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Whip It Out Wednesday
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

 

  Look who's back on Wednesdays... hey folks, it's your old pal IHM, filling in for my brother AFD as he takes a travel day. So for this week, I'm back alongside my buddy Jeff and I'm bringing Whip it out Wednesday back to the Gab.

  This mid-week, there's a lot going on in the world of sports. According to ESPN, the most important of which is soccer. Fucking soccer... again. Does soccer ever end? Is there an off-season where I don't have to see or hear anything about this garbage? Seems like there is always a World Cup, or qualifying for said World Cup, or some version of a premier league... and ESPN is attempting to shove it down everybody's throat. What pisses me off even more is the fact that ESPN seems to think the Mexican team is our national team all of a sudden, or they're damn sure covering it that way.

  I don't want to get into some big, rousing "Murcia" type of speech here and now, but what the fuck? Isn't the US team ALREADY QUALIFIED while Mexico has to squeak in against a powerhouse like New Zeland? Why do we give a FUCK about the Mexican soccer team? As for the immigrants here that hopped the border in hopes of getting all the benefits of being a US citizen as opposed to being a Mexican citizen, doesn't that warrant a jersey change as well?

   Getting back to sports that matter, how about this weekend in the NFL? Bad week in Detroit, as the Lions dropped what looked like a much more winnable game in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger tossing four TD passes. Matt Stafford, on the other hand, was back to his old, inaccurate ways, completing less than 50% of his passes. If Stafford really wants to end this "elite quarterback" talk, the whole less than 50% completion percentage thing has to go away all together. That should NEVER happen to a guy who is considered even somewhat elite. Right now, he's all stats and zero substance. At this point, it's all about winning games and providing the consistency this team needs at the vital quarterback position. This week, it's Tampa Bay coming to town... a game that looked a LOT better three weeks ago. The Bucs have won two straight now, and at 2-8 come in as hot as you're going to get them all season (for obvious reasons). Now, if you drop this game, you truly are the "same old Lions".

  Around the rest of the league, it's time to address the elephant in the room. He's been here since last Monday night in the last seconds of that New England-Carolina tilt, and that's the "non-holding" call against Carolina's Luke Kuechly as he bear-hugged Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone on the game's final play. It was ruled that because a Carolina player was able to intercept the pass that there was no interference, so the flag thrown for that obvious hold was picked up. The question here is, how the hell is Gronk supposed to make a play on the football if he's being bear hugged in the back of the end zone? I guess my biggest thing is if there's a foul on the play, enforce the fucking foul. I don't care if Brady threw the ball to the left corner of the fucking end zone... if a guy is bear hugging someone during a route, that's a penalty. Whether it's the first fucking play of the game or the last. I honestly hope next week, first play, a team just rolls up and bear hugs each receiver on an opposing team... you know, since that's apparently legal now.

  That's not to take anything away from what Carolina did, they won a football game against the Patriots, a playoff football team, and Cam Newton continues to mature as an NFL quarterback. But if the Panthers truly deserve to win that game, make them prove it by stopping them one more time from the 1 yard line. Hell, I'm not sold that Panthers D doesn't step right up and make the stop legally anyhow. This team has a solid defense, an improving quarterback, and a better than advertised set of offensive weapons.

  Another game was essentially decided on a horse shit call, and it was another BIG game on the schedule with San Francisco visiting New Orleans. Late in the 4th quarter, Drew Brees was in the pocket, and 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks closing in. Brooks' shoulder pad hit high on Brees' shoulder pad, and Brooks was called for roughing under the "targeting" penalty that has made this game once described as a "savage ballet" look more like a late-night tickle time pillow fight. I've seen a number of questionable roughing calls this season, both on quarterbacks (as usual) and "defenseless receivers". If I'm a 49ers fan, I am PISSED my team lost this game.

  I guess the question is, was Brandon Merriweather right all along? He drew a lot of criticism earlier in the season saying he was going to have to start taking guys' knees out on plays to avoid fines and suspension, but does the Brooks play really seal the deal with that? Do defensive players now have to go low, just in case a guy tries to duck down to avoid a hit and ends up being hit helmet to helmet... or shoulder pad to helmet. What about a runner that drops his shoulder pad and hits a defensive player on the helmet... isn't THAT targeting on a defensive player? Or is there no such thing as targeting on a defensive player? Is that discrimination against defensive players?

  The issue here all together is that too much is still being left to the discretion of the officials. Even at the college level, if a player is found to have not targeted the head/neck of an opposing player, the penalty flag and yardage remains even if it is admitted that there was no foul on the play. How fucking stupid is that? I get the whole safety thing... it's fucking great, but get it together before you start enforcing rules, zebras!

  In MLB, how great is it that Jay Z is BOMBING as an agent already in his first big attempt with Robinson Cano as a client? 10 years- 300 million for a 31 year old second baseman? Get real asshole! The Yankees and Mets are BOTH laughing at you... probably time to adjust the game plan. So "brush those shoulders off", swallow the pride, and get ready for a bout five fewer years and at least 150 fewer millions of dollars, and maybe you're getting somewhere. The day of the 10 year contract in baseball is dying, and for good reason. Look at Albert Pujols out on Anaheim/LA/wherever the hell they're based now. Look at Prince Fielder in Detroit... eight more years of that clown! Stick to what you know Jay Z, making terrible music for terrible people and exploiting whatever negative stereotypes you can to make a dollar, and let guys like Scott Boras exploit the talents of young men who don't know any better.

  That's all I've got for the week folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great "Hump Day" Gabbers.

 

Whip It Out Wednesday
Category: User Showcase
Tags: MLB Tigers Paterno Neil Diamond Fielder Matt Millen

  Hey there ladies and gents, and welcome to a late-night edition of Whip It Out Wednesday with your old pal, IHM. Been a massive couple of days in the sporting world, and we'll dive right into the biggest stories of the day (and the two or three days before). 

  The obvious story I have to cover first is the Tigers' signing of Prince Fielder to a massive 9 year, 214 million dollar contract. Honestly, I love the move... no matter what the defensive rammafications might be. So Fielder plays first base, which takes your old superstar, Miguel Cabrera, out of the fold there until Fielder needs a day off. I could NOT care any less about the defensive side of the ball here. Look at it this way, with or without Prince Fielder in the fold, the Tigers are a mediocre defensive team at best. Without Fielder in the lineup, aside from Cabrera, the LINEUP you trot out there day in and day out is pretty vanilla. Avilia had a good year last year... Peralta was solid, but he hasn't been a consistent hitter in his career... just ask Beeze. Delmon Young is run of the mil for a corner outfielder... Austin Jackson can't get on base to save his life at times. Without Victor Martinez in the lineup, the Tigers were in deep shit... and they knew it. Well, they responded to this issue in a BIG, BIG way by adding a 40 HR, 100 RBI bat. 

  Some people are bitching about the contract... the length and the amount paid. Honestly, neither one phases me. This is a two-year investment. Owner Mike Illitch really probably only has two or three years left at the helm of this team, he's getting up there. He'd like to have a World Series ring to go along with all the Stanley Cup championship rings he's accumulated over the years. He's all in with this team right now, and Tiger fans should be excited! Look, just eight or so years ago, when he was spending next to nothing on the Tigers' payroll, and hadn't in the decade previous he had owned the team, I was among the many calling for him to just sell the damn team already if he wasn't going to invest anything into it. He was dumping cash into the Red Wings left and right, and wouldn't even spend a damn dime on the Tigers' payroll over what was necessary to keep enough asses in the seats. But, this is a new day for Tigers' baseball. It may only last a couple of years, so enjoy it while you can. 

  There are many other flaws with this team, but this addition really helps to cover some of that up. The rotation, 1-3 at least, is among the best in baseball. If guys like Avilia, Peralta, Young and Boesch step it up, this could be a very, very good lineup. The pen is solid, at least on the back end. If you can go out and add another solid starter to the rotation to pencil in behind Porcello, a guy like Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson, or even trade Castellanas and Turner to ANYBODY in baseball that has a solid left-handed starter available, I say do it. The future is NOW Detroit. Quit worrying about John Smoltz, he ain't comin' back. You could've had Gio Gonzalez... they wanted BOTH of those players along with another guy, possibly Boesch. You could've had one of the five best YOUNG left handed starters in the game. You blew that opportunity. Now it's time for Dave Dombrowski to make his bacon.

  Make no mistake, this move had NOTHING to do with the General Manager... Mike Illitch stepped into Scott Boras' office alone, bent himself over the desk, and asked him what it was going to take to get Prince Fielder in a Tigers' uniform. As has been the case several times in the past, Boras obliged in fucking Illitch right in the asshole, and taking $214 million over nine years in return. 

  But really, Prince Fielder is only 27 years old. He hasn't played less than 152 games in a full Major League Season. He's free of nagging injuries, and is a guy you can build your lineup around. If nothing else, this thing doesn't work out a year or two from now, Cabrera is likely the guy I'm shipping out of town in return for some major, major prospects or for a quality arm along with a solid position player or two. Even in the long term, this nine-year contract isn't so bad. Awesome move by the Tigers... and something tells me they aren't finished dealing yet. Just a gut feeling you might say. The Cuban Centipede is still out there, and the Tigers are in his top five still. 

  Another major event happened for Detroit and its' fans this weekend that really flew under the radar. Former Lions' coach Marty Mornenwhig has been mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching job in Oakland, and his experience at the helm in Detroit was brought up by many of the pundits out that way. My old pal Matt Millen stepped up to the plate, and finally took responsibility for the God-awful job he did as GM of the Lions', saying Mornenwhig would be a good NFL coach, he just never got the players he needed to succeed under Millen. Way to show you actually have half a pair, Matty boy. About six or seven years too late, and numerous cashed paychecks too late, but it's good to finally hear it come out of your mouth. 

  Super Bowl is set, and I got it half right! Pats and Giants... again... really hoping the Patriots take care of business this time around. If the G-Men pull this thing out, l'il Eli will have a LOT to brag about at the next Manning get together. Hell, he'll have double the number of Lombardi trophies his big brother and father have put together. Here's hoping the Patriots pull this thing off, though. Good God I hate New York. 

  Happy belated birthday to Mr. Neil Diamond. Every time I even hear that name, all I can think of is the Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Will Ferrell as Neil Diamond. 

  Oh yeah, and Joe Paterno died this weekend. A bunch of assholes in Pennsylvania were sad about it, and did some stupid vigil at the statue of that cowardly bastard on Penn State's campus. Rest in apathy, JoePa. 

  That's it for me this time around, folks. Thanks for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. 

Whip It Out Wednesday
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

30  Well folks, it's Wednesday, and your regularly scheduled broadcast by AFD will not be seen today. Filling in for him, his more crass less class brother IHM. 

  To start things off, I'd like to explain the absence of my yearly Turkey Bowl Classic this past week. Honestly... there is no competition this year. No matter what some tool did on or off the court/field/rink, NOTHING compares to what men like Jerry Sandusky and now "allegedly" Bernie Fine have been outed for doing in the past month. When it comes to something as serious as child molestation/pedophelia, there is just zero competition. All I'm left with the ability to say is, what kind of fucked up world are we living in today? 

  As for the situation at Syracuse, I'm really still looking into everything that is already out there and the new things coming out each day... so I'm going to reserve comment until this thing completely unfolds. The only thing I can really say about it at this point is props to the students/fans at Syracuse for making this about what it SHOULD be about... the victims and not the coaches who committed these autrocious acts or helped to cover them up. This entire situation has been handled a LOT better than it was a state over. 

  Now, on to the sports-related topic that really has me going tonight... Mr. Ndumakong Suh and his "inability to keep his balance". Look, it's bad enough you already have a reputation as being a dirty player in your second NFL season... now you pull this shit? It's bad enough you're grating the guy's facemask against the turf before you even try and get up... but to then stomp the guy's arm while you were supposedly trying to "get your balance"... just cut the shit Suh. Take responsibility for what you did, drop your appeal, do your time and come back and quit doing stupid shit! 

  It's bad enough you cost your team 7 points and your services for the rest of the football game on Thursday. It may not be what decided that game (Stafford's 3 picks had a LOT to do with that), but it sure as fuck didn't help. But now your team faces two games without your presence in the middle, and against two quality opponents while they sit at 7-4, in a tight NFC playoff race. All because you can't keep your head straight. The more I see and hear from this guy, the more I start to dislike him... and he's on MY team. Hopefully this is a wake-up call for him, and he knocks it the fuck off. 

  It looks like ESPN's wishes are coming true... the Houston Texans, in the wake of losing both their starting and backup quarterbacks this season, have headed down to the bayou in search of their new starting quarterback. Wait... what the Jake Delhomme... that's not Brett Favre... it's... Jake Delhomme. Man, TJ Yates must really, really suck. 

  And while I've got this forum, I'd like to throw an apology out there... to Denard Robinson of the University of Michigan. I said he was possibly the worst quarterback in all of college football... that he was more of a running back who threw every once in a while, and usually to the other team. Last Saturday against Ohio State, he looked like a real quarterback. Didn't throw a pick, was accurate, and got it done in the clutch. Props to him and to Michigan for breaking the seven game skid against the Suckeyes. 

  But the one thing that bothered me about that game was the statement made after the final whistle by whatever tool ABC had in the announce booth, that Michigan had returned to "national relevance" with the win. Really? Beating a .500 team by six points gets you back to national relevance? A team that without a weak non-conference schedule would be UNDER .500? I'll give Michigan credit, they've had a nice turnaround this year, going 10-2 in a year I thought they'd struggle to win 8 games, and winning in impressive fashion over a team like Nebraska. 

  As for college football... we all know the routine by now. This is the time of year where SEC teams whine and cry about how there should be five of them in the fucking national championship game, or how they deserve to be there more than a team from another conference because the SEC is fucking football jesus. I've said it a million times, and I'll say it a million more, this sport DESPERATELY needs a playoff... and NOW. This year as much as any other is a prime example. LSU is your clear #1, the rest of the pack is pretty much muddled together from #2 down to #12 or so. Honestly, until the NCAA finally bites the bullet and gets a playoff for football, I don't give a damn anymore. It means NOTHING to me. That's right college football, until you do things the right way, you are dead to me. Your stupid crystal football is meaningless in my eyes. 

  That's it for me this week folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Happy Hump Day Gabbers. 

Whip it out Wednesday
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

  Well ladies and gents, it's that man again! Filling in for my brother AFD, you're locked in on another Whip It Out Wednesday with IHM.

 
 

  It was a fitting place for Jim Thome to hit #600, in Detroit, off a bad middle reliever, against the team he's hit the most of his 600 career home runs. Another one of those "country strong" blasts that just sailed over the wall. Congrats to one of the true class acts left in professional sports. My favorite part of it, the fact that despite the lack of hype he was given, the crowd in Detroit still gave Jim Thome a standing ovation, despite the fact that the Tigers are in the midst of a pennant race, with both the White Sox and Indians bearing down on us, and despite the fact that #599 and 600 are what cost us the ballgame.

  Hitting #599 and #600 with just one inning in between, another special feat. This is still a very elite club, despite the fact that nearly half it's members are "tainted", with Sosa, Bonds and ARoid all under steriod suspicion... but Thome has managed to bring a little class and credibility back to this area of the MLB record books. Between Aaron, Mays, the Bambino, Junior Griffey, and now Thome, hopefully their combined class and prestige within the game's history is enough to counteract the combined douchebaggery of the three cheats amongst them.

  One thing that pisses me off about the entire situation is the fact that Jeter becomes #23 to join the 3,000 hits club, ESPN basically throws him a two week fucking parade, and Thome got essentially ZERO coverage going into his 600th career home run. Is it the fact that the home run has become so tainted within the game's history? Or is it simply the fact that Jeter plays for the Yankees, and the closest thing Thome has come to "major market" was the few years he spent in Philly? I'm going with the latter... and just have to say it's a sad, sad state of affairs for sports in general. Too bad Thome seemingly doesn't have enough left in him for a run at Barry Bonds at the top of this list to restore that record's honor.

  Congrats to youngster Randall Delgado as well on nearly throwing a no-hitter Tuesday night for the Atlanta Braves. Who the hell is Randall Delgado? I asked myself the same thing upon seeing the story! Sad part is, the poor guy didn't even pick up a win... having to settle for a team victory on Martin Prado's 11th inning winner.

  JV provided the Tigers with his usual solid 7 2/3 innings to end a two game skid, as the Tigers bounced back against the Twins with a 7-1 win. Verlander became baseball's first 18 game winner, and is now in solid shape for the first 20 win campaign of his career. The Tigers are now 2 1/2 up on the Indians in the Central.

  Solid move by the Tigers in picking up Twins outfielder Delmon Young during his visit to Detroit as well. They gave up a couple prospects for a guy who many believed would be a very good MLB player a few years back, but thus far has been no better than solid at best. Here, the expectations aren't quite so high... all Young has to do is hit better than .250 and come up with more than ten extra base hits the rest of the way, and he's a fucking hero! Shit, he might even get himself a contract extension... Honestly though, solid move that makes the #3 spot in your lineup at least two times better than it currently is, as Leyland is essentially FORCED to get Magglio Ordonez the hell out of there.

  Looks like there's a hurricaine brewing in college football... the U of Miami is now being looked at for alleged benefits scandal. Will it get as ugly as Ohio State... or will administrators and coaches at Miami get a fucking clue, comply with the investigation, and show that people really DO learn from the past? Look, Ohio State got off easy. They're NCAA darlings, you are NOT! The NCAA is always looking for a new way or reason to drop the hammer on the 'Canes... so my advice, tell them whatever they want to know, take your lumps, and be glad when you get the same slap on the wrist Ohio State got. The NCAA pretty much handcuffed its self by doing so, too. What a stupid fucking move... now you have to be lienent with every team that commits a major violation, all because you didn't want Ohio State t-shirt sales to go down any. I STILL say the Buckeyes should've got the death penalty.

  Eli Manning says he belongs in the class of Tom Brady... and I say I belong in the class of Ron Jeremy... which one of us is more full of shit? Be sure to cast your vote in the comments section below!

  I'd speak further on that... but what can you even say about it? I WILL give him credit though... he had a much better 2008 regular season than "Tom Terriffic".

  That's it for me today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Happy hump day Gabbers.

Whip It Out Wednesday
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB Tigers Thome Leyland NFL Lions

            Hey there folks, welcome to another Whip It Out Wednesday with your old pal IHM. I’m filling in for my brother, AFD, while he galavants around town with his special lady! Today’s edition comes with a heavy heart, as our good friend B-Dub’s brother has lost his fight with cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with you buddy.

 

            Trying to press on and give you the good ol’ fashioned rants you’ve all grown accustomed to, I’ll start with my biggest hot button of the week, which is the Detroit Tigers handing out contract extensions to both Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski, despite the fact that the team has NOT clinched a playoff spot yet. Leyland got a one year extension through 2012, and Dombrowski gets a whopping four more years! People, I just have one question in regards to this move… WHAT THE FUCK???????

            Look, it’s not like Leyland was ready to pull a Riggleman and walk if he didn’t get a new deal. The man is making LaRussa money for piss poor results. These Tigers under Leyland have made one World Series APPEARANCE… and they choked that away thanks in large part to terrible defense by their pitchers. That was 2006. This is 2011. Since then, including 2006, they have come into the final weeks of the season just about every year either in the lead or in contention for the AL Central title. EVERY TIME they have choked it away somehow. Hell, even in 2006, they blew a massive division lead in the final weeks of the season because they couldn’t beat the mighty Royals in the final weekend and squeaked into the playoffs as a Wild Card.

            So, the real question here is WHY? You’re four games up in probably the worst division top to bottom in all of baseball. Your closest competition is Cleveland, AT .500, and Chicago, BELOW .500. You have 12 more games head to head with the Indians, and 6 more against the White Sox. Since the All-Star break, these Motor City Kitties are a whopping 12-10… and STILL have managed to expand their division lead. Why are the fans in this town still so willing to celebrate mediocrity? Why is Mike Illitch willing to dole out extensions when he is spending major market money and getting small market results? Just sheer idiocy folks.

            The next issue is Dombrowski. Four fucking years? The guy has made some decent moves in his time here, I’ll give him credit for that… but he has also made some stupid, stupid trades as well. Getting Peralta, surprising, but good. Cabrera in exchange for “Tom Glavine” and “Willie Mays” (Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin)… a no brainer now. But the trade that stands out the most to me in his tenure is giving up Jair Jurrgens for Renteria. Imagine having Verlander and Jurrgens 1-2 for the playoffs… scary for any opponent. Verlander and Scherzer/Porcello… not so scary. Yet, that’s what we’ve got. If Dave Dombrowski was getting ready to walk if he didn’t get an extension, I’m holding the fucking door for him and helping him pack. Hope this doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass, Illitch, and this team doesn’t pull the late-August to September nosedive they’ve pulled in each of the past five seasons. Not like there’s any HISTORY there.

 

            Staying with baseball and a much nicer subject for me, I’m really looking forward to seeing Jim Thome join the 600 home run club. Currently, he’s sitting at 598, likely getting there by the end of this month. Really, I’m just glad I can finally say I watched a CLEAN player reach the milestone… I have been witness to McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and AFraud reaching that pedestal, but we ALL know the on and off field issues they’ve had… no need to get into THAT here. But Thome has been a class act, on and off the field, since the day he stepped up to the big leagues. He’s always been one of my favorites, although he has been a Tiger KILLER throughout his career.

            Dan Uggla has extended his hitting streak to 30 games as well with a single in the fifth inning last night. Interesting to see that not only Uggla, but teammate Freddie Freeman as well, had 20+ game hitting streaks at the same time, before Freeman was held hitless on Sunday. Something that hadn’t been done in a while, and just one of those interesting things that go unnoticed amid the hype of the bigger markets.

            And before I leave baseball, props to Michael Young, who recorded his 2,000th career hit earlier this week. The Rangers all-time hits leader, Young is probably one of the best pure hitters in the game that many folks don’t know a whole lot about.

            Going to the NFL, bad luck continues for the Detroit Lions 2011 draft class. First, Nick Fairley breaks his foot, and not second round pick RB Mikkael Leshoure ruptures his Achilles tendon during Tuesday’s practice and will miss the entire 2011 season. To replace Leshoure, the Lions have signed veteran RBs Jerome Harrison and Mike Bell. If I’m Lions coach Jim Schwartz, I’m calling my old buddies down in Tennessee and seeing if they’re interested in a first round pick along with Jahvid Best for holdout Chris Johnson… then PAY THE MAN! The guy ran for 2,000 yards for christ’s sake… PAY HIM!

            I’m usually not a big fan of holdouts, but in Johnson’s case, I’ll have his back. To any of us, $850,000 is not chump change. To possibly the best running back in the NFL, though, it’s like playing for next to nothing. The guy deserves at least five times that… at least. Get your shit together Titans. I usually don’t like it when a player goes the holdout route, but when it’s a young running back at his peak like Johnson is, and the pay is so far from being up to par based on performance, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s not out there crying about it every day, bashing the organization, so I have no issue with how he’s going about his business.

            Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out. Happy Hump Day, and be sure to keep Brad in your thoughts and prayers.

 
 

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