Monday, July 28, 2014

Doubling Down on Highly Questionable Decisions

Two years is a long time. Long enough to bear 2.85 children, if a couple was hell-bent on breeding an army of rapacious parasites to conquer the oil fields of Bartertown, North Dakota. Long enough to serve a prison sentence for your second dope slanging offense, but you were innocent and could have proved it if your stupid lawyer had just put you on the stand like you wanted. Long enough for seven cycles of P90X and to prep for your consequent knee replacement surgeries.

Yes, it's been two years since the last post on Still Got Hope. I'd like to think we've all gotten a little wiser. Friends have become enemies, enemies have become friends. We still share a love for all things Gopher and will spit in the Devil's eye on the Last Day when he shows up wearing Wisconsin gear. So let's give this blog another try.

The rebirth of SGH is really the second of several highly questionable decisions I've made over the last week. First, was beginning to use my real name on the Twitter. I actually thought about quitting Twitter last month, but it turns out I'm better at quitting quitting than I am just quitting, so here we are. I figured if I was coming back, I was coming back in the full, resplendent glory of my birth name. If I get fired from my job for online shenanigans, well, I can always use the warm fuzzies of our more intimate digital friendship to pay my mortgage and feed my dog, right?

There are two more absurd decisions that are slated for the coming weeks. The first is some sort of SGH podcast/video session where TRE and I will pontificate on all things Gopher, discuss smoked meat and rap about more smoked meat if the Gophers lose, because those three-win seasons are still too close to my soul to talk about a bad season when there is sweet, blessed meat about which we can wax.

The last, most idiotic decision, is 100,000 Words of Gopher Football. I'm going to commit to writing 100k words between the week before the season starts and the week after the regular season ends. I've done a lot of research and I've discovered that's a lot of words. I'm allowing myself the luxury of using any and all tropes, allegories and anecdotes to meet my quota so, while it will all be about Gopher football, it may take some circuitous routes to get there. Oh, and if I don't do it, I'll donate $500 to one (1) charity chosen by my Twitter fam (qualifier: nothing related to Wisconsin or Iwoa athletics).

So, there we are. A series of highly, highly dubious decisions farted out for you all to enjoy. If TRE's and my follow through is anything like in the past, we'll all look back on this in two years, laughing at SGH's failure as I get out of jail for meth production, $500 poorer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glenn Frey was on Arsenio

Hard hitting "journalism" like this can also be seen on http://www.downwithgoldy.com/



Holy shit, was that a panther?  "The van beckons like no other van before."  So we're to believe there are guys out there that think that this van ROCKS harder than others?  If I'm going to buy a van I'm going to get one of those pseudo SUV-Vans like my brother bought.

Bourbon recommendation: Black Maple Hill Bourbon (14 year)

Tastes Like Freedom and Happiness
I received a bottle of this for Father's day in 2011 and also one for my birthday last May.  This is quality stuff...very smooth and can get you drunk.  Bourbonenthusiast.com says it has is "ribboned with sweet corn, charred oak, grainy spice and wood resin."  Wait a minute, wood resin?  Apparently taster guy tasted glue and LOVED it.  Weird.  Anyway, it's good and you should try it.

Hey did you know playing NBA basketball is just like Spiderman 3?  I did.  I knew because they show these commercials in the finals of dudes scoring baskets and then digitized spider man is swinging on his little webs through downtown. 

By the way there are 5 minutes left in game 4 here and if you haven't been watching this series, you're missing a good one.  It's anyone's game at this point and the Heat have a 2-1 lead in the series.  Lebron is 1 rebound away from a triple double and is dealing with cramping issues.

If you're thinking about being a Heat fan, something to consider is whether or not you like the song "The Heat is On".  You know the song.  You'll have to like it.  In fact, in big games you should probably be ready to sing along word for word...at least during home games.  Here's Arsenio introducing him:


The Heat take a close one to go up 3-1 in the finals.  Hopefully OKC have another game up their sleeves to add a little more excitement to this one.


A&E has a new show called "Barter Kings".  We may have jumped the auction, pawn shop, picker shark here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You're probably wondering to yourself "where's TRE's stupid Twins preview?".  I mean, I posted all of the other teams in the AL Central in a relatively timely manner, but nothing for the beloved home 9?

Well, it hurts too much to post you, you guys.  So much so that I'm completely ignoring it for now.  Here are my thoughts on the Twins:  Vegas had the over/under at about 73/74 wins and that's not far off.  They have no starting pitching. None.  Me, R.A. Dickey's Uncle and 3 middle schoolers could do this.  It's an embarrassment and sadly it's one that everyone should see coming.  Trading Liriano when he was worth half a crap was priority #1 during the Bill Smith era and he pooped it away.

Pujols just made another out again, btw. Now he's getting booed by the Angel's "faithful".  Ok, so the guy may have done some roids, but he's going to be fine.  He's always been able to hit no matter how much NOXPLODE he's had in his system.  He's pressing.  It happens.  He'll be awesome at the end of the year.  Count on it.

For those that tailgated for the Gopher spring football game, I salute you.  Man, I've been coming to the TCF spring game for year(s) and year and I've never seen it so packed with fans.  It was a beautiful thing.  I don't know how much I can say about the game because the enemy (WISCONSIN) may be watching, but my general take-aways are as follows:

- Coach Kill's position changes seem to be spot on.  A certain giant QB is now a TE and certain safety is now a LB for two.  These guys appear to know personnel I think.  And I'm a borderline expert on this shit.

- The beloved new frosh QB that has apparently taken the lead from the beloved old (ginger) frosh QB was outplayed by the old frosh (ginger) by a great deal.  That's not to say this wasn't a singular event. 

- There were several players including and especially James Manual that were MUCH bigger than before.  These guys deserve a lot of props and the strength and conditioning peeps deserve props as well.  I don't know their names...look them up.

- If you own a 2006 Chevy Silverado, there is pretty much no way to open a beer bottle with it.  Swan and I found a spot on the inside of our doors that would actually cleave the top right off of the bottle.  I thought it was sweet, but Swan worried about the amount of glass we were ingesting.  Probably valid.

- Props to a certain lucky potential WOMAN OF THE YEAR.  Pretty sure you cured a disease or something.  You know who you are.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AL Central Pre? View: Cleveland Indians

By this point in the season, you may already be done with baseball if you're a Twins fan.  My forthcoming preview which may have filled you with hope and excitement will now be like second floor refuse dumped on your head.  You might stumble upon this blog post and yell out, "For the love of Sweet Baby Jebus, why?" 

Gopher football spring practices have started and we could be talking football.  We can't describe about what happens during those practices though except maybe in the vaguest of terms or the golden gestapo may come for us.  So, we're stuck with baseball.  There's only 157 games left!



Honoring the proud heritage of Native Americans.
 Did you know the Indians finished in 2nd place in the AL Central?  (80-82)  In a poopy division, they were the second least poopy.  A number of their core players are on the young side too, so the future for Cleveland is not one of doom and gloom.  They have an outside chance of getting to their first winning season since 2007.

Key Additions: Derek Lowe SP, Casey Kotchman 1B, Jose Lopez 2B/3B, Kevin Slowey SP, Dan Wheeler RP, Aaron Cunningham OF

Key Subtractions: Austin Kearns OF, Jensen Lewis SP, Mitch Talbot SP


It must be spring because Grady Sizemore is having another surgery.  The roided up husk of Travis Hafner is still in the lineup though.  At this point in his career he's a replacement level player at best though.  It's funny how all of these steroid era guys start breaking down when they get into their 30s, isn't it?


Travis Hafner as a normal sized human.

If you've read this far, congrat!  I stopped half-way through this blog post and left it for a week because I was bored too.  The Twins whinefest is next, so stay tuned.

Lineup:

1. Michael Brantley CF
2. Jason Kipnis 2B
3. Shin-Shoo Choo RF
4. Carlos Santana C
5. Travis Hafner DH
6. Asdrubal Cabrera SS
7. Shelley Duncan LF
8. Casey Kotchman 1B
9. Jack Hannahan 3B

Rotation:

Justin Masterson
Ubaldo Jimenez
Derek Lowe
Josh Tomlin
Jeanmar Gomez

Close: Chris Perez

Friday, April 6, 2012

#RIPGT51

Tragic news. There's not much more to say. Thoughts go out to his family, friends and teammates. Thanks, GT.

Monday, April 2, 2012

AL Central Preview: Detroit Tigers (with special guest writer!)

Tiger fever is at an all-time high.  Since I'm friends with a Tiger Fan From the Internet; I thought I'd let him write the preview.  You can find him on twitter: @lombaowski.  I will interject with a few comments of my own as well.  And so it begins:



MIGGY!
2011 was a banner year for the Detroit Tigers, literally and figuratively. The team won their first division title since 1987 and Justin Verlander had a remarkable year as he established himself as the league's ace. When you are only six wins away from a World Championship and you add one of the league's five best hitters in the offseason, expectations are going to be high.



I'm baaaaa-ack!

Key Additions: Octavio Dotel, that Prince guy, Inge to be cut (hopefully) TRE note: Like the loving embrace of a pink Snuggie, the Tigers seem incapable of getting rid of Inge despite how disgusting he is.  Luckily for them, while hitting into a game ending doubleplay (no shtick) Inge hurt his groin (no shtick) and therefore may be stashed on the DL for later disappointments.

Key losses: Magglio Ordonez, VMART TRE note: ZUMAYA?????

Austin Jackson and Rick Porcello are the two key players for the Tigers in 2012 because we just don't know how they will respond given their recent pasts. Jackson will continue to lead off despite striking out a league leading 181 times last year while drawing just 56 walks. Jackson has worked in the offseason and is expected to have better plate disipline but many Tigers fans would like to see Boesch or Avila lead off because Miggy and Prince need max runners on base.

Do you know how old Rick Porcello is? Think about it and take a guess and then look down next to his name below. Pretty amazing for a guy who pitched in the Twins/Tigers tiebreak a few years ago isn't it? Porcello has great downward action on his two seam fastball and a superior sinker but he hasn't been able to harness what many young pitchers have trouble with: consistency. Porcello is not overpowering and is not a stikeout per inning guy but he is a guy who induces a ton of ground balls and weak fly balls. Where Porcello fails is when he gets behind in the count and hitters know to lay off the sinker, the 4 seam ends up doing him in. I like Porcello among all Tigers to overachieve in 2012, I think he finally establishes himself as a very reliable middle of the rotation guy who is dependable (always has been) in big games.

This team will hit but there is little speed and although Fielder is a power upgrade over VMart, he isn't a patience upgrade. (TRE note: Fielder had 107 walks in '11, V-Mart had 46.) Fielder is going to have to be patient because teams are going to be extra careful with Cabrera, then pretty careful with Prince depending on the situation. With steaky Delmon Young hitting behind him teams will probably put two on to face Young all year. My confidence in Young? Not much. (TRE note: Delmon might try this year because it's a contract year though.)

How bad will the fielding be with Miggy and Prince at the corners? that's probably the million dollar question but I think Miggy will mostly be fine at 3B. He has a well above average arm, soft hands and he is challenged at 3B which will probably keep him awake on non hangover days. His range won't be great but I think he'll be good for the most part, with some Mark Reynolds-esque type of games. Prince? Guy is an athlete but like Cabrera is challenged laterally.


"Ay dios mio Ay dios mio Ay dios mio Ay dios mio!"
The 5th starting spot will be fluid, with Smyly, Below, Turner and maybe Crosby getting their shots. But the rest of the staff should be wmong the best in the American League and although Verlander will likely not repeat his 2011 campaign, he's still a top five guy and Fister, Mad Max and Porcello should all win 12+ games.

The bullpen will be better overall with Dotel and Coke there full-time, but Valverde will not be 2011 Valverde and guys like Schlereth and Dotel will be leaned on heavily at times.



For just $40 you too can be a Max Scherzer lover.

Projected Lineup:

1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Brennan Boesch RF
3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Delmon Young LF
6. Jhonny Peralta SS
7. Alex Avila C
8. Andy Dirks and many others DH
9. Ryan Raburn/Roberto Santiago 2B

Projected Ro-Ro:

1. Justin Verlander
2. Doug Fister (TRE note: trade of Charlie Furbush for Doug Fister one of the greatest of all time.)
3. Max Scherzer
4. Rick Porcello (23)
5. Drew Smyly and Duane Below among others

Set-up: Daniel Schlereth and Joaquin Benoit

Closer: Jose Valverde

Projected finish: 90-72 1st in AL Central

Thursday, March 29, 2012

AL Central Preview: Kansas City Royales




Young, Strong, Pulp Fiction

We already had opening day, you guys.  I'm not sure if you knew since the games were at 5am and in Japan and involving terrible, terrible teams.  One third of the fans were wearing surgical masks and two thirds were wearing Ichiro jerseys.  I can't fathom getting up at 6:30am to work out, but I was up early for both of these mofos like my life depended on it.

The White Sox preview was done fully sober;  this one, not so much.  Let's see which is better.  BTW, I'm looking to get all of the AL Central complete by April 5th, which is the pseudo real opener. THE F'ING AMERICAN OPENER.


Key Adds:  Jonathan Sanchez SP, Jonathan Broxton RP, Yuniesky Betancourt MI


Key Losses:  Melky Cabrera OF, Jeff Francis SP, Jason Freaking Kendall C

Usually, I'd be mocking the team's ineptitude and mentioning how the best thing they have going for them is they're hosting the All-Star Game this year.  Instead, they're chock full of talent and on their way up in the AL Central.  Think '86 Twins or something.

They lost catcher Sal Perez this spring due to injury and made a move to bring in Humberto Quintero to catch.  This is a big downgrade, but the lineup still has a lot of upside.  They also lost Soria for the year.  A lot rides on whether Hosmer can keep trending up and whether Moustakas can avoid being Danny Valencia.  I think the first is likely but the second is unlikely.  Francoeur was actually quite good last year, but I have zero faith in that ocurring again.  Alex Gordon made a massive leap last year to the player they always though he could be.  Moving him to the lead-off spot is a gamble though. For a guy that's been used to batting in the middle of the lineup like a young Swan would, this is a big change. 

Oh Christ, what's with that come-over?

The Royales have some good, young starters and Luke Hochevar may be finally achieving some of the promise that was expected of him.  Danny Duffy is a talent as is Aaron Crow who is likely headed to the bullpen for now, but may move to the rotation.  With Soria being lost for the year, Greg Holland likely steps in ahead of Jon Broxton as closer.  Fat dudes get no love.

Hosmer looking ready to dominate.

I asked my esteemed internet friend, Dr. Detroit, for his comments on the Royales and here's what he had to say:

Jeff Francouer is now a five cat fantasy baseball stud. However, few know of the harrowing story of Francoeur's childhood when his brother Ned was caught sodomizing the family ferret. Jeff saved the ferret who ended up becoming the 34th governor of the great state of Alberta. To this day Francoeur credits the ferret for his prowess as baseball's pernnieal gold glove right fielder.

I dare you to tell me that's not 100% accurate.

Projected Lineup:

1. Alex Gordon LF
2. Chris Getz/Yuni 2B
3. Eric Hosmer 1B
4. Billy Butler DH
5. Mike Moustakas 3B
6. Jeff Francoeur RF
7. Lorenzo Cain CF
8. Humberto Quintero C
9. Alcides Escober SS


Projected Ro-Ro:

1. Luke Hochevar
2. Jonathan Sanchez
3. Bruce Chen
4. Felipe Paulino
5. Danny Duffy

Closer: Greg Holland/Aaron Crow/Zombie Soria