Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday Classic Video: The Knicks, LJT, and the love between them

We've all followed the misadventures of our beloved New York Knickerbockers. From the sexual-harassment trial to the "Fire Isiah" chants to the inevitable 60 losses by the end of the year, it's been quite a rollicking little ride so far this year.

Our resident Knicks superfan, LJT, has even conceded the supreme terribleness of the our NY cagers, which is bittersweet to me for this reason:

LJT hates everything. Babies, dogs, loveable old people, sunshine, even the broad category I'll title "Things that are fun" -- like, for example, the Toilet Bowl, our annual Christmas Eve football game that LJT refuses to attend. (By the way, why hasn't any of us written up this year's game yet? Get on it, Chuck.) But back to the point, in spite of LJT's commitment to hating everything, he harbors this tiny little speck -- deep down in his soul, where it survives, bravely fending off the soldiers of spite and malice which otherwise dominate -- that he reserves for his Knicks. It's kind of sweet, actually. You know, how it's kind of sweet the way Hannibal Lecter respects Clarice Starling. Even though he brutally murders people and then eats them.

So I guess this clip is for LJT. I just wish that the third guy (along with Marbury and Isiah) was James Dolan. James Dolan, by the way, can get raped by a rhino's horn and then eaten alive by vultures on the plains of the Serengeti for all I care. That's one thing, I think, on which LJT and I can agree.

By the way, I blatantly stole this video from East Village Idiot. For you idiots that haven't started reading his blog, you're stupid.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Classic Video: The Spirit of Christmas

If you never got to see the original South Park video, The Spirit of Christmas, here it is. As a little back story, Trey Parker and Matt Stone made this little clip in 1995, and some Hollywood executive saw it and sent it out as a Christmas card. You can read about the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, 12 years later, South Park is still running strong.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


After eight years of dreadful (mis)leadership by an administration without regard for the civil rights of its own citizenry, the human rights of the citizens of other nations, and the reputation of the United States around the world, America is suffering from a crisis of identity. Americans have always been a brash, arrogant crowd, but with that brash arrogance came a more quiet confidence borne of the knowledge that America was in the right more often than it was in the wrong. America was a good country trying to do the right thing. Churchill observed that: "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." This no longer appears to be the case, as obvious mis-steps in the foreign and domestic arena are met with nothing more than platitudes and accusations of unpatriotism from the very people who committed the error in judgment. Even when every reasonable, objective view suggests otherwise, they insist we must "stay the course" both at home and abroad. We disagree.

(Really let's be honest, Bush sucks cock. He's a hyper-christian, rights stealing, prisoner torturing, citizen spying, rough putter. Buddy the dog would be a better president than this crazy motherfucker. If we could endorse Buddy the dog over a new Republican regime, I'm sure we'd do that.)

Anxious to find our way again, and hopeful that a young, enthusiastic leader can catalyze the return of American decency, leadership (and yes, superiority), the editorial staff of Wheeeeeere's Luke enthusiastically endorses BARACK OBAMA to serve as the next President of the United States.

(Enthusiastic in the same way we were enthusiastic that the second season of Heroes wouldn't suck so bad. It's got a lot of potential, but its kineticism wasn't exactly rolling downhill.)

Mr. Obama is far from the perfect candidate. His relative inexperience pales in comparison to that of his closest rivals, and his relationship and dealings with Tony Rezko (who in October plead not guilty to federal charges of corrupt dealings with the administration of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich) are a frustrating reminder of the likely imperfections of those we admire most.

(Frankly, however, we admire a candidate who admits to his past cocaine use unlike our current standard bearer.)

Mr. Obama’s platform is garden-variety, left of center stuff. On his website he champions a responsible strategy for exiting Iraq, fighting poverty, assuring healthcare for those who cannot afford it, and protecting the environment. We applaud Mr. Obama’s views on these and other issues, but recognize that he does not stand alone on this platform. Indeed, each of the Democratic candidates have platforms that we can and do support. Nevertheless, Mr. Obama’s potential to excite America, and to dust off the cobwebs on our collective conscience are enticing and unique in this field of candidates. Moreover, and with apologies to the comedian Chris Rock, he is a superb orator and seems, at times, to channel the very best of Clinton, Cuomo, and King.

(If we take a step back from it, Barack really doesn't stand for anything at this point, but that's what makes him so interesting. At this point his campaign is built on his good looks and startling command of the language. *begin Pearl of wisdom* The weaker your argument, the more fierce your rhetoric need be. *end Pearl of wisdom* That means we can look forward to some stunning speeches from our boy. That motherfucker is downright captivating at times.)

We also believe (again with a nod to Mr. Rock) that the election of a black candidate -- not because of his race but in spite of it -- represents an obviously positive step forward in America's tortured history with race. Joe Biden's ill-advised remark notwithstanding, Mr. Obama would not have been a viable candidate for President in this country 25 years ago.

(And at least one of us is super-psyched to have a half black dude running for president. Upon his election he will shoot to the top of the list of half-black heroes doing some good in this country. From Halle Berry to Jason Kidd. Derek Jeter to Alicia Keyes. Maya Rudolph, Lenny Kravitz, and let's not forget our current hall of fame half-black representative, Tiger Woods.)

Whether Mr. Obama can carry the day in the face of the overwhelming the power, poise and pockets of Hillary Clinton's campaign is yet to be seen, but it will of course be an uphill battle. Mrs. Clinton is a deft politician, but we believe she represents a retreat to the center, and -- if the reader will excuse a worn cliché -- "politics as usual." By contrast, we believe an Obama presidency presents the best opportunity for America to rediscover its identity as a responsible leader of the world.

(Bill Clinton (who's obviously biased, but is also the smartest guy I can think of at the moment) says that voting for Obama is like rolling the dice. That's absolutely true. That's what we love about it. Is Hillary Clinton a better senator than Barack Obama? Undoubtedly. David Brooks outlines this point with startling clarity in an intersting op-ed piece from December 18, 2007. In that same piece, however, he concludes that Obama, for many of those same reasons, is the better presidential candidate. And seriously, could you imagine a scenario where a guy with a gleaming moral compass and such obvious intelligence wouldn't steer this country in the right direction? (ix-Nay on the immy-Jay arter-Cay. No one even remembers stagflation anymore.) The moral of the story, though, is that we know what we're going to get from president Hillary Clinton and that would be pretty good. But the potential return from president Obama leads the imagination to visions of ethanol cars, solar powered outhouses, world peace, and a unicorn in every back yard. A vote for Obama is a vote for unicorns, America.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fatboy was a cheater

While I'm sure there is still much more to learn and interpret about the George Mitchell report on steroids in baseball, I feel a blogger's obligation to draw an instant conclusion.

Aside from Barry Bonds, whose steroid exploits have been well documented and covered, the biggest name in the report has to be Roger Clemens. Though rumors had surfaced previously about his possible usage, today's report gives us many more details on what may or may not have happened.

However, upon reading in the report, Clemens allegedly got back into using steroids during the latter half of the 2000 season.

During that period, Clemens threw at Mike Piazza's head (just a box score, not a video, but you remember it). Then, in the World Series, he picked up Piazza's broken bat and threw it at him, later claiming (pathetically and illogically) that he thought it was the ball. (I looked for a video link, but MLB has apparently been very thorough in removing it from the Internet. If you find one, let me know.)

If those two incidents don't perfectly define "roid rage," then I don't know what can.

Roger Clemens was a cheater.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Being a Mets fan blows


Did you read this?

So Paul LoDuca just signed with the Nationals. In case you don't remember, the Mets just traded Lastings Milledge for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.

"Hey Omar, I've got an idea for next year's slogan!"

2007 Nationals Right Fielder: Ryan Church
2007 Nationals Catcher: Brian Schneider

2007 Mets Right Fielder (sometimes): Lastings Milledge
2007 Mets Catcher: Paul LoDuca

Of these four players, one just plain sucks (Schneider, now on the Mets); one had his best year last year, which was still mediocre at best (Church, now with the Mets); one had a so-so year, probably on the down side of his career (LoDuca, now with the Nats); and one did pretty well in limited use but is only 22 years old (Milledge, Nats now).

It's hard to say who did better in the exchange of these four players, except that it isn't hard at all. The Nationals did. And, using the Ablative sense of the Commutative Property (Chuck, help), therefore the Mets did worse.

Omar Minaya, to his undying credit, did do one good thing this off-season -- trading away Guillermo Mota, though we had to accept Johnny Estrada. Johnny Estrada sucks at baseball. But at least the cheater is gone.

Oh, and Tom Glavine -- our opening-day starter last year -- now pitches for the Braves. Almost forgot.

And that about wraps it up for the Mets off-season moves so far.

Here is the Mets 5-man rotation at this point (in no particular order, because I dare you to try):

John Maine
Oliver Perez
Pedro Martinez
Orlando Hernandez
Ron Weasley

(I'm not sure about the last one, but hey, Quidditch skills might help.)

That pitching staff flat-out sucks. How can the Mets possibly hope to improve upon 88 wins? In what way have we gotten better?

You could say that Maine and Perez are one year older and one year better. But then you'd have to say that Pedro and El Duque are one year older and one year closer to death.

Pelfrey? Humber? Aaron Heilman maybe? Those names don't exactly jump out as "sure things" or even "likely to be really good things."


Yes, Jose Reyes and David Wright are a beautiful foundation around which to build a team. Carlos Beltran also stands out. But beyond that, the Mets' position players are:

1B: Carlos Delgado -- old, probably won't return to his prior numbers
2B: Luis Castillo -- oldish, bad knee, can't hit, but hey, fuck it -- let's sign him for four more years, right Omar? You idiot.
LF: Moises Alou -- old. Very old. Old to the point of needing a time machine. The odds of this guy playing a full season are equal to the odds of a lion nursing a wounded wildebeest back to health then investing smartly in certain Roth IRAs, thus allowing said lion to put the wildebeest through school (preferably Wisconsin, a good state school; big cats instinctively dislike the Ivy League, or so I saw on Animal Planet)
RF: Ryan Church -- a mediocre baseball player. Please refer to my earlier comments, which further explicate this particular baseball player's utter mediocrity. Which does not mean "good."
C: Ramon Castro/Johnny Estrada/Brian Schneider: Castro can hit, but will likely get hurt, again/Estrada sucks/Schneider sucks as much or worse.

The 2008 New York Mets look like a pretty average team at best. Achieving 88 wins with this roster again is highly unlikely. They are definitely a worse team than they were last year, significantly worse than the 2006 team, and Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon don't seem to be doing a friggin' thing about it. (Aside from actively making it worse by giving Luis Castillo a 4-year contract and trading for mediocre and/or terrible players.)

Meanwhile, across town, the yanks have re-signed the best player in baseball, as well as Posada, Rivera, and Pettitte, all of whom will help them be better next year. Not as good as the Red Sox, perhaps, but at least Brian Cashman hasn't actively made his team worse.

I loved Paulie, but I could understand not re-signing him. But not if that means replacing him with shitty players. I could also understand trading Milledge, but not if all we get back are shitty players. God! Is this difficult to understand? How about getting us a fucking pitcher?

The Mets have a lot of money to spend. In 2009, Citi Field will open. Citi paid $20 million for naming rights. Can we please use that extra money to make our team better? Am I wrong, or is that a completely reasonable question? Why is this organization making it so hard to root for them?


Monday, December 10, 2007

Take A Step Back There, Mad Dog

This post is for Mad Dog Chris Russo, Evan Roberts, Mark Maloussis, the hundreds of callers and thousands of listeners of WFAN who have been bitching about the Giants game against the Patriots in week 17. These guys are talking about how the Giants are not just playing against the Patriots, and not just considering their own season, which will commence for real the following week with a playoff game most likely against the Tampa Bay Bucs, but are instead playing against the history of the NFL. These guys feel that the Giants shouldn't go about resting guys like Plaxico Burress, Jeremy Shockey, Brandon Jacobs, Antonio Pierce, and the numerous other Giants nursing injuries, despite the fact that the game will be meaningless relative to this year's playoff picture, because the Giants owe it to the league to put forth a real effort so the Patriots can feel great about themselves for going 16-0.

There are two points you all are missing here. First is that this game will be absolutely meaningless to the playoff picture. The Giants are really banged up and those guys could use all the rest they can get. That's the minor point.

The major point is that even if the Giants were firing on all cylinders and were completely healthy, they wouldn't have a 5 years old's chance in church to win that game. Let's be serious. The Giants have a chance to beat most of the teams in the league, despite some of their deficiencies, but the Giants could never even dream of beating the Patriots, or the Colts or Cowboys, for that matter. So let's stop with the integrity of the league nonsense, and let the Giants rest their guys for the game that actually matters, and the game that they might actually win.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Nostra-Side Bar

Now I recognize that sports prognostication is pointless: you take some outrageous position (the "Giants are the team to beat in the Superbowl this year!"), and then if it comes true you want to take credit and be loved for your foresight, but when it proves as ridiculous as it sounded, you simply shrug it off. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have made millions of dollars on this dynamic.

All that said, I want a little bit of credit for this (scroll down to prediction #10).

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.

This was posted in March of 2007. Barry Bonds broke the record on Tuesday (night), August 7, 2007. Against the Nationals.

(Incidentally, this was one of my better posts of all time, and it was my first. I've clearly lost a step. Chan Ho Park? That was fucking gold).

And no, conspiracy theorists, I did not go back and change the post; I have better things to do with my time (like reading old posts on this blog?).


Despite the insistence of your co-workers, calendar and your iPod; despite the fact that no reindeer or jolly fat men brought you socks and underwear this morning; and despite the fact that you are at work and not sitting at home having your first drink of the day (we can't be the only family that does that, right?), don't believe the hype: today is not December 7, it is December 25.

Christmas, it seems, has come early this year . . . . at least for those of us who despise Alex Rodriguez, or, should I say . . . Slum-Rod.

It seems that the New York Times has discovered that despite his mega-fortune, Rodriguez is a less-than-ideal landlord of the properties that he owns in Florida (though, despite my colorful title, the article specifically says he is not a slumlord).

In a disappointing turn of events for A-Rod, Jason Varitek has been named tenant representative for the Newport Riverside apartments.

He is also portrayed as a cheapskate when it comes to doling out money from his foundation:

Rodriguez has earned nearly $200 million over the past decade, but, according to 990 tax records dating to 1998, he is a cheap tipper to his foundation.

In eight years of available documents, donations averaged $30,000 a year and gifts distributed to the community averaged $13,000 a year. In 2002, A-Rod did not contribute more than $5,500. In 2006, the foundation did not give away more than $5,090 despite a fund-raiser that collected $368,000.

Of course, the article itself does nothing to advance the debate on A-Rod. For those of us who cannot stand him, despite his baseball prowess, we read the article and immediately see evidence of a cold, calculating guy, who only plays by the rules technically, both on (and apparently off) the field.

By contrast, though, people who defend A-Rod, and who believe that A-Rod receives a disproportionate amount of flack and criticism merely because of his salary, read this article and see confirmation of their position; i.e., that everything he does is cast in a negative light, and subject to intense scrutiny.

The only difference is that I am right.

Friday Classic Video: Too bad the Wii doesn't come with a steel chastity belt

First of all, the Nintendo Wii is awesome. I can honestly say it has completely changed the entire idea of video games, at least for me. Never before has a video game system come so close to actually bringing you inside the game you're playing. If you haven't played one yet, quit your job and go find a way to do it right now.

I've been strongly considering buying one lately, especially since its online application would allow me, from my apartment in Manhattan, to finally avenge (somewhat) the vicious and totally uncalled-for ribcage-breaking punch LJT executed on me a few years ago by kicking his ass in Boxing -- while he plays at his apartment in Jersey City. Which is dope.

However, I may have just reconsidered, after watching the following video. Granted, I'm not some 8-year-old kid and I don't have a massive dog, but still.

Without further adieu...

(Oh, and this is work-safe. In fact, it's work-funny!)

Thank you, Gorilla Mask!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wolverine lives in Detroit and is a 7-year-old girl

I love Wolverine, so don't get to thinking that I'm trying to rip on him with that headline. Instead, read this.

Here's a picture of the legendary X-Man (the one on the right):

"50 Cent can lick my Rainbow Brite doll's taint."

A few choice excerpts:
A 7-year-old-girl is being hailed as an "angel from heaven" and a hero for jumping in front of an enraged gunman, who pumped six bullets into the child as she used her body as a shield to save her mother's life.

Alexis Goggins, a first-grader at Campbell Elementary School, is in stable condition at Children's Hospital in Detroit recovering from gunshot wounds to the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm.
Holyfuckingshit. She's 7.

And how's this for life in Detroit:

Ford said she dialed 911 on her cell phone as she walked into the station.

"The first operator clicked off and I dialed again and told that operator a guy with a gun was holding me hostage with a mother and baby and threatening to kill us. I told her the name of the gas station and then she said they didn't have a unit to send."

As Chuck D once put it, 911 is a fucking joke. Especially if you live near 6 Mile, I guess.

The gunman, Calvin Tillie, is about as big an asshole as anyone has ever fathomed:
Alexis jumped over the seat between her mother and the gunman and begged him not to shoot her mother.

The police report said Tillie "without hesitation" pumped six shots into the child.

By the way, he wasn't using a machine gun. The little girl got in front of her mom, and this Calvin Tillie ubercocksucker shot her SIX SEPARATE TIMES IN A ROW.

And here's the kicker:
Bodley said Alexis receives special education services at school, in part because of a weak left eye, which is the result of a massive stroke she suffered as an infant.
Because of my massive ignorance in the field of medicine, I hadn't realized strokes happened to infants. I mean, I guess I knew it was possible. But what are the odds here?

And how 'bout this:
"She is a good little girl who is very protective of her mother," said Tonya Colbert, Parker's cousin.
Yeah, that and she has a mutant healing factor and her skull is laced with adamantium. (That may include some editorial conjecture on my part.)

Alexis Goggins, I believe in you. You had a stroke when you were a baby; you had the ovaries to jump in front of your mom when she was getting shot; you wound up getting shot in the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm; and you fucking lived.

You are officially a superhero.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Has Omar lost it?

When I was a young lad, I was really into collecting and trading baseball cards. I didn't have too many trading partners, though; it was basically just Side Bar and his brother MMG. We traded many, many cards, and I can't (clearly) remember a particular time where I got totally screwed in a trade. I'm sure this happened; it was just me up against those two, so logic would dictate they probably got the better of me when you add up all the different negotiations.

But I'd like to explore a possible baseball-card trade (that probably didn't happen, but it may have) between Side Bar / MMG and myself. This would have occurred circa 1988:

I'm holding a Kevin Elster Topps "Future Stars" card.

I really like Kevin. Maybe -- as his card says -- he'll be really, really good soon. But maybe not. He's young and unproven. Who knows?

Side Bar and MMG are offering:

1. A 1987 Topps Jerry Royster.

Royster's card is obviously crap. A throw-in. Maybe MMG and Side Bar think I have a special liking for him or something, I dunno. But they also offer...

2. A 1985 Topps Rusty Kuntz.

Rusty Kuntz -- I mean, can you go wrong with a name like that? Who wouldn't want that card? Even though he was a pretty crappy baseball player, simply having this card would probably get me mad props by showing it off in Mr. Chupak's 10th grade Modern European History class. (Not that I could foresee that or anything.)

So basically my decision boils down to this: Do I trade a card that I like, which could either end up very valuable or kind of in the middle (so I thought at the time) for two other cards -- one of which is obviously crap, while the other has at least something desirable?

Hmmm... I'm gonna say No. Why would I trade away a card that I might wind up loving (because Elster might turn out awesome) for a crappy card and a card that has, at best, a face-value appeal?

I'm sure Side Bar and MMG would have found a way to "persuade" me, but then again, I was only 10 back in 1988, so how much could I be held accountable for?

However, professional baseball General Managers should be smarter. I'm talking to you, Omar Minaya.

You just traded Lastings Milledge for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.

Lastings Milledge: Though he was perhaps not quite what Mets fans had been led to believe, here's how the good folks at Y2K put it:
Young Lastings, all 22 years of him, hit .272 with 7 home runs in 184 at-bats last season. Across 550 at-bats, that's 21 home runs -- pretty good for a 22-year-old.
Ryan Church: This guy is supposed to be our new everyday right-fielder? Last year, his best, he hit .272/.349/.464, which is pretty mediocre for a corner outfielder.

Brian Schneider? Well, he just flat-out sucks. You can look here if you don't believe me.

Basically, Omar Minaya traded away a young player with a big upside/high ceiling (depending on your cliche preference) for one mediocre player and one crappy player. Not to mention the fact that Milledge could've been much better used in a trade for a FUCKING PITCHER, clearly the Mets' most pressing need.

How is this a good deal?

Omar was dynamite three years ago, acquiring Pedro and Beltran -- awesome. The next year, he added Delgado and Lo Duca -- very good. Last year -- eh? And so far this off season -- Go Fuck Yourself.

I worry that Omar has lost it. I mean, I know it's not like he's gotta deal with the intricacies of an Elster for Royster/Kuntz trade, but Jesus, man. How 'bout you get us a goddamn pitcher?