Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New Winnipeg Jets Logos Are Pretty Awesome

Now this is what I am talking about. The new Winnipeg Jets logos are clean, crisp and tidy. The color scheme harkens back to the old Jets logo, but still left plenty of room for new form and design. They are a definitive upgrade over those ghastly red, orange and yellow clusterfuck logos used by the team when they were still the Atlanta Thrashers. There is nothing flashy or super ornate about them, but they are pretty stellar pieces in my book. Congrats Winnipeg, now all you have to do is try and bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993. Good luck.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

El Rumor Mill

My sources tell me...

  • I HAVE URGENT AND BREAKING NEWS: FANTASY FOOTBALL IS BACK! On Monday morning, the fantasy football games featured on the websites ESPN, CBS Sportsline, and Yahoo! reached an agreement with nerds across American on a new 10 year collective bargaining agreement that will secure another decade of inane trash talking and asinine trade proposals amongst friends. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali was quoted as saying, "This deal means a lot to us players. Now we finally have something to play for. This is a great day for us".

  • Negotiations with draft picks and free agents officially began this morning, and a number of undrated rookies have already signed on with teams including former U. Delaware QB Pat Devlin (Miami Dolphins) and Boston College LB and cancer survivor Mark Herzlich (New York Giants). The NFL has also already made a big splash signing, inking Eddy Curry to a four year deal to replace the Goodyear Blimp as fly over entertainment during games.

  • A number of teams will have QB drama heading into the new season, but none may be more absurd than the predicament in Cincinnati with Carson Palmer. Palmer has dug in his heals, demanding a trade from the Bengals, stating that he would rather retire than play for the team again. Bengals owner Mike Brown has routinely denied Carson's demands, stating that if Palmer wants to walk away from the $40 million remaining on his contract, retirement is his only option. This situation reminds me a lot of the showdown at the O.K. Corral, except replace guns and cowboys with caviar and douche bags.
  • It's late July and that means it's time for the MLB trade stove to turn on the afterburners. One of the hottest names on the market right now is New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, who is hitting the cover off the ball right now and has been steadily improving offensively as the season progresses. Beltran has credited his revival this season, at the age of 34, to better offseason conditioning and his new bff Victor Conte. Here is a picture of Beltran showing off his bod at a recent post-game press conference:
  • Another name that has been bountied about on the trade market lately is Oakland A's outfielder Coco Crisp. Crisp has been having a fairly productive year batting .270 with 27 stolen bases already. One of the teams in hottest pursuit of Coco has been the Boston Red Sox, not so much because they need another outfielder, but because the "Dice-K Loves Coco" headlines are just too easy and good to pass up.
I wonder if these two will have Titty Tuesday and Thong Thursday on their Twitter too. Spicy!!
  • The Seattle Mariners have now lost 16 games in a row but they play in Seattle so no one seems to have really noticed and/or cared.
  • The NBA lockout has afforded players a lot of free time this offseason to hang out and experiment with local rec leagues and overseas options. For instance, Deron Williams has already inked a deal with Besiktas of Turkey should the lockout last long and Kevin Durant and Brandon Jennings have both spent part of the summer playing in L.A.'s Drew League. Other players, such as the Philadelphia 76er's Spencer Hawes, have spent their summer experimenting with bad haircuts:

  • It's summertime which means many major European teams are starting to kick off their pre-season exhibition games against competition from all over the world. Teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Everton and Manchester United have toured around the United States and other places to help get new players integrated into systems and to get fit for the upcoming season. New Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson made a tremendous first impression on his teammates by scoring this mind bogglingly impressive own goal in a exhibition against Bundesliga side FC Koln. Arsene must be so proud of his young lad!

p.s. This is The Hinrich Maneuver's 200th blog post. I just want to thank everyone for humoring me and taking the time to read this asinine drivel every once in awhile. It makes me happy in the pants region. I love you all....especially you Malaysia!! :-*

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Worst Ceremonial First Pitchers Of All Time

Sixty feet, six inches. That is all that separates a pitcher's mound from home plate. You'd think it would be fairly simple for most people to get a baseball from point A to point B. I'm not expecting them to fire a 95 mph fast ball right down the heart of the plate, I just mean simply getting the ball reasonably close to its intended target. However, for many this is a task on par with trying to get Eddy Curry down to under 300 lbs. It is futile.

The opening pitch is a ceremonial gesture that allows teams to celebrate a bunch of local shmucks, and on the oft occasion, a retired player or celebrity. It offers a moment in the spotlight and the opportunity to showcase one's talents with a ball and mitt. Sometimes the ball flies directly into the catcher's mitt, sometimes it takes a bounce off to the side, and sometimes it goes sailing off into the stratosphere. Here are a few of the most awesome and egregious opening pitches of all time:

The "Most Effective and Surprising Use of the Power Stance" Award

Lee Jung Hyun

The "Stick To Your Day Job" Award

John Wall

The "Time For A New Optometrist" Award

Carl Lewis

The "Jurassic Park" Award

Baby T-Rex

The "How To Instantly Lose Your Re-Election Campaign" Award

Mark Mallory, Mayor of Cincinnati

The "Nick Cannon Is NOT Hilarious" Award

Mariah Carey

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Steve Nash Is A Baller

Steve Nash gives 110% on and off the court. The moonwalk is never out of style.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fabio Is The New Old Spice Guy

I am not sure who does that advertising for Old Spice, but whomever it is, they should be paid 10x what they are making right now.

Jeremy Piven Is The Meat In A U.S. Women's Soccer Sandwich

Here is a photograph of perennial douche bag extraordinaire Jeremy Piven posing in between Hope Solo and Alex Morgan of the U.S. Women's Soccer team at the Entourage premiere party in New York City. There are two ways to interpret this photo. The first is to interpret it as a photograph of two beautiful and exceptional female athletes surrounding a jack off with a Napoleon complex. The second is to interpret the photo as three losers dressed in their best gala attire. Either one works.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why I Hate Instant Replay

While the idea of an 18 game season may have been officially scrapped, the upcoming NFL season will likely have games that feel like they take an eternity to complete. A new rule will go into effect for the 2011 season that will have every single scoring play (touchdown, field goal, extra point, or safety) reviewed by replay officials in the booth. If there is any slight possibility that the ruling could have been made in error, the head official will be buzzed and asked to review the play. Coaches will no longer be allowed to challenge rulings related to scoring plays, and thus will be allowed to use their challenges at other points during the game.

This new rule exacerbates one of my biggest qualms with professional sports today. I have never been a fan of instant replay in the NFL, MLB, NBA, or any sport for that matter. Instant replay removes one of the most integral and exciting aspects of sport: the human element. We have become so consumed with technology and precision these days that the human element is being systematically removed from the games that we love. What makes sports exciting and entertaining are the imperfect elements. If every umpire or referee made every right call all the time, why would we even watch the game? Human error is natural and it keeps engaged and on our toes. It gives us something to talk about. Something to gripe about. Something to keep us interested. In the constant quest to "get it right", the pace and flow of the game are completely discarded. Adding in these stoppages will mean more commercial breaks that drag out an NFL game to well over 3+ hours.

If we are going to have this type of instant replay, why even have referees on the field make any calls at all? Why not just have the replay operators in the booth make decisions on every play with the on field refs acting as enforcers? I know that I am in the minority on this one, but in my opinion, instant replay takes the most basic human element and intrigue out of sport, and has no place in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, or any professional competition for that matter.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tour de France Looks Like A Piece of Cake

I don't know if this year is just particularly more gruesome than previous runnings of the Tour de France or if cyclists are just some of the most badass athletes on the face of the planet. Here are a couple of videos and photos from this year's race that emphasize my point.

The above video comes from the Tour's ninth stage and features a French t.v. car running into the lead pack, sending Juan Antonio Flecha of Spain careening into Dutch cyclist Johnny Hoogerland causing a major crash. The crash caused Hoogerland to flip into a barbed wire fence causing lacerations to much of his lower body, including his testicles, that would later require stitches. With his racing shorts all but completely torn off his body, Hoogerland managed to get back on his bike and finish off the remaining twenty miles or so to the stage's finish line.

No, the man above is not a cast member from the new season of The Walking Dead. He is actually Dutch cyclist Laurent ten Dam. During a recent downhill stage of the Tour, Laurent went toppling over his handle bars and suffered numerous lacerations to his face and the rest of his body. Most of us would call it a day at that point, but Laurent decided to keep racing on. Here's the video of the accident:

And here are a few more random photos and videos of mayhem from the 2011 Tour de France. You know, just for funsies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tiger's Ex-Wife Has A New Billionaire Boy Toy

Tiger just can't catch a break, unless you count his ball slicing off into the woods on the 14th hole a "break". It is being reported that Tiger's ex-wife Elin Nordegren has a new man, American billionaire investor Jamie Digman. Swedish newspaper Expressen recently spotted the two canoodling outside of Nordegren's luxurious Stockholm apartment. Nordegren and Woods were finally divorced last August after months of speculation following the Thanksgiving Day car accident that led to the unravelling of Woods' extramarital sexual exploits. It is reported that Nordegren received $110 million from the divorce proceedings, along with custody of the couple's two children. She recently purchased a sprawling mansion in Florida worth $12.2 million and just ten miles away from Tiger's digs in Jupiter, Florida. Tiger has had numerous other struggles on and off the golf course in the wake of the Thanksgiving Day incident. He has lost a number of lucrative endorsement deals (including Accenture and Gillette) and has been unable to win a single PGA tour event since 2009. He recently announced that he would not be playing in the British Open this week, as he is still recovering from a knee injury. The downward spiral of Tiger seems to be a bottomless pit.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This Is What $1.4 Million Will Buy You At An Auction

Some people would use $1.4 million to buy a lavish estate. Some might consider donating it to me to finish paying off college loans and so that I could finally fix the front bumper on my fucking car. Hell, I could buy a new car with that kind of skrilla! But no. Instead someone used $1.42 million to place the winning bid at Sotheby's for the world's oldest soccer rules book. The 1857 handwritten document belonged to the world's oldest soccer club Sheffield FC, who plays seven divisions below the English Premier League, but was sold off in order to help raise funds for the team. The economic downturn has truly hit everyone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gus Johnson Takes on the Women's World Cup

Here is Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery's call from the the 2005 contest between Gonzaga and Oklahoma State, in which Adam Morrison banked in a running three-pointer with only seconds left, superimposed over video of the U.S. Women's last second goal in overtime to Brazil in this year's World Cup. Sit back, and enjoy the sweet, sweet stylings of Raftery and Johnson. It almost fits TOO perfectly.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Agent Zero Is The Big Winner In The Planking Department

Yeah, Afrojack and Diplo planking on airplanes is cool. Sure, Charlie Villanueva and Dwight Howard planking across Bentleys is nice. But no one is as dedicated to the planking game as Mr. Gilbert Arenas.

Bend It Like Beckham

Tied at 1-1 over the weekend against the Chicago Fire, the Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham snuck a terrific corner kick past Chicago defenders for the game winning goal. The ball went completely untouched before hitting the back of the net. Impressive.

Top 3 HR Derby Performances of All Time

Tonight marks the 26th anniversary of Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby, easily the most exciting part of the All-Star break. While the game itself is widely considered to be the most competitive and enthralling All-Star game out of the four major sports, the Home Run Derby is a classic exhibition of power and endurance that has produced some pretty dramatic performances over the years. Often times, the most eye popping performances came from guys that didn't even end up winning the competition. Here is my list of the top three:

#3 - Jason Giambi, 2003, U.S. Cellular Field

In the early 2000's, Giambi was a staple of the Home Run Derby, finishing third in 2001 and winning the whole thing in 2002. However, his performance at the 2003 Home Run Derby at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago may have been his best of all time. Giambi blew away the competition in the first round by hitting 12 home runs, five more than eventual champion Garret Anderson who closed out the round with seven. Most players who put together big totals in the first round tend to get tired and fall off in the later rounds, but not Giambi who went on to blast 11 more HR's in the second round. However, MLB used a bracket system that year and Giambi was paired up against Albert Pujols who managed to hit 14 out of the park, thus eliminating Giambi.

#2 - Bobby Abreu, 2005, Comerica Park

There are so many things about Abreu's entry into the 2005 Home Run Derby that make it especially memorable. He has never hit more than 31 HR in any season in the big leagues and has often been known more for his speed than his power. That all changed on one summer night in Detroit when Bobby Abreu hit a then record 24 home runs in the opening round, besting the likes of David Ortiz, Mark Teixiera, Carlos Lee, and Jason Bay (who managed to finish with a whopping grand total of zero home runs). Abreu faced Ivan Rodriguez in the finals after managing to blast six more home runs in the semis. He wowed the crowd by launching 11 more long balls to take the crown with an astonishing Home Run Derby record of 41 total home runs.

#1 - Josh Hamilton, 2008, Yankee Stadium

Hamilton may not have won the 2008 Home Run Derby in The Bronx, but his first round performance was truly mind boggling. In his first All-Star appearance, Hamilton put 28 balls in the seats. That would be impressive in and of itself, but taking a closer look at those 28 tells an even great story. During the first round, Hamilton managed to rattle off a home run on thirteen consecutive swings at one point. He also had marks of 16 HR out of 17 swings, 20 out of 22, and 22 out of 25. Three of his home runs landed more than 500 feet from home plate, including a 518 foot whopper that still may be in Earth's orbit. An exhausted Hamilton bowed out of the second round with only four outs and four home runs and Justin Morneau would go on to win the overall competition. However, Hamilton's performance will always be remembered as the greatest Home Run Derby output to date, during the final season of the old Yankee Stadium

Friday, July 8, 2011

In June, The British Came, And Brought Brazil and Canada With Them

Poor Malaysia. They never stood a chance. Propped by the Vancouver riots and Stanley Cup finals, Canada cruised to #2 on the viewership chart for the month of June. Brazil and the UK also left my favorite Asian country writhing in their dust. Do I get a free trip to Rio out of all of this or what?

p.s. I still love you Malaysia :*

Yao Ming Hangs It Up

The jolly giant, Yao Ming, has hung up his sneakers and called it a career. After playing five years of professional basketball in China for the Shanghai Sharks, Yao was the #1 overall pick of the Houston Rockets in the 2002 NBA draft. An 8x All-Star, Yao has suffered a number of injuries over the past five years that led to extended periods on the inactive list, and he did not play a single game during the 2009-10 season. He was set to become a free agent this season, but the combination of the NBA lockout and his lingering foot injuries led to his decision to call it quits. When he was healthy, Yao was one of the most dominant centers and overall players in the NBA. At 7'6" and 310 lbs., he towered over opponents, ending with career averages of 19 ppg and 9.2 rpg. Perhaps more importantly, he was the first Chinese superstar to play in the NBA, greatly boosting the popularity of basketball in the world's largest country. Had he not been plagued by injuries, who knows how much farther his star could have risen. Yao is still only 30 years old.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This Glowing Monstrosity Belongs To Joe Johnson

This may be all the evidence I need to be show in order to accept that the NBA has some serious re-configuring to do with the length and dollar amount of contracts in a new collective bargaining agreement. The truck has belonged to Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson since 2008, but the glowing paint job is a new touch. The pimped out Ford F-650 Super Truck-XUV also includes a 200+ gallon gas tank, front and rear cameras, three flatscreen televisions, a train horn, and a seat that folds out into a bed. All in all, it has been estimated that the car cost Johnson in excess of $250,000. Money well spent for a guy that signed a 6 year, $119 million contract last offseason. Joe seems to plan on single handily saving the American auto making industry. A true American hero.

Darlington Nagbe Proves You Need Just One Foot To Be Good At Soccer

Darlington Nagbe may not be a household name, but he definitely brought the house down with this goal the other night for the Portland Timbers against Sporting KC. Nagbe makes it all look easy trapping the ball with his right foot and then nailing a goal in the upper left hand corner. Throughout the entire play, the ball doesn't touch the ground once as Nagbe shows off some incredible ball control with his right foot. Nagbe is in his rookie campaign, coming out of the University of Akron, and this was his first goal in a Portland Timbers uniform. If he keeps this level of play up, there should be many more to come.