Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, March 31, 2008

We're Talkin' Baseball

This is usually how my year goes:

October-November:  Hey, the Kings are pretty good, maybe they'll make the playoffs this year!

December-January:  Dear God, they'll never win again.

February:  Man, this sucks, I hate hockey.  

March:  Lousy Kings.  Wait, what's that?  Hey, baseball's almost here!

April:  Wow, the Dodgers look unbeatable right now.

May-June:  Hey, it's alright, everyone slumps every once in a while, they'll go on a run soon.

July:  Woohoo!  NHL Draft!  Oh, and the Dodgers are kicking ass too.  I smell playoffs!

August:  Goddammit.

September:  Well, they're terrible... wait, hockey's almost here!

The two seasons dovetail nicely into one another, allowing me to get my soul crushed twice in 1 year.  This year will be different, though.  For you see, the Dodgers actually look good this year.  I swear!  The best part is, they're doing it the same way the Kings are doing it: with good young talent.  Of course, since it's baseball they can also outspend everyone else in their division by double, but let's not focus on that.

"But wait, I hate watching baseball."  That's the beauty of baseball; you don't really have to watch it!  Have it on in the background while you're washing dishes, doing your laundry, 'bating, whatever.  I've been seriously following the Dodgers for 4 years now and I've watched a handful of games from beginning to end.  No offense to people who like baseball, but it's boring as hell and only pussies populate the sport.  ("Oh, I broke my nail.  I'm out for 2 weeks!")  Baseball's about numbers, people, and you can always just check the boxscores to see what's up.

Still not convinced?  Here's a little comparison of the Dodgers and Kings youngsters to help you cheer for your new favorite team.  Just pick your favorite King and transpose them for a Dodger and voila, you're all set!

Anze Kopitar becomes Russell Martin

Both are young but already lead their team.  Both come from unique places for their sport (Martin from Canada, Kopitar from Slovenia).  Both made their first All-Star team last season.  I have uncomfortable feelings about both of them that I can't fight no matter how hard I try.

Dustin Brown becomes Matt Kemp

Both Brown and Kemp are 23 and have seemingly unlimited potential.  Brown leads the Kings in goals this season, while Kemp is a solid bet to be among the league leaders in home runs.  Whether it's a devastating check or a laser beam to home plate, both can do amazing things.  The only problem with both is their relative inexperience and their need to work on the little parts of the game (defensive awareness, baserunning).

Patrick O'Sullivan become James Loney

O'Sullivan was a late bloomer among Kings prospects, not really securing a job on the team until the age of 23.  He busted out this season and has all the natural talent to score 40 goals a season.  He learned that talent wasn't enough, however, and worked on his defensive game to become one of the better defensive forwards on the team.  While he does still have his deficiencies (his shot needs to get more accurate), he seems to be a cornerstone on this team for a few years to come.

Loney was a late bloomer among Dodger prospects, not really securing a job on the team until the age of 24.  He busted out last season and has all the natural talent to drive in 100 RBIs a season.  He learned that talent wasn't enough, however, and worked on his defensive game to become one of the better defensive first basemen in the league.  While he does still have his deficiencies (he still needs to develop more power), he seems to be a cornerstone on this team for a few years to come, or until the Dodgers sign Mark Teixiera in the off-season.

Jack Johnson becomes Chad Billingsley

Both Johnson and Billingsley were well-hyped coming into the big leagues but struggled a little bit while adjusting to the pace of the game.  Both soon realized that they couldn't get along on natural ability and began to learn the nuances of the game.  Billingsley is older (think of him as being 2 seasons ahead of Johnson), so he's pretty much ready to become one of the best starters in the NL West, but look for Johnson to join him sooner rather than later.  (Umm, as a great player, not one of the best starters in the NL West.  You know what I mean.)

Jonathan Bernier becomes Clayton Kershaw

Both Bernier and Kershaw play the most important position in the game (goaltender and pitcher) and both can completely dominate their fellow 19 year-olds.  Fans clamor for them to join the big team but management eschews in the way of caution, for fear of hindering their development.  Kershaw has developed a nickname of "Minotaur" because he is a mythical beast that can not be spoken of for fear that something might go wrong.  Bernier, likewise, is referred to as "Cerberus," but that's really only by me.  People ask who the hell that is and I explain that it's the dog that guarded Hades and isn't that clever since both Bernier and Cerberus guard something?  Then I wake up in a dumpster and my wallet's missing.

So there you go!  Now you're all set to root for you favorite player, but there's still one important part missing: trash talk!  Yes, you too can chide the Giants fan at work without resorting to last season's Barry Bonds jokes.  Here's a quick cheat sheet to keep them straight:

San Diego Padres- Fans hate LA, although LA fans don't give a fuck about them.  Use this against them. Also, their park is giant and nobody hits home runs there.
Sample Trash Talk- "Wait, we're playing you guys?  Oh good, that'll give us a break from all these intense division battles with the Giants.  They're our real rival, you know."

San Francisco Giants- Traditional rival from back when both teams were in New York.  They've been good recently but they are going to be biblically awful on offense this season.
Sample Trash Talk- "Hey, there's something wrong with this scorecard, it says you guys have Benji Molina batting clean-up.  Wait... hahahahahahahahahahahaha!"

Colorado Rockies- Last season's NL Champs thanks to a miracle run, their fans are extremely confident this season because they don't realize miracles are a one-time thing.  Also, they have a ridiculous offense but they're relying on 2 rookies to prevent their rotation from being a smorgasbord of shit.
Sample Trash Talk- There are 2 choices: comparing Todd Helton to Bluto (from Popeye), or comparing Matt Holliday to the bad guy from Mallrats.  Let your creativity be your guide.

Arizona Diamondbacks- Last year's division winner, they're the Dodgers' competition for the next few years.  They do everything right, from playing their kids to trading for good young pitchers.  They look good.
Sample Trash Talk- I don't know, tell them the snake on their jersey looks gay or something.

So there you go, people, you are now officially Dodger fans.  I guess you could always cheer for that other team, the one that came after the team in LA and was a laughingstock for years before they got a new owner and suddenly won a World Championship.  You know, the Angels.  But why would anyone want to do that?

Dodger Blogs-  Dodgerthoughts, TrueBlueLA, 6-4-2 (for both Angels and Dodgers info)


spade-in-victorhell said...

im the rare ducks-dodger fan...

so loathe your comparisons..yet find them stimulating

im not sure what to think of our squad this year..on paper..it looks good...

but I thought that last year also...and look what happened...I dunno..we stay clear of injuries well kick some ass...GO BLUE!!!

Mr. Plank said...

they are going to be biblically awful on offense this season.

The Giants are sincerly going to be the worst thing I've ever seen haha. I'm a Minnesota Twins fan which is downright frustrating sometimes.

Great job on the article, the comparisons are great.

Kelpfreak said...

I didn't know there were any Dodgers fans left in LA after the Angels won the Series...

chris in torrance said...

I'm on the opposite side of Spade. I'm a rare Kings/Angels fan. Always hated the Dodgers, always hated the Ducks. Go figure

mcfed said...

Go Halos!

Megalodon said...

What if my favorite King is Brian Wilsie? Or Dan Cloutier?

elise said...

Your sports schedule sounds a lot like my sports schedule. Especially the part where I realize that baseball is completely boring to watch.

Unfortunately for me, the Twins decided to go trade away half the team. Namely, the good half.

Mr. Plank said...

Ah Elise, so true. Mauer, Cuddyer, and Morneau are sooo solid, but other than that it's hard to look for good things in our lineup. Nathan is always good, but how many save opportunities will he get? Couple that with Liriano's arm, and it looks like rebuilding time once again. Not to mention our division is freaking insanely good top to bottom- think the Northwest on steroids. I mean it's baseball, so steroids are a distinct possibility.

Okay, back to hockey. Sorry for the rant Rudy. Once again, good article, I enjoyed it.

RudyKelly said...

Brian Willsie is Angel Chavez.

Dan Cloutier is Esteban Loaiza.

Can you explain to me why the Twins spent so much money on Nathan and Morneau but didn't sign Santana? That was confusing.

RudyKelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elise said...

mr. plank - The Royals beat the Tigers in extra innings today, too...this is going to be an interesting season.

rudykelly - I have no idea. I don't understand a majority of the moves the organization makes. I can understand the big bucks for Mauer since he's the hometown boy and we Minnesotans attach onto our homegrown talent, but we also managed to pick (what I believe to be) the worst of the possible Santana deals.

Kirsten said...

It takes me about until my birthday in June to realize that I'm sick of baseball. I check in periodically throughout the rest of the season maybe watching one game a week. I go to maybe three games a season not counting post season.

Santana was pretty much going to leave after this season for nothing if we didn't trade him. I'm not yet convinced that the team is better off with what we got than nothing.

I love Morneau, so I'm happy they signed him forever.

Mr. Plank said...

Enter The Battle of The Twin Cities haha.

I agree with Kirsten on this one, he was skipping town as soon as this year was done. We'll see if any of the "prospects" pan out, I think the front office saw how Detroit and Cleveland were going to be this year and decided that keeping Johan probably wouldn't result in a serious playoff opportunity.

@ Earl: Your Boys in Blue took out "the hated ones" pretty nicely today. 5-0 win on opening day for their 50th year in LA? Weird.

Earl Sleek said...

@ Plank: I don't have any Boys in Blue. That's Rudy.

I'm a once-was-an-Angels-fan, but I can't watch a full inning of baseball to save my life. Nowadays, my summer sports entertainment (waiting for hockey to start up again) is usually bull riding, which I picked up during the lockout year, because I'm very amused at the stupidity of the athletes and like the idea of near-guaranteed injuries.

Also acceptable summertime "passing the time" sport: Ninja Warrior.

Mr. Plank said...

apologies rudy. amateur hour may now begin.

Anonymous said...

Surprised you didn't compare Kent to Blake (aging veterans that still produce every once in a while but are often hurt, and a lot of fans think they are assholes). Now all the Kings need to do is get Scotty Bowman to coach, and we're complete. Finally, who the fuck cares about the Twins?

Anonymous said...

Hey, theres always Sharks Hockey.:)

Kirsten said...

I care about the Twins!
BOC has always been very nice to me, even though I'm from Minnesota. Santana pretty much came out and said he was leaving. I blame him for the loss of Silva, too.

chris in torrance said...

I usually don't get heavily into baseball until after I see the Stanley Cup. Cuts the baseball season in half (the second half when the games are getting more important) and makes it much more tolerable. My Angels mini plan picks up where my Kings mini plan expires, so I'm set!

Julian said...

Man, I really struggle with baseball. All the standing around makes me nuts. They spend more time talking about WHAT YOU JUST SAW HAPPEN than actually playing the game by a factor of ten. At least it seems that way.

It's the same with football, but at least they hit each other.

RudyKelly said...

The difference between Blake and Kent is that Kent actually is an asshole. He has a sweet swing, though.

Anonymous said...

agreed on both counts