MLB playoffs/payrolls, Prawn To Be Wild, Gottfried, Letterman

Monday, October 1, 2007

I have four topics to ramble about today (if you don’t want to read about baseball, skip to the three more entertaining topics below):

MLB 2007 payrolls MLB playoffs/payrolls

Every year around October I like to look at the payrolls of Major League Baseball teams that make the playoffs. Since there is no salary cap in MLB, the 30 teams have vastly different payrolls, based on their markets and owners (who may or may not care about the MLB’s luxury tax).

The New York Yankees (at $195.2 million) have a payroll that is more than eight times what the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays pay their players ($24.1 million). In fact, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, who earns $27.7 million per year, makes more than the entire Tampa Bay ballclub. Just the salaries of New York’s top three players put them in 18th place in terms of payrolls . . . for three guys! It’s obscene. Thus, I love to see small-market teams (or relatively small payroll teams) make the playoffs, despite drastic disadvantages in being able to afford (and attract) premier talent. Anyway, without further ado, this year’s teams are below.

In the American League playoffs we have:

And in the National League playoffs we have:

So, the fact that three of the top five payrolls made the playoffs is not a big surprise. What is surprising is that three teams from the bottom eight payrolls also qualified for the playoffs this year. It’s interesting how some teams can do so much without big-name (overpaid) stars making $20 million year.

Which reminds me: The Florida Marlins are a team that has dramatically overachieved in recent years given their tiny payroll (#29 this year at $30.5 million), with World Series wins in 1997 (over the Indians) and 2003 (over the Yankees). And the small-market Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001 against the three-time defending champion Yankees (but at the time Arizona had more than a middling payroll with the killer Randy Johnson-Curt Schilling pitching combo). Interestingly enough, Randy Johnson is back on the Diamondbacks this year after his unpleasant stint with the Yankees.

I guess the point of all this is that it’s more fun to root for David than Goliath, and there are some excellent opportunities to do so this baseball postseason. I’ll be rooting for the teams with MLB payrolls ranked in the twenties. I don’t have a strong preference as to who wins tonight between Colorado and San Diego, but the Rockies have won 13 of their last 14 games and might be the hottest team in baseball right now.

Prawn To Be Wild Prawn To Be Wild

Guess what? Insanity Prawn Boy has his own game. That’s right! There is now a prequel to the On The Moon series! Play the game: Prawn To Be Wild: Chapter 1. Here’s a quote about Weebl & Skoo’s plans for the Insanity Prawn Boy spinoff game: “We’ll be releasing a new level every Friday for the next 12 weeks. By the end, we’ll finally find out just how the little shrimpy chap ended up on that big ol’ hunk of cheese in space.” The game is short and funny.

Gilbert Gottfried: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Hugh Hefner

Let’s revisit some television from years past: Gilbert Gottfried On November 1, 2001, I was preparing to move to Oregon the following week . . . and this was on the TV: Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Hugh Hefner. This event was the stage for Gilbert Gottfried’s legendary post-9/11 “Ice-T did my whole act” performance (watch the video). Also, here’s an amusing WVVH-TV interview, just outside the Friars Club (Gottfried was obviously on fire that day).

But the funniest video I’ve seen related to the Friars Club is Gilbert Gottfried’s hilarious post-event monologue from his “Dirty Jokes” DVD. Watch this one for sure!

Also, here is more information about the legendarily filthy Aristocrats joke Gottfried told at the N.Y. Friars Club. You can also watch the video of Gottfried’s performance of The Aristocrats joke.

David Letterman: “What does carpet taste like?”

I have this random TV memory from my late childhood/adolescence that I have been unable to find any information about online (much less a video clip). I really want to see a video of the Late Night with David Letterman show (or possibly the Late Show . . . I’m not sure whether it aired before or after he moved from NBC to CBS, though I think it was pre-1993) . . . where Letterman is responding to a letter during a “Viewer Mail” segment that asks: “What does carpet taste like?” At the time, Dave’s response seemed like one of the funniest things I had ever seen. I believe he proceeds to eat a slice of cake decorated to look just like carpet. I vividly remember my dad and I laughing hysterically to this. I’d like to see that bit again to see if it holds up after all these years. Help, anyone?

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