Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Play Ball!

So this is my first post to our group blog. The blog was formed as a sort of news magazine type concept, where each of us will focus on a particular area of interest (with the occasional digression). I'm doing sports, and will attempt to write a "sports guy" type thing that is different enough so people don't say, "I guess he's kind of like the sports guy, but not nearly as funny and definitely doesn't know as much about sports."

I think that at times I may write about somewhat more narrow and perhaps mundane topics (e.g., complaining the morning after a particularly bad Mets' loss, or typing "I told you so" 150 times when Eli goes 28-34 for 400 yds and 5 touchdowns on Monday Night Football (coming sooner than you think), and things like that), but given that the MLB season is right around the corner, I thought I would try out a few prognostications. I promise to re-post in October to check out my stats.

Five Things That Will Happen Even Though I Don't Want Them To:

1. The Mets Will Make The Playoffs, And Not Win The World Series. You can't deny it. This team is built to win for a long season, and lose in a short series. The offense is terrifying to any opponent -- especially in a division with only a handful of other bona fide superstars (see number 4, below) -- and can put up five runs in the blink of an eye. But the offense is also not as young as everyone wants you to believe (Delgado at first, Lo Duca behind the plate (and el Padre de Tiempo backing him up), Alou and Green in the corners), and these guys will naturally slow down towards the end of the year. Worse than that, though, the only proven pitching is geriatric, and the Mike Pelfrey's of the world haven't really shown us anything yet (side note: he looked really good against Baltimore tonight; hope springs eternal). Remeber the playoffs last year? "Glavine, Maine and pray for rain." Cute. Omar better pull a rabbit out of his hat before the trade deadline, or we're going to be saying it again this year. And it won't be as cute. The next person who tells me that Oliver Perez might ever be good again is getting punched -- you've been warned. Chan Ho Park? Stop it. Unless he is buying the naming rights to the new stadium, I don't want to hear Chan Ho Park and the Mets in the same sentence.
What are we going to do when we are spot-starting Scott Erickson in game 3 against the Astros? Exactly.

2. El Duque's Leg Will Fall Off In A Pre-Game Warm Up. Further to the above, the pitching this year is scaring the hell out of me. As someone wrote on metsblog.com the other day (great stuff for die hards, by the way), "El Duque will be fine as long as he doesn't have to run to first, field his position, or ever walk from the clubhouse to the dugout. Oh sh*t."

3. The Mets Will Decide That Victor Zambrano "Has Totally Turned It Around." If you are a Mets fan, see the response to number 5, below. Otherwise, you don't care about this at all except to the extent that you can point it out to me and make me puke.

4. Ryan Howard Will Hit 138 Home Runs (Half Of Which Will Be Off Billy Wagner In the Ninth Inning of A Game I Am Attending). Howard is amazing. While he is very high on the "This Guy Totally Has Kevin Maas Written All Over Him" meter, I think he is the real thing, and he has been doing it long enough (over a year) to shush the Maas talk into a whisper. The New York Times did a great profile on him, his family, and his approach to the game, and it sucked because all I want is to hate this guy, and you just can't. By all accounts he is a great guy, has never touched the performance enhancement stuff (side note: the subject of a separate post will be the witch hunt in baseball re: steroids, and the fact that you are either clean or not based on whether Mike Francesa has ever said (in that fat, doughy whisper of his): "we can never know, but no way this guy's not juicin', dawg." Puke. (side note to the side note: the post after that will be about how quickly making fun of Mike and The Mad Dog went from funny to cliche to just lame)), and can hit the ball 850 feet. Scares me to death when the Mets are facing him in a tough situation. Hey Willie . . . get those four fingers out of your pocket right now.

5. Barry Bonds Will Break Hank Aaron's Legendary Home Run Record. "Wait a minute," you're thinking, "this one isn't really as funny as the others. It's just sad, true and kind of a bummer." Yep.

(Impossible to entirely hate Phillies fans by the way . . . the above gets a 9.2 on the creative-enough-to-make-other-smart-drunk-guys-laugh-at-pro-sporting-events scale).

Five Things That Will Not Happen Even Though I Want Them To:

6. The Yankees Will Not Miss The Playoffs. Just deal with it.

7. Dice-K Will Not Win 30 Games And Throw Six No-Hitters Against The Yankees. (He may engage in some sort of dragon-themed battle with Hideki Matsui, in which the movement of their lips does not correspond with the words they are speaking, which would be cool, but I digress). First, Dice-K? Come on. Let's be a little more creative. Even the hot dog guy has cooler nicknames than that. (side note: how long before some enterprising 14 year-old Yankee fan unfurls a banner at Yankee Stadium that reads "Dai-SUCK-e Matsuzaka"? Clever). I know he comes highly touted, but the excitement about him rewriting the dynamic between the Sox and the Yanks for the next five years is just irresponsible journalism borne of the fact that there is nothing to write about in Spring Training. This guy will be good, yes, but to quote the Wolf in Pulp Fiction . . . .

And speaking of irresponsible journalism . . .
8. Bob Klapisch Will Not Be Fired. This guy is the most irresponsible, band wagon writer in the New York media. I understand that they all go with the flow, and flip around a bit to suit their columns to fit current events, but this guys goes too far. When the Mets lose two in a row he wants Willie fired, when they then proceed to win a game or two he is using words like "Cooperstown" and "dynasty." Despite all this, he seems to be getting more play lately (ESPN.com, for example), rather than less. Beat it Bob.

9. SNY Will Continue To Broadcast Road Mets Games In Lo Def Even In The Ballpark Of A Team That Plays In Hi Def. Ok, so this one needs a little explanation, but if you are (a) a big sports fan, and (b) the proud owner of an HDTV, then I KNOW you are with me here. Scenario: Mets playing a road series in say, San Diego. You know for a fact that Padres home games are broadcast in high definition in the San Diego area, so you can conclude that they have hi def cameras and what not in the stadium at the time the game is being played. Despite all this, the game you are watching on SNY is in the lowest of lo def of all time . . . David Wright looks about as well defined as Sir Graham pulling the dagger out from under the rock on a CGA monitor (side note: give yourself five points if you picked up on the Sir Graham reference ("push rock" -- that sh*t never got old)).

("Wright stands in against Wells . . . the count is 2-2")

10. Barry Bonds Will Not Go Away. Remember that girl you hooked up with freshman year in college? You felt weird about it within weeks, because something was just off, and it only got worse, because you realized sophomore year that no one likes her, she's kind of ugly, and kind of a bitch. A few years later she is sitting next to you at graduation, your mom is talking to her mom, and they both want to know if the two of you have met.
Watching Chris Berman call Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run shot on a Tuesday night in August against the Nationals is going to be much more awkward.


Open Bar said...

Love the King's Quest pic. But one more thing--no freakin' way those were Phillies fans who came up with that sign. Proof? A: There are no misspellings. B. They all seem to be holding it up together without getting into a brawl. C. Creating it required ingenuity, not the sole ability to pronounce the word "Boooo." Those are clearly a couple of New Yorkers who came down to give Bonds a piece of their minds.

ChuckJerry said...

Kings quest screen shot = +5 blogger points.

I nearly shit my pants when I thought about the new city field being renamed "Chan Ho Park".

Open Bar said...

Oh, and BPG--how about you start spelling yankees with the lowercase "y". They don't deserve the effort it takes to hit that shift key.

Max said...

"Kings quest screen shot = +5 blogger points"? You're a tough judge, Jerry. Like "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", since the points don't matter, I think the screen shot should get at least 1,000,000 points since it was also coupled with an appropriate reference AND mentioned a CGA monitor.

That is a first ballot Hall-of-Fame blog item.