Thursday, February 16, 2006

Get Out the Jockstraps...It's Fantasy Baseball Time!

Do you smell that? No, not the crisp scent of fresh flowers. The Ben-Gay and leather! It’s spring training!

We here at Game Four are baseball fanatics. Complete stat geeks in every way. I personally spent the better part of my winter pouring over statistics and working out different trading scenarios for my intense fantasy baseball league. Fantasy Football can only tide you over for so long. The true fantasy junkie knows that football season is just a quick stopover on the long road to a fantasy baseball championship.

That being said, Conor and I want to make sure we’re not the only ones with problems. We’re looking to stage an intervention of sorts; well, not so much an intervention as a celebration. We’re seeking out other people who share our passion and make us feel better about knowing what Nook Logan’s on-base percentage was last season (.305 in 322 Ab’s) or how many HR’s Brandon Wood hit in the California League last season (43).

Do you and your friends, family, or loved ones have an in depth, hard core fantasy baseball league you've been in for years? Do you have as much interest in the minor leaguers' future fantasy value as the present day major leaguers? Does your league have a web site dedicated to it? Do you feel other leagues could take a lesson from yours? Auction, keeper, draft doesn't matter. If it's one of the top 3 of most important things in your life it'll be considered here.

Post a link to your league's web site in the comments section of this article and we'll post our findings by opening day. Think of it as a keg party sponsored by alcoholics anonymous. Hi. My name is Pat. And I’m a fantasy baseball-aholic.

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Anyone Check the Whereabouts of Scott Norwood?

Apparently, a high school softball player in California, whose leg had to be amputated following her being hit by a car, has had her prosthetic leg stolen – for the second time.

This would be a tragic story if it wasn’t for the sheer absurdity of the situation. It seems that this girl’s prosthetic leg is state of the art, costing $16,000 and, obviously, allowing her to play competitive athletics. What’s mind-blowing is the fact that this has happened not once, but twice! Two times bandits have crept into this poor girl’s room when she was not around (although I’m not sure how far she could have gone on one leg), cutting the screen and taking her fake leg, which, it’s worth noting, was donated to her after her first leg was stolen (that one was worth a measly $12,000 – we’ve come a long way since the days of Dr. Richard Kimble.

The highlight of this story though are the quotes from the girl’s parents. Just a sad resignation. My favorites:

“It’s insane. Who hates her that bad?” – Lisa Huff, the Girl’s mother.

“Now, she has nothing to walk with.” – David Huff, the Girl’s father.

Sadly, the police have no leads. My suggestion is to find the guys hocking a prosthetic leg, probably on Hollywood and Vine.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

But Wait, There's More

A couple posts ago I made light of the Bobby Knight reality show on ESPN. I also listed a couple of of alternate ideas for sports-icon centered reality shows that might get some attention on the small screen. To be completely honest, I was joking (shocker). Apparently others thought of something similar but all they heard were light bulbs going off above their heads, not laughter.

Ben Maller reported this recently that it seems that TO is about to get his own reality show. He joins Bobby Knight and Barry Bonds in the sports affiliated reality shows coming out in 2006/2007.

I know I'm excited. How about you?

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Readers?

We here at Game Four have had a few stories linked from other sites recently including but not limited to and With that we've seen our hit meter go up a tad and we're pretty excited about that. We were wondering something though? How many of the new readers are starting to become regular readers? What do you think? and all that jazz. We'd love to hear some feedback if you've got the time to humor us. Feel free to comment on any story/article, including this one and tell us how it is, or how it should be, or how to make a mean sausage lasagna...that would be great. Thanks in advance.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Skinny Girl Beats Up Skinny High School Boys, Takes Lunch Money

Colony High School Sophomore Michaela Hutchinson became the first girl to win a state wrestling title, capturing the Alaska title in her weight class by defeating a no-doubt embarrassed and unfortunately monikered lad by the name of Aaron Boss (not to be confused with this man).

This is like my worst nightmare from high school, getting the crap kicked out of me by a 103 pound girl. What’s worse, this is the second time in two weeks that Boss has had his ass kicked by Hutchinson. He’s in good company though, as Hutchinson is 45-4 in her career.

My question is, what is this girl’s life like around school? She’s not the beast I expected her to be (quite the opposite; she looks like my little brother when he was 9), though she’s not exactly homecoming queen either. As I mentioned before, she’s only 103 pounds, so, in all fairness, these guys she’s beating up aren’t exactly star athletes. More likely they’re ‘Made’ rejects who are looking to stop getting pushed around by guys on the football team, and think that joining the wrestling team would be the quickest way to toughen up. The guys wrestling in a division where a 103 pound girl would even have the chance to beat them up aren’t exactly A.C. Slater.

So what do people think of her? Do the jocks accept her? Are the nerds scared to death of her? Does she have a boyfriend? Can she beat him up too? These are the questions that need to be answered for me.

In the meantime, the guys she defeated can take solace in the fact that, although they were beat by a girl, at least the faintest possibility of wrestling a girl makes rolling around on the mat with another guy slightly less gay. Slightly.

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This Just In...

The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl. Only 6th seed to make it to the Super Bowl, nevermind win it.

Tiger Woods is 2-0. Both wins were in playoffs.

The Kentucky Derby is going by a new name. mmmmmmmm

Girls are stronger than boys in Alaska.

Roger Clemens is debating retirements or playing for 4 different teams.

I know this is ALL late breaking stuff and I'm glad to be the first one to let you know. Keep checking back for more exclusive information like this.

Until Next Time...

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

And I Quote...

"We've had several additional discussions this week with the Orioles, and we have withdrawn our trade demand. We have decided that Javy [Lopez] will go to spring training with the Orioles." - Chuck Berry, Javy Lopez's agent.

That's weird, I thought they decided to report to spring training with the Orioles when he signed his contract a few years back.

"Our head coach said it before. We think he's an outstanding player, but he just doesn't fit us." - Vinny Cerrato, Redskins VP of Football Opeations

Though, that quote could have come from anyone from any NFL team, any time. Ever.

"I'm not saying either call was right or wrong, but we have to be right on those calls. We don't have time to recover. BC would have gone to the line with a chance to go down by one." - ACC coordinator of officials John Clougherty in regards to the non-foul call toward the end of the BC-Duke mens basketball game last week.

You do have to be right on those calls, but John, you weren't. Not sure how anyone missed it, it was pretty blatant.

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If You Give Me A Yacht Then I'll Give You a Super Bowl

Yeah, yachts are nice. Putters from Arnold Palmer aren't bad either. Hunting trips, well, I'm sure some people would be excited about this. As John Branch of the New York Times has reported, these are all things that factor into where future Super Bowls will be held. It doesn't matter if the temperature is 30 degrees (Detroit). It doesn't matter if a city has no public transportation (Jacksonville). It doesn't matter if the stadium is brand new all the time (Miami). If the owners, who are the ones who ultimately choose each host city, are kept happy they'll be persuaded to choose the city that gives them the best stuff.

Granted, sometimes it doesn't matter how many nice things you offer the owners, certain cities won't be considered. The New England Patriots, who have a beautiful new stadium in Foxboro, MA didn't build a retractable roof and they play in a place where the high temperature in late January/early February is around 10 degrees. So what? Some of the best games people will remember forever were played in the rain, snow, or other "unfavorable" conditions. The Tuck Rule game. The Ice Bowl. The Fog Bowl. The Snow Plow Kick. I'm sure all recent Patriots fans remember the game against Miami where the stands were filled with snow and fans were throwing snow in the air like fireworks. It was a beautiful sight. Places like Chicago, Denver, New England (The fact that Foxboro is over 20 minutes away from the outskirts of the closest major city, Boston, won't be considered here) should not be overlooked just because of their "bad" weather. It should be embraced. Teams and cities like those who host storied franchises (and yes the Patriots and Denver have become or are becoming storied franchises) should be highly considered for hosting future Super Bowls. Perhaps Robert Kraft will throw in some ski passes to sweeten the pot, just as a start.

Can't the NFL just do it the same way MLB does their picks for the All Star Game? Just pick the cities that have a new stadium (and yes, the NFL already takes this into account), the cities that haven't hosted the Super Bowl in a long time, and that perhaps have "earned it" through good play in the past few years. Baseball games get rained out all the time, but that doesn't stop MLB from putting the All Star Game in open stadiums each year. The NFL is the only outdoor sport that WILL play in bad conditions. They pride themselves on the fact that they'll work through conditions that only the post office has claimed to work through. Why not embrace that with the biggest game of the year. I mean, you get all the nice weather you want the following week anyway in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl.

Until Next Time...

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World Baseball Classic Office Pool

Ok, I'm a fan of this whole World Baseball Classic and I hope it goes over well. I've decided I'm going to help. What's the best way to make a sporting event more interesting? Cheerleaders? Perhaps. Beer? Some would agree. But the one thing that always brings people together for a questionably interesting sporting event or tournament? Gambling. It's the reason the NFL has flourished over the years. It's the reason the NCAA Basketball tournaments go over so well. And it's the reason why the WBC will flourish for years to come.

I've put together a Bracket Pool for the WBC, as shown here. It's the easiest and best way to get more people interested in the WBC and will add new excitement to the tournament. The way it works is very similar to the NCAA Basketball bracket pool. You pick all the winners of all the possible games throughout the tourney and get different points for each game depending on which round the game is in (1, 4, 8, 16. Total of 104 possible points). The tie breaker would be whomever got the most number of first round games correct. After that it's a fight to the death, which should make for interesting news articles after the WBC has completed and the office pools have finished.

Spread this on. Start it up in your office. Make sure the true value of of the WBC lives on through gambling! Not that beer and cheerleaders would hurt either.

Until Next Time...

[Editor's note: Thanks to Brad Nichols for helping with this idea.]

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

6 Reasons South Africa Will Win the WBC...No, Really!

Only one more month until the exhibition games start for the World Baseball Classic. Peurto Rico vs Mets; Canada vs Blue Jays; and most importantly South Africa vs Athletics! That's right South Africa is the team to watch in the first truly world championship of baseball. Remember in 2000 when they beat the Netherlands in the Olympics 3-2? They're a force to reckon with and here's some reasons why:

1.) Underdog; Dark Horse. No one will suspect it coming. ESPN lists a few things South Africa is known for on their team page. The first thing they wrote? "Anything but baseball." They're doing a good job at making people question the country's ability in the sport of baseball, which will make their victories that much sweeter.

2.) The Unknown; Element of Surprise. "When we qualified to play in the Olympics, the whole world was like, 'They actually play baseball in South Africa?' " South Africa's Ian Holness said about the world's surprise of team's success. Does anyone really know much about their players? Has anyone outside their neighbors ever played on the same field as 90% of their players? No. Only three South Africans on their 60-man roster have MLB contracts. Their secrets are safe within their own team. No one knows their strengths, which could be many more than people think and no one knows their weaknesses. That is, if they even have any.

3.) History. They've been playing baseball in South Africa since the late 1800's. That's over 100 years of preparation time for this year's World Baseball Classic.

4.) Endurance; Longevity. They play all year round in South Africa. Leagues play up until September and then others start up in October. It's intense.

5.) Numbers. Over 370 thousand play organized baseball in the south african country. That's more than the entire city of Cincinnati, Ohio. 1 out of every 125 people play in South Africa. They get to pick the 60 best from that crop? Comparitively, Japan and China combined only have a little over 300 thousand people who play organized baseball. That's only 1 out of 5000 people in China or Japan actually know how to pick up a baseball bat and perhaps throw a ball to first base. Hell, 1 out of 5000 know where first base is.

6.) Inside Info. Four names - Barry Armitage, Donvan Hendricks, Bruce McCleland, Paul Rutgers. Ring a bell? I didn't think so, which is exactly how the South African team wants it. These four gentlemen, believe it or not, have had or currently have contracts with MLB clubs in the United States. In other words, they've had time to watch and study the mechanics of the major league stars of other nations in their careers. Now they get to use that against them in the Classic. See, there may not be much, if any, film available on the South African squad, but most of the other teams involved in the tournament are made up of many MLB stars, whose mechanics and weaknesses are readily available to those who play for MLB squad. There's no question that these four players have had plenty of access to these films and have studied them tremendously in preparation for a future match up, a match up just like the ones that will occur this March. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

Oh, and Barry Armitage had a 1.79 ERA and 77 K's in 85 IP in 2004. Not too bad for a 25 year old in single A for the Kansas City Royals. Hitters beware!

So, when the Classic comes around and your team has to play South Africa (I'm looking at you Canada, Mexico, and the big, bad United States) watch out. If they're taken lightly the mercy rule will be put into play, and South Africa will be the only team happy with the results. And maybe Cuba. But that's just because they hate us.

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Ice Ice Babies

Ok, I'll be honest, I'm not a huge hockey fan. Something about the 20 minute intervals between periods, the recent lock out, and the lack of cheerleaders. Wait, what's that? Hockey has cheerleaders now? Well, I know at least the Tampa Bay Lightning do. Now, I'm not saying this is going to push me to start following the NHL; far from it, but it's definetly a push in the right direction.

As pointless as cheerleaders are, they are still a smart thing for the hockey teams to have. I went to the recent Tampa Bay vs Toronto game in Tampa (the tickets were free and they were 12 rows from the glass. Not that that is a valid excuse, but that's as close as it gets to a decent one) where Tampa won in a shootout (the shootouts were a genius idea by the way. At least one good thing came out of the lockout). They had their "Ice Girls", who are actually sponsored by a local jewelry store, outside before the game posing for pictures, taking surveys, and passing out general hockey-related information. They were basically just a really attractive promotional staff. I mean, a professional sports team has to hire a promo team anyway, why not make them really, really, incredibly good looking? This was probably the best way to get around the whole "equal opportunity" hiring laws.

Inside the Lighting marketing board room: "Okay. We know that people hate when ugly people ask them questions and try to give them stuff. How can we give people boring hockey information and pointless crap related to hockey and not have people hate it?"

" Wait! I've got it! Hire hot young college girls to pose as cheerleaders and pay them as little as possible?"

" Great idea!"

"Wait, let's also double them as rink cleaners between periods!"

"Two birds with one stone! I like it!"

Next time I go I expect to see a human pyramid in the middle of the rink between the 1st and 2nd periods. time?

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Kendra Davis...girl, you crazy!

Just when you thought it was safe to jeer Knicks forward Antonio Davis, his wife is back selling crazy. This time she’s being charged for misdemeanor battery for throwing hot coffee in a woman’s face in a traffic altercation in October. According to reports, a woman saw Davis run a stop sign and apparently tried to make some sort of citizen’s arrest. Or something. Anyway, Kendra Davis being Kendra Davis, she threw hot coffee at the woman from her window. She later told police it was because the woman used a racial slur.

Now, call me Kendra, but I think I’m going to go out on a limb and say that something is not right with Kendra Davis. That woman is certifiable. I don’t care if that woman said Kendra was so ugly she made Denny Neagle’s favorite hooker Jill Russell look like Jessica Alba, what kind of a psycho throws hot coffee at another person? Does she have any regard for other human beings at all? And this was before the ugly incident at the United Center. I have a feeling there are all kinds of other stories of average citizens being terrorized by Kendra Davis that we just haven’t heard yet (probably because they’re too frightened to come forward).

At least we know why Antonio went into the stands a few weeks ago. He was worried for the poor guy Kendra was attacking. We all refer to that as ‘the Antonio Davis incident.’ Kendra called it ‘Thursday.’

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reality Bites?

As you may already know, ESPN is about to air their new reality show "Knight School" where walk-on players compete for the final spot on Texas Tech's roster.

Now, couldn't anyone just look up Texas Tech's roster now and look for that player and find out who wins? Doesn't that take away from the show a little bit?

Another question: Why hasn't ESPN thought of something like this sooner? With the reality TV show boom reaching its peak 2 or 3 years ago it took them this long to jump on board? I know they had a couple other tries (The Season, Beg, Borrow, and Deal) but this is the first one that actually looks fun to watch, in a reality show "fun" type of way. The way you watch a reality show and think to yourself "they actually get away with putting this on TV and selling sponsorship. wow, it's like ESPN doesn't even need me to watch this time slot"

What's next for ESPN Reality? Barry Bonds, who else? Can this really be exciting and fun to watch? I know I personally am not looking forward to seeing updates of the show on Around the Horn, PTI, and Sportscenter all the time, which is bound to happen. What's next? "Manny Being Manny: The Show"? "TO: Something To Prove"? "Heckle City: How to Avoid a Brawl"? "The Kentucky Derby: A Day in the Life of Short People"? Who knows. (If ESPN takes these I'm totally suing)

Until Next Time...

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Maybe the Boost Worked

According to the Kansas City Star the Chiefs may be interested in soon-to-be former Eagles wide receiver for the 2006-07 season. They join the short list of publicly announced interested teams in Owens.

Judging by his Boost Mobile commercials and short forced interviews I'd say that Owens, as a person, hasn't changed all that much. Herm Edwards is known as "team oriented" coach and the Chiefs would hope Edwards would be able to knock some sense into TO.

Still, when he wants to be, Owens is the most explosive wide out in the game. He's just been a huge jerk at every stop along the way. However, even if Owens does find a home and puts up the type of numbers we've become accustomed to from him for the rest of his career, when it comes down to a hall-of-fame vote, don't pencil him just yet. Hall of Fame voters in every sport remember this sort of stuff. Jim Rice. Joey, uh, I mean, Albert Belle (even though I don't think he necessarily deserves to be in the hall with his numbers alone), even Michael Irvin to some extent. These are just a few examples of guys who let a somewhat checkered off-the field persona compromise their accomplishments on game day. Attitude has a little something to do with getting the extra push certain players need to get into the hall. If TO never wears a ring, continuing to go from team to team, getting suspended for throwing teammates under the bus, questioning his quarterbacks' sexual orientations and ability to perform when the game is on the line, and other things of that nature he'll have a difficult time getting into the Hall in the future.

Good luck Herm.

Until Next Time...

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