Yesterday, I got sunburned playing football, and then it was ridiculously humid, and then we didn't have air conditioning, and then it was a miserable night's sleep, and then it was a rainy Monday morning.
So instead of providing thoughtful analysis or talking about the Yankees, I think I'll just post 5 CURMUDGEONLY SPORTS OPINIONS.
But first: The A-Rod Blog launched on Friday. Come on over, give it a read, check back occasionally.
Here we go.
1) Screw Lebron James
I don't want this guy on the Knicks. I don't want him in NYC. It makes me sick to see Knicks fans beg for Lebron James. Is he an amazing player? Yes. Fine. But he's quickly becoming Kevin Garnett Junior. If I have to watch him stare down another player, or pose for the crowd, or scream into a camera one more time, I'm actually going to send him hate mail. I've never sent anyone hate mail in my life, but I'm going to make an exception for King James. I'll send him a psychotic rambling letter that will never reach his hands but will get me banned from all Cavaliers games.
I DIDN'T WANT TO GO TO YOUR STUPID CITY ANYWAY, CLEVELAND.
Honestly, though: play the game, get excited, be awesome. But STOP with this tough-guy shit. Everyone knows who you are. You don't need to intimidate or embarrass people to prove yourself. It speaks poorly to your character. Stop using the facial expression where it looks like you just chased some punk kids from your lawn in the suburbs. You used to be all about smiling and fun pre-game rituals and free spirit balling, Lebron. What happened? What happened?
Don't be like this guy:
He's an ass, and everyone knows it. He actually made unaffiliated people root for the Lakers two years ago. Nobody likes him except his own fans, and nobody will like you if you keep it up. As of now, I hope you lose, and I hope you never come to NYC.
2) Screw A.J. Pierzynski
Pierzynski, a catcher for the White Sox, is one of the biggest jerks in the game, and on Saturday he had the temerity to hit a game-winning double against the Yanks. In the past, he's kneed a player in the groin, run on the inside of the first base line in order to hit Justin Morneau with his spikes, and faked getting hit with a pitch. He also got punched in the face by Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after knocking him over at home plate. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had this to say about his catcher:
"If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less."
You can watch "AJ in his own Words" below.
3) Screw Javy Vazquez
And screw his below average fastball. From 2007-2009, he had exactly 3 starts where his average fastball velocity was below 90mph. That's 3 starts in 3 seasons. This year, his first 5 starts have all featured an avg. fastball velocity below 90.
What does a lower average fastball velocity mean?
a) Batters tee off. His HR/9 is 3.13 right now, double what it's ever been for any full season in the past. Opponent BA is .330. It hasn't been above .270 in like 10 years for him.
b) He can't strike anybody out. Since batters don't have to be scared of his fastball, knowing they can foul it off at worse, his curve, change, and slider don't have the same power of surprise. His K/9 is the worst it's been in years, and batters are making contact at pitches both inside and outside the strike zone at a higher rate than he's ever allowed. Ditto for his swinging strike rate - at 8.6%, it's below 10% for the first time in his career.
c) He has no confidence in his pitches. His bb/9 rate is a miserable 5.87. Again, that's double any total since his first two years in Montreal (3.05 and 3.55, there). His K/BB ratio is below 2 for the first time ever. His WHIP is above 2 for the first time ever. Because of all that, he throws more pitches, tires more quickly, and can't get deep into games.
Bottom line: without a fastball, Javy stinks. None of those numbers will significantly improve unless he can get his velocity back into the 92-94 range consistently. Until then, he's costing us games.
4) Screw Cliff Lee
Here's another phenomenal talent with no loyalty or class. He comes out in his first start at Seattle and dominates for 7 innings, but the Ms lose in 12. Kind of a heartbreaking game, in some ways, and Lee's agent tops it off that night by telling everyone that Lee probably won't be with the Mariners next year. Along with his constant arrogance and his refusal to pitch 3 games in the World Series last year, this cements the pattern of selfishness that undercuts Lee's talent.
Can you imagine worse timing? Seattle is the best team never to make a World Series, and their fanbase has high hopes for this year. It hasn't started amazingly, and they're hovering around .500, but the optimistic spirit prevails. And then Lee has to rub salt in the wound of an extra inning loss by telling everyone he won't be around next year. It's not like this is a big surprise to Ms fans, but it's still a shitty way to treat a fanbase. It really reeks of a guy pouting because he couldn't get any run support, and taking it out on the team through his agent.
5) Screw Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony
After using math and picking like a genius against my brothers in the NBA playoff pool, I got screwed by these two guys, who couldn't lead their respective teams to first round wins despite being the higher seed. I'm up by about 250 points after round 1, but what should have been an easy win will now come down to the wire. Thanks for nothing, you bastards.