Formerly Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies

A Bostonian at the University of Michigan.

There will also be discussion of the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Michigan Wolverines. Probably in that order.

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Spelling rant
Yankee Star Wars
A Tigers Comedy of Errors
How bad is Keith Foulke really?
Harry Potter and the Boston Red Sox
Bellhorn vs. Graffanino vs. Lamprey
Critiquing team slogans
Joey Harrington blogs a baseball game
Jason Varitek gets injured
Winter meetings fashion report
Mascot Rant #1
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8 Days of Jewish Baseball
Day 1- Kevin Youkilis
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Day 3- Al Levine
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Day 8- Gabe Kapler and Theo Epstein

the Story of Chanukah, Red Sox style
Part I: the cruel reign of Steinbrennochus
Part II: rise of the Soxxabees
Part III: the rebellion begins!
Parts IV, V, and VI
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Monday, December 25, 2006  
This is truly disgusting.

The fact that, at the end of the game, I was sitting there saying things like, "But we COULD HAVE WON if only it had been Roy of the Williamses in that corner of the endzone, instead of Mike of the Williamses and his useless, useless hands," is a reflection on my own personal level of derangement, not on any actual skill on the part of the team. This is a terrible football team. A TERRIBLE FOOTBALL TEAM. This is not a point that can be emphasized enough. A bunch of dudes (even the word 'team' is giving them too much credit) who are INCREDIBLY TERRIBLE at playing the game of football.

Jon Kitna is a miserable human being. He perpetually looks like someone held his head to a giant grindstone, shearing all the flesh off of it, and it's only just finished growing back in a cruel, agonizing parody of humanity. He looks even more like this after he's had his face planted in the turf by the opposing team for the 8 THOUSANDTH TIME IN A GAME. Seriously, how horribly familiar are we all with the image of some fat blob of an opponent lumbering forward unchecked, grabbing Kitna around the ankles, causing him to pitch forward comically as though a giant zip-tie has just cinched his lower legs together? And then BAM, facemask filled with bits of grass and discarded dignity.

EVEN SO, things might be different if the Lions receivers were capable of catching any pass other than a perfect spiral delivered softly and directly into the palms of their waiting hands. THEY ARE NOT. And sometimes they even miss those! Do they ever sit in the lockerroom and wonder how other teams do it? How other groups of receivers manage to catch less-than-110%-perfectly-thrown footballs on a semi-regular basis? Does this not INTRIGUE them? Because I can't shake the feeling that they just shrug their shoulders and assume that the rest of the league is filled with strange, magical creatures that they, as mere mortals, cannot be expected to emulate. IT ISN'T TRUE, RECEIVERS. YOU TOO CAN BE PRECIOUS LITTLE PEGASUSES.

Why did I even watch this? Why do I continue to watch this trainwreck of a pisspoor excuse for a football team???

It's like an abusive relationship, and the Lions are the hideous, abusive boyfriend who beats you (the fan) up every Sunday without fail. But he doesn't even whisper misleading sweet nothings in your ear the rest of the week to make up for it and keep you chained to him by the cruel rope of undeserved love! No! You are so far gone that the cajoling words of love are ONLY IN YOUR OWN HEAD, and the abusive guy calls you a nasty slut and goes out to a strip club with his friends instead of returning your calls and you STILL STICK WITH HIM, why? Why???? IT'S NOT LOVE. You don't know! He never treats you right and he sleeps with other girls (and probably other guys too, we know about your sick "friendship" with Brett Favre, Lions!) and hits you about the face betweentimes, but you CAN'T TEAR YOURSELF AWAY, because THAT'S HOW IT IS IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP and THAT'S WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A LIONS FAN RIGHT NOW.

What about the offensive line? WHAT OFFENSIVE LINE? Rick DeMulling makes me VOMIT UP MY SPLEEN. I need that spleen, DeMulling! Why do you do this? WHY??

Clint Stickdorn? WHAT THE HELL IS A CLINT STICKDORN????? Is this a real football player who is really on our real roster or is he A FIGMENT OF MY FEVERED, ABUSED IMAGINATION?

Why aren't we playing Dan Orlovsky???? Jon Kitna has nothing to offer us. We would need a quarterback who cries Grey Goose vodka tears and pisses liquified gold to make the kittenish paws of our receiving core receptive to the football; we need a quarterback who is half man, half MANTICORE; that isn't Jon Kitna. It isn't Orlovsky either but who cares?? WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE EXCEPT FOR OUR DIGNITY. OH WAIT.

At this point in the season people in other cities talk about running games, and I stare at them like they're claiming a goddamn Tyrannosaurus rex is running around their backyard eating complacent suburban squirrels. In Detroit this mystical creature is long since extinct. The University of Michigan is heading some really groundbreaking archaeological expeditions to exhume the fossilized bones of the running game. They've found petrified mud with cleat tracks in the banks of the Detroit River. There are rumors that such a creature once roamed the earth and breathed the air, but right now it's just academic speculation. I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT A RUNNING GAME LOOKS LIKE.




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12:16 AM

Tuesday, December 19, 2006  
Happy Red Soxful Chanukah!

Heading home for break, thank cats, where there are no more finals, and the news is all Matsuzakan. I've nothing to say about that that everyone else hasn't already said (insane money, but oh this market, hatred for Scott Boras, he had better be worth it, I hope Damon cries himself to sleep over having his number given away, stupid posting system, what's up with his ridiculous puffy jackets?, etc). So, random business.

There have been some pick ups of the Donnelly variety, but this is why I hate the offseason; I can't say anything about these guys, because ANYTHING could happen, most especially with relievers, who sometimes seem to be completely different players from one year to the next. We're stocking up on pitching, and that is good, because I think (hope) that we've learned our lesson there.

Dave Roberts is a Giant, in case you were paying attention. The Giants play at Fenway in interleague this coming June. Wicked, wicked excited to welcome Dave Roberts back to Fenway.

Jonathan Papelbon, starter? Theo's feeling good about it, so I shall as well. Hopefully he can tone his intensity down enough to last, although his first year might be a rocky one. People in Detroit have already started saying the same things about Zumaya, actually... he did come up through the system as a starter, and he throws so insanely hard that they're worried about burnout unless they try to settle him into a more necessarily sedate starting role. I think Papelbon can develop more pitches better than Zoom can, though, at this point in their respective careers. Zoom's still young enough so he's kind of in love with the fact that he can throw 103 mph. Papelbon seems more flexible, at least mentally.

Everyone who has ever had JD Drew on their team hates him, apparently. I don't know. There are guys who flourish in Boston, and there are guys who become nightmare versions of themselves. We already (apparently) have Manny for next season; we don't need anyone out there dogging it. Bleh.

I don't know what to say about this, really, but I was cleaning out my backpack to make it airport-safe (being an art student, it gets filled with unairport-safe things, like scissors and steel metal scraps and *gasp* water bottles over the course of a semester) and found these little dudes hanging out at the bottom of it. Uh, yeah, I guess there is not much to say about them, but I thought I ought to share.

Click for big, natch. Er. Right then.

Oh, and Roar of the Tigers (and MVN) is in the midst of a very exciting makeover. There may be some HTML snags, and things like the blogroll and archives aren't... quite.... working yet, but it'll get there soon. It's much cleaner now, although also less orange, which I think is a shame. Have a look!

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9:42 AM

Wednesday, December 13, 2006  

The Red Sox/Boras evening face-down ended before midnight? Lame, everyone involved. If I'm still awake, you bloody well can be too. I wanted this to turn into a grueling all-nighter, with Boras and Theo having a caffeine-fueled staring contest at 4 am while Matsuzaka looked on in complete and utter confusion. I wanted sportswriters uploading hallucinatory notes to their online papers as the night wears on into day.

Basically, this is the final crunch for the Sox to try and get this business settled. It is time for FINALS. I am also in the midst of FINALS. I get about THREE HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT. I expect a deal of this importance to require the same rules of engagement that college finals do.

Anyhow, I bet it was Boras who sent everyone home for the evening. Theo's young enough to still have his nocturnal collegiate powers flowin', and goodness knows Lucchino's got enough belligerent energy to keep him up.

Also, I know we're in the midst of a very expertly waged media war between Boras and the Sox right now, but if this deal fails to get done, I am ready and willing to blame the majority of it on the Bore. Have I taken the Sox media lure? Probably. But if Boras has failed to communicate his personal propaganda as effectively as the Sox have, that's also a failing of his, and one that his clients shouldn't be too pleased about seeing. Either way, Sox good, Scott Boras VURY BAD MAN.

Now if you'll pardon me, I have some more work to do, because SOME of us can't afford to call it a night just yet.

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1:35 AM

Thursday, December 07, 2006  

The winter meetings are, I think we can all agree, endless amusement. Yes, there is the ridiculousness of some of the contracts offered (this year in particular) and the hilarity of watching grown men snark back and forth at each other while low-level ESPN peon # 206 makes up rumors just to see someone's boxer briefs get all in a twist. But there is more than that. The winter meetings are fun on an even more simple level, which can be summed up in one phrase:

"Baseball guys wearing what they consider to be business casual dress."

Heavens yes, this never ever EVER fails to be something you can laugh heartily at when large numbers of baseball people get together, because while a few of them might have their sartorial shit together (or at least their wives caught them before they made it out the door), you can be dead certain that plenty of them will not.

See, when they're on the field, they just wear the uniform, or their warmups, or some combination of those. These clothes are HANDED to them, so baseball players don't have a problem wearing them. And if an event's really formal, they can usually handle the concept of "suit and tie", although there are a select few who manage to bollocks that up as well. But the realm of 'business casual' is a dreaded one in the world of baseball. It's pretty evident that they, quite simply, have no freakin' idea what to do with themselves.

One of my favorite business-casual-confused ballplayers is of course Jon(athan) Papelbon, as pictured above, because there simply are not many events outside of painfully hipster outings, prep schools or nursing homes where argyle sweaters of that sort make sense, and to the best of my knowledge, Papelbon is neither hipster, nor prep student, and certain not octogenarian. Another repeat offender is Roger Clemens, whose collection of 'casual but not tshirt' shirts appears to have been put together by a sadist hopped up on psychotropic mushrooms.

But this is not about the players, because this is the winter meetings. This is about the managers, the GMs, the owners, the people who are OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER, but who still show up dressed to give us a laugh, because they are baseball guys, dammit, they weren't stylish in their day, and they're not going to start being stylish now.

Images are tiny so as to not overwhelm-- clicking them gets you to the marginally larger version.

Mike Hargrove, manager, Seattle Mariners

We'll start off slow. Hargrove's problem here is not the cut of the shirt, at least not as far as we can tell from this shot. The problem lies in the fact that it looks, subtly but undeniably, like the kind of fabric you'd find in your grandmother's living room. Pea green and what looks like muted, yellowed embroidery stripes.... that's not a shirt fabric, that's a fabric for upholstering the couch with.

Buddy Bell, manager, Kansas City Royals

If this shirt isn't shiny, and it's just the light... it doesn't matter, because the truth of the matter is that this is a shirt that WANTS to be shiny. It wants to be silver and gleaming and is almost exactly the same color as ol' Buddy's hair. Kids, it's generally not a good idea to match your outfit to your hair, unless your hair is neon pink and you're going for a Certain Look. Also, shiny shirts with open collars make me think of dance clubs. Impressionable children and managers would do well to never forget the hilarious disaster that was Justin Verlander in shiny purple (and, to his credit, at least Verlander seems to have since made progress in the right direction).

Bobby Cox, manager, Atlanta Braves

This outfit is not so much problematic as it is utterly perplexing. Cox, perhaps knowing his own limits, just decided to throw out all that 'business casual' bunk and wear a normal suit. Braves colors would be a nice touch on the tie, but these colors are, if not particularly topical, at least inoffensive. What confuses me here is how a simple suit can make Bobby Cox look EXACTLY like William Shatner. Because, damn. Seriously, how did that happen?

Brian Cashman, general manager, New York Yankees

I suppose it's not too hard to assume that working full-time for Steinbrenner is a stressful job. I'd imagine that, during the offseason, Cashman doesn't get too much sun. Which is cool, as someone who spends the bulk of the daylight hours holed up in a 10' x 10' cubicle box studio, I can understand. And light blue by itself might be OK, but a light blue shirt under that pale tan jacket is making Cashman look even more pale than he already does, if that's possible. Add in the fact that he looks as though he hasn't slept in about three weeks, and you've got a GM wandering around the hotel looking so sickly that no one (except for ladylike-glasses-chain-dude here) will want to come near him to work out a trade, because they'll be afraid of getting consumption if they get within spitting distance.

Bob Melvin, manager, Arizona Diamondbacks

I believe this pattern (or, more accurately, group of several patterns, laid eye-twistingly on top of one another) speaks for itself.

Joe Maddon, manager, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Another one that's not so much bad as it is baffling. Maddon does NOT look like a baseball guy here. He looks like he could be wandering around an art gallery. The outfit, the haircut, the artsy glasses... I don't know whether to be afraid or very impressed. I guess you have to take a different tack when you're working in Tampa Bay... the traditional ways obviously aren't working anymore.

Grady Little, manager, Los Angeles Dodgers and Eric Wedge, manager, Cleveland Indians

Double whammy of STYLE! Good old Grady Little looks like Miami Vice gone elderly, with his shrimp-pink shirt under grandfatherly pale gray jacket. Eric Wedge looks like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I'm not sure what kind of look he was going for with the all black deal, but whatever it was, it's wholly neutralized by his slicked-up hair styling and homocidal grin. Grady, we know you aren't one to move very fast, so you'd better get a running start now while you still can.

Manny Acta, manager, Washington Nationals

The black-on-black gridded shirt over a black tshirt... the bald head... the giant neck... Manny Acta is mere steps away from being an actual bouncer at a nightclub. It's possible that this is actually a useful vibe to put out if you're dealing with baseball players up close and personal for a whole season; perhaps they respond better to this sort of thing than to a manager.

Brian Sabean, general manager, San Francisco Giants

Here is a very simple way to know when something's wrong with a shirt, gentlemen. Look at the shirt. Think to youself, "Would Roger Clemens wear it?" If the answer is yes, don't wear the shirt.

If Sabes had looked at himself in the mirror before leaving his hotel room, he would have realized that Roger Clemens would wear this shirt (seriously, is that a Greek square spiral pattern down the centers of those inexplicable white chunks? seriously?), and we could have avoided all this.

Kenny Williams, general manager, Chicago White Sox and Jerry Reinsdorf, owner, Chicago White Sox

This is one of my favorites. Kenny Williams is wearing a tolerable color (it's a little bright, but they are in Florida) that's ruined by the weird satiny cowboy-style embroidery down the front of the shirt. It actually looks better in this photo than it is, because he's standing next to Reinsdorf, who looks senile, or at least like he allowed a senile buddy of his to dress him for the day. He appears to be wearing a shell jacket. From the 80s. Along the lines of something like this. Chicago fans can be thankful that it's in White Sox colors instead of, say, lime green, but that's about all anyone can appreciate in this little number.

It also looks like Brewers manager Ned Yost showed up wearing the same shirt as Reinsdorf. Awkward!

Jim Leyland, manager, Detroit Tigers

I love him to pieces, but this lurid floral pattern on this curiously formal cut of shirt really does not work well on anyone, up to and including Jim Leyland. It doesn't help that he's got his hands going down the front of his pants (next time, ask your wife to get you some pants with pockets, Jim), but it's really the shirt that leads to laughter.

I dunno, Leyland just looks weird wearing anything other than a baseball uniform anyways... perhaps he was trying to have a little fun with it. Who can fathom the workings of his genius mind? Certainly not us mere mortals.

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4:07 PM

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