Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Cool Thing About Brian Wilson

“I’d like to be a crossword clue one day,” he said. “I want to be in The New York Times’s Sunday edition. Right now, the clue ‘Giants great’ is always Mel Ott. I want my clue to be down, not across. The down ones are usually harder. And when I’m the clue, I’ll fill it in — just that one — and frame it.

“How sweet would that be?”

-Brian Wilson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beggars Can't be Choosers, Winners Can't be Losers

There are only four to seven baseball games left in the year, so instead of sulking and wishing intense pain upon anyone wearing a Rangers hat on the subway, all Texas sports teams (except Coach Taylor's) and most non-baseball pro-athletes, it's probably healthier and more enjoyable to just give in and get excited about the World Series. Here are some players I know about:


1. Closer Brian Wilson, evil-eyed trivia expert
2. Catcher Buster Posey, rookie heart throb
3. Pitcher Tim Lincecum, television commercial megastar
4. Cheerleader Barry Zito, cosmic donut
5. Panda Pablo Sandoval, panda panda

1. Catcher Bengie Molina, will win a ring either way
2. Josh Hamilton, younger than I am surprisingly
3. Vladdy Guerrero, older than everyone you know unsurprisingly
4. Ian Kinsler. What I love about him is that he is always visibly whining.

The Rangers have the ugliest mascot in the Major Leagues. The Giants also have an unfamous mascot, but theirs is at least marginally cute. His name is Lou Seal and he wears sunglasses, sometimes backwards. And then there's this bad crab, which you can read about here.

Baseball! It starts tomorrow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Goodbye Yankees, Goodbye Phillies

Goodbye teams I know and sometimes love, hello teams I didn't watch once this year.

That said, Texas and San Fransisco are both interesting clubs and the Red State-Blue State culture clash could produce some excitingly strange moments in the stands. So, other than the fact that my team lost and I'm bummed about it and nothing matters the way it would have, I'm stoked for the World Series to Wednesday. That's a long time to wait for baseball.

This looks dangerous.

Of course, considering that the Rangers have waited something like 40 years to make it past the first round of the playoffs, it doesn't seem that long. Ron Washington is going to be chewing his gum faster than anyone ever thought possible.

This game sucked. We don't have to talk about it.

Top: A-Rod's walk of shame
Bottom: Good for you, Vladdy!

I thought for sure that the Phillies would make it to Game 7, especially after taking an early lead against crazy Jonathan Sanchez. An unexpectedly rude Chutley almost started a brawl in the third inning. You should watch the video here, because it's funny. If you don't want to do that, you can at least look at this photo that someone official tweeted during the game (commentary and penguin are my additions).

Yeah, that's right. Cole Hamels strolled up to a benches-clearing confrontation with his hands in his pockets. Jayson Werth, however, was right in the thick of the action. He was always sort of a grubby looking cave dweller, but now he looks like he's from another dimension-- like he's forgotten how to use human language. I think I saw him silently communicating with his bat in the on-deck circle tonight. He hasn't opened his mouth wide enough to form words in months. He's reading your mind right now, while you look at his photo. He knows everything you know, and he doesn't like any of it.

Top: ... ... ... ... ... ... !!! ...
Middle: What's with the scoreboard? Does Ryan Howard have duck lips?
Bottom: Chutley wondering what went wrong

Here's another Twitpic, this time of the Giants drinking Bud Light in their locker room. Do you think the Phillies refused to supply them with champagne or do the Giants just genuinely prefer tall boys on momentous occasions?

Congratulations to Cody Ross and Josh Hamilton for being their Championship Series' MVPs. Congratulations to Aubrey Huff for being the only player on either of my Fantasy Teams to make it to the World Series. Congratulations Rangers fans (whoever you are) and Giants fans (I know some, actually). Thank you, Derek Jeter, and see you in Florida. The nice thing about being a Yankee fan is that there is always, always, always, inevitably always next year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Championship Series: Pushed to the Limit

I've completely lost track of the number of nights I've spent at home, surrounded by Yankee Snoopy dolls, watching an illegal European feed of Championship Series games on ESPN America. I did know, however, that this afternoon's game was do-or-die for the powerless Yankees who were down 3-1 to the non-stop Rangers and that the ungroomed Phillies were poised to fall into that same elimination hole against the ungroomed Giants.

After suffering through two nights of bad Yankee losses, I wasn't sure what to expect this afternoon as C.C. Sabathia faced C.J. Wilson for the second time. Did the Yankees even want to win? Who would replace Mark Teixeira? Would A-Rod get murdered?

ALCS Game 5: Yankees 7, Rangers 2
Rangers lead series 3-2
W: Sabathia (1-0), L: Wilson (0-1)
HR: TEX Treanor (1),
NYY Cano (4)!, Swisher (1), Granderson (1)

Top top: The Conan blimp and the Big C
Top bottom: Grumpy Old Jorge v. Adult Baby Kinsler
Bottom top: Mariano Rivera
Bottom bottom: Subdued Victory Parade

Robbie Cano has finally become the handsome young batting champ we always knew he could be. He credits Derek Jeter and leaving New Jersey. I'm glad that the Yankees won this game because otherwise it would've been a long postseason of watching teams I don't really care about trying to win something that my team got last year. If all else fails, it's exactly this kind of disinterested entitlement that will carry the Yankees all the way back in this series. Dis-gusting. Go Yankees!

NLCS Game 4: Giants 6, Phillies 5
Giants lead series 3-1
W: Wilson (1-0), L: Oswalt (1-1)

Despite all of the interesting things that kept happening in this game, I fell asleep halfway through and woke up to find Roy Oswalt on the mound in the 9th inning of a tied game. WTF. Didn't he just pitch Game 2?

He lost tonight's game after bouncing two balls off of Juan Uribe, which the home plate umpire ignored. Then Uribe hit the pop fly that scored the winning run. PAYBACK. The Phillies, like the Yankees, are now one game away from elimination. If Roy Halladay weren't on this team, I wouldn't care at all. As it is, he'll attempt to save their season tomorrow night against the strikeout Boy-King Tim Lincecum and I hope he goes California-blackout-style lights out. YOU CAN DO IT, DOC!

Top: Ugh Jayson Werth
Middle: Andres Torres caught stealing
Bottom: Ruiz takes out Buster Posey...
or rather, Buster Posey tags out Ruiz

I am happy to report that Big Fat Giant Panda Pablo Sandoval hit a panda-sized 2-run double tonight. Woolsey claims via Facebook that he is "slimmer in real life." Please. Even if this is true, that's like saying that the moon is smaller than you thought it would be. It's still the moon and Pablo Sandoval is fat. These things I declare eternal truths.

Is it just me or does Juan Uribe look like the slim panda of Woolsey's imagination? Also, why do all of the San Fransisco pitchers have intense black beards?

Just kidding, we know the answer to that last question.

Phillies Game 5 will be tomorrow on FOX, if you still get that channel.
Yankees Game 6 will be Friday night on TBS, which nobody gets. Honestly. Television needs to figure some shit out because this is Important.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Saddest Blog Post of the Year

Absolutely unbelievable. The Yankees are down 3-1 to the Rangers, can't hit, look defeated, don't want to do anything. Cole Hamels lost today. EVERYTHING IS BAD AND NOTHING IS GOOD. I REFUSE TO PUT ANY PHOTOS IN THIS POST BECAUSE I AM UPSET.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Championship Series Weekend

Mark Teixeira, the Strangest Professional Athlete? The Strangest Man?

The American League Championship series began on Friday night in Texas, with Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia starting against the Rangers' C.J. Wilson, who was promoted from their bullpen at the beginning of this year. I was at the Real Estate show and had to follow the game by constantly texting Google for score updates, but felt confident that the Yankees, having swept Minnesota in the ALDS, would easily beat the Rangers, who struggled to stop the slumping Rays in five. After seeing the score go from 3-0 Rangers to 5-0 Rangers to 5-0 Rangers to 5-0 Rangers, I gave up on the game until the top of the eighth inning, when I was able to stand on a sidewalk behind the Real Esate van and watch the game through the window of a neighboring sports bar. There, amidst a sea of Manhattan girls puking and crying and falling over in their tall heels and shiny dresses, I stood in disbelief as the Yankees put up six runs in one inning and CAME ALL THE WAY BACK TO WIN THE GAME.

ALCS Game 1: Yankees 6, Rangers 5
Yankees lead series 1-0
W: Dustin Moseley (1-0), L: O'Day (0-1)
S: Mariano Rivera (1)
HR: NYY Cano (1), TEX Hamilton (1)

Top: A Frustrated CC
Bottom: MVP! MVP! MVP!

But then this happened....

ALCS Game 2: Rangers 7, Yankees 2
Series tied at 1
W: Colby Lewis (1-0), L: Phil Huhges (0-1)
HR: NYY Cano (2), TEX David Murphy (1)

This time, I was at work and had to watch the game on mute using TBS's ridiculous Hot Corner application, which consists of live feeds from six or seven different cameras planted around the stadium. While this provides great close up shots of Derek Jeter's ear and young children picking their noses in the stands, it gives absolutely no indication of what happens to a ball once it's put in play. Does someone catch it? Does it go over the wall? Does it collide with a bird mid-air or drop for a base hit or fall into the bullpen and get eaten by big fat Joba Chamberlain? TBS Hot Corner can't tell you.

Top: Sad Phil Hughes. Tall Derek Jeter.
Bottom: Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler low-five

I am going to watch Game 3 no matter what. I had Cliff Lee induced sleep terrors last night.

NLCS Game 1: Giants 4, Phillies 3
Giants lead series 1-0
W: Tim Lincecum (1-0), L: Roy Halladay (0-1)
S: Brian Wilson (1)
HR: SF Cody Ross (1 and 2), PHI Werth (1), Ruiz (1)

Holy shit, who is Cody Ross??? From watching these games, I learned that Cody Ross grew up wanting to be a rodeo clown. I think he used to be a Florida Marlin? Other than that, I'm not sure why or how these home runs keeps happening.

Top: I love photos like this.
Middle: The Freak, The Franchise, The Freaky Franchise
Bottom: What's a Cody Ross? THAT.

I've had a hard time understanding my feelings about this series. I think it would be easier for the Yankees to beat the Giants in the World Series, and I like Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey and Fat Panda Sandoval. But then again, I've paid so much attention to the Phillies this year that it's hard not to instinctively root for them. And I love Roy Halladay* and Cole Hamels. And if the Yankees don't make it to the World Series this year, I want the Phillies to win so that Halladay can finally get a championship ring. But if the Yankees do make it to the World Series this year, I want them to win, so that means I should be rooting for the Giants. But I hate Brian Wilson. But I hate Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth. But, but, but....

NLCS Game 2: Phillies 6, Giants 1
Series tied at 1
W: Roy Oswalt (1-0), L: Jonathan Sanchez (0-1)
HR: SF Cody Ross (3)

Top: Roy Oswalt ignores the "stop signal" and slides home safely.
Bottom: The Phillie Phanatic wearing a hat, a shirt, shoes and knee socks, but no pants.

To me, the most interesting part of this broadcast was when they showed the Phillie Phanatic driving Ryan Howard from the Eagles game to Citizen's Bank Ballpark. I think they were in a golf cart! Also Cody Ross hit another home run but the Phillies still won and I don't know how I felt about any of it.

Game 4 with Cole Hamels in San Fransisco starts on Tuesday afternoon.

*Did you know that Roy Halladay bought the Phillies Swiss watches after his perfect game? They were inscribed "We did this together. Thanks, Roy Halladay." I love him.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lady Jeter is Officially the World's Most Beautiful Lady

Derek Jeter's so accomplished that even his girlfriends win awards:

"sexiest punch bowl girlfriend alive"
(caption via)

Did you know that Minka Kelly was 26 during the first season of Friday Night Lights? The fifth and final season begins October 27th. You can buy this for your own punch bowl girlfriend to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Playoffs Day 6 + 7

NLDS Game 4: Giants 3, Braves 2
Giants win series 3-1
W: Madison Bumgarner (1-0), L: Derek Lowe (0-2)
S: Brian Wilson (2)
HR: SF Cody Ross (1), ATL Brian McCann (1)

The Giants won this game and clinched the series on the road, despite douchey closer Brian Wilson walking two runners with no one out at the bottom of the 9th inning. Although this was San Fran's first Division title since 2003, their accomplishment was overshadowed by the fact that it was also Braves manager Bobby Cox's last game. He's been managing the Braves for the last 24 years! The Giants saluted him before going back into the visitor's clubhouse and spraying champagne everywhere. Baseball, always classy.

Top: Thanks Bobby
Middle: Bobby
Bottom: Ghost Bobby

ALDS Game 5: Rangers 5, Rays 1
Rangers win series 3-2
W: Cliff Lee (2-0), L: David Price (0-2)
HR: TEX Kinsler (2)

Cliff Lee dismantled the Rays at home, beating young starter David Price in their second match-up of the series and leading Texas to their first ever postseason title. Over a complete nine innings, Lee gave up just six hits and one run and struck out 11. Although, he did not strike out B.J. Upton three times, as predicted, he did break recently mulleted Evan Longoria's heart. Just leave Florida, Longoria. All of your teammates are doing it next year.

Texas cheering as Vladdy huff'n'puffs back home

Offensively, the Rangers profited from the strategic baserunning decisions / blind luck of Nelson Cruz and old-ass, bad-kneed Vladdy Guerrero, and a two-run homer in the 9th by diaper-autographing adult baby Ian Kinsler. After Cliff Lee got B.J. Upton to pop up to end the 9th inning, the Rangers ran out of their dugout, shrieking like harpies and hugged each other while jumping. The Rays just looked sad and disappeared. More extensive photographic evidence to come.

Meanwhile, the Phillies and the Yankees hung out and practiced.

Top: Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, Roy Halladay
Bottom: Jeter aiming for the sun

I did okay in my divisional predictions. I think I originally said Yankees in 4, Phillies in 3, Rangers in 4, Braves in 5, and one of those things came true. It's funny that the Yankees were the only team to clinch their divisional title at home-- a small kindness to the Twins and all other symbols of Midwestern decency, I suppose.

The Yankees will play the Rangers in Texas on Friday night for the beginning of the Championship Series.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Playoffs Day 5

ALDS Game 4: Rays 5, Rangers 2
Series tied at 2
W: Wade Davis (1-0), L: Tommy Hunter (0-1)
S: Rafael Soriano (1)
HR: TB Longoria (1), TEX Cruz (3)

Top: The No-Power Rangers
Bottom: Evan Longoria awakens

The Rays don't win at home, the Rangers don't win at one wants to clinch this because everyone's afraid to take on the Yankees in the Championship Series. Affable Evan Longoria snapped his postseason slump today by hitting two doubles and a home run. The Rangers looked rattled, which makes sense considering that they probably thought they'd sweep this series without sweating a few days ago. Do-or-die game 5 will be played back at Tropicana Field, with David Price and Cliff Lee making their second starts on short rest. This is excellent news for the Yankees, as they probably won't have to face either ace until game 3 in the next round.

I just read on Yahoo! Sports that Texas is the only MLB franchise never to have won a playoff series and that they are 0-6 at home. I heard on the radio this morning that they have massive hunting trophies hanging in their locker rooms. If they win in Tampa tomorrow, do you think they'll kill and mount one of the devil rays that live at the stadium? Then again, I also heard that TB starter Wade Davis once shot and killed a 300-lb. black bear. So, you know, maybe not.

NLDS Game 3: Giants 3, Braves 2
Giants lead series 2-1
W: C. Romo (1-0), L: C. Kimbrel (0-1)
S: Brian Wilson (1)
HR: ATL Eric Hinske (1)

Top: Remember when Casey Blake got in trouble for mocking Brian Wilson?
Bottom: Brice Conrad made three errors in this game. Yikes.

Once again, I know nothing about what happened in this game. But isn't it unnatural how much darker Brian Wilson's beard is than his hair?

NLDS Game 3: Phillies 2, Reds 0
Phillies sweep series 3-0
W: Cole Hamels (1-0), L: Johnny Cueto (0-1)
HR: PHI Utley (1)

Top: Why so somber, Chuts?
Middle: A more understandably bummed Joey Votto
Bottom: Cole Hamels shuts the door.

I watched most of this game in the full-field mode on Connar's iPhone at Clare's Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, so it was pretty difficult to figure out what was going on. Can't they force teams to wear dissimilar uniforms for crucial games? I was really hoping that the Phillies would wear those blue hats, but I guess maybe those don't go on the road.

That said, even while watching flea-sized men on a Post-it-sized diamond, it was evident that Cole Hamels was pitching a gem. I know that at some point in the near, near future, I'll have to stop rooting for Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, but for now I can say that I was beyond happy to watch Cole get the final three outs of the 9th inning and smile for the first time since 2008. Complete game shut out!

In his post-game interview, he said that Roy Halladay "makes him want to know himself better." He sounded like a mouse! I honestly thought he would sound like Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights. Here's a bonus TR Coldplay highlights reel. Unlike Riggins, Cole Hamels is from San Diego, not Texas. Maybe my mental association makes no sense, but come on, they're both so BROODING.