Monthly Archives: March 2009

Spring is almost upon us

Had the first catch of the season this afternoon. Oh happy days.

2009 is Almost Here

2009 is Almost Here

SMC

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I’m just so excited about today’s lineup.

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. Jed Lowrie, SS
9. Jason Varitek, C
— Clay Buchholz, SP

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The Perpetual Search for Inspiration: Hookers and Sham Wow

We in the blogging  community (yes, it makes us feel better to reinforce that there are other people who sit at their computers and force their friends to read their so/so writing in hopes that a national outlet will stumble upon us and pay millions for us to do what they already know we are doing for free) have this sort of imposed honor code that we owe our readers a constant stream of updates and literary genius. We try and stick to that code as much as we can, so when a day comes along where it’s rainy and gray, and not much is happening in the world of athletics, we get down on ourselves because we feel, as I said, we owe our readers.

I was having one of those off days up until just a few hours ago when the sparks flew through the car radio; Today’s story had arrived:

The Sham Wow guy got arressted for punching a hooker.

The Sham Wow guy got arrested for punching a hooker.

It’s really not my nature to poke fun at, or take lessons from celebrity calamoties… mostly because I’d like to think that people will excorcize such restraint when I am arrested for punching a hooker… but this is just to good to not share with the Ballpark. Just watch the video… if a picture’s worth a thousand words, this actual Sham-Wow video will make you a billionaire… littlerally. (I kinda know that doesn’t make sense, but I actually met this guy once, head set on and all, at the New England Boat Show one year, he is like this in real life.) I can’t possibly transcribe all the jokes I want to make about this video, just watch as he beats the product and throws it into the dryer…

An actual account of the arrest exists here.

Enjoy Your Day, Sports Fans.

Enjoy Your Day, Sports Fans.

StartMattCassel

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Nothing’s Going On, But Tom Izzo Speaks in Third Person

The Man

The Man

With 6 days until opening day, there’s not much going on. Some of the teams that are training in Arizona (Angels, Diamondbacks, Cubs, White Sox, Rockies, Royals, Brewers, A’s, Padres, Giants, Mariners, and Rangers.) may be interested in Manny Delcarmen, who has become somewhat expendable in the Sox bullpen due to it’s depth, according to The Man. It is interesting to note that two of those teams listed (we don’t know which ones Gammons speaks of) happen to be the current teams of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Miguel Montero, and at this point in the spring, a bullpen presence like Delcarmen fetches a higher price than it did over the winter.

The Sox play the Braves at Disney World today with about half of the starting nine making the trip. The Wiggler is pitching in his first start for the Sox after being named MVP of the WBC (again). NESN should be airing every spring game now, just because the wait is making me act like Cartman waiting for the Wii to come out. Is it too much to ask to have my daily does of DO and Remy?

IzzoIn other news, as names surface in the quest to take over the Kentucky Basketball coaching job, Tom Izzo (who still has games to play) was on SportsCenter this morning speaking about his own situation in the third person. I can’t quote him because nobody has put the transcript of his comments up online yet, but he went into detail about how Magic johnson makes all of the decisions about whether he stays at MSU. Maybe he’s afraid that Magic’s AID will come after him. Done will update as soon as Done can find an official transcript as Done would hate to misquote Mr. Izzo. John Calipari is the leading candidate to abandon his players to run to Kentucky.

Your current update on the Ballpark Bracket:

Rank Team Name Score Correct Best Score Best Correct Champion
1 Big Broski 90 44 106 45 Louisville (158)
2 Our Lawyer 89 44 153 47 Connecticut (165)
3 Chuck Miller 88 43 104 44 Oklahoma (144)
3 AngryBlackAle 88 45 152 48 North Carolina (160)
5 Some Chick 85 46 85 46 Pittsburgh (190)
6 Benny Bagels 84 45 100 46 Pittsburgh (127)
7 MN Preacher 82 40 98 41 Louisville (136)
8 Coach K 76 42 76 42 Pittsburgh (162)
9 Barry Obama 75 39 123 41 North Carolina (155)
10 Wogga Bear 73 42 73 42 Pittsburgh (104)
11 Done 69 39 117 41 Connecticut (201)
12 TPTBNL 68 38 116 40 North Carolina (151)
13 Jimmy Junk 67 37 67 37 Pittsburgh (142)
14 CutFromLittleLeague 57 29 121 32 North Carolina (186)
15 george freeman 0 0 0 0 ()

Yeah, I’m still boned.

Go Sox.

Done.

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From Above the Rim: 1 Against 5 and You Won’t Survive…

45865876Well after long last it finally happened.  My prediction came true in more ways than one.  I’ve waited all season long to witness the match up of North Carolina and Oklahoma.  The buildup to this game was that of a heavyweight rumble in the jungle.  The unanymous best player in the country, versus a heavy favorite for the championship crown.  But beyond that, this game showcased arguably the most exciting big-man match up this side of King Kong aka Psycho T and Godzilla, played by Blake Griffin (very exciting by the way).

I like many people would agree that as far as big men go in today’s game, Blake Griffin is a magnificent specimen of an athlete.  He has all the post moves any college or NBA coach could ask for, and the athleticism to boot.  On the other hand, although Psycho T isn’t the athlete that Griffin is, he is easily the harder worker whose credentials include all-time ACC scoring leader and rebound leader for UNC.  But this wasn’t the one-on-one match-up, Oklahoma would’ve liked it to be.

After the first two minutes of up and down basketball, UNC was on the board first and never really looked back.  On paper they go much deeper and it showed.  Oklahoma’s strategy was simple: get the ball to number 23 and get out of his way.

That's what Blake had to fight through ever time he touched the ball.

That's what Blake had to fight through ever time he touched the ball.

Unfortunately, even though that was a thoroughly thought out plan it didn’t really add up to anything.  Every time Blake saw the ball he also so a UNC double team.  It didn’t help the Sooners cause, that they had an absolutely atrocious day shooting the ball, from the charity stripe or really anywhere else on the floor, ending with an unflattering field goal percentage of 44.4.  But the story turned out not to be the two big men down low, but the dominant guard play.  Granted by the numbers, Blake had a normal game (for him) leading all scorers with another double-double, 23 points and 16 rebounds.  But one thing I noticed was that he seemed very nonchalant (for lack of a better word), looking for the easy dunk and not hustling back up the floor on defense, allowing Ty Lawson to burn

They call him Mr. Lawson

They call him Mr. Lawson

past him for more than a couple of easy transition buckets.  Speaking of Mr. Lawson, I hope nobody thinks that his big toe is still an issue.  He literally abused Austin Johnson (2 points), to the tune of 19 points taking it straight at his numbers every time out-muscling him all over the court.  With Danny Green being named UNC player of the game (18 points) Carolina didn’t have to delve to deep into its bag of tricks or bench players.  On a less fortunate note, number 32 who wears the number opposite his brother has played his last game.  In many ways, though similar in stature he was his brothers opposite on the court.  But he came out firing this afternoon, scoring the Sooners first two points with an authoritative dunk and possibly putting a very nice exclamation point on a losing effort.  Alas, it was not to be, after scoring another layup in the first half he was held scoreless for the rest of the game.  I can’t help but wonder if anyone told him that he should have been the key in this game, with all the attention being on his brother (as usual).  It’s sad really when that happens, there’s certainly talent there, but number 32 has been almost typecast into the shadows, as his younger brother gets all the glamore and attention.  Unfortunately when that happens promising players can “drop the ball” so to speak because of a lack of self-confidence.   In this match-up of King Kong versus Godzilla, Pshyco T and his Tar Heels move on to the round of four, because of the all important team effort while scoring only 8 points.  Let that be a lesson to those teams who lean to hard on their “star” for a whole game instead of the important moments only to fall ungracefully in the end.  UNC 72, Oklahoma 60.

The stage is set for next Saturday’s Final Four contest.  North Carolina vs. Villanova, and UConn vs. Michigan State.  Hope you learned something today and I hope your teams still in it, mine is.  May the best bracketolegist win (free dinner here I come!).

ABA

P.S. Currently watching the C’s hopefully put a smack on another team from Oklahoma (rough day).

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I’m Boned.

This one's for you, Some Chick.

This one's for you, Some Chick.

Well, I got screwed last night when Blake Griffin (who is a black ginger, by the way. Does that mean he still has no soul?) and Oklahoma beat Syracuse, who I had in the Final Four, and defending champs Kansas got knocked out by Michigan State. That leaves me in 11th place and embarrassingly behind MN Preacher, just when I had a really good joke about the fact that Jesus must not care about his picks.

Rank Team Name Score Correct Best Score Best Correct Champion
1 Some Chick 77 45 165 51 Pittsburgh (190)
2 Benny Bagels 76 44 172 51 Pittsburgh (127)
3 Big Broski 74 42 162 48 Louisville (158)
4 Our Lawyer 73 42 169 49 Connecticut (165)
4 Wogga Bear 73 42 145 47 Pittsburgh (104)
6 Chuck Miller 72 41 168 48 Oklahoma (144)
6 AngryBlackAle 72 43 168 50 North Carolina (160)
8 Coach K 68 41 132 45 Pittsburgh (162)
9 Barry Obama 67 38 155 44 North Carolina (155)
10 MN Preacher 66 38 154 44 Louisville (136)
11 Done 61 38 133 43 Connecticut (201)
12 TPTBNL 60 37 140 42 North Carolina (151)
13 Jimmy Junk 59 36 123 40 Pittsburgh (142)
14 CutFromLittleLeague 41 27 121 32 North Carolina (186)
15 george freeman 0 0 0 0 ()
The big Sox news this morning is that the rotation has been set (with no surprises) up until the first time that they need a fifth starter (April 12). It’ll be Beckett, Lester, the Wiggler, and Wake for those first four spots and the fifth spot will likely be up to how Brad Penny performs this afternoon against the Twins (this one is for the Mayors Cup, 1:00 on NESN). Buchholz, who is obviously out to show me us since I spent the winter advocating his departure in a trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia (0.46 ERA), is the other guy up for the job in the embarrassingly deep Red Sox rotation, but will likely start the season in Pawtucket if Penny proves that he can be ready for the 12th.
It’s another beautiful 55 degree spring day in Boston, the Sox are on at one and I’m losing in my NCAA bracket. Spring must be here.
F winter.
Go Sox.
Done.

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It’s a Beautiful Thing

After a complete off day yesterday (and yes, I’m ignoring the NCAA games, because the only reason I’m paying attention is because of my bracket), the C’s play tonight, the B’s tomorrow, and the Sox this afternoon. It’s a beautiful day out and it is only made better by this:

Red Sox Spring BaseballRed Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Jason Bay, LF
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Nick Green, SS

Josh Beckett, SP

Yes, that is this afternoon’s Red Sox lineup. It looks almost like opening day (plug in Lowrie for Green and you’ve got it) and feels like it too. Enjoy the day.

Go Sox.

Done.

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