Friday, October 29, 2004

Interesting Perspective

I liked the Sports Guy's column today...he basically just published a handful of e-mails from his faithful readers, Sawx fans and non-Sawx fans alike. It's pretty cool to read other people's perspectives on this whole celebration thing, and below I've excerpted my favorite e-mail, which I think is one of the most interesting takes I've read so far on the Series aftermath:

-----------------
Back in college, I had a friend who was also (as many friends are) a bitter rival. But when it came to girls, I always got the best of him. In fact, even though he was a good-looking guy, funny, etc -- he had never scored. Never had. Just had always had something thwart him. For years. There were a few notable times when we both went after the same girl, and he lost out, and I really rubbed his nose in it -- hey, we were friends and rivals and that was what we did to one another -- about Sega, about girls ... about life.

The point is this: it became something not really even funny anymore. He never scored with girls -- never. Not once. Virgin. It started to be almost a self-fulfilling prophecy that something would go wrong with whatever girl he was after. And meanwhile, my personal life was very active and fun -- and that made his suffering all the worse for him.

So I'll never forget this: One day, he called me. He had met some girl the night before, they went home together, and -- he'd done it. And he was just on top of the world. And then -- right then -- I was jealous. Why? Because of the girl -- no. Then why? Because think about it -- how excited you were for your first time -- you couldn't stop thinking about it or talking about it. It was as if nobody had ever had it so good before but you. But that feeling fades eventually. It had already by that time faded for me -- I'd already had girlfriends and flings and already had a history of my own.

The lesson as always -- friends don't let friends become Yankee fans. But it hadn't for him. It was brand new. He got to do it all for the first time -- revel in all that happiness and joy for the first time in a way that I never would be able to again. And for that moment, though he was only finally reaching where I'd been for quite some time, I wished I could have traded places. His joy about it was a joy I had felt once -- but only once. The joy of that first time. And he had waited so long and suffered so much to get there, that when he did -- it was all the more special.

And for that -- though we Yankee fans have done this quite a few times before -- I'm now jealous of you Sox fans. Because you now get to do it all -- the celebration, the champagne, the bond with a team that took you on the ride of your life -- for the first time. Feels good, doesn't it? No -- it feels GREAT. Just take it from us who have been there and done that -- try not to rub it in people's faces too much, lest people start to think you're spoiled brats.

-- Dave S., New York, N.Y.

A Schill for Bush (Clever, Ain't I?)

If there's one guy in sports I should want to kick in the junk more than anyone else, it's Curt Schilling. He was as responsible for knocking off the Yankees in the 2001 World Series as any other member of the Diamondbacks, and he did the same this year with his admittedly incredible pitching in Game 6 of the ALCS. Like Newman on Keith Hernandez, I should despiiise him. I should hate the man based solely on athletic performance, based solely on the fact that he repeatedly kills my favorite team, right? Cock-punch for Schilling, right?

But I actually like Schilling, I think he's a rare breed in sports today: He's an athlete that caters to the fans and studies the game, he's a guy with one eye on history and the other on the way the game is played now. He was baseball's unofficial spokesman after 9/11 (competing with Then-Alive Dead Jack Buck), he posts on fan message boards and he calls into talk radio shows to disspell rumors about his ballclub. He's exactly the kind of guy I'd want on my team, exactly the kind of ballplayer I'd hope to be if I had any genuine talent for the game. So I don't hate Schilling, I just hate his uniform.

That is, until this week. Turdlicker Schilling took the opportunity after winning the World Series to endorse this Bush fella on national television (boy, was Charlie Gibson surprised when Curt blabbed "Make sure you tell everybody to vote - and vote Bush - next week"). Then Col. Bushgroper declared he'd campaign for the president in swing state New Hampshire today, but his bum ankle (cough cough) forced him to bow out. I have no problem with celebrities backing candidates, I don't believe just because you're famous you should be held to some neutral or no opinion standard. After all, Schilling's earnest declaration was no different than Springsteen or Streisand or Cher coming out in favor of that Big Head Douche from Massachusetts. I just don't like it if you endorse the guy I want to send back to his faux Crawford ranch, that's all. It's a personal preference thing, really, and now in my eyes, Schilling has gone from some dude who just won the World Series to some dude who sucks who just endorsed some dude who sucks on a much greater scale. So Curt, shut up-a you face. Go back to being a father for that kid who tried to jerk off all the sweaty Dominicans at this year's Home Run Derby (as eloquently pointed out by Bart Starbux a few months ago).

Speaking of the WS, did anyone else see Jimmy Fallon making out with Drew Barrymore on the field after the clincher? Um, maybe it's for this movie they're filming, but that's just weird and wacky stuff. I don't like it. Film your movie elsewhere, Fallon. Unless you're filming this movie, some good times on the UMass campus after the win over the Yanks (definitely use discretion at work, it's got a bit of titty action). F Boston.

From round balls to oblongs, let's focus our attention on the Ol' Ballcoach. As Steve Spurrier tries to reach an agreement with the University of Florida, current players are speaking out about what his return would mean to them. Many of the team veterans were recruited by Spurrier, and many are plenty pissed about his possible round trip to Gainesville. I'm semi-torn on this one, because I see both sides of the story. I'm still pissed at Gary Barnett for bolting Northwestern, and I'm sure the NU players will never forgive him for such a move. But that situation as different, as Barnett went laterally to another school. Spurrier did what ALL good college athletes do these days...forgo college and try their luck at the professional level. Why is it acceptable for college players to make the leap but it's not okay for a coach to do the same? He tried it, didn't work for him, luckily he can come back to the college level. He didn't do anything his players wouldn't have done to him. What Spurrier did was not back-stabbing and can not be classified as a dick move...what he did was the right decision for him, and everyone at the school should know that.

The players loved Ron Zook, a players' coach in every sense of the word. But aren't wins and losses the ultimate goal in college sports? Don't the players realize that no matter how much they loved the fired Ron Zook he just couldn't get the job done? Five losses last year, several big losses this year (including to that colored head coach at Miss. State, that's a killer, can't lose to the brotha)...that's not getting the job done. No matter how much you love the guy, wouldn't you rather have a coach in place who knows how to win, knows how to elevate your game, knows how to smile smugly and look like a Southern Freddy Couples? I sure would. I'd sure as shit welcome this guy back like fuckin' Journey...with open arms. So noooow I come to yooooou, with oooopen aaaarms.

With my boss out today, I was thinking about my office environment, and I realized how much worse my job has been without Gypsy Rose by my side. I mean, we laughed nonstop, to the point where our dickhead boss would shut his door when we cackled too loudly. We argued, we agreed, we laughed, we cried (well, everyone cries here, like I said, the boss' ability to be a prick in unparalleled), it was one of the best office friendships you could find. I particularly liked Gypsy for one reason above all else: She liked what I liked. Here, listen to this song. She'd do it and like it. Here, watch this video clip of this chick falling down the steps. She'd do it and like it. We did share a love for this one Strong Bad e-mail (from Homestar Runner) and I went back today to view it. Still cracks me up to no end. Thought I'd share: our favorite Strong Bad e-mail can be seen here. You still thmell like pea thoooooup.

Lastly, I listened to the Humpty Dance on my way home from work yesterday. That song is time-tested, still as good today as it was back then. I suggest a listen. "Oh yes, ladies, I'm really bein' sincere, 'cause in a 69 my humpty nose will tickle ya rear." Better than Shakespeare.

Morning Niblets

The Left Coast Slack Contingent coming up with some big contributions today...First, ChiptoleBob sent over this funny anti-Bush spot (may take a second to load, but it'll work, bitch). Slack don't believe in equal time for the candidates, so this is all your getting.

Also, Mitchell VergerDartz III, one of Los Angeles' newest residents, pointed out something strange to me yesterday. If you misspell the word "blogspot" while looking for any site run by Blogger, and type the "p" before the "s," you'll actually get redirected to a site that we here at Slack wholeheartedly endorse. Check it out for yourself: slacklalane.blogpsot.com. Abundant!

My favorite part is "PORNOGRAPHY, ADULTERY, FORNICATION, AND HOMOSEXUALITY IS SIN:THESE CAN LEAD YOU TO HELL." Shit.

Thanks to the Left Coasters for their contributions...crazy that they're sleeping right now. Time zones are just weird. I'll never understand that concept.

More to follow...this time I promise. Should be a light day at the ol' office.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Vote For Who, Now?

Procrastinating, surfing around the blogs connected to Slack one way or another...found this little gem from Slack comments-newcomer Ahren's blog. This quiz gives you an idea of who you should probably vote for in this election...or something to that effect.

I'll post my results in the comments section, feel free to do the same if you so choose.

Where Is Your Moon?

Well, it's day one of the Armegeddon and I feel fine. Last night's "End of Days" feel was almost complete. Sox win World Series...Lunar Eclipse...Prince of Arabs on his Deathbed (looks like the Gaza Salvation Army's going to have a whole new line of dishtowels soon). All we needed was some locusts and maybe some "Another Brick in the Wall"-type screaming, screeching guitar and helicopter noise. Oh, and if only Winston Zedimore was there to chime in after Egon at the mayor's office, "The day-ed risin' from the grave". Man, we came real close.

I tell you what the near-miss armegeddon didn't change at least one thing: Hispanic women still love screaming obscenities at each other in both English and Spanish on the subway for no reason. I'm sitting there, minding my own business, reading some crap on the A train when suddenly a fullscale "¡Tu Puta!"-war exploded. I thought punches were going to be thrown but luckily both of these locas were held back by their respective Latino lovers. The men kind of downplayed the incident, choosing instead to damn their backward-looking nations with a simmering machismo that halts any democratic progress, turning instead to an oligarchal regime of nepotism and corn products. But these women! I'm not even sure what they were fighting over, probably the whole Arafat thing or Lohan's boobs. The one who remained on the train with me kept muttering to her husband...maricon-this and maricon-that. I like how Latin American women feel comfortably calling each other "gay." You'd never see two women in Minnesota bump into each other at the Mall of America and start hurling homophobic epithets at each other: "You're a fag, eh?" "Oh, well now, you're a fag!"

So who WAS affected by last night's weirdness? Easy: Ms. Irene Polito. After a casual dinner without me, Ms. Polito decided it would be a great idea to A) get liquored up on Grey Goose and what smelled like Quaker State; B) forget her cellphone at home; C) throw her keys into the East River; and D) jam the buzzer so she could wake up Sir Don while he was sleeping, dosed on Ny-Quil and greenies. This one's for you, Irene! Espece de bec!

Ooooh, That's His Finger

This 10-second video clip of the president from many years ago sums up my feelings towards Boston. I already said my congrats to those fuckers, now I'm saying this to them (clip may take a second or two to load, and if it don't load, here's a still shot of my feelings towards Beantown).

How many people died in Boston last night? I don't just mean from the night-long riots, but how many old folks held off long enough to see a championship, only to die in peace? Who knew that Yasser Arafat was such a big fan of the Sawx? That's right, I always remember him saying things like, "Those Israelis fight wicked hahhrd" and "We shawcked the wahhrld." Goddamn I want that city to just go away. Somewhere Ted Williams' decapitated and frozen head is smiling.

And 7-11 employees, this one's for you...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Starkian Stats

Don't mean to trump Donnie's Zellweger post, but felt the need to post a quickie (with Ace it's always quick). If there's one guy's columns you should never miss, it's Jayson Stark. Sure, the guy's got an unnecessary "Y" in his first name, but hey, he didn't shoot his driver in the chest and he finds some amazing statistics for us numbers-loving folk.

Check out his latest Useless Information column.

Also, let's hear it for Ace's hometown: "About 30 barrels and containers filled with deadly chemicals were found at a home in Jericho, Long Island." Um, that's no gouda. Click here for more...

Zellweger's Face Looks Like She's Been Stung by Bees

Am I right or am I right?

Transfusion

I gave blood today...gobs of it. I've got a sweet turquoise tournoquet around my obscenely huge left bicep. Somebody asked me what that was for and I said it was a special "be careful not to shoot yourself while hunting" bracelet sponsored by Greg "Point That Thing the Other Way" LeMond.

In my pre-needle to the arm interview, I was asked whether I'd ever been to Africa and whether I'd had sexy time with a prostitute. I said that, "yes, I'd been to Africa -- the Saheel, actually" and that I'd actually worked as a prostitute while visiting. The girl just laughed and marked "no" down on the sheet. So I said, "What do you think you're doing? I'm not kidding." Then she looked at me for a while and said, "Sweet, I've been looking for a male prostitute from Africa to ride all morning long." And then I said, "Alright, but if you don't have any Ugandan Schillings (UGX) to offer, then you've gotta make an offer." She offered all the Lorna Doons I could eat, you know, from the "wussy light-headed girl needs to drink juice" table. And suddenly, I was a working man again. And I love Lorna Doons.

So apparently New Jersey is up for grabs. Damn you Governor "I ♥ Hebrews" McGreevey. You couldn't have waited til November to be gay? And now I can't get an absentee ballot from there and I'm going to have to waste my vote here in Brooklyn. Goddamnit. Can I catch a break here?

Work Jones

First up, this is no good...I give you news hot off the presses. That's what I do.

Sorry Slackers, busy busy morning for ol' Ace...it's a tough pre-Halloween week of work, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I know Mulgrew's been a bit busy lately, so there's probably plenty of boredom in the air. If neither of our blogs get much goin' today, and you're still bored, try out this incredibly addictive time-wasting game. Damn, I wish that "Bash the Penguin" game were still around.

And if you're still bored, here are a few stories to read to kill some time:

1. Remind me to ask the IRS is this little tax deduction works in this country as well. If not, I may move to Australia. Throw another hypodermic on the barbie, mate...

2. You want a toe? I can get you a toe. Hell I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon. Apparently, this guy loves a hottie Japanese youngster so much he sacrificed a bit too much.

3. The British are coming, the British are coming. And they're beating the crap out of knife-wielding lunatics in Manhattan.

And finally, even though I hate his little guts and desperately want the Yankees NOT to sign him, I give it up for Pedro Martinez. Excellent game last night, definitely got himself a bit of free agent cash right there. I mean, when did everyone forget this guy was easily one of the best pitchers of all-time from 1997-2001? Seriously, this guy was unhittable, he was like no pitcher I've ever seen. Better than Randy, better than Rocket, better than Scott Kamieniecki. I've heard the comparisons to Bobby Gibson and JewNuts Koufax, but obviously I never saw those dudes pitch. Pedro would take the ball in the first inning, throw some serious gas, intimidate the hitters, and before you knew it the game was over. At 5'10, 160 pounds, he was a rampaging beast (You play football like Ed Generro played football...he was a 140-pound halfback, and he played like a goddamn wildman! No! He played like a goddamn rampaging beast!).

The reason I write this is simple: Johnny Pesky the other night said about Schilling "We haven't had this kind of starting pitcher here since Clemens." Announcers have also made idiotic statements purporting the same beliefs. Pedro is one of the few athletes I feel genuine hatred for, but I respect his game enough to say...Are these guys fucking kidding me? Sure he probably takes it in the pooper, and sure he looks like a combination of Darryl from Coming to America, Diana Ross and a ziploc bag of Hispanic pubes. But this guy was special. Watching him was special. I'd hate to see his legacy be forgotten because of Schilling and revisionist history.

Just check out his stats...just look at the years from 1997-2001, especially 1999. Unreal. Pedroni, you silly whore, I'll always want to rip off your face and push your mother down a flight of stairs. But much like the tech bubble, I'll always appreciate your late '90s dominance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ammo

I am high-falutant. That's why I read the New Yorker. I should probably also be getting home delivery of the New York Times so's I can scratch my chin and talk about how they surround a story, giving me so many ways to sound like a douchebag who reads the Times. But that's neither here nor there.

So I'm thumbing through the New Yorker yesterday and I came across this, which is something I'd been waiting for all year: a nice concise and damning review of the Bush Administration. There's stuff in there culled from all corners of the angry left: anti-war, pro-choice, pro-Civil Rights, anti-secrecy in govt., pro-environment, save the budgeteers, pro-intelligence in govt., the Gayz Rool lobby. Everything. And, if you memorize this piece, you have all the ammunition you need to shoot down Republicans. So I encourage us all to read it. It's even says nice things about Kerry (which made me somewhat suspicious about the goals of the piece; then I realized the goals of the piece were to talk up Kerry at the expense of Bush).

Oh, by the way, has anyone seen anything about the NY Senate race? Obviously, Chuck Schumer (Who Mer? SCHU-mer!) is going to win this thing in a landslide. But it has to be a great help when you're running against 2 weirdos:

1) that Assemblyman who (literally) can't control his eyebrows and looks like a demented Burt from Sesame Street
--and--
2) Edith Bunker-Kearns-Goodwin, MD

Futbol

For the ball-lovin' Donnie Fiedler and any of our foreign readers...Very cool video of Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane.

Take five minutes and appreciate some soccer, wouldya? It's the part of the game that we here in the States enjoy, it's scoring! Scoring, goals, yeaaaah! Soccccer!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Go Green Bay?

Quote of the Day
"If one candidate's trying to scare you and the other one is trying to get you to think, if one candidate's appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person that wants you to think and hope." --Bill Clinton, 10/25/04

--------------------------
According to Ben Maller.com, "The outcome of Washington Redskins football games has correctly predicted the winner of every U.S. presidential election since 1936.

The Redskins have proved to be a time-tested election predictor. In the previous 15 elections, if the Skins have lost their last home game prior to the election, the incumbent party has lost the White House. When they have won, the incumbent has stayed in power.

This election year, that deciding game takes place on Sunday, October 31 ... vs. Green Bay."

For the love of Pete, can we just get this election over with already? The Democrats trotted out CardioClinton today, the Republicans threw Col. Bushlover Rudy Giuliani into the mix...enough already, just get people to the polls and count the fuckin' shit. I'm tired of this so-called democracy.
--------------------------

Don't you think Clinton stood behind Kerry today, thinking to himself: "I'm so much better than this fuckin' guy and he knows it. Everyone knows it. His wife definitely knows it. Look at me and look at him. I bet she'd suck me off like a circus seal. Shiiit, negro, I'd give that spunky little ketchup girl a bit of my own special condiment right to the face." Thumbs up to this chick, thumbs up and cool Clinton face to that guy, thumbs up for you, repeat. Man, I love that fuckin' guy. He could punch me right in face and I'd still grab my ankles for him.

Anyway, go Green Bay this weekend, we got a lot riding on this game. Knowing my luck of late (see my post below), the 'Skins will win by 145 points. Ditka.

Perpetuities

Yay! My property class this morning was all about the Rule Against Perpetuities, you know, a rule enhancing the marketability of property that requires an interest to vest within 21 years of the person who represents the validating life's death. I mean, some super-tight shit, right?

See, this is why I don't post for months at a time. This gives me no fodder to talk about, although I did spend most of the class constructing a hypothetical will based on the Dukes of Hazzard. (Cooter has a remainder interest contingent on precedent condition of Daisy busting out of them Daisy Dukes. The Duke Boys' interest is best described as "no good".)

Cheers to Bart Starbux for his love of humanity and his convivial joviality. Jeers to his incredibly obnoxious habit of hocking loogies on the floor of the bar near the Silver Strike Bowling machine.

Cheers to Kurt Warner for leading us to a most-surprising 4-1 record to start the season. Jeers to his interception in the end zone in the 2nd quarter that deflated the Giants for the rest of the game, and, if I know the Giants (and I do, I've seen them naked), for the rest of the season as well. The Giants will be lucky to win 2 more games.

Cheers to the burgeoning, all-volunteer Iraqi military. Jeers to the members of that military being capped in the head Long Beach-style by terrorists. Looks like Bush & Co. are doing a great job of training a the Iraqi military, 50 dudes who couldn't fight back against a couple of ragtag extremists. Yeah, things are going well over there. Iraqis must be wondering, "Who is going to protect the police?" The answer: Commendant Lassard.

I'm going to read about manslaughter now and leave you with this thought: how much cooler would I be if my name was Don Manslaughter? 10%? 15%? I think it's hard to quantify. But that's not the point.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I've Been Smited

What the fuck have I done to attract the full-blown ire of the Sports Gods? I'm not entirely sure how much worse my week could have gone in a sporting sense...maybe if Derek Jeter announced his retirement from baseball and Tim McCarver announced he was moving into my apartment to do the color commentary while I make us breakfast (He throoows the egg shells awaaaay, innnsiiiide the garbage), that would push the whole thing over the cliff without a barrel. But this week/weekend definitely qualifies as one of the absolute shitfests in my quarter-century of fandom. Rock bottom.

Coming off my worst defeat as a fan -- sitting in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium while Jerk Brown and Javier Vazdouche basically took two giant craps on the mound -- I needed a solid week of football to bring me back into good spirits. I've felt the ironic and merciless wrath of the Gods, I've endured the worst defeat in history of professional sports, now if they could only find it in their hearts to balance the ledger and provide me with some semblance of happiness this weekend. Um, no such luck. Not one bit. The Gods still hate me. "They hate me like Cheney's daughter hates cock" (J. Kerry, 2004).

First up, the surprisingly 3-3 Northwestern Wildcats blew goats and a golden opportunity for another top-ten upset at Wisconsin by playing like a bunch of fuckin' Timmys. The offense was downright offensive (I hate when people write that fuckin' "I'm so clever, look what I did with words" offense/offensive cliche, but I'm tired and I'm cranky so you'll take what I fuckin' give you) and the defense was about as intimidating as a Tim Wakefield fastball, high and tight. NU's rope-a-dope stratgy worked soundly against the seventh-ranked Badgers, as the Cats dug themselves into a solid 24-0 deficit before finally realizing they were playing a game. The Cats scored 12 points on two touchdowns, but player-killing coach Randy Walker made some questionable decisions for the points after and our half of the scoreboard looked weird. The scoring ended there, as did any unrealistic dream of winning the Big Ten, and NU's record fell to .500 in the Big Ten, with big road games ahead against Michigan and Purdue.

But the real Kobe Job took place today, as I pretty much sat there and took Hot Carl after Cleveland Steamer all fuckin' day long. In addition to going 4-9 in my weekly pick 'em pool, I got eliminated from the world famous, six-figure knockout pool when Jacksonville's kicker booted a ridiculous 53-yarder with little time left, losing my chance at some seriously big money, AND because I forgot that the Giants eat huge turds when you actually wager on them, I took my first defeat in my other double-elimination knockout pool, AND the undefeated Jets forgot how to score points and made me suffer through another painful loss to a team from New England, a region I sincerely hope gets a well-deserved tsunami and a wicked case of malaria. My fantasy team finally showed up to play this week, but I'd gladly trade that in for a win by any of the aformentioned teams.

And now I have to listen to Fucking McCarver as my nemeses, the Sawx, keep roll along...nothing makes my head spin and gets the vomit in my stomach going more than "fastball innnsiiiide, fastball awaaaay, fastball innnsiiiide, fastball awaaaay." Make him stop, make it all stop. What's it gonna take for me to win some games and feel some joy?! Right now I'm like the anti-Parker Lewis...I can't win. At this point, I'm just waiting for my bong to break.

I did get to chuckle a bit this weekend though, as I witnessed the Ashlee Simpson meltdown on Saturday Night Live. I'm sure you've all heard about this by now, so there's no sense in recapping it. If you haven't seen the actual video clip and for some reason haven't invested in a DVR, you can go to this site and check it out. And for those of you have seen the clip already, go to that site anyway and check out the Remix, Ms. Simpson dancing that jig of sorts set to Benny Hill-type music. Great work by the guy who put that together.

This may make me seem like a guy who is out of the loop, but that's the first time I've ever seen what Ashlee Simpson looks like. And I hope you agree, but she's nothing special at all, not neeeearly as attractive as people made her out to be. I thought she looked more like Courtney Love than her older sister. Then the girl's exposed like this, and well, if people still support her after this I'm calling shennanigans on everyone. As my buddy Matt said, "This chick's career is over faster than Kevin Maas'." The only thing she's there for is to sing, and she can't even do that? And then she blamed it on her band, who was just trying to cover her non-sexy ass? Despite looking a bit geigh, I hope those guys either gangbanged her later that night or release a terse statement stating that she farts in the bath and eats the bubbles. She's a fonzanoon. Very uncool to blame the band. That shit is not cool. Dart > neck.

Another World Series-related note: Red Cowboy, my good brother, found a great lookalike during Game 1. St. Louis starter Woody Williams and character actor René Auberjonois, most recently seen (by nobody) in Boston Legal. I had no clue who that guy was, but it turns out he looked differently while playing the villain in my favorite Police Academy movie: Assignment Miami Beach. I love this guy, I really love this guy. I truly think he should have won an Oscar for that role. I'm not shitting you. Great peroformance. And he actually does look a lot like Woody Williams, or maybe his father for that matter. Good call, Red, although I've always said Woody looks like other character actor Jere Burns. See for yourself and decide...

Lastly, here's a story that will remind you how far we've advanced as a civilized society. Some people just have a screw loose, and then some people are missing that whole little plastic bag of screws and bolts. Then there's this chick.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Other Races

--I know a lot of Democrats are disappointed that the Incomplete Stars were unable to beat the Dead Bucks yesterday in the NLCS. They were hoping for a Massachusettes vs. Texas match-up that could serve as a test run for the presidential election. Unfortunately, the Massachusettes vs. Missouri matchup will only tell us if Kerry would beat Dead Carnahan in a Senate heat. And just like in the World Serious, Missouri has a historical edge: Dead Carnahan is 1-0 in races where he's dead. Kerry is untested in running against dead people. He is, however, fantastic at making Vietnamese people dead. I guess, by the historical match-up logic, if Bush ate dogs and wore one of those big white pointy nipple hats and worked in a rice paddy and was all for the re-distribution of wealth and the elimination of class categorization, then Kerry would win in a landslide.

--The Scholastic News Presidential Poll is out and it's official: Kids suck by a 52-47 margin. In all but 2 elections since 1940, this poll has accurately predicted the outcome of the presidential election. Well fuck you kids. They took Bush over Kerry. I'm not sure I trust the outcome, however, as these are the same kids who think "fitting in" is more important than good grades. They're also 10 times more likely than voting adults to "pick their nose and eat it" and to "pants the fat kid." Many of them go so far as to wear sweatpants to school on a regular basis. And this is supposed to tell us who's going to win the election? Posh.

Busy. Read This Instead.

Don't you hate being busy on a Friday? Worst. Thing. Ever.

In lieu of fresh commentary from either Donnie or myself, here are five articles and things to read in order to waste some time today:

1. BEST CRAIGLIST AD EVER. If you're in Boston, get on this. Literally.

2. This chick got crabs in the weirdest way ever recorded (safe for work, friends). Ah, my puns are the most witty things you've ever seen.

3. If you think Vlade Divac smells bad after a few overtimes, check out the stench on these kids...

4. You know the old joke that goes "What do you say to a black guy in a three-piece suit? Will the defendant please rise?" Well, this all-star didn't exactly wear the proper attire to court, and surely he was reprimanded.

5. Dr. Huxtable's at it again, sternly lecturing black parents on how to raise their kids...I know people hate when celebrities get all serious, but I'm loving this Cosby. This guy's doling out more free advice than Ann Landers and yelling at more black people than a Bronx County judge.

That's all for now, I'll be back later...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

More Ballcraps

Ace, I think you're absolutely right. There's no way that this team is going to be blown up. But for the wrong reasons.

Yes, we were 3 measely outs away from the World Series. Yes, if anyone should have been MVP of this series, it was Dave Roberts, who kind of looks like a less-retarded Dave Henderson...but still a Dave Henderson in need of remedial classes who pees at a urinal with his pants pulled down all the way. And yes, could we have won the Series this year against either the Dead Jack Bucks or the Incomplete Stars? Absolutely.

But we're saddled with aging veterans who started to fall apart at the end of the year. Our first baseman is worth $75 million over the next 4 years and he's slowly being eaten from the inside out by worms. Our pitching rotation right now is what? Moose, Tarts, "Deer in Headlights" Javier, and who? Duque? Jerk Brown? And who is out there to get? A lefty like Milton? How can that actually help?

But the biggest loss suffered yesterday was the loss of Yankee optimism based on the invincibility of the pinstripes. We are accustomed to saying, "Oh George will get somebody...we're the fuckin' Yankees." Well, Boston's win has tempered that. Who cares if we're the Yankees? What does that get us besides a (let's face it) crappy stadium and a ton of high-priced, yet rather unreliable, talent? And I think that invincibility accounted for a lot of wins over the years. All of the dramatic heroics. That's gone and I think it will be a long slow decline before we see an upswing.

--Bux asked in the comments section before about A-Rod being a bust. I'm not sure I would call him a bust just yet. He's got way too much talent and there's much to be said for a left-side of the infield of Jeter and A-Rod. I don't think that can really be topped. But his presence is indicative of the complete lack of chemistry on this Yankees team. It's like that move with Meg Ryan's boobs and Mark Ruffalo's cocknballs: no chemistry. Maybe by playing together for the next 5 years, Jeter and A-Rod can resurrect some of that good will. But, without the cool gutsy roll players of years' past, there's not a whole lot these two guys can do. It's nice having A-Rod's steak but a side of Joe Girardi's creamed spinach or Knoblauch's potatoes au gratin makes the meal that much better. A-Rod is not a bust. Just a sign that things in the Bronx need to change. We need to focus on the farm system. I just fear that's never going to happen and it'll be 1988 before we know it. And, "Hey Garlic, could you please pass the au-grat...OH! SHIT, Sorry Keith Olberman's mom. You got au-gratin all up in yo' grill."

--Here's what I worry about: Is Boston winning yesterday way cooler for the Boston fans than anything I'll ever experience as a fan in my lifetime? I'd have to say so. That cannot be topped. And that's really scary. I can point to all of the awesome moments and even added up, they can't match the sense of relief and exuberance in Boston last night. I think the Yankees would have to beat the Sox coming from 3 games to none down with Tony Clark and a bunch of midgets to possibly top this one. And midgets are scary.

It Happens

First of all, I completely agree with every last word Donnie wrote shortly after midnight. It's good to have that Fiedlerian perspective back in the Slack saddle again. Things are brighter when you're around, Donald. The People out there love you. Stick around, stay awhile.

Now, let's get down to bid'ness...as a die-hard Yankee fan and an eyewitness to last night's events in the Boogie Down, I'm remarkably and surprisingly not as upset by this turn of events as I thought I'd be this afternoon. It was absolutely miserable being there as it was happening, especially sitting in what appeared to be the Red Sawx section for the first six innings before moving down to the field level, but this afternoon I'm feeling better about things. I witnessed history last night, and I'll remember it for the rest of my life, for better or for worse.

As I've said quite a few times this season, "I'd actually like this Red Sawx team if I didn't hate them so fucking much." The Red Sawx simply deserved it, the players earned it, they fought hard and they wanted it more. The fans in Red Sawx Nation (perhaps the all-time geighest title for a large group of people) truly deserve it, and they've also earned it after all these years of struggling, living and mostly dying with their beloved Sawx. I wish a heart-felt congratulations to the people of Boston and to the Sawx themselves...it's been a long time coming, so you better celebrate your little asses off.

And to my buddy Eric up there, The Firekid, my sports arch nemesis, the guy who loves to taunt me in football the way I love to taunt him in baseball, I can only say this: "You still suck." Nah, as I said to him this morning, I hope this feels as good as I imagine it would. All that being said, if the Patriots go out and beat my undefeated Jets this weekend, I may have to carpet-bomb most of Boston and behead Tom Brady on the Internets. I will spare no one. There will be trouble.

The sad thing is, we were three outs away from sweeping the Sawx. That's what I'm having the most trouble reconciling this morning. Just three more outs...if Mariano doesn't walk Kevin Millar to lead off the 9th in Game 4, this whole surreal conversation doesn't happen. That's what I can't fathom, and that's why it's hard for me to say, "Blow this team up and start anew." We got tired, our pitchers looked hittable, our hitters looked scared and lost, Torre forgot how to manage, we lost our confidence, our pets' heads are falling off, and ultimately got outplayed big time. That's really no reason to say it's all over, sell the Brown and buy the Beltran. We were three outs away from the World Series, and just four days later we're talking about wholesale changes and re-thinking fan allegiances. It doesn't add up. I don't know what to make of this.

But as a Yankee fan, it does make you realize that the era of Torre baseball is officially over in New York, even if he returns to manage next year. This team, even when they were winning, is about as soul-less as it gets. This is merely a collection of overpaid superstars, this ain't no team. And what's worse, it's going to get better before it gets worse. Big Stein is going to play with this team on his own and be at the controls all winter...I don't like that prescription. The days of the 1996-2000 Yankees are over, and have been for a while, but a loss like last night's makes you sit down and pine for those days. Those days when we had warriors who played hard 'til the last out and fought for every hit and walk in every at-bat, guys like Pauly O and Tino and Brosius, role players like Jimmy Leyritz and Joe Girardi, even Darryl or Doc, the Sojos and Vizcainos, the Curtises and Spencers, solid unheralded performers on the mound like Mendoza and Graeme Lloyd and Stanton and Nelson. I miss those days, I miss watching that team battle it out to win the games they always fought to win. Now it's like rooting for Drago over Rocky. We're rooting for Drago. Maybe that analogy's been used before, but it's really appropriate today.

Well, this will obviously sit poorly with Yankee fans all winter long, but that's the beauty of baseball...spring training is never too far away. Hopefully we'll come out smoking next year, and hopefully I won't pay $250 to feel the pain of last night again in next year's playoffs. Next time I want to scalp expensive tickets, just remind me it'll be more enjoyable to get a hooker and watch it on televison. Here's to 2005...and go Jets.

Quickie notes:

--Last night's ratings are in, and the game got a 77 share in Boston...that means more than three-quarters of all televisions turned on in the area were tuned into the game last night. That's just an unreal statistic, that's unheard of. Unheard of! The New York market had a 43 share, which is still pretty damn impressive.

--Just like Soriano's performance in last year's playoffs, Kevin Brown is now on Slack's list of people we'd trade for some french onion soup in a bread bowl from Panera. I mean, how do you start this guy after seeing his performance in Game 3? Vazquez might have blown goats this year (I have proof), but I think he'd have been much more effective had he started. Even Loaiza should have started over Brown. And how does Steinbrenner feel comfortable signing Brown's $15 million check for 2005? Maybe he'll just use his Visa check card.

--Is there ANY doubt that Torre over-used the big three Yankee relievers' arms this season? Halfway through the year it looked like Quantrill, Flash and Mo were going to be lights fucking out in the playoffs. Fast forward a bit, 600 relief appearances later, and these guys were out of gas in a bad way. I heard these guys didn't even have enough arm strength to jerk off over the last few weeks. Well, Flash was using the reverse left hand technique, but the other two, nothing.

--I saw a fan ejection up close and personal last night, and boy was it hilarious. I was sitting next to two drunken fools last night, one of which was rooting for the Sawx, the other was so drunk he was rooting for both teams ("little bingo, Damon" one inning, "little bingo, Jeter" the next). Anyway, the Sawx fan was about 250 pounds, sitting directly in front of a 125-pound flaming kid who looked like an NYU student or something. I guess the Sawx fan called him a "fucking homo" a few times, which inspried the skinny Yankee fan to stand up and start screaming in this big dude's face. Eventually the screaming turned into weird dancing of sorts. The Sawx fan kept saying, "You're a fucking homo," while the Yankee fan gyrated his body and sang "Do the Rockaway, lean back, bitch, lean back, you fucking bitch" to the Sawx guy. Eventually a cop came over and kicked them all out, but it was a bizarre five minutes.

--We moved down to the field level in the top of the seventh, meeting my friend Corey down there (who was with me in the Stadium for the Brosius comeback, so I felt good). Then they brought in Pedro, and we were feeling reeeeally good. Why the f would you bring in Pedro? While many will disagree, I think it was the most classless move of the series, worse than the A-Rod fiasco from the other night. You're up 8-1 in the 7th, why th hell do you bring in Pedro if not to rub salts on the wounds? I'm convinced this was Francona, Pedro, and Theo being dicks, but people are arguing otherwise. So, I just wanted to get that out there, agree or disagree all you want...Fuck that shit.

--As Corey said to me last night, vote for Kerry. The Yanks just cannot win with this current douche of a President in office. I have other reasons as well, but do it for the Yanks.

--And today is the eight-year anniversary of the 10/21/96 Phish show I attended at Madison Square Garden...what a great show, the show that I walked away from saying, "Damn, these guys are special." Phish breaks up, the Sawx beat the Yanks, my whole world is turning upside down. Uppppsiddde dooown (Rick Vaughn, 1994).

What Now?

Wow. I figured if I don't post something now, maybe I never will.

The game has just ended and it's all over. My question to all of you is this: Has there ever been a more satisfying win for a fan base in the history of American sports? Think of all of the huge historical import of this win and it might make you puke. The curse, 86 years of losing to NY when it mattered, the whole Yankees mystique thing, the Red Sox as losers. Even my old ass grandfather has never known anything different b/t Boston and New York. And he worked out with triangular weights and had sex with President Wilson. And, of course, the way they did it: taking the pounding, then beat Mo', Ortiz, Ortiz, Stigmata Schilling and his bleeding Wonder Sock, A-rod's "Jm.J.Bullock" to Arroyo's glove, The N.Y.P.D. Police-Gals Chorus Line in the 9th Inning of Game 6, Hideki Matsui's impersonation of the Japanese Economic Bust of the mid-90's (Hai!) and a huge crap on Yankee Baseball as we knew it. I mean, for coupling history and drama, this absolutely CANNOT be beaten. Right? So this must be, basically, the best win ever for a specific fan base. I don't think anything matches it. Not even if the Sox won the series.

I think that the only thing I can say to Sawx fans now is, "Holy Shit, that was incredible for you. I'm really happy that the coolest possible thing that could have ever happened to you happened in the best most story-book fantastic B-movie way. I'm glad that all worked out for you. Let's play next year."

I'm pretty sure the only Sawx fan response to that would be like, "Well alright. Glad you see it my way. Um...yeah."

Who are the Yankees now? Certainly not the Yankees team I've watched over the last 10 years. No, instead, they're just the most bizarre team I've ever seen, without a soul or an identity that resembles anything in the glorious recent history of the franchise...oh, and guilty of the most remarkable collapse in the history of 7-game sports. Some said that the dynasty ended on the Luis Gonzalez bloop. I don't know. This just tore down a lot of built-up perceptions of Yankee baseball, Yankee lore, and Yankee invincibility. Anaheim and Florida didn't really do that.

Holy Shit, remember how cool Saturday night was? Wow. Remember Late Spring/Early Summer 1998? Awesome. Remember that time Rick Down gave me a handjob in the trainer's room? Chafing. It's all different now.

Hopefully, this whole cottage industry that has grown up around the curse and Red Sox Nation will cease to exist, really whether Boston beats the NL team or not. The whole Evil Empire/1918 thing just got a whole lot more stale. This series needs a lot less t-shirts and a lot more Orioles and Blue Jays. I hope things change a bit in terms of teams and competitiveness. I think it's time for the Torre/Yankees Era as we knew it to go and for something new to hatch. I think Stottlemeyer is gone and I think we need to re-examine the way we develop pitchers. I think someone needs to put together some theory as to how Arod, Sheff and Matsui can avoid these kinds of slumps. And dude, Ace and I are some dejected motherfuckers.

That much said, it's still 26-0 and that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I'm In!

I love my roommate...because of this guy's hard work and dedication to my mental welfare, we're going to game after all tonight! Yaaaaay! That's right, it's been a day of severe ups and downs, but we'll be in the upper deck to watch a piece of history in the Bronx. Mikeyboy, you the man. You the fucking man!

And now a quick word about Ronan Tynan, the famed Irish Tenor who routinely wastes our time with "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch of many important games at Yankee Stadium. Everybody likes to make fun of Tynan because of his uncanny similarity of appearance to Sloth from The Goonies, but I personally think that joke is a bit too easy. We used to make fun of Tynan because he adds some weird and unnecessary words to the song about storm clouds gathering and some other shit, but not anymore. We'll no longer make fun of him, not after last night.

Joe Buck, at one point, referred to the tenor as Dr. Ronan Tynan. So Donnie and I immediately perked up and absolutely needed to find out what subject this guy holds a doctorate in. That led us to Google, where we read this guy's amazing life story. Before you make fun of Tynan again, read this fantastic biography of one of the most courageous men out there today:

"Tenor Ronan Tynan hails from Kilkenny, Ireland. His story is an example of dogged perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Ronan, a twin, whose brother died at the age of 11 months, was afflicted with lower leg problems in his early years until the decision was made to amputate his lower limbs after an accident at the age of 20. While this would be enough to wreck most people’s lives, it created in Ronan a tremendous desire to prove himself.

Within 12 months Ronan began winning medals at disabled games. Between 1981 and 1990, he amassed 18 gold medals and 14 world records in international track and field events (ed note: Tynan beat Jon Lieber in at least six of those events). He then went on to become the first disabled person ever admitted to the National College of Physical Education in Limerick. That was followed by training in medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, leading to his current position as a doctor of sports medicine.

When Ronan turned 30, he started taking voice lessons and, again, his natural talent shone through. In 1992 he won the John McCormack Cup for Tenor Voice which helped lead to master classes with the famous Italian tenor, Ugo Benelli, in Genoa.

While studying as a medical student in 1994, he shot to stardom after winning the BBC talent competition for “Go For It,” securing maximum points from the judging panel in the final. In 1996, Ronan won the prestigious “Marmande” singing competition in France and was invited to be part of the famous Pavarotti School.

His rapid rise to prominence led to Sony Music offering him a recording deal. Ronan has appeared on numerous television shows, including a tribute to the American singer Mario Lanza. He has been the subject of a recent ABC 20/20 segment, as well as an Irish documentary entitled Dr. Courageous. His first Album, My Life Belongs to You, was released in August 1998 and jumped straight into the charts at number five and was certified gold.

Ronan has added to his list of achievements by authoring his first book. In January, 2002 Simon & Schuster released his memoir, Halfway Home: My Life ‘Til Now. Though hampered by disability early in life, the remarkable story of Ronan Tynan is an inspiration to all. Few artists are so worthy of the success they receive. Ronan is one who deserves all this and more."

Unbelievable story! This man is a true testament to courage and determination and fortitude. I, for one, will no longer make fun of him. Or at least maybe I'll just do it behind his back, or under his non-legs. Lt. Dan, you got new legs. Magic legs!

Caaar...Game On

Game Seven: To quote the greatest musician I've ever known, "I had one of those flashes, I'd been there before, been there before..."

Yes, we have been here before, about 370 days ago to be exact. In the meantime, the Yankees and Sawx have met 51 times (fifty-one times in 370 days!), with each team winning about half of the time. The rivalry is as strong as ever. The absurdity of this series knows no bounds, just like the absurdity of last year's series captured the attention of a nation. Tonight's the night, so go to your corner store and buy a bag of Craisins and an 8 x 10 glossy of Lenny Krayzelberg, because this is it. This is what legends are made of, this is where the magic happens, [insert sports cliche here]. Game Seven is on. Who's ready?

As a fan of baseball, there really is nothing greater than this. That much I must admit. But here's the deal for us partisans: For Boston fans, this is either going to be the most improbable comeback in the history of professional sports or the biggest cock-punch in the storied history of a "cursed" team. For Yankee fans, this is either the craziest choke job in the history of professional sports or the greatest job of taunting your hated rivals, letting them breathe in some new life before pulling the plug on the life support machine. Put simply, there's an awful lot at stake for millions and millions of crazed and passionate fans, and someone's going home very unhappy. I've referenced this before, but I'll always look to Yogi's most brilliant piece of advice on occasions like these: "Relax, we've been beating these guys for 80 years." If Joe Torre were really as smart as we think he is, he'll be repeating that mantra all night. Just relax, play like Yankees.

As of 10 am this morning I was going to this game. That's right, going to Game Seven! Sure, it woulda set me back about $200-$250 for an upper deck ticket, but that's a small price to pay for what could be the biggest baseball game in recent memory. As of 10:30 am, some options trader, I'm told, swooped in to intercept those tickets like Stephane Matteau on a Slava Fetisov clear, plunking down $500 a pop for each ducat (sorry for the random hockey reference, but that was a very important Game Seven in my life that I was at, and we won, and we need all the karma we can get right about now). So, that leaves me outside the Stadium, watching on television like you peons and commoners. Fine by me, fine by me.

I keep trying to re-hash last night, but I don't think I have the energy to do so. I mean, no sense looking to the past, right? It's 3-3 and we're going into a win-or-go-home game, no need to go back in history no matter how recent it is. But I would like to address three key points from last night's game that really bothered me:

1. Alex Rodriguez's play in the 8th inning...many people have already called that the least classy play of all time, leading to an un-classy reaction from the fans (more on that in a bit) blah blah blah. Um, that's a joke, no? Do you want some fuckin' Grey Poupon or you want our 40th pennant in the last 80-something years? I don't think he should have swiped at Arroyo's glove like a schoolgirl swatting flies, but not because it's an unclassy move. I think he should have just bowled right over that 126-pound fuck, forcing that little corn-rowed douche to drop the ball. Arroyo was close enough to the baseline that it would have been a trickier call, and most likely he'd be called safe for the home crowd. Or how 'bout a little subtlety, Alex? Maybe a shoulder to the glove? This guy looked like he was slapping a hooker's ass, but only after she said, "Spank me lefty, and do it wildly like a penis-less cripple." The move wasn't lacking class, it was lacking balls and ingenuity.

2. Classless Yankee fans for throwing shit on the field after that call...OK, I don't approve of what went on there. Under NO circumstances do I condone throwing anything at players or affecting the game in any way, shape of form. But don't act like Boston is this classy city and New York is the rat trap, slum of the Earth. Rewind five years to the 1999 ALCS, when Jose Offerman was called out of the baseline, the fans at Fenway littered the field with all sorts of debris (Christ, in Game Five of this series the Sawx fans cheered when Manny lined a shot into the Yankee dugout). Mets fans threw batteries at John Rocker. Browns fans threw bottles, hard glass bottles onto the field. Bengals fans copycatted that. Almost every city that has truly passionate fans has some recent history of what happened last night. Reminds me of an expression from that Bible book or something, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." So everyone around the country, re-fucking-lax with that.

3. I said this in my ALCS preview: "And mark these palabras: Tony Clark will have a huge hit in this series. A huge hit." OK, I'm gonna take a mulligan on this one. Tony Clark has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is complete dog doo. And now I'm starting to see what The Boston Firekid said the other day...doesn't Tony Clark look like Tom Hanks at the end of Philadelphia? Well, he sure plays like Hanks' character would play...limp-wristed, terrible and looking near death.

With that said, no more looking back. From here on out, it's nothing but positive vibes. Game Seven is on, folks, and I'm asking "Who's ready?" Who the fuck is ready for this? I'm ready. Oh man, am I ready. Game Seven is on. Oh, it's on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Um, Wow.

The Ambiguously Gay Uno passed along this awesome note from Peter King's MMQB column:

-----------
Really, this is an off-off Broadway play. It's called "Self-Immolation in One Act."

There was an Allen Pinkett Shooting Himself in the Verbal Foot deal from last Monday night's Green Bay-Tennessee game. Pinkett, a sideline reporter (I doubt for very much longer) for Westwood One, was on the field and wanted to inject a comment about an instant-replay decision in the first quarter of the game. So Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason, upstairs, threw to him for this memorable car wreck of a sideline report.

Albert: Let's check in with Allen Pinkett. Allen?

Pinkett: Boom, going back to that instant replay, I think sometimes when they view it and break it down, it's similar to the way they broke down the Rodney King beating. You know, when you look at it in parts it doesn't look like they beat him up so bad. But when you see it real fast, he got his butt beat. So, uh, the totality, I guess, of the event, is what, uh, is what they look at.

Albert: Boomer, you want to analyze that?

Esiason: Nope. (Faintly, like he's moving away from the mike. And then laughing.) Nope. I can't say anything to that one.

Albert: Wait a moment here! A minute two to go in this first quarter. And it looks like Tennessee has called a timeout ... I think that we're going to get some emails from Howard [Deneroff, the Westwood One producer] and the rest of the staff on that one.

Esiason: (Laughing)

Albert: You OK, Boomer? A reminder that for every touchdown scored ...

Esiason: (Loud snort)

Albert: ... inside the red zone tonight and all season long on Monday night football Milwaukee Electric Tool will make a donation to Habitat for Humanity. Heavy duty helping for families in need. Second and 10 from the 20 when we resume with Tennessee in front of Green Bay by the score of 17 to 3. Boomer, you gonna be okay? You all right?

Esiason: (Feeble from laughing.) Yeah, I'll be all right.

Albert: Was that a Saturday Night Live satirical sideline moment?

Esiason: (Dreamily) Ohhhhhh.

Postscript: Pinkett was a fill-in for John Dockery last week. I hear Dockery will be back tonight for Rams-Bucs.

Now I Want No Rain

Line of the day: "If Mariano has another night like this, I say it's time for him to go swimming in his own pool." --My boss

Call me a flip flopper in online ads and at the blog debates...I don't mind. But after thinking about this, and listening to the sage advice of Slack Reader Ethan, I want to the fellers to play this game tonight after all. Schilling's ankle cannot possibly take this cold and harsh weather, and he definitely can't get good footing on the wet mound (wet mound actually sounds like a body part relating to sex, no?). So, play ball.

I guess my not wanting them to play was based on my selfish desire for a fuckin' rest. I don't think I can take much more of this. My productivity has fallen through the floor since this series started, especially the last two days. I feel like donning a tutu, banging my head into the desk as hard as I can and yelling, "Halftime."

When the Yankees went up 3-0, a neutral friend asked me, "Wouldn't it be more fun if this series was closer?" My answer was an unwavering "NO!" It's totally fun when the Yanks are just beating the pants right off their hated rivals. It's not fun at all when the series is close. There's potential heart attacks, suicidal tendencies, you name it. You think John Olerud is afraid of having an aneurysm, he's got nothing on me right now. This has gotten out of hand. I was having fun when we led by three games...now, not so much. On the walk home to my apartment last night I nearly beat an elderly lady with her own shoes because she looked at funny and was wearing a red rain hat. But then we made out instead.

Before the series, in my ALCS preview, I said this about Papi: "David Ortiz is a wicked mawn-stah and perhaps the best free agent signing of the last few years. Even if Ruben Sierra and Kenny Lofton come up with big hits again in this ALCS, they can't hold a candle to Papi and his cool beard. I fear Ortiz. Manny is a punk, I wanna fight him in the streets like Tommy Gunn as my wife and kid look on. But Ortiz I respect, he makes me wet myself in that non-erotic way. Major advantage, Sawx."

OK, if I know it, and you know it, why the hell didn't Joe Torre know that Ortiz should not be dealt with like mere mortals? Um, this just in Joe, Ortiz is a clutch hitter who has been tattooing balls in this playoffs. How can you justify NOT walking Ortiz to pitch to Doug Fuckin' Mientkiewicz, who batted .238 this season? Sure, the bases would be loaded, and a pass ball or a walk from Loaiza would lose the game, but that's the chance you take to skip the league's most locked in hitter not named Beltran in order to face a guy who would be bagging groceries if he wasn't a good defender. Torre is the man, I rarely question his decisions, but this one makes zero sense to me. Loaiza actually made a great pitch, totally jammed Ortiz with raspberry like Spaceball One. But Papi fought it off and blooped one in, which is exactly why you put him on.

And that brings me to a big point...the Sports Guy keeps whining like a hot, 12-year-old girl about the breaks not going the Sawx way. "We never get the breaks, Schilling's ankle, etc." After last night's game, in which Tony Clark could have ended it in regulation had the ball not bounced an inch higher than the right field wall, and Ortiz did end it with a weird jam-shot up the middle, I don't wanna fuckin' hear it any more. You got your breaks last night, you've ALWAYS gotten some breaks whether you admit it or not, so know your role and shut your mouth, Simmons.

And with that, it's time to grab some lunch...all this talk about baseball is making me hungry for some hot dogs. But I'll settle for some office cafeteria food, I will. Hopefully the Yanks can knock some sense into themselves, tell each other to stop fuckin' around and put these d-bags out of their misery.

I'm no fan of video games, but as the Mortal Kombat guy says, "Finish him."

(Oh, in one last note...does everyone in Boston have Down Syndrome? Jeez, you'd think the guys at Fox would pan the crowd less after they realized the crowd was Lieber-esque in looks. I'm not the most superficial guy out there, but I'd have a threeway with Blossom and the Asian puddle-jumper from the post below over 99.44 percent of the females in the crowd.)

(OK, really one last note...this comes from the Firekid up in Boston. Check out what ran in the Boston Globe today.)

Rain, Reign O'er Me

Beisbol remarks later...if I haven't jumped out the window by then (Goddamn, how do you not walk Papi and take your chances with Doug Mientkiewicz?! It's not like this Ortiz guy has been getting big hits or anything.).

For now, it's raining in New York. If you hadn't noticed, of course. Coming out of the subway at Columbus Circle, there were huge puddles in the street on the curb, puddles that had to be navigated with care. The asian man next to me contemplated jumping this large puddle in front of us..."You're crazy," I told the asian man. "You'll never make it, buddy."

Sure enough, the man landed three-quarters of the way through the unjumpable puddle, soaking his loafers, his socks and the bottom of his trousers. "I told ya you'd never make it," I said with a shrug as he looked back at me as defeated as could be. Can't say I didn't warn him. Perhaps he was blinded with dental floss and didn't realize how large the puddle truly was, but you can't take chances like that before work. On the way home from the office, when you can change into anything you want when you get home, go ahead and trudge through the wetness. But that wet-socked, wet-shoed bastard's probably sitting at his desk right now, most likely crunching numbers or pressing my shirts, and he's wishing he could turn back time and change his terrible decision. I walked down the street about 10 feet, found a smaller puddle to Costanza over and made it across the street with little worry. And I'm (Fred) dryer than him right now.

We need this rain. The Yankees need this rain delay tonight. I need this rain delay tonight. Let it rain. Let it rain. Let your rain, rain down on me.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Some Thoughts

Random thoughts on this un-gloooorious Monday:

--My roommate, his girlfriend and I were discussing Halloween costumes last night. She's almost certain she'll go as some sort of "naughty schoolgirl" or "kinky librarian," after going last year as a "slutty nurse." Halloween is truly amazing, every girl in NYC fulfills their innermost desire by dressing "up" in as little clothes as possible and looking as whore-like as can be. I'm not complaining by any means, this is excellent for the male population. I've participated in my fair share of late October eye-rapes. But the number of actual sexual assaults probably goes through the roof on Halloween...and you know what, that's also okay with me. On the other 364 days a week I'll go along with the "Just because she dresses like a slut doesn't mean she is one" defense, and agree women shouldn't be victimized. But on this night, which is different than all other nights, I say women deserve what they got coming to 'em. Dress like a slutty nurse, be prepared for me to turn my head and cough. Jeez, I just re-read that paragraph, and I know, I know. I'm jus' keeeding, have a sense of humor...some of my best friends are holiday rapists.

--If I ever have a black girlfriend around the time of Halloween, we're 100 percent dressing up as Lisa Turtle and Screech. I may even hire a low-class black escort this year just to make it happen. Now if I only I can get over my fear of colored people, I can make that a reality.

--Speaking of minorities, David Ortiz has the coolest beard of all time. I'd kill two hookers and a journeyman painter for that Latino chinstrap of his. But that doesn't mean I like when he rockets a Quantrillic fastball with little movement into the right field seats at Fenway. Boo Ortiz, boooo Ortiz. This guy scares me like today's CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll scares me.

--Perhaps the most little talked about point of this ALCS: Why the hell did the Red Sawx walk Jorge Posada to get to Ruben Sierra in Game 3? I'm not sure I've ever seen such a poor managerial decision in my entire life. Two outs, runner on second, still a relatively close game down only three runs...pitch to the hitter you have in front of you, who may be the only Yankee not red hot, and get the hell out of the inning. I mean, what is even Francona's explanation for that decision? People might say, "Hey, it was 19-8, who cares?" But that blew the game wide open when it was still close, and it underscores why the Yanks will close out the Sawx tonight. That move was grounds for firing, no joke. If Costanza can get fired for shtupping the cleaning lady on his desk, Francona needs to be fired immediately following this series.

--Unless of course the Sawx win this series! I've had these awful thoughts all day and night...could this be the shoe on the other hand?! To truly reverse the Curse, Sawx fans needed to test their faith, watch as their beloved squadron falls back by three games, down to their final three outs. And then they watch as Boston delivers the ultimate, never-before-seen comeback, watching the rival Yankees pull a Sawx-like collapse. Could this happen? Could Ortiz's homer have emboldened Boston? They've got Pedro in Game 5 and perhaps Big Schill in Game 6, right? Could this be the year that Charlie Brown actually kicks the ball and breaks Lucy's hand in the process? Um, nah, I don't think so, but I've been thinking about this scenario all night and all day. Tune in at 5:10 ET for the answers...

--Carlos Beltran is a monster. There's really nothing to say about him other than "He's a freak of nature, Bruce." Random The State references aside, this guy is just crushing the ball, as locked in a hitter as I've seen outside of San Francisco. Every team is going to make this guy a priority in the off-season, but here's my prediction for who ends up with him: Cubs, maybe Red Sawx. No, the Yanks will not be featuring Mr. Beltran in center next season, as much as I'd love to watch him play every day.

--Jeannie Zelasko looks like she gives out a ton of free head, right? I mean, a fuckin' ton, like she might have permanent TMJ disorders from these actions. There's no way she's not blowing Kevin Kennedy during commercials.

--The J-E-T-S are now 5-0, and still get no respect. Sure they've beaten some of the worst teams in the league, but who do you want them to play? They've got a schedule to keep here, people. You can't beat teams you don't play, you have to go out and beat who's in front of you. And that's exactly what we've done. So while Pats fans might not be too scared of Gang Green when we roll into town on Sunday afternoon, but we're going to show up ready to play and ready to win. Expect a thrashing, Pats fans, but you'll be walking out of Gillette Stadium with a 16-13 loss in your back pocket and your dicks in your front ones.

--Don't forget to watch the Jon Stewart on Crossfire ridiculousness (scroll down if you haven't seen it). I don't know quite what to make of this...I love Jon Stewart, and I think the media has really let down the American public. But I'm not sure I entirely agree with the funnyman on this one. Crossfire is not such a bad show, and it's definitely not hurting America. That is, when Bob Novak isn't on the show. Bob Novak should be drawn and quartered, there's no question about that. The fact that he's allowed to be on television and his articles in print is an abomination. But contrary to what Stewart said, Tucker and Paul do actually hold some politicians' feet to the flames, and they do engage in natural debate. Sure, there's some scripted theatre (English spelling) to the procedure, but I actually think it's one of the better shows on cable television for cutting through the spin. I agree with Stewart in general...I think the media has become a watchdog for Britney's wedding and Kobe's love for the poopshoot instead of doing its duty to the American people on issues that really matter. But I'm just not so sure his fight is with Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. Just my two cents.

--I'm really fuckin' tired.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Special Friday Evening Before Going Out Post

I have no idea why anyone would be watching CNN's Crossfire at 4:30 on a Friday, but those lucky souls that did were treated to a truly bizarre and surreal moment on live television. I, for one, could not believe what I was watching, and even find it difficult to recount the story without showing the visual scene. I'm not entirely sure if right wing nut-job Tucker Carlson and all-forehead lefty Paul Begala knew what they were getting into or not, but Jon Stewart laid an absolute ass-whooping on these guys today. After the first, say, 90 seconds or so, when he was friendly and made a joke or two, Stewart was as serious as a heart attack for the rest of the show, never really even cracking a smile in his remaining 14 minutes on the show.

He made it about 90 seconds and then threw this out there: "And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad...And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America."

Stewart never raised his voice, and in fact, was very monotonous. It was almost like he was unexpectedly breaking up with his wife, just like avoiding eye contact and speaking real softly. He even delivered his jokes in a manner similar to that of Steven Wright. He accused the Crossfire hosts of engaging in theater rather than debate and said of their show: "It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery."

It all led up to the following exchange (and keep in mind you're watching CNN's main political show Crossfire):

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

(Tucker looks to camera to throw it to commerical)

CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...

STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.

I don't know how you'd go about getting a copy of this online, but if your savvy using the World Wide Web, the information superhighway if you will, try to locate of copy of this. But click here for a full transcript of the show (and anywhere it says "LAUGHTER," that should read 'VERY NERVOUS AND AWKWARD LAUGHTER"). Just an absolutely ridiculous and riveting 15 minutes of television.

LATE ADDITION **Thanks to an Anonymous poster, we have some video. Click here.**

On another note, heavy rains just forced Major League Baseball to cancel tonight's contest featuring the Yankees and Red Sawx. So Fox has to kill a few hours obviously, and they make the predictable and correct decision to show a movie in the game's stead. Fox's parent company, News Corporation -- the Rupert Murdoch-owned global media empire -- owns the following film studios and companies: Twentieth Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fox International Twentieth Century Fox Television, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Television Studios, Fox Studios Los Angeles, Fox Movie Channel, not to mention hundreds of cable and local television stations and channels around the world.

Out of all those film assets, what movie do you think they decided to air instead of the postponed game? My first guess was See Spot Run, the 2001 comedy classic starring David Arquette and Michael Clarke Duncan about "a mailman takes care of a dog that, unbeknownst to him, is an FBI drug-sniffing superdog that has escaped from the witness protection program after becoming the target of an assassination." And you know what, I was 100 percent right. This is now reason number 134 why Fox is worse than a javelin to the groin (employing Tim McCarver is reason number 14 if you were wondering).

Go U NU

Chipotle Bob passed along this gem a second ago...Go Cats:

NORTHWESTERN'S UPSET OF OHIO STATE MOST-WATCHED GAME EVER ON ESPN 2; TABBED 'INSTANT CLASSIC'

ESPN 2's Oct. 2 telecast of Northwestern's 33-27 overtime victory over then-No. 7 Ohio State was the network's most-viewed college football telecast ever, averaging 2,028,000 households and a 2.3 rating.

It also was the fifth most-viewed program (behind last year's four Major League Baseball playoff telecasts) and second highest-rated college football telecast in the 11-year history of the network. The game also was deemed an "ESPN Instant Classic."

Good Morning, It Is

First, here are two comical Yankees vee Red Sawx-related notes:

1. A clever little jokey joke from my favorite Sawx fan in Beantown, the Firekid (and here's to hoping we get to play tonight, but I hear it's storm time in the Eastern skies): Johnny Damon, he looks like Jesus, but he throws like Mary.

2. The Red Sawx took the 11:30 Delta Shuttle from New York to Boston yesterday. And that was, you guessed it, Flight 1918. What are the fuckin' odds? That's not even a joke. That's even more coincidental than when the Kobe accuser took a vaction and rented a house on 8 Laker Way in Rapeville, Colorado. OK, that last part I made up. But the Flight 1918 stuff, true.

(Actually, it's highly unclear from the article whether it was the Sawx on that flight with Shaughnessy or just the writer on his own flight, but it's better to just extrapolate and listen to what I say. Plus, Shaughnessy is "The Curse" guy as far as Boston sports go, so even if it wasn't the team, still a cool story. But, it probably was just Shaughnessy, so this story is weak. Jesus, how long is this parenthetical statement?).

Moving on...Is there a reason we've now had three presidential debates and all anyone wants to talk about in the aftermath is Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter? It was a cheap shot, it wasn't a cheap shot, who the fuck cares? Hey, guess what, we have some sort of war thing going on in Iraq, the economy is creating about six and a half jobs a month, a record three million people have completely exhausted all federal unemployment benefits, 45 million people have no health insurance, more people are mired in poverty than ever before, our record trade deficit with the world is approaching an unsustainable $600 billion this year, our budget deficit hit a new record of $412.6 billion this fiscal year, and the list goes on and on...

I hate to be the guy who says, "Shit's fucked up," but it is. And now all we're hearing in the media is that Kerry took a cheap shot by calling Cheney's daughter out for munchin' the box and toungin' some poon. Oh stop it, assfaces, let's just focus on the issues. The fucking issues. Had Cheney's daughter been, say, asexual, maybe this whole issue would never have been brought up. Let's focus. Goddamn, it's amazing that these two bozo deluxes are our choices for leader of the free world, ain't it? One complete schmuck and one hipster doofus.

Well, had to get that off my chest. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Slack...here are two of my favorite stories of the early morning, two funny little stories involving very smart and entrepeneurial teenagers:

1. Strike a bonanza for 12-year-old entrepreneur

2. Woman receives unique insurance proposal

And just for the hell of it, here's another little story for ya, just because I'm feeling good this morning and in the mood to spread love...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Take a Memo

To: Yankee fans

From: Ace Cowboy

Re: The News

Start spreading it.

-------------
On another note, call it spin, call it whatever you want, but I was kind of impressed with what Pedro had to say after this game. I'd be pissed had I been a Sawx fan whose team just went down 2-0, but I like the guy's perspective:

"It actually made me feel really, really good," Pedro Martinez said after his team's 3-1 loss in Game 2. "I actually realized that I was somebody important, because I caught the attention of 60,000 people, plus you guys [reporters], plus the whole world watching a guy that if you reverse time back 15 years ago, I was sitting under a mango tree without 50 cents to actually pay for a bus. And today I was the center of the attention of the whole city of New York.

"I thank God for that and you know what? I don't regret one bit what they do out there. I respect them and I actually kind of like it because I don't like to brag about myself, I don't like to talk about myself, but they made me feel important."

Do I realize that if he won that game, he'd be a Grade A D-bag and talk more trash than Billy Hoyle? Of course, but that doesn't matter right now, we won and we're his daddies. So it's a moo point, you know, like a cow's opinion.

As Roger Clemens would say, let's not beat this baseball subject with a dead horse. I gotta go, I'm helping millions of Sawx fans locate the top of their batting order. I hear they're missing.

**LATE ADDITION**
Forgot to mention that I left work last night and got into a crowded elevator with the legendary Ron Silver. I desperately wanted to shout "His fatha, is the dis-trict, attorneee" in his Israel-lovin' face, on pretty much the one-year anniversary of his Fox series' debut and cancellation, but I eventually thought better of it. Plus, while that was a decent part for the man, nothing he ever does will be better than his recurring role as campaign superstar Bruno Gianelli in The West Wing. Much love and respect for Bruno.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

You Forgot Poland

I mean, I have no idea why this cracks me up so much, but it does. Thanks to Jacob Eli for passing this site along (via EB en Miami), it surely gave me a great chuckle at the end of a long day. The guy who put this together must have worked really haaard. The webmaster works haaard. It's hard wooork. Here's a quick note for Boosh before tonight's debate: Quit whining, you're the President, not a Red Sawx fan.

And Red Cowboy, my fantastic brother who's always looking for Slack material, passed this site along. Not quite as funny as "You forgot Poland," but still good stuff for sports fans nonetheless.

Go Yanks, go Kerry, go fuck yourselves...I'm out.

I Ain't Gettin' on No Plane, Hannibal

'Twas certainly a dogfight at the Stadium last night...but none of the 50 uniformed Yankees and Red Sawx players hold a candle to Portland Trail Blazer Qyntel Woods, who reportedly abandoned his pit bull because he would not fight for him. Woods was "suspended without pay pending a team investigation surrounding alleged dogfighting."

Great stuff, Qyntel, class act. I think maybe he needs a good ol' sit-down with the Cos and get a stern little lecture from the Jell-o man. Yes, Cliff Huxtable is at it again. Cosby rocks. When I was a kid we used to play stickball.

And just when you thought Hollywood was out of crappy idears, here comes another awful remake. This time, it's the A-Team. Here's the problem as I see it: "The new movie will be more serious and 'less cartoony' than the light-hearted TV series, in the vein of action movies Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Mr Cannell said: 'Not to denigrate the TV show, but nobody ever died. We drove cars off cliffs and people got out and walked away. We’re not going to do that (in the movie).'"

Why would you do that? That was the best part of the TV show! Seriously. From the many episodes I saw, the show pretty much went like this...father and daughter own a bar or a restaurant. Thugs, usually led by a Mexican-looking general of sorts, come in and trash the place, and may or may not kidnap the girl. The vengeful father hires the A-Team, they come in, get caught, build some shit to break out, beat up some bad guys, return the bar and the daughter to the father and Hannibal says, "I love it when a plan comes together." Why deviate from that sheer perfection? If anything, they should make it more cartoony. Idiots.

See, no break down of the baseball game last night...I can go a day without beisbol talk. I wipe my own ass. I wipe my own ass!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Play Ball

The best life lesson I ever learned came from a Head and Shoulders commercial: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That commercial also led me to habitually lather up each side of my head with two different kinds of shampoo to see which one gave my hair more sheen and more bounce, but that's beside the point. I guess the point is, I've had a full year to digest last year's memorable AL Championship Series, but nothing accurately captures the way I feel about that week like my first impression. In the almost immediate aftermath of that epic Game 7, I sat down to taunt an awful Red Sawx fan I often trade jabs with, but instead I just verbally vomited some gooey, emotional chick drivel onto the screen. And you know what? It felt right. It still feels right. Slack offers me a second chance to look back with fondness on that series...but I'll let down my guard and air my first impression:

----------
October 16, 2003
2:15 AM

What a freakin' game. The truth of it is, the Yankees won an amazingly played season series 14-12, and they went 4-3 in the most ridiculous ALCS of the most ridiculous playoffs of the modern era. This is what rivalries are all about. The next time I hear another Midwesterner try to spout out garbage about Cards/Cubs I may spit in their faces or stomp on their testicles. This is the rivalry. This is what sports are all about. This is why sports were invented. For this. This game should be on ESPN Classic every single day 'til spring training. This is the rivalry.

For a while, I thought 80-plus years of kickin' the Sawx' sorry asses was over. Trailing 4-0 in the fourth, runners on the corners, Moose on the hill for the first time ever in relief. How would this guy handle inherited runners for the first time in his career? Pretty darn well, Moose calls. But with Pedro kicking into high gear, it looked pretty grim there. At home, [Donnie, Dorsey Levin and I] tried everything in our power to help the Yanks, we tried a million reverse jinxes, we prayed to anyone for anything to get our motor going. Anything, just a little single, that's what you need off Pedro. All we need is a Baltimore chop, a Texas leaguer, a seeing-eye single, a ball through the wickets, a humpback liner that falls in for a hit, a bloop and a blast, a comebacker, a dying quail, anything! Eighty-plus years of wiping the floor with these guys, and it's all gonna go down the drain. Eighty-plus years of superiority out the window in just 12 more outs. It's all reversing. Nine more outs. History is changing. Six more outs, now five. An era is dying here...

Finally we broke through, there is a God. Grady Little remembered that he's well, Grady Little, and the Yanks tied the game in the 8th inning on some Jeter-led heroics. Bullpen phone not working, Dave Wallace? Grady lose his voice? Where's the relief of the un-Pedro Pedro? On the other hand, Moose and Mo threw six ludicrous innings of four-hit shutout ball, maybe the greatest middle and end relief performances I've ever seen in crunch time (and I'll even give you Pedro's six perfect innings in relief in Game 5 of the ALDS vs. Cleveland in '99).

So after sweating for hours in one of the most intense games of all time, they come back from commercial and Booney Delluc steps into the box. Joe Buck says something like "Red Sox fans will tell you they were just five outs away...and Boone hits one deep..." Silence. The ball sails into the Bronx night, Mystique and Aura show up like Elijah at Yankee Stadium, and the ball hits the seats. We go beserk. I mean beserk. Heavens to Betsy, whoever that slut is, 80-plus years and the Curse of the Bambino still stands as strong as the Yankee resolve.

On one of the most memorable nights in sports history, a true "where were you when" game, the only thing I could say to sum things up comes from Boone's post-game comments: "This is stupid." Yes it is. Stupid.

At 2:15 am, the adrenaline's still pumping. I hope this one never goes away, fellas...
----------

And it hasn't gone away. I still feel like a giddy schoolgirl with perky budding breasts when I think back to that night -- the three of us sitting there with our heads in our hands, wondering what the Bostonians would say when they called to taunt us. As Yogi likes to say, "We've been beating these guys for 80 years." That night it looked like all of that would come crashing down on the limp wrist of Gaydro Martinez. In a weird, sad, unfair way, all the Sawx had to do is beat the Yankees once and all of the teams' personal history was wiped away like the McFly family picture. Thankfully, we jumped back to the future in time for that history to remain intact. And staying true to the analogy, Boone's improbable game 7 shot was like George's right hook, and Sawx fans have been washing our car for the last year.

I'm definitely confident in the Yankees this time of year. It's October, it's Yankee time. The only thing that scares me this year is what Kevin Millar said the other day: "I'm pretty sure we're five outs better than last year." I'm nervous because they are. And they're not only five outs better, they're much, much better than last year, on both sides of the ball. They've upgraded their infield defense dramatically (including a little rhinoplasty at shortstop), traded John Burkett for Curt Schilling, imported a legit closer in Keith Foulke and nurtured the emergence of David Ortiz as one of the scariest at-bats in the league. All that being said, I'm with Yogi on this one...we've been beating these guys for 80 years, and as Bob Weir moans in Looks Like Rain: "That's not gonna chaaa-yaaange."

Here's a very quick breakdown of the series, as Donnie and I see it (incidentally, Donnie's alive and doing well):

OUTFIELD
In center, Johnny Damon has the slight edge over Bernie Williams offensively, but not necessarily if Bernie gets hot and stays out of the double play. Good ol' 6-4-3 Bernie. I have faith though that Bernabe is going to show off his former self and turn some heads in this series. Defensively, both men are a total liability with a runner on third. And while Damon has more range out there than Bernie, neither man has any sort of arm at all. I'm not entirely sure that either Damon or Bernie could gun down Gary Carter and Christopher Reeve in a three-legged tag-up to home plate.

And if one concedes that Manny and Sheff are about equal in terms of greatness and coolness to their respective teams, then the big question is this: Is the difference between Manny Ramirez and Hideki Matsui greater or less than the difference between Gary Sheffield and Trot Nixon? That's clearly debateable, but I personally think the Yanks have the edge there. Matsui, slipples and all, put up one of the quietest .298/31/106 seasons of all time. He's actually as clutch as they come, he plays great defense, he may or may not give happy endings and he's swinging as hot a bat as they come (.412 in the ALDS to Nixon's .250). Plus, Nixon doesn't have the Rocket to beat up any more, the one advantage of losing Clemens to free agency. All in all, I give the Yanks the slight edge in the corners, with Damon claiming a slight edge in center. In other words, neither team has a clear advantage in the outfield: Even.

CATCHER
This is an ongoing debate amongst some Sawx fans and my Yankee bretheren...Who's better, Varitek or Posada? I'm not sure this one is ever going to be answered properly, but it's clear that both sides will stand by their man 'til the bitter end. Posada looked like he could have been an MVP candidate early on, but took a fastball off the noggin in May and hasn't been nearly the same. But his OBP, more a Red Sawx stat than a Yankee one, remained above .400 this season, good for fourth in the American League. That's also about 10 points higher than his Boston counterpart, who finished a still impressive 10th. Posada hit 21 homeruns to Varitek's 18, drove in 81 runs to 'Tek's 73, scored 72 runs to Varitek's 67, walked 88 times to Varitek's 62. Defensively I like Posada this year, despite what people have said about him. He's really improved behind the plate, and now I consider him to be a bit better than 'Tek. Posada allowed 67 stolen bases while gunning down 25 runners, for a caught stealing percentage of 27 percent. 'Tek, on the other hand, allowed 77 runners to steal out of 100, giving him a caught stealing percentage of 23 percent.


Plus, Varitek is a total fuckin' pussy who didn't take his mask off when provoking a fight with A-Rod. I'm serious, what kind of shit is that? Posada would have. Hell, I know 10-year-old girls who probably have enough common baseball sense to fight fair. Anyway, I'm giving a slight advantage to the Yankees.

RIGHT SIDE OF THE INFIELD
This is arguably the weakest area of both teams, unless you consider Millar's Jim "The Anvil" Niedhardt goatee and John Olerud's oversized mini-ice cream fielding helmet as team strengths. I think the Red Sawx have the nice advantage at first base, with Kevin Millar and Doug Mientkiewicz being the best offensive and defensive players of the four first-baggers. Olerud and Tony Clark are probably the more complete players, but Francona has made it clear that he'll use both Millar and Doug E. Fresh in almost every game. And mark these palabras: Tony Clark will have a huge hit in this series. A huge hit.

But while everyone and their mother may think Mark Bellhorn/Pokey Reese second base combo is superior to the Yankees' Miguel Cairo, I would beg to differ. Cairo had a magnificent year for the Yanks, nearly hitting .300, providing some big hits this season, doing exactly what he needed to do. Mark Bellhorn, on the other hand, is a Sawx fan's dream. He's got a high OBP, he annoys pitchers by going deep in the count. Basically he doesn't swing the bat, and when he does he makes pretty good contact. But, and here's the catch, he struck out 177 times this season, good for a top-ten ranking all-time for a single season. So while he may be a patient hitter, sometimes he's a bit too patient and that could cost his team. In a match-up of Bellhorn and Cairo, there's just no way you could give a clear advantage to the Sawx. But factoring in the first basemen, I'll give the Sawx their due here: Slight advantage, Boston.

LEFT SIDE OF THE INFIELD
Say what you want about how good Bill Mueller and Orlando Cabrera are, how much better defensively they are than Nomar and whoever used to play third in Boston. Say a million and one great things, but just realize one thing: This is the mismatch of the series, and this is why the Yankees are going to win.

I want to get this out there, because Slack didn't exist when Jeter was slumperrific...Every season since his rookie year, I've liked Derek Jeter. Some seasons he's better than others, hence some seasons I like him and some seasons I love him. But this season I fell IN love with Jetes. I'm in love with him. He became the Captain of Captains this year. He started off slowly, and I mean very slowly. We all know he was hitting .189 in mid-May. And the press and the Yankee-haters came out in droves. But instead of saying Jeter is on the decline, they claimed that Yankee fans were booing Jeter and that we were saying he was on the decline. Clever girl. To quote El Guapo, and not Rich Garces: "That was a good trick too" (which was actually the second most quoted El Guapo line in the Cowboy household growing up, just ask Ace's brother Red). It was a trick, because these people weren't looking at both sides of the story. Point of fact: EVERY TIME that Jeter came up, the fans gave him a standing ovation. Think about that for a second: Every single time he stepped to the plate, in mid-fucking-May, batting under the Mendoza line, the Captain got a standing ovation. When he got a hit we stood and cheered. When he didn't, and he didn't quite often, we gave him a little friendly boo, a little encouraging boo if there is such a thing, a little "you'll get there eventually but right now we gotta let you know what's up, Jetes." We were like Casper the Friendly Ghost...we were booing, but we were there to help. And he knew it. And he said so. And he said he'd break out of it, and boy did he ever. This was easily his best season ever. And he's dreamy.

At the hot corner, Red Sawx fans could have had Alex Rodriguez for an extra, what, $3 million a season or something. But the Yanks got him, thanks again to Yankee-for-life Aaron Boone, and now he's catching fire. There's just no way in the world the Yanks can lose this series if A-Rod hits the way he does against Minnesota -- hitting .421 with a homerun and 3 RBI and 3 runs scored, 2 key stolen bases and clutch hit after clutch hit. He's still a question mark to me, but if he shows up, look out. On the left side of the infield, there's a yuuuuge advantage for the Yanks.

DESIGNATED HITTER
There's no discussion here. David Ortiz is a wicked mawn-stah and perhaps the best free agent signing of the last few years. Even if Ruben Sierra and Kenny Lofton come up with big hits again in this ALCS, they can't hold a candle to Papi and his cool beard. I fear Ortiz. Manny is a punk, I wanna fight him in the streets like Tommy Gunn as my wife and kid look on. But Ortiz I respect, he makes me wet myself in that non-erotic way. Major advantage, Sawx.

PITCHING
I'm out of gas here, folks...and I have other work to attend to. So let me break it down like this:
Schilling is better than Moose, and now that I look back at the offseason, I can't believe I didn't want this guy. Trading for Vazquez instead of Schill may work out in the long run, and I bet it will, but for this year and next, Schill was the right move. The only thing is his health...will this injury affect Schill's ability to pitch Games 1, 4, and 7? Will it affect his pitching in any games in which he pitches? Will I give him the antitdote? To what? To the posion he just drank, mwa ha ha ha. Sorry. Anyway, Moose kills the Red Sawx, and hopefully he'll do the same in this series.

Jonny Lieber is ugly as sin, but he's also a very good pitcher in Yankee Stadium, going something like 11-3 with a 3.68 ERA. I'll take that. Plus he's going against Pedro, who is a warm weather pitcher going on a probable cold night. Despite my personal feelings on the man, Pedro's still a great pitcher with some gas left in the tank...but it's all about which Pedro shows up. I'm guessing he bombs in Game 2, but I may have some bias there. And let me admit this: If I were a Red Sawx fan, I would have the "Karim Garcia? Who are you? Who are you to challenge Pedro Martinez?" on a digital file that I could play on my iPod at all times. Great sound byte.

And then it's anybody's guess. Does Jerk Brown show up like the old Jerk Brown the way he did against the Twins? Do the Sawx pitch Wakefield knowing he's a Yankee killer but gave up Booney's shot? Does Bronson Arroyo really have blonde braided wannabe dreads? Will El Duque come out of his retirement home to pitch and go to the store for some prune juice and apple sauce? Hey Coney, how come you don't got a dance, man? Vazquez, does he pull an EA Sports and get in the game? How will the Sawx bullpen fare against the Yanks' hitters? Will Rivera stop electro-shocking his family members and rejoin the team? Will it even matter since the Sawx own his ass anyway? Is Foulke as invincible as he looks against NY? Timlin sucks, right? Lots of questions after Game 2 and in the bullpen, and those factors may decide the series in addition to the lobsided left side of the infield game. STARTERS, Slight edge to the Sawx...RELIEVERS, Slight edge to the Yanks.

But the managing and the intangibles, not to mention home field and all else, goes to the Yankees. I see Francona giving Beantown the shaft at some point in this series. And I see the Yankee ghosts coming back to give a little umph to the boys. And that's why I think the Yankees win this thing in six games. That's right, seis games and no more. And then maybe I'll steal a whole bunch of "Who's your daddy" t-shirts from MLB quarantine and mail 'em to my pals in Boston. I mean, what a bunch of whining d-bags. They, sniff, made fun, sniff sniff, of meeeee, waaaaaa. I just want to slap all of you bitches across the face and say, "I had to stop her from screaming."

Anyway, time to wrap up. You better wrap that gavel up, B. Here's my reiterated, professional amateur opinion: Yanks in 6...call it bias, call it Shirley, but that's the way I sees it. Sound off in the comments section with your own opinion of the series and perhaps your thoughts on how much Manny needs to get hit by a bus.