Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Running of the Quevedo: A Photo Essay

So, we've gotten a lot of mileage out of Ruben Quevedo this week, perhaps more mileage than any MLB team every got out of him. Maybe too much? Who knows. With that said, this site's fine contributors have invited me to close out Quevedo Day by succeeding where Ruben failed: I, KL Snow of Brew Crew Ball, must finish The Running of the Quevedo.

For those of you who don't know the story, here's the condensed version. Ruben Quevedo, a purported professional athlete, reported to spring training in 2002 so out of shape he couldn't finish a mile run. It was one of the defining moments of Quevedo's brief and embarrassing stint as a Brewer.

Now, I'm not a professional athlete. In fact, I'm relatively well known as a foodie (read: glutton) in my own right. So, if ever there was a candidate to redeem mock Ruben by being able to do what he could not, it's me, right?

(This run was initially scheduled for yesterday, but I woke up and it was windy and raining. As I looked outside and considered the enormity of the task before me, I thought to myself, "No tribute to Ruben Quevedo would be complete without a little laziness and procrastination, right?" So you're getting it today.)

Let's start with something you may not have known: A mile is really, really far and you shouldn't attempt to run one without taking the proper precautions. So I set out this morning properly equipped with my survival provisions, and a photographer to document the occasion and/or drag me home if I failed in this mission. I gave myself ten minutes to complete this task: Any more, and I'd be missing the Price is Right. Nothing is worth that.

Time: 0:00. Distance: 0.0 miles

Here you can see me, as I stood at the starting line. Note the Sports Bubbler Fleece: I wore it while cooking breakfast yesterday, and it still smells like bacon. Double bonus.

Time: 1:20. Distance: Two houses

Unfortunately, I got off to a bit of a rough start. About this time, breakfast was wearing off and, fearing malnutrition, I decided to stop and dig into the Survival Cooler for a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie. And another. Finally, I was on my way.

Time: 4:12. Distance: 0.26 miles

I made it down the block and a few steps into the park before deciding it was time for another break, and another dip into the Survival Cooler...this time for a Bavarian Cream filled donut.

Time: 6:24. Distance: .46 miles

How can anyone run with this unending hunger? With achy legs and no park bench in sight, I was forced to sprawl on the sidewalk to enjoy this caramel apple. The urge to give up struck me for the first time here, but with Ruben's honor at stake, I knew I had to carry on...

Time: 8:17. Distance: .7 miles

This is it. I'm out of provisions, out of energy, out of hope. Clearly, I can go no farther. Alas, I gave it my best shot but the mile was too much for me this year. I'll just lay here and rest, while I listen to the sounds of...wait...I know that sound...


Why must you drive so fast?

Time: 9:57. Distance: 1.00 miles

Success! Somehow, it doesn't feel like success. I remember hearing a car drive up, and someone say something about "diabetic shock." After that, I don't remember much at all...

(Thanks to Mrs. Snow for taking the photos, despite the fact that she enjoyed it about as much as Quevedo enjoys exercise, and reminded me at every stop, "Our neighbors are going to think we're crazy!")

Letters From The Buffet

Dear Rickie Weeks,

Please get the sand out of your va jay jay. I'm tired of the team being a bunch of whiny little bitches.

First Bill Hall goes off on his "Terry Armstrong's gonna do, what Terry Armstrong's gonna do" bit. Then J.J. Hardy makes his case for not switching to 3rd base in favor of Alcides Escobar because you don't "ask a plastic surgeon to fix your car". And now, Rickie Weeks, you're crying about speculation that you should switch to the outfield so the Brewers can sign Felipe Lopez to play 2nd base.

Rickie, the team has invested a lot of time in you and some might argue that it was finally paying off this past Spring (I maintain that it was a fluke and destined to fizzle out). But, there is no "i" in team. You need to think about what is best for the organization and if that means you should switch to the outfield so we don't have to suffer through more of Jody Gerut, Corey Patterson, and Catman, then you should suck it up and be a man about it. Cut the shit!

Peace out bitch,

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Seek The Holy Grail; I Have Seen It, Here In This Castle!

After an archaeological dig through my walk-in closet (which is in need of some serious help), that included the discovery of a long-forgotten Real Madrid jersey as well as the rediscovery of my Barney Stinson flight suit (HELLO Halloween costume!), I have found it... the Holy Grail of Ruben Quevedo memorabilia... a 2002 Miller Park All Star Game Limited Edition popcorn tin. It even has a delivery sticker reflecting the event date of 5/25/02... this is evidence of Master Reid's story and proof that the man named Ruben Quevedo did indeed exist... you cannot dispute this.

I will now celebrate Quevedo Day by enjoying a delicious Staghorn Octoberfest Beer while eating salty microwave popcorn from the tin. Sacrilegious? Maybe.

The Red Recap

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Last Week’s Opponent: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. The Cajuns are coached by Rickey Bustle (seriously) and are one of the traditional dregs of college football, despite their fancy nickname. For example, they are 0-22 all-time against LSU, with a total of 25 points scored. They haven’t scored a touchdown against the Tigers since before the Huey Long governorship (1924).

Last Week’s Result: 55-0 win. It was an all around arse-whooping, which was perfect for the 300th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium. The real red was wearing throwback uniforms (as were the cheerleaders) from 1962, the year the streak started. To put that in perspective, 3 Kennedy sons were alive and Northwestern was #1 in the nation (in football, not field hockey). Zac Lee was quite efficient, going 15-18 for 238 yards and no picks. Cody Green, the QB of the future, went 7 of 8 for 62 yards and ran for another 22 yards and score. He’s big, he’s fast and he’s not Jamaal Lord.

This Week’s Opponent: Bye. That doesn’t stand for Brigham Young East, folks. That means that Nebraska doesn’t play a game this weekend. Let’s all hope the boys don’t get hurt or run into the fuzz during the off week.

This Week’s Predicted Result: Not applicable, but you can tune in later this week for my overall college football picks. Please note, that they are guaranteed to be completely wrong.

Current Season Outlook: The thunderheads are rolling across the Nebraska plains as conference season starts on October, 8th at Missouri.

Predicted Bowl: Alamo

Wisconsin Badgers

Last Week’s Opponent: Michigan St – The Big 11’s most schizophrenic team rolled into Mad-town sporting a 1-2 record after defensive implosions against Central Michigan and Notre Dame. MSU left Madison with the 71st best pass defense, 78th scoring defense and 105th pass efficiency defense. Oh, they also turned the ball over 4 times. Good luck stopping Mythigan this week.

Last Week’s Result: 38-30 win – This game wasn’t even that close, MSU scored two late TDs to bring it within 8, but UW dominated for most of the game. That late mini-collapse continues to show that the Badgers have trouble closing out teams, which can only be a direct reflection on their coach. UW used a patient, punishing and efficient offense to put MSU away (kind of). UW has scored on all 16 red zone possessions this year, with 14 of those scores going for touchdowns. I don’t care who you are playing, those are impressive numbers. No one in the nation is better than the Badgers in the red zone. They better be, because the defensive is awful. The Badgers are 78th in total defense after facing Northern Illinois, Fresno St, Wofford and Michigan St. They are 73rd in rush defense, 80th in pass defense and 102nd in red zone defense, giving up 8 TDs in 13 trips.

This Week’s Opponent: @Minnesota – UW football team, this is a charter plane. It will take you from Madison to Minneapolis in about 30 minutes. I know you don’t do this very often, but you will play a football game in another city, in another state. The field is still 120 yards long and about 53 yards wide, just like our home gym in Hickory, I mean, home field in Madison. There will be 50,000+ people at the game and most will be wearing maroon and yellow. They won’t like you, but they are Minnesotans, so they’ll be nice. They’ve suffered through Jessie Ventura, the Wellstone crash, Carl Pohlad and the Kevin McHale, so they are a pretty jaded bunch. We only have to do this a couple more times this year, so don’t worry, we’ll be back in Madison soon.

Now, on to Minnesota. Stop Eric Decker, the honky WR, and you’ve stopped the Gophers. He’s a tough SOB and a great college receiver. Their run game is rather pedestrian (long run of 25 yards) and QB Adam Weber has 5 picks this year. Minnesota has played a vastly superior schedule (@Syracuse, Air Force, California, @Northwestern), so they will be the more battle tested crew.

This Week’s Predicted Result: Minnesota wins 24-21 – Minnesota’s experience in close games against stiffer competition will carry them to the victory. I’m very interested to see how many Badger fans buy their way into the game. Tickets are sky-high ($150+ online) for a game pitting teams headed to lower-tier bowls.

Current Season Outlook: There’s been a bit of a break in the clouds for UW, but the stronger half of the hurricane looms. They better beat Minnesota or a 1-3 Big 11 start is imminent with a trip to Columbus and a home date with Virginia Tech West (Iowa), following that.

Predicted Bowl: Alamo – yes, I am predicting a NU-UW bowl match-up

Continuing to Remember Ruben

I didn't want to bog down the excellent junk food discussion going on over at the official Ruben Memorial Post with a lengthy tale of Ruben's glory, so I'm posting my favorite memory in a new post. And, I am an insufferable egomaniac and I'm pretty sure I deserve, my own f'ing post on this subject. Anyways, this is pretty emotional for me but I'll try to get through it.

Hi, I'm Reid, my favorite junk food is currently Topper Stix. Especially the taco ones with the nacho cheese, eaten at 2:00 am or later

My favorite Ruben memory came back on May 25, 2002 when he took the mound against San Diego, on what must've been Opposite Day at Miller Park. How do I know it was opposite day? There is mountain of evidence to support that theory...

First, I sat with friends in a suite. Not just a suite, but a field level suite right behind home plate. Have you ever sat in one of those? That's some high roller shit right there. Now this was way before I ascended to fame and fortune as a cage fighter, so back in those days I was strictly a Terrace Level kind of guy. And everyone knows what happens in a suite right? You get hammered on beer and top shelf liquor that some one else has paid for. Or at least that's what happens on normal days. On opposite day you get in the suite and discover that your friend's parents, who are hosting this shindig, have opted against having booze in the box. But there's plenty of soda...gee thanks.

So I grab a Mountain Dew and settle in for some Brewers action, only to realize that Ruben is on the bump and I think, "Aw shit, this is gonna suck." But he managed to escape the 1st inning unscathed. Then, in the bottom of the frame, the opposite day marketing wizards showed they were pulling out all the stops. Jeffrey Hammonds (yes that Jeffrey Hammonds, the biggest free agent blunder this side of Ben McDonald) not only played in a game without injuring himself, but he hit a HOME RUN!! I was amazed, but I thought "It's going to take more than that one run to get Ruben Quevedo through this game."

Normally that would've been the case, but thanks to it being opposite day this time it wasn't. In fact Ruben Quevedo pitched well.... really well. In fact he tossed a fucking complete game shutout!! I was dumbfounded I even recall thinking for a brief moment, "Maybe this guy isn't so bad?" Of course that wasn't true, it was merely opposite day. And by mid June it was back to Shitsville for good old Toneladas de Diversion. But it was a glorious day back in 2002, when Ruben looked like a real pitcher, the Brewers looked like a real team, and I looked like a real important person.

In Memoriam.

On this most solemn Quevedo Day, please take a minute to pay your condolences in the comments -- and, to pay proper tribute to Rubie (the real one, not me), please include your favorite junk food.

I'll go first:

Rubicon Tiberius Quebotsky -- 6'0", 185 lbs. Bold Party Chex Mix. (Also: cheese-filled microwave pretzels.) I'm too emotional to write right now, so I'll let this YouTube clip speak for me:

A Most Solemn Quevedo Day To You And Yours.

For most of you, September 28, 2003 probably wasn’t a very significant date. Maybe you marked the 12th anniversary of Miles Davis’ death; maybe you got yourself invited to Gweny Paltrow’s 31st birthday party (and were subjected to four hours of Chris Martin and his stupid band playing stupid music that sounds like the modern equivalent of Bread); maybe you got ambitious and finished the New York Times crossword. (Looks hard, but it’s a topical puzzle name.) For the rest of you, though, it was probably just another Sunday.

For those of us who write for a blog named after erstwhile Milwaukee Brewers pitcher/black hole/chupacabra Ruben Quevedo, September 28 is a very important day, ranking up there with Arbor Day, the autumnal equinox, and Jimmie “JJ” Walker’s birthday. For it was on September 28, 2003, that Ruben Quevedo made his final appearance as a Milwaukee Brewer. Long before Jeff Suppan was tarnishing the number 37 in the minds of Brewers’ fans everywhere, our man Ruben was putting up 6.00+ ERAs and 1.50+ WHIPs like they were goin’ out of style.

Now, you might look at Rubie’s final line from that fateful September day – 1.3 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 1 home run allowed – and shrug. We, however, see something much more momentous. We see the Good Friday of our muse, our light, our inspiration.

So, in the Catholic tradition, we mark this most solemn of days by remembering the career of Ruben Thaddeus Ezekiel Quetzalcoatl Bryan (note: may not be actual middle names) Quevedo, in our own (slightly-unhinged) way. We call it the Stations of the Buffet.

Comin' up: some light to moderate blasphemy. If you're easily offended, you might think twice before soldiering on ... though, if you wanted to pray for us, it probably couldn't hurt anything.

Station No. 1: Ruben is condemned to pitch for the Chicago Cubs.

As it is written, in the Book of Juan 18-19 – “…unwanted and misunderstood by his own people, Ruben Quevedo was sent for judgment by the ruling system of that time, the Braves of Atlanta. Despite having had success in many conquests over the years via the rule of Governors Smoltz, Maddux, and Glavine, the Braves of Atlanta were unsure what to do with young Quevedo. The trial was passed from town to town – Danville, Macon, Richmond – across the span of the Braves Empire. Eventually, wanting to wash their hands of his fate, the Braves offered Quevedo up to the people. And so it was determined that Ruben’s fate should be decided by the National League Central with the Cubs of Chicago. In exchange, the Cubs released mass strikeout offender Jose Hernandez and cunning left-hander Terrance Mullholand.

“Quevedo was first dispatched to Des Moines (for further lashings), but eventually made his way to Wrigleyville in the year 2000 A.D. With his first appearance on April 14, and running through the Catholic Holy Week up to and including Easter Sunday, young Quevedo pitched out of the bullpen in 5 games. The Cubs of Chicago surrendered all five of those contests, and Quevedo was afflicted with Loss in two appearances. On Easter Sunday, Quevedo’s ERA ascended to an impressive – and atrocious – 27.00. It was at this point, deeply plagued with Loss, that Ruben realized why the Cubs of Chicago had been branded ‘the lovable losers,’ and came to know that he, too, would share their unhappy curse for the rest of his days.

“Stigmatized, Quevedo’s conditioning suffered dreadfully. Surrounded by temptation, with Chicago-style hotdogs, deep dish pizza, and Italian beef around every corner, Ruben’s belly ballooned more rapidly than his ERA. He traveled a long path with stops at Weiner’s Circle, Portillo’s, and Pizzeria Uno.”

Station No. 2: Ruben makes his first start for the Cubs.

“And so, the King of the Cubs, Donald Baylor, decreed that young Quevedo should be placed into a contest against his former mates from the Braves of Atlanta. Still deeply afflicted with Loss, and unable to counter the wiles of the dastardly Terrance Mulholland, rotund Quevedo turned in the first of many utterly forgettable starts, giving up five earned in six innings and giving up tape-measure jobs to Andres Galarraga and Javy Lopez. Still he managed to cut his ERA in half, dropping from 27.00 to a wholly respectable 14.90.”

Station No. 3: Ruben falls for the first time, or: how I learned to stop worrying that Ruben would last two innings in a start.

There’s no way to pretty this line up, even with faux-Bible speak: September 2, 2000 vs. San Francisco: 1.3 IP, 4 hits, 4 earned runs, 5 walks (even Doug Davis is impressed with that number), 2 K, 1 HBP. The most impressive part of that start? In that inning-and-a-third, Quevedo still found time to walk in three runs.

Station No. 4: Ruben meets his Major League mother, the Milwaukee Brewers.

History repeated itself on July 30, 2001, as Quevedo continued to be a pawn in late season trades. This time, he was traded at the deadline to Milwaukee, with Pete Zoccolillo (who?) for David Weathers and Roberto Miniel.

According to Baseball America:

“Both teams gambled somewhat on this trade. Quevedo isn't in the same class as Cubs pitching prospects Juan Cruz, Carlos Zambrano and Ben Christensen, but Chicago may rue his departure if their rotation springs a leak. And while Quevedo can provide some immediate help to the Brewers, Milwaukee gave up a legitimate pitching prospect in Miniel, albeit one who's not very close to the majors. It will be interesting to see how this deal plays out over the next few years.”

The Cubs were probably rueing their eyeballs out on August 21, 2001 when Rubie gave up one run in seven innings, while striking out 10 in a 3-1 win. Sadly (at least from the Brewers' perspective), that was likely the end of the rueing.

Station No. 5: AAA carries Rubie’s cross.

Though he struggled in every way as a big leaguer, Rubie was able to pierce the soft underbelly of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues as a Cub and Brewer farmhand. Rubes compiled a 21-9 record with Iowa and Indianapolis. Lest you think this impressive, the following players were knocking around the minors at that time. Remember – these are the guys who all made big league clubs:

Former Brewers

Trent Durrington

Ryan Thompson

Brooks Kieschnick

John Jaha

Scott Podsednik

Keith Ginter

Chad Moeller

Junior Spivey

Brant Brown

Random Crap Players

Alfredo Amezega

Rich Becker

Sal Fasano

Butch Huskey

Mark Bellhorn

Jeremy Giambi

F.P. Santangelo

Manny Alexander

Pat Borders

Bubba Crosby

Andy Stankiewicz

Bobby Kielty

Quinton McCracken

Matthew LeCroy

Chris Magruder

Felipe Crespo

Eric Bruntlett

Adam Everett

Ricky Ledee

Stubby Clapp

Station No. 6: Davey Lopes wipes the face of Quevedo.

It was the third of August. One day before he would make his first appearance in a Brewers uniform, Ruben Quevedo was so nervous that he overindulged himself on the pre-game spread. After eating a full rack of ribs, three bacon cheeseburgers, a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (for the fiber, of course), three bowls of rainbow sherbet, and 28 Pixy Sticks, Quevedo wasn't feeling too good. His new manager, Davey Lopes, noticed that it was the second inning and his new pitcher wasn't in the dugout tracking the pitches of that day's starter. In between innings, Lopes walked down to the clubhouse to find Quevedo sprawled out on a leather couch in front of a “Golden Girls” rerun. He picked up a Gatorade towel and slowly approached Ruben. Lopes picked up Quevedo's head and held it in his lap, and tenderly wiped the BBQ sauce off Ruben’s face. Legend has it that there was some kind of chemical reaction between the BBQ sauce, Pixy Stick dust, and sherbet, and that this reaction left a permanent imprint on the Gatorade towel. Try as they might, the clubhouse attendants could not remove the stain from the towel. Today, the towel is known as the Bib of Quevedo – at least, it would be, if one of the clubhouse attendants hadn’t chucked it when the stain wouldn’t come out. One man’s trash …

Station No. 7: Ruben falls for the second time, or: how I (immediately) learned to stop worrying that Rubie would be a valuable part of the Brewer rotation.

As you’ve seen in the previous Stations, Ruben Quevedo was many things. One thing he was not, however, was a tease: in his first start with the Brewers, Ruben immediately showed Brewer Nation (at that time, it was probably more of a city-state) what they could expect for the next two years: 3 IP, 8 hits, 7 earned, 2 walks, five Ks, and two homers – including the first of Wes Helms’ two jacks on the day. At the end of the day, the Brewers dropped a 14-2 nailbiter, and Helms drove in seven (which apparently caused Doug Melvin to decide: “I’ve gotta have that guy”).

Station No. 8: Ruben meets the fans of Milwaukee. They weep.

April 3, 2002: The hopes of a new season were fresh in the hearts of Brewers’ fans everywhere. An opening day win in Houston, behind Ben Sheets, vaulted the Brewers to 1-0. The next day, the Brewers sent Ruben Quevedo to the mound to make the only start of his career for a team with a plus-.500 record. Ruben promptly put those hopes to rest, giving up 8 runs in 3 1/3 innings, with 4 walks. A crack squad of relievers, led by Luis Vizcaino and Ray King, came in to fan the flames, and the Brewers went down in horrific fashion, 15-2. They never again cracked the .500 mark in 2002, en route to a franchise worst 56-106 record. After witnessing the carnage in Houston that day, Brewer fans wept. Ruben saw this and said, “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your franchise.” No one had the heart to tell him that they were already doing that, and were never actually weeping for him in the first place.

Station No. 9: Ruben falls for the third time, or: how I learned when enough was enough, even for a team as bad as the ’03 Brewers.

By the time Quevedo’s June 24, 2003 start against the Cubs rolled around, Brewer fans had to be wondering what, exactly, a guy with a 5.75 ERA and an opposing OPS of .926 had to do to get himself yanked from the rotation. As he so often did, Ruben provided a quick answer to that question: 0.6 innings pitched, 5 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 0 Ks, 2 homers – including one (and it hurts me to type this) to Corey Patterson. The outing was so pathetic that Ned Yost couldn’t even deliver his patented: “He was one pitch away from getting out of that inning” line.

Station No. 10: Ruben is stripped of his dignity as he can’t complete the mile run on the first day of camp in ’02.

(We’re taking this one out of order, but no Ode to Quevedo is complete without a retelling of this story.) On paper, it seemed like a match made in Heaven: Dave Stewart, a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense, borderline-psychotic pitching coach, and Ruben Quevedo, a morbidly-obese, lazy, ineffective starting pitcher. Predictably, when Stew went drill sergeant and made his new charges run a mile on the first day of Spring Training in 2002, disaster ensued: Rubie couldn’t finish the mile. As far as omens go, this wasn’t a good one. At the end of the year, Ruben had compiled a 6-11 record with a 5.76 ERA, a tidy 1.63 WHIP, and an OPS against of .892. Scarred by his experience with Quevedo, Stew abandoned his post halfway through the year.

Station No. 11: Ruben Quevedo’s fate is sealed when he signs with the Baltimore Orioles.

January 29, 2004: Following the footsteps of fellow Brewer castoff Mike DeJean, Ruben signs with the Orioles. Unlike Milwaukee, Baltimore is a team that seems to be on the upswing and has actual aspirations of contending. Not surprisingly, Ruben fails to crack a loaded Baltimore rotation that featured Sidney Ponson, Rodrigo Lopez, Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera and Eric DuBose (who?). In fact, our research was not able to find any record of Ruben even appearing in big league camp for the Orioles. We speculate that he spent the better part of that spring in minor league camp, where he wallowed in his own self pity, eating boxes of Twinkies and drinking bottles of Durango tequila flavored liqueur (because, of course, you can’t afford to get obliterated on Patron on the salary of a non-roster, spring training invitee). Ruben was sent to the Orioles AA affiliate, the Bowie Baysox. Upon hearing of this assignment, Quevedo reportedly said: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But he only said it quietly, under his breath, so as not to be laughed at by anyone who might have heard.

Station No. 12: Quevedo is released by the Orioles.

Rubie appeared in only one game for the Bowie Baysox. He was originally scheduled to pitch on Saturday, June 5, 2004 (the same day former President Ronald Reagan died), but the game was rained out. Instead, his only appearance was against the Binghamton Mets on June 10, 2004, a team that included David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Angel Pagan. Quevedo pitched 1.6 innings, giving up only 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2. He was subsequently placed on the disabled list on June 11, 2004 and never pitched for them – or anyone else – again.

Station 13 - Ruben is picked off the waiver wire... by no one.

Quevedo was released by the Orioles on June 19, 2004. The rest of the year was not a happy one for Rubie. According to unconfirmed rumors, he spent the rest of the baseball season hanging out in his favorite Milwaukee spots. He could often be found on highway overpasses eating Twinkies and hanging outside the McDonalds by Miller Park begging for change so he could afford “his precious.” His precious, it was later learned, was a Carmel Pecanbon from Cinnabon. He was last seen in the area rummaging around in a dumpster on the Marquette University campus just off of Kilbourn Avenue.

Station No. 14: The burial.

And we end where we began, with a reading from the Book of Juan: “… Later, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela asked the Orioles of Baltimore for what remained of Ruben Quevedo. Chavez came to Baltimore and claimed Ruben’s remains. Chavez was accompanied by Carlos Zambrano, the man who had replaced Ruben as the resident Venezuelan heavyweight on the Cubs of Chicago. In accordance with Venezuelan baseball customs, Zambrano brought a mixture of hotdogs, Old Style, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks, about 250 pounds worth. Gathering up what remained of Quevedo, the two force-fed him with the mixture and draped him in the Venezuelan flag. What remained of Ruben was then jetted back to Venezuela and taken to rest on the Calle del Hambre.”

A Couple Gems from Toddles

Basically, he's calling out Ted Thompson for cutting Brett Favre loose. I can't muster the energy to make fun of him, so we'll let the following sentences do all the talking.

Right now, 2-1 looks great but your offensive line can not beat up a kid for his lunch money and the defense can not make find the quarterback if he was offering free lunch.

Penalties is killing any momentum this team has it when it counts.

Adrian Peterson is thinking 200 yards is not that far fetch.

Sure 2-1 looks great but it is a 2-1 that has been questioned over and over again if it for real. It is a 2-1 with a defense that arm tackles and you can be for darn sure if you arm tackle Adrian Peterson, well, say hello to 2-2.

Right now, you have not proved you could fortify Knox.

If not, your little stunt last offseason will not only make you foolish for chasing off a legendary quarterback but also if you can build a quality football team.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

College Football Pickoff, D3 vs. EMoney

The results of the inaugural "pickoff" are in! Upon further review, the winner is(drum roll please).........EMoney! There were 22 games in the top25 this week, and after 1 push, EMoney correctly chose 11 of a possible 21 games for an overall record of 11-10. After the bookie's cut, he's roughly even for the weekend. Not bad for someone who really has no interest in the media driven college game and knew essentially nothing about these matchups coming in. D3, the college football fanatic, finished with an overall record of 7-14 or a .333 win percentage. Ouch!!! If D3 was actually gambling on these games, he would currently be finding a way to explain to his wife why their bank account has a huge withdrawal taken from it and/or explaining why all of his fingers were broken by a guy named "Big Tony". Fortunate for him this was all for shits and giggles. So congratulations to the first pickoff winner, EMoney! Look for the the next pickoff to come out later this week. Matchup has yet to be determined.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Man Found Dead; Mike Ditka, Okay.

The North Suburban Chicago town of Bannockburn, IL police are investigating a homicide this morning. It was noted that this was the first murder in the town's history... oh, and that the cul-de-sac where the body was found was the same cul-de-sac where former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka lived 10 years ago.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Can't Believe This.

It's been almost three months since we've checked in with Todd Welter, everybody's favorite pint-sized blur of incoherent analogies, non-existent punctuation, and impossibly broad generalizations.

Today, in a post titled "Guess Rickie Weeks Would Not Make Much of a Difference," Toddles is talkin' stats ... sort of. I think. Maybe? I don't know, you tell me:

That is according to our friends at AccuScore.com. I asked them how the Brewers' season would have turned out had Rickie Weeks been healthy all season and hitting leadoff at an All-Star pace.

For those who don't remember / have blocked out / are still too emotionally traumatized to remember, here are Rickie's numbers before his wrist went boom: .272/.340/.517, for a healthy .857 OPS, with 9 homers and 24 driven in. He'd also stolen two bases and made 6 errors in 37 games.

Those are nice numbers, no doubt. (They're also reassuring numbers to everyone who's waited four years to see if Rickie could begin to put it all together.) They're not Pujols-ian -- hell, they're not even Fielder-ian or Braun-ian -- but they're solid.

They do have the technology to have a fairly accurate portrayal of how things will turn out so their projections are fairly accurate.

God, I've missed Todd. Haven't you missed Todd? Just bask in the wonder of that sentence for a second, please? The website has the technology to make fairly accurate predictions, so the predictions made by the 'site are fairly accurate. Delicious; I'd like to wrap that sentence up in bacon and eat it, and then wash it down with a tall glass of Nonsense.

Well, their answer was Weeks' presence would have only provided two more wins this season. That is it just two more wins.

Well, yeah, man. That sounds about right. When Weeks went down, his WAR (according to FanGraphs) was at 1.6. Add in the facts that Counsell, by and large, was stellar in the immediate aftermath of Weeks' injury, and that Felipe Lopez has gone .321/.404/.455 as a Brewer, and ... well, that two extra wins almost looks generous. Weeks was off to a good start. His replacements have been just as good. Scene.

I'm sorry. Hold on a second, would you? Someone's at the door. Let me get that.

Oh, hey! Look at that. It's BAT-SHIT CRAZY! Bat-Shit Crazy is here, everybody, and he's got something to add:

I was expecting maybe eight more wins with the way he was hitting the cover off the ball before he went down.

Now, this shouldn't be all that surprising, given that Toddles told you earlier in the year that you could expect the Brewers to rip off multiple 10-game winning streaks this season, and to drop 10 games in a row several times, too.

But ... oof. Eight more wins? E-I-G-H-T ? I mean: wow, man.

Just to make sure I wasn't making a mountain out of a pile of shit, I consulted with someone who knows a hell of a lot more about this stuff than I do, KL Snow from BrewCrewBall. Quoth the Snowman:

An eight win player is exceptionally rare...to the best of my knowledge, there are only a handful of Brewers who have ever picked up an eight WAR season. Robin Yount did it one time (11.5 in 1982), but aside from that he was never good for more than 6.7.

... and ...

In their careers, Yount, Molitor and Cecil Cooper combined had one 8 war season.

... and (yes, there's another "and" -- he's nothing if not thorough, that KL), KL came up with a list of Brewer players who've never had an 8 WAR season:

Ben Oglivie
Jeff Cirillo
Ted Simmons
Prince Fielder
Ryan Braun
Gorman Thomas
Don Money
George Scott
Richie Sexson

So, to sum up: it's not just me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

D3's Top 25 Picks of the Week for Gambling Degenerates Too Lazy to Do Their Own Research

Last Week’s Results: 6-14
Reaction: Well, that was grisly, good thing I’m not a gambling man. The title of this post should be reconsidered if I have another week like that. So, here it goes for week 2 of D3’s picks.

5 Ole Miss (-3.5) @ South Carolina
Ole Miss hasn’t played anyone yet – beating up on Memphis & Southeastern Louisiana. Which South Carolina team with show up? The one that scored 7 points against NC State or the one that exploded for 37 at Georgia. This has trap game written all over it for Ole Miss, but I’m going to stick with the Rebels. Their collapse will happen, trust me, but not this week.

1 Florida (-21.5) @ Kentucky
Florida has been hit by the flu and Urban Meyer continues to engage Lane Kiffin in their pillow fight of words. Florida is thin at receiver and doesn’t have a go-to running back. The UF defense will have to bring it in a big way to cover, but I wasn’t impressed with their inability to stop UT’s run game last week, particularly since they knew the Catfish wasn’t going to throw downfield.

UTEP @ 2 Texas (-36)
36 is a ton of points for a team that sputtered last week against a suspect Texas Tech defense.

Arkansas @ 3 Alabama (-17.5)
17 is a ton of points for this game. Never underestimate Nick Saban’s ability to clam up offensively in a close game. Bama will win, but Ryan Mallet will do enough to keep this close.

Iowa @ 5 Penn St (-9.5)
A night game in Happy Valley, white out crowd and the opponent has no viable running game? Yikes. Iowa has done a good job of masking their poor offense the last two weeks, but Penn St is an entirely new level compared to Iowa St & Arizona.

6 California (-5.5) @ Oregon
I don’t believe in Oregon at all. Sure, they’ve beaten Utah and Purdue the last two weeks, but Jeremiah Masoli went 4-16 last week. Jahvid Best continues his guerilla Heisman campaign. Watch this game instead of the Illinois-Ohio St rock fight on at the same time.

7 LSU (-13) @ Mississippi St
Outside of Ole Miss, LSU may be the most overrated team in the country. Mississippi St averaged 4.5 yards/pass last week at Vanderbilt. LSU will cover, even if it’s 14-0.

8 Boise St (-17) @ Bowling Green
Lots of waffling on this one. Bowling Green’s offense is nothing special (10 points at Marshall), but Boise lost one of the running backs for the season and are making the cross-country trip.

9 Miami (FL) (-2.5) @ 11 Virginia Tech
My lead pipe cinch of the week. Miami’s D isn’t vintage, but VT’s offense is beyond putrid. Miami by 2 scores. I’m not quite drinking the Cane Kool-Aid, this is more of an anti-VT pick. Fuckers.

Washington St @ 12 USC (-46.5)
46.5 points? Holy motherfuck! USC will be starting a gimpy freshman or a sophomore who threw for 110 yards last week. That’s a ton of confidence in the Trojans that I don’t have. USC doesn’t care enough to annihilate WSU by 47 points.

Illinois @ 13 Ohio St (-14)
Illinois got the win the C-bus two years ago. Ohio St’s D is too good, but one never knows what the Zookster has up his sleeve.

Fresno St @ 14 Cincinnati (-16.5)
I think Cincinnati is really good, but they’ll be a bit high on themselves with all the media stroking after beating Oregon St last week. People are talking about an undefeated season. Pat Hill’s teams live for this shit. Fresno won’t win, but they’ll keep it close enough.

15 TCU @ Clemson (-2.5)
Clemson struggled to put away Boston College last week. Lest you didn’t hear, BC averaged under 1 yard a play. Therefore, I have to go with TCU. This is their biggest game of the year, so they’ll bring it to Death Valley.

Texas Tech @ 17 Houston (-1)
My favorite game of the day. Tech looked pretty decent against Texas last week. When in doubt, go with the more experienced QB. Case Keenum, for UH, is better and older.

South Florida @ 18 Florida St (-14.5)
My lead pipe cinch #2 on the week. I may have taken FSU at -14.5 before USF’s Matt Grothe went out for the year. For those thinking that FSU will let down, USF has talked some trash about this game over the past couple of years.

Colorado St @ 19 BYU (-16.5)
CSU is still, somehow, undefeated. That will end on Saturday. I’m interested to see if BYU can bounce back from the massive egg laying against Florida St.

Southern Miss @ 20 Kansas (-13.5)
The Kansas football team is going all Jets vs. Sharks on the Kansas basketball team. They even broke Tyshawn “Judas” Taylor’s thumb. That’s not a good distraction to have when you have a good, and historically pesky, USM team coming to town. KU wins, but close.

Arizona St @ 21 Georgia (-12)
Wow, this was an ABC primetime game last year and now it’s on ESPNU. Georgia’s gauntlet continues and they’ll cover with their newfound offense.

22 North Carolina @ Georgia Tech (-2.5)
I’m fucking done with GT after last week’s horrific performance against Miami. I was skeptical of them last year and I am newly skeptical this year. UNC saw all their option shit last year. Butch Davis scheme em up and get in the win in Atlanta.

Indiana @ 23 Michigan (-21)
Can someone fucking tell me why this game is on ESPN2 as national coverage? Two words for this game: Not Competitive.

24 Washington @ Stanford (-7)
Wow, UW beats USC and then is a 7 point dog on the road to Stanford? I was thinking of picking a Stanford upset special, but I’ll stick with the Huskies. Jake Locker is a stud.

UL-Lafayette @ 25 Nebraska (27.5)
As covered in the Red Recap, Huskers 38-13, so I have to stick with UL-L.

Linksville - More EDSBS

So, Reid and I were discussing a wide range of topics at last night's Brewers game, more on that experience later. My love of EDSBS came up around the 5th. I made mention of my favorite EDSBS column of all time. It's from a couple of weeks ago, but the Notre Dame bashing is epic. The picture above is of their "guest ND columnist" Tommy Kilborn. You gotta love the ginger!

The Red Recap

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week’s Opponent: Virginia Tech – a living, breathing football team (on defense at least)

Last Week’s Result: 16-15 gut-punch fucking loss. Ok, I’m getting fucking angry again. Four FGs in the first half. The Huskers had 1st & goal inside the 5 on two occasions and scored 3 points. One of those drives ended in a 4th and goal punt! The other drive stalled after this set of plays: option-incomplete pass-incomplete pass. Roy Helu, Jr was gouging the Hokies with straight ahead running and NU refused to run him inside the 5. Why? I’ve backed off my initial stance calling for offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to take an acid bath. That has been downgraded to waterboarding.

This Week’s Opponent: Louisiana-Lafayette – the embarrassing tour of the Sun Belt continues. UL-L is fairly solid this year. They beat Kansas St and hung fairly tight with LSU last week in Baton Rouge. This game is Nebraska’s 300th straight sellout and the Huskers will be wearing throwback uniforms. The dude on the left is Ndamukong Suh and you are best not to piss him off, lest he do this to you.

This Week’s Predicted Result: 38-13 Husker win. The UL-L defense will keep it closer than some expect, but the Huskers won’t have to sweat it out.

Current Season Outlook: Still partly cloudy while enjoying an early season high pressure system also know as Sun Belt competition. Roadies at Mizzou and suddenly slappy Kansas await.

Predicted Bowl: Alamo

Wisconsin Badgers
Last Week’s Opponent: Wofford

Last Week’s Result: 44-14 win. I can’t comment too much, because I didn’t watch a down of this horrific match-up. Scott Tolzien averaged a pedestrian 8 yards a pass attempt and John Clay impressed with 3 fumbles, a demotion to second string and by sword-swallowing 12 La Bamba burritos after the game.

This Week’s Opponent: Michigan St – MSU comes limping into this game at 1-2 after spitting the bit in Bielema-esque fashion against Central Michigan and Notre Dame. MSU is inventing ways to lose games, it’s like a two-headed monster of Bobby Williams and John L Smith is still coaching there.

They choked up a two score lead in the last 2 minutes at home against CMU. The Chippewas missed a game-winning FG, but got a second chance after Sparty lined up offsides. Then, against ND, MSU tricked a wide open game winning TD pass (5:30 mark) and then got a case of Cromptonitis on the game losing pick.

This Week’s Predicted Result: 27-24 MSU. Michigan St is going to come into Madison with their hair on fire and UW hasn’t faced a worthy opponent yet this year. The crowd won’t be a factor on account of the 11:00 am start.

Current Season Outlook: As discussed last week, some big fucking thunderheads are looming on the horizon. Michigan St, @Minne, @Ohio St and Iowa are the next four opponents. 3-1 is the best possible result, but 0-4 is well within reason.

Predicted Bowl: Insight Bowl – movin’ on up after the big win over Wofford

Anthony Witrado Joins Some Exclusive Company.

When the boys from FireJoeMorgan reunited on Deadspin last week, I was somewhat dismayed to see that they didn't attack a JoeChat. (I'm not sure if Joe Morgan is doing chats on ESPN anymore, but they could've busted out an old one, just for poops and giggles.) One of my favorite parts of the JoeChats was the practice of JoeBaiting, where an FJM loyalist would infiltrate the ESPN chat and post a question on one of Joe's favorite topics -- consistency, or how a team compared to the old Big Red Machine teams, or Gary Sheffield. Joe, unsuspecting as always, was more than happy to trot out a pat response.

I bring this up because Anthony Witrado had a chat on JSOnline yesterday. In the midst of his (typical) all-out assault on the English language (at one point, dude spelled "solidify" as "solitify"), Tony fielded questions from some guys with curious names. The first was from a fella calling himself "stu pidasso"; apparently, Anthony didn't sound out the name before posting the question.

But the more curious questioners came shortly thereafter. About halfway through the chat, Tony took a rambling, incoherent question from a guy named "Michael McCarter" -- which sounded awfully familiar. (Does it sound familiar to you, too? Here -- let me Google something for you.) That question was followed, in rapid succession, by questions from "Ted Stryker" (asking Anthony's professional opinion -- since he played ball, and all -- about Jody Gerut's swing), "Emmett Fitz-Hume" (asking if Mr. Fitz-Hume or Austin Millbarge would be a better closer), and "Roger Murdock" (asking about moving Braun to CF and Hardy to RF).

Now, clearly, something was up -- although that thought didn't occur to Anthony, who eagerly and earnestly answered all the questions posed by characters from "Airplane," "Spies Like Us," and Freeway.

A bit of Interwebs sleuthing later, and -- would you look at that. It looks like the boys from Wisconsin sports uber-blog Chuckie Hacks are back, and back in a big way. A most impressive session of TonyBaiting, for sure.

Welcome back, men.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 'You Can Probably Make Other Plans for February 7, 2010' Edition: Week Two.

Should we talk about it? We should probably talk about it. I mean, avoiding the topic isn't going to do anyone any good. As Mike McC would say: "We need to confront our fears, and address the problems, and so forth." (Coach really likes to end his sentences with "...and so forth." He did it three times in the post-game presser yesterday. Have you noticed that? Now that I've pointed out, you'll catch it every time he does. You're welcome.)

At this point, the change to the 3-4 probably can be filed under 'lipstick on a pig': When Ced Benson (her?) goes for 140-plus, and you're only able to muster two sacks against an opposing line that is as nondescript as they come and the opposing quarterback is coming off an ankle injury and never moved that well to begin with, you might not be very good defensively.

And I don't buy this talk that the Bengals are a potential surprise team this year. They're not good, especially on offense, and they have the worst coach this side of Brad Childress. They suck. If you fancy yourself a play-off contender, you can't lose to that team, at home, ever.

And yes, I know it's early, and yes, I know that every team -- even the really good ones -- is going to have a clunker at least once a year. Problem is: the Packers haven't looked good yet, so I don't know if we can chalk this up as the exception rather than the rule. You'd like to be sitting at 9-4 before you get that clunker out of your system.

Yes, the title of this post is probably an overreaction, but so was the Super Bowl talk following three stellar pre-season games and a 6-point win over the Bears -- in a game where Cutlerfucker handed over the ball four times. There's ample reason for concern here, aside from the general shittiness of the line and the fact that Bigby and Collins can't seem to play more than one game without getting nicked up.

No. 1 in my mind is the penalties. Even though Machine Guns Ed and the boys got a littttttle flag happy yesterday, the number of false starts, holds, illegal contact after five yards ... it's jarring, and it doesn't seem like anything is being done during the week to address it. I mean, for Christ's sake: with the number of flags thrown on the Pack yesterday, we made the Cincinnati Bengals look like a disciplined football team. That is no mean feat.

Nick Barnett, living confirmation of the old adage: "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." In case you missed it, here was Barnett's Twitter reaction to his preposterous Daniel-San celebration, which came one play after he whiffed pathetically on a tackle:
"Oh yea for everyone that had something to say after I celebrated for making a takle (sic) for lost (sic) KISS MY ASS ... I was trying to get the defense fired up. . . And so what if I missed the takle (sic) before am I suppose (sic) to stay in a funk about it!?? Get a life"
Nick, my man, this is why you have representation, be it an agent or a lawyer or whoever: so you don't go addressing the public on your own and come out looking like a complete and total fuckhead, and an idiot, to boot.

Sadly, though predictably, Barnett claims he's done with Twitter for the rest of the season. First we lose Michael Crichton, now Nick Barnett. Frankly, I don't see how the world comes back from this.

World keeps spinnin', officials keep fuckin' up: I know I'm a broken record, but good God -- every week I don't think it's possible for the officiating to get any worse, and then it does. First, you had the "touchdown" on the quarterback sneak by Carson Palmer, where there was no way in hell the linesman could see whether Palmer got in. The replay didn't show him getting in, that's for sure; if anything, the only time the ball broke the plane was when Palmer was fumbling the ball after the initial surge.

This points up my main beef with replay, the whole "you can't overturn the call on the field unless there's indisputable visual evidence." Why are we putting the thumb on the scale of the call on the field? Take the TD call on the sneak -- if the official had ruled he hadn't scored, there wouldn't have been indisputable visual evidence to overturn that call, either. Don't we want to make sure we're getting the call right, regardless of what the call on the field was? Why are we letting games rise and fall with the gut reactions of people who are really, really shitty at their jobs?

Here's another example: in the Cowboys game yesterday, Romo threw a ball that bounced off of Witten's heel and was intercepted, and the DB looked like he had a decent return set up ... except the official blew the play dead, ruling that the ball hit the ground. I've said this for years: on a play like that, you have to make the call that results in the play being allowed to continue. But for years, the officials haven't made that call, and they've been forced to say: "Whoops, missed that one. Sorry -- here's the ball at the spot of the interception." Something's gotta change. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but something's gotta change.

And we'll end with where the game ended: The dubious "false start" penalty on Jennings, which caused the 10-second run-off and the end of the game. I mean, does anybody believe Machine Guns Ed's post hoc rationalization for that one? First, dude says that the ball didn't get off before the snap, which was patently, demonstrably false. So, then, in fine Keystone Cops fashion, the officials get together and decide: "Somebody must have false started. Let's go with ... 85. Everybody good with 85? OK, 85."

And that's from one of the best officiating crews in the game. Shudder.

It's Quiet... Almost too Quiet

Awfully quiet here on the Buffet today. Is everyone too shell shocked from yesterday's Packer debacle to even speak? Has E$ defected to the Bengals side, and he's too busy posting on the "Who Dey" blog? Or is he in the trunk of a car somewhere after running his mouth and making one too many wagers with the Cincinnati faithful? What's the matter boys, cat got your tongues? Ok, I'll break this eerie silence with my takes on the game.

- The offensive line looked not so great once again. With Clifton now out (that didn't take long) the game of musical chairs begins again on the O-Line. That can't be good. You have to hope this doesn't become a Brewers rotation type of issue, where we just go with the same thing all year and hope it eventually works.

- Running game was once again lackluster. I'm not sure if that's a product of the offensive line play or what.

- Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers may want to see what they can do to help get the ball out quicker. I love deep throws just as much as the next guy, but when you're having protection issues that may not be the best idea. I don't know if that's play calling or Rodgers just holding the ball too long. I suspect it may be a little of both.

- I questioned the wisdom of opting for the field goal with just under a minute left. Yeah, I know you need 2 scores regardless. But you can't score a touchdown from the 35 yard line. I know when you're down 10 with a minute to go you're praying for a miracle anyways, but I don't know if I agree with the logic there.

- AWESOME on-side kick by Crosby. That couldn't have worked any better. It was like the change-up of on-side kicks. Everyone was looking up in the air after the 2nd bounce, and it just squibbed right through 'em. Well done.

- It's only week 2, there's a long way to go here. It seems like this happens every year: a team that everyone thinks is putrid, beats someone pretty good in the early going. Everyone proceeds to freak the fuck out and talk about how horrible a loss it was. Only, when week 13 comes around, that "putrid" team is sitting at 8-4 and suddenly it's not looking like that bad of a loss. Like when New England lost to "lowly" Miami in week 3 last year. Oops, actually Miami is a playoff team now, and that's not that bad a loss. Easy Killer...easy.

- The competition is still wide open for the title of Reid's Least Favorite Packer. It looks like Allen Barbre is getting out to a pretty healthy lead, but it's still way too early to tell.

So there you go. I'm not saying anything profound here. It's the same shit we all noticed yesterday. But damn man, someone had to say something. Now that the ice is broke maybe someone can write something actually worth reading.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Per Rosiak: Junior out for season. Huge blow to MU bball.

Football Saturday

All contributors to the blog are invited to Casa D3 on Saturday for a full day of football action. As always, the games start at 11 am and last until after midnight. The Husker game starts at 2:30, so you may, or may not, want to be around then.

Hopefully my picks turn around after GT was blown out of the water by the suddenly resurgent Miami Hurricanes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

George of the Rose... Is that you?

Did anyone catch the second half of ESPN's double header last night? I'm not sure if that was the same guy, but that dude on the mound mowing down Giants looked suspiciously like former Brewer farmhand/punching bag, Jorge de la Rosa. I've done a little digging, and it turns out it really was Jorge de la Rosa. Then I thought this 8 shutout inning, 3 hit, 3 walk, 9 K performance must just be some kind of fluke. Turns out, it's not. George of the Rose for the 2009 Colorado Rockies has started 29 games, compiling a 15-9 record, with a 4.17 ERA, 179 Ks, a WHIP of 1.36, and 2.3 Ks for every walk. Now that doesn't make him an all-star necessarily, but someone with those kind of numbers would be welcome in any rotation.

Also kind of interesting was the discussion they had on his career arc, and the various trades he's been involved in. After being purchased from the Mexican League in 2001 by the Red Sox, he was dealt to Arizona as a part of the deal for Curt Schilling. Curt Schilling: perennial All-Star, borderline hall of famer. Then, as we all know, he was sent to Milwaukee as part of the deal for Richie Sexson. Richie Sexson: two time all-star, respected slugger (at the time). Then, the Crew traded him to Kansas City for Tony Graffanino. Tony Graffanino: 34 year old, part time player. Then, rock bottom (no pun intended), traded from KC to Colorado for cash and a player to be named. But give the Rocks credit for figuring something out with the guy and finally turning him into a real big league pitcher. Last year he went 10-8 and posted his first sub 5.00 ERA as a starter.

This isn't a rant on how the Brewers were dumb to get rid of him or anything like that. They traded him away over 3 years ago, no one waits that long for a player to develop. Nor is this an "I told you so" rant. Even though I was one of his only defenders. Ok mabye not "defender". But I did think he had some talent, and I was one of the few that weren't calling for him to be drug out behind the stadium and shot. No, this is more of a "Huh... would ya look at that" kind of take. It's just interesting, that's all.

Monterale Clark

Bad news out of Marquette today - Todd Rosiak is reporting that class of 2010 recruit and junior college transfer Monterale Clark was arrested along with 2 other classmates for allegedly sexually assaulting an 18 year old woman. This continues the rollercoaster ride that has been Buzz Williams' short 18 month tenure as head coach at MU. With the recent departures of Brett Roseboro and Aaron Bowen, and now what assuredly will be a scholarship withdrawl from Clark, Coach Williams now has 3 available scholarships for the class of 2010. Buzz has already established quite a reputation for recruiting, so it's easy to get excited over the possibility of upgrading the talent level when a scholarship becomes availabe. However, with the early signing period fastly approaching, and now a 3rd scholarship to fill by next season, I am beginning to worry that there may not be enough time to secure three solid prospects. Buzz has Marquette on the radar for a handful of top 100 prospects yet, but it's highly unlikely that he will be to get a committment from over 50% of them. The recruiting game is just too competitive, and as far as I (we) know, Buzz doesn't partake in the "dirty" recruiting efforts that a number of other institutions allow. That being said, I think that it's unrealistic to hope for 3 top 100-150 prospects at this point in the game. I predict 1 more top 100 guy, a lower level prospect, and 1 JuCo transfer. With the departure of Roseboro and now Clark, MU will be lacking in the big man department once again going into the 2010 season.

In other news, it sounds like Darius Johnson-Odom injured is foot/ankle in practice and will sit out the next month or so. Not good considering he was probably going to be one of the guards that runs much of the offense behind Cadougan/Acker.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

D3's Top 25 Picks of the Week for Gambling Degnerates Too Lazy to Do Their Own Research

Here's another potentially weekly feature - D3's Top 25 picks of the week for gambling degnerates too lazy to do their own research. The teams highlighted in bold are my picks. As always, this is for entertainment purposes only.

14 Georgia Tech @ 20 Miami (-4.5) - GT has won four straight against da U and owned them in a Thursday night tilt last year by rolling up 400+ yards rushing. Miami had 10 days to prep for Tech's option attack, but the Canes D also gave up boatloads of yards and points to FSU on Labor Day. Tech hasn't looked especially sharp this year, but Miami hasn't looked especially sharp for the past 6 years.

10 Boise St (-7.5) @ Fresno St. - This is a meh-tastic game masquerading as an important tilt. Fresno coughed up a win over an ailing UW team on Saturday and Boise looked less than stellar against an Oregon bound and determined to get blown out on opening night. Fresno has beaten Boise once this decade. It will be a low scoring affair, so the line scares me a bit, but go with Boise - better coaching, better players and way more recent success.

Tennessee @ 1 Florida (-29.5) - this one is tough to call. UT's defense is damn good, but Jonathan Crompton may gift wrap 21 points for the Gators. It's really bad when your fans provide 5 reasons why a catfish would be a better option at QB.

Texas Tech @ 2 Texas (-17.5) - Damn, these Vegas guys are good. The perfect line. Neither team has been challenged of yet, but Tech's QB hasn't played a road game yet. Unseasoned QB on the road vs. D3's man-crush of the year? No contest.

3 USC (-19.5) @ Washington - USC isn't good on the road in the Pac-10, speaking in USC relative terms. Matt Barkley is also questionable for the game. In case no one noticed, UW rolled up over 500 yards on LSU in week 1. Finally, UW's staff has 3 former USC assistants. I'm not saying UW will win, but they will keep it relatively close.

North Texas @ 4 Alabama (-38.5) - An early start in the SEC against a middling opponent. Bama will be looking forward to SEC play next week and hit snooze a few times. UNT has upgraded from gawdfuckingawful overall and abortive on defense to just gawdawful this year.

Temple @ 5 Penn St (-29) - Another week, another tomato can for State Penn. I'm sure the Big 11 network is thrilled for this game. Temple lost to Villanova on a last second Scottie Reynolds jumper and John Chaney is fucking pissed off. The first sports mix-up of the article, but seriously, they lost to fucking Villanova (proud alma mater of Sal Paolantonio's injury report wet dream, Brian Westbrook)

SE Louisiana @ 6 Mississippi (NL) - One of two D-1AA opponents for Ole Miss this year. I still expect them to face plant in SEC season, but that will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, try to look up (or down) some sun dresses in Oxford

Florida St @ 7 BYU (-7.5) - In 59 minutes, FSU scored 9 points on Jacksonville State. This is BYU's biggest home game since:

8 California (-14) @ Minnesota - I believe I'll regret this one, but Cal is always flakey. They have to trek half-way across the country for this one and will struggle. The Goofs bottled up a pretty potent Air Force attack last week. Cal wins a rock fight, but it'll be close.

Louisiana-Lafayette @ 9 LSU (-26.5) - LSU is kind of listless right now. They gave up a ton of yards at UW and slogged their way to a win against Vandy last week. UL-L beaten a fucking downright awful Kansas State (heretofore known as K-Suck) last week.
11 Ohio St (-20.5) vs. Toledo (in Cleveland) - Can Ohio St score 40 points? The thought of scoring 40 points makes Captain Sweatervest pucker up tighter than Cameron Frye. Toledo tallied 54 against Colorado and 31 against Purdue.

Tulsa @ 12 Oklahoma (-17) - Can OU's Landry Jones not looked like the scared pup he was against BYU? It may not matter. OU's D is awesome and will neutralize a potent Tulsa attack that always struggles against high major foes.

19 Nebraska @ 13 Virginia Tech (-4) - Homer pick alert! Watching Tyrod Taylor throw is special ed level comedy (famous last words). Tech's one dimensional offense won't get the job done in Blacksburg as long as Zac Lee doesn't shit the bed. I can't wait for this game, it's a huge measuring stick for my Huskers.

Texas St @ TCU (NL) - This may be a step up in competition after last week's trip to Virginia.

Rice @ 16 Oklahoma St (-32.5) - Angry, angry OSU team meets bad, bad Rice team. Carnage ensues and T. Boone Pickens eats the Owls carcass after the game.

17 Cincinnati @ Oregon St (-1) - This is a fun, fun game for a college football dork like myself. Two under the radar teams, intersectional matchup. UC rolled OSU a couple of years ago at daunting (ha!) Nippert Stadium. I was impressed as hell with UC against Rutgers, while OSU blew a late lead and then needed a FG to win at UNLV last week. For those scoring at home, that sounds at lot like a Wisconsin performance, so it's Cincy all the way.

18 Utah @ Oregon (-4.5) - Another intriguing matchup. Both teams have struggled this year. Oregon needed two garbage fumble returns for TDs plus a late missed 2 pt conversion to sneak by Purdue. Utah had 7 points into the 4th quarter against San Jose St. Rock fight alert! Utah wins this game outright, at which point the national media will get on on their jock unjustifiably.

Duke @ 22 Kansas (-22) - How dare you disrespect Coach K as a 22 point dog? Duke lost to Richmond, Kansas is good, it's in Lawrence. This is the easiest pick of the day. KU will roll the Dukies.

23 Georgia @ Arkansas (-1) - We don't know anything about Arkansas yet, but we do know that UGA could only muster 10 points at Okie State, then, somehow gave up 37, at home, to South Carolina. That's bad, really fucking bad. The Hawgs could get a double digit win here.

East Carolina @ 24 North Carolina (-7.5) - UNC needed a holding call in the end zone to get to 12 points and beat UConn. UConn isn't bad, but 12 points is atrocious. ECU gave West Virginia a game last week. Also, this is a huge chip on their shoulder game for ECU. For years, UNC and NC State refused to play them. The NC state legislature had to intervene and they've been giving them fits since. Fuck you Minges Coliseum and your crusty Euro-trash players!

Eastern Michigan @ 25 Michigan (-24) - Letdown alert! After all the media stroking this week, Michigan is bound to let down a bit. Eastern took Northwestern to the final minutes last week and will give Mythigan a mildish scare this week. Still, don't watch this game, it will be of no redeeming value to you.

There you have it folks, my marathon Week 3 picks. Maybe we'll do it again next week.