This Just In.

Pujols > Everyone.

Pujols > Everyone.

I don’t make a real habit of following Albert Pujols’s stats.  He’s out there in St. Louis, the Cardinals bother me a little bit, and there’s no need to look really.  He’s always hitting.  Well after seeing another multi-homer game pop up for Albert tonight, I took a peek at the year he’s having.  No big deal really.  Leading the league in just about every offensive category except hitting (pitiful .332BA), and he’s on pace for 62 homers and 160 RBIs.   Those are some pretty gaudy numbers for a guy who only strikes out about 60 times a year.  The two-time MVP is probably headed towards a third, and at 14,000,000 might be one of the better bargains in the league.  What do you think the Yankees would pay this guy?

Was doing some more thinking on game shows and easiest jobs in America.  I read today that Simon Cowell is in negotiations to continue to judge American Idol.  His new price tag is rumored to be in the 140 million range.  That’s per season.  Now, I don’t like to downplay wittiness, but this is a little ridiculous no?  What does he do?  20-some episodes a season?  If Paula or Randy are making a tenth of this?  I might throw myself off my balcony.  Related to this I think I realized why game show hosts make so much money.  They have to be actually happy for the people who win.  If you were making 75 grand a year, and some idiot got lucky and won a million dollars, you’d probably punch them in the face.  You couldn’t be genuine, so they pay these hosts 20 million so no matter what happens they can give that fake, condescending smile when someone wins big. 

Phillies lost in extra innings tonight.  Just another step on the staircase to third place.  The real problems?  First, the Braves were one of my picks, so my people betting against me took a loss.  The bullpen blew a good chance to assure another losing night.  Now, we have to wait for the late games.  Secondly, J-Roll emerged from his hiatus with a ho-hum 0-5.  J-R0ll’s average is trending towards 0.  He said all the right things during his break, but I’m not sure he’s the kind of guy that responds to a benching.  It’s just one game, and we’ll see, but for now…the slump continues.  He’s officially overshadowed Big Papi, and now we’re like in Andruw Jones 2008 territory. 

Lastly, saw ad for Fiji water that said, “Yes, it’s actually from Fiji.”  No s**t.  That’s good to know.  I still prefer my water to come from Eastern Europe, and that’s why I drink Poland Spring.

1 Year to Tiger.

Tiger Will bring the Tour to Aronomink in 2010 & 2011.

Tiger Will bring the Tour to Aronomink in 2010 & 2011.

Professional golf has had a strange history in the Philadelphia area.  For an area loaded with great courses and plenty of golf fans, it is odd that an event hasn’t taken roots here.  The last effort to bring a tournament to the area was the ill-fated SEI Classic that was hosted at Waynesbourough.  For all the great courses around, not many of the layouts would be suited to holding a top-flight PGA Tour event.  Waynesborough is a nice venue, but Aronomink provides the most Tour conducive layout in the area.  You need a ton of room, and a course that can stand up to the modern game. Aronomink has both.

Aronomink, the classic Donald Ross design, has been listed among America’s top 100 courses, has hosted major events, and certainly has the length and difficulty to host the game’s best.  It also takes some criticism from local players who prefer the unique stylings of courses like Merion, Philadelphia Country Club, or the old course at Philly Cricket.  Long and boring are terms often used to describe Aronomink, but I think a little jealousy always accompanies these criticisms.  Aside from Merion, Aronomink is the local course that has carved itself a national reputation.

It should be a great, and immensly successful two years for the tournament.  The AT&T National is hosted by Tiger Woods, so he will be in the field, and he will attract the rest of the big stars to come play.  The event is taking a break from Congressional, while that course gets ready to host the U.S. Open.  All signs point to the tournament heading back to D.C. after 2011, but if Aronomink shows well, the players support it, and the fans do as well, perhaps it will be the impetus to get Philly a permanent tour stop.

**GREAT THEORY PICKS**

Braves (-123),  Angels (even),  Padres (-102),  Tigers (-112) and Jays (+113).

Remember these are the teams you are supposed to pick against.  Current losing percentage:  63%

Unsolved Mysteries.

We May Figure out Stonehenge before Phils figure out Rotation.

We May Figure out Stonehenge before Phils figure out Rotation.

I feel like I wrote something similar to this about a month ago when Brett Myers went down. Well, here we go again. The Phillies start a series in Atlanta tonight, and they don’t have a pitcher lined up for Thursday yet. They’ll have to dip back into the Minor Leagues again, this time hoping for more prolonged success than when they plucked Antonio Bastardo. The candidates this time around appear to be Drew Carpenter and Carlos Carrasco. Both were options when Bastardo was called up, but were not chosen. Since then Bastardo has gone on the DL and Carpenter and Carrasco have been pitching well in Lehigh Valley.

By opting for Bastardo the Phillies took a chance on a guy that had good stuff, and theoretically would give unfamiliar teams some problems. This is what happened, but only for two starts. The temptation this time is to go with Carrasco, who has the higher ceiling, and more dynamic stuff, but perhaps it is time to be a little more realistic. Carpenter has more experience, and is the pitcher more likely to give some consistency. Carrasco has just started having some success at AAA, and maybe should not be rushed.

The truth is the Phillies need someone other than these two guys. Someone not in their farm system to fill the hole in the rotation. We’re assuming that Ruben Amaro has some moves planned, so while he contemplates fixes and the trade deadline approaches…what we really need is someone to stop a gap. I think Carpenter is more that guy. We’ll see who they promote.

The other mystery will be how Jimmy Rollins is going to emerge from his extended break. The days off were designed to ease his mind, but there will be some pressure to start well out of the gate tonight. The fact is, a slump is a slump, and there is no magic way to get out of one. You just have to get hits, and that all on Jimmy. With no other options at short, we’ll be pulling for him. My advice? Take a few pitches.

You Can’t Coach Height.

I mean, Maybe this Guy Blocks some Shots, but are his Feet Going to Hold Up?

I mean, Maybe this Guy Blocks some Shots, but are his Feet Going to Hold Up?

Bad News out of Houston.  Apparently Yao Ming’s foot isn’t really healing, and now it’s a great mystery as to when he’ll be back in the Rockets line-up.  At espn.com Ric Bucher threw out that Yao’s career may be over, but I think that was hyperbole to get you to read the whole story.  Which, I didn’t.  Not really.  Anyway, I don’t care about the Rockets but it just raises an interesting question about these very tall players.  If you’re a GM are you taking a guy over 6-11 or so?  Yao’s always hurt, look at Greg Oden.  The most dominant interior players in today’s game are more like supersized power forwards than anything else.  All I know is, if I see a tall, skinny guy with any kind of foot problem.  I don’t care if the kid has a bunion.  I’m out. 

British people are easily amused.  They made a big production about closing a roof over the tennis court at Wimbledon today.  Did I know they had a roof?  No.  Was I surprised that people cheered wildly when it closed?  Not really.  The Brits are starving for something good to happen at Wimbledon.  They never win there.  Imagine going decades without an American winning the U.S. Open.  They love their Wimbledon, though, and thankfully Scotsman Andy Murray avoided ruining the closing of the roof celebration by winning in 5 sets.  I’m a little torn on the whole Wimbledon thing.  Pary of me is annoyed that they call it, The Championships Wimbledon.  This kind of reminds me of “The” Ohio State University.  But, on the other hand, I like that they are a private club and do whatever they want.  Much like Augusta National.  Oh, you don’t like it?  Great, go choke on one.

I was talking about Dave Chappelle today.  Has anyone seen this guy?  Where is he?  I miss him.  I was talking about his legendary “juice” bit, and had to go watch the clip.  I’ll take some apple drink.  It’s green.  I hope he makes a triumphant return at some point.  Either that, or I hope I meet him, and we become friends, and then I don’t have to wait for an HBO special, he’ll just be hilarious all the time.  And, then maybe he’d guest write on the blog.  It’d be amazing.  What the f**k is juice?

Ladies and Gentlemen: Ozzie Guillen.

The Quote Machine.

The Quote Machine.

A week or so ago I heard the story that Ozzie Guillen bought one of the “Ozzie Mows Wrigley” T-shirts that they sell outside of Wrigley Field.  A variation on the old, “If Ozzie Guillen is here, who is mowing my grass joke.”  I love that Guillen turned the tables by buying one of these, and every time I hear a story about Guillen, I like him a little more.  The guy says whatever he wants, and somehow gets away with it.  He holds people accountable, he has high standards, and of course he has a completely filthy and inappropriate mouth.  Can’t get enough of the guy.

Today I heard he made some more classic comments.  When answering a question about why the Cubs draw fans for interleague games, and the Sox don’t, Guillen said something like, “Cubs fans are stupid.  Our fans know we’re s**t.  Cubs fans will watch anything.  That’s because Wrigley Field is just a big bar.”  The funny thing is, he’s pretty much dead on.  If you want a few laughs, search for Ozzie Guillen rants, insults, tirades, whatever.  There are thousands.  I’ll say it again, how does this guy have his job?  A sampling (edited):

“Hey…look…I don’t give a bleep. Really. I wave my bleep at Mike McDougall.  Bleeping Scotsman. He can bleep my bagpipe. But I ain’t mad. Bleep no. I’m happy. This is ecstacy, you dumb bleeps. I make my money whether we win or lose. I roll around the dugout in my roller chair, and laugh my ass off at the fairies we put on the field. No rap against Jermaine Dye. He just sits there in the 9th looking at fastballs. I think it’s bleeping hilarious. Let’s bring up the AA players. I can’t wait ’til I see those smelly losers. Tell Kenny Williams that he can give me a bunch of special ed students out there. They read signs better than our guys. And they’re retards. Did Garko’s ball take a bad hop? No. God is punishing me. He wants me to bend over and spread cheek. I ain’t gonna. I don’t care how many bad breaks we get. I ain’t taking it up the bleep. I’d bleep a monkey before I get butt bleeped. Do I feel comfortable bringing in Mike McDougall tomorrow. Hell yeah. Bring his bleep in and shoot him with a bleepin’ Uzi. I’ll pull the trigger. I’m gonna go back to the hotel and bleep off. At least I know it’ll end better than this bleep. We need a bleeping laugh track like one of those sitcoms. We’re funny. Pierzynski is a hoot. He pisses in the hot tub. Great clubhouse guy. I wanna chew razor blades. I’m outta here.”

You’ve Got to be Kidding Me.

I Believe the Term is "Thnees"

I Believe the Term is "Thnees"

I saw an ad on a website this morning for a new show called “Dance Your Ass Off.”  Basically they’ve rounded up some fat people, they’re going to tuck them into strange outfits for your enjoyment, and they’re having some kind of weight loss contest I suppose.  Alternate Titles, “So You Think you can Eat,”  and “Dancing Among the Stars”.  I’m tired of these reality shows where they just take two other reality shows and mash them together.  I’m also a little tired of this fat-sploitation we’ve got going on.  Television isn’t a livestock auction.  I don’t know why people are so interested in watching all this beef.  I’ve got some ideas for combined reality shows:

1.  Ice Road Idol.  Concept:  You take your least favorite characters from these singing contest shows.  It could be Seacrest, the judges, the Trekkies that come in and sing Britney in the auditions…the talent pool is bottomless here.  So, round these people up, send them to Alaska, and get them behind the wheel of a tractor trailer.  What next?  Give ‘em a pat on the ass, and send them down the ice road.  I think we all know what happens next. 

2.  Throwdown with Colonel Sanders.  Concept:  I’m going to do a little fat-sploitation myself here.  I’m thinking you take a collection of fast food experts.  I’m not talking about the guy who invented the fake chicken they use in McNuggets, I’m talking about the eaters.  Round up a group of bigguns, and then bring in Bobby Flay.  Bobby has to recreate fast food classics like the Big Mac, KFC, Frostys, etc.  Then the eaters do a blind taste test to see if they can decipher the difference.  Host:  Jared. 

3.  Child Support or No Deal.  Concept:  You take the Jon guy from Jon and Kate plus 8, and set him up with a Deal or No Deal type scenario.  Since he’s getting divorced, and has the 8-spot for kids I’m thinking he might have to cough up a little change.  To make it exciting, he plays Deal or No Deal trying to get the lowest possible amount.  Kate plays the banker, the kids open the briefcases, but you already knew that right?

4.  Sober Wipeout.  Round up the celebrities that live in the Sober House, trying to sort out their lives, kick their habits, rekindle their fame, all that.  Take these celebs, and put them on Wipeout.  Wipeout is one of these Japanese style game shows that send people through a crazy obstacle course.  So the addicts have to get through the obstacle course, and whoever has the fastest time gets a big pile of blow, or a gumball machine full of Oxycontin.  You know, whatever they want…

Lullaby.

You can Go Back To Sleep on US Soccer.

You can Go Back To Sleep on US Soccer.

The American Soccer team had a chance to catapult themselves into the spotlight Sunday afternoon in the final of the Confederations Cup Final against Brazil.  We’ve been hearing that soccer is eventually going to take hold in the states for decades, but the US National Team has never come up with the signature performance to put them over the top.  Today they led Brazil 2-0 at the half, but failed to finish, getting blitzed in the second half and losing 3-2.  The problem is, even a win would have been just a fad.  Everyone would have liked soccer for the day, the week, a month at most.  It might have spiked interest for next year’s World Cup, but in the end the buzz will fade.  Probably coinciding with the start of the NFL season.  Although, the fact that I’m even mentioning soccer I guess is a tribute to the team’s accomplishment, and the love that visitors here have for commenting on soccer. 

The benching of Jimmy Rollins that has stretched over the weekend is an interesting story.  Rollins is supposed to play Tuesday in Atlanta, but his extended layoff is the longest I ever remember a starter taking when they were not hurt.  It’s a where do we go from here situation.  Apparently Charlie aired the guys out after the loss Friday, and this is the same type of thing.  If you lay into the guys, and they keep losing, then what?  Luckily they’ve bounced back with a few wins, but if Rollins doesn’t bounce back after this break, what’s the next step?  Unfortunately the Phillies don’t have another option at shortstop.  Bruntlett has been just as anemic offensively as J-Roll, but if the 0-fers keep piling up, are we looking at a quick trip to AAA?  I don’t know…

In a slightly related story, how bad are the Mets?  It’s hilarious. 

Not a heck of a lot was going on this weekend.  I’ll be looking forward to sparklers and smores next weekend, but I’ll close with this thought.  The idea of a gimmick, combined with people’s inherent tendency to be wowed and fooled.  Had dinner at an Olive Garden.  By all accounts the food at Olive Garden is not that good.  They seem to get by on the idea that they’ll just give you a lot of food.  Unlimited salads, breadsticks, all this nonsense.  Things taste better when they’re free.  That’s what the Olive Garden knows.  People love this salad and bread, even though it’s wildly average, because they think  they’re getting a great deal.  I ate 12 salads at the Olive Garden last night, and only paid for my entree.  All that means is that you probably have lettuce poisoning, and overlooked your below par main course. 

I guess I’m also just wondering why there isn’t a really good Italian chain restaurant.  And, when I say really good, I mean on par with other chain places…not like 5 star or anything.  Olive Garden and Carrabas are both subpar in my opinion, what else is out there?  I’m sure there are a ton of regional places…but I guess when it comes down to it, you can mess up pasta, and these places are doing it.  If someone wants to open an Italian place let me know…I make a pretty good garlic bread.