved every minute of it.

Call me sometime and we'll do some shots of Montezuma, cause God knows at least one of us would enjoy it.

*Jose Mesa is actually a youthful 41.

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Afternoon Football

So I had the day off of work and I decided to watch some football on DirecTV. I'll give a rundown of the three games that I watched today sparingly.

Game 1: Brazil vs Turkey (International Friendly)

Not going to lie I watched about 10 minutes of this borefest. It was Brazil playing a friendly in a strange European location against mediocre European competition, that means boring, lazy football. The big picture of the game is that Brazil has really begun to take the personality of coach, Dunga. Dunga in the late 80's basically invented the position of holding midfielder playing in Italy and for Brazil. In 1994, he captained the weakest Brazil squad in years to a World Cup title. In his brief reign Dunga has used more hardened central midfielders such as Gilberto Silva and Edmilson. This Brazil team in much more focused on organization and creating a hostile midfield environment. I like this new Brazil team and I have to think they will do well in the Copa America later this month.

Game 2: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 on XBox 360

Got back to my addiction after becoming bored by the Turkish attack. I basically play Winning Elevens every single day but I can't figure out which team I'm going to be for the games version of a dynasty mode. Not being able to pick a team has been the biggest problem I've had this summer. I'm really upset about this and I need help. Somebody suggest a team for me to play as in either the Dutch League, EPL, La Liga, or Serie A. Any advice will be considered.

Game 3: England U21 vs Slovakia U21

Only real observation I have on this game is that Ashley Young of Aston Villa is quite the player. Also David Nugent of Preston should be in the Premiership.

The highlight of the day for me is a fantastic cream of broccili soup I had for dinner. I think that soup is the best thing that has happened to me in the last month. My life has become extremely boring but the benefit to you is that I will be watching a ton of soccer. Look for a report of the US National Team's Copa America opener against Guatemala.

Time to search the fridge for some ice cream. Life is good.

Early Copa America News

The good folks over at LASoccernews.com posted Landon Donovan's thoughts on the upcoming Copa America in Venezula. Landon is one of the 13 players that, not interim, manager Bob Bradley has asked to take part in both of the big summer tournaments the CONCACAF Gold Cup as well as the Copa. The fearless captain of the US National Team Landon is a little lukewarm on the idea of going to Venezula and testing his metal against world class South American opponents. Our boys open up against a rumored to be full strength Argentina squad.

Landon has given the absolute bullshit reason that he wants to focus on his club career at the Galaxy. Currently the Galaxy are second from bottom in the MLS Western Conference. The real story here is that by the end of the Copa America, David Beckham will arrive in LA to take over the world of US Soccer. Landycakes is very afraid of losing his position in the MLS as the golden boy. Beckham will be the center of attention in the MLS but he will still play on a team captained by Landon.

Here is where my problem lies with Landon, he is a gigantic pussy. He couldn't cut it in Germany because he missed his girlfriend, his dog, the SoCal weather, tanning, and surfing. So now he plays against lesser competition than a man of his talent should and is letting his career stagnate. The one place Landon had shown up is for the National Team. Despite not challenging and improving himself, Landon has also been on the team sheet for the USA but not anymore. The captain of our National Team can't be bothered to come to Venezula and captain his team against superior competition.

Bob Bradley needs to drop Landon for a couple of years, just drop him from the team. Let Jozy Altidore come into the team and show what he can do. Our national setup can't allow a SoCal wussbag lead the red, white, and blue out onto the field. For a minority of sports fans in this country the National Team is soccer. I'm a huge Chelsea FC fan but they aren't my team. I wasn't born in West London I've never even been to the country. My team is the National Team, I'm American and this is my football team. Give the captains armband to somebody who has a set of balls. Gooch, Cherundolo, Howard, or Duece anybody other than Landycakes. I shouldn't look at the captain as a coward but thats what he is now with Landy. I hated Claudio Reyna as the captian but at least he would show up for the big tournaments.

Landy Has Sand In His Vagina

On LeBron

Player haters. Elevators. If you cross him...you'll die.

I've spent most of this afternoon trying to wrap my mind around last night's Game 5. I watched almost the entire game, and with four minutes to go the Cavs looked like they were falling apart. I wanted to watch the end, but I also had to catch a bus on my way to a friend's house. When I got off the bus, it was all tied up with something like nine seconds to go. In that short time on a PAT Bus, LeBron took over. He had decided it was time.

Being in Pittsburgh, FSN shows a lot of Cavs games. I've been watching more LeBron than just about anyone else in the league over these last few years. Every once in a while he puts up a game that makes you think he'll go down as the best ever, and then I talk about it for a week, and everyone tells me to shut up about it. This has been going on for the better part of three years.

On a national level, LeBron has been viewed almost as an underachiever. Dwayne Wade got the ring first. Throughout the first two rounds of the 2007 NBA Playoffs James (and his teammates) were hounded for playing uninspired. LeBron wasn't giving us a taste of what we saw last year. After Games 1 and 2 of the Detroit series it was more of the same. More "so this guy is supposed to be the Second Coming?"

I went into this series thinking LeBron and the Cavs had to lose. They had to get beaten down one more time by Detroit. In the NBA, you can't win until you lose. They would use this year's playoffs to learn a little more and come back next year even stronger.

Then Game 3 happened. He turned on a switch. He carried the team and got everyone involved. Game 4 was more of the same, there was no way in hell he was letting his team lose. What should have happened in this upcoming off-season was happening right now. He was learning. He was adjusting on the fly. He was getting better, not as his career progressed, but as this one series progressed.

And then Game 5.

I was up until well after 7:00AM this morning, sitting in the dark on a friend's couch, watching SportsCenter replays so I could see it again. I needed to. I spent hours this afternoon reading newspaper articles and blog posts about it. I took it all in, because it was something rare.

In Games 3 and 4, LeBron's team was playing well around him. Not great, but they were getting the job done. He was making them better. Gooden and Gibson had career games. But Game 5 was different. They needed something more. They needed LeBron to take over. And he did.

Reggie Miller put up 39 points in the '94 Playoffs against the Knicks. 25 of those game in the 4th quarter as he famously went back and forth with Spike Lee. Reggie had some shooters around him.

Jordan put up 63 in the Playoffs at The Garden. He did that because he had to. He had no one around him. And because of that, the Bulls lost to the Celtics. Once he got Pippen, it was still Jordan's team, but it was never fully a one-man show. When he demolished Phoenix in the '93 Finals, that was with some help around him.

Last night King James had no help. In the 4th quarter and the two overtime periods he was a one-man team. He was literally playing 1-on-5. And he still couldn't be stopped. He single handedly crushed one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. A team that was playing in its fifth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. A team that looked to make easy work of the Cavs after going up 2-0.

On May 7, 1989 Jordan hit a jumper over Craig Ehlo at the buzzer. It would go down as one of the most memorable moments of Jordan's career and in NBA history. It would also more or less destroy the Cleveland Cavilers' franchise for more than a decade.

Then came LeBron.

Last night was the end of all that. No matter what happens in this series, the Cavs are back. It will be almost impossible for Detroit to come back from that kick in the stomach. But there's always a chance. But that's no matter. What happened last night was not about the 2007 season. It was about the future. It was about the years to come. It was something more than the flashes of brilliance that LeBron has shown us all before. It was something a little more concrete. It was something a little more tangible. It meant a little bit more.

This was as much about the Cavs franchise as it was about LeBron. Jordan saved the Bulls. LeBron is here to save the Cavs.

They now have a chance to roll through Detroit in Game 6. Which has a good chance of happening. And then they have to play the Spurs. No matter what happens, the Cavs will still be the underdog. Odds are they will lose a Best of Seven against San Antonio. And even if that happens, at least now we know how a resurrection really feels.



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