Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Too good to be true.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Phillies 2007: Analysis
For those who do not care for the extendo-version, here is what the Phillies look like for 2007 in few words: Our lineup is sweet-ass with a good mix of contact hitting, power, and speed. Our Starting rotation is much improved and the reason why many critics may actually be taking us seriously this year. We could not find anybody to take Jon Leiber and so we are actually stuck with 6 ‘on-the-real’ starting pitchers and one will go to the bullpen if there is no trade. This would not be bad because our bullpen is lackluster, as it’s been for a couple years. I still have great faith in these boys and if they show up, we will be domination with a red cap on. Our bench is once again shaky flaky, but Chris Coste, who has battled for a spot on the team for years, will continue to bring extra fixin’s to the dinner table this year and it will help greatly. New faces like Greg Dobbs and Jayson Werth will chip in as well.
Touch ‘em all-----
SS Jimmy Rollins
RF Shane Victorino
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
LF Pat Burrell
3B Wes Helms
CF Aaron Rowand
C Rod Barajas
P Joseph Momma
You’re right. It IS a pretty sweet lookin’ lineup. How very perceptive of you. But don’t look now. Here’s the Rotatum of Gold:
….ok now you can look.
1) Freddy Garcia
2) Brett Myers
3) Cole Hamels
4) Jamie Moyer
5) Adam Eaton/John Leiber
Jimmy Rollins- J Smooth. I love him at leadoff. I love him at shortstop. I love his swagger and his bucktoothed coolness. Jimmy has not had the OBP. that I would like out of a lead off hitter and Charlie ‘Walrus’ Manuel does not send him on a secret theft mission of second base or even third base nearly as much as he should. HOWEVER, Jimmy will have a fine fine year and if he can get more walks, less K’s, and make more happen on the basepath, we will be hard to contain on offense any game. His defense will demand a golden chocolate glove. Chocolate because his defense is that sweet.
Shane Victorino- Our Hawaiian legend. This man swooped in and helped me forget about our foolish expulsion of Placido Polanco. He does not strike out. This should be a noted and celebrated record of Major League Baseball, but little known fact is that Shane has not once struck out in his career….ever. I have also never lied once in my life. The point is, Victorino is a great contact hitter and has a little pop on his swing. The BEST part about him is that he is a lightning bolt on the field and on the diamond. A great weapon at the two position and a good compliment to Jimmy Henry Rollins Band. I’ll make you a bet. You owe me nothing if you lose, but if Shane doesn’t hit above .285 this year, and you remember that I said this, I will buy you a choco taco.
Chase Utley- Chase ….Utley….PhD. He has a doctorate in baseball, and a clinical degree in heart and team mentality. All this at the young age of 28 years old. Chase will run out a groundout to the shortstop like he was Tom Berenger with the game on the line. A resolve that would fool you into forgetting that it’s the top of the 2nd with 1 out and the Phils have the lead. He just plays hard. UNLIKE Dave Magadan or Jonny Average-Pants, he is also a premiere second basemen and rapidly becoming the team leader on a team that desperately needs it. Hopefully Chase will have another great year in leading his fellow teammates to the playoffs. But Chase does not need my faith or aspirations. To Chase there is no hope, there is just win.
Ryan Howard- What can you say about Ryan Howard that everyone hasn’t already been talking about? He’s a monster of a ballplayer and a teddy bear of a man. We have not had such an intimidating presence at the plate here in Philadelphia……ever? Luzinski, Schmidt, Kline, Thome…..They all hit bombs and struck out a shit ton of times. Howard K’s, don’t get me wrong. But he is learning a veteran’s discipline at a young stage in his major league career and this is fantastic. He will be walked more often than your golden retriever and when he is not, he will crush groove many a baseball into the cheaper seats. Who’s house? Ryan’s house.
Pat Burrell- Same story every year. Will Pat have a grandly improved season? Or will he just hit 25 jomers and strike out 200 times. What grinds my gears about Pat the Bat is that whenever I’m watching (and I’m watching quite often), in a clutch situation in the game, with men on base, Pat swings…..thhhtbbttt RASPBERRY. He has disappointed me with his slugging and batting average. I know, I know. He’s not expected to hit .280 or get 200 hits, BUT he has been given a very very important job now, and he needs to come through for the team to be successful: Protect Ryan Howard with your LIIIIFE. If Pat’s bat is hot (roughly as hot as Utley’s wife must be) then pitchers will have no choice but to throw strikes to Howard. This will result in many a jomerun and many a Phillie will run jome. In contrast, if Pat’s bat is cold balls, our rallies are stifled and Howard’s on-basedness is useless. I watched a Saturday afternoon game last year, and your friend and mine, Chris Berman reported how much of a threat Pat Burrell was on the base path. This is exactly wrong. Pat is slow. He is also slow in running down fly balls in left and this is a concern. What I need is for Pat to get the big RBIs he always does, and more importantly walks and timely base knocks. It’s a lot to ask, but come on Burrell. You’re a seasoned veteran and you bat FIVE piece for the legendary Philadelphia Phillies. Step it up. It’ll pay off in spades.
Wes Helms- I don’t know, guy. I’m ecstatic you are not David Bell. Don’t get me wrong. You had a great year last year, and I didn’t notice. Sweet BA. and sluggin’. You haven’t started consistently since ’03 though and there’s just something I don’t like about you. It is most likely that you have mostly played for the evil-incarnate Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins last year. You probably ruined many of our potential wins in the past. I need you to earn your stripes and not let down the team now that you are a Fightin’ Phil. Play consistent at 3rd, Get your hits and most importantly hook up the Rib-eyes cuzzzzz 6th in the lineup of serious hitters is very important too. Do all this and we can be friends. I promise. You can’t have a worse freshman year on the Phillies than Abraham Nunez (I’m glad Nunez is still here though. He will bounce back….I assume).
Aaron Rowand- Tough as nails. And he doesn’t even juice. At least, it would be pitiful if he did. My boy Rowand loves being a Phillie and I love him. He knows what the show’s about in Philadelphia and he plays my position at CF. Along with Pat Burrell, trade talks involving Rowand were flying in the off-season, because we’re terrified of a bullpen shoddiness ruining the season. I’m glad we did not send off Burrell, but even more so (and he’s only been here a year), I’m glad we kept Row-dog (I’m not being a dork this time. That’s really what people call him in Philly). “If it comes down to making a play or saving my body from a hit, I’m catching that ball.” That’s what you want to hear from a Centerfielder and a man who bats seventh in the lineup but wants to be a threat every at-bat. Rowand should be sent to steal more bases than he does, but more importantly, Rowand needs to change up the dynamic of the Phillies’ 7-8-9. For years this has been the batting graveyard, where rallies go to die.
Rod Barajas- Another new face in the lineup. Most Phillie fans are excited that old man Lieberthal is finally gone and we can get back to tough-guy hitting catchers like Dutch Daulton and …..Benito Santiago? I have a soft spot for Lieby because he WAS the Phillies catcher for over 10 years straight, and you gotta respect that. If Barajas hits like everybody says he does, I will be pleased. Personally I would have expected my man Coste to cruise through the Spring assuming the position and earning it. Instead, he’s BATTLING for a bench spot. I don’t get it Manuel. I don’t follow. Barajas better be straight up money, because if he’s sweet and sour chicken, I will be scowling at management through the TV and writing complaint letters demanding Coste a starting position at the big C.
p.s. Barajas, if you happen to have any kind of arm for gunning down runners trying to take second, it would be spectacular. Lieberthal hasn’t thrown anyone out in 7 years and NL east teams manufacturing runs against us to make the difference in a bullshit loss makes my blood boil. Let’s make a statement this year.
Freddy Garcia- I’m happy you’re here Fred. Please be solid. I’m begging you. You’re a B-star Ace of a staff, and yet our rotation looks very very quality after your acquisition. There are worries about your longevity and giving up big innings when it would hurt us the most, especially with a suspect bullpen. However, I can’t ignore the fact that he won 17 games last year, with the World Series hangover White sox. He has never been a consistent ace however, and he’s getting older by the day (unlike most pitchers). I don’t trust his ability for a few reasons. ONE, he’s never shown that he can dominate two years in a row, and last year was a good year for him. TWO, if he has problems with stamina, in bed or on the field, the NL is going to be worse on him as he’ll be needed to bat, like baseball’s supposed to be, and go later in games with our average bullpen. THREE, he’s joining the Philadelphia Phillies, which has always spelled disaster for any major pitcher who we traded for, until he’s gone to another team or retired. Soooo, basically Freddy’s got his work cut out for him. We’ve cut out his work with scissors, and now it’s on the table for him to do. Lots of it.
Brett Myers- Brett has been our ace for a couple years. He’s a head-case, no question about it. I love his pitches and the command he has. Strikeouts are always high, but he’s never had even a 15 win season. You can easily blame this on the Phillies poor production for him when he takes the mound, both hitting and relief pitching, in fact I do blame it on these things. Myers has not been perfect, but he’s been the best pitcher we’ve had in a few years consistently and I’m hoping he has his best year yet and strikes out over 2 hundo.
Cole Hamels- If Cole Hamels dominates, we will dominate. Having a young gun at the 3 spot in the rotation with the potential to freeze NL batters where they stand, all day and all year, is a major weapon. Philly is buzzing with excitement that Cole will become the next Steve Carlton in the city. Major shoes to fill, but Cole Hamels is a size 15 and he’s already beaten Steve Carlton and his son in an arm wrestling match (simultaneously), a best of 3 thumb war, and a best of 19 rock, paper, scissors battle. Cole has also defeated Chuck Norris in a grammar bee showdown and a watermelon seed spitting contest. So he’s on his way, I’d say. My favorite thing about Cole Hamels is that he reminds me of me when I was his age (6 months ago). Long whispy brown hair, lanky but strong, with a rapist wit. Cole’s gonna go far, and I’d worry about facing him, I don’t care who you are. I do not care. You don’t impress me.
Jamie Moyer- What? Old man Moyer? He’s fine. He’s healthy as a horse. …a healthy horse. He was quoted in saying, “I’ll be around here for at least another 5 or 6 years.” He was talking about his life on earth, but I dig the spunk and motivation. Honestly though, I’m glad we got him. He was supposed to be the extra juice for our playoff run last year, but we’ve kept him because he’s still got good stuff. He has pitched more innings than anyone else this Spring and he’s been rocking all the way to 11. Whilest we do have a young staff, Moyer is the aging veteran, but with just as much performance and skill as he has wisdom and experience. If our 4 man can win games and go deep into late innings, we are going to laugh at the fleeting competition as we wrap up the division with bubble paper. Just pray for no injuries. Why’d I even say that?
…..cuz it’s Philly.
Adam Eaton- Everyone in the world is more excited about Adam Eaton than I am. I don’t recall ever seeing him do anything special, and his numbers tell a tale of a boring, average accountant who looks to be slightly too big a fan of the WWF. He’s an upgrade from our question mark 5 spot last year as we rotated the FIIIF between our bullpen and our triple-A hayseeds. HOWEVER, he is not much better in my eyes. And I have a couple good eyes. I would rather see John Leiber holding down the 5 piece chicken than Eaton ANY day. Let’s NOT forget Leiber was our opening day starter last year. He has not fallen far enough to throw him in the bullpen! Though it seems that is where he is going, pending a late trade that is almost definitely not going to happen before opening day, at this point. What I like about Eaton is that he has said in interviews and in the clubhouse that he will gladly take a role in the bullpen and hopes to help the pitching squad in any way that he can. THAT’S what I’m talking about EATON. YES! HELPING for the CAUSE. YES. When we win the pennant I will allow you a shiny ring, but smaller than everyone else’s. You aren’t a hero. Not yet…..We’ll need you to be if you’re starting 25-30 games this year. Punk.
…..I’m just razzin’ ya, Eats. Goodluck this year.
Or else it’s the curb for you. Right out on your ass in south philly…..in the night.
As I said, the bench is questionable. We’ve got names like Greg Dobbs, Abraham Nunez, Chris Coste, and Carlos Ruiz in there. They’re either too young or too old for a critic’s standards. I think they could surprise people. We have three catchers who can all hit, and Coste doubles as a stand in for Ryan Howard when he needs to take a break at first. Nunez needs to step it WAY up from last year and players like Chris Roberson and Jayson ‘I need to show my’ Werth are going to have to come through with more clutch hitting and not just sac bunts and double play grounders. They are a quick bunch of youngins though, which gets me excited for steals and wheels on extra base hits. I need these boys as a good supporting cast. Teams that go far have the magic from all players, not just the starters. I believe in you, pine-riders.
Now that Philadelphia recognizes the Phils as a legitimate ballclub, the major concern is the bullpen and their ability to contain leads and fend off late rallies from opposing teams. Let’s begin at the end. Tom Gordon. He was Flashtastic last year until injuries. He is old. But he is mustard. Spicy mustard on the grill style. Tom will hopefully hold down the closer position or else drastic moves will have to be made. Folks in Philly discussed moving Brett Myers to the closer position if god-forbid, Gordon doesn’t cut it. This is a poopy idea for many reasons. I will not get into them all, but taking a solid starter like Myers out of the rotation would be foolish as well as dangerous. I’m tired of everybody thinking that putting a dominant starter in the closer spot is genius and the secret to the success of a ballclub. It’s a WASTE. Closers are good closers. Starters are good starters. Let’s keep it that way. Any great pitcher should be able to pitch 3 outs without giving up the lead. That’s all there is to it. I like a lot of our relief squad believe it or not. I think fans have a way of bashing their bullpen without proper overview. Madson has filth. Geary has been the most successful and consistent MR pitcher for the Dills for two years now. Either Eaton or Leiber is gonna be in there, and that’s a guy who is used to going at least 5 or 6 innings a game. That’s GOTTA help. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. Having 6 starters is a boost, no matter what team you are, not a hampering. Condrey and Smith are pitchers who will definitely surprise everyone as well. They had great outings last year in our playoff run and I don’t think the organization forgets. The only guy I hate this year is a man named Alfonseca. This bastard used to kill the Phillies on teams like the Marlins and Braves. Lately he’s been declining in skill and dependency and wouldn’t you know it, he’s hobbled over to the Phillies. These pretzels are makin’ me thirsty. There is not a riptide rush in sight. Like any team, if the middle relief can provide good innings, I would expect the setup guys and flash Gordon to do the rest to get lots of wins. The name of the game is wins, contrary to the popular belief that it is in fact ‘baseball’.
The experts say that we will be well behind the Mets again this year. That’s fine with me. I think they are definitely wrong, but it’s not a problem. The players are psyched to be Phillies. That’s what I like to see. I’ve critiqued many Phillies in the past for not believing in the team’s chances or in the idea of team chemistry. There is comraderie in the clubhouse and a swagger on the field. This will help boost the team to more wins than it’s seen since ’93. There are no health issues (outside a few aging veterans) and our best prospects are the ones with the most to prove. It’s all coming together this year and it’s very exciting. The NL east is not nearly as competitive as it’s been for the past few years either. Confidence combined with a lighter schedule certainly helps our cause. Gillick is still making moves in the GM spot and all for the sake of putting players together that will play well as a group. We have money as well, after getting rid of big names in the past few years and bringing up enormous young talent that we have not had to pay big money to quite yet. To me, that’s what makes a quality ball club. Not big name/big money veterans paid for and thrown into the fray like easter eggs. Look at the teams that won championships in recent memory. Teams with heart, good management, chemistry, and a spark that lead them through the playoffs with confidence. Oh also, dominant pitching. Just SWEET sweet pitching. I don’t know if our pitching is dominant, but they are SOLID, and we’ve got the rest. I say it every year, but LOOK OUT for the Phils this season. Don’t be that loser that says ‘where did THESE guys come from? and how did they win a pennant?’ The answer will be, ‘we came from Philly’ and ‘because we were better than your particular baseball team.’
Unless of course, your team is in the AL and also won the pennant. In this case….you are not a loser……yet.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Honest Male Back-And-Forth: Scotty B and Pops Talk Pats vs Chargers
****The following is an ongoing back-and-forth email conversations between Honest Male Blogger Alex Popkin and DisHonest Male Blogger Scotty B. Barker. I had the idea a few days ago...and this is the result!****
Alex: My first question is this, who would you rather have played this week.... or San Diego? I think going to and stopping McNair and Lewis would be a far better prospect than tackling the Chargers.... What do you think is the best storyline is? I think its either a) Pats D vs the MVP b) schottenheimer vs. Belicheck c) Rivers vs Brady (battle of the pro bowl snub)
If Rodney was healthy i think it would definitely be something with him getting to stick it to his former franchise that wrote him off....OR if Seau was around going for the ring against the team that made his career....
Scott: I know this is a bit off topic, but have we seen this much hype over two men embracing since Brokeback Mountain ??
Scott: I answered ALL your questions, dick-in-a-box. Check your e-mail again… it’s in a separate e-mail.
Scotty B: Without a question, I would say that I’d rather play . The Pats success has come in large part as a result of their balance and our ability to play down to people’s weaknesses while eliminating their strengths. The Ravens, while a deadly team, don’t really have a great offensive attack. It’s sufficient when matched up with their formidable defense, but to no degree is it unstoppable. The Ravens really look an awful lot like the team they had when they won the Superbowl which is worrisome for anyone dealt the task of facing them- with one major difference: Jamal Lewis is a shell of his former self.
However, the Chargers really don’t have a weakness for us to exploit. Even if we shut down LT, about as likely as Jim’s sister baking Laren a batch of cookies, Philip Rivers can technically beat the hell out of us downfield with Gates. Their run D is strong, their pass D is strong, special teams strong and entire offense is strong- especially their offensive line. If you remember our most formidable foe of the past two years has been the Denver Broncos- a team with a well rounded D and an amazing offensive line. It’s a good thing for us that the Chargers are coached by dirty rotten rhymer, Marty Schottenheimer and not Shannahan. We’d be as good as toast.I’m gonna go out on the bandwagon limb and say that they are the team to beat in the playoffs this year – which if you think about it is a position that the Pats typically thrive in. I guess I kind of just talked myself in a circle, but I’m changing my answer to the Chargers. We would have to play them eventually, in all likelihood (being that they’re the team to beat) and I’d rather play them sooner than later- leaving us with only the scraps of the ravens/colts battle standing in our way on the way to the Superbowl.
Damn that was long-winded. I’ll keep everything else a little shorter. I think the best storyline is Pats D v. LT. Reason being that I think this is the key to victory for the Pats. Schottenheimer’s not gonna out-coach us and Rivers isn’t going to outperform Brady in the playoffs. He may be JUST good enough for the Bolts to win… but I’ll be shocked if he outperforms Moynihan’s ex-beau.
Lastly, I would suplex a kitten to see the proverbial smackdown Rodney and Seau would lay on the Chargers players. Rodney might even be healthy enough to play but unfortunately Belichick is being his usual tight-lipped self. I usually enjoy this little routine because it fucks with the whiney member’s of the media (I’m looking your way Dan Shaughnessy), however Rodney’s presence is so important to our run D, being completely in the dark on this one is getting me a little antsy in my pantsies.
Here’s a question for you- what kind of mind games and tomfoolery do you think we whip out for the Bolts? We used a lion’s share of no-huddle offense and short outside passes against the Jets. Same plan against the Lights Out D of the Chargers?
See, i do think the Chargers have a weakness and thy name be Phillp Rivers.
Last time we faced a rookie QB also happened to be the same year we knocked off a no. 1 ranked team in the AFC....the 15-1 Steelers and Big Ben Roethlisfuck.
in a way....the Chargers and those Steelers are similar....rookie QBS leading number 1 ranked teams......remember that iRoethlisberger pretty much coasted on a run-first offense that dominated the clock and a physical blitzing defense..... and when the pats rolled into town, we out-physicled them on defense and offense, breaking their will with clock killin' corey dillon.
i always look at the teams we play and try to compare them to teams we played in the past. in my opinion we've never played a more physcial defense thent that Steelers team in '04. on offense, nothing will ever beat that '01 Rams team of MVP Warner. WR Isaac Bruce and RB Marshall Faulk........when you put it those terms.....this charger team isnt any more physical than that Steelers team, and their Offense isnt nearly as good.
you said that the toughest team we've ever played is the Broncos....while i agree that our record shows that the toughest team to play us i s the the broncos...last year we totally beat ourselves in uncharacteristic form.....brad threw a pick to Bailey in the endzone, vinatieri missed an early FG attempt, and Troy Brown dropped a CRUCIAL punt return for a turnover.....
our gameplan? i think they can stack the blocks and send guys in....i think the point of the attack is Phil Rivers.....heavy blitzes and collapsing pocket + heavy pressure = high turnovers....Rivers has to be that chink in the armor that we focus on.....kudos to the Chargers if they can get a couple passes downfield, but their WR weapons arent all that much better than ours...and they dont have Brady....
simple things like chipping LaDainian can go a long way to disrupt timing i think....Tomlinson is probably as dynamic as Faulk and as physical a runner as a Jerome Bettis....and THEN there's Michael Turner. but again...Phil Rivers will touch the ball every time in that game....and the Pats lock it down in the red zone, im sure they'd concede the length of the field if they can consistentaly force Schottenheimstien to only put up 3's.
if you had to compare to any teams who would you compare them to?
Scott: I like the comparison to the Steelers and Rivers to Roethlisbunghole (right now, I think Rivers is better and has more potential, but after Big Bennifer’s recent seasons, hindsight is 20/20). The only factor of this game that I have ZERO certainty about is the impact MVPLT will have on the game. I’d like to think he’s going to run all over us, but we’ll be able to damage control just enough to prevent him from killing us… but you never know. Past games he’s played against us I don’t specifically recall him OWNING us, but his stats indicate otherwise and so does the Win/Loss column. I don’t care if he pulls in a 200 total yard game, as long as he doesn’t kill us with any timely, back breaking, 80 yard runs or tricky TD passes. One encouraging note with regards to the Marshall Faulk comparison is that the Rams had a much more dynamic and complicated offensive gameplan than the Chargers seem to have.
I MEANT that the Broncos have been the toughest team for THIS Pats squad to defeat. While we did beat ourselves in last year’s playoff game against the Broncos (hell also froze over) every game we have played against Shanahannahannahannahan’s team in recent history felt like we got out-coached. Just one humble Barker’s perception… nothing more, nothing less.
The problem with heavy blitzes on Rivers is that we unnecessarily leave ourselves susceptible to their less-than-amazing WRs and the ever-versatile RB. I like to think Brainy Bill will try to disguise coverages at the line and throw some zone blitzes in to test Rivers’ progression reading skills. Also, I can’t stress enough how big of an impact having Rodney back would make on this game- Big tackles against their run game and a deceitfully good coverage guy on the same side of the ball that Gates will be lining up on. Injury report is being released after practice today… my nuts are sweaty with anticipation.
One thing I want to bring up
(Disclaimer: Blatant Patriots bukkake to follow)
I can’t get over how much this team steps up in the Playoffs. The extent to which they seem to play dead at times in the regular season only to jump back to life in the playoffs, makes me completely giddy. Bruschi, who seemed to be showing his age at times this season, was all over the field. When the Patriots were on D, you could bet your bottom dollar (I don’t even really know what that means) that Bruschi was in on the play somehow. I just love that the hunger is still there after three championships- it’s natural for teams to lose this hunger (See: Steelers this year) and yet we’ve somehow managed to avoid that. The front 7 played bigger last week than they have all season- if we can play like we did last week in addition to keeping the ball out of LT’s hands by forcing other guys to turn the ball over, I would say we’re Andre the Giant heavy favorites… but those are big if’s.
Alex: thats exactly why this team is such a privelage to follow and how i feel BAD for all those Pats haters. its natural to hate teams that win, and do it in non flash style....it seems like the Sean Salisburys and Mark Schlereths of the world have wised up to whats going in in Foxboro but for fans that dont get to see what we see...its sad.....pure fans of the game of football would love this team.....
my uncle mike floated a possible thoery that Belicheck was intentionally holding his cards back during the regular season to limit the recon work that teams could do come playoff team....and when you think about it....remember that Indy game when EVERYONE and their granmama larry johnson KNEW that we should run Dillon and Maroney all up in that Indy ass....and yet we didnt.....that conspiracy thoery is starting to make more sense---i feel like we still haven unleashed the true fury of our running attack....Belicheck has been playing a game i like to call "just the tip" ...to see if it feels nice.....it makes more sense anyway than Belicheck not knowing how to exploit the Indy Run D......
another note about our aging squad.....its truly amazing to see how just PURE football instincts can keep you playing great football....Troy Brown is my favorite example...followed by Willie McG....Bruschi will no doubt follow suit......i'm trying to think of some baseball players who were able to hang around simply on instinct.....Kenny Lofton? Jim Edmonds? Tom Glavine? In basketball Sam Cassell and Jason Kidd are at the top of that list......they've got that crazy court-vision (i miss that LeBron commercial)
top "instinct" athletes of all time....thats a good top 10 list right there.....
the other part of the "Aging" Pats theory is that its never been one man show...its trust in the system and trust in each other.....assembly line style. do your one part...dont waiver in it. and become an unstoppable force....its amazing that Shanahan has somehow found a way around it...
Scott: Yeah good point in your first paragraph, but at the same time, I’m try to be cautious about getting caught up in our our team. I try really hard not to give them TOO much credit all the time, but they make it hard not to love them… kinda like Cameron Diaz. For example- I would hate the haymaker Bill Belichick threw on that Globe cameraman last weekend if I wasn’t a Pats fan. But I AM a Pats fan… I DO own every Patriots Superbowl DVD ever created and I HAVE read two different books on the coaching styles of Billy B. So instead I almost celebrate it because he just wanted to get to Mangini, show him some love and squash the beef so badly, that he threw a haymaker at an old dude. Belichick is Archie Bunker-like. He’s a grumpy old bastard, but if you spend enough time with him, his predictable grouchiness makes him affable to a certain degree. hype sometimes. We have to remember that we love them because they’re
I laughed out loud at the “just the tip” comment… but here’s another thing you can’t forget. Chemistry has gotten stronger as the season’s gone on- especially with Brady and the receivers. Speaking of which, I really hope we stop relying on Watson until he ditches the “hands in the Country Crock” pre-game routine. He’s a freak of nature with naturally soft hands, but he makes me nervous. Not sure if he doesn’t have it mentally, or what, but he fucks up way too often. At this point David Thomas seems like a better option as a receiving tight-end in the playoffs where mistakes are magnified like drama on a reality TV show.
Any toop instinct athlete of all-time list has to include John Stockton and Greg Maddux. As for Jason Kidd, I watched part of the Nets game last night and you could practically hear his knees creaking (Maybe Joumana pulled a Nancy Kerrigan on him), yet he still managed to rip apart the opposing defense like a wet ticket stub.
You bring up the aging pats theory and the consistency of the system vs. the individual player and I agree with you, but I still think we should be willing to pay for Asante . He does tend to jump early on balls for the sake of the pick sometimes which allows him to get beat, but seeing him develop before my very eyes, I feel like he’s capable of way too much to let him slip to the Jets or other top-bidder. It’s no mistake that he shares the league lead for intercepts with Champ Bailey. Also he’s still a young buck…. Let’s lock him up for a few years so I can safely buy a defensive back’s jersey without worrying about losing him to free-agency (Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy).
If you could improve the Pats’ (healthy) roster at one position, what would it be? WR is the obvious choice. Besides that I really have to rack my brain to think of a position player I’m unhappy with.TO BE CONTINUED........
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
AFC Wild Card - Pats vs. Jets: Its the Pats to lose
With the AFC basically figured out since Thanksgiving we were force-fed NFC mediocrity for 5 STRAIGHT WEEKS....!! The Bears have been sleepwalking since Mid-October, The Saints spanked Dallas, and locked up 2nd place three weeks ago....what else is there??
So Tad doesn't get upset, I will admit that the improbable runs of the Eagles (Donovan doesnt deserve it, but man, do their fans) Titans (Super-Vince)....And to lesser extents, the Bills and 49ers for making legit strides in what could have been lost years....
Thank god its over. With my baseball tunnel-vision i almost forgot how exciting the NFL playoffs are, especially when theres 2 GAMES per night on National TV!
To recap the Pats Season:
This season saw more key dynasty componants split Foxboro than any year previous---The Deion Branch holdout, and the crowned-king of clutch Adam Vinatieri's lowballing headlined an offseason that also sawWillie McGinest, David Givens leave town......oh, and dont forget our cherub-faced Defensive Coorinator, Eric Mangini....
The 12-4 record is a pretty accurate litmus test of the Pats season....with highlights being a dominanting win in Cincinnati, a dominating Monday Night win in Minnesota and convincing win against the NFL's creme de la creme, the Chicago Bears.
-the only blowout all year, to the Dolphins in a 0-21 drubbing where Brady was on his ass more often than Gilberts Grapes Mom.
-An upset at home by the Jets.
-Our first back-to-back-losses in 3 YEARS.
-A 4-game stretch where we couldnt hold onto the ball, couldnt play penalty free ball, couldnt protect our golden QB.
-The aformentioned departures, and then subsequent introduction of our cast of C-team wide-recievers. Jabbar Gaffney, i'm looking at you.
When you look at the best teams in the AFC and see the Pats up there with 12 wins...it really does impress you to think what the dynasty core (Bruschi, Brady, Seymour, Dillon, Vrabel, Assante, Troy Brown) was capable of.
To put it comparitively, this version of the Pats is like the recent incarnation of the Cardinals, defnitely the weakest of the past 4-5 years, but one that could literally muscle its way through the some of the younger and inexperianced teams in the AFC.
The Jets recieved a season of gravy with their 10-6 record. Mangini made a below average team into a very solid NFL team by making them mentally disciplined and emphasizing execution and patience. They're future is very right. This weekend, they just dont have the raw talent.
How is Jets v. Patriots III going to shake down?
As a Pats fan, I've heard the "they just dont have the talent" line many times.
Discipline, Patience and Mental Toughness (and opporutunism) and a Physical Defense got the Pats past Oakland and Pittsburgh and St.Louis in the superbowl in '01 and past the Co-MVPS McNair and Manning in '03
And the fact is, you can win 80 percent of your games on that type of discipline alone.
Thats how the Jets have been beating teams with some consistency this year. They hang around, and hang around until you make the first mistake. Its fairly foolproof plan. And its one that could seriously turn the tides of this weekends game because discipline and week-to-week consistency has been one of the Pats chief issues.
Pennington needs to at least ATTEMPT chuck a few wounded ducks and test our only defensive chink in the secondary (sans Rodney Harrison) they need to keep Brady off the field and keep the clock moving.
THe Pats need get the lead early, score first, and set the tone that Pats football in November aint NOTHING like Pats football in January. They need to impose their will will. The Jets will be very focused, looking to dig in. once they do, they wont let go. The Pats need to be agressive, and yet not commit turnovers. Its gotta be a clean game for the Pats. The only way the Pats can lose to the Jets is if they beat themselves. I remember last year at Denver too well. Good teams will capitalize off turnovers. There's no margin of error this year. Vinatieri isnt walking in with 5 seconds on the clock.
I only believe in homefield advantage in Arrowhead stadium, whereever the Seahawks play. Weather and field conditions mean a whole lot more to me. That being said, the Field at Foxboro is way better shape than it was a a mont and a half ago.
Its the Pats to lose.
Pats 24, Jets 16
Monday, January 01, 2007
The Best PG-Rated Movie Pound-4-Pound: A Class all its own
A little over a year ago (When i started my "Best Movies Pound-for-Pound" blog series...I cruised through the G rating with relative ease, knowing i'd predictably end up somewhere among the Disney Canon of Films...I did, eventually settling on Aladdin, and citing its action, romance, as-dark-as-you-can-get-away-with G-rated drama, catchy-ass musical numbers and arguably the best voice performance in an animated movie by Robin Williams as the Genie. Aladdin. The choice was about as controversial as an episode of "Leave it to Beaver"
But next on the docket PG.
Sometime last year on a return to trip to Rochester, with my Pound for Pound Best Movies at the forefront of my thoughts, I had to get some outside advice from one of the resident wise men at RIT, a man who spouts truths with conviction and a frankness that would make Jude Judy seem like Judge Pussy-Ass Older Lady in a black robe.
That man was Josh Brown. I went to Brown confdent that he'd have some kind of new spin, some crazy Josh Brown insight that could help me as I tackle the world of PG movies. Any help to possibly whittle down the playing field would be needed.
First thing he said:
"Weekend at Bernies has titty in it! hoo-hoo!"
I was speechless.
"Weekend at Bernies....has titty?"
Bare breasted females in a PG movie?? Is that possible?
Of course its possible...in rare matters of extreme importance, when my not only my reputation as a blogger, but as pop culture enthusiast and celebrity nudity connisieur are called into question KNOW THIS......
....Popkin does his homework.
As always I'll sum up the link above...apparently throughout the late '60s until the late '80s the Motion Picture Association of Ammerica's (MPAA) rating system was a complete clusterfuck. The orginal ratings of G, M and R were confusing parents.
To make things worse, MPAA fucked up the entire 70's mis-rating movies badly. So much so, it became commonplace for films like 1967 G-rated film "The Battle of Britain" to get-away with British profanity like "arse", "shite-hawk" and my personal favorite...."silly bitch." (The movie also featured had a fighter pilot get burned alive in cockpit--something for the whole family!) Also noteworthy, The Oscar nominated "Midnight Cowboy"starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman recieved an unbelievable "X-Rating." I've seen it, trust me late night BET booty videos get away with more.
The MPAA continued royally screwing G movies and PG movies right up to 1978, where the last mega-marketed movie to mistakenly recieve a "G" rating was Star Trek: The Movie.
This revelation may possibly explain why there arent any Trekkies under the age of 35.
Fast foward to 1984 and there is STILL no middle ground rating between PG and R.
So you can imaging parents' delight when took their 7-8 year old kid to see "Raiders of the Lost Ark", only to find a camp of Nazi's getting melted, a big bald nazi diced up in an airplane propeller and Alfred Molina (as Indy's sidekick in the opening credits) take a booby-trapped spike through the forehead. Dee-licious!
When parents started to bitch about "Gremlins" being too violent, Steven Spielberg suggested an intermediate rating of PG-13.....DUHHHH......
By 1990 the kinks were beginning to work themselves out....and yet there were instances like "Big", "Beetlejuice"--- both late 1980s popular mainstream PG releases that contained "fuck" in their dialogue.
The earliest PG-13 movies I remember being allowed to see was Batman Returns ('92) and Jurassic Park ('93) And yes, there were some legitimately desturbing things for 12-year old Alex Popkin. I dont know if i ever truly understood "Finkle is Einhorn" or "Your gun is digging into my hip"
And I REALLY didnt understand why Dumb and Dumber was so great until I saw it again in high school.
As my rambling thesis above sloppily stated, The PG movie is just in this class of its own. Its "Poltergeist" and its also "Earnest Goes to Jail." its "Jaws" and its "My Girl 2." It can be brief nudity or it can be Macauly Culkin being left alone on x-mas. Truly a class all its own.
Did I wait nearly a full calender year to make my pick because of the sordid, seedy history of the PG Rating that I knew would inherently going to fuck with me? No, of course not, we at The Male Perspective are a seedy bunch ourselves, replete with laziness and procrastination. But I love this topic more than any of the other blogs that i've half-completed! And so does Dave Hare!
And at the very least, I know what I'm dealing with now.
I now present, (a year in the making) the greatest PG movie ever pound-for-pound:
To restate my criteria from before:
Judgement of a film upon will be based on the quality of: comedy, drama, action, writing, acting, directing, music (not soundtrack), violence and nudity.
DO NOT CONSIDER THE P4P GREATNESS OF A GIVEN FILM BASED ON: hisortical/popculture relevence and/or significance, box office grosses, academy awards or SOUNDTRACK.
To truly be the best PG movie P4P, it needed to cram the most possible amount of AWESOME action, comedy, romance into its package....a movie so good that it could truly be considered one of the greatest all time, if only it could show a little skin, or even drop an F bombstein or a "silly bitch" now and then.....
Right of the bat I know my major players...and they read like a who's who of the greatest box office hits of all time. I feel they fall into two catagories....
"The without-a-question-rated PG-13-if-they-were made-today-bracket":
The Original Star Wars Trilogy of A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark etc
"The True PG Movies":
E.T., Back to the Future, Rocky, Goonies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit...etc...
It doesnt seem fair to include PG-13 guys at all....an analogy if you will:
its like allowing 16 year old kid with a wispy moustache play in the Little League World Series. Everyone knows he's 16....but when he immigrated to USA, his parents fudged his birth certificate......sure its not his fault he got to play and thus dominate the competition.....but does that really make it a fair fight??
you know the answer. we have to play by the rules, even if they are mine, and i get to make them in any ways i want. I cant allow movies with that extra violence and other goodies a crack at the PG title due to technicality.however they will be allowed to play in their rightful bracket.....
Back to my pick...
I really only included E.T. because I knew somone would throw it out at me. Personally I hate E.T. I was shown the movie waaay too early in life and now I have a complex. I also had to eat off this E.T. dish that my Nana had and SHE KNEW I HATED E.T! E.T. you do not belong.
Anyone that knows me very well, knows the role that Back to the Future has played in my life. Its the number 1 inside joke between me and my sister. Its the greatest random rainy Saturday movie of all time in any space-time-continuum. Does it have enough.....? I dont even think I know any more.....all i see is pure brilliance. We've got a complex love story. We've got great action. Laughs all over the place. So damn quotable. Special Effects were kicked up a notch because of this movie.
Not choosing BTTF is very tough to stomach.
I cant give the nod to Ghostbusters because it has everything that BTTF has.....only it isnt quite well-rounded enough in the mass appeal department, particularly in "female-viewership." I just dont know any women that love Ghostbusters the same way that Aladdin is loved.
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is one of those rare, rare movies that were SO influential in the filmmaking world, something that is so much more than just "cartoons" and "humans" and yet, in 2007, its doesnt have that reputation....the film was groundbreaking, not just because Donald and Daffy share the same space for the first and only time in history.....but it created a world where cartoons and humans actually lived together.....and it worked. I could be very satisfied with this pick if it wasnt for.....
Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
My dark horse pick, "The Princess Bride" takes the top prize.
Some will think me a lunatic.....but this movie literally has it all.
A spectacular flop when it was released in 1987, The Princess Bride found life on cable t.v. and then video.....this is the absolute treasure of treasures. The movie parodied fairy tales before parodying fairy tales was en vogue. If it feels like a Mel Brooks "Spaceballs" comedy, thats because Wesley aka the man in black aka Cary Elwes appeared in Robin Hood: Men in Tights....and largely pilfers his "suave englishman mixed with zorro" performance in that movie from Princess Bride.
The princess bride never lets itself get to serious....as soon as the romance gets too thick....Fred Savage's grandson pulls us back to reality and mockingly spurts whats on all our minds: "is this a kissing book??"
The book-inside-the-movie is just too smart, too clever to be denied. It doesnt need F-Bombs or full-frontal to make it any better. The performances are just too spot-on. Somehow every member of the cast knew the tone of the movie they were making.
Through all the swordfighting, kidnapping, miracle maxing, six-fingered-man revenging is the underlying theme to the movie. True Love. True Love of all things!! It doesnt really surprise me that this movie flopped during its first run in theaters. How do you market this movie to kids, teens and adults? If you solely take the romance, comedy or action route you're completely alienating some demographic and your basically neutering a movie that thrives on the fact thats its equal parts love and laffs....
Its all packaged, written, directed, acted and delivered in such a unique and wonderfully entertaining way, that 10 minutes in, you'll forget that the best PG Movie Pound For Pound has the word "Princess" in the title.