Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Who is Travis Buck? Up until tonight, it seemed like he was nobody. Then he came up to bat in the hallowed stadium in the Fens this evening, facing the single greatest closer in the history of the world, provided of course you limit that history to April-July of 2006. Travis Buck committed a cardinal sin, one for which the Universe will exact a horrible vengeance. He dared hit a home run off of Jonathan Papelbon, handing that fearsome reliever his first blown save of the season.

Having the best record in baseball in April is all well and good, and going through a whole month of baseball without a blown save is the first step on the way to a World Series win. But could it be that there are some flaws beginning to emerge in the mighty Red Sox facade? They started out strong, taking a four run lead bu the end of the third inning. And then they allowed the As to score five unanswered runs.

And in blowing his first save of the season, Papelbon threw 35 pitches. That's an awful lot for a guy with arm concerns. It's even more when you consider the fact that the team is taking every conceivable measure to limit his appearances and keep him from overtaxing his mighty arm. Sooner or later, the team will need more out of its bullpen than it can deliver.

Okajima has massively exceeded expectations, to my disappointment, but there is no guarantee that he can sustain this performance level over 50 appearances. Timlin is not a spring chicken anymore. Brendan Donnelly is a fearsome competitor when it comes to getting into shoving matches with Jose Guillen, but he took the loss tonight. Who knows when they'll need a big performance out of Papelbon again? And who is 100% convinced that a guy who looked pretty tired in his lone inning of work tonight can keep pitching at the level the Red Sox require to sustain this momentum? Plus the Yankees are playing the Rangers right now, and looked like they might come alive any day now.

The Dallas Mavericks managed to stave off elimination tonight, winning Game Five in their series with the Golden State Warriors. It's depressing, but I can't shake the feeling that they are poised to make a run in the next two games entirely too reminiscent of the run Miami made right over them in last year's Finals. I really don't want to see that happen, but for some reason I can't get too motivated to root for Golden State.

I'm not sure why. They play a very entertaining brand of basketball, in fact their style is very close to what basketball ought to be. Plus I really hate Dallas. I think it's Baron Davis that is turning me away from the Warriors. Look at this video of Baron Davis clapping in the process of being ejected from Game Two of this series. I don't really know how to describe it, but it's eerie. I've never seen anyone clap in such a maniacal fashion. Watching the guy clap like that got me thinking that he just might have a freezer full of body parts (human, animal, both) in a garage somewhere in the suburbs of the Bay Area.

Just a bit more on the NFL Draft, I was not particularly impressed with the Bears top pick in the recent draft. I think Greg Olsen has a chance to be a very good tight end in the NFL, but I think they had bigger problems to address. I think they could have used Alan Branch, even though Mel Kiper wasn't in love with his work ethic. They very nearly lucked into him with their second round pick, but Arizona made a crafty move to trade ahead of them.

I was also hoping they'd get a chance at Joe Staley when Kansas City didn't take him. I, or more precisely my fantasy team, badly needed Kansas City to take the best available offensive lineman. Larry Johnson was the centerpiece of my team for the last season and a half (it's a keeper league). Now, there is the fact that it's been many moons since a back who set the NFL record for carries in a season came back strong the following year. Signs do not point to LJ having a very good year behind a makeshift offensive line which has not recovered from the retirement of Willie Roaf and now Will Shields is gone. Bad times, but I can't let LJ go at the moment.

But back to Greg Olsen...

After today's revelation that Olsen was part of a group of nitwits who recorded an obscene, sexist rap song as freshmen at the U and Jay Mariotti's "effort" to waddle his way to the moral high ground on the subject, I'm inching my way closer to supporting him. In the interest of full disclosure, since I did not own up to the fact that I called out a Red Sox pitcher in my tirade against said team's proclivity for beaning opponents to send messages because he's hit more batters than any other pitcher since 2003 without mentioning that the pitcher in question throws knuckleballs and a fastball that is slower than most changeups, Greg Olsen forsook the University of Notre Dame to play for Miami. So I'm still not particularly inclined to empathize with him.

I know I piled up some tool of note segments yesterday, but believe it or not, I have more. Check out this hilariously disappointing video of a tool trying to power slide/burn out in a Barbie convertible. It's disappointing because there is no audio and it's difficult to tell just how fast he was going at the time of the incident. What a shame.


Perhaps I'm being cruel in enjoying what appeared to be a fairly painful injury as much as I am. But it serves him right. The odds of me experiencing a similar injury have to be in the trillions to one against. There is no way that I'd get into a Barbie car in the first place. I certainly wouldn't allow any observer to record the moment for people like me to mock. And if by some ghastly set of circumstances I broke one or both of those restrictions, I sure as hell wouldn't try some Fast and the Furious style nonsense whilst driving a roofless vehicle designed for little children. So this nitwit deserves to be mocked.

Then there is this video. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a tool of note segment. But it's worth watching. Some unknown person operating under the moniker Leeroy Jenkins is roaming the World of Warcraft landscape and leading unsuspecting gamers into ambushes. I have to salute him for the industry he has exhibited in his quest to tool on tools.

However, World of Warcraft is reeling from being mocked in South Park last year and a recent episode of the Simpsons. Plus it seems like a hell of a lot of time and effort for about 15 minutes of genuine entertainment.

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