1-2-3 Sports! Week of July 27, 2015

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Yes, that is former NBA star Gilbert Arenas, surrounded by his winnings earned at the basketball shooting game at the Orange County fair. He was later banned from the game.

Ugh, the NFL.

As we are all aware, the NFL is mired in a crisis. The very game itself is destroying the brains of the men who play, which is a bit of a problem. Junior Seau is one of the more famous players to have suffered after his playing career was done. Less than three years after his retirement, Seau committed suicide. He did so by shooting himself in the chest, thereby preserving his brain for medical research. Next month, Seau will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, the NFL will not allow anyone from his family to speak on his behalf, apparently worried at what they might say about his death. This is the kind of spineless crap we have come to expect from Roger Goodell’s NFL, but it is no less infuriating than every other maddening decision that this bumbling doofus has made. The Hall of Fame claims they made this rule back in 2010 and it has nothing to do with Seau’s particular case, as if they didn’t institute this rule because of these exact situations. Charles P. Pierce is the perfect writer to tackle this story. -TOB

Source: Silenced: The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Junior Seau Bungle”, Charles P. Pierce, Grantland (07/27/2015)

PAL: I think I watched 2 NFL games last year. This is not entirely out of protest; rather, a combination of indifference and b.s. saturation point. I enjoy a good football game, but the notion of devoting an entire Sunday to watching a game I’m nearly indifferent towards just doesn’t get me going. Just take a second to take the following in: The family of Hall of Fame inductee who committed suicide is not being allowed to speak on his behalf for this ultimate professional honor out of fear they will say something the PR team has to deal with after the fact. Cowards. I’m out.

Today We Spell Redemption: V – I – N.

Vin Baker was a really good basketball player that I enjoyed watching. But a few years ago he bombed out of the league, later revealing that he had a massive drinking problem and had squandered the nearly $100 million in career earnings he had made. He was completely broke. Since then, he had been a tragic figure in my mind – one of the those players who had it all, had achieved his dreams – and blew it. So, much to my happy surprise did I find this article – a feature on Vin and the turnaround he has made. Vin has been sober for over four years, which is a great accomplishment. On top of that, he is training to be a manager of a Starbucks, given the opportunity by the Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, former owner of Vin’s old NBA team, the Seattle Supersonics. Vin was even asked by Jason Kidd to help out with the Milwaukee Bucks’ summer league team this summer. This is a light article on a guy who has turned his life around, and is not dwelling on what he lost, which is a truly refreshing perspective. -TOB

Source: Ex-NBA Star Vin Baker Conquers Demons and Shoots for Success in Starbucks Management”, Kevin McNamara, Providence Journal (07/27/2015)

PAL: I love this story. I’ve had several conversations about retirement from sports. While I’m sure I’m way behind schedule, I feel like I became an adult relative recently (I’m 33). If I were a professional athlete, I’d be winding down down my career (and earning potential). It’s cool to hear about a former athlete who’s excited and driven by his career after sports (that has nothing to do with sports), and a hat tip to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for giving Baker an opportunity. This is a sincerely uplifting story.

1-2-3…Sports…Video Games!

This is a fun article wherein Deadspin writers reminisce on their favorite sports video games. So many great ones are represented, including Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Bill Walsh College Football ‘95, and Wii Sports. To add one to the list, I loved NCAA Football 2006 on the XBox. I got the game the year after college when I was doing a lot of not much. And I played that game a LOT. I played so many Dynasty Mode seasons I lost count. The California Golden Bears won a lot of National Titles and a lot of Heisman Trophies, I can tell you that. I routinely beat teams by scores of over 100 to 0. I got so good that I needed new ways of defining success – holding a team to negative yardage for a whole game was a big win; anything less was disappointing. Giving up points meant doing 20 pushups, etc. Ah, those were the days. So what’s your favorite sports video game and what do you miss about it? Comment below. -TOB

Source: And Now, Our All-Time Favorite Sports Video Games”, Deadspin (07/28/2015)

PAL: I would not be friends with this writer: “I played soccer in college, and so I lived with my teammates, and trained with them, and traveled with them, and fought with them, and drank with them, and played with them, and cried with them. We were brothers, always on the same side, fighting for the same thing. It was a great experience, and they’re my brothers to this day, but sometimes you just want to beat a motherfucker through the ground, because you’re 19 and invincible and have great abdominals and want to watch the world burn.”

PAL’s Song of the Week: John Prine & Iris DeMent – “In Spite of Ourselves

Check out the 1-2-3 Playlist featuring all of our Song’s of the Week – 2 people have told me they really like it.

Video of the Week

Poor kid does NOT want to be there.

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. Oh, no, I said. Disneyland burned down. He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”

―Jack Handey


1-2-3 Sports! Week of July 20, 2015

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There’s more where this came from at http://straightouttacooperstown.tumblr.com

Can You Spare An All-Star: Why Loaning MLB Players Is An Interesting, Stupid Idea

Deadspin fairly well rebutted this article here, but I wanted to write something anyways. This idea, by Grantland’s Bill Barnwell, sounds sensible at first. Sure, why not allow a bad team to simply loan out a star player to a good team for player compensation, instead of outright trading him. But could you imagine how much this would suck for fans of bad teams? Take for example the case of Tim Lincecum. In 2008 and 2009, Lincecum won the Cy Young Award on bad and ok Giants teams that 72 and 88 wins, respectively. But those two seasons by Tim Lincecum, and to a lesser extent 2010, made Timmy a fan favorite and gave hundreds of thousands of fans a reason to come to the ballpark on days he pitched. Every start was “Tim Lincecum Day” – and every Tim Lincecum Day brought the promise of something special in an otherwise forgettable season. Had the Giants loaned out Lincecum to, say, the Phillies for a couple prospects, that would have been so terrible for Giants fans. Deadspin’s Tom Let puts it well in the article I linked above:

The fan experience isn’t the only thing that matters in sports, but it is the central thing, and sportswriting starts to get cockeyed when fan experience is waved off—purposefully or otherwise—as subsidiary to the questions of how to best maximize projected returns on investments and how best to turn assets into still more assets. Those are means; the end is people having a good time watching sports.” – TOB

Source: Trading Places: MLB Needs a Player Loan System”, Bill Barnwell, Grantland (07/14/2015)

PAL: In a word, dumb. I wish I could add more to this, but Let’s quote pretty much sums it up for me. It is, however, an interesting idea to ponder. I’m curious to hear a soccer fan’s take on this. Fernando Estrada – I’m looking at you. Weigh in on this, dude.

Stop Making Sense: The 2015 Minnesota Twins

It would be one thing to post a story about the surprising success of the Twins (who got mopped by the A’s last weekend when Tommy and I went to watch them, but I’m not chapped about it…not at all), but one Louie Opatz wrote this story. Lou is the Sports Editor for the Litchfield Times back in Minnesota. He is also one of my closest buddies from college and a damn good lefty for our Augustana Viking team back the day. How does Opatz describe the Twins 2015 season (51-44)? With a music reference to the Talking Heads documentary, of course. It’s a wonder we get along. Call it cluster luck, or call it clutch, but the Twins have many more wins than the advanced stats suggest they should. As Opatz points out, all that luck is already in the bank. Luck doesn’t run out. Those games are won, and it makes the chances of a playoff run legit, as they currently hold the second Wild Card spot. -PAL

Source: 2015 Twins Have Stopped Making Sense”, Louie Opatz, Banished To The Pen (7/19/15)

TOB: I’m not terribly interested in the Twins, but it is a testament to this article that I read the whole thing, and I was entertained the whole way. My favorite passage: “…Danny Santana, who’s to fielding what a three-year-old is to painting. Ervin Santana is back from his suspension, which he incurred due to an accidental anabolic steroids binge (it can happen to anyone)…” That’s really good. Also, as Phil mentioned – we went to the A’s/Twins game last Sunday and I got my first ever foul ball! And it was off the bat of Twins’ Centerfielder Aaron Hicks, for whom I shall forever have a soft spot.

Korean Basketball League ISO: Tall Men

Unlike most international basketball leagues that use free agency to distribute American players to its teams, the Korean Basketball League holds an American player draft every year. Players then sign one year contracts, and all American players re-enter the draft each season. The draft takes place in Las Vegas, and it is quirky, to say the least. For example, if you don’t attend the draft, you are not eligible to play in the league that year, even if spots open up during the season. Once players arrive in Korea, the coaches are demanding. But the draft, and the KBL, remain quite popular with American players because it pays well – a few hundred thousand a year, and the paychecks always arrive on time. This is a fascinating look into a strange process in a familiar game, featuring a cameo appearance by former Cal Bear/international rap video star/famed NBDL blogger Rod “Boom Tho” Benson. -TOB

Source: “What Happens In Vegas…the Strange World of the Korean Basketball League Draft”, Les Carpenter, The Guardian (07/23/2015)

PAL: “Starting this year each team must take one player 6ft 4in or under.” So you’re saying there’s a chance. In all seriousness, it still is a bit jarring when I remember that the majority of professional sports are not the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and big-time soccer. I could ask what the draw is to watch less than the best sports teams, but then I think about college sports, high school sports, and – hey – a minor league baseball game is a pretty good time. This story also highlights the financial crapshoot that is a lot of professional teams when it comes to, you know, paying your employees. This is not the case in the KBL, which is why these dudes jump through absurd hoops. Good find, O’Brien!

Have we done too many Pedro stories? I don’t care.

As he awaits entry into the Hall this weekend, here’s a great story of a writer trying to interview Pedro in the Dominican Republic back in 2004 after Martinez was traded to the Mets. It was supposed to be a 24-hour trip. 4 days later, writer Juliet Macur is playing percussion in a band with Moises Alou in tow. – PAL

Source: “Recalling a Few Strikeouts in Pursuit of Pedro Martinez”, Juliet Macur, The New York Times (7/23/15)

TOB: Being a sportswriter does not seem all that fun – and chasing down an interview for four days is one such reason. But if you have to do it, being in the Dominican Republic on someone else’s dime doesn’t seem half bad.

Video of the Week: 

We present to you: Radball.

PAL’s Song of the Week: John Prine, Iris DeMent – “In Spite of Ourselves

Check out all of our weekly picks here (they’re good).

Like what you’ve read? Let us know by following this blog (on the right side, up near the top), or:

Email: 123sportslist@gmail.com

Twitter: @123sportsdigest


“I just want my brother to envy my money, but he’s got that hair. Why can’t I have hair and money, and him nothing?”

– George Bluth




Week of July 13, 2015

“How come your dad couldn’t pick you up from practice?”

A Giant Pedigree

1-2-3 favorite Jonah Keri, who inspired me to buy this very cool tie that I am wearing as I write this, wrote about how the Giants managed to put together an all-home grown infield. That infield is presently the best in baseball by WAR: Posey, Belt, Panik, Crawford, and Duffy, three of whom are All-Stars. It’s especially impressive in light of (1) the Giants losing home-grown Pablo Sandoval to free agency in the offseason; and (2) team architect Brian Sabean’s previous reputation as a guy who did not know how to draft and develop position players – a reputation that was pretty well deserved for a long time. When you throw in the fact that the Giants have a possible all home-grown rotation (when everyone is healthy) of Bumgarner, Cain, Lincecum, Vogelsong, and Heston, and you start to see why the Giants have been so successful over the last half decade. -TOB

Source: Grown at Home: How the Giants Built the Best Infield in Baseball”, Jonah Keri, Grantland (07/15/2015)

PAL: Man, did I pick the right time to move to San Francisco or what! All five infielders and five starting pitchers. Damn, that’s cool. This article really underscores what a huge, unexpected surprise Panik and Duffy are this year. Crawford, Belt, Posey – hey – that’s pretty good. But all five? Again, damn.I love this team like the rest of you – and this story only adds to that love, so let me be the fun sponge for a moment. The starting pitching scares the hell out of me. The word “fumes” comes to mind when I think of all they’ve done over the past 5 years. Cain, Timmy, and Vogelsong might well be on career fumes. One more time, guys!

Media: Please Stop Covering Eldrick Woods.

There’s no story here, just a rant: The British Open began yesterday. It’s at St. Andrew’s, a classic links course. I don’t watch much golf, but St. Andrew’s is my favorite when I do. Tiger Woods has won the Open three times, and twice it was at St. Andrew’s. So there seemed to be some interest in how Tiger might fare there this year. After one day, it is official: Tiger is done. DONE. Can we stop covering him? He hasn’t won a major since 2008. 2008!!!! And yet his weekly failures are reported on ESPN’s frontpage as if it is news. Especially in the Majors. He shot a horrible 76 yesterday, tied with old man Tom Watson for 139th of 156 golfers, eleven strokes behind the leader. And Tiger made the ESPN.com frontpage. Sportscenter did a full 5-minutes on him. Enough! He no longer deserves that status. He should be treated like every other golfer: When he is in contention, cover him. When he’s not, don’t. And it’s time to revoke the nickname Tiger. He’s back to Eldrick. “Tiger” is for closers. -TOB

Source: The 2015 British Open Leaderboard

PAL: “Tiger” is for closers. File that under “Favorite Tommy Lines”. I agree with you, but no one outside of the die hards watches golf. A lot of people have at least a passing interest in Eldrick’s story. While there is a certain group of people who relish this extended comeuppance after his salacious downfall, I think the real draw is the fact that a GOAT at the front end of his prime (for his sport) seems to have lost it. As crazy as this sounds, 49% of me thinks this dude still has 2 majors in him. While they weren’t majors, Woods won 5 tournaments as recently as 2013, and few sports allow a competitor to play at or near the highest level for 20 years. That, and I’m still a bit blinded by his dominance now 10 years in the rearview.

TOB: Quick point: You think Tiger is on the front side of his prime? He turns 40 this December, so the PGA Championship next month will be the last major of his 30’s. Even ignoring all his knee trouble, which has been significant, that is old. The average age of a winner of a major is 32. Guess how often players win a major over 40? Since 1986, when Arnold Palmer famously won the Masters at the ripe “old” age of 46 for his first major since the year he turned 40, only 7 players over the age of 40 have won a major. That is about 5%. Eldrick is done.

You Mess With The Bull…

Joe Distler was an ad man in New York living the regular life. Life was routine. Then he picked up The Swords of Spain in a bookstore. Then he went to San Fermin. Then he ran. He’s been running with the bulls ever since, and he’s considered one of the best to do it. I love how his story is a balance of romance (“I feel I am part of the herd”) and instruction (“Rules of The Run”). If nothing else, give this story a chance just to check out the beautiful photographs. At a more fundamental level, this is a story about a regular guy rediscovering a the passion for life that’s all so often inseparable from fear. – PAL

Source: “How To Run On The Horns In Pamplona”, Joe Distler, Tru.ink (2015)

“Dunk of Death”

Although the name doesn’t stick, most of us know Frédéric Weis. He’s the 7-footer Vince Carter jumped over in the 2000 Olympics. It is one of the most popular – and some would say incredible – dunks of all-time. Prior to the Olympics, The Knicks drafted Weis in the first round. Despite the posterization, things were looking up for the big man from France, but everything changed for the worse shortly after the Prior to the “le dunk de la mort” (Dunk of Death). The professional embarrassment at the hands of Carter had nothing to do with it. Here’s a story about the other guy in the sports highlight. – PAL

Source: For Frédéric Weis, Knick’s Infamous Pick, Boos Began a Greater Struggle“, Sam Borden, The New York Times (7/14/15)

TOB: Reminds me a bit of the story on Craig Ehlo we covered a few weeks back. I knew that Weis was the guy that Vince dunked over, but did not know that he was drafted by the Knicks. An interesting tidbit in there is how Weis was treated by Jeff Van Gundy during his one summer with the Knicks: Not well.

Never Change, Marshawn

This one does not require much explanation: Marshawn Lynch was at his youth camp this week and a reporter saw he had chicken wings. Stored in his sock. When the reporter asked why, Marshawn said: “”My auntie fried up some chicken and I had my hands full, and I don’t have no pockets on my shorts, so I just had to use what I had.” So resourceful. As I said: Never change, Marshawn. -TOB

Source: Why Marshawn Lynch Kept Chicken Wings in His Sock”, Jeff Bercovici, Maxim (07/16/2015)

PAL: Man, this would have been great as an “extra” in the Marshawn Lynch biopic (single tear). Hard not to love Lynch, but – come on – this is disgusting.


GOAL!!!!! Look at him pulling a Steph Curry, celebrating before it even goes in.

PAL Song of the week: Mike Sempert – “Oceans of Rock and Roll” (great song for a solo drive)

Check out all of our weekly picks here (they’re good).

Like what you’ve read? Let us know by following this blog (on the right side, up near the top), or:

Email: 123sportslist@gmail.com

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“There is nothing better than to be shot at and missed.”

– E. Hemingway

Week of July 5, 2015

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How about our team?

More Than A Game: USA Women’s World Cup Victory

I was back home in Minnesota over the Fourth of July. Coming from large family (5 siblings, 17 nieces and nephew at last count), trips home are delightfully filled to the brim with dinners, youth games, late night beers, errands, and – on this occasion – work. It’s rare for me to find myself in the house alone, but that was the case during the USA’s semifinal match against Germany. I’d yet to watch this USA team play, but the collective talent on the field was clear in an instant. I was into it, man! Without knowing Germany was actually the favorite, I just assumed the USA team would prevail, which they did thanks in large part to two penalty kicks (a miss by Germany and a gift call that led to a USA goal). I expected a US Soccer team to win a Wold Cup match. Have we ever assumed the US men’s team would win a World Cup match?

Many celebratory articles and posts have been made about the USA victory, but Maggie Mertens puts the triumph into a global, social context. Take, for instance this stat:  “A recent analysis by Public Radio International showed that the greatest predictor of a nation’s women’s soccer team’s success was gender equality—more than even the country’s GDP or overall interest in soccer.” The US women certainly made us proud of their victory, but the fact the team’s dominance is a long-earned result of a much larger movement is reason for even more celebration. -PAL

Source: A Different Kind Of Party At The Women’s World Cup, Maggie Mertens, Screamer (7/9/15)

Who Let The Dogs Out: A Retrospective on the biggest stadium anthem of all-time

The first “Sports Anthem” I can recall brings me back to a better time. A time when the NHL team in Minnesota was called the North Stars, the jersey was a classic, and they were a team of destiny before running into a young Mario Lemieux and an even younger Jaromir Jagr in the Stanley Cup Finals. The year was 1991. A good year in Minnesota sports to say the least. The song name might not mean a thing – “Rock And Roll Part 2” – but it’s that “Hey Song”. The next song that comes to mind is the terrible, no good, awful “Who Let The Dogs Out”. While the song is brutal, the marketing behind it was trailblazing.

Mercury record executive Steve Greenberg pins down the genius: “Most songs peak on radio. ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ peaked at the World Series. It was the biggest sports anthem ever, in the sense that it got all its strength from being a sports anthem, and the radio was secondary. It was the only hit record that was ever like that.”

But why this song, of all songs? “Herschel Small, one of the band’s longtime guitarists, suggests that the song managed to tick all the boxes that 15 years later are common to many viral Internet memes: dogs and sports and kids.” I hate this song, but I love the story behind it. – PAL

Source: How ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ forever changed music’s place in sports, Ben Reiter, Sports Illustrated (7/8/15)

TOB: This article is hilarious, especially with the producer of “WLTDO” (yes, they use that initialism), Steve Greenberg, trying to defend the quality of that god awful song. “Dogs’ is a really good record. That’s why it won a Grammy. It’s tight, it’s colorful, it’s infectious. There was magic in that record.” I literally LOL’d when I read that. I also dispute his assertion, as quoted by Phil, that it was the biggest sports anthem ever. What about The Macarena? WHAT ABOUT THE MACARENA? I remember being at an Oakland A’s game in the height of Macarena Fever, and even the construction guys hard at working building “Mt. Davis” in the Coliseum’s outfield stopped to dance to the Macarena. I don’t know which song was worse, but I do know which was more of a cultural phenomenon: The Macarena hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and stayed there for FOURTEEN weeks!) and went 4x Platinum. Who Let the Dogs Out only got to #40 (40!) on the Hot 100 and the album went 3x Platinum. Case closed. Verdict entered for the Macarena.

Bartolo Colon is one Fat, Old, Impressive Baseball Player

He was a Major League pitcher before Monica Lewinsky was an intern at the White House. Bartolo Colon’s longevity is, as writer Dan Barry puts it, “confounding,” even without the fact that he’s not exactly a fitness freak (read: fat), but it goes beyond durability with him. “Consider the Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard, 22 years old and able to throw at 99 miles an hour. In the Colon paradigm, Darling said [former pitcher and Mets broadcaster Ron Darling], Syndergaard “would have to have the ability, in 2035, to throw the ball 92 miles an hour. In a big league game.” Even with the PED suspension a few years back, Colon’s career and journey from the Dominican Republic reads more like folklore than biography. – PAL

Source: Defying Time and Space”, Dan Barry, New York Times (7/9/15)

Video of the Week 

PAL Song of the week: The Dramatics – “Gimme Some” (Good Soul Music)

Check out all of our weekly picks here (they’re super good).

Like what you’ve read? Let us know by following this blog (on the right side, up near the top), or:

Email: 123sportslist@gmail.com

“Pontoon boat? What the hell are you gonna do with a pontoon boat? Retake Omaha Beach?”

– Roman Craig



Week of June 29, 2015


How to Throw a No-Hitter and Lose by Four Runs

Baseball is a weird game. We all know this. But sometimes it’s really weird. 1-2-3 Sports favorite Grant Brisbee hits the rewind button and takes us back to 1990, when Yankees pitcher Andy Hawkins threw a no-hitter and lost the game. By four runs. How does that happen? With two outs in the 8th of a scoreless game, it went: error, walk, walk, error, error, including two dropped fly balls that would have ended the inning. That is a weird game. As Hawkins said back in 1990, and again in 2015: That’s baseball.  -TOB

Source: How to Throw a No-Hitter and Lose by Four Runs”, Grant Brisbee, SB Nation (07/01/2015)

A Gamblin’ Man

No, not Pete Rose again. Did you know that golfer Phil Mickelson is a notorious gambler? A story broke this week wherein Mickelson was named as having bet $2.75M on various sports gambling bets. The money was later laundered, though Mickelson is not being investigated for the money laundering. That story is not all that interesting, but did lead me to some very entertaining Mickelson (and other golfer) gambling stories.

Sources: Another Phil Mickelson Golfing Story”, John Strege, Golf Digest (02/03/2015); Money Matches With Phil Mickelson”, Shane Ryan, ESPN the Magazine (02/16/2015)

You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea: World Cup Pics Without The Ball

A fun half-story, half-game brought to you by the NYT: Here are some of the best photos and highlights from the Women’s World Cup, only with the ball removed. You get to place the ball where you think it should be, then compare it with where the ball actually is. You also get to see where everyone else guessed where the ball is. I’ll be honest, this is a great bathroom article, but I really enjoyed it. Light a match and get comfy. – PAL

Source: Spot the Ball: Quarterfinals”, Alastair Coote, Sam Manchester, and Rumsey Taylor. Illustrations by Jennifer Daniel, The New York Times (6/30/15)

TOB: I took the quiz and was very mediocre. I did better than 59% of people who took it, which I’m reasonably happy with. There was one where I was in the 98th percentile. I note Phil neglected to tell us what he got.

Bobby Bonilla Hasn’t Played Since 2001; Is Still Very Well Paid

Bobby Bonilla was at one point a very good baseball player. He made six all-star teams, and came close to winning the MVP a couple times. But by 1999, he was no longer very good. In fact, he was very bad. He was so bad that the Mets decided they’d rather pay him to go away. His buyout clause was $5.9M. But the Mets were very shortsighted. Instead of paying Bonilla $5.9M in 2000, they deferred the buyout for a series of annual payments that begin in 2010. Those annual payments are $1.2M and last until the year 2035. 2035! That’s a total of about $30M, instead of $5.9M in 2000. Even with the value of money diminishing over time, that was a horrible decision. The Mets have been mostly bad for decades, and this is indicative of why.

Source: Happy Bobby Bonilla Mets Pay Day”, Matt Snyder, CBS Sports (07/01/2015)

Tall Men Play Baseball Game Poorly, Everyone Still Has Good Time

I want to go to the Dirk Nowitzki’s annual Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. This event has everything. Ryan Cabrera: check. An unsigned Dez Bryant doing backflips: check. Hipster haircut Steve Nash making hustle plays at a charity event: check. Also, this is a celebrity baseball game. No soft-ass softball for this Texas-sized event. Related, how I miss Rock N’ Jock softball. There’s no game better suited for celebrity/charity events than is baseball or softball. – PAL

Source: “A Tradition Unlike Any Other: Dirk Nowitzki’s Annual Celebrity Baseball Game”, Jason Gallagher, Grantland (6/29/15)

TOB: Man, Rock n’ Jock takes me back. I never really cared for the softball. The basketball was where it was at. The Violators vs. the Bricklayers. The 30-point basket at the end of each quarter was inspired, and watching chuckers like Antoine Walker try for it was always amusing, because you know that a 30-point shot was his true destiny. Seeing people like Jaleel White and Dean Cain and realizing that he could really ball was weird. It’s funny that this event was so popular – in middle school it was all people could talk about the week after it aired. RIP Rock n’ Jock basketball. RIP 30-point basket. The WNBA, or at the very least the NBDL, should adopt it.

Alexi Lalas with the Sweet Burn on Bitter Old Man Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan is still bitter about being left off the 2014 World Cup team. He is also an athlete and overestimates his intelligence and ability to be subtle. Alexi Lalas calls out bullsh-t when he sees it. Hence, the following Twitter conversation:

Roasted, Landycakes. -TOB

Source: Landon Donovan Burns Jurgen Klinsman, Gets Burned by Alexi Lalas“, Kevin Draper, Deadspin (06/30/2015)

GIFs of the Week


Jahlil Okafor does not seem thrilled to be a Sixer.

ctbwpt9zjkxjmjgvghwbJeff Francouer shouldn’t be thrilled to still be playing baseball.

“You only get three mistakes, then that’s life, big baby.”