Friday, July 04, 2008

Flotsam's greatest hits

Avoiding words like "hiatus" and "side projects" and "broken up," some rock bands simply need some time away, and now is one of those times for Flotsam. There are far more pressing matters in the world to explore, like JOBA MANIA and omgjobaisgoingtostart.

Like all bands in downtime, it's never a bad idea to release a Greatest Hits, especially after just one or two CDs. That's capitalism, people.

But fret not, we shall return soon, with even stupider opinions from stupider people. In the meantime, enjoy some of Flotsam's Greatest Hits.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Brains!

Flotsam may be dead for now, but the possibility for reanimation always exists. Perhaps if Marv ever gets out of rehab or DeJuan returns from his "DeJuan Does Resurrection" Tour, we shall be back to poison your brains with stupid opinions. Now go wonder the world aimlessly like these friendly zombies.

600 THINGS ABOUT GRIFFEY!

By Bandwagon Burt
Wind Sock

I love Ken Griffey, Jr., and last night he hit home run No. 600!! I know people think it's an arbitrary number, but people also think that Michael Jordan's six championships is also an arbitrary number. GRIFFEY IS THE JORDAN of baseball.

To honor the 600 homers that Griffey has parked, I give you my list of SIX-HUNDRED THINGS that make me think of Ken Griffey, Jr.!

1. home runs
2. the Topps rookie card that I lost when I was in high school
3. Norm Charlton
4. Left-handedness
5. Ken Griffey, Sr. and PLAYING IN THE SAME OUTFIELD with his son.
6. Knee pain
7. Future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin
8. Sid Bream sliding into home plate on Francisco Cabrera's RBI single
9. HOME RUN DERBY, FOLKS
10. Barry Bonds
11. Super Nintendo
12. The Kid
13. In 1988, 277 aspirin and a Providence hospital
14. My bathroom tile, fusing Mariners and Reds colors in a cornucopia of awesome.
15. Willie Mays
16. Wheaties cereal and 2% milk.
17. Additional knee pain
18. The warehouse at Camden Yards
19. Scoring from first on a double
20. gloves dipped in gold
21. The Space Needle (no NOT RYAN ANDERSON, HAHAA).
22. Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko and Antonio Perez
23. Back Home Again in Cincinnati, a variation on some song about another state.
24. the disabled list
25. Father's Day! My kids better get me something electronic this year, or I am going to go POSTAL. The Lord of the Rings DVDs they got me last year were LAME. Just because they're six and eight doesn't mean they can't figure out what daddy wants for Father's Day.
26. Comeback Player of the Year
27. Adam Dunn's hilarious outfield play
28. Bilbo Baggins
29. Reggie Jackson, MR. OCTOBER
30. Pleurisy
31. Ryan Freel and his imaginary friends
32. Jay Buhner's business goatee
33. Randy Johnson's MASTERFUL MULLET
34. A groin strain, suffered on my walk to the supermarket last fall.
35. The television show "Scrubs"
36. The Simpsons. DON'T HAVE A COW, MAN
37. OH MY GOD, I'M ONLY ON NO. 37
38. Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air
39. Commissioner Bud Selig
40. The number 30. Also, the number 3.
41. Tomatoes filled with poisons
42. Knee pain
43. Little Big League and Angels in the Outfield
44. SUMMER CATCH WITH FREDDIE PRINZE, JR.
45. Other people named Jr. Like Dale Earnhardt, Roy Jones and ROBERT DOWNEY IRON MAN.
46. The tearing down of the Berlin Wall
47. the National Anthem
48-95. The members of the 1997 Seattle Mariners baseball team, especially Paul Sorrento and Paul Spoljeric. MIKE BLOWERS!
96. A smooth swing from the left side of the plate
97. My kitty, Buttons
98. Freshly cut grass by my irritating neighbor
99. Deadspin
100. HOME RUNS

Wow, that's a lot of stuff already, so I think I'll just multiply all those by six and you have SIX-HUNDRED. I LOVE KEN GRIFFEY, JR.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Strahan Legacy: EXPOSED?

By Donald Winchester
Private Eye


The stench of a rat has lingered over Michael Strahan's career for seven years now, and it's up to me -- Donald Winchester, Private Eye -- to reveal the truth about the toothless wonder. See, back in 2001, Strahan was approaching the single-season sack record when fellow retiree Brett Favre laid down -- laid down like France in an international conflict -- and Strahan fell on top of him like a gentle lover. It was this accomplishment that made Strahan a celebrity.

As Strahan retires, it seems everyone remembers that fateful moment, but everyone also wonders whether or not Favre and his merry offensive linemen allowed it to happen. I had an itch to know the truth -- like the itch one might experience after a night in a Mississippi whore house -- and took it upon myself to dig up the details.

For no man's legacy is complete until Donald Winchester, Private Eye, says so. The facts are these:

In the final game of the season, Strahan needed one more sack for 22.5, a mark that would pass Mark Gastineau on the all-time list. Late in the game, Favre's little tumble allowed No. 92 to get the credit, and history was made. History is great and all if you like the Aztecs and Revolutionary War. But this conspiracy was on par with the government's experiments in Roswell, and everyone knew it, especially me.

How suspicious, I think, that the two greats are retiring in the same year. Perhaps Strahan knew Favre would tell his side of the story in a tell-all novella, possibly called "Vicodin, Interceptions and My Night in Bed with Michael Strahan -- Three Things I'm Not Proud Of." I ventured to Kiln, Miss. to find out the truth.

I traced Favre to a swampy townhouse in the rural sticks. It was muddy -- muddier than the set of that new show "Wipeout" -- and smelled like grits and jumbalaya. I could see Favre on the porch, sitting in a rocking chair with his shotgun, waiting for stray cats to scurry by. One unlucky tom whom I shall name Whiskers came to survey the scene, and Favre shot him dead -- deader than a tomato-eating McDonald's patron. I'd have to be delicate with this one, for Brett Favre's aim was stupendous and violent.

I came forward with my hands raised and begged for mercy, that I was here on friendly business. He surveyed me and then asked if I was a member of the media, never letting go of his shotgun. He was mistrustful -- like a child who's been promised three candy bars by daddy if he would just come down off the roof and brush his teeth. I told him I was no pressman. I merely had one question, one question that could change the world.

Did you do it? I asked. Did you let Michael Strahan have his day, without playing the game in good faith? He gave a dramatic pause -- John Wayne at the OK Corral dramatic -- and thought about the question for a bit. He smiled wryly -- that freaky Ben Linus in "Lost" wryly -- and I could see the memories of that day come flooding back like a Biblical flood.

No, he said softly, but then he winked once, twice, wrinkled his brow and gave the "OK" sign with his left hand. Nope, that was totally legitimate, he said.

He had a drawl -- Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias drawl -- and I couldn't be sure if I heard him correctly. For he had refuted the plain truth, but had done so with a series of mysterious hand gestures. I couldn't be sure his true intent. I was confused. Confused like a peace-spewing hippy at Altamont.

I asked him again. "There are facts, sir. Visual facts. It doesn't look good for you, see. I ask again, did you lay down like a lamb for the slaughter?"

He looked at me with puzzled eyes, and then repeated "Nope, that was perfectly legit." He strained his voice on perfectly, drawing it out in a tone that sounded like sarcasm. But I couldn't be sure. I needed fact, not conjecture. I shook my head and demanded the truth, screaming that the world needed to know before Michael Strahan walked off into the sunset with his legend intact. I was desperate -- Tom Cruise after the split with Nicole Kidman desperate.

One last time, he reiterated that he was innocent, and did so while winking six times and nudging his head in a series of directions. It wasn't enough. I told him I was on to him, and I would tell the world my findings. It was then that he pointed his shotgun at me and told me to get off his land. He was serious -- the bad guy in No Country For Old Men serious -- and I retreated like a girl scout running from a grizzly.

The question remains, and the Strahan legacy shall be tainted until I get the answer I require. But the truth is out there, just waiting for Donald Winchester, Private Eye.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Crown me with carrots

By Big Brown
Horse


You see me run? I the fast. CARROTS!

I like to thank Eight Belles, this is all for you babe. I'll holla at you when I head to big horsetrack in the sky. Meantime, I get to eat BUCKETLOADS of carrots, cuz I'm the fastest horsey three times. I'm a bad man.

I get three crowns, like the We Three Kings of Orient Are, whole bunch of flowers and lots of mares to share my stable. I'm gonna be getting it on til I die now! Carrots. Do you see them there, thanking me for all my fast. I farted. Little elfman Kent sure likes to do the whuppin, but I don't gotta run no more cuz I already showed how fast I am.

Give ms some carrots! Is that butterscotch? Freaking BUTTERSCOTCH? Nope, just some deck stain. Still yummy. Would taste good on carrots.

Can't wait to go on Outside the Lines or Sunday Conversation with Andrea Kremer to talk about how I'm the fast. Can't wait to see myself on TV. All for you, Eight Belles. You and carrots are my inspiration. I love you, kind of. Would have loved to make sweet speedy babies with you. We could have listened to Usher's new album while gettin' it on.

I should be sportsman of the year now, Sports Illustrated. No more Brett Favre. All me! Give me those carrots, and I won't kick at your face.

Wait, where you taking the carrots? What you doing over there, why you look so sad? I ran the fast, trainer said I would win and ain't nobody can stop me. WHERE YOU GOING WITH THEM CARROTS?! I'M BIG BROWN. WHY AIN'T NOBODY LOOKING AT ME NO MORE?!

Should have died after first race, like Barbaro. Then, everybody loves you. I miss carrots.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

The Truth hurts

By Dakota Brezinski
Seven-year-old

Today at recess, Mrs. Williams told me I had to go inside early and sit at my desk with my head down.

It's all Tanner's fault. If he hadn't fallen to the ground so hard when I pushed him off the top of the monkey bars, he never would have gotten so hurted. He was bleeding a little, but it wasn't that bad. He shouldn't have fallen so hard. Tanner is such a pre-schooler sometimes!

I told him to be like Paul Pierce and keep playing through the pain. I told him to get up on the monkeybars again (so I could try to push him off again!) and get over his owies. Recess doesn't come just anytime, so you have to have lots of fun while you can. After recess comes math, and math is the worstest thing ever. Worser than Mackenzie Burlap's breath.

I didn't want to go inside, so I tried to be like Paul Pierce, too. Daddy says he's the Truth! I don't always like the truth, but I do like Paul Pierce.

I started crying and I pretended to trip over a rock. I screamed and cried and held my knee, which I told Mrs. Williams was broken worser than Tanner's. She tried to get me to stand up, but I pretended that I couldn't stand on my leg. Ooooooohhh, it hurts, I said! Who needs the Truth when you have Paul Pierce?

Finally Mrs. Williams got Mr. Davis the principal to pick me up and carry me inside to the nurse. I kept crying and screaming for mommy, even after they brought me inside. I stayed in the nurse's office all through math class, and then came music class! We are learning Muppets songs in music class, so as soon as the clock said 1:27, I told the nurse I was ready to go and ran to Mrs. Sullivan's room, ready to be the bestest singer I could be.

I saw Mrs. Williams in the hallway. She was mad at me. I think it's because she likes the Lakers.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Joba can't hack it in Canada


By Shaun Marcum
Some guy


Did you see the news in the other dugout this morning?

I bet you did. Major controversy in Yankeeland -- Johnny Damon doesn't think it's a good idea that Joba Chamberlain has been put into a starting role! The Yankees just haven't been on the same page this year and I, for one, am heartbroken. I know how important the Yankees' success is to the rest of the universe.

I was worried that we wouldn't have anything to say about Joba today. It's been almost two days since he started a game and got shellacked, helping us win the game and drain the Yankees' bullpen at the same time. That was the biggest story in baseball so far this year, so I was really excited to see how it unfolded. Joba is the reason baseball is such a popular sport in America, after all.

Not that I'd know. I'm in Canada most of the time. And let's be honest, nobody gives a shit about Canadian baseball. No, I didn't say Canadian bacon. Yeah, I saw how you stopped paying attention just now.

I know I have a 2.63 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 78 innings this year, with a WHIP well under 1.00. But ho-hum. That pales in comparison to the 50 amazing innings Chamberlain has thrown in his storied career. He's got a ton of strikeouts, a low ERA, and he kind of looks like Babe Ruth. I mean, that's why he's so huge, right? Because he's fat and kind of looks like Babe Ruth? I just figured that was the case, since he hasn't really done anything yet that should make people think he's the greatest Yankee ever.

I kind of look like that younger guy from "Married ... With Children." That's got to stand for something. But I definitely shouldn't be compared to Joba's greatness -- I mean, I'm practically middle-aged at age 26, and we really don't have much going for us in Toronto. Let's take a look at some pitchers we have, and you'll see why nobody's giving us 1/100th of the coverage given to Joba, even though we have the best starting pitching ERA in baseball:

Jesse Litsch, nine months older than Joba, 7-2, 3.45 ERA. Yawn. I totally understand why nobody talks about this guy. What a dumb name: Jesse Litsch. Maybe if his name sounded vaguely like a Star Wars character, things would be different.

Dustin McGowan, 4-4, 3.95 ERA. Also 26 though, so he's practically a grandpa. Wake me up when we start talking about Joba, who was the 75th-rated prospect in baseball by Baseball America in 2007. That means there were only seventy-four players ranked ahead of him when he became such a celebrity. How awesome!

Roy Halladay, 7-5, 2.94 ERA. He's fine, I guess. He's thrown three complete games this year and gone 8 or more innings in five out of his 10 starts, but it's not about guys who can throw whole games anymore. It's about guys who appear in one-or-two batter situations and has rules named after him. Nobody's talking about Roy Rules, dude.

AJ Burnett, strikes out just short of a guy an inning, but boring! I've always thought if Burnett would say more outlandish things in the media, people might pay attention to him like they pay attention to Joba and his crazy celebrations.

It'll be a shame when we leave New York and get away from all the coverage of Joba, because I, for one am fascinated, and am honoured to have seen him pitch first hand.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fight the machines


By Harvey McGuffin
I remember when ...


I remember when fancy technology didn't decide which team was better. Not when brute strength, determination and bucketloads of desire were available.

Everyone in the media is clamoring for instant replay in baseball just because a few pansies couldn't hit the baseballs far enough to be definite home runs. Those bleeders that barely make it over the outfield wall shouldn't count for anything, Luis Rivas. If you're a man, you'd hit it into the third deck like Mark McGwire. If McGwire were alive today, he would not stand for this discussion of new technologies enhancing and changing the way me beloved game is played.

Bud Selig feels television monitors should not take away the "human element" of the game, and I agree. Hell, what is sports but one giant "human element?" If we didn't have players and officials making mistakes, why would we play the games? Free will is something that was given to us by God, after that bitch Eve couldn't resist some tasty fruit. It's Biblical.

The slow takeover of machines has already begun in sports. Instant replay in football and basketball, machines that say whether a ball is in or out in tennis, and sensors that say when a goal is scored in hockey. I've never trusted machines -- science is the opposite of sports. Plus, it slows the damn game down too much. If baseball started using instant replay, there may not be enough time for players and managers to fruitlessly argue calls, pitchers like Steve Trachsel to take 30 seconds between pitches, or Tony LaRussa to work his micromanaging magic.

When I was young, I followed in the McGuffin tradition and became a timekeeper for Olympic track and field trials. I used a trusty stopwatch handed down through generations of McGuffins. It worked most of the time, and I was damn good at my job. Sure, I might have missed a second or two in the 100-meter dash, but nothing that would have affected the outcome. That was all before people wanted machines to tell them how fast they were, instead of people.

I say do away with such "advances" as the shot clock in basketball and all that body armor in baseball. And football for that matter -- I don't need state-of-the-art padding before I go out and hit somebody. Football is a man's game. Let them figure it out. In fact, let's just get the referees off the field in general. I remember when we played football, we didn't have a "false start," we just had a "head start."

We certainly don't need scoreboards, either. I see these stadiums with their fancy digital readouts and complicated colors and numbers. I hate all of it. The score should be kept by hand, preferably on a giant chalkboard in center field.

Preserve the human element before it's too late. I can't talk much longer. The machines might hear me.

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