The Grand National Championships

May 31, 2009

To our pitching prospect graduates of 2009…

Filed under: Augie Garrido is Shiva,BAYSBALL!,Prospect Breakin' — by Andrew @ 5:16 pm

If you’re not going pro, I’ve got two words for you. Avoid Texas.

You might say I’m nuts. After all, a scholarship to Texas is a nice balance of work and whimsy. You have an opportunity for an excellent future. And there are always a handful of players who get drafted every season. You get a good shot at money with Texas baseball.

And yet?

You have to deal with Augie Garrido. We know Dusty Baker is a man with a well-deserved rep as a breaker of prospects’ elbows and shoulders. However? He’s a downright renaissance man compared to Garrido. Example? Here.

You know about Austin Wood’s Saturday. 13 innings pitched, the first 12 and 1/3 of those without a hit. He threw 169 pitches. That’s a total no major leaguer has thrown since the Baseball Prospectus revoulation came to the forefront. You may never see that total touched in the bigs ever again.

Mister Wood had his arm worked to the bone and came through with flying colors. But you know what’s lost among this? And this is exactly why Augie Garrido is criminally negligent.

Wood pitched the night before. And not a like a lefty one out guy scenario either. It took him thirty pitches to work his way through Friday Night. And in the arm-breaking Saturday? And he had 199-pitches in 24 hours. That right there is downright criminal action. You’re taking a young man with a chance at a career and you’re destroying it for a regional.

Garrido should be fired for this. He’s had exactly two pitchers who have generated a career beyond the level of cosmic joke in his elongated career. He abuses those who come down to Austin to pitch for him. The only way the smiling monster can be stopped? If he never gets a prospect above one star to pitch for him.

But because the monster wins? You will see careers go Kirk Dressendorfer. Austin Wood will wash out. And he doesn’t deserve it.

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This may have been the worst coached Conference Finals…ever.

By now, you know my hatred of George Karl. And someone who has no inbounds play and a team that falls apart if their point guard has a bad game, he gets what he’s deserved. Goodbye and good riddance.

But the Eastern Conference finals? In the words of Robert Evans, wow. There was no chance of competency. You have Mike Brown, who decided to improvise instead of designing a play system. And who lost his defense because the Magic had twenty-seven three point shooters. And you have Stan Van Gundy. Who has obviously matured from the guy who took a first round pick in Michael Finley, a second round pick in Rashard Griffith, and a steady college point guard in Tracy Webster and went 13-14 with them.

He is also the man who took 12 playoff games to realize that The Turk bringing up the ball was the best idea for everybody. And he is in uncharted waters. Phil Jackson’s been there like 12 times. He’s seen everything happen. He will outcoach Stan Van Gundy by a factor of five.

(Note: This is not me making a prediction. I honestly think that coaching won’t be a deciding factor in enough games. Also the Magic may actually get up for a big game or two. It’s happened before. I know? Crazy right!)

Anyway, Yovani Gallardo is having a good day. I’m happy.

May 29, 2009

Have you ever read Flowers for Algernon?

I’m sure you did in some form or fashion. It’s like jumior high required reading. If not, a synopsis…

Charlie Gordon is a 37 year old man with an IQ of 68 who works as a janitor in a box factory. Then you know what? He is selected to undergo an experimental surgical technique to increase his intelligence. The technique has already been successfully tested on Algernon, a laboratory mouse. The surgery on Charlie is also a success and his IQ triples.

But he gets too smart for his crush, and loses his job at the box factory. And then Algernon loses his intelligence and dies. As for Charlie? He fades to Bolivian.

Why the literary reference? Because if you think about it? It explains everything.

The Denver Nuggets are a Western Conference team with an IQ of 68 who work as an 8 seed in the Western Conference. Their general manager has selected an expirimental surgical technique a.k.a. Chauncey Billups to increase their intelligence. The technique has already been successfully tested on the Detroit Pistons. The surgery on Denver is a success and their IQ triples.

They become a two seed as Detroit loses their IQ and dies. But like Detralgernon? Their demise is rapid and permanent. The Lakers go to the finals. George Karl fades into Bolivian.

More later-or tomorrow. Bye!

May 28, 2009

LeBron and The Tebow scale.

LeBron James is a special player. He took the Magic down by himself today. And you know what? I’m feeling bereft. Really. I feel myself slipping toward a place I don’t want to go to. For you see, LeBron James is on the Tebow scale of athlete hatred.

Why Tim Tebow? Because in this modern era, the journey of Tebow is the journey that most modern athletes will take for the causal fan. I shall explain, presently.

Step 1: Manic Indie Thrill

Now, you can have your professional be the manic indie thrill in some sports. But in Football and Basketball? The superstars get found early. Tim Tebow was little more than a curious glimpse as a Freshman in college. LeBron’s junior year at St. Mary’s-St. Vincent? That was for the cognoscenti.

But then success hits. Skills start to pay bills. And many players evolve to Step 2. What do we call step 2?

Step 2: The Raymond Stage

The player can walk on water. 20 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns. A conference championship just because you wanted it more than the other 11 players. And even the sketchy antics, be they jorts or the LeBrons, are looked upon with amusement. Not scorn. In short, they are good.

But it does not last. Good things never do. Step three can be summed up in one line. “Look in my eyes, what do you see?”

Step 3: The Cult of Personality

Like anything good, the mainstream media has to roll up and ruin everything. Let’s quote Thom Brenneman, shall we?

“If you’re fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it.”

Now you see, that boils down step three perfectly. The media go all bromantic on the player. And it’s sickening. There are some on the twitterverse who showed relief about the abscence of Doug Collins this evening. Why? He’s gone full Brenneman on LeBron. Suffice it to say, the casual fan cannot dig it.

And when the casual fan stops liking a player? What happens next?

Step 4: Backlash!

Suffice it to say, LeBron is treading that line with Jay-Z, ARod, and other people who you could consider douchebags. And when he goes to New York in July of 2010? The backlash will come out in full force. LeBron will be disliked.

But you can’t stop the inevitable, right?

May 27, 2009

The Five Comics You Should Read…and not lose your cred.

Filed under: I read comics you want to fight about it? — by Andrew @ 9:46 am

I’ve done this before. A long time ago to be sure, but I’ve done this exact sort of thing before. I like my street cred, such as it is. And you don’t get the street cred for reading the X-Men. That being said? There are some comics you should be reading. Count it back from five to one. I will try and keep these choices less obvious. No Powers, Criminal, or Walking Dead up in here.

transhumano Pictures, Images and Photos
5. The Jonathan Hickman collection.

He may be the next hot Marvel comics writer, but he has three comics that you should be looking for from Image. In The Nightly News, he skewers the network news industry with surgical precision. In Transhuman, he takes on the drug culture. And in Pax Romana? I haven’t read it. But Nightly News and Transhuman come with the highest recommendations, so if you like the first two, get Pax Romana.

Nextwave-protest_signs Pictures, Images and Photos
4. Nextwave: Agents of HATE
Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: Stewart “Not Trevor Immelman” Immomen

This is an officially licensed Marvel Comic. It lasted twelve issues. It’s a Blockbuster in comic book form. You have an organization led by an insane man in pink pajamas. You have crazy weapons. You have epic battles. And you have Forbsuh Man. He has a hat. And you best not make fun of it.

Comic book writer, Garth Ennis Pictures, Images and Photos
3. The Boys
W: Garth Ennis A: Darick Robertson

When the Writer of Preacher meets the artist of Transmetropolitan? You get magic. There are some who consider this the greatest deconstruction of the superhero genre. Above and beyond what the Authority turned out to be. You have a CIA-backed team of antiheroes who are here to keep tabs on the resident superteam, The Seven. Only, things are not what they seem. If you’re collecting the trades, Volume 4 looks to be just tremendous.

Noble Causes 21 Pictures, Images and Photos
2. Noble Causes
W: Jay Faerber A: Various

It’s another Superhero Deconstruction. It’s run its course. But it’s really good. Faerber takes us into the life of the Noble family, the Kennedys of superheroics. It’s less about the beatdowns and more about the day to day. I’ll be honest, if this was in Marvel Comics? It may be nothing more than guilty pleasure. But Faerber has been indie for most of his career. Nothing to feel guilty about. Read in good health.

Young Liars preview
1. Young Liars
W: Dave Lapham A: Lapham

Shame this book got cancelled, because this book is surprisingly good. It’s the story of Twenth-somethings in new York on the fringes of society and their criminal adventures. Lapham, who created the excellent Stray Bullets, has a story here that was what Warren Ellis said creators should use. All of the energy of a superhero comic with none of the spandex. Get the trades. You won’t be disappointed.

Non sports? Yeah. But you know what? This blog is best as a sports and other stuff blog. Deal.

May 26, 2009

I know. I know.

Filed under: Basketball is played by tall guys — by Andrew @ 10:12 pm

Those of you who actually read me for me are feeling abandoned for my twitter, which will have twice as many updates as the old blogamaphone by June 1st. But to borrow a line from JE Skeets? There’s a new conspiracy.

There is no conspiracy.

Now sure, LeBron still trips over his own two feet and gets a foul call. But it didn’t win the game. Mike Brown’s incompetency wouldn’t allow it. There’s a potential dynamism to the Cavs. They could kill with a dribble drive motion sort of game. They have bombers to pass to.

And no matter what Doug Collins does, I’m still not at Step 4 of the Tebow scale. LeBron is awesome. However? The infinitesimally more highly rated series is going by the Wayside. Because Mike Brown is an incompetent.

Thus, no conspiracy.

May 25, 2009

I know you’ve probably seen it in some form or fashion.

Filed under: YouTubery — by Andrew @ 2:34 pm

I don’t care. Every blog needs to post this.

A College Baseball Dance-Off heals everything.

NBA Draft Dumpster Diving: Small Forwards

Now we have seen certain things about this draft class. Ricky Rubio may be sliding down the list. There is no center worth drafting. None. Charlie Villanueva may be the guy who the Bucks keep over Sessions. Blake Griffin’s first season needs to be written by Bret Easton Ellis.

But there are bargains and people that will go undrafted on this list that play the three that are going to make a good impact in the pros. It’s not as superstar rich as the one, but then again? You’ll be in good hands if you take one of these players.

Honorable Mention: Josh Carter (Texas A&M), Micah Downs (Gonzaga), Wes Matthews (Marquette)

6. Lee Cummard BYU
6′7″ 185

His only question is how long can his hustle overcome his lack of athleticism? Because even though he wore down toward the end of his senior season? He has a salad bar of skills. A great shot, great court vision, good handles, and a great passer. He also generates a good number of rebounds and blocks for a swingman.

5. Tasmin Mitchell LSU
6′7″ 235

I would not be surprised if he decides to go back to school, but he just might be ready now. He’s got a scrappiness that can change the culture of a defense. He has the rebounding skills and power that can have him play the four. And he is fast enough to play out on the wing. He goes right well and has a good mid-range game. He finds seams in zones. He will be a solid starter.

4. Milenko Tepic KK Partizan
6′8″ 198

His strength comes from his point forward ability. He distributes very well. He’s fundamentally sound and has good court vision. He has good shot selection and his jumper is improving. He doesn’t have great man-to-man defense skills, but a tall guy that runs the floor brings glory.

3. Tyler Smith Tennessee
6′7″ 210

His shot is shaky. He does lack some awareness. And he’s a little bit of a tweener. But athletic versatility is an eminently draftable quality, and that’s not all Smith brings to the table. His transition game is strong. He’s an active defender. And he’s great at starting the break with an outlet pass. If he brings his handles? He’ll be a strong starter.

2. Jonas Jerebeko Angelico Biella
6′9″ 210

Forget the offense. Forget the fact that he vibes tweener. He’s a lockdown stopper. He brings blocks, boards, steals, and an ability to stay with the majority of athletes. You draft him? You’re getting two things. Defense, and a ready made nickname. Jonas Jerebeko IS the Swedish Chef.

1. Omri Casspi Maccabi Tel Aviv
6′9″ 215

Here’s a theory. Considering how the Magic have seemed to shock the world, a player like Casspi may find himself getting into round one. He has decent handles and a range that does extend out beyond the arc. But his strength? It’s his athleticism. He uses both his height and athleticism to lock down on defense. There are some questions here, but he’s a man with experience on one of the great Euro teams and he still has upside. He will not fall beyond the 38th pick. And if he gets there? San Antonio wins the draft.

So, you know what? I’ll look at the power forwards. And after that? You’ll just have to read my blog or follow my twitter.

NBA Draft Dumpster Diving: Small Forwards

Now we have seen certain things about this draft class. Ricky Rubio may be sliding down the list. There is no center worth drafting. None. Charlie Villanueva may be the guy who the Bucks keep over Sessions. Blake Griffin’s first season needs to be written by Bret Easton Ellis.

But there are bargains and people that will go undrafted on this list that play the three that are going to make a good impact in the pros. It’s not as superstar rich as the one, but then again? You’ll be in good hands if you take one of these players.

Honorable Mention: Josh Carter (Texas A&M), Micah Downs (Gonzaga), Wes Matthews (Marquette)

6. Lee Cummard BYU
6’7″ 185

His only question is how long can his hustle overcome his lack of athleticism? Because even though he wore down toward the end of his senior season? He has a salad bar of skills. A great shot, great court vision, good handles, and a great passer. He also generates a good number of rebounds and blocks for a swingman.

5. Tasmin Mitchell LSU
6’7″ 235

I would not be surprised if he decides to go back to school, but he just might be ready now. He’s got a scrappiness that can change the culture of a defense. He has the rebounding skills and power that can have him play the four. And he is fast enough to play out on the wing. He goes right well and has a good mid-range game. He finds seams in zones. He will be a solid starter.

4. Milenko Tepic KK Partizan
6’8″ 198

His strength comes from his point forward ability. He distributes very well. He’s fundamentally sound and has good court vision. He has good shot selection and his jumper is improving. He doesn’t have great man-to-man defense skills, but a tall guy that runs the floor brings glory.

3. Tyler Smith Tennessee
6’7″ 210

His shot is shaky. He does lack some awareness. And he’s a little bit of a tweener. But athletic versatility is an eminently draftable quality, and that’s not all Smith brings to the table. His transition game is strong. He’s an active defender. And he’s great at starting the break with an outlet pass. If he brings his handles? He’ll be a strong starter.

2. Jonas Jerebeko Angelico Biella
6’9″ 210

Forget the offense. Forget the fact that he vibes tweener. He’s a lockdown stopper. He brings blocks, boards, steals, and an ability to stay with the majority of athletes. You draft him? You’re getting two things. Defense, and a ready made nickname. Jonas Jerebeko IS the Swedish Chef.

1. Omri Casspi Maccabi Tel Aviv
6’9″ 215

Here’s a theory. Considering how the Magic have seemed to shock the world, a player like Casspi may find himself getting into round one. He has decent handles and a range that does extend out beyond the arc. But his strength? It’s his athleticism. He uses both his height and athleticism to lock down on defense. There are some questions here, but he’s a man with experience on one of the great Euro teams and he still has upside. He will not fall beyond the 38th pick. And if he gets there? San Antonio wins the draft.

So, you know what? I’ll look at the power forwards. And after that? You’ll just have to read my blog or follow my twitter.

In which I bother a blogger with more skill than me to denigrate Joe Mauer.

Filed under: Blogger inside baseball,BLooper,Cheater Nation,Mauer Power — by Andrew @ 12:54 pm

Sometimes, when I’m bored, I hit up the ol’ GTalk and chat with more famous bloggers than me. Why? Because it’s an easy way to get posts. And today, Mister One More Dying Quail Himself gets bothered. Why? Because he is a friend of blog.

me: Hmm
Joe Mauer has to be cheating
OMDQ: why?
because he’s a machine?
me: because he goes from Placido Polanco to Ted Williams
OMDQ: he’s always been a good average hitter
me: but this is Brian Roberts 2006 April sort of stuff
OMDQ: how dare you accuse Joe Mauer of such atrocities against the game?
don’t you know he’s an All-American boy
as pure as apple pie?
me: Apple Pie has high fructose corn syrup!
OMDQ: not a banned substance
yet
Sent at 1:41 PM on Monday
me: But baseball players got rich off of morally unethical yet legal substances
OMDQ: not really legal
me: He is cheating
My god
How can he hit like that?
OMDQ: because he has been blessed by the hand of almighty God himself
me: No one hits like that
Not even Dale Murphy in his prime
OMDQ: how dare you disparage Dale Murphy?
me: NO NO NO
I am saying that Joe Mauer is making all-american hero’s like Dale Murphy look bad
also Rik Smits was in Coming to America
OMDQ: poor Joe Mauer
me: why
he cheated
nobody can go deep off of the combined forces of Manny Parra, Braden Looper AND Dave Bush
OMDQ: this could happen
as remarkable as it seems, it could happen
me: The odds of that are so astronomical
So infinitesimal
As to suggest dirty pool
without submission to a battery of tests
Sent at 1:48 PM on Monday
me: And I take your silence as an agreement
You know I’m right
OMDQ: no, I just don’t care

Yeah. This is what I do. I take conversations and use them as posts. But maybe…

But maybe I just wanted to throw out an accustaion against a player who had a good series. And this is the only way I could recover from being Ice Burned by Joe Mauer.

Fucking Mauer.

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