Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seeya next week for an NFL Preview!

Thanks to a long night at a horrible Yankee loss to the friggin' Sawks, Errant Balls is taking a leave of absence this week to grieve the Bombers playoff hopes. Check back in next week for the annual NFL Preview!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The week in pictures

It's been a busy week in sports at home and abroad. And since most of you are lazy and largely illiterate, I'm bringing the news to you in the only way you can absorb it... pictures!

- "Yes another world record is great, but I am chafing like you would not friggin' believe!!"

- "You can't tell, but I'm not even wearing any pants. That's how I roll now. Why? Because I'm Michael Phelps damn it!"

- "Yeah, Rex Grossman is so bad the Bears assumed I'd be a better option at quarterback. It's time to party bitches!"

- "HAHAHA yeah bro, I was worried the Germans might beat us too! You're crazy man. I love you, but you're crazy."

- "What is the deal with all of this 'read the playbook' nonsense? My brain is feeling a bit fatigued."

- "You can take my gold medal record sir... but you can never take my dignity."

- "You may be blowing us out, but let's see how you stand up to my ultra-physical defense... Booby slap!"

- "Some of us are troubled by injury, some of us are troubled by the general statutes of societal law. Whatever, I'm back on the team!"


- "It is ridiculous to assume this is racist. I'll have you know we were suffering from a case of conjunctivitis that spread through the team like wildfire!"

- "What do you mean the commissioner didn't approve of me 'making it rain' reinstatement letters all over his desk?!"

- "Sure I cost the US the gold in the overall competition, but at least I can take solace in the fact that I am still smokin' frigging hot."

- "How in the hell did they come up with ironic 'Gay' headlines so quickly?!"

- "Okay, okay. So I'm not really old enough to be competing in the Olympics. But the only reason we did it is because the girl who was of age was far too hideously ugly to represent our nation on television."

- "That's right, it's time to take the Shawn Kemp child-siring program global baby!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

THE FAV-RUH REPORT: Gun-slinger, world shaker, heartbreaker

It looks as though it is finally over. The off-season battle between everyone’s favorite quarterback and his former employers has finally come to an end. We think. Landing in New York via a trade for conditional draft picks, his arrival will allow Jets fans to repeatedly utter the question Matt Dillon so brilliantly immortalized; What the f*ck is Brett Favre doing here?!

Now don’t fool yourself into thinking this indicates a winding down of Favre coverage (after all, the Chinese calendar did prophetically deem 2008 the year of the charmingly rugged man-boy), because you will still be inundated with every last Favre factoid by every last media outlet in the greater Milky Way, but at least we know where he’ll be now. New York City… er, well… East Rutherford, New Jersey. And you’d better believe Favre’s move east has had quite the ripple effect on the football world.

Luckily, Errant Balls was able to book time with some of those most profoundly affected by his move, and we’re bringing the inside scoop straight to you. So enjoy the insights, intrigue and estimations of the year’s most thrilling saga…


Aaron RodgersQB, Green Bay Packers

Errant Balls: Aaron, this has been quite the tough situation for you. All of the back and forth. Will he? Won’t he? Constant media barrages on how it is affecting you. Sympathy hugs from celebrity hosts. And yet, you seem to be dealing with it quite well. How do you do it?

Aaron: Wel… w… (clears throat). I reall… (coughs). I… (reaches out for glass of water, hand shaking violently spilling it all the while, takes tiny sip) I really just try to control what I can be in control of. I’m a football player, so that’s what I do, I player football. I’m not a controller, so I can’t just control everything. I just try not to obsess too much over things that are out of my control (Clump of hair falls out, casually slouches down to retrieve it and rests it back atop his head). It really hasn’t been as big of a deal as everyone has made it out to be (throws up in corner).

Chad PenningtonQB, Miami Dolphins

Errant Balls: Chad, you saw your time in New York come to an end thanks to Brett Favre. How does that make you feel?

Chad: I don’t know man. I mean, Brett’s one of the greatest of all time. I just don’t know if (making air quotes gesture with hands) “better than below average arm strength” is really as essential as the Jets are making it out to be.

Errant Balls: How do you mean?

Chad: Well I mean just who is it that decided you need to be able to “curl 20 pounds” in order to be a “real pro quarterback”? Sure, I can’t “grow a beard” yet. And yes, when I throw a baseball at the carnival radar game it “doesn’t register.” And maybe my shoulder might “turn to dust” on any given pitch to the running back. But what does that all mean, really? Does that really make Brett any better than me? I mean… “really?”

Eli ManningQB, New York Giants

Errant Balls: Eli, you and the Giants are coming into this season as the defending Super Bowl champs. And yet, in the preseason you have taken second banana in the media thanks to Brett Favre’s arrival in New York. What do you think of sharing the spotlight with another big time quarterback?

Eli: Well let me just say this, I do not mind taking the second banana to Mr. Faver. He is a future hall of famer, so as I go that means he gets dibs on the first banana if he wants it. I can wait my turn. Plus he is like so cool, have you seen those Wrangler commercials? He’s like a real life cowboy. I heard he even slings guns. I wanted to get a BB gun, but Dad said that was no way to spend my Wedding money. Maybe next year… Anyway, I can’t wait to spend time with Mr. Faver in New York. I’m hoping he can give me some sweet beard tips. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve let my scruff grow in a little myself. I’m even thinking of wearing a cowboy hat instead of a helmet this year. But that’s only if Mr. Faver thinks I can pull it off.

John MaddenFormer coach, current commentator/Lover of all things Favre

Errant Balls: Mr. Madden, not only are you a staple of the game of professional football, you are a true fan. Your love for the game and its history is so evident in everything you do. Some might say that over the years, you have expressed more admiration and adoration for one player over any other; that being the incomparable Brett Favre. What will it be like to have Favre suit up in a different uniform this year?

Madden: You know, I’ve been asked that quite a bit so far. But it’s like, (makes trademark, inaudible random Madden noises) brau-huhh, it’s just another year right?! I mean, I like Brett and all, but uh… hauh-hahhh, I’ve got other stuff goin’ on too you know?! BOOM!

Errant Balls: So you haven’t thought too much about seeing Favre in a non-Packer jersey this year?

Madden: Come on! I’ve got too much going on to focus on every little thing the greatest quarterback to ever lace them up does (sniffles). I mean… hauugh, I’ve got endorsements comin’ out the wazoo! How are your feet? Itchy? I can get you free Tinactin… BOOM! Plus I’ve got my video game comin’ out.

Errant Balls: Ah yes, that’s true. And who is on the cover of your game this year again?

Madden: (Begins wailing uncontrollably) BRRRRETTTTTTTT!!! (Rips his shirt off, revealing a green and yellow “Brett Forever” tattoo across his heaving, liver-spotted, old-man breasts) YOU’RE A PAAAAACKERRRRR BRETTTTT! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS???!!!! (Begins rubbing a wedge of Wisconsin sharp cheddar all over his bare body, all the while sobbing hysterically) THE JETTTTS?!! I DON’T WANT TO LIIII-HI-HI-HIVVVVE!!! (Snot drips from nose as he crumples in a heap on the floor) BOO-HOOO-HOO-OOOM!!!

Errant Balls: (Slinks slowly out of the room).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Making the trade

The 2008 trade deadline has come and gone, but it proved to be one of the most active and interesting in recent memory. Here are the break downs for all of the major mid-season moves.

New York Yankees
The Yanks were extremely active at the trade deadline picking up Pudge Rodriguez from Detroit along with Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady from Pittsburgh. While an in-season trade for a starting catcher is a bit of a rarity, landing Rodriguez was a necessity for the Yanks. With Jorge Posada down for the year the alternative option was platooning Jose Molina and Chad Moeller at catcher for the remainder of the season. Both have proven to be effective behind the plate, but largely useless when they stand next to it with that stick in their hands.

The addition of Marte and Nady also filled some noticeable holes in the Yankees lineup, giving them a lefty reliever which they had lacked and a left field bat to alleviate the injuries to Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. Marte has given up some big hits since coming to the Bronx though, apparently confusing the translation of Bombers, but his fellow former Pirate has been huge. Xavier Nady has racked up 11 RBI and 4 home runs since putting on the pinstripes, and has proven himself quite the preferable alternative to sending Brett Gardner up to the plate with a wet newspaper. Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, who has given us such stimulating sayings as “Jeterian swing” and the always politically correct “A-Bomb from A-Rod!”, has apparently holed himself up creating clever quips for the new left fielder, only emerging unshaven and unwashed to announce Xavier’s heroics with unbridled dickitry . X marks the jackass!

Boston Red Sox
The Sox made the noisiest move of the trade deadline, finally electing to cut the cord from longtime headache Manny Ramirez (cutting the cord is not a metaphor by the way; they literally had to have him on a leash on road trips). In a 3 way deal with the Dodgers and Pirates the Red Sox were able to dump Manny and obtain All Star outfielder Jason Bay.

While it is widely accepted that Jason Bay is no Manny Ramirez, he is a solid producer and could potentially be a much better fit for the Sox chemistry-wise. The organization’s relationship with Ramirez had evidently become so strained they were willing to give up two promising young players and even pay the remainder of his 2008 salary just to get him out of town. Rumor has it they were even offering to throw Kevin Youkilis’ goatee and Dustin Pedroia’s unyielding grittiness into the deal if necessary.

LA Dodgers
LA cashed in on Boston’s dismay with Manny Ramirez, throwing their hat in the ring at the last minute to pick up the slugger. Early in the year the Dodgers weren’t thinking they’d need to make a mid-season addition of a big bat because they had signed Andruw Jones, but that hasn’t exactly panned out as they’d hoped. Dodgers front office officials now say they will not be signing anyone in the future without first thoroughly checking into whether they had become fat and useless the season before.

Manny however, has been on a tear since joining the boys in blue, seemingly relieved from the pressure of doing everything in his power to get the hell out of Boston. Now, out on the west coast, it should be interesting to see how he assimilates himself to Los Angeles. I’m guessing by the end of the year he has a reality show in which he wears a Viking hat and cape and hands out do-rags to possible mates at elimination ceremonies. So keep your eyes out for Finding Mrs. ManRam on VH1.

LA Angels of Anaheim of California of the United States of America of North America
Baseball’s best team made a huge move in signing the premier name available, former Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira. The addition gives the Angel’s a 2-time gold glover at the corner and adds a big bat that potentially makes them the favorite to win it all.

Teixeira fits in perfectly in the offensive scheme, finally giving Vlad Guerrero the protection necessary to keep him from swinging at every horse crap pitch within a 2 meter radius of the plate. Plus, between innings Teixeira can bench press Chone Figgins to bolster his strength and conditioning.

Chicago White Sox
When acquiring a consistently injured player hitting .265 is meant to boost your offense it is a sign of a much bigger problem, but that’s exactly what the White Sox had to do. Thanks to the uber-ineptness of Nick Swisher (.230) and Paul Konerko (.212), Chicago decided to pick up veteran outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. from the Cincinnati Reds.

Griffey seemed refreshed by the idea of joining a team that is actually in contention though (he hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1997) and has been a welcome jolt to the offense hitting safely in 3 of his 7 at bats for the Sox. The big knock is obviously his age and the fact that Chicago will need him to play center field on a fairly consistent basis. But look at it this way, even if Griffey pulls both hamstrings and breaks one of his arms, he still may be more effective than Swisher and Konerko.