Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Hop Must Stop

A week or so ago I watched as Sammy Sosa sent #598 into the seats and then proceeded with his post-watch-HR-fly-over-wall hop. He then, of course rounded the bases. Sammy's little hop is quite possibly the worst HR strut in the history of the game. Not to mention all those pesky steroids and now HGH he's Slammin' Sammy all over again. Just once I'd love to see a pitcher clothesline Sammy mid-hop, put an elbow to his throat and then drag him off of the diamond. Aware that he has not been forgiven, that he is and forever will be a one dimensional player who needed steroids (allegedly) to nail down that dimension in the first place. Anyhow, Sammy's feminine hop got me thinking.

Who, in the game today, has the best HR strut? I've managed to narrow it down to my top five. Though some bias has been inserted I tried to be reasonable. I've included only those who came to mind when the idea first surfaced. No one else. No research what-so-ever. So here ya go... my top five..

5) Magglio Ordonez
This one I obviously have to explain -- I'll never forget where I was when Ordonez sent the Tigers to the World Series with one swing of the bat last October. Nor will I ever forget what it felt like after watching the Tigers play sub .500 ball for my entire life. While Ordonez doesn't have the greatest of struts and he won't come to many of your minds when asked: Who's strut is the best? His nonchalant post HR approach puts him in my top 5. And that October jack definitely helped. Embedding was disabled on the only good video I could find. So click the link to watch Maggs tiptoe towards first as the ball flies over the fence. It's almost as if this wasn't the biggest swing of his career.

4) Albert Pujols

3) David Ortiz
The Ortiz slamming starts at about the 0:50 second mark.

2) Barry Bonds
Undeniable... refer to the first :45 of the above video for a few Bonds shots.

1) Ken Griffey Jr.
The Junior strut is undeniably the greatest HR strut in all of the land. Without a shadow of a doubt Junior has cornered this market. Now if only he hadn't been injured to damn much.

The below video kicks off with the best capture of Griffey's strut I've seen. Animation or not. The video also features many other struts. Including the dreaded hop.

So, Who's got the best strut for your money? If it Junior? Or is it someone I haven't even mentioned here?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And A Bird Craps On The President

Watch his left sleeve and it's impossible to miss. Especially if you turn up your speakers loud as you can hear it as well. Some actual site updates tomorrow...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Comedy Of The Summer: Superbad

This is a hilarious trailer, though its NSFW as far as language goes. Enjoy...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The MLB "Survivor" Challenge Weeks 5 and 6

Those wondering what this is all about, click here.

Well work became a problem last week (damn responsibility) and despite Ted getting his entry to me early. I failed to post it at all. So this week you get a dual elimination from us both. As usual here are the knockouts thus far for both of us.

San Francisco
Kansas City
Kansas City

Per usual we'll lead it off with the NL.... I'm up first and then Ted.

Leaving The Diamond: St. Louis Cardinals
Reasoning: Fall anyone? It really is amazing how bad the Cardinals have been this season. Though let's be honest no one thought they were better than the Tigers last season either. They just happened to be for a little over a week to win the whole damn thing. Those very Tigers swept the Cards over the weekend. And watching the majority of all three games all I can say is... wow. The Cardinals couldn't hit a beach ball if it blew out of the stands. Let alone something much smaller and less colorful.

I knew they couldn't hit but I hadn't seen it for myself until now and that put the stamp on this one. Though I even toyed with the idea when I sent the Giants into oblivion two weeks ago. This is a great joy for sure. As an avid Cardinal hater for as long as I can remember (I even rooted for Boston in 2004, and I surely am not a Sox fan). I must say this is a great pleasure.

While Pujols was solid over the weekend he's off to a slow start this year and has virtually no protection with Scott Rolen stealing money behind him. Not to mention their pitching staff is comprised of two of last year's relief guys (Wainwright and Looper) who have struggled for the most part. And Chris Carpenter is still in limbo following an early season injury. The Cards, despite that horrendous division are going nowhere this season and I couldn't be happier.

Good bye, and good riddance. Albert can't complain about the MVP this season.

Leaving The Diamond: Cincinnati Reds
g: This is a tough one for me in some respects. See, just like my earlier elimination of the Orioles (a team personally dear to my own heart), the Reds are the favorite team of one of my good friends / college roommates, Peter. He checks out most Reds vs. Nationals series, as he's a DC resident these days, and that's kinda the jumping off point for this elimination.

See, the Reds beat the Nationals this past Monday night - the game was in Cincinnati, so I doubt Peter was there - on a Javier Valentin knock in the 8th inning. The more and more I thought about that game, I kept thinking that legitimately, I would probably be inclined to watch Problem Child 2 more than any given three-inning stretch of it. It's sad, because that victory might be one of the most exciting the Reds have this year - and it only brought them to "a little closer to third" in the NL Central.

The Reds right now aren't a team you follow; they're a collection of players who are interesting for various reasons. Ken Griffey Jr is looking hot right now, although he'll probably stab himself with a spork within a few weeks and be done for the season; Adam Dunn might be legitimately the most awesome power hitter in MLB right now just in terms of sheer distance; Ryan Freel is a star in the making, and a total freak who has imaginary friends north of 25; and Josh Hamilton's story is inspirational. It's also nice to know Scott Hatterberg still has a job.

However, baseball is a team game, and the Reds, as a team, are a total friggin' joke. Bye bye, Cincinnati. We'll see you on the flip side.

Moving over to the AL Ted kicks us off, while I'm hitting cleanup to wrap this dual week Survivor up.

Leaving The Diamond: Texas Rangers
ning: Unlike my main man BD, I can't do a repeat - it would just be too easy to eliminate the Royals every time I have the AL; legitimately, that team has a chance to get no hit every time they play - so I'll go with Texas here.

As of Sunday, the Rangers are a pedestrian 9-9 at home, 4-6 in their past 10, and are getting owned by the Angels, logically the class of the division. Here's what's probably most troubling: take a gander at their depth chart. Their No. 1 pitcher is listed as Vicente Padilla; their CF is Kenny Lofton, who may be older than Frank Robinson; and Brad Wilkerson - who, good catch last weekend aside, might be one of the most underwhelming baseball players with potential in history - rocks out in left.

The Rangers infield is very good and legitimate - Teixeria, Kinsler, Young, and Blalock. Unfortunately, their pitching is mostly a bunch of ass clowns and former steroid abusers, and the A's and Angels are both significantly better than them. We're voting them off the island this week, and in so doing, we're hoping that Sammy Sosa fades into obscurity along with the squad as a whole. Seeing that home run bop now is like watching old Mel Gibson movies after you learned he's an alcoholic bigot. It just makes you sad.

Leaving The Diamond: Toronto Blue Jays
ng: That's right Tampa Bay lives to see another day, despite Elijah Dukes and his karma. The Blue Jays as I fight the repeat then become the casualty. Currently sitting in a tie with the Yankees 10.5 back of what is probably baseball's best team, the Boston Red Sox. The Jays just cannot find a reliable starter outside of Roy and A.J. and with those two injuries are a constant concern. The worst part about this for me is that the AL East will once again feature a NY/BOS (well, Boston) winner and Vernon Wells still isn't going to get his shot on the big stage. Much like Carlos Delgado never did up there in free health care land.

The Jays have got to feel good about Jeremy Accardo's emergence at the back of the bullpen. Though I think he could have probably closed games last year. B.J. Ryan's injury has given him his time to shine and that may open up Toronto to moving Ryan and his massive contract is Accardo can keep this up all year. Casey Janssen has also turned into quite the reliable set-up guy after having a roller-coaster of a ride in the rotation the past two years or so.

All in all Toronto has a solid nucleus of talent but to compete in the east, better yet the AL they're going to need better pitching. At the very least three consistent, and reliable starters. A.J.'s been solid so far this year and so has Roy when he's not having an appendectomy. The rest of those guys, however, have been brutal and I'd anticipate that continuing. The lineup has been struggling as well with Alex Rios leading the team in BA (.282) and HR (9) while Aaron Hill leads in RBI (25). More or less, nothing is working. Which illustrates just how bad the Yankees have been so far this year (which is fantastic by the way).

Adios Canada, it's just to bad your favorite sport is almost over as well.

Portland Is Officially Back On The NBA Map

Yesterday evening the Jail Blazers Trail Blazers hit the jackpot. As overused as that phrase has been used, it's necessary in this case. I laughed to myself when I awoke to find out that Boston and Memphis has both missed out on the two biggest can't miss NBA prospects since LeBron hit the league. Even better than Hawks snuck into the top 3 as well killing any chance Phoenix had to add another solid player to their overflowing roster.

A lot of people are saying today that Portland may just surprise people and take Kevin Durant, as he seems to fit their needs. This is asinine, especially considering the Sam Bowie fiasco. Greg Oden will be a Blazer, like it, or not. He, Aldridge and Roy make a hell of a front court moving into the future. Hell, they could get at least home court advantage in the East next year. Durant meanwhile, will replace Rashard Lewis in Seattle, not join him as many are saying. Lewis will cash in after opting out of his contract this summer and Seattle will be virtually the same team next year. Unless the Sonics, for some reason pay Lewis and put themselves in cap hell should Durant be the player many think he is. For now, though he's as close to a mirror image as you can get to Lewis. Yet he's only just finished his freshman year of college. I consider Lewis a poor man's Tracy McGrady and that's what Durant is as well. Durant, however, I feel has a much higher ceiling than Lewis ever will.

Moving on down the list you have to wonder what those Grizzlies and Celtics are going to do. Many have Memphis going with Corey Brewer (Gators!) at four. While Boston seems to be a wild card. As I've seen 2-3 different guys falling into the five slot across the web.

I'll touch on the rest of it and pull out a Mock Draft in the coming weeks. This picture I think about sums it up though....

It'll be okay Danny...

(Pic: AP/ABC News Website)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nash: Future Actor?

Everyone and their brother is commenting on Bob's elbow during the final seconds of last nights game. Everyone seems to think that Horry tossed Nash a solid check to go with the elbow. I, however, do not. I've seen Nash flop time and again and this one was no exception. As Horry barely pushed him and Nash flew violently into the scorers table.

I realize Nash isn't a big guy. Especially not in comparison to Horry. But come on people! The Golden Canadian sold that one better than The Rock once did on Monday nights. Nash deserves a Slammy (at least I think thats what the WWE awards are called). The final minutes of that game made me feel as though I was watching a poorly written episode of Raw, circa 1999. Plus if Horry had really give Nash a hard shot there would have been no give. He wouldn't have turned at all. Little Nash would ran into a wall not a table.

As far as the "NBA wants Spurs to win" conspiracy theorists. You know who you are, Arnie. Think before you open your mouth or put finger to keyboard. Your telling me that the NBA wants the boring, slow it down, drag it out, all defense, barely any offense, Spurs to win the west? Are you kidding me? The Suns are the new poster kids for the Association and the up-and-down offense that has taken over the league. The NBA would much rather have that little Canadian boy raising the trophy than Mr. Monotone himself, Tim Duncan.

The Suns are the NBA's last hope this season for a champ they want. The last chance for an offensive minded team finally getting something done outside of the regular season. The last chance for that alleged "move towards quick offense" the whole NBA's making. (Quick Note: that will never happen.) And I'm done on this one...

One final thing though, folks. Head on over at Awful Announcing and help AA celebrate his one year anniversary. From the only one here at SSOM I hope it's a good one. Even if your a hack...

Friday, May 11, 2007

The MLB "Survivor" Challenge: Week 4

It's now time for Ted and I to each knock off a 4th team, all be it a little later in the week than usual. Click here for a rules refresher, otherwise let's get to the eliminations.

Eliminations So Far:
San Francisco
Kansas City

Ted's NL knock out leads us off..

Leaving The Diamond: Colorado Rockies

Reasoning: Right now, my roommate has a 101 fever, and is pretty much laying in bed, moaning, and checking the Internet. He appeared briefly earlier tonight when I was flipping from "National Lampoon's Vacation" (the original, WallyWorld one) to Rangers vs. Yankees. My argument, at the time, was that the Rangers were the least relevant team in MLB history. Given how long they've been around, and the lack of things they've accomplished - and yea, yea, I know all about the whole Nolan Ryan period - I think my theory holds water.

He says to me, under fever, "What about the Rockies?"

My rebuttal: "Sure, the Rockies are irrelevant, but bear in mind, about 3-4 years into their existence, they made the playoffs." Indeed. Bichette, Walker, and Castilla. I have absolutely no idea who pitched for them then, and am too lazy to check at this point in my evening.

The thing is, they ain't making the playoffs this year, and as such, they're off the island this week in the Sports Show on Mute MLB Survivor Kinda Sorta Challenge. In so doing, I'd like to propose a new element of pop culture: the Sports Illustrated middle of the book jinx. A few weeks ago, SI ran an article on Matt Holliday and Garrett Akins (roughly around page 52), and since then, all the Rockies have done is slide further and further into the doldrums of a competitive NL West, despite having a crapload of individual talent.

Here's the thing, and let's not blame Sports Illustrated in the process (although it would be easy to): they have absolutely no pitching. And if they did have pitching - if this team got Brandon Webb, and John Smoltz, and Josh Beckett, and Jeff Suppan - they'd still be doomed. You know why? THEM BALLS FLY OUT OF COORS! There's no way this team is winning anything close to putting them near relevance in the next few years. It's a joke to still have them around in this competition. Good night, sweet prince.

And my AL pick..

Leaving The Diamond: The Kansas City Royals
Reasoning: Well I tried not to but I have to pull our first repeat yet. Having watched all three games of the Royals-Tigers series this past week I realized just how brutal they are. No matter what they did in each game the Tigers found a way to counter and come out on top with a series sweep. While the Royals deserve some credit for knowing Gil Meche was just suffering from "horrible pitching coach" disease up in Seattle (the same thing Weaver has now). And Alex Gordon and Billy Butler appear as though they'll both be good players down the road. The rest of the team is brutal. Okay, not everyone, Soria (Rule 5 Pick), Teahan and DeJesus are solid players.

Yet even with these few guys the Royals will still probably lose 100 games this season. They've got to happy they're not as bad as the Nats but that's hardly an accomplishment. I no longer think the Royals will suck forever. But I could be wrong as it wouldn't surprise me to see Gordon and Butler walk once they hit free agency a few years down the road.

Gordon the alleged wave of the future continues to struggle in the early going this season (.173/.312/.269). While I think he'll eventually figure it out and become a good player if not a great one. Right now he's acting as nothing more than an anchor and potentially just hurting himself with all his unsuccessful plate appearances. While I don't like the Royals at all, only the Yankees deserve to be bad. And hopefully they'll figure all this stuff out eventually.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Golden State Goes Sprewell Without Latrell

Tonight the Warriors had the split in Utah all but locked up. They missed one free throw, thats right, FREEEEEEEEEEE throw after another and Spreed it. (PJ Carlesimo could not be reached in San Antonio for comment.) I guess it really was all about Nellie as Utah pushes to the head of the pack in the SA/PHX sacrificial lamb race. The unfortunate reality is that Utah won't be revisiting the west final next year and Jerry Sloan will get fired...( ok, maybe not.)

Maybe Baron's lost his groove after being shunned by one Mormon after another at the club. Though I'm sure Baron is a proponent of polygamy.

Derron Willams has got Jason Kidd version 2 written all over him. Just watching him play I see a young Kidd. Back when Kidd was a pretty consistent scorer to go along with that play-making. How about that leaner in the lane to force OT? Simply fantastic for a guy who was considered a "reach" when the Jazz passed on Chris Paul. Williams-Paul will be two of the best PG's in the league for years to come. As they both posses great scoring and play-making ability.

Final Note is for Derek Fisher. Who hit the arena in the 3rd quarter tonight after spending the last few days with his daughter. Who's sick, I haven't gathered whether or not she's going to be okay. But with all that must've been on his mind Fisher was huge for Utah tonight. Hopefully all is well in the Fisher household as Derek is role-player, high class guys in the league that deserve everything they've got.

And an amusing picture I found while seraching for the Sprewell shot...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Litte Over One Month In

So we're a little more than one month into the MLB season and a lot of interesting things have already happened, and will certainly happen. Here are a few observations, and approximations strait from the realm of idiocy I dwell in.

- The NL West is going to be contested down to the wire. The Dodgers and Padres are both as good, if not better than last year. While Arizona, San Francisco and Colorado have all been competitive. The D-Backs and Rockies both have a bunch of young, only going to get better talent. The Giants may end up the worst of the bunch once Barry breaks the record and the rest of the team start to show their age. As they will go long stretches without being able to score. Never a good thing. But they've got to feel good about the young arms of Cain and Lincecum.

- The Yankees may very well miss the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Boston is playing very well in the early going and while they will slump at some point. I'm just not sure it'll be a big enough slump for NY to overtake them. This is also under the assumption that the wild card comes from the Central. Where there are at least two teams better than the Yanks in my opinion.

- Ryan Howard's got some competition in the "best young first basemen" category, his name is Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez is tied for second in the NL in HR's (10), and RBI (30) for the West's second place team. He's been on fire, and I fully expect him to continue to get better. Nice move by SD, inking him to an arguably cheap 4-year extension April 1st. As this future star could have certainly gotten a lot more.

- The Milwaukee Brewers are pretty good. My issue with making the claim they'll win the brutal NL Central is the youth. As you never know when it might all come crashing down. This was also my issue with Detroit last year, though. As the Tigers relied heavily on 3 young players (Granderson, Zumaya, and Verlander). The Brewers rely on a lot more than just three. That said the Cardinals suck and just barely edged out the Giants in the challenge last week. The Astros really needed Clemens as Oswalt can't do it alone. They're done if Oswalt catches whatever Brad Lidge's got. No one else in the central should really contend. Unless Griffey hits 74 HR's, that is. Oh, wait. The Cubs appear to be decent.

- Joel Zumaya's injury might just cost the Tigers the AL Central, and the post-season all-together. I know he's just a setup man but even a lights out Fernando Rodney can't get the ball to Todd Jones every night by himself. While most of the other guys have been solid so far. I'm not buying until they've done it for three months. So if Detroit's out, and Minny's struggling who's in? Cleveland for sure, Chicago? Possibly.

- What the point of the Rule 5 draft? Is it so one team can prove they have a better development system than another? A few names that have changed cities via Rule 5 draft: Dan Uggla, Shane Victorino, Derek Turnbow, Joakim Soria, and of course Johan Santana. While I get that this gives guys whose teams don't have room for them an opportunity to play at the MLB level. It also robs those who have consistently drafted well and I think it should be abolished.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The MLB "Survivor" Challenge: Week 3

Week 3 has arrived in the "survivor" challenge and Ted and I are ready to end two more teams season early. This week I'll be making my 2nd NL elimination while Ted takes care of the AL. For a refresher on the rules click here.

Here are the teams we've each eliminated thus far:
Kansas City

Now onto this week's eliminations.

Leaving The Diamond: San Francisco Giants
Reasoning: Looking at the Giants and Barry Bonds it's hard to imagine how they've fallen. Bonds is the poster child for steroids while the Giants as a whole are the poster children for Life Alert. Every season they seem to get older and every season they suck. Every time Ray Durham gets up from a slid the dugout let's out a collective sigh of relief. As he didn't break his hip.

As I child I was a big time Bonds fan, growing up seeing the man he is off the field has done nothing but make me sick. Whether or not Bonds used steroids I still wouldn't want him to break Hank's record. He's a prick and seeing guys like him succeed is never really a good thing.

This past off-season the Giants gave Barry Zito a massive contract, almost as if to say they were willing to pay big to win. Yet that singing will make little difference this season as the lineup remains mostly intact. I like Matt Cain a lot and I think he'll be great in another uniform in a few years, as it's unlikely he stays in SF for good. Cain is the youngest Giant by 2 years over reliever Jon Sanchez. While playing with all of these veterans will teach Cain about Viagra, Life Alert and many other geriatric necessities. It won't help he and Zito win games. So it is with an ecstatic middle finger in Bonds' direction that I send these Giants into 2007 obscurity.

And now Ted's AL elimination.

Leaving The Diamond: Baltimore Orioles
Reasoning: This one hurts a bit. I went to college in DC pre-Nationals, so my friends and I took in quite a few games in the "friendly confines" of Camden. I once screamed at Kenny Lofton enough - the glorious summer of 2002, when he was with the White Sox (I think? He might have been on 10 teams that summer) - that he actually reacted. As such, I became a kinda sorta Orioles "fan," in the sense that I have an Orioles hat and a Brian Roberts poster, and I display them both frequently enough to vaguely be associated with the organization.

I also once had a multiple e-mail exchange with Jim Beattie.
Anyway, I digress. The Orioles looked good early, but now they look too much like the normal Orioles. As of Wednesday morning, they've lost 3 in a row, are 2-8 in their last 10, had a chance to rumble with the Tigers this week - when the defending AL Champions wanna fight, goddamn it you fight - and instead "fagged out" and no punches were thrown, and bright spots like Daniel Cabrera are beginning to become eyesores. Cabrera looked good in that same Tigers game, then walked six and threw 2 wild pitches. It's cool if you throw 98, bro, but get it under control, joo know?

Even though the Yankees suck right now and everything under the sun bad is happening to them, they'll recover. The D-Rays won't win the division, but they have enough young talent to not get eliminated by BD or I for a little while. The Red Sox might be headed towards another '04. But the Orioles? No chance, not this year. Goodbye, sweet prince.

eXTReMe Tracker