Sunday, October 31, 2010

World Series Game 4 Thread, 5p

The only thing in orange we'll be celebrating today.

Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 3.55) vs. Tommy Hunter (0-1, 6.14).

COMMENTS: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a series! Want to learn how the Rangers won Game 3? Read all about it from one of the finest writers in the business:

The Rangers can restore more sanity to the World Series by defeating Dagwood Bumstead — er, Madison Bumgarner — and getting the real Cliff Lee to show up for Game 5. But one thing at a time: A win tonight and we're all (bow)tied up.

SoSG Fantasy Football Update, Week 7 (Week 8 Smack Thread)

ARGH! I got into the halloween candy early and now I am late with Mr LA SF's post. Here goes: smack talk away!

More than halfway through the fantasy season, and playoff seeds are still up for grabs.  In the East, Dusty Baker has a commanding three game lead over the next closest man, Mr. Customer.  Meanwhile, NicJ, Jason and I are tied for third with just a game back of Mr C.  In the West, Karina and Prof. Dittmore are tied for first, with Paul just a game back and Meaniebreanie and Spanky two back.  Week 7's action, if you will:

MLASF 114 (2-5) - Karina 98 (5-2): Karina suffers just her second loss of the season as I pull off the unexpected upset.  Roddy White's monster 32 point showing gave me the edge, while Thomas Jones added 18 points and Maurice Jones-Drew threw in 17.  Karina had 23 points from Adrian Peterson and 16 points from the Seattle defense in a losing effort.

Spanky 77 (3-4) - NicJ 72 (2-5):  Spanky gets his second straight win while Nic suffers his fifth straight defeat.  Hines Ward snagged 19 points for the Spankster, and Drew Brees and Rob Bironas both added 14.  Percy Harvin hauled 16 points for Nic while David Akers added 15, but the Saints' -3 on defense set him back.

Jason 90 (2-5) - Meaniebreanie 63 (3-4): As the Cowboys go, so does MB.  Tony Romo's broken collarbone derailed any chance of victory for the Dallas fan, collecting five points before leaving the game.  Jason Witten still had 15 points, and former Cowboy and current ass Terrell Owens threw in 14.  Team Deltalina used 20 point showings from Dwayne Bowe and Joe Flacco to ensure a win.

Prof. Dittmore 92 (5-2) - Mr. Customer 90 (3-4): The Professor ties for first in the West with his win, while the loss sends Mr. C to the edge of third place in the East.  Mr. C almost pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win with Hakeem Nicks and his 22 points, but the NY Giant could not get the 12 yards necessary to force a tie.  Steven Jackson added 14 points for the Customer, while Kyle Orton added 13.  P. Ditty used 17 points from Dan Carpenter, 16 from Aaron Rodgers, and 15 from the Chicago defense to get the W.

Dusty Baker 106 (6-1) - Paul 80 (4-3):  DB continues to dispatch his opponents, thanks to two Falcons.  A 26 point showing from Michael Turner and a 23 point effort from Matt Ryan spotted Dusty and early lead, while 20 points from Knowshon Moreno clinched the victory.  15 points from Frank Gore and 14 points from Johnny Cox went in vain for Paul.

Week 8 will see MLASF versus Prof. Dittmore, Jason versus Spanky, Mr. C versus MB, Karina versus Dusty, and Nic versus Paul.  On Halloween, who knows what spooky happenings we'll see? Which juggernaut will get the win, DB or Karina?  Will Mr. C lose his second place standing?  Can Nic finally get his first win since Week 2? Anything can happen at a dead man's party.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

World Series Game 3 Thread, 3:30p

Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 2.93) vs. Colby Lewis (2-0, 1.45).

  • Giants' last World Series championship: 1954
  • Giants' next World Series championship: 2010
  • time between World Series championships it takes to accumulate enough luck for EVERY GODDAMN THING to break your way for two months: 56
  • Dodgers' next World Series championship: 2044

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Star Wars Diversion To Brighten Your Gloomy Day

Via Kotaku, here's Artoo and Threepio doing some late-night electronics shopping in the UK.

Thanks to AC for the find!

Giants Still Juicing Their Way To Success

You can take the Barry Bonds off the Giants, but you can't take his drug-using, oversized-craniumed-shadow out of the picture. Jose Guillen, strangely left off the Giants' postseason roster (but contributor to the Giants' end-of-season surge), is linked to a federal investigation of HGH shipments. What's more, MLB knew about it, and helped the Giants "adjust" their roster accordingly.

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants outfielder Jose Guillen, left off the team's postseason roster, is linked to a federal investigation into shipments of performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported on its website Thursday night.

The story, citing several unidentified lawyers, said federal authorities told Major League Baseball they were looking into shipments of human growth hormone, allegedly sent to Guillen's wife in the Bay Area.

That was just before the postseason began, The Times said. Guillen was left off the Giants' roster for all three rounds because of a nagging neck injury, according to manager Bruce Bochy. According to The Times, the Giants were told to leave Guillen off the roster by Major League Baseball.

A person in Major League Baseball confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe was ongoing.

"I don't know anything about it and right now I don't have a comment," Bochy said.

Jay Reisinger, Guillen's attorney, also declined comment in an e-mail. San Francisco beat the Texas Rangers 9-0 on Thursday night for a 2-0 lead in the World Series.

Yet another shadow of cheating and impropriety for the Giants. What a surprise.

Random Panicky Thread

Oh man, this is bad. Keep it together keep it together keep it together

UPDATE 11:32a: Thanks Josh S. (in the comments) for this one: PANIC!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

World Series Game 2 Thread

C.J. Wilson vs. Matt Cain.

COMMENTS: One loss shouldn't be cause for alarm, even though the Giants did get to Rangers ace Cliff Lee; in doing so, the Giants have also used up their best gun in Tim Lincecum. Game 2 falls to Wilson, who led the team in BB this year. Which means that C.J., a walker Texas Ranger is going to go all Chuck Norris on all of those fat Giants today. Count it.

Puzzle Championship Update: Ivana vs Zrinka & Weiß vs Hudák

Time for an update on Ivana Štiptová vs Future Mrs EK (a.k.a. Zrinka Kokot) in the World Puzzle Championships:

Now look closely at Zrinka. Do you see that cavernous valley? That's the lead she's opened up on Ivana, who was game for 5 or 6 rounds, but ultimately no match for Zrinka's ample talents.

And now, the Sax vs EK throwdown, otherwise known as Phillip Dweiß, er, Phillip Weiß vs Peter Hudák:

It seems Huuds was toying with Weiß through 10 rounds, then decided to turn on the gas. Thanks for playing, Phillip!

PS Here's Zrinka's facebook page. Note to Zrinka: if we're gonna be together forever one day, confirming my friend request already would be a good start...

Update: updated results show Weiß managed to bribe the judges to negate Round 10, which put him at 13th place, above Hudák (16th) in the final standings. Outrage! Two losses in one day. At least Zrinka (57th) beat Ivana (73rd).

Congratulations Readers!

Well, add another shrimp to the barbie of Sons losses. Do we really need a recap?Very well. Here's 2008's Connect Four:

And 2009's 3D Tic-Tac-Toe:

And now, another Reader triumph in 2010 with Yahtzee:

Grrr. No doubt the game turned on the Readers' Gibsonian moment in Round 7, when they rolled a 5 5 5 5 5 6 6. If the Sons had matched the Readers' Yahtzee, we would have won 242-241!

Alas, the reality is we've suffered three consecutive losses in three different games. We Sons just can't find our game. I even got rid of the yellow and blue motif, and we still lost. I guess it must be the dainty hands.

Well, congratulations Readers. That makes it Readers 3, Sons 0. How will this end? 2004 Yankees-Red Sox? Or 2004 Red Sox-Cardinals?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series Game 1 Thread (4.30p)

Cliff Lee (3-0, 0.75) vs. Tim Lincecum (2-1, 1.93).

COMMENTS: That Keith Law guy over at might be on to something when he concludes that "pitching will be the difference" in this World Series. No. Shit. And Game 1 features the postseason matchup of the century (that is, now that we've gotten Lincecum's two duels with the equally talented Roy Halladay out of the way).

This series may be a network's nightmare (NYY-PHI would have had the #1 and #5 markets with a combined population of 25M; instead, we've got the #4 and #13 markets with a combined population of 10M and change), a true baseball fan's dream, and a barber's anxiety. But it's also going to be the vehicle that gives the San Francisco Giants, this year's Team of Destiny (TM), what is almost certain to be the franchise's first World Series title.

(Not that we're not trying to offer alternatives.)

Giants get home field advantage, ironically enough thanks to one of our own. On the flipside, the 4:30p start time may mean that the Giants reprise the NLCS and fall short of a full house. All I know is, I'll be watching. And if you're a Dodger fan, I know you will be too.

Thanks to Nic J for the image!

Since This Worked Out So Well Last Time

Remember, their track record is not so good. (In fact, it's tragic.) Oh well, without further ado, the ESPN pundits' 2010 World Series predictions:

Four points:

  • 1. Jim Caple in, Eric Karabell out? Would have loved to have seen that conference room arm-wrestling match.
  • 2. What determines the placement of these names? I noticed Amy K. Nelson has risen to the top...
  • 3. ...and of course, that helped me noticed Amy K. Nelson. Hell-o, Amy K. Nelson! (Don't worry, this isn't an Erin Andrews thing or anything.)
  • 4. Oh, and Jim Caple: BOOOOOOOOOO. That is all.

The SoSG Sacrificial Offering (Update 10/27/10)

News of the SoSG sacrifice got everyone abuzzing. Of course, we know which Son might be up for sacrifice should the baseball gods grant us the outcome we want in the 2010 World Series. But apparently, with you readers, it's still an open question.

Nic J is scheming, but holding his cards close to his vest (straitjacket?) :

I know who I'm hoping for.


(rubs hands together)

Mr. F reminds us that Lasorda would make for a robust offering to the gods:

Fattest? Gotta be Lasorda, right?

Dusty Baker agrees, and is even ready for the kill:

These are grave times, indeed. Some serious decisions need to be made and our actions carefully considered.

That said, Lasorda is a dead man walking! *takes up pitchfork*

rbnlaw points at Delino:

I'm gonna miss Delino.

And Mr LA Sports Czar prognosticates the future, beyond Lasorda (even though Mr. LA SC has actually met SoSG Alex Cora in person (that's cold, dude!)):

I'm going to miss Lasorda. He was a trooper. Next on the block, AC.

And J. Steve is even dipping into the SoSG coffers coffins:

Can't we just offer up the corpse of Pedro? Is that still around? I could also recommend a couple current Dodgers I wouldn't mind sacrificing....

No one has called for Orel's or EK's or my head...yet. But given all the intrigue, we may keep the identity of the sacrifice close at hand. (And for the record, unlike the SoSG campaign, this isn't going up for a Death In The Family-like vote.)

Let's see how Game 1 goes this afternoon, and we'll go from there...

Focus On Puzzle Hotties: Ivana vs Zrinka

Sax made the mistake of bringing my attention to the 19th World Puzzle Championships.

And yes, there's been talk of Thomas Snyder, the top US guy, currently leading the competition (update 9:30am: he's dropped to #3!); Sax's boy Phillip Weiß; Mehmet Sevim, the pre-tournament favorite; and Peter Hudák, my dark-horse candidate.

But there's another, far much more compelling, individual matchup: Slovakia's Ivana Štiptová vs Croatia's Zrinka Kokot.

Ivana is the only full-time female on Slovakia's National Puzzle Team. But... Zrinka was the first ever female to make Croatia's National Puzzle Team. And so far, through five rounds*, they're pretty evenly matched. Zrinka currently stands at #57 out of 105 competitors with 343 points, and Ivana at #60 with 319 points:

Full results here

And...on the off-chance that you're wondering what these two Puzzlers look like, well here's Ivana, from her facebook page:

Ivana Štiptová
Slovakian National Team Member

And here's Zrinka, from the Croatian National Team Photo:

Croatian National Puzzle Team

Whoa. Ivana, you're a cute girl, and I love how you proudly wear your nation's colors. But Zrinka, whoa...ti si lijepa. Marry me Zrinka!

Who will finish on top?
Free polls from

P.S. to Sax: Do you hear the footsteps? Hudák has closed to within 2 places of Weiß...

*strangely, the first five rounds are numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Part of a puzzle perhaps?

Bandwagon Giants Fans Bring SF Columnist Alarming Discovery

I had to laugh when reading this article in the San Mateo County Times, in which Margaret Lavin is shocked that kids' baseball apparel might not in fact reflect allegiance and support for a specific team:

Kids across the Bay Area are wearing orange and black, and it's not because Halloween is right around the corner.

San Francisco Giants pride and paraphernalia is everywhere, and so I was surprised when I saw a couple of eighth-grade boys wearing Cincinnati Reds caps.

Mind you, the Reds won the NL Central and also made the 2010 playoffs, a fact that anyone with a passing interest in baseball, including the bandwagon Giants fan, should already know. But (gasp), there might be more insidious forces at work?

Knowing these two boys, I was sure they were not fans and would bet they've never even been to Ohio. I asked them the significance of the caps and received a typical, eye-avoiding answer of "I don't know."

Now, I am aware that the line between gang apparel and the latest fashions worn by pop stars and rappers is blurred. However, I do have enough street smarts to know that no child can be totally safe from gang influences.

Wow, that is a pretty good set of street smarts, Margaret. Especially when you factor in that these kids probably haven't been to Ohio; very clever deductive reasoning! Keep up the great work, Jessica Fletcher!

Always the sleuth teacher, I used Google [Sax's note: wait, not altavista or infoseek? How positively avant-garde!] to search for Cincinnati Reds caps, and my eyes were opened. According to various websites, Cincinnati Reds memorabilia is the second-most gang-affiliated sportswear. Los Angeles Dodgers clothing is at the top. I investigated further, and here's some of what I discovered.

It can be difficult to determine whether a young adult is advertising his allegiance to a gang or just trying to be fashionable. However, there are some obvious items of gang apparel.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Raiders clothing, bandannas and other accessories have distinct meaning to gangs in the Bay Area. If your family does not root for these teams but their logos are being worn excessively by your teens or tweens, they could be headed for trouble. Even if they have no interest in gangs, it's possible they could be mistaken for a gang member.

Sure, Complex magazine ranked the Dodgers at the top. But with the Raiders ranked down at third, it's a pretty dubious ranking system (also interesting is that six of the 10 spots were MLB teams).

And are you telling me that you live in the Bay Area and you never thought that Oakland Raiders apparel might in fact not signify support for a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2002 (to be fair, the 49ers have had a similar drought, so maybe this may not be that unusual)? Given how bad the Raiders are, it's almost better to be recognized as a gang member rather than a fan of a team committed to almost a decade of losing. And it was a wayward Reds hat on an eighth-grader that tipped you off--good work there.

Next you're going to tell me that those scantily-clad women hanging out on the busy corner at night aren't just bored.

Yahtzee Final Round, Initial Roll

So this is what it's come down to. The Sons have to hope for five sixes in nine rolls, and hope the Readers get none, and we win. At least that's what Jason said - I didn't check his math but I believe him.

Can someone calculate those odds?

Anyhow, roll your nine...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lakers Home Opener GT: Rockets at Lakers (7.30p)

Finally, something to keep our minds off the World Series. Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks take on Derek, Pau, Lamar, Ron, and some other guy whose name escapes me.

Where amazing happens? Like, three-peat amazing? We'll see, starting tonight.

photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

'Fernando Nation' Debuts Tonight

A few months ago, we asked you about your recollections of Fernando Valenzuela. Did your memories make the cut? Find out tonight!


Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

I never thought we'd be here, on the precipice of watching the San Francisco Giants win their first World Series ever. But having blown past the Phillies with a couple of decent starters, just enough offense to win, and hot biorhythms from players like Cody Ross, it does indeed appear that the Giants are a team of destiny, and the 2010 World Championship will be theirs.

Man, that would be a disappointment for us Dodger fans.

And so, we Sons are going to pull out the last arrow in our quiver. We will sacrifice a Son in order to have the Rangers win the World Series.

You read that right. At the last SoSG staff meeting, we all drew straws, and one of us drew the short straw, and therefore agreed to be served up to the baseball gods in order to keep the Giants from winning. If the baseball gods will take our sacrifice as a worthy gesture, then we are happy to submit. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one Son. (Plus, with the spiraling costs of health care benefits, our CFO thinks it's a fiscally prudent idea.)

It's going to be painful, of course. No one likes to lose a brother. But we're desperate. And I mean, Donner Party desperate (though we're not going to eat him, just sacrifice him).

Stay tuned for more info tomorrow morning.

Did I Say $80M? My Buddy Scott Here Says, Try $120M

Hirsute former Dodger Jayson Werth may be gunning for a lot more coin than earlier reports would have one believe:

Speaking at Citizens Bank Park two days after the San Francisco Giants eliminated his team from the playoffs, Werth said he would consider returning to the Phillies in 2011 and beyond, but is also willing to go through the free agency process.

"I've had the best time the last four years playing baseball with these guys, with these fans," he said. "The team has taken the necessary steps to create a winning atmosphere, and hopefully they'll continue to do that. Obviously, we know business is good in Philadelphia. They could probably sign whoever they want. Whether or not that's me, we'll have to wait and see."

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the team would like to keep their middle-of-the-order hitter. And he has room in the budget, depending on the cost.

"I haven't had any discussions with Scott [Boras] yet," Amaro said. "Over the next 48 hours or so, we'll make contact. I guess the follow-up question is, 'Do we have enough money to do it, and would we like to bring him back?' The answer to both questions is yes. However, that'll all kind of depend on what the ask is, and ultimately how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that."

Werth, who earned $7.5 million in 2010, hired Boras during the season, and the super-agent has a reputation for taking a hard-line stance in negotiations. Part of Werth's decision may be the seven-year, $120-million contract Boras struck with the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Matt Holliday -- a similar player to Werth -- last winter.

The good news is, it looks like he might be available for consideration by the Dodgers. The bad news is, only at prices that would make even Andruw Jones weep.

Yahtzee R12, Initial Roll

Readers: There is no category selection poll today. I have you down for the small straight.

Pick Your 5 (multiple selections allowed):
Free polls from

Nine rolls. Let's go Sixes or Yahtzee...

Rules here

The Five Types of Players That Will Get You to the World Series

Not only are the Yankees (2010 opening day payroll: $213 million) and Phillies ($138M) not going to the World Series, they played so poorly they never even came within sniffing distance. Instead, the Rangers ($65M) and Giants ($96M) are taking the main stage, and despite their relative thriftiness (although Giants benchwarmers Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand are owed a collective $186M), it's not just grit and clutchiness that's getting them through. It's character! Specifically, it's a group of characters like these:

Bengie Molina
Pablo Sandoval
honorable mention: Juan Uribe
Elvis Andrus
Tim Lincecum
Josh Hamilton
Brian Wilson
Neftali Feliz
Buster Posey
Vladimir Guerrero
Guillermo Mota

AP photos: Feliz, Guerrero, Hamilton, Lincecum, Posey, Sandoval, Wilson; Getty photos: Andrus, Molina, Mota; payroll figures from Cot's Baseball Contracts

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yahtzee R11 category selection

Sorry, screwed up poll, s tart over:
Pick Your Category (2 2 2 1 1)
4 of a Kind
Sm Straight
Free polls from

World Puzzle Championship GT (Oct 24-29)

Pretty exciting times in Poland, where Paprotnia (30 km outside Warsaw) becomes the center of the puzzling universe for the 19th Annual World Puzzle Championships.

I can't find live coverage from the Kuznia Napoleonska hotel (just look at those wonderful pastries!), which must be part of that whole Fox / Cablevision dispute. And without live coverage, I know that we'll be missing some great evening entertainment; just look at that Broadway-level production style of "Chicago"! Who says puzzle solvers don't know how to live it up and let loose in luxury? Start the car, I know a whoopee spot, where the gin is cold, but the piano's hot!

But the intrigue is running high, as there has been a lot of corridor chatter about Wei-Hwa Huang being awarded an "exemption" spot (despite coming in with a woeful 19th place, a fateful decision which kicked Zack Butler off the postseason roster. Allegations of Huang "juicing" during the sudoku competition (i.e., working with a 0.5mm HB lead rather than a standard 0.7mm lead; as well as using a "double-clutch" mechanical pencil mechanism) were received without comment from Huang's agent.

So how will the US team perform this year? Coming after last year's heart-breaking second-place finish to powerhouse Germany, can we expect Will's team to again come up a little Shortz?

As this competition extends over the course of this exciting week, PLEASE keep your WPC comments confined to this GT.

So when does this World Series start again?

A Message To Movie Poster Graphic Artists

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Looking For Mr. Masher

So it's no secret that the Dodgers, having just signed Ted Lilly for three years, need a potent bat or seven in the lineup next year. ESPN the Magazine's latest (Marvel-covered) issue lists three players that are intriguing, albeit expensive:

Carl Crawford 29, LF, Rays. Estimated contract: seven years / $126M. Favorites: Red Sox, Angels. Dark horses: Tigers, Cubs.

Jayson Werth 31, RF, Phillies. Estimated contract: five years / $80M. Favorite: Tigers. Dark horse: Angels.

Adrian Beltre 31, 3B, Red Sox. Estimated contract: four years / $64M. Favorite: Angels. Dark horse: Red Sox.

Relatively speaking, Beltre is an absolute BARGAIN. Bring back Beltre!

Yaht R11, Initial Roll

Pick Your Category (2 2 2 5 5)
Free polls from

Attention Sax: I think you should do our final roll. We have 2 5 2 3 2 2 3 so far.

Pick Your 5 (multiple selections allowed):
Free polls from

Last round of eight rolls. Then it's nine the rest of the way.

Rules here

The SoSG 2011 Off-the-Field Plan

Inspired by MSTI's comprehensive roster makeover (here and here), SoSG dug deep to scrape together five things Dodgers management can do — off the field — to improve the fan experience:

1. Free parking. It worked before, and the Dodgers could use the good publicity. In fact, hopefully it would work so well that fans would boycott games until the team offered it every game, creating massive revenue losses — thereby forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

2. A new team logo. What does a multimillion-dollar corporation do after decades of infrastructure investment and cultivating customer loyalty? Change their logo, of course! @LADDesignGuy could come up with something suitably hideous, causing massive fan resentment and a debilitating loss of ticket revenue — thereby forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

3. Turn the hunt for a fifth starter into a reality show. The Situation can't dance, but can he hurl? Find out when a gaggle of the finest Z-list celebrities joins the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch to compete for the coveted title of Least Crappy Pitching Reclamation Project. Only on Versus! The spectacle of a baseball version of "Hard Knocks" would make the McCourt divorce seem like a mere humiliation appetizer, causing irreparable damage to the franchise — thereby forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

4. Play "Don't Stop Believin' " — between every inning. Just a small-town girl...READY TO KILL THE DODGER STADIUM MUSIC OPERATOR. Home attendance drops, Steve Perry sues, ASCAP wins — thereby forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

5. Rename Dodger Stadium. "This isn't the game I grew up with! The game played in the misty ballparks of Enron Field, or Pac Bell, then SBC, now AT&T Park." It's an open secret that Frank could make a mint selling the naming rights to Dodger Stadium — which he has resisted doing thus far. But if Jamie takes him to the cleaners, the Boys in Blue could soon be playing at Fatburger Field. Vin Scully, however, would refuse to utter the name, causing a media firestorm and leading fans and players alike to boycott the team — thereby forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SoSG Fantasy Week 6 Update (And Week 7 Smack Thread)

I've gotta post this quickly since it's a Saturday night and the sports news this evening is not good (and I'm not talking about Oklahoma's toppling to Missouri). Take it away, Mr. LA Sports Czar:

Here's last week's action to get you caught up.

Paul 73 (4-2) - MLASF 72 (1-5): The less said about this game the better.

Spanky 96 (2-4) - Dusty Baker 81 (5-1): Spanky pulls the unlikely upset and delivers the first loss to Dusty.  Drew Brees gave 20 points, Brandon Jacobs added 15, and kicker Rob Bironas threw in 12 for the Spankster.  Dusty received 21 points from Arian Foster, 18 from Peyton Manning, and 14 from Roy Williams, but a combined 18 from the rest of his men.

Meaniebreanie 94 (3-3) - NicJ 76 (2-4): Nic gets his fourth straight loss while MB moves back to .500.  Ryan Torain led the way for MB with 22 points, followed by 20 points from Tony Romo and 16 from the Steeler defense.  Nic saw 18 points from LaDainian Tomlinson go in vain.

Prof. Dittmore 111 (4-2) - Jason 75 (1-5):  Nothing goes right for Jason again as the Professor delivers a sound beating.  A monster game from Jeremy Maclin (27 points) and a strong showing from Aaron Rodgers (21 points) led the way for P. Ditty.  Jason had 19 points from both Joe Flacco and Chris Johnson go for naught.

Karina 85 (5-1) - Mr. Customer 65 (3-3): Karina continues to dominate the pack, taking the lead in the western division.  14 points from Ahmad Bradshaw, 12 points from Brandon Marshall and Jason Hanson, and 13 points from Adrian Peterson helped her cause.  Mr. C falls to .500 despite 16 points from Steven Jackson and 14 points from Kyle Orton.

Week 7 pits Karina against MLASF, Nic against Spanky, MB against Jason, Paul against Dusty, and Mr. C against the Professor.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Go Rangers!

NLCS Game 6 Thread: Giants @ Phillies, 5p

Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 2.03) vs. Roy Oswalt (1-1, 3.29).

COMMENTS: Since I, SoSG Orel, was apparently fated to write this Game Thread, can we talk about fate for a minute? Were the Rangers fated to make their first World Series this year, or did they just manage to burn through the best of the AL East with talent and hard work? Are the Giants fated to return to the World Series for the second time in nine years, or do the Phillies have enough juice — which they had more than plenty of in 2008 and 2009, assholes — to make a comeback for the ages?

As we've discovered in our comments, you can lose years off your life rooting for a team not to win. Baseball just isn't as enjoyable when you're pulling for a negative outcome. But hell, everybody around here is half-happy that the Yankees are getting ready to hit the links, so what's another two Giants losses? Call it fate, or Phight — because I'm getting tired of rooting against the bad guys.

Bill Simmons Channels The Giants' Pain

With the Giants having wielded a 3-1 NLCS advantage, it's certain they're going to advance to the World Series, especially against this Phillies team that is playing like a bunch of high school prom-goers: lots of activity and tension, but no scoring. But Bill Simmons' mailbag over at described the Giants' sparsely-populated crowd this way (and no, the question was not from one of us Sons):

Q: Saw your tweet (after Game 4 of the NLCS) that San Francisco is "totally underrated as a baseball city" and "you can't have a better playoff atmosphere than that." I am a Dodgers fan who HATES THE GIANTS. You didn't really describe Silicon Valley techie dorks and fair-weather hipster grad students who miss the first two innings because their ultimate Frisbee game ran late as "underrated" baseball fans, right? They couldn't even sell out Game 3! -- Robert, Pasadena, Calif.

[Simmons goes on to say that he thought the crowd at the Big Phone (albeit not a full house) was interested in the baseball game (like they have any alternatives, given the lameness of the 49ers). And he cites how SBC Pac Bell AT&T Park has a beautiful view of the Bay, which is indisputable. The he picks up here:]

The Giants won in 1954 in New York, moved to California a few years later and haven't won since. They lost the '62 World Series in the most brutal way possible (McCovey's line drive that got snared). They watched in horror as the underdog Dodgers won in 1988; one year later, when the Giants finally made it back, a devastating earthquake happened right before their first World Series home game in 27 years and took precedence over everything that happened on the field. Thirteen years later, they choked away a five-run lead in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series, gave away the title to Anaheim, then their best player became the most loathed athlete of his generation. Look, I can't watch a Giants playoff home game and NOT think of that stuff. Fifty-plus years of pain. It hangs over everything. That's not atmosphere? You didn't feel it last night in the third inning when their defense fell apart and the fans went into "oh, no, please, no ..." mode?

There's no way the Giants aren't going to the World Series this year. There's no shadow of pain. There's no worries of choking. Nope, none at all.

Giants Fans Support Their Team By Leaving Early During NLCS Game 5

You heard it here (emphasis mine):

Having spoiled the Giants' clinching party, the Phillies headed home on a redeye charter, hoping to stage a celebration of their own this weekend.

Jayson Werth's solo homer in the ninth quieted the raucous sellout crowd of 43,713, and many fans began making for the exits even before the final out.

Yankees fans left Game 4 of the ALCS. And now Giants fans are leaving early in Game 5 of the NLCS? Need to beat the stifling traffic in the Bay Area?


Friday, October 22, 2010

ALCS Game 6 Thread: Yankees @ Rangers, 5p

Phil Hughes (1-1, 5.73) vs. Colby Lewis (1-0, 1.69).

COMMENTS: Unexpecteds 3, Expecteds 2. In both LCSes. Can Colby find his cheese and send the Rangers to the World Series, or will Hughes hew to the Yankees' historical script? More importantly, which of these teams has a better chance of beating the Giants in the World Series? I can't believe I just typed that. This season has been so depressing.

Yahtzee R10, Initial Roll

Pick Your Category (4 5 3 4 4):
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Rules here

Guess Which Son Is Slated To Write The NLCS Game 6 GT

Game 1: LCS Super-Duper GameThread. Disqualified due to multiple-game coverage. Giants win.

Game 2: Orel writes GameThread. Phillies win.

Game 3: Sax writes GameThread. Giants win.

Game 4: Sax writes GameThread. Giants win.

Game 5: Orel writes GameThread. Phillies win.

Game 6: ????????

Get Yer Locker Room Bulletin Board Material Right Here

From Tim Lincecum after tonight's game, in which the Phillies staved off elimination and sent the series back to Philly for Game 6:

Philadelphia will try to become the 12th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series. The Red Sox were the last to do it, in the 2007 ALCS against Cleveland.

"From our perspective, we see ourselves more in the driver's seat than them," Lincecum said.

I mean, he's probably right and everything. But I'd still post this on the Phillies' bulletin board at Citizens Bank Park.

Comment and link if you've found other bulletin board material, and I'll update the post.

ESPN the Magazine Finally Leverages Synergy For Good

I just found the best ESPN the Magazine issue of all time in my mailbox, and surprisingly enough it didn't even have anything to do with baseball.

Finally taking advantage of the Walt Disney Company's purchase of Marvel, ESPN (which is also owned by Disney) put together Marvel artists to design Marvel Comics covers for each team as their NBA preview pages. Not only did they get some of the best artists in the business--Joe Quesada (who did the cover), Greg Horn, Greg Land, Salvador LaRocca (who did the Lakers cover), Olivier Coipel, Brian Stelfreeze, Simone Bianchi, Terry and Rachel Dodson, Kaare Andrews, Leinil Francis Yu, Alex Maleev, and Jason Pearson, among others--the covers evoke not only the fonts of the great Marvel comics, but also some of the hallmark issues themselves.

Check out this Nuggets cover from the great J. Scott Campbell, which is an homage to John Byrne's Uncanny X-Men #138:

Or how about John Romita Jr.'s cover for the Cavaliers, which pays homage (in font and image!) to his father's classic Amazing Spider-Man 50 cover (and specifically, the interior panel):

Unbelievable job, ESPN the Mag. I'm re-upping for another year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NLCS Game 5 Thread: Phillies @ Giants, 5p

The 2010 Phillies.

Roy Halladay (1-1, 2.25) vs Tim Lincecum (2-0, 1.69).

COMMENTS: The Giants are heading to the World Series. Right now everything is going right for them — homegrown players (Lincecum, Posey) are hot, acquisitions (Ross) are hot, Bochy is making all the right decisions. Bonds is gone (except for pre-game ceremonies), so they don't have a villain on the team. Even Sandoval is heating up. I guess it's not how you start, but how you finish. Right, Padres?