Madonna Steals the Souls of the Young and other Musings…

Dodging Bullets:

Houston we have a problem

We talked about it earlier this year, about Houston’s meteroic start and wondered if it could last.  It hasn’t, but it doesn’t mean that Houston is done.  It just means they are still on schedule and for that, it means more of how the young-uns respond to the pressure of a pennant race – it will be a fun 3 weeks.  Last Night, Mitch Moreland was the hero in Arlington, hitting a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Rangers defeated the Astros, 6-5. With the win, in its 144th game of the season, Texas moves into sole possession of first place in the AL West for the first time in 2015.

Over the last 30 years, there have been three other instances of a team standing alone in first place for the first time in a season in its 144th game or later. The 2006 Twins and 2012 Athletics both did this in their last game of the season, while the 2007 Phillies found themselves alone atop the NL East for the first time after their 160th game. These teams could not carry over that momentum into the playoffs, with each losing in the Divisional round (The Twins and Phillies were swept in three games, while the A’s lost in five games).

Strasburg lights up 14 and Harper jacks 2

It’s fun when you have Strasburg and Harper in your #DraftKings lineup to the tune of 85pts for the both of them – we did.  As for Bryce Harper, he went 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs in the Nationals’ 4-0 victory over the Phillies. Harper is now batting .413 with 26 home runs and 63 RBIs in games in which Washington won this season (70 games). In Nats’ losses in 2015, Harper is sporting a .261 average with 13 homers and 27 runs batted in (67 games). Over the Nats’ last six wins (since September 4), Harper is hitting .600 (12-for-20) with six homers and nine RBIs.

Harper, who turns 23 years old on October 16, has 10 games with two or more homers in his major-league career. Only three other players have had as many games of this type at 22 years old or younger: Eddie Mathews (13 games), Bob Horner (10), and Mel Ott (10).

Oakland A’s scored more than the Raiders

Did anyone see this stack happen last night? The Athletics collected 16 runs and 15 hits (including three hits each by Billy Butler and Mark Canha) over the first four innings of their 17-6 triumph over the White Sox. The last time a team had at least 16 runs and 15 hits over the first four innings of a game was on April 20, 2013, when the Indians had 18 runs and 18 hits at Minute Maid Park against the Astros. Jason Giambi(five RBIs) and Mark Reynolds (four RBIs) drove in half of those runs.

There was only one other game in A’s history in which they totaled at least 16 runs and 15 hits over the first four innings. That was on June 18, 2000 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, when they had 17 runs and 15 hits in the first four frames of a 21-3 victory. Jason Giambi also played in that game, collecting two hits and two runs batted in over those four innings; his brother Jeremy went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in that same four-inning span.

Two position players, Leury Garcia and Alexei Ramirez, came into pitch for the White Sox on Tuesday. That marked just the second time in Sox history in which multiple position players pitched in one game. The first came in the second game of a doubleheader on September 28, 1902 against the St. Louis Browns (and the last game of the season for the White Sox). Frank Isbell, who played 133 games at first base in 1902, was the starting pitcher in the game and pitched one inning. Sam Mertes, who played 120 games in the outfield that season, replaced Isbell; he pitched the remainder of the game, allowing just two runs and earning the win.

nullDee Gordon en fuego

Dee Gordon, who went 4-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored in the Marlins’ 9-3 victory at Citi Field on Tuesday, is 33-for-77 (.429) in 18 games against the Mets this season. Gordon’s 33 hits are the most for one player against a particular team this season as well as the most against the Mets in a single season. The previous high versus New York was Curt Flood’s 32 hits in 1963.

The last time a player had at least 33 hits against one team in a season was in 2011, when Jacoby Ellsbury (34 hits against Blue Jays) and Adrian Gonzalez (34 hits versus Orioles) accomplished this.

King Felix who?

David Murphy and Mike Trout each connected for home runs off Felix Hernandez in the Angels’ victory against the Mariners on Tuesday. It’s the fourth time that both Murphy and Trout have hit a homer against Hernandez; only Mark Teixeira (six) and Nelson Cruz (five) have hit more homers in their careers against King Felix.

Here’s last nights #DraftKings #Fantasybaseball perfect lineup:

91515_perfectlineup


I was sitting down at the ol’digital typewriter and I was transported back to college for a time because a Madonna tune came on the playlist, and it got me thinking about that girl that was obsessed with her.  Calling Madonna the penultimate female embodiment and how much she respected her and felt that all women should look up to her and liberate themselves from their sexual slavery, yada-yada – I really wasn’t paying that close attention but if she was intent on practicing her sexual liberation, then I was more than willing to help her out – it’s the least I could do…

So my point is, I wonder if she still thinks of Madonna as the Goddess of Feminism?  It seems kinda of odd picturing that girl, now in her 40’s strutting around with a pointy bra, rockin’ out to express yourself – or with an old pair of lace gloves crawling on the floor not wanting you to push her love over the borderline – it could happen…But it got me thinking about some other bat-sh!t-crazy things people still might do – like eat Cheez Whiz and go to Dinner Theater.  Did someone really think that while they were watching RENT or WEST-SIDE STORY, that the only thing that was missing from the production was some pork chops?  Cheez Whiz is what you’d see a doctor for, not eat.  Speaking of crazy…

It is only Wednesday and there is no football for another day – so if you’re feeling a little squirelly and really have nothing better to do then let’s make a drinking game out of the 2nd GOP debate, with a little side-action on who mentions “Kim Davis” first – and if someone compares her to Rosa Parks, it’s a shot – if anyone mentions Indiana is the size of ISIS, it’s a shot –  Matt Taibbi,  has come up with some other fun rules – So let’s pretend we are the Lizard King and we’ll all tap into our inner-Kennedy, for #Murica!

  • Drink THE FIRST TIME and the FIRST TIME only:
  • 1. A candidate invokes the memory of Saint Reagan.
  • 2. A candidate mentions Hillary’s emails.
  • Drink EVERY TIME:
  • 3. Hugh Hewitt hurls a douchey gotcha question at Trump.
  • 4. Trump – or any of the other candidates – insults or threatens one of the moderators. Beer chaser if it’s Tapper or Bash, and the candidate rips liberal-ass CNN in the process.
  • 5. Trump brags about his wealth or his poll numbers, or mocks the low poll numbers of an opponent.
  • 6. A candidate pledges to stand with Israel.
  • 7. Carly Fiorina makes a joke about her own face.
  • 8. A candidate claims a positive relationship with a minority. We’re keeping this rule in every debate. (So far we’re one-for-one: Kasich said he had a gay friend in the first debate.)
  • 9. Anyone mentions the “War on Christians.”
  • 10. A candidate says he’ll stand up to Putin.
  • 11. Trump derides someone for being a “lightweight” or having “low energy” or “low enthusiasm.”
  • 12. Anyone mentions Tom Brady or Deflategate.
  • 13. Anyone calls Black Lives Matter a “hate group,” argues that BLM or Barack Obama have endangered the lives of police, or pulls a “What about black-on-black crime?” line.
  • 14. A candidate mentions the founders. Double shot if it’s Rand Paul.
  • 15. Carson invokes the Bible as an authority for something that has nothing to do with the Bible, like tax policy.
  • 16. A candidate says, “I’m the only person on this stage who…” Double shot if it’s Carson saying something like, “I’m the only candidate who’s had his hands inside a human thorax.”
  • 17.  Anyone mentions Hitler, Nazis or Neville Chamberlain. Includes related imagery, e.g. “ovens.”
  • 18. Anyone mentions the Governator or makes a Terminator-themed joke, e.g. “To illegal immigrants, I say, Hasta La Vista.
  • Drink EVERY TIME you hear:
  • 19. “Anchor babies.”
  • 20. “Thug.”
  • 21. “Leading from behind.”
  • 22. “All lives matter.”
  • 23. “Apologize for America.”
  • Take a shot of JAGERMEISTER if:
  • 24. Any candidate is seen wearing a Blue Lives Matter bracelet.
  • 25. A candidate offers an insincere paean to departed Rick Perry. Double shot if someone references his “smart glasses.”

…Let there be DiRT

Ball 1

To some, the story goes…In the beginning the Lord created the Heavens and the Earth…and said let there be light, and there was, and it was good…then he decided to create Tebow and made him a QB and it was, meh.  Tim is maybe, one of the greatest college football quarterbacks, based on results, that constantly willed his team to victory, more than his talent.  In the record books, Tim has one-less playoff victory with the Denver Broncos than does Peyton Williams Manning.  That’s were the legend was born for most non-football fans that follow his exploits like methed-out Grateful Dead fans – except instead of a dead-head-sticker on their Cadillac, they were their love around their necks.  We all have a friend or two, that adore this man like no other – someone who would sacrifice an entire Fantasy Football draft/season to give him a roster spot, just to say, they drafted Tim Tebow.  No denying, Tim moves the needle.

But beyond all that, the man himself is what you would want your son(s) to grow up like – if all that you could accomplish as a parent, was raise a son like Tim, you would be proud.  As you should be, but that’s were it ends, because Tim believes himself to be a quarterback – an NFL quarterback – in a league that exposes your flaws faster than a runway model does after eating a cheeseburger 4 months ago.  Any other profession outside of sports would likely succeed with Tim at the helm – but not as an NFL QB.  He requires to much beyond his actual ability; he needs a similar offense to the one he ran in college, or a coach that would risk everything to defy NFL convention and actually build a team to run that offense. The NFL is never easy on mavericks, or coaches who are all hat and no cattle – Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson types do not come around often.

But if you found that guy who could challenge the good ol-boy, same-as-it-ever-was standards, then wouldn’t Tim be the perfect fit, with Chip Kelly as the coach?  This off-season, Chip Kelly has already created an industry of fans parroting “what’s up with that?“, with a side of, huh?  Chip Kelly’s offense is designed to challenge you sideline-to-sideline, and ironically that is Tebow’s strength too.  You must wonder the risk Chip is taking, with back-to-back 10-6 seasons, bringing the circus to town for a guy that is a great person, but just hasn’t shown great NFL QB skills.  If ever there was a perfect match however, this might be it – it certainly is Tim’s last shot – the quintessential spread QB in the quintessential spread offense, that does not require a PHD in reading defenses.  Or maybe it’s nothing more than a ploy to quiet the Philly fans from having Sam Bradford.  Sort of like the George Bush Sr strategy of having Dan Quayle as your vice president – no one will ever think about assassinating George if Dan is the next guy up.

It moves the needle, it is an interesting dynamic that leaves you to wonder, what might happen.  It either anoints Chip as a genius or another snake-oil salesman from the college ranks.  The future of NFL offensive coordinators depends on Chip’s success – he has already showed the value of tempo to the league.  Spread concepts have been around for awhile, just not to Chip’s degree.  But with Sanchez, Bradford, Barkley and now Tebow, you wonder how it all takes shape and this is what the NFL does – keeps you talking about it, (I expect Bradford to be traded on game-day).  That is why I think this is nothing more than collusion between the Eagles and Hizzoner.  Because what better way to redirect the darkness of serial killers, and abusers than to bathe the entire league in the guiding light of Tim Tebow – the penultimate distraction.  His goodness, his wholesomeness is all encompassing and it will become the league manifesto – retiring the “No More” campaign because it’s the Tebow show.  Get your NFL prescriptions ready and go comatose, baby – Tebow will be with us, and also with you – in Tebow’s name, we’ll watch.


Ball 2

Remember this day?  If you read this site, you know what we thought about the Jon Lester signing and how it was money well-over spent.  It’s early still, but there’s enough data to have cause for concern on the Cubs‘ $150m investment.  In the 3 games Lester has started, (he is 0-2) the Cubs have only won one game, and Lester has given up 12 runs, with 6.89 ERA.  It’s early but it has prompted the announcement of support from the manager that he, and the organization are behind Lester – even if the team that plays behind him are giving him the honest truth as Catcher David Ross has said – sugar-free-honesty.

The Cubs were looking for the Lester that led Boston to the World Series in 2013 – but two years removed, is a lifetime for a pitcher who also suffered a “dead-arm” in spring training.  The point being is that the Cubs (over)paid for an Ace, on the other-side of 30 and a trade with Lester is handcuffed by that contract.  So the Cubs hope that Lester does find more consistency and goes longer in the game without high pitch counts, as he said, he feels like he is doing.  Either way, Lester will be nothing more than a expensive #3 starter and as the years go by, no better than a #5.  None of that will matter if the Cubs ever win a World Series.


Ball 3

If you have not met him, say hello to Mookie Betts!  He was a second baseman in a logjam for the Red Sox, with Pedroia and young-future-cuban-star Yoan Moncada, waiting in the wings – so he moved to centerfield.  All he has done with his chance is go off.  Take last week as an example, Mookie robbed Bryce Harper of a homerun, stole two-bases in one play and hit a 3-run homerun, all in the first two innings!  Mookie is 22 and ironically only 9 days older than Bryce Harper – however, it seems the game is having a renaissance of young talent in the game – it’s now up to Major League Baseball to promote all of these guys – not just Trout and Harper, etc…If you get a chance, watch.


Ball 4…take your base

Jay Hart, a failed professional soccer player who plays in the English semi-pro league, has been fired for putting the club in disrepute.  Only in soccer could a player be fired for celebrating a bit too much on Ladies night.  Now that doesn’t seem like much, until you consider that after a few drinks, and after Clitheroe (not making that name up) lost the match 4-1 – did he believe he was hidden away in the other team’s dugout, still wearing his jersey, while having coitus-interuptus with a fan.  Yup, as you see in the picture – this dude was caught having sex with a fan in the dugout of the other team after a loss, on ladies night.  You could say that the reason he could not crack the professional level is because of his decision making skills – not just the act itself but the selection of hand positions and choice of booty being #HighlyQuestionable.  Only in Europe.