Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why My Friends Hate Me: Fantasy Football 2009 Edition

My fantasy football team is horrendous. They played out of their minds to get a rare win in Week 3, and they're now 1-2 on the year. Downtown Dan Bardin is sitting pretty, alone in 1st place, a feat he marked by changing his team name to "MerilHodge'sTieKnot."

Instead of letting the guy have his moment, I decided to change my own team name from Air(Holes) McNair to what you see in the #8 spot. (click pic to enlarge) For those of you claiming I'm a jerkoff because 1) It's too soon to make a McNair joke and 2) I should let Dan Bardin enjoy his moment in the sun, 1) Whatever. McNair cheated on his wife and wrecked his family because he got with an unstable 20 year old and 2) You may have a point.

This concludes another episode of Why My Friends Hate Me. I'll wrap this up with a classic Seinfeld moment. Y'all come back reeeeeal

/door slam

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hey Asshat: I Don't Want to Play Mafia Wars.

No. I do not have 5 minutes.

Just as the invites to play Mafia Wars from my hundreds upon hundreds of friends on Facebook start to die down, I'm greeted with this ad.

Follow this advice, people: If something is being given to you for free, it's probably going to suck. If we're talking video game simulations, then this is true 100% of the time.

If you're saying I shouldn't knock it until I try it, I'll ask you what you think about suicide, you'll express your hatred of it, I'll ask if you've ever tried it, you'll say no, I'll call you a hypocrite, the end.

You know what I'm gonna do instead of Mafia Wars? I don't know either. I might watch Curb or Arrested Development on DVD. Maybe I'll play NHL 10 or MLB 09 The Show. Or Tiger Woods 10, Mario Galaxy or the new Metroid Prime collection. I might read Brothers, the awesome bio on John and Robert Kennedy. What do these awesome options have in common? They all cost money.

19 million people per month play Mafia Wars. Therefore, I am smarter than at least 19 million people, for I have figured out that paying for your entertainment is the best way to be entertained.

Figure it out, reeds.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Top 10 Fastballs in Baseball

As of today, the best fastball in 2009 belongs to Randy effing Wolf. I know, I thought the same thing. But according to the glorious stat nerds over at FanGraphs, the Wolfman has the most effective heater in all of Major League Baseball. Wolf has been on fire since the All-Star Break. I don't have time to check my notes, but I'm pretty sure he's gone 34-0 in that time. Not bad.

As they say in baseball all the time(I think), location is far more important than velocity. This would certainly make sense since Wolf's average fastball blazes by at an even 89 MPH, which coincidentally is what my 4-seamer was clocked at in 2nd grade. But enough about me, let's get to the lists. Here are the 10 best and worst fastballs (and we're talking effectiveness, not velocity) in MLB. The numbers in parentheses signify Runs Above Average, which basically evaluates a certain player compared to league averages and assigns that player either a positive or negative number in a certain category.

10 Best Fastballs in MLB

10. J.A. Happ (18.0)
9. Josh Johnson (18.4)
8. Scott Baker (19.5)
7. Chris Carpenter (20.3)
5. Matt Cain (24.1)
5. Zack Greinke (24.1)
4. Justin Verlander (24.5)
3. Joel Pineiro (24.6)
2. Clayton Kershaw (26.4)
1. Randy Wolf (28.9)

  • Every guy on this list is a starting pitcher. Seattle closer David Aardsma just missed the cut with the 11th best heater.
  • Wolf and Kershaw are both Dodgers, Carpenter and Pineiro (WTF?) both Cardinals. Sounds like Rick Honeycutt and Dave Duncan are dynamite pitching coaches.
  • Carpenter has three pitches that are at least 10 runs above average(fastball, slider, curve). Pretty sure he's the only one. If that's wrong, let me know.
  • Ted Lilly has the best fastball on the Cubs (+15.7, 13th in MLB)
  • Matt Thornton has the White Sox's best fastball (+6.9, 65th in MLB)
  • When I wrote this post on the best and worst fastball hitters, Jarrod Washburn had the league's best fastball. Since joining Detroit he has taken a nose dive to 16th in the league.
  • Verlander(95.5 MPH), Johnson(95.1 MPH) and Kershaw(93.9 MPH) have the 3 fastest average heaters on this list. Happ(89.7), Pineiro(89.0 MPH) and Wolf(89.0 MPH) have the 3 slowest.

10 Worst Fastballs in MLB

10. Joe Blanton (-13.6)
9. A.J. Burnett (-14.3)
7. Bronson Arroyo (-14.8)
7. Zach Duke (-14.8)
6. Chris Volstad (-15.8)
5. Ricky Nolasco (-16.3)
4. Livan Hernandez (-16.5)
3. Trevor Cahill (-16.8)
2. Kenshin Kawakami (-19.1)
1. Carl Pavano (-20.6)

  • The picture is of Carl Pavano telling us which pitch he prefers to throw. Other than that, I have no notes. These guys blow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Facebook Ad References Obama, Makes Me Angry

It's too early in the morning for this. I guess it's what I deserve for thinking something interesting might hit my profile at 9 am.

Every morning I check Facebook before my email. That way I'm surprised at any overnight activity on my Wall. While my page loads I close my eyes, cross my fingers and whisper "please please please" over and over. It's a surprisingly effective method. You gotta want it.

An overwhelming sense of despair hits me when my Wall looks the same as it did the day before. The only thing that keeps me from breaking down completely are the Facebook Ads in the sidebar. At least you know me, Facebook Ads. You're always there.

Or so I thought. Here's what greeted me this morning.

First, I have a degree. Yeah, it's an English degree, but I'm pretty sure that still counts. Second, who is this reed in the ad? It looks like he showed up for an esurance commercial audition stoned out of his mind. He only shows up for these auditions so his dad will keep paying his rent and he can keep "searching for the perfect wave, brah." Whatever that means.

Side note: The term "reed" is courtesy of Nick Hall at Yummy Bro, a pretty solid blog. Check him out. Click here for the explanation.

Obama says get a vasectomy! Obama says read this socialism pamphlet! Obama says the Craftsman DYS 4500 is the best riding mower on the market! Does anyone actually click these things? If you do, you're a big fat idiot.

Please write on my Wall.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 US Open: Crazy Federer Video

Men's Final Underway; Federer Dominating

Roger Federer has already taken the first set and it looks like he'll be taking the 2nd shortly. Here's a video to shock and amaze you. My thanks to avid reader BC for the alerting me. And by "avid reader BC" I of course mean "a guy who's aware that this blog exists."

This Week in Unintended Irony: ESPN & Brian Urlacher

Urlacher wrist injury yields pessimism, yearning for hockey season

This is a screenshot taken from espn.com at around noon today and the Nike advertisement that ran underneath the Monday links. I expected that by clicking my mouse and unleashing Urlacher, I'd be a witness to his lightning-quick texting skills, which he used to alert the Chicago Tribune of his injury status. He was apparently able to fight through the wrist pain that comes with sending a text. What a warrior.

Instead the Nike ad showed Urlacher glaring like Michael Vick just Facebooked his dog. He then hulked out on some dude and then glared at me one more time before leaving, presumably to "get his text on."

In case you're having trouble seeing the irony (either because the font is too small or you're an idiot), this Nike ad that showed Urlacher the Undertaker wreaking havoc ran directly underneath a headline saying the Bears' linebacker was out for the season with a wrist boo-boo.

Ok, fine, I've never had a dislocated wrist. It's probably unthinkable amounts of pain that would make me pass out if I had to tolerate it. And to his credit, #54 hurt his wrist fairly early on and played the rest of the 1st half despite the injury. Kind of manly. I'm just venting here.

I mean, It's been a brutal year for Chicago baseball. Chicagoans (both North and South siders) checked out a while ago, looking forward to football season. There was hope for this Bears team. They signed a quarterback. A real one! Yeah, he's kind of a stuck up asshat, and yeah, his decision making and leadership skills are questionable at best, but he can fire a ball 70 yards and thread it anywhere he wants with incredible precision!

Four interceptions later, it's clear Cutler has a vast amount of skill and not a lot of brainpower. It seems that he has so much faith in his cannon arm that he believes he can execute difficult throws in any position. This is why he was so comfortable throwing the ball off his back foot, rolling right or fading away while rolling right.

No, his receivers and his line didn't do him any favors. But transcendent quarterbacks elevate their receivers and fire the ball away quick enough to keep holes in the offensive line patched. Cutler is probably the most physically gifted quarterback in the NFL right now, but he's not transcendent. That says something about how dysfunctional his non-physical skills are.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is coming to town to drop the Bears to 0-2, and they're missing their defensive anchor for the entire season.

See you in 2010. Let's go Hawks!