Kristaps Porzingis Confirms that 2017 is the Summer of Shooters

Being a Knicks fan is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The best way I could describe it is going to a restaurant and ordering a hamburger, knowing you’ll be satisfied with just a mediocre hamburger. Instead, the chef comes out from the kitchen and beats you repeatedly with his dough roller. This goes on for the length of the NBA season, about six months. However, if there has been one bright spot about being a Knicks fan in the last five years, it’s 7’3 Latvian superhero Kristaps Porzingis.

This guy is a pleasure to watch play, and has become a role model for young Knicks fans everywhere. But that’s not just because of his play on the court. He’s also the man off of it. KP has been living life by the mentality of “Shooters Shoot.” This is not referring to basketball. Basically, “Shooters Shoot” is Porzingis’ version of Wayne Gretzky’s “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” but referring to hitting on girls on Instagram.

Shooters do indeed shoot, and sometimes the shots go in. Look at this exchange KP had with smokeshow Abigail Ratchford earlier this year.

C5PpzdkVcAAOqyJ-670x1024-670x1024

From 3-point range!! Unfortunately, shooters also sometimes miss shots. If that was a three-pointer, commenting heart eyes on a picture of a girl who has a boyfriend must be a half-court shot. No way he would do that, right? Wrong. Why? Because shooters shoot, baby. This one did not turn out as well for everyone’s favorite neighborhood Latvian, as the girl posted this picture in response..

i1-680x1024

The bottom part translates to “Do you sleep peacefully, Kristaps Porzingis?” Ouch. This surely would have thrown him off, right? Wrong.

This guy, man. How can you not love him. If there is one thing we can learn from him, it’s to accept that not every shot will go in. Even Michael Jordan missed a few. But don’t let the missed shots get you down, keep putting them up like you’re LaMelo Ball in a 3-point contest.

Summer 2017 is officially the Summer of Shooters. Is everyone going to have the same level of success as a 21-year old millionaire NBA player? Probably not. But that does not change the fact that shooters shoot.

Shoot Your Shot Memes

Birds Fly High at Citi Field

Well gang, we now are aware that we have a famous reader following BTB… Mr. Met! How do I know that you ask? Well, did you see what happened Wednesday night after a supposed fan told him that I put the Mets AAA mascot on my “honorable mention” list for worst mascots in the Minor Leagues? Have a look:

Well… actually only some of that story is true. Yes, Mr. Met gave a fan the finger, but no it was not because I put the 51’s on my worst mascot list (however they would probably crack the top 5 after this stunt).

This jogged my memory to other mascot incidents sports has encountered in the past. Here are a few videos of some fan favorites:

How about a college example? In this clip the Ohio University Bobcat was supposed to have a fake tussle with the OSU Buckeye. As Ron Burgundy would attest… it escalated quickly internal fight and the Bobcat needed to be escorted off the field by the po-po.

We then move on to the Philly phanatic and Tommy Lasorda going at it. The two never got along, but this was one of their finest moments. Ultimatley, Lasorda got the best of the famous phanatic and taught him who’s boss.

Although planned, there is nothing like a Giant mythical bunny assaulting some of our founding fathers in the traditional President’s Race at Nationals Park. Personally, I think terrorists could be responsible for planting the rabbit but who am I to question.

Finally, in a non-violent example, here is a video of some sort of Rockets mascot (I don’t know what the Rockets mascot actually is and I don’t really care if this is the creature they use or not) scaring the pants off some players including Dwight Howard who answers with a kick in the jimmies.

Getting back on track… in the hours following this incident many have come out and said although Mr. Met’s actions were extremely uncalled for mascots do take a lot from fans. I am sure you can imagine (whether it be you or someone you know) what goes through a drunk fan’s mind when the mascot comes around. In an article by current ESPN Staff Writer and former Mr. Met, AJ Mass, (that’s right… there actually may be a future for the people in those costumes) mascots are known for taking a lot of crap. My favorite explanation from his piece is “I’ve been there. I’ve had beers poured on me. I’ve had drunken fans attack me from behind in an attempt to knock me to the ground. And yes, when the Mets were losing big — which happened quite a bit during my tenure in the suit, from 1994 to 1997 — I was on the receiving end of many four-letter words that weren’t ‘M-E-T-S'”.

In any case, it seems that Mr. Met has had enough of our shit, and he isn’t afraid to let loose anymore. Under that jolly old costume there is was an angry elf. That smile is just a mask for a mascot.

BTB Picks: NBA Finals

The 2017 NBA Finals have been hyped up more than global warming, and almost everybody in the Milky Way Galaxy knew this would be the matchup.  Fans are conflicted on who will come out on top since these are by far and away the two best teams in the NBA with a combined postseason record of 24-1.  Below are picks of who the writers at BTB think will take home the hardware this year.

PICKS

jimmyscalianfl: I’m expecting Golden State to start off fast in the first 2-3 games, followed by some minor bitching and moaning from Lebron. Cavs will pick up the slack, but Warriors will finish them off at home in game 7.

McGons: Cavs in 7. Warriors have added KD, but the Cavs have added a Kevin Love they didn’t see last year. He won’t be the MVP, but with the stars cancelling each other out, he will be the X-Factor.

Stanzo: Cavs in 4. Ayesha Curry tries to rush the court with the Warriors down 30 late in the 4th quarter of game 4 but James Jones comes out of nowhere and RKO’s the shit out of her. Confetti falls as the Cavs celebrate around her lifeless body, and LeBron supplants himself as the greatest of all-time.

Image result for ayesha curry crazy

Dave: Kathy Griffin in 1. 3 minutes in to the first quarter, Griffin runs on to the court with a machete. Heads chopped off left and right, K Love is the first to go (white, straight, potential conservative). As she holds the collection of NBA stars heads at center court, she beckons “Not my President!”

Drew Potolsky: Warriors; With 2 of the top 5, 3 of the All-NBA, and 4 of the top 20 players in the NBA in their starting 5, they’re just too much to handle for the Cavs. LeBron is playing on another level, but he always does in the playoffs. Kyrie is probably a top 10 NBA player in his own right, but I think the Warriors will really focus on shutting him down, especially after last year’s Finals and with him being easier to shut down than LeBron. K-Love is no slouch, but everyone was more afraid of him when he was bodying dudes in the paint in Minnesota. LeBron will get his, but with Klay taking a backseat on offense to focus on defense in this series, and due to KD’s arrival (who is also no slouch on defense), I think the Warriors are just too collectively good to lose to a team that seems to basically ride Kyrie and LeBron and then on ring chasing vets and role players.

Riebs: Warriors in 6; From my immense experience of watching not a single basketball game all season I’m going with the Warriors in 6. Gotta stay loyal to my fanship of west coast teams and I see Steph Curry at a lot of San Fran Giants games. I wouldn’t say I hate Lebron, but I just don’t love him. He’s obviously great, but I just don’t like rooting for him. I hope my mans K-Love puts together a great series to represent #mostunderratedplayerintheleague

Reis: Cavs in 7 in the greatest NBA finals of all-time. Every game is decided by less than 3, and LeBron averages a triple double, legitimizing his claim as the GOAT by taking down one of the greatest teams of all-time. Warriors take Game One, but Cavs take the series.

Image result for lebron

Tat: Cavs in 7, Lebron James is the GOAT and he’s not gonna let a baby face take his crown as the best player in the league. If Draymond kicks someone else in the nuts and grabs another game suspension then the Cavs in 6.
Bert: Warriors in 6.  I think people are overrating the Cavs just because of LeBron.  They are great and legitimately the only team that can match up against the Warriors.  But you have to remember this team was up 3-1 on this Cavs team last year, and it took a miracle for them to come all the way back. How did each team get better? The Cavs added Kyle Korver and Deron Williams, while the Warriors added Kevin Durant.  To me, the Warriors will be too much to handle.
Image result for warriors 2017
TOTAL VOTES
CAVALIERS: 4
WARRIORS: 4
KATHY GRIFFIN: 1

Developing Story: Does Masahiro Tanaka Have the Yips?

The Yips: Most common in baseball, The Yips happens when a baseball player no longer remembers what the hell is going on with his arm and cannot throw a ball anywhere near where he wants to.  It can result in absolute bombs thirty rows into the stands, embarrassment during easy games of catch, and the inability to be, what most people call, “good”.

See: Chuck Knoblauch

Image result for the yips chuck knoblauch

There have been A LOT of unexpected things to happen to the Yankees this year, and almost all of them have been good.  Starlin Castro is emerging as one of the league’s best second baseman, Aaron Judge is fighting for Rookie of the Year and MVP,  Brett Gardner learned how to use steroids, Luis Severino is throwing the ball like an ace, and we are in first place without Gary Sanchez, Aroldis Chapman, and Dellin Betances having to put the team on their back for all 162 games.

But if you told me at the beginning of the year that Mashiro Tanaka would be this terrible, I would’ve told you to watch this video and say one more bad thing about this man:

There is no time for questions, all I can confirm is that Japan has figured out entertainment for the rest of us, now we all just need to follow suit.

Regardless, Tanaka has been beyond dreadful this year, with the exception of his complete game gem against the Red Sox and last Friday night against the A’s.  With last night’s outing against the Orioles, he has now given up seven runs in three separate outings this year, and he is the farthest thing from our “ace”.

His line for the year, according to ESPN: 6.34 ERA, 5-5, 56 K’s in 61 innings and a WHIP of 1.52…not exactly the numbers we expect from a 2016 Cy Young candidate.

I thought Asians were supposed to be smart, but it’s a pretty dumb move, for a year that you have potential to opt out of a contract and steal more money from the Yankees than you currently are ($22 Mil per year), to take a ginormous shit on your team’s playoff chances. I don’t know, it could just be me though.

If the Yankees are gonna make a playoff run this year, Tanaka needs to get out of this funk he’s in, stop putting sliders on coat hangers, and find something close to his 2016 form.  Clearly the talent is there, we have seen it (rarely) in 2017.

Every championship team has a guy they can hand the ball to and say “Get. This. Done.” It’s hard to call Pineda that guy because he’s so inconsistent, Sabathia used to be that guy but he is getting old and his stuff isn’t what it once was, Severino is young and inexperienced, and Jordan Montgomery is still finding himself as a pitcher.  Therefore, Tanaka has to step up and figure out a way to be that guy.

The Yankees have been great this year in spite of his awful season, but I can’t wait to see where they can go with him pitching like he can…and should.

P.S.: Next garbage day in the Bronx, put Chase Headley out on the street and let’s go dumpster diving for a real third baseman please.

Twitter Needs an Age Maximum

The 2016 Election was basically won/lost on Twitter, which is pretty fucking scary considering the main reason I go on Twitter is for the memes, or maybe the occasional sports update. I’m not gonna get political at all here, because I’ll be damned if I ever write a politics-based article on this site. But can we acknowledge how cringe-worthy it is to see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton use Twitter?

Late on Tuesday night, our fearless commander-in-chief The Donald fired off this head-scratcher.

Image result for trump confeve

…and then proceeded to not delete it or tweet again until the next morning. Literally reminds you of when one of your Grandparents is telling you a story and they just fall asleep in the middle of it. Also not really sure how the word covfefe even made it in there. Clearly he was trying to say coverage, but covfefe autocorrects to that. It happened to me like 3 times just now trying to type “covfefe” on my iPhone. Not sure how you do it, Donnie, but you do.

Image result for i'm not mad meme

Of course, this generated a response from the best Twitter comedian of our generation, Hillary Clinton. Let’s see what everyone’s favorite cool Grandma came up with.

Image result for confused meme

Just so painfully unfunny. If there’s one thing that’s a testament to how much people hate Trump, it’s the fact that this tweet has 200K retweets and almost 500K favorites. Hill-dawg just takes the word Trump misspelled and throws it into the old “don’t throw stones if you’re in a glass house” phrase? Really just almost as big of a head-scratcher as the original Trump tweet, but the way Twitter reacted you’d think she was funnier than Will Ferrell doing a movie with Jonah Hill.

If there’s one thing on the agenda for 2020, it’s regulating Twitter to no one over 40 unless people actually want to hear from you. Despite these being two of the most notable politicians and probably people of our generation, I think I speak for most people when I say they’re the last ones I wanna see on my Twitter feed.

#DerekJeter2020

Image result for derek jeter for president

What About the Children?!

If you were to ask me who the biggest jerk in the new SunTrust park has been this season my mind jumps to Jose Batista who christened the new Braves home with an obnoxious batflip.

 

HOWEVER, I would be wrong. This past week the most absurd case of terrible PR hit the  Braves in the following video…

 

First of all, this screams Paul Blart spinoff… instead of saving the malls of America from terror, he saves the stadiums of America from evil parents trying to get a ball for their children.

Second, how about we get that man a contract to pinch run for some team with not too much depth. My mans sprint to that kid was fast enough to tag up on a medium deep flyball hit to left. Nice athleticism, but how about we use that on saving someone from a line drive foul ball coming into your section, or tackling a rouge streaker?

Clearly, what ticked people off was not the Guard forcing the fan who reached on the field to leave. That’s typical procedure. Taking the ball from the 6 year old… Extra. Luckily, the Braves management (who were probably cringing as they watched an employee rip the ball out of a child’s hands and throw the kids father out of the stadium) did the best they could by giving Sparky a team signed ball and hooking pops up with some tickets to a future game. Good save for the Braves. I mean in the Dad’s eyes he probably bought the tickets for that section in hopes of a souvenir knowing that is the only fence the Braves can hit the ball over. Also, props to the man for handling his ejection so well. If we could all keep our cool like he did would there ever be war? The dude takes his glove off, gives it to his wife, and leaves peacefully even though he was dealing with Agent Try-Hard.

Relax Sun Trust mall cop. You have officially completed the security guard equivalent of brown-nosing a coach. You probably didn’t let anyone in your section even though the stadium was no more than 20% full. You take your job way too seriously, and you know damn well there was no threat to anything or person you are in charge of securing. Take L’s Braves Security… take L’s.

And You Thought Your School Had a Bad Mascot?

Mascots and logos are for the love of the game. Personally, I am a huge fan of the MiLB’s (Minor League Baseball) marketing strategy to come up with some of the craziest and far out ideas to represent different farm system’s teams. Coming from a school where I once was an almighty Spartan, I am now a Mule. And yes, every time someone asks what my school’s mascot Is with my dad in earshot, his line of “I always knew you would grow up to be an ass” seems to explode out of his mouth.

 

The criteria I used to develop this list was based in concrete algorithms and intense scientific research and surveying. Jk I decided based on what I thought was cool so deal with it. Hopefully you laugh a little, but if you choose not to have a sense of humor so be it. All of these teams are some sort of a Class AAA, AA, or A team in MiLB. Without further interruption, here are my top 5 mascots, and the 5 that need to go… with honorable mentions of course.

BOTTOM 5:


5: TIE – Winston-Salem Dash – Class A Advanced – Chicago White Sox

Fort Myers Miracle – Class A Advanced – Minnesota Twins

I know. What a flaky way to start the list. With a tie. Good job Matt, your one job was to pick 5 yet you somehow screwed that up. Well hear me out before you are finished sipping on that hatorade. I put the Dash and the Miracle together because to me they scream the same thing. Little League softball. For me these two mascots just remind me all of the absurd chants I hear at a little league game from the bench. You know those ones like “We need a single just a little single! S-I-N-G-L-E sinnnngle!”. Hopefully, that is not what is coming out of the dugout when these two teams take the field, but with names like Dash and Miracle they might as well be.

Image result for fort myers miracle logo

Image result for winston salem dash

4: Chattanooga Lookouts – Class AA – Minnesota Twins

Ohh Chattanooga Lookouts, what were you thinking. First of all, what the hell are you looking at. Those big creepy eyes give me the chills and I just cant get past that. I don’t know what two big old eyes represent, especially when they are looking away from you at all times. You know what that means? That they are not honest. I need those eyes to look me in the eyes and try and come up with some explanation for why they deserve to represent a ball club.  Cant do it.

Image result for chattanooga lookouts

3: Albuquerque Isotopes – Class AAA – Colorado Rockies

What gets the Isotopes on this list is the is extremely childlike artwork that went into this one. I’m not saying I need the Mona Lisa but Jesus is this the most creative thing we got for a freaking Isotope. First of all I have the slightest idea what an Isotope is (shout out to Chemistry Honors junior year of high school), but I sure hope it looks more interesting than an A with a few lines around it. The writing is also subpar. I think the Isotopes have the potential to get creative, but really pissed it away with this one. No wonder why everyone hates Chemistry.

Image result for albuquerque isotopes

2: Clinton LumberKings – Class A – Seattle Marniers

HOW DO YOU NOT NAME YOURSELVES THE LUMBERJACKS?!?! This literally defines the “You almost had it… Gotta be quicker than that” commercial. LumberKings is just weird. I get that it means king of the bats, but jacks still has relevance to baseball. Plus the guy they use in their logo doesn’t look like a king… take that cartoon crown off, put on a backwards hat, and have him jacking balls out of the yard. Totally more fitting than that dopey crown. This mascot is too big of a tease. And for that reason… I’m out.  

Image result for clinton lumberkings logo

1: Lakeland Flying Tigers – Class A Advanced – Detroit Tigers

So the Flying Tigers is my personal worst of the worst. I get the history reference, and really think that if they used a plane instead of a tiger to represent the history it would be in the top 5. But they didn’t. They put wings on a tiger and created a logo that belongs on the back of a leather jacket for the worst biker gang squad of all time. That is all this logo is to me… a biker gang logo. I can see the flying tigers being bedazzled and all. As you will see in the top 5, there is a way do make a cool historical reference, but this is simply too far out and irrelevant. Good try Detroit Tigers, but you went way too far with this one.

Image result for lakeland flying tigers

Honorable mention: These were bad, but just survived my wrath. Congrats, but improvement is still recommended.

Las Vegas 51’s – Class AAA – New York Mets

Salt Lake Bees – Class AAA – Los Angeles Angels

Tacoma Rainers – Class AAA – Seattle Mariners

 

TOP 5:

5: Auburn Doubledays – Class A Short Season – Washington Nationals

Good thinking Nationals. You guys will do anything to remind people you aren’t in Canada anymore. Incorporating a person who is debatably the greatest human being to walk the earth into a punny name gets you on this list. My man Abner Doubleday was not only credited with inventing baseball (even though this isn’t actually true we loyal baseball fans say f off science. Doubleday is our man), but also the officer who fired the first shot of the battle of Fort Sumter in the American Civil War.  His kickass mustache and American AF backstory gets the Auburn Doubledays on my list.

Image result for auburn doubledays

4: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp – Class AA – Miami Marlins

The Marlins staying aquatic is a pretty strong move, however what hands them a spot  on my list is their effort to push the limits of toughness. Shrimp… normally not tough. If you call someone a shrimp you better be insulting them. Add Jumbo, whole new animal. Try and eat a jumbo shrimp guyer in one bite and you’re gonna end up in a hospital bed. They ain’t here to mess around with your petty shit and you know damn well they are the sauciest crustaceans on the block. Props to you Miami. It’s 2017. Shrimp can be tough too.
Image result for jacksonville jumbo shrimp

3: Cedar Rapids Kernels – Class A –  Minnesota Twins

Thank god. Finally, we can pronounce this word the way it fucking looks. What in gods name Is a Colonel. Who thought that should be pronounced like the real kernel. The kernel as in piece of corn. They make my list because corn is fantastic and the amount of times I have spelt colonel wrong has me fired up. Thank you Minnesota. We are baseball fans. Not spelling be champions going for our Ph.D’s in silent letters. Thank you for your help and kindness, for giving us a mascot who you can sound out and still spell right.

Image result for cedar rapids kernels

2: Modesto Nuts – Advanced Class A – Seattle Mariners

Deez Nuts have been passed around more than a bag of sunflower seeds at a summer ball game. The Modesto Nuts have been owned by 11 different MLB franchises, so I personally praise the Nuts for having the strength to survive all of that shifting. Their twitter is also pretty hilarious, even when they don’t mean to be. But that may just be for the fans with minds as childish as mine. Their use of Gifs are pretty spot on too (https://twitter.com/ModestoNuts/status/867576503118077952).
Image result for modesto nuts

1: New Orleans Baby Cakes – Class AAA – Miami Marlins

So there has been a lot of food on this list. Maybe it shows what my priorities are, and maybe you are judging me for it. I don’t blame you, and your assumptions are probably correct. The New Orleans Baby Cakes have the best mascot in the MiLB. Not only is it a wicked fierce baby who looks like the asshole kid who wears all black from Toy Story, but his crown and colors top off his awesome outfit, fit for a king. The baby cakes used to be the zephyrs, which would have made the worst 5 list if they hadn’t changed. The change to baby cakes sparked 2 pretty amazing promotions that make them the best mascot in the game. 1) any child born in Louisianan in 2017 is eligible for a lifetime pass to Baby Cakes games. 2) any Louisiana baby who takes that offer will be put into a raffle and will have the chance to win a free tuition at any Louisiana state school, paid for by the Baby Cakes. Now I know that a Louisiana State school is pretty compatible to a kindergarten in the north east, or middle school in the Midwest, but it is still a free tuition, and that’s pretty alright with me. Baby Cakes, way to make baseball fun(ny) again. Bryce Harper is probably proud. And for the Baby Cake players, you must have a pretty cool conversation starter when you walk into a bar.

Image result for new orleans baby cakes

Honorable Mention:

The following will not be officially on my list, but deserve a shout out for creativity, how punny they are, and savage they are. As the teacher everyone hated in high school would say: if you’d like to know more about these you will have to look them up on your own.

El Paso Chihuahuas – Class AAA – San Diego Padres

Louisville Bats – Class AAA – Cincinatti Reds

Bowling Green Hot Rods – Class A – Tampa Bay Rays

Lansing Lugnuts – Class A – Toronto Blue Jays

Fort Wayne Tin Caps – Class A – San Diego Padres