Quick Update on NBA Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Chip Stevenson

Take this for what it's worth in regards to the talk about the NBA tipping the scales in favor of a Lakers-Celtics finals.

On espn.com today, there is a poll that asks, "Who would you rather have the Lakers play in the finals- Boston Celtics or Detroit Pistons?"

The results so far after 21,000+ votes are 79% of the people want to see Boston in the finals and only 21% of the people want to see Detroit in the finals.

That huge disparity is definitely enough for David Stern and the NBA to at least be rooting for the Celtics to win and maybe even doing more to get that match up...

Chip Stevenson on the NBA

Posted by Chip Stevenson

I was starting to write a comment to Pacman's post about the losses the other night, but it turned into my own version of Moby Dick (or War and Peace if you prefer) so I decided to turn my response into its own post. I guess I am more fired up about the Pistons game the other night than I thought...

I thought the officiating in that game was pretty even except for 2 very specific instances- 

1.) When Paul Pierce tried to decapitate Chauncey Billups when he was driving for a lay up. I thought that should have been a flagrant foul even if Pierce ended up trying to grab Chauncey to help brace his fall or whatever. None of Pierce's body parts ever even came close to reaching for the ball.  Chauncey was dribbling, about to make his drive to the hoop, and both of Pierce's hands went up around Chauncey's neck, nowhere close to the ball. Holding him up to try to protect him after you do a Stone Cold Steve Austin clothesline doesn't take away from the flagrancy at the beginning. 

2.) Near the end of the game, I think the Pistons were within one possession- maybe down 1 point or down 3. Kevin Garnett passed up a clutch shot, which he is soooo good at doing, and the pass was deflected. Chauncey and Rajon Rondo both went after the ball, Chauncey tapped the ball to a teammate, giving the Pistons the ball in a one possession game. Unfortunately, AFTER Chauncey tapped the ball, he and Rondo collided. They called a foul on Chauncey even though it was a loose ball after it was deflected and both of them dove for the ball.  The foul call gave the ball back to the Celtics who hit a shot in that possession. I dont really know the rule on that situation, but it seems to me that the ball was loose at the time so it was basically up for grabs. Chauncey made his dive and tapped the ball before any contact was made. That doesn't seem like it should be a foul to me. HUGE call and I thought it was the WRONG call 

Anyways, the NBA is a magnet for conspiracy theories- from giving the Knicks the number one pick in the first ever draft lottery in 1985 to draft Patrick Ewing to giving Cleveland the number one pick to draft hometown hero Lebron to having Dwyane Wade win a championship by himself against a far superior Dallas Mavericks team. A Lakers-Celtics final is clearly the best thing for the NBA in terms of fan support and all that. At some point, as all of these conspiracy theories get brought up, you have to believe that a couple at least have SOME truth to them. So, I wouldn't doubt that David Stern has tipped the scales a little bit in favor of the Celtics and Lakers to get that dream match up. The no call at the end of the Lakers-Spurs game and the calls I talked about in the Pistons-Celtics game seem to be pretty clear cut cases of "luck" in favor of that dream match up. 

Even so, I think that the only negative aspect of the game the other night was that the Pistons lost. We came back from being down 17 IN Boston to get within 1 point in the 4th quarter. If a couple calls go our way, we would have walked out of there with a win and control of the series. I feel like the Celtics are feeling just as bad as the Pistons are after the game because of how they almost let a HUGE game like that slip away. I would even go as far to say that we are the ones with the momentum.  AND Flip Saunders who usually gives some weak quotes after the games about how we have to stay together and play better blah blah blah adamantly stated after the game, "we are not going away."  I've never seen that kind of confidence out of him, and it gave me like 1/25th of the goosebumps that I get after watching Rocky 4, which is a thousand times more goosebumps than I have felt about the NBA in years.  I liked it.  Also, Rasheed is pissed now and that's always a good thing for Detroit. If Rip Hamilton's elbow is ok, a big if now that he is listed as questionable, to play the rest of the series, I think the Pistons still have a good shot to win it. The chances of the Pistons winning in Boston are greater than the chances of Boston winning in Detroit. 

Pistons in 7 (if Rip is healthy). Still have hope.

Lastly, I read recently that the NBA is at the very least considering fining players next season who flop.  Seriously, the NBA is THIS close to turning into soccer, and that is not even close to a good thing.  I guess fining players who flop is better than nothing, but there still seems to be a MUCH easier and a MUCH more successful solution to that problem------- DON'T CALL FOULS WHEN SOMEONE FLOPS!!!!! Sheesh, I feel like the option of fining people is the NBA scrambling all over for a solution when the most logical one is right in front of their collective noses.  Here's a video I found from Sportscenter of the top 10 soccer flops during the last World Cup... Seriously, is there any difference between any of these guys and Manu Ginobili in the NBA?  

Dee-dee-bop-eeeetroit! Sports are Rockin'

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

So I meant to write this post the other night when the Pistons and Red Wings won their respective home playoff games on the same night, however I did not get around to it. Last night, all three significant Detroit sports teams except for the Shock played again, unfortunately, the results were much different than the night before. The Pistons lost game 5 in Boston and are now losing their series 3-2 while the Red Wings lost game 3 to Pittsburgh in the Steel City to make the series 2-1 Wings. Anyway, what was going to be a very joyous, funny, great post will now probably be really lame and wordy. In addition, my mood has gone from having a raging boner while writing this to having very poor, back problem causing posture . Oh well... the show must go on.

The only good news about last night was that the Tigers salvaged one game from their 3 game set with the Los Angeles Angels. Marcus Thames hit 2 home runs and Armando Galaragga, the big cat, had a stellar start. Tiger starting pitching has been phenomenal of late, working at least 7 innings in the last four games. Unfortunately, the Tigers' hitters would much rather bring home ugly chicks from Royal Oak bars than work a little harder and get better so they can score some more runs. Although I will admit that Marcus Thames was one of the hitters spotted talking to ugly chicks (don't get me wrong, I'm sure they were very nice) and he hit two bombs last night. Actually, I bet he and Curtis Granderson were just picking up what I like to call 'slump busters.' Maybe everybody on the team should go to Royal Oak and pick themselves up a slump busting jersey chaser. It's science....a nice and easy slump buster and Jason Grilli is what every slumping team needs to score some runs. Anyway, the way the Tiger pitchers have been throwing lately could be a good sign if the bats turn it around before its too late. Let's keep our toesies crossed.

All I REALLY want to say about the Red Wings is this: "I'm not worried." But, since I know you are very interested, allow me to tell you about this heated personal rivalry I have going with a friend of mine from Pittsburgh. First of all, before the series even started, he calls to talk shit, which is understandable because they do have Malkin and Crosby on their team. Despite those two superstars though, Pittsburgh is notorious for being called "Shittsburgh," the place God squatted over and took a nice -clean break at the anus- poop on (although many will argue that for Detroit, it's not a fact like it is for Pittsburgh). In terms of awesomeness though Pittsburgh has only 3 professional championships as a city in the last 25 years, and only one in the past 15 while Detroit has had 9 in the past 25 years and 6 in the last 15. Granted we do have an NBA and WNBA team to help that number out. No one needs to factor that into this equation though, okay? How is this for irony though- The last time a Detroit team has played a Pittsburgh team in the playoffs was in 1907 when the Pirates beat the Tigers in 7 games in the WS. The last championship team in Pittsburgh was the Steelers two years ago and that Super Bowl was played in....DETROIT. Interesting. I digress. Anyway, finally another team in the city is good and those two players certainly warrant a fan to talk some shit. So when the Red Wings took a commanding 2-0 series lead and Pittsburgh had not scored a goal yet, my friend quickly became pretty defensive saying ridiculous things such as, "we're still title town," "this series is but a zygote" and "eat a cock." Sure I fired back my usual brilliant smack talk, but all of it was legit. Anyway, after last night's game, he quickly hopped back on the offensive wagon and guaranteed a game 4 Penguin victory and that I should be very worried with the series being tied up going back to Detroit. My answer was very simple: "I'm not worried. Rick Mahorn is here." The Red Wings in 5.

Actually, I would however like to make one more comment about the Penguins making excuses after game 2. Talbot, their head coach, and Crosby all made comments about Osgood diving to get penalties called against the Gwynns. Talbot said it was a shame they weren't playing soccer because he was diving around so much. I thought that was pretty funny they were blaming their terrible losses on Osgoods acting and the officials lack of noticing it. This is definitely a lead in to my next topic.

My therapist said I should put personal issues aside and focus more on the problems of everyone else. That is why I am now going to focus on the growing problem with the officiating in the NBA. For years now, people have made claims that the NBA is rigged and the refs make calls in order to harbor the pre-arranged outcomes of games. This would be the biggest conspiracy theory since President Kennedy's assassination and the time my lunch box was stolen in Junior Kindergarten. I've never really believed it, even though Sheed mentioned it a couple years ago and everything he says is really smart, but it just sounds too crazy to be true. However, lately the referees have been suspiciously atrocious. After last night's Pistons' game Sheed said Boston is "entertaining and shit" with all the diving they are doing and refs are calling the fouls on the Pistons but not giving them any. Well to counter that, the Pistons did shoot 8 more free throws. But I noticed Rip arguing calls a lot more than usual so they must have missed a fair share of calls. However, my advice to Rip though is to shut up and keep playing because while he is arguing a no-call, Boston is running up the floor with an advantage to score. Meanwhile, Rip is getting closer to a technical and not helping our team at all. All in all though, I think the Pistons have a point in that the officials have been pretty bad during these conference finals.

For example, the referees swallowed their whistles at the end of game 4 of the Lakers/Spurs game. Brent Barry pump faked the last second shot and drew Derek Fisher from his feet who fell into Barry. There was no call on the play and Barry was forced to throw up an off balanced prayer at the back board. The NBA came out yesterday saying that the officials missed that call and the Spurs should have been rewarded with the 2 free throws and a chance to tie the game and send it into OT. Instead, no call was made, the Spurs lost their chance to tie the series at 2, and now their season is probably over as they trail 3-1. First of all, I completely disagree with the NBA coming out right now and making it be known in the middle of the series that they missed the call. By doing so, the NBA further raises suspicion against officials and also opens a door for people to argue for a replay of the game. Obviously the latter is ridiculous, but just friggin wait until the series is over and admit the refs were wrong then, so refs can have at least barely an ounce of dignity when they ref the rest of the series. Now for the rest of the series, the NBA has given the Spurs reason to blame the refs for their loss and not their players for not knowing that the refs tend to get hungry at the end of close games and eat their whistles. Now no one will blame Brent Barry for not knowing that the refs tend to let the players play toward the end of close games or for not selling the foul a little more by putting up a shot as soon as Fisher fell on him. No one will probably wonder why the Spurs coach didn't come up with a better play, or player, for the last second shot. Nonetheless, the officials are there to call fouls. If a foul happens, a foul happens. You can't all of a sudden let players play 100 times more aggressive just because it is the end of the game. Kevin Garnett should not be able to bulldoze through picks and set picks with his arms out just because the game is close near the end. Call the fouls or set a precedence early for the amount of physical play you are going to allow. OKay?Jeeze-o-petesampras.

I'm sorry that this post is so long, un-funny, and mostly negative. I've had a rough past 24 hours. On top of the losses last night, I had to drive all 3 miles back to Wendy's today because they put 'the works' on my two plain hamburgers even though they assured me they were plain as they were handing me the bag at the drive through window. So of course, I didn't check it then and there. At the same time, they hounded me to donate my change of a dollar, my only dollar, to the David Foundation. I needed that dollar for a snack later in the day so I respecfully declined. When I went back to get new, plain, burgers from inside, the lady asked if I had donated a dollar for the foundation. Pissed about the burgers, I lied and told her that I did earlier at the drive through. I wasn't going to feel bad at all until she immediately put my name on a paper frosty and taped it up on the wall. Then again, next time they should just get my burger order right and this would have never happened. Anyway, after I eat my burgers, I have to take this nice long poop that I'm actually excited about to wipe. Don't you love those poops? I know me too. Well as I start to roll me off some toilet paper, they start ripping off from the roll, small-piece by piece. Still frustrated from the losses and burger dilemma, I have to pull and rip a bunch of mini-pieces of paper to get a large wad, large enough to wipe my fat ass. Why the hell can't the toilet paper roll nicely, nice enough for me to get a big enough piece for me to wipe??? So frustrating... you know? Finally, when I get a piece large enough, I turn around and notice there's poop on the seat. Normally, I let that go, but I work with my parents and I was the only one in the office today so they would know it was me. All in all....rough day at the office.

I'll leave you with a video about the Piston's PA announcer, John Mason. Lately, he has been announcing the Piston starters more cave-man like. Sometimes he just blurts things out and they instantly catch on to the fans, making him a town hero. Personally, I like the way he can fluctuate his voices. For example, when he announced Ben Wallace he threw in a little horse sneeze and when he announces Chauncey B-B-B-B-illups he throws in the middle school girl voice. Watch the video and you'll kind of understand the context for his absurdity.


Go Wings

Posted by Chip Stevenson

Fashion, Passion, and Player Bashin

Posted by Dupree

The Pistons lost to the Celtics tonight in game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. That right there has put me in a miserable mood but since it's so tough to win on the road in the playoffs I'm hoping that we can steal a game in Boston on Thursday night and go back to Motown with the series tied 1-1. Garnett played a great game while Sheed and Chauncey failed to show up and didn't do anything more than show off their new fashion statement of wearing leggings under their shorts.

Anyways I'm sure they'll step up and come to play in the future and maybe even show some leg.

Now recently Chip and Pacman have touched on the subject of hate/respect, now I will speak of something that I don't hate/respect but instead something that I just hate with a passion.

- Bench players in the NBA who get so excited and cheer so ridiculously throughout the course of the game. In my opinion they should sit on their ass and cheer their teammates (the ones who actually play) on in a fashion that does not embarrass themselves and everyone around them. In the playoffs I have seen it on multiple occasions where a player who gets zero playing time is more emphatic and overly excited at the sight of a good play than the players who are actually on the court. Another thing about these bench players that has ticked me off is trying to distract shooters in the corner by clapping their hands or yelling in their ears attempting to get them to miss. That is just bush league and is absolutely ridiculous. I have seen a poor excuse for a player, Eddie "I have no home" House, do it on multiple occasions and it makes me sick to see that kind of poor sportsmanship. There's a reason why he's been on 8 different teams in 10 years and literally has no place to call home (even though he did hit one three tonight...I chalk that up to karma again, thank Chip for that one).

On another note the Tigers won tonight, yahoo. That puts them just 9 games below .500. Hopefully Jim Leyland has scared the Tigers with his pre-game rant where he went on saying that he's going to start naming names when it comes to who's playing poorly....I'm pretty sure we don't need him to start bashing his own players, we can just look at the stats and see who's playing like dog crap (pretty much everyone on the Tigers). Leyland also went off on Pacman's boy, Jason Grilli. It all started when Grilli had said that "the Tigers hurt their chemistry by getting rid of players such as Sean Casey" and "that led to a stale and stagnant atmosphere in the clubhouse". The skipper fired back by saying that Grilli didn't pitch well under pressure and didn't pitch well in Detroit at all. Ouch, even though I'm sure Jason was just upset that the Tags got rid of himself and Casey, maybe he should just keep his mouth shut. I hope the Tigers do a Michigan u-turn and right the ship after the win but how many times have we said that this year.

Finally, I wanted to congratulate the Davidson Wildcat baseball team for fighting until the very end today in a tough 12 inning loss. They were down late and could've thrown in the towel but stayed in there and fought like true champions do. It's sad to see the senior's careers end but I know they will not be forgotten. Pacman---> the best pitcher I've ever caught...I'm upset to see it end (I was kind of living vicariously through your baseball career). Anyways, good season Wildcats and as a wise man once said, "keep your chin up".

Go Pistons, Go Red Wings, Go Tigers, and last.... and definitely least, Go Shock


Whatchyou Talkin' Bout Willis?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

Yesterday I graduated from college and I have to admit that I was pretty emotionless during the entire commencement. Although I was very happy my beloved family and girlfriend was present for a once in a lifetime event, I am not all that depressed to be leaving college and taking the next step in the game of life. The next move for me will be to law school in Atlanta. Although I am going in with my mind ajar, ultimately becoming a MLB agent really intrigues me.

Currently, I am in Charleston, SC for what could be my last organized baseball game(s) ever. Those emotions are held in a whole other bag that I am not so sure I am interested in talking about here tonight. You'll have to read my memoir or watch "The Rookie" to hear how it plays out.

I would like to comment briefly about Chip's post on Boston. I'm going to go against Chip's feelings and say that I think I hate/respect Boston. Put the knife away. Let's take a deep breath. Now I know I've only been there a few times in my almost 23 years, but Boston has been getting a lot of shit for a long time. Aside from the tea party situation, the Red Sox were cursed for 28475439 years until 2004 when they came back from an 0-3 series deficit to beat the possibly more hated Yankees while they were drunk and went on to win the World Series. I know exactly how it feels to be a huge part of a cursed organization. I don't think anyone can say that the Red Sox run in 2004 wasn't awesomazing. Furthermore, the Celtics are arguably one of the best organizations in NBA history. If you've ever slept with basketball, you have to respect that. Now despite all that, I do in fact hate what Boston has become today. The Red Sox are acting like a greedy beggar on Woodward Ave. The Celtics sold out and made a ridiculous off season trade that brought in two old, big names to play with Pierce and said, "We want to win now and only now while we come up with a not very creative, we get it, slogan- The Boston Three Party." Reiterating what Chip said, the Patriots choked and have been cheating for years. Clearly, those are all hate-able offenses. Contrary to all that however, tonight something happened in Boston that has to inherit some respect. Jon Lester threw a no-no against the best team in the MLB when they are playing Detroit, the Kansas City Royals. Less than 2 years ago, Jon Lester was diagnosed with cancer which he ultimately beat. The fact that he beat cancer, alone, is a very very respectable feat. To come back and throw a no hitter in a MLB game, less than 2 years later is more than respectable. I agree that his no hitter might have been karma kicking Chip in the balls, slapping him in the face, and calling him an ugly woman, but it also has to fall within the things we must respect about Boston- while still being amongst all the things we also hate about Boston too. I may have changed the definition of hate/respect slightly without knowing how or why, but Webster, Oxford, and Mr. Dictionary.com don't even know shit about it- so tiny ammendments or contextual changes can be made, right? Does any of that make sense??? Probably not, but the moral of this probably incoherent rant is to tip my cap to Sir Jon Lester. (see Willis picture at top) Detroit Pistons in 6.

A subject I can talk about without the underwear stuck between my cheeks- and with a little more ease- is the Detroit Red Wings reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. I am so geeked up about this Finals matchup because it includes 2 amazing teams and 4 young superstars (Red Wings v. Penguins and Datsyuk/Zetterberg v. Crosby/Malkin). The NHL could not possibly ask for anything better when promoting the sport that has been lost to so many in the USA since the strike. Tonight the Red Wings defeated the Dallas Stars with easy mac and cheese, 4-1 to win the series 4-2. Game one of the NHL finals will be on VS, Saturday, May 24th. Games 3 and 4 will be on NBC- which is also good for the sport to be on extra-national television (Saying 'national television' has sort of changed meanings over the years considering everyone has cable now adays. ESPN is national television, but wouldn't have been for me 4 years ago because my mother is still slowly emerging from the 1940s. VS channel NOW is probably more national television than ESPN to me THEN. My guess is that most cable enabled homes have the VS channel, but it's still not considered a national channel, right?) My prediction is Detroit in 5.

The Tigers had an off-day today. I am at a loss for words with them...I hope they win 15 in a row and make me forget about this terrible first quarter of the season. I truly don't know what I'm talking about Dontrelle.

I'll be in Detroit after Davidson baseball shocks the world.....hopefully.



Posted by Chip Stevenson

Going along with the theme of karma, she just bit me and deservedly so.  I wrote a "Boston Sucks" post today and then Jon Lester went out and threw a no hitter to shove it right back in my face.  Obviously, I deserved it, but he has to be one of the worst pitchers to ever throw a no no.

He also had cancer last year, which makes it a great story and a sign of karma by itself.  Cancer one year, no hitter the next year- pretty sweet.  

No Hate/Respect for Boston

Posted by Chip Stevenson

I wrote a post while back about how I recently started dating someone new- Hockey(do you think she is cheating on me??).  I failed to mention in that post that to make room in my life for my rather high maintenance new girlfriend (the Wings who were up 3-0 against Dallas are now only up 3-2 with game 6 tonight), I had to break up with someone else- basketball (she definitely cheated on me).  To be honest, I was completely ready to move on.  I was sick and tired of the me-first attitude of my ex and how big of an impact people on the outside had on our relationship.  After a 2006 Miami Heat championship in which the referees were the second, third, and fourth best players on that team behind DWade and an Eastern Conference Finals last year in which one freakin player beat a team of 5, I put myself out on the market.  Hockey has been good to me so far, much better than basketball ever was, but I still am having trouble getting my ex out of my mind sometimes.  When the Celtics eked out a win against the Cavs last night to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals, I took a big step back towards basketball.  Is having a girl on the side a crime?  I am really looking forward to the Pistons-Celtics series, and a lot of that excitement is a direct result of my experience living in Boston the last few years.

After living in Boston for the last 4 years, I have enough experience to say that I hate Boston sports.  I can't even give them the coveted "hate/respect" status because I really don't respect them at all, and I am having a hell of a time watching most of their sports team fail, choke, suck, and cheat during the last year or so.  Boston fans are the cockiest people I have ever met, and, as I've mentioned karma a lot in this blog, they are finally getting what's coming to them.  First, the Patriots completely choked in the Super Bowl and allowed the the worst quarterback to ever win the big one march down the field with under 2 minutes to score the winning touchdown.  Then, news comes out that the Patriots have been cheating for years, allegedly starting during their first Super Bowl season.  Bill Bellichik, a media anointed "genius", is now just a crook.  Secondly, the Bruins who have sucked for years lost in the first round of the playoffs this year.  They also traded their best player, Joe Thornton, during the 2005 season, and he ended up winning the MVP that year.  Great call Bostonians.  Lastly, the Celtics sold their soul to the Devil and wheeled and dealed their way to a completely illegitimate 66 and 16 record.  They are in the process of following in that storied Boston tradition and completely choking their way out of the playoffs.  The Celtics have yet to win a road game during the playoffs and are justifiably suffering from the effects of that son of a bitch called karma.  Good riddance.  Hopefully, karma finishes up her job during this upcoming series with the Pistons, and the Celtics and all their fans will go home sad, alone, and disappointed.  I will smile.

A couple other thoughts...

I honestly really like Kevin Garnett.  I rooted for him when he was on the Timberwolves, and I was sad that he never could get over the hump and win a championship there.  But now I feel like he has completely gone off the deep end.  He is basically a caricature of what he used to be, trouncing around the court while staring straight ahead and yelling profanities at no one in particular.  Seriously, it's almost laughable and it's basically just vulgar.  Relax, dude.  Maybe you should take some of that energy that you expend while yelling swear words into the stands and use it to make a big shot at the end of the game for once in your life. 

I went to a Celtics-Pistons game this year in Boston, and the Celtics won by 12.  They basically controlled the whole game except in the third quarter when Chauncey decided to take over and completely dominate puny Rajon Rondo.  Chauncey ended up with 23 points, 18 in that third quarter and he also drew 4 fouls on Rondo.  After the game, I went to drown my sorrows at a bar near where the Celtics play, and I saw that the Boston post game show had a poll asking, "Who would you rather have? Rajon Rondo or Chauncey Billups?"  Well, the Boston fans that I have spoken so highly of during this post really showed their true colors and voted 67% for Rajon Rondo.  That was far and away the nail in the coffin for the last ounce of respect I had for Boston sports.

Lastly, I wanted to mention a couple thoughts that I have on the Triple Crown for horse racing this year.  First, I always look forward to hearing the clever names for the horses like Absolute Bullet Proof, Made You Look, and Show Me The Money, but this year has completely disappointed me.  The overwhelming favorite and the winner of the first two races is called Big Brown.  Reminds me of poop.  Without getting too into the potty humor, I would have accepted something like I Have Diarrhea or I Get Gun Shy in Public Bathrooms.  Secondly, apparently steroids in horse racing is not banned in the three states in which the Triple Crown races take place.  So, the trainer for Big Brown aka Poop Turd injects the horse with steroids on the 15th of every month.  There have been a couple stories about this, but isn't that a little weird?  I know steroids have been illegal for humans for a while but they weren't specifically banned in baseball until recently.  Still, everyone gets angry at those baseball players who took steroids before they were specifically banned, yet Big Brown aka Toilet Log gets a free pass just because steroids aren't banned for horses in those three particular states.  Smells fishy to me and I don't like seafood that much.

By the way, Pistons in 5... TWO road wins

-Mr. Chip Stevenson

Stiff as a Board and Bright Green

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

I will dedicate approximately only 5 lines to the terrible Tigers tonight: They held a player's only meeting before today's game and came out as flat as Keira Knightly's chest, losing 8-4 to the Royals. They fell to 0-6 against them this year, and 9 games under .500. Their 2003 impersonation is getting so old.

In other Detroit sporting news, the Detroit Lions have announced that their Defensive system will remain the same. Here is the headline from their website today, in case you don't believe me: "The Defensive System will Stay the Same." This concerns me greatly. The Lions were on Sportscenter this evening and bashed pretty severely. They were ranked as the 30th best team in the NFL (out of 32), despite winning 7 games last year and being one of the best teams in the leage after the 8 game mark. Once again, Jon Kitna has set the 2008 Lions win total at 10, saying that it would be an utter disappointment if the Lions did not achieve that mark. The Free Press countered his Guaransheed with a compelling article stating that the Lions should start Drew Stanton instead. I completely disagree. I do not want a coward starting at quarterback for the Lions. Drew Stanton walked me on 4 pitches in HS when he was a pitcher for FH Harrison and that is why he is a huge coward. Besides, Jon Kitna is a man of God. That's the end of that controversy. (I would also like to add that I love the Lions 2008 schedule. I will be able to attend their first game of the year at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sept. 7th and then have plenty of reason to travel up to Charlotte Nov. 16th for their game against the Panthers. If I'm able to go to Thanksgiving day game again and a game over Xmas break, I will be able to attend more games this coming season than I have since I was a boy during the Barry Sanders era. Yahooo!...with a little rum.).

The Pistons announced that Chauncey Billups will play in game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals despite having a bum hamstring. This is completely opposite of Nicholas Packey, who will be travelling around Davidson College this coming weekend on crutches because of his bum hamstring. Both stories are completely unrelated.

Although tonight was my famous last visit to the Brickhouse tavern during my college career, most likely even EVER, I will save the "Famous Lasts" post for later. I hope you enjoyed your little taste of Detroit tonight. I'm sorry I left a little bit of a bad taste in your mouth. I promise the next post will be funnier, more fun, and more positive. Until next time though.... males should continue to check their balls out for lumps of cancer and STDs. Good looking out.


Posted by Chip Stevenson

The following post is solely about the completely over-discussed topic of steroid usage in sports.  It's short, but I hope it's a little bit enlightening.  Still, feel free to skip it if you are like me and completely 100% sick of hearing about steroids.

For the last couple years, I feel like the media has been treating me like Kobayashi (pictured above) and force feeding me as many stories about steroids as I could possibly handle.  I've become so completely jaded from all the steroid talk that I really just want to forget about it and move on like it almost never happened.  Still, I came across a couple pictures today that I feel like I have to pass along because of how the effects of steroid usage are so striking in them. 

This first set of pictures is of All Pro Linebacker Shawne Merriman.  The first picture up there was taken during the 2006 season when he was suspended four games for using steroids and still managed a career high 17 sacks in just 12 games.  The second picture is of a much smaller Shawne Merriman taken during last season when he was definitely off the juice.  That season he managed only 12.5 sacks, a full 4.5 less than the previous steroid-enhanced season, when he played 3 more games than the previous year.  He looks like two different people to me in those pictures- an intimidating man/beast compared to a slightly large teddy bear.

The second picture is of Roger Clemens.  I can't stomach hearing another word spoken about him since that's all I've been hearing lately from his starring role in the Mitchell Report to his affair with a 15 year old country singer, but I just wanted to post this picture and ask the question- How the hell did we not realize he was on steroids?  His hat is literally ripping at the seams because his head is so big.  His neck is wider than his jaw line and his teeth are about to crack under the pressure of roid rage.  

I guess my only point with this post, and I know people have said this before, is that I'm disappointed in all of us for not realizing that steroids were a big problem from the very beginning when we saw athletes like these guys with heads the size of watermelons.  Anyways, that's the last thing I hope I ever say about steroid use... Thanks for letting me vent a little.

-Mr. Stevenson

Manny Thoughts

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

My cartoon thought clouds are starting to swirl and turn into tornados. I have so much on my mind tonight. First, I can't even describe the emotions I have after Davidson baseball team picked up our FIRST road victory of the season tonight. We improved to 1-19 on the road and ended an overall 12 game losing streak after beating UNCG. We were the VERY LAST team in the country to win its first road game. Pathetic, but it has been our plan all along and to win now is perfect timing with the conference tournament around the corner. It's just in time for us to surprise some teams and possibly even shock the world. You heard it here first.

Meanwhile, the Tigers still suck. Justin Verlander turned in one of his better outtings of the season, but it went all for naught as the Tigers decided to use their real bats as fire wood and try and hit with tampons. The one lone, not so bright spot was Miguel's 2 hit Ichiro-type game. He continues to show absolutely no power (minus the random HR here and there), but was the only Tiger to have more than one hit tonight. Luckily, I did not get a chance to watch this game, or else my wrists would probably be dripping blood on this brand new laptop as I type right now. The Tigers will finish their terrible series against the F'ing ROYALS tomorrow at 2 pm. The chicken man is on the hill hoping to help end our winless year against Kansas City.

On to the better half of Detroit sports....The Red Wings decided that winning every game is boring and the NHL needs a little drama, so they lost tonight. Chris Osgood lost his first game of the playoffs, but the Wings still hold a 3-1 series lead over the Stars in the Western Conference Finals.

The Pistons await the finish of the Celtics/Cavs series to see who they will face in the Eastern Conference Finals. I'm nervous the time off will make them rusty, although it really didn't seem to be an issue in the 2nd round. I think they are going to get more time off this time though. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. At least it will help Chauncey heal his bum hammy.

Lastly, I want to switch gears into a different world and show you a clip of Manny Ramirez from tonight: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280514101
Here is a brief synopsis of what happened: He catches a ball on the run in left field and procedes to run and hop up the fence and high five a Boston Red Sox fan (the game is in Baltimore btw). Okay, end of the inning, a little more than just throwing the ball into the stands right? Well, the catch was only out number 2 and there were runners on base. While he was high fiving a fan the runners could have been tagging and running around the bases. Nonetheless, after high fiving the fan, Manny turns and throws the ball in and the Sox double off the Orioles runner at first base. The greatest part about this video is how much FUN Manny is having as he is running off the field. ManRam is pretty bizaare to say the least, but he has so much fun playing the game. Not to mention, he's FILTHY good. Rod Allen would get a ton of people drunk describing how nasty and firm this player is. I think he's great. Another event dealing with this 'antic' by Manny that you can't see in this video is that in the middle of the inning, Manny and a bunch of his teammates gathered around a camera to watch the replay and all laughed about it together. Hilarious and cool to see these grown men, who are making lots of money playing ball, still having a lot of fun. I wish the Tigers would start having fun..

Here is a video of Manny being Manny ...

This last video is of Manny looking for good, Mr. Carmichael type, boogers to eat....

Stay tuned for a "Famous Lasts" post to commemorate Chip and I never being in college again after this weekend... I was going to get a tear drop tattoo to serve as a symbol of my sadness to graduate college, but I heard it's a gang sign for how many people you have killed... I don't want to give people the wrong idea by my tear tattoo........I've killed way more than one person....


Passing This Along...

Posted by Chip Stevenson

Look at the New Orleans fan trying to distract Tony Parker last night.  Signs like these are always good for a little laugh, but this one is great because he is in the FRONT row, RIGHT behind the basket, and the sign is HUUUUGE.  No chance Tony Parker didn't think about the sign for at least a little bit last night.  Kudos, sir.

Preparing for the Worst

Posted by Chip Stevenson

So the Tags have played 39 games so far, exactly 24% of the season.  I've watched basically every game of the year and I feel like I'm in one of those nightmares where you know you are dreaming, you know you are scared, you know you are about to have that onion stuffed in your mouth by Sloth from The Goonies and all you want to do is scream, yet you can't make yourself wake up.   As much as I hate thinking about baseball right now when there are much better things to think about like the Red Wings, Pistons and my favorite cougar (what do you think she is thinking about? *sigh*), I still can't get them out of my mind.  Here are some ominous stats from the season so far...

... They are 0-20 in games in which they score less than 5 runs.  First, this shows that we obviously have not been pitching well enough.  Our starters have the worst era in the league, and even when we do get a good start like we did tonight from Nate Robertson, we blow it late in the game.  Second, our offense that was supposed to come close to scoring 1,000 runs this season is scoring less than 5 runs a game in more than 50% of their games so far.  Pathetic.  When we bring up a guy like Matt Joyce who was barely even a prospect before the season started to bring some power to the lineup, you know we are in trouble.  We have guys like Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen, but we are reduced to looking for that power boost from Matt freakin Joyce. 

... They have been shutout 5 times already this year.  Last year we were only shutout in 3 games all year!  It's seriously mind boggling how bad our hitting has been this year.  They came into the year with so much hype and were supposed to be so formidable, but they have played so ridiculously bad that I'm almost embarrassed for them. 

... They are 0 and 4 against the ROYALS this year!!!!  What the hell?  When have the Royals ever been associated with winning anything other than losing the most?  I haven't done any research about this but I'm certain when I say that no team that is even close to good has lost 4 straight games to the Royals in the history of the world. 

... Finally, the thing that scares me the MOST about this year so far is that Todd Jones has not blown a save yet.  For the past two years, our most disappointing losses have come from the hands of the Rollercoaster.  I'm actually a fan of his-  I can live with his shaky innings because he gets the job done most of the time.  Still, he hasn't contributed any of his patented meltdowns so far this year, and I can't imagine how much it's going to hurt when he finally does have the obligatory Todd Jones 5 run 9th inning when he comes in with a 4 run lead.  

I'm quickly losing faith that the Tags can turn it around.  We started the year 0 and 7 and we are now 16-23 so we've been playing .500 ball for the last 30+ games.  Maybe that's just who we are- a completely disappointing, average team.  I'm still hoping for the best, but I'm now starting to expect the worst.  Too bad.

At least we still have the Wings and the Pistons.

-Chip S.

Dats Eureka!

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

The Detroit Red Wings became the 155th team in NHL history to take a 3-0 playoff series lead as they defeated the Dallas Scrubs 5-2. Pavel Datsyuk had 3 goals and accumulated more hats tonight than John Eshelman has during his entire hat collecting career. It is worth noting that the Red Wings have played the last couple games without their leading playoff scorer Johan Franzen, who is out with concussion like symptoms. (I get those all the time. I know how he feels). Anyway, it doesn't matter that he has not played because Detroit is absolutely absurdly good and playing out of their minds. From the sound of it, and from reading commentary on the games, it appears the Red Wings are dominating every minute. I wish I could witness every game first hand, but the NHL is STILL not on a normal national television channel. Instead, I have to listen to most games when I can't be around a rich person who has the complete cable package. It's okay though... I can tell you how Grand Rapids' arena football team did this year since ESPN loves showing those games. At least some regularly televised shows are trying to relay to non-cable owners the awesome-ness of Detroit Red Wings hockey (Don't mind Chip's friends dancing at the beginning of this video):

If you're not into real obvious messages...maybe a more subliminal message might do the trick:

The Red Wings will try and sweep the series Wednesday. The Todd has his broom ready.

In other sports news, the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic will tip-off game 5 tomorrow in Orlando. Chauncey Billups still appears to be nursing an injured hamstring and might sit his 2nd game in a row. If I were Flip Saunders, I would definitely not play him. Since the Pistons are up 3-1 this game doesn't really matter much. We won without him the other day and besides, if we lose we are still up 3-2 and he gets a couple more days off. Besides, Jameer Nelson guaranteed victory in game 5, so it'd be a waste to play Billups when we are guaranteed to lose. Guarantees ALWAYS work. Or is that just with Rasheed? Either way, I say rest Billups and hope the Stones can pull out another victory while giving him a couple more days of rest. That way, he can be healthier for the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Three Party or Lebron.

The Tigers had tonight off. This was their 2nd day off after yesterday's rain out. They begin a series vs. the annoying Royals tomorrow night. Nate Robertson gets the nod against Zach Greinke. The Tigers hope the 2 days of nothing but green tea, Jim Leyland bed time stories, voodoo and deep breaths will help them turn their bats around into the offense everyone has expected thus far.

To finish things off tonight, I would like to discuss some of my beef that I have with the world of Subway. First of all, Jared got skinny walking to Subway, not by eating it everyday. Secondly, Chip still gets free subs there for having the same first name. Lastly, I want to share an experience I ALWAYS have when I eat at subway. Here is the basic conversation I have with the sandwich artist that serves me everytime:
Sandwich artist: Any dressing?

Me: Yes, Italian dressing please.

Sandwich artist: I'm sorry, we don't have any italian dressing, but we have oil and vinager!

Me: Irrelevant.

Sandwich artist: Would you want that on your sub then? (9 out of 10 times they go ahead and start squirting them on there anyway)

Me: Absolutely not. I asked for Italian. Why would I want oil and vinager if I asked for italian? What if my second choice was ranch!?

My conclusion: Quizno's is way better and they have HUGE delicious cookies.

That's all for tonight... I'm going to strip down, NOT look at porn, and hit the hay.


Hate/Respect Continued...

Posted by Chip Stevenson

In light of the Tags-Janks game being postponed today, I would like to add one more thing to the hate/respect list....

... Postponed Games.  Obviously they are disappointing, especially today's postponement because it was the only thing that was going to distract me from the borrrrring mother's day festivities and we miss out on the super cool pink sweatbands and pink bats that the players use to help guys continue to experience second base (see what I did there?).  But, on the other hand, they prevent the players from being struck by lightning, which is a plus, and they usually lead to a doubleheader/all day baseball fiesta later in the year.  Who doesn't like 8 hours of baseball in one day?

-Chip S.

Basebrawls and Bawls

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

Since the Tigers haven't been hitting much lately, I'd like to talk about something that does involve hitting... and I'm not talking about the baby that I want to punch because of the frustration that is building up after watching the Tigers recently...I'm talking about bench clearing brawls.

There is nothing more captivating in sports than a great game mixed in there with some heated tension between both teams. If this wasn't the case, then every single Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees series wouldn't be on ESPN like it were a playoff series. The fact of the matter is, that in these types of games, these teams hate each other with a passion, a passion that often leads to some bickering, Jazz chin music, and bench clearing brawls.

Before getting into the real meat of the post, I want to provide some context for the topic:

When signing their kids up for sports at a young age, parents typically look to baseball because their kids won't get hurt tackling the big boned kid on the other team or get their shins kicked in by the ADD kid who can't focus long enough on the ball to kick that. Baseball has long been confused with sports like soccer as being a sissy sport. However, you should already know that is not true at all. Besides the stress one puts on his arm by throwing a baseball everyday and the hustle that comes along with stretching singles into doubles and making diving plays on a playing surface that allows for rocks to fill up Dupree's jockstrap better than his penis does... within the sport of baseball lies a history of codes that every player must abide by. By breaking these 'codes' or committing cardinal sins of baseball, more times than not end up in a player getting his skin cut up from a cleats up slide, or a fastball drilled into his cranium at a speed anywhere from 80-102 mph. As a result, bench clearing brawls tend to take place. Doesn't sound so safe anymore does it, Mom? Today, I would like to speak out on a few bench-clearing brawls, and near bench clearing brawls, I have been a part of during my 1,000 some games in my lifetime. I will try my best to relive these situations, speaking out on my thoughts during the process of these events.

1. Me v. Mark Clugston.

I was about 10 years old, playing for the B.L.L. (Birmingham Little League) Orioles, coached by my Dad and my buddy, C.J.'s Dad. We were the best team in the league and we were playing the 2nd best team, Cubs. Mark Clugston (who, despite his great baseball name, later sold out to play lacrosse in high school) was probably the best player on their team. Anyway, I threw one about ten feet over Mark's head, to the backstop. I had no notion of bench clearing brawls or throwing at guys on purpose at this point in my life. At 10, I was more concerned with getting 5 bucks when I lost a baby tooth. However, Mark's intimidating 10 year old frame stared me down and I heard yelling from their coach (his dad) about me trying to throw at him on purpose. There was no way I was though because all I cared about was finishing with a victory and getting my cherry squeeze it drink after the game.

2. Man Beast v. Me

I was 14 years old, coming into my baseball prime. I was a new member of the Michigan Blackwolf, playing the steroidal NFWB Cobras (Matt Petry played 1B for them). At this point in our lives, the mound was only 54 feet away from home plate-ridiculous for what I had to face this day. I was leading off against a 14 year old who had a full out beard and ripped sleeves from his biceps. From 60 feet, he would probably have been throwing 80 mph (not that slow). From 54 feet, and I'm not a physics major, he was probably throwin 95 mph. Well, I took the first pitch fastball off of my left elbow. I tried to act real hard as I walked slowly to first base. The pitcher started to walk toward me, either for a giant bear hug or to eat me. I wasn't sure. I got half way down the line and realized it hurt really badly, so I clutched my arm, ran to the dugout and iced it for the rest of the game.

3. UNITY v. Andover

This day will go down in history as the most memorable game of my career. We, Detroit Country Day, were riding one of the best regular seasons in school history into the playoffs with one goal in mind: beat Andover and win district finals. It was the most determined, unified, and talented team that I have ever played on. Although there were 3 senior captains by title- I felt like every single player led in some way at some point or another. Ever since early September that year, me and a bunch of the guys on the team, including Chip and Dupree, were hitting every day with former Mr. Baseball and Ohio Univ. Alum, Ryan Kyes in the cages after school to get better. We all got stronger, mentally and physically, thinking only about success as we continuously used our squeezies during classes to add pop to our swings. When the season finally came, it was nothing but business to reach our goals. We had an amazing season, winning the Farmington tournament (Chip won the last game and I threw a no-no in game 2), beat #1 Ann Arbor Pioneer, and #2 Novi. With all of the press our team was getting from local newspapers, the inevitable Andover districts match up was hyped up to a max. Once it came, I steam rolled through Seaholm, again, and Chip threw a shutout gem against Cranbrook to set the infamous match up. DCDS vs. Andover- District Finals- 2004.

It was the Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees match up of Michigan HS Baseball. We waited anxiously for two hours in our school's common room for the other game to finish so the buses could take us back to the field. When we got there and I was warming up to pitch, I remember a huge wave of emotion hitting me as the fans poured into the ballpark stands. I was nervous, but I was so excited to take the ball and help lead my team. Most kids dream of pitching in the MLB or winning the world series. My dream was to play baseball with my friends, UNITY, and win THIS game.

When I took the mound in the first inning, I recall there being more fans at this game than any other game I have ever played in. Even now, after pitching in college at South Carolina, North Carolina, Auburn, and at the Citadel in a Minor League ballpark, I still feel like there was more fans packed in at this high school district game. It was amazing. Fans who couldn't sit in the bleachers provided, filled the upper rows of the football bleachers that hung over the first base dugout. As soon as the game started, I did what Kevin Costner taught me: I cleared the mechanism and started to pitch.

After striking out the first hitter on 3 pitches, and hearing the crowd erupt for us, the mechanism became unclear. I started to feel the hype and the atmosphere more than I wanted to. I started to struggle and wound up giving up a couple first inning runs. I came into the dugout, cussing myself out on the inside, but yelling to my teammates that they wouldn't score anymore- get me 3 runs and we're going to win. I remember my co-captain, C.J. coming up to me and telling me that it was going to be alright, that we got this game.

When we were held scoreless the first couple innings by cheating transfer, Chris Marshall, I couldn't take the frustration anymore. Looing back, it wasn't because we hated their players personally. We just hated their arrogance, their swagger. We had the same exact arrogance and swagger, but of course, we were allowed to, right? They were extra chatty, and pretty bush in terms of celebrating big plays. In addition to that, they had this transfer who was RECRUITED solely to beat us in this game. We hated them. Well, the second time Marshall came to the plate after doubling off me in the first, I decided to use my frustration and take out our hate against them in another fashion. I threw at him. When it landed square in the middle of his back, I acted like the ball got away from me, but the "OOOOO"s coming from the crowd told me I didn't sell it well enough. He stared at me and I ignored him and looked straight at the umpire for another ball. They got extra chirpy from the dugout and we started to hate them even more.

The frustration grew to the maximum in the later innings as I was struggling to get outs. I remember that they had a bunch of cheap hits mixed in with a solid hit that would score the cheapies. We trailed 5-0 I think at this point, and Marshall was up again with the bases loaded. This time, I wanted nothing more than to strike him out and pimp it Zumaya style back to the dugout. Unfortunately, a curve ball got away from me and I hit him in the helmet. Real knowledgeable baseball fans know that hitting a guy with the bases loaded, especially with an offspeed pitch, is not done on purpose. However, Chris and his fans were not that smart. He stopped 2 steps on his way to first and stared at me, yelling, "Was that on purpose???" Normally, I would have pointed out the situation to him, defending the pitch's purpose. However, I was so frustrated that I just let him believe it was on purpose. After all, the first HBP was. I started walking toward him with my 150 lb frame and yelled, "Get to first. Keep walking." The umpire had to come out from behind my brother catching and get between us so we wouldn't attack. At third base, one of their players screamed obscenities while Chip tried to calm him down from 2B. Chip and him started yelling at eachother as I was getting back on the rubber. I remember stepping off and yelling to their player to shutup. I remember wanting him to snap and come at me, wanting to brawl. I was SO frustrated, I remember thinking, that if we were going to lose this game, then we are not going down without a real fight. We were immature high school kids finishing up our illustrious season as a real good team, and more importantly, really good friends. Of course it was frustrating.

Unfortunately, all the hype got to us. We were not able to rebound from the deficit and we wound up getting shutout to lose the game. However, the 45 minutes after the game are the minutes I will never forget as long as I live. I remember Andover's coach coming up to me trying to say how good I was and to just think about all the good teams I had beaten that year and what an amazing career I had. I didn't care about all that. All I could say to him was, "Good luck. I hope you guys can win with a little more class the rest of the way." When we returned to the dugout after the post game speech by our coach, the seniors started to receive hugs from the underclassmen- saying that they would miss us or 'great season' or 'career, man.' That's when we lost it. We all started bawling our eyes out, not because we had lost, but because UNITY was over. Our coaches hugged us with tears in their eyes too, saying we were one of the best TEAMS the school ever had. We sat in the dugout, best friends, teammates, UNITY forever, crying until we had no more tears left. When we gave each other one last hug, we exited the dugout, almost an hour after the game had ended. Behind the enclosed dugout, every single one of our fans, parents, and friends, stood their waiting. As we came around the corner, out of the dugout, our eyes squinting back the tears and the setting sun- all of them gave us a huge ovation. With the tears crusting dry on our cheeks, we forgot about the almost brawl that was DCDS v Andover. Instead, we embraced our loving fans and will never forget and will forever live as UNITY. 2004 Seniors of UNITY

4. Birmingham Barons v. Immigrants of Washington, D.C.

Ten players and three coaches bring it up before big game vs. pesky immigrants

The following summer, the Birmingham Barons merged with the Michigan Blackwolf for a tournament at Penn State University. Although we only had 10 players, we were probably the 7th best group of 10 players to ever get together on the diamond at the same time. We were playing in a night game against this team from D.C. that was full of hispanics and black kids. I'm mean FULL. There were like 30 Danny Almontes vs. a random assortment of 10 friends who happened to play baseball too. Anyway, I was pitching and this game was a real nail biter. We were playing really well, because friends tend to play better together in team situations. It's science. The game was tied for the majority of the game and they were getting pretty bush league. Their entire team was standing outside of the dugout, singing softball and Celine Dion songs, in addition to yelling at my Dad, our coach, for wanting them back in the dugout. My dad is normally pretty quiet and reserved as a coach, but for some reason, this night he couldn't stand their antics and kept demanding the umpire to do something about it. The umpire was a coward and told my Dad to settle down. Their fans asked my dad if he wanted cheese with his wine. It could have grown uglier. However, having learned from my mistakes when I pitched against Andover, I tried not to get distracted by the hype. I just wanted to pitch well for my team and win the game. I did not want their female bush league talk to get in the way of that for my team. Although some of my teammates probably wanted me to throw at someone, I wasn't going to. I was too focused. Me about to steal 2B and 3B

I know Chip got into it with one of their players because he forced him to like country music and the dude was not happy about it. They tried to get into eachother's domes all game, but Chip was not having it either. He kept his cool when it counted and picked up a teammate after a strikeout to bring home the tying run in what ended up being an extra inning affair.

It's okay Dupree. Chip will pick you up.

Chip gets a really good high five from Dupree in our game 1 victory at Penn State Tournament

This game was definitely a near brawl though. It was one pitch over Benito Santiago's head or one Kenny Chesney comment away from punches being thrown.

5. Davidson Copperheads v. Morganton Aggies

This post is getting way too long so this will be short. This past summer, the Morganton Aggies decided to lay down a bunt when they were up an absurd amount of runs. Our pitcher was not happy and started walking toward the hitter asking him why he was bunting. The next inning, one of our best hitters got thrown at. Everyone in the dugout, including me, jumped up from our seats and started to walk out of the dugout. Unfortunately, our coach stopped us about 2 feet from the steps. There was a whole lot of talk about brawling, but nothing actually happened. I'm really glad a brawl didn't happen because I had been working out hardcore that summer and taking NoXplode. I could have killed someone.

Sitting here today, I look back at my baseball career and think, a bench clearing brawl is the one thing missing from it. I've given up 5000 foot home runs to future MLB players, I've striked out big time hitters, I've thrown a no-hitter, I won a championship in Little League, I've thrown a guy out at first from right field, I pitched 2 innings and got an RBI double at Comerica Park in a HS All-Star game but I never was involved in a bench clearing brawl. Hopefully, I can change that in my upcoming softball career when everyone is all hopped up on alcohol and steroids because there's no drug testing.

Anyway, I will end you with a bench clearing brawl that I was a part of... as a fan. On July 17th, 2005 I was at the Tigers/Royals game watching my boy Mike Maroth pitch. He had trouble with his command and hit a few batters, forcing the umpire to give the two team's a warning. Well when Guillen was up after the warnings were issued- Hernandez 'threw that ball right at this boy's head.' Actually, just watch it for yourself.
http://reid.mlblogs.com/archives/2006/03/johnny_damon_ya.html The video is about halfway down the page. Sorry I couldn't get it embedded. Anyway, listen to Mario and Rod's commentary during this. It is worthy of an ESPY (I'm referring to Mario calling Hernandez a 'joke', Rod saying 'that's weak' more than once and then 'get in the dugout!' to Hernandez with Mario continuing by saying "Get offffff the field...." and then after the spearing, Rod saying, "You don't mess with Farnsworth, Farnsworth's no joke.") This was well deserving of Farnsworth's spearing of Affeldt (probably an innocent bystander) because it is a cardinal sin to throw at a hitter's head...even when purposefully throwing at them.

Had this happened after 2002, this would definitely have been a part of the top 10 video I have provided for you below. (As would have Farnsworth's other spearing incident against the Reds a couple years before.)

enjoy the video and remember... make love, not war.

Okay the video is not working... so go here to watch it: http://www.tv.com/uservideos/?action=video_player&id=dSFnnjus5bkKuDLX#comments


Webster Missed This One

Posted by Chip Stevenson

hate/respect (hāt·ri·spekt): verb, to have a healthy appreciation or admiration for a person, team, sport, place, object, or idea that, at the same time, invokes intense and unwavering unhappy feelings

Being a diehard Detroit sports fan, I have, in a way, been forced against my will to discover this concept of hate/respect (it should be pronounced quickly like one word- haterespect).  You see, contrary to popular belief, Detroit sports do not always have the type of success that we all dream of, yet I cannot bring myself to root for other sports teams even when the Detroit teams are out of contention.  Take the Detroit Lions for example- My most vivid memory of Lions playoff lore comes from all the way back in 1995 when Lomas Brown, an offensive lineman on our team, guaranteed victory in the first round against the Philadelphia Eagles, and then the Lions produced a 58-37 loss.  Sweet.  I remember acting like a prepubescent Tony Kornheiser as I analyzed Lomas Brown's guarantee with all the insight that a 9 year old has to offer, and I even recorded it all on my talkboy.  Clearly, the lack of success of the Lions could push a normal sports fan towards rooting for another, more successful team.  But I guess I am not a normal fan because I will always root for the Lions and any other Detroit team even if they go 31-81 since 2001 and have huge fan-coordinated rallies to get the GM fired (50 games under .500, seriously???!!!!).  So, to keep my sanity, I often find myself absolutely loathing a more successful opposing player or team with all my soul yet still looking up to them in a way.  And this is how the concept of hate/respect was born.

Just to be clear, there are two distinct yet equally important aspects of the hate/respect concept: 1.) hate and 2.) respect.  For example, I do not hate/respect NASCAR because even though I can't stand anything about it, satisfying criterion number 1, I also do not have one iota of respect for it, violating criterion number 2 (watching men drive around in ovals 500 times? I'll pass).  So, without further ado, here is a long but still not exhaustive list of things that I hate/respect...

... Derek Jeter.  He's a Jankee, he dated all of those celebrities, and he sucks at defense- all strikes against him. But he still wins so damn much, and he's from Michigan.

... The Intentional Walk.  It's basically a signal that the team is giving up, waving a white surrender flag and saying, "We can't get this guy out so let's roll out the red carpet for you on your way to first base and beyond," but it's still sometimes completely necessary to win the game- bottom of the 10th, less than 2 outs, guy on third, walk the bases loaded to set up the double play and the force out anywhere.

... Chili's Awesome Blossom.  Onions are by far my least favorite food so I would never eat anything close to this (the opposite of ranch dressing), but I respect it for being 2,710 calories and 203 grams of fat. Seriously, that's like a year off your life.

... Male Figure Skaters.  They are so damn feminine (two links because one is not enough) and I hate them for not just playing hockey instead, but many of them can do four full 360s in the air in one jump and that's no joke and they sometimes have to deal with dropping their partners. Yikes. 

... The Mid Season Trade.  They always bring those unavoidable feelings of illegitimacy, but sometimes they bring that sweet success that makes it all worth it. 

... Lefty Specialists a.k.a. LOOGYs (Lefty One Out Guys).  They throw so goofy and they have such a ridiculously small role, but I respect them for coming into those tight situations and getting the opponent's best player out using only smoke, mirrors, and guts

... The Spelling Bee.  Cool, man.  You are a really good speller, and I'm sure you have put in a ton of work to get where you are today.  I use spell check.  

(By the way, last year's winning word was serrefine and I swear that the squiggly red line that shows up under a word when you misspell it just showed up under that word even though I just copied and pasted it from the Spelling Bee's website.  Karma's a bitch.)

... Boy Bands.  They completely sold their souls (my college roommate, Matt Ballinger, is the one all the way to the right), but they made a ton of money and probably hooked up with a ton of girls.

... Whiskey.  Whenever I drink whiskey, I feel like my whole body rejects it- all my muscles clench at once and all I want to do is spit it out.  But I still feel like a man for drinking it, and I can respect any drink that makes your toilet angry the next morning. 

... Fouls at the End of NBA Games.  They usually just prolong the inevitable, and they make betting on NBA games a very unstable venture, but it still works every once in a while and it succeeds at stopping teams like Memphis who as a team shot 61% from the charity strip from winning a championship.

The list goes on and on... I could have included the designated hitter, switch hitters, salads, manual transmissions, and even the city of Boston on the hate/respect list, but I'm sure you get the idea by now.  I'm also sure that more names will be added to the hate/respect list as time goes on, and I'll post more about these new inductees in the future as they get initiated.  Go spread the concept around and enjoy the results.  You're welcome.  

Any major ones that I am leaving off the list?

-Chip S.


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