Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

From Albert to Zito

For the second year in a row, I was granted first draft pick in one of my Fantasy Baseball leagues. This time, I didn't spend it on possible sports brother Grady Sizemore. Instead, I did something rational and chose Albert Pujols.

He's like the Derek Jeter of the Midwest, except better at baseball and younger and taller and heavier and exponentially more powerful. I guess what I'm trying to say is that he has a winning spirit and a good heart. If you disbelieve me, you can read this Sports Illustrated article. Don't do it at work, though, because you'll probably start crying when it gets to the part where he's 18 years old and working in a pizzeria to support his 21-year-old girlfriend and her baby daughter who has Down's syndrome and then they get married and go on their honeymoon to Peoria, IL.

Anyway, a Mariner's fan took Ken Griffey Jr. in the middle of the draft, so I had to scramble for an adequately symbolic last pick. I would have taken the now-retired Normal Garciaparra-Kolenik, but HE GOT DRAFTED, TOO. I guess I'm happy enough with my selection:

BARRY ZITO IS SO FAUX GROOVY. Remember when he had Twitter? Hahahahaha. In the bottom photo, what song is he thinking about playing and, in the top photo, is he on LSD?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brothers in Sport and Song

The thing I like most about football is star quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, and one of the things I like most about Peyton Manning is that he has a younger brother who is also a star* quarterback on a team that wears most of the same colors as the Indianapolis Colts.
(*By "star" I mean "appeared in a series of Toyota commercials that may or may not have aired outside of the Tri-state area.")

While I like all configurations of sports families (Griffey and Griffey Jr. and Griffey, C., for example), I REALLY LIKE sports brothers. In fact, the ONLY thing I like about B.J. Upton is his brother Justin. So, when baseball commentators began talking about Detroit Tigers prospect Scott Sizemore this spring, I automatically wanted to believe that he was the younger brother of Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore.

Shared trait: Crooked grins

Although I can't find any proof on the internet that Sizemore and Sizemore are brothers, I also can't find any websites that specifically say that they aren't.

Shared Trait: Bad running faces

If Scott Sizemore were exceptionally ugly, it would be easier for me to accept that the two Sizemores aren't genetically linked. Does it follow, then, that Scott Sizemore's serviceably standard looks can be used as further evidence that he and Grady are related?

God, obviously not. Didn't you take logic in high school?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sports Feelings

I'm working with a credible source/my friend Sam (not Weber) on a multifaceted exploration of why baseball players and fans have such obnoxious taste in music. Until then, please suspend your critical faculties for 4 minutes and 47 seconds while you enjoy this beautiful Ken Griffey Jr. highlight reel. SPORTS FEELINGS.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Saw the Sign

I absentmindedly paused Game 6 of the 2009 World Series to make dinner and when I came back to my computer, this is what was on the screen:

If you haven't watched the World Series multiple times, you might not know that this is an image of crazy Joba Chamberlain striking out Phillies outfielder Ben Francisco so hard that stars appeared. Never mind that Fox Trax says it's a ball. Do you think that this means that Joba will finally have his BREAKOUT year as the Yankees' fifth starting pitcher?

Personally, I prefer the equally unpredictable Phil Hughes because I think he looks like a movie star:

Also, he's able to breathe with his mouth closed while he pitches. That's class.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Then and Now

As Jennie astutely noticed last week, TBB favorite Casey Blake has gone beardless.

My first instinct is a combination of disappointment and horror. But on a practical level: how is this going to affect his performance?

Last year pitchers had a stare down a fierce, hard-hitting third baseman. Now? An ogre-ish man that may have crossed eyes? Could I strike him out? Of course not - he's a major league baseball player and he may just be squinting in the picture above. But can Tim Lincecum? Probably, in fact he did it 4 times in 7 AB last year. And that was with the beard!

Here's a side-by-side comparison for reference.

I suppose it's possible that he wants to save the beard for later in the season. And this smile certainly bodes well for future facial hair growth. But for now, I'm afraid Casey Blake can no longer be:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cleveland, Honestly...

It's a long-haired magenta carpet monster with yellow splotches standing next to a lady hot dog in a ruffled tube top and an apron. Nevermind your questionably offensive team logo, WTF are your mascots? Cleveland...Grady....Cleveland...anyone?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ladies Love Us v. 2.0: The Outfield

Yesterday, I began to address the question of whether or not my Fantasy team has gotten less lovable by evaluating my infielders. Now, let's examine the outfield:


In addition to being a cosmic waste of fantasy energy in 2009, Grady Sizemore was also the source of 90.5% of all managerial conflict for the Ladies. I love him. Paul hates him. In fact, Paul threatened to quit the team if I redrafted Grady this year. We took Andre Ethier, instead. Sometimes, I think he's really cute and sometimes I think he looks like a small talking mouse. Even though he'd be an upgrade over almost any other outfielder, here Ethier is LOVE DOWNGRADE.

Last year, Kei made this collage of Marauders of Time managers with their #1 draft picks. Doesn't it look like Grady and I went to prom together? My high school G.P.A. was higher than his, but maybe they didn't have weighted AP classes at Cascade High School in Everett, WA.

Grady, I still think we have a future...I'll call you when I move to Cleveland.


Remember when I met Nick Swisher last year?
Jason Kubel looks like a ghoul and he plays for the Twins. SERIOUS LOVE DOWNGRADE.


I made these photos backwards.
Nyjer Morgan has a nice smile and steals a ton of bases. Adam Dunn looks like a donkey and steals NO bases. This is a LOVE UPGRADE.


Manny! I think you may be a bad person, but I still like you tons! Do something funny this year! Please make the Dodgers not suck! Are you and Casey Blake friends? I can't imagine that this could be possible! Juan Pierre looks like a teenager, but he's older than I am! We got him to compliment Nyjer Morgan! I wonder how that will work out...LOVE DOWNGRADE!

Next, our pitching staff, where a lot of good things happened yesterday....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My favorite Matsui photo

"TEMPE, AZ - MARCH 12: Hideki Matsui #55 of the Los Angeles Anaheim reacts as the fence holding back fans breaks before the MLB spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 12, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)"


Ladies Love Us v. 2.0: The Infield

Last year was my first season as a Fantasy Baseball manager and during our league's draft, my only objective was to construct the most beautiful, heart-pleasing team possible. Once the season started however, the skill shortage of my aesthetically elite dream squad put me at a serious disadvantage to more logically composed teams, which in turn caused my "spoiled only child sore loser" neurons to fire with such a frequency that all non-fantasy baseball thoughts were almost completely silenced. It was an intense and oftentimes unpleasant experience. This year, I attempted to make more practical decisions during our Fantasy Baseball draft. Numbers-wise, this new group of Ladies is an obvious and undeniable upgrade. Has the team become correspondingly unlovable? Well, starting with our infielders, let's take a look:


Mike Napoli, while somehow not as ugly as I remember him being, is no Kung Fu Panda. I don't care if he hates Jorge Posada as much as I do, this is a LOVE DOWNGRADE.


These are both Paul picks, and both are pretty good. Branyan is nondescriptly handsome and hits home runs and Reynolds is nondescriptly not unhandsome and hits home runs. Reynolds also broke his own record for Most Strikeouts in a Single Season, which is a truly remarkable accomplishment. I can't evaluate how I feel about this change at first base because Russell Branyan is on the team again this year as a bench warmer, so let's call this a LOVE DRAW.


BEST SMILE IN BASEBALL!!!!! MOST HANDSOME MAN IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES. I was pretty stoked to get Robbie in the 4th round, because he's a quality producer at a relatively shallow position. LOVE DRAW.


Is he going to have a good year? I don't know. It doesn't, couldn't, won't ever matter. LOVE DRAW.


As far as the infield goes, third base saw the most blatant sacrifice in love for talent. While Swebs has been hot for Longorium since day one, I've never really been a fan. His charmingly gappy teeth and goofy ears just don't make up for the fact that he plays for my least favorite team in all of baseball. I HATE THE RAYS. I HATE BJ UPTON. I HATE MATT GARZA. I HATE MATT GARZA I HATE MATT GARZA I HATE THE RAYS I CANNOT STAND MATT GARZA. I wanted to draft Casey Blake as a sentimental bench companion, but someone else took him first! Can you believe it? He was actually not ranked that badly. Beardless Casey is kind of a goon, but he still holds a special place in my heart. LOVE DOWNGRADE. Casey Blake owner, who are you? Let's have a talk. You can't have Evan Longoria, but maybe we can work something out.

Coming next, the outfield and my thoughts on losing Grady Sizemore....

Fantasy Baseball Days are Here Again

Kei and I blog our fantasy baseball league here.
Sports feelings! GET READY!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Look

Spring training has begun! Let's look at some aesthetically unsettling formal portraits of my favorite players:

The two sides of Ichiro are equally frightening.

Grady's in baseball jail on the moon. REDEEM YOURSELF, SIZEMORE.

Derek Jeter is so good. His head is exploding with goodness.

My first thought upon seeing this picture of Robbie Cano was,
"God, I bet he smokes a lot of pot." Do you think it's true?

For some reason, Mark Teixeira's portraits were published sideways. He doesn't need help looking strange, so I'm not posting them, here. I will, however, share this photo of Teix jogging in sports flip flops. Gah. I can't look at him without grimacing in a baffled and horrified, yet somehow loving way. He's not normal. He's not, not, not, not, not, not, not, not at all normal.

And finally, no one cares about taking artful photographs of Casey Blake. Aw. What happened to your beard, Casey? Do you want to play on my fantasy team again?

Sam, what happened to his beard?!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Don't Like Anybody but I Love You, Peter Pascarelli

For the last year or so, one of my favorite sounds has been the six-note chime that introduces ESPN's "Baseball Today" podcast. Do you think it sounds like the "Light World" theme in Zelda? That's a good song, too.


Similarly, I've spent many nights falling asleep or running laps to the sound of Eric Karabell and Peter Pascarelli fighting about baseball. Sadly, after making some typically disparaging remarks about MLB commissioner Bud Selig, Peter was removed from the podcast some time last week. His replacement sounds like a sports robot. ESPN, you suck. Peter was the ultimate "hater with a golden heart" and the upcoming season will be less enjoyable without his endless, growling rants.

On the bright side, this could be Kei's and my chance to finally launch the "Asian Girls Wearing Sports Gear Sports Fan Podcast." We can put it on iTUNES.