Archive | October, 2006

Saint Joseph’s, Temple, LaSalle Don’t Get No Respect

31 Oct

No respect at all:

The league’s three city amigos were picked eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively, in a voting of coaches and media released during the A-10′s annual media day Tuesday inside this Oceanside resort’s Boardwalk Hall.

Neither school had a single player picked on any of the three all-conference teams or the conference’s defensive team. Only St. Joe’s Jawan Carter and Temple’s Luis Guzman were named to the rookie team.

But don’t worry, Atlantic TEN actually is fourteen teams strong.  So while they are predicted to suck, who knows really?   The SJU Hawks are young, Temple is in flux, and LaSalle is young, short and without Steve Smith.  The Big 5 will certainly be Villanova-tilted this season, unless one of the other teams just steps it up.

The Worst Comic In The World

31 Oct

Ah, the legendary Ziggy.  Ziggy is famous for being on a lot of greeting cards.  But it’s not really famous for being funny or anything like that.  No, the lovable loser Ziggy goes about life with his pets and gets in a lot of situations which demand a sort of half smile out of the reader.   Take the panel below…where’s the funny?  Try and find it.  I dare you.

Allen Iverson Is Ready

30 Oct

And he’s going to win any way he can:

“I mean, I’ve won scoring titles, MVPs — scoring’s not something I care about,” Iverson said. “I know I can score. Everybody in the world knows I can score the basketball. If that’s something I have to do, then that’s something that I’ll do. If I have to play like I played against Jersey, then so be it.

“I approach every game the same way — to try and be aggressive and do whatever I can to help my team win. That’s what has to be done. If teams are going to concentrate on me like they do, the responsibility honestly goes more on my teammates. They have to make shots. I trust them and believe them. That’s the only way I know that we can win.”

I’m not sure if I trust his teammates though. Hopefully rookies Rodney Carney and Bobby Jones can make a difference on both sides of the ball, because besides that I just don’t see where this team improved more than 4 or 5 wins. Webber is still the most inefficient 20 point scorer in the game today, we have several guys who can’t stick anyone, and using a ton of Kevin Ollie just ain’t my cup of tea.

But hey, Allen’s closer to this thing than I am.  If he trusts his teammates, maybe we all should too…at least until they drop below the .500 mark.

Get Ready…Wednesday

30 Oct

76ers v Hawks at 7pm. Are you excited?

Boy Meets World Mondays

30 Oct

Remember when Eric went all Truman Show on ‘em?  I DO I DO!

The Saint Louis Cardinals Are Some Lucky SOBs

27 Oct

They barely made the playoffs. They were probably considered the worst team to make the playoffs. And since they won game 4 last night, they are falling right into a World Series championship. It’s simply crazy to think that these guys may win the rings. They’re just not all that good. They’re the Phillies except that they didn’t have the New York Mets in their division. It’s really starting to piss me off, to tell the truth.  I really sort of hope that both the Tigers and Cardinals find a way to lose.  I want to see errors, hit batters, and no offense.  I want this to go down in history as one of the worst World Series of all-time.

Bastards.

Rick Brunson Is Done

26 Oct

The Sixers won a basketball game last night, with Allen Iverson passing for 12 assists and Kyle Korver shooting 8-10 for 22 points.  After the game, Temple standout Rick Brunson was waived.  Brunson’s had a hard couple of months.  First, he lost out to Fran Dunphy for the position head basketball coach at Temple.  And now he’s being waived ahead of such legendary basketball players like Alan Henderson and Ivan McFarlin.  Time for Brunson to hang up the kicks and get a coaching position at a smaller college to start building his resume.

White Guys Play Baseball Too!

24 Oct

And they have their own special award now, courtesy of the MLB (taken from Baseballthinkfactory):

Behind every great team on the diamond, lurking in the shadow of baseball superstars, live the role players who sacrifice for their team in often unrecognized effort. Which of these role players’ best deserves recognition for their contributions as the Holiday Inn Look Again Player of the Year?

Their choices are quite interesting too:

Angels: Robb Quinlan
Athletics: Mark Kotsay
Blue Jays: Reed Johnson
Devil Rays: Ty Wiggingon
Indians: Jake Westbrook
Mariners: Jake Woods
Orioles: Brian Roberts
Rangers: Mark DeRosa
Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis
Royals: Mark Grudzielanek
Tigers: Brandon Inge
Twins: Jason Tyner
White Sox: Joe Crede
Yankees: Scott Proctor
Astros: Chris Burke
Braves: Brian McCann
Brewers: Brian Shouse
Cardinals: David Eckstein
Cubs: John Mabry
Diamondbacks: Eric Byrnes
Dodgers: Andre Ethier
Giants: Mark Sweeney
Marlins: Wes Helms
Mets: Jose Valentin
Nationals: Nick Johnson
Padres: Woody Williams
Phillies: Shane Victorino
Pirates: John Grabow
Reds: Ryan Freel
Rockies: Garrett Atkins

28 light-skinned guys, 1 Latino, and 1 Hawaiin(our very own Shane Victorino) . Of course, this entire award was created just so David Eckstein would feel more wanted. And this list is a bit lacking in that there are some actual good players on it that should be insulted that they are lumped in with bad players. Garrett Atkins, Nick Johnson, Joe Crede, Andre Etheir,Kevin Youkilis and Brian McCann are actually, you know, good. The MLB should be ashamed they lump them in with the likes of David Eckstein, John Mabry, and Chris Burke. It really does look like the MLB went and looked at each roster and picked out a white guy that was either a little plump or short.  And when a guy like Nick Johnson is one of the top 6 or so at his position, perhaps he’s no longer ‘behind’ the superstar…perhaps he is one.

And where the hell is Chone Figgins?  Isn’t he the scrappiest role player of them all?!

The Worst Comic In The World

24 Oct

Dick Tracy has been in newspapers for DECADES. And it’s always dealt with Tracy foiling criminal after criminal in improbable situations and with the blackest and whitest sense of good and evil. Some may enjoy this, but the strip itself should be stopped. It’s just that it’s grown beyond the medium, especially how it’s curently shown in newspapers. The funnies are down to 2 or 3 panels now, and Dick Tracy usually only has 2 panels. Look at yesterday’s freaking strip! There is no chance to hook a reader, develop a complex plot (which could be done in the 1940s and 50s). Plus, it’s just so damn old-fashioned in its thinking about crime and criminality. Let it die.

Break Out the Geritol, Jamie Moyer’s Back Baby!

23 Oct

If I drink champagne I swear I’m up all night. Geritol is smoother, followed by a nice Centrum silver tablet (OK, lame joke):

Philadelphia signed the veteran on Monday to a two-year contract extension worth $10.5 million plus incentives, guaranteeing that he’ll celebrate his 45th birthday in red pinstripes. The lefty will turn 44 on Nov. 18.

Moyer, who debuted in the same year as New Coke (1986), was an effective part of the Phillies rotation after arriving in an Aug. 20 trade from Seattle, going 5-2 with a 4.03 ERA. He went at least six innings in all but one of his outings, and allowed just one run in three of his six September starts.

I guess this is goodbye to lefty Randy Wolf, who I’d rather have back. And Moyer was completely average for the Mariners this season in a very pitcher-friendly park. But those six starts for us!

“Jamie was one of our more effective pitchers down the stretch,” general manager Pat Gillick said in a statement. “He was an asset to our ballclub not just for his performance on the field, but also for his presence in the and might still include Randy Wolfclubhouse.”

Oh, well maybe Wolf will be back. But then what’s the rotation? Myers, Lieber, Hamels, Moyer, Wolf? We’re not going for anyone else on the free agent market or through trade? And why would Moyer suddenly keep up his six start output? His groundball to flyball ratio was way out of whack with his recent career stats, where he gave up more flyballs than ground balls. Here he was inducing groundballs almost 1.5 times as much. If that goes back to normal, this could blow up in our collective faces.

Maybe I’m too negative. But I just don’t see how this helps get us towards the playoffs next season.

Awards Time: MVPs That Weren’t

23 Oct

Alright, we had a bit of a layover inbetween awards, so here’s some linkbacks to the preivous ones:

CY Young  Rookie of the Year   Manager of the Year

OK, so now it’s time to decide WHAT exactly makes a ‘most valuable player’.  This post will NOT be about the current MVP award, that will be later in the week.  For many years, a not so secret requirement of many baseball writers is that the winner must come from a playoff team or contender.  Only Andre Dawson’s 1987 selection (which I’m not sure was even just) and Alex Rodriguez’s 2003 selection bucked this trend.  Barry Bonds recieved the award in 2001 and 2004 when his team failed to make the playoffs, but they won 91 and 90 games those years and his performance simply could not be denied.  However, this quasi-requirement of playoffs or bust has led to some fairly sub-par picks, in my view.  For example:

- Barry Larkin was not in the top 10 in OPS in 1995 when he won his MVP.  I’m not sure 51 SB make up for that fact, nor does his position.  Sure, playing SS HAS to factor in, but enough to jump that much? Oh yeah, his team made the playoffs.  Barry Bonds led in OPS (1.008) and Mike Piazza was 2nd (1.006).  I’d have probably given it to Piazza because of his position, but the extra games Bonds played does make up for some of that.  Larkin even had two teammates (Ron Gant and the oft-overlooked Reggie Sanders) that outhit him that year.
Kirk Gibson will always be remembered in 1988 for his one at bat in the World Series where he could barely move enough to run around the bases, was running on pure adrenaline, and then smacked a two-run game winning homer in the 1st game and propelled the LA Dodgers.  Surely his MVP that year was deserved.  However, there was this entire 162 game ‘season’ thing.  And he had a fine season himself, as he was 4th in OPS and 7th in runs created.  But it’s those very numbers that should have prevented him from getting the MVP.  Darryl Strawberry (.911 OPS) and Will Clark (.894 OPS) had obviously better years at the plate, and Gibson can’t even fall back on the ‘defense’ argument (LF) to boost anything.  Strawberry led OPS and Clark led runs created, so Gibson gets the nod?  And all of this ignores that this was quite a year for pitchers like David Cone, Orel Hershiser, Danny Jackson, etc.

-Then there’s another way the writers fuck up…overrating the ‘save’.  So much so that in 1992 they gave the CY Young AND MVP to Dennis Eckersly, the guy who threw 80 innings that year.  Yes, 80 innings.  This over guys who played 150-160 games or threw 200+ innings and impacted their teams’ chances in far greater ways simply by PLAYING MORE.  Yes ol’ Denny had a great year (80 IP, 93Ks, 1.91 ERA, 0.91 WHIP) but he simply didn’t pitch enough.  Maybe if he was a starterImagine that, balance quality and quantity to give out awards.  The thing is, that’s not even the worst thing about the 1992 award…Joe Carter, with the 807 OPS and 309 on-base percentage, was THIRD in the voting.  THIRD! But he had 34 homers and 119 RBI!  And nothing else.  If there was ever a textbook definition of overrated player, Joe Carter’s picture would be next to it.

- Speaking of Oakland As players, the 2001 MVP was Jason Giambi.  Period.  Ichiro was not the MVP.  He wasn’t.  Just no.  And 838 OPS to 1.137?  Which would you pick?
- 1999 was a year of some great performances.  Pedro Martinez had one of the best pitching seasons of all-time, with a 2.07 ERA and 0.92 WHIP when the league ERA was 5.07.  Manny Ramirez came into his own with power, patience and presence at the plate, Rafael Palmeiro(roids or not), Jim Thome was smasing balls, Nomar Garciaparra (as a SS), Derek Jeter(as a SS),  and so many others destroyed the ball this year.  And the best catcher that year? Ivan Rodriguez, with only Darrin Fletcher any close this year.  However, when compared to so many other hitters, and Pedro, there’s no comparison.  His .332 average looks great, but coupled with a 356 OBP?  And 25 steals as a catcher is amazing, but caught 12 times as well?  If you’re going to get caught like that, what’s the point in running? And grounding into 31 double plays isn’t that great either (worst in the league).  But he won the MVP based on batting average (7th), steals, being a catcher, and a catchy nickname (Pudge).

- 1998 was the year that Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire saved baseball.  Well, baseball would’ve been ‘saved’ regardless, but it’s a nice story.  And Sammy Sosa belted 66 homers, had a funny little hop after every one, and his team made the playoffs.  But he wasn’t nearly as good as Mark McGwire, who that year his 70 home runs, had an OPS of 1.222 to Sosa’s 1.024 (who was 4th behind Todd Helton and Barry Bonds as well), and got on-base a ton more too.  Sosa had 18 SB, but was caught 9 times, and played RF.  McGwire played 1st, but the defense is purely pointless between these two.  This was simply an injustice.

- Miguel Tejada rode his 2002 MVP into a big contract with the Baltimore Orioles, even after he struggled somewhat in 2003.  Tejada (862 OPS) flashed a lot of power at the SS position, fielded his position fairly well, and played every single game. In fact, he’s played every single game in the past 6 seasons.  The guy’s a workhorse and definitely one of the best SS in the league.  Thing is, Manny Ramirez (1.097 OPS) simply had another tremendous season, and was robbed of the MVP.  Or Alex Rodriguez (1.015 OPS) was robbed of the MVP as well, as he outproduced Tejada at the plate and in the field, at the same position.  However, Tejada had all the pub going for him with the should’ve been  (Jason Giambi) 2001 MVP leaving the Oakland As for New York, and them still making the playoffs.  And since it’s all about the playoffs, a guy not in the top 10 in OBP, slugging, OPS or runs created per 27 outs(he was tied for 10th in total runs created due to his ability to stay healthy).   It would’ve been a coin-flip between Ramirez or Rodriguez.  Either way, they got robbed.

- Juan Gonzalez won the 1996 MVP because he had a lot of RBIs, which are a team-dependent stat.  He also had a slug-heavy OPS, wheras SS Alex Rodriguez’s was OBP heavy and was still higher (1.045 to 1.011).  Don’t forget about the positions they both played too. AND Rodriguez played 12 more games.  So what gives here?  I literall have no clue as to why voters would have gone for Gonzalez other than the HR and RBI numbers.   Oh, and the Texas Rangers finished 4.5 games ahead of Rodriguez’s Mariners.  So what?  Did Gonzalez somehow contribute more to the Rangers by hitting slightly worse and playing a less demanding defensive position?
- Finally, here’s one I don’t think was a huge rob job by the voters, but was still suspect.  Everyone remembers Terry Pendelton’s ‘gift’ in 1991.  Barry Bonds was robbed right?  He had a better OPS  (924 to 880), his adjusted OPS was higher too, and the Pittsburgh Pirates also made the playoffs (to face Pendelton’s Atlanta Braves).  He also created more runs per 27 outs (7.45 to 6.95) .  Thing is, Pendelton played 13 more games, as Bonds only played 140 games that season.  He also played a tougher defensive position, and both of these close the gap on those numbers.  Quantity and quality matter, so while this appears to simply be a gross injustice, it’s at least only a minor one.   And the funny thing about this debate is that Bobby Bonilla, Bonds’ teammate, actually had more total runs created then either of them (112 Bonilla, 111 Pendelton, 109 Bonds).  So what the hell to make of this mess?  Was it simply a toss-up?  Looks like it, and perhaps Pendelton’s position drives him past the other two.

So, by my count, Manny Ramirez should have one or two.  Instead, he’s never been ranked higher than 3rd for MVP voting, which is simply ridiculous.  A guy who is probably one of the top 3 hitters in the current era(past 10 years, Bonds, Manny, Rodriguez) may retire without an MVP?  And speaking of Rodriguez, he should have at least one more, if not two.  For some reason people are inclined to downplay Rodriguez’s contributions to almost every team he’s on.  When he left Seattle, people said they got better because of it.  When he was with Texas, many didn’t want him to have the MVP because of his team’s record.  And now as a Yankee he’s booed by the home fans and is daily fodder for talk radio stations who need time to fill.  Everything he does is analyzed, critiqued and ridiculed in one way or another.  And the guy’s a freaking monster of a hitter! It really makes no sense except that it may just be human nature to want successful people to fail.

BTW, I found a good list of MVP controversies here: Page 2′s list  5 of the ones I listed above were on the list.

Scarlett Johansson Named Sexiest Alive

23 Oct

According to Esquire Mag…do you disagree? Who do you think is sexier?

Boy Meets World Mondays

23 Oct

Remember the time Topanga was all about some painting and goes out with someone not named Cory?  I DO!



Bobby Clarke Resigns, Ken Hitchcock Fired

22 Oct

Holy crap, this came out of nowhere. I just didn’t expect either of these things to happen. Sure, the Flyers are horrible this year, but it didn’t seem like either would be in trouble. And Clarke wasn’t, from what he said at the press conference. He did it on his own 10 days ago, saying he was just too burnt out and was hurting the team by staying on as GM. Hitchcock WAS fired though, and it was done by Ed Snider. Snider just thought a change was needed, even though Hitch is a good coach.

Simply a huge move, and where do the Flyers go from here? Paul Holmgren is the new interim GM and John Stevens is the new permanent head coach. I feel for Clarke. The guy bled Flyers, they were in the playoffs almost every year under him, and he tried everything he could to get them over the hump. They never won a Cup under him, but they were a consistently good team, and had some great playoff runs.  In the end, the team was better having him lead the way the past 12 years.

Links for Linking

20 Oct

- Joe Minardi goes down Germantown Ave and snaps a few photos, then Philly Skyline says ‘hey let’s put ‘em up on the internets’.  And then they did.

- The Good Phight‘s take on non-refundable convienence charges on non-existant playoff tickets?  Not convienent.

- Carlos Ruiz is  ready for the sophmore season, according to Beerleaguer.  Or not.  It depends.  Personally, I think the guy will be just fine, and be a good value for his money.  It’s very unlikely that he’s going to struggle offensively the way he did during his first two callups last year, simply because his AAA production is SO much better.  And yes, AAA production does show a little something.

- Ken Levine breaks down this week’s TV ratings.

- Jon Burkett asks if anyone wants this Louis Williams guy?  Oh, and he’s screwed for life.

- A rainy day for John L. Micek.  Aaron Gleeman loves to link too! And the Inky profiles Lois Murphy.

- Current Arizona rep JD Hayworth hates Jews.

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