Monday, October 23, 2006

Everyday I make hustle

I'm probably not the first, but I may be the last. I have a Terrible Towel-induced tennis elbow from Sunday (true story). It was an exhilarating game, but a loss is a loss is a loss. Putting the football on the ground is not how you win a football game. Even Joe Thiesmann can tell you that. I'm not gonna get much further into the gory details of yesterday, but you should be ready on my treatise on the achilles heel (other than fumblitis) of the 'Lers. You'll never guess who/what I think it is.

Anyway, I know some thangs:

-For starters, a little bit of "Whoadie Got Skates" for your ass. Bobby Clarke and Ken Hitchcock got the big ole Broad Street axe this weekend after the Flyers took a half dozen nose dives in this young season (Clarke actually resigned). Hitchcock has been replaced by some dude named Stevens who is neither Scott nor Kevin. This year I've seen the Flyers play in person, and I also have the inside info from a former Flyers veteran who has lined up against them this season (not making that up). The prognosis from all commentators- a team built to be 75% as fast as the rest of the "new NHL" is giving a 50% effort. So, that's a 62.5% decrease in competitiveness, by my calculations, and an indictment of both management and coaching, respectively. Plus Bobby Clarke is a dickhead.

As a season ticket holder, I fully expect a pre-recorded phone message, preferrably from Peter Forsberg, like the one Keith Primeau left me when he retired. Hey Foppa, holler at your boy.
[ESPN.com: Third most important hockey Stevens to coach Flyers]
[Flyers.com: Get the fuck out my house]

-We haven't called out the Pope for a minute, so I think we probably should. The Potato (el papa), presuming that scientists still give a fuck what he thinks, made sure to fire a warning shot across their bow. He said that scientists who believe only in "artificial intelligence" and technology are inviting the fate of Icarus, the bol who flew to close to the sun. De La Soul could have used a warning of this nature about 6 years ago. When I conjure up a picture in my mind of scientists who believe only in "the Bible," I think of the types who say things like "we are not aware of any scientific evidence that contradicts the Bible," and "the book of Job describes two dinosaurs." By this I mean crazy people, but the most fun kind of crazy people.
[Reuters: Pope got dat sticky-icarus]
[Clarifying Christianity: Do you know the psalm about hydrothermal vents?]
-Checking in to see what condition Kenny Rogers condition (read: gunk hand) is in: So as you probably know by know, Kenny Rogers probably had a "foreign substance" on his hand in Game 2 of the World Series. I personally have no problem with old-school, colorful type cheating (e.g. gunk balls, creative groundskeeping etc.,). Spitballs were legal for quite a while, but I'd imagine that they were outlawed only because the games were at risk of becoming in large part a product of a lotion and balm war between pitchers. When they were outlawed, pitchers who threw the spitball were allowed to continue by a grandfather clause.

Cheating of this type recalls an era of dead balls (and now dead ballplayers) with colorful nicknames like Wagon Tongue who wore mustaches and gloves the size of oven mitts. I recall reading a book about the turn-of-the-century mischief caused by John McGraw's early American Association Baltimore teams which were so dirty that they caused umpires to be stationed on the bases just to watch them. The book was called "It Ain't Cheatin' If You Don't Get Caught," and I can't find any mention of it on the internets, but there is a good little website of the same name that gives a small lesson on the dirty dead ball era.Now there's an interview with an anonymous bullpen coach over at SI.com who says, in about 30 different ways, that a large percentage of pitchers throw gunk balls, not just seldomly, but all the time. The only reason Rogers attracted attention was because it was so cold that he had to use pine tar instead of the usual suntan lotion, moisturizer or shaving cream, all of which blend into the skin or uniform. Said bullpen coach goes on to suggest that LaRussa didn't make a big stink because if he had, he would have neutralized his own pitchers who do the same. Instead, he chose to half-ass it because the national stage demanded his comment, but he didn't want to push it. Furthermore, Uniwatch's Paul Lukas notes that Rogers uses a cap with a dark brim instead of the standard light grey brim, adding more circumstantial evidence to this whole tired discussion. Menwholooklikekennyrogers.com has not yet weighed in with an opinion.
[NYTimes: Open the Targate]
[SI.com: Bullpen coach says gunk balls ain't no thang]
[It Ain't Cheatin' If You Don't Get Caught]
[Uniwatch: Suspicious brim]

-Last but not least, you don't think you can get away with reading Just Sayin without a Philadephyinz drop, did you? I think the flyer covers all the necessary info, so I'll just leave it at "Be there or get stung in the chest by a stingray."