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

John Cleese

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The New Bracket

I'll have a winner by Friday in my bracket.

It's vacation time starting next Tuesday (or "va-ca", as the kids say, because one more syllable is just too much to utter).

(Click to titillate)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Finally! The Shitty 16 Is Established...

Rounding it out. Today's bracket brought to you by the Emmys: Watching tv through your hands has never been better.

4) Senate Republicans vs. 12) People Who Correspond Only Through E-Mail: Christo has a similar entry in his bracket but the Senate GOP, usually, had a few moderates who seemed a bit ashamed that they had a (R) under their name. Particularly when the Bat Shitters really started to take control. Remember Rick Santorum? You could see the blood rushing to John McCain's neck. Now? John McCain apparently is all gung ho Tea Party anti-immigrant, 14th amendment repealing, screw the poor, did I say I was a maverick? Forget all that. And he's just one of several. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and George Voinovich and that crowd usually would speak up and be relatively rational during heavily political times....Chirp....Chirp...
"You're busy. I'm busy. Everybody's busy!". George Costanza pretty much nails it. It's waaaay too much work for these people to actually pick up a phone or walk over the five feet to your cubicle and actually speak to you. I've had bosses whose office I could literally look into from my desk shoot me e-mails about something they could have shouted at a fairly moderate voice at me. And we have teenagers who obsess over texting? Gee. I wonder how that happened?
PWCOEM in a classic second rounder, pull it out on a last second jumper in triple OT, 101-100. Instant classic.

10) "Best Places To Live" Lists vs. 2) Job Advice: In a way these two are intertwined. Where are the "good" jobs? Places like Shreveport, Louisiana and Danville, Illinois! You can get a house there for cheap! Yeah, because it's DANVILLE FUCKING ILLINOIS!
Should I get a job in construction or accounting? Because I have no experience in either but applying for the job will kill some time. So will masturbating in the basement. And i think I'd accomplish more.
Job advice in a walk, 88-60.

6) This Summer Movie Season vs. 3) People Who Still Don't Get Why Fixing Your Dog Is a Good Thing: When the best movie I've seen this summer from the studios was "Eat, Pray, Love" you can pretty much guess what the state of moviemaking has come to out of Hollywood. Is this the price we're paying for years of sequels, prequels and horseshit comic book adaptations? "Scott Pilgrim"? Really? This is what passes for entertainment these days?
My dog has been repeatedly humped by my unfixed brother in law's shepherd mix now about 14 times. I'm going to bring the dog up on rape charges. It's an easy fix. A 20 minute procedure that MAY cost you 50 bucks or 100 depending on where you live. You're not hurting the dog. He's not human. He's a dog. HE has the memory of a gnat. Put some food in front of him and he'll never think about his balls ever again. But what does every vet in the fucking world know, right? Snobs. Get.Your. Dog. Fixed.
But this Summer Movie Season is so bad that it's almost unstoppable. They win with a late 15-6 run and take it, 87-82.

10) Rush Limbaugh's Barely Hidden Disdain For Non Whites vs. 2) Conservatives Who Actually Bring Up Secession: This is an easy one. The secession talk is mainly a small faction of bat shit nut jobs on the fringe. They've always been there it's just asshats like Rush who give them a voice. And even the more wacky kind of see the foolishness of even talking about it. Mostly.
So, Rush and his race bating take this one easily. The Muslim Mosque shit was just manure to his garden. Stay classy, Fat Boy. Stay classy.
Rush in a romp, 122-77.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Killing Off The Rest Of the Second Round For Christo

At this time next week, a different sports feeling will dominate.

Things will shift, the weather will feel changed and thoughts will carry with them a contrasting hue.

In short, we'll know something about the quality of Hawkeye football as opposed to knowing nothing at all.

I choose not to think about a possible Northern Iowa redux. A 21-7 victory is the worst case scenario right now. Just has that..."eh...oh, boy"...feeling to it. I have the Angels and Browns to finish out the year in my sports world. In other words, very little.

Give me a satisfying Act One, guys.

Vuvuzela Region

1) Tony Hayward vs. 9) People Who Desire To Open A Restaurant

You sold a third of your BP stock a month before the oil spill, Tony? Really? Nothing unseemly about that. But Tony's been banished to the armpit of the former Russia and has been under a gag order, it seems, since the announcement that he's been replaced. I'm sure we'll get a book sometime in the future. And I'm sure it will be scintillating.

But a #1 is going down. If the entry was Tony Hayward And The BP Bullshit Machine, they'd be quite the force, but it wasn't. People Who Desire To Open A Restaurant have a similar personality trait as people who talk about "world peace" and "saving the planet." I desperately want to pay a crapload of money just to get a peek into how their everyday mind works. Like some sort of "Being John Malkovich" type-thingy where I can actually listen to the delusions of grandeur that rumble around in their brain on a random Tuesday. Talkin' about Comedy Gold, there.

I don't even get the impulse to devote one's life to giving food pleasure to random strangers, but that's probably on me. Too long in the restaurant business for Christo. But 15 years now and knowing the intimate details of how restaurants actually work makes one's jaw drop. But not in an interesting way. It's just kinda sad. And can we stop this trend of doing reality shows about restaurants, please? It's not that interesting in any way, shape or form. It just empowers the stupid.

Winner: People Who Desire To Open A Restaurant with a full-court press that stifles Tony's fleeting stupidity, 66-48.

4) The Ball-Sweating Hotness Of This Summer vs. 12) Reality Cooking Show Contestants

It wasn't brutally hot. It wasn't. This summer was a low-grade stifling heat that never saw relief; the kind of heat that left a residual, dried-sweat film on me every day. 88-92 for seemingly two months with humidity of a sauna and the return of mosquitos to boot. It just never stopped. No two days on and two days off. Just 60 straight days of ass sweat. The mere thought of a long dog walk brought visions of being drenched head-to-toe and taking a nap.

But Reality Show Cooking Contestants wins the day. The very need of someone to want to go on TV and do cute little cook-offs with Fruit Loops and soy sauce and somehow think it will define themselves as good chefs because TV said so is...weird. It's just weird. The Vuvuzela Region feels rigged. The bookmakers are crying foul. We have a three-tiered build-up going on that feels planned.

And it is.

Winner: Reality Show Cooking Contestants in a surprise romp. Their biggest strength is they have no weakness, 101-69.

3) Leininkugel's Ads vs. 6) People Who LOVE Squash Blossoms

People who LOVE Squash Blossoms continues a TOA trend and, like Truffles, Chianti, Malbec and Cannolis, it's going down. The orgasmic squealing continues, though. Just a few nights ago, in fact. On impulses again, I will never understand why people want me, a complete stranger, to know that their grandmother made them. My grandmother made blackberry jam and I don't bring it up with the supermarket clerk when I buy some. I don't care about your food bona-fides. I bring you food, watch you chew and give you the bill. That's it. We're not girlfriends. Go sell stupid someplace else. We're all full here.

Leininkugel's Ads wins because it immediately evokes every visit to Wisconsin that always involves encountering fat people shaped like Weeble Woobles, a fake-ass patois, cult-like smiles on everybody and a strange and complete fascination Wisconsinites have with being a Wisconsinite. The ads are the very personification of state pride, which is utterly weird.

Winner: Leininkugel's Ads as they steamroll through a sieve-like defense, 128-82.

2) The Type Of Personality That NEEDS To Be On TV vs. 10) Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners' bandwagon at the beginning of the season wasn't unreasonable. There was a high risk-reward factor involved and things could have bent right for them this year. It was possible if so many guys didn't fall on their face. And the unreasonableness only went overboard on occasion. When it did, though, it defined baseball strange.

But this entry involves the actual team and its performance. I watch a good amount of Mariners' games and I've never seen so many groundouts in my life from hitters that look like they're straining themselves to even do that. I almost feel bad for Mariners' fans for having to watch it. It's reeeaaalll bad baseball...every night. For a team that had so much optimism coming into the season with so much payroll flexibility, it gets even worse for their fans because the rebuilding has to start all over again. They have some pieces but no more than the Indians or Orioles do, really, considering the payroll flexibilities. That's...not good.

The Type Of Personality that NEEDS To Be On TV has Guy Fieri as its pitchman, of course. But the army behind him numbers in the millions. He's Xerxes with his legions behind him, all with different and dazzlingly mediocre to awful personalities just ready to spring them on unsuspecting viewers (see anybody who takes the $4000 to appear on "Bridezillas").

NEEDING (as opposed to wanting) to be on TV is an impulse that should exit the brain right along with wanting to collect action figures and play with Barbie dolls. Leave it behind when you turn 13. It's what big-boy people do. It's part of growing up. It's akin to 6 year-old beauty pageant contestants. NEEDING something like that evokes Foghorn Leghorn. "There's somethin' not right 'about that boy." You encounter someone who seems like he/she NEEDS to be on TV, run, don't walk away. Sometimes, life is about avoiding unbridled narcissism and strangeness. It's not doctor recommended, even by the worst doctor in the world ("And somebody has an appointment with him tomorrow!")

This completes the triad. First, you have the type of personality that NEEDS to be on TV, which sometimes begets a reality show cooking contestant, which usually is someone who desires to open their own restaurant. You run into that unholy union and you've got yourself a superlative asshat. Or Brett Favre. Two sides of the same coin, really.

Winner: The Type Of Personality That NEEDS To Be On TV with its ubiquitous defensive court presence. They're everywhere trying to show off their hustle and grinderness, 80-50.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - The Manny Week

Anybody who thinks the Sox should have claimed Brian Fuentes can hand in their baseball fan license right now.
He's freakin' awful.

It's odd that nobody's talking about what the Sox might have to give up for Manny. It's odd.

It's gonna be something. And that something probably would have to be a major league-ready guy (or close) under control for the foreseeable future.

I can't even guess who that is. Won't be Beckham, of course. But it will be somebody. Can't be pitching, you would think. Sox don't have it the minors or on the roster to give up.

The Dodgers are realistically out of it. Sure, they're 4.5 back in the Wild Card but have three teams to hurdle. But that puts them in a solid bargaining position. It's the perception that something could happen just as Kenny thinks something could happen.

Giving up a bat like Manny (again, perception in many ways) would warrant a decent return...or at least someone with upside.

I say...goodbye Jordan Danks if the trade even happens, which I don't think will.

The week's recap from last Saturday to Friday (4-3 overall, 3-1 at home, 1-2 on the road)


.315/.362/.429 for a .791 OPS and a .351 wOBA

Walk rate: 6.5% (7.5% on the year - 26th in the majors)

K rate: 17.7% (15.8% on the year - 2nd in the majors)

BABip: .367 (.288 on the year - 25th in the majors)

Runs on the year: 606 (7th in the majors)

On the year: BA - .269 (6th), OBP - .332 (12th), SLG - .428 (7th), OPS - .760 (8th)

Those are solid numbers compared to the rest of the league.

Average w/RISP this week: .346 (27-78) Geesh! 78 opportunites. How 4-3 for the week? 1-10 in the Greinke game. 1-3 in the Matusz game. That'll do it.

But on the year, the Sox are SECOND in all of baseball with runners in scoring position with a .284 average! That's a tad surprising. Even with RISP/2 out, they have a .281 average and a nearly identical slash line. Consider me shocked.

Individually, Konerko continues to make the case for AL MVP. The guy had a .484 OBP for the week and is now sitting on a .971 OPS and projected to hit 40 homers with 110 RBI. His .412 wOBA is the best of his career. Fielding (minus 8.9) is the only thing holding him back in the WAR world. It's going to be Josh Hamilton, who's completely out of his gourd this year (or Cabrera if he gets the Triple Crown), but Konerko's playing himself into an automatic re-up after the season. Only Alexei struggled on the week with a .172 average.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Swiped eight, caught three times. Rios a perfect three for three. They're second in the majors in swipes with 120, 32 behind the Rays but are last in caught stealing percentage. Not good.


Team 3.95 ERA on the week with a 4.12 xFIP. Again, not terrible numbers. Considering everything, great offense and solid enough pitching meant a winning record but these are numbers, with a little luck, could have resulted in a 5-2, 6-1 week. But that's situational baseball. Leaving guys on second four times against Greinke results in losses and hurt because...

This was the week to gain more than a 1/2 game on the Twins as they dropped three of four to the Rangers.

Started the week 4 games back and ended the week 3.5 games back.

Santos is starting to show some wear on his arm as he...well...has never pitched, period, before this season and we're in new territory as to how his arm holds up over the long haul. Bad time for that with his role in high-leverage situations increased. Great spot start by Peña Saturday because of the Joe West (really Ozzie) debacle. Still $5.5 million to be paid to Linebrink next year. For that. Thorton and Putz to the DL. There were reports that four of the arms in the Toronto bullpen were claimed on waivers. This could be a surprise on Tuesday. No Manny and Scott Downs instead. He's a lefty having a great season. All the Manny talk started before Putz and Thorton went to the DL. Or it could be Kevin Gregg, which would make Christo laugh in a sad way.

Inter Alia

* Six game week, off Thursday

* Two more against the Yankees at home, then three in Cleveland (oh, boy) and the start of three in Boston. The Cleveland series starts a 10 game road trip that ends with four in Detroit.

* It's Sabathia vs. Danks today and Floyd vs. Nova Sunday. No White Sox hitter has seen Nova, blah, blah, blah. Talbot vs. Buehrle Monday. 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA this year against the Sox, 5-11 with a 5.03 ERA against the rest of the league. You know the story. Josh Tomlin vs. Garcia Wednesday. Tomlin hasn't been awful this year and...hasn't faced a Sox hitter. Lackey on Friday is beatable. $17 million a year for that. So glad the Angels didn't hop on that train. Hey, there's one bright spot in an otherwise crap-ass year.

We Keep On Goin'

Today's action brought to you by Judge Judy's voice. How has someone not popped her in the mouth? Me! Me! Pick me!

4) Dan McNeil's Dopey Joy For NFL Training Camp Starting vs. 13) Buying Something at Walgreen's: This goes out to anyone who gives more than a passing shit about pre season NFL games: They. Don't. Matter. The players don't give a shit, the coaches just want to get through them without significant injuries and the NFL uses them as a reason to gouge people out of hundreds of dollars for a damn ticket to a game that is mostly being played by guys who have no chance of seeing the field in a real game. I get that you're excited for football but this isn't it. And Dan encapsulates those people.
Walgreen's is awful but temporary. I rarely go in there anyway as I have to actually park and walk in. But the sheer drudgery of the store and it's existence basically for medicine and last minute Mother's Day cards gets it a nice chance against an average participant...
But McNeil's overzealous joy for stupid shit like NFL Training Camp is too strong in the middle and cruise to a 89-77 win.

1) WOOOOO!!! vs. 8) Today Show Financial Advisers: Woo! We're gonna get drunk...Woo! Go (insert team name)! Woo!! I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND! WOO!
I'm showing my tits! Woo! I sat on a porcupine quill! Woo! I'm going to the Iowa game next Saturday. I put the over/under on Woo! as I walk to the stadium at 78.
Today Show Financial Advisers are chock full of common sense (and by common sense I mean 'duh'!) advice like " Don't pay more for a boat than you can afford" or nuggets like "Student loans DO accrue interest" for the truly ignorant. Gee, I can't imagine why 75% of Americans are in debt if this is the type of advice they need. Not judging as much as observing...No, judging. Dumbasses.
But Woo! is in my immediate future and I don't have a remote like I do when the Today Show is on.Woo! is almost perfect from 3 point range and WOOO! ....99-65.

And, yep, this just about sums up Raider Nation...or Romeoville. Or both.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Second Round Keeps On Truckin'

I'm in the same boat at Mate.

It's been a glacial place for the TOA this time but I'm okay with that. We'll get there.

In Ney house news, I can recommend TempurPedic. Still going through some breaking-in-the-bed pains but I see big things on the horizon from this one.

Let's get started.

BP Crosstown Cup Region

3) The Return Of The Mustache vs. 11) NFL Training Camp Optimism

Toughie. The Return Of The Mustache, in my world, is done by good people who are simply trying on a new persona. The impulse to gravitate towards a "the more stupid and socially repulsive, the better" affectation like a mustache is a bit perplexing but not really given the mind-blowingly stupid things I did as a 20-something (I was a gel-boy way too long, wore jorts well into '94, had a flat-top until '92).

Upset. The unintentional creepiness of a mustache on some people can't beat a sibling of the last BRE TOA winner, The NFL Off-Season. It might not go far but it's just so timely. And it's great to see people eat their own shit as soon as pre-season games start. All it takes every year is for that first pre-season game to expose the stupidity and it happens in a split-second. "This Bears' line could be much improved!" Nope. Bad. "This D-line is going to make the safeties better!" Nope. Just awful. I still don't know how Garret Wolfe has an NFL job but I can only guess it's because of Training Camp Optimism. Good teams don't have Mr. Wolfe as a #3 running back.

Hard Knocks shows it in all its glory. And I beg HBO to do the Bears next year. PLEASE! Every sport has this sort of unbridled optimism in some form but the NFL, more than any other sport, breeds, encourages and downright needs this sort of meatheaded optimism. It's what the league thrives on. And that's mostly why my attention has gone elsewhere in the last 10 years. That and the Browns suck ("But I don't know...they could be good this year.").

Winner: NFL Training Camp Optimism with a raucous fanbase fueling their emotions, 91-79.

11) GOP Senators Who Want To Repeal The 14th Amendment vs. 15) Getting Old

GOP...14th Amendment really should have been a much broader entry. Something akin to the batshit, desperate lunacy that some GOP person said today or didn't denounce this week as the ramblings of a crazy person. Reviewing the 14th Amendment is now off the table. The talk on that went dark real quick. That what happens when Lou Dobbs says it's utterly crazy. Stuff like Lou Dobbs calling something crazy makes one reflect a bit.

Getting Old manifested itself just two days ago. As I mentioned, we got a new bed delivered. One of the benefits to this new-fangled and fancy bed is that it will relieve back and joint pain, blah, blah, blah. We were having it delivered between 10-1 so I woke up at nine in order to clear out the bedroom so the delivery guys can set it up. They called two minutes after I got up and said they could deliver it in ten minutes. Said yes and made a mad dash to clean out the room and promptly pulled my back doing so. Yes...I threw out my back trying to clear out the room for a bed that's supposed alleviate such things.

Winner: Getting Old with their timeless gameplan that will affect the game for years to come, 98-82.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christo's Second Round Gets Goin'

It's unforgivable, Kenny.

Ab-sol-UTE-ly unforgivable.

This is the kind of thing that sours me on your White Sox reign.

The kind of thing that makes me feel a touch embarrassed that I've defended you all these years.

Nobody with a rational brain chooses to see Carlos Mencia.

Let's get started.

BP Crosstown Cup Region

1) Picky Eaters vs. 8) Matt Spiegel's Baseball Acumen

The Picky Eater personality trait is a by-product of something else, something resembling not getting enough attention as a kid but it's not quite that. It always seems to be related to people that believe it's of paramount importance that the outward social world understand that they have control over every aspect of their lives. That they are discerning, they are selective, they are discriminating, they make real choices in their lives.

It's like, in their minds, they've created a composite character made up of all the people in the history of their lives that judged them and made them feel small and thrust that character onto any stranger/imminent choice in their lives to show them how wrong the rest of the world is. It's an opportunity to right perceived wrongs instead of making a salient, thoughtful choices. And it's usually people who acquired knowledge and sophistication wrongly, using it as a weapon as opposed to improving and enjoying one's life.

All that usually leads to weird outbursts, like screaming at a retail clerk because a store doesn't carry their soy cheese anymore. Somehow, the discontinuation of the soy cheese is a personal slight. The soy cheese decision-makers made their choice to not carry it anymore expressly because it would piss this person off. It symbolizes so much that is wrong with the world in their eyes.

If you encounter a Picky Eater in your life, run. It isn't going to get better. The more you know about a Picky Eater, the more you'll hate them. The Smallness! The Smallness! The picky eating is just a symptom of something SO much bigger.

I'm going to give Spiegel a pass. At least he can carry on a cogent conversation about baseball outside of Chicago. There's an effort there. He doesn't take it much further than simple observation and his reaction to things that he can't go deeper on never goes beyond, "Umm-Hmm." I just get irked that he's a guy that could offer something and he really doesn't. With McNeil whacking off to the NFL pre-season everyday, Spiegel could help and doesn't. But he's not wildly baseball stupid, he's just not particularly baseball interesting.

Winner: Picky Eaters as they take their weirdness and channel it for an offensive explosion, 131-78.

4) "Boise State Is Going To Win The National Championship!" vs. 5) The Internet

Well...Boise State came in at #3 in the pre-season AP poll. Wait...I'm going to take a quick break...seems the microwave may be a hidden killer in the kitchen...huh...Fresno seems to be a good place to retire...some Ohio cornerback is checking out Iowa...Sox are now 3 1/2 back and Thorton's on the DL...Indiana drivers are ducking Illinois tolls...high of 79 today...that condo down the street just keeps dropping in price...Slate declared the end of 3-D...Shit, I was talking about Boise State wasn't I? I'm now actually starting to get interested in that Virginia Te...Montario Hardesty seems to like himself a bit - geesh!...

Screw it! I can't be trusted to focus.

Winner: The Internet wins it with their Svengali-like distractions, 110-50.

Tortoise Version of T of A Rolls Along....

Today's bracket brought to you by the idiot wearing "Impeach Obama Now" t-shirt behind home plate at the Sox game last night. Yes, dingus, we see ya'.....Cock.

Anyway, Mate hasn't had alot of time the last few days to get to his second round. We hope to have this done by the first Iowa game. At this rate, maybe the Penn State game?

Darth Vader Going "Nooooo!" vs. Nostalgia For Video Games: I recently watched "Revenge of the Sith" (partially) and waited through the interminable final battle scene between Obi-Wan and Anakin to get to the point where Vader does his Frankenstein bullshit. It's worse every time you watch it. Mainly because it's another nail in a coffin of a film franchise that made me so happy as a youth. It's become horrifyingly apparent that there really was only two good films in the whole thing and I've wasted alot of time watching crappy movies.
I actually have an old Sega and Magnavox system that my father in law gave me to see if I could get rid of it on e-bay. I'm starting the bidding at 100 bucks. For an ancient game system that sucked to begin with. It's just another example of guys my age that get nostalgic for bullshit.

But Darth Vader is on fire and is going to be tough to stop as he jumps out to a 19-5 lead and cruises, 78-54.

Photo Enforced Traffic Lights vs. Miller Lite Man Up Ads: PETL just reek of Nazi Germany. Well, ok, that's a tad dramatic. It certainly seems like an idea that Hitler wouldn't have had a problem with. It doesn't increase safety (in fact, the opposite) it is only a revenue generator that gets money to pay for more crap that we don't need. And nice randomness on where you put them up.
MLMUA are more infuriating the more you watch. Apparently there's several. What do the women in the board room at the ad agency say when Douchey McFrat pitches this crap? I'm not against pushing the envelope but this is just blatant lowest common denominator stuff that works on the Meathead Brigade effectively. "I'm not a man if I drink this!" is so unbelievably stupid and juvenile that anyone who does it that is over the age of 18 is a fucking dick.

Man Up Ads have a rally in them at the end and pull off the HUGE upset. I think cities are starting to wise up to the dumbassery of PETLs. Man Up Ads get to the Sweet 16 on a wing and a prayer, 71-68. The nation watches.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I can't get this damn song out of my head!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - I Have No Idea What That Feels Like


The Sox crap their pants every time they're in the Minneapolis city limits?

No! (cue up Angels' highlights in Boston)

We seem to have found out one thing, though. It wasn't the dome.

Knowledge is good.

As long as we're getting nostalgic lately with talk of high school football. Mate and I know one way to lift hexes, a certain simultaneous recitation of a four-letter word referring to the posterior exorcises even the toughest demons. There is a restaurant in Minneapolis I've been wanting to go to. Shall we next year?

Short SSS today. We have a birthday in the Ney house.

17-17 since the break. It's not Kenny's failure to acquire a bat at the deadline. It's not Ozzie's failure to keep Thome because of one freakin' hit. Let's remember what this team was during the first two months. Cue Dennis Green: "They are what we thought they were!": An 86-76-ish team. It just didn't happen the way we all thought.

Is it over? Nope. 4 1/2 games back with 40 to play? Insurmountable! It doesn't feel like a team that can put a run together right now but visions of doom were rampant just two months ago as well. It's baseball. There isn't much logic to it. "Momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher."

Then again, if they get swept in Kansas City...don't mess with Bryan Bullington and Phillip Humber.

And Joe West has to be trying to be this awful (and a more petty person would have put him in the BRE TOA...like me.). Like someone else in my life, today's technology is helpful. Use it. Just check the fancy moving Doppler radar. It's what thinking human beings do before starting a baseball game with a monsoon on the way. That's one screwed up rotation because of last night.

The week's recap from last Saturday to Friday (1-4 overall, 0-2 at home, 1-2 on the road)


.346/.391/.545 for a .936 OPS and a .407 wOBA. And 1-4 on the week.

Walk rate: 6.9%

K rate: 14.1%

BABIP: .369

Average w/RISP: .302 (19-63)

Nine players had a wOBA over .350 for the week. Jones, Konerko and Pierre were over .550. It wasn't the offense. Three of their four losses on the week were by one run. Even taking out the 11-run explosion Thursday, they averaged 5.5 runs in their losses since Saturday. So...they apparently missed adding a stick? What were they going to have to do? Outslug everyone to win the division? I have to stop listening the Score callers.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Pierre swiped four, A.J. caught once.


Um...your judgmental eyes can rest squarely here. Buehrle-Jackson = good. Danks and Floyd = bad. Freddy is turning into a pumpkin. But a 1-4 record rests on the bullpen. Yes, fastball in on Thome, Matt. He never hits that. Putz tried to pitch through pain on Sunday and it showed. And Pe ña exceeded his badness the next inning. Putz wins, though. Saturday's ninth inning implosion hurt more, wiping a great Jackson outing off the books.

What was a strength is becoming a huge concern. Danks and Floyd will be fine. But if they have to thread the needle every outing because the bullpen can't be trusted, this could get messy. Putz - shoulder. Jenks - bad. Linebrink - old and bad. Peña - putrid. Santos - 13 hits and 5 walks in 11.1 innings since the break. Thorton - shaky lately. Sale over the last 10 days has been the lone bright spot. That's not good. Didn't take long for this to completely fall apart. And it's not innings pitched. It's not like it's the workload. Sox relievers have thrown the third-least bullpen innings in baseball.

Inter Alia

Full week even with being off Monday. Seven games with the doubleheader today (three games in 24 hours against KC). Sox hitters have barely faced Bullington (Teahen 2-4 with two solo shots). Nine total at-bats against Phillip Humber. So...a doubleheader that starts at 6pm because of the stupid MLB Saturday TV rules and they're facing two guys they haven't seen much of at all. How can that go wrong?

Peña for the Sox in Game Two. Greinke Sunday.

Baltimore's three best pitchers in the mid-week series (except when Brad Bergesen faces the Sox). Matusz just shut out the Rangers. Arrieta was the tough luck loser Friday, giving up one earned into the seventh, losing to C.J. Wilson, a guy who can come back down to Earth anytime now. Guthrie just shut down the Sox and has a 2.17 ERA since the break.

And Javy returns to U.S. Cellular on Friday for the first time since... They pummeled him on May 1 in New York (the Jones two-homer game). Since then, he's been marginally decent (8-6, 3.87 ERA with a .227 BAA).

It's been bad-good-bad this year. The question seems to be WHEN and IF another good run is in them. Best place to do it w/r/t the schedule. KC and Baltimore are as easy as it gets for a bit.

Hey. I got through an entire SSS without mentioning Hawk and the game Tuesday. How 'about that?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hey! We Missed An Anniversary!

It was 20 years ago two weeks ago that Mate and Christo decided to pass on "Sprints!" and "Monkey Rolls!" for a year.

For Christo, it was probably his first adult decision based on thinking, "Hey, I don't have to do that if I don't want to."

I seem to recall a thoroughly fun baseball tournament, various trips to Mr. Quick's, tons of pick-up basketball and most importantly, NOT doin' two-a-days.

That should have been celebrated in some form.

I feel like we missed a seminal anniversary more important than any birthday.

The new bracket:

(Click to arouse)

We'll finish up the second round by next week...or not.

Don't be buggin'.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Round It Out....

And I finally get to the end of my 1st round. It's been a helluva week. Anyway, today's bracket brought to you by my sinus infection which is now entering it's 3rd week! Good times. Nothing like wanting to nap everyday at Noon. It's like I'm 90.

4) Senate Republicans 13) Pat Quinn: Do they actually stand for anything that isn't a calculated political move? All of a sudden we seem to care about "paying'" for stuff. Bush tax cuts? Poppycock....Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Pffft....Pentagon Budgets completely out of control? America Hater!
From Jon Kyl and Judd Gregg admonishing those slacker 8 million unemployed leeches to go out and "get a job" that doesn't fucking exist to "exploring" the removal of the 14th amendment even though it has absolutely NO chance of happening this group is not only beyond revulsion but almost as slimy as the last time they ran things.
Pat Quinn is a guy that sort of just became governor. He seems more like someone that should be taking my loan application or something. Kind of over his head. Good idea, Pat. Let's raise taxes on people in a state that has one of the highest property and sales tax rates in the nation. That'll help. Oh,
and while you're at it, cut the government agencies except YOUR office. That's a good move.
He will lose and lose badly. It's not all his fault. His pr
edecessor had a lot to do with it but he's a boob. I don't know how crazy I am about his opponent but I won't vote for him.
But Senate Republicans take this one eas
ily with a stifling 2-2-1 zone and cruise to a 81-55 win.

2) Job Advice 15) University of Texas and What's Left of the Big 12: Oh, God, job advice. Everyone is willing to give this up at the drop of a hat. "Why don't you get a job in construction?" or "I saw that Macy's is hiring." You wanna just slap the floor and scream. It's so easy for someone to tell you to go apply at the Verizon store when they aren't the ones that have to actually work there. I got laid off. I didn't quit. I didn't get fired. I paid taxes out of my paycheck that went to pay for Unemployment Benefits. Fuck you, I'm not taking a part timejob at Jamba Juice.
The whole Big 12 thing had a chance if this tourney took place a few months ago but the whole thing has fizzled. Yeah, the conference is now a bunch of Texas' ass bitches but it's really always been like that. Texas is awful in so many ways that to just pick on it's state university seems short sighted. The Big 12 bored me anyway. Just saying Kansas versus Colorado makes my eyelids sag.
Job advice cruises, 101-66.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today's action brought to you by Brandon Wegher needing to pick a fucking lane.

4) Dan McNeil's Dopey Joy For NFL Training Camp Starting 13) The Amount of Pillows On People's Beds: I really haven't had a great deal of opinion on Dan McNeil. He certainly was a step up from Mike Murphy but a slightly retarded Baboon would've done the same thing. I never really listened to him on WMVP, mainly because of Harry, and he seems like a fairly amiable fellow with at least a passing knowledge of sports. Much more than a good 75% of sports radio guys can say. But his butt love for the opening of training camp every year is so childish and meatheaded and stupid in a town brimming with it that to find another more stupefyingly asinine thing to get excited about this much is hard. The Emmys maybe? It's practice. No more, no less. I have visited Chiefs training camp. It was interesting for a good fifteen minutes. Lots of standing around. Lots of drills that lead to nothing.
The Onion kind of nails it:

NFL Fans Turn Out In Droves To Watch Men Touch Cones

NEW YORK—Fans of professional football turned out more than 100,000 strong last week to watch grown men perform calisthenics, huddle around one another, and even run up to and touch orange cones, spokesmen for the NFL said Wednesday. "There is nothing better than driving to Green Bay to see real, full-fledged adults dress up in team-colored gym shorts and T-shirts and jog around the practice field in a desultory fashion," Chicago resident Jan Bryant told reporters. "Sit-ups, squats, and milling around and taking water breaks… You just never know what amazing stuff you're going to see at training camp." While the NFL would not comment on plans for the second week of training camp, fans were excited by rumors that some teams were planning a session of throwing and catching an actual football.

Now, my wife has a good 6 pillows on our bed and I think that is about 4 too many. But it's nothing compared to some people. I've been to homes where. literally, the entire bed is covered with decorative, uncomfortable and itchy pillows. Why? What is our fascination with these things? Why must we have an armada of soft things to put our heads on while we slumber? Getting into bed should take no more than 4 seconds. I shouldn't have to shed contraband for 5 minutes. It's White people BTW.....Totally White.

But Dan McNeil's love for meaningless bullshit is in full swing right now. it's hard to top current awfulness but Pillows gives it a good fight as they burn out down the stretch in a 78-73 win for McNeil.

2) Conservatives Who Actually Bring Up Secession 15) Dr. Oz Diet Tips: Well, I guess that "My country love it or leave it" shit went out the window...After 9/11 Republican asshammers derided anyone who dared showed any skepticism to Bush or any of his "pro America" policies. They were told to "watch what they say" and "your either with us or against us". But that all went by the wayside when a liberal Black guy got some policies they didn't like passed. We actually have had congressmen and governors (Yeah, the one from Texas.) openly calling for the possibility of secession. Yep. Even though it's illegal and against every state constitution and completely undoable it's still a good way to get the Porch Dwellers to side with you. This has a long run ahead so I'll leave it at that for now.

Dr. Oz? He means well. But "boiled nuts" for a snack? Half a cup of plain yogurt? Come on, dude. I go and order an Oreo Blizzard just to spite him. Boiled nuts?

But this one is over 5 minutes in as Secession cruises to a 101-56 win.

I'll round out my first round tomorrow and then onto the 2nd. Hope to go a bit quicker now and be done by end of next week. Hope to.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The New Bracket

Brought to you by fake outrage that panders to the stupid.

Paul Sullivan is now on the BRE idiot list.

Just because morons think caviar is outrageously expensive doesn't mean all of it is.

My favorite part of his piece, though:
"No one was blaming the caviar for the Cubs' 9-5 loss to the first-place Padres on Monday, but the mere idea of serving caviar to a fifth-place team that began the day 17 games out of first place was akin to the chairman of BP going yachting during the height of the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster."
HO-LY shit! Yep, Paul. Just like it.

You don't eat caviar by the bucket, Paul. And most can be bought fairly cheaply for such a thing. Flying fish roe is delicious. And a small tin is $5.


Yes..."They eat like royalty but don't play like it." Shut up.

click to stimulate

Oh, For the Love of God....

If you didn't think the South was full of a bunch of brain dead half retarded rubes already then try this one on for size...

An Arkansas radio personality has been fired from her job two days after she wore a Florida Gators hat into a press conference with Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino.

Renee Gork announced, through the magic of Twitter, that she'd been axed by KAKS, which calls itself Hog Sports Radio.

Gork drew the ire of Petrino by wearing the offending cap and having the audacity to ask a question.

Petrino was less than thrilled about answering questions from anyone wearing the colors of a school that edged Arkansas 23-20 last year.

"That will be the last question I answer with that hat on," Petrino said.

Gork said she grabbed the hat without thinking because it was raining and was hoping to apologize publicly to both Petrino and the army or Razorkback fans.*

Now, she won't get that chance.

KAKS general manager Dan Storrs confirmed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that Gork was no longer working for the station but declined to comment further, saying it was a personnel matter. **

However, he added, "This radio station is Hog Sports Radio. We are very biased. We support the Razorbacks 100 percent."***

Because Bobby Petrino is the ultimate in human decency. How many employers did you walk out on, asshole?
If I was her...lawsuit. Seriously. You can't fire someone for wearing a motherfucking HAT, you Ass Backward Hayseeds.
I have actually spent time in Arkansas and this surprises me not one bit. Wow.

* Why? Tell 'em to eat a dick.

** Uh-huh.

*** Go fuck yourself. It's a fucking FOOTBALL TEAM, you jagass.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mate's Bracket Keeps On Chugging....

The T of A crawls along. It's the Dog Days.....Whatever.

Today's bracket brought to you by JJ Putz deciding to suck ass all of a sudden...Alex Avila? Really?

3) P
eople Who Still Don't Get Why Fixing Your Dog Is a Good Thing 14) Anderson Cooper's Growing Smugness and Self Righteousness:
I have met several folks who I am not only friends with but also admire a great deal who have not fixed their dogs. Why? Because it ranges from
"it makes them pee everywhere" (Ummm, no, actually it's the exact opposite) to "I hate doing that to another guy" (Slaps forehead and falls backwards). Unless you are a breeder (and by breeder I mean someone who actually does it right: Litters every two years or so, good lineage, proper care not "I'm gonna git me one of them there Yorkie Terriers and make me some money!") then there is no reason your dog should keep it's junk. I don't want to get on a soap box here but take a trip down to your local shelter and walk around. Dog after dog that doesn't have a home and many of which will be put down. Why? Because Shirtless Ron Dickface can't scrounge up 75 bucks to get his dog's nuts taken off. Do it. There is no downside to it. None. Ask a real breeder.
Andersen Cooper is just annoying and smug. He has good company: all of TV. But his "rise" (However did he get ahead? Being a Vanderbilt? How?) was so manufactured and planned that you could set your watch to it. Now, he's "asking the tough questions" with his steel jaw and no nonsense glare. Barf. It's CNN. You still have Larry King and James Carville. It's a Goblin Convention.
But PWSRTGDF in a "walk". Get it? Ignorance will always beat arrogance in this tournament. 90-56. Over at half.

8) Miller Lite "Man Up" Ads 9) Peyton Manning's Omnipresence:
I am by no means a staunch feminist. I think alot of times the lefties get a bit too bent outta shape about how women are portrayed in ads. Particularly because, in the last 10 years or so, men have been made to look like slack jawed simpletons who are only good at fucking things up, in just about every commercial out there. So, a few girls show off their tits to sell beer or chicken wings? So what? Tits are nice.
But these "Man Up" ads from Miller Lite are so Frat Boy Stupid and border line hateful towards females that I am almost embarrassed to have a penis. Almost. First off, it's Miller Lite. It's making love in a canoe. Fucking close to water. Second, my manhood hasn't been questioned since I was maybe 19 about what booze I chose to drank. Yeah, if I saw a guy drinking Purple Passion I might give him a barb or two but to conjure up, yes I'll say it, sexist buffoonery is not only stupid, it's kinda, sorta offensive.
It's fucking American swill beer. It's for tailgating and garage fridges.
Here's a taste:
Oh, BTW, "Cool friend" at the end there-- A) Close your fucking mouth when you eat, asshole and B) Look more like every douche I ever met in college.

Peyton Manning has not seen a product he is not willing to whore for. The list is too long to go through but he goes just about anywhere to get a check. I can't find it anywhere but if you have seen the Lifelock ad where he and his brother and dad sit in sweaters talking about ID Theft than his shilling at his worst, has evaded your consciousness. Feel lucky.
But Manning seems like a fairly decent guy and he's not as stilted as most athletes are so that's probably why he gets to do them. He had no chance against "Man Up" as they cruise to a 84-66 win after a nice 11-0 run to start the second half.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rounding Out Christo's First Round

Today's action brought to you by the first sign that fall is just around the corner.

No, not the beautiful weather last night.

Not the playoff races starting to take shape.

Not Iowa football getting closer with each day.

It's hearing Doug Buffone's voice. He's an example of a man aging like fine wine, a guy who, like North, is a complete gimmick but I've come around to loving the crap out of him. Doug and O.B. after Bears games is some of the best unintentional avant-garde radio out there.

Let's get to the last of the first round action.

3) The Return Of The Mustache vs. 12) LeBron James's Inner Child

The gaggle of late-term Gen X'ers I grew up with were a sorry lot. I could easily be convinced that the current crop of 20 somethings have more going for them and are better adjusted psychologically to tackle life's problems than my group of Gen X'ers that excelled at one thing: Bitching. What did they bitch about? "What d'ya got?"

But (and there was going to be a 'but') if my late-term Gen X brethren had one thing, it was, in many ways, a group think that possessed strident gate keepers of taste, style, fashion and thought on all those in relation to the outward appearance of the social dynamic. I am, IN NO WAY, saying that this was a good thing. It just was. In fact, it made for some odd manifestations (see flannel and jorts on men).

Today, with the fragmentation of the Gen Y audience due to the Internet, Facebook, blah, blah blah, you have a myriad of tiny groups of 20 somethings that are, in key ways, so entirely detached from the mother ship of generation group think that the only judgment w/r/t odd social appearance choices comes from cranky dicks like me (see hipster military hats and humongous sunglasses).

Sure, I can bitch about the today's 20-something fashion being entirely derivative of the 70s (see skinny jeans, ringed tees and just generally bowing at the altar of shabbiness), making for the easy argument that the generation overall lacks the cross-generation tentacles that would have informed them as to the reason 70s fashion died a quick death in the first place. Every generation has their blind spots. And I will say that the Internet has a great side-effect. It takes one viral video to utterly destroy bad fashion choices in a flash. Grunge went on forever!

But another side-effect is the echo chamber created by their self-imposed tiny tech groups many in the Gen Y congregation live in. Some seem to live like a shut-in and never get the memo. So, coupled with the allure of the shabby life and their shut-in social tendencies and framed by the Gen Y meme of a complete break from the past, you get people who choose to live in hovels, avoid bathing and grow bad mustaches that make them look like a rapist (how's THAT for a stream-of-consciousness judgment?).

Every eight years or so, the mustache peeks out of its hole as a fashion statement and usually dies a quick death. This one seems to have legs because nobody's manning the front desk telling them that it makes them look like a creepy pedophile.

I don't have much to say about LeBron James and his inner child. I don't watch the NBA. Just seemed like an weak choice done weirdly. Seemed like a wimp move.

Winner: The Return Of The Mustache in a rout, playing well above their actual talent because nobody told them they suck, 128-70.

2) People Who Think The Bush Tax Cuts Should Be Extended vs. 15) Getting Old

I'm infinitely vexed by some sectors of the Republican Party. Their core voting base - people of the land, the common clay of the South and non-industrial Midwest and West - abhor "elitist Wall Street robber barons" yet somehow were sold a line two decades ago that these "Richey-Riches" are the ones that determine their own future and should be given everything they ask for. I guess I never got it. Always seemed to be the definition of disconnect.

If tax cuts given to the top 5-6% of individual Americans (cuz that's the majority of it. Let's not fool ourselves.) are a right and just way to re-re-re-stimulate the economy, why not just give it directly to small and medium-sized businesses? If jobs are the goal, give it to the actual entity that creates those jobs instead of some implied trust that an individual (a sizable portion don't even own businesses) will use it to "do the right thing." Seems sloppy, haphazard and blindly hopeful, like ordering every dish on the menu at the restaurant in the hopes of finding one that satisfies you.

Weird times, these. We have small segments of the GOP wanting revisit not one but two Constitutional Amendments (the direct election of Senators being a new laughable one) while having elements screaming about the deficit yet want to extend the one thing that added the most to the structural deficit since 2000 (the last year there was a surplus). I agree with some of it (retirement, pensions and capital gains saw some more reasonable adjustments). Obama must address the deficit and very soon (bold statement, Christo). But extending the cuts in their present form would be like eating an entire cake in one sitting. Might feel good while it's happening but the effect will be felt for days.

But we have an upset. Getting Old has been a pleasure in many ways. Intellectually and emotionally, it's been a joy in that so much strange angst present in my 20s has fallen by the wayside. Physically, it's a different story. The thought of playing a casual basketball game scares the hell out of me. A busier-than-usual week at work knocks me for a freakin' loop! Intermittent back problems, foot arch problems, hip issues, leg muscle problems and just general soreness usually rotate as the ache du jour.

But the piéce-de-rèsistance happened last week. I went to the doctor to get my blood work numbers updated for a health insurance discount (fine on that end, thankfully) and got my height, weight and blood pressure as well. Haven't had my height officially measured in years.

And I've shrunk! A half-inch! I'm starting to shrink!

I tried to make mental excuses like "I really didn't stand up straight enough" but the fact remains, I'm shrinking.

I could write off the other things as general wear and tear but shrinking? Still dealin'.

Winner: Getting Old as they resign themselves to a slow-down stalling game and remarkably win, 38-35.

Sox Summary Saturday - It Will Happen Someday.

I promise.

I promise that Dayan Viciedo will be back up with the club soon and someday...he will...I promise...talk a walk.

Have faith, my peeps.

He's a bit of a swinger.

This week's feature spotlight looky-loo is a quick glance at the off-season payroll commitments in the AL Central. It's never too early to look ahead.

These are the payroll commitments for 2011 before arbitration raises and the re-signing of guys eligible for free agency.

Twins: $72.350 million

Key free agents: Pavano (likely back - currently makes $7 million), Thome (team has said they want him back - 600 homers around the corner), Guerrier and Crain (both having solid seasons in middle relief). Key arb-eligibles: Liriano, Young and Capps should see significant raises in arbitration.

Result: Expect little movement. More likely to flip quantity for quality to get a starting arm.

White Sox: $75.425 million

Key free agents: Konerko (If I had to bet, he'll be back), Pierzynski (gone), Vizquel (old), Putz (back), Garcia (interesting case). Key arb-eligibles: Danks (big raise a comin'), Jenks (ugh), Quentin (probably stays around $3-4 million).

Result: Marginal flexibility here. More than I thought. Could have about $8-10 million to play with after (and if) they re-sign Konerko.

Tigers: $55.525 million

Key free agents: Everyone bad or not worth it. Magglio's injury saved the team $15 million. Key arb-eligibles: Nobody worth mentioning.

Result: Team to watch. $80 million shed from this year's payroll. This year's Mariners.

Royals: $40.030 million

Key free agents: It's the Royals. Chen and Bloomquist are the only ones eligible so... Key arb-eligibles: Butler might see a couple million more.

Result: Might have about $25-30 million to play with. But it's Dayton Moore running the sandbox.

Indians: $27.455 million

Key free agents: Nobody even eligible. Key arb-eligibles: Choo will see a bump and will probably sign a multi-year deal at some point in the off-season (Boras red light).

Result: A savvy off-season with this much flexibility could make them at most troublemakers in 2011 (read: .500).

We'll go deeper into this later here at the BRE but the AL Central is the division that could easily be the division to see the most movement this off-season. Sox are positioned fairly well to match moves and the Twins are the team that seem to be the most likely to stand pat.

The week's recap from last Saturday to Friday (3-4 overall, 2-2 at home, 1-2 on the road)


.247/.316/.416 = .732 OPS and a .317 wOBA

Walk rate: 6.9%

K rate: 16.5%

BABIP: .263

Average w/RISP: .275 (14-51) 45 total LOB, 12 on Thursday alone, 9 in three innings

Started the week one and half games up and ended the week a game back.

Quentin went 4-20 on the week with 3 homers. The Clever Christo has created a new stat for Quentin going forward. We'll call it the Dave Kingman Factor. Dave Kingman hit a lot of homers and little else when he put the ball in play as seen by his 28% homers-to-hits percentage.

To compare, Albert Pujols has a career 21% DK Factor. Adam Dunn has 28.5% career DK Factor. Now, this stat doesn't mean anything except to see how diverse a player's batted balls are. And hitting homers is the best possible outcome a player can have despite what Cecil Cooper thinks. But Quentin's average dip since the wrist injury in 2008 has been worrisome. His 2010 DK Factor right now is 30% and 48% since June 22. I say again. I make no claims as to the efficacy of this stat or really even its usefulness. Just to say that Quentin lately is starting to look like someone that a manager may have to DH on a more regular basis just to allow him to focus more on not aging into Dave Kingman way before his time (ISO is in the top 10 in the majors and his .212 BABIP might be telling us something here but the long-term batting average dip may be telling us more). It's been all-or-nothing with him and just can't be expected to play the field effectively on a regular basis by any standard. And it's happening at too young of an age for comfort. In terms of WAR, he's tied for last among right fielders with Jeff Francoeur. Um...that's not good.

Nobody else really stood out on the week.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Five swiped (Pierre three - also has a .358 OBP since May 28, BTW. - not too shabby, Juan), four caught.


Quick one. Gotta eat lunch. Watching Garcia's next start may be important. He hasn't thrown this many innings since 2006. Sale looks impressive from a stuff point of view but like Viciedo and his big debut week clouding peoples' perceptions on his actual goodness (the Emilio Bonifacio Factor), Sale seems to be stuck on the opposite side of the spectrum, at least in Guillen's eyes. That's one good fastball with a funky delivery.

Inter Alia

* Six game week, off Monday. It's Baker, Lirano and Pavano in the mid-week series in Minnesota.

* This week's Brad Bergesen Warning Light is Sean O'Sullivan on Friday in Kansas City. Sox hitters have very little exposure to him with nine total team ABs. Sox got to Galarraga on August 4 in a 4-1 win in Detroit and thumped Porcello the day before. They knocked around Baker Tuesday but that was the Freddy implosion game. Pavano's beat the Sox twice this year with two two-run efforts.

* Attendance has become a talking point. To that, I say, "Stop talking, please." It was swamp-ass hot during the Twins series. Yes, it was a first place team in August. Yes, it was against their "rival". But there was an excessive heat advisory, for the sake of Pete. The first one in four years. 75% full isn't good but it was back up to 85% full last night. They're fine.