Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Knee Jerks: Our Swan Song re: The Text Version

Hey!! It's the FINAL webisode of "The Knee Jerks", my weekly IM chat with Big Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience.

Why is it the final one?

Why, because we're taking our act to Blog Talk Radio, that's why!

We've already had two broadcasts, and we intend to continue--every Monday night at 11 p.m. ET LIVE. Of course, all shows are available for download at your convenience, too.

Join us every Monday night!

For our last webisode, it's a slimmed down version.

We preview tonight's Game Seven at JLA, discuss the Tigers and a certain "physical" umpire, and the usual suspects show up: Word Association and Jerk of the Week.

Enjoy, and remember:
Listen to The Knee Jerks on Blog Talk Radio


Eno: Well, folks, welcome to the swan song of "The Knee Jerks: WTF? With Eno & Al." I'm Eno, aka Mr. Journalist, and he's Big Al, aka Mr. Big Shot/Mr. Blogger. Al, it's the swan song because of our WILDLY successful decision to move this chat to Blog Talk Radio every Monday night at 11 p.m. ET LIVE.

Big Al: WILDLY? Really? Cool! But yes, sadly this will be the final text chat as we jump in, headfirst, into pod casting. What feedback we've been getting on the pod cast is positive, so the time is right, and we're lacking the time, to do both. We're going to try and keep the chat swan song short and sweet.

Eno: And with that, let's start with the only place TO start—tonight’s Game Seven at Joe Louis Arena. I don't know about you, but those weren't the series-closing Red Wings we all know and love in Game Six. They were just sluggish enough to open the door for the Ducks. Very un-Red Wings-like. Cause for concern, or were they simply due for a clunker in that situation?

Big Al: Concerned? Some. But let's not forget the Ducks are a very good team, not your usual No. 8 seed. I'm not surprised they held serve at home. I do think the Wings will do the same on their home ice at The Joe. There's too much at stake for them to go into a two period-long funk. I'm hoping the Ducks' thuggishness at the end of Game Six (and yes, despite what they are saying in Anaheim, it was all Ducks causing the end of game mayhem, the penalty minutes bear it out: Anaheim 36 to Detroit's 10) fires up the Red Wings. Especially Pavel Datsyuk, who was on the receiving end of a Scott Neidermayer cheap shot elbow. (Uh, what does it take for the NHL's Colin Campbell to give out suspensions anymore? Someone have to die? Even then, it would only be a one-gamer...) Red Wings will come out flying tonight.

Eno: I agree. I predicted 6-2, Detroit. Back to Datsyuk. He missed that golden opportunity in the waning seconds of Game Six to tie the game. No telling what kind of point-scoring outburst that goal would have unleashed. Can the Wings win much more without more Datsyuk production?

Big Al: No. Even if Datsyuk doesn't score, he needs to produce points, in setting up Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom. [Pavel]'s an MVP candidate. MVP candidates need to be your best players, and Datsyuk hasn't been in this series. (The best overall Wing has been the scoring machine named Johan Franzen) The thing with Datsyuk is when he's slumping, rather than continuing to shoot, he gets overly fancy with the puck, passing up good shot opportunities in attempting to get great opportunities, often ending up with no opportunity. He needs to be effective tonight, and not get caught up in all the extra-curriculars. It's fun to watch Datsyuk drop the gloves, but that's not what the Wings want or need from him.

Eno: True that. Game Sevens, as you know, are highly unpredictable. Who could have foreseen the Red Wings' 7-0 demolition of Colorado in 2002? You just never know. But something in my bones tells me the Red Wings will bust loose and end the Ducks' quacking for good.

Big Al: Moving on, what's your take on the brouhaha in Wednesday night's Tigers-Twins game? Jim Leyland went NUCLEAR on home plate umpire Paul Schriber for pushing Magglio Ordonez toward the Tigers' dugout after Maggs gently disputed a called third strike. Leyland was on top of Schriber mere seconds after he touched Ordonez, and let loose with both barrels. Personally, I think the ump crossed a long known line. It's an automatic suspension if a player touches an ump; you have to believe the umps should have to toe the same line, right?

Eno: Oh my goodness, I couldn't believe what I was seeing! Good for Leyland for protecting his player. He went nuclear justifiably! Maggs wasn't even arguing very strenuously, or for very long. What Schriber was thinking, I don't know. He damn well better be disciplined. This isn't a high school game. At first I thought the ump simply placed his hand on Maggs' back as if to say, "That's OK", but then I noticed that there was an attempt to push Maggs toward the dugout. I have NEVER seen that in my 40 years of watching big league baseball. Never.

Big Al: Same here, I was flabbergasted. If there isn't some sort of suspension for Schriber, I believe the all-powerful Player Association will have something to say....and it won't be good. But kudos to Leyland. His actions are totally defensible. As for the game, I'd rather not talk about it. Though for everyone wondering why Brandon Lyon was sent out for a third inning (his night ending on Tiger killer Joe Crede's game-winning grand slam), Nate Robertson was placed on the 15 day DL Thursday morning with a back strain.

Eno: Hmmm....well, I gotta cut Lyon some slack. He threw about 70 pitches, which is wayyy more than he's used to. I loved the balk call in the top of the inning, though. Curtis Granderson clearly induced it. I'm amazed at how umps spot balks, no matter how subtle. OK, anything else before we move on to WordAss?

Big Al: For what it's worth, that ugly Baggiedome, where the Twins play, can't be imploded soon enough. The game played there is not really baseball, and should be called the Hubert H. Humphrey Horrordome! That place has nothing but bad, bad, bad memories for Tigers fans. GOOD RIDDANCE.

Big Al: Now I'm ready for WORDASS...


Eno: OK, let's start with this one....the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Big Al: The NHL's Golden Children. You know they are hoping their Chosen One, Sidney Crosby, gets back to the Stanley Cup finals. He's a Don Cherry approved Canadian boy, you know. Gary Bettman is just dying to push the Penguins. Unlike the Euro-dominated Red Wings. Screw it, don't get me going on the FUBAR'ed NHL. It's not worth it.

Eno: Next, back to Magglio Ordonez.

Big Al: He's no longer worth $18 million, which is what he'll be paid if the Tigers continue to play him full time. But even if they keep him under the salary-guaranteeing at bat threshold (which is around 450 ABs), allowing the Tigers to buy out his deal, there's no one in the pipeline to replace him. The Tigers have to ride it out with Ordonez.

Eno: Two more: I say the Lions will play a meaningful Thanksgiving Day game in 2009 and you say....

Big Al: If you are watching a meaningful Lions game on Thanksgiving, it's because your turkey was stuffed with hallucinatory drugs.

Eno: OK!! Finally, I ask you who comes out of the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup playoffs and you say.....

Big Al: The Penguins, as Bettman has deemed so. It shall be written, it shall be done...'

Big Al: Ready for a few, Eno-sabi?

Eno: Go for it!

Big Al: The Tigers' highly paid, anxiety ridden starting pitcher, whose start last night was the beginning of his final chance of sticking long term with the Tigers, Dontrelle Willis.

Eno: He made it through that first start and it wasn't a disaster. It's like a recovering alcoholic: one start at a time, brother.

Big Al: Baby steps for the D-Train. Next, the suspended for PEDs Dodger, Manny Ramirez.

Eno: There's a REALLY good joke in there somewhere, but I'll be darned if I've found it yet!

Big Al: Just Manny being Manny, I guess. Nothing he does surprises me, though like any slugger who thrived earlier in this decade, his entire career is now under suspicion. One more before we get to our final (in print) Jerk of the Week, the Twins' Joe Crede.

Eno: Not only does this Tiger killer stay in the AL after leaving the White Sox, he stays in the freaking division!! I can't wait for his retirement.

Big Al: You and me both, Eno. I'm sick of Crede beating the Tigers. Ready to name your JotW?


Eno: My, my....let's see....I think I'll go with Paul Schriber, the aforementioned umpire. Heck, how about Jerk of the Baseball Season? I can't wait to see what happens in the aftermath. The video evidence is damning. I saw him mouth to Leyland, "I didn't push him." Bull----

Big Al: Well said. My JotW is the NHL's Director of Hockey Operations, and the point man for on-ice incidents, Colin Campbell. The man is an IDIOT. Maybe insane as well. Has there ever been a league with a more inconsistent policy in regard to on-field/court/ice actions than the NHL? Neidermayer's flying elbow to the side of Datsyuk’s head was a reprehensible, suspendable move. The NHL's (re: Campbell's) response? There was no response. It's not just the Wings who have a beef, it's every team in the league! I have no idea where the line in the ice is set in regard to in-game violence anymore, and neither do the players. Someone is going to get killed. Seriously.

Eno: Yeah, you just can't figure the NHL out anymore—in every area. OK, my friend, thus ends our seven-month-plus run doing "The Knee Jerks" chat. Now it's all on the radio show to take it from here!

Big Al: Indeed. We'll be on Blog Talk Radio every Monday night at 11 PM, bringing the Jerkosity! Jerkitude? Jerkism?

Eno: All of the above!! So remember to tune in every Monday night LIVE if you'd like to call in and talk to us, or you can always download the broadcast at your convenience. Every Tuesday we'll post highlights from the broadcast, to give you a taste of what you missed! Thanks so much for all these IM chats, Big Al! Looking forward to talking with you Monday night.

Big Al: See you then, Sir Eno. Book-em, Dano! Murder one...Uh...I mean, Aloha!

Eno: Ciao, Italy!!

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