Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween GTBers

May your trees be full of toilet paper and your mailboxes full of shaving cream by night's end...and may you not get jacked up like this guy:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Cockatoo Party Saturday

Oh, it's CockTAIL party? My bad.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Flip should've just DNP'd the whole squad

Instead, the Wizards played everyone they had last night.  And it didn't help.  Hell, the Magic played everyone they had helps when you're up 30 the whole game.  It keeps Gortata and Ryan Anderson in shape.

A very light slate of games last night, so the only DNP:CDs to report:
Garret Siler and Earl Clark (Suns)
Jeremy Evans (Jazz)

Which is funny, because I created that "Garret Siler Watch" label for the first of these goofy posts, thinking he might be our leader in the clubhouse all year, but I think Semih Erden of the Celts will have something to say about that before all is said and done.

Now to get to work on the DNP:CDs scoreboard jpeg...

The Ghoogles: Yes Virginia, There are Fluffers

Tried a little something different this time around - removed the "fan favorite" searches, if you will. So I dropped all the circus peanuts hits (thanks Dave) and the frightening number of people searching for pics of Igor (why people, why?). What's left is this cluster-f**k of search terms. Enjoy:
  • some thoughts on mustaches
  • macheda smoking
  • eight-day rental
  • sadler pi lam
  • we got some canes over here
  • cee lo green blogspot
  • todd fuller
  • nazik avdalyan
  • jay baller
  • would you like some making fuck
  • janet jones hot for teacher
  • scumbag millionaire
  • tattoo boy
  • whitesnake girl on car
  • odesse vodka review
  • 5 facial expressions
  • do fluffers really exist
  • joe table
  • kato my little yellow friend
  • mike magnante pension
  • muscular woman
  • s.l.price and sports illustrated
  • small wonder vicki
  • zoltan mesko
  • 1980's topps baseball cards
  • bea hamel porn
  • birthday cake vector
  • colin quinn remote control
  • first place ribbon clip art
  • flux capacitor..fluxing
  • fresh prince pics
  • gabriela sabatini
  • i hate kyle
  • is cee lo green a midget
  • jessee vasold
  • michael westbrook stephen davis
  • miners sodomize youngest miner
  • muresan
  • odu mascot
  • snl italian flatulence kevin kline video download
  • socio economic aspect with caries status
  • terrence williams lips
  • trix rabbit
  • vajazzling

Thursday, October 28, 2010

DNP:CDs...The Pistons Hate Georgetown Alums

Night 2 of the NBA Season had a shitload of games. This endeavor is already wearing on me. But what the hell, let's take another look at those players deemed unworthy of starting a NBA game, at least according to their head coaches (except the Nets, Hornets, Grizzlies, Spurs, Jazz and Warriors - they saw fit to throw everyone out there last night)...

First, let's get the injured guys and league suspensions out of the way - by definition these are not DNP:CDs.
Delonte West (Celts)
Joey Dorsey (Raptors) - Apparently Dorsey took a swing at Brian Scalabrine and got a one game timeout.
Tyreke Evans (Kings) - Tyreke likes to drive verrrry fast
Brandon Rush (Pacers)

"Better get used to it" DNP:CDs
Semih Erden (Celts)
Mario Chalmers (Heat) apparently finds himself in a spacious 5 bedroom, 4 bath doghouse with no chance of exiting
Jordan Hill (Rockets)
Patty Mills and Luke Babbitt of the Blazers

"You might be bad if you can't get some run on the 2010-11 Cavs"
Joey Graham, Leon Powe and Manny Harris I'm looking at you

"Georgetown Haters"
DaJuan Summers and Greg Monroe (Pistons)

"Obvious Pac 10 big man bias. You see cases break out like this all over the country this time of year."
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Jon Brockman (Bucks)

"Larry Brown simply hates you" - Bobcats DNP:CDs
Matt Carroll and Sherron Collins

DeShawn Stevenson (Mavs)

"Pacers were over their limit of suited-up honkeys"
Jeff Foster and Tyler Hansbrough

"Hey old man, how did you even get in the gym?"
Anthony Carter (Nuggets)

"Kevin is very disappointed in you guys"
Royal Ivey, D.J. White and Cole Aldrich (Thunder)

"Miscellaneous dudes at the bottom of the page"
Tony Battie (76ers) - Still in the league, eh?
Shawne Williams (Knicks)
Andy Rautins (Knicks) - Obvious anti-Canadian bias.
Julian Wright (Raptors)
Lazar Hayward (Twolves)
James Johnson (Bulls)
jason Collins (Hawks)
Jermaine Taylor (Rockets)
Brian Cook (Clippers)

Bonus DNP:CD fun for the comments - Check out the Wiz roster and predict who Flip keeps nailed to the pine tonight.

Name That Tune

I recently returned from a highly productive three day jaunt to Boston during which I got more stories than JD's got Salingers.

1. I got a haircut from my old barber Baldino who was recently named runner-up for best barber in Boston, which is bullschtein because he's still #1. You're a donkey if you let anyone else in Boston cut your hair. Now like the Knicks I got game like I work at Hasbro.

2. I got my "Biz's Baddest Beats" CD back from my buddy J-P, who borrowed it some time around 2003 and who returned it on Tuesday with nary a scratch. Now I got more [of Biz's] hits than Sadahara Oh.

3. I got a gurgling cod. I can put juice in it, and I got more juice than Picasso got paint.

4. I got a King of Kenmore and some beers including Samuel Smith's India Ale and a really good porter the name of which I cannot remember, at The Lower Depths. With that porter, I got more flavor than Fruit Striped Gum.

5. I got a good music tip from Chris, the kickass bartender at The Lower Depths, because he put "Exploding Head" by A Place to Bury Strangers on, and I said how much I like them, and he said he was embarassed to admit that he just heard about them, and I said that that made no sense as they were totally up his alley, and he agreed and then suggested I check out Film School, claiming that they are very similar acts.

I think the comparison is pretty good musically ...

... and when it isn't close musically it's close graphically ...

In any event, with the addition of Film School to my iPod I can now say that I got more rhymes than Jamaica got mangoes. I counted. Really, I did.

6. I got home and the zwoman just finished doing the laundry and was folding her tits off, so now I have clean clothes. You could even say that I got more suits than Jacoby and Meyers. Or, for bonus points, that I got more styles than all the Jamaicans in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DNP:CDs...The Adventure Begins

Not so long ago, a crack blogmando unit was recruited to create a blog that ultimately did not exist.  These men promptly escaped from a minimum obligation group blog to the current interweb underground.  Today, still wanted by TJ as a source for humor, that almost-blog name will survive as a Kellen Winslow soldier of the internet.  If you have a problem, if no one else will waste their time doing this, and if you can find me before lunch, maybe you can have...the "Did Not Play: Coach's Decision" list.

DNP:CDs...Night 1

The "Holy S**t These Guys Are Still In The League" DNP:CDs
Juwan Howard (Heat)
Jamaal Magloire (Heat)

The "Weren't You Really Good In College" DNP:CDs
Mario Chalmers (Heat)
Earl Clark (Suns)
Luke Babbitt (Trail Blazers)
Patrick Mills (Trail Blazers)
Devin Ebanks (Lakers)

The "Seriously, I Love Sports, But Who The F*** Are You?" DNP:CDs
Semih Erden (Celtics)
Garret Siler (Suns)

The "He Makes Me Hungry, I Want A Fig Newton" DNP:CD
Von Wafer (Celtics)

The "Hahahaha You Are Cursed By The Stink Of Isiah" DNP:CDs
Jordan Hill (Rockets)
Jared Jeffries (Rockets)

The "Phil Benched You Because Your New Significant Other Makes Phil's Look Like A Horse" DNP:CD
Sasha Vujacic (Lakers)

And of course last night we also had the "NWT - League Suspension" for Mr. Delonte West of the Celtics.  Delonte, you just keep on keepin' on.  We support your hijinx.

**Your image provided by the google search of "riding the bench".  Thank you google.**

Halloween Preview / Hump Day Filler

Here is a goodie from our favorite elitist sitcom. I would post more fascinating content like this, except I now have a new job that commands more than 50% effort. And the new gig has an uber-tough firewall - no Pandora, no Sports Guy podcasts and no Gheorghe: The Blog. A tragedy indeed.

But enough about me. Let's turn it to Mr. Jordan...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The NBA season begins tonight...

and barring a miracle last-minute post from Mark I was concerned we wouldn't have a proper forum for the usual G:TB-related, in that vein, let the season begin with this hastily chosen clip:

Monday, October 25, 2010

How Monday Feels

Happy mosh pitting at the ragu festival...apparently you need to click on the picture to see the awesomeness.  Click I said.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Tough Ho to Row

It's William & Mary Week at Igor's desk (which looks suspiciously like a bar). From the What to Watch on TV This Weekend file, if you're very lucky, you live in an area that gets the I-AA game of the week. The official listing says that the Homecoming showdown between #5 W&M and #2 Delaware will air on "The Comcast Network/Comcast SportsNet New England/Cox11-TV." Cross your fingers, set your TiVo. Noontime tomorrow.

Wrens v. Hens is always a spirited match-up, anyway, and as Homecoming opponents go, this one rots. Apparently we liked the way the Blue Hens were sucking it up a season or two ago, but in 2010, they are eons away from the patty-cakes we should be scheduling for the masses to watch.

As has been alluded to in the G:TB comments here before, the Tribe's march to the playoffs is no cakewalk. The CAA is friggin' brutal this year, as evidenced by the I-AA standings. The conference has seven teams in the top 15 right now; although the conference does boast the most teams in it with 12, even broken down per school, the Colonial is a SuperLeague right now. 259 poll points per school.

The point here is to underscore the post from earlier this week; ain't no picnic at William & Mary these days, unless you count the sparkling cider and fromage outings by Crim Dell that the undergrads are relegated to lately. Catch the game if you can.

CAA Action . . . it's not bad.

Getting primed for Election Day

Zman and Danimal's talk of their respective gubernatorial elections has gotten me primed for November 2nd...

South Park - Turd Sandwich vs. Giant Douche

Blake | Myspace Video

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hey James Harrison: STFU

No, seriously, stop whining. Retire if you want. I don't want to hear it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


For as long as I can remember, I've been a Fuji apple partisan. You can keep your Red Delicious, your Honeycrisp, your McIntosh, and for Chrissakes your Granny Smith. Give me Japan's favorite eating apple and its dense, sweet, crisp flesh. Today, though, I walked into the local purveyor of grocery items and was tempted by the fruit of another. Why, hello, Ambrosia, you creamy, sweet, aromatic minx.
Also, dude on a bike:

Tim Knoll BMX from tim knoll on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I got your head noddin' cuz your neck knows it's old

TR and I recently jointly opined that we know we're getting old because it seems like all new rap sucks. This isn't the first time I've felt this way. Fortunately, something like this inevitably turns up to make me feel like less of an old man.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Get Help, People

When I was in school, there were two pervasive rumors about The College of William & Mary:

1. There is an above-average number of gay students.
2. There is an above-average number of suicides.

Now, living in the same fraternity house as Rob and Dave, I got used to the fact that #1 was pretty true. As for the second rumor, I never knew anyone in my four-plus years at the College that took his or her own life, so I figured it was bunk. Get this unfortunate piece of news, though. The third suicide in a year at W&M occurred last week. I have removed the names out of respect for the deceased, but I will reveal that the most recent student's name was Whitney.

Another William and Mary student commits suicide... Third this year

On Friday morning, the body of William and Mary sophomore ******, was discovered in the Lake Matoaka area.

In a campus-wide email, Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler said: “****** was a Sharpe Scholar who had tremendous academic talent. Her faculty have described her as having a particular passion for biodiversity and for exploring the relationship between the environment and quality of life issues.”

****** is the third William and Mary student to have committed suicide in 2010. In
April, ****** was found dead inside his car in a Virginia Beach parking lot; and in February, ****** was found dead in her dorm room.

Now, I am posting this neither to sensationalize nor to make light of this tragic pattern; rather, because we are the self-professed purveyors of taking life less seriously, and as there seems to be something rendering the student body of our alma mater unable to do so, perhaps we haven't done enough to market the message of our madness to these undergrads. I mean, in all seriousness . . . what the fuck is going on in Williamsburg these days?

Here's the little I know about William & Mary these days:

- It's harder to get into the school than ever.
- It's harder to stay in the school and graduate than ever.
- W&M professors are as historically cold and tight with grades as they are patently awkward at cocktail parties.
- In-state and out-of-state tuition is rising, so parental pressure to perform is increased.


- It's nearly impossible to drink alcohol.
- Greek Life is neutered beyond recognition.
- City ordinances prohibit living situations and gatherings that could be construed as fun.
- The town still offers no distractions -- unless Colonial America and/or archaeology, pancakes, Christmas Mouse, or caddying for crotchety white people (no offense, Danimal) are one's bag.
- Students are brighter and more diligent than ever, ensuring that they are worse athletes with no wild side whatsoever, rendering club sports such as rugby, lacrosse, and Naked Club completely moot.
- The identity of the student body is now affiliated with such things as the homecoming drag queen, Thriller dancing, and, most recently, suicide. School spirit is non-existent.

I guess this is starting to make some sense. Now, with my Sociology degree, of course I am going to mull over the societal factors that are making this continue to happen. As a collective, though, we should be ensuring that if the Gheorghian philosophy isn't making its way to the furthest corners of the world, at the very least it's starting to permeate our old school.

Now back to your regularly scheduled dipshittery.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dag. Ger.

FOG:TB Robbie Hummel is out for the season after injuring his ACL in the second drill of the season. The NCAA is in the process of deciding whether to grant him a 13th year of eligibility.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm the damn paterfamilias!

We are having a zbaby.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Music/Old Movie Mean Thursday

According to Wikipedia, Ogre You Asshole is a Japanese rock band formed in Nagano, Japan taking influences from Modest Mouse, Fugazi and Talking Heads. I'm sold.

For the young 'uns out there, here is the genesis of that kick-ass band name.

No confirmation on rumors that alternate band names included Have You Ever Had Sex With a Woman, Jeez Betty You're Like a Goat or I Thought I Was Looking At My Mother's Old Douche Bag But That's in Ohio.

On that note, here's a final clip for those of you with home improvement aspirations:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Here's his right side....

And here's his left...along with a fierce snarl that vaguely attempts to distract us from his idiocy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Special Columbus Day Ghoogles

If I'm gonna be stuck at work, bored bitter and ridiculously sore from 54 holes of golf in 48 hours, I might as well throw something up here...enjoy the most recent internet searches that led folks to G:TB.
  • circus peanuts
  • some thoughts on mustaches
  • hurricane igor
  • jason marquis game changer
  • eight-day rental
  • wiz khalifa
  • we got some canes over here
  • sadler pi lam
  • worst rock songs
  • wiz khalifa blogspot
  • nazik avdalyan
  • worst rock songs of all time
  • cee lo green blogspot
  • top ten baseball card sets of the 1980s
  • todd fuller
  • jessee vasold
  • macheda smoking
  • janet jones hot for teacher
  • rachel glandorf
  • total recall
  • circle jerk blog
  • igor pictures
  • fresh prince
  • orioles buck 2010
  • kevin youkilis summer catch
  • georgeta bartender ny
  • delvon roe tattoo
  • dewon brazelton girlfriend
  • how to draw quagmire
  • jay baller
  • joe table
  • s.l.price and sports illustrated
  • tattoo boy
  • todd bouman
  • whitesnake video girl
  • would you like some making fuck
  • zoltan mesko
  • odesse vodka review
  • 3rd bass
  • apex of the vortex
  • dave mlicki earnings
  • dru joyce iii
  • eddie money
  • facial expressions in movies
  • first place ribbon clip art
  • flux capacitor fluxing
  • happy birthday cake
  • kato my little yellow friend
  • kevin kline snl italian flatulence
  • kim chan
  • list of facial expressions
  • muscular woman
  • my little yellow friend
  • picture of igor
  • ryan atwood jetblue
  • stan kasten email
  • terrence williams lips
  • trix bunny
  • was kevin youkilis in summer catch
  • yeah click clack
  • 1982 topps + hockey sticks
  • affair with his girlfriend's mother
  • bar stool
  • bareback
  • barry bonds fight dusty baker earring giants -kent -reds -cubs -alou -rude
  • bea hamel filmography
Hard to pick a favorite in that group - there are two or three absolute gems.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

At least Spurrier celebrated my birthday in proper fashion...

Somehow, Florida managed to nearly beat LSU despite being badly outplayed at home last night. Somehow, I had to foresight not attend a game that I always attend when it's played at Ben Hill Griffin despite having free tickets offered to me by multiple people. Somehow, I don't have an enormous hangover despite drinking for most of the afternoon ($1 PBR drafts...yum) and the entire evening yesterday.

And somehow, I've made it to my 33rd birthday without a felony arrest on my record. I guess, when I think of things like that, and the fact that I got a new tattoo on my hand yesterday (say goodbye to that job at...well, pretty much anywhere) my life isn't all bad. I've got my (relative) health, friends and family that love me and a super awesome blog where I can hang out and make inappropriate comments to near and (in some cases) total strangers who tolerate and, at times, appreciate my sense of humor.

Wow, I think I've convinced myself that my life isn't over, even though Florida's 2010 Football season is (for all intents and purposes). That didn't take too long at all. Yeah, things ain't so bad. I've got tomorrow off work, I'll probably drink 5 too many tonight and I'll be wearing a Larry Bird Indiana State jersey all day for good measure. Good times. You know what else is good? This video of Jay-Z & Timbaland in the studio. Enjoy.

See you in the comments for some Sunday frivolity.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Since many of you won't be working on Monday (I will, not that I'm bitter about it), here's a NSFW video of Cee-Lo Green covering Band of Horses' 'No One's Gonna Love You'. Like two great tastes that taste great together, Cee-Lo's sync-heavy riff is the chocolate to the Horses' soulful peanut butter. (That pun, definitely intended.)

Can't figure out how to embed this one, so follow the link. And enjoy your weekend.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Knowing where our bread is buttered

Many moons ago, this little corner of the blogosphere enjoyed unprecedented attention for posting Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's horrifically bad first pitch. And we even had some more fun at Mayor Mallory's expense via Danny Devito's mound excursion.

Well, now I'm happy to say we are back...with this entry from Charlie Crist:

I'm no political junkie, but one might say that pitch is a pretty accurate description of his campaign so far. (is that even true? geoff, rob, wanna help me here?)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

What to Watch/TiVo/DVR Tonight

There is a smorgasbord of sports on tonight, but I suggest that you music fans carve some time/hard drive space for the HBO documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town. The documentary details the studio effort behind the making of this 1978 album which spawned classics like Darkness on the Edge of Town, Prove it All Night, The Promised Land and the epic Badlands.

Springsteen had released three albums at this point in his career, the last of which was the mammoth Born to Run, which skyrocketed him to worldwide fame. But after a year-long recording hiatus due to a lawsuit against an ex-manager, he was ready to get back to work. So we get to glimpse the life of a late 20's small-town guy who is struggling with an avalanche of fame, trying to stay connected to his blue-collar roots and, most importantly, trying to write some good tunes.

Early reviewers say that non-Springsteen fans may find the documentary a bit tedious, but I think you should watch it just to see the look the dude was rocking back in the day.

Ranking Topps 1980's Baseball Card Sets: #4 - 1981

1981. What better way to seduce youngsters than to include mini hats on the baseball cards. The hats always reminded me of the overpriced cups of ice cream I used to get in Yankee stadium that were served in little plastic cups shaped like Yankee helmets. I used to eat a ton of those cups of ice cream. To quote a classic 1981 movie, when I was younger, I swallowed a lot of aggression...along with a lot of pizzas.

1981 was an interesting year for baseball and a fun year for the cards. The baseball season was ripped apart by a two-month strike from June 11th to August 9th that cost teams about 55 games from the regular season. The playoffs featured four teams in each league, a move deemed necessary to offset the curtailed regular season. Based on the legitimate enthusiasm generated by the three rounds of playoff action, it is sadly apt that it took the league fourteen years to formally expand the playoffs. Due to the strike, the playoffs were oddly set up that year. The season was broken down into a first half and a second half. The first half leaders from each of the four divisions played the second half leaders from each division. Conveniently for the sport, each division had different leaders in each half. Inconveniently for consistent NL teams, the team with the best overall records in the NL East and West for the entire year (Philadelphia and Cincinnati, respectively) failed to make the postseason because they finished in second place in each half. The takeaway? Strikes suck.

Most of us remember the salient details of the season and playoffs. In the NL, Rick Monday, Fernando Valenzuela and Fernando's weird eyeball trick led the Dodgers over Tim Raines and the coke snorting Expos. In the AL, the Yanks got past Billy Martin's A's. In the World Series, the Dodgers avenged their weak 1978 showing (when they won Games 1 and 2 but lost the Series) by losing Games 1 and 2 and then winning the Series.

So with that backdrop, let's look into the cards. To recap, here are the rankings to date:

#10 - 1986
#9 - 1988
#8 - 1982
#7 - 1980
#6 - 1985
#5 - 1987
#4 - 1981

Back to the mini helmets on the cards. I can't stress how much they rocked when I was a kid. They were a brilliant move by Topps to catch the eyes of bored youngsters at supermarket checkout lines and compel them to nag incessantly to their moms to buy them these cards. Sometimes your mom would buckle. And sometimes she would hit you, call you a loser and say she never loved you. But I digress. 1981 was the inaugural year for the Topps Traded sets, the Fall issuance that featured traded players and promising rookies. The traded set was possibly included to lessen the blow from the abominable decision to stuff three rookies onto one card, a move that premiered this year and hung around for far too long in the 1980's. Fernando got his own card in the traded set, as did Raines, Hubie Brooks, Ron "The Felon" LeFlore, Jeff Reardon and...wait for it...Danny Ainge. They were presented alongside newly relocated veterans like Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield, Carlton Fisk and Gaylord Perry. And, last, and probably least, Mario Mendoza, who moved from Seattle to Texas in 1981.

As for the rookies, Fernando made the biggest splash in the league that year, albeit a splash that, with the use of hindsight, proved to be more like a fat man's cannonball than a future Hall of Famer's dive into stardom. He was the biggest import from Mexico since Corona. A man with throngs of Mexican American fans, a man whose cultural impact inspired numerous pieces of fine art. Like this. But there were other fine players with rookie cards that year. Like Raines, whose brilliance as the second greatest leadoff hitter of all time was overshadowed by coming to the big leagues at the same time as Rickey Henderson, the greatest leadoff hitter of all time. And Rick Dempsey, Mookie Wilson, Mike Boddicker, Pascual Perez, Tony Pena and Bruce Hurst. But not the tragically named Rusty Kuntz.

On a different note, 1981 was a tremendous year for mustaches and/or bad glasses in the majors. Don't believe me? Check out Rich Gale, Joe Pettini and Mario Mendoza below.

Let's talk about Mr. Mendoza for a minute, seen in his regular 1981 card above. And I don't mean his low batting average, his hair or his resemblance to Harold Ramis with Down's Syndrome. I mean the player who signifies the cultural divide between the old school "purists" and contemporary fans with that tired story. Yes, THAT one. Every year, every city's baseball broadcasting team re-tells the tired old Mendoza line story. It usually happens in mid-May, when one of the local team's star players remains stuck in a season-starting slump. Retired color commentators like Jerry Remy or Ken Singleton will tell the play-by-play man of players in their era checking their batting averages to see how they stacked up against Mendoza. The story usually ended with forced chuckles and a comment that "the shortstop position isn't just for defense any more." It's one of those old fables that people over 50 like to present when they wax poetic about the idyllic glory of our national pastime, when boys were boys, and players were boozing pill-poppers who chased coke and tail, not PEDs.

So you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have a piss-poor 1980's theme song and the 1981 Topps set. Optically fantastic yet tragically flawed by a strike. A great postseason (where three divisional series and one championship series went to a deciding fifth game) after a shortened season that distorted statistics. In a sport that is definitively based on numbers, who wanted Eddie Murray to lead the AL with 22 HRs and 78 RBIs? Not me, that's who. So 1981 gets parked at #4.

Coming down the stretch, we are left with the top three years. In chronological order, they are 1983, 1984 and 1989. Stay tuned next week.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

From the Archives

I love the baseball postseason. Always have, even when the Red Sox aren't involved. (No, not aggravated by that at all, why do you ask?) And so, in honor of the beginning of another month of late nights, chilly tension, and Tim McCarver's mangling of the language, we present the following, reprinted with permission from the late, lamented Misery Loves Company.

American League Championship Series - Game 7

Red Sox 10, Yankees 3
Red Sox win, 4-3

Boston Red Sox, 2004 American League Champions

A friend of mine from Seattle e-mailed me at about 12:30 last night to congratulate me. My response to him (sent on my Blackberry in the midst of watching the Sox celebrate) was that this was the 4th-happiest day of my life after my wedding day and the days my 2 daughters were born. And that I was willing and hoping to knock it down one notch in a week or so.

As Ruben Sierra's groundball settled first into Pokey Reese's glove and from there into Doug Mientkiewicz', every memory of Red Sox tragedy, every wasted opportunity, every held relay throw or mental error, or managerial blunder, every ghost, and every disappointment washed away. I fell to the floor of my living room and pounded the carpet with both fists, crying, laughing, repeating, "They did it. They did it. They did it."

In the buildup to Game 7, I knew that a Sox win would produce euphoria in the moments after the game, and it did. I soaked up all the post-game celebrations, reveling in the catharsis wrought by this self-proclaimed band of idiots. What I didn't expect, and have welcomed, was the flashback euphoria. I was driving to work this morning, and - from nowhere - my eyes watered and I tore off an involuntary fist pump. It was an adrenaline aftershock of sorts. It's happened 3 or 4 times since.

Forgive me if this post is a jumble of unconnected thoughts - I simply have not completely processed the entirety of this thing. The Red Sox were 1 single inning away from losing this series, 4-0, and the Yankees had Mariano Rivera on the mound with nobody on base. Consider for a moment the "nevers" that the Sox overcame in this series alone: New York had never lost consecutive extra-inning postseason games; Rivera had never blown consecutive postseason saves; a team trailing 3-0 in a best-of-7 series had never extended the series to 7 games, let alone won it; the Yankees had never lost Game 7 of an ALCS; the Sox had never beaten the Yankees in an elimination game. Add to that the well-documented and quasi-tragic history of the Boston Red Sox. Mix in Curt Schilling's injury and Pedro Martinez' not-quite-dominance, and a 19-8 Yankee thrashing in Game 3. Stir in for good measure the fact that Johnny Damon started the series 3-for-29 and that Manny Ramirez finished the series with 0 RBI. I mean, c'mon, you couldn't make this up. They won. They did it.

From this day forward, the Sox will be known as the team that pulled off the greatest comeback in the history of sports, and the Yankees will be known as the team that committed the greatest chokejob in the history of sports. And even though that's wildly unfair to the Yankees - they didn't choke, the Sox scratched and clawed and fought and won - I won't correct anyone who says they did. They are well and truly vanquished. You can't possibly imagine how good it feels to type that and to know that.

So here's to the 2004 American League Champion Boston Red Sox. And in my best text version of the 'One Shining Moment' signoff, here are a few of the things I'll always remember about this series:
  • Curt Schilling pitching Game 6 on one leg, with blood pouring through his sock, and shutting the Yankees down for 7 innings
  • Dave Roberts stealing 2nd base in Game 4, and scoring on Bill Mueller's single to tie the game. The baseball version of a cardiac crash cart.
  • Doug Mientkiewicz' otherworldly scoop on Mueller's short-armed throw to start the 8th inning last night. Even up 9-3, a leadoff error would have probably sent me into arrest.
  • David Ortiz. David Ortiz. David Ortiz.
  • The bad Johnny Damon morphing into the good Johnny Damon in the span of 3 at-bats in Game 7 - and Ortiz claiming post-game that it was because he told Damon's fiancee to sleep in a separate room.
  • Derek Lowe, in a post-game interview, pointing to the Yankee Stadium pitcher's mound and noting that Tim Wakefield was standing there alone, soaking up the good feelings and erasing the memories last year's gut-punch. I simply lost it at that point.
  • Keith Foulke getting 15 outs in three games in about 48 hours, giving his team everything left in his arm.
  • Manny Ramirez smiling through it all.
  • Terry Francona making the right move time after time after time - and I'll give him a pass on bringing Pedro in last night.
  • Alex Rodriguez' bush-league karate chop on Bronson Arroyo in Game 6. Karma's a bitch, ain't it.
  • Derek Jeter being the only Yankee with any heart in Game 7. Say what you want about that guy - and I've said it all - he is one hell of a competitor. And his teammates went out like so many whimpering puppies, tails between their legs from the first inning on.
  • Wearing a bald spot in my living room carpet from pacing back and forth in the final innings of Game 6.
  • My favorite aunt (a Boston resident) emailing me after each of the final 3 games - at first worried, then cautiously optimistic, then ecstatic. My last email to her: "Believe, Jan. Believe"
  • Mark Bellhorn, not once but twice, hitting homeruns immediately after I told my wife that he'd been worthless in the postseason.

The Sox beat the Yankees. Damn.

But here's the thing: the Sox aren't done yet. They will face a worthy adversary in the World Series, and they will overlook Houston or St. Louis at their peril. Which is to say, they won't overlook them. I'll always have Game 7, but it'll mean something less if the Sox don't close the deal next week.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ranking Topps 1980's Baseball Card Sets: #5 - 1987

Mike Greenwell. Mike Fucking Greenwell. No player is as synonymous with the late 80's baseball card bubble like Mike Greenwell. He is to baseball cards what Global Crossing or was to the stock market at the end of the last millennium. All sizzle and no steak. And a fucking Red Sox player to boot. Sure, he had a modestly successful career, and he managed to hoodwink Boston into paying him $21 million from 1990 to 1996. But his 1987 rookie card was among the most overpriced of the decade, topping out at $6. I vividly remember this because I purchased six rookie cards at a bargain basement price of $4.50 each that year. I probably felt just like the same suckers who bought Yahoo! for $100/share in early 2000.The Greenwell story is 1987 in a nutshell. The baseball card market exploded faster than Jose Canseco's biceps. Everybody hopped in and young, foolish collectors like myself started calculating paper gains in their pubescent heads. The crooked pricing catalogs I naively trusted were just leading me down the primrose path.

But we shouldn't let a schlub with a porn stache overshadow what was a pretty entertaining season. In the alleged "juiced ball" year, the upstart Twins, led by a short, fat man, a tall, fat man, an old man who owned the coolest shirt ever (see below), a Johnny Wad impostor and Steve Carlton's corpse, once again made losers of the speedy St. Louis Cardinals in a thrilling seven-game World Series.

(Is this the best shirt ever? Seriously, look at it. And remember that it came a generation before the ironic T-shirts that faux hipsters annoyingly wear all over town these days. The best part is that you can tell by looking at the neck that it's well-worn and beat up. Clearly, this was in the rotation for Bert for quite some time. If this isn't enough to get him into the Hall, I don't know what is.)

And let's not forget those who reaped the rewards of the juiced ball season. Juan Samuel and Wade Boggs each belted over 30 HRs, and the AL home run leaders included neer-do-wells like Mike Pagliarulo, Larry Parrish, Wally Joyner and Matt Nokes. Andre Dawson put up monster stats and George Bell and Jesse Barfield, along with Dawson, propelled the sales of jheri curl in Chicago and Canada.

To recap, here are the rankings to date:

#10 - 1986
#9 - 1988
#8 - 1982
#7 - 1980
#6 - 1985

The cards themselves were pretty cool in 1987. The faux wood design looked as cool on the cards as they did on my dad's 1986 maroon Dodge Caravan. The color schemes matched the team uniforms, the logo was cool and there was nothing else to get in the way. Simple stuff. We had a strange crop of rookies this year. Topps was kind of enough to designate the top rookies with a gold chalice, so we knew we were supposed to be excited when we got one of those cards (Danny Tartabull! Sweet!). They made things more confusing by also including a set of "Future Stars" players, and they nailed those players (looking at you, Dave Magadan). Unfortunately, there were manager cards in this set. And manager cards suck.

Surprisingly, this set, which many have called iconic for being the set that lured them into collecting, barely cracks the top half of our ranking for the decade. But too much sizzle and too few quality rookies doom the set. Stay tuned for the top 4 sets, coming at you (hopefully) before the end of the World Series. This year's World Series. Honest. In chronological order, the years left are 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1989. Thrilling stuff, I know.

P.S - Bonus card inclusion to remind Mets fans what a shit-show their franchise has been the last couple years. Sorry I couldn't find a picture of him shirtless, taunting 19 year-old Dominicans.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Happy Birthday, Big Fella

The G:TB Charter says we are only allowed to post football content on NFL Sundays, so I will wish a happy birthday to a guy drafted in the 17th round of the 1973 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings - David Marc Winfield.

He will be 69 years old. In ten years.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ranking Topps 1980's Baseball Card Sets: #6 - 1985

Let's celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1985 season, an exciting one for several reasons. New York fans were able to enjoy a pair of young players cementing their status as superstars. Dwight Gooden won the Cy Young and put up the most dominating pitching season I ever saw (24-4, 1.53 ERA, 268 Ks). And Don Mattingly locked down the AL MVP with a ridiculous .324/35/145 season (an award he should have won three years in a row - look at his 1984-86 stats here and try to make the case for Willie Hernandez in '84 and Clemens in '86. I dare you.). Fans across the country were able to enjoy Whitey Herzog's St. Louis Cardinals, who had an incredibly exciting team. As a Yankee fan in New Jersey, I thoroughly enjoyed watching them play against the Mets on the black and white TV I got from my folks that year (Note to self: add "black and white TVs" to the list of things I'll explain to my kids that will make them look at me like I grew up a million years ago.). The Cardinals team was just awesome - Vince Coleman stole 110 bases, four others stole over 30, only one player hit over 13 HRs and Tommy Herr had one of my favorite stat lines from the whole decade, with 8 HRs and 110 RBIs. And don't forget Willie McGee. And his face. The Cards lost a tough World Series to the underdog Royals that year, who had a Brett (George) and a Bret (Saberhagen) leading them.

I'm gonna dwell on the season a bit more, because it was really a tough one for New York baseball fans. The Mets got to celebrate Gooden's monster year and see Strawberry continue to develop, but they failed to keep pace with the mighty Cardinals in a brutal NL East race. The Mets won 98 games that year, 3rd best in all of baseball, but failed to make the post-season. Brutal juice for Mets fans. And things weren't much better in the Bronx. A solid Yankee team, on the back of Ron Guidry's second-best season ever, won 97 games and almost edged out the Blue Jays for the division title. I vividly remember this race for two reasons. First, the Yankees ended the season with a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. They were two games down heading in and needed a sweep to win the series. They won the first game, but lost the second to end their season. Also, this series would decide the AL batting champ, as Mattingly and everybody's favorite alleged VD-carrying right-fielder, Dave Winfield, went down to the wire. Mattingly ended up winning, possibly due to racist Yankee fans who turned on Winfield and threw out racist comments to him while rooting for Mattingly. You stay classy, Bronx. My Yankees narrowly missed the post-season, my favorite Yankee narrowly missed the batting title and the team's best pitcher narrowly missed the Cy Young, as Bret Saberhagen edged out Guidry. Bad times all the way around.

Back to the cards. To recap, here are the rankings to date:

#10 - 1986
#9 - 1988
#8 - 1982
#7 - 1980
#6 - 1985

Pros & Cons
I know you are all asking yourselves - why are the pros and cons together!? They've always been separate!? Well, sports fans, the items that make this year's set so intriguing are what make them so tragic. I'll just list some rookies and you can wince on your own: Roger Clemens, Eric Davis and Kirby Puckett. Orel Hershiser was also in this set. But he was so damn boring and inconsistent, that we'll ignore him. I'm not sure why he couldn't pull it together over his career. Maybe he had a Garvey-esque dark side. And, last but not least, Mark McGwire, the biggest rookie card of them all, appeared that year. He showed up courtesy of his presence on the 1984 Olympic Baseball Team. An interesting brain fart by Topps that year was to only include the 16 US Olympians who had been drafted in that year's card set. Players who made the cut with McGwire included luminaries such as Cory Snyder, Odibie McDowell, John Marzano and Scott Bankhead. Omitted from the set were Randy Johnson, Will Clark, BJ Surhoff and Bobby Witt. Inconvenience for you, I'm sorry. Wrong set of Olympians altogether. (first to source this borrowed movie quote gets a french kiss from our bashful The Teej)

But back to the rookies. We had the B-12 Rocket, Captain Andro and little Kirby Puckett, who was so well loved that he undeservedly made the Hall of Fame even though he was a tremendous dirtbag. If you're too lazy to click through on the Puckett story, read these quotes from Frank Deford's riveting article several years ago: "Over the years, (his) ex-wife told SI, Puckett had also tried to strangle her with an electrical cord, locked her in the basement and used a power saw to cut through a door after she had locked herself in a room. Once, she said, he even put a cocked gun to her head while she was holding their young daughter. Puckett’s upcoming trial stems from charges that he pulled a woman into the men’s room of a restaurant in Eden Prairie, Minn., on Sept. 5, 2002, and fondled her."

But even the late Mr. Puckett is not the most tragic figure in this rambling post. The most tragic figure is Eric Davis. Of all the promising rookies to start their baseball careers in the 80's, I'm not sure if there was one who made fans salivate with anticipation about a player's potential more than Eric Davis (Pedro Guerrero may have made some female fans salivate, but that is a story unfit for this family blog). A Gold Glove defender with prodigious power and blazing speed, he was touted as a legitimate 50-50 Club candidate. In 1986, he hit 27 HRs and stole 80 bases in 132 games. The next year, he hit 37 HRs and stole 50 bases in only 129 games. Sadly, injuries decimated his career. And, most tragically, they decimated the worth of his 1985 rookie card, which I owned.

Unfortunately, the degenerate and ill-fated rookies and the mistakes involving the Olympians overshadowed most of the good things about this set, namely the great season and some good looking cards. Topps finally realized that the colors in the cards should pertain to the team's colors. Although the colors wasn't perfect, they were better. But sometimes good colors, or 98 wins, just ain't enough.