Baseball Toaster The Juice Blog
Monthly archives: October 2006


Football Picks for the Week
2006-10-28 04:24
by Scott Long

Last week I was 50% in the NFL, with my college picks tanking it with a 1-4 record. Here's hoping for a comeback.


3 star Texas Tech(+11) Texas
3 star Texas A&M(-4.5) Baylor
3 star Iowa St.(+4) Kansas St
All of the rest 2 stars
UTEP(+15) Tulsa
Indiana(+7) Michigan St.
Navy(+14) Notre Dame

This is my Big 12 3-pack of the year, as their is value in a leauge which has been so surprising. I rated Texas below most at the beginning of the year and thought they would be the make or break game for their season. Red Raiders keep it close.
Baylor has been one of the biggest surprises in college football, but the Aggies have lost only one game, despite playing mediorce football. Talent wins out here, as A&M rolls.
Iowa State has been the Big 12's most disappointing team, but the schedule lightens up enough that can still go to a bowl game. Winning in Manhattan begins this trek.
Tulsa is the best unknown team in the country, but Miners' coach Mike Price will have a scheme to keep it close.
Two teams going in different directions, the Hoosiers have playmakers for the first time since Randle-El graduated. Another victim at home for the Hoosiers?
Notre Dame's defense will be challenged by the Midshipmen. Another closer than expected victory for the Irish.


3 star Cincinnati(-3.5) Atlanta
2 star New Orleans(-1) Baltimore
2 star Indy(+3) Denver
2 star Green Bay(-3.5) Arizona
2 star Minnesota/New England (Under 38.5)

Up and down Vick struggles on the road. The Ravens can fire their coordinators, but McNair is their biggest problem. The Colts have had the Broncos number and Manning finally puts some points on the board against a Denver D that has only given up 44 all season. The Cards have given up, while the fans in Lambeau finally get to celebrate. The Vikings of 2006 play football to win, featuring ball-control, solid D, and winning the turnover margin. Low scores are the result.

Juice Blog Exposed by Slate
2006-10-27 11:04
by Scott Long

Now that we are potentially one game away from the worst baseball post-season of our lives, time for a brief retrospective.

A couple of days ago, the finest web-based news source, Slate, had an article which linked a piece I had written before the Series entitled The Worst World Series Team? In the Slate article by Larry Borowsky, it quotes me saying "Wow, is the National League pathetic that it could produce this team as its representative."

Well now that the Cardinals look to be on their way, I guess many see a carton of eggs on my face. Fair enough, but I'm not shocked by the likely result, as I felt from the start that this was a post-season filled with flawed teams .

It wasn't long ago that the Cardinals were on their way to a historical collaspe. This was a team that had an 8.5 game lead over the Astros on September 19 and by losing 10 of their last 14, nearly blew it. The Cardinals won a total of 83 games, which will give them the "honor" of having the worst record to win a World Series. Only the 1973 Mets have a worse record to play in a World Series and they could at least point to having a starting pitching staff of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Jon Matlack.

The Tigers were the best team in baseball, but the youth of their pitching staff has been exposed, with fielding errors and loss of strike zone control killing them. I will always remember the 2006 playoffs for being the year where the quality of play in October seemed more like early season games played by also-rans. Game 5 had some high suspense that has been missing from most of this year's playoff series, but much of that suspense was given to the Cardinals on a Motown platter by the Tigers.

A World Series title is never something to apologize for, so St. Louis should feel proud for stepping up to the plate when it mattered most. Having said this they will be a World Champion on the level of the 1978 Washington Bullets or 1981 Oakland Raiders. Decent teams that achieved a crown in a down year.

scott's on the Bob and Tom Show Thursday Morning
2006-10-25 16:49
by Scott Long

If you get a chance, take a listen to the Bob and Tom Show tomorrow. The Bob and Tom radio show is the biggest syndicated morning show in the US. I'm set to be on sometime between 7 and 8 AM.

The Worst World Series Team? Oh and Football Picks Go 6-4.
2006-10-20 22:10
by Scott Long

Are the St. Louis Cardinals the worst team ever to play in a World Series. No honestly, I really wonder. Let's go over really quickly what they bring to the table. They have 3 all-star regulars in Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds. All 3 are banged up to a certain degree. Actually, you could argue with the injuries, the biggest hitting threat is Chris Duncan. Not exactly a dynamite offense.

Now let's get to the pitching. This has been a starting rotation of one good pitcher, (Carpenter) and a bunch of below average arms. The game 1 starter (Reyes) is a guy who won a total of 5 games. Here are the WHIPS of Cardinals pitchers who started at least 15 games for them during the regular season. Suppan (1.45), Reyes (1.38), Weaver (1.50), Ponson (1.62), Marquis (1.52), and Mulder (1.70). The bullpen has been sharp in the playoffs, but the Tigers have 3 guys who would all be closers for the Cards. Wow is the National League pathetic that they could produce this team as it's representative. Please Tigers, make this short and relatively painless, because if the Cardinals win it all, it would be bad for baseball.


I wrote when the trade went down that the Pirates were crazy to give Oliver Perez away for so little. In a world where starting pitching is at such a premium, how do you make this move? Oh yeah, because they are the Pirates.


Conan O'Brien does a segment where he casts actors for "made for TV movies." He did this Friday night for the LCS and my 4 favorites were the following:

Jim Leyland would be played by UN representative John Bolton
Joe Buck would be played by Martina Navratilova
Chris Duncan would be played Fred Durst
Albert Pujols would be played by the Genie from Aladdin.

Later on the show, Joe Buck was the guest and when Conan put up the picture of Buck/Navratilova, Buck had a great quip saying that he has never looked so manly. Buck actually was in the ring with Conan, trading line for line with the funniest Network talk show host on TV.

I tire of the relentless bashing I hear around here in regards to Buck. The guy is smart, witty, and knows the game. Sure he's a bit swarmy at times, but so are a lot of quick-witted people. I wouldn't say he's the best I have ever heard, but outside of Vin Scully and Jon Miller there doesn't seem to be any baseball announcer that a majority around here like. I think all professions need to be graded on a curve and if you only think 2% of the people who do the job are any good, then you might want to reconsider your standards.


Went 3-1 in the NFL, while splitting in the college ranks. Usually I have 6 college games and 5 pro games, but this week I'm switching it around.

One NFL note. Michael Vick was on the cover of Sporting News and featured in an Inside the NFL interview saying that he feels disrespected. He believes he should get to audible more at the line of scrimmage and now wants to throw the ball more. At one point he mentions that he would study harder if he was allowed more of a free reign. Vick is not an accurate passer and hasn't shown the leadership skills that top QB's have. Atlanta has playoff talent, but Vick holds them back. He makes them too one-dimensional on offense.


4 star Miami(-17.5) Duke
3 star Purdue(+7) Wisconsin
3 star Texas(-5) Nebraska
3 star Syracuse(+18) Louisville
3 star Iowa(+13.5) Michigan

The Hurricanes are reprehensible, but the past week sets up a great opportunity to get a team with a chip on its shoulder. Talent-wise, Miami is 40 points better, so I like the spot a lot.
Wisconsin has quietly put together a great record, but once again, talent-wise, the Boilermakers are slightly better.
I don't see what the Huskers have done to deserve to be only a small dog.
Iowa has traditionally played well in Ann Arbor under Ferentz and I think it will be a close, as I'm still not sold on Henne in a big game.


3 Star Carolina(+3.5) Cincy
3 Star NY Giants(+3.5) Dallas
3 Star Pittsburgh(-2.5) Atlanta
3 Star Minnesota(+7) Seattle
2 star Buffalo(+6) New England
2 star San Diego(-4.5) Kansas City

An example of 2 teams going different directions. Bengals o-line banged up, which is not good when facing the NFL's best d-lineman (Peppers.)
The Giants defense is starting to play to their potential. Bledsoe has another tough week against an NFC East foe.
The Steelers defensive speed keeps Vick from running wild, as they are starting to hit their stride on offense.
The Vikings are a team that is built to play games decided by field goals. Should be another close one.
I suspect the Bills will find a way to lose at the end, but win the stats battle.
I've been promoting that the Chargers are the best team in the NFL for awhile and even though Arrowhead is a brutal place to win at, this appears to be a transition season for the Chiefs.

Baseball Playoff's Big Whiff
2006-10-15 13:06
by Scott Long

As a baseball fan, I'm really trying to get into this year's playoff's. I would really like to tout the greatness of this season's Final 4. I just can't do it. I will always remember the 2006 Playoffs as the year without a great team. After the past 2 years, which culminated with the epic stories of the Red Sox and White Sox finally winning a world championship again, a letdown was apt to happen, but I had not expected it to go to this extreme.

Let's start with the National League. Something needs to be done here, as the NL has been in free-fall for a few years now. Sure the Mets have an excellent offensive team, but it's hard to fathom John Maine and Steve Traschel starting games in the LCS. The Cardinals have 3 former AL pitchers, Carpenter, Weaver, and Suppan fronting their rotation. Like many other former hurlers from the AL, these three have found success in the NL. It would be an interesting study to conduct on how pitchers fared over the past 5 years when they moved from one league to the next. I've got to think that this study would just expose even more how weak the National League has become.

No matter if they win or not, the Tigers will be the story of the 2006 season, with their revival taking place only 3 seasons after one of the worst clubs in basebll history were wearing the same uniforms. This team in no way matches the last Tiger world series team, though. The 1984 TIgers were great up the middle, with the greatest double play duo of all-time (Trammell and Whitaker), plus catcher Lance Parrish and center fielder Chet Lemon. Add to them Kirk Gibson and top-notch starting pitchers, Jack Morris and Dan Petry** and it's amazing that the Tigers only won a single world title. Unlike Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez, who are not at their peak powers, every player I listed from the 1984 Tigers was between the ages of 26-29. The 2006 team does have a couple great young pitchers in Verlander and Bonderman, but the only place where the current Tigers outshine the 1984 team is in the bullpen.
(**In case you don't think of Petry deserving to be on this list, keep in mind that he had 95 wins by the age of 26.)

The Tigers have been similar to the 2005 White Sox in winning 7 of 8 to get to the Series. I think it's been a lot easier road, though, as the 2005 Red Sox and Angels were better clubs. I think this was the worst A's team that qualified for the playoffs in the Billy Beane era. Yankees fans would probably echo that it was the worst team they have had since Joe Torre had taken over for Buck Showalter. Outside of Gane 4, we've had few moments of classic playoff intensity. A Tigers/Cardinals series is going to be big ratings loser not only because neither team is in a large-market, but also because they just don't have much sizzle. FOX must be asking itself, where's the "Cowboy Up" or "OzzieBall" for this year? I will watch the World Series as usual, but my mind has already wandered to next year.

Football Picks
2006-10-13 23:41
by Scott Long

Had a break-even week in the colleges, while hitting both NFL best bets, including my only 4-star selection for the week, with an easy cover by the Broncos. (warning, bad beat belly-ache to follow) In the NFL I would have been 4-0, with 2 pushes, if the Lions hadn't of coughed up a last minute interception for TD. If you saw Kitna's gift, you know what I'm talking about. This cost me both the side and total.


3 star Rutgers(+3) Navy
3 star Kentucky(+26.5) LSU
2 star Syracuse(+25) West Virginia
2 star Iowa St.(+19.5) Oklahoma
2 star Wash. St(+8.5) Cal
2 star Auburn(+2.5) Florida

I don't love any game this week in the colleges, but as you can tell, I'm going with the Dogs.


3 star Tampa Bay(+6.5) Cincinnati
3 star Carolina(+3) Baltimore
3 star Houston(+13.5) Dallas
3 star Miami(+3) NY Jets
2 star NY Giants(+3) Atlanta

More dogs! Never have I liked the dogs as much as this week.

Corporate Comedy and Big Shows in Chicago
2006-10-12 07:52
by Scott Long

It's that time of year where many companies are planning their Christmas Parties, so if you need high-quality entertainment, please check out for more info. New Video Clips will be up sometime next week.

Next week I will be in Chicago (Schaumburg) at the IMPROV. I will be performing with the NFL on Fox's Frank Caliendo, Friday-Sunday (Oct.20-22). On the 19th, it appears like I will be headlining the show. Make sure to go to the IMPROV website to order tickets, as the weekend shows should be a hot seller. I've had a lot of people in the Chicago area asking when I would be performing there, so come up after the show and say hi.

2006-10-06 20:11
by Scott Long

If you haven't noticed, a new feature to our group here is something called TV Toaster. Unlike the "who knows what the hell will appear" approach that I take, the rest of the Toaster sites have a theme which is baseball. So not to disturb the continuity that has been built at these sites, a couple of the bloggers who wanted to branch out have new sites at our sister site.

Jon Weisman is one of the best I've read reviewing television. Some major trade paper ought to hire this guy. Mark Donohue has a different style, but is just as good. I've always liked reading Mark at Bad Altitude, but trying to make the Rockies interesting to the non-fan is a tough task. Kind of like putting lipstick on Rod Beck. (I need to work on my analogies.) So check these guys out, though I'm not sure what I think about non-baseball stuff appearing here at the Toaster.

If you've read my reviews on TV here before, you know I'm not from the Tom Shale's school of writing. I definitely don't have the skillz that Jon and Mark have when it comes to covering the tube. My reviews have about as much detail as a pre-school art project. Now if you are someone who suffers from a limited attention span, someone who finds the USA Today a bit too analytical, I'm your guy. Of course if you watch a lot of TV, you probably fit this demographic. It's my secret weapon that I have over the TV Toaster guys. Relating to the non-reader. Now, I just have to figure out to translate this to people who never visit anything on the web that doesn't feature Texas Hold-em' or brazen, sex cravin' sluts.

I'm on the road a lot with my job, so I basically get caught up on my Television viewing when I get home. I have had TIVO since it came out. Actually, it's been so long since I watched a show when it originally aired that the last commercial I remember seeing was for McDonald's delicious McLean sandwich. So here is my 4 day Tivo binge diary.

I begin with the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. While the show is a popular topic of derision, there actually have been a few good episodes of SNL over the past few years. I would point to the Al Gore and John McCain editions as examples of this. Any episode hosted by Alec Baldwin is awesome; as Baldwin and Steve Martin are the 2 greatest SNL host's of all-time.

The 2006-07 beginning edition, hosted by Dane Cook, was the best show I've seen without Baldwin in a long time. The Bush sketch wasn't a great way to lead off the show, but they had a few excellent sketches after it, with the airline security and Hugo Chavez talk show two of the best since Will Ferrell was a cast member. The Weekend Update was really funny, with a great start using NBC Nightly News Brian Williams thinking he was replacing Tina Fey. Who knows if the second week will be able to build on this momentum, but for at least one week, SNL deserves a bit of a reprieve.

Showtime has a new sketch show of its own titled "The Underground". Created by Damon Wayans, I would describe it as an extremely scatological version of "In Living Color". While a lot of the material is sophomoric, "The Underground" utilizes its advantage of being on a paid cable channel to offer up an edgier version of sketch comedy. I have watched the first 2 episodes and I think they are funny, especially if you like your comedy with exposed breast-feeding, testicles, and talking vaginal lips. If you are not a fan of these type of body parts in your comedy, I suggest you stick to the PAX Network's Improv shows.

The best new show I've seen of this year is also on Showtime. Have you been looking for a show with the visual look of Nip/Tuck, but starring a psychopath who behaves like someone out of a "Clockwork Orange?" Well then let me suggest you catch "Dexter." This show focuses on a Miami forensics expert who just happens to be a serial killer. While some of the characters on the show I'm not sold on yet, the lead, Michael C. Hall (David from Six Feet Under) is dynamic. Dexter is the best new dramatic character to hit the small screen in years. I know a lot of cable and satellite systems have a free preview of Showtime this weekend, so definitely check it out. Hall is riveting.

I have caught parts of other new shows and here is a quick breakdown from me.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Script- I think at its peak, Sorkin's "West Wing" was the smartest show in TV history. Studio 60 loses some believability when the same type of intelligence and idealism that drove the White House drama is shifted to a show about Sketch comedy. The cast is first-rate and the writing is great, but I'm not sure that the show, which is so focused on the politics of television, has mass appeal.

Caught about 10 minutes of ABC's "Brothers and Sisters", with a group of Big Chill-type 30-Somethings arguing in a yuppie kitchen. The setting and the topics they discussed sounded like something that would never be discussed outside of The Hamptons. It stars Calista Flockhart, who I've never understood the appeal to and as much as I think Rachel Griffiths is one of the best actresses around, I can't see giving this show another 10 minutes.

I taped "Friday Night Lights", because I saw some many good reviews for the pilot. Haven't gotten around to it watching it yet, but will check in when I do. I will admit I don't suspect it will go on my season pass, but maybe I will be surprised.

This is the grand total of all the new shows I plan to watch. I was thinking about taping "The Nine", but forgot to record it, so I guess it won't happen. I'm a fan of shows that have a season-long story arch, but I do think that each network should find a time to replay these shows late at night or on one of the cable sister channels, so people can get a reprieve, in case they missed it.

Now on to a few shows that are returning that I watch regularly. I can never remember a show that I became angrier at than last season's "Prison Break". In the vein of "24", the prison escape show began like a great popcorn movie. After the show became a success, the show seemed to be stretched too thin, with the story becoming more like it was written by some professional wrestling scribes. The perfect casting kept me involved, but I promised if this fall's season premier didn't improve, I was done with it. Well, the show has been great so far, with the prison escapee's all trying to evade the authorities. I want to give a special shout-out to the slimiest character on TV today, the show's aptly named character, T-Bag.

As I said, I'm on the road a lot, so I'm still 5 episodes from the end of HBO's "Deadwood". This final season has been hypnotic; with Gerald McRaney as Mr. Hearst bringing a riveting presence to what has been the best show on TV the past few years. I can say, even though I still haven't gotten to the end that I already am in mourning for many of these great characters. The show's creator, David Milch is the closest thing we have to a modern-day Shakespeare. Ian McShane, who has been the lead degenerate from the beginning, has a darkly charismatic style that I've only seen one other actor provide on a regular basis. Considering that actor is Jack Nicholson, McShane must have been broken up about not getting to play the part of Al Swearingen. Time to break out the canned peaches.

Finally, let me offer up that network nightly news seems so different without the Big 3 anchors who have dominated it for last 20 years. Katie Couric has made her CBS news like a CNN Headline News. Charles Gibson seems like a good guy, but he just doesn't have a heavyweight feel to command my attention. I like Brian Williams best, but I've reached a point where I like a little more analysis and humor than what the major networks provide. This is why I love Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

I have written before about how much I like Olbermann's show, but now with the Republican Party walking around dazed with a new fresh head wound on a daily basis, "Countdown" is the best place to revel in their misadventures. The Daily Show is brilliant at what it does, but I appreciate that you get actual news analysis and an irreverent view of things with Olbermann.

I have been taping "Countdown" and "The O'Reilly Factor" this week to see both of their takes on news. Even Loofah O'Reilly is having a hard time putting a good spin on the Bush, Hastert, and Foley. It's kind of like putting lipstick on Rod Beck. (Hey, did that work better? Still not sure.) Are you like me that every time you hear a new revelation about the former Senator from Florida, you think that he's headed to a life "living in a van down by the river." Oh yeah, that's motivational speaker Matt Foley I'm thinking of, not Congressman Mark Foley. Every time I see Speaker of the House Hastert, I think he could have been Brian Dennehy's stunt double in "Tommy Boy".

Football Picks for the Week
2006-10-06 09:11
by Scott Long

Hit 2 of 3 on my 4-star selections, but besides my best bet on New England crushing, the rest of my NFL choices tanked it. Still doing well on the star basis, as my big picks are coming through, but overall just a little above .500 for the year.


3 star LSU(+2) Florida
3 star Arkansas(15.5) Auburn
3 star Syracuse(+7) Pittsburgh
2 star Wake Forest(+17) Clemson
2 star Arizona(+12) UCLA
2 star Nebraska(-6.5) Iowa State

LSU might have the toughest schedule in the country, facing so many quality opponnents on the road. Here's is where they get make one up.
Auburn will win, but it's lack of a passing game will keep it close.
In the battle of former pro defensive coordinators, I will side with the home team, as Syracuse might be the most improved team in the country for 2006.
This is the kind of game that Clemson generally sleep walks through. Demon Deacons are improved.
Arizona has been a disappointment (not as much as Arizona State--see my bomb of a pick last week), but I like Stoops' defense to keep this game tight.
The Huskers are a lot more talented and have revenge on their side.


4 star Denver(-4) Baltimore
3 star San Diego(-3) Pittsburgh
3 star Carolina(-8) Cleveland
2 star New England(-10) Miami
2 star Detroit(+7) Minnesota
2 star Det/Minn Under 40.5

The Ravens are overrated, as their offense has been no better than in the past. The Broncos home field and better team balance has them pulling ahead in the 2nd half.
While they lost last week, I still think the Chargers might be the best team in the NFL. If Rivers can make a few plays (kind of like Big Ben in 2006), they win it all.
What a difference Steve Smith makes. The Browns have too many injuries, as the Panthers roll.
Remember when many deluded thought Culpepper would lead the Dolphins to great success? Well, he might be the most overrated player in the NFL, which Belichek will further expose this Sunday.
I know Detroit has been awful, but their talent and coaching is better than what they've shown. The Vikings new style is to play closer to the vest, which puts them in a lot of close, low scoring games.

The Winner of the NL Wild Card Breakdown Contest Is....
2006-10-04 11:32
by Scott Long

Scott Long. At least according to my calculations. Here was the orignial story. Check it out and see if I'm off. Just to make it easier, there was only one person very close to my score, with George Y. finishing second. Also, if you don't recall, the Mets, Nationals, Cubs, and Pirates were out of the sweepstakes, since there positions were pretty much set.

Here was the scoring system I used. 1 point for being right. 2 points if one position off and so on. In regards to the Padres and Dodgers, I put both of them in 1st place. If you had one as the winner and one as the wild card, you still recieved full points. If you had the Dodgers 1st, but the Padres 6th, you received 1 point for the Dodgers, but 6 points for the Padres. (see XEI Frank's ballot.) Since they had the same records, as well, Arizona and Colorado both are listed in 10th place. The Cards are 2nd Place, as they won the NL Central. By doing this, you are getting a little bonus if you picked all 3 playoff participants correctly. With this point system, it should come as no surprise that George and I were the only 2 to correctly pick all 3 of the playoff teams.

Here is my ballot so you can see how this point system plays out. Listed in how they finished, with the parenthesis on the side listing my original prediction. The point score is listed next to that.

1. San Diego (1) Points: 1
1. Los Angeles (3WC) 1
2. St. Louis (2) 1
4. Philadelphia (4) 1
5. Houston (6) 2
6. Cincinnati (5) 2
7. Atlanta (8) 2
8. Florida (12) 5
9. San Francisco (11) 3
10 Arizona (9) 2
10 Colorado (10) 1
12 Milwaukee (7) 6

Total: 27

Unless I miscalculated, I guess I will be receiving a copy of Scott Long's book and comedy CD. Let me tell, you I'm very excited about this.

Yawn, Another Steroid Story
2006-10-02 20:28
by Scott Long

I've always been reticent to speak on the subject of steroids in sports here, considering that my partner at this site, Will Carroll, was the most knowledgeable person I had read on the subject. Another reason I've not weighed in is that I don't look at the issue as being that important. Sure, some guys hit more homeruns than they should have. And yes, it has caused some problems with the record books. Ultimately, though, put me in the small group of people who doesn't think it's that big of a deal.

The LA Times is reporting in a story by Lance Pugmire that Jason Grimsley implicated Roger Clemens as using performance enhancing drugs. The rumors have been out there for awhile and considering Clemens' off the charts stats at an age when most players are contemplating old-timers exhibitions, it would seem he deserved similar scrutiny to Barry Bonds. Somehow hitting a ball farther is seen as something that is aided by drugs, though, while throwing a ball hard can only be because of natural ability.

Being a great athlete is about trying to get an edge over your opponent. If it means working out a little harder or studying film a little more, the goal is to be the best you can be. In a world (MLB up until 2005) where there was no drug testing, I'm sure I would have done whatever it takes to succeed, if I was in that position. Just like how players were popping amphetamines like candy during the 60's and 70's, players over the past 10 years were attempting to not get left behind.

Call me morally bankrupt, but could it be that the true team players were the one's that were willing to seek any edge possible? These athletes weighed future health risks versus increased riches from improved results on the field and went with let's make a deal with the devil. For those of you that have never made a deal with the devil, bravo, as you have a clean conscience. For those of us who have sold our souls for something we wanted, well we can tell you that it can come with some regrets, but the devilishly action shouldn't be routinely dismissed as a complete negative. Life isn't as simple as that.

I don't know if Roger Clemens is guilty of the allegations being thrown his way, but I will admit that I wouldn't mind if it grazed him, like a purpose pitch thrown by the Rocket himself. Clemens has always been a red-ass and I think it's kind of unfair that he has been exalted by so many, when Bonds is seen as a pariah. They have had the 2 greatest careers of anyone during my lifetime and if they used or not, they are still slam-dunk Hall of Famers.

Ty Cobb was an a-hole, Pete Rose was/is a dick, and Bob Gibson was a jerk. I can name off a lot of great players who were not role models. I'm guessing that most of them used any edge they could get their grubby fingers on and I respect them for it.

Most would point to Ken Griffey Jr. as someone who has stayed away from chemical enhancements and most praise him for it. I would argue that this is a guy with incredible physical tools who coasted through the off-seasons and didn't try to use the means out there to keep his body from breaking down. Hey, it's his right, but if I was a fan of the Reds, I would have wished that he would have considered using some kind of supplements, illegal or not that might have kept him off the disabled list and if nothing else, helped recover more quickly from his ailments. I don't know if it would have made a difference for him, but if I was a GM, I would want to fill my team with guys who were driven to be the best they could be.

I know this is blasphemy to many, but I don't look down upon players who have used steroids or human growth hormone. There have hardly been any medical studies on the long-term effects of these drugs and my guess is that if they are not abused (unlike many have done in the body building and professional wrestling fields), steroids and HGH aren't going to cost you too much time on this earth. I have no medical credentials, so let me stress that I'm just a guy pontificating on a blog, but it is my intuition.

I've never used steroids or human growth hormones, but I know from the little experience I have had using other illegal drugs that the "reefer madness" view that is propogated is generally overblown. If you use too much of pretty much any drug be it nicotine, alcohol, prescription drugs, caffiene, or even sugar, you will probably feel some adverse effects. Sorry kids, but if you are looking for the "Just Say No" view, I would go to your favorite search engine and try to find it there.

Until we have a drug test that isn't merely cosmetic, the issue will continue to be there. Baseball has gotten a bum rap, with the game being crucified for not being more vigilant in trying to wipe it out. I have a hard time believing that the NFL and the NBA don't have just as many users of these products, especially considering that they are games where physical strength and injury recovery are a far greater ingredient for success.

If I had a vote, Rafael Palmiero and Mark McGwire would be first ballot Hall of Famers, as their credentials completely warrant it. They brought excitement and excellence to the sport and as a fan, I'm not going to turn my back on their stats just because they might have been "artificially" inflated in some people's eyes. I'm of the belief that these things tend to even themselves out and my guess is that a lot of pitchers were using their own substances to combat them.

I'm a believer in measuring players versus their contemporaries, more than just looking at the all-time stats. The Zeitgeist of the past 15 years, if you like it or not, was use whatever was out there to make you better or risk getting left behind. I would doubt that over the next 15 years, it will be much different. Not something you will likely read or hear in the mainstream media, but then they are beholden to their viewers, advertisers, and sports leagues they do business with. Hopefully someday, I can become beholden myself, but until thejuiceblog starts making me some money, I'm just going to stick to throwing out what's in my brain and seeing where it might stick.

2006 Post-Season Picks
2006-10-02 17:32
by Scott Long

American League

Let's get this one out of the way. The Yankees will beat the Tigers in 4. They should probably sweep them, but maybe Verlander or Bonderman gets a win.

The most even match-up of the whole playoffs will be Twins/A's. Harden is the X factor for the A's, as if he can pitch like the 2005 model, they will win. If the Twins would have been smart enough to sign Frank Thomas before the season, this would be an easier choice, as well. Despite these things I've mentioned, I think the combo of Santana and the Metrodome home advantage gets Minnesota to the next round. Twins in 5.

The playoffs have worked out well for the Yanks, as Minnesota and Oakland would have been tougher to beat in the first round. In a 7 game series, the Santana factor is nullified some, especially if he's needed 2 times against the A's. Haren would be the guy I would least want to face in the playoffs, behind Johan. In the playoffs, the 200 million dollar payroll becomes even more important, as it's hard for the Yankees offense to be beaten, since it's unlikely 8 all-stars are all going to go in a slump at the same time. Outside of Santana, the Twins starting pitching is a big question mark. I expect the Yankees will score enough runs to keep the Twins marvelous bullpen from making much of a difference. Yankees in 6.

National League

So the best the Mets can offer up to start game 1 is a guy (Orlando Hernandez), who couldn't even make the White Sox starting rotation. I don't like one starter the Mets have, so I have a hard time going with them over a Dodgers staff which has been so good over the past couple of months. I am worried about LA trying to close out games, as their bullpen doesn't matchup really well against the Mets explosive offense, but I just can't go in short series with such a weak starting staff. Dodgers in 5

I had the Padres and Cardinals meeting in the NLCS in my pre-season picks, with the Cards sneaking by the Padres. Well, that was the beginning of the year. The Padres are the far superior team and their starting pitching is the deepest of any playoff team. Carpenter has to win 2 games for the Cards to have any chance. The Padres are a team well-designed for playoff success. Padres in 4

After how these teams battled it out the last 2 months of the year, it's fitting that the Dodgers/Padres would meet in the NLCS. I think the Padres match-up well against the Dodgers. If the Mets beat the Dodgers, I think the Padres would struggle, as the Mets base-stealing ability would make Piazza a major liability and probably keep him mainly in a pinch-hitting role. Versus the Dodgers, I think the Padres are a notch better in every category, with Trevor the closer being a big advantage. Padres in 5.

World Series

I chose the Yankees at the beginning of the year and I don't see any major reason to go away from them now. I do think the Padres would give them the best challenge of the NL teams, but their biggest obstacle will be against the Twins/A's victor. The Yankees lineup is unbelievable, their starting pitching is solid, and Rivera is the greatest reliever of all-time. I would love to see David Wells pitch in New York against the Yankees, as I could definitely see him raising his game for that kind of event. Overall, the Yankees are too experienced and too talented for the rest of the field. Yankees in 5.

Societal Critic at Large: Scott Long
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Juice

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09 

Personally On the Juice
Scott Takes On Society
Comedy 101
Kick Out the Jams (Music Pieces)
Even Baseball Stories Here
Link to Scott's NSFW Sports Site