Chicago Cubs: Your 2015 World Series Champions

I am not even a Cubs fan, but a couple years ago I made a bet with a friend that Cubs will win the 2015 World Series. Now, why would I be so confident in a team that hasn’t won in 103 years and counting and when I have no idea what its roster will look like in 2015??

Because Back to the Future II told us so!!!

Need some proof that Back to the Future II was onto something? In the movie, Marty is not as surprised by the fact that Cubs won, but more so by the fact that they beat Miami. Why? Because the movie came out almost 5 years before the entire state of Florida got its first MLB team (Marlins played their first season in1993). Now, almost another 20 years later, there is a talk of Florida Marlins changing their name to Miami Marlins to accompany their move into a new stadium. I also know that it is impossible for Cubs and Marlins to meet in the World Series, but just this Miami prediction is enough to make me a believer in what is already one of my favorite movie trilogies.

Cubs took a major step towards making this bold prediction a reality when they lured Theo Epstein to Chicago. Who better oversee the end of the longest title drought in baseball than the man who helped end an equally infamous drought (some might still prefer the word “curse”) in Boston? Next step: bring in Francona to complete the puzzle and duplicate what they did in Boston. Its hard to imagine too many Cubs fans having a problem with Francona as a manager, except maybe for those fans who still insist on bringing in Ryne Sandberg.

So you can go ahead and bet your life savings on Cubs in 2015, you cant go wrong 🙂

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Benchwarmers II

When they ever decide to make a sequel to Benchwarmers, they should look no further than Michael Owen for inspiration.

What a player he was, back in the day! His pace and finishing won him the Ballon D’Or in 2001. However, his fetish for racehorses and trophies (apparently) led him to leave Liverpool docks and land in Real Madrid during the Galacticos era. One of the best talents from England went to Spain for a measly 8 million pounds. No wonder Liverpool fans hated him since.

Who would’ve thought that Michael Owen would be benched in a team that featured Ronaldo, Figo, Raul, Zidane et al? I bet he didn’t! That’s where the bench warming began, only to be interrupted by days and months spent sitting on the physio table. The poor guy left sunny Spain after Robinho and Julio Baptista (still alive) arrived in Madrid.

Next destination, Newcastle United. 16.8 million pounds transfer fee. 110,000 pounds per week wages. 88 appearances. 29 goals. 4 years. Safe to say, he wasn’t one of the favorites on Tyneside. So he thought, well, Liverpool fans seem to have forgotten me in the last few years; let me grab their attention by joining Manchester United, Liverpool arch-enemies.

Onwards to Old Trafford in 2009, Michael Owen decided to make the bench his own. Since then, he has made 37 appearances from the bench and started only 16 games (only 6 in the EPL). Fast forward to today, he made his presence felt in his first start of the season, by scoring TWO goals against the MIGHTY Aldershot!

In order of time spent in activity by Owen since leaving Liverpool 2004:

1) Argue with Piers Morgan on twitter

2) Chill on the physio table

3) Look interested while sitting on the bench

4) Play football

Stats:

1996 – 2004: 297 appearances, 158 goals

2004 – 2011: 175 appearances, 63 goals

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When they make a movie about the 2012 RedSox….

The Red Sox completed an epic collapse in 2011. We all know that. But more importantly, they have set the stage for an equally epic comeback in 2012. And when they ride all the way to winning the 2012 World Series, a movie will be made about the team and the job that new GM Ben Cherington did to turn the team around. We all know these kind of movies sell in Hollywood. Just ask Billy Beane.

All you need to do to make a successful movie about a baseball GM is follow this format: find huge movie star to play the GM. And so when they make the movie about the 2012 Boston Red Sox, could you find a better look-alike than the one and only Matt Damon??

Matt Damon

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Strike Zone Technology: Make Up Your Mind, MLB

The debate about whether MLB should use the latest strike-zone technology for calling balls and strikes has been going on for quite some time and I’m not here to make an argument about that. What MLB absolutely needs to do, however, is to have it be the same for everyone: whether you’re sitting at the stadium, watching the game on your TV, or following the game on your latest release of iPhone. If they’re not going to use this technology on the field, that’s perfectly fine – baseball has been played that way for more than 100 years and it will survive, but then also don’t display the pitch location graphic on the TV screens, it only makes everyone look bad.

Exhibit A: I tune in for about 20 minutes of the Game 4 of World Series just in time to catch the announcers talk about how a big part of Holland’s success that night against the potent Cardinals line-up has been his approach of pitching inside to the right-handed hitters. This discussion was accompanied by a compilation of highlights with the location of every pitch relative to the strike zone mapped on the screen, and guess what?! HALF of the pitches that were called strikes (and I’m not counting swing-and-miss) were actually balls, and some were not even that close!

The way I see it, this is a lose-lose situation for everyone:

– The umps: I know some umps have tighter strike zones than others, and I know a pitcher might get some borderline calls go his way if he is on  a roll, but there has to be SOME level of consistency and competence among umps. When millions of people can see the evidence of your incompetence, I would not want to be those umps

– The announcers: I, for one, would be slightly uncomfortable as an announcer if I was making a point about a pitcher’s superb performance while televising something that does not necessarily speak to that. Even if the umps are blatantly bad, announcers have to be somewhat diplomatic about that. Having pitch trace on the TV screen makes it that much harder.

– The fans: It used to be a lot easier to dismiss fans whining about bad balls-strikes calls with “its part of the game.” When the evidence is right in front of your face and you can go back and pinpoint location of every pitch, it’s suddenly a lot harder to do so. Add to that the fact that these calls never get reversed, and it becomes only more nerve-wrecking for fans to watch, so as a fan I’m not sure if want to see strike zone on the screen.

Add all those factors up and I don’t see how the league wins from allowing the networks show the strike zone and pitch location on the screen during the broadcast, unless, of course, it is also implemented in the actual game. I just want to see some consistency.

Best off the field rivalry: Tortorella vs “Brooksie”

Round 1:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU8CJQiAycI%5D

Round 2:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU8CJQiAycI%5D

Round 3:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARhVC8uEbQU&feature=related%5D

The greatest off-field rivalry in sports right now between John Tortorella and the reporter Larry Brooks aka “Brooksie” … you be the judge of who wins this heavyweight match-up in 3 Rounds.

Rosicky – the Lord of Not Giving Fucks!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixf6n9iHcG4%5D

WTF is up with Rosicky? Standing in a motherfucking wall and turning around to see the ball isn’t that difficult. Tempted to say that “Not a single fuck was given that day”, but I think he gets paid for giving a fuck

 

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Terry Francona, end of an era in Boston

As a die-hard Red Sox fan, I am definitely sad to see Terry Francona leave as manager. For a team that hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years, winning twice in 8 years is pretty damn good. I understand that the Sox choked this year in September, blowing a 9-game lead while going 7-20. But was this really his fault?

Major League Baseball is a game played by grown men. The manager may set the line-ups, but he can’t go out and hit homeruns or throw strikes. It’s on the players to do this, and they didn’t do it.

It has also been said that he lost control of the locker room, and that players were drinking, eating fried chicken, and playing video games during games. Again, can you really blame Francona for that? These players are getting paid tens of millions of dollars to play a game, and Francona is getting paid millions of dollars to manage a baseball team, not babysit his players. Had the story ended a little differently, with the Red Sox going to the playoffs and maybe winning the World Series, Francona would have been praised for allowing his players to be themselves and not trying to over-control the locker room. But the fact is that they did choke, so there must be someone to blame.

In the end, maybe its better for Francona that he moves on. He managed the second most number of games of any Red Sox manager ever, and maybe there is a reason for that. Maybe you can only manage for so long under the pressure of Red Sox Nation before you need to move on. I’m sure Terry Francona will find another managerial job, and wherever he goes, that team is lucky to have him.

I’m curious to see who the Red Sox get to replace Terry Francona. Whoever he is, he will have some big Sox to fill.

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Premier League Review Oct 15-16, 2011

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

Fergie pissed his pants once again and called up Tony Pulis for tactical advice. Ended up starting 9 defensive players out of eleven. The first half was so boring that I almost went to sleep, while the second half was as entertaining and controversial as Bill O’Reilly. Liverpool opened the scoring when Adam was “brought down” by Rio Ferdinand, who was tempted to tackle a sprinting tortoise, running 10 feet away from him. On the ensuing freekick, Giggs moved his groin to a place where it shouldn’t be (yet again) and Gerrard scored by kicking the ball through the hole created by Giggs. Hernandez scored off a corner when Liverpool’s defense just decided to take a nap. Post-match, a bitter Frenchman claimed that Suarez made racist comments ten times, none of which were picked up by the million cameras in the stadium.

ManCiteh 4-1 Aston Villa

The Sheikh’s millions produce yet another brilliant display and result to take them to the top of table. The Drama Queen comes up with a spectacular bicycle kick to open the scoring. It’s just unfair that they have Dzeko, Silva and Nasri on the bench.

Norwich City 3-1 Swansea City

Swansea City pulling off another Blackpool. Pretty football with nothing to show for it. Good to see Norwich City winning a game. Although I’d put my money on both these teams to get relegated.

QPR 1-1 Blackburn

Rovers can’t beat QPR? Jesus! Proof that Indians shouldn’t be allowed to own a football club. (It ain’t racist, ‘cause I am one too)

Stoke City 2-0 Fulham

Pulis is proving once again that not playing football can win you games too.

Chelsea 3-1 Everton

The plastic flags beat the plastic bags comfortably. What a signing Mata is turning out to be! Sturridge is having a brilliant so far too.

Robin Van Persie/Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland

It’s a bad sign when Theo Walcott takes freekicks. RVP, the saving grace for Arsene. It will be funny if/when he decides not to sign the contract. And Steve Bruce, you suck. So much money spent and you still have 6 points out of 8 games. Shame on you!

Newcastle 2-2 Spurs

Ameobi produces a classic finish (enough to make one wet) to maintain Toons’ unbeaten streak. The self-destructive Mike Ashley hasn’t been able to influence any losses for his team and I can see him seething inside. Spurs must feel hard done, but I am quite happy because Harry Redknapp is a fucking douchebag.

Results no one really cares about:

Wigan 1-3 Bolton

WBA 2-0 Wolves

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Introduction to the quirkiness

We are a group of sports enthusiasts, who like to do nothing more than watch sports from our $200 sofa and drink beer. The three of us are as diverse as a Russian, a Jew and an Indian, with very strong opinions on everything. Also, we try to take things seriously but we fail at it. The following list comprises of athletes who we can’t take seriously on account of their names:

Danny Woodhead

Luke Woodcock

Hart Lee Dykes

Chad Ochocinco

Gaylord Perry

Dick Butkus

Dean Windass