Monday, October 29, 2007

The (not so) Long Wait is Over!

The Boston Red Sox charged the mound yesterday, screaming, shouting, throwing their gloves in the air. Champaigne was wheeled into the locker room, Theo Epstein hugged John Henry, and fans all over Boston let out a great cry of joy, as long time Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione delivered the good news:

"Celebrate, Boston; A-Rod has opted out of his Yankee contract!"

Minutes later, the team managed to compose themselves, and continue playing in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, which they won, sweeping the Cinderella story Colorado Rockies, who upon making it to the World Series for the first time in their 15 year history, transformed into so much pumpkin.

After the game, players were jubilant. "Yeah, we never gave up hope, we always believed he would opt out of his contract and become a free-agent," first baseman/circus strongman Kevin Youkilis said between swigs of champaigne. "It's a long schedule, and we just kept trying, going out on the field and playing the game, and waiting to hear the news that greedy asshole number one, [Yankees owner Goerge Steinbrenner] is losing the services of greedy ass-hole number two [former Yankee thirdbaseman Alex Rodriguez. Our patience and hard work finally paid off. We did this for the fans in Boston, who deserve this. No other town has such great fans who love their team and hate A-Rod and the Yankees."

The sweep of the Colorado Rockies makes it eight straight World Series games that the Red Sox have won. Their last loss came in October of 1986, when they lost game 7 of the World Series to the New York Mets, the same year an 11 year old Alex Rodriguez opted out of his paperboy route with the Westminster Daily Dispatch to sign a three year deal to deliver copies of the Dade County Register for 15¢ an hour more.

"It's simply amazing, what these guys have accomplished," Manager Terry Francona said yesterday to reporters. "Four years ago, the curse was still alive and well, A-Rod was still with the Rangers, and the Yankees were still a pack of douche bags. Now, we've broken the curse to win two of the past four World Series, A-Rod has come and gone, and the Yankees are still a pack of douche bags."

David "Big Papi" Ortiz, Red Sox first baseman/designated hitter/pimp daddy, was overjoyed. "As a fellow Dominican, I am bery bery happy that Alex Rodriguez has opted out of his Yankee contract. We hope to have him play for our team, but as long as he's not playing for the Yankees, that is bery bery good."

"I'd love to have him join our team," Red Sox left fielder/Mrs. Butterworth stunt double Manny Ramirez said, smiling as players dumped beer over his already disgustingly crusted hair. "I love it even more that he is not playing with the Yankees no more."

The Colorado Rockies, however, were inconsolable. "It's hard," Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday said, shaking his head. "We had such a good run through the playoffs, seemed like nothing could stop us... then you get an eight day layoff and BAM! A-Rod makes his decision. I just find it hard to take this as good news, especially since we never really play the Yankees. I mean, the closest we came to this kind of joy was when we found out Bonds wasn't coming back to the Giants, but let's face it, he's just about washed up, and the Giants are doormats anyway."

"Watching a hated rival team lose their best player because of greed is one of the greatest thrills in sports," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said, "and I just hope that this team will work hard next year so that we can enjoy the kind of spiteful glee that the Red Sox are enjoying right now."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Baseball Fever... Innoculate Against It!

The World Series is almost upon us. Well, it has been for a few days, but Boston just won't lay down already. Here's a recap of the League Championship


Arizona Diamondbacks (90-72, NL WEST) vs. Colorado Rockies (90-73, NL WILDCARD)

JUGGERNAUT GROWS COMPLACENT WAITING FOR NEXT VICTIM - The Colorado Rockies, awaiting the winner of the ALCS, sat idly for yet another day, waiting to find out where they are going for their first two World Series victories.

"Jeez," Rockies leftfielder and probable NL MVP Matt Holliday said, decked out in his black road uniform, playing Go Fish with Rockies middle reliever Matt Herges and Dinger, the Rockies purple dinosaur mascot. "you'd think they could just wrap it up already."

Secondbaseman Kaz Matsui agreed. "If the Indians really wanted to win, they should have just won game one," he said, stifling a yawn as he sat on his packed suitcase. "I mean, why all the drama? If you lose game one, you might as well just go home."

"I'm sooooo bored," closer Manny Corpas cried out, slumping back in the bullpen, pouring a jar of mustard on the front of his jersey. "I just wanna go play!"

Manager Clint Hurdle urged caution to his players. "You have to be careful," he warned, moisturizing the spot on his finger where his World Series ring will rest. "There's a danger of getting complacent, and we might need 13 or 14 innings before we win game one of the World Series. We have to find something for these kids to do. Players get bored, they lose concentration, and all of a sudden, you're looking at some sort of bizarre non-sweep situation." He shuddered as he wiped the extra lotion from his hand with his Official "Colorado Rockies 2007 World Series Champions "There's Only One "Rocktober" " " towel.

RELIEVER JOSE VALVERDE RAMPAGES - The Arizona Diamondbacks were swept by the Colorado Rockies, losing all four games by an average of 2.5 runs per game, prompting an angered Jose Valverde to break into a military base and steal an experimental formula. Drinking the liquid, officially known as Project X54T99J-332NB-1, street name "The REALLY Clear," Valverde grew mammoth in size and developed special glands in his throat which produce chemicals that, upon being belched into the air, combust.

"TAVERAS!" he screamed in a Rodan-like screech, laying waste to the historic Heritage Square. Diamondbacks veteran Randy Johnson was injured when the twenty-story tall reliever first drank the liquid, smashing through the wall of the Diamondbacks club house when players were there to clean out their lockers for the off-season. Centerfielder Chris B. Young was scorched by Valverde's chemical exhalations, prompting Leftfielder/verbal-diarrhea-sufferer Eric Byrnes to rechristen him "Cris-py Young."

"It's horrible," shortstop Stephen Drew cried, watching in fear as Valverde picked up a school bus full of children and threw it at Chase Ballpark. "At least my brother J.D. is still playing."

General Abernathy of the United States Army has outlined a plan for taking down the colossal closer, but states that the Army's policy of not operating on home soil has hindered them thus far. New York Yankees leftfielder Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui has been approached as a special advisor.


Boston Red Sox (96 - 66, AL EAST) vs. Cleveland Indians (96 - 66, AL CENTRAL)

QUEST FOR FREE BOOZE DRIVES SOX - Unwilling to surrender the free champagne that goes to the winner of the ALCS, the Red Sox staged a dramatic trouncing of the Cleveland Indians Saturday night, winning Game 6 of the ALCS 12-2 and forcing a deciding Game 7.

"The boys just crave that sweet, sweet bubbly," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said in a press conference last night. "David Ortiz has the shakes something awful."

Kevin Youkilis was seen staring longingly at the bottles of champagne as they sat in the commisary of Boston's historic Fenway Park. "Man, that would be so sweet going down," he said. "Just the feeling of the bubbles, tickling the roof of your mouth, that sweet pucker of the grapes twitching your cheeks, the crackling fire in your gut as the alcohol enters your system... bliss."

"Winning the ALCS and getting to the World Series would be nice," back-up catcher Doug Mirabelli said, "especially coming back in dramatic fashion like this. But only the nectar of Dionysis will chase away the spiders that are trying to get at me from inside my locker."

Many Red Sox players are detoxing, and in desperate need of alcohol, which they have been denied since sweeping the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California USA Earth in the ALDS. Pictures of the Indians enjoying champagne from their 1995 and 1997 trips to the World Series hang on the bulletin boards, serving as inspiration for the Red Sox.

"No way they're getting that Korbel," centerfielder Coco Crisp said, licking his lips. "That booze is ours."

INDIANS ON VERGE OF CINEMATIC COLLAPSE - The Cleveland Indians announced some last minute additions to their playoff roster, shocking the baseball world yesterday. Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, David Keith and Dennis Haysbert were added, taking the place of Rafael Perez, Josh Barfield, Kelly Shoppach, and Trot Nixon.

"We were up three games to one," Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro... Shapeero... Shapeyero... Shaporo... owner Larry Dolan said yesterday at a press conference. "Now, we're facing game seven? What was I supposed to do?"

Sheen, known to Cleveland fans for his role as Indians reliever Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn in Major League and Major League 2, was shocked at the announcement. "I tried to tell them I can't really pitch, that it was all camera tricks, but they didn't seem to hear me. They just handed me a pair of black horn rimmed glasses and begged me to go save their season."

Corbin Bernsen, who played thirdbaseman Roger Dorn in both Major League movies, was equally shocked by the anouncement. "I've played a few Rock & Jock softball games, but not recently," Bernsen announced.

"Dorn won't be starting," Dolan announced, "but we know his love-hate relationship with Rick Vaughn will be just the thing to spark some late dramatics. And Pedro Cerrano [actor Dennis Haysbert] will give some pop to our lineup that has been missing, especially when he comes up in the bottom of the eighth with runners on and the game on the line." When asked about the addition of David Keith, who played catcher Jack Parkman in the second movie and was actually an antagonist in the film, Dolan was quick to reply. "Parkman was the better catcher, we all know that. Rube Baker was the young gullible farm boy who found his grit, but we don't have that much time. We need Parkman's veteran experience now."

In addition to the players, James Gammon and Tom Berringer were brought in to manage the team for the remainder of the playoffs. "We have to win," Dolan said, "to spite the Vegas showgirl turned gold digging evil widow that owns the team!"

Wesley Snipes was busy preparing to suit up for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and could not be reached for comment.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

MLB Playoff Buzz (sorry, Yankees)

The baseball playoffs are in full swing! As we rapidly approach the long, cold, pointless winter of our discontent, the Smart Centipede takes a look at what's happening in the first round of the MLB playoffs.

American League - Division Series

Boston Red Sox (96 - 66, AL EAST) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (94 - 68, AL WEST)

SHOCK THE MONKEY - The Boston Red Sox swept the Angels in three games this week. The Angels have had little success since winning their first World Series in 2002, when they defeated Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants in seven games. Known simply as the Anaheim Angels at the time, the franchise changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in an attempt to get some of the nearby L.A. fan base to root for them. Odd, considering that before being known as the Anaheim Angels, they were known as the California Angels. Maybe they should change their name to the "West of the Mississippi Angels," so they can tap the maximum fan base possible. Plus, their target demographic would finally be equal in size to Vladmir "Nose to Toes" Guerrero's strike zone. Their mascot, the pestilential "Rally Monkey," reminds us that, while their offense could "outbreak" at any moment, their playoff chances goes up in smoke quicker than an African mercenary camp riddled with mutaba.

RAMIREZ' HAIR GETS 2 YEAR DEAL - Boston left fielder, Manny Ramirez has struggled since coming back from a leg injury, but he has hit a resurgence at just the right time. Los Angeles/Anaheim/Greater Southern California area pitchers have avoided David "Big Poppi" Ortiz, who has been walked more than a chihuahua with a spastic colon, and with no one else in the line up capable of providing protection, the strategy has worked. But Ramirez made the tactic back fire in game two, hitting a walk-off homerun. Ramirez, injured for a portion of the season, said he still isn't 100%, but added "“But I guess when you don’t feel good and you still get hits, that’s when you know you are a bad man.” He then took a hit of "breath-gas," and left to force humans to mine gold in the Rocky Mountains for his Psychlo commander Terl. His hair declined to comment about the contract -ahem- extension.


Cleveland Indians (96 - 66, AL CENTRAL) vs. New York Yankees (94 - 68, AL WILDCARD)

THE NINTH PLAGUE OF ROCKY COLAVITO - The Indians may be the team of destiny this year, as they appeared to have divine intervention save them in game two. With the Yankees up 1-0 in the eighth inning, and rookie phenom/intergalactic mob boss Joba Chamberlain on the mound, a swarm of insects descended on Jacobs Field, creating an obvious distraction for the Yankees reliever, who threw two wild pitches and walked a couple of batters, allowing a run in a game which the Indians went on to win 2-1 in extra innings, taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Kenny Lofton, a one time Yankee (and three-time Indian) is looking to take it to his former club, and has hit an insane .714 with 4 RBI for his former-former club. Teammate Jhonny Peralta is still tied for the league lead in misspelled first names with San Diego reliever Cla Meredith.

STEINBRENNER FIRES TORRE, LEVELS ORPHANAGE - Already on the hot seat for not winning the division for the first time in a decade, manager Joe Torre may be out after this season if the Yankees don't turn it around. "I want another World Series Ring NOW!" George Steinbrenner cried, "And I don't care how I get it!" Third-baseman/origami-man Alex Rodrigez has continued his annual ritual of struggling like a choking infant in the post season, a fact made more mystifying by his MVP caliber performance in the regular season. Rodriguez led the team and the majors with 54 HR and 156 RBI this season, before transforming into a newborn possum once arriving in Cleveland for the ALDS, covered in amniotic funk, his eyes not yet fully formed and striken with weakness that prohibits him from even feeding himself. Rodriguez is expected to opt-out of his record breaking quarter-of-a-billion-dollar 10 year contract this off-season, believing he can make more money in the free-agent market. He seeks a deal that may include part ownership of whatever team he plays for. The odds on favorite to land him are the newly re-christened "Alex Rodriguez Presents The Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim, California, USA, Now Featuring Alex Rodriguez."


National League - Division Series

Arizona Diamondbacks (90-62, NL WEST) vs. Chicago Cubs (85-77, NL CENTRAL)

THE CURSE OF NOTHING IN PARTICULAR - The cursed Cubbies lost in unusual fashion this week, getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in a disappointing series that featured no controvesial fan interference, gypsy curses, player scandals, or other curiosities that usually give false hope to devoted North side fans. Chicago manager Lou Pinella's removal of staff ace Carlos Zambrano can be cited as a questionable move, but beyond that, the Cubs failed to provide fans a single excuse for why their favorite team lost beyond simply not being good enough to win. "I don't know how to explain this," said long time Cubs fan Becky Nellis, "normally, there's a goat, or an unruly fan, or hailstones the size of Sammy Sosa's misshapen head that cause our team to miss out on the World Series. There's none of that excitement, none of that mystery. What can I tell my friends, who are White Sox fans, other than 'yeah, we just sucked this year'? How will I explain away the team's inadequacies without curses, bad calls, or acts of God?"

DESERT DROUGHT MAY BE OVER - The Diamondbacks are headed to the NLCS for the first time since they won the 2001 World Series as under dogs to the New York Yankees, a drought of six agonizing years. Many fans have theories why the Diamondbacks have been so unfortunate in recent years, ranging from poor managerial decisions to the curse of Buck Showalter, but the fact remains; the epic futility of the Diamondbacks struggles to bring fans a second world series title may be over. "I was born a Diamondbacks fan, and it has been a long hard road," said 5 year old Tyler Gonzo Fletcher, a resident of Phoenix Arizona, whos middle name was given to him to honor Luis Gonzalez, who delivered the last hit in the D-backs 2001 World Series win. The Diamondbacks fans have tried many ways to break the jinx that has troubled their team, such as burning Tony Womack cards. Womack, who only had 2 hits in 13 at bats in the 2002 playoffs, is regarded as somewhat of a scape goat for the latest playoff failure since the glory days of 2001. "This may be the year we finally win another one," Fletcher said. "The long wait may be over!"


Philadelphia Phillies (89-73, NL EAST) vs. Colorado Rockies (90-73, NL WILDCARD)

WE ARE THE CHAMPI oh, it's over... - The Philadephia Philles were shocked to learn yesterday that they had been eliminated from the 2007 playoffs, losing in three games to the Colorado Rockies. "Wait, what?!?" Shortstop Jimmy Rollins said, looking around in disbelief. "When the Hell did that happen?" The Phillies, coming fresh off their first NL East Division Title in 14 years, were elated to have made the playoffs after the New York Mets historic collapse saw them drop a seemingly insurmountable 7 game lead with 17 to play. The Phillies grabbed the lead with two days left in the season, and won the division on the last day, defeating the Washington Nationals 6-1. "We're done?" Phillies slugger Ryan Howard said, looking around quizzically. "But, I didn't even unpack my bats! How the heck are we already done?" Many Phillies players apparently didn't know they were in the midst of a best of five series against the Colorado Rockies, as many were still busy celebrating their dramatic history making run at the playoffs.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HUH? - The Colorado Rockies stunned the baseball world, and themselves, by sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2007 playoffs to advance to their first ever NLCS. "Wait, what?!?" catcher Yorvit Torrealba said, looking around incredulously. "We won? Dude, sweet!" Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis was elated to hear the news. "So the first round you just have to win three games? Cool!" Byung Hung Kim, who nearly cost the Diamondbacks their only Championship in 2001, sat in the center of the Rockies club house, telling tall tales of the mythical place known as The World Series. "It can't be true!" left fielder Matt Holliday said, his eyes wide in fascination, as Kim described a series of seven games so important that they all were scheduled for prime time national television. "So people outside of Colorado would be able to see us?" shortstop Troy Tulowitzki asked, "honest?" Kim continued to regail the Rockies with stories about a time when AL and NL teams would only meet in the world series, who stared starry-eyed, gasping with wonder.