Archive for the ‘Gettin’ Paid’ Category

Now, usually I don’t do this. This isn’t a blog post about the R. Kelly song Ignition, but if that’s what helps you sleep at night (the way it helps me), I suggest you get the jams cranked and try to forget about the weekend that wasn’t.

The Blue Jays were swept by the Texas Rangers in something that resembled a massacre. I can’t confirm that Josh Hamilton is leatherface, but with two games that ended with Texas in the double digits, and a heartbreaking extra-innings loss in the middle, he’s not my favourite person in the major leagues. Like, just never going to think about running my hands through his fro.

Let’s all laugh it off as the Jays return home to face the first place Orioles by looking at the five best (and by best, I mean ARE YOU SERIOUS) message board comments about the weekend. Hot and fresh out the kitchen.

1. FIRE EVERYONE!!!!

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A far less charismatic version of George Clooney’s character in Up In The Air has joined the party and wants everyone to be fired. To make it better, he’ll send each coach to a different part of the country and then fly out to fire them to rack up frequent flyer miles.

2. KEEP IT REAL

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What I’m really seeing here is a hidden message, like when you do a word search and then there are leftover letters that spell a mystery word. It also could express the areas WHERE there REALLY WAS a point to be MADE over .500

Signed: EASY ON THE CAPS BRO! REALISTICALLY.

3. Making plans

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In consulting my planner, I can clearly see that the Jays planned to lose 87 games this year. I’m not kidding! I can see each and every single loss penciled into this invisible dayplanner that I share with the team. Sometimes we think about winning certain games. The Saturday game was supposed to be a win, but everyone forgot to tell Igarashi because he’s new, and then it was like “Sorry man, if you had looked at the planner, you’d know you were getting DFA-ed on Sunday and you probably shouldn’t have tried to be the hero and skyrocket your ERA.”

4. Getting in on it

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I mean, duh, yes. Cal Hamels is the hybrid player I created in my basement using the stats from Cole Hamels’s baseball-reference.com chart as well as 34 Cal Ripkin Jr. baseball cards and a LOT of masking tape and some hair extensions I got in Chinatown. I’ve sent countless emails to the Blue Jays front office, and they’ve already acknowledged their interest through a letter I received with the subject “MAILER-DAEMON Mail Delivery Subsystem”. It sounds very interesting.

5. The perhaps list

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Perhaps some losses can better be attributed to pulling starters out of games in the first two innings. Perhaps some deficits in a line up, bullpen, or rotation can be attributed to injury. Perhaps if the umpires weren’t holding grudges against the entirety of the Blue Jays like a dramatic ex-boyfriend, you win some. Perhaps other times things get real bad and you don’t. Perhaps the bleacher critics should grab another beer and sit back down instead of throwing their helmets in the wrong direction. Perhaps.

The Blue Jays sent the Royals on an 11-game losing streak after winning their last of a four-game series in Kansas City on Monday night. Toronto also broke a bizarre streak of its own, wherein it opened the season losing two, winning two, losing two…and so on and so forth. Big brooms were needed – the club picked up its first sweep since a million* years ago and travels to Baltimore in an attempt to paint Camden Yards blue tonight (if you will…and I think you will).

Traveling to Misery did the team good.

*2003, vs the Yankees. BALLER.

#beauty

Luis Perez came out of the bullpen with an anchor this past week. He firmly attached the anchor to the score and said “THIS STAYS RIGHT HERE”. I’m not on the Perez bandwagon. Let me explain: the 27-year old lefty was one of the sure things from last season in an otherwise always up-in-the air bullpen. Not surprisingly, Perez returned in 2012 to the re-vamped house of bulls and quickly made it clear why he kept his job. So no, I’m not on the Perez bandwagon – I’m basically leading the parade and hitting non-believers in the back of the knees with my ornate baton.

What a dream. (Photo: Mark Duncan)

In the Jays first game in KC (a 4-3 win), Perez had four K’s in 1 2-3 innings of work. Last night, to close out the series, he picked up where a pretty-dang-good Brandon Morrow left off in the seventh with two outs, and pitched a scoreless 1 1-3 innings. Luis Perez has not allowed a run in 11 1-3 innings this season. I dare you to tell me that he’s not a #beauty.

 

#dirty

Okay, so maybe the strike zone isn’t a person, and the strike zone doesn’t play for a team, but the strike zone was striking the fuck out of the entire Tampa Bay series in Toronto. Balls were strikes, strikes were balls, the entire ‘zone’ was anywhere from the batter’s box to either of the dugouts and probably seven feet in front and behind the plate (just to be safe). Absolutely filthy.

Pitchers are always asked to “talk about” finding the zone, “talk about” getting it down. Bore me to tears. Hold the athletes accountable because they make a balls-load of money to talk about what they’re doing right and wrong, and for the most part because at this level, they should be doing most things right.

At least we all agree that the seventh pitch was a little out of the zone. Wed, Apr 18 on Game Day.

Still, I’m a firm believer that you need two things to do your job, pro-athlete or stock associate at Old Navy:

1. You need to know how to do your job.

Okay, so I think with the exception of Morrow-meltdown days, everyone’s on board with the whole throwing-strikes situation.

2. You need to know what’s expected of you.

If the strike zone isn’t visible by the person who is calling the strikes, what are the expectations? How do you know how to do your job when the strike zone is subject to change based on whether or not the ump had enough coffee, got enough sleep last night, is having an emotional breakdown, is going through a divorce, hates his job, hates his co-workers, hates Canada, broke his nail, has a hang nail, or skipped all of his eye exams for the last 12-18 years? Boys club needs to clean it up.

Welcome back, baseball season. In between the too-frequent outbreaks of ‘the wave’ at all the wrong moments, the YOLO streaker, and the potatoes on the field, there were some shining stars, and some regrets in the first week of Blue Jays baseball at the Rogers Centre. It’s only appropriate to name (with a hashtag) the beauty of the series, followed by someone that needs to clean it up.

#Beauty

Colby Rasmus

It’s really ‘cool’ to like Colby right now, the same way it’s ‘cool’ to like any player who is on a hot streak. The problem with the entire scenario, is that Colby has always been awesome. As Toronto fans so eloquently proved during the Opening Series after the big Santos non-save, Toronto just ain’t so great at warm welcomes (y’all).

Centre field swag

Toronto surely thought they won the trade, until Colby arrived with a sad face and put up .173/.201/.316 for the rest of his first season in the AL East through 35 games. On the other hand, we can celebrate Octavio Dotel winning the entire World Series (and being in the right place at the right time might not be so out of reach again this year in Detroit).

Sure, the country boy has a few issues of his own – like Tony LaRussa, his dad, Tony LaRussa’s feelings about his dad, his dad’s feelings about Tony LaRussa, and just wanting to hunt in Alabama, but dude is going to save Toronto a lot of runs with his full-out swag dives and panther-like tracking in centre field.

You know, sometimes homesickness and St. Louis are a bad mix. This pup just needed a new stage to shine on. I think the Jays have got a best-in-show on their hands.

#Dirty

Brett Lawrie

Look guy: everyone knows you think your balls are huge, but trying to steal home with the bases loaded and Jose Bautista at the plate, maybe watch your back. Despite Bautista acting a little too Switzerland about the whole ordeal the next day (“He just slid the wrong way…”), I can’t help but think that all Jose really wanted to do was slap him in the face  and say “YOU’RE NOT ON THE COVER OF MLB12 IN CANADA” (in Spanish).

And then, not to be outdone by himself, Lawrie tries to steal second later in the game with Arencibia at the plate on the final out of the inning. John Farrell called it a major baserunning mistake. I call it running like an asshole.

Reuters' pro photogs know how to capture the essence of stupidity.

When approached about Lawrie’s seemingly blase attitude about the errors of his ways, Farrell said he’d make sure the coaches got the message delivered again. Sounds like someone forgot to read the memo about the TPS reports.

This is a team game, cowboy. If anyone else had done that, the city would be calling for their public beheading, but the Lawrie jerseys are still alive and the bros who wear them are still drawing hearts around his name on their beer cans. YA BUDDY.

Dear Winnipeg Jets,

I apologize for this formal and outright old-school way of letting you know how I feel, but Blake Wheeler won’t respond to my persistent tweets about Tobias Funke (his dog) and I’m not sure how else to get through to you.

Seriously.

I can remember the day that hockey broke my heart. I remember it like it was yesterday, I mean, mostly because I refuse to believe that my age is relevant, and that 1998 was actually just mere seconds ago. 98 Degrees announced their reunion this week, so I think I’m right about this.

Everything fell apart for me when the ultimate gentleman, Paul Kariya had his face taken off in 1998 by Gary Suter. And it wasn’t the first time little, swift, heart-of-gold Paul had been viciously smashed in the head by someone larger than him, and surely wouldn’t be the last. My mum would tell me these things happen because someone is jealous of you. I see you, Gary. I’m looking right into your jealous soul. You too, Patrick Kaleta, and especially you, Scott Stevens.

 

But this letter isn’t about the pain or the years that followed, wherein hockey and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. This is a letter about hot, lusty attraction.

When I was sent packing (with my arms crossed, pouting through the airport) to Winnipeg for work, I set my sights on going to a Jets game, and I can’t explain it. It’s as if all of the stars had aligned into the shape of a fictional fighter plane, and some mystic force disguised as -20 degree weather was pulling me towards that hangar where I would be the only person that wasn’t clad in the right (or wrong) colours that night in February. My ticket purchase was like a sketchy drug deal and to be honest, I kind of liked it. Dangerous and sexy, just like the movie ‘Entrapment’ with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And in I went, to the NHL’s little-engine-that-could venue, the MTS Centre. With my arena-pizza and large soda in hand, I was among friends. The excitement amoung the 15,004 fans was a force, exactly the way I imagine it feels to be in the front row at a Justin Bieber concert where he actually touches your outstretched hand and then you vow never to wash that hand again. It’s also equally, if not louder than this alleged Bieber show I’ve never been to.

It was there, on that February night that I was seduced by the bright lights, the announcer’s voice, and the mass booing of Chara whenever he was within ten feet of the puck. I heard Chara is a really nice guy, but I mean, NOT IN YOUR HOUSE. My version of the ‘Go Jets Go’ chant perhaps borderline made people think that my pizza was laced with caffeine pills (or crack).

Your line-up hierarchy is incredible. It’s the only time in the history of the entire world that the women’s washroom line up is the sixth longest.

1. Beer

2. The other beer line

3. Mens washrooms

4. Tim Horton’s

5. 50/50 line up

6. Women’s washrooms

 

I left that night wanting more of it all. I wanted to say ‘Byfuglien’ over and over because I finally could pronounce it correctly with ease. The taste of a delicious victory on my lips, I went back again to see you trample on the dreams of the Avalanche. And then I kept following, cursing the Maple Leafs for taking up valuable air time on my Ontario television with all of their losing.

 

The flying-W on Mar. 1 was like all of my mighty childhood dreams coming true. Okay, fine. It’s not actually called a flying-W, but see if I care! It’s as if Paul Kariya and Emilio Estevez were collectively egging them on (on my behalf) to create such a magical moment. It’s no coincidence that both Jets and Ducks fly. Together.

 

 

And Ondrej Pavelec, is he even a human? Does it matter?

 

 

Last night, I regained consciousness after 16 seconds of overtime when Andrew Ladd gave the gift of official elimination from the playoffs to the Carolina Hurricanes, as you beat those pesky storms 4-3. Sure, there’s practically no chance of making the playoffs. Putting my confidence in Montreal and Toronto to both win, and on the same night? That’s far too much to ask. But as Jean Girard in Talladega Nights said to Ricky Bobby,

“I will battle you with the entirety of my heart and you will probably lose. But maybe, just maybe. You might challenge me. The Beatles needed the Rolling Stones. Even Diane Sawyer needed Katie Couric.”

 

 

There’s something to be said about rooting for the underdog. Even the roughest exterior on the team that Atlanta didn’t want gives light to an electric personality that would make even the tightest of panties get a little bit closer to dropping.

Please Winnipeg, be my Rolling-Stone-singing Katie Couric.

xoxo

Steph

By: Steph Rogers

They say that love hurts (at least that’s what I’m told by the folks who invest themselves in other humans), but the hurt is most easily evidenced by fans of a certain team that plays hockey in a large Canadian market and has had trouble reaching the playoffs since 1967.

I don’t want to name any names, but there is a lot of love lost if you’re a fan of that certain team.

“There must be other activities for fans of a certain team to engage in so that they can cease to have their hearts broken so many times in one short season?” I said, to no one in particular (probably my dog)

“Yes! There are!!!” I replied (to myself, with gusto), after the gods of hockey smacked me in the soul with an oversized white maple leaf.

So I set out to change minds, and to change hearts.  To teach others the lessons they need to be taught to move forward in order to really feel like winners. I think I’ve done that here. (I imagine that last part you read was narrated by Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones).

1. Crafts

Surely needlepoint or knitting are things you’ve never considered before. Well, no one ever wants to enter into a relationship that’s doomed to fail either. You can’t fail when you invest your time and hands into a beautifully knitted sweater or a logo-ed throw pillow! I mean, I suppose you can fail horribly, but instead of crying after a loss while your blue face paint drips from your tears onto your shirt, you can curse yarn and…needles. And by the time the hockey season is over, if you play your cards right, you’ll be wearing a brand new sweater out of the seniors home you’ve been frequenting to avoid television. Think about how proud all of your friends at knitting circle will be, the friends who remember 1967 like it was yesterday!

I found this on eBay. You could make one! For yourself!

2. Pick a new team every week

Variety is the spice of life! Or at least that’s what I imagine is a key phrase at swingers parties, and I think they’re a pretty happy bunch. Screw loyalty! Enter into a non-committal relationship with all 30 teams! Skip from one conference to the next! When things start getting good, jump ship and find another project (Columbus Blue Jackets) to work on until you realize you just really can’t change them. Then, get up to no good and have a weekend fling with a younger, more energetic team (Winnipeg Jets). The lesson here: don’t wait (45 years) for someone to put out, no matter how much you like them. Those pants are never coming off.

Why take just one when you can have 30? Think about it.

3. Imagine that it’s 1967 for the entire season

Grow your hair out and wear a vest made of blue and white flowers. Eat chinese food while drinking English Breakfast tea to pay homage to tension in Hong Kong. Turn your man-cave into a bomb shelter and hold concerts in it every time a hockey game is on TV. It’s preferable that the bands playing at the concert are limited to only covers of song from The Doors self-titled album and some Pink Floyd. When the playoffs are on, watch only repeats of the 1967 playoffs. Celebrate. Repeat the following year. Celebrate. Think not of the future.

If 1967 doesn't look fucking awesome, I don't know what does.

4. Write a play for the stage

Maybe you want to make it about two guys who played sports together at New England-area College in the 1970s. Speak of how their relationship turned into a professional one, where one guy was the GM and the other was the coach of a pretty big team, let’s say it was a hockey team. Friendship was tested when the coach wasn’t so hot at his job. In fact, his coaching may have led to the demise of a historic franchise while an entire city called “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!” at the arena one night. In unison.

Make it a musical. Have a chorus line dressed in blue and white sing the number “Off With His Head” while hitting the sides of the set with hockey sticks. Do not show the beheading. Have an actor, the executioner (probably an old, awesome guy like Johnny Bower, Red Kelly, or any member of the 1967 Maple Leafs) slowly walk the coach off stage to his inevitable fate. Fade to black. Cue the final number, a slow ballad sung by the GM from what appears to be a lakefront bench with a nameless city skyline in the background, mourning the loss of a friend and his self-respect. You could win a Tony award. AN ACTUAL AWARD! And then you could name it ‘Stanley’.

Liza performs at the Tony Awards. With the Stanley Cup. Okay, fine. It's totally photoshopped.

Or, you can carry on. Carry on dreaming your big blue and white dreams every year. Believe in the importance of every game. Teach your kids the importance of every game. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when it doesn’t work out, and you’re left with nothing but a tear-stained Kessel jersey and 67 broken dreams.