Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another reason why tennis is amazing

Yup, she's from Georgia.

MLB 2nd Half Predictions

The All-Star game has come and gone. Thanks to Fox starting the game at damn near 9pm on the east coast, I couldn't even make it to the end of the game. It turns out the AL won for the 11th year in a row in the 15th inning, yet I doubt anyone who was watching at the beginning made it all the way to the end. Now that the fitting tribute to Yankee Stadium has passed, its time to look forward to the 2nd half of the season with shocking predictions that are guaranteed to come true...

3 General Predictions:

1. George Steinbrenner will not outlive Yankee Stadium. Yeah it was sad seeing him golf-carted around the stadium, but quite honestly I'm not going to feel sorry for one of the most epic dickheads in baseball history.

2. Both Chicago teams will make the playoffs, and neither New York team will. It comes down to pitching folks, and while the Cubs and White Sox have among the strongest staffs in baseball, the New York teams are mediocre and inconsistent at best.

3. Barry Bonds will get signed by someone. Just wait until a major team falls behind in the stadium and needs a jumpstart. As Grady once said "Desperation is a stinky cologne", but someone will trade the funky stink of Bonds for postseason hope.

Award Predictions:

AL MVP: Justin Morneau
AL Cy Young: John Lackey
AL Rookie of the Year: Evan Longoria
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Madden

NL MVP: Chase Utley
AL Cy Young: Ben Sheets
NL Rookie of the Year: Hiroki Kuroda
NL Manager of the Year: Lou Piniella

Division Predictions:

AL East: Boston
AL Central: Chicago
AL West: Anaheim
AL Wild Card: Minnesota

We've already seen the Rays start to weaken in the division race, and while they have been awesome so far I just can't see how they can keep up this level for the entire season playing in such a tough division. Boston has the most complete team and should continue to pull away while the Yankees inconsistencies and injury concerns will greatly hinder them. Chicago has the pitching and Minnesota is the most exciting young team in the AL and could possibly get Francisco Liriano back in the 2nd half too. Anaheim should run away with the AL West with their awesome staff.

NL East: Philadelphia
NL Central: Chicago
NL West: LA Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Milwaukee

The Phillies are by far and away the most mentally tough team in the NL East, and also have the best lineup and bullpen. If they can add a starter at the deadline they should be good to go. The Cubs and Brewers have to be considered the 2 best teams in the entire NL, and their excellent starting pitching will prevent them from having long slumps. St. Louis has been a good story but unless they make a big trade it will be hard for them to keep up with these guys in their division. Out west is anyone's guess, they all suck out there, but I'll give the edge to the Dodgers because of their manager and young players.

World Series Prediction:

Anaheim -vs- Chicago, Angels win in 6.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baseball Advertising Blows

Baseball is my favorite sport, but as far as marketing goes, they are a distant third behind the NFL and the NBA. Why can't baseball have good commercials too? Maybe it's Fox (my employer), or maybe it's the MLB, but it's clear they need to hire a better ad agency (or maybe steal some away from the NBA/NFL).

The past few years, shit's been weak for the MLB. Dane Cook last year??!
C'mon. Can't you guys do better than the most overrated/annoying comedian on the planet. This year, they've got some no-name blogger as their spokesman for the playoffs. This is a terrible marketing ploy. I'm a blogger, and I love writing, but let's be for real. That's not going to make me or anyone else more interested in watching the playoffs. It's all about the big names (and I'm not talking about obnoxious Dane Cook).

The NBA has won it's way back into America's hearts with great ad campaigns. Last year they had prime timers hyping up the playoffs including Jeremy Piven (Entourage's Ari Gold), Will Smith and other "now" actors. This year they had the slogan "There's Only One" and "Where _____ Happens". Both were very successful. The Super Bowl is known as having unquestionably the best commercials of any sporting event. Football has been strong for years and is so far ahead of every other american sport that it can just stay consistent and keep it's crown.

So MLB, if you want to avoid becoming a joke, get some new Ad Guru's. PS: If I see another ad for FrankTV I'm going to kill someone (most likely Joe Buck).

Shut Up Papelbon

Classy guys like Justin Morneau rarely get the headlines. It's usually idiots spouting off bullshit that get their names on Well that's the case once again with one of the most annoying players in the game right now. Jonathon Papelbon is known for taunting opposing teams and talking shit after he strikes anyone out.

Yesterday he said that he should close the All-star game tonight instead of Mariano Rivera, despite the fact that the game is in Yankee Stadium and Rivera has better stats than him this year and is light years ahead of him on the career scale.

"We've both earned that right; us, by winning the World Series and having the opportunity of having our manager there and our team being represented, and Mariano by what he's done for this role, we're in Yankee Stadium and blah, blah, blah," Papelbon said. "It's not that easy. Everybody thinks it's a cut and dry answer, but it's not. If I was managing the team, I would close, I'm not managing the team, so it don't matter."

He backed off his comments a little bit today saying that he thinks Rivera will get the nod, but who does this chump think he is. He's been in the league for less than 3 years and already thinks he's God's gift. This isn't the first time this year that he's talked shit.

He ran his mouth about the Rays a month ago saying that "it wasn't over between them" and that "they were going to get what was coming to them" after a brawl between the two teams in their previous series (the Rays went on to sweep the Red Sox). Paps has even hated on his own teammates saying pitcher Manny Delcarmen couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. The young pole smoker needs to know his place.

Sure he's a great closer right now, but how many just like him have come along. Remember when Eric Gagne won the Cy young a couple of years ago...where's he at now? Learn some respect you tool bag and shut your mouth.

Feel the Power

Tonight as I go to bed I cannot help but think I've just witnessed what will be one of the enduring baseball memories of my lifetime: Josh Hamilton absolutely CRUSHING baseball after baseball in the 2008 Home Run Derby.

The mere fact that he hit 28 home runs is enough to make it a memorable performance, but far more impressive than the number of dingers he hit is the distance he hit them. He hit at least three of those balls more than 500 ft. Granted it might not be as masterful a hitting display as this, but it sure comes close (pardon my sarcasm).

And it was nice to see him give credit to Jesus, since after Barack Obama is elected we will all have to worship his god. Unfortunately Indiana Jones will be too old to save us this time around.

As for Justin Morneau, it was truly refreshing to see a professional athlete with the self-awareness and presence of mind to realize that while he held the victor's trophy, something more special had taken place tonight. Morneau humbly accepted his trophy before quickly redirecting the spotlight on the evening's star: Josh Hamilton. Morneau, a player who I've always respected for his quiet yet successful approach to the game, not to mention his MVP-level talent, took a huge jump in my book. He's a true class act.

Hamilton's story is an inspiration to anyone who is struggling with personal problems of their own. He created for himself a hellish reality of life fraught with drug addiction and substance abuse, and then, with the help of his faith and his family, pulled himself up to become a favorite for the AL MVP, a starter for the All-Star Game, and the 2008 Home Run Derby Champion in everything but the offical records. Bravo Mr. Hamilton.