SFWH is going all "bleeps and bloops"

By Governor X

Lets face it. Steve Finley Was Here's current format is played out. It served us well during the first six months, but we've come to a crossroads. We could continue to bring you the same kind-of up to date coverage of the Dodgers and A's that you expect or we could "go away and dream it all up again" as Bono once said.

SFWH is not going to turn into Springsteen on my watch dear readers reader. I will not sit idly by as we turn out the same posts for years eagerly awaiting praise from the critics. No, we're going to be taking some fucking chances. For example: Don't get the title of this post? Get used to it. We aren't spoon feeding you anymore.

So what will the new format be like? Who knows. We're just going to take it as it goes. Things may get a bit too "real" for some readers, while others appreciate us taking things up a notch. This is no longer a blog. This is a living breathing work of art. Art like a Jackson Pollock drip painting.

An Open Letter to the Diamondbacks

By Governor X

Dear Diamondbacks,

Please go on a tear and win this shitty division already.

The Dodgers, for all intents and purposes, are dead, but you have thus far been unable to pull away and end our pathetic chances at a playoff berth. Every win here and there teases us with hope as we inch within a game or two of you for the division lead.

Deep down, I know better. This particular group of Dodgers players (I can't call them a "team") are not going anywhere, but when I look at the standings and see them a game or two back, my irrational fan side takes over and I have brief visions of Manny hitting homers for them in October.

This won't happen though. The Dodgers of 2008 are destined for mediocrity. If you don't shape up, we risk Colorado going on another winning streak and none of us want to see that again. We all remember how they embarassed the National League in the World Series last year.

So, I beg of you, just win 5 or 6 in a row and effectively put the Dodgers out of their misery. A sweep this weekend would be a good start.

Governor Gray Davis

The 2008 Padres are Officially Losers

By Governor X

Suffering their second sweep of the season to San Francisco (really?) on Sunday, the Padres locked down a losing record for the 25th time in team history. Its only fitting that the Giants helped secure this for them since the Friars have replaced the Giants as the laughing stalk of the NL. San Diego is currently on pace to lose 102 games. Well done.

My Favorite Olympic Moments

By ,

I've enjoyed watching the Olympics for the past 2 weeks. It has distracted me from the craptastic second half the A's are having, and it has allowed me to watch something other than whatever programming the networks roll out during the summer to fill time before the new fall season starts...I was really starting to question my sanity the day I caught myself watching "America's Got Talent."

Anyway, I thought I'd recap a few of my favorite moments from Olympic competiton - in no particular order...

1. The U.S. men's gymnastics team wins the bronze medal. Some Olympic athletes are not satisfied with silver or bronze (case in point - that wrestler dude who threw a fit when he won the bronze medal). Now, don't get me wrong, I can understand why someone would be disappointed with a 2nd or 3rd place finish if they busted their ass for 4 years with the intention of winning gold, but it's nice to watch athletes when they're genuinely thrilled with winning a medal - no matter what color it is. The U.S. men's gymnastics team lost their 2 best team members to injury, and they didn't let that distract them. They came out like a bunch of rowdy frat guys - thumping their chests and shouting "Sup America?" into the camera- gave it their all, and came away with a bronze medal that not many thought they could win. And they were stoked. I was thoroughly entertained watching this team.

2. Shawn Johnson's balance beam gold. She won a boat load of silvers, and she was very gracious about it. And then she does a kick-ass routine on the beam and finally wins her gold medal. Also, a shout out to Nastia Liukin for her Olympic success - as well as her classiness when she had to settle for silver on the uneven bars because a possibly-underage Chinese gymnast won the gold in some confusing tiebreaker. Why can't they give 2 golds if gymnasts get the same score again?

3. Usain Bolt. Call him a show-boater all you want, this guy can run. And he's pretty fun to watch.

4. The Redeem Team Redeems Themselves. They ate it at the 2002 World Championship, won the bronze in Athens, lost to Greece in the semis of the 2006 World Championship, and then came back to win gold in Beijing. LaBronze, you now have La Gold...

5. The men's 4x100 relay (swimming). When are people going to learn?? Don't talk smack until it's over. Alain Bernard talked smack, and when all was said and done, Jason Lezak swam the relay leg to end all relay legs, and the U.S. won the gold - keeping Michael Phelps on track to break Spitz's record. And while we're on the subject of talking smack, what was up with that British runner taunting the other runners in the 4x400 relay trials? I'm pretty sure they ended up not getting a medal in that race. Again, don't get cocky until it's over.

6. The U.S. men's (indoor) volleyball team wins gold. Coach Hugh McCutcheon's father-in-law was murdered the day after the opening ceremony. His mother-in-law was critically injured. A few minutes after the team won, McCutcheon walked off the court for a minute or so - probably trying to gather his emotions. I'll be honest - when I saw that, I teared up. Coach, I am so sorry for your loss, but so happy you and your team won gold.

7. Dara Torres. She's 41 years old. She has some wacky training routine where people squish her muscles. She was one one-hundredths of a second away from winning gold in the 50m free. Dara, you're inspiring. You made me believe that I could win an Olympic medal when I'm 40, too. Of course, you've been swimming for decades, and the closest I've come to swimming is doggy-paddling in the pool down the street, but whatever...You're still inspiring.

8. Michael Phelps. Do I really need to say anything about this? Kid is amazing. However, I will say one thing - there were times when I really wished Phelps would pull up his swimming pants. He may have 8 gold medals, but I still don't want to see his ass crack.

"Dude, pull these up"

Jonathan Broxton as Closer FAIL

By Governor X

Dr. Maddux needs to sit him down and teach him that a 99 mph fastball doesn't mean shit if you can't throw it for a strike...


By ,

Last night's battle of the bottom of the AL West (wow...there had to be a better way for me to say that. Oh well.) had the A's eeking out a 2-0 victory over Seattle. It turned out to be quite the pitcher's duel - mostly because both offenses are about as stale as the month-old Cheerios in my kitchen cabinet. But seriously, I shouldn't hate. A win is a win.

And by the way, Seattle announcer - our reliever's name is JOEY Devine - not Andy Devine. Sheesh.

In other A's news, they put Duke and Sean Gallagher on the 15-day DL, which means the A's have now used the DL a record 23 times during the season. They used it 22 times last season.

Here's another fun fact: As of today, the A's appear to have the lowest team batting average in the league - the Nationals are ahead of them. And the Reds.

There are no words.

Oh wait - yes there are..."More alcohol, please..."

"Good job, Bobby! You've only been on the DL once this season!"

The Record No One Cared About

By Rich Funk

Recognize the guy above?

You shouldn't. That's Bobby Thigpen, the current record holder for most saves in a season.

Francisco Rodriguez of the Anaheim Angels has 48 saves with 6 weeks to go. Not only will he most likely break Thigpen's record, he's on pace to completely shatter it.

So we ask the eternal question: If someone breaks the single-season saves record, but it happens in the toilet of Anaheim Stadium, does anyone care?

Jeff Kent is a Douchebag

By Governor X

Old news right? What has he done this time? He insulted baseball legend Vin Scully.

Jeff has never exactly been a fan favorite. The cop stache, attacking younger better players at every turn, being a former Giant, and generally being an asshole has caused Dodger fans to tolerate him when he's playing well (which he hasn't in years) but never embrace him.

Attacking Vin Scully is akin to attacking puppies or moms. Its just not done in polite society.


By Rich Funk

Being a Cubs fan, I haven't really ever had any interest in most teams here out west. But all of that has changed this season. Now that the Dodgers have clawed their way back into the NL West picture, I have to root for them.

Why the sudden change of heart? It's purely for selfish reasons.

If the Cubs win the NL Central, chances are that they'll have the best record in the NL. And since it looks like the Wild Card winner is also going to come out of the NL Central, the division winner will get to play either the East or West winner, whoever has the worst record.

So if everything goes according to plan, the Cubs will wind up playing the Dodgers in the NLCS. If that happens, for at least one game, the Cubs are coming to California, which gives me at least one more chance to see them.

So I'll root for the Dodgers to succeed, even though things between Manny and I aren't very good right now.

Does that also mean that I'll root for the Angels to make it to the World Series so the Cubs would have a chance to come back again if they were to make the Series as well? God no! A man has to have some kind of standards.

The Streak Is Over...

By ,

Brad Ziegler's scoreless streak ended today at 39 innings when he gave up a run in the top of the 9th during today's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. His ERA now stands at .22...That's still pretty damn good if you ask me.

So Ziegler, congrats on your awesome, record-breaking scoreless streak. May you continue to kick ass out of the bullpen...

In other news, the A's have won 4 games since the ASB, and unless my math is wrong, they've scored 3 or fewer runs in 19 of their 25 games since the break.

What? I should have another beer? Ok...


By Governor X

A lot of things have been going on lately, but as you can tell, no one has posted anything here. I can only assume my cohorts, like the rest of the world, are pretending to give a shit about women's 200 meter underwater archery in Beijing. Xiao Jan Tu got the silver? Boo!

I have no excuse other than laziness, so here is a comprehensive update from the world of Finley...

Nomar is back, AndrEw is gone

Nomar Garciaparra returned from the DL Tuesday night ending Angel Berroa's reign of terror, at least until this Saturday when he goes back on the DL after contracting foot and mouth disease. He went 0 for 3 last night.

To make room for Nomar, a flimsy excuse was created to send AndrEw Jones to the DL. Good riddance.

My soccer team is in shambles.

LA Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit quit and the team fired Alexi Lalas on Monday. Cobi Jones will coach the team for the rest of the year. What?

People expecting an MLS Cup this year seem to have forgotten just how bad they were last year. A healthy and old David Beckham alone was never going to put them over the top. This year under Gullit they were nothing if not exciting, scoring and allowing goals like there was no tomorrow.

Firing Lalas may be an odd move, but at least it shows ownership isn't willing to just sit on a bad team and rake in all that Beckham money.

The Spanish basketball team offends 1 billion Chinese people.

The People's Liberation Army is marching on Madrid as I type this.

Dodgers' Doctors Put Schmidt Down

By Governor X

The Dodgers' medical staff has concluded that like Barbaro here, Jason Schmidt is beyond repair and its time to send him off to the glue factory. Remember Jason Schmidt? Think WAY back and you may recall one of his 83 mph fastballs getting hit out of Chavez Ravine.

Schmidt looks like he is officially done for the year, but honestly, did you really expect him to ever pitch for the Dodgers again? With a three year deal worth $47 million, Schmidt has made a total of 6 starts for LA, but hasn't seen a big league field in over a year. If you're curious, that works out to $7.83 million per start.

Predictions, Bitches!

By Rich Funk

It's August, so time to make some crazy claims about the rest of the season out West. If I'm right about any of them, I'll rub it in everyone's faces. If I'm wrong, I can just delete the post. It's really win-win for me. And it's win-win for you, the reader because A) I'm awesome and B) you get to read the awesome stuff I'm writing. So if you and I are doing all this winning, who's losing? Why the Mariners, of course!

Prediction #1: Manny's Arrival Will Not Get The Dodgers Into The Playoffs

If you look at the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, they have basically the same team. Run differentials, home/road records, number of players that have dated Alyssa Milano...all pretty much the same. The D-Backs are looking for a spark from Max Scherzer coming back, while the Dodgers are hoping Brad Penny can make a return.

So you gotta look at the schedule. Starting Monday, August 11, the Dodgers have to host Philly (4 games), Milwaukee and Colorado, and then head up to Philly for 4 more against the Fightin's. I would not be surprised if the Dodgers went 4-11 over those 15 games. As soon as that's over, they get Arizona the next week. Seeing how the Diamondbacks are starting to hit at home again...watch out.

Besides, I'll take Harden and Webb over Lowe and Billingsley any day.

2. Texas will finish behind Oakland in the AL West.

Check out Texas' run differential. It's currently at -27, meaning that on the season, Texas has been outscored by their opponents by 27 runs. According to some math equation that I won't even pretend to understand, Texas should have a record of 54-59 right now, and the A's should be at 58-53. Throw int he fact that Oakland should play better now that the trade deadline is past, and Texas can expect to be in 3rd again this season.

3. The Padres Will Continue To Chase The Mariners For The Best Record In Baseball

Oh, by "best record", I really mean "worst record". It's opposite day. Wait...no it's not. Yes it is. Wait...

Peanut Butter Gio Time!!!!

By ,

Gio Gonzalez - one of the pitchers the A's got in the Nick Swisher trade - has been called up, and will start tomorrow against the Blue Jays.

Gio is 8-7 with an ERA of 4.24 in AAA (not the American Automobile Association) this year. And although those numbers aren't too stellar, he seems to be improving - in his last start, Gio went 8 innings, giving up 2 hits and no runs with 9 K's. Legit!

I'm really excited. The A's are really struggling right now, and it'll be nice to see one of the young guys pitch. The A's say they're in "rebuilding" mode, so let's see what "the future" can do.

Just don't expect much of any run support, Gio. At this point, I think myself, my neighbor's Labrador, and the homeless guy that hangs out by the gas station down the street could score more runs in a game than the A's offense right now.

Stop It

By Rich Funk

Knock it off right now. Seriously, just stop. You know who you are.

All those people in Orange County at their laptops and typewriters or whatever spewing forth this bile that K-Rod sould be the MVP? They can all die in a fire.



Stop it. Don't even think about it.

Seriously...stop it.

Looking On The Brightside...

By ,

"Dude, why am I terrible?"

When Daft Funk came home from Thunderfist 2008, I was bombarded with tales of stolen motorcycles, Butch Walker, and losing one's eyebrows in Vietnam. But although I tried to listen, there was something else on my mind - the Oakland Athletics are playing some lousy baseball. They have won 2 games since the All-Star Break. They have scored 2 runs or fewer in over half of their games since the break. Chavy is out for the season. And although our pitching has been alright (with the exception of a few bad outings...But you can't be perfect every time), you can't expect to win a ton of games if you can't score more than 2 runs. And what's going on with Huston Street? Argh...Why don't they just change their name to the Oakland Awfuletics?

Anyway, after we were swept by the Red Sox over the weekend, I decided that I had 2 choices - I can either develop an ulcer, or I can start looking on the bright side. I don't have the money to pay for medical treatment, so I chose the latter. This was supposed to be a re-building year. We were supposed to finish in the basement of the AL West (although thanks to Seattle, that prediction probably won't come true). I think I just got my hopes up because the A's had a surprisingly good first half. But now I'm beginning to get a picture of what the A's were supposed to play like, and it ain't pretty. But there are bright spots to focus on...

1. The bullpen: Brad Ziegler has yet to give up a run since he made his debut in the majors - he's had a 0.00 ERA for over 30 innings. Jerry Blevins has an ERA of 1.23. Joey Devine is back. Santiago Casilla seems to be returning to form - he hasn't given up a run in his last 6 appearances. Huston Street is well...um...nevermind. Let's move on...

2. The young guys. Ryan Sweeney has an average that hovers around .300. Kurt Suzuki has been hitting the ball well. Carlos Gonzalez is looking good in center field. Watching those guys gives me hope that the A's will develop into a good, young team over the next couple of years. Which leads me to one more bright spot for the A's...

3. The farm system. Ours seems to contain quite a bit of talent. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio, Aaron Cunningham, Adrian Cardenas. I am excited to see what these guys can do. Or maybe Beane can flip some of the prospects he got in his various trades for a stud hitter. (although I think I'd be peeved if he traded away Cahill, Anderson, or Cunningham). Either way, I think the future is looking pretty bright.

So although the A's currently cause me to drain 6-packs of Schlitz (what? I'm broke), I will keep watching games and focus on the good. Besides, anything is better than watching ESPN give minute-by-minute Brett Favre updates. Ugh.


By Governor X

The Dodgers have never picked up the name on the block at the deadline before. Frankly, they've never even been in the mix. I have a boner right now. I don't even care if he sucks. We got him for two bits of garbage and Boston is picking up his salary.

*Note: See the Casey Blake post on Ned Colletti's outfielder hoarding. LA now has 5 outfielders. DFA Jones today please!

STP in Jack Murphy's backyard 7/27/08

By ,

Yes, I know it's called Qualcomm now, but I refuse to buy into that corporate sponsor crap. And while we're on the subject, it was always Candlestick in the Bay Area, dammit.

Oh, and as for the "backyard" part, the concert wasn't actually "in" the stadium. The stage was set up on a giant lawn behind the stadium...With a majestic view of the trolley track and an IKEA. I know, I know. I couldn't think of a better concert setting, either. At one point during the evening, Daft mused whether or not Weiland was backstage saying "I can't believe I'm playing next to a fucking IKEA!" I, too, could picture Weiland refusing to share the stage with reasonably priced Swedish furniture.

Um...I guess I should mention the point of this post now...Daft Funk and I saw Stone Temple Pilots on Sunday, and we're posting our review of the show. Sorry, with the way the A's offense has been playing lately, I start drinking early on game days.

Anyway, onto the review...Daft and I got there kind of early, and were able to get a pretty good spot on the grass (it was general admission). Here's a sign that I'm getting old: College E-Claire would've said "Let's push our way to the front so Weiland can spit in my eye!" Mid-twenties E-Claire with a bad knee said: "Let's hang back a little because I don't want any rowdy teenagers to smack into my bad knee." Oh, 20, where have you gone?

The first band to take the stage was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They came out wearing leather jackets and sunglasses, and looked like a group of guys I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley without my mace. They were very good, though. Here's a link to their myspace page if you're interested in checking them out...

Next up was Wolfmother. They kicked ass. Some of their songs have very Zeppelin-esque guitar riffs, and they made a lot more noise than you'd think 3 people could make. Seriously, my ears were ringing after their set. The lead singer also has crazy hair. I also enjoyed the fact that he told me we were witnessing "rock and roll history." Right on, guy...

After Wolfmother, it was time for STP. The lights went down, the crowd started roaring, and then STP came out and started the show with a rousing rendition of...Big Empty? Really? Look, I don't mind that song - and we had heard that they had started quite a few of their others shows with it- but it just doesn't seem like a good opening song that'll get the crowd pumped up. I understand you've gotta save the big stuff for later, but I might've opened with something a little more rockin' - like Wicked Garden or even Vaseline. Anyway, after I got over that puss opening song, the show was good. Weiland sounded good, didn't forget the words to any of the songs, and spared me losing my dinner by not taking his shirt off until near the end of the show. They basically played a greatest hits show - as was expected - with a few other songs thrown in. I think my favorites of the night were Vaseline (probably my favorite STP song), and Dead and Bloated, which they played as the first song in their encore. And no matter how many times I've heard it on the radio, I still enjoy Plush. One thing I didn't like: Towards the latter third of the show, the band went into this weird jam session, with Weiland mumbling the words to "Redemption Song." Although I love Bob, it really killed the mood. I was also baffled by some of the things Weiland said between songs (however, I might've been more baffled if his musings had actually made sense). I remember him telling us to stop watching reality television and get "fucking" involved. Don't judge me, Mr. Weiland. I do enjoy Rock of Love and Farmer Wants A Wife, but I am quite politically knowledgeable, thank you very much.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable show, and I'm glad I got to see STP. Here are a few other random notes:
- There was a guy there who looked just like Joe Maddon. He seemed like he was both drunk and high, and almost got into a fight with another seemingly drunk and high guy. However, between bands, he seemed to be wowing those around him with his story-telling. Perhaps he was asking if any of them could pitch left-handed out of the bullpen.
- There was another guy there that started out wearing a button-up shirt, but later took it off when it got hot. Holy crap, did he have the worst B.O. I've ever smelled. It was freaking awful. Daft and I actually had to move. My nose still hasn't recovered. They used deodorant in the 90's, you know...
- There was another guy there wearing an STP shirt, Converse, and flannel shirt tied around his waist. I hope he was being ironic...Wait, no I don't....

Daft Funk: Being a fan of all three bands playing, I was totally psyched for this show. Yes, I said 'psyched'. Welcome to the 1990's again.

It's cool to see a lot of things never go out of style at concerts, like the "shirtless, long-haired dude". Sure, he may smell sometimes, but it's not a rock show until this guy shows up. Plus, there's always a good chance that he'll be the one to crack a beer bottle over the head of the emo kids that get in his way.

Black Rebel Motorcycle club came up first and were better than I expected. These dudes meant business, with sunglasses, biker jackets, black shirts, black pants and a surly "fuck off" kind of vibe. If Johnny Cash were alive and started a blues-rock band, it would be BRMC.

Wolfmother knocked my dick in the dirt so hard that it actually bounced back up onto my body. Seriously, I didn't think just 3 dudes could make that much sound. I know it's kind of sacrilege to say, but I think their triple play of Woman, Colossal and Joker And The Thief to end their set was better than any 3 consecutive songs that STP played. Not that STP didn't rock in their own right, but Wolfmother was just that good.

Yes, I was a bit worried that Scott Weiland would cancel the show considering they were playing directly behind an IKEA. But what I didn't take into account was that there was also a very lovely Lowes next to it. And there was a nearby IHOP. Pancakes, appliances and cheap furniture? That's right in Scottie's wheelhouse!

The venue definitely wasn't an arena-sized area, but you wouldn't have known it from the way STP performed. Besides a few pacing issues due to a strangely ordered setlist, the show was everything that I expected and more. If Weiland was stoned or messed up in any way, he hid it well enough for me. And I'm glad he shaved off all of his nasty greased-back hair. He looks much more human now.

The most underrated part of the show? I never realized how damn good Dan DeLeo is on the bass. He was an absolute monster and had fantastic stage presence (Could I sound any more gay? I think not...).

I'd be more than willing to see another show at Qualcomm becuase getting out of the venue after the show took all of 5 minutes. The amount of time it takes to leave a show is a huge factor for me. When we saw Def Leppard at Cricket Wireless Arena, it took about 2 hours to leave. Fuck that place. You're dead to me.

Dodgers Pick Up a 4th 3rd Baseman

By Governor X

Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti suffers from the same pathology as those crazy cat ladies you read about, but in his case he hoards 3rd basemen and outfielders. While I was getting in touch with nature over the weekend, crazy cat hoarding Ned picked up Casey Blake from Cleveland. Clearly, the platoon of Nomar, Blake DeWitt, and Andy LaRoche can't get it done (honestly, they can't, but I doubt Casey Blake is the answer). LaRoche and DeWitt are back in the minors and Nomar was so upset over the news he may have injured himself again. More on that when the results of his MRI are made public.

Meanwhile, that NL West team that isn't poorly run, may be close to landing Mark Teixeira. If they pull that off, the rest of the division should just start scheduling those October tee times.

Someone On The A's Broke A Major League Record...

By ,

And surprisingly, it wasn't for most strikeouts in a game, or fewest runs scored since the beginning of time...

Yesterday, Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler (I know what you're probably thinking..."Who?") passed the modern big league record for consecutive scoreless innings at the start of a career. He broke a record that was over 100 years old.

So nice job, Ziegler. Considering how craptastically the A's have been playing since the All-Star break, at least you've given fans something to celebrate...

Daft Funk's West Coast Musings

By Rich Funk

After taking a few weeks off, I'm back with my patented West Coast Musings for all to enjoy. Let's see what's going on in your world, today.

  • Can someone please come in and save Greg Maddux from the Padres? The last time he won a game was on May 10th. That was win number 350 in his career. Since then? 5 losses and 9 no decisions. Between May 20th and June 20th, he had seven consecutive starts of giving up 2 runs or less. He won none of those games. This tells us 2 things: First, the Padres offense sucks cock. Second, I have no second point.
  • How the hell do the Angels have the best record in all of baseball? They're seriously doing it with smoke and mirrors, also known as HGH and The Clear. Is there any one team in baseball that would fall apart quicker than the Angels if any 2 or 3 of their guys got hurt?
  • At the time of this writing, the Giants are 43-58...and only 7 games out of first in the NL West. That's the third worst record IN ALL OF BASEBALL! You know what? I'm all for them making it to the playoffs. Yes we can! Yes we can!
  • The Gov continues his Dodgers "boycott" and the team continues to "roll". They're only 1 game out of first. Proving again how awful the NL West is? The fact that trading for Jack Wilson or Bobby Crosby might put the Dodgers over the top.
That's all I got. Go Giants!

Jeff Kent may be going to Tampa

By Governor X

Jeff Kent is old, so it was inevitable that he would, at some point, join his brethren in the Sunshine State:

The Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays are looking at a possible trade for Dodgers 2B Jeff Kent, according to American League sources. The Dodgers have had scouts in Tampa the past few days checking out SS Ben Zobrist who is expendable for the Rays. Kent had 10 HR’s and 43 RBI’s for the Dodgers, entering play last night.
– Fox Sports Radio

I don't know who Ben Zobrist is. Wikipedia tells me this: Zobrist usually plays shortstop, and is noted for wearing old-fashioned stirrups. Well, if thats not reason enough to acquire him, I don't know what is... As a career .202 hitter, he'll fit right in with the Dodgers.

At least the weather is nice...

By Governor X

Padre fans, baseball's own "glass is half-full" squad, are finally suffering from a case of reality. The awfulness of this year's team simply can't be swept under the rug anymore, as evidenced by this blurb in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

It is a lazy Sunday stroll through turd brown years gone by, as the writer tries to remember a Padre team this awful. Well, its not hard when you remove the rose colored glasses (purchased at San Diego's own Pacific Eyes and T's, naturally). It was only 1993 when the team last lost 100 games, something they have done five times in their history. Jim Riggleman managed that Padre team, and as fate would have it, he may manage another 100 loss team in Seattle this year.

The Padres' worst record ever of 110 losses in 1969 is within reach. They are currently on pace for 101 losses, but as the author points out, they are 6-23 in their last 29 and 14-32 on the road where more than half of their remaining games will be played.

Steve Finley Was Here Fail Of The Week

By Rich Funk

This week's Fail Of The Week? Stephen "Don't call me J.D." Drew.

On Sunday against the Dodgers, Drew smoked one over Andruw Jones' head in center that was an easy triple. But Drew got greedy. he tried to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run, but was cut down at the plate by the combination of...Andruw Jones to Nomar Garciaparra?

What the hell?

If this was 1999 or 2000 and the relay from Jones to Garciaparra to home plate beat you, then you're safe. But it's 2008. These two guys

1. Suck
2. Have missed about 428 games combined this year
3. Really suck

That's like trying to defend 2 midgets on a fast break. True, there's 2 of them, but they're each 3 feet tall.

All Drew men are greedy bastards. Must be slow too.

See Ya, Joe...

By ,

In their continuing effort to "build for the future," the A's traded Joe Blanton to the Phillies for 3 prospects.

The A's got second baseman Adrian Cardenas, pitcher Josh Outman (does anyone else picture a guy named Josh Outman hanging out with the dude in those Black Angus commercials while shaving with a knife and wrestling bears?), and outfielder Matt Spencer. Outman and Cardenas were 2 of Philly's top 5 prospects in the pre-season.

My first reaction to the trade was this: "How the hell did we get 3 prospects for Joe Blanton?"

I shouldn't hate on Joe. Although he was 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA (and he's gotten lit up a couple of times this year), a few of those losses were due to poor offensive outings by the A's. Philly has the offense to back him up, but he's going to need it in their hitter-friendly park.

But although the A's got an ok haul for Blanton, the real winners in this trade are the cheesesteak vendors outside Citizens Bank Park. Zing!

"Dammit! Utley said he'd buy me a cheesesteak if I gave up less than 4 runs..."

What I've been doing on my Dodgers vacation...

By Governor X

As one of our handful of loyal readers, you will be aware that on June 30th of this year I announced a Dodgers Boycott because I could no longer stomach the sorry state of the team. Originally in protest of the return of Jason Repko, the boycott became a rather pleasant vacation from watching my beloved Dodgers flounder and sink like the Titanic. No more teachers, no more books, no more watching AndrEw Jones striking out five times in a game...its just been too sweet. The team resumes play tomorrow and I am extending my vacation. So what have I been doing without Dodger baseball?


Through the last month, I have easily gotten shitty drunk as much as any time since my golden years in college in San Diego. I've noticed this: Beer knocks me out, but tequila keeps me going for hours. Getting drunk also keeps me from even checking the Dodgers score.


I've been reading a lot of hardcore leftist material since the boycott began. I am currently on my third book decrying American imperialism. When I try to board a plane in a couple weeks, I fully expect to find myself on the no-fly list. Prior to that, I burned through the excellent How Soccer Explains the World. If the leftist politics don't get me on the DHS radar, my love of soccer surely will.


My movie intake has been decidedly light and honestly I can't remember much that I've seen. Not a good sign. One that did manage to stand out was Southland Tales, Richard Kelly's chaotic follow-up to Donnie Darko. I would certainly not go so far as to call it good, but I would say its worth watching. Remember that creepy old bitty from Poltergeist? She's in it. So is Rebekkah del Rio who you may remember from Mulholland Drive. Mandy Moore drops F-bombs in it and that tasty little sexpot Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a porn star.

Free Tim Lincecum Midseason Update

By Governor X

We've finally arrived at the All Star Break, which even though its beyond the halfway point in the season, marks the halfway point in the season. Now is as good a time as any for a Free Tim Lincecum update.

The bad news? He's still rotting in SF.
The good news? He's probably the best pitcher in the NL right now.

Lincecum improved his record to 11-2 by shutting down the Cubs on Sunday and enters the break posting a 2.57 ERA and leading MLB in strike outs. Thanks in large part to him, the Giants are not the laughing stalk we all predicted. Additonally, he's getting some early Cy Young buzz.

If you have an hour or so to kill, you may want to read this excruciatingly detailed article on Lincecum's mechanics. At one point, I had planned to break it down for you, but laziness got the best of me.


By ,

Sean Gallagher - the centerpiece of the trade that sent Rich Harden to the Cubs earlier this week - was fan-freakin'-tastic on the mound tonight...He pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 runs, and struck out 7 to get his first win in an A's uniform. And the Athletics decided to welcome him to the team by scoring 9 runs to back him up. Don't get used to that kind of run support, Mr. Gallagher.

Matt Murton also made an impact in tonight's game - hitting a 2-run single and making a couple of good defensive plays.

I'm really excited about our new guys, and I'm wondering if Beane has pulled off another great trade. I think Murton's bat could bring some offense to the team, and if Gallagher keeps pitching like he did tonight (against our division rival no less), he, Eveland, and Smith would make up the core of a good, young rotation. Throw our stud Duke in there, and it's even better. Joe Blanton? Well, we won't talk about him right now...

Things didn't go as well for Chad Gaudin in his debut for the Cubs. He gave up a home run to the first batter he faced as a Cub (he'll settle down, though. He's solid). And Rich Harden? He hasn't done shit for the Cubs!

What? He hasn't pitched yet? Whatever. I'm still really excited about tonight's win...

"Raise your hand if you're a badass..."

Superclasico Super Soccer Live Blog

By Governor X

Are you stoked? You should be. The only thing the MLS has even remotely close to a legitimate rivalry is about to be rekindled. The LA Galaxy are ready to take on their hated cross-stadium interlopers Chivas USA. We're coming to you live from the SoCal Soccer Command Center basking in the glow of the newly hung Galaxy poster (seen here).

7:59 - The first margarita is made. GAME ON.

8:00 - The WNBA game is running long. Are you fucking kidding me? These "women" could at least miss shots quickly. There will be hell to pay if they don't cut away from this (hell to pay = yet another threatening letter sent to Stuart Scott).

8:03 - Christ...they are letting the WNBA game rap up. The crowd of fifty teenage girls too ghastly to get felt up at a high school make out party are chanting "Beat LA". Kill me now.

8:11 - The WNBA game is mercifully over. Suckramento over LA by 18 if you cared (you don't).

8:13 - Football is on (soccer will hereafter be referred to properly as "football"). Thankfully it hasn't started yet. No letter to Stuart Scott today - at least not about this. Beckham and Donovan are playing (praise jesus). They just told everyone the Galaxy are the highest scoring team in the MLS. Take notice you bastards. Beckham is talking...worst voice ever. Like Chris Martin with a couple corncobs up his ass.

8:18 - Kickoff. First place up for grabs!

8:19 - Our first phantom foul. Bullshit. Chivas' token Jewish player just fell down.

8:21 - Another Chivas player just fell down. Is this Italy? No foul this time though. No. 8 on the Galaxy...Vagenas. That sounds suspiciously like vagina.

8:24 - Yellow card on Vagina.

8:27 - Fuck. Another yellow card. This one on my boy Donovan. Man crush on Landon Donovan? You betcha.

8:33 - Goal Chivas. You sons of bitches. Kim Clijsters I think. Oh wait, she plays tennis. I have to admit it was a pretty goal though. No worries. LA will put a few up on these chingadas.

8:41 - Shut up about the New York Red Bulls already. No one wants to hear about these corporate sell outs. A name on your jersey? Sure. Changing the name of your team to suit your dirtbag corporate sponsor? I don't think so. Remember when they were the Metrostars? That guy who went on to be a place kicker for the Jets played for them. I forget his name.

8:43 - Tony Meola. Thats it. What a douchebag. He's probably drunk and face down in a Jersey pizzeria right now. Galaxy just missed a sweet goal.

8:49 - I need another drink. A great thing about football? No commercials. A bad thing about football? No commercials. When am I supposed to get loaded. I need a waitress.

8:50 - Galaxy injury. Some scrub. This is my chance to get another drink.

8:52 - No time to fix another margarita. Beer. Cerveza to be more specific. Carta Blanca. Its ok. Look for a TMS Beer Project on it. Wow. They're wheeling him off on a stretcher.

8:55 - That guy had back spasms. I've had them before. They suck, but they're hardly stretcher worthy. He gets a pink card for being a pussy.

8:59 - Apparently that Chivas goal was actually Ante Razov (communist). Why can't MLS announcers ever get it right? Basically every game I watch, they misassign a goal. It wasn't Kim Klijsters at all.

9:03 - Two narrow misses for LA. Drinking game: Every time LA narrowly misses a goal, chug your beer.

9:07 - Half time. 1-0 Chivas. Boo. Nice physical game though. Once it was clear Chivas was flopping, the refs quit calling fouls on LA. Thats what I like to see. For all the shit the MLS takes, you have to give it this: Its relatively flop-free. Not as good as the Mexican league in that regard, but its a damn sight better than one of those foppish countries like Spain or Italy.

9:19 - This Carta Blanca is awful. I'm going to make another margarita.

9:25 - Second half underway. Second margarita also underway. Yeah, its not much, but its Thursday.

9:35 - This margarita is much better. Second half? Not so much. LA has come out rather flat. I looked at the Herbalife website once before, but I don't remember what was there. I'm going back.

9:36 - Thats right. Pretentious herbal personal care products. They have a recipe for Chipotle Grilled Swordfish though. That sounds tasty. I'm hungry. I wish I hadn't eaten all of my Ritz crackers.

9:45 - Chivas' goalkeeper Brad Guzan may go to Astin Villa. Stay in the MLS you twat. We need to build American football up (I almost called it soccer). Besides, fuck Astin Villa.

9:50 - GALAXY GOAL!!!!!!!!! Edson Buddle! All tied up.

9:51 - Red card on Chivas' coach Preki! The meltdown is imminent. Yes, this guy uses one name. Cher? Madonna? Douche?

9:55 - Hah! A Chivas' goal is called back! It was Kim Klijsters this time. Yellow card on him for bitching about it.

9:59 - The Galaxy have a group of fans called the LA Riot Squad. Somewhere, Reginald Denny sheds a tear...

10:07 - Another fucking save for Guzan. You know what? Go to Astin Villa you miserable piece of shit...

10:08 - All of Beckham's crosses have been off tonight. Now is as good a time as any to admit this: I saw Bend it Like Beckham. Kira Knightley? Mmmmmm..... Yeah, I know she has no tits, but there's just something about her.

10:12 - And thats it. 1-1 draw. Both Chivas and the Galaxy remain in 1st place in the tight Western Conference.

Until next time then!

The Films of M. Night Shyamalan

By Governor X

There is perhaps no filmmaker today that generates as much debate as M. Night Shyamalan. Scorsese? He could release an Andy Warhol style film of a nun pooping and it would get an Oscar nomination. Michael Bay? Even he thinks he sucks. Night (he told me I could call him Night) is another story though. Opinions on his films range from the casual movie goer's vapid "I liked the Sixth Sense!" to the die hard fans (me) who will swear on their mother's soul that The Village is a work of pure genius. With this year's release of The Happening, and the furor that has followed, its time to take a look at his body of work. For purposes of this post, we will ignore his first two films that 5 people saw and take his career from The Sixth Sense on. In this period, he has made four brilliant films and two of varying degrees of awfulness. We will start with the good:

The Sixth Sense (1999) - As you know, The Sixth Sense is the one that brought the Indian Hitchcock to the national stage. It also brought in sixth Oscar nominations. The young and irritatingly unstable Haley Joel Osment sees dead people and renowned Philadelphia psychologist Bruce Willis sees an opportunity to make up for a horrific mis diagnosis in his past. If you haven't seen it by now, you never will, so I'll go ahead and tell you it turns out Bruce Willis is dead. Knowing that going in allows you to see the huge plot holes. No one cares about that though. Its a nice creepy flick with a surprisingly emotionally powerful ending. Random casting note: The OC's Mischa Barton plays the puking girl in the tent.

Signs (2002) - Signs is my personal favorite Night film thanks in large part to my fear of aliens and appreciation of Mel Gibson's unique brand of insanity. Faithless former priest Mel finds crop circles in his suburban Philly farm and doesn't believe aliens are to blame until its too late. I'll grant you the aliens are much more terrifying before you see him clearly (the shadowy figure on top of the barn still sends a chill up my spine), but you still have to appreciate this well made alien invasion movie if you are a fan of this genre. Signs made an impression on critics as well. Roger Ebert said, "M. Night Shyamalan's Signs is the work of a born filmmaker, able to summon apprehension out of thin air. When it is over, we think not how little has been decided, but how much has been experienced." Random casting note: Little Miss Sunshine herself plays Mel's daughter.

The Village (2004) - The Village is where we first see Night backlash begin to develop. Many did not see the genius in the twist involving a group of settlers who have fled "the towns" in search of a crime free life. It fits perfectly and tells you a great deal about these character's tortured psyche, but I guess thats just a little too much to digest for the average American movie goer. Yes, I basically just insulted everyone who didn't like this one. No random casting note this time, but Adrien Brody's portrayal of a retarded guy is something to behold.

Lady in the Water (2006) - With the backlash generated by The Village still fresh in everyone's mind, Lady in the Water was more or less dismissed out of hand. I myself will confess to not liking it very much the first time I saw it. I saw it on an airplane in the middle of the night next to a group of unruly Portuguese toddlers though, so that could ruin anything. After deciding to do this retrospective, I gave it another shot. Its a pleasant little story well made and superbly acted. Paul Giamatti plays an apartment manager trying to solve the mystery of the disgusting slop that winds up in the pool filter every morning. What unfolds is a fun and ultimately satisfying yarn about the lady in the water, Story, and her attempt to return to her own world with the help of the strange residents of Giamatti's apartment building. Again, no odd casting note, but there is this interesting tidbit: Story makes prophecies and among those she makes involves a great leader emerging from the Midwest to usher in an era of hope and change. Hmmm, who could that be?

...now we move on to the not so good:

The Happening (2008) - I really wanted to like The Happening. TMS bartender Chaim Witz saw an early screening and panned it, and nothing would have pleased me more than to tell him he was wrong. Unfortunately I couldn't. Criticism seemed to focus on the fact the plants are attacking. I didn't understand why that was so absurd. You can only fuck with living organisms so long before they snap. Why are plants so different? The problem here isn't with the idea, its with the execution. Night tries to go for a campy 1950's feel to it, but misses badly. We're left with an hour and a half of bad jokes, Mark Wahlberg looking confused, and people running from wind. The one redeeming quality of The Happening are the deaths. The deaths here are imaginative and grizzly. Rent it at some point if only to see the guy lay down in front of a giant lawnmower...

Unbreakable (2000) - I can't make any excuses for Unbreakable. This is just a mess from beginning to end. Bruce Willis is the only survivor of a terrible train accident and that catches the eye of the oft-injured Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson, Mr. Glass, thinks he has found the yin to his yang, a man who can't be hurt. For the next hour or so, we see Bruce try to test this theory about as boringly as he could before a big show down that doesn't really live up to all the hype about him. Those who don't like Night often accuse him of trying to copy The Sixth Sense every time out. Unbreakable is the one time I will concede they are correct. This is clearly an attempt to capitalize on the success of the earlier film and doesn't add anything new to the world other than some comic book gobbledygook. The twist is forced and totally unbelievable (even in a movie about a man who can't be injured) and gets wrapped up thanks to fade-to-black post-scripts before you can even digest it.

"You didn't like The Village? Fuck you."

I Just Lost My Hard-On...

By ,

Well, Rich Harden is a Cub. And Chad Gaudin, too...

First, I'll give you my thoughts on the trade (because I know the first thing you thought when this trade happened was "Wow! I wonder what E-Claire is going to say about this one!"): I'll be honest...The first thing I thought when I found out Harden was going to be a Cub was "Son of a bitch. I just went out and got this delicious sandwich and now I can't eat it because I need to get more information on this trade." The second thing I thought (after reading the full details of the trade) was: "Um...This trade is kind of bullshit." Don't get me wrong, the players the Cubs are sending over are good (although I'm still not sold on Patterson), but I thought we could've gotten more for Harden - especially with a pitcher like Gaudin thrown in. Gaudin isn't exactly an "afterthought." He had a great first half as a starter last year, and although his second half wasn't so hot, it was later discovered he was pitching hurt. And in the few starts he made this year, he was solid. You can also use him in the bullpen. And I don't have to tell you that Harden kicks ass when he's healthy. So if you package these guys together, I guess I was just expecting more. Call me greedy, but Beane has been known to score quite the deal in these types of trades, and this just didn't seem like one of his blockbuster hauls.

However, after eating my sandwich and thinking about things, I began to realize that perhaps I should just be happy that we got a decent haul for our oft-injured Canadian starter. If Beane had decided to wait and trade Harden in the offseason - and he had gotten hurt in the meantime - you could argue that a lot of A's fans would be furious that Beane didn't trade him when he had the chance. And although I am confused why Gaudin got sent to Chicago along with Harden, I am thinking Hendry would've wanted some kind of "insurance player" in case Harden went down. Gaudin was twiddling his thumbs in bullpen, and things weren't looking good for him as a starter or in the 'pen - with the emergence of Brad Ziegler. So maybe that's why he was put in the deal.

Now, onto the players the A's acquired. I like the addition of Gallagher. He's got good numbers - especially for such a young player - and he has the advantage of being able to entertain fans between innings by hitting watermelons with a sledgehammer. If this doesn't get more fans in the stadium, who knows what will?

I also like the addition of Murton. While he will be missed by Cub fans (go check out the fitting tribute at Thunder Matt's Saloon), I think he'll be a good addition to the A's lineup. We seem to have trouble hitting lefties, and Thunder Matt could be the solution we're looking for. Plus, his career average is hovering around .300, which is more than most of the A's lineup can say for itself. From what I've heard, Murton could never find regular playing time in Chicago, and perhaps getting a shot to play every day will allow him to realize his Hall of Fame potential. I think an outfield of Gonzalez, R. Sweeney, and Murton could be pretty sweet. And as an added bonus, Murton also fills the "crazy red-headed outfielder" role that has been missing on the A's roster since the departure of Bobby Kielty.

Moving on to Eric Patterson. I'll admit, just hearing the name "Patterson" irritates the crap out of me. From what I can read, Eric is a better ballplayer than his brother. But then again, so am I. But seriously, he's been good in the minors and I'm willing to give him a chance. But if he turns out to be the pre-cursor to a Mark Ellis trade, I will hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.

As for Josh Donaldson, I'll get back to you on whether or not he was a good pick-up in about 3 years. I tried to read up on him earlier tonight, but then Daft Funk said "Wanna go to the Olive Garden?" and I got distracted. Wow, this post makes it seem like I eat a lot. I'm ok with that.

So in summary, although this trade stings a little, I think Beane got an ok haul...Especially considering we could've gotten nothing had Harden hurt himself again. I'll be honest, it'll be a bit of a relief not having to worry that Harden is going to fall apart every time he steps on the mound. When he pitched, I found myself in a constant of state of fear (and drinking a lot more beer than I normally do). I would freak out if there was a game delay because I was worried he was hurt...I would freak out if Harden came out after 5 innings because I was worried he was hurt...I would freak out if he was clocked under 92 miles per hour on his fastball because I was worried he was hurt...You get the picture. I think it'll be nice to have that weight lifted off Oakland's shoulders (note to Duke: You MUST stay healthy). But I will miss my second favorite Canadian. When he was on, he was fun to watch, and when Harden was on, there was always a chance of a no-hitter lingering in the air. I wish him successful - and most of all, healthy - days in Chicago, and I hope he can help bring the Cubs the World Series Championship they've been waiting for. That is, unless the A's somehow make it to the World Series this year. Then screw everything I just said - I hope Harden pulls a shoulder muscle* and Murton hits 10 home runs in one game.

"Do they have hot chicks in Chicago? Awww yeeeeeahhh!"

*I don't really want Harden to hurt himself. That would be mean. And I'm not mean...Most of the time.

Breaking News...

By ,

I am getting word from my sources (aka Daft Funk IMed me from work) that Rich Harden is now a Cub...Geez, I go to Togo's for 15 minutes and this is what happens?!

Anyway, I'm hearing names like Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson (fuck) so far.

I'll write more later. Right now, I'm confused, kind of surprised, and hungry.

Steve Finley Was Here Fail Of The Week

By Rich Funk

Each week, we here at SFWH are going to single out one turd sandwich from here on the west coast and bestow upon them the honor of being the Steve Finley Was Here "Fail Of The Week"!

This week's absolute wasteland of a human being could actually qualify as the front-runner of Fail Of The Year or even Fail Of The Decade. Clay Bennett, owner of the Seattle Supersonics, pulled a "FINISH HIM" move straight out of Mortal Kombat, ripping the hearts out of every Sonics fan by moving the team to Oklahoma. Bennett is shown below holding Seattle's basketball heart in his hands:

I think that to show him what it feels like to have something you love moved to another part of the country, we should remove Clay's vagina and keep it in Seattle.