Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Blog Update

No new post tonight. Why you ask?


Because I am fucking doing a fucking project fucking plan for fucking work on Microsoft fucking Project.


This is me right now -

Thursday, March 1, 2007

5 Stories I'll Be Watching

Ahhhh spring in Boston. That means its snowing out right now (2-4 inches expected). I'm not kidding. And I moved here why?

Today was the real beginning of spring training when teams begin playing each other. We get our first looks the new additions, the young unknowns, and the veterans ready for another year on the battlefield.

As teams prepare anew for the yearly dance, let us prepare as well for some of the more interesting plots of the new year. These stories will capture our attention as the year progresses and represent some of the reasons that baseball is our national pastime. For this post, I am going with all positive concepts so there will be no mention of steroids, Sen. Mitchell, or Barry Bonds. No, just as the teams get to look at the sunrise of this year with hope and optimism, so do we.

1. Young Superstars
Baseball is currently blessed with an abundance of young talent. Players with such gifts as to conjure images of Griffey, Clemens, and Ripken. Yes baseball can sit back and relax with the knowledge that the game is in good hands. Names like Mauer, Cabrera, Pujols, and Papelbon have elicited excitement among fans new and old. And they are plentiful. There are more names on the list like Markakis, Sizemore, and Wright. Soon Clemens, Pedro, Ramirez, and Maddux will be off to the Hall of Fame and our allegiance will turn to many of names I've already listed.

I think that other than winning a championship, there is nothing more excited, more breath-taking, more awe-inspiring than watch a young talented player make the leap into greatness. Seeing the combination of hard work, skill, talent, and drive come together to form a magical specimen of athletic excellence represents one of the aspects of sports that hooks us for life.

Update - Young Ryan Howard was mistakenly left off this list. He opitimizes the excitment of a young superstar. Big E for me.

2. 20 Game Winners
There are two types of football fans: those who like offensive and those who like defense. If asked about my favorite sports stars of my life, many defensive players are listed. When translated to baseball, defensive becomes pitching. Some fans love games that 1-0 and some find them boring. I happen to think that a good pitching battle is the beat theatre that baseball can provide. Two athletes up on the stage, battling each other despite never facing each other. Two managers using all of their resources to sway the game toward their favor.

To that end, seeing a pitcher reach the goal of 20 wins in a single season is a victory for all those who relish the pitching battle. Last year there were no such occurrences. No pitcher was able to reach that mark. In fact, in the last 3 years, we have been allowed to enjoy only 7 20 game winners. Let us hope that this year proves more fruitful for pitching.

3. Albert Pujols
When everything comes together correctly, and injuries are avoided, and the baseball gods are smiling, we get a player like Albert Pujols. His numbers don't even seem real. At this pace, Pujols will be said in the same breath as Mantle, Mays, and Frank Robinson. At such a young age to have accomplished so much and to seem so motivated to do more is a gift to us all.

Let us soak in every moment of his career. The man with tree trunks for legs will be fodder for our grandkids. Records could be shattered at this pace. But that line has been muttered before. When I grew up, we all assumed that Junior Griffey would hold every record in the book. We hoped for it. We felt a part of it. It was not too be. But maybe, just maybe, Pujols will give us that feeling again.

4. The AL East
Right behind winning a championship and maybe above watching a young player become great, is realizing that an underdog is going to overthrow the established, veteran team. The AL East happens to be occupied by two teams that expect to win every year. The fan bases are mirror images of each other at this point. The ownerships act the same. Its win it all at any cost (not saying that in a negative way).

But trouble brews below in the depths of the division. The Blue Jays have been building a contender for a couple years now. The Orioles are finally on the right path with some young talent and an upgraded bullpen. These two teams should be rooting for each other now. If either one causes upheaval in the division, it is a victory for baseball not just one team's fan base.

Sure, having Sox-Yanks is great for people who live off of 90 and those broadcasting from Bristol. But variety is the spice of life. We need change. Times always change, they need to. Is this the year that the Evil Empire and the Nation fall? Who knows. But we'll be watching to see if it does.

5. Records
One of baseball's magic qualities is its ability to provide something new every year. There is a possibility that every time you watch a baseball game, you will see something that has never happened before in the long history of our pastime. Will someone hit 5 hrs in a game? Will someone strike out 21 people? Can a team win more games than any team before it? How many grand slams will be see this year? How many stolen bases?

What will we see this year that we have never seen before? What unforeseen magic will baseball give to us? I don't know, but I will be watching for it....

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Today's Reason Why ESPN Sucks

This is a really negative article about ESPN. So let me preface this by saying that overall, ESPN still rocks. I go there for a lot of sport's news and facts. The website was instrumental in putting together my O's Season Preview. But I feel that the quality of the product has been declining in the last few years. So today I present:

Things from today that exemplify why ESPN sucks now:


Okay so this almost because another Giant Douche Award to Scoop Jackson for his pathetic column today that conveniently plays the race card in order to avoid a serious conversation about the dangerous combination of sports, youth, money, sex, drugs, and violence.

I don't want to go on a rant here but....

I am so fucking sick of that happening. Some bad shit went down in Vegas this weekend but according to Scoop. nothing happened and anyone saying so is a racist. Fuck him. That column was such a cop-out. According to every report (both valid and unsubstantiated), Vegas was a mess this weekend.

So Scoop, is this an indictment of the black race??? No you dipshit!! Its an indictment of the culture around sports today and its propensity towards violence. Don't you think that there were enough white, asians, mexicans and others causing trouble this weekend. By hiding behind the race card, we as a culture are missing an opportunity to make things better by asking some tough questions.

Why do I have to read about this when I go to Page2? Page2 was created to talk about the Lighter Side of Sports. Any stories that weren't funny were supposed to be interesting. Once in a while, Ralph Wiley would write some article that containing a racial argument. The difference then, when Ralph wrote something like this, there was intelligence and a gift for writing about it.

Page2 has turned into a creep show. The stories up on Page2 speak about the following subjects:

I mean, holy shit, why would I read this? I used to really look forward to Page2 being updated every day. The articles were funny, insightful, and interesting. They had Simmons (at his peak), Wiley (always good), the late-great Hunter S. Thompson (must read), Shanoff's Morning Quickie (I think I liked it more than others) and several quality bench players.

Now look at it. If you read Page2, you come away feeling guilty or dirty. Why would I do that? What's the point of Page2 now? I mean really. What was the last great thing to come out of there? So that's it. I may still read Simmons from time-to-time, but that's it. I'm done. No more Page2. They suck.


The second reason why ESPN sucks is because of the crap they shove down our throats. Its gotten to the point now that most of the time when I log onto ESPN, I see a story that I just don't care about at all. Whether its Barry Bonds, TO, NHL (hoc-key?), Soccer, etc.

Right now, on the front page of ESPN is the NFL Combine. All together now: Who Cares?? The draft is in April and that's what ESPN is leading with now. Really? Here are a list of sports stories that I would think could be more interesting:

  • March Madness (as far as I know, March comes before April)
  • Baseball spring training
  • NBA season getting along
  • Golf season about to really get going soon
  • Grudingly I would understand hockey or Nascar

But no, we don't get that. We get pounded with data about the freakin' NFL draft that is like 6 weeks away. Look I am freak about the Redskins. Just seeing the word Redskins will get me to read an article (hell I read one today.) But I mean, please relax a bit here. There are many valid stories with out having to shove the NFL down our throats. I mean there are leagues that are going on RIGHT NOW that are getting pushed to the side because of this.

Another quick example: the poll questions is about TO and Randy Moss. Why do I have to hear about TO EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY??? Why can't I get a break from him? Isn't there any way that I could go until say July or Aug without hearing about him again? I know the answer. I'm sure Scoop Jackson will have an article tomorrow saying that any reporter mentioning that TO lead the league in dropped passes is racist....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Baltimore Orioles Season Preview - Part IV

Well here we go, the final part of the season preview for the Baltimore Orioles. So far I reviewed the starting rotation, bullpen, and the infield. Today class, we are going to learn about the outfield, DH, and catcher. Why is the catcher lumped in with the outfield you ask? Because I fucking forgot to include him with the infield, okay?!? Happy?

Lets get going

Catcher - Ramon Hernadez

Ummm....he's fucking good. I will admit that when the O's signed him, I wasn't exactly doing backflips of joy, ya know. But he is a real solid prescence behind the plate with a laser, rocket arm. And his offensive numbers are really nice for a catcher (20+ hrs & almost 100 rbi). When I look at his stats, my favorite number is 144. That is how many games he played last year. When your team has a catcher who is good offensively and defensively AND he stays healthy, then you have a good thing going. Lets hope he keeps it up. If he played on a different team, there would probably be a little All-Star buzz with him.

Left Field - Jay Payton

Is he the starter? Who knows. Since I forced Huff into first earlier and I refuse to acknowledge Millar as a starter, I am going to put Payton here. This did not exactly make me happy. But that is because my only real memory of Jay Payton is having him on a fantasy team while he was a Met and trying to get a message to Bobby Valentine through his nephew to play him more so my team would get better.

But as I actually look at his numbers, I am starting to feel a little optimistic. He had a good year offensively last year although he swings at everything. His is projected to be up later in the lineup so that's okay. If the O's have a guy batting 8th or 9th who bats .296, then things will be okay.

Note: Lets hope he looks a little more excited in the field.

Center Field - Corey Patterson

No other offensive player scares me as much as Patterson. Which player is going to show up for the O's this year. When properly motivated, Patterson can be a dangerous hitter. He can hit for average (not great but okay) and he is fast as hell. But he can also flat out suck with the best of them. I mean, hell, his last year in Chicago was freakin' pathetic. He batted .215!! Last year he batted .276. So which is it. I dunno. I am afraid of this guy though. I am not expecting him to light it up.

Left Field - Nick Markakis

Just for the record, I spelled his name correctly without looking it up. This kid is awesome. Very early last year, I compared him to David Wright to a buddy of mine who is a Met's fan. My point was that he was young, home-grown, and had tons of pontential. Well my friend laughed at me like I was an idiot. And this time, he was wrong. (That makes it 9,9834 times he was correct and 14 that he was wrong in thinking that I was an idiot).

Markakis had a really good year last especially considering it was his first in the bigs. There were some tough moments but he overcame them and finished the year with some real nice numbers. Hell, if he just repeats those numbers I'd be happy. But he will probably exceed them.

Ex. There was story in the WashPost about one of his struggles last year. There was a point when other teams found a big weakness with the inside fastball. For a while it was eating him up. So what happens, he overcame it and went on a steak where he batted .500. He has a real good future ahead of him.

DH - Jay Gibbons

I will freely admit that I really like Jay Gibbons. After Cal left, he was one of the few O's that I could recognize. If he could only stay healthy (how many times has that been muttered about a professional althete?). So I am going to just go forward and assume that he stays healthy this year. If so, then the O's DH position will give them about 25hr and 100rbi. That's pretty good. If he goes down, then Millar comes in. As someone who has lived in Boston for a while now, I am pretty familiar with his work. He is streaky and can be good but not someone you want to rely on for a whole season. So lets hope the O's don't have to do that.

Now that we have looked at all of the players. Lets look at the lineup as a whole. This is based on a prelimerary lineup that Perlozzo put out. I am making one slight change and that is the removal of Millar.


  1. Roberts
  2. Mora
  3. Markakis
  4. Tejada
  5. Huff
  6. Hernandez
  7. Gibbons
  8. Payton
  9. Patterson

That's a pretty good lineup right there. 8 & 9 are really up in the air but besides that, there is some consistently.

So what does it all mean? Well if this team was playing in a vacuum, then they would be really dusty!! Thank you, thank you. Please tip your waitress. (ummm...sorry about that joke, I must be tired)

Seriously though, I think this team could finish the year with a winning record. This team has so much potential. But it won't happen. Playing the AL East is a two team division. The Blue Jays have been trying really hard lately and they finished 10 games back. I think the O's will start the year well and may stay in contention through the All-Star break. But I don't expect this team to be able to last the year. I think this is one of the better teams the O's have fielded in years now. In the end, they will be two pitchers and one outfielder short of the playoffs.

Final prediction: 78-84 4th place

Stupid Angelos

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Baltimore Orioles Season Preview - Part III

We've talked about the starting pitchers and the bullpen. So now the question is, will the O's have the offense and fielding to support the staff. Lets find out...

Today I am going to focus on the infield. Actually, the 2006 O's infield was pretty good. Wow, that statement is pretty sad when I look back on it. I have to point out that a part of the O's team didn't completely suck balls. Stupid Angelos.
Anyway, 3 of the 4 positions were fielded by above-average players last year. Unfortunately, first base was a disaster. First was Javy Lopez (see pic) and he was followed by Kevin Millar. Just kill me. But whatever, this is not a recap of 2006, this is a positive look forward to the new and improved O's of 2007
So lets look at the O's infield position by position.

Third base - Melvin Mora

The man who looks like he always wants to cry is actually a very good third basemen. And if my wife had quintuplets, I would probably look like him too. Anyway. he has been a steady offensive force for the O's at third for many years now. There is some cause for concern with him though. Mora is now 35 years old and third base isn't called the hot corner for nothing. His fielding has never been super.

My real worry is his offense. Since acquiring him from the Mets (note: I will always take the opportunity to mention when the Mets screw up with personnel due to a couple close friend who are Mets fans. Your welcome Charlie and Tom), his numbers have been great. His average is over .280 and he shows a little bit of power. But the last few years have shown a solid decline is his numbers. His batting average and obp have dropped significantly the last couple years. I am worried that he has hit the wall. If he drops again, we are talking about a batting average of like .250. So I am hoping that Mora has another good year or two in him.

Shortstop - Miguel Tejada
The O's sure know how to pick shortstops huh? Tejada is a perennial MVP candidate and a team leader. He may not have been too happy last year but all reports seem to indicate that he is ready to go this year. He seems to be back to his happy self.

I mean what can I say. He plays every game (sounds familiar). His offensive numbers are just plain awesome. He hits for power, average, doesn't strike out a ton. I mean, he's just good. And he's only 30, so he has a lot of years left in the tank.

He's been the only nationally relevant O's player recently until Chris Ray came around. Meaning without him, major news outlets would probably forget the O's even existed. At least with him around, the O's weren't used as an argument for getting rid of the "every team gets an all-star" rule. I fully expect another .315/.360/.500 year out of Tejada.

Second Base - Brian Roberts

Just saw that he was born in Durham, NC. I am so sick of Durham, NC. I have to go down there for work all the time and be surrounded by Dukies, and the other tobacco roader people. What does that have to Roberts you say? Nothing, shut up.

Roberts is a beast; just a great guy to have near the top of your lineup. He hits for a good average, some power, steals some bases, and hits for a ton of extra base hits. His fielding skills are above average as well.

So where does that leave us? With a fast, powerful, skillful batter who also fields well. Okay, twist my arm, I'll take him as my second basemen. Lets hope he just stays healthy.

First Base - Aubrey Huff

Now I'm sure some of you are saying, wait? Huff isn't officially the first baseman of the O's yet! To which I gracefully reply, please shut the hell up. I refuse to believe that Millar or anyone else will be at first base. So going forward, I am just assuming that he will be the starting first baseman for the O's.

Huff is actually a big upgrade over last year. First base was a disaster for the O's last year and having a steady offensive force will be a big boost. Huff is not going to set any records but what he will do is provide a nice punch at first. His line should be somewhere around .280/25/90.

This is all predicated on him being healthy though. He has had a few health issues that have limited his production lately. If healthy, he will be a good addition to the O's. Anything is better than dealing with Millar again.

So where does this leave the O's. Offensively, the O's are better in the infield than last year. Mora does scare me a little bit. But the idea of sitting at home with 5 kids should keep him motivated enough to produce. The upgrade at first along with all-stars in the middle of the infield means that the O's infield is actually pretty good.

How about the outfield? Well we'll tackle that next...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Baltimore Orioles Season Preview - Part II

Another night of American Idol, another long post here at Stupid Angelos. Coincidence? Yes, damn man - stop asking already.

Anyway, tonight the crack staff here at Stupid Angelos looks at the bullpen of the Orioles. We reviewed the starting pitchers yesterday and discovered that the bullpen needs to be strong in order for this team to have any chance of success.

Last year, the O's bullpen was the joke of the league. Sam Perlozzo has told stories of pitchers having high pitch counts in the first inning causuing concern. You just can't win with a bullpen like that. So any improvement in the bullpen will have a big effect on the team's overall success.

How bad was last year's bullpen? Well lets see. Some of my favorite stats are: losing record, ERA over 5, tons of walks, more hits than innings pitched, and a low number of strikeouts. In other words, the exact opposite of what you need in a bullpen.

So your team has the worst bullpen in baseball? What do you do about this? If your the O's, you completely overhaul your bullpen. How about that? The O's made some good decisions. Not great ones, but good ones. I mean what is the point of having a stud young closer if you can't get to him.

Without further ado, lets get to the preview of the O's bullpen.

Scott Williamson

Ugh. Scott has had several good years in his career. Unfortunately the last good one was 2003. His ERA for the last two years has been over 5.5. Not good. He does strikeout a decent amount of batters (just over 1 per inning).

Chad Bradford

Okay, this actually makes me feel a bit better. A pretty good arm out of the 'pen who throws sidearm. This is the type of pitcher you need to have a successful bullpen. He can come in and get a couple tough outs in the 6 or 7th innings. He has a decent ERA and is tough to hit. I think he will end up being a very productive part of this bullpen.

Dany Baez

In order to help my sanity a bit, I am going to assume that his 2006 was a fluke. If you look at his stats from the previous few years, he actually looks like a decent pitcher. Of course, he played for the Devil Rays. By the time the Ray's bullpen came in, they were losing and the other team was starting to relax. Before last year, he had a high number of innings, a reasonable ERA, and a low hits/ip ration. If he regains that form, the O's will have another strong contributor.

Jim Hoey

Here, let me. Who??? Actually, Jimmy Hoey (say that 5 times fast) was a late season call up. He had a few good outings and a few bad outings. I would not expect to see him in any close game situations.

Hayden Penn

I expect Penn to be starting by the All-Star Break when he takes Trachsel's place in the rotation. Before that, expect to see him in some long relief efforts to get him a lot of innings. Obviously, his stats didn't look so good last year. But it was his first cup-o'-coffee in the bigs. I think his stats may not be so great this year but we'll find out if he is worth the effort.

Jamie Walker

Real good guy to have in your bullpen. He eats up a lot of innings in the 7th and 8th innings. His stats look good and he seems to be another one of those guys you need to have a good bullpen.

Remember, to have a successful bullpen you only need a couple things.

  1. 2 strong setup men. (Walker and Baez)

  2. A speciality guy (Bradford)

  3. Guys who won't blow a 4 run lead (Williamson and Penn - maybe)

  4. A stud closer

So that brings me too:

Chris Ray

So, where does that leave the O's. Well the bullpen still has some questions but they are clearly improved over last year's version. If last year's version only went 20-21, this year's should do much better. Lets say they gain 5 more wins because of this bullpen. That combined with my prediction yesterday of the 52 starting pitching wins puts them at 79 wins. Can the offense carry them that far? Will the defense hold? Find out with my next post....