Monthly Archives: November 2008


· Joe Sez, Spring Training, The Playoffs ·

Was it just me, or did anyone else (besides Phillies and Rays fans) feel that even if you used the $27 million microscope at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory you wouldn’t have found one fly speck of drama in this year’s Series?

I kid you not, this was one anti-climactic Fall Classic, was it not? I mean, tip of the Joe Schlombowski lid to the Phils (though, personally, I thought Dick Cheney would appear in drag on Dancing with the Stars before Phily would win it all). And that Cole Hammels guy. He was Mr. Nastypants, I’ll give him that, pallie. But if a rain delay is the defining moment of a not-exactly-down-to-the-wire showdown, well, ’nuff said. Wake me when it’s over.

Which brings me to the point of this diatribe. What the hell do we do to get us through to mid-Feb when pitchers and catchers report to spring training?

Alright. I admit football will help. But as I’ve pointed out before, as fun as football can occasionally be, it is vastly inferior to the one, the only, the true America’s pastime — baseball. One need not look any further than ice fishing — the single most uneventful activity on the planet — to see my point. Ice fishing, in which a group of men sit around telling jokes, smelling each other’s farts, and risking 1) severe frostbite; 2) maiming oneself with a gas-powered ice auger; and 3) losing one or more fingers to an angry pike or walleye, was invented right smack in the middle of football season. It’s like somebody made a bet that since football is so damn boring (Army went a whole game this season without throwing a single pass), nobody could possibly come up with something even more boring. And since soccer already existed, voila, the guy lost the bet and ice fishing was born. (In fairness, ice fishing does have its moments. Like when there’s a warm spell and somebody’s Dodge Durango is converted into a U-boat.)

So Joe, you ask, what else can get me through to spring without me turning into a raving lunatic? Lord Stanley’s Cup? I think not. (Why they ever named a championship after a crotch protector is beyond me.) But here’s my answer, pal. I’ll give you two things, three if you’re a fly fisherman. If you fly fish, just keep tying flies until the icicles melt and you’re good. For the rest of you, here goes: 1) The SI Swimsuit Issue (whoever thought of this should get a MacArthur Genius Grant); and 2) a little game I call Names-In-A-Blender.

Here are the Official Joe Schlombowski Names-In-A-Blender rules: You take the name of anyone you love or despise, say Alfonso Soriano, and you combine his name with someone else you either love or despise. Say Scott Boras. You put those two together and you get ALFONSO SOR-ASS.

Here’s one you’ll like. You put Kerry Wood together with Alonzo Mourning and you get KERRY MOURNING-WOOD.

Staying with that theme for a minute, mix Chien-Ming Wang with Long John Silver and you get CHIEN-MING LONG WANG.

Put Derek Lee together with someone else who screwed the pooch in October and you get DEREK LEHMAN BROTHERS.

Felix Pie plus Mike Holtz of the Dodgers gives you FELIX PIE-HOLTZ.

And my personal favorite: Kosuke Fukudome with Alex Rodriguez gives you KOSUKE FUK-U-A-ROD.

Once you run out of Cubbies just keep going through all the other sports. Mix it up with the names of a week’s worth of Howard Stern guests, and throw in the NY Times Op-Ed columnists for good measure. If all else fails, go to the Yellow Pages.

With any luck, Names-In-A-Blender, a deck of cards, the Home Shopping Network and a couple dozen cases of Old Style should get you to at least Groundhog Day no problem.




· Joe Sez, News, The Playoffs · ,


Regarding Manny’s whereabouts next year, I quote … “I want to see who is the highest bidder,” Ramirez said after the Dodgers’ NLCS loss to the Philadephia Phillies. “Gas is up and so am I.”

What a friggin’ a-hole.

I grant you, he’s not alone. Everywhere you turn you got guys hitting a buck-75 going to arbitration cuz they think they’re lightin’ the world on fire. But, exxxxccuuuuuuuusse me! This guy was basically asked off the Red Sox by his teammates because he couldn’t be counted on. He made it crystal clear that he didn’t want to play for Boston anymore by dogging it, and pretty much treated Epstein, the owners, the rest of the team, and the fans the same way a baby treats a diaper. Well let me tell you Manny, you are not well-loved when your team dumps you but pays the remaining $7 million on your contract while you play for someone else. That pretty much says it all. In fact, it says you’re not just a garden variety a-hole, you’re a large, economy, only-available-at-Costco sized a-hole; with a capital ‘A’ and a ‘hole’ you could drive a cement truck through.

I know all you Dodgers fans could give a crap cuz you wouldn’t have made the playoffs without him, and he was a big part of why you kicked our asses for sure. But I’m sorry, someone who doesn’t care about anything except money is either my first wife, my first wife’s brother, or a self-centered, selfish S.O.B. of gargantuan proportions. Like I said … Manny.

Oh, I might mention that none of those three can play left field worth a damn, either.

So while your average fan — the guy driving a cab to pay the rent, or selling insurance for 20 years, or doing whatever to scrape together the money to send the kids to college — is cutting back with the way the economy is and all, we got Manny being Satan, making it harder for Joe Fan to afford the occasional game with the kids. Nice. Thanks a lot, ‘Gas is up and so am I.’

But there is a bright spot in all of this; and that’s the recent rumblings of Hank Steinbrenner on the subject of acquiring Mr. I-play-hard-if-I-feel-like-it. Which is to say he’s definitely interested in Manny. So you gotta figure the guy’s gonna end up on a team like the Yankees — if not the actual Yankees — where money grows on trees. Which means that you Yankees fans might have to decide, do I wanna make the mortgage payment this month or go see a couple ball games? Especially in that new ballpark. I mean the potential acquisitions of Ramirez and Sabathia (who they’ll also try to nab) in combination with the price of the new House That Ruth Didn’t Build is gonna be like the financial version of the perfect storm. And right on the heels of all this other crap that Wall Street and all those fine, upstanding, never-knew-a-thing-about-it shysters in Washington just laid on us. Anyway, if there are any fans (besides White Sox fans) I’d like to see pay a higher price for their allegiance to their team, it’s New York’s. No question.

So I hope Manny gets everything he wants from whoever thinks that gas is worth $25 million a gallon. But whoever that is had better hope that he uses all 4 gears, instead of just first and second like he did in Boston last year.