Sunday, April 19, 2009

Great Start to a Sunday

So, I'm sittin' on the couch, drinking my coffee, and watching Sportscenter because if you wake up after 9:00 on a Sunday, you're forced to watch Bob Ryan and Lupica wax idiotic about the struggling Yankees or some shit. But, there I was having an epiphany.

I like Manny Ramirez.

He's like that stupid person you hung out with all the time (or he hung out with you), and he bothered you so much because he was really irresponsible, and disrespectful, and he looked stupid, and he was rude, and he said stupid things, and he thought he was way more valuable than he really was, and he kept trying to drive up one-year, 45-million dollar deals with his agent...OK, nobody has a friend like that, but I digress.

Anyway, this morning, all the bitterness I had towards him for his terrible defense, idiotic behavior, and all-around jackassery went away when I watched the Dodgers highlights. I may have the details a bit off, but you'll get the gist:

First inning, Manny crushes one to left-center (on a high, inside pitch): 1-0

Second inning, Manny doinks a routine fly ball off his glove. They show Chad Billinglsey on the mound, and he's perturbed, but not showing him up or's Manny.

At this point, I think to myself, "What a retard. Watching him run after the dropped ball, stupid, floppy hair bouncing around, he sucks. Billingsley should kick him in the balls when they get back to the dugout."

No runs scored however, so no harm no foul.

Third inning, Manny crushes a rope down the left field line. 2-0

And with that, I laugh to no one but myself. The guy is hilariously talented at the plate. So much so, that no matter how fucking terrible he is at defense, personal hygiene, and decorum, the guy flat fucking rakes, and it is fun to watch him hit.

It was as if this conversation occurred after the second inning:

Manny: Hey #58, pitcher bad on that fly ball. They didn't score that inning, did they?

Chad: No, they didn't. Don't sweat it. It just added another 10 pitches to my pitch count in my second start of the season.

Pitch count?

Chad: Yeah, early in the season, we like to...never mind. Anyway, don't worry about it.

Manny: I hit you a homer this inning, make up for it.

Chad: Yeah, all right, that'd be great. (eye roll)

Manny: All right...who am I up after? (wanders off)

And with that, almost as if it blew away with the warm, Pacific breeze at Chavez Ravine and one swing of the bat, my hatred for Manny is gone. He's just funny to watch.

I still hate Papelbon, though. That guy is a douche.

P.S. Pitino is in quite a bundle at the moment. Hope that all works out OK.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Long Live The Goat

I really don't like the Cubs at all. This is mostly reciprocated hatred that started with Bick and other Cubs fans' hatred of the Reds. In fact, when I was younger I really liked the plucky underdog thing they had going for them. Now though, they kind of feel like the National League's Red Sox? There's an allstar lineup in Chitown and most of the billion or so fans that comprise Cubs nation seem to be of the ilk that it is cool to be a Cubs fan and have no real appreciation for the team or the game but man they have a sweet cubbie bear shirt and they shit themselves onetime at Murphy's or whatever. This fan critque excludes the Cubs contingent that will be reading this but you know what I mean about most of your Wrigley lovin' brethren. Anyway, it'll be sweet if we go to Cincy this year again where they will be 3 Cubs fans for every Redleg in the stands.

Friday, April 3, 2009

There are Literally Thousands of These

I kind of feel bad picking on this one dude, but I have to be meta-critical of at least one of these anti-Calipari articles. So far, this one's the shittiest, probably because it was written by some lame hack wannabe--just like me! Well, just like Bick.

John Calipari and Kentucky: A Marriage Made in Basketball Heaven

The never-before-used marriage metaphor. Promising start!

I, John Calipari...

John Calipari is a good basketball coach, not a great one. The Kentucky basketball program right now is a good one, not a great one. They're perfect for each other.

If there's anything I love, it's intentionally disjointed articles!

I'd like to disagree with both of your sentiments, as well. John Calipari is a great basketball coach. He's been to four straight Sweet 16's. He's one of the nation's top recruiters. He's certainly one of the ten best coaches, if not one of the five.

Also: Kentucky is a terrible, awful program right now. 40-27 in two years is very mediocre, like, say, off the top of my head, tapioca pudding.

On the surface, Calipari is an outstanding catch for the Wildcats. It's hard to beat a .762 winning percentage, NBA ties, and the ability to yank blue-chip recruits from all over the country.

You're right, that all is a major change from what has been occurring. End of article.

Dig deeper and gaps develop. Not a single thing this man has done in college basketball has been free of blemish. Not one.

What about the press conference Wednesday? That was perfect. Or the national championship run last year? Yeah, he had some potheads and shit, but hell, it's Memphis.

Marcus Camby accepting 40k and hookers over a 16-month period from a lawyer in Connecticut isn't the entire story, either.

OK, that's a little fucked up. But hey, Cal was young and cleared of all wrong doing. Let's pretend that never happened...

There's also Donta Bright and Lou Roe, whose academics were so questionable other major schools passed on them while Calipari flaunted UMass' options for students with learning disabilities.

Fuck kids with LD, that's what I've always said. Hasn't steered me wrong yet.

...from this day forward, for better or worse, or until stuff starts hitting fans...

Then he bolted to the NBA shortly after the Camby situation started unravelling [sic].

If by "bolted to the NBA" you mean "took a highly-profitable job with more power and prestige than one could ever attain at UMass" then yes, he bolted.

At Memphis, he's developed a nice stable of recruiting side stories, from World Wide Wes to DeJuan Wagner's dad to Reggie Rose to Lord knows what else will emerge.

World Wide Wes sounds like the Internet, and the Internet is where we all get our porn. Are you trying to fuck that up for everyone?

Yes, Cal did hire Milt Wagner, probably in an Wade Houstonian-like attempt to get his son. However, Milt still coaches (at a different school), so maybe it was more than that.

As for Rose's brother, I'm not really sure how that all went down. Sounds like some sketchy relationship building practices, but that shit goes on way more than just at Memphis.

More importantly (well, at least to Kentucky), on the court Calipari has actually underperformed against expectations in the NCAA tournament. Memphis was upset in '03, '06, and '09.

Emphasis his! 'Cause this shit major!

In '03, Memphis, a seven-seed, lost to Arizona State in the first round. In '06, as the one-seed, they lost by five to eventual runner up UCLA in the Elite Eight. In '09, they got fucking destroyed by a buzzsaw.

Still, his last four years are a hundred times better than ours. Also, you may not have heard, but upsets occur in the tournament. For instance, Duke's been upset in the past five tournaments.

They equalled their seed in '04 and '07, and only (arguably) did better than their seed in '08. His '93 and '94 UMass teams were also upset. In fact, not one Calipari-coached team has demonstrably done better than expected in the NCAA Tournament. Not one.

Emphasis, again, his.

I don't want to get into a big thing here, but again, it's very difficult to not be upset in the tournament. Very rarely are favorites playing one another. The fact that he has Memphis, remember, in positions to go to the Final Four--ever--is an accomplishment. The excitement comes from the melding of a big name program, Kentucky, with a big name coach. The expectation is that he will be able to do much bigger things at a much bigger program.

It really isn't very elusive. Also: Remember Roy Williams? He was a notorious choker at KU. I don't think there is any argument about who the best coach in CBB is now. And he only took a small step up.

Your upset talk is also annoying because, in the shitty C-USA, the guy hasn't been upset in almost 60 tries. So we probably won't have anymore VMIs, and that's really all I need.

And he's never won a game in a top six conference.

I don't know what this means. You know, Vince Lombardi won zero baseball games as a baseball manager. Zero.

...for richer or poorer, mostly richer since you're paying me an exorbitant amount of money...

Hi-yo. Because they're getting married, remember?

Play in a weak conference, rack up the wins with Yankees-level talent for your second-tier conference, and disappoint in March. Wake up one day and you'll making championship vows as the highest-paid coach in college basketball.

Again, "disappoint in March" is arguable.

"Wake up one day?" He's coached two teams in the FF and in the NBA. That's pretty good pedigree. Who the fuck else were we supposed to get? Other than Izzo, of course.

The only school right for him is Kentucky, a school whose fans live in 1968 and think it's the center of the college basketball universe, the only place to offer everything a college basketball coach could want. "The coach is bigger than the Governor," they say with all the hubris entitled to a team mentally living in a Ruppian utopia.

I think I speak for myself and everyone I know when I say that we don't live in 1968. And, judging by the coverage of this event, it is the center of the basketball universe.

I'm still trying to decipher what "hubris entitled to a team mentally living in a Ruppian utopia" means. And I think you mean fan base, not team. How does one "mentally live?" How do you "entitle hubris?" What does that mean?

And you blew a perfect opportunity to use Guv-nah.

They're prefect [sic] for Calipari because they're the basketball equivalent of Notre Dame and Alabama football.


Drunk on history and self-righteousness, they often ignore reality, decorum, and any pesky roadblocks in the return for glory, discarding the common rules other programs live by. "This isn't just another coaching job," indeed!

Whoa, now. Careful with all that drunk talk. If the common rule is to allow an alcoholic who is short with the media and treats his players like the fucking Junction Boys, then I'd be glad to be a fan of the program that ignores those rules.

And we have sucked ass lately. We needed this hire.

Who are you quoting? love and to cherish, because that means drinking from the same giant cauldron of hallucinogenic blue liquid...


If anyone ever said, "if you love me, you'd drink from this giant cauldron of hallucinogenic blue liquid," they'd be admitted. I'm not sure that's common practice.

Truth is, Kentucky is just another coaching job.

That is not the truth. If it were, we wouldn't be paying a man $4 million to do it and Gillispie would still be getting his bearings.

It's probably one of the top fifteen in the country, but there's nothing special about it aside from maybe kissing some more butt in the media and booster circles (which is a negative to prospective coaches).

I don't really follow this logic. First of all, top fifteen, ha! You're insane.

Second of all, there's nothing special about coaching the winningest program in the history of the sport? I find that hard to believe.

However, try explaining this to a Kentucky fan, and they'll think you're from Mars, which makes the Calipari hire a perfect fit. Like Kentucky, Calipari sees himself in an echelon above his peers.

Wait a fucking second, man. Are you telling me that creatures from Mars think they're better than us? That's fucked up.

Kid no one can touch? He'll get him.

Yeah, fuck that.

He's Italian and he looks good on TV.

GiadadeLaurentiis03.jpg image by renziebaluyut

Hookers for 20-year olds? He didn't know about it.

He may not have. If there is anyone slimier than Calipari, it's agents.

NBA players? He could handle them, right?

They went to the playoffs. That's more than Pitino can say.

...'til death, or premature contract termination at your massive expense because I've failed to live up to the ungodly expectations set before me, do us part...

This is where everyone is wrong. Gillispie was fired for lots of reasons, but most of all, at least to me, because he has no past success. We thought he was the hot up-and-comer, and he was just some asshole. Cal has 2 FF and a legitimate recruiting prowess. If he has down years, he'll get a pass.

Also, he's not a sociopath.

The list of coaches who have disliked Calipari is quite an impressive gallery: Calhoun, Chaney, Pitino, Pearl, Martelli, et cetera. Only through Calipari can they be linked.

Hey look, the five biggest assholes in college basketball! Oh, God have mercy on you if Phil Martelli dislikes you. And is that the same John Chaney who sent a goon in to injure the other team's best player and threatened to kill Calipari? He's an angel, from what I understand. His relationship with Pitino is well-documented, and it sounds like nothing more than two guys with huge egos being competitive. Calhoun is also a notorious prick. And Bruce Pearl can choke on a dick. Does anyone like him?

Likewise, Kentucky finds enemies from all over the basketball sphere merely because of the unwarranted swagger they bring to basketball season.

OK, you're 8 years old, right? This was all a big joke! And, to be clear, we have brought no swagger to the basketball season for several years.

Given their pasts, the marriage of Calipari and Kentucky is an NCAA scandal and a feast of postseason underachieving waiting to happen. It's like the marriage of Sampson and Indiana on Lexington-style crack cocaine.

That is a vivid description...that makes no sense! Sampson had already been caught, accused, and charged with infractions. Calipari hasn't.

But whatever hyperbolic statement fits, I guess.

Overrated coach, you may now take this overrated program...

This may be my "entitled hubris" speaking, but I think it's almost impossible to overrate the Kentucky program. We've had some good years, which you evidently missed, because you seem to think that the program was born in 2006.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun With The Reader's Corner II

Making fun of citizens who took the time to write completely asinine letters to the editor will be a new feature on this site, and it will be called, "oh my God, people are so fucking stupid."

As you know, the bold is not mine.

How long will it take for President Obama to act on and/or react to the salaries of sport coaches and/or athletes?

Do you want my guess? OK. Never. Never ever. Neverty-everty. Do you want to know my reasoning? The Constitution.

Despite what the folks at AIG might tell you, Obama can't tell you what to do with your money. In fact, no one, in the history of America, can. Oh sure, we pay taxes. But after that you can do whatever you want!

This is like me saying, "how long before Obama outlaws people paying money to put stupid spoilers on their Grand Prix' and scripting 'GANGSTA' along the back windshield of their Blazers? THIS MUST END!"

Hey, lady, just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it should be illegal. I don't like people saying stupid shit; God knows I haven't gotten that outlawed (not due to lack of trying).

Especially, note the eight-year, $31 million offer to Coach John Calipari. In this time, such a huge salary is outrageous.

Yes, I know. Lady, with no due respect, may I ask you if you pried dubya for legislation when A-Rod signed his contract? Or LeBron/Kobe/Miley fucking Cyrus? People get paid lots and lots of money for tons of stupid shit. Again, since only 400K is being paid to Cal in base salary, it's really none of your fucking business how much the UKAD decides to give him.

This is no different from a private enterprise paying their CEO millions. It's not taxpayer dollars, so shut your fucking face. They can do what they want. Yay Capitalism!

Also, I will be overjoyed when UK gets over the fact that Rick Pitino left them.

Really? Because you sound pretty bitter. I would offer that your angry plea to have Calipari arrested (or whatever) is a direct result of UK fans' glee (but mostly your stupidity).

Hey, fans, he is gone; he is in Louisville; we got him. Now get over it.

Yes, I know. At this time, I can finally say I'm over it. I hadn't been for a while, though. Also: stop acting like you took him from us. You didn't. He fell into your lap after fucking up an NBA franchise.

Learning Along the Way

So, I can't say that I'm prophetic, but in the past 48 hours, I pretty much nailed it (with the help of Steve Jackson):

a. There will be night racing at Churchill. Holy shit.

b. I told you that UK needed to do what UL won't and fire their shitty coach.

In the article by Eric Crawford today, much credit is given to Mitch Barnhart, and it is well-deserved. As the firing occurred, about half of the Big Blue faithful warned us that we were making a HUGE mistake and no one would ever want to coach at the 'circus' that is the University of Kentucky.

Well, not only were they wrong, but they are much less vocal now. If it were feasible, all the morons who said we shouldn't fire Gillispie should not be allowed entrance into Rupp Arena for two years. They should not be allowed to join in the excitement of ushering in arguably the hottest coach in the nation right now. They should not be allowed access to any message boards, and they all owe Barnhart an apology.

The guy did what he had to do, so he deserves every ounce of credit that he receives. And if someone from the UK PR department didn't write Coach Cal's opening speech, then I am shocked. Here's an outline:

1. Open up with a Keightley reference, they love that crazy old man!
2. Get a dig in on Alan Cutler (sidenote: who is a bigger Cutler-douche right now, Alan or's close)
3. Mention Richie Farmer
4. Tell a story where the protagonist (a troubled youth) ends up changing his life for the better, thereby robbing the media of some of the bullets that they will use against you
5. Mention Dunkin''re a regular guy!
6. Deftly make fun of Gillispie without making fun of Gillispie (playing zone, recruiting 12 year olds)
7. Talk about how this is still THE job in college basketball

The dude nailed it.

But, the real point of this, and, sadly, most of my life, is to once again point out that the AD at Kentucky has one HUGE advantage over some other AD's because of his ability to realize when he has erred.

Tell me, what AD that you know does this NOT sound like:

"I hired Billy, went down that path, thought I had a guy who was the hot coach or whatever. I watched him, watched his team, liked the way he played, talked to a lot of people," Barnhart said. "And I missed. It was my fault. I just missed. ... Everybody lives and learns, as do I. Last time didn't work out. Did I learn from that? Hopefully, I got better this time. ... I know I'm happy with where we are and the coach we got."

Really, the beautiful symbolism here is that Jurich's hubris bleeds into other programs. If you were forced to watch the UL-Arizona blood-letting, you would have realized that the preening, camera-fondling, eyebrow grooming, chest thumping, buzzer dunking Cardinals were rife for an upset at the hands of a much sounder, humbler, and (GASP) better coached team. Train/Higdon, I apologize, but you were in the stands, so you didn't get the full effect of the pomposity exuded on the court by the Filthy Cards, and alas, it was the sword that they fell on.

So, Tom, enjoy your trip to the Women's Final Four in St. Louis. We'll see you in Lexington on September 19. Make sure you bring "your guy" with you. We already got ours.