Tuesday, July 11, 2006
What is it about the American League that causes the National League players to quiver in their cleats? Why does Bud Selig look confused in this photo? And why is he wearing a rain pancho? Did anyone see it rain? I think maybe time has caught up with 'Lil Buddy, and it was probably way past his nap time when this picture was taken. Maybe it's time to ramp up on the meds, I don't know. Every year it's the same old story in MLB baseball's NL vs. AL controversy. Actually, it's no longer a controversy at all -- the American League is dominant for a reason -- they're just plain better. Tough, hard-nosed NL stars turn into sniveling little leaguers every time they go up against the American League. When it comes to recent all-star games, interleague games and world series championships, the AL makes the NL look null and void. This evening's all-star game in Pittsburgh's PNC Park played true to form. With the AL down to its final strike, Michael Young (Rangers) hit a two-run triple off Trevor Hoffman (Padres) for a 3-2 victory that kept the Americans unbeaten for the past decade in all-star play. Behind David Wright's (Mets) homer and some risky,old-school baserunning, the NL took a 2-1 lead into the ninth and brought in Hoffman to close it out. But, the San Diego Padres' reliever, closing in on the MLB career saves record, failed to put this one away. He gave up a two-out single to Paul Konerko, (White Sox) who was replaced by pinch-runner Jose Lopez (Seattle.) Then, Troy Glaus hit a ground-rule double, which looked like a bad break for the never-say-die AL team when it bounced over the fence and they were unable to tie the game. But, Young came through in the clutch and delivered the big hit when it was needed most. When Mariano Rivera shut down the NL all-stars in the bottom of the ninth, it was all over, and the AL was victorious once more. This has to be getting old for the NL, because now the AL will have the home field advantage in this year's World Series once again. So, they've already set thesmelves up, in a way, to lose in October.
For a great blog about this year's All-Star game, visit: www.rubberarm.net. It's a well-written and highly entertaining recount of the entire affair.
"Rocky Balboa", the newest Rocky movie, is coming out. Like a drunk at a party who hasn't yet figured out what a fool he's making of himself, Sylvester Stallone must be high to do another bad Rocky sequel. At least in the last fiasco he was a trainer, which was somewhat believable. But, in this one he fights? Are you kidding me? Is it a comedy? Is it a musical? In the film, a brittle, spent and puffy-faced Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement, intending to fight a few low-profile local wannabe fighters. Why? What motivates him to do this? Couldn't he have just taken up Taebo or pilates? Eventually Rocky is approached to fight the reigning heavyweight champion, (Played by Antonio Tarver -- an actual fighter who in real life would make Sly his houseboy in ten seconds. Sly would last in the ring with Tarver in real life about as long as it takes you to say "Oh, sh..!" ) Anyway, Rocky's comeback sets off a media firestorm -- Howard Cosell even comes back from the dead for an exclusive interview. I'm sure the fight finale will be a doozy -- with both pugilists beating the crap out of each other for a good half-hour. I haven't seen the film yet, but I've heard that it ends with the loser being forced to watch "F.I.S.T", "Oscar", "Over the Top" "Judge Dredd" and "Stop! Or My Mother Will Shoot!" back-to-back. I mean, the original Rocky movie was so well-done -- I saw it with my first and only girlfriend in high school as a junior in 1976. Like most 16-year-old hormonal males I was so horny in 1976 that our cat was in trouble and didn't know it! I had never even french kissed a girl. I tried to get her to go with me to the drive-in, but her parents vetoed that idea, so we went to some theater in Pasadena. I tried to kiss her on the lips after the movie and she turned her head so that all I got was cheek. I will remember that film and that evening forever. Rocky was the ultimate underdog and Appollo Creed was the ultimate hot dog, so it made for a great fight at the conclusion of the movie. One of the best things about the story was that it paralleled Stallone's real life in so many ways. He had to do porno to survive in Hollywood, he worked as an usher at a movie theater and he was really poor. After watching the Ali-Bugner fight on TV in 1973, he wrote a script about a fighter who beats all the odds. Several studios were interested in producing the movie, but they wanted actors like Robert Redford and Ryan O'Neil to play Rocky. Stallone refused, because he wanted to play the part himself. It took major juevos for him to hold out until he found a producer to make the flick with him in the lead role. The message is that even the little guy can become a hero. It became a theme we saw in so many films after Rocky came out. I hope the original Rocky is considered a landmark movie, which I think it must be. That's why it's so sad to see a great actor and writer like Stallone making a film like this. Does he need the $$ that bad? Brace for really bad reviews, Sly! Here they come. I don't even have to see it to know it won't be as good as "Dude, Where's My Car?"
Some really excellent web sites about boxing are: www.laterounds.com (a boxing blog); www.thesweetscience.com or www.boxinginsider.com. If you're a Stallone fan and will always love him even when he makes bad movies like this one, visit: www.stallonezone.com. There's even a blog dedicated to the movie, it's: www.rockybalboablog.blogspot.com.
(I've decided I will pick a "Loser of the Month" every month on my blog. I imagine I will never run out of people to pick, because there are always lots of losers out there. This month's winner (or loser) is Matt Moline. He beat out a strong list of candidates, including Starr Jones, Barry Bonds and Zinedine Zidane, the French soccer player who lost his cool and may have cost his team the 2006 World Cup)
I used to find comedienne Kathy Griffin ("My Life on the D List", "Suddenly Susan") very annoying, but now she's kind of grown on me. I still think she's obnoxious in a major way, but I also think she's funny and I like the fact that she doesn't care what people think of her. Some of her comedy is so irreverant and off-the-wall that it's cutting edge. Anyway, Angelina and I have really enjoyed watching her reality show, "My Life on the D List". One of the people we liked on the show was her husband, Matt Moline, who Kathy married in 2001. He's funny and witty in his own right, and acts as a perfect foil and straight man to Kathy's zaniness. Well, after the first season, word got out that Matt and Kathy were getting divorced. I was shocked. I was thinking, "Where else is this woman going to find someone to schlep her DVD's in the lobby while she's doing a comedy show (which Matt did) and do her hair? (which he also did regularly). For awhile they reconciled, but now I guess the marriage is really kaput. Why? Well, the other night Kathy went on Larry King Live and told everyone the reason for the breakup -- Matt stole over $72,000 out of her personal bank accounts! He probably thought it was the least he should get for peddling her DVD's and doing her hair! $72,000? What did he use the $$ for? It must be gambling, because at one point in the series, Kathy says to Matt -- "Go play your fantasy sports on your computer!" Well, honey -- he wasn't playing fantasy sports, he was betting on actual sports and playing with real money -- YOURS! What a jerk this guy is. He was married to a cash cow and he milked her a little too hard! LO-SER!! I would just like to take this opportunity to tell my lovely fiancee that I will NEVER steal from you. I will also NEVER sell DVD's for you or do your hair either!
If you want to see a really funny web site that deals with losers on the Internet, visit: www.losers.org. It's a very well-done site where you get to peek into the lives of losers throughout the world by reading all of the pathetic stuff they've put on their personal web sites.
They held the annual MLB All-Star HR Derby last night in Pittsburgh, and I found it to be so meaningless and boring that I turned it off halfway through. Which says a lot, because there were no other sports on TV. Ryan Howard from the Phillies won it, beating the NY Mets' David Wright to give the Phillies their second straight HR Derby victory (Bobby Abreu won it last year.) After homering into the Allegheny River (fans in boats were retrieving the balls, just like they do here in SF at AT&T Park's McCovey Cove, but that river looked so polluted I wouldn't go near it!) Howard's fifth and deciding homer banged off a sign saying "Hit it Here" above the rightfield stands, meaning some lucky fan got 500 free round-trip air tickets. So, basically, major league baseball has turned the event into a game show. Where's Bob Barker? Where's Vanna White? What's behind door #2? Can I buy a vowel? Lobbing baseballs to these guys and watching them smack batting practice home runs is boring. If they want to make it realistic, put a AAA minor league pitcher in there and at least make these guys hit live pitching. Because the way they do it now is tedious. I would rather watch curling or tennis than watch this garbage. Change the format, change the event or do SOMETHING different, because right now even an avid baseball fan like myself can't sit through it without switching to the Cartoon Network.
For complete coverage for those who missed the HR Derby and still care about it, www.mlb.com has some good coverage, which they always do when it comes to baseball.