Saturday, May 31, 2008

People Not Named Me Also Think Jay Bruce Is Good

Said Dusty Baker, MLB veteran of forty years, referring to Jay Bruce:

"Everybody said he was good. Sometimes guys get over-hyped. Most times you're disappointed at first. This hype is real."

From Buster Olney's blog: An AL talent evaluator remembers taking his first real look at Jay Bruce: "Last spring I saw him face Curt Schilling in a minor league game. He took two fastballs about two inches off the black away and then hit the third one, on the black, way out to left. It comes so naturally to he was born with a firm knowledge of the strike zone and the ability to do damage on anything in the zone. Joey Votto actually has a lot of the same traits. Those two are going to be pretty fearsome from the left side in a division without a lot of [left-handed] power."

-Brad Spieser (

Here's How I Know Jay Bruce Is Better Than Decent

Definitive proof that Jay Bruce is a big deal: It's roughly thirty minutes after his first career home run, and his Wikipedia page has already been updated.

And yet another way to prove that Jay Bruce is a big deal: I checked his Wikipedia page thirty minutes after his first career home run.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex, Drugs and Drugs

Some 21-year-old pitcher from Georgia Tech died of a heroin overdose about six weeks ago. I didn't hear about this until today, when I read the medical examiner's report on It got me thinking, though...

1. Why would a 21-year-old college athlete mess around with H? Not to make light of the situation, but isn't college a pretty good time for a Div. 1 athlete? Aren't weed and beer and 19-year-old white girls enough?

2. The terms pothead and cokehead have been part of our lexicon for many many decades, but why doesn't it apply to other drugs? For instance, you'll never hear anyone say, "Oh, that Andy, he's just one of those heroinheads."

Enjoy your weekend.

-Brad Spieser (

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Twelve (A Reminder)

Other stuffs that annoy me about George Grande:

1. According to Grande, every ball not hit on the ground is either (a.) blooped, or (b.) hit pretty good.

2. Grande has said "get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in" roughly 65 times per game for the last fifteen years. This makes him a strategist of sorts.

3. When was the last time he went an inning without describing someone as "special?"

4. Enough with the Ponderosa jokes already.

5. Stop mentioning (FSN producer) Jesse Jackson's name and laughing. If you're not going to incorporate his voice into the broadcast, we won't think it's funny (not that it would be funny anyway). You can't just say, "Jesse, you'll be there, right? Ha Ha Ha!" That isn't funny. Nor will it ever be.

--I will cease piling on George Grande until Monday. Probably.--

Two Quick Reds Thoughts, using the letters A and B...

a. Does Joey Votto know how to throw overhand? The Reds corner infielders give me a heart attack every time they touch the ball.

b. With David Weathers proving--with each outing--to be the (below) average pitcher we knew he was last year--doesn't it bother you that he wasn't moved at the '07 trade deadline, when his value was at or near an all-time high?

And before you say, "Yeah, but they wouldn't have received anything in return for him," consider the following transactions that took place in my lifetime:

August, 1990: Astros send 37-year-old reliever Larry Andersen to the Red Sox for prospect Jeff Bagwell. One year later, Bagwell was named NL ROY.

November, 1998: Indians acquire lefty "specialist" Ricardo Rincon from the Pirates in exchange for surefire stud Brian Giles. Giles averaged well over 100 RBI over the next five seasons in Pittsburgh.

First, let me say that Weathers in '07 was not as good as Andersen in 1990 (although their WHIPs were nearly identical). And he's ten years older than Rincon was in '98. So, I'm not suggesting the Reds would have received something in return for Weathers as valuable as Bagwell or Giles. Then again, you never know. Okay, I do know. But there's a chance they could have picked up a young arm ranked somewhere ahead of Matt Maloney and behind Daryl Thompson. I ask you: Would you rather have Old Man Weathers scaring the hell out of you in inning No. 8 for another year, or would you rather have a 21-year-old flamethrower to monitor while he shoots up the farm system?

Wayne Krivsky screwed the pooch.

-Brad Spieser (

I Know Jayson Stark Better Than Jayson Stark Knows Jayson Stark

It was only five American days ago when I wrote about the Reds' disastrous 18-inning loss to the Padres. Within that post I told you to check Jayson Stark's blog on Monday for more information on the game, for it was right up his alley.

Come Monday, no dice. And I took a fair amount of crap for this. First, because Stark didn't write anything. Second, because it was Insider Only.

But alas, redemption has come my way. Jayson Stark finally wrote about Sunday's game. From his blog:

STRIKE TWO -- EXTRA-EXTRA DEPT.: Sunday in San Diego, the Reds and Padres played a baseball game that wouldn't end. Not for 18 innings. Or 5 hours, 57 minutes, anyway.

And when you play baseball that long, stuff happens. Lots of stuff. Lots of weird stuff. So let's peruse the highlights:

--First off, it wouldn't quite be accurate to say the Padres do this all the time. But they've now played a 22-inning game this year (April 17 against the Rockies) and an 18-inning game. Last team to play a 22-inning game and another game of at least 18 innings in the same season, according to Elias: the 1989 Dodgers (who played two 22-inning games).

--The Reds used four members of their starting rotation in this game -- Matt Belisle (who started), Edinson Volquez (who pitched the 17th and 18th innings and took the loss), Bronson Arroyo (who got a pinch hit in the 13th) and Aaron Harang (who spun four spectacular innings in relief).

--Speaking of Harang, he struck out seven Padres in a row at one point -- and nine altogether in four innings. That's A) more strikeouts in his one relief outing than he's racked up in any of his 11 starts this year, B) the most whiffs by any reliever in extra innings since Jim Kaat fanned 10 A's on Sept. 6, 1969, C) the most strikeouts by a Reds reliever in four innings or less since Joe Nuxhall punched out nine Phillies on May 14, 1960, and D) the first time any relief pitcher had whiffed seven hitters in a row at any point since noted short man Randy Johnson did it on July 19, 2001. (That was the famous game in San Diego which actually started on the 18th, with Curt Schilling on the mound, but had to be suspended because of a power failure.)

--Also doing eye-popping relief work in this game was the Padres' Josh Banks, who pitched the 13th through 18th and got the win. As loyal reader Eric Orns reports, that made Banks the first man to pitch six extra innings in relief and get a win out of it since the unforgettable Bronswell Patrick, on June 10, 1998.

--As Dayton Daily News Hall of Famer Hal McCoy couldn't help but point out, the Reds blew more saves just between the eighth and 11th innings of this game (three) than they'd blown all season before that (two).

--Were there enough names in this box score? The Reds used 24 players. The Padres used 21. The Reds used 10 pitchers (and it wasn't even September). And the Padres had a different pitcher on the mound to start every darned inning between the sixth and 11th.

--There wasn't a zero to be found in the box-score lines of any of the Padres' first six hitters (who all had at least one run, hit and RBI). But Reds leadoff man Corey Patterson supplied enough zeroes for all of them -- by becoming the first Red to go 0 for 8 in any game since Eddie Milner did it in 1983.

--And the Reds managed to do something they hadn't done in almost 60 years -- get 21 hits in one game and lose. Last time they did that: June 8, 1949.

STRIKE THREE -- LOTS OF TROTS DEPT.: OK, there was one more awesome development in that 18-inning game that we saved for this, the weird-homer-feat portion of Three Strikes. Here come the two most riveting home-run feats of the week:

--Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run 18th-inning walkoff homer in that Padres-Reds game. And gang, you just don't see many of them. There hasn't been an 18th-inning walkoff in any National League game since Aug. 6, 1989, when Jeff King hit one for the Pirates. And the Sultan of Swat Stats, SABR's David Vincent, reports there had never been a three-run 18th-inning home run (or slam) in the history of baseball before that one. There have been three of them after the 18th, however -- by Ben Ogilvie (in the 21st inning on May 8, 1984), Merv Rettenmund (also in the 21st, on May 21, 1977) and Hi Myers (in the 19th, on April 30, 1919).

Apologize, dammit.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two White Guys Discussing Jay Bruce!

In case you forgot, Craig once met Steve Phillips (and his suntan), and that encounter was the subject of a podcast. Hint: Listen.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Eleven (Leftover Edition)

Since Jay Bruce was only good enough to hit .333 in his second career game, meaning he obviously stinks, let me move on to more important matters. Like George Grande.

He went overboard during the weekend series in San Diego, but an 18-inning game and Bruce's promotion kept me from getting around to it. Anyway, in case you missed it...

He called Padres manager Bud Black "Buddy Black" somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 times in a four-game series.

Listen, Bud Black was playing a little over a decade ago, and he was a semi-prominent player in his day. Since then, he's been a fairly well known coach (and now manager). We've heard his name said a billion times and never once was it anything other than Bud.

Bud is already the man's nickname, George. If his parents wanted to call him Buddy, they would have nicknamed him Buddy.

Grande is so obsessed with nicknaming every player that he makes up nicknames for players who already have nicknames.

This would be like calling Babe Ruth "Babe-ster," because simply calling him "Babe" wouldn't be conversational enough.

George Grande, your Reds television announcer since 1993!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Brad Spieser (

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Ten (Miss Me?)

It's been over a month since I last goofed on George Grande. For that, I apologize. There's actually a good reason for such neglect: The NBA playoffs. I TiVo both at the same time and since I can't fast-forward basketball and get a feel for the game, baseball becomes a casualty. I still watch every pitch, I just miss all the dumb crap Grande spews on a nightly basis while I'm fast-forwarding between pitches.

Anyway, the Celtics-Pistons game hasn't started, so my full attention is with Grande. And he just dropped a beauty. Here's what he had to say about Adam Dunn passing Ted Kluszewski for most HRs by a Reds lefty:

"252 HRs as a Red left-hand hitter. That's number one all time, one better than the great Ted Kluszewski. And it's not lost on Adam Dunn. Dunn, since he put on a Reds uniform, has marvelled at Big Klu's numbers. Not just the home runs, but the few strikeouts in his career and the kind of player he was, and leader he was, for the Reds."

Idiot's Guide To What George Grande Just Said...

Since the day Adam Dunn came to the Reds he's marvelled at Ted Kluszewski's HR totals, his ability to avoid strikeouts and at the type of leader Big Klu was.

Important fact: Ted Kluszewski's last year in Cincinnati was 1957.

Stating the obvious: George Grande is out of control.

-Brad Spieser (

Here's Why Jay Bruce Is Good (Video)

My inner nerd always appears when it comes to breaking down tape. Which is why I'm a slave to Driveline Mechanics. You wouldn't think a fifteen minute video of one Jay Bruce swing would be interesting, and yet it is. I feel like I learned a lot from this video: without revealing too much, I'll just tell you that the guys at Driveline Mechanics debunk myths about arm extension and the importance of a hitter's back foot remaining on the ground when bat meets ball.

I can't embed the video, so you'll have to check out their site. (Note: Try to hang with it through the first five minutes; the last ten are relatively riveting.)

(Thanks to reader Hiram for directing me toward this video...)

-Brad Spieser (

Jay Bruce Is Everywhere

If you're familiar with Jim Callis' chats you're well aware of the Lightning Round. For those who aren't, it's simple: Either/or question, definitive answer. Callis, Baseball America's managing editor (I think that's his title), answered two Jay Bruce questions in his Wednesday afternoon lightning round that I found interesting:

Brett (Lexington, KY): Bruce or Hamilton?

Jim Callis: Bruce.

Phil (Grand Rapids): (Dodgers pitching phenom Clayton) Kershaw or Bruce if you are starting a team?

Jim Callis: Bruce.

For anyone who thinks this is crazy, just know that he's in the business of projecting young baseball players. And the more he's wrong, the less credibility he'll have.

Just saying.

-Brad Spieser (

Jay Bruce Is The Name Of A Person

ESPN people discuss Jay Bruce.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jay Bruce, Savior (Like Jesus 'N' Stuff)

Sad fact: I am no longer a daily bettor. But if I was...

I'd bet on the Reds every day for the next two weeks or so. The Reds are ready to win ten or eleven of the next twelve games. This isn't a hunch, either (even though it is). But really, can't you just feel it coming on? Because I can. I can definitely feel it. Are you with me? Can you feel it?

(Question: Do you think Jay Bruce has a chance to win the Rookie of the Month Award for May?)

Anyway, we learned a few things about Jay Bruce on Tuesday:

1. He's one of the thirty greatest players in the history of American baseball (possible exaggeration).

2. He wasn't scared of the moment. This happens when you're better than everybody else.

3. He's genuinely liked by his teammates. There's no way to fake that, either. This might mean something, it might mean nothing. But I want to believe this crap matters, so leave me alone.

4. Tomorrow is Taco day at lunch!

-Brad Spieser (

Jose Canseco's Punching Fight Doesn't Excite Me

Jose Canseco and former Cardinals and Eagles return specialist Vai Sikahema are going to punch each other on national television in the coming months. I will not be watching.

Now, had Sikahema agreed to battle ex-Colts and Falcons return man extraordinaire Clarence Verdin in the ring...well, I'd be in the front row.

Sadly, no video of the "Verdance" exists on YouTube, but here's one of Vai Sikahema beating up a goal post after a returning a punt for touchdown.

The Ickey Shuffle was grossly overrated.

-Brad Spieser (

Jay Bruce Will Save The Reds...This Year

One of my favorite baseball teams of recent past, the 2003 Florida Marlins, opened the season with a record of 20-30. Then their young players caught fire, and one in particular, Dontrelle Willis, gave them a boost that lasted all the way through October. The Marlins beat the Yankees in six games to win the World Series, and it didn't feel like an upset, at least not to me. Youth doesn't equal untalented.

I think you know where I'm going with this.

And before you think I'm silly, let me just say NO. As in, NO, I do not think the Reds will win the World Series, nor do I think they have the talent to do so. I do think, however, despite the fairly awful brand of baseball they've displayed thus far, that they can put together a winning season.

The reason, of course, is Jay Bruce. I think he can provide a Dontrelle Willis-like boost and propel the Reds out of the cellar, past mediocrity, and into NL Central contention. I think you'll see pretty soon (like, beginning tonight) that Jay Bruce is the best player on the team. Add that to the fact that the Reds have been talented underachievers in '08...this could be the perfect storm for a turnaround.

In fact, I'll go out on a mini-limb: The Reds will be over .500 by the All Star break, and breathing down Chicago's neck by August.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jay Bruce Is Finally Coming To Town! (Exclamation Point)

Since learning of Jay Bruce's call-up to Cincinnati, I've been procrastinating like never before. "What exactly should I write about this watershed moment?" I asked myself. Six hours later, it hit me: Nothing. There is nothing I can add to this. Jay Bruce is coming to Cincinnati, I'm horny, end of story. I'll be able to put this monumental occasion in perspective after game one.

I suppose the two things I'm most interested in seeing--aside from Bruce's awesomeness--is the affect he has on attendance and where he bats in the lineup. And I guess I want to see if he comes across as nervous, or if he seems like the coolest guy in the stadium. (Note: I probably put way too much stock into body language.)

Other things (because I don't want to make another post)...

You may have seen Reds pitching prospect Daryl Thompson promoted from AA Chattanooga to AAA Louisville. My not-so-wild prediction: Thompson gets called up to the bigs before Homer Bailey. Regardless, I expect to see both in a Reds uniform before September.

For more on Thompson, here's a fairly lengthy Q & A he did with Baseball America two weeks ago. Count how many times he uses the word "stuff." Not just referring to his pitching repertoire (fastball, curveball, etc.), but as a crutch phrase ("A lot of guys that do all their shoulder stuff, (but) stuff still happens to them. I was doing shoulder stuff, but I wasn't doing enough at the time. So that's why that stuff happened."). Perhaps stuff is the knew you know...

--End of Reds talk--

Two important things learned Monday...

1. Jason Maxiell's hobby is building model cars. Nerd.

2. Andruw Jones' page lists his weight at 170 lbs. (Have you seen this fatty lately? He hasn't seen 170 lbs. since the eighth grade.)

(UPDATE: I just thought of something: Jay Bruce = Rex Manning, which, I guess, makes me Liv Tyler. You know at the start of Empire Records, when the young employees are hyped up because an aging pop star (Manning) is coming to the store for an autograph session? That's like my current anticipation level for the Jay Bruce Experience, multiplied by 85,000.)

-Brad Spieser (

Son Of A Bitch, He Stole My Line

Rob Neyer took the words right out of my mouth this morning on his blog:

"Yesterday in the Reds' 18-inning loss, Corey Patterson went 0-for-8, his slash stats dropping to .201/.242/.354. Mind you, we're talking about their leadoff man who's earning $3 million this season. Meanwhile, Louisville Bats center fielder Jay Bruce, widely considered the No. 1 prospect in the minor leagues this spring, is currently batting .364/.393/.630. Has there ever been a more obvious call-up in the history of the sport?"

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Padres 12, Reds 9, 355 Innings; Dusty Baker Is Opposite Of Smart

11th inning, Reds up, 9 points to 7 points...

With two relievers remaining, Josh Foggstein (the designated "long guy" on the team) and Bill Bray (more or less a one inning pitcher), Dusty Baker elects to roll with Foggstein. At the time, I'm thinking, "Okay, this stinks, because Foggstein is one of the worst pitchers in the history of pitchers, but whatever...all he needs is to record three outs without giving up two runs and the Reds win their third in a row. It's too bad Bray isn't available, though, because he is obviously better suited to close out games."

Fast forward a bit...

Two outs and one run later, Foggstein is out of the game in favor of Bray, who was left a runner on second base. In case you missed what I just said: BILL BRAY WAS AVAILABLE! ARRRGH!

So now I'm thinking, "I really hope Bray can clean up Foggstein's mess. Either way, Dusty Baker is going to take a beating on sports talk radio tomorrow."

What happens? Base hit, tied game. Of course. Bray gets the third out and we head to the 12th. (Me throw remote control at wall. It don't work no more. Me drink chocolate malt. Because fat girls consume chocolate when stressed.)

A big deal was made out of Baker's lineup card fiasco a few weeks back--to me, this is a billion times worse (I was thinking a trillion but didn't want to go overboard). How shortsighted can one man be? Apparently the answer is, um, very. Baker can be (and is) very shortsighted. Why not roll with Bray for an inning, maybe two, and sink or swim with Foggstein until game's end? Isn't that why Alexander Graham Bell invented the long reliever?

Dusty Baker butchered this game, plain and simple.

What I won't take him to task for, however, is his use of Edinson Volquez in the 17th and 18th, even though he started Friday's game. Johnny Cueto pitches Tuesday--after Monday's much needed off day--and it was clear that Baker would only use Cueto if he truly was out of options. My guess is Baker would have used a position player to pitch instead of Cueto. Who knows?

(By the way, of all the times I've wished to have Josh Hamilton back on the roster, Sunday's game took things to a different level. It would have been the height of awesomeness to see him on the mound, throwing 95 MPH.)

But anyway, we (and I count myself as part of we) need to stop considering Volquez a kid. Sure, he's The Future, I get that. But he's also a non-boyish 25-years-old, and he hasn't been worked to death in the past (he never exceeded 180 innings--minor and major league combined--in any one season with Texas). So the guy pitched two innings of relief on very short rest...big deal. The chances of it ever happening again are beyond slim (think Nicole Richie on an Adderall binge).

How about this: Greg Maddux threw 263 innings at age 25; Roger Clemens, 281; Andy Pettite, 240. Steroid jokes aside, those guys have been remarkably durable.

Throwing 200-plus innings isn't always a big deal at age 25. It can be a big deal for younger guys, though. Dontrelle Willis, by the age of 23--and this doesn't count anything that happened in his minor league career--logged over 600 innings in his first three years in Florida. His velocity and control haven't been the same since.

That might explain the caution with Cueto (age 22), who was easily the freshest of the available pitchers once the 17th rolled around. It's possible, though, that Baker simply forgot Johnny Cueto was even on the roster. Again, who knows? It appears anything is possible with Baker at this point.

That's all for now, boys and girls. I gots to get me some sleep, as I have a long day at the office Monday. But I would suggest checking out Jayson Stark's blog for more information on this epic battle between the Padres of California and the Reds of Ohio. I could be wrong, but I can almost guarantee he'll have something on this game. His stuff is always nerdy, but usually interesting. (Note: I like Stark because he's keenly aware of Barry Larkin's greatness.)

Also, I'm still having trouble with the podcast player. I have tons of goodness just waiting to be unleashed. As Ray Pruitt (and Wilson Phillips!) once said, "Hold on."

(One other thing: Manu Ginobili's 2nd Qtr performance was spectacular. 19 points in ten minutes, with an injured shooting hand and a bum ankle...are you kidding me? He's one of my ten favorite players of all time. One of those special athletes who would have excelled at any sport he wanted. Imagine Ginobili, at 6'5, outleaping defenders in the endzone on jump balls, or contorting his body to make one-handed catches...)


-Brad Spieser (

Friday, May 23, 2008

Statistical Research; We Used To Be Very Dumb

Batting average: .267

OPS: .655

HR: 1

RBI: 40

Strikeouts: 115

BB: 50

Caught Stealing 25

Those are--at best--below average numbers. They belong to Vince Coleman, 1985. That is, Vince Coleman, 11th in NL MVP voting, 1985.

Remember when the TV told us Vince Coleman was a star?

1985 wasn't that long ago, but in baseball terms, it was centuries ago. Now, the part of the story I didn't tell you was that Coleman stole 110 bases and scored 107 runs. Those numbers are somewhat impressive, I suppose, but not compared to the rest of the damage he did to his team that season. Compare Coleman's 1985 stats to Juan Pierre's in '07. They're damn near identical. The only difference, aside from Pierre's stats being slightly better, is seemingly every Dodger fan was ready to run Pierre out of town in the offseason.

Does anyone still want to criticize Bill James (and the like) for emphasizing the correct statistics?

(Note No. 1: Don't ask me why I was looking up Vince Coleman's statistics in my free time.)

(Note No. 2: I found this beauty of a quote from Vince Coleman's Wikipedia page..."I don't know nothing about no Jackie Robinson.")

-Brad Spieser (

A White Displays Athleticism; The Media Celebrates

In Wednesday's Orioles-Sombodies game, RF Nick Markakis (a white) and CF Adam Jones (a black) went after the same ball in right field and Markakis made a not-too-difficult catch on the warning track.

Here's how Baseball Tonight's Steve Berthiaume described the highlight:

"Somehow Markakis outleaps Adam Jones here at the wall."


This came on the heels of Chris Welsh describing Matt Kemp as "deceptively quick" during the Reds-Dodgers series earlier this week.

Thank God Steve Berthiaume restored order to my universe.

-Brad Spieser (

Ernie Sims Video Is Here!

The following post redefines breaking news.

Last night I quoted Ernie Sims, but today I have the video. Life is good.

Sims makes his appearance at the 1:20 mark. I'll give you $40 if you can translate what he says. AND NO CHEATING! Put your Sims-to-English Dictionaries away.


-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Joshua Holt Hamilton Strikes Again Again (For The 224th Time)

Hang on a second, I need to do something (something needs doing).

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There. Now I feel like a real journalist.

Can somebody--anybody--tell me why Josh Hamilton's nightly awesomeness isn't the lead story on Sporstcenter, or even Baseball Tonight? The dude hits three or four HRs every night (approximately), and although his story receives some airtime, it pales in comparison to the amount given to Joba Chamberlain's possible move to the Yankees starting rotation. Perhaps, for the sake of accuracy, I should have said the last sentence thusly: Although Hamilton's story receives some airtime, it pales in comparison to the amount it'd receive if he played for the goddamn New York Yankees.

The media is annoying and predictable.

Josh Hamilton is--without argument--the American League MVP to this point, though it might be easier to simply call him the best baseball player on the planet. He had three more hits Thursday, including a game-winning homer in the 10th inning. He's leading the AL in all of the Triple Crown categories, and is directly responsible for a national record I recently set: Most times an Ohioan has hit the refresh button while watching a Texas Rangers box score online (733).

Dear Lord,

Please allow Edinson Volquez to throw a no-hitter in his next start. Because anything less will lead Wayne Krivsky (and me) to suicide.


-Brad Spieser (

Ernie Sims Is A Smart Person (Now This Is Funny)

Admission: I don't know how to post videos on YouTube. Perhaps this is a skill I should learn, being that I am the CEO of

As for the reason I'm telling you this: Detroit Lions LB Ernie Sims just made me laugh the way Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker makes me laugh. I'll post the quote below, but the video would be gold,

The 6 p.m. Sportscenter ran a three-minute piece about Caleb Campbell, that rookie safety from Army (the Army? the Armal Academy?), and his prospects of making the team. Here's what Sims had to say about the guy (good luck interpreting):

"I asked him how it was from being in the military, and he said it's just being in the military. So, um, you know, I kinda look up to him, cuz he's doing something that a lot of us don't do."

Apparently "a lot of us" is the new slang for everybody in the NFL.

I need to figure out this YouTube thing...

(By the way, how stupid are Big Ernie's arms from his days at Florida State?)

-Brad Spieser (

Pete Rose Makes Me Laugh

Did anyone else hear Pete Rose's performance in the booth with George Grande and Chris Welsh Wednesday night? As always, it was tremendous. He's one of the few people who is both intentionally and unintentionally funny at all times. (Note: Seg Dennison is one of the few people I know who possesses the same quality.) But anyway, as Pete Rose was telling a story about the Dodger Stadium lights, and how they were a major distraction for corner infielders back in the day, he referred to 1st basemen and 3rd basemen as 1st basemans and 3rd basemans.

Can I get a Hooray for the English language?

Can I get a Hooray for the Hit King?

-Brad Spieser (

Memo To John Paxson: Take Michael Beasley

In case you were wondering, I'd take Michael Beasley 1st overall.

I'm envisioning a starting lineup for the 08-09 Bulls looking something like this: Kirk Hinrich, Larry Hughes, Luol Deng, Michael Beasley, Joakim Noah. Bench: Chris Duhon, Ben Gordon, Thabo Sefolosha, Andres Nocioni and Tyrus Thomas.

That's a really good ten-man rotation (assuming Noah and Thomas continue to improve). The Bulls would have shooters and scorers and (finally) a beast in the low post. They'd only be middle-of-the-pack athletically, which goes against what the NBA has become, but the Spurs are doing just fine with only two above-average athletes in Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. This is because Tim Duncan is a beast in the low post.

Am I suggesting the Bulls will become a mini-dynasty like the Spurs, or that Beasley will one day be as great as Duncan? No. But, do I think it's possible for the aforementioned nucleus to win a title? I sure does. That is, if Michael Beasley simply (a.) keeps his head on straight, and (b.) doesn't fall in love with shooting threes. That's it. If he can accomplish those two things, sky's the limit. For him and the Bulls.

(Quick prediction, based on Chicago drafting Beasley and keeping the same nucleus: The Bulls win 50 games and Beasley is the runaway Rookie of the Year winner, averaging 22 ppg and 12 rpg)

That's all for now.

More NBA draft coverage in the coming weeks.

-Brad Spieser (

VH1 Is Making The World A Better Place

And yet another reason why I watch The Flavor of Love:

"I'm taking my girls to France, the city of love."

-Brad Spieser (

Question Of The Millennium: Horse Racing Edition

Why does the viewing public--not the betting public--universally support the favorite in horse racing, at least at the Preakness and Belmont? This, I'm pretty sure, makes horse racing unique.

As Big Brown prepares (or whatever) for his Triple Crown-completing race at the Belmont in a few weeks, everyone I've asked seems to think it would be cool if he made history. But why?

The most common answer I receive has something to do with witnessing greatness. But that doesn't add up. The Patriots had a shot at greatness and yet the vast majority of non-Pats fans were pulling hard for the Giants to take them down in the Super Bowl. The Yankees--just weeks after 9/11--were on the verge of winning their fifth World Series in six years and I was loudly rooting for the Diamondbacks. Duke basketball, circa 1993: I hated everything about them. Notre Dame, every year vs. Navy: Let's Go Middies!

Look at the NCAA tournament. What if it wasn't a 64-team field, and just a 16-team battle of major-conference heavyweights? Sure, we'd still watch but it wouldn't be the event it is now. And why? Because we wouldn't get to cheer on Valpo and Gonzaga and George Mason (i.e., the underdog).

America loves rooting for David. Just not in horse racing.

Which is why I'm hoping that Japanese horse can be my Bryce Drew.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Always Funny: Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher is an incredible prick--this much seems obvious. But he's also better at his craft than you are at his. Anyway, remember when Liam Gallagher sabotaged Oasis Unplugged for some petty reason or another?

This video will always make me laugh.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, May 19, 2008

Alan Cutler Is Famous And Whatnot

True or False: Alan Cutler is a remarkably talented broadcaster.

True or False: Alan Cutler is well deserving of a morning drive show on a 50,000 watt radio station.

True or False: Alan Cutler's brand of sports talk radio is a great way to start the day.

True or False: There was a time in my life when I would have chopped off my left pinky to have Cutler's current job.

True or False: I could watch the following Alan Cutler video all day.

(Make sure to watch it until the end)

Fifty Nine percent. Fifty Niiiiinnnnne!

Oooooooooooooh! Tubby's not very happy!


Alan Cutler...a charming personality!

Bonus round questions...

True or False: Chris Welsh just described Matt Kemp, an African-American, as "deceptively quick."

True or False: I can't believe Jannero Pargo missed that corner three.

(Listen boys and girls, I have tons of podcast mediocrity for you but the media player is being a pain in my rear end. I can't imagine this problem lasting much longer. Be patient, my peoples.)

(UPDATE: I would not be devastated if the Reds' shortstops got monkey pox.)

-Brad Spieser (

Anyone Feel Odell Thurman Was Treated Unfairly?

There was a time, about a month ago, when my poll question set the odds of Odell Thurman recording another tackle for the Bengals. My ridiculous voting options (which included a very realistic 900,000,000/1) indicated that I gave Thurman a ZERO percent chance of playing even one more snap for the Bengals. To me, it seemed obvious. The guy has never been able to keep his nose clean...why would today be any different? And for anyone who cries about Thurman's ousting being unfair because of his family situation in Georgia, let me ask you something: Don't you think he did something to deserve his release from the team? Think about it. Why else would they sever ties with a freakish (and wildly productive) athlete after waiting so long for him to get his act together? My guess is that Odell Thurman is a terrible human being.


For all of the blind Bengals fans who annoyingly filled up my inbox after I posted a silly poll question, I'm just letting you know that I'll gladly accept your apologies.

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm Stupid, But I'm Not That Stupid

Reds GM Walt Jocketty, in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer, lied to us. Here was his explanation of Jay Bruce remaining in AAA Louisville:

"Right now, it's a matter of playing time," Jocketty said. "The place to play him would be center field but we've got (Ryan) Freel, (Corey) Patterson and (Norris) Hopper. We're trying to sort through all this. At some point, we're going to just have to do it."

I realize Jocketty can't mention the words arbitration and clock in the same sentence, but that doesn't mean he has to insult us in the process. Does he really think we believe this nonsense?

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, May 16, 2008

Joshua Holt Hamilton Did It Again.

Hamilton's stat line from the Rangers 16-8 win over the Astros: 5-5, 2 HR, 3B, 5 RBI, 4 R. He's now on pace for 188 RBI. Somewhere, Hack Wilson is nervous.

Upon hearing of Josh Hamilton's monstrous night, I went to great lengths to watch Baseball Tonight. This turned out to be a great idea, but not just for the obvious reasons. I watched the highlights, I drooled, I missed my Joshy, blah, blah. blah. And then Tim Kurkijan relayed a quick conversation he had with a scout during Spring Training, as Hamilton was murdering the ball on a daily basis.

Tim Kurkijan to scout: "He reminds me of Larry Walker."

Scout to Kurkijan: "Oh, he's better than Larry Walker."

This is funny because the player Jay Bruce is most often compared to...

Larry Walker. Of course.

(Jay Bruce, by the way, went 0-3 Friday, proving that he's simply not ready for Major League Baseball.)

But anyway, this Josh Hamilton-Edinson Volquez duel reminds me of a tennis match between two incredible servers playing the best game of their respective careers. Seemingly every time Hamilton or Volquez have had their opportunities, they've responded with an ace.

Volquez's next serve is Sunday against Cliff Lee and the Indians. I just hope he responds with another ace, or else it will be a long week for those of us who remain obsessed with Josh Hamilton.

-Brad Spieser (

J'Nathan Bullock Has Competition

It would be impossible for me to make this up: There is a person on this planet named Rontavious Wooten.


Remember when you thought Anfernee Hardaway had an odd first name? Ahhh the good ol' days...

(Note: Rontavious Wooten is some sort of hotshot football prospect from the state of Florida. I don't believe Ohio State is recruiting Wooten, but I'll start praying every night if it meant they would.)

J'Nathan Bullock explanation

-Brad Spieser (

Patrick Swayze = Buffalo; Keanu Reeves = Lion (Obviously)

It finally dawned on me why I like the Battle at Kruger video so much: it's exactly like the beach football scene from Point Break. Kind of.

Johnny Utah tackling Bodhi into the water is eerily similar to the way the lion takes down the baby buffalo.

Think I'm nuts? See for yourself. Up first, the Battle at Kruger:

(pay attention from the 2:01 mark until the 2:12 mark)

Next, we have Johnny Utah tracking down Bodhi from behind, recording the solo tackle:

(Pay attention from the 1:06 mark until the 1:22 mark)

See what I mean?

(By the way, either Utah is the fastest ex-quarterback of all time or Bodhi was just really slow, because Utah fought through five blockers in pursuit of the ball. Five. Also, as ridiculous as Point Break is, I've always found the football scene to be the most ridiculous'ist scene in the movie. I mean, were they playing with any sort of boundaries? Bodhi was already in the water before Johnny Utah took him down. Perhaps they were big fans of Arena League football...)

(Note: I was a poor student.)

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Unoriginal Blogger: Part Two (What to Watch)

Perhaps you've noticed that I haven't been begging you to watch the NBA playoffs. This didn't happen because I know you don't care...this happened because the NBA playoffs have been mostly horrible. Aside from a game here or there, or the performance of Chris Paul, it's really been pretty boring. (By the way, Boston has ZERO chance of winning the championship; they're running on fumes)

Anyway, tonight will deliver the drama. The Hornets lead the Spurs 3-2 and game 6 is in San Antonio. The Spurs, I promise, will play every possession with twice the heart of that baby buffalo from the Battle at Kruger video. The Spurs' mini-dynasty appears to be over--I have a feeling that New Orleans will close them out tonight--but the Spurs won't go down without a fight. I can almost guarantee it will come down to the last few minutes.

(Note: This is the kind of prediction I hope is correct. If right, I'm can say I told you so. If not, people will forget.)


Cliff Lee (6-0, 0.67 ERA) and Edinson Volquez (6-1, 1.12 ERA) face each other Sunday. Not to sound bitter or anything, but if Lee and Volquez pitched for Boston and New York, ESPN would have started ESPN3 for this reason alone.

That is all.

-Brad Spieser (

Picture Of Girl In Bikini. Me = Unoriginal Blogger

For years and years (like three), I've wanted Emmanuelle Chriqui, who plays Sloan on Entourage, to shed her clothes in a whorish magazine shoot.

Well, in this month's GQ, she did.

Frankly, it's disappointing. This happens every time I see a picture of her. She's never as pretty as she is in my memory.

And to answer your question, yes, I would still French her. With no hesitation.

(The rest of the pictures can be found at Egotastic.)

-Brad Spieser (

Kobe Bryant Is Better Than I Thought

It's a little embarrassing to read a Sports Illustrated in a book store, but that's precisely what I was doing at Brentano's for a portion of Monday morning. Embarrassment or not, it turned out to be one of the six best decisions I've made in the last four-and-a-half days. Because...

Larry Bird, on the answering side of Dan Patrick's questions, was asked to compare Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in terms of closing out games. While Bird flat out refused to put anyone, much less Bryant, in Jordan's category, he did have this to say about Bryant's greatness:

"Kobe is the best player in our league and has been for some time. When someone told me the other day that Kobe hadn't won an MVP trophy, it sort of made me feel like I wanted to throw mine away."

Think about that.

I was blown away when I read this. So blown away, in fact, that I asked the nice lady at Brentano's if I could borrow a pen and a piece of paper to write down exactly what Bird said.

This wasn't one of those caught-up-in-the-moment situations, where a game analyst is so overwhelmed that he heaps too much praise on the superstar performance he just witnessed. This was Larry Bird, in a quiet Q & A session.

Have you ever seen Larry Bird interviewed? He can be dull at times, but I would never say he's prone to hyperbole.

Kobe Bryant is better than I thought. Somehow.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jay Bruce Isn't Ready For The Big Stage

Javier Valentin is clearly a better baseball player than Jay Bruce. I mean, how else do you explain Valentin's spot on the big league roster, while Bruce is merely a minor leaguer?

I'll say it again: Jay Bruce is a minor leaguer.

This would also be accurate: Jay Bruce is a minor league baseball player who originates from Beaumont, Texas.

Yet another true statement: Jay Bruce is inarguably the best prospect in baseball, and he's wasting his time at AAA Louisville. He's hitting .611 (.611!) over his last ten games, and .366 overall (an International League best). Along with his 9 homers and 8 doubles, Bruce has 5 triples and 7 stolen bases. Offensively, he can do everything. Check that...offensively, he's doing everything.

And, as stated in the previous post, I believe Bruce to be the best player in the Reds organization, big boys included. I'm not talking about potential and projections...I'm talking about right now.

Fact No. 1: The Cincinnati Reds would be appreciably better with Jay Bruce playing every day.

Fact No. 2: Jay Bruce invented sliced bread.

Can they just call this dude up before I start cutting myself?

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jeff Keppinger's Kneecap Exploded...Now What?

(Important: If you're looking for my "Trade Griffey To Seattle" post, you'll have to scroll down to find it. I hate myself for inconveniencing you the extra 2.3 seconds it will take to locate said literature.)

I have no idea how long Jeff Keppinger will be out, but I suspect it will be longer than a 15-day DL stint. Assuming I'm correct, two things must happen.

1. Ryan Freel should start taking grounders at short until he figures it out. He's shown a good glove at second and third--and his arm is probably stronger than Keppinger's--so I'm guessing this task, although difficult, won't be impossible. As much as the little rat annoys me, he's one of the best eight guys on the team, and his team is in dire need of his versatility.

The alternatives are nothing to get excited about.

a. There's Paul Janish at AAA Louisville, who will provide stability defensively, but next to nothing at the plate. The Reds are already struggling offensively, and they can't afford Janish to join David Ross and Corey Patterson in the 0-4 Club.

b. Of course, you could always move Brandon Phillips over from second, but I hate that idea. His offense is more important than ever with Keppinger out, and the last thing this team needs from Phillips is for him to become a headcase as a result of a few booted balls at short. Maybe the transition would be easier for Phillips than I realize, but I'd rather keep him at second to be safe.

c. Jerry Hairston Jr. Eeesh. Is this the guy you want playing short on a regular basis? Me neither. Platooning is one thing, but this is another. He's been a pleasant surprise thus far and I'd like him to stay in his current situation.

Regardless, my opinion doesn't matter. Which means that a Hairston/Janish platoon is almost a certainty.

But who cares? Because the most obvious move staring the Reds in the face after the Keppinger injury is...

2. Calling up Jay Bruce. Yes, Keppinger is a right-handed shortstop and Bruce is a left-handed outfielder, but, as mentioned earlier, this team is starving for offense. The team needs a spark, and Bruce would give it to them. In fact, my not-so-bold prediction is that Bruce would be the best player on the team the second he is on the big league roster.

Think about that. The best player on the team might not even be on the team.

The Reds now sit at 17-23, and, in the NL Central, that means they are alive and well. But the longer they keep Bruce (who is hitting .576 over his last ten games, and .352 overall) down, the longer their odds are of competing for an NL Central title.

That is all.

(Note: Craig and I will be recording Wednesday afternoon. My goal is to post a new podcast before bedtime.)

-Brad Spieser (

Trade Griffey Jr To Seattle Before He Hits No. 600

If Griffey's 600th HR was the main reason he's been kept in a Reds uniform for the past few years, well, allow me a moment to swallow my tongue. Nobody cares. It doesn't mean anything to any of us. It won't put butts in the seats. We crave a winner more than seeing an old man pursuing a milestone, killing his team in the process.

But Seattle, they apparently care.

It's understandable, too, being that they have nothing to root for. I'm guessing their desire to see Griffey play again for the M's goes something like this: We'd probably still stink, but at least we'd get to watch Junior again.

And really, who could blame them? Do you think 4192 would mean as much to us had Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb as a member of the freaking Montreal Expos? Of course not.

Ken Griffey Jr is not a Red. He's simply a guy who played for the organization for eight years. Really, that's all. And I don't mean to sound bitter, because really, I always have and always will defend Griffey's performance as a Red. But that doesn't change the fact that history will remember one of the game's twenty greatest players as a Mariner.

Griffey was shipped to the Reds as he sat on 398 HRs. We acted like No. 400 meant something to us, but it really didn't; we had nothing invested...we were merely happy he added a run for the good guys that particular day. Ditto for No. 500. But Nos. 400 and 500 would have meant everything (relatively speaking) to the city of Seattle. They watched Griffey sweep through town like a comet--becoming the best player in baseball for the majority of the 90's--and it would have been rewarding to watch their guy hit his 400th (at the Kingdome) and 500th (Safeco) in Seattle.

But he didn't. Griffey hit Nos. 400 and 500 as a Cincinnati Red. We rejoiced. Or something.

Which brings me to my point.

I can't say a Reds/Mariners, Griffey-for-prospects trade is imminent (how could I?), but all parties involved are way past flirting, and I'd bet a lot of money that Griffey ends the season in Seattle.

So what's the hold up?

Please tell me it's not No. 600.

I sincerely hope that Reds ownership doesn't think we give a damn. Because, as previously stated, nobody does. But Seattle ownership--and more importantly, their fans--they most definitely give a damn. Their boy, all grown up, could return home and give them a reason to (a.) get drunk, and (b.) cheer like a maniac for someone who they were once obsessed with. As sad as it sounds, I'm a bit jealous of the potential for happiness that Mariner fans now possess.

Think I'm crazy? Think back a decade...

If Griffey were to have a decent couple of months in Seattle, it would have the same effect Boomer Esiason had on us in '97. Remember Boomer's run? Who doesn't? Those were two of the best months of my life. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.

So please, Mr. Castellini, don't wait out No. 600 with false hopes of increased attendance. Give Griffey back to the Mariners before he joins the 600 Club. Seattle needs Junior to bring them unadulterated joy, and Cincinnati needs to see Jay Bruce become Ken Griffey Jr.

In this scenario, everybody wins.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, May 12, 2008

Craig Blames Jesus For His Struggling Golf Game

If there is a hell, Craig is undoubtedly headed there. You don't just call Jesus Christ a faggot and get away with it. Which is precisely what Craig does at golf courses and driving ranges whenever he stinks up the joint. He also enjoys making the golf community uncomfortable (and nervous) as a result of his behavior. A good example of this is the opening story from our latest podcast, "craig blames jesus for his struggling golf game."

(For the record, I've heard about 300 stories similar to the one Craig tells on the podcast. Mark my words, Craig will fight someone at a golf course before the end of 2008.)

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fact: Danica Patrick Has A Mean Face

Now I know what it's like to be a minority. Frankly, I love it. But anyway...

I am one of the few who will never understand the Danica-Patrick-is-hot noise.

Danica Patrick's hotness (or lack thereof) is the opening topic in our latest podcast, "danica patrick has a mean face." We recorded this right after she won her first race, but I forgot to post it before I went to Talladega. Forgive me.

Craig and I also discuss the absurdity of women's athletics, especially basketball.

(Note: My boiling point with women's basketball happens during the annual college dunk and three-point contest. You'll have to listen to the podcast to here why.)

Admission heard during the podcast: I would rather have a five-minute conversation with Barry Larkin than making whoopy with Danica Patrick. (Long live No. 11)

I hate begging you people to listen, but every now and again I feel as if I have no choice. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Danica Patrick podcast is probably one of our ten best...go listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (

Stop Telling Me About The Cincinnati Cyclones

Just to clear things up...

I don't give a flying hell about the goddamn Cincinnati Cyclones! If I receive one more email about this--or if the Cincinnati Enquirer devotes another inch to them--my head might explode. It's minor league crap, and you know it. I feel the same way about NKU hoops, Miami Redhawk athletics, high school football, high school basketball, Arena League football and the Turpin JV wrestling team.

Proximity + Winning = Interesting is a formula that makes very little sense to me.

And before you tell me some nonsense about affordable ticket prices, let me axe you one question: Why do you think ticket prices are so cheap?

That is all.

(Picture explanation: I did a Google image search of "minor league hockey" and a photo of Vanilla Ice holding two AMA trophies was among the results--and obviously, too good to pass up.)

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, May 9, 2008

Johnny Cueto Serves Up Mass Dingers

Johnny Cueto has given up seven HRs in seven starts as a Cincinnati Red. This worries me.

But maybe it shouldn't.

Check out these numbers: 22-6, 2.98 ERA, 293 K, 37 HR.


This happened in 2001. The numbers belong to Curt Schilling. He was runner-up for the Cy Young, and his Diamondbacks won the World Series.

(Admission: Posting this makes me feel somewhat intelligent.)

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pizza Hut Preys on the Stupid

I'd be willing to bet you $45 that I'm part of the only podcast on the planet where two guys talk about the new Pizza Hut commercial.

You know, this one...

This commercial annoys me for the same reason the South Beach Diet and L.A. Weight Loss Center annoy me. For this to make sense, you'll have to listen to "pizza hut makes the world dumber."

! (exclamation point)

-Brad Spieser (

Another Nerdy Baseball Question

Way back on April 13, in the year 2008, I asked two nerdy--but honest--questions about baseball rules. No response.

I have another.

The scene: Let's say a pitcher, in this case we'll use Edinson Volquez, throws five perfect innings, and his team is leading 8-0 when a tornado sweeps through the ballpark, killing six and injuring eighty-five. Being that five innings are complete (making it an official game), and one side is winning--and people are dead and stuff--the game would obviously be called. Edinson Volquez throws a perfect game! I rejoice and whatnot.

My question: Would Edinson Volquez's perfect game go down as a quality start? I don't know, but my guess is that it wouldn't. A quality start is defined as six innings or more and three runs or less.

Six innings or more.

You suck, Edinson Volquez.

(Off to Columbus--I'll post some crap later.)

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Road Rage and Nick Van Exel (Minus the Van Exel)

1. Ever get nervous when the car in front of you throws out a burning cigarette and it goes directly under your car?

2. Do you know what it means to corn a car?

3. Do you get upset when people behind you give courtesy honks after the light has turned green?

4. What about getting cut off on the highway--does that make you want to stab everybody in the neck?

5. Do you think Edinson Volquez will go on a date with me?

If your answers to the previous five questions are (1.) yes, (2.) no, (3.) no, (4.) not necessarily and (5.) yes, but he's not looking for a longterm thing...then the newest/awesomest podcast, "car stuff--burning cigarettes and courtesy honks," is the perfect stocking stuffer for the one you love.

Go listen. Tell friends. I mean it, dickheads!

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pre-Race Fly-Bys and War Eagle Chants

Seemingly everyone I've ever met has told me how cool it is to experience a fly-by before a sporting event.

Let me tell you...everyone is an idiot.

I was a virgin of such madness until the Busch race at Talladega. Few things in my life have ever been more overrated. Come to think of it, I can't think of anything more overrated. I mean, I finally got around to watching Little Miss Sunshine last year, and as overrated as that particular film was, it wasn't in the class of a pre-sporting event fly-by. Not even close, actually. Just had to get that out there.


Our latest podcast, "leftover crap 5--fly bys and auburn chants," covers just that. You can also hear more stories of interaction with rednecks in Talladega.

(Note: The War Eagle chant is alive and well, living in the year 2008.)

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Hillbilly South vs. The Ghetto

Compton, California and Talladega, Alabama are actually the same place. It's true. Or at least that's what Craig and I think. And we're not kidding. That's what we talk about in our four minute podcast, "the hillbilly south vs the ghetto."

We also guess what percentage of racist rednecks would sleep with Tomica--the lovely black girl I took a picture with before the Busch race--if their friends would never find out.

I'll give you a hint: It's somewhere around 100 percent.

Go listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (

Jean Shorts and Racism in Talladega

Our latest podcast, "jean shorts and racism at talladega," is a little over three minutes in length. It's also pretty fantastic.

I mean, where else can you hear conversation about hillbillies, hillbilly fashion, Alicia Silverstone, the greatest scene in film history and Barack Obama?

The answer is nowhere.

I will say, however, that the "N" word is used twice in the podcast, but only because Craig was quoting people he knows. People, unfortunately, who use the "N" word.

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (

Talladega: Day 2 Continued (The Peanut Challenge)

When I wrote my day 2 recap of Talladega I somehow neglected to tell the story of the Peanut Challenge, an idiotic competition that would have made Mom proud. Or not.

What I did write is that I lost my camera in the grass late Saturday night, thus preventing me from snapping any more photographs. That actually happened, except that it happened after the Peanut Challenge.


For God knows what reason, a handful of us were sitting in our RV and shooting the shit on Saturday evening. I'm guessing we were bored. Or perhaps it was raining. Boredom and rain happened a lot. Regardless, it led to the Peanut Challenge.

As we sat in the RV, one of my buddies--I can't recall who--challenged me to finish off what remained of a 90 gallon jug (approximate size) of Planters dry roasted peanuts; somewhere between half and two-thirds of the canister was full--more than you or I have ever eaten in a three-day stretch, much less one sitting. Now, I'm never one to shy away from a competition, but I also needed an incentive.


I was to finish off this mountain of nuts for sixty American dollars. And I had to do it in twenty minutes.

The onlookers thought it couldn't be done. I was officially disrespected, and you know what that means.

Timer ready...BEGIN!

Five minutes in, and I've never been so determined. That Kobayashi guy is overrated.

This picture was taken somewhere around the twelve-minute mark. You can't tell by my expression, but I started to feel really stupid right about then. I'd been eating as fast as possible for eight minutes and I'd barely made a dent.

This is the five-minute mark. I had actually started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel was probably fifteen minutes away, not five. Which means...time to call it quits. That Kobayashi guy is 100 percent MAN. I do believe I'd like to shake his hand.

(By the way, did you notice the nudy poster on the wall? White people are embarrassing.)

It was at this time when I lost the camera.

That was Saturday.

Also, I hate myself.

-Brad Spieser (

Bengals Rookie DT Jason Shirley Probably Won't Succeed

If I were a betting man (laughs), I'd place a lot of money on Bengals rookie DT Jason Shirley NOT becoming a good football player. But not because he's a bad person; there's a track record of some really good football players with a checkered past. Jason Shirley, character issues or not, will struggle because his feet are terrible.

I was just taking a mid-morning nap when my buddy McHale so rudely interrupted me with the following text message: DT JASON SHIRLEY HAS THE WORST FEET I HAVE EVER SEEN. NO JOKE. BENGALS.COM.

(Yes, he really used all CAPS)

Ordinarily I would have just gone back to sleep, but McHale doesn't send many text messages, and he knows what he's talking about. He felt strongly about this, and he needed me to see for myself. Sure enough, I watched the video on and couldn't believe how lousy Shirley's feet were compared to every other defensive lineman at rookie minicamp.

Listen, it would be easy for you to say, "big deal, he's a fifth round pick," but that's not what's going on here, and you know it. Bengals fans have been led to believe since draft day that Shirley is a superfreak, and the only reason he dropped was because of the aforementioned character issues. No, that was only part of the equation. The other is that he possesses the balance of a drunken polar bear.

The video is fairly long--maybe fifteen minutes--but Shirley's drills come in the first five. Pay attention to No. 99 when he performs a zig-zagging drill and one where he shuffles his feet side-to-side. It's amazing how much slower he moves than the rest of the D-Linemen--it looks like he drank a gallon of NyQuill about an hour before practice. (Note: In the side-to-side drill, it's a big NO-NO to cross your feet. Offensive lineman will pancake your fat ass to the Earth if you cross up. I don't know much, but I know that)

After watching the video, I called McHale to discuss Jason Shirley and his feet. We concluded that he must have the strongest upper body since Magnus ver Magnusson. Because his feet were so bad that I almost felt sorry for him while he went through his drills. If I were Shirley I'd worry more about being the butt of jokes than I'd worry about making the team.

I can't embed the video, so this will have to do: Media Player - Cincinnati Bengals

(More Talladega stuff coming this afternoon, including details of the Peanut Challenge.)

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Bathroom Situation at Talladega

Of all the places to see a black at a NASCAR race, I encountered one in the bathroom. Right next to me. Did I sneak a peek? The answer to that question can be heard in our latest podcast, "the bathroom situation at talladega."

Believe it or not, we arrived at this story after discussing sports. It's true. Craig and I were reviewing a few of the Bengals' draft picks, most notably 2nd-round WR Jerome Simpson and his impressive combine measurables. If you've listened to our podcasts for longer than a month, I'm pretty sure you can guess where the subject changed to peeing next to a black in a Talladega bathroom.

Other things's heard on the podcast:

A comparison between Talladega's bathroom and one at a Detroit Tigers game.

You wouldn't think that we'd be able to fit all of this into a podcast lasting eighty seconds, but we do. I think this speaks to our overwhelming talent. Or something.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, May 2, 2008

Remember When Daisy Fuentes Was Relevant?

Here's a sentence I didn't see myself typing at midnight on a Friday: It's been a big week for Daisy Fuentes.

But it has. It's been a big week for Daisy Fuentes.

First, a slimeball member of the paparazzi photographed Fuentes topless on some exotic island. Second, Craig and I devoted more than ninety seconds to her on a podcast.

Like I said, it's been a big week for Daisy Fuentes.

Podcast notes...

The conversation begins with Craig and I discussing the absurdity of snapping pictures during kickoff of the Super Bowl.

Which somehow turned into a chat about Daisy Fuentes, and how she used to be overweight.

Before you know it, we start talking about how ugly Gabrielle Reece is, although I'm still kicking myself for failing to mention her ridiculous 1970's below-the-belt hairstyle (similar to Katarina Witt's).

And then, somehow, it led to this...

(UPDATE: I'm having trouble loading the Daisy Fuentes podcast. Be patient, boys and girls.)

(UPDATE No. 2: The podcast is finally on the media player. Horny?)

Brad Spieser (

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Did Kyle Petty Love His Son?

Our latest podcast, "i dont think kyle petty loved his son," sticks with our NASCAR theme, but it has nothing to do with my trip to Talladega.

A few weeks ago, I was watching an Outside The Lines retrospective on the very dead NASCAR driver Alan Kulwicki. I don't exactly know why I was doing this, but I was doing this. Screw you. Stop judging. Live your own life.

Anyway, towards the end of this piece, Kyle Petty absolutely floored me with the dumbest quote in the history of dumb quotes. No kidding--no hyperbole. I still can't believe it.

To hear that--and more--you'll have to listen to the podcast.

Listen. Tell friends.

-Brad Spieser (

Did The Bengals Make a 2nd Round Mistake?

I don't know nothing about this Jerome Simpson cat, but I have a terrible feeling the Bengals blew it in the second round of the 2008 draft.

In case you hadn't noticed, the Bengals are no longer a young, dynamic and explosive offense. The line is a shell of its former self, the runningbacks are slow or injury prone and the receiving corps lacks depth--with or without Chad Johnson.

The 2005 season was eons ago. Somehow.

It's tough to give anyone in the second round the label of savior, but Cal WR DeSean Jackson may have been close. Okay, even I can't convince myself of that, but I really like the guy, and he brings things to the table that this team craves (i.e., explosiveness and A+ punt returning skills).

Once in this space, and a million times over the last three years, I've described DeSean Jackson as Peter Warrick with speed. The more I think about it, that might be the best comparison I've ever made between two athletes.

Watch Jackson's punt return TD versus Tennessee last season. Focus on the replay, especially the 2:05 mark.

Most of you know this, some of you do not...but I am not an NFL GM.

But if I were, one of my hard and fast rules would be this: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS draft a player who can cut backwards three yards and get back to full speed before you can say Anbesol.

You just don't see feet like that, even in the NFL.


What's the worst case scenario with Jackson? I'd say he's a Pro Bowl punt returner. Again, at worst. As great as Ted Ginn was on the college level as a punt returner, Jackson was better. The dude returned 6 of his first 27 for touchdowns. Think about that for a second.

The Bengals have craved game-breaking ability on special teams for years, and Jackson--a first round talent who slipped because he's 5'9, 170 lbs.--was staring them in the face after slipping to the middle of the second round. Whatever.

And listen, if Jackson was only a return man, I can understand passing him over. But he's not. He was bloody productive in a power conference as a WR.

DeSean Jackson will be a force in the NFL.

-Brad Spieser (

Dwyane Wade Answers Questions About Star Jones

I can't believe I forgot to remind you people...

Please watch Inside the NBA tonight; it comes on after the 8:00 Detroit-Philly game on TNT. Actually, you might want to catch halftime of that contest, as well. Dwyane Wade will be in studio and Charles Barkley promoted it to death last night. He kept calling out his T-Mobile buddy for having a relationship with Star Jones. He must have called her a cougar twenty times over a 45-minute broadcast--I don't think Wade truly understands what he's getting into. This has potential to be the single funniest Inside of all time. And that's saying a lot.

-Brad Spieser (