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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Dazzling Dodgers...and a word about Japanese baseball
 
When Vin Scully pronounced the Dodgers as "dazzling", you just had to have an involuntary erection at that point.  We really are playing like winners...of course it's against the worst team in the National league, but when has it not been fun to beat on the handicapped?  I mean really.
 
Two more games against Arizona, a couple more against Houston, followed by two against Colorado, and this is the moment where we need to build an insurmountable lead in the West.  We play the Padres three games after that, and then four more games at Colorado.  It doesn't get any easier.  I used to hate the division breakup of the teams in baseball, because the playoff structure made it less likely for the better team to win over a wild card team, or worse record team, but with the unfair advantage teams like the Yankees have, I'm all for it. 
 
I'm reading right at this very moment a book entitled "You Gotta have Wa", all about Japanese baseball.  It's a little dated, it was written in 1990, but still very relevant.  I highly recommend it, if you want to find out about Japanese culture, or the way they play baseball.  Basically, they're insane.
 
Jim Tracy is mentioned in the book.  For those of you who don't know, Tracy played a couple years in Japan.  Like many Americans who played, he couldn't get used to the culture, and the dominant power Japanese managers have over their players.  When he was put down in the batting order, he felt betrayed, and left the country.  He felt it was unfair that his good playing was rewarded with a demotion.  I wondered how in the ensuing years, such a principled man, became a corporate unprincipled lackey, but I figured age, and the need for an income softened him.  Quite interesting.
 
There's another story that I found to be amazing as well.  An American baseball player, last name Wright, played in Japan, and the other Japanese players were very fond of teasing him.  They would sneak their hands onto his body, and try to pull his body hair out.  They would also tug his penis in the lockerroom, as they were unused to seeing something that large.  Even the coaches would do it.  Finally his manager tugged his penis so hard, that he was actually in physical pain, and he had to confront his manager and the team to stop teasing him in this way, as it hurt.  I'm not joking, this is actually a story in this book.  In Japan, evidentally, they are much less restrained in their physical humor than we are. 
 
In reading this book you get an indepth analysis of how Japanese players approach the game.  Since we have two of them on our roster, this is pretty important.  First of all, Japanese players practice too much.  This leads to injury.  Pitchers are notorious for pitching hundreds of pitches before a game.  The Dodgers should see if this isn't a reason for low velocity on the part of Nomo and Ishii, and injury on the part of Nomo. 
 
Another thing is that Japanese players rarely alter their mechanics, even in the face of huge problems.  Anyone who has seen Ichiro take batting practice knows that he swings very differently in practice, and is capable of hitting monster homeruns.  Yet he goes back to his standard swing during games, and makes himself into a league average hitter.  Not smart.  Japanese players are more inclined to listen to coaching staff than other players, because they live in a hierarchical society, so the Dodgers should crack down more often.
 
Ishii and Nomo's high walk rates have to be in part due to an avoidance of losing face to a batter.  Japanese pitchers much prefer a walk over someone hitting a homer off their ass.  To be the first pitcher to give up a run, is a loss of face for a player, whereas an American could care less, so long as the lead was not too great.  Colborn, who I've heard is well versed in Japanese culture and who played in Japan might take this into consideration as well when coaching Ishii.  Is he afraid of allowing a run?  He shouldn't be, we won't beat him if he loses.
 
Coaches in Japan regularly hit players, regularly insult them, and degrade them.  There's a logic too that I think.  The players also tend to follow the coaches like automatons, instead of doing their own thing, like Shawn Green.  I like that too.  We could learn a lot from them, so long as we keep the dick tugging to a minimum, and concentrate on the game at hand.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Kobe signs
 
I'm keeping with my new habit of no longer linking articles, just because it takes so much goddamn time, and it bores me.  Go to another blog for that.
 
Dipshits like Jim Gray are already saying he's better than Michael, so that means we should be on the start of seven straight finals victories.  If of course he's not found guilty of rape.  Wake up people, it ain't happening.

By the way, what is "Dr." Buss, a doctor in?  Do they give doctorates for having a skank army surrounding him all the time or for wearing hair plugs?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Shaq is a goner

I jumped the gun a few days ago by going hysterical on Shaq leaving, but I figured once the house was for sale, he was off the team.

LA fans are almost as stupid as NY fans. You ask any moron on the street in this city, and the first thing they'll tell you is that Kobe is a better player than Shaq. Now, of course, the stats, most of America, most sports writers, most broadcasters will have a different opinion, but that's your typical LA fan. They'll also determine that Kobe is cuter, more marketable, therefore a better player. Also they think he's better than Michael Jordan.

That has to be the most insane thing said, since, well, since Derek Jeter was mentioned in the same breath as the words "Hall of Fame". Unfortunately, the latter belief is shared by many, if not most in the country, but in a sport like basketball, where you can really tell just by watching a game, who the better player is, most people know that Shaq is better. Since LA fans don't watch games, but attend games at the Staples Center to watch other famous fans, they have no idea. In a way, we deserve to have a team that is basically the Miami Heat starting lineup, plus Gary Payton. It ought to be cool.

A 6'9" Center. Three players who have never, and will never be All-Stars. A future 1st round draft pick. The latter is the only worthwhile thing we have. Shocking. Shockingly stupid. The only good thing that could come of this transaction is if it drives Payton off the team, and we get a decent player to replace him. Other than that, it's downhill for the Lakers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

All-Star bullshit

God what a stupid thing the All-Star game is. What a fucking joke. It pains me to watch half assed pitching, half assed hitting, half assed effort running down balls, etc. Just bullshit.

First of all, you have the non-stop introductions, with old, washed up, burned out athletes, hugging kids, hugging each other, tipping their caps to the crowd, revealing their bald heads. They say that this is supposed to "count", that it's supposed to be taken seriously, then we have the litany of corporate sponsorship, and contests featuring anonymous corporate lackeys who are posing as contest winners, so that they didn't have to dole out a prize. Then the brainless chatter from that bitch with the giant perm, whatever the fuck her name is, who hosts Saturday morning baseball, yapping at how those two steroid freaks Clemens and Piazza had a make up session in the hot tub before the game, and shared the same drug needle, so it's not a big deal. Well if it isn't a big deal woman, why bring up the fucking event? No one watched that subway world series anyway, outside of the NYC metropolitan area.

Then we get to "hear" the bullshit from the players yapping, with the penis microphones strategically placed throughout the field. I just pray one day we hear a real dialogue from a guy on first base with the first baseman.

"Dude, you coming to the strip club after the game? My wife is dancing."

"Bro, I'm there."

"Tight."

The All-Star game, hell, any All-Star game, regardless of sport, is just a ploy to make money, and sell grotesque jerseys. It's insulting too. The rendition of the National Anthem was beyond disgusting, it went on forever, and it was played like a goddamn Southern choir tune. It's the fucking anthem, finish it, and let me return to my beer. I'm surprised the woman didn't tear at her clothes and speak in tongues the way she went on.

I tuned out during the third inning, confused and annoyed by the multitude of player changes. Torre was his usual swarmy obnoxious self, with his stupid confident swagger, and the fact that his side won, was good enough reason as far as I was concerned to not watch. His pre-game interview was absolutely the most disgusting display of New York false bravado I've ever seen, where he actually bagged on Alan Trammell for pressuring him to pick Carlos Guillen on the roster. Any other classy individual would have kept such a conversation to themselves, but Toucan Sam Torre had to stick his swollen nose into the mix, and bag on a rival manager. Class act from those New Yorkers, as usual.

I wish the season ended at the regular season's end. I'm so used to watching the Dodgers go home after September, and so used to having games eloquently called, that I can't stand the retards and the cartoon graphics of the FOX network for the playoffs and All-Star game. FOX has ruined the news, ruined reality TV, ruined football, and now baseball. God I hope they don't break into the on-line porn business, that'll be the end of me.
I think we should trade Jackson

Sounds crazy huh? Trade the future? For what? The LA Times and the Daily News both have mentioned Jackson as possible trade bait, and if he's all we have that's tradeable we should do it. Running a sports franchise isn't always like running a corporation. Because the end goal of a franchise is to win, THAT YEAR, sometimes destroying the future is the only way to go. I think Jackson will be a great pitcher, and the Dodgers will probably be laughed at for trading him away years from now. But if it means bringing Randy Johnson to the team, or Beltran to the outfield, we have to do it. Seems crazy, but it's moves like that, that separate the ballsy GMs from the chickenshit ones who keep building for a future years away. Ya gotta be a trigger puller in this game. Pull that trigger DePodesta, and let's win us a fucking championship, so I can run onto the field, clothesline Shawn Green, and get a jail sentence!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Is this a fucking nightmare?

The Lakers, in their infinite stupidity have traded away Shaq. In exchange we get Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, and Caron Butler. Ummm, wow. First of all, to my friend who was absolutely convinced that Shaq was staying, you are tragically naive. Secondly, to anyone who thinks the Lakers have a shot in hell of winning the finals next year, think again.

This is now Kobe's team. It's a pretty crazy time we live in, where the future of a franchise is put on the shoulders of a man who could be in jail in a year's time, or jump to another team, but I'm not the Laker's GM, nor do I make important decisions while under the influence of qualudes. What a dumbshit. What a fucking moron. What a retard. The Lakers are about to become a joke.

Kobe, the big baby, has got his bottle. Now you did it you, alleged rapist prick, you've taken control of the team. It's all yours, let's see what you do with it. I saw how shittily you played during the finals, you may have fooled the zombies of Los Angeles, but you didn't fool me. Congrats. I predict failure. Thanks.

Thank god the Dodgers are in first. More analysis on that later...

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