War Criminal: Georgia Frontiere

12:05 AM | Comments (8) | by Governor X

How I've gotten this far into the War Criminal series without mentioning Georgia Frontiere is beyond me. Well, baseball has officially ended with the quiet thud of a Cardinals World Series Victory (btw, David Eckstein as World Series MVP is gayer than Rip Taylor) and the NFL is in full swing, so here it is. Unlike most of my War Criminals, this woman may actually belong behind bars. A Raiders site describes her as "Marge Schott without the winning personality or smoker’s cough" and thats pretty accurate. By the age of 30, Georgia had burned through five husbands and moved on to sucking money from Colts owner Caroll Rosenbloom (husband #6) in 1966. Rosenbloom would trade teams with Rams owner Bob Irsay, taking over the Rams in 1971.

Rosenbloom, an accomplished swimmer, drowned under mysterious circumstances in 1979 leaving the team to Georgia. Rumors persist to this day that the former showgirl had her husband bumped off. In the premier episode of the PBS series Frontline, several mobsters claim his legs were held to cause his drowning. Before he died, Rosenbloom had made it clear that his son and the Rams GM would take over the team in the event of his death. That of course didn't happen. Georgia inherited the team as a tax dodge and promptly fired her son in law. A couple notes on the funeral...While Rosenbloom had asked for a simple ceremony with friends and family, Georgia kept the 600 guests she had invited waiting an hour before entering with musical accompaniment and Jonathan Winters served as master of cermonies (Winters and Don Rickles would do a ten minute comedy bit later in the service). Three months after the funeral, Georgia shacked up with musician Dominic Frontiere who would later become husband #7.

Murderer? Perhaps. Thief? Definitely. When Rosenbloom and Irsay swapped teams, Georgia conspired to keep one of the Colts' Super Bowl trophies. The NFL had to replace the trophy.

By 1994, Georgia and her attorney/Rams chairman John Shaw had sufficiently run the team into the ground to the point where the fans in LA quit bothering to show up. They bilked her hometown of St. Louis out of a luxurious taxpayer-funded stadium and moved the team.

Back in the day, I was a big time LA Rams fan. Unlike LA Raiders fans, who may have enough collective intelligence to tie their shoes, I, like most Rams fans moved on. We weren't going to reward this gold digging harpy for destroying a great franchise and then skipping town. Southern California Raiders fans are keeping Al Davis in rhinestone studded glasses and tracksuits to this day.

I'd like to close with this quote from columnist Pete Goering after the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in 2000:

Was XXXIV the number of the Super Bowl or the number of Georgia Frontiere husbands?

Congratulations St. Louis! #1 in Baseball and Violence!

11:26 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

We here at TMS salute St. Louis for defying the odds and coming out on top over Detroit in the World Series as well as "Most Dangerous City". St. Louis and Detroit managed to edge out more infamous violent cities such as Flint, Michigan and Camden, New Jersey coming out #1 and #2 on the list.

Here is the top 5 from the rankings compiled by Morgan Quitno Press.

1. St. Louis
2. Detroit
3. Flint, Mich.
4. Compton, Calif.
5. Camden, N.J.

The announcement of this list has obviously put a dent in N.W.A.'s street cred while boosting Nelly's and David Eckstein's.

The All-80's Team - AL Catcher

10:29 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Astroturf, powder blue uniforms, wearing batting helmets in the field to protect your jheri curl, hitting 25 homers and being considered a legitimate slugger, big-league hair, that horrible gum from packs of baseball cards.... who doesn't love baseball from the 80's? Over the next several weeks I will be looking at the best players of the decade as we assemble the TMS All-80's Team. We've finished with the National League and now we'll tackle the American. To meet the criteria a player will have to have played in at least 4 seasons in the 1980's and they must have played the bulk of their games at a certain position during that time to qualify there. Included will be a poll on the left sidebar, so our faithful readers can weigh in on this great debate. But remember, we're focusing on a player's contributions in just the 1980's. What they did in the decades before and/or after are not being considered in this.

With the NL team all wrapped up it's time to focus on the American League. Today we kick things off with the catchers.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CATCHERS

Bob Boone
California Angels (1982-88), Kansas City Royals (1989)

All-Star: 1983
Gold Gloves: 1982, 1986-89
Postseason: 1982 ALCS, 1986 ALCS

Notes: Known more for his glove than his bat, Boone was a solid defensive catcher for the Angels in the 80's. Bob is proof that son Bret's slugging power certainly wasn't hereditary. Here's another 6 Degrees to Keith Moreland fact, the Phillies let Bob go to the Angels because young Keith was ready to take on full-time catching duties.





Carlton Fisk
Boston Red Sox (1980), Chicago White Sox (1981-89)

Nickname: Pudge
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2000
All-Star: 1980-82, 1985
Silver Sluggers: 1981, 1985, 1988
Postseason: 1983 ALCS

Notes: Just the opposite of Boone, the original Pudge was known for his slugging rather than his glove. Fisk made 4 All-Star teams in the decade. His 174 home runs is only second to Lance Parrish for catchers in the 80's.







Rich Gedman
Boston Red Sox (1980-89)

All-Star: 1985-86
Postseason: 1986 WS, 1988 ALCS

Notes: Gedman became Boston's main man behind the plate after Pudge signed with the White Sox. Rich's peak years were from 1984 to '86 where he racked up 58 home runs and 217 RBI. Hailing from Worcester, he was a local favorite.










Lance Parrish
Detroit Tigers (1980-86), California Angels (1989)

Nickname: Big Wheel
All-Star: 1983-84
Gold Gloves: 1983-85
Silver Sluggers: 1980, 1982-84, 1986
Postseason: 1984 WS

Notes: Overall, Parrish is probably the best catcher on this list. With a handful of Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers and a World Series ring to boot, Lance was one of the premier backstops of the decade. Parrish also had a job as a bodyguard for Tina Turner.





Ted Simmons
Milwaukee Brewers (1981-85)

All-Star: 1981, 1983
Postseason: 1981 ALDS, 1982 WS

Notes: Simmons' peak years were in the 1970's with St. Louis, but he still managed to have a few solid seasons with Milwaukee in the early 80's. Looking at his numbers it's sort of surprising that Ted barely got a second glance on the Hall of Fame ballot. His numbers rival some of the other catchers currently enshrined and his Baseball Reference HOF monitor score is actually better than Carlton Fisk's.






Terry Steinbach
Oakland A's (1986-89)

All-Star: 1988-89
NL Leader: 1988 ASG MVP
Postseason: 1988 WS, 1989 WS

Notes: Steinbach emerged late in the decade, just in time to join the Bash Brothers and company for back to back to back World Series appearances. Steinbach was elected as the starting catcher on the 1988 All-Star team despite only hitting .216 and being injured for a large chunk of the first half. He silenced the naysayers however by hitting a home run in the first at bat, winning the ASG MVP that year.





Jim Sundberg
Texas Rangers (1980-83, 1988-89), Milwaukee Brewers (1984), Kansas City Royals (1985-86)

All-Star: 1984
Gold Gloves: 1980-81
Postseason: 1985 WS

Notes: Sundberg was good enough to be a finalist for the Texas Rangers Hometown Heroes poll this summer. In 1987 Jim was traded to the Cubs for Thad Bosley and Dave Gumpert.








Ernie Whitt
Toronto Blue Jays (1980-89)

All-Star: 1985
Postseason: 1985 ALCS, 1989 ALCS

Notes: Big Ern played the entire decade up in the Great White North. While never hitting more than 19 homers in a single season, his 131 for the decade is good enough for third among catchers. Ernie managed the Canadian baseball team in the 2004 Olympics.








Be sure and vote for your choices of AL Catcher for the TMS All-80's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.

Brant's Rant: An Addendum

12:31 PM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

I wasn't aware of this when I wrote my ESPN piece yesterday, but it looks like the beast has taken a hit. Mobile ESPN has gone by the wayside, as detailed in this Businessweek article by Tom Lowry. So it seems that they've recognized a limit to their reign of terror, at least in the cellular service market. Have no fear, they will try again. Remember though, they need you more than you need them.

Brant's Rant: ESPNRadio - It's Craptastic!

6:26 PM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

If you scour the Internet, you can probably find about 20 blogs or websites that decry the state of ESPN. We would like to be added to that list. But instead of ranting about the proliferation of television channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN News, ESPN Alternative Lifestyles), I'd like to discuss ESPNRadio. When I first began actively listening about six years ago, we were blessed with the likes of Mike & Mike in the Morning (before they sold their souls), followed by Tony Kornheiser, and capped off by The Dan Patrick Show. Now the schedules would vary by region, with local programming squeezed into the mix across the country, but this was our lineup in the Los Angeles market. Then, seemingly overnight, Mike & Mike went metrosexual, Tony left the radio booth, and Dan lost his sidekick, the incomparable Rob Dibble. The joy of ESPN Radio began spiraling down the toilet.

Fast forward to 2004. ESPN decides to bring in some schmuck named Colin Cowherd to take Tony Kornheiser's prime timeslot in the morning. My disdain for Mr. Cowherd is well documented, as you can read in the two-week Colin Cowherd Project in the left sidebar. Mike & Mike were pushed to an ungodly time, something along the lines of 3am-6am, when only meth addicts and minutemen might be spinning the dials. Dan Patrick got serious on his show, then tried to hide his graying hair with a hideous dye-job that's so comical, he may be eligible for a Redhead of the Week. Each of these shows were consumed in the sports media blitz of creating controversy and bashing it into the skulls of listeners. Non-sensical arguments were consistently repeated, with every angle of every non-story sucked what little blood it could offer. The Terrell Owens non-suicide attempt and the Kenny Rogers incident are only the most recent examples. Yes, give me my sports news, but don't start swatting my ass with it like it's a yardstick, or put it out on my arm like dad's cigarettes. I want my news, I want a rational debate about it, and then I want to move on to the next topic. I don't want to go home and feel like I've been yelled at for doing something wrong.

That being said, I'm not championing for ESPNRadio to become too lighthearted or anything. In fact, it's this sportsertainment hybrid horseshit that probably set off my rant. My local market guys on ESPN Radio (I'll get to them shortly) said that there was going to be a major announcement on the Mike & Mike show Tuesday morning at 5:05am PST. Now, I certainly wasn't going to wake up and listen at that time, but I was curious enough to check out what the "big" announcement was later in the day. What was it? Mike & Mike were going to be on Letterman that night. Well fuck you. That's the "big" news that they even had our local radio hosts pimping? That the two Mikes were so full of themselves, so above the news, so much the news, that ESPN got them scheduled in on Letterman??? You, Michael and Michael, are paid to tell me the sports stories of the day. You are not paid to be the story. ESPN has inflated you to Hollywood status. Temper your egos good sirs. Temper them.

Now I'm going to move on to my local ESPN Radio affiliate, 710 AM in the Los Angeles area. The crapfest of the aforementioned shows is only the beginning of our day. After Dan signs off, we are treated to two hours of rehashed arguments and awkward silences presented by Gary Miller and D'Marco Farr. You may remember Gary Miller when he was a prominent face on the ESPN network. You know, before the peeing incident. Is there a new and hip analogy for banging one's head against a wall? Because that's what I feel like doing when I listen to these two ass-clowns. However, I'm usually in a car when I hear them, so I end up honking and flipping people off.

Our workday concludes with another local show featuring Steve Mason and John Ireland, the two who told me about the fantastic revelation on the Mike & Mike show. Ireland is a reporter that travels with the Lakers. He probably thinks Kobe likes him. I'm not sure what Mason really "does" although I gather that he owns movie theaters and is fairly wealthy. This show isn't as bad as it could be, though I find Ireland nearly as insufferable as Cowherd. Not in the same manner though. It probably has to do with Ireland being Republican. But I digress.

ESPN 710 is also the home of the Anaheim Angels (not the LA Angels), Clippers basketball, and USC football. Thank Christ they finally ditched the LA Kings (this would be a hockey franchise). They also broadcast most major MLB games. Basically, once it hits 5pm, you have no idea what you're going to be listening to on your commute home. This September, 710 had to bump the Saturday Angel games to a different station so they could air an entire day of USC pregame ass-pat festivities leading to their evening games. Apparently they think they can offer us everything. It really just ends up being a clusterfuck of programming.

All of which brings me to my larger point (if I really have one). At some point, the powers that be at ESPN need to slow the fuck down and reevaluate their plan of sportsersodomytainment dominance. I, for one, am sick of it. I'm seeking alternative sports news sources, and staying away from the "argument for argument's sake" attitude and the self-aggrandizing of not only ESPN television, but their radio networks and talk show hosts.

ESPN had a host out here in LA for a number of years and canned him last fall. His name is Joe McDonnell. I don't always like him. He talks about boxing and wrestling way too much, and he likes hip-hop. But now he's on a rival station, and he knows a shitload more about the local sports scene than any of the local ESPN radio schmucks. The other night I heard him refer to ESPN as the "perpetually self-promoting" network. On this I will agree. ESPN radio hosts do not speak for me. And they sure as hell do not deserve a place on Letterman.

Good Day.

The All-80's Team - National League Lineup

5:21 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Well after 13 long weeks, the National League lineup of the All-80's Team has been set. To recap, here's a rundown of each player that was voted in. Thanks to all of you that voted, namely the other bartenders here at the Saloon and Brian from Awful Announcing. Other than that, I don't know who else really voted on this damn thing. I do know my brother is responsible for stuffing the ballot for Bob Horner in the 3B poll. This was before I changed the format, allowing only one vote per IP address, per week. Stay tuned tomorrow, as I unveil the first installment of the American League All-80's Team: Catchers.


CATCHER

Gary Carter
Montreal Expos (1980-84), New York Mets (1985-89)

Nickname: The Kid
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2003
All-Star: 1980-88
Gold Gloves: 1980-83
Silver Sluggers: 1981-86
Awards: 1981 ASG MVP, 1984 ASG MVP
Postseason: 1981 NLCS, 1986 WS, 1988 WS
NL Leader: 1984 RBI

Notes: Pretty much trumps all other NL catchers in this decade. His accolades speak for themselves. Carter also sported one of the great man-perms of the era.


FIRST BASE

Keith Hernandez
St. Louis Cardinals (1980-83), New York Mets (1983-89)

Nickname: Mex
All-Star: 1980, 1984, 1986-87
Gold Gloves: 1980-88
Silver Sluggers: 1980, 1984
Postseason: 1982 WS, 1986 WS, 1988 NLCS
NL Leader: 1980 Runs & OBP

Notes: What didn't Keith do in the 80's? He won a slew of Gold Gloves. He won a World Series with two different teams, and he introduced young phenoms Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden to the joys of alcohol and cocaine. In 1987 he was wrongfully accused of spitting on Kramer and Newman (turns out it was Roger McDowell hiding in the bushes). Keith also loves all you gals out there, just stay out of the dugout.


SECOND BASE

Ryne Sandberg
Philadelphia Phillies (1981), Chicago Cubs (1982-89)

Nickname: Ryno
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2005
All-Star: 1984-89
Gold Gloves: 1983-89
Silver Sluggers: 1984-85, 1988-89
Awards: 1984 NL MVP
Postseason: 1984 NLCS, 1989 NLCS
NL Leader: 1984 Runs & Triples, 1989 Runs

Notes: Ryno should be here simply for the 1987 Ryne Sandberg Moustache Experience. But if you're looking for a little more substance just take a gander at the laundry list of awards he has up there.



THIRD BASE

Mike Schmidt
Philadelphia Phillies (1980-89)

All-Star: 1980-84, 1986-87, 1989
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1995
Awards: 1980 NL MVP, WS MVP, 1981 NL MVP, 1983 Lou Gehrig Award, 1986 NL MVP
Gold Gloves: 1980-84, 1986
Silver Sluggers: 1980-84, 1986
Postseason: 1980 WS, 1981 NLDS, 1983 WS
NL Leader: 1980 SLG....ah Christ! There's too much to list. Just go here if you're interested.

Notes: If there was ever a poll that probably didn't need to happen for this it'd be at NL 3B. Mike Schmidt absolutely buries the competition here. Plus look at that photo. The 'stache, the Mike Brady hair. Chicks and dudes alike dug Schmitty.




SHORTSTOP

Ozzie Smith
San Diego Padres (1980-81), St. Louis Cardinals (1982-89)

Nickname: Wizard of Oz
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2002
All-Star: 1981-89
Gold Gloves: 1980-89
Silver Sluggers: 1987
Awards: 1985 NLCS MVP, 1989 Lou Gehrig Award
Postseason: 1982 WS, 1985 WS, 1987 WS

Notes: This contest was about as lop-sided as they come. While there are some decent shortstops on the list, pretty much none of them can sniff the Wizard's jockstrap when it comes to their play in the 80's


LEFT FIELD

Tim Raines
Montreal Expos (1980-89)

Nickname: Rock
All-Star: 1981-87
Silver Sluggers: 1986
Awards: 1987 ASG MVP
Postseason: 1981 NLCS
NL Leader: 1981-84 Stolen Bases, 1986 AVG, 1986 OBP, 1984 Doubles

Notes: Rock seems to be one of those forgotten guys of that era. Playing the entire decade in Montreal, Raines put up monster numbers. He led the NL in steals four straight years until that Vince guy showed up. He won a batting title in 1986 and made 7 All-Star teams.


CENTER FIELD

Dale Murphy
Atlanta Braves (1980-89)

Nickname: The Murph
All-Star: 1980, 1982-87
Awards: 1982 & 1983 NL MVP
Gold Gloves: 1982-86
Silver Sluggers: 1982-85
Postseason: 1982 NLCS
NL Leader: 1982 RBI, 1983 RBI, 1984 HR, 1985 HR

Notes: There's been so much talk from a group of folks about how much of a crime it is that Jim Rice isn't in the Hall of Fame. While I agree with them, why is there no love for Dale? No one hit more home runs in the 80's than him, he won back to back MVP awards and was one of the most feared sluggers for a large chunk of the decade. Plus one thing that he even has over Rice is that he's pretty nice guy too. Enough is enough. Put Murph in the Hall.


RIGHT FIELD

Tony Gwynn
San Diego Padres (1982-89)

Hall of Fame: Likely inducted in 2007
All-Star: 1984-87, 1989
Gold Gloves: 1986, 1987, 1989
Silver Sluggers: 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
Postseason: 1984 WS
NL Leader: 1984, 1987-89 AVG, 1986 Runs, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989 Hits

Notes: An absolute shoo-in to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this coming spring, along with Cal Ripken. Tony played the first half of his career in the 1980's and certainly left his mark, winning 4 batting titles. A career .338 batter, Gwynn was the model of consistency at the plate who also backed it up with solid glove work in right field.


STARTING ROTATION

Nolan Ryan
Houston Astros (1980-88)

Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1999
Nickname: Ryan Express
All-Star: 1981, 1985
Postseason: 1980 NLCS, 1981 NLDS, 1986 NLCS
NL Leader: 1981 ERA, 1987 ERA & K's, 1988 K's

Notes: Now Steve Rogers I can understand if you arent familiar, but if you don't know this guy, then you probably have lived under a rock. Ryan was strikeout machine, and although his W-L didn't necessarily reflect his dominance (In 1987 he went 8-16 with 270 strikeouts and a 2.76 ERA. WTF?!), Ryan was one of the most feared pitchers in the league. You don't mess with Nolan, as Robin Ventura would find out in later years.


Dwight Gooden
New York Mets (1984-89)

Nickname: Doc
All-Star: 1984-86, 1988
Awards: 1984 NL ROY, 1985 NL Cy Young Award, 1985 NL Triple Crown
Postseason: 1986 WS, 1988 NLCS
NL Leader: 1984 K's, 1985 K's, Wins, and ERA

Notes: Gooden was a force early in his career and his run in 1985 is probably one of the most dominate seasons ever. The numbers are unbelievable. A record of 24-4, 268 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.53, 16 complete games, 8 shutouts and 276.2 IP. If we were just picking single seasons, Gooden would win this hands down.



Fernando Valenzuela
Los Angeles Dodgers (1980-89)

All-Star: 1981-86
Awards: 1981 NL ROY, NL Cy Young
Gold Gloves: 1986
Silver Sluggers: 1981, 1983
Postseason: 1981 WS, 1983 NLCS, 1985 NLCS
NL Leader: 1981 K's, 1986 Wins

Notes: Name another player that unleashed their own brand of "mania"? Fernandomania swept across Southern California in the early '80's. Winner of the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award, Valenzuela baffled hitters with his screwball. Plus he had a record album made about him and he enjoys Corn Flakes.



Steve Carlton
Philadelphia Phillies (1980-86), San Francisco Giants (1986)

Nickname: Lefty
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1994
All-Star: 1980-82
Awards: 1980 NL Cy Young, 1982 NL Cy Young
Gold Gloves: 1981
Postseason: 1980 WS, 1981 NLDS, 1983 WS
NL Leader: 1980 Wins & K's, 1982 Wins & K's, 1983 K's

Notes: Winner of two Cy Young Awards in the decade, Carlton was one of the most dominating pitchers of the early 80's. Steve finished his career with 4,136 strikeout which was the most ever by a left-handed pitcher until he was surpassed by Randy Johnson a couple years ago.



Orel Hershiser
Los Angeles Dodgers (1983-89)

Nickname: Bulldog
Awards: 1988 NL Cy Young Award, 1988 NLCS MVP, 1988 WS MVP
All-Star: 1987-89
Gold Gloves: 1988
Postseason: 1985 NLCS, 1988 WS
NL Leader: 1984 Shutouts, 1988 Shutouts & Wins

Notes: Hershiser was a National League ace in the late 80's. His 1988 season is legendary as he threw 5 consecutive shutouts, breaking Don Drysdale's consecutive shutout innings record of 58.2 by just one out. Orel went on to not only win the NL Cy Young, but was the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP as he helped lead the Dodgers over the A's.


CLOSER

Lee Smith
Chicago Cubs (1980-87)

All-Star: 1983, 1987
Postseason: 1984 NLCS
NL Leader: 1983 Saves


Notes: One of those relievers that probably should get a second look for the HOF, Smith got his start with the Chicago Cubs and spent most of the decade on the Northside. From 1984-87, Smith posted 4 straight 30+ save seasons. In '87 Smith was traded to the Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi. That sure worked out well for the Cubbies.





So there you have it. Your TMS All-80's National League lineup. So what should the batting order be? Here's what I came up with.

1 - Tim Raines (Switch)
2 - Tony Gwynn (Left)
3 - Mike Schmidt (Right)
4 - Dale Murphy (Right)
5 - Keith Hernandez (Left)
6 - Ryne Sandberg (Right)
7 - Gary Carter (Right)
8 - Ozzie Smith (Switch)

Feel free to post your own order in the comments. Once we finish the AL lineup, we'll compare the two teams and see which one is better.

Realm of Red: Redhead of the Week

7:43 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Each week (or so) I will profile various redheads who paved the way for our own Thunder Matt. These men and women opened doors (often times kicking them in due to their fiery tempers) that would have otherwise kept Thunder Matt toiling in Independent Baseball leagues, shagging fly balls in Newark and frequenting seedy hotels. We tip our Cubs hats to these fair-skinned pioneers.

Today's Redhead (whispering): Shawn Bradley

All cliches aside, Shawn Bradley is a tall glass of water. As a young, painfully innocent Mormon in West Germany, people would often tell Shawn, in rough German baroque, without a hint of irony, "You're tall. You should play basketball." Problem was, Shawn didn't want to play basketball. Shawn wanted to be a goddamn astronaut but he couldn't fit into a normal sized spacesuit. Shawn also had dreams of being a horse jockey. Shawn loved horses almost as much as he loved his mom and the Mormon Bible, but every time he got up on to one, whoops! Little Shawny fall off and scrape his freakishly skinny knee!

Shawn finally thought to himself the Mormon, non-swear version of 'fuck it' and decided to give basketball a go. Like most other things he tried, he was not very good at this. But, alas he was tall, leading some cigar chomping, spouse beating NBA scouts to utter, "He's tall. He should play NBA basketball." So Shawn was selected number two in the 1993 Draft by the 76ers, who could have instead had Acie 'The Fade' Earl.

Shawn didn't fall prey to the salacious NBA lifestyle we all read about in Slam Magazine. Instead Shawn was a good boy. He would go out onto the court, get his quick foul trouble, gamely try to block a couple of Robert Pack dunks and then take his spot on the end of the bench next to Jeff Hornacek, where they would hold hands, say the Our Father and then argue over who was whiter and/or more unattractive. Let it be noted that in the 1994 season the 76ers employed both Shawn Bradley and Manute Bol. Surely the most fearsome pair to ever lace up a pair of Reebok Pumps. Shawn could never escape the stigma of being 'The White Manute Bol.' Who can live up to that though? It's like the inevitable Jordan comparisons that all slightly above average shooting guards go through.

Later on in his career, Shawn spent an inordinate amount of time getting dunked on for the Mavericks and honing his Red Skeleton impression on the end of the bench. Was Shawn ever good at basketball? To quote K-Fed, 'Aw, hells no!'. But you know what? They guy was a solid human being. Shawn is currently in the recording studio with Clay Aiken putting the finishing touches on 'The Songs of our Fathers: Old Time Duets with a Modern Twist-Sung in the Key of A Minor: Remastered". Look for the album to drop around Mormon Christmas.

Bartender Banter: Free Kenny!

9:46 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

With Dallas playing on Monday Night Football, ESPN almost had nothing to blather on about today. But then Fox and there super-ultra zoom cameras caught Kenny's poo-stained hand. But what was it? Pine tar? A mixture of dirt and rosin? Or did Kenny not wipe very well? We will never know. What we do know is that the Cardinals may have been better off had Kenny left the poo-tar-dirt on his throwing hand. After Rogers washed it off he came out for the second inning and proceeded to mow down the Redbirds, including 6 straight hitless innings.

But now, every Kenny hater out there in the media has locked on to his potential "cheating". No way that a 41 year old pitcher that has a history of playing horribly in the postseason could miraculously put together one of the best playoff runs in recent memory. He had to be doing something illegal, right? Nevermind that if Rogers was a Yankee or Red Sox it would be the greatest story in postseason history. We wouldn't dare question how a Boston or New York pitcher suddenly had a great postseason. I guess my question is, if Rogers did in fact have an illegal substance on his hand, then why didn't LaRussa call for the ump to search Rogers? If he could have been thrown out of the game, why didn't LaRussa do it?

Then you have the discrepancies in everybody's story of what happened. Given what everyone has said, my guess is that Rogers was told to clean his hand off by the umpire and he did at the end of the inning. Rogers initially denied it, but given his standoff-ish personality, maybe his denial was some sort of kneejerk reaction he has. He obviously isn't the most open or candid guy with the media.

So Kenny had a dirty hand for one inning in that he walked Pujols and gave up a line drive to Rolen. He then washes his hand, and pitches another 7 shutout innings. But suddenly that one inning is going tarnish his performance this postseason? Whatever. The managers don't seem concerned, the players don't seem concerned, and Kenny certainly doesn't seem concerned. Let's just hope T.O. punches Parcells in the face tonight and ESPN can shut up about this ordeal and waste their time with an even more unlikeable athlete.

I do have one other beef about this whole thing. It appears that the press hasn't quite settled on a name for it. I've read some calling it "dirtgate", while others call it "smudgegate". I love the originality of it all. Let's take a word and add 'gate' on the end. No one has ever done that before. I have to say though, nothing will beat Kazuhito Tadano and "sodomy-gate".

OK, one final thing and I'll shut up about it. I think the worst fallout of this mess will definitely be that FOX can now actually justify their horrible zoom-in camera shots they do in the postseason. Nobody wants to see any pitcher's face so close up that you can count his nosehairs and how many whiteheads he has. Yeesh, I'm just happy that my poor ass still can't afford an HDTV set. Seeing Chris Carpenter's face up close on my regular set is bad enough that I keep breaking out in hives.

Sweet Lou? Sweet Jesus!
Reporting about a week late on this, Lou Piniella is the new manager of the Cubs. Better hide your wallets! I guess ambivalent is probably the best word to describe my thoughts on the move. I think his fiery personality will hopefully spark the Cubs a bit, and weed out the whiners that seemed to enjoy not being pushed by Dusty. But on the other hand I have this feeling that Lou will completely melt down at some point and will either get fired or quit on them. The Cubs put together back-to-back winning season in 2003 and 2004. The last time they did that, Ron Santo was playing third base. Looking at that I'd say the odds are stacked against Lou that he can have multiple winning seasons with this franchise. If they continue to tank, how patient is he really going to be?

ABC Loves the Wolverines
I was all pumped to watch the Iowa-Michigan game on ABC this week, but was saddened to see that instead of a national broadcast, they apparently opted to air a local Michigan broadcast instead. How else can you explain Bob Griese being in the booth? Jesus, could we get Desmond Howard in there to do play-by-play as well? I loved how Bob forced an inordinate amount of praise towards the Hawkeyes, even though they were lame blanket statements like, "Iowa seems to be driving the ball well here." Even worse was when son Brian came into the booth. Bob then proceeded to ask him questions like it was an interview, which came off incredibly awkward. He's your son Bob, yet you ask him questions like you don't already know the answer? It was just very strange to watch. Yet the best question wasn't asked, which would've been, "Brian, do you credit the Bears red hot 6-0 start to the fact that you have barely sniffed the field this season?"

And don't let this seem like I'm totally shitting on Michigan. While I cheer for the Hawkeyes, I'm not going to deny the fact that the Wolverines flat out beat them. Mike Hart and company were clearly the better team here. And while I'd much rather drink acid than cheer for them, I will be pulling for UM when they face the Buckeyes.

Left Field Link of the Week Archives

1:19 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

I've been meaning to do this for a while. I wanted to create an archived list of every link I've used for the LF Link of the Week. While I can't remember all of them, here's a list of some that have been featured. If one isn't listed here that you can remember let me know. Or if you have a suggestion for the LF Link email them to us. I prefer to use unique sites. While the YouTube clips and goofy current event stories are amusing, they're not what I'm looking for. I'll keep this list updated from now on.

The LF Link Archive List

Mark Llama, Gerbil Farmer - Crikey! It's a dirigible gerbil!

Neifi's Brother, Rubby Perez! - Prepare to shake your ass and have your manhood questioned.

Cats That Look Like Hitler - Seig Meow!

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality - An on-going Pulitzer-caliber project.

The Lee Elia Tirade - "I tell you what, I hope we get hotter'n shit!"

Conesville Hog Wild Rodeo - Clean Shitters and Showers! Fun for the whole family!

Driving Directions: Chicago to London - The swimming isn't the bitch, so much as is getting through the Boston traffic.

The Poo and Wee Song - Join along if you know the Poo and Wee Song!

Parking Is Serious! - Check out the seedy world of the amateur traffic enforcement agents.

Walken 2008 - Walken at a debate: "Your tone's all wrong man! You talk like that again, I'll stab you in the face with a soldering iron!"

Tony Homo - Drew Bledsoe journals about his untimely benching during the 2006 Cowboys season.

David Bowie is Very Disappointed In You - Off to Goblin City with you!

Horny Manatees - Come for the hot manatee action.

Marmaduke Explained - Because, you're too stupid to get it.

Beard Team USA - Go America!

The Gary Gaetti Cult - Somebody put together a cult that worships "The Rat". I think the Branch Davidians worshipped Steve Buechele.

James Hill, Pirate for Congress - This is fabulous. A self-proclaimed pirate that ran for Iowa's First Congressional District.

A-Team Episode Guide - You know what would be cool? If someone put together a site that lists every A-Team episode that aired and provided brief synopses as well as information on Murdock's idiosyncracies in each episode. Wait, what's this? Eureka!

Men Who Look Like Kenny Rogers - In honor of the recent so-called scandal with the pitcher Kenny Rogers and his poo-stained hand.

Mini Kiss - The awesomest Littlest KISS Tribute Band in the World!

Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum - I saw this on the Colbert Report and had to feature it. Sadly the ambulance from Cannonball Run doesn't appear to be a part of the collection.

Trogdor the Burninator - Burninating the countryside!

Khaaan! - We all have days like this.

The Canonical List of Weird Band Names - Hey did you see Plastic Nude Martini last night? It was totally sweet. They opened for Accidental Goat Sodomy.

The Johnny Lawrence Story - A tragic story of failure and bully typecasting.

Demolition Squid - Look out! That building is right behind you! SSHHHHIIIIIIIITTTTTT!

Toothpaste for Dinner - It says it's the "Most addictive comic on the web". Who am I to argue that?

Abe Vigoda Status - Yeah I know, I swiped this link from Desipio. But it was this link that was the inspiration for this whole feature to begin with. And for those that were losing sleep over it, Abe Vigoda is in fact still alive.

The Cubs Are What We Thought They Were! (slamming fist on imaginary podium)

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

I meant to post this picture at the end of the Cubs disastrous season because I felt that it captured the 'emptiness' of the Cubs' year. Yes, I know, that's some deep shit for our little mom and pop blog/website/veiled communist recruiting tool. Better post it now before we all start drinking the Piniella Kool-Aid.

Anyway, I'm off to fight Dennis Green in an alley. The only real rule we set is no firearms or testicle grabbling. Everything else, trash can lids included, is fair game. Kurt Warner will be the guest referee, though look for him to interfere in my favor approximately 30 seconds into the fight. Praise Jesus.

The All-80's Team: NL Relief Pitchers

5:08 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Astroturf, powder blue uniforms, wearing batting helmets in the field to protect your jheri curl, hitting 25 homers and being considered a legitimate slugger, big-league hair, that horrible gum from packs of baseball cards.... who doesn't love baseball from the 80's? Over the next several weeks I will be looking at the best players of the decade as we assemble the TMS All-80's Team. We will start with the National League and then we'll tackle the American. To meet the criteria a player will have to have played in at least 4 seasons in the 1980's and they must have played the bulk of their games at a certain position during that time to qualify there. Included will be a poll on the left sidebar, so our faithful readers can weigh in on this great debate. But remember, we're focusing on a player's contributions in just the 1980's. What they did in the decades before and/or after are not being considered in this.

We've reached the final position for the National League. Over the past two weeks, the starting rotation was picked. Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Carlton and Orel Hershiser will make up the TMS All-80's National League pitching rotation.

NATIONAL LEAGUE RELIEF PITCHERS

Steve Bedrosian
Atlanta Braves (1981-85), Philadelphia Phillies (1986-89), San Francisco Giants (1989)

Nickname: Bedrock
All-Star: 1987
Awards: 1987 NL Rolaids Relief, NL Cy Young
Postseason: 1982 NLCS, 1989 WS
NL Leader: 1987 Saves

Notes: Bedrock was a solid closer for the Phillies in the mid to late 80's. In 1987 he became the first reliever to win the NL Cy Young Award since Bruce Sutter back in 1979. A less grizzly version of Jeff Reardon (I always got those two confused), Steve picked up 3 saves in the 1989 for the Giants as they took out the Cubs to win the pennant.



John Franco
Cincinnati Reds (1984-89)

All-Star: 1986-87, 1989
Awards: 1988 NL Rolaids Relief
NL Leader: 1988 Saves

Notes: Franco, who just retired last year, got his start in Cincinnati and was there surefire closer for the latter half of the decade. His best season with Cincy happened in 1988 when he led the league with 39 saves and recorded a 1.57 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. If you don't know what WHIP is, don't sweat it. You probably don't play fantasy baseball then.






Greg Minton
San Francisco Giants (1980-87)

Nickname: Moonie
All-Star: 1982

Notes: Jesus, is part of the criteria for being a major league closer is that you have to look goofier than shit? Greg apparently borrowed his glasses from my high school shop teacher. And check out those teeth. Like 'em? You can buy a pack of them from little Mexican boys on the streets of Tijuana. That last comment would probably get me fired from Fox. Anyway, Greg Minton was the Giants closer. He didn't win any awards, and the Giants sucked throughout most of the 80's so he never made it to the postseason. Hell I don't even know why Greg is on this list other than for me to point and laugh at his baseball card.



Jesse Orosco
New York Mets (1981-87), Los Angeles Dodgers (1988)

All-Star: 1983-84
Postseason: 1986 WS, 1988 NLCS

Notes: In 1983, the Mets sucked. They finished 6th in the NL East with a 68-94 record. The team's leader in wins was not one of their starting pitchers but in fact a 26-year old reliever named Jesse Orosco. Jesse made the All-Star team that year and finished third in the Cy Young voting. Three years later, Orosco would pitch the final out of Game 7 of the World Series against the Red Sox.







Jeff Reardon
New York Mets (1980-81), Montreal Expos (1981-86)

Nickname: The Terminator
All-Star: 1985-86
Awards: 1985 NL Rolaids Relief
Postseason: 1981 NLCS
NL Leader: 1985 Saves

Notes: Reardon was a great closer throughout the decade. The bulk of those years were spent up north in Montreal where he recorded 152 saves in 6 seasons. Reardon would later get a World Series ring with the Minnesota Twins. Jeff is currently 6th on the career saves list.






Lee Smith
Chicago Cubs (1980-87)

All-Star: 1983, 1987
Postseason: 1984 NLCS
NL Leader: 1983 Saves


Notes: One of those relievers that probably should get a second look for the HOF, Smith got his start with the Chicago Cubs and spent most of the decade on the Northside. From 1984-87, Smith posted 4 straight 30+ save seasons. In '87 Smith was traded to the Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi. That sure worked out well for the Cubbies.






Bruce Sutter
Chicago Cubs (1980), St. Louis Cardinals (1981-84), Atlanta Braves (1985-86, 1988)

Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2006
All-Star: 1980-81, 1984
Awards: 1981, 1982, 1984 NL Rolaids Relief
Postseason: 1982 WS
NL Leader: 1980-82, 1984 Saves

Notes: The true pioneer of the split-finger fastball and the grizzly-closer beard, Bruce Sutter was a phenomenal reliever in the early part of the decade and HOF voters finally came to their senses this past year and voted him in. Far and away the best pitcher on this list.





Todd Worrell
St. Louis Cardinals (1985-89)

All-Star: 1988
Awards: 1986 NL Rookie of the Year, NL Rolaids Relief
Postseason: 1985 WS, 1987 WS
NL Leader: 1986 Saves

Notes: In 1986, Todd was the first reliever since Steve Howe in 1980 to win the NL ROY, and the last to do so until Scott Williamson won it in 1999. Todd is the only player to ever win the ROY and the Rolaids Relief Award in the same season. Actually he's the only player to win both of those awards ever, regardless if they were in the same year. And unless Huston Street gets his shit together, that may not change any time soon.



Be sure and vote for your choices of NL Relief Pitcher for the TMS All-80's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.

A Mile High Minute...Denny Green Meltdown Edition

11:23 AM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

So the Arizona Cardinals fell apart Monday night against the Bears...big shock. Well, to be fair, it was a pretty bad meltdown even by Cardinal standards. The Bears were down 23-3 with about a quarter to play, and somehow came back to win in spite of six Rex Grossman turnovers (welcome back to earth assclown) and no offense to speak of. Aside from kicker Neil Rackers, the Cardinals looked good in the game too - but they suffer from the Billy Bowtie Curse and are forever doomed.

After the game, Coach Denny Green took the podium and had his own meltdown to rival the one his Cardinals just completed on field. You can enjoy it in all its unbleeped glory at Youtube. This one may go down in the annals of great Coach/Manager meltdowns, which the good folks at The Arizona Republic are kind enough to give us a sample of. Yes, everyone's two favorites - Jim Mora's "PLAYOFFS?!?!?!?" and Lee Elia's rant against "those fucking fans who come out here and say they're Cub fans" - are chronicled there.

As for the Broncos, after whom this awesome column is named, they still have no offense. The defense continues to stifle all they encounter though and they're tied with San Diego for 1st place. Not much else to say here.

Steve Lyons Fired: PC Terrorists Win

3:15 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Dodgers' out of division road color man and weekend Fox network broadcaster was fired by Fox for what is being called a racially insensitive remark.

USA Today gives a recap of the incident & I'm still trying to figure out what was offensive about it.

The exchange about lost wallets between Lyons and likely Cubs manager Lou Piniella was bizarre sure, but didn't amount to anything. If anything, Lyons was suggesting Piniella had stolen his wallet, not this hypothetical spanish speaker.

We've all lost an interesting guy. Lyons' dry style with pop culture references left and right would be right at home here at Thunder Matt's. I now have to hope the PC thugs don't convince the Dodgers to let Lyons go.

Page Update

10:57 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

With not a whole lot to talk about lately I've been tinkering with our page and have added a few new links here and there. Here's a quick recap of them.

Project 3000 - In the right sidebar you'll see that big photo with Derrek Lee. That link takes you to a PayPal account set up by the folks at GROTA. They're taking donations for Lee's foundation that helps fight Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), the affliction that has rendered Lee's young daughter partially blind. GROTA plans to take all the proceeds they receive and present Derrek with a check at the Cubs Convention this winter.

Here's a link about their project:
http://www.goatriders.org/archives/2006/10/we_need_your_donations.html

Here's the website for Project 3000:
http://www.carverlab.org/project3000/

Yardbarker - You may notice a new button at the end of each post. These buttons allow readers to link the article to Yardbarker and post about it. It's just yet another way to get Thunder Matt's out there to a wider audience. If you like an article of ours and want to share it with others, then Yardbarker is a great forum to do so.

And Yet Some More Links...
I added a few new links under this category in the right sidebar, such as....

WOXY - Most widely known as the radio station whose jingle was repeated over and over again by Rain Man. "Bam! The future of rock and roll." A few years ago the station shut down but was opened up again on the web with streaming audio broadcasts. Last month, due to a lack of money, they were forced to shut down again. But thanks to some new investors they are back once more. If you're into the bleeding edge of indie rock and want to hear new stuff that your regular stations won't ever play, I highly recommend checking them out. I've posted a graphic link.

Bad Idea Blue Jeans
Named after a great SNL commerical spoof that has been beaten into the ground as a reference used by Bill Simmons in his columns, BIBJ covers various sports in Indiana as well as other random stuff.

The Sneeze
A frickin' hilariously awesome blog I came across. It's hard to explain as he talks about all sorts of goofy shit. A personal favorite in our household is his feature called "Steve, Don't Eat It!"

Left Field Link of the Week
Aside from the other TMS bartenders and my brother, I have no idea if anyone ever checks out the LF Links. I have been pretty regularly with changing it weekly. I plan on setting up a LF Link archive in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

That's all the new stuff for now. If anyone needs me I'll be in my office trying to weigh the pros and cons of Lou Piniella inevitably becoming the next Cubs manager.

Chip's Postseason Rambling Recap

9:01 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

It never fails. Whenever I pick two teams to make it to the World Series, they get crushed. Overall my track record at TMS for pulling for certain teams and talking up players has been pretty bad (which is why I'm not saying anything about the incredibly hot 5-0 Bears right now). The ALCS kicks off tonight between Detroit and Oakland. Of course ESPN isn't aware that the postseason is still going on, what with T.O. back in Philly and Joe Torre possibly, maybe, kinda sorta, rumored to be fired. Who has time for the playoffs?!
BREAKING NEWS!

We interrupt this Thunder Matt post to bring you this breaking story! T.O. just took a shit in a public toilet. We have John Clayton at the scene to speculate on whether T.O. ate corn or not.....

Ah Christ, let's just look back at the Divisional Series that were.

ALDS
Game 2
Oakland 5, Minnesota 2
W -
Calero
L -
Neshek
SV -
Street

Game 3
Minnesota 3, Oakland 8
W -
Haren
L -
Radke

Was anyone outside the Bay Area expecting the A's to pull this one out, and in just three games no less? The Twins couldn't overcome Oakland's tough pitching and clutch hitting. Frank Thomas, who went 0-9 the last time he played in a postseason (2000 vs. Seattle), was a monster at the plate, hitting 5-10 with 2 home runs. In Game 3 Eric Chavez proved he could in fact, hit the ball, after going 0-8 with 4 strikeouts in the first two games. And how about Marco Scutaro? The "Player to Be Named Later" had a huge series, going 4-12, with 4 doubles and 6 RBI's.

This sucks for the Twins though. I think the series can be best summed up by the Mark Kotsay inside-the-park homer. Torii Hunter giving it his all to make a big catch, misses and two runs score. A gritty, scrappy team that fell just short of winning. With guys like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, and Torii Hunter, this is a very likeable team. I really hope they get another shot next season.

ALDS
Game 2
Detroit 4, New York (A) 3
W -
Walker
L -
Mussina
SV -
Jones

Game 3
New York (A) 0, Detroit 6
W -
Rogers
L -
Johnson

Game 4
New York (A) 3, Detroit 8
W -
Bonderman
L -
Wright

How did this happen? The Tigers weren't supposed to beat the greatest batting lineup of all-time! What? Oh they have to play defense and pitch as well? Fuck! So the Yankees starting lineup is full of All-Star's. Great, but at what point do they realize they need starting pitching? Yes, Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson were All-Stars. Emphasis on were. Never mind that the Unit won 17 this season. His ERA was 5.00 people! And suddenly the suckiness switch is supposed to turn off when the postseason arrives? Bottom line, when you're stuck with Jaret Wright as your Game 4 starter (4.99 ERA in two seasons with the Yanks), when you have sluggers that can knock the cover off the ball but can't cover first base, can you honestly put all the blame on a manager like Joe Torre? Was he the one that assembled this team of overpriced prima donnas that can't play together as a cohesive unit? Steinbrenner can throw him under the bus if he wants, but it doesn't change the fact that you pay your third baseman over $25 million a year to strike out with the bases loaded. I'll sit back and wait for a scathing comment from my brother, the Yankee fan now.

With all that said, let's not take anything away from the Tigers here. The Gambler pitched absolutely phenomenal despite the constant verbal diarrhea that Miller and Morgan kept spewing about him. While no one hit over 30 homers this season, the Tigers proved they still have plenty of offensive potency in the lineup to make opposing pitchers pay. For some baseball fans, this is the first real look we've had at young hitters like Craig Monroe, Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames, and they haven't disappointed. With Minnesota out, I'll now be hopping on the Tigers wagon. I just hope this ride doesn't end as abruptly as the previous one.

NLDS
Game 2
St. Louis 2, San Diego 0
W -
Weaver
L -
Wells
SV -
Wainwright

Game 3
San Diego 3, St. Louis 1
W -
Young
L -
Suppan
SV - Hoffman

Game 4
San Diego 2, St. Louis 6
W -
Carpenter
L -
Williams

St. Louis' pitching stepped it up this series, as they allowed a mere 6 runs in 4 games. Chris Carpenter was the main force, pitching two gems for wins in Games 1 & 4. Unfortunately my hopes of the ground opening up and swallowing Petco Park while both teams played, sending them to burn in hell for all eternity didn't pan out. Now I have to be a Met fan for a week. Great. And can people come to a consensus on a nickname for Albert Poopholes? Baseball Reference lists four. Those being Prince Albert, Phat Albert, The Machine, and El Hombre. Personally I like Poopholes, but if I had to choose from those other four, I'd go with the "male genital piercing".

NLDS
Game 1
Los Angeles 5, New York (N) 6
W -
Mota
L -
Penny
SV -
Wagner

Game 2
Los Angeles 1, New York (N) 4
W -
Glavine
L -
Kuo
SV - Wagner

Game 3
New York (N) 9, Los Angeles 5
W -
Feliciano
L -
Broxton

No Pedro. No El Duque. That all didn't seem to matter much to the Mets, who got good enough pitching out of their relievers and plenty of runs from their offense to take down the Dodgers in three. Honestly I didn't pay much attention to this series. I did see that Cliff Floyd is hurt, but isn't that pretty much a given? Shouldn't we just get updates on ESPN when Floyd is healthy?

Dodgers Out; Governor Goes Emo

1:42 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

The Dodgers lost to the New York Metropolitans last night, barely putting up a fight in the series. Here is a haiku about it:

They failed in their task
Beat the Mets
Wait until next year

I now move on to supporting the Oakland A's for the remainder of their playoff run.

War Criminals: San Diego Padres

3:36 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

I write this as the Padres are bending over for the Cardinals, but that’s not why I’m handing down this indictment for war crimes (They're actually winning today's game, but they'll lose the series). Oh sure, it doesn’t help matters, particularly since the Cardinals couldn’t beat a little league team at the end of the season, but its not the main crime.

Consider the facts:

They finished in last place their first six years in the league.

They have lost 100 games the same number of times they have made the playoffs (5).

Notable Padre fans include Jerry Lewis and former California Governor Pete “Shit-heel” Wilson.

They have never had a no-hitter or a player hit for the cycle.

Their mascot, the Swinging Friar, is “a whimsical takeoff on Father Junipero Serra” who founded the California mission system. This is just gay.

Having been to Old Comiskey Park and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, I can safely say Qualcomm Stadium was the worst place to watch a ballgame ever. (To be fair, their new home Petco Pooper-Scooper Park is pretty damn nice.)

Notable Padres include Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, and Trevor Hoffman - END OF LIST.

Dave Roberts is their starting left-fielder.

Manager Bruce Bochy is from France.

Turd-brown uniforms.

Camoflage uniforms.

Famous dates in Padre history:

June 20, 1970 - The Padres are no-hit by the Pirates’ Dock Ellis who later claimed to be high on LSD at the time.

In 1974, Padre owner Ray Kroc (of McDonald’s fame) took to the stadium PA system to personally apologize for the team’s play, saying “I’ve never seen such stupid ball playing in my life.”

July 25, 1990 - Roseanne Barr "sings" the national anthem, grabs her crotch, and spits before a Padre game. (Believe it or not, this little gem isn't on youtube.)

I know what you’re saying, “OK OK, so they suck - so what?” Being that bad, for that length of time is a crime in and of itself, but I’m getting to my two main points.

1. No matter how shitty they are, they play the Dodgers like it’s the World Series.

2. Padre fans are obnoxious. This is an extension of the little-man syndrome San Diego as a whole suffers from. The entire city has a chip on its shoulder. Why, I could never figure out. Its pretty nice, particularly when compared to its neighbor to the north. When I went down to San Diego for college, I had no idea about any of this. I had even rooted for the Padres in the 1998 World Series (they rewarded my faith by getting swept by New York). Turns out they believe Padres/Dodgers is as important as Giants/Dodgers. Sorry guys, its not. You aren’t that important.

I would like to close with the immortal words of Ron Burgundy: “Go fuck yourself San Diego.”

Realm of Red: Redhead of the Week

8:15 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Each week (or so) I will profile various redheads who paved the way for our own Thunder Matt. These men and women opened doors (often times kicking them in due to their fiery tempers) that would have otherwise kept Thunder Matt toiling in Independent Baseball leagues, shagging fly balls in Newark and frequenting seedy hotels. We tip our Cubs hats to these fair-skinned pioneers.

Today's Redhead: Ronald McDonald

Today is a special edition of Realm of Red. We here at TMS got an exclusive interview with the legendary redhead. Tucked away in the corner booth at a local Village Inn, Ronald sucked down coffee, chainsmoked menthols and talked to us about life, love and the Golden Arches.

TMS: McDonald's has been in the news quite a bit lately, none of it particularly positive...Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation have all portrayed your company in a rather unflattering light.
RM: Gay.
TMS: What's that?
RM: Jesus I'm hungover. Gay. That Morgan Spurlock guy. H-O-M-O. But he does have a point. I haven't had a Big Mac in years. Quite frankly, they give me the goots. I packed on quite a few lb's eating all that shit. (Looking at his cigarette) I suppose that's why I started smoking these bastards. (Pats his belly) Gotta keep the gut in check. My old lady doesn't like a fat clown.
TMS: Back to the negative image of McDonald's in the media...
RM: (interrupting) What kind of hack piece are you writing? Why is it always McDonald's? Why doesn't anyone ever mention how Wendy is always out whoring around? Or how the King at BK has known ties to Al Qaeda? And Hardees. Well, no one really goes there, but still. Monster Burger? More like Instant Enema. I mean, I try to avoid the newspapers, cause it's all bad news, ya know? (To waitress) Hey sugar tits, how bout a refill on my java over here? (continuing) Earthquakes, wars, all that shit with Ryan White...
TMS: Ryan White?
RM: Yeah, you know, the kid with AIDS. Poor bastard.
TMS: Um, Ronald when was the last time you actually looked at the newspaper?
RM: Late 80's maybe? I dunno, this past decade has been a blur.
TMS: Let's play word association.
RM: I hate that game.
TMS: Hamburglar.
RM: A liar and a thief. Slept with my third wife. And I keep telling him to update his outfit. Uh, you're not fooling anybody with that mask Zorro. Guy should get the chair.
TMS: Grimace.
RM: Celebrity Fit Club. More than likely has murdered children.
TMS: Birdie the Early Bird.
RM: Hit that.
TMS: Really?
RM: She's had a rough life. She was looking for a father figure. I took advantage of that fact and slept with her.
TMS: In 2005 you robbed a Wendy's.
RM: I like me a Frosty. I'm broke. I had it on good sources that the Derby winner was a lock. My friend, I have two addictions. Sex and horses. And not in that order. Wait, does that makes sense? Don't write that I have sex with horses. (to waitress) Yeah, I ordered the Southwest Skillet. This has ham. What? No, take this shit back. Do you know who I am? Goddamn right you do! Off you go..scoot. That better be on the house too. (continuing) Where were we?
TMS: There's a McDonalds video game. What is this teaching kids?
RM: To eat your french fries or you ain't getting a sundae. (laughs heartily and slaps table, spilling coffee on his lap). Sweet mother of pearl! Hot cock, hot cock!
WAITRESS: Sir, I'm gonna have to have you keep your voice down, there are children...
RM: (yelling) I just spilled hot coffee on my lap. I will sue you! Go back to your trailer and get me my skillet!
TMS: How many times have you been married Ronald?
RM: (taking a long pull off his cigarette) Five....five too many my friend. Marriage is like Chicken McNuggets. They sound good, especially covered in honey, but really they're fake, rubbery and heavy on the sour, light on the sweet.
TMS: That was the worst analogy I've ever heard.
RM: Thank you.
TMS: Was that sweet/sour part a reference to sweet and sour sauce?
RM: Yes.
TMS: Terrible.
RM: (ashamed) I know.
TMS: Well I'll wrap this up because I know you have your court appearance coming up...
RM: Child support my ass. She aint' getting shit.
TMS: ...so let me ask you this. What is your legacy?
RM: I'm just a good guy looking to have fun, make some money at the track, get laid, mix it up, get in and get out while the goin' is good and ride off into the sunset.
TMS: I don't think you understood the question.
RM: No. No I didn't. So I just made some shit up that sounded cool in my head.
TMS: You want to get the bill?
RM: Screw that, lets dine and dash.

The All-80's Team: NL Starting Pitchers

12:30 PM | Comments (1) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Astroturf, powder blue uniforms, wearing batting helmets in the field to protect your jheri curl, hitting 25 homers and being considered a legitimate slugger, big-league hair, that horrible gum from packs of baseball cards.... who doesn't love baseball from the 80's? Over the next several weeks I will be looking at the best players of the decade as we assemble the TMS All-80's Team. We will start with the National League and then we'll tackle the American. To meet the criteria a player will have to have played in at least 4 seasons in the 1980's and they must have played the bulk of their games at a certain position during that time to qualify there. Included will be a poll on the left sidebar, so our faithful readers can weigh in on this great debate. But remember, we're focusing on a player's contributions in just the 1980's. What they did in the decades before and/or after are not being considered in this.

We're nearing the final stretch here for the National League. This past week, Tony Gwynn won the online poll and has been named the starting RF to the TMS All-80's National League Team.

NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTING PITCHERS

Joaquin Andujar
Houston Astros (1980-81, 88), St. Louis Cardinals (1981-85)

All-Star: 1984, 1985
Gold Gloves: 1984
Postseason: 1980 NLCS, 1982 WS, 1985 WS
NL Leader: 1984 Wins, 1984 Shutouts

Notes: Andujar had two great seasons with St. Louis in the mid-80's, winning 20 games in 1984, and 21 in '85. Joaquin is also known for making retarded quotes such as, "You can't worry if it's cold; you can't worry if it's hot; you only worry if you get sick. Because then if you don't get well, you die." Um, sure thing. Where's Joaquin's AFLAC commercial?





Steve Carlton
Philadelphia Phillies (1980-86), San Francisco Giants (1986)

Nickname: Lefty
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1994
All-Star: 1980-82
Awards: 1980 NL Cy Young, 1982 NL Cy Young
Gold Gloves: 1981
Postseason: 1980 WS, 1981 NLDS, 1983 WS
NL Leader: 1980 Wins & K's, 1982 Wins & K's, 1983 K's

Notes: Winner of two Cy Young Awards in the decade, Carlton was one of the most dominating pitchers of the early 80's. Steve finished his career with 4,136 strikeout which was the most ever by a left-handed pitcher until he was surpassed by Randy Johnson a couple years ago.



Dwight Gooden
New York Mets (1984-89)

Nickname: Doc
All-Star: 1984-86, 1988
Awards: 1984 NL ROY, 1985 NL Cy Young Award, 1985 NL Triple Crown
Postseason: 1986 WS, 1988 NLCS
NL Leader: 1984 K's, 1985 K's, Wins, and ERA

Notes: Gooden was a force early in his career and his run in 1985 is probably one of the most dominate seasons ever. The numbers are unbelievable. A record of 24-4, 268 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.53, 16 complete games, 8 shutouts and 276.2 IP. If we were just picking single seasons, Gooden would win this hands down.




Orel Hershiser
Los Angeles Dodgers (1983-89)

Nickname: Bulldog
Awards: 1988 NL Cy Young Award, 1988 NLCS MVP, 1988 WS MVP
All-Star: 1987-89
Gold Gloves: 1988
Postseason: 1985 NLCS, 1988 WS
NL Leader: 1984 Shutouts, 1988 Shutouts & Wins

Notes: Hershiser was a National League ace in the late 80's. His 1988 season is legendary as he threw 5 consecutive shutouts, breaking Don Drysdale's consecutive shutout innings record of 58.2 by just one out. Orel went on to not only win the NL Cy Young, but was the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP as he helped lead the Dodgers over the A's.



Mike Krukow
Chicago Cubs (1980-81), Philadelphia Phillies (1982), San Francisco Giants (1983-89)

All-Star: 1986
Postseason: 1987 NLCS

Notes: Mike was a serviceable starting pitcher for most of the decade, but his career year in 1986 was impressive. That year Krukow went 20-9 with 178 strikeouts and a 3.05 ERA. Mike was also who the Cubs traded to get Keith Moreland. I'm not sure what the point of mentioning that is other than to fill in more space in Krukow's notes.







Greg Maddux
Chicago Cubs (1986-89)

Nickname: Mad Dog
All-Star: 1988
Postseason: 1989 NLCS

Notes: Maddux is probably better suited for the All-90's team but he had two great seasons in 88 and 89 where he put up 18 and 19 wins respectively. That marked the beginning of 17 straight seasons of 15 wins or more. Of course that streak ended last season with the hapless 2005 Cubs. Also check out the stache. I vote that Greg brings it back for the playoffs this season. It'd make him much more intimidating on the mound.






Phil Niekro
Atlanta Braves (1980-83, 1987)

Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1997
Nickname: Knucksie
All-Star: 1982, 1984(AL)
Gold Gloves: 1980, 1982, 1983
Postseason: 1982 ALCS

Notes: Look, grandpa is pitching in the bigs! Phil Niekro, the greatest knuckleballer ever in the majors and a big hater of Just For Men. He mocked Father Time, starting the 1980 season at the age of 41 and playing until he was 48. Phil pitched 18 seasons with the Atlanta Braves and is one of the most adored players by their fans.




Rick Reuschel
Chicago Cubs (1980-81, 1983-84), Pittsburgh Pirates (1985-87), San Francisco Giants (1987-89)

Nickname: Big Daddy
All-Star: 1987, 1989
Gold Gloves: 1985, 1987
Postseason: 1987 NLCS, 1989 WS
NL Leader: 1987 Shutouts

Notes: Reuschel was a good pitcher for the Cubs in the late seventies, but a torn rotator cuff in 1982 all but ended his career. Despite that, Rick managed to come back with the Pittsburgh Pirates and ended the decade in grand fashion with the Giants, going 19-11 and 17-8 in 1988 and '89 respectively. Despite his portly physique, Rick was also pretty good defensively, earning him 2 Gold Gloves during the decade.


Jerry Reuss
Los Angeles Dodgers (1980-87), Cincinnati Reds (1987)

Nickname: Rolls
All-Star: 1980
Postseason: 1981 WS, 1983 NLCS, 1985 NLCS
NL Leader: 1980 Shutouts

Notes: Looking like his best years were behind him, Reuss managed to bounce back from two disappointing seasons in Pittsburgh to win the Comeback Player of the Year in 1980. 'Rolls' Reuss played a huge role in the Dodgers beating the Yankees in the 1981 World Series outdueling Ron Guidry in a legendary Game 5 pitching duel.





Steve Rogers
Montreal Expos (1980-85)

All-Star: 1982, 1983
Postseason: 1981 NLCS
NL Leader: 1982 ERA, 1983 Shutouts

Notes: Who the hell is Steve Rogers you ask? Beats the shit out of me. Rogers was the staff ace in Montreal for the first half of the decade. He then retired to further pursue his career as Captain America.









Nolan Ryan
Houston Astros (1980-88)

Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1999
Nickname: Ryan Express
All-Star: 1981, 1985
Postseason: 1980 NLCS, 1981 NLDS, 1986 NLCS
NL Leader: 1981 ERA, 1987 ERA & K's, 1988 K's

Notes: Now Steve Rogers I can understand if you arent familiar, but if you don't know this guy, then you probably have lived under a rock. Ryan was strikeout machine, and although his W-L didn't necessarily reflect his dominance (In 1987 he went 8-16 with 270 strikeouts and a 2.76 ERA. WTF?!), Ryan was one of the most feared pitchers in the league. You don't mess with Nolan, as Robin Ventura would find out in later years.



Mike Scott
New York Mets (1980-82), Houston Astros (1983-89)

All-Star: 1986, 1987, 1989
Awards: 1986 NL Cy Young, NLCS MVP
Postseason: 1986 NLCS
NL Leader: 1986 ERA & K's, 1989 Wins

Notes: Mike Scott got his start with the New York Mets. In 1982 the Mets traded him to the Astros for Danny Heep. Scott would later face his former team in the 1986 NLCS where he won both his starts en route to a 4-2 series loss to the Mets. Despite Houston losing, Scott's pitching was good enough to garner him the NLCS MVP, which seems bittersweet given they couldn't win any games without him.





Mario Soto
Cincinnati Reds (1980-88)

All-Star: 1982-84

Notes: Soto was a pretty damn good pitcher in the early 80's. Unfortunately he was stuck playing for some truly awful Reds teams, so aside from a few All Star appearances he doesn't have much to show for it. Soto was the Reds opening day starter five years in a row. He is of no relation to Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. Again, just trying fill some space here.









Rick Sutcliffe
Los Angeles Dodgers (1980-81), Chicago Cubs (1984-89)

Nickname: Red Baron
All-Star: 1983(AL), 1987, 1989
Awards: 1984 NL Cy Young Award
Postseason: 1984 NLCS, 1989 NLCS
NL Leader: 1982 ERA, 1987 Wins

Notes: From his Realm of Red feature: After breaking into the majors with the Dodgers in 1979, "Sutty" won Rookie of the Year, but later overturned chairs in Tommy Lasorda's office after being left off the postseason roster (for arguably the greatest and sexiest pitcher off all-time, Fernando Valenzuela). So ended his tenure in LA. Off to Cleveland, where he languished in obscurity until one fateful night in 1984 when he was traded to the Cubs for Mel Hall and some announcer named Joe Carter. "Sutt" went an amazing 16-1 for the Cubbies, winning Cy Young and leading them to their first playoff appearance since 1945. After retiring, he got into announcing, coaching, and more notably, drinking. His on-air drunken antics at a 2006 Padres game with Bill Murray have cemented his place in Cubs lore and brought much needed attention to the ongoing AIDS crisis in Africa. And Clooney. Rick Sutcliffe does not dye his beard and if you ask him to shave it, he will punch you in the throat and key your car.



Fernando Valenzuela
Los Angeles Dodgers (1980-89)

All-Star: 1981-86
Awards: 1981 NL ROY, NL Cy Young
Gold Gloves: 1986
Silver Sluggers: 1981, 1983
Postseason: 1981 WS, 1983 NLCS, 1985 NLCS
NL Leader: 1981 K's, 1986 Wins

Notes: Name another player that unleashed their own brand of "mania"? Fernandomania swept across Southern California in the early '80's. Winner of the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award, Valenzuela baffled hitters with his screwball. Plus he had a record album made about him and he enjoys Corn Flakes.



Be sure and vote for your choices of NL Starting Pitcher for the TMS All-80's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar. Note: You can vote for multiple choices.