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March Madness Baby

Posted by Charlie Hustle on March 16, 2009

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The Nasty Boys are lighting up the midnight oil to provide one of the first March Madness primers….assuming Pat Forde’s 10,000 word column was mainly written before the brackets came out…

Winners:

Big East – Hard to believe when ESPN has Big East Monday and covers the Big East conference tournament, that it could possibly result in 3 #1 seeds. ESPN dictates sports fans viewpoints with the vigor of a Soviet propaganda minister.

Memphis – Not a #1 seed? Who cares. After Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, etcetera left in 2005, Memphis seems to go pretty much defeated in the Washington Senator-esque Conference USA every year. They lost 3 games after losing their 3 best players to the NBA draft. Soak it up Calipari… you’ve come a long way baby

Just 15 years ago Cliff Huxtable was ready to whip your ass.

Big Ten – 7 tournament bids from the most horrendous offensive teams in recent history. But hey, they followed a simple formula… make one team so indefensibly bad they improve everyone’s conference record (Indiana) + make typical losers slightly better (NW, PSU, UofMich, Minny) + make your middle of the road teams (OSU, Purdue) as good as your best teams (Mich St, Illinois)

Arizona – Consistently underwhelm every year and do less with more? Check. Lose basically every game for 3 weeks leading up the tourney? Check. Sneak in as the last at-large bid? Check.

Atlantic 10 – If anyone would have told me before the season that the conference championship would include a luke warm Duquesne/Temple showdown and that there would be 3 bids coming for the tourney, well… ya know…

Losers:

Missouri Valley Conference – Your best team (Creighton) doesn’t get in and your best showing is a 12 seed (Northern Iowa)? Ouch.

Akron – Win a surprisingly tough MAC tournament? Good for you. Now go play Gonzaga in Portland.

Kentucky – Misses the tourney for the first time since 1991 even in a weak year for the SEC. Only a 4th seed in the NIT? Yikes. Maybe the extra time will help Billy G. find more than one player who can shoot a jumper.

… and now…

Announcers:

Gus Johnson – Anyone with a pulse will be excited to hear Johnson calling upset-last-second-shot victories.

Bill Raftery – Saying “mantoman” and “onions” in a weird voice does not a good playcaller make.

Ian Eagle/Jim Sparnakel – I wish there was an announcer website like baseball-reference.com that kept track of most consecutive boring, unimportant games called record holder – Ian Eagle. Whether it’s calling late season Chiefs/Bengals matchups or the enticing UNC/Radford showdown, Ian Eagle has it covered. That’s “eye-an” for those keeping score.

Lesley Visser/Tracy Wolfson/Sam Ryan – Hey, woman sideline reporter, NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. Where’s my mute button….

Jay Bilas/Dick Vitale/Seth Davis – Just tattoo a Duke logo on your forehead and get it over with. We get it already….

Fakers:

Kansas – Great home team. Won last year. But no one is forgetting their streak of early round upsets especially since this team lost almost all of its main components from the Championship squad. They’re a year away.

Prediction: North Dakota St. wins. Gus Johnson strokes out.

Wake Forest – Talented team that just simply has not lived up to expectations after their #1 ranking in the middle of the season. Demon Deacs are just not up to it.

Prediction: Cleveland St. or Utah knocks them out.

Michigan State – Great coaching can make up for a lot of issues and Tom Izzo seems to have MSU competing every year for a Big 10 title. But this Spartans team can’t hang with anyone who can score more than 65 points. They just don’t have the shooters.

Prediction: Sent packing before the weekend is over.

Marquette – Dominique James couldn’t shoot for his life but for whatever reason, this team just cannot make up for his loss. They’ve been cold for a month and can’t recover.

Prediction: Utah State’s middle aged team (their best guy is 26 years old, due to school rules of 2 years doing church work) wears down Marquette and sends them home.

Tennessee – Bill Raftery on Wayne Chism’s long shorts-high socks look… “It looks like he’s wearing pajamas out there.” When your best player wears his head band on the crown of his head and your coach has a 365-day tan… you are making a quick exit.

Prediction: OK State by 10-20

Butler – No team has had more highly touted nonathletic white guys come through their doors than possibly save Gonzaga. I watched them lose to Cleveland St. and they don’t have the horses.

Prediction: UNC wins by 30 in 2nd round.

Syracuse – Coach? Check. Point guard? Check. Shooters? Check. But there’s a long list of teams that sell all the way out for the conference tournament and lay an egg in the NCAAs, and we’ll be adding this Syracuse team to the list. They were good enough to hang with the big boys in the Big East but every game seemed to fall apart at the end…

Prediction: Either James Harden (ASU) or Dionte Christmas (Temple) will send ‘Cuse home.

The Players:

Louisville – Seem to make up for their lack of shooters with a stifling press defense and lots of depth on the front line. They are a second-half team, and second-half teams that play great defense seem to win a lot of games (See Celtics, Cavs)

Prediction: Final Four

USC – Sometimes talented teams take a while to mesh, and if the Pac10 tournament is any indication, USC has just started to touch on their potential.

Prediction: Sweet 16+

Washington – Usually the Pac 10 is chock full of wimps who make early round exits but this Huskies team has quietly had its best team in years. They have 4 double-digits scorers (Thomas, Dentmon, Brockman, Pondexter), including their best scorer named Isaiah Thomas. Perhaps he too will become a Hall of Fame player then the worst GM ever.

Prediction: Elite 8 (after beating UConn in OT)

Memphis – A hot team with a fairly easy draw, Memphis will be making a Final Four appearance no matter how bad their conference is.

Prediction: Final Four

Pitt – Many people’s favorite to win, Pitt has played consistently well all year and has depth and talent. However, they simply cannot survive DeJuan Blair getting in foul trouble (see Louisville loss) and Jamie Dixon isn’t what I would call a “big game coach”.

Prediction: Elite 8

Portland State – My knowledge of this sleeper is due to degenerate gambling but they have a great shot at making a run. They can run, shoot lights out, and their best player is like 5’5″. Xavier usually saves its best for Dayton then sucks against other good teams.

Prediction: Sweet 16

VCU – Should come as no surprise, this team is well-coached, has good depth, and a killer prime time scorer in Eric Maynor. C-ya, UCLA.

Prediction: 101-98 loss to Nova.

Villanova – Out of all the big Big East names, this team is quietly hanging under the radar. But they have good scoring depth, two stars in Cunningham and Reynolds, and a coach that could fill in as Don Draper’s double on Mad Men.

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Prediction: Final Four.

Duke – Great run in the ACC tournament but obvious front court weakness will eventually send the Dukies home and leave the Vitale/Bilas/Davis combination crying into their Van Heusen ties. Nova will be smart enough to guard the 3 point line and let the likes of Jason Zoubak beat them.

Prediction: Sweet 16

UNC – The deepest and most talented team in the field. A loss in the ACC tournament is going to make this team hungry and their hopes will ride on their floor general Ty Lawson’s foot. A full week of rest should do him wonders.

Prediction: Final Four

Gonzaga – Probably one of their best tournament teams in years. They are deep, talented, and Josh Heytvelt seems to be off the ‘shrooms. They go down to UNC in a high-scoring affair.

Prediction: Elite 8

Arizona State – A great player can carry a team far in the NCAAs and the Sun Devil’s James Harden is as good as there is. If they can put the clamps on Dionte Christmas, the Sun Devils will be in the sweet 16.

Prediction: Sweet 16

Oklahoma – Interesting team with plenty of talent (Griffin brothers, Willie Warren) but they just seem to have lost some momentum after Blake’s concussion. Playing a streaky Clemson team in the 2nd round, they could be sent home very early. Having the best player in the country doesn’t always mean winning in the tourney (See: Kevin Durant).

Prediction: Sweet 16

Final Four: Memphis vs. Louisville and UNC vs. Villanova

Louisville’s defense is too much for freshman PG Tyreke Evans and they roll 65-58.

UNC keeps Nova in it with less than stellar D but Hansborough tends to get big men like Cunningham in foul trouble and UNC scores 50 in the 2nd half to win 87-83 in a nail-biter.

Championship: UNC vs. Louisville

Offense vs. Defense. Pitino vs. Williams. At the end of the day, there aren’t many teams I would trust to break the Louisville press more than Lawson and Company. Louisville keeps it close with some strong runs in both halves but can’t make enough shots down the stretch to keep up.

UNC wins 85-76

Good luck and as always, when your bracket falls apart, burn it in the fireplace.

— Charlie Hustle

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Posted in NCAA Basketball | 8 Comments »

Haynesworth Signs $100M Deal, Dark Days Loom For Bengals

Posted by Charlie Hustle on February 27, 2009

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Albert Haynesworth signed with the Washington Redskins today for a reported 7 years, $100 million which, with incentives, can be as high as $115 million. This marks the first time a non-quarterback has reached a contract worth over the $100 million mark.

No strange territory for the Redskins. They try to buy a championship every year by trading draft picks away and signing high-priced free agents. As always kids, the lesson is:

Stomp a man in the head without a helmet on in the middle of an NFL game and get rich bitch!

But dark days looming for Bengals you ask? Well the move by the Redskins adding such immense payroll clearly indicates a feeling amongst Dan Snyder & Co. that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (aka salary cap) that expires after 2009 ,will go the way of the dinosaur.

If the CBA were to expire and no salary cap reinstated, billionaires like Snyder and Dallas’ Jerry Jones could turn the NFL into Yankees/RedSox 2.0. This is bad news for penny pinchers like Mike Brown who use their “Franchise Tag” for a kicker.

With the track record of the Bengals’ drafts looking more like inept baseball franchises like the Reds and Royals, not low-budget winners like the Rays and As, the Bengals could be in for another 20 years of losing.

As always, my condolences Carson.

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— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Bengals, NFL | 2 Comments »

Steroids And The Hall Of Fame: A Study In Wimps And Nerds

Posted by Charlie Hustle on February 26, 2009

Steroid scandals are at a fever pitch. Headlines regarding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have been replaced with Alex Rodriguez, as the world turns

However, with new steroid policies in place preventing current players from using Performance Enhancing Drugs, the focus is more on how to punish the players who used to use them.

The punishment? Withhold Hall of Fame inductions to steroid users.

The jury?

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That’s right. Your local nonathletic wimp sports writers.

Turn on any morning edition of Mike & Mike and you’ll hear the venom spewing from “seam-heads” like Mike Greenberg and Buster Olney. These are the self-proclaimed Defenders of the Faith, guarding the walls of the Hall of Fame from cheaters and steroid abusers.

After all, these sports writers are the decision-makers when it comes to the Hall of Fame and nobody is getting in their club unless they say so.

To fully grasp this scenario, one must understand the sports writer in his most basic form concerning 3 important facts.

1. He has always and will continue to be terrible at sports.

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Let’s face facts here folks. Do you honestly believe these fellows ever made a team they tried out for… ever?

These guys have never had an athletic bone in their body. Which would initially be a curse since their sole purpose was always a love of sports. So they had devise a way to be “part of the team.” They had to be included in the action. So they grabbed a pen and pad and headed to the press box – the sanctuary for mustaches, done-laps disease, and former gym coaches. Or any combination above.

2. He insists anyone who plays the game should appreciate “The History of the Game.”

Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian are proud as peaches to announce every night on SportsCenter that the last time there was an unassisted triple play and somebody ate 10 ice cream cones in the dugout was in 1927 during a game between the Oakland Hitler Mustaches and the Philadelphia Bicycles With One Big Wheel and One Small Wheels.

The first compliment they always tell about Mike Tyson in his prime, or Lebron James, is that he studies the history of the game. And who teaches this history? Former jock strap washers like Mitch Albom.

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3. Everything must be fair.

This rule is by far the most prevalent. Sports writers are the kings of fair play. They are the dads that insist that their son is the next Ricky Henderson when he steals 2nd base in a rec league game where the catcher can’t even throw the ball from Home to 2nd in the first place.

In fact, there is no doubt that they could regale you with stories of their epic stab at shortstop against their rival newspaper’s softball team (I’ve been around sports writers my whole life, and trust me, I’ve heard too many of these to count.)

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They love to criticize overprotective parents, but that’s exactly how they act when it comes to their first child, baseball.

Have a player who’s bigger and better than the rest of the kids and won’t let him play? Little League Pitcher Banned From Play Because He’s Too Good

Sure Kornheiser, make fun of these lames but have this kid pitch in the Little League World Series:  Ex-Little Leaguer – Danny Almonte – Plays In Altus

UNFAIR!

All-star teams that kids can’t all play in?

Laugh it up… oh those overreacting parents: Little League Cancels All-Star Game To Spare Children’s Feelings

Barry Bonds hit in the home run contest? NO CHANCE!

Obviously, these over-reacting parents and the sportswriters are from the same FAIRness gene pool.

Solutions you ask?

The solution seems to me to have people who actually PLAYED the game deciding who gets into the Hall of Fame.

Dan Shaugnessy and Bob Ryan deciding who should get in the HoF because they watch more games is like having your local couch potato stoner draw the next episode of Family Guy because he just capped off 8 seasons on DVD without blinking while on a bad acid trip.

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Sure he may remember each episode, but he doesn’t know anymore on how to draw Peter and Stewie than Mike Greenberg does about swinging a bat.

If we take away their right to choose who gets in the HoF, perhaps baseball writers will be a little more reticent to reel off self-righteous speeches about how “they don’t want to take their son to the Hall of Fame and explain what steroids are.”

If that’s the case then it shouldn’t be much easier to explain why Babe Ruth only played against white players, or why Mickey Mantle played centerfield drunk on scotch with a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in his sleeve.

For my two cents, I’d rather explain to my son why his hero became strong and powerful instead of why he died of liver disease.

And as for Mike Greenberg and Tony Kornheiser taking their kids to the HoF, who doesn’t know the history of the game, who just struck out four times in little league, I can only imagine that trip to Cooperstown with those self-righteous wimps and nerds sounds a little like this…

Little Jimmy Greenberg: Dad my favorite player is Alex Rodriguez!

Mike Greenberg: OOOOOOOOHHH GOOOOOOOOOODD!?!?!?!?!?

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in MLB | 3 Comments »

Cat Fancy

Posted by Charlie Hustle on September 23, 2008

 

After another typical Bengals loss (the kind where we have a chance to win but never do), a chipper Marvin Lewis entered the Bengals Press Room as calm as a serial killer explaining the voices in his head forced him to kill 50 hookers.

Lewis’ mysterious demeanor after the Bengals 0-3 is part-in-parcel to the fans’ frustrations with one of the worst franchises in the NFL. His vague answers reflect his “losing is ok” mentality and dictate to anyone listening that their loss was inevitable.

CAUTION: Marvin Lewis’ answers may cause confusion and high blood pressure

Q: Is it frustrating, with a veteran offense, when you have to call early timeouts?
ML: We had a problem with the (helmet) communicator. Carson couldn’t hear the play, and I’d rather not take the delay of game there. I guess they have frequency problems there in New York. It became an issue and happened early. The league was aware there was a problem, and it bit us in the butt early in the game. And so we had to get that resolved. There were a couple of plays early in the game where he couldn’t hear.

Charlie Hustle’s take: If anyone has watch Bob Bratkowski’s offense in the past few years, he has implemented a no-huddle offense where Carson calls the plays/check-downs at the line. Some of the Bengals’ most explosive offense has comes as a result of the no-huddle. Carson knows the playbook backwards and forwards.

If you fucking knew there may be a problem with the radio signals you either A) put in some sideline hand signals B) make a simple substitution with the entering player calling the play or C) just let Carson run the offense like he knows how to.

When you waste timeouts in the second half of close NFL games, you lose the ability to manage games.

Q: Your defense has only one sack through three games:
ML:
We want it to be better. We need to get more pressure. We got a lot of pressure yesterday but weren’t able to get him on the ground.

CH: Last year’s favorite excuse, injuries, for the lack of pass rush has simply been replaced by an even more asanine reasoning – “uhhhh I wish we were better.” The NFL is a league of adjustments. To have 1 sack in the 3 games is a clear indication that there have been no adjustments made. And for the record, Keith Rivers, the savior of our defense who currently still ranks #2 in tackles among rookies, managed to record 0 tackles… clearly improving.

Q: The play with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on last regulation drive … he couldn’t get a first down, and then you couldn’t spike it because it was third and one … that was huge. But looking back, do you think you should have taken a shot in the end zone?
ML:
Carson has to deliver the ball to the open part of the coverage. He’s not going to throw the ball in the end zone and risk an interception. I don’t know that there was no way. But the play call that he made, he put the ball in the right spot, and Antonio (Chatman) comes very close to making the guy miss and scoring. That’s all you can do. At that point, where you are on the field, your chances of getting five guys in the end zone, and, as you say, take that shot, are difficult to do without risking the sack and throwing you out of field goal range.

CH: You play to win on the road. This particular answer was given by Marvin after laughing as if it were ridiculous to throw it in the endzone. It’s almost as if that no team has ever scored a touchdown to win in the final minutes because the defense knew it was coming. This lack of ability to win was predictable and the clock management was atrocious. Nothing more to say about it.

And now my favorite part…. it’s time to play………….

CONFUSING MARVIN QUOTES!!!!

“The defense had a great start to the day and didn’t finish as well as they had started. ”

“Yeah, we can’t give up a third-and-fourteen play like that.”

“The confidence comes from doing things right. Those are the things that you’re always telling somebody.”

“We did some good things in some areas, and there are some things we need to tighten. ”

“You get on that bike, and if you pedal and stay on the mid-line, you won’t fall over. If you don’t pedal fast enough, you’ll fall over.”

 

Thanks again Marvin for the enlightenment. Good luck next season.

 

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in General Sports | 1 Comment »

Bengals News And Notes

Posted by Charlie Hustle on October 24, 2007

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— Trade rumors surfaced last weekend involving Chad Johnson. The source remains anonymous. Resident Bengals scumbag Geoff Hobson wrote in his weekly e-mail bag that he believed the rumor could have been started by Johnson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

The real culprit behind the rumors? The fat boy pictured above, Defensive Coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. Now I’m not Gil Grissom from CSI, but who would profit the most from Chad Johnson trade distractions? Why the worse defensive coordinator in the league! One’s imagination wouldn’t have to stray far to imagine Chuck making the phone call to Chris Mortensen with the same poise as the guy in Jurassic Park that got eaten by the T-Rex with his pants down on the toilet.

— Speaking of Geoff Hobson, columnist and probable World of Warcraft expert, his sentiments on the Bengals running game this past weekend were breathtaking…
“The return of the running game was as glorious as the sun cutting through the fog of a Smokies morning.”

Was he talking about football or a commercial for Johnsonville sausages? You be the judge. Danny Tanner just called and said that was cheesy.

— Speaking of sausages, Willie Anderson is out this week with a bad foot. Not only is Willie the president of numerous Fat Burger chains, but he’s also a client! Please contain your shock…

Needless to say this means more time for Scott “False Start” Kooistra. If there were a bet on how many times Troy Polamalu will run by Kooistra untouched this Sunday the over/under would be +/- 75. I hope Carson Palmer got in on the same $30 million dollar insurance policy that Tony Romo got for career-ending injuries.

— Lastly, if we lose this week to the Steelers I will no longer be cheering for the Bengals this season, but in fact cheering for them to lose every game from now on so they can draft DT Glenn Dorsey next summer. This isn’t something I want to do. But since management is simply incapable of signing free agents or developing non-drug addicted talent, this is the only hope for the Bengals to ever have a chance at winning anything. Ever.

Good luck and God bless,

Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Bengals, NFL | Tagged: | Comments Off on Bengals News And Notes

Please Curb Stomp Geoff Hobson

Posted by Charlie Hustle on September 21, 2007

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Resident Bengals apologist Geoff Hobson from Bengals.com fameactual person seen above (don’t believe his photo appearing on the website), has finally pissed me off enough to write a column about his ridiculous proclamations about our beloved Bengals. I will break down previous articles at a later time so I’ll stick with the current one for now. George Strait and Kentucky bourbon prevent lots of research at this point.

Here’s the way Hobson works…. 

1) He confuses the reader. This is a portion of a reader’s e-mail this week….

With the lackluster defensive performance this past week, how long do you think that the leash on defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan is?”

Response? “If Lewis does it now, why didn’t he just do it in the offseason?”

– Answering a question with a question, very tricky Hobson. There’s no answer whatsoever in that question either. But it gets better…

Continuing… “In this game, it’s never one answer. It’s A, B, C, D, All Of The Above. But given the startling gap in its performance, the Defense Question isn’t multiple choice but a brain teaser. “

– Stephen f*cking Hawking couldn’t come up with the algorithim to make any sense of this. This guy actually gets paid for this job?

2) Hobson then will change the focus of the blame…

“Under Bresnahan, these are basically the same coaches and players that shut out Cleveland six games ago.”

– Yeah Geoff, we shut out the 4-12 Cleveland Clowns last year. Devastating.

Then Hobson gets really tricky….

“Under Bresnahan, these are basically the same coaches and players that held New Orleans’ explosive NFC Championship offense on the road to 16 points eight games ago.”

– True, Naw’lins had 16 points in this game. In the epic defensive performance by the Bengals they only gave up 510 PASSING YARDS! Only the four ridiculous turnovers perpetrated by the Saints prevented them from putting up 50 points. Not fooling me Hobson… get off the World of Warcraft ’cause you gotta bring it better than that….

3) Hobson performs an eye-gouge/crotch chop to Bengals fans by comparing mediocre Bengals players to All-Pro players on other teams….

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cincinnati Bengals, NFL | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Who Wants To Be A Commissioner?

Posted by Charlie Hustle on August 2, 2007

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“The Nasty Boys” would like to introduce the new running blog:

Who has the worst commissioner job?

We will consistently update the three commissioners’ problems and their recent scandals.

We would also encourage you to VOTE for the worst commish job in the COMMENTS SECTION.

The Candidates:

Bud Selig – Bud Selig, the former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and idolizer of Home Run King Hank Aaron, has announced that he will be following the next games of Barry Bonds. He made the following statement…

“Out of respect for the tradition of this game, the magnitude of the record, and the fact that all citizens in this country are innocent until proven guilty, I will attend Barry Bonds’ next games to observe his potential tying and breaking of the home run record, subject to my commitments to the Hall of Fame this weekend.”

As Lewis Black said on The Daily Show, “HE’S USING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO JUSTIFY HAVING TO WATCH A BASEBALL GAME!!!”

The heat on Bonds officially turned up a notch when the book, “Game of Shadows” came out, extensively describing Bonds’ and others’ steroid use through BALCO. Selig’s comment at the time of the book?…

“It was worse than I thought.”

With Federal indictments on hold due to Bonds’ trainer Greg Anderson refusing to testify and sitting in jail in contempt (and collecting checks from Bonds while in the clink), Selig’s only course was to hire former Senator George Mitchell to lead a weak investigation of players “volunteering” information.

So now Bud Selig has to fly to San Francisco and pretend to celebrate the most celebrated record in sports, held by his childhood hero, and about to be broken by a guy with a 9 3/4 inch head and shoes bigger than Shaq’s.

David Stern – After looking like someone had just run over his dog in his latest press conference, David Stern is embroiled in one of the NBA’s biggest scandals in its history.

Currently, Stern is the longest tenured and probably most powerful commissioner in American sports, serving as commissioner for the last 23 years. However, this didn’t stop Tim Donaghy from betting on games, apparently desperate for money after losing to “mobbed-up” sports bookies.

Stern commented, “I can tell you that this is the most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA.”

Not only is the integrity of the NBA highly in doubt at this point, but Donaghy’s games can be re-watched and analyzed, questioned about whether the fix was in or not. Every questionable call from now on in any NBA game will now be heckled by fans, “HEY DONAGHY! HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE ON THIS ONE?!?!?”

The most damning evidence was that as late as 2005, Donaghy was being investigated for gambling. Stern claimed he couldn’t answer the obvious question as to why this wasn’t addressed sooner, saying that the FBI specifically asked him not to comment on the investigation….

Meanwhile, Stern is stuck having to answer questions on the very essence and integrity of his game.

Roger Goodell – After suspending Chris Henry and PacMan Jones under the new Player Behavior Policy, all seemed calm on the homefront for Roger Goodell. As Charles Barkley said,

“Pacman and Henry, man they is habitual fools!”

Now that Vick has been indicted on ‘Federal Dog Genocide’ charges, it would appear that the second coming of the OJ trial is on our hands. A few years earlier, Vick had signed the largest contract in NFL history, becoming the face for the league. Now, we’re a few more damning charges from a high-speed chase in a white Bronco, with Al Cowlings calling in to the police….

“This is A.C.! I got O.J., I mean Vick, in the car! (pause) This is A.C.! You know who this is, —damnit!”

Even Arthur Blank, noted Vick apologist, referred to him only as “the player” in his latest press conference, noting that the “player” was referenced 50 times in his indictment. 50 TIMES! Considering that 95% of Federal indictments are successful in their prosecution, it’s amazing that some people are still holding on to the “innocent until proven guilty” defense.

As Colin Cowherd noted something along these lines, “This is the NFL. Not a court. If a reasonable person can look at the evidence and decide that he is clearly guilty, then we as REASONABLE people don’t have to rely on courts that drag out for years and years.”

So now America’s most popular sport is in the news for one of its most popular players electrocuting and mass murdering dogs. Talk about ruining the momentum leading into NFL training camp. Worse yet, Goodell had to hire ex-FBI and ex-CIA agents to dig up some “indisputable facts” that would allow them to suspend Vick indefinitely without going through the courts.

WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION….

WHO HAS THE WORST JOB AS LEAGUE COMMISSIONER:

SELIG, STERN, OR GOODELL

PLEASE VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!

Charlie Hustle

Posted in MLB, NFL | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

The Michael Vick Saga Continues

Posted by Charlie Hustle on July 18, 2007

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Michael Vick is now scheduled to make his first court appearance on July 26th. The charges against Vick include “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities” and to “Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture.”

Indictment:

According to the indictment handed down by the U.S. District Court of Richmond, VA, the following people are being charged with the crime:

Purnell A. Peace a.k.a. “P-Funk”
Quanis L. Phillips a.k.a. “Q”
Tony Taylor a.k.a. “T” and….

Michael Vick a.k.a. “Ookie”

Included in the 18-page indictment handed down by the Federal Grand Jury are VERY specific allegations of the killing of the pit bulls including electrocution, hanging, drowning, and slamming a dog into the ground to death.

Here is an example from the indictment that can be found on TheSmokingGun.com…

“53. In or about March 2003, PEACE, after consulting VICK about the losing female pit bull’s condition, executed the losing dog by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal.”

As much as the sports media has been hesitant to convict Michael Vick before his trial, due to obvious oversights of “media conviction” during the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal, these allegations are so specific it’s hard for anyone to believe that Vick would not be convicted.

The fact that Vick has been indicted with 3 other individuals who clearly have less to lose than “Ookie” means that they most likely would seek plea deals that would implicate Vick even more.

According to Lester Munson, Chicago lawyer and contributor to ESPN.com, the Federal Court in Richmond is known as the “rocket docket” because it is the fastest Federal Court in the nation for getting cases started and moving them along. Munson believes the trial will commence within 4 to 6 months.

Also according to Munson, the Richmond Court is also known for its stringent application of the law. Apparently former UVA basketball star and Houston Rocket Ralph Sampson fell behind on his child support. Usually this is handled in a settlement, but the Richmond prosecutors charged and convicted him of felonies in the matter, and Sampson spent 2 months in jail just for missing child support.

If missing child support in Richmond gets you two months in jail, I can’t imagine what massacring and torturing pit bulls will get Ookie Vick.

Contract:

In December, 2004, Ookie Vick signed what was then the richest contract in the HISTORY of the NFL. The deal was a 10-year, $130-million contract with $37 million in bonuses.

However, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, if the Falcons were to release Michael Vick, the “impact, although still hefty, shrank as of June 1. The hit would be $6 million-plus for 2007 and about $15 million for 2008.

Unlike MLB, NBA, and NHL contracts, NFL contracts are not guaranteed. Most player contracts state that, “If player has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club, then Club may terminate this contract.”

Although Ookie could be released, the salary cap ramifications for the Falcons would be “accelerated.” This means that whatever bonus money hasn’t been paid to Vick would need to be tacked onto the Falcons’ salary cap within 1-2 years. Even if Vick were suspended by the NFL, he would not be paid his salary but it would still count against the salary cap.

In late 2004 when Vick signed the contract, his release was not even in the question. As owner Arthur Blank put it, “It should be officially understood and known now that I work for Michael Vick.”

Public Opinion:

If this YouTube clip shows any indication of the public’s feelings on dog fighting, then Ookie Vick is in for a world of hurt.

P.S. The indictments are still pending on Chris Samuels under the U.S. Statute of “Laughing at Inappropriate Subjects.”

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in NFL | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

Bengals Fantasy Preview

Posted by Charlie Hustle on July 17, 2007

chadjohnson01.jpg

Fantasy magazines have been on the newsstands for a few weeks and that only means one thing: Fantasy Football Season.

Men with button-up short-sleeve shirts and discount-rack ties everywhere anticipate every summer when they can slip their brand new fantasy football magazine into their cubicles and study up while they are supposed to be filling out T.P.S. Reports.

“The Nasty Boys” would now like to present the 2007-2008 Bengals Fantasy Preview: “Office Space” style….

QB: Carson Palmer a.k.a. “Peter-man”

peter.jpg

2006 Stats: 324-520 (62.3%), 4035 yds, 28 TDs, 13 INT

Carson Palmer spent most of the 2006 fantasy season as one of the top-ranked fantasy quarterbacks in the league and is moving up faster than Peter up the corporate ladder. The trio of Ocho Cinco-Housh-Henry were plenty of weapons for Carson. Although Carson, and the Bengals, sorta “petered” out towards the end of the season, there’s no reason to be anything but high on Carson this year. He is being ranked in most magazines the #2 QB overall, right behind Peyton Manning. With 2 years in-between his knee injury and now, and plenty to prove on the field, Carson is poised for a breakout year. Call it a homer pick but Peyton lost some weapons and will have a target on his back after winning the Super Bowl.

2007 Projection: 67% completions, 4200 yds, 34 TDs, 12 INTs

Overall QB Rank: #1

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cincinnati Bengals, NFL | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Souls For Sale

Posted by Charlie Hustle on July 3, 2007

krumrie_tim.jpg

A fraternity brother told me last year that he only remembered seeing his dad cry once. It was at Riverfront Stadium in 1995 where his family had season tickets for the Bengals. It was before the first game of the season and Bengals all-time great nose tackle, Tim Krumrie, had ridden onto the field on his motorcycle.

The former 10th round pick had served 12 years on the gridiron. He had also suffered one of the most gruesome injuries of all-time in the NFL, breaking his leg trying to tackle Roger Craig of the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII. Nose tackle could be considered the least sexy job on the football field. A 12-year career in the trenches would be like 30 years for a Wide Receiver.

So on that day Tim Krumrie rode off into the sunset on his motorcycle, a hero to all Bengals fans. A hero that dads would tell their sons about for future generations. Which begs the question:

Was it worth selling our souls for an 8-8 team plagued by crooks and criminals?

The fact of the matter is that few Bengals fans seem to care. I’m sure it’s hard for middle-aged white men to really relate to Chris Henry and other black Bengals who grew up in poverty. So when they hear of another player arrested, they just write them off as criminals who can’t follow the law despite millions of dollars in the bank.

However, when Sundays roll around, every white middle-aged male that calls in to talk radio and denegrates these players as thugs – is still crossing his fingers that Chris Henry, or whoever will make the lineup, will perform. After all, he is talented and he does score touchdowns – guns and pot be damned.

During the days of Tim Krumrie, a father could take his son to Riverfront and be proud that his son’s hero was playing on the gridiron that day. Should father’s now be purchasing t-shirts with mugshots on the front for their sons? What should they say when young Tommy asks, “Daddy, why isn’t Odell on the field? Did he fail another urine test?”

What is this sacrifice worth that Bengals fans have made? Is this 8-8 lemon worth the squeeze?

For example… the next time you watch Around the Horn or PTI and see that a “Bengals” topic is coming up, will you not be disappointed when its about jail time and not playing time? If we are having to endure a team that has such low-character losers on it, shouldn’t we be better than .500?

For my money, give me Tim Krumries riding off in motorcycles and dads crying with their sons. I’d rather be 3-13 and love my team all week, than sell my soul for an 8-8 team and hate them every day but Sunday.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Bengals, NFL | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

How To Fix The Reds

Posted by Charlie Hustle on July 2, 2007

 guardado2.jpg  white_castle.jpg

Step 1: Convince George Steinbrenner to purchase team….

 Just kidding.

 After the firing of Jerry Narron (thank God it’s not too late, since we’re only 16 1/2 games out of the division) the fans finally have something to talk about. A new manager means that somebody can officially be “blamed” for the worst record in baseball.

My main thought on Jerry Narron or any manager for that matter, is that unless your team has the least talent – you shouldn’t be in last place. The Reds certainly don’t have the least talent in MLB, despite the worst record, or else I wouldn’t bother writing this column.

So here’s how to fix the Reds…

GET THE MOST OUT OF DISPOSABLE PARTS:

– Unless your name is Ken Griffey Junior, if you are 35+ years old, you don’t need to be playing significant innings for this club. So…

Trade David Weathers – He’s our only real bargaining chip in the bullpen, and a lot of contenders will need help down the stretch. It might sound weird trading our best bullpen pitcher, but he’s working on 38 years old. How many old arms do we need to see fall apart before we realize we should get younger?

Trade (if possible) Scott Hatteberg – I’m sure some team out there needs a left handed bat to come off the bench. But realistically, is there another team in the majors that would run a platoon at 1B where Hatteberg is providing the power at 7 HRs (compared to Conine’s 4), while even our fucking Shortstop has 13 HRs

Trade Adam Dunn – It’s undeniable this guy would be a perfect DH for some American League team. But we’re not in the American League. We lead the league in home runs and we have the worst record. So who gives a fuck if a few less fans get souvenirs. He has value now and it’s declining everyday that we still have this guy.

RELEASE THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE:

Mike Stanton
Eddie Guardado
Jeff Conine
David Ross

Give Fat Eddie and Chubbs Stanton their Golden Buckeye cards and their pink slips. Oh yeah, and sorry Dave, you gotta hit above .200 to make my lineup cocksucker.

CALL UP THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE:

P Bobby Livingston (1-0, 3.00 ERA in THE FUCKING MAJORS THIS YEAR… WHY IS HE IN LOUISVILLE WHAT THE FUCK!!!)
P Phil Dumatrait (8-5, 3.63 ERA)
1B Joey Votto (.314 AVG, 10 HR, 46 RBIs)

ENFORCE A WEIGHT LIMIT SYSTEM:

Fat Eddie aside, we shouldn’t have people like Adam Dunn and Todd Coffey showing up to Spring Training at 260+ lbs. That’s not a fucking professional attitude whatsoever.

How do we expect the Dunner to snag fly balls when he can hardly bend over to tie his shoelaces without falling over?

KEEP THE SAME LINEUP:

Excluding rosters moves, here’s how the lineup should look:

Freel (Should be back soon)
Phillips
Griffey
Hamilton
Dunn (or Hamilton)
Hatteberg
AGonzalez
Valentin
Pitcher….

It’s not that hard. Keep it the fucking same. You’ll be amazed how much more consistent hitters are when they encounter many of the same situations/runners on base from game-to-game. 

SPEND MONEY:

Realistically, the Reds will never make the playoffs with their current roster. But we’re not THAT far away, 1 or 2 free agent signings can be the difference. Here’s a list of some of the 2008 free agents (age in parentheses):

1. John Smoltz (41)
2. Carlos Zambrano (27)
3. Joe Nathan (33)
4. Mariano Rivera (38)
5. Jorge Posada (36)
6. Curt Schilling (41)
7. Bobby Abreu (34)
8. Ichiro Suzuki (34)
9. Andruw Jones (31)
10. Carlos Guillen (32)
11. Jeff Kent (40)
12. Mike Lowell (34)
13. Jason Jennings (29)
14. Jake Westbrook (30)
15. Ivan Rodriguez (36)
16. Freddy Garcia (32)
17. Kenny Rogers (43)
18. Torii Hunter (32)
19. Jason Isringhausen (35)
20. Omar Vizquel (41)
21. Marcus Giles (30)
22. Eric Byrnes (32)
23. Paul Lo Duca (36)
24. Bob Wickman (39)
25. Corey Patterson (28)
26. Adam Dunn (28)
27. Scott Linebrink (31)
28. Michael Barrett (31)
29. Milton Bradley (30)
30. Jon Lieber (38)
31. David Eckstein (33)
32. Aaron Rowand (30)
33. Juan Uribe (29)
34. Bartolo Colon (35)

 … 23 of these guys are 35 years old or less.

Speaking of free agents… This list is provided by MLBTradeRumors.com and has Adam Dunn ranked 26th for next year, even lower than 400+ lb. reliever Bob Wickman. The longer we hold on to him, the less value he has. So shit or get off the pot Krivsky.

INVEST IN MORE RESTAURANTS/BUSINESS BY GABP:

There’s a reason why the Cubs sell out almost every game, even though they usually suck. Most people go to Wrigley to drink. And they also go to the apartments above Waveland Ave. to drink and watch the game. The bar/restaurant life is so abundant, it doesn’t matter whether they win or lose – people want to be there.

Meanwhile, I don’t want to walk two blocks in the wrong direction away from Great American or I’m afraid I’ll be fleeced by some vagrant just out on parole.

Unless we’re all willing to just give up the city of Cincinnati to fucking bums and murderers like its Escape From New York, which personally I’m not, how about we build a fan-friendly bar district close to the stadium. It could double as a hang out for Bengals games (since they consistently sell out now) for fans wanting to tailgate.

If we could have more Reds fans at the games, then I would imagine that would translate into more revenue for free agents? You just have to give fans a reason to go, and it’s not to drop bums change into cups.

And while we’re at it, Castellini should hire women models to be “seat fillers” at games and talk up a bunch of the drunks. They could show them on the Reds TV broadcast coming back from commercials. As a man, if you see hot women over and over at the games, are you telling me that you wouldn’t be inclined to attend a few more? It sure as hell works for Hooters.

This would also keep Marty Brenneman distracted, as I believe he’s one more Dunn error away from FedEx’ing a turd sandwich to the stadium marked ATTN: WAYNE KRIVSKY…

And lastly…

FOCUS ON SPEED AND DEFENSE:

This is the most important aspect to me, and one I hope the new interim manager focuses on.

I was watching a sports report on the former great Ozzie Smith. He was talking about when he got traded from the Padres to the Cardinals, they were complaining about his bat (or lack thereof). Ozzie responded by saying the following…

“What difference does it make whether I drive in 100 runs, or stop 100 runs from coming in?”

This is so true. It’s so fucking unacceptable to me to have our Left Fielder consistently botch plays in the outfield. Why isn’t our Shortstop being benched after making error after error on easy plays when he can clearly make the few hard ones? And don’t get me started on Edwin “Don’t call me Error” Encarnacion.

Here’s a few stats for you

–The Reds have played 39 games this year decided by 2 runs or less.

–The Reds record in those games is 13-26.

–“Late innings” is 7th inning on. I am including extra innings and factoring in the couple of times we did not bat in the 9th.

–In 18 of those 39 games, the Reds failed to score any runs in the late innings.

–In only 11 of those 39 games did the Reds score more than one run in the late innings.

–In those 39 games, the Reds have played (offense) in 131 innings. They have a TOTAL of 35 runs in those innings.

–This is an average of .27 runs per game over the late innings.

All we needed was a few manufactured runs or a few runs taken away. Speed on the basepaths and defense on the field could be the difference between 5-10 games back of the division and 16-20, which is where we are headed. 

The Reds aren’t really that far off if we emphasize the right areas: give the youthful players a chance, run every ground ball out, make the plays in the field, etc. and we’re right there. In fact, I predict the Reds have a +.500 record for the second half of the season.

We may not end up within 10 games of the division. But hell, at least I’ll have something to talk about.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Charlie’s Sports Notes

Posted by Charlie Hustle on June 25, 2007

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Which one is the mascot?

The Reds officially have the worst record in baseball today This announcement brought to you by JTM’s dancing Bag O’Meat! It’s Bag O’Meat, meat patties in a bag with a plastic zipper! Eat JTMs… they haven’t terminally poisoned Chris Welsh… yet!

For the upcoming NBA Draft…

Candidate A: “I consider myself a role player. I understand people are projecting me a top pick, and those guys are supposed to be franchise guys. But I’m not that kind of guy who needs to come in and take over.”

Candidate B: “I’ve been training to be a franchise player since I was 9. That’s the first time I told my parents I was serious about getting to the NBA.”

Candidate A = Greg Oden

Candidate B = Kevin Durant…. umm who would you want #1?

If your own self-run NFL website runs this, you will probably not be a factor in the playoffs….

Defense/Special Teams

Projected Draft Range: Undrafted
2006 Stats: 35 sacks, 31 TO, 1 TD, 20.7 PA

“The Bengals team defense will likely go undrafted in most drafts as fantasy players will recall the perception of the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense. ”

….. Yes Bengals.com writers, fans will probably remember the “perception” of a swiss cheese, no-account defense. More people will apply for Tank Johnson’s bodyguard work than will draft the Bengals defense in fantasy leagues.

Apparently even retired, bald ex-Mariner teammates of Junior can predict the future…

Griffey had dinner Thursday night with former Mariners teammate Jay Buhner. The close friend must have been keeping up with the struggling 29-47 Reds.

“Jay actually called today’s game the first day I was here,” Griffey said. “He said, ‘Knowing your luck, you’re going to hit a couple of home runs and you’re going to lose, 3-2. He said that on Thursday.”

Would you rather have your drug abusing baseball players look like this…

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or this..

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Personally I’ll take the Roids of the late 90’s over the Crack of the 80’s.

Who won the AL MVP of 1992, post-coke pre-roids? A fucking closer – Dennis Eckersley. Oh the excitement!

NL MVP that year?

This guy:

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2nd Place in ’92? None other than Terry “Porkchops” Pendleton!

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I’ll take Sosa and McGwire going for 61 homers on the juice anyday over Porkchops Pendleton.

And lastly…

In honor of Rod Beck and his Fu Manchu passing away… here are some of baseball’s finest staches…

beck.jpgRod Beck – Fu Manchu

fingers1.jpg Rollie Fingers – Handlebar Stache

fasano_1727.jpg Sal Fasano – Prison Bitch Stache

fasano_yanks_1728.jpg Sal Fasano – Released on Parole Stache

boggs_1726.jpg Wade Boggs – “If I grow this stache thick enough, I can use it for hair plugs later in life” Stache…..

wade-boggs-hair.jpg

bill105.jpg freddie-mercury.jpg

Bill Cowher and Freddie Mercury – The “Openly Gay” Stache

….. and the all-time best stache is….

valentine_disguise_mets.jpg Bobby Valentine – “The umps will never recognize this disguise” Stache.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB, NFL | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

2007 U.S. Open Preview

Posted by Charlie Hustle on June 11, 2007

The U.S. Open is being held at Oakmont this year, and is being touted as one of the toughest tests ever. Vijay Singh was quoted earlier in the week that the winner would be at 10-12 over par.

The last time Oakmont held the U.S. Open, Ernie Els won at -5. Then the course was 6946 yd, Par 71.

Now? A 7230 yard, Par 70 monster.

The Breakdown:

Driveable Par 4s: 3 (2, 14, 17)

600+ yd Par 5s: 2 (Hole 4: 609 yds, Hole 12: 632-667 yds)

Ridiculous Par 3: 1 (Hole 8: 288 yds… against the wind, will be playing 300+)

Par 5 switched to Par 4: 1 (Hole 9… 477 yds dog leg, tight fairway)

Add on the infamous thick U.S. Open rough and lightning-fast greens, and we have quite the course.

Here’s the player breakdown:

Obvious Favorites:

1. Tiger Woods

2. Phil Mickelson (barring that wrist injury)

3. Vijay Singh

Famous Players That Won’t Make the Cut:

1. Ernie Els

2. Davis Love III

3. Justin Leonard

4. Colin Montgomerie

5. Jose Maria Olazabal

Players That Are Overdue But Will Fall Just Short:

1. Paddy Harrington

2. Sergio Garcia

3. Adam Scott

4. Charles Howell III

5. Camilo Villegas

Hot Unknowns That May Make A Splash:

1. Rod Pampling

2. Sean O’Hair

3. Ken Duke

Players That Should Make Top 10:

1. Rory Sabbatini (Long off the tee, putting has been very hot)

2. Jim Furyk (Hits the ball straight, great tee-to-green)

3. Thomas Bjorn (Always seems to show up in the U.S. Open/British Open)

4. Scott Verplank (Not many golfers are hotter than Verplank)

5. Robert Allenby (Just a hunch)

and the winner…..

Champion: Retief Goosen. Yes he is the 2-time U.S. Open Champion so this prediction would seem obvious, but Retief always flies under the radar. I ask myself 3 questions when picking a winner…

1. Who can recover from a bad first day with good driving and knocking it close? Goosen.

2. Who is the least likely to blow a gasket if they make a mistake in the rough? Goosen.

3. Who is the best putter on fast greens? Goosen.

So there’s your winner. Retief Goosen.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | Comments Off on 2007 U.S. Open Preview

Sunday Predictions & Notes

Posted by Charlie Hustle on June 10, 2007

Mike Brown a.k.a Bubba Gump is in for another rough night according to Charlie Hustle’s Sunday Predictions….

— Tonight’s NBA finals game 2 will be one of the lowest rated NBA finals games in the last 20 years due to the Sopranos finale… way to schedule that one David Stern. Having three days off will help shake the rust off and improve the brutal shooting from the field.

— The Reds will record less than 6 hits today against C.C. Sabathia

— Mike Brown will continue to play Larry Hughes until his foot actually falls off. He must have him on his fantasy playoff team or something.

— When they played the radio highlights of Joe Nuxhall before today’s Reds game, there was a total of one within the last 10 years.

— LeBron will once again shoot below 50% from the field… but he’ll get a few more foul calls so he’ll score 25-28 points.

— Between David Weathers, Mike Stanton, Todd Coffey, Eddie Guardado, Aaron Harang, and Adam Dunn, who uses the most plates at the China Buffet? I’m going with Stanton at around 15. These “professional athletes” look more like the Super Fans. Daaaaaa Reds.

— Favorite current Reds’ nickname via 700 WLW: Tie between Kirk “Screwloose” Saarloos and Gary “Saddlebags” Majewski.

— Latest Jerry “I’m still employed?” Narron quote in regards to Homer Bailey…

“You’re going to foul a lot of balls off, just because of the stuff he has. But to be able to go deep in games, he’s going to have to be more efficient. Either that, or he’ll have to get up to a 150 pitch count, and I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Who said anything about 150 fucking pitches?!?!

— Ken Griffey Jr. was named the MLB “Clutch Player of the Month” for May. The Reds were 9-21 in May….

In other news, Zydrunas Ilgauskas squeeked out the NBA’s Clutch Caveman Award this week from from the Clippers’ Chris Kaman..

— Is it possible for the NL Central winner to have a sub-.500 record? It’s looking pretty good so far…

— Is it worse that fans want Adam Dunn traded when we are going to get nothing more than a mid-level reliever for him, or that they want him replaced with Norris Hopper, who in 82 ABs has 1 RBI?

— Tonight’s Sopranos Prediction: Paulie Walnuts kills Tony.

— Tonight’s Game 2 Prediction: Spurs 87, Cavs 82

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB, NFL | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

NBA Finals Preview

Posted by Charlie Hustle on June 7, 2007

Since I’ve been more of the devil’s advocate during this NBA playoffs I figured I should finally step out on a limb and make a prediction.

First of all, here’s the Top 5 reasons these playoffs have been unwatchable:

1. Boring teams. Interesting and exciting teams (Houston, Phoenix, Golden State, Chicago, Toronto) didn’t make the leap and boring teams (San Antonio, Utah, Cleveland, Detroit) made the Conference finals. We couldn’t get one high-paced, high-excitement team with some budding superstars?

2. Flopping. Why does the NBA highlight yesteryear when the Bad Boy Pistons and other teams used hard fouls to intimidate players coming in the lane then call every single flop a charge and every hard foul a flagrant? If Americans wanted pussy officiating we would be getting a satellite feed of French basketball at our local BW3s.

3. Bad Coaching.

a. LeBron wasn’t double-teamed until Game 6

b. Golden State ran as many set plays down the stretch as a 6-year old boys rec team that runs around following the ball.

c. Eric fucking Snow was put in the game with 1:05 remaining on an offensive possession.

d. Gordon Giricek was allowed to suit up and play any minutes. Why is this guy in the NBA?

e. Everytime the Spurs won, even by large margins, Gregg Popovich looked like his dog was just run over in the parking lot during the press conference. No wonder people don’t want to cheer for the Spurs.

4. Media Coverage. LeBron was crowned the best player ever in history. After he was accused of being a choker for passing down the stretch. These idiots in the media change their mind on epic levels everyday. Know why he scored 25 in a row? The rest of the team was 0-10. He’s been compared to Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson so many times it’s ridiculous. Can we wait to hype people AFTER they’ve actually won something called a “championship”? Can’t somebody be a special player without having to live up to MJ? Ugh.

5. The Amare Suspension. This was the single most fucked up part of the playoffs. Not only did the 2 best teams get matched up in the fuckin Western semi-finals, but David Stern & co. decided to ruin it by suspending Stoudamire/Diaw for the most important game of the series – Game 5 in Phoenix. What a stupid suspension from a stupid rule.

Just because someone gets off the bench when the 2-time MVP goes flying into a table doesn’t mean you’re going to see another Jeff Van Gundy holding on to Alonzo Mourning’s leg while his 47 hairs left stand straight up.

David Stern just reinforced the pussification of the league, rewarding flopping and sitting on the bench during an altercation like you’re in church. Way to go and ruin the playoffs.

Now that that’s off my chest….

 **********  2007 NBA FINALS PREVIEW ***********

 Center: Elson/Oberto vs. Ilgauskas.

EDGE: Cavs. This one is closer than you might think. Ilgauskas can’t guard anyone period. But he is consistent with his 15-20 foot jumper when the Cavs break down offensively.

Forward: Duncan/Bowen/Horry vs. LeBron/Gooden/Varejao

EDGE: Spurs. LeBron can be fantastic and Varejao is underrated as an offensive rebounder/flopper extraordinaire. But between Duncan’s consistent post play, Bowen’s defense/3-point shooting, and Big Shot Bob’s well… big shots, the Spurs have a definitive advantage. Gooden’s 19 points in Game 4 are the last Cavs fans will see of that.

Guard: Parker/Finley/Ginobli/Barry/Vaughn vs. Hughes/Gibson/Pavlovic/Snow/Jones

EDGE: Spurs. Big Time. The guards will determine this series and I believe it’s the Spurs’ guards that will dominate. Hughes has a bad foot and he can’t shoot anyway. Shooting is about all Pavlovic is good for. Gibson, the hero of the Detroit series, will have to prove he can hit shots when LeBron isn’t double-teamed.

Meanwhile, Parker has been more dominant in these playoffs than ever before and Ginobili and Finley have been deadly from 3 point range. I mean really, who in the hell is going to guard Tony Parker? It’s just not happening.

Coach: Edge: Spurs by a mile. Remember the movie Rushmore, where Bill Murray walks over to a bunch of little kids playing basketball and swats the shit out of one of the kids’ shots? Thats the perfect analogy for Popovich vs. Brown.

I would encourage all NBA fans watching this series to note the outcoaching the Popovich will do. That is my #1 guarantee.

Intangibles: Well let’s see….

Players on the Spurs I’ve seen hit a big shot:

Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Bowen, Horry, Finley

Players on Cavs I’ve seen hit a big shot:

LeBron

… uhh I’ll take the Spurs.

Prediction:

Tonight’s Game – Spurs 91, Cavs 84

Series – Spurs in 5

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | Comments Off on NBA Finals Preview

Steelers Coach Makes ‘Boner’ Play

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 30, 2007

Slipping through the cracks of the mainstream sports media was the best story of the week.

Larry Zierlein, the 61-year old offensive line coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers received a pornographic e-mail from Steelers Pro Personnel Coordinator, Doug Whaley.

Zierlein, apparently so excited by the e-mail, decided to forward it on to high-level Steelers employees and secretaries throughout the NFL, including the secretary of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Apparently the 61 year old, after realizing his mistake, attempted to “unsend” the e-mail numerous times. He then followed these attempts with a letter of apology.

In a secret message obtained exclusively by “The Nasty Boys,” Goodell responded to Zierlein…

“Dear Larry,

Thanks for the porno e-mail. Keep’um comin! That black dude nailing that chick wheelbarrow-style had a strong cock!

Love,

Roger Goodell”

…Zierlein has the look of a guy carrying a 4-pack of wine coolers into Chris Hansen’s kitchen on “To Catch a Predator.”

Fuck the Steelers.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in NFL | Tagged: | Comments Off on Steelers Coach Makes ‘Boner’ Play

Random Sports Thoughts

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 30, 2007

Nothing really worth writing a whole article so we’ll just throw some random thoughts out there…

New York Yankees Record: 21-29

$195 million payroll 14.5 games out of division lead

Cincinnati Reds Record: 20-33

$69 million payroll 9.5 games out of division lead.

I guess things could be worse.

— If any sports fan woke up tomorrow morning and did not watch Sportscenter or read the Sports section, do you think they would bother to wonder who won in the NBA playoffs tonight? Does a tree make a sound in the forest if there’s no one there? Such is life.

— Jay Mariotti called UFC fighters “mongrels” and “animals” today on Around the Horn. Apparently Jay didn’t see Floyd Mayweather Sr. at his son’s last bout. That bald man with dreads is the “missing link.”

— The Reds are on a 2-game winning streak, highlighted by great pitching and outstanding defense. So you mean to tell me that having sub-par defensive, uppercut-swinging, no-clutch everyday players is detrimental to winning? So you’re saying that having the bullpen pitch 2-3 innings instead of 5-9 makes them pitch better? Mind-boggling…

— Somebody remind me why this year’s Bengals defense will be any better than last years. Same coach, system, and players for the most part. Please tell me why they will be better….ugh.

— Tim Lincecum, the rookie pitcher for the Giants, will be a Cy Young winner soon. Mark it down. Mike Stanton couldn’t get Lincecum’s break on the ball if he threw it underhand.

— It is absolutely fucking SHOCKING that the Cavs played better without Larry Hughes…

Daniel Gibson tonight – 21 points

Larry Hughes (ENTIRE SERIES) – 25 points.

Ummmm… yeah that just happened.

— The NFL Players Association asked Commissioner Roger Goodell today to lessen the sentence for PacMan Jones… In other news, a snowball was spotted today being thrown around in Hell.

— Would Osama Bin Laden have been booed louder in Shea Stadium tonight than Barry Bonds? It’s a toss up.

Note to baseball fans: More than one person took steroids in the 90’s. In fact, there’s probably a 75% chance that your favorite player did them during that time. Fucking get it together.

— Oden/Durant going to Portland and Seattle would be like David Ortiz and Derek Jeter getting traded to the Royals and Devil Rays. What a horrendous deal for the NBA.

— For Monday’s Western Conference Finals…

Team A: 40% FGs – 39 Rebs – 11 assists – 8 steals – 6 blocks

Team B: 47% FGs – 38 Rebs – 18 assists – 10 steals – 8 blocks

Team A (Spurs) 91, Team B (Jazz) 79.

The NBA…. it’s FAAAAANNNTASTIC!

— Flopping in the NBA should result in a Technical foul. It’s the only way we’re going to get these foreigners to stop throwing their bodies around like it’s a World Cup match.

— Does any Reds fan realistically believe they have a chance to win the World Series in the next 10 years? I watch almost every game and I would start the odds at 1 in a trillion.

— And lastly, a couple of today’s favorite quotes from my favorite sports writer, ESPN’s Bill Simmons (pre-Game 4)…

“But watching this Cavs-Pistons series is like pulling teeth. Have you ever seen a Final 4 team with worse coaching and a worse offense than the Cavs? It’s like watching 5 complete strangers playing pickup with a drunk from the neighborhood yelling instructions at them. ”

“I can’t even rip on Mike Brown because he’s so overmatched… it’s almost not funny. When Flip Saunders is working you like a speedbag, it’s time to pick another profession. ”
…. Even though the Cavs won tonight, Mike Brown consistently sucked. The announcer Doug Collins almost had a stroke when Brown put Eric Snow in for the last 1:05 after not playing the whole and proceeded to miss his first free throw…

I believe it went something like this… “Why is Eric Snow in the game? This is an offensive possession!!…. WHY IS HE IN THE GAME GODDAMMIT?!?!?”

Haha just kidding, but it was close to that. Luckily for Brown his mind-numbing substitutions didn’t cost them the win.

— Charlie Hustle

P.S. A video was finally found of Dice-K’s gyroball…. check it out!

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB, NFL | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Worst Reds Team Ever?

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 25, 2007

This article was written in conjunction with “Charlie Hustle” (our first joint venture) and a big thanks goes out to Josh for his help!

100 losses. Think about that figure for a second, just give it a little time to sink in.

Done?

Well get used to the three-digit numbers because as of the end of play on May 24, 2007, the Cincinnati Reds are on pace for just that, 100+ losses. The Reds are sitting at 18-30, thats good enough for the worst record in all of Major League Baseball and a winning percentage of .375. As of right now, the Reds are slated to finish the season at 61-101.

100 losses, now that is quite an accomplishment. The last time the Reds finished the season with 100, or more, losses was in 1982 with a record of 61-101 (for a winning percentage of .377). Jon McNamara started the season, but be certain that he did not finish the season as the reigns were handed over to Russ Nixon. Russ Nixon only went on to manage the team for one more full season and was nixed for Vern Rapp, who only worked until Pete Rose took over the franchise as player-manager in 1984.

The 1982 season is the only time the Reds have finished with 100 losses since the MLB went to a 162-game season before the start of the 1973 season. Oh, wait, this THE ONLY time the Reds have finished with 100 losses since they became the Nation’s first professional baseball team in 1882.

Consider this: in their previous 124 seasons, the Reds have finished with 100 losses only once, yet they are putting up an unheralded effort to achieve that milestone once again. Apparently there is more than one way to etch one’s name in the record books and this is certainly not for the right reasons. At some point, you would think that pride would get in the way to prevent such an achievement, but nonetheless, the Reds are still losing along. The team is 6-17 in the month of May and have not recorded back-to-back wins since April 29 and May 1, three weeks ago.

If history is determined to repeat itself, one would assume that Manager Jerry Narron will get the ax before the end of the season. But will it happen? Probably not, yet personnel decisions are most definitely in order. Hypothetically the Reds are not out of the divisional race yet, and hopefully at some point soon the Milwaukee Brewers will realize that they are, well, the Milwaukee Brewers (3-7 in their last 10), allowing the Reds to gain some ground.

The next month of activity, on the field and in the front office, for the Cincinnati Reds will tell the tale as well as set the tone for the remainder of the season. Clearly something needs to be done and it needs to be done now as it is far to early to be dumping players and “dealing for next season.” Reds’ fans are getting real tired of the proverbial, and perpetual, “next season.” If the ship isn’t righted quickly, the 2007 edition of the Cincinnati Reds may reach “The Century Club” for only the second time in history.

— Matt

“CHARLIE HUSTLE’S TAKE”:

I knew the Reds were in trouble at the beginning of the Nationals’ series when this conversation happened…

Thom Brennaman: Hopefully the Reds take advantage of this home stand against perennially weak teams Washington and Pittsburgh.

Chris Welsh: What if thats what the Nationals are thinking that too? Taking advantage of a weak Reds team for road wins?…..

….(dead silence).

Everybody from the Cincinnati Reds message boards to Hal McCoy are asking 2 basic questions at this point:

1. Where is Homer Bailey? Aren’t there any live arms or young talent we can bring up from Louisville?

2. Should we fire Jerry Narron and/or Wayne Krivsky?

Here are the “Standard Answers”:

1. Homer Bailey isn’t ‘ready’ for the “Bigs” yet. He still has to work on his change-up and locating his fastball. Other than the bullpen and 1-2 spots in the rotation, there isn’t much room for rookies because there are so many veterans.

2. Changing Narron/Krivsky won’t help the Reds because we will have our 3rd Coach or GM in the past 4 years. All this instability is bad for the team, the coaches can’t make the players hit or pitch, etc. etc. blah blah blah….

My Answers:

1. You wanna know who isn’t ‘ready’ for the “Bigs?” Eric Milton, Kyle Lohse, Todd Coffey, Mike Stanton, etc. Homer Bailey’s ERA is under 2.00. If there’s anybody qualified to be given a chance it’s our #1 draft pick who is mowing down AAA batters like there’s no tomorrow.

“Throws the fastball too much” be damned, Homer deserves a chance to cut his teeth in the majors when the games don’t mean as much, so there is less pressure. And right now baby, the games don’t mean a damn thing in the cellar.

2. Instability would be bad if it wasn’t here already.

– New lineup everyday? Check.

– New defensive positioning everyday? Check.

– Trading young talent for veterans? Check.

– Trading veterans for young talent? Check.

– Lack of fundamentals defensively and offensively? Check.

– Inconceivable contracts for unproductive players? CHECKMATE.

The Reds are already as consistently inconsistent as you could possibly get. All of this “patience” talk about Narron/Krivsky because they haven’t been here that long doesn’t excuse stupid move after stupid move.

— Are we supposed to blindly follow poorly executed trades and chalk them up as experience because it’s only been a year? I think not.

— Are we supposed to have confidence in management when our team gets worse every year with no rhyme or reason behind it? Um… I think I’ll stay angry.

I don’t think too many Reds fans would be that sorry if the Reds actually traded all of their veterans away (i.e. Florida Marlins) for legitimate minor league talent that would put us over the top in a couple years. I’d deal with a couple stinkers of seasons to have some hope.

But right now? We’re on pace to lose over 100 games and there isn’t any hope. Welcome to your Cincinnati Reds.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Worst Reds Team Ever?

Deja Vu

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 25, 2007

79-76. Pistons win again. Didn’t this just happen on Monday?

It would seem unlikely that a game so eerily similar would result in the exact same fashion. Why is Detroit up 2-0 when they have yet to dominate a single statistical category? Coaching.

First of all, I want to cut Mike Brown a little slack. Can anyone reasonably tell me that the first 4 players on the court you would want on your team in the 4th quarter for this series aren’t named Rasheed, Rip, Chauncey, and Tayshaun? Given an opportunity for a “dagger” shot, is there anybody on Cleveland you EXPECT to make the shot consistently? I say no.

That being said, the reason such close games turn out in the favor of Detroit is coaching. Let’s look at some factors that can separate quality coaches from those with deer-in-headlights syndrome…

1. Halftime adjustments – In every sport, the team that can adjust during halftime wins. In both games, Cleveland had substantial leads at halftime. And in both games, they were erased before you could say Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Detroit combined has outscored Cleveland 43-27 in the 3rd quarter. Cleveland went from a run-and-gunning first half to a bleed-the-shot-clock second half for no good reason at all.

2. Know your strengths – Cleveland is simply not a great half-court offensive team. They scored 50 points in the first half by attacking the defense early and not letting them settle down. So how does Mike Brown adjust to poor half-court execution? He doesn’t play a single Point Guard the entire game. Read that again. 0 minutes for Eric Snow, the team’s only real facilitator and their most experienced playoff guard.

Look I know Eric Snow can’t throw it in the ocean to save his life, but if you think playing Daniel Gibson and Damon Jones passes for Point Guard play then you don’t watch basketball. The result? LeBron bringing up the ball most of the second half and consistently only running one play: Bron Bron Isolation. Hell Sasha Pavlovic was so fucking surprised to get the ball at the end of the game that he immediately double-dribbled.

3. Clock Managment – I partly blame the media for the Cavs’ cluster-fuck of a play to end the game. For 3 days “Bron Bron” was harped on for passing the ball in the clutch. Given the opportunity again, was there any conceivable way he wasn’t shooting that ball? I say no.

But for Pete’s sake. Everybody in the building knew that LeBron was taking the shot. Everybody knows he doesn’t trust his jumper right now – he takes everything to the hole, trying to muscle and jump over the Pistons. So what’s the stupidest thing you can do???

You call the play that everybody fucking knows is coming and leave yourself no time if it doesn’t work!

On the Detroit side, they got the ball with 32 seconds left. Gave it to Sheed and after 8 seconds past, he made the clutch 15-footer. 8 seconds. Get the shot you want. Take it.

In a game where you can’t muster enough offense to score more than 80 points, you should probably give yourself as many opportunities to win/tie the game as possible. Especially if you are a good offensive rebounding team.

The media will harp on the “foul” on LeBron at the end. That was inconsequential. Flip Saunders outcoached Mike Brown in the same exact game twice in a row.

As Yogi Berra would say, “It was Deja Vu all over again.”

… And for the record, I didn’t forget about Larry Hughes’ wide-open douche out from 7 feet with 6 seconds to go. I chose not to harp on it because the Cavs didn’t lose the game on that one play.

That being said, I hope all of you Larry Hughes fans enjoyed his 2 for 9, 4-point performance in 38 minutes tonight.

The fucking white guy that made the half-court shot at halftime has more touch on his jumper than Larry.

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Who Let the Dogs Out!

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 21, 2007

michaelvickdog.jpg

According to the animal control coordinator of the City of Chesapeake, several witnesses will be testifying at a Grand Jury on Tuesday that place Michael Vick at the dog fights.

According to former Atlanta Falcon Ray Buchanan, Vick not only knew about the dog fights, but paid for them and encouraged his Falcons teammates to join in.

The following is an EXCLUSIVE obtained by “The Nasty Boys”…

This is a duplicate of a letter that arrived in Houston, TX this morning:

Dear Houston Texans,

Just kidding about the Matt Schaub trade. We really meant Howie Schwab, the guy from “Stump the Schwab” show. We kinda need Schaub back. No really. We’re not kidding. I swear our fingers were crossed the whole time.

Thanks,

Bobby Petrino

P.S. Know any good bail bondsmen?

UPDATE: August 21 – Check our comprehensive Vick coverage: Ron Mexico Gets “Olay’ed”

Posted in NFL | Tagged: | 46 Comments »

Barry’s Crucible

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 17, 2007

Witch hunt: An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

Barry Bonds and his chase for Hank Aaron’s home run record is arguably the most important story in sports today. The implication is that Bonds took steroids, tainting baseball’s record books, and about to ruin the most sacred record in all of sports. My first response to that implication?

Baseball fans deserve it.

Baseball fans are notorious about vilifying record breakers if they don’t fit the All-American mold. The fans drove Roger Maris almost insane in 1961. Hell even the commissioner, Ford Fricke, tried to put an asterisk by his record for playing more games than the Babe…

Maris was 27 years old when he broke the record. He played baseball 7 more seasons, and averaged 16.7 home runs a year.

How about Hank Aaron? In 1973, the year he was on pace to break Ruth’s home run record, Aaron received death threats daily, mainly based on his race. That summer, William Leggatt wrote in Sports Illustrated,

“Is this to be the year in which Aaron, at the age of thirty-nine, takes a moon walk above one of the most hallowed individual records in American sport…? Or will it be remembered as the season in which Aaron, the most dignified of athletes, was besieged with hate mail and trapped by the cobwebs and goblins that lurk in baseball’s attic?”

Hank Aaron was certainly no Babe Ruth. In his 23 seasons, the most home runs he ever hit in a year was 47 (1971) and his average was 37. For reference’s sake, Adam Dunn is averaging 39 home runs per year. In his career, Aaron only led the league in home runs 4 times. He was certainly not the typical dominating force that should wear the all-time HR crown.

Sammy Sosa:

1997 (162 games) : .251 AVG, 36 HRs, 119 RBIs, 174 Ks, 45 Walks

1998 (159 games): .308 AVG, 66 HRs, 158 RBIs, 171 Ks, 73 walks (14 intentional)

In the time span of one year, made an enormous leap in power, without his batting eye getting significantly better. Clearly something wrong here, yet Cubs fans certainly weren’t booing Sammy. In fact, they were riding his back all the way to the playoffs, where they eventually lost to a superior Atlanta Braves team.

Yet, in 2003, the tides changed. In a game against Tampa Bay, his bat exploded and cork shot out. He was suspended 7 games and suspicions began to arise that his home run figures were “tainted.”

The following year, Sosa had a freak sneezing accident talking to reporters and pulled a back muscle. Cubs fans turned against him, booing him unmercilessly. Even his own teammates destroyed his boom box in the locker room with a baseball bat.

The following year the Cubs traded Sosa to the Orioles for Jerry freakin’ Hairston Jr. and 2 minor leaguers. The same Sammy Sosa who hit over 60 home runs 3 times in his career. Sosa’s career seemed over.

Also consider the actions of Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, both clients of infamous trainer Greg Anderson. Giambi, the 2000 AL MVP, testified to a grand jury in 2003 that he had used several different steroids and HGH. Sheffield, the 9-time All-Star, also revealed to the media that he used products that contained steroids (the “cream”) but had no knowledge of the steroids.

Where are these 3 CLEARLY implicated steriod users today?

Sosa: Batting 4th for the Rangers, hit his 9th HR yesterday.

Sheffield: Batting 3rd for the Tigers, received a $28 million extension through 2009 this year.

Giambi: Even awarded the 2005 Comeback Player of the Year Award by Major League Fucking Baseball, Giambi currently bats 3rd for the Yankees.

What mistake is Bonds making that these guys aren’t? Being in the news. No news coverage? Who cares if they took steroids?!?! Hey look, I forgot already!

Which brings us to Barry and the current witch hunt against him…

The all-knowing Skip Bayless wrote in 2001, the year Bonds broke the single season HR record, in the San Jose Mercury-News that Bonds had attained his physique…

“By purifying his diet, supplementing with over-the-counter muscle builders… and lifting until he cried.”

Bayless was among many sportswriters at the time who hesitated to investigate any more into Bonds’ gaining 15 lbs. of muscle in 100 days. After all, as was said in The Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams*,

“the example of [Mark] Wilstein, the AP writer who had broken the story of McGwire’s use of Andro, showed sportswriters that if they succeeded in getting the scoop, they would likely be subjected to intense criticism from the most powerful people in the game. It was little wonder that the media wasn’t more inquisitive.”

*Even Fainaru-Wada and Williams, in today’s Bonds witch hunt, didn’t avoid scrutiny. In September 2006, they were sentenced to 18 months in jail for failing to reveal the sources of the leaked grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds. However, they avoided jail time when attorney Troy Ellerman admitted to leaking the testimony.

Needless to say, the media told baseball fans to be in awe of Barry Bonds. Following his 73 HR year of 2001, Bonds led the Giants to the World Series in 2002 and the fans cheered along the way.

2002 marked the year when MLB actually MADE a steriod policy, except it wasn’t official until 2005.

This means that before 2005, NO ONE WAS EVER SUSPENDED FOR STEROIDS.

The illustrious list of MLB players suspended for steroid use: Alex Sanchez, Jorge Piedra, Agustin Montero, Jamal Strong, Juan Rincon, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Palmeiro, Ryan Franklin, Mike Morse, Carlos Almanzar, Felix Heredia, Matt Lawton, Yusaku Iriki, Jason Grimsley, Guillermo Mota, and Juan Salas.

Other than Palmeiro, that list could be either be suspended steroid users or your grocery bagging and cart boy lineup at the local Kroger’s.

So now that Bonds is on the brink of breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time HR record, and his Crucible of witch hunts and accusations of “tainting the game” fill the storylines of newspaper and TV reports, it has come time for baseball fans to look in the mirror.

You booed Roger. You threatened to kill Aaron. You throw needles at Barry. Yet you were the same ones that stuck your head in the sand when Big Mac* and Sammy were breaking HR records. The same fans that roared when Bonds hit his 73 HRs. Why? Because you were told to by the media.

*Big Mac luckily got a pass on the fan hatred because A) he retired relatively early at age 38 and B) his record only stood for 3 seasons

So now that the media points the finger at Bonds and he becomes the poster child of steroids and everything that is wrong with the game, what do baseball fans do? They blame him with the utmost venom and anger. Nevermind the other admitted steroid users in MLB. Bonds is going to break our beloved home run record. And just like for Roger Eugene Maris and Henry Louis Aaron, you will boo and hate.

Why is a steroid-using asshole who cheated to get ahead and lied to the entire baseball community about to own the most sacred record in all of sports?

Baseball fans deserve it.

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in MLB | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Requiem For A Season

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 15, 2007

No pictures for this article. No gimmicks.

There is no hope for the rest of the season for the Reds. If you think there is, well apparently you just got out on parole. This season is dead, and this is its requiem.

Nobody is accountable on this team for consistently poor performance. Well here’s where I call them all out… these mother fuckers just wasted another 3 hours of my life.

Let’s start at the top…

Bob Castellini – His investment group spent $270 million to buy the Reds from his father-in-law, Carl Lindner. Who spends hundreds of millions of dollars on a baseball franchise then play small ball? This is a fucking proud franchise with 5 World Series championships. We aren’t the Devil Rays.

Major League baseball accrued over $1 billion in revenue more than they expected last year. Therefore they encouraged small market teams to make expenditures in free agency market to increase competition. THIS IS WHAT THE LUXURY TAX IS FOR.

The Reds receive compensation from teams like the Yankees that spend over the salary cap. WE HAVE 18 PLAYERS CURRENTLY MAKING $2 MILLION YEARLY SALARY OR LESS. Making over $10 million this year? Our favorite “fly ball” pitcher, Eric Milton.

Remember Bobby’s first press conference, when he told fans that if the Reds were in the hunt down the stretch, he would spend the money. Well, he certainly opened up the coffers for Eddie “Fourth Meal” Guardado last year! We only finished 3.5 games out, and it was even closer than that for most of September. Am I the only one who remembers these things????

Wayne Krivsky – Please refer to bullpen article for complete horseshit deals executed by the Wayner.

Jerry Narron – I have never in my life seen a manager so intent on consistently being inconsistent. I haven’t seen the same lineup two days in a row all year.

MEMO TO JERRY: Players like to bat in the same place most days. They get fidgity when they don’t know if they’re hitting 1st, 8th, or pinch-hitting.

What about the mismanagement of the starting staff you ask? Why look no further than tonight, when Narron allowed Matt Belisle to keep pitching after getting hammered for 5 runs in the first 3 innings. The results? 2 more runs in the 5th inning. Way to slaughter the confidence of one of our better young pitchers, Jerry. Belisle sat in the dugout afterwards and looked as if he had just witnessed a mob hit. Team doctor Timothy Kremchek was then seen sprinting into the clubhouse, scrounging feverishly for anti-depressants.

Ryan Freel – A fan favorite. Plays hard. Gets dirty. Yet wouldn’t this guy be a #7 or #8 hitter on most decent teams? Has there ever been a start to a game recently where Freel has disrupted the other team by getting on base and running wild on the basepaths? Has he ever consistently worked the count so the other batters can see the pitcher’s stuff? This is what leadoff men do. More and more Freel swings for the fences, with limiting results. 14 walks – 20 Ks. .268 AVG, .348 OBP. 8 steals, 4 CS. This guy is no leadoff hitter.

Adam Dunn – Dunn makes A-Rod envious about how many insignificant home runs he can hit. He’s hitting .182 AVG with Runners in Scoring Position with 14 Ks in 33 ABs. He also hits .220 AVG with 2 outs. This KILLS the Reds. He has to be one of the most talented, least clutch hitters of all time. This guy is our franchise bat? Highest paid player? Ugh.

Ken Griffey Jr. – Junior is having a great season. Just named NL player of the week. Why is he getting called out? BECAUSE HE DOESN’T CALL ANYONE ELSE OUT. Griffey has to be one of the most aloof, disinterested superstars of our generation. Welsh and Grande rambled on tonight that the Reds need a veteran superstar to step up in the clubhouse and let everyone know that losing isn’t OK. Somehow the camera kept panning toward Junior.

Remember in the ’95 playoffs when Griffey came barreling down the 3rd base line to score the winning run vs. the Yankees in the 11th inning. He jumped up into the arms of his teammates in elation. Where did that guy go? Griffey wouldn’t jump into his teammates arms if you lit an M-80 under his ass. Is there anybody on the “All-Century Team” who cared less about winning for so much of his career? I don’t think so.

Edwin Encarnacion – Eddie was so bad he was sent down for INF Jeff Keppinger? Has anybody seen this Keppinger guy? You could easily swap him out for the batboy and nobody would notice. He’s listed at 180 lbs. Apparently that includes the anvil they threw inside his shirt. Eddie’s Fielding Percentage was .914. Among active 3Bs, that was 2nd to last. Between Eddie and our 1B combo of Hatte/Conine, we have 5 total home runs so far. Ugh.

Eric Milton – My favorite “fly ball” pitcher. Has anyone ever stopped to consider what a “fly ball” pitcher is anyway? Fly balls equate to homeruns, groundballs to outs. Last year, Brandon Webb led the league in groundball outs. Result? Cy Young Award Winner.

Meanwhile, Milton is 16-27 as a Red. The year before Milton came to the Reds, HE SET THE FUCKING NATIONAL LEAGUE RECORD FOR HOME RUNS GIVEN UP BY A LHP!!! In his first five starts this year, HE NEVER FINISHED ONE INNING WITH A LEAD!!!!!! This is our 24 million-dollar man.

Meanwhile in Louisville…

Homer Bailey – 1.38 ERA

I want you to read this quote by Jerry Narron about Milton right after he put him on the DL and seriously tell me if he even fucking watches the games…

“I think Milty’s pitching better than he has in the past,” Narron said Tuesday. “I think he’s really working at changing speeds, really working at keeping the ball down. Hopefully he can continue to do that and pitch well for us.”

My fucking head is going to explode. Seriously. I need Parental Control on my cable box to block the rest of the Reds games. If I write anymore about this tonight I’ll be doing babysteps like What About Bob and calling Dr. Leo Marvin in the morning.

I’m going to cheer for the Reds to lose every game the rest of the year so the entire country will know how stupid our management is and how they’ve run this proud franchise into the ground.

This season is already dead, therefore this is its requiem.

To be continued….

— Charlie Hustle

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Bullpen…?

Posted by Charlie Hustle on May 10, 2007

Only 2 members of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen remain on the active roster from the 2006 Opening Day roster: Todd Coffey and David Weathers.

When Wayne Krivsky became the Reds GM last year on February 8th, 2006, his main objective was clear – to improve the bullpen. So here’s a run-down of the some of the results…

Feb. ’06 – Acquire RP Rick White.

May ’06 – Reds trade minor league pitcher for RP Esteban Yan.

July ’06 – Designate Rick White for assignment. ERA – 6.26

July ’06 – Trade P Justin Germano for RP Rheal Cormier.

-Cormier was 39 years old and made a salary of over $2.3 mil/yr. He was released today. Meanwhile, Germano started for San Diego yesterday, pitching 6 innings and giving up 1 run on 3 hits. Germano is 24 years old.

July ’06 – Reds release RP Esteban Yan

July ’06 – Reds trade:

OF Austin Kearns – Reds’ farm product who was scheduled to be our RF for years to come. Still only 27 years old.

SS Felipe Lopez – All-star in 2005.

RP Ryan Wagner – Reds No. 1 Draft pick in 2003.

FOR

RPs Gary Majewski and Bill Bray and SS Royce Clayton (36 years old at the time)

Jerry Narron after the deal… “Just the depth of it is tremendous… We have guys that we feel like will keep the game close if we’re behind and have a good chance of holding the lead if we’re ahead.”

July ’06 – Reds trade minor league pitcher for RP Eddie Guardado (36 years old, contract over $6 million)

August ’06 – Eddie Guardado and Gary Majewski placed on DL

August ’06 – Acquire RP Ryan Franklin. With Reds, ERA – 4.44 WHIP – 1.767

September ’06 – Reds finish 3.5 games behind eventual WS Champion St. Louis Cardinals

November ’06 – Reds sign 39-yr old Mike Stanton to a 2 yr, $5.5 mil contract. Mike Stanton’s current 2007 ERA: 8.10

March ’07 – Option RP Gary Majewski to AAA Louisville

March ’07 – Reds give Todd Coffey 1-yr extension. Current 2007 ERA: 5.71

April ’07 – Reds place RP Bill Bray and RP Eddie Guardado on DL

2007 BULLPEN RESULTS IN NL (16 teams):

ERA: 15th

SAVES: 16th

HR ALLOWED: T-15th

Ks: 14th

W – L: 4-8

I understand that Krivsky came from a team in the Twins which has thrived as a small-market team, making numerous sharp moves and drafting well. Unfortunately for Reds fans, this doesn’t necessarily correlate for us. Of course, most fans are patient with new management and expect results down the road. However, if you look at most of these deals, many of these pitchers are aging and either get injured or are released soon after. The proof is in the pudding…

Wayne Krivsky Sucks.

— Charlie Hustle*

*Day-to-Day (Broken Arm)

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB | Tagged: | Comments Off on Bullpen…?

In Their Own Words

Posted by Charlie Hustle on April 23, 2007

After losing 2 out of 3 to the Phillies this weekend and losing 4 out of the last 5 overall, every Reds fan wants answers. Especially since this weekend marked the first time since 2000 that the Reds attendance for a 3-game series topped 100,000 in April. So instead of rambling about what’s wrong with them, I’ll let you decide from their own words.

After grounding into a triple play on Saturday, David Ross described the play, stating…

A) “Adam Dunn made me feel better when he said ‘At least you made contact.'”

B) “Jason LaRue taught me that one.”

C) “I ran as hard as I could.”

Answer: C. Apparently Ross running hard couldn’t prevent the first triple play for the Phillies in 8 years. Javier Valentin runs harder to the buffet line than Ross getting out of the box. Have another hoagie David.

When asked about the 13 errors committed by the Reds during the most recent homestand, Manager Jerry Narron declared…

A) “I didn’t even see those last few. Dick Pole told me that Eric Milton is our 2nd highest paid player and I had to take IV fluids after fainting.”

B) “We’ve just got to make the routine plays. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

C) “We really wanted to toughen up the bullpen. Giving the other team 3 outs is for pussies.”

Answer: B. Nothing instills confidence in me more than the manager stating that his team should make routine plays. He can’t be serious. Even if they could manage the throw from 3rd base to 1st, no routine play is going to convince hitters to stop pounding Miltie’s hanging curveball. Dick Pole should just wheel a pitching machine out there every 5th day and hog-tie Milton and stuff him in his trunk.

After being touched up for 4 runs and 8 hits in 5 innings on Sunday, starter Matt Belisle explained Chase Utley’s RBI double in the 3rd inning when he said…

A) “He just got it in a happy place.”

B) “I was distracted when I saw a greasy napkin stuffed into Valentin’s jersey. I didn’t get the pitch call because I was deciding if it was a Reuben or a cheesesteak.”

C) “(Jerry) Narron told me to throw him a hanging curve to make Dunn quit picking sunflowers in left field.”

Answer: A. What professional pitcher describes a poor pitching performance in that way? Can you imagine how Dick Pole prepares his starting staff….

“Gang… gather ’round… no more balls in happy places… only sad or angry will do. Now put away your coloring books, it’s time for recess.”

It makes me feel better when I don’t even have to rip the Reds, because their own stupidity outmatches anything I could ever write.

— Charlie Hustle

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Lohse Twirls 12 K Gem, Reds Win 1-0

Posted by Charlie Hustle on April 15, 2007

In what can only be described as the type of game the Reds never win, the Reds survived today thanks to the epic pitching performance from 28-year old Kyle Lohse. His 8-inning, 4-hit, 12K shutout performance enabled to the Reds to squeak by with the 1-0 victory at chilly Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Lohse, in his second season with the Reds, showed flashes of brilliance last year, having a 3.18 ERA in July and a 2.78 in August. However, Lohse reverted to his inconsistent and poor pitching ways, having a 6.46 ERA in September and finishing the 2006 campaign with a 5-10 record and a 5.83 ERA. These numbers make today’s gem shocking for most Reds fans.

However, Thom Brennaman pointed out that new Reds pitching coach Dick “Johnny Wadd” Pole had been stressing first-pitch strikes to Lohse during the offseason. According to ESPN.com’s scouting report, Lohse throws his fastball for 69% of his first pitches. However, it seemed like 100% today as Lohse got ahead in the count on almost every hitter. After doing so, Lohse used a combination of sliders and change-ups to stiffle the highly-touted and highly-paid Cubs lineup.

The reason this game was exactly the game that the Reds typically lose is because it came down to 2 old-fashioned factors: pitching and timely hitting…

Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly had another outstanding performance against the Reds, pitching 6 innings of 1-run, 2-hit, 10K baseball. However, Brandon Phillips led off the 4th inning with a walk and one of Lou Piniella’s “40-foot” curveballs from Ted Lilly got past C Michael Barrett, allowing Phillips to steal second base. Narron then actually astutely called for a hit-and-run with “veteran” Jeff Conine, who promptly hit a single, allowing Phillips to score the lone run of the game.

Pitching came into play in the 9th inning as well, when Lohse was pulled for Reds closer David Weathers after 114 pitches on the day. Weathers then immediately walked 1B Derrek Lee on 4 pitches. This is another way the Reds would typically lose this game. However, Weathers stayed calm and retired the side. When’s the last time we won a 1-0 game?

As for the announcers, it was interesting to flip between the FSN Reds battery of Brennaman-Welsh and the WGN broadcast. Lohse consistently drew strike calls on the outside of the plate, often called “down the middle” by Welsh and “a foot outside” by Cubs announcers. Brennaman carried Welsh as usual, not only noting Lohse’s change in first-strike philosophy but that the Reds could run on command while Lilly was on the mound, as he refused to go to the stretch in many instances. Meanwhile, after Lohse recorded his 10th strikeout, Welsh was rambling about his new “zero-degree turning radius” lawnmower and how he tried to get one for free from sponsors but they wouldn’t give him one. Shocking.

Great win for the Reds. Record now goes to 7-5. Next game is tomorrow at home vs. Milwaukee. Eric Milton is starting for the Reds. Hopefully he finally realizes that the slogan “Chicks Dig the Long Ball” isn’t meant for pitching.

— Charlie Hustle

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