Lions Trying Hard in Free Agency; Will Take Anyone Interested in Playing for an 0-16 Team

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

The Detroit Lions have been doing everything they can to keep busy and help everyone forget they were the worst team ever last year (and pretty much the last eight years). GM Martin Mayhew has been very active thus far in reaching out and contacting free agents to meet with the team and pursuing trades for all their needs. I have to admit this is probably the most active I have ever seen a Lions team in the offseason in my short lyfetime. Then again, you better be when you just finished 0-16.

Among some of the players in the past few days who have been reported as receiving attention from the Lions are: WR Bryant Johnson, WR Nate Washington, LB Jonathan Vilma, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (championship), G Derrick Dockery, CB Ken Lucas, CB Eric King, CB Anthony Henry, RB Maurice Morris, RB Derrick Ward, QB Rex Grossman (sigh), QB Jay Cutler (Wow!), and QB Matt Cassel. Out of those 13 players, the Lions have acquired four already (Maurice Morris, Eric King, Anthony Henry, and Bryant Johnson).

It is also being reported that they are still working on Jay Cutler, Nate Washington and TJ Houshmandzadeh, although these possibilities seem very unlikely. Still, getting a third of what you reportedly pursued is not all that bad for a team that went 0-16 and couldn't even get Dan Orlovsky to resign.

(Not to mention one of those acquisitions was made through a terribly lopsided trade in favor of the Lions, in my opinion. CB Anthony Henry was acquired from the Dallas Cowboys for QB Jon Kitna. In the deal, the Lions receive a CB who has started almost every game for the past three years, and is quite serviceable, for a QB that has better Halloween costumes than game awareness. Kudos to Detroit for taking advantage of the Cowboys again. If I didn't know better, I'd suspect some kind of collusion going on between these two teams. In the words of the bearded friend in "Knocked Up," 'thanks for the free money, bitches.')

Now I realize a lot of fans and critics are saying, "big deal," the Lions signed a few no-names and are merely expressing interest in the bigger names. Any team after going 0-16 should express interest in free agents and, if they are willing to dish enough money out, should at least be able to sign a few of the lower rated guys. This is nothing special and to be expected.

But give them some credit. Convincing a guy to sign with a team coming off an 0-16 season is probably the hardest job ever in the NFL. Mayhew knows, since he's the only one in the history to have to deal with it. Think about it. It has to be similar to swaying John Rocker to watch an episode of "Will and Grace" or persuading David Duchovny to genuinely admit his sex obession is a bad thing. It's not an easy task.

A die-hard Lions fan has to appreciate what Mayhew is doing. He's being super aggressive and giving players and Lions fans a reason to believe that Detroit is not going to just settle for landing chumps and guys in the Army who can't play because they have to serve by doing nothing in FA and just waiting for the draft to improve their team.

I have no idea what Mayhew is up to, but it appears he means business and wants to win some games, unlike past Lions' GMs. By going out and pursuing guys aggressively, he's sending the message to other FAs and players that this Lions team is going to start trying to win, even if it means a thinner checkbook or following free agents on Tweeter. And all it takes is just one bigger name to sign to start the domino affect a la Pudge for the Tigers.

With plenty of names still on the unrestricted free agent list, the Lions still have plenty of options in terms of moves to make before the draft on April 25th.

If I was GM, (which I was very close to being had it not been for the Lions wanting a deferred contract) I would try to land Housh or Nate Washington to get a solid number two WR to take some pressure off of Calvin. Obviously, easier said than done. Simultaneously, I would address the defense. I still stand by my thoughts from fall 2008 that the Lions should try and sign Lawyer Milloy Esq. to provide some veteran leadership in the secondary. He's old, and probably out of their price range, but he would definitely be an asset. (Without considering salary at all, another guy that sticks out to me is LB Zach Thomas. He's also getting up there in age, but he had a great bounce back season with the Cowboys and it would only be fitting for the Lions to steal something else from the 'boys. A signing like this could also allow the Lions to go with someone other than LB Aaron Curry with the first pick, such as an OL or DL they couldn't find in FA, or even a QB)

No matter what, today was exciting because the Lions were practically ten sheets to the wind; aimlessly going around signing anyone that agreed and offering absurd trades for a diabetic Pro-Bowl QB--almost video game-like in demeanor. With that, I'm happy the Lions are making a known effort and I'm already looking forward to their 2009 Super Bowl march into Miami, FL.

UNITY

Pistons Find the Answer to End Eight Game Losing Streak

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , , ,


Allen Iverson's nickname, "the Answer" almost makes this way too easy. As you probably already know, Iverson did not travel to Orlando for tonight's game against the Magic because he was out with a stiff back. It was announced today by Coach Curry that Richard Hamilton would start in his, not only tonight, but 4lyfe a.k.a he will be the starter for the rest of the season. With the Pistons having lost eight games in a row, Coach Curry was definitely looking for some kind of answer. Get ready for this because this is totally going to blow your minds. Tonight, the Pistons have found out that the answer is actually by playing without "the answer."

Basic philosophy tells me that you can't have an answer without an answer, but the Pistons appear to defy science after their performance tonight. The Pistons, who took control in the third quarter and never let go, won by eight on the road, against the third best team in the Eastern Conference. Shenanigans. Richard Hamilton, back in his normal starting role, scored 31 points.

Now there are going to be a million articles tomorrow saying, "I told you so, Iverson wasn't the answer" or "See? Rip should always be starting." Those articles will probably be right. Not only does Iverson play a completely different style of basketball than the Pistons (or the old Pistons), it was pretty clear he wasn't going to mesh unless he agreed to change. That's like switching Christmas with Easter or casting Will Smith as Neo in the sequel to the first "Matrix." You just can't change some things or else it won't make sense. (fun fact- Will Smith turned down the role for the original "Matrix").

Now I'm not saying trading for Iverson was awful and should have never even been considered. I still stand by Joe's side in terms of making the deal. Any time you have a chance to get a future Hall of Famer, free up millions of dollars in wake of what could be one of the biggest free agent classes in the history of basketball, all while mixing up a unit that wasn't getting over the hump, year in and year out since the 2004 championship, is a pretty damn good trade to me. It was worth the shot. I won't back down from that. I'll stand Pat Summerall on that.

With that being said, and a pretty decent sample size of how we've been doing with Iverson on the floor and with Richard Hamilton on the bench, it's clear changes had to be made. Future Hall of Famer or not, you have to play your five best players and unfortunately for him, Iverson does not figure into that mix with the way the Pistons play. He is a one man show and doesn't play defense; the complete oppposite of what the Pistons have stood for in the past six years.

Let's take a look at the numbers:

Since the Pistons benched Rip, they are just 4-12. Since the Iverson trade, with Iverson in the lineup, the Pistons are 23-28! If the Pistons were five games under .500 at this point in the season, they obviously wouldn't be in the playoffs. They would be tied for ninth. And not only have they lost 28 games with Iverson, but half of those losses weren't good, hard faught losses; they were by double digits.

Now put Rip back in the starting lineup with Iverson and you have a team that is 19-17. More respectable, but nothing to call your grandma about. Clearly Rip being in the starting lineup helps though, right?

So is that the Answer? Rip in the starting lineup? Long story short, yes. Rip needs to be in the starting lineup.

Not so fast, though; I have more analyzing to do. I'm on an effing roll.

Let's clear the air with Chauncey Billups. Everyone wants to immediately point their fat index fingers to Chauncey Billups and regard him as some kind of Stephen Curry of Davidson, some kind of team savior. This is where I'm going to boldly disagree. (ducking my head so I don't get hit with tomatoes). Don't get me wrong, Chauncey was definitely the pace maker of the Pistons and was a tremendous player. I have his jersey, a framed photo of him holding the Finals Trophy with the Finals MVP Trophy, and a restraining order to prove my undying love for him and what he did for the Pistons. I just don't feel comfortable giving him all the credit in the world.

Everyone talks about how Chauncey went to Denver, his home town, and put the team on his back to carry them to a land they have never been to before. Some land where the beer flows like wine and the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capastrano. Now, I'm assuming people are saying this because (a) it makes for a good story since he's from Denver; and (b) because Denver had a losing record before he started repping #7 there. Well, just so you know, Denver was 1-2 when Chauncey started playing games for the Nugs. Hardly an unrecoverable mark three games into an 82 game season.

So where exactly has Chauncey taken them? Pleasure town? Oh, we're going there, but no. I'll tell you where. 18 games above .500, exactly where they were a year ago at the end of the 2007-2008 season. (Now I realize they would have to go 12-12 to finish the season to wind up with the same record as last year, so they will probably finish a little better than 18 above .500, but I'm being technical since we can't exactly predict the future.) Essentially, Chauncey hasn't changed all that much in Denver except the team having a better attitude and probably one more person at all the practices.

So if it's not Chauncey that's the answer, and it's not exactly Rip starting, then it must be Iverson. And this is what we're going to hear all day tomorrow.

The Pistons started the season 4-0 without Iverson in the lineup. 2-0 with Chauncey and 2-0 without Chauncey and AI. Even. Then, Iverson steps into the mix and the Pistons go 23-29. Iverson has not played in two games during his stint with the Stones and the team has split those games (including tonight). Therefore, the Pistons are 5-1 without him.

Here's the deal. I like Iverson. Obviously, it's hard not to like a guy when he's such a great scorer like he is, or was. He just doesn't fit in with the Pistons. He's that little guy who eats lunch in the far corner while all the older kids throw bacon bits at him. He's me.

I'm not saying bench Iverson and never play him. The Pistons had the right idea when he barely ever saw minutes in the fourth quarter early on. If I was the coach, I would utilize him off the bench when Rip and Stuckey need breathers and let him run free. Alluding to the "loser kid in school" analogy, let him have his recess time when all the older, cooler kids are back inside. Getting him to be okay with that is an entirely different bag of issues.

For tonight though, he was hurt and as a result, the Pistons didn't need to worry about him complaining, or ruining their structured offense. He's an asset, but only when he's used in the right way. Hopefully, when he comes back, that will happen.

As for the Rasheed Wallace affect on the team....that's another story for another time. Let's just soak up this victory tonight, and get back at it tomorrow at practice to prep for the big Boston game on Sunday. Practice!?

UNITY

The Detroit Link Poop

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , , ,

There's a lot going on in the world of Detroit sports. Way too much for me to touch on before you head off to Snookers Pool and Pub, the Motor City Casino, the Joe, or wherever you feel like going this fine Friday evening in Detroit. So before you go, here is the proverbial "link dump":



  • Dontrelle Willis made Jim Leyland look like an overly optimistic chump today. Tigers lost 6-4 to fall to 1-2 in the Grapefruit League. ---Free Press


  • Players from the Dominican Republic are being caught lying about their playing age. This causes a whole lot of issues. Are the Tigers connected? --Bless You Boys



That's all I got for you right now. Go grab a beer, take your pants off, and watch the Pistons bust out of their slump on ESPN.

UNITY

Pistons Need a Slump Buster

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , , ,

Whenever you're in a rut, you need that pick-me-up. In sports, that rut is called a slump and that pick-me-up is typically a nice quick Slump Buster (or steroids--whichever you prefer).

The Pistons are in dyer need of a Slump Buster. They have lost eight games in a row (gag) and the schedule isn't getting any easier on them. There is a possibility they will have lost eleven games in a row by next Tuesday night, unless of course they get that Slump Buster . They play Orlando tomorrow on ESPN, Boston on Sunday on ABC, and Denver on Tuesday. Hopefully, the nationally televised games will give the Pistons more reason to want to show up and play good basketball instead of showing America how pathetic they can be, like the last two games they played on national TV.

As we all know, if the Pistons continue to play this MC Hammer poor they may be the odd team out of the Eastern Conference playoffs, especially if they continue to lose at this rate. (It's science--if they lose out, they will not make the playoffs.) Let's not think like that quite yet. The Pistons are still seventh in the conference and that's with having played probably the worst basketball in the NBA their last 15 or so games. They have the talent to turn it around. All it takes is one Slump Buster to make you feel good about yourself again.

The main criticisms of the team have predominantly been centered around Allen Iverson, Coach Curry, and Rasheed Wallace. Yesterday, Rasheed Wallace was ejected after he threw a towel at a ref for T'ing him up. Sheed was given the initial technical for viciously knocking a towel out of a ball boy's hand on the way to the bench after a soft call. Today some Detroit sports reporters were actually toying with the idea that the Pistons should release him for the final quarter of the season because of his latest ballistic antics.

As for Iverson, he is day-to-day with a stiff back and will probably be out of action against Orlando. This could be a good opportunity for Curry to get the ol' Stones (save Chauncey) ready to play and show what they can do without Iverson. If the Pistons can win a tough match up against Orlando without AI, on national television, it will not only take some heat off of Michael Curry (before we do that though: Why was Hermann brought into the game last night to take a last second shot?), but could also prove that the actual cause for this year's collapse is mainly due to Iverson being Iverson and nothing else. (Tough to sample that on one game, I know, but it could make for entertaining discussion.)

Either way, the team needs to take a good long look in the mirror and go out and get that Slump Buster quick, so they can potentially run with that momentum for the rest of the season into the playoffs. Otherwise, it's going to be a much longer offseason than expected, full of watching OC reruns and getting drunk at little league baseball games. (the major team changes will still ensue).

Here is the Sheed ejection from last night, courtesy of the now ironic Need4Sheed.com website (what will come of that site when he is gone?):

We Will Recover: Detroit Tigers in 2009

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , , ,


Spring Training is in the air. The aroma of sticky pine tar on fresh maple lumber; shiny white pearls blurred as they fly through the air; that distinct leather popping noise, akin to the sound of fresh kernels popping in the microwave. It's a smile on just about every single player, joking and happy to be on the diamond with their teammates again.

Jim Leyland barking out instructions in between smoke breaks. Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge clowning around. Zumaya talking about his guitar hero notes streak. Rick Porcello getting calculus help from the ever-so-wise Gary Sheffield. It's a beautiful time of the year where everyone can be lax and cool. It's effing Tigers Spring baseball!

Today, the Tags got to business, however and kicked off their Spring Training season against the Atlanta Braves. With both teams predominantly starting their projected opening day lineups, Verlander took the bump against former-Tiger Jair Jurjens.

The Tigers' bats were hot to start the game, with two hits and a run in the first inning. They managed to produce four more runs the rest of the game en route to a exciting 5-4 victory. The winning run came in the bottom of the 8th off an RBI single by Ramon Santiago, scoring Cale Iorg. (Apparently, this kid is legit at SS and had we not signed Everett, or anyone else for that matter, he could have been our Opening Day SS)

I felt like there were only two real hiccups today for the Tigers. The big one was Brandon Lyon. He let an error get inside his dome in the 5th inning and wound up giving three "box score unearned" runs. By that I mean, they were pretty much the result of Lyon, but because of the metrics of baseball they do not appear that way in the box score. Anytime you come in and throw an inning and give up two hits and walk a guy, that was a poor outing (unless, of course, you're Todd Jones and you still somehow pick up the save). Lyon doesn't have the heart of Todd Jones yet to be going and acting so cocky. (Brandon's error could also probably be mentioned, but I'd rather pick on the new guy).

The second disconcerting thing about this game was Justin Verlander (don't freak out- it's just a minor hiccup). I was a little thrown off by the two walks that show up in the box score next to his name. In Spring Training you're going to have your guys who struggle to get the rust off or in Verlander's case, who are trying to change the speed of their delivery a little bit. Personally though, I'd rather see a guy give up a few hits than pinch the zone and walk guys in Spring Training. I know pitching coach, Rick Knapp would too, considering he's all about pitchers throwing strikes. Not a big deal, but I will admit I was a little disappointed. (Notice the Tigers walked 3 guys the entire game, and all three came from Lyon and Verlander. Maybe I'm on to something. Maybe I've been hanging out with Michael Phelps too much. Who knows?)

The mega-positives were really promising Tiger debuts from Gerald Laird (triple and a double) and Fu-Te Ni (picked up the win after working the 8th--Leyland said he was "tickled for him"). I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of numbers Laird can put up this year being in the lineup pretty much everyday and hitting behind the type of guys he will be. I really think he's going to have a heck of a year.

In all, the Tigers have a lot of reasons to feel confident going into this season. For one, they are a whole lot healthier than they were last year (punch Woody Woodpecker in the face for luck). Their lineup is going to produce runs, it's just a matter of whether the pitchers perform as well as they might indicate they would on paper. Everyone thinks the starting rotation is full of bums, but it's no slouch (the number five might be a former All-Star! Don't forget that). The bullpen could be anywhere from suspect to one of the best in the league if everyone is healthy and performs like they have in recent years. What will also help the pitching is that the Tags have shored up their defense with the acquisitions of Laird, Everett and repositioning Inge back to third. From the dugout, aside from Knapp, Leyland is a year older, wiser, and grumpier (more prone not to take crap from anyone effing up).

Let's be serious people; this team is really no different than the team we had last year. The only guys missing from last year's team are decrepit Pudge and Kenny Rogers, roller coaster Jones (Lyon might be his twin?), and Edgar "I can't hit in the American League" Renteria (good! Everett can't either!). So why not assume this team can't be just as good as EXPERT analysts were saying in 2008 Spring Training?

But that's fine. Flying under the radar is exactly how I like it. As a result, this Tigers team is going to surprise a lot of people. Even Barrack Obama was saying, completely taken out of context, "we will recover." It's going to happen, America.

Detroit Tigers in 2009.

UNITY

Dan 'Delusional' Orlovsky?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,



Quarterback Dan Orlovsky is likely done as a Detroit Lion. Apparently, Dan Orlovsky rejected an offer from the Lions and wants to test his luck in the free agency market. I also heard he rejected the offer in his best 'big boy' voice.

Good for him. Let him go. This just means we will no longer have to hear during telecasts about the time he ill advisedly frolicked out of his own end zone or about his general mediocrity.

Don't get me wrong, he was okay. I mean he's arguably the second best QB an 0-16 team has ever had. He didn't turn it over sometimes. We didn't hear him complain at all when we brought in Culpepper. ( I mean that last one. I respect that he just shut up and kept trying his best.)

But now, I'm baffled. Does he really think he can start for another team in the NFL? He thinks so. I just don't see how it's possible that an 0-16 QB can start anywhere, BUT for that 0-16 team--and he probably wasn't even going to do be able to do that!

I guess he wants to see if he can sign elsewhere because anywhere will be better than being known as the 2nd best QB on an 0-16 team for another year. He probably just wants a fresh start and is giving the marketable "I'm confident" response. Good luck, Dan.

UNITY

Wings v. Sharks Do Battle Tonight at the Joe

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

Three out of the four articles I read this morning about the Detroit Red Wings match up with the Western Conference leading San Jose card-Sharks dealt primarily with "the return of Claude Lemieux to the Joe." What those people don't understand is those articles are just feeding the frenzy that San Jose had in mind when they signed this aging, wrinkly turtle. I'm sure he was signed because they wanted everyone to be so caught up with the idea that "oh my gosh, put your kids to bed early tonight, Claude Lemieux is coming to town;" and in turn, have it annoy the crap out of the Wings so they can't focus on the fact that two perennial teams in the league are about to have an ol' school hockey battle tonight.

So get it out of your systems now, fans. Watch this video one more time to feel good about the fact that Lemieux is our bitch and never speak of him again. Do not let him distract us from the task at hand.

This game is very big tonight. It's one that could very well play a role in determining home ice for the playoffs (not to mention the enormous, "we have your number" bragging points that are at stake and will certainly loom over both teams when they presumably face eachother in the playoffs). Five points separate the two atop the Western Conference standings. With 20 games left in the season, it'll come to the wire. Therefore, this game is as important.

Ty Conklin will be in net, hoping to do a much better job at preventing pucks from crossing the line than Jimmy Howard did last game (Howard's first start this season--he gave up five in doing his best Goldberg impression). The Wings are 2-2-1 in their last five games following a six game winning streak. Wings have lost the last two games against Sharks this season, after murdering them 6-0 in the initial meeting.

The game is at 7:30 PM EST. Bring your Octopi, your spears, and get your throwing arm stretched out nice and good!

UNITY

Pistons Really Reeling

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,

The Heat was brought. Pistons lost to the Miami Heat tonight, their seventh loss in a row! I don't know if they are trying to be cute and do their best Detroit Lions impression right now or what, but I don't like it one bit. With the loss, they have fallen below .500 for the first time since George Blaha went with the comb over. It's been a long ass time.

Dwayne Wade, who will be a free agent in 2010, had 31 points and a career-high 16 assists. He dropped more dimes than Michael Phelps at a University South Carolina frat party. Too soon? Well, ok. While the Pistons were doing their Lions imitation, Wade hiked up his shorts and pulled off his John Stockton impression with ease against a nosediving team.

The passion that may have existed before, no longer shows in the Pistons. They are boring, lethargic, and did I say boring? Winning is never boring, and when Iverson came into town the Pistons stopped doing that. He's in my perma dog house right now. I want him to go back to rapping.

As for Rodney Stuckey, where are you pal?? Where is the Stuckey that went off for 40 points against the Bulls in late-December and averaged around 18 PPG for the next month? Since the beginning of February, Stuckey has averaged a measly 8.7 PPG. That's a 10 point difference! Is the NBA all in my head and it's actually a video game and the user controller decreased the minutes per game in the settings. thus making it impossible for Stuckey to score more than ten points per game??? I'm baffled by it.

It's evident that this team is not gellin' and the last person i want to blame is Coach Michael Curry. However, if they do not make the playoffs with the talent they have, it would be an absolute travesty. It'd practically be similar to the Tigers last season, to a lesser degree. They have to make the playoffs, or else it's nearly inevitable that Michael Curry is going to catch the majority of the slack, even if it's undeserving.

Personally, I think he needs fresh faces and I think that's what he is going to get after this season. It's clear that none of these veteran players, ahem Iverson and Sheed, respect him, There's no doubt that the Pistons will follow through on making changes this off season after last season's fraudulent promise and non-delivery. The way this off season should go is simple: Iverson...gone. Sheed....peace, your gray patch is irritating, and weird, now. Hooper....ok, you can come back another year. The Pistons goal is to maximize that cap space so they can go out and mack on some of the hot free agents that will be available come this off season and 2010. I admit, I'm giddy at the thought of that.

That being said, I'm still frustrated and upset with the way things are going for the Pistons. It makes me want to Chris Brown somebody.

Pistons Need to Consult Tin Woodsman and Find Some Heart

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , ,

One of my friends wanted to know why the Detroit Pistons are still being shown on national television. ESPN probably didn't anticipate this not being an exciting game. (If all else fails then at least it's still a game with King Lebron James, right?).

Tonight however, it was more like advertising just how bad the Detroit Pistons have been. In fact, it felt a lot like the last few Lions' Thanksgiving Day games where we're given this automatic national television slate, almost out of pity, and we absolutely abuse by embarrassing ourselves.

What did it for me tonight--aside from having Doris Burke calling the action--was during a time out early in the game. MIchael Curry was trying to fire up his team while everyone just sat on the bench with defeated looks. Iverson's slouching posture stuck out to me in particular as it's not only terrible for his back, but he had the face of a guy that just lost his puppy after it was run over by an 18-wheeler (this is a metaphor for how Lebron made Iverson look later when he dunked on him AND blocked one of AI's shots practically into the upper deck, killling a small child and injuring another).

The Stones had no heart, no pride, no... well, stones. Here's a news flash for you Walter Kronkite, if you are down 30+ points heading into the locker room at halftime, you either better call up Frank Reich or kill everyone last one of them and let the kiddies playing during halftime stay and play out the second half. My zany prediction is that they would at least play with more passion than the Pistons have been playing with recently. Who knows?

I do know that the Pistons are now sitting at .500, have lost 10 of their last 13 games, and are on a losing streak of six games (their longest since before Rasheed's arrival in 2004.)

I just threw up.

The Pistons are also in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since the first year post-Grant Hill (2001) ((as it stands now they are just a game and a half ahead of the 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference and only three games ahead of the current 9th ranked team, Chicago)).

I just threw up again.

The one thing we can look forward to is that Iverson, Sheed, and possibly others will be gone after this season. It's easy for people to look back and point to the Chauncey trade and call that a terrible move. While I will agree that AI is 90-some percent responsible for this team's meltdown, I still back the move made by Dumars 113%. You will too in a couple years. Until then, I guess we'll have to wait and see--that is also, coincidentally enough, Walter Hermann's response to girls asking how clean he is before you know...

UNITY.

Your Sunday Night Anti-DeBreastsants

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,

Sunday Night Depression has hit me like a 103 MPH Joel Zumaya fastball to the temple.

This weekend, I returned to my ol' college stomping grounds. Although I had an amazing time seeing friends and watching my old baseball team take three out of their first four games, I also realized there are some gray hairs growing on my testicles. The four hour drive home today helped me realize I'm no longer a toys r' us kid and I'm just old balls. Old balls who is going to be up late Sunday night, on barely any sleep, doing work for tomorrow. If that's not depressing enough, then I don't know what is.

The Pistons are on ESPN tonight against the Cavs, which could ease the mood if they snap their five game losing streak. The way they have been playing recently though, the Stones are probably going to make things worse. (In fact, the game started and it is already making me more depressed. They are talking about how bad the Pistons have been recently and Doris Burke is announcing. That's a low blow.)((Update: 5:22 left in the first quarter and the Pistons trail by 11. Feed me some meds!))

I am going to start popping some of these anit-debreastants. Since the depression is pretty bad this weekend, we are going to up the dosage. This weeks Anti-DeBreastsant Babe of the Week is.... Sarah Varone.

Sarah Varone was the host of some Italian show called, "Bueno Domenica" which ended sometime last year. I have no idea what the show was about, but from watching a few clips on YouTube it looks as if it's some type of semi-strippers variety show where skimpily clad women do random things while looking ridiculously hot. It looks almost identical to what I'm hoping heaven will be like.

As for some of the shows highlights, I have three personal favorites that put a girl riding a barroom bull to shame. One is a Twister-like race between Varone and some other voluptuous vixen wearing next to nothing. My other favorite is the "Surf" clip where Varone gets on an unstable surf board and tries her hardest to stay on while also trying to keep her way too small (or is it?) outfit from revealing her boobies. And then who could possibly overlook this scene from one of the shows:


Other relevant facts about Varone: She went to college and has a degree in psychology. She wants you to know that because she doesn't want the media painting a picture of her as the typical brunette bimbo. That's nice, Sarah, but I really don't care.

I think one peek at this girl will cure you well beyond SND and a ten second "room clean."



(Warning: This video clip contains profanity and a whole lot of cleavage)

Charles Barkley: I'm Sorry, I Was Turrible

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,


Sir Charles Barkley was arrested on New Year's Eve in Scottsdale, Arizona for driving under the influence. My question, after I heard the facts was, "under the influence of what?" From what I understand, it sounds like he wasn't under the influence of alcohol, but in fact, under the influence of Sir Jr.

According to reports, when he was pulled over, he told the police officer that he was on his way to receive fellatio from some random breezy (not necessarily in those words). To me, that sounds a lot like thinking with the wrong head. If I was Dick Bavetta, that would peeve me off.

Anyway, as it turned out, he was charged for a DUI for driving while under the influence of alcohol and I haven't heard anything else about his alleged intention to cheat on Bavetta. He was breathalyzed at a BAC of .149 which is nearly twice the legal limit. Barkley, as a result, took a personal leave from TNT to essentially figure his shit out.

It was announced earlier this week that Barkley has in fact "figured it out" and is ready to return to TNT on Thursday, after over a month's absence. In what has been a week of what has seemed like an awful game show called, "Analyze the Apology," Barkley also apologized for his stupid actions.

"It was my bad, no excuses," said Barkley in an interview with TNT. (( Now, if only A-Rod could have been so nonchalant in his interviews. Then again, Barkley doing his apology with someone from TNT would probably make him feel a little more comfortable than having a PR group force him into an itchy blue sweater or having 100 sets of eyeballs and 50 microphones in front of his face, in front of all his teammates.))

Barkley went on to say some really good things about how he deeply regrets getting behind the wheel after drinking, he never wants to do that again, and his actions were "unacceptable" and turrible.

Personally, the only thing I think is absolutely unacceptable is his golf swing. Is he joking with that pause? I don't know how he can possibly take himself seriously with that. Oh well, TNT and fans will be happy to have him back tomorrow night.

Getting Old: Pistons Lose Again

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

The only thing getting older than hearing about how bad the Pistons are right now is Pistons owner, Bill Davidson. Look at him. He looks like a mix between dying Tobin Bell from Saw IV and Davey, the referee in Eight Crazy Nights. But I would say the line between which is older is wearing thin.

Tonight, the Pistons were given an ol' fashioned Hulk Hogan ass kickin' by the Milwaaaukee freaking Bucks, giving the Stones their fourth consecutive loss (currently the second worst streak in the NBA to none other than the NBA's worst team, the Suckramento Kings) and the distinct privilege of having a very uncomfortable, constipated-like feeling in the conference standings. Right now, as it stands, the Pistons would be the 7th seed, playing Lebron in the first round. However, with 30 games left in the season, and being just two games above .500, I fear the Pistons may not even make the playoffs!

Call me Crazy Karl, but it's definitely a realistic possibility. The Pistons are not just in a slump, looking for that mediocre slumpbuster to help them emerge from their funk. They have been playing sub-.500 basketball ever since the "Irony of a Nickname" arrived in Motown, and our Elmers Glue departed, near the beginning of the season.

Only four games separate the Pistons between the playoff spot they uncomfortably sit in now and the earliest vacation they could have in over six years. It's an uneasy feeling that does not sit well with me--especially after having three fattening pepperoni hot pockets for dinner.

Something needs to be done, but I don't know what can possibly be done to help without making some dramatic trade that just doesn't seem possible at this point if it isn't already in the works. This team is old and completely played out. Coach Curry has tried everything with the lineup rotation, short of starting Walter Hermann pantless with a tuxedo t-shirt on. (That just might work actually). Tonight, they started McDyess, which proved to be a great move for his stats (24 and 14), but not so much otherwise.

This leaves me with only one question: What Will Joe Do? I am once again turning to my WWJD bracelet and looking for a better 'answer' this time. Will he pull off a miracle deadline deal a la Sheed 2004 or will he stand Pat Summit and let this team sink like Leonardo DiCraprio?

Time will tell, but the season--and Bill Davidson--is not getting any younger.

Fernando Rodney Wrestles Alligator that got Chubs' Hand; Hopes to Find Happy Place

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

As my excitement of the initial reporting of pitchers and catchers to camp has died down, I want to talk about the little necklace that Fernando Rodney was wearing when he reported. No it was not a Phiten, or four Phitens wrapped around one another for that matter: It was an alligator tooth.

According to Rodney he wrestled an alligator for it. No one really knows if they should believe him. Well, you know what, I believe him. And this is the story I've heard from a number of sources.

Apparently, this offseason Chubs was training Rodney to find his old self. He's seen his work in previous years and what kind of success he had. What really did it for him was when he saw Rodney at a local Lakeland grocery store this summer trying to throw oranges into small pails. Yeah, he was throwing 95+ MPH, but it doesn't matter if the oranges are flying over the pails and hitting old women in the head near the eggs section.

When Rodney was done, someone in a pastelle polo approached him and told him the Tigers were going to be in Spring Training here in a few weeks and that he should try out. Rodney looked at him, as much as he could through half closed eyes, and said, "Yeah I'll see you there, PLFFFF." That was enough to spark a lightbulb for Chubs--"He's going to try out and by golly he's going to win the closer's role."

The next day, Chubs approached Rodney as he was taking balls off the chest at the nearby batting cage. He was taking each pitch square off the heart, with ease, exclaiming "52 days until Opening Day."

Chubs had a look of terror and yelled out, "What the hell is wrong with you?" as he unplugged the machine.

Rodney: "What!?"

Chubs said, "I'm going to teach you how to throw strikes...for free."

Rodney was not interested, "no!"

Chubs wanted to gloat a little, "you have no idea who I am do you?"

Rodney replied, "no I don't,"clearly not interested. Chubs went on about how he won some golf tournaments and that they wouldn't let him play in the Pro Tour. Rodney was thinking, how does this relate to baseball, I want some Chipotle, and who the hell is this random dude, but he responded anyway. "Ohh I'm sorry because you're black and this was pre-Tiger Woods era?"

Chubs was not amused, "Haillll no. Damn alligator bit my hand off." He pulls his hand-less arm out from behind his back.

Rodney's eyes opened further than they ever have before, "Oh my GAWD!" Chubs said it was okay because he had the gator's eyeball. Gross.

Long story short, Chubs persisted and Rodney finally gave in because he figured doing well for the Tigers would get him a better contract eventually and some money to win Grandma's house back.

Chubs was a great teacher, telling Rodney to ease the tension and that it was all in the hips, baby. Rodney really wanted Chubs to ease the tension on someone else, but Chubs was actually helping him. Rodney was starting to throw strikes again and it looked as if the ol' 2006 Rodney may be back in 2009.

Anyway, the story with the alligator tooth is this. One day, Rodney was throwing a bullpen to one of Chubs' old caddies, as Chubs looked on. Late in the session, Rodney was tiring and threw one way over the unathletic caddy's head that trickled to the edge of a nearby pond. When Rodney went to retrieve the ball, he found it resting between the chompers of a cheesing alligator, tempting him to grab it. Sure enough he tried to snatch it from the gator's mouth, but the bastard bit down, nearly taking off Rodney's arm. Rodney's Tiger-like reflexes allowed him to remove his hand just in time before it was bitten off. He took another look at the gator and realized his eyeball was missing. That was the damn alligator that got Chubs' hand. The gator turned around, laughing, and started to crawl back into the pond. Not on Rodney's watch. He attacked the alligator and wrestled it for the baseball, gave him the deathly forearm shiver at the end of the fight, and curtains for that gator. Victory for Fernando!

Just as Rodney was about to report for camp, he went to Chubs' place on the third floor of some apartment complex to thank him for all the help he had so graciously provided. Chubs said it was no problem and gave him a few reminders for Spring Training. Before it was all said and done, Rodney told Chubs he had a present for him.

"You know that gator that got your hand?" Rodney said with an inquisitive look. "Well, I got his head." Rodney undraped the box that revealed the eye-less gator's head. Naturally, Chubs screamed, fell out the window, and died. Former Tiger Jason Grilli, who happened to be on ground level at the time, looked up at Rodney and shook his head.

So the story with the tooth is, Rodney wanted to play for Chubs this Spring, so he took one of the gator's teeth and put it on a necklace to wear during Spring Training.

Hopefully, it helps Rodney find his happy place this spring.



UPDATE: This article was linked to SI.com's Hot Click's daily piece. Check it out here under "The Whole Tooth?".

UNITY

Introducing Your Sunday Night Anti-DeBreastsants

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,


In the grand scheme of things, I don't think there is any day more depressing in an average week than Sunday--especially once it's Sunday evening.

I understand that there is Sunday Night baseball during the spring/summer, football all day during the fall/winter, and important college basketball games sometimes. That can make a lot of people look forward to Sunday, unless, of course, your team is never on Sunday Night Baseball, you root for the Lions, and you attended a small mid-major college that will barely ever (if ever) play as part of CBS' Sunday games.

But it doesn't matter who you are. Sunday is nothing but trouble. For most people it signals the end of the weekend and you have to prepare for school or work in the morning. If that's the case, nine times out of ten, you have to do something to prepare for that--whether it be a homework assignment or a project for work. It's awful because you spend the entire evening dreading the next day, prepping for it, which in turn makes it much worse than Monday itself. (I know all about having "the case of the Mondays," but I think living it is much easier than fearing it an entire 12-24 hours beforehand)

Chip Stevenson calls it 'Sunday Night Depression.' He has coined that phrase and it couldn't be closer to the truth. It's genius because it's so true.

Anyway, the real reason I am writing this post is because we must do something to remedy this "Sunday Night Depression" (something regularly prescribed drugs or 'more cow bell' can't do). Something crazy, something absolutely huge and revolutionary.

And I think I have that cure (at least temporarily): Hot Babes. Not just any ol' hot babes, though. Your weekly babe-age of Sunday Night Anti-DeBreastsants.

I've noticed recently that almost every big time sports blog has a "Babes of the week" or "random babes" section (most of the time completely unrelated to sports). Well, this I guess will be sort of like that, except it's for a purpose far better. It's for curing that Sunday Night Depression. You now know that when you're feeling a little blue on a Sunday night, you can count on us to have some Anti-DeBreastsants up for goggling. Disclaimer: If you think about how pathetic your life is, it's Sunday Night, and you can't find an attractive woman to date, this will probably have the exact opposite effect, thus, making you even more depressed. Try not to let it do that to you, please. This is meant to provide you with an escape from your depression.

With all that gibberish being said, this leads me to the introduction of the first Sunday Night Anti-DeBreastsant Babe: Minka Kelly.

Minka Kelly is the hottie from the NBC hit show, "Friday Night Lights," (Lyla) and current girlfriend, I think, of Derek Jeter. If she's anything like she is in the show, she's pretty much everything you could possibly want in a female and, certainly, thinking about her will no longer make you feel depressed. She is wholesome, has a cute accent, a nice tan, and, I imagine, really smooth skin (she definitely moisturizes). I could go on, but it would probably get increasingly creepier. Pass judgment for yourself.UNITY

Day Man! Oooo OOOO

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in

To hold you over while we come up with cool new stories (what's wrong with Stephen Curry's ankle, did Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson take the whole superman/kryptonite thing too far, what color underwear am I wearing today), I want to share with you a great song of inspiration....



Everyday, I wake up, let my morning lumber fly proudly, open my curtains, and sing to the world: "Day man!"

UNITY

As Detroit Tigers Pitchers/Catchers (and some others) Report, the Bulge in My Pants Grows

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

... as much as it possibly can, which may not be saying all that much. (I'll let you decide if you want. Search Visanthe Shiancoe in the serach column on this page, scroll down to the second post, watch the video and tack on about 3 inches.) ((Too much?))

I don't care what you think because I am so excited that today is essentially the first official day of Spring Training. The Pitchers and Catchers reported to Lakeland for the Tigers, who were joined by a few other notable Tigers such as Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrea. I'm sure it wasn't much of a work out day for all of them--probably some calisthenics, pilates, poles, inch worms, clowning, and fungo techniques for off days--but I'm still jacked up.

In the next week or so, I will have a special guest doing the annual predictions for the 2009 Tigers. Last year it was Richard Belding from "Saved by the Bell," but he was fired because he jinxed the entire season and allegedly touched some boys during gym class. We can't have that going on around here. The guest, as of now, is TBA--I'm waiting on a few call backs from my peeps (Zack Morris ((who we should have had last year, anyway)), Billy Madison, Dennis Quaid, and Brandi).

I will go on record, however, and say that the Tigers are going to surprise a lot of people this year. They revamped their defense this offseason (acquisitions of Laird and Adam Everett; Inge back to third) and restocked their bullpen (Lyon, Rincon, potentially Perry ((which has a nice ring to it))). As for the bullpen, and I've said this before, if we have an '07 Lyon, '06-like Zumaya, old Rincon, accurate Rodney, samesy Seay and Perry makes the squad, we could wind up having one of the best bullpens in the major leagues. "Rick Knapp" my words. (Why did I say "Rick Knapp" my words? Because he teaches his pitchers to throw strikes, or be on the 'mark' with their pitches, so do you see what I did there?)((Okay, that was really lame.))

If you weren't already pizzazed about the season then look no further than the front page of the Tigers website. There is a video on there that is absolutely incredible. The last time I had a three minute episode of goosebumps was when Magglio hit that walk off home run to send us to the World Series, and before that, when I was reading R.L. Stein. The feeling is remarkable.

Go Tags.

UNITY

GRAMMAR DISCLAIMER: Within this post I have introduced the double parentheses. Basically, if I have something that is worthy of being used in a parentheses, within another parentheses, or immediately following a parenthesized phrase, I will use the double parentheses. Double parentheses are typically frowned upon in the English language because they look ugly. Well, I've heard the same thing about my face before--so I'm going to go with it. I shall call them Bob's Biscigliantheses. (I got the idea from Joe Posnanski's blog where he calls his asterisks ((which signal to the reader he has something to add, but will do so at the end of his train of thought)) as Joe's Posterisks.)

Chris Cooley Isn't the Only One Who Got Punked

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

Recently, Chris Cooley wrote a post talking about how Larry Fitzgerald punked him after a touchdown in the Pro-Bowl because Fitz left CC hanging during the celebration.

Observe this video....[UPDATE: Within minutes of me posting, all of these Pro-Bowl videos were removed from YouTube. Hogwash!] [UPDATE #2: Within hours after original update, said videos are back up on YouTube. Did I fart?]


If you didn't see the game, that touchdown catch happened as time expired in the first half. What Cooley fails to mention in the blog is the referee lays an inconspicuous hip check on Fitzgerald's ass, sending him to the turf. Fitz proceeds to punk Cooley pretty good for a jumping hip bump with Arizona teammate (for how much longer?) Anquan Boldin, as Chris states in his blog post. In fact, Cooley looks exactly like I did the other day at the gym.

I was playing in a 5 on 5 pick up game and I hit a very important two-pointer (ones and twos) to bring my team within one, late in the game--10-9 in a game to 11. I'm fired up as hell, not because I'm the lone white guy on the court and hit a big bucket, but because the guy who was guarding me was talking shit all game. Apparently he did not appreciate me playing defense on him. (I don't play that street ball undisciplined basketball--I play "Junkyard-Dog deny him the ball" defense). Anyway, that's not the point of the story though. After I created sweet string music, I furrowed my eyebrows and clenched my jaw like I was for real, ran backwards like I was white-MJ, and put my left hand up ASSUMING someone wanted to congratulate me.

Nope.

I realized no one was high fiving me after a few seconds and finally looked around. No one cared. Instead, I just looked like a (JJ) Putz with my hand up and a serious game face on.

We lost.

Cooley, I know how you feel.

Also, notice how Fitzgerald gets caught up in the moment--that, or is trying to be silly--and tries to titty bump with an AFC player after he hoes Cooley. The AFC player, since he was just standing watching Fitz catch the ball, appears as if he almost gets caught up in the moment too because I swear it looks like he is about to chest bump an NFC player! Almost. Instead, he dogs Fitz like Fitz dogged Cooley.

Pretty funny series of events here, all around. Let it be a lesson. Never leave a guy hanging, it hurts feelings.

UNITY

A-Hole?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,

I guess the New York Post didn't want to go the "A-Roid" route like everyone else. Instead, they chose a nickname for A-Rod that is a bit more unorthodox: A-Hole.

In their defense, they claim Alex is digging himself deep into a hole, and that he himself is not actually an A-Hole. This is obviously laughable. I think we all know what they were trying to do by choosing this title: A-Roid looks like an A-Hole, not only in that picture, but by continuing to lie (or beat around the bush) about his steroid usage in the past. Personally, I think it fits perfectly, although PTI on ESPN found it to be despicable. (While I will admit, it's probably a poor choice for a title when young children are undoubtedly going to be walking with their parents down the streets of NY City and seeing this all over newstands. Surely, kids are going to repeat what they see or at least ask their parents what's an A-Hole. Parents are probably thrilled by this headline.)

What do you think?

I received this photo from a story here.

UNITY

Lil Wayne Wins Around the Horn Showdown

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,


The normal Around the Horn panel just wanted Lil Wayne to show his "swagga like us," but the pop icon ended up showing that he knows more about sports than most people give him credit for.

The rap star showed up Tuesday evening, with all his grills and tats, and took control of the hit show on ESPN. He held on late into the "competition" for an epic showdown with Michael Smith.

Sure, it was fixed, but it was an interesting show. In fact, Wayne had some really intelligent things to say about what is going on in the sports world.

The best part of the show was Wayne's 20 seconds to himself, in which he revealed to the sports nation that he is no longer afraid of Lawrence Taylor, the ferocious former Giants LB. The hip-hop mogul cited the Hall of Famer's recent agreement to participate in Dancing with Stars as the reason he is no longer scared, saying his initials (LTT) now stood for something different: "Little Twinkle Toes."

I'm surprised Terry Tate, the office linebacker, didn't come out of nowhere and take Lil Wayne down for making such comments about his storied friend. "Who do you think you are, coming in here making such comments about LT? And then drinking the last of the coffee and not refilling it!"

It was Wayne's world for a day.

UNITY

Lions Do Away With the Black Jerseys

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

Tom Lewand introduced the black and blue jerseys four years ago. Today, he is scrapping them.

The Lions liked the black and blue look in 2005 when they were first introduced, but after being the epitome of a battered, black and blue franchise, the team no longer wants the jerseys as part of their Sunday wardrobe.

Kevin Jones called the jerseys "intimidating," and I agreed. I also agree with getting rid of anything ridden with Matt Millen's dirty finger prints. Anything involving him is far from intimidating. Luckily for the Lions, they wont have to get rid of much else because he was never actually present. In fact, he was always out of town, puppeteering the team while living in his PA home. (Now, he works on NBC. Hopefully, he doesn't make any proclamations about the Lions. We all know how much of a jinx job he was predicting winners during the playoffs.)

Anyway, the jersey trashing party is another great move by the Lions this off-season. Let's hope it continues now, as we have a franchise kicker to re-sign.

UNITY

A-Roid Gets "Loosey Goosey;" Should We Believe Him Now?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,


A-Roid came clean today like he was Hilary Duff.

Perfect for A-Roid, but it "didn't feel so perfect." When he signed that mega deal with the Rangers in 2001 -- the most lucrative in sports history by almost $70 million -- he felt like he was "trying to fit a square into a circle" and that was no life for him. He felt so much pressure to fulfill that contract, he felt like he was obliged to take something to give him that edge. That edge to prove that he was deserving of $25.2 million a year and the title as greatest baseball player ever. So he took some PED's and in his first two years with the Rangers, he had arguably two of the best consecutive seasons ever by a major league baseball player. (.318/.399/.622/52/135 & .300/.392/.623/57/142 respectively -- freakishly absurd).

Many people have said he didn't need the drugs. He didn't need any "edge." That's exactly why this story has come as a complete shock to so many people. He tested positive in 2003 and he came clean to Peter Gammons today, stating that he used them his entire stint in Texas-- three years. He admitted he didn't need them; he admitted that he was young, naive, and stupid. He claimed to be very regretful of his decision.

His story has as many holes in it now as it did before.

First, which sets the base for the rest of this post is his interview with Katie Couric in 2007. A-Roid flat out lied. She asked him if he ever used steroids and he said no with a lip quiver. She asked if he ever felt tempted to use them and after a dramatic pause, excessive eye blinking, and a pucker of the lips, he said no, again, followed with a lip twitch.

See where I'm going with this?

It should have been known that he was lying then. ABC's "To Catch a Liar" salivates over those type of reactions to questions. But no one wanted to believe it, the numbers didn't really show any drastic difference. For the sake of baseball-kind, it wasn't even an afterthought: A-Rod was clean and he was walking proof baseball records could, and would, be broken without steroids. He was going to be the golden boy.

The last four or five years, I haven't been a big A-Rod fan. Maybe undeservedly so, but, at any rate, not a fan. He's a freak on the diamond, don't get me wrong -- I think what he has accomplished statistically is amazing-- but I was starting to grow tired of his antics, his hollywood-isms (bubble gum pop, limp wrist slap of the glove, emphatically slapping the end of the bat after 'just missing' pitches), stray-rod story, Madonna, and his overzealous desire to fit in. All these just minor reasons, added to the fact he's on a Yankee team that's so loveable to hate, that made me grow not so fond of the artist formerly known as A-Rod.

However, I was warming up to the idea that he could be the golden boy. His numbers are so believably consistent, and his effortless talent all appears so natural. Amidst all this steroid talk, proving A-Rod took steroids seemed virtually impossible.

But we were deceived. A-Rod is A-Roid and he lied to us all. He had us fooled. He was just like any other player that succumbed to the idea that a weekly injection would make everything easier and better.

As I watched his interview with Peter Gammons today, I wasn't shocked anymore, I was angry. I was infuriated because I didn't believe him. He said he was sorry, and I thought "sorry doesn't take the metaphorical needle out of your ass that will remain injected in your image forever, Alex."

Some people are going to praise him for admitting it. He could have easily denied it further or make no comment. He took the high road, some will say. He even went as far as going beyond admitting the one failed test to admit taking steroids for all three seasons while he was a Texas Ranger. Some people will praise him for that.

Personally, I don't buy it.

It wasn't in his facial expressions this time, as it was when he lied to Katie Couric. It was mainly his reasoning that I thought was flawed. He said that going into 2001 he felt "an enormous amount of pressure" -implicitly because of his contract-- and he felt he needed to perform at a very high level to prove that he was worthy of being titled the greatest baseball player. Therefore, he took banned substances to help him perform and live up to that pressure. He conveniently doesn't remember the substances.

How am I supposed to believe, after he lied a couple years ago, that those were the only three seasons he took steroids?

He said the pressure going into his years with Texas -- a last place ball club at the time -- got to him. Yeah, he was making the most money for anyone in the history of the sport, but he was playing out west where typically there's less media coverage for a team that was not any good the year before. I admit there's tons of pressure for him there, and while I don't warrant the use of steroids for that, I can't believe there's anymore pressure in Texas than when he came to New York.

How do we believe he didn't use steroids in New York?

He comes to the New York freaking Yankees in 2004 -- with a very similar contract as the one he was under in Texas-- where he will be scrutinized for every little thing he does, from the hat he chooses to wear in public to his choice of bubble gum flavor. How do we know that pressure didn't lead him to want to take something to "perform" at the highest level? For goodness sakes, SportsCenter has segments on their show whenver a big name signs with the Yankees about how to survive the harsh media and fans. No other city gets painted with that "intense pressure" brush, or receives that type of attention for that matter.

Now look at what he has done in New York.

Year one in 2004 (when he is supposedly off steroids): He hits .286 (second worst in his career) with 36 HR (second worst in his career, only to his rookie season), and 106 RBIs (second lowest in his career). Okay, these are numbers we would probably expect from a guy coming off three years worth of steroid cycles.

Year two in 2005 (when he is supposedly off steroids): He resurges to hit .321 (2nd best in his career) with 48 HR (third highest total, first highest at the time if you discount the three steroid years in Texas-- that is assuming this isn't a steroid year either), and 130 RBIs (fourth highest total. Second, if you discount the alleged steroid years)

Year three in 2006 (when he is supposedly off steroids): He sees a slight dip in some of his stats, although his RBI total is still up there. His 35 HR is a career low.

If you remember, the years 2005 and 2006 were especially tough for A-Rod. He was caught with a stripper, he was bashed for making too many errors, and hit a combined .204 in two post-seasons (that's .133 and .071 combined; an average of .102). I think it's more than safe to say, New Yorkers were calling for his head. He was getting booed repeatedly.

Did that put the pressure on? You'd be a fool to say he wasn't feeling immense pressure.

Year four in 2007 (when he is supposedly off steroids): He miraculously, despite all the pressure and personal problems, rebounds to hit .314, 54 HR (second highest total in his career, sandwiched between the two, and only other, 50+ HR years he had-- both accomplished while he admittedly was on steroids), and 156 RBIs (shattering his non-steroid career high by more than 30 RBIs). Not to mention that this was all done at the age of 32. I think most reasonable people would argue 32 is on the outskirt of the average MLB player's prime years. (Although, I will admit, A-Roid is far from an average MLB player).

Now, I have been told that A-Rod would be stupid to do steroids while he was in New York, especially in 2007, because that was right around when the Mitchell Report was happening/being completed. My only argument for that is his records have been hidden before and I'm sure there are fancy undetectable drugs out there today. Also, MLB drug tests are supposed to be random, however, if someone knew A-Roid failed a test before, maybe someone on the inside could get ahold of when the tests would happen and warn A-Roid. If his tests have been hidden for the past six years, who knows if there has been a conspiracy all along to protect A-Roid's name. That may be stretching it, though.

Another argument thrown my way: A woman from SI is writing a book about A-Roid's apparent steroid usage and has been aggressively researching his entire life. A-Roid's only incentive would be to admit all the years he did it and set the record straight before she does, right?

Maybe.

First of all, this woman is supposedly claiming in her book that A-Roid began using steroids in high school, which he calls a baloney sandwich. However, this isn't Jose Canseco or some nut job pulled out of a senior community to make up some bullshit. This is a writer employee of Sports Illustrated. It would be a pretty bold claim to state that A-Roid began using PED's in high school without some factual backing, especially if you're writing a book about it. Yeah, it's a way to sell copies, but I think Sports Illustrated, a very reputable resource for sports would get their facts as straight as possible before letting a woman reporter advertise their name in such a controversial way. That's my speculation, though.

In summary, I think it's fair to say that no matter how you look at it, A-Roid has tarnished his credibility and crippled his reputation. For someone to have such inhuman ability on the diamond and openly admit he used steroids for three years, after lying about it before, can't help but raise skepticism.

I don't know if he's telling the truth. For the sake of his statistical accomplishments thus far in his career, I hope he is. For the sake of baseball, I hope he is. The game can utilize every broken piece of this "era" it can possibly salvage. Most importantly, I hope he's telling the truth for all the people who are putting their optimistic necks on the line, claiming "A-Rod was so great, he didn't need to be A-Roid to accomplish such great feats. He didn't need steroids, as evidence by his non-Texas years."

Is his story believable? Should we believe him?

UNITY

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,


We are going to do something a little different here on Detroit4lyfe.com. Everyone in the blosphere is so concerned with their SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and rightfully so. Solidifying your SEO will have your blog popping up on search engines more frequently, in turn getting your blog more hits and making you the blogdaddy. Here at Detroit4lyfe.com we're semi-concerned with our SEO. We know some people and we make some moves, but we don't overly concern ourselves with it to the max -- we have an account on ballhype, bleacher report, and a couple other obscure blogging sites, but not nearly as much as the bigger blogbrandnames have. I take notice of these things.

However, don't get the wrong idea, we do care about how much action we're getting. If we're in a slump, we try to bust out of it just like any other steroid abuser. That being said, we take a peek every so often at what kind of hits we're getting, what kind of audience we're receiving, and what exactly is bringing people to our page. Due to the bizarre nature of some of these referrers, I will post a weekly list of the top 5 google searches that lead people to our page.

And the top 5 for this innaugeral week are...

5) "We are all witnesses"

4) "Friday Night Lights"

3) "B.J. Mullens looks stupid"

2) "double d cup" (Searcher may have been looking for Dupree)

and the number one google search that brought people to our page is.......

1) "boner"

I guarantee that horny girl (or guy) did not get what she was looking for. Sorry! Although I am sure the result of reading our posts will almost certainly result in one of these...

Check back next week for the best google searches that lead people to our page.

UNITY

Sunday Funday on TV

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in

Usually when the NFL season is over, Sundays are extra-blah. Today will help postpone that feeling at least for another weekend.

In addition to it being about 75 degrees in Atlanta -- and warm up north too! -- there are some great games on TV today. The Detroit Red Wings will start things off as they take on Pittsburgh at 12:30 PM on NBC. Pittsburgh has two of the leading scorers in the NHL and are attempting to make a late playoff push. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are battling for another division title-- and possibly a President's trophy. (The Penguins will be wearing their awful Carolina blue jerseys)

At the same time, the Celtics will take on the San Antonio Spurs on ABC for a premium NBA match up. Then at 3:30 PM on ABC, the Lakers will take on the Cleveland Caveliers. If this game is anything like the Celtics/Lakers game from the other night, then this is a must watch game. It may be only the regular season, but these teams are playing eachother like they have something to prove as it is a huge debate as to who the best team in the NBA is right now.

Then tonight, at 8 PM on ESPN, the Pistons will take on the Suns. The Pistons are coming off a big OT win last night against Milwaukee. Rip Hamilton had 38 points, off the bench. Hopefully they will carry that energy into tonight's nationally televised game and show the world that they are still a team to watch out for in the East.

Another thing that I plan on doing during Sunday, aside from studying more than I did last semester on Sundays, is watching some episodes of Friday Night Lights on NBC.com. That show is really good and I accredit Chip Stevenson for urging me to watch it. Thanks, Chip.

Anyway, enjoy your Sunday Funday on TV before Sunday night depression starts to kick in...

UNITY

Live Blogcast: Davidson vs. College of Charleston

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,

It's 5:36 PM and I'm mentally prepping for my first live blogcast. Nerves are flaring up and my finger tips are really sweaty. I will be live blogcasting as I watch the game on ESPN2. Tip off is 6 PM...
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5:47 PM: FYI: I will update you through the live webbychat to the right when you should refresh your browser. I'm planning on writing at worst every 15 minutes. I'm still mentally prepping and waiting for this Southern Illinois nonsense to finish.
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5:55 PM I'm wondering if the Davidson game won't start until this game is over or if it will start regardless, at 6 PM. I'm hoping they'll wait for the telecast to switch over. I'm thinking if Dickie V is calling the game, they will wait.
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6:01 PM Dickie V whispering sweet nothings into Steph's ear as he warms up. Steph is unphased. Hopefully that was a live feed and they are going to wait for this stupid game to finish before starting that one.
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6:04 PM Michigan vs. #1 UConn is on ESPN at the same time. I'd love to see the Nielsen ratings of these two games. Will more people view Davidson (Steph Curry and Dickie V) or the #1 UConn vs. upset potential Michigan?
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6:11 PM Missed just under a minute. A few things to look for in this game: Steph Curry, Rossiter playing really well lately, and D-Block fan section (that I was proudly a part of ) that is behind opponent's bench
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6:14 PM Steph misses his first shot. CofC has a pretty sweet alley oop. Nuts were implanted on Lovedale's forehead.
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6:16 PM Black out Belk arena by the way. Everyone wearing free t-shirts passed out by entrances. 10-2 COUGARS. Steph gets a shot blocked.
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6:20 PM Steph has 7 points in a hurry. After Lovedale nearly breaks the backboard on a block, Steph hits an NBA three pointer. Dickie Vitale calls him "downtown Curry" and feels a tingle in his pants. I feel it too.
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6:26 PM Charleston looks pretty good right now. Cougars up 18-14. Curry just put in a nice floater off the glass before CofC answered. FYI: Just got word from the D-Block fan section behind the opponents bench: The shirts will be coming off soon.
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6:35 PM Halfway through the first half. Steph has 11, but the Cats trail the Cougars 29-20. Charleston crashing the boards tough right now and hitting three pointers. I'd love to see Dan Nelms never take baby hook shots again.
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6:37 PM "Nothing but nylon!" as Dickie V said. Curry dribbled through the entire CofC team, dished it off, got it back, dribble, step back shot and swish. He has 14. 29-23 CofC, though. Time out. I'm out of snacks.
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6:45 PM CofC is on fire. They are up 6. Four minutes remaining in the first half. I really love how much Lovedale has improved since his freshman year. He basically came to Davidson from Nigeria as a big guy who had little to none basketball experience. He has developed into a valuable asset to this team, as he showed in the tournament last year. He averages nearly a double double per game.
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6:53 PM "Magical, magnificent, marvelous!" Steph Curry has 19 as he hit another downtown shot. Sonya, his mother, pounds her chest and points to Jesus (Dell is watching other son, Seth play at Liberty). Ben Allison swishes two free throws to give Davidson their first lead of the game. That's another player to watch out for as he continues to develop. He will give the Cats another weapon in the post come tourney time. Look out! Will NoArchambault hits a three in the corner and leaves his limp wrist up for emphasis. He's Canadian.
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6:57 PM Curry loses track of the shot clock and turns it over. College of Charleston misses shot to end the half. Cats up two heading into the locker room. Everyone, go take a poop, grab a new round of beers; do whatever it takes for you to get ready for what looks to be an exciting second half. See you then.
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7:01 PM UPDATE FROM ESPN---Michigan leading #1 UCONN by one at the half.
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7:12 PM Some people drink Myoplex to refuel, or Red Bull to get fired up, I'm drinking ice cold Bud Lights. I'm jacked up for the second half. Predictions for Stephen Curry point total? I'm going to say 40+. Dick Vitale might take his shirt off if that happens. D-Block has a great Dickie V cardboard sign by the way. Second half about to start....
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7:16 PM Dickie V was clowning at halftime. He's bragging about kissing Sonya Curry at halftime and then tells her Steph gets all his good looks from her. All behind Dell's back, that sleaze ball. What a clown that Dickie V is. Meanwhile, Curry hits an effortless three-pointer. 22 points. Cats up 7 now.
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7:25 PM Dickie V mosh pitted the D-Block before the game and praises them during the telecast. Amazing to see. Wish I was still there. Notice all the shaved heads in the D-Block... freshman baseball players. Bryant Barr is on fire (he's the one that looks like Powder) has 9 so far this half. Cats up 13, pulling away comfortably.
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7:32 PM What really impresses me is the ability of Davidson's big men to hit free throws. Cats up 12. College of Charleston coach is an angry man.
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7:35 PM They are talking about Curry coming back for his senior year. I've always believed this, but it will be tough to pass up a top 10 draft spot. However, I know his grandma, a big influence in his life, really wants him to graduate. Barring an injury, I don't think he'll fall in the draft. They lose Lovedale next season, but other than that they return everyone else. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
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7:43 PM Stephen Curry sharing all his points with his roommate Bryant Barr. Barr has 13, despite two airballs. If he keeps shooting those threes he's going to seriously hurt somebody. My 40+ point prediction for Steph does not look good. Cats only up two with 8:29 to go.
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7:52 PM Dickie V is saying Curry is so unselfish, sometimes to a fault. If he doesn't shoot soon, I'm going to have to agree here. Curry looks like he wants the ball here. Time out Davidson. Time out me. I need to regroup.
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7:59 PM This game is wayyyy closer than I want it to be. Davidson up one with about four minutes to go. Curry has been invisible and his mom looks nervous. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing some Curry magic soon. BTW: I have debated with people before as to whether Davidson would make the tourney as an at large team, if they didn't win their conference tournament. Dickie V confirmed that they would absolutely be a March Madness team, even if they didn't. My thoughts exactly, unless of course, they lose a few during this regular season-- which they shouldn't. Back to the action. I'm taking my pants off.
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8:05 PM That was definitely a push by #5 of CofC there (I don't want to refer to them by name, but it's Jermaine Johnson if you're wondering). Cougars up 4 with 1:43 left. I'm utterly ashamed right now. Where is Stephen Curry!?!?!? Missed his last 7.
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8:07 PM Sonya tells her son to get some heart. I attempt to curse in the live chat and am told by the system that there is little tolerance for such language. Lovedale with an easy layup and a timeout. Cats trail by two with 53 seconds remaining.
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8:10 PM Stephen Curry is absolutely frigid. 0 for his last nine. Davidson down four with 19 seconds left. 43 game conference win streak on the line.
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8:12 PM Archambault shoots the three with 9 seconds left, that's probably the last person I want shooting in a situation like that. He's been absolutely atrocious the last four games. He needs to figure his shit out. Curry almost hits an "and one" three pointer after Charleston misses two free throws. Curry at the line shooting three, Cats down 4.
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8:16 PM Curry hits his first two free throws. Time out. What do you do in a situation like this!?!?! 3 seconds left, down two with your best free throw shooter at the line.
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8:17 PM Curry is a man, so he decided to make the free throw. 25 points. Tony White Jr. fouled on the inbound. 2 seconds left, Cats down two with two seconds left. Missed the second free throw, rebound Lovedale! Time out Davidson.
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8:21 PM Amazing play drawn up by Bob McKillop. Curry has what looks like a great look at the basket and he is blocked from behind by Wiggins. Wiggins deserves the Superman logo on his chest this game. He did a fantastic job on Curry all second half. I'm going to go throw up. Charleston wins. Terrible loss.
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8:26 PM I have puke dripping down from my chin. I look like hell. I can't believe Davidson let this one slip away. I think Curry got complacent and didn't try and assert himself enough in the second half. Archambault was awful and Bryant Barr thought he was Larry Bird all of a sudden because he hit a few shots. Davidson comes one win shy of breaking the Southern Conference record for consecutive wins at 49.

Thanks everyone who stuck with me throughout the game. This was basically a test run for future live blogcasts. I plan on doing this some during the March Madness, Tigers season, and particular playoff games. Leave some feedback and let me know what you think, so I can work on making this better next time...

UNITY

Waiver

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