Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The 2008 Divisional Series Previews: Sonnet Edition!

If baseball be the food of love, play on!

I've done this before... twice. Some of you liked it. Some of you didn't. Some of you called me a pretentious asshole. But hey! That's what makes a horse race. Or a playoffs race, I guess. Just call it IAMBIC PEN-TOBER.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Alas, poor New York Mets! I knew them well,
But this is not the year for them. The Phils
Have striven long and hard to toll the bell
Of Eastern victory. Now, from the hills
Of chill Milwaukee comes the Brewers team
As Wild Card contenders, on the back
Of brave Sabathia. And did it seem
But 3 weeks past the Brewers' hopes were black
And held no playoffs berth in store? Indeed,
The Phillies' outlook also seemed but bleak.
But here they stand! Fair Fortune's dim to read.
And so we have a fine match-up this week
Of two NL contenders at their best.
Let's hope CC can pitch on 2 days' rest!

Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Ah, fair Chicago. Decades have you sought
To shed your curse, and claim the shining prize,
But, lo, the Dodgers, with Ramirez bought
Have likewise baseball's banner in their eyes.
The lauded efforts from Chicago's pen--
Zambrano, Dempster, Harden, even more--
Have made them a prodigious team of men.
Yet Manny, whose October feats of yore
Have made him legend, for the Dodgers plays.
What's more, Joe Torre's savvy playoffs mind
Will help the Dodgers shine these next few days.
Can Lou Piniella's team respond in kind?
Chicago! Will you meet your destiny?
Or must we all a Freeway Series see?

Tampa Bay Rays vs. [Winner, Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins]

But soft! A mystery doth yet await:
Shall Minnesota or Chicago win
The final berth among this storied eight?
Young Justin, he, a strapping first-base Twin
Shall with his bat a mighty effort make.
The fearsome South Side White Sox, though, have Danks,
Who'll boldly vie this victory to take.
For such suspense, indeed, I must give thanks,
As boring as the Central yet has been.
And who awaits? The once-pathetic Rays,
Who've turned their fortunes in a way not seen
Once in their hist'ry. Now, the long fall days
Of playoffs baseball summon them. Alas!
That only one of these three teams may pass.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Boston Red Sox

Now come we to the fairest team of all:
The Boston Red Sox, who, with colors true
Hold high the Series banner from last fall.
And yet, the Fates conspire to undo
Their victory. Josh Beckett lies in wait,
Until Game 3 his blazing arm to bring.
'Til then, Jon Lester, mighty in '08
Shall strive to make his famous curveball sing.
To face them in Los Angeles will stand
The Angels, who, by dint of flawless play
Have earned the strongest record in the land.
One hundred wins! Will they yet have their day
And win the Series? Ah, the games will show
Who's loser, and who to the next may go.


The White Sox win the Central! Thus, today,
They'll up in arms against the strapping boys
From down in long-forgotten Tampa Bay.
The winner of this 5-game set enjoys
The chance to vie for glory in the next.
As Javier Vazquez, backed by Thome's bat
Will seek to add his name unto the text
Of playoffs lore. 'Twill be a battle at
The Trop in Tampa. James Shield, too, shall pitch
And fight to keep the erstwhile Devil Rays
In fierce contention for this series, which
Begins on Thursday. Hark: in but eight days
We'll have a pennant match! Indeed, it seems
To be a worthy match in these two teams.

Your Mass Hysteria ALDS Red Sox/Angels Preview - Part 2


It's almost here. October. Time for some do-or-die baseball. And I could not be more excited.

Today is the 2nd part of my preview of the upcoming Red Sox/Angels series. If you missed Part 1, well, you're fuckin' up. I ran down all 9 offensive starters for both teams, now to touch on the benches, the pitching, and the coaching staffs.

Kevin Cash, Sean Casey, Alex Cora, Jeff Bailey, Coco Crisp and Mark Kotsay vs. Mike Napoli, Robb Quinlan, Brandon Wood, Kendry Morales, Gary Matthews, Jr. and Reggie Willits

With the injuries to Lowell and Drew, the Sox bench becomes very very important. I think you'll see all of these guys playing bigger roles than the normal post-season bench. For the Angels, Napoli is a strong backup catcher, Willits provides pinch-running ability as well as tremendous plate discipline, and Gary Matthews, Jr. provides steroids to anyone who needs them.
Edge: EVEN

Jon Lester vs. John Lackey

I'm not going to lie - this matchup makes me the most nervous. I would have much rather seen Lester pitch at home (where is is 11-1 this season), but with the injury to Beckett, the Sox don't have much choice. Lester has struggled on the road to be sure - his BAA is 35 points higher wearing the gray uni. Also, he has statistically struggled the most against...yup...the Angels this year, with a 2.20 WHIP and a .429 BAA in 2008. Ouch. Of course, this was only one start (small sample size anyone?) and ironically enough, it was at Fenway Park.
Now for some good news. John Lackey is almost as bad at home as Lester is on the road, with a BAA 30 points higher in Disneyland. However, he has dominated Boston in two starts this year - one at home and of course the one on the road that I'd like to erase from my memory completely. Versus the BoSox this year, Lackey has a 0.69 WHIP and a .132 BAA. Ouch.

Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Ervin San-tana (AY!)

If you're a big believer in home/road splits, this game should calm you down a bit, because the Game 1 preview no doubt has you downing a fistful of horse tranquilizers. Daisuke Matsuzaka is 9-0 on the road this year. What's that? W-L record sucks? We'll high-five later. How's this for ya though: Dice-K's ERA is almost a full run lower on the road, his WHIP is 1.16 (as opposed to a 1.46 home WHIP) and his BAA is almost 60 (!!!) points lower. However, like Lester, the Dice Man struggled in his only start against the Angels this year. However, it was at home.
Ervin San-tana (AY!) has struggled mightily at home this year, to the tune of a 4.03 ERA, a .500 record, and 15 of his 23 home runs allowed. He has also started to come back down to earth a bit since the All-Star break, although his peripherals are largely unchanged. Methinks he was getting a bit lucky in the first half. He hasn't faced the Sox this year, but he is 1-2 against them lifetime, allowing 16 runs in just 22 innings.

Josh Beckett vs. Joe Saunders

Everything is fine. No one is hurt. Just a precaution. Fine, good, smile, happy times, go Sox...I'm sorry, where were we? Right. The 100% healthy Josh Beckett in Game 3. Since there is nothing wrong with him, there's nothing to worry about. Look, in all seriousness, I have no idea what's going to happen. Will he pitch? How deep will they let him go? How hurt is he? 80%? 90%? Here's what I can tell you. Beckett has been terrible at home this year. His ERA is almost 3 full runs higher at the Fens, he has given up more hits in 30 fewer innings, and his BAA is almost 70 points higher. He's also 0-2 against the Angels with a 7.43 ERA and a .345 BAA. (inserts gun in mouth) But wait. If I can give you two pieces of good news, it's these. Beckett does have one complete game against the Angels this year, going 8 innings on the road in a losing effort. Also, and this is a bit anecdotal, but the dude is just a different animal in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Joe Saunders will take the hill for the Angels. He has fared much better on the road this year, going 10-3 with an ERA nearly 2 full runs lower than at home. He's also 2-0 against the Sox in 3 starts, both wins coming at Fenway. The good news is he has a 9/6 K/BB ratio vs. the Sox this year, and overall, he is not a strikeout pitcher, only recording 4.7 K/9.

Jonathan Papelbon vs. Francisco Rodriguez

If anyone thinks saves are an important or meaningful stat, you should probably stop reading here. Let's look at some real peripherals: K-Rod has a 1.29 WHIP. Papelbon's is 0.95. Pap's BAA is .223 - K-Rod's sits at .216. Seems pretty even so far...BUT K-ROD HAS MORE SAVES!!! ESPN TOLD ME SO! Please. Let's look at a few more and try to break this tie, shall we? K-Rod has a 195 ERA+, Papelbon's is 196. Jeez. OK, so let's look at three more super-geeky stats to try and resolve this - otherwise I'm going to have to say these two guys are dead even. VORP, ARP, and WXRL. First, let's define these bad boys. I'm sure everyone knows what VORP is - it stands for value over replacement player. It basically shows how much better a pitcher is at preventing runs as opposed to a theoretical "replacement player" - i.e. a pitcher who can be brought up from the minors, acquired from waivers, etc. The Chris Smiths and Eric Gagnes of the world. In 2002, Baseball Prospectus began calculating VORP differently for relievers than for starters, based on the knowledge that it is easier for a reliever to maintain a low runs-allowed average than it is for a starter. VORP is adjusted for park factors, but does not include defense. That said, here's what we got: Papelbon sits at a VORP of 20.5, and K-Rod is slightly higher at 22.3. OK, so I'd say that puts K-Rod in the lead slighty as we move on. Now I'm going to look at ARP, which is adjusted runs prevented. This shows how many runs a pitcher has prevented from scoring, adjusted for park factors and also adjusted for relievers as opposed to starters. Papelbon has prevented 17.6 runs this year, while K-Rod has only prevented 15.4. So we're back to even. Finally, I'll take a look at WXRL, which is win expectation above replacement, lineup-adjusted. This is going to show how many team wins (not individual wins) we can expect from a pitcher, adjusted to account for the difficulty of the lineups he faces. K-Rod has a small advantage here, with 5.660 wins versus Papelbon's 3.292 wins. This tips the scale back towards Rodriguez slightly, but I think it's so minor that I'm going to call it a draw.
Edge: EVEN

Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson, Manny Delcarmen, Javier Lopez, Tim Wakefield, and Paul Byrd vs. Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo, Kevin Jepsen, Darren Oliver, Jon Garland, and Jered Weaver

Bullpen has normally been the Angels strength in years past, but it looks to be somewhat beatable this year. They did have the 4th best bullpen ERA in the AL this year at 3.67, slightly better than the Sox 4.00. However, they have a bullpen BAA of .250, while the Sox sit at .247. AL average is .252. Since we've determined that Paps and K-Rod are almost identical, I'll save you some further geekery and call this one a dead heat as well.
Edge: EVEN

Terry Francona vs. Mike Scioscia

Anytime anyone compares these two, there's the cliche "two contrasting styles!" Personally, I prefer Francona's style, but it's hard to argue that Scioscia's doesn't work for his team. I personally think it looks foolish when a hit-and-run fails or a team bunts waaaay too much or gets caught stealing in a key spot, but the Angels are smart with their decisions, and now that they have Teixiera in the lineup, they seem to be taking less and less chances - therefore giving away fewer outs.
"Will... I... be... able... to... play... softball.. tomorrow?"
"No, by tomorrow you'll barely be able to breathe."
"Ohhh...... maaaan...."
Edge: EVEN


Numbers-wise, the Sox seemingly have a huge advantage here. Boston was 2nd in the AL in runs scored, sixth in homers, first in OBP, third in slugging, and second in OPS. The Angels rank 10th in runs, 9th in homers, 11th in OBP, 9th in slugging, and 10th in OPS. However, the injuries to Lowell and Drew are troubling, perhaps levelling the playing field a bit. I'm still giving the advatage to the Sox here - these numbers are too overwhelming. How much of an advatage is debatable.


When I broke down the individual pitching matchups, I figured the Angels would have a huge advantage here, but that doesn't seem to be the case. LA sits at 3rd in the AL in team ERA at 3.99. Boston is 4th, just behind them at 4.01. The Angels are tied for 3rd in (fewest) walks, 6th in strikeouts, and 5th in BAA. The Sox sit at 9th in walks, but first in strikeouts and 3rd in BAA. Clearly, Boston's biggest problem is the free pass (HI, DICE-K!). But they recoup for this for the most part by also striking a ton of people out. I know the individual game matchups don't look so hot, but these numbers do calm me down a bit.
Edge: EVEN


This is awfully close. I think for the Red Sox to win this, a few things are going to have to happen. One of their starters is going to have to spin an absolute gem. They're also going to have to rough up one of the Angels starters. They're going to need Beckett to pitch like Beckett can, and if the injury is bad, then I'm going on the record and saying they're fucked. They're going to need Lowell and/or Drew (at least one of the two) to play and to contribute. Either that or they're going to need someone on the bench to emerge, either a Crisp or a Casey or a Kotsay. I am very very VERY hesitant to say this, but I'm going to take the Red Sox in 5.

Thoughts? Comments? Ridicule?

Breakfast with the Hysterics


There was very little that happened last night in sports other then Monday Night Football. I could go on and talk about how the White Sox beat the Tigers to force a one game playoff with the Twins today. Or how Rashard Mendenhall will probably miss the entire season with a broken shoulder. But I won't because there are more pressing matters at hand.

This is of course referring to those insidiously annoying MAC ads that basically make PC users feel like they are retarded for not converting to the obviously superior MACs. I am a PC user, yet that hasn't always been the case. Back when I was in high school my mom (a teacher) bought a MAC desktop and let me tell you: that thing was a piece of shit. I can't count how many times the little bomb icon came up that let me know my computer was in the midst of a thermonuclear meltdown.

After years of fighting with that hunk of shit I vowed to never buy another MAC again. I went through college with my Toshiba and it was great for the 8 years I used it until I recently replaced it with my new Dell. I had second thoughts this summer when I had a MAC book for my work, well that worked well until the fucking hard drive shit out and I lost a summers worth of work. But anyways back to those MAC commercials, with that condescending douche who represents a MAC and the jolly moron who represents a PC who always looks like a blithering idiot by the end of the commercial. Well PC finally fought back and made the "I'm a PC" commercial, which were all fine and dandy. The commercials had a wide range of characters, hell they even had Pharrell of the Neptunes pimpin a PC. Well, that all went to shit, when it was discovered that those line of commercials were created on a MAC. My head nearly exploded.

So Mass Hysterians, what you got: a MAC or PC?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Your Mass Hysteria ALDS Red Sox/Angels Preview - Part 1

First of all, sorry for the infrequency of posts here today, folks. It seems that HzMLS and FMRA have both taken ill, possibly from both making out with the same dude.

So that leaves us short-handed, and while FMRA will try to get out of bed and touch base with our loyal readers later today, you're left with clowns like myself and APNDR in the meantime. I'll pause while most of you x out of your browser...

OK, hi.

So every year around this time, boston.com puts up a little survey gallery comparing the Red Sox to their playoff opponent. Fans and readers are supposed to vote on who has the advantage at the respective position. After years of reading just bold-faced blatent homerism (JASON VARITEK IS TEH BEST CATCHER IN BSBALL!!!11!!1!!), I decided to break down the matchup with the Angels in the most non-partisan way possible....


Ahem, sorry. As a side note, the Angels have announced their first-round roster while the Red Sox have not, so my projections are going to be based off of what the Sox roster will probably look like. Let's get it started. Today - the offense:

Jason Varitek vs. Jeff Mathis

This is kind of like asking would you rather be blind or paralyzed. With the season Varitek is having, I never thought I'd give him the advantage over anyone. I mean, dude has an OPS+ of 74. 74!!! So you know Mathis has got to be bad when you say Varitek's 74 totally kicks Mathis' ass. That's right, folks. Jeff Mathis is OPS+ing 57. I'll let that sink in. And with Varitek's experience and game-calling abilities and bullshit intangibles, I...wow. Sorry. It just feels weird.

Kevin Youkilis vs. Mark Teixeira

Let the games begin. There's no doubt Youkilis is having the best year of his career right now, and with his age, it's a great feeling knowing he'll be producing like this for a while. But, I mean, look. Teixeira is nasty. Like crazy, ridiculous, Jenna-Haze-with-four-dudes nasty. Since coming to the Angels, he has 27 XBH (13 homers and 14 doubles) in 54 games. He's slugging .632 (!!!) with his new club. I loves me some Youkilis, but let's be real.

Dustin Pedroia vs. Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick is a solid player, young guy, definitely going to get better - DUSTIN PEDROIA IS THE BEST 2B IN BASEBALL, FUCKERS! HE STEPS ON THE FIELD AND PISSES EXCELLENCE AND YA'LL CAN SUCK IT IF - Kendrick struggled a bit this year coming back from an injury, but he's finally starting to bounce back - NO ONE HOLDS A CANDLE TO THIS DUDE! M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P! - So in conclusion, it's a close call, but Pedroia gets the nod.

Mike Lowell vs. Chone Figgins

This is a hard one to break down, because no one really knows the extent of Lowell's injury. Will he play at all? How limited will he be? Will we be seeing some Ortiz at first, Youk at third and Lowell at DH action? You obviously know what you'll get from Figgins - decent bat, decent glove, crazy speed. With Lowell, it's a big question mark right now, so I'm going to have to do it.

Jed Lowrie vs. Erick Aybar

I'm sure everyone has figured out by now that I have a sort of homerism for a certain Red Sox second baseman from Arizona State (actually two Red Sox 2B's from that one school - you'll never guess who the other one is!). Well FMRA possesses the same homerism towards one Jed Lowrie. So I'm not going to bring up the fact that Lowrie is 1 for his last 472. Or that he is hitting in the .250's. Or that he seems to have hit a rookie wall. Or that he has never played baseball in October before. I'm just going to say that even with all that, he's still better than...the fuck is an Erick Aybar?

Jason Bay vs. Garrett Anderson

I'm not gonna lie - I loves me some Canadian Not-Manny. Guy is a complete player, and I really feel like he's going to shine in his first post-season ever. He's also been benefitting from the friendly confines of Fenway - a Little League field compared to Pittsburgh. And Garrett Anderson is 61 years old.

Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Torii Hunter

Another close call here - but Jacoby did not have the season people were really expecting him to have. I mean, it wasn't bad, but...well, I guess with the post-season he had last year, hopes were maybe irrationally high. Meanwhile, Hunter is one of the best centerfielders in the game, especially defensively. Year in and year out the guy produces, so I'm tipping the scale towards the Angels here. But if Jacoby has another October like last year, all bets are off.

J.D. Drew vs. Vladmir Guerrerro

I really truly think that if Drew were healthy, this one would be closer than a lot of people think. Overall I think Drew is slightly underrated, and Vlad is very overrated. Dude swings at everything. But being that Drew is not full strength, this one is easy.

David Ortiz vs. Juan Rivera


Coming tomorrow - pitching! Plus, a full playoff prediction, where I'm sure to embarass myself!

APNDR's Unfounded Playoff Roster Speculation

Hey kids, it's that time of year again -- the time when games suddenly become 4.75 hours long, when NESN breaks out its 5-hour pregame shows, and you start to feel that you have about 5000% too much Joe Buck in your life. It's the MLB playoffs -- catch the fever!

But first, your Boston Red Sox have to actually decide who will be on their 25-man ALDS roster. And there are actually decisions to be made here. Do they carry an extra pitcher, or does the 3-days-off schedule mean that an extra roster player would be a better call? Who should that extra roster player be? Are we totally sure that Eric Gagne is nowhere near the clubhouse?

So forthwith, here are some guesses (uneducated, but done with much gusto) as to who the Sox will carry into their battle with the Angels:

Starting Pitchers -- 5
Josh Beckett
Jon Lester
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Tim Wakefield
Paul Byrd

Here's decision #1 -- does Beckett's mysterious injury mean that the Sox will carry an extra pitcher, and if so, who? My guesses are (a) no -- see below, and (b) they'll nonetheless avoid a decision of whether to drop Wake or Byrd by keeping them both. The fact that both of them can start, and that both of them would probably give you more out of the bullpen than David Aardsma (whom I think definitely pitched his way off the playoff roster with his poor showing against Scranton the Yankees last night), makes the decision that much easier, because keeping the pair means more and better options in case Beckett has to be scratched entirely.

Relief Pitchers -- 5
Jonathan Papelbon
Manny Delcarmen
Justin Masterson
Hideki Okajima
Javier Lopez

With the Angels picking the Wednesday-starting series, these teams will get three days off over the course of a five-game (potentially) series. Given that increased rest, I strongly suspect that Terry Francona will want to keep an extra position player on the roster and carry 10 pitchers into this series. Given that, as noted above, David Aardsma is the odd man out here. So long as Good Manny Delcarmen shows up, and not Bad Manny Who Walks The Bases Full Then Gives Up A 532' HR, this group should be fine. The other odd man out -- Mike Timlin. Although I would not be surprised at all if Timmy somehow winds up on the roster, given Francona's loyalty to his vets.

Infielders -- 6/7
Kevin Youkilis
Alex Cora
Jed Lowrie
Dustin Pedroia
Sean Casey
David Ortiz (DH)
Mike Lowell (???)

I'll admit -- I need more info about how the MLB playoff roster situation works here. The big question mark on the infield is Mike Lowell, who has maybe a 20% chance at best of being available for this series. The question is whether the Sox could leave Lowell off of this ALDS roster while still having the option of activating him for the ALCS if they are able to advance past this round. If so, I think that's what they will do. Of course if it's clear that Lowell needs to be shut down entirely, then the point is moot. If, however, the Sox have to put Lowell on the roster NOW in order to preserve his future availability, their hand may be forced if they feel he can be healthy enough to contribute in a week or two. It's a tough call either way.

Outfielders -- 6
Jason Bay
Jacoby Ellsbury
Coco Crisp
J.D. Drew
Mark Kotsay
Jeff Bailey

Bailey is technically an OF, but he's been used mainly as a 1B by the Sox. That's why he's going to make the playoff roster -- he can cover the lack of Lowell by serving as a credible backup to Casey, allowing Youkilis and Lowrie to be your 3B options. Or, he can fill in in the OF if Drew's lady parts back starts to act up again.

Catchers -- 2?
Jason Varitek

... at least. I wouldn't be surprised if David Ross makes it on as a 3rd catcher, especially if Lowell is scratched from the roster. A big reason to have 3 catchers is Varitek's utter inability to catch Wakefield. If you're going to be using Wake out of the bullpen, it's nice to have the option of bringing Cash in to catch him without losing the ability to PH for the catcher later on. If they decide to go with 2 catchers, then Chris Carter and Jonathan Van Every have shots at being the 25th man, depending on Francona's perceived needs and the vicissitudes of who is eligible under MLB rules.

So there you have it -- one pimp's guess about who will be rosterized for the Angels series. The floor is now open for your comments and thoughts. Coming soon on this channel: SmartyBarrett's ALDS preview!!!

The Mass Hysteria NFL Coaches Death Pool: Who Ya Got?


(image courtesy of Profootballtalk.com

Even though he is sick, Hazel Maes Landing Strip is dedicated to our fledgling blog Mass Hysteria Sports. This morning he had an idea of what he wanted to write, but took some NYQuil and the whole article was completely incoherent. As the effects of the medication wears off, HMLS asks that you refrain from mocking him if something makes no sense, is not funny, or sounds like something someone on drugs would write. Well enjoy!

This morning Scott Linehan was finally fired as head coach of the St. Louis Rams. The owner of the Rams Chip Rosenbloom said that the Rams were not going in the right direction, that Linehan was a great coach but in the wrong situation. Good coach? Ummm he benched their franchise QB, their star RB hated him, and they were outscored 147-43 through 4 games. Players were mocking him because he tried to be their friend instead of coach. It doesn't matter how nice of a guy you are, someone is going to take the fall and 9 out of 10 times its the head coach. Linehan's firing was not a surprise, but now the question arises; Who will be the next head coach to get the ole' heave ho?

1. Lane Kiffin- First of all, I love watching the Raiders lose, I hate the team and their uber creepy fans. If my fiance ever dressed up in Raiders gear I would leave her in a second. I don't give a shit how much I love her. But anyways I feel bad for Kiffin, he is a young guy who hasn't been given much of a chance with the Raiders. He finally has some weapons to work with in Darren McFadden and JaMarcus Russell, but he won't get the time to see them develop. Al Davis is utterly insane, and has no patience with anyone, my guess is Kiffin is playing on borrowed time and will be in the unemployment line soon.
2. Rod Marinelli- Matt Millen was finally fired last week, which was about three years later then expected. Millen leaves the organization like I leave the bathroom after eating three pounds of burritos; a fucking mess. The Lions are a terrible football team, and a terrible organization that is going to take a long time to rebuild. Two weeks ago the Lions got their ass handed to them by the 49ers, and that my friends does not get much lower then that. The Lions have the next two games against the Bears and Vikings.

3. Marv Lewis- Do you remember the time when the experts thought that the Bengals had turned the corner and were finally going to become a legitimate franchise? They had one of the leagues best QB's, two of the best WR's, Rudi Johnson, and Marv Lewis to fix the D. Well those expectations took a belly flop as the offense looks terrible, the defense still sucks, and Carson Palmer is hurt. Losing to the winless/hapless Browns doesn't help much either.
4. Brad Childress- Ok really no one should pity you if you get fired. You have two of the best RB's in the game in Purple Jesus and Chester Taylor and yet you still can't find ways to win games. Why is that? Because your top two QB's are Gus Frerotte and Tavaris Jackson. You have way too much talent on this team to be sucking this badly.
5. Romeo Crennel- Crennel is more of a long shot then the other guys. He is coming off a win against the Bengals and sometimes ownership tends to remember your last game. But what the fuck happened to the Browns? Led by Horseballs last year and JLew they had one of the most prolific offenses in the game, now Anderson looks like shit and the defense is still awful.
6. Gary Kubiak- Another long shot, the Texans looked pathetic the first two weeks of the season but their offense woke up last week scoring 27 points against Jacksonville and eventually losing on a Josh Scobee field goal in OT. They still haven't won a game.

Well those are 6 of the favorites to get the axe. Did I miss someone that you think might get tossed to the curb? One of these teams has got to see Bill Cowher and say "Why are we still clowning around with our Coach when Cowher is still available??"

Torii Hunter's Theater of the Obvious


Mark your calendars, kids. One of the greatest baseball minds... nay, truly one of the greatest minds period, has come up with an analysis so penetrating, so terribly deep and inaccessible to intellectual midgets like myself, that surely the Nobel committee members are just retiring to the beach this year, their work already conclusively done for them. For someone asked Torii Hunter, outfielder for your AL West Champion And Soon To Be Facing The Local Red Sox Baseball Club In the Playoffs Again Los Angeles of California of Anaheim Angels, why home runs have precipitously dropped off since 2003. You know, the year that drug testing stopped being a joke.

"I think the steroid testing has something to do with it," he said. "If there were any guys who were taking it, they're not taking it anymore. I'd say it's a small percentage, but of course it's going to have an impact."


But wait, Torii opened up on some other issues, too:

• "I think that Clay Aiken may, you know, like dudes. A lot."

• "Boy, the stock market hasn't been doing well recently!"

• "I think that the strippers may not really be totally into me and my wonderfulness, and they're just being nice to me in the hopes that I tip heavily."

• "In my professional opinion, I think Roger Clemens may not have been telling the whole truth in front of Congress."

• "That redhead on Mad Men really has a great rack."

• "I'm confident that America will have a new president by next February."

• "My prediction? We don't see Josh Beckett until Game 3."

Torii Hunter: His mind works, while our minds slumber.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Your Mass Hysteria Bye Week Open Thread


No Patriots game this weekend, Red Sox are playing a meaningless double header against the Yankees, and its pouring out. Enjoy the first weekend of fall.

*Tom Jackson just said on Sunday NFL Countdown "That the '08 Cowboys are better then the '07 Patriots". Thoughts?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 4 Fantasy Football Preview

This week our guest poster is Pepster

As we all know, fantasy football is about the only fantasy that most of us have in our lives right now, well, besides FMRA's fantasy about every living ballplayer save Julio Lugo, Smurphette's fantasy about Notre Dame possibly being good in the next decade, Rocco's fantasy about FMRA and Smurphette, GHABB,Y!'s (God that is some messed up punctuation) fantasies about Tim Tebow, HMLS's fantasies about Matt Ryan, and well, my fantasy about anyone actually reading my stuff. OK, OK, so maybe we do have fantasies other than football, but we all know which is the most important.

Fat Drunk and Stupid v. Plaschke eats penis

A matchup that seeming favors the lower ranked team, Plaschke, since he has nobody of consequence on a bye week, while Fat Drunk and Stupid has to start the immortal Kyle Orton instead of Eli Manning. But enough about the game, this match pits the best looking male of the league FD&S, against Adam G., who was a founding member of the band The Three Adams before being booted out for trying to sleep with the other two members of the band, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz. They replaced him with Michael Diamond, changed the band's name and the rest was history. Still aching from his dismissal, Adam G. has sworn revenge on all in his path. Since that hasn't been successful, he will have to rely on beating me this week in fantasy football.

Osi HumanUrine v. FutureMrWilla Ford

On paper, FutureMrWillaFord should win, except that he has to rely upon Brett Favre and LaDainian Tomlinson, two players that have been very UN reliable this year. At least Osi has the immortal Trent Edwards and Chansi Stuckey on his team. Really? Chansi Stuckey? Really? SmartyBarrett, did you meet Chansi at a rest stop and he was sooooo good that you promised he would be in all of your fantasies? For that reason alone you should lose. Meanwhile, "Woe is me I never win fantasy leagues" Rocco went and signed U-God from the Wu Tan Clang to be his "Co"-Manager. What exactly is he managing, your thriving rap career in Buffalo? Oh, never mind, that's O-Dogg. I think that Rocco and Orlando Hudson should have to divide their record in half. FutureMrWillaFord to win.

Fightin' Amalies v. The Wild Card

Another supposed rout on paper, as The Wild Card has to sit Joseph Addai and Calvin Johnson due to bye weeks and the Fightin'Amalies have to sit, well just New England's defense, which we saw last week is nobody of consequence. The Fightin' Amalies rely heavily on Carson Palmer, who always torches Cleveland, and Adrian Peterson, who this week runs against Tennessee's defense. You better hope that Reggie Williams and Antwaaaaaaaan Randel El show up this week, or else The Wild Card will score an upset. (Pretty much what most of this league is hoping for in the AL playoffs, right?) By the way, I had to have one game with strictly football analysis, and for some reason, this is it. The Wild Card to go 4-0.

Hangin With Mr Dungy v. Norfolk & Way

On paper, this matchup is awful. Just awful, and it features two of the three lowest scoring teams in the league. This might be the first completely double digit scoring game of the year. There is no way that I am going to waste my time by analyzing this game between Thugnificent and flubby, so personal attacks it is. Thugnificent? I guess Gangstalicious and Macktastic were both taken. Personally, if I were to take the name of a fictional rapper, I would at least make sure that it was voiced by, well, an actual rapper. Flubby is 0-3 and has the lowest scoring team in the league, which must mean that he is better at analyzing and writing about football for one of the web's most read football sites than he is at actual fantasy football. That isn't a big deal. At least you are funny. No, that's Drew. At least you have a knack for taking an incredibly bad subject and putting a humorous hue to it. Nope, that's Punter. Gambling tips? That's UM. Unusual breakdown of games? Ape. Military tips? Caveman. What exactly is it you do? Even though I am just jealous since I have only 4 readers of my site doesn't mean that the question is not valid.

RubberFistingMitten v. CockflashLisaOlson

RubberFistingMitten is trying to become the only fantasy league team in history to post a .500 record without any running backs or receivers. For her sake, I hope that Jay Cutler can keep his sugar level, well, level, against Kansas City, where he has the possibility of scoring 421 points this week. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. Zeke Mowatt, meanwhile, has a steady array of players that will help him beat FMRA, for which she usually charges double and is a service that GHABB,Y! usually reserves payment for Tim Tebow. GHABB,Y!, however, is much too old for Tebow, who prefers his clients much younger and Filipino.

EAT SEVENTEEN BEERS v. Peytons Infected Sac

Now this game should be a barn burner as yahoo's projections have the game finishing 122-121. Doctorcato33 loses nothing in his bye week as Plexiglass would have been suspended for this game and Phillip Rivers is outperforming Peyton anyway. Kevin professes his fondness for rapists by starting Jerramy Stevens at TE. As the Bucs are playing Green Bay perhaps Stevens can show former TE Mark Chmura around Tampa. I hear you can be 18 to work at Mons Venus and 2001 Space Odyssey now. I mean, that is what I hear. I pick Eat Seventeen Beers. Why? I don't really know. Not thinking about football anymore.

My Little Ponies v. LessThanJakeDelhomme

Another close battle on paper, as Smurphette has to sit Randy Moss and Marvin Harrison due to bye weeks, and Dallas Clark due to sand in his vagina. Oh, never mind, wrong injury report, he also has a bye. At least her homer picks are not coming back to haunt her. Grimey has to love the RB platoon systems in Dallas and Denver as Mike Shanahan is taking away all of Selvin Young's points. Also, as a former Bears fan I can honestly tell you, beware of Brian Griese. He will do great for a few games, and then utterly and viciously stab you in the heart. Probably on purpose. Not that I am bitter or anything. But at least you don't have Phil Dawson on your team. And Smurphette, don't think that just because FMRA gets all of the attention because of her excessive flirtation, that you are immune. We know that you are the Mary Ann to her Ginger. For crying out loud, you call yourself Smurphette, who was the only female in a whole village of males. We all know what happened in Smurf Village. Someone had to keep all of the male smurfs happy. Any coincidence that you chose that moniker? I think not. Not that I judge. In fact, if my (wildly bald) assertions are accurate, I would stand up and applaud. Anyway, I again lost my train of though. Oh yeah, football. My Little Ponies to win.

Thanks everyone for letting me guest post, and happy football watching. I myself have narrowed by Sunday festivities to three bars, one for the early games, one for the late afternoon games, and one where I will drink a shot of Jack for each sack Orton takes at the hands of Philly. That may sound great, but as a bourbon man, I despise Jack. I will also be hoping that the bar's football specials don't break me this week. After all, I did bank at WaMu.

The World Outside of Mass Hysteria: Weezy and the Red Sox


picture courtesy of Everyday Should be Saturday

*What is more hardcore then a boxer fighting with only four fingers? How about a boxer who removed his own finger by himself. Seriously, Juan Robles couldn't afford the surgery so he took a chisel a block and removed the finger himself. HARDCORE. [With Leather]

*Nothing beats watching an announcer screw up live on the air. Last night I enjoyed Lou Gorman refer the influence of "sabermathics" on NESN. Our friends over in Chicago has a list with media of their top ten screw ups. And yes, Boom Goes the Dynamite made the list [Top Ten Chicago Sports]

* Evidently everyone that plays for the Mariners wants to kick Ichiro's ass. Maybe it has to do with his huge dong or his strange haikus about baseball. I know if I was a player on the Mariners I would probably want to fight these guys first:
3)Richie Sexson (though he would destroy me)
2)Erik Bedard
1) Carlos Silva
1A) The Ownership/GM of the Organization.
[Larry Brown Sports]

* Ah yes the biggest pussies in football, the Wide Receiver who refuses to take a hit. Footbawful exposes possibly the biggest vagina in football, Todd Pinkston. [Footbawful]
Also, I was pretty sure Pinkston was out of the NFL when I checked out his wikipedia page I found this game that is pure gold. Really try to hit him with a pass, I became so frustrated with this game that I shut it off after 10 minutes. Now I know McNabb's pain. [Pass to Pinky]

* SPECIAL ALERT: AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLLOWS HOCKEY. The person? Lil Wayne, Weezy F Baby, Deshaun DWAYNE Carter, The Greatest Rapper Alive. Also shocking the New Orleans native is a Sox fan, yeah take that Zephyrs
[Stanley Cup of Chowder]

I know this has been spread all over the internets already but please enjoy the greatest football catch in the history of the world:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Breakfast With The Hysterics!


So you know how people usually try to build up a base tan before going on vacation to a sunny locale? Well that's the analogy I'd use to describe the remainder of the Red Sox season. Jon Lester picked up his 16th win in his final regular season tune-up and Youkilis got all the ladies hot and bothered with his 28th homer of the year. That's why they call him KY.

Looks like all this Willis McGahee drama is finally closed, but how crazy was that shit? I kind wish this was on YouTube, I would love to see this supposed "video evidence." For those unaware, the Ravens sent tapes to the NFL alleging that a few dudes on the Browns (namely Andra Davis) were reaching up under his visor (!!!) and jabbing him in the face at the bottom of piles. The NFL ruled that there was no wrong-doing, but my guess is they're probably like me in that they hate when bitches start whining about "not in my eyes!"

So it's raining in Boston this morning, so I think I'm off to a rest-stop to propose to some chick. Crazy, right? I'll leave you with this tune:

Boston Sports Tonight!

Red Sox v. Indians, 7:05 pm. I have done nothing of any value at work today. And yet I'm still exhausted and feel like I deserve a baseball game, a cold beer, and maybe (just maybe) the season premiere of The Office. Awesome. So, like, what's good tonight?

Jeremy Sowers (4-8, 5.48) is in for the Indians. Sowers is an unfortunate young man because a) he's spent the last 3 seasons shuttling back and forth between Buffalo and Cleveland, unable to secure a place in a rotation that's about as steady as a one-legged whore giving a blowjob on a subway car, and b) his name anagrams to "Jeremy's Worse." It seems to have been true, too... even when Sabathia was turning into an emotional sack of blubber, Carmona was showing early signs of becoming the dangerous liability he is now, and Cliff Lee seemed intent on pitching his way into obscurity, it seems Mark Shapiro's reaction was always, "Eh, Jeremy's worse." Bummer, kid! He'll face another young pitcher who's, well, better: Jon Lester (15-6, 3.26).

Note that the Indians are at an even-Steven 79-79 record coming into tonight. Personally, I vote that the Red Sox in no way contribute to helping this lame-ass team finish with a winning season. Incidentally, a spectacular moment from Jerry Remy last night, talking about what it's like to be a veteran player on a total non-contender down the stretch in August and September: "It's just no fun coming to work every day," he said. I love when ballplayers drop the bullshit and tell it like it is, you know? There's only so many times you can hear someone like Vernon Wells say shit like, "well, you know, we're a good team and we've been working our hardest blah blah" before you figure that at SOME point he's got to break down and start wailing "PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY TRADE ME TO THE PHILLIES BEFORE I GET OLD AND START SUCKING!!" Shh, Vernon. There there. It'll be ok. Here's a totally meaningless nomination for the Hank Aaron award to play with.

Frivolous wager of the night: ZOMG DO WE THINK JIM AND PAM GOT ENGAGED?! Uh, I mean, I bet, like, Jhonny Peralta screws up some totally routine ground ball plays.

Serious prediction of the night: I'd say I don't think these Indians are going to get swept by a Red Sox team that's basically The AAA Extravaganza right now, but... in Lester we trust, man. Oh, and Jeremy's worse.

All in the Name of Mass Hysteria Sports


Yes, that says "MassHysteriaSports.com" Yes, HzMLS and I were completely out of control at the Sox game last night. I mean, wouldn't you have been? It was a completely meaningless game, we had a few drinks before we even entered the friendly confines, and there were two smoking hot drunk 20-year-old chicks sitting right in front of us. Fun and ridiculousness ensued. I really told myself I would stop writing blogs like this, and stop being completely obnoxious to drunk girls, but Jesus this was a slam fucking dunk.

So we get to our seats in the middle of the first inning and the drunk girls make themselves known right off the bat. Besides barely being able to function, they were swaying, falling over, saying inappropriate things, spilling drinks, etc. HzMLS and I zone in and the lies begin. We go to BC, no, we went to BC. We're from RI, no CT, no RI. We're not yet 21. No wait, we just turned 21. I am barely able to keep up. Suffice it to say it was one of the more elaborate lies I've ever been a part of. After the fun of that wears off, HzMLS grabs a notebook and begins writing page after page of the following:

Now, I'm no marketing wizard, but I think this is a brilliant idea. He then starts to plant these notes in various places: inside the girls' hoodies, stuffed into one of the girl's purses...but then pulls off the best one yet. Enjoy it:

Yes, he was able to shove it in her back pocket without her realizing. But random lies and agressive marketing aside, there also was a baseball game. Fresh off kicking Gary Sheffield's ass, Fausto Carmona got the ball for the Indians, and he had just a miserable outting. Seriously, I bet like 15 pitches in he was wishing that he had elected to serve his suspension. 50 pitches in the first inning. 50!

Unfortunately, the Sox offense kind of died after that, and totally-going-to-be-in-the-bullpen-in-the-playoffs Paul Byrd let the Indians back into it and we had a 4-4 game on our hands. Jeff Bailey and Mark Kotsay took matters into their own hands though, and the mighty MDC closed it out for a meaningless win, yay! Also, JD Drew actually played!