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Monday, June 23, 2008

Not Just About UFC and Video Games!

My recent absences from this site due mostly to work, girlfriend, busy schedule, etc. have resulted in far fewer discussions of the Best Team in Baseball and Iggins! subsequent return to this place has lead to the posting of articles about UFC, of all things. Now, I enjoy the brutal beating of a man as much as the next guy, if not more so. But really conjecture about a fighting league is both pointless and boring in my book. Nothing really matters until two guys step into the ring and box each other out. I really don't give a shit if some company maybe will possibly if everything potentially goes well soon start making T-Shirts for a motley assortment of Slavic and Latino cage fighters. With that said, at least the boy adds a different Perspective to this place. Anywho, on to baseball:

- God Fucking Damn the White Sox. Somehow a team that really is nothing more than a middle of the pack talent level team that's barely keeping a 1 1/2 game lead in the shittiest division in baseball wanders into Wrigley Field, trashes the Cub's stadium, players, and World Series drought (yeah, its a 100 years, but before 2005 you went 88 fucking years. Let's not point fucking fingers), gets its ass handed to it on a silver platter and still walks away unrepentant and lead by a gigantic douche.

-God Damn Joe Morgan. One more comment about Banks Boulevard and I will personally hunt you down and cast your body into a place that will soon be called "Bloody Joe's Ravine".

-God Damn the cliff jumpers who let the first three game losing streak of the season and a mild, two start injury to Carlos Zambrano make them utter such heresy as the phrases "cursed" or "Cubbie occurence." Get over it and check the standings people. Take a deep breath, then jump off anyways. I really could care less.

-Iggins! and I both work at a PGA Golf Course, and our pro tournament is July 7-13, so don't expect to hear much out of our overworked, irritable, miserable asses.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Madden Ratings!

The Madden 09 Ratings for the Chicago Bears are as follows:

madden 09 cover


Rex Grossman-79 overall-(95 throw power, 84 throw accuracy)

Kyle Orton-76 overall-


Matt Forte-80 overall- (92 speed, 90 strength, 90 agility, 90 trucking)

Adrian Peterson-78 overall-


Marty Booker-82 overall-

Devin Hester-81 overall-(100 speed, 99 acceleration)

Earl Bennett-79 overall-

Brandon Lloyd-73 overall-


Olin Kreutz-93 overall-


Roberto Garza-85 overall-


John Tait-85 overall-

Chris Williams-79 overall-


Desmond Clark-86 overall-

Greg Olsen-85 overall-


Brian Urlacher-98 overall-


Lance Briggs-95 overall-

Hunter Hillenmeyer-79 overall-


Tommie Harris-96 overall-

Dusty Dvoracek-79 overall-


Adewale Ogunleye-89 overall-

Alex Brown-85 overall-

Mark Anderson-84 overall-

Dan Bazuin-76 overall-


Nathan Vasher-91 overall-

Charles Tillman-91 overall-

Danieal Manning-78 overall-

Ricky Manning Jr.-76 overall-


Mike Brown-87 overall-


Brandon McGowan-83 overall-

Craig Steltz-73 overall-


Robbie Gould-93 overall- (92 kick power, 96 kick accuracy)


Brad Maynard-82 overall-

So, essentially, we have a great defense, Devin Hester, and not much else.


-Matt Forte is rated an 80 which is above my expectations.
-Craig Steltz is rated a full 10 points under Brandon McGowan.
-Speaking of whom, Brandon McGowan is an 83?! That may be a bit... high.
-G-Reg is still rated below Dez... even if it IS only by one point.
-Who the fuck is our other guard...?

Also, the "big" UFC announcement fell through; it was supposed to be that MSG would host some UFC events, but the NY legislature didn't pass it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

UFC Update, or UFCvania: [Insert Noun] of [Insert Adjective]

-Dana White has been a good man/owner of the most purely badass organization on the planet and debunked some of the rumors that have been swirling about his big announcement on Thursday. HE WILL NOT ANNOUNCE:

- That Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be joining the UFC
- That the UFC has partnered with the WWE
- That Fox or ABC have signed TV deals with the UFC

so, if we are keeping track, three of the four rumors I posted are still on the board. And whoever thought those first two things were a possibility is either under 7 years old or is a dumbass. REMEMBER, still a possibility:

- Anderson Silva to Light Heavyweight
- Affliction has been absorbed by the UFC, and with it Fedor Emelianenko.
- Nike/Adidas has signed on to make official UFC gear.

dana white
"Bitch, I've whipped up media frenzies in less time. Kiss the ring."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Trails, until we meet again.

Two Chicago Bears are out of a job today, one because he's a piece of shit and one because he finally had it with his back and shitty quarterbacks.


Cedric Benson has been released! This means many things, 1) The Bears might have a good run game now, 2) ANOTHER Bear RB drafted in the first round has officially been a major bust, and 3) I can officially hate Cedric Benson full-on.

I remember when we drafted Benson with the fourth pick overall. We already had Thomas Jones, and we needed players at several other positions, namely linebacker and wide receiver, (We didn't know Lance Briggs was so good back then) but Angelo decided to pull the "best available player" pick instead. As I have always done with Jerry Angelo decisions I yelled "WHAT THE FUCK?" at the TV and bitched about it for the rest of the day. Oftentimes I come to regret ever doubting Mr. Angelo.

Not this time.

The first thing Benson did as a Bear was cry on national television. That did nothing to alleviate my blood-boiling rage. Then he decided to hold out of training camp for more money. In retrospect this seems like a good decision for Benson, because he obviously won't be able to play his way to more money. After his little holdout he was so woefully incompetent (and Thomas Jones looked so good) that he barely got any playing time. When he finally showed improvement he got injured. (Remind you of someone?)

Next season he was supposed to emerge as a standout running back. He had a full training camp under his belt. Then he got injured in practice. PRACTICE. We talkin bout PRACTICE. NOT A GAME. Practice. So TJ was once again the starter heading into the season.

For the majority of the glorious (sometimes) 2006 Super Bowl season Benson shared carries with Thomas Jones and the Bears made it all the way to the Super Bowl, and with Benson finally looking like he was becoming a good RB, he got injured again. IN THE FUCKING SUPER BOWL.
I don't need to tell you what happened in that game.

The next season Benson looked like shit, and his attitude didn't help him with the fans. His stupid glazed-over expression made it seem like he didn't care about football or the Bears, and it is very likely he didn't. He got injured AGAIN, and recently was arrested twice in a month for alcohol related offenses. He was cut today by the Bears, making room for Matt "The Juggernaut" Forte. Good riddance.

The better news (in a way) was that Marcus Robinson retired as a Bear today.


I remember very few players as fondly as I remember Marcus Robinson. He was the only good receiver on the team when the menage-a-trois of Shane Mathews, Jim Miller, and Cade McNown were busy fucking the team and not each-other. If you can remember a fantastic catch made between 1998 and 2002 it was probably Marcus, and if you doubt it was fantastic just remember that he managed to catch Cade McNown passes. Cade fucking McNown. Back problems would haunt him for much of the later parts of his career as he was bounced around NFC North teams and the Ravens, but I choose to remember him as the great wide receiver he was as a youngin'. Adios, Brah.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

UFC: It's more interesting than you.


Ahhhhh, back again, and with much love and commentary on the UFC and the MMA world in general, my children. I could give you an essay on why MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a legitimate sport that belongs on network TV (something that, among others, Blog-hater Tony Kornheiser has questioned) but instead I will simply say this: if you like boxing and for some reason you have rationalized the idea that boxing is higher on the intellectual spectrum than the UFC: you are a moron. Tony's explanation was that "You can win a boxing match by being a better boxer, and in MMA you can't do that, you just have to beat the hell out of the other guy."


Okay Tony. So somehow you can prove you are a better boxer without throwing a punch? Or maybe you're saying that boxers can fight with their minds. Honestly, it sounds like Kornheiser isn't even aware that there are judges decisions in MMA. Or that the participants fight for substantially less time than boxers. Or that there have been more boxing related deaths than MMA related deaths. Or that just walking into the octagon with a strategy of "punch and kick opponent" will get you beaten like a naughty puppet. Honestly, Tony, watch a fucking match before you open your mouth.

tony kornheiser
Disregarding logic and making money for it since 1948

ON TO MMA NEWS: Elite XC on CBS was awful. The first two fights looked like 12 year old school fights, the women's match looked like rock 'em sock 'em robots (They knew three moves each: Carano used a straight kick, a left hook, and a right jab, and her opponent used a high kick and two jabs), the best fighter (maybe the ONLY good fighter in Elite XC) Robbie Lawler seemed so frightened by the crowd and the TV viewers that he refused to take the fight to the ground and managed to almost get beaten before the first (and not last) very suspicious stoppage gave him the win, and Kimbo Slice looked absolutely heinous before the referee (with a fat stack of $100 bills in his pocket) stopped the fight. I hope the people who watched heard the announcers (and the rest of the media) saying how the UFC had much better fighters and fights, because this event left such a bad taste in my mouth I vomited like I was possessed by Satan.

exorcist girl
That corn beef did not sit well with the Lord of Darkness

Matt Hughes is old and it showed yesterday at UFC 85. He also looked bored, like he didn't really have any interest in fighting Thiago, mainly because the only person he wants to beat up on the planet right now is Matt Serra. Not to take anything away from Thiago Alves, but Matt Hughes looked just like Chuck Liddell did versus Keith Jardine: he just didn't care.

Rumors are fun, and there is a big, juicy, prime rib rumor floating around on the internet, courtesy of Dana White, the outspoken(almost to a fault) president of the UFC. ZE QUOTE!:

“There’s something no one else has heard. You have no idea some of the stuff that we have planned. I’m going to make an announcement next week that is going to blow people’s minds. That deal is done, but my employees don’t even know yet. I’m renting out a place next Thursday and I’m going to tell them. Then we’ll make the announcement later that day. It’s an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years.”

if that doesn't generate excitement in a very Dana-like way then perhaps you need to lay off the weed, Snoop. In other places in the rumor he already said that Chuck Liddell (#3 Light Heavyweight in the will fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (#2 Light Heavyweight in the in Atlanta at UFC 88, and that multiple big announcements will be made. The most agreed upon rumors out there (however much you want to trust them) are:


1-- The UFC has signed a deal to air their events on either ABC/ESPN/Cthulucorp OR Fox. This would make sense if the thing he said about the announcement being -"an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years.”- is true.

2-- Anderson "The Spider" Silva is moving to the Light Heavyweight division. This has been almost confirmed, and considering the lack of talent in the middleweight division right now it wouldn't be any surprise. Of course, when you're the best fighter on the planet (and the fusion of Bruce Lee, Tony Jaa, a velociraptor, and a tornado) it's always gonna be hard to find good competition.

3-- Affliction's new promotion and with it, the #1 Heavyweight in the world and current holder of a 23 match win streak, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko, has signed a deal to co-promote and share fighters with the UFC (which more than likely means Affliction will be consumed by the UFC and will become a major advertising partner. Think every fighter gets a shirt.) and that the UFC is bringing back weight class-tournaments. Personally, I've been clamoring for tournaments to make a comeback for years and I would love to see this happen. Also, as an owner of 13 Affliction shirts, I'd love to see 'em connected to the UFC once again.

4-- Nike/Adidas has signed on to make official UFC gear, including designing "jerseys" for UFC fighters. This is the least founded and mostfar-stretched rumor, especially if the above rumor is true, but it is a possibility.

As to the validity of these rumors, you can take 'em or leave 'em. If any of these things happen,I'll be happy. If more than two of these things happen I'll need a clean change of underwear. Stay tuned and check out on June 12th to see what happens.

PREDICTIONS for what's next in the UFC:

- The winner of the UFC 86 fight between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Forrest Griffin will fight the winner of a UFC 88 matchup between Chuck Liddell and Mauricio Rua. Too many good storylines here for it to be otherwise.

-Anderson Silva's first Light Heavyweight fight will be against either Wanderlei Silva or Lyoto Machida and if he wins that his next fight will be a title shot.

-Georges St. Pierre will win his next three matches over Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and B.J. Penn in order.

-Brock Lesnar will show his determination by shocking a cocky Heath Herring at UFC 87.

Expect more from Myself and Red for a good long time. No school+hard labor=unwinding by ranting on the interwebs.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dusty Baker- Lover of Boys.

This just can't wait till Monday. I know very well that hilariously critiquing the stupid fluff pieces the media writes is more of a job for HJE, and they do it better than anyone in the business, but please, just please, let us take a look at this ESPN shlop about Our Man Dusty.

"Baker sold on Reds' youthful transition"

Already this looks promising. How many sentences till a Hank Aaron reference?

"If we've learned anything new about Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker in April and May, it's that the man has a flair for child care.

For years, Baker has been characterized as no fan of young players -- a perception that would suggest he's intolerant of mistakes, impatient with growing pains and unwilling to endure the inevitable hiccups that the maturation process brings.

Jim Leyland craves nicotine. Tony La Russa is autocratic. Lou Piniella is a walking Vesuvius. And Dusty Baker, when he's not subjecting young pitchers to overly onerous workloads, is supposedly a "veteran's guy."

Haha. Jim Leyland is the manager who smokes! That must be why his team is losing! Tony La Russa is a Russian Czar? Oh that Lou Piniella, he's angry! Grr! Note the furrowed brow! Furrowed because he's angry!

Seriously, I know we all have fun with the Fiery Lou Piniella jokes, but has anyone noticed how jovial the man is this year? You know, because he's in first, something Leyland, LaRussa, and especially Dusty, can't relate to?

"Not true, claims Baker, who insists this bogus notion was concocted by a San Francisco radio critic -- the same guy who was fired for saying that former Giants manager Felipe Alou had Cream of Wheat for brains. Baker calls the rap against him "asinine," along with an eight-letter word that begins with "bull."

"When I came up to the big leagues, I had Hank Aaron not only telling me what to do, but showing me what to do, and that was a blessing," Baker said. "I always yearned for a team full of young kids so I could teach them how to play."

The answer to the question above? Nine. Nine sentences. How often do you think Dusty Yearns for young kids? What would you teach them Dusty? The plate discipline you hammered into Korey's head? The composure you instilled into Mark Prior during Game 7? The importance of setting your feet and not rushing throws that you apparently skipped over in regards to teaching Ronny Cedeno? A complete and total ignorance of the importance of on-base percentage? How chewing a good toothpick can remove you from the responsibility of having to pay attention to your team's pathetic on-field performance?

"In a roundabout and constantly evolving fashion, Baker got his wish. Two months into the Reds' 2008 season, class is in session.

As Ken Griffey Jr.'s 600-homer watch drags on ad infinitum and Cincinnati muddles along in fifth place in the National League Central, the team's warts are readily apparent. The Reds are tied for third in the league in homers but rank 10th in runs scored. They're also 14th in fielding percentage, 12th in starting pitchers' ERA, and 10-22 on the road."

What in Gods name does a roundabout and constantly evolving fashion mean?? The guy supposedly yearned for a team of young kids. Two months into the season, they're called up. What exactly do you mean by roundabout? Do you mean how Dusty Baker actually wanted nothing to do with the bevy of young talent this team had and left Bruce and Bailey to rot in the minors while he gave Korey (.193 avg.) two months in the lead off spot, kept Josh Fogg (9.85 ERA) in the rotation, and even when you decided to go the minors for outfield help the first time, called up Jerry Hairston? If by roundabout you mean "there's no way Dusty wanted this to happen, but after two months of suck from his guys was forced to accept them in a roundabout way" then yeah, I guess so. But then that negates the whole thesis there, doesn't it? Also, thanks for listing off all the ways that the Reds suck. That truly does give the impression of a class taught by Dusty Baker. Also, whats with the dig at Ken Griffey Jr.'s home run pace? He's got 6 homers, which ranks him tied for 23 out of 72 qualified outfielders. How dare a 39 year old guaranteed Hall of Famer with 599 career homers stretch his quest for 7 home runs on the season into the first week of June. That slothful son-of-a-bitch.

"Still, the fits and starts are easier to take because of the glimpses of the future that were on display during a four-game series in Philadelphia this week:

Joey Votto, who staked a full-time claim to the first-base job when the Reds released Scott Hatteberg, broke up a Brett Myers no-hitter in the seventh inning and drove in two runs in Cincinnati's only victory in the series Wednesday. Votto's .875 OPS is second to Cubs catcher Geovany Soto's among major league rookies.

• Starter Edinson Volquez, acquired from Texas in a December trade for outfielder Josh Hamilton, looks like an All-Star Game lock with his 8-2 record and 1.32 ERA. Volquez is the first pitcher since Al Benton of the 1945 Detroit Tigers to allow two or fewer runs in his first 12 starts in a season.

• Former No. 1 draft pick Homer Bailey returned from the minors Thursday and threw a quality start in a 5-0 loss.

• Second baseman Brandon Phillips went 2-for-15 against the Phillies, but he stole two bases and is on pace for his second straight 30-homer, 30-steal season.

• Rookie sensation Jay Bruce is hitting .432 despite back-to-back oh-fers against Myers and Cole Hamels. Even as people anoint him as the second coming, Bruce gushes over the privilege of playing alongside Griffey."

I'm just gonna hit this point by point if this bastard wants to give Dusty credit for all of this.

- Votto. Baker went with Hatteberg as the Opening Day starter and probably wanted nothing more than for Votto to flounder so he could go with veteran experience, Brah. Early in spring training Baker criticized Votto, who had a .385 career OBP in the minors to go along with a .861 OPS, for not swinging enough. I mean if you have a kid who actually shows plate discipline in the minors and in his 24 game call-up last year (.321/4/17/.360/.548), that's practically a ready-made major leaguer, you might as well fuck with his whole approach, right? That's just a sound educational practice.

-Volquez. I won't deny the kid's been lights out this year, but the criticism of Baker and young pitchers hasn't been his reluctance to play them, but his overuse of their arms, and in 9 of his 12 starts Volquez, whose young arm has never been subjected to more than 144 innings in a single season, has thrown at least 100 pitches or more, and recently Baker used the young righty for 39 pitches in relief during an extra inning game, less than two full days after his last start, in which he'd thrown 92 pitches. Tender, loving care from Headmaster Baker.

-Homer Bailey. You mean the Homer Bailey who was inexplicably left in the minors due to "seasoning" reasons, while similarly untested rookies Volquez and Johnny Cueto were handed rotation spots, and while veterans Fogg (9.85 ERA), Bronson Arroyo (5.61 ERA), and Matt Belisle (7.28 ERA) were all tried for two months before Bailey was called up? Nice job on the quality start though, Homer, we were all impressed by your 1:4 Strikeout to Walk Ratio.

-Brandon Phillips. I'm sorry, is Dusty Baker seriously being given credit for playing Brandon Phillips? The guy who made his major league debut in 2002? Who has been entrenched as the Reds starter at 2nd base since 2006? Who hit 30 homers last year? Even Dusty couldn't justify Not playing the guy. I didn't realize 27 year olds who've already been forsaken by two other organizations and now qualify as veterans on MLB's own arbitration schedule could be considered young players in need of Dusty's nurturing hand. In that case maybe we can shuck the responsibility for his mediocre.328 OBP on Dusty as well.

- Jay Bruce. The Crux of the matter. Yeah the kid's a stud, something Baseball America, Sports Illustrated, the entire Reds fan base, and everyone But Dusty Baker knew. Dusty was the one that played Korey Patterson in Bruce's place for two months while Bruce posted a 1.023 OPS in AAA. As a matter of fact Bruce's slugging percentage in the minors (.630) was higher than Korey's OPS in the majors (.573), but we're supposed to believe Dusty was Yearning to have Bruce on his team? Do you think that the GM or anybody in the Reds organization would have hesitated to bring Bruce up if Dusty had so much as hinted that he wanted that to happen? Or was Dusty leaving Korey in the lead off spot for 28 games to force the front office's hand? Does Anybody believe that?? Also, I really don't want to hear anymore news involving Bruce gushing alongside Griffey.

-Also, lets mention something this article of shining praise toward the Reds young talent glosses over. Remember the Unhittable Johnny Cueto? Why wasn't he mentioned? Could it be his 5.11 ERA? Are we supposed to hand Dusty credit for the Dead Ball Era statistics of Volquez and blame Cueto's struggles on himself? That, sir, shall not pass.

""It's surreal," Bruce said. "Like I've been telling people, there's only one Ken Griffey Jr. There's never going to be anyone who takes his place or steals spotlights from him. It's a pleasure and an honor to play on the same team with him and watch him approach history."

After seven straight losing seasons, the Reds are reaping the benefits of a farm system that has vaulted from 29th to third place in the Baseball America talent rankings. Former general manager Wayne Krivsky, who was fired in April and replaced by Walt Jocketty, did his part to ensure continuity with several astute moves.

True, Krivsky gave out some bad smaller contracts to the likes of Corey Patterson, Mike Stanton and Juan Castro. But he also picked up Phillips, shortstop Jeff Keppinger and reliever Jared Burton for next to nothing, and he acquired Hamilton in the Rule 5 draft and spun him into a deal for Volquez."

Ok. The farm system is solid. Wayne Krivsky did a fine job building it and was handsomely rewarded with his walking papers because the organization threw itself at Walt Jocketty's feet. But lets not blame him for the Corey signing. Patterson was a free agent all fucking winter with Zero suitors, and the Reds had no interest in him. Patterson was signed by the Reds midway through spring training once Dusty had decided he wasn't going to let the young Bruce start the season. So if we're justifying Krivsky's firing based on Dusty's stupidity, well, that too contradicts the point of this article. Then again, Krivsky hired Dusty, so he deserved it.

"Even the trade for which Krivsky was most vilified -- Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to Washington for bullpen help -- is looking much better in hindsight. Lefty Bill Bray has pitched well in relief, and starter Daryl Thompson, 5-2 with a 1.55 ERA in the minors, could be on the verge of joining Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Bailey as youthful sidekicks to Aaron Harang in the rotation.

If you think Baker was oblivious to the surplus of young talent when he signed a three-year deal in October, guess again.

"Heck yeah, that was one of the things that sold me," Baker said. "It was one of the things that sold me [with the Cubs]. Before I go someplace, I ask somebody to research for me what they got coming."

That's right, before Dusty Baker commits to something, he rolls up those arm bands, sets his nose to the grindstone and....has somebody else look stuff up for him. All that reading is hard, Dude. You think Hank Aaron got to the majors looking up stats and stuff?

"For those who suggest he's anti-youth, Baker points out that he has run a baseball school in California the past 25 years and has a 9-year-old son, Darren, scampering around the house. Though Baker's teams in San Francisco generally were veteran-oriented, he'd find a place for a Royce Clayton here and a Marvin Benard or Darren Lewis there if they were ready to contribute. He did the same in Chicago for Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno."

What the hell does Darren Baker have to do with playing young players? Is Dusty gonna throw him out in center? Jesus Christ. Thats just... I can't even justify a response to that. Also, are you using Royce Clayton, Marvin Benard, and Darren Lewis in DEFENSE of Dusty? And yeah, we remember how he found a place for Matt Murton. Remember 2005 when our outfield was a total shit hole thanks to Corey's .212 average and the parade of suck in left that was Jason Dubois, Todd Hollandsworth, Jody Gerut, and Matt Lawton, while Murton was hitting .335? Remember how Dusty sent Murton down to Iowa? Apparently the place Dusty found for him was a hotel in Des Moines.

"Watch all the kids and how they gravitate toward me," Baker said. "The people I get along best with, honestly, are elderly people and young people. The people that don't like me most of the time are people my own age, because I don't think like them."

So Dusty gets along best with senile old people and kids? Because he thinks more like them? Why am I not surprised.

Baker calls everybody "dude" by force of habit, wears wristbands to wipe the sweat off his forehead (not because he's still clinging to his playing days) and chews his trademark toothpick because it keeps him off tobacco. He's open to new ideas in his reading, well-versed in his music and eternally progressive at age 58.

"Dusty can be a military sergeant at times, but he's about as cool and as hip as you're ever going to find in a manager," said Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo. "This guy is out at the jazz clubs and he knows all the hot spots in town. In his mind he's still 21. He's fun because he can relate to the things that he knows guys want to do on and off the field."

I'll let you decide whether being called Hip by Bronson Arroyo is legitimate praise. Also, there is nothing surprising in Dusty spending his nights out clubbing. No wonder he never cracked down on Corey or Farnsworth for doing the same thing. We like our managers to spend the night like Lou does. With a bottle of scotch and a lineup card.

"There's a special challenge, of course, in managing a club in transition. The Reds still have 11 potential free agents on the roster, and that makes it tougher for Baker to sell the concept of team over individual accomplishments."

At 28-32, I'd say he's not making the sale.

I'll skip to the last paragraph of this article since the next three paragraphs of an article about the team's youth movement are inexplicably about re-signing Griffey or Adam Dunn.

"As Griffey prepares to depart -- and Dunn ponders the possibility -- Baker can take solace in the presence of Bruce, Volquez and other talented young players who are ready to take their places. Cincinnati's bridge to nowhere has been replaced by a bridge to the future, and Uncle Dusty is perfectly at home in his role as project foreman."

Uncle Dusty? Isn't there some kind of taboo regarding calling African-Americans Uncle? I don't understand the premise of this paragraph? The bridge was always there. Krivsky built the fucking bridge. The bridge to the future is always a bridge to the future. Now that those players are ready for the majors that doesn't mean that the bridge just suddenly appeared. Dusty Baker had nothing to do with this!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Your SKO Random Third Baseman of the Day: Len Randle

Before I begin with the Len Randle profile, a few comments-

-38-21 is fantastic, though if this team could just tack on 3 more wins to get this baby to 20 games over .500 in June, that would be tits.

-Idaho sucks, and it does not carry Cubs games, anywhere.

- If anyone in this bullpen not named Wood or Marmol were to step up and make an out, shirtless hugs could be picked up at the Start Kyle Orton Headquarters.

- Sweep Time, though it saddens me that if it is to occur, it must be at Mad Dog's expense.

Anywho, onto the only reason people come here during baseball season-

Name: Len Randle
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Ht: 5'10'' Wt: 169
Years as a Cub: 1980

He made sure to sign on the side to leave as much of his glorious physique as visible as possible

Back in the early 1970s Len Randle was a promising young prospect for the Texas Rangers as a speedy lead-off hitter and second baseman, but was then traded to the Mets in 1977 after punching the Rangers manager during a fight in spring training. In 1980, after much of Randle's speed had disappeared and he had worn out his stays with the Mets, and Yankees Randle was signed by the Cubs to play third base, a position he had played at various stretches in his career, but did not play a single inning at in 1979.

Randle was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners on April 1, 1980 to back up incumbent third baseman Steve Ontiveros, but when the latter struggled to a .208 average, Randle was made the starter and Ontiveros was eventually released. Randle eventually appeared in 130 games for the Cubs in 1980, and made 110 appearances at third base in that time. Randle spent the first two months of the season as the Cubs primary leadoff hitter, and spent 47 total games in the number one spot, where he posted a mediocre .269/3/17/.344/.378 line in the 1 spot. Overall in 1980 Randle hit .276 with 5 hrs, 39 RBIs, a .343 OBP, and a .370 Slug. %., and made 23 errors at third base, resulting in a below average .922 fielding percentage and his eventual benching in favor of Steve Dillard. The Cubs that season slumped their way to 68-94 record. The disappointing season led to the dismissal of manager Preston Gomez and an overhaul of the team that would eventually culminate in the 1984 NL East champion team.

As for Randle himself, he was
granted free agency following the 1980 season and retired after the 1982 season. After retirement he played in both the Italian 1A league, where he lead the league with a .477 average, and in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989 and 1990, before the league folded.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Your SKO Random Third Baseman of the Day: Miguel Cairo

Name: Miguel Jesus Cairo
Ht:6'0'' Wt:160
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Years As a Cub: 1997, 2001

He thought it was funny, too.

If you've forgotten that Miguel Cairo was ever a Chicago Cub, well, congratulations to you.
The no-stick, no-glove utility player actually made two stops on the North Side, once during the miserable 1997 season and again in a much larger role during the 2001 season, a season which ultimately brought pain to Cubs fans after a hope-filled season that saw the Cubs in first place from April through July before an August slump led to a third place finish. Despite a .328/64 hr/160 RBI season from Sammy Sosa, that season will forever be indelibly linked with the Miguel Cairo Era for most Cubs fans.

Cairo was picked up by the Cubs before the 2001 season in a trade with the Oakland A's in which the Cubs gave up prospect Eric Hinske. Hinske, a third baseman as well, would go on to win the 2002 Rookie of the Year Award and has posted exactly one good half season in his 7 major league years, making him a productive player for exactly one more half season than Miguel Cairo has ever been.

Most people don't really know where my loathing of Miguel Cairo comes from. The fact that the majority of his career has been spent in Yankee, Cardinal, or Met uniforms is a likely reason, or the fact that his existence on the bench in 2001 forced Cubs fans to pray every day that Don Baylor would start Ron Coomer instead, and I am profoundly against anything that makes me pine for Ron Fucking Coomer. In all actuality Miguel posted an above career average season as a Cub offensively ( .285/2 hr/9 RBI/.364 OBP/.374 SLUG) all of which were above his career norms. Defensively, at least in his 40 games at third, he was miserable, with 5 errors and a terrible .900 fielding %, but that also is not my true reason for praying for his death via flesh-eating bacteria.

My true reason for hating Miguel Cairo is that for some reason his release by the Cubs, and subsequent pick-up by the Cardinals, made him the f*&king catalyst for the Cubs fall from 1st place and the Cardinals rise past the Cubs to the NL Wild Card. On August 10, the day Cairo was claimed off of waivers from the Cubs by the Cardinals, Chicago was in 1st place at 66-48, while the 59-55 Cardinals were 7.0 games back and lost in the middle of the playoff picture. After the Cards took Cairo (who hit .333 with St. Louis), the Cubs went 22-26 to finish 88-74 and out of the playoffs. The Cardinals got blisteringly hot, and went on a 34-14 run to finish 93-69, tied with Houston for the Central Division lead, and earned a Wild Card berth.

How Miguel Cairo of all people managed to so drastically change the fates of two teams, two epic rivals, I don't know. All I know is I hate that blasted troll with every fiber of my being.

Cairo went on to play with the Cardinals, Mets, and Yankees, and is currently a member of the Seattle Mariners, where his .208 average is the talk of the American League.

Seriously, Miguel Cairo? How the f*&k did that happen?