Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Barry Barry Bad

I so totally called this: After 0-6 start, Giants move $126M ace Zito to bullpen

I think he'll work it out; I mean the law of averages seems to suggest he will. He always was a bit schizophrenic - I remember him starting the season opener against the Yankees in '06 and giving up 7 runs over not even two innings, but later that year starting Game 1 of the ALDS against Minnesota and giving up 2 runs over 8 innings at the Metrodome against Johan Santana, a game that had been all but conceded to the Twins.

He'll never be that pitcher that won the Cy Young again - that year was a bit of an anomaly even when he was pitching well - but he's smart and, what can I say, I have faith in my hotties.

Monday, April 28, 2008


After watching tonight's Yankees game, I am convinced that backup infielder Morgan Ensberg


is actually the same person as


Alan "Steve the Pirate" Tudyk of Firefly and Dodgeball fame. Which would explain why I haven't seen Tudyk in any movies/TV shows lately and why Ensberg was was so funny in his post-game interview today. So congratulations Morgan Ensberg. You will officially be known as Steve the Pirate from here on out.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Road Trip Aftermath

Quote of the weekend:

"Look... more Canada!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Is Not a Primary Color

So yesterday, webmaster extroadinaire Karl Koch of weezer.com posted a few more tidbits about the band's upcoming album, including the cover photo and a press release about its release.
A screenshot of said press release is above (see the full-size thing here), and its description by Karl as "weird" is an understatement. 

I'm not incredibly well-versed in the writing of press releases, but I've read enough of them to know the basic format, and to know that typos and grammatical errors in something like this are completely unacceptable. And I'm pretty sure that most of them do not include links to Wikipedia. Or claim that green is a primary color.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Night Baseball Follies

I was watching the Mets/Phillies (because, as previously noted, I'm in love with Chase Utley) game on ESPN tonight and caught this little gem regarding Jose Reyes.

Miller: He plays with such joie de vivre--
Morgan: I don't know what that means, but yeah, he has a lot of fun.

Oh Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, dumbly harmless when commenting on any old game, frustratingly biased against the Yankees. 

Speaking of fun, you know what else is fun? Watching Chase Utley go 3 for 3 with two home runs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Put down the blade and step away from the ledge

This is why Pete Abraham of the Journal News is my favorite Yankees beat blogger:

Hughes is the second-youngest player in the majors and the youngest pitcher. Most of us were in college when we were 21 and trying to scrape enough money for beer. He's the No. 3 starter for the Yankees. How about giving him a break?

Do I really need to remind people that the Yankees were 14.5 games out of first place last May and were driving around in a van picking up starting pitchers from homeless shelters and bus stations?

It's funny 'cuz it's true.

And for the record, I agree that Phil Hughes has the potential to be an awesome starter. Just... not quite yet. As has been tossed around the interwebs, it got worse before it got better for this guy too, and things turned out pretty well for him. Fingers crossed.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Danny Federici 1950-2008

The E Street Band has lost a brother. Danny, you will be missed. I consider myself all the more lucky for the show I saw in Philadelphia back in October.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


New Weezer album June 24!
New single hearable now!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The All-Hottie Baseball Team: A Study in Pictures

Sometimes, when my bestest best pal Olie and I are bored (which is frequently), we daydream of living on a private island surrounded by tons of hot boys. Being baseball fans (although our allegiances lie with different teams), it's obvious that the island would have its own baseball team, comprised of the best and hottest there is. So come gaze upon the spectacle that is the 2008 All-Hottie Baseball Team.

Joe Mauer (MIN)
The man, the myth, the sideburns.

Mark Teixeira (ATL)
Representing the ATL.

Chase Utley (PHI)
Mmm... I like a boy who plays dirty.

Derek Jeter (NYY)
You never forget your first. Baseball crush, that is.

David Wright (NYM)
So cute and innocent-looking.

Bonus! Left side of the infield bonding!
(Link, 'cuz it's a big picture)

Grady Sizemore (CLE)
Grady Sizemore makes me happy that baseball pants are so tight.
(See for yourself)

Xavier Nady (PIT)
From the Pittsburgh Pirates... who knew?!

Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
It hurts my heart that he's on the Red Sox, but he's just too adorable, and we don't discriminate here at the All-Hottie Team.

Robinson Cano (NYY) - INF
Don't be sad, Robbie! You're only on the bench because I felt guilty about stacking the starting lineup with Yankees.

Eric Chavez (OAK) - INF
He's cute, but he gets injured a lot (and is on the DL as I type). So we'll keep him on the bench where, if nothing else, he can look pretty.

Jeff Francoeur (ATL) - OF
A disciple of the David Wright school of dorky and adorable.

Javy Lopez - C
He didn't make it with the Braves this year, but there's room for Javy on this team!

Starting Pitchers:
Andy Pettitte (NYY)
Andy is dandy. It's the 'take-no-prisoners' glare peeking out between his hat brim and the top of his glove.
Mmm... yes.

Cole Hamels (PHI)
The Phillies have a really good-looking team. How does this happen to a town that booed Santa Claus?

Johan Santana (NYM)
Don' look surprised, Johan, you know you're hot stuff!

Dan Haren (ARI)
He's pitching for the Diamondbacks now, but used to play for the A's, a hotbed of... hotties. If there were ever a team for which to be a real-life Annie Savoy, the A's would be it.

Mike Mussina (NYY)
Dammit, it's my team and I'll put my favorite old guy on it if I want! Besides, every pitching staff needs a mentor and you've gotta admit, Moose still looks good.
Yes, Michael Kay, you fucking idiot, I know they're yelling "Moose" and not booing me.

Joba Chamberlain (NYY)
So maybe he's not a hottie in the traditional sense. Don't care. Strikeouts are sexy. And he fucking dominates. Tell me you're not interested.
And tell me you don't think he's adorable as the Cowardly Lion during last year's Yankees rookie hazing.

Ross Ohlendorf (NYY)
He has the distinction of being one of the few players whose bio page picture doesn't look like it was taken at the DMV. Which is good because he's so green, there are barely any pictures of him floating around. Bonus points for vaguely resembling John Krasinski.

Barry Zito (SFG)
My ERA is going to be this many!
He's not the pitcher he used to be but let's be honest, he's too hot to not be on this list. He can still get the ball over the plate, which, when your starter totally chokes in the 2nd inning, is necessary sometimes. So what the hell, Barry Zito, you're a long reliever now. It was either that or team mascot, and you deserved a bit more dignity than that.

Joe Nathan (MIN)
The facial hair is questionable, but yeah, we like those boys that throw hard. There's a 'that's what she said' joke in there somewhere.

Huston Street (OAK)
Does anyone else think he has a porn star name? 'Cause here's a porn star-esque pose to accompany it. Not that I'm complaining...
This one was just too hot not to include.

Tino Martinez
One of this writer's favorite retired hotties, and the perfect skipper for this team. Also, an excuse to throw in another picture of Derek Jeter.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Dear ESPN,

Now that you've finished broadcasting the Yankees-Red Sox game, please go back to fellating Red Sox Nation, since you clearly can't give the Yankees credit for anything they did well with your mouth so full of Red Sox d--

I should stop.

Can someone please explain how Joe Morgan and Jon Miller still have jobs? Or got said jobs in the first place?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Magical thinking your way to an AL Pennant

This weekend, the madness begins again. The first of many meetings between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. There are countless memorable moments between the two franchises but in my mind, none stands out as much as the following. So in honor of the season's first Yankees/Red Sox matchup, a little anecdote about baseball, magical thinking, and the Curse of the Bambino.*

In 2003, during the pivotal game 7 of the ALCS, it looked like the Red Sox were on the verge of beating the Yankees and going to the World Series. It goes without saying that I never imagined that happening during my freshman year of college - and if I had, I certainly wouldn't have sent the check to Boston University. It was also my first time watching Yankees playoff games without my superstitious sister by my side, and I was feeling a bit lonely.

The game did not start off well. The Yankees were down 4-0, thanks to an ineffective start by Roger Clemens, a favorite whipping boy of my sister and I. Mike Mussina had been doing an excellent job in relief, but through five innings, the Yankees had only managed to score one run. Concerned as to my sister's mental state, I called home.


"I dunno, pal, doesn't look good for the Yankees."

"Well... Moose is pitching well."

"Yeah, but we gotta get some runs. Here, talk to your mother."

The phone was passed around the room, each family member telling me I was a braver person than he or she, being in Boston at a time like this. I told my parents to keep my sister away from any windows and or ledges, hung up, and pretended that reading for my English class would help me to get my mind off the impending tragedy. But who was I kidding. Trainwreck or no, I was a loyal Yankees fan, and I was going to see this game through to the end. Sure enough, things started picking up when Derek Jeter smacked a double to center field, and there appeared to be hope for the Yankees yet.

I got back on the phone, checking to make sure that the family hadn't given up hope just yet. Little did I know that I would be initiating a new baseball playoff tradition. The family certainly had NOT given up hope. In fact, my sister was downright ecstatic every time Yankees batters managed another hit or pitchers got a strikeout or clutch double play.

"Well, my phone battery is dying and I gotta go, but things are looking up, so maybe the Yankees will win after all," I said to my sister as I went to end the call.

"NOOOOO!" she shrieked into the phone, temporarily defeaning me. "You can't hang up because now the Yankees are rallying and if you hang up you could destroy the rally!"

This, it should be noted, was delivered in her patented "Monkey Screech," a manner of speaking where the words all come out as one and the pitch is only slightly lower than that of a dog whistle. I wasn't a superstitious person, but I dug out my phone charger, found a relatively convenient outlet, and plugged in my phone, keeping the chain unbroken.

"You see," my sister explained, "when you called, the Yankees had a huge rally. And if you hang up and the rally ends and the Yankees lose, then it will be ALL YOUR FAULT."

My sister subscribed wholeheartedly to the idea of magical thinking, which wasn't ordinarily my thing. But this was a special situation. And the prospect of coming home for Thanksgiving break and potentially being known around the house as the reason the Yankees lost the pennant was not something I wanted to live with. So I stayed on the line for the rest of the game, which eventually went into extra innings. The phone was passed from family member to family member as I sat on my dorm room bed, straining to watch the game on our TV with horrible reception.

And just when I thought that my cell phone might overheat, forever relegating me to be the reason the Yankees lost the ALCS in 2003 when it was actually the fault of my cellphone, Aaron Boone - he of the .176 batting average during the ALCS - came through with a home run in the bottom of the 11th. I threw the phone down and screamed. I heard screaming on the other end. My Red Sox fan roommate gave me a dirty look. The final score was 6-5, and the Yankees were going to the World Series.

A few brave Yankees fans had run outside and I could hear the chants of "LET'S GO YANK-KEES" and "BOSTON SUCKS" through the open window of my third floor room late into the night. I had an early class the next morning, but I didn't care. It was beautiful.

*Which was still in effect then.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bizarro World

How is it that the Baltimore Orioles, who gave up on life this past offseason and traded away Miguel Tejada (which, after the Mitchell report may not have been that bad of a move) and Erik Bedard, have the best record in the AL at 6-1?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Oh yeah, it's business time!

From that Northwest bastion of indie rock and pop:

Flight of the Conchords.
Town Hall - New York, NY.
May 6 & 7.

I'm squealing, dog-whistle style. This is so awesome, even if it does mean another battle with Ticketmaster.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Prove It All Night with Derek Jeter*

There's been no shortage of pontificating on what's going to happen to the Yankees this season, what with hiring a new manager and all of A-Rod's off-season drama. But this is easily one of the awesomest Yankees previews I've read:

A Yankees season preview in terms of Bruce Springsteen songs. Sweet.

*Yes, please!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Missing Mr. Torre

After the major letdown that was the Opening Day rainout, the Yankees opened up their season with a nice little victory over the Blue Jays and their ace, Roy Halliday. It's good to have baseball back.

Although for a Yankees fan that grew up with Joe Torre at the helm, it's a little disorienting to see him instead in Dodger blue, over in La La Land. But things seem to be off to a good start for him on the left coast, and there's a great article at ESPN.com about his trip with the Dodgers to China earlier this year. I have to agree with the piece's author: Torre just does seem to exude cool. As long as the Dodgers aren't playing the Yankees in interleague (or the World Series), I'll cheer for 'em.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

I've just finished watching the first season of Dexter, which is a show I've wanted to get into for the longest time and just didn't, for various reasons. But happily, Showtime seems to be looking at Dexter as its flagship show and has the entire series available OnDemand. So I checked it out.

Holy shit. I am so in love with this show.

Dexter Morgan, our protagonist, is a forensic analyst for the Miami Police Department. In his free time, he's a serial killer. Moral relativism is the name of Dexter's game - yeah, he's a serial killer, but he only knocks off other serial killers. Traumatized as a young child, he lives by a code imparted to him by his foster father Harry which basically boils down to don't kill people unless they really deserve it. Season 1 follows the Miami PD as they attempt to track down the Ice Truck Killer, a serial killer who preys upon and dismembers prostitutes. The Ice Truck Killer plays a twisted game of cat and mouse with Dexter, ultimately revealing himself to be far more entangled in Dexter's life than Dexter ever could have imagined.

Dexter seems to be part of a growing trend on pay-cable shows where audiences are asked to sympathize with a seemingly despicable character - the most obvious being the mobster at the heart of The Sopranos, but the Travellers at the heart of The Riches (FX, which is kind of HBO/Showtime-lite) also fit the bill. Dexter does some nasty stuff, but the show never judges him. It lets you think what you want about him and his pastime, although I have to say that Dex is probably a bit more likable than Tony Soprano. Of course, your opinion may vary - which is kind of the beauty of it.

Oh, also, it's really pretty funny. Darkly funny, and ironic, not unlike the tone of a Coen Brothers movie. A huge part of what makes that work is Michael C. Hall, who does a bang-up job of being cold-bloodedly evil, immensely charming, and really funny. To say the role is different than the one he played on Six Feet Under is beyond an understatement. Other than a touch of OCD, Dexter Morgan and David Fisher have nothing in common. Including the fact that in five years of watching Six Feet Under, I never once found myself attracted to Hall but damn if I didn't want to jump Dexter's bones within the first ten minutes of the pilot. The tousled hair, sideburns (oh man am I a sucker for a nice set of sideburns), and perpetual stubble are a good look for him.

I'm just beginning season 2 of Dexter, and I was skeptical that the writers would be able to craft a season-long storyline that would be as engaging and revealing as the Ice Truck Killer. But as evidenced by the number of times I uttered "holy shit" and "fuck me, no way!" as I watched the first few episodes, I don't think it's going to disappoint.