Preshow Cocktail: Shuffling for Satan

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WalMartin (Last 10: 8-2,Hanger, Shutout, 9-pt end) No real surprise, but it appears that shimmering poster boy is not what he seems. Despite his repeated claims, he is not the rugged independent force using the primitive tools of the “Old Country” to lift himself up by his goolies to well-earned heights. It appears he is a horse’s arse of an entirely different color. News broke Saturday that “Martin” is actually a ruthless national chain of “Martins” whose hollow success was built on the backs of Cambodian sweatshop children working under the lash for a half cup of cashews and teaspoon of water a day. With the vast resources gained by such unethical behavior, this crook has, in the words of a disgusted competitor, “rigged the game.”  This news follows last week’s widespread reports of steroid and HGH use. As if to put frosting on shit, a related rumor surfaced Sunday that his now iconic hat may be woven from the hair of youth that met a “nursery retirement” in one of his factories. Opponents of the crooked behemoth have now joined forces to rid the world of his poaching ways. “The wins that used to rightfully go to us Mom-and-Pops” said one frustrated competitor, “are all falling into that ‘big box’ of his.” No offical legal action has gained any traction, but surely it is only a matter of time. For now, it appears that the underhand has shown its underbelly. It is now up to the opposing factions to pierce the exposed skin. “No more WalMartin!” is the rally cry.

Great Scott (Last 10: 6-4, Flood, 2 Shutouts, 10-pt end, Hanger) It is worth noting that all four losses in this 10 are to sides with the Snipper on them. Much as with Kong’s exemplary play at the Coppa di Primavera, the Good King’s recent greatness has been overshadowed by the dark cloud of the EBMB. When the big box scandal hit the papers, it was surely Kong who felt the most vindicated.  His knack for high-scoring ends has been the key against all foes, including the crooked giant. Great Scott accounts for two of the four singles victories tallied against WalMartin this year. One would expect a meteoric rise for Kong once the scandal is settled and the playing field is returned to level.

Lee to Own Option
 (Last 10: 4-6, Flood, Double Hanger, Hanger, 8-pt end) Infrequent? Yes. Inconsistent? Maybe. Impressive? Surely. Already the Don of the Kielbasa-nostra, the Foz added a double hanger to his resume. With that achievement, and the additional hanger scored in the last 10, Lee’s TFC-leading hanger rate is one every 7.1 games. He also still holds the career singles percentage mark, but only slightly. With the EBMB threatening this singles mark, the scandal could not have hit at better time. The shrewd Foz appears to be making his Lee-se payments and waiting to exercise his option to own.

Laborder Patrol (Last 10: 4-6, Flood, Shutout) The Chairman has stiffened his defenses and now doesn’t let anyone cross without proper papers. For 5 of the 6 losses in this ten, those papers had the Snipper’s name on them. Largely known to be the source of the HGH and steroid accusations, the Chairman has now begun to focus his efforts on the “Sweep the Leg” campaign. One thing is certain, the Chairman’s patrol badge, once made of rookie plastic, is now certainly made of genuine mettle.

Scrap Heap (Last 10: 3-7, Flood, Hanger, Shutout) This old familiar broken magnet just keeps swinging out over the junkyard. Sometimes there is enough pull to pick up something, but most of the time it just swings there pretending to be attractive. Despite some occasionally fine shooting, there’s really not much to speak of here. Unless a recharge occurs, you might as well just cut the chain and let the magnet pretend that he pulled the hole pile up. Maybe news of the big box scandal can spark Scrappy’s swinging carcass into useful action.

NoWind Craig (Last 10: 3-7, Shutout) After finding some lighting in a bottle at the Coppa di Primavera, the Zulu storm has regressed back to the old familiar light breeze. Just enough to cause a moment’s chill, but nothing a cheap windbreaker can’t fix. Hampered by infrequent play and the audacity to want to socialize rather than obsess, he will need to retool the electrical infrastructure if his storm is to rage beyond a Bic lighter spark in a small gray pillow of cloud.

Bravinheart, Foolish In Deed
 (Last 10: 2-8, 10-pt end) Being the only one brave enough to test his scratch in singles against the dark side, he has suffered the fool’s reward. 6 of these 8 losses have come in singles play against WalMartin. While his brave attempt is duly noted, his 2010 legacy will now be defined by his reaction to this foolish mire. If history is any guide, he will surely risk the fool in brave chance yet again. Even if it has to be against the juiced-up, crooked, big box chain that poses as Martin the Honest.