Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects: 10-1

And we are finally to the end. Semi-normal people may be interested in reading the top 10 since you have probably heard of a lot of these guys at least. This is the end of these, so I'll be back to pop culture and sports people care about now that this is finally over.

10 Carlos Santana, c, Indians – I would put Santana a few spots higher as a catcher with his kind of bat is extremely rare. Since there are chances Montero is not a catcher in the long run, Santana could arguably be the best catching prospect in the minors. The guy can hit for power as well as having excellent strike zone judgment. He rarely swings at a bad pitch. The only knock that people really have against him are that his game management skills need work, but everyone agrees that the tools to be a solid catcher are all there. He should be up sometime this season and will be a very valuable asset to the Indians’ organization. Also, even though Casey Blake is from Iowa, I do think the Indians won the trade that sent him to the Dodgers.

09 Neftali Feliz, rhp, Rangers – I think this is the area that Feliz should be in, perhaps a bit lower. He was very dominant in the majors last year out of the bullpen, but to be this high, you need to be a starter, and him not being able to strike out a batter per inning while having a 3.49 ERA at Triple A makes me think that he’s a very good prospect, but possibly not a great one. The scouting reports say great fastball where his slider flashes plus, but is inconsistent and his changeup is average. I would love to have a guy like this, but there’s some other guys that I would love to have more.

08 Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Pirates – Yeah, this is probably about right for Alvarez. The guy is a monster hitter who crushed it when moved up to Double-A last year. His biggest issue is that he’s not real athletic, and a move to first base is likely, although he may be able to play a few years at third. The great thing about Alvarez is that he was considered a complete bust in May of last year, because he was struggling in High-A, and people were already writing him off. He is a great example to not look too much into small sample sizes when evaluating prospects. This guy is an All-Star hitter in the making.

07 Buster Posey, c, Giants – Posey is definitely a top 10 prospect. He is a catcher who is still a little raw defensively since he just started catching a few years ago. But the guy can flat out hit the ball. He went from High-A to Triple-A without missing a beat. He had a brief debut in the majors last year, but I will make the bold prediction that he will surpass his line of .118/.118/.118 from last year. He has all the potential to be a consistent All-Star at the catcher position for years to come, and he’ll probably put Molina’s fat ass on the bench by the middle of the season.

06 Desmond Jennings, of, Rays – I think Desmond Jennings is going to be a great professional baseball player, but I still don’t love ranking him this high. He seems like a guy who will have a good average, plate discipline, play a good center field, but without great power. As good as that all sounds, I see him more in the 10-15 range than #6 overall. If the justification is that he is so likely to be what I described, then yes, that is a good thing, but I like some other guys’ potential more than Jennings. But let me reiterate, I still think this guy is going to be a hell of a pro player.

05 Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles – I might put Matusz a few spots lower, but he’s still definitely a top 10 prospect. He has four quality pitches that he can throw for strikes, and he has excellent command so he is able to set up hitters. He struck out more batters than innings pitched last year which is a good sign, and even in the majors, he came close to striking out a batter per inning (38 K in 44 IP). There’s no big time knock against the guy, but he doesn’t have outstanding stuff, so I have trouble putting a guy in the Top 5 if he can’t blow hitters away with dominant pitches.

04 Jesus Montero, c, Yankees – A fantastic hitter who will probably not stay at catcher, but everybody loves his bat enough where it shouldn’t matter too much. He is definitely a Top 10 guy, but I’m not sure if he’s Top 5 because of the position that he’ll likely play. But usually Yankees prospects are highly overrated, so this is a step in the right direction as this is at least reasonable.

03 Mike Stanton, of, Marlins – I think they nailed the number three guy as Stanton is legit, some would even say 2 Legit 2 Quit. He was a teenager who dominated High-A, and held his own at Double-A. He finally had to face more advanced pitching, and he struggled with average, but the power still made him a positive contributor to the team. At 6’5”, 240 lbs, he’s slightly larger than I am, but he’s able to play an outfield corner solidly. His bat is his ticket though, and although his biggest concern is his adjustment to breaking balls, at his age, there’s no reason to believe that he can’t improve and become an All-Star caliber player.

02 Stephen Strasburg, rhp, Nationals – I totally agree with this ranking as the best pitcher is not quite as valuable as the best hitter due to injury concerns that you will have with all pitchers. Basically, Strasburg is a pitcher that you would create on a video game. Make him throw over 100 MPH, give him a slider that drops like it just hit something in mid-air, plus give him excellent command and control. This is definitely a special player. Best case scenario is Brendan Fraiser in The Scout, worst case scenario is, ugh, Mark Prior.

01 Jason Heyward, of, Braves – I completely agree with this ranking. Really, I can’t offer much that hasn’t been said about this guy. He’s a stud, he’ll start the season off in the Braves starting lineup. He’s a five-tool player who just excels at every part of the game. Last year, he stayed with the big league team for most of spring training despite the Braves knowing he would start the season at High-A, because Bobby Cox enjoyed watching him play so much. This is the well-deserved number one prospect in all of baseball.

And they're done.

-Joe

P.S. Suck on this Iowa State fans:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

UFC 114 Picks

Since I always forget to do these until like hours before the fights actually start, I figured I'd get in some early picks for UFC 114. Every time that I post my picks, I do far worse than when I don't post them, so we'll see if my luck can finally change and I can look smart for a change.

Ryan Jensen over Jesse Forbes - This is a tough matchup to call, but Jensen has really only lost to top notch guys, and I certainly wouldn't qualify Forbes as a top notch guy. Still, Forbes has been impressive in that he was on The Ultimate Fighter, lost his one match in the UFC, and then worked his way back up to the UFC by winning at smaller shows. Not enough to win though, as Jensen takes a unanimous decision.

Joe Brammer over Aaron Riley - Brammer has never beaten anyone of note, but Riley loses most of his tough matches as well. I don't know much about Brammer, so this is really just a shot in the dark, so I'll go for a unanimous decision for him.

Luiz Cane over Cyrille Diabate - This is one of the fights that I am most looking forward to so it's disappointing that it might not be televised at all. Both of these guys love to strike. Diabate's most notable performance came against Shogun where he was able to win the standup battle before Shogun took him down and submitted him. Cane was destroying everything in sight before looking very flat against Rogerio Nogueira. Still, I'm going to go with Cane's aggressive style for a second round KO.

Melvin Guillard over Wayne Lowe - Guillard has been fighting much smarter fights since joining Greg Jackson's camp, so I think Lowe will have trouble putting him in bad positions. I'll go with first round TKO for Melvin.

Efrain Escudero over Dan Lauzon - Escudero's wrestling is going to help him control positions against Lauzon. Plus Lauzon is actually feuding with his brother right now which is some WWE shit. Hopefully that fight happens after Escudero wins a decision against Lauzon.

Dong Hyun Kim over Amir Sadollah - This is really a tossup fight as Kim seems to control opponents and not do much more than that, but he's been barely successful in his fights so good for him. Sadollah is solid, but I think it's going to be tough for Sadollah to handle Kim, so Kim wins by decision.

Diego Sanchez over John Hathaway - I think Hathaway looks like a pretty legit prospect in the welterweight division, but Sanchez has shown himself to be extremely well rounded when not fighting BJ Penn. He is moving back up to welterweight, so Hathaway may have a size advantage, but I think Diego is going to put too much pressure on Hathaway and will win by TKO in the third round.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira over Jason Brilz - Brilz is a last second replacement for Forrest Griffin which is disappointing, because Lil' Nog vs. Griffin would have been a fun fight to watch. Nogueira can pretty much dominate no matter where this fight goes, so I'll say first round submission for him, but the last time I was supremely confident that he'd win, he lost to some unknown dude named Sokoudjou. Hopefully there's no repeat here.

Todd Duffee over Mike Russow - Duffee is a beast. He is a giant man that crushes things, Russow will be one of those things, first round TKO.

Dan Miller over Michael Bisping - This isn't a very smart pick, but I don't like Bisping, so I figure why can't Miller pull something off? Bisping's stint as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter pretty much means that I will always pick against him. Miller wins by KO in the third round after his corner distracts the ref and Ricky Stanzi knocks Bisping out with a steel chair...for America.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson over Rashad Evans - I go back and forth on this fight quite a bit, so it's definitely a tough call, but I think Evans is going to have trouble taking him down to the ground, and Rampage has more power standing up with pretty crisp boxing. I'll go with Rampage with a second round KO, but I'm not very confident in the pick.

P.S. I found the most fun sport ever. That's right, neon lamp fighting.


P.P.S. Jose Canseco was having some classic tweets today, first up:
Why do you guys hate me so much cause I told the truth and fixed the game and probably saved someone life like your kids or brother or frien

But it gets better just a few minutes later when he writes:
If your sister or close friend was being raped by an athlete in the losker room and I saw it would I be a snitch if I talked or not

Sis, I don't know what they are, but stay away from all losker rooms, apparently it's raping grounds for athletes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Evening With The Isotopes

On Saturday, I was sitting around my place in Albuquerque, suffering from severe boredom (I have no friends, which at least means I now have something in common with most bloggers) when I decided that I might try to hit up an Isotopes game that night. I told D. Wright Lover (aka River Bandits Scooch) about my plans thinking nothing more of it. She (yes, she, I know like seven girls and two or three of them still talk to me on occasion) called back a couple hours later telling me to go to Will Call to pick up my free ticket. Free ticket? Hell yeah.

Since I live about 1/2 mile from the stadium, I pop in my iPod so I can jam out on my walk up there. I get up to the Will Call window, a tad nervous as I may just be getting Punk'd, no signs of Ashton, and the lady at the window gives me my ticket. I check my ticket to prepare myself in case I am sitting with the scumbags, and it appears I am safe, Row A, front row, just left of right behind the plate. I can handle that.

So I get in the stadium and I begin to take a lap around the park. I take a lap for two reasons, first off I like to check out the ballpark and everything it has to offer, but second, and more importantly, I like to see what food I am going to eat at the game.

The ballpark doesn't impress me too much. Since I'm a low-life, I wasn't able to check out the suites, but they did have two levels of those and they seemed fairly full that night. They also had a Kids Zone that had one of those giant drop mechanisms, where they raise you up 100 feet, and then you drop before coming to a halt right before your gory death. Unfortunately, there's was only like 15 feet, so they just kind of made it jerk up and down. So if you've ever wanted to be on a really shitty elevator, the Isotopes have just the ride for you. The most interesting thing about the ballpark is that it has a hill like the one Houston has in center field. I don't like the idea of a hill as it's just kind of stupid and an injury hazard more than anything else, but they have one, so good for them.

As for the food options, there were some intriguing options. I first saw a stand for Dion's, which is a pizza and sub place in Albuquerque. Currently, they're building one a block from my house, so I figured I could wait off on trying that cuisine. Next I saw an Asian Noodles stand, but I don't quite trust Asian Noodles in Albuquerque. I'm not big on Asian food to begin with, and it just seems wrong to eat that kind of thing at the ballpark. They also had something called an Indian Taco, I don't know what that is, but it has a good chance of being purchased next time I go to a game. Finally, I went to their main food stand, and the writing on the menu was so small that I couldn't see it from the concourse, but I go up to the counter and I see a Philly Cheesesteak with fries for $8.50. I love the Philly more than just about anything else in this world, so I got one of those and a Coors Light to wash it down with.

As I walked past rows and rows of losers to my front row seat, I got ready to take care of business on this Cheesesteak. I first ate a fry and was pleasantly surprised as it had pretty good flavor. Then I dug into the Cheesesteak, not great, but not terrible. As I took more bites, it slowly went from not bad, to bad, to why am I still eating this, to come on, only a few bites left, to thank God that's over. Needless to say, it was not a great eating experience.

As they went through the starting lineups for each team, it became abundantly clear that Triple-A was a haven for failed prospects. Those players were highlighted by former Cubs top prospect, Brian Dopirak and former Royals first rounder Chris Lubanski for the Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays affiliate), while the Isotopes had former Oriole Jay Gibbons and former Twins Prospect (and River Bandit) Michael Restovich on the team. These guys are still celebrities in some people's eyes, as I did hear some teenager complaining about his Dad taking a picture, because he needed to get Restovich's autograph. I hope that kid isn't counting on that being his retirement fund (On a completely random note, I found an old Randy Johnson rookie card so I decided to look up how much it was worth, $2.50. Looks like I don't have a retirement fund either).

Highlights of the game included:
Mascot Entrance - Not only did the mascot bust a move, but some fat guy decided to break it down. Call me old fashioned, but I just never get tired of seeing fat people make asses of themselves.

On-Field Emcee - Just atrocious at his job. No energy, lots of awkward silences. I know for a fact that I could improve the in-game experience at that place. This isn't me being cocky, I'm just really good at stuff.

A High Scoring Game - It ended 11-10. I think it was 11-9 when I left, because I really didn't feel like sticking around for fireworks, and the later I stay, the greater chance I had of getting raped on the way home, and unlike most, I do not want anyone to FML.

Free ticket, bad food, good beer, and a solid game equals a grade of B for the Isotopes, but they do get a great benefit for the free ticket which they do not deserve full credit for.

-Joe

P.S. This shirt is awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quick Thoughts

The public library may be one of the greatest things in the USA. You go there, take anything you want, and as long as you return it within three weeks, there is no charge. I've got eight hours of flying coming up over the holiday weekend, so a book or two is going to be a necessity. Hell, I may even pick up a DVD to watch on the flight as well. The choice is mine, thanks library.

I know I shouldn't be excited about Tim Sylvia vs. "The World's Strongest Man" Mariusz Pudzianowski, but god damn, I'm absolutely giddy about this fight. I don't even know what I'm rooting for in this fight. Tim Sylvia weighed in at over 300 pounds, the last time he did that, he got knocked out in like twelve seconds. Pudzianowski is literally all muscle, but that also means he gasses in about two minutes. There is no way this will be a good fight, and at the same time, there is no way that I won't be wildly entertained by it. Thank you Moosin for finally bringing the freakshow Japanese matches to the USA.

The new artist that I'm pimping on anybody who enjoys good country is Josh Thompson. A really good album that has a ton of good songs on it. I personally thought his first single, "Beer On The Table" was one of the weakest songs on the album, but the new single, "Way Out Here" is really good along with most of the rest of the album. I'd put it ahead of Eric Church's last CD, but still behind Justin Moore's debut album.

I purchased a fan a couple days ago, and it was an excellent purchase. Then I broke it today. Luckily, I'm a man, so I popped off my shirt, put on my shortest pair of jean shorts and fixed that fucker right up. That's just another reason that I'm an alpha male.

It is really sad that anytime I see a report involving BP, I immediately think Baseball Prospectus.

I'm not sure if you've heard the fantastic news, but Gus Johnson is the voice of Madden 11. That is awesome. Honestly, there's no reason he isn't the voice of every video game. Not just sports video games, but every video game.

I'm not sure if there's a funnier or more honest music lyric than Steel Panther's line in the song "Girl From Oklahoma" where they state, "Hair on your nipples, zits on your box, in Oklahoma City, you're considered a fox." Brilliant.

I'm a huge fan of the real Jose Canseco on Twitter, but I think my favorite fake person has become NotJayCutler. He basically comes across as the coolest person ever. Today, he wrote: J-Cutty Love-Making Tip: Before bedding your woman, yell no as loud as you can. That way you can say she was just mocking you.

-Joe

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects: 20-11

I'm almost done posting all of these, so that's exciting. Nick Devlin and anybody with a lot of free time, enjoy.

20 Logan Morrison, 1b, Marlins – Sorry JVD, but this is a little high for the LoMo. He’s a first base prospect without that much power. That’s not exactly a recipe for success. This guy will definitely be a major league ballplayer, but his ceiling doesn’t seem high enough to put him in the Top 20. His ceiling is a non-gold glove version of John Olerud. He can hit for average, he’ll definitely get on base, and you’ll still yearn for Ryan Howard. Another thing that I feel bad about for LoMo is that his Twitter account is @LoMoMarlins. He does know he’s going to have to change that once he reaches arbitration, right?

19 Aaron Hicks, of, Twins – I’m thinking this guy should probably be about 20 spots lower. Hicks oozes potential and could be a five-tool monster in center field, but a lot of those tools haven’t shown up on a baseball field yet. He showed great plate discipline, but his average was barely .250, and he didn’t manage to slug .400. He has the potential to blow up, but until he actually proves something in the minor leagues, I would be cautious on some of his projections.

18 Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Rays – He’s from Iowa, so obviously, I think he’s fantastic. But he’s also got the numbers and scouting reports to back it up, so he is deserving of this ranking, and I could even put him a few spots higher. He has gotten Greg Maddux comparisons, which is pretty much impossible to live up to, but he has three plus-pitches, and maybe the best command in minor league baseball. After thinking these last thirty seconds, I’d probably put him in my Top 10.

17 Martin Perez, lhp, Rangers – I would probably put this guy in the Top 10, and near the top 5 as he dominated Low-A, and was promoted to Double-A as an 18 year old. The only complaint about him is that he isn’t the ideal size of a pitcher, but he has three plus pitches already and he’s shown domination in his short minor league career. The guy is so good that he could get a September callup to the big leagues. Who gives a shit about size when a guy is this good? Consider me on the Martin Perez bandwagon.

16 Starlin Castro, ss, Cubs – No. No. No. This is the second most overrated player on the list (the first is coming soon). Yes, I know he was able to hit for a very good average at both High-A and Double-A as a 19 year-old. I cannot take that away. That is impressive. All the while, he showed up as a plus defender at shortstop. That is very good too. But where’s the potential? He doesn’t draw many walks, and he doesn’t have much power, nor does he project to add much power. So here’s his best-case scenario, a rather empty .300 hitter with solid defense. Without a doubt, that’s an asset, but that isn’t the 16th best prospect in baseball, especially when that’s his BEST case scenario. Sorry Cubs fans, you’ve still got a long ways to go.

15 Domonic Brown, of, Phillies – Fair ranking for Brown. The guy has all the tools to be great, and he did very well at High-A and Double-A last year. He could be near a .300 hitter and slug over .500. Some question his power potential, but he was able to slug over .500 at both levels last year, so the potential of him being a 30 home run guy is still there. He’s a very good athlete, and I think the Phillies have every intention of him taking Jayson Werth’s spot in 2011.

14 Madison Bumgarner, lhp, Giants – I think Bumgarner is the second best pitching prospect in baseball, and he could make me look very smart or very stupid for saying that. When he’s on, he’s electric with a great fastball and breaking ball with an average change. He absolutely dominated everything in sight in his minor league career. The big concern is that his velocity was only in the high 80s for the second half of the season. He still dominated, and did well when he came to the majors for a brief stint. If he’s that good without velocity, imagine how badass he’ll be when he gets it back. That is why I would still put him in the Top 5 of all prospects in baseball.

13 Justin Smoak, 1b, Rangers – Smoak looks like he’s placed about right, maybe a little high. His numbers haven’t been great outside of his time with Team USA. He dominated Double-A, but a lof of that was plate discipline as opposed to raw power as he failed to slug .500. I don’t think he is a serious threat to Chris Davis in spring training this year, and I could see him not getting called up until September. There is very little doubt that this guy will fail to succeed in the majors, but I have trouble seeing superstar potential in him.

12 Alcides Escobar, ss, Brewers – The most OVERRATED prospect in all of baseball. He hits for average, is fast, and plays good defense. That’s it. That’s all you need to be the 12th best prospect in baseball. He doesn’t have great plate discipline, he’s got very little power, and he’s had troubles with right handers. He is around this area on just about everybody’s list, and I simply don’t get it. At #12, you need to be a world beater, and this guy is not. He should probably be about 50 spots lower.

11 Dustin Ackley, of/1b/2b, Mariners – I really can’t find much fault in Ackley, and this seems like a fair ranking for him. Although he is trying second base right now, the worst case scenario is that he’s a weak-armed center fielder. He can hit for average and also has great plate discipline. He hit 22 homers as a junior at North Carolina, so he seems to be the total package. Even if the power doesn’t totally translate, he’ll be a good center fielder or an All-Star second baseman.

-Joe

P.S. Here are my picks for all the fights this weekend: Askren, Hornbuckle, Soto, Lindland, Woodley, and Tim Sylvia over Mariusz Pudzianowski.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

People I Hate - Chapter 2: LOL, Ur a Douchebag! JK! (But Not Really)

It's time for people to start acting their age. We have reached the point where Internet Slang is no longer acceptable. For Christ's sake, most of my friends are in their mid-20s, it's time to grow up. It isn't that hard to spell out what you actually want to say, and it's time for everyone to stop acting like teenage girls and start using adult language.

Here are the four things that people use in their writing (typing, texting, etc) that pisses me off to no end. All of these are unacceptable for males and unattractive females. Since cute girls can get away with shit like this, I would say the first three are annoying, but not an epic failure on their parents' part (still a failure). The final one is inexcusable, especially for the ladies.

1. LOL

Really? We're still using lol? This is fine for teenage girls, but we're grown-ups, we need to start acting like it. Anybody who is still dropping an lol deserves a kidney punch. Do you think Roger Sterling sends a hilarious e-mail to Don Draper and Draper responds lol? Of course not. First off, because they are fictional characters from a time before e-mail, but even if they had e-mail, those guys would never use lol. How should you substitute? A simple Ha is acceptable. Holy shit, did you see what I just did there? I shortened the typing from three to two. It's shorter, and you won't look like a 14 year old when you use it. I'm goddamn amazing.

2. Exclamation Points
I'm not sure if people realize this, but exclamation points are reserved for things that you are truly excited about. Examples would include, "I won the lottery!" or "My syphillis cleared up!" These are exciting things that deserved to be exclaimed for the whole world to know about. Mundane bullshit does not need to be exclaimed, a simple period will work fine (This is the part where some shitty female comedian like Roseanne would comment, "nothing is simple about a period," and a bunch of dumb broads would laugh hysterically. Girls have the worst sense of humor). If you start your e-mails with, "Hey! How are you!" That deserves a headbutt. First off, you're just saying hey, no need to exclaim hey. Second off, how are you is a fucking question. End it with a question mark.

3. Ur go-n 2 B l8

This one literally makes me ill to my stomach. I see it, and I feel the pain of the English language being brutalized by lazy fucks. Just spell out the words. I am convinced that anybody who uses these cannot actually spell the words that they are trying to use. I know I am right, especially in the case of Ur and 2. There is no way for an adult to memorize that you're=you are. How could any human being possibly retain that knowledge? And the differences between to, two, and too is absolutely mind boggling. English is your first language, please learn it. Anybody who uses any of these deserves to bite the curb.

4. FML
This is very similar to other areas, but it gets its own world, because it epitomizes the downfall of our generation. For those unfamiliar (and God, I wish I was one of you), FML means Fuck My Life. Here are examples of people using FML, "I have three tests this week, FML" or "I have to work a ten hour day, ugh, FML" and "Avatar sold out, FML." Now clearly, I am using proper punctuation and capitalization to help my loyal readers understand this, but do not expect any of that to happen when someone uses FML. Let me break this down for the uneducated so they can realize what this actually means. Fuck My Life is basically telling people that you want to be raped. That would fuck your life, literally, as in you would be getting fucked, and the emotional damage would fuck up your life as well. I'm not one to advocate serial rapists, but if I was on the jury for a guy who only raped people who used the term FML, I'd have a pretty hard time coming up with a guilty verdict. Does that sound harsh? Maybe it is, but there's an old saying that I would like to remind you about. Be careful what you wish for, because a serial rapist who patrols Facebook might just give it to you.

In short, just please stop doing these things. I don't want to see the people I care about kidney punched, headbutted, curb stomped, or raped. Thanks.

-Joe

P.S. In today's post, I didn't tell you anything that you didn't already know, much like this guy:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old School Writings

I've got an exciting new feature for the blog that is called Old School Writings. Basically, I am going to look back on my writing life and resurrect something that was written years ago and post it up on the blog.

Today's exciting feature comes from an old documents folder, and it is one in a collection of raps that I wrote and never shared with the world.

Is this first rap about the tough life on the streets? No. How about doing drugs and stuff? Nope. So it's about sexing the ladies? Haha, not a chance. This first rap is about Asian baseball players. Yep, bet you weren't expecting that one. I never actually finished any of these raps, but here is the rap titled, "Ode to the Asian Baseball Players".

Hee Seop Choi, you my boy
Everybody knows that you’re from South Korea
You’re making them bitch-ass pitchers gargle diarrhea.
Hitting balls to the left and to the right
You on the Cubs is hella tight.
You be rocking all the pitchers from the Cards
Making them all, look like retards.
You driving your hits to the gaps
You better than all those stupid Japs.
In the field, you deserve a gold glove
Out of all the first-basemen, you rise above.
Having you on the team is almost a crime
The Cubs will win the series, it’s only a matter of time.
But lets move on to Byung Hyun Kim.
He didn’t play b-ball, because he couldn’t touch the rim.
He throws the ball hard but that ain’t nothing
In the game of poker, you can never tell if he’s bluffing.

If any record execs out there are looking to sign the next big thing, trust me, there's more where that came from.

-Joe

P.S. Here's a fairly new video from Jon Lajoie. Obviously, it's brilliant, and I may have to incorporate some of his moves into my West Coast Dance.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dio: Rock God


By now, I'm sure everyone has heard the tragic news that Ronnie James Dio, Rock God, has died of stomach cancer. Most people probably went about their day without thinking much of it, and those people clearly do not get the gravity of the situation.

Ronnie James Dio is to metal what Moses is to the Christianity. Sure, it's very cool to cite the teachings of Jesus, but when you actually want to see influences in the metal industry, Dio truly shaped what metal became, just like Moses and the Ten Commandments shaped Christianity.

Without Moses, Jesus doesn't have the impact and his message may have been very different. Without Dio, heavy metal music is way different. Although he never really took off commercially, just about anybody who got into heavy metal cites Dio as an influence. The dude fucking rocked.

Unless you're a total douchebag, you've definitely heard his most commercially successful song, Holy Diver. But have you listened to the lyrics? They're fucking insane. The only possible way they could make sense is if they are about drugs, but I honestly hope it's not. I hope it has no meaning. I hope he just created something awesome for no other reason but to rock.

If that's not enough for you, he popularized the Devil Horns hand gesture in metal. Without him, people would still be holding lighters like a big old puddle of douche juice (thanks to Buzz Bissinger on the stupid term "douche juice"). If he was any more metal, we wouldn't have been able to look at him, because he would have been the living incarnation of the Arc of the Covenant, and our faces would have melted clean off.

Most people would be somber when being diagnosed with stomach cancer. But here is what his wife Wendy wrote on his official website when they found out the news:
"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage."
Ronnie James Dio doesn't see cancer as a disease, he sees it as a fucking dragon. And he had every intention of slaying that dragon. That is so fucking awesome that I just about shit my pants. If we all tackled our problems like we were killing dragons, we would all be Kings of planets around the universe.

This man deserves our respect. I remember arguing with fellow employees of the River Bandits that we needed to play more Dio, and they laughed at me. Then they realized I wasn't going to shut up until some Dio was played, and they finally relented. Then they realized something, Dio fucking rocks. I just hope Heaven is ready, because Dio may be rocking their asses off as we speak.

-Joe

P.S. In Season Three, Dio makes an appearance on South Park, and it's obviously awesome, but it also shows Butters getting a kiss which means that Butters' Bottom Bitch episode was built on a lie. I obviously still love South Park.

P.P.S. This was blog post number 69. The only number more fitting would have been 666.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects: 30-21

Everybody's favorite articles. the prospect reviews, thanks to Nick Devlin for actually reading. I wrote all of these before the season started, but I'll put an asterisk if I decide to add any updates.

30 Michael Saunders, of, Mariners – I’d say this is a little high for him. He is a guy that is probably going to have to move to left field as he has good, but not great speed and a below average arm. For that position, you really need to produce to be a star, and I think he is going to be solid, but not great. I think plate discipline will be an issue for him as it showed up during his brief time in the majors last year. He’s athletic and toolsy, but he’s not super young, and the Mariners certainly haven’t given him a clear path to contribute this year which is a sign that they aren’t completely sold on him.

29 Michael Taylor, of, Athletics – Taylor is built like a football player, but despite that, he really doesn’t have huge power. He’s a corner outfielder who I feel is going to be a good but not great player. I think this ranking is pretty fair, because he dominated Double-A and put up solid numbers at Triple-A. I do not think there’s any justification in putting Brett Wallace ahead of him, as I think he’s the better prospect and the Athletics won on that side deal with the Blue Jays.

28 Chris Carter, of/1b, Athletics – I honestly don’t see much of a difference between Chris Carter and Ryan Howard when he was a prospect. This guy has huge power, patience, but he strikes out a lot, because of his big swing. Personally, I think you could make a strong case for him being near or in the Top 10. I think this is somebody who is greatly underrated by Baseball America.

27 Brett Wallace, 3b/1b, Blue Jays – This is far too high of a ranking for The Walrus. Now I finally get to use my scouting eye since I saw a bunch of games of Wallace’s a couple years ago when he spent some illustrious time playing for the Quad Cities River Bandits. He isn’t this good. He was pretty piss poor at third base, so either the Blue Jays take a big hit playing him at third or they move him to first where he’s average. He doesn’t have big time power, so he’s really not going to be great for first base. There have been a lot of Lyle Overbay comparisons, and I think that sounds pretty accurate. That’s not the 27 prospect in baseball.

26 Jacob Turner, rhp, Tigers – This seems like the right range for Jacob Turner, but there’s a lot of volatility with him since he has yet to throw a pitch above the high school level. He’s got a fastball that reaches the high 90s, a big breaking curveball, and a changeup that shows potential. He was arguably the best high school arm in the draft, but he fell due to signability concerns, and that is how he became a Tiger. The Tigers do this revolutionary thing called drafting the best available player, and paying him. It’s worked out really well for them. Somehow, most teams have not caught on to this strategy.

25 Kyle Drabek, rhp, Blue Jays – Although I’d like to put him higher for being Doug Drabek’s offspring, when I looked at everything, this seems about right. He made a successful return from Tommy John surgery where he dominated at High-A, and did well at Double-A. He’s got a good fastball and an excellent curve, and I could see him taking another step forward this year since he will be another year removed from surgery. He’s a little undersized, and those guys are traditionally underrated, but I feel this is probably a fair rating for what he’s shown so far.

24 Casey Kelly, rhp, Red Sox – Kelly should be in the Top 20. He dominated Low-A and did really well at High-A in half a season of pitching. He only pitched half a season, because he played shortstop the second half of the season. Shortstop has now been given up, because he is a far better pitcher. He dominated in year one, and now that he is fully focused on pitching, it’s only going to get better. On top of being able to play shortstop, he also had football scholarship offers coming out of high school, so the guy is a sick athlete, and it should be fun to watch him at the higher levels this year.

23 Tyler Matzek, lhp, Rockies – I really like Matzek, especially because he gives hope for my boy Madison Bumgarner. His velocity wasn’t that great at times during his senior year of high school, but then he started putting it up in the mid-90s, and he was seen as maybe the most talented high school pitcher in the draft. His fastball and curveball have the potential for greatness, and like all high school pitchers, he needs to develop a changeup. The potential is definitely there, so he could justify this rating or drop quite a bit depending on his performance this year. I think this is a fair ranking.

22 Aroldis Chapman, lhp, Reds – Chapman could probably be higher, but the transition from Cuba to MLB is a difficult one to project. All the scouting reports are glowing, but he’s still a guy who should spend a good portion of 2010 in the minors to acclimate himself to playing in America as well as just being in America. Chapman is a great example of why a lot of teams are dumber than shit with their money. He got $30 million in his contract, yet there are still teams who refuse to go from 1.8 to 2 million when negotiating with a prospect. There are still no teams that draft the best player available in every round of the draft. And even if they do draft that guy, they set their budget and refuse to go over it. It isn’t a small market, big market difference, the Yankees should be kicking themselves in the ass for drafting Gerrit Cole and not signing him. He has a great chance to be the #1 pick in 2011, and the Yankees had him but they refused to go up to 3 or 4 million to sign him. Meanwhile, I could just about guarantee that they were up at 20 million guaranteed for Chapman. This is why the salary cap is not a big issue, and it’s also why defense isn’t the great new frontier for teams to gain advantages. Every team fails in acquiring amateur talent on the cheap, because it’s not quite cheap enough, this is the new OBP.

21 Ryan Westmoreland, of, Red Sox – This is a guy that I would probably put a few spots higher where he would probably be in that 10-15 range. He has excellent tools across the board and he did a great job in short-season ball last year where he showed some power, but is projected for more. Injury concerns are the only real knock on the guy at this point, but Westmoreland could definitely be a special player as he’s already getting Grady Sizemore comparisons.
*Westmoreland had brain surgery, so the biggest thing is that he can make a recovery from that.

-Joe

P.S. Here are my Strikeforce winners: Overeem, Arlovski, Jacare, Gracie, Cavalcante, and Beerbohm

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hypothetical Matchup: Jordan Bulls vs. LeBron Bulls

Although it is far from certain that LeBron James is heading to the Bulls next year, the rumor is picking up steam so I figured I would beat everyone to the punch and present the hypothetical matchup between the 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls vs. the 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls after signing LeBron James.

I'll break down the bench as a whole, and the starting five, position by position. I won't break down coaches, because although I can already put LeBron in a Bulls jersey, I'm not ready to definitely put Calipari as the coach.

The Benches
The new Bulls have a few very valuable guys coming off the bench. Luol Deng is definitely the highlight of that as I would see him getting equal minutes to Hinrich. I think Luol makes them more dangerous on offense, but more susceptible on defense. Brad Miller is also solid for a backup big man. They've got some hot-cold guys like James Johnson, Jannero Pargo, and Hakim Warrick. And then they've got some worthless pieces of shit, highlighted by Flip Murray.

The old school Bulls bench is built on depth. John Paxson is probably the best guy coming off the bench, but everybody can contribute. They can put in a lot of solid big men with Stacey King, Scott Williams, and Will Perdue. Craig Hodges was one of the best pure shooters in the league at that point, and Cliff Levingston and Dennis Hopson knew their roles. Nobody hurts you on this bench, but nobody is a game changer either.

The old Bulls can't match up with the top parts of the Bulls bench, but they make up for it in their depth as nobody was dead weight on that bench. Depth balances out the top half talent for a push.

Center - Bill Cartwright vs. Joakim Noah
Noah is a tough matchup for just about any big man, because he's quick, and he's got nonstop hustle. He is quickly turning into a force down below, because nobody with his height is moving around like he does. Everybody wants to hate him, because he looks so goddamn stupid, but when you watch him play, you either love him if you're a Bulls fan, or you respect him, because you wish he was on your favorite team.

Cartwright is (I will talk in present tense as if this team had traveled to the future to play this game) a crafty veteran who has ten years of experience. He's a guy who doesn't move around quite as well as he used to, but he's still able to get to his spots, and he's got a few tricks up his sleeve that present problems for younger athletes. He'll likely frustrate guys with subtle elbows to the ribs when going for rebounds.

Cartwright does have experience, but a guy like Noah is going to be a big problem for him. They're built fairly similar with Cartwright just having a couple inches of height on him, but Noah's hustle is going to be too much for the veteran, and this is an advantage for the New School Bulls.

Power Forward - Horace Grant vs. Taj Gibson
Gibson is a hustler, but not to the extent of Noah, he shows a solid mid-range game for a guy his size, and he does a great job on the offensive glass. He isn't going to blow anybody away with his scoring, but he's not going to hurt you when he's out there, and that's really all his job is going to be for the Bulls.

Grant is a tough inside presence. He'll battle for any rebound, and he is a good third scoring option for a team. He's got enough post moves to give people problems, especially someone as inexperienced as Gibson. He runs the floor well, so hustling isn't going to be a factor in his matchup against Gibson.

Basically, Grant is better than Gibson in every way. He's going to have his way with him all night long, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was the Bulls second leading scorer in a series between these two teams.

Guard - BJ Armstrong vs. Kirk Hinrich
Hinrich is a pesky guy who can occasionally hit shots, and occasionally not be able to hit the broadside of the barn. He won't explode for points like Ben Gordon did, but he can be a solid contributor when he's on. His biggest asset is going to be his defense, and I see him playing defense on Jordan throughout a lot of the game, because he is a good perimeter defender, and it won't kill the Bulls chances if he gets in foul trouble.

BJ can be summed up in the word solid. He's going to go out there, play solid defense, put up about ten points a game, dish out a few assists, and just be above average in every aspect of the game. He's not going to stand out, but he made Jordan happy, so that's a very valuable asset for this old school Bulls team.

These are two solid players where there really isn't going to be a huge advantage for either one of them in any aspect of the game. Definitely a push.

Guard - Michael Jordan vs. Derrick Rose
Rose is awesome. Just an incredible player who I remember having to argue with people about, because they thought Beasley would be a better player for the Bulls. Somehow, none of those people seem to remember ever preferring Beasley over Rose. Morons. Anyway, everybody expected Rose to completely dominate coming out of the gate this year which led to a lot of disappointment for people when he got off to a slow start. He was battling injuries early on, so it is completely understandable. When it looked like the Bulls were basically going to have to win out to make the playoffs, Rose did something peculiar...he fucking destroyed everyone in sight until his team was in the playoffs. Him and Noah are the reasons LeBron is coming.

What can I say about Jordan that you don't already know? He's the greatest basketball player ever. I really can't add anything that hasn't been said a million times.

Derrick Rose is great, but he ain't even close to Jordan, big advantage for the old school Bulls.

Small Forward - Scottie Pippen vs. LeBron James
LeBron is the most talented player to ever play basketball, I really don't think there's an argument to be made there. He's most effective when he's driving to the rim, but he will occasionally get in a mode where he'll start throwing up deep jumpers. And that's the key to containing him. Make him shoot outside shots, and he can be contained, but he is in no way a poor shooter. He's still good at that, but not nearly as dominant as he is when he's taking the ball to the rim.

Pippen is a good offensive player, and a phenomenal defensive player. For this 90-91 team, Pippen's offense hadn't reached what it had become, but he was already a top five defender in the league. He was the ultimate number two guy to Jordan as he didn't need the spotlight with Jordan there, and they fed off of each other. Pippen also was the first guy to really take over as the point forward where he would be the catalyst for setting up the offense. He's one of the fifty best players in NBA history, so yeah, I'd say he's pretty solid.

This is the most interesting matchup on the court, because Pippen is LeBron's kryptonite on defense, but he's still LeBron James, so he's going to make an impact on any game that he's in. Still Pippen is a long, quick defender who should be able to prevent LeBron from consistently driving to the hoop. Although Pippen playing the point forward position would be a problem for most guys of LeBron's size, James has the necessary quickness to play defense on Pippen no matter what role he is in. Pippen's great, but the advantage still has to go to King James in this matchup.

Result
On paper, this is a series that goes down to the wire in most every game, but you put in the Jordan factor and the LeBron Bulls just can't keep up. With Pippen guarding LeBron, he won't be able to get any huge streak going. Rose is great, but Jordan will be playing mind games with him, and Noah isn't going to carry a team past the Old School Bulls. LeBron may be the most talented, but Jordan's still the best. Old School Bulls take the series 4-1, just like they did against Magic's Lakers in 1991.

The reason that I put this team against the 1990-1991 Bulls, despite them not being the best Bulls team during Jordan's tenure is that I felt this was a great matchup. Plus, if the Bulls are able to do a sign and trade using Hinrich or Deng and 2 first rounders to get Bosh, we'll have to do this all over again with the 95-96 Bulls.
LeBron, you want one of these? Sign with the Cavs and pray.
You want 10? Join the Bulls.

-Joe

P.S. I bet Tim Tebow soaked half the school after this.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nobody Really Cares About Steroids

The media is freaking out again, and most think it is because Brian Cushing tested positive for steroids. This is not the reason. First off, he didn't test positive for steroids, but he tested positive for a drug that can be used to cover up the use of steroids. A lot of writers are talking about how he has really questioned the sanctity of the game of football by taking illegal substances and being rewarded for it with a Pro Bowl appearance and a Defensive Rookie of the Year award. They are talking about these things, but these are not the things that they are really concerned about.

The Brian Cushing story happened about a week ago, and it really didn't get a ton of publicity. But it has slowly gained steam. First they found out that he tested positive in September, so the NFL's drug policy only takes eight months to get through the appeal process. Then they reopened the voting for his Rookie of the Year award so that got people jibber-jabbering about stuff until he got revoted the Rookie of the Year.

That is when shit hit the fan. It's not because he cheated, hurt the sanctity of the game (sanctity does not exist in a sport that treats concussions like bruises), or that he kept his awards despite doing all of this. No, the reason football writers are outraged is because of baseball writers.

Huh? How can baseball writers be the reason that football writers are outraged? They're saving face. Very few football writers reacted strongly to the story at first, and then baseball writers said that if this had happened in baseball, it would be the biggest story of the year. Football writers realized they were right. If Chris Coghlan got suspended after winning NL Rookie of the Year for being on steroids last year, it would be a much, much larger story (Especially with him hitting so poorly this year. Note: I am in no way accusing Coghlan of being on steroids).

So football writers slowly started coming out of the woodwork on how this is unacceptable behavior, because they don't want baseball writers to have higher standards or an honor code that the NFL cannot live up to. Peter King of Sports Illustrated claimed that he couldn't sleep last night, because of Brian Cushing being revoted the Rookie of the Year. Are you fucking kidding me? There's things that may keep me up at night on occasion, but it has never been who won a rather meaningless award. I'm guessing the same is true for King, but his fake outrage makes him look like an honorable man who wants to keep football as the greatest game on the planet.

Everything about outrage over steroid use is more about saving face than actual concern about anything. It makes them look benevolent (they're not) and people interpret that as good sports writing (it's not).

-Joe

P.S. Thank you to John Rubley for posting about the band Steel Panther on Facebook. I'm not sure if there has been a better band in the last twenty years.

They also have great tunes like "Eatin Ain't Cheatin" and "The Shocker". God bless them.

P.P.S. Go here, and follow the instructions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Five: Comedy Television

Since I have total writer's block currently, I figured I would do something that makes it extremely easy to write and start putting lists out there. Good writers can come up with ten things to comment on, so I decided to do five since I figure I'm halfway decent at putting my thoughts on my computer screen. I decided to tackle the world of comedy television, as a friend and I debated what was the better comedy between Parks & Recreation and Community. That debate ended up deciding which show would make the list and which wouldn't, so without further ado, here are the top five:

5. Eastbound & Down - I decided to judge this on episode to episode quality of the most recent season. Since I am only looking at the most recent season, shows like The Office and 30 Rock suffer since the quality of episodes have gone very far downhill from their heyday. Eastbound & Down has only had six episodes, but they were six great episodes. It goes over a baseball player's life after he loses his fastball and says extremely offensive things to the media (aka the John Rocker story). Kenny Powers is one of the greatest TV characters going right now, as he was awesome in each and every episode. This show could completely fall off the map, or it could rise up the list. Kenny is going to Mexico this season, so that's a pretty good start.

4. Parks & Recreation - This show went from struggling through its first season to taking over the Thursday night lineup in Season Two. The first season focused a ton on Amy Poehler's character and it got tired pretty quick. This season, they have spread out the focus to their different characters and it has turned it into a can't miss show each and every week. I really thought that Tom Haverford (played by Aziz Ansari) would be my favorite character on the show after watching the first few episodes of this season, but Ron Swanson (played by Nick Offerman) has completely taken over. There is not a scene where I am not happy to see Ron Swanson, and there is not a situation that Ron Swanson couldn't help in real life. Plus the man loves Strip Club breakfast buffets.


3. Archer - Archer had a fantastic first season. It was consistently funny and is just another reason that FX is quickly becoming arguably the best network for new television out there right now. It's a fantastic show to quote that is always hilarious, because not every Tom, Dick, and Sally know about the show, so they can't make it unwatchable like they did with Borat.

2. South Park - South Park was really a slow-developing show as the first four or five seasons were solid, but unspectacular. Then they really started to jump into social commentary and it has taken off since then. They still have goofy episodes like Butter's Bottom Bitch that are absolutely brilliant. But they aren't afraid to attack any group of people, whether it be famous rappers that are in denial about being gay fish, bikers who are fags, and the entire Muslim religion. Plus they taught us the valuable lesson that being part ginger is a pretty shitty thing, but being part Denver Bronco is pretty cool.

1. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia - If you're making time to watch any show on television, this should be that show. There are never bad episodes, and there are rarely episodes that could be classified as just good. I remember watching the first season and thinking that it was fantastic, but there was really no place to go, because they attacked all the major social issues. I have never been more happy to be wrong than I was with this show. The D.E.N.N.I.S. System from this most recent season may be the best episode of anything ever made. And now that I've Inspired hope, it's time for me to Separate entirely.

-Joe

P.S. What is the deal with people from Iowa making shitty music videos? This might be worse than the douchebags from Cedar Rapids who made a Hawkeye video.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects: 40-31

I'll be honest, I'm too lazy to write anything after three nights in Vegas, so I should probably post these damn prospect reviews eventually. Today, I'll finally post 40-31.

40 Aaron Crow, rhp, Royals – I like Crow a little bit more than this ranking as the guy was an absolute stud in college, and has top of the rotation potential. The big questions surrounding Crow are the fact that he basically took a year off after not coming to terms on a contract with the Nationals and he hasn’t shown much in his changeup. I think both could be solved this year as I think he will regain his dominant slider after his year off, and I think he can at least develop a serviceable changeup. There’s not much of a track record to go off of, but I’m anxiously awaiting his 2010 debut.

39 Mike Montgomery, lhp, Royals – This seems like a pretty reasonable spot for Montgomery, although I might go a little lower. He was very good at both A-levels last year, where he showed a good fastball and flashed good secondary pitches. I still feel that his ceiling is only that of a #2 starter, and with so much work still to do, I think there are other prospects ranked lower that I am much more excited about. He’s a good prospect, but I don’t think he’s a great prospect.

38 Derek Norris, c, Nationals – I would put Norris higher than this as the guy can flat out hit with an OBP over .400 and slugging over .500 at Low-A last year. If he can do anything close to that when he moves up the ladder, he’ll be a huge asset at catcher for the Nationals. The big problem is he’s new to catching and he’s bad in just about every area of catching. Due to his defensive problems, he’ll probably be taken one level at a time, but nobody’s talking about a necessary position change for him, so he should be a very good hitting catcher, just not for a few years.

37 Josh Bell, 3b, Orioles – I think this is just about right as a ranking for Bell. He has really gotten better and better each year as his tools have turned into real baseball skills. The biggest strides he made were defensively where he now looks like he can stay at third base as opposed to moving to first. He absolutely crushed the ball after his trade to Baltimore last year, and if he can keep that up, he should take over the third base job sometime this year. Although he’s not Longoria, Wright, or Zimmerman, he is a very good third base prospect that will be an asset in the majors.

36 Jarrod Parker, rhp, Diamondbacks – This is too high for Parker. He should probably be 20-30 spots lower. Last year he did very well at Double-A, showcasing a great fastball and slider as well as an average changeup. But he wasn’t completely dominant, and he had Tommy John surgery in October meaning he’ll miss all of the 2010 season. If he was great at Double-A, I could understand this, but he was only very good, so I think he should be knocked down quite a bit. Also, the crazy thing is that on the prospects for the 2011 season, he will be much lower because of the fact that he didn’t pitch at all in 2010. I don’t know why they wouldn’t just mark him down now, and keep him in the general area for the next season.

35 Matt Moore, lhp, Rays – This is a guy that I feel is ranked pretty accurately. He struck out 176 batters in 123 innings in Low-A last year which is the definition of domination. The big problem is he also walked 70 guys which is bad news for him. Another bad sign is a soft body and a delivery that takes a lot of effort. Still, that many strikeouts is a great sign for somebody’s future, and he has plenty of time to harness his stuff before he makes it to the majors.

34 Wade Davis, rhp, Rays – Wade Davis is pretty damn good, and although I have loved this guy for years, I think this is a pretty fair spot for him. He’s got a great fastball and curveball combination, but his changeup is below average. Because of that, people aren’t sure if he’ll be able to stay as a starter, or if he’ll have to change to a dominant reliever. He was solid late in the season for the Rays, but with the depth the Rays have with starters, I think he most likely will have to settle for being a dominant reliever. Still, that’s a nice thing to have around.

33 Christian Friedrich, lhp, Rockies – I’d probably make Friedrich top 20, because he owned everybody last year at two levels of A-Ball. He’s a guy with a big fastball and a monster curve, and a changeup that is average. If he can gain a little more consistency with his command and stay healthy, the sky is the limit for him. The Rockies have made a commitment to making their pitching and defense better, and it’s not inconceivable that in a few years they will be more known for preventing runs than scoring runs.

32 Freddie Freeman, 1b, Braves – This is way too high for Freddie Freeman. I think the guy’s potential peaks at John Olerud who was a really good player, but that’s if everything goes right for him. I don’t see him developing that much power, so he’ll be dependent on average and drawing walks. At first base, that’s not enough to be considered the number 32 prospect in baseball.

31 Lonnie Chisenhall, 3b, Indians – I think this might be a little high for Chisenhall as the stats don’t quite match up to some of the favorable scouting reports that he’s received. He hit very well at High-A, but imploded when he was promoted to Double-A. I can understand that it may have been a small sample size (24 games), but great hitters don’t hit under .200 at any level for any real length of time. This guy could definitely be up this high or higher next year, but I don’t think he’s proven himself enough to warrant his current ranking.

And so goes another blogpost that nobody is going to read. Have a great Monday.

-Joe

Friday, May 7, 2010

UFC 113 Picks

I'm at the airport, but I'll still drop a quick blog before I gamble on all these fights tomorrow night:

John Salter over Jason MacDonald - I don't know much about Salter, but it's always good to see a Canadian lose in their own country.

Yoshiyuki Yoshida over Mike Guymon - I really don't know why Mike Guymon is in the UFC, he's not that good.

Tim Hague over Joey Beltran - I don't like either of these guys, but Hague had the audacity to use the 1 lb weight allowance and weigh in at 266, so I'll go with him.

Johny Hendricks over TJ Grant - Hendricks will use his wrestling and win. Unless Mark Perry comes in and beats him in the national championship (Iowa Wrestling joke that only three people got).

Marcus Davis over Jonathan Goulet - Goulet choked out a pitbull last week, but he'll probably get destroyed in this fight. Again, it's fun to root against Canadians.

Tom Lawlor over Joe Doerksen - Lawlor defeats another Canadian.

Sam Stout over Jeremy Stephens - Because one Canadian has to win.

Alan Belcher over Patrick Cote - But not two Canadians. Belcher is sharp standing up and has a pretty solid ground game, which should be enough to take out a rusty Cote.

Kimbo over Matt Mitrione - These guys are both terrible, but I'll go with Kimbo because...why not?

Josh Koscheck over Paul Daley - Daley has poor takedown defense, and will get pounded out on the ground. Unless Kos fights like an idiot, which he does like to do. Still, I can't possibly pick a Brit to beat a national champion wrestler.

Mauricio Shogun Rua over Lyoto Machida - Rua got robbed last time, and this is still a toss up fight, but I still love Shogun from the Pride days, so I'll pick him to win the title.

Alright, I'm off to Vegas, have a great weekend everybody.

-Joe

P.S. Matt Gatens is forming a stable, Hawks b-ball is in great shape. Here is a picture of The New Legacy to wet your appetite:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Air Beds - Ideal For Celibacy

Moving down to Albuquerque, there was no way I was going to haul a real mattress down to my new location, so I did the next logical thing and purchased an air mattress.

Air mattresses are awesome in my opinion. They are stored easily and can be blown up in about a minute, and boom, instant bed. Every night I turn the blower on for about five seconds to make sure that I have maximum air in there before peacefully falling asleep. I like my mattresses like my lady's breasts, firm.

Still, society seems to have this misconception that an air mattress is somehow lower than a regular mattress. When I told my roommate that I had an air mattress, his response was that this air mattress must be a real bummer for me and he offered me a beaten up futon that he had in storage. I politely declined his offer. I don't want a brand new futon over my air mattress, much less some semen soaked piece of shit futon that he was probably offering.

My roommate being one of the many people who have problems with air mattresses really isn't that big of a deal to me. The problem comes when the air mattress is brought up to somebody from the opposite sex. It is one of the worst possible sleeping arrangements in a lady's mind. Since I am an expert on women (nobody has ever told me that I'm an expert, and honestly, nobody's ever even told me that I'm good with women, but I know it in my heart to be true), I have decided to rank the best possible sleeping arrangements to have when trying to impress (bang) a lady.

1. Bed Of Cash - The pinnacle of impressing a lady is having a bed of cash. All women are after men's money, and that is why anytime I talked to a child before an on-field event at a River Bandits game, I would always warn him that women were only after his money (this is 100% true). Bitches love money, because they LOVE stuff. If you're ever struggling closing the deal, just let the lady know about your bed of cash, and she'll let you perform just about anything you can think of, it's a very money move (pun intended).

2. Large Bed - For those of you who can't sleep on $100 bills, a large bed is the next best thing for a lady to see when getting back to your place. It lets her know that you need the extra room, because beautiful women love to stay over with you. It's impressive without being braggy, a very solid move.

3. Small Bed - Small beds can actually be a good thing for some ladies. It lets her know that you're game to cuddle after satisfying her every sexual desire. The biggest downside is that you pretty much have to cuddle unless you give her the boot. But if you properly sexed her, she should be content with either outcome.

4. Couch - Here is where we run into the lie that you are going to get a bed when really you're not, because you're perfectly happy with your bed substitute. The couch is the pinnacle of these decisions when all else is equal. A girl can come in, see a couch in the room, imagine it with a bed in there as well and think that this will turn into a pretty classy setup. Since all women are after your money, she assumes she's going to stay around for the long haul when you do class things up, but I think that all guys know that it is best to D.E.N.N.I.S. her before that ever happens.

5. Futon - The futon comes in second place, because a girl will bang on a futon for nostalgia from her college days. Every college girl did it, was shamed by it, but still did it many more times. Take advantage of her more innocent times and treat her like the tramp that she is.

6. Sleeping Bag - Yes, the sleeping bag is ahead of the air mattress, for that same reason that no girl is going to think this is your real bed, just a temporary fix before you get something nice with high thread count sheets. The interesting part about the sleeping bag is that it can jump all the way to 2 or 3 depending on the girl. Set up a tent under the stars, and girls turn into a sprinkler downstairs. When I was down in Tampa, a wise man told me to shut the fuck up and stare at the pussy, this is terrible advice unless you have a tent set up under the stars. Enjoy the ride.

7. Air Mattress - These broads know. They know that this is really what you are sleeping on and that it probably isn't changing until you pop a hole in the damn thing. You seriously would be better off if you deflated it before a night of drinking and just laying a sleeping bag on the floor. Girls are disgusted by the idea of love making on an air mattress. For some reason, a bed filled with padding is totally acceptable, but a bed filled with air is unacceptable. Even though it would be fitting, it's a good thing that my air mattress company has not come up with the slogan of: Aerobed: Ideal For Celibacy

8. Cardboard Box - I figured there had to be something worse than an air mattress, so I'd say being homeless would probably be it. But let's face it, homeless dudes don't pick up chicks, they rape and murder them. Don't need much of a bed if you go that route.

And that wraps up a review on sleeping choices when it comes to charming the ladies.

-Joe

P.S. Although I use an air mattress, I make up for it by being a stone cold pimp.

P.P.S. The blog has had over 1000 visits. That's 250 from each of my followers, thanks guys. Also, to date, I have made 17 cents by having ads on the site, Las Vegas better watch out this weekend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

People I Love - Chapter 1: Jose Canseco

After being hate-filled yesterday, I felt it was only necessary to balance out my zen and show some love for an awesome human being.

Growing up, I remember Kirby Puckett being my favorite baseball player. What I didn't remember was my second favorite baseball player. After looking through boxes that I probably hadn't looked at in twelve years, it became apparent that my second favorite baseball player was none other than Jose Canseco.
Mesh Shirt...Check

This made me incredibly excited as I had been following Canseco on Twitter for a while and he was one of my favorite people to read about. The reason Jose is so damn entertaining is because he can't spell to save his life, and he's willing to show you the broad spectrum of his emotions.

I went all the way to the beginning, Feburary 10, 2009 and went through every one of Jose's tweets to show you why I love Jose Canseco (Jose's tweets will be in bold).

2/10/09: i have a new designer working on a complete overhaul of my website (www.JoseCanseco.com), stay tuned. JUST STAY TUNED.......
The first tweet. Jose wisely tells us to stay tuned, but then realizes people weren't totally paying attention, so he emphasizes that we need to stay the fuck tuned. Thank you Jose, we appreciate it.

4/8/09: Of the 103 unnamed players on the list who tested positive for steroids in 2003, Manny Ramirez's name is most likely on the list, 90%.
Exactly one month later, Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating MLB's drug policy. Why did the world not listen to Jose? I have no idea. This isn't one of his most entertaining moments, but I do feel he deserves credit for calling this a month in advance. Also, I don't think Jose wrote this, because it uses punctuation and capitalization. If there's one thing you will learn from Jose, it's no caps or ALL CAPS.

1/15/10: as of yesterday, I finally took over my twitter account, and you will get direct info from me from here on out daily.
Nearly a year after the account started, Jose decides to take his shit over, Jesus weeps tears of joy.

1/18/10: I just saw Big Mac's interview, he got a positive reception in Saint Louis. I'm glad for him, but he is still a liar.
1 Minute Later: Hey mac, there is No crying in Baseball.
Haha Mark McGwire, you just got completely owned by Jose Canseco...again. Jose speaks the truth and calls him a liar while calling him out for crying like a little girl. Canseco is the shit.

1/19/10: There is this kid who is handicapped & always speaks to me. Seems like a nice kid. Any advice on befriending people in an open setting?
For all of those wondering if there was anything Jose Canseco can't do, there is one thing. Making friends, but Jose will come up with a great way to make friends later on, stay tuned.

2/8/10: People always talk about money. I had money, and i was miserable with it. Money doesn't make you happy, it merely enables you to live.
Jose doesn't need money. He goes on the Surreal Life for the love of the show. Also, he "wrote" a book, because of his passion for writing, which shines through on his Twitter account. The man isn't interested in possessions, he's been persecuted for doing nothing wrong, and his initials are JC. A lot of people are going to feel like real assholes when they realize they hated on the modern day Jesus Christ.

2/10/10: Don't do business with a memorabilia dealer named Dough Aimes from North Carolina most of his stuff is fake or stolen. Especially my stuff.
Thank you for the heads up Jose, I will cancel all of my contact with Dough Aimes.
30 minutes later: The guys name is Doug Ames. Bad business.
Oh shit. I just bought a shit ton from Doug Ames after I decided to stop doing business with Dough Aimes. I'll forgive you this time Jose.

2/28/10: Went to the playboy Mansion for The masquerade party with my beautiful girlfriend Leila. Then ran out of gas on The way home! What a night..
What a night indeed, but this does concern me a little bit. Mark McGwire trusted Jose to shoot him up with steroids, but he can't even read a gas gauge. I also think this means that Jose Canseco would go 1-1 in sports against each other. He would win the baseball contest, but I would destroy him in NASCAR since I would be smart enough to make a pit stop.

3/4/10: Who is interested in spending the day with me and seeing what my life is about
I am VERY interested.
5 minutes later: 1000 per day we can do anything if interested in spend a daY with jose email me at jc7264@yahoo.com
Can't say that I'm all that interested at that price to just hang out with Jose.
3/8/10: If I select u for spend e day with me here are ur options and rules. We can go bowling ,work out, wecan spar mma style ,play any sport and
I am back up to mildly interested. If I hit it big in Vegas, my earnings could be going to spend time with Jose Canseco. And if you are wondering what the and is, so am I, but I'm assuming it's awesome like high-fiving all day, taking steroids, or breaking shit.

3/5/10: Hi this is joses daughter josie... my dad just picked me up from school and grounded me and is being mean! I'm ticked offfffffffffffffff
Josie was never heard from again. Jose keeps his bitches in line. Respect.

3/9/10: I want to coach at any level anyone interested let me no I love the game so much wish I was still playing it .I have dreams about it .
Two minutes later: I also want to be an actor tha was one of my other dreams
And I want to be an astronaut, and a firefighter, and a doctor/lawyer hybrid, and a...
4/19/10: I wanted to be a comedian or an actor or freddie krueger one two freddies coming for u
Okay, I thought my doctor/lawyer hybrid idea was out there, but Freddie Krueger, wow, point Canseco.

3/19/10: I am on the toilet thinking about writing a third book
This is awesome on its own, but Jose does not settle for simple awesomeness, he takes everything to the next level.
Two minutes later: If god does exist y does he let people lie and deseve and hurt each other
Yep, he's taking a dump, possibly writing a third book, and questioning the existence of God. Ladies and gentlemen, our lord and savior, Jose Canseco.

3/21/10: This is Jose's girlfriend and everyone should know that he is a DICK
Some may think this is a fake message to give Jose more attention. But loyal followers of him would soon learn otherwise.
18 minutes later: I need ideas on how to make my girlfriend not mad at me!
I can't believe Jose didn't know the answer to how to not make a girlfriend mad at him. There is one solution that works for all ladies...DA DICK.

3/26/10: goodnight everyone yes even u haters unless ur vampires u have to sleep
Jose may not like haters, but he still wants them to have a goodnight. This is a little thing Jesus liked to call, "Turning the other cheek." Also, who is going to be the person to tell JC that vampires don't actually exist?

3/27/10: Its hard work acting like I am tuff and strong all the time I need a break anyone want to be me for a week
Jose, I know it's tough putting the world on your back, but you've got to fight through this. You're not a soft, sensitive guy, you're a badass, please start acting like one.
13 minutes later: I got sensitive for a moment ok back to my old self again all of u can kiss my big hard boooty.hey y did the skinny kid cross the road
Hell yeah, Jose is back. And this appears to be some sort of joke. I don't know Jose, why did the skinny kid cross the road?
One minute later: To buy steroids on the other side.hahahahaha
Hahahahaha indeed. I can't wait to crack up my buddies with that joke in Vegas this weekend.

4/19/10: U motherfuckerfs can dish it out but u can't take it I new u where cowards fucking genetic malfunctions should have been killed at birth
Jose not only showed off some impressive vocabulary, but we found out that he is pro-abortion, holler. What's that? He's not pro-abortion, he's pro choice. Well, Jose has this to say:
Two minutes later: Remember the movie 300 that's tbhe way it should be get rid of the shit at birth would be a better world today
Not only is he pro-abortion, but as he states to "get rid of that shit at birth," that means he's also for partial-birth abortion. Holler indeed.

Jose Canseco, even ten yeur old me knew that you were the shit. It's like Redman the Robot, shit don't change.

-Joe

P.S. Montell Marion is off the Iowa wrestling team for partying too hard, so we're down to two returning starters, whoops.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Albuquerque, What The Hell?

Yesterday, I completed my journey to Albuquerque. Some of you are aware of this, others are saying to themselves, what the fuck? Why would you move to Albuquerque? Here are some of the speculations that have been circulating around:

1. Joe got a job - Let me publicly state something that I have privately stated many times, work is for jerks. There is no job down in Albuquerque, and I don't plan on looking all that hard for one for a while. I'll probably get some "I don't need to give a shit and I still get paid" job down here, but I'm a free spirit and jobs are for jobbers.

2. Joe has friends and/or family down there - An extremely reasonable guess, but not true. I know zero people (one if you count the roommate that I met yesterday) in Albuquerque. There was no great social aspect that led me to make my decision.

3. Joe has move to Albuquerque to support his favorite former Iowa coach, Steve Alford - This actually has some validity to it as I am definitely going to hit up some games if I'm still here during basketball season. Alford's team getting ousted in the second round of the tournament was a complete fluke, and he'll prove that this year by not even going to that shitty tournament.

4. Joe got tired of American chicks and hired a coyote to bring him a Mexican Sex Slave - Although this is completely false, I can't say it's the worst idea I've ever heard. But fear not, American broads, I still dig you. Plus, I'm too far away from the border to get a coyote to bring a sex slave all the way up here, I'd have had just as good of a chance of getting a moose (Canadian coyote, a term I just made up) to bring a broad down to Iowa.

5. Joe wants to take the blog to the next level - Now this is certainly not false, but it'd take quite a reach for me to say that this was the reason for the move. This move is going to help out the blog. Now that I don't have to take out the trash, mow the lawn, or bring in groceries, it's going to give me that much more time to write insightful things about the world.

6. Joe is a moron - Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. This is the simplest explanation as I basically am an idiot. I did need to move out of Iowa, but I could have picked many places where I would have had friends and great weather and had a great time doing it. But that didn't quite have the appeal for me. I wanted to challenge myself, so I picked a spot, found roommates on Craigslist and went for it.

There are only two opinions about my move. The first one is that I'm crazy for doing this. The other thing people say is, "That is so awesome...I would NEVER do that." So either way, I'm crazy, but at least I get mad props (mad props is still hip, right?) from group two. But the worst case scenario is I give it six months, figure out that I hate it here, and move somewhere else. Living with your parents for two years doesn't have many benefits, but the fact that I saved up just about everything I made and can do stupid things without worrying about money for the near future is one of them.

-Joe

P.S. In the greatest bit of recruiting news ever, Iowa is recruiting a player named Coco Ware, I was not able to confirm that his middle initial is B, but let the bird man fly.