Friday, July 6, 2007

Our Joke of a Legal System

I thought I’d compile a list of some of the most ridiculous lawsuits I could find because, well, they’re funny—in a sad and pathetic sort of way. Just to make things clear I didn’t do any real research or anything (not my style), I just googled “ridiculous lawsuits”.

  • In 1997 a man named Bob Craft, from Hot Springs, Montana, legally changed his name to Jack Ass. In 2002 he sued MTV, claiming that their show “Jackass” and subsequent movies plagiarized his name, violated copyright laws, and defamed him. He sought $50 million. What a jackass! (
  • Roy Pearson sued a dry cleaner for $54 million after they lost his lucky pants. He claimed that the loss of the pants caused him to lose out on a business deal he was attempting to close that day. The trial lasted only two days and the plaintiff was ordered to pay the defendant’s court fees. (

This one was so ridiculous that I thought I would just quote the entire write-up:
  • “Doug Baker, 45, of Portland, Ore. Baker says God ‘steered’ him to a stray dog. He admits ‘People thought I was crazy’ to spend $4,000 in vet bills to bring the injured mutt back to health, but hey, it was God's dog! But $4,000 was nothing: he couldn't even take his girlfriend out to dinner without getting a dog-sitter to watch him. When the skittish dog escaped the sitter, Baker didn't just put an ad in the paper, he bought display ads so he could include a photo. His business collapsed since he devoted full time to the search for the dog. He didn't propose to his girlfriend because he wanted the dog to deliver the ring to her. He hired four ‘animal psychics’ to give him clues to the animal's whereabouts, and hired a witch to cast spells. He even spread his own urine around to ‘mark his territory’ to try to lure the dog home! And, he said, he cried every day. Two months in to the search, he went looking for the dog where it got lost -- and quickly found it. His first task: he put a collar on the mutt. After finding the dog, he sued the dog sitter, demanding $20,000 for the cost of his search, $30,000 for the income he lost by letting his business collapse, $10,000 for ‘the temporary loss of the special value’ of the dog, and $100,000 in ‘emotional damages’ -- $160,000 total. God has not been named as a defendant.” (
  • A woman is suing Mars Inc., the makers of Starburst candy, claiming the candy was too chewy, causing her to suffer from temporal mandibular joint dysfunction. I’m not a doctor but I think that means she f’ed up her jaw. She wants $25,000. Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, the offending Starburst was yellow. (
  • At the University of Idaho a student was looking out his dorm window that overlooked a street when he saw several of his friends passing by. He decided he would get their attention by pulling down his pants and mooning them. When he went to stick his “moon” out the window he fell and hurt himself. He then proceeded to sue the University for not providing sufficient warning of the dangers of the second story windows. (

America, what a great country.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The worst contract of all time?

I was watching Baseball Tonight the other night and as they were in the middle of a 20 minute fellatio fest regarding Roger Clemens’ first win in about a month, I thought to myself: Is this the worst contract in the history of baseball? For those of you who don’t know, Clemens made his first start on June 9 yet he is getting paid 28 million dollars by the Yankees. 28 million dollars for four months. To put that into perspective, the entire Tampa Bay Devil Rays roster will be making 24 million dollars for the whole season. Clemens himself is making more money than an entire baseball team and he’s only playing 2/3 of the season. Now for that kind of money he better be the best pitcher in baseball and be leading the team to the playoffs. Not quite. Clemens is a very average 2-3 with a 4.26 ERA while the Yankees are three games under .500 and 12 games out of first place. On top of that, the Yankees are 2-4 in his six starts. Below average stuff from a guy making more money in one season than any player ever has. Now, back to the point of this being the worst contract in baseball history.
Some people will point to the contracts of players like Kevin Brown (7 years, 105 million) and Mike Hampton (7 years, 121 million). However, these players were hurt for the majority of these contracts. They didn’t have a chance to hurt their teams in any way due to the fact that they weren’t able to play. Clemens, on the other hand, is losing games for his club. Others will point to ARod’s contract (10 years, 252 millions dollars), yet he is making less money per year than Clemens and has put up incredible numbers over the duration of his contract which has at least helped his team win games. There have been other contracts that have been given to crappy players, such as Chan Ho Park’s (6 years, 65 million dollars) or Denny Neagle’s (5 years, 51 million) but these players lost games for their teams for much less money than what Clemens is doing for the Yankees.
Not only is Clemens making an assload of money for such a mediocre season, he has ridiculous stipulations built in that allow him to take family vacations while the team is on the road and he isn’t scheduled to start. However, the worst thing about all this is that Clemens is a giant douchebag that actually believes he deserves the special treatment. What kind of asshole puts himself ahead of the team so blatantly? If I were a member of the Yankees I would have been vehemently against this signing. Why does Clemens deserve special treatment over players like ARod, Posada, and Jeter who actually contribute to the team? Could you ever see Greg Maddux, who is equally as good as Clemens, pull something like this? Of course not, it takes a very special douchebag to think so highly of himself.
It’s also a great thing for baseball that Clemens is sucking. Can you imagine if every player tried to pull the same stunt? What if Pujols decided to sign one year contracts for the rest of his career? He could start a bidding war every May, play from June on and collect ridiculous amounts of money from teams out bidding each other. Luckily for all of us, Clemens is unique in his arrogance. His frosted tips are fucking sweet though.

This has nothing to do with Clemens at all but I stumbled across this article the other day and was in complete shock. Why anyone would be compelled to buy this crap is beyond me. YAHOO!

129 Hotdogs in 12 Minutes= Pure and Utter Chaos

I was going to create a running log of the 92nd Annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, but realized it was only 12 minutes long. That’s like attempting to write a log about the dumps I take, which come to think of it might be pretty interesting (in a gross, stinky, and depressing sort of way.)

When does it become acceptable to keep a running log of events? An event that’s 30 minutes long, or is an hour necessary? Will I write another statement in this article, or am I just going to finish it with questions?

Ok, back to the hot dogs. I was lucky enough to stumble on the Coney Island contest as it was starting. Sadly, I missed the contestant introductions. They are the most entertaining part of any competitive eating event.

Usually the field is composed of:

  1. About 5-10 dudes who just love eating way too much. Put it this way, if God made us all that big, the maximum capacity sign on elevators would read ‘One’ and we would all be riding solo. These guys are just really fat man looking to eat free food. “So I get to eat as many hotdogs as I can in 12 minutes for free???? Yeah, where do I sign up...?”
  2. A couple of old fart knockers (I love calling people that) who are in the “Competitive Eating Hall of Fame” for their eating accomplishments when a hot dog and a whole can of soda only cost a nickel.
  3. Some young-guns who have no chance of winning. Usually there’s a guy with a mo-hawk who looks like he might be a registered sex offender, and some foreign girl who once ate 8 pounds of Vienna sausage in 10 minutes. (I think that’s called prostitution.)
  4. The two stars: 6 time defending champion Takeru Kobayashi and the American hero and patriot Joey “Jaws” Chestnut. Chestnut once dedicated his 4th of July competitive eating results to the troops in Iraq. Not to sound like an insensitive asshole, but you can’t just stuff a bunch of food in your mouth and say it’s for our military heroes. Basically, I’m saying we need to set up some guidelines for what actions are and aren’t “dedicate- able”. (My spell-check just informed me that wasn’t a word, and I think it should be.)
The contest started out with a bang. Chestnut jumped out to a three or four dog lead and maintained it for the first 8 minutes of the contest. He looked like he was going to seizure as he shamelessly jammed wiener after wiener into his big mouth. I had never seen anything like it. It looked like his head was going to explode, but he had something to prove. He was on a mission.....a very, very gay mission.

Kobayashi looked relaxed and did his version of the ‘Toine shimmy (see how my articles have symmetry). Come to think of it Antoine Walker should enter the contest; he’d probably enjoy the whole premise of it. Kobayashi started to make his move with about 4 minutes left. He tied the competition at 48 dogs and again at 54 dogs. By the two minute mark, I was jumping up and down rooting for him. I am a sucker for the underdog. You see, Kobayashi is experiencing what he described as “jaw arthritis”. He went to a chiropractor this week and no one was even sure he was going to be able to compete.

At the one minute mark, the two competitive eaters were tied at 60 hot dogs apiece. The world record of 59.5 hot dogs was going to be shattered! (Chestnut had just set the record a month earlier at a mini-mall in Tempe, Arizona. (Oh, the drama!)

American history was being created! One of the announcers couldn’t contain himself and screamed “Chestnut has just broken the world record! This would be the greatest moment in the history of American sports!!.” The greatest moment in the history of American sports?? I’m rendered speechless almost never, but I can’t think of anything to say after that comment, and unfortunately, I don’t think he was joking. Good job EPSN!

The crowd chanted “Joey, Joey, Joey”.

I was on the edge of my seat. The two warriors were still tied with 30 seconds left. Then, the unthinkable happened. Kobayashi, who once almost beat a bear in a hot dog eating contest, had a “reversal”, which in layman’s terms means he threw up all over the place. The competition was over and “Jaws” Chestnut had won with a new world record of 66 dogs. Kobayashi finished 63 and looked defeated. Joey was interviewed by some jackass minutes after the competition, who told him he was proud he brought the championship back to America. The American flag was being waved more proudly than ever!

All kidding aside, I was truly entertained. Put it this way, the Kentucky Derby, which is known as the “most exciting two minutes in sports” would have some competition if this thing was 10 minutes shorter. Lastly, now that Chestnut has knocked off the “pound for pound” king of competitive eating, I hope he doesn’t dodge tough competition like Pretty Boy Floyd has done in boxing.

Some top contenders who could strip Chestnut of his eating title include:

Yogi Bear- Apple Pies
The Hamburgler- Hamburgers
Popeye- Spinach
Bugs Bunny- Carrots
The Cookie Monster- Cookies (obvi)

I’m ashamed of myself. citizenship quiz

Keeping BigLots Honest

With the MLB All-Star Game coming up, and not much else to write about, let's see how BigLots did with his AL All-Star Picks. And let’s just stick with the AL—because honestly, I don’t really know much about the National League. I went to a Reds-Phillies game earlier this year, sat in the bleachers and couldn’t see the names of the players because Great American just posts the players # on the scoreboards around the park and we were too high to be able to read the JumboTron (or whatever the kids are calling it these days). It was like playing a game of Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball on SNES where all of the players have ridiculous names. Seriously, when you see the names “D. Ross” and “A. Burr,” can you even tell me which one is a garbage catcher on the Reds and which one is a Kansas City Royal on Ken Griffey SNES? Well, probably, because A. Burr is the guy that said goodnight to Alexander Hamilton, but you get the idea. Anyway, give the benefit of the doubt considering BigLot’s article was posted about a month before the actual team came out AND add in the fact that the idiotic fans vote for the starters. On with it.

Catcher- BigLots’ pick: Jorge Posada. All-Star Starter: Ivan Rodgriguez.

Jorge still made the team, but BigLots didn’t even have Pudge on his roster. My completely unbiased belief is that Victor should be starting.

First Base- BigLots’ pick: Kevin Youkilis. All-Star Starter: David Ortiz.

Not really sure where the stats stood at the time of the posting of this article, but Ortiz is better than or the same as Youkilis in every statistical category but batting average and stolen bases (and that includes OPS). That said, the kid from Minnesota got robbed.

Second Base- BigLots’ pick: B.J. Upton. All-Star Starter: Placido Polanco

Another whiff for BigLots, as Polanco isn’t even on his roster and Upton didn’t make the real team. Whatever, second base sucks anyway. Wish for a mulligan granted.

Shortstop- BigLots’ pick: Derek Jeter. All-Star Starter: Derek Jeter.

Nice one, BL. To celebrate this correct pick, I’m going to fire off a Jeter jersey to Logan. Check your mail within the next 7-12 business days.

Third Base- BigLots’ pick: Alex Rodriguez. All-Star Starter: Alex Rodriguez.

Nice. I would make an A-Rod and his wife joke, but they’ve all been used and I don’t recycle because the bin is outside and that is way too far when the trash can option is easily accessible.

Outfield- BigLots’ picks: Magglio Ordonez, Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero.
All-Star Starters: Magglio Ordonez, Ichiro Suzuki, Vladimir Guerrero.

As Meat Loaf once said, “two out of three ain’t bad.” For some reason, I had this vision of Magglio being left off and I was excited to call it a crime, but BL knows his AL baseball.

Starting pitchers- BigLots’ picks: Dan Haren, Josh Beckett, Johan Santana, John Lackey, Chad Gaudin, C.C. Sabathia, Gil Meche, Jarrod Washburn
All Stars: Dan Haren, Josh Beckett, Johan Santana, John Lackey, C.C. Sabathia, Gil Meche, Justin Verlander

This is kind of getting boring to both me and you, so I’m going to skip BigLots’ 3 for 4 on relief pitchers.

Overall, BigLots didn’t do a bad job considering all of the variables. Hats off.

The All-Star game is on Tuesday at PNC Park. So, you know, watch it or something. And root for the AL so the Indians can have homefield in the World Series, only to ultimately lose to the shitty Diamonbacks or something since the trend is Ohio teams getting second place this year.

Sorry, Another Soccer Article

While I was making my morning run thru of websites (sports, news, celebrity gossip) I came across an article Gene Wojciechowski wrote about David Beckham. I don’t normally ready Wojciechowski’s articles because, frankly, I don’t think he’s a good writer. He writes mostly opinionated pieces, which would be fine except he generally supports them with nothing more than overused sports clich├ęs. Well this one was no different. Let me sum it up for you. Soccer is boring and English (I guess that’s bad now) and Beckham is old and washed up, so why should we care about him coming to the MLS?

Now I have two problems with this article besides the obvious lack of creativity and originality. One is his assertion that soccer is boring. This angle has been run into the ground by sportswriters who are too closed minded to even give it a try, or too stupid to put together a coherent article about why they find it boring. It’s also frustrating to hear so many people complain about it because no one is shoving soccer down their throats (you know, the way ESPN is with the WNBA).

The second issue I have is the way he portrays Beckham and the MLS (which he basically quoted someone who knows something about soccer and then inserted his own sarcastic comments in between). Yes, Beckham is past his prime, when he was arguably one of the best players in the world. No one is claiming he is still the best in the world! But he’s still a great player, definitely the best in the MLS. We’re talking about someone who is still playing for the England national team and was an instrumental part in helping Real Madrid win the Spanish Primera.

This is a big deal for soccer in the United States, whether or not you want to admit it. Honestly we don’t care what you think, so stop subjecting us to your lame articles until you learn to do some research or start supporting your opinions with things that matter like, you know, facts.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

It's Been Killing Me

This article is not meant to be funny. I am proud of what I was able to uncover tonight. What I did is comparable to figuring out a great Sherlock Holmes novel (I was never able to do that, but someone told me it feels pretty good) or a psychological thriller like the Sixth Sense (I realized he was dead halfway through the movie and still cried at the end (I was 20 yrs old))

You see, something has been eating away at my fragile soul for the past month. Every time I watched PTI, I kept thinking that Mike Wilbon reminded me of someone else. I didn't know if it was an actor from a TV show, a retired athlete, or some old college professor, but something about the way he looked (and yes, even talked) made me wonder: Who in the hell is your long lost twin Wilbon?

I know I could have asked others to help, but I needed to figure this out myself. I have early signs of dementia and Alzheimers. My memory and ability to "connect the dots" are both shells of what they used to be. Saying all that, I had a surprising epiphany 30 minutes ago.
Mike Wilbon is Rev Run. I copied pictures of the two celebrities so I could conduct a proper investigation. My findings sent tingles down my spine and awoke the sleeping giant that is my nether region.

Once I put the pictures side by side, everything went black. I must have fainted, as I woke up on the ground covered in sweat. Was it true? Were Wilbon and Rev Run look-alikes? Maybe more startling, could they be the same man?

I first applied my own version of Run's Hat to Mike's head. Wow, it was getting better. Next, I applied Mike's moustache and glasses to the face of Rev. I didn't even know who was who anymore. I had to "undo" some of my photoshopping to remember which picture started off as "Run" and which started off as "Mike".

Here's what I uncovered:

They were the same man!
Wilbon just takes off the hat and puts on the "newest version" of the oldest disguise in the book everytime he's on PTI.

The old moustache and glasses trick! Bobby Valentine would be proud.

God, I hate bragging, but I really feel like Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) at the end of The Da Vinci Code (aka a pretty big tool) I will try to post something a little less ridiculous later, but that was fun.

Rev's Blackberry journal post (which is more ridiculous than this article) at the end of season 2 is below. You tell me they're not the same person:

"Good Morning, how do you spell happiness: F-A-M-I-L-Y. Just like your kids, good times will come and go, so adjust to change and the constant flow. Life is what you make of it so you better make it count. Keep your eye on the prize and your arms around those you love. God is Love. Same time tomorrow knuckleheads. Rev Run"


An Attempt to Make Your Day Worse

Due to a combination of factors today I am in a pretty foul mood. So I thought I would allow you all to share it with me by coming up with a list of things that I hate. In no particular order…

Ridiculous fantasy trade proposals. At no point do I, nor will I want David Weathers on my fantasy team. EVER.

The radio. I swear to God if I hear the song “Buy U A Drank” one more time I’m going to drive my car into oncoming traffic.

Golf. My game reached an all-time low yesterday when I whiffed with a nine iron on the fourth hole. There were witnesses

Julio Lugo. Congratulations on hitting .083 for the month of June, Julio. For those scoring at home that’s worse than Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Julian Tavaraz, and even the corpse of Doug Mirabelli!

People who hold in their sneezes. I don’t know why this bothers me but seriously, just let it fly.

Christiano Ronaldo. I know he’s a good soccer player but he’s also a douche. If you think otherwise, well, you’re wrong.

ESPN. Last night I was watching Sportscenter and a large portion of the show was devoted to a fictitious tournament where famous people in sports were set up in brackets and the network’s most annoying commentators were arguing over who was more “now” to decide who advances to the next round (what does that even mean??). Seriously, what happened to this company? Whoever thought of this idea should be fired on the spot. My hope is that its Stuart Scott.

While we’re on the subject of ESPN…

Steve Phillips. I have yet to hear one semi intelligent comment come from his mouth. We’re supposed to listen to trade speculation and analysis from the same person who traded for the planet formerly known as Mo Vaughn?

And last but not least,

Roger Clemens. When will people get the picture that no one cares about this fat piece of crap? He’s alienated the fan base of every team he’s ever played for. NO ONE LIKES HIM. I can’t think of a more disgusting sight than watching Clemens fondle the Babe Ruth statue before he waddles in from the bullpen before each game. On a more positive note though, I can’t wait to watch him finish his career on a Yankees team that misses the playoffs by ten games. See things are already looking up.

I Can't Think of a Fitting Title For This Article

I am going to start this article with a random link of Billy “Kernels” Walker from Kansas State who got a little hungry during K-State’s NIT game this past spring. I didn’t tell anyone about it because no one would believe me without some proof.

Here it is: Billy is Hungry

It’s absolutely hilarious that the announcers see him eating the popcorn and decide not to say anything about it.

I just wonder if he went to get it himself. Taking into account the fact that Walker is a Bob Huggin's recruit, the exchange at the concession stand probably went something like this:

Billy Walker- “I’ll take a large bucket of popcorn, extra butter”
Concessions Person- “Aren’t you on the team?
Billy Walker- “Ummmmmmmmmm…………nope.”
Concessions Person- “Ya, sure your not. Anyway, that will be $4.50.”
Billy Walker- “Shit, I don't have any money. Slowly hand me the popcorn and back away from the register ho, or I'm going to have to use this (Gun under his warm-ups)."
Concessions Person- “Are you really holding me up for a bucket of popcorn?”

The “greatest” NBA Draft of all time went on this past week. I heard that ‘greatest’ word being thrown around way too much before, during, and after the draft. I don’t know how anyone can consider a draft the greatest of all time until 5-10 years down the road, but maybe I’m wrong.

5 Things that can make this the "Greatest Draft of All Time":

1. Top secret video footage is released three months from now showing Greg Oden being formally introduced as the new president of the AARP. (I'm pretty sure Bill Russell has just dyed his hair in hopes of winning another NBA Championship.)

2. The NBA creates a new award titled “Gayest Player of the Year” to go along with its MVP, 6th Man of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Joakim Noah wins the award every year from now until his death and no other player is even considered. Not even Antoine Walker, with his gayer than Christmas "Shimmy", can compete.

3. (a) Yi fails in the NBA and instead becomes Bernie Brewer, mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers, or
( b) the Bucks are forced to move to China after Yi wins a best out of three “rock-paper-scissors” contest against Bucks owner Herb Kohl. Kohl, immediately after the game, is heard saying “Damn it, I should have gone with ‘enney meeny miney mo”

4. Stephen A. Smith never covering another draft again. His name should be Stephen A. A. Smith because, quite frankly, he’s an annoying asshole, and I bet he smells like Cheetos. You're not a sports journalist Stephen A. A., you're a cartoon character!

Jared Dudley, drafted #22 by Charlotte, finally admits that he not only looks like a lesbian, but actually is one. Then, he, Josh Boone, and Tyrone Lue arrange a three-way marriage.

Pretty cool gambling story involving Eric Lindgren (professional poker player) who had to play 4 rounds from sunrise to sunset out in Vegas and shoot below 100 from the tips. He started at 5:45am after a night of heavy drinking. The bet was over $300,000.

Here is the link to the story and some video footage of his four rounds: RAW VEGAS

I am really shocked ESPN had this article up for a number of reasons. This man knows nothing about what Michael Jordan has done behind the scenes, and more importantly, has no idea why Jordan chooses to stay out of the “social issues” spotlight. This is amateur hour journalism. True social liberals respect Jordan’s right do whatever the hell he wants as long as it’s not directly effecting someone else in a negative manner. There’s a big crack in his ideology if he thinks Jordan has any responsibility to become more involved!

Some Conclusions:
1. I hate putting pictures in the damn articles. Log, you'll need to help me out with that from now on.
2. I ate a Garden Sensations Chicken Ceasar Salad from Wendy's tonight. It was disgusting unless you like watery chicken and bugs on your lettuce. Also, the amount of ice Wendy's puts in its drinks is insane, and I think it's being done on a national level.

3. There is some pretty exciting boxing coming up over the next couple of weeks, and I will get up an article about it sooner or later. Oh, and the tentative date for Mayweather vs. Hatton is November 10th according to Hatton's wanker father.

4. I apologize for the random and boring nature of this article. I think my editor needs something to motivate me ($$$$$$).


Editing never felt so wrong.

the nighthawk

Monday, July 2, 2007

Soccer News and Notes: If You Don't Read This You're a Wanker

I always wanted to say "wanker". It makes me laugh. Anyway here's some stuff to keep you up to date on transfers and things of that nature.

  • It looks like Liverpool is very close to the big signing everyone has been waiting for. It is expected that it will become official that Fernando Torres will be the new striker for the Reds. I'm pretty excited about finally having a world class goal scorer, even though I was really hoping for Eto'o, especially after Henry signed with Barca. Luis Garcia, the Liverpool forward who missed most of the season with a knee injury, will sign with Torres' old club, Atletico Madrid.
  • In other, less enjoyable Liverpool news, legendary goal score Robbie Fowler, who's contract with Liverpool expired this year, can't seem to find a team for next season. He said he hasn't gotten a single offer, but remains optimistic. I would think Premiership's fourth leading goal scorer of all time would be able to find work somewhere. If it means he ends up in the MLS, I would be happy though.
  • Manchester United finally signed Owen Hargreaves, the English national who formally played for Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga. Hargreaves was one of England's lone bright spots in the 06 World Cup and should make an already great Man U team even tougher to beat.
  • Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has yet to renew his contract. Its been reported that he recently rejected an offer that would have made him the highest paid player in Chelsea's history, which is saying something. His name has also been linked to Barca and Juventus.
  • The U20 FIFA World Cup is going on right now in Canada, and the U.S. is one of the favorites to do well. They actually tied South Korea 1-1 yesterday and they play Poland tomorrow on ESPNU. Check it out if you have the channel. It's good soccer and these guys are the future of our program; many of them will probably play in the next World Cup.
  • The Men's National Team takes on Paraguay tonight in the Copa America group stages. Its on a channel that most people don't get (GolTV), but there is an easy way to watch it. Go to this site, and download the player for free. Once you get it up scroll down until you see GolTV. Its pretty good quality and the announcers speak English, which is always a plus.

Okajima Snubbed

I normally try to refrain from talking about the Red Sox stuff here since I know most of you could care less, but I just couldn’t hold back on this one. When I saw the All-Star roster I was pretty upset with the omission of Hideki Okajima. I mean this guy has been absolutely lights out! But I wanted to make sure that my bias wasn’t clouding my objectivity so I decided to look at the stats of the others relievers who were chosen to see if there is anyone who was less deserving than Mr. Okajima (even Jonathan Papelbon).

The four relievers who were selected were J.J. Putz, Bobby Jenks, Francisco Rodriguez, and Papelbon. After methodically examining all of their stats, along with those of Okajima, it looks like a case could be made for the Red Sox lefty over Jenks or Rodriguez.

Okajima Jenks Rodriguez
IP 40 32 35
H 22 25 27
HR 1 1 2
R 4 10 9
BB 10 10 14
SO 36 29 49
ERA 0.9 2.76 2.27
WHIP 0.8 1.071 1.171429

K/9 8.1 7.99 12.36
BB/9 2.25 2.76 3.53
AVG 0.163 0.213 0.187

Okajima has an advantage over the other two in every category except strikeouts. So why did he get left off the list? Obviously sometimes get left off in favor of players who are the only representative for their team. That leaves out Jenks since he is the lone selection from the lowly White Sox whose hitters couldn’t hit themselves out of a wet paper bag and their pitchers have been anywhere from mediocre to dismal.

So we’re left with Rodriguez, since the Angels are also represented by starter John Lackey. Why Rodriguez over Okajima? Most people would probably say because he has more saves. But why should that matter? Okajima’s only fault then, it would seem, is that he is one of two relief aces on his team. He just happens to pitch one inning before Papelbon on most nights. Imagine this situation. The starter leaves the game after the seventh inning and the score is 2-1. Due up for the Yankees are the 3-4-5 spots in the eighth. Who has a tougher job, Okajima, or Papelbon who comes on in the ninth to pitch to the bottom of the order?

Okajima has been dominant over the first half of the season. Still, he’s been overshadowed all year by Dice-K, Papelbon and everyone else. I know some of you will say, what are you complaining about, the Red Sox already have five All-Stars. I just think this guy deserves a little recognition for his domination and contributions to the best team in baseball. (Sorry had to get that in).

Maybe some more thoughts about the All-Star game later.