Archive for July, 2008

I Told You This Would Get Worse Before It Got Better

Posted in APNDR, Davey Being Correcty, Founding Member of the Jason and Willow Bay Fan Clubs, Manny Being Unforgiveable, Red Sox on July 31, 2008 by hzmls

“During my years here I’ve seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them. The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy. I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don’t deserve me. I’m not talking about money. Mental peace has no price and I don’t have peace here.”

— Manny, in an interview with ESPN Deportes

Is this it?

Various sources — Buster Olney, Peter Gammons, Boston.com, Fox Sports, etc. — are absolutely buzzing right now over a rumored three-team deal that would result in the deportation of Manny Ramirez to Miami and the John Henry Secretly Still Owns Us Marlins. In return, the Sox would receive multiple (the number is currently believed to be three) prospects from the Fish, including one of their two young outfield prospects, Jeremy Hermida or Josh Willingham. Olney reports that the Sox have brought the Pirates in on the deal, with some (or all) of the Marlins prospects headed to Pittsburgh for outfielder Jason “Willow” Bay and LHP John Grabow.

Gratuitous Willow Bay Picture
Any way you look at it, this is clearly a deal that the Sox will jump at… IF they can overcome the non-trivial hurdle of Manny’s 10/5 rights. For those of you not well-versed in the arcane technicalities of the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement, under the CBA a player with 10 years of accumulated MLB service time AND 5 years of accumulated service time with his current team has the functional equivalent of a no-trade clause imputed to his contract, whether or not it already has one. Hence, Manny must approve any trade that the Sox come up with. (There is a report that an additional hurdle — a Florida demand for a Sox prospect in addition to Manny — also is out there.) Manny hit that point back in 2005, right after the will-they-or-won’t-they trading deadline afternoon where Manny wound up pinch-hitting a single to win the game for starter Jon Papelbon. But I digress.

When push comes to shove, would Manny accept a trade to the Marlins? Well, he’s pretty much made his feelings about staying clear: he wants the Sox to give him a big warm fuzzy hug (i.e. a 4-year extension), or they should cut bait and “send him a letter” saying that he won’t be back. This employer/employee relationship is clearly beyond repair — the “fuck you, we know you’re lying” double-MRI last Friday pretty much sealed that deal. Manny has a home in South Florida, and given his long-standing discomfort with English, he’d probably welcome being in a community where Spanish is effectively the primary language. He’ll have to play the field — every night — but he’s always appeared to prefer that to DHing. So I say yes, Manny would probably go along with the deal. Of course with him you never know… but I don’t see any real deal-breakers that would absolutely preclude any cooperation from him.

Now, what would the Sox get back for the #4 hitter in their lineup? Well, Bay is ABSOLUTELY the real deal. Since his 2004 Rookie of the Year campaign, he’s been one of the better hitters in the NL, putting up numbers in the .280/30/100 range in both 2005 and 2006, before his numbers fell somewhat in an injury-plagued 2007. And NOBODY KNOWS THAT, because he plays for the poor, unloved Pirates. He’s under contract until the end of 2009, so he wouldn’t be a two-month rental. The bottom line — in exchange for Manny, the Sox would be getting back someone who is basically a right-handed J.D. Drew (2008 version). And he’s only 29, so if he likes it here, you could be looking at the long term answer in left.

The Marlins outfielders are nothing to sneeze at, either. The likely primary target of the Sox is Hermida, who’s probably best known for being the first player ever to hit a pinch-hit grand slam in his first MLB at-bat. Hermida’s numbers in 2007, his first full season in the bigs, aren’t jump-off-the-page awesome — .296/18/63 in 429 AB — but his OPS+ was an impressive enough 125, and he showed a lot of discipline at the plate for a 24-year-old. I’d compare him — sort of — to a younger Kevin Youkilis offensively. Josh “The Hammer” Willingham is older at 29, and has show an BIT more power in his three MLB seasons. Either of those guys could slip right into left field and contribute at the major league level, with Hermida probably having the better upside potential, but Willingham closer to his prime years as a player.

Grabow is a slider-throwing lefty whose main claim to fame is his effectiveness with RISP. Yeah, I think the team could probably find a use for him….

If you want my opinion — and I know you do — you do this deal if you’re the Sox. I like Hermida as the consolation prize for ending Manny’s sideshow. I LOVE Bay as the consolation prize. If a Manny deal would net you Bay AND a quality lefty bullpen arm…. Um, why are we even discussing this?

Oh yeah — because he’s the greatest pure hitter we’ve seen in our lifetimes. That’s why. And I’ll miss the galoot if he goes.

Also, if you haven’t figured out yet — the Angels, right now, are a MUCH better team than your Red Sox. It isn’t even close.

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Ok, On Three Everyone Go Deep

Posted in Hazel Maes Landing strip, HZMLS, Mangini is taking notes, Who thinks of this crap on July 30, 2008 by hzmls

Need a fresh new approach to a stagnant offense? Want to try a new and original system that could take your league by storm? Tired of throwing the ball to James Thrash and Joe Horn? Instead how would you rather send a down lineman 30 yards down field on a slant route? Then the A-11 offense is for you.

Is this witchcraft? Heresy? Something created for Matt Millen? Short answer, yes.

The A-11 offense is designed for a team to have two starting QB’s lined up in a shotgun formation. It was created by a group of small high school programs out in California that wanted a chance to compete against some of the bigger programs. All of the players have to wear numbers that would allow them to be eligible receivers, spread all of the players with a TE hiking the ball and you have the A 11 offense. Of course you can only have 6 players eligible but that is the whole fun of this thing. Lots of positives about trying this new system, you don’t have obese lineman constantly getting hurt, you keep the defense guessing, and according to the “A11 website” it’s fun for everyone. Whoopee!!!

The only negative about the A-11? Well, see some refs feel that this is illegal, but no worries the A-11 association has a whole cheat sheet to convince the refs that the rule book allows it!

How could this translate to the NFL?

Dallas Cowboys– Terrell Owens gets in fight with both Tony Romo and Drew Hensen as they both fail to “give me the ball”

San Fransisco 49ers– Alex Smith becomes frustrated with his team as the entire team fails to ever get open.

Houston Texans– Don’t get what the big deal is, as they have played with no offensive line for the past four years anyway.

Green Bay Packers– Brett Favre throws a vicodin induced fit, as he refused to share the backfield with anyone.

How well does the A-11 system actually work, well the guy who created it won an undefeated High School Championship in Cali. Jesus for a team like the Bills, it couldn’t make their offense worse right? Right? Something about this whole system seems cheesy, I smell late night TV promos following Tom Emanski.

Mass Hysteria’s NFL Spectacular: The NFC North

Posted in 2008 NFL Divisional Previews, Hazel Maes Landing strip, HZMLS, Last mentioning of Brett Favre ever, Matt Millen makes me happy on July 30, 2008 by hzmls

Football season is almost upon us. As the summer continues to unwind, we at Mass Hysteria will be previewing the divisions in the NFL to prepare you for what will inevitably take over your life for the next five months. So grab your Doritos, drink a few cold ones, ignore your loved ones and enjoy.

NFC North Divisional Preview.

Why the Bears will win the NFC North

Finally the Bears can move on from the two headed stumbling attack of Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones. Benson is stumbling around somewhere in Chicago in a drunken blur, and Jones is sucking ass in NY. The backfield is now led by Matthew Forte, who played at Tulane, and therefore I know absolutely nothing about. If Kevin Jones can come back from his knee injury he could give the Bears an offensive weapon. The Bears still have one of the strongest defenses in the league anchored by Brian “I have herpes from Paris Hilton” Urlacher, Mike Brown and Lance Briggs. Having a defense that can win you games (or make it to the Super Bowl) is enough to help a team win the Uber Shitty NFC North.

Why the Bears will not win the NFC North

QB Option A. QB Option B. Pick whomever you want, they are not going to win you alot of games. Sexy Rexy and Kneckbeard Boozehound both are crappy QB’s who get flustered easily and have games that make you want to projectile vomit. But all of the blame can not be leveled at them. These sorry sacks have no one to throw the ball to, no seriously who is playing WR for the Bears. Devin Hester is crap unless he is returning kicks, he is an undersized receiver with terrible hands, and Brandon Lloyd and Mark Bradley won’t be catching many balls this year. The Bears let their only legitimate wide receiver go after last year, and even he wasn’t that great. With such a poor passing game, defenses can look run and neutralize that, causing Da Bears to pray their defense wins them games. Not going to happen all the time.

Why the Lions will win the NFC North

They have ALOT of wide receivers. Jesus, Jon Kitna could throw it to a half a dozen players and look like the best QB in the NFL. Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams, Charlie Rogers, Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald. The Lions can hope that a rebuilt Offensive Line built around Gosder Cherilus can keep Kitna safe long enough to heave the ball around the field and keep D’s guessing. Thats about all I can come up with here, most of that was a complete stretch and I want to make sure I save my word count for the next section…

Why the Lions will not win the NFC North

The Lions are going to be awful this year, you can mark that in your little notebook. Oh you forgot your notebook, well fine, keep it in your brain. This will finally be the year that Matt Millen loses his job and Detroit fans will stop bitching about it. Look I am a huge BC fan/alum, and even I think it was stupid drafting Gosder Cherilus where they did. The defense is bad, really bad and won’t be any better, and they have a rookie running back in Kevin Smith (no not the one who wrote Mallrats…..it’s the one who wrote Jersey Girl). Jon Kitna may guarantee 10 wins, but there is only so much magic this god of his can do.

Why the Packers will win the NFC North

Aaron Rogers is going to get his chance to show that he can take the reigns from “4”, and call it a weird intuition but he will succeed this year. Where did I base this intuition on? I have no idea, just a guess, a dumb uneducated shot in the dark. But he has a solid running game behind with Ryan “I saved your fantasy team after you were stupid and drafted Reggie Bush” Grant, and possibly the best young WR in the league in Greg Jennings. The Packers have a solid defensive backfield with Atari Bigby and Charles Woodson and should be to expose most of shitty offenses of their divisional rivals. They could win this division alone based purely on having to play the Lions, Bears and Vikings a total of 6 times.

Why the Packers will not win the NFC North

They lost Brett Favre. No seriously, the loss of their QB could actually come back to bite them. What happens if Aaron Rodgers turns out to be gigantic stiff, or worse yet gets hurt? Brian Brohm? Nope, he is not going to be much help. This team will be in the shitter quicker than you can say Cheesehead. I don’t buy the whole Favre is going to be a huge distraction if the Packers don’t let him go thing, but there is something to be said about a team who has 35 career snaps. Al Harris is a terrible CB too, who vanishes against good WR’s.

Why the Vikings will win the NFC North

ADRIAN FUCKING PETERSON. If Barry Sanders could carry a team single handily, so can Purple Jesus. He may be only one man, but he can tear up an entire defense all on his own, man he is fun to watch. The Vikings had the best run defense last year, and with Chester Taylor backing up the Savior the Vikes have a solid back up. Pat Williams and Kevin Williams combine for 630 pounds of run defense, and their enormous girth helped the Vikings to the leagues best run defense.

Why the Vikings will not win the NFC North

The rest of the Vikings. They have no semblance of a passing game, and it still is shocking that Tavaris Jackson is going to be their QB of the future. GIVE UP ON HIM HE ISN”T GOING TO BE GOOD. Who else could they plug in, is Brad Johnson still on the team? No. Oh Gus Frerotte and John David Booty? Yikes, going to be a long season. Sidney Rice is their #1 WR, and Visanthe Shiancoe is their starting TE, that should be an ominious sign for the Vikings. Expect lots of 100 yards passing games this season. And the final reason is Tavaris Jackson, yes he gets to be on this list twice.

Hazel Mae’s Landing Strip’s Pick for the NFC North: The Green Bay Packers they will win solely because the rest of the teams have giant holes and well, suck. Goodbye Brett Favre, hello Aaron Rodgers.

GHABY!’s pick for the NFC North:This division sucks ten dicks, and I’m not as high on Minnesota as everyone else is. They still have no passing game to speak of, Purple Jesus has always had trouble staying healthy, and their secondary isn’t anything to write home about. Still, I’m gonna pick the Vikes, if only because Detroit can’t stop anyone, Chicago can’t score on anyone, and Green Bay has too big of a Vicodin-loving distraction to get on track this year (and they way overachieved last year anyway). I’m reluctantly picking the Vikes, though I think they’re a lot closer to 9-7 than 12-4 or 13-3.

APNDR’s Pick for the NFC North: Purple Jesus has “always” had problems staying healthy, Gabby? Really? In his ONE YEAR IN THE LEAGUE? Pfft. If that’s the case, then he’s always had a habit of rushing for 300+ yards, so there you go. Okay, I know you’re talking about college, dammit. I need to take my mocking opportunities when they arise. Anyhow, you’re right that the rest of the Vikings squad is less than appealing, so unless P.J. learns to throw a 45-yard tight spiral, the Vikes are just in the mix, not presumptive favorites. The Bears aren’t going to win diddly squat unless they pull a QB out of the ass of Lake Michigan. And the Pack have already been torpedoed by that overrated arrogant braying hick jackass that used to play for them. In my heart, I want to pick the Pack to go 14-2 and go deep in the playoffs, where Aaron Rogers will NOT break the play and throw a shitheaded interception because he arrogantly wants to win things HIS way and not the TEAM’S way. In my head, this division is weak, so I’m picking the Eagles to somehow win the NFC North as well as the East. FLY IGGLES FLY!!!!

What to Name Your Band?

Posted in Band Names, GHABBY, Going to Hell on July 29, 2008 by hzmls

So my girlfriend is in an a capella group, and they’re trying to come up with a name. In about 30 minutes of work time, I whipped up the following possibilities:

I Stabbed Seal in the Face And All I Got Was This Stupid Tshirt
Daniel Benoit Was Supposed to Tap Out
Turdy Brown and his Band of Renown
Back Door Bob and the Puckering Ruby Starfruits
Songs to Euthanize Your Grandmother To
The Tuning Fucks
The Banging Forks
My Mouth Harmed Monica
Zubaz: The Band
A Capella for Max Casella
Magnus Ver Magnus-songs
We Don’t Have a Band Name, But Some of us Have Tits
Billy Mays Sold Me Some Useless Shit
Rovery Rinda and the Smirre Bligade
I’d Like to Spelunk Your Trunk
Sic Semper Anus
Pardon Us, This Is Our First Time Making Noises With Our Mouths
I’m What Horsemen Call A Gelding
The Beatles
Barney Rubble and the Muff Stubble
Excuse me, That’s My Uterus You’re Elbowing
Eat a Bag of Richards
Exploratory Ladyfingers
Cocaine Lines off a Unisex Bathroom Urinal
Great-Grand-Milf Hunters
I Got Salmonella From the Dollar Menu
We Sing Better than Your Mom
If It’s Yellow, Let It Mellow, If it’s Brown, It’s Voting Obama
I Once Jerked Off to the Pink Power Ranger
Diabet-us? More Like Diabet-you, Motherfucker
The Tortoise Shaving Hair
Grape Ape: Convicted of Rape
FUPAs Escaping from Elastic Waistbands
The Anal Wrath of Mickey’s Malt Liquor
Less Instruments Than Dr. Mengele
Purple-headed Pickle Pannini (with Horseradish Sauce)
Free Beer (And Herpes)
Subject Verb Adjective (Prepositional Phrase) Noun.

Feel free to add your own ideas…

Manny Being Northwesty — Why Not?

Posted in APNDR, Manny Being Unforgiveable, Seattle Mariners, Unfounded Speculation on July 29, 2008 by hzmls

I’d really like to do a full-on post about possible trading partners for the Red Sox on the Manny Ramirez front — because the Sox WILL absolutely trade him if the right deal is offered — but sadly real life is in the way, and I don’t have the time to do a proper, well-researched glib post.

I did want to throw one possibility out there, though, that I have not seen discussed in the blogowebisphere, or even floated out there: what about moving him to Seattle for Raul Ibanez?

The Mets had been talking with the Mariners about a potential Ibanez deal, one of the multiple feelers they sent out towards the goal of filling their gaping hole (Fernando Tatis) in left field. However, the deal never got off the ground, because the Mets have apparently decided to stick with Tatis, at least until the waiver deadline. (That could, of course, change in a Wilpon Minute.) So we know the Mariners are at least open to discussing the option of trading Ibanez.

The question is, of course, “Why would the Mariners want Manny Ramirez?” And the answer would be — they don’t. At all. However, if the Sox and Mariners could put together a straight deal for Ibanez, I’m sure the Sox could find a way to convince (i.e. pay) the Mariners to take on Manny for the remainder of the year as an add-on.

Here’s the problem, though — the Mariners, who don’t really need to do anything (they’d probably be happy with the draft pick(s) they’d get if Ibanez walked at the end of this year), would probably look to extort any trading partner in the deal. And by “extort”, I mean the discussion would probably BEGIN with Ellsbury and Masterson, and the debate would be who else gets thrown in. For the rental of a 34-year-old outfielder, albeit one with a good bat. On the other hand, if the Mariners truly believe that they will not be able to resign Ibanez after this season (or if they just don’t want to), they may, as the deadline approaches, be more reasonable in deciding to take back someone who is a more known quantity than “whomever is available at pick #220 in next year’s draft”. If the price came down — say, to a B-level prospect and a couple of very-low-level projects — I think the Sox would jump at the chance to be rid of Manny while getting some measure of offense back.

But right now, I just don’t see anything happening on the Manny front. The Sox are holding a pair of twos in this poker game, and everyone else knows it. Nobody out there truly needs to rent Manny. And this ownership/management group doesn’t seem likely to give the farm away just to be rid of a problem. So I think Thursday will come and go, and Manny will still be being Manny in left field at Fenway.

But you never know.

There’s Never A Right Time To Say Goodbye

Posted in futuremrsrickankiel, holy shit that's the most depressing thing I've ever written but you know I'm right, Manny Being Unforgiveable, Raquel, Red Sox on July 28, 2008 by hzmls


I didn’t think anything could possibly drown out the already deafening bally-hoo that inevitably arises on a Red Sox-Yankees weekend. Clearly, however, I underestimated the ability of one Manuel Aristides Ramirez to throw Boston and the general baseball media into an absolute frenzy of speculation, accusation, and pointless recommendation. It seems that things are coming to a head with our beloved slugger, but there’s no question that tensions between Manny and the Sox front office have been escalating for quite some time. An abbreviated time-line of the key events in this rocky season:

June 5: Manny and Kevin Youkilis exchange heated words and a girly slap or two in the dugout during an already brawl-filled series with Tampa Bay. The altercation reportedly arose over Manny taking exception to Youkilis’ tendency to argue calls and be excessively demonstrative at the plate (also known as Paul O’Neill Syndrome).

June 28: Manny shoves traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground after McCormick expresses an uncertainty over his ability to fill Manny’s day-of request for 16 tickets to that night’s game in Houston.

June 30: Manny apologizes publicly for the shoving — a full two days after the incident. (He was later fined an undisclosed amount.)

July 18: Bob Lobel contends that some Sox brass-types think Manny intentionally struck out against Mariano Riviera in Boston’s most recent match-up with the Yankees. (This is unverified.)

July 25: Manny opts to sit against the Yankees in Game 1 of a crucial mid-season series.

July 27: Manny gets his silly mug plastered all over the news following some less-than-tactful comments concerning the possibility of being traded out of Boston. “I’m tired of them, they’re tired of me… I’m happy, but enough is enough, you know?” he says.

Now, as fun as it is to play Armchair Executive, I won’t pretend to know everything there is to know about the ins and outs of running a pro baseball franchise. But if there is one thing I’m a motherfucking expert on, it’s FAILED RELATIONSHIPS. NO ONE knows disastrous, prolonged, bridge-burning breakups like me, bitches. And from my extensive experience with relationships collapsing in spectacular fashion, I can tell you this much with certainty: this shit needs to end. Now. Let’s reexamine our time-line for clarification:

The Little Quirks That Never Bothered You Before Starting To Piss You Off Stage. Youk’s always been kind of a whiny bitch, and it’s never bothered Manny until this season. This is when couples usually try and go on vacation or some shit, where those little quirks will only serve to irritate them even more because they’re around one another 24 hours a day. This is where you convince yourself that shit is fixable. Trust me: this is where it all starts to go downhill. You’re just channeling your real dissatisfaction into everyday peeves.

The Shove. All couples fight. It’s stupid, it’s sad… but it happens. Relationships involve sacrifice and compromise, and who the fuck ever WANTS to do either of those things? So fights happen, and they’re not the end of the world. HOWEVAH (ladies, pay special attention) : when shit turns violent, it’s over. I’m lucky. I’ve never had a dude raise a hand against me. But I’ve slapped the shit out of my boyfriends when they’ve pissed me off (or thrown beers at them, which is more fun), and I can say with certainty that it fundamentally changes the dynamics of a relationship when someone finally loses their cool enough to express it physically. [Ed. note: Of course this is an imperfect analogy, and real domestic violence shouldn’t be in any way conflated with a hot-tempered biddy like me throwing her boyfriend’s car keys out the window. The point I’m making here applies more to the moment when you just lose it to the point of no longer being able to adequately express it verbally. Longer discussion for another time, ya dig?]

The Empty Apology. We’ve ALL done this. What you say is, “I’m sorry,” but what you mean is, “…that you’re so full of shit that I need to be the bigger person and apologize when IT’S CLEARLY YOUR FUCKING FAULT.” Then you have awesome makeup sex — or, in Manny’s case, go back to getting clutch hits — and temporarily restore order. But there’s no two ways about it: the first time you apologize and don’t mean it is the last time you will ever, ever feel the same way about that person again.

The Swirling Rumors. When the rumors about cheating or any kind of dishonesty start to fly, it honestly doesn’t matter whether they’re true or not. Good relationships simply don’t foster that kind of shit. A LOT of people (girls especially) will fight me on this point, but it’s 100% true. If you hear that your boyfriend cheated on you Saturday night, even if you hear it from the least reliable source and every single one of your close friends swears up and down it wasn’t true, here’s the cold ugly truth: he was doing something, somewhere, that wasn’t being your boyfriend. He did something to make someone think he might want to cheat, and that’s the first step down a long, slippery slope of paranoia and duplicity. The point isn’t whether or not Manny actually MEANT to strike out against Mo Riviera. The point is that if he were acting the way he was supposed to be acting, we’d have no cause to assume he did anything amiss, and the rumors would never have gotten started in the first place. RED. FUCKING. FLAG.

The I’m Not Coming To Your Shit. Look. If someone loves you, they show up to whatever god-awful affair you drag them to, be it Family Bowling Night, your brutally awkward office holiday party, or Planned Parenthood. Period. When someone you love looks at you and says, “I need you,” you drop everything you’re doing and go. You love them. They need you. It’s the world’s simplest equation. When the Bronx Bombers are in town, WE NEED MANNY. Boy’s a gat-damn Yankee killer: he knows it, they know it, and we know it. We needed Manny on Friday, and he made up some bullshit excuse to get out of it. You can make excuses all you want, but this is one of the surest signs that your shit is on the rocks.

Loose Lips Sink Ships. It’s the most painful fucking thing in the world when it gets back to you that someone that you love and would do anything for is going around telling people it’s over. But that’s exactly what Manny did to Boston this weekend. This guy is fucking jerking us around and we’d be nuts to stick by his side. Of course we still have good moments with him. When you love someone and are with them for years, you never totally lose the connection you built up. But — and this is the key takeaway here, kids, both for baseball and for life — IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON TO END A RELATIONSHIP. If Manny wants it to be over, then sorry Boston: It’s already fucking over. Cut your losses and move on. I vote we trade Manny within the week.

Excuse me for a minute. I’m going to go sit in the supply closet and cry.

One more chance to join TEH LEAGUE OF AWESOME

Posted in Fantasy Football Frivolty, futuremrsrickankiel, Raquel, you snooze you lose on July 28, 2008 by hzmls


Due to unexpected bail-age, we have ONE MORE slot now left in the Mass Hysteria Fantasy Football League. I’d give it to one of my retard friends who’ll sleep through the draft and trade me all their running backs for Matt Ryan, but that doesn’t seem fair. So shoot me an email if you’re down. futuremrsrickankiel (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks to those who’ve signed up already! As always, please include a sentence or two stating why you think you should be in our league… it’s more fun that way.