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.


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


Justin Masterson
Ubaldo Jimenez
Derek Lowe
Josh Tomlin
Jeanmar Gomez

Close: Chris Perez

Friday, April 6, 2012


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:

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

AL Central Preview: Chicago White Sox

New Manager, No Buehrle Bear

It's always good times when your GM calls your upcoming season a "rebuilding year", which is what White Sox GM Kenny Williams has said.  Coming into 2012, the White Sox are a bit of a team without an identity as they lose gibberish-quote-a-minute manager Ozzie Guillen and replace him with former White Sox third baseman, Robin Ventura.  We all probably remember the ill-fated charging of Nolan Ryan, but at least one Sox fan believes it shows Robin's toughness.

Key Additions: Kosuke Fukudome OF, Dan Johnson 1B

Key Subtractions: Mark Buehrle SP, Carlos Quentin OF, Juan Pierre OF, Sergio Santos RP, Jason Frasor RP, Ramon Castro C

Buerhle looking svelte
 In 2011 the White Sox ended up 3rd in the AL Central with 79 wins.  They've since blown up their team: Buerhle, closer Sergio Santos, lead off man Juan Pierre and slugger Carlos Quentin are all gone. 
Mark Buehrle left by signing a 4 year, $58MM contract with the Miami Marlins.  This is a crapload of CASH for an old, soft-tossing, lefty.  Being that he's left-handed and doesn't throw hard, he's officially crafty though; so he's got that going for him.  Buehrle's 161 wins with the Sox is the 6th most in franchise history.  Santos was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league pitcher Nestor Molina after saving 30 games in his first year as a closer for the White Sox.  Pierre led off for the White Sox for the last two seasons, stealing a whopping 68 bases in 2010, but his best years are behind him and he's looking at a bench role in Philadelphia.  Carlos Quentin hit 20+ homers for all four of his years with the White Sox, but has never been able to match the output of his first full season where he finished 5th in MVP voting.  Quentin was traded to the Padres for two AAA starting pitchers.

The additions aren't much to speak of as the White Sox look to give some of their young players a shot.  Kosuke Fukudome spent 4 years with the Cubs and displayed some on base ability but little pop and not much speed.  He'll likely be the 4th outfielder for the ChiSox.  Dan Johnson was invited to spring camp as well, but he's only worth mentioning for his epic pinch-hit homerun last year that helped oust the Red Sox from the playoffs and that he went to Blaine High School.  He's probably ticketed for the a bench role or the minors.  Here's a pretty hot reporter recapping that night:

2012 Outlook

The pitching looks solid with some veteran starters that can be successful and prospect lefty Chris Sale in the 5 spot.  There are no Cy Young threats here, but they're definitely better than what our beloved Twins are throwing out there.  The bullpen also has some talent with veterans Crain and Thornton and 23 year old flamethrower Addison Reed on the back end. 

The lineup is full of question marks.  De Aza had a great 150 at bats for the Sox last year, but I'm not sure he gets anywhere near .300 over a full season.  Ramirez and Konerko are solid pros and Dunn and Rios and Beckham are all looking to rebound.  Dunn had an all-time terrible 2010 and was paid a boatload to flounder like I do on the golf course.  Viciedo is a young Cuban with 20+ homerun power and Morel showed signs of life late in the year; so they both have upside.  I assume Cubans Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez smoke cigars and listen to awesome music in the clubhouse post-game.

We'll always love you, Ozzie
 2012 Projected Lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
3. Paul Konerko, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, DH
5. Dayan Viciedo, LF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. AJ Pierzynski, C
8. Brent Morel, 3B
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

2012 Projected Rotation

1. Gavin Floyd RHP
2. John Danks, LHP
3. Jake Peavy, RHP
4. Phillip Humber, RHP
5. Chris Sale, LHP

Closer: Matt Thornton/Jesse Crain

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dunjpost 3 - Gopher Hockey Edition


I was flipping back and forth between watching Michigan and Duke shit in their mess kit and the Gophers crushing Susan. I reveled in the apocalyptic misery of the pretentious fucks from the marquee programs as they ended, then turned all of my attention to watching the rodents finish off [name redacted].

Then the dumpster fire of all dumpster fires started. At the start of the third period, it was 3-1. The Gophers were outshooting Dakota by orders of magnitude. Sue fans were hoping for the opportunity to shit on all of the Gopher fans. Then, Goal. Goal. Goal. Goal. Goal. All for the gnome worshipers to the north. We curl up in the fetal position with nary a whisper. Bang, we lose 6-3.

This shit is going to happen sometimes, I get that. But it consistently happens here to all of our major sports. Mason, Monson, Tubbi, now Lucia. It's one thing to fold up against a superior opponent, which is likely the case with the hapless basketball team this year; it's quite another to do so against an inferior team who who was on the ropes for the better part of 50 minutes. To say nothing of the fact that it was our biggest hockey rival. Glen Mason would have given the Miyagi nod to the performance tonight. As MV from FBT suggested, it hearkened back to 'The Punt' from the 2005 Wisconsin game. Let's celebrate that shit.

Fuck everything. I should have gone to a different school. Or been born in a different country.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dunjpost 2 - 187 Days 'til UNLV


Wasted. Love you all. Don't give an eff if you love me or not, because I'm druuuuuuuuuuuunk!

Anyway, let's talk about Gopher hoop. What an effing shitshow. I had a big work event on Thursday and was nervous as eff on Wednesday night. When I got home from work before the game I thought, "Well, Frothy, you should have eight bourbons and a Xanax or 12 to calm yourself down. Plus you can watch the Gopher hoop game." Well, I did that. I was expecting a loss and then those filthy effs gave me hope. I knew it would end poorly, but I poured the hope down as easy as the 45-proof evilness was flowing. Sure enough, that clownshoe proved all the naysayers 100% right: OTS is a fucking shitshow of a coach. Oh, you're winning with four minutes left? What if I told you you had approximately zero meaningful shots for the remainder of the game? What if I told you your offense would be comprised of throwing the ball to the dudes in green jerseys and shitting out of your mouth? Exactly, it would probably mean you were pissing down your leg and being a giant effing vagrocket.

There's simply no excuse for what happened on Wednesday night. It shat all over my attempted relaxing evening and spat bloody sputum over Gopherdom. You're playing the #6 team in the country? Then either play them like men or die fast. The Gophers did neither. For 33 minutes, they looked like the superior team. The Gophers played great defense, hit the shots they should make, and were opportunistic with additional scoring chances (particularly the times they were fouled beyond the three-point line). For the last seven, they looked like lambs waiting for the screwgun. That's on Tubbi. Sure, the team is young, but it's Tubbi's team. No one but Tubbi recruited the guards who passed the ball directly to the dudes in green. No one but Tubbi recruited the forwards who won the rebounding battle but failed during winning time. No one but Tubbi recruited the sad sack that is Ralph Sampson the Third, whose principal contribution this season has been his sulky face on the bench. Male models, beware; RS3.0 is setting a new standard.

Tubbi can't be fired after this season because the Gophers have no AD. Those who suggest the U will make a move after this season are unaware of the facts. The new AD will have a difficult and immediate decision to make: fire Tubbi or extend his contract for a few years? It's tough to fire a coach of Tubbi's pedigree, but it's tough to retain a man who has won less than 40% of his B1G games. Fortunately, I stay too drunk to really care. I'll be here even if Diamond Dave is the coach, you guys.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One Knob's Live Observations During Badger/Gopher Hoops

Let's get right to it.

Wisconsin hits their first two threes.  Gopher perimeter defense shining as per the norm.  Announcer-guy mentions Jared Berggren is from MN...we didn't need him.

Ralph Sampson misses his sky-scrape 15 footer.  Hate him. 

14:28 - Tubby Brings in a new 5, the other 5 blows. 13-8, Honey-free Badgers.

12:30 - The Barn is making noise...spirits not yet crushed.  My 2 year old is eating all of my wasabi soy almonds.  What a jerk.

Welch for 3, 10-1 run!  16-14 Gophers!  Taylor answers with a 3, wah wah.  90% of the time the team that hits more threes will beat the other team at least 50% of the time.

Announcer uses "frenetic pace"...weird.  We are on pace for the over I guess. (Sorry Dr. Detroit)

Sampson at the top of the key where he does the most damage...he throws a hi-low rocket pass under the basket to no one out-of-bounds. 17-16 7:44 left in the first half.

Gophers going with a trap/everyone guard one dude defense: 19-16

Sampson blocked by two Sconnies, but somehow earns the foul call. After he hits both free throws it's 22-18, WI.


ESPN's scroll says that Nick Diaz loves the Mary Jane so much that he tested positive before his last fight against Carlos Condit.

6-8 from 3 for Wisconsin.  #headshot

2:33 in the half with Wisconsin up 5.  Gophers need to keep this to 5 or less; NO MORE 3s!

Another 3 for Taylor...he has 4 and it's an 8 point lead.

Going to need to magically put the kid to bed during half-time.  Think pit crew...then think bourbon.

Flat top Evans with an easy put-back 32-24.

Sick flat top, bro.
Final possession of the half goes to the Gophers.  Tubby calls for the ol' Chip-Armelin-dribble-in-place-until-5-secs-left-then-heave-a-rainbow-17-footer-that-barely-scrapes-the front-of-the-rim play.  At the half 32-24, stinkholes.

Ok, I was late coming back and I'm too lazy to rewind.  Gophers are down 11 with 14:00+.  Eliason makes a nice basket inside but misses the and-1 free throw.  42-33, team that steals Minnesota guys since their in-state players blow.

12:22 left 45-33, Taylor has 20 of the 45 points.  Sheesh.

Gophers look dead already...a few silly turnovers of late.  Of course, we've all been here before.  What will happen is the Gophers will go on a run and make you think they might make it a game, then they'll abruptly fold up like a pup tent.  Let's watch it happen!

Nice drive by Rodney Williams and he makes the tough layup and earns the foul on Berggren.  The free-throw cuts it to 9 despite ESPN actually giving the point to Wisconsin on the on-screen graphic.  Rodney has 12 on 5-9 shooting.  The bourbon tastes wonderful, I hope to sweet baby jesus my kid stays asleep all night. (CPS>hi!)

oo oo <--wheels                            wagon--> |___|   49-36

DRE Hollins with a nice 3 with the Gophs running the "chicken with it's head cut off" offense.  Down 10 and 8:26 remains. Gophers get a stop, Welch gets a lay-in and the Gophers close to 8!

7:41 Ever notice Jordan Taylor laughs at everything like he's playing the entire game on E?  Yeah, me neither.

Your hands feel AMAZING on my body!
Chicken with it's head cut off is no longer working.  6:33 left 51-42.  Berggren totally travels in the lane, but the refs miss it.  The crowd goes nutso, so a ref calls 3 seconds in the lane.  #makeup  Sadly, the Gophers do not take advantage.

5:00 left and Williams gets a layup to cut it to 7.  Crowd is boisterous. #soulcrushcoming  Announcer says Rodney should work on his jumper in the off-season, but then never use it during the season?  Stick with what you have and don't use the skills you've improved I guess?  DRE cuts it to 5 after a charge call on Happy Taylor.

3:34 left, 51-46 Badgers.  Bo Ryan's lip curls into a sneer and his horn scabs throb on his forehead as he calls timeout.  Out of the timeout the Badgers run some clock and let Taylor work one on one.  He nearly turns it over and there's a jump ball; unfortunately the ball goes back to Iowa Northeast. 

I never thought the Rock was a serious actor, but what's with all of the kiddie movies?  This latest one might be worse than the one wear he wears a tu-tu.

Take me seriously!
3:00 and Gopher ball after a long, contested miss for the Badgers.  CWiHCO offense in play again and Hollins hits another miracle 3 from the top of the key.  Gophers down 2! #pleasenosoulcrush

2:00 left and Taylor rises up for a contested 3 which is partially blocked.  Eliason has a chance to save, but throws it to Bo Ryan.  WE'RE PLAYING DEFENSE!  Another contested shot on Taylor.  Rebound is tipped out of bounds.  51-49, gophers ball with 1:12 remaining.

Hollins gets the ball and drives baseline like a boss and gets the foul.  Announcer tries to jinx him by announcing his 86% FT rate.  TIE GAME after two clutch free throws. #omgomgomgomgomg

Under a minute to play, Badger ball.  #needanewdrink Berggren brick, Gopher ball with 28.6 and a chance to WIN.

Dre Hollins airballs a tough shot in the lane; other Hollins gets rebound and a fading 20' misses.  Overtime.  #soulsuck

Pretty sloppy to begin the OT by both sides.  53-51, Badgers after two missed FTs by Rodney.  Announcer guy hates on him some more.  Flat-top gets a bucket inside to send Badgers up 4.  #dead

2:09 left, Gophers still shitting the bed.  Welp.  Then, Armelame happens.

1:37 Badgers at the line for a 1 and 1.  Evans makes both...Gophers down 6.  Barn: dead. 

Courtesy of @MVofDT
ESPN goes split-screen with one minute left and Gophers down 4.  YES!  Gophers do that thing where they let 18 seconds go off the shot clock before Ralph lumbers into a dude for the foul.  YES!  Berggren turns his back on the entire state by making both free throws. YES!  61-55 with who cares how much time left.  The Barn plays LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT!  #sotopical

63-58, 20 seconds of misery remain.  I warned you.

65-58, 10 seconds left and they're still fouling?  Bring in Reggie Miller...

67-61 after another Andre Hollins 3...maybe this guy should shoot more?

FINAL: 68-61

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wasted Post #1 - 216 Days 'til UNLV

Why not post when I'm butt-ass wasted on the drank? Exactly.

So, Maturi is out. I'm pretty happy about that, if we're keeping it real. I've met him a few times and he seems like a decent dude; but if there were gladiator contests between the greatest ADs in the land, he would have been a Christian fed to the lions to entertain the great unwashed before the actual gladiators did battle. He was polite and demure. Demure and polite. He would have made an excellent virgin for a rabid, battle-tested prince. But as someone in the position to represent the U, he did about what one would expect: he left a fat steaming steamer right on our nippled chests.

At any rate, he gone and we should be prepared to move on. One of the great Twitter exchanges of our time came about today when some of the sodomites in the Twin Cities declared that Glen Fuck Stick Mason should be Maturi's replacement. Glen Fucking Mason? Come the fuck on. That guy couldn't have cared less about the football team, let alone the entire athletic department for the last three years of his tenure. After his lifelong dreams were shattered when Sweater Vest took over tOSU he was the equivalent of an animated corpse in the head coaching position; and now batshit fools want to promote him to AD. I Love Jesus Christ people, the guy took an abject disaster of a program and raised it to mediocrity and now we want to mae him the Barry Alvarez of Minnesota? Anyone who believes that is the right move should either a) quit reading right now or b) off themselves with Drano right this effing second. Die in the most painful possible flames. The dude sucks ass. Look at his self-aggrandizing tweets, for the love of his Holiness the Pope. Glen loves him some Glen. Hope off the bandwagon, shut the eff up and let a real AD assume the position to do battle.

So, I'm on to bourbon #6 and I feel like I have one more topic in me before I hit the quit wall. This one is on Gopher basketball. I just can't handle the inconsistency. How can we beat Indiana (albeit an inconsistent Indiana) and get swept by Iowa? Now, Iowa isn't as bad as they have been over the last 20 years, but still; they are an imminently beatable team. Yes, we're young. Yes, Mbakwe's injury has permanently cast a pall on this team. But I can't stand that this team gets it for ten-minute stretches of games and then completely loses it in others. That, to me, is coaching. When I heard a rumor today that Tubbay may be headed to LSU, I thought about it for a moment and then wished him well. Could we get someone better? It depends on what we mean. Can we get someone with as strong a pedigree? Nah, pedigrees don't come much stronger than OTS. Could we find someone with a greater upside? Fasho, but there's more risk involved there too. I think Tubby is secure for this year, but the next AD will demand success in the 2012-2013 season. A shocking, SHOCKING proposition, I know. We won't move on him until a new AD is hired and a new AD a'int gone shitcan Tubby Effing Smiff. That's all this guy knows. We'll haz to wait until 2013 for any movement on that end and, with the hopez, we'll be hoisting bannerz like teh mkjkdjksd.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

National Signing Day!

So, Swan tells me tomorrow is National Signing Day as he's on the upswing on the roller-coaster of Gopher fandom.  A lot of high school footballers have already committed, but tomorrow is the day where those that have been staying mum in order to have their LOOK AT ME moment can do so on national TV.  The rest of the poor schlubs that already committed will sign their binding letter of intent as well.

Kendall Gregory-McGhee got a cake!
The knobs at ESPN will be covering it like so:
Many of the nation's top prospects, including Mario Edwards, No. 1 in the ESPNU 150, Dorial Green-Beckham (No. 3), Andrus Peat (No. 9) and Eddie Goldman (No. 10), will make their decisions on ESPNU. There will also be reporters stationed at campuses across the country and former Miami coach Randy Shannon will join analysts Tom Luginbill, Craig Haubert, Corey Long, Jamie Newberg and Mark Schlabach to break it all down.
There is one Minnesotan on the coveted ESPNU 150 list and guess what?  The Gophers got him.  His name is freaking Isaac Hayes too!  He's a guard and ranked #112 on their list.  In fact, of ESPN's top 10 players from Minnesota, the Gophers landed 6 of them; with one undecided.  Is this an unprecedented level of in-state recruiting?  I have no clue.  I laugh in the face of hard-hitting journalism like researching top in state recruiting classes.

Since I'm an ESPN Insider (impressive, right?) I thought I'd share some info on some of the Gopher recruits and maybe search the youtubes for videos to critique in my amateur (read: incorrect) way.  Also, I know Rivals and other resources have other rankings and all they tend to prove is that no one agrees on (knows) anything.  I'm using ESPN because it's readily available and is maybe something everyone doesn't have access to  I'd love to see if anyone goes back and tracks if any service has more accuracy than another though.  Chances are they each have their moment. 

Isaac Hayes - Mendota Heights, MN - St. Thomas Academy
#9 OG - 6'2" - 270lbs

ESPN's ranks him the #9 OG and gives him an 80 out of 100 (4 stars).  His album, Hot Buttered Soul, was ranked #90 on FastnFabulous.com's list of greatest soul albums.  ESPN's scouting report basically says he's a stud. He can run-block, pass-block, get to the second level by pulling or trapping and he's tough/strong.

Demonstrates quick set ability; can bend and slide his feet, showing very good balance and explosion when delivering the initial punch; uses his hands effectively, working to stay inside with good extension. Displays the athleticism to pull and get out in front on bootleg plays. We like his aggressive finishing attitude; it's what we look for when evaluating offensive linemen.
Check out this highlight film of him killing people.  His strength just overpowers most of them, sometimes caving the whole defensive line in.  Even more impressive is to see him get out in space and swat these guys to the ground like flies.  

Jamel Harbison - Charlotte, NC - Mallard Creek High School
#32 WR, 5'11" - 190lbs

Andre McDonald - Minnetonka, MN - Hopkins High School
#37 WR, 6'2" - 200lbs
The Gophers have received commits from two 80 grades, 4-star wide receivers in Harbison and McDonald.  Reading through the recruiting info, they are two very different types of receivers though.  Harbison is a powerful, quick player that might be your prototypical slot player making plays over the middle. In the video below, he returns kicks, breaks tackles, makes long catches and generally looks awesome.
[Harbison] is very quick given his size, shows good burst off the line and has the ability to be a factor in all three phases of the passing game. Displays a great combination of reliable hands and the speed to turn any reception into a touchdown. -ESPN (video)
McDonald is a big, strong player with great hands but does not possess crisp route running or break-away speed.  McDonald returns some punts in his video below, but doesn't show the burst that Harbison does.  He looks huge out there though and definitely uses his body to get in front of defenders to make the catch.
[McDonald] is tough and will go after the ball in traffic and isn't afraid to go over the middle. He is at his best in one-on-one match-ups on the jump ball as well as on underneath routes where he can use his frame to shield the ball for the defender. -ESPN (video)
Jonah Pirsig - Blue Earth, MN - Blue Earth Area High
#48 OT, 6'8" - 300lbs

The weenies at ESPN give Pirsig a 79, thus making him a 3 star dude instead of a 4 star.  The ESPN scouting report describes him as a "dominant run blocker" and "has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position" and finally, "this is not a clumsy football player".  They further go on to indicate he needs more explosion (don't we all) and could work on lowering his pad level.  He's 6'8", his pads are going to be high; give him a break.  Pirsig does seem kind of polar bear shaped; with his upper body being longer than his legs.  This worries me a bit because in watching the following it seems he just flops over at times like a weeble-wobble. I'm sure Kill and friends will fix that and turn him into Walter Jones. (video)

Also, I highly recommend a google images search of "weeble wobble"
Here are some quick comments on the rest of the recruits, with the JUCO transfers listed at the bottom.

Dinero Moss    #34 S   Sunrise, FL       6'0''      204
Kick-ass name and some good size.  ESPN describes him with "sleeper", "ball hawk" and "explosive".  Plus, his name is DINERO!  He also apparently already has a nickname: "Lights-Out".  This video shows he gets low on tackles, has pretty good awareness with the ball in the air and seems to relish getting the big hit. WHO HATES IOWA?  Apparently not Dinero Moss...

Lincoln Plsek    #103 DE          Waco, TX        6'4''      235
Plsek is on the list of lunch-pail types that seem to be a hallmark of this first Kill recruiting class.  ESPN buzzwords are "not flashy", "ability to grow", "good motor" and "can deliver a pop".  There's a possibility he moves to tight-end, but ESPN thinks he has more upside at DE.


K.J. Maye        #95 ATH         Mobile, AL      5'10''    190
Maye played QB at Murphy HS in Mobile, but it seems like he's destined to move elsewhere; maybe wide receiver or safety.  This is your classic Kill recruit.  He has speed and athletic ability, who cares about position.  Can we call it a classic Kill recruit in his first U of M recruiting class? Whatever... I'm going with it.   ESPN Insider uses "good looking, sleek athlete", "light and lean" and "under the radar".  He sounds like a god-damned racehorse.  Watch his video (SOUND UP!) and you can see he's small, but lightning quick.  He also has some pop in his arm, so maybe some QB play isn't out of the question.  I wouldn't mind seeing what he could do as a 3rd down back type either.

Yoshoub Timms           #83 DT            Fort Walton Beach, FL 6'2''      260
ESPN: "physical dude", "solid size", "flashes of a good get-off" and "displays toughness".  Timms gets a 76 from ESPN, so they think pretty highly of him.  Unfortunately a youtube search for Yoshoub Timms only returns Timmy from South Park videos.  Hopefully his "get-off" is better than Timmay's.

Philip Nelson    #94 QB            Mankato, MN  6'2''      215
ESPN: "lacks ideal measurables", "accurate son of a gun", "quick release and impressive arm power" and "one of the most accurate in short and intermediate".  Basically they just knock his height like he's Doug Flutie, but they do give him a 74; one point from a 3 star.  (video)

Rodrick Williams Jr.     #88 RB            Lewisville, TX  5'10''    215
ESPN: "good versatility", "pass catching threat", "good burst" and "not a lot of wiggle".  Sounds like Rodrick is like me on the dance floor.  What he is though is big and he can catch the ball.  Looks bursty here.

Mitchell Leidner            #110 QB          Lakeville, MN  6'4''      220
ESPN: "deceptively good athlete", "buys time with feet", "adequate deep ball", and "heady".   Leidner is also a 74 from ESPN like Nelson and Rodrick.  Watching him on tape, it looks like his down-field passes vary in accuracy and he sometimes throws the lollipop that would not work in the Big Ten.  He does have the zip on intermediate throws and he's definitely a tough runner, although he might get KTFO if he runs like that in CFB.

Alex Keith        #192 DE          Columbia, MO 6'3''      220
ESPN: "active", "frame that can support more mass", "good motor and hustles" and "displays rigidness".  Active in the ESPN vernacular is akin to the dreaded participation ribbon I think.  Keith has by far the best production value in his youtube clip I've seen so far.  We need to get that guy working on the blog.  From the vid, it appears he has an uncanny ability to get up in the air and bat passes down.  He's also blocked a number of kicks.  He does look like he needs to add size, but he impresses me a bit even if it seems like he's a bit of a one trick pony with the outside-rush-then-jump move.  Also nice to see some special teams coverage hits in there.  I bet Kill & Co. liked that.

Brian Nicholson            #120 OLB       Miami, FL        6'0''      215
ESPN: "attack style", "short range burst", the dreaded "hip tightness", "toughness" and "should add value on special teams".  It looks like he pursues and can tackle, but he's raw.  (video)

Nick Rallis        #121 S Edina, MN       6'0''      205
ESPN: "tough", "solid run supporter", "good pursuit speed" and "drives through ball carriers".  All I care about is how sweet his hair is.  His video is filled with hustle and extra-effort type plays.  (video)

Jordan Hinojosa           #138 DT          Miami, FL        6'3''      272
ESPN: "plays through the whistle", "needs to improve upper and lower body strength", "tough to single block at times" and "high effort and technique make up for athleticism".  Swan and others like Jordan's upside.  I like his facial hair.  Here's his version of the Tebow press conference.

Scott Ekpe       #147 DT          Lewisville, TX  6'3''      255
ESPN: "needs to improve strength", "quick first step", "gives effort in pursuit with a high motor."  MOTOR!

Antonio Johnson           #157 S Cleveland, OH 5'11''    190
ESPN: "productive as a RB and a DB", "tough customer", "very good desire" and "plays zone coverage with good awareness".  Instrumental version of Birdman in this video with a lot of celebrating by Johnson.  He's definitely one tough SOB.

Jack Lynn         #174 OLB       Lake Zurich, IL            6'2''      205
ESPN: "can add body mass over time", "is effective as a slot receiver", "creates havoc in the opposing backfield", "alert in zone coverage" and "tough customer who plays with motor".  I see a trend, you guys.  Jack is the last of the 2 star guys listed by ESPN.  I gotta say he looks pretty smooth at both WR and LB. (video)

Duke Anyanwu #289 WR         Blaine, MN      6'2''      215

Damarius Travis            S          Pensacola, FL  6'1''      185

Maxx Williams  TE        Waconia, MN  6'3''      220

Eric Murray      ATH    Milwakee, WI  5'11''    175

Ben Lauer        OT       Plymouth, MN  6'6''      260

Isaac Fruechte  JUCO WR       Caledonia, MN            6'2''      210

James Gillum    JUCO RB        Pearl River, LA            5'11''    195

Jeremy Baltazar            JUCO CB        Brenham, TX    6'0''      195

Martez Shabazz            JUCO CB        Athens, TX       5'11''    170

Briean Boddy   JUCO CB        Coffeyville, KS 5'11''    175
I like the idea of adding Baltazar, Boddy and Shabazz in the hopes of immediately bolstering the secondary.  This is a huge need.  These dudes all have cool names too.

Roland Johnson            JUCO DT        Duncan, SC      6'1''      285
Likewise with Roland Johnson... hopefully he can immediately contribute.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gopher v. Illinois/UFCONFOX Dual Live Blog

7.05: Starting out with the UFC. Pretty drunj already. Expecting absolute incoherence by 10.00. Let's just enjoy the ride, shall we?

7.07 Gophs pretty much need to win this game, right? I hope it's lively in the Barn tonight. Place has been a fucking morgue of late. I predict a win and, hopefully, Myers Briggs gets ejected for radical douchespray-ness.

7.09 I have an unhealthy man crush on Joe-Dan. Most impressive freshman I've seen around these parts in a long time. Oh, and then Tubby takes him out. Fascist.

7.11 I like Demian Maia in this fight against Chris Weidman. Can't say I've seen a lot of Weidman, but Maia is a jits ace and has improved his standup pretty considerably, so it's tough to see Weidman besting him.

7.13 Student section pretty impressive thus far tonight. I blame @FromtheBarn for encouraging excommunication of all of our half-assed fans.

7.14 Fack. Under Siege is on too? Want to punch a hole in my TV for not being able to manage more than one program at a time. Wife glaring at me for screaming in frustration.

7.16 Chris Weidman wins the tat contest. He's going to lose, but his skin would make more interesting wallpaper. So there's that.

7.18 Turned back to hear announcer criticizing RS3.0. I hate that fucking sloth. What a goddamned drip.

7.20 I don't want RS3.0 to die. I said that to appease those who think I'm too harsh on him.

7.22 The Bad Boy shorts with the eyes on the ass scare me a little. Kind of like a baby being born without a head or some shit lie that.

7.24 Pretty tight first round for Weidman/Maia. Maia throwing a lot of haymakers. I feel like Weidman is a little concerned about taking Maia down since it would probably mean he'd lose an arm or his neck. Tough to live without a neck.

7.27 Back to Gopher game just in time to see Eliason tie it. Already 52.3x the player RS3.0 is.

7.30 Midway through the Maia/Weidman fight. Kind of a sleepy, technical fight. At least no one is losing a fetal explosion on their ear on the mat so FOX pulls the card from live TV.

7.31 I guess it's Weidman 2-0; no matter how you score it, it's a bit of a snoozer. Back to Gophers...and commercial. Fuck you Commercial Christ.

7.37 This fight has devolved into something of a shit sandwich. Both are exhausted. I hope they both lose.

7.41 Wife pretty pissed about that Harley Davidson commercial, you guys. Weidman wins. "What a great fight!" - No one.

7.42 Back to Gophers for awhile. Eliason is pleasing me. /crosses arms /nods approvingly.

7.49 If Bisping wins and gets a title shot, there is no God whatsoever. I used to like the guy and then he coached the Ultimate Fighter and I saw what nozzle he was. Now I hope all of his skin burns off.

7.51 Gophs up by 5 with 28.2 left in the first half. Haven't been able to see much other than to recognize that this team is miles more impressive when that bung RS3.0 isn't on the court.

7.54 I'm pretty sure even Britons hate Bisping. And they have irrational love for everything British, like Prince Charles. And I say that as an expat Briton.

7.57 Giving this round to Bisping, even with the takedowns. Bisping has connected with a couple of nice shots. Sonnen looks rough.

8.03 Christ, did Sonnen even prep for this fight. He looks like an ass crack out there.

8.10 Sonnen in full mount with 2.15 left in the third. Pretty much needs a finish for the win or to smash him for the drawsauce. He's definitely down 2-nil.

8.13 Frack. I think Bisping wins. Last I saw he was +300. Should have bet my rent money on that, I guess.

8.16 Huh. Chael won. 30-27 on two cards. I must be fucking bombed out of my mind. Glad I still have rent money.

8.19 Sampson scored. It was worth a specific entry.

8.24 Got FIFA 2012 for the PS3 today. I really suck the hind teat at that game. I've been an XBoxer for years so it may just be because it's on a different platform. That's the story I'm going with, anyway.

8.29 Myers Leonard is my least favorite player in the nation. He was a giant bitch in our first meeting and he's playing like a nozzle tonight. I hope he gets plantar fascitis.

8.31 #whyisralphsampsonplaying

8.33 Phil Jones is damn good; I'm just not sure he's good enough to beat Rashad right now. Evans is pretty wily.

8.38 Love you, Latvia.

8.45 Davis imbued with the spirit of JoePa here.

8.50 Watching fight while Twitter tells me the Gophers are imploding. Typisch. While he's not getting dominated, it's pretty clear Davis is the inferior fighter.

8.57 Phil looks like he gone cry. Poor Phil.

9.04 Ending with a whimper here. Too much bourbon, if such a thing is possible.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MLB Hall of Fame

Judging who is a hall of fame player is a difficult task, and it has become even more troubling as the steroid-era players reach eligibility and a confusing mix of young stat heads that never saw older guys play and old curmudgeons that only look at classic stats and their fond, albeit fading, memory of certain players to determine voting.  Voters seem to be willing to change their mind on whim rather than having some kind of formula or strategy. 

Guys like this guy are determining HOFers.

Worst of all are the sportswriters that decide to throw a bone to hometown players that don't stand a chance in hell of be elected to the hall.  They apparently think a little recognition will make this player's day or something.  I find it to be annoying at the least and hulk-smash-y at the most.  Use your votes for the player you think are deserving of the Hall of Fame, you ninnies.  If you liked some player from your market so much, write an article about them.  You are baseball writers, after all.

This year, Barry Larkin was the only player that received the required 75% of the vote.  In my opinion, he's a deserving candidate and was one of the best shortstops of his era.  I think a hall of fame player can be determined by three factors:

1.  Career stats that stack up with the all-time greats aka the magic thresholds:  3000 hits? You're in.  500  close or over 600 homers? You're probably in.  300 wins is mostly no longer attainable with 5 man rotations and 100 pitch counts, but 250-260 should give you a hard look and 275+ might mean you're in. 

2.  Being one of the best players in your era:  Did you have a 10 year run where you were the best? In.  Did you get a bunch of MVPs or you were in the top 10 in MVP or Cy Young quite a bit? In.  Position comes into play here.  Being among the best in your era with an extended career and therefore some big career stats helps.  Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances are not an important consideration because they've been ruined by horrible voting.  They are the to be given the most minor of considerations.  In 1999, Rafael Palmeiro got a gold glove by being the DH for 128 games and playing first base for just 28 games.  He still managed to make one error.  Ozzie Smith made the all-star game in 1995 at age 40.  He played 44 games all year and hit .199.

3.  The rare several years of extreme greatness and a career suddenly cut short:  Kirby Puckett falls into this category.  Some think Don Mattingly should, but even though I had some Mattingly posters on the wall (one with a tommy gun?) I don't think he fits mainly because he had a slow degradation and perhaps not as many top level seasons as you'd like.  Koufax is an example though.

I can't stress enough how important era is.  Ron Santo got jobbed for a long time even though he played quite a bit in an era where the mound was higher and pitchers like Bob Gibson were posting 1.12 ERAs and he was still kicking some ass. (In 1969, the mound was lowered from 15" to 10")  Also an important tiebreaker or consideration is the lore or hype surrounding the player.  If there were seminal events in their career with one of the three above, this should get them over the top.  Huge playoff performances, breaking records, being known for being incredible at something, etc.

With all of these factors in mind, here are the guys I would have voted for for the MLB Hall of Fame.

DownwithGoldy with Barry Larkin in '91

1. Barry Larkin, SS - 495 Votes, 86.4%

Larkin was the only one to make it in to the Hall of Fame and did so easily with 86.4% of the vote.  Barry was one of the best shortstops of his era. There are others that are in that conversation, namely HOFers Cal Ripken Jr. and Ozzie Smith, but that's quality company to keep.  Larkin was the 1995 MVP and was 7th, 12th, 12th, 17th, 22nd in other years.  Larkin amassed 2,340 hits, 198 homers and 379 stolen bases over 19 years.  While those numbers don't hit any of the big counting milestones, they are impressive amongst shortstops.

He was known as one of the best shortstops in the game and since we already know gold gloves are rigged we can allay the fact that he only won three of them.  As long as The Wizard was doing backflips out to his position, writers were going to give him a gold glove. 

Finally, Larkin was 90th all time in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 68.9 all time.  That puts him like 4-5th among shortstops.  (Robin Yount was maybe a half shortstop) So, what the frick is WAR you ask?

"WAR is a sum of the win value of a player's offense, defense, pitching, adjusted for that player's defensive position, playing time (thus keeping the replacement level players off the field) and year, park, and league context."  -Some Smart Guy
So, basically a number of other stats are taken and mashed together in order to compare players across era and position.  Neat huh?  OK, so he's in.  Here's who else I would have voted for...

Nice shirt choice, bro.

2.  Jeff Bagwell, 1B - 321 Votes, 56%

Steroid era guys are tough to vote for; especially when some have either been implicated or have admitted to using performance enhancing what-nots.  So, we're left with two options:  ignore about 12-15 years of baseball completely, or once again compare them against their peers and vote in the elite. (and make fun of their shrunken testes)  We'll never know how many didn't use something, so I'm inclined to just take the era for what it is.

Bagwell WAR was good for 79.9 over 15 years.  He won 1 MVP award and was top-10 another five times.  He had 2314 hits, 449 homeruns and a career .408 OBP.  He also stole 202 bases for the hell of it.  He was a very good defensive player, but it was at first base, so no extra points there. He's 22nd all time in OPS (On Base + Slugging) at .948.  He had cool chin-beards.

LaRussa checking the oil...

3.  Mark McGwire, 1B - 112 Votes, 19.5%

This last season was Mark's 6th being eligible for the HOF.  His numbers are well beyond what would be normally required for entrance but he's shared more needles than my man Bubs on The Wire has.

Bubs on the grind.

McGwire was one of the most feared hitters in baseball.  He had 583 homers, a .394 OBP and a 63.1 WAR.  The bitter writers have made him suffer for awhile and I think it's time to accept him in.  What's interesting now though is in 2012 a number of other known steroid lovers are also eligible (Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, etc).  So, will McGwire get lumped in with all of these first timers as they get the snub? Or does he get in before them, thus indicating they'll eventually get in as well.  Do they even have enough material to make busts out of some of these massive craniums?

4.  Tim Raines, OF - 279 Votes, 48.7%

Tim "Rock" Raines was originally given his nickname based on his build, but in Ken Burns' baseball it was also said that he only slid into bases head-first because he didn't want to break the vial of crack in his back pocket.  Raines is 5th all-time in stolen bases with 808, he had 2605 hits and another 1330 walks.  He has a 64.6 career WAR and a .385 OBP.  He played in 23 seasons spanning over parts of 4 decades.  Over time as statistics begin to favor OBP as opposed to batting average, Raines has gained a lot of momentum.  Raines is one of the best lead-off men of all time, whether high on crack or not. 


5.  Jack Morris, SP

Morris had 254 wins over 18 seasons.  He garnered MVP votes in 5 seasons.  He averaged 16 wins per year over his career. His career ERA is a less-than-wonderful 3.90.  These numbers would put Jack just outside of consideration, but then you consider his playoff performances.  He's been a key component of 3 different World Series teams.  He's 7-4 in 13 post-season starts with 5 complete games. As a Twins fan the 10 inning complete game he hurled against the Braves stands as a massive moment in baseball history.  However, I'm not alone in this as it's considered by many to be one of the great games in World Series history.  Jack Morris' post-season play and success puts him over the top for a HOF induction.

Had a little Garfunkel in him, didn't he?

6. Alan Trammell, SS - 211 Votes, 36.8%

If Barry Larkin is in the HOF, Alan Trammell should be as well.  Larkin had 2340 hits, Alan had 2365.  Larkin had 198 homers, Trammell had 185.  Larkin had 1 MVP and was in voting 5 other times, Trammell was in voting 7 times and finished 2nd once.  They both have won some gold gloves and both were key cogs on a championship team.  To me, Trammell was just a shade (noracist) short of the player Larkin was and he should be in. 

Sorry about all of these baseball blog post...I'll do something else next.  Now accepting suggestions in the comments section. YWIA

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Get Tape for Your Pet's Heads - Gopher Football Recruiting

What the deuce is happening with this recruiting cycle? I'm not much of a recruitnik, but I know enough to know that, like Toweliee, I have no idea what's going on right now. We've got about 15 TE/H-back prospects currently committed, a bunch of dudes who are not ranked by the esteemed recruiting services and now, two weeks before NSD, appear to be going after receivers like we're abandoning the idea of an offensive line and rolling with ten receiver sets. Maybe it'll be a revelation like the toaster or forward pass. After 45 years of shitting our mess kits, why not give it a shot?
It's okay, Toweliee. No one knows what's going on.
The attitude on the Gopher webz is predictably schizoid. On the one hand, peeps are convinced the team is doomed and, regardless of Kill's coaching acumen, we'll never be competitive with a bunch of Western Michigan rejects. Alternatively, we should all relax because Kill is the greatest developer of talent since Fillmore Slim, recruiting services and BCS offers be damned.

So which hyperbolic viewpoint is closer to the truth? Beats me. There's certainly merit to the argument that higher-rated recruits have a positive correlation with joy in the W column, though I think it's overblown, to some extent (MV over at FBT did some of his sorcery to define the R-squared value, or the amount of variability in W/L that can be attributed to recruiting rankings, but I'm too lazy to find the link). Conversely, it'd be tough to win many games with drunk tubs of margarine like TRE and me, regardless of the strength of Kill's talent development regimen. It just doesn't look like we're getting guys who are coveted by the other AQ conferences.

So, what to do? I'm not stressing too much since there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. We've been latched to the hind teat of the B1G for my entire life, so what's another few throwaway years if Kill's recruiting  is as appealing as Bert motorboating Barry's supple moobs. Regardless, the next two weeks should be interesting. I'll openly weep if a certain local WR chooses UCLA over us, even though I know it's coming. I won't apologize for my telekinetic rage when the pig's blood falls from the rafters onto my prom dress, you guys.

They're all going to laugh at you, Gophers!