Showing posts from June, 2008

Classic card of the week

Tino Martinez, 1998 Upper Deck, Retro series

This one is for the hos ladies.

Many people have argued that the “Classic card of the week” discriminates against females, because I tend to post stupid cards with snarky comments that reference “guy’s movies” like “Carlito’s Way” and “Mr. Holland's Opus.” Even the act of posting silly cards itself is discriminatory, as I have come to learn that many women did not, in fact, ask for the complete 1989 Topps set for Christmas of that year, and have yet to open it. If I am going to post sports cards – these people argue – I could at least, every now and then, post one of a brooding stud. To that I say, apparently you haven’t seen this. Nevertheless…

Here ya’ go. Tino. The Bamtino, as John Sterling has affectionately and jackassedly referred to him. Girls want to be with him. Guys want to be like him. An example of a girl that would like to be with him is my wife, which doesn’t upset me that much because I would also like to be with him. On the…

City website helps us prepare for storm season

Note: This column appears in the 6/26 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 6/27 issue of the Peoria Times

Last summer was the first summer my wife and I spent in the Valley, and thus, it was also our first experience with the famed Arizona Monsoon season. I think it hailed once. And one day it flooded a little. Other than that it was hotter than all hell. We were unimpressed.

Granted, I realize just how disruptive and destructive a monsoon can be. They are serious storms -- not to be messed with. And just because last summer may have been weak in the monsoon department doesn't mean that we citizens should not be prepared for some crazy weather this summer. Luckily for us, the city of Glendale has a plan to combat monsoons: the Internet. Yes, the city has created a webpage specifically dedicated to monsoon preparedness, which is cleverly and ominously entitled “Monsoon!!!” (Exclamation points are mine.) Subtitle: “Be prepared. Be cautious. Be Glendale Monsoon Ready.” If you have littl…

Classic card of the week

Henry Cotto, 1990 Topps

Coming up through the Seattle Mariners’ farm system in the early 90’s, a young Alex Rodriguez could not shake the comparisons to Henry Cotto. Both were over six feet tall. But it didn’t end there.

Both were born in New York but were Puerto Rican in heritage, or something close to that. (Like, not Asian.) Both men were not designated hitters, which is to say that both of them played the field, on the diamond and with the ladies. Each would play for both the Yankees and Mariners, and one year with the Cubs, which hasn’t happened yet for Rodriguez, but trust me. Both men, except for Cotto, would sign groundbreaking multi-million dollar contracts that would follow them throughout their careers. Both men happily caressed their baseball bats in front of thousands of adoring fans. Both men occasionally drank cranberry juice. Each had a famous, easier-to-say-than-their-actual-name nickname: A-Rod, Hen-Cot, respectively. “A rod of hen cot.” That is how scouts cleverly des…

Coyotes in the red, but fans shouldn’t be feeling blue

Note: This column appears in the 6/19 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 6/20 issue of the Peoria Times

Note Part II: The title of this post is purposely awful

Many of my loyal readers -- cough*MomandDad*cough -- may recall that I, rather officially, declared myself a Phoenix Coyotes fan about a week before the end of their season this past April. This appears to be excellent timing on my part, with the news last week that the Coyotes as a franchise lost $30 million during the 2006-07 season, and remain dead last in the NHL in ticket sales.

It would seem that this perfect combination of ice hockey and the desert is now threatened. I mean, $30 million is a lot of money. You could fill up your car for almost an entire year with that kind of cash flow. (Notice how I interspersed a topical and relevant cultural fuel crisis into a column about hockey…hope you’re taking notes, kids!)) And being last in ticket sales within a league that has -- maybe up until this past season -- managed to slip…

Reader feedback Friday!

Received this note while I was going through renewals and what not this afternoon at work. The first part is praise for some of my coworkers, which you can read on their blogs, if such a thing exists. The final paragraph pertains to my columns for the paper:

Also, I enjoy the prose and puns in Mike Kinney's [sic] commentary. His perspective as a newcomer to the neighborhood is very amusing. LOL! That said -- I wish he wouldn't go for a laugh by alluding to violent actions. The path to a better world is by thinking, talking, teaching and making peace...always.

And there you go. I'm not sure if I should be happy, or confused, or so angry that I could rip someone's testicles off with a meat hook. I honestly don't know of a time when I alluded to violent actions for a laugh, with the possible exception of that previous sentence. Nevertheless, I have never seem an LOL! IN CAPS immediately followed by criticism of how that LOL! was attained; a criticism that seems, …

Classic card of the week

Dwight Gooden, 1987 Drake’s

Here is another installment in our “Cards that came with food” series. In this case, we are provided this awesome Dwight Gooden card courtesy of Drake’s. There is no doubt in my mind that the box this card was cut out of was a box of Drake’s coffee cakes, because they were like my favorite things ever as a kid…and right now, and forever. That two-pack of soft, delicious coffee cakes, with the crumbles -- I call them crumbles -- on the top, which had a tendency to fall off after a hearty bite, but it wouldn’t matter, because even if one of those crumbles fell into a pile of hot poop, I would have scooped it out and ate it anyway, because those crumbles were so precious. I love coffee cakes.

As you can see, this particular series was the “7th Annual Collector’s Edition,” so by this point in time, the Drake’s series of cards held a lot prestige within the industry. You could bring one of these puppies to a baseball card show and try to trade it to one of the shi…

Sign-holders reduce fear of finding something by accident

Note: This column appears in the 6/12 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 6/13 issue of the Peoria Times

There is a phenomenon sweeping this part of the country. I am not sure how long it’s been here, but I am certain that I noticed it the second I moved to Arizona. It is a revolutionary tactic in advertising, and it combines a lack of technology, minimum wage, and an utter disregard for human life and dignity. What is this phenomenon, you ask, as if you don’t already know?

People standing outside holding signs.

Seriously. Local businesses are paying people to stand a few feet away from oncoming traffic and hold up a sign advertising a store inside of a strip mall nearby. The reason for this, of course, is that every business -- as mandated by Arizona law -- must be contained within a strip mall, so that the only way you can find that business is to randomly drive into strip malls and look at all the stores without running over anyone in the parking lot. Or, in this case, you can be cord…

Classic card of the week

Greg Harris, 1987 Sportsflics

I have good news and bad news. The good news? I found another hologram card. The bad news? There is no bad news.

Before video -- which was invented in 1996, I think -- pitchers could only look at their hologram baseball cards to notice flaws in their delivery. They would sit in the clubhouse with their pitching coach and turn the card every which way and make furious notes about any mechanical flaws. Unfortunately, they would then have to wait until next season’s batch of Sportsflics cards were released to see if they had made any improvements. Even more unfortunately, they would have to wait forever because Sportsflics cards were never released again after 1987 because they were deemed the worst and ugliest and most pointless cards ever produced ever in the history of anything in the world ever.

Luckily for Greg Harris, Sportsflics just confirmed what he already knew -- that Greg Harris was awesome. Perfect form, pitching in front of a packed house for t…

Complaints flooding in, ironically causing more weeds

Note: This column appears in the 6/5 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 6/6 issue of the Peoria Times


Many neighbors are lazy idiots. This is a fact of life. You pay a lot of money for your home, and then you look across the street only to see that a plastic swimming pool with cartoon mermaids on it is growing out of the weeds on your neighbor’s front yard. Then you complain to your wife that “we paid a lot of money for this house and now it’s going to crap because our neighbors are lazy idiots!” This is a hypothetical situation, of course.

The other worst kind of neighbor is the neighbor that is no longer your neighbor because he or she has been kicked out of their house and now the house is in foreclosure. This is actually an ongoing problem now in Glendale and Peoria. (And everywhere, for that matter.) In fact, the Glendale Code Compliance Department -- sounds fun! -- has been flooded with complaints about the weeds growing in the yards of foreclosed h…

Classic card of the week

Don Slaught, 1989 Score

Don Slaught. Slaughty. Slaughterer of baseballs. Slaughty McSlaughterson. Don Juan DeSlaughty. Slaughtmeister. Damn, son -- you should have known Don Slaught was playing catcher today, cause you just got slaught stealing! Professor Slaught. The Slaught heard ‘round the world. I slaught I told you that we won’t stop. Yankees Slaughterhouse, population: 1. His name? Don Slaught. Erhouse. Slaught, Don. Don Slaught.

Don Slaught was dubbed, by me, at this very moment in time, as “Mr. April through Early May,” for his inability to make it to Memorial Day in one piece. Back of the card, take over:

Don was second in the A.L. with a .378 BA in mid-May and had 26 RBIs in 28 games when he went on the DL with a pulled groin muscle.

Groin slaught. The worst kind.

Don’s cheekbone and nose were shattered by a pitch in a mid-May of ’86. He was batting .293 at the time and, after seven weeks on the DL, struggled to regain his batting eye.

Well, no kidding he had difficulty regaining …