" That's just the sort of blinkered, Philistine Pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage!"

John Cleese

Sunday, November 30, 2008

In One Month, We'll See If This Is Worth The Time


On January 1, Major League Baseball launches MLB Network.

And everyone's on board in terms of carriers, mainly because they all are getting a piece of the pie.

Why this has taken so long is beyond me.  As other venues took ownership as the best place to go to get baseball news, MLB sat on its hands and let it happen.

But some intriguing things have been happening lately.

MLB.com and its team sites have long been a bastion for some of the most banal baseball news on these series of tubes.  Whether it was plodding through week-old stories looking to bore the reader to death or articles that attempt to put a sunny spin on...well...everything, it became like reading Tony Robbins on crack.  There was just so much 'pushing the company line'.  

But lately, the site's been efforting to break some stories and letting it all hang out.

And the network will be the largest launch in cable television history with a startup audience of 50 million by having the cable companies own a minority stake in the network if they carry the channel and not bury it in the wasteland that is the sports package.  With an initial value estimated at $1 billion, the network should crap money for all parties involved.

An aside here.  This brings up the question of the Big Ten Network and its bumblefuck of a launch last year.  I still think in my completely unqualified opinion that the Big Ten did what they had to do by fighting for long-term positioning instead of a wide initial launch.  Being a regional network with largely regional appeal, they were in no position to offer up minority stakes when so much in terms of future revenue was largely unknown.  

But the seeming smoothness of the launch of MLB Network certainly pricks up the ears.  Different beasts, of course, but cripes!  Now the bigger problem is the fact that actually seeing your favorite Big Ten basketball team play has become an issue.  How many Hawkeye games have been on?  Two?  Three?  

Makes me swoon for Raycom.

Anyway.  Looks like the Rich Eisen of the MLB Network will be Matt Vasgersian with Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter and Joe Magrane serving as analysts.  

The flagship will be MLB Tonight, a show starting at 5pm and running until the last game of the night is finished.  During the off-season, Hot Stove will air at 6pm every night.  No word yet on channel numbers but DirecTv recently reconfigured channels, moving the NHL Network to the low 200s near the NFL Network so one would suspect MLB Network will also premiere in the same slot.

Who knows if it will be worth the time.  But if my 2009 baseball season can be John Kruk-free, it will be worth more than I can ever ask for.     

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What? Presents On Thanksgiving? Since When?


Back in the 90s, I used to buy USA Today.  

Yeah.  I admit it.  Wanna fight about it?

Aside from the only good sports section you could find in Iowa, every Monday, the Life section ran Larry King's News & Views, a bizarre and infinitely hilarious compilation of strangeness rattling around in the head of Mr. King.

His column ended in 2001, leaving both Mate and Christo sad.  I cried for weeks.  Even the thought of that fateful day when the paper announced his firing congers up feelings I'd rather not revisit.  It's also the inspiration for the wildly popular feature right here at BRE, Mate's Musings.

And then it happened yesterday.  I accidentally turned it to CNN for the first time in probably a month. After watching Cafferty attempt to find out if you can actually die from being too curmudgeonish, an ad for Larry King came on advertising his new blog.  

Whhhhaaaaaa??????

I had to go.  And finally did.

To my joyous surprise, it's back!!!!  News & Views is back under the new name King's Things...It's My Two Cents.

Can you taste the happy?

Since clicking on a link uses up calories badly needed to saved in this economy, I'll just give it to you in all it's glory.
REMEMBER MY OLD USA TODAY COLUMN? IT’S BACK EXCLUSIVELY ON THIS BLOG!!!!!

HERE, AGAIN, THE NEW AND IMPROVED KING’S THINGS…IT’S MY TWO CENTS!

Whatever it takes, the Dodgers should sign Manny Ramirez or face the wrath of King!

I don’t know about you, but I think our election campaigns are TOO SHORT!

When I put my Citicorp card in the ATM, will money come out?

If anybody has seen Joe Biden, ask him to give me a call!

Will double breasted suits ever come back?

Milk is a movie you should not miss, if only for the performance of Sean Penn…

Will the Lakers ever lose again?

Has Michael Connelly ever written a bad sentence?

I wonder if Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving – or even if they should?

Why does it take so long for the recount in Minnesota?

There are 3 guarantees in life: death, taxes and Don Rickles’ new book will be funny…

In this economic crisis, is anyone making money?

The NY Jets story this year is one of football’s most thrilling and entertaining

Raising young boys at my age is wonderful, but rather tiring!
It's like he never left. The sun is brighter, the colors are brighter, Life is better.

This is my present to you on this day of Giving Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving

The Mate Wing of the BRE will be out of the office until Monday.
So in honor of the amount of wine I'll be drinking this weekend here's Orson Welles drunk off his ass in the greatest video ever:


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday's Quick Hits


To be added to throughout the day

Giving Thanks For Small Mercies

In the 'Finding proof of the existence of a higher being in the small things and not in Walmart bags' department, Page Six is reporting that everyone's favorite Hate Crime in a Dress, Ann Coulter, broke her jaw and had it wired shut.

BHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!

Sure, she's become irrelevant and has fallen off my #10 list of worst people to take a cross-country car trip with (usurped by someone currently and involuntarily in my life), but really, you can't make up a more fitting injury for someone so deserving.  


Now One of the Best Deals in Chicago

Insert "And in this economy..." joke here.

Going to The Dining Room at Kendall College tonight.  This will be our fourth trip to a truly curious dining experience.  Basically, it's a bunch of culinary students playing restaurant, something that would seem to scream 'Run Away'!

But they've always done a more than adequate job, typically incorporating entirely interesting ingredients with somewhat experimental sauce pairings for a ridiculously cheap price.

Currently, a three course prix fixe menu for $29 (!) is offered during the week with no restrictions.  And with the restaurant trying to figure out whether it's worth it to renew their liquor license, they're giving BYOB a go on a trial basis.

So basically, for $100 with tax, tip, coffee and a $5 corkage fee, you get to eat someone's pretty darn good homework.  Plus, it's a perfect place to take the family when they're in town.  They can get all giddy about how cute the whole damn thing is.  It's what old people do.

So if you want to try juniper-seared bison carpaccio with lovage, roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade on toasted bioche or black currant gastrique, buckwheat polenta, black quinoa or a pumpkinseed viniagrette without blowing the bank, give it a try.  The dining room's pretty, great views, huge tables and it comes with the added comedy of watching 20 year-olds who have never waited tables try to be all proper.

The fall dinner menu can be found here.  We've never felt like it was a bad decision.

And check out Urban Belly and Otom, two restaurants doing some great things right now.


Jermaine Dye for Homer Bailey?  Intriguing. 

Dye's no-trade clause went from a full designation in 2008 to a partial one in 2009, with most of the teams he can block being ones in the northeast. 

Move him? 

Tim Dierkes over at MLBTradeRumors linked to a story this morning out of Cincinnati that talks are taking place for just such a trade (with an unnamed player being thrown in from the Reds' side).

If consummated, this would be another $11 million off the books for the Sox and allows the team to move Quentin to right, opening up an opportunity to sign someone from a pretty good left field market this year.

Bailey fell apart last year at Louisville and seems to have an newly odd control problem, but he's still only 22 and might be worth taking a risk on with the Sox minor league system still pretty much in the crapper.

Dye will be 35 in 2009, hasn't been walking much lately and seems to be playing on borrowed time w/r/t missing significant time to injuries.  

Do they keep him?  I don't know.  But with the opportunity for more payroll flexibility and if the unnamed minor leaguer in the deal has some upside, I say do it. 

I just don't know if Dye fits into a philosophy mixing youth and experience while still being competitive. I would think the 'experience' part would necessitate someone not showing a pattern of regression.


Fire Joe Morgan Went Dark Two Days Too Soon

I meant to get to this last week.

So Dustin Pedroia won the hearts and minds of a legion of dippy sportswriters last Wednesday and was awarded the AL MVP.  

Sure, he had a great year (well...great August, anyway.  The rest was just very good) but anybody who watched the Red Sox play this year knows that they were nowhere without Kevin Youlikis (and this is coming from someone who kind of despises him - he's an Angels killer).

But you knew this was going to happen.  Youkilis isn't 5 foot-nothing and doesn't unnecessarily dive head-first on every play and then get up and clap like a spaz.  

I would make a case based on statistics but I'll just let John Donovan over at SI.com do it for me, something he put together when all the facts were bakery fresh in late September.

And the baseball orgy over try-hard grinders continues.


Read.  This.  Article.

Boers & Bernstein are about to get to it.  It's an article written last year by S.L. Price about the exteeeeennnnndddddeeeedddd Rolle family.  

Myron Rolle, free safety at Florida State who was just named a Rhodes Scholar was profiled along with the huge collection of other Rolles in American sporting life.  

It's worth every minute.  I remember reading this last year and all the details still stick with me. 

And it's as detailed as it gets.  Almost a One Hundred Years of Solitude for sports.
   

A Holday Memo From the Boss


From Earl "Jowls" Ferguson, editor at large of the BRE.

Dear All:

My God is it Thanksgiving already? Time flies. I can remember the last one we held here at the BRE when I made Christo and Mate work because we were behind on Tournament of Awful t-shirts and the Laotian boy we had doing it didn’t show up that day! Little asshole. Something about a staph infection or something. Whatever. Ruined my holiday I can tell you that. Well, not mine but it sure did make those guys pissed off. I know Christo likes to spend every holiday at soup kitchens disguised as a whino, screaming at the volunteers and Mate enjoys going down to the animal hospital to taunt cats. Well, sorry guys. I’ll make it up to this year.
In the spirit of the holiday where our forefathers slaughtered a group of Brown people and served the first godawful Mince pie I’d like to make a few observations on how we here at the BRE can make a difference this year.

1. Whoever keeps leaving the light on in the janitors closet needs to stop. I know we all like to go in there and masturbate but Ronnie is really starting to get annoyed by it and we all know how he doesn’t like to be “watched”. So, just a heads up.
2. I keep smelling bacon when I go by Christo’s office. Yet when I go in all I find is old coffee cups, tweezers and MAD magazines. What the hell?
3. Can we put down the Guinea pig, Jim-Jam? Jesus, he’s 13 years old and moves about once a week. He’s never fully recovered from the unfortunate raccoon attack of ’01. Which reminds me—good job on keeping that door closed at night. We’ve been Raccoon Attack free for 11 months now. We are doing less than great at keeping the Opossums out, however. Mate, you really gotta clean out that area near the lunch room after you eat.
4. There’s English Garden spray and matches in the bathroom for a reason, people!
5. The dock is for deliveries and pick ups only. Squirrel Flinging may be fun but it is prohibited.
6. Christo, I keep finding used Nicorette globs in the hall. That’s disgusting enough but do you have to throw leaves on them? Makes clean up a bit harder.
7. Mate, those Lean Cuisines keep piling up in the fridge. You’re not fooling anybody you know.
8. Guys, we get it. You don’t like anyone from Arkansas. Let it go.
9. Can we keep the really derogatory terms for women to a minimum on Bring Your Daughters to Work Day, please? Go nuts the next day but let’s have some sense of decorum on that made up bullshit day.
10. And finally can we get someone to eat that goddamn Turkey Sausage!

Thanks for your time and Happy Thanksgiving

Earl

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Gonna Eat Your Baby!


Think of this tonight when you go to bed.



Odds and Ends


Oh my god, the first snow of the year. Everyone drive like their 87 years old with glaucoma! Christ.
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Got a puppy Monday night. Cute. Wonderful. Happy. But this morning is her first time "out of the crate" while we're at work. We made up a little puppy area for her so she doesn't have to be cooped up all day ( 8 hours is a long time to be in there for a puppy)but still doesn't have run of the house.
Anyway, I'm sitting here worrying about it like it's the most important thing in the goddamn world, hoping she doesn't eat her poop or spread it around or whatever. Because, y'know, I might have to spend 5 minutes cleaning it up.
I always go back to George Carlin's bit, "And then you get to work and you realize you're pissed off at your pet."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anyway, the wife was sick last night so I went to the grocery store by myself. No biggie. Do it all the time. However, this was the new Jewel. I hadn't been before so shopping became a gigantic, baffling ordeal. Up was down. Black was White. The liquor was on the west side of the building, the frozen section was all fucked up. It took me an hour to find where the hell the marinades were! It's gonna take me forever to learn this new store! Dammit.
I have officially grayed the line between human and gerbil.
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I was around children all weekend. They are exhausting.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hawkeye Basketball Analysis From The Amazing Christo


Can you feel the Iowa basketball fever?  Catch it!

8,000 paid attendance last night.  I've had more people in my bedroom.  If that was 8,000, then I have a 12-inch penis.  How times have changed.

The actual basketball game left much to be desired as well.  But I'm tryin', Ringo.  I'm tryin' reeeaall hard to stay interested.  And it's not just Iowa.  Basketball in general - as a concept - has become like watching my dog play with a balloon.  Just a crapload of aggressiveness coupled with oodles of bewilderment.  

But I'm going to give a real analysis a shot.  

Last night, Iowa escaped Oakland (Mich. ? - sure, why not?) 66-57 with a 9-0 run in the last two minutes.  Now, some credit should be given to Oakland.  They're an athletic team with decent height, athletic guards and a bit a try-hardness that gave the Hawks fits all night.  And it was good to see that a 3/4 court zone still flummoxes the hell out of anyone who happens to wear an Iowa uniform.  That's tradition, people.  Some consistency in these hard economic times is important to the safety and health of the nation.

But there's a lot to like in this young band of ragamuffins, though a complete and utter lack of an inside game isn't one of them.  Ugh.  It took about five minutes for Oakland to realize that nobody (and I mean NOBODY) is even going to attempt to penetrate.  It's not a Tom Davis-style stand-around, bounce pass offense, though.  There's a ton of ball movement.  It's pretty but... 

It might rely on a little too much quick ball movement to make up for the deficiencies inherent in the offense.  They're a bunch of guards who can shoot, have good hands (relative to past Iowa teams, anyway), understand how to run a fast break but lacks a leader, can't play in the paint and if they go cold, they GO COLD! 

That can make for some ugly basketball.

A player-by-player analysis:

Anthony Tucker

He's going to be flat-out good.  Heck, he already is with his ability to get a three-point shot off as quick as he does.  And with an emphasis on quick ball movement, there might be a game this year where he puts up 35 on someone.

But he doesn't drive at all.  He's active and moves.  But doesn't seem sure about his ability to take his man yet.  Not that he has to with that kind of shot but Oakland exposed something about him.  In the 3/4 court pressure, he willingly gave it up on multiple occasions to Fuller to beat the pressure.  And that's not a good thing.  Expect Tucker to lead the team in scoring.  And expect Tucker to lead the team in things he could have done.  He's good.  And in Lickliter's system, he's a four-year guy that could work his way into a Kyle Korver-type.  But the book is still out if it's much more.

Cyrus Tate

He's still Cyrus "The Virus".  Everybody knew there was no learning arc with Tate the second he stepped on the court two years ago.  You get what you get. 

Ten points, eight on the same type of dunk he does every time (with the jimmy-legs and all), and eight rebounds.  But as usual, he's an opposing big man's wet dream.  Somebody has to tell Cyrus that activity doesn't equal performance.  Sure, he'll do the stiff-armed, head up scream after a dunk/block at least three times a game, but 10 points and 8 rebounds from your de-facto center brings you some problems if he doesn't offer some level of intimidation in the middle.  With everything he is, what he's not is his biggest weakness.  

Matt Gatens   

He's going to be the face of the franchise because he's white and this is Iowa.

The Oakland game may be a bad game to judge Gatens.  But you could tell that he knows what he's doing.  It seems he does everything well with the dribbling (and the texting!!), court vision and quick release.  But it seems with him and Peterson, the team still doesn't have a true point guard who desperately wants to lead the offense.  Both are young.  Given.  It just seemed that Gatens and Peterson both had opportunities to take the reins but with 5,000 guards in the game, neither feel it's necessary.  And it showed in the Oakland game.  Ugh.

Like Tucker, he'll be good, and they'll be many games where he wins it by himself with a bizarre collection of great plays.  But he's a bit handsy.  When he makes a mistake, he tries to rectify everything with a Burmuhl-type over-aggressiveness.  So get used to it.  If he doesn't stop it, they may have a Worley on their hands.

Jeff Peterson

Remember those early games last season?  Um..yeah.  Those are gone.  

Especially with the number of guards in this offense.  Peterson might pull a Lookingbill and have just an out-of-his-gourd senior year.  He has that makeup.  He's patient, doesn't make ungodly stupid decisions, hits it when he's open and unlike everyone else, he puts a priority on penetrating the lane.

But he tends to look bored.  And that can come across as Garret Anderson-esque.  Kind of puts a damper on a big run occasionally when he absolutely refuses to match the energy of the moment, particularly in basketball (which is one reason I'm beginning to hate it).  His progress, if any, will come at a snail's pace.  But at least he'll get to the line, unlike everybody else.  This could be the team's achilles heel and the season progresses - not getting to the lane.

Aaron Fuller

If the athletic ability is there, it hasn't been shown yet.  If I were a betting man, I would say someone in Fort Dodge is praying for Fuller to grow a couple of inches.  Seems about right for Iowa.

Right now, he's a tweener.  6'6' without superlative dribbling ability makes for a non-factor in the flow of the game.  And right now, he seems hesitant.  If any body type demands a guy to embrace his inner-spaz, it's this one.  He needs to be more active.  A 6'6" power forward in college means you better be good at one particular thing.  And I mean really good.  Seems like he has great hands and leaping ability but, at present, he's not offering enough.  Cole's knee must be pretty bad.

Jarryd Cole      

He looks thin.  After blowing out his knee last year, he was a question mark this year, especially early on.  Like a former fatty who suddenly loses a buttload of weight and doesn't know what to do with his new-found agility, Cole seemed like he was trying to find his legs in the six minutes he played last night.  

But his wide frame should demand increased playing time as the season progresses.  Fuller doesn't seem like a guy ready to push back when he's being pushed around.  Cole does.  He should usurp the starting role from Fuller by Big Ten season if his knee shows some stamina.  Fundamentally, he knows how to play under the basket at a level Fuller doesn't.  And when this team is exposed for the its lack of inside game, Cole becomes a contributor by default.

Jake Kelly   

Kelly is Nocioni.  When he shoots, I don't expect it to go in.  But it pretty much does.  He seems to think he's a little more clever than he actually is but he also tends to make a few things happen.  Mostly, it's his above-average ball handling in the three guard backcourt (in Lickliter's offense) that makes him valuable. 

Essentially, he's not a bonehead.  And while he tends to spooge himself whenever an open three point shot is available, he's a plus-player when he's on the court, if sometimes only slightly.  He just has to stop thinking he can dribble through double-teams (read:  Do more than his body/ability lets him).  It becomes a clusterfuck.  Kelly also needs to find his own energy level independent of the action on the court.  When shit's going bad, he tends to add to the pot.

Jermain Davis  

Played nine minutes.  Has long arms and might turn into the best defensive guy on the team.  Really active.  But again, so is my dog.  Doesn't mean there's any rationale behind it.  

Could grow into a Darryl Moore type.  Probably a total reach but his headiness may force Lickliter to give him minutes.  Every year, I pick a guy I want to overachieve to, you know, pass the time between blowings of 10 point leads and Davis is my guy this year.

Devan Bawinkel

He's Dan Bohall redux.







Andrew Brommer

He looks like one of my relatives.  Can I get an Amen?!







Todd Lickliter

He's 12.  







J.R. Angle

What's the point.

$20 he hits a three-pointer at the buzzer in some big game, though (money is on at Indiana.  Book it!).




David Palmer

In life, it's important to fulfill previous commitments.

Two Weekend Quick Hits


"Unlimited Juice?  This Party's Going To Be Off The Hook!"

E!Online reported Friday that Fox Searchlight greenlighted an Arrested Development movie.

And if E! says it, it must be true.  BRE only uses the best of sources in confirming rumors of rumors.  Really....What?

Actually, it's been reported by pretty much everyone by now. 

No timetable yet but Mitchell Hurwitz and Ron Howard and the entire cast is on board.

Except one.  No name yet on who is officially holding out but Michael Cera was a little dubious of the whole prospect in August.  Screw 'em if he chooses to not do it.  

I can taste the happy.  Soy loco por los cornballs!


What Hawk Fan Would Have Said This Six Weeks Ago?

Last night's drubbing of Minnesota satisfied so much on so many levels.  By golly, that was an ass-whuppin'.

But two names from the start of the season that sent the blood aboiling were curiously absent from my 'pissing-mad' meter throughout almost the entire season.

Ken O'Keefe and Bradley Fletcher

Now I'm not saying they were absolutely integral to the relative success of the team this year.  Nor am I saying they had spectacular years.  But I am saying that one has to acknowledge at times when two people avoid royally screwing the pooch for the entire season.

Sure, O'Keefe's third and five call against Michigan State lost the game, setting up an even more obvious fourth down call and having Shone Greene made everything so much easier for O'Keefe...but given the QB situation and a truly unspectacular receiving corps, he had a good year.  Some great calls that showed a modicum of competence.

And I don't recall ever throwing my hat across the room this year over some blown Bradley Fletcher coverage.  Heck, I kind of wish he was back next year.  With Spievey locking down the right CB position for the next two years, Fletcher's spot could be occupied by...Jordan Bernstine.  I got a baaaddd feeling about that.

So in short, I think it's important to recognize the absence of stunning shittiness at times.

Bowl picture looks like a New Year's Day bowl is possible if the BCS takes two Big Ten teams. Possible opponents in bowl projections around these internets include Maryland, South Carolina and Miami.  I'd take any of those teams.  8-4?  Four losses by a combined 12 points?  Two plays from 10-2?  Beat Penn State in one of the most satisfying wins in years?  I'll take it.  Just don't be the Champ Sports Bowl.  I work that night.

Best quote from the game last night:

"It is the most embarrassing game I've ever been a part of, in any sport," Gophers quarterback Adam Weber said after his team fell to 3-5 in Big Ten play. "I've been in some bad baseball games, too. But this is the worst game I've ever been a part of."

I feel your pain, brother.  Remember the Dyersville Beckman doubleheader.  It was like they were hitting golf balls.  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Movie Reviews...By Dan Hampton


Hi.

I'm Dan Hampton, Hall of Fame defensive tackle from your beloved 1985 Chicago Bear Super Bowl Champions and all around important guy in the Chicago sports community.

I'm...kind of a big deal.

You may have heard my new radio show on 670TheScore from 10-12pm weekdays.  

Along with Laurence Holmes, we take two hours out of your life and turn it into something that makes Mike Murphy's show (ha, ha, ha, (snort) miss a little, miss a lot...) sound like positively splendid radio in comparison.

But I feel my greatest accomplishment over the last couple of months may be making every listener to our show on The Score hear my continuous spitting vitriol and think listening to their parents fight or the sound of dying puppies on a continuous loop for two hours would be a better way to spend their hard-earned Chicago time.

And even though it's been 23 years since I was a huge part of the greatest thing to ever happen to the world in the history of history - The 1985 Super Bowl, as if I had to say - I feel it's absolutely necessary to keep mentioning it every third sentence.  In our quest to become more insufferable than the '72 Dolphins, diligence is the key.

So with that, The Big Red Egg has afforded me the opportunity to do some cross promotion into different media markets by doing some movie reviews for their blog.  With a BRE audience of 4.2 billion, this should be a wonderful chance to reach a brand new audience and proselytize the Great Word of 1985.

For the inaugural review:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

What an embarrassment!  What a joke!  

I...I...I don't know what Spielberg and Lucas were thinking?  Maybe they need their mommies to tell them what to do now.

This is an absolute humiliation for the history of the franchise, an embarrassment akin to the absolute laughingstock that is the 2008 Chicago Bears defensive line and since I played on the greatest defensive line ever to don a Chicago Bear uniform, I take that as a personal insult.  

It's like they weren't even trying...Spielberg and Lucas I mean, but the 2008 Chicago Bear defensive line and Lovie and Bob as well.  

They were so incompetent in making this movie, I have no reason to think that they have the ability to turn this thing back around.  They're dead to me and are a disgrace to anybody who ever plunked down their hard-earned, blue-collar Chicago money to watch the first three films.

Did they watch the first three films when they wrote this?  Do they know the history?  For that matter, did the 2008 Chicago Bears even watch Green Bay Packer tape.  This was just plain laziness...on both accounts.  I blame Lucas.  Mike Ditka wouldn't have put up with this.  He would have gotten in everyone's face and told them to check themselves, check their jocks.  It would have been time to man up, gentlemen!  But since the people involved had no such leader, this is what we were given - a movie made by boys, not men.

And aliens?  I'll tell you what we needed.  We needed aliens to abduct Spielberg and Lucas before they even conceived writing such a piece of garbage.

And while they're at it, maybe they can abduct Lovie, Babich and the whole collection of current Chicago Bear whiners. 

Tune in to The Score 10-12pm weekdays where I not only give you this type of critique on the Mondays following a loss but aaaaaaaaaalllllllllllll week!  

Hampton out.  

Are You Fucking Kidding Me? Seriously, Are You Fucking KIDDING Me?

New segment on the BRE. For short well call it AYFKMSAYFKM:

First bit:

Not a real good-looking tie
Eagles' McNabb didn't know rule
Associated Press / November 18, 2008

Thanks to Donovan McNabb, players around the NFL now must know there doesn't have to be a winner or loser in every regular-season game. Yes, there are ties in the NFL. They just don't happen too often.
A day after the Eagles and Bengals played a 13-13 tie - the league's first since 2002 - the focus wasn't on how poorly the teams performed on the field. Instead, everyone wanted to know how it's possible some pro football players, especially a 10-year veteran such as McNabb, don't know simple rules about overtime games.
"I'm sure there are plenty of rules that guys don't understand, but I don't think that has any factor whatsoever to do with the outcome of this game and how they played in the overtime," Eagles coach Andy Reid said yesterday. "I think that's absurd. You play to win in that time, whether you think you have another overtime period or you don't. And you play your heart out to win it in that time, and that's how we approached it and that's how the players approached it."
The Eagles now have played 12 OT games, including one in the playoffs, since McNabb joined the team in 1999. Yet, the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback didn't know ties were possible until his desperation pass fell incomplete at the end of the fifth quarter.
"I've never been a part of a tie. I never even knew that was in the rule book," McNabb said after the game. "It's part of the rules, and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately, with the rules, we settled with a tie."
The overtime rule isn't an obscure one. It was adopted fully by the NFL in 1974 and 17 games since have ended tied. The Eagles have been involved in four of those games.
"I guess we're aware of it now," McNabb said. "In college, there are multiple overtimes, and in high school and Pop Warner. I never knew in the pro ranks it would end that way. I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs."
They keep playing if it's tied in the playoffs or Super Bowl. But McNabb didn't know that, either.


You didn't know that they could end in a tie?! This just proves that if most professional athletes couldn't jump, throw or run they'd be asking "Do you want to make it a Large for 50 cents more?".

Seriously. Are you fucking kidding me?

And then this:


Auto execs' private flights to Washington draw ire
Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:54pm EST

By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Memo to U.S. companies seeking a bailout: When visiting Congress to ask for money, leave the private jets at home.
Chief executives from General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co, and Chrysler LLC pleaded on Wednesday for $25 billion in federal assistance to help pay their suppliers, workers and other expenses at a time when car sales have plunged along with a souring economy.
But skeptical lawmakers blasted them for flying private jets to Washington and failing to make personal sacrifices in exchange for federal assistance.
"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in a high hat and tuxedo," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from New York.
"Couldn't you have downgraded to first class or something, or jet-pooled or something to get here?" Ackerman asked the executives at a hearing held by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.
Even Democrats who said they were sympathetic to the automakers' plight expressed frustration that the executives used private jets while professing ruthless cost-cutting measures.
"I don't know how I go back to my constituents and say the auto industry has changed if they own private jets which are not only expensive to own, expensive to operate and expensive to fly here, rather than to have flown commercial," said Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat.
"I also, though, must recognize that you're in trouble mostly because of the economic downturn."
Sherman asked the CEOs if they were willing to sell their jets on Wednesday and fly back to Detroit on a commercial flight. "Let the record show no hands went up," Sherman said.
Ron Gettelfinger, head of the United Auto Workers union, also testified at the hearing but flew a commercial flight to Washington.
"I got a plane to catch, you know what I mean," Gettelfinger said to reporters when leaving the hearing room.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner and Ford CEO Alan Mulally are required by their companies to fly by private aircraft for security reasons, according to company documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The policy for Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli is not required to be disclosed because the company is not publicly traded.
$1 PAYCHECK?
Lawmakers also grilled the CEOs on their pay.
"After all, Lee Iacocca symbolically accepted just $1 in annual pay. Why can't today's CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler do the same?" asked Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat.
Former Chrysler CEO Iacocca famously cut his salary to $1 when Chrysler was on the brink of bankruptcy and eventually had to ask Congress for a loan guarantee program in 1979.
The CEOs said on Wednesday they have already taken significant cuts in pay and bonuses.
"I think I'm OK where I am," Mulally said when asked if he was willing to cut his own salary. Mulally earned more than $22 million in 2007, according to a Ford regulatory filing earlier this year.
Wagoner said he has voluntarily reduced his salary by 50 percent and had used his own money to buy a large amount of GM stock, which he said is now worth very little. He did not say he was willing to make more significant pay cuts.
Wagoner earned about $15.7 million in compensation in 2007, according to a GM regulatory filing in April.
When Nardelli was asked during a Senate hearing on Tuesday if he would be willing to cut his salary to $1, Nardelli said: "I'd be willing to accept that."
Nardelli, who was widely criticized for excessive compensation when he was CEO at Home Depot Inc, failed to tell lawmakers that his annual salary at Chrysler was already set at $1 when he became CEO last year. His other compensation is not fully disclosed
.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, additional reporting by John Poirier and David Bailey in Detroit; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)


This is roughly equivalent to showing up at your parents house to beg them for rent money in a Rolls Royce wearing a Mink coat.

Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Isn't For Thinking

Sad news that Fire Joe Morgan is calling it quits.

Anyway....
Nick Swisher is no longer something I need to worry about. I don't know how i feel about this honestly. He had a pretty awful year average wise but I was willing to give him another shot. He did seem like a guy that might get on your nerves after awhile though...not in a bad, douche baggy way but in a "Jesus, no one is THIS energetic" kind of way.
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Ok, I've given this show "Kath and Kim" 3 shots now and have laughed a total of 1 and a half times.
Please, sitcom writers/networks/actors, stop acting funny and start saying funny things. This has been something that's been bugging me for awhile. The mugging, the smirks, the goofy reading are all well and good but you actually have to be saying..something..funny for something to be "funny".
Apparently, the British version is very funny. This one? Not so much.
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I highly recommend "Vie" for anyone who wants to venture to Western Springs and get a good (yet pricey) meal without the city smugness.
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For the first time in about 4 years I'm actually kinda excited about Iowa basketball. They're not going to be very good but at least they'll be worth watching.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Psst, Sarah, the Campaign's Over

You lost and you lost bad. Joe the Plumber? Still? Put it another way--she's the chick you dumped yet still calls at 3 in the morning drunk and crying.
Take a hint, Sister.

Palin Rips Pelosi, Reid and "Democrat" Congress

From NBC's Domenico MontanaroMIAMI -- Palin called for reaching out to the new Obama Administration, but at the same time criticized Democrats in a speech that was, at times, hotly partisan here at the Republican Governors Association conference.
In this speech, which followed her earlier press conference, she hit Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, saying their names like they are bad words and referred to the "Democrat" (instead of "Democratic") Congress -- a time-honored Republican tweak. "Maybe they forgot why they were sent to Washington," Palin said of Democrats.
But for a speech that was supposed to be largely focused on the future of the Republican Party, Palin showed no signs early in her speech -- and for much of it -- of moving past the 2008 campaign.
Despite saying she had moved on, she delivered some of the campaign's greatest hits. She lauded Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder again. There also was talk of campaign signs and enthusiasm with crowds praise for what she called "prayer warriors" for their good wishes on the trail. But unlike Gov. Tim Pawlenty's call for a more diverse party yesterday or Bobby Jindal saying Republicans were fired with just cause, Palin didn't offer a concrete pathway or even a vision for a party searching for its soul and a way forward after its defeats last week.
She did call on Republican governors to show leadership, by focusing on governing, and indicated she is in the traditionalist camp of how to move on, saying, "If we are to lead again in Washington … let us reclaim our good name" when it comes to spending restraint, personal responsibility and other traditional conservative principles.
In her opening remarks, Palin joked about her experiences since she was last at the RGA. She said she had a baby, "very briefly expanded my wardrobe" and met Tina Fey. She also thanked God for George W. Bush. "Thank you, Mr. President," Palin said of the president whose woeful approval rating, many objective observers as well as Republicans here lay much of the blame for the party's losses.
She said she enjoyed her campaign experience. And said she wishes Obama well. "If he governs with the skill and grace of which he is capable, we are going to be just fine," she said. She added that Republicans needed to "reach out to this new Administration" so "he understands our perspective."
"Let's help show him and Congress the way," she said.
She spoke against the bailout, saying people were standing in line with their hands out and that we are addicted to OPM (she pronounced it as one would say opium) -- Other People's Money.
Despite her calls for reaching out to the Obama Administration, she delivered some partisan applause lines, like that governors don't vote yea or nay or present, which got laughs from this Republican crowd.
"We are the minority party, but let us not become the negative party," Palin said. She said Republicans shouldn't lose their way. Americans will look to governors, she said.
Let the "pundits" talk about 2012," she said. "Our focus should be" on our states and "how we serve."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Knock It Off, People!


Conservatives were rightly beaten down during the campaign for their depiction of Obama as some sort of Antichrist.

But if the week following the election is any indication, the Democrats' treatment of Obama as the Second Coming does what Democrats do best - set the poor man up for failure.

So knock it off, people.  The man still has to govern.  I don't need to see endless pictures of him dropping his kids off at school or hear that people were waiting outside Spiagga Saturday night for him to come out and started hugging each other when he finally did ("Scallops!  He had scallops, everyone!").  

And if Huffington Post/Salon/MSNBC choose to portray all Democrats as righteous do-gooders and all Conservatives as simultaneously inept AND evil, they do so at their own peril.

I tend to think America will find themselves confused by an Obama administration because there's nothing overtly cartoonish about the man.  As Bill Maher said recently, "There's got to be something funny about him, doesn't there?"  A certain level of cognitive dissonance is bound to take place and will probably manifest itself in strange and unexpected ways.  For a country so used to cartoonish presidents, this could get interesting.  

This was a historic election.  And some quarters in America can quit denying that.  The sarcastic and wholesale poo-pooings of 'Change' and 'Revolution' by some without a qualifier acknowledging what just happened carries with it such bitter and debilitating cynicism that even Christo finds himself recoiling in disgust.  It's the ugliest of ugly human behavior.

So one blanket statement for all.  Everyone.  Just knock it off.

Stop seeing who can drool more wetly over the man.  And stop seeing who can demonstrate a more 'keen and perceptive eye about the times we live in'.  It makes both look entirely small.

Worse yet, they both come off as reactions to selective experience and not genuine emotion. 

It's been a week.  It's taken me longer to pass Taco Bell.  Let's air this one out a bit before we choose to get all stupid. 

 

Fuck It, I'm Eating at Burger King


What the hell happened to "Check, Please"? I used to enjoy this show and it has now become a parody of itself. I'm convinced that every half wit Chicagoan twat will get a spot on this show at some point.
What used to be a nice unpretencious local show about little known restaurants has deviated into a rancid half hour rife with wine snobs, hoitie toities and pseudo foodies in a fight over who can be more snooty about their waiter's water/bread/niceness quotient.
Horned rimmed hipster Douche:"A Vietnamese restaurant..in CHINATOWN! Bet ya didn't see that comin'!"...
Fuck Bags.
Thanks for ruining another mildly pleasant thing for me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Second Mr. Mate Famber



I've watched it four times already.  The whole fourth quarter.  Four times.

Mr. Christo Ney has quit smoking.  And anybody that knows Mr. Ney knows that cigarettes and the computer are the closest two things can be without having butt sex.

So with election burnout and that, the computer is the last place I want to be.

But back to the world of inane BREish-type chatter tomorrow.

Best.  Win.  Ever.  On Saturday.


Yeah So Then This Happens


I seriously cant remember the last time Iowa won a game like this...Holiday Bowl 1986?
And my neck feels better now thankyouverymuch...Back to the tomfoolery here at the BRE tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Couldn't Even Give It a Day


This is the web poll question on fuck bag Sean Hannity's excrement laden website:


With ACORN fraud, military ballots missing, and people voting more than once do you believe that Obama would have won this election without all those situations?

You know it's amazing how the wing nuts on either side never actually "lose" an election. It's always some conspiracy or large bamboozle by the press.
I'm gonna say the same thing to the Republicans I said to the Democrats when Bush won: the American people can't be magnificent bullshit detecting geniuses when you win yet completely moronic, gullible imbeciles when you lose. Pick a lane.

Christo's Ten Election Night Thingys


1.  Holy Mother of Shit!  A black man was just elected President!

2.  And even this happened:


3.  But so did this.  Maybe she can reconvene HUAC:


4.  But...but so did this.  And she lost.  The first time since 1958 a Bush or Dole won't hold elective office:



5.  And here is the most encouraging thing about last night.  The Democrats made inroads into every niche of the country, making a sustained hold on power much more likely.  Here's a map showing the counties that voted more Democratic this year than in 2004:


6.  And the exit polls:


McCain took the white, Protestant males, 60 and older who live in small towns/rural areas and attend church at least once a week.  Good luck with that demo, Republicans.  Bright future in that.

7.  I second Mate's CBS dig.  I turned it over once MSNBC called it and I swear I could hear the air-conditioning.

8.  Anyone else notice that MSNBC won't give Lester Holt a close-up anymore due to his crazy eyes.

9.  Further evidence that Alaska is a wee bit crazy.  Senator Ted Stevens still holds a slim lead in Alaska as of right now...which might bring about...(glurp)...Senator Sarah Palin

10.  Holy Mother of Shit!  A black man was just elected President! 

10 Things On Election Night


1. What the hell was the deal with the CNN Hologram shit? Weird bordering on creepy. Looked like the guide at Disney's Haunted Mansion.

2. The scowls on the faces at Fox News were countered by the barely disguised orgasmic glee on the MSNBC crew. Can we get a modicum of objectivity on cable news?....No? Ok.

3. Chuck Todd's goatee is bad. Needs to go. But I like his analysis.

4. Did Larry King die?

5. Apparently John McCain's post election party was being held at a junior high dance. I've seen more energy at birthday party at a nursing home. I was waiting for them to start singing a stilted, mumbling version of "Happy Birthday".
I got a "let's just get this over with" vibe.

6. McCain's concession speech was very classy. Where was this guy during the campaign?

7. I wonder what subtly racist analysis fat fuck blowhard Rush Limbaugh will give today?

8. Indiana went for Obama? Holy fuck.

9. I forgot CBS even covered the election. Seriously I watched every major channel at some point during the evening. Forgot about CBS. It's that sepia like filter. BO-RING!

10. Well, I was close. Missed on Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina. Montana was close but I had to do some sort of "surprise". Not bad, though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Most Important News Of The Day


This is your new starting quarterback, Cleveland.


Play for that draft pick, Romeo.  Play for that draft pick.

I will probably not be blogging the election.  It's making me too sick to my stomach.

And when Christo is nervous, he cleans.  The bathroom has already been painted.  I'll be getting into the ductwork by 4pm, I'm sure.

Tarquin Fim Bim Lim Bim Wim Bim Bus Stop F'tang-F'tang Ole Biscuit Barrel


I love election night. I just love it. The mountains of returns coming in, the manic pace of it, wondering whether or not Chris Matthews will soil himself. It's all fantastic.
Of course, no election night is complete without this:




And just to reiterate: My prediction for tonight:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Still On the DL

I was planning on making this my big post move, pre election post but I completely fucked up my neck on Saturday moving a television off the tv stand (yep) that even typing this is a fuck-all.

So, we'll try again tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cuckoo...Cuckoo...Cuckoo


It took a bit for someone to get this up on YouTube but it's finally here.

Victoria Jackson...you're looney tunes. 

Warning:  Bill O'Reilly is a rational human being in this clip.   



For shits and giggles, head on over to Victoria Jackson Dot Com. I'm not linking it out of fear that Victoria will summon five-headed demons to smite me.

Trust me. Worth. Every. Minute.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Phil Watch: Ah, C'mon! (Con't)


I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention this here at Phil Watch, as Phil got his ass handed to him on sports radio all last week over it.

Why?  

Well...see for yourself.  

The Cubs are on the list of teams for which Jake Peavy will waive his no-trade clause. This doesn't look like a fit, but don't be surprised if Jim Hendry tries to put together a package that would include a swap of first basemen, Derrek Lee and Adrian Gonzalez, who is supposedly untouchable.

Jake Peavy - by himself - being traded to the Cubs 'doesn't look like a fit', but...

The Padres, a team desperately trying to get younger and shed payroll, would trade away a 26 year-old first basemen considered by most to be one of the best in the game for a 'package' headlined by a 33 year-old first basemen in serious offensive decline and is owed $26 million over the next two years and has a no-trade clause.

Oh yeah.  And Gonzalez's contract obligation over the next three years:

09:$3M,  10:$4.75M,  11:$5.5M club option (no buyout)

Now...if you're a team trying to rebuild...THERE IS NOBODY YOU WOULD REBUILD AROUND MORE!!!

And Peavy going to be included AS WELL?????!!!!!!

Phil's 'package' would have to include Soto and/or Marmol for Towers to even pick up the phone.  Or a farm system dump the likes of which haven't been seen since the Johan Santana trade.  Mention the realistic details, Phil.  And then check your inbox.  

Have I been expecting too much from the Chicago Tribune all this time?  Is this my fault somehow?  

Phil Rogers.  Capturing the essence of a Score caller for three-plus decades.

But

I must give Phil credit where it's deserved.  Well...this is mostly due to the fact that Rick Morrissey wrote something so breathtakingly stupid, making Phil's response was positively sane in comparison.

It's the typical shit.  The World Series experiences a rain delay and sportswriters compulsively feel the need to prove their mettle by writing reactionary pieces promoting the wholesale destruction of the current model.

It's what they do.  It makes them feel important, if only briefly.

Here's Morrissey:

1.  Start the season on April 15 and end it on September 15, resulting in a 130 game season.

2.  Better yet, start May 1 and end it August 30.  The season is way too long.

3.  The Steroids Era ruined stats anyway so fuck it.

4.  Move the World Series to a neutral, warm-weather site.

5.  Like Game 5 this year, one hour and 18 minute games are awesome.

Should BRE start a Rick Watch?  WOW!

Phil's response:

1.  Keep the season at 162 games.

2.  Cut Spring Training by one week.

3.  Start the season 10 days earlier.

4.  Have teams play three scheduled doubleheaders.

5.  Add a 26th player to the roster.

6.  World Series played between October 13-21 every year.  First round increased to seven games.

I could get behind that.

And if 10,000 people can run 26.2 miles in the New York Marathon on November 2, a few baseball players can play their little game in late October.

See.  I think they alternate between who is going to be the raging moron each week over at the Trib.    
 
Phil just volunteers a lot.  

Phil Watch: Ah, C'mon! (Times 8,397)


"Mommy.  What's a pythagorean win-loss percentage?"

"Well Robby, it's when a baseball idiot pokes his dipstick into a baseball hoo-hoo and, nine months later, a little baseball moron of an idea pops out."

"What?"

"You heard me, you little..."

Let's play a little catch-up.  Phil's been a busy little bee over the last week, if being busy means being a dope.  Which it does.  

So let's just pick the juiciest nuggets over the last week and do that thing where the BRE tries to get all clever and shit and say things that are more funny/accurate/incisive/breathtakingly inappropriate than what Phil writes.

It's what we do.

Let's start with today's offering (in reverse order):
 
Modern math:  According to the Pythagorean standings, the Angels' Mike Scioscia and Houston's Cecil Cooper were the best managers in the majors this season.  They had ratings of +12 and +9 respectively.

Wow.  Wow!  WOW!!  I don't know if I've ever seen something so wrong in an inherently wrong way than this.  Well, that's not true.  Palin DID say her First Amendment rights were violated by the media yesterday.

Pythagorean standings are NOT manager ratings.  Repeat.  Not.  No.  They are a pretty simple mathematical equation that takes runs scored and runs against and plugs them into a formula to determine their win-loss record based solely on that.  

In other words, it's merely cute and nobody uses it.  Sometimes the disparity is pretty shocking and it's interesting to see such a disparity.  It can help an argument in an ancillary of an ancillary sense by demonstrating that a team probably was unbelievably lucky with RISP, they had a great bullpen or their rotation was loaded with Zeuses, Apollos and Joes the Plumber.

Arizona last year was a good example.  18 games over in actual wins and four games under in Pythagorean wins.

But let's take the Angels this year.  They were well on their way to being the Arizona of this year w/r/t Pythagorean win-loss.  On June 9, they were 39-26 and in first place, four games up on Oakland.  Their run differential was...ZERO!  Oakland's was +46.

What does that mean?  Well, if it was relatively late and the Angels were down, say, four runs, it usually meant Scioscia would go with the Chris Bootchecks, Jason Bulgers and Darren O'Days of the world.  Who are they?  Exactly.  The Angels ended the season at +68 and the A's ended at -44.

So anyway.  You take the Pythagorean win-loss, compare it to actual win-loss and come up with a number called 'Luck'.  So if the P-WL is say 12 games lower than actual win-loss, then it's determined by this simplistic formula that 12 games were won that the numbers say they probably shouldn't have.

In other-other-other words, IT'S NOT A MANAGER'S RATING!!!!!  

Managers cannot see the future, which saying 12 games a year determines a manager's proficiency does!  This is where certain statistical models get into trouble.  Because dopes can wildly misuse them.

It was debunked ten years ago, completely modified and has been tossed to the ash bin of silly baseball logic.

I can only think Phil is using this for some stupid reason.

The worst were the Toronto combination of John Gibbons and Cito Gaston and Atlanta's Bobby Cox, at -7.

Cripes.  Poor Cito Gaston.  Phil couldn't even give the guys his properly proper props.

When Gibbons was fired on June 20, the Jays were 35-40 with a +9 run differential.

They finished 86-76 and had a +104 run differential.  

That's a 51-36 actual record and a 55-32 Pythagorean W-L for Gaston.  

So a +4 luck factor for the team under Gaston and a -11 luck factor for the team under Gibbons.

That doesn't mean that the Jays were better because of the presence of Super Gaston.  It had more to do with something resembling a healthy rotation and a bullpen that found its legs as the season went on.  Oh, also, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios figured out that getting base hits and not striking out makes you a better baseball player.  I don't think it took Cito to tell them that.

The rankings show managers decided only one playoff race—the AL Central. Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire was a -1 compared to Ozzie Guillen's zero, and without the difference the Twins would have avoided a one-game playoff.

BREAKING NEWS:  Ron Gardenhire singlehandedly 88 games this year.  There were no Minnesota Twins players involved.  In fact, every game this year was a mirage created by Bud Selig to fool everyone into thinking that baseball is real.

Really?  Is Phil thinking through this shit while he's typing it?  Pythagorean W-L means nothing!  Just a cute tool, people!  And it's not Modern Math.  It's math used 15 years before baseball stats were seriously evaluated.   

Lou Piniella was a -1 after getting a -2 rating in 2007, his first year with the Cubs. Dusty Baker, the manager Piniella replaced, was a +2 in his first year in Cincinnati.

There you go!  Based on an archaic, overly simplistic formula that nobody uses, Dusty Baker was a better manager than Lou Pinella.  

It took all season for Phil to find something to justify his Dusty man-love, but he wins.  They can go make Phusty babies now.  

And then we move on to the impetus of this article:  Charlie Manuel is the bestest manager in the bestest way in the bestest history of history.

Why?  Well, because the Indians have been bad since he left.

Manuel, who had been Mike Hargrove's hitting coach during Cleveland's heyday a decade ago, replaced Hargrove as manager before 2000. His first two teams won 90 games and 91 games, winning the American League Central in 2001.

But Shapiro sacked him after a 39-47 start in '02. The firing came less than nine months after Shapiro had been promoted to replace John Hart as general manager. He tabbed Joel Skinner, an organization guy, as an interim manager to finish out the season but then turned to the 35-year-old Eric Wedge for 2003.


We're getting to it...

You can't blame Manuel for being just a little amused looking at what has happened to the Indians since they sacked him.

Four of Wedge's six seasons have been losing ones; Manuel, on the other hand, never has had a losing record for a full season. The Pythagorean rankings, which essentially measure a team's victory total with the number suggested by its run production and prevention, have Wedge at -19 for his six-year career; Manuel is at zero for the six full seasons he has managed in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

This should just about cover it:

Cleveland Indians Payroll Since 2000:

2008: $ 78,970,066
2007: $ 61,673,267
2006: $ 56,031,500
2005: $ 41,502,500
2004: $ 34,319,300
2003: $ 48,584,834
2002: $ 78,909,499
2001: $ 93,360,000 (Manuel)
2000: $ 76,500,000 (Manuel)

Any correlation?  Me thinks so!

But no.  It's because Charlie Manuel is the smartest manager to ever don a fat baseball uniform.

Did Phil watch Manuel's press conferences?

He sounded like this guy:

"I wasn't working on trying to prove nothing," Charlie Manuel said.

More to come.