Einhorn is Finkle; Finkle is Einhorn

It’s gonna be a Rugby Sunday ’round here…

Hi, I’m Logan Cartwright. You may remember me from such educational films as “Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun” and “Firecrackers: The Silent Killer“.

Earlier this week when the Wells Report came out, I was transported back to a time where we celebrated the takeover of the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas, to honor a golden-gilded-god of football and rename it the Boston, Boston – sure there was every reason to believe we were headed for trouble, maybe we had pushed our luck a little to far – certain liberties were taken – we had abused every rule Vegas existed by – burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help – our only salvation was the possibility that we’d gone to such excess, that nobody in a position to bring the hammer down on us could possibly believe it was all for “Tohm Fah-Q-ing Bray-dee!

So it was written, and so it was done.  As was the Wells report, it has shamed and tarnished a legacy that further puts into question – what happens now?  Do we ever get to set foot in the Boston, Boston Hotel and parade around as disciples of Tom the Terrific again?  Will there be a reckoning because of this?  We must face again, the answers to questions we should never have had to ask; like will the wives of Olympic gold medalists ever get us ice again while we are held at gunpoint by Persian pimps drinking flower garnished moonshine?  They will, but that’s not the point – what about Tom and our annual cosmopolitan diaspora of bacchanalia?

A lot of theories and reflections have been trotted out like show ponies recently – the outrage!  The evil empire of the Patriots caught again!  Tom Brady is the new Whitey Bulger and should be banned from the Hall of Fame, or suspended until the 1st game, or a full year suspension, they decree.  Let’s slow it down.

Before we jump to the sentencing phase of this non-hearing, non-court proceeding and also temper the opposite over-reaction of “innocent until proven guilty” talk – that exists only in the court of law, not the court of public opinion.  Someone break down what advantage does an under-inflated football have?  Is there proof of that advantage?  Was it not during the 1st half of the game against the Colts where the footballs were under-inflated, and in the 2nd half they were proper?  Tom did better in the second-half than the first right?  So please someone quantify the advantage for us.

There are those that say he broke the rules.  Would these be the same rules that seem to change every 5 years?  The Immaculate Reception was an illegal play, and it doesn’t stop the myth of that moment.  Franco Harris is not called into question about when it was he knew he was just gonna run with it – he should have just stopped right, gave up?  You could probably make a case for several highlights involving the RaidersThe Holy Roller, The Tuck, etc…all legal then made illegal now by the rules.  The NFL has changed so dramatically the last 10 years that it’s not even the same game we grew up with.  So, to make a case based on the rulebook is absurd, especially on a rule that none of us knew anything about or cared.

For Haters and supporters alike it all turns into 3rd Century theological discussions:

person 1: I believe in X
person 2: I believe in Y
person 1: Why don’t you believe in X? I would love to explore your belief system further in hopes of bridging our — HAHAHA, just kidding; I’ve already set you on fire!

So, are we hurt because he lied?  Do we really jump to lying with terms related to “more than likely” with no smoking gun?  If this was a criminal proceeding – he’d be found, “not guilty”.  But public opinion is a civil case where all you have to prove, is reasonable doubt – it does not have to be beyond reasonable.  Really, we know he did, we know he was complicit – he was the architect of the heist – maybe he didn’t pull it off – but those guys don’t walk into the bank without Tom’s plans on how to rob it.  It’s called being an accomplice, it’s also called conspiracy.  It’s also not the same thing.

So what’s the punishment?  If Marijuana use and Ray Farmer gets 4 games for sending text messages during games, then Tom gets at least that right?  Rich McKay got suspended for the Falcons piping in crowd noise.  So clearly we have to find a comparative, a value in over/under inflated balls and their meaning towards the outcome of a game.

The NFL opened this door long ago allowing QB’s to have control of game balls (Tom Brady led the campaign to change that rule) and lets not forget that the success of the league is founded on point spreads and information – and as long as that’s honest, then truly the only thing that should be punished is the fraud in withholding that information – everything else is fair game when we talk about brutes in the coliseum.

More than Hizzoner’s righteous judgment, Tom Brady should be more concerned that he lied to Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft – they should dole out the punishment themselves if they had any integrity. HAHAHAHAHA, just kidding the league has already set us on fire.

This Saturday, May 9th we’re excited to host an MLB $3 entry contest with the 1st place prize being a trip for two (2) to this year’s MLB All Star Game!  This includes airfare ($1,000 credit), hotel accommodations, two (2) tickets to the Home Run Derby and two (2) tickets to the MLB All-Star Game (please note that the winner and participants must be 21 years of age or older.)

Enter here:  http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=1446&aff_id=284742

It’s unlikely that any Rockie will earn themselves a trip to the All-Star Game this year.  Typically a team that can’t win at home or in an entire region like SoCal, and are also winless on the weekends, ever deserve that honor.  Anyone seen Tulo or CarGo?  We were told if they were healthy this team could contend. According to my sources, these are the facts!

someone should ask if he can pitch

Meanwhile, the Red Sox just fired their pitching coach because they are slightly above terrible in team ERA – terrible is the Rockies – nevermind the songs of praise the Red Sox gave him for turning the staff into World Series Champions in 2013.  They are beer-leaguers now and too close for comfort in the basement with the Rockies – in Boston that gets you a pink slip.  In Denver that gets you…free excuses, and a coupon for one free hot dog (redeemable only during $1 hot dog night).  Mgmt., and Weiss clearly have no taste for metrics – because if they were paying attention, they would not have sit Justin Morneau against James Shields when he has .320 average against him or not start Drew Stubbs against lefty fly-ball pitchers when he has an .834 OPS – as examples.  We are seeing the same clap-trap we saw when Jim Tracy rested everyone on the weekend, before he quit playing nurse-maid – paying major league prices for minor-league talent.

The Dodgers have used 30+ different players so far this year, more than anyone in baseball and are in first place – so the Rockies have no more alibi’s and might have also missed their window to trade CarGo – who looks more like Josh Hamilton in LA, than what we are used to.

Thank goodness for StrikeZone, the Astros, Royals, Mets, etc…Because everywhere else there is some good baseball and great young talent to watch.  So, keep reading for our baseball lineups in our baseball page and good luck with your chance at winning the All-Star game contest – thoughts on who to play for Saturday’s tournament will be up later today.  Mahalo.

Balls in the DiRT

No. 715

Hank Aaron

April 8th, 1974

The Hammer! A few times and far less often than we hope, do our heroes maintain themselves thru the stains of time.  Too often, they seem to creatively find ways to shatter those illusions, like a soft-grip of a favorite snow-globe of our youth.  Those delusions are ours and not theirs.  Rare is a hero that sets off on a knight’s quest towards one of baseball’s Holy Grail’s, only to carry with him a quiet dignity of fotitude and stoicism that relies more on substance than of flash – and for that we must always give thanks to Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron.  Give him the unconditional love he deserves.  Remember 715.  Remember a man that did not masquerade or exploit his talents to gain his seat at the table, he earned his place in the Pantheon.  Celebrate The Hammer!

He is a Saint and an example of all that is good within us and what we can achieve by just putting our head down and getting to work – regardless of outside distractions.  It is a shame, that on that night, in the 4th innning, what he felt after hitting Al Downing’s pitch over the left field wall, was not joy at the accomplishment, but relief.  Babe Ruth was larger than life, with larger appetites, and while he was gregarious and still maintains a popular place in the church of baseball – The Hammer was a contrast of muted poise.  Babe Ruth would have embraced it all, the energy, the party; where as Hank – under constant harassment by the media and fans, appeared as concerned with it all as a man does with a child asking for a new balloon.  There were more flamboyant superstars during Aaron’s 21 year career that shined brighter and preferred to hover in the spotlight –  while Hank comfortably went to work in the shadows that they’d cast.  He was just a man, doing his job and wanting to live a normal life, like anyone else.

Here it is, in his own words, from Hank Aaron’s autobiography, “I Had a Hammer” about that night:

When I was alone and the door was shut, I got down on my knees and closed my eyes and thanked God for pulling me through.  At that moment, I knew what the past twenty-five years of my life had been about.  I had done something that nobody else in the world had done, and with it came a feeling that nobody else has ever had – not exactly, anyway.  I didn’t feel a wild sense of joy.  I didn’t feel like celebrating.  But I probably felt closer to God at that moment than at any other in my life.  I felt a deep sense of gratitude and a wonderful surge of liberation all at the same time.  I also felt a stream of tears running down my face.

Aaron retired after the 1976 season with the Brewers and ended with 755 Home-Runs.  He is a sports hero we deserve, and we should remind him how much we appreciate all that he exemplifies, what is good within us.  It isn’t about shouting, asking where your 15 seconds of fame and notoriety are, despite being attached to the digital freeway, looking for instant gratification, and validation.  It’s about grace, quiet dignity, hard work and perseverance – that in time, we too have a shot at being exceptional – it may not mean we will be an all-timer – but it does mean we can walk with our head held high, knowing we gave it all we had – just like the Hammer!



 

Go Home Hostess, you’re drunk!

Baseball is back and this seamhead is pumped – at least for a while.  Meaning the Rockies, of course they are 2-0 and in first place, all by themselves – regardless if we have seen how this story usually ends in June.  It’s just 83 more W’s for my prediction to come true, as I wrote here back in February.  Just remember, Crazy is a term of Art – Insanity is term of Law, and I am still not insane – I have a sticker to prove it.

But what we have decided to do, is provide some help with your Daily Fantasy Baseball needs:  It will not be as full-blown as our NBA coverage until next year, but it will help you get an idea of who to consider – so without further ado….

Consider that 4 players for the Colorado Rockies have a batting average of .500 or better against Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta and that Tulo, in 14 plate appearances against Peralta has 3 singles and 4 walks.  The other 4 are Nolan Arenado, Nick Hundley, Justin Morneau and Corey Dickerson.  The issue being for some is the possibility of rest.  No Rest for these guys? Then we could look at a road sweep to start the year before welcoming the National League Champion Cubs (sarcasm) for the Home Opener Friday.

Consider staying away from Pujols and Trout against Iwakura of the Mariners.  In 26 and 27 at-bats, both Trout and Pujols hit below .200.  However, if they can get to him, it is usually for xtra-base-hits.  In Trout’s 5 hits he has 4 singles and 1 HR and Pujols’ 5 hits are for 2 singles and 3 doubles.  What you have to consider, is the price worth the performance?

Consider neither pitcher for the Orioles or the Rays are gonna stop anyone from htting the ball around the yard and consider that Oakland could shell Texas Rangers’ pitcher Ross Detwiler.

Consider Daniel Murphy and his excellent matchup against Jordan Zimmerman.  Murphy is 16 for 50 against Zimmerman with 5 doubles, 3 HR’s and only 2 strikeouts.  Others that have good matchups are both Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton and Christian Yellich against Shelby Miller – both are a combined 6-11 with 2 HR’s, 2 singles and a double.

Consider these guys by position, for your lineup today that have the best matchup and best potential:

1B

Daniel Murphy

Steve Pearce

Jose Abreu

Justin Morneau (if he plays, took a throw to the neck last night)

2B

Robinson Cano

Ian Kinsler

Adam Rosales

3B

Josh Harrison

Chris Johnson

Mike Moustakas

Nolan Arenado (if he plays)

SS

Hanley Ramirez

Juan Uribe

Tulo (if he plays)

C

Salvador Perez

Welington Castillo

Nick Hundley (if he plays)

OF

Lorenzo Cain

Andrew McCutchen

Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton

Desmond Jennings (4HR’s against M.Gonzales but strikes out 19.4% against him)

Shin-soo-choo

Ben Revere

Corey Dickerson

P

Carlos Carrasco

Anibal Sanchez

Brandon McCarthy

 

 

 

Monday Dreg

It’s a beautiful day…let’s play two

“Mr. Cub”, “Mr.Sunshine”, passed away Friday at the age of 83.  The enthusiastic ambassador for a city and a franchise was more than just an All-Century Shortstop; he was a man that had a love for the community, rivaled only by his love of baseball.  Ernie Banks played 19 seasons, (all for Chicago) with only one winning season in his first 14 years.  Ernie never made it to the postseason and his playoff exile is still the longest in baseball history at 2,528 consecutive games without.  In 1954 Ernie Banks and Gene Baker became the first all-black-double-play combo in MLB history.  Ernie played his first 8 seasons at SS before being moved to 1B in 1961, after starting 23 games in LF.

Ernie Banks was the smile that all fans of the Cubs clung to for hope.  He was one of their own and he was a special ballplayer that played the game with effervescence.  He was an 11 time all star who hit 512 HR’s, had 5 Grand Slams in 1955, led the league twice in HR’s and RBI, the most HR’s in a season by a NL Shortstop with 47, and by the time Cal came around, had the fewest errors in a season by a shortstop (12) and the best fielding percentage by a shortstop in a season (.985 in 1959).

Ernie Banks shared the Shortstop position on the All-Century Team with Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken jr, but compare him to the modern player and he still is good.  For an example, Cal Ripken jr and Omar Vizquel now own the fewest errors in a season by a shortstop with 3.  Cal Ripken has the highest fielding percentage in a season by a shortstop (min 150 games) with .996.  Troy Tulowitzki currently has the highest career fielding percentage of all shortstops with .986.

Speaking of Troy Tulowitzki, who is the best Shortstop in the game, and most likely gives us an idea of what it must have been like to watch Ernie play, compares as follows:

0.299 BA 0.294
119 avg.hits.season 151
176 HR 269
604 RBI 778
0.891 OPS 0.916
4.1 WAR 6.2
0.986 fielding% 0.972
106 Games avg’d 135

Those numbers are based on the 9yrs Troy has played at shortstop, against Ernie’s 8yrs at the position.  As much as Troy is beloved in Denver, think how much Rockies fans would love Ernie Banks if he played right now in Coors Field.  Now I love Troy Tulowitzki, and watching him play is one of the few joys you have as a Rockies Fan, but hopefully this helps put things in perspective for an all timer like Ernie Banks and for most of us who never saw him play.  In the Great Ballpark in the sky, they might have to adjust their schedule for double headers, now that Mr.Cub has joined the team.


 

Jeff Bridich, 37, is the Rockies’ rookie general manager. His team is coming off a 66-96 season.

New GM Jeff Bridich

I went to Rockies-Fest again this past Saturday and as usual you get a bad case of spring fever, the thoughts of seeing the field of green, the dirt in the infield, blue skies, sunshine, over-priced beer, meat tubes snuggled in bread pillows, etc..Crazier thoughts that sprout from the what if game: what if Tulo actually plays 150 games with CarGo, or what if the young arms actually have talent to go with Diva-Rosa and Jhoulys – what if Rex Brothers had a bad dream and awoke…It all felt so good, walking around the ballpark, listening to guys spit out cliche after cliche, having fun interacting with the slovenly peasants, watching peasants whore themselves with platitudes towards every ballplayer seen in the hallway – it gets you excited if you love the game and I do.  But then there’s this guy…Bridich…the new GM of the Rockies that was the Director of player development, who earned the job after O’Dwod quit/resigned…Well maybe not earned, the Rockies never conducted a search for a replacement – they kinda got the formal resignation and within hours of the announcement, announced the new GM.

We were there for the first event of the day where Justin Morneau, Walt Weiss, CarGo and that guy were there to talk about the outlook of the Rockies.  Justin responded well to the event, answering questions, Walt provided every cliche we have ever heard about the Rockies (see what if game), CarGo was intense but excited for the season – you could sense that he is burning up inside to prove he can still be elite.

When Bridich spoke it was in one tone – saying nothing.  He never answered the question asked of him and seemed more like we all were beneath him and this was a waste of his time.  You would think that the new GM of a baseball team, at the age of 37, would be so excited to speak to season ticket holders and be enthusiastic for his chance to show us he’s the man.  He was the opposite of that.  The guy reaches a pinnacle of management after being 3rd banana and he reacts like a deer in headlights that just saw his dog get run-over.  One of the questions he was asked was how do you know when a young arm is ready for the majors – mumbly-joe just started droning on and on about how hard the majors are and that evaluations and timing and weather reports and crop circles and tidal charts of the moon’s orbit, blah blah blah – to the point you saw CarGo just look down to avoid eye contact. My son even asked me what he is saying – i had no idea – but I can tell you how you answer that question in front of season ticket holders, who generally want to know when some of the talent we have is ready to contribute and does he have a clue when that would be – that was not the time to be cryptic Jeff.

You might say something like: it all depends on the prospects’ ability to master HIS pitches and when to throw the right pitch, does he understand situational baseball and does he have the maturity to handle all the noise inside and outside of the ballpark – does he want to succeed and does he trust his defense to make a play…That was just 30 seconds of “who’s line is it anyway” – Jeff had weeks to prepare a proper response that gives you an idea that he cares, or has a clue, or is enthusiastic about running a baseball team.  I guess we’re stuck with the GM we got, just not the one we deserve.


Colombia 2014

Paulina Vega – Miss Universe

So last night was the Miss Universe whoop-ditty and my $2 Trifecta Box did not merit much in terms of financial gain.  Hell, I only had Netherlands left in the top 5 and I have no idea where the rest fell out – but it was interesting that I had said two of the top 6 that had outside chances were USA and Colombia and they ended up finishing nos.1&2 – but you said they weren’t gonna win because… – Like I said, nailed it – besides I blame Manny Pacquiao for blowing up my box.

things also not worth watching…

anyone know who won, any of the football extravaganzas that occurred?  I’ve got a feeling that a good friend of mine took the over in the Senior Bowl and Team Carter + the points…I know it sounds weird, but this same guy bets pre-season NFL games – His is the picture in the dictionary next to the word degenerate.