Friday, June 22, 2012

Uh oh, Joe's throwing the "C" word around again

A couple of week's ago, when the Rays were playing the Red Sox, Tampa pitcher Matt Moore plunked Adrian Gonzalez with the first pitch in what was obviously a comment about a statement A-Gon had made to the Boston press about breaking out of his home run drought in that particular game.

No bench clearing brawl or nastiness from Gonzalez or the Sox over the j.v. maneuver.  Later in the game, Sox reliever Franklin Morales threw his first pitch behind Rays dh Luke Scott.  He buzzed the next two pitches chest high before finally hitting Scott.

The Rays bench erupted, led by the coaches who screamed all kinds of things at the Boston players and coaches.  Rays coach Joe Maddon went off in every conceivable media outlet, including Twitter, about what he called an obvious hit put out by Boston's coaches on Scott.  Luke "Muttonchops" Scott is hitting about .200, btw, and probably leads the league in stranding runners in scoring position.  So he's not exactly A-Rod, if you take my meaning.

Madden called the move "cowardly" and went on and on about the Boston coaches.  Sox coach Bobby Valentine wondered in response if this meant that anytime a Rays pitcher hits an opposing batter that is has been called for by Rays coaches.

Flash forward to this week and the Rays game against the Nationals the other night.  When Rays reliever Joel Peralta came in late in the game, Nats coach Davey Johnson signaled to the umps to check Peralta's glove.  Peralta played for the Nats last year, and sure enough, the glove was loaded with pine tar.  Peralta was ejected, GloveGate was born, and Madden went off again.

He called the move, you guessed it . . . "cowardly" said, without evidence btw, that Nats players were upset with the move and suggested that players wouldn't want to play for the team in the future.

Oh brother!

Like Bobby V. before him, Johnson answered adroitly that perhaps Madden should read the rule book.  Bottom line -- foreign substances are not allowed on the pitcher's person when on the mound.  Maddon and the local press are still raging about this, dredging up some former Rays coach who says that all pitchers use pine tar to grip the ball (news to me, I thought that's what the rosin bag was for) and claimed that studies have shown that putting pine tar on the ball doesn't affect the flight of the ball in any way.


I'm no brain scientist, but how can you alter the weight and balance of a flying object and not have it affect the objects trajectory?

But Maddon's still barking about this, claiming Peralta's eight game suspension isn't called for.  Except that it is, and precident is already in place for exactly that length suspension.

Frankly, Maddon's perpetual whining about stuff like this is rubbing off on the entire team -- a Rays player slides hard into second to break up a double play and its just hard-nosed baserunning.  An opposing team's player slides hard into second on the Rays and he's overplaying the game, coming in too high, its totally uncalled for, etc.

David Price goes 7 innings, strikes out 10 guys with a strike zone that extends halfway into the other batter's box?  He's in the zone, baby!  He's dialed in!  Fabulous!  An opposing pitcher gets the same calls?  I guess the umps had an agenda.  Something clearly wrong here, etc.  All the players on the team whine about every little call that goes against them.  Its pathetic.

When the Rays were losing 100 games a season, no one cared about this stuff.  The Rays were plucky and everyone admired their spirit and so on.  Well, through hard work and a good farm system, and good coaching actually, the Rays are a top tier team now.  And other teams are gunning for them.  And Maddon's not handling it well.  And I for one, and getting tired of his shtick.  Joe needs one of these:

here's a steaming cup of stfu for you joe

Monday, June 18, 2012

And we're back at .500 again

How many times have I written that this season?

The Sox beat the Cubs last night, 7-4, behind Franklin Morales's spot start in place of Josh Beckett.  Morales went 5 innings, giving up 2 earned runs and striking out 9.  A respectable performance by the bullpen guy who hasn't started a game in a few years.

Taking two of three from Epstein's Cubs isn't the epic beatdown I had hoped for, but I'll take it considering the guys were playing like the Keystone Cops in the outfield last night -- falling down, bobbling easy grounders . . . dudes need to relax a bit out there.

Still 7.5 games behind the unbelievable Yankees with the Marlins coming in to Fenway for a three game series.  Red hot Clay Buccholz is on the mound for the first game.  Here's hoping the guys can sweep the struggling Marlins and get some breathing room above the 50-50 mark.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dale Jr. breaks his long winless streak

dale jr. wins at michigan

NASCAR's most popular driver finally broke through today as Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Junior led the most laps (I think) continuing his impressive run this season of top 10 finishes and also being the only driver to complete every lap of every race.

Dale Jr. has taken a lot of heat from arm chair pundits for his long winless streak. I've got a friend at work who regularly bashes Junior, believing that Dale Jr. is simply a name with no talent to back it up. I think that's an unfair characterization as Junior has struggled with the legacy of his father hanging over him as well as his step-mother stabbing him in the back and taking away the company that Dale Sr. created for his son and daughter.

Finally, under the Hendrick umbrella and with Steve Letarte's even handed approach on the pit box, we're once again seeing the ability of the charismatic driver.

This win may just be the break in the dam that lets Junior make his run towards a championship. Other than my boy Tony Stewart (who finished 2nd today) there's no one I'd rather see hoist the Sprint Cup trophy at the end of the season.

Also glad to see that Denny Hamlin is okay after one of those movie-styled fireballs as his car exploded into flames after a spin:

hamlin bursts into flame at mis

Rule 5 Sunday brought to you by the letter C

chloe sevigny

And the alphabet just keeps chugging along -- as we celebrate the C girls. Not C-list, at least I don't think they are. I guess that would be your decision.

How's that go? I present . . . you decide. heh

*click on the thumbnails for full-sized images*

courtney stoddenchristina modelchristina aguilera carol altchristina riccicarmen electra carrie prejeancatherine bellcoco

Rule 5 Sunday suggested by this.

Wherein I pat myself on the back for my prescience

The Lightning finally acquired a potential number one goalie as GM Steve Yzerman packaged three draft picks and one of our own underperforming goalies and sent them to Nashville for 6ft 6in goalie Anders Lindback.

Lindback had an impressive 2.42 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 16 games last season.  His win/loss totals were not jaw dropping, but he showed flashes of impressive ability that made Stevie Y think he might finally be the guy to get the Bolts back to the playoffs.

Not to be too haughty about all this, but this humble blog previously suggested that the Yzerman was stockpiling first round draft picks for just this reason.  Yzerman was lusting after the Canuck's Cory Schneider but he was pretty much unavailable now.  This looks to be the best deal out there without the Bolts going all Steinbrenner and just shoveling money at someone.


Because its Father's Day . . .

I'm watching this thing on cable the other night titled "The other F word" and it is about punk bands that rose up in the late 80s and 90s and how they've hung on through the years.

The documentary, I suppose, focused mostly on a band named Pennywise and their lead singer Jim Lindberg.  Along with other guys from the Vandals, Blink 182, Black Flag and so on.  It was the usual bit about how tough it is to tour constantly and how their lives have changed growing up and having children of their own, etc.

At the end of the show, Lindberg decides he's going to quit the band to spend time with his wife and their three positively adorable daughters.  In the final voice over scene on the beach, we hear Lindberg saying how when he was in his twenties he thought that he could change the world by writing a punk song.  But now he thinks the best way to change the world is ". . . to raise better children."

I almost stood up and clapped!  Finally, a light comes on in at least one person from that self-absorbed nihilistic generation!

Happy Father's Day Jim and all you other fathers out there.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hey, two in a row! How 'bout that?

The Red Sox beat the Marlins last night 10-2, behind yet another stellar outing from this season's pleasant surprise -- Felix Doubront.  Doubront went 7 innings, striking out 9 to raise his K total to 81 for the season.

The guys are still a game under .500 and 6.5 games out of first and four games behind the Rays who got their asses handed to them two straight games by the Mets to fall out of first and back to third place in the AL East.

Young Felix has a 7-3 record and a 4.17 era this season as a starter.  Very impressive for a second year guy who spent last year in the bullpen.  Doubront's given a series of quality starts and is giving the Sox some muscle at the back end of the rotation.

Very nice :-)

The guys head to Chicago to play a series with the Cubs, where former Sox GM Theo Epstein is now in charge of baseball operations, or some such grandiose title.  Here's hoping the Sox throw a major smackdown on Theo's new team in payback for the mess he left behind in Boston, the team he once couldn't wait to help win a title.

Speaking of the Cubs -- guess who's working his way through the Sox triple A system?  Mark Prior!  The former Cub phenom has been out of baseball for what, like 6 years?!  But the Sox gave him a chance to get back into the bigs, and word is Prior's lighting it up in the minors and could possibly find himself in the Sox bullpen before the year's out.

How cool would that be?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One of those inquiring minds things

I'm not saying there's any photoshop chicanery in this picture, but . . .

jordan carver smokin' hot

. . . considering just how full-figured this young lady is, I wouldn't think those suspenders would be wide enough to keep that image from being nsfw.

You know?

I see Boston is back in the cellar

I've been battling this bronchitis that's knocking everyone off their feet these days.  My office sounds like one of those 1800's era TB wards we always read about.

While coming home from work and just crashing the last few weeks, I see the Red Sox have clawed their way back into the AL East cellar.  Losing 7 of their last 8 games, the guys have dropped to either 6 1/2 or 7 games behind the streaking Rays and Yankees.


Not sure what the problem is, but Clay Buccholz is on the mound tonight against the Marlins.  With the lack of offense these guy are generating, it looks like Clay's going to have to toss a shut out to get his team back in the win column.


And the Sox win 2-1 behind Buccholz's 7 innings of one run ball. Clay also struck out a season high 9 batters and finally looks to be rounding into form after a wretchedly slow start.
One run does not a streak make, but it's how they get started :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rule 5 Monday -- brought to you by the letter B

billie piper

This week's Rule 5 posting is just like the last Rule 5 posting except the lovely ladies are from the B directory.

Yeah, I know, this is some really technical stuff I got going on here. What can I say? I've been sick for three weeks, cut me some slack folks.

*click on the thumbnails for full-sized images*

brooke hoganbrittany-mariebar refaeli behati prinsloobrittany murphybrooke sheilds blake livelybrooklyn deckerbritney spears

Rule 5 Sunday suggested by this.