Easy Prey OR Your Writing Gives Me Herpes

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This article has been several weeks in the making. I started with a sudden splurge on Yahoo! Answers before my brain became weary of typoes, run-on sentences, ALL-CAPS GIBBERERIBBERISH!, and ::sigh:: so much more. Recently, I began my crusade anew…or again, whichever, to correct some small percentage of the mistakes in this world and, if nothing else, to give me something decent to post on the heavenly white pages of ASC.

I have kept all my answers so far to the baseball section, thereby shutting myself off from a monstrous headache of multiple topics. From small peeks into other areas it seems to be pretty much the same thing but in religion-speak, Fall Out Boy doe-eyed junkiespiel, or soccer language among others. Seriously, the Mexican team showed no class at the end of the game against the USA. I cannot believe that there was no penalty placed on their goalie, Oswaldo Sanchez, following his attempted slide tackle on Eddie Johnson after the second US goal, I have no more respect for him. What? Oh right, basesball. And we begin…
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I hate reading Yahoo! Answers, because some of the responses can be the single most ridiculous thing to be left on the bits and bytes of the internet. I don’t know why I continue to look at any of the ‘answers,’ I probably have some sort of sadomasochistic gravitation towards brain damage.

Example A: “We all know Johan Santana is the best MLB pitcher who comes in second and how close?”

Assuming the poster means current and based on the past few years of pitching, since he doesn’t specify anything, I feel it is fairly obvious that someone out of the mix of Roy Oswalt, Chris Carpenter, and Roy Halladay happens to be second best. Some insightful individuals even managed to type these names out (there is hope out there after all). The major problem with Yahoo! Answers is that it allows the poster to select the best answer, this is a huge mistake. Essentially someone could just go out there and post “Who has the biggest cock?” and wait for some retard to gratify them with their own name OR it allows for someone to say that Timothy Dalton was the best Bond, and we all know that that is offensively misguided.

Chosen Answer to Example A: “Too many factors to really consider…Do you base it off 2006 only? Trends for the past few seasons? Career? An arguement can be made for so many players. Clemens, Petitte, Pedro, Carpenter, Schmidt, Schilling…. Go to Relief picthers. Papelbon was insane last year, but is unproven. Is anyone happy to be facing Mariano Rivera…ever? K-Rod has been pretty unhittable since he dominated the Yanks in the 2002 WS.
So most likely the answer comes down to personal preference of team. Having said that…Papelbon. Then Schilling, Dice-K, Wakefield, and Beckett. Plain and simple. ;-)”

My response to chosen answer: ::head explodes::

NO! First, how do you even mention Schmidt? Not Clemens, because he is a baby and doesn’t play full seasons anymore. Did you even see Pettitte’s stats last year? Even Pedro was horrible last year, and wasn’t anything special in his final BoSox year. Good on Carpenter. Except for 2004, Schilling hasn’t been anything near remarkable. Some closers, but in my opinion you can’t really consider them for their solitary inning of work. Regardless of personal preference of team you have to be out of your fucking mind to list the BoSox crew. If you’re picking team pitching it is really simple Tigers, Padres, Twins.

Other answers involved:

Carlos Zambrano: Why, because he is supposed to be good, since he wasn’t all that incredible last year.

“i dont know bout santana being te best pitcher cause he had 19 wins just like wang of the yankees. Santana sure did have a better era but who cares they had the same amount of wins. So wang is up there.”
“Chien Ming Wang is obviously the second best pitcher currently in the MLB. His record last year was 19-6 and his ERA was less than 4. He was the runner-up for the American League Cy Young Award last year and had more than 450 ground balls last year.”
“i think Chien-Ming Wang is best pitcher in al and the mlb he should the cy young award”

Rating pitchers based on wins is like choosing a mate because of the possiblity of a large inheritance. Jason Marquis had 2 more wins than Brett Myers, therefore he is a better pitcher, right? It’s enough to make me upchuck my gall bladder. Marquis was 14-16 with a 6.02 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. Myers was 12-7, 3.91, 1.30.

Oh, by the way, all of these responses are verbatim, just to show you what a bunch of clusterfucks these guys are at typing and creating arguments. Seriously, words just drop out of their mouths, shattering on the floor, and then they piece it back together in something resembling a kindergartener’s artwork.
Mom: This is a wonderful painting of a hamster, honey.
Child: It’s a school bus!

I will give you the stats of Santana, Halladay, Wang, and Mussina from 2006 to show you that Santana clearly deserved the Cy Young, Halladay was the second best pitcher in the AL, and that Wang’s season wasn’t all that special (aside from wins, Mussina was the better pitcher).

Pitcher W-L ERA IP K HR WHIP
Santana 19-6 2.77 233.7 245 24 1.00
Halladay 16-5 3.19 220.0 132 19 1.10
Wang 19-6 3.63 218.0 76 12 1.31
Mussina 15-7 3.51 197.3 172 22 1.11

My conclusion is that Wang got a pretty good amount of run support. I know he is a good pitcher, great at inducing the ground ball, but these three guys are better.

“Is there a better relief pitcher than Joe Nathan?”

B.J. Ryan, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, K-Rod. They’re all pretty much about even.

Example B: “Which team deserves my undying loyalty?” The person goes on to explain that Tom Hicks is buying (in a partnership) an English Soccer team (Liverpool) instead of spending all that money on the team or trying to completely redesign the team.

First of all, Hicks did spend money (poorly) on A-Rod, and disregarded pitching, then he focuses on pitching, while maintaining a pretty decent offense without A-Rod (Young, Teixeira, Blalock). If Hicks wants to keep any of these players for longer than their current contracts, he’s going to need to have some available cap space. This guy is hard to appease.

Chosen Answer to Example B: “Definately its got to be the Athletics of Oakland. We do it right, build our own teams, don’t overpay, build through development and draft, not like these other teams that have totally ruined baseball like the Yankees. When we take the title it will be earned not bought. A’s for life bitches!”

Ah, yes, the Moneyball team. They lose their best players to trades and free agency. Of course, when they do decide to keep someone for a large contract it ends up being Eric Chavez or trading for Jason Kendall’s $11 million. Clearly, if you didn’t like the fact that your owner wasn’t spending enough money on his team, Oakland is the place for you.

The poster made reference to a close second, a response trying to lure him over to the Mets. This was the only response that gave a decent, in-depth look into the team. The poster told a story about Roberto Alomar (of all Mets to talk about), and then went on to describe the balance of veterans and youth Minaya has built with this team. The former Ranger fan said he would feel as if he was jumping on the bandwagon. In the 7 seasons since 2000 the A’s have made the postseason 5 times. The Mets have done it twice.

Nevertheless there was the usual amount of idiot responses:

“St. Louis Cardinal. . . Ive been a fan my whole . . . my cousin built there new stadium so ROCKING OUT WITH ST. LOI”

What?

“The Braves cuz they are the BEST”

Not last year.

“THE NEW YORK YANKEES they won 9 division titles in a row!”

Yes, be a frontrunner, everyone will love you for it.

Example C: “Name the only MLB player ever with his first, middle and last name starting with an “U”?”

Yup, it does say ‘an “U.”’ The answer is, of course, Ugueth Urtaín Urbina. The first response got best answer, which is understandable. However, this will not stop me from making fun of the other answers.

“Ugueth Urtain Urbina. played for the phillies. then he traveled home and got arrested during the off season for something related to machete blah blah blah.”

This is my favorite response, mainly because of the ‘machete blah blah blah’ part.

“Ugueth Urtain Urbina…..I think that i should getr best answer because i actually knew this unlike everyone else who answered and just looked it up….Im not sure if he is one of the good guys in baseball though..because he was arrested in Venezuela for useing a machete on 2 guys…LOL”

You know what happens when you assume, dickhead. Learn how to create the present participle of ‘use.’ ‘LOL’ clearly is required for a reaction to a situation involving death.

“Ugueth Urtain Urbina!!! played for the phillies. In 2004, his mother was kidnapped in their native Venezuela, but fortunately she was found unharmed after many months. On November 7, 2005, Urbina was arrested in Venezuela pending formal charges of attempted murder. The charges stem from an incident at his family’s ranch on October 16 where Urbina and a group of men allegedly attacked five workers with machetes and poured gasoline on them. He had 2 seasons with 40 or more saves, 1999 & 2002”

Odd set-up here: baseball, personal life, personal life, baseball. You must be doing stellar work in English class.

“Urbina”

I’m assuming you mean Ewe Ewe Urbina?

Example D: “Best player of all time? it has to be pete rose he is charlie hustle he played because he loved the game”

Oh, gee, I wonder where this is going. Who wants to guess what answer he will pick?

“I agree- Pete Rose. The number of years with a lot of hits it took to beat the All Time Hit Record- I dont think that one will ever fall again.
Source: Reds Fan. Let him into the Hall of Fame already.
Asker’s Rating: THANK YOU FOR AGREEIN wit me”

There are so many things wrong with this, but it hurts to even think about. Also, the term ‘Charlie Hustle’ should be outlawed.

Example E: “How do I get a MAJOR league baseball player to sign my balls?”

Hahahahahahahaha!

All those questions were posted some time ago, so I’ll give you a fresh batch of idiocy to think about.

Recent example A: “Where can i find betting stats from the 2006 baseball season? over unders stuff like that?”

The first answerer stated that he couldn’t find anything, which is obviously something we all needed to know.

The second answerer, bless his failing eyesight, posted links to two baseball stat sites for batting stats. As soon as I read the question I knew I would find this answer. Why? Because 90% of these people are failing.

Recent example B: “What is the Url to Stl Louis paper?”

What is a Google search?

Recent example C: “How did the baseball player with the last name Kile die?”

There were good answers to this, but the one that stuck out like an unwanted erection was “in an airplane crash i think”

Look, if you’re not going to bother thinking then don’t even attempt typing.

Recent example D: “Is it true that the bigleager Ugueth Urbina was sent to jail?
Venezuelan outfielder. Seems that he burned some people to death. Any of you guys know anything about it?”

Is it true you can’t read something from any news site? Much less get facts straight? Pitcher, machete, gasoline, jail. Juan Uribe, you’re next on the stand.

If you wish to follow me in my quest to enlighten the baseball morons of this world, then go here:
My neck must be incredibly strong to hold a brain so large, so limitless, so sensual.
And if anyone from Yahoo! Answers reads this, I have a hint for you. You’re dumb as hell or you can solve your question with a Google search, unless it is seeking an opinion, in which case I am always right.

The Natural Top 5

I was sitting in bed last night, winding down another wonderful day in casa de costesflaming bat, when I stumbled upon my favorite baseball movie of all time, The Natural. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about this movie kicks ass on levels I didn’t know about until I saw it for the first time. It’d be literally impossible to list my favorite things about this film; I think wordpress doesn’t have that capacity. After a long deliberation, I present to you my top five favorite things about the movie.

5. The head-first slide the New York Knights player has to end the bottom of the 7th inning. Ozziecanseco and I were discussing this earlier, and there really is no other moment in the movie you can point to that says, “man, they really could’ve stepped up the production at this spot.” Thankfully the slide is so unbelievably bad it becomes comical. The Knights player is trying to stretch a single and comes nowhere close; he attempts a head-first slide into second but winds up face planting and probably tearing every pectoral muscle he has. If you watch closely the extra doesn’t lift his head after he’s called out–I’m pretty sure he’s A) hiding in shame B) writhing in pain C) spitting dirt out of his mouth or D) all of the above.

4. The Wardrobes. If there’s one thing I think baseball teams should do when they have “Throwback Night”, it’s force all of the fans to get in throwback mode as well. Let’s face it, the getups people wore to baseball games back in the day were downright awesome. If you weren’t wearing a three-piece with a sweet hat your ass had better be a security guard. Young kids in a hanley, suspenders, and sweet british racing caps peppered the stands everywhere. Women wore large elaborate hats with beautiful flowing dresses (but don’t show any thigh, you whore). Hell peanut vendors even wore bowties. The fact that there is rarely a scene without any male wearing a tie and fedora in it rocks.

3. Hobbs’ showdown with The Whammer. At this point we barely know who Hobbs is; all we’ve seen is some grab ass and sweet talk with Glenn Close (the only movie where she was remotely attractive; if you say Fatal Attraction take a bath with a toaster). Hobbs is enjoying knocking down milk bottles with his rocket arm, aka the only game you should waste your time at a carnival with, with the possible exception of the dunk tank. The Whammer is being a total weiner and basically saying Hobbs isn’t shit. Hobbs’ agent throws down the gauntlet to Whammer to a “contest of skill”. 3 pitches, and he has to strike out Whammer. Long story short, Hobbs pwns Whammer on 3 pitches (2 heaters and some junk), calls him out for using foul language, steals his woman, and all around makes Whammer look like a dildo. Hail Hobbs.

2. Wilford Brimley. Did he ever do better in a role than in this movie? The down-and-out manager Pop Fischer who never won the big one, sabotaged by the likes of his no good business partner “The Judge”. He plays it to perfection. Knowing that desperate times call for desperate measures (no pennant means he’s The Judge takes over control) he does everything he possibly can, ultimately hiring a hypnotist to try and snap the boys out of their losing ways (“Losing is a disease, as contagious as syphillis”). It’s a pretty generic role seen in tons of baseball movies but I dare you to find anyone who plays it better, and at the same time warn you about the dangers of diabetes.

1. The Home Run. If you don’t get goosebumps all over your body and want to jump up and down when he hits the final home run you’d better check your pulse. After he breaks his Wonderboy bat on a foul ball Hobbs is facing a 2-2 count and needs a new piece of lumber. He tells Bobby the bat boy to “pick him out a winner”, and does he ever. From the swing (perfect wrist turn, the blood stain, the angst on Redford’s face) to the trot around the bases (sparks flying, explosions everywhere, the fans and his teammates goings nuts) to Redford crossing home (teammates embracing and celebrating in a shower of sparks) everything clicks together perfectly. It’s still one of the few movies that make me tear up out of pure happiness and elation every single time I watch it.

If you haven’t seen this movie I suggest you reevaluate your life, rent it, and watch it at least three times in a row. If you’re not ready for baseball season and convinced Roy Hobbs is the best player who never was I will personally refund your money.

Baseball, brought to you by Baseball

Since we watch our baseball on TV, opting out on radio because of its grainy visuals, we inevitably are presented with baseball commercials. Some of these commercials promote a team and others merely opt in baseball players and conventions to push some good ol’ $’s. Below are some of both, just five, which I found on YouTube during a Phillies spring-training game.

Check them out: Continue reading

Cocaine for Nerds

Fantasy baseball: to call it a cultural phenomenon would be a gross understatement. With an estimated 16 million participants in 2007, it is one of the top recreational activities in America. More Americans, in fact, play fantasy sports than do yoga. College kids play it. Investment bankers play it. I recently learned that Rush frontman/bassist Geddy Lee plays it, which, if you know Rush, is about as surprising as finding out Kate Moss does coke. So there you have it… fantasy baseball: cocaine for nerds.

I want to let you in on a secret: until last Saturday, I’d never tried fantasy baseball before. Ever. And now, like Geddy Lee, I’m hooked. Thanks to my former college roommate and good friend, whom we will call Bob, I’ve been brought into the fold. Actually, Bob has brought the whole of allswingsconsidered into the fold with his espn.com Roto-league. If you’d like to follow the action, check out our league, the Ugueth Urbina Liberation Front, here. ASC is fielding four teams: Moonlight Graham’s South Jersey Koufaxtion, Costesflamingbat’s Somerville NJ roflstompers, my own Sons of Abramoff, and Thaddeus Ballpheasant’s aptly titled Thaddeus Ballpheasants. No doubt, we face, erm, stiff competition from the likes of Jihad Pen15’s Wild Ride (ESPN is apparently cool with the use of jihad but not with penis) and others, but I like our chances.

Top moment in league action, so far: Bob, owner of the Seattle Ozzie-Ballers, flips Grady Sizemore to Jihad Pen15’s Wild Ride for, get this, Felipe Lopez. Yes, Felipe Lopez of the Washington Nationals. For Grady “the future best centerfielder in baseball” Sizemore. This move was so incomprehensible that not even Bob himself could rationalize it over gmail chat…

Bob: I was pressured
people said things
more like joe said, I need an outfielder
and then I approved the trade before realizing what happened

Congratulations, Bob, we haven’t even started the season yet and you are already a mortal lock for the Bill Bavasi Award for Excellence in Fantasy General Management. The best part is everyone in the league is now throwing out preposterous trade offers to Bob, seeing if he’ll bite. “God, I make one stupid trade and everyone smells blood in the water.” Yep.

Stay tuned for more updates on our fantasy league. Oh, And for updates on that other real baseball league too.

Allswingsconsidered 2.0

Dear loyal readers,

You may have noticed that, as of late, there has been little new content at allswingsconsidered. Actually, there has been NO new content in the last three weeks.

I am writing on behalf of the ASC staff, all three of us that is, to apologize to you. Like Jason Giambi, we feel as if we’ve let you, the media, and our fans down. We know you’d like to know more, but because of pressing legal matters, we can’t get into specifics at this time. Some day, we hope to be able to. But for now, let’s just say we’re not here to talk about the past.

Just know this: Opening Day 2007 is less than a week away and there will be plenty of posts between now and then. Expect in-depth analysis. Expect a new-and-improved news section. Expect an updated Ugueth Urbina Liberation Front. Expect comprehensive drug-testing. Well, maybe not comprehensive drug-testing.

From now on, our mission is to bring you deliciously fresh baseball content every day. Impossible, you say? A lot of people said that a Jason Giambi comeback was impossible. I think we all know how that story turned out.

I guess what I am trying to say is, from this day forward, allswingsconsidered will stop at nothing to be the best at what it does. Even if that means injecting ourselves with the undectectable Human Growth Hormone and pretending to eek out an honest living as First Baseman/Designated Hitter for the New York Yankees.

Affectionately Yours,

ozziecanseco

NL East Shaken Up: Part V – Florida Marlins

The Good:

Theres alot to be optimistic about in the Marlins organization. This team has three important aspects for building a winner–they are cheap, young, and skilled. Their starting pitching is very good and in a couple years could be the most dominant starting pitching in the majors. Ace Dontrelle Willis leads the staff, after an up and down 2006, supported by young pitchers Josh Johnson (12-7, 3.10 ERA, age 23-oopsy doodle), Anibal Sanchez (17-10, 2.83 ERA, no hitter, age 22), Scott Olsen (12-10, 4.10 ERA, age 23), and Ricky “Snacks” Nolasco (11-11, 24 years old). Their lineup proves to be young and talented as well, led by certified stud Miguel Cabrera (.339/.430/.568, .998 OPS, 26 HR, 114 RBI), Dan Uggla (.282, 27 HR’s, 90 RBI), Josh Willingham (.277 26 HR’s, 74 RBI), and speedster and reigning ROY Hanley Ramirez (.292, 51 SB). By the way, the average age of those players is 25.

The Bad:

With youth comes inconsistency, and a bad decision by management to get rid of Joe Girardi. The Marlins badly hamstrung themselves last year by getting out to an absolutely atrocious start, which ultimately proved to be their demise and finishing 4th with a record of 78-84. Joe Borowski jumped to the Indians after a solid year (36 saves). Can D-Train find his old dominant self? Will the rookies keep progressing?

The Bottom Line:

More than one player on this team smells like a sophomore slump. While the young players continue to develop, they will still make mistakes. Getting rid of Joe Girardi will prove to be a large error (Although I know one team rubbing their hands together). Look out for this squad in 2-3 years–if they find a closer, and get a bat for the bottom of the lineup, they will be a dangerous squad.

Prediction: 4th, 81-81.

This season ought to be a very interesting and exciting one for the NL East. The Mets have a lethal lineup while the Phils have lethal starting pitching, the Braves are in a mini-rebuild stage, the Marlins are going to be damn good in a few years, and the Nats are hilariously bad. In the recent weeks a mini-feud has developed between Mets and Phillies fans; actually its pretty much a one-sided feud. Mets fans are taking Jimmy Rollins’ prediction as a personal insult and have been bombarding sports talk shows, incapable of processing the fact the Phillies got better in the offseason while the Mets got worse (I live in North Jersey, at times its unbearable.) Who knows if he’s right? Whats important is there are some juices flowing and baseball is about to begin. Crack the beers, cook the hot dogs, and heckle the bullpen—Let’s play ball!