Archive for July, 2008

The Clock Is Ticking…

Posted in Florida Marlins, Manny In Miami, Trade Deadline with tags , , on July 31, 2008 by Adam Smoot

The Marlins beat the Mets last night, bla, bla, bla…

Oh, right. And we’re only a few hours away from seeing if the Marlins wind up with Manny Ramirez. So yea, there’s that.

Right now the Fish would be giving up Hermida and some prospects. In return they’d be getting Manny and John Grabow in a 3-team trade with the Bucs and Sox.

Uh. Yea. Get it done.

Miami Dolphins 2008 Season Preview: Part I – Offense

Posted in Miami Dolphins, NFL Previews with tags , , , on July 31, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Let me preface Part I of this Dolphins preview by saying that the Fins will not be very good this year. Shocking. I know. I can barely wrap my mind around that idea myself. A 1-15 team not being a contender the following year? The fuck?!

Now, don’t go getting all pissy with me because I don’t think they’ll win the division. Or more than 7 games for that matter. I’m not entirely convinced that the NFL won’t trade the Dolphins to the CFL in exchange for the Argonauts and the rights to Terrance and Phillip after the Fins/Bills game in Toronto this year. But there are some bright spots to look at if you’re a Miami Dolphins fan, so whatdya’ say? Let’s break this team down.

QB: The most important position for any football team is quarterback. Just look at some of the signal callers that have played in February in the last 10 years: Trent Dilfer Kerry Collins Rex Grossman Rich Gannon Eli Manning Jake Delhomme Chris Chandler Jesus Christ. Trent Dilfer? Jake Delhomme? Just trust me on this one. Despite the list you may have just read, the quarterback is, by far, the most important position on the field.

As a football team, you need a leader. You need someone who has been there before and knows how to handle the pressure of the big game situation. You want someone out there who’s calm, cool, collected and able to grab a wide receiver by the throat and scream, “It’s not a track meet asshole, you gotta look for the ball!”

It should come as no surprise then, that in the past, the Dolphins have filled that roster spot with the likes of Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feely, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon. Awe inspiring, right? I didn’t think so either. (Oddly enough, I could put that list side by side with the Super Bowl list and there would be no discernible difference in the two.) So with an obvious overhaul needed at the position, the Big Tuna climbed to the mountain tops, stood before the people of South Florida and held out a stone tablet with three names etched, by hand, into the front. It read:

I. Josh McCown
II. John Beck
III. Chad Henne

And as the good people of the Sunshine State gazed upon this large-FUPA‘d man, with his stoney tablet, they wondered aloud, in unison, “Who?”

John Beck played in a handful of games last year behind a terrible offensive line, while trying to pass to receivers who lacked hands. Not the ability to catch the ball. No, they were running around with actual stumps on the ends of their arms. Because, really, that’s the only explanation for last season. That essentially means that the second year, Mormon quarterback — doesn’t that, in actuality, make him the real Johnny Utah? — is an unknown. Not a complete unknown, but enough of an unknown that The Fins drafted another QB with their second round pick again this year.

Enter, Chad Henne. Unlike Beck, the rookie QB out of Michigan is a complete and total unknown. At one point, he and Mike Hart were supposed to be the men who lead the Wolverines to a National Championship. Then Appalachian State happened. Then Oregon. Then an injury. Pretty soon, Henne’s stock was dropping fast enough to make the Enron guys go, “Holy shit!” And so the Dolphins now sit with a rookie QB on their roster whose college career will forever be summed up in three words: Appalachian State? Really? Until he’s ready to even make a push for the starting clipboard job, though, Miami needs a veteran to keep the team afloat.

Paging Josh McCown. Josh McCown, to the white courtesy phone.

Now, when you think veteran leadership, you think Cade McNown. No wait. You think Rose McGowan. Shit. No, that’s when you think crazy white girl that walks around half-naked at award shows. Jack McDowell? Dammit. What the hell is their starting quarterback’s name again? Oh, right. Josh McCown.

McCown has played in his fair share of games over the course of his 6-year career. Forty-four of them to be exact. And in that time, he’s thrown for a total of 6500 yards and 35 touchdowns. Weren’t those Tom Brady’s season stats last year? He’s also thrown 40 picks in that time frame, showing that he clearly understands the role of Dolphins quarterback.

The only real insider’s knowledge of Josh McCown that I possess is that one year, I drafted him as the backup quarterback of my fantasy team simply because, the week my starter was off, the Cardinals played the Niners. Needless to say, McCown threw for 300+ yards and a touchdown and managed to not cut his finger with an axe in the process. All in all, a good move on my part.

What does all this mean? Probably, that a) the Dolphins won’t have very many receiving touchdowns this year, b) someone whose name doesn’t rhyme with clown will be starting by the end of the season, and c) it’s going to be a really long year for any fan watching this situation develop. I suggest many bottles of Advil and a cheap hooker to relieve the stress.

RB: By far, this is the spot on the Dolphins roster with the most talent. That’s the good news. The starting running back is coming off a severe knee injury and the backup is coming off a shoulder injury/three-year bout with something as simple as, oh I don’t know, staying in the league. That would be the bad news.

When healthy, Ronnie Brown can be a top-10 rusher in the NFL. Last season, after Cam Cameron realized who his best player was, he finally allowed Ronnie to touch the ball more than 11 times a game. Brown repaid the favor by rushing for 112, 134, 114 and 101 yards, respectively, before going down with an injury in week 7 against the Pats.

Ricky Williams battled back from the CFL and a bad case of the munchies to finally get on an NFL field again. His comeback lasted 6 carries, 15 yards and a fumble before he was stepped on and left the game with a shoulder injury. For those keeping track, Run Ricky Run has exactly 6 carries since leaving the league after the 2005 season.

(Fun fact: Four years ago, I invited Ricky Williams to my brother’s bachelor party at Tootsies. He didn’t show.)

According to NFL.com, the third man in the backfield for the Fins is Patrick Cobbs, who played in 17 games over the last 2 years and has 15 carries, 47 yards and a touchdown on his rushing resume. Also on the roster are Lex Hillirad and Jalen Parmele, two rookies drafted in the 6th round of this years draft.

Nothing against Cobb, Hilliard or Parmele, but this position’s success depends upon Ronnie and Ricky. If the two of them can stay healthy and on the field for the entire season, the Dolphins might be able to take some pressure off of their questionable QB trio. Much like those quarterbacks, though, the Dolphins running game is hidden behind a giant question mark.

WR: Dolfans fondly remember the days of OJ McDuffie and Orande Gadsden. It wasn’t quite Clayton and Duper, but it was a good enough version. Yea, none of those guys are around anymore. Neither is Chris Chambers. Or David Boston. Or Marty Booker. Or Yatil Green. No, this batch of wideouts would probably have a hard time cracking the Carol City roster.

On the outside, it’s Ted Ginn Jr. (sans family) and Ernest Wilford. Ginn, who has the speed to stretch the field, is still a little raw and unpolished. but going into just is second season, the Dolphins are asking him to be the #1 guy. In 34 catches last year, he showed some flashes of possibly being a productive receiver, but it’s going to take some time for him to materialize into anything beyond that, and even if he does, it’s doubtful he’ll live up to the expectations of a 9th overall pick.

Ernest Wilford is, well, Ernest Wilford. In his four seasons of work with Jacksonville, he passed the 550-yard mark just once. Unfortunately, that was back in 2005. Since then, he’s averaged 521 yards and 2.5 TDs per season. Impressive enough that the Jags felt they were better off with 107-year old, Dennis Northcutt and Matt “Stone Hands” Jones on the roster instead.

Also listed on the Miami Dolphins depth chart, at the wide receiver position, are Greg Camarillo, Derek Hagan and Tab Perry. Those are real names. I shit you not.

There you have it. Your in-depth look at the Miami Dolphins offense. (Minus the O-line because breaking down linemen would be borderline coma-inducing.) Be on the lookout for Part II, complete with breakdowns of the Fins secondary, special teams, and the spoon I’ll use to jab directly into my eye after looking up that information.

A Bright Orange Seats Apology

Posted in I Heart Tommy Hutton, Mets Suck with tags , , , , on July 30, 2008 by Adam Smoot

After Monday night’s win against the Mets, we railed against Tommy Hutton’s fairweather Mets fan rant. At the time, it seemed a bit childish and unprofessional. Seriously, we’re the team that wasn’t supposed to have a chance this year, and now we’re gonna start rubbing things in other teams’ faces? It just didn’t feel right. It was everything we hate about Red Sox fans… and Yankees fans… and Mets fans… and, well, you get the point.

So, uh, anyone have a ladder we can borrow to get down off this giant soapbox?

Maybe it’s because we usually watch the game on mute, with iTunes blasting in the background, so we’re not used to the concept of announcers, but after listening to the comments again this morning, we weren’t so bothered. To tell you the truth, it was kinda funny, and we wish stuff like this would happen more often. Afterall, it’s what everyone watching the game was thinking, so why can’t the local announcers just point out the obvious.

Too often, people in sports get criticized for not being honest. We always want them to tell us how they feel, what they think or who they’re sleeping with. Well finally, someone did it — even if it was just an announcer — and we jump all over their case? Bad move on our part, we’ll tell ya that right now. Pimping out homerun trots?  Popcorn in the end zone? Those crazy, elaborate goal celebrations in soccer? All perfectly fine in our book. So, yea, it would be a bit hyprocritical for us to find what Tommy Hutton did offensive.

Besides, it’s the Mets. After spending a few days in Manhattan a week ago, any and all negative commentary directed toward New Yorkers is totally acceptable. Keep up the good work, Tommy.

And with that, the Anti-New York wing of the Bright Orange Seats Merchandise page has been opened. Get ’em while they’re hot!

Sometimes The Best Offense Is Shitty Pitching

Posted in Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Recaps with tags , , on July 29, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Anyone notice that we’re about to enter August and the Marlins are still hovering somewhere around, oh, I don’t know, first place? No, seriously. Stop laughing. The team that was projected to win about 70 games, tops, already had 55 entering tonight’s game against the division leading Mets.

Make that 56. A big 8th inning from Cody Ross Josh Willingham Wes Helms Scott Schoeneweis gave the Marlins the spark they needed to break away from the Mets late in the game and pull out the 7-3 win on Monday night. Schoeneweis gave up easy hits, threw wild pitches and did everything you don’t want your pitcher doing as he allowed the Marlins to cruise to victory.

Also, does anyone know why Morgan Freeman is managing the Mets?

For those keeping track at home, the Fish are now a game out of first with just over 50 games remaining in the season. Anyone who says that they knew this would be the case, please drop by our offices, as we would like to know next week’s lottery numbers in advance, thank you very much.

To the Marlins broadcast crew: Please don’t talk trash on air. Especially if you’re going to use the term fairweather fans. We’d like to think we have the market cornered on those. Besides, obnoxious taunting doesn’t seem to be our style. We’ll leave that to Yankees fans.

Friday/Saturday Recap: The Hermida/Cantu Show & Old Man Lou

Posted in Chicago Cubs, Great Moments In Merchandising, Jeremy Hermida, Lou Pinella, Recaps with tags , , , , on July 26, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Someone check Jeremy Hermida’s bat. The man who couldn’t hit a beach ball if you pitched it to him softball style now has 3 homers in the last 2 games. (Five of his last seven hits have been long balls, actually.)

On Friday night, after Jorge Cantu doubled in the 7th to tie the game, Hermida launched a homer in the ninth for the eventual winning run in a 3-2 Marlins victory in Chicago. Then, for good measure on Saturday, Hermida jacked 2 more over the ivy in Wrigley to help carry the Marlins into extra innings. And who would provide the winning run with a double in the 12th? If you said Jorge Cantu, you just won yourself a stuffed elephant off the top rack.

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but uhh… told ya so.

The entertainment on Saturday also consisted of Lard Ass Lou getting thrown out of the game for arguing a call at first base. Maybe as we’ve gotten older, this stuff has gotten less interesting, but really Lou? You look stupid. You’re a fat man whose massive gut hangs disturbingly over his glorified pajamas, yelling and screaming at a guy that isn’t going to change his call anyway. Oh, and the call was right, so when you watch the replay later tonight, you’re going to feel like even more of an ass than you looked. Maybe just tell your players not to slide into first base next time, eh big guy? Your act is tired. Grow up, old man.

The Marlins have one more in Wrigley before they come home and try to capture first place in a series against the Mets. And don’t be afraid to hit up our t-shirt page and go to the game in style this week. We’ll be working on more designs over the weekend.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Random Thoughts: Jorge Cantu Edition

Posted in Florida Marlins, Jorge Cantu with tags , , on July 25, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Ok, that Photoshop joke was way too easy.

Does Jorge Cantu play third base with a frying pan instead of a baseball glove? Yes.
Does he have a rare disease that causes him to completely forget everything he learned in Little League and make some horrible plays in the field? Possibly.
Does he smack the shit outta the ball at the plate, though? Hell. Yes.

Look, say what you want about Jorge Cantu’s fielding woes — and believe me, they are plentiful — but the guy does more good than harm. Take a look at his stats:

In 83 games, he has 17 errors, making him the second most likely third basemen in the National League to boot a ball off his foot and allow a runner to reach base safely. That’s not exactly what one would call, productive. But of those 17 free base runners, how many of them scored? How many of them walked off the field after the next batter struck out? Sometimes those errors turn out to be harmless.

You know what’s not harmless? 113 hits. You know what else? 23 doubles. 18 homers. 58 RBI. Oh, and the fact that when he’s placed over on the other side of the diamond, he’s not half bad in the field.

So say what you will about his inability to grasp the concept of “open glove, catch ball, close glove,” but the man more than makes up for it with his bat. We’ll take a crappy fielding third baseman that hits 20-30 homers and drives in 90-100 runs a year any day of the week.

You say Jorge Cannot? We say Jorge Cantu!

Random Thoughts: Jason Taylor Edition

Posted in Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins with tags , , on July 25, 2008 by Adam Smoot

To make up for the lack of posts this past week, I’ll be sitting in front of my computer all night, watching the Marlins game and writing a series of random thoughts on random topics. Enjoy.

Pro Bowl caliber veteran would rather play for a contender than for a team in a long-term rebuilding process. Not news.

Team in rebuilding mode would like to get as much value as they can for an aging, Pro Bowl caliber veteran who, in all likelihood, won’t be in pads anymore by the time the team is good again. Again, not news.

So why is this Jason Taylor trade such a big deal? Was it really necessary to subject me to Skip Bayless’ opinion of the trade while I was on vacation? I promise you. There is never a time when it’s okay for me to see Skip Bayless while I’m on vacation. The Fins get 2 draft picks and the Skins get some much needed help at defensive end. Win, win. Who are the people that see this as a big deal? He’s not a traitor. Not a whiner. Not a little dancing bitch. A big dancing bitch, maybe, but not a little one. I’ve got no problem with him.

In fact, some 7-8 years ago I ran into JT at T.G.I.Fridays in Aventura Mall. I was pulling into the parking spot next to him, while he just sat in his car, staring at me. In that brief, 5 second psuedo-interaction, I learned something very important about that very large black man — he’s a nice guy. I didn’t even speak to him. How could I possible know this based on the limited information I had? Because he left enough room for me to park my car. Ever been to Aventura Mall? Ever try and wedge your car between two cars parked by 87-year old women with bright blue eye shadow? Not fun. That’s how I know JT is a nice guy.

So yea, I’m pulling for him next year with the Redskins. I hope he wins the Super Bowl in a year or two. I hope he gets the MVP of the big game. I only wish good things for my man JT.

But your QB is Jason Cambell, so uh, you should probably start brushing up on your acting skills, Jason. That movie career might be coming sooner than you think.