It Gets Better, Laker Fans

Photo: The Spun

Laker fans…we’re here to help.

As LeBron, AD, and the boys fell to 0-4 on Wednesday night in Denver, we knew you would need us. It’s low right now, we won’t lie. Times are tough. But you know what, you can’t have sunshine without a little rain, right?

Who cares if you’ve lost three of four by 11+ point margins, that you’re second to last and last in three point and shooting percentage, respectively, or that you have one of the most unhappy superstars of all time in a bench role he hates?

You know what, things can only go up from here, right?!

…right?

Hey, your Cowboys are looking decent! Cooper Rush really held down the fort while Dak Prescott was injured. Number four came back and looked OK against the Lions, that’s always great. Don’t even worry about the fact that they’ve only won three playoff games since 1998. You’ve got Micah Parsons!

How could we forget about your Yankees? Season just ended, understood. But Aaron Judge took all of baseball on a hell of a ride to only come up 11 home runs short of Barry Bonds. Something none of us will soon forget. You have to love the “World Series or bust” attitude…even if you’ve only won one in the last 21 years. It’s still a great feat!

Well, hopefully this helps. Lakers fans, you are some of the best and most dedicated in all of sports. I’m sure this season will turn around eventually. LeBron will right the ship, Russell will get shipped, and it’ll be back to The Lake Show in no time.

…right?

Sunday State of Mind: October 17th-October 23rd

Another week where sports just unmercifully punched us in the face…and we liked it. Let’s review the pounding with prose in this week’s SSM.

Your NL pennant winners, those pesky Fightin’ Phils!
Took the Padres out, this team is full of thrills
Harper, Schwarber, Wheeler, the list goes on and on
If they play the Astros, series won’t be a yawn

Something rare happened this week, an NFL trade
Niners’ Christian McCaffrey, Frisco not afraid
Made his debut today, got a few plays in
Chiefs came to The Bay however, got themselves the win

Speaking of the Panthers, took it to the Bucs?
Hard to say but it seems like Tampa Bay just sucks
Lot of season left for TB and the boys
Don’t be shocked if they come back and make postseason noise

The NBA is back, first games have come and gone
Just another sport this time of year loves to add on
Some early surprises, Sixers and the Lakers blank
The Jazz keep winning even though they’re clearly trying to tank

Sunday State of Mind: October 10th-October 16th

This week in sports has been absolutely banana sandwich. SSM is here to relive it all.

Alabama/Tennessee, singing Rocky Top
Volunteer offense was rolling, and refused to stop
Hendon Hooker and the boys put up 52
Bama defense, usually good, but last night they blew

Playoff baseball heating up, and upsets galore
Dodgers out, Braves out, who surprised you more?
NLCS matchup of the Padres and the Phillies
Yes you read that matchup right, no not joking, really

Over in the AL, Astros wrecked the M’s
A 3-0 series sweep, Houston played a gem
Guardians and Yankees play to see who gets the ‘stros
Yankees ahead at time of writing, can the bombers close?

We have to ask the question: are the Jets for real?
Went on the road and got a dub down at Lambeau Field
Impressive for a young team, tough place to play for sure
And against Aaron Rodgers, a win they procure

Sunday State of Mind: September 19th-September 25th

Save for a few more games, the sports have completed their sportsing this weekend. Let’s look back together at all the happenings in this week’s SSM.

The Albert Pujols show, big episode this week
Joined the 700 club, not bad for an antique
He did it in style, two bombs out in LA
The Yankees home run record keeping Aaron Judge at bay

Tough week in Miami, The U indeed not back
MTSU came to town, Hurricanes blue and black
First year, new coach for the ‘canes, so this isn’t the end
Another upset like this though, things may just start to bend

TB12 and A-Rod, who’s your favorite old QB
On field goat debate, what a thing to see
Could not care less who won the game, what matters to us most
Was how the hell did a bee swarm end up on the goal post?

Colts and the Chiefs, thought this would be easy
By the end of the game Kansas City fans were queasy
Big upset for Indy, Matt Ryan won a big one
Tough loss for the Chiefs, Andy Reid had no fun

Sunday State of Mind: September 12th-September 18th

Photo: Redbook

Another week of sports has come to an end. Another edition of SSM is about to begin.

New York Jets a huge comeback, the Browns just could not close
Jets fans feeling the win, there are so few of those
Down two scores, two minutes left, Cleveland had it all but won
Mental errors and screwups, all their hard work undone

Another comeback winner, Fins Up Dolphin fans
Ravens thought they had the win, Tua had other plans
Six touchdowns, a ton of yards, Miami 2-0
Coach McDaniel and the Fins putting on quite a show

All rise for Aaron Judge, just continues to rake
Fifty nine home runs this year is clearly no mistake
He should catch Ruth, Maris, and Sosa, probably not Bonds
Sixteen games left on the year, let’s see how he responds

The Las Vegas Aces, WNBA champs
Took the series 3-1, put Connecticut in clamps
Becky Hammon, rookie coach, didn’t mean a thing
Did what she does best, coached hard, and got herself a ring

Sunday State of Mind: August 15th-August 21st

Photo: Peta Pixel

This week’s SSM has it all; mystery absences, crumbling baseball teams, and pro-am basketball.

The GOAT of quarterbacks, Mr. Tom Brady
Has been away for some time now, kind of seems shady
Assuming everyone is fine, the best theory has come
That he’s been filming Masked Singer, if true how great and dumb

Speaking of TB12, what could’ve been in Vegas
Apparently the deal was done, not much more to discuss
Jon Gruden nixed a package deal for Gronk and the QB
Would’ve had two more Super Bowls by now, maybe three

Whose fans feel the worst right now, the White Sox or Yankees
Yanks can’t win a game, La Russa’s brain is filled with bees
New York is at least still leading a tough AL East
Every day Chicago’s playoff chances just decrease

Pro-am basketball has become a hit this summer
The latest was The Crawsover, event was not a bummer
LeBron, Tatum, Holmgren, the lineup was real deep
A cool environment to get to see the big boys leap

The Official UDS 2022 Baseball Preview

Hope springs eternal. It’s finally here, folks; it’s baseball season. Summer is around the corner, and we’ll all soon be sitting in the sun at our favorite ballparks inhaling hot dogs and ice cold beer.

Everyone is doing prediction content, we know that. But our official 2022 prognostications will be coming via the reminiscing route.

Who doesn’t love a good baseball name from from the 90’s or early aughts? So that’s how we’re giving our picks, via our favorite throwback name from each team.

AL East

  1. Toronto Blue Jays – Gregg Zaun, C
  2. Boston Red Sox – Trot Nixon, RF
  3. Tampa Bay Rays – Miguel Cairo, 2B
  4. New York Yankees – Scott Brosius, 3B
  5. Baltimore Orioles – Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B

AL Central

  1. Chicago White Sox – José Valentín, 3B
  2. Minnesota Twins – Matt Lawton, CF
  3. Cleveland Guardians – Carlos Baerga, 2B
  4. Detroit Tigers – José Macías, 3B
  5. Kansas City Royals – Mark Grudzielanek, 2B

AL West

  1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Scott Spiezio, 1B
  2. Houston Astros – Julio Lugo, SS
  3. Seattle Mariners – Mike Cameron, CF
  4. Texas Rangers – Royce Clayton, SS
  5. Oakland A’s – Matt Stairs, DH

NL East

  1. Philadelphia Phillies – Mickey Morandini, 2B
  2. Atlanta Braves – Ryan Klesko, RF
  3. New York Mets – Benny Agbayani, LF
  4. Miami Marlins – Hee-Seop Choi, 1B
  5. Washington Nationals – José Vidro, 2B

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals – Fernando Vina, 2B
  2. Milwaukee Brewers – Jeromy Burnitz, RF
  3. Chicago Cubs – Ron Coomer, 3B
  4. Cincinnati Reds – Pokey Reese, 2B
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates – Tony Womack, SS

NL West

  1. Colorado Rockies – Dante Bichette, RF
  2. San Francisco Giants – Benito Santiago, C
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers – César Izturis, SS
  4. San Diego Padres – Mark Kotsay, CF
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks – Lyle Overbay, 1B

God, that was amazing…I think I need a cigarette. So many great names, so much boring baseball to have on in the background until October. Let’s go.

Brian Cashman Has Great Excuse for One Year of the Yankees Thirteen Year World Series Drought

The Yankees have earned their arrogance. They view themselves as the best organization in the history of baseball, and the may be right. They have 27 World Series championships, 16 more than The St. Louis Cardinals, who come in second with 11.

A once proud franchise was embarrassed by their longtime SVP and GM on Thursday.

Speaking to The Athletic, Cashman said: “The only thing that stopped [the 2017 Yankees] was something that was so illegal and horrific…[s]o I get offended when I start hearing we haven’t been to the World Series since ’09. Because I’m like, ‘Well, I think we actually did it the right way.’ Pulled it down, brought it back up. Drafted well, traded well, developed well, signed well. The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that threw us off.”

So, we’re going with the cheating excuse, to explain one year of a 13 year drought…got it.

Cashman’s concocted vindication of his inability to deliver New York a championship (in what is a long period for them) is obvious at best, and dense at worst. Buddy, you more often than not have a bottomless pit of cash to buy your championships. Since 2010, the Yankees have been top three in Opening Day payroll every single year other than 2018, when they were seventh.

The Astros were cheating against everyone in 2017, not just the Yankees. Everyone’s hit with injuries, the ball bounces the wrong way for everyone. So save the crocodile tears, add a few zero’s to some contracts, and purchase yourself another trophy, just like the Yankee way dictates.

The Definitive Ranking of Today’s Official Announcements

Photos: Fansided & WLRN

There’s nothing that says “Monday” more than long, useless memos.

On this Monday, Kyler Murray and Derek Jeter decided to push more paper onto the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Marlins staffs:

Since no one wants to read anything as long as the above-mentioned official corporate memorandums; we decided to do the work for you. Essentially, Murray wants more money and Jeter is out ASAP. Kyler’s statement is comically long, and Jeter’s is almost annoyingly short for such a large member/investor of a team leaving immediately.

We hope KM gets his money and Jeets finally catches a break in life in his post-Marlins tenure. But we’re here as the end all be all rankers of these two very important statements. Please find our extensively researched, categorically honest rankings below:

2 – Derek Jeter’s “Peace I’m Outta Here” Letter

Much like Jeter’s playing career, this was (literally) a black and white, plain Jane, professional statement. Just like he handled the media while with the Yankees, it was a large collection of words that didn’t really say anything.

After a few truths stretched (e.g., “we transformed every aspect of the franchise”) and a yawn or two incurred, a tsunami of drowsiness washed over me while reading. The former CEO’s statement came out as flat as the energy at loanDepot Park during Marlins home games.

As great of a defensive shortstop as Jeter was, he’s an even better defender of being or saying anything interesting.

1 – Kyler Murray’s “It’s Not Me, It’s You” Letter

This thing was a superb mess. Scrubbing your social media of anything relating to your team one week, and releasing this manifesto saying you need more from them the next is an all time power move. While we’ve all seen the “it’s not you, it’s me” checkers move played either to us or to someone we know, Kyler and his agent Erik Burkhardt are playing chess by flipping that bad boy right on its head.

Before so graciously looping in his teammates and coaches, Kyler noted how proud he is of the “extreme turnaround of competitiveness and success since his arrival,” after being “tasked with stepping into a tough situation” in Arizona. Translation: you guys blew before I got here, now pay up. Also, the shade thrown in reminding the Cardinals that he thinks he’s the guy to “deliver the valley their first Super Bowl in 33+ years” was a real *chef’s kiss* in this tour de force.

The finale though, the pie de resistance if you will, is the ending. The 24 year old quarterback told the team that drafted him number one overall in 2019 to shit or get off the pot when it comes to giving him a new contract, while referring to himself as a “rapidly improving…already 2x Pro Bowl QB.” Just an all-time self-confident sign off that I wish I had an ounce of in my personal life.

A few big statements from the MLB and NFL today. Appropriately, one was as boring as a four hour baseball game. The other had the fireworks of a regular season NFL game that America cannot get enough of. You know where we stand.

Who Wore it Best? 9-0

Photo: Dr. Odd

What a long, strange journey it’s been. We started all the way at 99, and have now arrived at our final edition of “Who Wore It Best?” Single digits can be tough, but we’re up for the challenge.

9 – Gordie Howe

Photo: Pinterest

I mean, “Mr. Hockey” has to make the list, right? Howe’s career spanned nearly 40 years, in which he won four Stanley Cups, six Hart Trophies, and appeared in the All-Star game 23 times.

Honorable Mentions: Ted Williams, Drew Brees, Bobby Hull, Mike Modano

8 – Kobe Bryant

Photo: Newsday

Maybe the closest we’ll ever get to MJ. We all know Kobe ended his career rocking 24, but he was great enough to take the eight cake. He spent his entire 20 year career with the Lakers, in which he won five NBA Championships, the 2008 MVP, and made 11 All-NBA First Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken Jr., Yogi Berra, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Alexander Ovechkin

7 – John Elway

The greatest player who was a doppelgänger of their team mascot. But that’s not the only reason Elway makes our list. He held the “couldn’t win the big one” tag his entire career, until he shut everyone up and won back-to-back Super Bowls his last two seasons in the NFL. Even if he wouldn’t have won the two Lombardis, Elway racked up an MVP, nine Pro Bowl selections, and passing title in 1993.

Honorable Mentions: Mickey Mantle, Phil Esposito

6 – Bill Russell

Photo: Photos.com

The man who ran out of fingers for all of his championship rings. Russell won five MVPs, was a four time rebounding champion, and a member of the NBA’s 25th, 35th, and 50th Anniversary Teams.

Honorable Mention: Stan Musial

5 – Albert Pujols

Photo: LA Times

We’ve shown our appreciation for The Machine on this blog before. Pujols’ first 11 years in St. Louis were enough to get the guy in the Hall of Fame. His time with the Angels and Dodgers, while not as great, hasn’t done anything to diminish that. His approximate career numbers have him as a .300 hitter, closing in on 700 home runs, and well over 3,000 hits.

Honorable Mentions: Joe DiMaggio, George Brett, Johnny Bench, Kevin Garnett, Donovan McNabb

4 – Lou Gherig

Next to Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig was the best player on the Yankees during their incredible run in the 20’s and 30’s. Gherig was a part of six World Series championships, was a two time MVP, and won the Triple Crown in 1934.

Honorable Mentions: Brett Favre, Adam Vinatieri, Bobby Orr

3 – Babe Ruth

Keeping it young and fresh with back to back 1920’s Yankees. This one’s a no doubter though; Shohei Ohtaini before Shohei Ohtani. At the plate, The Great Bambino hit 714 home runs, slugged .690, and ended his career with an 1.164 OPS. On the mound, The Colossus of Clout went 94-46, with a 2.28 ERA, and threw 107 complete games.

Honorable Mention: Allen Iverson

2 – Derek Jeter

Christ, enough with the Yankees already. Jeets is an easy choice in a not extremely tough field. The recent Hall of Fame inductee wrapped up an illustrious career with a very succinct five World Series rings, Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards, as well as 14 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mention: David Akers, Brian Leetch

1 – Ozzie Smith

Photo: MLB

The best defensive shortstop of all time, and possibly best overall defender ever. Smith won 13 Gold Gloves in 19 seasons. Along the way, he was a part of the 1982 World Series Championship Cardinal team, made 15 All-Star games, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Honorable Mention: Warren Moon

0 – Russell Westbrook

A nice, easy choice to get us to the finish line; not a whole lot of competition at the zero spot. The 2017 MVP is a nine time All-Star, two time All-NBA First Teamer, and is essentially a walking triple double.

Honorable Mention: N/A

We made it, friends. All the way from 99 down to 0. We laughed, we cried, and made some friends along the way. This was a fun project to complete and remember some names that haven’t been brought up in a while. Hopefully this was as interesting to read as it was to write. Who knows what our next series will be…stay tuned.