Absolutely. It is pants-shittingly funny for a whole host of reasons. , and on so many levels. Let’s just go through the story to see why.
An Illinois town’s little league program is raffling an AR-15 assault rifle to raise money.
Atwood Armory is raising money for the Atwood-Hammond Little League program to replace old equipment.
“We could have went with a basic shotgun or something simple,” league commissioner Steven McClain told WCIA-TV. “But obviously it’s not going to draw the attention, not going to draw the volume we’re hoping to make.”
How this story isn’t happening in Florida or Ohio is just a flat-out shock. Beyond that, the idea that a gun shop is helping to sponsor a little league team seems like something straight out of the Bad News Bears. Secondly, you have to love the idea that real thought went into this. They knew they couldn’t raise money with a “basic shotgun,” so they upped the ante with a 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle. The story goes on to make it clear that previous raffles did not do so well.
The little league program only raised $10 last year in a raffle so owners of the gun shop decided to step in.
“If we were to sell that gun in store with all the accessories and ammo with it, it would be well over $2,000,” Atwood Armory co-owner Charidy Butcher told WCIA.
What the hell were they selling that they only came up with ten lousy bucks? The Girl Scouts get three and half bucks a pop for boxes of cookies. You could sell rocks and make more that a ten-spot. But it seems the AR-15 did the trick.
According to the gun shop’s Facebook page, the little league raffle has raised $1,600 so far.
Co-owner Bryan Butcher says they are not trying to send any type of message through the raffle.
“It was never a political agenda. It is what it is,” Butcher told WCIA.
Well, maybe not for you, but you know damn good and well that once this story gets out, the shrieky anti-gun crowd will have an absolute brain hemorrhage. How can they not? You’ve got guns, kids, and that Connecticut school shooting is still a bit too recent for them to not go completely apeshit over this. Once they do, you can bet they will go find a liberal judge to grant them some sort of injunction to stop the raffle, which would be a real shame, because the only losers will be the kids who little league team gets screwed over some idiotic political power play.
If you are interested, tickets for the raffle are $20 each and they can be purchased until June 28. Kee in mind, howver, that even if you win the raffle, you will still need to pass a background check before they will give you the rifle.
Free agency came to baseball in the 1970′s, which coincidentally happens to the same decade in which I became a baseball fan. In that time, I’ve watched many team make great moves in to secure that “one piece they needed” to win. I’ve also seen lots of complete gag-jobs; a team drives a dump truck full of money off a cliff over some guy who immediately after signing his contract completely forgets how to play the goddamn game, or better yet blows every joint in his body.
Bear in mind, these may not be the ten worst deals of all time, but they are ten of my personal favorites.
10) Chan Ho Park – Signed by the Texas Rangers in 2002, Five Years, $65 million
I distinctly remember this guy pitching in Dodger Stadium, and loving the fact that it may be one of the most forgiving ball parks for a meatball artist like Park. He manage two season in Los Angeles in which he posted records of 18-10 and 15-11. This “success” prompted the historically-pitching thin Texas Rangers to cough up one of the fattest contracts ever given to a pitcher at that time. Of course, the Rangers forgot that home plate in their ball park outpaces Cape Canaveral for the number of moon-shots which have been launched there. This is why Park posted ERAs in Texas of 5.75, 7.58, 5.74, and 5.66. Those number very well could have been worse had a slew of injuries not kept him off the mound for big chunk of his time in Arlington. At least he had a sense of humor.
9) Gary Matthews Jr. – Signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 2006, Five Years, $50 million
The inverse of Park…If you think signing a 31-year-old guy who just had a great year (.313, 44 doubles, 19 home runs, 79 RBIs, and an .866 OPS) in a great hitters’ park (Texas, oddly enough), you should probably have your checkbook locked up. The Angels signed Matthews to that fat deal on the basis of his best season ever, only to watch him become a .247 hitter with marginal power. The proof the Angels knew they blew it came the very next year when they signed Torii Hunter for $90 million to take Matthews place in center field.
This season, the Washington Nationals are adding a new contestant to their President’s Race. While we all know this move is just adding to the field so that Teddy Roosevelt remains the president who almost never wins, we can’t figure out why they picked William Howard Taft. Taft was the only president who also served as a Supreme Court Justice, but he also was the fattest Chief Executive ever. Well over 300 pounds, Taft once got wedged in the White House bathtub. A man of such girth doesn’t seem to be a likely candidate to out run anybody.
That means there were plenty of other choices; let’s review a few who didn’t make the cut, but probably should have.
1) John F. Kennedy: Nobody can outrun a 1963 Lincoln convertible, but this would cause some other problems when the Texas Rangers come to town.
2) Franklin D. Roosevelt: Forget the fact he was crippled by polio. His desire to consistently beat his cousin Teddy combined with a Hoveround would make him unbeatable. Not to mention, there could be all kind of ad revenue possibilities on those “Senior Segways.”
3) George W. Bush: C’mon…the “won the race based on a recount in Florida” gags write themselves.
4) Andrew Jackson: The odds-on choice of the Washington Redskins, because the sight of Jackson winning the race while killing an entire Indian nation by bludgeoning them with a musket butt would make everybody forget about any “insensitive” nicknames.
5) Richard Nixon: You know “Tricky Dick” would be the king of “race fixing.” Picture him having his guys break into Teddy’s office late some night for purposes of rigging a race he should win anyway.
6) Ronald Reagan: I want Ronnie in this race for no other reason than to watch the liberal shitbags who now run this country all die from rage-induced strokes.
7) Barack Obama: The inverse of Reagan…this is where we get Rush Limbaugh to trot his “McNabb” line about how “there is a social agenda in this country that wants a black president to succeed.” Not to mention, you know the black guy is out-running any of these old, white dudes.
8) Jimmy Carter: Not sure how well he would run, but getting the costume would be easy; all you need is an old “Mr. Peanut” outifit with some minor modifications.
For the first time since Ronald Reagan’s first term as president, spring training has opened without Jamie Moyer in somebody’s camp.
Every spring since 1984, Jamie Moyer was toeing the slab for a major or minor league squad. But at age 50, this might finally be the end of the road. Last year at this time, Moyer was considered an important component of the Colorado Rockies starting rotation. At first, Moyer pitched well in Denver; he became the oldest pitcher to post a major league win. Moyer posted a 2-5 mark with a 5.70 ERA in 10 starts before the Rockies designated him for assignment.
After Colorado, Moyer signed with the Baltimore Orioles, who assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk. The trouble came when after Moyer pitched well in the minors, it became clear the Orioles weren’t committed to calling up Moyer for their play-off run. steam),” said Moyer. That prompted Moyer to ask for his release, which the Orioles granted.
The next stop for the Moyer train was signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, who then assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas. Things didn’t go so well in Las Vegas; in two starts Moyer got lit up for He allowed 17 hits, including three home runs, in 11 innings. His stint in Las Vegas ended with Moyer tallying one win, one loss, and an 8.18 ERA. This time, Moyer didn’t have to ask for his release.
America is a country capable of incredible acts of class, and is also capable of the exact opposite.
The Highlight: It was pure class the way the St. Louis Blues paid tribute to baseball icon and St. Louis legend Stan “The Man” Musial.
The Lowlight: The asswipes at PETA using the Manti Te’o situation to advance their idiotic agenda.
Here’s the saddest part. I will be the first to admit I’ve made my fair share of Manti Te’o jokes, but there’s two problems here. First, the longer this story plays out, it is morphing from odd through funny into pathetic, and it isn’t over yet. The second problem is PETA isn’t joking; they really think this is going to help their cause.
If the mere thought of the “Dubs-eteria” doesn’t inspire gastronomic terror, then the following menu items certainly should. The only defense we can offer is that these dishes still aren’t as lousy as anything you can get at Olive Garden.
The Baseball Writer’s Association of America “Poo-Poo” Platter
It doesn’t even come with a plate. You give us $29.95 and our head waiter will act like an self-righteous asshole “poo-pooing” deserving Hall of Famers while having security escort you to your car. Afterward, our head waiter will post an article on your Facebook page telling you how stupid you are for disagreeing with him.
Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public.
Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the 2012 Dubsy awards.
Being that we are at the end of what has proven to be a tumultuous twelve months, why not take a look back at the biggest sports stories of such a year? After all, I’m pretty sure nobody else does these sort of retrospectives…
15) The Los Angeles Kings Win The Stanley Cup
For purposes of full disclosure, I have a bias on this one; I’ve been a Kings’ fan since I had to hold a puck with two hands. But there’s a couple of reasons why this win by the sole surviving original California hockey team (raise your hand if you remember the California Golden Seals) is a big story.
- The Kings are the first native Los Angeles team (not relocated from another city) to win a championship (Anaheim is NOT Los Angeles).
- The Kings became the first NHL team to enter the playoffs as the 8th seed and eliminate the 1st and 2nd seeded teams in their conference.
- The Kings became the first team to win the Stanley Cup entering the playoffs as a #8 seed.
- The Los Angeles Kings ended one of the longest championship droughts (45 years) when they hoisted the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
The moral of the story: Don’t look now, but the Golden State is slowly becoming hockey territory. In the last twenty years, California has won more Stanley Cups than Canada has.
14) Johnny Football Becomes Johnny Heisman
The rise of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had all the media hype of other stories you will see on this list, but it had one crucial difference. Johnny Football became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, thus breaking one of the last barriers in the history of the 50-pound trophy awarded by the Downtown Athletic Club. Manziel literally came from nowhere to the pinnacle of college football in a vote that was never really close.
The moral of the story: Until further notice, the Heisman is an award for quarterbacks and running backs only. If I had a vote, by sticking with the strict definition of the “best player in college football,” my ballot would have been as follows:
- Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
- Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
13) The Indianapolis Colts Cut Peyton Manning
The Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis came to a rather inglorious, if not completely anti-climactic end on March 7, when team owner Jim Irsay announced at a press conference that the team would release the man who had become the face of the Colts’ franchise. A 2-14 season during which Manning never saw the field due to a neck injury illustrated the need for a consideration for the future in Indianapolis. Couple that with the economic reality; cutting Manning meant the Colts would save a $28 million roster bonus due on March 8, plus be free-and-clear of the remainder of his contract. Add it all up, and it means this move surprised nobody, because it allowed the Colts to have money for the next franchise quarterback, #1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck.
The moral of the story: Even 4-time MVPs are no longer immune to the economic realities of sports.
12) Augusta National Adds Its First Female Members
To be honest, I’m an old-school guy who believes that private clubs should be able to pick and choose who they want as members. That’s why when I first found out that Augusta had caved to a bunch of ball-busting feminists with chin-whiskers and married to sociology professors, my neanderthal heart sank a bit. But when I found out that the women Augusta picked would completely piss-off the “drives a Subaru with a rainbow bumper sticker” crowd, I had renewed faith in all that is right. Who better to do that that the hated George Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, a woman who had the audacity to make a bazillion dollars in the world of corporate finance?
The moral of the story: Social activists, you too need to be careful of what you wish for.
11) The Resurgence of Notre Dame Football
Notre Dame last saw the top of the college football mountain in 1988. In the quarter-century since, the Irish have remained a media darling while simultaneously spending more time as a doormat than a contender. Since that last title, Notre Dame has appeared in exactly five BCS bowls, and has lost every single one of them by at least 14 points. They are 6-11 in bowl games overall in that time. There was a fifteen-year span between 1993 and 2008 where the Irish lacked a single post-season win.
But now they’ve managed to finish the regular season undefeated and ranked number #1, thanks largely to a key goal-line stand in overtime against Stanford, Pittsburgh’s inability to make a clutch kick, and a complete meltdown by Oklahoma. After all that, the Irish are set to face defending BCS champ Alabama for the title.
The moral of the story: Despite all the media attention the Irish are gathering, you would be hard-pressed to hear Notre Dame is a ten-point underdog.
10) The Beginning of the End of the National Hockey League
If you needed a perfect model for how not to run a professional sports league, you need look no further than the NHL. The latest example of their stupidity came with the latest failure to come to a collective bargaining agreement after two months of talks between team owners and the NHL Player’s Association broke down and the league entered its fourth work stoppage since 1992. I’ve never been the commissioner of anything bigger than a fantasy sports league, but even I know that in order to keep people interested in your sport, you need actually to play some games. As of now, that hasn’t happened, and with every passing day, it looks more likely that hockey fans will be deprived of an entire season for the third time since 1994.
It’s time to understand that even die-hard hockey fans like myself are ready to wash their hands of this shit. Idiotus Supremus Gary Bettman and the owners don’t get that they are killing a league over their insistence in making the players’ union pay for their complete lack of business sense. Fellow Sports Blog Movement member Ryan Meehan and I hit on this a while ago, but the keys remain in place. The owners locked the doors because the players wouldn’t accept a new collective bargaining agreement that requires players to accept salary cuts and limits on free agency, despite the fact the owners were more than happy to give those provisions without any threat. The union wants a better revenue sharing plan that help the league’s struggling franchises. Face it, the NHL needs to survive in the Winnipegs and the Buffalos of the world, because in North America, hockey is a regional sport with a limited appeal outside of that region.
The moral of the story: If Meehan, the players, and I can figure that out, what does it say for the future of this league that the owners can’t?
For 25 days last winter, an Asian Harvard graduate was the biggest story in all of sports. Think about that for a minute…Jeremy Lin had been sleeping on his brother’s couch, had been cut by two NBA teams, and was put into a game on February 4th by Mike D’Antoni, whose New York Knicks were so injury-depleted Lin was the only alternative left on the bench besides the towel guy. Lin went on to score 25 points and seven assists leading a comeback over the then-New Jersey Nets. Lin then lead the Knicks to seven straight wins, including one in which he hung 38 on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. What began with a bang (perhaps literally, judging by the photo above) ended with a knee-injury and a quiet relocation to the Houston Rockets.
The moral of the story: All glory is fleeting.
8 ) Michael Phelps Becomes History’s Most Decorated Olympian
As far as I’m concerned, any guy who won 19 gold medals can do all the bong hits he wants. While most stoners can’t get past micro-waving a burrito and watching Scooby-Doo at the same time, this guy joined a frightfully short list of elite athletes while giggling stupidly at his own own reflection in a sheet of aluminum foil.
Phelps made the cover a Wheaties box in 2008 after he won eight Olympic gold medals in Beijing. but then came history’s most publicized bong toke. Phelps received a three-month suspension from USA Swimming and Kellogg’s said they would not renew their endorsement of the Olympian. which goes to show what dumb-asses they both are. USA Swimming finally re-instated Phelps and he went on to win nine more medals in London this past summer, his 19 medals surpassing the 18 won by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.
The moral of the story: Somebody ought to start a cereal called Weed-ies.
7) The NFL’s Replacement Referee Debacle
We all know what a debacle the NFL’s use of replacement referees was. The biggest indicator of what dipshits sports commissioners in this country are is that they make me sympathetic to scumbag unions.
The moral of the story: This is just one reason people will look back at 2012 as the beginning of the downfall of the Kommissar Goodell regime.
6) Lance Armstrong Stripped of Cycling Titles
While it isn’t an excuse, there is a shitload of truth in that quote in the above graphic. There’s a huge double-standard about cheating in this country; it is OK when your guy does it. And nobody was more of “America’s Guy” then Lance Armstrong was when was routinely humiliating the French in the Tour de France. That’s really the only reason anybody in America gave a damn about cycling; it was an exercise in hating the perfectly hateable French.
Back in August, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that it was stripping Lance Armstrong of his record-seven Tour de France titles and barred him for life from the sport after concluding he used banned substances. On October 22, the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling’s governing body, said that it had officially stripped Armstrong of his seven titles and banned him from cycling for life.
But then comes the part where the hypocrisy comes in again.
“He deserves to be forgotten,” UCI President Pat McQuaid said of Armstrong.
Give me a fucking break. Cycling is the dirtiest of the “dirty” sports when it comes to performance enhancing drugs; what’s going on in baseball might as well be the drug problem in pee-wee T-ball compared to cycling. All the UCI and USADA did was to catch the best cheater in sport filled with cheaters whose lifeblood literally is cheating.
The moral of the story: There’s nothing wrong with anything that sticks it to the French.
5) Speaking of Hypocrisy, Let’s Talk About The NCAA
Question: Do you know what the Jerry Sandusky and Sandy Hook Elementary School situations have in common, besides the fact they both involve monsters whose own self-absorbed impulses were brought to bear on many innocent people? They are both examples of how we in America love to pontificate about horrible things, yet do nothing about them.
In the wake of both of these terrible stories, you didn’t hear one credible person come out and say stupid shit like “I’m glad this happened. We need more events like this to learn our lessons.” Anybody who would have said anything like this would have been stamped USDA Prime Whacko and their words would have been filed in the appropriate plastic-bag lined receptacle. But no matter how many times you let a train run over a coin, it still has two sides, and there were far too many people ready to get on the other side of the bombastic coin from the stamped Whackos.
These were the people who took such a brave stand by table-pounding the obvious “we need to protect our children” reaction. There are lessons to be learned, and there are things as a society we need to do; the trouble is that we as society have completely missed the point.
The NCAA serves as the perfect microcosm of American society, and the ridiculous, pointless, and self-serving crap the NCAA does is a perfect reflection of the society in which it exists. It’s numb-handed response to the Sandusky scandal at Penn State proves that.
After former FBI Director Louis Freeh released his report , the NCAA got into the fashionable “shitting on Penn State” and did it in a completely meaningless way. While Penn State may have received some of the harshest penalties in NCAA history, they were ultimately without real teeth. If you doubt that, let’s break them down:
- A 4-year bowl ban: Normally that would hurt, but at the end of the 2011 season, this team could only qualify for a low-rent bowl where they got smoked by a Houston team whose coach was on his way to making Texas A&M the Belle of the SEC Newbies ball. Nobody saw the miracle incoming head coach Bill O’Brien pulled off; he literally made a team intended to be kicked off the B1G island and made it the second-best team in the conference.
- Loss of 20 scholarships: This does kill bench depth, but lets be honest…you can still win with only three punters on the depth chart. 65 scholarships is still plenty to field a winning team; NFL teams only have 53 roster spots. The only part that could sting is that Penn State can only sign 15 recruits per year rather than the usual 25.
- $60 Million Fine: Penn State has an endowment of nearly $2 billion and has an athletic department that generates cash in gorgon-like quantities. $60 million to them is the change you keep in your car’s cup holder for toll booths.
- Loss of shared conference bowl revenue for four years: This is estimated to be around $13 million per year. See above.
- Five years probation: That might as well be Dean Wormer’s “double secret probation” from “Animal House” since the NCAA really has no interest in handing out real punishments.
- Players were allowed to transfer without penalty: The team still won eight games.
- Vacating of all wins from 1998-2011: Record book hocus-pocus. This was only done to screw Joe Paterno, who was already dead by the time this move was made. Utterly pointless.
In other words, the NCAA didn’t do anything substantive after the Sandusky situation just like we won’t solve the problem after Sandy Hook.
The moral of the story: I can’t wait for NCAA President Mark Emmert to weigh in on gun control.
4) The Ongoing Tim Tebow Saga
Where do I start start with this? Here’s a guy who sold more jerseys than anybody before he even took a single NFL snap. Here’s a guy who stays in the headlines despite the fact he’s only taken 50 snaps this season as a New York Jet. Here’s a guy who everybody keeps saying isn’t an NFL quarterback, and yet right now we are talking about where is the next place he “isn’t” going to be an NFL quarterback.
The moral of the story: I’ll buy lunch for the first person who can explain Tebow-mania to me in 50 words or less.
3) The “Bounty-Gate” Debacle
Too bad NFL Commissioner Kommissar Goodell doesn’t have a paper towel good enough to clean up the mess he made.
Think about it for a moment. How many times have you seen a guy over-estimate his power, do something completely stupid because of that over-estimation, then need somebody to come in and clean up the mess. I guess former commissioner Paul Tagliabue is the one who had the big roll of paper towels.
To make a long story short, “Bountygate” blew up in Goodell’s face when he mistakenly assumed the players he suspended would simply roll over and take his brand of “justice.” But when Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita were reinstated by a three-members appeals panel. which included former NFL head Paul Tagliabue. The panel overturned a ruling that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was within his powers to suspend the players for their alleged roles in a pay-to-injure agreement.
What it all boils down to is that in the end, Goodell managed to emasculate himself, and required Tagliabue to get him out of the mess he made for himself. In other words, the commissioner did not have the final say; the former commissioner did. I don’t know of too many executive-level managers who stay employed after they need to be bailed out, especially when Tagliabue was only intended to review Goodell’s decision to impose suspensions on four New Orleans Saints players and instead found the action so flawed he had to vacate those suspensions.
The moral of the story: This is another reason people will look back at 2012 as the beginning of the downfall of the Kommissar Goodell regime.
2) Miguel Cabrera Becomes Baseball’s First Triple Crown Winner in 45 Years
Miguel Cabrera became the first player to win baseball’s Triple Crown since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, and just the 15th player ever. This puts Cabrera on a list with baseball royalty which includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig. Cabrera led the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs.
The moral of the story: Dude can hit.
1) The Los Angeles Dodgers Are The First Sports Franchise to Sell For $2 Billion
The Los Angeles Dodgers were sold to a group that includes NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson for a final sale price of just over $2 billion. That represents the highest price any sports team has ever sold for — by a wide margin.
Television money for live sports is skyrocketing, and it’s driving up the values of sports teams not just in the United States, but around the world as well. People keep trying to tell me baseball is dead, and a baseball team just sold for a staggering amount of money. If one were to pay that $2 billion in cash, you would need sixteen standard shipping pallets stacked four feet square with $100 dollar bills. And the prices are only going up.
Want to buy a European soccer team? Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, so you’d better bring your wallet. Manchester United was the first team to break the the billion-dollar barrier, and that was a decade ago. Now, buying a top team in the English Premier League will easily cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion. If you still want a big-time European soccer club, but want to save your pennies, you might be able to get Real Madrid for just under $2 billion. Even the Jacksonville Jaguars, arguably the least-valuable franchise in the NFL, just sold recently for $770 million.
The moral of the story: Television money is exploding sports as we know it.
Let’s face it. For the regular six readers of this blog, I’m guessing a lot of you picture me as a Homer Simpson-ish character. Well, I don’t work at a nuclear power plant, Mrs. Dubsism does not have eight-foot tall blue hair, and you’d have to replace Homer’s love of Duff beer with some cheap-shit bourbon, but other than that, you wouldn’t be far off.
Having said that, it’s time to celebrate the season in a purely sporting manner, as you would expect from the worst sports blog you read. This year’s theme: Athletes in Santa costumes…
Since Dubsism World Headquarters are located in Indiana, how could we not start off with the pride of French Lick?
Sticking with basketball, and since Chicago and northwest Indiana are indistinguishable, why not some Luol Deng Santa action?
Speaking of Chicago, the Cubbie’s favorite second-base Hall-of-Famer got in on the act with a minor-league “Christmas in July” gag.
What better baseball Santa could you have than a guy who p;itched a perfect game while battling a hang-over? Don’t tell me most mall Santas aren’t plowed most of the time, and only David Wells could make high-tops work with a Santa suit.
Sticking with pitchers, there’s two reasons why we included former moundsman Kris Benson and his Playboy Playmate wife Anna, and Kris isn’t one of them…if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
If you’ve been a reader of Dubsism, you know J-Dub has an eyeball-bursting hatred of Tommy Lasorda. But this is the season of brotherhood, kindness, and all that other holiday bullshit, so we are forced to wish a Merry Christmas to everybody. LuolFace it, even the Grinch pussed out at the end.
Actually, we here at Dubsism wish all of you a Merry Christmas…even you, Tommy Lasorda.
In the Dubsism World Series Preview, we said that for the Giants to win the World Series, they had to beat Verlander at least once, and that would preferably happen in Game 1. Obviously, Pablo Sandoval reads Dubsism.
By joining the exclusive club of guys who have belted three homers in a World Series game (Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols), Sandoval did more damage to Detroit than the Edsel and Eminem combined.
We’d be lying if we said we saw a three-dinger day coming for the Kung Fu Panda, but a big performance shouldn’t have surprised anybody…the guy can flat-out hit. Sandoval was the spark plug in games 5,6, and 7 in the NLCS when San Francisco faced elimination. Game 1 of the World Series struck me as Sandoval being out to prove he should have been the NLCS MVP (although, let’s be honest…Marco Scutaro was a damn solid choice as well).
The problem is that Sandoval missed a perfect opportunity after his iuncredible Game 1 showing. How awesome would it have been if he had pulled a Chico Escuela in the post game interview? Pablo, if you really do read this blog, give just us one ” Beisbol been berry, berry good to me.” We’d love you for life.
The thing we got wrong: With two solid pitching staffs and two pitcher-friendly ball parks where the ball just does not carry at night, we never thought we’d see five home runs in this whole series, let alone in the first game.
The Defining Moment: The fact that Sandoval hit a Verlander 0-2 fastball for a 410-foot moon shot, considering Verlander hand’t served one up on an 0-2 pitch all season.
The Fact That May Shock You: After Game 1, Justin Verlander’s all-time World Series record was 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA.
The World Series is a seven-game affair, and some people say seven is a lucky number. While that may or may not be true, you can bet the Tigers now think two is their unlucky number. Not only did their number two pitcher lose Game Two by two runs, but it was the second inning which seemed to doom Detroit.
The second inning started with Prince Fielder getting nailed by a Madison Bumgarner pitch, which was followed by a Delmon Young two-bagger into the left field corner. For some reason known only to Tiger third-base coach Gene Lamont, he gave the not-exactly-fleet-of-foot Fielder the “go” sign with no outs, and Fielder was cut down at the plate.
The real problem is that even had Lamont held Fielder at third and the Tigers had runners on second and third with nobody out, nobody did anything after that anyway. Your odds of winning aren’t very good when you only scratch out two measly hits, and we tried to tell you the Tigers can’t score if Cabrera and Fielder don’t produce.
But the pitch that hit Fielder wasn’t the worst hit-by-ball incident to happen to Detroit in the second inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Tiger pitcher Doug Fister took a Gregor Blanco liner directly to the side of his head; the ball hit so hard it caromed into shallow center field. We’ve all seen pitchers get damn near killed on hits like that, but Fister stayed in the ball game to pitch six solid innings of one-run ball.
The problem was that Madison Bumgarner – the same Bumgarner who got sent to the bullpen for his awful starts in the divisional series against the Reds – served up seven innings of shutout ball. Honestly, the only real threat the Tigers mounted was in the second inning, when they ran themselves right out of a potential rally. The Tigers made another gaffe on the bases a few innings later when Omar Infante got picked off.
The Defining Moment: Oddly enough, it isn’t Lamont’s blunder sending Fielder in the second inning. It’s the fact that once again, the Tigers don’t give Doug Fister any support, and a pitcher who was on a bad streak (Bumgarner) gets healthy against the Motor City Kitties. C’mon Tiger fans, how many times have you seen that this season?
The Fact That May Shock You: Madison Bumgarner struck out Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to start the game. The only other Giants pitchers to do that in a World Series game were Hall-of-Famers Christy Mathewson in 1905 and Carl Hubbell in 1933.
Did we mention that “2″ seems to be the Tigers unlucky number? 2 games in a row, they’ve been shutout. 2 games in a row, they’ve lost 2-0. There haven’t been back-to-back shutouts in a World Series game since 1966, when the Baltimore Orioles blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers in games 2, 3, and 4. A National League team hasn’t twirled consecutive donuts since the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1919 against the notorious “Black Sox.” In other words, The last time an American League club posted back-to-back blanks in a World Series, that club was actually trying not to score.
In two of the first three innings, the Tigers had the crowd at Comerica Park on their feet by putting two base runners on with less than two outs. Two times, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong put the crowd quietly back in their seats by getting Tiger hitters to hit into inning-ending double plays — first Prince Fielder, then Quintin Berry.
That brings us to the Big 2 who had taken the “Big Sleep” up to this point in the series. Through Game 3, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder went missing; they’ve combined for a scant three singles and two walks in 21 plate appearances. The Tigers blew their best scoring opportunity in the fifth inning when Quintin Berry struck out with the bases loaded and one out. That meant Miguel Cabrera now had to face Vogelsong with two outs, and Vogelsong took advantage of the situation knowing a fly ball couldn’t bring in a run. He challenged the Triple Crown winner with back-to-back inside fastballs, the second of which Cabrera popped up weakly to the shortstop.
The Tigers’ scoring threat, and essentially the game, ended there.
The Fact That May Shock You: Ryan Vogelsong only gave up three runs on 16 hits in 24.2 innings this postseason. His 1.05 ERA was the lowest by a starter over that many innings in a postseason since Orel Hershiser’s record-setting campaign in 1988.
The Defining Moment: Anytime the Tigers had runners in scoring position. Through Game 3, Detroit went 1-for-11 with ducks on the pond.
Is it irony that we had to wait until the final game to finally get a real game? Regardless of which team you wanted to win, Game 4 was all you could ask for in terms of a post-season baseball game.
As had been the case throughout this series, San Francisco drew first blood in the second inning (there’s that pesky Tiger thing about the number 2 again…) on Hunter Pence’s ground-rule double, followed by Brandon Belt’s triple into the right-field corner.
Just when Tiger fans were thinking “here we go again,’” Miguel Cabrera emerged from his self-imposed batting exile to stroke a two-run homer in the third inning. Not only did Cabrera’s shot give the Tigers the first lead in the Series, it ended the Giants’ streak of 56 consecutive innings in which had the lead. San Francisco hadn’t trailed since losing Game 4 of the NLCS at St. Louis.
The Tigers kept the lead until the sixth, when Buster Posey had a re-emergence of his own, breaking an 0-for-8 streak by belting a 1-0 changeup for a two-run homer into the left-field seats . It was Posey’s third post-season round-tripper and first extra-base hit in 40 at-bats since his grand slam in Game 5 of the NLDS in Cincinnati.
San Francisco’s leave was short-lived as Detroit quickly pulled even in the bottom of the sixth on Delmon Young’s two-out homer to right field.
Both team’s bullpens posted blank frames until the tenth inning, when it all came to an agonizing, albeit classic Giants’-style ending. San Francisco’s Ryan Theriot reached on a soft single to right field, and Brandon Crawford moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Then, NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro came up with yet another clutch hit, this one a single that drove in the game-winning run, and drove a stake into the heart of the Tigers.
This series had to be a killer for Detroit fans, and it likely wasn’t helped by the “too little, too late” scenario of Game 4. It had to be sheer torture for the Tigers as not one, but two (there’s that pesky Tiger thing about the number 2 again…) Jhonny Peralta drives died at the warning track in a tie ball game; the second one in the bottom of the ninth would have been a game-winner. Before that, Tigers fans had to suffer through Jeremy Affeldt striking out the middle of Detroit’s lineup — Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young — with the potential go-ahead run on base in the eighth after a walk to pinch-hitter Avisail Garcia.
What it all comes down to is the Giants did what thy needed to do and the Tigers didn’t. As we said in the Series preview, this would come down to a few key points:
The Bottom Line:
The Tigers Win If:
- Verlander wins both of his scheduled starts, and Jose Valverde re-establishes himself in the Tiger bullpen (Didn’t happen, he didn’t even get two starts)
- The Tigers wrap it up early. If this series gets to the last two games in San Francisco, the odds are against them (Giants didn’t need the last three games)
- Somebody besides Cabrera and Fielder provides some offense (Clearly didn’t happen)
The Giants Win If:
- They beat Verlander at least once, particularly in Game 1 (They didn’t just beat him, they blew him up)
- The clutch hitting continues and/or Buster Posey returns to his MVP form (Sandoval, Scutaro, and Hunter Pence…thank you very much)
- Bumgarner and/or Lincecum remembers it’s October (Check, please…)
The Dubsism Prediction:
San Francisco wins in six games (I really thought the Tigers would beat Cain in Game 4, and Verlander would be Verlander in Game 5…so much for that)
The Defining Moment: Miguel Cabrera striking out looking to end Game 4. It was a microcosm of the entire Tigers team in this Series; as a team, they never got the bats off their shoulders.
The Fact That May Shock You: If Buster Posey and Miguel Cabrera go on to win the MVP awards in their respective leagues, it would be the first time both MVP winners hit home runs in a World Series game since Kirk Gibson and Jose Canseco did it in Game 1 in 1988.