Wednesday, March 28

Another day at the Open

So I'm watching the Sony Ericsson Open here, specifically to see Roger Federer. He's actually lost recently, which is weird enough to see. And he's already down in the first set. Has the mighty Federer lost his touch? I doubt it.

Really this isn't at all remarkable. What is remarkable though, is the fact that they just went to the crowd with a reporter, and TO was there watching. Obviously they start interviewing him, and he talks about the impressive agility and footwork of the two players. He says he talks to Andy Roddick every once in a while, and that he's pulling for him.

Then he says he might take up tennis, and if he does, that you'll probably see him on the tour soon. Obviously this is hilarious. But it brought to mind an awesome hypothetical.

Federer vs TO. If you assume that TO eventually will learn to play tennis at a better than novice level, how many TOs playing simultaneously to beat Federer? Two TOs versus one Federer? Three? One??

Tuesday, March 27

Pasta pasta

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video is worth at least fifteen kopecks. Depending on what rate you get. Enjoy Dikembe at his finest.

MNF Trades Up

Apparently Joe Theisman is out the door on Monday Night Football. To replace him....Philadelphia Eagles great Ron Jaworski!

At first, I wasn't too excited about this. Obviously getting Theisman out of there is fantastic. While Kornheiser was one of the best things that has happened to MNF lately, Theisman made me want to shoot my TV with a nailgun. However, if you see Jaws on ESPN, he always sounds so stilted, and never knows when to pause and when not to pause when reading the teleprompter.

But he won't be reading a teleprompter on MNF. Jaws' analysis is great, and he clearly knows the game very well. Theisman on the other hand seems like he never played the game, even though we all saw his leg get mangled on national television.

Basically, this is just one more reason we at the Bleeder cannot wait for football. Already.

Monday, March 26

Almost over...

Honestly, after Kansas lost on Saturday, I found myself not wanting to watch any more basketball. I was sick of it.

But after about a minute, I got over that. So I watched the rest of the games, and they were all very exciting and great and everything. But that's to be expected.

I'm more excited for this Final Four than I have been in a while, even though my team was handily ejected. A rematch from last year's final? Unbelievable. Two of the best big men in the country in the semifinals? Unbelievable.

Tuesday, March 20

Winners win, right?

I don't care about the combine. I don't care about measurables, interviews, or stats. The only thing that I use to evaluate prospects (I'm talking about when pro teams call me up and ask for my advice, calls which I only take when I'm not on the phone with other people calling me with job offers) is how they perform on the court. If you want to judge a college basketball player, what could be a better assessment than the NCAA tournament?

Right now I'm talking about two specific players, Ohio State guard Ron Lewis, and Eric Maynor of VCU. And I'm talking about two writers (both excellent), Chad Ford* and Bill Simmons. Sr. Ford contends that Maynor's stock hasn't risen dramatically, even though we saw him single-handedly take Duke out of the tournament (ditto for Lewis, who went Vince Young all over Xavier). Simmons falls in love with winners, because, no matter what the Phillies PR machine will have you believe, losing is detrimental to a team's success.

*If you follow sports and don't have access to espn insider, please fill me in on your secret. Seriously, I'd love to know.

Big Problem

Thanks for throwing out the first pitch, dude. Although the 2007 MLB season won't officially kick off until I've watched 'Major League,' it's worth getting out behind the pack and seeing what's in store for the boys in pinstripes (not the one's with 26 world championships).

Through the hundreds of thousands of words that have been printed and uttered over the past few months, we've come up with the idea that the Phillies biggest problem is that they have too many quality starters. This itself is a problem which needs to be cleaned up a little.

1. We do not have too many quality starters
We have two guys who belong in the top half of a 5 man rotation (Myers and Garcia-only because he's going AL to NL). We have one young stud (Hamels) who could start in either the MLB or Triple-A all star game. Then we have a crafty veteran, (Moyers) who would be perfect if we were filming a B movie, but since we're actually trying to win baseball games, he poses a bit of a problem. Adam Eaton and Jon Lieber round out the group as they fight for the title of 'best in the bullpen.'

2. If we did have too many starters, this would be a good thing
But we don't, so this one kills me. Reporters and talk show hosts talk about this team like they're the 1927 Yankees. As if having too many quality starters would be a detriment. This is like Warren Buffet complaining that he has too much money or Wilt wailing over his "too many girlfriends." Pitching wins baseball games. More pitching wins more baseball games.

3. We do not have enough in the bullpen
Now we can get started. This is a problem, but, if you'll refer to points 1 and 2, you'll see that we just have a problem of wording. It's not that we have too many starters and not enough bullpen; we actually have a lack of quality starters and too many relievers who have charaded their way into the rotation. So call it what it is, and the problem is solved.

We never had a pitching problem. The only problem the Phillies have had this offseason is a labeling problem. There are 17 pitchers on the current roster. Five of them, at some point, need to make starts. The rest don't. If we can find five men in that pile to do the job, great. If not, then we have a problem.

Monday, March 19

What's it gonna be, boys?

Right around this time every year, I find myself pondering the wonders of baseball. Will the boring, hot summer have me sitting inside on my couch watching the Phillies in the air conditioning, or will I wind up doing something useful with my time? Clearly a healthy balance can bet met, but we will see for sure in a couple months.

Last year we made a ban on Phillies posts after about two months of the season. We all know why.

So what makes this season any different? I'll admit, I never get excited about the Phillies before the season starts. But this season we've got Utley, Garcia, Hamels, Rollins, and best of all Howard. The rest of the NL East is weak, and the Phils have just as good a chance of winning as anyone, if not better.

But we've all learned this lesson before. Throw it all in there, and get your heart broken by July. I know better, and I refuse to do so. I'm still rooting for them, and I'll watch as many games as I can. But you won't catch me massaging anyone's nuts until they make the playoffs.

That's More Like It

Sorry to hear that lottery hopes aren't linked to margin of victory (or defeat), but the Sixers look to be back on track with a 50 point loss to the Yao Ming and his traveling all-stars. While the Sixers will need to break out some major struggles (an injury to a certain point guard would be nice) to catch up with soaring Grizz and Celtics who were recently fined 30,000 kopecks for excessive contact with Durant's family.

But you can't help but be slightly bothered by Durant's recent exit from the tourney, where he was expected to dominate all comers in his final act as an unpaid athlete. In this case the numbers do lie, as Durant threw up 27 and 11 in the first 30 and 9 in the second while looking generally pedestrian throughout. You can continue that he looks like the prototypical nba all-star already, his game replete with sagged shoulders and late defensive switches, but those just aren't the type of points that get the scouts drooling. More than anything else, he just didn't look ready. So here's to hoping that the Sixers aren't either, because there's nothing we need less than three first round picks in a draft without Durant and Oden.

Saturday, March 17

The first round is over

Well, you've probably already heard the vast amounts of analysis, prophecies, and predictions for this damn tournament. And honestly, even though I root heavily for a few teams, I mostly just enjoy watching any of this.

However, up until this year I never really realized just how tough it is for a weak team like Penn to beat a tougher team, like Texas A&M. Now, there was never any doubt in my mind that A&M would win the game, and handily. I didn't realize that they literally had no chance of winning.

Now, there's a difference here between Penn, and a team like Niagra. Niagra has dudes who are athletic, but not quite athletic enough to play for a better school. Penn has dudes who are smart, but would never have a shot at playing anywhere but in the Ivy League. So when you match a 6'9" 200 pound guy against a 7' 275 pound guy, the bigger one is gonna win about 90 times out of 100. Repeat this for 40 minutes, and you have the result.

Basically the point here is this. It's always a "miracle," or "hugest upset ever" when games like this happen. I contend that it is NEVER strictly the result of phenomenal play from the underdog team, and that it almost has to be the result of atrocious play for the favorite. College basketball is unique in this, I believe. In almost every major sport, there is always a chance for victory on either side. And I'm not talking about a simple underdog vs favorite here, I mean a team that is clearly and completely dominated in every possible way.

I really don't have a point here. I was trying to put into words the sheer ridiculousness of a matchup such as Penn and A&M. I honestly think that there is less than a 5% chance of the underdog ever winning in situations like these, and when they do, it is for reasons other than their own performance. That said, my other squad, rock chalk jayhawk, is going to win it all, and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, March 6

Hey Armando, It's Your Boy

I don't have any strong baseball rivalries, mainly because the teams that I would consider rivals I instead consider terrible and not worth my time (M.E.T.S. METS METS METS). But Armando hates the Braves, because Armando hates Chipper Jones. Well now, I kind of love Chipper Jones. Turns out he's eschewing the tried and true workout routine for the Hal Morra 1999 'if you can't eat em, join em' plan. Sadly, he credits John Kruk, another quiet reminder that I am not, and have never been a famous professional athlete turned talking head. I would lend my advice to Chipper and say that the sky's the limit approach to dieting isn't' the best mechanism for scoring chicks, but he's got cash and is probably married, besides. So, best of luck, and can I recommend the old Charles Barkley steak-a-day routine? (I had to settle for a taco-a-day due to financial restrictions).

Stallworth Correction

I found out this morning that all information about the league's substance abuse policy is shared with all the teams, but is was airtight within the league. So, this should not lower Donte's market value unless a) Teams were not gathering all possible information available to them from the league on players that they intend to spend millions of dollars on AND b) they were instead, getting this information from various newspaper sources throughout the country. So, back to the old Na Brown, James Thrash contingent we go.

Monday, March 5

King in the Castle

I just threw up in my mouth., in conjunction with a team of (poorly) trained salamanders, has anointed Sixers GM Billy King as the third best GM in all of professional sports. He was edged out by fellow whiz Kevin McHale, who has been running the Timberwolves franchise into the ground for the last two seasons. Forbes' crack team apparently employed methods ranging from dart-throwing to picking from a hat in an effort to come up with the best proof yet that sometimes, the numbers do lie. Not mentioned were the contracts Billy King gave to Dikembe Mutombo ($68 million), Kenny Thomas ($40 million), Brian Skinner ($25 million), nor the fabulous two nickels and a penny for a fifty-dollar bill trade to get Iverson out of town. Highlighted were his shrewd spending techniques (89% of the league average), and team wins vs. his predecessors, John Lucas (wow), and Pat Croce (who drafted Iverson, and was around to suck up the rebuilding losses before King stepped in). Please keep this information away from Ed Snider. Please.

More Signs Your Team is in Trouble

When you open the paper to read that your star receiver is in the league's substance abuse program, and this strikes you as good news, perhaps your problems run deeper than you had thought. Donte Stallworth now finds himself as a double-risk receiver (mind and body), unable to cash in on a free agency period in which a guard (Kris Dielman) declined a contract at seven million a year. This, of course comes to the delight of Eagles fans who sat heartbroken at the thought of losing Donte and his 38 catches. What's worse for Donte (better for fans) is that this revelation couldn't have come at a more inopportune time, as the league is making "character" its hot topic in an offseason following 17% of the Cincinnati Bengals being fitted for bracelets (high-water mark was Chris Henry puking out of the passenger side of a car while a teammate was being interrogated by an officer on the driver's side).

Trouble, is, with all the character issues Andy Reid is dealing with at home this offseason (best wishes to the Reid family), the organization may not be looking to add more baggage inside the locker room, even if that baggage comes cut-rate. If nothing else, all this excitement should be enough to distract people from the team's tireless efforts to improve their linebacking corps. Don't forget, we traded Mark Simoneau for this guy.

Thursday, March 1


Lay down. Lay flat on your chest with your hands exposed. And listen. You need to stop winning these games. You need to stop winning anything. If I were you I'd be out throwing celebrity games. I'd lose in 1-1 to my six-year old just as to not get accustomed to the idea of winning. Next year, you can win all you want. You can win two, three, four times a day. But not this year. This year there is a young man in Texas, who, while you were out beating the best team in the league, took down the fifth-ranked team in the nation in double-OT. And if that's not enough, there's another young man in Ohio who is beating up the country left-handed. But if you want to hop around, playing defense, not moving on screens, hitting open jumpers, and playing good team basketball, just to line yourselves up for Brandan Wright, or Joakim Noah, or Yi Jianlian, I'm not gonna stand for it. And neither is the rest of this town. You've got a big game tonight against basement rival Memphis. This is a must-lose game. It cannot be stressed enough. This will be a tough game to lose. We'll need bad passes, twenty-four second violations, errant fouls, we'll need to really pull out all the stops to blow this one. But it has to be done. You are hopeless. Thank god Shavlik's still out robbing Miller trucks, that guy doesn't know how to turn it off. But the rest of you, you should know better.

Something's gotta turn around, because I'm getting really sick of all this winning.

Gotta Have It: Vet Turf

This column is generally a stand-in joke, but this week I'm as serious as an old lady staring down a restaurant bill. I love the piece of rubble, too. Make sure I don't confuse it with my piece of the Berlin wall, although you could go around the city and probably find 10,000 vet stories for every one yarn on the old German divider.

But how much turf did this guy get? Half an endzone? What kind of connnections do you need to score this kind of green? I might prefer a ten minute phone call with this dude to his actual product. Also dig the lengths he goes to point out that this is definitley not the new nex-turf, it is in fact the green monster that legends like Fred Barnett and Wilbert Montgomery made their bread on. If you're still sore about missing my last 24 birthdays, feel free to mail this one my way.