Archive for June, 2008

Talk Shows on Mute

Thefoulline.com would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays on winning the 2008 World Series. Tampa has shown that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Kudos to the Rays and their fan.

What’s that, there are still 80 games left to be played?? Are you sure? I was listening to Sports Radio 620 WDAE this morning and according to them, this season is over.

On Tampa’s Ron and Ian show this morning these guys could not say enough about how the Rays are going to kill the Sox this week, and how Boston is a bunch of chumps. These are the same guys that predicted during the pre-season that the Rays would finish below .500. What I don’t understand is how the Rays will win the World Series and still finish with a losing record.

Could this be yet another Florida newspaper/talk show/news reporter jumping on the Rays bandwagon? This is nothing new for this area. After all, the same thing already happened when the Bucs and Lightning were suddenly contenders, so why not jump on the Rays’ wagon? What I find really funny is last year the Tampa Tribune and St. Pete Times had absolutely zero Rays coverage. It was difficult to even find the box score. Now these sports sections are all Rays, all the time.

I wonder what they are going to replace this section with when September rolls around. Oh, I know, the Buccaneers will be getting ready to start their season. Crisis averted.

Everyone loves a winner. This is evident by every Tom, Dick and Harry that is suddenly a “lifelong” Rays fan. Some of these fans can even tell you the names of a a few of the Devil Rays that were on the team last year.

But a true fan follows their team and voices their support regardless of their record.

I look forward to seeing and hearing how this all plays out in the Tampa media when Thursday rolls around, and once again the Rays are looking up at the Red Sox.

End of the Road

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

After a career that has spanned 17 years and included 3 World Series titles, 6 All Star Games, 11 postseason wins, countless opinions, and one bloody sock, Curt Schilling may have thrown his last pitch in a Major League uniform.

But it wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Guys like Schilling don’t just walk away from the game with an injury. They’re supposed to walk off the field for the last time during the seventh game of the World Series, to an adoring crowd and a standing ovation.

A lot has been said over the years about Schilling’s history of having an opinion on pretty much every subject. Words like egomaniac, self-indulgent, and blowhard have often preceded his name, but I always took Schilling’s view on things with a grain of salt. I couldn’t care less who he thought should be our next President. I cared about his pitching. And when it mattered, there have been few pitchers over the years that could elevate their game the way Curt Schilling did.

Schilling will always be remembered by Red Sox Nation for the bloody sock game during the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees, and for the leadership he showed in helping the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years. Those games were obviously incredible and will never be forgotten, but the Schilling game that stands out for me was in 2005. Keith Foulke had gone down with an injury, and suddenly Boston was in need of a closer. Schilling putting the team ahead of himself, volunteering to work out of the bullpen for his first time in fourteen years. Of course, the experiment didn’t last, and Schilling got shelled. But he put the team ahead of his personal statistics, and my opinion of him changed that day.

I don’t think Curt Schilling has the career numbers to make it to the Hall of Fame. He never won the Cy Young award and hasn’t won 300 games, both of which tend to be the main criteria for induction. But if there is a wing in Cooperstown that rewards heart, determination, and leadership, then Schilling would be in on the first ballot.

And who knows, we may one day see #38 join the list along side 1 4 8 9 27 42.

The Winner Takes It All, Week 11

Week 11 of thefoulline.com fantasy baseball league is in the books. As we approach the halfway point of the regular season, I’ve added a new feature to the weekly recap, one that I like to call the Good, the (Not So) Bad, and the Ugly.

In no particular order:

THE GOOD

Boston Braves
These guys have a knack for finding obscure pitchers and getting quality starts from them (i.e. Kyle Lohse). Plus, this outfield puts up a thousand points a week. He’s dialed in. He has a pretty good match-up this week against the SarasotaRedRays. I don’t see BB relinquishing first place of the East Division anytime soon.

YankeeHaters
One of these days I’m going to figure out which pitchers to start each week. I left Johan Santana and Felix Hernandez on the bench and paid for it with a closer game than I anticipated. This week I have a really tough game against the surging Showstoppers. This will be the game of the week. I really don’t want to lose to another McLaughlin. “Shake and Bake” Matt!

Love Boat Captains
The losing streak is over! LBC is getting some good points from her Boston connection in Ellsbury and Youkilis, and her pitching staff has returned to form. Now that the kinks have been worked out, look for this chick to make a run at taking out the Boston Braves.

THE (NOT SO) BAD

The Showstoppers
This team is the real deal. They are putting up a load of points and dominating their opponents. Now that they’re over .500, can they continue this stretch? I’m guessing that the McLaughlins have set up a war room at their house and are figuring out how to take out the competition. The trash talking may go up a notch this week as The Showstoppers take on the Yankeehaters.

SarasotaRedRays
SRR has lost three in a row and is clinging to its playoff hopes. They face another tough team this week in the Boston Braves. Will SRR play like the team from a month ago, or are they going to fade into mediocrity? This is an important week for these guys.

Lessthanzero
I know I’ve said it before, but these guys are much better than their 5-6 record. They once again put up 400+ points in a crushing defeat to the Bostonbad boys. When they’re on their game, no one is going to beat them. Consistency is the key for this team.

MyBestEfforts
Despite his best efforts, he was unable to stop the Showstoppers this week. MBE has been fighting the injury bug all year but is still putting up decent numbers. With the return of Jake Peavy and Ryan Doumit, MBE may be on the cusp of putting it all together.

THE UGLY

Bostonbad boys
Chipper Jones missing a few games and a poor performance from his pitching staff led to another losing week for BBB. Maybe the return of Dice K this week will turn this team’s luck around, but with a tough game against the LBC, there is a better chance that a monkey will fly out of my butt. LBC by 100.

Chickenheads
This team has some of the biggest names in baseball on the roster, including A-Rod, Pujols, Mauer, and Beltran, as well as some of the most disappointing pitchers in the league in Brad Penny and Brett Myers. If this team would play to its potential they could be tough, but it may be too little too late at this point.

Roger’s Syringe
Dylan had bigger fish to fry this week than fantasy baseball, as he and his Dad won the prestigious Charlotte County Father-Son golf tournament. Congrats Hamiltons, and good luck this week against MyBestefforts.

Good luck to all the teams this week (except The Showstoppers)!

I Predict a Riot

The Tampa Bay Rays have had an impressive start to their tenth season, a season that has shown a lot of promise, hope, and potential for a successful future. After 68 games the Rays are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory, with a winning record and hopes for a possible playoff berth.

Despite the large amount of stress that this could cause, it’s refreshing to see that the Rays have been able to keep their sense of humor. I was reading the newspaper the other day and came across this quote from Rays pitcher and part-time comedian James Shields, referring to Coco Crisp charging the mound during their game last week: “If he wants to come out and charge the mound, he’s going to feel the wrath. That’s just bottom line. If he wants to go cry about it, that’s fine.”

James Shields takes a swing at Coco Crisp

After closer examination of the brawl, I noticed a few things. First, Shields threw the worst punch that I’ve ever seen. He really should look at what he’s swinging at. Secondly, when involved in a fight, you really should take your baseball glove off.

Now I’m not a boxing expert, but when Shields missed his punch by six inches, was that the “unleashing of the wrath?” His punch did nothing more than dry out Coco’s contact lenses from the wind blowing by.

These two teams meet again June 30th at Sam’s Wholesale Warehouse… I mean Tropicana Field. It’s going to be an exciting series that should provide some fireworks. Let’s hope that with all the bad blood between these teams, that they will sell this place out (for the the 12th time… ever).

I’ll definitely be there along with the other 20,000+ Red Sox fans.

I just hope Shields will keep his wrath contained.

Fighting Temptations

Baseball fights are stupid. It’s essentially a pig pile of grown men. No one ever lands a clean punch, and all it does is increase the hostility between the two teams. Players’ egos are getting out of control.

With that being said, 3rd base coach DeMarlo Hale body slamming James Shields was awesome.

Thefoulline.com Quick Hits:

  • I would trade Coco Crisp for James Shields/Jonny Gomes any day of the week.
  • The Red Sox are a close-knit team, but you have to figure if anyone is going to fight in the Sox dugout, it’s going to be Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez. Youk is an intense, hardworking, blue-collar player. Manny is a naturally talented, lazy idiot. I’d be surprised if this was the first fight between the two.
  • With Manny’s contract up at the end of this season, I think Boston should make a serious run at Colorado Rockies Matt Holliday. He’s younger than Manny, would have a comparable salary, can play left field, and would absolutely destroy Fenway Park.
  • Please, please, please…. let’s hope Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t break his wrist in last night’s game. If he did, the Sox are in big trouble. Ellsbury has been doing a great job as Boston’s table-setter.
  • After last night’s basebrawl game, the Rays are now neck-and-neck with the Yankees as public enemy number one at thefoulline.com
  • Jonny Gomes, Carl Crawford, and Akinori Iwamura are a bunch of punks. These three are the biggest cheap-shot artists I have ever seen. Punching Coco when he was being he held down by Dioner Navarro was cowardly. These three should receive longer suspensions than both Coco and Shields.
  • I have to mention Joba Chamberlain’s performance the other night at Yankee stadium: 2.1 innings, 148 pitches, 4 walks, 55,000 dejected fans, one foolish looking owner. Question: If a guy is playing great in the set-up role, why mess with that? Answer: Hank Steinbrenner is a friggin moron.
  • I hope the Rays enjoyed their 22 days in first place of the American League East. It will be the last time they sniff first for the rest of the year.

The Winner Takes It All, Week 9

This week of thefoulline.com fantasy baseball league is in the books, and it played out like a summer blockbuster movie, with underdogs upsetting league powerhouses, epic contests going to the last at-bat, and an old power returning to prominence. Lady and gentlemen, I present to you the week nine power rankings.

#1 Yankeehaters (7-2)
This team finally played to its potential, and it showed with the highest weekly point total of the year (458.33). Solid pitching + timely hitting = best record in the league. I’m still hoping to make one more trade to solidify my team.

#2 Boston Braves (6-3)
The Braves play good ball every week. Now tied for the second best record in the league, this team is officially one of the elite. Playing the slumping Love Boat Captains this week, this game could be what separates the men from the girl.

#3 SarasotaRedRays (5-4)
Even though SRR lost to one of the worst teams in the league this week, they are still worthy of a high ranking. I think they’ll bounce back in a big way against the sometimes dangerous Chickenheads in week 10.

#4 Love Boat Captains (6-3)
The once-dominant LBCs have suffered their second consecutive loss. This can be attributed to two things: First of all, she has been getting bad starts from her quality pitchers. With the caliber of pitchers on her roster, this is a fluke. Secondly, she was the recipient of thefoulline.com power rankings jinx, after being ranked #1. The good news is LBCs have added the 2008 version of Roy Hobbs to the lineup with the addition of Jay Bruce. Playing the Boston Braves, this is going to be a really important week for the Captains if she hopes to climb back up the rankings.

#5 My Best Efforts (4-5)
MBE is thefoulline.com climber of the week. After a disappointing power ranking last week, MBE came out and sank the Love Boat Captains. This was a big win for this team, but the road to #1 remains tough with a match-up this week against the Yankeehaters.

#6 Lessthanzero (4-5)
LTZ had the second highest point total of the week and still lost. This is still a solid team that plays every team tough regardless of their record. These guys will bounce back with a win this week against Roger’s Syringe.

#7 The Showstoppers (4-5)
The Showstoppers have been beating up on the weaker teams of the league pretty consistently. It’s when they play someone with a winning record they have some problems. There are four teams in the league with 4-5 records. Showstoppers are going to have to separate themselves from the others if they hope to make the playoffs.

#8 Bostonbad boys (4-5)
The bad boys lost Dice K to an injury and were still able to knock off one the top teams this week. Was this a fluke, or are the BBB finally ready to live up to their name? This week’s game against The Showstoppers is going to be a fun one to watch.

#9 Chickenheads (3-6)
These birds have been consistently inconsistent all year. One week they’re beating the Love Boat Captains, the next week they can’t even put up 300 points. Has this team flown the coop, or are they ready to soar like an eagle? Who knows?

#10 Roger’s Syringe (2-7)
Roger’s Syringe is officially on life support. Bad pitching and up-and-down hitting have plagued these guys all year. I hope Dylan can look away from the NBA finals long enough to try and improve this team this week.

How’d I do? Let me know where you think your team ranks.