Saturday, November 08, 2003

We Lose...sort of

There's only one undefeated team left in the NBA, the SuperSonics, so we know now that no team will ever be able win the whole season that way, because that team just sucks. The Lakers lost, not to a better team, but because of tired players. It's a hard life, that of an NBA player. After the double over time win against the Spurs, followed by a visit to the local strip club, a few lines of coke, and then 3-4 full size blunts, maybe a tiny whiff of nitrous, next a romp in the hotel swimming pool, and then sleeping in till the early evening, it can take a toll on a player. It's really no surprise that they won, what I'm shocked at is that we even scored a basket. Got hand it to that Davis (who's last high school for CrossRoads I saw at UCI several years ago), he really beat us.

Friday, November 07, 2003

We win...barely

That was a squeaker, and a little too close for comfort. Gigolobi, the only Iraqi in the league, more than made up for Duncan, and that little Frenchman, and scored his heart out. Payton may have talked shit to Gigolobi, but Payton got fucking schooled defensively. The Iraqi was all over the court, and scored a career high. This is a team that is hyped to play against us, and I'm just talking about the bench. Duncan is the best player in the NBA, and to beat him, we're going to need to get aggressive, and PASS MORE TO SHAQ. I saw Kobe try to score inside the paint again, and it didn't work. Yes he had a high point total, but this was a game that went into double overtime, so virtually every starter had a high point total. There is no TRIANGLE OFFENSE, this is a doublethink bullshit code word that means, we have no offensive strategy except pass to Shaq, or Kobe, and hope one scores. It worked for three championships, almost worked on another last year. I am not at all comforted by this win, and judging by the Spurs devil may care attitude after the game, they knew they played terrificly for a team without their two best players. Whorey was loved by all, but I think him a traitor for leaving our boys behind, they may love him, but I know the truth. He could have chosen the Knicks or Nuggets, or Heat, or some other crap team, but he had to choose a powerhouse. Watch him get his "clutchness" back in time for the playoffs....

And of course no news on the Dodger front. All Selig needs to do is call up all the owners and get their vote individually, something done routinely with conference calls, to speed up the ownership change, but of course, he won't do it. Thanks, big guy.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Added comments feature

Boy you guys (and I say guys, because no way in hell a woman reads this juvenile male shit), better thank your lucky stars, because now your voice may be heard. Unlike our President, I believe in a democracy, and so no matter how stupid, insane, or ignorant you are, I have given you a voice. I'd like to point out that I am also the only Dodger blog that allows responses now, and I expect all fifty of the fans of this team who speak English to regularly post back. I want Socratic method shit, I want Globe Theater antics, I want conversation. This does not give my friends who read this site the right to bag on me personally, you know who are Douglas Hayes. Bagging on Rick/DodgerKid on the internet will result in real life beatings on planet earth. Digital fists shall become flesh, digital curse words shall become audible. So scream away my mofos, and thanks go out to "Paco" for showing me how this works. More after the Laker game tonight, looks like we got a doozy with a Parkerless and Duncanless Spurs. I expect, nay, demand a 100 point blow out.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Dodgers win no Gold Gloves

Anyone who follows baseball knows that the Gold Glove, like most awards, is bullshit, and never given to the best defensive player necessarily, but given to a very good defensive player who can at least hit. I actually agree with this policy.

I say it's bullshit because the argument that someone has a gold glove doesn't mean he's the best defensively that year, as the award contends, but rather that he's pretty damn good. The reason that this is how the award should continue to be given is because players who hit like Izturis and Cora, deserve to be thrown out of the league rather than lauded. Players like these who show up to the plate every night, HURT their team with continued outs, and not getting on base. Why award that? Awards should go to the best all around players, because baseball is not a game of merely defense, it is a game of both offense and defense. A player who contributes as little offensively as Izturis hurts his team, far more than his defensive skills help it.

In the case of Beltre, his defensive skills were considerably improved this year; he hardly made any stupid mistakes all season, something he's famous for. But compared to Scott Rolen, whose offensive skills are much better than Beltre's, one has to wonder if the Gold Glove is more than an award for defense, and instead is an award for the best PLAYER at that particular position, i.e. an individual not of MVP calibre material, but someone who demands notice. They don't give awards for being just a good player in baseball, so this is the replacement. I have a small problem with this, not because it shouldn't be done, but because it's dishonest at that point to call the award, a reward for defensive ability. This sort of contradicts what I wrote above, but I tend to do that if I don't take my lithium dosage.

The argument that these Dodgers deserve more defensively is made through a Win Share analysis. I'm not going to address the fact that win shares are highly unscientific, and based in large part on opinion of the player's efforts that game, but the reason that Cora, Izturis, and Beltre got so many defensive win shares, is because they gave so little offensively in win shares to the team. Therefore their efforts came in those win share terms. Thus, the argument that Cora, Izturis, and to a lesser extent Beltre are detriments to this team, has a strong foundation. Which makes me all the more angry every time I hear Vin Scully drool over Izturis turning a double play.
More on McCourt

The LA TIMES is reporting that rumors are flying about McCourt blowing up the stadium, moving it to near Staples, and building apartments in where the stadium used to be.

There's also a quote in there about how Staples helped the downtown area that I'd like to address. Bullshit. I lived two blocks away from the Staples center this past year, in the Medici apartment complex. This complex was filled with rich foreign kids who went to USC, did cocaine and humped each other in the apartment jacuzzi. Needless to say I missed out. Anyway, I shared an apartment with two other kids, and I had to park my car in a nearby parking structure, because the apartment only allotted two spots for each apartment. Because of this, I got to walk around and see downtown.

Downtown is the biggest hunk of steam pile of SARS infested frog shit in the Western United States. I haven't been to Beirut, Baghdad, or Detroit, so I can't comment on how it ranks on the world stage. Semi conscious prostitutes, crack heads, zombies, assorted goblins, orcs, wizards, Mexicans, elves, and rats patrol the area. (Kidding about the Mexican part, don't kill me). There are tent cities within half a mile of the Staples center. It is so dangerous and strange there, there is actually a dome city on 7th street, slightly north of the 110 freeway, with crackheads living in plastic Disneyworld type dome buildings. I'm not kidding. Under every freeway bridge there are both trolls and homeless people living in boxes. The New York Times did an article about the area a few months ago and estimated FORTY THOUSAND homeless lived in the area, floating between the street, and the many flop houses that charge by the hour that were once grand hotels in the past century. Travelling in the area after dark is being Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, with insane Thugee cult natives replaced with insane Crack cocaine/free base/meth guerrillas behind every corner. I could go on for days with stories of what I've witnessed people doing, even in broad daylight. All I can say is, lock your fucking car doors. And this is what they want to put Dodger Stadium in. Mind you, all this has been occurring non-stop after Staples "rescued" downtown.

If these rumors are true, about how McCourt will build an apartment complex where the stadium was, it really can't be a good thing. First of all, there are new apartments being built in Downtown as I type, and the newest ones go unfilled every day. Who would live in brand new apartments when there are no jobs nearby to commute too? Why commute to Pasadena, live in the ghetto, when there are apartments in Pasadena itself? There aren't many jobs in Downtown, many of the high rises are half empty, and the big law firms that are there are slowly moving to Century City. There are no schools, grocery stores, or drug stores (well legal ones) in the area, the closest ones are near USC. Most of the restaurants are not trendy, and are old fashioned and cater to WASPy steak and mayonnaise types. The night clubs are riddled with speed freaks, and the streets are deserted by normal people at night. Building apartment after apartment in the area will do nothing, not even alleviate traffic, because people will want to commute to their job elsewhere. Not to mention the high level of crime.

McCourt, if he buys the stadium, would have to find financing for this new stadium. The state of California is bankrupt, the city of Los Angeles is near bankrupt. McCourt is having to sell his assets just to buy the team. Where would he get the cash? Even if he raised it from private sources instead of duping the local taxpayers, would he get as generous a share of revenues from attendance as he has now? No way.

What Frank and pals should do is keep the stadium, and thank their lucky stars the damn thing is high above the mess that is downtown. If he insists on building apartments, blow up the surrounding hills around the stadium, and build a sort of community within the stadium, like Wrigley has, with free loaders parked on rooftops watching the game. The only one's who would lose in that situation would be the local LAPD police academy; they would lose their laser-tag playground. The stadium needs renovations, wait a few years, and dole out 150 million for that, and replace the piss troughs with the autoflush dudes. Replace the seats, and the crumbling cement, charge a buck extra for it, and put big blue baseball caps out front for people to walk under, and an animatronic Shawn Green rubbing his shoulder, or a Kevin Brown rubbing his elbow, like in Chucky cheese's. Kids love that shit.
A letter, an article, and the fact that I have no life

I received a letter from my only loyal reader on how to redo my blog, and allow for comments from you mofos. To him I say thank you, to the rest of you, I say fuck you very much. In the next few days I will experiment with redoing the template of my blog and allowing you chuckleheads the ability to comment.

One of my friends has emailed me with an essay on pitching. It is typical nerd analysis that I so dearly love, and I will publish it in several parts, and respond to each of its points. The person who wrote it is named Chris Chiou, and he is smarter than all of you put together. So watch and learn.

The same person who wrote to me about how to change my blog also responded to my ravings on Kobe's ability. Here is that portion of the letter:

I will play the part of the 40-year old fat woman and say that Kobe is more important than Shaq to the Lakers. Tonight was a good example.

Kobe did win the game for the Lakers. When he was also playing shitty in the first half, it was Shaq and Payton who carried the team. Remember, Kobe doesn't make 31 points in every game, many times he scores less. However, I believe if he played on a dog shit team like the Heat, he would average 40 points a game. I will respond to your theory that Kobe is more important in a bit.

Though I did not watch the game because I am temporarily outside of California, it looks like Kobe hit 3 or 4 key shots at the end. While Shaq is the most dominant player in the game, his skills come into play in the paint and really nowhere else. I understand that Shaq's presence in the paint creates shots for others. But Kobe's athleticism, quickness, and unearthly talent are what make the Lakers a special team.

There can be no doubt that Kobe is more of an athlete than Shaq, because Kobe is a human, whereas Shaq is a space alien mutant. Shaq is not an athlete, he is a monster. That being said, it is the monster body type that allows Shaq to do what he wants. I have said this before, and I'll say it again: Shooting at the hoop from 2 feet away, verses shooting at the hoop outside the key, which is easier? Especially if you are eleven feet tall? Because of this, Shaq is MORE LIKELY to score. The reason that Kobe makes more points is because he TAKES MORE SHOTS. No one on God's green earth except a female groupie would not admit that Kobe is a ball hog. If Kobe didn't have the shooting skills, he would miss, and thus would suck. But he doesn't, so he rocks. Remember, you just stated that Shaq being in the paint frees up a defender for Kobe or whomever to shoot and score. If two people covered Kobe constantly, he would be destroyed, or at least not as good of a player. If Shaq is covered by two defenders, the best the other team can do is get an offensive foul. The alternatives are for Shaq to score, go to the foul line, or pass to Kobe. Not a good choice for a defending team. Shaq is the catalyst. Just look at his percentage of shots made, when he's healthy, it's the highest or near the highest in the game.

The importance of his "clutchness" cannot be overstated. Most games come down to the last 2 minutes, and Kobe has obviously been the key to the Laker's success during those stretches.

I don't know enough about basketball to comment, but I have a feeling clutchness does not exist. In baseball, statistical analysis has revealed that clutchness does not exist at any point, Billy Beane's words, not mine. (see Moneyball). Remember when everyone had an orgasm when Horry made the shot, and this past year in the playoffs he blew it for us. So he's 1 for 1. Hardly clutch from Mr. Clutch himself. But that's a small sample size. I think Kobe is an exceptional player who tends to make shots, and if they happen in the clutch then so be it. If you add up all the "clutch" moments, and his percentage of success, the percentages will probably fall according to his talent, i.e. his percentage of success when he normally shoots. Probably.

That being said, I will admit that the Lakers could not have won the 3 championships without Shaq. Nor could we have won without Kobe.

I agree. Kobe is easily one of the top five players in the game. You stated, as have most sports writers that Shaq is the most "dominant". What does that mean? That sounds like the other popular sports word "intangibles" something that bench players give to a team who are spunky and who sports writers find sexy. In other words it is a bullshit word. If dominant means undefendable, and able to score the most, or result in the most points scored, isn't Shaq the best player then? Isn't the point of the game to facilitate the most points scored, or score them outright? Shaq is also a better defender than Kobe, or virtually anyone else in the game. So he defends better, is more likely to score, or allow Kobe to score. Kobe however makes more free throws. Shaq gets the edge.

That letter was from Paco, a small Mexican child living in Death Valley. Well Paco is his name, I don't know about the last part, but it sounded kind of cool.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Dear God Why?

I cheated, and looked up the final score of the Laker game before it ended on KCAL tonight. That should give you some psychological insight into what kind of fan I really am. This is a team that is a juggernaut, but the opposing coach's stupidity at taking out Michael the Redd, helped quite a bit towards a Lakers win. If I was a coach I'd leave whoever is hot that night, or the best player on the team, I'd leave that mofo in until he begged me to come out or ruptured a tendon, but hey that's why I'm a badass with a blog, rather than high paid NBA coach. It'll be interesting to watch the Lakers come back in this recorded game, Kobe has just made a 3 pointer, and silenced the cheering crowd of fat Midwesterners who thought the game was over. Nice.

Has anyone else noticed, that for all the booing Kobe gets, there's also a high pitched screaming that is PRO Kobe, every time he makes a shot. It's high pitched to the extent that it's probably a bunch of women. I find that very interesting. It means that Kobe, who has always been more popular with women than with men, hasn't really lost their interest, no matter where he goes. I remember one of the few times I've talked about sports with someone with a vagina, I was in class sitting next to a girl, and the subject of the Lakers came up. I gave my rant on how Shaq was the basis of the team, while she debated for Kobe. Needless to say her argument was similar to the fat mid-40s Dodger female fan who thinks Karros can do no wrong.

And one final note. I saw Gadzuric in Westwood a few years ago before he went pro and joined the Bucks to begin a mediocre professional career. He was with his hot blonde girlfriend. Very classy, half his height, very sophosticated. Much less slutty looking than most players' girlfriends. Impressive. I don't know why I wrote that, but it seemed the right time and place.

Some fat guy with a sports website (no not me), is writing that Pat Gillick might be coming to the Dodgers once Little Mac gets the team, which will be around November 20th when the owners vote. Gillick has a good history behind him, leading the Twins to a couple series wins, and the Mariners to several playoff jaunts. I don't know if he'd really be an improvement over Evans, because basically we haven't seen that much of Evans. Gillick, also left the Mariners in disgrace this year after being unable to make any mid season acquisitions and watching his team sink out of reach of the wild card, from a division leading high. Gillick won't have to face the venomous fans and press that he had up in Seattle, so any fuckups that occur should go unpunished. This news isn't exactly what I was looking for (Beane please), but it's not that bad. Of course this could all be bullshit, and the Dodgers rehire Kevin Malone, and the stadium explodes into flames. Check out Dodger Thoughts on my links, there's a story about how Milton Berle compared the stadium to a concentration camp when it was first built, and the ushers to Eichmann. Good shit.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Duncan hurt, season over

ESPN is reporting that Duncan was injured tonight. They're saying it's minor, but "minor" injuries that require MRIs tend to be brain tumors, and torn ligaments. If he goes down, there's no other competition for the Lakers, PERIOD. The best thing America needs right now is a championship ring for an alleged rapist, they know it, I know it. Hell, if a coke swilling, draft dodging, religious psychopath can drive an 87 billion dollar giveaway to his friends through Congress, Kobe and Co. deserve a trophy.
I hate you all

And that's why I need your help. I want to add comments to this blog, and I don't know how to. If someone has a blog of their own, or knows how to because they work with computers, shoot me over an email. I don't understand computers because I'm not a nerd, but if you're a nerd, that's ok, I forgive you. And if no one shoots me over an email, it'll either mean I have no readers, or you all hate me. There's not much news on the sports frontier concerning the Lakers or the Dodgers, which in the former is a good thing, and in the latter is horrific. So this is all for today.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Kobe warming up

We played like shit, but we beat a husk of a team, that actually had the coach suit up since everyone on the Warriors was serving a suspension. And that's cool, because we won. I've made comparisons of the Yankees to the Lakers, and there's nothing I love more than to come from a season of watching a crap team like the Dodgers, and enjoy a season of non-stop winning from the Lakers. I know that we can beat everyone in the league, with the possible exception of San Antonio, and that's the game I'm gearing up for. Kobe is healing fast, and in probably two or three games, he'll be his old ball hogging self. I sort of feel sorry for Kobe because if he was on any other team but the Lakers and Spurs, he'd easily average 30 points a game. Easily.
What I'm reading

Have you heard of Bill James? He's a big, fat guy, with a beard, and he writes about baseball. He's actually one of, if not, the smartest guy writing about baseball right now, and he's growing in popularity with every passing day, in large part because his heavy use of statistical analysis for baseball players is growing in popularity with every passing day. He now works for the Red Sox, but he's most well known for his writing.

That being said, he's also a TERRIBLE writer. Aesthetically, he's somewhere on the level of a tabloid writer, or perhaps a good comic book writer, maybe even as good as a blog sports writer. His ideas are the saving grace of his work. I'm reading his book "Whatever happened to the Hall of Fame?", and what the Yankees did to get Phil Rizzuto into the Hall is absolutely disgusting. Steinbrenner should be ashamed of himself, though I'm pretty sure he's not. Asshole.

Anyway here are six rules from George Orwell on how to write. I break them regularly, which is why I'm a mediocre writer. James breaks them with great frequency, and for being the premier published intellectual of baseball, that's just deplorable. Here are the rules:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive [voice] where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

George Orwell wrote "1984" and "Animal Farm", I hear they're pretty good. Anyway, that's my take on James, so beware if you hear a baseball fan screaming praises for him. James regularly breaks 1, 3, 4, and 5.

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