Wednesday, August 31, 2005
From what I could tell, the sweepstakes were between either Phoenix or Miami... I figured the Spurs were long out of it. But it is a good fit for SA (I think he could've replaced Joe Johnson nicely with the Suns, but the whole Miami thing didn't make sense). He'll get to split time with Manu and Barry, but he may be a good sixth man fit for them. Added to the signing of Nick Van Excel, it looks like the Spurs will be scoring a bit more this year. The rich get richer.
Also, this means Damon Jones is probably going back to Miami. While the Cavs were waiting on Jones, Cavs target Dan Dickau signed with the Boston Celtics, making him the current token white Celtic player. Good for him.
I understand where their coming from, it is kinda frustrating to see this guy doing photo ops instead of actual work. But at the same time, when people talk about how liberals blame Bush for everything, they point to shit like this. Even if it is deserved, and I do believe some of it is, I believe its a bit too soon. And it feels like politicizing a national tragedy.
But at the same time, if you want to rip on him for this and this, go right ahead:
An amazing late-breaking article from Editor & Publisher. Bottom line: Experts knew this was coming, and all the preparations ground to a halt because Bush stole New Orleans' disaster preparation money so he could use it for his Iraq debacle:New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.
...after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.
Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming....Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."
As more levees breach in New Orleans, the floodwaters are rising. Martial law has been declared.
One of the assets that the military brings to disaster relief is equipment that civilian governments don't usually keep on hand, things like amphibious vehicles. The problem is that President Bush, in his infinite wisdom, decided to send amphibious vehicles to... a desert. Now while you might ask how much water one finds in a desert, there are water hazards at golf courses, right near sand traps, so perhaps the President got a little confused.
To add insult to injury, amphibious vehicles are so ill suited to desert warfare that Marines are getting killed because of it. From CNN:
With tracks instead of wheels, the vehicle is designed to be dropped from ships for coastal assaults, then move through surf at a speed of 6 mph. It cruises on land at 20 mph to 30 mph.
But its biggest drawback in Iraq, analysts said, is that because it must be able to stay afloat, its armor plating is lighter than that in heavier vehicles used by the Army.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
And why he doesn't believe Lance.
I'll go a step further, when Lance was a nobody cancer surivor bike rider, he had a wife with 3 kids (I'm pretty sure it's 3 and I'm too lazy to look it up).
This is not a piece of pro-union dogma here. This is not a question of a guy crossing a picket line. This is a millionaire, being given a pass to work by a union full of guys making $7,000 a year, saying no, he wouldn’t do it -- and then going and doing it anyway. Even greed and self-interest here was acceptable -- but a pretense of self-sacrifice followed by greed, was not.
And that’s what Lance Armstrong did.
In point of fact, had he and Rafael Palmeiro wagged their fingers simultaneously before Congress last St. Patrick’s Day, and I had had to choose one and only one of them to believe, I would have taken Palmeiro.
I hope I’m damned wrong about Armstrong. I hope he’s just a louse, not a juiced louse. But since I already know he’s tested positive for lousehood, I’m afraid I have to prepare for the probability that he’s also tested positive for juicedhood.
Lance wins a few Tours and becomes a celebrity and all of the sudden he's divorced from his nobody wife and is dating Sheryl Crow. That's pretty shady to me. But what do I know.
Please don't get the government involved in this. One of the reasons cable is offered like it is, is because of the nitch channels it provides (I think, I could be wrong). Not everyone watches FX or SciFi, but because everyone pays a flat cable rate, those stations can provide quality programing to their viewers. If everyone got to pick and choose which stations they got, SciFi and the Food Network and other nitch stations may go down the tubes, or suffer badly.
And seriously, if you want something on your TV, don't watch it. It's relatively simple to block channels.
Monday, August 29, 2005
I mean, everyone thought if Clarret could make it in the NFL it would be in Denver and their running system. However, no one seemed to notice that the Broncos were loaded at running back.
Will Clarret be picked up? Probably. But by who? Cleveland? I mean, they have signed a ton of Ohio guys, Frye, Cribbs, Harris, Fraser.... But I doubt it.
To be continued.
Well, CBS runs a story about the story. They cover the vandalism. And then they show a picture of the spray paint, but it says "terrorist" not "terrist." So that stupid liberal outlet CBS spell checked the vandalism. What the hell.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
• Former Kent State star John Edwards got a nice two-year, $2 million deal from Atlanta, based mostly on a strong summer-league performance against Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 pick in the draft. Edwards spent most of the year on the end of the Indiana Pacers' bench. I think he can develop into a decent backup center, because he's a hard worker and a late bloomer. Remember, there was a time when he didn't even start at Hudson High.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I mean, this is just two sides of an argument, right? I mean, one side says the Earth is 6000 years old and God created dinosaurs and man in the same week and another side says the Earth is millions of years old.
Fair and balanced right? Both sides presented, he said, she said. It doesn't matter that one side has tons of studies, data and science to back it up and another side has the shit they're pulling out of their ass.
This is the crap that pisses me off, where both sides of an argument are presented equally, even though their not equal.
Like the John Kerry swift boat thing, Kerry has war wounds and purple hearts these highly funded veterens say he's lying. Even though he's been in the public eye for 30 years and all of his records look clean. And the pentagon checks it out and it turns out everything is in order.
Well, is John Kerry a liar? You decided. Even though one side is backed by public record and goverment documents and one side is all word of mouth. Equal time for unequal arguments.
So either dinosaurs lived with humans or the earth is millions of years old. Two sides of an argument that shouldn't even be happening.
Watching Frye conduct a go-ahead drive last night was fun to watch (which the defense promptly gave back). He passed for first downs, he ran for first down and he threw the ball away when appropriate. In short, he looked like an NFL quaterback.
People at the bar were loving Frye, for good reason, butI heard people saying how he should be starting this year.
I hope not.
The only way Frye should be playing this upcoming season is if the Browns are getting blown out and both Trent Dilfer and Doug Johnson are injured. Frye should have as much time to learn as possible and not thrown to the wolves right away. Look how what that did to Tim Couch.
I like Frye, I think he can be the Browns starting QB for many years, I just don't think it's this one.
Friday, August 26, 2005
On a side note, I watched the Daily Show with Trent Lott the other night, and I was suprised how normal he came off. Stewart has a habbit of really confronting/challenging his right wing guests (not that this is bad, I think more TV guests need to be challenged on their rehearsed lines) and Lott did pretty well.
The next night however, Stewart really went after Christopher Hitchens (again, not unfairly, it was a pretty good discussion in my book, not just two people shouting at each other). Both were pretty good.
Almost none of the coverage made clear that Chavez is the democratically elected leader of his country. Bush encouraged a military coup -- which overthrew Chavez's government -- and then gave the thumbs up to the junta that wanted to replace him. Only a stirring demonstration of people power forced the military to back down (much to Bush's chagrin) and Chavez was put back in place. He's since won reelection under a vote that was less contested than Bush's two paths to glory in 2000 and 2004. How can anyone call Chavez a critic of Bush and then fail to point out that Bush encouraged his overthrow? Especially since this proves Bush is lying when he claims to be spreading democracy. You can't support democracy just when it suits you -- as Bush has done his entire presidency.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
"Hey ladies, let me introduce you to my friend Marky Mark. The Funky Bunch is in the back."
Also, I wore my 'Vote for Pedro' shirt and it weirded me out cause I kept getting looks, which ussually doesn't happen. And at one weird/creepy moment, I was sitting down and this guy next to me leaned over and started spouting off Napolean Dynamite quotes.
It took me awhile to figure out what this guy was doing, and needless to say, it was not appreciated.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Only two were released, 'Free As a Bird' and 'Real Love'.
'Free as a Bird' was okay in my opinion, but 'Real Love' sounds like a true blue Beatle song.
There's been rumors of a third song for awhile, I thought it was called 'Now and Then', but aparently it's called 'I Don't Want to Lose You'.
The conventional wisdom goes that the 'Threetles' could only tolorate being in the studio together for so much (mostly the underrrated George and Paul fights, which I believe is worse than the John and Paul riff). So the third song never got completed.
Now it seems McCartney wouldn't mind finishing the song and Yoko seems cool with that. Should they? I say yes because, well, anything that has 2 or more Beatles on it I will be purchasing. And there's a ton of people just like me, who are starving for anything Beatles.
Please remake this.
The Tribe is in the top spot for the AL Wild Card (tied with the Yanks) and yet they average 24,037 fans. Well done Cleveland. At least we're beating Florida (hey Miami, you guy have a pretty good team too, support it), Kansas City and Tampa Bay... Well done guys.
Who's ahead of Cleveland, everyone else. Toronto? Check (we're losing to Canada, come on!). Baltiless? Check. Every (shitty) team in the NL West? Check.
Cleveland has that sellout streak from the mid-90s, but lets not start calling Tribe fans one of the best in baseball. I mean, this is a great, young exciting team and no one is showing up.
Now it is a different market, the Browns are back in town, the Cavs actually matter again (their attendence is okay too, not as high up as it should be) and that economy... well, that thing is kickin ass. So I understand why some people aren't showin up. But I'm gonna be heading home for a week or so between apartments and let me tell you this: I will be at the Jake watching good baseball. It a playoff race, every pitch matters, wake up Cleveland!
I'm excited. I really am, but then again, everytime a new Robert Jordan books comes out (and I've been waiting on 'new' books since 9th grade, so all you Harry Potter fans can eat it).
But I do take this with a grain of salt; their book 10 review was relativley positive too, and that book is one of the worst in the series. But that's the thing, if I'm going to be reading a Wheel of Time book, I'm going to be enjoying it. It can be the worst book in the series, but I'm still going to love it. Jordan would really have to screw up for me to dislike a WoT book (and for some fans he already has).
But seriously, action packed? Plot lines finished? god dammit, I have to wait...
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
But thanks to ESPN and others sports types, every time New England makes a move I'm wondering what they know and why the Browns would do it. I mean, New England is a team of football players and coached by the greatest coach ever. If they want a Browns player, why should the Browns give up on him?
Or Andre Davis isn't that great and the Patriots made a little gamble (5th round, sheesh) to see if he can figure it out and make their roster. This didn't work out too bad for Davis, leaving the Browns for the Champs...
Monday, August 22, 2005
Alcohol dramatically alters a person's normal state, often bringing out his or her worst side, with little or no control over motor skills or better judgment. Marijuana mostly suspends a person's normal state, allowing him or her to escape into an inner fantasy world moving in slow motion.
I fear people who are drunk, in bars and driving cars. I don't fear people who are high on grass.
Alcohol is far more damaging and deadly than marijuana -- unless, of course, you want to argue the long-term cancer-causing effects of smoking grass.
So if I owned the Oakland Raiders, I'd be far more concerned from a performance standpoint if Randy Moss were drinking instead of smoking himself into a stupor every night. In fact, if I owned a team, I'd want to contractually prohibit my players from going to nightclubs -- especially strip clubs -- just the way pro deals often prevent high-paid athletes from risking their bodies skydiving or snow skiing.
Call me a fuddy-duddy if you like, but tell me this isn't true: Mix pro athletes with alcohol, other high-testosterone males, and females wearing very little -- and bad things often happen.
I really like that the Browns have a bunch of local guys on their roster. They grabbed Simon Fraser (OSU), Charlie Frye (Akron), Josh Harris (Bowling Green) and Cribbs (Kent St) and it looks like they've worked out.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
1B: Jim Thome, Richie Sexson, Sean Casey
2B: Damian Jackson
3B: David Bell
SS: Jhonny Peralta
C: Victor Diaz
LF: Manny Ramirez
RF: Brian Giles
SP: Bartolo Colon, C.C. Sabathia, Ryan Drese, Paul Byrd
RP: Steve Kline, Danys Baez, Julian Tavarez, Danny Graves
I like some of the points (esp. Ostertag back in Utah), but no mention of Denver? Exciting young team, Carmelo is a year older?
I do like Oakland... er Golden State this year, they could surprise some people. Especially if Baron Davis gets in shape. IF. (there's still a rumor goin around about a Fisher-Snow-Crawford three way, and I also heard a Gooden and Murphy thrown in there... that would be sweet).
His response is, it's a free country and he does not subject anybody to his lifestyle.
I strongly feel that in a neighborhood devoted to children's morals and the way life should be, he should not be allowed to have that flag in his front yard. I threatened to call the police.What should I do?
RIGHTEOUS in New Castle, Pa.
I'm amazed that two months are guaranteed.(There's a ton of other good stuff in the Pluto column, read and enjoy).
Diop hasn't done anything in the NBA. Anything. At. All. And from the sounds of Brian Windhorst's blog, he doesn't seem to care.
Last season I read a book about Sebastian Telfair called "The Jump." In there was a few pages on Diop. It was about how when he was a senior at Oak Hill Academy, then UNC coach Brian Doherty was begging for him to come play with him for a year and brought him a listing of the rookie salary scale. He was trying to show him that if he played one year in college, he could double his money. Boy, did that backfire, once Diop saw that he could make $3 million even if he was the last pick in the first round, he decided there was no way he was going to school. This even though he couldn't make a left-handed layup.
When Gana was at Oak Hill I went down there for a few days to do a story because LeBron James and St. Vincent-St. Mary were playing his team at that time. I interviewed him and watched them play two games and decided he was a circus act because all he'd do was stay at the defensive end and block shots and I was no scout. I saw Shargari Alleyne play in high school and thought he was more skilled and he's now a bench warmer at UK. Still, the Cavs fell all over themselves to take him at No. 8.
I brought all this up to Diop before a game in Philadelphia last season. He smiled and admitted it was all true, he knew he was really raw but didn't care. Actually, he said he thought he should've been drafted higher. He also told me he didn't really care about the Cavs and not playing because he knew he'd be in the league somewhere next year and getting paid. He was right, after all.
Wow. I figured that Diop didn't really care too much about the NBA, he just wanted to make some cash. He cashed his lottery ticket. But knowing he is raw, knowing he needs to improve, and not caring? He doesn't care about playing time. How can a player not care about playing time?! That's how coaches punish their millionaire players, they bench them. But not Diop, he doesn't care. Thanks Jim Paxson.
Frye looked good in the first game and I hear he looked pretty darn good yesterday too. Josh Cribbs also played well yesterday and looks like he's going to be the lead kick returner (especially with the Browns giving Andre Davis permission to seek a trade).
Josh Harris didn't play at all yesterday, which isn't exactly a good sign (Frye played the entire second half).
I'm still going to buy that Dilfer jersey. I need this. You need this.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
I like R rated comedies. For awhile there we kept going PG-13. Dodgeball, Anchorman, Saving Silverman... PG-13, and you know all of these could've been better by just biting the bullet and upping it to an R rating (not saying these aren't awesome, they are).
Old School, Wedding Crashers, the American Pie movies, the Broken Lizard movies... these were all R rated. And I think it just gives the movie a little bit more room to breathe. They can go the extra yard for the joke. They can let a 'Fuck' slide here and there. Plus, with an R rated comedy, there's always a chance for some boobs. Which is always a good thing.
I liked the 40 Year Old Virgin a lot. I laughed through the entire thing. Steve Carell was amazing through out the movie. His buddies in the movie (Paul Rudd, Romany Malco and Seth Rogen) were awesome as well.
The first part of the movie made me feel 'second hand embarassed,' if that makes sense. I don't exactly like this feeling, maybe some people do, but it reminded me a lot of Meet the Parents and There's Something About Mary. Most of the first half is Carell acting nervous and scared, it just made me squirm a lot. But don't get me wrong, there were hilarious parts in the first half, but it just made me feel uneasy.
It could be because most of the early part of the movie showed Carell not knowing how to deal with women and just being generally awkward. It could've just hit too close to home. Cause let's face it, I still don't know what I'm doing when it comes to women, just because you have sex doesn't mean you've learned how to deal with women. They confuse the fuck out of me daily. [/end lame-sad personal note]
The second half of the movie barages you with jokes every few seconds, and 99% of the time they are spot on. The movie had a lot of casual drinking, nudity and pot use (which was kinda surprising). The movie showed Carell's buddies just sharing a joint or bowl every now and then, but didn't make a big deal out of it (kinda like Randy Moss). There's also a ton of one liners throughout which my friends and I are already quoting (I'm sure they'll get up there with the Old School and Anchorman quotes).
There movie did have a message about sex. It's both important and not important at the same time, if that makes sense (thats my view anyway). Having sex or not having sex doesn't make you happy or good. If you haven't had it, it doesn't matter. But at the same time, when showed in the context of a loving relationship, sex is important.
So there's my deep thoughts on the 40 Year Old Virgin. Good shit.
This is a non story that will get talked about for way too long. Who cares. Has Moss ever failed a drug test? Has Moss ever been in the NFL's substance abuse policy? No.
Now if Moss had said he's used memphetamines or cocaine while in the NFL... maybe a little bit different. Cause, you know, those drugs are actually harmful. Should he not smoke pot? Probably. But he said he smokes it once every a blue moon and thats it. That isn't exactly unheard of.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Giblets will never understand these Iraqis. You invade them, flatten their cities, lock up and torture their relatives and what thanks do you get? Either a lot of explosives or the lamest candy-and-flowers display Giblets has ever seen. Weak, Iraqis. Very weak.
Well Giblets can end it all, and pretty damn fast. He has all he needs to end the war right now: an extra hundred thousand troops or so he intends to send to win the war. Where did he get them, you ask? Simple - for Giblets, at least. He got them with the power of imagination.
Yes, even now Giblets is searching his mighty mind for imaginary recruits and within one week expects to crush the insurgency with two thousand armored leprechauns, eight battalions of snuffalupagi, six divisions of heffalumps and the 101st Airborne Oozle Brigade! Guided by the unmatched tactical genius of Mr. Squigglesworth, Giblets's six-armed tap-dancing purple space squid and Secretary of Pretense, Operation: Wishful Thinking cannot fail! And if it does, Giblets will merely declare an Opposite Day. Losing IS winning in pretend!
If the Heat sign him, it means they won't sign Damon Jones, and the Cavs will. If Finely goes to Chicago, Denver (the Sports Guys choice), San Antonio or anywhere else, the Heat will re-sign Jones.
So right now the Cavs are weighing their options with Dickau and Watson (personally, I'd choose Dickau).
In other rumors, Larry Brown really wants Eric Snow in New York, I've heard rumblings of this before, but this is the first time I actually believe it. The article says that the Knicks are turned by Snow's contract. I don't believe this, cause, earlier in the article, the Knicks were thinking about signing DeSagana Diop. So if they're going to throw money away at Diop, why not for a player who can play, like Snow.
There are also rumors that the Knicks are looking to trade Jamal Crawford, cause having TWO shoot first PGs on a roster doesn't exactly make for healthy basketball.
Crawford for Snow? Yes please.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)
"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)
"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99
"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)
"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush
"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)
"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)
"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Peter King wrote the best T.O. story I've seen or read. He just smacks down every part of T.O's agrument. It's really a thing of beauty.
She's attracted many supporters and protestors. Which is fine. However, someone who disagrees with her ran down a row of crosses last night. The crosses signified soliders who have died in Iraq.
Monday, August 15, 2005
I agree with Kos here, emphatically. I love the left bitches about Rove and classified info and Rush Limbaugh comes back and talks about Sandy Berger (the Clinton aid who stole documents from the national achive, I'm prob over simplifying). Yea, you know what? If Sandy Berger stole shit, bust his ass. It's pretty simple. Do something bad, pay for it. It's not about blindly following sides like some football game. Republicans vs Democrats. If you just choose sides, you become blind to your sides mistakes. Kind of like Oriole fans cheering for Palmeiro or Giants fans cheering for Bonds once he comes back (or Tribe fans cheering for Belle back in the day after he ran down some kids on Halloween).
Like Kos says:
Some day, once the current GOP dominance collapses under the weight of their corruption, we'll have Dems playing the same dirty game. Republicans rally around their sleaziest bad-government practicioners, as we know the elephant flies above the Stars and Stripes to the typical Bush/DeLay apologist.
The moral imperative behind a "clean government" crusade is self-evident. But there's also a practical reason to oppose corruption even amongst Democrats -- it's a sure-fire way to lose elections. Rampant Democratic corruption cost us Congress in 1994, and we've yet to recover. And continued Democratic corruption has made House Dems wary of charging ahead with the "corruption" theme to hard, lest some of the current members get snared in the web.
Good. Let those who sit in Congress enriching themselves go down. They are supposed to be doing the people's business, not their own. Unlike the GOP apologists, I consider corruption a non-partisan issue. I'd like to see them all thrown out with the Capitol trash.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Charlie Frye made a really dumb throw that was almost picked off (the guy was out of bounds) and the very next play he made a great throw for a TD. I like Frye a lot, I definitely think you'll see him starting for Cleveland in a few years.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I'll wait a bit to see if this actually matters. New Stones songs aren't exactly chart toppers and I would hope that this song isn't some misguided attempt to become rock activists.
Crook sand Liars wonders if they'll be 'Dixie-Chicked.'
The Cavaliers again are headed back to market in search of a point guard.
They lost in a bid for Sarunas Jasikevicius, flirted with but decided to pass on Marko Jaric and, now, appear to be getting tired of waiting for Damon Jones.
Later this week, the Cavaliers are hoping to schedule visits for free-agent point guards Dan Dickau and Jannero Pargo. According to league insiders, they are also believed to be pursuing Steve Blake.
I would love them to grab Dickau, I think he would be a great fit for this team. But then again, I may just be searching for the reincarnation of Mark Price. Blake could be alright, and I don't know much about Pargo, but Dickau seems to be the only one could eventually replace Snow as the starter (aka not just be a backup).
Q: What is the all-time best performance by a guest host in an SNL skit? I've been trying to get to the bottom of this question for a while now ... you know, instead of actually working while I'm at work. If you omit every ex-cast member, athlete, man in a dress, woman who's only on the show because of her breasts, celebrities playing themselves and every Alec Baldwin sketch (there's just too many, and frankly it's not fair to the rest of them), what do you have left?
SG: First, it's not fair to penalize Alec Baldwin -- for me, his performance in the first "Tony Bennett Show" sketch was Hall of Fame material. What could possibly top his asking David Gest, "I don't get it ... why would you build a cherry orchid when you like bananas?" Or his doing the Dr. Scholl's ad with the story, "I once made love to a woman's foot for seven hours ... and then the nurse tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Mr. Bennett, she's gone.'"
Anyway, to come up with a list like this, only one rule applies: Nobody else would have been as good in the skit but that particular guest host. And there have been a bunch of memorable ones -- Justin Timberlake as Robin Gibb, Christina Aguilera as Kim Catrall, Gwyneth Paltrow as Sharon Stone, Baldwin as Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks in the "Mr. Belvedere Club" sketch, Sarah Michelle Gellar in the "Dodge Stratus" sketch, Roseanne Barr in the "Misery" parody, etc. -- but only five stand out (in reverse order):
5. Joe Montana in the "Masturbate" sketch
I can't even describe what it was like, in the mid-80s, to watch a Super Bowl MVP (and somewhat of a dud by all accounts) rattle off the words "I'm going upstairs to masturbate" in a sketch. It was like seeing a UFO land. Even if his career ended the next season, he still would have gotten my Hall of Fame vote for that moment.
4. Richard Pryor in the "Racial Interview" sketch
This was like SNL's 10th show ever -- Pryor was hosting back when he was Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock rolled into one. So this was an event. And they have this sketch in which Chevy Chase is interviewing Pryor's character for a job, and they start playing word association, only Chase starts throwing out racial insults that get worse and worse, and Pryor's character gets angrier and angrier ... even when you watch it 30 years later, you can feel the tension. I can't imagine anyone but Prior selling that idea as well ... mainly because he probably really was getting ticked off. An electric moment.
3. Christopher Walken in "Trivial Psychic" and "More Cowbell" (tie)
Funny ideas, perfect guy each time. Isn't it strange that he's now known more for "SNL" than "The Deer Hunter," which only won about five Oscars? An entire generation knows him for lines like "You're gonna have an ice cream headache ... it's gonna hurt real bad" and "Come on, guys, I put my pants on one leg at a time ... it's just that I go out and make gold records."
2. Baldwin in "The Tony Bennett Show"
One of the best five SNL skits ever.
1. Stevie Wonder in "The Stevie Wonder Experience"
This one happened in the early '80s, right as Eddie Murphy was peaking on SNL and seemed poised to become the biggest superstar on the planet (which ended up happening two years later when "Beverly Hills Cop" came out). Just the fact that Stevie hosted the show was interesting because Eddie was doing a wicked impression of him at the time. Who knew what would happen on the show? In this particular sketch, Joe Piscopo (playing an agent) brought Stevie (playing a celeb impersonator) to audition for Murphy (who was a music executive) ... with the catch being that Stevie's character bills himself as the Stevie Wonder Experience. Excellent setup.
So Stevie does his Stevie "impersonation," and it's terrible. Truly awful. Murphy ends up interjecting, "No, no, you're doing it all wrong," then proceeds to slip on a pair of sunglasses as the crowd goes crazy. And he does Stevie with Stevie standing right next to him.
(Note: I remember being like 12 or 13 when this happened, and you can think I'm crazy, I don't care. But the most exciting TV moments of the early '80s were A) this sketch, B) Letterman taking his show to L.A. and having Carson as a guest, C) Michael Jackson singing "Billie Jean" and doing the moonwalk on the Motown 25 special, D) Reagan getting shot by Hinckley, E) Roddy Piper smashing the coconut into Jimmy Snuka's head. I'm telling you, this was the Mount Rushmore of Random/Exciting Non-Sports TV Moments in the Early '80s. I won't even accept any other arguments. Save your time.)
Anyway, Eddie brings the house down with his impression of Stevie singing "Ma Cherie Amour." Unbelievable. Stevie's standing right there. The crowd settles down and Stevie "tries it" again ... still terrible. Eddie does it again ... kills again. After the crowd settles down, the scene shifts back to Stevie's "character" for one last "attempt" at an impression. Only this time, Fake Stevie suddenly turns into Real Stevie and belts out an a cappella version of "Ma Cherie Amour" that was like ... I mean, I can't possibly describe how good this was. Nobody had a voice like Stevie in his prime. And when he nails the last note, the crowd erupts like someone just made a midcourt shot to win an NCAA Tournament game or something -- if you watch the tape, even Piscopo breaks character and lets out a yelp. That's how remarkable it was. I know he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer and a musical icon, but I can't imagine Stevie Wonder ever brought the house down quite like that.
Of course, Eddie never breaks character. He waits for the applause to die down, waits for an extra second and finally says, "No, man, it still sucks."
Perfect ending to one of the best SNL sketches ever. And it doesn't happen without Stevie Wonder.
I actually liked Baldwins "You're Burned" sketch better than the Tony Bennett Show, though that was classic. I also thinks he missed Baldwins and Sandlers "Canteen Boy" sketch, talk about a classic. Also figuring into the discussion is Jim Carey's Life Guard sketch and any John Goodman Linda Tripp impression.
But I agree on the Walkens, Pryor and Stevie Wondern sketches (I haven't really seen the Montana sketches), those were phenominal. I recently saw the Wonder sketch for the first time and it blew me away.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I find this very interesting and I really liked this particular point:
Is there a genetic link between humor and political outlook? Is there just some birth defect that prevents right-wingers from being funny? In my apology yesterday, I sarcastically asserted there was such a connection, but now I think I may have been right at that. Perhaps people who are born with a natural disposition to see the humor in life, and to be able to laugh at themselves, may develop a sense of empathy and compassion that leads them to liberalism. The key to successful humor, after all, is to be able to see things from other people's perspectives - a liberal trait that conservatives deride variously as "relativism" or "objectively pro-terrorist". So conservatives may have a genetic makeup that makes them less able to appreciate what's funny, and consequently take themselves very seriously and see the world as a dour, threatening place, with all these other people having a good time and laughing - sometimes at them. This explains a lot, I think, and deserves further research.There is one point that could be missing, some liberals may not find conservatives funny and some conservatives may not find liberals funny. I'm not exactly a Blue Collar TV fan (though when I've seen Jeff Foxworthy talk about non-redneck stuff, I found him to be hilarious), but Drew Carey and Norm MacDonald stuff I do enjoy. Most of Dennis Miller's stuff I find funny too. So I don't think it's all liberals don't like conservative comics and vicaversa. And I'm sure if you ask a prominent conservative blog that they'd have a different list of funny liberal and conservative sites.
But I tend to agree (and not just limited to blogs), I see more liberal(ish) comics on TV than I do conservatives. However, that being said, there wasn't exactly a shortage of blowjob jokes during the Clinton years.
A Day in the Life of Joe Republican
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffee pot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of Joe's medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune. It's noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so the can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.
After work this evening, Joe plans to visit his father at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. Joe is happy to see his father, who is now retired and lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."
Monday, August 08, 2005
Hamilton can get pretty opinionated and isn't afriad to say what he means. Yesterday, when Yankees pitcher Al Leiter was pitching a shut out through 5 inning, Hamilton mused, "How in the world can AL LEITER be pitching a shut out."
I also agree with Roger Brown:
One reason why we love the blunt honesty of Indians radio announcer Tom Hamilton is that he doesn't spout opinions simply to appear opinionated. Usually when Hamilton makes a truly biting remark, it has some real relevance to what's happening on the field.
The latest example: During the ninth inning of the Indians' game Thursday against the New York Yankees, Hamilton erupted when home plate umpire Bob Davidson called an obvious strike as a ball on Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Hamilton howled that Davidson was so in awe of the Yankees slugger that he "might as well ask Rodriguez for his autograph" while he was at bat.
Shortly after Hamilton's rant, Rodriguez hit a game-tying homer on a fat pitch by closer Bob Wickman -- one that Wickman almost was forced to make because of Davidson's previous call. Eventually, the Yankees won the game, which made Hamilton's criticism of Davidson even more relevant and legitimate.
Friday, August 05, 2005
I'm probably one of the few people out there who actually care about the NBA parts of this column. But still, hilarious, just to relive the Anchorman quotes alone is a good time. My favs:
3. "Huh? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Actually, I'm not even mad -- that's amazing!"
To Philly GM Billy King, who continues to hemorrhage money like a drunken stockbroker in the champagne room at Scores. Over the past four summers, King spent $68 million on an aging Dikembe Mutombo; $40 million on Kenny Thomas; $35.5 million on Aaron McKie; $29 million on Eric Snow; $20.7 million on Brian Skinner; $18 million on Greg Buckner; and an astonishing $15 million for Kevin Ollie (which was especially memorable because, at the time, I spent 15 minutes on the phone with my buddy House trying to get him to guess how much money Ollie had signed for, before House came up with the exact figure). And don't forget, King traded for C-Webb's bum knee and the $66 million remaining on C-Webb's contract last February.
So if you're Billy King, what do you do for an encore? You spend $45 million for the next six years on ... (drumroll please) ... Kyle Korver and Willie Green! Are you kidding me? It's amazing that King didn't get in on the Brian Scalabrine bidding. Anyway, I think King is clearly preparing for his next job -- Hollywood movie executive. Couldn't you see him spending $18 million to lock up Rob Schneider for "Deuce Bigalow 2?" He'd be perfect out here.
9. "I'm Brick Tamland. People seem to like me because I'm polite and I'm rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks. Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an IQ of 48 and am what some people call 'mentally retarded.'"
To former Cleveland GM Jim Paxson, who made the most underrated panic trade in NBA history last February: A protected 2007 No. 1 pick to Boston for Jiri Welsch (16 games, 191 minutes, 46 points for the Cavs). But here's the kicker: Because they were giving away a first-rounder, by NBA rules, Paxson had to remove the lottery protection from another first-rounder earmarked for Charlotte in 2005. Hence, they lost the 13th pick in June's draft (which they could have used on Danny Granger), and if that wasn't bad enough, they ended up trading Welsch to Milwaukee for a second-rounder in June. Has any team ever downgraded from a first to a second rounder in four months?
In a related story, Jim Paxson is unemployed right now. Might want to shift into sales or something, Jimbo. No offense.
(Speaking of Brick Tamland, one of my favorite things about "Anchorman": The fake names. Ron Burgundy, Champ Kind, Brian Fantana, Brick Tamland, Veronica Corningstone, Wes Mantooth ... in the words of Jack Horner, "Those are great names!" You can almost imagine Ferrell and co-writer Adam McKay sitting around at 3 a.m. one night, throwing out fake names for the script -- "What about Rust Youngblood? What about Lincoln Freeze? What about Harley Mace?" -- before they finally settled on the aforementioned group. That was probably more fun than writing the actual script. And by the way, look for Brick quietly putting mayonnaise into the toaster during this scene. Took me four viewings to notice it.)
21. "You are a smelly pirate hooker! Why don't you go back to your home on Whore Island!"
The funniest fight in the movie goes to the funniest fight of the offseason: Portland's Ha Seung-Jin (a 7-foot-3 South Korean) and Nedzad Sinanovic (a 7-foot-3 Bosnian) getting into a fistfight while shooting free throws at a summer workout, with Ha reportedly screaming, "I'll sue! I'll sue!" before getting pulled away. But it didn't stop there: Ha found Sinanovic in the team's weight room and attacked him with a wooden stretching pole, nailing him twice before they were separated. Within 24 hours, they had made up.
But that's not my favorite part. In John Canzano's report about the incident for The Oregonian, he mentioned how this was a good-natured altercation compared to some of the Portland incidents in the past, leading to this paragraph: "This isn't the same as Zach Randolph cold-cocking Ruben Patterson two seasons ago, breaking his eye socket, then being chased around the facility, and later having to spend the night, in hiding, at Dale Davis' house because Randolph feared for his life. The Ha-Sinanovic bout was about good competition, and frustration, and boiling points."
(Umm ... hiding out at Dale Davis' house? What? How have I never heard that one before? What else don't I know about the 1998-2005 Blazers? Why hasn't there been a five-hour "E! True Hollywood Story" yet? Why aren't cameras rolling at that facility at all times? I know, I know, I ask this every summer. Yeah, but still.)
The two interviews I've seen so far have been with Allen Iverson and Larry Brown, two of Smith's contacts from his days in Philly. Both have had very interesting interviews and I've loved watching both. However, I felt like Smith didn't ask any really tough questions because these guys where his boys, his friends. The toughest question in the Larry Brown show was from the audience ("Coach, how can you assure a Knick fan that you will be here for the entire length of your contract?").
Smith has been very subdued so far in the inteviews and, in my opinon, has been kissing these their ass. With Brown he didn't really challenge Brown on the whole Pistons firing. Brown kept saying he wanted to be back and that he was fired. Smith brought up the Knicks quote ("coaching New York would be a dream job") and the Cleveland debacle but Brown just brushed them off. When asked about the Cleveland thing, Brown said that he had recieved permission to talk to the Cavs from the Detroit management.
That may be true, but it's not the point. Detroit was concerned that Brown had been looking elsewhere, and his quote about New York didn't help. So when Cleveland called during the playoffs, Detroit gave him permission to talk to them to see how much he really wanted to stay in Detroit. If he talked to the Cavs (WHILE THE PISTONS WERE STILL IN THE PLAYOFFS) then he was looking to leave, if he had told the Cavs wait until the season is done or, I dunno, NO THANK YOU, then he wanted to stay. But the Pistons offered him a test and Brown failed.
Brown handled the situation wrong. When asked about the Knicks job, Brown should have said, "as long as I'm coaching the Pistons, I have no interest in any other job," or something to that effect. And when the Cavs came calling, he should've said no or at least wait until the season was over.
Smith's show could be alright, if Stephen A steps it up. The interviews last a long time, which in Allen Iverson's and Larry Brown's case is a good thing, because these guys are interesting and don't give interviews all the time. But once he runs out of his big name Philly contacts, how good will the show be? Can he continue to get A list guests? We shall see.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
A comic book about what would happen if liberals ran the US:
America’s future has become an Orwellian nightmare of ultra-liberalism. Beginning with the Gore Presidency, the government has become increasingly dominated by liberal extremists.
In 2004, Muslim terrorists stopped viewing the weakened American government as a threat; instead they set their sites on their true enemies, vocal American conservatives. On one dark day, in 2006, many conservative voices went forever silent at the hands of terrorist assassins. Those which survived joined forces and formed a powerful covert conservative organization called “The Freedom of Information League”, aka F.O.I.L.
The efforts of F.O.I.L. threaten both the liberal extremist power structure and the U.N.’s grip on America, the U.N. calls F.O.I.L. the most dangerous group in the world. It seems the once theorized Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has now become a reality.
The F.O.I.L. Organization is forced underground by the “Coulter Laws” of 2007; these hate speech legislations have made right-wing talk shows, and conservative-slanted media, illegal. Our weakened government has willingly handed the reigns of our once great country to the corrupt United Nations. The Department of Political-Correctness is required to assist U.N. monitors to properly edit all print and broadcast media. Live broadcasts are a thing of the past; all transmissions are monitored by the U.N. and any ‘offensive’ material is dumped.
Rupert Murdoch’s decision to defy the “Coulter Laws” hate speech legislations, has bankrupted News Corporation. George Soros has bought all of News Corps assets and changed its name to Liberty International Broadcasting. LIB’s networks have flourished and circle the globe with a series of satellites beaming liberal & U.N. propaganda worldwide.
The New York City faction of F.O.I.L. is lead by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, each uniquely endowed with special abilities devised by a bio mechanical engineer affectionately nicknamed “Oscar”. F.O.I.L. is soon to be joined by a young man named Reagan McGee.
Reagan was born on September 11th, 2001. He is the son of a NYC firefighter whose life was spared by attending his son’s birth. Reagan has grown to manhood in an ultra-liberal educational system: being told, not asked, what to think. With personal determination, which alienates him from his contemporaries, he has chosen the path less traveled…the path to the Right.
Two decades of negotiation with the U.N., and America’s administration of 2021 (President Chelsea Clinton and Vice President Michael Moore), has culminated in a truce with fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, or so America is told. The honorable ambassador from Afghanistan has come to NYC to address the U.N., his name is Usama Bin Laden. Ambassador Bin Laden has announced that he plans a public apology for the “misunderstanding” of the events of 9/11. This apology will occur exactly 20 years to the minute the first plane hit the WTC; this will be on the observation deck at the newly renamed “Unity Tower” built on the hallowed grounds where the WTC once stood.
Tomorrow is September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of the horror of 9/11, or as it has become more politically correct to say “the unfortunate events resulting from the uprising of middle-eastern fundamentalist Islam”. Just days before his arrival in NYC, Bin Laden made a brief visit to Iraq, now a nuclear power that is run by the vicious Uday Hussein. In Iraq, Bin Laden received a tactical nuke that is now contained in his private diplomatic briefcase. Bin Laden plans far more than an apology at the Unity Tower.
F.O.I.L. has become aware of Bin Laden’s plot to destroy NYC and has devised a plan to stop him while simultaneously gaining permanent control of LIB’s satellite network. Unfortunately, U.N. Forces have discovered the secret location of the F.O.I.L. Lair. It is a race against the clock to save NYC from a nuclear holocaust and the world from liberal domination. Only with F.O.I.L.’s help, can “Liberality For All” once again become “Liberty For All!”
It's not a joke. Really.
And I agree with Matt at Tapped:
I think this sort of thing actually tells us something important about contemporary politics. It's rather odd to see persecution fantasies coming from the right at a moment when Republicans control the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Executive Branch, the judiciary, most statehouses, and most state legislatures. And yet a right-wing persecution complex is evident to even a casual consumer of right-wing media. To hear the conservative blogs, magazines, and radio shows tell it, despite total conservative domination of the political system a coalition of liberal reporters, academics, and Hollywood stars manage to be the real governing force in America.
Yea, I always hear about how Liberals control the classrooms and the media. And that Hollywood is so liberal and blah blah blah. First of all, the governor of the biggest state in the union is an actor who is republican. As was Reagan.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
He didn't mention Raef LaFrentz and I wrote him an email about it (say what you will about SI.com vs ESPN.com, but on SI they let you contact the writers pretty easily. I disagreed with a Jason Stark column the other day and tried to send him an email, but I couldn't find where. Only the Sports Guy seems to have an easy contact form).
My email went something like this:
QuestionHe took the time to email me back (which I always appreciate):
How can a 'worst signings' list be made without
mention of Raef Lafrentz? The Webber and Hill deals
(and even the Finley and Houston deals) we necessary
for the teams to not lose them (or get them). They
knew they were going to have to overpay to keep
Webber, Houston and Finley (and to sign Hill). But
Lafrentz? Talk about a deal no one thought was good
at the time.. sheesh.
Also, I think the recent moves by the Jazz concerning
Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur should recieve honorable
hi Ben,I think he makes a good point there, you could really write an entire column of bad money moves that Mark Cuban has made, so I understand the cut.
LaFrentz was a late cut. I get enough emails from
people telling me I rip off the Sports Guy, so I tried
to stay away from including Raef and Blount. Some
would call that a breach of journalistic ethics, but
I'd remind them that I write about basketball for a
living, and then ask them to get off the high horse.
Either way, LaFrentz was a nasty deal, and I had a
paragraph ready, but it sounded a lot like what I
wrote about Finley, so I cut it. Thanks for reading,
As for the Sports Guy reference, I think anytime someone will write a sports column (esp about basketball and the NBA) which has jokes or references to pop culture, for better or worse I think they will be compared to Simmons. I don't think he blazed the trail or anything with that format, I just think he was the first to really succeed and become popular. When he was tellin people to get off the high horse, I hope he didn't mean myself, I really enjoyed the column and thought he did a good job, I was just perplexed that there could be a 'bad moves of the NBA column' and the name Raef LaFrentz wasn't brought up.
Miami ends up with: Antoine Walker, James Posey, Jay Williams, Andre Emmet and the draft rights to Roberto Duenas.
Memphis gets: Eddie Jones and Raul Lopez.
Utah gets reunited with: Greg Ostertag (who had gotten to Memphis in the Bonzi Wells-Bobby Jackson deal).
Boston lands: Curtis Borchardt, Qyntel Woods, the draft rights to Spanish center Albert Miralles, 2 second round draft picks and cash (from Miami).
New Orleans got: Rasual Butler and Kirk Snyder.
So lets see who wins this with this deal.... well, Miami seems to be getting starters at point guard and small forward with Williams and Walker. With the re-siging of Udonis Haslem the Heats starting lineup could be Wade, Walker, Williams, Haslem and Shaq. Not too shabby.
Boston got a nice deal too, Woods can play, I'm sure about Borchardt or Miralles but 2 draft picks and cash ain't bad.
Memphis may have had enough with the trouble makers in Williams and Wells and aquired some vetern help for Paul Gasol with Eddie Jones and Bobby Jackson.
New Orleans and Utah didn't really do much. Though with Ostertag back in Utah, the world seems right again.
So in conclusions, Miami got all the talent here. The point guard, the forwards. Memphis and Boston did alright (Memphis seemed more like addition by subtraction to me) and Utah and New Orleans seemed to just be along for the ride.
At first I thought that if anyone who tested positive shoudn't get in at all. But then there were guys like McGwire and Bonds, who may have retired just before the testing became prevelant. These guys have all the normal stats that get you in: 3000 hits+, 500+ HRs etc... how can you deny them the Hall of Fame.
I don't believe you can, for this reason: you don't know who did what. I don't think you use these players' numbers historically, as in "Palmeiro is one of four players with Both 3000 hits and 500 HRs." Don't compare the numbers to history. This era is tainted. But since we have no way of knowing who is actually on 'roids, do we just ignore it? Do just say there were no great players from the early 90s to 2004?
I think you have to compare the current players to their piers. My general premise is that since you don't know who is on roids, assume everyone is. It's not completely fair, but it's as fair as you can really get. In an era where there was extraordinary offensive production, who stood out.
So guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Manny, Pudge, Piazza, Griffey, and Sheffield should get in. They may have taken 'roids, but in an era where everyone could have (or did) they stood out as the best hitters. Obviously non-roid connected players like A-Rod, Jeter and a slew of pitchers like Johnson, Clemens, Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Pedro, Schilling and Rivera will still get in (I still say Johnson is the best left hander you will ever see and Clemens is the best right hander).
That leaves us Palmeiro. He tested positive. He was fingered by Canseco. So what do you do, he's got the numbers, obviously. But has Palmeiro ever been the top of the class as a 1B? Did he dominate the game? If he was batting did you feel you needed to watch? I don't think so.
So that's my thing. Palmeiro barely got the 'magic numbers' while using steroids (I don't know if he used them before... but it doesn't look good) and he didn't have a career that stands out to you... so I say still say no on Palmeiro.
(I guess my position hasn't changed too much except for now I'm discounting his numbers, so maybe I'm an ass. But those are really the only thing he has going for him right now. The numbers. meh.)
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Singling out homosexuality reveals selective reasoningSaturday, July 09, 2005Special to The Plain DealerRich Aronson
I can see it now. As a result of the endorsement of same-sex marriage by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, a fair number of UCC members will start looking for a church home in another denomination. In addition, various Christian groups will issue statements and organize protests against this perceived attack on biblical authority, and a good number of clergy around the country will take to their pulpits in the coming weeks to condemn the decision as a perfect example of how liberals are attempting to poison the faith and ruin God's church.
I was wondering: Could we pause for a moment and take some time to ponder a few things before anyone takes drastic action?
To begin, Jesus never spoke about homosexuality. Not even a veiled reference. Apparently I'm in the minority here, but if we are going to turn a particular issue into a litmus test for authentic Christian discipleship, am I that off base to have expected just a little guidance from Jesus on the subject?
If the issue of homosexuality was as important to Jesus as it seems to be to us these days, you'd have thought that at the very least he might have given it a quick mention during his ministry. For some reason, which I'm sure will make sense to us one day, Jesus seemed to focus most of his attention on the realization of God's kingdom here on Earth and its connection to things like compassion, forgiveness, generosity and love.
Also, while it's true that there are Scripture passages that condemn homosexuality - Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27 for example - traditionally (and I know this is going to sound crazy), just because something's in the Bible doesn't necessarily mean we follow it. For example, Exodus 21:17 states that "Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death." The rule is clear and unambiguous. Yet we have somehow decided that it's all right to ignore this one.
Or what about Leviticus 20:27, which states that "Anyone who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning"? I have yet to hear about any outraged Christians making plans to take target practice on anyone who violates this one. And I could go on and on about other laws and teachings we have swept under the proverbial rug.
So what gives? How do we choose which teachings make up the foundation of our faith, such as "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27) and which ones end up on the scrap heap, such as "A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication, and thereby dishonoring her father, shall be burned to death" (Leviticus 21:9)?
Make no mistake about it, whether we realize it or not, we all pick and choose. None of us follows every single teaching, law, precept or passage found in the Bible. And it's important to realize that this occurs not because we lack faith or obedience; on the contrary, it happens because we are acting on the loving instinct that God has imprinted on our hearts. Some refer to this instinct as grace, and it is this grace that provides us the wisdom to filter out theology that doesn't measure up with the words and deeds of Jesus Christ.
One final thing to think about is that we don't have a perfect track record when it comes to following through on God's command to love one another. The hard truth is that we've been responsible for some pretty colossal errors in judgment when it comes to applying Jesus' teachings.
Throughout history, well-meaning Christians have used the Word of God to condone such abominations as genocide, torture, slavery, racism and the subjugation of women. And while there were always small pockets of resistance within the Christian family to these sinful institutions, at certain times and places they were considered outside the norm and were marginalized by church leadership.
A look back at some of the writings and statements by church leaders during these periods reveals them to have been brimming with passion and conviction for their cause. They were absolutely convinced that by supporting such things as the extermination of the American Indian, the slave trade, segregation and keeping suffrage from women, they were doing God's will. Today, Christians universally acknowledge that they were dead wrong. Considering this fact, what's so wrong with contemplating the possibility, however remote it may be, that on the issue of homosexuality, we just might be wrong again?
There is a story in the Bible where the Pharisees questioned Jesus' adherence to the law because he and the disciples were lunching in a field of grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8). I believe his response has relevance to the homosexuality issue that confronts the church, and is something all Christians should give prayerful consideration to: "If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent."
Aronson is coordinator of the Peace with Justice Project in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The Cavs also visited with Damon Jones of the Heat.
I like the Jones and Tractor potential moves. If they do re-sign Traylor you can put money on Gooden not staying here much longer. With Marshall, Traylor and the Wild Thing that's already 3 'backup' forwards with Drew Gooden starting.
Monday, August 01, 2005
I am in the "Palmeiro is a really good player who played in a amazing offensive era but just misses the Hall of Fame" group with Simmons and Bayless (I agree with Skip Bayless.... shoot me).
Plus the allegations of steroid use from Canseco and now the positive test. That doesn't look good. And it looks like Canseco was right (he said he introduced Raffy to 'roids when they were in Texas together. Palmeiro's power numbers went up around the time Cansesco alleges he gave Palmeiro roids. Of course, he was maturing as a player and in Texas's hitters park/weather).
I agree that the Indians are still in the race... however I thought that they could've traded Millwood and gotten the power hitter that even Livingston says they are missing.
By doing nothing at the trade deadline Sunday, the Indians said they are a contender.
Your joke goes here about a team with serious playoff aspirations hitting the power positions of first base, third base and right field at the bottom of the order. (If they could, of course, the Tribe would bat Casey Blake in so deep a hole that the game stories would be in Chinese.)
The biggest x-factor that Millwood can bring to the team down the stretch, as Livingston mentions, is to be a role model for the other pitchers, esp. CC.