Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oh God, Why Me?

My neck is really going to be sore at the end of today what with all the shaking of my head I am doing over here. It seems that my cohort here has temporarily lost his mind, or is suffering the after effects of what I would suspect was a happy hour gone terribly awry. I am going to have laryngitis by the end of the day from cursing you under my breath. This is one of those days where the best thing to do is totally ignore the Colossus and hope he goes away quietly unnoticed. On to the highlights of the day…

I decided that a pizza run was in order today so I ventured down to the best spot in the town. The same spot where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the crazy preggo chicks last footballing season. Anyway, I arrived at the promised land and had the distinct opportunity to be in line with the super most awesomest guy I have ever seen. Mr. Star Wars as he shall now be known to the rest of the world, well his hat said something along those lines. Complete with light saber holster that attached at the belt and tied to his leg. Complete with the dark side t-shirt to the upcoming disappointment that will be released this May. Complete with Star Wars patches ironed on to the sides of not one but both of his Saucony’s. Complete with cut outs of the dark lord sith scotch taped to the toes of the same Sauc’s. Yeah. The laughter was only broken long enough to mutter something along the lines of, “Hey, Obi Wan could kick your ass.” Or something like that, I was just way too flustered to actually break the guy’s nads better than that. Pretty cool to see a guy in his late 40’s who just can’t let go though…

When I was able to get it back together and heading back to finish the afternoon, I had the pleasure of running into our very own Bolt, Adrian Dingle. Out practicing to improve our squad. Thanks Adrian, go kill somebody next season and bring home the trophy would ya?

Some More Observations:
-At 40+ it’s time to give up the Star Wars Dream
-Football Players are huge
-Fantasy Sports are dumb
-Your fantasy team sucks.
-Your fantasy team sucks.
-Your fantasy team sucks.
-You are an idiot.

Repeat chorus.

Who's The Best Hurler Going?

It's going to be my coconspirator after this post.

Ahh, baseball is almost hear. I can already taste the hot dogs and cold beer at Petco Park. The sun shining down on the ballpark, the crack of the bat. It all seems so real already as I sit here listening to Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman and beach bum Tim Flannery call one of the last games of the Cactus league. Man I can't wait for my team to take the field. I'm excited about this group. Strong pitching and some powerful bats. I think this team has a shot at the whole thing. That's right, my fantasy team is tight, yo!

Of course I jest. My fantasy team isn't bad, but it is certainly a reflection of the fact that I didn't bother to show up for the fantasy draft and didn't even rank my picks. Sure I got some solid performers in guys like Roger Clemens, Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. And there are some that I figure to have big years after being a bit of a disappointment last year, like Derek Jeter. I expect Richie Sexson to come back as hot as he went out at the beginning of last year. All in all, a pretty sweet group. I think I can turn them into winners.

And I'll tell you what else I think. I think I was wrong about Barry Bonds. I know for a fact now that he won't be back this year. Because I got him. That's right, my autodraft wasted a pick on old melon head. Somebody legalize steroids, quick. Oh sweet irony what a douche you are!

I've managed to avoid the temptation to pick up Ryan Klesko off the waiver wire. Some of you may wonder why, seeing as I bet on him to have a rather productive year. It's because, in the world of sports, I a "cooler."
If I were to draft Klesko, it would doom him to a career low in all major batting categories. 9 home runs? Yeah right, that would become a sisyphean task. Bam! Sisyphean! In your face vocabulary! Didn't think I had it in me, did you?! Sorry, tangent.

Anyway, in case you're curious, and because I intend to really piss off my pen pal with occasional updates, meet my fantasy team, Max Colossus Extreme.

C - J. Estrada (I think the J is for Jorge, maybe Johnny)
1B - Aubrey Huff
2B - Alfonso Soriano (Probably Autodraft 2005's first pick. Would have been mine too. Way to go Autodraft!)
SS - Derek Jeter
3B - Juan Uribe (Whatever. My only 3B is a bit of a worry. Monster season please)
OF - Miguel Cabrera
OF - Johnny Damon (On the same team as Derek Jeter? Fantasy teams will lead to world peace, I say)
OF - Shawn Green
OF - Milton Bradley (Milton Bradley? Come on! I'm noticing a bit of a power vaccum in my outfield)
Utility - Richie Sexson (Seriously, he was leading the league in homers last year)
SP - Roger Clemens
SP - Carlos Zambrano
SP - Roy Halladay
SP - Chris Carpenter (Hmm. Two career seasons in a row, maybe? Or something from John Carpenter?)
SP - Odalis Perez (Another freaking Dodger?)
SP - Livan Hernandez (Go Nationals! Irony again?)
RP - Francisco Rodriguez (Not sold on him)
RP - S. Takatsu (I remember picking this guy up last year. Not so great. My Relief pitching sucks!)

Bench Guys:
Barry Bonds (My favorite player and the best to ever play the game. I've always felt this way about him)
Jeff Kendall ( He sprays it around)
Jeff Bagwell
J. Westbrook (No idea)
Ted Lilly (What? Canada still has a baseball team? Let's move these guys to Puerto Rico already)

So, them's the boys. Go me!!!

There Is A Flag On The Play...

Okay, thanks for violating the football blackout program. All for that up to the minute, sure to be headline making and breaking signing of the second best running back on the team to a lucrative, long term deal. It’s still two weather seasons away, stop thinking and talking about it before you go mad from odd shaped ball sport withdrawal. On to the topics at hand…

It seems as if maybe the change in surroundings has done on Mr. Tim Redding a bit of good. His outing against Texas on Wednesday showed his prowess, allowing two runs on six hits. Nice work Mr. Redding, you have accomplished in one day what Darrell May hasn’t been able to figure out during the duration of camp. That is, there is a lot less pressure to perform when you know you have a job locked up. Now go coach Mr. May on the ways of the relaxed starting pitcher.

Moving on to other more important stuff. Like Woody Williams. Last night against our beloved Aztecs and former God like hitting clinic producer Mr. Gwynn, Woody shut down the young amateur squad for five innings giving up just two hits during his time on the pile. If we could only play college teams all the season long, we might have a shot at this thing…

It seems as if there are a lot of folks in the know out there that are actually putting their money, or at least their most valuable opinion on our Pads to win the Western Division flag this 2005 season. Let it be known that I was shocked at this revelation. I, myself have not thought that way once recently. In fact, my guarded optimism (yes, that’s what I am calling it) is telling me that this team is exactly the same as last year’s team. Identical. In order for us to win the division a couple of teams, L.A. and San Fransisco, needed to get worse. I think that one of them has, while the other has not. You can decide which is which. Arizona on the other hand is a much improved club this off season. They may struggle a bit on the mound, but they are young with arms, and they have strength at the plate. I think that they will surprise some folks out in baseballing land. Colorado is in trouble. Period. You want predictions? I'm your Huckleberry. I will be happy to oblige all of you out there. My pick is as follows:

-It is very conceivable that San Francisco wins the division this year.
-It is my contention that the Pads finish here in second, with an 85 win season. The Dodgers should challenge us for this spot.
-Arizona fits here. I think. They are the most wild-card of the bunch. I think this is a good spot for them but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see them challenge for the division lead, or, the basement. Really going to be interesting to watch these guys in ’05. Or not…
-The air sure is thin down here at the bottom, and in Colorado.

That’s my stance I will stand by, here, standing. Monday marks the opener, in Kobeland. Way to get the pitchers some confidence right at the beginning of the new season, start them off in the launching pad. Then back for the Home Opener on Thursday against the ex-padres, the Steelers… Pirates, excuse me. This is shaping up to be a strong start to the ’05 campaign.

I Have To Apologize.

So, I know that this is not supposed to be about football until September, because everybody gets depressed just thinking about it, but I just can't help myself. Big news is big news and it needs to be addressed. After weeks of free agency producing nothing more for our Chargers than some backup safety from a team with a more than questionable secondary, we have finally made a move of note. Now, whether you see this move as a major upgrade or a foolish lack of long term vision is up to you. Personally, I feel that this move shows that our front office has been doing a lot more behind the scenes strategic planning than I have given them credit for. To lay low and then, out of the blue, pounce on an opportunity like this shows a shrewd sense of football business. Cunning? Indeed. I will no longer question the teams movements, as their plan for the future becomes magnificently apparent! The Chargers resigned Jesse Chatman to a one-year deal. Go Bolts!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ouch. Easy, Easy.

I don't see the need to start beatin' on Adam Eaton. Yeah, he probably would have broken out by now, if he was going to break out, but he's doing fine for a number 4 guy. Not great. Fine. I'm far more worried about Lawrence and whoever ends up getting the most starts at the 5 spot. Could be you. Could be me. I mean, Hitchcock only got us 9 wins at the 4th spot in 98'. Granted his losses and ERA were a little lower, but I do not recall him having gone through any major reconstructive surgery in his career. I could be wrong about that, however. I'm not trying to be an Adam Eaton apologist here (though I have been called one in the past), but let's try and keep our criticism focused on people I'm disappointed with. Okay?

Not A Liar Per Se...

Couldn’t have said it better my friend. Same old story, different season. All our guys have so much potential it’s just sickening to hear anymore. As the Colossus stated, B. Law got shelled against Texas for eight runs, seven earned in six. I swear to the good heaven monitor that resides above, our guys have the stuff that makes for good pitchers, they really just have no idea how to pitch. Really, think about it, it’s true. We have and have always had guys that can throw the ball, at least in the last decade or so, they just have no idea where the ball is going and why it goes where it ends up. Look at Matt Clement. Always threw the ball hard, and with movement. Two things that every pitcher would make a run for the crossroads to get. What do those things get you if you don’t know how to pitch? They get you a guy who chews up innings, wins some games, loses some games and generally hangs out in the .500 club. Sound like anyone you know? He will have some spectacular, memorable starts, and then get shelled the next time out. That kind of pitcher doesn’t breed championships. That kind of pitcher, quite frankly, annoys the hell out of me, more than listening to Macaulay Culkin tell Johnny Cochran that Michael Jackson played Mr. Rub Rub with him while he was trying to have a cross removed that was pinching his feeding tube. And it has for a while now…

We all know that Lawrence and Eaton have good stuff. How many more years are we going to have to hear about it before they finally have their “breakout” year. This will be, what?, attempt number five for Eaton at his “breakout” year. So far, Eaton has had a mediocre spring. Respectable E.R.A, in 12 innings pitched, giving up 17 hits and 4 walks, 21 base-runners in 12 innings. Not really lighting it up against the spring competition is he? What is going on? When will they get it? Will they get it at all? Will we ever get to see the “potential” that everyone keeps telling us about? Why do I keep asking stupid questions?...

Nady did have a big day yesterday, 3-6 with a 3 run jack and 5 RBI. Not too shabby kid. Got Bochy to finally commit to naming you the opening day starter out in center cause of Dave Roberts ruined groin. Not to say that he didn’t earn it by batting .357 with 5 home runs this spring. Thanks for coming up again kid, don’t start slumping ‘cause there isn’t any full time position for you to play yet up here. Unless you can pitch…

Bruce Bochy Is A Liar.

Okay, that may be a little harsh, but am I supposed to believe that Xavier Nady was going to get the start in CF even if Roberts was 100% ready to go? Uh huh, sure. The only acquisition we made in the entire offseason , that can honestly be said to improve an area of need (I'm speaking of leadoff here, as I don't see Roberts being a huge defensive upgrade over Jay Payton), was going to start on the bench? Come on, Boch. The way Nady has played in the spring, I could see him possibly getting the nod over Burroughs at 3rd, but there is no way you're letting Burroughs start the season leading off on purpose. This Dave Roberts groin thing is really starting to scare me. Did that sound weird?

In other Padres news, Brian Lawrence gave up 7 EARNED runs in 6 innings yesterday. Come on, buddy, we played this game last year. It wasn't funny then, and now that several other guys are pulling the same stunt, it isn't funny now.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Not Quite Yet Kimo Sabe...

Well, today marks the day that the Pads make a move to improve the pitchy staff. Perhaps they have the benefit of hindsight early to know that the current rotation is significantly weaker than last year's. Or maybe they have a feeling about this guy. Or maybe they flipped a coin. Or maybe they just made a move to make it look like they were making a move. Either way, Tim Redding has been exchanged for Humberto Quintero, one of the more fun names to pronounce in recent Pads history. Right up there with Sixto Lezcano, and Archi Cianfrocco. Oh, and Carmelo Martinez... awesome.

So what does Mr. Redding add to the current staff? I have no idea. Zero idea. Does he make us better? Perhaps. Does he make us a contender? Umm... I will reserve judgment on this one for now, I definitely have an opinion on this but I suppose I should keep it to myself until Mr. Redding throws a pitch in Padre colors. I am still confused as to how the team got better in the off-season. It seems that we will be sending the same squad out there to battle for the west one more time. It's time to start making predictions for 2005...

Here's Some Fun Stuff

On Saturday, the Padres new 5 spot, once again strutted his stuff on the mound. This time May gave up 8 EARNED runs in 2/3 of an inning to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He did only give up one walk, though.

On the flip side, Woody Williams pitched Friday and gave up only 1 run in 7 innings, to the Athletics. That was Woody's second win this spring, so at least that seems to bode well for the Friars.

That 5 spot scares me quite a bit. I try not to put too much weight on Spring performances, especially in pitchers, but if May opens the season with a couple of games like he's been serving in the Cactus League, KT is going to have to do some serious scrambling or this season could get away from our boys right quick.

Friday, March 25, 2005

But His Head Is Enormous!

There you go bringing the Chinese Diving Team into it. Can't we give them a moments peace? They're not even mean to reporters. Well, if they are, no one can understand what the hell they're saying. I can't stress this enough, speak English people! I come to your country to be an obnoxious American and a large protion of that is wasted if you can't understand the things I am yelling at you.

Now, I am not a sports journalist sympathizer or anything, and I can agree that Skip Bayless is a self-righteous douche bag for comparing himself to Barry Bonds, but enough of this trying to make Bonds the Julius Caesar of this era. I think the four guys who read this blog know how we both feel about this issue, and if they don't we'll explain it to them tonight at the bar.

They Actually Pay People For This?

So having just read Skip Bayless’ “Mea Culpa” column over at ESPN’s page 2, I am flabbergasted as to how everyone is deflecting the Barry Bonds situation onto Barry. Skip, in far too many words for an column which is nothing more than another personal attack in a far too long string of personal attacks, compares himself to Bonds. After all, Skip had his knee scoped and was running in 3 weeks after his 40th birthday. Not playing or being subjected to the rigors of a professional sport, just jogging. Well, if you can do it Skip…

All in the name of a story are these guys chastising Bonds. Ratings. Columns. Period. Yeah, Barry may not be the most upstanding citizen around. There are issues with him professionally and personally. He is no saint, nor do I believe that he ever claimed to be one of Heaven’s representatives. But, there’s Skip, at the front of the line, trying to spin the story. It is Barry in fact who is trying to vilify the media. Well, what would seem like a more likely scenario, Bonds attempting to defend himself from what could conservatively be called a hostile media stance against him? Or that he is chastising a group of reporters for their unwavering praise of his professional and personal life over the last decade. I would suggest to Skip that maybe if people like you weren’t insulting the size of his head, constantly declaring publicly that you know based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence that he took more steroids than the Chinese Olympic Diving Team and that he has destroyed his family with his abhorrent adulterous ways, maybe Barry wouldn’t be so defensive. It’s not like you guys are out there doing puff pieces on the guy. What will be your recourse if it turns out that you were wrong? Will there be a mass public apology and a retraction? I would most seriously doubt that. Were I Barry, and thankfully I am not, I would not be giving in and threatening retirement, but perhaps something more physical would be in order. Ruin my life you will, I might take a chunk out of you. Thank goodness I am not Barry and he can control his temper or it could get really ugly…

On a side note, I just had this exchange with my cohort in crime here that may be of interest to some of the local folk:

MC: I'm curious as to your opinion on the whole Mt. Soledad cross thing. I know you're not a big religion guy so I'm interested in what you think. These people who lobbied to have it removed are now trying to have all crosses removed from all federal property. If I'm not mistaken, all those veteran's graves from past wars are marked with crosses and star of Davids and those military cemeteries are on federal property

CJ:You wanna know? I think this is just another example of the selfishness of our whiny, crybaby, my way society. Another example of he who cries the loudest wins. I think that it is abominable that someone would want to remove a symbol that is honoring people who have fought and died for the rights that allow said moron to be upset and take action against a static symbol. I think that these fanatics have nothing better to do with their lives and they find joy in making dramatic and chaotic situations out of their lives for some sense of meaning or accomplishment. There are a lot of people like this in the world and I think they are poisonous. They are not comfortable unless they are surrounded by conflict, drama, and or some level of discomfort. It is a me first, pay attention to me at all costs mentality. I think it’s a sickness. And I think that it is way too prevalent in our society today. I think it is fueled by television, a lack of education, and parents who never slapped their kids and said no dinner tonight jackass. I think it is also mainly driven by folks who have no sense of who they are and were probably outcasts as children. This is their way of revenge. Spiteful pricks.

I hope they get gonorrhea.

Your thoughts?

MC: I couldn't have said it better myself. It makes me sick. If I thought for a moment that the cross had any bearing on their existence at all, I might feel differently, but instead I also believe these people get a perverted joy out of causing grief and strife. Unbelievable that something like this could ever happen. What will be our societies Stonehenge? Golden Arches?

CJ: That’s what I was thinking. The golden arches. But then I thought, well, the arches are gold. And, they kind of resemble ugly breasts. With gold being a symbol of heaven, which offends me, as do ugly breasts, I am going to sue McD’s for being insensitive to breasts and those of us who are offended by the very idea of heaven. I will take down the heavenly kingdom of ugly breasts that McD’s promotes and conveys and force feeds us and our children.

But I might settle for an order of fries.

MC: Now there's movement I can get behind.

Friday Content Rocks!

Brian Lawrence gave up 6 runs in 5 innings yesterday versus the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, or whatever they're called. The good news is...No walks! Hurray! Take that Darrell May!

The Angels started a pitcher yesterday that had earlier told the Padres that he wanted to play for them so much that he was willing to be flexible in contract negotiations. We all know how that turns out. Never tell the Padres you'd be willing to take less than market value to play for them. They'll offer you a bus pass and a sack of Big League Chew. Take a hike, Finley! Oh, and by the way, that pitcher had his second great spring start against the Pads, serving up 6 shut out innings. Sounds good, I'll have that.

In other baseball news...

Sidney Ponson, "Ace" pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles (Little known fact I made up: Orioles are some of the fiercest predators in the animal kingdom, only slightly less ferocious than the Santa Cruz Banana Slug) has been involved in a fracas and damaged his uber talented hand. Apparently 11 days in an Aruban jail did not have the rehabilatory (made that word up too) effect you'd think. You play for a bad team. People are going to heckle you. Stop hitting them.

Here's a good one. Yesterday's spring training game between the Rockies and the D'backs (Diamondbacks to the layperson) in Tuscon was called on account of bees. Bees? Ef bees! I'd have gone out there and punched every bee in the face.

O.J. Simpson didn't kill his wife.

Robert Blake didn't kill his wife.

Ray Lewis never killed anybody.

Rae Carruth is trying to appeal his conviction for killing his wife based on the compelling argument that those guys got away with it, and he was easily more famous than Robert Blake when [Carruth] alledgedly killed his wife than Blake was when he didn't kill his wife. Everybody get that?

There's your Friday content people. Eat it up with a spoon.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I don't really care that much. The point I was trying to make is that this man has made a fortune in his career, and part of making that kind of money for a job that is essentially in show business is being under intense public scrutiny. I think most people in the business realize this. I think most of them realize it as soon as they start outperforming every player in their high school division. To think that you deserve special consideration from the media is ludicrous. Especially if you are, ARGUABLY, the best player to ever play the game. Also, if Barry Bonds hadn't been a dick to the people who earn their comparably meager salaries reporting on his daily goings on since day one, I think the coverage would be somewhat more sympathetic. Rose cheated and lied about it, acting as though he was smart enough to pull the wool over the eyes of the world when it was obvious to all that he was guilty. He was smug and arrogant. It was an insult to fans and people in the baseball world. Bonds has done the same and it is impossible for me to feel sorry for the guy. Oh, and I know I've mentioned the size of his melon before, but the truth is, I don't care how big it is, as long as he's not trying to violate me with it.

Let Me Get This Straight...

Just for the record, I noticed this yesterday but failed to actually realize the implications that lie within. You don't like Barry, obviously, nor do I so much, personally. But, he is the greatest baseball player ever, and no one save Pete Rose and maybe a handful of others have received the intense scrutiny of the media specifically targeted to derail the Bonds train. To derail the train that will super glue his name to the record books. A name that many in the media and baseball don't care to be associated with. Were this Mickey Mantle, or Joe D. we would be celebrating every night on SportsCenter and the front page of the local and national daily rags as well. Instead we are reduced to insulting the size of the guys dome...

I am truly grateful that you were able to support your point so well by quoting the ever so popular bastion of baseballing Raul Mondesi. He is quite frankly the most upstanding, team oriented, credible baseball player since Hose Canseco, or Alan Wiggins. You go on to further your point with an Al Davis reference.

Maybe Barry doesn't deserve our sympathies as a player. But far be it from me to attempt to ruin a man personally for the sake of ratings or a record book. You should all be ashamed of yourselves...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What the !@#$ Are You Talking About?

First off, Bonds is not retiring. Puh-lease! As Raul Mondesi said yesterday, he was having a big fat emotional "my body hurts and the media picks on me day." He'll be back before you have a chance to realize you don't really care as much as you think you do.

Secondly, he broke the law. I don't mean the "laws of baseball, oooooooh," I mean the actual freaking law. The non-prescription sale or acquisition of steroids is and has been against the law for quite some time now, if I'm not mistaken. Lying to a Grand Jury, as far as I know, is not a right that we, as Americans, are entitled to. Are these crimes tantamount to the crimes that guys like Ray Lewis and Leonard Little "alledgedly" committed? Not in my mind, but they are crimes none-the-less.

And C, being in the media spotlight sure does suck. Doesn't seem to be worth anywhere near the millions upon millions of dollars he makes for being able to hit a ball with a stick real good.

As far as cheating. Who the hell cares about cheating? I don't even want to begin to imagine how many professional athletes are finding new and exciting ways to get a leg up on the competition. I deplore the fact they do it, but you certainly can't hold up Barry as if the whole thing were his idea. Especially when we all know that cheating itself was Al Davis' idea. What bothers me is that this guy would have been a HoF player regardless of his power numbers. So why'd he do it? Was he too banged up to go on, but loved the game too much to give it up? Fine, say that. Hard to beat a guy down too hard for a heartfelt admission. Too bad he can't go back and play that card now. It would be an admission of guilt at this point that would most certainly be used in any pending criminal trials. Only the race card and the media is evil card remain.

I'm sorry your kids are crying over what the media prints, Barry, but maybe if you hadn't always held yourself so high above the cost of fame and fortune for all these years, it wouldn't be so easy for the people you've treated like parasites too hash out your indescretions over and over again. Something about laying in a bed you made or grave you dug.

Lastly, many of you will say that I would feel differently if Bonds was a Padre. Well, that, my friends, is just plain ridiculous. The Padres would never pay a player what Barry makes, and if they did, he'd have been traded before the back end kicked in anyway.

Saying Goodbye to Barry?

In what has been sweepingly dismissed as Barry being Barry, and just tired, and run down, and injured, is it time that we contemplate the larger picture here? Are we at the end of the career of Barry Bonds? If this question was posed to me a few years back I would have thought that I would relish this day more than the birthday I celebrated in Cabo San Lucas this past January. But now that it appears to be a very real possibility that baseball may lose the best player that has ever played the game, I am at a loss. If this is the case, and Barry truly does retire, there will be an immense fissure left in his absence, the likes of which will not be filled any time soon, if ever.

I am not the largest proponent of Barry Bonds. I cannot say that watching him pepper the seats across Jack Murphy Stadium for years was ever very pleasant. I cannot say that watching him surgically pull potential friar home runs back from the void in left field was delightful. I cannot say that watching the number one Padre Killer was ever very fun. But, I can say that Barry Bonds was a fantastic baseball player. He was a monumental baseball player and in my opinion the best player who ever played the game. Not the most liked certainly, but definitely the best. Did Barry get a bad wrap? Well, he always did what he wanted and made no bones about the fact that he was who he was and if you didn’t like Barry, it made no difference to him. What has happened that has led us to the current situation that we find ourselves in? Has the media succeeded, as Barry said yesterday, “You wanted me to jump off the bridge, I finally did.”? Have they? Has he been forced from the game?

Barry Bonds takes steroids. Barry Bonds has extramarital affairs. Barry Bonds has a huge head. Barry Bonds lied to the grand jury. All of these things have been stated ad nausiam. My question is why? Why is the media trying to take down a historic symbol of our “national pastime”? When did the media switch sides and start trying to vilify our heroes instead of celebrate them? Have we regressed back to a society of good ‘ol boys that doesn’t want to see a black man break a sacred holy white man’s record? For those in the media who still don’t know, Babe Ruth’s record has already been broken. And, yes, they guy who broke that record was not white. Is this still a case of race?

I want to say no, but the parallels to what is happening with Barry and what happened to the greats of the past are staggering to me. In not so many words, the media over the past few years has painted Barry as a cheater, of both the game and in his personal life. An adulterer, a liar, and a cheat, with a big head, sickening personal attacks which would ruin any average Joe by the end of the day. But not Barry, he has put up with this for years now. There are never positives in a Barry story anymore, there are just tales of lying, cheating and deceit that fill the pages daily. Almost as if to challenge him even more, to make the game that much harder for him. A game that seems so staggeringly easy for this man that he may just quit, truly leaving no doubt in my mind that he is the best of all time and that any and all of the most coveted and celebrated records of the game would have fallen at his hands. Even more staggering is that it seems as if he could leave now, content, and happy to have his life back, be out of the intense scrutiny of the media, knowing full well that no one has ever, or will ever play the game like he did. Barry just didn’t leave a mark on the game, he changed the game, and left a gaping scar in his wake that will never be erased.

I can’t say that I have ever been a Barry Bonds fan. But, as a baseball fan, Barry has been one of the most exceptional assets of the game. I have had the pleasure and pain of watching the best baseball player to ever play the game during my lifetime. Part of me hopes he walks away, content with his accomplishments and leaving no doubt in most minds that the two records he had left to conquer would have crumbled. The other part of me hopes that he comes back, so I can be a part of the moment when he does cement his legacy on the game. And I hope the media is there to acknowledge him and celebrate the man that changed baseball.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Yeah, Whatever. I Got Hosed.

And I accept that fact. 95 RBI, are you kidding me? My Padres love knows no rational bounds. But, after that "friendly wager" and the other one that I made on UConn, I have something to decree to all who know me. Any wagers that I make whilst hammering my brain with alcohol, will be forthwith welched upon! That goes for you Jerks in Vegas, too! Eh, who am I kidding? It takes me years to pay off my "friendly wagers" anyway.

Interesting Cactus League Developments lately. By the way, why does preseason baseball give their division cool little quirky names like Cactus and Grapefruit, but when the meat of the season comes around we get plain old National League and American League? Boring. How about the Camaro League or the Flying Crocodile League? And East/Central/West divisions? Buy a map if you need to know where Baltimore is, but let's sell some kick-ass T-shirts and key chains here people. Who wouldn't a San Diego Padres Hurricane League Death Adder Division Champion Padres nylon baseball jacket? Some jerk, that's who wouldn't!...anyway.

The Pads have actually starting waking up in the old Cactus League, winning their last 6 and coming alive with the bats here and there. Dave Roberts is back in the line-up, Xavier Nady is playing so well that there is actually talk of him usurping Sean Burroughs at 3rd, and Darrell May only gave up 1 run in 4 innings yesterday. Unfortunately in those same 4 innings May gave up 4 more walks, and walks are have been a problem for Padres pitchers in the not too distant past.

All in all, regardless of some still to be answered questions (like why is there no competition for the 5 spot when at least 1 of our minor league pitchers has outperformed May?), it's hard not to get excited about another year of Friar baseball. With the start of the season right around the corner, the wait is almost over and we will finally be able to fill the void left by our nation's 4th biggest sport, Curling. Face it, Curling season's just about over people. And it not coming back. Until whenever it is that Curling season starts again. That is, assuming Curling has a season. Whatever. Just try to enjoy some baseball, okay? Go Ted's Padres!!!

A Fortnight?

Two weeks. Two weeks from now we will be entering what is the sacred friar time. This won’t be pre-season, it won’t be practice. It will be the real deal. So what can we expect from the ol’ball club this 2005 time around the diamond?

Well first, Ryan Klesko is going to have a huge year. There are a couple of reasons for this, of course none of these reasons are the slight bit valid or based on any rational thinking. These justifications stem from pure gut feeling, the kind of feeling you get when you just know that next card you draw is going to be the one that makes your hand and cracks the one of the poor sap sitting across from you. Not that I would know what that is like what so ever.

First, he was horrible last year. Just abominable. I would guarantee that if you asked Ryan about his performance last year he would be terribly disappointed. He did manage to put it together the last month of the season or so, and started showing signs of being the hitter he once was. But, home run totals, or lack of them plagued our troubled outfield all season, and it is very conservative to say that Ryan wasn’t making up much for a lack of offensive production out there in left. I have seen riots across the globe in which protesters were fielding canisters of tear gas better than Ryan was playing the baseball last year.

Last season’s performance aside, the one factor that will virtually ensure that Ryan will be M.V.P. this year is my big mouth. Yep, I had to go and open it, and well a “friendly wager” ensued, and now of course I will lose the bet. Yes, my cohort here and I decided that a wager was necessary after the decree that Ryan would be back. Upon reflection of his 2004 attempt at baseballing, I began to chastise my cohort here for saying such ludicrous things. After a bit of bartering for statistics we settled what would be considered the numbers that would qualify Ryan having a “big” year for us this season. For simplicity we stuck to the triple-crown stats, and they go something like this:

Klesko’s Good Year:

Now, I think that the home run total is low. I think that if I told Klesko he would hit 25 home runs this season, he would say that number would be higher. The average number is a toss up, this guy could hit .320 or he could hit .265, if he is healthy and out of that rut he couldn’t seem to climb out of last year, .287 is very reachable. Finally, the RBI. This could be a tough number to reach. A lot of other factors are going to have to come together for this category to be successfully completed.

All in all, I think we have a very fair and balanced wager here that will hold our interest in this upcoming baseball season at least on one level. The season tickets will help as well, the semi-new ballbark is still shiny and a great experience for baseball watching. Two weeks away. Two weeks.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Put Your Money On Ismael Valdez To Win At Least Two Games In The World Series This Year.

A lot of people who know me might say that I've just been waiting to jump all over this one. Truth is, I haven't paid an exhorbitant amount of attention to spring ball so I can't tell the whole story. But here is what I do know. Darrel May, the ole 5 spot, gave up 5 (3 earned) in 3.2 innings against Oakland yesterday. I guess you could make some kind of case that that isn't terrible (He kept the ERA under 9), but I have to say I'm a bit worried (Did I mention he mixed in 4 walks?). This guy isn't even competing for the 5th spot in the rotation. That's right! Bochy, God love him (And it seems everybody else does too, for some reason), has already said, repeatedly, that May's position is etched in stone. Nobody breathing down his neck. No pressure.

It's no small wonder that the player's love Boch. See, I have this theory. Guys who played baseball as bench guys for so many years have this little league mentality. Everbody gets to play. They know how it feels to sit there and watch those showy every day bastards strut their stuff. That's one of the reasons we've essentially sucked since '98. Our bench has been terrible, but Bochy won't rest until everybody gets 400 at-bats. Quit living in the past Bochy! You remind me of those guys who become congressmen so they can ban dodgeball.

Okay, okay, okay. I know it's not all Bochy. You work with what you got. And he hasn't done terrible in that respect. But watch for a couple of things this season. He'll take Klesko out against lefties for a right handed bat, even though the guy he puts in will have a lowere average against lefties. Bank on it. And when we play premiere pitchers, he'll rest everybody. He gives away those games. Never gets after the big guys, and that'll kill you if you make the postseason. Rant rant rant rant rant. God, I'm grumpy today!

Seven Killed By Something

I really don't understand this. Being that there is typically nothing to report on the Padres baseball front, you would think that when there is an actual story it might actually be reported on. No. No. No. You are not journalists. The Padres do not butter your bread. That is just not the way it works at all. Fools! See, it's like this. Today in the San Diego Union Tribune Post Adviser Journal Times there was a fluff piece about how many different hats, or gloves as the case may be, that Xavier Nady (X to those of us "in the know") wears on the playing field. This boy has already put in time at left, right, 1st and 3rd in spring training. Turns out they've been playing him out in center the last couple of days now, as well. Why, you ask? Damn good question! I'll tell you. Seems that the only signing we made this offseason that made any sense, Dave Roberts, has a bit of a GROIN INJURY that has gone from "being sore to a concern." That's it. That's all they had to say about that. That's in depth journalism right there people. All your questions, your concerns...ADDRESSED!!! Article does not mention how X is doing at lead off.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Surely There Has To Be Something Else To Write About.

Sportswriters- and by that I mean the guys who get paid for their glorious insight- piss me off. I don't know if I've ever mentioned that before in this web log (I hate the word blog ever since they actually put it in the dictionary).

Now I know that nobody is going to write anything about the Padres, cause let's face it, they haven't done anything. At all. And I understand that there is a big Red Sox vs. Yankee thing going on that makes for "interesting" copy. And being that steroids are du jour at the moment, you have to address players like Jason Giambi. But seriously, is it necessary to make up new and exciting issues to write about in reference to these two monumentally overpaid and annoying franchises? One dickhead has actually been going around asking GMs, managers and other front office types for other teams what they thought of the Yankees lineup vs. the Red Sox lineup. Are you insane? Is this not the most insulting thing going in sports right now? I wouldn't be surprised if the questioning went something like this: "Which teams lineup would you least want to have pummel the crap out of your team in the post season?" Unbelievable.

Quick hits:

Woody Williams gave up 8 runs in 2 innings yesterday. Last I checked, we already have Brian Lawrence, I thought we were trying to replace David Wells.

Rick Ankiel has shifted from once dominating pitching prospect to the outfield. I'm betting he won't be setting any records for outfield put outs at the plate.

In an effort to dethrone last year's biggest pain in the ass, Milton Bradley, Mike Cameron has had his agent tell the Mets not to trade him. I say fine. Cut him instead.

The Astros are apparently a team that's gone from being the hottest regular season franchise at the end of last season, to a team in serious trouble. Notably needing a decent replacement in CF for Carlos Delgado. Who cares?

Ken Griffey Jr. has a testy hamstring. Might miss a few games this year.

The Detroit Tigers have made some moves this off season. Particularly in their bullpen. Will probably still suck.

Well, being as this season is all about poor but plentiful content, I fell pretty good about the preceding post. Til next time, keep on rockin' in the free world!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Baseball? Hmm. Yeah. I Can Do Baseball.

More content? That's going to be tough, considering that from what I've read in the media, Major League Baseball(New Motto: That Ball is Almost Outta Here!) has been contracted down to four teams. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Barry Bonds. And don't give me the Mets, they're made for TV. So I don't know what this San Diego squad my cohort is talking about is, but- oh wait, never mind. Turns out baseball only contracted the Expos. And brought back the Senators. Only now the Senators are called the Nationals. The Nationals are apparently even more popular with foreign ballplayers than Omar Minaya's Mets, since signed players are automatically given U.S. citizenship. Freaking. Slay. Myself. Can I get a stinking rim shot here?! (Totally out of practice people).

Anyway, can't wait for another top notch season from all the teams in the MLB (New Motto: Now with 20% more testing!). Small ball is the rule of the day this year, and with newly acquired center fielder Dave Roberts taking every third at bat, look for Our Padres to make a strong go of it. Until I feel like writing again, see you in Peoria!!!

Times are Changing...

So here it is. It’s about that time where we finally put that dreaded footballing season behind us and focus on what lies ahead. The address is the same (for now), the writer’s (cough!) are the same, and the content will be the same. Only the focus of our collective wrath will have changed. It’s baseballing time here in San Diego and I intend to pay attention to our other professional team here in town.

Let’s get a bit of bizness out of the way first. Like I said, the address is the same. It will remain that way until I can figure out how to change it without losing the other one as well. I want for minimal effort on my part to continue this thing so I am scouring the friendship database for computer assistance since I am a jackass. There may be a change, there may not be a change. If there is, rest assured that you will know about it, probably before I do.

There should be plenty of content for your viewing pleasure barring any hospital time due to rampant cases of disease by either myself or the Colossus. Common sense tells me that with ten times the games to review, hopefully more with a playoff run, that there should be ten times the content over here. And of course I am talking quantity not quality. If you want quality look elsewhere, this is after all a site about our San Diego sports teams, we can only be as good over here as the product that is put on the field. Seeing as how we have spent a total of zero dollars to improve our baseballing team this off-season, don’t look for any measurable improvements from our overpaid writing staff either. But, there should still be enough neurons between us to power the remaining semi-disabled brain cells on their upstream journey. At last count there was still a handful or so left. If not I will get my niece to punch on the keyboard three times a week. You won’t know the difference.

As of Monday, the official footballing ban/blackout/lockout period began. That means that there will be no more discussion of our heart wrenching squad for now. None. Not until the launch of what is the dreaded pre-season, ritualistically kicked off each year by the “Couchgate” party. This will be the fourth annual installment. But, that is still spring and summer away. So there is to be no discussion of our footballing team what so ever. The only time that rule may be broken during the blackout period is if something historical or catastrophic happens. For example, the Chargers signing Keenan McCardell to a two year extension today. That does not count. It’s cool. But it doesn’t count. Enough of that…

Finally, as there will be plenty to talk about we welcome all comments and criticism. We welcome all readers so share our garbage with your friends and enemies alike.

It’s time for baseballing…