Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Linear Notes and Rap Sheets -- A.L. East

In preparation of the upcoming season, I'm here to provide you with the most incomplete, unresearched, and biased team-by-team preview on the Internet. In addition to a little rundown of each team, I'll provide a band that the team parallels (the linear note) and go over some of the players that have been arrested for one reason or another (the rap sheet). Today's entry is every major sports corporation's favorite division, the American League East.

Baltimore Orioles -- How many games do you think they will win this year? Okay, now cut about 25 wins from that number. Is your number 70? Damn, it was worth a try. They have Brian Roberts, who used PEDs but claimed his out of nowhere 2005 season was due to red contact lenses. I bet his cousin got him those lenses.

Linear Notes: This team is bad and they don't seem to be on the verge of getting better anytime soon. However, from all accounts, they have one of the more beautiful parks in the MLB. So they are a band with terrible music, but entertaining theatrics. The Orioles are GWAR.

Rap Sheet: The lone State Pen cowboy on this team is Ryan Freel who is a two time offender with a DUI and the ominous "disorderly conduct." I think his best friend Farney is a bad influence.

Boston Red Sox -- Arguably the best team in the division, making it one of the best in the league, the Red Sox have a symbiotic mix of homegrown players and decent free agents. Speaking of Red Sox free agents, my favorite story of Spring Training so far is Larry Bowa's measured critique of new BoSock Brad Penny.
"You mean the same guy who was never on time, out of shape and has one complete game? He has more stuff to worry about in the A.L. East than me. He has to worry about getting people out. He was never on time, was out of shape and never helped the kids out. Put that on the (expletive) dot-com. Put it in the headline."
I love baseball.

Linear Notes: A team that used to downright lovable but then got some exposure and then boasts one of the most annoying bandwagon fans today. As much as I hate to make the comparison, it's true. The Red Sox are the Dropkick Murphys.

Rap Sheet: The Red Sox have the more scofflaws on their team than any other AL East team. Julio Lugo may or may not have beat his wife (charges were later thrown out). Clay Buchholz stole 29 laptops while he was in high school. Dice K, while being an upstanding citizen in the US, had a "scandal" in Japan when he illegally parked his car in front of his wife-to-be's apartment building. He also had expired tags or something. He was fined 195,000 yen, which I think equals $256,000 or a nickel. I'm not sure.

New York Yankees -- They spend more money than many teams combined. They're the Evil Empire. Blah, blah, blah. So what? They haven't won a World Championship in close to a decade. I hope they keep spending and losing. This year's model includes the CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira features. Please only use these features sparingly at first or risk overheating. A-Rod used/uses roids. He makes a quarter of a billion dollars and he puts something called "boli" into his butt. Later this season, he is going to reveal is jars and jars of saved fingernail clippings.

Linear Notes: The Yankees are one of the most well known sports franchises in the world. However they haven't done much respectable lately. The Yankees are Green Day.

Rap Sheet: Joba Chamberlain was charged with a DUI, speeding, and an open container. That's a triple play combination I can believe in. I guess 310 to Joba refers to his BAC, amirite?

Tampa Bay Rays -- We heard a lot about this team last year, but I'm sure everything will fall apart this year. A core of young, talented players playing for much less than market value is just a recipe for failure. They have pitchers with great K/BB ratios and some of the best hitters in the league. How could this possibly work?

Linear Notes: The Rays are a young team that has already achieved a lot of success and they are destined for more. The Rays are The Gaslight Anthem.

Rap Sheet: The Rays are as clean as they come. The only thing I found was that reliever James Houser was suspended 50 games in 2007 for testing positive for a PED. No crimes, unless you call the fashion police.

Toronto Blue Jays -- I like the Jays, I really do. But I'd hate for them to be my team. They lose every year, but nobody romanticizes it like they do for the Cubs. They aren't lovable losers. They're just losers. That being said, one of my favorite MLB players, Roy Halladay, anchors the rotation and Shawn Marcum, who will miss the upcoming season due to the loss of one of his limbs, is from my alma mater.

Linear Notes: The Blue Jays are the best baseball team in Canada. The Blue Jays are Propagandhi.

Rap Sheet: The Jays would have had a clean rap sheet if it wasn't for a fairly recent acquisition. Matt Bush was the first overall draft pick by the Padres in 2004. Before he even stepped on the field professionally, he was arrested for partying a little too hard outside an Arizona nightclub. The party consisted of one felony and three misdemeanors. Once he finally did get on the field, Bush, drafted as a shortstop, hit only .192. They converted him to pitcher, where he topped out at 95 mph. He then tore a ligament in his elbow and couldn't play until this year. BUT THE BEST IS YET TO COME! Before this season, Bush got into a drunken altercation with a high school lacrosse team. He was quoted as saying "I'm Matt (smurfing) Bush," and "(smurf) East County." Anyway, the Padres finally released him and the Blue Jays think he'll make a great addition to their Sunday services.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Big Thaw

Well, spring training is beginning. Pitchers who don't want to be there and catchers who will be lucky to have equipment that fits report today. It won't be long before we're sitting in the bleachers at our favorite park, critiquing professional ballplayers younger than us, and hazily judging the acceptability to take our shirt off (Tip: Do it. Why, not?).
Because of blessed global warming, it's been an unusually warm February here in the Midwest. My buddies and I got the first game of wiffleball in last weekend. We play a bastardized version of "indian ball," where we employ arbitrary rules about what is a single/double/triple. This is all fine and dandy until I bat however. I am the only one of us that bats lefty. So while they hit home runs (over the fence in the neighbers yard) on a regular basis, I am left hitting the ball into brush pile, which convienient is always a single. (No matter what anybody tells you, it is impossible to hit a wiffleball the other way.) One of my favorite aspects of a wiffleball game is the lawnchair strike zone. It's such a perfect size that you know its dual use is the work of Divine intervention.
I plan on having a bit of a preview of the MLB teams soon, so keep one eye peeled and one open for that. The picture is Anthony Raneri of the band Bayside. It looks like someone just went up to him and said "hold this" *click* "thanks, yo." It's courtesy of major league wiffleball.
Here's a bit of what's been in my ear lately. It's from Ben Nichols new solo debut titled The Last Pale Light in the West. By the way, if anyone knows of a good mp3 player for blogs, let me know. I'm not sure how I feel about this one.
Otherwise, let me know how you are getting ready for the season. How do you think your team will do? Which one of your players is most likely to get indicted for using illegal drugs (thought I wouldn't mention it, din ya?)?