Saturday, December 30, 2006

Random MLB Rumblings

Since the hot stove's been cooking over the past few days, and I’m bored of watching the Navy-BC bowl game (with 14:20 left in the first quarter), here are a few random observations from the world of MLB:

-First thing’s first—I’m kinda getting worried about the Cardinals. So far I like the signing of 2B Adam Kennedy, who not only is generally good for a .350 on-base percentage every year and plays solid defense, but who also forms the “whitest double play combination in baseball” with David Eckstein, which should be good for about 500 jokes or so between my brother and I this summer. I also like re-upping staff ace Chris Carpenter for a few more years at what now seems to be a reasonable rate after the insane Barry Zito deal (more on that later).

That said, it doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in you when your number 2 starter is some asshole who wears high socks and a flat-billed hat (Anthony Reyes), your number 3 is your lights-out closer from the playoffs who has struggled as a starter at lower levels (Adam Wainwright), your number 4 has a shoulder and leg held together with bubble gum and rubber cement (Kip Wells), and your number 5 is…who? Oh yeah, the team is talking about having Braden Looper be the fifth starter. Yes, that last sentence isn’t a typo. Braden Looper. Starting. If that happens, I think I just might try to jump the Grand Canyon on the back of a motorcycle, without a helmet, with Ben Roethlisberger at the wheel. Yeesh…

-The Red Sox and Cubs are spending money right now like a couple of feuding families of hoosiers who try to one-up each other. I can just see Theo Epstein. “Oh yeah? $136 million for Alfonso Soriano? Well we’ll pay $51 million just to negotiate with a guy who’s never pitched in the majors before, AND we'll give J.D. Drew $70 million for 5 years! That oughtta show ‘em!”

-Speaking of the Cubs, I can’t wait for the avalanche of “This is the Cubs year” articles that should be popping up after the Super Bowl. I like to call this the “Arizona Cardinals syndrome”. There are several symptoms of AZ Cards Syndrome. They include:

1. Going out and spending money on the biggest name available in the off-season to generate some buzz. The Cards went out and got Edge James. The Cubs got Alfonso Soriano. This gets the fans interested in buying tickets and the media sniffing for a story or two.

2. Making sure that the big name acquisition is in direct conflict with the biggest weakness of your club. As many Gridbirds fans know, the problem with Edge James, other than he has more miles on him than the Indians’ plane from Major League, was that their o-line is absolutely horrific, thus giving Edge no chance to succeed in the first place. The Scrubs didn’t realize that, even though Soriano can put up huge power numbers, THE REST OF THEIR LINEUP ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GET ON BASE! Soriano doesn’t even get on base at a very good clip. So even if Soriano can keep up his monster numbers from last year, he’s going to be trotting around the bases on his own a lot.

3. Signing some more marginal, overpaid free agents to “complement” the big signing. See Marquis, Jason, Lilly, Ted. In the case of the Cardinals, this was done through the draft, where Matt Leinart was hailed as the immediate savior, even though he clearly needs a little time to adjust to the pro game.

4. Throw a bone to a few hungry writers wanting to make headlines going into the year. I mean, if you’re Denny Green, and you’ve offered Sean Salisbury the position of quarterbacks coach in the past (why in God’s name any sane human would, I don’t know), and you give him a call saying, “Hey, we’re looking pretty good in practice here”, you don’t think Salisbury is going to flap his big trap on NFL Live about how the Cards are a “sleeper team” this year? You don’t think Salisbury’s going to beat John Clayton within an inch of his life in the ESPN break room and threaten to take his lunch money if he doesn’t (or even does) pick the Cards as a sleeper team? My point is, these things become self-reinforcing, and before you know it, everybody and their brother is touting the Cards as a great team.

Well, in the case of the Cubs, you can already see it coming. Old Gravelly-Mouthed, “Please don’t take my wallet” Lou Pinella probably is already working his media contacts (except Steve Lyons) to tell them “If this kid Prior comes back, and I can get Marquis and Lilly straightened out, and we can score some runs, then look out”. It is going to be a disaster.

5. Have a horrendous first month. Check and check.

6. Writers recanting their earlier words and writing pieces about how the “gravitational pull of the culture of losing is too difficult to overcome.” Basically, we were wrong and stupid, but we have secure jobs so long as we don’t criticize our employers so it doesn’t really matter how much we know or whether we actually put time in to things like "research" and "original thought".

7. Rinse and Repeat. Wait 'til next year.

-The Yanks have to be sweating a bit. They’re like the big-time high school quarterback who’s just finishing up his senior season, but for whatever reason can’t get a scholarship to even a 1-AA school. Before you know it, they’ll be marrying the head cheerleader, knocking her up, becoming a cop, handing out traffic tickets and investigating TP'd houses for ten years, and then one day, all of a sudden, they’ll wake up and think “What the fuck happened? I was the fucking star high school quarterback, dammit!” Well, the Yankees are right on the cusp—a little too old, have enough to compete right now, but who knows if they can make it to the next level with this team? And what the fuck happens if they don’t win in the next year or two? It could get ugly…

-Congratulations Gil Meche! You’re the winner of the annual “D.B. Cooper Award” for stealing money outright from a team without getting caught. It’s almost like Royals GM Drayton Moore (Yes, that’s his real name. I know, it sounds like a porn star name—and a chick porn star name at that) looked at his team and thought, “Shit! Mike Sweeney’s $11 million per year contract is about to expire! I have to fill that slot quick with another overpaid underachiever who we’ll be trading for pennies on the dollar two years from now, if there’s a stupider GM than me out there” (Bill Bavasi in Seattle, anyone?).

-Jeff Suppan’s headed to the Brewers. Good for him. There’s no way I would have come close to 4 years and $42 mill, especially when the team offering it is the Brewers and the most marketable skill that Supp offers is being able to pitch in big games in the playoffs. That's like a farmer in Kansas buying a lot of volcano insurance. I mean, he might be able to use it, but it would be a lot more valuable to a guy in a place that has a chance in hell of seeing a volcano erupt. What’s even worse is that after his brief detour to spend a little time being a successful starter on a winning team, he’s going right back to the same formula that produced this line:

9-16, 5.32 ERA, 68 BB, 109 K, 32 HR, 208 IP (with the Royals in 2002)

In other words, he’s back to being an innings eater on a shitty team, even though the innings that he’s eating are pretty horrible-tasting.

-Vernon Wells has to really be buying into what the Blue Jays are peddling. 7 years and $126 million is a lot of money, to be sure. The only problem is, are the Blue Jays really ever going to have a legitimate shot at winning the AL East, let alone a World Series? I mean, they’re maybe going to have a year or two while the Yanks try to reload in the next few years, but they’ll still have to fight off the Bosox, as well as the building Rays (don’t laugh. They are stacked in their farm system like Carmen Electra). He could have probably pushed for close to $200 million next off-season from the Yanks. Still, as long as he’s happy, he really shouldn’t give a fuck what some jaded law student thinks.

-I think Brian Sabean has the inside track on winning the “race to see which West Coast GM is completely bat-shit crazy”. I mean, Barry Zito’s a very nice pitcher, maybe even a number 2 on a Championship-caliber team if he gets his massage and meditation break (with happy ending), or whatever the fuck he needs to do to get ready on game day. But still, paying him the same amount as a cornerstone franchise centerfielder (Vernon Wells)? That’s just insanity. Let’s see, he’s a lefty, and right-handed pull hitters just need to somehow find a way to drop one in between Barroid and Dave Roberts in the cavernous gap in Pac Bell or whatever the fuck it’s called these days. I mean, so long as he can stay away from right-handed hitters at home, and if he can stay healthy, then it should be an ok deal.

That’s it for now. Back to bowl-watching.

Until next time…

DJGel

Friday, December 22, 2006

Seinfeld's Greatest Minor Characters

In celebration of Festivus, here’s a list of the 10 best minor Seinfeld characters. All those characters besides Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer and Newman were eligible. Happy Festivus!

10. Dr. Tim Whatley

Re-gifted: A label maker.
Waiting Room Magazine of Choice: Penthouse.
Religion: Judaism (converted just for the jokes).

9. Keith Hernandez

Wrongfully accused of: spitting on Kramer and Newman.
Expert on: The Civil War
Life mantra: “I’m Keith Hernandez.”

8. Milosh

Profession: Tennis professional.
Actual tennis skill level: Low.
Dabbles In: The Flesh Trade.

7. The Soup Nazi

Motto: “No soup for you!”
Price of Bread: Free and/or $3.00.
Stolen: His secret recipe for wild mushroom soup, among others.

6. J. Peterman

Covets: JFK’s golf clubs.
Favorite Asian Nation: Myanmar (always Burma to him).
The Real J. Peterman: Kramer.

5. Kenny Bania

Profession: Comedian.
Favorite joke subject: Ovaltine.
Trademark quote: “That’s gold, Jerry!”

4. Jackie Chiles

Response to society’s conventions being flouted: “It’s Lewd, Lascivious, Salacious, Outrageous!”
Legal gaffe: Allowing Kramer to settle for a lifetime’s supply of coffee instead of cash.
Sample Legal Advice: “Your face is my case.”

3. Bob Cobb (aka the Maestro)

Favorite Region of Italy: Tuscany.
Way to Prevent Wrinkled Pants: Not sitting in them before a performance (an old conductor’s trick passed on by Leonard Bernstein).
Favorite Member of the Three Tenors: Not Pavarotti, not Domingo… the other guy.

2. Frank Costanza

Favorite Holiday: Festivus.
Inventor of: The Bro (aka The Manssiere)
Will Not Tolerate: Infestation.

1. David Puddy

Favorite Professional Sports Team: New Jersey Devils.
Preferred Dining Establishment: Arby’s.
Reason why Elaine Started Dating Him Again: She “needed to move a bureau.”
Religion: Born-Again Christian.
Offended By: The term “grease monkey.”
Recovering: Germophobe.
Happy to Dole Out: High-Fives.
Trademark quote: “Yeah, that’s right.”

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Mailbag

Allright, so I know what you people are thinking. "Wow, a mailbag! This site is really taking off!" Unfortunately, we didn't even have an email address until I signed up for one roughly 30 seconds ago, so these questions are all going to be fake. If you do have any questions for the future, please feel free to e-mail them to blogmogger@yahoo.com and they will make it into a future edition of the mailbag. Until we get enough of them, though, I'm going to have fun making these up.

My Goodness, I'm just as angry as the dickens about your article slamming ESPN.com analyst Keith Law! He is a brave American who speaks his mind. So what if he liked to frolic with the artsy-type guys for a while in high school? You're just a big poopyhead. Now I'm going to go see a new off-Broadway play with "the boys" before I come home, stuff myself on a pint of Haagen-Dasz and cry myself to sleep.

-Keith L., Bristol, CT

Well, I'm sorry, Keith L., but Mr. Law wrote a cowardly, terrible series of articles during the playoffs. Don't pull the bull's tail unless you want to get a horn up your ass, or something like that. Unless you're into that type of thing...

Oh my God! You guys are the coolest! You are SO funny and culturally relevant! That article about the PS3! OMG LOL! :-) I love videogames too! They are the COOLEST! Why don't you guys come out and stay with us for a while? We'll make it worth your while! See you soon, OMG! I just read another article--LMFAO!!! Smooches!

-Jessica A., Keira K., Lacey C., Rachel M., and Giselle B., Hollywood, CA

Hey, thanks ladies, we do what we can. Keep the hot tub warm--we'll be there soon.

(Note to Jamie: remember, this is a FAKE mailbag. Don't actually pack your bag and head out to L.A. just yet. It'll take another week or 2 for us to get this e-mail in real life)

You guys are the inspiration to a new generation of all generations in time, across time. Every person is special and you guys outspecial all of them. It's like we're the new advent(sic)-guard.

Lindsay L., Hollywood, CA

Interesting, Lindsay. Hey, Bogota called, they want all of their cocaine back.

Love the blog, and it's sort of funny. You know what would make it better? More racial humor! You need more columns about [racial slur deleted]s and [racial slur deleted]s! That's the direction comedy is headed! [Racial Slur Deleted]!

Michael R., Los Angeles, CA

Uh, yeah buddy, we'll keep that in mind. Keep up the comedy...

My God! I have so much money I don't even know what to do with it! Thank God I'm pitching for the Cubs--I don't care about winning--so long as they pay me money!

Jason M.
, Chicago, IL

Well, uh, good luck, I guess, Jason Marqu...err...Jason M. Have a great time pitching to Albert a couple of times a year.

I made a TERRIBLE movie a few months ago, and now I'm worried that you guys will make fun of it! Please don't! "16 Blocks" is a serious commentary on something, though I have no idea what it's supposed to be about and I concede that the ending is fucking pathetic. Please, please give me a shot!

Bruce W., Hollywood, CA

Uh, allright, Bruce. Still, I just saw your movie, and...er...I don't know how to tell you this, but, 16 BLOCKS IS FUCKING PATHETIC! AFTER SEEING IT, I WANT TO POUR KEROSENE ALL OVER MYSELF AND LIGHT IT ON FIRE BY RUBBING MY COCK AGAINST COARSE SANDPAPER FOR 15 HOURS! Still, though, good effort.

Well, that's all for now. If you all want to see a real mailbag, remember, e-mail us at blogmogger@yahoo.com and we'll answer them. I promise...

Until next time...

DJGel



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Idiot's Guide to Lost

WARNING: If you have not seen this season's 6 episodes of Lost yet, do not read this. It might ruin some of the plot elements.

WARNING #2: If you have never seen Lost before GO OUT AND RENT THE DVDs FOR THE FIRST 2 SEASONS IMMEDIATELY! The pilot kind of sucks, but by the 3rd episode of Season 1, you'll be hooked. Tell your boss you have bird flu, take off for a week and watch them consecutively. You won't be disappointed.

OK, now that the disclaimers are out of the way, as you may or may not have been able to determine by my colleague's Lost references in his posts, we are both pretty big Lost fans. Not to the point of some of the lunatics out there, but we watch all the episodes, come up with our own (probably crackpot) theories, and (much to Jamie's chagrin) a few of us keep a running commentary as to what's going on while we watch the show, leading to more than a couple rounds of me asking, "What did he say?", followed by Jamie replying "I don't know I COULDN'T HEAR WHAT'S GOING ON!", followed by me telling Jamie to "Cool the fuck out" and him telling me to "Shut the fuck up" for the next minute or so. It's always good times.

I initially wanted to do a Season 3 recap to date, since this season has already been quite "spicy", as my brother would say. However, I realized that it was going to be by far the longest post on the page, so I decided to split it up into a few posts. This one is mainly going to deal with my thoughts on the characters on the show to date. More will follow in the next few days. At any rate, here's how I see each of the characters:

Jack: When you first see Jack in the pilot, you think that this guy has his shit together. First of all, he's a doctor. Secondly, he's the first one to hit on Kate, so he's not stupid. However, as Jack keeps going, you begin to get sick of his "holier-than-thou" attitude. He thinks he knows everything and can save anybody, and he's not afraid to tell anyone else about it. Also, he's just fucking annoying. He's like the kid in grade school who reminds the teacher that she hasn't given out the homework assignment for the next day yet. You want to stand up and strangle the little kiss-ass motherfucker, but social conventions prevent you from doing so, even though you're only 8 years old. Granted, he has gotten a lot better in Season 3 when all he does is yell out things like "Where--are--MY FRIENDS!" and "What do you think I am, stupid?", but still, he alternates too much between "I'm so cool" and "I'm a huge puss" that I really can't stand him.

Kate: Wow, she is a looker. And she has conned her share of people in the past. Oddly enough, she still has a kind of innocence about her, even though we know she's a stone-cold criminal. That said, she's a total cock-tease. She keeps playing Jack and Sawyer off against each other for her own benefit, until she finally gives Sawyer the business in the last episode that aired. If I was Sawyer, I'd be watching for that knife in the back any minute, 'cause I still don't trust her...

Sawyer: He is a badass. Period. If his clever one-liners and nicknames weren't enough, he is both a con artist and a stone-cold killer. He also matched Jack's Alcoholic Father drink-for-drink in Australia...and he lived. Oh, and did I mention, "HE JUST SHOT A BEAR!" He finally got the girl and escaped execution, so he's got that going for him...which is nice. The best character on the show. I've told Jamie many times that I'd stop watching the show if Sawyer was killed--he's that fucking awesome.

Hurley: Everyone (especially all the girls I know who watch the show) say that the "love Hurley" and how he's "so funny". Let's cut the bullshit already, people. Hurley is one of the most annoying people on the island. He clearly can't handle any form of responsibility (as evidenced by the "Let's put Hurley in charge of the food" incident. Yeah, that worked really well. What's next? Putting Charles Manson in charge of the guns?), and he asks way too many questions about shit that he doesn't even need to know in the first place. Oh, and did I mention that HE CHASES HIS FUCKING IMAGINARY FRIEND AROUND THE ISLAND? I swear, if you had a conversation with Hurley for 15 minutes, you would hate him.

John Locke: Boy, this guy gets swindled. First, his dad takes his kidney after a "long con". Then his dad faked his own death so that Locke could get $600,000 for him AND ruin his own life at the same time. Then, on the island, he's beholden to Jack, gets conned into giving Michael shooting lessons, and Sawyer cons him out of the guns. To top it all, he brought a narc to his hippy, smoke-weed-every-day fest to kill the buzz. I can't wait to see how he got in a wheelchair. Did he answer one of those e-mails for a Nigerian "Bring us $10,000 in person for our cause and we definitely WON'T kidnap you" schemes? Did he get run over trying to catch the guy who sold him the Brooklyn Bridge? I mean, the possibilities are endless. Still, he isn't afraid to cut up animals. And he's finally regained his faith. Also, he cooks up a mean batch of hallucinogenic paste, so he'd be a good guy to have on your side. It'll be interesting to see where they go with Locke from here on out.

Jin & Sun: Man Sun is a whore. And a bitch. You wonder in their first episdoe why Jin is such a prick. Well if I had to put up with Sun's lying, cheating, unappreciative slut routine, I would be a little ticked-off, too. This guy slaves away for her dick of a father every day with no end in sight, and she repays him by fucking her English teacher and lying about everything. I'm sick of her shit already. Despicable.

Sayid: Another bad motherfucker. This guy is a torturer, son! He isn't afraid to fuck some assholes up. He started out looking for some Iraqi woman that the was in love with, but once he saw Maggie Grace on the island, he figured, "Fuck it. hot, blonde, American chicks are more my type, after all" The one guy that you always know will be in charge of whatever situation he is in. I wouldn't fuck with this guy. I hope the Others don't, either, for their sakes. Also, somehow he has become the go-to guy for Eulogies on the island. Even if it was to initially impress Boone's sister after he died. Still, any time you start a eulogy with "I did not know Boone very well..." you know it's gonna be straight from the heart and amazingly poignant.

Charlie: Wouldn't blink twice if the writers killed him off. The whole "fighting his drug addiction while having insane hallucinations" thing was OK for a while, but he's degenerated into the Whiny, annoying, overly-territorial sidekick who just wants to give it to Claire and defy Locke for no reason. Now, if he gets back on the drugs, things might get interesting again. Until then, though, fuck him.

Claire: Speaking of annoying, how bad was the end of the first season when this chick was yelling out, "My Ba-BY! Where's my BA-BY!" in that harpy-esque cockney accent of hers? Now, normally I'm all for the ladies with accents, but she is just getting on my nerves. Also, she continues to prove that girls prefer "bad boys" by shacking up with the resident heroin addict who almost killed her kid...let's see...3 times now, I think. Smart idea. You ladies have no room to bitch that there "aren't any nice guys out there". There were, but after you see this kind of shit, you start to think "Hey, being an asshole pays!" So you ladies are left to pick between true assholes, nice guys pretending to be assholes, and nerdy guys who wouldn't know what to do with a girl if they could ever get up the nerve to talk to them. Way to paint yourselves into a corner...

Michael: "I've got to find my boy. WALT!" This was his only line for Season 2. What a dick--killing people to get off the island. Yeah, I wonder why they didn't give you custody of your kid, Judge Dredd. Also he was overprotective of Walt to the point of making an enemy of Locke--a big mistake.

Walt: What a snotty little brat. Granted, he does realize that his dad is full of shit and that Locke has a lot more to teach him than his dad does, but still, his sense of entitlement is amazing. Good riddance.

Jack's Alcoholic Father: Now here's a character! Definitely one of the most underrated characters in the show. I mean, the guy downs a fifth of scotch before he goes to bed EVERY NIGHT. And hey, I probably would too if I had to come home and deal with a little sanctimonious prick like Jack at the end of the day. The guy literally drank himself to death on a multi-week bender in Australia, which has to be one of the top 5 ways to go out, right next to "Randy Quaid sacrificing himself to kill the aliens in Independence Day" and "Smothered in Jessica Simpson's Tits". The man acts like it's Christmas morning every time he sees a bar or a drink in the show. If only I had that same wide-eyed enthusiasm for anything--I wouldn't be such a jaded bastard all the time. Just really a great character

Ana Lucia: She was a bitch. I know it sucks that her unborn kid got shot and everything, but still, she was a bitch.

Libby: This chick liked Hurley. She was crazy. Oh, and she was in an asylum. She goes around, giving away her husband's boat to strangers, and is still somehow hot and nice. We used to joke that after takes with Hurley, Cynthia Watros would get all bitchy, like, "Jesus, if I EVER have to do that again, I'll, like, totally throw up!" Still, I guess she's a cool character, if you like hippie chicks.

Desmond: Awesome. This guy leaves the hatch, goes sailing for 2 weeks tanked out of his fucking mind on Dharma vodka, and then reaches the island again. He has been through hell, and put Jack in his place very early on, even before they got to the island. Apparently he's a coward, but since the producers are being dicks and focusing on story lines we don't even care about now, we haven't seen why yet. Looking forward to getting the scoop on him...

Mr. Eko: In the words of the immortal Rick Ross (sort of), "Look, Bitch, Every day Mr. Eko is hustlin'". He was a bad motherfucker. The scene where he slit the throats of the rival drug runners in season 2 is still one of my favorites. It's a shame that he was killed off recently, but his death gave me more info for my theory about...

The Smoke Monster: Who knows what this thing is? My theory is that it somehow can take the form of anyone's body that it has taken. For example, Jack's Alcoholic Father's body is gone, but Jack sees him walking around the island. Same thing with Eko's brother. And the same thing, maybe, with Vincent, the Dog. There's this weird shot in the pilot of Vincent looking out on what some other people are doing on the island, and he looks a little too intelligent. Granted, this could all be my bullshit, and if so, feel free to lock me up.

Rose and Bernard: I'm sick of them. Time to move on.

Ben Linus/Henry Gale
: My God this guy is creepy. He gives Jamie a run for his money. He can make anything seem like a totally twisted mindfuck. His speech to Kate before breakfast on the beach in Ep 1 of Season 3 made me wonder if I was watching one of those "To Catch a Child Predator" Datelines. Something tells me that you don't want to fuck with this guy, though. He could mean business.

Juliette: She has the "nice girl" act down around Jack, but something tells me that this girl is a stone cold bitch. I don't trust her.

Boone/Shannon: Glad they're dead. The whole "step-brother and sister who fucked" storyline always creeped me out a bit. Though Maggie Grace was pretty hot, they had to be killed off. And though Boone was Locke's Lieutenant, his death served a purpose in the grand story arc.

And finally, That new Brazilian Guy and his Extremely Hot Girlfriend: The new Brazilian guy is a TERRIBLE actor. Yikes, hopefully he's not long for the island. his girlfriend, though, is incredibly hot, even hotter than Kate. Unfortunately, because of this, she has a bit of a bitchy streak in her, which is incredibly unattractive in a girl. Still, kill the hack and more of his girlfriend.

Phew. That was a long one. That's all for now. Until next time...

DJGel