Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Kevin Love Chest Pass Award

After watching most of the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games involving UCLA, Beach Boy nephew Kevin Love has to be my favorite current college basketball player. His passing ability is second-to-none. When Western Kentucky was making a little run, Love would grab the ball and throw it down for a killer, rip-your-heart-out layup. Here are a few examples:







Yeah, he's a pretty damn good passer. Awesome to watch. I hope he stays for one more year, but I actually think he'll be a pretty damn good NBA player, so who knows if he even needs to stay?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let's Play Two In Japan!

So the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox played the first two regular season games in Japan the last two days. They split with the A's winning today 5-1 and Rich Harden (as seen next to my brother Jamal- I mean, Chris) looked filthy. I really hope that guy is healthy this year. He's a hell of a pitcher to watch when he's on (I have the same sentiment about current Padre Mark Prior.) Ultimately it was good to see boxscores on the internet (and fantasy points for my team by Papelbon and Blanton) but my biggest gripe comes with what happens now. Both teams go back to the States to play exhibition games (Red Sox v. Dodgers and A's v. Giants.)

I understand it has to do with scheduling and not wanting teams to get rusty, but once you start the season, why backpedal to meaningless games? It has to be tough on a team to mentally start playing serious and then go back to games that don't count. Don't get me started on the ridiculous Hall of Fame game in the middle of June that Cubs and Padres are playing this year (for the last time, thankfully). I'm sure it's exactly what those teams wanted to do on their day off. Play a meaningless games where the starters will get one at bat and get subbed out, use up a pitcher for no reason, and not get a full day's rest.

Baseball is a tough sport because of how many games they play. Growing the business is fine, but they've got to figure out a better way to schedule these things. By the way, why didn't the Mariners go instead of the A's. I know the A's have Kurt Suzuki (born in Hawaii) but come on- Ichiro versus Dice K would be the match-up that would set Tokyo on fire (from the hype, not a gigantic mythical monster.) Did the Mariners vote to not go over there or something? I would think MLB would offer that team the moon and the stars to get that epic battle. Not to mention the Mariners will most likely be better than the A's this year anyway.

Overall, I like the expansion of the game, but the scheduling leaves a lot to be desired. Keep tinkering with it and get it right. Now if only the World Baseball Classic wouldn't ruin all the players next year...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cubs Still Have Wood

So the Chicago Cubs named their closer yesterday and Kerry Wood gets the nod over veteran reliever Bob Howry and young flame-thrower Carlos Marmol. And as disgusting as it is, I agree with the decision. However, while I might agree, I also don't think it will actually work out.

Kid-K (who will be 31 in June) has never quite lived up to his potential. The Cubs organization fell in love with him the day he struck out 20 Houston Astros in 1998. Unfortunately he had Tommy John surgery the following year. It took him a few years to regain his Rookie of the Year form. Since then, he has never won more than 14 games in a season, and has been hampered by injuries.

Now Woody has moved to the bullpen and is the closer. There's no one in the world that wants him to succeed more than me, but forgive me for being pessimistic. He has thrown very well in Spring, but I'm certain the daily grind will eventually get to his arm, or his legs, or his back, or his pride, or his left rear molar, or maybe he'll get turf toe. There's an injury looming, and if not, the Cubs will find another excuse as to why they won't win. I loved watching Wood and Prior taking the hill in Cubs pinstripes, but I need some more durable, consistent pitching. It's fun to see 96 mph fastballs with movement cut over the black of the plate, but not when the pitcher's arm falls off after the game and has to be reattached.

I've seen so many stories about the Cubs 100 anniversary of winning a World Series (back to back World Series Championships to be exact) but the former Chicago Colts and Chicago White Stockings need to not worry about all the pressure that comes along with the supposed Curse of the Goat. It's hard for anyone to win a World Series (ask the Yankees these days) but it's even harder when you concentrate on a 100 year old ape (or Goat, I suppose) staring you straight in the face. Cubs fans, please chill out, drink your Old Style, and stop booing your own players every other inning. Let Wood do his thing (I'm not sure if that is pitching or getting injured) and let the players know you support them. Kerry Wood will probably be a bust in his role of closer, but if not, that's a huge bonus (because you know he'll be waaaaaay better than Ryan Dempster if he can stay healthy). I just can't buy into the hype of "This Will Be the Year!" because it doesn't help me enjoy the overall season. Woody and the rest of the Cubs just need to chill out, be happy Michael Barrett is gone, be sad that Ron Santo has no legs, and remember that they get paid ridiculous amounts of money to play a game- not to feel pressure from drunk d-bags in the right field bleachers. Enjoy playing the game. It's not World Series or bust as many people might make you believe, but I'll right there celebrating if you manage to pull it off.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bracket Busted


Well, after picking a perfect 8 for 8 during the first set of Thursday NCAA Tournament games, my bracket began to fall apart. I chose USC to be a part of my imaginary Final Four, and now I'm left to wonder what might have been.

When I first made my bracket, I had Kansas State winning the first round match up. I thought about it more, heard some things on ESPN radio, and decided to change my pick. I had Wisconsin coming out of that region which, to be honest, I was not too thrilled about. Kansas kills me every year, so I never pick them now. Georgetown doesn't impress me that much. Vandy and Clemson are both very suspect with their streaky play. This left me with a USC team I believed to have the most talented player in the country (O.J. Mayo) and who had just played UCLA to a close game in the Pac-10 tournament. In fact, I secretly thought this might be the pick that would make me look like a college basketball genius.

Well, let's make the USC alum analogy:

O.J. Simpson is to Nicole Brown-Simpson as
O.J. Mayo is to my NCAA Bracket

So I suppose I should just enjoy the games knowing that I've already lost my pool entry fee/pride. Chest bump it up Michael Beasley, you cost me a possible $400, and you'll be a millionaire soon. Oh, sweet irony.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Blog Sucks!

So my first blogging adventure has gotten off to a slow start. I've been awfully busy the last few weeks, but that is no excuse! If I want to make this thing work, I have to put more effort in. Well, I figure out my life/work/blog balance soon.

One thing I have been up to is going to the recording studio. I spent the day with me main man Karl laying down three songs. 50 Stories, Shallow Water Blackout, and Second Rate Song were the three that we were working on. They are sounding really great and hopefully I'll post some clips here once they are ready.

Here's a quick list of some things that are really annoying me right now:
- Country music stars
- Paula Abdul
- People who rearrange conversations to make EVERYTHING about them
- Folks who but into conversations just to give you a hard time (there's a story behind that one, maybe I'll dramatize it and write it up here)
- Not enough time in the day
- Not enough sleep
- Excessively loud neighbors (I mean, really excessive!)
- Singers butchering Beatles tunes

That's all I have for now, but I need to write up some better posts soon or give up. I don't give up that easy, so I'll be back...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

THANK YOU DOWNTOWN VACAVILLE!

I just really wanted to thank the city of Vacaville today. I went to their Volunteer Appreciation dinner tonight to play a quick seven song set, and I was given the "2007 Performer of the Year" for the City of Vacaville. I did not realize I was getting anything, I just thought I was helping out with the event.

I really love playing in Vacaville because the people there have always been so kind and supportive of me. I especially want to thank Downtown Bob for always keeping me in mind and giving me an opportunity to play their fun events. I'd also like to thank Bob for all the ice-cold Bud Lights I've consumed on his dime. Playing seriously and drunken jams at Creekside are always a blast.

Whether it's an Art and Wine Stroll, Farmer's Market, the Creekside Bar and Grill, or any of the other fine places in Vacaville- I just want to say THANK YOU to all the people who participated in the events and listened to my music.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Riddance Brett!

Many people cannot comprehend the fact that I do not like Brett Favre. They don't understand the fact that the Bears/Packers rivalry breeds hatred among between the two teams. I ran into a lot of folks who asked me, "Really? You don't want Favre to win a Super Bowl and go out on top?" To which I had to answer, HELL NO. Yes, Favre is a Hall of Fame quarterback, but does NOT mean I have to like him. All the soft 49ers fans out here who still say they like Brett Favre should look themselves in the mirror and think about their own team getting bounced from the playoffs by the Packers.

I have to say that the Packers have not recently been that much of a problem for the Bears. They are 3-1 against the Packers the last two years, and Lovie Smith continues help the Bears hold it down. However, I remember the Bears getting absolutely torn up by Favre over and over and over and over and over. I'm pretty sure he has the record for most touchdowns ever thrown against the Bears. Favre is a former alcoholic, pill popper, and laid down to give Michael Strahan the sack record (incidentally he laid down in the NFC Championship game versus the Giants this last year as well, Hi-OOOOO!)

There's not really much more to say besides, Goodbye Brett Favre. Good riddance. May the Packers drown in mediocrity for years and years to come.