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