That feeling you get when Danny DeVito tears through your couch, naked...
It makes you never want to eat a turkey again!
Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s Grumble with IHM. With the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals done and over with, one good result and one bad result (for me anyhow), we’re into the dog days of summer. Very little from 3 out of the 4 major North American sports, with just baseball to get us through.
Another tough week to stomach for Tiger fans, with the team dropping games in a number of different ways. If the starting pitching doesn’ t shit the bed, the offense doesn’t show up. If they score a few runs and get a solid start, the bullpen fucks it up. So far in June, they’re 7-11, and they briefly lost what was an 8 game lead in the AL Central to the Royals, though they regained it by beating the Tribe last night.
What is worse than having a massive payroll and playing sub-.500 baseball for nearly an entire month? The reason why you are playing sub-.500 baseball… your “ace” is no longer an ace. The guy you just gave a seven year, $180 million dollar contract to… Justin Verlander. Over his last ten starts, He’s given up fewer than three runs once… and more than five runs six times. Seven earned runs in his last two starts. His ERA is up to 4.98, and his record stands at 6-7 going into tonight’s start in Cleveland. This is going to be a big start for him, in my opinion. The guy really needs to get on track, or the Tigers really need to start looking for other answers.
Consider this; after he gets past fifty pitches, opponents are hitting .368 off of him this year. So what is the answer if this is something physical as opposed to something mental? The guy has thrown over 200 innings for seven years in a row now… Jim Leyland rode him like a dime store pony while he was here. Over that same stretch, he threw 3,000 more in-game pitches than any other pitcher in baseball. The more I look at it, the more it is obvious this guy is just fatigued. Do you turn him into a two-inning closer for a while, until you get the pitch counts down and get him back to being right again? It’s hard to justify having a 20 million dollar and a 12 million dollar closer on the same roster. The other option… sit his ass down for a month, through the All-Star break, and see if some rest doesn’t do him some good. Regardless of which option works, if he doesn’t figure it out very soon, it might cost Ausmus, Jeff Jones, and the entire staff their jobs. Breaking a 180 million dollar equipment usually tends to do that.
And to all the idiots on social media and in the actual media around here that want to say it's because of Kate Upton... shut the fuck up! It's obvious you are just jealous, and wish like hell you could pull a P.O.A. like that yourself.
As for the actual best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, all he did was come a Hanley Ramirez error short of a perfect game this week. Fifteen K’s, 0 walks, in maybe the best single-game performance we’ve ever seen out of a pitcher in Major League history.
Over in the NBA, the Draft got a major shakeup just a week before it is set to begin… projected top overall pick Joel Embiid has been diagnosed with the same foot injury that ended Bill Walton and Yao Ming’s careers, and is expected to miss the first 4-6 months of his NBA career as a result. If you’re Cleveland, and you just shit the bed with the top overall pick last year with the abject failure of Anthony Bennett, you have to get this one right. Embiid sounded like the front runner last week, but this injury paired with the back injury he suffered before the NCAA Tournament last year raise major red flags. If you’re looking for an example of injury history derailing an NBA career, look no further than Greg Oden, the “can’t miss” big man who has missed more career games than he’s played. The question is, now who do the Cavs take with the injury to Embiid. Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are the top two candidates. Personally, I take Wiggins in a heartbeat. Better defensive player, and a ton of upside than Parker. Parker is the most ready to score in the NBA next year, but Wiggins will likely be the better long-term choice.
What’s Michael Vick’s opinion of Michael Vick? Apparently he’s a “pioneer” as a mobile QB. Not a piece of shit that kills dogs for fun, not a herpes spreading dopehead who goes by the alias Ron Mexico… he’s a fucking pioneer!
And that’s all I’ve got this week folks… always leave on a strong note! Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great weekend, Gabbers.
Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s Grumble with IHM. This weekend, we celebrate Father’s Day. Hal and Norm both did a nice job discussing the role of dear old dad in our love of sports yesterday; the bonds that sports forge between father and son are hard to break.
My father was a lot like most; he worked his ass off every day to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our back. He was born and raised in Akron, Ohio… about 45 minutes south of Cleveland. He grew up an Indians and Browns fan… also a Buckeyes fan. The only of the three that have given him any form of joy over the past couple of decades since I was born, the Buckeyes, who won the National Title in 2003 and then broke his heart later with the violations that led to probation and to the dismissal of Jim Tressel. The name John Cooper was profanity in our house growing up… as was Elway after the drive… and the second drive! Same goes for Earnest Byner! Jose Mesa is negotiable…
But for all the heartache that sports cost my old man, it was a major way of bonding for me, AFD, and him. We’d watch sports on TV, he’d take us out back and toss the ball around, built us a basketball hoop in the back yard with a wood post and a backboard donated by our next door neighbor, and later would coach us in grade school basketball. When we moved on to middle school and high school sports, he was always there cheering for us, for our teams, whether it be football, basketball, wrestling (AFD), or even the few times he was able to get off early enough to catch one of my tennis matches. He did all he could to support us in everything that we did. I knew he was disappointed when I had to sit out my senior year of basketball due to knee injuries… and that’s the only reason I had any kind of regrets about it.
Even now whenever we get together, we talk sports at some point. Sure, there’s the talk about the boy and how things are going around the house, at work, etc., but at some point, there is always a discussion about sports. He got me into collecting sports cards as well… we still make trades every now and then. He’s into collecting team sets, owning a card of all the individual players; I’m more into the insert cards, memorabilia cards, etc. He looks at them all as junk! Every couple of months we’ll make a swap, he’ll give me the inserts he didn’t want, I give him the base cards I didn’t really want.
Before I move on to other topics, I’d just like to say thanks to my dad for always being there, for raising me right, and for providing for me while I was growing up. I know he isn’t big on the internet, save for doing family tree research, and he’ll likely never read this, but I just wanted to say I love you dad. And Happy Father’s Day to all the proud papas here at the Gab. Make sure you enjoy time with your loved ones this weekend.
The Chiefs made some noise on Friday by releasing Pro Bowl CB Brandon Flowers… the year after he made his first Pro Bowl appearance. Flowers had started having issues with the Chiefs new system, so the release isn’t quite as surprising when you consider he’d probably be replaced by Marcus Cooper in the starting lineup this season anyhow.
The Lions also made a move Friday, releasing starting CB Chris Houston in order to clear the cap space necessary to sign first round pick Eric Ebron, which they did later in the day. Houston had surgery in late spring, and it was unlikely he would have been ready for the start of the season. The move comes a year after the team signed Houston to a 5 year- $25 million dollar deal. Now, the Lions have Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis slated to start at CB to open the season… good thing we didn’t draft any of the first or second round corners this year, right?
Max Scherzer of the Tigers did something Thursday night that he had never done in his Major League or Minor League baseball career… he threw a complete game. In 178 career starts, Scherzer had never done it… and held the record for most career starts without a complete game. Now he’s removed his name from the list following his commanding performance Thursday night. Unfortunately, the momentum from that didn’t carry over, and the Tigers lost Friday night 2-0 to the Twins, who trimmed the Tigers AL Central lead to just 2.5 games.
Over in the NBA, the Finals are actually going the way we all seemingly wanted them to go, with the Spurs up 3-1 over the Heat in their best of seven series. The Spurs have dominated both games in Miami in this series, and now get game 5 with a chance to win their 5th title of the Popovich era on their home court. I’d watch the zebras Sunday night; they tried their damndest to keep Miami in the game Thursday night, and I’m sure they’ll do the same thing Sunday night. I’ll sure as hell enjoy watching LeBron fail once again… the guy is an absolute tool… and I’ll enjoy hearing ESPN’s excuses for the next four or five months while the NBA goes on summer vacation! I’m sure the fact that they’re playing in their fourth straight Finals will be one excuse made… the Heat are just too exhausted… Always an excuse for the Golden Boy. Spare me… the Spurs are simply the better overall team. Time for ESPN to own up to it.
Over in the NHL, the Rangers barely stayed alive Wednesday night at the Garden, and are currently locked up in a 2-2 tie with the Kings out in LA tonight as I write this, heading into OT. Even if they pull this one out, it’s damn near impossible to come back from a 3-1 deficit in any sport… let alone in the NHL. I’m going to just go out on a limb and congratulate DVT and ArkRazor on their newly acquired Stanley Cup title… and send my condolences to the Beeze.
The World Cup is also going on... and I could not give a fuck less. Hear that ESPN... someone gives exactly ZERO FUCKS about this stupid horse shit! And another thing... what the fuck is with all the Team Mexico coverage? I didn't know we were Mexico all the sudden... I thought we were supposed to be rooting for/covering team USA! If Mexico is so great, why not fucking move there and get the hell out of here... and take all your fucking soccer garbage with you! Can't wait for this horse shit to be over... because it will be the longest possible period between the 2014 World Cup and the next time I have to hear about this stupid shit.
As for me, that’s all I’ve got this week! Thanks to all of you, as always, for stopping by, giving me a read and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekend, proud papas!
The MLB Draft is always an interesting thing to keep an eye on. It’s not the entertainment spectacle that the NFL Draft has become, but when you read up on who was drafted, there are always some interesting names that pop off the page at you. 2014 was no different, there are sons/nephews/brothers/grandsons of current and ex-Major Leaguers abound, as well as some other names you might recognize. Of course we all remember the name Sam Street from the blogs Jeff brought us about UT Pan Am; he was drafted by the Pirates in the 16th round, the third straight year that UTPA has had a player drafted. Johnny Manziel was drafted by the Padres in the 28th round as a SS.
Cal Ripken Jr.’s son, Ryan Ripken, was taken in the 20th round by the Washington Nationals. Bobby Bonilla’s son Brandon was drafted in the 25th round by the Orioles. Mariano Rivera’s son, Mariano Jr., was taken in the 29th round by the Yankees. Former Yankee Andy Stankiewicz saw his son Drew selected in the 11th round by the Phillies. The Cleveland Indians second round pick Grant Hockin has some major baseball history on his side… he’s the grandson of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew. The Tigers drafted Magglio Ordonez’s son, Maggglio Jr., in the 38th round. Angels DH C.J. Cron’s brother and Diamondback’s Minor League hitting coordinator Chris Cron’s son Kevin Cron was drafted by Arizona in the 14th round.
1988 perfect game thrower Tom Browning’s son Logan was drafted in the 36th round by the Reds. Former All-star Paul Byrd saw his son Grayson drafted in the 39th round by the Braves. Luke Dykstra, son of former All-star OF and current inmate Lenny Dykstra, was a 7th round pick of the Braves. The Phillies took the brother of Ravens QB Joe Flacco, Tom Flacco, in the 32nd round. John Franco’s boy, J.J., was drafted in the 38th round by Atlanta. The Indians grabbed the brother of current C Yan Gomes, Juan Gomes, in the 37th round. The White Sox took Ed Sprague’s baby boy, Jed, in the 37th round. Remember Todd Zeile? His nephew Shane was taken in the 5th round by the Tigers.
So many old names, so little time. There were even more names on the list, I just wanted to throw the notables out there. You never know though, “favor” picks have worked out for teams in the past. Mike Piazza’s father was a friend of Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who the Dodgers used a 62nd round pick as a favor to, to take a flier on Piazza. Five years later, he was the 1993 NL ROY and on his way to what should be a Hall of Fame career.
Howdy folks, and welcome to another Weekly Grumble with your old pal IHM. Lots to get to this week, so let’s get right to it! This week's grumble is brought to you by Powerade... who is currently looking for a new athlete to endorse its products!
The top story of the weekend, of course, is Queen James and her cramping. That’s right folks… the AC went down during game 1 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio… it was nearly 90 degrees on the court. Never mind the fact that NFL/MLB players play through that kind of heat all the time… it was quite an ordeal for little Ms. James. Once again, he started cramping up, just like last year’s Finals where “dem cramps” took him out of game 4. Well, they’re back again… and caused James to miss the final 4 minutes or so of Game 1 of this year’s Finals.
Of course, LeBron’s misery has brought much delight to the world of snarks… and I’m amongst them. Gatorade’s twitter feed was bombarded with snarks yelling about their “marquee client cramping up”… problem is, LeBron does not work for Gatorade… he went with Powerade! So, of course, Gatorade was able to troll everybody involved, saying that “He chooses to drink something else”. Big win for Gatorade last night… as well as for the Spurs. Of course there were others, who took Instagram/Twitter pics of themselves being carried around by friends, grimacing in pain, and being nearly as big of douchebags as the King himself!
The players association has come out in support of their Queen… saying that the conditions on the court were unacceptable, and that player safety was compromised. Bullshit… the only player to show ill effects was James. Everybody else, even 40+ year old Tim Duncan… made it just fine. If anything, it seems like it’s a LeBron issue… this is the third time this tool has missed time in the playoffs due to cramps.
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, and the Spurs can take this series and stop both LeBron and Pat Riley from getting their first “three-peat”. Hopefully the Spurs are smart enough to keep that AC on the low end for Sunday.
California Chrome is ready for a run at history Saturday afternoon at the Belmont Stakes, attempting to win the first Triple Crown in horse racing since 1978. If anything, I’d like to see it happen just so I don’t have to hear about it every freaking time a horse wins the first two legs as much for the next few years!
The Kings took an early 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night, winning a great game (aside from the result, anyhow) 3-2 in OT. Once again, it was Justin Williams coming through with a game winning goal. Gotta hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come for this series… because fuck LA… that’s why! Let’s go, Rangers… get game 2, which is tonight at 7.
Dan Blysma is out as Penguins head coach, just hours after the team introduced new GM Jim Rutherford.
Flip Saunders found the Timberwolves new head coach… by looking in the mirror. He will step down as GM and assume the role of head coach next season.
Over in the NFL, it looks like NYC is out as the host of the NFL Draft after scheduling issues forced the league to move the Draft back several weeks this year in order to hold the draft at Radio City Music Hall. The question becomes, where do you hold the draft now? Do you allow cities to bid for it, as is the case with the Super Bowl? Boston, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are being considered as alternatives.
Former Lions RB Jhavid Best’s lawsuit against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell has been dismissed. Maybe go do another fucking backflip into the end zone, dumbass, and realize that most of this was your own fault. Some players have a legitimate gripe… but Best’s history of concussions is a lot different from most. Back in his days at Cal, where he is currently an assistant coach, he got a concussion while doing a backflip into the end zone and landing on his head.
As for the other major college sport, college basketball, it looks like there could be some trouble up on Chapel Hill. Former UNC G Rashad McCants, the second leading scorer on the 2005 NCAA Championship team, has accused the school of knowingly committing academic fraud. Of course, the Heels deny it all… but we’ll see how things work out there. Might end up forfeiting that 2005 NCAA Championship.
Coach Calipari keeps showing us all that it is, indeed, all about the kids and the community by signing a new 7 year, 52 million dollar extension.
Over in baseball… Tiger fans have to be wondering what the hell is wrong with their ace, Justin Verlander! Aside from a solid outing against Seattle, four of his last five starts have featured him allowing more than five earned runs, and he has lost four of his last six decisions. On the other side of the ball, the offense has gone stagnant… the bottom of the order has not produced at all. They are on a season high five game losing streak, and are just 3-7 in their last ten games. Up next, a three game set with Boston, a team they swept at Fenway Park earlier in May. Oh, and Joe Nathan… money well spent… the asshat has an ERA over six and has blown four saves. Could have fucking kept Valverde for that!
The only positive in the past few days was seeing the Blue Jays continue to play well. With as great as fans in Toronto were for the NBA Playoffs (thousands of people on the streets around the arena to party), it’d be great to see them get into the playoffs this year and win the AL East. They’ve got a nice, deep lineup and a solid rotation going for them. So long as they’re not facing the Tigers, I’ll be rooting for them this year.
The Houston Astros continued to add to the deepest farm system in the Major Leagues on Thursday night, taking LHP Brady Aiken with the first pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, and adding Virginia OF Derek Fisher and Kentucky 1B A.J. Reed later in the draft. One of the cooler parts of the MLB Draft is seeing guys drafted who are related to former players. With the fifth pick, the Twins took former Major Leaguer Tom Gordon’s son, Nick Gordon. His brother Dee Gordon already plays for the Dodgers. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of this as the draft rolls on… remember, Mike Piazza was taken as a favor to his father from Dodgers skipper Tommy Lasorda. Sometimes it just happens to work out!
That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks, as always, for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great weekend, Gabbers.
Last week I did an all-time football salary cap game… this week, we’ll move on to baseball. I posted one over at the Gab’s Facebook page, but there were some obvious, glaring omissions on that list. So, here is a revised version just for shits and giggles… enjoy! During the discussion that ensued over on Facebook, Jeff brought up an interesting point of assembling an entire roster, as the rules technically did say to assemble a full roster. So, with that in mind, the roster will be expanded to a 25-man roster… and there will be new categories added for backup C, two reserve OF’s, two reserve INF’s, a pinch hitter, five starting pitchers, four relievers, and a closer. With the expanded roster comes an expanded budget… so you’ll have $75 to play with. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing the rosters you guys come up with!
C- $5- Yogi Berra
$4- Johnny Bench
$3- Gary Carter
$2- Ivan Rodriguez
$1- Carlton Fisk
1B- $5- Lou Gehrig
$4- Jimmie Foxx
$3- Hank Greenberg
$2- Pete Rose
$1- Albert Pujols
2B- $5- Rogers Hornsby
$4- Joe Morgan
$3- Ryne Sandberg
$2- Charlie Gehringer
$1- Roberto Alomar
3B $5- Mike Schmidt
$4- Eddie Mathews
$3- Chipper Jones
$2- George Brett
$1- Brooks Robinson
SS $5- Honus Wagner
$4- Cal Ripken, Jr.
$3- Robin Yount
$2- Derek Jeter
$1- Ozzie Smith
LF $5- Ted Williams
$4- Stan Musial
$3- Rickey Henderson
$2- Joe Jackson
$1- Willie Stargell
CF $5- Willie Mays
$4- Ty Cobb
$3- Mickey Mantle
$2- Ken Griffey, Jr.
$1- Kirby Puckett
RF $5- Babe Ruth
$4- Hank Aaron
$3- Frank Robinson
$2- Mel Ott
$1- Roberto Clemente
DH $5- Edgar Martinez
$4- Paul Molitor
$3- Frank Thomas
$2- David Ortiz
$1- Harold Baines
$2- Mickey Cochrane, Roy Campanella, Yadier Molina
$1- Mike Piazza, Thurman Munson, Josh Gibson, Joe Mauer
Reserve OF (pick 2)
$5- Al Kaline, Joe DiMaggio, Carl Yastrzemski
$4- Tris Speaker, Ichiro Suzuki, Reggie Jackson
$3- Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Andre Dawson
$2- Vladimir Guerrero, Willie McCovey, Barry Bonds
$1- Mike Trout, Carlos Beltran, Yasiel Piug, Jim Edmonds
Reserve IF (pick 2)
$5- Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, Wade Boggs, Miguel Cabrera
$4- Pie Traynor, Barry Larkin, Luke Appling, Adrian Beltre
$3- Lou Bourdeau, Jackie Robinson, Arky Vaughan
$2- Joe Cronin, Luis Aparicio, Alan Trammell
$1- Omar Vizquel, Scott Rolen, Chase Utley
$3- Lenny Harris, Gates Brown
$2- Matt Stairs, Cliff Johnson
$1- Jerry Lynch, Ed Kranepool
$5- Walter Johnson, Christy Matthewson
$4- Cy Young, Grover Cleveland Alexander
$3- Satchel Paige, Bob Feller
$2- Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson
$1- Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, Kid Nichols
$5- Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn
$4- Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax
$3- Steve Carlton, Whitey Ford
$2- Tom Glavine, Carl Hubbell
$1- Vida Blue, Mickey Lolich, Eddie Plank
$5- Mariano Rivera
$4- Dennis Eckersley
$3- Trevor Hoffman
$2- Hoyt Willhelm
$1- Rollie Fingers
MRP (pick 4)
$5- “Goose” Gossage, Dan Quisenberry, Billy Wagner
$4- Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco, Jeff Reardon
$3- Joe Nathan, Tug McGraw, Jonathan Papelbon, John Wettland, Arthur Rhodes
$2- Joaquin Benoit, Aurelio Lopez, Mike Henneman, Tom Gordon, Steve Howe
$1- Dick Radatz, Octavio Dotel, Hideki Okajima, Carlos Marmol, David Robertson
Here’s the team I came up with;
C- Yogi Berra ($5)
1B- Jimmie Foxx ($4)
2B- Charlie Gehringer ($2)
3B- Brooks Robinson ($1)
SS- Honus Wagner ($5)
LF- Stan Musial ($4)
CF- Willie Mays ($5)
RF- Hank Aaron ($4)
DH- Frank Thomas ($3)
Backup C- Yadier Molina ($2)
Reserve OF- Vladimir Guerrero ($2), Mike Trout ($1)
Reserve IF- Omar Vizquel ($1), Scott Rolen ($1)
Pinch Hitter- Matt Stairs ($2)
Starting Rotation (5): Walter Johnson ($5), Bob Feller ($3), Bob Gibson ($2), Nolan Ryan ($2), Warren Spahn ($5)
Closer- Dennis Eckersley ($4)
MRP- Lee Smith ($4), John Franco ($4), Tom Gordon ($2), Hideki Okajima ($1)
So I spent $74/75 on my team, and I feel it’s a strong squad. Here’s how I’d bat my starters:
- Honus Wagner, SS. How about having #6 on the all-time hits list leading off? He’s also tenth all-time in steals.
- Charlie Gehringer, 2B. Struck out only 372 times in over 8,800 career at bats.
- Willie Mays, CF. Speed and power in the three hole.
- Hank Aaron, RF. The true home run king batting cleanup.
- Stan Musial, LF. They didn’t call him “The Man” for no reason.
- Jimmie Foxx, 1B. A member of the 500 home run club that nobody ever talks about.
- Frank Thomas, DH. The “Big Hurt” is tied for 13th all-time with a .419 OBP.
- Yogi Berra, C. The standard for power out of the catcher’s position before Piazza came along.
- Brooks Robinson, 3B. It’s one hell of a lineup when a guy with a .322 career average is hitting 9th!
As for my pitching, I’d line up my starters as follows:
- Walter Johnson, RH. One of two pitchers all-time with 400+ wins. Career WHIP of 1.06… in nearly 6,000 innings of work.
- Warren Spahn, LH. Spahn has more wins than any other lefty in MLB history.
- Bob Feller, RH. Feller is an all-time great pitcher, and an all-time great hero as well. If it weren’t for time served in WWII, he’d be a 300 game winner for certain.
- Bob Gibson, RH. Gibson was an intimidator on the mound, and that is always welcome here.
- Nolan Ryan, RH. He was wild at times, but he’s also got 7 no-hitters to his credit, not to mention more K’s than any pitcher in Major League history.
So there it is, Gabbers. Looking forward to seeing what rosters you all put together. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out.