Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bold MLB predictions for the second half

With baseball's second half officially under way, it's time to start speculation on what we'll be looking back on at year's end.  Who will make an unlikely run to the playoffs?  Who will fall apart?  Whose greasy hair product will cost their team dearly?
Well here at Errant Balls, we say "why wait?"  Sure you can sit back and actually watch the 2009 season play out.  OR, you could put your trust in an unresearched and shoddily put together blog that may or may not be written from a Blackberry while watching the recently released Blockbuster DVD of Watchmen.  Let's just put it this way, one will take a whole lot less time, and isn't that the American way?  
So read on, and believe every word of it, just so we don't have to say "I told you so" in November...

- Following a 5 game losing streak that kills their chances in the Central division, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will say something so crude in his post game conference, that an appalled Andrew Dice Clay watching at home will faint where he stands.

- The Phillies signing of veteran Pedro Martinez will eventually ruin their chances to repeat as World Series champs, when slugger Ryan Howard is lost for the season after slipping on the excess drippings of Pedro's Soul-Glo in the locker room and severely tearing his ACL.

- Manny Ramirez will again be suspended for violating the terms of the league's substance abuse policies when he tests positive for the birth control pill, Purina Beggin' Strips, and three times the legal limit of Elmer's non-toxic all-purpose paste

- In an unprecedented effort to "boost their farm system," the Pirates will trade infielders Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson, along with the rights to their home stadium PNC Park before the July 31st trade deadline.  The once proud franchise will subsequently be relocated to a suburban Pittsburgh-area high school field for the remainder of the season.

- Orioles manager Dave Trembley will make a sad attempt at alleviating yet another losing season in Baltimore, promising fans at the season's final home game that at the very least he can find them exceptionally low prices on off-season hotels and airfare.

- Previously thought to be on the DL for only a few weeks at most, Mets manager Jerry Manuel will deliver the sad news on August 1st that the team's collective dignity is officially lost for the year and will require off-season surgery.

- After 23 different All-Stars hit the 15-day DL in September, the stock of energy product manufacturer Phiten USA will plummet after it is realized that exposure of 5 months or more to their popular necklaces can cause severe and uncontrollable bouts of diarrhea.  

- The Yankees will play out the remainder of the regular season failing to beat the Red Sox, but will somehow win the division and avoid them in the playoffs en route to winning their 27th World Series.  Hal Steinbrenner will declare the 2009 season an unabashed failure and immediately fire manager Joe Girardi.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2009 MLB All-Star Game running diary

It's our yearly tradition (going strong now for the second year in a row) of bringing you a running diary of baseball's mid-summer classic. The All-Star game is a rare opportunity to see stars from all across the league gathered in one place, making them far easier targets. And thanks to the fact that the league is still under contract with Fox, we're assured plenty of material from sources other than the players as well. To sum up, it basically writes itself, but we'll take the credit.
So here it is... the 2009 MLB All-Star game running diary!

8:03- Has anyone ever noticed that Fox's Chris Rose looks like he could easily be the love child of Tom Arnold and Ryan Seacrest?

8:04- Obama's time in the locker room is highlighted by him messing around with Ryan Howard for not winning the HR derby, and Howard subsequently giving him the "if you weren't the leader of the free world I would slap you silly" look.

8:06- This Bank of America commercial has me wondering how they came to the decision to use Kiefer Sutherland as the voice of their ads. After all, nothing says sound financial institution like a celebrity with a penchant for binge drinking and head butting.

8:10- The team intros have begun, and Joe Torre's nose now officially makes up 95.8% of his face.

8:12- Legitimately thought Metallica lead singer James Hetfield had made the NL squad before they said who St. Louis closer Ryan Franklin was.

8:16- Chase Utley made it through this year's intros without dropping an F-bomb on camera, but I like to think that in his heart he really wanted to.

8:17- The game's best hitter receives a rousing hometown reception. Never thought I'd see the day when I'd hear 46,000 people chanting "Poooo-holes."

8:22- Really enjoyed the poignant "All-Stars among us" segment with the former presidents recognizing some exceptional American citizens. Though I totally expected George W. Bush to give them all credit for raising awarity in their communities.

8:23- Former president Jimmy Carter is my new nightmare... he looks exactly like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.

8:29- The network that brought you groundbreaking series such as "The Simpsons" and "Married with Children" is taking yet another giant leap forward in television innovation... Airing this fall, "Brothers" starring Michael Strahan... there are no words.

8:37- The hall of fame Cardinals make their way out to the field in bright red blazers and ties. Anyone watching in a bar with the sound off genuinely thinks they are a barbershop quartet about to perform the National Anthem.

8:39- President Obama's ceremonial first pitch is a high looping curve, but not bad. I give him 5th for the best presidential throw ever, and 1st for the highest pants ever worn out to the mound... ever.

8:42- Thanks to Tim McCarver's complete inability to sell subtle metaphors, any casual fans watching the game now think 25 year old NL starter Tim Lincecum actually has a bionic arm.

8:44- Just counted, Taco Bell's new bacon burrito commercial actually says the word bacon 8 times. Enjoy the new taco bacon burrito bacon with bacon, cheese topped with bacon and bacon potatoes bacon. For a limited time only at Taco Bacon.... bacon.

8:54- Anyone who just flipped the game on was greeted by McCarver rambling about AL catcher Joe Mauer's constant left hand pounding, with Joe Buck immediately insisting he has the prettiest left hand stroke you'll ever see. Juvenile masturbation jokes follow in living rooms everywhere.

8:57- The AL scores their first run off an Albert Pujols error; St. Louis fans begin coming to terms with the fact that the second round appearance in the HR derby was the best they're getting this weekend.

9:09- Once daily SPIRIVA will apparently help clear the airways of asthma sufferers, with the trivial side effects of constipation and trouble passing urine. So breathe easy America... until you fill up with doodies and wee-wee and die.

9:11- Roy Halladay's non-stickered helmet makes it obvious that no team wants to be associated with his All-Star at bat.

9:20- Obama, now a DC resident, just referred to the Nationals as the only team whose fans have absolutely no hope this season. If I were the president I'd expect a pretty solid toilet paper job on the White House when I get home... you just pissed off the wrong 3 fans buddy!

9:49- Zack Greinke just entered the game as the first legitimate All-Star representative of the Kansas City Royals in 106 years.

9:58- Joe Buck just pointed out how much faster Carl Crawford might be if he actually pulled his pants up. Joe my friend, you are approaching curmudgeonly at an alarming rate.

10:00- Fox needs to fire their caricature artist ASAP. The cartoon of Jeter they just showed during his at bat looked like Rodney Dangerfield in a Yankee uniform.

10:15- Reliever Trevor Hoffman enters the game, he looks old enough to be Stan Musial's coach.

10:21- Fox cares so little about this actual game that they just tagged defensive replacement Jason Bartlett as Ben Zobrist and no one said a thing.

10:24- It is now clear that the previous error was due to their extreme focus on the impending non-verbal plug for their creepy sci-fi show "Fringe."

10:28- It took 7 innings but I am officially ashamed that someone can mow St. Louis' historical old courthouse and gateway arch into the outfield grass and I can't even get my Ipod to stop freezing.

10:36- Carl Crawford's leaping catch of a possible home run just saved reliever Jonathan Papelbon from the devastating prospect of an inning without a self righteous celebration at the end.

10:44- Nice moment showing Derek Jeter hanging out with Mariano Rivera's teenage son, and I assume sharing with him the finer points of trawling for celebrity ass.

10:46- National league manager Charlie Manuel pulls the baseball equivalent of taking out the kid with the club foot in dodgeball, ordering an All-Star game intentional walk of Victor Martinez.

10:50- Manuel's plan backfires when Orioles' star Adam Jones hits a sac fly to give the AL the lead. Adam Joneses everywhere are praying they will soon be associated with this talented young man rather than a certain stripper loving, law hating cornerback.

10:57- Really enjoying Atlanta catcher Brian McCann's full beard and glasses look. He should audition for the role of "Tech guy" in an upcoming heist movie.

11:05- McCarver just dropped the bombshell that slugger Ryan Howard likes the ball over the plate... Tim, you are truly a wealth of knowledge.

11:15- Really enjoyed the Gillette commercial where Tiger Woods tries to pay for body wash with a giant check. That's all... giant novelty items are funny. Just ask Burt Reynolds.

11:22- Mariano Rivera induces a Miguel Tejada pop-out to seal the game for the AL in a paltry 2 hours and 31 minutes. Funny, between the vocal stylings of McCarver and Buck and being inundated by upwards of 3,000 Taco Bell commercials I could've sworn this was another 15 inning affair.

11:29- Carl Crawford is named the MVP for making a catch that stopped the other team from tying the game... in the 7th inning. Needless to say that sums up this riveting experience.

11:31- Without much reflection I've determined I was far more entertained by Magic Johnson's speech at the Michael Jackson funeral special than I was by the All-Star game... until next year readers!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Week in Pictures

The equation is plain and simple: (Slow sports week + lack of time - the desire to think of fresh and original material) x the amount of beers I have consumed thus far this week = The Week in Pictures!

"Okay, now just try not to burst out in laughter on your way down to first... dead kittens, dead kittens, dead kittens."