"Mangenius" Suspended

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini for 8 games today, citing alleged connections to organized crime.


RIP Clete Boyer

Former Yankees great dead at 70

Bullshit Trade Rumor Evaluation #1

Bobby Abreu for Jermaine Dye

This is a trade that works in the favor of the Yankees. Jermaine Dye is an immediate upgrade in right field, as it seems that Abreu has forgotten how to play the position. He is also a power upgrade that would be very valuable with the loss of Giambi (even though he hasn't been a threat all year) in protecting Alex Rodriguez, the greatest player we will ever see. Some perspectives that I have read equate this trade to "rearranging lawn furniture", but Dye could very well be a David Justice-like addition to the team, minus the beating of Halle Berre.


Yankees v. Red Sox finally lives up to its billing

As the baseball world hopes quietly for Barry Bonds to get hit by a trolley car, the man who will eventually overtake his career home run record shines on baseball's biggest (regular season) stage.

This is how they were supposed to look. It seemed like the baseball gods realized how unfair they had been to the boys in Pinstripes, and how overly generous the Red Sox had been treated. We came to find that Hideki Okajima was not a head jerking cyborg, but a regular Asian pitcher who gets figured out after 3 months like the rest of them. Even Papsmear got touched for a game winner at the hands of ARod. The pitching was shotty, and the offense was unstoppable. Bobby Abreu, Robinson Cano, and Melky Cabrera were the large contributors that they were expected to be, and the bullpen was just good enough to pull out two of three.

Now don't get me wrong, the Yanks were far from perfect. Scott Proctor was horrific, Derek Jeter took the weekend off, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez looked like George Bell and Jose Canseco in RBI Baseball. We also found out that Roger Clemens has a groin problem (probably caused by Susyn Waldman being attached to it). This means the return of Matt DeSalvo to the team, the 2007 version of Sam Militello, to get pummeled by the White Sox. The job now is to pick up a couple of games, and hold down the fort until Clemens and Hughes are up and running.

Sorry, Boston. This summer won't be easy.


Because nobody else will...

Fowl Balls Defends ARod's Rights (even if he is a scumbag)

For the first time this season, the Alex Rodriguez shit show re-appeared.

The NY Post reported that ARod was seen bringing a busty blonde back to his hotel room after frequenting an upscale gentlemen's club. I don't want to alarm anyone, but this type of behavior is not news within the realm of Major League Baseball. The fact is that if we banned players for being general scumbags, we would have no heroes. From Cobb to Mantle, and Ruth to Rose it has been proven over and over for the past hundred years that the most amazing athletes can be the most questionable of human beings. The problem with this article run by this poor excuse for a periodical is that it should have never been published. This is not something that will stop with Alex Rodriguez. Now every player is subject to this scrutiny, leaving ARod, Jeter, and Damon as open to paparazzi photogs as Hilton, Lohan, and (insert third spoiled, stupid, skinny, skank here). I sincerely hope that the lapse in judgement by this one tabloid-level paper doesn't ruin the Yankee coverage that I enjoy that is presented by reputable journalists.

The Yankees are terrible

...and I don't want to write about it.


National Lampoons Van Wilder 3: The Fall of Bernie (A Deputy Dog Exclusive)

Giving the commencement address at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY this past Saturday was like the fountain of youth for Bernie Williams. So much so that he is making a move, back home. Williams is currently in negotiations with his parents to return home and re-occupy his childhood bedroom. Williams feels the move is appropriate based on his exit from Major League Baseball being very similar to a graduation (see Junior Seau). Williams' mother fears that her son is only moving home because that is the only contact number that Brian Cashman has for him and Bernie doesn't want to miss that important call from the Yankee GM (maybe that's why it hasn't happened in the past 6 months). More on this story to follow.


Could anyone be stupid enough to trade for a 36 year old ex-MVP with declining skills, a huge contract, and an unfavorable past?

YOU BETCHA! That's right, the third guy from the right in every group scene in Goodfellas wants Jason Giambi


Sox even series 1-1

Tavarez shuts down Yanks, Mussina looks his age

- It is high, it is far, it is caught - ARod's bid for 4th straight game with a homer comes up 5 feet short

- Giambi Trade-O-Meter takes another dip

- Manny being Manny again: Hits another tape-measure shot off Yanks starter

- Note: www.fowlballs.blogspot.com will be in attendence at tomorrow's series finale, expect an extensive account on Thursday

Yankees win first game of the season

Wang, ARod return to form in 6-2 beating
- Giambi homers, trade value increases
- Manny Ramirez: Defensive specialist?
- Wang, this is a restricted club, don't tell them you're jewish
- Tavarez v. Moose up next


If Jason Giambi was any dumber, he would forget to inject his own ass

Somebody euthanize this retard for the good of the human race. He was later quoted as saying, "Oh, wait; isn't that stuff, like, illegal?"


Please Brian Cashman, find a way to dump him

Screw Alanis Morrisette, THIS is Irony

Iona College students confused by concept of a "commencement" address delivered by a guy who doesn't know when it's over (The Journal News)


The Season Starts Today

The Yankees have been awful, there is no doubt. From here on out, they will be the best team in baseball. Thus far, every single possible break has escaped the team, while the Red Sox have played mistake free baseball without having to cover for any major injury. Neither of these can keep up. This three game series will serve as the springboard back to the top of the AL East.


$40 million heist completed

Tommy John surgery likely to end Carl Pavano's tenure in New York (HBO Photo)

Rocket makes some poor college catcher crap himself

Clemens works out with team from University of Kentucky.

Editor's note. Expect daily updates on the progress of Roger Clemens. I really don't care if it gets old.

This is what they were SUPPOSED to look like

Yankees beat Texas to open series


- Doug Mientosjdfv4bwf is hitting AND fielding - this can't last
- ARod makes Fowl Balls look like a bunch of jerk offs
- The borderline obcene love affair between the Yankees propoganda network and Andy Pettitte continues
- Team brass still refusing to sacrifice live chicken for Bobby Abreu


After further review...

The column about the re-signing of Roger Clemens did not display the child-like excitement that has overcome us since the monumental event. There has been alot of critics that have called his surprise announcement "excessive", but I disagree. I think the Yankees should have made him slide down from The Boss' suite on a zip line while throwing hundred dollar bills to the crowd with William Shatner doing his spoken word version of "Rocket Man" on the Diamond Vision. Let's get one thing straight, he is the greatest pitcher of all time. He can do whatever he wants, and it will be supported by all who write for and visit this site.

Stay tuned...

Updates on the way, including the first annual www.fowlballs.blogspot.com "Absolutely Irrelevant NFL Draft Column"

Rocket Re-Launch

Clemens signs with Yankees, www.fowlballs.blogspot.com win award for "Most Original Headline" (AP Photo)

Seattle Can't Hit Starters

But the bullpen is getting peed on
- Matt DeSalvo looks like Mariano Rivera, while Rivera looks like shit
- Did anyone else notice that ARod stoped hitting?
- Yankees now best team in MLB in 7 inning games

Since we last spoke...

The Yankees went 4-3
- Hughes takes the pressure in stride, his hammy does not
- The man who cursed the Yankees' hamstrings is now unemployed
- Igawa sucks
- Karstens has nasty leg injury, still not as ugly as his face
- Starting pitching is suddenly untouchable, and now the bullpen can't get an out


Yankees rained out

Luckily, Thursday's starter is rumored to be able to walk on water


Is it time to worry yet?

Yankees lose 5th straight

- Wang pitches well - gets drilled by liner - keeps pitching well
- Carl Crawford is faster than most cars
- Welcome back Godzilla; Matsui hits a bomb
- Mike Myers proves that Major League hitters destroy 75 MPH pitchers, regardless of arm angle
- ARod hit streak broken - expects NY papers to demand his trade

Upcoming Week for the Yankees

- Chien Ming Wang makes his return

- Andy Pettitte to actually START a game

- The Philip Hughes Era begins

This is the time to get back the three games where the Red Sox sodomized them

ARod 4-5, 2 HR not enough for bullpen

Tampa Bay Baby Bombers take down Yanks

- I know he (supposedly) had a good year last year, but every time I watch Scott Proctor pitch he sucks
- Igawa's control still not translating to English
- Thank God Andy Pettitte didn't make this trip, because you know Torre would have thrown him an inning

David Halberstam

Pulitzer Prize Winning author who chronicled Vietnam and gave us some of the best sports novels of all time dies at 73

Chase Wrong

Rookie looks good until 4 consecutive HRs do him in

- Looks like the Yankees can handle the smiling foreigner, Baseball Borat
- ARod only gets one hit, its all his fault
- I still hate Mike Lowell's Little League World Series batting stance, I don't care how many HR's he hits
- Yanks swept as Posada, Matsui, Wang, Mussina, and even Pavano watch from a seated position - Jimmy Duggan is not worried


Unlucky Sevens

Red Sox Pummel Yankee Pitching for 7 Runs (again) for the Win

- Apparently Bruney made it to Boston just in time to pitch down 2 runs
- ARod scorches double, Manny plays hackey sack
- Jeff Kartens pitches horrible; face looks worse
- Was there a doubt in anyone's mond that Papi was going yard off of Butthead?
- Pap smear blows the doors off of Jeter and Abreu, leaving God on deck
- Yanks/Sox to match rookies on ESPN Sunday


I know he is great, but this is getting a little ridiculous

Yankees v. Red Sox, Round 1

Mo Chokes, ARod is Clutch - Somewhere in New York a beat writer's head just exploded

- ARod put the team on his back and leaves the yard twice off of the man who ate Curt Schilling after the 2005 season
- Pettitte steps up (like we didn't expect that)
- Mike Myers finally gives up that run we have been waiting for
- Johnny Damon smiles way too much in this series
- Apparently Brian Bruney missed the flight to Boston, because that's the only way I should be watching Luis Vizcaino throw the 8th
- Oh, Mo - Rivera missing spots by FEET, but the papers talk about the Red Sox having him "figured out"


Philip Hughes back to his usual, dominant self

6 IP
2 H
10 K

No way he is on the Scranton Richmond Philadelphia Pittsburgh Wilkes Barre Yankees come July

Attention MLB - Walk ARod

Rodriguez leaves the yard again as Igawa gets first win in the REAL Major Leagues

- Kei Igawa shows the control he has been rumored to have
- ARod extends season-long hitting streak
- Jason Giambi remembers what his job is and gets a couple hits
- Chris Britton throws another big, fat, scoreless inning

Alex Rodriguez' Projected Stats for 2007 Season

As Per ESPN.com

Games - 162
AB - 623
Runs - 187
Hits - 224
2B - 62
HR - 100
RBI - 262
SB - 12
BA - .360
OBP - .433
SLG - .940

...and that's the only way to get the NY press to shut the hell up


Mr. Wright

Chase Wins First of Many

- It is just unfair that ARod is taking his frustration out on the rest of baseball
- Doug Mienrutheriufedv4bsd hits first (and probably last) HR in Pinstripes
- Posada hits another bomb, nobody notices
- Bruney=Lights out
- Mike Myers avoids the two-run, game tying double to a lefty that we are all waiting for
- Chris Britton closes game; Opens refridgerator

Welcome to My Online Soap Box

MLB Needs to Retire Number 3
...and not for Mark Lorretta

This past Sunday, the legacy of Jackie Robinson was celebrated throughout Major League Baseball. Robinson's number 42 is retired throughout professional baseball, and rightfully so; he is a man who endured unfathomable trials and tribulations through his entire career. What I disagree with is the assumption that Jackie Robinson is the only player in the history of baseball to deserve such an honor. There is one other such man who is worthy of such a distinction: one George Herman Ruth.

Regarldess of fact and lore about his extra-curricular activities, one thing is true of Babe Ruth: he single-handedly saved the game of baseball from extinction. After the 1919 "Black" Sox threw the World Series for money (imagine a Major League Baseball player needing money HAHA), the sport was at an all time low. The country had soured on its favorite pastime, and cynical fans viewed it like modern sports fans view boxing; fixed.

But Babe Ruth captivated the country by hitting the ball deep, something they hadn't seen before. He hit more homeruns than every other team in the American League. He took the game that I love out of the crapper, and that is something that for which I will be eternally grateful. Every fan, player, owner, announcer, groundkeeper, and stadium parking attendant should be aware of, too. Bottom line; every pitch you have ever seen thrown was only allowed to happen because Babe Ruth stepped up when this game needed a hero. He put an entire sport on his back, and carried it back to prominence of national if not international proportions. Without Babe Ruth, there is no Jackie Robinson.

Yankees Split to Finish Oakland Series

Win Saturday, Heart-breaker Sunday

Headlines from Saturday
- Sorry folks, I fell asleep - Sportscenter said we won, and I believe them

Headlines from Sunday
- I am sure there were other events, but all I remember is 92 lb. Marco Scutaro hitting an absolute bomb off Mo to end it - it is burned in my brain right next to the walk-off he gave up to Bill Mueller (promounced "MILLER" for some stupid reason)

- Also, I liked Scutaro until I found out he wasnt italian

All Kidding Aside

Our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of the victims of that awful situation at Virginia Tech. You are in our prayers.


Maybe he can go to work for wEEEEEEEENbc

This photo of the love child of the Crypt Keeper and Rocky Dennis courtesy of Reuters

My Obligatory Don Imus Commentary

Bottom line, this is not a case of First Amendment rights - it is a case of first-rate stupidity. Did you see the list of sponsors that left Don Imus' show for these comments? Sorry folks, but money rules the world, and when Staples tells you to go screw, you can be sure to be unemployed pretty fast.

Enough of my cynicism though, have you SEEN Don Imus? Getting him off of that simulcast saved a lot of children from nightmares. I am convinced that he died in 1996 and they have been pulling a "Weekend at Bernie's" at public appearances ever since.

Fireworks, Volume 4

(Editor's note: The absence of the "Fireworks" column has been the fault of editor Jimmy Duggan. Two other fireworks columns will be posted in the near future, though not as relevant as they were when I received them. A thousand apologies, faithful lemmings. I now return you to your regularly scheduled rant)

The DogHouse
Who’s In: Mike Nifong – District Attorney Durham County, North Carolina. His improper handling of the Duke Lacrosse disaster has left 3 young men’s reputations ruined (though all charges have been dismissed), a full lacrosse season canceled and his own career in jeopardy (he is currently under North Carolina State Bar Review as well as having charges pending), all so he could get re-elected after taking the word of a lying whore. Well-played, ass.
Who’s Out: Ken Griffey, Jr. – Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds. Griffey’s request to wear number 42 as a tribute to Jackie Robinson on April 15th, the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier, was an amazing gesture. The response from baseball has been even better, letting at least one player on every team wear number 42 on April 15th and allowing the entire Dodger roster to wear number 42. Great job Junior.

Roger, Roger
If Roger Goodell was a boxer, he would have scored a knockout in his first professional bout. Goodell, who recently succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner, handed down his first major ruling yesterday, two lengthy suspensions. The suspensions, 8 games for Bengals WR Chris Henry and the entire 2007 season for Titans CB Adam “Pacman” Jones, were announced along with the NFL’s new player conduct policy. Henry’s 4 arrests and “Pacman’s” 2 pending legal issues (not to mention the other 8 legal incidents he has been credited with since being drafted) prompted the actions. Goodell dropped the hammer on the players and certainly “established his presence with authority.”

Wrong is Wrong
The only thing that Don Imus did wrong is apologize. The Deputy Dog could write a novel about this topic, but it isn’t worth it. Say it ain’t so Don.

California Dreamin’
It’s true, the first meaningful thing related to football that the Raiders have done in about 3 years will come at the NFL draft. With whomever they select (The Deputy Dog still has smart money on LSU QB Jamarcus Russell) they will set off a chain reaction for the top 10 selections and shape the draft and 2007 season for many teams. They are the Raiders, so trust in the fact that they will fuck this up somehow. The world is waiting to see if Matt “The Biggest Franchise Killer This Side of Mike Vick” Millen will have the stones to draft another 1st round wide receiver with the second pick this year as highly rated prospect Calvin Johnson will almost certainly be on the board when the Lions pick at #2. Smart money say the Lions will trade out of the #2 pick and actually look smart in doing so.

Sorry people, some of us have jobs

Highlights from the last two games of the Twins series...

Game Two Headlines

- Ah, the Andy Pettitte of old, instead of old Andy Pettitte
- Why do people pitch to ARod???
- Good to see Damon not pull that calf on his HR trot
- Boof??? His name is Boof??

Game Three Healines

- Mussina hurt: I don't care I haven't respected him since he cried about the Japan trip
- ARod DOESN'T hit a home run, but continues his assault on the league by pummeling Joe Nathan
- In typical Yankee fashion, offense goes to hell against a mediocre journeyman pitcher
- Sean Henn looks to be the next to go down with shoulder fatigue, AKA "Torre Arm"



After last nights excellent outing by Carl Pavano (7ip 2er 2K 0BB), yours truly the Deputy Dog secured an exclusive interview with the First Lady of Fowl Balls (the lovely girlfriend of our host Jimmy Dugan) and get her analytical assessment of Pavano's performance:

Deputy Dog: What did you think of Carl Pavano's performance last night against the Twins?

First Lady: He's still hot.

Check back later for more.


Looks Like Carl Is Due For Another Injury

Pavano Comes Up Big in Game 6

- Looks like the Yankees might hit a little in '07
- Big Shot Bobby; OBP Abreu drives in 4
- ARod improving trade value
- Brian Bruney's tattoo is awesome!
- It still pisses me off to hear Justin Morneau referred to as the reigning AL MVP as he swings his bat like a lumberjack

Photo of pre-nose job Jermaine Jackson courtesy of ESPN.com


Jesus, They Looked Bad

Yankees Lose on Easter

- Rasner, ARod can't seem to keep the ball in the yard
- Cano taking fielding lessons from Jeter
- Nick Markakis is good - and his name sounds like "More-cockis"
- Johnny Damon's calf is so hurt that he legged out a stand-up triple
- Miguel Cairo started in left field today
- Off to the warmth of Minnesota

Happy Easter

And for all you Italians out there...


Jimmy Duggan Exclusive Interview

Robinson Cano

Armonk, NY - I had the priveledge of speaking with one of baseball's rising young stars today at an autograph signing in the small Westchester town of Armonk, NY. Robinson Cano, All-Star second baseman for the New York Yankees, smiled thorugh our entire conversation, exuding the image of a young man having fun playing a kid's game. After going 1 for 5 in a roller coaster win for the Yankees that ended in a walk of grand slam by Alex Rodriguez, Robbie sat with Fowl Balls to talk about the season ahead.

JD - "Good luck this season"
RC - "Thank you"

A man of few words, Cano gave this gracious interview without any prior prompt or notice. His boyish visage hung on my every word, and he seemed genuinely thankful that I would go out of my way to wish he and his teammates well as they embark on yet another season with championship expectations.

Can We Get Off His Ass Now?

ARod Hits a Game-Winning Slam to the Black Seats

- Igawa wasn't as bad as his line looked; or his glasses
- I can't wait to see how the NY papers spin an "ARod Sucks" article out of this
- Matsui hurts hamstring, Cairo replaces him, I get pissed
- Jeter hobbled, still plays. Somebody make Johnny Damon take notes please
- Giambi hits clutch homer and continues to look JUST like Lattimer in the Program

Yankees Continue to Lose to Teams that Suck

Mussina Awful in 2007 Debut

- Jeter Injurs foot, Now Almost as Slow to His Left as He is to the Right
- Miguel Tejada Not as Fat as Last Year
- ARod Loses Another Game Single-Handedly


Too Cold for the Old

Pettitte Struggles in Return Outing,
Yankees 1-1 in Minor League Play

- The Way Jeter Goes Left Reminds Us of Another Famous Derek
- Jae Wong Seo, Thanks for Everthing, Julie Newmar
- Elijah Dukes Inches Closer to Having More Homeruns than Arrests
- Miguel Cairo Sees First Action; Yankees Lose....Coincidence?


Opening Day, Sort of

Yankees Begin Final Tuneup for Actual Major League Season by Playing the Devil Rays

- Bonus Baby: Scouts Project Christopher Lidle as Mets 2008 Opening Day Starter
- Let's not freak out, but Pavano looked OK for almost five innings
- Posada solid as always; just as commonly overlooked
- Wow, ARod really sucks
- Damon Leaves Game Due to Vaginitis - Pap Smears Negative
- The Kids are Alright: When not commiting felonies, the Rays' youngsters can play
- Bullpen strength: Bruney, Henn, Vizcaino, Farnsworth, and Rivera combine for 4 2/3 shutout innings
- No Shit: Not One Team in the Major Leagues Wanted Andy Phillips

Jimmy Duggan on Location: Spring Training 2007

One would imagine that a three hour flight to watch a game that doesn't count for anything would not be much of a thrill for a life-long Yankee fan who longs for the pressure-filled contests of late September. But to the contrary, my first trip to Legends Field was both exciting and memorable from beginning to end.

I couldn't believe what I was feeling as our hotel shuttle appoached One Steinbrenner Way (that's right, he named the street after himself; and this is why I love this man). It was the same feeling I had when I was seven years old and my parents were driving me to my first Yankee game. Goosebumps. I had goosebumps in 85 degree heat. The shuttle let us off right in front of Legends Field, and I was awestruck. I say "we" because I was accompanied by the First Lady of the Fowl Balls empire, my beautiful girlfriend. So, as you may imagine, I was doing my best to play it cool and avoid her finding out that I am a complete dork; this lasted for about seven minutes.

The first thing we saw as we got off the bus was a grass area that displayed the numbers that have been retired throughout Yankee history. To be able to see these up close without having to show up at the stadium four hours early so you can get into monument park was amazing. Though it was incredibly challenging, I resisted the urge to take a picture of each one with my digital camera in front of the First Lady. It was at this point that she informed me that she had to powder her nose, so I reluctantly waited for her to return as I watched a few of the pitchers that the Yankees had in camp from a distance as they got their tossing in on an adjacent field. My keen knowledge recognized Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Brian Bruney, and Chien-Ming Wang. When the First Lady returned, I tried not to rip her arm out of the socket to get a closer look. I watched intently through a chain link fence as the group of pitchers got loose, and then it happened. As Pavano finished his session and started walking toward our piece of fence, it happened; the exchange that follows is an exact account of the conversation that took place between myself and the First Lady:

FL - "Who is that"
JD - "Carl Pavano"
FL - "He's hot!"
JD - "No he isn't, hes a pussy"
FL - "Let's go get his autograph"

At first I was aphalled that she had the nerve to comment about Pavano, of all people. Then I saw an opening: if we DID get his autograph, I could go completely fruitcake fanboy and she would think it was her idea all along! As we ran, yes, ran, to the Clubhouse store, I was thankful that the Yankees signed Pavano for the first time. I bought a 5x7 aerial photo of Legends Field and a Sharpie marker, and we headed back to the fence. Carl was gone, but there were now others signing by the fence, and more pitchers were throwing than before. (Sidenote: as I was watching the second wave of pitchers throw, something struck me; Mike Myers was throwing overhand while he was tossing. WHAT THE HELL? Do what the Yankees pay you to do while you are on their time. Throw sidearm asshole.) Anyways, the Frst Lady and I proceeded to work a two-man game that Stockton and Malone would be proud of. We seemlessly transitioned between autograph seeker and photographer, making several pristine handoffs in the process. When all was said and done, we had obtained signatures from Scott Proctor, Darrell Rasner, and prospect Mark Melancon along with multiple pictures of each. Whatever coolness I maintained when we got to the stadium was now completely shot to shit.

By the time we entered the stadium, I had my camera bag strapped across my chest like Indiana Jones, looking like a complete douche. The inside of Legends field is completely breathetaking. Just like its Bronx counterpart, it has what looks to be the greenest grass in with world, along with the same trademark facade of the House that Ruth Built. I truly hope that the players on the Tampa Yankees are aware of how priveledged they are, because I have been to some complete crap holes in my Minor League travels.

After we took it all in, it was time to watch baseball. In the first inning, the First Lady had the quote of the afternoon:

FL - "I miss Yankee Stadium. These fans are boring. It's like there is a mass going on"

After I had a nice giggle, I explained that Yankee fans really don't give a shit about spring training: it's just an opportunity to get better seats thatn you can afford up north.

Ok, now some analysis. Kei Igawa started the game, and I am less than thrilled that the Yankees have put so much stock in him. Once again, his stat line was not an eyesore, but it just did not tell the whole story. Igawa was missing spots by feet rather than inches, nearly dislocating Jorge Posada's shoulder on several pitches. Mariano Rivera threw a perfect inning, looking sharp as always. The highlight of the day (for me, anyway) was watching newly annointed Yankee Josh Phelps dril his fourth home run of the spring over the left field wall. Though it may be disappointing, that is all the baseball there was to talk about on this day. After all, it is spring training and as a true Yankee fan, I didn't give a shit about what went on on the field. The game ended in a 3-3 tie for Christ's sakes.

The afternoon ended with me taking a picture of every retired number in front of the stadium. Not only did the First Lady not call me gay, she even asked someone to take a picture of the two of us in front of Mattingly's number 23. Looks like this one's a keeper, folks.


Tale of the Tape

Karstens v. Igawa

Jeff Karstens has caused quite the buzz over the past few weeks, pitching so well that there has been talk of him unseating Kei Igawa as the fifth starter for the Yankees. Make no mistake, I am fully aware that he has outpitched the Japanese import thus far, but the fact remains that it is spring training. Kei Igawa will hold a spot in the rotation to start the season and, in my opinion, rightfuly so.

Although I was not in favor of the Yankees paying a rigoddamneddiculous amount of money in a posting fee for Igawa, topped with a healthy contract, they did. And now it is imperative that they attempt to recover a return on that investment. The Yankees are the richest team in American sport, but the fact remains there is no reason to committ $46 million to a pitcher and push him into the bullpen for a kid who is taking advantage of guys who havent swung a bat in three months. Even though he had a better outing in his last start, Igawa was far from perfect. It was easily the least impressive 5 innings of two-hit baseball i have ever seen. His fastball was consistently up in the zone, and his command in general was just not impressive. What do you think will happen if he throws a letter high, 91 MPH fastball and Manny Ramirez is in the box and not Brent Abernathy? (By the way, am I the only one who thought Brent Abernathy retired in like '91? Maybe I am crazy).

Jeff Karstens, save for his last outing, has been nothing short of perfect this spring. He has shown command with his fastball on both sides of the plate, along with a knee buckling curveball. Plus, he joins players like Willie McGee and Randy Johnson on the "All-Time Hiddeous Team". Im sorry, but this guy is just back-of-my-ballsack ugly. When he makes the satraining pitcher face, he looks just like Butthead. Looks aside, Karstens has proved that he can pitch at the Major League level and be effective. He has made the most of his oportunity, and should be rewarded; eventually. Now, unfortuneately for Karstens, is thing that time.

There is a solution to this, albeit repeatedly denied by Yankees management. A solution that would allow the team to have both of these deserving pitchers a spot in the rotation. What is that solution, you ask? That's right - TRADE CARL PAVANO. Jimmy Dugan would be dancing in the streets if we somehow turned this bum into a second tier prospect, and Brian "Rumplestiltskin" Cashman is just the man to do it. This may seem contradictory to the previous statements on Igawa, but I don't give a shit. After two years, four wins, $17 million, and one ass bruise, it is time for the Yankees to cut their losses with Carl Pavano.

I know it is a great theory, and it proves that I could easily be a GM in the major leagues, but it will never happened. So Karstens goes from potential five starter on the greatest franchise in the history of sports, to the future three starter on the Scranton- Wilkes Barre Yankees. Plus he's awful looking. It is just raining shit on Jeff Karstens.

I am ashamed of what our society has become...

What kind of country do we live in when a hard working man can't have a few drinks with dinner and get a little shut-eye?


Joey Porter is a Pussy

Sure he punched a six foot seven, three hundred pound offensive lineman in the face, but don't all athletes carry guns? No brandishing? No pistol whipping? By my estimation, this is the lamest, most uneventful legal flap in Cincinnati Bengals history. Chris Henry is going to be calling Levi Jones a bitch in training camp for this headline. Why didn't he just retaliate by killing Porter? The fact is, Jones probably could have gotten off on any long term jail sentence by simply turning states evidence on his own receiving corps.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=2804677

Fireworks, Volume 3

Editorial Note: Each edition of Fireworks will now begin with a new recurring segment called The DogHouse, where yours truly Deputy Dog lets you know which team/player/owner/coach/gm/league/commissioner is in and which one is out based on recent events. Those in The DogHouse did something stupid or wrong and those out of The DogHouse probably had a good week. Enjoy.

The DogHouse
Who’s In: Chris Simon, winger – New York Islanders. His absolute assault on New York Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg was nothing short of reprehensible. Simon two handed throat chop with his stick made Todd Bertuzzi smile someplace. If Gary Bettman drops the ball on handling this situation, look for his ass to be in The DogHouse next week.

Who’s Out: Tom Brady, quarterback – New England Patriots. It has been alleged this week that Brady’s passes are not the only thing that is deadly accurate. After it was revealed that Brady was expecting his first child with former girlfriend and hottie actress Bridget Moynahan, a Brazilian website is now reporting that Brady is also expecting a child with current (rebound) girlfriend supermodel Giselle Bundchen. Way to go Captain Clutch.

Let the Madness Begin
Deputy Dog dislikes college basketball. The only sport Deputy Dog dislikes more is soccer (not only because any game where you can’t use your hands is stupid, but also due to a nasty concussion he suffered several years back now). Millions of fans disagree with Deputy Dog on this one and this is their time of year to shine. With most of the minor conference tournaments done and the majors underway, March Madness is starting to turn up the heat. Selection Sunday is on the horizon and brackets everywhere are salivating. Perennial powers are not so powerful, with UCONN in all likelihood out and Duke on the bubble; mid-major at-large teams are in a fever. About half the dance cards have been punched and the second most wagered on sporting event of the year is coming in force. Deputy Dog could care less. The Dog will not watch a single game (including the championship), the Dog will not fill out a bracket (that’s saying a lot for a borderline compulsive gambler) and the only effect this will have on The Dog is the two week impact the tournament has on CBS television. The Dog now has to watch Survivor on Wednesday nights for two weeks instead of Thursday, motherfucker. The one good thing about the NCAA Basketball Tournament is that it is a better playoff system than the BCS. Other than that, BIG DEAL.

Chain Reaction
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It seems like every move in NFL free agency has a reaction by something happening with a starting running back. The Jets did a big something in acquiring running back Thomas Jones from the Bears, who in reaction have done a big nothing. The Colts did a big something in winning the Superbowl, the reaction is running back Dominic Rhodes signing a big deal to play in Oakland next season. Jamal Lewis signed a big deal in Cleveland; the reaction was the Ravens trading 3 picks to Buffalo for RB Willis McGahee and the Browns trading running back Ruben Droughns to the New York Giants. The Bills are still reacting to that trade with visits from Corey Dillon, Chris Brown and other free agent running backs (there are also rumors that the Bills may try to trade up the draft board to number 2 in order to draft Oklahoma running back Adrian Petersen). Deputy Dog cannot keep up. The pace of trades and free agent signing triggering more trades has been frantic. Every mock draft in creation is now useless with all the changes and every virtual GM in fantasy football land has their head spinning. What is the next move on the carousel of chaos? My money is on the signing of Corey Dillon to either the Bills or Packers which will in turn trigger the trade of Randy Moss out of Oakland. Thank god Deputy Dog has a solid no-trade clause in his contract; I could have wound-up playing tight-end for the 49ers next year.

Video Gamers Beware
25 completions on 33 attempts for 373 yards and 10 touchdowns. No, that is not a stat line from Madden Football 2007 (now available on PSP); it is, however, the line of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Shaun King, now playing for the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League. Deputy Dog attended his first live Arena game last year and saw an overtime classic between the Philadelphia Soul and eventual Arena Bowl Champion Chicago Rush. Any league where every team in the league averages 40+ points per game is a good thing. Offense is entertainment, though you would never know that this is the 21st season of Arena Football action. Another nice part of this is that NFL washouts like Shaun King, Clint Dozel and Kevin Swayne have a place to play. The game is fast and exciting, which makes it interesting. Dozel set an Arena League record last season with 105 TD passes….those are backyards numbers. Any kid that ever told one of his friends, “Hey, go down to the Buick and cut in, I’ll hit you,” has to love the AFL. The fraternity of AFL stars is growing via ownership, including former NFL stars John Elway and Ron Jaworski, as well as rock-star Jon Bon Jovi, all of whom are part owners of AFL franchises. If the thought of seeing flag football on HGH excites you, Deputy Dog recommends that you check out the AFL on Monday nights on ESPN.


I don't usually like to kick a man when he's down, but...

No matter how hard he tries, Andy Phillips cannot get fired

...Andy Phillips is an awful baseball player. I know that he was on a leave of absence, but I just read the live box score of the Yankees/ Red Sox game and Josh Phelps just knocked in two more runs. Unfortuneately, this is all for nothing as Joe Torre will not be awarding him a roster spot. Oh no, that spot is reserved for a player who has proven that he can not hit major league pitching, and has not been in spring training this year to prove otherwise. Is this making sense to anyone? I know that the Grapefruit League means absolutely nothing, but Josh Phelps is destroying the ball. He hits everything hard, is adequate in the field, and doesn't seem to be any kind problem in the clubhouse. Can someone PLEASE tell me WHY he will be packing his bags and going back to playing AAA for the Orioles again? Life is unfair. Andy Phillips and Miguel Cairo get to wear pinstripes all year and Josh Phelps goes back to banging groupies in the bus leagues....God I hate my cubicle.


Bold (and some not so bold) Predictions for the 2007 Major League Season

The Yankees will win the AL East
I also think that they will go much, MUCH farther, but the dreaded www.fowlballs.blogspot.com curse is well documented. Since we predicted the victory of Balbao over Creed in the original Rocky, it has been downhill.

Curt Schilling will eat Daisuke Matsuzaka
..but a half an hour later he will be hungry again.

Alex Rodriguez will hit 50 Home Runs
This will make him the first right handed hitter in the history of the Yankees to do so. More importantly, he will dominate in the postseason. Unfortuneately, he will be criticized by the New York media for batting only .525 in the playoffs.

The Pirates will suck
Sorry to burst your bubble in March, Buc fans.

Miguel Cairo wil be traded for $50 and a new fungo bat
...and the Yankees will be applauded for finding value in that waste of blood.

Trevor Hoffman's leg kick will irritate me for another season
I know hes great, I know. But the idea of a closer that has a kick that looks like that and still doesn't throw that hard drives me crazy. Closers are SUPPOSED to throw hard, and their primary out pitch should not be a change up. I'm sorry, maybe its just me.

Roger Clemens will pitch in 2007
...if there is a god

Orlando Hernandez will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease
Let me ask a question: Does he really think that there is a single person that believes him when he says how old he claims to be? Here's a bit of a tip-off; 38 year old men do not miss a week of spring training because they have arthritis in their neck. That sounds like something that keeps Morty from playing shuffle board at Shady Acres in Boca.

The Mets will lead the National League in runs scored
...they will also finish at .500. Good luck going back to the playoffs with Glavine and Duque as your horses. That sounds great, if it were 1999.

Bud Selig will be in attendance when Barry Bonds is about to break Han Aaron's all time home run record
Before Bonds' first at bat, Selig will activate a sensor planted in Reggie Jackson that has programmed him to kill Bonds.


An NFL Column That is WAY Less Annoying than Anything Written by Peter King

“Gimmie a pen, I’m signing. You’re signing. We’re all signing.” That’s a line from one of Deputy Dog’s favorite movies and it is also the apparent motto of the 2007 NFL Free Agent class.
Free agency opened at 12:01am on Friday and it has been fast and furious action ever since. The signings have average 3 to 4 per hour and the money has gotten stupid. Since when is an offensive lineman, not named Ogden or Boselli or Munoz, worth $7 million per year? Are you serious? Teams have shed “dead” weight to make room for their new prizes. Notable cuts include QB Drew Bledsoe, LB Joey Porter and WR Joe Horn.

Patriot Games
The usually patient and savvy New England Patriots have led the way in the free agent market signing LB Adelius Thomas away from the Baltimore Ravens and trading for WR Wes Welker from the Miami Dolphins. The usually draft conscious Pats have tried to fill holes through the free agent market prior to reaching draft weekend. Pats VP of Personnel Scott Pioli is a mad scientist, so we have to trust his judgment, but the latest rumor out of Foxboro has the Pats entertaining a possible trade for known locker room cancer Randy Moss. If Terrell Owens was such a pain in the ass that he caused Bill Parcells to retire, what effect will Randy Moss have on Bill Belichick?

Bear Market
Big losers in the free agent market, the Chicago Bears have now traded RB Thomas Jones to the New York Jets along with their 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, in exchange for the Jets round 2 pick, moving the Bears up the board 37 places. I have seen the draft value chart the organizations use and I say it sucks. Jones is only the 3rd RB in NFL history to have back-to-back 1200 plus yard seasons and then change teams. This is a great move by GANG GREEN and has the leave the Bears fans wondering, what the fuck is going on in Chi-town? The were reluctant to pay the coach who led them to the Super Bowl this year, they lost their defensive coordinator over cash, they have done nothing to address the issue at QB and now their dominant outside LB, who they slapped with the franchise tag, wants out of town. The Monsters of the Midway are working their way towards being the Buffoons of the Business.

Other Winners and Losers
Tampa Bay has collected a pair of quarterbacks (Jeff Garcia and the “retired” Jake Plummer) to go with the 2 they already had, which makes me wonder – does John Gruden have a charm bracelet for his QB’s? The 49ers paid Nate Clements $80 millions for 8 years, why? Joey Porter relocated to Miami as the Dolphins ponied up a guaranteed $20 million deal. Do you think he negotiated the same way Bernie Mac did in Ocean’s Eleven?

Arte, You Stink on Ice

Artie Moreno looks like Mr. Gazzo from Rocky. And he is a moron.

It may be a few days overdue, but I would like to comment on the recent speculation that Gary Matthews may have taken a performance enhancing drug. Let me be the first to say publicly, no shit.

Judging by my personal memory and backed up by the statistics provided by www.baseball-reference.com, prior to last year Gary Matthews was not a good baseball player, plain and simple. Last year, at the tender age of 31, Matthews set career highs in EVERY major offensive category. In a walk year, no less. This is a guy that had been bounced around like a drunken sorority girl, playing for nine teams in the seven years prior to 2006. Then he is stupid enough to bat .310 and hit 19 homers and, oh, how convenient, he was going into free agency. Way not to make it obvious.

As horrible as it may sound, you have to sympathize with the guy. A career borderline bum, Matthews had one year to show that he could be a quality major leaguer, and con some moron into paying him like a superstar. Enter Arte Moreno. Great job pal. This is what happens when an owner has too much money, and absolutely NO clue how to spend it. Instead of giving a one year, incentive laden contract to Darin Erstad and possibly signing a guy like Steve Finley to a minor league deal as a stop gap before two of the leagues greatest centerfielders become free agents after the 2007 season (Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter), Big A gave $50 million to Brady Anderson, version 2.0. Now it will cost him even more money in legal fees to void this abortion of a contract. Maybe he can plead Permanent Stupidity.

After reading this, please check this link.
God knows Arte Moreno wasn't aware that this was public information


Yankees Lose First Grapefruit League Game

In related news, I don't care. It's fucking March.

Tannenbaum for President

With David Blaine-like skill, Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum has turned a single 2nd round draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft into a back to back 1,200 yard rusher, a future starting quarterback, and a second round pick in the 2007 draft. I will explain; in exchange for their second round pick in last years draft, the Jets received a pick later in that round plus a second round pick in this years draft from the Washington Redskins. The pick in last years draft was used to select Kellen Clemens, who impressed Jet coaches so much last year that by the end of the season that he moved past Patrick Ramsey to number two on the depth chart. The pick that the Jets received from the 'Skins in this years draft was used to acquire running back Thomas Jones from the reigning NFC champion Bears, along with a pick later in the second round for the coming draft. Mike Tannenbaum is quickly becoming the Brian Cashman of the NFL.

Fireworks, Volume 2

Hard Knock Life
It’s tough times for NBA. Tim Hardaway hates gay people, Isaiah Thomas is single-handedly ruining the franchise in the largest market and ¾ of the league dresses like they are on a continuous audition for the role of Huggie Bear. Despite efforts by the commissioner, including a dress code and age requirement (although Bob Knight says that the age requirement is killing college basketball), the league’s image is still that of young thugs making altogether too much money. Deputy Dog says, David Stern and the NBA are where thugs go to get paid. NBA supporters will argue that the NBA All-Star game was in Las Vegas this year and the only incident from Sin City involved a player from the NFL, SO WHAT? One good weekend does not a problem solve. No era is perfect, Michael and Charles had gambling issues, Shawn Kemp had 4754 kids by 3908 different women and Magic got HIV – not the best press you can get, but today’s NBA players are arrogant and disrespectful. They show none of the humility and class their predecessors showed in the face of adversity. These kids are a mess and it will be David Stern’s legacy how the league handles this situation.

Yo Adrian!
STOP LOOKING AT 40-YARD DASH TIMES AND WONDERLIC SCORES PEOPLE!!! Watch football games and you will see who the players are and are not. Adrian Petersen is a football player. Others may have said it already, but let the Deputy Dog make it clear, Petersen will have the most immediate and profound impact of any player in the 2007 NFL Draft. Right now all signs point to Petersen being picked 3rd. The Raiders are going to take a QB with the first pick and it will probably be Jamarcus Russell of LSU because of the arm strength. Moss and Porter will be back and new coach Lane Kiffen needs an arm to get them the ball down the field. In the 2 spot, the Detroit Lions are predicted to take offensive tackle Joe Thomas, unless Matt Millen (who is the worst thing to happen to the city of Detroit since the creation of Honda Motors Inc.) decides he needs to take another 1st round wide out. That leaves Petersen sitting at 3 for the Cleveland Browns. Romeo Crenel has been a good boy all year and Santa Claus is about to deliver. Petersen will carry the load in Cleveland this year and help young QB Charlie Fyre relax and spread the ball around. Crenel will finally have the ball control back he craves and the Browns will be taking a major step forward with a rookie 1000-yard back who will hammer out the tough yards in the cold in Cleveland. It is often said that bad draft picks can set franchises back years, but this pick will vault the Browns into the playoffs as early as 2009. As a side note, expect John Gruden to assist the spleen-less Chris Simms by taking wide out Calvin Johnson with 4th pick overall.

Loyalty or Lunacy?
Bernie Williams has had an amazing career in pinstripes. He’s earned 4 championships, a batting title and the love of the New York fans. Thanks for the memories Bernie, but the Yankees don’t owe him a roster spot or anything else. Time waits for no man, not even Bernie Williams. The Yankees are built for today and tomorrow, Bernie Williams has become part of yesterday. Let him go Yankee fans, let him go. On a related note, the Yankees are smart to wait out the Mariano Rivera contract situation. If he is healthy and able to pitch, the can resign him at the end of the season and let’s be honest, if they want him, no other team can outbid them, they are still the Evil Empire loaded with Uncle George’s money. So stop already, if Mo can pitch effectively with no pain, he will do it in pinstripes. Case closed people.

Most Dominant Performance
Roger Federer has been ranked #1 in men’s tennis for the past 161 weeks, which is just short of 3 years. That is dominance my friends, dominance. But, until he beats Rafael Nadal on a clay court, at the French Open, he is not the most dominant. The most dominant athlete of all-time remains Cael Sanderson. A native of Utah, Cael wrestled to a record of 127-3 in high school, winning 4 state titles. Cael wrestled at 185lbs at Iowa State University. He went 4 years of college without a loss, sporting a record of 159-0. He is the only collegiate wrestler with over 100 wins never to have lost. He won the silver medal at the 2003 world championships and avenged that by winning the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. It is Sanderson, not Kurt Angle or Rulon Gardner, who is the only wrestler ever to grace the cover of a box of Wheaties. Now friends, that is dominance – all the way around.


Shut up Fat Ass

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated and Kool Aid

"I'm probably one of the worst hated opposing players for their fans. I doubt they'd want me there. It's got nothing to do with [GM] Brian Cashman. I love that guy. And I love Mr. Steinbrenner. But if I went to the Yankees, it would be me walking out of Boston and putting my finger up to the fans. " - Curt Schilling in the Boston Globe

Ok, stop using the Yankees as leverage. They were interested in Johnny Damon because he fit the mold of a player they needed to succeed. Fat, loud mouthed, jackass pitchers in the twilight of their career don't apply. Have a salad for god's sake.

Yankees win meaningless game #1

Yankees win. Wang Looked good. Hughes Didn't. Damon homered. So did Giambi. More effort and energy will be spent on highlights once the games count.

And just when you thought every athlete was a douche...

...a story like this pops up. Everson Walls, former defensive back for the Cowboys gives his kidney to a former teammate in need. Let me repeat that: he is giving a FREAKING KIDNEY to a man he shared the field of battle with. This is why we watch sports. This is why we remember so fondly the days when we were a part of a team. Thanks Everson.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2784426


Can We Please Dump This Guy?

Yankees hurler Carl Pavano was struck in the foot by a line drive while throwing batting practice this weekend. Witnesses said that he may have actually avoided the batted ball, but unfortunately he was slowed by the water weight he is retaining during his menstruation cycle.

You would be smiling too if you had gotten away with stealing $20 million in two years

Fireworks, Volume I

This is the first installment of a new feature on www.fowlballs.blogspot.com. Recently recruited author Deputy Dog will be writing a weekly column containing his views on the weeks news that would make Lewis Black spit his coffee all over John Stewart. Though not for the faint of heart, Fireworks will prove to be a groundbreaking feature on the world's favorite sports blog. Expect to see this column every week, or at least until Deputy Dog suffers his first heart attack or stress induced hemmorhage. So without further ado, I give you Fireworks.

Billionaire Bucket Boy
Mark Cuban once call Phil Jackson his “bucket boy.” AJ Smith now knows how Cuban felt that day. Smith, the often praised GM of the San Diego Chargers, has made Charges principle owner Dean Spanos his personal “bucket boy.” Smith leverage Spanos into firing one of the NFL’s all-time winningest coaches in Marty Schottenhiemer because Smith did not like him. Say what you will, but the Charger’s playoff loss to the Patriots was not Marty’s fault. Marty didn’t drop anyone of the 7 passes that hit receivers in the and then wound up on the ground. Nor did he throw the pics of his young QB or fumble the ball away, as did his “skill” players. Too many times we rely on stats, but put that aside and think about statements of fact. Marty Schottenhiemer is an excellent football coach and did not deserve his fate out west. Hell, Marty would have multiple Superbowl Titles if he had not had to be the victim of John Elway becoming John Elway. And let’s not forget the A-Rod-like playoff choke-job of Ernest Byner. With Schottenhiemer’s head on their wall of shame, Smith and Spanos put the franchise’s on the field performance in the less-than-capable hands of Norv Turner, who has proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that he not a good head coach, even if you discount his disasterous year with the worst franchise in sports, the Oakland Raiders. If you look closely, you can see the strings in Spanos’ arms and AJ doing his best impression of Ghepetto. Rumor has it the Democrats may want to run Spanos for the White House in 2008.

Toodaloo Tiki
Tiki Barber is a quitter. Let’s get real. He’s not a hero or a guy being smart and saving his body, he is, in fact, a gutless wonder. He was a mediocre NFL back with big time fumblitis prior to Tom Coughlin arriving in Giantland. Coughlin cured his disease of putting the ball on the ground and helped Tiki become all-world. 3-4 more years at his current pace and he was a lock for Canton. Now he’s a lock for The Today Show. Matt Lauer never helped anyone get that bronze bust, pal. It’s not bad enough to quit, but on his way out of the locker room he took the time to rip the coach that was responsible for his game going to the next level. Fucking ingrate. Reminds me of another memorable chicken-shit running back who quit in his prime, Barry Sanders. I will not mention Jim Brown, since he might read this, hunt me down and snack on my spine.

Pacman Should Eat-A-Bullet
Ok, the details are still sketchy in the Las Vegas incident involving Adam “Pacman” Jones of the Tenessee Titans, but if it is proven the shooter, shot 3 people (2 bouncers and a female customer) at a strip joint, was part of “Pacman’s” entourage, he should be thrown out of the NFL for life and arrested for accessory to murder. Douche-scumbag.

Truer Words
Years ago, when the greatest mouthpiece of all time, Sir Charles Barkley, utter the famous quote “I am not a role-model,” no one knew how profound Charles was being. Athletes should be enjoyed on the field and educated of it. Between the thugs in the NBA, the bruts in the NHL and ass-clowns in the NFL, athletes as role-models are a thing of the past. Not to mention the synthetically swollen head of one Barry Lamar Bonds. Where have you gone Donnie Baseball? On a side note, if Dean Spanos decides to run in the 2008 election, Deputy Dog fully endorse Sir Charles Barkley for President.


Official Stances

This section will reveal exactly where http://www.fowlballs.com/ stands on assorted sports issues. This serves two purposes: First, it allows me to spread my creative wings and not have to write the bandwagon articles and be the millionth hack writer to regurgitate the same article. Second, and probably most importantly, it means that I am not expected to write 5,000 words every time A-Rod strikes out with two men on in the eighth, or Big Ben throws three picks (therefore fending off carpal tunnel syndrome for a few short years).

Do not trade Alex Rodriguez
In short, this is one of the greatest players ever to lace up a pair of spikes. He stays.

The Patriots are NOT underrated
Its about this time every year when Tom Brady makes some asinine statement about how they are not given the respect they deserve. Most years it is just irritating because their team is obviously the class of the AFC. Now it is even MORE irritating because they are not overrated. They are just not good. Keep in mind that I am not a Jet fan, I am THE Jet fan. The AFC East sucks, and Peyton Manning just kicked dirt on your grave.

We are for the DH
Pitchers swing like women. Except Carlos Zambrano, a favorite of http://www.fowlballs.com/.

We want Roger Clemens to pitch forever
I hope the Rocket pitches until the Astros are forced to waste draft picks on his great grandchildren to get him to pitch half a year.

We don’t watch the NBA, WNBA, or NHL
Too many convicts in the NBA, no dunking in the WNBA, no scoring in the NHL. Sorry.

Derek Jeter was robbed of the AL MVP Award
Justin Morneau is arguably the third most valuable player on the TWINS. Enough with the Yankee hater mentality, please.

Barry Bonds should be embraced...
...for now. He is innocent until proven guilty. However, as soon as it is proven that he has been taking seroids since 1999 (like we all know will happen), I will turn on him quicker than Henry Hill.

Gary Sheffield is the Greatest Baseball Player of All Time

The title says it all. Why would I write an article with such a presumptuous title you ask? Partly because I admire his body of work as a potential Hall of Famer. Partly because he used to play for my favorite team. But mostly, like most New Yorkers, I wrote that title because I am legitimately afraid that Gary Sheffield may surf the internet and read this article. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I cower at the thought of Gary Sheffield.

There really isn’t any other explanation for the favor that the “tough” group of New York sportswriters have given Sheff since he arrived in the Big Apple. Look what they did to Jason Giambi when his testimony was leaked. Nasty headlines, fans booing, and this is from the guy who actually gave a public apology for the distraction, albeit half-assed. Not Gary though. He pranced his way right through his tenure in New York, scoffing at we fans who claim to know so much. Just because we applaud sacrifice bunts and pull for guys like Bubba Crosby to get in the game (as long as we are up by ten), doesn’t mean we aren’t dumb to things from time to time.
I may be the biggest culprit. In my circle of friends, we call it a “Man Crush”. Completely heterosexual, just an unhealthy fixation. I was the happiest fan in Yankeeland when we signed Gary Sheffield. I called a friend of mine as soon as it happened and said “FINALLY! A guy with balls on the team!” The fact is that as Yankee fans, we hadn’t seen anyone with that type of attitude since Daryl cold-cocked Armando Benitez on his way into the dugout. I bought an autographed 8x10 picture of Sheff in pinstripes. Then it got better. When Pedro hit Sheff in the shoulder, he didn’t charge the mound, oh no. He held his bat like cavemen held their women and mouthed the words “Not me” at Pedro. How the 19 lb. Martinez didn’t crap himself on national television is beyond me. I then bought an autographed 16x20 picture of Gary….and in this one he wasn’t smiling. Fast forward to the 2006 season, Gary gets hurt. First I was upset that he was hurt. Then I thought maybe if he just gave his wrist a dirty look, it would be so scared that it would heal itself for fear of Sheff kicking its ass. No dice. Gary Sheffield looked to be out for a couple of months, but who would replace him?

Yankee fans we agonized as we were forced to stomach Bernie Williams patrol right field. That’s right, every runner that was on first base was GUARANTEED third base with any base hit from center field over. It was disgusting. Which led to the obvious transition of the Yankees pulling someone off the MLB scrap heap to become a star on the biggest stage on earth, a la Aaron Small. Unfortunately, Aaron Guiel did nothing but bear a striking resemblance to Timmy Lupus. Right about then, the Rumor Mill started linking the Yankees to Bobby Abreu. (Sidenote: I HATE the phrase “rumor mill”, always have. I am now accepting suggestions for an alternative. “Hot Stove” is stupid too.) It was at this point, we all expected Sheff to have one of the trademark blowups that we had heard so much about. With that, he actually gives the Yankees his blessing to get OBP Bobby. UNREAL! WHAT A TEAM PLAYER!

Then he comes back and volunteers to play first base. This was exciting! Obviously working with Don Mattingly would turn Sheff into a Gold Glover in three weeks, and we could keep Giambi in the DH slot. “He used to play the infield! First base is easy!”. I swear to you who are not in the New York area, this is what we were thinking. It never crossed our minds that a team spending $200 million was holding American Idol-style open tryouts at first base a week before the playoffs. This is when the YES network REALLY stepped up the propoganda to get us even more whipped up. While playing in his first game at first base in Tampa Bay, Sheffield picked a ball my 8 year old nephew grabs 9 out of 10 times. We then heard about it for the next 6 innings. World Series in the bag!

(It is here where I would give a synopsis of the Yankees-Tigers ALDS. However, it still makes me want to throw up bile even thinking about it, so I will allow readers to remember it for themselves for the next two minutes…done??? Good)

OK, so the Yankees crapped the bed. Sheff still wanted us to pick up his option, right? Think again. Contract time fellas, and now it was back to Gary being all about Gary. It reminds me of “My Blue Heaven”. Steve Martin as a mobster; classic. Anyways, we know he is scum, but over two hours, we get to love this guy. Then at the end, he builds a baseball field for the kids, writes a book, and is the toast of Fryburg….but wait a minute! He is STILL a scumbag! Now he has a baby, but its with the cop lady?!?!?! What about the wife that could “melt all this stuff”? And the baseball field was OBVIOUSLY a ploy to keep him out of jail. Why did we like this guy at all? This is the same empty feeling that I have about Sheffield.

This brings me to the point. Now, he is back to being Gary Sheffield, detriment to the team, clubhouse cancer. He’s the “me first” player we thought he was all along, and now we can destroy him for it. But wait, what’s that? The New York papers AREN’T ripping Gary Sheffield?!?!?! EXACTLY. I will be honest. There are only two men on this planet that I have never personally met that I fear. Mike Tyson and Gary Sheffield. The only difference between the two is I am only 100% positive that one would bite another man’s ear off, but the other one I am only pretty damned sure he’s capable. This guy is the Chuck Norris of sports. Nobody screws with him. I bet R. Kelly hasn’t been out of his house since that sex tape scandal broke out.

So here’s to hoping that Gary Sheffield doesn’t read past the headlines. Even more so, I hope that the media in the world’s greatest city grows a pair and finally gives the poster boy for all that is wrong with sports the game of baseball. Steroids, attitudes, trying to reneg on contracts that they agreed to in the first place, and how about attacking Joe Torre in interviews? As if the man doesn’t have enough to deal with right now. Lupica and friends have been WAY too quiet, and its time they let him have it….just like they unleashed on Cashman for not signing Vlad at bigger money….that’s another article though….

Also, I am now accepting emails suggesting a replacement Man Crush, though I must admit that Leon Washington has the inside track.


Do The Right Thing

A Robinson Cano Joint

Cano does his best to prove that he knows his role by relinquishing his jersey number to further prepare for the arrival of the greatest pitcher of all time.



Parcells Retires

Dallas Restaurants Lower Earnings Forecasts
Bill Parcells will be leaving Dallas after a 4 year stint that ended in a 34-32 record. (Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)

Is This Guy Japanese or "Special"

Igawa Auditions for Rush Hour 3 in SI Interview

This is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Although he speaks in mono-syllabic words that a five year old can understand, Kei Igawa still manages to give a more intriguing interview than Derek Jeter since 1996.

My favorite part is that there is absolutely no credit given to a translator. The Yankees were actually dumb enough to let a man who hardly speaks english field his own interview. Apparently $26 million isn't enough to hire someone for that. Reports out of Jackie Chan's camp have publicly ripped Igawa since this interview, citing an infringement on his "ignorant, foreigner charm".


Jimmy Dugan's Crystal Ball

June, 2007 - Yankees Make Two Blockbuster Acquisitions Before Deadline

After playing respectable baseball thus far in the 2007 season, the Yankees have added pitchers Roger Clemens and Philip Hughes to their starting rotation. Kei Igawa will be moved to the bullpen as a left-handed long man whom Joe Torre plans to pitch every day until his arm is fried like a wonton. This move opens up two spots in the rotation, following the (insert petty injury or buttocks related cheapshot here) suffered by Carl Pavano.

The addition of Clemens and Hughes makes the Yankees rotation as formidable as its offense. The rotation looks to shape up like this:

1 - Clemens
2 - Wang
3 - Pettitte
4 - Mussina
5 - Hughes

Reports out of the Boston area cited a 5% increase in suicides, and a 123458729% increase in whining. Once again, the area fans will be forced to divise clever sayings to put on t-shirts knocking the Yankees, as opposed to actually catching them in the AL East standings.


Hello God? It's Me, Jimmy Dugan

Andy Officially Introduced Today, Agent Says Rocket to Pitch in 2007

Barry Bonds Takes Illegal Substance; Lies About It

In related News, the Pope is Catholic and bears shit in the woods

(AP Photo)
The New York Daily News actually made this thier back page "exclusive" story. This is ridiculous. As a New Yorker not only do I not care about Barry Bonds, I get nauseous every time I have to see his face on one of our papers. Today is officially the worst day of my life. The two lead stories in sports are Barry Bonds and David Beckham. As if seeing Barry's gigantic head on every newspaper and TV channel wasn,t enough to make me take my own eyes out with a spoon, it was followed by a soccer story. Kill me.

Everyone takes amphetamines. They are called "greenies" because they are green in color. This is the type of mindless, intelligence-insulting reporting the American sports viewing public will be sublect to over the next, oh, three months. This so called "blockbuster" report is the equivalent of Al Capone being jailed on tax evasion charges. Then, everyone seems uphalled that the great orange on a toothpick blamed it on someone else (Envision it. Think for a second....now laugh heartily. You're welcome). This man is ruthless in maintaining his innocence, even in being a blatent cheater. Should we be surprised about this? I think not. Miggy Sucks.


Don't Let the Door Hit You...

(Photo by Jon Willey/Arizona Diamondbacks)
This picture warms my heart more than an Anne Geddes baby dressed as a bumble bee

Today's News That's Most Important To Me

Mattingly hosed again by baseball writers
I am forced to believe that roughly 91% baseball writers haved suffered a head trauma forcing them to forget all about the career of Don Mattingly.

Let's get one thing straight: I am not saying that Donnie Baseball is a first ballot Hall of Famer. In fact, I am not claiming that he should even be in the Hall at all. What I AM saying is that the amount of consideration that he recieved in today's released numbers is ponderous. There are so many arguments to be made here, but I will focus on two. (Please disregard the fact that if science would allow it, I would bear Don Mattingly's children, because I am being as objective as possible)

First off, www.Baseball-reference.com lists Mattingly as the most similar batter over a career to Kirby Puckett. Thats right, first ballot Hall of Famer and pride of the Twin Cities Kirby Puckett. I will not debate the World Series factor. Kirby's rings do set him apart from Donnie, but NOT by as wide of a margin as the ballot shows. When listed next to Puckett's, Don Mattingly's numbers, including number of seasons, are nearly identical to the chubby centerfielder. Maybe Don should have beat his wife (too soon?).

Second, something Puckett lacks (as well as many others in the Hall), is "the Man Factor". For a period of five to six years, Don Mattingly was "the Man". The "Hit Man" was arguably the best player in baseball for that stretch. Correct me if I am wrong, but should that not factor in when considering enshrinement into the Mecca of America's Pastime?

I know that Goose Gossage deserves to be a Hall of Famer, as should Jim Rice. However, I am TIRED of reading about it. I also refuse to spend any more time or internet space on Mark McGwire. It is legitimately disappointing to see the lack of support for Don Mattingly in the baseball world. This man is solely responsible for me being (or at least staying) a Yankee fan throughout my childhood. It was a time when the Yankees were awful. I mean AWFUL. Myself and others will wax poetic about how tough we had it as Yankee fans growing up, but I digress.

In closing, fowlballs.blogspot.com is launching the "MATTINGLY IN '08" campaign today. The goal is to more than triple Don's support in one year. 30% would be a serviceable stepping stone to enshrinement.


Yankees Sign Two Players That Stink

Bombers agree to terms with a Guy whose name is impossible to spell and another whose name should have been forgotten years ago

In a seemingly purposeful attempt to ruin my buzz caused by the trading of the Big Useless, the Yankees agreed to one year contracts with both Doug Mientkefweccxxswedohowefcz and Miguel Cairo over the weekend.

As you may have seen in other blogs, sabermetrics are often used to argue for or against the signing of certain players. In the cases of Mientkesdughfsifdbvs and Cairo, one need not understand the intricate figures that make up a ZR or VORP. Though I am intelligent enough to understand and implement these types of statistics I can give my brain a rest in this instance, relying on simple, back-of-a-baseball-card stats and my own eyes.

Mientkevwser9ungvwe provides Gold Glove defense along with the offensive prowess of a nine hitter on a Division III Girls softball team. I am actually hoping that the Yankees scouts have determined that they can teach him to bat right handed, seeing as though they left Craig Wilson on the market to sign Dougie. Maybe they have employed the work of scientists to meld Mientkrbiwehrbvbwi with Jason Giambi to create an All Star. Unless one of these two are true, the lineup now includes one left hitting/right fielding first baseman that can't hit the baseball with a tennis racket, and another who can't field it. Maybe this means more at-bats for Andy Phillips!! (For those of you who don't interpret sarcasm in type, that was it).

Miguel Cairo, unlike Dougie, actually doesn't even have a Major League quality skill to point to. Regardless of how he is glorified by baseball "geniuses" like John Sterling and Suzy Know-it-All, I personally would kick Miguel Cairo down the stairs to have Mark Loretta as a fifth infielder. This is as much as I will devote to the subject of Miggy. Except to maybe slide in a "Miggy Sucks" every now and then.

Also going on this week, the Diamondbacks will be administering a physical to Randy Johnson to complete the "Swipe of the Century". Lets analyze this for a moment: the Yankees unload a 43 year old pitcher who had an ERA of 5 last year BEFORE offseason back surgery, paying merely $2 million of his salary. It has also been rumoroed that the Yankees have offered to pay for the services of Dr. Nick Riviera to perform the afforementioned exam. In return, they receive immediate bullpen help in Luis Vizcaino, a projectable 2 or 3 starter that is a year away in Ross Ohlendorf, a shortstop with a Major League ready glove in Alberto Gonzales, and a sinkerballer that has been called "special" by Scout.com in Steven Jackson. Between this trade and moving Sheffield for young, projectable arms (including a potential ace in Humberto Sanchez) I am afraid that tomorrow's Daily News will be splattered with the headline "Devil Arrives in the Bronx to Collect Cashman's Soul".

Garces Eyeing Return?

Rich Garces, the overweight hurler who made a niche for himself with the Boston Red Sox in the late 1990’s has surfaced of late, attempting a comeback to the mound. Major League post-game buffets are stricken with fear.

“El Guapo”, as he was so, um, affectionately deemed in Boston, was quoted in the Mexican newspaper that “…things are moving” in his comeback effort. It is speculated that the “things” he was referring to were his breasts as he jogged. First off, whoever the editor of the paper that ran this garbage should be fired. RICH GARCES?? Are we serious? Somewhere Cecil Fielder is taking practice swings. I know we are all ashamed of the so-called “steroid-era” in Major League Baseball, but is it really necessary to go in the complete opposite direction?

Look, Rich Garces is the reason why people love baseball. He is the reason why one of your idiot friends sticks by the story that he “was being scouted before he hurt his knee in a pickup basketball game.” Nobody has ever claimed in a drunken rant that they almost qualified for the Seoul Olympics in the 400m butterfly because we KNOW it couldn’t be true….a lie of Lovitz proportions. In the back of your mind though, you always half-believe the drunken friend who in another life almost pitched for the Brewers because “hey, that fat slob Garces threw for years in Boston, I guess anything is possible.

With all that being said, I don’t need to see the jiggly, wheezing trek from the bullpen every other day. Mr. Garces, please leave our great game alone. Do autograph signings in Boston. Play in the World Series of Poker. Make a run at Kobayashi for the hot dog record. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in the short time you were away, the game has passed you by. I do ask one favor though: wherever it is that you are going, please take Sidney Ponson with you (provided your destination does not require a visa, of course).


Today's News that is Most Important to Me

Jets Lose

As a life-long Jet fan, I should be satisfied that the team that was expected to destroy me with a 4-12 season just finished a whirlwind that ended with a 10-6 finish, including a trip to the playoffs. I should be excited about the progression of rookies like Leon Washington, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and Nick Mangold, and the emergence of Kerry Rhodes as one of the premier defensive playmakers in the NFL. I should be doing cartwheels in my yard about the fact that Chad Pennington not only played well, but played 16 games this year. And I should be fighting of arousal of Cialis proportions that they are only going to imrpove next year seeing as though they have more room under the salary cap than any team in the league. Unfortunately, the the beloved Gang Green just ended their season on the brand new field turf (you're welcome) at Gillette Field or Stadium or whatever the hell. Lets get this out in the first real post on fowlballs.blogspot.com : I hate the New England Patriots. Even though I maintain the same level of respect for Tom Brady that Red Sox fans hold for Derek Jeter, I would love nothing more than to hear that Bill Belichick was fired this morning for "lude public behavior involving a farm animal". It makes me sick that every season, without fail, there is somebody on the Patriots that complains about the "lack of respect" that the team is shown. Could we PLEASE let go of the "loveable underdog" image??? Sorry guys, but you have been the most well respected team in the NFL since you beat one of the most efficient offenses in the history of the sport on the biggest stage, all while being led by a rookie QB you drafted in the 6th Round. (sidenote - I am waiting for the day that the Patriots hold a ceremony in honor of Mo Lewis for knocking Drew Bledsoe back to 3rd grade and allowing a man groomed to be a lifelong backup to take snaps for the Pats - you're welcome again).

So, thanks to this small twist, I am left to mope about my team until draft day....or at least until pitchers and catchers report to Tampa.