Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Kobe Bryant" of Travel Insurance Industry Absolutely Unbearable, Fired

Glendale, CA--After more than a decade of openly feuding with management, publicly shaming coworkers, and declining overall productivity, Nick Kelly, the so-called "Kobe Bryant" of travel insurance salesmen, has finally been fired.

"This was a tough decision for us as an organization," Larry Stephenson, chief operations officer at Travelsafe Insurance, said in a statement released earlier today. "In many ways, Nick Kelly was synonymous with TravelSafe. But at a certain point, we had to do what's best for the company. And constantly screaming at coworkers and customers to 'get the fuck out of the way, it's winning time for mamba' during peak travel season was simply not best for the company."

News of Kelly's dismissal was greeted with a wave of overwhelming enthusiasm and relief by the remainder of the TravelSafe sales force, many of whom feared Kelly was lobbying management to lay off the entire department after a year of disappointing sales.

"That guy was a nightmare," said Jeremy Garrett, who had worked alongside Kelly for five years. "I don't know what was worse--when he would call to tell you 'you have no fucking balls' for taking a sick day, or when he would just stare at you from his cubicle with that look of vacant disdain. There's even rumors he tried to sleep with Paul from accounting's wife, for Christ's sake."

Vacant disdain

Kelly had served as the leading salesman for TravelSafe since joining the company straight out of a high school. While undeniably a talented and prolific salesman, Kelly was constantly embroiled in conflicts with coworkers, many of whom alleged Kelly's sales stats were inflated because he was stealing their own shots with clients.

"At first, I was totally behind his whole no-nonsense, all that matters is closing, Glengarry Glen Ross without the irony approach to things," said Stephen Fishman, who joined TravelSafe earlier this year in the hope of partnering with Kelly on new clients. "Then I saw him threaten to kill our IT guy's family when his Outlook account froze for like fifteen minutes."

"It just keeps getting worse as he gets older. Maybe it's the divorce."

Kelly leaves TravelSafe with several of the company's all-time sales records, including total career sales, total sales in a 24 hour period, and total acquittals from sexual assault charges.

"Percentage wise, he really isn't that much better than the rest of us," said Garrett. "He just works on volume and knows how to promote himself. Best closer in the industry, my ass."

Friday, November 16, 2012

2 Swaggy P's in a Podcast, Episode 2: Attack of the Dick Bavetta Clones

In this edition of 2SP, Sky and Matt debate which venereal diseases Matt Barnes currently has and which he will have by the end of the season, whether you would rather have a timeshare in Syria or Memphis, and the quality and quantity of Dion Waiters' swag. Also, an EXCLUSIVE interview with Clippers head coach and professional Scott Bayo stand-in Vinny Del Negro.

Unfortunately, the Madelyn Burke-signed phonograph Matt and Sky use to record 2SP broke down in our later segments, so you will not be hearing which NBA players we would most like to invite to our bar mitzvahs, or which Clipper player bodies we would most like to rock for one day. More material for next time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2 Swaggy P's In a Podcast

The hotly-anticipated debut of 2 Swaggy P's in a Podcast, the ONLY podcast for TRUE Clipper fans, i.e. those who remember the days of Dairus-Q headbumps, Yaroslav Korolev post-game interviews and Cuttino Mobley's beastly low-post game.


We have everything Clipper Nation has ever wished for on this podcast, including: 1) a vicious freestyle rap throwdown between Caron Butler and Dan Dickau (at about the hour mark); 2) a "F$@K Memphis" segment in which we detail our enduring love for Rudy Gay, 3) and a heated debate over whether self-respecting Clipper fans can actually root for the meth addict formerly known as Matt Barnes.

We answer ALL your Clipper-related questions and insecurities, such as "Was Jesus a Clippers fan?", "Do Blake and DeAndre have the best friendship in the NBA?", and "Who would each of us murder to keep Chris Paul?".

Please don't hate us. This podcast suffers heavily from first pancake syndrome, with the audio rough in certain places (my mic is much louder than Sky's), me laughing far too much, and Sky forgetting the name of the Sports Arena. We will get better at drunkenly operating Audacity as the season progresses.

Sponsored by Chosun Galbee.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Day in the Dodgers Front Office: Part 1

Through a combination of intrepid reporting, patient source cultivation, and an errant Ned Colletti butt-dial (our office number is one digit away from the combination Pizza Hut/Men's Warehouse Colletti is known to frequent in Century City), Bochy's Oversized Pillow has obtained exclusive audio recordings of the internal deliberations of the Dodgers front office over the past three months. 

While most of the 200 plus hours of raw tape was rendered unintelligible by the sound of Juan Uribe eating his ritual pre- and post-game turducken, our researchers were able to piece together transcripts from several key meetings of Dodgers brass. Although by no means a full account of Dodger front office dynamics, these transcripts may help answer several nagging questions troubling the Dodgers' confused and yet cautiously optimistic fan base, such as "I'm glad Tony Gwynn Jr. isn't batting leadoff for a professional baseball team, but do I really have to root for Shane Victorino now?" and, "Holy shit, Crawford AND Beckett?" and "But seriously how much fucking money do these guys have?" 

Today we present the transcript from the morning of July 31, just hours before Major League Baseball's non-waiver trading deadline. The scene (from what we could piece together from the audio): Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti sits in a Club Level boardroom in front of a speakerphone, an annotated copy of USA Today's sports section, and an iPhone. Seated across the table is Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten; seated next to Kasten is Professional Media Teflon Magic Johnson; and on the speakerphone is Guggenheim Partners CEO and Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter. Newly hired assistant to the general manager Mickey Hatcher (yeup, we actually hired him for a front office job, google that shit) is seated directly next to Colletti. We pick up a few minutes into the conversation, after Colletti, despite the assistance of Hatcher, has accidentally locked himself out of his iPhone. 

Kasten: Don't worry about it Ned, we'll just get you a fourth one. Let's get this thing started, shall we? Mark, we have Ned, Magic, Mickey and myself on the line today. It's 10 AM here in L.A., which means we have about three hours until the deadline.

Colletti: Siri, what time is it on the East Coast? Goddamn this thing. Kim used to know how to work this...

Kasten: It's 1 PM on the East Coast, Ned. And it's not going to work while you're locked out, just be patient. Anyway, Mark, we just wanted to consult with you on our strategy going into the deadline. We know you were somewhat surprised by the Hanley deal, and we wanted to make sure you were apprised of the negotiations we have currently underway.

Walter: I appreciate that, Stan. And let me just reiterate, I'm fully behind the Hanley deal, I'm just always a little concerned when we take on longer-term contracts and give up young pitching. But what we've been saying to the press is honest--I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to make us a perennial World Series contender. Or at least give the national media the impression that the franchise is slightly less dysfunctional than it was under Fox.

Colletti: Just to be clear, Mr. Walter, you're willing to spend whatever it takes?

Walter: Yes, Ned. Whatever it takes. I mean obviously within rea--...

Walter's speakerphone cuts off abruptly. While Karsten and Magic attempt to repair the connection, Hatcher is overheard giggling. 

Kasten: Mark? Hello, Mark? That's weird. Alright, it looks like we've lost him. Ned, because we're pressed for time, why don't you just tell me what you were planning on telling Mark.

A new voice enters the audio--Karsten's assistant, Ted.

Kasten's Assistant: Gentlemen, we have Bill Plaschke on the line. He says he's heard rumors there's been trouble communicating with Guggenheim.

Magic: No problem guys, I got this. Connect him to my cell. "Hey Bill, how you doin'? Hey, remember that time in '87 we did blow off Meg Ryan's ass in the back of Don Johnson's camaro?"

Magic leaves the room.

Colletti: Ted, could you bring us some caviar and a box of the finest Cubans you can find? [Pause] For me AND Stan, obviously.

Kasten's Assistant: Yeah sure, I can try.

Colletti: There's a $20K bonus for you if you can do it in the next hour.

Sounds of rapidly moving footsteps. 

Colletti: Viva Guggenheim!!!! Last year Oscar Meyer catered our holiday party, for Christ's sakes. And after Uribe left, we were down to triscuits and turkey bologna.

Kasten: Hehehe, yeup, things have changed. Ok, Ned, back to your deadline strategy. What do you got for me?

Colletti: As you know, Mickey and I have been working on some evidence-based criteria to evaluate whether we should pursue a particular player. This was the kind of stuff that Kim was great at, she used to make these Powerpoints with YouTube clips of players and the words would make this typewriter sound, it was so badass...

Kasten: Ned, the criteria..

Colletti: Yes. So Mickey and I have identified three primary criteria in evaluating possible deadline acquisitions. Mickey, go get the cue cards.

Sounds of shuffling. 

Colletti: Criteria 1--The player must be significantly underperforming when compared to career statistical norms. We would prefer players who are so severely underperforming that our own scouts and sabernerds have begun to question whether they're in permanent decline.


Kasten: Ok. So you can get them at a cheaper price, I suppose? Is this what we did with Hanley?

[ Pause]

Colletti: Um, yeah. That's exactly what we did with Hanley.  But money is no obstacle, you heard Mr. Walter say that. Anyway, Mickey, criteria 2.

Sounds of shuffling. 

Colletti: Criteria 2 states that the player must either be considered a "cancer" by teammates and the media, or have public work ethic issues, or be involved in a clubhouse altercation of some sort.


Kasten: So you're actively pursuing assholes?

Colletti: Exactly! This is what Sabean taught me in San Francisco, and it worked wonders. Those were the days, when we would fax our official trade requests and people "listened" instead of just texting all the time. Granted, everyone we acquired was roided up to hell. That was going to be criteria 3, until the whole Melky thing broke. Times have changed, I supposed. Hmm, I wonder if Melky's available...

Kasten: So what's criteria 3 now, if it's not BALCO?

Colletti: Oh right. Criteria 3--We want to make sure we're locked into these underperforming, chemistry-killing players for several years, not just half a season. And we want to make sure these contracts are enormous, like Vernon Wells/Barry Zito enormous.


Colletti: Believe me, Stan, this is what all the big-market teams do. If you want to win like the Yankees or Red Sox or Phillies, you have to act like the Yankees and Red Sox and Phillies.

Kasten: I'm pretty sure the Yankees don't  use cue cards.

Hatcher: Not cool, Stan.

Magic reenters the room. 

Magic: That was simple enough. Jesus, all those L.A. Times guys want to talk about is how great it was watching Steve Garvey have sex. Weird. Anyway, what did I miss?

Karsten's Assistant: Sorry, gentlemen. Mr. Johnson, it's T.J. Simmers. He says he got word that the Dodgers' front office strategy is predicated on roiding up its players...

Magic: God, where do they get this horseshit? Patch him through to my cell. "T.J., old buddy. Remember that time we tried to get Nancy Reagan to strip for us at Arsenio Hall's place?"

Magic is heard leaving the room.

Karsten's Assistant: And I'm still working on that caviar and Cubans for you, Mr. Colletti.

Colletti: Great. Also, I'd really like to eat with platinum silverwear, I saw Brian Cashman do it once...

Kasten: Ned....

Colletti: I can see you're not pleased, Stan. We also have what I've dubbed "Auxiliary Option B", which I think is pretty innovative. Mickey, go check on Auxiliary Option B.

Hatcher is heard leaving the room. 

Karsten: Look, Ned. We gave you the benefit of the doubt and kept you because the team made a couple nice playoff runs while you were here. Granted, most of the young talent on those teams pre-dated your arrival, and the list of atrocious moves you've made with  the limited resources you had reads like a Schindler's list of baseball signings--Andrew Jones, Jason Schmidt, Juan Uribe. I'll give you credit for Ethier though...

Colletti: Oh, that's Criteria 4. We've can't include Uribe in any deal, we've got to give him time to pan out...

Hatcher reenters the room. 

Hatcher: Auxiliary Option B is a no go, boss. The Commissioner's office asked if this was some sort of joke and then said some bullshit about preserving the integrity of the league.

[A prolonged pause]

Colletti: I wanted to buy the Oakland A's

Kasten: You mean you wanted Reddick or Cespedes?

Colletti: No. I wanted to buy the entire team and use it as our farm system. 

[Another prolonged pause ].

Hatcher: You still want me to check about the Royals?

Colletti: No Mickey, that's ok. 

Kasten's Assistant: Mr. Colletti, we have Theo Epstein from Chicago and Ruben Amaro Jr. from Philadelphia on the phone for you....

End of Part 1. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An Application for Clipper Fanhood

Hey, kid.

Yeah, you. The one with the "Lob Angeles" t-shirt and camouflage Clipper baseball hat. The one who doesn't calculate the odds of a stray meteor crashing directly into Chris Paul's surgically repaired knee before every  tip-off. The one who posted this on Facebook five minutes after Tyga recorded it on his Mac. The one who still has "the disembowelment" as their wallpaper.

First, let me apologize. It's not right that you keep getting stared down at Staples by 50 year old white men in Ron Harper throwbacks checking their pre-McFlurry insulin levels. I could see how frustrating it must be to post something on Clip Nation, only to watch in confusion as replies like "Cherokee Park's PER shits all over Chris Bosh,"  and "Fuck Ray Allen. Why aren't we working out Pike?" hijack the thread. You probably had to look up Quintin Ross on microfiche, for Christ's sake.

It's ok, kid. You're bandwagon, but it's ok. Other longtime Clipper fans may not be as empathetic, but I'm here to extend a helping hand.

The truth is, while Clipper fans act as if we used to drink Hennessy with World B. Free at halftime, most of us started off in your shoes. I'm from the Darius-Quentin-Khloe's wife bandwagon wave, aka the Kobe defectors. We were the native Angelenos who couldn't put up with the vanilla mamba's antics anymore and wanted a team that was young and dynamic and selfless. For the first five years of our fanhood, this was literally our fondest memory, aside from the times when Khloe's wife actually passed his drug test:

The Lamar-Darius-Quentin bandwagon wave now makes up a sizable contingent of "authentic" Clippers fans, as do those who came over with the Cassell--Kaman--Judas playoff team. When we're really honest with ourselves, we readily admit that we need to grow our fan base if only to rid Staples of the lingering stench of our co-tenants (typically they smell like a combination of Axe Body Spray and Skinnygirl Margaritas, which coincidentally is also the smell of sex with Luke Walton). A Clipper victory will be sweeter for us simply because of the suffering we've endured, but nevertheless, we want you there with us. 

In order to ease the transition to full-fledged Clipper fanhood, I've created the following application for bandwagoners that might be somewhat unfamiliar the the franchise's storied traditions of shredded ACL's, players named Wang and N'Dong, and general human misery. If you score higher than Tim Thomas' career adjusted field goal percentage, congratulations--throw on your CP3 All-Star jersey and hop on the bandwagon. If you score lower, you are likely functionally illiterate. 

Application for Clipper Fanhood (begin here) 

1. Are you currently a Lakers fan? 

a) Yes
b) No 

If you answered "yes" to question 1, please do not complete the rest of the application. Self-immolate as soon as possible. Yes, you may google "self-immolate". Yes, you may wait until after Luke Walton finishes. 

2. What is the most likely outcome for this current Clippers season? 

a) First round playoff exit
b) Western Conference quarterfinals
c) Western Conference finals
d) The Clippers are up 3-0 on the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, with Blake and CP each averaging triple doubles and Reggie Evans holding Kobe to 7% shooting from the field, just above his season average. Suddenly, just before tip-off of Game 4, a rogue unmanned Zamboni left over from a Kings game careens towards the Clippers sideline. Chris Paul's good knee is immediately trapped under the Zamboni, which shreds it to Shaun Livingston-esque pieces. The Zamboni then veers towards Blake, who successfully jumps over the entire machine, but only to land on Matt Barnes' strategically placed foot. The force of the landing shatters Blake's ankle. Stern declares no wrongdoing by Barnes, the Lakers win the next four games, and Kobe is named Finals MVP after shooting 4% against the Heat. 

Correct Answer: D. Fucking inevitable. 

3. Which of these celebrity basketball fans is the hottest? 

a) Ashley Judd

b) Cameron Diaz

c) Eva Longoria 
d) Penny Marshall 

Correct Answer: D. We would also accept James Brooks. If you're not fully aroused by the site of Penny Marshall courtside, you are not a red-blooded American male. 

5. Who is the best dunker in Clippers history? 

a) World B. Free
b) Blake 
c) Darius Miles 
d) DeAndre 

Correct Answer: KOROLEV!!! Why else would Dunleavy draft him 12th in the 2005 draft? When I think of Yaroslov, my mind immediately flocks to his collection of monster pre-game throwdowns, and not to the fact that he went ahead of David Lee and Monte Ellis. 

6. What is fashion? 

a) This: 

Correct Answer: Elgin is fashion. 

7. The Clips are up by 2 with 14 seconds left. Which opposing player would you least like to see with the ball in their hands? 

a) The Vanilla Mamba
b) Lebron James
c) Kevin Durant
d) Dirk Nowitzki 
e) Anthony Morrow, CJ Miles, Reggie Williams, or that guy the opposing team just called up from the D-league 

Correct Answer: E. Clipper fans have hold the in-game record for yelling "Oh shit, don't let Morrow touch the ball." 

8. The hardest place for the Clippers to win (before this year) was....

a) The Delta Center (Utah)
b) The AT&T Center (San Antonio)
c) The American Airlines Center (Dallas) 
d) Anywhere before page 4 of the L.A. Times sports section. 

Correct Answer: A. I still can't believe we won in Utah. Maybe the Mayans were right about this whole 2012 thing...

9. Complete the following statement: the next Clippers head coach should be....

b) Nate McMillan 
c) Jerry Sloan
d) Larry Brown 
e) Jeff Van Gundy

Answer: Any answer is acceptable. 

10. The next Clippers head coach will be: 

a) Vinny Del Negro, for the next 50 years
b) Bill Fitch
d) Donald Sterling, as player-coach
e) Diego Maradona 
f) Anyone who worked for FEMA in 2005

Answer: Any answer is acceptable 

10. True or false: The same franchise that once had Dan Dickau starting at point guard now has Chris Paul. 

Answer: True. Praise be to Stern. 

Feel free to add your own questions, I'm sure I've neglected something related to Benoit Benjamin or Keith Closs.