Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Shaq and Kobe vehemently reconcile in order to enjoy future Christmases

In the wake of the Heat's third straight Christmas Day victory over the Lakers, superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant publicly stated again and again that they are in no way feuding, that they are on completely friendly terms both personally and professionally, and that future Christmas Day games highlighting their rivalry will no longer be necessary.

"I really, really like Kobe Bryant," an emphatic O'Neal reiterated multiple times at the Christmas Day postgame conference. "Our rivalry is completely over, and all that stuff he said about Phil Jackson or about me or the stuff I said about Phil Jackson or whatever, it's all gone and in the past. Can we please have Christmas off now?"

Shaq's comments prompted laughter from the crowd of reporters.

"I'm not joking," teased a comically straight-faced Shaq. "I don't know how I can say this more clearly: I am tired of playing basketball on Christmas Day."

Bryant added, "The Heat beat us again, fair and square, so I guess that settles it - there's no more need for these Christmas games. The Heat are the champions of Christmas, and Shaq has won our rivalry. In fact, they beat us so emphatically, I won't even be angry if I'm spending next Christmas at home with my family instead of traveling across the country to play a regular season basketball game."

Bryant continued, "Did I mention I love Shaq? We are so not rivals now that I would find it insulting if they schedule another Heat/Lakers game next Christmas and hype it up as a rivalry, because it's not one anymore, and it's especially not one if it's on Christmas, and also I might be hurt next Christmas so if I were the NBA I wouldn't schedule one, is all I'm saying."

The 2007-08 NBA schedule will not be released until the summer, but after these recent comments, it is believed that another Lakers/Heat Christmas Day matchup will be scheduled to reignite the Shaq/Kobe rivalry.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What Goes through Tom Brady's head while he stands in the pocket:

Alright, if we're gonna pull this off, I have to get the ball to eleven different dudes.

Where is David Givens? Did we get rid of him? Am I thinking of Deion Branch?

Didn't we draft a receiver real early this year? It has to be one of these guys. Wait, then how'd we get Muroney?

At least three of those linemen have to be tight ends, but I can't risk throwing to the wrong one, especially after I kept calling Daniel Graham "Daniel Craig" at that dinner party.

That's not actually Kevin Faulk...? Is this gonna be that dream again where I beat the Rams in the Superbowl then make out with Brenda Warner for some reason? I'm not attracted to her at all, even subconsciously. Freud was an asshole. If Freud were my slot receiver, I'd only give him like three touches a game.

Crap, better convert this, I don't want this backup kicker guy to have to make one from 40.

Oooh, that dude has a number in the 80s, he's probably pretty fast. I'll throw to him.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The theme of this year's baseball offseason: Value, value, value!!!

GMs are making a killing this offseason, signing player after player at incredible bargains!

Gary Matthews Jr, OF, Angels (5 yrs, $50 mil) - For years, teams viewed Matthews as nothing more than a bench player and platoon outfielder at best, but last season, Matthews proved everyone wrong. Rather than allow him to grow complaisant, however, the Angels smartly signed him to a monstrous contract, so now he'll be re-motivated to prove everyone wrong again by having to live up to a fifty million dollar deal.

Andy Pettitte, P, Yankees (1 yr, $16 mil) - Three years ago, Pettitte left the Yankees for Houston, stating that he wanted to play closer to where he grew up and be closer to his family. The Astros only offered him $12 million this year, though, which means the Yankees essentially bought out Pettitte's wife, children, and hometown memories for a measly $4 million. That's an absolute steal.

J.D. Drew, OF, Red Sox (5 yrs, $70 mil) - What's not to like about this guy? He's an astonishing six-tool outfielder (power, contact, speed, glove, arm, being a tool), so even when he's hurt, he's good for at least two or three tools. The move to the American League should rejuvenate Drew, not only allowing him to DH and log more plate appearances, but also guaranteeing that he'll only get batteries thrown at him during rare interleague games against the Phillies, Cardinals, Braves, and Dodgers. It's win-win for Theo.

Miguel Batista, P, Mariners (3 yrs, $25 mil) - To the naked eye, Seattle appears to have taken a big risk signing a 35-year-old pitcher to a 3-year deal, but keep in mind, Batista still hasn't had his breakout season yet, and it's probably not going to happen after he's 39, so Seattle is almost guaranteed that he's going to break out sometime during this contract.

Gil Meche, P, Royals (5 yrs, $55 mil) - The Royals are known for having worse players at every respective position than every other team in baseball. Signing Gil Meche (4.48 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in 2006) finally gives them a legitimate staff ace who's worse than every other team's ace pitcher, thus making him the ultimate Kansas City Royal. Now, instead of chaotically sucking, the Royals can rely on Meche for five years of consistent, stable sucking.

Juan Pierre, OF, Dodgers (5 yrs, $44 mil) - Nine million a year for a .330 OBP guy isn't chump change, but ask yourself this: how many pure leadoff hitters are there in the game today? That makes Pierre worth at least $20 million. How many leadoff hitters have World Series experience? There's another $20 million. How about leadoff hitters with World Series experience who appear to be black but have a half-Hispanic, half-French name? That's worth what, $80 million? Any way you look at it, the Dodgers are the winners here.

Ted Lilly, P, Cubs (4 yrs, $40 mil) - Wood and Prior are locked into the 2 and 3 spots in the rotation, so the Cubs shrewdly went out and signed the best #4 pitcher on the market. Plus, teams will try really hard when known-aces Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt are pitching, but Lilly's much lower profile will allow him to take teams by surprise, ensuring that he'll have an even better season than those higher-priced guys.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, P, Red Sox (6 yrs, $52 mil + $51.1 negotiating fee) - Rolling the dice? Hardly. Matsuzaka not only possesses the backward-spinning gyroball, making him the first human pitcher capable of performing feats from the NES game Baseball Simulator 1.000, but his name will also surpass Doug Mientkiewicz's as the most mangled name in Boston accent history. See? The guy hasn't pitched an inning in the majors yet and already he's breaking records.

(Above: Matsuzaka shows off his patented "gyroball," the first NES sports feat performed in real life since Lawrence Taylor recorded 82 sacks in a single game in 1991)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

MLB Hot Stove Report - Wednesday, Dec 13

Houston, we have a pitching problem - The Astros acquired Jason Jennings from Colorado after Jennings violated the Rockies' Logan's Run-esque policy of being more valuable than Todd Helton.

Two-bedroom Lofton - New Ranger Kenny Lofton has almost completed his tour of the U.S.; next year, he plans to sign with the AA Yellowstone Parkers and will finish his career in 2008 when he forms a Mount Rushmore expansion team.

Why the Miguel not? - 35-year old Miguel Batista signed a 3-year, $24 million deal with Seattle, but claims "It wasn't about money, it was about being able to relish in obscurity with a completely forgotten sports franchise."

Gagne with the wind - Texas signed Eric Gagne to a 1 year, $6 million dollar deal with incentives for every time an analyst says "Don't forget, once Gagne comes off the DL, this bullpen could be really something."

Giles Davis: Kind of Blue - The Braves decided to non-tender Marcus Giles as part of GM John Schuerholz's plan to start nine rookies next year so that when the Braves finish 83-79, Bobby Cox will still be called a genius.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Prophetic Pun Prediction

It was only a matter of time before the St. Louis Blues decided to fire coach Mike Kitchen, and it was only that matter of time plus about eight seconds before someone threw caution to the wind and used a pun headline on the word "Kitchen".

Fans of our old blog (i.e., people who happened to Google "Mike Milbury Shitty") will recall my "Coach Fired-o-meter" piece, in which I suggested the headlines for Kitchen's inevitable firing, "Blues Redecorate Their Kitchen" , "Kitchen's Singing The Blues, But Thankfully No Longer Coaching Them", and "Blues To Hire Either John Bathroom Or Steve Breakfast Nook". My friend Gribbin also suggested "Blues can't take the heat, get out the Kitchen".

So we were off by a little. Still, I feel I've earned the right for the rest of the week to call myself Nostrapunmus. Which isn't a pun itself. Whatever, just cause I can predict puns doesn't mean my name has to have a pun in it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No one's going to win the Superbowl this year!

And here's why!


Indianapolis Colts - Hypothetical question: is Indy's rush defense so bad that they wouldn't even be able to stop their own rushing offense? As long as they got Manning, though, they're Super Bowl contenders, provided their entire playoff run consists of regular season games.

San Diego Chargers - Marty Schottenheimer in the playoffs? The Chargers are a slam dunk! A slam dunk late in the game in NBA Jam when you're leading and the computer cheats and manages to block everything, that is.

New England Patriots - After 2004, Bill Belichick's son double dared him to try to win a Superbowl without Deion Branch, David Givens, Willie McGinest, Ty Law, and Adam Vinatieri, but didn't actually expect he'd give it a try.

Baltimore Ravens - Their strategy of getting two defensive/special teams touchdowns a game and kicking a late field goal to beat sub-.500 teams may or may not hold up come playoff time, but we'll see. Also, Steve McNair is a leader, so watch out for that.

Denver Broncos - The first round of the playoffs would mark Jay Cutler's sixth career NFL start. I don't know offhand how many rookie quarterbacks have won three playoff road games in a season, but it's probably a ton.

Kansas City Chiefs - Getting Trent Green back would be an enormous help if instead of a quarterback, he was a defensive end, an outside linebacker and multiple defensivebacks.

Cincinnati Bengals - Their defense should be well-rested after taking the first 10 games of the season off, but their "Carson Palmer not tearing his ankle" offensive scheme was exposed in the playoffs last year, so they're probably in trouble.

New York Jets - Jets? More like, METS! Wait, they were good last year. More like, METS WHEN MO VAUGHN WAS THERE! Take that.


Chicago Bears - I'm not crowning their ass yet either, Dennis Green; if Rex's QB rating was a hole of golf, he'd be hitting eagles. The Bears winning the Superbowl with Grossman would be worse than Julia Roberts winning an Oscar. And I mean for The Mexican.

Seattle Seahawks - If this were the BCS, the NFC West and NFC North wouldn't be allowed to send a representative to the playoffs. Hasselbeck will forget that Deion Branch is his teammate and accidentally throw to Jerramy Stevens every down for the next four games and the Seahawks will lose out.

Dallas Cowboys - Romo! Romo! Romo! You seen this kid? He's the perfect human being! He's the fifth element! He can blow himself! But is the Tuna's golden little tuna going to stay solid white albacore or turn into that gross Chunk Lite in oil? Lil' Penis Face Gramatica will kill them.

New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees has transformed New Orleans into the #1 ranked offense in the NFL! Too bad they have to play defense and Mark Simoneau is their starting MLB, and their best run stopper Hollis Thomas didn't realize there are steroids in glazed donuts.

Giants/Eagles/Panthers/Falcons - This NFC Wildcard race is like another Austin Powers movie. It might be OK but who gives a shit?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Joe Borowski signed with the Indians this afternoon.

Why is this an interesting story? Because Borowski failed a physical with the Phillies less than a week ago. Even more head-scratching is this prognostication from the Indians' website from Monday:

Joe Borowski's failed physical with the Phillies last week might have put him in a position to become the Indians' closer.

What can we make of this? One of three things:

1) Borowski intentionally failed his physical with the Phillies, a la David Brent, because he realized he had a better chance of closing games for the Indians.

2) Cleveland's medical staff has lower standards than Philly's when it comes to what constitutes "healthy" or "unhealthy". We know this is true about pretty much every other aspect of the city of Cleveland in comparison to other cities.

3) Borowski got in shape real fast between last Thursday and today.

My guess is it's some combination of #1 and #2, as well as the Phillies' developing Pirates-esque fear of right-handed pitchers. Plus Borowski never ran into any walls, so he'd be instantly disliked by all Philly fans.

Friday, December 01, 2006

MLB HOT STOVE REPORT - Friday, December 1

Top remaining free agents:

1. Barry Zito, P, 28 - Bidding for Zito is apparently down to the Rangers and the Mets, he just has to decide if he wants his ERA to go up 4 runs a game pitching in Arlington or just the industry standard 2 runs a game after a contract year.

2. Jason Schmidt, P, 33 - Teams unable to acquire a high-priced Asian pitcher may want to turn their efforts to signing Schmidt, who at least has really slanty eyes.

3. J.D. Drew, OF, 31 - He's only had one 100-RBI season ever, but he's quick to remind teams, "Remember, though, I was injured constantly in every season I've ever played in."

4. Ted Lilly, P, 30 - His full name is Theodore Roosevelt Lilly (really). He's a lock to be the best presidentially named pitcher since Grover Cleveland Alexander and Sandy Abraham Lincoln Koufax.

5. Andy Pettitte, P, 34 - You know what's weird? I've never seen him and Billy Zane in the same place at the same time. Actually, there's a lot of celebrities and major league pitchers that I haven't seen in the same place at the same time, so never mind, Pettitte and Zane probably are different human beings.

6. Gil Meche, P, 28 - His 4.65 career ERA is a bit of a turn off, but he did play on that Mariners team that won all those games in 2001, so maybe he has some cool stories or something.

7. Mike Piazza, C, 38 - Might move to the American League and finish his career as a DH, and no, the "H" doesn't stand for "homo," why did you even have to bring that up?

8. Ray Durham, 2B, 35 - A solid option for any fantasy baseball team whose second baseman gets injured; has already received offers from Nomar Mr. Nice Guy, CubzllStillsuck69, and Albert's Pooholes.

9. Mark Mulder, P, 29 - Until anyone can name any distinguishing feature about this human being, he'll probably have to settle for something in the $70 million for 5 years range.

10. Gary Matthews Jr, OF, 32 - A scrappy switch-hitting outfielder who plays solid defense; will probably fall in the $3.5 - $5 million range, making him an attractive option for any team willing to take the chance. Wait, what?