Friday, April 27, 2007

Quit hitting yourself!

The Diamondbacks' 7-4 victory over the Padres last night seemed fairly normal. Nobody struck out the opposition's entire roster, the bat boys, the traveling secretary, and half of Section 122 and still not pick up the win.

Nope. Pretty ho-hum. Except for something exceedingly rare: For just the second time in major league history (at least as far as the Pretzel Factory could tell; if we're wrong, please let us know in a condescending, degrading tone) a pitcher faced a batter with the same name.

Chris Young - Arizona's 23-year-old, 6'2" 180-pound African-American centerfielder - flew out to center in the first and to left in the second, and popped up on the infield in the fifth in his three at-bats against Chris Young - San Diego's 27-year-old, 6'10" 260-pound Awfully-Caucasian right-handed starter.

The other time? May 11, 1999, when the Rockies' Bobby Jones took the hill against the Mets' Bobby Jones (which is still the only time two men with the same name started against each other). And, this being the rough-and-tumble NL where you can't plunk a few dudes and then hide in the dugout, each non-golfing Bobby Jones faced the other one twice. The Big Apple BJ was 0-2 at the plate, and the Mile High BJ was 0-1 with a walk.

So while Bobby Jones - the lefty and darker one, if I remember correctly - reached base on his diamond-going doppelganger, nobody's ever gotten a base hit against "himself." Well, at least not until the Yankees get desperate and sign this guy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Reckoning

I'm not going to pretend to be the world's biggest David Halberstam fan. Hell, I've only read two of his books - Summer of '49 and The Education of a Coach - both of which were about sports. His non-athletic endeavors, such as War in a Time of Peace, The Fifties, The Powers that Be, and The Best and the Brightest, were always pretty high on my to-do list, and will rise even higher now in the wake of his passing.

But that's what I always really liked about Halberstam: he was one of those guys, like the Rogers Kahn and Angell, who could write about anything, but would always come back to sports every now and then. Why? Because he enjoyed them. Because he was a fan. And that came through in his books, whether he was writing about a pennant race, a rambunctious NBA team, a hooded sweatshirt-loving coach, or a bunch of no-name rowers.

There are some people who write about sports (a Mr. Feinstein comes readily to mind) so constantly, so mechanically, that it seems more about the paycheck than the outcome. I don't think you could ever say that about Halberstam.

He probably would've preferred to go out while covering a war instead of as a passenger in a graduate student's car. But he'd likely be the first to tell you that those are just The Breaks of the Game.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Little Momma: the Scenarios

As you know (or if you don't, welcome!), we Pretzeleers are a fair breed unless it comes to the Bronx. It would take a real stubborn asshole not to consider Alex "Little Momma" Rodriguez's start astounding. Sure, it's early and, yes, October is when champions are truly crowned, but Little Momma is kicking ass. It's prompted ESPN to take their coverage of him to new heights (focusing on his triumph last night despite the Red Sox improbable victory).

I'm catching Little Momma fever, and since Michael Kay decided to break out A-Rod's projected stats every time he came up to bat last night, I am going to play out several scenarios that could unfold this season.

Scenario 1: A-Rod continues his tear through the season without ever getting cold. He hits 134 HRs 265 RBIs and Michael Kay mutes himself by ripping a vocal chord or two talking about it nonstop. He then single-handedly lifts his team in the playoffs with a .366 average and 11 HRs in a World Series victory for the Yankees. Meanwhile, Bristol, Connecticut explodes.

Scenario 2: A torn vaginal muscle forces A-Rod to cool off while sitting out for a month or so. Little Momma ends up with a respectable 47 HRs and 138 RBIs and places 2nd in the MVP voting. He bats .275 with a HR in the playoffs during another early exit, but spots news contemplates whether he really recovered from that injury to his gash.

Scenario 3: A-Rod completely falls apart in June and struggles mightily at the plate before rebounding for a solidseason: 43 HRs, 125 RBIs and the MVP award. Little Momma just edges out Big Momma (Jeter) and Big Papi for the MVP before struggling in the playoffs. Big Momma and Little Momma fight it out in the press before A-Rod opts out of his contract and signs elsewhere.

Scenario 4: A-Rod gets so confident he stops swinging altogether and has his personal assistant (Andy Phillips!) take his swings for him. Phillips does well, so A-Rods Stats are padded nicely. When Joe Torre wakes up around mid-July, he decides to punish A-Rod by making him play the field (something handled by fielding assistant Phillip Hughes). Torre is fired, Little Momma continues to have other do his dirty work and ends up with 35 HRs, 123 RBIs and tons of errors wile the Yankees miss the postseason.

Scenario 5: A-Rod cools off for awhile, and then sparks a late run to win the AL East, but struggles in the playoffs. He still wins the MVP award. The press hounds him. He leaves New York to play for the Angels. He puts up amazing numbers for a long time. He makes the Hall of Fame.

Scenario 6: The Yankees are so surprised by Little Momma's numbers, that Steinbrenner decides to use him to populate his horse farm. A-Rod so loves his new job that he begins running with a crowd of the most popular horses on the farm. He retires from baseball (at the end of what turns out to be a disappointing season-- 31 HRs, 101 RBIs) to concentrate on horse racing. He dominates his field-- the fastest horse in history-- until cracking his foot during an important race. Despite an outpouring of affection from fans, media and internet groups, Steinbrenner puts Little Momma down in the Spring of 2009. Little Momma becomes the first human-horse breed to make the horse racing and baseball hall of fame simultaneously. Jeter makes the induction speech calling him, "truly on of a kind-- a SUPERHORSE."

Scenario 7: At some point in the season, Little Momma decides he won't play until he gets a raise. He hires Drew Rosenhaus to begin negotiations and keeps Boras on to look slimy and menacing in press photos. Meanwhile, A-Rod begins showing up to games in a T-shirt reading "Fuck You, Pay Me." He levees some pretty mean fines. The two headed monster of Borasenhauser renegotiates Momma's contract to a five year deal for 212 million and part ownership of Gambia.

Feel free to let me know what YOU think is possible, or just agree with one the above scenarios in our always available and seldom loved comments section.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Man Among (Timber)Wolves

To some he is a rarity, an oddity: a talented, skilled big man surrounded by hapless castoffs and has-beens. To others, he represents all that is wrong in sports: intense, brooding, vicious, and insatiably demanding.

He is Kevin Garnett - a man among Timberwolves.

Hello, I'm Laird Braithwaite. Tonight we take you inside a world few people have ever seen - the life of a great player on a terrible NBA team.

This is Ticket. A rare physical specimen, he stands a hair under seven feet tall, with a wingspan that could wrap around a Grizzly. He has been living with the Timberwolves since 1995, when he adopted the pack at the age of nineteen after migrating north from the urban center of Chicago.

Ticket is the main attraction at the Target Center, a recreational outpost hidden amongst the many lakes in the land of Minnesota. From October to April, as many as 20,500 people will pay rather hefty sums to see Ticket and his packmates once or even twice a week.

Lately, however, that number is dropping.

The Timberwolves are no longer a dominant pack. Once they stood supreme over much of this terrain, a rich, luscious swath of land from Minnesota to as far west as California. But nature is its own balance, and other packs have gained strength. Ticket no longer has willing lieutenants and enforcers to take care of his problems. Worthy, spirited males have fled to other packs, leaving Ticket as the alpha-male.

This is Star. Star always thought he was more important to the pack than he actually was. His slight build, hypnotic reflexes and frightening speed made him the ultimate catalyst to Ticket. When Ticket first arrived, he and Star seemed poised to lead the Timberwolves to riches never before seen. But Star recoiled in the face of a fight, and he soon was banished.

This is Wally. Wally took his position as scout a bit too literal. He was talented from outside, always sniffing out a possible invasion with his impeccable long-range senses. Yet his overall lack of desire and willingness to get in the middle of things angered Ticket, as did his unquenchable need to keep himself impeccably groomed.

This is Spree. Spree constantly challenged Ticket for supremacy, and Ticket would subsequently have to re-enforce his position as leader of the pack. This battle wore out both parties, and confused other pack members. Spree was once a fantastic killer, always going straight for the throat. Eventually, however, it became clear that Spree had sired some offspring, and was killing two to three deer and elk at a time to feed a few cubs - far more food than was actually needed. This constant need to feed his family drove him away; now, as a loner, he roams silently in the distance.

This is Alien. Alien was an elder, recruited from a rival pack for his wise ways. Alien was a fantastic facilitator, always chipping in wherever necessary: sometimes he'd stand lookout, other times he'd make a kill, and still other times he would ward off intruders. Yet his desire to discipline members within the pack led to the stand-off between he and Ticket. In the brutal world of the Timberwolves, youthful exuberance and big, sharp teeth will always prevail over shifty steps and weathered experience.

Now, without his fallen comrades, Ticket must struggle to teach the younger, naive Timberwolves to navigate their hostile territory. He is getting along in age; his gait, once majestic and as swift as the northern breeze, now shows the battle scars a great warrior like Ticket accumulates over the years. Some believe his time with the Timberwolves is numbered; that his status as alpha-male will be challenged, his power usurped.

But Ticket does not think so. Defiantly he stands on the land he has lorded over for more than a decade, surveying all that he helped create. He will have his chance to reveal the secrets of his mighty talent and enviable success, for tomorrow is another day.

Another day to go on the hunt.

Another day to kill.

Another day to prove he really is a man among Timberwolves.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes.

Yes, these are blogs about something in particular (and this ain't it), but an important man passed yesterday. One of the all-time kings of satire, and a man that amassed more sidebars and intrigued more minds than anyone I know ever will (combined!) succumbed to the world's only real guarantee. This will be short and sweet, like many his books, like many of his ideas, though thankfully unlike his life. I didn't like it all, but damn if I didn't love what he meant anyway.

Thank you Kurt Vonnegut. Thanks for everything and more. May you lay in nothingness and continue to impress us all still.

So it goes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

AL East Preview

We here at the Pretzel Factory are proud to present an absolutely absurd look into our idea of what will happen this year in Major League baseball team by team. They are broken down by division and in the order of predicted finish for your enjoyment. Enjoy your preview of the American League East, friends!

Boston Red Sox: I don't really think this team can win this division or make the playoffs in my heart of hearts, but I can't pick the Yankees. So, there it is. The Red Sox will win the East because I want them to. At the all-star break, with a two game deficit, Curt Schilling will change the name of his blog "Muting Michael Kay" after Kay says that the Yankees would be better off signing a younger pitcher in the off-season. This will prompt Kay to challenge Schill to a wrestle off. Little does Schill know, Kay is dirty. Mariano Rivera will sneak into the ring and hit Schill with a chair and Kay will scream "SEE YA!" before pinning Schill to win. Manny Ramirez will decide that this injustice must be avenged and will set a second-half RBI record propelled by an 11 RBI night against the Yanks eliminating them from playoff contention. Big Papi will laugh from the dugout heartily while carting Schill around with a wheelchair that is internet ready. Wins: 100. Playoffs: WS. Also, I'm a Red Sox fan. Thought you should know.

NY Yankees: Aside from the Michael Kay distraction, the Yankees will face their largest A-Rod distraction ever when the fans and media decide to start preening and petting him no matter what his role is in the clutch. He will become so enamored of himself that he will grow his hair into a lustrous main and refer to himself as SUPERHORSE. SUPERHORSE will hit for average, power and gallop around the basepaths with the reckless abandon of a young Enos Slaughter. Derek Jeter, jealous of SUPERHORSE's preening and newfound media-love, will refer to A-Rod as "Little Momma" during an ESPN Sunday Conversation in which he was shitcanned drunk. This will prompt both players to actively dive into the stands after EVERY foul ball causing irreparable facial structure damage to both men. Because of this, Hideki Matsui will declare himself (very humbly) to be the most handsome man on the team. Meanwhile, the team will suffer it's worst winning percentage in a long time: well above .500. Wins: 90. Playoffs: probably, but I'm not granting that honor on anything NEAR Giambi.

Toronto Blue Jays: Wait, there's a team in CANADA? What the hell is that about? I mean, COME ON. BJ Ryan plays In CANADA? Who's in charge here? Let's get these guys a real stadium in a real AMERICAN city for Christ's sake. Has Detroit got a ballclub right now? What about Anaheim? Don't worry, fellas. We'll take care of this right quick like. Doc Halladay don't pitch for no pansy-ass CANADIAN team for pussy nor money. One quick note: is there anything scarier than the bird Toronto designed to be the mascot? Holy living FUCK. That thing will kill us all. Seriously, did the guy who did makeup for The Crow make this? Wins: 87. Playoffs: Nah.

Baltimore Orioles: It all comes crashing down on opening day, doesn't it? Kevin Millar will make the papers for the first time in June when he hits a walk off dying quail to raise his average to .234. He will use the interview to rail against Peter Angelos' irresponsible running of the team. When he disappears, no one will mind or even notice. A clone of Nick Markakis will take his place and Angelos will name him Kevin Millar 2: Millar Time. A big hit, the clone will lead the league in smiles until he realizes the team is having yet another losing season mired toward the bottom of the East. Millar 2 will march into Angelos' office screaming CRUSH KILL DESTROY before realizing that he cannot destroy his master. The two will be married in August. What a nice little story. Wins: 71. Playoffs: Get the fuck outta here.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: They got these big chewy pretzels here blaughtkdnguthgl. OK, in all seriousness, this team will start with the worst record in history until they sign Brewer, Horford and Noah and win 15 in a row to end the season. Still, it's no reason to go caring about a team that has a perennial spot on the spoiler list that Gammons does on Baseball Tonight every year. Wins: 59. Playoffs: We doin' it big. My Devil Rays know what I'm talking about.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Maybe if I had A-Rod's Bank Account

It's expensive to be a fan. Seat prices keep going up, beers cost about as much as a Honda, and trying to get a bonus package is like trying to figure out why this doesn't happen more often.

But how much does it cost to outfit yourself in your favorite baseball team's gear? I recently got MLB's spring 2007 catalog, and wondered what it would cost to buy one of everything (for a man, such as myself). Therefore, I didn't count anything specifically for women or children, any minor league gear, or items that are for one or a select few teams only. Taxes will not be factored in.

Then I counted up which teams are represented the most throughout (if they were shown on a product you could buy - therefore, if there's a shot of a bedroom with a Red Sox pillow, comforter, rug, etc. each separate item you could buy individually counted as one). I'm sure you'll be shocked by the answers.

And away we buy!

Page 4: Standard fare here. Hooded sweatshirts, some shirts, a few jackets. The chick is cute, though.
Items: 8. Total: $395

Page 5: Just a few jerseys and hats here. There's a detail of the patch celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Marlins winning the World Series. Indians fans, break something ... now.
Items: 4. Total: $370

Page 7: More jerseys and player shirts. I wonder if you can actually order a customized shirt or jersey with "Your Name" on the back. I totally would.
Items: 4. Total: $443

Page 8: Some "hip" stuff, including Reebok shoes and shirts inspired by classic rock shirts. The Yankees AC/DC one looks idiotic (Back in Pinstripes?!?) but, even I'll admit, the Dodgers one in the "Doors" font is pretty smooth.
Items: 11. Total: $390

Page 9: Some cool-looking jackets, stuff like boxers and robes, and ties. Nothing says professional like a Devil Rays silk tie.
Items: 13. Total: $630

Page 10: This page doesn't look like the others, but it's got stuff you can buy on it, so, bank!
Items: 4. Total: $145

Page 14: Classic replica jerseys and some really ugly hats. Well, lets put it this way - they will sell very few of these hats from these catalogs and the web site. But Lidz in Times Square? A ton.
Items: 5. Total: $210

Page 15: More hats. A little more upper-middle-class pale, here.
Items: 5. Total: $103

Page 16: Jackets. The Padres make an appearance! If looking like a turd covered in mustard is your thing, may I suggest the Pads' Cooperstown Gamer Jacket.
Items: 8. Total: $795

Page 17: If I had an extra three or four bills lying around, I would make Mitchell & Ness my bitch.
Items: 3. Total: $445

Page 19: Now we get into the extravagant shit. A team lava lamp? Great googily moogily. The computer mouse that looks like a batting helmet is a'ight, though.
Items: 11. Total: $961

Page 20: Cooking gear and golf accessories. The keg-a-que is a little overboard, but you know I'd love to have one.
Items: 12. Total: $424

Page 22: Now we're into "Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch" territory. Tell me this isn't extremely disturbing.
Items: 13. Total: $727

Page 23: This is by far the biggest total, and only because of the recliner. But it's got "two generously sized cup holders." Emphasis mine, but, you know, it might as well not be.
Items: 11. Total: $1,673

Page 26: You're not a REAL fan until you've got the 1:80 scale 2007 Upper Deck Tractor Trailer by Upper Deck. In case you didn't know.
Items: 15. Total: $492

Page 27: The rally monkey is the syphilis of the baseball collectible industry. I'd spend ten bucks on a square pop-up hamper, though.
Items: 7. Total: $140

Back of the catalog: BP jersey and cap. That little semi-circle on the sides of the BP caps? They're stupid. There, I said it. I feel better now.
Items: 2. Total: $128

Totals: 126 items, $8,471. That's a lot of coin to be a fan, man.

# of times represented

33 - Boston Red Sox
32 - New York Yankees
24 - St. Louis Cardinals
23 - New York Mets
17 - Chicago White Sox
16 - San Francisco Giants
15 - Chicago Cubs
14 - Los Angeles Dodgers
13 - Detroit Tigers
9 - San Diego Padres
8 - Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies
7 - Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates
6 - Washington Nationals
5 - Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays
4 - Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's
3 - Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers
2 - Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners
1 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Not much of a surprise, right? The only thing that gets me is why a terrible team like the Giants is up pretty high, and a good team in a big market (the Angels) is below teams like the Reds, Orioles and Nationals. Maybe that has something to do with Barry Bonds?

Either way, I'm going to look for some stuff to sell. I gotta get me a Padres 14" Art Glass Lamp. Oh, and shipping is free on any purchase over $99.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Sad, Sad Day

Goodbye, my love.

You may not remember me. As a callow sportswriter in college, I was too busy getting drunk, high and laid to put any real effort into my columns. Instead of coming to watch you and a damn good little basketball team, I would take bong hits out of a three-footer and drink a sixer of Fat Tire washed down with some Goldschlager. Then I would proceed to mail-in a piece about Bobby Knight or the Broncos before having a heated NHL '96 battle with my roommate. It was college, and I was on my own for the first time.

I could've had total access to you. I could've ran with you at practice, given you a pasty, plodding 6'5" body to drive by and whip passes around. Then I could've written about it, and got even more people to come to the games.

But I didn't.

I wrote a column about one game, where you got ahead of Air Force 36-1. Remember how the crowd would stand until the opposing team scored? We stood for eight minutes. You took the opening tip and whipped a Magic-worthy pass to Katie Cronin for a layup. On and on you went, dribbling behind your back, zipping off no-look dimes, hitting runners, floaters, jumpers. To this day I don't know what's prettier - you or your game.

And now you're gone.

When I moved to New York, one of the first things I wanted to do was write a story about you. Maybe meet you at practice, play a fierce game of H-O-R-S-E, take a walk, get a pretzel. Spreading mustard on it and talking about the benefits of the box-and-one, our eyes would lock - you'd reach up and wipe a glob off the corner of my mouth - and it would be over. I don't know why, but I thought our alma mater, our love of hoops and dogs, and our small-town sensibilities would spark something deeper, something real. It wouldn't matter that I wasn't rich or famous or that you would make probably quadruple what I did (at least). What matters is that we would have finally been together.

No longer.

You've been traded to San Antonio. Now when I find myself walking in front of Madison Square Garden - or anywhere else in the city, for that matter - that minuscule (really, really, really minuscule) hope of randomly bumping into you will be gone.

Just like you.

Farewell Becky Hammon, my sweet.

P.S. Watch out for that zone trap.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

AL Central Preview

We here at the Pretzel Factory are proud to present an absolutely absurd look into our idea of what will happen this year in Major League baseball team by team. They are broken down by division and in the order of predicted finish for your enjoyment. Enjoy your preview of the American League Central, friends!

Detroit Tigers: Having bought a dozen copies of Tom Emanski's defensive drills instructional videos for all of his pitchers, Jim Leyland will put out a lit cigarette on Justin Verlander's forearm following a bad toss to first. The videos will be watched, and lessons learned. After a slump in early May, Gary Sheffield will come in from the cage and see Joel Zumaya and Sean Casey playing Guitar Hero 2 in the clubhouse. With one steely glare, Sheffield will fuse the molecules of the PlayStation 3 with Kenny Rogers's left arm, simultaneously healing the blood clot and erasing the brown stain, all the while turning Rogers into some kind of pseudo-cyborg. He will go 14-0 from that point on with a 0.21 ERA. In an overwhelming show of good grace, he will give every hitter he humiliates a $10 gift certificate to Kenny Rogers Roasters, which for some reason will make the multi-millionaires happy. They will be extremely disappointed, however, to find out that there is exactly one operating Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant in Ontario, California. Wins: 94. Playoffs: Eliminated in the first round.

Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore will be lured away from baseball by Calvin Klein for an unprecedented $150 million. Gigantic billboards of him in just his white undies will be plastered on the sides of buildings and on billboards all over the world. He will be feted by the elite, adored by supermodels, and envied by all. But he'll just miss gettin' dirty. The Indians will have traded for Kenny Lofton in his absence, and when Sizemore returns Eric Wedge will tell Lofton to go to the store to get some more resin. When he comes back, the team will have already left for Seattle. Travis Hafner, having subsisted for nearly a year on nothing but Pronk bars and hay, will hit a ball so hard during batting practice that it will ricochet off two of his teammates. The blast will be so potent that it will knock C.C. Sabathia's hat straight for the rest of the year and it will bump the "h" in Jhonny Peralta's first name to its rightful spot after the "o." Building on baseball's decision to include the Indians in a preseason Civil Rights game, Cleveland will sporadically drop in on various Native American reservations to shoot the elder tribesmen, use the babies as footballs, and let Trot Nixon rape the women. Paul Byrd will get the teenage boys. Wins: 93 (WC). Playoffs: Eliminated in first round.

Chicago White Sox: Jerry Reinsdorf will become so incensed with Ozzie Guillen's constant inflammatory statements that he will muzzle him after the All-Star break. Pretty much the entire world will be outraged that a human being could be muzzled like a greyhound, but it will actually work out for everybody. Despite a terrible first few months, including a start in which Jose Contreras gives up twelve consecutive home runs, the White Sox will rally behind the indomitable spirit of A.J. Pierzynski. In between being a Big Brother for seven different children, teaching blind orphans how to block balls in the dirt and running naked across Antarctica to raise awareness for antijaylenonitis (having virtually no chin), the sparkplug catcher will rally together his troops for a furious fight for the title. They will come up just short, though, when Bobby Jenks drunkenly mistakes Tadahito Iguchi for a spicy tuna roll and devours him on a late-night flight to Boston. Wins: 89. No playoffs.

Minnesota Twins: Watching "Borat" for the ump-teenth time in the basement of the place they share, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau's hands will meet when reaching for some Cool Ranch Doritos. Ironically, it will be during the nude wrestling scene; it will also bring about strange feelings in the young men. Soon Mauer, the All-American boy, and Morneau, the ... uh ... All-Canadian? boy will come out as the first bona fide superstar gay athletes. Torii Hunter and Rondell White will then beat the ever-loving shit out of both of them, rendering them incapable of any kind of love, be it men or women. After carrying the team for the whole year, Johan Santana will scream out on the hill in the Metrodome, "Are you fucking kidding me?!? Jeff Cirillo is our fucking DH? I'd rather have a corpse at the plate than that goddamn cocksucker!" The entire Dome will go silent; one young mother's head will actually explode at the profane display. Going from the team hotel to the stadium during a game in Tampa Bay, the Twins' bus will be nailed by a runaway semi. Facing almost certain disaster, the entire team will hide in Sidney Ponson's ass crack, thereby saving their lives. The team will be fine - investigators will have a hard time finding any remnants of the semi. Wins: 84. No playoffs.

Kansas City Royals: Mike Sweeney will eventually convince himself that David DeJesus is, in fact, Jesus. Trying to find new ways to understand and spread his faith, Sweeney will steal items from DeJesus's locker, and after he is caught sniffing a used jock he will be dismissed from the team. He will later be busted for bestiality. Proving the club's overall incompetence, one of the clubhouse guys will mess up Mark Grudzielanek's jersey, leaving "Grudzielanekkajolwacsekmennanopfeleskibrezelpithmayek" on his back. Nobody will notice until the fourth inning. In early September, the Royals will call me and ask if I'd like to pitch for them. I will tell them politely to stick it where the barbecue don't shine. Wins: Mid, high 40s? Playo...ah, shit, I almost actually typed it! Haha!