Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

The Lumberyard

This edition of "The Lumberyard" comes courtesy of Mitch in Sacramento, the greatest fantasy commissioner of his era. An architect by day, Mitch has survived two international benders with NJV, a deer attack while ordering at Quiznos, an assault by an enraged Little League administrator, and several swipes from a pen-wielding co-worker (and future in-law). However, Mitch is perhaps best known for posting a career record of 43-34 in the famed, but now defunct, RCPH bball league.

The Cubs and the Noob: A Free Lesson for Jim Hendry
The lights are on and the sirens are blaring. Pull over Jim Hendry, you've been cited for being a part of the biggest fuckshow since 1997 on the North Side. Moves must be made, and they must be made right now. There are teams that will pay a premium on patches for their contending teams. The earlier you give them away, the easier it is to tell the fans we need to start over.

You start by trading your most coveted pieces, such as Aramis Ramirez, Jacque Jones, and Greg Maddux. Ramirez is an absolute dog, but a dog with 35 homer power. Teams have been scouting Jacque Jones for his .295 fluke average (check out his percentage of balls hit in play vs. hits, its way skewed). The Dodgers, among many, covet the service of a no. 4 starter like Maddux. The Dodgers and Ned Colleti still have ties to Maddux from his first Cub go around, and might be willing to part with two pieces from their prize-winning prospect collection. The Yankees need an outfielder, and may not want to give up three premium prospects to net Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano, and thus may take a gamble with Jones. Ramirez would have many suitors, as a power bat like his would command much in return, even if you have to offer some salary relief.

You then must decide whether or not you want to trade two of your best pitching pieces, Scott Eyre and Bobby Howry. Ryan Dempster has a no-trade clause, so he's staying, but whats the use of having premium relievers when you're rebuilding? You can demand some blue chippers from contending teams with struggling pens like the White Sox or maybe the Tigers, who might tire of Rod Beck 2.0 in the 9th and could use Howry as a closer. You then complete the dump by giving up any of the following for anything you can get, even if you have to eat the cash. Juan Pierre might be a nice luxury pinch runner for someone, likewise with Phil Nevin as a pinch hitter. Neifi Perez, Glendon Rusch, Kerry Wood: if anyone wants them they can have them, otherwise bite the bullet and cut them.

All of this, of course, is predicated on the fact that Dustbag Baker is long gone. He's is inthe last year of his deal, so no money will be lost. Dusty indeed has a fine track record, but only when managing tiresome steroidal sluggers in a less than Earl Weaver sort of way, that is by doing absolutely nothing but being the manager every player loves: the one who lets their players get away with everything under the sun. I'm one of many tired of his crackpot theories and brainless history lessons. This guy blows, and his excuses suck worse. Bring in minor league managers Pat Listach or Jody Davis to finish the season, and let them take over the youth movement if impressive. Otherwise Lou Pinella is still sitting there for the taking.

Now you have a regime change and a team full of promise who is there to stay. Carlos Marmol and other top prospects take over in the bullpen. And your infield and outfield are now full of youngsters trying to get a job for next year, setting up a competitive environment like the Marlins have done in Florida. This is not to say the cupboard will be bare. Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior still make a nice one-two punch (Prior will be fine, anyone who saw him hitting 95 mph Saturday knows that his stuff is still there) and Michael Barrett, Ronny Cedeno, and Derrek Lee still will lead a young offense. Henry Blanco, the wonderful handler of pitchers, still stays as a backup. The wonderful thing about this strategy is that you'll have a variety of prospects to fill holes, and about 50 million dollars open for next year to attack the free agent market.

During the winter, you reload the pen and make a strong run at either Barry Zito or Jason Schmidt, and fill the lineup with a new 3b and corner outfielder, maybe a Carlos Lee. You put two of your young starters in the no. 4 and no. 5 spots and sign Zambrano long term. With Zambrano, Zito/Schimdt, and several young guys, Prior becomes worth the risk. Dempster is still the closer, and this year's Howry and Eyre will be available if the prospects aren't ready.

The Cubs need to go young for the rest of this year, to compete for the next ten. Its only one season, and the fans will understand the tear down project at hand. This division is winnable next year, but not with the sad bunch of mopes they have out there this season. Stop insulting our intelligence Jimbo, and treat this like a GM who has some vision beyond the Dunkin Donuts ahead on the left.

Sunday, June 25, 2006 

Entertainment Tonight

Apparently I've been writing about too much soccer lately... sorry. I thought I'd take the time now to provide you Noobs with an entertainment report. Here is what you should be watching, reading, and listening to:


Entourage - Unequivocally the best show on Television, Entourage has started off it's third season with a bang. The five main characters are absolutely world class (Vince, E, Drama, Turtle, and Ari), and this is one of the funniest shows of all-time. I highly suggest that if you have HBO, you start watching it (Sundays at 10 PM EST), and if you don't have HBO, it's worth getting if only for Entourage. Yes the show is that good, I feel it's the best show of all-time.

Here's some love for those Ari Gold fans out there:

*** Spoiler Alert ***
I'm kind of upset with the newest episode and the introduction of the character "Dom." This piece of shit New Yorker friend of theres from their child hood just got out of prison and has come to ride the coattails of Vince's success. Everybody wants him out, except Vince, who ended the last episode by saying he was making Dom the head of security. I am furious over Vince's decision, and want Dom off the show as quickly as possible. As my roommate Laura said "Dom is ruining my Sunday nights, I feel like he's intruding on my family."

Lucky Louie - HBO's newest comedy is Lucky Louie, and it airs right after Entourage. It stars actor Louis C.K., and is taped in front of a live studio audience. I didn't have high expectations for this show, but it's actually really funny. Plus, in the last episode, there were two instances of frontal male nudity... which is a total bonus. Without ruining anything else, I suggest that you give the show a chance; you won't be disappointed.

Dog Bites Man - Another show that didn't look too appealing at first is Comedy Central's "Dog Bites Man." It's a show about a 4 person news team, and it's absolutely hysterical. New episodes air Wednesday nights at 10:30 on Comedy Central, and they're definitely worth checking out. The character Marty is over the top funny, and he gets funnier every time I watch an episode.


Waking Life - Essentially an intro to philosophy class, this movie is really, really good. Waking Life follows the main character through a number of dreams meeting different people and discussing everything from the purpose of the universe, to relationships, to the meaning of life. I highly suggest getting a little stoney and letting the trippy animation and deep intellectual conversations wisk you off to your own little place where you can learn more about life. Not that I've done that or anything...

A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Written by Bill Bryson, this is an excellent book. Basically, the title explains what the book is about... a history of nearly everything. From the creation of the cosmos, to a discussion of how old the world is, to Volcanoes and everything in between, this book takes what you've read in science books and puts it into a very readable and entertaining novel. I'm about 3/4's of the way through the book, and it's outstanding. Read it.


RX Bandits - The RX Bandits released a new CD a couple days ago... and it sounds like it will be fantastic. You're probably not familiar with the RX Bandits, but trust me, they're awesome. If you like Sublime you'll like the Rx Bandits.

Anyway, check out their website ( They have a handful of songs on the left in their "Music Player" so that you can familiarize yourself with their music. Their new songs "Crushing Destroyer" and "Only For The Night" sound awesome, and I'm sure the rest of the CD will as well. They have CDs available only on their website, and they're $14 including shipping and handling.

While we're here...

Noob Sports Offensive Text Message Of The Week - goes to David Daniel Gutierrez, a long time friend of the Noob Sports family and protector of our freedoms. He sent me this shocker after the USA lost to Ghana.
"Too bad we're not Arab... we could have started a Jihad over that (penalty) call. Pity, as I have many guns."
(SEL tugging at shirt collar)

Noob Sports Quote Of The Week - goes to my roommate Tom. Well known for his quick wit and angry remarks, he delivered this gem while watching the France vs. Switzerland soccer game. A Frenchman was on the ground writhing in pain, and trainers were attending to him.
"Awwwwww, waaaaaaah! Why don't you just pour some wine on him, and he'll be fine.... FUCKING PUSSY!"

Friday, June 23, 2006 

Gearing up for the NBA Draft

The NBA draft is less than a week away, and I'm going to do my best to get you noobs excited about it. While the NFL draft receives more hype for a longer period of time, the NBA's version is certainly fascinating as well. There is comedy everywhere you look--prospects and posses showing up uninvited and sitting in the cheap seats, Stuart Scott interviewing befuddled international players, and making its debut this year, JJ Redick making a U-turn on his way to the podium.

Here are a few players I really like who will be selected June 28.

Brandon Roy, G
University of Washington
6'5" 195 lbs.

The rumor mill is churning at top speed around Roy, and it's looking more and more like he will be a top 3 pick. He might go as high as #2 to the Chicago Bulls, who are trying to decide between Roy and Tyrus Thomas of LSU. Rumor also has it that Michael Jordan himself is targetting the Husky at #3 and that the Lakers have toyed with the idea of trading Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and the #26 pick to the Bulls for the #2 and Tyson Chandler.

So why all the fuss over Brandon Roy? It doesn't hurt that he scored 20.2 ppg on 51% shooting for Washington last year, but NBA teams are drooling over him because he doesn't have any real flaws. He can pass (4.1 apg), rebound (5.6 rpg), defend (1.4 steals and .8 blocks per game), and shoot from outside (.402 from 3 point land) and might be the most NBA-ready player in this year's draft.

Guillermo Diaz, G
The U.
6'2" 190 lbs.

Aside from sharing a name with the actor who played Scarface in "Half Baked," Diaz has plenty else going for him. As you can see in the picture at right, he has more some serious hops (41+" vertical) and his offensive game has been compared to Steve Francis and Leandro Barbosa. If you caught a couple of his games at Miami, you were probably immediately struck by his speed and aggressiveness. On the other hand, some reports claim that he is too reckless with the ball and may be a shooting guard in a point guard's body.

I became a Diaz fan while watching him for the first time (against Michigan in November), as he stroked threes and drew contact after struggling in the first half. He was an impact player, and I see no reason to believe that he can't succeed in a Barbosa-esque role at the next level. As a through and through Laker fan, I would love for him to fall to them at #26 but despite Chad Ford's predictions, it doesn't look likely. If the Puerto Rican starts calling his teammates "B" and buys a dog named Killer, Diaz will quickly become one of Noob Sports favorite players.

Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza, PF
6'10" 230 lbs

I love that the big time Brazilian athletes are given one-word names (Ronaldo, Ronaldihno, Nene, and Fred) and the power forward is no exception. He has been dubbed Marquinos and averaged 19.5 ppg in the Brazilian league. As he works to add muscle, scouts rave about his offensive skills. If only we could combine that offense with...

Mouhamed Saer Sene
7'0" 235 lbs.

The 20 year old Saer Sene is a project who will not be ready to play in the NBA right away. Because of his size and shot blocking presence, he reminds me of Francisco Elson and D'Sagana Diop. Both he and Marquinos will most likely end up on quality teams that will try to develop them without giving them many NBA minutes, either by letting them remain overseas or by designating them to the NBDL. My personal belief is that Saer Sene and Marquinos are the international players to watch at the bottom half of this draft.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006 


- Fuck the Heat. I hate the Heat. I hate Antoine Walker, and his increasingly large breasts. I wanted to see Dirk and Cuban beat them. Oh well. Great NBA Playoffs.

- Apparently the Stanley Cup Finals were awesome. I didn't catch more than 20 minutes of the finals though, because, like Uncle Junior is to Tony Soprano, the NHL is dead to me. I just can't get into it anymore (unless the Wings are involved), and unfortunately I'm not the only one. Out of all my friends who are hockey fans (of which there used to be many), the only one that acted like they cared a little bit was crazy Jay. Other than that, not a peep from anybody.

- Go USA. Holy shit, go USA. Go Italy too. If anybody wants to join Team Noob Sports West, we will be viewing the game in Denver at the Celtic Tavern in LoDo. I will be the guy wearing the Oguchi Onyewu "22" jersey and waiving the Team USA scarf over my head. I will also be drunk (starting to drink at approximately 6:30 AM) and will most likely have the look of somebody who is just about to lose complete control. Please do say hello.

- Just in case the Noob Sports Jinx is still ruling the universe, I want to take this time to say Go Ghana, and Go Czech Republic! Ghana has the United States beat in every aspect of this game. They have better players, they have a stronger defense, better forwards, and are overall bigger, faster, and stronger. They will most certainly handle the United States, and the game won't even be close.

By the same token, Italy isn't even in the same league as the Czech Republic. This game won't be close, I don't even know why they're playing it... If the Czech Republic doesn't mercy Italy in this game, I will be shocked.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 


In the words of Lee Greenwood: "I'm proud to be an American."

This is the first time that I've honestly been able to say that in a very, very long time. From the dufus that's running our country (try googling the word "failure"... pretty funny), to our foreign policy being a complete shitshow, to the way that we're hated across the globe; these aren't very 'proud' times to be an American.

These aren't great times to be a fan of any of the teams that represent our country, either. Our basketball team has been sucking serious jaggon in the olympics, our baseball team famously flopped in the WBC, and our hockey team hasn't had a sniff of gold in any of their recent tournaments. The only sport that we seem to be excelling in is American Football, probably because we're the only country on earth that plays it.

I, like many others of my ilk, had visions of grandeur for this World Cup. This was to be the coming out party for the United States. This was going to be the straw that broke the camels back; the point where Americans finally caught on to soccer, and soccer supplanted hockey as the 4th "major" sport in the country. Improbable? Yes. But impossible? Not really.

After our opening game loss to the Czech Republic, you heard the team described as "uninspiring", "unflattering", "lethargic", and "dissapointing."

After we tied Italy (a tie!), you heard the team described as "heroic", "fighters", "valiant", and "proud."


Proud like Lee Greenwood wants us to be.

In all seriousness, that game on Saturday was such a roller coaster of emotions for me. I went from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows... sometimes those emotions came within minutes of one another, sometimes within seconds.

Over the course of one game, I managed to hug complete strangers, lose my voice from cheering, threaten to assassinate Pablo Mastroeni when he gets back to Colorado, and spill a handful of drinks by slamming my fist into the table after the second red card.

I went from das uber-depressed (Italy's first goal), to gleeful (Italy's second goal... which they scored for us), to ecstatic (Italy's red car for the elbow) in a matter of minutes.

I'm fairly sure I suffered a heart attack when Eddie Pope got his second yellow card (especially after telling everybody at the bar, and friends on the phone, that if Bruce kept Pope in the game, that he would get his second yellow... my prophecy came true 1 minute into the 2nd half) and we had to play the rest of the game with 9 men.

I was absolutely elated when Beasley scored a goal to give the US an improbable 2-1 lead over Italy, only to have my world turned to confusion, then catostrophy when I realized the offside flag was up.

The last 15 minutes might have been the most nervous and turturous minutes of my life... wildly cheering our boys to hold onto the draw, to keep any hope we had alive.

When the final whistle blew and we left the bar, I was completely exhausted. Emotionally, physically, and psychologically exhausted. I hissed like a vampire when I walked outside into the sun, struggling to stand up and drag myself home.

For a while I couldn't figure out how I felt about the game. So many emotions, so many huge swings, such euphoria, such disappointment... my world was a total maelstrom.

However, after all the dust had settled, I had one underlying emotion: pride.

I was fucking proud of the men that put on the Red, White, and Blue jerseys on Saturday. I was proud, once again, to be an American.

And the best part? I'm not alone.

The other day on ESPN's Sportsnation, they held a poll that asked "Which is the most interesting event?" and gave you the options of "USA in World Cup", "NBA Finals", and "U.S. Open."

My vote was obvious, but I was SHOCKED to see how the rest of the country voted:

Out of over 180,000 people that voted, 46% of them said that our United States Men's National team in the World Cup was the most interesting event to them. You know what that is?


(By the way, I think the distribution of these votes is hysterical. If you asked me "Steve, what places would you absolutely hate to live?" My answers would definitely include: West Virginia, Idaho, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. It would also be interesting / humorous to compare this map with a map of how these states voted in the 2004 presidential election / education levels. My guess is that it would be a pretty high correlation. I digress...)

Thursday is one of the most important days in U.S. soccer history. With a result against Ghana and a little help from Italy (it sucks to have to cheer for those greasy douchebags, by the way), we will advance out of the group of death.

Saturday's game was the most watched soccer game in United States history. At the end of the game, it gave me chills all over my body when I heard "U-S-A! U-S-A!" chanted throughout the stadium.

Hopefully Thursday will be more of the same. Hopefully our boys will go out there and play their hearts out, and leave everything on the pitch. Hopefully the results favor us.

Regardless of the result, there is one thing we all certainly will be: proud.

Proud to be Americans supporting our national team.

(While we're here, did anybody see the Korea vs. France game? Our love of Korea and it's rabid fans is well documented, but that was an unbelievable display of pride from the Korean teams. The noise in that stadium was deafening, and it sure as shit wasn't coming from the French. Dae Han Min Guk, son, Dae Han Min Guk.)

Monday, June 19, 2006 

Eat 'Em Up Tigers

Saturday wasn't the first time I've ever been embarrassed at a Tigers game, but it was the first time I've been embarrased for the other team. It didn't take long either, as the first chants of "LET'S GO TIGERS!!!!" began in Wrigley Field after Curtis Granderson tripled to start the game. When Carlos Guillen smoked a 2 run homer later in the first inning, the Detroit faithful in attendance roared in delight, easily drowning out the boos of Cubs' fans. Fortunate enough to be seated in the season ticket holder section, I was shocked at how many peeps in Tiger hats and jerseys spotted my shirt and offered me high fives after big plays. Meanwhile, the Cub contigent could only groan as Jaque Jones five-hopped a throw to the cutoff man (hilarious, by the way) and Dusty Baker trotted in one ineffective reliever after another. It was sad really, as the Cubs were out-played, out-hustled, and out-managed by a Tiger club that just destroys lesser competition (33-10 against sub-.500 teams).

As the Tigers continue to hold off the White Sox, there have been a few developments this week in Tigertown...

1. Curtis Granderson is becoming "jersey-worthy."
He began all three of this weekend's games with a base hit and seemingly just keeps getting better with every game. Granderson plays the game hard, but gracefully and with intelligence. Able to hit for average or power, he's patient and will make adjustments. I'll stop short of saying that I want to have his children, but Granderson is everything that Juan Encarnacion wasn't. This isn't a feeling that often strikes me, so I don't say that this lightly, but I'm strongly considering purchasing his jersey. It would be a bold step for me as a fan to become a jersey wearer after so many years of staunch resistance. Putting someone else's name on your back is a big commitment: you have to be sure that 1. the player will be good for an extended period of time (think Rick Ankiel or Bobby Higginson), 2. the player will remain on your favorite team for years (think about all those now useless Johnny Damon jerseys in Boston), and 3. that the player won't turn out to be a jackass (think Eagle fans purchasing TO's #81). Granderson seems to meet the criteria.

2. Tis the season to be trading.
One of the biggest perks for fans of a winning team is the drama of the trading season. Figure on the Tigers making a move or two before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, with the primary target being an affordable left handed bat. Dave Dombrowski will also consider adding another arm for the bullpen, but will first have to decide if he is willing to give up some of his prized pitching prospects for a true impact player. The dream acquisition is Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford, a young left handed hitter who can provide the Detroit lineup with the thing it lacks most: speed. Crawford is hitting .315 with 10 homers and 22 steals and rumors of his availability will not go away. Is there any real chance that DD brings CC to Motown?

A package for Hot Carl would start with Humberto Sanchez, who was recently promoted to Toledo after posting a 1.72 ERA with 86 K's in 71.2 innings in Double A. He has emerged as an elite prospect and would probably step immediately into Tampa Bay's rotation. Jordan Tata could sweeten the deal, but given their recent history, the Devil Rays will ask for more. One player who would make a lot of sense for the manager Joe Maddon is Omar Infante, although Jim Leyland would not be happy to give him up. Infante is still young and inexpensive, plays 3 infield positions (as well as OF in a pinch) and has a lot of pop for a little man. However, if the Tigers included him along with Sanchez, Tata, and a lesser prospect (Jack Hannahan?) the Devil Rays might not receive a better offer.

According to ESPN's Jason Stark, the Tigers have already made inquiries but the favorites to land Crawford are the Los Angeles Angels with a probable package of Ervin Santana and Brandon Wood. I put the chances of a serious Tiger run at Hot Carl, who is under club control until 2010, at around 10%. It's much more likely that DD hangs onto Sanchez and adds a player like Jeromy Burnitz or even Aubrey Huff. Still, isn't it an exciting change to be a buyer in July?

3. Tiger Stadium is being torn down.
The announcement made by the city of Detroit isn't a surprise, but we'll always have a soft spot in our hearts for the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. While the actual field is being preserved, here's hoping that the project will revitalize that area of the city.


Friday, June 16, 2006 

If I was Bruce...

Ever since the United States got the absolute dog shit beaten out of them by the Czech Republic on Monday, a lot of people have asked me (SEL) what the United States needs to do differently against Italy on Saturday in order to win and stay alive in World Cup. Apparently people think I know something about soccer.

Coach Bruce Arena has managed to find himself in a pretty bad place. I've always been a fan of Das Bruce, but I don't envy his position right now. His team came into the tournament way overhyped, and he spoke with such bravado and confidence that we expected them to dominate their group and make a serious run in the World Cup. After they got their asses handed to them on Monday, people started immediately questioning Bruce's motivational skills and roster selection.

What changes should he make so the United States doesn't make an early exit like in '98? More importantly for Bruce, what changes should he make so he doesn't (almost certainly) lose his job? Well, If I was Bruce...

(by the way, I often like to PRETEND that my name is Bruce. Whenever I order a meal and they ask me for my name I tell them "Bruce." If I start talking to somebody and can tell within the first five seconds that I never want to see them again, I tell them my name is "Bruce." I often fill out surveys or sign up for useless shit using the full name "Bruce Braswell." When I put on my ass-less chaps and head down to the Manhole, I tell people I meet there.... nevermind.)

If I was Bruce, I would play in a 3-5-2. For an example of that formation, I would look to the Hope College Flying Dutchmen teams of the early to mid 2000's, who pounded teams using that system. Opponents of that theory point to the fact that there are only 3 defenders. At this point, the United States has no choice other than to attack, because a loss or a draw and we're (pretty much) done. Might as well make it an attacking-minded formation.

If I was Bruce, I would bench Eddie Pope and play with Oguchi Onyewu as the only center back.

If I was Bruce, I keep Eddie Lewis at left-back. Despite his less-than-stellar performance against the Czech Republic, he is very good at attacking out of the back. We need all the attacking help we can get.

If I was Bruce, I would contemplate subbing out Steve Cherundolo and replacing him with last years MLS Defender of the year and Noob Sports reader Jimmy Conrad. Even though he is more comfortable at center back, I think it would be nice to have him out there trying to stop Luca Toni and company. However, I would most likely keep Stevie C. back there.

If I was Bruce, I would bench DeMarcus Beasley and keep Bobby Convey on at left midfield. Convey has that great left-foot, and is one of our best free-kick takers. I would also think about bringing Beasley on as a sub for Convey, to add that extra boost of energy and speed when Italy is tiring towards the end of the game.

If I was Bruce, I would put Clint Dempsey on at right midfield. He has pace, he's fearless, he has great ball skills, and he is probably our most compeitive player. I would love to see Deuce cutting people up down the right side all day.

If I was Bruce, I would put our best three players (and playmakers) together in the center of midfield, and let them try to take over the game. These players, of course, are Landon Donovan, John O'Brien, and Claudio Reyna. Let their creativity feed off one another, let them play the beautiful game together, and let's see what happens.

If I was Bruce, I would run Brian McBride and Eddie Johnson together up front. McBride is without a doubt our best forward, and always has the ability to score off a header or a scrum in the box. Johnson is the perfect compliment to a player who is big, holds the ball well, and dominates in the air (like McBride). He has blazing speed, good ball skills, high energy, and has the ability to score goals. Goals, obviously, are important to the U.S. getting a result on Saturday.

If I was Bruce, my lineup would look like this:

If I was Bruce, that's exactly what I would do. And damnit, I think we would win.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 

Noobie, Noobie, Noob (6/15)

Noob of the Week:
If there is anything we've learned this week, it's that there is no shortage of noobs in the wide world of sports. In fact, there have been so many noobs in the news recently that we've decided to split this award up by sport.

The raid on Jason Grimsley's house has sparked an HGH firestorm in MLB and Grimsley further noobed it up by cooperating with authorities and providing names of several players involved with performance enhancing drugs. Shortly thereafter, Grimsley refused to continue his cooperation, pissing off the feds who then leaked his story to the press. Grimsley has been attacked by the media for his HGH use and also by some of his fellow players for being a rat. It's only a matter of time before the FBI places an agent under cover in an MLB clubhouse as a coach or bat boy--in fact, that might be a great idea for Keanu Reeves' next movie, perhaps as a sequel to the unforgettable "Point Break."

The JJ Redick DUI story is just about perfect: the popped collar in his mugshot and the panicked U-turn have sports fans all over the country revelling in the smug Dukie's legal troubles. As Redick prepares for the NBA draft, the Portland Jail Blazer jokes practically write themselves. I hate Redick as much as the next guy, but he has to be a fucking great beer pong player, right?

Chris Henry is an absolute douchebag. The Bengals wide receiver was arrested for the FOURTH time since December on charges of providing alcohol to minors. According to police, the 23 year old Henry was drinking with 3 girls (ages 18, 16, and 15) in his car. In the morning, the 18 year old girl alleged that Henry had raped her, although police believe that her allegations to be fictional. Either way, the NFL's version of R. Kelly figures to be out of a job soon.

Street Racing-
Big Ben Roethlisberger is the big winner for crashing his crotch rocket in Pittsburgh. There is no truth to the rumor that the accident was caused when he was hit with a burrito thrown from a passing vehicle ("this burrito is good but it is filling"). Meanwhile, Esteban Loaiza was given a DUI after being pulled over at 120 mph early Wednesday. His 3 year, $21 million deal raised eyebrows when Billy Beane announced the move this winter and looks even more questionable today. In NBA news, perennial NOTW candidate Zach Randolph was also pulled over for "street racing" this week. When the po-po searced the car, they found 2 loaded handguns and a thick cloud of ganja. Amazingly, Zeebo avoided any charges stemming from the incident and the Trail Blazers have said they will not punish their $80 million dollar man.

Noob Sports Commercial of the Week:
The narrator/spiritual adviser looks like an older, bloated Colin Farrell but the "Joga Bonito" commercials by Nike are definitely on point. If you haven't seen all of the spots yet, here is a compilation for your viewing pleasure.

Noob Sports Feel Good Story of the Week:
In a week where even squeaky clean guys like Roethlisberger and Redick are getting in trouble, it's a bit hard to feel cheery about our athletes. With all the news about performance enhancing drug use and violence by athletes, the WWE shines as a beacon of hope: Degeneration X has reunited. Triple H and Shawn Michaels have once again teamed up and will fight in a 5 on 2 handicap match against the Spirit Squad, a group of 5 wrestlers whose shtick is that they are, you guessed it, male cheerleaders. DX is famous for the positive and uplifting messages they try to share with their fans. Said Triple H: “We’re going to send a message to Vince McMahon and everyone else in the WWE. It’s a simple message – it’s just two words – suck it.” Hunter Hearst Helmsley then compared being a member of DX to being in the Beatles and said that they are going to wrestle like they have nothing to lose "because we’re rich biatch, and we don’t care." If more kids would aspire to be pro wrestlers instead of those cheating, 'roid raging baseball players, America would have a much brighter future.

Noob Sports Quip of the Week:
Todd Jones reminds no one of Mariano Rivera, but at least he has a sense of humor. After entering last Friday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays and not recording an out, Jones was asked how much blowing the save bothered him. Jones said "I slept like a baby- woke up crying every two hours." The roller coaster ride continues as Jones took the loss in extra innings Wednesday night, leaving the Tiger faithful with the same feeling Cubs fans had when the always nerve-wracking Rod Beck racked up 51 saves in 1998 (tribute to Mitch in Sacramento).