Thursday, December 30, 2010

Urban Legends: Is Carl Winslow Gay?

Back in the early 90's, when i was a small child, TGIF ruled my Friday nights.  I went to ABC to get my generic family comedy fix.  All the hits were there, like Full House, Perfect Strangers, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, and my personal favorite; Family Matters.  As a child who had a less than normal upbringing, these cheesy sitcoms gave me an escape to what I thought a family should be, and Carl Winslow was the kind of Father I wanted.  He was a nice guy, but could give you a kick in the ass when needed.  Plus he was a badass cop, on the rough streets of Chicago.  It doesn't get much more masculine than that.  So, there have been many rumors over the years of Carl Winslow(portrayed by actor Reginald Vel Johnson) being a homosexual, but its hard for me to fathom, so lets take a look at the evidence.

Through my feverish google research, I can not find any record of good 'ole Reggie being married.  His IMDB page lists no record either, which would make him a 58 year old bachelor.  There have also been some interesting Internet rumors about him as well over the years.

My favorite however, was the rumor of him and James Avery(Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince) being gay lovers.  Can you imagine?  The two quintessential black TV Dad's of the 90's being romantically linked.  The only thing that could possibly top that, would be a tryst between Will Smith and Darius McCrary.  However, apparently James is married, so this couldn't be true, unless James got a little on the side.  I, however, do not buy this rumor.

Then, most of the roles that Johnson has selected over have been as the same type of character, a cop.  He played a cop in Turner and Hooch, he made a brief appearance as a cop at the end of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and in one of his most famous roles, he played Al Powell in Die Hard.  I like to pretend that his name is Al, and his character is the same one from Die Hard.  ABC should have done that, it could have been a great marketing tool.  So does Reginald, a.k.a. Carl the Great playing cops because he likes the Village People, or because  he is choosing masculine roles, so he can throw people off.  Or, its because he is a portly gentlemen.

We may never know the answer to this urban myth.  Reginald has stayed low since the conclusion of Family  Matters, choosing bit parts in movies, and a few TV shows.  Gay or not, his character, and Family Matters will always be a fond memory of my childhood.  Your a legend, Carl Winslow!
 

Five Guys that Should have made the Pro Bowl

Yes, I know that the Pro Bowl is an unwatchable piece of football.  It is always fun to debate the rosters, and this year is no exception.  While the Pro Bowl rosters only has 42 spots, as opposed to 53 for regular NFL teams, there were a number of players who were omitted from the preliminary rosters.  Many of the players chosen will bow out, but here's a list of five guys that should have made the cut, in no particular order.

  • Matt Cassel, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs:  I have been very outspoken in the past of Cassel, but his play this year has completely shut my mouth.  His 98.8 QB rating is 3rd in the AFC, behind fellow Pro Bowlers Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.  While his completion percentage leaves a lot to be desired, his 27/5 TD to INT ratio is excellent.  Plus he lead the Chiefs to the AFC West title.  Should be in over Peyton Manning.
  • Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers:  I personally think Rodgers is the biggest omission of all.  Despite all the injuries Green Bay has faced, Rodgers has been as stellar as ever.  3rd in all of the NFL in QB rating, 3rd in the NFC with 27 TD's, and almost 3,700 yards passing.  Rodgers is one of the finest QB's in all of football.  I would put him ahead of Matt Ryan.
  • Chris Johnson, Running Back, Tennessee Titans:  Before the season, Johnson proclaimed that he could rush for 2,500 yards.  Well, it didn't work out as he planned, but he still has had a solid season.  Johnson is 3rd in the AFC with 1,325 yards, and has 11 TD's.  He has turned in a good season with instability at the Quarterback position.  Give him a slight edge over MJD.
  • Mike Wallace, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers:  No, its not the guy from 60 minutes, its maybe the biggest deep threat in all of football.  Wallace is 4th in the AFC with 1152 yards, but is averaging a staggering 20.2 yards a reception.  He also averages 5.7 yards after the catch.  I'd take him over Reggie Wayne.
  • Antonio Garay, Defensive Tackle, San Diego Chargers:  The Chargers #1 ranked defense has no representatives, but Garay should have cracked the roster.  He was 4th among DT's with 5 sacks, and helped the Chargers rank second in the AFC against the run.  I'd give Garay a slight edge over Richard Seymour of the Raiders.  
These are five omissions that I feel should have been added to the respective Pro Bowl rosters.  Who would you select?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Thoughts: Pornstars

Over the last few months, I have been very active on Twitter, a social networking website I once shunned.  Over on Twitter, I follow many pornstars, because well, I love porn.  It seems like every pornstar in the free world tweets, most of them plugging their website, or trying to get you to vote for them on some website.  It also gives me an opportunity to interact with them, and learn about their lifestyle.  Man, I have to tell you, pornstars are some strange, sensitive creatures.

Pornstars brag about their sexual exploits quite frequently.  Taking on multiple dudes, being covered in bodily fluids, and all the like.  Yet, they call fans names, and block them, when a fan makes a sexually suggestive remark.  A comment telling the pornstar what you would like to do them, could cause them to block you, and her followers verbally assaulting you.  Point taken.

I have also learned that many pornstars have "gift lists."  This is where your favorite pornslut, makes a list of items, such as: sexy lingerie, gift cards, electronics, and everything else in between.  Then pathetic losers buy items on these lists.  So you drop $50 bucks on a bra, in hopes that this pornstar will give you a shoutout on her site.  Yeah, totally worth it.  It's bad enough that most of these ladies charge $30 bucks a month for access to their site, and then people are stupid enough to buy them presents.  Unless I'm getting a special ride for my troubles, count me out.

My favorite conversation with a pornstar took place a few months ago, and a sort of pseudo interview with said pornstar.  I asked her if I paid her the going rate for what she does on screen, would she bang me and a couple pf my friends.  The pornstar was greatly offended, and blocked me.  What?  So it is ok for a pornstar to take three guys, and possibly a few farm animals on screen, yet the simple, casual proposition, was dismissed entirely, and taken as a sign of disrespect.  Funny, I figured the proposition of me and my buddies running a train on this busty young lady, sans the camera, would have been a treat for her.  Plus, she gets paid her on-screen rate for the encounter.  Sounds like a win-win, if I have ever seen one.

So next time you decide to interact with a pornstar, do buy her gifts, and suscribe to her website.  Do not treat her like a sex object.  Sounds like us male consumers of porn are the ones that are getting fucked here.

Chargers to Stick with G.M. and Coach

In a move that should surprise no one, the Chargers announced that embattled coach Norv Turner, and General Manager A.J. Smith will return for the 2011 season.  The announcement comes two days after an embarrassing loss to Cincinnati, 34-20.  The loss knocked the Chargers to 8-7, and eliminated them from playoff contention.

The perception by the public, is that Norv Turner has survived his disappointing run as coach of the Chargers, because he won't stand up to A.J. Smith, like former Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer would.  Well A.J. says that is not the case.

"There is an image that Norv is my puppet.  Just the opposite.  The man knows what he's doing.  The coach is coming back."  Smith told the San Diego Union Tribune.

Norv Turner is 63-40 in his career at the helm of the Chargers, but a talented roster has led to just one AFC title game appearance under his leadership.  The Chargers went 13-3 a year ago, but lost in the Divisional round of the playoffs.  This year, the team has given a very favorable schedule out of the gate, but turnovers and special teams caused them to start 2-5.  Turner will have another shot to led the Chargers to a title on 2011, assuming we have an NFL season.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mike Singletary Canned in San Francisco

Mike Singletary was fired today, after his team fell to 5-10, after a loss to St. Louis.  Singletary has been a lightning rod for controversy in his 2+ years as head coach, for sideline arguments, and fiery press conferences.  His sideline argument with Troy Smith might have been the last straw.

Many experts picked the 49'ers to win a very weak NFC West(yours truly included) but instability at the quarterback position, and losing Frank Gore a few weeks ago, certainly didn't help matters.

Singletary had an 18-22 record in just over two seasons, after he took over for Mike Nolan, who was fired.  Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will coach the Niners finale against Arizona.

Kevin Says:  The timing of this decision is questionable in my opinion.  The move might have made more sense when the Niners started off 0-5.  Even at 5-9, the Niners still controlled their own destiny for a division crown.

When Singletary took the job, I thought he would be able to win eventually, but Alex Smith never gave him much of a chance.  He did build a solid defense in San Francisco, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get another job.  Retreads like Chan Gailey and Norv Turner did.

Chargers Playoff Hopes Freeze in Cincinnati

The Chargers season effectively ended on Sunday afternoon, with a lifeless performance on a cold, snowy day in Cincinnati.  The Chargers were smacked around, 34-20, to a team who had lost 11 of the last 12 games coming into week 16.

The Chargers first possession foreshadowed what the Chargers were in store for.  After a failed reverse on first down, in which the Chargers lost 19 yards on a fumble, the Chargers were forced to punt.  Trusty punter Mike Scifres, who is one of the best in the game, shanked a punt, which set up the Bengals at the Chargers 32 yard line.

The Bengals went ahead 7-0 with Carson Palmer hitting rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham on a 3 yard score.  It was a lead the Bengals would never relinquish.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Chargers lost another fumble, as Mike Tolbert took the handoff, and fumbled after colliding with a Cincinnati defender.  Roy Williams recovered at the Chargers 33, and the Bengals were in business.  Mike Tolbert was hurt on the play, and left the game on the stretcher.  As of this post, his status had not been updated.  The Bengals failed to score on the drive, but the game had a definite feel of a Chargers collapse.

The Bengals went ahead 13-0 when Carson Palmer found Jerome Simpson in the corner of the endzone.  Simpson torched the Chargers all day, with 6 catches for 124 yards, and two scores.  A little too late to pick him for your fantasy team.

The Chargers showed some life in the second half, cutting the deficit to 13-10, after Ryan Mathews ran for a 23 yard score in the third quarter.  Mathews finished the day with 55 yards on 12 carries, and the score.

Any momentum the Chargers had was squashed when Philip Rivers fired down the field, looking for Randy McMichael.  Instead, the pass found Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga, and he ran it back 47 yards to set the Bengals up with another touchdown.

The Bengals officially ended the Chargers season when the aforementioned Jerome Simpson breezed pass Antonie Cason, and caught a 58 yard bomb from Carson Palmer.  When the dust settled, the Chargers lose 34-20, and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

Going into the season, I figured the Chargers would win the AFC West, and do little damage in the playoffs.  This season, another slow start doomed the Chargers.  Where do you place the blame?  Check back next week, as I break down the disappointing season.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Douchebag of the Week: Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams, the sort of cute, but flat-chested frontwoman of Paramore has been in the news lately.  Two of the band's founding members, drummer Zac Farro, and guitarist Josh Farro left the band this week, under less than pleasant circumstances.  Williams immediately jumped to Paramore's website to address the situation, saying that the two members "didn't want to be here," while the Farro brothers paint a different picture here.  So what is the story behind the split?

Well, by many accounts alleged by the Farro brothers, Williams portrays her fellow bandmates as "hired guns," who are unable to make it on their own.  Her parents(who also were her managers) told the now former band members, that Paramore was Hayley's solo project.  Now, there are two sides to every argument, so why have I chosen to side with the disgraced bandmates?  Well, there is much evidence to support their claims.

When Paramore started to achieve mainstream success with their sophomore album, "Riot," Williams achieved much of the publicity, and her bandmates were treated as her subordinates.  As the bands popularity continued to rise, the ego of Williams continued to grow as well.  She even crossed over to pop, with her contribution to that "airplanes" song.  She is obviously trying to make a crossover into shitty, generic pop, a la Gwen Stefani.

I admit, I am a Paramore fan, they have been a bit of a guilty pleasure in between my metal and hardcore records.  Williams has a decent voice, and unlike most "pop" stars, she actually writes most of her own lyrics.  She's cute in that obtainable way, I see her, and I think I could actually bang her, unlike most pop stars.  However, if you listen to the bands new record, and follow the band, the demise was foreshadowed.

Williams comes off as the bitch in this situation.  She puts up a cliche-riddled "sorry to see them go," message, while her bandmates portray her in a different light.  The challenge for the flat-chested singer will be to write hit songs with Josh Farro, who helped write much of their music.  Then once what's left of Paramore is gone, she can make terrible songs like Katy Perry about kissing girls, and licking ass.  The only difference is I would give my left nut to spin Katy Perry's ass on my shaft, while I'd just buy Hayley dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  Average looking girls rarely make it in pop.  Sorry Hayley.

Don't worry Hayley, when we look back at your Behind the Music story, we can talk about how your massive ego led to the demise of a successful band, and that time you won the "Douchebag of the Week!"  P.S. get a tit job! 
 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Last Time the Brewers acquired an Ace: Revisiting the CC Sabathia Deal

Back in 2008, the Milwaukee Brewers were surprisingly in contention.  On July 8 of that year, GM Doug Melvin pulled the trigger on acquiring Indians ace CC Sabathia, a move that cost him four prospects.  Sabathia was a one man wrecking crew in '08 for the Brewers, going 11-2, with a disgusting 1.65 ERA in 17 starts down the stretch.  He threw an astounding seven complete games, and helped the Brewers reach the postseason for the first time in 26 years.  After Milwaukee lost in the Division Series to the Phillies, CC went to New York.  Did the Brewers pay too much for an early playoff exit.  Here's a profile of what Milwaukee gave up.

  • First Baseman/Outfielder Matt LaPorta:  Laporta was supposed to be the centerpiece of the deal, a guy who many projected to be a great power hitter.  In 2008, he socked 22 homers in AA.  In his biggest sample at the big league level in 2010, LaPorta put up a .221/.306/.362 line, with 12 homers.  Still only 25, he should get plenty of at bats for the Tribe in 2011.
  • Pitcher Rob Bryson:  Rob Bryson was a 31st round pick of Milwaukee in 2006, and received a $300,000 bonus.  Missed most of 2009 due to injury, but was awfully impressive in 2010, putting up a 2.53 at three different minor league stops, and showed dominant stuff, striking out 13.5 batters per nine innings.  It wouldn't be a stretch to see him in Cleveland in 2011.
  • Pitcher Zach Jackson:  Jackson made his big league debut in 2006 for Milwaukee, putting up a 5.40 ERA in seven starts.  He is no longer with the Indians organization, and spent 2010 pitching in Las Vegas for the Blue Jays organization.  Nothing more than a journeyman at this point.
  • Outfielder Michael Brantley:  Brantley was the player to be named in this deal, after many reports said that 3rd base prospect Taylor Green would be headed to Ohio.  Brantley has been compared to Juan Pierre, a speedy outfielder who projects as an above-average defensive centerfielder, and a leadoff man who should be able to get on base.  In 2010 for the Tribe, Brantley put up a line of .246/.296/.327 with 10 steals.  Should be in the mix for an outfield spot in 2011.
In retrospect, the Brewers haven't missed the players that they gave up.  Jackson is no longer with the Indians organization, Brantley and LaPorta have done little at the Major League level, and Bryson isn't quite ready for the show.  Overall, the reward has outweighed the risk, and the Brewers got the best of this deal, so far.

Brewers acquire Zack Greinke from Royals

Take a look at Grienke's wife.  Yowza!
In perhaps the most surprising offseason move, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired 2009 American League Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke from the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals receive centerfielder Lorenzo Cain. shortstop Alcides Escobar, and two pitching prospects.  The Brewers also acquired shortstopYuniesky Betancourt and $2 million.

The move signifies that the Brewers are going all-in for 2011.  They acquired Shawn Marcum earlier in the offseason, and they are going to hang on to slugger Prince Fielder.  Their starting rotation now looks to be one of the strongest in the National League.  In 2010, the Brewers were 14th in ERA.

Greinke had a season for the ages in 2009, but regressed in 2010, going 10-14, with a 4.17 ERA.  He is a proven innings eater however, throwing at least 200 innings each of the last three seasons.

As exciting as this deal is for the Brewers, it is crushing to the Royals, as the team has traded their only proven starting pitcher.  Without Greinke in the fold, Luke Hochevar becomes the defacto ace, which should cause many sleepless nights for Royal fans.  Is there anything positive in this deal for Kansas City?  Lets take a look at the return Kansas City got for the ace.

  • CF Lorenzo Cain:  Cain got his first taste of big league action in 2010, hitting .306/.348/.415, with 1 HR, and 13 RBI's.  www.minorleagueball.com rated him as the #13 Brewers prospect headed into 2010.  He is described as a "toolsy" outfielder with great speed and not a lot of power.  Should be roaming Kauffman Stadium in 2011.
  • SS Alcides Escobar:  Escobar has long been considered one of the top prospects in the Brewers system.  He became the starting shortstop in 2010, and struggled offensively with a .235/.288/.326, with 4 HR's and 41 RBI's.  He put up a 4.7 UZR at short, and should give the Royals a much needed defensive upgrade at short.
  • Pitcher Jeremy Jeffress:  Jeffress was the Brewers first round pick in 2006.  He made his big league debut in 2010, pitching it 10 games out of the bullpen.  He features a fastball that can reach the upper 90's, a good curveball, and is working on a changeup.  He also has been suspended for marijuana use.  Should be the 8th inning guy ahead of Joakim Soria
  • Pitcher Jake Odorizzi:  Was the 32nd overall pick in the 2008 draft.  He put up some impressive numbers in the minors in 2010, most impressive was his 135 strikeouts in 120 innings.  Scouts have compared him to Zack Greinke.
The Brewers also received Yuniesky Betancourt to man the shortstop position.  Betancourt did hit 16 dingers in 2010, but put up a lousy .288 OBP, and plays terrible defense.  He is essentailly a throw-in.

Kevin Says:  I like this deal for both sides.  Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shawn Marcum, and Randy Wolf give the Brew Crew one of the best rotations in the National League.  If Greinke pitches like he did in '09, Milwaukee is a legitimate World Series contender in 2010.

The Royals add to the deepest farm system in the game, and they gain three players who will impact their squad in 2011, and a minor leaguer who may have the most upside of them all.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Action Jackson: Vincent Jackson scores 3 TDs in Rout of 49'ers

As December continues to roll on, the Chargers seem to be pushing towards another AFC West title, by pounding San Francisco, 34-7.  The win puts the Chargers(8-6) just a half-game behind the first place Kansas City Chiefs, who play the Rams on Sunday.

The Chargers got off to a hot start, with Philip Rivers going for the home run, and connecting with his trusty old target, in Vincent Jackson.  The play went for a 58 yard score, and the Chargers led 7-0.

The 49'ers squandered their best opportunity to score, when Alex Smith appeared to score on a 7 yard touchdown run.  The Chargers challenged the play, and Smith was ruled down at the 1 yard line.  On 4th and goal from the 1, Anthony Dixon was stuffed.  The Niners didn't sniff the end zone again until late in the fourth.

Philip Rivers played another brilliant game, going 19-25, for 273 yards, and 3 TD's, all to Vincent Jackson.  Rivers also went over 4,000 yards for the third consecutive season.  In the game, he also put up a ridiculous QB rating of 150.5.

As well as the offensive played, the defense held up to their #1 ranking.  They harassed former Helix standout Alex Smith all night, sacking him 6 times, and taking away his biggest offensive weapons in Michael Crabtree(3 catches, 17 yards) and Vernon Davis(1 catch, 4 yards).  The Niners finished with just 192 yards of total offense.

The Chargers next game is against the woeful Bengals, who have lost 11 games in a row.  That game, originally a Sunday night game, has been moved to 10AM.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Thoughts: Professor or con artist?

This semester I took a class called Global Communication.  It is a class that is part of a requirement for my major, and the best part of it was that it was online.  No waking up before the crack of dawn, I could view the online lectures at my convenience However, after my first week in class, I felt as though I was being taken for a ride.

I am on a budget, and always look for the best deals when it comes to textbooks. I am definitely not one of those students who walks in to the bookstore, and drops $140 on my new biology textbook.  The prices that these blood-sucking bastards charge for textbooks is outright robbery.  I troll around all the websites I can find, and I paid only $37 for that same biology text.

Naturally, when it was time to review what text I needed for this communication class, I was going to scour every site to find the best deal, unfortunately for me, this was not an option.

As it turns out, the text I required for this class was an "e-book" which meant I had to download it, and it also meant I didn't have a physical copy of said book.  The second part of this scam, is that the book was written  by the professor herself!  This crazy broad charged us $45, which isn't too bad, but trust me folks, it gets worse.  I had to drop another $45 for a book that contained the assignments I was to complete, and a bunch of links to websites.  So, I pay $90 for material that this bitch wrote?  Sounds like a scam to me!

The book in itself is complete garbage.  It is a bunch of garbage that was stolen from various other communication texts, and her second rate research.  Every time I read this garbage, I could hear a voice in my head telling me that I was getting ripped off.  I also thought:  Can a a teacher do this?  Charge a lot of money for a crappy textbook that she is profiting from?  Perhaps other teachers will start this, as an attempt to pad their salaries.

The class was remarkably easy, and I got an A, so I suppose all's well that ends well.  But I can't stop thinking about getting robbed at the hands of my professor.

Friday, December 10, 2010

JT the Brick's idiocy knows no bounds

As many of you know, I have been very critical of nationally syndicated radio host JT the Brick.  He pollutes the airwaves every weeknight, and he is so bad that I have reverted to listening to political talk radio while I go to sleep.  His incompetence was quite comical with his latest tweet:  "Crawford to Red Sox means Yankees must now land Cliff Lee.  Red Sox are out of control spenders.  You going to debate that point?"

Hmm, a self-proclaimed Yankee homer is calling another organization "out of control spenders?"  The Yankees had a $206 million payroll in 2010, which was about $44 million more than the Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees are synonymous with big spending, as they have handed out several large, ridiculous contracts over the years.  Four of the top ten contracts of all-time have been handed to Yankees, and Cliff Lee could potentially make it five out of ten.

This article isn't meant to bash either organization, I as a avid baseball fan, have a great deal of respect and admiration for both franchises.  JT was the same dope who said that the Yanks don't need Cliff Lee, and they should go to bat with the guys that they do have.  He also believed that Jeter should be paid whatever he felt was necessary.  Sure, lets hand a blank check to a 36 year old shortstop coming off of his worst year.  That isn't out of control spending, though since his precious Yankees are doing it.

Whenever I listen to his crappy and boring show, I feel like I'm listening to Yankee talk.  He is almost as bad with the constant Raider propaganda.  All I want for Christmas is for Fox Sports Radio to exile this dope.

Remembering Darrell Abbott

Yesterday was the much publicized 30th anniversary of John Lennon's untimely death.  While the event took place before I was alive, it was a black day in our popular culture history, and surely one that will never be forgotten.  The Beatles are arguably the most influential musicians of all-time, and his death shook our nation.  On the same date in 2004, another influential musician was taken from us way too soon, former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Abbott, was getting ready to play his set with Damageplan, (a band he played guitar in after the demise of Pantera) when Nathan Gale, a crazed fan rushed up on stage, and fired several rounds into Abbott, killing him.  He killed five others on that December Ohio night.  The death toll would have likely been higher if an off-duty police officer hadn't taken the call, and killed Gale.

Another senseless tragedy by a guy who decided he was going to kill a heavy metal legend, and anyone else who stood in his way.  Just like the psychopath that opened gunfire on Lennon, the world was robbed of a great musician who died entirely too soon.

While the band Pantera is far from a household name to most people, for a metalhead like me, they are a major influence in most of the bands I love.  Pantera helped put heavy metal in the mainstream in the 90's.  Their 1994 album "Vulgar Display of Power," debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, a feat almost unheard of for a metal band.  They have also brought us classic tracks like Walk, This Love, and Cemetary Gates.

So don't forget that on the day we lost John Lennon, we also lost Darrell Abbott, and his remarkable guitar riffs.  Heavy Metal will never be the same, thanks to his contributions.  Rest in Peace, Darrell.  Oh, and I hope you burn in hell, Nathan Gale.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just how bad are the Padres going to be in 2010?

The dust has settled, and Adrian Gonzalez has left the building.  He leaves a massive hole, and a lineup that was already below average.  The Padres were a huge surprise in 2010, winning 90 games.  The pitching flat-out carried them in 2010, and it looks like it will have to again in 2011.  Take a look at my projected Padres lineup, as of right now:

CF Cameron Maybin(.234, 8 HR, 28 RBI's)
RF Will Venable(.245, 13 HR's, 51 RBI's)
LF Ryan Ludwick(.251, 17 HR's 69 RBI's)
3B Chase Headley(.264, 11 HR's 58 RBI's)
1B Kyle Blanks(.157, 3 HR's 15 RBI's)
C Nick Hundley(.249, 8 HR's, 43 RBI's)
2B Jarrett Hoffpauir(.206, 0 HR's 0 RBI's)
SS Everth Cabrera(.208, 1 HR, 22 RBI's)

Taking a look at this lineup, as of right now, and it maybe the worst I have ever seen assembled.  Don't panic just yet, as Jed Hoyer will almost certainly look at upgrades through free agency and trades.  Their rotation looks much more settled, and I believe their pitching staff has the potential to be every bit as good at it was last year.  Let's take a look at some potential free agent targets for the Padres.

  • Russell Branyan(.237, 25 HR's, 57 RBI's):  A little long in the tooth at 35, but still can hit 20 bombs.  Could hold on the fort until Kyle Blanks, or the newly acquired Anthony Rizzo is ready.
  • Ty Wiggington(.248, 22 HR's, 76 RBI's):  The Padres like local talent, and Wiggington hails from Chula Vista.  Has power, and the versatilety to play all over the infield.
  • Orlando Cabrera(.263, 4 HR's 42 RBI's):  The long-time shortstop shouldn't cost too much, is a below average bat, and is an average defender.  Sounds like a fit to me.
My hope is that the Padres try to improve with trades, perhaps flipping Anthony Rizzo for Milwaukee second baseman Brett Lawrie.  Mat Latos will be there, at least.  2011 will be rough folks.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Padres deal Gonzalez to Boston; receive 4 prospects

In a move that was inevitable, the San Diego Padres traded All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox, in exchange for three prospects:  right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and outfielder Reymund Fuentes.  The Padres will also receive a player to be named later, although according to Peter Gammons, the player is "not a prime guy."

Adrian Gonzalez had a great 2010 campaign for the Padres, hitting .298/.393/.511, with 31 HR's and 101 RBI's.  He also finished fourth in the NL MVP race, and lead the Padres to a 90 win season.  He had three All-Star appearances, 2 Gold Gloves in his five year stay in San Diego.  He will go to a team loaded with offensive stars, and a team that can still add another big bat.

We all know what the Red Sox are getting, so lets take a closer look at what the Padres are getting back.

  • RHP Casey Kelly:  Kelly was the Red Sox top prospect, according to both Baseball America and SoxProspects.com.  He will be 22 at the start of the 2011 season, and was Boston's 1st round pick(30th overall) in 2008.  Here is what SoxProspect.com says about Kelly:  "Fastball has excellent downward movement, sitting at 90-93, and can reach 96.  Curveball has potential to be a wipeout pitch.  Expected to be a great defensive pitcher."  MLB Comparison:  Kevin Brown.  2010 Statistics:  AA Portland:  3-5, 5.31 ERA, in 21 starts.
  •  First Baseman Anthony Rizzo:  Rizzo will be 21 at the start of the 2011 season.  Rizzo is ranked as the #3 prospect in the Red Sox system.  He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2007 draft.  Here's what SoxProspects.com says:  "Tough-as-nails 1st baseman with an excellent build.  Solid overall approach, good eye, and plus gap power to all fields."  MLB Comparison:  Todd Helton.  2010 Statistics:  .263/.334/.481, with 20 HR's and 80 RBI's.
  • Outfielder Reymond Fuentes:  Fuentes will be 20 at the beginning of the 2011 season.  Fuentes was the Red Sox 1st round pick in the 2009 Draft.  Baseball America ranks him the tenth best prospect in the Sox system, while SoxProspects.com had him ranked at #13.  Here is what SoxProspect.com says:  "The type of player that will make highlight reels.  Line drive hitter, makes excellent contact, but without much power.  Has plus plus speed, and excellent range and defense in center."  MLB comparison:  Jacoby Ellsbury.  2010 Statistics:  A Greenville:  .270/.328/.377 with 5 HR's and 41 RBI's.  Also swiped 42 bags.
So the Padres get three intriguing prospects, but was this enough?  Personally, I say no.  For example, when the Padres dealt Jake Peavy, the key to the deal was said to be minor leaguer Aaron Poreda.  But the Padres also got Clayton Richard, who projects as their #2 starter in 2011, after a solid 2010 campaign.  None of the players the Padres received are ready for the big leagues.  Kelly had an awful 2010, and Rizzo plays 1st base, which might be the Padres deepest position.  The Padres should have gotten a big-league ready player, such as Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard, or Jacoby Ellsbury.

Time will tell if this deal works out for San Diego, but its obvious that the Red Sox had the upper hand in this deal.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The most intriguing non-tendered players

As the hot stove league continues to play out, yesterday 50 players were not offered contracts for the 2010 season.  You have your first round busts(Andrew Miller) your players who simply became too expensive for their respective teams(Bobby Jenks) and everyone else in between.  While searching through the list, I found some names that I feel can have a big impact in 2011.  Here are my most intriguing non-tenders.

  • Jack Cust-Athletics:  Cust is a butcher in the field, and struck out 127 times, in 349 AB's, but he did put up a .395 OBP in 2010.  He only hit 13 HR's last season, but in 2008, he hit 33.  Could be a fit for teams like the Mariners, or Indians who could use some pop.
  • J.P. Howell-Rays:  Howell didn't pitch in 2010, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, but in 2008 and 2009, he was one of the better relievers in the AL, putting up ERA's of 2.22 and 2.84 respectively.  He could be a fit with any team willing to take a flier on a talented left-handed reliever.
  • Bobby Jenks-White Sox:  Jenks becomes one of the best relievers on the market, since the White Sox decided not to offer him a deal for 2011.  He saved 27 games in 31 chances last year, and could be a fit for Atlanta, Los Angeles,(AL) and Arizona.
  • Russell Martin-Dodgers:  Martin has been pretty brutal the last couple of years, but was one of the best catchers in the NL in 2007 and 2008.  He hit just .248 in 2010, but could be a comeback candiate.  He still draws a lot of walks.  Possible fits:  Red Sox, Yankees, Padres, Blue Jays.
  • Lastings Milledge-Pirates:  Milledge was once hyped up as one of the best prospects in the game, when he came up with the Mets, but attitude problems, and a couple of trades have hurt his stock.  Last year with the Pirates, he hit .277 with 6 HR's.  Could be a fit with teams like the Royals, Indians, Marlins.

Douchebag of the Week: Josh McDaniels

There was no "Douchebag of the Week," last week since I was sick and busy, so let's get right back to business.  Our winner has ran a successful NFL team into the ground, and got busted for videotaping a walkthrough by an opponent.

It was reported earlier in the week, through various media outlets, that Broncos videographer Steve Scarnecchia videotaped the 49'ers walkthrough, before the two teams met in London.  Of course, McDaniels was on the Patriots staff when they were busted for doing the same thing.  That led to a $500,000 fine for the organization, and a first round pick forfeited.  McDaniels and the Broncos were fined only $50,000 for their underhanded efforts.  Oh, and Troy Smith and the pitiful Niners beat down the Broncos, in a game that surely turned off the English to our great game.

There is so much more about McDaniels that makes him a huge douche.  Since day one, the 34 year old coach has been pissing people off.  In a game against the Chargers last year, McDaniels infamously trash-talked Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips, like McDaniels had actually seen a football field before.  He also alienated his three best offensive players within the last year, with led to Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Tony Scheffler being shipped out of town.

McDaniels has also been horrid as a personnel man, and a head coach in the NFL.  He started off 6-0 last year, before finishing up 2-6.  This season, the Broncos sit at 3-8, and have allowed the most points of any team in the AFC.  McDaniels is a Lions-like 5-19 in his last 24 games.  Oh yeah, he also traded Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn, and drafted Tim Tebow in the first round.  I can't understand why this clown still has a job, but he does, and even received an endorsement by owner Pat Bowlen for 2011.  Absolutely unreal.

McDaniels is a terrible coach, but he is a first rate douchebag!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

US loses World Cup bid...to Qatar

The United States tried to bring the worlds biggest sporting event home, but lost the bid to Qatar.  That's right folks to Qatar, a tiny little shithole in the Middle East.  Qatar won the voting, due to an ambitious goal of building several state-of-the-art soccer stadiums.

Qatar also plans to have air-conditioned stadiums, since summertime temperatures can reach 130 degrees.  Qatar's plan has them building nine new stadiums, and renovating four more, then after the tournament the stadiums will be taken apart, and sent to other countries in the world.  Sounds like a pretty crazy plan, but FIFA ate it up, and gave them the cup over the U.S.

This decision is yet another cheap shot that the rest of the world has taken at the U.S.  First the idiots on the Olympic committee remove softball and baseball from the summer games, and FIFA gives the World Cup to a tiny Middle Eastern country.

The World Cup here in 1994 was a huge success, it sold the most tickets in the history of the event, and featured Brazil winning the title.  The U.S. also has several stadiums that would fit the criteria for a World Cup, such as the Palace in Dallas, the new Giants Stadium, among others.  It wasn't like the US lost to Brazil, England, or Spain, but to a country the size of Connecticut. 

This move also effects sponsors like Budweiser.  It will be hard to sell beer to a country that more than likely won't allow alcohol to be served within the stadium limits.  Also, PDA is a big no-no in the Arab world.  Hell, you thought a World Cup in South Africa would be dangerous, well compared to the Middle East, South Africa is Candy Land.

Now, if you are anything like me, you probably know nothing about the nation of Qatar, so I figured I'd enlighten you all.

  • Muslim's constitute 77.6 % of the population.  The population as a whole is 1.39 million.
  • Qatar has the largest fines in the world for traffic violations.
  • During the month of Ramadan, eating, smoking, and drinking in public is strictly forbidden.
  • According to Qatar's Sharia Law, it is illegal to drink in public.
  • Arab propaganda news network Al Jazeera is headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
Now that you have learned about this tiny, insignificant country that beat the U.S. for the rights to the World Cup, I'm sure you will ignore it like I will.

Lebron returns to Cleveland

In an event that was hyped up unlike any regular season NBA game I have ever seen, the "chosen one" made his glorious return to Cleveland, where he rose to stardom.  Aside from a chorus of boos, it wasn't much of a contest, as Miami cruised to a 118-90 victory.

Cleveland won 60 games last year with Lebron, and his cast of role players, but when Bron Bron took his talents to South Beach, he left the Cavs with one of the worst rosters in the NBA.  I pride myself in being a knowledgeable sports fan, but I had to google a couple of their starters.  Guys like Joey Graham and Anthony Parker aren't going to scare the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

Lebron played like a man on a mission, scoring 38 points, to go with 5 rebounds, and 8 assists.  He went 15-25, much to the dismay of Cleveland die-hards everywhere.

When watching this game, I thought, how is Byron Scott not a frontrunner for Coach of the Year?  The dude is 7-11 with a roster full of scrubs.  The team fought hard in the first quarter, but looked like they just couldn't match up with Lebron and friends.

I really feel for Cleveland, it is one thing for the most prominent athlete in your towns history to leave, but its got to be gut-wrenching for him to embarrass you on ESPN.  The Heat should enjoy this win, because it has no chance hanging with Boston in the playoffs.  Their frontline is simply too deep for the likes of Joel Anthony to handle.

Also, if I'm Anderson Varajeo, I'm sticking my elbow in Lebron's jaw.  Cleveland played him way too softly, if J.J. Hickson knocks out one of Lebron's teeth, I'm sure Dan Gilbert wouldn't mind picking up the tab on that fine.

Hey Cleveland, at least you got Indians baseball to look forward to.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yankees offer to Jeter is more than fair

The Yankees are playing hardball with future Hall-of-Famer Derek Jeter, telling him to accept the offer, or explore other deals.  Surely, the Yankees wouldn't allow their captain to walk away and get his 3,000 hit elsewhere.  Could they?

By various reports the Yankees have offered Jeter a 3 year, $45 million dollar deal, a deal that averages $15 million a year.  Sounds pretty fair, doesn't it?  Well not according to Jeter's agent.

Jeter's last contract was a 10 year, $189 million deal he signed in 2001.  Last year, Jeter was one of the highest paid players in all of professional sports, pulling in a salary of $22.6 million.  So, by accepting a contract that averages only $15 million, Jeter would be taking a substantial paycut.  For a guy who has been the greatest Yankee of the last 40 years, that has to be a blow to his ego.  So should Jeter accept this offer, try to hold out for more money, or explore other deals?  Well, let's see what the numbers tell us.

For his illustrious career, Jeter has hit .314/.385/.452, with 234 HR's and more importantly 2,926 hits.  Unless he drops dead, Jeter will probably end up with 3,200-3,400 hits, a number that makes him an absolute lock for Cooperstown.  He has four World Series titles, and has been clutch his entire career.  The Yankees have been the only organization he has known, since going 6th overall in the 1992 draft, ahead of studs like Chad Mottola, B.J. Wallace, and Paul Shuey.

However, like the rest of us, father time is clearly catching up to Jeter.  In 2010 Jeter put up a line of .270/.340/.370 with 10 HR's and 67 RBI's.  The .370 slugging percentage also represented a career-low.  His WAR value was 2.5, the lowest it's been since 1996.  Jeter did win the Gold Glove in 2010, but his UZR rating was -5.4, which tells us he was below average defensively.  He was also 5th in the AL with 22 double plays grounded into.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Jeter, but his numbers tell us that he is clearly not worth $15 million a year.  Compare his numbers with a couple of other free agent shortstops:

Derek Jeter:  .270/.340/.370, 10 HR's, 67 RBI's, UZR: -5.4, WAR:  2.5
Miguel Tejada:  .269/.312/.381, 15 HR's 71 RBI's, UZR:  0.3, WAR:  1.3
Orlando Cabrera:  .263/.303/.354, 4 HR's, 42 RBI's UZR:  5.3, WAR:  1.3

In comparing these three veteran shortstops, there isn't much of a statistical difference, yet Cabrera and Tejada are unlikely to receive multi-year offers, where Jeter has already been offered a three year deal.  Obviously its silly to mention Orlando Cabrera in the same breath as Jeter, yet their value isn't too far apart.

Jeter's camp is unrealistic if they will that they can get more on the open market.  The Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, and Phillies are all unlikely to offer Jeter a deal.  You can also eliminate every "small" market team such as the Pirates, Royals, Padres or Indians.  So who would, besides the Yankees, offer Jeter a multi-year deal?  The answer is no one.  The Yankees don't want to bid against themselves, and are taking the correct approach in negotiation.

Seeing Jeter in a uniform other than the Yankees is almost blasphemous.  He is one of the faces of baseball, a great champion, and a consummate professional.  Seeing him get his 3,000 hit in a uniform other than the Yankees would make me sick.  Jeter needs to take the 3 year, $45 million deal, and get to work.  

Hot Stove Roundup: V-Mart to the Tigers, Huff still a Giant

The Tigers came to an agreement with free agent catcher Victor Martinez on Tuesday.  The deal is for 4 years and $50 million.  The Boston Red Sox(Martinez's former team) offered a deal for 3 years and $36 million, and 4 years, $42 million. 

Martinez hit .302/.351/.494 in 2010, with 20 HR's and 79 RBI's.  Martinez is expected to fill the void the Tigers have at catcher, but he should see some time at DH, and can spell Miguel Cabrera at first.

Since the Red Sox offered Martinez arbiration, the Red Sox will receive the #19th pick in the 2011 draft, as well as a compensatory draft pick.

In other Hot Stove news, the Giants resigned first baseman/outfielder Aubrey Huff to a 2 year, $22 million contract.

Huff was an instrumental part in the Giants surprising run to the World Series title.  He hit .290/.385/.506 with 26 HR's and 86 RBI's.  He finished 7th in the NL MVP voting this year.

Kevin Says:  4 years seems like a lengthy commitment for a 32 year old catcher, who may need to move permanently to DH according to various scouts.  That being said, he should improve the Tigers lineup, in what appears to be a winnable AL Central.  Although, like I said before, the deal is one year too long in my opinion.

The Huff deal was expected.  He does a great job of getting on base, and has 20 HR power.  Was one of the best bargains to baseball last year, after signing a 1 year/$3 million deal last offseason.

Clippers sting the Hornets 99-95

As i mentioned this earlier, before the start of the NBA season, I have decided to become a full fledged Clippers fan, and cheer them on.  Yes, the team is a pathetic 2-13, but they are fun to watch.  Tonight could be a possible turning point to a very young team.

The Clippers knocked off the red-hot New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center, 99-95.  The Hornets came in with an 11-1, but the Clippers walked away with a hard fought win.

The Clippers currently don't start anyone over the age of 22, yet made some key throws down the stretch to pull away from the Hornets.

The Clips dynamic duo of Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin came up huge.  Griffin followed up his 44 point, 15 rebound performance with 24 points, 13 boards and 2 blocks.  Eric Gordon put up 27 points on 9-18 shooting.  He made two free throws with 4 seconds left to put the Clippers up by 4.

Al-Forouq Aminu added 16 points, and Deandre Jordan added 12 points and 8 boards.

The Clippers meet the Kings on Thanksgiving night on ESPN, check out Blake Griffin in action!

Chargers buck Denver, 35-14

The Chargers look poised for another improbable run to an AFC West in 2010.  After getting off to an abysmal 2-5 start, the Chargers won their third in a row Monday night, beating up on the Denver Broncos, 35-14.

The game didn't start off so well for San Diego, as Denver went down the field, in a very efficient drive, going 69 yards, on 6 plays.  Knowshon Moreno punched in the score from 4 yards out, and the Chargers were down 7 early.

Philip Rivers, as he has done all season, put the Chargers on his back, and lead the way.  After punting on their first possession, Rivers lead the Chargers back for the equalizer, connecting with Malcolm Floyd on a 6 yard score.  The drive was extended by a brilliant fake punt call, in which punter Mike Scifres hit Mike Tolbert on a 28 yard pass.

The Chargers scored again late in the second as Mike Tolbert punched in a 1 yard touchdown to give the Chargers a lead they wouldn't relinquish.  The key play on the drive was Rivers hooking up with Patrick Crayton on a 49 yard reception.  Crayton finished up with 105 yards on 3 receptions.  He left the game with an apparent hand injury.

The matchup was billed as a potential shootout, as both Kyle Orton and Philip Rivers are among the leaders in passing yards, although the Chargers did a great job of bottling up the potent Denver passing game.

Orton finished up 24-38, with 217 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  The touchdown pass came with the Chargers ahead 35-7.  The Chargers applied lots of pressure on Orton, sacking him 5 times, including 2 by Shaun Phillips.  The Chargers for maybe the first time all season, did not have a breakdown on special teams, and had just one turnover.

Rivers finished up 15-24, with 233 and 4 TD's.  The 233 yards were a season-low, and he also was picked off once by Champ Bailey.

Mike Tolbert paced the running game with a career-high 111 yards on 25 carries.

The Chargers even their record at 5-5, and travel to Indianapolis next Sunday night.

  • Notes:  Rookie DT, Cam Thomas, and 2nd year DE Vaughn Martin each had their first career sacks in the game. 
  • Shaun Phillips had 2 sacks, giving him 9 for the season, which ties him for 3rd in the NFL.
  • Before the game, the Chargers activated TE Kory Sperry, and RB Curtis Brinkley, while releasing LB's Brandon Lang and David Herron. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random Thoughts: Black Friday

shit...
For those of you who know me, you do know that I am a sales person in the retail world.  I work for a large office supplies chain(figure it out if you do not know) and Black Friday is the craziest day of the year for us retail hacks.

Most of you bastards get to enjoy thanksgiving, eat till your stomach collapses, and watch the Lions get drubbed, knowing that you have a nice four day weekend ahead of you.  You can sleep late on Friday, make yourself a nice turkey sandwich, and enjoy all of the college football that is televised.

People like me are forced to wake up at ungodly hours of the morning, and walk into an absolute nightmare.  Last year, I arrived at work at 4am, to a line of 100 degenerates.  I walked in, sporting my work shirt, and was immediately bombarded with questions, before I even walked in the door.  Obviously this idiots must know that i am not on the clock, yet that didn't stop them.  These people are absolutely relentless.

As I made my way past the hoards of shopping zombies, I walked in to find our store manager trying to motivate us to achieve our sales goals, and to keep all of our limbs attached to our bodies.  He wanted us to "squeeze every dollar out of the customers."  I thought of him picking up someone by the legs, and shaking them until all of their pocket change fell to the floor.

I chug a Red Bull, knowing that I will need the caffeine to endure the slew of moron's that were about to fight over sale items, and ask ridiculously stupid questions.   My all-time favorite is:  "Is a laptop portable."

Boom!  The door opens, and 15 people rush at me.  All of them are looking for the same, inexpensive computer.  They buy it from me.  Naturally, they don't buy any of the services that our corporate division shoves down our throats, which leads the store manager to whine and complain all day.

Ten minutes into the day, that $299 laptop is completely sold out, and there is no substitute.  People beg, yell, and curse me for false advertising, since they missed out on the deal.  No rainchecks, no hope for you, now please leave my store.  This continuum continues for about 12 hours, when my shift is over, and I die a little inside.

I realize that the holiday season can be stressful.  Everyone wants to get that perfect gift, but folks, we who work in retail couldn't care less.  I don't care that your wife won't get that laptop she had her heart set on.  I don't care that your bastard kids won't be rocking an Ipod on Christmas morning.  Maybe I would care, but you idiots berate retailers with insults.  You blame us for the fact that were sold out of a particular item.  It drives me nuts.

While the rest of you are at the mall's, or at home with family, think of the retailers out there like me who are forced to deal with your shit.  Think twice before calling the clerk at Best Buy a retard.  You will feel better about yourself.  Look out for your retail brothers and sisters.

Douchebag of the Week: Terrell Owens

Excuse for being a little late with this one, folks.  It's been a crazy week for me, full of work and term papers.  But anyway, let's dive in.

The Cincinnati Bengals have been an absolute joke this year, standing with a 2-8 record, after an embarrassing loss to the hapless Buffalo Bills.  Owens has had a Pro Bowl caliber year, so his on-field play is not the reason why he won the award.  No folks, Owens wins for opening his mouth via twitter last week.

Owens criticized former teammate, and current Washington Redskins quarterback for his shotty play, in the Redskins meltdown last week at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Owens took to twitter and said:  "How do you justify a $78 million dollar contract with this kind of performance."

It's one thing to criticize another player's performance.  Usually players tend to shy away from such things, as to not give another team extra motivation.  It was further fueled by the fact that Mcnabb and Owens have a tumultuous history together, with a very public divorce several years ago.  However, this is not the reason why I selected Owens for this week's award.  No, Owens wins it for blaming the tweet on his "brother."

Owens later tweeted later, "I see my brother got you all riled up, haha."

Hey TO, that is a super weak excuse.  I love when athletes and public figures say stupid things in the media.  TO is entertaining, and is always good for a memorable quote, or for his often erratic behavior.  But dude, saying your "brother" wrote that from your account is beyond lame.  If you have the balls to speak up, be ready for the backlash.  Be prepared to back up your rhetoric with a compelling argument, or a memorable quote.  Please don't make up an excuse as a cop out.

Personally, I believe that Owens' act is starting to wear thin.  The Bungles are terrible, and his talk show with Ochocinco is a disaster.  Despite his tremendous numbers, teams may shy away from Owens in the offseason for stupid statements like this, and the circus act that comes with the production. 

I believe that a person should stand behind what they mean.  If I said something on this level, I would either apologize for my ignorance, or stand by what I said.  By backtracking, TO, in my humble opinion, looks like a complete pussy. 

You have no shot an the MVP award this year Terrell, but you will win at least one award this year:  Douchebag of the Week!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coco Crisp looks to Craigslist for help

Baseball players and athletes in general have a busy life.  Constant travel, little time off during the season, life can get pretty hectic sometimes.  That is why a professional athlete needs to stay grounded, and find ways to balance their lifestyle.  In the case of Coco Crisp, outfielder for the Oakland A's, you look to Craigslist.

Crisp(or someone with a little too much time on their hands) put an ad on the Los Angeles section of Craigslist, looking to hire someone to help him out with his many arduous tasks.  The ad said he is looking for someone who will:  "set up appointments, bill paying, personal shopping, dinner parties", and my personal favorite, light housework, etc...

Did I mention the gig pays 40K a year, and comes with free room and board?  Oh, and you must submit a resume, and a picture.  Women need only apply.

Essentially, Mr. Crisp is looking for a hot piece of ass to take care of business when he is away, and someone to bang when he's at home.  I mean, why else ask for the broads picture.  It's not like he's looking to hire Mrs. Doubtfire.  He is also one of the few people I've seen in the last five years that still uses an AOL e-mail account.

It seems strange for a MLB player to resort to Craigslist to find an assistant.  The only reason people use Craigslist is to find a prostitute to screw on those lonely, horny nights.  However, of all people to do make an account for, why Coco?  I mean, hes a relatively obscure outfielder.  Check out the ad here.

Hot Stove roundup; Westbrook resigns with St. Louis, Buck close to deal with Marlins

The Cardinals resigned starting pitcher Jake Westbrook yesterday to a 2 year, $16.5 million dollar contract.  He also gets a full no-trade clause in the deal.

Westbrook pitched well for the Cardinals in 2010, after being a trade deadline acquisition from the Cleveland Indians.  Westbrook put up a 3.48 ERA in 75 innings for the Cardinals.  He will be part of a deep rotation that features Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainright and Jaime Garcia.

The Marlins are also close to a free agent deal with catcher John Buck, on a three year, $18 million dollar pact.  This would be the Marlins biggest signing since Carlos Delgado in 2005.

Buck had a breakout 2010 campaign, hitting .281 with 20 HR's.  He spent most of his career with the Royals, and was part of the Carlos Beltran trade back in 2004.

Kevin Says:  Westbrook is a good signing,  The Cardinals have a really solid rotation, easily the best in the NL Central.  Westbrook is a good innings eater in the back-end of the rotation.  The price tag is a bit high, and it is unusual to see a player like him get a full no trade clause, but a 2 year commitment won't hurt them.

I like John Buck, but he really has only had one great year.  He doesn't walk a lot, and in his days in Kansas City, he really struggled throwing out runners.  Prior to last year, his career high in average was .247.  Could be a bit of a gamble for the thrifty Fish.

Marlins trade Dan Uggla to the Braves

The Braves pulled off a bold move this afternoon, acquiring second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins, in exchange for utility infielder Omar Infante, and left-handed reliever Mike Dunn.

Earlier in the week, Florida offered Uggla a 4 year, $48 million contract, but he rejected it, as he is seeking a 5 year pact at around $71 million.  When talks came to an impasse, the Marlins went in a different direction, shipping him off, to a division rival, no less.

Uggla had a huge 2010, hitting .287/.369/.508 with 33 home runs, and 105 RBI's.  Uggla has never hit less that 27 bombs in five big league seasons.  He should fit in to the middle of a Braves lineup that features Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones, if healthy. 

Infante has been used as a utility man most of his career, but did get 500 at bats this year, and hit .321/.359/.416, with 8 HR's and 47 RBI's.  He was a questionable All-Star in 2010, and will probably start at second base for the Fish.

Dunn, who is 25, showed promise in 2010, posting a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings, with 27 K's.  Since the end of the season, the Marlins have added 4 arms to the bullpen.

Kevin Says:  I'm not crazy about this deal for the Marlins.  Uggla is a legitimate power hitter, and they only managed to get a veteran utility guy,(albeit a good one) and a left-handed reliever.  Surely this couldn't have been the best offer that the Marlins received, especially from a division rival.  Braves get an absolute steal in this trade.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jimmy Church calls into the Kevin Says Podcast. Check it out.

For those of you who do not know, I host a weekly podcast on the Blog Talk Radio website.  Last Friday, Jimmy Church of www.jimmychurchradio.com called in, and I feel the segment is worth your time.

Jimmy talks NFL, as well as his opinions on the Cam Newton situation, and what's going on in the NBA.  The "interview" lasts about 30 minutes and is pretty entertaining, in my humble opinion.  You can hear and download it:  www.blogtalkradio.com/kevincharity.    Check it out!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Padres acquire Cameron Maybin from Florida

The Padres made their first move of the offseason Saturday, acquiring outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Florida Marlins, in exchange for right-handed relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica.

Once upon a time, Maybin was considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball.  He along with Andrew Miller, was the centerpiece of the Miguel Cabrera trade a few years ago.

In 2010, Maybin struggled, hitting just .234, with 8 HR's and 28 RBI's.  He did play an above-average centerfield, according to UZR.  Maybin is still just 23, and has the potential to be a star.

In return, the Marlins received two relievers who should improve their bullpen dramatically.

Ryan Webb, 24, pitched in 54 games for San Diego, with a 2.90 ERA.  He features a mid-90's fastball, and a hard curve.  He should be able to step into a late inning setup role for the Fish.

Edward Mujica is somewhat of a statistical anomaly.  He had 72 strikeouts and only 6 walks in 69 2/3 innings, yet gave up 14 homers, while pitching half of his games at Petco Park.  He has the ability to start or relieve which gives the Marlins added flexibility.

Kevin Says:  I give the slight advantage on this deal to the Padres.  Anytime you can add a potential five-tool outfielder, for a couple of relievers, its a deal you have to do.  Maybin is still just 23, and perhaps a change of scenery will benefit him.  If he hits .260 with 10 HR's, he is a clear upgrade to what San Diego sent out to battle in 2010.

Ryan Webb could be a potential closer with the stuff he has, although his numbers are a little deceiving.  He gave up more hits than innings pitched, and his strike out rate isn't eye popping.  He is under team control for two more seasons.

Mujica is eligible for arbitration for the first time, but shouldn't command more that $750,000.  If he cuts down on the homers, he could be great.  This trade should benefit both teams.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Douchebags of the week: Brad Childress & Dave Meggett

I had a hard time choosing between these two dopes, so I figured I would include them both.  One is just an idiot, while the other one is now a convicted felon.

Chidress' look-alike Mr. Peanut
It is almost impossible to turn on ESPN, or turn on sports talk radio without hearing about the Brett Favre, and Brad Childress saga.  We all witnessed Childress(who bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Peanut) fly to Mississippi, and beg Brett Favre to return to the Vikings.  Childress knew that his fate as an NFL coach was tied to the 'ole gunslinger, the chronic sexter, or whatever nickname you prefer.  As soon as Favre regressed to a terrible QB, Childress was quick to throw him under the bus.  No wonder this clown is about as popular as a herpes-infested prostitute.  The guy is such a bum on the sideline that the Vikings nearly fired him after the way he handled the Randy Moss situation.  This clown is a terrible coach, and deserves to be whacked post haste. 

Now we move on to former Super Bowl champion Dave Meggett.  A man that had a pretty successful career in the NFL that spanned ten seasons.  Well add a new title to the resume:  Convicted rapist.

Meggett was sentenced to 30 years on prison, for criminal sexual assault, and burglary.  The victim claimed that she owed Meggett $200, and he decided to force intercourse on her as a down payment.  He choked his victim, and got rough with her in other ways.  Meggett failed to testify on his behalf, a move that analysts predict led to his downfall.

So let me get this straight, Dave.  This girl owed you $200, and you decided to rape her.  I mean, what is the thought process on this?  "Hmm, bitch owes me money, she can't pay it, so I'll just rape her."

Meggett has had a history of legal trouble, and clearly isn't the smartest man around.  I know the guy hasn't played on the league in 12 years, but is he really that desperate to recoup $200.  On the flipside, he can make $200 in about 6 months scrubbing toilets and making license plates.  At least he will make the prison football team more competitive.

Both men are hated for their actions, and they are now "Douchebags of the Week!"

Kevin Says podcast today!

Another shameless plug for myself, but I will be on the air TODAY at 5:30pm Eastern, 2:30 Pacific, at www.blogtalkradio.com/kevincharity.  We will talk sports as always, some big games going on in the NFL, the MLB off-season is upon us, and the Heat are a joke.  Plus, we will have the Box Office Report, previewing the films that are hitting the theatres this weekend.

People are listening, but you're not calling in!  I would love to hear your opinions, and your interaction.  Give me a call at 760-454-1106, or hit up the e-mail at kevincsays@gmail.com.  Tune in tomorrow, you guys are the best!

Royals trade Dejesus to A's

The baseball offseason is officially here, as the first "big" deal was consummated.  The Kansas City Royals sent outfielder David Dejesus to the Oakland A's, in exchange for right-hander Vin Mazzaro, and minor league lefty Justin Marks.

Dejesus had a solid 2010, hitting .318/.384/.443, but missed the last two months of the season due to a broken hand.  He was a hot commodity at the trade deadline last year, but wasn't traded due to the injury.  The Red Sox were reported to have interest, but they may look to free agency to find an outfielder.

Mazzaro, 24, had a 4.27 ERA in 122 innings for Oakland last year.  As of right now, he is likely the Royals #2 starter behind 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Grienke.  Marks, is projected as a mid-rotation starter.

Kevin Says:  Trade should work out for both teams.  Dejesus will be a great #2 hitter, he gets on base, has a little pop, and can play all three outfield positions.  $6 million is a pretty reasonable price for his skill set.

Mazzaro gives the Royals a decent arm, and will definitely be in the Royals rotation in 2011.  The move frees up $6 million, giving the Royals an opportunity to add another starter, such as Jorge De La Rosa, Kevin Correia, or Dave Bush.  

Tyler Perry is a fucking hack!

Perry's character Madea
Tyler Perry is slowly taking over the world.  TBS plays the shitty sitcoms he has developed around-the-clock.  Those shows have been sold into syndication, meaning that in a given day, its possible to see "House of Payne" more than 10 times a day.  That unfunny show with the lead actor that can't even speak clear English, and the black equivalent of Kathy Bates.  I think to myself, "Man I gotta get away from this twat, I'm taking my ass to the movies!"

Nope, can't get away from him.  The guy shits out a movie every three weeks, it seems like.  He has a new piece of crap out called "For Colored Girls."  At least he's telling white people like me to stay away from it.  Despite horrid reviews, and a no-name cast, it made $20 million last weekend.  In fact, his films have grossed over $400 million, and he's the sixth highest paid person in Hollywood, according to Forbes.

Grandmama, notice a similarity
Now he move on to Madea.  Madea is a tall-old bitch, that curses, smokes, and smacks people around.  People eat it up, and Madea has appeared in about 60 films(or so it seems.)  There's Madea goes to Jail, Diary of a Mad Black Women, and the upcoming Madea takes it in the Sludge(OK, I made that one up.)  Tyler Perry just likes to dress in drag, so I am guessing that is the reason for the constant appearances.  However, someone should sue Perry, because it is a clear rip-off of Grandmama.

Who is Grandmama, you're asking?  Well, former NBA star Larry Johnson dressed in drag as a high-flying Grandma who could dunk like no other in the old school converse commercials.  The character also appeared on an episode of Family Matters, helping Steve Urkel win a 2-on-2 basketball tournament, after Eddie dumped him for a better player.  Anyway, Madea is a clear rip-off of Grandmama.  Grandmama appeared in popular culture around 1993.  Tyler Perry's stage plays started appearing around 1998.  Personally, I think Perry based his Madea character on Grandmama.  Come on people, I can't be the only person who sees this.  Perry makes terrible movies, even worse television shows, but racks in the millions.  Larry Johnson deserves a cut, because Tyler Perry is a fucking hack!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Kevin Says top 20 MLB Free Agents

As we ease towards the cold, snowy winters, baseball's hot stove league heats up.  This year's class isn't particularly deep at any one position, but there are some intriguing names to be had.  I have compiled my top 20 free agents, and where I think they will go.  It's all speculation on my part, so I doubt I will get many correct.  So let's dive right in!

1.  Cliff Lee-Rangers:  The guy is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, but struggled for the Rangers in the World Series, and had a 3.98 ERA after he was dealt to Texas.  That being said, he will definitely sign the biggest deal of the offseason.  My prediction:  Yankees, 6 years, $120 million.

2.  Carl Crawford-Rays:  The best position player out there, he has it all.  He hit .300 last year with 19 HR's 90 RBI's and 47 steals.  He also led the AL with 13 triples, and is great defensively.  An asset to whomever is lucky to sign him.  My prediction:  Angels, 6 years, $90 million.

3.  Jayson Werth-Phillies:  Don't get me wrong, Werth is a nice player, but I feel he's a bit overrated.  He plays in a band box, and is surrounded by All-Stars.  He has great power, and is solid in right, but has never driven in 100 RBI's.  He could be a great singing, or a colossal bust.  However, the raw tools are there.  My prediction:  Red Sox, 6 years, $90 million.

4.  Adam Dunn-Nationals:  Dunn is a tremendous power hitter, he has hit 38 HR's each of the last two years, and draws a ton of walks, but is a liability in the field, and strikes out a ton.  Could be a fit in the AL where he can DH.  My prediction:  Cubs, 4 years, $60 million.

5.  Adrian Beltre- Red Sox:  Beltre had his finest season since 2004, hitting .321 with 28 HR's.  He is also a tremendous infielder defensively.  He seemed motivated in a contract year, which could be scary for teams making a long-term investment.  My prediction:  Orioles, 3 years, $45 million.

6.  Mariano Rivera-Yankees:  The greatest closer of all-time had a typical season, with 33 saves, and a 1.80 ERA.  There is no way in hell he leaves the Bronx.  My prediction:  Yankees:  3 years, $45 million.

7.  Derek Jeter-Yankees:  If he weren't Jeter, he would be in the same position as Edgar Renteria, looking for a one-year deal, but since he's an icon, he will be back in pinstripes.  A great leader, and a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.  My prediction:  Yankee, 3 years, $51 million.

8.  Victor Martinez-Red Sox:  One of the best hitting catchers in baseball, Martinez can also play first, and he doesn't kill you defensively.  He also makes great contact, a solid all-around player.  My prediction:  Tigers, 4 years, $48 million.

9.  Rafael Soriano-Rays:  Soriano had a huge year last year, leading the American League in saves, and allowed just 5.2 hits per 9 innings.  The best closer on the market, since Mo isn't going anywhere.  My prediction:  Angels, 3 years, $37 million.

10.  Carlos Pena-Rays:  He led the AL in homers just a year ago, but slumped horribly in 2010, hitting just .196, but still hammered 29 HR's.  Might have to take a one year deal to re-establish his value, but could be a shrewd pickup for someone.  My prediction:  Nationals, 1 year, $7 million.

11.  Hiroki Kuroda-Dodgers:  Had a losing record last year, but posted a 3.39 ERA in almost 200 innings.  Is a solid #3 on a good staff.  My prediction:  Cardinals:  2 years, $18 million.

12.  Jake Westbrook-Cardinals:  Was solid after the Cardinals acquired him at the trade deadline. Could be useful in a pitchers ballpark, and behind a solid infield defense.  My prediction:  Nationals, 2 years, $15 million.

13.  Carl Pavano-Twins:  The guy was a horse last year, throwing 221 innings, with a 3.75 ERA.  Has established himself as a solid starter after being a huge bust with the Yankees.  My prediction:  Twins, 3 years, $30 million.

14.  Andy Pettitie-Yankees:  Pettitte was an All-Star once again in 2010, and likely will pitch for the Yankees, if he decides to pitch at all.  My prediction:  Yankees: 1 year, $14 million.

15.  Paul Konerko-White Sox:  Had a huge 2010, slugging 39 HR's and had a .584 slugging percentage.  Could possibly reach the 400 HR plateau in 2011.  My prediction:  Diamondbacks:  3 years, $42 million.

16.  Aubrey Huff-Giants:  Was the best offensive player on the Giants World Series Championship team last year.  Can play a little outfield as well as 1st.  Hit 26 bombs in a pitchers park.  My prediction:  Giants:  2 years, $16 million.

17.  Jon Garland-Padres:  Posted the lowest ERA of his career in 2010, pitching 200 innings in Petco Park.  Always puts up 200 solid innings, although he walked a lot of batters last year.  My prediction:  Rockies, 2 years, $16 million.

18.  Orlando Hudson-Twins:  Had a bit of a down year, but is a solid #2 hitter, with an above average glove.  Capable of putting up a .350 OBP.  My prediction:  Padres, 1 year, $6 million.

19.  Manny Ramirez-White Sox:  Probably nothing more that a DH in this stage of his career. Slugged just .319 in 86 AB with the Sox.  My prediction:  Blue Jays:  1 year, $7 million.

20.  Jorge De La Rosa-Rockies:  Dude has electric stuff, throws left-handed, and has great strikeout numbers.  However, he seems like an Oliver Perez clone.  My prediction:  Brewers, 2 years, $16 million.

Magglio Ordonez, Juan Uribe, Kerry Wood.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cowboys fire Wade Phillips

The reign of futility is over in Dallas, as Jerry Jones pulled the plug on Wade Phillips earlier this afternoon.  Jones stated as recently as last week, that Phillips would remain coach through the rest of the season, however an uninspiring 45-7 loss on Sunday Night Football was the writing on the wall.

Phillips amassed a 34-22 record in 3 1/2 seasons in Dallas, including a 1-2 record in the playoffs.  The Cowboys had Super Bowl aspirations at the start of the season, but a lack of a running game, and a defense playing below expectations ultimately derailed that dream.

In the interim former Cowboys quarterback, and current offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will coach the team for the remainder of the season.  The Cowboys are one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL, and without starting quarterback Tony Romo. 

Wade Phillips in his ten years as a head coach has a winning percentage of over .600, but has only won one playoff game, last year in the Wild Card round.  Garrett, who has no head coaching experience, is simply a transition until Jerry Jones looks for a big name.  Early candidates include:  John Gruden, Bill Cowher, and perhaps Marty Schottinheimer.  The Cowboys sit at a pathetic 1-7.

Accessory to Murder?

As I finish up my associates degree as a communication major, I am also wrapping up the General Education classes, in which I take useless classes like music appreciation and modern American history.  I also am currently enrolled in my least favorite class, biology.  While science is inherently interesting, having to memorize all the parts of the digestive system is about as fun as getting a blowie from Richard Simmons.  In the lab section, we are in the part of the section where we get to cut up dead animals, and stick our hands in their entrails.  Pretty gross, and hardly educational in my opinion.  Dissecting an already dead animal is one thing, dissecting an animal while its still alive is something different altogether. 

Last week in class, we were doing a lab on the circulatory system, the bitch brought out some disturbing shit.  She busted out two live frogs, puts them in a solution that essentially puts them to sleep, and fifteen minutes later, we have unconscious, drunk frogs.  Then the crazy bitch want us to dissect these poor bastards, so we can see their hearts beating.

She calls on two volunteers, who are going to cut up these frogs, while we all watch and take notes.  I am no animal rights activist by any means, but this whole situation seemed kinda fucked up to me.  It is one thing to dissect something while it is dead, but cutting up a frog while still technically alive seemed a little unnecessary, and a little cruel.

I was sitting at my desk, while the frogs were in their beaker of death, and I thought about being their hero.  That shitty Enrique Iglesias song ran through my head, then an image of him banging Anna Kournikova, and then back to the situation at hand.  I could casually, and awkwardly stumble to the front of the class, knock over the beaker, and spare the frogs their miserable little lives, while I protest my innocence to the professor.  But, alas, I sat there, and felt sorry for these poor bastards.

As the class period progressed the volunteers cut into the frogs, sending blood flowing out.  Dead frogs don't bleed like that.  The tongue was pulled out, so it can be observed under a microscope.  The chest was exposed, and the heart was still beating.  The girl doing the cutting then casually ripped it out, and held it in her hand.  It was kind of gross, but it honestly pissed me off more than anything.  Did we really have to murder animals, just to see a beating heart?  Aren't their thousands of hours of video on the Internet that serve the same purpose?  Am I just being a vagina about the whole situation?  Either way, this professor is one crazy bitch!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rays add draft bust Matt Bush to 40-man roster

In a move that went largely unnoticed in the baseball world, the Rays added Matt Bush, the #1 pick in the 2004 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. 

The Padres ownership group famously pinched pennies in that draft, picking the more "signable" player in Bush, rather than players like Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander, Stephen Drew, and Jeff Niemann.  Bush signed for $3 million and headed to rookie ball, where an embarrassing string of events lead to his demise.

In June 2004, Bush was suspended, when he snuck into a bar, and allegedly bit a bouncer, and was cited for trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

After the Padres released him, Bush was again arrested in 2009, for DUI and disorderly conduct.  A few months prior to that, he was arrested at an El Cajon, California(my hometown) High School, for a drunken assault on two teenagers.

The guy is a total loser off the field, and is just as terrible on it.  In 2005, Bush played shortstop for the Padres low single-A affiliate in Fort Wayne.  He put up a slash line of .221/.279/.276, with 2 HR's and 32 RBI's.  He also made 38 errors in the field.

When the Padres brass realized that the dude was a complete stiff at the plate, they tried to utilize his talented arm on the mound.  Bush threw some innings in an instructional league, and subsequently blew out his arm, and he required Tommy John surgery.  The Padres had enough off his issues, and he was released.

Toronto signed him as a minor-league free agent, who released him after the aforementioned drunken episode.  The Rays were captivated by his potential, and signed him to pitch.

Last year, Bush pitched 8.1 innings for the Rays A ball affiliate, and posted a 4.32 ERA and 12 K's.  By adding him to the 40 man roster, he is protected from the rule 5 draft, and could potentially appear in the majors this season.  Some scumbags have all the luck.

Chargers put on Tutu; Dance past the Texans

Thanks to a two game winning streak, and the Kansas City Chiefs returning to Earth, the Chargers playoff chances actually have a glimmer of hope.  San Diego picked a great time to pick up their first road win of 2010, beating the Texans 29-23 in Houston.

Philip Rivers was forced to go to battle without three top receivers, and all-pro tight end Antonio Gates, but Rivers found other weapons on this day.

After falling behind early, after the Chargers allowed yet another blocked punt, their fifth of the season, Philip Rivers hooked up with undrafted rookie wideout Seyi Ajriotutu on a 55 yard bomb, as "Tutu" blew past the safety.  Ajriotutu finished up with 4 catches for 111, including a huge first down grab late in the 4th quarter.

Arian Foster continued his assault on the NFL, carrying the ball 27 times, for 127 yards, and two scores.  However, he was a non-factor in the fourth quarter, as he had only two carries.

The Chargers trailed 23-14 midway through the 3rd quarter, but Philip Rivers continued to find ways to make plays.  He spread the ball all around, hooking up with Patrick Crayton for a big gain.  Rivers got the Bolts within two, when he hooked up with backup tight end Randy McMichael on a 12 yard score, McMichael made a sensational one-handed-catch for added dramatic effect.  

Rivers put the Chargers ahead for good in the 4th, hooking up with Tutu once again on a 28 yard strike, as he streaked down the sideline all alone for the score.  The Chargers decided to go for two, with Mike Tolbert diving into the endzone, putting the Bolts up for good, 29-23.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub led the Texans into Chargers territory, but wideout Andre Johnson dropped a pass, and it landed in the arms of Chargers safety Paul Oliver, and the Chargers escaped Texas with a win.  They head into their bye week at 4-5, with a terrible Denver team awaiting them in two weeks.  Hopefully the Chargers can get healthy, and make another run into the postseason.

Notes:  Mike Scifres had his 5th punt blocked this season.  Harry Newsome of the Pittsburgh Steelers has the record of 6, set during the 1988 season.

Philip Rivers leads the NFL with 2,649 yards this season, and is tied for second with 15 TD passes.