Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Talladega Fights (Jesus, I'm Clever)


Not surprisingly, we encountered a fair degree of redneck testosterone in Alabama. I'm not entirely sure what that means, and yet it makes total sense. Regardless, nobody got punched. It never came close to that, really.

Well, except for once.

I have a few friends who know their way around a fistfight. Everybody does, I suppose. But anyway, one of those gents was with me on the Talladega trip. And he was also smack dab in the middle of the only altercation we experienced. Except...he was playing the role of peacemaker. Sort of.

The whole story--a whopping two minutes and forty seconds--can be heard in our latest podcast, "how to act as peacemaker with angry rednecks."

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
5/1/08

Worlds Colliding and Whatnot


.330/35/185

29-0, 1.23 ERA

These are the projected numbers for Joshua Hamilton and Edinson Volquez.

Thought you should know.

My head might explode.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
5/1/08

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rubbin' is Racin'


True or False: NASCAR's fan base has changed dramatically over the last twenty years?

We've been led to believe this is true. Let me tell you something, boys and girls...that is 100 percent bullshit.

Nobody wears shirts and seemingly everybody flies the Confederate flag. This is a segment of the conversation on our latest podcast, "how not to act at a nascar race."

We also talk about other things. Those other things include my ridiculous behavior at a NASCAR race. For example: I often thought it was a good idea to stand up and scream "NASCAR!" at the top of my lungs. This would be like going to a Bengals-Browns game and screaming "NFL!" for everyone to hear.

I am a jerk.

Go listen. Tell friends.

My day 2 update (with pictures) will be posted Wednesday.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/30/08

Let's Get This Cueto Bum Outta Here!


Johnny Cueto stinks--this much is obvious. I called my brother tonight to vent, and also to get his opinion of the situation. He had a solution to the problem.

"They should trade him to Texas for Josh Hamilton."

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/29/08

Monday, April 28, 2008

Talladega: Day 1 (Hillbillies are Prevalent)

The first day started innocently enough, just fifteen guys meeting at 6 a.m. (actually 6:16 because--of course--I overslept) for an eight-hour journey to the fine state of Alabama. We crammed into two RVs, immediately cranked up the Guns 'N' Roses and headed south. Deep south. The consumption of alcohol kicked off at 7:57, about an hour later than I expected. Clearly, we're getting old.

I tried not to bother my friends with picture requests on the trip--after all, they were on vacation--but I planned on doing a lot of dumb shit in Talladega, and I needed visual evidence for you's guys. This required a fair amount of semi-begging, and my buddies obliged more often than not. I'd say my pictures--without commentary--tell around 53 percent of the story.

47 percent.

My goal is to capture the remaining 47 percent of my inaugural trip to a NASCAR event. I'm sure I'll fail, but here goes nothing.

The first picture is really the only one that shows my obnoxious homemade shirt. I hesitated to post it because I look like a 115 lb. meth addict. Oh well.





The majority of our trip down there was spent playing trash-talking euchre and discussing baseball video games from our childhood, especially Baseball Stars, RBI Baseball, Baseball Simulator 3000 and Bases Loaded (remember the vaunted duo of Bay and Paste?).

This is apparently how white people in their mid-to-late 20s have fun.

As we approached Talladega, it dawned on someone (besides me, obviously) that we would need fire wood for the trip. You know, for fires and stuff. We found this yocal by the side of the road slinging the goods.



As this idiot leaned inside our vehicle, we feared for our lives. We had to act fast.

We offered him beer.



Predictably, he accepted.



We finally arrived and unloaded our crap. In my case, that meant walking around in circles, acting like I was aiding my friends as they set up tents and tables and grills and all the other shit that goes into a weekend of enduring the great outdoors.

While lending a not-so-helpful hand, I checked out the scenery. Listen, I knew Talladega would offer me oodles of material for this decent website, but I didn't realize this would be happening ten feet from me:



The rest of the story regarding our 700 lb. neighbor is this: The next day I was caught taking a picture of the Ralphie May wannabe. Not by him, but by his friend. I saw the large mammal walking into the port-a-potty and I prepared to snap a photo of him coming out. This would allow me to make an obvious comment alongside his picture in this space. Or so I thought. Instead, I was confronted by some tatted-up lowlife and had to wiggle out of trouble with a ridiculous lie that he couldn't have believed. I spent the rest of the weekend looking over my shoulder, half expecting to catch some shit from the him and his friends.

Nothing ever happened.

Up next was my first time partaking in an old Talladega tradition: taking your shirt off.



About twenty PBRs deep, I decided to put on a shirt and walk around, you know, to experience Talladega. That means walking on dirt roads, pissing on trees and pointing out one ridiculous hillbilly after the next.

We eventually stumbled upon something rednecks will always consider hilarious: blow-up dolls. The funny thing about the following picture is that I had no idea that dude was over my left shoulder. In case you were wondering, that's what 91 percent of NASCAR fans look like.




As day officially became night, girls started removing their tops in exchange for beads. Suckers.

But anyway, it wasn't that awesome. It's was a somewhat disturbing, actually. Here's how it would go down: Two girls would walk down a gravel road, some hillbilly would shine a flood light in their direction and 50-75 hornballs would sprint towards them, beads in hand. And all of this for a glimpse of a nipple. That is, a nipple belonging to a usually overweight female, who was almost certainly named Tammy (or Debbie).

(Note: I think this phenomenon explains prison rape. There were so few ladies down there that--even when an ugly girl came around the corner--she was mobbed. Imagine being a good looking prisoner in the land of horny men. Same thing.)

This doesn't mean I didn't have my moments of embarrassing heterosexuality.

When the chicks below put on a ninety-minute softcore (yet nudity free) freak show, well, I was in the front row. I snapped a good forty pictures using my buddy's camera before going to get my own. By the time I returned, the truly graphic acts had subsided. All you need to know is that these nineteenish gals, and their friend in the background entering the RV, acted as naughty as you can imagine for no valid reason. That is, unless you count beads and Miller Lite as valid reasons.



And then I passed out in my chair, which--surprisingly--wasn't as comfortable as my bed.



That was Friday.

Also...

Craig and I recorded Monday afternoon--on the topic of Talladega--and I'm still chopping it up; I'll post new podcasts daily for the next several days. But I did grab something to whet your appetite. Our podcast "mocking rednecks never gets old" is less than a minute long, but it gives you a good idea of how much of an dickhead I can be.

Also also, I'll briefly touch on the Bengals draft sometime Tuesday. Needless to say, I'm not happy.

Goodnight, people.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/29/08

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gay Sitting and the Legend of Party Keith


Is it gay to sit with your legs tightly crossed? That question is definitively answered in our latest podcast, "gay sitting and the legend of party keith."

Now, you might be wondering about this Party Keith fella...

Without giving much away, I'll tell you this: He's a very gay man who used to see me shirtless on a weekly basis.

Other things "discussed" on the podcast:

Conversation about sitting down in the shower, sitting down to pee and peeing in the shower. Most adult males do not discuss such things even in private. Craig and I do it for the world to here. We are not normal.

We also talk about being approached by a gay guy?

And Craig compares the strength of his wrists to that of Josh Hamilton and Lou Ferrigno.

Also, regrettably, I say the following sentence: "I don't think that's never happened." I meant to say ever, and not never.

I guess I'm a hillbilly after all.


If you pay attention to the poll questions, you no doubt know that I'm going to Talladega Friday morning for a three-day bachelor party. I expect to be punched by a 36-year-old white man wearing an American Flag bandana.

But anyway...

This is what a typical 27-year-old white man (in this case, me) brings to a NASCAR weekend in Alabama:

24 twelve oz. cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

24 twelve oz. bottles of Hudy Delight.

6 sixteen oz. cans of Keystone Light.

1 bottle of Burnett's vodka.

I wanted to buy the shitty stuff, but Kroger must have been fresh out. I suppose the aforementioned high-class beverages will suffice.

Wish me luck!

(Note: I won't update this puppy until Monday evening. This means no conversation on the topics of the NFL draft, the NBA playoffs or the lowly Reds. I'm sure you won't hang yourself based on this news)

Draft thought: If the Bengals draft Sedric Ellis in the 1st round, followed by Fred Davis, Felix Jones or Chris Johnson in the 2nd, I'll be the happiest sun-burnt white guy in all of SW Ohio.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/25/08

Craig's Shrink: Helpful But Racist


"I'm not a racist, but..."

How many times have you heard that before? And what does it always mean? It means, of course, that the person who drops that line is a one step away from Klan-member status.

That's the central theme of our newest podcast, "craig has a racist shrink." He does, by the way. Craig has a racist shrink.

Other stuff "discussed" in the podcast:

If Shaquille O'Neal were raping boys at the height of his powers would he have gotten cut?

Do you think Adolf Rupp would've had Ron Artest on his team?

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/24/08

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And Wayne Krivsky Gets the Boot


The Wayne Krivsky era is over. The Walt Jocketty era begins. And I don't like it.

Nothing against Jocketty, who is a more-than-competent GM, but I liked Krivsky. To me, he's been the best Reds GM since the early-to-middle years of the Jim Bowden regime. (At least Krivsky can take solace in that. Hey honey, www.TwinKilling.com thinks that I was the best Reds GM since the early-to-middle years of the Jim Bowden regime)

Anyway, the way I see it, Krivsky's legacy will be remembered for the following moves and non-moves...the good, the bad and the don't know yet:

THE GOOD

1. Acquiring Brandon Phillips, Josh Hamilton, Jared Burton and Jeff Keppinger for virtually nothing. Let's break each down individually...

Phillips: 30-30, gold glove-caliber 2nd baseman in his prime. Nice work.

Hamilton: Greatest American baseball player in the history of American baseball players. Possible understatement.

Burton: Has stuff and (I think) mentality to be a lights-out closer.

Keppinger: It took me a while to come around on him, but he looks like the kind of guy who will never endure a prolonged slump. Those guys win batting titles.

2. Trading Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo. It's not often when you can find an All Star pitcher a month before the season starts, but that's precisely what Krivsky did when he traded Pena (aka Ruben Rivera 2.0) for Arroyo. Say what you want about Arroyo, but he has a 3.83 ERA in his 73 starts for the Reds.

3. His patience with Homer Bailey. Everybody in the universe--including myself--screamed at the top of their lungs when Bailey wasn't called up for the stretch run in '06. Ditto for the start of '07. Turns out we were wrong. Bailey is still a helluva prospect, but we saw last year that he wasn't ready.

THE BAD

1. The Mike Stanton signing and the Rheal Cormier trade. It wasn't just that they were terrible players with nothing left in the tank, it was signing each to a multi-year deal. The Reds are a budget-conscious organization, and these were semi-crippling acquisitions.

2. Not selling high on David Weathers and Scott Hatteberg at the '07 trade deadline. Both Hatteberg and Weathers had one thing in common: neither of them were going to be the reason why the Reds won the 2008 World Series. So, if they had significant value (which they did, especially Weathers), why wouldn't you sell them to the highest bidder? You stockpile talent by moving average players to desperate teams.

3. Drafting Drew Stubbs, a strikeout-prone outfielder (sound familiar) with the 8th pick of the first round, two picks before Tim Lincecum, a Major League-ready pitcher, was snagged by San Francisco.

4. Letting Jorge Cantu (now Florida's starting third basemen) go in December 2007 for no valid reason. I've covered this before, but Cantu, coming off the bench as a righty with pop, would've filled one of the biggest holes on the team. Instead, the end of the bench was filled with Norris Hopper, Ryan Freel, and Juan Castro (aka the luckiest man on the planet).

THE DON'T KNOW YET

1. Trading Josh Hamilton for Edinson Volquez. I could write 80 billion words on this. Or I could write none. I'm choosing none because I have a basketball game in thirty minutes.

2. Trading Austin Kearns/Felipe Lopez for Gary Majewski/Bill Bray/Brendan Harris/Royce Clayton/Daryl Thompson. Bill Bray and Daryl Thompson are starting to make this deal look like a steal, but nobody knows just yet. Bray has been pretty lousy in his time in Cincinnati and Thompson, while dominating at the moment, is only doing so at AA Chattanooga. Just saying.

This was fun.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/23/08

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Future's Getting Clearer


I ain't got no girl pregnant or nothing, but I have a good idea just in case...

Edinson Van Exel Spieser.

To quote Goldie Wilson:

"I like the sound of that."

But anyway, when Volquez learns to consistently throw strike one...sky's the limit. It's hard to imagine Volquez getting much better, but anyone who has watched him knows there's plenty of room for improvement. Think about that. He's 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA, with more strikeouts than innings pitched, and his ceiling is significantly higher than his current level.

Which is a good thing. Had Volquez merely been average so far, I'd probably have already jumped off a cliff. Because Josh Hamilton is currently tied for the Major League lead in RBI.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/22/08

Two Guys Making Fun of Matt Belisle


Our latest podcast, "two guys making fun of matt belisle," was recorded two hours before Belisle got his head kicked in Monday against the Dodgers of Los Angeles. While neither of us were happy to see it happen, it does make the podcast a little funnier.

Something you might find interesting: Early in the podcast I mention Craig being the voice of the now-defunct Cincinnati Marshals. Well, it's true. He once had a legitimate broadcasting job. And you know what that means...

It means that TwinKilling.com (aka www.TwinKilling.com) has credibility.

So y'all haters can back the f**k up. Or something.

Other areas of business:

Edinson Volquez pitches tonight. Let's see if he can throw less then twenty pitches per inning.

Also, big happenings with the NBA playoffs:

We'll see how Dirk reacts to two full days of much-deserved criticism following the David West face-touching incident. Plus, Phoenix will play game two of the Spurs series with game-seven intensity. Should be awesome (or whatever).

I'll post something later, boys and girls. Keep checking back.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/22/08

They Don't Always Call Traveling Violations

While searching for video of Kirilenko's flop from Monday night I stumbled upon something even better: videos of egregious traveling violations that (somehow) weren't called.

Up first, my favorite...Dan Majerle taking six steps. SIX! No whistle.




Next, a usual suspect: Dwyane Wade...




Finally, a video titled "Another LeBron James travel." People are bitter. People are awesome.

(Note: I chose not to post LeBron's game-winner from the Washinton series in '07; everybody's already seen that. Ditto for Jeff Green's in the tourney last year for Georgetown. Also, I searched long and hard for a ridiculous Scottie Pippen non-travel I saw on a SportsCenter highlight from my youth, but came up empty. Anyway...)




Self-serving bonus coverage...

While thinking about uncalled traveling violations, I recalled one from the not-so-distant past that made me want to stab everybody I've ever met who wasn't named Mom. I searched, and sure enough, the video was on YouTube.

This from the hyper-intense 2005 second round tourney game between UC and UK. Early in the first half, UK was rolling (this was before Nick Williams got hot), and Patrick Sparks threw a backdoor alley-oop to Rajon Rondo. The place went nuts. I cursed the heavens. Replay of the play led to me breaking a garbage can at work (and cursing the heavens some more). See for yourself.




Patrick sparks took approximately ninety steps without dribbling. In a tourney game! How is that possible? The zebras clearly bet on Kentucky that day. And Jay Bilas was obviously rooting for the Wildcats, because he didn't mention the blatant non-call while the replay was rolling. Whatever.

I have trouble letting go of the past.

Keep the change, you filthy animals.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/22/08

NBA Playoffs: Part Three (Kirilenko's Flop)


Andrei Kirilenko did it again. He flopped at a key moment and the refs bought it.

Scene set: Utah 85, Houston 82. Less than a minute remaining, Houston with possession. Shane Battier hauls in an offensive rebound, and with Jazz defenders scrambling, finds a relatively open Tracy McGrady in the corner for a potential game-tying three. Kirilenko comes flying at McGrady, and on his way, is shielded by Luis Scola (hand on the chest--minimal contact). In the least surprising news of the day, Kirilenko went flying into the stands as if he were thrown off the top ropes by Ax or Smash. (Remember, this all happens in the blink of an eye.) Instead of shooting, McGrady skips a pass to a wide open Bobby Jackson, who (of course) buries the three. BUT...as the ball traveled across court, a whistle blew: Kirilenko successfully duped the men in stripes. Utah now leads the series 2-0, and the next two games are played in Salt Lake City. Game-set-match, Utah.

Flopping needs to stop. It's been a problem for well over a decade and it gets worse every year.

For more thoughts on flopping, take a look at what I had to say about it last March (while writing on my MySpace blog):

"One final thought about basketball, college hoops especially: Taking charges should no longer be allowed. I'm completely serious. Here me out...

Not unlike sticking your arm in a tank full of piranha, charging is dangerous. (Note: I've seen my friend Colly stick his arm in a tank of piranha multiple times). It's far too easy for a little guy to slide underneath a high-flying wing (think North Carolina's Brandan Wright) while he's in the air, attacking the rim. It's only a matter of time before someone gets upended and breaks their neck (or sprains a wrist) because some weasel was trying to take a charge. The NBA has a semi-circle that prevents defensive players from taking charges under the basket. There has been talk of the college game adopting something similar. But that would only slightly improve the problem, and it wouldn't address the flopping epidemic, which I'll touch on in a minute. The problem with the semi-circle is that it doesn't protect guys like Wright. Trust me, I watch a ton of NBA games on NBA League Pass and the semi-circle doesn't always protect guys like Wade, LeBron, Kobe, etc. when they attack the rim. It's not as if these superior athletes only take off a few feet from the basket. The game has evolved, dammit, and the rules need to catch up.

Not unlike Elton John, flopping is...um...well...un-American. Anyway, flopping has become a smart way to play defense, and that might be basketball's biggest problem. I don't blame the players or coaches, either--they're playing by the rules. Forget about assessing blame, though...this has to stop. NOW. Not only does it discourage driving and disrupt the flow of the game, it makes no sense whatsoever. It's not just flopping; the same can be said about legitimate charges. How does it make sense to stand there and wait to get knocked over by the guy dribbling the ball? Is that really defense? Is that how we want the youngn's to learn how to play defense? To me, it's just as bad as teaching the kiddies how to play by showing them ESPN's Streetball.

Supposedly, the NBA's rules committee will discuss--among other things this offseason--penalizing anybody that flops. Again, like the semi-circle, it will only slightly improve the problem. What would be the problem with eliminating charging altogether? How would that negatively affect the game? I don't believe there's an answer to that question. As for positive affects, scoring would almost certainly increase. Who'd be against that? Well, other than Bruce Bowen, Ben Wallace and the next fifty Southern Illinois teams?

Let's get rid of charging. Let's make Vlade Divac and Steve Wojciechowski actually stay on their feet for longer than three possessions. Agreed?"


I care about few things more than basketball.

More Kirilenko flopping: While unsuccessfully searching for the video of Kirilenko's latest doozy I found a gem from last year's playoffs. This time against Golden State in the conference semifinals...



-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/22/08

Monday, April 21, 2008

Craig is a Construction Daredevil


I'm about 95 percent sure my partner-in-crime isn't suicidal, but--at the very least--he's decidedly unafraid to die. Our latest podcast, "craig is a construction daredevil," illustrates just that.

Without spoiling the story I'll just tell you that Craig doesn't mind doing things that even the manliest of construction workers wouldn't think about trying (or so he says).

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/22/08

Good Riddance, Juan Castro!


April 21, 2008: The Reds designate Juan Castro for assignment. Taking his spot on the roster is 31-year-old vagabond infielder Jerry Hairston, Jr. He's expected to bring much needed pop off the bench from the right side. In 2,534 career at-bats, Hairston has hit 33 HRs with 216 RBI, with a slugging pct. of .358.

Jerry Hairston, savior.

March 31, 2008: Opening Day. That was the day I made sixteen Reds predictions for the upcoming season.

I want you to take a look at one of 'em:

10. Juan Castro will make me wonder why the Reds cut Jorge Cantu.

Defensive replacements are stupid. Dirt cheap, perfectly healthy 25-year-olds with a 117 RBI season on their baseball card are not. Question: Is Juan Castro the luckiest man on the planet?


Before I tell you how smart I am, let me admit to being wrong about something: Cantu is 26, not 25; his day of birth was in January. My apologies.

My old roommate used to accuse me of looking for credit when I was right about something. He was right, but that doesn't mean I've learned my lesson.

Actually, let's forget about my narcissism for a moment, and focus on a couple of facts about Jorge Cantu...

a. He's right-handed. I repeat, he's right-handed.

b. He's dirt cheap. This matters for a budget-conscious organization.

c. He was a productive bat in his limited time last season in a Reds uniform (six pinch hits in twelve pinch hit opportunities).

g. He's got pop in his bat, which distinguishes himself from Freel and Hopper (and now, Hairston), the other right-handed bats off the bench.

m. He's versatile. While not known for his glove, he's capable of playing 2B, 3B and 1B. This means that if he were really hot, you could get him a start at each position on consecutive days without stealing a ton of ABs from Votto, Phillips or Encarnacion.

w. While not good enough, somehow, to be the 25th man on the Reds' roster, Cantu is the starting 3B for the Marlins. He's hitting .302, not that it matters.

Reds fans, you have a right to be angry. And Wayne Krivsky has a question to answer.

Making matters worse, I listened to Marty Brennaman's pre-game interview with Dusty Baker earlier. While talking about the move to bring up Hairston, Baker mentioned how it's damn near impossible to find right-handed pop off the bench. Great.

This team would be better with Jorge Cantu on the roster.

And it would also be better with Jay Bruce and Bill Bray.

The Reds are now 8-12, and while I don't think it's time to panic, well, I'm panicking. This is a good team, I know it. They're the best team since 2000, Griffey's first year, and they might actually be better than that, depending on Cueto and Volquez. Anyway, I'd hate for them to get buried early while a superstar (Bruce) is wasting time in AAA Louisville. As for Bray getting the same treatment, while Todd Coffey gets opportunity after heart-stopping opportunity...you're guess is as good as mine.

Gimme Bruce and Bray, lose Hairston and Coffey. And Josh Foggstein, Homer Bailey's on his way.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/21/08

Whatever It Takes


I've been out of the loop for quite some time. I attended an all-day boozefest at Keeneland Saturday, where there's absolutely no connection to the outside world; just horse racing. I spent my Sunday morning doing something I'm not allowed to talk about (the details aren't important, just know that it kept me away from my computator), followed by spending the rest of the day watching the Reds-Brewers game, all four playoff games, Inside the NBA and an edited replay of the Suns-Spurs beauty.

I also took a nap (see: all-day Keeneland boozefest)

And a basketball game. I played basketball Sunday evening.

My life was okay, I suppose, but I was neglecting this website. I didn't see any other way to live my life, though. I can justify every action I've had since hopping on that bus to Keeneland. My time spent on the Internet Sunday was used to play catch-up, as opposed to writing half-hearted nonsense or posting a mediocre YouTube video. Whatever.

Things soon took a frustrating turn.

Food, water, Internet connection. That about sums it up, right? Well, guess which one I've been without since sometime Sunday night?

This makes things a tad difficult for what I'm trying to accomplish here.

But anyway, I've taken all of my important things (cell phone charger, work pants, etc.) to Mom and Dad's (pictured above) in order to write these words; the Internet be working here.

You see what I do for you people?

Something else you should know: before heading over to this snack haven, I recorded for well over an hour with Craig. I'll have something posted before bedtime. This should excite you (and possibly make you horny).

Stay tuned.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/21/08

Sunday, April 20, 2008

NBA Playoffs: Part Deux (God Hates Me)


Magic Johnson is a terrible broadcaster, and one who is prone to hyperbole. I know this. But when he called game 1 of the Spurs-Suns series one of the best games he'd ever seen, well, that grabbed my attention.

Which is why going to Keeneland for a day of (a.) betting on ponies, (b.) drinking in the sun and (c.) running game on lovely young women will always rank as one of the biggest regrets of my adult life.

I can't believe I missed that game.

Leaving the house is almost never a good idea.

(Note: Thanks to the power of DVR I will watch the Spurs-Suns game at some point today. I have to watch the Reds, all four playoff games and mix in a nap, but I'm up to the task. I think. I'll try to give perspective on the game before game 2 fires up Tuesday.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/20/08

Friday, April 18, 2008

NBA Playoffs: Part 1 (Get Your Head Out of Your Butt Edition)


Every year I say I don't care whether or not people care about the NBA. I always say that I'm through trying to convert the non-believers into believers.

And I'm always lying.

I can't explain why I want everyone else to enjoy this great game, but I do. Especially around playoff time, which, in its own way, is much better than March Madness (although March Madness is, was, and will always be my favorite event in sports. Also, nobody loves using commas more than me.).

Let me just say this: If everybody can agree that the absolute best athletes on Earth play professional hoops in America...and if I promise you that the NBA playoffs will match the intensity of March Madness, except with far greater skill...and if I can promise you that the best studio show ever, Inside the NBA, will be hitting on all cylinders 5-6 times per week for the next six weeks...and...do I need to keep going?

Listen, I don't want to make this a March Madness vs. NBA playoffs thing, because, again, I love March Madness more than anything. But, the reason I compare the two is simple: Non-hoops fans will immerse themselves in college ball every March, and it seems normal. But the same thing would never happen for the NBA playoffs. And for the life of me, I'll never figure out why.

Okay, I quit.

Now that I'm through wasting my time, a prediction-free thought about the NBA playoffs...

Phoenix and San Antonio square up in round one, and you know what that means: It means that Phoenix has no chance because the Spurs simply have their number, right? Right?

To that, I say...baloney. For a couple of reasons...

1. Even if the Spurs were the Suns' kryptonite (which, I don't really think they were) the past officially became the past after the Shaq trade. The Suns are a different team with the Big Aristotle. Not necessarily better than last year's team, or the '05 squad, but different. Any sane human knows this.

More importantly...

2. The past isn't always remembered correctly. Just because the Suns dealt Shawn Marion for Shaq doesn't mean the Steve Nash-era Suns haven't been good enough to win a title; it just means that the Suns weren't good enough to win this year. Big difference.

In the past, they were absolutely good enough.

I know injuries happen to every team in every professional sport, but the Suns have had extraordinarily bad luck over the last four seasons (aka, the Nash era).

Consider...

'05 Western Conf. Finals vs. Spurs: Budding star Joe Johnson (17 ppg in '05) missed the first two games with a fractured face. The Suns fell behind 2-0 and never recovered.

'06 season: All the pieces were in place for the Suns to make a run at a 70-win season. Then Amare Stoudemire had microfracture knee surgery. Even so, they had Dallas on the ropes in the conference finals, tied two games apiece, before eventually falling in six. You mean to tell me that that team couldn't have won it all with Stoudemire?

'07 Western Conf. Semifinals vs. Spurs: Everyone remembers the ridiculous Diaw/Stoudemire suspension for game five (which ultimately decided the '07 champion. Remember, these were the two best teams in basketball last spring), but everyone forgets Nash's bloody face in the waning moments of game one. I can't remember the last time I felt so cheated at the end of an incredible sporting event. The best player on the floor that day was Steve Nash, and he had to sit the final minute of a two-point game (and the Suns had possession) because his face wouldn't stop bleeding. Maybe they would have won, maybe not. But if Nash gets cut at any other moment of the game, Suns fans aren't sitting around wondering "what if?"

So, as you can see, I'm a bit of a Suns apologist; I can't help it, I love watching Nash play. But that doesn't mean I don't make valid points (or whatever).

I'm not entirely sure what was accomplished here. And I'm freaking positive I don't know how to wrap it up (lack of talent + sleep deprivation = recipe for average literature.)

But anyway, watch the goddamn playoffs!

(Oh wait, one quick prediction: Chris Paul shreds Jason Kidd in a relatively easy five-game series win for the Hornets. I say Paul averages 30-13-5-5 and brings every Hawks/Bucks fan to tears in the process.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/18/08

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stop the Drilling, Stop the Oil (Stop the Cubs)


I can (and do) get bored with baseball pretty quickly. When my team plays its way out of (realistic) contention, I can't watch just for the sake of cheering my team on. Root-root-rooting for the home team is pretty goddamn stupid when they're record is 20-34 (or 36-49, or whatever). But I still watch. I just watch differently.

For instance, had Wednesday's abortion been played in August, and if the Reds had a crummy record, I would have changed the channel the second Josh Foggstein started lobbing turds over the plate. And I only would have changed back to see Phillips or Griffey or Votto hit, but I wouldn't have been too excited; I've seen that act already. Like Huey Lewis, I want a new drug. Last year, it was Josh Hamilton (pardon the pun), and this year it's Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. Very soon it will be Jay Bruce (I think). But anyway, Cueto and Volquez...they're the current flavors of the month. They're the guys I'll be watching (along with Bruce) if the ships starts sinking in a month or two.

But the Reds are still afloat. So I'm still watching.

And Volquez is pitching this afternoon--on my off day--which makes me a pretty happy boy.

So happy, in fact, that I might try some in-game blogging for the folks stuck in their cubicles. (Note: The operative words in that sentence were might and some. As in, I might be too sleepy to type, and even if I do write in-game words, it won't be a pitch-by-pitch breakdown. Remember, TwinKilling.com is only interested in C+ material)

Keep checking back.

(UPDATE: Just got summoned to Columbus. There will be no in-game blogging. I'll be listening to Marty for the next three hours. Just like you.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/17/08

Brother Tells Sister She Could've Been Raped. I Laugh.

During my freshman year of high school, when two kids had a minor beef with one another before or after gym class, I would always do my best to make things worse. I would go back and forth between the two parties and relay something the other had said. And I would always focus on the most antagonizing words, with hopes of an ensuing melee. Getting people to fistfight was a great idea when I was fourteen.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up...

The brother on this video reminds me a lot of myself (especially my fourteen-year-old self). Piling on + escalating things for selfish reasons = jerk = always funny.

Really, this is the funniest video I've seen since that Australian kid punked out the news anchor on live TV.




-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/17/08

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jay Bruce Does Good Baseball Things!


The Reds make me want to hang myself. But, I am not in panic mode.

That said, I think it's time to call up Jay Bruce. Immediately

Wednesday's line against Norfolk: Three at-bats. Three hits. A homer. A triple. Ho hum.

Over his his last ten games he's hitting .400 with 3 HRs and 9 RBI. I imagine his numbers will look similar over the next ten games, too. Know why? Because he's already done it before; Bruce murdered the ball at AAA Louisville last year. He has nothing left to prove. It's time for him to take the next step. I feel like I should be using exclamation points to emphasize how strongly I feel.

Corey Patterson is not as good as the player who had a 1.192 OPS in his first 31 at-bats this season. He's also not as bad as the guy who's one for his last fifteen. He's probably somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't mind him starting and batting 7th or 8th if this team were cruising along, or in desperate need of his speed. But they're not.

What the Cincinnati Reds are desperate for is a spark.

His name is Jay Bruce.

Don't wait too long, Kriv Dawg.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/17/08

Old MTV vs. New MTV (Dire Straits vs. Lauren Conrad)


I remember when MTV used to show videos.

How many times have you heard someone say that? About six times a day for the last eleven years, right? Anyway, did you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with the 33-year-old (or possibly 42-year-old) white male? And was he wearing black jean shorts?

Regardless, our latest podcast, "i know why mtv doesnt show videos" kind of discusses old MTV vs. new MTV.

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/16/08

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Nine (Italicized Version)


Just because I haven't referenced George Grande in seven days doesn't mean he hasn't been annoying me.

Here's a few things I neglected to post...

Grande called Johnny Cueto Johhny B. Good on multiple occasions. How clever.

Grande also dropped a 1-2-3 for Johnny C. after a quick inning. Jesus, that's annoying.

703. That's the approximate number of times Grande said Buc-O's instead of Pirates over the three-game weekend series with Pittsburgh.

He referred to Bob Gibson as Gibby, as if they're buddies or something.

He also called some retired umpire Spanky somewhere in the neighborhood of forty times during a ten minute in-booth interview. I get it...you know the guy. You're at least somewhat cordial. You know his nickname. You don't need to remind me every five seconds.

Best Grande quote from last week:

"The more you see Jeff Keppinger, the more you like about his approach to the plate. Just very solid. Not spectacular in any way he plays the game, but very solid in...a great team player both in the field and at the plate"

My take: Let me get this straight...Jeff Keppinger is a great team player in the field? Wow! What a special guy! So when a grounder is hit to Ol' Kep, and there's one out and a runner on first, he actually throws to the second baseman with hopes of executing a double play? Really? I've never heard of that.

Most shortstops would field the ball, do a back flip and underhand the ball to first, with hopes of making a Web Gem.

George Grande needs to be stopped!

(Something to watch for during Reds-Cubs series: George Grande referring to Ernie Banks as Mr. Cub six times per inning.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com))
8/15/08

Get Todd Coffey Outta My Life


I've heard on multiple occasions how Todd Coffey might need a change of scenery to return to the good old days of 2006.

There's only one problem: The good old days weren't all that good.

In 2006, Todd Coffey sported a 3.58 ERA, which looks nice and all, but numbers can be deceiving. In 78 innings, the overweight time bomb gave up 85 hits and another 27 walks. No need for the calculators, boys and girls...that's a healthy WHIP of 1.436.

And although Coffey has impressive strikeout stuff (mid-90's fastball, good slider), he's never really been a strikeout pitcher. He struck out 60 batters in 2006. Not bad, but not great.

Also, let's not forget how decidedly unclutch he's been since his arrival: Nine career saves, five career blown saves. Eeeeesh.

Let's recap: His career year was deceiving and he's the last pitcher you'd ever want in a tight game. So why is he even on the team?

When will Bill Bray be ready? How about Matt Belisle?

Can someone just send Coffey back to Louisville already?

(Note: My brother thinks all Todd Coffey needs in order to be effective is to dye his hair purple. I have no idea why I'm telling you this.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/15/08

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fact: Bob Marley's Music is Awful (Here We Go Again)


Since I started this thing, nothing has generated as much response as what I wrote on October 28, 2007:

"If you've ever claimed to enjoy listening to Bob Marley...then you are a fucking liar, it's as simple as that. With the possible exception of people with the last name of Marley, there isn't a chance that anybody actually enjoys listening to that garbage. I would rather subject myself to crying babies and smoke detectors for three fucking hours than listen to ten seconds of "I Shot the Sheriff," and I know you're nodding your head right now as you read my words."


The crazy reaction from readers truly surprised me. And it also proved my point.

Reader Adam B. quoted a handful of Marley's lyrics before dropping this doozie on me:

Makes blogging about the Bengals seem kinda insipid, doesn't it?

Actually, no, it doesn't. I never said Bob Marley wasn't kindhearted or influential (or whatever), I just said that his music sucked. Listen, my Grandma was a wonderful person, but she couldn't sing for shit. What's the difference?

Anyway, for further thoughts on Marley (and his lousy music), go listen to the latest podcast, "bob marley music is unlistenable (terrible)."

Take that, Aug!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/14/08

I Don't Care What You Say (or How You Say It)


Something you will never hear me say: RBIs.

To me, RBI will always be the plural form of Runs Batted In.

Take that, Marty Brennaman.

(UPDATE: I just Googled "rbi is plural. i am right and marty brennaman is wrong," and nothing came up. I tried "rbi is plural," and, as it turns out, both RBIs and RBI are acceptable. Really smart people said so.)

I'm not sure we accomplished anything here.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/14/08

You've Been Warned, Josh Fogg


Something just dawned on me...

Very soon, some guy you know will start referring to Josh Fogg as Josh Fagg, and he'll be convinced he's being hilarious. Once Fogg starts serving up 900-foot HRs with regularity, and you know it's going to happen, a large percentage of Reds fans (read: Westsiders) will turn on him. The same thing happened with the Ryan Dempster era. He became Ryan Dumpster the second his ERA crept over 5.00.

I might live in the least original city in North America.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/14/08

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Breaking News: Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is a Gay Guy (Maybe)


(Note: I feel kind of slimy doing this. Really, I do. My intentions are to entertain the masses, not to destroy the career of an important political figure, but oh well.)

I remember Craig once telling me how Ohio Governor Ted Strickland was a gay guy. I had forgotten all about it until Strickland's name came up in our most recent recording session.

As you'll hear on the "ted strickland is gay" podcast, we were discussing Craig's skateboarding days in Lucasville, Ohio, the hometown of both he and Strickland. I brought up Strickland's homosexuality, and Craig said, among other things, "where I'm from, it is well known about him being gay."

(Important fact: Craig is actually related to Strickland. They also attended the same high school.)

Also heard on the podcast: Craig's revelation that he honestly wishes he was gay. This is funny when you consider how much he loves calling people faggots.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/13/08

Nerdy Baseball Questions. Forgive Me.


Two legitimate questions regarding baseball, the American sport my Redlegs seem to have forgotten how to play:

1. Do you need to play with a catcher?

2. Is it possible for a pitcher to get a win and a save in the same game? Let's say the starter--pitching on the winning side of a 1-0 game--goes 8.1 innings before a left-handed reliever comes in to face a difficult left-handed batter. Except that the reliever replaces an outfielder, and the starting pitcher stays in the game and mans the vacant outfield spot. After the 26th out of the game is retired, the reliever and the starting pitcher swap positions. The starting pitcher then closes out the game in a save situation...does he get the save to go along with his win?

Get Bill James on the phone, dammit!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/13/08

Thursday, April 10, 2008

All I Need is a Hooker and Some Oxycontin!

The Office comes back tonight, and the Warriors and Nuggets play each other in what is essentially a playoff elimination game. First team to 150 wins.

How about some video fun?

(Hope you enjoy this Toby vs. Michael montage. By the way, my favorite scene in Office history is when Toby shoots down Michael's request to bring boy scouts to casino night. It appears on this video at the 2:18 mark)




(And now, here's my latest man crush, Monta Ellis.)



This is about as good as it gets for a guy with a bum foot.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/10/08

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pregnant Ladies Must Be Stopped


Facts, maybe:

1. Corey Patterson is roughly 11 billion times better than Josh Hamilton. (Not true.)

2. I broke my foot tonight. (Possibly true, but unlikely)

3. Pregnant ladies think they're beautiful. (Definitely true. Somehow.)

Speaking of pregnancy, Jason Caffey hates condoms. Also, Craig and I spend seven semi-entertaining minutes discussing everything that surrounds the topic of pregnancy in our latest podcast "pregnant ladies must be stopped." Among other things, Craig and I definitively answer the question "Why do women look so pretty on their wedding day?"

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/10/08

Fat Doesn't Always Equal Funny

Have you seen the Digiorno commercial with the three stereotypical "guy's guys" watching football in the backyard? I'm sure you have. CBS only played the thing every ten minutes during March Madness.

Just in case you haven't...




I hate pretty much everything about this commercial. Who watches television in their backyard? Who speaks to their wife that way? Who thinks Digiorno doesn't taste like frozen pizza? Who eats pizza that's been soaked in water?

But most of all I'm annoyed by the way the pizza is ordered.

"Make it the way I like it, loaded with mozzarella and toppings."

What?

Loaded with mozzarella and toppings? Really? Nobody orders a pizza like that.

Dickhead.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/9/08

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Eight (Brad the Prophet)


The sixth inning. That's when George Grande first started talking about Harvey's Wallbangers. And it almost happened in the 2nd, too, when Grande was comparing J.J. Hardy to "Rockin'" Robin Yount. To recap: Yes, he compared Hardy (a career .260 hitter) to a two-time MVP, and yes he gave Yount the nickname of "Rockin'" despite the fact that Yount was never known by this moniker.

George Grande is a geek. And I'm a name caller.

As for other Grande gems...

He had this to say about Ted Kluszewski and his widow:

"And the Big Klu, not only a great hitter, a great gentleman, and Eleanor still graces us with her visits every once in a while at Great American Ball Park. And she lights the place up whenever she comes, doesn't she Chris? (Welsh agrees, Grande laughs the way I did the first time I saw Borat, and continues...) The Reds family, not just the players but their wives and widows that have meant so much to this great franchise."

Stop me if you've heard this before, but what in the hell does that even mean? I guess Eleanor Kluszewski's bi-annual visit to GABP is just as important to the team as Juan Castro. Um, nevermind. Change the subject.

(One other thing: Homer Bailey pitched a gem Tuesday at AAA Louisville--5.2IP, 4H, 7K, 1BB, 0ER. Don't be surprised if Bailey is playing with the big boys before the All Star break.)

(Also, I'd link to the minor league box scores, but--as of midnight--they haven't been posted. Sweet dreams, all.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/8/08

What Universe is This?


Ovinton J'Anthony "O.J." Mayo has a brother named Todd.

I didn't see that coming.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/8/08

Whetting Your Appetite for Cueto

In case you weren't able to see Johnny Cueto's first career start I have a consolation prize: video. Video of Cuteo's second inning against the D'Backs. It's really worth watching to hear Mark Grace's commentary of Cueto. It would be impossible for Grace to stroke Cueto any more.

I yanked this from Sons of the Tundra, who has all sorts of quality Cueto material on the site. I suggest giving it a look.




As for other opinions on Cueto, ESPN Insider is littered with them. I'd post the relevant stuff but I have to drive to the dump that is Dayton, OH...without passing GO or collecting $200

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/8/08

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Seven (The Future and Whatnot)


1. Death.

2. Taxes.

3. Spaghetti is awesome.

4. George Grande won't shut the hell up about Harvey's Wallbangers during any Reds-Brewers series.

Maybe what I hate most about Grande is his inability to let go of the past, especially when it's (a.) uninteresting, and (b.) borderline irrelevant.

And the 1982 Brewers happen to be both (although Gorman Thomas had intimidating facial hair).

With that in mind, watch the entirety of the Reds-Brewers series (beginning tonight) and count how many times this idiot references Harvey's Goddamn Wallbangers, as if anyone gives a bloody hell.

And I swear, if Grande calls Cecil Cooper "Coop" while I'm trying to enjoy me some John P. Cueto, I might have to get a quick flight with SkyBus to Milwaukee to unplug his microphone.

Over/Under on Grande's first Harvey's Wallbangers reference: bottom of the 4th, right after Cueto's second strikeout of Rickie Weeks.

I'm taking the under. I say Grande won't last two innings.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/8/08

Minor League Baseball Players Play Baseball


I would love nothing more than to deliver you the best minor league updates around, but it's semi-impossible for me to follow through on this project. The reason? The websites for the Reds' minor league affiliates operate with no urgency. Apparently, updating box scores is about eleventh on their Things To Do list, right behind...Jesus, I can't think of another thing a minor league baseball website would actually have to do. Goddamn jerks.

Anyway, I was up fairly late last night. I watched One Shining Moment for the sixteenth straight year, ate three bowls of Grape Nuts Flakes, took a shower and made one last check of my computer machine: still no box scores. It was approaching 1:30 and I needed some shut-eye (which was basically an extended nap). I had to be awake at 6:00--which is the case on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays--making it unrealistic to think I'm going to throw away an hour of sleep a night just to write the following line: "Juan Francisco (age 20) did some shit. Ra!"

You see, it's not worth it. That is, most of the time it's not worth it. As for a compromise, all I can tell you is that I'll keep a close eye on the minors and update as much as possible. And I'll update this thing on the nights when I don't have a 6 a.m. alarm staring me in the eyeballs.

As for last night...

AAA Louisville: Jay Bruce (age 21) is back to being better than decent. He had a triple, a Jimmy Jackson and three runs batted in. Frickin' A!

AA Chattanooga: Average baseball players played a baseball game. Some team won and absolutely nobody cares.

High A Sarasota: Drew Stubbs (age 23) went 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored. These are the kind of stat lines that Stubbs rarely had last season. This year they're commonplace. That said, it would be nice to see Tim Lincecum in the rotation in lieu of Joshy Foggstein.

Juan Francisco (age 20) did some shit. Ra! By "some shit," I mean he had a double in four plate appearances.

Low A Dayton: Todd Frazier (age 22) went 1-2 with a double and two more walks. He's starting to remind me of a young Derek Jeter, only gooder.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/8/08

Take a Deep Breath, Johnny Cueto Fans

Baseball Tonight's John Kruk and Eric Young tell us to temper our enthusiasm in regard to Johnny Cueto.




(By the way, nice job by the Enquirer this morning. Johnny Cueto is making his second big league start tonight and there's barely a mention of it. Aren't they part of the hype machine? Aren't they part of the equation if youngsters are going to become mega-stars?)


-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/8/08

Monday, April 7, 2008

How Many Pushups Can You Do?


1. How many pushups do you think I can do?

2. How many STDs do you think were crawling on the men and women of the Wild West? And did people even kiss back then?

3. Doesn't it seem like every professional athlete is related to one another?

The answers to those questions (and more) can be heard in our latest podcast, "leftover crap 4--pushups--wild west sex--eric dickerson."

Listen. Tell friends. Start a revolution. Or whatever.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/7/08

Stock Report: NCAA Tournament


College basketball's national championship game is tonight, which means that nobody will care about the sport in 24 hours. With that in mind, I thought I'd give you my thoughts on the mammals who saw their NBA stock rise/drop during the rather large event we call Mega March Millennial Madness.

Stock Falling...

Tyler Hansbrough: I've killed this guy routinely throughout the season, saying he'd be nothing but an end-of-the-bench guy on a decent NBA team. I never backed off that. As of right now, I feel like I went too easy on him. His performance against Kansas was laughable. Really, I can't remember the last time I saw a player with feet as bad as Hansbrough's; he couldn't stay upright. He plays basketball like an angry drunk (i.e., really agreesive, terrible balance). I used to think Hansbrough had a chance to be a serviceable backup post player in the league, but now I'm not so sure. If he can't develop a consistent 17-foot jumper he's going to have a tough time getting off the bench at the next level. Bad feet = bad feet = ineffective professional athlete. I don't care how big your heart is, fella. Perhaps you can star in Rudy 2.

DJ Augustin: As someone who loves tg penetrate and finish, Augustin has no shot at being a good NBA point guard. None. He's probably only 5'11, he's not that athletic to begin with and he doesn't exactly finish near the rim. Watching him struggle against Memphis told me all I need to know. While Memphis is very athletic, they'd be the least athletic team in the NBA. DJ Augustin will be nothing but a backup at the next level.

Eric Gordon: Here's what I wrote about the guy in my Nine Things To Watch During March Madness column: Indiana's Eric Gordon will not carry his team anywhere. Unlike the fellas I mentioned earlier, Gordon is a guy who will see his stock drop. To me, he's DaJuan Wagner with a jumper. He doesn't have the bounce in his step that you need to play SG in the NBA. Sure, he'll stick in the league, but you can forget about him averaging anything more than about 12 ppg in any one season at the next level.

So after a 3-15 shooting performance in a round one loss to Arkansas I felt pretty good about my prediction. Still do, actually. Gordon is headed pro after one college season. Good luck, foolish NBA teams!

Stock Ehhhh...

Joe Alexander: Look, I know I slurped this guy quite a bit, but I was wrong. Well, kind of. He remains an immense talent, but he needs to refine his game. Alexander is the equivalent to the pitching prospect who throws 8 million MPH but with lousy mechanics. A.) He needs to learn to go left, and B.) he needs to learn how to use his athleticism to the fullest. Just because you can jump over everybody doesn't mean a fade-away is a bad idea. And try squaring up every now and again, Joe.

AJ Abrams: This might seem like an odd inclusion, being that Abrams did nothing during the tournament that he hasn't already been doing for two years (i.e., coming around screens and raising up with the quickest release on the collegiate level). Listen, way too many undersized shooting guards get compared to Eddie House, but with Abrams, I think the comparison is pretty close. I could be wrong about this dude, but I think he makes an NBA roster some day.

Stock Rising...

I was going to write some bullshit about the Lopez brothers, or Russell Westbrook or even Stanley Burrell--really, I was. But I'm hungry. And I'm going to GABP in a few minutes to watch Jeff Keppinger hit nine more gap shots.

That said, the best player I've seen all tournament--and it's not even close--has been Derrick Rose. Big shocker, I know. But anyway, I was lukewarm on Rose all year long, for two reasons: 1.) His jumper is below average (but fixable), and 2.) I'm an OJ Mayo apologist, and Mayo never received the credit he deserved this season, so I took it out on Rose. Don't ask, I'm weird.

But anyway, if it weren't for Michael Beasley, I'd seriously consider taking Rose No. 1 overall. Big athletic (and intelligent) point guards who defend like crazy and rise to the occasion are hard to pass up. Especially since the NBA is becoming more up-tempo by the day. Atlanta went big over small when they took Marvin Williams over Chris Paul...how's that working for them?

One final thing about Rose: The single most impressive display of athleticism that took place during the tourney was one of Rose's many dunks in the Texas game. When it took place, I nearly peed myself. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I called everyone I knew, and told them to rewind their televisions. They did, and we talked about it over and over again.

Midway through the first half, Rose stole the ball near--actually, why don't you watch the video for yourself and see if you are blown away the way I was.

(Pay attention to the steal Rose makes at the :41 second mark.)




Two dribbles! From halfcourt! Starting near the sideline! Finishing with an effortless dunk! He's a 6'4 point guard, people! And a basketball court is 94 feet long!

Think about that for a second.

And I realize this dunk doesn't make Rose a heady leader, but--as I explained earlier--I believe he already is a natural point, so the mind-blowing athleticism is just icing on the cake.


Edinson Volquez/Johnny Cueto thoughts coming later.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/7/08

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Nintendo Wii is Overrated. Girl hates Me.


If you want to hear all about my first experience with Nintendo Wii you've come to the right place. You're equally lucky if you want to hear a funny story about a girl putting an end to our relationship. All you have to do is listen to the podcast titled "the nintendo wii is overrated."

(Note: This was recorded several months ago, and--because of the story about the girl--I've never felt comfortable posting it. But, various things have taken place since our recording that make me feel somewhat safe about letting you on it. Here's to hoping she never hears this...)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/7/08

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Six


George Grande has only been moderately annoying of late. This explains why I haven't goofed on him in a few days. So, with one week in the books, how about a Leftover Crap edition of "Hi, Hello and Welcome?"

Here are five things Grande did this week that bugged the bloody piss out of me:

1. He called a Toyota Tundra a Ford Tundra on Opening Day until Chris Welsh was forced to correct him on air. This becomes a little funnier every time I see another Toyota Tundra advertisement at GABP.

2. He adds an "r" to Walt Jocketty's last name. Grande calls him "Jockertty" for some reason.

3. He routinely called Edinson Volquez "Edison." (Note: Jeff Brantley does the same thing. Ordinarily I wouldn't make a big deal out of this, but, you know, it's only part of their goddamn job to know the names of the players and front office members.)

4. He called Jimmy Rollins "J.R.," Friday, as if they're tight or something.

5. He called Pat Burrell "Pat the Bat" Sunday. How clever.

-Brad Spieser (Bra@TwinKilling.com)
4/7/08

Minor League Baseball Makes Me Want to Kill Myself!


AAA Louisville: Gary Majewski (age who cares) got his head kicked in again.

Jay Bruce (age 21) didn't play. It's only the fourth game of the season and Bruce has already been given a day off. Either he's banged up or he's a bit of a head case at the moment. No worries, though. You hear me...NO WORRIES!

AA Chattanooga: Josh Roenicke (age 25) blew a save, but that doesn't mean he's contemplating suicide at the moment. And that's good news for everybody except (maybe) his arch-nemesis. The rest of the story: Roenicke walked one in a hitless inning. He gave up an unearned run because some idiot on his team made a poor throw. There is no truth to the rumor that the aforementioned idiot has since killed himself.

High A Sarasota: Juan Francisco (age 20) failed to reach base in five trips to the plate. He managed to drive in a run, however. That's it, I'm getting a Francisco jersey.

Drew Stubbs (age 23) continued on his path to becoming a semi-productive American baseball player when he had a two out two-run single in some inning.

Low A Dayton: Todd Frazier (age 22) went 2-4 with an RBI. Marcus Camby is the name of a basketball player.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/6/08

Is Derrick Rose the New Dr. Atkins?


Memphis PG Derrick Rose is battling a stomach ailment, but is expected to play in the national title game Monday night. And why might Rose's stomach be bothering him? From ESPN.com:

"He eats Gummy Bears and Starburst for breakfast, and Twizzlers and Honey Buns for dinner. That's why his stomach hurts," fellow guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "We tell Derrick the whole year, 'Stop eating so many Gummy Bears and Sour Straws.' But he can't. ... Nobody eats Gummy Bears more than him."

Take that, Jack LaLanne.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/6/08

Ten Greatest College Dunkers of All Time

I love getting mad about shit before it ever happens. I'm advanced like that. It's usually when I expect announcers to refer to white guys as "gritty," "gutty" or "quicker than they look."

So at noon Sunday, when CBS runs an hour long program about the ten greatest college dunkers of all time, I expect to be mad. Mad because Clyde Drexler won't be named No. 1, which he should. I'm also predicting Michael Jordan's name to appear in the top ten, which will only be the most ridiculous thing ever put on television (Goodfellas on TBS included). And...I can guarantee you won't hear Melvin Levett mentioned once, not even in an "others receiving votes" category.

Somehow, the video of Levett's game winning dunk vs. Duke in the final second of the Great Alaska shootout isn't on YouTube. A consolation for you people is his most spectacular dunk...




I could watch Levett's head-bobbing celebration all day long.

As for Drexler, here's a four-dunk montage from his Phi Slamma Jamma days. His best dunk is the last one you see; for some reason it's not shown multiple times like the other dunks.





Email me your favorite college dunkers. Try to stay off the radar--guys like Levett, not Drexler. I know I'm forgetting plenty of dudes.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/6/08

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Minor League Baseball is Played on a Nightly Basis


Would you believe me if I told you that I'm already regretting my commitment to this stupid minor league project?

Really, what was I thinking? But anyway...

AAA Louisville: If fantastic meant crappy, Jay Bruce (age 21) was fantastic Saturday. Six at-bats, zero hits and...three strikeouts! It's fair to say that this dude is pressing.

Starter Matt Maloney (age 24) only lasted 3.2 innings. Is he an intriguing prospect or just another Brian Reith/Jose Acevedo/Elizardo Ramirez? At least he's a lefty, right?

My boy Bill Bray (age 24) gave up a hit and a walk and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning.

AA Chattanooga: Their website sucks. It's 2:00 a.m. and they still haven't updated their site. Whatever. I can't wait up all night. I need a full night of sleep before the Edinson Volquez Experience begins Sunday afternoon.

(UPDATE: As it turns out nobody of consequence played Saturaday for Chattanooga.)

High A Sarasota: Matt Belisle threw 8.2 scoreless innings. Take that, Josh Fogg.

Sean Watson (age 22) closed out the shutout. His ERA now stands at 20.25. I love inflated early-season statistics.

At the plate, Juan Francisco (age 20) went 2-4 with an RBI.

Drew Stubbs (age 23) went 0-2 with two more walks. I know it's early, but his patience at the plate is very encouraging; he struck out 142 times last season compared to only 69 walks.

Low A Dayton: Todd Frazier (age 22) walked three more times and hit a GW homer.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/6/08

Minor League Baseball is Fun!


AAA Louisvile and AA Chattanooga were rained out Friday. That leaves us with High A Sarasota and Low A Dayton. Yippy!

High A Sarasota: Drew Stubbs (age 23) had a double and a walk in three at-bats. Juan Francisco (age 20) went 1-4 with a double.

Low A Dayton: Todd Frazier (age 22), who should probably be in Sarasota, doubled in four plate appearances.

Penis.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/5/08

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Fratellis are Back. Pop Quiz

"Mistress Mabel," the new single by The Fratellis is...

A. the greatest song ever written?

B. so crappy it makes me want to blow up Scotland?

Sadly, the answer is not choice A.

See for yourself...




Let's hope this is the exception, not the rule. We'll find out soon enough. The new album, Here We Stand, will be in stores June 9th.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/4/08

Minor League Baseball is a Thing


Understandably lost in the Johnny Cueto madness was the season debut for many of the Reds top minor league prospects, most notably Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Josh Roenicke, Juan Francisco, Drew Stubbs, Sean Watson and Todd Frazier. Devin Mesoraco, last year's first round pick, stayed in Sarasota for extended spring training (I think). This is the list of humans that matter in the Reds' farm system. Everyone else--save for maybe a few, like Chris Valaika, or an intriguing out-of-nowhere prospect--isn't important to me. I'm guessing you share the same feelings. Anyway, I will update the progress of the aforementioned crew on a nightly basis. Nothing special, just links to box scores with a tidbit added when necessary. I hope I've made it easier to follow the Reds of the future.

(Again, from this day forward I will update this thing before bedtime. And you will never see me write the following line: Paul Janish had two hits and a run scored. He is irrelevant, like most of the players in the minors.)

From AAA Louisville: Homer Bailey (age 21) was impressive (7IP, 5H, 1BB, 2K, 1ER) in defeat. One walk...that's huge. I don't care about the low strikeout total or the loss. All Bailey has to do to find his way back to the bigs is throw strikes. The strikeouts will come, Ray. They will most definitely come.

Jay Bruce (age 21) went 1-4 and struck out twice. Clearly, he stinks.

AA Chattanooga: Josh Roenicke (age 25) saved his first game of the season. He struck out one and gave up a hit.

High A Sarasota: Drew Stubbs (age 23) showed the patience at the plate (1-2, 2BB, 3R) he needs in order to be a serviceable big league hitter. He's a Gold Glove caliber CF.

Juan Francisco's (age 20) OBP was putrid last season, but he did stroke 25 HRs and drive in 90. Last night he went 4-5 with three doubles.

(Important note: Much of the damage done by Stubbs and Francisco came off Francisco Liriano. This probably excites me more than it should.)

Sean Watson (age 22) pitched an inning of relief and gave up three runs. Watson dominated Low A Dayton as a starter in 2007 (85K, 13BB, 1.88 ERA) before getting roughed up a bit in Sarasota. Perhaps the Reds see Watson as a reliever, not a starter.

Low A Dayton: Todd Frazier (age 22) walked three times and scored a run. By all accounts, this dude can really hit. Most seem to think he projects to third base. The Reds like him at short.

Keep the change, you filthy animals.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/4/08

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What if Nancy Grace was Dying...


Listen, I love Nancy Grace. This always shocks people when I tell them this. I've been a fan of hers since the holy trinity of athletes on trial (Ray Lewis, Mark Chmura and Rae Carruth) took over Court TV a few years back. Really and truly, I found myself somewhat attracted to Nancy Grace. And even though she's clearly gone off the deep end recently, I find myself defending her. I am nothing if not honest.

Craig, he hates Nancy Grace. Probably more than I hate the guy at Wendy's who didn't give sweet and sour sauce today with my nuggets. But anyway, Craig wouldn't mind if Nancy Grace stopped breathing.

You can find out about this (and more) in our lastest podcast, "craig wishes cancer on nancy grace." Give it a listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
4/3/08