Monthly Archives: August 2009

America’s Got Talent’s Fourth Quarter-Final Show

Ishaara – Bollywood dancing group that didn’t overly impress me in their original audition and did nothing again for me here. The show is America’s Got Talent, not America’s Got Indian Talent. Bollywood dancing wasn’t particularly entertaining in Slumdog Millionaire and it isn’t here either. I think a lot of people in America are beginning to get into this type of entertainment, so they’ve probably got a decent chance at advancing. I’m just not all that into it.

Barbara Padilla – Opera singer and did Con Te Partiro. She very very good and I think she’ll move on, but for some reason I just don’t like female vocalists as much. I’m not what I’d call a huge fan of opera, but I do like the song she chose very much. But I didn’t like the arrangement Barbara used. I understand they only have 90 seconds to do their thing, but the arrangement was rushed and too fast. Being a cancer survivor doesn’t hurt her public appeal though. All the judges loved it.

Pam Martin’s Top Dogs – This dog act is much more deserving of a semi-final spot than Tony & Rory. It’s not your typical flying disc dog routine, but rather Pam executes outstanding dance routines with one of her six dogs. Entertaining for the whole family and enjoyable to watch. The dog was nearly flawless in this performance. However, compared to the other talent in the show that got through without an assist from clueless judges, dog acts aren’t up to par.

African High Flyers – ridiculous athletic feats, but repetitive and redundant. Much like the Beale Street Flippers, they didn’t do much to maximize their potential from the original auditions. I liked them going in but they certainly disappointed me a little.

Mia Boostrom – Eh. There’s a reason she got sent home last year and I think we saw it tonight. She’s good, not great and she’s a lot like Bri was, in trying too hard to be a singer she’s not. She hasn’t really found a song and style that screams “her” and she’s still a little raw around the edges. The song she chose – “Hallelujah” is a beautiful song, but

Erik & Rickie – Erik, 9 and Rickie 8 are some of the best dancers in this show. They came out to a Flamenco dance and nailed it. Rickie was exceptional in the original audition and was so tonight as well, but it was Erik’s improvement that nailed their performance down. His swagger was perfect for the song and routine and I’d put them through because of it.

Coney Island Chris – He ate glass in his first audition and lit his butt on fire tonight. One of the acts that shouldn’t have been put through by Sharon and David in the first place. He was buzzed by all three judges, but just like in Dave Johnson’s case, what did you expect? That’s what he does and that’s what he brought to the table tonight.

Anthony Morgerato & Matt Lucas – the guitar playing/tapdancing roommate duo. I thought the singing was better than Piers made it out to be, and although it’s a weird combination, it kinda works. I think it’s a little tacky for Vegas, but it certainly wasn’t terrible.

The Lollipop Girls – Their song choice, Hey Big Spender was perfectly appropriate for a bunch of women that grind around in lingerie for their act. They don’t sing and their dancing really isn’t all that spectacular. David Hasselhoff would name them the winners tonight if he could, but they probably should have gone home in the first round. They could probably easily get a gig in a moderately up-scale gentleman’s club or so, but their act isn’t all that appropriate for a

l_ddc0bbe6fe76a2f178d42e803a7ab531

Drew Stevyns – He came back as a wildcard act, and I’m glad he did, because I really like this guy. In competitions like this, picking a song that suits your style and doesn’t jump over your limitations is key. Drew nailed his song choice tonight with How To Save A Life and had an excellent performance. He started a little shaky (nerves, I’d assume) but finished perfectly. His voice is a little rugged, but that’s not a bad thing.

Recycled Percussion – they sure were entertaining, but I’m left wondering how much of their performance was actually them and how much was the backup music and special effects. There was a lot of fire and sparks and flames and two guys were wailing on trash cans and broken cymbals, but I feel that more of the performance should be focused on the latter aspects. But they were really good and should go on.

EriAm Sisters – they’re like the Voices of Glory in the fact that the youngest sister has the voice. The other two are decent, but not great and are best suited for backing their little sister. They didn’t feature the youngest one enough tonight and suffered a little. Also, they can’t really dance as we found out and there were too many props going on (tricycles???).

***

I’d send through Drew Stevyns, Erik & Rickie, Barbara Padilla and Recycled Percussion. This is easily the least impressive of the four quarter-final shows and picking a fifth that’s deserving is tough. I wish I could pick four from here and bring back Charles DeWayne, but I can’t so I guess I take the EriAm Sisters because of the potential and hope that they realize they should highlight the youngest sister. This week’s show was altogether underwhelming.

Drew Stevyns and the EriAm Sisters were the first two acts through and then Barbara Padilla and Recycled Percussion won spots in the semifinals. The judges vote came down to Mia Boostrom and Erik & Rickie. Out of those two, I’d have chosen Erik & Rickie as Mia really underwhelmed me in her second performance. David Hasslehoff chose Erik & Rickie and Sharon chose Mia because she “knew how much she wanted it”. Not because Mia was more talented, but because Mia apparently wanted it more. Piers righted the show by sending Mia packing for the second time in two years.

Advertisements

Bumper Stickers

Sure, there’s a neat little Facebook application that goes by the same name, but for now I’m talking about the actual adhesive ones that people stick on their cars.

Bumper stickers are, in my mind, a little tacky but more often than not, harmless. They’re kind of like tattoos and piercing whereas one tasteful one is fine, maybe a second one is okay too, but once you start plastering them all over the place and finding the biggest and loudest once you can, then I believe they go too far.

I’ve been conducting research on and off for the past 10 or fifteen years as to whether or not bumper stickers affect a person’s driving ability and have come to the conclusion that they do.

The “My Kid Is An Honor Student at _________ School” Bumper Sticker
I’ve seen these ranging from the local high school, down to the local elementary school. The lower the level of school, the more the driving ability of the parent is impaired. Your kid is an honor student at Blah Blah Blah Elementary School? Most elementary kids still wet the bed, how about advertising that on the back of your vehicle?

The “Honk If You ________________” Bumper Sticker
These range from all sorts of activities and preferences. Honk if you love dogs, honk if you tweet, honk if you’re horny, honk if you’re paying my mortgage. They pull from all walks of life and as a general rule, they’re all annoying. I’m debuting my “Honk If You Want My Glock Pointed at Your Car” sticker later this month. It’d probably cut down on honking and annoying drivers at the same time.

The “Baby On Board” Bumper Sticker
What’s the point of this sticker? It’s simply a stuck-on excuse for lousy driving ability. Chances are if a mother or father is stupid enough to spend money on a car decoration like this one, then the child in the car is probably sitting unbuckled in a car seat that’s facing the wrong way and in the front seat. Driving and parenting ability decrease with the presence of this sticker.

The “Anti-Bush” Bumper Sticker
These are typically deployed by people that don’t actually know anything intellectual to insult the former President, but feel he nonetheless must be critiqued next to their muffler. They range from your run of the mill sexual puns referencing his last name to the one that lets you know a town in Texas is missing their village idiot. I saw one that simply said “Impeach Bush” the other day. Maybe that person missed the whole “2008 election” thing. These are exponential multiplying stickers. The more you have, the exponentially worse a driver you become. But the stickers worked! Bush is gone and all it took was eight years and the American Constitution to do it!

The “If You’re Reading This Bumper Sticker You’re Driving Too Close” Bumper Sticker
Next time you are watching the news and a story breaks about an eleven-car pileup on the highway close to your house, hop in your car and head on over there. Chances are the front car has this bumper sticker on it. Ad chances are the car that was behind it was only hoping the sticker bore a phrase that was more clever and mind-stimulating that this POS collection of words.

The “We Belong In The Zoo” Bumper Sticker
Most likely this is a very accurate statement and as such, driving cars should be very low on these driver’s to-do lists. I’ve found that these stickers moderately affect a motorist’s ability to operate a vehicle, but even with ample warning, no one actually cages these morons.

The “Mom’s Taxi” Bumper Sticker
When it’s on Mom’s minivan it’s kinda cute, but it also likely signals the fact that fifteen kids just piled out or into the car and the driver is blowing a .5 on the kids breathalizer. Kids in the backseat of a car aren’t quite as dangerous as teenagers in the driver’s seat but it’s pretty darn close. But it’s most dangerous on the V8 Porsche Cayenne that dad bought for mom when Brianna and Britton are late for soccer practice and mom has to get them there and back before her spray tan fades. She’s put the sticker inside to reduce drag.

Equal

The “Yellow = On A Blue Background” Bumper Sticker
The research on this bumper sticker shows that the origins of this bumper sticker don’t actually stem from any equal rights campaign but rather an unusually clever businessman. Many people aren’t in on the true meaning behind this sticker and slap them on their cars, scooters and tandem bicycles to this day believing they’re fighting oppression and hatred. But in reality they’re alerting other drivers that their driving ability is equal to that of a narcoleptic turkey. Soon they’ll have their own special parking spaces.

The “America-Like It Or Leave It” Bumper Stickers
A variation of the more direct “F**k Off, We’re Full” sticker, this sticker is typically useless unless printed in Spanish. And even then, it’s hard to see bumper stickers when you’ve already piled into the back of someone’s pickup truck at a gas station and are now repeating the word trabajo over and over and over again.

The “Coexist” Bumper Sticker Spelled Out With Symbols
First off, I have found this particular car adornment to be the crowning achievement of any bumper sticker collector’s collection. It apparently can not be adhered to a car unless a minimum of fifteen other stickers are already covering the back of the car. This sticker, in addition to the haze of weed filling the car and the second lesbian in the passenger seat, make this the most dangerous bumper sticker of all. My suggestion is pull over and grab a quick bite to eat, then drive in the opposite direction for awhile, just to be safe.

Avoid at all costs

Avoid at all costs

America’s Got Talent’s Third Quarter-Final Show

FootworKINGz really came to play this week. Their moves were great and their outifts were cool too. Normally I’m not a huge fan of dance groups, but they were solid after being asked back. They brought a lot of energy, but the amount of dance acts dilutes their attraction.

Marcus Terrell & the Serenades – Replacing his backup singers helped a lot. Instead of his solid lead voice being “complimented” by lousy singers, the new ones really accentuated his performance. He’s good, not great.

Pixie Mystere – Cutesy. They run around and flip and bend. Nice for entertaining a PTA meeting, but certainly not an act that Vegas would love.

Jay Mattioli – Run of the mill magician. Nothing special and pales in comparison to the other magic act still alive.

Bri – She’s kinda annoying. Big voice, but she tries too hard to be someone she’s not. She’s taken two songs now and redone them for her performances – and neither of her arrangements were that spectacular. But she’s better than some still left in, although not better than some sent home.

U4IA Dance Crew – Scary. There’s nothing too special about them and for that they’ll go home.

Dave Johnson – What else could you expect? He did what I expected him to, wrote a song with somewhat entertaining lyrics and then sang it, but not very well. He’s one of the acts that shouldn’t have made it past the first audition let alone to the semifinals.

Hairo Torres – He had some very unique moves, but that being said, he’s a dancing contortionist which is somewhat intriguing, but not altogether entertaining. However, he is definitely different and some of his moves and mind-boggling.

G-Force – The guitar playing was solid, and the little drummer girl was amazing. But none of them can sing a lick. I doubt even their parents enjoy it when they sing. They shouldn’t have made it out of the original auditions either, but they did and then went on to embarrass themselves on national television.

Jeffery Ou – What a great pianist. This guy is really good, although using backup dancers was unnecessary and proved problematic when one of them kicked out the piano’s mic and no one could hear his playing over the accompaniment. But the dude’s a sick piano player nevertheless.

Mario & Jenny – Now here’s a Vegas act! Fire and danger are immensely entertaining and both of them are fantastic showmen. Juggling is really quite a mundane activity until you add more stuff and light it on fire.

Lawrence Beaman – An emotional singer with a fantastic voice. He’s rather plain though, so he’s going to need to expand himself a little in order to seriously sustain a Vegas show. He’s got an incredibly powerful voice and should use it as often as he can.

Lawrence Beaman performs at an America's Got Talent audition

Lawrence Beaman performs at an America's Got Talent audition

The five acts from this evening’s semifinal I would have put through were Jeffery Ou (despite the technical difficulty), Mario & Jenny, Lawrence Beaman, FootworKINGz and Hairo Torres. I wavered in taking Torres as my last act in, but Marcus Terrell didn’t overwhelm me and I’ve seen girls like Bri before and didn’t like them then.

For the first time this season, the five acts I wanted to go through did. When the last act came down to FootworKINGz and Pixie Mystere, I assumed Sharon and the Hoff would fall for the cutesy tweens while Piers picked talent over cute. Piers did as I expected and then Sharon shocked me by agreeing with him.

Daughtry and Ashley Tisdale both performed during the live results show this week, a nice change of pace from previous weeks where the show had brought in a hit (Terry Fator -Week 1 and Pim & Keller – Week 2) along with a miss (Mariah Carey Week 1, LMFAO Week 2).

America’s Got Talent Second Quarter-Final Show

The Fab Five – Five sisters/moms from Utah that can really dance. And by dance I mean dance and not just shake and grind. Their choreography was fantastic and their coordination was equally good. Plus, Sean Kingston’s Fire Burning is never a bad song choice.

Charles DeWayne – He’s probably the best male vocalist in the semi-finals. He was charming and smooth and his performance was superb. If anyone in AGT has star potential and can offer the entire package, looks, persona and talent – it’s this guy.

Charles DeWayne performs at an America's Got Talent audition

Charles DeWayne performs at an America's Got Talent audition

Carol Loo – okay, so she’s over 60 and still dancing to contemporary and upbeat songs. I get it, but she’s not very good. Her routine was borderline ridiculous and there were way too many backup dancers.

Tony Hoard and Rockin’ Rory – Tony’s the guy and Rory’s the dog that catches the discs. That’s the plan at least. It’s fun to watch, but Tony definitely could use some practice throwing the discs as his aim was off for the most part. It’s a very exciting act and fun to watch, but I could probably go to the park and find six or seven dogs doing the same thing, if not a little better.

Eleisha Miller – my least favorite semi-finalist, the girl is not a good piano player and an even worse singer. But she’s bubbly and under ten years old so Sharon Osbourne and the Hoff fell for her. She focused more on her vocals in this week’s performance and suffered greatly.

Paradizo Dance – David (250+ lbs) and Zoe’s (95 lbs) act is strength and beauty in motion. The fact that the girl can lift her husband is incredible. Their execution in both of their performances has been flawless and it’s a little bit like watching Cirque du Soleil.

The Texas Tenors – Trio of cattle ranchers that have taken on country music. Their harmonies are very tight and crisp and they’ve got a sensational lead in the blonde guy. Doesn’t hurt their value that he’s a looker, either. Can’t believe I’m agreeing with Hasselhoff, but it’s time for them to tackle a ballad, because they’re sure to go through.

SQ Entertainment – They were one of the wild card acts to be brought back, but they didn’t do a whole lot to impress me. I’ve said before that dance groups don’t get me all worked up the whole time, and setting a routine to robbing a bank certainly doesn’t do anything when the groups a bunch of black guys.

Pete Peterkin – his impressions aren’t bad, but his comedy is. His material is pretty close to terrible, and he hasn’t got the “naughty old lady” things going for him like Grandma Lee does. Plus, who’d want to be impersonating Obama nowadays anyway?

Alizma – the judges told them to ditch the singing and stick to the violin playing, but they decided they’d focus on two things in their performance – singing and stripper moves. Neither worked and they were buzzed. They’d make an excellent violin group, but singing is not their forte.

Beale Street Flippers – Flippin’ unbelievable! But only for the first fifteen flips or so, then it gets repetitive. They could probably add something to their routine to make it more relatable and interesting, but while it’s an astonishing physical feat, there are better acts.

Voices of Glory – two brothers and a sister and this week they certainly played to their strengths. The little sister grabbed hold of the lead and nailed it. The brothers are extremely talented in supporting their sister and she’s capable of carrying them.

For this group, the five acts that I would have put through, in no particular order were Voices of Glory, Paradizo Dance, Texas Tenors, the Fab Five and Charles DeWayne.

America put through the first four, and then the judges had to decide between Charles DeWaye and Tony & Rory. Sharon and the Hoff ended up picking the dude and his dog, while Piers and Charles were left wondering what the hell happened. Charles going home may be the single biggest travesty in American reality television history. Second week in a row Sharon and Hasslehoff trump the only decent judge of talent on the show.

America’s Got Talent First Quarter-Final Show

Breaksk8 – dancers on roller skates is a new concept, but I would have liked if they had incorporated the skates into their routine more. They added some backup dancers too, and they ended up being superfluous.

Thia Megia – sang a Miley Cyrus song and made me realize that what I hate about Miley Cyrus songs is that Miley Cyrus sings them. She was pretty darn good for a 14-year old girl, or for any age.

The Platt Brothers – they’re extremely quirky and unique and for some reason I love them. Their routine is a little confusing but fun nonetheless.

The Diva League – lip-synching drag queens that can’t dance. Piers Morgan nailed this one head-on. Their dancing was terrible and that’s their apparent selling point. That, and they’re men dressed up like women.

Manuela Horn – the yodeling dominatrix was neither this time around. She completely changed her act from her original audition and for the worse. She performed some sort of song and dance routine to Don’t Ya but didn’t do anything from what got her through in the first place. Disappointing act.

Grandma Lee – she a little old grandma who forgot to get rid of her 17-year old perverted mind. She’s naughty and funny and her timing and stage presence are unexpectedly fantastic. Most acts like hers get by simply on novelty, but she brings substance along for the ride.

Mosaic – acapella group that performed a sweet arrangement of Superstitious. The group is very good, although it seems that each guy wants to do the vocal percussion parts. When they utilize their harmonies and keep the percussion as accompaniment, they’re excellent. They pulled everything together at the end of the song and finished hot.

Acrodunk – by far my favorite group. They’re like the Globetrotters on crack. They combine dance moves with insane gymnastic stunts and cap all that off by successfully dunking basketballs. The fact that they didn’t miss a single dunk is absolutely extraordinary.

Acrodunk performs at an America's Got Talent Quarter-Final Show

Acrodunk performs at an America's Got Talent Quarter-Final Show

Arcadian Broad – a dancer in his original audition, he added piano playing to his act in his semifinal audition and while he was good, he wasn’t great and he wasted time playing piano that could have been spent dancing. He’s quite a good dancer.

Drew Thomas Magic – absolutely flabbergasting. His act only contained one illusion, but when that one is as good as Drew Thomas’ was, you don’t need anything else. I’m psyched to see what he comes up with next.

Kevin Skinner – he was off key a little, but was still emotional and pure. He’s very raw but possess exceptional potential.

Lake Houston Dance – so many little girls. They’re loud, all over the place and annoying. They were overwhelmingly sloppy with their moves and they had so many people ad props it was impossible to focus on any one thing at any given time. Lake Houston ADDance.

From this group I would have put through Kevin Skinner, Drew Thomas Magic, Acrodunk, Mosaic and Grandma Lee. I was torn between Thia Megia and Grandma Lee, but ultimately decided that there were better singers in the competition than Thia, as much as I liked her.

America put through Grandma Lee, Acrodunk, Drew Thomas Magic and Kevin Skinner while the judges were left to decide between Thia Megia and Arcadian Broad. Sharon and Hoff took Arcadian after Piers chose Thia and that was that.

My Take On Brett Favre

Thank goodness he’s someone else’s problem now.

There’s no doubt that Brett Favre still has it. He led the Packers to the conference championship game two years ago and he had the Jets in prime position to grab a nice playoff seed last year before his arm injury and stubbornness drove them into the ground and out of the playoffs.

But this “I’m retired, I’m gonna play” stuff has to stop. He needs to make up his mind. Brett Favre seems to think that he’s managed to become the one player that the entire league revolves around. The NFL has done a good job of becoming a team-oriented league, like baseball and unlike the NBA, but Favre continues to challenge this status.

He completely alienated the Packers organization after 2007 by tearfully retiring. Green Bay, as any team would do after their star QB calls it quits, started moving on without him. A few months later, Favre decided he didn’t like that. He wanted to play again, but Green Bay had made other plans. So they shipped him and his cumbersome ego to the Meadowlands for draft picks.

Now he was the Jets’ problem and he led them out to an 8-3 record with consecutive wins over the Patriots and the Titans. Then they won one of their last five games, many of them directly due to Favre’s refusal to have a seat despite a semi-serious arm injury.

Because of this injury, Favre re-retired after the 2008 campaign. But a few months later he asked the Jets to release him. Odd request from a man who was reportedly retired. So the Jets did, traded up in the draft and found themselves someone who they hope will become their franchise quarterback in USC’s golden sombrero boy, Mark Sanchez.

All summer, Favre floated his “I’m retired, I wanna play” line across any form of media that would have it and eventually told the Vikings that he was going to stay retired. Then one week later, he’s announced as the starting quarterback for the Vikings’ second preseason game.

Favre has lost credibility and respect from just about everyone. Is he better than Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels? Definitely, if he holds up for the whole season, but if I’m either of the two Minny QB’s, I feel betrayed and let down. I don’t know if I can trust my coach anymore. I probably ask to be traded. Both men have worked hard over the summer, fighting for a job, and then Favre is allowed to waltz in, having skipped all the workouts, meetings, camps and practices and is handed the starting job.

It’s not right and it’s not fair. Favre has had a great career as an NFL quarterback, but nobody’s going to remember that anymore. All they’ll remember is his spoiled kid routine that ultimately has defined his career.

My Take On Michael Vick

Michael Vick signed on with an NFL team again in recent days – the Philadelphia Eagles, if it matters.

About two years ago, Vick was busted for heading an interstate dogfighting ring called Bad Newz Kennals. He was accused of financing the operation, directly participating in dog fights and executions, and personally handling thousands of dollars in related gambling activities. Vick pleaded guilty to the charges and spent 18 months in prison for his involvement in the dogfighting.

He was conditionally reinstated to the NFL recently and his return to the league has seen mixed reactions from fans and non-fans alike.

Personally, I side with the NFL Commissioner on this one. What Vick did was terrible and he was punished for what he did. I’m a dog-lover, but not to the extent that I forget what dogs are not – humans.

Michael Vick committed a crime and paid for it. Football is his job and he certainly can’t be expected to not work upon his release from prison. So long as he stays straight and behaves himelf, there’s no reason why he should be prevented from earning a living.

I can’t understand how there’s so much outrage over what Vick did, and so little over the fact that Donte Stallworth got himself drunk, decided to drive himself home and hit and killed a man in the process. Or Leonard Little, who, 10 years ago drove drunk and killed a woman and spent a grand total of three months in prison. And then got himself caught again driving drunk six years later.

Demonize Michael Vick all you want, he certainly brought it upon himself, but remember he served his time, seems to be genuinely sorry and deserves a chance to rebuild his life again. Prison is supposed to be a place for rehabilitating criminals and if that happens then allowing them to work again only makes sense.

He’s an a tight leash, as he should be (no pun intended) but he has to be let out of people’s doghouses eventually.

ESPN’s Lack Of Professionalism

I’ve never taken upper-level journalism courses. I switched out of that area of study before I really got to the meat of the curriculum, but I know bad journalism when I see it, and the past week has been brutal for one particular station. No it’s not CNN and no it isn’t FOX News.

It’s ESPN.

It started several days ago when the news broke that David Ortiz had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs back in 2003. ESPN’s response towards this breaking news was nearly nonexistent. Whether ESPN liked the fact or not, having one of Boston’s best sluggers during their championship years outed as a PED-user is big news. It’s important and newsworthy.

Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with the limited coverage had they set this precedent with previous players. ESPN managed to have round-the-clock coverage about Alex Rodriguez when he got nailed for the same positive test. They called Bob Ley off his vacation to anchor the coverage of the Barry Bonds indictment. Two minutes of Eduardo Perez (who?) telling viewers that he believes Ortiz’s story about “carelessness” doesn’t quite count in my book as coverage.

Additionally, where was the analysis following the David Ortiz news conference? Almost immediately after the conference had ended, ESPN rebroadcasted the 2009 Home Run Derby. I want to hear what you think of an integral part of Boston’s championship teams being caught cheating. But I suppose your demonstrated ignorance of the subject speaks louder than John Kruk ever could.

It’s not as if this is a new thing. I’ve put up with Peter Gammons preaching each Boston prospect as the second coming of whichever Hall of Famer shared the position. And Buster Olney’s articles including ludicrous trade proposals such as Brad Penny for anything.

But when a network intentionally skates over a major news story (and that’s definitely what David Ortiz testing positive for PEDs is) that’s completely unacceptable. At some point, ESPN needs to get back to covering sports news from an unbiased perspective and become a professional operation again. Maybe their lack of professional reporting stems from the fact that they lack any serious competition. I don’t know, but ESPN’s become an unchecked tyrant in recent times.

You also might have heard that Alex Rodriguez hit a walk-off homer in the fifteenth inning to give the Yankees a 2-0 win over the Red Sox the other night. However much it pained ESPN to run those highlights, they did although anchor John Anderson decided it would be funny to pair A-Rod’s dramatic homer with a chant of “boli, boli, boli”. (Boli, by the way is a banned substance that A-Rod admitted to using during his time with the Texas Rangers).

This is something that a drunk 23-year old fan might yell as A-Rod rounds the bases, not an anchor for the “worldwide leader in sports”. Anderson’s behavior that night was unprofessional and despicable. Even ESPN agreed as they edited out Anderson’s supposed funny for the morning editions of Sportscenter. That type of behavior goes beyond comedy or even the usual Sportscenter wise-guy routine. It reeks of unprofessionalism, even for a network whose work seems to be falling apart bit by bit each day.

ESPN is located in Bristol, so it’s not too terribly surprising that they employ a workforce that’s overwhelmingly Boston fans. It’s not something that becomes a problem until it starts infiltrating it’s way into your final product. ESPN does a pretty decent job staying neutral everywhere else, but the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics get their little hearts all a-flutter.

Today’s Idiot: Curt Schilling

I realize that I haven’t done one of these in a while (April 16, to be exact) but I figured that Curt Schilling’s recent comments deserved some attention.

Recently, it came out that both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing drugs during the 2003 season. It’s not unreasonable to say that 2003 wasn’t the only year that either of these players were using, especially since Manny Ramirez was nabbed again just a few months ago – talk about an idiot, huh?

Well, our favorite loudmouth load, Curt Schilling, who never makes private his opinion on everything and anything related and unrelated to him, decided he’d offer up his thoughts on the matter. In the past, Curt Schilling has had some extremely harsh words for those players caught using performance enhancing drugs.

On Jose Canseco’s admission:

Jose Canseco admitted he cheated his entire career, everything he ever did should be wiped clean. I think his MVP should go back and should go to the runner-up.

On Roger Clemens:

…the numbers were attained through using [performance-enhancing drugs]. Just like I stated about Jose [Canseco], if that is the case with Roger, the 4 Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations.

On Barry Bonds:

If you get caught using steroids, you should have everything you’ve done in this game wiped out for any period of time that you used it.

So what does our bigmouthed behemoth have to say about David Ortiz, his former teammate testing positive for the same thing that the players he so publicly demonized did, when asked if David Ortiz’s accomplishments should be judged differently?

That’s for you to decide. It seems to be an area of immense debate, but I am not sure how this could/should/will be resolved.

Well, isn’t that quite the change of pace from a guy that was all for wiping out the stats of people that cheated the game. He does not believe that David Ortiz’s stats, awards and accomplishments should be wiped out, as he thought Canseco’s, Clemens’, Bonds’ and others should. He simple says he’s not sure. How ironic.

And then when they asked him if he thought Boston’s accomplishments of late should be judged differently, he responded simply.

This makes me laugh.

MLB Trade Deadline

Some people may say that the 2009 trade deadline was relatively calm in comparison to past years, but I disagree. It’s not every year that the defending World Series champs trade for a reigning Cy Young award winner, and that’s not the only Cy Young winner that changes teams.

Both the Tigers and the White Sox made big moves to take a run at the up-for-grabs AL Central. The Tigers picked up Jarrod Washburn from Seattle for a pair of prospects while Chicago shipped a package of minor-league talent off to San Diego for Jake Peavy (second times a charm, eh?)

The nosiest team at the deadline was Cleveland, who traded away nearly every major talent except for Grady Sizemore. Ryan Garko to San Francisco, Cliff Lee to Philadelphia and Victor Martinez to Boston. Let’s take a look at how some of the major moves affect the teams involved.

CLEVELAND INDIANS: A very disappointing season left them in the unenviable position of having to call it quits this year. They moved a lot of major pieces, and surprisingly didn’t get a whole lot of top talent in return. Cliff Lee brought back some nice pieces from Philadelphia, but the Phillies managed to hold onto their best pitching prospect and their best position prospect.

Single-A starter Jason Knapp is the headliner of the deal for Cleveland, a tall righty that has been called by some as a “Roy Halladay clone”. If he ends up with a Roy Halladay type career, then Cleveland wins this deal easily. More likely however, is that Knapp eventually becomes a back-end rotation guy. Triple-A right hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson round out the deal, which also sent outfielder Ben Francisco to Philadelphia.

None of the last three have superstar potential, but all three could eventually become serviceable major leaguers. But all three are young and cost-controlled which is just what the Indians need as they rebuild a broken team.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Already the class of the NL East, they became the favorite in the entire league by beefing up their rotation with Lee, in addition to adding a solid reserve outfielder. With not much serious contention from within their own division, this is a move that addresses not only their August and September needs, but their October ones as well.

Lee gives the Phillies a one-two punch at the front of their rotation that matches up well against any other NL team. Offense has never been a problem for the homer-happy Phillies, and now they have a rotation to let that offense relax a little. The move allows the Phillies a chance at repeating as champions without mortgaging the future. They held on to their best prospects and improved their current standing.

Kyle Drabek and the freshly promoted Dominic Brown both remain in Philadelphia’s impressive farm system and they’ve added Cliff Lee to their major league roster. He’s not Roy Halladay, who they were in on for several weeks, but in the end, he’s still Cliff Lee and that’s pretty darn good.

BOSTON RED SOX: The Sox were certainly busy the past few weeks, starting by dealing for Pittsburgh’s Adam LaRoche (the Pirates seem to be the AAAA-affiliate for both the Red Sox and the Yankees the past two or three years). Only a few days after getting LaRoche, they decided he wasn’t what they were looking for and spun him off to Atlanta for Casey Kotchman.

In between, they grabbed the best bat available in Victor Martinez. The Red Sox needed offensive help sure, but trading for Kotchman and Martinez doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Kotchman can only play first base and Martinez is a first baseman who can somewhat masquerade as a catcher. With David Ortiz, Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis on the roster, there’s going to be a crunch in everybody’s at bats.

Unless the Red Sox plan on drastically cutting Jason Varitek’s time, who, while slipping offensively is still an above-average defensive catcher, Mike Lowell will probably see the most bench time. While the additions of Kotchman and Martinez allows Francona flexibility in allowing his players to rest, is it smart?

While it’s hard to quantify a catcher’s defensive contributions, statisticians and scouts continuously rate Victor Martinez as well below average defensively. Is the upgrade his bat provides worth whatever they’ll lose on the other side of the ball. Every Boston fan tells me how great Jason Varitek is calling games and guiding pitchers through no-hitter after no-hitter.

And is Martinez really the answer to Boston’s offensive woes? He’s hitting reasonably well for the season, but most of his numbers are due to a torrid start. He’s batting .211 since the calendar hit June and only .175 in July. He has a decent track record but he’s also a catcher on the wrong side of 30 and they don’t age particularly gracefully.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX: General Manager Kenny Williams traded for Peavy several months ago only to have Jake Peavy nix the deal. But persistent devil that he is, he tried again this week and Peavy approved. They gave up pretty much the same package they initially offered, headlined by Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard.

With Peavy, the White Sox suddenly have a deep and dangerous rotation but they also have the financial obligation of Peavy’s contract. While it seemed like a bargain a few years ago, in the current economic climate it’s a lot for any team not the Red Sox and Yankees to take on.

But the thing is, Jake Peavy’s hurt. He’s currently rehabbing an ankle problem and it’s the type of injury that could become a recurring problem. Peavy’s a Cy Young caliber pitcher when healthy, but he’s had problems staying that way. The White Sox may have shipped off a boatload of young talent for a chronically injured star.

DETROIT TIGERS: The emergence of Edwin Jackson (epic trade fail by Tampa Bay, btw) in addition to Justin Verlander rediscovering his ace stuff gave the Tigers a pretty devastating 1-2 rotation punch. But after them the rotation was a little patchwork.

Trading for Jarrod Washburn was a smart move. Sure he’s having a career year, getting a little lucky and had Seattle’s insanely good outfield defense backing up his flyball tendencies, but he’s a solid buy for Detroit. He’s moving to a similar situation in Detroit (spacious outfield, decent outfield defense) and gives the Detroit the legitimate third starter they can run out in the playoffs.

Luke French, a decent but not blue-chip prospect went the other way in the deal, along with a relief prospect. About the best the Mariners could expect for a two month rental of Washburn.

SAN DIEGO PADRES: Jake Peavy was a San Diego icon, but his contract was holding the organization back from any real improvement. Getting low-cost prospects back from Chicago was just a bonus to getting out from under the albatross of a contract.

The Padres still won’t be any good for awhile, but at least now they have a little more financial flexibility to construct a team, and not just stick a group of players around one guy.