Saturday, April 29, 2006

I Hate Being Wright...Sort Of

With Jaret pitching against Doc, I chalked up last night as a loss long before I got to the game so I was emotionally prepared for Halladay handing our asses to us.

Or so I thought.

Wright pitched much better than I thought he would. After some first inning jitters, he settled in and performed pretty well against a very Toronto offense.

The problem? The Yankees, A-Rod especially, need a collective colonic to get whatever is stuck up their asses out of there.

Once again, they made Halladay work for his supper. His pitch count was 99 in the sixth inning when they took him out. But they've been unable to pull the trigger on good pitches after working the counts in their favor. I'm tired of them letting these assholes off the hook.

You see the ball, boys. You hit the ball. Easier said, than done, I know. But I'm not getting eight figures a year to do it either.

This game was over, way before Hillenbrand's bomb off of Proctor. They weren't winning that game. Yeah, you could say that if Scott had held ground that Bernie's homer would have tied it up. Big hypothetical. They would have found a way to lose that game. It's in their heads.

Torre needs to take them to a massage parlor and spring for some happy endings because we can't take much more of this.

On a lighter note, the Friday Night crew was in rare form last night. It was jokes all night.

Some of the highlights. Patty Nails telling everyone that Johnny G is a closet Met fan and has a pink David Wright jersey.

In response, Johnny G yelling that he loves Wright's ass. In a platonic sort of way of course.

Friday night Bill's shirt. Looking like it came from the Greg Brady/Johnny Bravo collection.

Johnny G heckling A-Rod after Mr March grounds out once again with men on base.

The look of disgust on Patty Nails face when Johnny G offers to buy him a Pink Yankee hat. "Hey, Pat sorry, they don't have any pink fitted ones. Is that ok?"

Drunk Bowling after the game. That's a separate blog entry all together.

The ride home with Johnny G and Bill to Brooklyn. Bill/Johnny Bravo trying to give directions drunk was priceless.

This made me smile hearing this before the game.

A girl telling her friend in Stan's, "If you buy a pink hat, I'll kill you!!"

Nice to see the Holy Gospel's catching on.....

I'm down to four fantasy teams right now as my Strato-2005 league just ended. I finished in third place, four games out of first, in case anyone was wondering. Not bad, but with the team I fielded, I should done a whole better than 81-81.

I was thinking joining another league, but I've already been called a selfish bastard by several of my relatives and my friends would probably bum-rush my house and smash my computer...I'm going to pass.

One of my four remaining teams is a Strato-Back To The 80's league. You have an $80 million payroll to put together a team. Very cool. I've put my money in pitching as I have Clemens, Viola and Morris on my starting staff with Lee Smith and Rags Righetti as my closers. But I can't hit worth shit yet even with Dave Winfield, Willie McGee, Don Baylor and Steve Garvey in my lineup.

But I almost threw up in my mouth when I read this paragraph from the summary of one of my Sim-games....

Jerry Remy had 5 hits and 4 RBI at Yankee Stadium as the New York Sith Lords
pulled off a dramatic comeback beating the Detroit Dire Wolves by the count
of 4 to 3.

I won the game, but the idea that Jerry Remy was the hero was enough to give me a mini-stroke.

And for those of you new to the game and don't know who the Rem-Dawg is. Click here and read his career stats.

Darth Marc is all about educating the masses.

I'm off to Blondies for the NFL Draft....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Captain Blowout Vs Doc Halladay

I hurt myself see if I still feel....

Hello...I'm Darth Cash

One of these days. I'll learn. I'll figure out that I can't hang until the wee hours of the morning three schools night in a row and not pay penance for it.

The bald fuck took exception to being banned from the Camden Yards trip. I told him that I'd take reinstatement under consideration. But he'll probably do something to piss me off between now and June 3rd and making me realize that I did the right thing in cutting him off.

We have to do something about all these friggin tourists infiltrating the stadium. This is the second time in a week that these clowns were doing the wave while the Yankees were behind in the game. Why do they even come to the games if they're not going to pay attention? I really hate these people.

Chacon provided the fifth straight quality start by the Yankee staff last night. Why do I have a sinking feeling that this streak is going to end with tonight's matchup?

Wright vs Halladay

This is why I would never buy the Friday night season pkg. Because of matchups like this. You might have to wait a month before you see the team win in person. And the last memory you have until then is an ugly Jaret Wright loss.

I get to see Doc Halladay for the first time in person tonight. I'm a huge fan even he kicks our ass more times than not. He's just filthy. He would have won the Cy Young hands down had he not gotten hurt last year. This is how low my expectations are of Jaret Wright. All I want is for him is to not be down 7-0 at the end of the second inning. Just give us a chance to compete. Why this guy continues to get chances when Unit is on regular rest is beyond me. He's a walking 15-2 blowout.

More later....

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Saving Infidels From Themselves....Bedevil'd Again

Sorry for the delay in getting these posts out. But I was out late Tuesday divying season tickets up with my partners, the Imperial Guard and last night when I should have gone home and gotten some Z's.....I'm out late again watching the Mo get bitch-slapped by the D-Rays and the Rangers Louima'd by the stinking Devils.

Fun times all around.

So here's a question that I have for the panel today. How do you get booted from a baseball trip that hasn't happened yet?

By sending three unoriginal phone texts dogging the Yankees after a loss in friggin April!! That's how.

I'm on my way to Blondies last night and I get a text from my friend affectionately and appropriately called the Bald Fuck. It says "A-Fraud" referring to A-Rod's recent failures at the plate. The Bald Fuck, if you haven't figured out, is a Red Sux fan. I shake my head and walk into the bar.

After getting a little bent on a school night while suffering through that double debacle...I get two more texts from BF.


and the ever-popular phrase in Infidel-land....

"Yankees lose....Thaw Yankees Lose!!!"

Now riddle me this, imperial readers...if this guy is this obnoxious during a Wednesday night game in April. A game, mind you, in which I'm not even present...How much worse will he be at a game 200 miles away with a dozen other Yankee fans? With the Yankees down 10-1 to the stinking Orioles (heaven forbid)?

The sad thing was, I was warned by several people about bringing him to the game. One person said that they weren't going because he was. So I have noone to blame but myself. I thought that I could domesticate the savage. My mistake.

Normally, I wouldn't shed a tear if someone decided to put a hatchette in the back of the head of an obnoxious infidel (Particularly one who was born and lived in the Bronx), but in this case, because this involves friends of mine...and the fact that I might be implicated as an accomplice, it's better to err on the side of caution.

Sorry Bald Fuck, you're gonna have to sit this one out. Nothing personal. But it's in your nature to be...well, you. Besides, I'd rather use my money for alcohol consumption rather than bail.

I still love you though. Despite your evil scum-sucking team. This is for your really, really is....

Good news; Excellent pitching performances the last four games against good hitting teams. Yankee hitters are making pitchers work, resulting in high pitch counts.

The bad news; inconsistent results at the plate resulting in Yankee baserunners feeling more stranded than the cast of Lost.

And don't even get me started on the baserunning. In such a rush that you're running yourselves out of a big inning? Crawl before run, boys.

I'm not concerned about Mo blowing this yesterday. I don't care what he says. He hasn't gotten a lot and that's resulting in a coat of rust on him that makes him look like a sword from the Bronze Age. He needs to be in more game situations. And that's hard when one day you're winning 10-1 and the next you're losing 5-1.

I am concerned that we can't get a consistent effort from an like offense that has the potential to score 1000 runs. The Baltimore series was cool. They scored over five every game. All we need is consistency, 5,6 runs a game. Not 20-1 blowouts, then 4-3 losses.

What's the answer? I haven't a clue. The guys are making pitches work and they're getting on base. We just have to drive guys in the when opportunity presents itself. Plain and simple. Guys have to bear down and get hits.

More later tonight....

Monday, April 24, 2006

Owner Bites Man....Numbers Geeks Define Value

I'll get to baseball in a minute, but I had a very odd thing happened to me on the way home.

If I'm a little crazy, please let me know.

I had just picked up my dinner and was walking home when I saw a Pitbull puppy tied to a parking meter. Anyone who knows me knows that I love dogs and I saw that the puppy was pretty well-behaved and didn't act scared or threatened around people so I went over to say hello.

Call me crazy, but I've been around enough pits to know when to stay away and when to approach. Most puppies, unless they've been abused, aren't dangerous. And yes, this was a puppy. Several months old, If I had to guess.

I was about to stick my hand out so he could get a scent when his owner yells "Yo!" from inside the bodega. He yells, "don't do that!" I back off and say no problem, I respect that and start to walk away.

He then yells "How would you like if I pet your dog?"

Huh? Most dog owners I know, even Pit and Rot owners have no problem when people complement their dogs and try to pet them provided the dog is disciplined and well behaved.

I said that, "I wouldn't have a problem, but I'll respect your wishes, it's your dog. Sorry. Not a problem." And tried to walk away.

He then yells "Ok, the next time, I see you with a dog, I'll come over and pet it and see how you feel."

I didn't how to respond to that one. I shrugged my shoulders and said ok and left. He was clearly trying to pick a fight even after I backed off and apologized. But I wasn't angry. Just confused. Did he think I was trying to steal him? If so, his reaction was calmer than mine's would have been.

Then I realized something from my past dealings with certain pit owners and some of their stories. He didn't want me to pet the dog because he didn't want the dog socialized.

He wants the dog on edge around people. He doesn't want him friendly. The dog might be fine around people when the owner's around. But if you walk into the backyard or the house without out.

The amazing thing about these owners is that when their dog bites a kid or takes a chunk out of their girlfriend...they're shocked. Common sense is never that common. It's not the imaginary burglar who suffers. It's your five year old.

The scary thing is that he assumes everyone is like that. Which tells me that he's not alone in this line of thinking.

Personally, I could never live with something that turn on one of my loved ones without provocation. But that's just me.

That's why half the people who own dogs in this city shouldn't be allowed. If you want a weapon, buy a gun. You don't have to feed or train a gun.

This is the last city where folks should have a dog. Yet you can't walk down the street without having to dodge the poop and piss in the street. It's amazing more people aren't bitten every year.

I'm a fan of all numbers crunchers and sabermatricians...but sometimes they get so caught up in the numbers that they miss the obvious.

Nate Silver article for ESPN 2 on Baseball's Most Valuable Players is a perfect example of this.

Albert Pujols is an obvious choice for number one. Noone in the game's history can matchup with his first five years in the league.

But David Wright at number two? Ahead of A-Rod and Miguel Cabrera?

I love this kid. I do. He has star potential. A monster in the making.

But you can't put a season and a half against what Cabrera has done in four and certainly not against the youngest man to ever hit 400 home runs.

Talk to me about David Wright when he shines on the same stage Cabrera did at 19. Facing Roger Clemens in the World Series. Clemens delivers a little chin music to let the kid know he was serious. You know, how the kid responds? He sends the next pitch into the rightfield bleachers. Talk to me when Wright does that against Randy Johnson in the World Series and we can talk.

You have to ask yourself, as good as Wright is and will be, would he rate this high if didn't play in New York? Would he be in the top 20 much less number two?

A Mets fan friend of mine likes to say about Derek Jeter, that even though he's a great player, he's still overrated. And this was after he won four titles. Could the same be said about Mr Wright?

As much as these writers love to rail against New York and big market teams....they're certainly influenced by the allure of Madison Avenue and the cult of personality.

Nice to see the Mets on the dart boards of Middle America finally.

BJ Upton ahead of Chris Carpenter, Dontrelle Willis, Roy Halladay and Michael Young?

This guy has barely been up here for a cup of coffee and he's rated higher than two Cy Young winners, a runner up and an AL batting champion.

This is why the game is played on the field folks....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Giam-bombs Powers The Death Star

Do you know when you need to get off the couch and take your ass to bed? When you doze off watching Elizabeth I mini-series and you wake up watching two hours later to Hoookers On The Point blaring. That's a compare and contrast that I really don't need at four in the morning.
Another note to the vixens: Randy Johnson pitches an eight inning gem...and what am I thinking about? What's the best fantasy scenario for me since I have both Unit and Tejada on my teams? Consider this my cry for help!!!

Turned out perfectly for me from a fantasy & reality point of view. Tejada goes for 4-4 with a homer. Johnson goes eight allowing one run as the Yanks win 7-1.

But the best news of the day...Posada and Johnson were on the same page. Communicating in the dugout in a way that you need your Ace and number one catcher talking during a game.

I was ready to write a post about how Jorge is not my idea of a number one catcher. That his game-calling skills are questionable. But I'm going to hold off after what I saw today. Posada says that he's been working hard on his defensive and game-calling prowess. And that he's made catching Johnson regularly a priority which keeps his bat in the lineup. So I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. He deserves that much.

What I'm really excited about is what I'm seeing from Giambi. We've never had a full season of Giambi-Sheff-Alex-Matsui. We got some glimpses last year of the potential power of this lineup. His OBP is over .500 and 0PS is over 1.200. There's no reason to think that he can't maintain comparable numbers all year. That lineup provides maximum protection for each other. There's just no give.

Also loving what I'm seeing from Cano. He's a touch more patient this year at the plate and absolutely crushes balls in the zone. He's also playing a steadier second base.

I smell a win streak on the horizon....

Saturday, April 22, 2006

We Got Him!!!!!

Wow I'm feeling rather prolific today...three postings!!!

Christmas came early for the fans of Big Blue....from

NEW YORK -- LaVar Arrington signed with the New York Giants on Saturday, giving him a chance to play twice a year against his former team and helping fill a huge gap at linebacker for the NFC East champions.

Arrington agreed to a $49 million, seven-year deal late Friday, according to Kevin Poston, one of his agents. Poston didn't say how much was guaranteed but Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi indicated that it includes performance bonuses.

To get the $7 million-per-year, Arrington and the Giants agreed to load the deal with incentives,'s John Clayton reported. Arrington, who will get a $5.25 million signing bonus, will receive a base salary worth around $3.7 million a year. With reachable incentives, Arrington can make $5 million a year and with maximum performance, he can take the deal to $49 million if he completes the seven years of his contract.

Arrington reportedly had been seeking as much as $18 million guaranteed and a $58 million deal, one reason Arrington stayed on the market while dozens of other players signed during the first few weeks of the free-agent period.

"We needed a big, power player to add to our defense and LaVar Arrington is that," Accorsi said. "He has a presence about him and he makes us a better football team.

"The agreement is a fair deal for the player and a fair deal for the organization."

Arrington, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft and a three-time Pro Bowler, bought his way out of Washington in March for $4.4 million after a tempestuous final two seasons in which he suffered from knee injuries and was benched by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for freelancing. He took a physical with the Giants on Thursday to ensure that his knees were healthy.

He joins a defense that features the defensive end tandem of Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, who last year combined for 26 sacks. Both made the Pro Bowl and Umenyiora, in his third year, was an All-Pro.

Arrington also fills a huge hole for the Giants, who lost all three starting linebackers late last season to injuries and went into the playoffs with a backup and two recently signed free agents.

Last week, the Giants signed free agent Brandon Short, who played for them from 2000-2003. The addition of Arrington means the team could turn its attention to another position in the first round of next week's draft, perhaps cornerback or defensive tackle.

Poston said Green Bay, Jacksonville and Miami all were in the running for the 27-year-old Arrington. But in the end, he said, his client decided that he wanted to play against Washington twice a season and for Tim Lewis, New York's defensive coordinator.

"It came down to LaVar feeling most comfortable going to a good team in a familiar division with a defensive coordinator that he loves," Poston said.

This means we go from having one of the worst linebacking corps in recent Giants memory to one of the best since the days of LT, Banks and Carson.

And that's a good thing because take a look at this brutal friggin' schedule....

1 Sun, Sep 10 Indianapolis 8:15 PM
2 Sun, Sep 17 at Philadelphia 1:00 PM
3 Sun, Sep 24 at Seattle Tickets 4:15 PM
5 Sun, Oct 8 Washington 1:00 PM
6 Sun, Oct 15 at Atlanta 1:00 PM
7 Mon, Oct 23 at Dallas 8:30 PM
8 Sun, Oct 29 Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
9 Sun, Nov 5 Houston 1:00 PM
10 Sun, Nov 12 Chicago 1:00 PM
11 Mon, Nov 20 at Jacksonville 8:30 PM
12 Sun, Nov 26 at Tennessee 1:00 PM
13 Sun, Dec 3 Dallas 1:00 PM
14 Sun, Dec 10 at Carolina 1:00 PM
15 Sun, Dec 17 Philadelphia 1:00 PM
16 Sun, Dec 24 New Orleans 1:00 PM
17 Sat, Dec 30 at Washington

We don't have a cupcake game until week nine with Houston. That's the price of being in first place in the number one market with Football Royalty as your QB. Every game is going to be an event.

Still, I think this is going to be a great year for the NYG. I feel Eli is going to progress and with the additions on defense, the Giants are positioned to make a run for the whole thing.

I have some no idea what the Giants are going to do in the draft. Do they draft a defensive tackle or cornerback for depth on defense? Or do they draft a playmaker on offense? Or do they go with the best player available route? I have no idea.

Personally, I would to see them draft a defensive lineman because we're a little thin in that area. But with the Arrington signing, I wouldn't be against them drafting a running back if one becomes available. Tiki is 30 and anything can happen once an RB hits the other side of 29.

Yes, I will be rocking an Arrington jersey as soon as I can find one that doesn't require me to put my offspring in debt.

Black Sabbath....Saturday...In The House

And every day is like April 22nd. Crummy.

This weather sucks.

Chaka Chacon saved the Yankees bacon in a game that shouldn't have been played.

It's tough to watch a game and write a blog post. I'm trying to write my last post about last night while watching today's game. That's what happens when you don't get home until almost five in the morning.

I didn't want to listen to Michael Kay so I had the TV on mute and decided to play some music. I'm kicking myself because Kitty was doing the game along with Kay and Singleton. He's the only reason to listen to the Yankees on TV.

The final pitch count had Chacon at 111, but it seemed like he threw 211. Every count seemed to be a full one. Way to battle, Shawn. But the drama is unnecessary.

Nice to see Matsui get the big hit to put Baltimore away. I think this is just what he needed to get things going.

The effort offensively was uneven, but you're starting to see a trend in these games for the Yanks at the plate. Even if the Yanks aren't scoring, they're making pitchers work and throw more than they'd like. You knew that Cabrera wasn't going to last. He was at 100 plus pitches by the fifth inning.

I liken it to a fighter with a great chin and endurance. The opponent expends so much energy trying to finish them off that they end up on the canvas from exhaustion. If you're going to beat them, you have to get a big lead early, make them expend a lot of energy in trying to come back and then wipe them out at the end once they've expended all their energy trying to come back.

If you don't have a solid bullpen like Anaheim, Minnesota or Oakland, you better hope your staters go deep into the game. Because if they get to the middle relief, no lead is out of reach.

I was bored and I'm a loser. So when a friend of mine sent this to me via email. I said why not. Some of you will fill it out and some of you will be pissed of that I did this. Good times all around.

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Telephone Technician
2. Bouncer
3. Gas Tank Painter
4. Writer for Travel Periodical

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. GoodFellas
2. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back and Revenge Of The Sith
3. Unforgiven
4. Boogie Nights

Four places you have lived:
1. New York City
2. Durham, NC
3. Cheyney, PA
4. Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. West Wing
2. Oz
3. All In The Family
4. Star Trek NG or DS9

Four places you have been
1. Jamaica, West Indies
2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
3. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4. Los Angeles, CA

Websites visited daily
1. Yahoo!
2. Sporting News
4. The Boston Globe

Four of my favorite foods:
1. A Good Rib-Eye Steak
2. A nice cut of Prime Rib
3. Lasagna
4. Chicken Parm

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Between a couple of 34 D's
2. With Friends anywhere
3. Wrigley Field
4. British Virgin Islands

Four Friends that have been tagged that I think will respond
1. no one
2. no one
3. no one
4. no one
I wasn't tagged, I'm just bored so here it goes... Copy and
paste this onto a new email, delete my answers, replace with your own
and send it back to me and on to other friends!

I Hate Tourists

I'll get to last night's game in a minute. But I'd gladly trade not drawing four million fans ever again if it meant that we could get rid of all these tourists posing as baseball fans who have been infiltrating my stadium over the last couple of years.

I know George would probably choke on his burger if he read this, but I'm not the only one who feels this way.

How can I mock Mets fans with a clear conscience when these infidels are doing the wave in my beloved Death Star with the Yankees down a run in the ninth? When they're booing A-Rod (who knocked in the go-ahead run earlier in the game...that Wang quickly gave up in the next frame) for striking out in the ninth?

I wish there was a exterminator that could handle 10,000 poseurs at one time. Between them and the pink Yankee hats. Anybody wearing a pink hat who's older than seven should be take to Macombs Dam Park and shot.

The only saving grace for me last nightwas hooking up with fellow fans, the Imperial Vixens and the Friday Night Posse during the game.

I hung out with the vixens for the first three innings in their new digs in rightfield. They expressed quite a bit of concern for my apparent Fantasy addiction. They warned me that if I didn't shape up, that an intervention was in order.

"We've lost too many guy friends to fantasy sports", they warned, "Watch yourself."

Consider myself warned.

I then wandered over to my own seats and was warmly greated by the Friday night posse. I've known these guys for five years and they're absolutely nuts. They make me look sane and that's saying something. But despite the Frat-house nature that the section takes on when they're around (Jump up and down is a common refrain in our section whenever a well-endowed woman walks by)you're amazed by how astute they are as fans. I have some of my best baseball conversations with them. Even when I disagree with everything they say (like Johnny G's assertion that Joe Torre isn't a good manager) you at least get the sense that they're paying attention. That this is a fan that's watching the games as attentively as you are, even if he comes to a different conclusion.

Example: My buddy Bay Ridge Pat and I were having a discussion about some of the players at the end of a game.

We disagreed on Johnny Damon. He hates the signing (I think I just threw up in my mouth was what he wrote in an email the day of the signing), still won't say his name...refers to him as "the asshole playing centerfield for the Yankees." He would have been cool with a platoon situation of some sort this year and going after Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter at the end of this season. He sites his lack of a throwing arm and Red Sox pedigree as the reasons for holding off. He also thinks that Jeter is a better leadoff hitter. If we have to have Damon, he said, they should still bat Jeter leadoff and Damon second. That way you have a righty-lefty-righty switchoff at the top of the lineup. He also hates Damon's metro-sexual tendencies. "He's got a Rachel haircut! What am I watching? The Yankees or Friends?"

Personally, I think the signing was a good one. I think Damon's presence in the lineup is a big part of the increased patience at the plate we're seeing throughout the lineup. He's taking pitches and letting the rest of the lineup see what the pitcher has working. Is Jeter a better hitter than Damon? Yes. But I think Damon approach is what makes him special. You also see the Yankees playing small ball a little more and having his speed and versatility at the top of the lineup is helping that effort.

He's not as good a player as either Hunter or Jones. And he's older than both of them. But he still has decent range in center and is a good stolen base threat. And you know that playing on the big stage isn't going to faze him. Something you don't know about someone playing in Atlanta and Minnesota. Plus, who's to say that those two would want to put up with the drama of playing here, dealing with the media and fans? Personally, I think he's a better fit for this team as its constructed. But that's just me. If we get three good years out of him, I'm happy.

Jorge Posada was a player that did we agreed on. Neither of us are fans of his. We both agree that the Yankees would be better served if they found another player to be our primary catcher. But that's a another blog posting altogether.

On other topics of interest. Pat and I both agree that Roger Toussaint should serve six months in Gen-Pop at Rykers Island wearing a pink-tu-tu and fishnets for taking the transit union on strike. We also agree that Shawshank Redemption should have beaten Forrest Gump for Best Picture in 1994.

Onto the game. After watching the O's pummel sinkerballer Jake Westbrook of the Indians on Wednesday, I had a sinking feeling that Wang might have his hands full Friday (no pun intended).

Turns out, they score just enough to get Anna...I mean, Kris Benson a win in his return to New York.

Wang battled, but he had little control over his sinker on a chilly night at the Death Star. Sturtze and the bullpen did a good job of keeping the game within reach, but Baltimore was able to hold on thanks to some shaky umpiring.

Chris Ray has nasty stuff but his called strikeout on Matsui to end the game was a joke. That pitch was at least six inches outside. It was apparent to us in the upper deck and every angle that I saw in the postgame back us up. I'm tired of these activist umpires trying to impact games. You never know what you're going to get from game to game. Some days, the officiating is seemless. Others, you're wondering how the hell the ump from your brother's little league game got to the majors.

Note to the Vixens: I think I might need that intervention. This morning, one of the first things I did was to see if Chris Ray was available in any of these leagues. He was in one, but I couldn't think of anyone to cut for him. Help me, please!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Moose Brings Yanks Back To Mediocrity

I never thought I'd be happy about Jorge Posada's awful base-running. But it actually helped to neutralize that awful call on second base on Johnny Damon.

Transferring to throw the ball? Why? It was two outs! Who's he throwing it to at that point? The dugout?

Just an awful call by an umpire who refused to admit he was wrong.

The formula finally worked. Starter goes seven plus. Farnsworth in eighth. Mo in the ninth. Nice to have a drama free game every once in a while.

Hopefully, the Orioles ran out of hits after crushing Westbrook and the Tribe last night. Goes to show that a game is never out of reach in that bandbox in B'More.

More later....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


What can I say? Toronto can hit.

I left work and we had a 4-0 lead. I get home, it's 7-4, Jays. Randy Johnson gets his head handed to him and we eventually lose 10-5.

What do I do? Around the sixth inning, I turn to HBO In Demand and watch the latest episode of the Sopranos again.

Friggin hilarious....maybe the funniest episode ever. This season has been the best since season two.

Notice how I changed the subject? That's because I'm that irritated by the latest Yankee loss.

You can't get spotted a 4-0 lead in the first inning and nearly give the whole thing back in the bottom half. You can't.

Great job Kelly Stinnett did for you last night, Randy. You couldn't have gotten blown out with Posada behind the plate? Big baby. Torre keeps saying that he doesn't believe in personal caddies/catchers for pitchers. What the hell do you call this?

Al Leiter did a nice job calling the game with Singleton though. That's the one thing I liked about last night's broadcast.

Game's on. Let's see if we can hit Lilly today.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Post Vacation Recap

You know it's going to be a rough week when you just get back from vacation and you feel like you need another week off.

The O'Jays were on to something when they sang "Living For The Weekend".

I liked the way that the Yankees bounced back from that tough loss Saturday. Wang had his first quality start of the year and the Bomber bats came back to life against Radke. But I wish we were able to string together back to back quality performances on the mound and the plate. I know it will come but I'd like to see that sort of consistency.

Now we get our first look at the new look Jays at SkyDome Tuesday. Johnson vs Chacin. I don't believe in barometer games in April. But it would be nice to punch one of our division rivals in the mouth early. I think Toronto is going to be competitive until the end, but every division series is important. Tampa showed us that last year. So taking this series early could have ramifications later in the summer.

I've held my tongue/pen long enough....

Here's why I think Mets fans are total phonies. I have to hear from idiots like Brooklyn Mets Fan and the Metsmaster that Yankee fans are mostly tourists or pimply faced girls from the Midwest with pink hats who love Jeter and A-Rod. That this is a National League town and that the Mets are the direct descendants of the proud traditions of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.

I admit there have been a lot of bandwagon jumpers added to the Death Star passenger manifest. But that happens with all teams that have been successful over a long period of time. We know who the true believers are and who are the pretenders. I've written ad-nauseum on the subject.

My question is this...where are all these Mets fans who are ready to take back the city? The ones who are going to make this town safe for Senior Circuit lovers again? A place where the double switch is sacred and a DH doll is hung and burned in effigy in every Mets bar in the city?

Case in point: The hated Atlanta Braves are in town and Pedro Martinez is on the mound going for his 200th career win. Now you'd think that there would be standing room only at Shea as the Faithful in Flushing would form a line around the corner for tickets.

You would have thought wrong.

The Mets drew just under 37 thousand in a park that seats about 55 thousand.

37 thousand people to see the Mets beat the Braves 4-3. 37 thousand to see "Sandman" Wagner nail it down for Pedro.


I'm supposed to take fans of a franchise that can't sell out a game where their main attraction is pitching against its chief rival? Its principal torturer over the last decade? A game where he has a chance to win his 200th game?

I'm supposed to take these fans seriously? Almost 20,000 empty seats and I'm supposed to take them seriously. I'm supposed to concede that this is a "National League Town?"

Do you think that there would have been 20,000 empty seats if the Red Sox were at the stadium? Or the White Sox? The Angels? Hell, do you think there would have been 20,000 empty seats if we were playing the Devil Rays?

Hell no.

This is a franchise that can only sell out when they play the Yankees. And they were so concerned that Yankee fans were taking over Shea during inter-league that they made it more difficult to buy tickets for fans to buy individual games. If you wanted Yankee-Mets tickets, you had to buy one of their mini-ticket packages. So while you got the Yankee game, you also got five other games you could care less about.

Meanwhile, the Yankees had to stop selling season ticket packages so they would have individual games to sell to fans who wanted to buy tickets the day of the game.

I'm supposed to take the fans of a franchise that owns part of a certain regional cable network that shows their games. But they show Derek Jeter Ford commercials!

Can you imagine how Mets fans must feel...Pedro strikes out the side...Gary Cohen throws to a commercial...and who do you see?

That's right. Captain America swinging his mighty bat!!!

Even your network isn't yours. What's ours is ours. What's yours is ours.

Even the teams whose traditions you're trying to hawk are damaged goods. I give the Dodgers all the credit in the world in being the first to integrate and their various innovations that advanced the game. But the fact of the matter is that the attendance every year dropped. They had this maginficent team in Kings County but every year attendance dwindled. They win the World Series in 1955, but they drew less fans in 1956. Where were all these great National League fans? The Sym-phoney? The Knot-Hole gang?

And don't even get me started on the Giants and the Polo Grounds. There were 20,000 empty seats in the 1951 "Shot Heard Round The World" game. I don't care if it was a day game. You think there would have 20,000 empty seats in St. Louis, Chicago or Boston if their teams were playing for the pennant? After they won the World Series in 1954, they were an afterthought in this town. They were awful and barely drew anybody.

Some National League town. You managed to lose two teams in a year and the third can't sell out unless they play the Yankees.

I could go on and on about how this is a Yankee town, but what would be the point? To state the obvious to the converted? It's like I've said in the past, there are very few real Mets fans. There are posers who wear blue and orange that hate the Yankees more than they love their team.

So you can sell as many Yankee hater hats as you want. It just goes to show that you know whose house this is. If you were more excited about that fact your team is 10-2 than the fact that Yankees are 6-6, you might be worthy of respect.

You might be worthy of the team you allegedly root for. It's a shame that teams can't trade their fans.

37 thousand. Pathetic.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

It's After 5am....And I Should Be In Bed...

Instead I'm setting up my lineups and rotations for Back To The 80's Strato-League. I was invited to go to church at 11am for Easter...guess Jesus is going to pissed off at me huh?

Get in line, buddy-boy.

I'm such a fantasy junkie. I've got five baseball teams now. I've gladly given my life over to the church of baseball. Who needs redemption when you've got the hit and run?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Well...That Sucked....

The last two nights actually. But tonight especially.

To come all the way back like that and lose. That really, really sucked.

You can say that it's the beauty of baseball and all that. "That it ain't over, til it's over." But when it happens to your team, it sucks.

Like the way we battled back. Liked what I saw out of Proctor. But the ending was a real buzzkill.

Don't know what else to say other than that. Mo is going win his fair of share of games for us. And at the end of the season, we'll be where we're suppose to be in the standings. But this was a tough one.

Al Leiter talked about this game possibly having a carryover effect. Let's hope not. Because it's going to be like this all season. This isn't your daddy's American League. Where you had about three or four good teams and about 10 or more mediocre or bad ones. I wrote earlier that I count eight teams that will seriously compete for four playoff spots this year. The Twins will be one of them. I still feel they don't have enough offense to overtake the ChiSox or the Tribe. But their pitching, defense and team speed will keep them competitive until the end. And when Santana gets himself in mid-season form, they'll be that much tougher. If they're able to swing a trade for a bat, who knows what will happen? That AL Central is a tough division to figure out, sports fans.

That's why I don't think anyone in the AL is going to run away with it. Every pennant race, wildcard race and battle for homefield is going to come down to the last week of the season. Just like it did last year.

Makes for great television, great ratings and high drama. But plenty of gray hairs, ulcers and visits to the doctor for baseball fans.

Let's hope Wang gets his head out of his ass and we continue pummel Radke like we have in the past to salvage one of these damned games. This sucks. We used to give the Twins "Battered Ball Club Syndrome." Now they're holding their own with us on a regular basis.

It's a new day, boys.

Got a chance to watch SNY's broadcast for the first time today.

Gotta admit, Cohen and Darling call a good game. No frills, real solid broadcasting. Not a lot of pandering to the fans. The YES folks could learn a thing or two from watching them. I know Bobby Murcer is a fan favorite with the baby-boomer set. But he is not a good analyst. Singleton has his moments, but he refuses to put himself out there. Always plays it safe...refusing to ruffle feathers.

Kitty is the best analyst in the business, but his schedule's been cut back...Gee I wonder why? I don't hate Michael Kay like some members of the empire. But I think that he's too far in the management's pocket to ever be a good play-by-play guy. The Yankee brass will never let him or any of the broadcast team have the sort of freedom that will make for a good broadcast.

And it's sad, because Yankee fans deserve better than this. There are a lot of knowledgeable fans out there who want to hear the announcers call a good game without all the shilling and pandering to the suits. They should be allowed to call it like they see it and not be concerned about their job security.

And don't even get me started on the radio team. I can't listen to them anymore. I just can't. I feel the brain cells die when I try.

Al Leiter has the potential to be an top notch analyst. I wonder if he'll ever reach his potential working at YES?

Only time will tell.

Nice work by Gary Cohen during the Mets game today asking Bob DuPuy about the decline of black participation in baseball and what the MLB is doing to counteract that. The Mets did a nice job honoring Jackie Robinson on the anniversary of his first day in the majors. I've been critical of all the pandering the Mets and their fans in trying to leach off the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Create your own history, I say. But they did a nice job this afternoon. I wish the Yankees would do more to acknowledge the accomplishments of Robinson. It's possible to pay tribute to the man without denegrating your own history.

Hey George, we won. The Dodgers lost. It's our city now. No shame in paying tribute to the man in Monument Park for his special place in history. It doesn't belittle us. On the contrary, it makes us all the stronger for it.

Am I a pervert if I say that Rachel Robinson is still a strikingly beautiful woman? Wow. To look like that at 80 plus. Black don't crack.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Heart Attack Anyone?

Let's see...Johnson's cruising through his start versus the Royals for the first four innings. Stumbles a bit in the fifth and gives up a run. Not a probelm, he's still up 4-1, so we expect him out there for the sixth.

We get Scott Proctor instead, who surprisingly enough, performs well for an inning and a third.

But what the hell happened to Unit? We get nothing from Public Announcement guys or the scoreboard. I'm sitting in Tier 10, Section X, asking the guys with portables...they have no clue because the brass haven't gotten the word to the radio folks. It becomes hard to concentrate on the game because I'm thinking the worst case scenario.

The Yankees get some insurance runs in the eighth as Giambi and Damon homer(His first in pinstripes). And the bullpen performs well except for Villone giving up a run in the ninth and Sturtze giving up a bomb to Tony Graffanino in the eighth.(Sturtze better watch his back....if Dotel is back 100 could be buh-bye, Tanyon)

But only thing on my mind was whether the Unit was OK. I couldn't completely enjoy the win because I was worried about our ace.

Get home later that night, I go to the Times Sports site and I see an article that says that Unit was feeling a little stiff in the fifth so Joe took him out as a precaution.

A Precaution.


They couldn't have said something to ease the fans concerns? They do know that there were people actually watching the game? People who might have noticed that Johnson didn't come out for the sixth inning of a 4-1 game? How about some consideration for the fans?

And enough of this Posada-Unit drama. I'm tired of the babying that Randy gets. I know Torre did the same with Cone and Pettitte with Girardi, but that was different. Jorge was only a couple of years in the league then. Whatever going on in that lockerroom, they need to get over themselves and find a way to get them on the same page. Our team is at it's best when Posada is behind the plate.

Ok, I'm done venting....more later...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Returning To The Death Star

Batman has his Batcave.

Superman has his Fortress of Solitude.

Darth Marc has the Cathedral of Baseball.

After six long months, I've finally been allowed to return home.

The one place where I can leave all the foolishness of the world behind and embrace the tranquility that is America's Pasttime.

I was so happy that I'm able to watch baseball live today, that I was willing to overlook the usual inconveniences that come with watching a game live.

Like the yuppies sitting above you who are complaining about how high their seats are and want the whole section to hear about some business deal they just completed.

Or the drunk frat boys who look at the stadium as a large outdoor cocktail party or frathouse. Hey assholes...this isn't Jacksonville and Florida/UGA isn't until the Fall.

Or the asshole who is sitting four seats from the end of the row but decides that he wants to go the other way to go down the steps. And wants to use your shoulders as a balance beam. (At least he asked before he did it, but it still doesn't excuse his horrible sense of direction.)

Or the stupid tourists who can't wait between pitches to walk to their seats.

Ot the stupid teenagers in front of me who wanted to start the Wave and couldn't wonder why the regulars were giving them dirty looks.

Normally, these acts are punishable by banishment or death. This week, the tourists get a pass. Because, the baseball gods have given us our game back.

I was so happy to be at the game, that I was willing to look Chacon's second awful performance of the brief season. They should start calling him the Candy Man....considering all the lollypops he was serving up today.

He was able to battle through six innings and get the decision, but he has discover whatever magic he had going last year if we're going to survive. I don't know what we're going to get out of Pavano or if we're going to win the division and advance, we have to get Wang and Chacon back on their A games.

I've been avoiding the use of the term relentless to describe the lineup this year. But it's as good a term as any to describe how the Yankees won today. Jeremy Affeldt was at 80 plus pitches after three plus innings. The Yankees basically said to him, throw strikes or we're not swinging. And they used that approach to wear him and his bullpen out. It was kind of a boxer carrying his opponent so he can punish him for the full length of the fight. I know it's only the Royals, but I'm hoping this approach continues against the rest of the league.

I'm halfway hoping for a close, low-scoring game the next time out. It's hard to gauge how the bullpen is performing with a seven run lead. But then again, I'm tired of the Yankees playing to the level of their competition. We have to start feasting on the weak links again. Don't give them a chance to breathe. Don't let them think that they have a chance in hell of winning.

Overall, I'm pleased with what I saw today from lineup. Here's hoping the pitching follows suit tomorrow.

Taking Fantasy Advice From An Infidel...

Confession time.

I picked up Jonathan Papelbon for one of my fantasy teams...Groan...

To make matters worse, I did it after reading Bill Simmons' column this morning. I'd actually been thinking about for the last week because the kid has lights-out stuff and a kick-ass make-up. But resisted the temptation until this morning. Then I read the infidel's post about that the fact that this could either end up in the rotation or become the team's primary closer in a few weeks. After checking some other infidel sources of information, I decided to make the move.

If this kid ends up winning or saving a huge game against the Yankees that puts me over the top in the one league I was able to pick him up (someone beat me to it in my two other leagues)....I don't know what I'll do.

This is one of the eight million reasons why I resisted playing fantasy sports for so long. So I didn't have to deal with the chance that I'll benefit from the loss of one of my teams. I could understand if money was involved. But this is just for sport, for fun. This sucks.

Hopefully, he'll blow out his ACL or the Sox fall apart and end up so back in the race that the occasional win over the Yanks won't hurt us much.

Yeah, and maybe the Metsmaster has a autograph poster of Jeter in his study and wears his Yankee underroos.

Darth Pooky Finds A New Fix...

And it's called Star Wars: Battlefront. The inner crackhead in me got hooked yesterday. I never thought being killed by an Trade Federation Attack Droid could be so enjoyable.

Yes, I know there's a Battlefront II out as well. But since I like the weekly check that comes from my job, I'll stick with this for now and ease into the new and improved stuff later (When the price falls a bit from $50).

I'm off to get another fix before the game. Tell my mother that I loved her...

When Captain America Swings His Mighty Bat....

Yankees win home openers...

Tickets were still available, believe it or not, for the Yankees Home Opener as late as 10 am Tuesday morning.

I was debating all Monday night and Tuesday morning on whether or not I should go. I decided not to at the last minute because I had some guys doing some much needed repairs in my apartment. I figured that I would be cutting it too close.

Damn, Damn, Damn!!

I don't need to tell you all how embarassing it would have been to lose the home opener to the Royals. We haven't lost a home opener since 1997. Not a good way to start the season. Thankfully, Captain America and the Avengers didn't let it happen.

I know that I sound like a broken record talking about pitch counts, but I truly believe that that's going to be the difference this year. Even if hitters are off their game, good things can still happen by guys walking and setting the table for the next guy. It forces the pitcher to throw strikes. And when a good hitter knows that a pitcher has to throw a strike, it's bad news for the pitcher. Yesterday was a perfect example of this. The Yankees were hardly efficient at the plate. They left men on base like Shawn Kemp leaves Baby Mamas. But they were able to break through because of their patience at the plate. Good win despite the Wang'ers inability to pitch with a lead.

If this was a one time thing, I'd leave it alone. But he seems to pitch better in tight games than in ones where the Yankees give him a comfortable lead. Some pitchers are like that. Moose seems to pitch better when it's 2-1 or 1-0 then when he has a 10-1 lead. Not to say that that's a bad thing. But it's nice to know someone thrive in prosperity and not just when bullets are whizzing are over their head.

If this were the Twins or Pirates, knowing how to pitch with 2-1 would be commonplace. But on a team like this, he has to learn how to with a 5-0 lead in the first inning as well. Sturtze was horrible. I know they say that he's fine this year, but he's simply not throwing as hard or as aggressively as he did in 2004. I'm hoping he's just working out the kinks, otherwise his stay here will be shortlived.

Chacon is on the mound today and I'll be in attendance. Hopefully, the Avengers don't have to go and fight Galactus or something.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Darth Marc's Vampire Chronicles

Take a look at the time that I posted this and you'll understand the name.

Contrary to recently published reports in several rebellion strongholds, I did not choke myself to death with a force choke hold over the weekend due to the Yanks slow start.

The truth is, I haven't been home much this weekend and since I was sleeping all day Sunday and Monday...this was the first chance I had to sit down and write something.

I didn't get up until 5:15 Sunday afternoon and thankfully when I turned the game on, the Yanks were up 8-1. Moose looked sharp and had his off-speed stuff working. Posada and A-Rod had good days as well. Nice way to end a rocky road trip.

Call me a wide-eyed optimist, but I'm not totally discouraged by this start. We faced some pitchers with some nasty stuff and we made them work for their supper. Pitch counts in all the games were high for the opposing pitchers so I like the hitters approach even though the results weren't there.

The pitching was decent as well. Unit and Moose looked good in their two starts and Wang and Chacon were erratic but could have had better results if a couple of breaks went their way. But we faced some of the best pitching we'll face all year in this trip. Zito, Harden, Haren, Escobar, Santana and Colon. Not a dud in the entire bunch. When you face arms like that, sometimes you're going to end up on the short end of stick.

Add the fact that Oakland and Anaheim are two of the better defensive teams in the league and you have a 2-4 start to the season.

The American League is loaded this year and I realize now that my victory totals were a little high for the division winners. I doubt anyone is going to win 100 wins in the AL this year. The high will probably be around 95-98 wins.

I expect good things this week facing off against KC at home. But after the way they played us last year, I don't expect an easy ride. These bottom feeder seem to get off on playing us. Regardless of who's the champ, teams always view knocking off the Yanks as something special.

This is the sort of garbage that I have to clean out of my email-box on my days off. This is from the Metsmaster.

New Mets park looks sweet.

Cozy and fan friendly vs. shock/awe sterile. Charming vs. monolithic. Fun vs. moribund.

This is why, infidels, that this will never be a Mets town for any extended amount of time. Because instead of creating your own history, reveling in your own're constantly trying to compare yourself to a standard that you can't possibly live up to. I really hope that the new Mets park becomes one of the must-see stadiums in the sport. We know Shea sure as hell isn't. But Yankee Stadium, new or old, will continue to be one of the go-to spots in baseball. The Mets drew a little over 25,000 for their second game of the year. I guarantee the Yanks will draw well over 120,000 for these first three games. When the Mets can do that consistently, then you can talk to me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Darth Marc's Imperial Vacation

Just started my vacation today. I have only several things on my agenda for the next week.

1)Yankee baseball
2)Back to the gym
3)Playstation 2
5)Yankee baseball
6)Large amounts of alcohol consumption
7)Nets/Cavs (last tickets on my plan)
8)Catch up on reading
9)Yankee baseball

Really productive, huh?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I Think Torre Thinks That April Is Still Spring Training...

But I'm not panicking...really, I'm not.

I'm actually halfway glad that we lost this series in the way that we did. It'll show them and the fans that 15-2 games are really an anomaly. That most games are won with the little things. The basics...pitching and defense. The defense was atrocious last night and the Farnsworth's pitch selection was dubious at best.

Sturtze looked good and I liked what I saw from Wright for two innings. He clearly got tired in the eighth from a lack of work in spring training. But Torre being in extended Spring Training mode decided to push the envelope and give him a third inning because he needed the work. He faltered a bit but Cano didn't help matters either.

And Wang needs to learn how to battle through these situations. Pick up his teammates. Jeter's error was unfortunate but Wang had a chance to pick him up and failed. I don't want to hear about a sophomore jinx.

At least, we're getting all this out of the way now. Better now than in August.

I wish I could blame this on the WBC, but Torre has always been this way. Now we go to Anaheim to play the team that personifies the importance of being good at the basics.

I hate West Coast games....

Before We Start Acting Like Red Sox Fans...

and start committing mass suicide by jumping into the East River...may I remind you all that this was only game 2?

Joe Torre drives me nuts as well when he puts guys that have no business being in a close game. But he's going to do that for the first part of the season to get a feel for what he has in the pen. His track record is clear on this point. It means that a couple of games early on that were winnable are either going to be lost or closer than they need to be because Torre plays Dr. Strangelove with the bullpen.

I'm scratching my head over why he keeps giving Proctor chances in close games. He's shown that no lead or tie is safe while he's on the mound. He has electric stuff and he probably would be better served as a spot starter or long reliever though.

I'm still pleased about their approach at the plate for the most part. Harden threw over 100 pitches in 5 plus innings. They keep making these guys work on the mound, they'll light up more than their fair share of hurlers.

So while I love the fact that you're all into it so early, let's relax and take a deep breath. I made a mistake last year by getting all worked up after Mo Rivera lost that third game against the Sox in the opening series and I won't make it again.

Sorry for the delay in the post. I was in the hospital because my eyes were bleeding. I made the mistake of watching "Fever Pitch" on cable for a little while before the game last night and the baseball gods decided to punish me for my insolence.

Watching the game right now. Love Sheff's three run shot and Giambi starting a 3-6-3 DP. Not loving DJ's error or Wang's walking Milton Bradley with the bases loaded to tie the game at 4. But I'm not going to overreact. I'm not....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Imperial Timberlands Have Been Dusted Off And Put To Use...

For the GoodFellas style beatdown we saw last night....Wow.

Here's what I loved about last night's win. The plate discipline. Zito threw over 20 pitches in first inning. So even though they didn't score, I had a feeling that they would get to him eventually by the fourth or fifth. I had no idea that they would initiate Order 66 on him. That was brutal.

Zito has always had trouble with the Yankees, but they weren't cutting him any breaks Monday. He tried to nibble and they wouldn't bite and when he had to throw a strike, they crushed it. I loved the patience the team displayed at the plate throughout the game. Taking walks and letting the next guy drive them in. Drawing the pitchers into long counts. Even when it was 11-1. It might make for some very tired fans on the East Coast who try and stay awake for these games. But it probably means the Yankees are winning handily. Fair tradeoff, I think.

Randy Johnson looked good. His pitches had some bite to them. Outside of the homer to Frank Thomas, he pitched a very efficient game. Unit definitely knows how to pitch with a big lead. Something that is harder than it sounds. Some pitchers seem to pitch better when they're involved in a pitching duel than when they're up 11-0. Hopefully, Unit gets a lot of practice this year.

A great sports night overall, Florida puts the smackdown on UCLA to the utter delight of this USC fan and the Yankees start the 2006 campaign with a beatdown of the MoneyBall bitches. Nice night.

Mike and Chris have going back and forth about I figure that I have to chime in on this Billy Wagner/Enter Sandman controversy.

For those of you who aren't aware, Wagner has been coming out to Metallica's Enter Sandman for almost as long as the Great Rivera and is apparently a huge fan of the band. Now that he's in NYC he apparently doesn't plan on changing his routine. So yesterday, Billy comes out to the song in the ninth inning.

Mike and MadDog are outraged that the Mets will allow Wagner to do this. But while my feathers were a little ruffled when I heard about it today. Idon't think he should change his song. As a matter of fact, I'm looking to the time when he has a lead at Shea in the eighth or ninth inning against the Yankees.....and he blows it!! It'll remind the infidels that theme songs don't make closers. So let him play the song. It'll remind the scions of Shea that they have pale imitiation of the Great Rivera.

When the hell did Brad Halsey get traded to the friggin A's? I mentioned him and the D-Backs in my NL preview. I felt like a real jerk when he played long man for Oakland last night.

Monday, April 03, 2006

No Rest For The Wicked As Another Imperial Campaign Begins....

I going to try and temper my hatred for West Coast games just this once.....

Wow, it's gonna be a long night.

The NCAA's and opening night on the West Coast vs Oakland. The baseball gods are testing me early.

I wanted to join some friends and watch the games out somewhere. But call me the anti-R. Kelly , cuz my body's telling me no and my mind's telling me no.

Will outside forces have a say in my eventual whereabouts? We'll know soon enough.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fantasy Nightmares

Before I get to Imperial business. I wanted give a shoutout to an infidel friend of mine who has joined the blogosphere.

He's a Met fan from Brooklyn, so he decided to call his site, well...Brooklyn Met Fan. I know, it's not terribly creative like Metstradamus or Faith and Fear In Flushing. Those names were actually sort of clever like the blogs themselves. But you have to figure that the gray matter has be a little shallow on the infidel side of the pool so you figure he must been at the back of the line.

Also the baseball gods have a very odd sense of humor. This infidel with two brain cells to his name has a smoking hot fiancee.....while one of the most loyal and faithful members of the Empire is, comment. Grr....

All kidding aside, this guy is a very good friend of mine and his website should be a lot of fun to read and very creative as well. If you're a baseball fan or just enjoy creative blogging, be sure to check it out.

I have a serious problem. A Fantasy problem.

I sat through a 23 round, 18 team, two plus hour fantasy baseball draft last night. I thought that since I was laying low this weekend and I was going to be home watching the final four that it would be a good idea to sit through the first few rounds.

Normally the perfect size for a fantasy team is 10-14 teams. Anything over that and the fantasy talent pool becomes very thin. 18 teams is way too many. One of the managers complained and the league commissioner decided to start another league for those who wanted to drop out. It took forever, but we eventually got 10 teams for the other league. However, noone dropped out of the first league. We still had 18 teams. I guess the other managers didn't want to drop out because 1) they thought it would be a sign of weakness or 2)they're cracked out on fantasy sports like I am and will join any league available to them.

I avoided fantasy sports for years for that reason. I knew that I'd get hooked and that I'd be in front of a damned computer half the day. Now I'm a full fledged junkie, crusty beard and all.

Initially I was going to sit out and just autodraft. But with 18 teams, it's hard to do that. Because the talent pool is thinner, you have to know something about the game and the players. You also have to be there to see how the draft is flowing so you don't end up with 15 sluggers and two decent pitchers or vice versa.

After picking Albert Pujols with my first pick, I decided to go with pitching for the next several rounds. I figure that there would still be some decent hitters out there later on and that a lot of the players would go with players from their favorite teams as oppose to the best players available. So with my next several picks I grabbed Randy Johnson, Carlos Zambrano, Brad Lidge, Zach Duke and Felix Hernandez. Get the core pitchers out of the way and then go for position players.

The result is a team that I think I can live with. I fielded a decent position team and every pitcher is one that I picked. All those hours watching late games and Baseball Tonight finally paid off.

Everytime I thought about dropping out, someone made a move that made me realize that I had counter because I had too much of one and not enough of another. I fed myself iced tea intravenously. I was so hopped up on caffeine that I didn't go to bed until 6am!(5am but we lost a friggin hour)

I went to the local bodega at 4am to get some towels and buy a sandwich. I eventually fell asleep trying watch Doctor Zhivago (Gonna finish it today).

What did I do when I woke up at 9..I mean 10:30 still hopped up on the caffeine still in my veins? I checked the scores of my two Yahoo! fantasy basketball playoff matchups.

For those of you who care...I'm comfortably ahead in one league and in a life-death struggle in another. I'll keep you posted.

The dance of death begins again tonight in Chi-Town. I'll be watching as soon as West Wing and the Sopranos are over.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A-Rod Finally Gets Some Good Press

Tyler Kepner of The NY Times thinks that the man with Aaron's record in the long run won't be a cheater after all.

If he stays on his current pace, Alex Rodriguez has a chance to break Aaron's record by the time he's 40. Provided he stays healthy and motivated.

Interesting premise and it would be great to see Alex do it, particularly if he's still in pinstripes. But a couple of factors could stay in the way of history being made.

The first is Yankee Stadium. Not exactly the easiest place for right-handers to go deep. A-Rod said last year that the park probably takes about six homers off his total a year. It won't get any easier once he hits 35. Don't expect any help from the new stadium in 2009. The dimensions are expected to be the same as the old cathedral.

The other is inner motivation. A-Rod will have made over $250 million, not counting endorsements and other outside income at the end of his contract in 2010. Assuming he's won a World Series title (let's hope so), what other possible motivation will he have to get up in the morning and push himself? Only he can answer that one.

I'd love to see him do it. But I think 650 is a much more realistic number for A-Rod than 755. I think outside interests are going eventually pull him away from the game once he wins a championship.

Nice to see him get some positive press though....

NL Predictions

You have to say this about Metstradamus. He's at least consistent.

Here's what he wrote after I had the gall to put the Leiter-Barfield trade in the same sentence with the Kazmir-Zambrano debacle.

Okay, this is why I hate you.

You have the absolute gall to compare Al Leiter for Jesse Barfield to Kazmir for Zambrano. Those two trades aren't even in the same area code in terms of how awful they were.

Leiter had at least a look in the majors before he was traded for Barfield, and while he did have potential, he also had blisters. And while in hindsight you can say the trade didn't work out, you can't say that there was the backlash over trading Leiter as there was over trading Kazmir. Mets fans do not need the benefit of hindsight to tell you that was a disgusting trade.

Here's the new rule: when you win 26 titles, and you defeat the Mets in the only World Series ever played against each other, you lose all rights and privelages to play the role of the victim. Those two trades do not even belong in the same blog let alone the same sentence.

Let me get this straight, just because my team is successful, that means I have to give up my right to criticize my team when they make a bad baseball move? I have to rubberstamp every move my team makes even if it makes me smash my head through a wall in private? Not gonna happen.

I never tried to play the role of victim by talking about the Leiter trade. Maybe it wasn't the best of ideas to use the Kazmir-Zambrano trade, one of the dumbest trades in the history of the sport, in comparison. But that doesn't mean I was trying to curry sympathy and the victim status that comes along with it. All I was trying to do was say that the Yankees have suffered from some of the same bad judgement that every other club has experienced. It was the reason for our drought in the mid-60's to mid 70's and our decline in the late 80's to early 90's. It was in no way meant to start a pity party for Yankee fans.

I love how Mets fans are so protective of their victim status. Nobody can feel more sorry about us than us. We have the worst management ever! How dare you say different! Noone sucks like us!!!
Don't worry, infidels. I have no desire to take the Death Star down the Pity Central Expressway. Baseball Gods don't envy or try to emulate paupers. It would be like the Israelites making it to the Promised Land and saying "Well you know, Egypt wasn't all that bad...let's go back." No thank you. I'll take paradise over eternal bondage anyday.

Metstra also took exception with my AL Predictions and the way I decide to spend my Sunday afternoons.....

I know you have this complete chubby for the American League, but dude, you have three teams in the entire league under .500, and their composite record is 1200-1068! There isn't that many interleague games.

And sweet tea? Just suscribe to "Doily Weekly" and get it over with.

Since my little dig about using spellcheck wasn't clever enough for the Bill Buckley of Mets Fans....I've decided to give his dig the attention it deserves in this entry.

First off, anyone who has lived in or visited the South knows what sweet tea is. It's a delicacy that's very hard to find up North. And is well worth searching for. But I'd expect that level of ignorance from someone who's 1)Pushing 40 and doesn't know how to drive 2)Doesn't have a passport and 3)thinks Vegas is a tropical country below the equator.

Fans of the Senior Circuit hate hearing this almost as much as "Defending World Champion New York Yankees" but the American League is a much better league than the National League. It has been that way since 2004. You have as many eight teams that could make the playoffs in the Junior Circuit. Five of those teams can beat anyone in the National League. The lineups are deeper even if you factor in the DH. The hitters are tougher and the pitchers are tougher because they're battle-tested over a season. Even the bad teams like Baltimore and Tampa can hit the cover off the ball.

If you want to talk about the strategy that goes into playing without the DH, fine. That's an important point. The American league still wins hands down.

Was I a bit generous in saying that the Tigers, Mariners and Rangers would be above or at .500? Maybe. But I feel those teams will definitely be around that mark, probably around five games. Even if you take those teams out of the equation, the American League is the better league.

The Cardinals are the cream of Senior Circuit once again. I like St. Louis. The Angels, Red Sox, White Sox and Yankees would all beat "The Lou" in a seven game series. Heck, the Cards couldn't beat the Astros and you saw what the ChiSox did to them.

Here's hoping you have more reason to hate us after the season....

Here are my NL Predictions....

NL East
1)Mets 93-69
2)Braves 90-72
3)Phillies 85-77
4)Nationals 82-70
5)Marlins 74-88

If the Mets don't do it now, they'll never do it. With the additions to their offense and their bullpen, the scions of Shea are primed to break the Braves deathgrip of the NL East division. As long as Pedro stays reasonably healthy and Wagner is Wagner, they'll have a great shot. Wright and Reyes will have another year under their belts and while I don't think they'll make anyone forget about Jeter and A-Rod just yet, they'll both be All-Stars. I think LoDuca will be important cog in Willie's ship, both defensively and at the plate. The Jones boys are still in Atlanta as well as Smoltz and Hudson. But how long can they keep ahead of the pack. Particularly with Mazzone no longer to keep their pitching staff together? I think this is the year that they fail to get it done. Although I reserve the right to change my mind...The Phillies have a great lineup, but they have the same problem the Rangers have; mediocre pitching in a very, very hitter friendly park. Plus Bobby Abreu does his annual ode to Terri McMillan (Disappearing Acts for the literary impaired) around August. I predict Flash Gordon's shoulder will explode by July 21st. The Nationals will be fun to watch, particularly with Soriano, but they'll fade from contention by late July. The Marlins have lost too much to stay competitive what may be the most competitive division in baseball. Joe Girardi is going to have pull a rabbit, a lion and three pitbulls out of his hat to get to .500. Plus I think Dontrelle Willis is going to have a down year. Miguel Cabrera, however, will try to join Andre Dawson and A-Rod as the latest MVP winner from a last place club. He'll lose though to Pujols.

NL Central
1)Cardinals 102-60
2)Astros 86-76
3)Brewers 84-78
4)Pirates 79-83
5)Cubs 78-84
6)Reds 75-87

A very uneven division. The Cards are clearly the class of the division with the MVP and Cy Young winners on the roster. Don't know what that will mean for the playoffs, but they should wreak havoc during the regular season. Now if Tony LaRussa can stay out of his own way, they might make another appearance in the Fall Classic. While I don't know if this is last we've seen of Roger Clemens, I doubt that the Astros have another rabbit to pull out of their bag of tricks. Yes they have great starting and relief pitching. But their lack of offense is what concerns me. Biggio is a year older, Bagwell is on the shelf indefinitely and I don't know if Tavares, Berkman and Ensberg will be enough to compensate. Maybe they make another run at the wildcard, but I doubt that they seriously challenge St. Louis for the division. Ben Sheets is starting the season on the DL, but I still think the Brew Crew will make another important step back to respectability. They'll make some waves in the wildcard race. That's right, I have the Pirates finally getting out of the basement. I love two young arms Perez and Day (I can't believe the Yankees had this kid)and I think Jason Bay is a superstar in the making. They've made some interesting moves in the offseason acquiring Randa and Casey. Pittsburgh should be a fun team to watch this season. With Prior and Wood banged up, the boys of the North Side will struggle to stay within shouting distance of .500. I love Zambrano, Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. But there are too many question marks with the pitching staff. Does Maddux have anything left in the tank? I might end up regretting this pick, but I'm staying with it for now. Dunn, Griffey, Kearns and company will hit plenty of balls out of the Great American Bandbox, but Brandon-excuse me-Bronson Arroyo and his cohorts will give up plenty as well. Hopefully, Reds fans will catch enough souvenirs to make a last place finish palatable.

NL West
1)Dodgers 94-68
2)Giants 91-71
3)Padres 84-78
4)Diamondbacks 74-88
5)Rockies 66-96

The Left Coast traditionally gives us great pennant races. And this year will be no exception. I love what the Dodgers have done inquiring Furcal, Mueller, Seo and Nomahh. If (and that's a big if)they can stay healthy and Gagne returns to form, I think they have enough balance to be the class of the division. Grady Little might not be the best in-game manager, but he's showed that he's excellent in dealing with strong personalities and egos when he was in Boston. His presence will definitely help lockerroom matters in LA-LA land. You could have Oliver Wendell Holmes, Hugo Black and Earl Warren investigating Barry Bonds and it wouldn't matter. With him back in the Giants lineup, everyone becomes at least 10 percentage points better. Since there's nothing George Mitchell or Bud Selig can do to Barry legally to keep him out of the lineup...outside of him testing positive for something, getting hurt or being shot by a sniper...the Giants should be contend for the division and wildcard this year. The Padres have solid pitching and play in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors. But I doubt acquiring Mike Cameron, Mike Piazza and Vinny Castilla will mean more than third place this year. Personally I would kept Adam Eaton and Otsuka. They lucked out last year when injuries decimated Los Angeles and San Francisco. Not likely to happen this year. The D-Backs have one good starter in Brandon Webb and two average starter in Brad Halsey and El Duque (provided his arm doesn't fall off, he is 150 years old). But I doubt Miguel Batista returning to Phoenix and Russ Ortiz will mean more than 70 plus wins for this team. That and the fact that their offense, while decent, doesn't have enough shovels to dig out of the huge holes their pitching will create. The sooner the Rockies move out of Denver, the better. Can we all agree that putting a baseball team 5,000 feet above sea level was a bad idea?