Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Running Collection Of DJ Steve Porter NFL Remixes From ESPN

Whatever ESPN is paying Skip Bayless it should instead reward DJ Steve Porter for his amazing Auto-Tune remixes.

Props to sportsremixes for uploading these videos:

Tebow Magic

Philly Dream Team


Can't Wait To Play (Patriots vs. Jets)

2011 NFL Offseason Review

Friday, December 09, 2011

Chris Paul Got Bojangled By The NBA

What David Stern did last night was unethical. When the commissioner blocks a trade that would send arguably the best point guard in the game to the most glamorous team in the league due to the transaction not fulfilling "the best interests of the game" something is horribly wrong.

Bill Simmons hits all the rights notes in his latest Grantland column about why this power move feels so wrong. This blockade smacks of NBA owners, who collectively own the New Orleans Hornets, imposing their wills on Stern. They whined to get what they wanted from the lockout and now they whine and win again. It sets a unfair precedent the likes of which sports fans haven't seen since the arcane days of pre-free agency baseball when players were essentially treated like property.

New Orleans GM Dell Demps was supposedly "disconsolate" following last night's cancellation. Who could blame him? Demps is working in a no-win situation yet still managed to orchestrate a blockbuster deal that would have maximized a return on Chris Paul. It got leaked that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, perhaps the whiniest and most shameful of all the NBA owners (and that's saying something), wrote Stern an email pleading with him to not let the trade go through. Gilbert wishes he had a GM with the foresight to trade a NBA superstar before he flees your mediocre franchise.

Paul is now likely a lameduck with the Hornets for the entire season and will certainly not resign with the team in 2012. Had Chris been traded to the Lakers he would have been able to sign a huge contract extension as well as benefit from a season of playing in Hollywood. The nixed traded probably cost him several tens of millions in potential wages and marketing. Yea, no wonder he's allegedly reached out to Billy Hunter about the possibility of suing the NBA.

The NBA: Where Appalling Happens

Friday, December 02, 2011

Rolando McClain Arrested For Almost Shooting A Guy In The Head

From The Washington Post:
Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested Thursday on misdemeanor assault, firearms and other charges after police said he fired a gun during a fight in his Alabama hometown.

McClain, 22, held a gun beside a man’s head during an altercation and the man begged him not to shoot, according to a statement released by Lt. John Crouch of the Decatur Police Department.

McClain, an All American at Alabama during his junior year, moved the gun but fired a round beside the man’s ear.
To be fair the guy Rolando threatened to shoot was JaMarcus Russell.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

USC Trojans Finish Strong

If I told you one year ago that between Joe Paterno and Lane Kiffin one coach would be unceremoniously dismissed in scandal while the other would be credited with reviving a powerhouse program...

Funny how quickly things can change.

Credit to Kiffin and the coaching staff for getting the team to play with maximum effort in the second half of the season. Following the loss to Arizona State and with contests looming at Notre Dame, Stanford and at Oregon the Trojans could have easily imploded. Instead USC, led by Heisman contender Matt Barkley, played with brilliance and toughness the rest of the way. Only a triple-OT loss to Stanford would be the only blemish in the second leg of the 2011 campaign, which included upsets at South Bend as well as at Eugene and culminated in last night's 50-0 bulldozing of crosstown UCLA.

Even with no possibility of playing for the Pac-12 Championship or bowl game the Trojans performed with tenacity and precision not seen since the Pete Carroll glory days (ironically those times are what led to the current sanctions against the team. But I digress). Monte Kiffin should feel especially vindicated as the linebackers and secondary gelled and USC's defense "zoned" in on opponents.

I think most USC fans coming into the season would have considered 10-2 (with wins against the Irish and Bruins) a roaring success. While 2011 will be remember with sunny fondness 2012 is looking a lot murkier. Juniors Matt Barkley, Matt Kalil, TJ McDonald and Nick Perry all projected to jump to the NFL. But in his sophomore year as head coach Lane Kiffin proved the doubters wrong. The football monopoly in LA isn't going anywhere.

Monday, November 21, 2011

RIP Greg Halman

Tragic news this morning as 24-year-old outfielder Greg Halman was murdered at a home in the Netherlands. His 22-year-old brother has been taken in as a suspect.

I always rooted for Greg. He oozed athleticism yet was extremely raw as a ballplayer. Halman could swing at a slider three feet in the dirt and smash a fastball 450 feet in the same at-bat. Either way there was never a dull moment watching him.

2012 was going to be a critical season for Greg's development. He was one of many young, talented outfielders who had been accumulated to play left and potentially replace CF Franklin Gutierrez and RF Ichiro Suzuki.

Halman could have went in any direction. Perhaps his hand-eye coordination would improve to the point he would develop into a solid Major Leaguer. Maybe he'd always struggle hitting offspeed stuff. There was even a chance he would have been traded this winter.

But now all of that is meaningless. Greg Halman has left all of us far too soon and we're left to look for answers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

God Bless Tim Tebow

For that incredible 95-yard drive at the end of tonight's Jets-Broncos game, punctuated by Tebow's twenty-yard dash into the endzone. Love him or hate him Tim keeps a game interesting.

God curse the Broncos for blaring "Cotton Eye Joe" at Sports Authority Field.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Raiders Implode Against the Broncos

This afternoon the Denver Broncos, led by Tim Tebow's legs and Eddie Royal's really fast legs, scored 24-unanswered points to upset the Silver and Black 38-24 in Oakland. The Raiders now sink to 4-4 and might be the worst team in the AFC West.

The story of the game was Denver's rushing attack. Willis McGahee broke off a pair of TD runs and Tebow used naked bootlegs and QB draws to scamper for over a hundred yards. The Broncos constantly gashed the hapless Raiders on the ground to the tune of 298 yards. The Oakland front seven only mustered two sacks and gave up leverage in the trenches. It did well to hamper Denver's offensive line with holding penalties and pressure but in the end it wasn't enough.

Oakland's secondary didn't fare much better, giving up a pair of 26-yard TD passes. Michael Huff in particular was beaten badly on several occasions.

Special teams was awful too. Eddie Royal returned a punt for a touchdown and although Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 48-yard field goal his thunderous left leg looked tentative. Still recovering from a hamstring injury his kickoffs were short all game long.

Carson Palmer and the offense was up and down. He threw a pair of touchdowns that couldn't have been any prettier. He also threw three interceptions and could've thrown a couple more. Michael Bush had a good game though Darren McFadden was definitely missed. Surprisingly the Oakland receivers had a great game. Denarious Moore and Jacoby Ford in particular really meshed with Palmer while TJ Houshmandzadeh looked rusty.

And finally, 15 penalties for 130 yards. Hidden yards the Raiders just give away every single damn game. A special shoutdown to OLB Aaron Curry, whose horrific out of bounds shove on Tebow on 3rd on 20 resulted in a first down that proved deadly.

Sloppy and stupid. The Raiders did not execute in all three phases of the game and suffered a well-deserved loss. Normally I would say the division title is out of reach but the Chargers and Chiefs looked awful this week as well. Oakland still has half the season to right the ship and reach the playoffs.

But will they? Probably not.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sadly The Cubs and Angels Might Be Getting Good

It appears Theo Epstein will make the move to Chicago and become the president of the Cubs. And while it's doubtful he takes any of the Red Sox personnel guys with him Epstein will reportedly poach former Red Sox assistant GM and current Padres GM Jed Hoyer.

A brain trust featuring Epstein and Hoyer is a powerful and proven combination. Chicago is a big and popular market where they have the opportunity to replicate the success Boston enjoyed last decade.

Meanwhile the Angels fired GM Tony Reagans and are currently looking for his replacement. Supposedly Rays GM Andrew Friedman is atop their wish list. It's doubtful Friedman, who is loyal to Tampa Bay's owner and supposedly has a stake in the franchise, will move 3,000 miles and leave behind the promising team he's built.

However the Angels are targeting other interesting names: Kim Ng, Rick Hahn, Thad Levine and Jerry DiPoto are all experienced assistant GMs and respected throughout baseball circles. Each one would inherit a popular owner, smart manager, big market and promising farm system. Not a bad way to begin one's career as a MLB general manager.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Carson Palmer Trade


That's what I wrote in an email upon hearing the news the Oakland Raiders traded their 2012 first-round pick and a contingent 2013 first-round pick for Cincinnati Bengals QB-in-exile Carson Palmer.

I've had more time to digest the transaction. I still don't like the deal but it's somewhat understandable. First off, the Raiders quarterback situation was never on solid ground. Jason Campbell was a competent signal caller before a pair of Browns defenders smashed his collarbone the other day. If backup Kyle Boller is the answer then your team is asking the wrong question. And Terrelle Pryor might develop into a good NFL QB down the road but he needs a lot of seasoning.

So the 4-2 Raiders obviously need a quarterback moving forward to reach the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. Perhaps the most logical QB on the market, David Garrard, wasn't healthy and opted for surgery. Instead of picking up another retread like Josh McCown the team decided to make a huge splash.

It's an enormous price to pay. Two first-round picks could have started the conversation for acquiring a Landry Jones, Matt Barkley or even Andrew Luck several months from now.

And who knows how well Carson Palmer will respond? There are all sorts of pros and cons with him. He's a pretty good QB but on the wrong side of thirty. He's well rested... to the point of perhaps being rusty. He was a leader on his team... and later quit on said team.

Palmer had some of his best years when Raiders head coach and current de-facto GM Hue Jackson was coaching him in Cincinnati early in his career. The gunslinger will have plenty of toys to throw to in Oakland. Jacoby Ford is a speedy deep threat, Denarius Moore has emerged as a promising rookie and Derek Hagan is a physical possession guy. Also Chaz Schilens is getting healthy, Kevin Boss is a reliable TE and even the maligned Darrius Heyward-Bey has improved. Perhaps the Silver & Black will rejuvenate the former overall #1 pick.

Speaking of picks it's disheartening to have Oakland once again lose draft picks. In recent years the franchise has done a good job of selecting quality players particularly in the later rounds.

But for now the Raiders clearly aren't concerned about the future. Just Win, Baby. The eternal flame that represents Al Davis must be burning bright this morning.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Seattle Mariners

Lost in the delirium of crazy Wild Card finishes was that the final game of the regular season wasn't Boston's collapse nor Tampa Bay's classic clincher. No, the final contest of the 2011 MLB regular season ended with a whimper as the punchless Seattle Mariners were shut out by the Oakland A's 2-0.

Another season, another 95+ loss campaign for the M's, their third in the past four years. The level of losing has surely grated fans and players but the higher ups in the organization believe the team is headed in the right direction as GM Jack Zduriencik recently received an extension and manager Eric Wedge will return in 2012 as well.

But what will 2012 look like for the M's? One thing we know for sure: Seattle owns the #3 pick in next June's MLB Draft. That being said it's way, way to early to predict who the M's are targeting. After all, it was about a year ago when Anthony Rendon was the consensus pick to go 1.1 and he ended up dropping to the Nationals at #6. Then there's top-five talent Matt Purke, who fell to the third round, coincidentally also to Washington.

Otherwise everything else is an educated guess. For now the Opening Day roster projects something like this:

C Miguel Olivo - $3.5M
1B Justin Smoak ~ $1M
2B Dustin Ackley ~ $2M
SS Brendan Ryan ~ $2M
3B Kyle Seager ~ $1M
LF Casper Wells ~ $1M
CF Franklin Gutierrez - $5.5M
RF Ichiro Suzuki - $17M
DH Mike Carp ~ $1M

INF Chone Figgins - $9M
OF Michael Saunders ~ $1M
OF Trayvon Robinson ~ $1M
C Adam Moore ~ $1M

Olivo isn't good but the pitchers seem to like him. Plus good catchers aren't growing on trees these days. Prepare for twenty passed balls! This was a lost season for Smoak due to hand/face injuries but his mighty struggles were bookended by a hot start and good finish. If his true talent is a .400 slugging first baseman then we should've got Jesus Montero. Look for Ackley's BB:K ratio to spike up as he develops into a more complete player and possible All-Star. Ryan is cheap, a great glove and fiery-clubhouse type every team should have there's little need to replace him. I suspect the M's will play Ackley's college teammate on the hot corner until Seager proves as ineffective as Chone Figgins.

Oh, this outfield. So many questions. Will Ichiro not suck? Will Franklin not really suck? Can Casper Wells cut down on his strikeouts? If not there's an entire cadre of AAAA outfielders (Robinson, Greg Halman, Carlos Peguero, Michael Saunders) waiting in the wings. There's a real chance the outfield in 2013 is something crazy.

In an ideal world Figgins grows into a super utility role who fills in a hundred games. If he gets traded or released then Luis Rodriguez fills his spot on the roster. I'm not exactly sure how the outfield reserves will play out as it's reasonable that a guy like Halman could find his way on the 25-man team. Or the M's could even go with one outfielder, use Carp as an emergency LF and bring up Alex Liddi to shore up infield depth. But I think that's not a good plan. The Mariners do have some flexibility to experiment with their bench especially if the team decides to go with 11 pitchers instead of twelve. I'm assuming Adam Moore recovers from a huge injury, which is a lot to ask at such a demanding position. In that case prepare for the return of Josh Bard. Or maybe even Chris Gimenez!

As for the arms:

SP Felix Hernandez - $18.5M
SP Michael Pineda ~ $1M
SP Jason Vargas ~ $4.5M
SP Charlie Furbush ~ $1M
SP Blake Beavan ~ $1M

Brandon League ~ $5M
...and the rest! ~ $6M

Felix and Pineda are firmly entrenched in the Mariners staff while a possibly new-and-improved Vargas is a lock to return following his (possible) late season adjustment. Furbush and Beavan fill a rotation that's missing a lot of depth. Seattle will probably sign a veteran starter and maybe even throw Danny Hultzen straight into the fire.

I really doubt League gets traded this winter considering he's the only reliable reliever the team has but Zduriencik loves to wheel and deal. Other fungible arms include Jeff Gray, Tom Wilhelmsen, Chance Ruffin, Shawn Kelly, Josh Lueke, Dan Cortes and perhaps the return of David Aardsma.

Roughing the roster math comes out to $47M lineup + $37M pitching = $84M payroll

Next time I'll take a look at some possible signings and trades the Mariners may consider this winter.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

UCLA Football Is In Midseason Form

Chris Foster of the LA Times tweets:
UCLA practice ended poorly. How poorly? Coach Rick Neuheisel addressing the team after shouted, "I CAN'T BE THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If Michael Vick Is White Then Peyton Manning Is Black

This afternoon ESPN imagined Mike Vick as a victim of vitiligo.

Next week it plans to unveil Negro Peyton Manning.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How To Save Rap And Basketball -- A Prospectus On The NBL

Chicago Bulls. Wu-Tang Clan. NBA Jam. MTV Jams. Michael Jordan sinks the Jazz. Suge Knight blasts Bad Boy.

Since their respective apexes in the 90's both professional basketball and rap music have suffered precipitous falls; the NBA currently mired in a lockout that will make the NFL labor dispute look like a tea party (no, not that one) while hip-hop has devolved into a sludge of overproduced and uninspired Diddy & ditties.

At initial glance it seems logically what cures one would invariably heal the other. After all the talent (black), demographics (urban), power brokers (rich, white billionaires), the very zeitgeist of the two entities closely correlate. Yet previous attempts to forge the bond between basketball and rap have been mixed. Streetball? Too haphazard on and off the court. The NBA? More concerned about exploiting its black workforce than embracing it. See hiring former Bush strategist Matt Dowd, banning jewelry from league photo shoots, Donald Sterling, et al.

But what if an organization could successfully embrace the best ballers playing for the biggest rappers?

Enter the National Basketball League.
The NBL logo re-imagines -- remixes as it were -- the NBA logo, maintaining the familiar color scheme and silhouette while also acknowledging the urban influence in the next evolution of professional basketball. Its triangle design honors The Illuminati as well as opens up valuable advertising space for league sponsors.

Russell Simmons will serve as Commissioner and Rick Rubin will act as Deputy Commissioner. Jay-Z, the Brooklyn-born rapper who paved The Blueprint for hip-hop crossing into the mainstream, will play the role of League Ambassador. His unique blend of street cred, business savvy and basketball acumen (in addition to being part-owner of the New Jersey Nets he also dabbled in the EBC tournament at legendary Rucker Park) makes him the perfect candidate to promote the NBL during its formative years.

In addition to his position with the league Jay-Z will also own one of the New York teams. The NBL will have ten squads in four divisions:

East Side
New York: Jay-Z
New York: 50 Cent
Philadelphia: Will Smith
Toronto: Drake
Miami: Rick Ross

Chicago: Kanye West
Detroit: Eminem

Dirty South
New Orleans: Lil' Wayne
Atlanta: Andre 3000

West Side
Los Angeles: Snoop Dogg

Rappers will have the right to determine team colors, names, logos, marketing campaigns (preferably guerrilla), rules of conduct, ticket prices as well as employ their homeboys in administrative and coaching positions.

Ownership will be renewed on a yearly basis based on multiple factors such as rapper popularity and availability. For example T.I. is eligible to own Team Atlanta once he is eligible for release from prison. League expansion, contraction and ownership changes will require majority votes from NBL teams.

Volatility throughout the league is expected thus the initial geographic imbalance is not considered a problem although the surging popularity of the Dirty South must be addressed.

Teams are free to sign up to 12 players to a roster. NBL players will be considered independent contractors and thus eligible to play for any team at any time. Likewise teams can release players at any time. Roster turnover, backstabbing and package deals are expected.

League revenue from merchandise, tickets and media sales will be split evenly between all the teams. Players on the winning team will receive twice as much money as those on losing teams. All NBL employees will be paid via RushCard with incurred transaction fees being reinvested in the league.

Rappers will be required to release at least two songs during the season. These tracks will be compiled in the NBL Season 1 Mixtape. 100% of the proceeds will be reinvested in the league.

Broadcast rights will go to NBC Sports Network, which is desperate to land an upstart sports league to compete against ESPN. As part of its "NBL On NBC" campaign the channel formerly known as Versus will televise every game, post-game interview/fight as well as introduce "Inside the NBL" with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Lil Jon. "Roundball Rock" will return as the official NBC basketball theme.

The league will strive to find and employ the best basketball referees in the world. Thus all NBA referees are banned from the NBL. Game Officials will also receive competitive salaries and security detail to ensure their integrity.

The front row of every NBL game will be reserved for NBL Wives and Girlfriends. Their on- and off-the-court exploits will be documented on the next season of VH1’s "Basketball Wives."

Like participants in the rap industry NBL players will be free to use HGH, steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Throwing up gang signs and saying faggot will be rewarded accordingly.

Every team will play a 27-game regular season schedule comprised of nine home games, nine away games and nine contests on neutral courts. The NBL will emphasis a barnstorming tour of metro areas across the country beginning in Seattle where NBL members will pour out a little liquor in honor of fallen SuperSonics. Other destinations include Oakland, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, Charlotte, Virginia Beach and Boston. Games in China, South America and Europe remain a distinct possibility.

At the end of the regular season the top seeds in the East Side and Midwest will play in one conference final while the West Side and Dirty South will compete in the other. The format will be single-game elimination.

Winners will advance to NBL Finals Week, which will combine the festivities of the Super Bowl with the debauchery of NBA All-Star Weekend, culminating Saturday night with the NBL Awards live from the Apollo Theater.

The Finals will take place on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Once again, single-game elimination. In lieu of a championship trophy each member of the winning team will receive NBL gold medallions.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Farewell To Arms (Erik Bedard Edition)

No, he wasn't worth the boatload of prospects. He never was.

In a sense the Mariners lost the trade the moment they sent Adam Jones & Co. to Baltimore for the Erik Bedard. Not surprisingly he was who we thought he was.

47 starts, 15-14, 255.1 IP, 212 hits, 101 BB, 249 K

Talented but brittle like a strawberry wafer crisp Erik's legacy as a Mariner will always be one of underachievement. The lofty expectations were unfair, as it wasn't Bedard's idea to be acquired for a random and be immediately dubbed "The Missing Piece" for a Seattle club that frankly wasn't that good. Yet he was supposed to become the team's ace, even starting Opening Day 2008 ahead of Felix Hernandez. He was supposed to lead the Mariners to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Obviously. The M's sucked with or (mostly) without Bedard. Now I don't harbor any ill will toward him. In fact, I found his blunt comments and sly remarks to the media rather amusing. And Erik certainly didn't dog it with his injuries as certain uptight sports journalists would make it seem. He was inefficient as fuck but he wasn't a quitter.

He gets hurt. A lot. It's just the way he's built. The Mariners knew that. Bill Bavasi knew that. We all knew Bedard would probably break down. It happened a lot and it sucked.

But man, when healthy he was a sight to behold. My favorite Mariner memory of Erik is the first. Opening Day 2008 in fact. Seattle was hosting the Texas Rangers. The prized offseason acquisition would square off against a division rival. Anticipation was sky high. The very first batter was Ian Kinsler.

And Bedard fucking destroyed him.

That magnificent, knee-buckling curveball. That's what I'll take away from Erik Bedard and his all-too-brief stint with the M's. Because when it was right, everything was right.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Losing Ten Games In A Row Is One Way To Exit The Playoff Chase

Somehow the Seattle Mariners managed to score five runs in the first two innings tonight in Toronto. But then in typical Mariners fashion the team didn't plate another run for the next twelve before finally losing 4-2 in the 14th frame to the Blue Jays. Seattle's record is now 43-53. A week and a half ago it was .500 and Seattle was only a game behind the Texas Rangers. Since then the Rangers have won 11 straight and sit 12 games ahead of the free-falling M's.

Safe to say the Mariners shall not be playing a Game 163 this season. Heck they might not even get to 162 thanks to some early-season rain in the Midwest. Thus begins the delicate balance between being competitive and thinking long term. Completely tanking would piss off an already frustrated fanbase. A fire sale is not the answer. Then again Seattle's main concern is 2012 and beyond.

But what can the Mariners do?

Veterans like Jack Wilson and Jack Cust don't have roles on future rosters. If no teams are willing to trade for their services (and I can't imagine any would) they should be released. Mike Carp can fill in as the LH sloth for Cust and the Mariners have enough middle infield options. Getting rid of Wilson and Cust; these roster moves are the most obvious.

Speaking of the infield there's talk that teams have inquired about Adam Kennedy. While Adam is one of the few not-embarrassing bats in the lineup he's also on the wrong side of thirty. If the M's can snag a nifty prospect they should sign off that trade.

Barring a miracle/salary dump Figgins isn't going anywhere. Pray for Mojo. Rookie and rising star Dustin Ackley is the centerpiece of the M's future and essentially untouchable. Brendan Ryan is a fiery competitor with a great glove. He's also pretty cheap and provides good value at a position that's difficult to fill. Seattle will probably wait a couple years to make a change at SS. By then the front office will know if Nick Franklin is ready to take the reins. Justin Smoak & Kyle Seager will be given plenty of chances to prove themselves on the corners. Miguel Olivo and (a hopefully healthy) Adam Moore will return to form a serviceable duo behind the plate next year.

As for the outfield... yeesh. The next year and a half the M's are probably stuck with Ichiro and Gutierrez in right and center respectively. Seattle needs to really consider whether to resign Ichiro beyond 2012 -- and at what price. This appears to be a lost season for Franklin as his stomach illness severely sapped his power. At least he's still graceful with the glove.

Greg Halman completes the dire triumvirate. He's shown flashes of his five-tool abilities but likely shall be exposed by good pitching in the end. Ryan Langerhans deserves another shot and should take Jack Wilson's roster spot when he's released. No Peguero please.

As for the pitching... Felix isn't going anywhere and while Erik Bedard is the name mentioned most as trade bait it's probably not going to happen. By the time he returns from the DL it'll be too late to showcase him for potential buyers. That said the Mariners should not be shy about listening to offers for Michael Pineda, Jason Vargas and Doug Fister. Pineda, with his youth and explosive arsenal, would be a controversial sendoff but could bring in a small ransom that could replenish the system with young bats. Meanwhile Vargas' numbers are flashier than his skills and could net a nice haul in a market that's thirsty for starting pitchers. And finally if any team bites on the hard luck Fister the Mariners have his comparable replacement in Blake Beavan.

All-Star closer Brandon League probably isn't going anywhere now David Aardsma is out indefinitely. Then again if a desperate team wants to overpay... anyway, the M's bullpen has regressed quite a bit since dominating the league in the spring. Nothing is as demoralizing as a blown save and it's risky to throw another arm into the 9th inning fire. Expect relievers David Pauley, Jamey Wright and/or Chris Ray to garner interest. By August 1st at least one of them will probably be pitching somewhere else.

Friday, July 15, 2011

ESPN Deserves Criticism For Bruce Feldman's Suspension (And No, I Don't Believe ESPN)

Sports journalists and fans were stunned yesterday by the news ESPN college football writer Bruce Feldman was suspended for contributions to former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach's autobiography, Swing Your Sword.

SPORTSsbyBROOKS broke the story in detail:
Because of Leach’s acrimonious departure from Texas Tech, which allegedly stemmed from complaints about the coach’s alleged treatment of the son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James, Feldman’s participation in Swing Your Sword was not initially assured.

Multiple management and editorial sources at ESPN have told me in recent months that Feldman would only participate in the Leach book project upon direct approval from ESPN management - which Feldman indeed received.

Despite those facts, Feldman was told by ESPN... he was being suspended indefinitely for his participation in the Leach book.
The Swing Your Sword saga gets even murkier with details of ESPN's coverage, Joe Schad, Spaeth Communications, James' involvement behind-the-scenes and (not) being trapped in the closet.

SbB says the punishment was a ban from "writing for any ESPN entity, is forbidden from appearing on any ESPN platform, is not allowed to Tweet from his Twitter account nor participate in any promotion of a recently-released book in which Feldman played a role."

Reaction on Twitter was swift. "Bruce Feldman" and #freebruce was soon trending. Sportswriter from Yahoo!, and the blogosphere chimed in with praise for Feldman's professional and personal demeanor while criticizing ESPN's apparent decision to side with Craig James rather than a respected sportswriter.

This afternoon Sports Media Watch reported ESPN saying it never suspended Feldman, which seems dubious given the circumstances.

Bruce's active Twitter account, with over 6,500 tweets, has been eerily quiet since July 13. One would assume if he were able to freely speak and write Bruce would have addressed the situation -- even denied the SbB story if it were untrue. The fact he hasn't said anything speaks to the notion Feldman was muzzled by The Worldwide Leader.

And why the "no comment" from ESPN and silence from ESPN personalities on the subject since last night? If this was a non-story to begin with ESPN would have nipped it in the bud Thursday evening.

Instead it seems ESPN miscalculated public opinion would be this negative and the company is now trying to save face with a press release stating Feldman was never suspended. But the circumstances suggest otherwise.

Friday, July 08, 2011

This Week In Sports #4

Dodger Stadium edition! Cam and I hit up Chavez Ravine to take in the sights and smells of the grand ol' game. In between innings we manage to discuss a little NBA and NFL news.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Respect Derek Jeter You Bastards

Because if anyone has not been recognized enough all these years it's him.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

This Week In Sports #3

4th of July edition! Check out the world premiere of Tiger Woods' Japanese commercial, thoughts on Wimbledon and the Dodgers followed by a planking showdown.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Unemployed Blacks Deprive White People Of Entertainment: NBA & NFL Lockouts By The Numbers

Before the NBA lockout the league employed about 450 players. According to approximately 80% are black.

Before the NFL lockout the league employed about 1700 players. Various recent sources indicate at least half the players are black.

450 x 80% = 360
1,700 x 50% = 850
360 + 850 = 1,210 black men laid off

There are about 8 million black men 20 and older in the work force.

1,200 / 8,000,000 = .000015

The NBA and NFL lockouts are directly responsible for increasing the unemployment rate of black men in America by at least one-one hundred thousandth and a half percent.

According to Sports Business Daily white people make up 77% and 86% of NFL and NBA fans respectively.

NBA and NFL games provide innumerable hours of entertainment.

White people will yet again be victimized in America by black people.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Week In Sports #1

Here's the new YouTube sports comedy sketch show I wrote and host. I'm the goofy Asian guy if that isn't too obvious. It's a little long and we're still working out the kinks but all in all I'm pretty happy with the first episode. Hope you enjoy TWIS!

And here are the individual sketches:

Nowitzki Nightmare

Stephen A. Smith & Plaxico Burress

Exclusive Tiger Woods interview

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki & LeBron James. In Bed.

So I'm writing and featured in an upcoming YouTube sports comedy sketch series called This Week In Sports. It'll be up in a few days. Here's a preview pic from one of the skits:

Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Black Zombie

This ad currently appears on Inside USC:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mariners Refuse to Die

Last time I wrote the obituary for the 2011 season. Well, a 6-1 week now leaves the Seattle Mariners only 1.5 games behind the first place Rangers changes my outlook.

Texas and Anaheim are the favorites to win the division but the Mariners have the best group of starters in the division. Michael Pineda outperforms even the most optimistic projections, Erik Bedard is throwing efficiently(???!!), Felix is Felix while Doug Fister and Jason Vargas are maximizing their decent stuff. If the anemic offense picks up a bit and the bullpen continues to overachieve... who knows?

The arrivals of Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson have introduced some brute strength to the lineup. Carlos in particular has been crushing the ball -- when he makes contact. Neither one is particularly a good defender but the bats will play in left field.

Franklin Gutierrez's return should have the M's strongly consider dropping Michael Saunders to AAA where he can play everyday and beat up on inferior pitching. He looks lost and needs to regain his confidence. It worked for Justin Smoak last year.

In a few weeks Dustin Ackley will be called up. If Seattle can hover around .500 until then the team will have to seriously consider buying before the trade deadline.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

R.I.P. 2011 Seattle Mariners

Following a valiant 8-2 stretch that pushed the M's to the brink of a .500 record they proceeded to lose six straight games, some in spectacular late-inning fashion. The week-long debacle was a total team failure: the bats went silent, pitchers threw erratic and the effort was lacking (here's looking at you, Figgins).

Hell even Felix failed.

Of course the worst sins were committed by closer Brandon League, who was Bobby Ayala-esque in his last four appearances:

05/13@ CLE0.2333100
05/12@ BAL0.1222000
05/10@ BAL0.2422001
05/08vs CHW1.1333002

Four losses, three blown saves, too many fuckups and no shot at the playoffs for the Mariners. Not that Seattle had a good shot at October baseball anyway but after Saturday's washout the team remains at 16-23. Reaching 90 wins to have even a glimmer of playoff hope the M's need to play 74-49 the rest of the season. That's a .600 clip and that ain't gonna be sustained (not by this mediocre club anyway) through 4 1/2 months.

That being said there's still a lot to played for. A complete tailspin will likely cost Jack Zduriencik his job and enable the dualing idiots Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong to undo the great strides Z & Co. have made with the franchise from top to bottom. Justin Smoak, Michael Pineda and (hopefully) Michael Saunders will continue to develop as the team's future core. Franklin Gutierrez is primed to return as soon as next week. Dustin Ackley is killing the baseball lately and is scheduled to make his MLB debut in June.

So while it may be over it really isn't.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mariners Begin to Perform

A satisfying 5-1 road trip at Detroit and Boston has lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 13-16 record. Still not good but the M's are no longer MLB bottom feeders. Suck it Twins!

Jack Cust and Chone Figgins are starting to hit, mighty Miguel Olivo is mashing the ball hard (including a hilarious warning track home run) and Justin Smoak returned from his father's funeral as the middle-of-the-lineup thumper everyone in the Emerald City hoped he would be. Once the offense went from abysmal to feisty (tons of walks, annoying singles and the occasional barrage) the wins began to rack up.

The pitching has been tremendous during this stretch as well. Erik Bedard threw a nifty gem against the Tigers, earning his first win in two years while Michael Pineda continues to impress with a 97-mph heater. Relief arms Aaron Laffey, Jamey Wright and David Pauley have been surprisingly (and unsustainable-y) efficient.

Huge homestand starting on Tuesday as division leader Texas and struggling Chicago come into Safeco Field.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mariners Fans Are Hella Depressed And Frustrated

Well that didn't take long.

A promising 2-0 for Seattle has been overshadowed by a sobering 3-11 record since. Felix Hernandez has looked mortal in three consecutive starts, the bullpen has made a habit of imploding and Chone Figgins continues to struggle. In fact, the M's bats are swinging even worse than last year's historically awful offense. But at least they're getting on base at a decent clip (2nd in baseball in walks) and being aggressive (top ten in stolen bases).

Michael Saunders' refined swing shows glimpses of potential while Justin Smoak continues to lash doubles and demonstrate good patience. The M's won't be a slugging team but will likely improve upon its dismal BABIP and become a slightly below-average unit. Doesn't sound like much but it would be a huge improvement over what the Seattle offense has been outputting for the past two years.

The biggest development of the past week has been the emergence of RHP Michael Pineda. He's still raw against lefties but his fastball can dominate by itself. Every start from him is now must watch. It's safe to say the M's now have another solid starter behind the King.

It's been a bad start and the playoffs are basically a pipe dream but the Seattle Mariners have a lot of season left to improve. It can't get much worse.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Mariners Losing Without Looking Hopeless

The M's enter tonight's opening homestand at 2-4 after getting swept by the red hot Texas Rangers in Arlington earlier this week. Even a solid effort by King Felix proved fruitless as a pair of Jack Wilson errors doomed the M's to their third loss in four games. Wilson was later replaced in the finale by Luis Rodriguez, which didn't seem like a big deal. Wilson had been adjusting to second base and probably could have used a mental breather.

But now it's been revealed by Eric Wedge that Wilson asked to be pulled from the game. And while he obliged the request you can bet the mustachio'ed manager did not appreciate the quitting.

TEAM CHEMISTRY UNBALANCED WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK! Even the ass backward 2010 squad played nice for a month before grandpa Griffey started falling asleep during games.

Wilson's situation aside, Seattle has actually played okay and there are several positive signs going forward. Felix is Felix (obviously) but Erik Bedard (injuries) and Michael Pineda (inexperienced) were major question marks heading into 2011. They both pitched well in their initial outings, alleviating some anxiety amongst M's fans. If Bedard stays healthy and Pineda develops his secondary outings the Seattle starting corps suddenly becomes a huge asset.

Speaking of assets Justin Smoak was the major piece acquired in the Cliff Lee trade last summer but struggled so badly he was sent to AAA to regain his confidence. Early this season Smoak looks like the bruising, switch-hitting slugger his lofty prospect status projected him to be.

It's early and the record isn't pretty but things are not awful in Seattle. Not yet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yet Again A Seattle Sports Team Leads The Way In Commercial Awesomeness

Recently the Seattle Mariners released a quintet of commercials for the 2011 season. It's an eclectic bunch of spots showcasing Guti's defense (and sexy face?) and Ichiro's ability to hit anything. Somehow Jason Vargas and his concrete socks also receive a starring role. Huh. Certainly the boldest commercial is Painful, which stars GM Jack Zduriencik acknowledging the horrid 2010 season while simultaneously affirming the team's hopes for the present and future. It's risky for a sports franchise to ever admit mediocrity but I like how the M's confront what happened last year.

While Painful ironically makes me feel good about the team it's definitely not my favorite commercial. Behold, the crème de la crème of this year's crop: Encore, Encore starring Larry Bernandez.

Oh man, that's good. Right down to the Chewbacca-esque ending. That kooky and creative Mariners marketing team. Check out Mariners commercials from previous season on YouTube to view the fruits of their labor.

Of course, awesome Seattle sports commercials weren't solely confined to the M's. Back when the Supersonics were in town they had some batshit ridiculous/awkward/awesome TV spots. See for yourself:

Predrag Drobnjak, his cat Jinkies, Space Bear and a Desmond Mason art set

Vladimir Radmanovic, Neil Diamond on the stereo and a warm fleece blanket:

Damn you David Stern.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Grading the 2011 Mariners Offseason

Many moons ago I graded the 2010 Mariners offseason, then revisited my awful scores midway through the year and now here we are back in spring training. How time flies.

Following a 101-loss year that might have been even more depressing than the debacle from several years ago Seattle fans aren't optimistic entering the Cactus League. Most prognosticators peg the M's for around 75-80 wins. Considering the Mariners play in the weak AL West that means people think they'll suck. Not be historically bad but bad enough to consider October baseball a longshot.

This winter Jack Zduriencik played it safe. No huge free agent splashes or blockbuster trades. Instead of Chone Figgins and Cliff Lee it's now Jack Cust and a bunch of average arms. Zduriencik looks to build for long-term success instead of going all in for 2011 like his former employers, the Milwaukee Brewers. While this is a sound strategy there's a strong chance the current GM may not be around in a few years. After all, Chuckles and Howard have a history of tinkering.

But that's another topic. Without further adieu let's take a quick look at what the Seattle Mariners did this past offseason:

Traded 3B Jose Lopez for RHP Chaz Roe
The free-swinging dunce was going to leave as a free agent anyway so the Mariners got a low-risk, low-ceiling arm for nothing. I couldn't bear seeing Lopez hit another lazy pop fly on a 2-0 slider in the dirt. (B-)

Traded RHP Maikel Cleto for
SS Brendan Ryan
Cleto is an interesting but raw flamethrower. Ryan is a bit of a reclamation project who could prove to play a pivotal role in the middle infield. Incumbent SS Jack Wilson has a history of getting hurt and 2B will be in flux until Dustin Ackley comes up early summer. Ryan's known for his good glove and decent contact rates. Considering the dearth of shortstops in the organization the M's had to make this move. Even if Brendan turns out to be nothing more than average that's way better than Jack & Josh Wilson and Yuniesky Betancourt. (B-)

Traded C Rob Johnson to San Diego Padres
I'm sure no one in Marinerville will miss the passed balls but RoJo supposedly had a good rapport with the starters and showed patience at the plate. Adam Moore still hasn't demonstrated he can be a starting catcher. Then again, neither did Rob.

Signed free agent DH Jack Cust
Injury risk. Liability with the glove. Powerful and patient hitter who can take advantage of Safeco Field. He's like a white, sane and cheaper Milton Bradley! Cust instantly entrenches in the heart of the lineup. My favorite move. (B)

Signed free agent C Miguel Olivo
THE GLORIOUS RETURN OF ONE OF THE CRAPPIEST CATCHERS IN TEAM HISTORY. And that's saying something. Who the f knows if Olivo 2.0 will be any better? But we do know he's a big pull hitter. Not exactly a successful recipe for righties but whatever. As long as he handles the staff and catches the ball... that'll be more than what Mariners backstops have done the past two years. (C-)

Signed free agent 2B Adam Kennedy
A year ago I would have lauded this as a nifty little acquisition with moderate upside. Now it's just the Mariners being the Mariners. He'll hang around the bench, spelling Ryan at 2B until Ackley comes up. (C)

Traded 2B Matt Lawson for
LHP Aaron Laffey
This just happened yesterday. The bullpen could use softy-tossing southpaw. I liked Lawson as he tore up Double AA last year after being acquired in the Cliff Lee deal. But he's already 25 and a future utility guy. A ho-hum deal. (C)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

More Trainwreck Music at the Super Bowl

Three years ago I wrote how the Super Bowl was catering its halftime show to, well... terrible non-offensive musical talents ever since the Janet Jackson fiasco as well as several other ensuing controversies. After Prince flashed his shadow cock at Super Bowl XLI in Dolphin Stadium the performers have been Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.

Yawn. Snore. Bore.

Amazingly the latest act wasn't completely terrible. The Black Eyed Peas aren't good singers (those synthesizer voices sound awful) or performers but their visual style and spectacle of the Super Bowl XLV halftime show were infinitely more dynamic than what old white guys on guitars could accomplish. Usher's entrance from the Jumbotron was pretty amazing too.

That being said I'm not sure who the halftime show was for. The futuristic/alien overlord/rave theme was... interesting. The terrible pingy music didn't help and great hot fires of hell Fergie do not attempt to be Axl Rose. She was horrific. Perhaps the league was targeting a younger demographic since there won't be any NFL for awhile. Build for the future.

Yet who knew the halftime show wouldn't be the biggest musical story of Super Bowl XLV? Of course the big story was Christina Aguilera flubbing the national anthem:

Trust me, I like to rip her as much as anyone. At the FCK IT SHOW podcast my co-host describes Christina Aguilera acting like a diva on set (starting at the 15:30 mark) so I don't have much respect for her. Compare that to Denzel Washington showing love to my homie (8:30 mark). Big difference.

However, she can sing like hell and messing up the lyrics was obviously not malicious. Xtina didn't mean to screw up on the world's biggest stage and actually did a great job of plowing through the song and not making an uncomfortable situation worse.

But yea, she did look a little thick.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

All Aboard the Train to Marinerville

Spring Training has almost arrived and I've probably never been more invested with the Seattle Mariners than I am now. It's quite odd considering the team is attempting to rebound from a horrid 101-loss campaign. Before we look to the future let's take a stroll through memory lane:

* The 2010 offense was perhaps the worst in the DH era.

* Don Wakamatsu got canned late in the season. He failed to motivate the team and didn't have the best of relationships with Ken Griffey Jr. and Chone Figgins

* GM Jack Zduriencik acquire Josh Lueke not knowing he was accused of rape (and later plead no contest to a lesser charge). Scouting Director Carmen Fusco took the fall but it's believed Z is on thin ice in 2011.

Since the season ended Milton Bradley said/texted some bad things to a woman and newly-acquired 2B Adam Kennedy was tagged for driving drunk.

Yea, bad times. But hope springs eternal in the Cactus League and Seattle has a slew of exciting mainstays (Ichiro, Felix, Gutierrez) as well as intriguing prospects (Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda) to watch for. That doesn't even mention the subplots that will dominate the M's preseason. Will Chone Figgins' return to 3B set him back on track? Will he be traded? Can Michael Saunders or Justin Smoak take the next step? How will the middle infield situation sort out until Ackley is ready?

The mainstream isn't paying much attention to the M's but there's plenty to follow two months away from Opening Day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bart Scott ESPN Interview Is Legend

The New York Jets beat the New England Patriots 28-21 on Sunday to advance to the AFC Championship. After the game Jets LB Bart Scott had a few choice (and hilarious) words with ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio.

But was that rant better than the googly eyes Andrea Kremer got from heartthrob Tom Brady a few years back?

Personally I'm siding with Scott. In a world where athletes give the same droopy sound bites it was refreshing to see a large black man vent. Also his response at the end is legend.


Neither can we, Mr. Scott.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Farewell to Nnamdi Asomugha?

Almost lost in the shuffle of an amazing NFL playoff weekend is the fact Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha is now an unrestricted free agent. Asomugha's contract contained a clause that automatically voided the last year in his deal if certain incentives were not met. Even worse for the Silver & Black is the fact Nnamdi cannot be franchised in 2011.

Asomugha is a local kid, having played college ball at Cal and still has a huge philanthropic impact on the Bay Area community. Losing the Pro Bowler would be a huge blow for a franchise on the verge of competence. There's a sense that Nnamdi will look to join a team that's competitive and cohesive. Oakland fans have seen this story before with Charles Woodson and history very well may repeat itself, leaving the team without its best player and leader. Either Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt would have to step up, which is an unlikely scenario.

It took the Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha's entire career to become relevant again. Without him they'll sink back into the Black Hole.