Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Insomnia in Warwickshire

One of the primary benefits of these bouts of insomnia in the silence of the Warwickshire countryside is that they allow me to listen via the internet to a plethera of baseball games in America that I'd have otherwise blissfully slept through.

In the instant moment for example, I've just finished listening to the Astros sweep the MLB-best Cardinals and vault themselves into the NLWC lead. Unpleasant giddiness from Astroland, I assure you. But to erase the ugliness from my mind, I've switched now to top of the 8th between the Texas Rangers and the Anaheim Angels in the battle for the AL West (and final playoff spot) where the Rangers have just taken a 6-5 lead and Angels manager Mike Soscia is arguing about an early take off from third on a sac fly that broke the tie.

Later, there will be the Giants, currently ahead of the Padres by a 2-0 margin in the 2nd inning and Oakland is at Seattle. Four games, within an hour, each of them with heavy playoff implications. This time of year is always when I think of Bob Costas' idiotic mewl against the wildcard in baseball. As it is, there are two of eight playoff spots left. Without the wildcard, we're only interested in the AL West in the last week of baseball. Well, that and Ichiro's chase. Now just three away from Sisler's ancient mark.

(Update: Rangers are leading 6-5 in the top of the 9th, with Erstad, Glaus and Guerrero to go to put themselves two games behind the Angels with four games remaining)

Sad to say, I've not bothered listening to the Mets and their triple A train in several weeks since none of them, save for a few undeserved upsets against the rapidly choking Cubs, have had any playoff implications. On the bright side, only a year too late, it appears they've finally hired Expos GM Omar Minaya. Of course, in typical Mets fashion, they haven't hired him to be their GM, they've hired him to be their "head of baseball operations" which means that the Mets now have one "official" GM in Jim Duquette, one "unnamed" GM in Jeff Wilpon and one "head of baseball operations but certainly not GM" in Minaya. Idiots. They'll need another six or seven GMs if they hope to avoid imminent disaster - the rumours are aswirl that for the second time in a row, they will be bridesmaids to Lou Piniella and will hire another LOOOOser in his stead - this time in the form of a manager with a CAREER LOSING RECORD, Jim Fregosi. Good luck to another crap series of seasons. One very damning stat in examining Fregosi's record: "In each of his four managerial stops, Fregosi left on good terms with the players." - Sounds like another recipe for disaster. If that (hiring Fregosi to manage the Mets) comes to pass, I'm going to seriously consider renouncing the Mets for something more helpful to my psychological well-being, like a lobotomy...

(Update, D'Oh! After two quick outs, Curtis Pride hits a triple to drive in Vladimir and tie the game, Francisco Cordero blows the save...6-6 going into the bottom of the 9th)

I've decided that if I'm forced to renounce the Mets for general incompetence and hostility towards success for signing a managing miscarriage like Fregosi to manage them into fourth place every season, then I'll probably have to root for a team that at least tries every year, despite the absurd odds pitted against them; yes, Les Expos.

Washington Johnsons?

Of course, I could never abandon my Mets for another band of pathetic yelpers, but it will certainly be an interesting story as baseball returns to Washington.

Although they couldn't possibly become the Washington Expos, I wouldn't think anyway that not even Selig is THAT stupid, I've not heard much about what they will be called. According to the Washington Times, a petition was circulated to name the team the "Washington Grays" in tribute to the Homestead Grays, a Negro League team that played in Washington in the 1930s and 1940s. "The Senators" seems rather stupid since despite their best efforts, DC has no representation in the Senate, not to mention the fact that it's already been done, to miserable reviews.

Perhaps they should be renamed the Youppies, in honour of the Expos Mascot Who Will Probably Bite The Dust. Youppi, in fact, was the first mascot to be thrown out of a Major league game. On Aug. 23, 1989 -- 10 years after the mascot arrived in Montreal -- the orange, hairy giant was ejected in the 11th inning after Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda complained to the umpires about Youppi danced atop of the visitors' dugout.

The official Sports Amnesia nomination for new team would be the Washington Johnsons, in honour of the greatest pitcher in Washington baseball history, Walter "Big Train" Johnson. Of course, "Johnson" is also slang for dick - and wouldn't it make a great mascot, a giant dick - apropos for a city of politicians like DC.

In any event, by waiting so long to make the announcement, baseball has another royal cock up on its hands. Realistically, the new ownership could not take over until after next season has already started which means budgetary constraints, personnel decisions, decisions about what to name the team, what their logo should be, who their GM and manager should be, etc. - will be decided by the consortium of baseball owners that have run Les Expos into the ground for the last several seasons. A very ominous beginning, despite the obvious joy there must be in DC.

(Update: more bad news for Rangers reliever Cordero - in the top of the 11th, he just surrendered a two run homer on to Green's Hill at the 404 foot mark in dead centre field to Troy Glaus, giving the stinkin' Angels an 8-6 lead. A loss by the Rangers will mathematically eliminate them)


I don't mind saying that of the several teams with hopes of making the postseason, the Angels and the Astros are the only two teams I definately don't want to see make it. The Cubbies, in the midst of their annual choking free fall, have now lost four of their last five games (against the Mets and Reds of all teams), to allow the Astros to move ahead of them by a half game with a game in hand in the NLWC race. The Astros are now tied with the SF Giants for the NLWC as the Giants face the Padres in SD - winning would put the Giants up by a half game)

(Update: The Rangers new season hits record holder, Michael Young with 211, made the final out against Angels reliever Troy Percival to seal the Rangers season in an 8-7 loss in the bottom of the 11th. Now the question is whether to switch to the Giants NL chase tied in the 7th against the Padres 3-3 OR to see whether or not the A's can keep pace with the Angels at Seattle - A's are currently leading the Mariners 2-1 in the 7th - switched to the Giants game - listened to it yesterday at 4 in the morning as the Padres were virtually eliminated from the NL postseason)

So, looking ahead at the knowns of the NL postseason, we've got the Cardinals, Atlanta and the LA Dodgers as likely or certain division champs and the Cubs, Astros, and Giants as possible wildcards - if the Cubs or Astros make the WC, the Cards would open against the Dodgers and the Braves, certain first round losers would face the Cubs or the Astros. If the Giants squeak in as WC, the Cards would face them in the first round and the Dodgers would face the Braves. Since the All Star break, the Cards are 1-5 against the Astros, 2-4 against the Giants and 4-2 against the Dodgers. The Cardinals would be best off rooting for the Astros or the Cubs to win the WC and set up an exciting NLCS against their NL Central rivals. The only sure thing is that whomever the Braves face will advance to the NLCS.

In the AL postseason, you've got the Yankees, Twins, Red Sox and either the Angels or the A's. Depending entirely on how the Twins fare the rest of the way (tied with the Angels for the best record after the Yankees), the Red Sox would face either the Twins or the Angels/A's. If the Angels win the AL West and finish with a better record than the Twins (likely, considering the Twins have lost six of eight since clinching its third straight AL Central title) - then the Red Sox would open against the Angels and the Yankees against the Twins. Of course, if the Twins suddenly wake up in their season ending series against the Toronto Blue Jays and earn the second best record in the AL, the Twins would face the Sox and the Yankees would face either the Angels or the A's.

The danger mouse is of course, the Angels. (update: The A's have now fallen behind the Mariners, 3-2 in the 8th) - since the All Star break, they've got a 2-5 record against the Red Sox, swept the Yankees at Yankee Stadium and were an indecisive 3-3 against the Twins. If like me, you're rooting for a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS, you'd be best rooting for the Angels (if they win the AL West) to have a better record than the Twins (meaning a Twins-Yankees, Angels-Red Sox opening pair of series).

Oh good god, it's mind-boggling! If this, then that. If that, then this.

Homeside Baseball Blogs

Props for the season to the following bloggers who have kept me updated on their home teams with wit and verve not normally associated with baseball reportage:

East Coast Agony (Mets & Red Sox)

"At long last, erstwhile Expos GM Omar Minaya has reportedly gnawed through the steel chains binding him to that sinking ship of a franchise and escaped in the nick of time. He washed up on the idyllic sandy shore of baseball unemployment, and found himself beset by two choices: he could wait for a passing ship to pick him up and return him to civilization, or he could agree to rule a host of ignorant cannibalistic savages who populated the island, used dollars for kindling, and traded their young for the aged and infirm of other tribes."

Uncouth Sloth (Cubs)

"I'll leave the thoughtful analysis to fellas like Cub Reporter. Today, I'm going to tell you what I think of the St. Louis Cardinals, who rolled over like coke whores last night for Houston.

It's bad enough that we still have to worry about shit stains like Jeff Kent and Roger Clemens. But if we had a REAL commissioner, who gave a rat's ass about things like competition and fair play, there would be an order for the goddamned puke-spewing Cardinals to play ball this week. There's no way the two teams should be allowed to conspire to keep us out of the playoffs. This isn't the motherfucking WWF..this is baseball, Porter, we play on a real diamond. Except for Rolen, they're all a disgrace to the game.

It starts with the crank-cooking pudwhack who shits out the lineup card. Sure, fucking LaRussa hates the obnoxious Dusty Baker. But isn't it the true test of just how much of a maxi-pad LaRussa is, when he comes out of it looking way more fucked up than Baker? You don't see Dusty getting all red, spitting, waving around like a raghead fertility dancer. LaRussa is a filthy-ass pig who dives in dumpsters behind proctologist's offices looking for something to eat, and spends his off days wiping his scabby, infected dick all over the curtains in fancy restaurants in St. Louis."

Three words, Anger Management, baby. But a great daily rant.

and since they were referenced above, yes, The Cub Reporter

Waiting For Boof:

"...At several points during the season, Giants fans wanted to tie Tomko in a mail sack and toss him into the Bay. Metaphorically, of course. Or perhaps lock him in a dark room, having someone in a Lou Seal costume shoot t-shirts at him from a t-shirt gun while repeatedly screaming, “IF YOU DON’T RETIRE, I AM GOING TO BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE! DO YOU HEAR ME?” Metaphorically, of course."

I sense a recurrant theme of anger and frustration in these pennant chases. Imagine that.

Against the Grain (Milwaukee Brewers, which in itself, is amazing - who'd have thunk there was a Brewer fan out there willing to write a daily blog who hadn't drown himself in misery and bad Midwestern beer already? Every time I think how much it sucks to watch the Idiot Explosion at Shea Stadium, I just remind myself gently, hey - at least you're not a Brewers fan!)

If you haven't seen the highlights from last night, I'm sure you will eventually. A fan at Dodger Stadium threw a bottle at Dodgers outfielder MILTON BRADLEY and then Bradley went back to be Milton Bradley...That is in essence a psychopath.

I understand that the fan is completely wrong for throwing a bottle at Bradley, but his reaction was inappropriate and absolutely insane. His team is in the final week of the regular season, that has them playing the second place Giants this weekend for what could very well determine the NL West Champion and now the Dodgers will be without one of their best players."

Others well worth visiting:

Petco Padres
El Lefty Malo (Giants)
Across the Seams (Giants)

Admittedly, I'm not much of an AL fan. My favourite team plays in the NL, the AL has a DH, which I've always hated (unless of course, it's existence allows the Mets to dump Mike Piazza on some AL team before next season) plus, I revile the two teams which are considered the best in the AL (Yankees and Red Sox), I abhor the Angels for reasons I've never been able to express other than the listless retelling of the word "Anaheim", AND, the only team I've ever been remotely interested in the AL, the Orioles, despite Peter Assholangelos, haven't fielded a competetive team in about a decade or so. About the only thing the AL has going for it is the hysterical hatred between the Yankees and the Red Sox which is simultaneously sickening and fascinating.

Elephants in Oakland - quality writing.

Mariner Musings -

(Update: Giants and Padres are still tied 3-3 in the top of the 10th and the A's have lost to the Mariners 4-2 giving the Angels the lead in the AL West and reaffirming the A's with the Cubs as probable choke co-champions of 2004, snatching away the title from the two-time reigning champion Seattle Mariners)

Cub Demise

"Not since the concrete fell has anything at Wrigley Field crumbled so hard and so fast.

A strike away from winning a very big game, the Cubs blew it, if I may borrow a couple of Dusty Baker's favorite words, big-time."

Mike Downey's analysis in the Trib today on The Crumbling Cubs

(More updates: As it nears 6:30 in the morning here in Warwickshire, the Padres have the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the 10th following two consecutive Giant errors and former Met reject Jay Payton at the plate...

Payton grounds to second base, force at home despite a terrible throw, bases loaded, one down. Mark Loretta coming to the plate.

Fly ball to right field. Ball is dropped, no, caught -- Giants RFer Dustin Mohr caught the ball and then fell down allowing the winning run to tag up and score, uncontested. Oh Misery are the Giants as well! Padres win in the bottom of the 10th.

Astros take the NL Wild card lead.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

I Am Not An Idiot
"I AM not an idiot, I am not abrasive, I am not running the day-to-day workings of the baseball operations, I "feel the pain" of Mets fans because I am passionate about winning and - most important - I am not going anywhere." - Jeff Wilpon, he who doth protest too much.

So goes the report of an extensive Jeff Wilpon interview with the NY Post. Joel Sherman notes:

"...when asked when Met fans could expect a winner, Jeff said, "I think in the next three years things will be turned around." That sounds like rebuilding from an organization that seven weeks ago traded a group of its best prospects, notably Scott Kazmir. Jeff insisted the pitchers obtained, Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano, will be part of the transformation back to the family goal of "sustained contending."

It's three years now? Isn't that setting the bar a little low? I don't know about the rest of Metsdom, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect us to wait three years for a winner when nothing the Mets Idiot Collective has done in the LAST three years has indicated we're gravitating towards winning anytime soon. In fact, if the last three seasons are any indication, you might as well guess three HUNDRED years.

But the one consistency of these last three seasons has been that the sole joy of Mets fans has been the final ejaculation of relief when local punching bags and scapegoats are finally jettisoned. Each season has had its poster boy for Met disgust and each season has seen the eventual elimination of that poster boy.

In 2002, it was arguably Rey Ordonez, the hitless, whimpering wonder who, after making a career high 19 errors, had the temerity to call Mets fans "stupid" for booing a team that was (little did we know) just beginning to set new standards of mediocrity in the 21st century. I saw "arguably" because there were a host of scapegoats like Fat Mo, Steve Phillips and/or Bobby V.

In 2003, it was a tag team of Steve Phillips and Armandogeddon which received the brunt of fan disgust. Phillips was finally fired in June as a human sacrifice to the frothing mouths of fan frustration but it wasn't until Armandogeddon was finally dumped on the Yankees that we were willing to accept the fate of losers for the season quietly.

And this season, who else but manager Art Howe, the manager no one but Fred Wilpon wanted managing the Mets and the manager whom the A's didn't even want managing for them after he'd blown a few postseasons almost singlehandedly for them.

We're already warming it up, it seems, on our targets for 2005 - The Wilpons - and deservedly so. Systematic incompetence will no go away with the wave of a magic wand and the annual sacrificial firing.

And we certainly aren't going to be satisfied with some three year plan that merely deflects attention away from the source of the current incompetence.

So far, two pitchers who I really question should be pitching for the Mets next season, have reaffirmed their tepid desire to pitch for the Mets next season. First, Al Leiter says he isn't sure he wants to be back and then says he does. Great. Where else are we going to find senior citizen lefty to pitch five innings an outing? Oh yeah, we've already got Tom Glavine.

Kris Benson, who faces his old team today in Pittsburgh, also says he might be interested in pitching for the Mets next season, IF, of course, they overpay him enough for a history of injuries and inconsistency and IF, of course, they ever decide on which sad sack they are bringing in to manage these aging clowns next season.


As it IS Sunday, after all and one can not help but harken those woebegone days of America yore when that meant NFL Football, please allow me the pleasure of introducing the single funniest NFL commentator I've had the pleasure of reading:

The Mighty MJD:

"And now the barking Browns fans have turned to what may be an even more annoying habit: stealing someone else's chant. They're singing, "Here we go, Brownies, Here we go! WOOF, WOOF!" Good, I'm glad they mixed in the barking, because while I hate them, I hadn't actually wished for any of them to get in car accidents on the way home. Now I have."

Read it and weep tears of laughter.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Bonds Joins Aaron and Ruth at 700

It's no secret that Sports Amnesia's runaway choice for NL MVP, Barry Bonds waited until he'd left the doldrums of Selig-land and Milwaukee to return home to hammer number 700 last night thereby not only making history, but leading his SF Giants to a 4-1 victory over San Diego in the process and keeping the Giants ahead of da Cubbies for the NL Wildcard chase.

It was his 42nd homer of the season which seems almost Herculean considering how often he is walked most games (207 times in 133 games). And still, as Dale Hoffman of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal pointed out yesterday, Bonds' 700th doesn't put him in Ruth's and Aaron's company, he's already been there:

"As home runs become more common, they seem to be getting less exciting and clearly less marketable. The ball that Mark McGwire hit for his 70th in 1998 fetched $3 million on the memorabilia market, while the one that Bonds crushed for his 73rd had a garage sale tag of $450,000 three years later. His 600th got pulled off the market when it couldn't draw a minimum bid of $50,000.

Maybe the collectors are getting thriftier, or maybe the public's paying closer attention to detail. It's not as if Bonds would have stepped into the company of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron by hitting his 700th here.

He has been with them since April, when he became only the third man to hit 661. Not that he seemed to notice."

Perhaps more importantly, it was also the Giants' sixth win in a row and while they still hold the WC lead over the Cubs, they are fast closing in on those damned Dodgers as well, now only 2 1/2 games out of first with several 6 more games still to play against those Dodgers, including the last series of the regular season.

In fact, Bonds will have to continue to be Herculean for the rest of the season because the Giants don't get any breaks the rest of the way. This Padres series is followed by a series against the Houston Astros, then the Dodgers, then the Padres again before closing out against the Dodgers again. Their destiny is, as they say, all in their own hands.


Lost in the excitement was the Yankees last inning loss to the Red Sox last night which dropped their lead to 2 1/2 games. Realistically, this series and the one to follow it next weekend, barring any major disasters or meltdowns, is probably not all that important in the scheme of things. Even if the Red Sox overtake the Yankees, there is slim to no chance that someone like the Angels will catch up to them and snatch the wildcard spot. The Red Sox can take all the revenge they want in the regular season and it won't mean anything if they can't do it again in the postseason when it counts.

That said, it is perhaps somewhat ominous to note that Mariano Rivera's meltdown last night was not his first against the Red Sox this season. Two months ago, in their last meeting, he blew a save against the Sox on a Bill Mueller homerun in the bottom of the 9th. So in his last two outings against their biggest rivals, Mariano hasn't lived up to his name. It is something certain to be pondering in great outpourings of hysteria and concern by Yankees fans in the weeks to come. Over the last three years, Mariano has had 17 save chances against the Red Sox and has missed five of them. In fact, over that same period of time, the Red Sox are Mariano's biggest nemesis of all the AL teams with a chance to face the Yankees in the playoffs.

Against Boston, he sports a less-than-glittering ERA of 3.34 since 2001. Comparatively, he's not allowed an earned run by the Twins in those same three years, he has a 2.08 ERA against the A's and a 2.84 ERA against the Angels.

Of course, only five teams have scored on him all season and of those five, only the Angels and the Red Sox are teams with any prayer of the postseason.

Mariano doesn't seemed too concerned though. "They beat me tonight," Rivera said. "But I will be back."

Indeed he will but the aura and fear factor is swiftly dwindling.

Besides the race for the AL East and the AL Wildcard, this series is also showcasing what is arguably, the two strongest AL MVP candidates in Gary Sheffield and Manny Ramirez. Oddly, both of them seem more recognisable by their respective histories of controversies than they do by their output, but these are the two best players on the two best teams (statistically anyway) in the American League. Their numbers on the season are tightly similar,(Sheff .298-34-113-.402 OBP,-.547 Slugging and Manny .311-41-118-.402-.623) so if we're boiling the water into steam to find who is more valuable of the two, you might have a look at how each performed against their other half thus far this season:

Sheffield is hitting .240 with two homers and 10 rbis in 50 at bats against the Red Sox. For the season, Sheff is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position.

Manny is hitting .281 with six homers and 12 rbis in 57 at bats against the Yankees. For the season, Manny is hitting .326 with runners in scoring position.

Last night, Manny went 0-2 with 2 walks while Sheffield had a hit and a walk in 4 trips to the plate. At this pace, Manny should get the nod over Sheff but if the Yankees were to win the AL East and the Red Sox fail to make the playoffs, well, there would go all of Manny's votes in the rubbish bin.

Something worth keeping an eye on. That, and the fact that A-Rod, the coup of the offseason for the Yankees, is still hitting a pathetic .238 with runners in scoring position this season and Jeter is hitting only .286 with runners in scoring position.

And then of course, the forgotten MVP, David Ortiz, whose stats for the season are frighteningly similar to Ramirez's (.298-37-125), against the Yankees, is hitting .340 with a pair of homers and and 7 rbis in 53 at-bats and hits .331 with runners in scoring position. Not to mention a fat .370 average at Yankee Stadium as the enemy this season.

Oh the choices! Oh the excitement! At this rate, the fans in both cities may suffer a collective aneurysm before the postseason even begins. To pass the time before the first pitch of the next game in about 5 hours, have a glance through the Yanksfan-Soxfan Stretch Drive Quiz.

And amid all the hullaballoo, I stand back and think about how lucky I am to be a Mets fan. Look how calm, cool and collected I can be, counting down the days to the end of the Art Howe Era. No pennant race jitters. No agonising games to die little deaths over, inning by inning. No post season fears. No worries about anything but the latest trend in Mike Piazza's facial hair and whether or not the Expos, a mere two and a half games behind the Mets for second-to-last place, (oh irony! the same number of games that separate the Yankees and Sox!) can claw their way out of the basement and kick the Mets down there, down in to that Saddam-like spider hole of futility and mediocrity, the Mets home away from home, the NL East cellar.


Since today is Saturday, that means college football, none of which, unfortunately, I can watch over here. However, I can see images and this one of 20th ranked Fresno State head coach Pat Hill leads me to question if he looks more like Satan or just another HILLbilly.

The idiocy that is the BCS does not sweat the Fresno States of the world, nor should they. The more silent Coach Hill is kept, the better, as far as I'm concerned, so I'll be rooting for Division 1-AA Portland State to end this absurdist gobbing before it has a chance to take root by knocking off Fresno State tonight. I mean, who is kidding who here? Fresno State? For the NCAA beach volleyball championship, maybe. For the NCAA frisbee football championship, sure, why not. But the BCS will not come calling.

Three games of note this weekend:

LSU (2-0) at Auburn (2-0).
Maryland (2-0) at West Virginia (2-0)
Florida (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0).

All six teams are ranked in the top 25 in the country and all three games will have a significant bearing who is getting knocked out of consideration by the third week of the season. Sports Amnesia's betting pool has Auburn, Maryland and Tennessee winning and carrying their seasons further.



Imagine my shock and awe and horror at reading the NY Post this morning and finding out that the Mets Idiot Collective already have placed Jim Fregosi near the top of their wish list.

Jim Fuckin Fregosi for crissakes! The corpse of failure that was Art Howe's managerial stint with the Mets hasn't even finished decomposing yet and already, they are confounding the Laws of Extreme Stupidity and Failure To Learn From Past Mistakes by even DARING to consider a lifetime loser like Jim Fregosi.

Jim Fregosi, let's make this loud and clear so even the addled brained twats in the Mets front office can hear us: HAS A LIFETIME LOSING RECORD AS A MANAGER!!!!

That's LOSING RECORD as in, 1028 wins and 1095 LOSSES or what is otherwise known as a sub-.500 winning percentage, generally recognised in most circles, as being a LOSING RECORD.

Why would the Mets replace a manager with a losing record with another manager with a losing record?

Consistency is my guess. Keep expectations low. Then if they make another miraculous run near .500 next season and manage to spend more than a day or two out of last place, we can all get all goose pimply again about the illusion that the Mets will ever be anything but losers whilst the Wilpons destroy the team with their crass stupidity and appalling lack of baseball acumen.

There are only two legitimate names to be bandied about when mentioning the replacement for Art Howe. Lou Piniella or Wally Backman.

If the Mets hire Jim Fregosi to run the ship into another two season long iceberg, I'm renouncing my support for good and jumping ship to the Washington Expos (or whatever the hell they'll end up being called).


Last note: The View From the Bleachers has moved. Click on the magical name and you will find it. So when you're looking for insight on the next Cubby Collapse, look no further than here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Why Not Randy For Cy?

Last night, the bottom feeding Arizona Diamondback's best pitcher, Randy Johnson, won his second consecutive outing and surpassed the last great pitcher to pitch for a crap team, Steve Carlton, in all time strikeouts, with 4137.

In and of itself, this isn't sufficient merit for consideration for the Cy Young, but if you look at all the key stats in the NL outside of wins, something that Randy Johnson can do little of without any run support, you see that Randy Johnson is either leading or within the top two in every category.

And let's not forget: Randy Johnson pitched a perfect game this season.

There's nobody out there with huge victory numbers this season.


1. R Johnson ARI 223.2
2. L Hernandez MON 223.0
3. R Oswalt HOU 210.1


1. R Johnson ARI 2.74
2. C Zambrano CHC 2.80
3. B Sheets MIL 2.83

Batting Average Against

1. R Johnson ARI .190
2. J Schmidt SF .202
3. O Perez PIT .209


1. O Perez PIT 11.08
2. R Johnson ARI 10.78
3. J Schmidt SF 10.18


1. R Johnson ARI 6.12
2. D Wells SD 4.50
3. G Maddux CHC 4.72


1. R Johnson ARI 268
2. B Sheets MIL 228
3. J Schmidt SF 224

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A Staggering Night of Nearly Nothingness
Barry Bonds failed to collect a hit in his bid to join the 700-homer club, but he did score a run to help the San Francisco Giants edge the host Milwaukee and keep grip on NL WC

The hobgoblins continue to circle the rotting corpse of Art Howe's managerial stint with the Mets as documented on a rolling basis by FIRE ART HOWE ALREADY!. Once the firing squad has finished their dirty work, I'm thinking of renaming the site Please Sell the Team Mr Wilpon!. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks the Mets Idiot Collective is ruining baseball for Queens.

Joel Sherman of the NYPost thinks it's time for the management to Ownup to Failure.

"Of course, Howe has to go, but that is merely a symptom of the problem. Jeff Wilpon refused any comment, and Fred Wilpon would not discuss Howe's status. But when asked if the mess that is the Mets ultimately fell to him, Fred responded, "It certainly would reflect on any CEO, and I'm the CEO." Then Wilpon disputed the Mets are a mess during much of a 20-minute interview, and sounded as if a small change like Bowa is in the offing, but not the substantial philosophical shifts that so clearly must be made."

Of course, part of the idiot savant genius that is the Mets Idiot Collective involved themselves in the trade of one of the Mets' brightest young pitching prospects for a man with a broken arm in Tampa Bay. Now, former untouchable/untradeable Met, Scott Kazmir continues to humiliate his former bosses by pitching in the Major Leagues when they said he wasnt' ready. Last night, Kazmir shut down Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox just in case there were any doubts about his potential, whiffing nine over six shutout innings.


Meanwhile back in Chicago, the Florida Marlins continue to entertain Chicago fans with their "home" victories at the White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field, allowing the poor bastids to see some winning baseball for a change. Jay Mariotti thinks Chicago finally has a home team we can root for.

"With no apologies whatsoever to the Cubs, I am rooting for the competition. That's how warmed I am by the saga of the Florida Marlins, Chicago's house guests, who've been burdened by a real-life ordeal yet are handling it with all the stress of frat guys on a panty raid. All you need to know is that the Fish have won 12 of 15 games while three hurricanes -- Charley, Frances and Ivan -- have paralyzed their state."


Lastly, in a seemingly never-ending provocation against baseball fans, Sports Amnesia has been cheating by spending the first half of the night watching Chelsea poach PSG by a 3-0 margin on the road, hopefully sealing their advance into the next round of the Champions League.

Unfortunately, PSV Eindhoven were unsuccessful in their bid to oust Arseholenol away and will have to go back to Eindhoven to eind it all.

But all hope is not yet lost for the Dutch teams as Ajax face Juventus tonight at Ajax Arena.

Let's root for Liverpool over Monaco at home and that Man U fail miserably at Lyon. In fact, quite possibly the only side Sports Amnesia are rooting stronger against than Arseholenol would be the Man U side, so allyons Lyon!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Nano Information

Due to a crawling travel through Yorkshire, Northumbria and Scotland, Sports Amnesia missed all the excitement of the weekend of sports in America although did manage to catch a snatch or two of the EPL matches. However, pacing through what was missed, here are some of the stories, helter skelter tidbits both with and without comment and or merit:

Carlos Beltran - nears the 40-40 club to join Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez (what a divergent bunch) -- currently, he's stuck at 38 homers and 36 stolen bases - his last stolen base was August 30th -- legs might be getting a bit fatigued but he's still hitting .317 in September with a pair of homers and 4 ribbies, even though the Astros have done a

Cubs-Marlins - leaving Warwickshire on Friday, this was the most anticipated series of the weekend as hurricane detritus, last season's amazing Cubbie flop and a slew of games in a short span all combined to make what would be, according to the Sports Amnesia offices, the series of the weekend and the season. Meanwhile the Astros, who'd temporarily taken the wildcard slot, lost three of five to spin out of control. As for the Cubs-Marlins series, Wood was slammed in Game 1, Prior won Game 2, Cubs took Game 3 by scoring 5 in the last two innings off the Marlins bullpen and Game 4 was an 11-1 pasting by the Marlins to even those four matches out at two apiece. interesting to note that The Sammy is hitting .211 during this September push. If there were ever a least valuable player out there, Sammy just might be the poster child.

NL Wildcard - Meanwhile, the sneaky San Fransisco Giants by winning only 6 of 10, have managed to push their way, like the head of a cesarean baby, into the top spot of the NL Wildcard, a half game ahead of the Cubs and three games ahead in games played - that is: the Giants have played 144 and the Cubs have played 141. The Astros are still only one back (144 games played) and the Marlins, after after winning a home game in an AL park, are two games back having played only 140 games). You can say what you want about the Padres, only two and a half behind after 143 games, but this is a four team race that no one seems truly willing to grap hold of. Oh yeah, in sharp contrast to the Sammy, The Barry seems to be bringing it on for the playoff push. In September, Bonds is hitting .458 with 3 homers and 6 ribbies in 10 games with a .958 slugging percentage. Ding-a-Ling! Any clowns out there still want to make a case for anybody but Barry for the NL MVP?

The Marlins next four games are against Montreal, in Chicago. The Cubs have two against the Pirates and one against the Reds, the Astros have three at home against the Cardinals and the Giants play three in Milwaukee.

Fighting Irish Fans can breath a temporary sigh of relief. After being humiliated by the Mormons at BYU in an opening season loss, the Irish faced the "mighty" Michigan Wolverines in a match which all who winge'd thought would be the end of poor Coach Tyrone Willingham. Aye, not to be. Instead, as hoped, the Irish prevailed over Michigan to save their season, in a 28-20 must-win victory at South Bend to even their record at 1-1. Perhaps a bigger story still was emergence of freshman tailback Darius Walker, who rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the winning effort.


Sports Amnesia College Football Poll

1. Oklahoma (2-0) defeated Houston, 63-13 to remain at one.
2. Florida State (0-1) lost to Miami, 16-10
3. UVA (2-0) defeated North Carolina, 56-24.
4. USC (2-0) defeated Colorado State, 49-0.
5. Georgia (2-0) beat South Carolina, 20-16.
6. California (1-0) game postponed due to Hurricane Ivan.
7. Michigan (1-1) to our great relief, lost to Notre Dame, 20-16.
8. Texas (2-0) defeated Arkansas 22-20.
9. Miami (1-0) defeated #2 Florida State 16-10.
10. Purdue (2-0) defeated Ball State 59-7.
10. Minnesota (2-0) defeated Illinois State 37-21.

New standings:

1. Oklahoma (2-0)
2. UVA (2-0)
3. USC (2-0)
4. Georgia (2-0)
5. Miami (1-0)
6. California (1-0)
7. Texas (2-0)
8. Purdue (2-0)
9. Minnesota (2-0)
10.Florida State (0-1)

Monday, September 06, 2004

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. --George Orwell, from Animal Farm

Sunday, September 05, 2004

First Annual Sports Amnesia College Football Top Ten Poll

In the spirit of uselessness and random arbitration of team talent, Sports Amnesia hereby unleashes its first NCAA Football Top Ten Poll of the season.

1. Oklahoma (1-0) defeated Bowling Green 40-24
2. Florida State (0-0) washed out by hurricane (not a good sign against Miami)
3. UVA (1-0) defeated Temple 44-14
4. USC (1-0) defeated VA Tech 24-13
5. Georgia (1-0) defeated GA Southern 48-28
6. California (1-0) defeated Air Force 56-14
7. Michigan (1-0) defeated Miami OH 41-10
8. Texas (1-0) defeated North Texas 65-0
9. Miami (0-0) washed out by Hurricane (fitting for the Hurricanes)
10. Purdue (1-0) defeated Syracuse 51-0
10. Minnesota (1-0) defeated Toledo 63-21

Rules are: you don't go down if you don't lose. If everyone stays undefeated, everyone keeps their place. Their is no such thing as an unimpressive victory, just as their is no such thing as an impressive loss - the both count for one digit in the win or loss column and comparing apples and oranges and team schedule strength, etc., is a load of rubbish that Sports Amnesia will not consider in its poll.


Now that the massive idiot Kevin Brown has broken his left hand, it leads you to think perhaps the Yankees are better off without him in the postseason. After all, if you look at the following numbers from July to the present, you get the following:

1. Kevin Brown 3-3, 7GS, 45.6 IP, 42H, 18ER, 15BB, 32K 3.55 ERA
2. El Duque 6-0, 10 GS, 58.1 IP, 48H, 17ER, 25BB, 62K, 2.62 ERA
3. J Lieber 5-3, 11 GS, 74 IP, 83H, 32ER, 12BB, 47K, 3.89 ERA

El Duque is flat out pitching better than Kevin Brown and Lieber eats more innings just as effectively, giving the bullpen a break. Either is more valuable to the Yankees rotation than Kevin Brown.


Sidney Ponson of the Orioles, 0-6 with a 6.46 ERA in June that dropped him to 3-11 on the season.
Sidney Ponson of the Orioles, 6-2 since, with 10 GS, 66.2 IP, 77 H, 35 ER, 23 BB, 43K - now a pitcher rather than a power pitcher. If he'd have been this consistent all season, the O's might have had themselves a slightly more interesting season.


I'm rooting for the Mets' losing streak to keep working wonders for the Anti-Art movement. The way I see it, the more humiliated the Mets are, the more likely the Idiot Collective is to disregard whatever $5 million payout for Howe, fire him, and then, well, we'll have to see, perhaps hire the RIGHT manager this time.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Redefining The Parameters of Mediocrity
"Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless." - Thomas Edison

It's clear that Thomas Edison never had the pleasure of rooting for the New York Mets.