Friday, May 30, 2008

Another Reason to Hate the Seattle Mariners

They do not approve of reality TV lesbians.
Sirbrina Guerrero says she only gave her date a peck, but a mother sitting with her son complained to security and, as a result, they were told to stop or leave.

"We were eating garlic fries. The last thing we wanted to do was make out with each other. Honestly, that's what it was."

According to MTV's web site, Guerrero was also a contestant on the network's reality TV show "A Shot At Love 2 With Tila Tequila.
Just a terrible story all around really.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Worst Franchise in Sports


The Seattle Mariners are now the worst-run organization in sports. Congratulations to Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong, Bill Bavasi and John McLaren.

The New York Knicks, the reigning champions, have relinquished the crown. After years of mediocrity on the court it appears James Dolan has finally come to his sense. Isiah Thomas is no longer running the team or sexually harassing colleagues. Instead the recent hirings of former longtime Pacers GM Donnie Walsh and former Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni indicate a positive sign for Gotham basketball. The Knicks will probably still be bad but at least they're improving. The same cannot be said for the Mariners.

Bill Bavasi and John McLaren. I say this in all seriousness when I accuse this duo of being the most incompetent one-two GM-manager punch in all of sports. Bavasi has been in charge of both the Angels and Mariners. Despite running two high-revenue franchises that compete in a four-team division Bill has never had a team of his reach the playoffs. Zero postseason games in a decade. Hell, even Isiah led the Knicks to the playoffs during his heinous reign. As for McLaren, I've discussed his in-game incompetence multiple times here. While John has not been blessed with the greatest roster (thanks Bill!), McLaren has failed on so many levels to put his team in a position to win. Batting Jose Vidro third, starting Miguel Cairo, putting Raul Ibanez in left field, giving Richie Sexson ample opportunities at the plate... all of these moves chip away at the notion that McLaren is a smart manager. Soon the evidence comes crashing down and the M's are left to pick up the pieces.

Just how bad has Seattle been in recent years? The numbers speak for themselves.

Mariners
(year, payroll, record, division standing)
2008 , $117,666,482 , 18-33 , 4th place
2007 , $106,460,833 , 88-74 , 2nd place
2006 , $87,959,833 , 78-84 , 4th place
2005 , $87,754,334 , 69-93 , 4th place
2004 , $81,515,834 , 63-99 , 4th place

Knicks
2007-08 , $88,877,161 , 23-59 , 5th place
2006-07 , $81,672,615 , 33-49 , 4th place
2005-06 , $92,904,104 , 23-59 , 5th place
2004-05 , $94,067,539 , 33-49 , 4th place
2003-04 , $84,523,891 , 39-43 , 3rd place (1st round)

Assuming Seattle finishes last in the AL West again this season that'll make it the fourth time in five years the Mariners have been cellar dwellers in their division. Even the lowly Knicks couldn't replicate that dismal milestone. One wonders the amount of national scorn the M's would receive if they played in Los Angeles or New York.

There's no reason Seattle should not be successful and competitive. It's a big market team that owns a monopoly on professional baseball. The closest MLB franchise is 800 miles away. The M's have every resource to acquire good players and quality personnel. But until Lincoln and Armstrong step down or let smart baseball people be in charge of baseball decisions the Seattle Mariners will continue to be two steps behind the curve.

Get a clue guys. Or keep hemorrhaging money and losing games.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Losing the SuperSonics Hurts Basketball, Funny Bone

While I'm busy lamenting one Seattle sports franchise -- the one tied with the San Diego Padres for the worst record in baseball -- another will soon be leaving the city for good.

It appears increasingly likely that despite lawsuits filed by the city as well as former owner Howard Schultz the Seattle SuperSonics will bolt for Oklahoma City. Never mind the NBA losing a tremendous franchise with a rich history and a championship banner. What we're really losing is awesomeness like this:



Damn you Clay Bennett.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not a Good Time to Root for a Certain Baseball Team Situated in the Northwest

Your team has the worst record in the AL.
Your best prospect has been demoted the minors.
Your most talented prospect has been suspended indefinitely.

Seattle Mariners, this is your life!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Number Two Is All Big Brown

Big Brown cruised to an easy win at the Preakness, thus completing the second leg of the Triple Crown. Hopefully the horse doesn't crap out at the Belmont Stakes.

Another Question

The critical Game7 Western Conference Semifinal between the New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs will be played Monday.

Why?

Game 6 was played on Thursday, meaning the deciding contest will come a full four days later. Typically during the playoffs there is a day off between games if they are both played in the same city and two days off if the games are played in different arenas (giving players an extra travel day). Three days in between games has been a recent trend by the NBA, which has unfortunately stretched the playoffs into mid-June. Four games, however, I believe is a first.

David Stern believes stretching out the playoffs gives the games maximum TV exposure. That may or may not be true; the increased ratings this year are mostly the byproduct of several exciting matchups, some which went to the maximum seven games. What is true, however, is the time between games blunts the excitement for the fans. Giving NBA followers four days until the penultimate "Game 7" won't give them more time to discuss and analysis the upcoming game; it'll give them four days to get distracted by other things happening in their lives.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Question

Joey Crawford is officiating tonight's pivotal Game 5 Western Conference Semifinals between the New Orleans Hornets and San Antonio Spurs.

Why?

Crawford was suspended late last season after threatening Spurs superstar Tim Duncan to a fight. One wonders if NBA Commissioner David Stern really cares about whether a fair game is called or not. He quickly cleaned up the Tim Donaghy scandal to avoid a PR fallout, but other than that incident the league has done very little to ensure consistent and high-quality officiating. Already during these playoffs the Pistons were beneficiaries of a three-pointer that shouldn't have counted in what ended up being a close game.

And Crawford just handed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich a technical foul. Whether that call was completely deserved or out of spite, fans shouldn't even have an option to consider. Crawford should not be refereeing Spurs games only a year after his outburst.

The NBA: where a really long postseason marred by officiating controversies happens.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

R.I.P. 2008 Seattle Mariners


The latest rendition of Emerald City baseball died tonight. Or at least its playoff hopes died. Not that it wasn't already on life support. Fans and the media had high expectations for a team coming off a 88-win campaign. Once it stumbled out of the gate things quickly fell apart. The front office has already given manager John McLaren the dreaded vote of confidence. Attendance is dwindling. It's only early May but Seattle sits in the AL West cellar at 14-22, a full eight games behind the Angels. Tonight's familiar dreadful non-showing on offense (second straight shutout, 7th time to score two or less runs in eight games) and a pathetic "fight" to boot were the straws that mercifully broke Seattle's back.

In order to win 90 games this season (for all intents and purposes the bare minimum to win a divisional title in most years) Seattle will have to play .600 baseball the rest of the schedule. It's not going to happen to such a dysfunctional and untalented team as this one so no use hoping for the unlikely. Better to cut ties now and keep the goodbyes as painless as possible.

Adieu 2008 Seattle Mariners. You came, you saw, you couldn't hit with men in scoring position.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Chinese Defense Like Swiss Cheese

We last visited Yi Jianlan's mini milk movie last December, where the emphasis was more on invisible violins and unspoken lesbian allegiances rather than the actual level of play. And on closer inspection... Chinese basketball is in trouble.

The People's Republic has high hopes for its hoops squad, but with Yao Ming possibly missing the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing due to a foot injury defense will need to be a priority. And the Chinese have much work to do.


Playing man-to-man defense when the guard is at least half a foot shorter than the ballhandler is terrible strategy. Jianlan, with the obvious physical advantage, has the option either to shoot over the defender or...


...take it to the hole! Nice defense. What is he trying to block anyway? Kobe, LeBron & Co. will dominate in Beijing unless the Chinese are willing to step up their game.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Move Over Battle at Kruger

There's a new coolest YouTube ever. Introducing Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden. Perhaps the greatest video game anything in the history of the universe.

From the developer:

The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041, a day so painful to some that it is referred to only as the "B-Ballnacht". Thousands upon thousands of the world's greatest ballers were massacred in a swath of violence and sports bigotry as the game was outlawed worldwide. The reason: the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order. Among the few ballers and fans that survived the basketball genocide was Charles Barkley, the man capable of performing the "Verboten Jam"...

Flash forward 12 years to the post-cyberpocalyptic ruins of Neo New York, 2053. A Chaos Dunk rocks the island of Manhattan, killing 15 million. When the finger is put on the aging Charles Barkley, he must evade the capture of the B-Ball Removal Department, led by former friend and baller Michael Jordan, and disappear into the dangerous underground of the post-cyberpocalypse to clear his name and find out the mysterious truth behind the Chaos Dunk. Joined by allies along the way, including his son Hoopz, Barkley must face the dangers of a life he thought he gave up a long time ago and discover the secrets behind the terrorist organization B.L.O.O.D.M.O.S.E.S.
Is there anything else left to say?