Oh, by the way, Carlos Zambrano is now probably available if you need a cancer in your clubhouse…more on that later.
Ok, Chicago, we here at Dubsism tried to warn you that a disaster was coming in Wrigley Field. The warning signs were all there. First, it was Milton “M-Bomb” Bradley talking smack from the safety of the west coast. Then it was manager Lou Piniella getting into a urinating contest with White Sox color man Steve Stone. And letting the most hated company in America sponsor your Crosstown Cup was just begging for trouble.
Now you got trouble, right there in Windy City; trouble that starts with Z, and that rhymes with P, which stands for the pitcher-turned-volcano known as Carlos Zambrano who finally erupted in the Cubs dugout. Naturally, this effectively shatters any illusions of the Cubs’ having unity, cohesion, or any other redeeming quality usually associated with winning teams.
Of course, to try and mitigate the damage, Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely, which usually means “his ass is on the way out the door.” Now, who would want this mental case who happens to be in the middle of a 5-year, $90+ million contract is anybody’s guess. After all, the Cubs love this sort of deal, but they already have him. In fact, the only other organization we can think of that would love a big-money, big waistline non-performer is the Oakland Raiders.
Last night, the Dodgers avoided a sweep of the season series with their crosstown betters. Still, even though I’ve been a life-long Angels fan, Vin Scully as the “voice of the Dodgers” is one of the voices of baseball that should never be forgotten. This may be the last time I may hear Scully doing a Freeway Series; he has been a bit Favre-ian in his retirement plans.
Despite that, of all the things completely detestable about the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully is not one of them; far from it actually. Scully truly is (cue cliché in 3…2…1…) “the last of the Mohicans;” the old-school baseball announcers you watch as much for them as the game, sometimes even more.
But since Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers since 1951, sacrifices have to be made, namely to my liver. In other words, bourbon can be the key to getting through nine innings of Dodger Blue. Naturally this lead to the development of the “Love Vin Scully/Hate the Dodgers” drinking game. Like all great drinking games, the rules are simple enough to aid comprehension, which can become an issue as early as the 2nd inning.
Take One Drink:
- For each Dodger left in scoring position (double if Manny Ramirez is on the field during the death of the rally)
- Vin Scully does an ad during the action – example: “Let’s take time out from that triple play to talk about Farmer John’s Pure Pork Sausage.”
- Joe Torre is shown sitting on the bench (double if he is leaning on the dugout rail)
- Matt Kemp whiffs at a high pitch
- Vin Scully refers to something that happened more than 20 years ago
- Manny Ramirez strikes out (double if he Ks looking)
- A Dodger hits into a double play (double if Andre Ethier, triple if James Loney is on the field, and triple if Manny Ramirez is on the field)
- Vin Scully injects a fact about a player – example: “There’s a fastball for strike two…Matt Kemp, born in Oklahoma.”
- For each Dodger base-running gaffe
- Vin Scully refers to Matt Kemp as “Kent”
If the “guy next to Vin” (whose actual existence is only rumored, much in the same vein as Bigfoot) says anything during the game, drink everything you have, including mouthwash, after-shave, and brake fluid. Vin works alone, damnit; but then again, Vin doesn’t need anybody to be his wing-man. Vin is the Lord and High-Master of all mike-men; he’s the reason I keep watching Dodger games. How can you not love a man who has said such things as?
“The Dodgers are such a .500 team that if there was a way to split a three-game series, they’d find it.”
“(Roberto) Clemente could field the ball in New York and throw out a guy in Pennsylvania.”
“Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination.”
“Football is to baseball as blackjack is to bridge. One is the quick jolt. The other the deliberate, slow-paced game of skill, but never was a sport more ideally suited to television than baseball. It’s all there in front of you. It’s theatre, really. The star is the spotlight on the mound, the supporting cast fanned out around him, the mathematical precision of the game moving with the kind of inevitability of Greek tragedy. With the Greek chorus in the bleachers!”
“I said to him, ‘Joe (Garagiola), you played a long time, but I’ve broadcast as many games as you’ve played, and then some. So if you’re gonna talk “inside baseball,” you tell the fans the “inside baseball.” But don’t tell me.’”
If you’ve never experienced the joy that is Vin Scully, here is one of the great Scully calls of all time re-enacted with Nintendo RBI Baseball. Simply put, of the Dodgers evils I’ve ranted about, none can erase the joy of listening to Vin Scully.
Of course, the drinking has nothing to do with it.
The post office says “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” That’s because unlike a computer, they don’t need electricity to walk up to your mailbox. After a week of tornadoes and floods (two great ways of removing power lines, by the way), perhaps it is just another metaphor for those times when old ways work the best.
Moyer continues to pitch like his brethren from the dead-ball era, tossing slop in the mid-70s and tricking hitters into beating a ball seemingly made of lettuce into the ground. His most recent start saw the crafty lefty go 8 innings against Cleveland; an outing in which he only gave up two hits. However, one of those hits was a homer slugged by Russell Branyan, making the 505th dinger Moyer has allowed, which now ties him with hall-of-famer Robin Roberts.
That isn’t the only knot Moyer is in. He also added to his win and strikeout totals, tying in careers wins with Bob Feller and only being 10 Ks behind Sandy Koufax.
Being a Notre Dame hater meant collecting files full of material on Charlie Weis, their ass-bag former coach who we can be pretty sure will never patrol a college sideline again. That being the case, we have a ton of stuff that now is about as useful as Coach Fatbag’s NordicTrack. However, this stuff is just far too precious to die in a file folder somewhere.
First of all, one needs to understand how easy it is to hate Notre Dame. As I have lived in Big Eleven Twelve Ten territory for many years, I have been surrounded by fans of the Fighting Irish. There is a distinct procedure for becoming a lover of the South Bend Failures; flowcharting it illustrates exactly what sort of asshole roots for Notre Dame.
Of course, there are the obvious fat jokes, largely because Weis is so obviously fat.
And when one steals enough sandwiches, one will eventually outstrip the maximum capacity of even the most robustly forged piece of furniture.
And it is a good thing that Weis did find another job. Hopefully, being the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs will keep him gainfully employed so that we don’t have to see him become one of those unemployed humps that goes on a shooting spree.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
Wednesday night brought more history from Moyer, who at the age of 47 years 155 days became the oldest pitcher to notch a “W” over the Yankees. But all the future hall-of-famer cares about is the win.
“I don’t think that I’m old. So I don’t believe it. Regardless of what people think or say I still feel like I can go out and compete, and that’s my ultimate job.”
Moyer tossed eight solid innings, in sharp contrast to the drubbing he suffered in his last start which proved to be the worst start of his 24-year career. Even another future hall-of-famer had to pay Moyer tribute.
“He’s been doing it for a long time, a really long time,” Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter(notes) said. “He never throws the ball over the plate. That goes to show you don’t have to throw hard. He knows what he’s doing. That’s why he’s been around so long.”
Moyer defined the term “crafty veteran” by lulling the Bronx Bombers into easy outs with an array of pitches that ranged from slow to slower. At times, Moyer’s pitches were floating by the radar gun in the mid-60s. While Moyer only allowed three hits, two of them were homers, putting him just one behind Robin Roberts’ all-time of 505 home runs allowed.
Oh, in case you were curious, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last oldest guy to knock off the Yanks was Phil Niekro at 47 year 122 days.
Does a ten-pound bag of flour make a really big biscuit?
First of all, we’re not talking about that Carlos Santana. This one is one of the most touted rookies not flinging death-bullets for the Nationals. Sadly enough for Carlos, he did nearly meet his maker at the hands of a Nat, just not Stephen Strasburg.
If you are a train guy like me, you’ve heard of Operation Lifesaver. If you haven’t heard of it, both you and Santana probably should. Had Santana known about the dangers freight trains pose, he wouldn’t have been standing on the tracks when the Adam Dunn Express pulled into the plate in Cleveland on Sunday.
Photo HT: SB Nation
But, luckily for Santana, The Dunn Express left town as quickly as it came in, and since it runs on National League rails, it isn’t likely to roll back into Cleveland for quite some time.
But somebody really should install some crossing guards.
There’s an old saying about necessity being the mother of invention. Add some desperation and a heaping helping of good, old-fashioned horny, and you get this:
Now, I ask you: Is there a better combination of monstrously disturbing and sickeningly funny? Even if there is a sweaty pervert out there who could legitimately answer “yes,” the combination is potent enough to have cast a needless stereotype as soulless DNA receptacles on an entire class of Inflatable-Americans.
As part of a public service campaign, and to show the kinder, gentler side of this blog, I have taken it upon myself to educate as to some of the greater accomplishments achieved by our air-filled, vinyl-skinned brethren.
1) Otto the Auto-Pilot
First of all, an airline pilot holds a position of huge trust, and becoming one requires years of intensive training, the ability to react quickly in crisis situations, and knowing how to get your horn honked by a stewardess. But in Otto’s case, that’s not all. It takes a big man to shatter sexual taboos on screen, and Otto’s cracking the Flesh/Inflatable barrier was as big a moment in movie history as Jim Brown getting to sample Raquel Welch in 100 Rifles.
2) Competitive White-Water Rafting
Granted, putting blow up dolls in the same sentence with any sort of white fluid is begging for trouble, but this is all about pure competition. However, it does beg the question: What are the odds alcohol plays a role here? Don’t overlook another stereotype being shattered here; note the number of black Inflatable-Americans that can “swim.”
3) Nailing Carmen Electra
Naturally, Otto the Auto Pilot’s taboo-shattering work in 1980 cleared the way for Electra to be on the receiving end of some hottest vinyl action since British Steel. Otto, the men with flange-glued skin everywhere salute you.
4) Being a Defensive Force in the NBA
Sports in America has always reflected the attitudes of the times. Baseball had the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” that was shattered by Jackie Robinson, and it wasn’t that long ago that the NBA was joked to stand for “No Balloons Allowed.” Now, Ben Wallace has changed all that.
Sure, Ben may not be “anatomically correct” like most of his vinyl counterparts, but that doesn’t mean the sex jokes don’t just ooze from this. Count the potential double-entendres in the following:
Go one-on-one against the four-time Defender of the Year!
Play hoops on your home court with Ben Wallace. Designed for indoor or outdoor play, the life-size Ben Wallace inflatable builds your basketball skills. You’ll improve your shooting arc by practicing shots over Big Ben’s outstretched arms. Dribble around Ben, come off his screens for open shots or take it right to the basket over the big man.
You’ll learn what many of Ben Wallace’s opponents already know; you must: Fear the Fro!
Click to Inflate Ben!
However, one does have to wonder, given her history with large black guys known for their defensive ability, does Carmen Electra want to inflate Ben?
Ever since Omar Moreno bought the Los Angeles Angels, there has been a war for supremacy in the Southland’s baseball market. Moreno may not be Georgi Zhukov, but his Red Army achieved as decisive a victory this past weekend at Dodger Stadium as Zhukov did against the Germans in 1943. Battered in this battle over the past few years, and just waiting to be exposed for the “smoke and mirrors” job they really are, the Dodgers have already dropped two of three at Chavez Ravine, which now could be renamed Kursk.
For far too long, the Angels were the red-headed step-child of L.A. baseball; sharing a small, sad room with L.A.’s other sports bastards, the Clippers and the Kings. After all, the Dodgers were the storied old franchise; the Angels were “just that other team owned by some singing cowboy.”
But for this life long Angels fan, this weekend’s Freeway Series officially marks the end of the Dodgers’ occupation. Los Angeles now lies in the hands of its namesake team. Face it, Dodger Blue. You have been defeated on the field of battle, and it is time for you to relinquish your sword.
Even the most delusional Dodger fan cannot dispute the following case for undisputed Angel supremacy.
1) Numbers and Stuff
- Largely because the Dodgers can’t score, they have lost five of their last eight home games against their crosstown rivals despite pitching to an ERA of 3.40. Of course the reason isn’t hard to figure out, the Dodgers are relying on a clean-up hitter who now that he’s off the performance enhancing drugs has a slugging percentage that would rate him as the 59th most productive hitter in baseball had he enough at-bats to qualify.
- The Angels are 22-8 in their last 30 games against the Dodgers
- The Angels have won something in the last 20 years.
- The Angels are NOT the ones who brought you “Baseball Boogie.”
2) The Angels don’t revere a douchebag.
3) The Guys who brought ‘em here
Dodgers – Walter O’Malley
The first owner to move a franchise who was universally regarded as an infected anal wart by those in the city he abandoned. Nobody remembers any bitching when the 1901 Baltimore Orioles headed for the Bronx to eventually become the Yankees; nor when the St. Louis Browns replaced the Orioles in Baltimore in 1954. Franchises in all sports have played musical cities before and since, yet for generations Brooklynites were pissed O’Malley headed west with the heroes of Flatbush Avenue. After all, nothing says home-spun tradition more than winning a single championship in over 50 years of existence.
The problem is O’Malley made the right move. The Dodgers won three World Series in the first decade after occupying the City of the Angels (1959, 1963, 1965). Dodger Stadium allowed the team formerly known as the Bums to routinely lead the league in attendance.
Worse yet, New York fans were placated in 1962 with the invention of the Mets. This is a franchise deliberately dressed in Dodger Blue and spent 36 seasons of it’s existence in a utilitarian version of Dodger Stadium (from the air, Shea Stadium really did look like three-quarters of a Smurf anus). Unlike the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Mets are slightly less futile, having won two championships in under 50 years of existence. However, for purposes of this comparison, this achievement deserves a Frick-ian asterisk, since one title was a miracle, and the other involved a curse.
In other words, O’Malley took a risk, and it all worked out.
Angels – Gene Autry
A kid from the flatlands of Texas goes to Los Angeles and becomes one of the biggest movies stars of all time. Granted, I don’t expect anybody to remember when Autry was “The Man” of the singing cowboy genre (suck it, Tom Mix). But drinking crosses generational lines, and Autry was the sort of guy that fraternity brothers throughout time can only tell stories of him that start with the line “Shit, do you remember the time that…”
Here’s just such a tale. Autry was notorious amongst American League beat writers in the 70’s for hosting industrial-strength booze-fests at his Southern California estate. When the Angels advanced to the American League Championship in 1979, the singing cowboy held just such fest for all of his sports-scribing buddies.
Despite the fact that Autry was in his 70’s by this time, he ended up as the sole survivor of a scene that looked more like Jonestown than Orange County. In other words, 4 a.m. was too early for Autry to quit drinking, and he hated to drink alone. So, in order to put a bit of life back into the party, Gene-o rolls a lawn mower into his own living room, and with of couple of less-than-elegant cord yanks, brings the two-stroke monster to life.
I don’t now how Autry knew that a 110-decible engine spewing petrochemical fumes might awaken people, but to remove any doubt, Autry made his intentions cleat with the announcement: “Wake up you sons of bitches, we’re not done drinking yet!”
In other words, O’Malley may have been an astute businessman, but Autry was living the frat-boy life until the day he died.
4) This Billboard
This picture was NOT taken in Orange County; this is Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Dodger country. You can even imagine Dodger owner Frank McCourt whizzing past it in his convertible during his monthly commute to the ballpark; secure in the belief that his chronic erectile dysfunction is strictly the result of his wife’s extreme unattractiveness, and NOTHING else.
This may be the best example of how times have changed. O’ Malley would have had somebody killed had this happened under his watch.
5) The Angels are 100% McCourt-Free
Speaking of the McCourts, at least Dodger fans can say that the dysfunctional relationship between the husband-and-spawn-of-hell team of Frank and Jamie McCourt mirrors so many similar type Southern California situations. In fact, the public divorce of the Dodger co-owners has been so traumatic they have hired a healer for the team.
The sad part is that’s not even the best example of the wackiness that is the McCourt regime, the Dodgers have become a regime as isolated and delusional as North Korea. While the following is a bit dated, these excerpts from a USA Today on-line chat with Jamie are the prime example that Dodger ownership has lost contact with reality.
Glenwood, NJ: Given that multinationals such as Fox and Disney have gotten out of baseball – especially in sunny California – what did you and your spouse see in the Dodgers that would make you want to get in?
Jamie McCourt: When we came to Los Angeles, we were so impressed by Dodger fans and their love for this team…
The reality: There are no real Dodgers fans. Los Angeles is the capital of “Fair Weather Fan Land.” When the Dodgers are winning, the stadium is full of the “white wine and sandals” crowd; when they are losing the crowd morphs into drunks from Van Nuys and Mexicans. I’m guessing McCourt’s first contact with the Dodgers was during one of their useless NL West winning campaigns.
Jamie McCourt:…what we saw was a storied franchise with a winning tradition – both on and off the field…
The reality: Sure, the Dodgers have won the NL West multiple times in the last twenty years, but can you name the last time Dodgers won a playoff series? Think 1988. They’ve won a usually weak division four times since then, and have yet to advance. That doesn’t exactly ring of “winning tradition.”
Jamie McCourt:….and we were excited to have the chance to return the Dodgers to their rightful place as the model franchise for Major League Baseball.
The reality: When the fuck were the Dodgers the model franchise? Has this woman ever heard of the New York Yankees? Love them or hate them, the Yanks are the flagship franchise of the majors; they have been for over 80 years, and despite their current state, they still are.
Face it, Dodger dogs…Los Angeles is now truly the City of the Angels.
For those of you who had Friday, June 11th in the “Day Lou Piniella finally snaps and has one of his signature meltdowns,” please step forward to collect your money. Frankly, given the escalating level of Lou’s blood pressure during those every-day press conferences, you had to see this one coming.
As usual, it is June and the Cubs are underachieving. Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella has been taking sniper fire from the media for weeks now, particularly about why rookie Tyler Colvin isn’t playing every day when the anemic Cubbie offense could use his .290 average with six homers and 16 RBIs he’s posted despite limited playing time. Well, when White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone said to Comcast SportsNet that Colvin should be playing regularly (a subject he has been rather outspoken on, by the way), Lou hit the International Enough Line, and “pop went the weasel.”
“We’ve got a lot of people here that haven’t managed and won any games in the big leagues that know everything. I think they should try to put the uniform on and try this job, and see how they like it when they get criticized unjustly. That’s all I’ve got to say about that issue.”
But, as is Lou’s proclivity, that wasn’t all he had to say.
“And another thing I’m going to say—I won over 1,800 games as a manager, and I’m not a damn dummy. That, I can tell you. OK? There are only 13 others that have won more games than me, so I guess I think I know what the hell I’m doing. All right? Steve Stone, he’s got enough problems doing what he does with the White Sox. What job has he had in baseball besides talking on television or radio?” Piniella asked. “What has he done? Why isn’t he a farm director and bring some kids around? Why isn’t he a general manager? Why hasn’t he ever put the uniform on and been a pitching coach? Why hasn’t he been a field manager? There’s 30 teams out there that could use a guy’s expertise like that, you know? I’m tired of some of these guys, I really am.”
Naturally, Stone had a response to Piniella’s rant.
“It was an observance and when you need to have a front-office job to make an observance about baseball, there’s going to be nobody working in baseball. None of you media guys are going to be working in baseball because then you can’t say anything because you’ve never been in the front office. That might be one of the dumber things he’s said.”
If you are having a “Deja Vu” moment here, you are having it honestly. Stone is a great TV guy because he is willing to speak his mind. Stone was once the Cubs’ color analyst until 2004 when he left after publicly sparring with then-manager Dusty Baker as the team pulled their usual late-season collapse.
Granted, this evolved into a whole “back-and-forth” bit; the Chicago Tribune offers more detail on this pissing contest. However, if there were ever an award for saying “Fuck You” without actually speaking the words, it ought to go to Steve Stone.
“I think Lou conveniently forgets that I was one of the champions for him to get the job when a lot of people wanted Joe Girardi at that time.”
Suck on that, Louie.