Celebrity Gangster Forecast: Francis "Frank" Costello


The editors of Diamond Hoggers are big fans of mafia/gangster movies. Before the season starts, Diamond Hoggers will offer a celebrity gangster’s take on the upcoming 2007 season. Today we welcome Frank Costello from The Departed.

You answer me one question: do you like little Ms. Freud sucking on that cock? Good. Sit down and listen or I’ll make sure that there is some other guy, putting his fat cock up Ms. Freud’s ass. I’m here to give my picks for the 2007 season, and keep your fucking eyes behind you, cause’ rumor has it there is a rat. When I headed over here to meet with ya’, WE HAD A FUCKIN’ TAIL!

I’m not for hop skotch or other fucking nimrod games. I don’t like foreplay, I just like to fuck. I stick my cock in, move it in and out, and I’m done. I use the woman as a wastebasket. I’m not gonna beat around the bush. The team that is going to win the 2007 World Series is none other than Tito Francona’s Red Sox of Boston. Who else did you think I’d pick? You say Mets, and I put a gun to your head. You say Yankees, well, he puts a gun to your head.

You see, I run a gang. The Red Sox, they remind me of a gang. The Yankees? They’re the mob. A mob can be nasty, but there is too much fucking around, too much sideshow-shit. The gang (Red Sox), will come at you from all angles. The mob on the other hand, they’ll just send one to do the hit. Let’s say I wanted to have someone fuck your mother in law; if I sent a mob to do it, there’d be one guy, one dick involved at one time. He’d show up, fuck her hard, maybe even make her eyes pop out of her skull or her clit fall off and receive 3rd degree burns on that cockstick of his. Now you send a gang, and you’ve got an all-out escapade going on. They’d be screwing that bitch in every hole she had, including ears, nose, mouth. She’d be done in no time. Not even able to move off the bed to make coffee or light a fucking smoke. That’s how I look at the Red Sox. When you have a gang you’re dealing with rather than a mob, you got big problems.

The problem is, in a gang, you got fuckin’ rats. In the Red Sox gang, there is a fucking rat involved. A fucking snitch. If there is one thing that can cause problems for a gang, it’s a rat. If you follow the Red Sox like I do, then you know right away just who that fucking rat is likely to be. That fucking Beckett.

Teething, knawing, stealing. These are qualities of that fat-faced fuck, and also a rat. He even looks in resemblance to a rat. Athletes today, all they care about is getting their 6 figure paychecks, screwing any pussy they can get their hands on, and sailing out on their fucking yacht after their starts. It doesn’t matter if they give up 7 earned runs in 1 and 1/3 innings, they’re out doing the same thing as they did after the last shitty start, eating, fucking, and enjoying themselves. They never slow down to think and reflect. They never sip the wine and let it roll to the back of their throat to get that slow burn from the alchohol. They just do it for the substance, and the buzz. They don’t enjoy a cigar, they smoke the fucker. Beckett came in here and stole money from all the fans and the Red Sox in general. The whole situation is like trying to jack-off in a small hotel bathroom. The action is fun but the enjoyment isn’t worth the fucking trouble. He hasn’t been worth the cramped excercise. I say, we kill him. He’s the tail!

Oh yeah, Red Sox over the Philadelphia Phillies in 7. You mention the Toronto Blue Jays and you’re going to have this gun in your mouth. Can you say ‘Blue Jay’ with a gun in your mouth? I haven’t known anyone worth a fuck from Canada. NOW FIND THAT FUCKING TAIL!

A collection of masterpieces from editor George

So he hasn’t been showing his face around here as much lately as we’d like. But editor George has assured me, the best is yet to come. I know for a fact of a few good nuggets he is about to deliver on you in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy some of the old ruboffs he’s let loose in here:

Mystery Man Revealed

Keep Strumming Bern

My personal favorite: A Tribute to Jimmy Dugan

Jeter and Wright: The Intangtibles

A must pick for the 2007 fantasy draft

The Dynamic Fantasy War Room

Matsuzaka and the Eastern trend

Great things come in small sizes. George subscribes to the theory “Wise men listen and laugh, and let the fools do the talking.” Plus, he’s had his hands full trying to get some good pussy. We all know how that is. Hog on, Diamond Hogger!

The 'other' Tim Kurkjan

Hi there everyone! I’m ESPN’s Tim Kurkjan and you probably think I’m here to talk about a heart-warming story about Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, or Sammy Sosa’s heroic comeback. Well I’m not. This is my time, and I’m operating on my watch today. I’m here for something totally different. I’m tired of being pushed around by the big-whigs at ESPN and I’m tired of being lacky to that Gobbler-Chin fuck, Gammons and that fat Hawaiian shirt-wearing swine Chris Berman. I’m tired of people calling me an egg-head, and I’m tired of ‘coloring within the lines’ of commentary. No more Mr. nice guy, got it? I’m running the fucking show today and turn off that fucking tele-prompter because I’m not reading the cues anymore.

You think I don’t hear what people say about me? You think I don’t have two ears that hear just like yours? Well fuck you, asshat, because I have two ears that do hear, and they hear quite well. No, I have never played the game of baseball, but just to clear things up, I know the game better than any of you fat, stitched to couch lowlifes that sit and watch me and try and live the big league dream every day bicariously through my words. I take a dream and put it in the form of a baseball highlight every night for you people and this is the thanks I get in return? Suck my fucking pecan skinned cock!

I passed Stuart Scott at the Oasis water fountain in the company cafeteria the other day and you know what he asked me? “Hey there, do you know where you’re at? Can I help you?”, then the prick tried to have me taken in by security and escorted off the premisis. Well I have a nugget for you, Mr. Scott, you oatmeal-smelling fuck, I do know where I’m at and I am where I’m supposed to be. Where are you supposed to be, you Jackie Robinson immortalizing piece of shit, cheating on your wife, perhaps? Fuck you and the Rolls-Royce you rode into town on.

You see these loafers? Look closer, look at the tread on the soles. You see that green? That came from Camden Yards in Baltimore. Have you ever stepped foot on the shrouds of Camden? That’s what I thought. Take a whiff, that smells of success you horse manure-eating, self-suffocating prick. Don’t you dare turn those cameras off. I’ll go so fucking postal that you people won’t even know the light of day. I’ll bury this company. If you know what you’re doing Miguel, you’ll keep those fucking cameras rolling. This is my spotlight and I’m finishing the segment.

So what, you hear my voice and because it’s soft you think I haven’t done great things in life? You think I’m here for your amusement? Wrong again. Last time I looked at my watch, it was telling the right time and it told me to tell you people to blow me! Let me let you all in on a little secret: last night, I had the most incredible sex of my life, she was a prostitute named Veronica. She blew me twice in the parking lot, I made her stop, then I slapped her in the face, pulled on her tits while I gave her a monstrous money shot of cum right to her nose. I had never done that before but it was so gratifying. I asked her how it felt to be Daddy Tim’s little whore and she said it was great. To top everything else off, I did something else totally shocking. I used that dick move most used by Keith Olbermann and I didn’t even pay her when she was finished licking the nectar off my boton. I told hear to “lick the meatus, lick the meatus. That meatus is sensitive, lick it, lick” and she did. I shriveled myself up, short of energy and hollered the bitch right out of my car. That’s right, so blow me! You people have no clue what I’m capable of.

I was the kid in gym class that always got shit on and picked last. I was the son that the father never hugged. I was the kid who got his tooth brush stolen from his sleepover bag at slumber parties by “friends” and had them pass it around in a circle and wipe their ass with it right before I brushed my teeth for the night. No more of that shit! I’m not brushing my teeth with a fecal mattered fucking toothbrush anymore here at the world-wide leader in sports. I’ve got something more valuable than that fucking worthless paystub you provide me with: Kurkjan Pride! I am a man, and none of you will ever be able to take that away from me. Fuck you!

I have an agenda as well, that I am giving my attentions to at the moment. Usually that agenda included 12 hours of sleep, cleaning in all the areas that I should, abstinence, vegtables, a nice interview or segment in which I was forced to play the fiddle of kindness for you fucking people and your big-shot prick athletes, and lots of other things that kept my body in homeostasis! Well no more, it’s new-agenda time here for Timmy boy, how do you like me now, fucking cum rags.

This morning I awoke, ate 12 slices of bacon, scratched my fucking nards, and went out of the house only commando underneath my dress-khakis–which were still smelling of shit in the seat of them because I didn’t wash them! Is that man enough for you fucking macho-big shot assholes? How about this, I went into the gas station, asked for a pack of Marlboro Reds, when I was asked to be ID’d for them I told the fucking heeb behind the counter that I had a knife in my suit jacket, and he handed them over. Amazing how a little swagger can change a man’s fortunes in this country. I then lit one after the other driving on the way to work on an empty tank and opened my window and yelled obscenities all the way to the studio parking lot. I yelled them until I couldn’t catch my breath in between puffs. I don’t mind the cigarettes, there not bad really. When I walked in, some nice little pretty girl in the green room gave me a fake “hello how’s your day Mr. Kurkjan?”. Wrong day for that missy. I replied with “I don’t fucking know you, don’t pretend like you know me unless you’re ready to hand over whats between those thieghs,” and walked away. It got Harold Reynolds released from this captive island of fucking hostility, maybe it will work for me.

Is that fucking camera still on? It better be.

Maybe you people have seen the movie Falling Down, with Micheal Douglas. I’ve seen it and that is how I feel. I’ve been pushed around, and pushed around, and be-littled, and underappreciated for too long. The world will pay it’s price now. That’s right. I’ve lost my fucking little toy mind. I’m sitting here with my pants down to my ankles, belt undone, and I’m jerking off thinking of images of Marilyn Monroe. When I am finished relieving myself under this desk I’m walking out to my car, grabbing a sniper rifle I just purchased and I’m going to the top of the highest building in this city and I’m going to treat the city streets like they are my ant farm. Guess what, you people out there are all my ants! I’m the kid now with the magnifying glass. I’m going to pick you off one by one until my fucking hearts content. Then I’m going to pull out my cock and blow my brains out.

Your 2007 Ballpark Cuisine Guide

Diamond Hoggers works to provide it’s readers with the best coverage on the net towards everything baseball. Today, we take a look at some stops you could make before or after your visit to the ballpark in a few Major League Cities:

Seattle- Shiro’s Sushi, 1.6 Miles from Safeco Field

This little corner eatery serves some of Seattle’s best sushi and provides a stage for one of the city’s best-known sushi chefs. Shiro Kashiba left his heralded Nikko restaurant, then installed himself and his considerable talents in this simple but elegant Belltown storefront. He turns out crisp cuts of fish and hand rolls as much flourish as food. The chef’s-choice Sushi Dinner covers the basics, but it’s also rewarding to sample from the sushi list. The restaurant serves sake, beer and wine. Diamond Hoggers strongly reccomends the California Roll and Seaweed Salad. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to chat it up with Shiro himself like we did, who is close personal friends with Ichiro Suzuki. He’s got some good stories about Seattles centerfielder.

Cincinnati- Skyline Chili, 2.0 miles from Great American Ball Park

A favorite of Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, and Diamond Hoggers’ editors. We reccomend our usual order of 2 Cheese Coneys (with mustard and onions) and a large 3 way. Don’t come here if you are on a diet, or if you have heart problems. Excellent with, before, or after beer comsumption. There’s something about that damn cheese. Cincinnati-style chili is a sauce usually used over spaghetti or hot dogs, containing a unique blend of spices that gives it a very distinct taste. Officially, the recipe for Skyline Chili is a well-kept family secret among Lambrinides’ surviving children. However, many Skyline patrons and Cincinnatians believe that the unique taste of Skyline Chili comes from chocolate and cinnamon.

Chicago- Harry Caray’s, 4.5 miles from Wrigley Field

This legendary Italian Steakhouse serves the finest prime, aged steaks and chops in a truly warm “Chicago” atmosphere. Harry Caray’s has won numerous awards including “Best Steakhouse” by the Chicago Tribune’s Dining Poll, Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Award of Excellence” every year since 1989, and has been ranked continuously in the top 100 highest grossing restaurants in America. The friendly, energetic atmosphere embodies the amiable personality of the restaurant’s namesake. The combination of mahogany paneling, white tablecloths and a veritable museum of baseball history creates a warm and casual elegance. Located in the heart of Chicago’s River North, Harry Caray’s Chicago, designated the “Official Home Plate of the Chicago Cubs,” is within walking distance of numerous major hotels and office buildings. We also dig the fact that it has a sandwich cart rolling around the classy joint all day long. Somehow, we imagine it was Harry’s idea for that.

Philadelphia- Geno’s Steaks, >2.95 miles from Citizens Bank Park

If you attend a Phillies game, and don’t eat one of these piles of meat and cheese, you aren’t American. You have to have a Cheesesteak, and you need Geno’s. The walls (outdoor) are littered with famous endorsements from hometown hero athletes like Joe Morgan, and Mike Schmidt–which you’ll enjoy looking at while you’re waiting sometimes up to an hour and half standing. You walk up there and tell the guy you want tomatoes, or some other condiment. You’ll be sent to the back of the line empty handed. All they wanna know is ‘wit or wit out onions’.

New York- Yankee Tavern, 1 block from Yankee Stadium

Located just one block from Yankee Stadium, folks love the pastrami sandwiches and other pub food available at the Yankee Tavern. Nearly everything on the menu is less than $10. If you don’t wanna pay New York sky-high prices inside the House that Ruth built, stop by here first and dine on some good food and enjoy good spirits. It’ll get you in the mood for the game, and you better not forget to mention ‘The Mick’ sent you.

Boston- Turner’s Fisheries, 1.5 miles from Fenway Park

The best chowder in Boston. This stuff would make Peter Gammons cream in his pants. Turner Fisheries has reopened after a 3 million dollar renovation. Award winning Turner Fisheries, located in historic Back Bay features traditional and creative Cuisine. “One of Boston’s top rated American-style seafood restaurants” (USA Today) Chef Christoph Leu presents innovative menus that will make your dining experience a culinary event to remember. Don’t miss Turner’s Clam Chowder, awarded Best of Boston by Boston Magazine. If it’s clams or oyster flights that you are craving, visit the acclaimed Turner Fisheries. Call or e-mail for more information or to request program schedule.

Cleveland- Panini’s Gateway Bar and Grill, Less than 1 mile from Jacobs Field

Listen, you won’t confuse this place with a 5-star restaurant. If you’ve been to Cleveland, you probably understand why. This place fits the blue collar mold perfectly of the city, and is a stone’s throw (literally) from the front gates of the Jake. We reccomend the Overstuffed-Oversized fat ass deluxe sandwich.

“Panini’s is a great after work or before a ballgame gathering place with
great drink prices and specials. They also serve a variety of sandwiches,
pizza and wings until the late hours of the night.”

Read that last line of the snippet. That sends off off radar for ‘get real drunk here’. That alone makes us like the place.

Make sure we didn’t miss anything. List your own favorite hotspots in the comments section, so we can try it out when we venture there in other big league cities.

Throwing it, Around.

On this the last day of March, we will throw it around to see all things baseball before the season opens up on sunday night:

  • The Texas Rangers send Eric Gagne to the DL, which makes me glad I sent Akinori Otsuka to the waiver wire to start the season, fuck.
  • Our boy, CC Sabathia says he’s ready to go for opening day after getting hit on the arm by a batted ball.
  • The Tribe Source informs us that the Tribe has added added veteran whacky thrower Mike Koplove to possibly bolster the bullpen.
  • Here’s a good survey we’d have loved to been part of, with some more some more web expert predictions.
  • Although they snub us constantly, and don’t really know dick about baseball, Deadspin.com previews the AL East, AL Central, and AL West in one, fail swoop. No really their predictions should fail, they don’t know much about baseball.
  • Redleg Nation gives their predictions on how they’ll finish, and showed little homerism to the Redlegs.
  • Baseball Church predicts 87 wins for the Reds. Bah.
  • Lastly, “The Throw”, by Josh Hamilton.

Omega Weekend

I sit on this friday morning, with a giant skoal straight in my mouth, on the cusp of one of the best sports weekends known to man, or at least me. You see, yesterday I made my quota, I have to pat myself on the back for that one. Great feeling. Equivalent to hitting a homerun–in the adult world. Due to this fact, I’ll be heading to the Cleveland Indians home opener a week from today, the day granted off work to me by my boss. But before that, we all know my plans for the weekend. Tomorrow afternoon, I’m going south to a place they call the ‘Natti. The ‘Natti been very very good to me. Monday morning, I’m off all scott-free to get up, live like a lush, and watch some baseball. But even before that, there’s a great fucking weekend on the docket:

Friday (tonight): Head to the Kickstand Pub perhaps, if I can get any of the usual suspects to attend with me. Celebrate making the quota, shoot some pool, but by all means don’t drink too much, you’ve got a big couple days ahead of you, Mr.

Saturday: Saturday is already the greatest day known to man. Sandwiched in between friday and sunday, it is the ultimate point of laziness. I’ll wake up, shake off the effects of friday night’s festivities and pack myself some weekend vittles to keep warm. Most of all, my thoughts will be on the Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team and their game against Georgetown. It’s payback time bitches. Baseball season starts sunday night, but for saturday, it’s all about getting revenge. First on Georgetown, then on those pricks from Florida (Joaquim Noah, and Billy Donovan). We’ll set sail our ship towards Cincinnati. We’ll find a watering hole to watch the game, then we’re planning on celebrating the victory at nearby Hofbrauhaus in Newport, Kentucky. Last time me and Justin went there, we forgot our names, which isn’t that abnormal for me, but Justin doesn’t do stuff like that. We’ll somehow find our way home to the palace at Legendary Run known as Uncle Frank. I like Hofbrauhaus (pictured above). The beer flows like water, no shit, and the women are big and hairy and named Olga or Gretta. Most of all I have to return home with one of those giant beersteins, cause last time my friend Chaz fucking broke mine being a dipshit.

Sunday: Well this sunday will serve as a massive one day detox/recovery day. I’ll give my liver a breather and plan on being fully hydrated again by around supper time. I might even limp my way into the back yard at Uncle Franks to play some catch with my cousin, Joe. Maybe some golf, maybe not. Sunday night, the great sports weekend continues. It’s Wrestlemania, and we’re getting it, the late version. For those of you who say it’s not a sport, well, suck my white ass! It is a sport, ok. It is real. Not only that but it’s the Superbowl of Wrestling. It’s better than watching MTV anyhow. The experts here at Diamond Hoggers will give their picks. Oh yeah, it’s opening night, as the Mets try to extract some revenge on the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Monday: All that is great in sports. Opening day. Sweet Jesus, I will be like a kid on Christmas morning. I’ll wake up early, brush my teeth, and head downtown to Cincinnati to celebrate another season of Reds baseball, and just baseball in general. Find a local dive-bar with others celebrating and pretending they’re back in their youth, head to the downtown parade, and off we go to see the first pitch at 2:00. Hopefully by then we’re yelling and up to our shenanigans. After a Reds win, we’ll head for Columbus, and watch the Buckeyes play for the National Championship.

No doubt, this weekend I will reach what what Bill Walton describes as Omega Point.

This will be the greatest weekend in Sports. Leave yours in the comments whether you’ve had it or your dream weekend!

My Grandfather Figure


I can’t figure out exactly what it is that makes me such a big fan of Lou Piniella, but I have a pretty good guess. He is baseball’s closest version of Bobby Knight. He has a fiery temper, and a very short whick. He is dynamite ready to explode at any moment, and he’ll take the whole ship down with him to sink. Do I respect that in a man, absolutely. There isn’t a team in the Major Leagues that wouldn’t be interested in acquiring the services of Louis Piniella, and it is because he is a fiery leader and when a battle in the trenches ensues, he’s ass kicking to the top of that melee. Now that my two grandpa’s are dearly departed (God keep them well, always), ‘Sweet Lou’ is the closest thing I’ve got to a grandpappy. For that, I don’t just like the guy, I fucking love him.

Can’t you see he’s got all the grandfatherly characteristics? Hot weather stirs up his temper. The sweat on his brow and forehead become one, quickly ruining a nice perm on that frosted grey hair. I garuntee he’s got that grandpa-like smell to him, fucking garuntee it. You know the musk, old man smell, not bad but just, well old smelling. He’ll sit at the table on a saturday summer morning, making waffles for me and my cousins, while grandma makes his breakfast drink, high in fiber so he can stay regular. No waffles for you, Grampa! It’ll have your dumper backed up for weeks if you do!

He can be the most pleasant old man on earth at one minute, and the next he’s swearing to God that he hates us all, because we’re ‘eating him out of house and home’. I’m sorry Gramps, please don’t be mad! I promise that I’ll fnish that RC-Cola, I promise, every last drop. I know you don’t buy Pepsi or Coke, it’s too expensive. Should you find one that isn’t finished, I promise it wasn’t mine. It was cousin Joey’s or Maria’s. Please don’t yell.
Please don’t get angry and shout Gramps, it’s not ‘becoming’. Life is too short and I worry about you when you get so tightly wound that you can’t catch your breath. I want you at your very best, you see. When you’re at your best gramps, I am too. I remember when you led my Reds to a World Series Title in 1990, I was the happiest little Grand-sonny in the world. I blushed when you went to home plate as a young grandfather and kicked dirt on that scummy, crooked umpire that called that homerun a foul ball. I saw it on TV gramps, and I know it was fair.

That time when you returned to Cincinnati a few seasons ago, you didn’t recognize me. Your own grandson. You gave me a happy, boyish quick-wave, and it made me happy. It was early in the game and your team was winning. You were happy as a man who had just coiffed. I was generally glowing as well, gramps. Later in the game I kept pestering you, like I pestered my other real grandfather, Rocco. I kept calling out like a bird “Sweet Lou! Sweet Lou!” and you stared me down and told me “Shaddup!”. This made me generally happy inside as well, taking me back to the days of my youth when I was very ornry.

There’s a lot to be happy about now, Gramps Piniella. Your grandchildren are all grown. I’ve turned into a man, and mom’s doing just fine. I know you don’t like pets, so we got rid of our dog. No more complaining about dog hairs being on the furniture from you. You’re managing the Cubbies now, and although I’m sure you’ll find plenty to get angry about (you always do gramps), they’ll have a pretty good team. You can fart in the dugout till your little heart is content, they won’t mind. Maybe you can even use that new Remington electric shaver I sent you for Christmas, you don’t have to though, you always looked more like a good grampa and a happy grampa with those whiskers and shadow in full tow.

Next time I’m over, I’ll drink all the milk in my cereal bowl in the morning, I promise. Even if all the frosted flakes are gone, I’ll take care of things on my end. I’ll tidy up when I’m done. I’ll stay out of your office, too. You never really used that office, you just said to stay out of it. Why was that? When you tell a kid to stay out of somewhere, you know gramps it just raises the curiosity and makes them wanna get into it more. Even if now I go into your office, I promise I won’t get into any of your shit, as long as it is safely tucked away inside those drawers. I’m really not here to make you mad, gramps. I’m here to give you enjoyment, and tell you I love you. So why when I tell you those words do you always say “I know you do.” You know, grumpy, you could say it back.

Things are really looking on the up and up for me and you. I’m gonna keep my hands off your car in the garage, and you can take me to the old’ park sometime with you. I don’t like the Cubs but I’ll be happy to just spend a day with my gramps. If you start to yell, I’ll dissapear. You won’t even know I’m there. If you wanna take out your frustrations for me getting into your tools or dragging trash home into your yard from around the neighborhood that’s fine too, afterall I knew it was stupid, I don’t really know why I did it to be honest. I won’t dig in your garden and I sure as hell won’t forget to bring in your mail. I know you hated most of all when I’d flick or play with your ears, so I promise, I won’t touch you. I know that old men don’t like to be touched and it can make them become excitable, and I’m not here to do that.

I love you Gramps, take care, and I’ll be watching and rooting until the next time we meet. Don’t be kicking your hat in anger this year. You’re getting too old for that.

Smurf Freel plays hard, and plays hard

News: Ryan Freel had X-rays Wednesday on his left rib that came back negative. He’s day-to-day.

Impact: Freel is also feeling soreness in his right shoulder after running into the center-field wall in Tuesday’s game. He said he could have played today if needed, but that’s also what he said the day after he injured his hamstring earlier this month. He ended up missing nine days.

Me and Bobby V.

Ok, so I was holding this one back for a rainy day, but in the spirit of the week before Opening Day, we hold nothing back from our fans and readers. It’s a great time of the year, and that calls for great measures. We already talked about the time we hung with Reds skipper Jerry Narron and his Grey Goose double downs. Today, I talk about the glorious time I met former Rangers and Mets manager turned Soap Opera/TV Star Bobby Valentine.

The year was 2005. Several times, editor George had mentioned to me a place known as Bobby V’s restaurant, a place where one could enjoy fine food, drink, and spirits. Why did I think it was so cool? Well for one there aren’t too many restaurants/watering holes in Columbus owned by former big league managers turned schmuck Baseball Tonight television personalities. George promised since our freshman year when I met him (which was the same year that Bobby V’s opened, he would take me there one day). The fact that I wanted to go came up more than often and the fact that one night he brought up that he was taking his girl ‘a nice Italian girl to a nice dinner at Bobby V’s’ made me jealous with envy, he finished off the comment with ‘have fun at home alone jerkin off all night’, only made me want to visit Bobby V’s even more.

That fateful night would finally arrive on December 31st, 2005. New Years Eve. George was meeting my girlfriend and now fiance Steph for the first time. It’s tradition that I go out east for New Years and George and I were taking our girls to a nice dinner in Stamford where George lived and then out to a bar to ring in the New Year. Low and behold, the place where we planned to celebrate was not far from Bobby V’s. Of course George being the great guy he is had alreay planned for time to poke our heads in the joint. I was so excited I couldn’t even speak. I don’t know why, it’s not like I was ever a Bobby Valentine or Mets fan, but I wanted to say I’d been there and check out all the baseball memoribilia.

We walked in around dinner time with our girls and low and behold look in the corner at who is eating dinner and conversing with an acquaintance (we’re all just acquaintances to Bobby V, trust me). I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think. There he was, a legend in his own right, and somewhat to me. Afterall, it wasn’t that long ago that I had seen this guy calling the shots for the New York Mets in the Subway Series, and just nights before I had seen him on my favorite show Baseball Tonight, tooting his own horn of course. Now, there he was enjoying surf and turf on New Years Eve, without his wife of course. Not even a mention of Mrs. Bobby V.

I hurriedly said to Steph (who didn’t understand the big deal), to get her camera out. We had to get a picture of him or something. We had to document this shit. Imagine if you were at the zoo and the zookeeper told you that the last Manatee on earth was on display that afternoon. It was up to be to get a picture of that fucking Manatee, and I wasn’t going to be happy just saying I saw it. No, I wanted proof that I had been in Bobby V’s joint and seen the man himself.

It’s funny, I hadn’t begun drinking yet but I really don’t remember how it got started. I inched closer to Bobby V, and his table where he was telling a story of his greatness to some man that wasn’t blessed with the fame that he was. I figure this is pretty common, as he’s always got someone that will listen to his stories 100% about him and laugh at his jokes. He strikes me as a guy who can work a room–and he gets whatever he wants, especially in his restaurant.

Pretty soon I was right next to him and his table, and he became alarmed because I was invading his personal space. He finished his story quickly that left his acquaintance laughing and looked up at me.

“Bobby V, what’s going on?”

“Hey son, how are you?”

Wow, there it was. Bobby V., in his own joint, acknowledging me. I could tell right away he was in a good mood, otherwise he would have ignored me because he can and told me to see the brush.

“Well we’re just enjoying your place, getting ready for New Years–”

He cut me off right there. He knew what I wanted or at least he thought I did. Bobby decided he wanted to grant me a cheap thrill, and although I bet he makes a habit of cutting people off mid-sentence, it was clear he wasn’t interested in hearing about my plans for the night.

“Well sit down here, right by Bobby V.”

I don’t know if he said it in 3rd person but it would seem that he did. I took a seat right there, and to avoid any awkwardness, I acted quickly.

“Bobby V. this is my fiance, Steph. She wants a picture of me and you,” to avoid sounding like a homo and admitting the picture was just for me, I pinned the deal on my dear fiance.

I don’t know exactly what word it was that set his alarm off. All I know when I mentioned the noun ‘she’, his head began to whip about the place and heat-seek for women. The place was not full and I think the only women in there were Steph and the belated Jenna (George’s former wife). Bobby V spotted my girl and I think he figured since she was in his place, and ‘wanted a picture of him’, he was entitled to her. Like I said, he gets whatever he wants, and he couldn’t help himself. Remember, he was once a Major Leaguer, and those guys are whore mongers that believe that all women want them (most do), and if you’ve got a beaver, well you meet the description of what they are looking for. I don’t blame him for what happened next.

“Well where is she, is that her?,” looking in the direction of Steph

“Yeah Bobby, that’s my girl,”

“Well, aren’t you a pretty girl. Wow. So where are you from?”

“Well Bobby we’re from Columbus, we’re just out here to see our friend who lives in Stam-”

“So are you in college Steph? What are you getting into tonight?”

 

He continued on with talking to her and she didn’t realize what was happening but I sure did. It soon became aparent to me that I was sitting next to slime. My hopes and dreams had become shattered at an instant.
Bobby V didn’t wanna hear about my night, he wanted to hear about Steph’s night. He didn’t care where I was from, but he sure wanted to know where Steph was from. I couldn’t believe it, my hero (well obviously not) was hitting on the love of my life. Granted she is a very pretty girl, but still–I figured a guy who dresses and talks like Bobby V. wreaks of class. I was somewhat dissapointed in my discovery.

Alright, Bobby V., I understand you’re better looking, have more money, and have more stories then I do. That’s fine, I have no problem concealing these things to a guy of your stature, I’d never even try to compete with you, in anything. I bet you could even beat me in Tiger Woods golf on PS2, without even playing before. But when it comes to my girl, that’s one area that you can’t even touch me on. She loves me man, alright?

“Well, we’re just going to a local place around here and getting some beers, you know watching the ball drop,” Steph said.

“Well you’ve come to the right place. They’ll take good care of you here babe, and whatever guys you’re with. Tell em’ Bobby V. sent you. They’ll take care of you, its my honor to have you here,”

He was doing it. He was running through the same salesman-like routine that he had done 4,000 times during his time as a big leaguer, and it was working. Women can’t help being anything but powerless putty in the hands of a ‘legend’ like Bobby V. He was charming, and like I said, he had jokes you know.

“Well smile for the picture guys,” she said. I told you she loved me Bobby V. You see that? She’s not interested in you. Ha, I had won. I beat Bobby V at his own game.

“Oh of course, I was just getting to that. The picture. Is this your guy you’re with tonight?” forgetting totally that I’d even told him we were all but married, and yes, she was with me, dick.

She snapped off the picture and Bobby being the charming slimeball he had now revealed himself as threw his arm around me and threw on his best Baseball Tonight made for television movie smile. I tried my hardest not to cry and I threw on a smile too. Afterall, Bobby V. was hanging out with me. I pretended I was happy, and so did he.

 

After the picture, I tried my hardest to restore some normalcy to me and Bobby’s short-term relationship. Immediately his eyes were fixated back on the girls, Jenna and Steph, and he was just staring at this point. I wish I could have hear what his mind was thinking. Well not really.

“So Bobby, tell us some stories of your glory days, man.” I just was in it for a good story now.

“Well the stories are on the wall Chuck (not my name Bobby), just look around the place. You can walk around in here, in my place and show the girls all the pictures. There’s a lot of neat stuff in here. It will tell the story for me,” as he poured the rest of his brew into a glass with ice. It was no surprise to me that he didn’t drink beer from the can. Slime doesn’t drink from a can. Royalty doesn’t drink from a can.

It was at that moment that he thought he’d give me another cheap thrill, basically to just impress the girls and make a mockery out of me, although he was slick and sly enough to seem like a really nice guy while doing it. I knew exactly what he was doing, so did George.

“You see this here son (talking down to me nicely), this is a collectors item.” as he slid his empty towards me across the fine oak table that we sat.

“This is a Bobby V (third person dialogue) limited edition beer. There’s my face right there on the side,” as if I wasn’t already beaten and demoralized, this guy was now bringing up the fact that he’s got a beer named after him, his own bar, and he was now using me as a trash man for his empty waste containers. Glad I could be of service to you.

“Oh yeah well here’s my face on a $25 dollar bill, and you can keep it, Jagoff,” I thought inside my head. Beat that one as I grinned at my thoughts.

“So you girls have a great time tonight,” he said realizing there was probably a low percentage of bagging one in his Mercedes outside in the lot, and completely ignoring the fact still that they were our dates for the night.

“Hey Bobby, you and Mrs. Bobby V got any big plans for the night?” I said.

Clearly at this point we were at different ends of the battlefield. Bobby V smelled the enemy. His wife was nothing more than a giant albatross he had to report home to at this point in life. He kept her around to clearly protect his image and didn’t want any mention of her when females were in the room. It wouldn’t have surprised me if he said she was dead.

“Who?” he said with a quick chuckle.

“Your wife. You and her got any big plans for the night?” I said it again, and wasn’t backing down. Good enough medicine for him, and his limited edition can.

“Oh, nah, but that’s a great idea, I better get home before she calls up here looking for me wondering where I’m at. You kids have a great night.”

He had backed off. In some small way, I’d won. Not only did I have a picture of Bobby V, but a story to go with it. New Years Eve came and went, and I decided that night that I’d never step foot in Bobby V’s lair again. I never wondered how he ended up that news years night, all I knew is that I had my girl, my Bobby V limited edition can (hey shithead, I don’t know where it’s at), and at nights end I was so drunk I was voluntarily giving piggy back rides to our group all the way back to George’s apartment. All Bobby had was a managerial job with the Chiba-Lottes Marines overseas and pictures of his past days of glory. I still had my glory days ahead of me. As we looked at his pictures on the wall, detailing his years of success, I knew I had won a small victory, and I would drink to that on this night.

Expert Picks: Uncle Frank

In the week leading up to up to the season, Diamond Hoggers will provide some forecasting of ‘How They’ll Finish’ in Major League Baseball. Today we provide you with the Editor’s Uncle’s picks. Why? Because he’s basically a professional gambler/prognosticator. As much as we wish he was wrong sometimes, it doesn’t happen often (we’ve lost many bets to this guy). So without further ado, here’s Uncle Frank’s picks for the 2007 Season:

AL EAST:

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays *Wild Card

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

AL CENTRAL:

Cleveland Indians

Detroit Tigers

Minnesota Twins

Chicago White Sox

Kansas City Royals

AL WEST:

Anaheim Angels

Texas Rangers

Oakland Athletics

Seattle Mariners

In his words: I feel like the Red Sox are really going to regret letting Trot Nixon go. In the same breath, I feel like the Indians are going to really look smart for picking him up. Speaking of the Indians they are going to murder right handed pitching. David Delucci was a huge pickup for them. The biggest dissapointment in this league is going to be the Chicago White Sox. They gave away way too much starting pitching, and Bobby Jenks is going to kill them by continually blowing games that will result in demoralizing losses. If they get off to a slow start, Ozzie Guillen could easily be on the hot seat when he once looked to be untouchable. The Red Sox will surprisingly be on the outside looking in of the playoffs in the American League. The reason for this is there is no guaruntee that Beckett comes back strong for them, and there is no guaruntee that Schilling will be what they need him to be. Having to move Papelbon to the closer role again hurts because he would have been a good starter for them.

NL EAST:

Atlanta Braves

Philadelphia Phillies *Wild Card

New York Mets

Florida Marlins

Washington Nationals

NL CENTRAL:

Houston Astros

St. Louis Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates

NL WEST:

Arizona Diamondbacks

Los Angeles Dodgers

San Francisco Giants

San Diego Padres

In his words: The NL West is the worst division in baseball. Tough to pick a winner out of that group of stiffs. I’ll go with the D’backs because they’re the least worst of a bad bunch. The Padres will regret letting Bruce Bochy go, he was a good manager and now that he’s in the same division (San Francisco) he’ll really have his team motivated to beat up on San Diego. Carlos Lee will be huge for the Astros, and they’ll win the Central. The Reds will not be dead last in the Central but they have Larry, Curly, and Mo as their 3, 4, and 5 starters. If Kyle Lohse was any good, why would Minnesota have let him go for peanuts? The Braves rebound and win the NL East, the Phillies not far behind, and the Mets will fall out early on because they have no pitching at all.

AL MVP: Travis Hafner, Cleveland
NL MVP: Andruw Jones, Atlanta
AL CY YOUNG: Johann Santana, Minnesota
NL CY YOUNG: Chris Young, San Diego
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Sammy Sosa, Texas (just edges out Jon Lester, Boston)
NL Comeback Player of the Year: ?
AL Manager of the Year: Eric Wedge, Cleveland
NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox, Atlanta
Team that will most resemble the 2006 Detroit Tigers: Cleveland Indians
AL Manager first fired/hot-seat: Buddy Bell, Ozzie Guillen
NL Manager first fired/hot-seat: Charlie Manuel

AL Playoffs:
ALDS
Indians over Blue Jays
Yankees over Angels

ALCS
Indians over Yankees

NLDS
Braves over Diamondbacks
Astros over Phillies

NLCS
Braves over Astros

World Series
Cleveland Indians over Atlanta Braves in 6 games
“Getting revenge for the 1995 World Series”

Kenny Griff, I commend you

This spring, the biggest surprise for me was the living legend Ken Griffey Jr. swallowing his pride and not making an issue of something that has been for the past few years. Reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer and long speculated, Ken Griffey Jr. confirmed that he will play Right Field in 2007, moving over from center to allow the speedy and dynamic Ryan Freel to take over the main slot in the Cincinnati Reds outfield.

Now I have to say, for all the crap the Ken Griffey Jr. gets for the injuries and everything else, he is truly a team player. This was a move that was best for the ball club and will actually go a ways in lengthening Jr.’s career longevity. His body has taken too much of a beating to continue playing center field every night, and he should honestly still compete as one of the better right fielders in the league. Jr. is a smart ballplayer, and he knows that the move to right field was inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy and clear cut move.

When I was growing up, I watched Jr. play center field in the kingdome. He was my favorite player for the longest period of time. I have seen many great athletes and great outfielders in my time watching this game. I can say without a studder or without question that I have never seen an athlete or a baseball player for that matter play in the outfield like Ken Griffey Jr. did in center in his prime for the Mariners. I am telling you for those that don’t remember or didn’t have the luxury of seeing him play often in those years, he was Micheal Jordan in baseball cleats. Above he is pictured ironically making a catch that would start his rash of injuries. That was the catch he actually made where you could hear him fracturing his left hamate bone in his hand, but he made the catch.

All the great ones were center fielders by trade: Mays, Duke Snider, Dimaggio, Mantle, etc. In fact, it is well documented that when Mickey Mantle came up with the Yankees, he wasn’t allowed to play center field because Dimaggio wouldn’t give up the reigns to center field for him. There has long been ties to the position that carry the unwritten rule of ‘the best outfielder on the team’. By Griffey moving to right for Freel, he’s conceding that he knows he is no longer the most effective outfielder on the team, and while he’s still a very good outfielder, Freel is the better choice to play center.

I have admired Ken Griffey Jr. a lot over the years. He’s not the villan that many make him out to be. He is a puzzling and often misunderstood figure. From defferring large amounts of his salary for the Reds to have more spending money to throwing my fiance a baseball to be nice and talking to us while we were at games, Ken Griffey Jr. is a class act, and whether he wins a championship or not, or gets to 700 Homeruns, this is a move that I will not soon forget by ‘the Kid’.

Matsuzaka and the Eastern Trend

Matsuzaka, if that is not a mouth full I don’t know what is. The media so far is making him out to seem like he is going to stomp all over the American League like Godzilla. I got news for you, that will not be the case. Lets take a look back at a few players from the Far East. Ichiro came over to the MLB and the media created a circus out of him with hundreds of photographers following him everywhere. Sure he has been a great player proving he can hang with the best, but he is no where near what the media made him out to be. Another player would be Matsui of the Yankees. He was the original Godzilla predicted to him around 40 to 50 homers and be the biggest bat in the Majors. Again he is a great player but he is an above average outfielder, who can’t put up the same numbers like he did out East.

I love hearing about everything single pitch Matsuzaka threw in spring training. On MLB.com the headlines read Matsuzaka pitches 5 shut-out innings versus the Reds. Umm…sorry but that is not impressing me much, I mean we all know Adam Dunn is going to chase his shit in the dirt, plus its spring training for god sake. But even beyond that he threw over a hundred pitches, with a weak Red Sox bullpen that is not going to do it. I feel like this whole media circus occurs because of money and lack of other things to report about. We all know that the Red Sox paid millions of dollors for Matsuzaka, but honestly he will end up being an above average pitcher. Being a Yankee fan I could not have been more happy that the Red Sox got him because he is over paid and its about time other teams start over paying for players. The second half of the season will be a rude awakening for Matsuzaka and the American League catches up to his shit real quit.

Sports Illustrated Predicts

I was reading over CNNSI.com this morning and they have provided us with their Sports Illustrated’s Season Predictions. SI predicts an all California World Series, with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beating the Los Angeles Dodgers ( Eazy E would be proud).


Notably, the publication predicts the Cleveland Indians to win the AL Central and the Yankees to win the AL East. SI predicts the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox as the Wild Card teams for each league. Not much surprise there, as they’ve practically done this for the past 10 years it seems.


They rate the Washington Nationals as the #30 ranked team in all of baseball, just behind the Royals (#29) and the Devil Rays (#28). Surprising to me, they pick the beloved Reds to finish dead last in the NL Central, which I can tell you will NOT happen. It’s amazing that a cube monkey like me can out-predict ‘paid experts’ but I am telling you, these guys are just crazy with some of their stuff.


Overall, Sports Illustrated just doesn’t go out on a limb too much. They don’t really pick any team to come out of nowhere to really make a change from last season, say a team that emerges as a Detroit Tigers 2006 squad did. If you had to make the case for anyone, it would have to be the Indians, whom they have getting knocked off by the mighty Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

Time will tell, as in the week leading up to the season we will have many different publications predicting How They’ll Finish.

One week from today

One week from today, all that is good in the sports world is upon us. Opening day in Cincinnati. For one day, everyone is in first place. It’s the one day of the year that can be considered a true informal national holiday. Many kids I am sure are allotted the day off from school (afterall it’s always a monday, so it’s just a long weekend mom and dad), to head to the ballpark and cheer on their team.

Above is a picture from my seats that I took with my Motorola Razor Phone. This was the festivities that preluded President Bush throwing out the first pitch in Cincinnati. It was an honor to have our President on hand for that moment. Although the Reds got their ass spanked by the Cubbies, it was a special day and one week from right now (I can’t live that long, can I?), we’ll be into baseball season.

Read more: A baseball fan recaps his ’06 Opening Day in Cincinnati.