Thursday, December 29, 2005

Someone hand me the Advil...

Let's play a little game I like to call "Quote Association" (yep, totally forced, and probably not too entertaining either, but you know what, I'm tired so deal with it). We're going to take all 32 NFL coaches and assign movie quotes to them (heavy on the Will Ferrell and Mel Brooks), perhaps with a little commentary, perhaps not, really it all depends on whether I pass out and die before the water, coffee and copious amounts of aspirin kick in (and the tacos, can't forget the breakfast tacos)...

"For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius."
"You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered with hair."
Bill Belichick - Despite his lesbian attire (that's Butt's joke, can't take credit for it), the man is apparently very bright. SportsGuy would agree, but he can't talk right now because he has Tom Brady's junk stuck in his mouth.

"The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of it's forms - greed for life, for money, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you."
Bill Parcells - Retire, don't retire, I don't really give a rat's ass, but don't act all indignant at a press conference when the topic comes up, because you caused this problem in the first place. If the Cowboys are eliminated before their game even starts Sunday, I fully expect Parcells to coach the game with one of those "Will Coach For Food" homeless guy signs (and yes, I am the same guy who tied his fandom to Parcells for years).

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."
Bill Cowher - Jay Leno wants his jaw back. How did this guy never kill Kordell Stewart?

"Hi, I'm Chucky. Wanna play?"
Jon Gruden - I know, soooooo obvious. But you know what, you begin enough days at 3:17am trying to figure out how to win with Brian Griese and Chris Simms at QB and there is the likelihood you become a serial killer eventually (probably not a serial killer trapped in the body of a children's doll, but the regular kind).

"No longer will our penises remain flaccid and unused! From now on, we fight for every man out there who isn't getting laid when he should be! This is our day! This is our time! And, by God, we're not gonna let history condemn us to celibacy! We will make a stand! We will succeed! We will get laid!"
Tony Dungy - In light of his son's passing, I will let Tony off rather easy, minus of course the quote above.

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Dick Vermeil - Again, I know, pretty lame, but I had trouble finding the proper "crying like a sissy boy after every game" quote.

"Doctors say that Nordberg has a 50 - 50 chance of living, though there's only a 10 percent chance of that."
Romeo Crennel - Every quote for the black head coaches is terrible. And probably semi-racist too. Love that mugshot though.

"Cut the crap, man, this is Shaft."
Marvin Lewis - See what I mean...what, I'm just talking 'bout Shaft.

"I'm gonna make you squeal like a pig. Weeeeeeee!"
Jeff Fisher - How many Jeff Foxworthy CDs do you think he has? What the hell do he and Norm Chow talk about?

"I'll be in the neighborhood later on, and I was wondering if maybe you wanted to get some frozen yogurt, or perhaps a whole meal of food, if that would be agreeable. Damnit."
Andy Reid - Complete and utter tool. I'd rather dine with Bozzo and Trent (joke for 4 please). Did you realize the Iggles are a Sunday loss away from going 0-6 in the division this year?

"Soon they'll be breeding us like cattle! You've got to warn everyone and tell them! Soylent green is made of people! You've got to tell them! Soylent green is people!"
John Fox - Just crazy enought to give Heston a run for his money. Now if he could only control Steve Smith...

"Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?"
Mike Shanahan - Maybe he should try to win a playoff game this year. A fun fact...Shanahan with Elway: 47-17, 7-1 in the playoffs. Shanahan minus Elway: 66-45, 0-3 in the playoffs.

"I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank."
Joe Gibbs - Seems about right. Win this weekend and the Skins are in the tourney, and Jason Whitlock thinks they're the favorites in the NFC if they make it. You know what, I think I agree with him.

"Go ahead, make my day."
Nick Saban - 5 wins in a row after saying he doesn't care about records. I'm on to you buddy.

"It's good to be the king!"
Mike Holmgren - Well, at least he used to be that Brett on line 2? The Seahawks, behind their fearless leader, are losing their first playoff game.

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue."
Herman Edwards - Soon to be coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Does this mean Dick Curl gets a bump up the Jets coaching ladder?

"Oh, baby, you're soooo talented... and they are sooooo dumb."
Brian Billick - Arrogant ass. This list made me laugh - Billick's QBs in 7 years in Baltimore: Tony Banks, Stoney Case, Scott Mitchell, Trent Dilfer, Chris Redman, Randall Cunningham, Elvis Grbac, Jeff Blake, Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright and Kordell Stewart.

"There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"
Marty Schottenheimer - Frankly, this is the best quote on the list, frankly.

"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?"
Jim Mora - Excellent press conference meltdown the other day. His dad would be proud.

"Puff puff, give. Puff puff, give. You're fuckin' up the rotation."
Lovie Smith - Blatantly racist.

"It's fourth and fifteen and you're looking at a full-court press."
Dennis Green - Why does this guy keep getting hired? Oh right...

"I'm looking for Ray Finkle...and a clean pair of shorts."
Mike Nolan - I saw his squadron play live on Saturday, and they are even worse in person. Alex Smith might never throw an NFL TD pass.

"I'll have three fingers of Glenlivet, with a little bit of pepper... and some cheese."
Jack Del Rio - I see alot of Ron Burgundy in Mr. Del Rio. Plus he was dumb enough have an axe in his locker room.

"What did the old man trade for these assholes, a used puck bag?"
Jim Haslett - Lotta balls demanding a five year extension when your team sucks. Think he wants out?

"Ten minutes to Wapner."
Mike Sherman - Come to think of it, Raymond Babbitt was waaaay smarter than Mike Sherman.

"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"
Joe Vitt - I mean, just look at that kid-toucher mustache.

"It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes."
Dick Jauron - Luca Brasi, Steve Mariucci and Matt Millen have alot in common.

"You smell that? Do you smell that? ...Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end..."
Tom Coughlin - He probably watches this movie once a day.

"A man's got to know his limitations."
"Houston, we have a problem."
Dom Capers - He had to get two, and really, there's about 10 more that could apply to his sucktitude.

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat..."

Mike Tice - Coach Tice gets two because he's had quite a busy year (I'm looking at you Fred Smoot...)

"Mongo only game of life."
Mike Mularkey - And he looks just like the HeartBreak Kid Shawn Michaels.

"Stupid is as stupid does."
Norv Turner - God bless the idiot who hires this guy again. If the Raiders make any effort to beat the Giants this week I will be supremely pissed.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Seasons Greetings To All (GTB covers all the bases)

Merry Christmas...Have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye... Happy Hannukah...On Moische! On Herschel! On Schlomo! It's Hanukkah Harry 8 nights a year...
Happy Kwanza (the Disney Empire never ceases to amaze me)...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A brief Wiz Watch, and some other junk

The Washington Wizards have always flown under the radar in this town (until April of last year at least), mainly because they've sucked something awful for years, but right now they're very lucky the Redskins are making a valiant push for the postseason. After last year's surprise 45 win season and 1st round playoff series win over the Bulls, a lot was expected of the Wiz, even with the departure of Larry Hughes. As of December 20th, 2005, the current edition of the Washington Wizards has played like dogs. But the Dave Feldmans and Brett Habers and George Michaels of the world are paying them no mind, at least as long as the Redskins keep the train rolling. However, when that train stops, Eddie Jordan might actually want to have his team winning a few games. Missing the playoffs in the East is simply not acceptable. After just over a quarter of the season, the ugliness in numbers...

The Washington Wizards, 9-14 (2-6 since last we spoke)
3rd in the Southeast Division
11th in the Eastern Conference (at this rate I'm going to owe Whitney two cases of beer)

This time last year, the Wizards were 14-9, upstarts in the Eastern Conference, just warming up in fact. They began the New Year with a 7 game win streak and never looked back, garnering the 5th seed in the East. This year, however, they seem listless and uninspired, with each game being an absolute struggle. The current holiday West Coast road trip is killing them, as they have already dropped games to the Lakers (by 6), Portland (by 6) and Seattle last night (by 10). Jesus christ fellas, you just easily beat two of those teams at home a month ago (crushing Seattle by 41 in fact!). Sunday night in Portland the Ebony and Ivory Ace and Gary, Steve Blake and Juan Dixon, shot you down in Portland (in front of what looked like 3,000 fans...I'm not even kidding, that Greg Oden high school game on ESPN had more fans present) . The Wiz need to salvage a game on this trip, and that means beating either the banged up Nuggets (hey, shocker, Marcus Camby is hurt) or the Amare-less Suns (however, look out for Paris Basket Racing's second biggest star, high-flying Frenchman Boris Diaw). An 0-5 West Coast swing could have lasting effects, physically and mentally, on what I perceive as an already tired bunch.

Is it the personnel, is it the coaching, is it just an early season slump? Is Larry Hughes really that important? I'm not quite sure myself, but I've watched way more Wiz games than ever before, and the real problem (start the broken record) seems to be on the defensive end (and the glass). The Wiz are still getting tremendous individual offensive performances from Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison, with Caron Butler chipping in off the bench:
- Gilbert Arenas, 28 points, 6 assists and 1.5 steals per game
- Antawn Jamison, 18 points, 11 rebounds per game
- Caron Butler, 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game

Obviously, the team continues to score points - they're 6th in the league at 99.1 points per game (pretty amazing considering they are 27th in the league in field goal percentage, at 42.9). But, lookee here, the Wiz give up 99.3 points per game, 26th in the league (they're barely ahead of the Hawks, 76ers, Raptors and Sonics). That level of ineptitude on the defensive end does not a playoff contender make.

As to the poor performance on the glass, you cannot get outrebounded night in and night out without getting a little frustrated. The Wiz often get only one shot off (Gilbert for 3!), as they lack any active bodies to crash the offensive glass, and they repeatedly give opponents second and third looks by failing to box out and grab a defensive board (I still see guards grabbing boards left and right against the Wiz). Eddie Jordan needs to get this team straightened out, and fast, because there is no way in hell I'm starting a Weekly Caps Watch.
Oh poor Vince Carter, I'm crying in my coffee pal...
Asked about his favorite moments from the NCAA Tournament, Vince Carter whined:
"I don't have any favorite moments. We lost in the Final Four twice, so geez, that's my least favorite," Carter said. "Every time I look at Andre Miller and Mike Bibby, boy ... I lost to Utah and Arizona. But it's okay."

The New Jersey Devils coach, Larry Robinson, stepped down because he can't sleep, he's stressed out, and he's got "pounding headaches". In that case, I would imagine Dick Vermeil, Denny Green and Bill Parcells were primed to call it quits Monday morning. Sack up buddy.

If I were to tell you one QB would lose by 45 points on Monday night, taking a seat in the 3rd quarter, and you had to choose between Brett Favre and Kyle Boller, I don’t think we would need a recount to figure out the winner. As geriatric Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast my friend”. It was Boller starring on MNF and Favre looking as terrible as I have ever seen him. I think Peter King hung himself last night. After that debacle, there is no way Favre could retire now, right? 3-13 and on the worst team of his career? He ain't going out like that...

OK, no Nomar in NY next season, instead he joins the cast of "Red Sox West" in Los Angeles, joining Grady Little, Bill Mueller and Derek Lowe. Nomar's gonna play 1B for the Dodgers, which should be entertaining as hell. Does anyone reading this really care? Probably not, but my favorite ex-FSN reporter came to Nomar's press conference, not as a reporter, but as the trophy mistress of Derek Lowe, and really, I couldn't resist the temptation to get Ms. Hughes and Mr. Lowe some more facetime on GTB. Ain't they the cutest?

Tonight’s New Orleans Bowl…yeah, uh, it sucks? 6-5 Southern Miss vs. 6-5 Arkansas State. Jerry already addressed this game, but seriously, it needs to be said again...Arkansas State might be the worst bowl team ever. As long as Southern Miss takes the field, semi-sober, this is a Chris Fowler Woodshed Special. Southern Miss 42, Arkansas State 13.

GTB's Link of the Day: "The Chappelle Theory" (I have absolutely no idea what to make of this)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

GTB’s Twelve Days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Worldwide Leader sent to me (another excuse for a list)…

Twelve drummers drumming,
Not to overdo the Hot Stove thing, but I couldn't let this go - all the reports out of NY now say Nomar will be playing 1B for the Yankees next year. Extremely interesting, given this guy has never played a game of 1B in his life. I realize Nomar is trying to be as flexible as possible and show he has value to teams at several positions, but I don't know if I'm on board with this. The Great Juicini did have a .440 OBP and .975 OPS last year, though watching him play the field is as painful as watching the UPN Monday lineup. Perhaps Nomar can rise above that…

Eleven pipers piping,
Billy Beane, I hope you know what the hell you're doing, because Crazy Uncle Milty is indeed insane, and there is no doubt in my mind he causes a stir before the year is done. Hell, he might punch Esteban Loaiza in the face during Spring Training for fun. I know I would. I hope Mr. Beane realizes Loaiza’s 3.98 ERA occurred in Washington, the easiest pitcher’s park in the league...

Ten lords a-leaping,
Speaking of pansy-ass pitchers, news yesterday that whiny bitch Javy Vazquez got his wish and gets traded, to the World Series Champs no less. Fragile mentally and physically, I think very little of Javy, obviously. Vazquez is a giant vagina with a live arm (crazy visual I know). El Duque, though 79 years old, is still a better bet in Chicago. Between Vazquez (6+ IP, 7 ER, 7 BB) and Kevin Brown (3+ IP, 9 ER, 4 BB) in the 2004 ALCS, it was a race to see who could wet themselves first. GM Kenny Williams seems to be a smart guy, and has upgraded a champ already, but he will be disappointed in Vazquez...

Nine ladies dancing,
We here at GTB only need two ladies, and not necessarily dancing either (getting to know each other in a bathroom stall works just as well). We give you the holiday tale that made us forget the Vikings Sex Boat antics (and remember our love for ladies loving each other), Angela and Renee, the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders. Gob bless you ladies, and may you someday soon reappear in a run down Winnebago in the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium...

Eight maids a-milking,
College hoops is in full swing, and based on their performance the other night, Wake Forest better learn to make some free throws and fast. A guy who you’ve never heard of but is a star: Depaul’s Sammy Mejia. The 6’6” junior from the Bronx had 24 points and 9 boards against the Demon Deacons, and will be a force in the new uber Big East. A mid major you won’t hear mentioned until March but who will win a tournament game: Iona, out of the MAAC.

Seven swans a-swimming,
What assfaces Pat Riley AND Stan Van Gundy are for putting us through that sham of a press conference the other day. Riles especially, that pompous ass should've just taken back the job in the summer. The odd thing though is the normally hyperactive sports media didn't swarm on this story like I thought they would. I think I've heard more about Howard Stern's move to satellite radio in the last week than the Riles/Heat story (Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling made his return this morning…). And if you don't think Shaq had anything to do with this coaching change, well, I've got some AnalBibs to sell you...

Six geese a-laying,
The Buffalo Bills are in complete shambles. Willis McGahee, who can’t seem to shut his yap, had 3 yards on 8 carries last week (and he has the best damn agent in the world too, Drew Rosenhaus). Eric Moulds is publicly dissing the coach because he isn’t getting the ball enough. The only way this situation could be worse is if Norv Turner was piloting this ship (in case you haven’t heard, Norv will be free this winter to pursue other opportunities)...

Five golden rings,
OK, no one pays attention to track and field, I know this, but this Tim Montgomery story is a pretty big deal. Sure, this wasn’t a “regular” trial in the traditional sense, it was a proceeding by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but Montgomery was convicted of doping based soley on circumstantial evidence. They ruled there was "uncontroverted" evidence that Montgomery had used banned drugs and stripped him of all records and medals, based on witness testimony and grand jury testimony and six year old records from a Mexican drug testing facility (I'm sure a high quality facility). If that were all that were needed here, there would be a whole lotta MLB players shitting bricks. Even Jack McCoy would lose those cases...

Four calling birds,
Can’t AMC devote a day to these films and at least pretend to be in the holiday spirit, instead of showing The Delta Force, Above the Law and Harlem Nights? (and yes, listed below are the four worst Christmas films of all time)
The Santa Clause
Jingle All the Way
Eight Crazy Nights
Ernest Saves Christmas (I mean, seriously, "air brakes"…and yes, I did see this flick…in the theater no less)...

Three French hens,
Am I the only guy who thinks everybody is WAAAY ahead of themselves with this Colts going 16-0 thing? I think the Colts are losing 1 of their last 3 games even if they don’t rest their starters for a second. The Colts last three games before perfection:
8-5 San Diego
at 11-2 Seattle
4-9 Arizona.
The Chargers absolutely have to win that game to make the playoffs, no matter what their record no one respects Seattle so they’ll have something to prove, and Arizona…well, two teams have a shot at this. I smell 15-1...

Two turtle doves,
I, along with 22 other donkeys, still have a shot to win our Last Man Standing Pool. With that said, my best chance, BEST chance, this week lays in the reefer smoking, baby dropping hands of the Miami Dolphins, against my beloved Jets no less. My winnings are in the hands of the Joseph Hazelwood of NFL QBs...

And a partridge in a pear tree!
Tim Tebow, meet Urban Meyer. Mark did a terrific job looking at this the other day, so I won’t pretend to be a college recruiting guru and make stuff up (though I did watch some of ESPNs program about Tebow). All I know is that if this kid is the real deal the Renaissance is on in G’ville and there are many happy dudes with short haircuts, OCD and a propensity to fight.

- GTB, Making The Yuletide Gay Since 2003

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hot Stove Hot Action

It’s that time of year again…Billy Beane drunk dialing Omar Minaya at 2am to see if Kaz Matsui can be had…Royals GM Allard Baird crying himself to sleep every night…Indians fans everywhere thinking 2006 can be their year…there’s been a ton of activity since the MLB season ended, so why not take a look at what teams have been up to since the Chicago White Sox won the World Series and made Cub fans feel even worse about themselves (gotta do this now before we all get distracted by the National Football League playoffs):

Los Jankees
Nothing, absolutely fucking nothing. Well, that’s not completely fair, as the Yankees managed to dump Tony Womack on the Reds yesterday for some minor league pitchers and a lock of Schottzie’s hair. Tanyon Sturtze took a stab, stuck his hands out, and was given $1.5 million for being a non-abortive member of the bullpen. I can’t even discuss what a mess Kyle Farnsworth is going to be under the NY spotlight.

Texas Rangers
These guys have been trying to move a ton of big names since the season ended, and they finally succeeded, trading Alfonso Soriano to the Chocolate City Nats at the Winter Meetings. The Rangers picked up Brad Wilkerson (a personal favorite), Terrmel Sledge and a minor league pitcher in the deal. I guess that’s good for them, since they didn’t want to pay Soriano $10 million next year, but the guys they got back aren’t exactly superstars. Where’s the big league arm a talent like Soriano warrants? The Rangers need a pitcher or two who can keep their ERA below 5.00 for a season.

Toronto Blue Jays
The Canadian Dollars have been flowing like Molson at a Maple Leafs game this offseason. A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan grabbed a combined $102 million from J.P. Ricciardi (and Cola). The Jays then obtained Lyle Overbay from the Brew Crew for Gabe Gross and David Bush (both decent young talents). However, for a 1B, Overbay displays Swint-esque pop at the plate. All I know is the Blue Jays look significantly better on paper, and as mentioned above, I ain’t seen jack from the Yankees in the way of improvement.

Atlanta Braves
There’s really nothing to question here, because it seems like Braves GM John Schuerholz never makes a mistake. He dumped catcher Eric Estrada on the Diamondbacks, getting back a donkey in lefty reliever Lance Cormier and a fireballer in Oscar Villareal. I would say both these guys would thrive in Atlanta, but Leo Mazzone took his pitching expertise and Parkinsons to Baltimore, all because Sam Perlozzo once gave him a monogrammed flask.

Chicago Cubs
No Rafael Furcal, so crackbaby Juan Pierre will have to do. Solid addition to the top of that lineup, and apparently a class act. Which is going to be needed if the Cubs manage to swap Todd walker for Milton Bradley. Forget the Felix Pie jersey Swint, get the game worn and blood stained Bradley jersey, right after he kills a guy in Section 142 for mocking the trade.

Los Angeles Dodgers
What a big week…Rafael Furcal and new manager Grady Little land in LA. You might remember Little as the guy who left Pedro in Game 7 just a tad too long…or perhaps as Sheriff Andy Taylor. This team fell apart last year, and has so many holes to fill I don’t even know where to start. Luckily, Derek Lowe has stepped up and offered to fill one gaping hole we know of…

Boston Red Sox
All the talk is about where hitting savant Manny Ramirez will be traded, but he’s still a Red Sox and I don’t see where Boston is going to get proper value in return. Speaking of getting value in return, Edgar Renteria, thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed Faneuil Hall and the T. The Red Sox traded Renteria to the Braves for uberprospect Andy Marte, a guy Peter Gammons has manlove for, so he’s gotta be good, right? Still, didn’t Boston pull the cord just a bit soon on Renteria, especially given they have no immediate replacement at SS?

Cincinnati Reds
Hey, we suck, so does Pittsburgh, let’s make a trade so we can see our names in the paper. So do they trade one of their 8 OFs? (Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Wily Mo Pena, Eric Davis, Reggie Sanders, Deion Sanders, Ron Gant or Greg Vaughn) Nope, they trade the most popular player in town, “The Mayor” Sean Casey for pitcher Dave Williams. (Whit, I believe you can still be called “The Mayor” too, but there is a 12 month waiting period)

Pittsburgh Pirates
I feel bad for fans in Pittsburgh. Just a decade ago (ok, maybe more like 15 years ago) the Pirates were regular contenders, with wonderful humans like Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds leading the team into battle. Now, they’re just plain awful. So far, they’ve traded two lefty SPs and an invaluable utility guy…these players are hard to come by, yet the Pirates have no qualms shipping them off? OK, Pirates fans, more bad news…Big Ben has a bad thumb and the football team is also in trouble. At least you have the Penguins back.

Kansas City Poop
Welcome to Kansas City…hello? Anyone? GM Allard Baird has even more trouble getting people to take his money than the Orioles. Paul Byrd even said no. You know, the guy with the junk arm who looks like Frazier. Ah yes, but there is a match – trade with the Pirates: Mark Redman for some dude named Jonah and the proverbial player to be name later. Well done Allaird. No wonder Rob Neyer wants to light you on fire.

New York Mets
I don’t know who’s had a busier December, Omar and the Mets or Butt and the Holiday Party circuit? Where do I start with these guys? Omar Minaya is dropping cash like Freeland at a strip club. Carlos Delgado, Billy Wagner, come on down. Need a catcher, I heard the Marlins are having a blue light special – grab Paul Lo Duca. The most comical of all Mets moves had to be yesterday’s announcement that they signed Lazarus…er Julio Franco (to back up Delgado). Franco’s been around so long he backed up Richie Hebner in Philly in the 70s. Good for the Mets though – if you’ve got the cash, you might as well spend it. (uh, Brian Cashman, has someone stolen your wallet?)

Seattle Mariners
Remember when these guys were good? Nope, me neither. They’re bringing Jamie Moyer back, but somehow I don’t know if that will satisfy Ichiro, who finally took a liking to the fine American tradition of stars bitching to the media. Perhaps it was Ichrio’s whining that led to the FA signing of his countryman, C Kenji Johjima (who by the way, doesn’t speak English…does he plan on bringing flash cards to the mound?)

Houston Astros
Will Roger Clemens stay or will he go? Who cares. Let Richard Justice worry about that stuff and bore the PTI guys with the drama. The bigger concern for the Astros – their only real move in the offseason has been the re-signing of Orlando Palmeiro. Not exactly a boost to ticket sales or pennant hopes.

Chicago White Sox
They won the World Series, traded for slugger Jim Thome, re-signed slugger Paul Konerko, traded lefty reliever Damaso Marte (who Ozzie Guillen hated) to the Pirates for Rob Mackowiak and cut ties to Frank Thomas and amateur paleontologist crazy car Everett. Depending on how Ozzie handles this whole “I won a WS after just one year managing” thing, the White Sox are in great position for 2006. Then again, Ken Williams could just as easily come into the clubhouse one day next season and see Guillen Greco-Roman wrestling Pablo Ozuna for a Chipotle Grilled Stuft Burrito while Bobby Jenks fills out the lineup card in crayon.

Baltimore Orioles
Ramon Hernandez, 4 years, $27.5 million? Wow. No wonder Miguel "B-12" Tejada wants out. Can anyone say “Tejada for Manny”? There seems to be a SS vacancy in Boston.

Detroit Tigers
Hmm, Todd Jones and Kenny Rogers? The Tigers signed Jones to a 2 year deal worth $11 million and Rogers to a 2 year deal worth $16 million (I have a funny feeling Mitch Albom is going to have a field day with Kenny and his surly-ness). Oh yeah, Pudge is supposedly gay.

San Diego Padres
They should change their name from Padres to Hometown Discount. A little long and cumbersome, but accurate. And really, why would anyone want to leave San Diego? Trevor Hoffman and Brian Giles certainly didn’t want to leave. Hoffman turned down 3 years, $21 million from the Indians and Giles took the discount rather than shift to an east coast power. I’m sure the NY press is bummed they won’t get to report on Giles’ supposed naked BP.

Arizona Diamondbacks
These guys suck. But they've got a new catcher...

Florida Marlins
I would say the second biggest story this offseason (to the Mets spending spree) is yet another fire sale by the Marlins franchise. This team has only been around 13 years, yet they’ve managed to now hold two fire sales and win two World Series (the second title aided by many of the players in the first fire sale). Ok, enough use of the term “fire sale”. Sorry, thought I was Jayson Stark for a second. According to experts, of which I am certainly not one, the Marlins have done very well in their latest series of trades, considering they dumped their entire starting lineup. But there is no way Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera are happy campers right now.

Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo for two young pitchers doesn't sound like a very good move. You’ve come to expect more of the Twins higher-ups (well, minus not seeing the skills of David Ortiz). I’ll just say it – they got fleeced. Castillo is 30 years old, his speed has deserted him and he’s progressively getting worse. The kid Travis Bowyer they traded away has my favorite attribute in a young pitcher, a “live arm”. And he might even be the Marlins closer next year.

Los Angeles Angels of Guadalajara
Artie Moreno is less popular than Carlos Menica right now. He wants Manny, but it’s unlikely that will happen. Grab Mike Piazza, pay him tons to DH, and pray he doesn’t end up like Tim Salmon…

Philadelphia Phillies
That Ryan Howard guy is good eh? Enjoy 38 year old closer Tom Gordon. Start saving up the D batteries Phillies fans. Ed Wade might need protective custody by May of next season.

St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards are almost as suspiciously quiet as the Yankees. Perhaps Tony LaRussa is busy wrapping up his next project, the Brian Billick co-authored book, “Yes, We Really Are That Much Smarter Than You.”

San Francisco Giants
Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds Barry Bonds (I’m just getting primed for Spring Training)

Oakland Athletics
Billy Beane is a genius...blah blah blah…that’s all I got, I’m starting to drag…

Washington Nationals
The home town Nats are led by a lame duck GM who just traded for the Latino Rob Deer (that's right, I'm recycling my own jokes). Jim Bowden is most likely going to get canned the minute the Nats have a new owner (if that ever occurs), so why not try the bold move. Big red flag here – Bowden expects Soriano to happily shift to the OF, because all star Jose Vidro is staying at 2B. Um, Soriano has rebuked all attempts in the past to shift to the OF. Enjoy that pissing contest Frank Robinson.

Cleveland Indians
Bob Wickman still there? Yep, one-year deal worth $5 million. I can sleep easy.

Milwaukee Brewers
Dennis and I were very psyched to see Overbay shipped to Toronto, opening the 1B slot for our stud fantasy 1B Prince Fielder. That kid is a beast. And welcome back Danny Knob. Atlanta GM John Schuerholz hated Knobber so much he traded him back to the Brewers for Wes Obermueller and a George Plimpton hotplate.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Dewon Brazelton got shipped out, and it only took him going AWOL for 3 weeks of the 2005 season. I think this is the season the Rays finally finish out of the cellar (reach for the stars Carl Crawford)...meaning I think the Orioles finish in dead last, battered and bruised and begging for more Old Bay on their fries.

Colorado Rockies
When one of your offseason priorities is re-signing Byung-Hyun Kim, you've already given up. And so have I…

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.

Let's see, what do we have this's freezing outside, the Wheelhouse is starting to tackle Bowl Games (and has a good look at the NFC playoff picture, from a Skins' fans perspective), Drunk and Stupid contributes some shots at a guy with a goiter, and perhaps someday soon Whitney will let us all know how he feels about the new look Mets (and Squirrel, read this...I hope you're not a Ryan fan). Where does that leave this guy? Holiday films...yeah, that's the ticket. The "Best of Christmas Films" discussion is overdone (for this guy, nothing beats Christmas Vacation...and if you've never seen one of the more underrated Christmas flicks, AMC has decided to show The Ref roughly 2,000 times in the next month), so instead I've been pondering "non-traditional" Christmas films, those movies where Christmas is peripheral to the actual plot of the film, but the holiday nonetheless manages to creep into the fabric of the movie (some input from Butt on this list too - somehow, Jay's Saloon has become quite a muse)...

At it's heart, it's a monster movie. Dumbass Billy Peltzer does not listen to Mr. Miyagi's rules for caring for his Christmas present, which just happens to be a unknown furry creature of Orient descent I guess (not a stretch at all). Well, Billy manages to feed his new pet Gizmo after midnight AND spill water on him, leading to the spawning of some nasty "brothers" for Giz (nasty, but fiendishly funny as well). The new lil' monsters take over the town and cause more havoc than Andy Dick at Suede. Terrific supporting performances by Corey Feldman as Billy's little brother (I think), and of course, everyone's early 80s sweetheart Phoebe Cates...who is not a huge fan of Christmas because her dad apparently got stuck in the chimney one Christmas and died trying to bring her family presents. Good idea by Pops, pretty bad (ahem) execution. Needless to say, Kingston Falls has seen better days...I particularly enjoy Billy's mom disposing of the Gremlins in her kitchen in various creative methods, all while that Christmas fav "Do You Hear What I Hear" plays in the background. Murray Futterman getting a bulldozer through the front of his house was a nice touch too (though somehow Murray doesn't die and appears in Gremlins 2, but luckily, just like Rocky 5, we can pretend that movie never happened.

Lethal Weapon
In my estimation, the best buddy cop action movie of all time (right now all five Nick Nolte fans are feverishly sending me hate email with their stubby little cabbage-smelling fingers). I think the tagline line says it all: "Two Cops. Glover carries a weapon...Gibson is one. He's the only L.A cop registered as a Lethal Weapon." Martin Riggs is a tad unstable, and the Christmas season just really seems to be pushing him over the age. Great shoot out at the Christmas tree lot, and excellent use of an eggnog carton later in the film. Riggs and Murtaugh survive car chases, shootings and a little torture, but eventually prevail. Kudos to Gary Busey as Mr. Joshua for playing one of the best action film villains of the last 20 years. What a psycho (I'm talking both in the movie and in real life).

Die Hard and Die Hard 2
If I'm gonna throw all this praise Lethal Weapon's way, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the action epic Die Hard (and to a lesser degree Dulles-based Die Hard 2, which kept the Christmas spirit and threw in a US Senator and Dennis Franz to boot). The original Die Hard is an absolute classic - I can't even count how many films have ripped it off in the 17 years since it's release. Down on his luck John McClane just hopes to make it throught the holidays with his estranged wife Holly Gennero, but some German terrorists have other ideas. Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber rivals the aforementioned Mr. Joshua as a classic action film bad guy (both Top 10 on this guy's list). Of course John McClane triumphs over the bad dudes, but Argyle steals the show, jamming out with champagne and an oversized stuffed animal to the greatest Christmas song of all time, Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis". Huge points too for the "Ho Ho Ho Now I Have A Machine Gun" scene.

The Poseidon Adventure
We're talking the Ernest Borgnine 1972 original here, not the recent piece of shit Steve Guttenberg 2005 TV version (by the way, other notables in the 2005 version - Rutger Hauer, Peter Weller and C. Thomas Howell...a murderer's row of talent if you ask me). Borgnine, Gene Hackman, Roddy McDowell (Planet of the Apes fame) and crazy ass Shelly Winters try to survive on a capsized cruise ship. I'm cheating a bit here because I think it's actually between Christmas and New Year's in this flick, but let's just say the oversized Christmas tree plays a vital role in the plot. Just one of many 1970s disaster flicks, I always enjoyed the tale of the S.S Poseidon, as much for it's ridiculous overacting as for it's even more ridiculous plot of an oceanliner being tipped over by a tidal wave (the tagline: "Hell, Upside Down") and those trapped inside attempting to make it to the top (or is it bottom?) of the ship to survive.

An Affair To Remember
OK, this one I got from the FFMD. I have only caught bits and pieces of this movie on Turner Classic Movies over the years, and never have tuned in for longer than 10 minutes, even though I find Cary Grant to be absolutely dreamy. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr fall in love while on a cruise ship, but oops, they're already getting married to other folks once they dock. They decide to meet six months later at the Empire State Building (I believe on Valentine's Day). Given it's 1957 release, this has gotta be one of the earliest chick flicks right? Oh yeah, Kerr never makes it to the Empire State Building as scheduled, but the two are finally reunited...on Christmas Day (roll credits). I know, a bit of a stretch, but I figured the list needed to be just a bit longer.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering, my favorite Easter movie of all time?
The Passion of the Christ
(and with that folks, we end today's session, as I was just hit by lightning).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Terribly Belated Wiz Watch

Before we dive into the second installment of GTB's Wiz Watch, Happy Birthday to the MCI Center, which turned 8 years old last evening (the hometown team couldn't even deliver a W as a present, but we'll get into that in a second). To celebrate the big day, Abe Pollin took the MCI and all it's friends (except whiny Byrd Stadium) to Pizza Hut and Chuck E. Cheese, followed by a matinee showing of this season's smash hit comedy, "Cheaper by the Dozen 2".

With all apologies to Sergio Leone (or should I say Con todas disculpas a Sergio Leona?), let's take a look at the Washington Wizards through the season's first 15 games...

Les Boulez, 7-8 (started the season 5-1)
T-2nd in the Southeast Division (with Orlando)
T-8th in the Eastern Conference (with Orlando and New Jersey)

The Good: Hell, this section is so easy even Dee Brown couldn't fuck it up. Gilbert Arenas has been as spectacular as advertised, averaging 27 points and 6 assists a game while shooting 40% from three point land. Gilbert has six 30 point games on the year and one 40 point game (he's fourth in the league in scoring). He's a no doubt All Star and one of the Top 10 players in the league. Not to be outdone, Antawn Jamison has delivered huge all year, especially on the glass. He's avergaing a double double on the year, 21 points and 11 rebounds a game, and has already notched 9 double doubles in the season's first 15 games (he's sixth in the league in rebounding). It sure would be nice if someone else would hit the boards occassionally (Jared Jeffries and Etan Thomas, I'm looking right at you).

Caron Butler has been solid off the bench, giving the Wiz that third option they so desperately need with the band of offensive misfits Eddie Jordan runs out at center and (occassionally) power forward. Other than Ben Gordon, Butler's the best Sixth Man in the league - 15 ppg, 5 rpg and 46% shooting. Plus he's good at siring children.

The Bad: In case you weren't paying attention above, the Wiz have no trouble scoring points (they're 8th in the league). It's just a shame they also don't use their athleticism and talent on the defensive end of the floor (as well as on the glass). They're 22nd in the NBA in points allowed and are DEAD LAST in opponents' rebounds allowed, consistently getting pummeled on the boards (and just watch all the boards they allow guards to grab). Pitiful.

Ah, nice segue to my "breakout" player, Brendan Haywood, who has been serviceable AT BEST. Brendan, 9 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks a game just ain't gonna cut it. You're 7 feet tall for christ sakes. And you still haven't kicked the habit of bringing the ball down after rebounds, which seriously might lead to your murder by our boy Dennis.

The Ugly: Michael Ruffin. OK, sorry to the Ruffin family, it's just too easy. Let's instead take a look at the nightmare that was last night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks and NBA Superstar Mo Williams (sarcasm kids...sarcasm). He had 35 points on 15-21 shooting last night and was absolutely unconscious in the 4th quarter, even hitting the game winning three at the buzzer with the corpse of Chucky Atkins in his face. It's not just that a bum from Alabama lit up the Wiz, that can happen in the NBA on any given night (didn't Dana Barros once score 50 in a game?). It's the fact that Eddie Jordan's guys have an uncanny knack for making the Mo Williams' of the league look like stars night in and night out. 26 points, 14 boards and 5 blocks for Gerald Wallace in a loss to the Bobcats. Richie Frahm and Troy Hudson had 16 each in a loss to the Timberwolves. DeShawn Stevenson has looked better in two games against the Wiz this year than he has in his entire career. Don't be surprised if Raptors Jose Calderon and Matt Bonner combine for 50 Tuesday night.

Calvin Booth's attention span. He is the clear leader in the clubhouse for "NBA Player who enjoys halftime and timeout performances WAAAY more than his coach in huddles". It's tough making the nameplate for this award, but Calvin certainly deserves it. Ricky Davis will need to stab both members of Acrobazia during a timeout to win this award back.
I was not in the office Friday, but in case you couldn't turn away from THE MOST DRAMATIC ER EVER Thursday night, this is what you missed on the boob tube:

In the Mid-American Conference championship game at Detroit's Ford Field, Akron beat Northern Illinois 31-30 on a 36 yard TD pass with just 10 second left. This after an Akron interception with under 2 minutes left made the game seem all but over. Akron's D stopped Northern Illinois three straight times, the Zips were able to stop the clock with their remaining timeouts, and they got the ball back on their own 19 yard line with 1:41 left in the game. The most amazing part of the game winning drive was the player who caught the pass, Domenik Hixon, was sprawled out on the sidelines the entire drive with cramps even Extra Strength Midol couldn't fix (yes, it was a fantastic individual performance Kirk Herbstreit, but a Kirk Gibson comparison? really?). Great ending to a surprisingly exciting game, and it was happening at exactly the same time (roughly 10:57pm) as...

The Nevada/Kansas game went down to the wire at Allen Fieldhouse, with the Wolfpack (minus Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) defeating the Jayhawks 72-70 behind the play of 2006 NBA first round pick Nick Fazekas (he had 35 of Nevada's 72 points). It was yet another great early season college hoops game this year, but the kicker was that as the game ended, I was pretty sure I caught a Jayhawks assistant coach tell Fazekas to "Fuck Off". I mean, it wasn't very hard to read this guy's lips. Well, they never showed a replay on ESPN, so I just figured I was crazy, until I checked Deadspin this morning. Yep, Jayhawks assistant coach Jim Dooley most definitely told Fazekas to fuck off, and they've got the video (as well as the apology from Kansas' athletic department). Great stuff.

A final note on Akron. Is that seriously their mascot? A kangaroo? Can the makers of Kangaroo Jack sue? (actually, can the viewers of Kangaroo Jack sue the makers?) That's the flick with Jerry O'Connell right? I can't think of an actor with a more convoluted career. To wit, I give you the Stages of "Being Jerry O'Connell":
Stage 1 - Collect Underpants
Stage 2 -
Stage 3 - Profit
Whoops, sorry, my bad, wrong list...let's try this again...

Stage 1 - Play dumpy fat kid in hugely successful coming of age film Stand by Me
Stage 2 - Star in show Sliders that SciFiCon attendees love along with John Rhys-Davies of Indiana Jones fame (he's the "Bad dates" guy). Personal note: I was actually a huge fan of this show, and it took me months to realize the fat kid from Stand by Me was the same as the guy in this show.
Stage 3 - Reappear ten years after Stand by Me as stud QB Frank "Cush" Cushman in hugely successful film Jerry Maguire
Stage 4 - Get cast in CSI/Law and Order rip off on NBC, Crossing Jordan (basically it's Quincy ME with a former Law and Order chick and Jerry)
Stage 5 - Desperate for a paycheck, star in aforemetioned stinker Kangaroo Jack (seriously, who is this guy's agent?)
Stage 6 - Holy Shit, how did this happen...Jerry O'Connell is banging Rebecca Romijn (the FFMD just informed me the two are in fact engaged...who knew). I would most definitely call this the "Profit" stage of this list.

With the recent news Fox plans to cancel "Reunion", of course it makes sense Thursday night's episode might've been the best of the season. A little humor, a little more unraveling of the murder backstory, some competent acting, and of course, Craig Brewster pulling a Keyser Soze at the episode's conclusion. SG's right - why can't they just give us the last 9 episodes on FX? I don't think "The Shield" or "Rescue Me" will mind.