Buffalita’s Bachelorette Party Part 3!

Forget the pinstripes, its time to bring in the other boys from New York to wish Buffalita a happy day.

Jose Reyes has gotten an early start on the strip routine.

Prelude to David Wright and Jose Reyes wrestling? We can only hope.

There’s something wholesomely appealing about Chris Capuano. Don’t you kind of want to see him go bad?

Ok, I was looking for some things for Buffalita to take with on her honeymoon, but apparently the Mets aren’t popular enough for that, so its back to the pinstripes for bedroom and beach gear.

But it’s not just baseball or football cuties that want to wish Buffalita a happy bachelorette. The Sabres want in on the act.

Derek Roy is left brooding at the loss of Buffalita from the market.

Shaone Morrisonn and his dog Hazel wish Buffalita and future-Mr-Buffalita luck in their future life together.

Finally, though he’s not the bachelorette type beefcake, we would be remiss if we didn’t have American Hero Ryan Miller here to send Buffalita off right.

Welcome to Buffalita’s Bachelorette! (Part 1)

Never mind Kate and William, or those rumours about Brangelina finally tying the knot. The Wedding We Care About here at Ladies… is that of our own Buffalita, who will be exchanging vows with the soon-to-be Mr. Buffalita next weekend.

Unfortunately, time, money and geography prevents us Ladies… from throwing her a proper bachelorette party, complete with wine, taco dip and game of washers (WHAT! A game of washers was completely acceptable at my baby shower! Maritimers know how to party, yo!)

So instead, we’re sending our best wishes in true Ladies… fashion with this series of posts dedicated to the Best Bride-to-be in NY State. Who needs a male *ahem* exotic dancer when you can run a series of photos of handsome athletes instead? (Besides, it eliminates that messy tipping…)

Let this song set the mood and join us after the jump to see who I picked for Part 1 of Buff’s Bachelorette.

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Visiting the White House

Super Bowl Champions the Green Bay Packers visited President Obama at the White House today. For Bears fan Obama, it was a bit of a heart-break, but for Packers fans, it was a visit a long time coming.

Often, when championship teams visit the White House, they give the president a gift – this is usually a jersey and the number on the back is usually the president’s number in the succession of presidents. (For example, Obama is the 44th President of the United States.)

While at the White House today, Packer Charles Woodson presented the president with a certificate of stock in the publicly owned Green Bay Packers. As a Bears’ fan, Obama took the opportunity as a new “owner” to suggest a trade for Aaron Rodgers.

Considering I’ve usually heard of teams giving the president a jersey, I thought the stock certificate was a pretty cool gift. It made me wonder what other gifts teams have presented to the president.

The Giants also gave President Obama a signed bat and fielder’s gloves for his whole family.

2009 World Series Champions the New York Yankees don’t appear to have given any gifts other than the jersey, but their jersey had the #27 on the back – for their 27 world titles.

Chicago Blackhawks, the 2010 Stanley Cup winners, gave hometown president Obama a Blackhawks sweater and let him try on the ring.

Auburn, 2010 National Football Champions, gave Obama a jersey and a helmet.

The jersey the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins upped the jersey ante by giving Obama one with a captain’s “C” on it.

UConn, the men’s basketball national champions, gave President Obama a basketball with his name etched on it.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who won the World Series in 2008, also gave Obama a baseball.

As far as I can tell, 2008 and 2008 winners the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints stuck to the jersey gift.

Not a gift, but when the UConn women’s basketball team visited in 2009, President Obama challenged a few of the players to a game of P-I-G. Naturally, he won. But the women were wearing heels and dress.

The Detroit Red Wings, 2008 Stanley Cup Champions, gave George Bush Jr two jerseys - one #43 for him and one #41 for his dad. And also invited them to visit on their annual father-son trip. They also gave President Bush a miniature Stanley Cup statue.

So maybe I’m a little biased, but I think the stock certificate might have been the coolest gift in recent memory. The Packers also broke tradition by giving him a Packers jersey with the name on back “Commander In Chief” and the #1.

You can check out video of the Packers White House visit
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Hit and Run: I’m too hot to come up with a theme

World Cup Soccer

Hope Solo shall have none of your silly goal scoring nonsense. (Photo: Getty Images)

We hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend! I’m still unpacking and cleaning up gear from the Great Island Campout of 2011, in which I did not end up on Princess Kate Watch and did not get to celebrate Brad Richards signing with the Maple Leafs.

And tonight? It’s warm! Summer warm! Finally! Also building heat is Team USA, who defeated Columbia 3-0 yesterday in Women’s World Cup action in Germany. The win clinches them a spot in the quarter finals. They face Sweden tomorrow at 2:45 ET.

Back to hockey for a minute… Continue reading

Hit And Run: (Mostly) Celebrity Edition

As excited as the Ladies get for baseball’s All-Star festivities, we tend to ignore the Celebrity Softball game.  I may have to at least DVR it, however, now that Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec, Everwood) has been announced as one of the celebrities. Chris is in the Moneyball movie as one of the A’s prospects, so he’s presumably had at least some movie prep coaching.  If he brings MouseRat to sing the national anthem, I’ll even watch it live.

Also on the celeb roster:

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Stop making me care about interleague!

Yankees

See, outside of October, this is just weird. (Photo: Reuters)

I know I’m supposed to let go my puritan ways and appreciate the “fun” and “excitement” that is interleague baseball. Yet after 14 years of interleague, I still find it weird. Not fascinatingly weird. Just uncomfortably weird. Is it just me?

My reasons are painfully obvious, but here they are for the record. Continue reading

Hit and Run: Things Which Are Ridiculous

 I wanted to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup last night, but couldn’t, because it was on Versus, which I don’t have. (NBC opted for Celebrity Minute To Win It, with Steve-O and some other guy from Jackass. If that’s a bigger ratings draw than the Stanley Cup, the NHL still has a lot of work to do.)

I believe I have made my displeasure about playoff games being on cable channels known before, but I still find it ridiculous.  So since I’m battling some serious writer’s block, here are other things which I am finding ridiculous today.
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Ladies… Links: Something To Read So You Can Ignore Don Cherry

Bruins

The Bruins Saturday night in Vancouver. Boston will try to get back into the Stanley Cup Final series tonight with Game 3 at home. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just a quick hit to give you something to read between periods tonight.

Know how I always talk about the East Coast’s love for all things Boston? Here’s an article from the Globe and Mail that backs up my point, but only to a certain extent. See, what I got out of this was a) Bruins fans in the Maritimes consist of old guys who are missing their own teeth and b) the Maritimes consist solely of Nova Scotia…oh, wait, they threw PEI a bone. So this story drove me crazy all day. Yeah, I know it’s customary for Canadians in my part of the country to kvetch about how the rest of Canada views us. When national publications talk East Coast, they’re really just talking about Halifax (so we think). And the national CBC is even worse, as when they talk about the East, it seems to end at the Quebec border. Grrr.

So here’s a footnote to that Globe article. New Brunswick is home to two Bruins greats: Don Sweeney, who spent the better part of 15 seasons with Boston, and Willie O’Ree, who broke the NHL colour barrier. For the record, I know far more Bruins fans out here than actual Canucks fans (apologies to those cheering them on because they’re the last Canadian team standing).

And many of them are women.

Here’s something to make you smile, speaking of Boston: one kid honouring his uncle’s memory with an assist from the Red Sox. I can’t hate on them when they agree to do stuff like this.

This is from a few days ago, but Star Wars fans will enjoy this tale from our pal Andrew Bucholtz at Sporting Madness.

And now back to some seriousness: keep Nathan Horton in your thoughts, OK? God, I hate seeing anyone being carried off on a stretcher.

The value of your catcher

With the Giants losing Buster Posey to a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments, the conversation about whether or not players should be allowed to collide with catchers is once again front and center. Of course both Posey and the Giants GM have come out saying that the league needs to examine the situation.

The problem is – there isn’t really any rule governing the situation, so there’s no rule to tweak or overturn.

But the Posey situation has brought up an interesting point – should you have one of your offensive superstars playing behind home plate? Isn’t it bad business sense to put the future of your offense in the hands of some guy from the other team charging home plate?

Posey’s ankle is going to require some reconstruction and there’s some that say there’s no way he’s going to be able to squat on it or come out of a crouch a 100 times again on that surgically repaired ankle.

The Twins gave Joe Mauer $184 million and are having to go prolonged stretches of this season without him because his back and knees aren’t able to handle the stress the position puts on them.

Apparently Posey has spent time working first base – a typical spot for a superb hitter with minus offense (Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols). It would be hard to imagine the Giants would rather have Aubrey Huff in the game than not find a spot for Posey in the lineup.

What do you think? Are you for or against collisions at home plate? Should teams put more thought into whether or not they have an offensive star behind home plate?

 

Beauty Hurts: Disabled List Hotties

Is it just me, or does the disabled list seem a bit full for only six weeks into baseball season? Maybe it’s because my Cardinals are already missing their ace pitcher, 2/3 of the starting infield and just barely avoided being without their entire outfield in today’s game.  But it isn’t just St. Louis, many of our favorite baseball hotties are currently out of action. Starting with …

David Wright

Out Until June 1

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Vacation Hangover Links

I’ve been back from my vacation in New Orleans* for about 48 hours now, and I’m not entirely adjusted, so please enjoy these links.  Somehow they are all about baseball, but that wasn’t intentional.

*The picture above was taken on my vacation.  That’s New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams 2nd from left, with the GM and President of the franchise, appearing at Jazzfest. I was a little disappointed that no players appeared with them, but Monty Williams is quite nice looking in person.

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When is it ok to panic?

Why is it that baseball slumps always seem worse than slumps in every other sport? Is it the daily losing that gets to our psyche? That daily reminder of suckitude that doesn’t allow you to forget about the losing?

Baseball has the longest season and therefore stretches of losing have less of an impact than in other sports, yet I never take a string of losses so hard as when my baseball team does it.

The Brewers are in the midst of a 1-8 stretch. Picked to possibly win the division this year, Brewers’ fans hopes were high heading in to the season. DL stints for Corey Hart and new acquisition Zach Greinke meant we had to temper expectations a little in April, but now we’re heading towards mid-May, the Brewers bats have been silent, and as a fan I’m starting to get depressed.

I haven’t reached the level of some fans, who’ve already given up on the season and are asking when the team will start putting Prince Fielder on the block and become sellers.

However, I’m also not in the “it’s only May” and “every team goes through this” group either. The awful defense and lack of hitting are real concerns.

It’s mid-May and the Brewers are in fifth place and 5.5 games back of division-leadingSt. Louis, who they just lost two of three to. I’m starting to panic. This was supposed to be an “all-in” season. Management mortgaged the future, traded away a bunch of prospects and basically made the push to win now or forever hold their peace. And yet, here we stand.

Even last week’s return from the DL of Greinke was ruined by shoddy defense.

I figure there’s got to be something I (or Brewers fans) in general can do to bust the slump. I haven’t watched a full nine innings in about 10 days because I get disgusted by the fourth inning and turn it off in favor of season 4 of The West Wing on DVD.

We’re going to the game tonight for Greinke’sMilwaukeedebut. Do I need to wear a tinfoil hat? Dress like Bernie Brewer? Pray to Jobu over a dead chicken (or bucket of KFC)? Perform a no errors dance in the parking lot near the Hank Aaron statue?

Am I too far off? Is it to early to contemplate panic? 87 or so wins is probably going to take the NL Central this season, but in order to make that pace, the Brewers have to win about 60% of the rest of their games – something they haven’t come close to doing so far.

So Ladies… when do you panic? And what are you favorite slump-busting traditions?

Brewers sign Braun thorugh 2020 – too much?

The Brewers yesterday added five years to Ryan Braun’s contract, putting him under club control til 2020. He had already signed a contract in May 2008 that had him in Milwaukee til 2015. The new contract keeps him in Milwaukee until he’s 36.

The deal in 2008 was and is the biggest contract for a player with less than one year of Major League service.

The new deal is worth $105 million for five years, with a mutual option for a sixth year. It is the biggest deal in Brewers’ history.

Including 2011, that means Braun will be making $145.5 million for 10 years.

The deal including $10 million in signing bonuses and though the details were not dicussed, also allows the club to defer some of the money, leaving them some wiggle room for signing free agents as they may need.

The deal is reportedly for $19 million in ’16, ’17 and ’18, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2020. The mutual option for 2021 is reportedly worth up to $20 million. There is a $4 million dollar buyout and the deal includes a no-trade clause.

Over the course of the whole ten year contract Braun is earning an average of $21 million per year, which is the second-highest ever salary for an outfielder, says ESPN’s Buster Olney. Olney also reports that this deal makes Braun one of just seven ever players to be signed through age 36 while spending their entire career with their original team. The others are Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Ryan Howard, Chipper Jones and Todd Helton.

Troy Tulowitsky, who was the runner up to Braun in the 2007 Rookie of the Year voting, is the only other major leaguer signed through the 2020 season.

But what do we think about signing a player for the majority of their major league career?

Though the contract does include deferred payments meant to help the club, it does tie up a lot of money for a small-market club for the next ten years. It could handcuff the Brewers in future negotiations.

The Brewers are taking the risk that Braun not only maintains the kind of offensive output he’s known for, but doesn’t get injured – for the next ten years.

The timing is interesting, because while Braun is having his hottest start to the season, 2010 was by far his worst year statistically in the majors. It’s calculated risk, but risk nontheless. They have secured one piece of the puzzle and cemented him as the cornerstone of the franchise. They now know exactly where they stand financially as the continue to try to field a team around him.

Does the benefit a small-market team gains in marketing a “face of the franchise,” outweigh the possible downfalls of such a long contract?

Milwaukee (and Wisconsin) like their icons. People love Robin Yount and the fact that he spent his whole career in a Brewer uniform. Brett Favre was a god. There hasn’t been an annointed Brewer for a very long time. After years of losing, the franchise has a new owner and appears to be committed to placing a winning product on the field every season.

But are those off-field reasons enough to justify locking a player up for 10 years?

The same questions were raised when the Rockies extended Tulowitzki – who was under contract thorough 2014 at the time they added six years to his deal.

Mr. Mondays (yes, we have three!)

Red Sox

See? The Red Sox still remember how to smile. (AP Photo)

It’s the Monday of a four-day work week for me. Don’t those Mondays seem like the very longest of Mondays? Ugh. And for that reason, I wish I had this post up for you sooner. Forgive me. How about I make it up to you with not one, but three Mr. Mondays!

Let’s start with a belated Happy Patriots’ Day to the good residents of my geographical neighbours in Maine, and further on in Massachusetts. The Red Sox celebrated the day by beating up on the Toronto Blue Jays 9-1. It was like the War of 1812 except, um, not really. At all.

But hey, how about Jed Lowrie who had four hits including a two-run homer! I haven’t done the research, but at .516/.545/.774, is it safe to say that Jed is off to his Best Start Ever? It’s just a shame he’s Scutaro’s backup. The win is Boston’s third in a row, so maybe we’re finally seeing the team we were warned about all along.

See who else made our Monday after the jump.

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Hit and Run: You Suck, Albert

Guess who was SO excited to snag Albert Pujols on her fantasy team (in large part because one of the “people” drafting in front of her was Lady Bee’s dog, Daisy, but that’s another story) only to see him have one of his worst season starts ever?

Albert himself doesn’t seem worried and he has historically broken out of his slumps in spectacular fashion, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of being patient.  However, given my excellent record of jinxing things I write about on this blog let’s just try this:

Albert Pujols is so bad right now, you guys.  I think maybe he’s finally over the hill.  Or maybe the pressure of his contract year is getting to him.  Whatever the case, I don’t see him breaking out of this slump any time soon.

Moving on to things which don’t directly affect any of my teams (which usually nullifies any jinxes or reverse jinxes)….

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It’s the 2011 NHL Playoffs, you guys!

NHL

It’s a glorious time of year! (Unless you’re a Leafs fan or Cory Clouston.) It’s time for our quick and dirty preview of the first round of the NHL Playoffs. Here are the matchups that begin Wednesday:

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Ladies… Linkups: With Added Opening Weekend Smugness (just a little)

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins battling the Huskies' Kelly Faris (Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

How can a weekend recovering from the flu be your best weekend ever? When you spend it on the couch with your hubby diamond surfing through the MLB Extra Innings free preview. Yankees game only on at 5? Let’s see how the Pirates are doing in Chicago! Painful to watch? Let’s see how Melky Cabrera looks in baby blues! Wait, can we go back to Texas again? Because that was awesome.

Honestly, I’d get nothing done if I had the baseball package for my dish.

Anyway, it’s another busy Monday. Here are some quick links to get you through the day:

Tonight: UConn. Butler. No, none of us picked these guys in the Championship. But kudos to unofficial winner CuteSports! [NCAA]

Tomorrow night, Notre Dame faces Texas A&M for the women’s basketball title. Skylar Diggins had 28 points last night as her Fightin’ Irish downed the Connecticut Huskies 72-63, ending their run for a third straight championship. [ESPN]

When is a story about pants awesome? When they are these pants! Yes, the Norwegians are BACK! By the way, Canada is 3-and-0 at the Men’s World Curling Championship in Regina. [Globe and Mail]

You guys, Aramis Ramirez needs a hug. [Onion Sports Network]

Guess who’s first in the AL East as of this afternoon? The Orioles! Guess who’s last? Here’s a hint. I’m told THEY’RE THE BEST TEAM ON PAPER!! [It's early.]

Move away from the panic button and have an excellent week!

Your wait is over.

The rotation that will haunt our dreams. (AP Photo)

High socks. Eye black. Dusty mounds. Cliff Lee. Baseball is back for reals, and we at Ladies… couldn’t be happier. Many of us have spent the last few days figuring out how to weasel out of whatever we’re going to be up to at the time our respective favorite teams are playing. Me? TWO HOUR MEETING when Mike Mussina throws the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium. How am I supposed to sneak my phone in to listen to the game? ARGH! (although Games Mistress told me there was lots of rain expected in New York Thursday, so I may get my wish after all.)

It’s Opening Day for these Ladies… faves. Let’s see what they’re up to today:

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

Photobucket

Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

So what else is going on? Continue reading

Your Annual “Ladies… On A Break” Post

Red Sox,Mets

A few of us could tolerate being here right now for our spring break, even with the overcast Florida skies. (Photo: AP)

We’re taking their annual blogging break to recharge our batteries. But don’t worry, we’ll be back in a week with all the fun that March has to offer: MLB Spring Training, NHL and NBA playoff position jockeying, and of course, March Madness (including our annual Bracket Challenge where I will defend my title as Unexpected Champ. I’m the Canadian. How does that even happen?)

Enjoy the next seven days!

When Injuries Happen

When news came, first speculatory Wednesday and then confirmed on Thursday, that St. Louis Cardigan pitcher Adam Wainwright had injured his elbow and would require Tommy John surgery, ending his season, many NL Central fans breathed a sigh of relief.

Wainwright was the ace of the Cardinals staff and his loss has a big impact on the other teams expected to compete for the division title – namely the Brewers and the Reds.

So when speculation started that Wainwright was done for the season, over at a Brewers site I write for, the reaction was mostly “man, that sucks – but it’s good for us.” But there were also a few “cheers.”

Most notably, Hall of Fame reporter Hal McCoy reported that the Reds’ Jonny Gomes openly celebrated upon learning Wainwright’s fate. Gomes has since denied that’s why he was celebrating and McCoy has removed the story from his blog.

But it made me wonder – what’s appropriate in this kind of situation?

As a fan, it’s difficult not to have a little private “YES!” moment when you learn that ZiPS projections are for the Cardinals to lose 5-6 more games without Wainwright, leaving them third in the division.

But is that wrong?

I feel like most every Brewers and Reds fan had a similar reaction to mine privately, but would not admit it. It’s not a very tasteful way to handle the situation. Singing and dancing is probably taking it too far, but if had been reported that Gomes showed joy upon learning about Wainwright, he’d probably still have been ripped and called “classless.”

No fan wishes harm upon an opposing player (at least, I hope not.) I had nothing to do with the ligament problems in Wainwright’s elbow, so does my private excitement about what the injury could mean for my team make me a bad person?

I was at a game in 2008 when Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo tore his ACL. Fans from the opposing team actually cheered as he was removed from the game. Clearly, that’s probably a little extreme as far as celebrations go – but where is the line drawn?

I’d probably have been pretty upset at any reaction from the opposing fans, to be fair – we get so defensive in situations like this.

So what do you guys think? Is any kind of happiness or celebration wrong? Or is it just human nature to look at the injury in the way most beneficial to you?

How I Crafted Like A Champion (or “A Peek Into The Demented Mind of Lady Bee”)

Craft Like A Champion

Can you guess what I made with this classic baby yarn?

It’s been a head-spinning 24 hours of breaking news: Forsberg’s retirement (*sniff!*), pitchers and catchers reporting (YES!) and Arcade Fire‘s tremendous Grammy win (OUI!). So dizzying that one needs to sit down, take stock, maybe do a little knitting to calm down.

While one of us Ladies… checks on Games Mistress to she how she’s faring through this Pujols drama (CAN’T YOU SEE YOU’RE KILLING HER, ALBERT?!), let me tell you how I made out in our Craft Like A Champion Challenge.

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NOT The Sweetest Hangover

Unlike my girl Diana, this is not the sweetest hangover – this is the WORST kind of hangover!

It’s not brought on by copious amounts of Yuengling and Makers Mark.

It’s not accompanied by the Stride of Pride.

It’s not cured by greasy food.

It’s not something that gets worse with age.

It’s a hangover that only comes with the harsh realization… football is OVER until Fall. Continue reading

So THAT happened.

null

I don’t even know if this should be an Advent Calendar of Hotness post or what. I’m a Phillies fan and I still don’t know what just happened. All I know is that Cliff Lee turned down a whole shit-ton of money, and I know that the rotation is absolutely disgusting and I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS.

I went to my first baseball game in 1993 when the Phillies played the Rockies. Back then, the Phillies literally gave away tickets to games in packages of hot dogs. Seriously, I remember 14 year old Maggie negotiating with her dad that if we bought TWO packages of hot dogs, my siblings could come to the game, and if we bought THREE, Mom could come too.

Halladay.
Hamels.
Oswalt.

…And Lee?

I can’t even.

Look, I know the world hates the Phillies and everything because they’re the new Red Sox or Yankees or Patriots or whatever, but this is…mindblowing.

Advent Calendar of Hotness – Day 8

I am just going to make the “day 8″ part of this, so it’s a good thing today’s ACoH selection has become very familiar to all of us over the last two months.  Ladies (and gentlemen, if you are so inclined), please enjoy the following views of NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey:

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