Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Lame Duck

Walking the whole ballpark doesn't make Johnny Rocker red

Al Roker
How many walks can a LI Duck chuck?

BRIDGEPORT, CT (Hartford Courant) April 29 2005 -- Two years removed from rotator cuff surgery, and almost six years since his infamous bout of foot-in-mouth disease, John Rocker is trying to get back to the major leagues. And, of all places, he's starting his comeback in New York.

Rocker, 30, is a Long Island Duck now, and the team made its 2005 Atlantic League debut Thursday against Bridgeport at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard - the first game of the rest of Rocker's life.

Results-wise, Rocker's debut wasn't pretty. The lefthander, who starred in the late 1990s with the Atlanta Braves, entered a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the ninth and walked four of the six men he faced. The last walk, to pinch hitter William Pennyfeather, forced home the winning run in a 4-3 Bluefish victory.

But the only result Rocker sought was how his repaired left shoulder handled 31 pitches in the damp and cold. As that went, Rocker declared the evening a critical success in his comeback bid.

"My wing felt good," said Rocker, who had rotator cuff surgery in July 2003. "I basically just wanted to see what kind of stuff I had. This was my first game action in about 20 months, with the fans and atmosphere and the lights, it was the first time in a long time. That's all I wanted to see, get the first outing under my belt, good or bad. I'll start throwing strikes. Command is always the last thing to come for a power pitcher."

"I was very encouraged that on my second hitter I didn't blow my shoulder out again," said Rocker, who was mildly booed by the crowd of 4,061 during pregame introductions.

Rocker says that his travails have taught him newfound respect for "kids with purple hair, queers with AIDS, some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time and a 20-year-old mom with four kids", because he knows now he wouldn't be able to get any of them out.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Rock Cats to wear pink jerseys this Sunday

New Britain Club to Wear Pink Uniforms on Sunday, May 1st

New Britain, CT ( April 26 2005-- The New Britain Rock Cats will be teaming up with some of their most courageous friends and neighbors this Sunday afternoon (5/1) when they take the field wearing pink jerseys for "PINK in the Park Day" at New Britain Stadium. The Rock Cats will make this "colorful" change in their apparel to demonstrate their strong support for the 2005 CT RACE IN THE PARK, the statewide event to fight breast cancer that will be taking place on Saturday, May 7th at Walnut Hill Park in New Britain.

In addition to the Rock Cats coaches and players, breast cancer survivors and their families are encouraged to also wear pink when they come to the ball park on Sunday afternoon as they will be honored in a pre-game walk around the bases. An online auction will be held on the Club's website at the end of the 2005 season when fans can bid on the pink jerseys worn and autographed by the players. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to assist those engaged in breast cancer research and related support activities in Connecticut.

Currently the Rock Cats are 8-12 and sit at the bottom of their division, 6 games in back of first place Portland. So, I guess pink uniforms are just a formality at this point.

It's okay, he's outdoors

Zookeepers Battle Addicted Ape:
Charlie Chimp Likes Joe Camel

thinkin bout 'Nam
Fuck you, California

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AP) April 25 2005 — A South African zoo wants a chimpanzee to quit smoking cold turkey.

Keepers say Charlie the chimpanzee picked up the habit from visitors at the Bloemfontein Zoo who sometimes toss him lit cigarettes.

"It looks funny to see a chimp smoking," a zoo spokesman said, but Charlie's trick could cost him his health. The zoo is asking people to stop tossing cigarettes and contributing to the chimp's habit.

A zoo official says Charlie "acts like a naughty schoolboy" and hides his cigarettes when workers are around.

So what you're telling me is, the chimp's got a monkey on his back?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Garry Kasparov Hit Over The Head With Chessboard

MOSCOW (AP) April 16, 2005- Garry Kasparov, the world's former No. 1 chess player who quit the professional game last month to focus on politics, said Saturday he had been hit over the head with a chessboard in a politically motivated attack.

Kasparov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, was not injured Friday when he was hit with the chessboard after signing it for a young man at an event in Moscow.

In a related incident, that same day someone hit Ryan Adams over the head with a box of Smiths CDs.

ryan adams
Somewhat of a fairy

Wolf Pack push division race to final day

WP logo

After losing to division rival Manchester at home on Wednesday, 5-1, the Wolf Pack entered this, the final weekend of the season, having to win all three of their remaining games and needing Manchester to lose all of their remaining games in order to win the division.

The loss on Wednesday was made even more glaring considering it fell on the same night that the Flat Earth Society, also known as the Hartford Whaler Booster Club, held their annual rally right outside the Civic Center. The HWBC's party, held every April 13th to commemorate the day of the last-ever Whaler game played in Hartford in 1997, was this year elevated to a "Bring The NHL Back To Hartford" demonstration, kept afloat by Howard Baldwin's faint promise to buy an NHL franchise and move it to Hartford... contingent upon Baldwin finding someone willing to sell their team to him for half its actual worth, of course, and requiring a vote of approval from the NHL allowing Baldwin back into a league that isn't playing right now and doesn't really want him back anyway. The rally drew a fair amount of media coverage, but the rest of the world did what they normally do when confronted by a dozen or so seedy-looking Whaler fans huddled together on the sidewalk: crossed the street and kept right on walking without looking back.

On Friday, Hartford beat the Albany River Rats, while Lowell defeated the Monarchs up in Manchester. Saturday, Manchester lost in Bridgeport, while Hartford went to Springfield and, on the strength of Alexandre Giroux's 31st and 32nd goals of the season, beat up on the Falcons. Three Wolf Pack players-- Gillies, Grenier, and MacIntyre-- were given game misconducts and ejected from the game for fighting.

All of this lead up to today, Sunday, the last day of the regular season. Manchester would be in Worcester, facing an Ice Cats team that had been eliminated from playoff contention two days earlier and already had a foot out the door on their way to moving to Peoria for next season. The Wolf Pack were at home to face Springfield (again), a team that had been eliminated from the playoffs practically since November and weren't planning to move anywhere, unfortunately. A Monarchs loss and a Wolf Pack victory would give the division and conference titles to the Wolf Pack.

Alas, Hartford fell short on their bid, if they even gave it much urgency. Manchester won their game, 2-1, while Hartford (resting several key players) lost, 3-1.

Despite cashing their chips in early, the Wolf Pack set a team record for wins in a season with 50, and move on to the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, with Game One against the Lowell Lock Monsters in Hartford next Thursday.

Hartford's goalie tandem of Jason LaBarbera and
Steve Valiquette shared the "Hap" Holmes Award
for allowing the fewest number of goals in the AHL
this season.

Friday, April 15, 2005

IMPORTANT: Product Safety Recall

Obligatory Part 2 In Which There Is No Presently Existing Part 1, Nor The Plans To Make One
Consumers are being advised to return these defective baseball caps to the original point of purchase for a full refund. Apparently, hundreds of thousands of these caps have been sold throughout the country, and practically every single one of them has a big asshole in it.

Hold on a second, I copied that wrong. It's "practically every single one of them has a big-ass hole in it". My mistake, I apologize.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rock Cats drop 2005 home opener

I Wear Glasses In The Most Brutal Sport Ever Invented

After starting the season on the road in Maine and New Hampshire, having one game in Portland cancelled by snow, the New Britain Rock Cats (Double-A Eastern League) fell to 2-5 on the '05 season by losing to the Harrisburg Senators in their home opener, 4-0. The bottom of the ninth ended with three Rock Cats stranded on base.

A sell-out crowd of over 7300 made its way to New Britain Stadium for the opener, including thousands of New Britain middle school students who were there on field trips (benefiting from the 10:35am starting time). Most of the students paid little attention to the game, except for the occasional comment such as, "LeBron James woulda had that."

Despite being a part of a Minnesota Twins organization ranked #5 in terms of prospects by Baseball America, the Rock Cats' roster looks fairly thin so far this year. Most of the big guns in the Twins' well-stocked stable of prospects have already passed through New Britain within the last year or so, such as Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, and Garrett Jones. Lefthander Francisco Liriano is the only Twins blue-chipper starting off the year with the Rock Cats, though down a rung or two in A ball there are several studs who could make their way up to Double-A before the end of the year, such as 3B Matt Moses and right-handers Kyle Waldrop (the Twins' 2004 first-round pick, who just pitched a complete-game shutout for Beloit yesterday) and Anthony Swarzak.

Brian Wolfe
RHP Brian Wolfe

Monday, April 11, 2005

Q. How many Yankee pitchers does it take to catch a line drive? A. More than one, apparently

Southington, Ct.'s Carl Pavano is walked off the
field after being struck by a line drive yesterday

NEW YORK (AP) April 10, 2005 -- Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano was hit on the head by Melvin Mora's line drive and left New York's 7-2 loss to Baltimore in the third inning Sunday with a mild concussion.

Pavano was taken to Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center for CT scan and neurological tests, Yankees physician Dr. Stuart Hershon said. He returned to Yankee Stadium in time to catch the team flight to Boston.

"He's fine," Hershon said.

One pitch after first baseman Jason Giambi dropped Mora's foul pop for an error, Mora lined the ball up the middle. It ricocheted off Pavano and landed in foul territory behind first base for a single that sent Brian Roberts from first to third.

Pavano remained standing, but immediately was replaced by Tanyon Sturtze.

Giambi chases after the ricochet like
it was a bottle of Androstenedione

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Minor Pro Hockey Report

Hartford Wolf Pack forward Garth Murray and his "complete, definite type of Mike Brady blow-out kit hair style situation."*

Jane Wiedlin Used To Be A Go-Go As Far As We Know
Lowell Lock Monsters' defenseman "Sideshow" Mike Commodore. Was almost good enough to be a New Jersey Devil once.

Mike Brady OG
Deserves royalties, we think. Um, looking at that shirt, maybe not.

*line stolen from Murtaugh, one of the best fanzines ever

Monday, April 04, 2005

Condors give flying Fukufuji a chance

Try while you're at it
In Japan, they use meatballs instead of hockey pucks.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif(AFP) - The Bakersfield Condors hottest selling poster these days features Yutaka Fukufuji and four of his teammates dressed in Japanese silk robes while clutching samurai swords.

Great ice hockey goalies don't normally come from Japan, but Fukufuji's play this season has made believers out of his Bakersfield teammates. The 22-year-old from Hokkaido is the Condors' No 1 netminder and has established himself as one of the top rookies this season in professional ice hockey's ECHL.

"It is incredible for a rookie in this league to have as many wins as he has," said Condors coach Marty Raymond, who knows a big game when he sees it. "He is the pickup of the year. He's got the quickest glove I have ever seen at this level and cat-like reflexes. He is young and if he keeps progressing the way he is then he will play in the NHL."

Fukufuji was selected in the eighth round (238th overall) of the National Hockey League's 2004 entry draft by the Los Angeles Kings. He is just the second Japanese player drafted in NHL history behind Hiroyuki Miura who was chosen by Montreal in the 11th round 13 years ago.

Fukufuji is third in the league with 27 victories and has three shutouts and a respectable 2.48 goals against average for the fourth place Condors (38-22-10) in the highly-competitive West Division.

"He is at the gym every night," Raymond said. "He takes care of his body. When we go on the road I don't have to worry about him like some of my other players because he doesn't go out with the broads."

Fukufuji's favourite player is New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

It's that last part, about "the broads" and Martin Brodeur, that cracks me up the most...

In a somewhat related story, ex-ECHL player Corey Pecker told us that he doesn't think former Kings defenseman Mike Pudlick's name is all that funny, either.

Frank Perdue clucks off

Frank Perdue dead at 84

New York (CNN) - Frank Perdue, the Maryland farmer who revolutionized the poultry industry and whose name became synonymous with chicken, died Friday following a brief illness at the age of 84.

I don't know what they mean by "synonymous with chicken"-- the name "Frank" always makes me think of hot dogs.