Tag Archives: stomped mindgrapes

Turk Wendell’s got that taste you want at that price you need

turk-bear

FRESH OFF THE NEWSWIRE:

Still smarting from his epic THING FIGHT loss to the Arrested Development song “Mr. Wendal,” eccentric ex-big leaguer Turk Wendell has launched a media blitz designed to energize his devoted base of minor league baseball fans, hunters, honey aficionados, Tony Siragusa and crazy people.  (Though I suppose the Goose fits into all of the last three categories.)

The lovable-yet-somewhat-troubling scamp has secured (… like, two years ago, shh, nevermind the datedness, the joke still works, OK, thanks, Mother Brain) a gig as the spokesman for the National Honey Board‘s involvement with Minor League Baseball.  Which, I have to image, produces the most fun meetings ever — mad squeezable bears on conference tables; Bull Durham on a constant loop on the boardroom flatscreens; Bill Veeck forever scouring the newspaper for sociopolitical happenings that he can spin into cah-raaaazy promotional ideas, like a Weekend Update pitch meeting with mini-bats; etc.

But surely you’re not here for my jokery.  You’re here to watch Turk Wendell sell honey using only his mindbending charisma and senses-shattering production values.  Well, let’s get to it, ese.  Please do me the service of sounding off on which video you find creepiest in the comments or via the e-.  (Personally, I’m putting all my money on “The Ventriloquist.”)

As is his wont, Larry Hughes is causing me to have an existential crisis

HE IS THE MINDFREAK. (Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealers Early Edition blog)

HE IS THE MINDFREAK. (Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer's Early Edition blog)

When I saw the headline to the Wednesday post on New York Daily News reporter Frank Isola’s “Knicks Knation” (ugh) blog, I felt a chill run down my spine:

“Knicks targeting Bulls’ Larry Hughes.”

For real?  I mean, I’d heard possible trades discussed that would maybe allow the Knicks to shed a contract or two, maybe bring back an expiring deal, maybe add a frontcourt asset, etc.  But “targeting”?  Larry Hughes?

Are they aware that this is the dude whose reputation for taking abysmal, low-percentage shots at inopportune times inspired someone actually started a Web site called “Hey Larry Hughes, Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots“?  That he has in the past worn an ungodly body armor undershirt contraption that would elicit derision from the hairiest, Rec-Spec-iest dudes in your Wednesday morning YMCA league?

That he has engendered such distaste among Bulls fans that Matt at Blog-a-Bull admitted he “may have snuck in a pump of the fist when [he] saw Larry Hughes crumple to the ground” during a pre-season game against the Timberwolves?  That goathair’s lone birthday wish for this trade deadline (BTW, happy birfday, broheim) was that his beloved Bulls ship out Hughes?

That math genius Tom Ziller wrote at The Sporting Blog that “Hughes + Basketball = Wincing pain“?  That spiritual sage Bethlehem Shoals at the same site once advised Bulls GM John Paxson that Hughes “will destroy this team if you let him shine, like a cult leader and corrupt guidance counselor rolled up in one“?

That, through a uniquely distasteful combination of poor play and selfishness, he earned this etherization by Eamonn Brennan, noted scribe of seemingly everywhere?

Larry. Real talk. You are not as good as you think you are. You’re that awkward, crappy guy at open gym who, for whatever reason, thinks he’s really good, and alienates an entire court of eager basketball players in the meantime. You are self-deluded. You don’t command minutes. You waste possessions. You don’t defend. Your arm sleeve-sweater-thing is utterly ridiculous. You take horrible shots. SOMEONE NAMED A WEB SITE AFTER YOUR BAD SHOTS. IT WAS QUITE POPULAR DESPITE ITS INCREDIBLY LONG URL.

Christ, Larry. Figure it out. You’re the only one that hasn’t.

(I knew there was a lot of Larry Hughes-centric venom on the Internet, but I never knew it was this widespread … and we haven’t even gotten to the Basketbawful retrospective.  More on that to come.)

And yet, here we are, with Isola reporting that team president Donnie Walsh is considering flipping the expiring contract of Malik Rose and at least one player asset — including, possibly, restricted-free-agent-to-be Nate Robinson, whose stock has jumped after a string of quality performances leading into the All-Star break and whose monster 38-minute-32/10-with-3-assists-and-zero-TO line in Tuesday’s surprise victory over the Spurs led Kelly Dwyer to write the following: “That’s a line, and I’m being serious, that we were used to seeing from Dirk Nowitzki during his MVP run” — to bring in Hughes, whose $13.65 million contract comes off the books heading into the much-ballyhooed Summer of 2010.

(LONGEST SENTENCE EVER.)

But hold the phone on the giant cap-space clearance.  Let’s see if we can’t handicap the odds of this sucker actually going down.

Over at ESPN.com, Chris Sheridan last night gave us the good ol’ “go fuck yourself, trade watchers!” coin flip:

I have one very plugged-in source telling me that the Knicks still have a “slim but possible” chance of landing Larry Hughes, while another source was equally emphatic in saying he expects the Bulls to keep Hughes in mothballs now that they’ve dropped some $200,000 under the luxury tax threshold via the Brad Miller/John Salmons deal.

Today’s Chicago Tribune reports that “a nearly completed deal sending Hughes to the Knicks for Malik Rose and Jerome James fell apart Wednesday.”  At the same time, however, today’s Chicago Sun-Times says that Hughes didn’t travel with the Bulls to Milwaukee for their game against the Bucks (intrigue!) and that the framework for a Hughes deal might involve David Lee going Midwest and Kirk Hinrich heading to the Big City of Dreams.  (NOTE: Newsday’s Alan Hahn says that deal’s not happening, and that Lee’s not going anywhere.)

That first trade would make some economic sense — the Bulls get Rose’s expiring $7.65 million deal to create some space this off-season, the Knicks shed the now-largely-symbolic albatross of Big Snacks and turn about $14.25 million in total expiring contracts (spread over two years) into one lump-sum $13.65 million goner next year, the overwhelmingly obvious and explicitly stated goal of everything they do.

On the other hand, the second proposal would make most Knicks fans cry, cry, cry for several reasons:

  1. Lee’s become the great white hope for many in the Apple;
  2. While Hinrich is a more gifted overall player than Chris Duhon and his 2009 per-36 numbers are about in line with his career marks (with at least a couple of his advanced stats/peripherals nosing up toward his ’06-’07 career bests) despite missing about two months to a thumb injury, he doesn’t appear to represent a monster upgrade over what the Knicks are getting from Duhon this year;
  3. Hinrich’s contract pays him through 2011-2012, meaning that even though the Knicks would shed Hughes’ $13.65 million, they’d still have Cap’n Kirk, who doesn’t seem to be too many people’s idea of an NBA championship-caliber starting point guard, on the books for two more seasons.

Added wrinkle: In his post yesterday, Isola claimed that Lee would only go to Chicago in a Hughes deal if the Bulls sent back Joakim Noah or Tyrus Thomas, a framework for which had also been discussed as a “trade that SHOULD happen” by ESPN.com’s Chad Ford (in a post that was summarily pooh-poohed by Tommy Dee at The Knicks Blog on Tuesday).

But what makes this all the more interesting is Isola’s suggestion that some in NY’s front offices are having doubts about whether Lee is talented or savvy enough to merit locking up long-term:

Lee has enjoyed a breakout season but some in the organization wonder if he has reached his ceiling. On Tuesday, Lee was no match for Tim Duncan, who scored 13 fourth quarter points. Lee also missed a crucial free throw in the final minute and then knowingly gave his sixth foul in the final three seconds while guarding Tony Parker, who finished the night shooting 5-for-20.

Although the Knicks won the game, Lee’s decision to give a foul – the Knicks had one to give – was a questionable move at best. If the Knicks were up one, Lee would have been smart to foul. But in a tied game, there is a strong chance that the game will go into overtime. Think of it this way, how many All-Stars (and Lee thinks he belongs in that group) would knowingly foul out of a tie game? The answer is none.

Now, there’s one patently ridiculous point in Isola’s post, as has been noted in various places: Name me all the teams that Duncan doesn’t go to town on, especially down the stretch, especially when opponents are trying to guard him with 6’9″ guys.

But as for the other stuff — the questions about how much more’s left untapped in Lee’s talent reservoir — well, hmm.

/takes himself out of fan mode and tries to think like a company man

If you believe Lee’s reached his ceiling and as a result you’re not really considering him in your long-term plans … and if you’re looking for a higher-potential athlete that might be totally unleashed in Mike D’Antoni’s system (I think we can all agree that Thomas has the chance to be that) … AND if you think teams are unlikely to ever have higher opinions of Lee and Robinson than they do right now …

Then doesn’t it make perfect sense to continue the job started by the Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph deals and use these remaining valuable assets (in conjunction with Rose’s expiring contract) to try to shed the last remaining bad multiyear deals (Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry) and keep cleaning up the company’s balance sheet?  Especially if said deals could return a chip (Thomas) that has the potential to be a higher-performing asset?

Even if it goes against all intuitive fan instincts to actively try to lose the two players who most make your team worth watching and fun to follow?  Even if it means taking on a millstone (Hughes) that is sure to inspire Silky Johnston-level hating from yours truly (which, come to think of it, might also be considered an upside)?

The man in me thinks the “sell high” principle should take hold and I should have the balls to stick with the same thought process that I maintained when Walsh dumped Crawford and Randolph — this year doesn’t matter, D’Antoni will find ways to be competitive and interesting this season regardless, building the foundation for the future and scouring the books is what counts, etc.

But the fan in me wants to boo the notion of moving Lee and NateRob until my throat is sore because of the life they’ve helped bring to the squad.  It’s causing the clash of head versus heart, intellect versus instinct, adult analysis versus childlike glee.  I honestly didn’t know I cared this much.

Wow.  That’s 1,500+ words I didn’t see coming.  Thanks, Larry Hughes, for making me feel like Dane McGowan after he smokes the blue mold in The Invisibles.  Trade deadline is doing my fucking head in, man.

Taking stock of a herky-jerky, in-between-hop kind of week

It’s been a weird week here at the friendly confines of this is the city line., and I’m honestly not real sure what it all means.

I started out by trying to shake off illness with drugs and Welsh rock music, then got the surprise blessing of basketblog raconteur Tom Ziller selecting my dumb variant on a pretty common joke for inclusion in Monday’s NBA Essentials link roundup over at FanHouse.  Then the worksplosion started, which sidetracked me pretty significantly, pushing me into throwing up a placeholder post that actually generated a little bit of interest (at least among my friends).

Once safely past Tuesday, I learned that Dominant Team Pringles sucked it up against the Warriors, a team they’re theoretically better than (by the way, my Doomsday prediction of a winless February — click STOP after the link opens to read mine prophecy — remains intact), got sick wistful on the Eddy Curry tip and came late to the Deadbeat Plax party with a Wimpy GIMPoshop.  Then I decided I was going to get drunk while watching a shitload of sports on Wednesday night to get some blog fodder and scrub the detritus from my already-off week.

Except I didn’t.  I wound up watching a bunch of Eugene Mirman videos while drinking/unwinding from work, then going to a good sports bar/bad restaurant, drinking a couple more beers while watching the first half of Celtics/Hornets, during which I took the following notes:

  • Hilton Armstrong looks like he could be Ron Artest’s son;
  • Kendrick Perkins needs to read goathair‘s hook shot post, because his form is often abysmal;
  • Two fouls on Chris Paul four minutes into the game at home = shocking and not good for N.O.;
  • Much like former Providence College scrub Leland Anderson, who my friend Chris and I nicknamed “Trainwreck” for his ball-handling “skills” (and who is apparently an aspiring professional wrestler), Hilton Armstrong should never be allowed to trigger the offense from the high post, ever, under any circumstances.  This is why Chris Paul getting two fouls four minutes into the game is bad; it allows Hilton Armstrong to be in a position to make decisions, which will result in him throwing the ball out of bounds at roughly 201 miles per hour;
  • David West = David Banner? I couldn’t figure out who the Hornets’ power forward looks like, so I threw down a name with a question mark.  My memory was wrong; see here and here for proof.  But still, I’m vexed that I know David West looks like someone, yet I can’t figure out who.  I’ve Googled it, but can’t find a consensus; DimeMag.com commenter “LakeShow84″ says he “looks like Columbus Short from Stomp The Yard,” which is false. Another commenter at DimeMag.com, which is apparently the home of  people who want to figure out who David West looks like (a.k.a. my new homepage 4 life), says he “looks like the persian general who gets his head cut off by the fat guy with knifes on his arms in the movie 300,” which may be true, but I’ve never seen 300, so that can’t be who I think he is.  And some commenter on http://www.moviesnaps-tv.net (which totally doesn’t sound like a real thing, which is why I’m not trying to link there) suggests that he looks like Master P, which, again, is false.  Any help in resolving this conundrum would be greatly appreciated.
  • Lando = Doom? The U.S. v. Mexico World Cup qualifier was on, and I kept thinking that Landon Donovan looks like Julian McMahon, the guy that played Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four movies.  This may not be true, but it also may not be false.  I award me one point.
  • Marks = BSkts? This, of course, is Sean Marks = Big Skeets.  I think I win this.
  • Paul Pierce is electric early (he wound up being that good throughout, scoring 30 on 19 shots in an 89-77 Celtics win);
  • Rajon Rondo giving up his dribble while being guarded by Big Skeets at the three-point line so he can get Ray Allen a contested 21-footer = NO;
  • Big Skeets getting alley-oops will always surprise me;
  • Which is worse: Rondo’s Rondo-fake into a stepback J/airball or anything Anderson Varejao on offense?

And that’s it.  My fiancee met me out at the bar, we had a drink, I suddenly got very tired, she ordered loaded nachos to go, we went home.  I worked from home yesterday and decided not to write anything; I’m working on a few things now, but nothing’s ready, and I kind of more wanted to use this morning to try to work through why I felt so disconnected from the Internet/had so much trouble getting my head on straight to post over the past few days.

I think I felt weird inside my own skin because my immediate reaction to not getting something substantial up on Tuesday was, “Fuck, I didn’t capitalize on whatever look-in audience might have come from FanHouse.”  Which was weird, because it was the second time in less than a week that I’d had a thought like that (check out the second-to-last paragraph in last week’s “Week in Review” post).  My follow-up in the internal dialogue was, “What the fuck do you care?  You’re just doing this thing for fun, right?”  And the inevitable answer was,  “Because I want to get more readers,” and the inevitable corollary to that is “Because I want this thing to get big,” and that’s when I started to get a little sick inside.

Doing this thing has been remarkably fun and rewarding, and I don’t want to psych myself out of doing it by thinking about it like a small business that’s competing in some kind of depressed sports-joke economy.  The only thing that’ll do is shut this shitshow down on the quick and drive me nuts.  So let’s take this back a step:

Hey there.  I’m Devine.  This is a place where I write dumb shit.  Thanks for reading.  Here’s an unintentionally funny photograph of Jorge Garbajosa and Andrea Bargnani trying to look tough in front of what appears to be a junior prom backdrop. I might write some stuff this weekend; I will definitely write something on Monday.  One post a day, every week day, to distract me and you from our jobs.  Sound fair to you?

Stephon Marbury will now go nuclear on Moscow, Athens and the entire cast of “According to Jim”

steph-nuke-web

When you inevitably make fun of my photo game, please be gentle — I know I have a long way to go. (Original Starbury courtesy of Salman Jafri/wcremix.com)

ESPN.com basketball writer Chris Sheridan is reporting that Greek basketball team Olympiakos (with a K, because Tas Melas a.k.a. The Grecian Formula told me so) is pursuing former New Orleans Hornets/current Dynamo Moscow guard Jannero Pargo, last seen by North American fans jacking up shots that should have been taken by Chris Paul in the waning minutes of a Game 7 Hornets loss to the San Antonio Spurs during the 2008 Western Conference Finals.

Add in the fact that there was no contact between Olympiakos and the Knicks about Marbury’s contract situation on Thursday, and the sum works out to: We ain’t want you anymore, Steph.  (I knew those theoretical basketball math classes would help.)

It just kind of sounds weird, doesn’t it?  Yes, Marbury is an all-time team murderer, but he’s also a significantly better talent than Jannero Pargo, isn’t he?

Actually, no.  Check their per-36 numbers, courtesy of Basketball-Reference (Steph’s are here, Pargo’s are here).  Over the past three years, their points and steals per-36 have been nearly the same; Steph’s averaged about one more assist/36, but Pargo’s had about one more rebound/36; they’ve turned the ball over at roughly the same rate over the last two years; Pargo’s been a better free-throw and 3-point shooter, while Steph’s had the edge from inside the arc.  Also, Pargo’s two years younger and Steph’s batshit crazy.

Forget all the head tattoos, truck parties and the heal-the-Earth stuff.  This might be the most damning thing I’ve ever learned about Stephon Marbury: For the past three years, he hasn’t been demonstrably better than Jannero Pargo.

Wow.

At least one pervert loves this blog, and I have incontrovertible proof

So there I was last night — sitting in my apartment, minding my own business, listening to The Bar Exam 2 as I checked this site’s traffic stats.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

top-search-crop

That’s right: “Baby dick.”

As of about 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 14, 2009, “baby dick” was the top search term for this is the city line. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Still true at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2009. Dope.)

Now, there are perfectly logical explanations for why this humble site showed up in the search dragnet when Baron Von Kid Trapp set his likely knifenailed, certainly forever unclean fingers to the keys:

  • One of the first posts I wrote prominently featured Boston Celtics “point forward” Glen “Big Baby” Davis;
  • A video post ostensibly written to make fun of a fucking crazy person included the tag, “this is my baby”;
  • The site’s second post, which explains this blog’s title, included the tag, “Nice name … dick.”

See? A perfectly cromulent explanation.

Still, one thought keeps scraping at the base of my skull … that there’s something AWESOME about being a completely non-sexual Web site that turns up when an inveterate creep Googles “baby dick.”  So, in the interest of trying to ensure that this happens again:

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM (Image courtesy of 2TheAdvocate.com)

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

Baby.

The venerable Dick Stockton.

Dick.

NOM NOM NOM NOM

NOM NOM NOM NOM

Baby.

The estimable Dickie Thon.

The estimable Dickie Thon.

Dick.

Hott stuff, comin thru.

"Hott stuff, comin' thru."

Baby.

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas.

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas.

Dick.

Now, come on, horrific, horrific freakshows.  Let’s get this baby dick train rolling!

P.S.: My fiancee’s pep talk on doing more legwork to increase this site’s visibility: “You can’t just hope that people will search for ‘baby dick’ on the Internet and find your Web site!”  Um, yeah, actually, I can.

A calm, reasoned explanation for this Eddy Curry business

Which sexual path would YOU (allegedly) take if you saw this sign on a road trip?

kissed-a-girl

I’d start (allegedly) considering more masculine options, too.

Photo courtesy of Crummy Church Signs, a blog I added to my Google Reader as soon as I saw its name, via the fine folks at FFFFOUND!.

Also, fellow jump-the-gunners: Do yourselves a favor and read Shoals’ take over at The Sporting Blog, which gave me pause and stopped me from writing a lengthy post in which an embattled Curry shot a guest spot on Charles Oakley’s new online cooking show.

Many thanks, and a trial separation

It’s been a good introductory week — we’ve seen “Biscuits,” background and backstory, Big Baby at the 1, biting (which is really a no-no), a baffling broad and a lamentation on the bastardizing (already in progress) of one of the most singular athletic entities of my lifetime.  (Couldn’t keep the alliteration going forever, try as I might.)

Thanks in large part to a pair of monster assists from Toronto’s most Schweppervescent open-run point guard J.E. Skeets, more than 900 people have checked this site out since its launch.  What I don’t know about site visits/page views/unique users/etc. could fill six warehouses, but the idea that ANYONE would take a few moments to read the nonsense that rattles around inside my head is phenomenally humbling.  (ED. NOTE: As proof of how little I know, that was 900+ PAGE VIEWS, not necessarily 900+ people.  Baby steps toward learning.  The “phenomenally humbling” part still holds true.) So to those who have been kind enough to click here, I thank you.  I hope I’ve wasted your time in exactly the way you’d hoped I would.  (And, hey, if you like what you’ve seen, there’s more coming, so please consider subscribing.)

All that said, it’s probably going to be a slow day here at this is the city line.  In the interest of not totally sacrificing my full-time job as I scratch the surface of what this site can be (and explore the pure exhilaration of the conceiving/composing/breathlessly-wondering-if-anyone-will-read process), I’m forcing myself to unplug for the remainder of today.  There’ll be one in-the-can post up later on — I can feel your steaming hot anticipation through my monitor’s face – and that’s probably going to be it until Monday.

But don’t fret, friends: I’m not leaving you empty-handed.  Boston-area radio listeners might already be familiar with Khabarta from his appearances on WBCN’s fine Toucher and Rich program; those of you who enjoy unbridled excellence may know him through other avenues.  This is him:

If you have not yet been so blessed, allow me to introduce you to arguably the greatest musical genius of our generation, with the possible exception of Clay Bennett (4:48 mark for the ill realness; gracias, Goat Deini).  Listen to samples of his music; check out his YouTube channel; dust off your 2K6 social networking jones and hit his MySpace page for more music and fantastic photos.  Feel free to thank me in the comments for the mind-assaulting tunes/videos.

Enjoy what I hope is a lazy, sales-meeting-devoid, smooth-sailing-’til-happy-hour Friday, and have a great weekend.

This explains why the Jaguars fell apart this year

As it turns out, understanding the sour, season-long debacle in Jacksonville is easier than we thought it was.

It had nothing to do with the tragic Richard Collier incident, the Mexican standoff between coach Jack Del Rio and middle linebacker Mike Peterson, David Garrard’s shocking lack of silkiness, failed science experiment Matt Jones selling off all team training equipment for blow, elder statesman Fred Taylor’s commendable lack of leadership or any of the other indicators of a locker room rift wide enough to devour whole planets unlucky enough to orbit into its gravitational field.

Nope.  It was because this lady showed up at practice every day.

Her video title says “Cheetah Lady,” but her displeasure with “being a wild animal … that has to hunt for [her] prey”?  That’s pure Jerry Porter.

(Thanks, The Internet is Terrible.)