Quick Hits

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The (unofficial) second half of the baseball season starts tonight with four of the six divisions up for grabs and could also come down to the wire – including second-wild-card-spots.  The trade deadline is July 31 (non-waiver) and August 31 (waiver) providing plenty of rumors for the next couple of weeks.  So, here are some compelling story-lines to follow during the second-half.

  1. Where does Cole Hamels go – again?
    1. It is likely that this time, Cole Hamels may not tip the scales on a playoff race but could strengthen a contender even further.  Cole is the only bargaining the Phillies have and it would be crazy if they didnt move him for more young talent for their $85m remaining investment.  Philly will likely have to pay some of that remaining salary for the top-tier talent they’ll want in return.  It would seem the Dodgers or the Cardinals would be the best place for him.
  2. What Division does Johnny Cueto decide?
    1. Johnny Cueto could be the tipping point in a number of playoff races.  However, because he will be a free-agent next year, the Reds will not be able to ask for what Cueto is worth.  Think about how much influence Cueto could have if he was traded to the AL East, AL West or anyone one of the contenders in the NL.
  3. Houston, do we have a problem?
    1. The team that surprised everyone in the first half is no longer in first.  At one point they had the best record in baseball and then July came and they have gone 3-8 so far.  George Springer broke his right wrist and Chris Carter is still hitting below .200.  This is the team that needs another starter to contend down the stretch – but you wonder if that is worth giving away prospects to try and win something that you are not ready for now.  I’d expect the Astros will not do anything drastic and maybe trade for mid-level value type guys that do not impact their farm-system or current roster – unless it’s Chris Carter.

 

Tiger Woods and Paul Azinger at the 2002 Ryder Cup

Paul Azinger does have a history of criticizing Tiger, like when he went off on Tiger back in 2012 for kicking a club on the 16th hole during the Masters – “Tiger’s antics this week were an embarrassment to the game, to the membership at Augusta,” – “I was really disappointed to see him carry on that way. He’s not trying to endear himself to anybody. And after he won Bay Hill I thought, ‘here we go again, this is going to be Tiger just kicking butt and taking names.’ I don’t know. I thought he acted like the south end of a northbound mule.”  

So, as history repeats itself and Tiger may have already played himself out of contention from the British Open ,like he did at the U.S., Azinger calls him a “middle-of-the-pack-hack”.  Tiger is 21 over par in his last 45 holes at major championships – so the assessment is not far off.  On the front-nine yesterday Tiger was 4-over-40 and later in the day chunked a chip shot.

You’d have thought Tiger showed some signs of life recently, when he shot a 7-under for the tournament at the Greenbriar Classic.  Now, it just seems like he is lost in his own head.  Maybe the booze, women-chasing, bad swing and all, has kidnapped the once and future king of golf – not that we care anymore because we are doing just fine playing DraftKings Fantasy Golf Millionaire Maker – how about Jordan Speith?!


 

Doc Rivers the GM is crazy.  The Clippers lose Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes and Hedo Turkoglu, but gain Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Josh Smith.  You know Kendrick Perkins is waiting for that phone call to join this insane asylum.  We might be the closest we have ever been to someone being murdered on the court.  At any moment someone could implode, explode or just go off the rails – this team was already combustible, averaging two technicals every 3 games and now you have Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson?  CP3 was so hard on DJ that he considered playing for Dallas for 96 hours.  The team has talent but no front-court depth – right now there is no back-up for DJ or Blake.  This disfunction junction is going to be awesome to watch next year and I cannot wait to see the over/under on CP3 meltdowns.

Augusta and Everything After

Speith on 15

Comparison is the thief of Joy  – We have written those words before and we write them again because again, the Media will be looking to compare this record-tying-performance to the man who made Golf relevant for the casual fan, Tiger Woods.  Instead of appreciating what a 21 yr old kid did across the 4-day event, we will instead be treated to the never-ending-blather about being, “the next big thing“.  We saw this next succession talk with Jordan and we see it every time another golfer wins a Major – is he the next Tiger?  No one is Tiger Woods, just like Tiger is not Jack – appreciate them for what they were/are – great for this moment.

Last Year Speith had a 2 shot lead and blew it to Bubba.  This year Spieth came out determined and became the first wire-to-wire champion since 1976.  Some of the records he now owns are: 36 hole record at -14, 54 hole record -16, most birdies for the tournament at 28, lowest opening round by a winner at 64, and the youngest player to lead after the opening round.  If you watch golf – you already know his name and know he is more surgical than blunt force – Spieth’s 28 birdies broke Phil Mickelson’s mark he set in 2001, (Phil finished tied for 2nd).

So what we know is Jordan Spieth is a Masters Champion and we also know that in his last four starts, Spieth has won twice and finished second twice.  Let’s see how it all plays out before we begin the coronation – afterall out of the last 20 Majors, at least 16 have been won by some guy that no one remembers – it’s like if a tree falls in the woods – without Tiger, is it still relevant? We’ll see.  Until then, let’s celebrate this accomplishment and congratulate Jordan Spieth at Augusta.


 

This is a photo of one of the pitchers in Saturday night’s baseball game between Bemidji State and Minnesota State.  If you have not heard by now Bemidji scored 20 runs off of 21 hits – during the same game, they scored 7 runs in an inning, twice.  During one of those innings, the game had to be delayed because of smoke.  Not from the Bats – from a car that had caught fire during their seven run sixth, causing smoke to billow over the field, stopping the game until it was resolved.  A wild game, that was more wild and was not done with wild moments.

Wild, because Minnesota State mercy-ruled Bemidji in the 8th inning.  That is not a typo.  The team that scored 20 runs, did not win – they were euthanized.  Minnesota State rang up 41 RUNS on 35 HITS – scoring a combined 24 runs in the 3rd and 8th innings alone.  Five players had four or more RBI and eight had at least three hits.  Bemidji trailed 22-18 after six – so they had a shot – only to see themselves outscored 19-2 before being mercy-ruled in the 8th.  I’m still shocked at the 35 hits producing 41 runs.

So much for everyone getting a trophy with their cupcake and orange slices – a man who carries a cat by the tail, learns a lesson in no other way – you rub some DiRT on it and get back out there.  Because  nothing is over until we decide it is – was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor – Hell No!


 

Lou Holtz, (the creepy ventriloquist puppet that sounds like daffy duck on Meth) is now gone from ESPN.  Mark May and the transcript writer could not be happier I’m assuming – the following is dictated not read – If you know what he says, let us know:


 

Those seats you see behind home plate are the batters box suite at Chase Field.  Those fans wearing all that D-Bag gear are actually Dodger fans who paid $3,000 to sit there.  If you believe that at that price point you can wear whatever you want – then Ken Kendrick, owner of the D-Bags, disagrees with you.  In Fact, he disagrees with you so much he demands that if you sit there, you must NEVER wear the other teams colors.  Kendrick offered the fans another suite if they preferred to remain in their Dodger gear, but when they chose to stay he bought them all D-Bag gear and a round of drinks for abiding by his policy.

Where does it say in the ticket agreement that you MUST abide?!  Where do you find this dress-code policy?  Do you have to wear shirts?  I ask because this is the same ballpark that has a swimming pool suite.  If I have to move to another suite, do I get a refund for my purchase?  I paid for those seats.  It seems as litigious as society can get, this is a ready made lawsuit waiting to happen.  I know someone in the area, that also has some Rockies gear – Maybe get some crowd-funding together and test Mr. Kendrick a little more.


 

…and now examples of a Good Save/Bad Save…

Good Save…George Springer

Bad Save…BU Goalie

Abstract DiRT

You begin to wonder sometimes, is there any redemption in parlaying your earnings into a bigger pile – there is – but bigger than that is the effort and time that was put in to solve a rubik’s cube of information to create winning lineups for the Daily Fantasy delights.  We’ve done that.  We win.  It’s that simple.  We can show you the analytics, the reports, the lineup combinations and the question becomes – will you play?  No one provides the detail, the information, the exactness of projections like we do – not FanDuel, not Draftkings and defintely not all those other slack-jawed yokels.  Play along with us, use us, we give you the info for free (for now) – you see our results and it’s time for you to build yours.  We are working on baseball next and will have something big before football starts.  But the question is, will you be one of the fore-runners, or sit back with a case of the s’posed-ta’s wondering which membership plan is for you?  Contact us today and join us on the ground floor….Now on to the DiRT


1.

Basketball is a dangerous sport.  These Redwood Gladiators are constantly in peril from the razor-like-bucket.  It could explain why the Center position is fading away along with post-moves.  The hoop is dangerous, as Hassan Whiteside found out last night trying to block one of the Flying Plumlee’s.  Mr. Whiteside needed 10 stitches to close the wound between his middle and ring fingers he described as pretty bad because, “he could see the meat.”  With a handful of games remaining and Miami fighting for their playoff lives, they have to hope he comes back soon – regardless of how many times he #ActaFool.

But that was the smallest event that happened between the Heat and the Bucks.  You see the Bucks were down 11 and stormed back, down two, with eight seconds left.  Chaos ensues, and the Bucks of Milwaukee now hold a 2.5 game lead on the Heat for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.  If Milwaukee lost, their lead would have been just half-a-game.  If you read our NBA DiRTy plays you would have had Khris Middleton and Zaza Pachulia who did this:


2.

We’ve talked alot about karmic responsibility the last couple of days and then that happened.  The Fresno Grizzlies created a promotional campaign around “Back to the Future” and were planning on giving away W.S. rings.  Then someone must have forwarded one of our posts and they pulled the promotion – saying they do not want to be a “jinx“.  It’s out there Jerry, you can not take it back in this modern instagram-world.  You should have thought about that before you got the hopes up in Fresno.  But can you really blame the Astros affiliate – afterall, Sports Illustrated published this last year, in June.

The ‘Stros do have a lot of talent and if you can, watch George Springer, Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel or Chris Carter.  They also have two talented prospects waiting to debut like Carlos Correa and Mark Appel.  The Houston Astros will continue to get better and they have the makings of a really talented contender – if they can keep everyone (like the Utah Jazz).  But the Karmic wheel-O-justice spins for thee and you can book it now – the Astros will not win the World Series in 2017 – no one say anything else.


3.

The Oakland Dog – available at Oakland A’s spring training facility in Mesa, AZ – A hot dog topped with mac and cheese, green chiles and bacon. No word yet if they are planning on selling this in Oakland.

Gone are the days of getting just a hot dog and a beer.  The tide shifted years ago when ballparks began offering sushi or upscale dining to go with normal ballpark fare.  Every year it seems we get some place kickin’ it up a notch – here’s what some items are on the menu for 2015 around the country, see if you notice a theme.

  • Texas Rangers“Just Bacon” food stand – They will have an actual stand in the ballpark, dedicated to nothing but bacon.  They’ll sell candied bacon in a mini-helmet, bacon-cotton-candy and even bacon-beer.  Even if you are not riding the ‘everything-bacon’ wave – you’ve got to try a bacon beer right? for science?
  • Texas Rangers – The S’mOreo – A deep fried marshamallow surrounded by two deep fried oreos topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.  It’s almost bite-sized, so six of them could get eaten before you know what happened.
  • Texas RangersChicken-Fried-Corn-on-the-Cob – Again in Texas, this time they take corn, slather it with buttermilk batter before dropping it into the fryer.  Sounds like another challenge that must be washed down with a cold Bacon Beer – it just seems wrong, but you must do it for science.
  • Arizona DiamondbacksChurro Dog – Remember when the D’bags gave us the 18″ corn-dog stuffed with cheese, jalapenos and bacon.  This year they want us to finish off the D-Bat dog with a low-cal desert: a churro, nestled in a donut bun, topped with frozen-yogurt, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and caramel.  Low-cal because they used frozen-yogurt – thinking of the extra calories they are saving us by not using the iced-cream – at 1100 calories, it’s a nice gesture.
  • Wilmington Blue RocksDonut Dog – This minor league team got with Krispy Kreme to create a Krispy Kreme glazed donut bun that hugs a hot dog, topped with rasberry jam and bacon.  A modern day Monte Cristo sandwich.  Get your friends to try it first.
  • Wisconsin Timber-RattlersBig Mother Funnel Burger – Placing meat in desert-type-cakes seems to be the new thang and in Wisconsin we have another.  We have a bacon-cheeseburger between two funnel-cakes.  The question for all you gastro-engineers is: how well does the structure of the funnel-cake hold up to the grease of the bacon cheeseburger? #Murica!
  • Wisconsin Timber-RattlersGrilled Cheese Bacon Cheeseburger – Just like it sounds, a bacon cheeseburger with grilled cheese sammiches for buns.  Throw in some onions and a side of ranch for dipping and someone might scream RoadTrip.
  • Lehigh Valley Iron PigsPork Parfait – It’s a meat mirage disguised as a desert – it’s like Thanksgiving in a cup, if Thanksgiving had pork.  This meat-parfait is layered with mashed potatoes, pulled pork, cheese sauce and green onions – all made to look like its a desert.  So confusing…
  • Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs2-foot long hot dog – This needs a real name and might need a NC-17 rating, because no one should be allowed to hold that much meat in your hand without some sort of supervision.  This tube-monster is topped with chili, beer cheese, bacon and onion straws.  You can have it cut into 4, 6″ pieces, to share, or make you feel better about yourself stuffing your face with all that meat at once, alone.
  • Oklahoma City DodgersOreo Churros – it’s a chocolatey churro with a side of oreo cream dipping sauce – that is science right there. (no picture, just imagine…)
  • The West Michigan Whitecaps are holding a contest for fans to vote one of the items to the ballpark menu.  Here are some of the choices:

    #1 – French Fry Pizza #2 – Cotton Candy Curveball (twinkie wrapped in cotton candy) #3 – Kat Dog (Kit-Kat inside a hot dog) #4 – Weenie Panini

    Other items are Crispy Pig Chips (nachos with pork-rinds), Hot-toTot (tater-tots with buffalo chicken and bleu cheese), and a hot dog in a hallowed out pickle, deep fried.


NOT A SAINT…

You can’t spell Sharper without “Rapes”

This week, news broke that Darren Sharper has agreed to sign a new long term deal with Arizona.  Terms are undisclosed but rumors are, it is for at least 9 years.  Darren Sharper still has offers pending in Louisiana, Nevada and California and could become the 1st player in the Federal Penal League to play for several teams.

This is one of those situations that the entitled, priveledged athlete, convicted of barbarism, should be shipped off to Papillon with the other socio and psychopaths in the world, to live their end of days, together.  Prison shows no mercy to child-molesters and rapists – in Hell you will remember the sins of the flesh.