Friday, January 31, 2014

Kevin Slowey and Rule Changes

59 days until Opening Day.  The Twin who wore 59 that sticks out most in my mind is Kevin Slowey.  He was a really smart dude and allegedly that got him in some hot water in the with the Twins brass and that (along with eventual ineffectiveness) got him run out of Minnesota because apparently Gardy wants 25 braindead idiots who know nothing but baseball.  Side note—make sure you really dumb yourself down Mal if you ever plan on stepping foot on the Target Field mound again.  Slowey was a fixture in the rotation in the later years of the Central Division Title runs because he was pretty decent and pretty cheap, which are the two traits everyone wants in a player.  Also, remember when everyone got all riled up when Gardy yanked him from a no-hitter thru 7 when he coming back from injury and had thrown like 129 pitches?  That was fun.  The other thing I loved about Slowey was his name.  I think Kevin Slowey is a hilarious name for a big league pitcher, and an apt one for a Twins pitcher.  Also I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention Brad Swanson's Twins blog named for Slowey "Kevin Slowey Was Framed!"  It's really good and you can find it here:

I was listening to KFC Radio today and one of the topics they talked about was what rules would they change in any sport if they had the chance.  They went over the 4 major sports and made some pretty interesting suggestions; you should give it a listen if you think you’d be interested because I think it was pretty well done.  Anyways, it got me thinking about some of the other suggestions I’ve heard elsewhere and some of my own.

Football—I would make it illegal to roster a guy who only is on the field to kick or punt.  The guy who kicks or punts must have played at least 50% of his team’s offensive or defensive plays up to that point.  Obviously this would change the game in a big way—in how the game is taught, in how it’s recruited/drafted, and how it’s coached.  Kids would have to learn how to kick or punt as well as get good enough at linebacker or wideout or whatever to make it to college or the NFL.  The guys who could actually kick or punt well would be so much more valuable too because it’s not like you can just stick a guy out there a few plays and hide him so he can kick—if he’s playing at least half the plays, he can’t just suck in the other aspects of the game or that would really hurt the team too.  If I ran a high school or college team, I think the go-to would be to just teach your QB how to kick and punt to a certain degree, but still the game would change so much.  More 4th down attempts, probably a lot more 2 point conversion attempts, and just a lot more intrigue.  And just think about the team’s go-to “kicker” getting carted off and they don’t have another reliable one to go to.  I can just see this happening to the Vikings in an NFC Title Game.  

Hockey—No more shootouts.  Fuck shootouts.  Instead, I would invoke an idea I heard on the Sportive Podcast (which is hilarious and local—you all should listen to it): hockey innings for overtime.  Each team gets 2 minutes of 5-on-3 to score as many times as they possibly can before the buzzer sounds, then the other team gets to try and answer.  If they tie, it goes to 4-on-2.  If they’re still tied, 3-on-1.  And if they’re STILL tied, they would go to innings of 2-on-0, which would be the most exciting thing in sports I’m convinced of it.  Can you imagine 2 minutes of free-for-all with Sid Crosby and Geno Malkin fucking toasting some goalie to the tune of like 25 goals in 2 minutes and then the other team having to try and top it.  It would be so rare, but so INCREDIBLY entertaining.  Honestly, just make this part of the NHL Skills Saturday Night during the All Star break.  Bettman makes OT hockey innings a thing and his whole tenure is viewed in a new light.  If this happend to Patrick Roy back in the day, there's no telling how many twigs he would snap over the crossbar.  

Golf—I know in golf they NEVER react well to any type of innovation.  For instance, they banned putting croquet-style way back in the day because they thought it looked funny and now they’re banning the belly putter.  But if I had the type of pull where I could start a golf tournament, I would make one up where the limit on number of clubs was really low.  Like 3 maybe.  I think this would be SUPER interesting to see what kind of clubs each guy stocks his bag with.  The ol’ Scotty Cameron is the most obvious one and driver is probably next, but what would be the third?  I think that depends on the type of player.  Guys who hit the ball a fucking mile would probably grab like an 8 Iron, but a guy like Chris DiMarco would probably have to grab like a 5 or 6 so that he could get to the green in a respectable amount of strokes.  In all honesty, I think I would be a better golfer if I did this just in general because two of the things I’m worst at are driving and club selection, so I would just tee the ball with like a 3 Iron (and actually maybe hit it straight here or there), then hit that again a little softer to get hopefully near the green and obviously have a wedge or short iron and a putter.  Actually I should round up a couple buddies and do this at the country club this summer.

Baseball—I wouldn’t change a goddman thing.  Baseball is the most perfect and beautiful thing in the world.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jon Rauch #60 Days Until Opening Day

It’s Jon Rauch number of days until Opening Day.  If you’ve ever seen Jon Rauch, he’s about the biggest walking contradiction in the history of baseball since Rafael Palmiero wagging his finger at Congress about steroids.  Rauch was (is, I don’t know why I said was, he’s still alive) 6 feet 11 inches tall and looked like convicted murderer.  He is basically the Undertaker’s doppelganger.  According to a couple local baseball writers that I rubbed elbows with last weekend at the Twins Daily event (I know this is kind of a dickhead you had to be there story, but I don’t want to name names because I don’t want to get them in trouble if somehow the wrong person read this), he was one of the biggest assholes either of them have ever covered.  So if I were to describe this type of player to you, a 6 foot 11, tattooed prick who looks like he belongs in WWE more so than MLB, you would probably guess that he was a reliever that threw absolute fucking gas.  That's how it would work in the movies.  He basically sounds like Ricky Vaughn on steroids.  Wrong.  According to my memory, he could only hump it up to like 90 (per FanGraphs, he averaged 90.9 MPH in 2010) and despite being inexplicably thrust into the closer role in 2010, he didn't have elite strikeout numbers by any means, especially for a reliever.  In fact, it was probably Rauch’s mediocrity on a Division Champion team that made fucking Billy Smith feel like he needs to deal the catcher of the future (Wilson Ramos) for goddamn Matt Capps (I liked calling him Matt Crapps, get it?).  It sure would have been nice to have Ramos around since Mauer has been moved out from behind the plate and it’s looking like Kurt Suzuki will be the starter.  Fuck Jon Rauch.  Hurry up Spring Training.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Things To Do Before Opening Day

MLB Opening Day is exactly Bronson Arroyo (61) days away.  That’s a little over two months from now, aka a long time.  That, coupled with the fact that it was in the -15 degree range when I walked to class this morning, I’m pretty much completely depressed.  Every time my roommate flicks on Golf Channel, I get this weird feeling where I’m half aroused by the beautiful green courses and I half want to go to the basement and throw back a few shots of bleach.  So yeah, it’s a pretty fucking dark time in Minnesota right now.  The good news is that once I started thinking of reasons not to go play tag on the Interstate, I actually thought of a lot of halfway decent distractions to get me through these 61 days until baseball starts and summer is well within my sights.  Here’s a list.

The Super Bowl—Super Bowl Sunday is in like 4 days.  It’s a great excuse to drink all day (Spring Semester at UST starts Monday aka the perfect day to be hung over in class), watch a ton of college basketball, murder some pizza and chicken wings (and the lock of locks, buffalo chicken dip which every chick in the country makes for Sunday), gamble on anything and everything, and generally do nothing but have fun and forget the fact that we are living in fucking Siberia with no end in sight for a day.  And I didn't even mention commercials.  I might sound like a chick here, but Super Bowl commercials are not-so-sneaky the best part of the whole day.  I consider myself an elite TV commercial mind, so Sunday is my day to shine making jokes and snide comments on Twitter.  O/U is 5.5 for number of followers I lose that day.

Winter Olympics—The whole month of February I’m gonna be absolutely consumed by the Olympics.  Not much better than watching some fucking downhill skiing or curling or luge at basically all hours of the night.  You gotta love some obscure sports every once in a while and basically all the Olympics do is make obscure sports relevant for a month every couple of years.  On top of that, there are tons of interesting pop culture things that happen during the Olympics.  Can’t fucking wait for all the Putin jokes about gay people not existing in Russia and some more goofy shit like the side by side shitters and just all the rest of the awesome Russia shit that’s going on.  So yeah the Olympics are pretty awesome, and I haven’t even mentioned the best hockey tournament in the world yet.
Fucking Russia

NBA All-Star Weekend—aka the “Black Super Bowl” where we get to see NBA players and entertainers awkwardly interact with each other for a whole weekend.  There’s not much more unintentionally funny than fucking like Michael Rappaport and Paul George having to do some interview together and being asked questions about each other.  Even though the All-Star Saturday Night is more played-out than Craig Sager wearing shitty suits, listening to Charles Barkley comment on the whole thing while almost undoubtedly ripping back some Cognac during commercial breaks is always fun.  Also, I have to mention one of my favorite random events of the year, the All-Star Celebrity Game, which pits unathletic 5’8’’ white actors against like goddamn Nick Cannon who’s (still famous?) actually pretty good and even a couple of washed up former players like Scottie Pippen or John Salley. 

Gopher Hockey—Newsflash, the Gophers have been ranked #1 in the country in the Pairwise and Coaches polls basically since the first Sioux UND cheap shot of the season back in October.  It’s too bad the WCHA is over and we won’t see the regular rivals unless we run into them in the NCAA Tournament, but this team is explosive on offense, stingy on defense, and overall just really good and fun to watch game in game out.  If any team in this market is poised to make a run at hanging a banner, it’s these guys.

State Hockey Tournament—Unlike the Gophers, who are hated by half the people who will read this post, the Tourney is something that everyone can agree on and it’s sneaking up on us.  March 6, when the puck drops on the AA tourney is only a little over 5 weeks away.  There’s not much better than going downtown in early March when 30 degrees and sunny feels like it’s knocking on the door of 50 and going to the bars and restaurants with fans from everywhere.  It’s just a great atmosphere and one of my favorite weekends of the year.

March Madness—The first day of March Madness, when a game tips every 20 minutes it seems from noon until 10 pm, is probably my favorite non-baseball sports day of the year.  There are always upsets and buzzer beaters and 4 games going on at a time, with games going down the stretch one after another for like 10 hours.  Bracket pools, a great gambling day, and the fact that at this point spring is generally starting up, it’s a pretty optimistic time of year. 

So yeah, things are looking pretty fucking bleak right now, but this is just around the corner.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Reason to Watch Gophers-Badgers Tonight

The Gophers take on the hated Badgers tonight at 8 on Big Ten Network.  These games are always entertaining, no matter how much Bo's bunch tries to slow it down and make the game as insufferable as possible.  Here's 5 reasons to watch tonight.

Elliott Eliason—EE is everything I have ever loved in a basketball player.  He’s a big dopey white guy who doesn’t have an ounce of muscle on his body.  I’m pretty sure Jay Bilas would piss his gym shorts if you asked him about Eliason’s explosivity or second-jumpability (side note: Bilas deserves a ton of credit for covering the draft with fucking made up words.  Serioulsy both of those words are underlined in red).  Eliason is basically only a competent Big Ten basketball player because he’s fucking tall and he tries hard and I absolutely love it.  My favorite moment of last year was when Eliason came off the bench and scored on a fadeaway jump-hook against then-#1 Indiana at the Barn, and then raced down the court throwing his hands in the air to tell the crowd to go fucking nuts (as if they didn’t already know).  How can you not love a guy who plays basketball like a 6’4’’ 8th grader playing against a bunch of kids who have barely hit puberty with an 8th grader’s enthusiasm?  EE is (as the bro-iest hockey player would say) a beauty.

Bo Ryan—People who know me know one of my favorite things to do is to hate.  I probably say hate more often than anyone I know.  And I HATE Bo Ryan.  The guy is just such a tremendous asshole out there.  He’s always scowling, prancing up and down the sidelines like Jim Harbaugh.  What makes it even worse is that goddamn announcers act like he’s Coach K or John Wooden too.  Last year when the Gopher lost to UW in Madison, the announcer (I don’t remember who it was) was telling a story about how players checking in have to hand a towel to the player they’re going in for so that player will know to come off the court, and he was fucking praising him like goddamn Albert Einstein that he found such an innovative way to make sure he has only 5 guys on the court at once.  Read that back a second time because it is absolutely preposterous.  On top of that, he has built his team traditionally on mediocre offense and lockdown defense, which translates to a fucking lot of Badger wins 48-43 over Purdue or Northwestern and a lot of zzzzzzzzz’s for fans.  God I hate him, I hope he falls off the raised court tonight.

Andre Hollins—Dre is having a great junior year so far and he usually comes to play in a big way in big games.  He’s averaging 16 a game so far this year on 41% shooting (which admittedly isn’t very good, but the offense really relies on him to score).  Last year against Memphis, he dropped 41.  In the first round upset of 6-seeded UCLA, he hit 5 3’s and dropped in 28 points.  In the NCAA Tourney against Florida, he scored 25 (including 6 3’s) in a loss.  I remember that game—as soon as he got into foul trouble, the Gophers were dead and Tubby was essentially fired walking off the court.  He was single-handedly keeping them afloat.  He’s hopefully going to be around for another year after this, and then I could see him working his way into an NBA rotation after a few years as a guy you bring in for instant scoring because he can shoot a little bit and he's great at getting to the bucket and drawing fouls.  Watch him tonight and as much as you can, because he is probably the best Gopher (along with Mbakwe) since Bobby Jackson and Voshon Leonard on the Clem Haskins Gopher teams that went to the Final Four were on the vacated Final Four teams. Bottom line, as Dre goes, so go the Gophers, and if the Gophers have any chance tonight, he needs to go.

Richard Pitino—He’s only been the coach for 21 games, but it’s already pretty apparent that he is going to be a pretty good coach for a long time.  Not to be a fatalist Minnesota fan, but in reality if it keeps going like this, he probably won’t be around for too much longer.  We are 5th in the Big Ten (which is higher than Tubby ever finished) currently, and we’re doing so with a pretty mediocre roster.  On one hand, we do have a few pretty good college players, albeit sometimes inconsistent, in the Hollins brothers, EE, Lil’ Dre, and Malik Smith.  But on the other hand, fucking Oto Oseniks is a starter, Joey King gets significant minutes off the bench, and the only backup big that is even semi-competent is Mo Walker who made buckets in back to back trips against Ohio State last week and I reacted by almost keeling over because I couldn’t fucking believe what I saw.  So yeah, it’s not exactly a great roster. The team makes mistakes for sure, but at least they can figure out how to get a shot up against a zone and they’re fun to watch instead of watching Tubby’s club last year doing 5 man hockey line changes and not knowing how to run a good inbound play.  On top of all that, he has one of my favorite intricacies of any coach I have ever watched as when he gets pissed off at officials, he starting ripping his clothes off.  It’s hilarious to see him chuck his sport coat into the row behind the bench.  It definitely softens the blow when EE gets called for his 4th to see Dick rip his tie off and spike it on the raised court.  I've gotten more enjoyment in talking about that than anything other than Musgrave’s tiny play card.

Malik Smith—Last but not least, Malik Smith is just fucking fun to watch.  He’s one of those college veteran guys who isn't going to the pros (at least not in a first world country) but knows what he’s doing and has a ton of confidence in himself.  He’s shooting 39% from the field overall, but he’s shooting 40% from deep, which is completely baffling considering that he is the ultimate irrational confidence guy and jacks up threes because there are no fours.  If you’re a bubble team like the Gophers are, you want one of these guys.  Malik goes down and hits a 30-footer from the wing two or three times in a row, and then just starts to say “fuck it” and throws up some fucking dandy heat-check shots.  I saw him hit the side of the back board from about 3 inches in from the sideline above the break, and I wasn't even pissed because of how many of those ridiculous shots he has hit so far.  He might shoot you out of one every once in a while, but he’ll sure as fuck shoot you into one at least once or twice this year, like he did against Syracuse over Thanksgiving break. Hopefully he shoots us into one tonight.

The pick: Wisconsin (-1.5) over Minnesota.  Hope I’m wrong.  Better dead than red.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2002 MLB All Star Intros

Recently I’ve been on a kick of watching old baseball games in their entirety on YouTube.  There’s this account I’m subscribed to that’s called MLBClassics that has like 1000 of them, mostly old World Series, Playoff, and All-Star Games.  I really enjoy watching the old playoff games just because of the intensity level.  The other thing I just love doing is watching old All-Star introductions and pregame shows.  Let’s be honest, the All-Star Game usually is about as interesting as your uncle’s fishing story and all the best players are generally in the dugout comparing and contrasting their favorite steroid cycles flavors of Grizzly by the 6th inning.  However, the pregame shows and introductions, especially of games like 10 or more years ago, are jam packed with unintentionally comedy and quotes just begging to be taken out of context.  The best part is by FAR the bench player intros because there are always a handful of guys who either were A. players who are hilariously historically insignificant, or B. hilariously awkward in front of the whole country.  Without further ado, the 2002 MLB All-Star Game Introductions and Starting Lineups:

Ok, so to start off the broadcast there was a tribute to the late great Ted Williams who had passed away like a week and a half earlier.  This is perfectly fine, until the second player they show to talk about Ted Williams is Sammy Sosa in a Home Run Derby uniform that has elastic on the sleeves like a football jersey in order to show off his guns.  This whole intro just reeks of the steroid era, and the tone is set immediately.  He’s not even attempting to hide his steroid use.  He won the HR Derby that year and hit a ball like off the retractable roof of Miller Park or something crazy like that.  And the funniest part is looking back, no one gave a shit or even suspected at the time.  “Hey Sammy’s looking good this year guys, I heard he got a Bowflex in his basement over the offseason.”

Nomar talking about Teddy Ballgame’s first pitch at the 1999 All-Star Game: “That was a great moment.  It was a really pure moment.”  Note that this was the same All-Star Game that Mark McGwire hit a ball like 584 feet out to left in the HR Derby off a 65 MPH pitch.  The 1999 All Star Game was the height of the steroid era the same way Woodstock was the height of the 60s.  I think it’s a funny quote to take out of context and it doesn’t bother me all that much, but I’m pretty sure Tom Verducci just puked.  Oh well, here come the All Star Reserves!

Tony Batista is a fucking great lead off for this.  I mean just look at him.  Jesus Christ, Tony, act like you’ve been there before.  Just flip the proverbial ball to the referee like Barry Sanders and keep a little of your dignity.  No way he shows his grandkids this video if he wants even a shred of respect from them.

Yep, that’s the same Ugueth Urbina that FUCKING LIT HIS LANDSCAPERS ON FIRE IN VENEZUELA!!!!!! No seriously, he fucking burned them half to death.  Looks like a  good guy here though.

Mark Buehrle frosted tips alert!  It’s a good thing he had baseball as a plan B because he absolutely choked in his ‘Nsync audition.

Robert Fucking Fick just happy to be here.  Gotta respect the shit out of the guy with the huge shit grin carrying a career .268/.336/.447 line into an All Star Game against fucking Barry Bonds.  Knew he didn’t belong and owned it.

Holy shit an Eddie Guardado appearance! He was an All Star?!  Look out Mo, Everyday Eddie wants the ninth in this game.

Sneaky REALLY smug look on Jeter’s face here.

This is just a classic veteran, know-your-role move.  Robin Ventura knocked the happy to be here shrug out of the fucking park.

I’m not sure why I found this so hilarious but I did—Zito and Tejada were lined up in the wrong order and the announcer announced Zito as Tejada, so Miggy just switched spots with him quick, problem solved.  Plus Zito looks absolutely rolling stoned during his intro which is always a nice touch.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a young Doc Halladay in gorgeous old Jays unis.  You’re welcome, everyone.

“Fuck this shit.”—Frank Robinson

Damian Miller, ladies (who am I kidding) and gents.  I love his inclusion here.  I mean, it’s not like they needed a representative for the D’Backs.  They had just shown Luis Gonzalez right before.  Yet, unexplicably, ol’ Damian got the invite to Milwaukee yet sporting a robust .274/.332/.434 career slash line prior to the season.  And I think he looks sneaky like an alcoholic in this picture too.  All around great ASG Intro performance.

Had to baseball reference Junior Spivey because I honestly had no recollection of his existence whatsoever, and evidently he absolutely crushed the ball that year, his first full year, for the D’Backs to the tune of .301/.389/.476.  He was out of baseball 3 years later after being injured and ineffective.  The steroid era, everybody!

Part of me always wished John Smoltz was my dad.  He just struck me as a guy you’d love to play a round of golf and have a few drinks with.  I mean, just look at him, looks like the coolest dad around.  And if he were my dad, I probably would have been more athletic, too.  Bummer.

Is that Robert Downey, Jr.?  Nope it’s just Mike Remlinger.

This shouldn’t be so funny to me because Adam Dunn actually used to be a really good player, but I keep cracking up at the thought of this being the same Adam Dunn who hit .159 in 122 games in 2011.  .159!!!!

Mike Lowell had one of the best goatees in baseball for nearly a decade.  That’s a legacy you can hang your hat on.

Not only did Eric Gagne make my All Steroid Team, he made a couple real All Star Games too.  And he looked like Turtle from Entourage’s retarded brother, so there’s that.

Y’all know me, still the same Oh Dee (Odalis Perez for all of you who don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about).

Brewers fans give Richie Sexson just a RACHOUS ovation.  I understand it because he was their best player at the time and he was a pretty good player in his own right, but I will always remember him for being really not very good in Seattle towards the end of his career after signing a big deal there.  In 10 years kids might think of Josh Hamilton this way after imploding in Anaheim after being pretty good in Texas.  And “Sexson” has always made me laugh.

I honestly have never heard of Jose Hernandez before in my whole life.  Baseball reference says he was an All Star only this once, despite playing for 15 years in the bigs.  .252/.310/.427 before 2002, .288/.356/.488 in 2002 at age 32.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Here’s another All Star that I legit have never heard of before in Pittsburgh’s Mike Williams.  And honestly, I can’t make any fucking sense whatsoever of his BRef page either.  2.93 ERA/1.22 WHIP in ’02 makes sense for an All Star I guess.  But the most ASTOUNDING part is that he was an All Star the next year despite posting a 6.14 yearlong ERA.  I have no words.
Here come the starters!

Shea Hillenbrand!  Hitting second!  In the ASG!  I'm speechless!

This is Alex Rodriguez.  He started at SS and hit third.  Aaaaaaaand 2002 officially was a thousand years ago.

I had no recollection of Posada sending his kid out for the starting lineup.  None whatsoever.  And neither does his kid.

Torii Hunter was an All Star starter and was at the absolute peak of his powers.  Miss these days :(

Back to the "action."

Derek Lowe was the All Star starting pitcher for the AL.  This officially may have been the weirdest ASG of all time.  And that glove is absolutely gigantic.

If you didn't think this game could get much weirder, just remember that Jose Vidro led off for the NL.  Two Expos got voted in as starters (Vlad being the other—I LOVED Vlad) yet they couldn’t draw 10,000 a game. 

Barry Bonds was absolutely gigantic and pumped full of steroids and I couldn’t care less.  I mean look how big his whole upper body was.  He looked like fucking Patrick Willis out there.  Just for fun, he hit .371/.582/.799 that year.  I mean, yeah he was on steroids, but so were all these other guys, and it’s not like the only thing separating Jacque Jones and Barry Bonds was steroids.  He dominated the game like no one ever has.  He was basically Babe Ruth for 4 years in his mid- to late-30s, and I would do it over again in a heartbeat.

Vegas set the over/under on time Mike Piazza’s stylist spent grooming that goatee at 45 minutes.

And thus ends one of the weirdest All Star intros that I can remember.  For those that may not remember, the game was actually a lot weirder as it went 11 innings and both teams ran out of players, so Bud Selig called it a tie.  It was as weird as it sounds.  Their resolution was to make the game count for home field advantage in the World Series in their "This One Counts" campaign which is a great idea because who doesn't want a Marlins hitter facing a Blue Jay to decide who gets home field in the World Series.  Makes sense.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Top 10 Ginger Athletes of All Time

So as you probably know if you read this blog, I’ve long been fighting a losing battle.  There is no known cure and no end in sight.  That’s right.  I’m a ginger.  And all joking aside, it’s not that bad.  I actually like it to a certain weird degree because I can make jokes about myself for being a ginger which almost always get a courtesy chuckle out of people (one person likes calling me the self-deprecation king, but I’m probably more on a level of serfdom on the self-deprecation food chain), and one time I even got with a chick because she was into redheads (as far as I know she’s the only one).  Enough about me though, I’m about to list off some people who unfortunately have red hair as well.  In their cases however, they didn’t get cut from a Division-III baseball team, and instead were actually pretty good at sports.  Yep, I’m talking about the top 10 ginger athletes of all time. 
Honorable Mention—Clint  Frazier—I couldn’t in good conscious actually put him on the list because he hasn’t playing a fucking inning past Rookie Ball for the Indians but the 2013 1st Rounder has a head of glorious fire orange hair that would make Carrot Top blush.
Eye Black Hardo

Honorable Mention—Dennis Rodman—In all honestly I used to love the Worm.  Thought he was one of the most interesting, batshit crazy human beings on the planet.  But now that’s he’s made the career change from basketball and hard drugs to international diplomacy and hard drugs, I’m kind of out on Rodman.  That’ll happen when you make buddies with and subsequently fucking defend the dictator with one of the worst human rights records in the world.  That’s a fucking super easy way for your approval rating to go down.  Coupled with the fact that he isn’t a true ginger, he’s lucky his ass even got a mention on this prestigious list.

Honorable Mention—Alexi  Lalas—All I know about this guy is that he’s on ESPN a couple times every 4 years, he used to play soccer for the US of A, and he used to look like this (!!!!!).  Maybe I should bring it back.
This guy smoked all the weed

Honorable Mention—Jason Garrett—Ok so he’s not technically an athlete (unless you want to include his days holding a clipboard in Dallas) but he’s a really mediocre coach of an underachieving team, which in all reality is so fucking much more than I could ever dream to achieve, so who am I to throw stones at the Cowboys?
A picture is worth 10,000 8-8 seasons

10. Brian Scalabrine—As awesome and entertaining as Scal was, he’s really only famous because he was pretty shitty and owned it.  I’m always a sucker for guys doing goofy shit that is super self-aware.  So with that in mind, I loved the whole “White Mamba” thing because of how detached from reality Kobe was when he decided to call himself “Black Mamba.”  Gotta love a troll job on one of the all-time greats but some goofy pine-riding ginger.

9. Matt Bonner—I’ve always had a soft spot for Bonner because of his nickname game is unreal and his jumper is as wet as it is ugly.  I mean, I can’t not get behind a guy called “Red Rocket” who shoots like this. 
Matt Bonner: Professional Athlete

8. Bobby Kielty—Here’s one of those guys who when you were young you always thought kind of sucked, but when you look at his numbers, it turns out was actually pretty serviceable.  Who knew?  Also, the no batting gloves & head of hair that actually looks like a burning campfire look is fire flames, pun intended.

7. Andy Dalton—The fact that the shittiest quarterback in the NFL Playoffs is not only a ginger but still good enough to be on this list is basically a testament to every ginger’s struggling existence.  With all that taken into consideration, it’s also important to note that this is the girl that puts SPF 70 on the hard-to-reach parts of his back when they go to the beach together. 

6. Matt Birk—Minnesota boy, Viking, Super Bowl Champ, glorious head of red flow.

5. The Sedin Twins—Holy shit is this pair creepy looking.  They look like that greasy future sexual deviant kid in your 3rd grade class that was the first kid to bring his older brother’s Playboy to school, except there’s two of them. 

4. Shaun White—If I’m going off athletic successes alone, he probably would be number one, but I really don’t put a whole lot of stock (zero to be precise) in the fucking X Games and being the best kid at goddamn skateboarding and snowboarding.  I mean, we all remember the skateboarders from high school—do you really want to be the best out of those kids?  It’s kind of like being on the Dean’s List at St. Cloud State.  I mean, you might be smart, but who gives a shit?

3. Blake Griffin—Lots of controversy swirling around Griffin and his ethnicity and whether it’s possibly to be both black and a ginger.  I’m here to give a definitive ruling because I’m easily the most qualified person who writes for this blog on the topic of ginger race relations.  Blake Griffin has red hair and freckles.  He is absolutely a ginger.  And he is a fucking athletic freak of a ginger, might I add.  So yeah, the guy posterizing the fuck out of random European big men and Kendrick Perkins is a ginger, sucks to suck rest of the NBA.
RIP Kendrick Perkins

2. Mark McGwire—Big Mac is one of my favorite athletes of all time.  I like to think in another, more-successful life, I would be like him mashing upwards of 70 homers a year and keeping a gloriously masculine goatee.  Instead, it takes me at least a week to grow anything slightly visible and I had about 40 power on the Minnesota high school baseball 20-80 scouting scale.
"Make me like Mac" (Like Mike reference, nbd)

1. Bill Walton—I would just love to sit down and have a beer or 10 with Bill Walton.  Big Red was in his prime one of the most talented all-around players in the NBA (think a taller, more athletic Kevin Love) who starred in the NBA when drug use was absolutely rampant.  He has to have some fucking incredible stories about the 70s if he can remember any of them.  On top of being one of the coolest dudes of all time, he did it all despite looking like a ginger kid who went as a member of the Taliban for Halloween.  I can get behind that.

PS—every other site that I’ve read that has done this kind of thing is taking the classification of ginger WAY too liberally.  I saw Chuck Norris on lists multiple times and that guy has the most standard brown hair of all time.  It’s absolutely abhorrent to me that guys like that (and there were a few others) who aren’t gingers get credit for being them.  Quit trying to rain on our one little crappy, soulless parade.