The ALL-RELIGIOUS TEAM

Decades of following sports combined with a photographic memory has led me to a compilation of some truly unique rosters.

There’s a VERY good chance you’ve never heard of such a collection of names before, and the spellings may not be a 100% match, but they’re close enough to warrant inclusion.  If I forgot someone that comes to mind, please feel free to share in the comments.

Today’s list is one that you will not believe.

All-RELIGIOUS TEAM

  • God Shammgod
God Shammgod

A 3.1 career PPG is not almighty?

  • Evander Holyfield
  • David DeJesus
  • Leonard Pope
Leonard Pope Steelers

These uniforms remind me of my guards at The Vatican.

vatican guard uniforms

Maybe a kicker or punter?

  • Brian Cardinal
  • Priest Holmes
  • Freddie Joe Nunn
  • Desmond Bishop
  • Moses Malone
Moses Malone Philadelphia Sixers

I parted which sea?

  • Christian Ponder
  • Ryan Church
  • Robert Parrish
  • Angel Pagan
angel pagan

A messenger that isn’t from the mainstream.

  • Shabazz Muhammed
  • Zab Judah
  • Garrett Temple
  • Brian Moorman
Brian Moorman Buffalo Bills

Does Salt Lake City have a team yet?

  • Miroslav Satan
miroslav satan

It wouldn’t be right not to include him.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Gross

It’s gotten to the point where I can’t take my dog out without my sunglasses…even in the evening!

Does anyone else notice the latest trend when it comes in footwear?  Apparently all of the major sneaker companies have colluded with one other to mass produce the most hideous line of sneakers or tennis shoes (for all of you Midwesterners) that we have ever seen.

Image

Caution, the salesperson won’t tell you that you look like a jackass in them.

What ever happened to the simplicity of a sneaker…a basic foundation of black, white, or grey with an accent color or two? Instead, the Nikes and Reeboks are designing the most ridiculous looking color schemes imaginable. Finding a pair that is low-key, simple, and normal looking is like trying to a needle in a haystack.

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Good thing I can’t wear these with anything.

These are actually basketball sneakers for men!

These are actually basketball sneakers for men!

I get that neon is in right now and don’t see anything wrong when it is used in a supporting role.  It’s like how certain actors are better suited when they aren’t the lead.  If designing neon yellow sneakers were truly a novel concept, wouldn’t we have seen them during the 1980s?

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The visionary who designed these getups still kept the shoes simple.

My main issue with these sneakers is that not everyone can pull them off.  Maybe the University of Oregon football team can get away with wearing them, but the George Costanza look-alike in my neighborhood, not so much.

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Stick with the neutral colors.

Just remember that every bad decision seemed like a good idea at the time.   Don’t believe me, than perhaps you have forgotten about these:

Zubaz pants

I wonder what this designer is up to these days.

The ALL-EMPLOYMENT TEAM

Decades of following sports combined with a photographic memory has led me to a compilation of some truly unique rosters.

There’s a VERY good chance you’ve never heard of such a collection of names before, and the spellings may not be a 100% match, but they’re close enough to warrant inclusion.  If I forgot someone that comes to mind, please feel free to share in the comments.

Don’t ask us how, but today’s list just somehow works .

ALL-EMPLOYMENT TEAM

  • Kevin Boss
  • Chris Carpenter
Chris Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals

The epitome of a “crafty” veteran.

  • Dequan Cook
  • Scott Baker
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Donald Driver
  • Gary Plummer
Gary Plummer San Diego Chargers Pro Set card

Aren’t plumbers supposed to unclog things?

  • Lawyer Milloy
  • Bill Cartwright
  • Kendall Hunter
  • Garth Butcher
  • Keith Byars
Keith Byars Philadelphia Eagles

A company needs someone to buy the merchandise…

  • Mike Sellers
Mike Sellers Washington Redskins

…and someone else to sell it.

  • Tris Speaker
  • Lawrence Taylor
  • Dion Waiters
  • Lance Painter
  • Kam Chancellor

The Mud Soup and Charcoal Arugula Are Outrageous Here

So you own a restaurant or looking open one up?  Aside from making great food, the goal should be to make money.  Here’s how you can improve your profit margins.

It all starts with the menu…

  • Make sure that something on the menu is “artisan”, even though it isn’t.  The cheese, the bread, the desserts, it doesn’t matter.  Artisan is the newest buzzword, so find a way to get it on there.
  • I get that your restaurant probably has a set cuisine, but think about making it a fusion instead.  A Thai restaurant may be promising, but a Thai Fusion instantly allows you to markup prices by 40%.
  • There is no such thing as salad anymore since they can get that at home.  Try rebranding it as “mixed greens” instead.  Also, there are no dressing options either, just an exotic vinaigrette.
  • Remember, it is all in the wording.  Seasonings should only be dusted, mixtures are now emulsions, flavors are infused, assortments are now medleys, and sauces should only be in the reduction form and be applied only by way of drizzle.  Including a demi-glace wouldn’t hurt either.
  • The more ridiculous the combination, the better.  Squid ravioli in a lemon grass broth with goat cheese profiteroles, swordfish meat loaf with onion marmalade, or rare roasted partridge breast in raspberry coulis with a sorrel timbale.  Yes, just like in American Psycho.
American Psycho Patrick Bateman Christian Bale

You’re going to have the peanut butter soup with smoked duck and mashed squash.  New York Magazine called it a “playful but mysterious little dish”.

  • Include foods that no one has ever heard of before.  The days of pairing steak, chicken or fish with rice or potato are officially over!  Opt for the farro, polenta, or fennel.  Oh and another thing, it’s fowl from now on, not chicken.
  • Don’t just serve tap water out of a pitcher, bottle it.  Tell your customers that your house water is bottled on site.  They will quickly forget that you simply turned on the sink while creating the illusion that you are talking about a vintage wine.
  • Remember that less is more…the smaller the portion, the greater the perceived value.

If you can serve up the bullshit, then your establishment will be just fine.

Robbie Cano, Where Could Ya Go?

This offseason, Robinson Cano will be the prized free-agent.  The soon to be 31 year old consistently produces elite numbers from a position that is usually offensively challenged.   Who wouldn’t want him?

Robinson Cano New York Yankees

.300-30-100 isn’t easy to find at second base.

The Yankees should be able to resign him, but what if his contract demands are too rich even for the Yankees’ blood?  Is that even possible?  Well, Hal Steinbrenner has stressed the importance of lowering their total salary below 189 million to avoid the luxury tax.  Also, the Alex Rodriguez contract is a painful reminder of lengthy, expensive deals.  Would they want to go all in on potentially a 10-year deal?

What if the Yankees decided to let Cano walk?  Who could possibly be willing to spend the big bucks to ink the sweet swinging lefty?

Here are the ten teams after the Yankees with the highest payroll (in millions) this past season:

1.)   Yankees ($229)

2.)   Dodgers ($216)

3.)   Phillies ($159)

4.)   Red Sox ($158)

5.)   Tigers ($149)

6.)   Giants ($142)

7.)   Angels ($142)

8.)   Rangers ($127)

9.)   White Sox ($124)

10.)  Blue Jays ($118)

11.)  Cardinals ($116)

What would hold back the other big market teams from making a bid on the All-Star?

  • The Red Sox already have a great second baseman in Dustin Pedroia.
  • Cano would be a significant upgrade over Omar Infante, but the Tigers already have a lot of money committed to Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Verlander.  Additionally, they are in talks of extending Max Scherzer, whom is due for a big raise.
  • The Angels and Blue Jays both have been burned the past 2 years on their big blockbuster deals and free agent signings.  If anything, both teams need to spend on pitching, not offense.
  • The Rangers currently have Ian Kinsler manning second base and are currently trying to figure prospect Jurickson Profar into the mix.  Anything is possible, but signing Cano would mean dealing either Profar or Elvis Andrus as well as moving Kinsler to a different position.
  • The White Sox have raised the white flag as they entered full rebuilding mode this past season.
  • The Cardinals have proved that their organization doesn’t require them to break the bank on the big free agents.  After all, they let Albert Pujols walk just two years ago in a similar situation.

That leaves us with 3 teams remaining that I believe could make an aggressive move for the Yankee second baseman, the Dodgers, Phillies, and Giants.

Why the Dodgers? 

Their new ownership group rivals only Mikhail Prokhorov in the willing to spend and commitment to win.  Looking at their starting lineup, Cano would provide an enormous upgrade over Mark Ellis and would lengthen an absurd lineup that already includes Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Carl Crawford.  It also doesn’t hurt that current skipper, Don Mattingly, coached Cano in some capacity from 2004-2007.

Magic Johnson Dodger ownership group

Magic Johnson and the Dodger ownership are all in on winning.

Los Angeles is the second biggest market in the nation, so leaving The Big Apple for the Hollywood wouldn’t jeopardize Cano’s status as a major star of the sport.  In fact, Cano’s personality almost seems better suited for the West Coast as New Yorkers for years have criticized Cano’s nonchalant, laid back approach to the game.

Why the Phillies?

Yes, they just extended current second baseman, Chase Utley for two more years, but Utley is also 34 years old and hasn’t played over 150 games since 2009.

Even with the team’s regression over the past few seasons, general manager, Ruben Amaro, has refused to dismantle the aging core.  One would think this past season that players like Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelpon, or even Utley would have been dealt to facilitate the team’s rebuild.

Would it seem out of the realm of possibility if the Phillies signed Cano to be their second baseman and move Utley to third base?  Michael Young’s contract expires at year’s end and a move to third could help preserve Utley’s health.

Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies

Placido Polanco was once moved to 3B to make room for someone else. Could Utley do the same?

It’s unlikely that this scenario could play out, but if Amaro refused to throw in the towel with this group, then perhaps management feels that the addition of a prolific offensive force can get this team back into the upper echelon of the National League.  The top of the pitching rotation is still amongst the best and a lineup featuring Cano and Dominic Brown with Ryan Howard, Utley, and Rollins in more supporting roles could bring the Phillies back into the conservation of league contenders.

Why the Giants?

This is the dark horse in my opinion to pursue Cano if the Yankees decide to let him go.  The team committed to Marco Scutaro after last year’s World Series with a 3-year, 20 million dollar deal.  Scutaro is also 37 years old that doesn’t hit for power at all.

The Giants are in a good situation financially because both Tim Linecum and Hunter Pence’s contracts expire at season’s end.  The two players combined are earning just about $34 million this year.  If they don’t exercise the 2014 option, an additional 18 million will come off the books as well with Barry Zito’s deal finally coming to an end.  It also helps that San Francisco’s other core players (Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner) are already locked up to long term deals.

Barry Zito Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants

San Francisco is about to get a lot of financial “relief”.

The team’s recent success has been built on their strong pitching, but the Giants need a proven star to pair up with Posey and Cano would perfectly complement him from the left side of the plate.  Pence’s hitting flaws have become more pronounced and Pablo Sandoval consistently can’t stay healthy for a season.

The Giants have shown over the last 20 years that they pick their moments when they want to sign a highly coveted free agent to a lucrative deal. In 1993 it was Barry Bonds.  In 2007 it was Barry Zito.  Could 2013 be Robinson Cano?

How would a Cano signing work with the current roster?  Would the Giants be willing to move current first baseman, Brandon Belt, to the outfield and shift Scutaro over to first base for the short term?  With Brandon Crawford’s contract ending this year, could Scutaro be moved to shortstop?  Obviously not having Scutaro under contract for two more seasons would be ideal, but his positional versatility could provide the Giants with some options.

Even with the complications with their current personnel, San Francisco will have over 52 million dollars freed up with the departures of Pence, Lincecum, and Zito.  Cano is going to demand an enormous, long-term contract and if they pay Cano 25-30 million per season, they will still have plenty to address starting pitching.

Could the National League have a new starting 2nd Baseman?

Could the National League have a new starting 2nd Baseman?

The Yankees are truly caught between a rock and a hard place as their lineup cannot afford to lose the offensive production that Cano routinely provides.  The Steinbrenners will have to decide between locking up their franchise star well into his late thirties, or avoiding the luxury tax and having financial flexibility.  One thing is for sure, there should be some competition to sign their home grown talent.

Jewish Last Names For Dummies

Like any other culture/religion, the people of Jewish descent certainly have their distinct last names.  My family is an outlier and doesn’t fit the mold.

If you aren’t familiar or want to learn more about this topic and rules, consider the following cheat sheet.

The Basic Foundation

With these, you have the ability to create a simple, 1-2 syllable last name.  Some of the more popular ones include the following:

  • Baum
  • Berg
  • Blatt
  • Bloom
  • Gold
  • Green
  • Rosen
  • Roth
  • Ruben
  • Schwartz
  • Silver
  • Stein
  • Wein
  • Weiss

I am sure that you have met a Jessica Berg, David Stein, Sarah Bloom, Erica Gold or Adam Weiss during your lifetime.

What you will notice with some of these names is that they can be combined with each other to make a stronger representation of your family’s religious heritage.

There is a catch though, as certain names are better suited as prefixes whereas others must be used as a suffix.  Refer to the chart below to help understand the categorization of the names.

PREFIX

SUFFIX

Rosen

Gold

Silver

Schwartz

Green

Wein

Weiss

Ruben

Roth (en)

Stein

Berg

Blatt

Bloom

Baum

As you can see, the number of possibilities is plentiful!

Rosen + Stein = Rosenstein

Roth+ en + Berg = Rothenberg

Gold + Blatt = Goldblatt

There are other suffixes that exist to accessorize a name; however, these lack the ability to be used on their own.

PREFIX

SUFFIX

Rosen

Gold

Silver

Schwartz

Green

Weiss

Wein

Roth (en)

Ruben

Stein

Berg

Blatt

Bloom

Baum

* Man

* Thal

* Wald

 

You probably have never met an Adam Man, Josh Thal or Melissa Wald but there is a pretty good chance that you have attended the Bar/Bat Mitzvah of Adam Silverman, Josh Rosenthal or Melissa Greenwald.

Wald is a unique case because it can be used as a prefix if, and only if, it is paired up with Man.  It is doubtful that there is a Michael Waldbloom out in the world, but there is a very good chance that someone you know is friends with Michael Waldman on Facebook.

Additionally, Bloom can be used as a prefix when paired with Berg.  The result…Michael Bloomberg.

Some prefixes have more versatility than others.  Gold and Rosen have the ability to be paired up with almost every suffix out there.

GOLD

ROSEN

Goldstein

Goldberg

Goldblatt

Goldbloom

Goldman

Rosenstein

Rosenberg

Rosenblatt

Rosenbaum

Rosenthal

Rosenbloom

Others have their limitations.

WEISS

RUBEN

SCHWARTZ

Weissberg

Weissman

Rubenstein

Schwartzman

Schwartzstein

For obvious reasons, you cannot combine two prefixes together.  It just doesn’t work!

Case in point:

  • Lindsey Rosengold
  • Jason Silverweiss

Finally, please remember that this is a classic case of a permutation where the order does matter!  A suffix cannot precede the prefix!

Michelle Berggreen sounds ridiculous, but Michelle Greenberg could be one of your distant cousins from Long Island.

Jared Goldman could be the biggest fan of the New York Jets but the last time I checked, Nick Mangold is not Jewish.

Definitely wasn't Bar-Mitzvahed

Definitely wasn’t Bar-Mitzvahed