Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Longest Fantasy Baseball Story Ever Told - Part One

With the end of the regular season comes the end of fantasy baseball. This was probably my proudest fantasy baseball season, as I managed to buy, sell, and compete all at once. I don't do drugs, so trades are what I imagine crack would be like. I managed to make seven trades this season, and that doesn't even include the trades I made before the draft to move up and down as I bought and sold picks from other sports. With that, there are three important things to know about this league.

1. We have a baseball, basketball, and football season, so we can trade guys between sports. We compete in the individual sports and compete for an overall championship as well.
2. We are introducing keepers this year. Very limited, as you can keep two guys for each sport, and it costs two rounds higher than when the guy was drafted. Free agents are ineligible.
3. You are only allowed 25 free agent acquisitions throughout the entire season. This makes every move way more stressful than a normal league and adds way more strategy to the free agency process. There is no streaming pitchers every week, but maybe you can make a Sunday pickup to put your team over the edge.

There is only one place to start this story, and that is with my draft. After you see my draft, you will understand why I had to make trades. Anyway, here is what I was able to acquire (Note: There were trades before the draft that altered some of my picks, so that is why I did not pick until 19):

19 Carlos Gomez, Mil OF  
23 Evan Longoria, TB 3B  
26 Joey Votto, Cin 1B  
38 Justin Upton, Atl OF  
54 Zack Greinke, LAD SP  
78 Masahiro Tanaka, NYY SP  
83 Wilin Rosario, Col C  
91 Matt Cain, SF SP  
98 Cole Hamels, Phi SP  
115 Chase Utley, Phi 2B  
126 Jose Abreu, CWS 1B  
134 Jedd Gyorko, SD 2B  
139 Danny Salazar, Cle SP  
146 B.J. Upton, Atl OF  
150 David Robertson, NYY RP  
163 Leonys Martin, Tex OF  
179 Koji Uehara, Bos RP  
187 Chris Tillman, Bal SP  
198 Chris Carter, Hou 1B  
235 Jose Veras, Hou RP  
246 Mike Moustakas, KC 3B  
259 Ubaldo Jimenez, Bal SP  
270 Josh Johnson, SD SP  
283 Edwin Jackson, ChC SP  
294 Derek Jeter, NYY SS  

The highlights obviously start with my first pick, Carlos Gomez. An outstanding player in all categories and before I go on about him, I should mention my first trade:

I trade Carlos Gomez and an 8th round football pick for Ryan Braun and a 15th round football pick.

My analysis of this trade: Whoops. I thought Ryan Braun's wrist was healed and I'm not a huge believer that PEDs make a large difference. I stand by the latter, but the former was just poor research on my part.

Other lowlights include my Joey Votto pick which did not work out. I was targeting Stanton there, and he got scooped up right before my pick. I was heartbroken and immediately trying to trade for Stanton, especially since I was living in South Florida at the time so I attended multiple Spring Training and regular season Marlins games. It never came to fruition, and Votto's most positive contributions was when he was only occupying a DL spot instead of starting.

Matt Cain wasn't very good, as I was targeting Anthony Rizzo with that pick, but since I already had Votto and was targeting another first baseman later in the draft, I didn't really need him. Gyorko and Salazar were two young players that I expected to take steps forward, but they both decided to jump backwards instead.

Finally, my last six picks were all dropped within the first six weeks of the season, but to be fair, I only drafted Jeter as a joke since it is free to add guys before the season starts. I replaced him with Chris Owings.

But there were highlights. Greinke, Tanaka, and Hamels were all great values that could lead my starters and Robertson and Uehara were great closers to get later on. As for hitters, the only real highlight was Jose Abreu. That was a great pick, but it may have been my only great pick, as only the biggest fanboy of Chris Carter would actually have held onto him throughout his entire cold streak to be paid off for when he became red hot during the second half of the season.

Looking back, this is a solid team. A good pitching staff that is going to have to carry a disappointing offense. But this is the longest fantasy baseball story ever told, so we'll get into that next time.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UFC 178 Is Still Going To Be the Best Card of the Year

UFC 178 has not gotten a ton of hype in anticipation of the fights this weekend. That is mostly because the original main event was Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, and that fight had the most hype since the days of Brock Lesnar. Also, the replacement main event is about as sure of a thing as you are going to find in the UFC which lessens the excitement. But even though the main event sucks. This card is absolutely stacked. As I went through the fights, my jaw dropped further and further as I was amazed at the talent of this card. Here is a rundown of what to look forward to this weekend.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso
Cariaso is the biggest underdog in a title fight in UFC history, and he should be. Mighty Mouse is unbelievably quick, and he has consistently added power to his strikes. That is a terrifying combination. The guy is so smooth that I would feel pretty comfortable parlaying this fight with any other one on the card that you felt like betting on.

Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez
So I knew this fight was signed, but now that it's here, it found a way to totally sneak up on me. I am so excited for this fight. Neither guy knows how to have a boring fight, and although each guy is tough, they also have enough holes that they could be exploited by their opponent at any time. One of the underrated things about Cerrone is how far his wrestling has come. In a strict wrestling sense, he'll never be very good, but he might be in the top 25% of fighters in his ability to mix strikes with his wrestling in order to be an effective MMA wrestler. Who am I picking in this fight? I'm not, because I honestly have no clue what is going to happen. But since this means nothing, I'll go with Alvarez while noting that anytime I underestimate Cerrone, he makes me look like an idiot.

Dustin Poirier vs. Dustin McGregor
Am I on the McGregor bandwagon? Hell no. He's a talented striker, but I think he will get eaten alive by a wrestler. Luckily, the UFC has protected him from those matchups, and that continues with Poirier. Still, Poirier is the most talented guy that he has fought. Still, I'm picking Poirier, partly because I'm down on McGregor, but mostly that his nickname is Diamond. Dustin "Diamond." You know you're tough when you willingly walk around with a nickname that likens you to Screech. Bravo sir. Bravo.

Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero
I love wrestlers, so Yoel Romero is my guy since he was good enough to win a Silver Medal. He has often used his wrestling for defense so he can throw bombs at people, which is a pretty scary combination. Still, I gotta go with Kennedy on this one, because the guy always finds a way to win. In the last seven years, his only losses are close decisions to Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza. Romero is good, but I don't think he's quite on that level, so I'm going Kennedy.

Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Dominick Cruz is back? Finally. Cruz hasn't fought for three years due to repeated knee injuries, but he's finally back. If he's the same fighter he was before, all he has to do is win this one for a shot at TJ Dillashaw to reclaim the title he was forced to vacate. Mizugaki is no easy out, but if Cruz is anywhere near his old talent level, he should have no problems winning the fight.

Those are the fights I'm most excited about, but also on the card is former #1 women's contender, Cat Zingano, Jorge Masvidal, Stephen Thompson, and a bunch of other fighters that have historically had entertaining fights.

I know this card doesn't have the flashy main event, but it more than makes up for it with the other fights on this card. Get excited; this is going to be a fun night of fights.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Am So Excited For Wrestle War 90

The WWE Network is a magical place where you cannot watch for an hour without your mind being blown. I was watching Clash of the Champions X, and within the first hour, I saw Dr. Death Steve Williams pretending to be a doctor and performing CPR, but this was 1990, so he only pushed on the chest as mouth-to-mouth would have made him geh. Jim Cornette, for no reason whatsoever, calling Norman (a random fat wrestler who loved teddy bears) a child molestor, and finding out that Cactus Jack's last name was Manson. What does this has to do with Wrestle War 90? This also happened:
I can just about guarantee that this PPV is hot garbage, because WCW could not compare to WWF at this point, but man, this .gif:
I want my everyday to be that. Wrestle War 90. Can't wait.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bloodstained Men Has the Most Important Cause of Our Lifetime

I recently learned about the advocacy group, Bloodstained Men, and they might be my favorite advocacy group of our time. These are people with passion, fashion, and soon they'll be cashin'...checks because everyone is going to donate to this cause. Here are the reasons that Bloodstained Men are the perfect group for our generation.

1. Their Cause Is Important
So what are the Bloodstained Men all about? They are trying to stop circumcision at all costs. These babies aren't consenting to circumcision, therefore, it should be illegal to do it. And this may just be the tip of the iceberg. If we have to have babies consent to everything, they are going to start earning more and more rights. Babies are also imprisoned while they sleep, so they may be looking to ban cribs next. Would it be such a bad thing to let babies vote? Personally, I'm ready for President Blues Clues. It can't be any worse than the current regime, AMIRITE. #ThanksObama #Nobama

2. They Have Stunning Visuals
Was that photo up top not enough? Okay, how about this one?

That is strong, but maybe this is more your style?

That is almost too hot. This should satisfy everyone.
Yep, that should do it.

3. They Have Catchy Catchphrases
Having an organization based on circumcision give you an incredible opportunity for catchphrases. Here are some quick ones that I came up with off the top of my head.

Give your dick some extra size
There's no need to circumsize.

Foreskin gives the ladies more skin.

Keep that knife away from my dick
Use it to spread butter real quick.

I'm glad you're not going after my testicles
Let me keep the resticles.

How about we all drink some Tang
Then you won't have to slice my wang.

It is wrong to cut my dong.

I might go into epileptic shock
If you try to cut my cock.

Some were clearly better than others, but these all took me about 45 seconds to come up with. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to find out what Bloodstained Men were able to come up when they had years to make the catchiest of catchphrases. This is what they came up with:

You don't have to cut his penis.
Let him keep his WHOLE penis.

Seriously? Rhyming penis with penis? That's it?

But here's the thing, it's still really catchy. If I was still in college, I would definitely dress in all-white coveralls with a red stain on my crotch for Halloween and scream that catchphrase the entire night. It would be one of the most fun Halloween costumes of all time (Note: If you do this, please send pictures or video to uncensoredwriting@gmail.com).

The message is so strong that the delivery doesn't even matter.

Thank you, Bloodstained Men. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sean O'Haire: Master of the Vignette

Last night, news came that Sean O'Haire had passed away. If you are not a wrestling fan, that name probably means very little to you. If you are a wrestling fan, you may still not know who that is. But if you do have strong memories of Sean O'Haire, it is almost certainly not for what he did in the ring, but for what he did outside of the ring.

In preparation of Sean O'Haire coming to the WWE with a new gimmick, they released a series of vignettes. They are, without a doubt, the greatest vignettes in WWE history. I can't remember how I found these videos as it was a dark period in my wrestling watching when these came to fruition. I am guessing my brother sent them to me, and if I found them first, I can guarantee I immediately sent them to my brother. 

Bray Wyatt was praised for his vignettes, because he came across as this diabolical cult leader. But when you think about it, Bray Wyatt isn't scary, because Bray Wyatt can't control you. He is a cult leader for hillbillies, not your normal everyday person. Sean O'Haire was the cult leader for your everyday person, because on its face, although you knew what he was saying was bad, it also kind of made sense.

Every video was pure magic, like this one on infidelity.

Or this one on drugs:

Or my personal favorite, his work on religion:

They are all brilliant. Delivered perfectly. That smug confidence that every standard that you hold yourself to is a farce while he offers true freedom that will not only make you happier, but will make those around you happier as well. They are hammered home with the perfect conclusion, "Hey, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know."

This gimmick really never went anywhere, but these videos will live on forever. If you really want to see their impact, just look at the YouTube comments on these videos. They make people feel uncomfortable about their beliefs. It's amazing.

It's a weird thing in that my friends and I have laughed our asses off at these videos, as they were so brilliant, all you could do was sit back and appreciate it. I'm sure that we are not alone in our appreciation for Sean O'Haire, and I hope that he knew how great these videos were. On the internet, it's so easy to shit all over things that you don't like. But this was something I loved, and I never took the time to see if he had Twitter or Facebook to tell him how awesome these were. At just 43 years old, I could have assumed that I would have plenty of time, but I was never actually going to do it.

So, if you take one thing out of this, it's praise things that you actually enjoy to let the creators know that what they are doing is awesome. It may be an athlete, it may be a writer, or even an artist, but letting them know how great their work is will make both you and the creator feel better.

Hey, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know.