Friday, March 28, 2008

Baseball Preview

Here it is. the First Annual BIMRVM Baseball Preview!

Unlike ESPN, these picks actually work - meaning that the Win-Loss totals actually reconcile. As for the accuracy, let's be honest - they can't be any worse than some of the so called experts.

American League
Boston 98- 64 - Champs have too much talent not to win again
NY Yankees 90-72 - Pitching questions offest awesome lineup
Toronto 83-79 - Talented, but two teams above will always be in the way
Tampa Bay 76-86 - Improving, team to watch in 2010
Baltimore 58-104 - Wisely blew up the team to rebuild for real. '08 will be painful.

Detroit 93-69 - Loaded lineup plus decent enough arms allow Tigers to steal division
Cleveland (wc) 91-71 - Enjoy C.C. this year, and order up another bug infestation for October
Chicago W. Sox80-82 - Ozzie Guillen's head just might explode this year. Good times.
Minnesota 73-89 - The post-Johan era begins, but this team won't be down long.
Kansas City 62-100 - Does anyone remember when this was the model franchise?

Seattle 92-70 - A well rounded team with a new ace in Bedard
Anahiem 90-72 - Recent pitching issues will force Halos to come up just short
Texas 73-89 - Hey, maybe G.W. Bush will come back in '09!
Oakland 67-95 - Beane retools his team. Again.

National League
NY Mets 95-67 - Johan will help erase the bitter ending of '07.
Philadelphia 90-72 - Bullpen seems shaky; lineup is best in NL
Atlanta 85-77 - Better, but don't have enough to unseat Mets/Phils.
Washington 79-83 - A big time spoiler that will make the 3 teams' above lives miserable for much of the season. Another one to watch in '09.
Florida 60-102 - Team makes less than ARod in 2008. 'Nuff said.

Chi. Cubs 91-71 - Cubbies are locked and loaded; Behold the power of Fukodome!
Milwaukee 90-72 - Improved Brew Crew fall just short.
St. Louis 82-80 - This is generous, but the hunch is LaRussa will find a way to keep Birds afloat.
Houston 78-84 - Roy Oswalt has to be wondering why he re-upped.
Cincinnati 73-89 - A fun team to watch, but will be on the short end of a few 10-9 games.
Pittsburgh 63-99 - These guys were good once too, right?

Arizona 95-67 - Arms galore equals big time success. Young lineup has another year under it's belt as well.
L.A. (wc) 90-72 - Torre weaves his magic to grab another post-season berth.
San Diego 89-73 - HE MISSED THE PLATE!
Colorado 81-81 - Good young team, but we just see a big post-World Series hangover this year.
San Fran 63-99 - Barry? Barry who?

Division Winners
AL: Boston, Detroit, Seattle
Wild Card: Cleveland

Boston over Cleveland
Seattle over Detroit

AL Champion: Seattle

NL: NY Mets, Chi. Cubs, Arizona
Wild Card: Los Angeles

Arizona over Chi Cubs
NY Mets over Los Angeles

NL Champion: NY Mets

World Series
NY Mets over Seattle

Biased? A little, but the Mets are loaded and ready to win now, and will outlaqst the surprising Mariners in October.

Of course, we could be wrong....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Masters:Welcome, ESPN. Leave The Blowhard Behind

As you might have heard, ESPN was granted the rights to televise the first two rounds of The Masters this year. This is a huge get for the World Wide Leader, another impressive feather to add to the cap which already includes the NFL, NBA, and NASCAR.

Surely, one would think, the coverage would be anchored by someone who is synonymous with the network. Someone who dons an (enormous) green blazer of his own every Masters Sunday while anchoring Baseball Tonight. Someonme who, each year, handles the on-site coverage for the U.S. Open. Someone who has been with the WWL since its inception in 1979. Someone like.....Chris Berman, right?

Um, no.

As reported in Phil Mushnick's column today, the ESPN coverage team does not include the rotund schtickmeister. Since no rationale is given by Masters officials nor ESPN for the omission, it stands to reason that the Augusta National folks, who are extremely protective of the televised presenataion, said a big fat "No" when imaging Berman yukking it up during the telecast.

We'll just have to get by without hearing nicknames for the golfers, tired references to Eagles and/or Fleetwood Mac songs, or a ramble on how a wedge from 90 yards "could...go...all...the.....WAY" into the hole.

How will we manage?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This Hoop Thingy Started Today

Not much comes from this site regarding college hoop, but if there was ever a time for it, it would be now.

We confess to only a passing interest in NCAA BAseketball, despite being in Connecticut, a state which has nothing else sports related with which to concern the folks.

Picks? Yeah, we got 'em. Accept them in the spirit in which they were made - on Thursday morning in a frantic effort to join some online pools. If form holds, this will be the year we win going away. On to the choices....

Sweet 16:
North Carolina over George Mason
Tennessee over Louisville

Winner: North Carolina

(Bold choice there, taking the 1 over the 2, eh?)

Sweet 16:
Vanderbilt over Kansas
Georgetown over Wisconsin

Winner: Georgetown

Sweet 16:
Memphis over Michigan State
Texas over Stanford

Winner: Texas

Sweet 16:
UCLA over Drake
Xavier over Duke

Winner: UCLA

Final Four:
North Carolina over Georgetown
Texas over UCLA

Champion: North Carolina

Boring, safe, and predictable choices. We get the feeling we'll either win the whole thing or be out of the running by Sunday.

We'll keep you posted as events develop.

(Not to get too excited, but as of right now we're 7-0)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dirty? Me?

Shelly Duncan doesn't understand why the Rays (sans Devil) are so hot and bothered about his "slide" yesterday. Look at the photo - does that look like a dirty play to you? Isn't it routine to play "hard nosed ball" by attempting to separate the pivot from his testicles?

The whole thing started last week when a Tampa Bay single-A player (trying, no doubt, to make an impression on the manager)ran into a Yankee single-A catcher during a play at the plate, breaking the young man's wrist. Apparently, there is some unwritten baseball rule which states one is not supposed to do things like that during spring training. Decorum states you stand there and get tagged, as one would in T-Ball. Yankee manager Joe Girardi got his panties all twisted and raised a stink, then was promptly rebuffed by Don Zimmer now a Rays coach). For a guy who is supposedly more Old School than former boss Joe Torre, Girardi sure sounded a little whiny about this whole deal.

Yesterday's game began with a plunking, which, if we're following the unwritten rules, meant the matter was then settled.

Oh no, sir, not by a longshot.

Enter Shelly Duncan and the slide shown here. Maybe if we were forced to go through life with a girl's name, we might be a tad more likely to feel the need to prove our masculinity say, daily. Listen, Shelly, take out your anger on your parents, not opponents.

We do secretly love the fact that the Rays are doing everything possible to engage this new rivalry with the big bad Yankees, and hope that the fireworks continue throughout the upcoming season.

Yanks' Duncan still doesn't know why Rays reacted to spikes high slide (ESPN)
(AP photo)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Love Mickey Mantle - Can I Play Now?

Speaking of stupid spring training stunts, the Yankees have pulled off a doozy. They're allowing long time Yankee fan (despite wearing a Mets cap in City Slickers) Billy Crystal to suit up and appear in a game.

Maybe it's just us, but if we were pitching for the Pirates we would not hesitate to buzz one right under his freaking chin. C'mon, you know if they were playing Tampa that's exactly what would happen!

How's The Slim Fast Thing Working Out, Tommy?

Isn't this cute? Former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasroda was allowed by current manager Joe Torre to take the reins for a spring game yesterday. Just for old times sake, and not at all for the benefit of the cameras, Ol' Number 2 even found the time to get into an argument with an umpire! Wow! Nothing contrived about that. And damn, doesn't he look great for his age? What are the odds he eschewed the post-game spread and instead enjoyed a nice glass of carrot juice and a little bean sprout salad?
Dodger beat writers will tell you that the whole persona this guy created for himself was total bullshit - he was a cantankerous bastard through and through. For us, nothing was better than the time he encountered Stuttering John.
To quote Irwin M. Fletcher, upon seeing a picture of Lasorda with the police chief:
Fletch: Hey! You and Tommy Lasorda! [points to picture, which is surrounded by dozens of celeb photos]]
Chief: (proudly) Yeah!
Fletch: [punches picture, cracking glass] I hate Tommy Lasorda.