So we got drunk at a Mets game last week. They lost. We recorded banter.
Honestly, we talk about enough bullshit with no real direction that I should probably give you some sort of road map but absolutely have no desire to be of such assistance. You'll love it all the same.
Appearances from, as usual, the Barrister
and the Apologist
, and guest spots from our friend who is a Red Sox fan and my buddy JB who split sometime in the 7th inning. Musical interludes from Jefferson Airplane, The Beastie Boys, Ozomatli, Walk the Moon and Radiohead.
Oh, and we talk about my homie Rabbi Darkside
(from Buffalo, by way of Brooklyn) who just came out with an album. Order that shit on iTunes now!
For the podcast, bitches, download here
(choices!), hit the iTunes button below, or the stream from the player. Booyah.
Wow. Weekdays suck. I started my week with a crapload of work all jammed together like the Buffalo News Sports staff trying to ride an elevator together, then followed it with a bunch of exhaustion, and now the week is almost done and I figured I'd scrap together a few thoughts to impart to you before the weekend. Why? Because fuck you that's why.
Join me. And imagine me saying that in as non-creepy was as possible.
The BarristerFuck. Yes.
We'll probably have some sort of hastily slopped together piece on the nonsense that is the Bills on TNF tonight at some point later this afternoon. But, frankly, I'd be a shitty Mets fan and human being if I didn't take a moment to breathe this great news in here at the Deeg. RA Dickey. Cy Young.I am pretty used to sports disappointing
me. This is a Buffalo problem, of course, but is also a sports problem more generally. These games we love rarely provide the kind of joy we're looking for - the kind that comes with championships and being able to walk into work with the "my team is the fucking best" rushing to roll off your tongue. Sports are built on the majority of teams and players and, by extension fans, falling short with "there's always next year" as the sole remaining brightside. This is, as an aside, why the NHL lockout hurts us as much as it does; the loss of a "next year" looms large for teams and fans who haven't had much by way of success and who realistically need every chance they can get to win it all. Even though our stake in a CBA is infintesimal, we can't help but feel cheated out of a season of opportunity (however slight) to set everything right with a championship.I'm not sure I really have an opinion as to how much days like this can make up for a season like, say, the Mets had this year. Lord knows that I don't feel a whole lot better about the four consecutive Super Bowl losses the Bills handed us just because Jimbo and Thurman and Marv and Ralph
and Bruce are in the Hall of Fame. In fact, it almost makes me angrier - especially with Ralph being there, since he's a vicious turdburger - since I'm forced to come to terms with what should
have been with a team lucky enough to have some of the best players there ever were. Certainly, there's little joy in walking into work saying "Jim Kelly is a Hall-of-Famer" when the instant rebuttal to that will make me break out into a cold sweat and hives. After all, the Mets were bad this year. Sure, they were good at one point - very good, in fact. But, they were terrible in the end, in the only way that really matters.
Their season was only positive when compared to the prevailing wisdom about what kind of season they should have had when writers were making their predictions in March. In the midst of their craphole of a season, of course, was Robert Allen Dickey and his twenty wins. He averaged nearly a strikeout per inning pitched, he won nearly two thirds of the games he started (only six of them being his losses), and - with a team of, basically, losers - he managed to keep his ERA to a low 2.73. He was the
reason to watch the Mets down the stretch, when playoff hopes were in the toilet and Johan was long-since placed on the IR. In the season where the Mets had their first no-hitter EVER, Santana's win on June 1st became a distant afterthought to the kind of season that Dickey put together. Now, he has a Cy Young.
Dickey wrote, in the piece I linked to above, about how this isn't just an award for him, but that it's for his family and his team and his fans - all of whom supported him during the recent years of his improbable journey from apparent bust to All-Star and Cy Young winner. This is the typical thing to say when you win an award like this, and more often than not it does little to lift my spirits following a season like the one we just had. Yet, with this guy - this success story arising out of failure, this player who inexplicably inspires me in a universe of sport I so often find disheartening... with this guy, and this award, I'm loving today. So, Bills - do your worst, as I'm sure you'll do. Dickey's going to have me smiling for a while yet.
First of all, if you haven't checked out Scizz's Bills/Pats preview - DO IT.
Ok, moving on...
Last night, the DGWU Sports Crew gathered at The Barrister's apartment to record another gem for your ear holes. After a slow week of written content at the site, it was nice to sit down and discuss all the many goings on in the sports world. Don't lie - we know you're excited.
Our first segment was almost exclusively devoted to debriefing the Bills game in Cleveland last weekend, as well as our thoughts about Buffalo's two delightful, injured running backs. Segment two gave us an opportunity to look ahead to the game this weekend against the Patriots as we were joined by the Deeg's Buffalo correspondent, The Outlander. That's right - steaming hot takes spit all the way from the 716. Outlander stayed for the third and final segment while we talked Dickey's 20th win, the Orioles' playoff hopes and the tire fire that is the the Boston Red Sox. We close out with a brief discussion of our plans to #OccupyBridgeport for an AHL game this fall. More on that to come in the next few weeks...
As always, the CrapTastiCast is brought in by the musical vomit of the Jambrones. Additional interludes include Kansas, Seal (I KNOW! AND YOU'RE WELCOME!), and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.
Stream below, subscribe on iTunes, download here
, or check our podcast page at Libsyn
If you’re a sports fan, weekends can be a magical/utterly depressing time as you get to enjoy/loathe your teams without the burdens of work (presumably), only to have Monday come around with your outlook on the week unreasonably shaped by how things played out. When the Bills beat the Pats last September, work was great, if very hungover, on Monday morning. Anything seemed possible. On the other hand, when the Sabres drop a back-to-back against the Leafs over a weekend (I’m sure it’s happened at some point, probably several times), Monday feels like garbage. Everything is lost.
Living in New York City helps with this a bit, since I can blend in with the plebeian masses and keep my more hideous sports allegiances hidden for a few days if need be. But, pathetic, emotionally-wrecked mess of a human that I am, I tend to wallow a little.
This weekend was a mixed bag, with the Mets winning a pair, the Bills looking like a hot turd sandwich with a side of miscommunicated routes, and both Liverpool and the Red Bulls leaving two points on the pitch with depressing draws. All of which is to say that I’ve certainly felt worse on a Monday, but, as you'll see after the jump, I still don’t feel at all close to good.
Are you fucking serious?
Lost in the haze of last night's epic USMNT win at the Azteca was the circus, clown shoes shenanigans of Dusty Baker, as the Reds manager chose gamesmanship over common sense, and gave Mets fans another reason to hate his stupid, fat face.
Up 1-0 in the second inning against my lowly Mets, Baker successfully prodded the umpire to instruct RA Dickey to remove two bracelets from his wrist. Two bracelets that had been given to him by his daughters before he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last winter, and which he has worn in every one of his magical starts this season - not to mention his All Star Game innings earlier this summer. Dickey complied - how couldn't he - later conceding that, well, rules are rules. Dickey would go on to give up three homers and the Mets lost 6-1.
Advantage DB, I guess.
One of the many things I missed while I was out.
Cue the milquetoast opener:
Well gosh darnit, fans of the Deeg, I know you've been eagerly awaiting content from the Kings of Fresh Takes and like the degenerates we are, we've opted to tend to our real world lives instead of bloviating about the latest in bread and circus sports entertainment. Why the lull? Well, personally, my answer to that question has three parts: (1) it's July and I've been getting viciously hamzoed more often than I should admit (hooray anonymous internet monikers!!); (2) I've been traveling a lot over the past 10 days, aforementionedly (not a word?) drunk for 70% of it (not true... not not true either), and I've simply been too drunk and/or hungover and/or distracted to sit down for a little chat; and (3) the only bright spots in my sports world are a surging team in a still ignored league (for now) and an utterly unproven team in the best league in America (for now). Forgive me if I don't jump for joy at the prospect of dwelling on shit that makes me contemplate a swift union between my fist and Fred Wilpon's balls.
But more on those Mets in a few. I can't lead of this trainwreck with that much heartache.
Can't you tell this is going to be FUN??? I'm bored and drunk on a train and you all get the fruits of my labor!
Wait... we need music.
A day removed from taking LeBron to task for being a gigantic shit burger (despite also being an incredible player), it seems fitting that I'd get to stay up for a late, west coast Mets game and watch the antithesis of that on the mound. In a league with no cap, there's this guy who makes $3.9 million a year - less than Derek "Tossed Salad Roy" and Ville "The Finnish Rusty Trombone" Leino - and who is, inexplicably, right now, the best at what he does. He's so dominant that hitters laugh when they swing at his stuff. Laughing, somehow, an appropriate response because the only other logical reaction would be a temper tantrum. And no one really wants that.
I kind of fell out of love with baseball during the steroids era, as many did, and when I got brought back in to watch my family rejoice at the 2004 Red Sox win, only to find some of its heroes - Curt Schilling, for example - to be humongous dicks, I grew wary again. Sure, the Mets have been an exception, but even that has been a marriage of convenience in a sense, offset by their awful play, sometimes tough to take fan base and felonious ownership.
I was tempted to title this post "The Hero Baseball Needed?" but thought against it because it probably would have shown my ignorance to many great stars across the league - ones who perform at a high level while also being eminently likeable. Dickey, though, is certainly the hero I needed in baseball. I said it earlier this season, and it's only becoming more true - this Mets team has got me going all in.
And Robert Allen Dickey is reason #1.
He's 12-1, his ERA is 2.15, he averages just under 9 strikeouts a game, and four years ago, few of us had ever heard of him.
Unlike some stars who get pulled into the hype machine of the Network, almost forcing us to despise the guy at the center of it all out of principle, there's nothing to not like about what we're getting out of R.A. He's, comparably, vastly underpaid, he's well-liked by anyone and everyone, and he licensed his image to be on one of the best tshirts ever made.
So, if you're on the fence about baseball and need a reason to watch and have, apparently, been living under a rock during his recent dominance, start watching the Mets every five games and see the best hitters in the game get straight up befuddled at what this 37 year old knuckler does.
This is going to be a fun night.
I can't claim to have anything major to say these days. I'm not inclined to get too worked up about the endless conversations about what blogging means and what it means in the Buffalo sports universe in particular. Shit, most of what I've written here in the past few months is far from relevant to the Buffalo sports scene, what with my general disdain for speculating about drafts and free agents and teams that are a few months away from playing games that count. By the time the Sabres season comes around, I'll have a baby boy to dote on and, I imagine, far less time to dwell on these bizarre loves of mine. So, needless to say, I'm having my fun now.
And that fun, right now, is New York Mets baseball.
Last night, the DGWU Sports crew hit Citi Field for game two in this series against the Orioles. Game one, if you happened to be under a rock yesterday, was RA Dickey's second straight one-hitter. The former Buffalo Bison is pitching as good as anybody in the league right now, and better than the team's "ace," Johan Santana. As for Johan, he followed suit with a gem of his own last night, leading the Mets to their second straight shutout against Baltimore. Santana was in complete control through his six innings last night, and it was good to see following two less-than-inspiring outings which, in turn, followed his epic no hitter on June 1st
The Deeg had an absurdly fun time last night as we were thoroughly over-served and unsurprisingly giddy to have a chance to hang out again. Yachtsman stepped on a homeless guy on the subway, Scizz threatened the same guy with a round of old-timey boxing, and Apologist got over the loss of his Orioles by watching Lebron "Pool Boy" James pull off some heroics of his own. And me? I pretended to not know any of those clowns while barely containing my laughter.
We're really good at this.
Needless to say, live-blogging tonight seems to be an appropriate follow-up to those shenanigans since I'm probably still drunk and since these live blogs usually end up being an excuse for me to find infantile pictures on the internet and giggle like a moron.
Again, we're good at this.
Click through "read more" for the fantastic voyage.
I believe that bear was part of Jeter's gift basket.
If I'm being honest, my feelings on the Subway Series typically fall on the "hate it" side of the fence. A twice annual reminder of why my team isn't as good as their team is usually not my idea of fun, and even those seasons where the Mets have come out victorious against their cross-town rivals, it's usually set against the overaching reality that the Yankees have a shot at playoffs and beyond, and the Mets just don't. Like in 2008, when the Mets won the season series 4-2, including a sweep at Yankee Stadium...and the Mets were eliminated from wild card contention on the last day of the season by the Marlins. Again. Or 2004, when they swept at Shea and won the series, only to go 71-91 that year.
Living in New York, the Mets are the team you root for if you don't really mind a dark cloud over your head. They're who you root for if sports don't have to be easy for you, if you want to feel a sense of fulfillment by earning success through years of despair. That is, if you think your being a fan has anything to do with anything, which - as it happens - I narcissistically do. Being a Met fan means that, even when you win, you gotta be ready to hear it from the Yankee fans in the room when they remind you of their many titles and how Jeter is God and how they don't even like A-Rod, as if that lends them more credibility (it does).
This season smells a little different, though. The teams step up the Subway Series in remarkably similar circumstances - the Yankees in third place in the AL East, a half game back of the surprising Orioles; the Mets in third, back a game and a half from the surprising Nationals. They each also sit in divisions with powerhouse teams in last place, further complicating their own prospects at an eventual postseason berth with the chance that the Red Sox and Phillies could suddenly remember how to play baseball again.
And, lest I forget, they each have teams owned by rich men who made money by swindling middle-class investors.
What's that? Only the Mets are owned by dirty crooks? Oh. Bummer.
/cries in corner over Wilpon crimes
/considers argument that all sports team owners are crooks who swindle the middle-class
Despite the similarities of circumstances, the Yankees and Mets of 2012 are still very different teams. The Yankees are squeaking by despite fielding a team of proven winners and more than their fair share of perennial All Stars, while the Mets are exceeding expectations with a team of nobodies and top guys on the DL, leaving a roster seemingly held together with duct tape, naive ambition and the magical, high-pitched tone of Terry Collins' voice. Add in a guy coming off the franchise's first no-hitter, and suddenly this series doesn't just seem like an opportunity to show up the big brother club from the Bronx, but a chance for the Mets to establish themselves - in the context of a very strong season - as the NYC team to watch this summer.
No matter what happens this weekend, I'm optimistic about the Mets this season, insofar as I had previously expected to give up on them in May and now actually think there will be meaningful games come August and September. But, if I have to walk into work on Monday to find a gaggle of cocky Yankee fans gloating about beating up on the Mets this weekend, things may get violent. You may disagree, but I don't think I'd do well in Manhattan Central Booking or Rikers Island ... so, if only for that, Let's Go Mets!
I'm the cute one on the left.
Maybe in the end, it won't matter much - as most Inter-League play most certainly does not - since the Yankee fans will still have those rings to point to with a disgusting level of arrogance and hair grease, and since the Yankees themselves will likely remain the darling of the NYC sports world until the Mets make an actual run at World Series again (and that, despite my optimism, is a long way off). But, for these few days, just maybe the Amazins can put together some solid wins and shut the knuckle-dragging front-runners up for a little while. In a City that seems to live and breathe baseball for the summer months, and is overflowing with Yankee fans falling over each other to pat themselves on the back for the good sense at following one the most successful teams in all of sports, that's certainly a nice thought.