Saturday, March 31, 2007

NL East Breakdown

<--- Paul Lo Duca: Good OBP, Bad Sense of humor

Let’s start with what is easy…

5th Place-WASHINGTON NATIONALS

The Nats are still playing on a minor league field. Cristian Guzman is still on the roster (and hitting .425 in the Grapefruit league, might I jokingly add). Their most proven hitter, Nick Johnson, is out with a broken leg and is under no timetable to return. His backup, Dmitri Young, has not had a good year since 2003. Ryan Zimmerman is a blue chip and they still have spoils Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez from the super awesome Jim Bowden “Fleece the Reds like it’s 1867” trade, but the capital is looking at another year with a baseball team that lacks fire power.

Something strange… you look at the ESPN roster… and you don’t find enough starting pitchers left over from Spring to make a rotation… Hmmmmmmmmm… Not a good sign. John Patterson will probably be a very good pitcher in baseball for quite some time. He strikes out a man an inning and hitters only put up a .211 batting average against him last year. With better defense, his ERA might have been at least under 4.00. After that it’s shaky territory for the rotation. The guys duking it out for spots include such high profile names as… Colby Lewis… Tim Redding… Mike Bacsik… Matt Chico…Mike O

Connor…Sheeeet, I give up. I’ve never heard of any of these guys.

Except for Redding. He had one good year with the Astros, a great ERA in the mid-threes, accompanied by a losing record due to the worst run support in major league baseball. That same year, he pitched in the rotation with Jeriome Robertson (yeah, that’s right, J-E-R-I-O-M-E, Robertson) who won fifteen games with an ERA of 5.10. Justice was eventually served; Neither man made it.

Back on track… Washington invited everyone in America to try out for the bullpen and they found some decent picks and maintained several good arms from last year. Ray King should still have some gas in the tank and the vital indicators are all there for Saul Rivera, but no one on the staff really scares the hell out of anyone.

I would shape up the bench but it seems pointless given that they can’t fill in a starting lineup. Manny Acta has his hands full in his first year. On paper, this is a team with three hitters that belong in a lineup, one starting pitcher that belongs in a rotation and a decent bullpen with no closer.

Alfonso Soriano smiles as he sips his Long Island Iced Tea on a lawn chair just off the third base line at Wrigley Field… even in thirty degree weather.

4th Place- ATLANTA BRAVES

A streak so golden. Too bad, so sad, Bobby Cox. The Braves won for so long they forgot what it was like to be home in October. Now they have a fresh taste and I don’t think they like it.

It won’t make a difference.

First and foremost, this division is just too tough for the Braves this year. The Mets won almost 100 games last year and they stand to win in that vicinity again.

There is still good news this year in Atlanta. The bullpen is 100 times better than it was last year because of the additions of Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez. Both throw 97 with hot pitches. Both are closers in waiting. Both are guys that your girlfriend is attracted to. This is going to be a popular pair of pitchers at the end of the year.

They Braves have a decent lineup, which is why they could afford to lose Adam Laroche in order to shore up the bullpen. Ryan Langerhans, Brian McCann and Jeff Francouer are set to have long, solid major league careers and McCann is one of the best pitchers in baseball. They also have vets Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria and Andruw Jones to fill out a reasonable major league lineup. The problem is that Francouer is no blue chip, due to his abysmal walk rate and the rest of the team is another year older.

The rotation depends on a few major items going the way of the crossed fingers. John Smoltz is ageless and Tim Hudson is hardly a real problem but Mike Hampton hasn’t pitched since 2005, Tim Redman has stunk for two years and Lance Cormier is untested. Chuck James had a great year last year, but young pitchers often have sophomore slump due to the major leaguers finding their weakness (just as position players do, which is why Jason Lanes battled the damn Mendoza line last year).

The Braves real issue is that they’re overmatched and have too many variables. So much of this team depends on drinking from the fountain of youth and stretching over injuries. Do you trust a team held together with Ted Turner’s denture adhesive? I surely don’t.

3rd Place-PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

The Phils are the world’s nature child this off-season, blossoming into a favorite for the division winner. They look good on paper but there are some bottom line flaws in this team.

The rotation is impressive: Hamels, Garcia, Myers, Moyer, Eaton. That’s fgive proven major leaguers in a rotation and more than can be said for any other team in the division. Hamels is likely to be a beast and Freddy Garcia is a definitive number two moving to the weaker hitting league.

Myers, Moyer or Eaton all have the potential to be at least number three pitchers in rotation at this point in their careers. The problem is that Moyer is on the other side of 40, Myers has only had one good year and we have yet to see whether it was the long-term mean or not, and Eaton is one of the most overpaid players in baseball. In a seven game series, I fear them. For a regular season, I would take my chances.

The lineup has plenty of juice and Ryan Howard may hit 60 home runs. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell all make up far more groud at individual positions than the average major league ball player but the lineup goes a little dead five men through. Aaron Rowand enjoys an overrated reputation because he put up a big season and several clutch hits while he was surrounded by sluggers for the 2005 champion Chicago White Sox. Shane Victorino carries a good stick, but this team has not truly improved it’s offense. Even if the Mets decline a slight amount, I would not trust this team to make up 12 games based on the acknowledged improvement of the starting five and the merits of the offense.

The bullpen is anchored by a combination of the vets in Tom Gordon and Rheal Cormier but they will likely get help from young gun Matt Smith in holding leads. Overall this is not the worst that situation can reach. There is a game plan to shutdown a team but every year older a relief pitcher becomes is 50 less innings in which they are reliable (sorry, Todd Jones). Expect the Phillies to stick around for 150 games before just being outsped in the standings to close the year.

2nd Place- FLORIDA MARLINS

The Marlins have always stuck in my craw. It’s because I remember going to the Astrodome on $2 ticket night with my Mom and a buddy from the Boy Scouts only to see us go down 12-3 in a boring game. Then they pick off two World Series in 14 years of existence? No. We’ve suffered so much, just for you to waltz in and rape the chords of victory.

And yet they are they are respectable for their ability to be big ballas, money-ballas, that is. Cheap young arms is one cost-efficient way to send a team far on a regular season schedule and take a swing at the ring. This was the case for both Marlins championships, ala Josh Beckett and Livan Hernandez.

Anibel Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre and a little-known pitcher named Dontrelle Willis have all had satisfactory seasons in the last year or two. If that pitching staff is 80% as good as it was last year over the course of a full season rather than the fragmented portions inside which the young ones pitched, it will be competitive with both Philadelphia and New York.

The pen looks solid now that they have added Jorge Julio. Julio is a late bloomer who may still yet have room for improvement. He has a career 2-1 K/BB ratio and is likely solid for effective middle relief. Recently added Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens both throw in the upper 90s. While I lost track of Owens since I saw him last Spring Training, I remember him having nasty movement on his breaking pitches. The pitching should be solid overall in sunny Florida.

The Marlins also have some pop in the lineup. Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla both swept baseball fans over with their Rookie of the Year contention last year. Miguel Cabrera is good enough to anchor any lineup in baseball. Even if Ramirez and Uggla have sophomore slumps, Mike Jacobs may push OUT of his personal sophomore slump into his old production. Miguel Olivo is one of the best hitting catchers in the sport and is a good slot for the middle of the order. Alfred Amegaza is nothing special with a stick but he’s a Gold Glove caliber shortstop with decent speed and potential to be pesky in the end of a potent lineup. Josh Willingham may slump or succeed. Following the remainder of the lineup, he’s a plus if he repeats what he did last year and it’s no big deal if he doesn’t. The outfield is a bit weak. They should be able to compensate.

The Marlins have a classic set of advantages that bode well for a baseball team. They hold good odds for a great rotation, a solid bullpen, great defense and a fair major league lineup with speed scattered throughout. They stand a chance at the wild card and will be in the race fairly late this year. Later, than say, the 2006 Phillies, who were full 12 games out at the end of the season.

1st Place- NEW YORK METS

The Mets should see the Apple drop a million times this year because they’re stacked and ready to roll. This team won last year by 12 games, a steep margin to make up regardless of pickups. The media hype has all eyes on the Phillies, mostly because of a damn good starting rotation (as mentioned earlier). This is foolish; if a team wins 97 games and stays young, it should be the division favorite the following year.

The lineup has an advantage over most major league teams at every single spot with the exception of second base, where Valentin patrols. Second base is hardly a position with a monstrous glut in the major leagues, nor is it a place that requires a heavy stick to succeed. In fact, having a second baseman who can’t hit is barely even a factor since guys started hitting fifty home runs a year at a semi-regular pace. Jose Reyes and David Wright are both MVP candidates. Reyes may be the best shortstop in baseball when all is said and done, hardly music to the ears of the Yankee across town.

The pen holds leads, especially minus the shenanigans of the famous Braden Looper. Heilman to Wagner is a good fit and there are plenty of fireballers surrounding the buzzage. The concern is whether Wagner can hold his position as an elite for another year, I believe he is slowly starting to prove that he is one of the few out there who can maintain a job by thinking rather than relying on old fashioned “stuff”. He and Hoffman are the only ones to prove it so far; We’ll see what happens when Rivera’s fastball ruuns flat.

The rotation is the big weak spot for the Mets in 2007. Glavine and partial Pedro should perform well, but the rest is a bit of a bite on the lip. John Maine and Mike Pelfrey should be good major leaguers but only time will tell and you never can read the slump. El Duque is about 109 years old, and Ollie Perez is a potential ace as well as a potential burnout waiting to happen. Fate controls the situation of the starting rotation. This should and likely does scare the heebie jeebies out of one Willie Randolph.

That said, the Mets will eventually add one full ace to their hand and make everything a thousand times better from that perspective. They may wina few less this year, but unless the rest of the NL: East greatly exceeds expectations, a banner will be hanging at Shea.

PLAY BALL!!!!!

-Tex

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Indian in the Computer

A conversation

He who loves life: Boy, it sure is great to wake up every morning in this gorgeous land of ours.

He who talks too much: Yes, I do agree. We live in the forest and have access to quality hardwood and clean water whenever we need it. We can build shelters to sleep in and canoes to fish in and spears to hunt with and anything else we want. We can do anything! Life is good out here.

He who loves life: Of course. We live a peaceful existence and cohabitate with a number of various species, just as the way it should be.

He who talks too much: You have nailed it right on the head, my friend! We are a lucky people, a special people, a people that deserves great things and gets them because we work hard and have a strong sense of ethics. Everything about our life is great, and nothing needs to change, because we have mastered exactly how to live life to the fullest and most free.

He who is a great swimmer: Hey guys, what are y'all blabbing about, get on in this water, it's unbelievable! I'm going to swim a lap, give me one second!

He who sits in awkward positions: Sons, my sons, please gather round me. Get out of that water, quit your talking, and come sit and be one with the world. Notice how I am sitting, and sit just as I am and take in, BREATHE in, the world. Immerse yourself in life.

He who can't throw worth a lick: Hey, you lazy nincompoops, always sittin' around all the time...Eat rock! (throws rock)

He who follows Murphy's Law: OW! Who threw that rock at me?

Government Suit: People, PEOPLE, if that's what you call yourselves. Put on some clothes and clean yourselves up. Be CIVILIZED for chrissakes. It's like you just don't even care. Now, here you go, here is a computer, go run along and write a sob story about how your favorite bird is dying cause of industry or something. Go. Go!

He who is horny: Awww sweet...free porn!

Holy Shit

Sorry Dan. It was the smart bet.

Well, that's one way to bounce back from a 40 point loss. The Warriors have never looked better this season, and they won a game that they absolutely had to win to stay in the race for the eighth spot in the west. J-Rich looked amazing through three quarters, Crazy Stephen Jackson (or CSJ for short), was the glue the entire night, and they hung on to win at the end. A few other observations:

  • Baron looked great most of the night, but during the last six minutes of the forth, he reverted back to the pound the ball, shoot too much point guard of his past. When Baron plays the role of the distributor, the Warriors are hard to stop. I don't know why he stopped playing that role in the last half of the fourth.
  • If Monte Ellis learns how to hit a 18 foot jumper consistently, he's going to be hard to stop.
  • Steve Nash was a liability today on defense. Whenever Nelson had Nash in a mismatch, he had the Warriors exploit it. It got the point where D'Antoni almost had no choice but to take him out for a little while.
  • Those city jersey's are sick.
The Warriors sit only a game back of the Clippers. With the upcoming three game road trip, the Warriors needed this win, and they got it. It's almost like rooting for a real team.

NBA Odds #4

Latest buzz is that the Laas Vegas Wife Beaters have a 20-1 shot at joining the league next year. Oh goodie! My favorites!

All lines from Bodog.com

Toronto

@ WASHINGTON (-4)

The Raps have served me well the past few days, one of my few winners and maybe the only team that helped twice (I haven't checked). Sniff friggin' sniff. Washington screwed me and you don't see me dropping them out of opposing spite. This is about picks.

Fact: The Raptors are 13-22 on the road and the Wizards are 26-9 at home.

Fact: Toronto has lost on the road this month to oboth the Celtics and the Knicks, the former by eight and the latter by eighteen.

Fact: These teams are a half game apart in the standings and the mood at Comcast is going to be that of playoff basketball.

Fact: The Wizards are overdue to launch a blowout.

Fact: This game is a competition of the long-armed Euro trash of the Great land of Canadia vs. the quick, street, crack driven DC hood rats.

Ok, maybe that's not a fact.

Either way, the Wiz look to be a bit fresher for this pick, especially with a line under five. We will see how the rebounding affects the game. That is the big question mark.

Milwaukee

@ CHARLOTTE (-5)

Reasons to bet against me and to never listen to my picks again:

-Charlotte has never beaten Milwaukee
-I sway with the wind on streaks like a bull in the stock market.
-I don't know how Adam Morrison's season is going and I don't care. Did he shave yet? (I looked him up. He's doing decent with a line of 12-3-2. And no, he's still Pokey Dicklaus.)

It's about time though. The Cats are near .500 a home and they've ridden a few good wins, including screwing me last night on my Atlanta pick. They should be a bit tired, but the day off is enough. Milwaukee played the same night anyway. Then again, they beat an actual good team in the Mavericks.

Sometimes, the gamblers all miss. Predicting Milwaukee would beat Dallas is only in the blood of a prophet.

Anyway, I got Emeka's boys on the rack for this one. They seem to be improving. Prove it, boys.

Miami

@ MINNESOTA (-1)

So no one is on the T-Wolves injured list, they're 21-14 record in Minnesota is nearly inverse of Miami's 14-20 road record, they have a playoff spot to fight for and KG is hitting buzzer beaters? Which way do you think I'm going to pick?

On paper and perhaps in reality, the Heat are a better team with more power and more versatility in their lineup. They also have a better coach currently. With both teams on equal rest, I would say the home court players have an immediate snap advantage. In this case, it's Minnesota.

Besides, I have to pick them, or KG will slap the White out of me.


Jazz

@ Spurs (-7)

This line is filthy outrageous to the Nth degree. Seven points is far too much for any game as respectable as a matchup between these two sets of warriors and two of the best team sin basketball. It forces my hand and I am inclined to say that the Spurs are probably a wee bit embarassed and scared that they barely pulled off a comeback victory over a rather pitiful New Orleans Hornets roster. It should have taken them about forty minutes less to lock that game away but they piddled around with it forever.

And hey, I need the Jazz to lose. Ugly Russian rebounding hicks, with their Carlos Boozer and their Ak-47s. I hate those guys.

Both teams have fresh legs. The Jazz only beat the Wolves by six a few nights back on their home court, so they look a bit weaker than usual. It could be that Utah is the absolute underrated team when all is said and done. For roght now, I'll give fundamental his props and hope he makes me look smart tommorow. The Spurs have better tempo control, a better point differential, head to head matchup advantages, a better record, more experience in the playoff stretch and home court advantage. I'm looking at an eight point game if things swing just right.

BOSTON (7 1/2)

@ Philadelphia

The Sixers are coming off a tough loss in Washington which came shortly after a win in Miami. That's not bad for the outlook on current abilities, as it sets them up nicely to be happy to come home to a bad Boston team. The problem is that the Sixers are almost as bad a team in the first place. They have six games between them, placing Philly in a slightly higher position of shittiness than that of the Pierce Boys.

Andre Iguodala may be able to put the hurt on Pierce on the defensive end, but it isn't likely. It's hard to shut down a scorer in entirety and 7 1/2 is plenty of room.

NEW JERSEY (+5 1/2)

@ Detroit

Another game where I expect a dog to keep it close. The Pistons are coming off the back to backs while the Nets played two nights ago (when I predicted how they would win but still bet against them because I am so very, very poor at this).

Bad Boys= Better Team. I don't have to break down the individual matchup advantages to prove it all to you. The Pistons are a slow team and they'll look to control the pace vs. the Nets, but don't expect a fluid game. If it is indeed one-sided in the tempo department, it will go the way of the Pistons and they will annihilate their enemies. This game won't be pure speed like the Nets want it to be because Flip Saunders won't let it happen.


Indiana

@ ORLANDO (-7)

Let's assume the principle of aggression to the mean. The Pacers are 2-8 in the last 8 games. The Magic have won four of their last ten, but three of their last five. The Pacers' overall season record is roughly equivalent to three out of seven games, or a 43% winning percentage. The Magic are two games betteror so, winning 45% of their games.

Assuming that the Pacers' 43% winning percentage is correct, 2 of 8 (20%) suggests a victory to even out this stretch of games. The Magic would fluctuate between 40 and 50 percent, making their matter a complicated wash.

Road-home splits, Conference deduction and other humzinger split this one into pea soup, let me just say that I have noticed Indy looking sloppy lately and scooting down the tubes while
the Magic, at times, have looked like a real team.

Season Record: 9-12

Things are looking up!



-Tex

Thursday, March 29, 2007

NBA Odds #3

Blog-Office Odds

Bushido bitch slaps Steve Swindal for taking the last Jiffy Pop and/or Guiness/bowl of New York headies- 3-1
John Hollinger returns to chase Ush- 5-2
Pat ever posts again- Allen Houston's contract-1

Detroit

@ CHICAGO (+4)

The Pistons are obviously quality but it's not everyday that you catch a +4 on the Bulls, making for an intriguing play. Rip Hamilton and Chris "Recently Saved by Genetic Miracle" Webber are listed as day-to-day with the flu. The flu is not the same thing as a pulled tendon, but it does bear a raised eyebrow. I don't think it will have any real effect on the game, as will the ability of the Bulls to control the pace at home and make for a speedy game.

The killer in this one is turnovers. If the Bulls can limit the loss of posessions they will take the game. If they don't, there could be a long night of a short, intense coach not named Van Gundy eating his team alive.

Detroit is a stronger team because they take care of the rock. They are fifth lowest in turnovers and third highest in turnovers caused to their reputation while the Bulls are fifteenth in the league as far as giving up the rock... and tied with Detroit and Denver for third in forcing other people to throw it away.

Wouldn't it be something if they just started slapping the ball away from one another?

Reason I may be kicking my self in the ass for this pick: Kirk Hinrich has LOTS of problems passing over the Detroit backcourt.

MEMPHIS (+7 1/2)

@ Portland

I'm picking the Grizz for several key reasons:

1) I'm a masochist who prefers the keyboard to the razor.
2) Ime Udoka is listed day-to-day with a concussion.
3) The line is outrageous. I don't care how bad a team is. In a matchup between two sickly looking franchises that have sights trained entirely on the future and none on the present, you can't help but think it's going to be one of those sloppy, close contests that makes you almost hate the NBA before shrugging because you'll take any basketball that isn't a blowout.

On the other hand, Mike Miller and Damon Stoudemire are both day-to-day with tendinitis and Chucky Atkins is as well; he missed Tuesday's game with a pulled groin.

I know, I know. You're wondering how Chucky Atkins could be important. In reality, he isn't. He's a backup point guard getting set to be replaced after he spends some time filling space and earning bucks for the worst team in the league. In context of the Memphis Grizzles, Chucky Atkins means little more than a push in payroll. However, in context of whether or not the Grizz lose by seven or less tonight, he matters very much. Stoudemire and Atkins are the only ones with any semblance of running the ball. A team can't win with Dribble McPass at point guard.

PHOENIX (-5)

@ Golden State

Sorry again, Ush. I'm not crazy enough to bet against the Suns on a number under six these days. This game is going to be speedy as hell and probably fun to watch during runs, but I just don't see anyone grabbing hold of Steve Nash and I don't see Golden State keeping pace with anyone in any of the head-to-head matchups. Amare Stoudemire eats NBA players for dinner everywhere he goes, regardless of opposition.

Both teams have items at stake. The Warriors are 1 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and the Suns want to stay ahead of the Spurs until the season closes out so they can hold a little extra weaponry in the playoff basket when it comes to home-court seeding.

Stat Note: The Suns have lost three times this month.

Cautionary Warning: The Warriors only lost by three the last time these two teams played in Golden State.






Season Record: 7-11. I'm a REAL expert.

-Tex


Ed Note: 10:57 Central Time Zone
The Suns are running like I thought they would and Amare Stoudemire is 11-7 at the half... but they're down 77-63 at half-time in a track meet. Given the gravity of these types of games, the Suns can still come back to win. It is, however, highly unlikely. Jason Richardson has 26 points on 10 of 14 from the floor and Steven Jackson has 20.

Steve Nash has not been the beast I pointed him out to be on this particular night, but it's early.

Raise your hand if you bet with a sure heart and head that Steve Nash doesn't lead the chage for a comeback.




No takers?

-Tex

Steve Swindal Previews the AL East


Hey out there in blog land! It's me, Steve Swindal, former heir apparent to the New York Yankees empire. Now, as you may or may not be aware, my life seems to have hit a bit of a "bump in the road," as my wife Jennifer decided to file for divorce from me, likely stemming from the little mishap I had earlier in the month, though I steadfastly maintain my innocence.

But hey, everything is going to work out for Steve; my good friend Bushido was nice enough to let me sleep on his couch. All I had to do for him was write the AL East preview he was supposed to do this week, but was way too busy to handle. He told me that my "insider" perspective would be invaluable to his 18 million daily readers. And, since I had no place else to go (you'd be surprised how mad your family members get when you blow the chance to run the Yankees for all eternity), below are my predictions for the best division in baseball, the AL East.

1st Place - Boston Red Sox - Boston is the clear cut division champion for one reason; chemistry. Boston has the type of team chemistry that wouldn't implode after a stupid arrest that I am completely innocent of. Plus, the Sox went ahead and picked themselves up a nice, docile, obedient Asian who would never dream of publicly disgracing her husband like this. Hmmm...I wonder if the owner of the Nippon Ham Fighters has a daughter.

2nd Place - Toronto Blue Jays - Why will Toronto finish in second? Simple; they know how to weather a storm. Rather than coming to pieces after a scuffle between John Gibbons and Ted Lilly, the team instead rallied to finish in second place. Imagine that? Something that doesn't come apart after a stupid fucking argument. If only everything in life worked like that.

3rd Place
- Baltimore Orioles -
Does Peter Angelos have a daughter? Is she married? Anybody?

4th Place - Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Tampa is a young, fresh faced team, one that hasn't yet been worn down by a cruel bitch of a wife and her overbearing father. Ah, to be young again, to go back in time and not repeat all the mistakes of the past. My high school sweetheart Suzy wouldn't have abandoned me like this.

5th Place
- The New York SLUT WHORES -
YOU BITCH! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?

oh god, what did i do to deserve this...i'm so sorry jennifer, i'm so sorry, i'm so...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Editor's Note: I awoke this morning to find Mr. Swindal passed out in a pool of his own vomit on my bathroom floor. I hustled him to his feet and put him on a bus to the nearest homeless shelter; I can ill afford to have a nut case like him hanging around. Ironically, while cleaning up the mess of Alexi Vodka and rubbing alcohol bottles he left on my table, I found this tear stained preview. I apologize if its content offended any of our readers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NBA Odds #2

NBA odds.

Disclaimer: We at the Gil Meche Experience are not responsible for you losing any of the following in a basketball line bet:

-Your sister or other, lesser family members
-FO- MILLION- DOLLAS!
-Your dignity

Miami

@ TORONTO -3 1/2

Two days ago, one of my few winning picks was Miami. One of my many losing picks was Toronto. Does loyalty pay in gambing? Hell no.

The Heat are an ugly road team, 14-20. Without Dwayne Wade, they lack individual star power more than any team in basketball (now that Shaq is reduced to a not-so-bad 17-7). Oddly enough, their season turned around when they lost him to the gut-wrenching dislocated shoulder. They were one game under .500 on February 21st and they now rest at 38-32.

Toronto is an excellent home team... Maybe even a little too good. Pythagorus says that if this team is a .500 ball-club, then fans in Rap-town should be expecting a fall.

Other than that... I'll let Chris Bosh speak for himself. We'll see how he handles the big fella tonight. How's that for an underrated matchup?

Philadelphia

@ WASHINGTON (-7)

Stupid Wizards screwed me on my last set of picks by narrowing the Jazz's margin of victory 1 1/2 points inside the money line on Monday. They're also a fast home team that can flat play ball when they're in Comcast Arena.

Philly has one interesting trump card on it's side for this one. They're riding a hot streak off back to back wins this weekend, the second on the floor in Miami. That was the last time they played, meaning they have four days of rest. I would love to see how that helps Allen Iver... oh, yeah... he's not there anymore. Well Chris Webber should benef... oh. Well then.

The Wizards are not a GOOD team, perse, but they deserve a little credit in a conference you could shake your head. They'll win by eight tonight.

Unless Gilbert Arenas bets a fan $10 that he'll iht the game-winner.

ATLANTA (+6)

@ Charlotte

Joe Johnson in a one-one pickup game against Emeka Okafor. The Hawks did their job for me by getting THWACKED by the Heat on Monday and now they have earned themselves a reward. They've lost four in a row, but met or exceeded expectations on every single one of those games (save, arguably, a two point loss to Portland in Atlanta). The game before those four? A twenty-three point hit on the Sacramento Kings. They lost by a respectable seven to the Mavs on Sunday right before the blowout.

I wouldn't watch the game if you paid me. Two bad teams usually make for rather poor betting odds as well. Lie the Sixers, the Cats haven't played in four days and should have plenty of juice in the legs... but all their guys are young! I know the season catches up to you, but how much can the two extra days possibly help? I'm afraid the high point for them was the winning back to back over Cleveland in Boston the next day last week. They're not neccesarily getting trounced as of late, but they're also playing against overrated squads, ala Philly and New Jersey.

CLEVELAND (-3 1/2)

@ New York

The yeller oddsmakers at Bodog couldn't give the Cavs a three, could they? It HAD to be three and a half for the extra squeeze on the pocketbook. Oh well.

The Knicks stink and the Cavs have a way of falling apart. This is the basic analysis for this matchup. They both have something to play for. New York has the homecourt Cleveland has a clearly better team.

The Cavs have lost three of the last five and two of the last three at home. That streak also included a steep eight point loss to the Bobcats... And a 90-68 drubbing of the same New York Knicks they play tonight. Not pretty. I'm sure Zeke will be drilling them for this game so the intensity may be dialed through the stratosphere, but the odds are pointing to a late fade in MSG if the game is close.

Orlando

@ BOSTON(+3)

This is the sort of even pick that requires a gambler to crack the knuckles and pick for the points on either side. It's another stinker of a game. The Magic aren't shabby at home but they're awful on the road, like a lesser version of the Washington Wizards.

Boston's recent streaks are almost as bad as ever, but good enough to lead to believe that Paul Pierce may want to win a game here or there. They're 10-25 on the road, but they've had an "uptick" of 6-3 in Boston over their last nine home games (another case of Pythagorus evening the ends of the sword). They DID lose too the Cats at home last week, but that has been an exception to the rule of the run. Whirl with the dogs in this one.

INDIANA (+7)

@ New Jersey

The Pacers are a wickedly horrid road team, but they do still maintain certain psychological pressure from a few season back when they were actually good and made the Eastern Conference Finals. It's a strange phenomenon.

It helps to get your news: Jermain O'Neal is going to play with a tweaked angle tonight. He could be ok, but he could also be playing the part of warrior in an ugly drama. The Pacers are a game back of the Nets for the last playoff spot. The speed is going to be turned all the way up. That's what the oddmakers are betting on: A run-fest that wears Indiana out and benefits a Nets team that has played OK lately (4-3 with five of those games on the road and two home losses to Denver and Miami). Don't bet your mortgage on this game.

Hornets

@ SPURS (-13 1/2)

The Spurs are cold. They were one of my winning picks Monday by blowing out the Warriors. They've lost two games since February 11th and in that time period laid hit on Denver, Houston, and Detroit (twice). Ten of those seventeen victories were by double digit margins. Combined margin of victory vs. Goden Stat and Seattle this weekend, on back to back road games? Fifty-eight points. Yikes.

The Hornets have been playing so-so lately, as expected. They may not be a .500 team but they should win 35+ games, so expect them to have an interesting finish. That prediction could be ruined by plenty of rest for Chris Paul, for which I do not blame them.

This is not a bad pick for the money. The Spurs are in nasty late-season playoff approach and Tim Duncan is firing on all cylinders. How does the New Orleans front court look now?

MILWAUKEE (+14)

@ Dallas

The Rockets ran the Bucks into the ground a few nights back without any problems, confirming what we already knew: The Bucks really, really suck. They suck so bad that they should call across town to see if Bernie Brewer can take over at center. Which is more misleading: Naming the Basketball team "Milwaukee's Best", or the actual beer itself? It's a tough one, isn't it? (By the way, I'm Houston's best comic).

The Mavs are an excellent home team (31-4.. that isn't a typo) and the best team of the NBA 06-07 regular season. By all means, they should be drubbing Milwaukee by thirty tonight. However, it's hard to lay a consistent twenty point hit on lesser teams and it's time for the Mavs to wind down and rest a player here or there against them. Avery Kohnson knows this principle and that should be enough that the Bucks could lose by eleven instead of forty.

Seattle

@ DENVER (11 1/2)

These lines are through the roof. Shrug.

Seattle is a carbon copy of the Bucks in a lot of ways. Rely on Michael Redd/Ray Allen to score fifty and play whatever defense you can. I bet Larry Krystkowiak and Bob Hill could accidentally walk off with each other's playbooks and they wouldn't figure it out for the rest of the season.

The Nuggets may finally be putting the pieces in place for a decent playoff run. They won't be any threat in the postseason, but a strong finish should beat back the teams on their heels enough to make us forget it was ever really that close. This is a team with two superstars and a head coach that play better better with pressure. If George Karl (RRRRRAAAAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!) can keep it together undergrinding personal and professional pressure, expect some smartly played basketball coming out of and inside of the Mile High City.

The real burner for this game is that the Sonics don't have the defense or cardiovascular stamina to do one thing about Carmelo Anthony OR AI besides sicking Danny Fortson's fat kaboose on them or using Nick Collison as a charge block. That won't work very well in the NBA, where the calls go to the stars. How many charges will be called on Melo and AI? Two, tops? Who will the Sonics go to to guard Marcus Camby? The Sonics are just lucky Kiki Vanderweigh in't still playing.

MINNESOTA (+11)

@ Utah

A mediocre team that is weak on te road against a very good team that is good at home. You can see why the oddsmakers went to yet another distant line.

The T-Wolves won't be tanking the season this year so we can expect them to play. Both teams play in a half-court set, so the pace should be slow and positive for a large line such as the one provided. The Jazz rely on plenty of rebounding and Garnett should be able to stifle some of that.




Don't give your bookie my number.

-Tex


Season Record: A pitiful 3-5

Your Apocalypse Forecast

Chance of Apocalypse: High.

If you aren't shitting your pants this week, you damn well should be. That, or you're sitting around stuffing your fat American face with Pizza Hut with Taco Bell toppings while you watch VH1 and E!. Because this business with Iran and England reeks of the kind of shit your kids will be taught in their history class by their radiation deformed teachers.

Iran is playing their new situation as King of the Middle East very well. With their strongest enemy (us) bogged down in Iraq, they have free reign to fuck with anyone near them. This is why they're supporting Iraqi insurgencies and gripping their Shia friends in Iraq tight. Who's gonna stop them, America? The same America that has proven yet again that we can't predict or fight a guerrilla war? Yeah, good luck. If Iran was smart, they'd let us occupy them and then pick us off slowly.

And they seem pretty f'n smart. England claims that when Iran first gave them the coordinates of where they captured the British sailors, England kindly pointed out that the coordinates were still Iraqi territory. The Iranians huddled, regrouped and then gave a different set of coordinates that were apparently two miles away from where Britain claims their sailors were.

Why the two sets of coordinates? Perhaps because Iran doesn't give a fuck what England or America think. What are we gonna do, invade them? That's rich. No, we'll get red in the face and try to negotiate while those Limeys get tortured by Iran's finest skin peelers. And when Iran is done playing with them, they'll give them back, smile and say they're oh so sorry.

So why do we have a high chance of Apocalypse this week? Don't count out George Bush or Dick Cheney trying to play tough and pissing off Ahmadenijad to the point where he doesn't want to give these guys back. Then what's England supposed to? Let the Mad Beard parade his troops around Teheran with signs around their neck saying "Western Crusader" and "Kick Me?" Hell no. You fight. And it's not like Bush or Cheney care about another war, they have bomb shelters.

Gil's Favorite Charity

Faithful readers, we at The Gil Meche Experience have realized that recently we have failed to provide you with frequent updates on your hero and mine, the MAN, Gil Meche. So today, after backbreaking research, we have discovered Gil's favorite charity. However, a note of caution. Don't let Joey Porter's dog know anything about this. He can be a little sensitive.

Mr. Van Gundy Goes To Washington (pr. loo-nee-toun)

Mr. Van Gundy. Jeff. Jeff-dawg. The Jeff-meister.

Just what on earth are you thinking? You're embarrassing yourself! Seriously. I've got all the love in the world for you, even though you did jump ship in 2001. Hey, I don't blame you. It was stupid to trade Ewing, absolutely stupid. He played his entire career here, and the Knicks reward him with a lousy trade and a kick in the ass. How kind.

So there you go, running away when the going gets tough. And that's fine, it really is. We all expected that kind of behavior from a short bald white guy like yourself who likes to hang off Zo's leg. But then you gotta go and throw down a few two-handed reverse jams and toss a helicopter-with-a-flaming-ball dunk into the mix, and all of a sudden nobody knows what to think! Do we respect him? Do we say good riddance?

Well, buddy ol' pal, former assistant-turned-savior-turned-dunker extraordinaire, thanks for making it an easy decision, for me at least. All teams get an equal shot at the number 1 pick in the draft? Good riddance! You're crazy, old man! Don't you know that David Stern is ominpotent? When he deems yall Rocket-folk worthy, you'll get the number one pick. Now run along, and don't go losing the rest of your hair now worrying for nuthin'.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Um...I'd Just Like to Get a Word In...No Biggie...

Hi. I'm Common Sense (not the rapper). I know you don't find me on The Gil Meche Experience very often (what with the being named after an overpaid number three starter and being run by drug addicts), but I'd just like to talk about something real quickly.

Everywhere I look nowadays I see people calling the Phillies the team to beat in the NL East. Everyone says they made incredible offseason pickups and are poised to overtake the Mets. Hey, everyone can have an opinion, that's fine by me...but...um...no, nevermind...

You want me to finish? Well, OK. I don't mean to sound unimpressed, but since when are Freddy Garcia and Adam Eaton huge difference makers? I mean, hey, I like Freddy Garcia. Always have. I am after all Common Sense, and I can tell a quality pitcher when I see one. But it's not like Freddy Garcia is Sandy Koufax. He took a step back last year and he gave up 32 home runs and is going to a ballpark where pop flies become grand slams (no, the Phillies did not talk to me before designing their ballpark). He's a contact pitcher, and it's not as if he's going to have fantastic defense behind him. I won't even mention Adam Eaton. Well, OK, just a little thing. He's Adam freakin' Eaton people. Calm down.

As for the rest of the team, this is the same collection of players that hasn't ever been to the playoffs, right? These are the Phillies starting Wes Helms at third base and using Shane Victorino as a corner outfielder, right? Yes?

Anyway, I don't mean to say the Phillies aren't good. But come on everyone, they aren't that good.

Monday, March 26, 2007

NBA Line Odds... Return

NBA Odds return after a long running streak without them. For statistically insignificant, unproven methods of gambling, rely on the Land of Meche.

Winning Pick, Line Bet in Bold. Odds from Bodog.com.

Orlando

@ NEW YORK (+2 1/2)

This may have been an overlooked stretch on the part of the house or the uneven favorites game on Bodog. The Knicks may not be a favorite in this game, but the Magic have to win by three and the Knicks are not looking for a repeat of the Shitastic Shpectacle feceled up there against Portland (apologies for the poop references).

On top of that, the Knicks are a decent matchup head to head with most of the Orlando starting five if not including Eddy Curry being manhandled inside by Dwight Howard. The Knickerbockers need offense from an unseen source to win, but what else is new?


Denver

@ DETROIT (-4 1/2)


A good bet to analyze. Both of these teams are coming off tough road trips, with Denver clearly not home yet since they are visiting Detroit. Both won yesterday in cities that are relatively close to where they ar eplaying tonight, with Detroit beating Milwaukee in Milwaukee and Denver winning in Cleveland.

Here's another perspective: The Pistons blew the HELL out of Milwaukee and The Nuggets cruised by the Cavs rather comfortably. Then again, the Bucks are a .500 team at home, something to be considered in spite of their Eastern Conference shortcomings.

The Motowners are cruising again this year and they are one of two teams in the East with a winning record against the West (the other team is, on the other hand, Cleveland). A home court usually is good for at least five in the NBA and these are two good teams in similar circumstances. It comes down to paper and the slightest chaotic blow of the wind and that pushes it into Detroit's favor:

1) They are at home.

2) They're coming off the larger point margin.

3) They've won a ring and bashed down the stretch in the last three years.

4) They have guards that can hold down Denver's one and two scoring options of which the inverse can not be said.

5) Denver has struggled as of late.



Atlanta @

MIAMI (-9)

Miami is a great home team while Atlanta is a bad team that's even worse on the road. The Heat are coming off of a pair of back to back losses over the weekend and they're probably not to be happy about it.

The kicker with this is not in the in-depth analyses of the teams or the psychological damagae of the day before. Sure, the Hawks will be even more tired mentally and physically because they played Dallas to a tough seven point defeat in a game that slipped away from their grasp at the last minute, but nothing is as important as the fact that the Heat almost always win at home against a bad team by AT LEAST nine.

NOTE: The Danger is that they also could get blown out by a team like Orlando on a given date. The Hawks don't have the size to do that as likely as the Magic would and did.

TORONTO (+3 1/2)

@ Boston

Last week, Charlotte dropped a nine point victory on Pierce's boys. That was followed up by an expected 14 point Dallas blowout in Boston, but it's no exagerration to say that the Celtics have been taking some knocks at home as of late.

Toronto is a terrible road team (13-21) but Boston is even worse at home than Toronto is on the road (9-25) and given the Celtics' composite record, they're just altogether awful is what's really going on here.

The Raps are going to have their ugly way on the boards. It all dpeends which team comes out tonight, whether it's the fluid, inside-out, ball movement game coupled with effective and scrappy defense or the funny-handed turnover kings reminiscent of the days when Tracy McGrady was surrounded Toronto's Jefferson High School bench.

PORTLAND (+9)

@ Chicago


The Blazers won a pair of back to back road games last week and got KGed on a pretty little 15 foot buzzer beater in Minny last night, so they're holding game sclose to the line. The Bulls took care of business last night in Indiana, winning by a deuce.

Chicago is a fast, run and gun team with the ability to pile drive opponents in a manner similar to Phoenix.
They have a tendency to accomplish a control on the tempo and a spectacular amount of success at home (26-9 at home, 15-21 on the road). They're also haveing a rough spot at home lately, beating Denver by a point, beating Boston by only eight and having their asses handed to them by the Clippers. This could be a decent time to bank on Portland just keeping it close.

Houston

@ Milwaukee

I don't bet on Rockets games. You're not jinxing my team, assholes.

Washington

@ UTAH (7 1/2)

The Jazz are a damn good team. They aren't part of the elite three, but they're part of the core of the five best regular season basketball teams. The Wizards have been missing expectations by razor thin line margins for the last five or six games. They lost back to back games in Golden State and LA by seven and six points. IT's not a shabby bet that the Jazz can get it to eight or better by the time the fouls have had their say in the end game.

Gambler's note: I have lost a seven point spread bet on a dunk at the buzzer that shaved it from eight to six.

Memphis

@ PHOENIX (15 1/2)

One of the best teams in basketball with one of the best home records goes against oone of the worst teams in basketball with the worst road record. That's how you get a freakin' 15 1/2 point spread.

I hate that sort of distance because basektball has so much crapola happening at lag time in a game that it's impossible to tell which side of a line your team will be on. The Suns could pull the reserves while they are up twenty with two to play only to win by thirteen and destroy the books everywhere.

The Suns have the fastest pace in the game and a dizzying point differential. Their last two wins came by eighteen points against teams better than the Grizzlies (Sacramento and Minnesota). They lost yesterday on the front half of a back to back against a remarkable and rare performace by a battered and bruised Kings lineup but the likelihood is up there with Steve Nash returning to soccer. The back to back might hamper their speed a bit, but there's a margin in this bet to begin with.

SAN ANTONIO (-5)

@ Golden State

Apologies, Ush. The Sspurs have won 16 of their last 18. The key red flashing stat in thiss game is that the Spurs' road record is only half a game different than the Warriors' road record. Both teams playes last night with the Spurs traveling a little farther. They manhandled the Spurs by thirtyone and finished with 121 on the board to boot while the Warriors took a sore loss from Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, a truck named Andrew and nine other dudes.

The key matchups:

1) Up the middle with Biedrins and Tim Duncan. This is a good test for the kid. He probably won't win the matchup but he can hold Fundamental better than a lost of the other big Euro bodies.

2) At the point. Baron Davis has to flat outplay Tony Parker on the offensive end because he is no defensive specialist. This is not an easy task, but he can accomplish it if he plays the way he did against the Wizards on Friday. It must say BARON in big letters on Gilbert Arenas' ass by now.

3) The tempo. This is where I go with the Spurs. Given their play last night, they can run and have a good shot at beating you. We already know they're dominant in a half court set, so the Warriors are at least a little bit damned regardless.

-Tex

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ron Artest's Future

Everyone seems all a twitter about Ron Artest's possible retirement. I don't see why. According to newly found religious texts, RonRon's retirement was not only foreseen, but is necessary to bring humanity to another level.

In the coming days, we here at The Gil Meche Experience will get our crack team of researchers on the case (read: I will ingest copious amounts of mescaline and draw in crayon) and explain to you what this new text means for basketball, humanity and all the black babies.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pharaoh Selig's Second Decree


Howdy,

I don't know if it's a common fact outside of Houston, but Craig Biggio has been a two decade long supporter of a child cancer charity known as the Sunshine Kids. Many years, he has donated some amount of money for each base he steals over the course of the season. He likes to support the group by wearing a small yellow Sunshine pin, the Sunshine Kids insignia, on the front left side of his ballcap.

Fighting cancer clashed with Major League Baseball, who had one of their thugs called the Residence de Biggio to let him know he would have to remove the pin. Umpires even made sure it was gone by the afternoon of the March 23rd game.

Bud Selig has ten plagues coming for this one. I may be missing Opening Day, but at least I'm not getting kicked in my tumor-covered nuts. What a bastard.

-Tex

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Negotiations (All Funky Hebrew Subject to Spelling)

As we speak, the sports Gods are into heavy negotiations with regl'r God regarding the fate of yours truly. You see, Astros opening day falls on the second of April at 6:05 in the evening and that week, we of the Jewish begin eight days of Humutz-free life.

Uncle Joe's Seder starts at roughly sundown and ends around nine, a cover for the length of one three hour, nin inning baseball game. Oi vey! How Fortuna has forsaken my ass. I'll be sneezing horseradish and down under three cups of wine during the seventh inning stretch, thinking about how lucky I was that Sideshow's momma grabbed tickets to Opening Day only to be thwarted by the acetic hand of an asshole Pharoah, in this case known as Bud Selig.

So Koufax misses pitching a game in the series to atone. I'm losing out on Opening Day here! something I've never done before! I'm a guy who has a closet full of sports memorabilia that includes a 1958 Lookouts signed baseball (including Bobby Allison, Harmon Killebrew and Johnny Red Marion), a 1968 Rose Bowl ticket (where OJ Simpson destroyed IU), and 1980 Astros World Series tickets that never happened! Zulsta voxen be a chandelier zulsta changen brennen! I've gotten Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Bob Feller, Ernie Banks, Lou Boudreau!

I open the floor to commentary. The Jews don't really believe in eternal damnation. I'm not much of a man for metaphysical punishment. But just to be on the safe side, how much penalty is the first game of the season worth in soul here? We talking about thiry, forty, fifty lashings?

-Rabbi Tex

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ze Mailbag, She is Full!

It might surprise you, but despite the lack of comments this blog actually gets mullions of readers a day. Our readers are a fanatical lot who in turn send us tens of millions of emails, even more than our army of chimpanzee mail room clerks can handle. Now, in the past, our policy was to respond to these e-mails by sending an 8 x 10 photo of 70's teen heartthrob David Cassidy signed by Ush, but following our quality control meeting last week, we have decided to instead respond to some choice emails right here on the blog. Enjoy.

Hey Bushido,
I read somewhere that the Mets have a super old rotation and that because they failed to give Barry Zito everything he wanted they are going finish in last place. This is true, right?
Rich, Wahpeton, North Dakota

You know what, I read somewhere that people in North Dakota are fucking morons, but until today, I wasn't positive that it was true. Do the Mets have two old pitchers in their rotation? Yes. But while El Duque may fit the prototypical mold for an old pitcher who is going to break down (though really, he has been old and breaking down since the 1930's), Tom Glavine has shown himself to be ageless, and should cruise past 300 wins this season while posting excellent numbers. Beyond that, the Mets have three pitchers in their 20's (as it seems clear that Mike Pelfrey will be in the rotation), and while none of them are as "good" (read: hyped) as Barry Zito, none of them cost $100 mil for 7 years, and all of them are solid enough pitchers. Factor in that the Mets may get Pedro back for the late season stretch, and that they have dealable prospects (thanks in part to the fact that they didn't trade Milledge for Zito) who will likely be used to pick up a starter at some point, and I'm pretty confident in the Mets ability to win the division yet again, and if things break the right way (cause, lets face it, St. Louis didn't exactly have a killer rotation last year), the World Series.

Bushido,
Hello chap, I just wanted to hear your thoughts on the Arsenal's failure to secure any sort of hardware this season. Arsene Wenger really bollocksed up this campaign, right? Cheerio!
Barnaby, London, England

Oh good, a soccer question; my time to shine. Barnaby, this season certainly was a disappointment for Arsenal, especially when you consider the high hopes created by last seasons appearance in the Champions League Final. There are, of course, a number of reasons for this situation, most notably the Gunners injury issues; I don't think any team could produce hardware without their top two strikers, and the loss of Robin Van Persie early and Thierry Henry's inability to get healthy (no doubt exacerbated by that cunt Raymond Domeneech's decision to play him for the full match in meaningless friendlies) quite literally crippled the squad. But the squad never really got going this year, and lacked any sort of cutting edge from the beginning of the Premiership campaign, and blame for this must fall squarely on Wenger's shoulders. I had no problem with his failure to make any real top notch acquisitions during the summer transfer window (Rosicky and the Gallas for Cole swap aside), but when January rolled around, and the teams problems became quite clear, he didn't even look to make any impact pick ups, and that failure is a big reason why the squad will be trophy less again this season. Nevertheless, the team will still likely qualify for the Champions League again, and hopefully Wenger is finally willing to make some changes during the summer. Otherwise, we will be having this conversation again this time next year.

Hey Bushido,
Do you have any clever sports analogies to describe some crappy network TV shows? I know that's all I want to read about.
Bill, LA, California

I hope you die in a fire.

Bushido,
Any thoughts on March Madness? I mean, it is the biggest sports event this time of year, yet I haven't seen a single post about it on the site.
Carmine, Providence, Rhode Island

Carmine, March Madness is amply covered by Deadspin and other quality sites, who can provide their readers with the up to the minute dick jokes that they need. I'm sure someone will post something about the final four, but the urgency just isn't there.
As for my thoughts on the tourney so far, well, I really don't have any. A few compelling games, but really, after the great George Mason story last year, it was pretty much a given that this years March Madness would be far less interesting, and it has been. My whole final four is still in it, so I'm sticking with my pick of Georgetown, but I really couldn't care less.


Bushido,
We want no part of integration with this wicked race of devils. But The Honorable Elijah Muhammad also says we should not be expected to leave America empty-handed. After four hundred years of slave labor, we have some back pay coming. A bill that is owed to us and must be collected. If the government of America truly repents of its sins against our people and atones by giving us our true share of the land and the wealth, then America can save herself. But if America waits for God to step in and force her to make a just settlement, God will take this entire continent away from the white man. And the Bible says that God can then give the kingdom to whomsoever he pleases. I thank you.
Malcolm, New York, New York

Yep, these are our readers...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wallstreetzilla

Who is Wall Street? Because is it just me, or do they sound like they're talking about a person. A giant...dollar bill...with a top hat..rampaging through the Financial District. Or maybe it's more like that Aqua Teen episode where they cloned all the money and George Washington showed up in the form of dollar bills. Is that who Wall Street is?

I have bad news for us all. Everyone who writes for this blog is so far left that we've fallen off the map. See, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are radical, far left liberals. There, we occupy a negative space in politics, floating around a void not unlike TIWTIJJ's magic garbage bag world. But we don't get strippers, just cold, empty loneliness and the order to think about what we've done until we find Jesus and move into the Hillary Clinton wing of the liberal Democrats.

Shout to the nerdy guy near the end of the video who was obviously the only real financial analyst on the panel for actually talking about things like mortgage rates. Shout out to the woman near the end of the video. My goal in life is to fuck Fox News sluts, and you just made the list Rebecca Gomez. See you in the morning...in the shower...in my mind.

Tex in Vegas


Howdy folks!

It's been a while since I pasted some lit on these pages. You must excuse me. I have been engaging with Gil Meche Experience college connections in the city of sin, spending my time amongst mooks, Asians, whores and generally odd-looking, rowdy ass characters in rivers of hyperstrong lights and sounds. Note to reader: A Manhattan paradise in a three foot glass does not bode well for your gambling experience.

I can, and will, break down the intricate psychology of the mob-built discoteque known as Las Vegas at some other time, but I would like to let the world know one important thing.

I have attended my first title fight.

Labeled "Fearless" was the card this weekend for the INDISPUTED, UNDEEEFEATED, SUUUUPER FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRLLLLDDDD between Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera at Mandalay Bay. The card also featured Demetrius "Nephew of Bernard" Hopkins vs. The Contender Finalist Stevie Forbes and Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Phillipino cultural boxing hero Gerry Penalosa.

I arrived in the bleeder seats in time for the last two fights, missing D-Hop and Forbes in action, which is apparently a damn shame. I hope someone Youtubes it soon, though the decision victory for Hopkins was, from the sound of everyone who saw the fight, more bent than a USC cheer leader at homecoming. If Forbes threw a boxing clinic as reported and there was robbery then that was controversy number one. The first co-main event fight provided good action throughout. Ponce De Leon threw plenty of good body shots but kept his left hand low for most of the fight, allowing the southpaw Penalosa to repeatedly whack him with lead right hooks.

Penalosa slowed late in the fight and it was a close competitive contest... that was a scored a near shutout for Ponce De Leon. The Compubox stats support some of the claim, as his punch output was the third highest in modern history. While impressive, you can rest assured that Penalosa won more than his fair share of rounds rather than the minimum 11-1 difference granted by the judges.

The main event was a barn burner, sure to be replayed soon on HBO by the powers that be and grey haired tape experts everywhere. This fight was one of the best of the year so far and burned a full 12 rounds of output. Styles make fights, and Barerra's foot work and short snapping punches were countered by long straight jab-cross combos on Marquez's end of the fight. It is too bad that such a good fight is so clouded with controversy in two different sections.

Trouble first reared it's ugly head at the end of the seventh round when Barerra, getting pounded in the middle of the ring for roughly ten full seconds, sent Marquez to the mat with a compact hook. The ref did not begin to count, so Barerra whacked him again with a right hand. Not only did the ref rule the knockdown a slip, he deducted a point from Barerra for hitting while Marquez was down. It was a three point swing in a fight that was as close a brawl as they come. The replays repeatedly showed that Marquez went down because of a punch. There's no telling whether he would have gotten to his feet after the blow had the ref gotten the decision correct.

The fight raged onward throughtout all twelve rounds. I positioned myself by the door to leave the arena and beat the crowd as they announced the scores.

"Judge A and B score the bout 118-109..."

I think to myself You've got to be shitting me.

"Judge C scores the bout 116-111 to the winner by unanimous decision..."

Were these people watching the same fight?

They call out Marquez' name and I walk out of the casino to catch a cab to Treasure Island as it sinks in. I think Barerra won the fight. I'm not the gospel on that. It was a close one. One thing I do kno is that that fight was not 8-4 or 10-2. It was close as can be, and Barerra should have had himself a two point round rather than a minus two.

Things to consider:

Would the fight have been different if instant replay was alloweed or open scoring was enforced? Will there be a rematch? What happened to the shot odds on the fight? It was a 6.5 to 1 fight for Barerra the week before and was even money by the time of the fight. Everyone knows boxing is corrupt... but this is going to be one of the five biggest fights of the year. Do they have to stoop that low.

And so the mafia still runs Las Vegas and Bugsy's on the look for a stake in Mexico through the sport of boxing. Las Vegas remains the most overstimulating town on Earth, to the point that it can blind a boxing judge with experience in scoring over 100 championship fights.

Dare I say rigged?


-Tex

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Art of Shit Talking

I am an expert shit talker. If I'm involved in beer pong, inevitably someone will want to fight me at the end of the night. I don't mean most of what I say, but I do know how to stream a constant whirl of nonsense into someone's head until they're affected. Me and Dan Arrigo once threw a girl totally off her game because we made fun of her mullet. Over and over and over. And over. Now I'm taking my show on the fantasy baseball road. I'll provide updates of my best stuff as the season goes on. Here's my opening salvo, posted on the league message board.

I promise when I win I will drive my car on your lawn a la George Bush in the Simpsons. I promise I will ring your doorbell and set fire to your house. Now for some individual shit talk.

Greg: Your name oughta be ArodSlappyHappyPappy. That's what I'm calling you from now on.


Scott: If there were an uglier man on this planet he'd ya daddy.


Natia: You a girl. And I love you. Of course, I also love tetanus.


Nick: Freddy Sanchez gonna bat .220.


Egelman: It's not so much that your team sucks, it's more that you suck. By the way, the Ghost of John Patterson's talent is wandering around my apartment, you may wanna catch it.


Roids: I don't know you, but I hate you.


Milk: I hear ya breath stank like a Applebee's desert.


Dry Hump: Two words - Juan Pierre is worse than a knife wound.


Fire and Flame: You more like water and sewage. By that I mean your liquid properties make you weak and make me wretch.


If there were ever a better shit talker, I'd spit in his eye.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"The Legend of Broadway Joe"


Few athletes have been as revered as Joe Namath. Hero to football fans and hipsters alike, "Broadway Joe's" celebrity knew no boundaries. But more important than his prowess on the football field (which has been well documented) was his incredible career as a drunkard, which began at an early age and culminated in the infamous Suzy Kolber incident. Unfortunately, this is a part of his career which has not received the attention it deserves. However, Modern Drunkard Magazine has stepped into this void of information, profiling Namath's peak years as a football player and booze hound in their feature "The Legend of Broadway Joe: A Salute to Joe Namath, An Excellent Drunk and a Fine Athlete."

The article chronicles Joe's love affair with booze beginning with his childhood, when his mother would ease his teething pains with a rag soaked in grain alcohol, up until the mid 1970's; in fact, the only real problem with the piece is that it cuts off well before the end of Joe's career as a player, let alone the end of his drinking years. Along the way, the reader is treated to numerous anecdotes about Joe's escapades, all of which make you realize just how little you have lived compared to him. His "Broadway" years may be behind him, mainly due to the Kolber incident, but as Modern Drunkard shows, Joe Namath isn't just a hero to Jet fans, but to party animals worldwide. So if you have 10 minutes or so, give it a read; and for the full experience, smash your kneecap with a hammer and nurse the pain with some Johnnie Walker Red while reading.

(Hat tip to bpoz1313 on the JetsInsider.com forums for finding this)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Greatest Thing You Will Ever See



Bear with me dear reader if this comes off disjointed, but when I came home from work I finished off a bottle of Manischewitz (yes, the W is pronounced a V). But this is without a doubt hip-hop's greatest moment. Yes, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are in a rap video.

Many issues are raised with this music video, first among them being, "What the hell is Tony Parker saying?" Well, I put a crack team of French language experts on it, and it apparently Tony is asking us to ignore France's crippling unemployment and poverty riots. You got it Tony!

Second, is it a step up or a step down for alleged former Long Beach resident Fabolous to be on a track with Tony Parker? On the one hand, Tony has an NBA championship ring. On the other hand, this is Tony Parker we're talking about here, plus Fabolous has to make France seem both tough and cool. Also, "closest they ever came to France was french kissin'"? LAAAAAAAAME! And yes Fab, I've been on a glass bottom boat. Not that impressive.

Finally, what the fuck is up with that ending scene in the video where the cop shows up and gives the thumbs up? Tony Parker blows all of his street cred here by not beating that pig to a bloody pulp. I mean, you think Dirk Nowitzki would let some punk ass 5-0 interrupt his streetball game? Fuck no, Dirk would straight up dominate that pig. Shit, even Steve Nash's Canadian ass would blow weed smoke in the cop's face. And Ron-Ron? He woulda showed that cop what Queensbridge was all about. Instead, Tony and the pig exchange weak thumbs up and go their separate ways. Man up Tony! At least flip him the bird. This is why no one cares about the Spurs, they're boring as hell. Tony may as well tell the kids in the beginning of the video to eat their vitamins and drink their milk. Wack ass busta.

Overall, I must say this video is essential viewing for all hip-hop fans. If only to know that you should never buy a Fabolous album ever again.

Good Riddance

I'm a live and let live guy. I believe strongly in the fact that people can screw up and deserve a second chance. The Samaritan in me always wants to help those in need and the libertarian in me always says people should be allowed to do what they want outside of the confines of a professional setting. When I hear about a sports star being suspended games, like Kobe for his 47 inadvertent elbow drops to the face over the course of a season, or one being traded because he's brutally insane like Stephen Jackson, I try to see it from the perspective of the player. Honestly, who can blame Kobe for elbowing Jaric in the face? Have any of you ever seen Jaric play? He's been asking for it. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Or Stephen Jackson. I defy any of you to tell me you wouldn't shoot your pistol in the air outside of an Indiana nightclub if you were being threatened with a car. Live free or die, baby.

But for the life of me I cannot see why it took Kevin McHale so long to release Eddie Griffin from the Timberwolves. This guy has had problems with his coaches, his teammates, was a major substance abuser, violated the anti-drug policy of the NBA five times, and was virtually unwanted by any team in the league, making a trade impossible.

Take a brief look at his history and see why McHale dropped the ball on this one. In High School, Griffin was a standout, but a cafeteria fight with his teammate led to his expulsion from school (although Griffin received his diploma a month after graduation, his teammate did not). At Seton Hall, he physically and verbally accosted several of his teammates. In 2004, Griffin violated a court-ordered curfew put into effect following his aggravated assault charge against his girlfriend, where he was said to hit her and shot at her. But all of these things pale in comparison to the fact that Griffin once crashed his car while jerking and driving to porn in his car's TV console (I've always said those things are distracting).

This guy is more unstable than Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Chris Simon and Howard Hughes combined, and not half as talented. At least Ron Artest is a gifted defender, Stephen Jackson is a gifted scorer, Chris Simon is a quality hockey enforcer and Howard Hughes built airplanes. All Griffin can do is block a couple of shots and grab a couple of boards, and while he has the talent to be great, the devotion to the game is not there. He's not on the level of a T.O. to warrant the risk he brings to a team (or more importantly, a team's P.R. department). Still, Kevin McHale let him ride the pine all season with the hopes of cementing a trade at the cost of team tranquility.

In this situation, Griffin blew it. You can only turn so many cheeks before you realize that the guy you're giving the benefit of the doubt to is only looking for more faces to slap. Enjoy The Surreal Life or Dancing with the Stars or whatever shitty post-celebrity payday you're going to get nowadays, Griffin, because regardless of what you may think, you are not as good as the Artests, the Jacksons, the Bertuzzis, the Owens, the Strawberrys of the world, and you don't deserve another chance.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What I Do At Work

me: i cant believe i live in an age where the man whose wife founded the PMRC is called a rockstar
isnt that an argument for the apocalypse?

lizabeth.best: he's a messenger
although replace the white horse with a white hybrid

me: what would be better for the environment,the horse or the hybrid?

lizabeth.best: gotta go with the horse
you can ride it, plow with it, fertilize crops with its poo, eat it, hell, you can fuck it

can't get anymore efficient than that

me: obviously youve never made love to a tailpipe
ill carry those burns with me my whole life

lizabeth.best: love burns
they're alright, gotta go with horse love bites

me: those are some big f'n teeth

lizabeth.best: those scars don't heal

me: what about the kicking though?
car don't kick

lizabeth.best: it sure can hit

me: well,obviously fucking horses and fucking cars have their own unique advantages
perhaps one day science will tell us which is superior

lizabeth.best: grass is cheaper than gas!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Do The Hampton!

Do the Hampton!
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo

Bah-bah-bah, bah-bah, bah-bah, bah-BAHHHH!

Augh! My ribs!

(repeat in May)

Motherfuckin' Rangers

About two weeks ago, I decided I was through with the Rangers. They had lost to the Flyers and the Blue Jackets in the same week and almost lost to the Blues shortly after that. But like any true masochist, I kept paying attention. And things started looking a little up. They beat the Islanders twice in a row and managed to somehow grab hold of the 8th seed in the playoffs.

Then this weekend came and all hell broke loose.

The Rangers showed their ability to roll over and die with a Saturday afternoon overtime loss to the Penguins. Holding a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Rangers had three consecutive power plays without a shot. Just a 6 minutes of dawdling around on the right side of the ice, acting like the left side was hot lava or poison or that game Mutant League Hockey, where sometimes there was thin ice and you would fall through it, thus killing your player. What a great game. You could win by literally killing so many of your opponents that they forfeited.

But I'm off track. The Penguins predictably came back to tie in the third by running a real power play. This, along with my shitty internet feed caused me to immediately turn off the game and think about fucking Carl Pavano's fiancee. Then I turned it back on in overtime, only to see a tired, sluggish Rangers unit lose it right when I turned the game on. "Well," I thought, "we've got Carolina tomorrow, which can only mean the start of another long and frustrating slide." So I went to see Jena Malone again, felt awkward in hip city Brooklyn and then saw The Host. More on that later.

Then, on Sunday, something magical happened. The Rangers blew another lead and wasted a number of power play chances with their special brand of ineptitude and had to go to overtime against the Hurricanes. But they toughed it out and put it on the Swedish shoulders of King Henrik, who needed only to make two saves. Matt Cullen and Jaromir Jagr took care of the rest, giving the Rangers the win and the season series with Carolina (important for tiebreaking).

So when I woke up this morning, somehow, both the Knicks and Rangers were in the playoffs. Can we maybe end the season right now? No? Fine, fuck you. If you'll excuse me, I have to go separate 800 Jews into first and last name categories so that the Bronx BP can suck up to them. I think I'll think about Carl Pavano's fiancee while I do it.

Christ I hate Carl Pavano.

John Hollinger Returns

The door swung wide open, and chemically enhanced cold air hit me in the face. I pushed past the horde of suites and skirts, and grabbed a seat at the bar.

“The usual?”

“No Jim. This day calls for drastic measures.”

“No problem.”

A shot of bourbon immediately appeared in front me. I brought the glass to my face, studying it. Seeing if there were any sudden movements. Satisfied, I opened my mouth, threw it back, and slammed it back on the table.

What a shitty day. I didn’t even want to comprehend it. I just wanted to get as drunk as humanly possible in the next thirty minutes. I leaned back. “A Friend of the Devil’s” was playing over the jukebox. Another bourbon appeared. Life was turning around. I should have known then what was about to happen. It had been many months since he had appeared at my office. I had to change my entire life after that. Erase my entire identity. Move to another state. Become a vegetarian. Horrible things. But I had escaped. I was safe. Or so I thought, until I heard the door slam open, and the horrible noise that flew straight towards me.

“CHRIS ANDERSON!!!!!!!”

I turned. He was sweating. His eyes were bloodshot, and part of his face was peeling off. He stank, and was covered in dirt. Oh no! John Hollinger is back!

With his sweaty, swollen fingers, he shoved a cute blonde in power-black suite out of his way. His eyes locked directly on mine. For an eternity, we stared at each other. Suddenly, he fell to his knees. With his palms raised upwards, he screamed out, in the voice only those who have known betrayal would understand: “BIRDMAN!!!!!!!!”

The room stayed frozen for a few more moments. Open mouths littered the room. The stampede only started once Hollinger began to throw the chairs. I stayed stuck to the bar stool. I knew that I was the only one who could stop this madness. As the bartender ran past me, I made my move.

“Hey John. Haven’t seen you for a while. You must have followed me across the country. I don’t see why. Since the last time we spoke, you’ve only become more popular. You’ve basically become the authority on the basketball version of ‘moneyball’ stats. With that said, old Chris Anderson didn’t work out so well, huh?”

ANDERSON!!!!!”

“Yes, Anderson, aka, The Birdman. At the beginning of last year, you predicted Chris Anderson as having a better PER then the following: Carmelo Anthony, Rip Hamilton, Michael Redd, and Tony Parker. That didn’t quite work out as you had hoped, I would think.”

“ANDER……er DIOGU!!!”

“Oh, Diogu? That’s the new Anderson, right? Now, when the Golden State- Indiana trade happened, you wrote that it was a good trade for Indiana, based only your belief that Ike Diogu was clearly the best player in the trade! Now, that was based on what exactly? The fact that Diogu couldn’t stay on the floor for two previous coaches? That he was a disgrace defensively? That he was an undersized power forward who couldn’t guard a cucumber?”

“DIOGU! HIGH PER!!”

“Yes, I know. But have you ever considered that it’s because his coaches only play him when they think he can help the team? Maybe the reason he can’t stay on the floor is because they take him out as soon as the other team starts targeting him on defense?

“PER STAT ULTIMATE IN EVALUATING PLAYERS!”

“Well, it is a valuable stat, but you can’t make it the only way of evaluating players. Otherwise you would wind up with conclusions like Bill Russell is only the six best center of all time….wait, you did come to that conclusion, correct?”

“PER STATS INDCIATE SHAQ BEST CENTER!” A chair flew past my head. I flinched, but I realized the only way to Hollinger out of here was to continue.

“Well, that seems highly unlikely. Even if you think Wilt or Kareem was better then Russell, it’s impossible for me to think you could rate him as low as you did. He was and is only considered the greatest defensive big man, and he is the greatest winner in NBA history. As good as David Robinson was, he was no Bill Russell. C’mon Hollinger. You can’t simply evaluate players based solely on PER! That’s crazy! Basketball is too complicated to deduce it down to a single formula. Damn you!”

Hollinger started at me. He snarled, sweat poring down his chin. He gripped a chair, and I prepared for the worse. Suddenly, he let out a cry. “PER”, he softly murmured. Tears were streaming down his face. I looked at him, and reached my hand out. I was going to reach this monster, and bring him back to society.

“NO!!!! BIRDMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Hollinger slapped my hand out of the way, and leaped towards the window over looking the street. He crashed to the ground amidst the glass, and limped off towards the alley. I sighed, and looked at all the damage Hollinger had caused. One day, this man must be stopped.