Archive for July, 2007


King Cole

Cole HamelsLittle bit of a late start here today folks.

That’s what 5th row seats behind the Cubby dugout will do to you.

Anyway, besides getting as close as I ever will to Erin Andrews, I was blown away with Cole Hamels (seen here). That dude has wicked stuff.

And on the other end of the score, not really wowed by the Cubs. All they need is a win to move into a tie for first and they were flat as ever. It’s not like they’re done, but still, way to be clutch.

Phillies 4, Cubs 1: Ted Lilly had won 7 in a row, but former White Sox players quickly put an end to that. Tadahito Iguchi and Aaron Rowand each went yard, scoring all 4 Philadelphia runs. Chicago only got 3 hits, but never had anyone on base anyway. Ryan Theriot’s home run was the only Cubs score.

Angels 0, Mariners 2: After destroying the Tigers last week, the Angels couldn’t find their wings against the M’s. Seattle starter Miguel Batista went 7 strong innings, allowing only 4 hits and no earned runs. Kelvim Escobar was also solid for Los Angeles/Anaheim County of California, but the offensive explosion that put up 34 runs in the 3-game series against Detroit was non-existent.

Tigers 5, Athletics 2: The A’s couldn’t touch Detroit’s Tata (Jordan Tata that is). The youngster earned the win in his first major-league start. Maybe Kenny Rogers should just stay on the DL. The recently unstoppable Curtis Granderson went 3-for-5 with an RBI and 3 runs scored.

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Now that’s a pink slip

Jay WilliamsonI’m sure you were all glued to the Canadian Open (aka Mike Weir’s homecoming parade) this weekend.

But for those of you who didn’t catch it, there was an amazing occurrence up north.

Jay Williamson, who’s known for, well, nothing, fired his caddy on the 15th hole of the first round.

Now, in the golf world, that’s fairly rare in itself. But Williamson went a step further and got a new looper from the gallery.

Don Alexander, 69, a fairly good amateur in his day, was pulled out of the crowd to carry the 100-lb. bag for the last four holes.

Even more hilarious was Alexander’s logic for following Williamson’s group:

Every year I love to go out and watch a group that nobody’s going to follow except maybe their girlfriends,” Alexander, who played in the 1962 Canadian Open as an amateur, told the Toronto Star. “I love golf and I want to see how these guys make their living out here. I got a pretty good group there, with (Scott) Gump, Williamson and (John) Mallinger. They shot some pretty good scores. There were only a few of us watching them the whole way.

Ha! A good group with Scott Gump, Williamson and John Mallinger. If anything, our buddy Don is easy to please.

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They think I’m Mexican…

Rookie ZCarlos Zambrano is a freak.

In a good way of course.

Zambrano went 7 1/3 innings, giving up just 2 hits Sunday, in a win against the Cincinnati Reds.

He was also 3 for 4 in the game, and raised his average to .291. That’s better than 7 of the guys on the Reds.

Oh yea, and the Cubs trail the Brewers by only .5 game in the N.L. Central. As the fans in Wrigleyville say, “It’s gonna happen.”

Cubs 6, Reds 0: Big Z got his 14th win of the season, just two shy of his career best.  Derrek Lee added a two-run home run. The Reds are so bad, their fans gave Zambrano a standing ovation when he came to bat in the 8th and hit his third single of the game.

Tigers 4, Angels 13: Even though Jeremy Bonderman gave up 11 runs in 2 1/3 inning, another pitcher had a worse day. As for the Tigers, they suffered a sweep at the hands of the Angels. Detroit gave up double digit runs in a third consecutive game for the first time since 1996. For the Winged Cherubs, 12 runs in the first three innings and Gary Matthews Jr. with 3 RBI.

Braves 14, D-Backs 0: Arizona came down to Earth with a drubbing to Atlanta. The Braves got 3 runs in the first, thanks in part to an Andruw Jones home run, and scored in the first 7 innings. The Diamondbacks are still 8-2 in their last 10 and sit tied with the Dodgers for first in the West.

Padres 18, Astros 11: The Friars are also hanging around in the West, trailing by a half game. Eleven runs in the first inning helped San Diego split its series against the extremely mediocre Astros. The Pads start a crucial series against Arizona tonight.

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$5K for Bosworth? I’m in

Lance wins...againHave you ever wondered how lucrative a career in public speaking could be?

No? Me neither.

But I never realized the amount of money athletes can make giving motivational speeches (sometimes after their prime, sometimes while they’re still active).

Anyway, Direct Sportslink will hook you up with your favorite athlete for a nominal fee. Note: “nominal” = holy shit I’ve never seen that much money.

Here’s a list of some of the celebs DS can hook you up with, and what you get for your money.*

*fabricated by yours truly

1. In the highest tier: There is only one athlete, and I’m sure you’ve guessed which douc…I mean celebrity garnishes the highest wages.

Yep, it’s Lance. For “above $100,000” he will give you the most inspirational speech of your life. Also included, Lance will show you how to redirect steroid implications into lawsuits against the French media. In addition, you will also receive political advice and also a free naked photo of yourself and Lance riding tandem. Matthew McConaughey, please stop calling.

2. Second tier — $75,000-$100,000: There are several athletes in this category, including George Foreman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Phil Jackson, Joe Montana and Gary Player (honestly?). But most valuable in this category is Tom Brady. For only about four times your yearly salary, the three-time Super Bowl champion will teach you to impregnate has-been actresses, completely get out of caring for the child, and then land a super model. And then blow it. Seems like he could charge more.

3. Third tier — $50,000-$75,000: The first member of this category is Hank Aaron. Honestly, he’s probably worth a lot more, and one of the only athletes I would pay to hear speak. Others include the entire lineup of quarterback broadcasters (Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Dan Marino), Raymond Floyd, Hulk Hogan, Nolan Ryan and Oscar De La Hoya. We’re going to highlight Pat Riley though. Your fee gets you a nice soft leather chair to sit back and watch someone else do your work. Also, you’ll get a pink slip to give the person doing your work after they’ve got you to an acceptable level. Lastly, you get a free loop hole that Riley can show you how to use to get out of your job as soon as things start going south.

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to live and die in L.A.

Dodgers winYou know it’s a slow baseball day when the N.L. gets love.

Despite picking up a win and maintaining their 1.5 game lead in the West, the Dodgers may be without Brad Penny for awhile.

The pitcher left the game with abdominal pain after trying to run-out a single right after a 28-pitch inning.

Dodgers 5, Rockies 4: Even though Penny left the game injured, he won his eighth start in a row and moved his record to 13-1 overall. Rafael Furcal hit his fourth home run of the season and NoMah drove in 2. The Rockies, who are not very good, left 8 runners on base.

Marlins 4, D-Backs 7: There’s a new contender in the West. The Dodgers, used to having San Diego in their rear-view mirror, now have to watch out for Arizona. Just a week ago, the D-Backs had lost 16 of 22 games. Flash forward to last night, when your favorite announcer slash player (and not the other way around) Eric Byrnes hit a walk-off, three-run homer to push Arizona’s win streak to 6.

Astros 7, Padres 1: David Wells was shelled (mmmm….tacos) for 7 earned runs in only three innings of work as San Diego lost its 2nd straight (the team is 3-7 in its last 10). For the Astros, Carlos Lee and Morgan Ensberg hit back-to-back home runs in the first, and the indestructible Craig Biggio added another in the third.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2: Seattle continued its gift-wrapping of the A.L. West for the Angels, dropping a seventh-straight game. Jeff Weaver was solid for a Weaver, giving up 3 ER in 7 1/3 innings, but the M’s offense continued to struggle. The team has scored 12 combined runs in its last 4 games.

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Mike Downey’s going to get his own tag

GrossmanAround here, I try to distribute the mocking evenly.

Granted, ESPN takes its fair share of hits, but it’s not that I hate them…they’re just awful.

It’s in that spirit that I feel half bad about another post ripping columnist Mike Downey. But I’m fairly sure he’s lost his mind.

In his latest work, Downey wonders why everyone is so negative about the Bears. I mean come on people, they went to the Super Bowl last year! The Super Bowl!

Hate to tell you Mike, but making it to the Super Bowl isn’t really a sign of good things to come. The NFC has been represented by 7 different teams the last 7 years of the Big Game (Chicago, Seattle, Philly, Carolina, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, New York).

However, the Bears “magical” season also doesn’t mean the team is banished to the cellar for the next couple years. But Downey doesn’t understand why critics keep poking holes in the Bears balloon of awesomeness.

I honestly don’t get it. How did the Bears go from a Super Bowl in one of their most magnificent seasons of all time to being a dumped-on, picked-on, piled-on, disrespectfully treated and continuously criticized team?

Hmmm. Well, I would say the arrest, then ultimate release of one of the team’s players, a holdout by the best linebacker on the team, a shitty quarterback…but please, continue.

Yet it sometimes seems as if we hear about next to nothing about anything except the Bears’ “problems,” their “weaknesses,” their “question marks,” as well as unhappy employees who either got out, got kicked out or want out.

“Problems,” “weaknesses” and “question marks” often do put a damper on the preseason.

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flashes of brilliance

A-Rod hits 499If you’re still on the sinking ship that thinks the Yankees can’t make the playoffs, you might want to bail now.

New York closed its gap to 6.5 games in the A.L. East with a record-setting win Wednesday night.

Alex Rodriguez, the MLB leader in home runs and RBI, joined exclusive company with his 499th home run against Kansas City starter Gil Meche.

Earlier, Mets 52-year-old starter Tom Glavine went 6 innings and picked up the victory against the Pirates for career win No. 299.

Yankees 7, Royals 1: The win streak is now at 6. The division lead is cut to 6.5. The Yanks are cruising. Hideki Matsui (and of course A-Rod) added a home run to back 5 2/3 innings of one-run work by Mike Mussina.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 1: Speaking of streaking, the Cubs are headed through the quad. Five two-out runs and a 7-inning, 1 ER effort from Ted Lilly led to Chicago’s 21st win in 28 games. The Brew Crews lead is down to 2 games. Outlook of holding on: cloudy.

Mariners 6, Rangers 7: On the flip side are the Mariners. The members of the team shaved their heads in a sign of unity and hoped to change their luck. The result? A lot less hair and a sixth-straight loss. Seattle closer J.J. Putz blew a save! after converting his first 29 of the season.

Reds 7, Brewers 3: The reason the Cubs made up ground was Jeff Suppan’s first loss against the Reds — ever. The rest of the Brewers didn’t help much, not getting on the board until Craig Counsell’s home run in the sixth. What do you think Prince Fielder will do when the Brew Crew blows the division lead?

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