Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Naps, Pitching Duels & Yankee Wins....A Great Combination

These games have been wearing me out so I decided to take a nap before the game. I wake up for the seventh inning!!! Anyway, the pitching duel is just as advertised as Unit beats Felix the Cat 2-0.

Sheff and Cano crush dingers and the Unit goes seven strong for the sixth time in seven outings. Gordon and Rivera nailed it down in the eighth and ninth.

This kid is the real deal, just as advertised. I missed most of the game but what I saw, I liked. He went eight frames for the loss. He made Matsui look silly in the eighth. Just silly. Had him swinging at a breaking ball that wasn't even close to the plate. Wow.

Needed this win since the Sux came back again against Tampa 7-6. What the hell? This team was a bunch of world-beaters last week, now they're not giving us any friggin help. Thanks a lot, Lou. At least Detroit beat Cleveland so we gain a game on them in the wildcard. We're guaranteed to have at least a share of the wildcard lead going into the A's series this weekend.

To top it off, the Mets and Pedro get pummelled by the Phils. A chance to gain the wildcard lead and they do what they always do. Fold like a deck chair in Katrina.

I'm going to bed. More in the morning.

Pitching Duel On The Left Coast

You had Colon vs Zito last night in Anaheim. Now it's Johnson vs Hernandez, as the Bombers face off with the M's tonight.

This kid is supposed to be the next big thing. They're comparing him to Doc Gooden at 19. Anyone who saw Doc in 1984 remembers how scary good he was. If this kid is half as good as advertised, it should be a heckuva pitcher's duel tonight.

Hopefully, I'll be able to stay awake for the festivities.

I hate West Coast games.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

West Coast Hatred

Have I mentioned how much I hate West Coast games in the last 24 hours?

Chacon gets thrown a beating, giving up 8 runs. But takes one for the team and stays in there for 6 innings. The Yanks lose 8-3. The only bright spot is A-Rod hitting his 40th homer tonight. He's the first right-hander to do that with the Yanks since Joe D. That and the fact that we only use Chacon and Felix Rodriguez in the loss.

On top of that, it looks like Moose is going to miss his next start after all. He has a slight inflammed elbow. Small will make the start Saturday.

A's beat the Angels so we're still in front in the wildcard. But Sweet Lou's crew can't hold onto a 5-0 lead and lose 7-6 to the Sux. We're 2 and a half out now. Schilling was atrocious once again, so at least that's some good news.

Might as well get Moose the rest now. No point in throwing out there if he can't go more than four. Hopefully, it's only one start.

More in the morning. I'm beat.

About Last Night....Rather This Morning.....Enemies Become Friends

Moose is definitely laboring a bit after being extended past his usual 100 pitch count over the past several starts. These last two starts show that he's wearing down a bit. It's almost September and most players hit a wall around this time of the year on regular rest and work. With all the bullpen and starter issues, Moose has been extended a bit more than he's used to. His lack of control is good indication that he's tired.

I don't think it would be such a bad idea to have Aaron Small pitch for Moose on Saturday. Give Moose a little blow. I know it's against the A's, but Small has done well as a spot starter and he would be on normal rest since he pitched Monday. I know it's all hands on deck, but Moose going 3 innings isn't going to help us in long run. If we have the extra arm, let's use it to give Moose a blow. Probably won't happen, bur I figured that I'd throw it out there.

Giambi's cortizone shot for his elbow last week will probably last four to six weeks. Which means that he'll probably need another before the playoffs start. What he needs to do is layoff the batting practice. He's wearing himself out. Are 500 swings in the cage necessary this time of year? You need all your energy for the games. I know it's important to stay sharp, but if you're suffering from tendonitis in your elbow, it might not be a bad idea to scale things back a bit.

I think picking Mark Bellhorn up off of waivers is a good move for the Yankees. It solidifies our bench and gives us some defensive options in the late innings. It also gives another left-handed bat to come off the bench (although he is the whiffinator).

One of the things that differentiated the Yanks from everyone else in the dynasty years; was their bench and their bullpen. With Tino, Womack, Ruben, Bernie and or Lawton, we have some pretty nice options coming off the bench. Bellhorn can definitely help. Particularly when you consider that he's coming from Infidel Nation, any information that he can impart on Joe & Company will help matters.

Do his 109 Ks in 283 ABs concern me? Absolutely. But he still has decent glove and he does have decent pop when he makes contact. Let's just hope he's not an infidel spy like Mendoza was for us.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Yanks Win. But I Still Hate West Coast Games

I fell asleep after the first inning. Didn't wake up until sixth. Aaron Small and Jason Giambi give Moose some SoCal love as the Yanks win 7-4. Mr Stanford scuffled for his second start and Torre gave him a quick hook.

Biggie Small was huge for the Bombers, going four innings, allowing no runs. Giambi hit two jacks and Four RBIs. Lawton and A-Rod also joined the Homer Derby. Gordon and Rivera shut the door in the eighth and ninth.

Good win. Particularly since the Sux, A's and Tribe won and the Angels were idle. I'd write more, but I'm exhausted. I hate staying up for West Coast games. Throws off my whole schedule. I'll write more in the morning.

Infidel Admiration Society

The Imperial Council is quite troubled by the recent admissions by several Imperial Vixens. The admission about how attracted they are to certain infidel players. Not how good they are as ballplayers. Admiring someone's skill level is part of the game. You might hate the opposing player, but you respect his game. Writing blogs on how cute young infidels are is something entirely different. Such Pink Yankee hat behavior from respected members of the Empire is very troubling. The first troubling blog was by respected Imperial Vixen K-Bisch, who wrote this troubling blog about her crush on Royals pitcher Zach Greinke. Please read the comments page as several Imperial Vixens indict themselves.

Another troubling blog was by Ms Soft Hands. Her infidel crush is for Royals Centerfielder David DeJesus. Very, very disturbing.

The Emperor came out with this statement:

While we honor and respect our legion of Imperial Vixens, it is important to keep Imperial bloodlines pure to prevent any sort of behavior that is commonplace among female infidels and Pink Yankee hat perpetrators. While one cannot completely control one's natural impulses and feelings toward the opposite sex. One's training in mastering of the Dark Side of the force should prevent such outbursts as the ones seen here recently. I highly suggest that the Imperial Vixens in question go through Sith Lord Yankee fan training to purge themselves of these impulses. This is the Yankee Empire, not Infidel Nation where cro-magnon idiots such as Johnny Damon are considered sex symbols and their heroes appear on Queer Eye. A higher standard must be adhered to. By players and fans alike.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Shopping For A Fresh Can of Whupass. Freshly Squeezed...

I wonder what Bill Madden has to say about Giambi today? Two homers, Seven RBIs in today's 10-3 drubbing of the Royals to sweep the home series. Nice way to break out of his slump. Bernie had the other three RBIs and Al Leiter pitched six innings to get the win over Royals phenom Zach Greinke.

Watching Leiter is still painful, but he knows how to battle through potential jams to keep his team in the game. I've always liked Leiter. Hopefully he'll have something left down the stretch after pitching these Tolkien-esque epics.

Back to Madden. I want all of these cheats out the game as well. But this can't turn into a witch-hunt. Journalists have to continue to give guys the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. Every time a guy slumps, you can't assume it's steroid related. Maybe tendonitis (like Giambi had in his elbow) might have something to do with it. Maybe it's overworking in the batting cage. Giambi and Mattingly are always down there and that might have something to with it. Mattingly's back problems were probably exacerbated because of that and maybe it was affecting Giambi in the form of tendonitis. And even if you are on the juice, you still have to have the hand-eye coordination to see the ball and hit it.

If he's back on the juice and gets caught. Fry him. Until then, I'm withholding judgement.

With the win today and Anaheim's loss to Oakland, the A's have a half game lead in the AL West. We now have a half game lead in the wild card standings. We're still a game and a half behind Infidel Nation as Fat Bastard Wells paced them to a 11-3 win over the Tiggers. They won today, but I still think that the Sux are in trouble. Outside of Wells (who's 42), who do you want to give the ball to in a must win game? You don't what you're getting out of Schilling. Clement and Arroyo are imploding and who knows what you'll get from Wakefield's knuckleball? Add the fact that their bullpen is in shambles you can see why infidel nation is scared of a visit from the Death Star.

I'm a card-carrying member of the Empire. But I appreciate talent when I see it. I loved watching Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry in the '80s. And I like what I'm seeing from Wright and Reyes. Those two could be the real deal for years to come. But for some of these Met bloggers and Met shills like Mike Lupica to compare them to Jeter and A-Rod? Please. Just stop. You're comparing the best player of his generation and the Pete Rose of his generation to two players who have yet to play two complete seasons. The sky's the limit for the baby Mets, but to compare them to two first ballot hall of famers is setting them up for failure. If it happens, fine. But last I checked, the Mets have yet to develop a Hall of Fame position player in over 40 years of existence and only one player overall (Tom Seaver). You can't count Nolan Ryan because he had his best years in California and Houston. Gary Carter had his best years in Montreal and went into the hall as an Expo. We all know what happened to Doc and Darryl. I'd love to see what these kids become, but Reyes has had a series of leg problems and Wright is just completing his first full season. Let the kids crawl before they run please. These are the same mooks who were comparing Timo Perez to Jackie Robinson after his incredible 2000 postseason. What happened there?

Speaking of the Mets, has Carlos Beltran gotten a pass from the press or what? I know he's had some injuries, but his stats are comparable to Bernie Williams, not Andruw Jones. This guy has world-class talent. But he's only hit over .300 twice in his career and is now playing in one of the best pitching parks in baseball. This is the free pass year for the Mets and Beltran. Anything over .500 is gravy for them. Next year, the gloves are off. I pity Carlos if he doesn't come through then.

Off to Starbucks land, as the Bombers face the Seattle Cobains for four and Governor Moonbeam's Black Hole for a showdown vs the Athletics for the weekend. We still control our own destiny. But it would nice to get some help. Maybe Tampa and Baltimore can continue to play spoiler vs the Sux next week.

One more thing about Lupica...It's ok for him to say that Wright and Reyes will be better than Jeter and A-Rod in the not so distant future, but it's not ok to compare A-Rod with Bonds or Mays? Please. He's as much a shill for the Mets as Sterling and Waldman are for the Yanks. At least the latter are being paid by King George III. What's Lupicas excuse?

Morning Notes

I forgot to mention yesterday that the Royals' JP Howell was the same pitcher who pitched at University of Texas last year. This kid can pitch. Not overpowering, but he kept the Yankees off balance with changeups and breaking balls. I wonder what he'd do if he faces them again. But he pitched well Saturday.

If you're not paying attention to what happening in Infidel Nation right now, then you should be. They're having some serious pitching problems right now. Their bullpen is in shambles and the starting rotation is a mess. Take a look at Dan Shaughnessy's column today in the Boston Globe. One and a half games back, and a showdown at the Stadium Sept. 9-11...the Yankees are in excellent position to take back the East if they continue to play well. The rotation has seemed to stabilize somewhat and with the possibility of Chien-Ming-Wang's return in September, we could have some arms in stock for September.

Our bench is also helped out with the acqusition of Matt Lawton and the return of Ruben Sierra. Lawton will probably start in left, but having options on the bench such as Womack, Williams and Sierra can definitely help.

As we've discovered this season, nothing is a lock in baseball. That's what's so great about this game. But you've to like where we are all things considered. We control our own fate and can put ourselves in the driver's seat if we cotinue to play well.

Bill Madden is one of my favorite columnists. But it's irresponsible journalism for him to insinuate that Giambi's recent slide has something to with Palmiero's steroid bust. Here's what wrote in Sunday's Daily News. Here he responds to Royals manager Buddy Bell answer to the possibility of walking A-Rod yesterday to get to Giambi.

"Walk A-Rod?" Bell said indignantly when asked about it afterward. "And pitch to Giambi? How about that one?"

Perhaps he might not have thought it was quite so ridiculous a question had he known that Giambi has been in a horrible funk (12-for-62, .194 with four RBI) since Aug.1, coincidentally the day Rafael Palmeiro was busted by Bud Selig's steroids police.

Now I know a lot of folks who think that Giambi is back on the juice. If he tested positive tomorrow, I wouldn't be shocked. But unless you have proof, it's irresponsible to put that out there. Last time I checked, Bill Madden isn't a chemist and probably doesn't know how long the stuff stays in your system. Even if he got off the juice around that time, I'd hazzard a guess that it would still be in his system. Plus, Palmiero tested positive months ago and after the appeals process ran its course, he was outed. If Giambi is back on the juice, he would probably still test positive right now, even if he went cold turkey a month ago.

Chances are, if Giambi is still on the juice, he's probably on something that not tested right now. But whether he is or not, it's irresponsible to insinuate that he is, just because of a coincidence. As one of my mentors once said, "We're not in the thinking business, we're in the knowing business." So unless you know and can prove it, don't put it in print. If he doesn't want to vote on alleged cheaters into the Hall of Fame, that's his right as a voter. But until you get proof, don't put it in print.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I've Got So Much Trouble On Mind....Refuse To Lose!!!

Welcome to the Terrordome, beyotches!!!!!

I smell blood in the air.

The Hunters got the prey in their sights and they're ready to take aim. To say this was a huge win misses the entire point of this exercise. Every win from here on out is a huge win. What this was, was a message to all the haters, all the doubters out there. The Russos and all the idiots that wrote us off in June. The Lupicas planting columns to get Torre fired. The message is this: If you're going to kill us, you better be packing some serious heat. Because the Yankees are rolling into September like Bill Munny into Big Whiskey. Ready to kill all you Sons of Bitches.

I loved the fact that Royals gave them one small opening...and the Bombers kicked open the door killed everyone and blew up the building just to make sure.

To top it off, the Infidels from Third World Nation blow a 6-0 lead to the Motor City Madmen and lose 12-8. That makes their lead over us 1 1/2 after Saturday. Oakland won and Cleveland lost, which means that we're tied with Oaktown for the wildcard lead. We control our own fate. That showdown in the Black Hole next weekend is gonna be huge.

I'm not surprised Wright scuffled a bit this outing. His pitch count has been high that last two times out due to struggles in the first couple of innings. He's managed to get out of those jams, but today it caught up with him. He has good velocity and he's changing speeds well, but he hasn't been getting ahead of the hitters in the way that he needs to to be successful. No matter how bad the team is that you're get into a lot of 2-0, 3-2 counts, you're asking to get tagged. They didn't hit him hard, but they hit where they ain't. The same thing the Yanks did in ninth inning. They didn't scald the ball, but found holes in the defense and made the most of them. Affeldt and Beroa's gaffe gave them just enough of an opening to capitalize with the lineup turning over. Great piece of hitting by Lawton to keep the inning alive.

Speaking of Berroa, this is the guy that beat Matsui for Rookie of the Year in 2003? This guy's game has regressed big time. It was a travesty that he beat Godzilla in the first place, but he should be better than what he's showing.

We're not out of the woods yet. But the pitching that we've gotten over the last couple of weeks has given me some hope that this will be a September.

Nice job by K-Bisch, who was the good luck charm for the day's festivities....

Infidels At Stadium Meet Their Fate, Laying Down The Lawton

A virtually perfect night at the Stadium Friday was almost ruined by infidels. You'd think that the Yankees are holding on to a 5-1 lead with Randy Johnson pitching a very solid eight innings would be enough hold the attention of the fans in attendance. Not if they're infidels with ADD. Around the sixth or seventh inning, these inbred skanks start doing the wave. An exercise banned by the Emperor. One infidel had the audacity to look at me and wonder why I didn't join in. Ignorance must be bliss. After the game, His Royal Badness, being a Sith Lord of his word, took care of the offending infidels as they left the stadium...

The bodies were dumped in the Harlem River and Imperial officials alerted Mayor Bloomberg's office so that they could alert the infidels families. Some of you might be alarmed by the harshness of the punishment for such a seemingly minor crime. Under the NYC Infidel Extermination Act of 2000, Imperial officials are allowed to exterminate up to 30,000 infidels at once on Stadium Grounds if they commit one or more of the following offenses:

1) Do the Wave
2) Chant Yankees Suck at the Stadium
3) Chant Boston, Mets, etc Suck...and they're not playing said team.
4) Chant "Fenway's Better"
5) Chant "Shea is Better"
5) Wear "Jeter Sucks, A-Rod Blows" shirts
6) Wear Any anti-Yankee Paraphernalia in the Stadium
7) Say Carlton Fisk was better than Thurman Munson in the Stadium
8) Wear Pink Yankee Hats

Taken off the list was the chant, "Nomar's Better". Once a favorite chant among Third World Nation infidels, after Jeter's July 1, 2004 performance, even the most deluded infidels didn't have the balls to ever say that again.

Now the last one is a sore subject for some. I had that added because I think Pink Yankee Paraphernalia is a threat to our Imperial way of life. Unfortunately, noone has been executed just for wearing the hat. But I counted several hundred of the 10,000 executed last night wearing pink hats and blouses. So my choice was redeemed last night.

The Yankees, last night, might have made one of their better waiver wire moves since getting Jeff Nelson back for Armando Benitez in 2003. Here's what Bill Madden reported in today's Daily News....

With an outfielder their most pressing need as they try to claw out a playoff berth, the Yankees last night acquired ex-Met Matt Lawton from the Cubs for an A-ball minor league pitching prospect.
Lawton, who hit .268 with 11 homers and 49 RBI in 120 games with Chicago and Pittsburgh this season, likely will be plugged into left field with Hideki Matsui moving to center on regular occasions as the Yankees address what has been a problem for them all season long. According to sources, the deal came down in the middle of last night's 5-1 Yankee win over the Royals, after it had been learned earlier in the day that Lawton had cleared waivers.

In all likelihood, this will mean Bernie Williams' primary duties from here on out will be as a designated hitter.

"I've watched the World Series in Yankee Stadium. Now I hope to play in one," Lawton said by phone yesterday from Chicago.

The Yanks are believed to be shipping Staten Island righty Justin Berg to the Cubs, who will save the roughly $1 million remaining on Lawton's contract.

The Yankees are hoping the lefthanded Lawton - who played 48 games for the Mets in 2001 after being traded from Minnesota for Rick Reed - will arrive in time for today's game against K.C.

I've liked Lawton's game for years. I've always wondered why he could never find a home somewhere though. He's never seemed to get any bad press. He's a good player, just not a player you build a team around. I think he would fit in perfectly on this team. Put him in left, bat him eighth or ninth. You not only strengthen your outfield defense. You solidify the bottom of your order and your bench. Plus, you get a guy who's going to be playing for a contract somewhere next year. Great move for the stretch run.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Clemente's Number, Robinson, No Aces and other stuff

Before I get into last night's debacle, I want to talk about this newspaper poll concerning Pirates great, Roberto Clemente. With a new documentary coming out on the Latin Baseball explosion and Hispanic Heritage Month coming up in October, The Daily News has come out with a poll asking readers whether MLB should retire Clemente's number 21. This means that no other team can ever reissue that number. Jackie Robinson's number 42 was the first to ever be retired by MLB.

Now let me start off by saying that I never saw Clemente play in person or live on television. He died the year I was born (1972). I only know about him from what I've read and seen on film\videotape. He was a fantastic player and a great ambassador for the game. First ballot hall of famer.

But he does not deserve to have his number retired by MLB

That might not be the popular consensus with some. Some are going to point out the Latin explosion in baseball and point to Clemente. They would be correct in pointing out that Clemente is the patron saint for Latin ballplayers. One of the first Latin superstars. Some would say that he was as good a ballplayer as Jackie Robinson, maybe better. That he was a humanitarian of the first order. I wouldn't dispute any of this.

He still doesn't deserve the honor.

What Jackie Robinson did in 1947, by breaking baseball's color barrier, is not only the most significant moment in American sports...It is one of the most significant moments in 20th Century American history. His emergence in the majors predates Truman's desegregation of the military by a year. Brown vs Board Ed by 7. The Voting Rights Act by 18. People forget (thankfully I never lived through it) what America was like in the first part of the century. How segregated this country was. Even in the North (though not to the degree of the South). America wasn't an Apartheid-like nation. It was an Apartheid state. Separate but equal was the law of the land for over half a century. Robinson's success helped to change all that. Helped change the way America looks at itself.

Robinson wasn't just a great baseball player. He's an historic figure. I'm going to get in trouble for saying this. But he's baseball's version of Abraham or Jesus Christ. After his coming, you can't possibly view the game or the world in the same way. As great as many of the pre-World War II players were, there will be always be questions of how good they were because they didn't play against the best black and Latin ballplayers of their era. With Robinson's arrival in 1947, the entire game's landscape changed within 10 years. Not just because of the way he played the game. But because he became a star, he opened the door for the Mays', the Aarons, the Campanellas and yes, the Clementes.

Without Robinson, there are no black Latins in the majors. Yes, there were some in the minors before World War II. But Robinson's success blazed a trail for teams to start serious scouting in Latin America as well. You could argue that the Latin explosion has resulted in MLB's neglect of Black American athletes. Allowing them to play football and basketball instead of recruiting them to the diamond to its detriment. But that's another story for another time.

So to Latinos who like to say that Clemente was their Jackie Robinson.... I say no, Jackie Robinson was your Jackie Robinson.

And all of this doesn't even deal with Jackie's social activism during and after his playing career. While he did have some burps in that arena (campaigning for Nixon), he remained a progressive in his own way for the remainder of his life.

The only player of equal or superior significance in baseball is Babe Ruth. Ruth not only saved the game after the Black Sox scandal, he changed the way the game was played. And I don't see anyone rushing to retire number 3.

I don't want to disparage Clemente's legacy. I have a picture of him with Aaron and Mays in my office. I'm in awe of the players of that era. But to retire number 21 would be water down what 1947 and number 42 means. You can't compare a SuperNova to the Big Bang.

Believe it or not, I'm not at all surprised with what happened to Moose last night. Yes, he's been pitching well, but he's essentially a 100 pitch pitcher at this stage of his career. And because of the Yankees pitching problems, he's been over-extending himself lately. He gets his six or seven innings, but usually with a very high pitch count. Not Leiter high, but high enough. Add that to the very inconsistent strike zone that's being called this year by the umps...I'm not surprised that Moose ran into some problems.

Hopefully, all this "Moose is our ace" stuff will die a very quick and timely death. Maybe in the mid-nineties with Baltimore, you could say that about him. He's never been an ace with New York. A solid two or three. On occasion, a 1-A. Never the ace. And I'm not trying to dog Mike. He's been a good pitcher for us. He's won a lot of big games for us over the last five years. But when I thought about who I needed to have on the mound in a do-or-die game, I thought about Clemens, Cone, Wells, Pettitte or El Duque. I never thought Moose. Not to say he wouldn't win. But he was never the first name to pop in my mind. He's probably the most consistent pitcher we've had here over the last half decade. Not the most dominant.

Having said that. The Yankees don't have an ace. A "Give me the damn ball, I've got this one in the bag" guy. Randy Johnson would like to be that guy, but he's been inconsistent all season. The rest of the group have acquitted themselves nicely, but throwing a couple of quality starts doesn't make you an ace. The Yankee pitching staff has come together quite nicely despite all the injuries. The fact that they've done this without an ace to point to is to their credit. But it doesn't change the fact that they don't have one.

In other news, Schilling has been mouthing off about Palmiero. Even though he's right, I just wish he would shut up. He forgets his own disgraceful performance in front of Congress. Where he pretty much went mum after mouthing off for a year about steroids. What a blowhard...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Imperial Notes and Tidbits

One last note on the Six Feet Under thread...Watched the last episode again last night to see if I missed anything. It turns out Keith and David's youngest son, Anthony, will turn out to be gay. In the flash forward montage, at Claire and Ted's wedding, Anthony holding hands with some Asian guy. The only reason why I noticed this was because on the HBO Bulletin board, some folks noticed it and didn't know if it was Durrell or Anthony. Definitely Anthony.

I don't know quite how to feel about that. Alan Ball is gonna be Alan Ball, and this is HBO, so you don't have to worry about the FCC breathing down your neck. But to me, it's a bit of a slippery slope. If the whole point is homosexuality is genetic and not learned, then it potentially flies in the face of that for people who don't believe that.

You could have raised me in a San Francisco bathhouse in the's not going to change the fact that I like girls. Simple as that. I might have a more enlightened and informed view of human sexuality as a whole, but I still like girls. Always have. Always will. I know that two gay parents can raise a heterosexual child and not "turn him". But there are a lot of people who don't believe that and will use stuff like this as ammunition for their cause.

American Beauty is one of my favorite movies of the last decade. Alan Ball has done more to destroy stereotypes than anyone on TV in the last 20 years. But there are a lot of people in this last election who voted for Bush just because of the gay marriage issue. He doesn't need me to tell him that he has fight on his hands. Gutsy move doing that. Just hope it doesn't backfire on him. I'd hate to see another great series derailed because of it.

This is a cultural war where the bodycount is high and nobody's taking prisoners.

Now back to baseball......

After a shaky first inning (three walks), Jaret Wright looked very strong for seven inning as he and the Yanks blanked the Jays 7-0. The win put us in a three way tie for the wildcard with Oakland and Cleveland. We also gained a half game on the Sux who were off Monday. But the biggest part of the win was that Mo and Flash got another day rest. Sturtze threw only 8 pitches so he would be available as well. The longer the starters go in games. The better off we'll be for the stretch run.

First ESPN and the Boston Globe reported it. Now WEEI is going with this report that 50 major leaguers have tested positive for steroids. Among the group of cheaters caught in this round are supposedly Johnny "Captain Caveman" Damon and Roger Clemens. Now if you were to think that this would bring joy to the Imperial Council or that we had something to do with this, I wouldn't blame you. But if this breaks, this should bring no joy to anyone in the Empire. This brings a dark cloud over everyone playing the game right now. Everyone playing in this era is under greater scrutiny because of this scandal. The Palmiero debacle was comical because the jackass pointed his finger and lied to Congress. So he deserved to be lambasted. While I believe that all the cheaters should be hung by the short and curlies, dipped in honey and thrown into a hole with half-starved's still nothing to rejoice about. These cheaters are perverting the game we love and we're all the worse for it.

Emperor Palpatine has just handed me this note...

It has come to my attention that some misguided member of the Empire has created Red Sox Hater hats as some sort of response to the Yankee Hater hats some bitter infidel cretins wear to show their contempt for Yankee Empire. Let me make this clear so there can be no misunderstanding...Anyone caught wearing Red Sox Hater caps in Yankee Stadium will taken into custody by Imperial authorities and beaten like Kunta Kinte in Roots. Wearing such tacky, uncreative apparel is beneath any respectable member of the Empire. If you want to come up with something creative and humorous to show your hatred for infidels, fine. But copying an infidel idea (and a bad one at that) gives them a victory they don't deserve. You're Yankee fans. If you want to be an inbred hick, go to Cleveland. Don't dirty my stadium with such foolishness.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The End of Six Feet Under


Last night, one of the most innovative TV series in the last 25 years had its Series finale. HBO's Six Feet Under called it quits after five amazing seasons. Created by "American Beauty" writer Alan Ball, the series started off as a very dark comedic drama. But the last season and a half or so, the funny moments were less and less as the series took a very, very dark turn. It was still very good, but there were fewer funny moments to offset the death and gloom that surround the show.

The last five minutes of the finale was some of the most disturbing and moving television that I can remember. As Claire (youngest daughter) is driving to NYC from LA, they flash forward to the future. They show David and Keith getting married (presumably gay marriage becomes legal in the states by then) and Ruth running a doggie day care. They also show how all the principal characters die in the future. Ruth is the first to die, then Keith, David, Rico, Brenda and finally Claire at the age of 102. It was incredibly haunting and beautiful at the same time. I had a hard time sleeping just thinking about it. Very disturbing.

I only have a couple of pet peeves about the death montage. The first was why did Keith have to die so violently? He's the only one not to die of old age of all the principals. He supposedly owns his own security company. If so, why is he the one in the back of the truck during the heist??? He's over 60 years old!!! Why does the brother have to be the one who gets shot? Someone on one chat pages auggested it was pennance for shooting an unarmed man while he was a cop. But it just didn't make any sense that he had to die so senselessly while the others died fairly peacefully. One brother on the chat board suggested that it perpetuates the idea that all black men die violently. As much as I love the show, I'm inclined to agree with him.

The other was that while all the other principals died of old age...only two (Brenda and Claire) lived into their 80's. With all the advances in technology, coupled with the fact that they all lived pretty healthy and full lives...that you would have thought that more than two lived into their 80's and beyond.

Other than that, a great finale to a great series.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Jeff Weaver On Stilts

Here's what I wrote yesterday regarding today's matchup.....

Randy Johnson vs Jose Contreras. Why does this feel like a bigtime trap game for the Yankees? Randy needs to come up big right now. Particularly against a team scuffling like Chicago. Put your knee on their neck and apply pressure. Don't give them a second to breathe. Put the pressure on Jose to throw perfect ptiches and hope he cracks. With Oakland playing KC, we can't expect any help in the wildcard right now. So the standings will probably remain the same there. The Sux are playing the Angels, but unless we go on a long win streak and they completely collapse, you can't expect to gain any more than a game or two a week if you're lucky. The short term goal has to be the wildcard for the Yanks. Then you can focus on the division because you're probably only a game or two out. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

When it comes to seeing into the future, It looks like Metstradamus has nothing on Darth Marc.
Here's Randy Johnson's line for today's start vs the Chi-Sox.

Johnson (L, 11-8) 8.0IP 10H 6R 6ER 0BB 8K 4HR 4.34 ERA

An ace's stats? Not even close. Heck, if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought that Jose Contreras was still pitching for us. Whoops! I forgot, Contreras was the one that pitched this line vs the Yanks today.

8.0IP 11H 2R 1ER 0BB 5K 0HR 4.08 ERA

To add insult to injury, the guy we trade Contreras for, Esteban Loaiza, beats Kris Benson to prevent the Nats from getting swept. Hindsight is 20/20, but Loaiza would look pretty good as a four or five starter for us right about now, huh?

Cashman and company traded for Johnson for moments like this. A chance to put the dagger into the enemy's heart, look them in the eye and turn the blade slowly. Watch as the life in their eyes slowly fades away. Not only would we have swept the best team in the AL and continued their slide. We would have possibly demoralized a potential playoff opponent and given themselves a psychological edge the next time we play. Instead we squander our chance and split a season series we should have won.

Pitches well for most of the game, then unravels after a couple of bad pitches. Randy has more resembled Jeff Weaver than the Big Unit of old. Nasty stuff for most of the game. Then, out of nowhere, falls apart. That's why Weaver never became an ace. The inability to get out of tight spots,, allowing the damage to snowball. Pitching just well enough to lose. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought Weaver was pitching today on stilts with a fake porn star mustache.

I've argued in the past with Infidel death row inmate, Metstradamus, about his characterization of Kris Benson's past performances as Ace-Like. I acknowledged that Benson has been pitching well, but his efforts have been just short of ace-like. A good number two or three? Absolutely. But just short of an ace. Pedro as an ace? Absolutely. Benson. Not quite.

But at least the Mutts have Pedro. We don't have an ace on our staff. Not a one. We have a bunch of threes, fours and fives. Moose has pitched well. But he's not an ace. Neither is Chacon, Wright or Leiter. They pitch just well enough to keep you in the game, but they don't dominate. Moose and Chacon pitched well on Friday and Saturday, but this Sox team is still scuffling in the worst way despite their sixth inning explosion today. They did what you're supposed to do against teams that can't hit. Put your knee on their necks and crush their windpipes. Then the ace comes in and decapitates them. Buries the head in someone's yard and cremates the body. Just to make sure they're dead. They don't allow six inning explosions.

I thought that Johnson might have been tipping his pitches or maybe Ozzie was stealing signs. It still shouldn't matter. Even if you know what was coming, you still have to hit it. Willie Mays once said that he even though he knew what Sandy Koufax was throwing, he still couldn't hit it. That's how nasty he was. Johnson is essentially a two pitch pitcher, Fastball and slider. If he's on, they could be telepathic and still not hit him. That's what an ace is. He says, here's my best stuff, I DARE YOU TO HIT IT. The way the Sox were struggling, there's no excuse why Johnson should have allowed an inning like the fourth to snowball out of control. One homer? Maybe. Four? Inexcusable.

At least he pitched a complete game and gave the pen an extra day's rest. Thank goodness for small favors. But Boston just beat Anaheim, so we're four games out again. We come home for a tough series vs Toronto, who just got swept by Detroit and are struggling to stay in pennant/wildcard race. Wright pitches tommorow at the Stadium. Hopefully, his start vs Tampa was a sign of things to come.

Say Hello To The Bad Guy

It seems like the White Sox have taken a disliking to A-Rod as well. John Harper in the Daily News writes an interesting column about it in today's Daily News.

A-Rod's only response to it has been with his bat. He said this year that he could less what other teams think of him and that he would respond with his play in the field. So far, he's been true to his word. I think he finally realizes that there are people out there who are always going to resent him for talent and his salary. The more he tries to win them over, the more they're going hate him. So f**k them. Let your bat and glove do your talking. They'll love you when you win.

He's never going to be the Golden Boy like Jeter is and Don Mattingly was. Dave Winfield had the same problem. No matter what he did, he was never going to be as beloved as the homegrown star. The only way that he could reach that "Beloved" status was to help the team what he was brought into do. Win. Never happened. So Winfield had settle for being the better player. The Hall Of Famer. He eventually got his ring in Toronto. Mattingly fell short in his only playoff appearance in 1995. But Winfield ended going into the Hall as a Padre instead of a Yankee. Partly because of financial considerations and his feud with King George III. But also in part because he never brought the hardware home to the Bronx.

A-Rod's situation is similar. Worse even. While he's by every measure, a better player than Jeter, DJ is the leader of this team. The man with the hardware. Plus, he's probably going to the Hall Of Fame as well with a .300 plus batting average and over 3,000 hits. Not too shabby.

The only way A-Rod gets everyone off his back is to win. To be Reggie in '77. Clemente in '71. Puckett in '91. To do what superstars do. Put the team on his shoulders and get it done when the moment arrives. It will probably mean more people will hate him. But at least they'll have a good reason why. He just kicked their ass.

A-Rod will always wear the Black Hat to Yankee-Haters because they feel that he represents everything that is ruining the game. He's their scapegoat for why their teams can't compete. He even gives big-market teams like the Mets and Red Sox the cover to act like they have more in common with the Oaklands and Kansas Citys of the world, than the Yankees. Complete garbage, but why let the facts get in the way? It's easier to say, "The Yankees buy their own players, that's why small market teams can't compete." Never mind the fact that teams like Oakland and Minnesota find ways to stay competitive. It's all A-Rod and the Yankees fault. Granted, if you ask those same people if you would have turned down a $252 million contract, they become strangely mum. They've got their villain and they're going to stick it to him every chance they get.

So become our Lord Vader, A-Rod. Our Triple-H. Our Tony Montana. Wear the black hat proudly. They'll never relate to you because of your money and your talent. And people always hate what they don't understand. Just make sure you give them something to cry about when you see them.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Putting Illusions In Their Proper Perspective

I'll take any win we can get right now. I'm not taking anything away from Chacon's effort today. It was huge for him to go eight today. The pen needs all the rest it can get. But the Chi-Sox can't hit a lick right now. Even with Konerko, Thomas and Posednik in the lineup, that team is only a good offensive team. Far from great. Noone in the lineup puts the fear of god like the Big Papi, A-Rod, Vlad, Sheff or Manny. But they get the job done. Their forte is pitching and defense. Now, with their top bats on the DL, this team is god-awful at the plate. They're pressing every at bat, bailing the pitcher out. If hitting is contagious, so are slumps. And the Chi-Sox are more clueless than Alicia Silverstone right now.

While a possible sweep of the best team in the AL is great, what the Yankees should be thinking about right now is extending the starters as far as possible in the games. Give the reliever a blow. Take advantage of the horrible hitting they're facing. If we don't, then what will happen vs Texas and Tampa will happen again. One good series and one bad series where the pen collapses because they've been over-extended. They can't afford that to happen right now. We need quality starts every time out. Seven, Eight, Nine innings. The less we see Sturtze, Gordon and Mo....the better.

Randy Johnson vs Jose Contreras. Why does this feel like a bigtime trap game for the Yankees? Randy needs to come up big right now. Particularly against a team scuffling like Chicago. Put your knee on their neck and apply pressure. Don't give them a second to breathe. Put the pressure on Jose to throw perfect ptiches and hope he cracks. With Oakland playing KC, we can't expect any help in the wildcard right now. So the standings will probably remain the same there. The Sux are playing the Angels, but unless we go on a long win streak and they completely collapse, you can't expect to gain any more than a game or two a week if you're lucky. The short term goal has to be the wildcard for the Yanks. Then you can focus on the division because you're probably only a game or two out. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

Nice to see Dick Stockton call the game today. I've always liked his NBA and NFL work and he did a nice job today. He needs to brush up a bit on his stats, but he called a good game. Any game I don't have to hear Joe Buck is a good one.

Speaking of the Cardinals, it's a shame that we probably won't ever see a team like those 80's Cardinals teams. I'm sure Ozzie Guillen would like to play more Small-Ball like they did earlier in the year. But with the way teams hit in the AL right now (even bad ones), if your pitcher has a bad performance and gives up five or six, it's a lot harder to play that style of baseball. I would like to see another Small-Ball team excel in the playoffs, but unless some drastic rules change to help pitchers is put into effect, I doubt it will happen.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!

Good Times fans know what the title means....

Got this from the Infidel site Boston Dirt Dogs. Maybe the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

Cookie, Cookie, Cookie starts with C......

Anyone have a crowbar to beat me with?

This is from today's NY Post....

The Yankees are moving closer to signing Ruben Rivera to a minor league deal, with an eye on seeing if he can help them upgrade center field defensively when the rosters expand next month.

"It is something I will probably do," GM Brian Cashman said of signing the 31-year-old Rivera to a minor league contract. "I am not opposed to it. His season is over and he is free."
Rivera could be a defensive upgrade over Bernie Williams, Tony Womack and Bubba Crosby if he is the same outfielder the Yankees had in spring training camp 2002.

Of course, that was the year he was cut after swiping a Derek Jeter bat from Jeter's locker and selling it for $2,500.

Jeter has no problem with Rivera returning.

"He has been to my house since then," Jeter said.

Did you check the silverware closet, Captain?

To quote Nancy Kerrigan, "Why??????????????"

Here's what Imperial Council member Strong Island Rob had to say;

no freakin idea. i don't have a big problem with crosby as a late inning replacement, his range is good. besides, once september comes, they can call up kevin thompson and/or kevin reese, both of whom are good CFs at Columbus. they arent top prospects or anything but neither is rivera.

I agree. And at least they're not kleptos.

Be Vwery, Vwery Quiet....

We're hunting for a pennant!

And failing miserably.

I was so angry at last night's collapse (I refuse to call it a loss) by the New York Fudds last night, that I just went straight to bed. I can't rememeber the last time that I've been that angry during a regular game (Not even when we got swept by KC. We had been playing bad before that). So angry that I couldn't speak. Couldn't throw anything at the screen. The only thing I had the energy to do was turn off the TV and go to bed. No words can properly articulate the anger that I had last night.

We are 4-9 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. If we're playing golf come the beginning of October, thank Sweet Lou. His team has played well all year against the Bombers. Their pitching isn't great, their fielding is atrocious, but that team can flat out hit. Their pitching and defense played just well enough to keep them in the game. Their bats took care of the rest. Hats off to them.

I know that the bullpen is playing on fumes after playing 16 days in a row (Whoever the sadist was that put together the MLB schedules this year should be hung from a tree by their toenails and beaten with a bat, I know Yankee fans aren't the only ones who feel this way). But everyone's tired this time of year. These boys need to man the f**k up and get it done. The only one that I see not whining about it is Mariano.

The starters have to find a way to go deeper into games to give these a blow. This 5 and done, 6 and done mess has to stop. Can we get a complete game somewhere in here? Please?

I'm not even going to mention the fact that if we had swept this series, we would have had the wildcard lead and been 2 1/2 out in the divsion. Oh wait, I just did.

Now we're going in Chi-Town to face the White Sox who have lost five straight and just got their heads handed to them by the Twins. Should be a fun series. I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

From Hunted to Hunters

Here's a copy of the column I wrote for my buddy's paper, the NY Beacon this week.

With a little more than 6 weeks left in the season , the Yankees find themselves in a position they haven't experienced since 1997. Normally, the Bombers are the big game everyone is hunting. Now they are the hunters as Boston has become the big dogs of the AL East. Despite pitching problems of their own, the Red Sox have been able to hold to the top spot in the division. With Baltimore fading fast and Toronto seemingly playing for third, only the Yankees have a realistic shot of overtaking the infidels of New England. The big question is, which Yankee team will we see? Which hunter will be going after the big game?

Will they resemble Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders? Or Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny? The Outlaw Josey Wales? Or Yosemite Sam? Will it be the Yankees team that came back against Angels last month at the Stadium? Or the team swept by the Royals? The team that beat the Red Sox three out of four at Fenway? Or the the team that lost three out of four to the Devil Rays at the stadium?

Bronx Bombers? How about the Bronx Cybils? Because no team has changed personalities as much as the Yankees have this season.

The main cause of their bi-polar disorder has been their starting pitching. With two thirds of their original starting rotation out (Although Jaret Wright did return this week), never before has every game been such a tenuous situation. While the stand-ins have accorded themselves well lately, the bullpen has been breaking down lately because of overuse. Joe Torre knows the main reason for last year's collapse against Boston was because Rivera, Gordon and Quantrill were the top three in appearances last year. He's been trying to avoid that this year, but last year they were in the driver's seat because Boston had an awful May and June. This year, they're chasing the Sox.

Even though the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint, every game counts. Especially in a pennant race. Last year, the Yankees feasted on last place teams. This year, they're .500. The Red Sox are four games over .500 vs last place team. It's not great, but take a look at the standings, as I'm writing this, the Yankees are 4 ½ back. Every game counts.

The wildcard is also within reach but not a given. Oakland has discovered how to play baseball again and while they've cooled a bit, you can expect them to be in the hunt until the end. They can pitch, play defense and get timely hits. While they can't hit with the Bombers...Harden, Zito and Haren can shut down any lineup in the league when they're on. If it comes down to a one game playoff for the wildcard. You would have to give the advantage to the A's over anyone the Yanks would send out there right now. Because of age, you never know what you'd get out of Johnson, Mussina and Leiter. And Chacon and Small are unproven. Nothing is a given like in years past with New York.

If the Yankees are going make the playoffs, they're going to have to grind out every game from here on out. They're going to have to become the big game hunters going after their prey. Their inner Teddy's will have to subdue their Inner Elmer's to get this done. It means they'll have to win a few games 9-8, 7-5 like they did vs Texas. It means they can't lose 4-3 in 11 innings to Tampa like on Tuesday. It means A-Rod and Sheff have to play like MVP's. Randy Johnson and Moose have to pitch like aces. Joe Torre has to become Casey Stengel. Jeter has to become Lou Gehrig and Thurman Munson.

It means the Yankees have to play like the Yankees. Not the Sybils. The hunters have to kill their prey if they want to eat in October.

Editor's note: After walking in the winning run Tuesday night against Tampa, Scott Proctor was forced to call Darth Marc. Darth, let the call go to voicemail because he had not made up his mind as to how to discipline the reliever.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Do They Have the Death Penalty in Infidel Nation?

Got this from Bill Simmons' ESPN 2 website. This was the quote of the day.

"It's just like Tom Brady. If you had a fantasy football draft, he'd be your eighth, ninth, 10th quarterback picked. You'd want to take [Daunte] Culpepper, and you'll finish in third place. You want to take [Michael] Vick and Peyton Manning and all these guys. I may not hit a home run the rest of this year and we might win the World Series. And I'm a part of this team. Somehow, somewhere, I bring something." -- Kevin Millar on how he is the Tom Brady of the Red Sox

Why is he still breathing? How does someone who's hitting .273, 4 Hrs, 40 RBI's with a .736 OPS compare himself to one of the all-time money players of the last 25 years? In any sport?

Newsflash, Idiot. The Patriots win NOTHING WITHOUT TOM BRADY. NOTHING. He's the best player on that team. Hands down. You're not even close to being the best player on yours. No, he doesn't put up Manning, McNabb or Culpepper stats. Neither did Montana. But he's not exactly Heath Shuler, either. He threw for over 3,600 yards and 28 TD's. Not bad. A lot better than hitting .270 with 4 dingers. Plus, the guy gets more ass than a toilet seat. I'm sure you're not pulling that much hooch with your Queer Eye highlights, Kev.

I can see why his act has gotten tired in Beantown. He can't hit, can't field, but his mouth continues to run. Heck, I hate the Pats and I was pissed off by what he said. This guy needs an early retirement courtesy of a bullet in the back of the head.

Because I'm Still Pissed Off....

and can't give you any substantive analysis about WHY ALLAN HOUSTON IS STILL ON THE KNICKS....Here's an article by Daily News columnist Mitch Lawrence that nails it right on the head.

I like Isiah, but if you want to kill him on any of his past decisions, be my guest. But you can't kill him on this one. If the Knicks are ever going to be consistently competitive like they were in the 90's, James Dolan has to go.

Monday, August 15, 2005

You May Be Wright, I May Be Crazy...

But it's just a quality start, that I'm looking for....

Sorry Billy. I know that was bad.

Wright showed me something tonight. He went 6 plus and allowed only 2 runs on four hits against D-Ray team that's been hitting very well lately. A-Rod and Sheff provided the power as the Bombers won their fifth in a row.

I know this was the D-Rays, but we can't take anyone for granted right now. This team just swept the Tribe and Lou is just itching to play the spoiler. Wright had good stuff tonight and this potentially, can give us another chip for down the stretch. Even Small is out of the mix, having his arm in the bullpen can be a huge plus down the stretch.

Now if the Unit can finally beat the Rays this year (he's 0-1), we can put another series in the win column.

The Dolans Must Die!!!!

Can someone please kill them?? Please?? The NBA gives us a gift with the Amnesty Clause. A chance to get rid of at least one of these dead weight contracts. Yes, it will count against the cap, but not the luxury tax. I'm thinking, Buh-Bye Allan Houston. Take your $40 Million and your bum knee and Vamoose. You know Isiah is looking forward to getting his dead weight off the team. What do we do? Here's what ESPN.COM reported....

New York Knicks: Team president Isiah Thomas announced Monday that forward Jerome Williams -- aka "Junkyard Dog" -- has been waived as the designated player for the amnesty provision, and not Allan Houston as widely expected.

The Knicks will be responsible for the $21.3 million left on the remaining three years of his deal. Williams, 32, averaged 4.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 15.3 minutes in 79 games last season for New York and has career averages of 6.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in 587 games for four teams.

What????? Let me understand get rid of one of the hardest workers on your team...instead of a 34 year old that you don't know will ever play again? This is all James Dolan's doing. He and Mr. Softie are very tight and somehow Casper got to him.

Houston better average 20 a game this year. Otherwise....well, I'm not going to incriminate myself on my blog. Let's just say....never mind.

Imperial Return From Dixie

Had a very interesting trip to Atlanta for the National Association of Black Journalists Convention (Aug 3-7).

NABJ is always fun, but this year was a very mixed bag. So without putting anyone's business out there, I will go over so of the highs and lows, the funny and not so funny moments of this year's convention.

Beautiful Black People-You would be hard pressed to find a more diverse collection of beauty and brilliance than this conference, year in, year out. Yeah, you have a few chickenheads and blockheads in the bunch. But for the most part, everyone brings something to the table. I'm known for my ahem, rather dyslexic, ADD, dating habits. My taste in women is as diverse as my taste in music. If it looks good or sounds good...I'm there. But last week, I took my chick ritalin. There was no way I was leaving the plantation to chase Scarlett O'Hara last week. And they were smart and nice too!! For you Charlotte's Web fans. I was like Templeton the Rat at the fair. A virtual smorgasbord/orgasbord of beautiful women. And I had a weekend pass to the festivities.

Airport Sucks!!-I have finally found an airport worse than Laguardia in NYC. When we finally landed Wednesday, It took over a half hour for them to taxi us to our gate. And when we finally got off the plane, the baggage claim was on the other side of the airport! Carrying five bags, without a cart in was like the friggin Bataan Death March walking across that damn terminal. Coming back, the dumbasses from Hertz give me the wrong directions to the airport. I rush to catch my flight....only to drop my work cell in the car....and to top it off....the flight was delayed by an hour!!!

High Point-Networking-Aside from ogling at incredibly hot women and partying, the other purpose was to make business contacts and network. NABJ is a great environment for this. Virtually every major news operation is represented at the job fair. It gives you the opportunity to see what's out there in terms of jobs...or if you're not looking for anything, to get a professional critique from the best in the business. It creates a environment where you can interact with people who normally would have nothing to do with you. There are a lot of folks who have a stick up their asses at work and are afraid to get too coozy with other employees. Particularly other black ones. NABJ enables you to meet these folks in an environment outside of the workplace. An environment encourages mentoring and anyone who's in the business that doesn't take advantage of this is an idiot...Plain and Simple.

Low Point-Slimy Quid Pro Quo-Now oI'm hardly a bastion of morals and standards. But some of these managers make Larry Flynt look like Pope John Paul II. The stories I've heard from female reporters about the offers these scumbags make just to get them in bed. Pathetic. "I'll give you a job on my staff, if you'll give me a taste." All sorts of grimey stuff. Now there's a lot of hanky-panky going on. A lot of Wedding bands disappear for that weekend. It is what is. But the Casting Couch stuff is wayy too much.

Low Point-Atlanta Clubs Suck!-Forty Dollars to get into a club!! That's was the going rate for some of these places. On top of 20 dollars for parking!!! What is in this club that's worth 60 bucks before I've even bought a drink? Do I get a couple lap dances? A happy ending? Puh-lease. Some friends give me a line on a club that we were supposed to get in for free. After jacking me for 20 bucks for parking, they have the nerve to tell me that won't let me in with shorts! You mean someone couldn't have told me that before they jacked me for an Andrew Jackson? Muthafuckas. And on top of that, the women at our conference lobby were much hotter than the chickenheads at any of these clubs. Huge ripoff.

High Point-City of Atlanta-A Chocolate City of the highest order. Outside of the shitty airport and clubs, it's a great city. Good Eats. Plenty of trouble to get into. And some fine ass women at that. One of the funnier moments; the Dell DJ's starts playing The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" as I drive by Turner Field. I got visions of Jim Leyritz dancing in my head. I have to admit, I got a little misty-eyed.

Low Point-No Yankee Baeball-Yes, I'm Diamond Crackhead. I'm checking scores every chance I get while I'm down there. I was like a junkie who needed a fix in the worst way. The only game I got to watch was the first night thatI arrived. This is how bad I've got it, I'm at the hotel bar, surrounded by beautiful women. And the only thing I'm focused on is how Moose is blowing a 4-0 lead to the Tribe at the Jake. And to add insult to injury, as Moose is getting scalped by the Indians, a friend from Cleveland come in and starting doing a jig over the Tribe comeback. Laughing at me in the process. It took an incredible amount of restraint not to kill them.
Our Wars Ends When All Wars End.

Since I've been threatened to be put to death if I mention anymore or publish any pictures... I have to end my tale here.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Week In Review

I want to keep the blog police off my ass, so I'm writing a couple of overdue postings tonight. I would have done a couple yesterday, but it too damn hot and my AC is in my bedroom while the computer is in the living room (Long Story. Hopefully that situation will be resolved soon). A nice rain has cooled things down tonight so I don't have to worry about my terminal exploding.

I've been getting some flack over Friday's blog "Beltran From The Top Rope!" Some members of the Empire as well as Mutt Infidels who "don't hate the Yankees" thought it was crass of me to make light of a very scary incident. I say, Spare me. My attitude is this, when it comes to dealing with infidels;

Plain and simple. Sometimes a carpetbombing is in order to keep them in line and let them know who's still in charge. Yes, some innocents suffer in the process. But I (as seen in this picture on the right) have been involved in an Infidel Outreach program for years. Trying to turn people to the ways of the Jeter. This is what i get in return for my efforts.

When the Angels beat us in the 2002 divisional playoffs. Death Row Inmate Metstradamus papered my entire office with these damn Rally Monkeys!(to the right)

When we suffered the worst collapse in the history of baseball last year in the playoffs. Infidels from all across the country sent me this horribly doctored photo of A-ROD.

So I have taken on this stance on dealing with scum....
the only good infidels are dead infidels.
While some may not harbor the hatred for the Empire like Metstradamus or Uncle Buck, unless they come to see the error of their ways and embrace the ways of the dark side...than, to paraphrase our president...You're either with us, or with the terrorists.

So every chance I get, I'm going to torture infidels mercilessly. When Pedro blows a no-hitter and a win like tonight, I'm going to be there with lemon juice to pour on the wound. When Beltran and Cameron have a head to head meeting, I'm going to send out crass notes like "Beltran From The Top Rope."


Good week this week for the Bombers. Some members of the empire were hyperventilating when we lost back to back games to the Chi-Sox 2-1. But I liked what I saw. We had good pitching performances from our starters and outside of a couple of burps, the bullpen has held up as well. Proctor was HUGE for us on Thursday filling in for Randy Johnson. These guys are exhausted, yet they're finding a way to get it done during the dog days of August. There's no shame in losing well-pitched games like Tuesday and Wednesday. And I seriously doubt that Garcia, El Duque and Contreras (especially) will pitch as well if we see them again. We went 5-2 on this homestand, with a very sweet sweep of Texas. The first time we've swept them in a four game series at home in 10 years. We gained a half game on the Sux today with their rainout and a full game in wild card hunt. Now we head to Tampa to face the Rays who have been playing well lately. Jaret Wright pitches tomorrow for the first time since April. And while I have no idea what we're going to get out of him, I feel good that we'll find a way to get it done in Tampa and in Chi-Town vs the Sox.

I think we might have found a diamond in the rough in Shawn Chacon. This guy can pitch. Nice fastball, nasty curve and breaking stuff when he's on. I don't think he's a flash in the pan. I think he just needed to be in the right situation to thrive. I'm not calling him an ace or anything, but he can definitely be a nice number 4 or 5 starter for us. Or give us a boost in the bullpen like he did on Friday night. It was his throw day and he gave us a scoreless eighth which enabled Torre to rest Gordon and Mo and get to Sturtze in the ninth. Sunday, he didn't have his best stuff in the brutal heat. But he found a way to battle through five innings. Matsui's three run bomb took care of the rest. He probably would have come out for sixth inning if not for the rain delay.

The great thing about Chacon and Small is that they THROW STRIKES.After sitting through Al Leiter's Trail of Tears on Friday, I can sort of relate to what my Cherokee forefathers went through two centuries ago. Games like Friday's, are what people hate about baseball. There is no reason that a nine inning game should take nearly four hours to play. 125 pitches in five innings??? A buddy of mine who works for the Rangers was in the clubhouse where Kenny Rogers was charting the game. Rogers said that their pitchers had thrown 168 pitches...and the game wasn't over yet!!! Unbelievable. There's talk that Small might be the odd man out and sent to the bullpen. If anything, it should be Leiter or Wright. After his gem vs the Sux in Boston, Leiter has been unable to consistently throw strikes. And Wright is just coming off the DL. Small has earned a chance to keep his spot in the rotation. And the pen can use the extra arms. If I had my way, the rotation would be Johnson, Moose, Chacon, Small and Leiter if they need a fifth starter. Wright's arm would be a huge boost to a very tired bullpen. Not the ideal situation, but with Pavano and Wang out, I think that gives us the best chance to win consistently. The only way we're catching Boston or capturing the Wild-Card, is by stringing together quality starts. Four and a half back, it's doable, but the surge has to start now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Beltran From The Top Rope!!!

He's going to try to end the match with his finishing move, "the Flying Boras!" There he goes!!

He nails Midnight Cameron with the brass knucks!!!!



Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sheff Uncensored and Assorted Rants

Anyone who wants to read the New York Magazine profile about Sheff and doesn't feel like spending the money on the mag, here's the link.

As for my feelings on what was said....I've heard worse. It wasn't nearly as bad as Reggie's "the straw that stirs the drink" comments that Mr October made almost 30 years ago. Sheff is going to mouth off every once in a while and the guys know to expect it.

Neither Jeter and A-Rod were all that bothered by what was said and despite news to the contrary, Sheff didn't take any direct or indirect shots at any of his teammates. His point was this, that he's the primary focus of most opposing pitchers. Not A-Rod. Not Jeter. Anyone that watches this team day and day out like I do will agree with this.

Imperial Enemy Bill Simmons called him the most terrifying Yankee hitter of the last 20 years. Can anyone disagree with that? You can get A-Rod and Jeter to swing at bad pitches. Sheff will either hold up or get to it because of his deadly quick hands. He's hitting .400 with men in scoring position. Absolutely lethal. What he said was absolutely correct. He is the primary focus of most opposing pitchers. Should he have been diplomatic and said something bland? Absolutely. But it was still true.

But is it irritating as hell that he throws teammates under the bus by carelessly speaking off the cuff? Absolutely. He's an asshole sometimes. He lacks the social skills that Jeter, A-Rod and Giambi have developed to deal with the media. It also gets a little annoying when he plays the race card when he talks about how the media portrays him to the public.

While it irks me that most press boxes are wayy too white, wayy too middle-aged and wayy too male...most press guys will give you a fair shake if you're fair with them. If they don't understand, then explain it to them. The problem is, many of these athletes aren't articulate enough to explain what it is they really mean. So when they explain something in Inner-City Speak, it sometimes comes off harsher than intended.

I think that's Sheff problem. It's not a race issue, Gary. You just need to buy a thesaurus. Athletes (like Sheff) will also play the race card to deflect an issue from them and put the writer on the defensive. Bad strategy. It works in the short term, but now you have to deal with that writer that you called a racist. He might have been asking a legitimate question that you, either didn't want to answer or didn't know how to answer. So you put him on the defensive. Now he's pissed that you made him look like a jerk. Think you're going to get the benefit of the doubt now? Not!

These guys just need to deal with the fact that these press rooms aren't going to become black and brown overnight. Adapt to the situation and understand that you speak a different language from these guys(literally and figuratively).Minorities in corporate America have to do this every day. There's a tone and cadence that we use with each other that we don't use in the workplace. The best and brightest of us learn to turn it on and off depending on the audience. Some of us however, are never quite comfortable with and struggle socially in the workplace. Jeter and A-Rod know their audiences and act accordingly. Sheff needs to do the same if he wants better media coverage. Michael Jordan was the master of this. He could go from team spokesman to Ghetto Bastard in the blink of an eye.

The problem is that many of these black and hispanic athletes have never developed the social skills and mechanisms to deal with white folks. As a result, minor differences of opinion blow up into major confrontations. The Latin players have even it worse, because of cultural AND language barriers.

This is not to say the that media doesn't bear any responsibility in this drama. The intellectual laziness of the fourth estate, at times, is staggering. There has to be more of an effort on behalf of reporters to better understand their subjects. Diversity recruitment is part of it. But diversity education programs is also needed in most newsrooms. Many of these writers have had little or no real social experience with people of color. Now they're expected to cover Black and Brown athletes for a living? You're just asking for trouble. It's like putting a cop who grew up in Scarsdale on a beat in the South Bronx. Unless this person is a social genius, someone is going to get hurt.

But we didn't bring him over here for his winning personality. We brought him to crush the ball. And that's what he's doing. The sad thing is, there are a lot of thing that are admirable about the guy. He kind of reminds me of Albert Belle. A helluva player. And an even bigger asshole. Jim Rice is another example of a great player who had a prickly relationship with media. As a result, he's still waiting for his call to Cooperstown. The writers couldn't keep Ted Williams out of the Hall. But they gave at least three MVPs to other players because he was a jerk.

The article intimated that he could have won the MVP last year if the beatguys didn't hate him so much. No, he wouldn't have. Vlad the Impaler had slightly better stats and carried his team to the post-season the last three weeks of the season. He deserved to be MVP. And if he didn't get it, then Manny should have gotten it.

He could actually learn something from Giambi. The past goodwill that Giambi has engendered with his teammates and the media has actually helped in the rehabilitation of his image. That and the way he's been pounding the ball. If Gary ever tests positive for steroids, not only will he get thrown under the bus. They'll back it up 10 times just to make sure he's dead. And he'll have noone to blame but himself. If a model citizen like Rafael Palmiero is getting carcass dragged all over creation after testing positive. What do you think will happen to Sheff?

My point is, objectivity is a myth. Everyone brings their own experiences and values into a situation. Including journalists. All that you can hope for is to be treated fairly. But journalists are human too. And susceptible to the faults as everyone else. Most writers will be good to you or if you're good to them. Ocassionally, you'll have to smack folks in line, who overstep their boundaries. But if you're good to the press, not only will they not fault you for it..they'll probably help you out in your cause.

Honey and Vinegar. Both are effective. You just have to know when to use them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Time To Pay The Pitcher...I Mean Piper

So close, yet so far away. As of this writing, the Yankees are four and a half games out of first. Hardly Mount Everest (or the 1951 Giants, whatever floats your boat). But it might as well be 400 games with the way they’re pitching. In the dandy days of Andy, Roger and Boomer, quality starts were almost a forgone conclusion. Stringing five or six of them in a row was not uncommon. Now it’s shocking if they can get two in succession. The Yankees will only go as far their arms will take them. And if the season ended today, their arms would taking them to the nearest golf course.

People are going to compare this to the bad old days of the 1980's. Nothing could be further from the truth. Back then, King George III courted every big slugger to come here but gave up on traded young arms such as Jose Rijo and Doug Drabek. Today, the focus has been pitching. Going after young arms such as Vasquez, Weaver, Wright and Pavano, the Yanks were trying to build their staff of the future. Unfortunately, it’s failed miserably. Wright and Pavano have been on the shelf for several months with shoulder injuries. Weaver was thought to be Bombers future ace. But he had a 50 cent head to go with his Million Dollar arm. Vazquez started the first half of 2004 well, but folded in the second half because he hid an arm injury. They trade him and Brad Halsey for Randy Johnson...whose hanging sliders make DHs salivate. All of these moves were universally considered good ones when the Bombers made them. Yet, they’ve all (at least for now) failed. Sometimes you can do the right thing and still be wrong.

But all these moves are symptoms of what truly ails the Pinstriped ones. Mortgaging off the future to win right now. When you give up young prospects to get an established player, there’s a chance that that move is going bite you in the hind parts. Brad Halsey has developed into a solid starter for Arizona. Jake Westbook (traded to Cleveland for David Justice) was an all-star last year for Cleveland. Neither of them is Nolan Ryan, but with New York’s offense, you don’t need them to be. You just need someone to keep you in games. Something that the Yankees aren’t sure they’re going to get from day to day.

Shawn Chacon has been a pleasant surprise for the team. So has Aaron Small. But both are unproven commodities for a pennant push. Al Leiter has the big game resume, but lacks big game control. You never know what you’re going to get from the Mad Scientist Mike Mussina. On Monday, he allowed only two runs, but threw over 120 pitches to get out of the sixth inning. The SIXTH INNING!! Performances like that are going to wear your bullpen out by October.

Which brings up another issue with this team. Torre is having to sacrifice certain games so as not wear Sturtze, Gordon and Rivera out. Tuesday was a perfect example. With the score 1-0 Chi-Sox, Alan Embree got out of the 8th without allowing a run. Rather than pitching Gordon or Rivera, Torre decides to go with Embree for the top of the 9th. Paul Konerko crushes a homer on a 3-2 pitch, and the White Sox win 2-1. People will second guess Torre for staying with Embree. But it was the right move, even though it failed. Rivera and Gordon were in the top three in appearances last year (former Yankee Paul Quantrill was number one). Last year’s collapse versus Boston was more about the Yankee bullpen tiring than anything else. If the Yanks want to go deep into October, they need those guys healthy. Sometimes you have to pick your poison and hope your body develops a tolerance. That’s what Torre is having to do with his middle relief.

The point of all this exercise isn’t to second guess. It’s to point out that everything has a price. You might not have to pay now, but eventually you will have to pay. The Baseball Gods demand their tithes in a timely fashion. Payment for the Yankees is due. And it could be the 2004 and 2005 season. Sounds fair for 4 championships in 6 years.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Capture Of Metstradamus

After one too many Anti-Empire propaganda pieces. The Emperor ordered the arrest of Imperial Enemy, Metstradamus last night. His house was surrounded and he was taken into custody Thursday night after writing another blog spewing hate of Empire.

Metstradamus (seen here in this perp walk photo) has denied all charges. He said that his purpose was "to promote democracy in the baseball universe." Since even saying that is considered treason punishable by death, the Emperor has decided to forego a trial and sentence him to death.

His execution is scheduled on November 8th, the birthday of Mutt Infidel hero, Ed Kranepool. The Emperor, however, being the benevolent dictator he is, has decided to grant a sort of clemency to Metstradamus' family if the infidel does the following. If he tells the Imperial Guard where to find the fugitive General Zod (seen below), then his family will be spared, and he will receive a swift and painless death. If he does not have an answer by Monday, then the execution of his family will go on as planned.

Monday, August 01, 2005

There's Dumb, There's Stupid And Then There's Manny

In the history of stupid athletes, Manny Ramirez might be the Michael Jordan of stupidity. Go this site and click on the NESN Manny Being Manny Link.

I'm as tired off this jackass as anyone. But his stupidity apparently knows no bounds, so I have to comment. How can you complain about privacy in Boston, but you allow the Globe to do this spread in your house?? With your wife and kids???

Other players have complained about the privacy aspect of playing in Infidel Nation. It's not a big city in the way NYC, Chicago and LA. In those cities, athletes can go to a city or a club and not get harrassed. Not that way in Beantown. About 600,000 people live in the city, so it's not as spacious as other big cities are. People eat and sleep with this team. They have the best football team on the planet and all they can talk about is the Sux.

But knowing all of this, that they'll eat up everything on this horrible team, why would you open your home to the press? Tom Hanks is one of most accessible stars in Hollywood. But he won't allow the media inside his home because he feels that there's a line that shouldn't be crossed.

You keep hearing that Manny's not mean or malicious. He's just a space cadet. He's an idiot. He has no clue of what your obligations are to your team and your community when you make $20 million a year. People keep talking about him like he's a 10 year old child. He's 33!!! So stop talking about Manny as if you're talking about a toddler. Hold him to the same standards you hold everyone else. He's an idiot who needs to be smacked into line. Plain and simple.

It's amazing that they've given this moron all the free passes he's gotten over the years. I guess batting .320 35 HRS & 120 will get you some slack from the fans.

The Imperial Council Denies Blood-Doping Charges

Emperor Palpatine has denied any Imperial involvement in this latest steroid scandal....

Rafael Palmeiro was suspended Monday for violating Major League Baseball's steroids policy, nearly five months after telling Congress that ``I have never used steroids. Period.''
Palmeiro two weeks ago collected his 3,000th hit, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.
Palmeiro, 40, is the seventh and highest-profile player to test positive under the major league policy adopted earlier this year.

However when asked if Imperial resources were used to out Mr Palmiero, Palpatine made this statement.