Monday, March 31, 2008
(Jordi starting your week. Pay attention, because you can’t afford free speech.)
As many around these parts can attest, patience is cruel lass. A tease. The type of girl that will excite you and give you hope, then yank your heart from your chest like that guy from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Fortunately for long-suffering rock fans hoping for a new Guns ‘n’ Roses album, there is a free Dr Pepper at the end of their arduous wait. (Personally, I’d buy the album just to get the free Dr Pepper. Then I would mail it to Bucketheadland.)
Yet there are others who are waiting for something greater. Something epic. Something so amazingly ground-breaking it will shatter your preconceived notions of mental accomplishment.
For them, I have the honor of offering a few snipets of a great movie. One that stars a witty, humorous, fun-loving talking animal, a young soon-to-be-star, and a beautiful leading lady. It is a film of action, suspense, self-sacrifice, and the epic battle between plucky underdog heroes and an evil so great it dares to destroy humankind forever. And, the movie takes place in Cleveland.
Click here for clip 1.
Click here for clip 2.
Click here for the first music video from this great exercise in cinematography. With a George Clinton cameo!
In other news, the Cavs won, Boobie Gibson got hurt, and baseball season has begun.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
How cool is this? We used to have to rely on diaries and letters to feel the vibe of life in the pokey. Now we have blogs. Amazing.
In his latest post, Prodigy drops this nugget of wisdom, which is actually pretty deep:
"ANYBODY THAT GOT SOMETHING AGAINST KEEPING A BLOG, YOU SHOULD STAY FARRRRRR AWAY FROM THE FOOL AND NEVER TRUST EM’. A BLOG IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY, JUST LIKE RAP MUSIC ISN’T FOR EVERYBODY. A BLOG IS INTERNET SLANG FOR A LOG AND IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A LOG IS—IT’S WHAT BOAT CAPTAINS WRITE AND KEEP IN ORDER TO DOCUMENT THE DAYS OF LONG VOYAGES AND TRAVELS...IT’S LIKE A DIARY."
By the way, Prodigy gets the The Serious Tip Seal of Approval due to his interest in the Illuminati, conspiracy theories, and his valiant fight against The Man.
Keep doing your thing, Prodigy. The temperature's risin, and it's nothing surprisin'.
Friday, March 28, 2008
In case you have no idea what I am talking about, enlarge the pic and then come back and click here.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
(Jordi wearily overlooking his kingdom. Hath Rome already burned?)
I read the Cavs barely lost to the Hornets. Hornets forward David West apparently hit a game winning shot with less than a second left.
Poor Cavalier fans. You know it was not the Cav’s fault, right? They were merely a victim of a power much bigger than LeBron, the team, you, or I. Let me attempt to explain.
Chris Paul calls David West "The 17ft Assassin".
The Statue of David is 17ft tall.
Michelangelo carved the Statue of David.
Leonardo Da Vinci was Michelangelo’s rival.
Leonardo was born on April 15th.
April 15th is Tax Day.
The Beatles sang a song called “The Taxman“.
George Harrison wrote “The Taxman”.
George Harrison also covered “Got My Mind Set On You“.
“Got My Mind Set On You” was first performed by James Ray.
James Earl Ray (no relation) assassinated Martin Luther King.
If you add up the number value of “Earl” it equals 35.
Add 35 to the number value of “Ray”, you get 80.
Subtract number value of “LeBron”, you get 15.
The Cavaliers have 10 games left.
Subtract 10 from 15, you get 5.
The Hornets won their 5th straight game thanks to the 17ft assassin.
See, I told you it was confusing. Regardless, the Cavs had to lose.
On a semi-related note, there will be no Black Velvet here. Nothing that will bring you to your knees.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Few days of the baseball season have as much mystique as Opening Day. Perhaps you can compare it to a playoff match-up or a classic pitchers’ duel, but Opening Day is more than that. It is a day when every team is in first place and every team has a chance. It is a day when kids are expected to skip school and be seen at the ballpark. A day when grown men get giddy and develop odd medical ailments such as “anal glaucoma”. It is a day when, as the old saying goes, “hope springs eternal”.
During almost half of the past eight years however, Opening Day has been a sham, sacrificed to corporate interests and slaughtered on the altar of baseball’s globalization agenda.
As Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out, before moving Opening Day to Japan, baseball season would traditionally open in Cincinnati. According to Bisher, “it became a custom that every major-league season opened in Cincinnati. Nobody played before the Red Stockings, now shortened to Reds. It was just that way.” Although the merits of Bisher’s argument about baseball in Japan are flimsy at best, I wholeheartedly agree with his point that Opening Day should keep its Cincinnati tradition.
My idea would be to start every season on the Sunday closest to April 1st. Games would then be organized as they are on every Sunday in the NFL, with of course, one exception. Whereas a majority of the east coast teams would start at 1 pm, the Reds would kick off the season a half hour before, at 12:30. As with the NFL, west coast-based teams would begin at 4 pm, and a nationally-televised game would begin at 7 pm. Every team would begin their season on the same day, no exceptions.
Contrary to the opinion of Mr. Bisher, baseball can still be played overseas, even in Japan. I would love to see more games during the season in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other locations throughout Latin America (Venezuela perhaps?). Maybe even a game in London. But the first day of America’s Pastime? That should stay in America.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
As everyone knows, there is only one person with the creative gall to truly express themselves and pour every heart-wrenching emotion into a sports blog love story.
As Matt Ufford of With Leather kindly pointed out, "The first rule of the Internet is that you don't talk about your feelings unless you're cloaked in at least four layers of irony and/or anonymity."
(Links: Can the Cubs Mend My Heart?
With Leather: Please God Let This Be Fake)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
(Jordi back again. By lawful decree, your week has started.)
Over the weekend I read one of the best basketball-related stories I have read in a while. You should check it out if you haven’t already. It is about a mysterious shoe-less wanderer named Jesse Dunn.
Lang Whitaker of Slam had a chance to interview this cat at a Waffle House in Atlanta a few years back. I heard in Atlanta they have a two-story Waffle House. Back in college I wrote an article about Waffle House for a segment on the best places to eat late at night. There is a Waffle House right across the street from Casa de Jordi. As you can see that fine chain of eatery has been a major part of my life.
Anyway, some guy from the Pacers is going to take some job with the Knicks. Yay. I’m excited. I remember way back when Larry Brown came to NY and people were like, “Our years of suffering are over! Long live Larry Brown!” When last seen, Larry Brown was still recovering from his time in NY.
Boney will be happy, the Pistons beat the Suns in overtime. The NBA, where exciting happens.
Maybe it is the pressure from running this site, but I haven’t watched a basketball game in over a week. Since I last wrote ”I watched a game”. I don’t remember what game that was. I think it was last week. I also haven’t watched one game of the NCAA tournament. If you asked me who was left in the Sweet 16 (I think that’s where they are), I would say …
Western Kentucky (I only care because a former 400-lb FSU center was pretty good there)
Kendall Gill’s kid’s team
(2 minutes of deep ponderance)
Wow, that’s about it.
Maybe that explains why I turned down Jack Cobra’s offer to fill out a bracket over at his site.
The truth of the matter is: I’ve never filled out a bracket. Ever. Does this make me weird? I don’t see the point in picking favorites from two teams I have never seen play. That’s exciting for compulsive gamblers, I guess.
In other news, click here if you want to see Yao Ming slowly morph into a famous Chinese pop singer named Li Yuchun.
And this, this is funny. As long as no one gets hurt.
Lastly, Kenny Baker is underrated. He is more than welcome in the Kingdom of Jordi anytime. I’ll leave the light on for him.
And yes, that dog can play basketball. It says so on his doggie Myspace/Facebook/social network site. He is probably better than me.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Unfortunately, our day together was a microcosm of our years together, from the unfulfilled hopes, the patterns of disappointment, and the tears washing away the potential for a joyous end. Hopefully things get better. They can't get worse.
As has been par for the course, I arrived late to Chain of Lakes Park, spring home of the Cleveland Indians. Although I made good time to Winter Haven, traffic leading into the ballpark was so bad, by the time I bought my ticket I missed the entire first inning.
Speaking of tickets and seating, because of the large crowd and my late arrival, I was limited to standing in the outfield berm beyond wall in left center field. Of course, I was not alone. There were a few hundred other people sprawled out on blankets or portable chairs. But without something to sit on and the ground wet from a day of drizzling rain, I was forced to stand the whole game. To be honest, I couldn't expect much more for my seven dollars.
Like many of the old spring parks throughout Florida, Chain of Lakes Park has the sentimental feel of an old-time ballpark from the 20s or 30s. There is nothing fancy about the park, from the old fashioned metal overhangs to the limited scoreboard in right center. It hosts baseball the way it oughta be - without the bells, whistles, and trappings geared for the 15-second attention span.
As for the game itself, as I mentioned, I missed the first inning. I arrived in the top of the second, in time to see the Mets go down in order against Cleveland starter Cliff Lee. Lee pitched well throughout his five innings of action, not allowing a run, scattering four hits, and striking out five.
Lee's counterpart on the mound, the Mets' Oliver Perez, suffered an opposite fate. After retiring the side in order in the first, Perez failed to get the lead-off man out in any his other four innings. In the second, he allowed a lead-off home run to Victor Martinez, and after walking the lead-off man in the third, gave up another lead-off homer in the fourth, this time to Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Whereas in the first three innings, Perez was able to regain composure, in the fourth he struggled, giving up longballs to Casey Blake and Ben Francisco.
Perez pitched one more inning before leaving the game after five. Sure enough, he put the lead-off man on in that inning as well, issuing a walk to Franklin Gutierrez. Joe Smith and Nelson Figueroa would relieve Perez in the sixth and seventh respectively, and although they didn't give up any runs, they too both allowed the lead-off man to get on base in their innings. You don't win games doing that.
As for the Mets offensively, there was not much to talk about. Carlos Beltran hit a home run in the top of the 6th off recycled journeyman Scott Elarton and obscure has-been Fernando Tatis drove home a run in the top of the seventh. Fernando Tatis. Seriously.
Unlike my previous two spring excursions, Saturday's game did not end 8-4. Instead, after the Indians batted in the bottom of the seventh, the skies opened up, rain drenched both field and the fans, and the umpires finally called it a day with the final scoring being 5-2 Indians.
As we near the end of my love's annual Florida trip, I wish her well and hope the summer months bring her much joy. With luck, we will be together in the fall, enjoying our time in the sun and becoming one in our bliss. Until then, my love, I bid you adieu, adieu. As always, it was an unfulfilled pleasure .
Friday, March 21, 2008
(Jordi back while the sun still shines.)
While perusing John Hollinger’s NBA Playoff Odds, I became deeply mired in the insane notion that if the Hawks, Pacers, Bulls, Nets, Bobcats, and Bucks all lost every single game until the end of the season, and the Knicks went 11-3, the New York Knicks would make the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.
I’ll admit, there are probably games that those teams ahead of the Knicks play against each other and as you know, someone has to win those. But great googly-moogly, is the Eastern Conference that bad that a team could hope to win 31 games and have a prayer to make the playoffs?
Check this out:
Has anyone read this? I think it is a true story about this guy:
Think about it.
Oh yeah, read this too, from a chat right before the 2004 draft:
garland,texas: Is it true that the mavs are in talks with
the cavs about trading josh howard or another player for the cavs #10 pic and
get pavel podkolzine?
Brad Friedman: Possibly. Assistant coach Donn Nelson
is as well-versed on the international scene as anyone in the league. The Mavs
love players who cause match-up problems, and at 7-5 Podkolzine can do that.
Howard is expendable with the Mavs having so many wing players.
Why didn’t this happen? Maybe because they thought Luke Jackson was the answer. Howard at the 3 and LeBron at the 2, or vice versa, would have negated Larry Hughes. Imagine. It’s easy if you try.
The Great Jordi hath spoken. Peace out.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
(Once again, back is the incredible, the unstoppable, Jordi.)
Before I begin with this week’s decrees, I would like to thank Jack Cobra for his 52,791 posts this week. The man is a blogging beast. Good job, Jack.
THAT SAID, I have returned from my haitus. For the goodness of this site, I installed a state-of-the-art security system, complete with carnivorous marsupials and demonic sea monkeys. Then I souped ‘em up with the ol’ milk-plus, I did.
Why? Because Cobra wasn’t the only one receiving a coded communication. Instead of decoding my message however, I threw it away immediately.
Let he who abandoned you lose all hope of returning.
The Great Jordi has spoken.
Before I go however, I leave you with this. The Great Jack Cobra’s recent post on the Cav’s lack of offense outside of LeBron reminded me of a story I read about old-time baseball pitcher Bob Gibson. Back in the 50’s, Gibson moonlighted with the Harlem Globetrotters. The Globetrotter’s offensive philosophy consisted of one play: throw the ball in to Meadowlark Lemon. That was it.
The Lemon Offense (as I call it) was part of the Globetrotters’ amazing 8,829-game winning streak. I’m just saying.
Speaking of Meadowlark, check out this old-school commercial. It is funky fresh.
That is all for now.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
We cannot hide from the fact that bloggers and the mainstream media are different. We come from different backgrounds and our challenge to be heard has taken much different routes. Bloggers did not come from journalism schools across the nation, although some do share that experience. We come from your neighborhoods, your sports bars, your stadiums, your colleges, and your little league fields. We are your friends, your co-workers, and your family members. We are your global community, yearning to be heard.
I have seen places where bloggers are prosecuted. I have read their struggles against oppression. In countries all over the world, the innocent who clamor only for a voice are arrested and jailed, many without representation. All for the ability and desire to express their thoughts. The power of unrestricted voice is frightening to the establishment, and too often that establishment has gone beyond the limits of comprehension to stifle the speech of the common blogger.
Here in America we are not jailed on account of our words. We are not prosecuted because of our announcements or analyses. We in the sports blogosphere are however, told how we can blog, where we can blog, and how often we can blog. Our undying desire to broadcast our opinions is being preempted by the heads of the very sports we love. We are being forced to choose between our hobby, or in few cases livelihood, or the leagues and organizations that we have followed, many since birth.
I know there is a place for all those who want to write about sports. A place where bloggers, the mainstream media, and sports organizations can co-exist peacefully and without hostility towards one another. A place where the mainstream media will not sit idly by while the voice of a blogger is stifled. A place where bloggers act as a respected part of the fourth estate, not only as a check and balance against those whose purpose is checking and balancing. A place where the current cacophony of voices merges into a harmonious symphony, where each part, although pleasant on its own merit, complements the greater whole.
This paradise is not far away. I believe it is in our grasp. However, for it be a reality, we must all want it. We must all believe in the goodness and sweet sound of cooperation.
For opposition to this dream, and actions negating the advancement of bloggers worldwide, Mark Cuban and his Dallas Mavericks organization will no longer be mentioned on this site. As long Mark Cuban decides to shut us out, we will reciprocate his actions and delete him from our current conversation.
I invite other bloggers, especially those who share the passion of sport, to make a similar stand. Stand in unison and join The Serious Tip in a "Cuban Boycott". Only together can we make a difference.
It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?
- Rage Against The Machine
Monday, March 17, 2008
That said, there are a few things I am going to be watching for this season. Through blogs and sites like Baseball Prospectus, I feel I've enhanced my powers of baseball observation; and it's time to put my newfound analytical abilities to the test.
So, instead of the usual run-of-the-mill predictions (which I am not good at, as I proved last year), I'm giving you the trends and key points I'm keeping an eye out for. I might just even write on these points when all is said and done at the end of the season. If you are lucky.
Things I'll be watching this season (in no particular order):
- The end of Shea and Yankee Stadium. Hopefully, I'll be going to Shea at some point this summer for the last time. My first game there was 23 years ago - Back to School Day, 1985. I still have the old giveaway binder to prove it.
- The end of the Dodgers in Vero Beach. The Dodgers are ending an era by moving out to Arizona. It makes economic sense and probably should have been done years ago, but it hurts my traditional-minded baseball heart to see them go. There's talk that the Orioles might replace them. But will Koufax Street, et al become Jim Palmer Lane?
- More on stadia: the development and drama behind the Rays' and Marlins' new parks. Although I am not sold on the sail idea, and have kinda grown to like the Trop, I can't wait to see both teams in new homes.
- Speaking of the Rays: they are getting an unprecedented amount of hype this offseason. Will the hype equal increased attendance? I'll be there. Rumor has it only a small minority of Tampa area bloggers actually live in the Tampa area. Oh well, there's always hanging out with Dickie V.
- May 16, 17, 18: Red Sox versus Brewers. There is a chance the two most famous alumni from my high school, Tim Wakefield and Prince Fielder, could face each other for the first time. A truly historic day.
- Years ago, pitchers used to pitch 300 innings and win 30 games. Those days are long gone. As we move to a more coddling time of pitchcounts and relief specialists, have we seen the end of the 20-game winner? What about the 300-strikeout season? If a guy only pitches 240 innings, he would have to average 11.25 strikeouts per nine innings to get 300 Ks. I don't see that happening again for a while.
- The inconsistencies of bullpens. No facet of professional sports is more unpredictable than major league relief pitching. A shutdown bullpen one year could be complete garbage the next. Imagine if other situational aspects like fieldgoal kicking or goaltending or freethrow shooting were as unpredictable.
- Talent versus signability in the June draft. The Rays again have the first pick and I don't think money will be too big of an issue for them. But for the Pirates, Royals, Twins, and several other teams, signing bonuses and rookie contracts continue to destroy the true purpose of the amateur draft.
- The growing influence of "new" stats in baseball discussion. Most serious fans know the meaning of OPS, VoRP, and other SABRmetics. How soon until these terms are incorporated in the layman's baseball vernacular? Would it be too much trouble to get one of the guys from Baseball Prospectus, etc to work at ESPN, preferably on an announce team. Why not make one broadcast a week a more in-depth announcing experience, with color commentators who won't spout cliches, but will instead tell me a pitcher's groundball-to-flyball ratio and why that is important in a certain situation?
- Finally, will this be the season more teams look to the stolen base? With the age of steroids slowing drifting away like Dobie Gray, will we see a return of "manufactured" runs? More stealing, bunting, and situational hitting? Or have walks, on-base percentage, and station-to-station offense completely replaced the stolen base as an alternative to hitting the ball out of the park?
There you have it. The 10 things I'll be watching. Feel free to discuss in the comments. Only 9 days away. I can't wait.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
(Jordi slipping in the back door for a weekend post. Wait, that didn’t sound good.)
Today is a glorious day. The sun is shining. The birds are singing - like they do everyday - turn, turn, turn. However, instead of wallowing in the Florida sunshine, I am here ruling my roost and imparting wisdom to the fine denizens of the YaySports community.
As you can tell by my witty and insightful headline - which I just wrote down and mailed to myself to ensure poor man’s copyright - I watched the Rockets-Lakers game.
Rafer Alston had a big game. He scored a bunch of points. He used to play ball in New York City. He can dribble better than I can. The Rockets played good defense on Jellybean Jr. Jeff Van Gundy is bitter and should not be announcing Rocket games. Shane Battier’s peachfuzz doesn’t stop me from saying his melon looks kinda like Abdullah the Butcher.
In other news, there is a gnat buzzing around my computer screen right now. I don’t know where he came from or whether he has children or not, but I have sworn him to be my mortal enemy.
He will die.
And because I can’t go one post without mentioning my undying love for the Knicks: here is what Charlie Ward has been up to lately. That’s sorta related. He played for the Rockets, too.
Fantasy Fans?: Comparing Team Indentification Among Fantasy Football Players and Non-Fantasy Players. Corrigan, Thomas Fitzpatrick. 2007.(60 pages)
Playing Along With the Game: Examining the Impact that Enhanced Television Services Have on the Enjoyment of Televised Sports. Carlton, Kristin Ann. 2006. (85 pages)
Gender Representations in BET's "106 & Park" and "Sucker Free on MTV": A Content Analysis. LaTouche, Kiva. 2007. (52 pages).
A Baseline Examination of Political Bloggers: Who They Are, Their Views on the Blogosphere and Their Influence In Agenda-Setting via the Two-Step Flow Hypothesis. Tomaszeski, Michael Steven. 2006. (81 pages)
Time Estimation Among Basketball Players. Gould, Julia Anne. 2005. (65 pages)
Incidence of Sport Injury in Female Collegiate Athletes across the Four Phases of the Menstrual Cycle. Petscher, Yaacov M. 2004. (51 pages)
African American News Websites: Publishers' Views, Perspectives and Experiences in Relation to the Social Construction of News, Online News and the Black Press. Akil II, Bakari Rashidi. 2007. (210 pages)
A little something for everyone. Enjoy. There will be a quiz on Friday.
P.S. To fellow bloggers: if your alma mater or favorite college has online research papers, spread the love and let us know what they are writing about.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
This post originally appeared on YaySports!.
(Your listening to Jordi’s Quiet Storm. After much anger, I’ve calmed down.)
When I was little, my father was famous. He was the greatest philosophizer in the Empire. He taught me many great and interesting things. He taught me to never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Wiser words were never spoken.
As I got older however, I was also imparted with the wisdom of one of Rock City’s Finest. This wisened philosoph instructed me to think, show her respect, and to never, ever blaspheme.
I used to think Jack Cobra and I were the Castor and Pollux of this site. Despite other celestial bodies that occasionally grace us with their presence (looking at you, AZ Frat Brigade!), we had become the twins of the YaySports sky. Unfortunately, due to Cobra’s recent analysis belittling my favorite player of all-time, I feel a kinship with Abel and all others who have been stabbed by those with whom they shared a bond.
In my view of the basketball universe, John Starks is a demi-god. A classic over-achiever who lifted the Knicks to the greatest of heights, defended his ground, and attacked where necessary. Unlike the immortals, Starks was human, showcasing his most glaring disappointments at the most tragic of times. But it was these times that elevated him in the eyes of Knicks fans. He was not a cover boy for perfection, and neither were we. It is easy to root for the accomplished; much more fun, in my opinion, to root for the struggler.
So to Jack Cobra and other fans of his ilk, you can keep your jerseys of Motorboat Jones and Johnny Kilroy, I’ll wear my Starks New York Knicks #3 jersey with pride.
That is why Jack Cobra is a blasphemer.
In other news, the Rockets won. Again. I think they should let another team win for once.
Friday, March 14, 2008
This post originally appeared on YaySports!.
(Jordi wrapping up a meager night of action, suspense, and TNT drama.)
I’ll admit because I play softball until late every Thursday night I usually totally forget about the TNT Thursday night basketball extravaganzas. But last night was different. This Thursday featured everyone’s favorite disinterested Vogue coverboy versus the Wizards of Washington. It was not to be missed. I even had notice on good authority the former blogmaster of this site was supposedly watching.
Alas, however, my game went late. As I finally pulled into my apartment complex I had to pause, for I felt a great disturbance, as if millions of voices were screaming out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I felt something terrible had happened.
After I walked into my apartment, I turned on the television to my TNT station, yet there was no Cavalier victory. I triple-checked the station, but the Cavs were gone, defeated by the Wizards.
How? I thought. The entire NBA couldn’t stop LeBron James. It would take a thousand players with more stopping power than has ever existed. Then a familiar voice. Maybe they knew what happened. But Ernie, Charles, and Kenny whizzed by me discussing who-knows-what. Oddly however, their show was too short to be on by itself. They had to be part of a program or something.
Suddenly, I was drawn to the large object far away on my screen. As it came closer it dawned on me, that’s not a moon, it’s Shaquille O’Neal. I had a very bad feeling about that.
So I turned off my television, wrote this, and went to bed.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
This post originally appeared on YaySports!.
(Jordi back again on the ones and twos.)
I pity you, poor readers.
With MCBias running his own investigation, and Jack Cobra mindlessly rambling about Andrew Bynum’s sweaty adventures on a treadmill, you are like lost sheep, eagerly awaiting some semblence of leadership. And for those who think the World Famous Mr. The Caviar is coming back, I laugh in your general direction.
Let me remind you that I once took a leadership course. I have also read the Art of War. I know what you want. Curious as to whether the Rockets won their 20th game in a row?
Say you are a Piston fan masquerading on this site, and you like to talk trash. You probably want to know how your team did. Here, here is a tissue to wipe away your tears.
Say you are a visitor with the same moniker of a famous French point guard. Parlez vous, francais, mi amor, merci, oui oui, bon bons, and all that good stuff. You might be interested in knowing your team scored a whopping 8 fourth quarter points in a loss to New Orleans. I once scored 8 points in a quarter in a rec league game, and I suffer from chronic basketball ineptitude.
And finally, for those of you still holding on to hope that the Knickerbockers may once again return to relevance, feel free to use their victory over the Heat as the foundation of your belief.
Once again, I have proven my ability.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
(Jordi back again.)
Citizens of the Sports Blogosphere, who loves you?
When the power went out on YaySports!NBA, who turned the lights back on?
I am now the real power behind YaySports!NBA. Well, me, Cobra, and he of the margaritas and senoritas.
And where, oh where is the Cav? Could he be at home washing his tights? Or is he sipping a mango-guava-broccolli smoothie, watching re-runs of Frazier, and hanging out with a white girl?
To show you that I love ya best, here are a dozen links for your NBA perusing pleasure.
1) Bill Simmons looks at the biggest NBA “What If’s” of this decade. For you Cavs fans out there, it begins with a possible dynasty and ends with your worst nightmare. Personally, I am still stuck on “what if PJ Brown didn’t flip Charlie Ward back in the day?”.
2) If you have $8,500 dollars, and I am sure you do, you can be the proud owner of a team in the Global Basketball Alliance.
3) Speaking of the GBA, the Bronx Breakouts are holding a tryout on March 16th. For those of you in the NYC area (SML!), click the “tryout info” on the GBA page, and go tryout. The worst thing that can happen is you get a good story out of it.
4) Hardwood Paroxysm declared Tuesday “Kobe Bryant Appreciation Day”. Thousands, if not dozens, of bloggers across the world penned sonnets to the Junior Jellybean.
5) If you read other blogs besides this one, I am sure you have heard the news: Mark Cuban has banned bloggers from the Mavericks’ locker room. But what if the Mavs signed Rod Benson to a 10-day contract? Would he have to get dressed somewhere else?
6) Gilbert Arenas - who can never play for the Mavericks either - has posted again on NBA.com. The vociferious Gilbert talks injuries, afros, enforcers, point guards, comparisons, Mitch Richmond, and even drops a Harold Miner mention.
7) Like my cohort Jack Cobra did yesterday, the grandmasters at Free Darko are contemplating the Rockets remarkable 19-game winning streak. Keep this in mind for a moment, one more win and the Rockets will have gone undefeated for 1/4 of their season. For a baseball team to do that, they would have to go 40 and 0.
8) Speaking of baseball: who would you rather have in a baseball-basketball grudge match to the death: Danny Ainge, who played 2nd base for the Toronto Blue Jays, or current Florida Marlin and former 76er, Net, and Cav Mark Hendrickson?
9) A bunch of people from Ohio who watch Cleveland sports got together to blog. This is their story.
10) The thought/comment bubble: overused to the point of being unoriginal.
11) Happy Birthday to Robert Murdock (the man behind the Fox Empire), Cesar Geronimo (former Cincinnati Red), Jerry Zucker (the man behind Airplane!), Joey Buttafucco, Vinnie Paul (from Pantera), Lisa Loeb (Stay.), Johnny Knoxville, Fred Jones (Knicks), Elton Brand (Clippers), and Paul Wall.
12) And finally, the 2008 NBA Dance Team Bracket is out. Go vote for your favorite ladies.
One more time: Who loves you?
(Photo info: NEW YORK CITY BLACKOUT, 1965 Photo (c) Bob Gomel for Life, republished in 2001 in Fortune’s 9/11 Issue)
Monday, March 10, 2008
Global Voices Online recently received news from several Bothan spies that the city of Baku, Azerbaijan is planning to build the first hotel modeled after the Death Star. According to 100% Injury Rate, the hotel is part of Baku's nefarious plot to win the battle for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. Perhaps the Death Star Hotel is supposed to make people forget Forbes.com rated Baku the Dirtiest City in the World.
On a somewhat, barely, hardly, stretch-of-the-imagination-related note, Pink Tentacle.com recently posted an old Japanese video of a peaceful cartoon isle invaded by the wicked ways of a militaristic Mickey Mouse. Could this be the future of Blogfrica?
Lastly, I've admitted before that I own a microscopic amount of Disney stock. This year I earned a dividend of about 30 bucks - or enough to pay me back for my purchase of Will Leitch's book and a cup of coffee. Nothing says irony like funding the revolution with funds from the Empire.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
My latest journey on my illustrious tour of the Grapefruit League took me to McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida, spring home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Some notes about the trip: once again I arrived late, I got lost in a neighboring town on an identical address to the ballpark (I got off the highway an exit early), and I saw no signs in Bradenton pointing travellers to McKechnie Field. This last point I found very odd. It was almost as if they didn't want people to go see the Pirates.
About the park: McKechnie Field is one of the oldest parks in Florida. Built in 1923, it first hosted the Cardinals in the 1920s and 30s, and has since been home to the Phillies, Red Sox, Boston Bees (Braves), Boston/Milwaukee Braves, the Kansas City/Oakland A's, and since 1968, the Pirates. According to the Pirates' Spring Training Program, the team and McKechnie Field put 18 million dollars in the Bradenton economy. I find this funny since it is just a hair under half of the Pirates entire 2007 payroll of 38 million.
Anyway, for all its historical nuance, getting into McKechnie Field is a pain in the dupa. Since it was built in the dawn of the automobile industry, there was probably little need back in the day for the park to accomodate a mass influx of cars. This tradition has been sadly continued. There is minimal parking at the park, although the fine surrounding businesses will gladly let you park on their premise, for a fee, of course. Again, it is almost like the city don't want guests to see the Pirates.
On to the game: because I wandering the countryside prior to finally finding the ballpark, when I finally arrived the game was in the top of the 3rd. The only event of note I missed was Twins starter Scott Baker's two innings of work. But I did show up in time for the offense. Right as I sat down, the Twins' Michael Cuddyer doubled off Pirates "ace" Matt Morris scoring Joe Mauer. Then Morris threw a wild pitch advancing Mauer. After Justin Morneau hit a sac fly, the next two Twins, Craig Monroe and Jason Kubel hit back-to-back home runs. 4-0 Twins. Wasn't Morris good a long time ago?
In the top of the next inning, having missed the first few Pirates hitters, the first Buc I saw at bat was Nyjer Morgan, most famous for being the namesake of the sports blog Nyjer Please. Nyjer isn't very good, and neither are the Pirates. The highlight of their day offensively was back-to-back home runs by Adam LaRoche and Ryan Doumit in the bottom of the 4th, making it only 6-3 Twins.
Among the other interesting sightings during the game were pitcher Jaret Wright and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, both Pirates non-roster invitees who took the field in the bottom of the 7th. Wasn't Wright also good at some point in his career? The first pitch he threw was blasted over the right-center fence by the Twins' Jon Knott.
An inning later, Twins prospect Deolis Guerra took the mound. As one of the many arms the Mets gave up for Johan Santana, I wanted to see what Guerra was all about. I was impressed. Although it was against players who will be bagging groceries in a week, Guerra set the Pirates down in order in the 8th.
Not too much of note happened after that. Similar to the Blue Jays-Reds contest of last week, this game also resulted in an 8-4 victory for the team hailing from the American League.
Next week: Tigers at Rays in beautiful St. Petersburg. Adios.
(Photo from Brian Merzbach's Ballpark Reviews. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died after one pic. It would be nice if ballparks sold batteries, but that's a rant for another day.)
Saturday, March 8, 2008
After the early withdrawal of Alexander Johnson following the 2005-2006 season, Head Coach Leonard Hamilton replaced Johnson with then-freshman Ryan Reid. This year, Reid and Johnson have been in the news not for their quality play, but for their involvement in physical altercations.
Reid's year has been tumultuous at best. In his 21 games, he has more plays that end in injury (3) than he has games with more than 10 points (2). Reid has been the personification of an on-court thug whose style is best fit for the hockey rink. This season he has allegedly punched Duke's Greg Paulus, nearly knocked out Wake Forest's Chas McFarland, tripped up North Carolina guard Ty Lawson, and did everything short of mugging Lawson's teammate, Tyler Hansbrough, in FSU's most recent loss to UNC.
Meanwhile, in the NBA, Johnson, who I thought had potential, has done little for the Miami Heat this season. Granted, young players not named Dwyane Wade usually do not prosper in Pat Riley's systems, but Johnson took a step backwards in his NBA career this season. His disappointing season culminated with a violent takedown of Toronto Raptor Andrea Bargnani on March 5th.
Although I am not directly blaming the actions of Reid and Johnson on FSU Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, the overly physical play of two of the most recent big men to wear a Seminole uniform could be seen as a pattern. Whether or not the actions of Johnson and Reid were more coincidence than basketball upbringing lay in the future of the newest Seminole big man, freshman Julian Vaughn. If Vaughn ends up being only a physical brute lacking any redeeming basketball skill, then feel free to point the finger at Leonard Hamilton and his coaching staff. If they are still around.
Friday, March 7, 2008
This spring she swears it will be better. After we promised to spend so much time together last fall, she gave up on me, lost interest in our shared feelings of joy. There was once a writer who penned, “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart …”. Truer words were never spoken. She decimated me.
Although all winter we both knew she had to change, she did nothing. She watched as her peers sprinted past her. Not to be too confident, but I knew they hoped to acquire my love. But I couldn't walk away from her. Still I hoped she would improve herself. After all, she knew she failed us. Yet nothing.
I stand corrected. She did attempt to better herself during the cold, dark winter months. However, nothing she did made sense. She was, to use the term, treading water. It was almost as if she was doing things to make me notice, but for the betterment of “us”.
Meanwhile, D’Raya, my local object of lesser admiration, shared with me her plan to succeed. It looked great, and I applauded her for it. Although she started a few years earlier, her complete make-over was almost complete, culminating with changing her name to Raya, dropping the “D” that plagued her existence. As for an “us” with Raya and I, she invited me to her home for an open house, we shared a few laughs, and I promised I would visit her quite often during the summer.
But still my heart begged for my love to do something. Anything.
Then, shortly before we were to gather our thoughts for the year, my long distance love made a move that set her head and shoulders above her peers. She became the envy of the area. She walked taller, carried herself with more confidence, and announced to the world that this year things were different. She had found the one thing that would clearly make me happy and hopefully ensure our fall months would be spent together. She did it for me, for she was mine, and I was her’s.
So now we travel the road we have set on so many times before. Our hopes of spending the fall months together are alive and well, and we are both optimistic. We are both learning not to forget the past, but to learn from it, so that what happened before might never happen again. At least not to us.
(This post was not written by The Caviar. As a matter of fact, no posts will be written by The World Famous Mr. The Caviar until further notice.)
Good evening. Readers, do not attempt to adjust your browser. There is nothing wrong. We have taken control has to bring actual posts. We will return it to the Cav as soon as there is a movie.
Welcome to YaySports!, better known as The Blog the Cav Left, or better still, The Jordi and Cobra and Delta Ep Show. Home of extra-exceptional bloggers, dealers of funky blogging. NBA blogging. Uncut blogging. The bomb.
Coming to you directly from the Mothervessel, top of a caramel Mars bar, 1.21 gigawatts of pure blog power. So kick back, dig, while we write words that mess with your optics.
Me? I’m known as Jordi Scrubbings, alias “The Baldhead Longjumper”, alias “The Tampa Teh-Lma“, alias “Jordi Scrubbings”. My motto is …
Well, I don’t have a motto. But if I did, it would be something cool. Like “Succotash Me, Baby!” or “Flapjacks on Mount Zion!”. Anyway, if the readers of this blog were Texas, me, Cobra, and Jeremiah the Mexican Vagabond would just happen to be America circa 18-whenever - annexing and flexing our juice cards when needed.
This is way it has to be.
Soon you will understand.
Further transmissions will follow.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
(The Cavalier did not write this. He is still MIA - Missing in Action. Like Chuck Norris, only not as cool.)
During the last few years, pundits, experts, analysts, and most anyone with an opinion on the NBA has chimed in on the latest great NBA debate: Who is better: Kobe Bryant or LeBron James? Comparing each to the great Michael Jordan is usually the first step people use when comparing these giants of today.
Here is my opinion: take all the rings, the MVPs, the All-Star appearances and throw them out the window. Here is the only stat that matters: how many times have either dropped 50 against the Knicks at the Garden?
Michael Jordan did it twice.
Kobe Bryant has yet to do it.
Last night, LeBron James finally made himself an MSG legend by scoring 50, pulling 8 rebounds, and dishing 10 assists in 119-105 victory over the Knicks. You can take all the games against the Grizzlies, the Rockets, the Raptors, or the Spurs add them all together and they don’t add up to one great performance in the basketball capital of the world.
That’s why LeBron is better than Kobe.
In other news, notes, and stuff I want to talk about:
How much do you want to bet Knicks fan will be forgiving of Stephon Marbury when all is said and done? This year, the man has gone through a lot and his head coach isn’t helping matters at all. It’s time to make him a martyr for all that is wrong in NY. Whether or not he will ever play on a championship Knicks team is not the point. The point is he is getting a raw deal, and that’s not cool.
What is a Chaparral?
Have you seen this picture of Helen Keller? No? Don’t worry, she didn’t either.
Monday, March 3, 2008
"Radio stations, newspapers and musicians across five continents are set to collaborate in raising awareness of the plight of censored musicians all across the globe. Meant as a statement of its commitment to fighting music censorship and supporting freedom of expression for all artists, Freemuse's Music Freedom Day will leap headlong into an open global conversation that will cross language barriers and cultural differences.
Part of the Music Freedom Day conversation will include a concert and seminar in Oslo, Norway that will be broadcast across the globe. This year's participants will include Kris Kristofferson from the US, Ferhat Tunc from Turkey, Mari Boine from Norway and Chiwoniso Maraire from Zimbabwe."
Although I doubt any American radio stations owned by corporate giants (ClearChannel, etc) will bother participating or even discussing Music Freedom Day, today would be a great day to play your Public Enemy, Dead Prez, The Coup, Body Count, 2 Live Crew, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Manson, Dixie Chicks, or any other band, crew, group, or individual who has taken a stand musically.
Some interesting links pertaining to music around the world:
Cuban Hip-Hoppers For Peace
The ACLU's brief list of censored American Music
An old report on a Moroccan Metal Fest
And last but not least, via Global Voices Online, an Iranian rap video by Taham telling a story from the ancient poetic opus Shahnameh. I might not understand any of the words, but the video is impressive and the beat is unlike anything you would hear in the US.
Enjoy your Music Freedom Day, and in the words of Kid Rock,
"If it looks good, you'll see it;
if it sounds good, you'll hear it,
if it's marketed good, you'll buy it;
but ... if it's real, you'll feel it."
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Today's journey was to Dunedin, Florida, about an hour from my apartment and spring home to the Toronto Blue Jays. Although I saw the Reds last year in Sarasota, this is the first time I have ever seen the Blue Jays in action. In all honesty, I am actually somewhat Blue Jay-stupid, as during the game I had to ask a Jays fan who was in their starting rotation besides Roy Holladay and A.J. Burnett. I can't help it, I'm from "the states", and the most geographically southern one at that.
Speaking of Burnett, however, the former Mets prospect and former tattooed wild child started today's contest opposite Cincinnati's (nee Boston's) baseball rock hero Bronson Arroyo. So it was metalhead's pitcher's duel for the ages in scenic, serene Dunedin, Florida.
And it wasn't just a battle of rockin' pitchers, either. Today's match-up featured a duel of the scrappy overachieving (read: white) infielders, David Eckstein and Ryan Freel, and a slobberknocker of former iconic Marlins back-up catchers: Paul Bako of the Reds and Baseball Prospectus's Practically Perfect Backup Catcher, Gregg Zaun of the Blue Jays.
(Side note: has it really been over 10 years since Gregg Zaun did the movie review on ESPN? The year was 1997. I was in the military and Zaun was playing for the Marlins watching movies in my parents' town [where the Marlins used to train]. If I wasn't a thousand miles away and was at home living with my folks, I probably would have hunted Zaun down and tried to catch a flick with him. And I would probably still have a restraining order on me. Moving on ...)
As per tradition, I arrived late to the game. When I finally got to my seat, the Blue Jays were batting in the bottom of the 1st. This was the first time I noticed the helmet the base coaches are wearing this year, with good reason of course. The base line umpires, however, who stand only feet away, remain unprotected. Things that make you go hmmmm.
In the bottom of the second I not only had a chance to see Ryan Freel hit, but also Reds uber-prospect Jay Bruce. Bruce did not disappoint, lining a 2-run double off the left-center wall. But back to Freel for a moment: I wonder if Farney had better luck scoring some action this pre-season?
Random thought of the day (and something I might just do a little research on): are fans less likely to go gallivanting across Florida or Arizona to see spring games with gas prices as high as they are? For many people it is a rite of passage to travel across the state seeing cheap baseball. But what happens when it becomes more expensive to travel?
Back to the game: did you know the Reds have both Kent Mercker and Mike Stanton? If only they brought back some other ancient Braves. Who's for a Derek Lilliquist sighting? Not to be outdone, the Blue Jays countered with Lance Carter and Shawn Camp, both of whom were last seen doing poor impersonations of relief pitchers in the Tampa Bay bullpen.
Ok, well I have written too much and said too little. To sum up, the final score was 8-4 Blue Jays. And I must say, it's good to have baseball back.