It’s a clear, cool night in Anaheim. The season is not yet a week old, and trends from the prior year linger like cirrocumulus clouds dotting the sky just west of the ballpark. The Seattle Mariners have lost four of their first five games. They’ll lose this one too, despite beginning the game with a pair of runs off of Angels’ pitcher Ricky Nolasco. It’s April 8th, 2017. The Mariners’ starter is Felix Hernandez, King Felix to the Seattle faithful. He’s in the twilight of a career that included a Cy Young award, a perfect game, and not a single start in the postseason. Hernandez gets Angel hitters Yunel Escobar and Kole Calhoun to ground out to start the bottom half of the first inning. Into the box steps the best player on Earth. His name is Michael Nelson Trout, Mike for short, and he’s the reason many people are watching this game.Continue reading “Baseball, Art out of Time: The King’s Gambit”
Let’s call this part the final part, The Closer: The National League.
Part One, The Starter, I delved into a bit of history regarding our ballyhooed National Anthem as well as provided somewhat cogent thoughts on what songs could replace the National Anthem for each American League city. Part Two, The Closer, we will hit the National League cities, but first a few questions:
Why the fuck are we playing the National Anthem at all? What patriotism comprises the beginning of a ballgame? Should we play a game before we battle another country? Is that what we should be doing now? Send our troops over to a foreign country and force them to play an American game before war games commence?
Let’s call Part One – First Starter: The American League
Is there a more perfect time to make a change in how you start a ballgame than now? It’s a question posited by fellow Fancy Boy Jake Breunig and frankly a damn good one.
Now Jake wrote a fabulous article about abolishing the National Anthem this past August. I will defer to him his over-arching replacement choice(s) and instead give each city their just due. However, let’s first take a look at our National Anthem. What we sing is not the entire song. Why? Well it’s what one could call a little shitty toward ‘freemen’ AKA ‘slaves who were freed yet still being treated like shit on both sides.’ As with every war involving America, only the poor and minorities are asked/told to pick up a rifle. During the War of 1812 (when Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that became a song… and later the anthem), freemen were not only ‘enlisted’ to fight for the American side, but the British took a lot of them and “allowed them to fight against their oppressors” which is code for “hello good dark chap, take this rifle and hustle up to the front lines and sacrifice yourself for our cause.”
I am 33 years old. I first remember watching the Olympics when I was 5, though I had no idea what was happening. There was a magic to the Games, though. A sense that, even for a few weeks, the world can appreciate the best of what we are. I don’t know if it’s growing older or the feeling that the world keeps getting darker, but 2020 needed the Olympics. This morning, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed in principle to postpone the Games until the summer of ’21 in effort to forego the danger of exacerbating the COVID pandemic. It is the right decision, but I’ll tell you, True Believers, it hurts.Continue reading “As Sure As There Is Winter: The 2021 Olympic Summer Games”
Here’s what we have on a superficial front:
Eastern Conference teams in the playoffs if the season were to end today (in order seeds 1-8): Boston Bruins, Tamp Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets.
Western Conference teams in the playoffs if the season were to end today (in order seeds 1-8): St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators.
It is superficial, all of it. As you know by now, the season has ended… or at least halted… due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. There are no sports – none. NBA? Done. Premier League? Over. XFL? No. MLB spring training? Terminated.
And while we are lamenting the loss, the potential loss of small businesses is alarming.
Well football fans, or XFL fans as this game certainly has the feel of football but is throwing my sports clock off by having football this time of year, it looks as if the Houston Roughnecks are for real. Two wins, zero losses have them tied atop the league with evil DC Defenders.
Now the Oilers – again look at the logo, that’s no Roughneck to me that’s an oil derrick and that means Oilers – have to go on the road for the next two games. Their road record so far, standing at 0 wins and 0 losses, simply means their inexperience on the road may hurt them.
The game this Saturday is against the venomous Tampa Bay Vipers, and this is what they will face as challenges:
Continue reading “Roughneck Report, Take 2”
January’s come in with a select amount of subtlety, but in the MLB it’s been quite the wild whirling dervish of deals and free agent signings. Before I get to what individual team got and still needs, let’s take a trip around the horn and see where the big names landed like a big lake trout on a dish. Trout sounds so good right now.
Garret Cole. OK. Fine. I was wrong. Are you happy I admitted it? I thought for certain he was going to be an Angel, but neigh he decided to become a devil, AKA a Yankee. Curse you Cole!
Stephen Strasburg. I was correct, stuck with the Nationals. Bite me.
Anthony Rendon. The biggest stick in the free agent class went to the Angels. Now he’s paired with Mike Trout (which still sounds good BTW). Good golly that’ll be fun to watch!
Madison Bumgarner – I’m as giddy he didn’t go to the Twins as I am mad he went to the Diamondbacks. C’mon MadBum! Why those desert bums? Why?!
Hyu-Jin Ryu – Left baseball to start a Korean BBQ franchise called Ryu’s Ribs. OK. Fine. He signed with the Blue Jays. Canadians love Koreans, primarily due to the alliteration.
Didi Gregorius – And I was right. He went to the Phillies to re-join Joe Girardi… and to get a cheese steak.
Corey Kluber – once the ace of the Indians staff, he was traded to the Rangers for a sack of beads.
Eric Thames – not quite a huge deal as he signed a 1-year contract with the Nationals, but what’s significant is he is yet another player who doesn’t want to play for the Brew Crew… or he got tired of all that Usinger’s Sausage.
Tommy Pham – good news is the Tampa Rays traded him from a fan base whose median age is 80 to San Diego whose fan base is a youthful 77. Bad news? You have to be a Brown Shirt now, dude.
Rick Porcello – signed with the Mets. All of Boston breathed a huge sigh of relief, and ordered a pie.
Dallas Kuechel – former CY Young award winner who sat out most of last year signed with the White Sox. Fingers crossed he enjoys Sox Park, and deep dish pizza.
And who has yet to find a team?
As kids, we were all taught about the importance of good sportsmanship. Some kids listened and took those lessons to heart, others just didn’t give a fuck.
Today, we remember those athletes.
The biggest hitters. The best on-field fighters. The players who pushed the boundaries so far it forced their league to change the rules. The players who just ignored the boundaries entirely. The dudes you simply wouldn’t want to fuck with.
In making our list, we only had one rule: we weren’t going to include any athletes where fighting is a primary function of the sport. No boxers, MMA fighters, or wrestlers.
Here’s the official Fancy Boys Club draft of the meanest, dirtiest, toughest son of bitches to every play sports.Continue reading “Baddest Athletes of All Time Draft: Rounds 1 & 2”
What? It’s December? But that means… yes, MLB’s Winter meetings have snuck up on us like a polar vortex wind, getting us baseball fans all nipply with excitement.
A few things have happened since the November Report. A quick summation:
A full third of the way through the 2019-2020 season. I waited as patiently as a Zamboni smoothing ice for the Colorado Avalanche to get to game 27 of the season. Yes, technically game 27 is 32.9 percent of the season, but game 28 leaves you at 34.1 percent so as that mediocre politician and awful (I assume) hockey player Mick Mulvaney stated, ‘deal with it.’
Plus, a lot of the other teams have reached game 28. The Red Wings have reached game 30, a blessing for them to get this season as far in their past as possible as fast as they can. Good St. Joseph the Crosschecker they are awful.
I’ll try to build upon the 20 percent report and see where how our playoff teams would be set up if we were to end the season right now. Continue reading “NHL: The Tirty-Tree & a Tird report”