While Looking at Yahoo BoxScore… Find Show My Boobs Meme?

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I don’t really get these game-day memes that Yahoo puts into their boxscores for each game. I don’t know if they are made by Yahoo or by fans, but none of them are really ever funny or noticeable to care.

Today, I find one that still has no entertainment value, other than the fact that it seems a little raunchy and off-handed. Also seems like its an image taken from game video that someone used to make a joke about a girlfriend promising to show her breast if the Atlanta Braves win.

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I’m not making this into a controversy, but if I were these two people I’d be a little upset at this meme. And I wouldn’t care if my 8-year old son (if I had one) had seen this meme, but I know many other parents would be a little “wtf is this?” on these pages.

It’s not in the NSFW arena, but if this can pass, I might have to take two looks on others. Not even because they are funny, but because there’s forum banter about titties on pages accessed by people of all ages. And… I can’t see what this woman is carrying. Seriously I’m not being misogynistic, but if the narrative was that they did post this as a joke, part of the absurdity, along with ballpark nudity, would correlate to objectifying breast size.

Damnit… I need a girlfriend 😦

Brandon Belt Injury Update – Maybe Ready to Move Hand Soon

Brandon Belt did a Q&A for the Giants fans on twitter through the club’s profile a few days ago. He had some funny answers (or “unique” I should say, Tombstone is his favorite movie. He’s only 26 right?) to fans questions, but when someone asked about his injury, he said:

So it looks like when the Giants come back home this week he’ll take the cast/pins off his hands and will begin feeling out his hand movement. So, for all of you fantasy heads that have Belt on your team, be prepared to see him in the next 2-3 weeks, barring any setback.

Why Has BJ Upton Declined; Can He Come Back after Rough 2014 Start?

BJ Upton over the 1st two weeks of the 2014 season has probably been the worst hitter in the league this side of Moustakas. And yet, it is mind-boggling to think that a guy who has 20/20 potential with a good eye can be so bad.

I can Sabr this whole matter and talk about his declining walk rate, anemic line-drive rate or his penchant to produce strikeouts with less ability to get on-base. But one of the biggest issues with BJ Upton is this: The spotlight got to him. Period.

When he was in Tampa, he didn’t initially have the pressure that comes with trying to produce against the best. Although the Rays built themselves into constant postseason contenders, Upton’s stardom could come from producing, and mistakes can be treated softly as he develops into a star.

But after his first couple of years, things started to change. After lazily shagging down a flyball Joe Maddon set him as an example and benched him. This happens a couple of more times, but I don’t correlate it exactly with how he stopped being productive. But what people did see was a young player who started getting ridden hard on how to play the game right.

And played the game right he did. Most of the time. He still was valuable with his defense and bat going through his “I’m a grown man now” years of 2007-2010. At the same time, going into his prime 20’s, his abilities were getting worse. You’d think that the moniker of laziness would wane as he was nearing his free agent sweepstakes.

But, even before then, Upton’s learning and adjustments had helped or decimated him throughout these seasons. He would change his bat stance, and voila! He’s batting .400 in July. But then struggles in September. Then gets his mojo back and kills Jon Lester in the ALCS.

The up and down, and his constant adjustments, I think are made out of fear. Where he was a great player in a team that *meh* its way through the first few years of the century, now was counting on him on a daily basis to help them win a championship. And guys who are lazy or don’t work to get their team in contention get spotted very quickly. Tampa and the Phillies made the mistake with Delmon Young, but each time only lasted about a few months (although Tampa did a “Fool me twice” maneuver by bringing Young back.).

BJ Upton works hard. He works smart. But when he has to step up, more times than not the spotlight kills his game. Where in 2006-07 if he didn’t time a steal attempt correctly, he could work on it as management waits for their young star to blossom. In 2010, management start murmuring “Should we put money down on this guy? He should’ve of been better by now.” You have fans saying “Desmond Jennings hasn’t been getting time so this clown can suck it up each year?”

Instead of taking the bad times in and honing it to get better, he is now constantly going through the mentality of producing under immense pressure that he suppose to be the star. He’s suppose to have the responsibility of getting the Rays to the World Series. When he didn’t have this responsibility or crowding media, he played well. When his talent and work ethic was questioned, he played worse.

And worse. And worse. And worse. Whatever reactions he had to his bad playing, it only manifested itself deeper in his next slump, or his next adjustment, or his next bad play. Instead of focusing on just being good, he then started focusing too much on hiding the hole in his bat with better mechanics. But what do mechanics mean, if you’re pressured to drive a 3-1 pitch down by 2 by swinging at an un-hittable breaking ball in the dirt? Now, he goes back to the tape.

“Stop swinging at those low breaking balls.”

Now he is so pressured to stay close to the inside zone, he’s letting outside pitches ring him up without him taking a shot. Goes to hitting coach.

“Hey coach, need to get my batswing pulling to drive those corner fastballs.”

And what happens is that he is so pressured to fix the past mistakes, that he forgets he’s fucking good and instead reacts to past mistakes by overloading his game to make up for him. By trying to fight his past self, he ends up dragging the same horrible BJ Upton to the plate. But, in a crazy conclusion to this cycle, he is essentially giving Tyler Durden more power. The evil BJ Upton, the one that has lost confidence in himself, that is constantly trying to make up for all his woes in one at-bat, shows up and gifts his opponents with an 0 for 4 bundled around 3Ks.

BJ Upton thinks leaving Tampa and finding solace amongst his brother and the Braves organization will fix things. But it can’t, because his game has gone south even though he’s made this move toward the North. And it has left him because he has left himself. He has let all the things that affect him control his ability.

If this were, let’s say, a Miguel Cabrera or Adrian Gonzales, one reason it could’ve been fixed is that these guys’ mantra is to get the bat on the ball, and let the pitcher lose touch of the plate by themselves. BJ Upton’s weakness is that he’ll let the pitcher dictate the count, but will falter trying to do too much with 3 balls in his favor. When he was 24, he’d let the pitcher give him first base. At 28, he’s a superstar. What does a BB mean to the best? What does it mean to win a pennant? Maybe it means a lot? Maybe not. Maybe he can steal when he gets on 1st…

… “Strike three called on the corner! Man, Upton looked really fooled there.”

Not fooled. Overwhelmed. Chipper Jones can help his swing, but he might need Dr. Phil to get his mojo back. The Braves are counting on him, but the murmurs are beginning to question his actual job. Let’s hope he plays to his talent; it’s great enough to keep his job all by itself. He just needs to realize that he’s great, and take on the responsibility of what a great player should be.

Good luck Upton!

Troy Tulowitzki Wrist Injury Improving: Early-August Return Likely

Hey guys, sorry for being a wanker and disappearing on everyone this past year. But I am working on a sports site called Game Day Wire. It is a work-in-progress, but enough about my condition, let us talk about Troy Tulowitzki.

Troy Tulowitzki Injury July News Update:

There was pretty much no news on Colorado Rockies outfielder Mr. Tulo since the middle of June. Yahoo Fantasy Baseball and Rotowire writers didn’t have much news, but apparently the Denver Post got the story on how Tulowitkzi’s wrist been faring.

What does Troy’s injury mean for the Rockies?

Not much and a lot. Not much since they have been three games over .500 since June 20th. Their offense, with Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup, has been very erratic. With Dexter Fowler coming into the mix, and with Clint Barnes knocking people home in the 8th spot, they still look like a very dangerous team with new players stepping up in Coors and driving runs.

Tulo’s absence hurts the Rockies because of his defense and his bat. With Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe struggling, you can’t expect the role players to keep the Rockies strong throughout the Summer. Tulowitzki needs that wrist injury to heal up fast so he can come help the Rockies for the pennant stretch.

Troy Tulowitzki’s injury and Fantasy Owners

I have Troy Tulowitzki on my fantasy team, and have been offered many trades since he went down. My advice to fantasy baseball geeks out there in the same predicament: Keep Tulowitzki if you are making the playoffs or have a small amount of “2nd-half” hitters on your team (the Vottos, Beltres, & Carlos Penas of the world).

If you are having trouble getting into the playoff matches for fantasy baseball, you may want to look at replacing tulowitzki immediately. Getting something like Rafael Furcal or even getting a pitcher and plucking another SS off fantasy waivers could be more helpful to winning now if you need to win now.

But know this: Don’t expect Troy Tulowitzki back and in “playing” condition until Mid-August. Also, remember that wrist injuries, even the psychological experience, can keep a hitter from his full potential for a bit after he returns.

Maniac Notes Daily: Moss Redeemed, Delonte West, & Nike’s Black Santa

Randy Moss redeemed

Randy Moss scores three touchdowns in the Patriots rout of the Jaguars today. The fans were cheering “Randy! Randy!” as the game wound down.

For those fans ( Randy Moss quote: “My real fans” ) who have stood behind Moss this season, you were redeemed with this game ( although it was an “ok” game by Moss, nothing spectacular ). For those fans who were bashing Randy Moss over the last couple of weeks ( *cough* WEEI *cough* Big Show *cough**cough* Michael Felger ):

Go Screw Yourselves

Bandwagon jumpers will nonetheless get back on Randy’s side, even though we all should’ve been on his side the whole time. Good job Moss.

Belichick’s “Ghost Defense”

This is the 2nd game that Belichick is using his Ghost Defense. Essentially having a bunch of guys at the line of scrimmage moving around without being set, making it hard for the offensive line to know who is rushing the QB or who’s staying back.

Wilfork and Warren didn’t play in this game, so Belichick had to come up with some zany schemes to stifle the run game. Getting after Garrard with great pressure by the line was a bonus; the pass-rush looked amazing today, and it had a lot of help since the lead nullified the Jags from using the run game to  their advantage.

Wouldn’t be surprised if this Ghost Defense becomes part of the normal defensive play-set going into the playoffs; it has been used so little over the years, there probably isn’t enough video to overcome this gimmick defense easily.

This Ghost Defense today was different because they employed two down-lineman on the edges ( the five gaps ), and stuffed the middle full of linebackers/small lineman. I don’t think I have ever seen this in the NFL, although I have seen other Ghost Defenses used with Eric Mangini and I believe Rex Ryan over the last couple of years.

At the same time, using it too much will allow teams to defend against it better in the future. Kudos to Belichick for thinking of this scheme, and keeping it fresh for games such as these ( ie: games with enough injuries to result in unorthodox play-calling.

Delonte’s Success Equals Cleveland Cavs Success

It does. When he is on his game, he creates a huge distraction on the court for a lot of teams. He can shoot, he has good court vision to pass the ball off, and he will take it to the hoop in a heartbeat. He has had some off-the-court and mental issues that have plagued him this season, and it has affected his playing time.

Lakers fans were too busy acting like animals to notice the trend on the court on Christmas day; when Delonte plays his best, he solidifies the bench, and gives Lebron another weapon to pass it off when he gets surrounded going towards the hoop. Delonte West is the X-Factor for the Cavs; they don’t win the championship if he isn’t on his game. Period.

Nike’s Black Santa: A point to make.

I have seen some comments to the Nike commercials with The reindeer rap and Santa, Lebron, & Kobe Bryant muppets. Some people were quick to point out that Santa was black ( the Santa rap was performed by KRS One, which is great to see an old-school hip-hop homage ), which is fine. But, in case anyone is bothered by Nike’s depiction of an “urban” Santa, here is some history for you.

Quoted From The Book “For God, Country, & Coca-Cola”:

While Coca-Cola has had a subtle, pervasive influence on our culture, it had directly shaped the way we think of Santa. Prior to the (Haddon) Sunblom illustrations, the Christmas saint had been variously illustrated wearing blue, yellow, green, or red. In European art, he was usually tall and gaunt, whereas Clement Moore had depicted him as an elf in “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

After the soft drink ads, Santa would forever more be a huge, fat, relentless happy man with a broad belt and black hip boots- and he would wear Coca-Cola red.

Coca-Cola commissioned artist Haddon Sunblom to create a marketable Santa that would fit Coca-Cola’s advertising campaigns to get more people to drink soda in the colder months. Not only did this campaign work, but it etched one of the most important and popular icons in American, and possibly human, history. (Note: There were other similar versions of a jolly fat Santa before Sundblom, but Coca-Cola cemented the archetype that stayed with our culture up until the present.).

So, any perception of Santa is reasonable, considering our current perception was created by a corporation to push a sugar drink. Merry Xmas.

Random Talk: I Got the Red Sox Trivia Question Today

For most of you not privy to the Red Sox telecast on the NESN sports station, they usually have a quiz in the 3rd-4th inning about baseball. It is usually related to the teams and/or players and/or current events related or playing in the game.
I am at a good 20% clip in answering the questions. I am very young, and honestly, haven’t done my homework for any sports history before the 70’s ( and my knowledge of the 80’s can be just as poor; I need to catch up ). Yet questions that come up to recent players and sports knowledge I can usually knock them down with no sweat. I was really psyched about this question because although I wasn’t sure about the answer, I usually have enough knowledge to narrow it down, or at least give an argument on my answer.

The question asked was who was the only player in MLB history to play 1,000 games in the field AND as a DH. My first three off the top of my head was Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, and Eddie Murray. I kept away from Edgar since I never seen the guy ever play in the field, but I assumed maybe his first few years were out in the infield somewhere. At the same time, I watched him when he was around 30, and he was a DH. I counted him out since I doubt he would lose a fielding position so early in his life.

Well, the answer came down to Baines and Murray, and Harold Baines was the answer. I essentially didn’t answer the trivia since I had two players in mind, but I’m congratulating myself anyway. What I am hitting myself in the head about is that I thought of Tony Phillips for some odd reason, than thought of Murray with the Indians and Baines with the Orioles. I totally overlooked Harold Baines playing with the White Sox, who is the team the Sox are currently playing. I don’t know how I looped over the connection, but I was pretty fucking close.

My Letter To Dan Shaughnessy about Manny Ramirez

I don’t even know if I spelled his name right, but I sent him an email about his recent Manny-bashing. Everyone is bashing Ramirez, and he has done nothing that pretty much every player has been doing since free agency. I know its bad timing for all of this, and its not like Theo Epstein wanted him. But here is the email.

This is all of his recent articles. The one I am writing about are the ones before the trade about Manny, and the Manny-mania one.

Note: Digression. Sometimes I think of the Manny-Epstein relationship like a huge party at the nerd’s house, and the nerd constantly tries to get rid of the sexy-but-crazy jock who just blows coke and eats the roommates’ food out of the fridge. Just a random thought.

The Email To Shaughnessy:

Let me just start out by saying that over the past week, I feel as though I have been completely let down by the sports journalism in our town. For a story, although murky in terms of the opaqueness of the Red Sox front office, to be so important and so serious for Boston sports, the main journalists of the area had gone out of their way to portray Manny Ramirez as a bad guy without giving credit to the importance of all the story’s facts.

For one thing, it seems you have gone out of your way to highlight that Ramirez missed two games. What is more egregious is that you failed to list the number of games that Manny Ramirez had missed ( in your article, you just state “games”, giving an impression that Manny missed a whole bunch more than he actually did ). You had wrote an article before the trade bashing Ramirez and all of his antics.

You had used a quote from our State Secretary, as though this guy is a true representation of all Red Sox fans. You had stated that Manny Ramirez “flattened”, not pushed or shoved, but “flattened” the traveling secretary ( and you my friend have written the 15th article about Jack McCormick without mentioning he was a former State Trooper ). You berated him for criticizing management for not being honest with his contract. You had called him missing the 1st game of the Yankees series “despicable”, as though this was the most egregious offense any player can do to the Red Sox.

Throughout most of your stories, it was clear that you left out the obvious connections for the events leading up to his trade: The team’s option, and Scott Boras’s influence. You had failed to separate the incident between Jack McCormick and his incidences with missing games. Although I can see this being a headache on the front office, I would have no trouble separating these issues with the journalistic knowledge that he could be missing games to prove a point to management.

Scott Boras is his agent, and you wrote in the story that clearly the agents makes no money if the option is taken up. Also, on Peter Gammons’ blog, he had talked about how Ramirez was telling his teammates he could receive 4 years/ $100 million this off-season. Are you going to tell me that these antics, along with Boras’s plea that Manny will play better if they let go of the options, are some important pieces to the whole Manny story.

Ok, so we can admit that Manny is money-hungry. But does this make him more of a bad person than players who look for their best interest in the off-season? He did it during a pennant race because Boras and Manny felt that if the options can be dropped at any time, why not before the deadline ( where the Red Sox can say they won’t re-sign him, or he will go to a team that will say the same thing ). At the same time, Ramirez is looking to make $25 million a year ( which I highly doubt he will receive ). You think that a player, who screwed up his financial future with another agent, is going to pass up more money over his teammates?

Bad timing, I agree. But there are no saints when it comes to the business of baseball, and Manny Ramirez shouldn’t be the poster boy of doing what essentially every person on the field and in the front office is doing.

My question is, do you really think Manny would half-ass the rest of the season, and at the same time, tight-rope his statistics and his attitude to reap such a big contract? Wouldn’t you think that the best time to cause a stir would be in July and not in September, when the team is ACTUALLY in the race, and not 60 games away? Do you believe that his actions are somehow more heinous than other players who leave teams for bigger contracts?

It is conceivable that this move can allow Ramirez to make $20-60 million more guaranteed money. Do you think he is going to let that money up over a team that has tried to get rid of him for four years? Do you think he has to respect a front office that has put their best player on waivers? What makes it really scary, is that I don’t believe the Red Sox were going to pick up his contract, seeing that they have tried to get rid of the same yearly amount when he was younger. They knew what Boras wanted, and they held mum because they didn’t want him anymore.

The Red Sox had leverage, and had the right, to not speak about his contract until the off-season. But if there is even a hint that they pick up the option, it screws Manny’s chances of a big contract and Boras’s chances to get any money. By the Red Sox holding firm on an option they weren’t planning to pick up any way, weren’t the Red Sox at fault for calling the bluff when a concession would’ve been better for both sides? The front office is not hired to hold grudges, or run people out of town. Their job is to place the best players on the field. Did they think they made the best trade, by paying for both Ramirez and Jason Bay’s contract, not picking up a reliever, and losing their best hitter in the lineup? I only agree with this trade since I believe Bay was a player Epstein had his eyes on longer than we know, but that is another OBP-Moneyball story for another day.

They traded him, and they got Bay. I have no qualms with that. But I have an issue with the Boston media that has trivialized the Scott Boras influence, and has grossly overlooked the Gordon Edes article that clearly states the Manny camp intentions.

In your article, you ask Boston fans if my blood is boiling, and I will respond with a loud yes. I am saddened that Manny had to depart, but I find the fault not to be equal on both sides, but to be heavily pointed to Theo Epstein. He did not want Ramirez; he never wanted Ramirez. And he got his wish. And we lost a star.

People lose their minds over his antics, and when someone asks, ” But what about our World Series championships?”, the response is usually an ambivalent shrug of “So what?” statements. From there, I can see that Boston fans have become too far-removed and big-headed to understand the contribution of some of their best players.

I can’t expect better from Ramirez, because he brought a championship to a city who had been in a dire drought of hoisting the World Series trophy. To call it even, to ship Manny off, and to equate it with Brett Favre, Nomar Garciaparra, or Roger Clemens, clearly shows how little we truly appreciate what Manny has done for us. The antics do not outweigh what he did. Maybe a couple of missed playoff berths will bring us back to that reality.