Thursday, March 16, 2006

Junior Felix is not Felix Jose

This is the long weekend of every year in which we block out -- but only for a moment -- all of that advice heaped on us by Digger, Dickie V. and Joe Lunardi -- and we instead heed the words of that little dynamo, Kit DeLuca, who had the perfect response when, after looking at the bracket was asked, "Who does it really work out for? Did it work out for Skinny Marie or Rachel?"
Kit: "Those were very specific examples of crackheads."

When we press Kit again to name someone we know who it worked out for, Kit says,
"You want a name? Okay, ummm, a name ... oh, the pressure ...

Sure, I know that when it comes to marrying fairy-tale characters (i.e. Cinderella) to sports moments, most of us will lean toward Carl Spackler, the groundskeeper at Bushwood, characterizing himself as "the Cinderella story ..." as he fantasizes about conquering Augusta.

But that would be short-changing Kit DeLuca.
In her spirit, it's somewhat sad to see that there will be no glass-fucking-slipper for Sorrycuse's Gerry McNamagic -- all because he couldn't find an Icy-Fucking-Hot wrap to soothe his faulty groin.
Wait ...did I just type "sad"?
We need to turn that frown upside down, America, because next year when G-Mac is balling it up in in Denmark and averaging 8.3 ppg for his Copenhagen pro team, we'll smile when we recall how, for one weekend in March '06, G-Mac won our hearts by out-mediocre-ing Big East opponents which Kit woulda called "medi-fucking-ocre."
Hey ... her words, not mine.
I woulda gone with "craptacular" or "shittastic," not sure which.

So, as it stands now, still eligible for the glass-fucking-slipper is Alabama's Jean Felix Boussiengue, the dude from Birmingham (by way of the Congo and France) who doesn't use his last name and, who after spending the '05-'06 season averaging 9 PPG went ballistic and drained 8 of 11 treys vs. Marquette.
We, as Americans who relish Cinder-fucking-rellas, brushed away a tear of joy when we watched a ballplayer who was, to quote America's favourite autistic team-manager-turned-3-point-drainer, "hotter than a pistol."

NOTE: My recent Nostra-fucking-damus hotter-than-a-pistol streak of predictions this past week includes:
A) Noting that when Indiana was losing, 19-15, to Wisconsin at halftime of that Big Ten tourney semifinal that the Hooters would rally to beat the Badgered, 57-53 -- and the final score was 61-57 ...
B) Predicting that Ohio State's Jekel Foster would miss nine of 11 three-pointers in the Big Ten title game (he went 2 of 10) ...
C) Elaborately blueprinting the Korea-Japan WBC game, providing a prognosis wherein the game would be tied 0-0 going to the ninth inning and that Nishioka would score Japan's only run on an HBP, SB, SB, PB (the game was 0-0 in the 8th inning ... and Nishioka DID score Japan's only run, albeit on a homer in the 9th) ...

Therefore, the early heads-up to Jean Felix is this: I apologize in advance that you had to go only 3 of 11 "from distance" in your second-round game.
Actually, I see Jean Felix as more of a 2 of 9 brickster.
To be honest, though, I won't be watching Jean Felix because Jean Felix, as a concept, does nothing to clear up the problem I had 15 years ago when I couldn't remember if Junior Felix was Felix Jose or if Felix Jose was Junior Felix.
What I do know is that both are from the D.R., hence, both will be rooting for Team Dominicana on Saturday in the Final Four of the WBC.

Oddly enough, the U.S. won't be participating in the WBC semis after those EIGHT pitchers from Mexico shackled the star-spangled lineup.
Right about the time that the U.S. looked like it might break through in the 9th (after Chipper and A-Rod walked), Vernon Wells saw one pitch, got his bat sawed off and hit into the game-ending DP.
It was some quality drama because pro-U.S. and pro-Mexico fans were gettin' plenty loud.
But, here's the deal: U.S. baseball is U.S. SOFTball. An "all-star" outfield which included Francoeur, Winn and Wells, well ... those are nice players and OK individuals, but, so what.
I'd take an obscure (but memorable) player like Dmitri Young over those guys. And, where's Podsednik? And, better yet, where's Hall of Famer Todd Helton?
Question: Has there EVER been a more invisible Hall of Famer than Todd Helton? In his first full eight seasons, his "big three" stat category averages are 33 HR, 113 RBI, .338 avg.
Does Todd refuse to play sea-level baseball?

Anyway, U.S. baseball is so soffffftttt. I mean, when Chipper and A-Rod walked with one out in the 9th (after Griffey K'ed), wouldn't it have been kinda cool to see a double steal?
WAIT! American baseball players are forbidden from sprinting 90 feet because the name of the game is "Hit the ball 380 feet, drop the bat, pose, jog to first (and continue jogging around the bases if it's a homer or jog back to the dugout if it's a flyout)."
Greg Maddux was right all along, "Chicks dig the long ball."
And, Chipper's gotta save his body for October when he's jogging back to the dugout.

So, without the U.S. Ballpark Joggers Alliance, at least we'll get to see that DR-Cuba rematch on Sat. -- in the rematch from Monday when Big Papi hit that monster 500-foot homer and had THE all-time, most-prolific bat-flip of all-time.
Big Papi looked like he was competing in the hammer throw, so emphatic was his bat-toss.
Almost as dramatic was the way that the Cuban catcher Pestano ripped off his mask and angrily barked at his pitcher for being a numbskull while throwing that pitch to Big Papi.
There's major shit goin' on (although, while I've seen both of Big Papi's most-mammoth blasts live, he is only 3 for 16 in the WBC).

Saturday could be fun, although I would've preferred a Pool 1/Pool 2 crossover ... y'know, Dominicana vs. Japan and Korea vs. Cuba.
Korea vs. Japan, Chapter III ... I dunno.
Even though Sadaharu Oh said, "The third time, the truth will be told," that might just be some rhetoric to keep his ballclub's spirits up.
Chan Ho Park ... he's in Japan's head ...

The bad blood on the Pacific Rim isn't as apparent as the bad blood in the Caribbean only because the Asians are less demonstrative about showcasing anti-opponent feelings.
I, like a lot of Americans, thought that the fix might've been in when Korea and Japan apparently agreed to disagree about brokering a Weds. nite set-up which would have GUARANTEED that the U.S.-Mexico game on Thurs. nite would be rendered meaningless.
On Weds. nite, a Japan win over Korea by a score of 1-0, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, 4-1, 4-2, 5-3, 4-3, 5-4, 5-0, 5-2, 6-5, 5-1, et cetera, et cetera ... would have eliminated the U.S. from the WBC semis.

On top of that, Japan could have used the game with the "staged" outcome to taunt the U.S. while the game was in progress. In fact, I must've bracketologized at least 50 scenarios of how Japan could have denounced U.S. imperialism via the voice of baseball -- y'know, like having the three Japanese outfielders playing their positions while driving American-made cars.
In an ironic piece of baseball-relatable performance art, a Japanese outfielder driving a Ford pick-up ("built Ford tough!") would collide with a Japanese outfielder driving a Chevy Suburban and, as the vehicles exploded into flames on the warning track in right-center field, a Korean player driving a Suzuki Samurai would circle the bases.
(Of course, tipping over and bursting into flames while rounding third)
Big Stein wouldn't have liked that so much.
But, I would've.
It could've served as the adequate wakeup call.

Instead ... all we get is b-ballers shooting from downtown and baseballers lookin' to go downtown.
To me, the only time that Texas A&M and Sorrycuse should matter is when those football programs are squaring off in an Astro-Blubonnet Bowl which should be a barn-burner.
Let's face it: If a roundball paradigm features Sorrycuse playin' Texas A&M in January, it's simply an unwatchable non-conference game and, s you'd expect ... nobody would bother to watch.
But, once we affix bracketology importance to it, we need a CBS "live look-in" to make sure we didn't miss the next ridiculous McNamara bounce pass off the foot of an Aggie player we've never heard of.

The creation of staged "drama" doesn't make something more "dramatic" (unless Digger or Dickie V tells us it does).
Suiting up your autistic team manager and then discovering that he is, in fact, the best shooter on your team (when he drills six treys in four minutes) doesn't mean you're a brilliant coach if you then bench the kid for the entire postseason.

Most of the time, you don't have to look very far to see the showboating upstaging the showmanship.
When reality hits, Cinder-fucking-rella is back to doin' what she does best.
Sweepin' up cinders ...

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