Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Piazza HOF debate

Am I the only one shocked to hear that Mike Piazza might be wearing orange and blue into the Hall of Fame in five years?

He had some great years as a member of the Mets, but given his background and the fact that he owes his entire career to Tommy LaSorda, I never thought for one second that he would go in as a Met instead of a Dodger.

I didn't get to see the press conference, nor have I read anything out of L.A. papers, but the national wire stories I've read indicate that Piazza focused more on his time spent in New York when looking back on his career.

The numbers are close--he hit 209 homers as a Dodger and 220 as a Met. He had six all-star appearances as a Dodger, six as a Met. 674 rbis with L.A., 655 with New York. Five silver slugger awards with the Dodgers, four with the Mets, and one in 1998 when he played for the Dodgers, Mets, and Marlins.

Since all the numbers are this close, I just feel like it should come down to his choice--and I'm just shocked that he would choose New York. Nothing against the Mets, since that's the cap I'm wearing into the Hall of Fame, but as I said before, Piazza owes his career to the man who bleeds Dodger Blue.

I can't name another 62nd round draft pick who made a name for themselves quite like Mike Piazza has.

(by the way, I leave for Europe tomorrow, so hopefully Mr. Clark and Mr. Barrows will hold down the fort while I'm gone. I'll be back June 9 with a greater understanding for Manchester United, Chelsea, and the rest of the futbolers!)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Umpires are great quotes

"I f---ed it up. I'm the one who thought it was a f---ing foul ball. I saw it on the replay. I'm the one who f---ed it up so you can put that in your paper. Bolts and nuts, I f---ed up. You've just got to move on. No one feels worse about it than I do." -Bob Davidson on blowing a call when he reversed a Carlos Delgado home run to a foul ball.

I didn't know umpires faced the press after games. Especially in the situation where YEAH, he blew the call, but Delgado still singled and got an RBI, and then the Mets went on to romp the Yankees, 11-2.

I guess it gives us something to write about since normalcy isn't at a premium yet in the MLB. The Rays, as good as they are, are only a game out of first, but let's be honest, they aren't that good.

The Marlins are still in first--don't even get me started. They're going through the Seattle/Texas syndrome where you dump your star player and suddenly you have team chemistry and you can win. It won't last much longer.

I think deep down we all knew that the Rockies were a fluke last season. They got hot at the perfect time in a crappy division. They're bottom dwellers again.

At least they'll always have the Giants to be in front of in the standings. San Fran is a team that will NOT go through Seattle/Texas syndrome. The changes that need to be made there have to start in the front office before that team starts winning.

The Cubs appear to have made one of the smarter acquisitions (so far) in the offseason by signing Kosuke Fukudome. I trashed that deal nonstop, but with a .416 on-base percentage, he can hit #2 in my lineup any day of the week.

Are the Yankees this bad? NOOOOOOO, but it's fun to watch them suffer in the first half of the season these past few years. They'll probably be the hottest team in the second half and finish with a respectable enough record so that Joe Girardi doesn't get the axe. Cashman, however, won't get a new contract.

The A.L. Central might be the most fun to watch down the stretch. Even though I picked them to win, the Tigers have been way too inconsistent. The Indians may have the best shot to run away with the division.

How are the Angels in first place? Neither of their top two pitchers have thrown a single inning this season. Scary to think how good they might be if Escobar and Lackey were healthy. Something tells me that the 3-4-5 pitchers who are now 1-2-3 pitchers wouldn't be putting up such outstanding numbers if they didn't have to rise to the occasion, though.

Arizona is goooood. Scary good.

Rafael Furcal can't carry the Dodgers all season offensively. On the mound, Penny and Lowe really need to find a groove.

That is all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Celtic Pride II

Scene: The Marriott Marquis, Cleveland OH, Room 1B. Doc Rivers is watching gametape with his wife Kristen.

DOC: See there! That's where LeBron tells his mama to sit his ass down.
KRISTEN: I know, honey. You've showed me this like ten times.
DOC: Are you kidding me? This has almost as many hits as Sue Simmons dropping the F bomb.
KRISTEN: I understand, babe. But shouldn't you be more focused on game plan?
DOC: Babe, do you not read the newspapers? We won yesterday. The series is 3-2. The pressure's off us.
KRISTEN: But don't you want to put Cleveland away? You know how great LeBron can be on any given day. Why don't you just have James Posey cover him these last two games?
DOC: Last time I checked, James Posey isn't a part of the Big Three. Plus, he doesn't even have a ring.
KRISTEN: 2006 with Miami, actually.
DOC: Enough of this arguing, babe. What do you say we put out the Do Not Disturb sign on our door and have some happy time?

CUT TO: 5 minutes later, Doc and Kristen lying in bed

KRISTEN: Wow. That was pretty awful.
DOC: God, that's so unlike me.
KRISTEN: I know! You're so great back home.
DOC: I just don't understand it.
Scene: Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, Wally Sczerbiak, and Delonte West playing poker.

WEST: (after winning big pot) Wow. Kevin, we've been playing cards together for years and I've never realized how bad your tell is.
GARNETT: I don't have a tell.
SCZERBIAK: Yeah, you do actually. I've never noticed it before either.
CASSELL: I don't see anything.
SCZERBIAK: I'm just happy that I'm making a lot of the money back that I lost to the two of you last week. What a crazy game, this poker.

Cassell goes all in, called by West. Cassell turns up a 2-3 offsuit, West turns up pocket queens.

Scene: Ray Allen walks out of his hotel room, sees that Denzel Washington entering the room across from him

RAY: Denzell! How are you man, I haven't seen you since we did the movie together!
DENZEL: Hey Ray. Congrats on getting this far in the playoffs.
RAY: I know! I'm not used to it. So what are you up to?
DENZEL: Here shooting a movie with Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey. I was just about to head to the gym to shoot the ball around. Wanna come with?

Cut to: Denzel and Ray standing outside Bally's Total Fitness.

DENZEL: Wow. So that was a role reversal from the movie, huh?
RAY: I can't believe I lost to you, old man.
DENZEL: Not only did you lose, but you lost 11-2. What's up with that?
RAY: I have no idea

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


In just two days, the sports world has suffered two dramatic punches to the gut as Annika Sorenstam announced her retirement from golf yesterday, effective at the end of the year, and then today, Justine Henin announced her retirement from Tennis, effective immediately.

Sorenstam is arguably the greatest female golfer of all time. While there is Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer who are really nice to look at, Sorenstam hits the course and does one thing: Win.

She is third all time in career wins with 72 (three this year), by far the active leader. She is also tied for fourth in career wins in Majors with 10. She was the first woman to play with the men in a PGA Tour event in over half a century when she teed it up in 2003 at the Colonial and also holds the record for lowest round in an LPGA event when she carded a 59 in 2001.

Henin was the top-ranked player in women's tennis. Only 25, she ranked 11th all-time with 41 wins in singles action and 7 grand slams. With such a competitive field in women's tennis, this is quite a feat. She has outlasted Serena, Venus, Hingis, and Maria Sharapova at one point or another. Not many can brag about that.

Simply put, they have both quietly made themselves the top female athletes in the world. It's a shame that they had to go through their careers without receving the attention that Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, and other top male athletes get. Hopefully upon announcing their retirements, they finally get some recognition for outstanding careers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MOM! Sit yo @$$ down!

LeBron James has looked more human than ever since the NBA playoffs started last month. The media has been killing him, opponents have been killing him, hell, even Papa John's has been killing him!

But last night, he was fantastic. I'm not a huge NBA fan, nor do I watch the playoffs--I actually think it lasts way too long, but the highlight of the entire playoffs happened last night.

The Cavs were beating the Celtics in Cleveland, and LeBron was on a breakaway. Paul Pierce wrapped his arms around James to intentionally foul him so as to not give him the easy deuce. It happens a lot in basketball, and he wasn't rough, didn't elbow him in the face, nothing of that sort, just wrapped his arms around LeBron and gently kept him on the ground, but momentum carried them both into the stands. Kevin Garnett went to make sure everything was okay, but there was a woman in the stands SCREAMING at Paul Pierce. KG went over to calm the woman down, when suddenly the whole world finds out it's LeBron's MOTHER screaming at Pierce for fouling her baby boy!

As KG was trying to calm her down, LeBron looks over and screams "MOM! SIT YOUR ASS DOWN! SIT YOUR ASS DOWN, MOM!"

LeBron apologized publicly after the game, and made light of the situation, being the day after Mother's Day, not the day of.

That, my friends, will be the best part of the NBA playoffs. LeBron screaming at his mother on live television.

Monday, May 5, 2008

This is it for Dodger fans...

Just kidding. They do have a hot little three-game set with the Mets starting tonight, though!

Monday - Oliver Perez vs. Chad Billingsley
Tuesday - Nelson Figueroa vs. Hiroki Kuroda
Wednesday - John Maine vs. Brad Penny

The only marquee matchup here is on Wednesday. Most Dodgers (and Mets) fans should know that the Mets own Brad Penny, who is 5-11 career against the Mets with a 5.66 earned run average, but he's 5-5 since 2003 with a slightly lower E.R.A., so anything can happen.

The Mets will probably lose the middle game. Historically, they're terrible against pitchers they've never faced before. I don't have statistical evidence to back this up, but I'm a Mets fan, I've been noticing these things all my life.

If things go as they should, the Dodgers will win games one and two (the Mets have only seen Billingsley once before--for a single inning), and the Mets will take game three.

The teams split 10 games last year. Dodgers won 4 of 7 in L.A. (including a series sweep), and the Mets won 2 of 3 at Shea.

If Ollie is on his game, which he hasn't been, the Mets might be able to win the series. They definitely aren't winning the middle game, though.

Another thing that makes this series interesting is there are many storylines. Joe Torre's familiar foes--he certainly knows how to manage against the Mets. Furcal and Kent have decent career numbers against the Mets...and then there's Andruw Jones. This is his chance to break out of his season-long slump, because he has owned the Mets in past years.

Friday, May 2, 2008

This is it for Met fans...

We're in Arizona this weekend. This might as well be our World Series.

We've owned the Diamondbacks, ESPECIALLY on the road, to the tune of 11-1 in the last 12 meetings in the desert.

The way Arizona's team is looking, the tides may change this year.

Fri - Maine vs. Owings
Sat - Pelfrey vs. Webb
Sun - Santana vs. Haren

Luckily, it's a hitter's ballpark, which is why the Mets have flourished there over the years. But with Micah Owings on his A-game this season, and Webb off to such a great start, this is a series to watch.

For all of Webb's success over the past few years, he has had little against the Mets. He's 2-6 in nine starts. His E.R.A., however, is 2.26. He may get some run support Saturday with Pelfrey on the mound. It's the D'Backs best shot to put runs on the board.

I've got the Mets winning (at least) 2 of 3 here. I won't go out on a limb and guarantee a Santana win, but Friday and Sunday are our best opportunites to grab a W.