Monday, October 20, 2008

Postseason Thoughts

By Nick McCann


I guess I am rooting for the Rays to win it all. I don’t know if it is because I like their youthful spirit or if I just hate Ryan Howard’s Subway commercial. I mean come on black community; you need to have a problem with that shit. Every time I see that smiling chubby mess reciting that poem (not rap) about his favorite foot long, I feel bad for Joe Frazier and the way he was painted by Muhammad Ali as being the ultimate Uncle Tom. Ryan Howard has chosen to be that guy, and it is disgusting. Anyways, this World Series will be hard to watch for obvious reasons for Padre fans. The Rays have made it as far as the Padres did 10 seasons ago, which was the same year they entered the league. This means that they have been more successful starting from scratch than the Pads have been in the last ten years as an established club. Also, the Rays payroll is about thirty million smaller than San Diego’s and will undoubtedly serve to be an example for why the Padres can justify cutting salary this winter. We all know that they were going cut salary anyways, but now Sandy Alderson can do it and not feel bad (well, if he had feelings).

I guess the upside to Boston and LA not going to the series this year is that we don’t have to watch JD Drew not care about being a major leaguer and we don’t have to watch Tommy Lasorda wax on about his favorite color. I mean, I will always love watching Manny Ramirez hit, but I can wait until next year when he is a Met.
Well, that is how I feel about the post season. The World Series will be boring, but I guess it will keep my mind off of the Jake Peavy Saga (ha!). I say let him go. Let’s get some good young talent and destroy it...the Padre way.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Fall Guy

By Scott O Malley

“It's a death-defying life I lead, I'll take my chances. I've died for a living in the movies and TV. But the hardest thing I'll ever do is watch my leading ladies, Kiss some other guy while I'm bandaging my knee.

I might fall from a tall building, I might roll a brand-new car, 'Cause I'm the unknown stuntman that made Redford such a star.”


The end always seems to come quietly for daredevils. Reputations precede those who’ve cheated death or tempted fate, and each escape seems to leave an open-ended promise to one day go out in a heap of twisted metal. It rarely happens though. More times than not, the prewritten obituary stays in the drawer. Laments that “he had it coming” are replaced with pity and vague embarrassment, as the subject is felled by the innocuous. No one fulfilled this sad dichotomy as Dar Robinson did.

Generally regarded as the movie industry’s foremost stunt performer, Robinson enjoyed an illustrious career, on-and-off camera. Between taking bumps for the likes of Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, and Burt Reynolds, Robinson was an innovator of stunt and safety equipment, and the holder of more than thirty World Records. He drove off the Grand Canyon, leapt twelve hundred feet from the CN Tower, and escaped it all without so much as a broken bone. The bar was set impossibly high for Robinson’s death to match the theatrics of his life. The end came for him in the desert, on the set of a z-grade movie-of-the-week, when he lost control of a small motorbike. Hours away from medical attention, Robinson lost consciousness in the back of a station wagon, and without spectacle he was gone.

The last time I addressed O.J. Simpson, I likened him to a kind of macabre circus freak, and it would appear now that my favorite carny has gone and stuck his head in the crocodile’s mouth once too often. As a consolation prize thirteen years in the making, he is headed to prison indefinitely. Without delving too deeply into my perverse fascination with the Misadventures of O.J., I’m disappointed in him. That is, of course, if his Vegas Vacation proves to be his swan song. I’d hoped for so much better.

O.J.’s latest fiasco has proven that the American public has yet to grasp what makes him tick. Prevailing wisdom suggests that O.J. should have spent these past thirteen years in seclusion, counting his blessings in exile. This reasoning may be sound, but it’s not O.J., who’s nothing if not brazen. More inept are the legions of armchair psychologists in this post-Tony Soprano world, who’ve seen fit to misdiagnose him as a sociopath (conversely, basic-cable viewers have become experts in forensic science). The fact is it’s never been enough for O.J. to simply accumulate untouchable wealth in his Florida enclave, and emerge every so often to thumb his nose at Fred Goldman. People forget, the Juice was the same mischief-loving scamp before June 1994 – it just so happened that none of his hijinks had yet been associated with double-murder.

O.J. has been betting with house money too long to just cash in and go home. That said, he got greedy and careless when he entered that hotel room with his armed stooges. The slippery ones sometimes mistake their good fortune for invincibility. The possibility of a setup has been floated about, and while likely, is ultimately irrelevant. A marked man if there’s ever been one, he left himself open. The American Justice system does not like to have its nose rubbed in defeat, and they just might have a long memory about that time you had the pleasure of beating their balls off. Trap or no trap, he got caught fair and square this time – and he had to know if he ever stood as a defendant in court again, he’d be up against prosecutors with a no-mistakes mandate, and a jury that’d been sharpening their knives since his acquittal. Oddly enough, he had more wiggle room when there were two dead bodies in question.

The relative lack of attention towards his latest ordeal was merciful in that we were spared another long, ugly bout of racial theater. The racial component of his first trial was misunderstood, and therefore almost universally misrepresented. This time there was no racial component. O.J. exists now with no cultural affiliation – not only did his new trial fail to shock or galvanize, it barely registered with the general public. As the ultimate gauge of disinterest, the 2008 O.J. can’t even elicit the outrage of lordly white folks who once liked him because he was articulate, jovial, and just the right shade of caramel.

Few people came away clean from the Trial of the Century. It was painful and divisive, and anyone who truly paid attention came away having learned things they wish they hadn’t. However, the controversy and sensationalism obscured what should be forever recognized as an extraordinary effort by his defense team. In that respect, it’s a shame that O.J. has squandered the freedom that so many people worked to preserve. Always a fan of biblical allegories, Johnnie Cochran was derided when he compared O.J. versus The State to David versus Goliath. But he wasn’t far off. It was popular but fallacious to see the defense as some bloated, conniving bully, and poor little Marcia Clark as the forlorn crusader. The enormous financial resources of O.J. and his Dream Team still paled in comparison to those at the disposal of The State. Having inherited the Menendez Brothers debacle and one political catastrophe after another, failure was not an option for first-term District Attorney Gil Garcetti. California’s pockets were not deep when it came to convicting O.J. Simpson, they were bottomless.

True to form though, O.J. has steamrolled everyone (living or dead) who’s ever thrown him a life preserver. Perhaps it’s a blessing then, that no one was left this time to come to his aid. Cochran of course has passed, and hopefully rests unaware of what became of his Herculean effort, of what O.J. chose to do with his Golden Ticket. And say what you might about friend/lapdog/crimey Bob Kardashian, but he was there to stick his neck out when his old tennis buddy needed him. Nor is there anybody left to make sense of him. Gone too are Ralph Wiley and Dennis Schatzman, two men who were spit-roasted for having the temerity to speak above the din of stupidity.

It can’t end this way. It just can’t. I’m in the minority, I’m sure, but it will be to my profound disappointment if this is the last we hear from Orenthal James Simpson. I’ll be let down, much the way his old admirers were let down in 1994. I’m too young to remember O.J. Simpson the football player. My cherished memories of him are not touchdown runs and Hall of Fame inductions, but slow-speed chases and courtroom proceedings. I don’t love O.J. the Heisman Trophy winner. I love O.J. the smug, clueless bon vivant. O.J. the snow-fiend. O.J. the hapless aficionado of Nordic blonde women.

The fuse has been lit for too long to be snuffed out with no fanfare, and his growing recklessness has served only to ratchet-up the suspense. But deep down it’s always been my fear that he’d go quietly, before he finally gives us a glimpse of what he knows, before he becomes unglued and reveals the twisted secrets that will turn us all to dust. I’m afraid now that the truth will die with him if another Christopher Scarver comes along and writes himself into history. There’s hope still for a proper send-off, if the judge doesn’t throw the book at him. Prison will not take away the madness that makes him O.J. - he has already descended. And should he ever enjoy life again as a free man, rest assured that he will circle the launching ramp once more, poised for another death-defying leap.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gone, But Not Forgotten

by Josh Elwell

One of the most enjoyable parts of watching the MLB playoffs is seeing all of the talented players the San Diego Padres have let leave their farm system. Here, let's take a look, shall we?

(1) Jason Bartlett is the starting shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays. He got a hit in his first playoff at-bat earlier today; all San Diego's shortstop does is hit walls. It's okay, though, because our thrifty front office filed a claim yesterday to get $1.5MM back from him.

(2) Shane Victorino is currently grinding his way into the collective hearts of the people of Philadelphia. All he did was draw two walks, a stolen base, and a sacrifice RBI in yesterday's close win over the Brewers.

(3) Jason Bay plays on, arguably, baseball's biggest stage at Fenway Park. Yesterday, he smashed a two-run homerun at Angel Stadium to help the Red Sox win. Oh, and he's done the unthinkable of replacing Manny Ramirez' offense in left-field.

Comforting, right?

Update: Shane Victorino just hit a grand slam off of CC Sabathia.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2008 Padres Exit Post

By Nick McCann


About a year ago, the Padres played the Rockies in the 163rd game of the season and lost their chance to go to the World Series. I know they probably wouldn’t have made it that far, but a year ago tonight they could have at least started the all important journey to change San Diego sports forever.

Right now the White Sox and The Twins are playing for the same chance that the Padres had last year. There are many reasons why I am not watching. Mostly because (A) Rachel Maddow is a fucking fox and (B) because I don’t care about watching the reasons for whatever stupid thing Ozzie Guillen will say tomorrow. I will be as happy for both teams as I can possibly be. Right now, I want the Brewers or the Cubs to win it all, but I don’t really care about the post season. It isn’t my place to care. Part of me wants the Cubs to never win before I die, but I also think it would be fun to watch cars get lit on fire and turned over in one of America’s largest cities, so I could go either way.

Anyways, the Padres’ nightmare is over. This is The Kept Faith’s 100th post and I would like to thank people for reading. It wasn’t a fun season to follow, but I can honestly say that we were pretty much right about everything that was said on this site. At the beginning of the season we believed in the team and we were wrong to do so. Now it over and I feel at peace.


Should Moores sell the team? Sure, he is basically the owner that he replaced.


Should Sandy Aldrerson suddenly combust into flames? Sure, I could throw a copy of Moneyball on top of his burning corpse and not feel like a Nazi.


Should the Padres trade Jake Peavy? Sure, I feel bad for his talent.


Should you go support this team in the future? Sure, keep keeping the faith; it is still NICE to watch your team, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Post Game Comment

By Nick McCann

"We fell behind early and couldn't recover," Padres manager Bud Black said after last night’s game against the Dodgers. After the season, can he just hold his final press conference of the on the Coronado Bridge, repeat the same sentence, and then jump? I don’t see the point of Bud Black. He didn't improve anything and he didn't replace anybody who really made a huge mark in the grand scheme of things.

Bruce Bochy was loved because he was a rock. And when your team loses most of the time, you think rocks are cool. If Bruce Bochy was Micheal Keaton in Multiplicity, Bud Black would be the quiet boring copy (was there one in that movie? I haven’t thought about Multiplicity in a very long time. That is probably a good thing).

However, I love that Sandy Alderson is dicking around with Bud Black's contract. We all know Bud is not the problem, but it feels like the only thing the front office can do at this point to make the Padres interesting is to make this contract non issue, an issue. I don't want Bud Black to jump off a bridge because I hate him; I want him to jump because he is just another rock, and watching a rock splash into water from a great height would be more entertaining than watching another team like the 2008 Padres.

Bring him back or don’t. I just want a major league team.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Night Football

By Nick McCann

Tonight’s game is going to suck. Not because of what ever the outcome is, but because the broadcast on ESPN will make you want to throw your shoe at your TV if you are a Charger fan. Brett Farve is unbelievably over rated. Is it is fault? Not really. Is it still annoying that he is in the NFL still after retiring and then coming back only to dominate the media that owns like putty in his hand? God yes!

The power that comes with being the quarterback of the team on top of the NFL is usually over the top and ridiculous and the myth that has grown around Farve since he won a ring is just that. Brett Farve would not be the symbol for all things right about America if the Packers hadn’t signed Reggie White in mid 90s. There, it needed to be said. And lets not forget about Dorsey fucking Levens. I mean, let's not forget. ANYWAYS, White was arguably the greatest defensive player of all time and he basically won them a Superbowl because he was unstoppable.

However, despite the truth about Brett, tonight’s game will lend itself to being great for drinking. Every time Tony Kornheiser reminds you that Brett Farve always wears blue jeans, drink! Every time Ron Jaworski says, “this is what I love about the old gunslinger…” drink! Every time Mike Tirico says, “Deana Favre is great strong lady,” and then hints that he wishes his wife was as obedient, drink!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shit Don't Work?

By Nick McCann

I generally don’t like to make excuses for the teams I love. I like to think if nothing else, I am a realistic sports fan. After all, I don’t root for a baseball team in the AL East or a college football team in Ohio. But the Chargers game in Denver struck me as a classic case of officials being terrified to piss off a crowd.

If a sport is set on making the best effort possible to make sure calls are made correctly-like the NFL does, and has been a leader in, for decades- wouldn’t it be able to take a time out to fix whatever device needs to be fixed? I would understand that if you are the home team, and you want to review a call, and the equipment breaks down, it would be fair to be penalized by not getting to use that option. But when a visiting team comes into your house, and the shit just doesn’t work, there is something fundamentally wrong.

They got the ball in the red zone and scored almost immediately. The human errors at the end of the game were horrendous and even though the officials were nice enough to apologize right after the fact, the technical stuff was inexcusable; especially when it ended up ultimately changing the momentum of the game.

There are a dozen reasons why San Diego should have lost that game regardless of the unfavorable calls. If your loud mouth All Pro corner predicts he will make 15 interceptions before the season, and then gets lit up for all most 200 yards and 18 catches by the guy he is supposed to shut down, you should probably lose on principle for the same reasons you should lose if your All Pro steroid freak defensive end does a stupid dance after a 2 yard tackle for a loss.

After 1/8 of the season, the Chargers don’t even have a winning percentage and they are actually making the Padres look good. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I don’t want to blame it on some ref or bad luck; I just want shit to work.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Dodger Game

By Nick McCann

On Wednesday, while looking up at the Tony Gwynn statue's butt, I decided that I hate Petco Park. I hate what it is, and more importantly, I hate what it means. The Padres have created a place that sells mediocrity at best. Petco is just always kind of a good time. It is a nice place to be. It doesn’t suck because it feels comfortable when the Padres lose. This is dangerous and wrong. The only thing true about Petco is that the statue of “the guy who built it” is accurate in the way it depicts his weight problem.

The Dodgers beat the Padres off of two homeruns by Manny Ramirez, a free agent that we never once thought we could get. There were three times as many Dodgers fans at the game than Padres fans. I wore a Boston hat because I wanted to feel invisible. One drunk Dodgers’ fan with a Manny wig on came up to me and said, “We’ll see you in the series!” My reply was lifeless and true. I said, “Sure, why not.”

Then I bought a ten dollar Sam Adams because I wanted to feel something else. There was no fire to put my hand in, so it went down smooth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Get to know Jyles Tucker

by Joe Chandler

Here he is chest bumping. It's no "lights out," but he clearly knows how to celebrate:



Maybe he'll accidentally crush Norv Turner. Fingers crossed!

Oh and One

By Nick McCann

Essentially, reality does in fact bite. Usually when we describe reality, or something that reality has been revealed to, it means the negative has popped its head out to be realized. With reality comes pain. With reality, delusion and unabashed reckless hope for the future is forced to disappear. When something is real, it doesn’t lie-even when sadly we wish it could.

The build up to the Charger 2008 campaign got out of hand. The NFL media machine (that gives someone as useless as Keyshawn Johnson a job) started shortly after the 2007 season anointing the Chargers as being in the same class as the Colts and Patriots. The general opinion of the bolts was that they had Superbowl talent, but they needed to put it all together and get passed New England. However, apparently, nobody allowed the Carolina Panthers to watch cable television or read anything regarding football this summer, because they beat the 619ers (or the 858 Boys) like they were a team still trying to develop Ryan Leaf.

It is sad to think that the best thing that happened to San Diego on Sunday was that a player across the country tore his ACL. Hating Tom Brady is easy. His reality is that he is a person who-until Sunday-doesn’t have very many problems. His season is over, but Giselle Bunchen will be there to kiss it and she will make it better. Tom will be depressed at first, but then one day she will come home from her fall Victoria Secret shoot “tired” to see her man struggling with his own existence. She will ask, “How is my baby? And Tom will say, “I’m okay. I just miss the guys.” Then she will make him cookies good enough to end all war while wearing only an apron that is worth more than my car. Tom’s reality is that he has been reminded that he is not invincible. However, this season when he is rehabbing his knee, his reality will be better than my life will ever be. Tom wins, but he can not stop my team this year. That is why watching his injury initially didn’t seem real. Jake Delhomme and the Panthers’ performance showed us that it was, but that other forces could get in the way.

O-1 is not an ideal start to a “magical season”, but it doesn’t mean the Chargers won’t win the Superbowl. If they do win a title this year people like Keyshawn Johnson will probably look back at week one and label the loss as a good loss for the team. He will probably make this point by saying, “I’m just keeping IT real.” This debate happens every year about losing: does an embarrassing loss help an overly confident team come back to a healthy level of realistic self awareness? Well, maybe, but maybe not. The Panthers beat the Chargers in a very real way on Sunday and they did it in a fashion that suggested they were not intimidated at all. Tom Brady can’t make things worse, but in reality, who really cares?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Waiting For Next Season

By Nick McCann

For some reason I always find myself mid-week flipping my AM radio dial to Mighty 1090 at the exact moment when Sandy Alderson comes on for his scheduled weekly interview (I had the same thing happen in the 90s when I would always seem to flip on the same Saved By The Bell re-run where the whole gang does the sprain to win a dance competition at The Max). The conversation is always the same between the hosts (which varies because Sandy’s schedule of doing nothing to help the team changes week to week), but what I am always struck by is the pace and tone in which Alderson speaks. It almost feels like his slow monotone why am I stuck doing this fluff bullshit PR voice is an exact representation of how he operates the team.

The Padres will never be in a position to make quick fixes, and yes, they are doing the right thing with bringing up the kids under the current model for success they have chosen, but it feels like every response coming from the Anderson front office is that the fanbase is too impatient, and that we should just wait it out.

I’m not totally opposed to the Moneyball philosophy to running a small market team, but that is not what we are. It is always good for young players to develop the skill of getting on base by being selective at the plate, but it seems like after Moneyball became a well-known part of baseball, some mid market (San Diego) and big market (Dodgers under the new ownership) teams adopted it as a way to cut corners.

Moneyball Guru, Billy Beane might be a genius, but he also might have gotten lucky drafting Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson all around the same time. He has never won a World Series and he probably never will in Oakland because the Angels are going to be for real for a really longtime.

Sandy Alderson was hired to create the same semi-successful situation in San Diego. And if he weren’t operating in the worst division in baseball during his time here, he would be a complete failure. Sure, there are division titles that have been won in the recent years, but we all know somebody had to win those races and somebody had to get stomped by the Cardinals.

Right now, I’m sure there are fringe minor leaguers in America today standing around the water color, shooting HGH, and discussing how great it would be to be in the Padres system. They probably look at our roster and think Man, if was playing in Portland this summer; my miserable existence could be validated if only for a month. Half of the kids that are up should not be major league players ever. But the Padres are showing patience with them and letting them be who they are. I guess somebody has to, but I don’t think I can wait.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Jersey Exposed

By Nick McCann

The Chargers’ season is almost here and I can already tell that the community is getting ready. Last Saturday morning I went to Old Town for brunch, and as I was leaving, decided to buy an Antonio Gates home powder blue jersey. It felt like buying my new skin. Antonio Gates is a class guy, and I got a good deal.

The next morning after waking up in my jersey that I had worn all day at the Del Mar racetrack, I got up, and took out my trash to the alley behind my house wearing nothing but my jersey and my boxer shorts. I walked out half asleep, opened my trash can, deposited my waste, and turned to my left to be greeted by a stunned Mexican woman, whom I will call Marcel. She said nothing at first and only pointed down to my boxers. I looked down, and then said, “Oh shit, sorry”. Then she replied, “Go Chargers!” A lot happened to me in that alley: I accidentally exposed my dick to a woman somewhere between the age of my mother and my grandmother who was digging through garbage and I was reminded of the connection a football team can give to total strangers living in the same city.

Marcel seemed surprised, but not offended. I wondered (A) if she was planning on going to church later (B) what the probability would be of me seeing her again and (C) whether or not she knew Antonio Gates was a basketball player in college.

Can collectors in my neighborhood, University Heights (the only neighborhood that matters) are very territorial. I’m completely convinced that if I go out there around the same time this Sunday before the 1pm Charger game I will see her again. Usually when a woman sees my dick, I consider myself lucky. But Marcel was different. Hopefully this year’s talented Charger team will be that way too.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Was Wrong

By Nick McCann

Sorry. Shawn Merriman is as dumb off the field as he is on the field. I feel bad, but I kind of want him to get hurt. But only in the probably unhealthy feeling that people like him should get hurt.



He is a TRUE champion! And he is having a party at On Broadway Sept. 7 for the season opener.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wolf, Right Here and Now

By Scott O'Malley

Entering last weekend’s three-game series, the San Francisco Giants were five wins “better” than the visiting Padres. Playing on the same field, however, the margin looked to be much greater. While both teams will lose more than ninety games this season, the Padres will do so listlessly. The Giants will cross the threshold with something that, well, on most days resembles enthusiasm.

I’m not na├»ve. That Giants fans can be placated by a .439 winning-percentage only speaks to the futility of recent campaigns. The recent optimism surrounding such a punchless team is owed to resoundingly low expectations. The Giants will succeed this year, if only for not fulfilling the potential for colossal failure. At long last, homegrown players are being given the opportunity to succeed or fail, and enough are succeeding to generate a measure of excitement. In the off-season, the departure of Barry Bonds was both frightening and promising – the results thus far have held true for both. His absence has left a hole in an already anemic offense, while lifting a piano off the backs of those who remain. In short, his absence has afforded them the privilege to suck quietly.

I made my first visit to AT&T Park last weekend – on a trip where I discovered that my dad, forgetful of security checkpoints, hides Swiss Army knives in potted plants throughout San Diego International Airport. Getting my first look at the eight year-old stadium, the series also gave me a deeper perspective into the state of both franchises. Both find it hard to shake the image of their respective fans – fair or otherwise. Padre fans will never escape the lassiez-faire stigma; Giants fans meanwhile, are forced to confront charges of ill-fitting elitism. That said, the atmospheres of their home ballparks couldn’t be more different. At AT&T, I was pleasantly surprised by the excitement – and rancor – inspired by the home team. Equipped with an appropriate frame of reference, however, one might encounter more noise in the L.A. Public Library than in Petco Park.

Understand that I’m mindful of jinxes. After all, it was me who proclaimed Barry Bonds’ legacy to be untouchable after Sammy Sosa’s corking incident – provided only that he never decapitate his wife and a helpful waiter. So I don’t mean to imply that all is cake and ice cream in Giantland. I’m not mistaking them for a good team (as we speak, they are being hammered again by the cut-rate Rockies), and problems are many. The efforts of young, talented pitchers are being squandered. Dead weight and bad contracts still clog the roster. Because of a depleted, mismanaged farm system, players are considered “kids” at the age of twenty-seven. As of this writing, the next Giant to hit thirty homeruns is likely a twelve year-old Dominican. And if it’s any consolation, Padre fans, the Giant faithful are just as angry and perplexed by Bruce Bochy’s managerial foibles as you were.

What the Giants do have – what the Padres never seem to possess as they perpetually fluctuate between futility and mediocrity – is the semblance of a plan. I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the Padre organization over the years, but I do feel for their few loyal supporters. I no longer accuse them of not caring, rather, I just recognize that they’ve been hammered into detachment. The Padre infrastructure at least owes them a lie - at least the illusion of a plan that isn’t just content with winning a bad division. The Giants, this season, have begun to extend this courtesy.

As Barry Zito meandered towards his eighth win on Saturday, I listened to an eighty year-old season-ticket holder rail against the maligned pitcher and the vacant manager. I shared his criticism, if not his fervor. Why get worked up over the fifth-worst team in baseball?, I wondered. Only then did I realize what a self-absorbed question this was. The sting of 2002 still lingers for San Francisco, as I’m sure 1998 does for San Diego. But I have time, so for me it’s only a matter of patience, a matter of how much frustration I can stomach before the ship rights itself. For others it’s a matter of urgent despair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Down With OPPCL

By Nick McCann

I shouldn’t care about another person’s Posterior Cruciate Ligament. But the NFL, and the San Diego Chargers force this on me. The Chargers’ best defensive player (arguably), Shawn Merriman, is currently debating whether or not he should play in 2008, or get season ending PCL surgery due to his peculiar injury that has just seemed to pop up.

Everyone who has discussed this topic, including every former player asked about it (which is now about 90% of the sports media), has said that he should not even think about playing. Merriman is on pace to be a hall of fame defensive end and he is only 24 years old. Right now Merriman is running around the country trying to find a doctor that will tell him what he wants to hear. At least this is what he is trying to project to the media and his team.

I don’t think I believe that he wants to play. I don’t think he is as stupid off the field as he is on the field. I think he wants a little of the cred that Rivers got at the end of last season when he played on a bad leg. If he keeps the story going, he can come off as the ultimate teammate, and make himself more marketable than he already is.

Regardless of his “decision”, The Chargers will be a Superbowl contender with or with out him this season. Last season after his steroid suspension, he wasn’t the same player that catapulted him into superstar status, but he still managed to project the same level of borderline disgusting bravado. The guy got busted for juicing and then didn’t really shut up. His freakishly exceptional talent wasn’t real, but he still conducted himself with a confidence that suggested it was.

Shawn Merriman will not play this season. There is no reason for him to risk everything, but the problem will be that he won’t go away. He has a weekly television show lined up to be shot every Thursday in LA, and he was planning on doing this even if he was going to play.

After his drug suspension he should have never spoken, smiled, or done that ridiculous dance ever again. But that would have been an admission of guilt. He said after it all went down that he was going to sue the drug company that sold him the “tainted” pills. This never happened, and nobody really seems to care.

Now, hating on a player who uses steroids in NFL is like hating a hair metal band for doing cocaine in the 80s. If it really bothers you, you should stick your head in the sand and wait for the World Cup. But Merriman makes no attempt to hide his enjoyment of the fame his steroid use has gotten him. He needs to just be a quiet team player for the next decade and turn the lights out on the “Shawn Merriman thing” that would serve everyone better if it just went away.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

For Greg

By Nick McCann

I love you. This is how I feel:

64-98

By Nick McCann

"Everybody wins 60 games and Loses 60 games. It’s the other 42 that matter.”- Some manager in baseball who was considered smart (although, no manager in baseball is actually smart. Sure, they might be smart within the world of baseball, but they are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to brainpower in sports. Basketball coaches manage chaos; football coaches create and manage controlled instances of chaos; and baseball managers go on hunches, smoke cigarettes, and perform fake outrageous acts of insanity towards umpires to get their teams inspired. Hockey coaches are just basketball coaches with mullets and less money).

Anyways, for the most part that quote is true. Any team that goes out of that norm, is either really great, or horrible at a historic level. The Padres are 48-78. Can we get to a level of just being a bad team, or will we be one of the worst teams in history? Will we lose 100 games this year? The whole season has been bad, but it has pretty much been consistently bad. Do we still have a bad stretch coming within this already bad season?

Every time I watch any part of a Padre game now, my first thought before flipping to the channel is I wonder how much they are losing by. Last night I checked the game only to find out that Jake Peavy was having a bad night. With this team, he is not allowed to have a bad performance and that is just not fair. He has a 2.84 ERA and now, and after last night, a 9-9 record. Watching Jake Peavy this year feels the same way it felt to watch Slash when I saw his band, Slash’s Snakepit, open for ACDC in 1999: it sounds like rock, but I know he isn’t rocking because of forces he cannot control. I think it is fair to say the Padres front office is similar to Axl Rose being an asshole who lives in Sedona, Arizona.

Prediction: The Padres will finish 64-98

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

PARTY PARTY PARTY

So I think I am going to have a Padres Are Mathematically Eliminated Party at my house. Apparently they are not officially out of it yet, but emotionally, I have been out of it since right around when the NBA Finals started.

So come on over. I figure it will happen sometime in the next month.

We are going to play "Put Your Hand in the Fire and Howl at The Moon", along with a few Faces of Death drinking games.

B.Y.O.R (Bring your own razors in case you need to cut yourself in the bathroom)

But don’t clear your calendar yet, as we still have a shot. I mean Jake Peavy really really wants to win, right?

Life is better with baseball.

Nick

844 Despair Dr.
San Diego, CA
92116

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Greg, We Will Always Love You

By Nick McCann

(Warning: I realize this will be a really stupid post if Greg Maddux ends up staying)

This weekend Greg Maddux pitched really well for seven innings, gave up one run, and lost another game because the Padres can’t hit. Now trade rumors with the Dodgers are heating up again, and it seems very appropriate.

Maddux might never pitch after this season, and he deserves to play on a good team one last time. The Dodgers are not going to win the World Series this year, but they are going to finish the season with every game being important.

It is sad that the Padres are a team (wait, I could stop right here and finish probably the most accurate and complete blog of the season. Well, right now I am in a public library computer lab sitting next to a black guy watching an Alicia Keys video on Youtube. He is bobbing his head, rocking back and forth in his chair, and pumping his fist. I look at him and his eyes say Mind your own business motherfucker, so I do. I love female R&B videos that feature hardcore rappers as non-speaking love interests. This guy is watching one with Method Man where he apparently lets Alicia Keys down in what looks like a severe snow storm. She is crying and fed up. It looks like he isn’t scoring enough runs for her, and she is over it) that leaves its fans (or maybe just me) wanting its rent-a-vet players to be happy in other places.

As a fan, I feel like a person in a relationship who dumps the other person because I know how fucked up I am. This is not a place anyone wants to be. The Pads weren’t happy at Qualcomm, so they tried to fix things by moving their location by pulling, what therapists call, “A Geographic”. Essentially, the Padres were in a new place (Petco) when Maddux came into the picture, but they were in no place to be serious. They were trying to figure things out, and they wanted somebody to go places with, like happy people do. Maddux had been through it before, and he tried, he really really tried. It wasn’t about him.

Greg, we will always have 350. We just want you to be happy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Nastia Nastia Nastia...She is Just So Perfect

By Nick McCann

America needs to stop jerking off over Mike Phelps. He is good at what he does, he has big feet and hands, and he eats 12,000 calories a day…blah blah blah. Olympic Swimming would give a medal to the towel boy if he shaved his back.

More importantly, people need to get over the “purity of sports." The best athletes in the world play for the most money. We all know that Mike Phelps just wasn’t good enough at basketball. And we all know that every track and field guy was too small for football. Deal with it. There is no male athlete in the world that would rather be an Olympic Champion in a sport that gets attention every four years over being at least a forgettable player in the NBA, NFL, MLB, or European Soccer.

That said, Women’s Gymnastics is great.

Last night I drank four Steel Reserves (cans) and watched Nastia Liukin get after it and win the Gold for USA. I think I love that sport because it is basically a beauty contest with a little more spandex and a little more integrity. I assure you it is not because I like to look at little girls, but the simple fact that I know all those little girls (who could probably kick my ass) hate each other. I don’t like calling women bitches as a generalization, but I do believe that every woman possesses a bitch side. Guys know when this side is on display. You can see it in the eyes. If it is not directed at you, it is probably the greatest source of natural entertainment on the planet. All the girls that performed last night in the All Around had said look in their eyes and it was awesome because their feelings were completely surpressed. Essentially, it was like watching a classy and controlled girl fight. Instead of ripping out the other girl's hair, you had to nail your landing off the beam. They hugged and gave each other fake smiles, but we all know that all the losers would have shanked little Nastia with a rusty knife if they got the chance.

I woke up this morning feeling like somebody kicked me in the stomach and then shit down my throat. Don’t drink Steel Reserve by itself (or by yourself). The best way to do it is to drink a 22 of really good beer, then Steel Reserve, and then finish with another 22 of that same good beer. Learn from my mistakes.

Feeling groggy getting into my car to go to work this morning, I saw a jogger wearing an old 1992 Dream Team USA Basketball jersey. My first thought was Chris Mullin was rad and then I started to think about what I would do if I could make the Olympics better.

These Are The Ideas I Came Up With While Sitting In Traffic and Listening to PM Dawn.

Fencing
The problem with Fencing is that, as a sport, they successfully took out everything cool about the activity. A sword fight should be to the death. Now, I am not saying that we need to get Roman with it, but I think it would be cool to protect all the fatal zones (face shield, cover the heart, etc.), while leaving the arms and legs exposed. This way in the middle of the fight, blood could be drawn to add drama. Let's be real, we all want the sword fight between Indigo Montoya and The Man In Black from The Princess Bride. To achieve this, we also would need different levels of platforms, ropes, and a cliff to add danger. Sports are about stakes and fencing would be the greatest sport in the world if it felt like one guy had killed the other guy's father.

Track and Field
Bring back Carl Lewis and let him sing the National Anthem.

Boxing
Ditch the scoring system, and adopt the idea of team boxing. Four on four in the ring, seeing who would win in a bar fight (fencing should have this too). MMA is coming. Be prepared, boxing. Your hair is turning red and your mom is about to start fucking a guy that isn't your dad.

Men's Gymnastics
Uh...what could I....Uh...the rings are cool...man?

Women’s Gymnastics
Keep everything the same, except add to the prize. Along with the gold medal, every country should nominate a heartthrob Teen Magazine cover dude who is forced to become the Individual All-Around winner’s slave for the rest of the games. Example: This year, Nastia Liukin would get her medal and Zac Ephron for a week. She could dress him up, hold his hand, and French kiss him in front of all the other girls. They would hate her even more, and she would love it.

Swimming
Gators!

In closing, I'm tired of people asking me if I saw the opening ceremony. I didn't, but I don't care, because it couldn't have been anywhere near as cool as seeing Janet Jackson’s titty.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

John Moores Hates His Wife More Than Padre Fans

At this point, there’s not much left to say about the 2008 Padres. Last night’s humiliation by the Brewers was not in the least bit surprising. Hope is gone. Dreams are shattered. This season at Petco is shot to shit. In a few months, the Padres will (hopefully) let go of $30 million worth of contracts in Brian Giles, Greg Maddux, and Trevor Hoffman. This means that Kevin Towers will have that much money to spend to complement Adrian Gonzalez & Jake Peavy – two players the team can build around.

Wait. No. No, that’s actually not what that means.

Because, last week, it was reported across the interweb that this year’s $73 million payroll will be slashed to $40 million in ’09; partly because John Moores falls into the 50% of Americans who can’t make a marriage work, even after 45 years of being married to the missus. A lower payroll means a lower net worth for the team means a lower amount for his wife. If true, it’s pretty genius on his part. However, Moores failed marriage doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

If they really want to rebuild through cutting payroll and playing a year or two without any veteran contracts… well then they need to actually cut payroll and play a year or two without any veteran contracts.

This means dumping Khalil Greene’s $7 million on any team that will take him. Throw in a prospect if it convinces the team to pay his bloated salary.

This team philosophy would also mean declining Brian Giles’ $9 million option. If he had a competitive bone in his body, he’d be in Boston right now. Instead, he’s missing out on his chance for a ring, so that he doesn’t miss two months of his daughters’ lives. You’re 37, Brian. And you hate baseball.

Jake Peavy’s not getting traded, but if trading Adrian Gonzalez can bring us a package that rivals what the Rangers got for Mark Teixeira last year, than you have to do it. I can imagine the Indians and Mariners offering a truckload of super-prospects for Adrian and what could be his 40 HR/125 RBI 2008 season.

Lastly, this also means selling the team. John Moores has successfully given us a ballpark that floods surrounding construction for his development company. Mission accomplished. Now, please give us an owner willing to dig deep into his pockets. An owner that would have given us Vladimir Guerrero as a side-dish to giving us Petco Park in 2004.

Selling after ’09 would be ideal, but after ’10 would be acceptable, too. Sell the team, John. Wait a little bit if it helps keep money out of your soon-to-be ex-wife’s pockets. But, please, sell this team…

…to Mark Cuban…

…after his bid for the Cubs falls through…

…please…

…that would be awesome.

Most Sincerely,
Josh

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mike Phelps I Am Not

By Nick McCann

Last night, I lost my game against a Game Crazy employee 0-7. He used the Packers, wore Packers flip-flops, a Farve jersey, and he had stupid spiked hair. He was gentle, so I didn’t make fun of the fact that he just lost his hero-one of the most overrated humans to the most overrated city in the world-earlier this month.

The tournament was single elimination, so I was done.

It is strange being in a situation where everyone is sizing each other up as if they are about to engage in an actual athletic competition. Sure, there is obvious skill involved, but it felt awkard to have people looking me up and down before my match as if they were evaluating my physical appearance to see if I was a threat. I guess that is natural. Serious gamers-in sense that they enjoy player strangers-are definitely not “my people”. It was cool to compete with a bunch of people watching over my shoulder, but I spent most of my time trying not to look stupid. The only two sports I have been able to feel completely comfortable playing in my life have been little league in my pre-teen years, and drunken basketball in my 20s. The rest of the time, I just try not to embarrass myself.

Everybody seemed to know the porcupine I was playing, so it was nice to hear his "boys" talk shit to him the entire game for not scoring enough on an unknown like me. I left with enough respect to hold my head high and he got to save face. We shook hands and didn't make eye contact...like you do.

Oh well, at least now I know who I am and who I am not. Thanks Madden…again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Game Day

By Nick McCann

Today is game day. At 7pm tonight in Kearny mesa, I will check in to get my time for the first round of my first Madden tournament. Waking up this morning, I had one thought in my mind: I have trained for this my entire life (well, since I got pubes or since 1990).

The thing that draws guys to John Madden NFL at this time every year isn’t necessarily a deep love for football. No, it is more than that. It is about a love for something that legitimately improves every year. Sure, some years the game makes bigger leaps in quality than others, but generally as the gaming systems improve, Madden is constantly along for the ride on the upward slope to perfection. Our biggest fear isn't that Madden will go away, it's that it could finally reach a point where it can't go anywhere but down.

Even when we have stopped playing Madden during the year because football as a sport is in the off-season, just knowing that Madden is coming is always a comforting thought.

Tonight I will know where I am at in my Madden journey. Results tomorrow.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Brian Giles Should Want To Win

By Nick McCann

After the Red Sox claimed Giles off waivers on Wednesday, the Pads and the Sox had 2 days to work out a trade. Giles had to agree to the trade because the Red Sox are among the eight teams he had put on his no-trade list when he and the Padres reached terms on a three-year contract.

Brian Giles, showing loyalty to his daughters (lame. His haircut will damage them more than living across the country for a few months), decided against accepting a trade to the Boston Red Sox that would have saved the Padres anywhere from $2.75 million to $6 million.

Besides the fact that the Padres are in their all too familiar “save money because we don’t give a shit about our fans” mode, it is disturbing to think about what San Diego, in the baseball sense, has become: a retirement home for over the hill ball players on their way out, who want to bask in the warm heat of mediocrity (or below. Trevor Hoffman will want another contract this winter, but he won't want to be an 8th inning guy for Mario Rivera next year) before riding off in the sunset.

Giles is 37 years old and he would rather watch his daughters become obnoxious pre-teens than go win a ring. Sure, he would probably be what Dave Roberts was when he left the Pads to go the Sox, but at least he would be in the position to fulfill a slightly disappointing career. Giles was the big fish in a small pond in Pittsburgh. Then he came to San Diego where he was a decent sized fish in his home pond. Now he just wants to die here.

If the Brian Giles era (ha!) ended today, it would just consist of a few early playoff exits, a few hot months, and a worthless reuniting of El Cajon’s favorite douche bags that make up the Giles Brothers. I don’t want the Pads to save money, and I don’t want them to hold on to players who care more about their daughters than me. Sorry, kids of baseball players deserve to not have their Dads around, because they will always get better seats.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Am Organized Gaming Guy

By Nick McCann

The next five days are very important. Two weeks ago, I found out that because I pre-ordered my John Madden NFL 09 football game at the Game Crazy store by my work, I also attained an admission to their yearly Madden tournament that is held every year on the day leading up to the game’s release. So, on Monday at six o clock, six hours before 09 comes crashing into society, I will be getting “it” on.

If my girlfriend were Carrie Bradshaw, she would bitch to her friends over cosmos that she is now dating “Organized Gaming Guy.” This is not somebody I have ever wanted to be, but I am excited to join that world for one night. The top Madden Players in the world make six figures a year, and I’m sure hardly any of them went to college. This is fascinating to me because it is a sub culture of guys who attain basically the same level of confidence that successful athletes do, with out receiving praise from the general public. Tom Brady can make millions of dollars being the best at what he does, but he can’t walk a block in any major city in the world and not get hounded by everyone walking by. Meanwhile, a top gamer can master a digital version of Tom Brady, be the best at what he does, make 4 times as much as his parents, and never even have to pay an agent. Sure, I would rather be Tom Brady than some shitbag on ESPN’s Madden Challenge, but I wouldn’t mind being on ESPN competing at something either.

John Madden Football is like Harry Potter in the sports gaming world. It is ridiculous that we can’t play the new game just a few hours before they release it, but there are strict rules against allowing anyone play before midnight (the clerk who signed me up for the tourney gave me a terrifyingly scary look when I asked about this. He made it sound like they put a chip in his skull that would explode if he touched one of the boxes containing 09).

In the world of Madden Football, when the clock strikes midnight on August 12th, it will be like bringing in the New Year. If some fat hairy dude with a Jake Delhomme jersey tries to kiss me at midnight, I will probably slap the shit out of him, but I will know where he is coming from, and I won’t take it too far and stomp on his neck.

I’m telling myself that I am only going to do this once (although, I am prone to lying to myself), so I need to have a good showing. Because 08 is the game I need to brush up on, this means I have to train…hard. I think because the Olympics will have started, I will be inspired to play at least 15 games before Monday night (on PS3. The tourney will be on the XBox. This is a source of concern, but I love that I have this concern).

Renting the 08 game will feel odd. I haven’t gone to a store to rent a video game on a Friday night since probably early high school (something I am kind of proud of). This will be different, because it will have a purpose. I’m now an organized gamer. I am 28. I am lame to a degree that I am comfortable with.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On An Awesome Note

By Nick McCann

Sorry. When work gets busy, I look to athletes who write and get more hits than my blog.

Gilbert Arenas is still Gilbert Arenas. And Curt Schilling shouldn't even try.

Originally posted on Gilbert's blog after some pics of his new pool were released without his approval on the internet:

I’m actually disappointed that those pictures are on the net. That’s part of my personal life that got out. I’m disappointed that somebody that doesn’t even work at my house any more took pictures and put them on the Internet. I don’t know if he sold them or if he just put them up there, but I think it’s wrong. But hey, that’s something that comes with the territory I guess. The thing is with somebody like that, you trust them to be on your property and then they take pictures and put them online. It’s not what I expected. I found out because Daren from the Wizards PR told me, “Hey man, I saw your pool.” So I go, “Oh yeah, you stopped by?” “No, they got pictures online.” “Pictures online?” They beat me to the punch. I looked at the pictures and the pictures they got are like four months old, they’re not even recent pictures. So everybody is like, “I’ve seen your pool!” and I just want to be like, “It’s not done.” Of course, if you’re a Web Site you’re going to post the pictures because you think it’s news, but, if I take a picture of the Trump Tower while it’s under construction and say, “This is the new Trump Tower,” people are going to put it up, but it’s not done so that’s the first problem and secondly, how the hell did you get on the property to take a picture anyway? There are going to be real pictures that are going to come out when it’s done. I’ll put the pictures out. But that’s not going to be for another three months. And then you start comments like, “I see he’s having fun with his new contract.” No, actually I started this process a year and a half ago. It’s been being built that whole time. Finally it’s at a point where it’s going to be done soon and yes, from the pictures, it is like the Playboy Mansion’s grotto, only doubled. The guy who actually built the grotto for Hugh Hefner is the same guy who is building mine, so I knew what I had to do to top Hef’s. I had my people call Hugh’s people and got it crack-a-lackin’. It’s actually been coming along great, it’s just been a little slower than I expected. They said it was supposed to be done in April. But they’ve got caught up on landscaping and all of that. I haven’t really done anything with my money on the last contract, so the biggest two purchases I’ve ever had are the pool and that party I threw two years ago. I always wanted a pool and then I also have the shark tanks in there. When I saw that part in the story, I knew who took the picture. I’ve been in love with fish tanks and sharks for a while. (And not just shark jokes.) I actually bough Ken Griffey Jr.’s old tank online and have that in my living room. I knew somebody who was selling it in Orlando. Actually, the company ended up buying it back from me and building me another one for the same price because the old one was too tall. It was like 10 feet tall and there was too much water pressure to have it in my living room, or whatever, so they build me one that was rounder and shorter. I’m going to have exotic fish in there, a couple sharks, some black tips, some bonnet heads … that’s my mild tank. Then I have the tank in the grotto that’s going to have semi-aggressive fish like lemon and leopard and puffer fish and the fish with poisonous spikes that’s in Deuce Bigalow. Then I’ll have my personal shark tank that’s going to be in my basement. My basement used to be my weight room but I’m converting it to a shark tank. I cut a whole wall out down there and replaced it with a 10,000 gallon shark tank. That’s going to be my aggressive tank, only filled with bullhead sharks. If anybody knows what a bullhead shark is, it’s the No. 1 killing shark in America. It can go in salt water and it can go in fresh water. I’m going to have a salt water tank so I can have my eels and my stingrays too. I’m going to have three bullheads in there. I originally wanted six, but the guy who has to clean it once a week said that he’s not going to get in the tank with six of them, he’ll get in with three. Once they get big enough, I’ll have to get rid of them. The guy who cleans the tank actually goes and catches the sharks himself, because you know, these sharks you can’t just go buy, they’re illegal. Ever since Jaws there’s been something about fish and sharks that I’ve always liked. Also when I saw Cribs and Ice T had a shark tank in the back of his place, I was like, “Oh man! That’s what it is!!” I’ve been trying to plan this shark tank for the last seven years of my career I’ve been talked out of it by my mentor, Otis Smith. He first talked me out of it when I was a rookie and I was going to spend my whole paycheck on a fish tank. I was like “Man, I want a fish tank, that’s all I want to leave with, if I don’t get another dime I can know I got a fish tank,” and Otis shut that down. So this has been years in the making.

On A Sad Note

By Nick McCann

Greg Maddux has the only stolen base for the Padres since July 1st. Please check the date of this post.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Manny Position

By Nick McCann

Before being traded to the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez might have been in the top five of my favorite human beings on the planet. Not only is he one of the greatest hitters of my lifetime, but during his time with the Red Sox, he never seemed to care about the ridiculous nature of the Boston fans.

Having gone to Boston earlier this summer, I got a chance to experience the fanaticism that comes along with Red Sox nation. People from Boston support their teams like crazy people, and in the very recent past, it has translated into winning championships. The fans pressure the teams to put forth a premium team on the field of play, and the players know they can’t half ass it at anytime or they will be crucified (see: the probable drinking problems of Bill Buckner’s kids).

However, Manny Ramirez never bought in to that sensibility and it is clear that it helped him on the field. We have all seen his antics and we have all heard the colorful quotes he dished out over the years. Manny has his own planet and that planet will probably end up with 620 to 640 homeruns.

Manny was a comedian in Boston that was fun to watch from outside of the Boston sports sphere of insanity because he drove diehard Red Sox fans crazy. He literally pissed on the green monster and all that it represents, because he didn’t care about Pudge Fisk’s homerun, Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame induction, or Ted Williams frozen skull. He left that town with two rings and in a fashion that made people hate him.

Bravo!

Now he is a Dodger and he has the entire baseball world believing that LA is guaranteed to win the NL West title. Well, slow down. Since 1988, the Dodgers have managed to screw up pretty much everything they have tried to do. Not that a Padre fan should talk, but it is easier to see the truth when looking up.

The Dodgers have taken baseball’s clown prince and put him in a city that is already full of clowns. Sure, his act is hot now and he is knocking the cover off the ball, but his genius as an entertainer only works when he has an entire city of straight men going nuts over his antics in a negative way.

Manny’s prime in the on the field is probably over and so is his prime as a showman. He will probably hit a lot of homeruns at Petco, and the Dodgers will be better off. But it won’t be the same, because people will love him more in LA, and they won’t know how to balance him out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I Never What To See Khalil Greene's Confused Stupid Looking Face Ever Again

By Nick McCann

Kevin Brown also broke his hand once because he was frustrated, but that was when he was with the Yankees and after he got us to a World Series.

The San Diego Chicken's performance tonight is the only thing that can make me feel anything. After tonight, it is just Charger Preseason football, baby.

Fin.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wrapped Up

By Nick McCann

Chris Young's first start since May 21 was a success, throwing five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. Arizona's Doug Davis held the Padres hitless for 6 2/3 innings before Brian Giles singled in the seventh. Clay Hensley took the loss- the wrap up on last night’s Padre game against the Diamondbacks from MLB.com posted this morning.

I can’t decide if the Padres are like the heroin addict in the family that everyone has given up on, who doesn’t get invited to family functions, and forces everyone close to him to change their locks. Or if they are like a pack of annoying teenagers that come up to you in a mall and make a joke at your expense that only makes sense to them. Nobody wants to know a heroin addict-unless they deal heroin. And nobody really wants teenagers for anything-unless you are a stage parent for a cast member of High School The Musical.

Last night I decided to watch Sex In The City (again) with my girlfriend instead of the Padre game. At the beginning of the season, when we decided on what to watch in the evening, she would politely ask if I wanted to watch the Padre game. It is usually on when we both get home, and well, she knows how I feel about the Pads. As the season has gone on she has stopped asking because when ever I glance at the Padres during a game while flipping between channels, I get really upset. Not post super bowl statistic upset, but she understands that I don’t want to be a Cleveland Browns fan freezing my ass off at Municipal Stadium every winter trying to prove that I am truly faithful.

Now days, I wake up and check the same paragraph every morning on the Internets. The Padres’ MLB.com wrap up is quick, easy, and stripped of hometown “let’s look at the positive” bias.

Today, in checking what I HAVE to check, I found out that Chris Young still gives you 5 good innings of work, even after a smashed face, while Doug Davis can give you over six innings of good work when pitching to a Triple A ½ team. I also learned that Brian Giles still can hit a single, and Above all, I learned Clay Hensley is back on the team, and that nationally, his name means a pitcher who gives up three earned runs.

I care more about getting coffee this morning than watching the game tonight. This series should have been a meaningful series, but now it is just a few sad paragraphs similar to…(see: above).

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Two Uncles

By Nick McCann

Last night I had Mexican food with my two cool (and only) uncles. They are my mom’s two older brothers and they don’t have any sons. Steve, a doctor from Pittsburgh, is a Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates fan, while my other uncle, Jay, is a Dodgers, Giants, Warriors, San Jose Sharks, Lakers, Raiders, and USC fan who has lived in the Bay Area for most of his adult life. Steve really only cares about tennis, and Jay is a republican that still rooted for Barry Bonds after 2003, because in context of sports, he has been infected by the evil that comes along with being a Raiders fan.

Whenever the three of us get together, the state of our teams always set the tone for the shit talking that takes place. Last night, I took shit from a Pirates fan because they are better than us this year. This didn’t feel good, because they aren’t that much better. The Pirates are in the middle of a record breaking 16th straight losing season, and their fans have the upper hand on us, because we are on their level, even though we expect more. We are kind of like Molly Ringwald having to hang out with Anthony Micheal Hall in detention.

The whole evening was for the purpose of my uncles to meet my girlfriend. Basically, I was sitting there with a shit talking Pirates fan that had joined forces with a Dodger/Giants/Raiders/GOP fan, only to be indirectly aided by my girlfriend- a spoiled Boston sports fanatic who thinks the NL is a JV league.

But hey, we split the series with Pirates. I guess it could have been worse.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Great Moments in Padres History: A Photo Series, Vol. 2

by Joe Chandler

Scott O'Malley used to lovingly refer to this as the "Donne Wall Commemorative Photo."


I like to call it, "Eternally Tarnished."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Training Camp is Here

By Nick McCann

The Padres’ 2008 season is officially no longer a concern for San Diego Sports fans. Finding a way to make 2009 better is the only thing that really matters at this point.

Next year, the front office will make a few improvements and the disappointing players from this year’s squad that stick around will not feel as bad. This will leave the Padres at the end of next season somewhere around 500, and the organization will be able to sell an “improving young team with a future” all year long. The attendance at Petco will rise, while the Diamondbacks’ young talent will mature. The Padres will not be in the playoffs in 2009 and it will feel like an achievement even though it won’t matter.

However, this time is strange for San Diego because while the 2008 Padres are likely to finish in the bottom 4 of the teams in Major League Baseball, The 2008 Chargers are likely to land in the top 2 or 3 at year's end. Everyone in the world is picking the Chargers to win the AFC West again, half of those people are picking them to go to the Super Bowl, and half of those people are picking them to win it.

The overwhelming adoration from football pundits around the globe towards the San Diego is comforting, but in the back of my head, I feel like they are just looking at our roster on paper and not realizing the simple fact about San Diego in the context of sports: we are a Cinderella city at best. And even if we make it to the ball and put on the glass slipper (or however that worthless story goes), our misguided expectations will probably weigh us down enough to cause the glass slipper to shatter and slice up our feet in 23 different ways.

Sorry, for being negative. 23 is the amount of points the Chargers lost to the 49ers by in Superbowl 29. This Padres season feels like we are re-living the afternoon of that superbowl with every day, week, and disappointing young talent exposed, that goes by.

Training camp has begun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Padres Are Sellers

By Josh Elwell

Being in Uganda, Africa, I don't have much time to keep up on Padres news (or write articles for TKF – as you can tell). So, needless to say, my mind was blown when I snuck some Internet time today to see the big trade that went down last week: TONY CLARK TO THE D'BACKS!

After catching it on MLB Trade Rumors, and seeing it on Nick's post below, I immediately fled over to Paul DePodesta's blog to get his spin on it, and my goodness does our new Single-A pitcher sound exciting.

I didn't mind looking up any other facts about him. I trust our Special Assistant to Kevin Towers to give it to me hard and straight (just like he gives it to ol' KT).

His insightful analysis led me to believe that Jake Peavy has a new co-ace in the wings. Move over CY – Yous gots yoself some competition! Yee-haw!

Next time I get some slick, developing-world Internet access, I am sure I'll see Randy Wolf traded for a Single-A CF who makes Jacoby Ellsbury look like yesterday's news; that's just the kind of high-level trades the Padres know how to make.

Oh, and I caught myself up on last weekend's sweep by the Cardinals.

Being in Africa and having the Padres continue their streak of suckiness has proved to me that they're truly an international failure.

Raise your glasses, and say it with me: 'To 2009!' Now, chug.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Tony Clark Era is Over

By Nick McCann

Look at this picture below and try to guess what Tony Clark is doing.

Did you guess nothing? If so, you are right. Sadly, he did that the whole time he was a Padre.

But at least he was local.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Second Half Starts Tonight

By Nick McCann

There are no second acts in American lives.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Padres start the second half of their season tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. Jake Peavy will start and hopefully his signature sense of urgency will light a fire under the Pads to turn this season around. With the youth movement set into place with the recent promotions from Triple A, at least we can look and see who is worth bringing back next year. It could be a tough few months. It could be painfully disappointing. It could be as boring as this:

F. Scott drank alot.

I encourage everyone to watch the entire series in St. Louis very closely. They are not having their best year due to injury, but they do, and always have had a pretty decent product on the field. St. Louis is a smaller sports market, but their fanbase is completely focused on baseball, so they do spend top ten payroll money. Is this because their front office has always been operated with a legit sense of consideration for the fans? I've heard it is the perfect baseball city, much like I have heard The Great Gatsby is the perfect American novel. I guess I'll never understand what we are doing wrong, and if the Padres can't turn things around in the second half, I will never understand why Fitzgerald has to be right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Matters

By Nick McCann

Now that the All-Star Game matters, it has become even more frustrating than it already was because it means I get sucked in more easily. It is an exhibition game, but it affects the end of the season and this has added more annoying elements to an already annoying annual discussion that can’t seem to stop from happening. In the weeks before the game, people get really upset about who makes it, and who doesn’t make it, and then the game happens, and usually sucks.

Before the new rule about the postseason, when the game happened to be good, it always felt disappointing that it didn’t really matter. It should be cooler now, because it does “matter”, but it isn’t, because the managers never treat it that way. Now, the manager has to try to win, and still hold onto the old code of how an exhibition game-involving other managers’ players-should be handled.

The All-Star Game just needs to happen a week after the World Series in Hawaii. The players would love it, fans would watch, and nobody would miss the Mid Summer Night’s Dream that never goes away, because it would be one less thing shoved down our throats.

Want to read about things I hate about the All-Star Game? Good!

It is half way through the season and the fans get to vote on who starts.
In a perfect world, fans would take into account the performance of the players in the second half and postseason of the previous year. Hot shit rookies usually overshadow performances from late in the season before and Asia apparently has discovered that they can vote on the Internet (Fukadome? Okay, maybe that frustration is carried over from Yao Ming being a starter for the West in the NBA as a rookie). If things were fair, 7 members of the 2007 Rockies would have been on the team after their insane winning streak last September. If you look at the NFL (which apparently you do), their All-Star Game is at the end of the season and it doesn’t matter. The NFL could also buy and sell MLB about 4 times over if it wanted to.

Within the game, the managers always use the best players first and take them out too early.
It’s fine if you want it to be a fluff game to let little kids see the stars, but if it is going to matter, they should somehow be forced to manage the game like they would if they had-I don’t know-a team of All-Stars and it-I don’t know- was supposed to MATTER if they won. Last night Terry Francona took A-Rod out in the middle of an early inning just so he could wave to the New York crowd. I guess he is a true Yankee now. What a lucky star!

Moving on.

Tim McCarver
Should be put down Old Yeller style.

If a team is going to burn all it’s pitchers early in the game, they should be forced to make a position player pitch if it comes down to that.
Last night, as the game went on and on, the one thing that held my attention to finish watching the game was that the American League was running out of throwers. The announcers kept stressing that Scott Kazmir was the last pitcher the AL could use and that he had a very set pitch count to stick to. It was captivating television because it forced me to wonder what Terry Francona would do. If he pulled Kazmir, would he forfeit and give up a home field advantage for his Red Sox club that has a good chance of being in the Word Series? Would Bud Selig find a new way to make one of his own mistakes even worse? I really wanted to see JD Drew come in from right field and try to strike out Adrian Gonzalez. But that would never happen in an All-Star Game because the game is the ultimate display of confident and prideful dudes’ dudes, where the underling theme for all participants is that nobody wants to embarrass them selves. Nobody really wants to play, but nobody wants to be left out of the fraternity. If Jose Canseco was in the game this wouldn't be a problem, because he would gladly embarrass himself. But it would be a problem because the All-Star Game creates problems compounded by problems that never go away.

This bitching probably isn’t fair. I wanted to watch a Netflix movie last night, but sticking with a 15-inning game that matters, will always matter to me, and I will probably be back next year.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Barry Zito

By Nick McCann

I’m really glad to see the Padres bring up half of their roster from Triple A Portland. This season is over and they know it. Sure, you can still hear executives talk about how they don’t know if they are out of it on Mighty 1090 in the afternoon, but that is just because they still need to sell some tickets. Basically the Padres have decided to become what the Giants were supposed to be at the beginning of the year: a team using the season to develop young talent.

However, the Giants realized this in the beginning of the season and now they are a semi-respectable team within the context of the least respectable division in baseball. Everything they do right is a surprise bonus, and everything they do wrong is excused; except one gloriously awesome mistake: Barry Zito.

Barry Zito is a good looking guy. I can say it. Today, when a little boy buys a pack of baseball cards (HA!) with Barry Zito in it and shows the pack to his heterosexual sister to see who she thinks is attractive, she will probably say Barry Zito is the hottest of the bunch. If the sister is in the process of discovering that she is gay, she can also easily imagine Barry with long hair and still think he is hot. Kids are amazing!
Barry Zito also believes he can play guitar like Dave Matthews. And in interviews-before becoming a shell of himself- he would constantly wax on about how he preferred surfing to pitching. He is basically David Wells minus the unapologetic drinking with a few Jack Johnson ripoffs in his (ahem) catalog.
As far as I am concerned, there are two types of native San Diegans: People who to went Uni High and people hate people who went to Uni High. Barry Zito went there, so the fact that his 126 million contract is setting up to be possibly the worst signing in the history of sports, is very exciting for me and people who didn’t go to high school with the Walton brothers.
The 2008 Giants are probably my favorite team in Major League Baseball right now because they no longer have Barry Bonds, they are not the Padres' rival, and they allow me to watch a Uni High Alum suffer at 4-12 while earning almost as much as the Florida Marlins combined.
The Padres signed Mark Prior (a high school teammate of Zito's) to a small fraction of Barry's contract, but at least he never tries to sing.

The Kept Faith officially endorses the San Francisco Giants as the acceptable 3rd place team in the division as long as they spoil things for the Dodgers and Barry Zito loses 20 games.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Badass (not the Mario Van Peebles Movie)

By Nick McCann

Last week former San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley agreed to settle his lawsuit against a police officer who shot him off-duty two years ago and ended his pro football career.

The player was shot in his leg, hip and hand in September 2006 after off duty officer Aaron Mansker followed his car home on suspicion the driver was drunk.

Foley attorney Harvey Levine, said the settlement was reached with Officer Mansker and his employer, the City of Poway, before testimony resumed in the week-old civil trial.
Foley will receive 5.5 million in compensation.
Steve Foley looked like an NFL Linebacker should look because he looked like a badass motherfucker. Badass motherfuckers are guys who right away make you believe that nobody has ever even thought about trying to fight them in public. The difference between scary motherfuckers and badass motherfuckers is very simple. Scary motherfuckers look normal, but surprise you by the scary things they do. Badass Motherfuckers make you believe they have already done them. The best example of this comes from the Police Academy Movie Franchise: Hightower was a Baddass Motherfucker because he intimidated everyone he came across and Tackleberry was a scary motherfucker because he always pulled out a gun in every situation. Both were powerful in their own way, but different in their approach.


On the night where Steve Foley lost his NFL career, he was unfortunate to be a Baddass motherfucker. If his former teammate Doug Flutie, a scary motherfucker in his own right, was doing the same thing that night, would he have gotten shot? Maybe. You never know when you are going to run into an off duty scary motherfucker in Poway.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Losing to The Marlins Rant

By Nick McCann

Last night the Padres lost to a Florida Marlins team that spends a quarter of the payroll and plays to a home crowd that is on average a third of the size. Usually when that thought passes through my mind during a Florida win over the Padres, the next thought naturally passes through my head: they have been a franchise for 15 years and they already have 2 rings.

The first part of the first half of this season was frustrating, and now I have just become numb. The other day, I heard Mark Grant and Matt Vasgersian plan a gay road trip to Sedona Arizona. I caught the end of it and I only hope there was an Axl Rose Chinese Democracy joke in it. The bit was funny but, it was definitely material appropriate for a team in last place, who is probably losing in the ratings to reruns of The House Wives of Orange County on Bravo (I find rooting for the crazy blonde Italian A personality wife who can’t let go of her kids, to be more enjoyable than watching Khalil Greene try really really hard).

The All Star Game is coming up, and not only is it always the biggest waste of time every year, this year, the Padres are the worst team in the league and they have only one player selected to go. Sure, Adrian Gonzalez would make it onto the team in most years, but it feels forced knowing that every team has to have at least one player in the game.

A few years ago, when the Tigers were the Padres, Dimitri Young went hitting 260 with 13 bombs (those numbers are what it feels like when I remember it. I refuse to look up the numbers of Dimitri Young). Years later, he would go on to beat the shit out of a woman at a gas station, but hey, he still is an All-Star.

Adrian doesn’t really show his emotions and he is having a great year, but I feel bad for him because he is the guy that had to go no matter what. He is kind of like the ugly girl who is forced by her parents to go the dance, who ends up sitting in the corner wondering if anybody cares.

Well they probably don't. But I care Adrian. Let’s go to Sedona and see how Axl is doing.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

He Teaches Metal Sound

By Nick McCann


Last Wednesday, while attending the Padres/Twins disaster, I walked away from my seat to go buy some fried calamari. I knew ingesting squid at a baseball game was wrong, but everything I could ever possibly desire is available at Petco Park, so I ate it anyways. While waiting in line, I listened in on a conversation between a bored late 20s to mid 30s father and a five year old kid with ice cream all over his face, standing in front of me in line. At one point I heard the kid say to his dad, “I wish we had Tony Gwynn back. He would make us win!” This kid never saw Gwynn play, but he knew he loved him.

I’m constantly having conversations about love with people who say they haven’t ever been in love before. They always ask me whether or not I still define the times I have said I was in love as still being real love whenever I look back. People ask these questions because they are fascinated with the power of love that Huey Lewis sang about. The only thing that can really be learned when you are in love is that it is just plain powerful. The moment that you realize its power is the moment you realize you will never need to ask anybody again what it feels like, if you can do anything about it, or more importantly, if you can ever dismiss those older feelings of love to yourself in an honest way. When you have never felt in love, you think that love might be something that you can be better at; as if there was a certain skill set that can be developed to make you better at loving. This is not possible because you can’t get better at a feeling that raises the stakes that high. If you have ever been in love, you know there is no way to control it and there is no way to prepare yourself for its danger.

I don’t remember a moment in my life where I didn’t love Tony Gwynn. And there has never been a specific instance where I decided I loved him; I just always have. However, the older I get, the more I understand Tony Gwynn for what he really is. I believe Tony Gwynn is the greatest Padre of all time, and I don’t think that will ever change because the Padres will probably never have a player who will have a better career staying completely with the team, and because he possesses a deeply rooted control over the way the team is perceived. No player, manager, front office executive, or owner, can ever take this power away from him, because in San Diego, nobody can ever love another Padre as much as he is loved.

Is this fair? In the reality that Tony Gwynn has created as a player, and as a symbol in the community, fair is something we use our faith in him to believe in. Not only is Tony always right, he has successfully taken on a persona that defines what is right.

Besides his self-destructive eating habits that made the end of his career less productive than it could have been, he was also too talented a hitter to be the specialist that he was. Sure, it is a blessing to have a guy who never strikes out, and can hit the ball anywhere he wants to move a runner, but he could have hit more homeruns. Isn't it a little suspect that Gwynn always seemed focused on keeping his average up? If his average fell below 315 fans freaked out. Batting Average is a stat that looks good in the record books even if you miss a lot of games in a season. I’ll never be convinced that he always had the team in mind when he was on the field. I don’t believe he sabotaged anything, but I think he consciously specialized his game more than he should have to the detriment of the team.

If Gwynn gained a selfish streak when the front office was destroying the team in the early 90s, it would not be wrong of him; it would make him a human. But we were made to believe his talent wasn’t. He was marketed during his playing days as the ultimate scientist of hitting at the major league level. Yet, he has never made an attempt to be a Major League hitting coach in his post-playing career. Instead, he has managed a mediocre college baseball team at San Diego State where he operates on his own terms at a stadium that projects his name on the centerfield fence. When he is not doing that, he spends his time in the booth on Channel 4, dominating a broadcast owned and produced by the Padres. Tony’s complete lack of a sense of humor strips Matt Vasgergian of his comic testicles, and his commentary can never be questioned…ever.
Tony Gwynn sits on top of college mesa as king and the Padres pay him to come down from time to time to let the people hear him speak. We listen, not because we want to hear the truth, but because to us, during a Padre game, the sound of his voice is truth.

Is this year’s squad any better than one of Tony’s forgettable teams? If Tony Gwynn from 1989 was inserted into our lineup and Brian Giles vaporized into thin air (as he should), would the Padres be that much better? Tony Gwynn wouldn’t have a legit leadoff batter to move, and he wouldn’t be able to breathe youth into Trevor Hoffman’s arm. The truth is if Tony Gwynn were on the 2008 Padres, he would make this losing season feel okay. And we would love him for it no matter how dangerous that is.

When that kid standing between me and my squid said we needed Gwynn back, I only heard one sound violently shatter through my head.

PING!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When Athletes Sing

By Nick McCann

The Padres won last night, but again, I decided to watch something else because I assumed they would lose. I guess I was wrong. I guess I want to be wrong more often when it comes to my team.

This morning on the Jim Rome Show, Jim could not shut up about Shane Foster, a NBA second round draft pick, from Vanderbilt, who wrote a song about getting drafted into the NBA and performed it on Youtube. Anybody who thinks NBA players are all overpaid stuck up ego maniacs who have everything handed to them, need to hear Shane sing. He was projected, and drafted in the second round where there is no gurantee that he will make an NBA roster. What you are looking at is a young man who is just happy to get a shot:

He isn't Flannery, but he is coming from the same place.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Choices, Part 2

By Joe Quadres

To make a long story short, I am in a moral quandary. I would like to be a baseball fan, seeing that it is my favorite sport. Naturally, I would like to root for a team. Unfortunately, it matters greatly to me what other people think. I could not stand to be called a traitor or a frontrunner. Well, ok, I could stand it, but I need ammo to defend myself. In some ways, the choice I make defines me as a sports fan. In others, it defines me as a human being.

Here, as I see it, are all of my options:

1. REMAIN A DODGER FAN.
2. BE A FAN OF WHATEVER TEAM IS CLOSEST TO THE CITY I LIVE IN.
3. PICK A TEAM AT RANDOM
4. PICK A TEAM BASED ON WHATEVER CRITERIA I WANT TO.
5. STAY NEUTRAL.

Each of these choices has positives and negatives. I hope by examining each of these options, I will be able to not only make a choice, but shed some light on what it means to be a fan.

1. REMAIN A DODGER FAN.

This is maybe the easiest choice. It means I don’t have to question my identity; I am a Dodger fan and that is that. It allows me to have civic pride. I would be able to say that I rooted for the same team my whole life. All of my baseball memories live in Chavez Ravine. (I was at the game that Chris Gwynn won with an extra inning homer—that’s the kind of thing I mean). I can maintain the bond I have with my father, who rooted for the Dodgers most of his life too. I don’t have to throw anything away or buy new hats.

But hats are the problem. I don’t live in Los Angeles. Other than the fact that most of my friends live there, I don’t miss it all that much. Why should the geography of my birth—hardly a matter of choice—dictate who I root for? Other than geography, the Dodgers have no meaning for me. First of all, the owner has no LA ties. None of the coaches or players do either. Unlike the Padres, who will always have their Tony Gwynn, not one of my Dodger heroes growing up finished with the team. Literally, not one. Every single famous Dodger in my lifetime finished up somewhere else. Valenzuela, Hershiser, Sciocsia (who finished with LA as a player, but is currently managing the Angels which counts to me), Sax, Piazza, Karros. All of these longtime Dodgers finished elsewhere.

So, basically, I am rooting for a hat. It doesn’t matter who’s under that hat, where they came from, how long they’ve been here, etc. If the hat says LA, I’m supposed to root for them. But in light of all of the despicable things this team has done to show me they don’t care about me, is a blue hat really supposed to keep me true? To a city I haven’t lived in for five years and probably will never live in again? This is the hardest part. There is certainly a part of me that feels like not being a Dodger fan is WRONG. As long as they don’t kill puppies during the 7th inning stretch, I’m supposed to stick with them. But the rest of me feels like I don’t owe these current Dodgers a damn thing. Does this make me a traitor, or does it make me a man of principle? A complainer or a real fan of the game? Or neither? Or both?

2. BE A FAN OF WHATEVER TEAM IS CLOSEST.

I have to admit there is some appeal here. I lived in Northwest Indiana and Chicago for four years. While I was not a Cubs or Sox “fan,” I did watch the local news and read the local papers and listen to the local radio so these were the teams I knew best. I bought a Cubs hat. I went to Wrigley Field three or four times and while there, I did cheer for the Cubs.

But this can’t be right, can it? I have no idea where I’ll end up, but right now I’m in Dallas. Am I supposed to be a Rangers’ fan? I don’t think I can do that for a myriad of reasons, most of which are obvious. And even if I do live here the rest of my life, there is something so empty about just rooting for the hometown team and throwing away everything I stood for my whole life.

3. PICK A TEAM AT RANDOM

Again, this would seem ridiculous, but isn’t it the most fair? If I’m not a Dodger fan, it may make sense to just pick a team out of a hat. That way, no one could accuse me of frontrunning or bandwagoning. But what if I picked the Rangers? Or the Marlins? Or the Orioles? There’s no way I can do this. And if I pick a team at random, then throw the team back, the whole exercise is lost.

4. PICK A TEAM BASED ON WHATEVER I WANT.

Definitely some appeal here. There are lots of teams that I kind of like. There are teams with great GMs like the A’s or Red Sox. They appeal to my intellectual side. I like the Indians and the Brewers because they built themselves up from nothing to contention with their farm system. They will succeed or fail in the right way, the way teams used to do it. Part of me wants to be an Angel fan because they are who the Dodgers used to be. Their entire coaching staff is made up of ex-Dodgers they are owned by a guy who is in it to win, not to turn a profit. Most of their team is homegrown and the free agents they do get are (mostly) guys that they want to keep for the long term.

Of course, the problem here is that, in general, these things are cyclical. I don’t mean that teams go from up-years to down-years and I’m not willing to follow; if I can see future potential, then 100 loss seasons are fine. I mean that teams eventually start trading off all of the guys you like. Take the A’s for example. Every year until they have new ownership, the A’s will trade or release every single player they have who will command a big salary. You can never become attached to an Athletic—as soon as they are free agents, they’re gone. So in order to be an A’s fan, you either have to live or have grown up in Oakland and be willing to root for whoever is wearing the green and gold, or you have to be rooting for Mad Genius Billy Beane. While there is something appealing about that, rooting for a GM is hardly romantic or fulfilling. I mean, am I supposed to chant Billy’s name every time he makes a trade? Should I hold up signs saying, “I love you, Billy” every time a no-namer with and high OBP comes up? So the problem with this approach is that, chances are, I’ll never be able to pick a team to stick with. Every five years or so I’ll constantly be shifting teams. Also, if that team does win the Series, they’ll inevitably break-up and in order to try and stay on top, the desperate GMs will hire crap free agents instead of accepting that their run is over. At that point, they will become the teams I dislike and I’m out shopping again.

5. STAY NEUTRAL

This is where I am now. There are some positives. I don’t get depressed when my team loses. I can root for the guys on my Fantasy team no matter who they’re playing. I see the game objectively. It’s almost like watching Lost; I don’t necessarily root for any of the characters to live or die, I just want the show to be entertaining.

But it’s empty here. I want to be depressed when a team loses because it means I can be high when they win. I want to have a passion. I want to be a fan, not an analyst.

Sports is highly ethical. It is the only part of our lives that we expect to be fair. I need your help, Dear Readers. Which of these decisions is the right one? Which can I be proud of? Which one allows me to look in the mirror and say, “I am a ___________ fan for all the right reasons.” The Dodgers will always be the team of my youth and they will always surround the softest parts of me. But as an adult, I have rights, damnit!!! I just need you to tell me what they are.

Complete me. Please.