Dan and myself planned on podcasting this week but our conflicting schedules and health ailments have prevented us from doing so (I have an eye infection HAHA SO FUNNY – Dan) (Bruh, I was sick for three weeks and somehow my right arm barely works- AJ). So here’s our take on some of the current topics in sports.
AJ– Is there even an MLB team in Philly ? I truly can’t remember the last time I was this frustrated with a team I root for. I’ve sat through process Sixers teams. I remember Ilya Bryzgalov getting lit up on a nightly basis in goal. I’ve seen Vince Young and Mark Sanchez play quarterback for the Eagles. But this Phillies team might be the most frustrating, mind-numbingly infuriating team I can remember watching. It’s one thing to be a young, inexperienced team that plays hard and competes, but when you’re consistently getting blown out of the water by mediocre teams it’s absolutely unacceptable.
(Stats accurate as of June 1st) In the month of May, the Phils have been swept by; Seattle, Texas, and Miami. The ERA’s of the starting pitchers are; 9.00, 7.04, 6.08, 5.65, 5.63, and 5.02. The Phillies gave up 8 or more runs 9 times in May. 9 TIMES IN 28 GAMES. The pitching has also given up 45 homeruns in May and 82 (!) this season. The Dodgers have allowed 50 all season.
Don’t even get me started on the hitting. There is one hitter in the lineup. Aaron Altherr is a godsend, hitting .299 and consistently looking like he actually cares about the team. Caesar Hernandez is also having the best season of his career, and much like Altherr consistently shows major-league competency. Odubel Herrera looks like his routine approach at the plate is “holy hell, I can’t strike out”, and then ends up with three strikes. The former all-star looks like Smalls in the beginning of the Sandlot when he’s thinking too much. Herrera is trying not to record outs, rather than get hits (if that makes sense). He has way too much talent to be hitting .218. I expect El Torito to find his form eventually, but Maikel Franco on the other hand… My god I don’t know where to begin. I truly believe Maikel Franco has the physical gifts to be a seasonal 30 and 100 hitter, but he may be one of the most unintelligent hitters I’ve ever seen. I’d complain about his plate approach but he doesn’t even have one. He looks clueless, and is always swinging out of his shoes. More often than not his head ends up facing the 3rd base dugout. I hope he knows there’s a spot waiting for him in Triple-A.
Dan – I have two interests when it comes to baseball. 1) The Tampa Bay Rays and 2) Gambling. Those two things have gone in two totally different directions over the last week or so. Let’s start with the sportsbook. STOP BETTING ON THE CUBS, PEOPLE. They stink right now. The Cubs have lost 6 straight and are tied 2-2 with the Cardinals right now at home (they are especially stinky on the road). The Cubs’ biggest issue has been starting pitching ERA is 4.64, almost an entire run higher than the Rays starting ERA of 3.71.
This is a very un-Joe Maddon thing to see, as starting pitching has always been as strength of his teams but the Cubs aren’t built like the Rays. While Maddon’s Tampa Bay teams were built off of young pitching that was constantly built up and traded away for more young pitching, the Cubs cast of starters are old as shit and may genuinely be feeling effects of previous playoff runs and innings logged – Jon Lester and John Lackey especially. When the Cubs are the favorites, taking the underdogs in the 1H or F5 (depending on your service) may be the way to go though. I’ve lost too much money on the Cubs this year and so yeah, I’m done.
My beloved Rays though are putting on a hell of a season, particularly when it comes to entertainment. Their starters are fantastic, their bullpen sucks, and their hitters are the most proficient long-ball hitters, whiffers, and walk drawers in baseball. It’s really fun to watch this team because you get something notable almost every inning. They already have three guys with 10+ home runs this year with Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson in particular putting up numbers that this organization has never seen before (Steven Souza is the third). The left side of the infield has 16 home runs while playing fantastic defense and yet you get the idea that Tim Beckham and Evan Longoria have actually underperformed. With Wilson Ramos and Matt Duffy, arguably their second and third most proven hitters, soon to come back from the DL, this team might just be getting started.
AJ- Wow, how the mighty have fallen. Tiger’s cheating scandal was sort of comical. Let’s be honest, there was plenty of enjoyment to be had poking fun at the situation. The DUI on the other hand is just sad. The dashcam footage is just depressing to watch and the toxicology report will eventually be made public, which will reveal what medication he’s on to treat his injuries. Here’s to hoping one of the sport’s greatest finds normalcy in his life.
The Stanley Cup
AJ- I hate the Penguins. I can’t stand to look at Sidney Crosby’s face. Nashville plays better hockey games, just to get outplayed in one period. Leave it to Pittsburgh to barely beat the underdog, super-likeable team everyone outside Allegheny County wants to win. Such a buzzkill.
Dan – 😦
LaVar Ball May Be the Least Savvy Businessman on the Planet
AJ – I won’t start on the multitude of examples that prove LaVar Ball is an inept wannabe sports mogul. The fact that he decided to turn down a $10 million shoe deal from one of the big three brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armor) is comically stupid. Ball turned down endorsements for Lonzo in hopes of finding a managing partner to assist the Big Baller Brand. How can you turn down that amount of money, especially when Lonzo has yet to play a second in the NBA. Take the money and run ! LaVar is pushing all his chips to the center of the table, betting on the fact Lonzo will be a world-beating, force to be reckoned with. If you’re big on Lonzo’s projections at the next level stay away from our eventual NBA Draft podcast.
Dan – I go back and forth on this dude A LOT. Every time I think he’s being savvy, he does something that makes me really wonder. Need the Lakers to pass him up so the Kings can trade up to draft him at three and stick him in that fucking hell hole that is the Kings organization. Oh wait, Lonzo is the one being drafted?
Lamelo dropped the worst highlight mixtape of the year but was overshadowed by his dickhead father berating a bunch of 15 year olds on their way to a 60 point loss. Ball harder.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals
AJ- The 1st quarter entertainment value was through the roof. The offensive fireworks were grade-A television, then the wheels fell off Cleveland’s bus. The entire team forgot how to play any shred of meaningful defense. Golden State had fast break 27 points and 56 points in the paint. That’s 83 of Golden State’s 113 points ! Those two areas of scoring are dangerously close to Cleveland’s total score of 91. Tristian Thompson makes $15 million a year and posted a stat-line of 0 points, 4 rebounds, and zero blocks. That’s pathetic for any game, let alone the Finals. JR Smith, Deron Williams, Kyle Korver, and Iman Shumpert combined for 8 measly points. It’s hard to see Cleveland play this poorly again, but there are some serious changes that need to be made to avoid another ass kicking.
On the other hand Golden State looked like a well-oiled-machine. Kevin Durant was unstoppable, adding substance to the claim he is the toughest defensive assignment in the NBA. A 7’0 small forward with a point guard’s handle, Paul Bunyan sized strides, and an automatic jumper with an unfairly high release point makes Kevin Durant an effortless bucket-getter. Steph was Steph adding his own 28 points. The most frightening part of Golden State’s blowout win is… they weren’t even scoring that well as a team. Golden State won by 22 with; Draymond scoring 9 points, Klay dropping 6 points, and there wasn’t a single bench scorer in double figures. If Klay can snap out of his funk, Draymond Green finds his outside shot, and one or two bench players have decent nights, the Dubs could push 140 points if Cleveland plays more putrid defense. Be afraid basketball fans. Be very, very afraid.
Dan – At some point last year I kinda stopped enjoying the Warriors. I think it’s because after the Magic were relegated to the D-League I became an OKC fan with an adoring admiration of the Spurs so the Warriors represented a threat. I even think I convinced myself that I wanted to see the Cavs knock them off, as if LeBron James could represent a Luke Skywalker (I’ve never seen Star Wars- AJ) type figure against them. Well some time between games 1 and 7 I flipped back and realized I loathe LeBron to my core (this is an irrational thing, but so is all sports fandom, so fuck you) and was pretty upset the Dubs lost – though that whole night is kinda a blur because I’d spent the previous hour drinking my face off in a motel watching the Battle of the Bastards. How great was that episode?
Anyway, as I was watching, I remembered why I’d switched onto the Warriors and why I’d become an OKC/Russ/KD fan in the wake of Orlando’s contraction. They play fantastically fun basketball. They’re the complete antithesis of LeBron’s iso-heavy shoulder-lowering game. Lebron’s a great passer, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t move well off the ball and Cleveland hardly runs any real offensive sets with the type of movement with and without the ball that the Warriors do.
I wasn’t sure who I’d be cheering for in this series, but I couldn’t be more sure. In 2015 the Warriors run resembled seeing the Star Wars rebellion go up against the empire (LeBron, LeBron is the empire. He’s the worst). Adding Durant was like the Rebels adding the death star and yeah that would’ve ruined the narrative a bit, but still. FUCK PALPATINE. FUCK THE CAVS. FUCK DERON WILLIAMS.
Dubs in 4.