Month: October 2015

Who Would You Wanna Punch?

In honor of the first game of the 2015 World Series, we here at the Kept Faith have asked our contributors one of the most important questions in sports history: What Major Leaguer would you most like to punch?

There’s really no criteria to go off of, just that they have to be a current Major Leaguer, and there needs to be a reason for them to be punched. So, without any further ado – swing away!

I really want to punch Brian McCann. Sure, he shares my last name, but I hate him. More importantly, I hate modern players who over do the whole old school baseball rules thing. During his last few seasons as an Atlanta Brave he emerged as the self appointed keeper of all things pure about baseball by starting fights over every little thing. Bat flipping isn’t a big deal and he needs to calm down about it. He is a good player and he looks like a bald Ryan Dunn from Jackass. Whatever, try to become a true Yankee and shut up. I’d like to punch the idea of Brian McCann and all baseball players who aspire to wear “playing the right way” on their sleeve as some kind of stupid pose.
Nicholas Burmeister AKA @padreshaiku
Based on looks alone, I’d punch Angel Pagan. The guy looks like your ex-girlfriend’s rebound. He looks like the guy at work that won’t shut up about capoeira. He looks like a guy that microwaves fish at work. I bet he wants Donald Trump to be president. Given the chance he’d raise the price on AIDS medicine to $750 a pill. He thinks the Green Album is the best Weezer album. He thinks Yorvit Torrealba belongs in the Padres canon. He’d kill Cecil the lion. He looks like he owns a “No Fat Chicks” tee shirt.

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 7: John Lackey #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs to end the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on May 7, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

I’d punch every Cardinal. Fine, just one? John Lackey. It’s hard for me to hate a team more than the Dodgers and Giants, but the Cardinals are up there. Lackey’s the face of that. He also has the face of someone who’d let a divorce go public while his wife was battling cancer. He also has the heart of that person, too. I don’t want to know the real details / his side either. I just want to punch him. And then run away.
I’d punch Fernando Rodney. His stupid crooked hat and his stupid arrow shooting. And the fact that looking at any advance statistics prove that he has NEVER had even ONE good season–even in his good years he was lucky. And his stupid last name. Stupid.
Adrian Gonzalez Los Angeles Dodgers Photo WLoupqwPM54l
As a native San Diegan I want to punch Adrian Gonzalez in the mouth, hard. San Diego has nothing in the sports world to hang it’s hat on. San Diego loved Tony Gwynn because he stayed and believed in the city even though he knew it meant he might never have a ring. Adrian had the opportunity, as a native San Diego to have a very special story about being the hometown boy and bringing a ring to the city that needs it the most. Instead he let greed get in the way. I wan to punch him hard.

EDS NOTE: LEWD GESTURE - Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon gestures to the crowd after giving up four runs to the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. Papelbon was ejected from the game. The Marlines won 5-4. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

My runner up is Kris Bryant. He’s not only a (very promising) Cub, but he’s A-Rod/Prom King/Douche Bag/ 80’s Bully level Handsome. Side note: Schwarber and Rizzo sound like an 80’s bully’s goons.

The real one I’d punch is Papelbon. All time dumb white fuck head. I would bet he’s never been nice to a person with less money than him. I hope Harper knocks his teeth out at Jayson Werth’s birthday.
Honorable Mention: Schilling because he’s a failure and wants to jerk it to Ayn Rand or whatever.

VIERA, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait at Space Coast Stadium during photo day on February 23, 2014 in Viera, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Jayson Werth. Not only cause his name is spelled like that, but by itself that’s a good enough reason. I remember when Werth was a Dodger, and saw him play at the Murph. He hit a homerun, and literally ran the bases with his arms wide-open just shaking his head like no one had ever hit a god damn homerun before. From that moment on, it was over. He grew his beard, and started looking like every Puddle of Mudd fan from Santee. I hate looking at him, I hate watching him swing a bat, and I hate that he is sometimes good. One year, I drafted him in fantasy baseball and sat him on my bench the whole year, just so no one else could beat me with him.

TKF Pod 25: Raiders vs Chargers

This week Nick, Dallas and Travis recap the depressing Chargers vs Raiders game, the impending move to LA, the Padres manager search, and the World Series. Follow on Twitter @thekeptfaith.

Download the episode here:





The Raiders

On the surface, Raider Nation represents a population of fans from both Northern and Southern California. Al Davis, the team’s deceased founding owner, started his franchise in Oakland and then moved it to Los Angeles. After a failure to reach a new stadium deal with LA, he moved them back to Oakland. Through out his turbulent dealings with the NFL over the last half of his life, Davis never lost fans beyond any great measure, despite the relocation moves. He always made it very clear that the world was coming down on him and that no matter what he wouldn’t be pushed around. Al wouldn’t hate Commissioner Roger Goodell for the same reasons a growing percentage of football fans do today. The father of the Raiders despised the concept of a commissioner’s office. If you were in the position of anointed ruler for the National Football League, he hated you the same way Ice Cube hated the LAPD.

For San Diego Chargers fans, it doesn’t matter whether the Raiders are in Oakland or in LA. They’re the enemy. However, the distinction between the teams runs deeper than geography. San Diegans root for the Chargers because they’re a football team that plays in San Diego. That’s it. The team’s brand is basically, We play here and the excitement we provide is at times electric. For the Raiders, it’s something different. Location doesn’t really matter if you’re offering your fans a chance to adopt an idea that everyone on a certain level can be attracted to. I hated Al Davis, but I respect him even now more than living Chargers owner Dean Spanos.

While trying my best to engage with the 2015 incarnation of the Chargers, it’s hard to forget what is most likely on the horizon if they leave for LA. On Sunday the two teams will meet at Qualcomm for what is usually the most violent NFL matchup at any one location as far as arrest totals in the crowd. When these two approaches to fandom collide things get weird. Like in the Monday Night Pittsburgh game two weeks back, the stadium will likely be filled with opposing colors. It will be bikers and strippers and people who aspire to channel those archetypes through their football team. On the field, Chargers QB Philip Rivers will likely have a tough day because several of his skill player options are hurt. And like with the Steelers, he probably will experience trouble hearing on the field because of Raiders fans over populating the stadium. If the Chargers win, nobody will care because they should win. It’s the NFL and the Chargers are at home. Philip Rivers is more experienced than Oakland’s young QB David Carr and the Raiders have long been a rebuild project. If the Bolts blow this game, everyone-including locals- will blame the loss on the lack of support the Chargers fans have for their team.

Watch this video

Ice Cube and O’Shea Jackson Jr. on Conan

If Al Davis is the everlasting patriarch of the Raiders, Ice Cube is the sitting president of Raider Nation. He directed the flawed but fascinating ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary Straight Out of LA where the bulk of the movie surrounds a sit down interview with Al Davis and Cube face to face. They talk about toughness and perseverance and all the other cliché’s that built both of their brands. Ice Cube navigated music and film to become a boss and Davis went from coaching to owning one of the great products in the history of sports. In the film, Ice Cube makes it clear he wished the Raiders had stayed in his home town because they captured the spirit of LA. Al’s response was basically that the NFL screwed him over. At no point in the piece does Cube ever question Davis’ motives or express a decline in his love for the Raiders. Location doesn’t matter to him as a Raiders fan because he bought into the Al Davis code of how to exist in the world.

Ice Cube has since publicly expressed that LA doesn’t want the Chargers. I ride with Cube. If the Chargers and Raiders go to Carson and try to unite Southern California, the best case scenario for me would be to have nobody from San Diego follow them. I want LA to completely reject the LA Chargers for the LA Raiders. Since the release of the Carson2gether video and campaign, the reality has set in that both Dean Spanos, and Al’s son Mark Davis, could care less about rivalry or the people who need to exercise it twice a year. It’s hard to view the Raiders as anything more than a potential roommate, masquerading as another struggling, hard to evaluate team this early in the season. Is Oakland QB David Carr good? It doesn’t really matter. Philip Rivers and he could be using the same home locker room this time next year.

In the video above, Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., is a good example of how much this doesn’t really matter. He was three when the Raiders left LA. In fact, his Dad’s enthusiasm scared him enough to actually root for the Chargers. While his Dad blames himself for this happening, O’Shea Jr., promoting Straight Outta Compton, a film in which he plays his Dad at the genesis of his storied career, admits if the Raiders come back to LA he would totally be on board. I guess location doesn’t matter. The Raiders idea lives on while the Chargers don’t have one. My Dad moved from Oakland to San Diego and became a Chargers fan when he had me. They were here and they were electric.

A Short Play by Padres Haiku

Setting- a luxury office overlooking downtown LA. Don Mattingly has just been fired.

Dodger Exec: [to Magic Johnson] Mr. Johnson, the Dodgers and Don Mattingly have…parted ways. We have started to look for a replacement. The front office thinks-

Magic Johnson: [Interrupts] Pat Riley. Call Pat Riley!

DE: Uh…He’s a basketball guy, and anyway he’s busy with the Miami Heat.

MJ: Call him!!! He owes me!

[15 minuets later]

DE: So we uh, called Mr. Riley. He politely declined…Dodger brass suggests hiring-

MJ: Bill Parcells, he’s old school. I like that. He’ll toughen up that outfield!! He’s turned around teams before. Call him.

DE: Again, Mr. Johnson, Bill Parcells doesn’t have experience in the baseball world.  Plus, we’ve been to the post-season three years in a row, so a rebuild isn’t really necessary. It would serve the organization better to-

MJ: Call him!!

[10 minuets later]

DE: Mr. Parcells has passed.

[Magic stares out his window]

DE: Mr. Johnson, our best option might be to let the basball operations people find a new manager. Zaidi and his guys can find a…

MJ: You want a baseball guy? How about Lasorda? He’s available.

DE: Right…Well…Uh…

MJ:Call him!!!

[five minutes later]

DE: Mr. Lasorda said no.

MJ: He did?

DE: Well, he used a few magic words, but after asking us to trade for Willie Keeler, he hung up. It might be best to go a different route. Maybe someone with an analyitic background?

MJ: No, let’s stay on the path that we’re on right now. I got an idea. Can we hire…

-Smash cut to-

Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Chase Utley spray champagne on a bag of money sitting next to the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Follow Nicholas Burmeister on Twitter @Padreshaiku

TKF Pod 24: Behind Enemy Lines

This week Nick and Travis sit down with longtime TKF contributor Joe Chandler. Joe is a writer for American Dad and a member of The Midnight Show at UCB in Los Angeles. The guys talk about the current state of Dodger Nation, the mind blowing MLB Playoffs so far, the struggling Chargers, and the return of the San Diego Gulls. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @thekeptfaith,

Download the episode here:




TKF Pod #23: Lee Hacksaw Hamilton

This week Nick sits down with sports broadcasting legend Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton! They talk about his career, the future of San Diego sports, and just a little bit about Homer Bush! Listen and learn from one of San Diego’s most recognizable voices!

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @thekeptfaith,

Download the episode here:




TKF Pod #22: Don Orsillo

This week the guys talk about the Padres media shuffle! Who’s going where? Scan out and Orsillo in. Uncle Teddy? They get into the Bryce Harper/Papelbon fight and try to figure out why the Chargers want Philip Rivers to die. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @thekeptfaith,

Download the episode here:




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