Sunday, May 31, 2009

To our pitching prospect graduates of 2009...

If you're not going pro, I've got two words for you. Avoid Texas.

You might say I'm nuts. After all, a scholarship to Texas is a nice balance of work and whimsy. You have an opportunity for an excellent future. And there are always a handful of players who get drafted every season. You get a good shot at money with Texas baseball.

And yet?

You have to deal with Augie Garrido. We know Dusty Baker is a man with a well-deserved rep as a breaker of prospects' elbows and shoulders. However? He's a downright renaissance man compared to Garrido. Example? Here.

You know about Austin Wood's Saturday. 13 innings pitched, the first 12 and 1/3 of those without a hit. He threw 169 pitches. That's a total no major leaguer has thrown since the Baseball Prospectus revoulation came to the forefront. You may never see that total touched in the bigs ever again.

Mister Wood had his arm worked to the bone and came through with flying colors. But you know what's lost among this? And this is exactly why Augie Garrido is criminally negligent.

Wood pitched the night before. And not a like a lefty one out guy scenario either. It took him thirty pitches to work his way through Friday Night. And in the arm-breaking Saturday? And he had 199-pitches in 24 hours. That right there is downright criminal action. You're taking a young man with a chance at a career and you're destroying it for a regional.

Garrido should be fired for this. He's had exactly two pitchers who have generated a career beyond the level of cosmic joke in his elongated career. He abuses those who come down to Austin to pitch for him. The only way the smiling monster can be stopped? If he never gets a prospect above one star to pitch for him.

But because the monster wins? You will see careers go Kirk Dressendorfer. Austin Wood will wash out. And he doesn't deserve it.

This may have been the worst coached Conference Finals...ever.

By now, you know my hatred of George Karl. And someone who has no inbounds play and a team that falls apart if their point guard has a bad game, he gets what he's deserved. Goodbye and good riddance.

But the Eastern Conference finals? In the words of Robert Evans, wow. There was no chance of competency. You have Mike Brown, who decided to improvise instead of designing a play system. And who lost his defense because the Magic had twenty-seven three point shooters. And you have Stan Van Gundy. Who has obviously matured from the guy who took a first round pick in Michael Finley, a second round pick in Rashard Griffith, and a steady college point guard in Tracy Webster and went 13-14 with them.

He is also the man who took 12 playoff games to realize that The Turk bringing up the ball was the best idea for everybody. And he is in uncharted waters. Phil Jackson's been there like 12 times. He's seen everything happen. He will outcoach Stan Van Gundy by a factor of five.

(Note: This is not me making a prediction. I honestly think that coaching won't be a deciding factor in enough games. Also the Magic may actually get up for a big game or two. It's happened before. I know? Crazy right!)

Anyway, Yovani Gallardo is having a good day. I'm happy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Have you ever read Flowers for Algernon?

I'm sure you did in some form or fashion. It's like jumior high required reading. If not, a synopsis...

Charlie Gordon is a 37 year old man with an IQ of 68 who works as a janitor in a box factory. Then you know what? He is selected to undergo an experimental surgical technique to increase his intelligence. The technique has already been successfully tested on Algernon, a laboratory mouse. The surgery on Charlie is also a success and his IQ triples.

But he gets too smart for his crush, and loses his job at the box factory. And then Algernon loses his intelligence and dies. As for Charlie? He fades to Bolivian.

Why the literary reference? Because if you think about it? It explains everything.

The Denver Nuggets are a Western Conference team with an IQ of 68 who work as an 8 seed in the Western Conference. Their general manager has selected an expirimental surgical technique a.k.a. Chauncey Billups to increase their intelligence. The technique has already been successfully tested on the Detroit Pistons. The surgery on Denver is a success and their IQ triples.

They become a two seed as Detroit loses their IQ and dies. But like Detralgernon? Their demise is rapid and permanent. The Lakers go to the finals. George Karl fades into Bolivian.

More later-or tomorrow. Bye!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

LeBron and The Tebow scale.

LeBron James is a special player. He took the Magic down by himself today. And you know what? I'm feeling bereft. Really. I feel myself slipping toward a place I don't want to go to. For you see, LeBron James is on the Tebow scale of athlete hatred.

Why Tim Tebow? Because in this modern era, the journey of Tebow is the journey that most modern athletes will take for the causal fan. I shall explain, presently.

Step 1: Manic Indie Thrill

Now, you can have your professional be the manic indie thrill in some sports. But in Football and Basketball? The superstars get found early. Tim Tebow was little more than a curious glimpse as a Freshman in college. LeBron's junior year at St. Mary's-St. Vincent? That was for the cognoscenti.

But then success hits. Skills start to pay bills. And many players evolve to Step 2. What do we call step 2?

Step 2: The Raymond Stage

The player can walk on water. 20 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns. A conference championship just because you wanted it more than the other 11 players. And even the sketchy antics, be they jorts or the LeBrons, are looked upon with amusement. Not scorn. In short, they are good.

But it does not last. Good things never do. Step three can be summed up in one line. "Look in my eyes, what do you see?"

Step 3: The Cult of Personality

Like anything good, the mainstream media has to roll up and ruin everything. Let's quote Thom Brenneman, shall we?

"If you're fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it."
Now you see, that boils down step three perfectly. The media go all bromantic on the player. And it's sickening. There are some on the twitterverse who showed relief about the abscence of Doug Collins this evening. Why? He's gone full Brenneman on LeBron. Suffice it to say, the casual fan cannot dig it.

And when the casual fan stops liking a player? What happens next?

Step 4: Backlash!

Suffice it to say, LeBron is treading that line with Jay-Z, ARod, and other people who you could consider douchebags. And when he goes to New York in July of 2010? The backlash will come out in full force. LeBron will be disliked.

But you can't stop the inevitable, right?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Five Comics You Should Read...and not lose your cred.

I've done this before. A long time ago to be sure, but I've done this exact sort of thing before. I like my street cred, such as it is. And you don't get the street cred for reading the X-Men. That being said? There are some comics you should be reading. Count it back from five to one. I will try and keep these choices less obvious. No Powers, Criminal, or Walking Dead up in here.

transhumano Pictures, Images and Photos
5. The Jonathan Hickman collection.

He may be the next hot Marvel comics writer, but he has three comics that you should be looking for from Image. In The Nightly News, he skewers the network news industry with surgical precision. In Transhuman, he takes on the drug culture. And in Pax Romana? I haven't read it. But Nightly News and Transhuman come with the highest recommendations, so if you like the first two, get Pax Romana.

Nextwave-protest_signs Pictures, Images and Photos
4. Nextwave: Agents of HATE
Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: Stewart "Not Trevor Immelman" Immomen

This is an officially licensed Marvel Comic. It lasted twelve issues. It's a Blockbuster in comic book form. You have an organization led by an insane man in pink pajamas. You have crazy weapons. You have epic battles. And you have Forbsuh Man. He has a hat. And you best not make fun of it.

Comic book writer, Garth Ennis Pictures, Images and Photos
3. The Boys
W: Garth Ennis A: Darick Robertson

When the Writer of Preacher meets the artist of Transmetropolitan? You get magic. There are some who consider this the greatest deconstruction of the superhero genre. Above and beyond what the Authority turned out to be. You have a CIA-backed team of antiheroes who are here to keep tabs on the resident superteam, The Seven. Only, things are not what they seem. If you're collecting the trades, Volume 4 looks to be just tremendous.

Noble Causes 21 Pictures, Images and Photos
2. Noble Causes
W: Jay Faerber A: Various

It's another Superhero Deconstruction. It's run its course. But it's really good. Faerber takes us into the life of the Noble family, the Kennedys of superheroics. It's less about the beatdowns and more about the day to day. I'll be honest, if this was in Marvel Comics? It may be nothing more than guilty pleasure. But Faerber has been indie for most of his career. Nothing to feel guilty about. Read in good health.

Young Liars preview
1. Young Liars
W: Dave Lapham A: Lapham

Shame this book got cancelled, because this book is surprisingly good. It's the story of Twenth-somethings in new York on the fringes of society and their criminal adventures. Lapham, who created the excellent Stray Bullets, has a story here that was what Warren Ellis said creators should use. All of the energy of a superhero comic with none of the spandex. Get the trades. You won't be disappointed.

Non sports? Yeah. But you know what? This blog is best as a sports and other stuff blog. Deal.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I know. I know.

Those of you who actually read me for me are feeling abandoned for my twitter, which will have twice as many updates as the old blogamaphone by June 1st. But to borrow a line from JE Skeets? There's a new conspiracy.

There is no conspiracy.

Now sure, LeBron still trips over his own two feet and gets a foul call. But it didn't win the game. Mike Brown's incompetency wouldn't allow it. There's a potential dynamism to the Cavs. They could kill with a dribble drive motion sort of game. They have bombers to pass to.

And no matter what Doug Collins does, I'm still not at Step 4 of the Tebow scale. LeBron is awesome. However? The infinitesimally more highly rated series is going by the Wayside. Because Mike Brown is an incompetent.

Thus, no conspiracy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I know you've probably seen it in some form or fashion.

I don't care. Every blog needs to post this.

A College Baseball Dance-Off heals everything.

NBA Draft Dumpster Diving: Small Forwards

Now we have seen certain things about this draft class. Ricky Rubio may be sliding down the list. There is no center worth drafting. None. Charlie Villanueva may be the guy who the Bucks keep over Sessions. Blake Griffin’s first season needs to be written by Bret Easton Ellis.

But there are bargains and people that will go undrafted on this list that play the three that are going to make a good impact in the pros. It’s not as superstar rich as the one, but then again? You’ll be in good hands if you take one of these players.

Honorable Mention: Josh Carter (Texas A&M), Micah Downs (Gonzaga), Wes Matthews (Marquette)

6. Lee Cummard BYU
6′7″ 185

His only question is how long can his hustle overcome his lack of athleticism? Because even though he wore down toward the end of his senior season? He has a salad bar of skills. A great shot, great court vision, good handles, and a great passer. He also generates a good number of rebounds and blocks for a swingman.

5. Tasmin Mitchell LSU
6′7″ 235

I would not be surprised if he decides to go back to school, but he just might be ready now. He’s got a scrappiness that can change the culture of a defense. He has the rebounding skills and power that can have him play the four. And he is fast enough to play out on the wing. He goes right well and has a good mid-range game. He finds seams in zones. He will be a solid starter.

4. Milenko Tepic KK Partizan
6′8″ 198

His strength comes from his point forward ability. He distributes very well. He’s fundamentally sound and has good court vision. He has good shot selection and his jumper is improving. He doesn’t have great man-to-man defense skills, but a tall guy that runs the floor brings glory.

3. Tyler Smith Tennessee
6′7″ 210

His shot is shaky. He does lack some awareness. And he’s a little bit of a tweener. But athletic versatility is an eminently draftable quality, and that’s not all Smith brings to the table. His transition game is strong. He’s an active defender. And he’s great at starting the break with an outlet pass. If he brings his handles? He’ll be a strong starter.

2. Jonas Jerebeko Angelico Biella
6′9″ 210

Forget the offense. Forget the fact that he vibes tweener. He’s a lockdown stopper. He brings blocks, boards, steals, and an ability to stay with the majority of athletes. You draft him? You’re getting two things. Defense, and a ready made nickname. Jonas Jerebeko IS the Swedish Chef.

1. Omri Casspi Maccabi Tel Aviv
6′9″ 215

Here’s a theory. Considering how the Magic have seemed to shock the world, a player like Casspi may find himself getting into round one. He has decent handles and a range that does extend out beyond the arc. But his strength? It’s his athleticism. He uses both his height and athleticism to lock down on defense. There are some questions here, but he’s a man with experience on one of the great Euro teams and he still has upside. He will not fall beyond the 38th pick. And if he gets there? San Antonio wins the draft.

So, you know what? I’ll look at the power forwards. And after that? You’ll just have to read my blog or follow my twitter.

In which I bother a blogger with more skill than me to denigrate Joe Mauer.

Sometimes, when I'm bored, I hit up the ol' GTalk and chat with more famous bloggers than me. Why? Because it's an easy way to get posts. And today, Mister One More Dying Quail Himself gets bothered. Why? Because he is a friend of blog.

me: Hmm
Joe Mauer has to be cheating
OMDQ: why?
because he's a machine?
me: because he goes from Placido Polanco to Ted Williams
OMDQ: he's always been a good average hitter
me: but this is Brian Roberts 2006 April sort of stuff
OMDQ: how dare you accuse Joe Mauer of such atrocities against the game?
don't you know he's an All-American boy
as pure as apple pie?
me: Apple Pie has high fructose corn syrup!
OMDQ: not a banned substance
Sent at 1:41 PM on Monday
me: But baseball players got rich off of morally unethical yet legal substances
OMDQ: not really legal
me: He is cheating
My god
How can he hit like that?
OMDQ: because he has been blessed by the hand of almighty God himself
me: No one hits like that
Not even Dale Murphy in his prime
OMDQ: how dare you disparage Dale Murphy?
me: NO NO NO
I am saying that Joe Mauer is making all-american hero's like Dale Murphy look bad
also Rik Smits was in Coming to America
OMDQ: poor Joe Mauer
me: why
he cheated
nobody can go deep off of the combined forces of Manny Parra, Braden Looper AND Dave Bush
OMDQ: this could happen
as remarkable as it seems, it could happen
me: The odds of that are so astronomical
So infinitesimal
As to suggest dirty pool
without submission to a battery of tests
Sent at 1:48 PM on Monday
me: And I take your silence as an agreement
You know I'm right
OMDQ: no, I just don't care

Yeah. This is what I do. I take conversations and use them as posts. But maybe...

But maybe I just wanted to throw out an accustaion against a player who had a good series. And this is the only way I could recover from being Ice Burned by Joe Mauer.

Fucking Mauer.

EV Peavy Japanesey...

Okay, let's talk Jake Peavy. It all depends on the package the Padres would accept. Because you know what? The Brewers have no pitching prospects. They have names on a list. And if you consider that the Brewers history with pitchers is a dark one? (Outside of Sheets and Gallardo? They have received little from pitching prospects.) If the package is something along the lines of Jeremy Jeffress, Jonathan Lucroy, Alexandre Periard, and/or Evan Anundsen?

You have to at least consider it. I'm not saying you have to go for it. It precludes you from keeping Mike Cameron and he has been quite valuable as a Brewer. In fact, with some of the players hitting arbitration? You may not be able to keep the Fresh Prince of Bread and Candy either.

I'm not as bullish on the Brewers going after Peavy as I was for the Crew to bring Sabathia in. Sabathia was a well-dressed maniac on a contract drive, and you could get him for one big name. Peavy would have gone to the Sox for three. I'm not sure that I want to lose Gamel or Escobar for it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Story time with The Grand National Championships...

Funny story, I was asked last June to be link buddies with Slam Online. It's true. Someone in the Nets organization liked a post I did and sent me something they overheard. And I scopped Adrian Wojanarski. Really.

I was still not depressed by the tremendous fuck-up that I made by going to Blogger yet. It explains things. I had fire and piss and vinegar. Instead of this ennui that for which I have now. But you know what?

I made a mistake. A terrible mistake. The first post that got linked, was my list of top 25 free agents in the NBA for that season. If perfect is the enemy of done, this was the exception that proved the rule. I made several mistakes and several bad calls. In effect, it was roundly mocked, and deservedly so.

Why am I going off and giving you a "cool story, bro?" Because let's be honest. My largest blogging mistake, and I have made a few. It was not nearly as incompetent as the way an NBA crew runs the game. Imagine if the Cavs went up 2-1? What would the moment that changed the game have been?

Gold star if you thought about Howard's clean block of James that turned out to be a three shot foul. Not to say that the Cavaliers don't have larger problems than the fact the referees want to control the game with an iron fist. But this has the potential to be a fanmaking series.

Two games that literally came down to the last moment, and on a holiday Sunday, we all know people are watching. This probably had good ratings at least through the first first two 15 minute markers. But as the Brewers got beat down? I had no other option. I went to a game where it was essentially threes and fouls, most of them for even considering playing defense on LeBron.

Unwatchable. I mean, these are supposed to be the referees that are the cream of the crop, right? And they call a game with 86 free throws. It's days like this where I wish I stayed not watching basketball.

I suppose I should explain myself, yeah?

You see. I live in Wisconsin. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. This means my basketball fandom is inexorably tied to two things. Nellieball and the George Karl era. You see, like most sports fans of the 80's, I grew up watching sports with my dad. Juan Nieves means a whole lot more to me than he means to you, unless you are indeed Juan Nieves or a member of the Nieves family. In which case welcome.

But that's Brewers baseball. And we will inevitably return to that subject on my twice as popular twitter account as well as here. But Basketball is why I'm here right now. And I have to tell you? I hate the Lakers. Hate the Lakers.

But you know what? The Nuggets have Professional Rick Barnes as their coach. I know, not an Earth-shattering take. But like the Texas coach, Karl always has talented teams that inevitably lose one or two levels before they were supposed to. (Like the 2000-2001 Bucks? They were supposed to take the pin me, pay me JOB to the Lakers if George Karl used proper end of gsme logic.)

But you know what? Karl is somuch worse at coaching. He campaigns for chemistry poisons. (I mean, who trades for Anthony Mason? It happened 8 years ago and I'm still baffled.) He feuds with decent human beings. (I would not be surprised if he starts feuding with Billups, he did feud with Ray Allen). I'm telling you this to warn you Denver fan.

I want you to win. I want you to go to the finals. But you need to hire Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern to kidnap him before he lets a third inbounds play cost you the series.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Briefly on George Karl.

Did you know I hate George Karl? It's true! He broke my basketball team. He could not co-exist with a rational human being in Ray Allen. So you know what he does? He trades him for Gary Payton.

Nobody likes Gary Payton outside of the Pacific Northwest.

That takes the corp from the uncrowned JOB squad to the Lakers in 2001, and blows the shit up. My team never recovers. Larry Harris becomes general manager. Dan Gadzuric makes 34 million dollars.

And all this because George Karl doesn't have Glenn Robinson inbound the ball instead of taking the shot. I'm a little drunk right now. I want George Karl dead.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm not a man who's going to roll out and say I saw Michael Jordan play.

I always thought he was a ballhog. Now, what that says about me as a five or six year old is something for the ESDM-IV to decide. But you know what? I saw true greatness tonight.
I'm know I'm not the most original take on this matter. But that was one hell of a shot. But you know what? it encourages the team to play like crap. Because then LeBron will kick it into Legend mode and save the day.
They were up by 23. Don't forget that.
And before we forget, the Magic have shown a mental toughness you never thought they had. They have the next two at home. And they have the Turk, who inexplicably gets left open. (As twitter me said: You can't leave a man that ugly that open!)
Let's not call it Iconic just yet. Unless the Cavs take the next two in Orlando? It is not a shot that belongs to the ages.
It will just merely be critically acclaimed. 

See. That shot was magical.

To the Congressional Candidate who just decided to follow me on Twitter.

I can't follow you.
It's not you, it's me. I can't vote in your district. It's not even that you and I belong to different parties. You seem like a sane Republican, and corruption is corruption. My vote could have been won if I was in your district.
But why are you following me, Timothy Burns? Clearly, you are a successful businessman while I am hanging on to my twixt years with every ounce of my body. I am merely a man who makes puns combining Blackstreet Lyrics with former Basketball players. I like unintentional comedy, so if it was my following of Chuck Grassley, I apologize. Like the inevitable segment on Monday Night Raw in which a wrestler representing the Los Angeles Lakers will beat down a wrestler representing the Denver Nuggets. (Likely Mark Jindrak representing Chris Andersen. It is sad that I know that.)
My mentality does not make you money. I am a man sidetracked by trifling things. I see something shiny or bouncing and...
It is what it is. I am sure that you will find plenty who love you on Twitter. It is just that I cannot follow you.
I am too busy engaging an Alabaman on the debate of who is in the bottom end of the Los Angeles Lakers Top 5 greatest of all time. 
Good luck, Mister Burns.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In Doug we Trust...

Back during the days of building the Brewers, that was the mantra. Dougie Baseball is a canny trader. And he was able to get good value from the assets that he received. Even when fans didn't believe that he got enough? He got enough. (Remember the haul for Carlos Lee? He made it work. Tim Gunn style.)

Today, while everybody is stunned at Kenny Williams rolling up and trying to grab Peavy? The Brewers snuck under the radar and got something nice for what's essentially free talent. A.K.A. Tony Gwynn Jr. for Jody Gerut. Why is this trade so good for the Brewers? Well...

1) We were offering Tony Gwynn for nothing in April.

Tony Gwynn Jr.'s skill set is twelve for ten cents. Good speed, solid defense, not a great amount of patience. Otherwise? They'd be starters. He was faster? He'd basically be Joey Gaithright. In short. He was not worth saving. So, he went on waivers. Nobody claimed him.

San Diego could have had him for nothing. But they didn't. They gave up...

2) A guy who is having a shlimazel of a May.

There's a statistic called Batting Average on balls in play. People are expected to hit somewhere between .290 and .310. Gerut was slightly unlucky in April (.280), but guess what his may number is? .179. He's hitting .223 right now. It won't stay that way.

He's moving to a more neutral park as well. He could do a Raul Ibanez season if he was healthy enough to get 500 at bats. That won't happen in Milwaukee without a slump or something akin to tragedy. But there is a reason why he will not lack for playing time in Milwaukee.

3) He is a lefty bat.

The Brewers are built to mash lefties. That's just science fact. Outside of the Fresh Prince? There's not a lefthanded bat to be seen. Until now.

He could bring 250 high quality plate appearances to Milwaukee's already high-powered offense.

Not earth-shattering. But it's a way to help replace Weeks' offensively.

10 Things I Know About the Movies

I have other interests besides sports, you know. I like movies. I like awesome video games, (and Awesome Video Games). I also like you, the loyal reader who isn't here for the photos of attractive women. But here, I like movies. And I have to tell you. I know who killed the Western.

It stems from 3:10 to Yuma. I loved 3:10 to Yuma. Mister Patterson loved 3:10 to Yuma. No one else seems to have.

Disappointing? Yeah. The movie was awesome. But because I don't like it, doesn't mean I can't understand it.

America's taste in movies has been retarded. And blame Joel Silver for that.

Joel Silver created the unwritten rule that every ten minutes there had to be a whiz-bang aces hot action sequence. You open fast. The inciting incident has to be faster. Minute 21 has to rock. And so on, and so on.

And when Cokehead superproducer and tag team partner CSI magnate Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer ran with this premise? It was Katie bar the door. Whiz bang action and medicore storytelling would rule the day!

And movies became a whole different animal.

This killed the Western. Even an action based Western such as the modern day 3:10 to Yuma could not have a gunfight in every ten minutes. They are built for inherent tension building toward the end. Maybe there's heat at minute 10, 30, and 55, but it's all about the end. It's all about that last sequence.

The Western is not about awesome at minute 70. It's High Noon and all that shit.

Sad, really. A good genre dies because we can't be patient.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blake Griffin is dead.

Not even dead serious about going to Krustyland. If he goes to the Clippers? His career is over. The Clippers are the organization that the Bengals use to feel better about drafting the coach-fighting running back. They either draft a bust like Michael Olawakandi or break the frontman for Danny and the Miracles.

You know what? That's okay. I have five reasons why Olympiacacos or however you spell it is no option for you.

1) You have an opportunity to learn from the best.

You think I'm joking? I am not. Who's the 4 coming off the bench? That's right. Zach Randolph. You know what Zach Randolph does? Everything you're not supposed to do.

And I don't want you to get confused. Don't do anything Zach Randolph does. But you're the rookie. You're fresh meat. You will get cornered. He may bring Baron Davis with him. You can either do two things.

Avoid the veteran influence? But that's boring. You should...

2) Kill Alex Acker just do watch him die.

The veterans would be entertained by this murder of a D-Leaguer. And you would be left alone as the "crazy" guy. Z-Bo wouldn't murder. Unless somebody scuffed his nikes.

3) Willing flesh.

I know, corn-fed ladies probably threw themselves at you two-by-two as you went through the Big 12. But come on. This is L.A. If you're man enough for a sillicate? You will have your choice of attractive wimmens. You know that song from Kanye's first album? Not the one where he's Jesus? The one with Vida and the violin lady?

That's all about you, Blake Griffin. Go all Robert Evans in the club scene. It may not solve all your problems. But it will feel good. And in the Bret Easton Ellis Dystopia that is your life as a Clipper? It will help you get by.

4) You can ignore your coach.

This isn't college. Dunleavy isn't going to make you run laps if you don't run his play. In fact? You could probably get his ass fired if you want to. Why?

5) You have the organization by the balls.

Danny Ferry was once a top prospect. IT'S TRUE! He was supposed to be drafted by your LA Clippers. But they could not sign him. He was all NONONO. He fucked off to Europe. He wasn't that good.

But he did not have to play for the Clippers. And you don't have to either.

Trust the fuckhead. He'll save your career.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Things I want to see happen.

In an NBA lottery. Magic can happen. You can see the Bulls fall ass backwards into one of the true future stars of the game. You can see Larry Harris crap his pants as he has a choice of Chris Paul and Deron Williams, and goes with Andrew Bogut. (Yeah, hindsight, but at least I wasn't fired up for Bogut when he was drafted.)

But here's a quick list of five things that needs to happen in the lottery.

1) Somebody needs to use Dave Winfield as a good luck charm. After all, if an authority like George Steinbrenner would call him Mr. May.

2) Fred Hoiberg. The Mayor of Ames, Iowa is the sort of non-threatening guy that would bring in key demos.

3) Stephen A. Smith. I'm sorry. I miss loud noises and cheez doodles.

4) Bill Simmons as host. Can we agree on this? The draft lottery needs less boo-yahs and more karate kid references.

5) We need a referee to whistle someone for a touch foul. Oh wait, that's every other playoff game.

Meh. Sorry.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I have better things to do than rail against the Happy Youngster.

There's good small forwards to peep up on you. A true test of why there is no chance we can know just how Stephen Strasberg is going to do. (And I am looking at you unnamed Padre Scout saying he's an NL-ready starter. You don't know. Stop lying.)

But suddenly, I have a Chris Coghlan-The Happy Youngster take. And suffice it to say? There are habits that are cute, and there are habits that are annoying. This guy's behavior? Definitely gone beyond the pale.

He's not playing free safety for the Badgers. He's not attacking the passing lanes like Mike Kelley. He's an adult. He does not need a major league baseball if he's not going to play the game. He is everything that is wrong with fandom. He is Ronnie Wickers, he is Red Sox nation, he is every fan who gives their city or a bad reputation.

You don't wear the opposing teams colors. You don't make diving catches for a baseball. You don't cheat from your seats. And you don't make Steve Bartman look good.

Man...I'm writing for writing sake here. Sorry. More to come.

Oh, for craps sake.

I have made mention of my feeling that this was the year that Rickie Weeks was supposed to be at long last hitting his stride. And for a while there? I was looking pretty smart, Marlins winning the NL East style. In fact, this Friday, despite my misadventures as a Substitute Gym Teacher, I was a goddamned genius.

But like a wise man once said? A lot can happen in 48 hours. And unlike the Eddie Murphy-Nick Nolte vehicle? This does not turn into a buddy comedy. Rickie Weeks is having wrist issues. Again.

Why is this more annoying than having Weeks as a perpetual breakout machine? This does not leave Milwaukee in good shape offensively if it's not just some sort of Carlos Zambrano internet related wacky. Craig Counsell would likely become your second baseman in peril. His offensive hot start would become obliterated. We would get Mat Gamel staying around longer than the first series of interleague play. But that being said?

You cannot be happy when you have a player who seems to have found his stride get his third flippin' wrist injury.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You know why I had nothing to say about Manny?

Because I'll be honest. I didn't care. I don't care. Sure, way back when, my first big post was based on the cheatery of three Baltimore Orioles. But that was just because I am a whore for readers. That one person who doesn't come here for the pictures of Bianca Beauchamp? I love you.

Anyway...why I don't care about Steroids. Simple. My baseball team sucked for the duration of the era. As you know, the kid is a fan of your Milwaukee Brewers. And from 1988 to 2006? The Brewers were good exactly once. And you know why they were good?

Pat Listach. The 1992 American League Rookie of the year. Straight speedster. The 1992 Brewers were the team that held the record for most players with 10 or more steals. They had a game where they used 24 singles to score 22 runs. This was not a team built on two power hitters.

Maybe that's why they fell short. But that's neither here nor there. The team was usless for most of my childhood and the majority of my adult life. If Jeromy Burnitz or John Jaha cheated? They clearly did not cheat enough. In fact? Purely on speculation, Jeff D'Amico probably cheated at some point during the mid 1990's. But it got them nowhere.

It's like the aphorism. Cheaters never prosper. If the Brewers did the former, it never got them the prosper. So you know what? Meh.

(Now watch Ryan Braun test positive for lady drugs.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Break the Brewers DOOOOOOOOOOOOWN.

Okay, I napped a little longer than expected. Sorry about that. But here's something to make up for it.

The Brewers are hot. Red hot. In fact, these are the days that make up for scouring the six-year free agent wires and saying..."Oooh, I think Carlos Mendoza would be a nice fit." I'll have more on that later.

But we will break down the Brewers into 4 categories...

The Good
1) Rickie Weeks (If he stays healthy, he might have a chance at a 30 home run season. He has stopped running though, so for fantasy purposes you may want to consider selling.)
2) Craig Counsell (For a guy who was essentially ballast during his time in Milwaukee, he does deserve propers for his start. .328/.412/.466)
3) Trevor Hoffman (Milwaukee is in love with Trevor Hoffman. I know it's in eight games, but Eric Gagne was so bad last season. So, so bad.)
4) Mark DiFelice (This is why you need a smart GM. Overpaying for middle relievers is ridiculous when you can pluck a dude out of AAA and say hey, 31 year old who hasn't pitched before? You got this.)
5) Mike Cameron (If this be a contract drive? Let the gods allow him to turn a full on Adrian Beltre season.)
6) Billy Hall (For being the lefty masher in the soft platoon, he's doing very well. Better than 2007 or 2008 to be sure.)
7) Ryan Braun (Nobody expects to have an OPS over 1.000. Braun does right now. He's helping!)
8) Mitch Stetter (In terms of ERA+, you have to be happy with what he's done. His tendency to walk hitters is a worrying thing.)

The expected
1) J.J. Hardy (The dude's always been streaky. And it's too early to call it a slump yet. He's been bad for half-seasons at a time. This too shall pass.
2) Dave Bush (His ERA will always be a touch higher than his command indicates, but he's been solid this season.
3) Braden Looper (An innings eater with an ERA in the 4's is what the Brewers paid for, and it is what the Brewers have received.)
4) Todd Coffey (In terms of solid middle relief? He's been actually what you expected. His BAbip is .353, his luck will even out.)
5) Seth McClung (But not in a good way. He's walked more batters than he's struck out. He's allowed 28 baserunners in 17 innings. Maybe he was too much a product of the Mike Maddux whisperer.)
6) Mike Rivera (Passable offense when he plays, but he does not play often enough.)
7) Yovani Gallardo (Lost in Grienkemania was the fact that Yovani has developed into an ace. Stay healthy. Please. You're awesome when you do.)

The bad
1) Manny Parra (I have to worry if Ned hurt him by overworking him in 2008. When he loses the plate it's usually a signal that he has something deeper wrong with him. I'm hopeful that this is just a bad streak. But I can't not consider the injury question. He's a Brewer pitching prospect.)
2) Corey Hart (He's also streaky. But because I want in my heart of hearts the Kentucky Ninja to be a superstar? I am disappointed. He decided to be called Corey Hart. That's the decision of a man with swagger.)
3) Carlos Villanueva (He always struggles in April. And I keep expecting him to break through to superstar levels, because he can go months at a time as a stud. He's just bad long enough to keep his stats down.)
4) The Bench (With what Casey McGheehee and Chris Duffy have done? Mat Gamel's infusion couldn't have come at a better time.)

Just release him already
1) Jeff Suppan (I know, it's still only seven starts, but the Brewers trendline is scary bad. He's walking one more batter per 9 innings, he's on pace to allow one more dinger per 9 innings. His ERA+ is at the point where he was trying to face down the next Maddux claims. Pitchers die off earlier than 34, and if you're a finesse pitcher? The line is just that much thinner.)
2) Jason Kendall (Average in the .220's. 4 out of 5 runners stealing bases on him as steals come back into the playbook. If he didn't take a walk once in a while, he would be completely useless.)
3) Jorge Julio (Electric arms don't always translate. Let someone else take their shot.)
4) Brad Nelson (Outrighted to Triple-A. So. Thanks.)

Like I said, 87 wins can win the NL Central this year. And while there will be some regression to the mean, you have to wonder if the Brewers may not have another year of October Baseball. I love it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here's something odd about me...

For such a draft nut? I hate hype. I hate players who are the subject of hype. If I can't wrap my head around the potential success? I'm anti-prospect. You kind of saw it with Matt Stafford. You saw me turn heel on Mark Sanchez.

And Stephen Strasberg? I will fucking believe in him when he hits the bigs. Anybody who deigns call him a sure thing is either foolish or willing to bet nobody goes back and reads these things. (I'm looking at you Anonymnous Padres Scout). Baseball Prospectus has their own aphorism that holds sway here.

There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

Pitchers lose the plate. They lose the power in their secondary pitches. Their shoulders tear and their elbows pop. And even if they can swing the on-field stuff, fate may stop them before they get there. Every team has a pitching prospect that the fans will wonder what might have been. Oakland has the four aces. The Mets have Izzy, Pulse, and Paul. The Braves have Jung Bong.

And I will tell you now, bold prediction. The Naxpos will get Stephen Strasberg for the list.

Hey Twitter...

What are you doing? I like hearing half of conversations. Hearing half of conversations allowed me to learn about the Playoff conversational magic between Russ Bengston and Courtside from NBA's finest. Hearing half of conversations allowed me to figure out that Matt Fraction is on twitter. Which is awesome.

But now? Nothing. It's only people I know and fuckers trying to spam me. Not to say that the Twitter Mayor of Portage isn't mad at the people who follow him. But I want the randon @replies back. For the love of Pete, I never knew the Matrix was on twitter.

But this is a microchasm of life on the internet. They keep fucking with things that are good. That's what chased me from the WordPress (and readers). That's why my MySpace is the same as it ever was. And that's why I am morose about twitter's state of affairs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jerel McNeal: The second round pick who could steal hearts and minds...

Now, in the search for making a series? I found something out. There’s not much for the two guard. Really. I mentioned Jack McClinton. And I believe he’s going to be good.

But you know what? Jerel McNeal will be great. He will be drafted in the second round, and he will have seasons where, at the very least, Free Darko will sing his praises.

Why? I will break it down simply. Succintly.

1) His game is all-around golden.

Let me tell you what Jerel McNeal needs to work on. Off-ball defense. That’s it. Anything else is nitpicking. He hits the three, with a solid mid-range game. He passes well for a two-guard. He locks down his man. You want more?

2) The steal/foul didatic.

In a way? The steal is kind of like the NBA’s version of the strike zone. Or the stolen base. Look. It’s nice to have a guy who can get three steals per game. But if they get in foul trouble? They’re as useless as Alvin Robertson.

Jerel McNeal went from a freshman that gambled entirely too much to a senior who, while he does not have a red number under his fouls committed on, has become at the very least competent at avoiding foul trouble because he gets too grabby.

3) Intangibles.

You want a college basketball player with a motor. Someone who can’t get fired up when he’s doing it for free will be even more of a dog when he turns pro. You have a 6′3″ two-guard who’s had to defend some of the best in basketball and developed a reputation as a stopper. You have a 6′3″ two-guard who’s just started to create his own shot with a general aplomb.

Put it this way. If he was 6′6″, he’d be threating to kiss the lottery. If he was 6′6″? He would not shock the world. But people are going to sleep on Jerel McNeal.

But I’m not. He’s going to win.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Andrew From The Grand National Championships says join the Nintendo Fun Club Today!

And yes, it is the guy who says shit better than anyone else as Doc Louis. So it's gold for Wire fans.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Celtics are growing Easier to Hate...

Not for nothing. They still don't have a vintage San Antonio Spurs sort of quality to their hatred just quite yet. But you have the Billionaires Bruce Bowen in Rondo. A mad King in Kevin Garnett. And lest we forget what Big Baby did tonight?

Pie facing a junior high kid? Not cool.

Okay. I get it. You substitute teach in the Junior High and you see tweens at their worst. But you're getting an America that wants to see you lose to the Cavs in five, Celtics fan?

And as @RussBengston shows?

You're rooting for the bad guy.

NBA Draft Dumpster Diving: Point Guards

Okay, I owe you an apology. Should have told you about the blogcation. But I didn't. If you read it, you could tell though. I was burned out.

Blah blah blah, exorcise the demons. Let's go.

They say that the NBA draft is one of the weakest classes in memory. To that? I say phooey. I say that there's value this year. I say that this will not be a devil class. There are better Angels in this class.

You want a sleeper distributor? Look here. They are ranked in likelyhood of being drafted.

8. Paul Delaney UAB
6'2" 197

Delaney is killing pre-draft camps with his game that compares favorably to Leandro Barbosa. He has long arms and spectacular athleticism. He attacks the basket with a fury, and in transition? He has great point guard skills. He's underdeveloped in the half court game and has an inconsistent shot, but he's got a future.

7. Aaron Jackson Duquesne
6'4" 185

He'll likely have to take a backdoor route to get to the NBA, but a good scouting department will keep watching out for him. He can play just a little too fast for his ability to control, but he has great offensive creativity and body control. He is very dangerous when he attacks the basket and he uses his sze to aid his defense.

6. Lester Hudson UT-Martin
6'3" 190

So, you have a guy who's basically the same prospect as he was last year, looking like an early-mid second rounder. He is still a spectacular scorer. His shot is still silky smooth. He generates a lot of steals. And his handles? They're developing. So how about you explain to me just how he's looking like an undrafted free agent? Because I'm baffled.

5. Dominic James Marquette
5'11" 175

Yeah, he's injury prone. Yeah, his shot sucks. But here's the thing. The athleticism that made him a fringe lottery prospect as a freshman? Still there. He's an excellent distributor. He generates steals and he has the ups to overcome his size on defense. Get him a shot whisperer? You have a starter.

4. Rodrique Beaubois Cholet
6'2" 170

The best backcourt that you never heard of was not in the United States this year. Three guesses as to the location from the name and the team of Mr. Beaubois. Now, I made mention of Paul Delaney as a man with Barbosan skills. Beaubois is a simalcrum. Long arms, elite athleticism. Inconsistent handles. But he forced his way into the line-up even with...

3. Nando De Colo Cholet
6'5" 187

Stylistically, his game is beautiful. He makes flashy plays. He has great court vision. He slashes with great handles and footwork. And he can hit the three. He does not have the best of lateral quickness. And his defense? It's not so much. But yes, his offense is that good.

2. Toney Douglas Florida State
6'1" 196

He doesn't have the greatest distributorial skills. In fact? You really aren't drafting him to be a one. But he was an excellent scorer on a team where people looked to lock down on him. He can also lock down other teams one's. He will be drafted if only because he fits two myth of the nexts. The dream is one half Arenas, one half Brandon Roy. The reality? A billionaire's George Hill.

1. Sergio Llull Real Madrid
6'3" 176

You want someone who could take the basketball world by storm in 2011? Look for Epic Llull's. His is a distributorial force. It's a shot-creating force that gets major run in the Euros. He can hit the three even if he doesn't bring the strength and mid-range game. He's going to grow up and be the Spanish Ramon Sessions. I believe in it.

Yeah, at the very least. I've got a five part series. Better to rage out then fade away. Myth of the next? Maybe that's more of hype central closer to major drafts.

Onward and upward.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Can I rebuild this?

I'm wondering if i haven't made a terrible mistake by coming to blogger. I think I have. You know what. I'm sure I have.

I'm gonna soul search. I only have so many words in me, and Twitter and Myth of the Next are making this troubling.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I have a strange relationship with a video game.

I do. Me and Super Mario Brothers 3 have had a strange relationship for going on two decades now. It all started when in a ski lodge arcade in the hinterlands of Wisconsin. Twenty-five cents got me five minutes with The Dark Knight of Nintendo sequels.

And that's how it started. Cut to my 9th birthday? And it came home. And I started playing. My hands have never been mistaken for a surgeons, so I was steady with my play. My skill grew as I got to the Giant world, and the sky world. Heck, I even put up 70 million plus points in getting to level 6 alone.

But it broke. That is the old NES. Not as durable as the kid hoped.


*cue the Dropkick Murphys music*

And the kid finally. FINALLY! Got past the Castle of horrors. And got past the last tank. And I got to Boswer. I had the fucking P-wing. And I got to Boswer.

I lost. And I lost 73 more times.

I never achieved those heights again. I never even tried again.

Now I sim seasons of Madden in Franchise mode. And it's all because of Mario 3.

I'm starting something...

We can build on this. We can make something better. We're going to be chasing myths. We're going to be too black and too strong.

Okay, scratch that last one. But we're chasing myths.

Two parts Joesph Campbell, one part Mel Kiper.

Update your blogrolls accordingly. Please.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Buried in the second round, there lurks a guard without a position that will someday set the world on Fire.

That's the Myth of the Next Gilbert Arenas from Free Darko. It's a reason to draft tweeners, undersized two's, and Luther Head. But never mind all that, I have an early candidate for most likely to be the next Gilbert Arenas.

Jack McClinton
Jack McClinton.

Now let me explain myself before you decide to go trolling for more pictures of Jessica Biel in Powder Blue. He could turn out to go the route of Chris Lofton (a.k.a. the great shooter who has to spend time in Europe). It would be a shame, but with 60 picks and everybody after their own myth of the next, McClinton could fall through the cracks.

But that being said? He is dangerous from pull-up jumper to 25 feet. He gets open. He breaks people off the dribble. He gets the opportunity, and he can get 25 a game. Just like Arenas. And you know what? He's actually showing a developing distributorial game. He'll never be a lockdown defender. But he won't be simply a sieve.

I know I'm chasing a myth by making this claim, but you know what? It's no risk. In fact, if anyone feels so inclined. Bring your MONGA to the comments!