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July 11, 2005

Monday Random Thoughts

1. I’m going to make a bold statement here today. I think Rodrigo Lopez is the greatest Red Sox killer of my generation. I just can’t ever remember another player like him that is so dominant every single time he pitches against us. The Sox might as well not show up when he’s on the mound. And it’s not like this guy is Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson either. According to his stats he is a slightly above average big league pitcher and nothing more. If I was Brian Cashman I’d trade my entire farm system for this guy because you are guaranteed two victories vs. the Sox in a 7 game series with Rodriguez on your staff. It is just mystifying how he doesn’t go 50-0 and win the Cy Young every year.

2. Britney Spears is reportedly pregnant with twins. Just to show everybody that I have a touch of class I’m not even going to make a joke about this one because it’s too easy. I’m like Dutch Kincaid, I don’t want meat balls for my random thoughts. I want to earn them.

3. The Running of the Bulls just took place in PAMPLONA, Spain. Per usual, hundreds of thrill seekers including Dennis Rodman raced through the streets of Spain ahead of six half-ton bulls. I’ve already been on the record as saying I root for the bulls in this event. It’s not that I’m a sadistic person, but sometimes I just feel like people should get what they deserve. If you want to poke and prod and eventually kill a bull for no reason I have no problem if it eats you. As a side note, Dennis Rodman getting gored to death by a bull would be the perfect way for his star crossed life to end.

4. Joe Simpson, Jessica’s dad is pissed about the fact some Christian groups are saying his daughter’s “These Boots are Made For Walking “video is too sexy. According to Joe``Jessica is not trying to be sexy,'``If you watch her, she's laughing throughout the whole thing. She's dancing like her mother and sister would dance at the house and be stupid.'' Since El Presidente is a professional journalist I decided to investigate this controversy before passing judgment. And after conducting my personal research which consisted of watching this video 20 times in a row, I can honestly say I think the Christian Groups may have a gripe here. I think it’s fair to say the video is sexy in nature. You heard it hear first!

5. JACKSONVILLE, Ark. –“Three strippers have been arrested for allegedly spanking a trucker at his 31st birthday bash and severely bruising his backside. After his friends paid $25, Keith Lowery was handcuffed and spanked with a 3-foot-long paddle and a belt while one of the strippers restrained his head with her legs, investigators with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said. Kelly Eslick, 21, a stripper at Sensations nightclub in Jacksonville, northeast of Little Rock, admitted to police that she used a paddle drilled with holes for less air resistance while the two other dancers, Lisa Nolen, 23, and Charlene Smith, 23, used the belt. The three women were charged with misdemeanor battery.”

Personally I think the strippers could have gotten away with the spankings had it not been for the holes in the paddle. This is like using a corked bat in baseball. I know when I go to a strip club and get spanked for my birthday I’m not expecting and the paddle to be tampered with for maximum speed. Regardless, the strippers learned a valuable lesson that El Presidente has already learned the hard way. You need to get a waiver for everything. I’m starting to demand people sign waivers just to look at me.

6. Nick Cafardo had a shocking article in the Globe on Sunday claiming that the Yankee’s may not be dead yet. Thanks for the update, Nick. I was sort of under the impression that 2.5 games was an insurmountable lead to make up at the all star break. As a side note what is that thing that Cafardo is growing on his face? How is it possible that he is allowed on TV with that thing?

7. Today’s link of the day goes back to our boys at Casino Montreal. The main focus right now in terms of satisfying our advertisers is Casino Montreal and Party Poker. So if you have a couple minutes at work (and you obviously do if you waste you’re time reading random thoughts) then we’d really appreciate you checking out this link and going to the reservation page. As far as Party Poker we are in desperate need of new players signing up with them. You must use the code “Barsport” when you sign up. This is the best thing you can do right now to support the Stool.

Reader Email

Email #1

This email is in response to email #10 about that barbecue drinking game. Jake that is the absolute worst idea/game I've heard in a long time. The point of a BBQ is to eat massive amounts of food, drink too much beer and booze and then hook up with some unsuspecting broad that has grown increasingly better looking over the course of the day. If I'm not mistaken, after playing your little game you can expect to be soaked in beer, covered in vomit (most likely your own) and consequently baking in the sun. So, at the end of the day you are filthy, smell like beer, vomit and are dizzy. Sounds like a big price to pay for hitting an
empty aluminum can. It just doesn’t make much sense to me. Kevin

Agreed. Any drinking game that could potentially make you have a reversal of fortune without actually drinking any alcohol is not a great idea.

Email #2

El Prez,

Love your writing man, but I've got to call you out on the logic of your Random Thoughts today. First you say Lance Armstrong isn't one of America's elite athletes. Fair enough. But then you write:

"I understand that Wie may end up being the greatest female athlete of all time."

A golfer? The greatest female athlete of all time? Let me ask you your own question. Even if Wie ends up winning 1000 LPGA events, would she be one of the 10 female American athletes you send to the unknown sporting competition? A golfer?

Anyway, I'm really hung-over this morning, I'm grouchy, and I had to get that off my chest. Keep up the good work.

-Bostonbob

Wow, Bostonbob nailed me. This is definitely a contradiction on my part. I will revise my statement and say that Wie may end up being the greatest female golfer of our time and the most influential female athlete of our generation.

Email #3

El Prez,

First off, absolutely love the paper, not sure when I quite discovered it, but I think it may have been around the time the format switched from Black and White to color-photos of the Models. You bring a little excitement to my otherwise dull day.

Just to jump in on the Lance debate, he has no where near the raw athletic ability of a Shortstop or Linebacker; I think he would even admit this. Lance's strength is in his VO2 Max (reported to be one of the highest ever measured) and his mental tenacity. His ability to go day after day, without the benefits of time-outs or half-times is truly remarkable.

To Jim and Jersey, leaving his wife Linda was kind of a shitty thing to do, but by the time he was with her, he was already completely cancer free.

Kevin

I don’t have a major issue with this email. But I still think that if the guys we agree have way more raw athletic ability decided to bike ride from the age of 6 none of us would have ever heard of Lance Armstrong.

Email #4

Okay, maybe I was unfairly judging your lance email publication by solely yesterday's content. I certainly saw a lot of emails today that argued against you. But unlike all Boston sports writers, I'll admit when I'm wrong. By the way, I love your 3 strikes and you're out rule. There's a guy named Bang! Who makes football cartoons that are hilarious, and one was about all the stupid things Merrill Hodge said during last season that proved wrong. Another was about a new herpes called "herpes simplex 7." The funniest was an animation of the poston brothers negotiating KW II's contract. Here's the link, it's on some redskins fan website, but it's not redskin related.

http://www.extremeskins.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=banghaha&file=archive

The super friend’s type skits have Brady in them and his dog is named Peyton.

Matt, Dallas

The 3 wrong rule would be my platform if I ran for the Presidency of the United States.

Email #5

Prez,

You mentioned how people need to take a stand on an issue and stick to their guns. My stand is this. If my boy Ichiro decides to buck up and represent the land of the rising sun in the Home Run Derby my money is on him over men twice his size. He’s having an off year so he needs to reap some glory!
And In case you’re taking votes I’ve never seen an episode of “Real World”.

Brian in NYC

That’s a risky stand although I heard Ichiro puts on a show in BP. I also heard a few managers say if Ichiro enters the HR Derby he’ll win it. Still it’s a bold prediction.

Email #6

I don't write into Random Thoughts any longer but wanted to congratulate you on the current cover model sporting the U.S. flag. I've always thought most of your cover models have been mediocre at best, maybe a 6 or 7 tops, but this one is definitely a 10. Very nice job.

Will in Salem

Thanks for the back handed complement. I think our models have been much stronger than mediocre. Are they Tyra Banks? No, but if our models look like the average chick out in a bar I’d go out 8 nights a week.

Email #8

Stop the Lance madness. Answer me this all out there who support his status as world class athlete...did your high school have a bicycle team? Did your college give away scholarships for bicycle racing...or, did it have a Velodrome or whatever that circular Olympic thing is? Do any of you even know a single kid they grew up with who became a bicycle racer? So, after answering no to all of these questions, ask yourself who the heck Lance is even competing against. I would venture a guess to say that 99.9999999% of the U.S. population that is athletic grows up doing something other than cycling.

Furthermore, a lot of you Lance supporters out there are putting way too much of endurance into athletic.

You're missing strength, power, agility...etc. Lance is unquestionably in great shape, and has great endurance, but he is moving a 3 pound bicycle around on wheels. No, wise acres out there, I could not compete with him in the Tour de France, but, if I trained, I could probably beat him in a short bicycle race, like 100 yds. However, no matter how hard he trained, he could never beat me in a short foot race, an agility run, bench pressing 225 lbs for reps, one-on-one basketball, or hitting hanging sliders into the bullpen in right.

Todd Benzinger

I have no idea who would win a foot race between Todd Benzinger and Lance Armstrong, but I do agree with the top part of the email. It’s simple mathematics really. If 100,000 people play basketball and 2 people ride bikes the best basketball player will probably be a better athlete than the best bike rider.

Email #9

I would like to know if I am the only person here that thinks Carlton Fisk is a Sham? He has done absolutely nothing for the Red Sox except hit a homerun off the foul pole in left field 30 years ago. He played more games hit more homeruns for the White Sox and had chances to come back to the Sox but shunned them all those years when they struggled with crappy catchers. Now they retire his #, name a foul pole after him, and he shows up in a Hawaiian shirt and says he missed playing here.

Jim Cunningham

Carlton Fisk was an excellent player with the Red Sox. And he left on horrible terms with the club which is why he’d never come back as a player. And if I’m not mistaken he left the White Sox on horrible terms as well. Regardless, he is a local guy so it seems only natural that he’d want to be remembered as a Red Sox as opposed to a White Sox. Personally, I have no problem with it. As for the Foul Pole ceremony, that was definitely a sham but I blame that more on those worms in the front office than Fisk. Frankly, a Hawaiian shirt seems like appropriate attire for such a dumb event.

Email #10

A few thoughts on The Tour if you can bear one more Random Thought on the subject. I agree that’s it’s not that exciting a sport. For starters; it doesn’t have the “wow” moments that other sports have. You know; the home run, play at the plate, last-second 3 pointer, sack, diving catch, etc. None of that stuff. So what you see, if you’re watching, is a whole lotta guys riding bikes past you. You can’t really watch the “sport” of it; and that takes it down big time in my book.

A lot of it’s appeal is because of its setting. But let’s face it: You could be having a sack race and if the backdrop is French vineyards, The Alps and the Champs Elysees; it’s gonna look awesome.

So what you’re left with, from a sporting viewpoint, is pretty much the same story every day. Where they raced today; who won; who’s leading. And it’s Lance, Lance, Lance. Kinda as exciting as checking the weather reports in San Diego. And if they show you highlights it looks beautiful. But that’s just because of the vineyards, cathedrals, mountains, etc.

I do take exception with a couple of things you said.
First was comparing Armstrong’s status in the context of “American” athletes. He’s not competing in an American sport. He’s competing in a sport that’s pretty much only big in western continental Europe.
And it’s not too big there, actually. I lived in France for a year (2002) and, aside from when the Tour de France happening, the sports pages are dominated by football (soccer) and rugby primarily; followed by horse racing. However, like you I wouldn’t call Armstrong the best American athlete. I see what he does as more of a competition – an athletic competition, sure – but without the “sporting aspects” we like and need as a fans. Kind of like marathoning or auto racing. Although Armstrong is the best at what he does; no doubt. But if an American soccer player playing in Europe was as good a player as, say, Michael Owen; I might say that he’s the best American athlete; even though his sport’s not big in America and he’s not playing at home.

You also wrote “I researched this shit last year. The guy before Lance won it like 9 years in a row or something. And before that there was another guy” and said on the radio show that there were something like
4 winners in the last 30 years. That’s just bullshit.
Armstrong’s won the last 6 years. Before him 3 different guys won for 3 years. Before them Miguel Indurain, the guy who was considered the greatest, won 5 straight years. In the 10 years before Indurain, 5 different guys won. None more than 2 years in a row.

In the 10 years before that, 7 different guys won; only 1 winning it twice in a row. So going back to 1971, 34 years; 17 different guys have won the race and, aside from Armstrong and Indurain, the 2 greatest cyclers ever, no one won it more than twice in a row.

I take exception here because you’re the same guy who said Tyson won “a bunch” of fights that went 10 rounds. Sometimes I disagree with the premise of your arguments (like with Tyson), and sometimes I agree (Armstrong). But you seem to reach into your Bullshit Bag too quickly and too often when trying to prop up your case.

Mike - BostonianInLondon

Well we agree on 99% of this email. But unfortunately what you classify as bullshit turns out to be fact. What I said is “that since the 1960's FIVE guys have won at least 3 or more Tour De Bike Races with 3 guys having 5 titles each. And this doesn't count Lance Armstrong. So really there are six guys who have won 3 or more titles since the 60's. Essentially Bike Riding has been dominated by 6 guys in the last 50 years. Over half the titles since 1960 have gone to 6 dudes.” And here they are…

Lance Armstrong – 6 Titles
Miguel Indurain – 5 Titles
Greg LeMond – 3 Titles
Bernard Hinault – 5 Titles
Eddie Merckx – 5 Titles
Jacques Anquetil – 4 Titles

Hmm, the facts seem to back me up here.

As far as Tyson goes he had 5 fights that went at least 10 rounds before he lost to Buster Douglas

James Tillis 10 RD
Mitch Green 10 RD
Jose Ribalta 10 RD
James Smith 12 RD
Tony Tucker 12 RD

I would say that five 10 round fights qualifies as a bunch. I suggest you do a better job with your research. The only thing you are correct about is that I was wrong when I said I “thought somebody won the Tour de France like 9 times in a row.” However, you failed to mention that I admitted I was wrong less than 60 seconds after that statement was made.

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