Thursday, May 31, 2007


Hey, I thought I would expand my horizons a little bit, do something I normally don't do on this on Gay-Rod!!! (That was my sarcastic voice.) I mentioned some of this on French's page, but will re-state here:

In all honesty, it's not that horrible of a play. Yeah, it's bush, but it probably happens quite a bit. Whether he yelled "Ha!" or "Mine!" is somewhat irrelevant in my mind. If, say, Jason Varitek yelled at a fielder as he was running by, I would be embarrassed, but I wouldn't be up in arms like some writers, or like the Blue Jays, who are really pissed by the sounds of it. However, I find it amusing that the most talented player I've ever seen, one of the most talented ever, consistently finds himself in these situations. He is ridiculously good; why does he pull things such as slap the ball out of Arroyo's hand and claim innocence, or come out of a takeout slide with an elbow up towards someone's crotch, or yell things during pop flies? These are the same types of things that A.J. Piersyznski does, and he is probably the most hated player in baseball. At what point does "just trying to win" become "being a little bitch?" Did you ever see Michael Jordan raising his arms or making random noises during other players' free throws? Joe Montana? Wayne Gretzky? (I can't really think of iffy moves that a football or hockey player could make.) Never has such a talented player been involved in so many questionable plays, from a sportsmanship standpoint. And I guess that is Gay-Rod in a nutshell. There's no denying his talent, but wow, who would want that guy on their team, stats be damned? On that note, what are Jeter, or Damon, or Pettite saying to him after these things? Someone on that team needs to tell him to act like a pro, not like a tee-baller.

Between all these plays and the Yankees' struggles this year, I guess it kinda puts me in a state where my hate for Gay-Rod is subsiding in a way, and I am almost amused by him at this point. I found myself laughing at the highlights and post-game interviews, rather than yelling and swearing at the TV. However, I will still refuse to call him anything but Gay-Rod.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In Self-Defense...

To clarify a little bit, before arguments on how to spell douche overrun the blog, both T. Nels and I wanted the girls to go with, for several reasons.

1. The girls being there isn't stopping us from doing anything we want to do. We're still gonna be at the field most the day Saturday; we're still drinking during the game and afterwards; we're still going out Friday night when we get there; I'm still making at least 3 stops at the Sausage King. Just because girls are with doesn't mean you can't booze up and act afool.

2. T. Nels and I have been to Boston twice now and haven't really done anything besides go to Fenway and party with Nikki and her friends. We would actually like to see other things this time.

3. Both Kristin and Alex have taken an interest to the Sox. In Alex's case, this is curious, because the Sox are clearly my #2 love, behind Kansas, yet Alex is constantly interested in baseball, but continues to threaten me with wearing old Texas A&M clothes, even after being accepted into KU's grad school. Go figure. Plus, after the Twins/Royals game in KC, she is hooked on going to games. It's safe to say her experience at Fenway will be better than Kaufmann Field.

4. There will be a time in your life, Michael, when you will meet that special someone who you want to do all kinds of things with, including go to baseball games. Until then, just keep adding random girls from all over the country on facebook, and going home every night and having sex with the sleeve of your favorite hooded sweatshirt while watching the game film of Red River vs. Fargo North from 2001.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Good Karma

I have never been a supporter of toy machines, the kind with the claw that never grabs anything, and that breaks more kids' hearts then when Steve from Blue's Clues got busted for smoking pot. You could go on a piggy-bank smashing spree all over town, and you wouldn't steal as many kids' allowances as those machines. Just a giant rip-off all the way around. Consequently, I haven't put a dollar into one of those things in probably 18 years, despite the fact that I work around 30 hours a week in very close proximity to one. I don't even look at the monstrosity, to be honest. Which is why I was unaware of the crown jewel that was laying innocently next to the exit hole for an unknown period of time. That is, until the other night, when the 17 year old kid I was working with, a hockey fan at that, commented matter-of-factly, "Huh. Dallas Mavericks 2006 NBA Champs. Pretty sweet hat." It didn't register for a few seconds, as I was currently deeply entrenched in ignoring him for the last couple hours. When I did realize what he said, I immediately ran over to the machine to inspect it. Sure enough, Dallas Mavericks, 2006 NBA Champs. I have always coveted sports memoribilia like this. One of my buddies from elementary school had an older brother who would always score stuff like this in the days before ebay, and, as a 10 year old, I was insanely jealous of his Buffalo Bills Super Bowl Champion shirt, among other pieces of relative crap. I wondered what they did with all the loser's gear, being told everything from "They drop it off in third world countries" to "They give it all to the losing team and they decide what to do with it." All I knew for sure was that they sure didn't sell it at Scheels or Gerrells. So, needless to say, this hat was gonna be mine. After putting in 50 cents and giving it the ol' college try, I quickly resorted to rounding up a couple guys and tipping the machine over until I had the hat (and about 9 stuffed animals.) Worth it.

The third annual Boston trip has been finalized, but this year T. Nels and I are bringing Kristin and Alex, which will undoubtedly de-emphasize the Sox juuuuust a little bit this time around. This was probably inevitable after last year, when we spent roughly 60% of the whole time at or around Fenway Park. As long as we get one full day at Fenway we'll be happy.

The last two years we stayed with Nikki Chu, but partly due to her moving to a different apartment (previously it was just a 20-minute walk, or 10-minute drunken sprint while racing the T, from Fenway) and partly due to the girls coming with, we got a hotel room this time. We had initially chosen the Ramada package, and were happy with that, as we were looking to cut costs rather than stay in a great hotel. However, to make a long story short (although why bother at this point; I just wrote a huge paragraph about fucking toy machines and worthless hats) the internet screwed up and we ended up walking ass-backwards into the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers, which, from the pictures, will be one of the nicest places I've ever stayed at. It's closer to everything we want to do, and somehow decidedly cheaper than the Ramada. Jim 1, Internet 0.

Vegas has the odds at 3-2 that we stumble back at 3 AM and I try to play piano while T. Nels pees in the Christmas tree.

Ummm, do you think they have Schmidt's on tap at this bar?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back To Earth

A couple weeks ago, as I was watching the Mavs/Warriors games on TV in Oakland, and the crowd was insane, and the teams were running up and down the court, hitting 3's, talking shit, and the crowd was going more insane; and meanwhile, out east, an exciting Bulls team was handling the defending champs, the Rockets/Jazz were battling out a seven-game series, and we were on our way to a sure-to-be riveting Spurs/Suns series, I said to myself, "You know, if the NBA was always like this, I would like the NBA as much as college." I mean, the quality of ball is much better, the personalities are much better, the rivalries are more authentic (side note: I know college rivalries are more intense, it's just that pro rivalries are born out of an incident or active dislike of each other. Duke hates Carolina because they have to; they are 7 miles away, and it's bred into the fans and players. There have been a few heated moments, but for the most part, the rivalry lies with the fans. They have always hated each other and will always hate each other. The Lakers hate the Suns because they had an intense, emotional series last year, and Raja elbowed Kobe, and D'Antoni trashed a bunch of the Lakers in his book, etc. etc. For an example. I love how pro rivalries change, and escalate, and you can see new ones emerging all the time. End side note.)

Anyways, my NBA bandwagon hit a patch of black ice, and I was thrown through the windshield in the wreck. The feel-good Warriors ran out of steam against Utah, the Bulls inexplicably collapsed, the Cleveland/New Jersey series was completely unwatchable, the refs (especially in the G.S./Utah series, where the Warriors couldn't blink wrong in Game 5 without getting a T or a flagrant) were out of control bad, and, of course, there's the Horry Debacle, which I could write a couple thousand words on but won't. Now we're headed for a Cleveland/Detroit, San Antonio/Utah conference finals. Cleveland is arguably the most boring team I have ever watched. Detroit and San Antonio are no baskets of cherries, either. I enjoy Deron Williams and Dee Brown, but the rest of the roster sucks. I couldn't imagine a more boring conference finals, unless maybe I was watching the Detroit Shock and the Cleveland Rockers (and yes, I had to google those WNBA teams.) We're headed for another Detroit/San Antonio finals, which is bad, and worst part is, I don't want to root against that, because the alternatives are even worse. The best part of the next month will be the lottery. Fannnnnn-tastic.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sweet And Not So Sweet Sixteen

Dedicated to Dan Sondreal.

My favorite sixteen NBA players (top 5 in order):

1. Kirk Hinrich
2. Paul Pierce
3. Gilbert Arenas
4. Ray Allen
5. Stephen Jackson

Jacque Vaughn, Shaquille O'Neal, Marcus Camby, David Lee, Rasheed Wallace, Wayne Simien, Nick Collison, Baron Davis, Jalen Rose, Drew Gooden, Luther Head.

My least favorite sixteen NBA players (top 5 in order):

1. Kobe Bryant
2. Manu Ginobli
3. Vince Carter
4. Carlos Boozer
5. Jason Kidd

J.J. Redick, Carmelo Anthony, Bruce Bowen, Darius Miles, Mike Dunleavy, Jerome James, Stephon Marbury, Devin Harris, Andrei Kirilenko, Chris Duhon, Rashad McCants.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

(Shotgun) Bullets Are Bad For Your Health

  • I'm OK with Clemens going to the Yanks. Surprisingly comfortable with it. Probably because a) I guess I never really felt like there was much of a chance he was coming to Boston, b) I don't think he'll be that good. He'll be an upgrade for New York, without a doubt, but he's been pitching in the crappy NL for the last three years. I could have an ERA under 5.00 in the NL, and c) I have a hard time forgiving players or coaches who have broke my heart. Exhibits 1 and 1A are Johnny Damon and Roy Williams. I don't know if I could seriously cheer for Clemens again. So whatever, I guess. The Yanks can have him. However, when they make their late July/early August run where they win 16 of 17 or something like that, ask me again how I feel.

  • I'm really pumped about my boy Jacque Vaughn getting legitimate minutes with the Spurs. Fourth quarter minutes and everything. I still really, really, really want a Phoenix/Golden State west finals, but if the Spurs do win, it softens the blow.

  • Congrats Golden State for finishing off Dallas in spectacular fashion. I hadn't been that excited for a game since the Knicks last made the playoffs, which feels like 1986. They have also added Alex to their bandwagon (Baron Davis, in particular) and this continues it would be fantastic so I don't have to hear her brag about the Spurs, even though she hasn't lived in Texas for about nine years, and can only name Duncan, Ginobli, Horry, Vaughn and Parker (and she only knows Vaughn because of me and Parker because of Eva Longoria.)

  • Bulls look like garbage so far against the Pistons, Hinrich included. Disappointing. I was ready to hand them the keys to the Eastern Conference after the Heat series. They need to win both at home in the worst way.

  • Springfest '07 came and went, and it wasn't the same. The biggest sign of the times was that Paul St. Aubyn was part of the DUI enforcement team. Read that last sentence again. It was still Springfest, however, and there was the standard douchebag that baited T-Nels into a fight, prompting Fundy to come over and tell him "Stop licking your lips you fucking homo" and pull the guy's shirt over his head, hockey-fight style. This was followed by the guy going to get his friends, seeing he was out-numbered by at least 10, and quickly squashing the beef. I didn't meet up with everyone until 5 pm, and to get me caught up, Timmy B physically forced me to do 5 consecutive root beer barrels before I could enter Kristin's apartment. That was a microcosm of my entire night. Since I had to "catch up to everyone else" everybody kept feeding me shots all night. The plus side: I spent 0 dollars the whole night. The negative side: I blacked out around 11:30 and don't know how I got home. The important thing is I'm OK.

  • Eye-opening season-opener for softball last night. After last year's 18-2 record (we avenged our only two losses by beating the team that swept us earlier 16-1 in the championship) we felt pretty cocky beginning our title defense. That feeling was gone after getting swept by the Cuckoo's Nest 6-5, 15-5. In addition, the pool table and PGA Championship machine are gone from Boston's, and the amount of free beer we get for coming in after games has been cut in half. Could be a rough year.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Beat! The! Mavs!

Immensely entertaining game 5 last night between Golden State and Dallas, as this series gets better and better. Immediately after the game 1 victory by Golden State I was intrigued; everyone loves an underdog, and I am not in the Dallas Maverick fan club; even my boy Jason Terry doesn't impress me much anymore. Then watching the games in Oakland was phenomenal. If all NBA games were like that, the gap between college and pro ball in my mind would be all but closed. That's a city that has been waiting for the playoffs.

The Warriors have me intrigued. Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Matt Barnes, and to a lesser extent Jason Richardson and Al about a team of crazies. Crazy in a good way, though. Crazy in a still caring about winning way. Crazy in an intimidating way, especially against a somewhat soft Dallas team. And don't tell me that Dallas showed toughness last night by winning, either. They blew a 21-point lead, at home, to an 8-seed, in an elimination game. It's been evident the whole series that Dallas is scared of Golden State, beginning with Avery's decision to play smallball with them in game 1.

If I was 7 or 8 years old, and this was my first playoffs, there is no doubt in my mind that Golden State would be my favorite team. I love the Warriors' attitude. The 3 that Baron hit to put them up 9 after he lost the ball was this team in a nutshell. Just a "Fuck it, the play is broken, this thing's going up. Right now." type of shot. And of course it's going in. Yeah, they play completely out of control at times, and Baron is yelling at Barnes, and Jackson looks like he is ready to recreate The Brawl at the Palace at any moment, and Nellie looks like he ate a bad rack of lamb right before tip-off, but I love it. Every second of it. I love how you never know who's gonna get T'd up next, or ejected, or gonna throw a punch (at either a Mav or a teammate.) Danny said it best last night when I looked over and told him towards the end of the game, "Whatever. They've got 'em in game 6 at home. No way Dallas wins in there." Danny's answer: "Yeah. Well, if nobody gets suspended before then. There's still 30 seconds left."

By the way, I am fully aware that I haven't had a single coherent, well put-together thought in this entire post. What can I say, this team and this series has me excited.