Seattle Mariners

National League, tell me how my ass tastes

If you thought Ichiro Suzuki was simply some stone-faced, robot-like, baseball-playing, Japanese cyborg then you’d be right because the Mariners outfielder is exactly that for 99.9% of the season. However, there is one day when Suzuki lets loose, providing his team with an unquenchable firestorm of emotion and that day occurs every year at the All-Star Game when Suzuki releases a profanity-laced tirade against the NL team that would probably make Andrew Dice Clay blush a little.

Every year, after the AL manager addresses his team, Ichiro bursts from his locker, a bundle of kinetic energy, and proceeds, in English, to disparage the National League with an H-bomb of F-bombs, stunning first-timers who had no idea Ichiro speaks the queen’s language fluently and making returnees happy that they had played well enough to see the pep talk again.

The tradition began in 2001, Ichiro’s first All-Star appearance, and the AL hasn’t lost a game since. …

The exact words are not available. Players are too busy laughing to remember them. Ichiro wouldn’t dare repeat them in public. So here’s the best facsimile possible.

“Bleep … bleep bleep bleep … National League … bleep … bleep … bleeeeeeeeep … National – bleep bleep bleepbleepbleep!”

George Carlin is defiantly out there somewhere with a gigantic smile on his face.


[Sports Crackle Pop]: Ichiro’s F***ing Pep-Talk
[Yahoo! Sports]: Ichiro’s speech to All-Stars revealed

MLB General

Odds and Ends: Bon Jovi brings us up to speed with the MLB’s first half

Before the second half of the MLB season begins, why not remember the first half in style? Set to the tune of Bon Jovi’s greatest hits album, here’s the season’s memorable moments thus far. Are you ready to rock!?!

Lay Your Hands on Me: Boston Red Sox-Tampa Rays — The fight of the first half goes to these two teams. We’re still wondering what would’ve happened to Coco Crisp had James Shields connected on his haymaker.

Wanted Dead or Alive: Willie Randolph — We still don’t know for sure if it was the owners (The Wilpons) or the GM (Omar Minaya) who wanted Randolph out, but when you fire a guy who has won three of four and is on the first game of a West Coast trip at 3 a.m. Eastern time, you wanted blood however you could get it.

Keep the Faith: Detroit Tigers — The Tigers started 0-7 and it took them until June 30 to have a winning record. They’re still just one game over .500 and seven games behind the White Sox, but they’ve at least climbed out of a huge hole.

I’ll Be There For You: Francisco Rodriguez — K-Rod has 36 saves to lead the majors. The next highest total is 27.

Runaway: Evan Longoria — No player has a postseason award locked up more than the Rays rookie third baseman.

Livin’ On a Prayer: Chicago Cubs — Is this the year the drought finally ends? We all know about the curse of the Billy Goat and Steve Bartman. Cubs fans are praying this is the year those things are put in the past. They’re halfway there.

Blaze of Glory: Arizona Diamondbacks — The club got off to a 20-8 start. They’re now 46-46 and hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. We’d say that was going down in a blaze of glory.

It’s My Life: Josh Hamilton — We all know about Hamilton’s unbelievable comeback. He was consumed by drugs and was headed toward death. Now, he’s an MVP candidate who has a whopping 91 RBIs. The opening to this song’s chorus fits the Texas slugger perfectly: It’s my life/ It’s now or never/ I ain’t gonna live forever/ I just want to live while I’m alive.

Bad Medicine: Ryan Church — The Mets outfielder suffered a concussion on May 20 (his second of the season) has been sidelined by postconcussion syndrome on and off for almost two months. The Mets have been accused of not handling the injury properly and now the players’ union is getting involved.

You Give Love a Bad Name: Alex Rodriguez — This pretty much sums it up.

Never Say Goodbye: Barry Bonds — As teams try to figure out how to make that second-half surge, whose name has come up a few times in recent weeks? Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Have a Nice Day: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, Mariners skipper John McLaren and the aforementioned Randolph all got their walking papers within four days of each other.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home: We couldn’t think of a good one for this song so we want you to submit some choice via that form to your right and we’ll post a couple later on.

In other news…

[East Coast Bias]: Best and worst of MLB All-Star Game

[The Bad News Bloggers]: This year’s top fantasy RB probably isn’t who you think it is (pssst, it’s Brian Westbrook)

[The Beardown]: A note to Bud Selig

[Don Chavez]: More pictures of cheerleaders gone slutty, this time in Winnipeg

[MyHogtown]: Beer guy gets canned…wait, he’s not working our section, right?

[]: The Pack is back

[]: Pittsburgh Pirates: The Movie

[Red Sox Monster]: AP forgets to use spell-check

[SpursReport]: Spurs’ Coyote evacuates building

And finally, it’s Top Ten time.

Portland Trailblazers

Around the Rim: Portland pride shines

1. Still going
The Portland Trail Blazers hit a little bump in the road after winning 13 consecutive games when the Utah Jazz snapped the streak with a 111-101 victory in Salt Lake City on New Year’s Eve. But the Blazers took the loss in stride and bounced back with two victories in two days, the most recent being a double-overtime affair against Chicago. The Bulls owned a seven-point advantage at the half, but Portland got big plays from Brandon Roy (25 pts, 11 ast), Jarrett Jack (17 pts) and Travis Outlaw (21 pts) down the stretch, winning by six, 115-109, after ten extra minutes of play. Ben Gordon put up 32 points off the bench for Chicago and Joe Smith put up a season-high 31 points, but it wasn’t enough for the hapless Bulls. Next up for the Blazers are those pesky Jazz. Saturday night’s contest will be the fourth and final game between the Northwest Division rivals with each of the previous three being decided by 10 points or less.

2. Best in the West

Amare Stoudemire had another gigantic game for Phoenix, scoring 34 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the Suns 104-96 victory over Seattle. The byproduct of Stoudemire’s All-Star caliber performances is Phoenix now owns the top record in the Western Conference (23-9). Surprisingly, the game against one of the West’s worst wasn’t an easy one for the conference’s new kings of the court; at least, not at first. Phoenix fell down by 20 points to start the game, trailing 33-13 after the first quarter, but rallied to outscore the Sonics 91-63 over the final 36 minutes for the victory. In addition to Stoudemire’s nasty numbers, Shawn Marion had 11 points and 14 rebounds while Steve Nash finished with 17 points and 10 assists. On the bright side for Seattle, rookie Kevin Durant took the reigns offensively, finishing with a team-high 28 points on 11-of-24 shooting to go with seven rebounds, after missing most of the previous two games with an injured finger.

3. K-Mart’s Blue Light Special: blocks
The Nuggets are a completely different team when Kenyon Martin is healthy and it showed on Thursday when Denver defeated San Antonio 80-77. K-Mart finished with just four points and seven rebounds, but took over the game defensively by swatting a career-high seven shots in the contest. Marcus Camby had four blocks to go with 18 rebounds as the Nuggets won the battles on the glass (48-35) and in blocks (14-3). Allen Iverson led the way offensively, scoring 29 points while Carmelo Anthony finished with 17 and nine rebounds. San Antonio got solid numbers from Tim Duncan (20 pts, 14 reb), Tony Parker (20 pts, 9 ast) and Michael Finley (18 pts, 8 reb), but lost their fourth consecutive road game since winning at Minnesota on November 30.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Brandon Roy @ Chicago 49 min, 25 pts (FG: 7-15, 3FG: 1-2, FT: 10-11), 6 reb, 11 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch: Detroit (25-7) @ Toronto (17-15)
Say what you will about the Celtics or the Trail Blazers, but our vote for hottest team in the league goes to the Pistons who have won 10 in a row and 17 of their last 19 games. In that span, 15 victories were by at least 10 points. The Raptors are playing their first game of the new year after wrapping up 2007 with a seven-game road trip, producing just three victories. The good news for Toronto is that Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon are playing outta their minds right now. Over the previous five contests, Bosh is averaging 25.2 points and 10.8 rebounds while Calderon is filling in for the injured T.J. Ford quite nicely with 14.4 points, 4.8 boards and 9.4 assists per game.

Buzzer Beater: The third installment of returns for the NBA All-Star voting was released on Thursday and Chris Bosh is not going to be a happy camper. Luckily for “W.”, voting continues through Jan. 13 for paper balloting and up until Jan. 20 for ballots cast on


Forwards: Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,527,963; LeBron James (Clev) 1,294,019; Chris Bosh (Tor) 411,313; Paul Pierce (Bos) 352,243; Yi Jianlian (Mil) 291,447; Caron Butler (Was) 187,396; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 172,720; Tayshaun Prince (Det) 155,502; Josh Smith (Atl) 143,518; Rashard Lewis (Orl) 143,118.

Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,019,582; Jason Kidd (NJ) 743,683; Ray Allen (Bos) 617,123; Vince Carter (NJ) 612,543; Gilbert Arenas (Was) 511,763; Chauncey Billups (Det) 331,872; Michael Redd (Mil) 221,777; Richard Hamilton (Det) 163,250; Joe Johnson (Atl) 149,367; Andre Iguodala (Phi) 140, 292.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,260,987; Shaquille O’Neal (Mia) 609,597; Rasheed Wallace (Det) 162,792; Ben Wallace (Chi) 146,332; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 132,469; Jermaine O’Neal (Ind) 120,690; Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Clev) 77,350; Emeka Okafor (Cha) 74,269; Zaza Pachulia (Atl) 58,430; Eddy Curry (NY) 53,084.


Forwards: Tim Duncan (SA) 1,049,641; Carmelo Anthony (Den) 1,029,335; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 830,970; Carlos Boozer (Utah) 347,899; Shane Battier (Hou) 297,672; Shawn Marion (Pho) 296,917; Josh Howard (Dal) 285,580; Luis Scola (Hou) 279,970; Kevin Durant (Sea) 242,953; Grant Hill (Pho) 209,057.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,234,111; Tracy McGrady (Hou) 809,395; Allen Iverson (Den) 694,611; Steve Nash (Pho) 684,813; Manu Ginobili (SA) 360,408; Tony Parker (SA) 316,541; Chris Paul (NO) 261,169; Baron Davis (GS) 247,187; Jason Terry (Dal) 218,052; Jerry Stackhouse (Dal) 192,017.

Centers: Yao Ming (Hou) 1,077,244; Amaré Stoudemire (Pho) 583,249; Marcus Camby (Den) 221,527; Erick Dampier (Dal) 184,689; Pau Gasol (Mem) 139,254; Mehmet Okur (Utah) 112,434; Tyson Chandler (NO) 98,424; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 93,043; Chris Kaman (LAC) 83,516; Andris Biedrins (GS) 81,611.

Toronto Raptors

Give America what it needs, vote for Chris W. Bosh in ’08

You know Chris Bosh as rebound-grabbing, slam dunk-delivering, shot-blocking machine. Needless to say, some of you have already bubbled in his name on the 2008 ballot as an Eastern Conference All-Star. Well, Mr. Bosh appreciates all your recent support. And for all the undecideds, Chris W. is here to assure you that if you vote for Bosh, your vote will not be cast in vain.

Please America, don’t make W. beg. “For the love of god, just let the boy play in the All-Star game!!!”


[]: Home

MLB General

The Full Count: All-Star Game auditions

This isn’t Guys and Dolls, but if yesterday was an audition for All-Star pitchers to prove they’re worthy of starting next Tuesday in the Midsummer Classic, some passed with flying colors, while others just gave up big flys. And lots of them. Yesterday’s winners were Justin Verlander of the Tigers, Josh Beckett of the Red Sox and Jake Peavy of the Padres; while Brad Penny of the Dodgers and C.C. Sabathia of the Indians should have Leyland and LaRussa screaming “Next!” Verlander beat Sabathia head-to-head, going seven strong innings and striking out seven. Sabathia, on the other hand, was brutal, only lasting four innings and giving up three homers. Beckett dominated the D-Rays, but doesn’t everybody? Peavy, though, was a victim (again) of lack of run support, but still had a great outing going seven innings with 6 K. Penny, who has been the best pitcher in the National League, was a nightmare, lasting only four innings while giving up six runs in his worst outing of the year.

Maybe it’s the beer talking, but how pathetic is the NL Central? The Milwaukee Brewers were enjoying the most comfortable division lead outside of New England, but if they don’t improve their play on the road, they could be crying in their drinks come October. After losing three of four to the pathetic (if they improved) Pittsburgh Pirates, the Brewers road record stands at 18-24, worst of all the first place teams. Lucky for them, they’re 30-13 in the house of hops. It was a rough series for the Crew, as Ben Sheets and the staff couldn’t keep Adam LaRoche and Ryan Doumit in the yard. Those modern day Ruth and Gehrig clones combined for five HR and 10 RBI in the series. Even worse, star outfielder Billy Hall sprained his ankle trying to catch one of them. Hall is out indefinitely. Mmmmmmm….beer.

They like us! They really, really like us. As expected, starting pitcher Chris Young of the Padres and reliever Hideki Okajima of the Red Sox won the online voting for final roster spots on the All-Star team. Over the last few years, the race to be Mr. Irrelevant on the squad has taken on a life of its own. According to, over 23 million votes were cast for ten players, with Young and Okajima winning with about 4.5 million each. Even more interesting is the campaigning that goes on for a guy who might not even get into the game. Brandon Webb’s hometown of Ashland, KY held “Vote for Brandon Webb” day and in Pittsburgh, the Pirates set up laptops in the PNC Park concourse so fans could cast an online ballot –or 25– for lefty Tom Gorzelanny. In the American league, Red Sox Nation proved again to be the most nerdy (and far reaching, as we’re sure all of Japan clicked on) as they voted a Sox player in for the third time in five years.

Player of the day: Mike Lowell, Red Sox 5 for 6, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R against the Devil Rays

MLB General

The Full Count: Chris Young makes his case

There is a possibility that there will be NO SOUP FOR YOU!! Every year there is that one All-Star snub that just baffles everyone. This year’s candidate has to be Padres pitcher Chris Young. Young will probably make the NL team, one way or the other. He can be voted in in the final online voting, which ends at 6 p.m. Eastern today, or he could replace an injured player, such as John Smoltz of the Braves. However, in last nights game against the Marlins, Young made the proverbial statement that he should’ve already freakin’ been there, LaRussa, with another stellar outing. Young went seven innings, allowing no runs while striking out nine. Like the proverbial broken record, he got a no decision for his effort. It was the seventh time Young has carried a shutout into the seventh inning this season, and the fourth in which he got no decision. In 17 starts, Young has allowed only 23 earned runs. Not to get all editorial after your July 4 hangover, but if the game is going to count as far as awarding home field advantage in the World Series, then managers Tony LaRussa and Jim Leyland should be able to pick the best team available, and not be hamstrung by the every-team-must-be-represented rule.

Old Man River does it againThe Tigers snapped the Indians six-game winning streak 6-4, with the help of Kenny Rogers. Rogers won his third straight start since coming of the DL and kept the Tigers two games behind Cleveland in the Central and 1.5 games ahead of the Mariners for the Wild Card. Carlos Guillen led the offense by going 3 for 4 with a run-scoring triple. It was Rogers’ sixth straight win going back to last year’s postseason, and he has allowed only four earned runs this year.

I love New York, it’s the rest of the league that’s the problem. The Colorado Rockies became the first team since 1956 to sweep two New York teams in the same season. The Rock gave the Mets an old fashioned Coors enema, pounding out 20 hits and 17 runs and forcing Mets pitchers to throw 233 pitches (including 107 in 4 innings by El Duque Hernandez). The Rockies swept the Yankees three weeks ago, and outscored the Gothams 47-17 overall. Unfortunatley, they have no more games left against New York teams. Bye bye wild card hopes.

Player of the Day: Garrett Atkins, Rockies. 4 for 5, HR, 5 RBI and 2 runs scored in a 17-7 win over the Mets.

NBA General

Stu Scott is the biggest tool in Vegas

Considering all the d-bags that end up in Vegas every weekend, it took a truly special effort for Stu Scott to win this award. Stu – please, stop trying so hard. You’re like the white guy who wants desperately to be black. We know life is pretty tough all around you… like when the public be all up on your private beaches… but seriously… just stop. No one is buying it.

(photo from The Big Lead.)

NBA General

Around the Rim: All-Star Weekend Recap

1. The Game
Vegas is supposed to be a city that never sleeps, but a last night’s All-Star game changed that. The game was never even close as the West destroyed the East by 21, 153-132. The West was up 20 at halftime and would eventually stretch it out to 30 thanks to a trio of players with at least 20 points. Kobe Bryant picked up the MVP trophy with 31 points while Amare Stoudemire had 29 and Carmelo Anthony put in 20. Every player on both rosters scored in the contest, but it was a struggle for Caron Butler to get a bucket in his first All-Star appearance. Butler connected on his only hoop (1-7 FG) with just 4:07 left in the game, while his Wizards teammate never heated up in the game either. Gilbert Arenas was just 3-8 in the game for eight points.

2. Dunk Contest
Gerald Green won the slam dunk contest as he did his best Dee Brown imitation while leaping over tiny Nate Robinson. He then went on to jump over a table. It was a decent performance but nobody is going to be ranking it up there with Vince, ‘Nique and Mike. Dwight Howard got screwed because he’s tall as he slapped a sticker onto the backboard just a mere 12 ½ feet off the ground. But it was lost on the judges who seemed to kinda stingy with their scores. The commentators even began referring to Michael Jordan as “the Russian judge.” The Mount Rushmore of dunkers probably wasn’t impressed with very many of the slams because it’s hard to give someone a 10, knowing that you could have thrown it down better.

3. 3-Point Shootout
Jason Kapono easily won the 3-point contest over big names like Gilbert Arenas, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry as he put up 24 points in his final run. That ties the record for most points in a final round and was just one point away from tying the most points ever. But it really shouldn’t have been a surprise as Kapono is leading the league in 3-point shooting by nailing 56 percent of his attempts. He has hit 89 of 159 from downtown this season, which is the best first half shooting performance in the history of the league by anyone who has shot at least 75 treys. In all, it was a good weekend for the Heat as Dwyane Wade defended his crown in the skills competition. Now, let’s see if All-Star successes can jumpstart the Heat down the stretch.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Kobe Bryant vs. The East 28 min, 31 pts (FG: 13-24, 3FG: 3-9, FT: 2-2), 5 reb, 6 ast, 6 stl

Buzzer Beater: Every year he gets a little bit older and a bit more out of shape, but every year Shaq proves that this is still his league. Even if you don’t like Shaq, he’s an entertaining guy and he understands that the All-Star game is about having fun and putting on a show for the fans. From break dancing during practice, to unveiling his latest concept shoe that doubles as a slot machine, to kissing Tracy McGrady on the head after a slam; he makes it fun. And he’s always going to bring the ball up the court on at least on possession and try to cross somebody over; last night it was Mehmet Okur, and even though he missed the shot, that’s a play that the fans are going to remember. But now that the game is over, Shaq’s going to return to his serious self as the Heat make a push toward the postseason.

NBA General

2007 NBA All-Star Game Live Blog – 2nd Half

Welcome to the 2007 NBA All-Star Game Live Blog. The action will get under way in a little less than half an hour and we’ll be covering it for you. Newest comments will appear at the top.

Postgame And the MVP is…Kobe Bryant. And he wasn’t even booed as David Stern handed him the trophy. The snoozefest is finally over and not a minute too soon. I can’t believe I missed Family Guy for this.

End of 4th This was never a contest as the West spanked the East by 21, 153-132. The West was only two points away from tying the all-time record for points in an All-Star game. But it really doesn’t matter because nobody would have been awake to see it.

1:00 60 seconds til the pain goes away.

3:01 Only 15 fouls in the game. Where are these refs during the regular season?

4:21 Looks like Kobe’s going to take home the MVP for the game but Stoudemire is a close second.

8:25 Thank goodness for Shaq. The Diesel showed off his ball handling skills as he tried to shake and bake on Mehmet Okur, but his pull up jumper came up short.

11:30 The crew is struggling for topics of discussion. Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s wedding plans have taken over the show. Parker said he’s not involved in the planning. He’s just going to show up and get a wife. Kinda like Tyrus Thomas picking up his check.

End of 3rd Only one more quarter to go. The East are pathetic and they’re the healthy ones. The West is missing a ton of talent but hold a 119-88 lead. Caron Butler hasn’t received any love from his coach; he’s only played six minutes in the blow out.

1:25 At this point, the only thing that’s still up in the air is the MVP. Even Gilbert Arenas has admitted defeat in an interview with Aldridge.

4:42 The Suns are starting to take over the game. Stoudemire has 12 points in the quarter so far and Shawn Marion is throwing down some nice slams.

9:28 Eddie Jordan calls a time out as he tries to stop the bleeding with the East trailing 89-65. David Aldridge reported that Jordan admitted he didn’t feel he belonged at the All-Star game, and so far he’s right. The fans are going to start heading for the exits soon if he doesn’t motivate his squad.

Halftime Please let there be a wardrobe malfunction during Christina Aguilera’s performance. That’s the only thing that can save this halftime show. Well, at least Christina is holding down a job. When’s the last time Britney Spears was seen on camera without being drunk or pantyless?

NBA General

2007 NBA All-Star Game Live Blog – 1st Half

Welcome to the 2007 NBA All-Star Game Live Blog. The action will get under way in a little less than half an hour and we’ll be covering it for you. Newest comments will appear at the top.

End of 2nd The West take a 20 point lead into the locker room behind 17 points from Bryant. 14 shots in 13 minutes, just a typical night for Kobe.

2:30 Prince was at the game with Ludacris and Dave Chappelle. When did he become such a sports fan? Maybe Charlie Murphy was telling the truth.

5:25 Who knew Carrot Top was ripped? Too bad there’s no exercise to help his face. Yikes!

6:43 The West is starting to run away with this one, leading by 20. This is beginning to get ugly, but no lead is safe in an All-Star game. Eventually, some of the Eastern conference players will remember that the winners get a bigger check and start giving more effort.

8:45 Shaq put down a two handed slam and then gave McGrady a kiss on the face. Tim Hardaway’s not going to like that.

10:20 Does anyone else think that Tracy McGrady looks like a deer?

End of 1st The West are up 39-31 and Vince Carter provided the highligt of the quarter as he made a spinning drive that ended with a nice slam.

2:38 Amare Stoudemire is off to a hot start with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in only 4 minutes. Can you say early MVP candidate?

5:00 Jermaine O’Neal tipped in a miss but it was for the wrong team.

7:14 Nevermind, Wade made up for his lack of effort as he threw down a nice alley-oop from LeBron. The game of can you top this started with a nifty slam from Kobe. As always, Bryant’s not afraid to jack it up. He has six shot attempts in five minutes.

10:35 Dwyane Wade had a perfect opportunity to wow the crowd on a breakaway and he hit a weak dunk instead. This is the All-Star game isn’t it?

Pregame Siegfried and Roy provided an awkward start to the game before John Mason did his usual annoying introductions. Is there anyone who actually likes this Deeeeeeeetroit Basketball idiot? Do the people in Detroit even like him? Can we recreate Tupac’s vegas experience with him as Tupac?

Can this pregame take any longer? Wayne Newton’s makeup is beginning to run. By the way, when did Wayne Newton start looking like the crazy cat lady who had too much plastic surgery? Let’s get this game on the road already.