Archive for August, 2007

31
Aug
07

Fynal wrap

SteveyFynally, a long weekend.

After weeks of sitting around on the couch, we’re getting back to the U this weekend (the I-U) for some tailgating and generally debauchery.

It’s a fairly intense sports weekend, as far as sports weekends go.

You may have heard, college football starts this weekend, we’re pumped about that.

The best game of this first weekend is easily No. 15 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Cal (8 p.m. ET, ABC). Other than that, Indiana-Indiana State is probably your second best bet (all day, ham radio throughout Southern Indiana).

Besides college football, we’ve got U.S. Open tennis (USA and CBS, all weekend) and the second FedEx Cup tournament — the Deutsche Bank Championship (GOLF Saturday; NBC, Sunday, Monday).

Right now, Tiger is tanking, but that could change by the second. One prediction though, if Steve Stricker (above) wins the Cup (2 shots off the lead right now), consider the new PGA playoff toast.

Tiger or Phil or Vijay or a player of their star status has to win this first year. As much as we want to see Stricker win, it’s going to drive casual fans away.

On that note, have a good Labor Day weekend. Peace out.

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31
Aug
07

Ah, rivalries

UCLA-USCSorry for no “Fynal Out” today.

Ms. Cut made us go to an interview for a “real” job. Evidently it pays “money” or something.

Anyway, we came across something interesting over at Deadspin and thought it was worth discussing.

Basically, the UCLA blog bruinsnation.com dug up some skeletons in the closet of USC running backs coach Todd McNair.

It seems McNair was narrowly acquitted on dogfighting charges in 1996, but was convicted on 17 counts of animal cruelty.

The Daily Trojan thought this was awful journalism on the part of the blog (big shocker there), and decided to write an editorial about it.

It goes a little something like this:

BruinsNation took a sports rivalry to an inappropriate level, bringing back McNair’s already public convictions, forcing him to deal with issues that should remain in the past. The site practiced poor journalism as little – if any- good can be done by the resurfacing of McNair’s actions.

All of these statements may be true, but as far as we’re concerned, bruinsnation.com is not a journalistic enterprise. Sure, lots of Bruins’ fans get their news there, but lots of people get their news from The Daily Show, and the people on that show are not journalists. Being able to type does not make you a journalist.

While we do not condone McNair’s previous behaviors, no new evidence of McNair mistreating animals has come to light. BruinsNation’s story is not newsworthy – rehashing a 14-year-old, already settled issue does nothing for readers today. The statute of limitations has expired, McNair has paid his dues to society. Nothing more can be asked of him than to not engage in such behavior again, and there is no reason to believe he has.

We do take issue with this paragraph. It is semi-newsworthy if McNair was involved in dogfighting, even if it was a long time ago. And of course McNair doesn’t want it brought up again! Who would? But he made poor decisions in 1996 and it’s going to stick with him for the rest of his life. We’re not going to want to hear about Mike Vick’s dogfighting charge 10 years from now, but we are willing to wager a free post it will still haunt him.

Doesn’t the Daily Trojan have better/more important/school-related issues to cover in editorials? Not sure about you dear readers, but no matter how many times we read this, it still seems like petty whining by one side of a rivalry.

30
Aug
07

Ozzie Guillen acknowledges our authority

Ozzie quitsYou may remember when we opined against Ozzie Guillen, the hilariously inept Chicago White Sox manager who has led his team into the ground this year.**

**Note: All real baseball fans know that a manager has extremely little to do with the play of his respective team. However, it is funny/easy/convenient to blame these individuals for poor performance.

Well, it seems Ozzie has come to his senses.

Well, as much as Ozzie can come to his senses.

He just can’t take it any more. Take it away Guillen:

One-hundred-million-dollar payroll and those guys don’t show how much they make in the field,” Guillen said. ”Well, Kenny, I don’t say what he has to do, but we play like this and spend all that money on the club like that, I will shut the payroll and go with Double-A kids if we have to.

Not sure how you “shut a payroll,” but proceed.

They’re killing me. They’re killing my family. They’re killing my coaching staff. Kill the White Sox fans. They kill the owner. They kill everyone. I hope they feel the same way we feel.

We had to wait two sentence for a Guillen-like overblown comment. Yes, the White Sox are killing his family. Also, White Sox fans, your manager just told all those who read the paper to murder you. Unreal. Do you at least have a solution Ozzie?

I hope somebody out there cares the way we care. Good guys or nice guys finish [expletive] last. I’m tired of seeing that [crap], day in and day out. And I don’t want to spend a miserable September seeing the same [crap]. If I have to see the same [crap], I told Kenny, ‘Bring somebody up. [Expletive] it.’ If it’s my fault, I should be moving out of here then. If it’s my fault, [expletive] fire my ass and I’ll be fine. I have the job to do, and I get paid a lot of [expletive] money to make this club work, but it’s not easy to work with people like that. It’s not easy.

Yes! YES! He understands! Fire his ass and he’ll be fine. Although he makes a lot of F-ing money (as he subtly points out), it’s not easy people! Running a team is hard! You have to fill out the batting order every day. EVERY DAY! And get thrown out once in awhile.

Anyway, there it is Kenny. Your free pass. He asked for it. Now give ’em the axe.

30
Aug
07

Hypocrisy is hilarious!

God, not more VickSwear to God, this is the last Vick picture that will be posted on this site for at least a week.

We aren’t even going to get back into the mess that is this situation (we even had the head of an animal rights organization leave a statement in the comments section — we smell copy/paste, copy/paste after Googling “Vick” in the blogs).

However, this was noteworthy from yesterday but didn’t make it in before the dinner bell rang.

ESPN’s Page 2 (I’m nothing like my stuck-up older brother, swear!) has decided to mock the ridiculousness of media coverage surrounding Vick.

Really Page 2?

Because for the last week, you couldn’t turn on the Worldwide Leader without seeing a press conference, an Outside the Lines, a Cold Pizza, or a Sportscenter in which Vick was the lead topic.

It was, Quite Frankly, embarrassing.

We know you’re supposed to be funny and all that jazz (the only writer we really enjoy is Klosterman), but we still know who signs your paychecks.

30
Aug
07

The Fynal Out: N.L. races are so hot right now

InterferenceAll of the sudden, none of the American League playoff races are close.

Of course, the Yankees’ deficit has been lingering from 5-8 games for what seems like months.

But now the Tigers are 4.5 behind Cleveland (thanks to two straight losses to KANSAS CITY) and the Angels have widen their lead to 5 games over the Mariners.

But in the N.L., things are tightening up. Especially in the East. And the Central. And the West.

Last night, behind four straight wins, the Phillies closed the gap to 3 games. The Mets appeared to have tied the game in the top of the ninth, but Marlon Anderson was called out for interference, ending the game on a controversial note.

Either way, a loss is a loss, and the Mets now have four in a row. Philly goes for the sweep today at 1:05 EST.

Mets 2, Phillies 3: In addition to that helpful interference call, the Phillies got six strong innings out of Jamie Moyer, who gave up just two runs. The Philly offense was boosted by first inning home runs by the break-dancing Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 4: Roger Clemens somehow took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, before giving up a solo shot to David Ortiz. Although it’s not time for Boston fans to jump off the ledge yet, Josh Beckett gave up a season-high 13 hits. The Yankees are now tied for first in the Wild Card race.

Angels 8, Mariners 2: This series was supposed to be crucial. We would have even taken competitive. The Angels closed out the sweep Wednesday behind solo home runs from Jeff Mathis and Vlad Guerrero. Jered Weaver went eight innings and gave up just one earned run. Up-and-down Seattle has now lost five in a row.

Diamondbacks 1, Padres 3: Speaking of sweeps, the Padres go for an important one today. Three straight wins have put San Diego in a tie for first out West, and a win today would put Arizona alone in second. On Wednesday, Micah Owings allowed just three hits and a run in seven innings, but got no help from his offense.

More scores…

Continue reading ‘The Fynal Out: N.L. races are so hot right now’

29
Aug
07

This man, better than Bonds

Better than BondsNormally, we like to find our own juicy goodness around these parts.

But there’s nothing wrong with giving you some love from around blogdome, and this was too good to pass up.

This story comes first from the Washington Examiner, then Deuce of Davenport, then Deadspin. If anyone was left out of this progression, sorry.

Anyway, this dude on the left is Ray McDonald. And besides looking a little like Ray Liotta and having a name straight out of “Field of Dreams,” he has a very sad claim to fame.

He says he had a better batting average than Barry Bonds while both attended Serra High School in San Mateo.

Now, that is a cool little fact. We would probably tell family and friends (who would probably already know). However, once it defined our existence, that would be the end of it. Not for ‘ol McDonald.

He would sit in the outfield seats at Candlestick Park watching the Giants and, when the topic of left fielder Barry Bonds came up, McDonald would casually mention he actually had a higher batting average when the two were senior teammates at Serra High School in San Mateo. The claim would be met with disbelief and then a bet. That is when McDonald would pull a card out of his pocket with the official 1982 West Catholic Athletic League stats showing he hit .490 to Bonds’ .450. Thus, his appetite at many games was satiated.

That’s correct. McDonald walks around with a card in his pocket that proves he had a better batting average than Bonds. And evidently, such a card makes one delirious.

He’s the greatest player of my era. The greatest player that I’ve ever seen, you know. . . . And I was very fortunate that I had the opportunity to go to high school and play with him.

Oh high school glory days, we…well actually, we don’t remember them because we didn’t make any rosters.

Also, props to Matt Elliser of the Examiner for digging up this gem.

29
Aug
07

The Fynal Out: The Brewers are done

Brewers finished

Like the sign says, “It’s gonna happen.”

Although we don’t necessarily think this means the Cubs “are gonna” win the division. It just means the Brewers will complete this giant collapse of theirs.

The struggling Crew has dropped 11 of its last 14 games, including five L’s in a row. Right beside them (for now) is St. Louis, a team that’s won three in a row and six of its last 10.

Brewers 3, Cubs 5: It was said Milwaukee needed a great game out of Jeff Suppan to win this crucial series opener. Well, Suppan was pretty stellar, giving up just two runs in six-plus. As soon as he was gone, though, the Cubs had their fun, scoring four runs in the seventh inning. The suddenly hot Jacque Jones had a two-run double and scored the game-winning run.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 5: Although maybe a case of too little, too late, New York got its statement win Tuesday night at the Stadium. Johnny Damon broke a tie in the seventh with a two-run shot that prompted the headline “Johnny Drama: Damon beats former entourage.” Is there a pop culture reference hiding in there?

Tigers 3, Royals 6: A day after showing they could win a series against a top team (Yankees), Detroit managed to lose its opener to Kansas City. Strangely enough, the Tigers had 16 hits in the game and Placido Polanco tied a club record for the most three-hit games since 1957 (23). Worse yet, Cleveland beat Minnesota again.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 6: Ace Brandon Webb was off his game, walking three and hitting a batter, and San Diego took advantage. A four-run sixth inning propelled the Padres to the win, and the club is now just one game back in the West. Didn’t this used to be the Dodgers’ division? Like three months ago?
More scores…

Continue reading ‘The Fynal Out: The Brewers are done’