Monday, March 13, 2006

Sports Miscellany

It's been three days since last we talked, Slackers, and I'm proud to report it's been a fantastic three-day weekend.

I caught two kickass TLG concerts at the Knitting Factory, my nephew's bris (for non-Jews, that's our tribe's getting 25 percent off of everything), Championship Weekend and Selection Sunday, the return of The Sopranos and The West Wing...and the beat goes on.

Since there's a small pile of work building on my desk, here are some quick hitters from the world of sports:

--The United States mercy ruled a wily South Africa squad 17-0 in the team's final game of World Baseball Classic's first round on Friday, ensuring our advance to the next pool. Sure the score looks lopsided, but really, it's to be expected. Just think how badly they'd beat us if we played them in Racism. We can play the game, but these guys are in a whole 'nother league.

--Speaking of racism, the WBC umpires totally jobbed the Nipponese team against Los Estados Unidos yesterday. An ump called a Japanese baserunner out in the 8th inning for leaving the bag too early on a sacrifice, reversing an earlier (and correct) call. The game remained tied up at three as a result, and the American squad eventually won it in the 9th on a single by the ever-clutch Alex Rodriguez.

The home plate umpire had this to say after the game: "Upon further review, I think the original call that he left on time was correct. I just figured those Chinamen couldn't see that far to the bag anyway, so I reversed the call on 'em. My mistake, hai!"

College Basketball
--After CBS unveiled the NCAA tournament bracket last night, Jim Nantz and Billy "Tough Monkey" Packer grilled the reigning selection committee chairman Craig Littlepage over some of the last teams asked to dance. The conversation went something like this...

Nantz: "What did you think of the bracket, Mr. Littlepage?"

Mr. Littlepage: "Best bracket ever, mang."

Rushmore paraphrasing aside, anyone else think this Littlepage character looks like a cross between Gary Sheffield and Furious Styles from Boyz in the Hood?

--Here's a quote from this weekend's A-10 Conference Tournament final I found to be equally moronic and astonishing. With 10-seeded Xavier leading St. Joseph's by a point with almost no time remaining, a St. Joe's player drove the lane and got his shot swatted, the ball careening out of bounds and the clock running down to zero. There was still a second-plus remaining, though, and the refs correctly rewound the clock to 1.3 seconds, St. Joe's ball.

The color commentator felt compelled to add this to the telecast: "I think this clearly benefits St. Joseph's." Oh really, fool? Putting 1.3 seconds back on the clock and giving St. Joe's the ball is better than just ending the game and declaring Xavier the winner? Now that's what we call expert analysis. Fuckin' douchebottle.

--I'll post my full thoughts on the brackets later in the week, because I truly don't think there's enough amateur commentary on the Internets. But if you want some genuine help on filling out a winning sheet, I offer you this tip: follow the efficient teams, on both ends of the floor. I point you to Ken Pomeroy's site and this eye-opening column from earlier this year. Unlike the asshat color guy above, this is quality analysis that'll help you take home some cash.

Luke Donald will cash a $990,000 check after winning the Honda Classic yesterday. It's always nice to see a guy you graduated with make an insane amount of money every weekend. So congrats, man, I hope you remember what we learned in that Italian Diaspora class while you're lining up to putt.

"I knew if I just played Luke Donald golf, it'd be good enough," Donald said. "It's nice to finish with a great shot like that."

Shit, I'd just like to win some Luke Donald money.

Slack Link of the Day: Like immigrants in a Neil Diamond tune, bird flu is coming to America: "Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States." [More]

Slack Song of the Day: Roommate Dorsey (by way of J-Cantor) introduced me to this tune last night, a 15-minute live song trilogy from The Roots that's pretty effin' sweet.

Here's The Seed > Melting Pot > Web from "Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Roots"


At 11:05 AM, Blogger Yasamin said...

outstanding blog name. just thought i would tell you that. :P

ps my verification word of the day (to be able to post this) is: kfnkt. and what language is that???

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Rashid Muhammad said...

If I remember correctly there was a blown check-swing call in that inning that went Japan's way. I'm just sayin.

Wikipedia has a great animated gif of the play and, just like when it was on TV, it didn't look as conclusive to me as a lot of people claim. Even the announcers thought that it was the right call (out) after the first replay.

And of course none of that negates the fact that Japan blew a bases loaded opportunity in the top of the 9th or the fact that they fell apart in the bottom of the 9th.

Bad calls happen, you gotta get over them and keep truckin. Still, that was a hell of a game and both teams did their nations proud.

Props to Cuba as well.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous jcantor said...

good to see the roots finally getting some reprsentation on this here site! this medley is phenonemal live by the way. 10 bucks if you can tell me where the sample of 'another victory' is from...anyway, go see the chappelle movie dude...laugh out loud funny and great tunes..

At 1:40 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

What's with all the Little____s in the news today? The prime suspect in that student murder is named Littlejohn, and he apparently used to go by Jonathan Blaze (a bit obvious for a criminal, I'd say)

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Rashid, I don't disagree with your analysis...but you can't overturn that call on the field. You just can't, and as an avid sports fan, you have to know that. Imagine that was your team on the short end -- yeah, you have to rally to get passed that, but you know that's a bit of the malarkey.

Cantor, good spot. Just trying to do my part as a white kid to further the cause.

Little Jon is a rapist? Wwwwhat?!

At 2:58 PM, Blogger ethan said...

re: the wbc game - sure, it was a bad call. but it's not like at that point it was tied in the bottom of the 9th and the sac fly would've won it for japan. the u.s. had bases loaded on arod's hit, and would've likely scored another run on that play.

the worst part of that loss to canada - utley flipping the bat like he easily homered, only to have stern run it down.

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Rashid Muhammad said...

Hey Ace, anybody who has ever had one of those patented "Yankee Calls" go against them knows how that feels. I've seen so many bad calls over the years that I am calloused (Hrbek pulling Ron Gant off the bag in '91 being the true genesis of my torture). Plus, I lead one of those lives where shit always goes wrong and I have to adjust my plans on the fly.

Regardless, I feel like the umpire gets the benefit of the doubt. He had a better perspective at a higher resolution than any camera angle and it was his call to make. From what I read, the person that called safe on the appeal apparently didn't even see the tag. If there was instant replay, I don't know if you can overturn that call.

I hate that it came to that because I like to beat people under circunstances where they can't bitch, but Japan has a good team and will probably bounce back. Mexico and SK are scary though.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Tres said...

Ace - donde esta the link for the song of the day? a little Roots would help my afternoon go by little more smoothly.

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Tres said...

--never mind.. as you can see, I really do need some help today..


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