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Velocity 05/30 and Heat 05/31

May
31

Arm is feeling a little bit better. Maybe I’ll be able to get some decent sleep tonight.

Velocity:

The list of SmackDown! Brand pay per views:

2003
Vengeance (Vince vs Zach, Brock vs Angle vs Lesnar)
No Mercy (Show vs Eddie, Undertaker vs Lesnar)

2004
No Way Out (Angle vs Show vs Cena, Lesnar vs Eddie)
Judgment Day (Cena vs Rene, JBL vs Eddie)
Great American Bash (Bradshaw vs Eddie, Undertaker vs Dudleys)
No Mercy (Cena vs Booker, JBL vs Undertaker)
Armageddon (JBL vs Undertaker vs Booker vs Eddie, Cena vs Jesus)

2005
No Way OutCena vs Angle, JBL vs Big Show
Judgment Day: Eddie vs Rey, JBL vs Cena

I’ve seen zero of these. My snap judgment is Judgment Day could be the best, but only because there’s a lot of less than appealing cards in the mix.

Heat:

Robert Conway is the only guy to work over a body part and actually have it play directly into the finish.

How come they haven’t thought of a alter ego name for Stacy? There’s gotta be a lame pun in there somewhere.

Look, STO properly called! That’s 1 for 1000.

Edit: Justin beats me with the Tale of the Tape, knowing the secondary characters from long forgetton ABC sitcoms.

empathy

May
30

Never say I don’t go all the way for my team: I managed to somehow strain my right arm today. It’s not ‘100 MPH ball hitting the point of the elbow’ pain (I’m managing typing this by keeping my arm held bent just right, after all), just bad enough for me to start counting how many right turns I had to take to get home.

(Three.)

This may slow down recaps if it doesn’t feel better in the morning.

I will not be detaching my groin.

See you, Hawk

May
28

It is what it is.

Setting aside the obvious for a second, let me be a contrarian list maker for a sec.

selected pitchers on the 40 man roster, by age
23 Renyel Pinto
24 David Aardsma **
24 Angel Guzman
24 Sergio Mitre
24 Jerome Williams
25 John Koronka
25 Roberto Novoa
26 Cliff Bartosh
26 Todd Wellemeyer
26 Michael Wuertz
26 John Leicester
26 Dave Crouthers ***
27 Will Ohman *

* – two non-playing seasons in there.
** – I haven’t seen mentioned of it yet, but his presence on the 40 man means we moved Nomar to the 60 Day DL.
*** – lost in the madness, he mysteriously retired this week; O’s are due to give us a replacement
(The youngest guy on the active staff is still Carlos Zambrano, which I think we forget from time to time.)

14 pitchers, including today’s newest arrivals, about a one-third of our 40 man roster. All of them at or about to reach their athletic prime – and I don’t think we’ve got the slightest clue about how most of these guys will turn out. None truly have a defined role with the team (though Wuertz might have finally gotten the setup role he deserved six weeks ago and Sergio doesn’t have to worry about getting yanked out of the rotation any time soon now), and their future are complete mysteries. I realize the reality of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior’s short careers showcase the need for depth and pitching, but we already have a lot of people to sort thru and no particular effort to get the job done. The last thing we really need is another young pitcher – and that was back when we did the Farnsworth trade. It seems very likely someone here will slip thru the cracks to do well elsewhere, while we have needs at position spots go unfilled.

It really is nice that we got something for LaTroy. It’s a bit of a stretch to compare it to the Graves situation (LaTroy’s been slightly better and he’s a few mil cheaper), but the Cubs did make out a bit better than the Reds did. I just wish they’d gone for a something else as a change.

And I think everyone is happy for LaTroy. He never asked to be the closer (if you forget the incentives), it was thrust upon him and he did all he could with it. He didn’t make a bad situation better, but he didn’t make it bad in the first place.

single paragraph digression: Prior’s injury has nothing to do with a curse, but does cause me to watch PTI only a tape delay for the next couple months. My 30 second skip thingy will be renamed “the Willbutton” in his honor.

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but what does Funaki think

May
28

Friday, Rick addressed an issue close to the heart of the website: the future of the WWE B-Shows.

post jump to USA
Velocity (spike) becomes Afterburn (syndi – may change name)
Heat (spike) becomes Bottom Line (syndi – may change name)
Experience (spike) becomes WWE Tonight (USA Sundays)
Marc Lloyd becomes unemployed (guessing)

The plus of this is the Tonight show (ahahah barf) can be use as the pre-PPV show without robbing Maven of screen time. The downside is I’ll have to figure out when these shows are on (assuming they are – Afterburn seems to be off WCIU here and they’ll show anything.)

best part: the stupid Heat open DIES. YES.

2005, Day 5

May
28

I updated yesterday and today. I figure you’re smart enough that you don’t need me telling you. You can thank me later.

While Block A ends the first half of the tournament still the muddled mess we had it figure for – mostly due to El Samurai getting his token win over Kanemoto of all people – we’ve got some people actually already out in Block B.

At 0 point and with only 2 matches left, Akiya Anzawa is out. Even if he got all four points left on the board, at least one of the four people with 4 points absolutely will get to 5 and Tiger Mask has 6, so there’s no way for Anzawa to make top 2.

Katsushi Takemura isn’t officially eliminated, because he’s got one more match left than Anzawa. However, the scenarios for him moving on are very limited.

Here’s one attempt

06/10
Gedo [5] DCO Black Tiger [5]

06/11
Tiger Mask [8] b Inoue [4]
Takemura [2] b Liger [4]

06/12
Takemura [4] b Anzawa [0]
Tiger Mask [10] b Black Tiger [5]

06/15
Gedo [6] DCO Jushin Liger [5]

06/16
Anzawa [2] b Inoue [4]

06/18
Black Tiger [6] DCO Jushin Liger [6]
Tiger Mask [12] b Gedo [6]
Takemura [6] b Inoue [4]

12 Tiger Mask
06 Black Tiger
06 Gedo
06 Takemura
06 Liger
04 Inoue
02 Anzawa

When you’re hoping for draws and a four way tie, it’s not looking so good.

At any rate, while I could believe wins over Anzawa and even possibly Inoue, the mandatory win over Liger is highly unlikely.

Tiger Mask is pretty safely onto the semifinals. He’ll probably drop the match to Black Tiger to build up the feud, but he should grab at least two points from Gedo and Inoue, and 8 should get you thru.

Despite being in the peloton, Wataru Inoue has a good lineup for a big run at the end. While he restarts with Tiger Mask (and I don’t think that’s beyond salvaging), he should be able to sweep Anzawa and Takemura to get to 8, and at least a tie breaker.

Gedo has Black Tiger, Liger, and Tiger Mask. It was a nice run.

Black Tiger should get two points there, and then I’m not exactly sure. He’s gotta get on to the next round, I’m just not sure if he does it by running over Liger and Tiger Mask, or sneaking in.

Who’s left? Liger. Liger is Liger. Either he gets in, or he doesn’t get in, he’s still Liger, it doesn’t actually matter. The more I think about it, the more he should’ve been in Block A to give it some direction.

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2005, Day 3

May
24

Block A
Jado b El Samurai
Stampede Kid b Minoru

Block B
Tiger Mask b Akiya Anzawa
Gedo b Katsushi Takemura

Stampede Kid taking the win surprised me enough that I started to worry I was confusing Minoru Tanaka with some new guy also named Minoru; that’s a big loss for a guy who was Jr. Champion at the start of the year. He’s 0-2 now; gotta figure he’s going to make a run at some point and Block A still remains quite winnable.

Stampede could start a mini-run with a win over Jado. But’s is A Block; anyone could be that second seed into the playoffs.

I’m thinking no one wishes Mexican wrestling paid more than Katsushi Takemura. If you lose to Gedo, you can not win. Takemura has Liger (likely L), Tiger Mask (even more likely L), Wataru Inoue (sounds like an L), and Akiya Anzawa. He might get a win over Anzawa, since Anzawa will get his wins in the U-30 tournament, but that’s not sure thing.

Link to the table. Need to place it on the side.

A few off days till shows on Friday and Saturday and then the long tournament break.

Block A
Hirooki Goto vs Masahito Kakihara
Jado vs Stampede Kid

Block B
Akiya Anzawa vs Gedo
Katsushi Takemura vs Tiger Mask

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such a tease

May
23

Ooooh, Dave plays the part of mysterious foreshadowing!

For those thinking of skipping tonight’s show, you probably want to reconsider, and I’m not being sarcastic with that remark.

I’m off to the Cubs game and my TiVo is only getting hour two of the show (24! Finale! Kinda getting sick of this show!), so I hope Matthew waits till after 9 to make a shocking redebut.

I mean, the only reason to do the “blind man could see it coming” non-shocking bit would be to follow with the logical slightly-shocking (I am calling it right here, aren’t I?) followup.

(booking for the smarts would’ve been doing it the first Monday after the news broke because only they would’ve got it; booking it like they did only appeals to those who think they’re too cool for school because they’re privvy to secret inside information everyone knows. Casual fans get screwed, but whatever.)

Let me say, if he does show up, I think I might become even more a fan; part of the appeal of the Hardy Boys are they’re crazy crazy nutjobs, and this only makes the gimmick real-er.

Now watch and it’s something dumb, like Benoit gets twenty minutes and the world title.

dangerous e-mails

May
23

Assuming it’s irrelevant to the season (or the season itself is irrelevant, which seems more and more likely!), the Carlos Zambrano “non-pitching” forearm/elbow injury mystery is the greatest thing ever. Each possible theory is improbably more insane.

The original excuse, when he got checked on after a pitch and didn’t go out of the game, was dehydration. Which doesn’t make much sense, because it wasn’t that hot nor is it that hard to keep hydrated in a baseball game, but whatever, it could possibly happen.

After he got pulled from the Washington game, somehow that excuse wasn’t weird enough, so they came up with a new one after talking to Carlos: he was taking too much batting practice, particularly on the left side, and it was aggravating his arm. Carlos Zambrano is a right handed pitcher, but he’s also a switch hitter for no particular reason; he’s better than your average pitcher at hitting, but the switch hitting is a bit of eccentric behavior. (Over the last three years, he’s batted slightly better as a righty than a lefty, so I’m thinking switching sides isn’t really helping him.) The idea Carlos was taking so much batting practice he was hurting himself – for pitching or otherwise – is pretty ludicrous idea, but Carlos enjoys hitting enough you could possibly believe the concept – if you were medicated just enough.

Now, not satisfied with the randomness of that reason, the Cubs have come up with yet another explanation: Zambrano’s “tennis elbow” is because – he’s spending too much time on the Internet. He only could pitch 3 1/3 because he’s sending too many e-mails to Venezuela!

I guess that’s what happened to MY fastball.

Mrs. Dusty Baker bought all sorts of wrist guards and wireless mice and other things to help Carlos be more ergonomic, but what I’m thinking is he really needs some good Voice Recognition software to get his fingers away from the keyboard.

I can not wait until the next reason!

Add: From the Tribune version of this pressing story:

“People would think we’re just coming up with an excuse or an alibi for [high] pitch counts,” Baker said.

Nah, Dusty’s off; people would just think you’re coming up with hilariously lame excuses for the pitch counts.

JAPW 05/21, Velocity 05/21, Heat 05/22

May
22

Jersey came to Massachusetts, so Joe went to see JAPW’s show on Saturday.

Heat and Velocity.

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05/22 Results

May
22

05/22 results

A: Koji Kanemoto b Hirooki Goto
A: Masahito Kakihara b Minoru
B: Black Tiger b Katsushi Takemura
B: Wataru Inoue b Gedo
B: Tiger Mask b Jushin Lyger

Table. I’m not doing much analyzing till the break.

Tiger Mask vs Lyger was just over 8 minutes. They’ll meet again.

Next matches are on 05/24

A: El Samurai vs Jado
A: Minoru vs Stampede Kid
B: Akiya Anzawa vs Tiger Mask
B: Katsushi Takemura vs Gedo

Tiger Mask getting a win seems to be the only sure result here. OTOH, he could be the only one of these eight to come close to moving on.

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