All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Phillips' innocence supported by MLB


Another article about Andy and the imposter:

BRADENTON, Fla. — Pirates infielder Andy Phillips denies accusations of harassment by a California woman, and Major League Baseball agrees with him.

"Our investigation is 99 percent complete, and so far there is not a hint of truth to (the allegations)," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said Friday.

Phillips, 31, said he and the woman are victims of someone who posed as Phillips.

"This is the craziest thing I've ever been aware of," Phillips said. "I didn't know what was happening until my agent called and told me."

Andy wonders why him:

"The frustrating thing is, people who know me know it's not something I would do," Phillips said. "But people who don't know me ... it's out there on the Internet, so that's what they will think."

...Phillips wonders why he was targeted by the imposter.

"I have a wife and a daughter. I do a lot of work with kids and with churches," Phillips said. "This (allegation) is a distraction. Why would someone do a sick thing like that? The sad thing is, I hear this kind of thing happens quite often."

..."I guess if some guy was going to (impersonate) a Yankee who not everyone in the world would recognize, I'd be the one," Phillips said.

I dunno. My guess is the guy picked on Andy because he looks like Andy. The porn star's friend was supposedly a baseball fan who recognized him.

This imposter, whoever it is, must look a lot like Andy. With the Internet and all, he couldn't just count on his victim not knowing what Andy really looked like. He had to assume that she would at least Google the name, if she didn't know who Andy Phillips was. And if you look like Andy Phillips, you're not going to get very far claiming to be Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, or CC Sabathia.

The photos kind of bother me. Ms. Delia says he had photos of himself with hanging out with other Yankee players, as well as of his supposed wife and baby daughter. How many people know Andy Phillips just had a daughter? Even his own agent didn't seem to know that, talking about Andy's "children" in an earlier statement, when he just has the one.

This suggests a lot of planning and preparation...or maybe inside info? Perhaps he's just a careful researcher and a Photoshop whiz. But I can't help wondering if the imposter is a member of Andy's family. A lot of identity theft is committed by relatives of the victim. That would explain the man's knowledge of Andy's family, his access to personal photos, and the physical resemblance.

In any case, it seems like it would be pretty easy to find out the identity of the imposter. The cell phone number, the e-mails - they can be traced. Even if Andy doesn't want to press charges, you'd think Ms. Delia would.

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:25 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Andy innocent of impostering


Andy Phillips says MLB has cleared him of any wrongdoing:

"It's sad that I even have to talk about this and defend myself," Phillips said. "I don't know why someone would do this. I know it's happened to other professional athletes where they've been impersonated, but it's a shame. Anyone who knows me knows I would never have been involved in anything remotely close to something like that."

He didn't play yesterday, but got a clutch hit-by-pitch today. The Bucs had a ninth inning comeback against the Red Sox:

The Pirates trailed 2-0 heading to the ninth, but Neil Walker and Jose Tabata drew one-out walks and Alvarez followed with a run-scoring double. Andy Phillips was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Steve Lerud grounded to first to plate the tying run before Alvarez raced home on an error by Boston shortstop Argenis Diaz for a 3-2 lead.

Meanwhile, Mike Stanton, released by the Reds last year, reveals that he was dealing with the death of his younger brother at the time. He's trying to make the Cubs' roster.

And Doug Mientkiewicz has found a home. He's signed with the Dodgers.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:48 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Choir Boy and the Porn Star


Hat tip to Brendanukkah for this one...

Andy Phillips And The Bizarre Porn Star Police Report

Very weird story. Apparently, someone out there is pretending to be Andy Phillips. So successfully that his victim refuses to believe it wasn't really him.

While seemingly religious family men are hardly immune to sexual sins, I find it difficult to believe that the real Andy Phillips would try to impersonate Carl Pavano and other baseball players. That's just bizarre.

Meanwhile, the real Andy is playing first base in scenic Bradenton, FL.

And on the transaction front, Sal Fasano signed with the Rockies.

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posted by BubbaFan, 5:09 PM | link | 3 comments |

Friday, February 20, 2009

Low Tide


A-Rod's pal Warren Buffet once said, "You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." Well, the tide is fast receding, and looks like a lot of people were skinny-dipping.

Among them is one Robert Allen Stanford, now accused of running a Ponzi scheme to rival Bernie Madoff's. And it appears some Yankees have been affected. Their assets were frozen by the feds, and now they can't pay their bills.

Stanford scandal ensnares Yankees' Damon, Nady

TAMPA - Johnny Damon, earning $13 million this season, cannot pay his bills.

Xavier Nady, earning $6.55 million, cannot purchase an apartment in New York.

The Stanford Financial Group scandal extends to Major League Baseball.

Later in the article, Damon says, "The whole financial world is all messed up right now." Truer words were never spoken. The Dow fell below its 1997 level today, and though it recovered a bit late in the trading day, closed at a six-year low.

Especially hard-hit were banking stocks. Citi and Bank of America got hammered. At one point, 80% of the trading volume on the NYSE today was Citigroup and Bank of America. They are trading below $5 now, which means many institutions are not allowed to own the stock, further depressing prices.

Many experts believe both banks will have to be nationalized eventually. But how that would work is another can of worms. The FDIC was meant to take over the kind of small town bank that existed in the 1930s, not global mega-corporations like Citi. It would be like a mouse trying to swallow an elephant.

Meanwhile, the impact of the recession on sports is growing:

Recession forces colleges to find ways to cut spending

The unrelenting downturn in the economy is a hot-button issue in college athletic departments, the same as at your kitchen table.

"Everybody you talk to, that's the topic of conversation," says Mike Cleary, executive director of the 6,500-member National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. "I don't care how big and how wealthy they are, this is going to impact everybody."

Baseball battles the slump

Sports leagues today are more dependent on economically vulnerable sources of revenue such as corporate sponsorships, luxury suites, and other premium seating. Even if attendance doesn't nosedive, teams could still find themselves swimming in red ink.

Not even pro sports' richest franchise, the Yankees, seems immune. General Motors - once baseball's biggest corporate sponsor - has canceled its sponsorship deal with the team. And even before superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez was caught up in a steroid scandal, the Yanks were having trouble selling premium seats in their new stadium - so much so that they hired a Manhattan realty firm to market unsold club seats and luxury boxes.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, another team that recently lost GM as a sponsor, have resorted to selling some season tickets at a 25% discount to 2008 prices. In Arizona the Diamondbacks' season ticket renewal rate has fallen to 83% - still respectable, but down from 94% heading into the 2008 season. Hall says he knows of other MLB teams - though he won't name them - with renewal rates as low as 60%. And as bad as 2009 looks, Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf thinks 2010 could be worse if corporations keep cutting back. "Virtually every team is losing sponsors," Reinsdorf says.

I guess it's not all bad news, if it means teams have to be nicer to the fans...

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posted by BubbaFan, 11:06 PM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lance Berkman


The Rice University student paper, The Rice Thresher (groan), has an article about Lance Berkman. He mentions Bubba:

Berkman takes time to reflect on years at Rice

The only reason we got invited to the SWC tournament is because that was the last year of the Southwest Conference. I remember that we lost at Oklahoma State in a heartbreaking game, right before we went to the conference tournament as a tune-up. We got beat in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off double. In that game we lost Bubba Crosby, who was a freshman that year. He broke his hand trying to steal second base. So here we are heading into the conference tournament minus our 3-hole hitter and center fielder. One of our pitchers had to fill in and play center field. We were thinking we didn't have much of a chance. … We beat three really good teams to win that tournament. We just caught a little lightning in a bottle and had a great SWC tournament.

Interesting that Bubba was the starting CFer and three-hole hitter his freshman year.

All in all, Lance Berkman comes across as a really nice guy in the article - interesting, intelligent, and down-to-earth.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:06 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leyritz Again


As you may recall, former Yankee Jim Leyritz was arrested for vehicular homicide in December of 2007. He ran a red light, hit another vehicle, and killed the driver.

He was out on bail, awaiting the trial, but was back in the slammer last week.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former major leaguer Jim Leyritz was arrested and jailed after a judge revoked his bond for violating his pretrial release on a DUI manslaughter charge, authorities said.

Authorities say a system in Leyritz's car that he has to blow in before starting it, and periodically while driving, recorded that he consumed alcohol four times since the device was installed in April 2008. He is not allowed to drink alcohol under the terms of his release.

Good gravy. He drank while driving four times before his bail was revoked? When he's not supposed to be drinking at all?

And he was soon back out, on a technicality.

He claimed he didn't know he wasn't allowed to drink. That's about as believable as A-Rod's press conference. Surely his lawyer must have explained it to him. What did he think the Breathalyzer on his car was there for, decoration?

How can he even think of drinking and driving after he killed someone while driving drunk?

posted by BubbaFan, 9:46 PM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, February 16, 2009

Crunch Time


Miguel Cairo signed with the Phillies. He got a minor league deal and spring training invite. No word on money.

Miggy has a job, but a lot of players still don't. The players' union and MLB have been talking about easing the rules to make it easier for "Type A" free agents to get jobs. They're proposing something called "sign and trade." It will let teams sign their players and immediately trade them (if the player agrees). That way, there's no need to give up a draft pick. Juan Cruz may be the first beneficiary.

And it looks like despite all the brouhaha, Citi's name will remain on the Mets stadium:

WASHINGTON - Citi Field it will be, and Mets fans will just have to live with the name of a tapped-out bank slapped on top of their new stadium, a key House member said Friday.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), head of the Financial Services Committee, said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had rejected congressional demands to cancel the naming rights deal. Some lawmakers were outraged because $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money had been pumped into Citigroup last year.

The economic crisis is affecting everything; baseball is doing pretty well compared to Nascar:

For years, NASCAR drivers and teams reaped the riches of a sport confidently bankrolled by corporate America.

Now, with the economy imploding, the good times have stopped rolling for NASCAR.

Even stock car racing's elite teams are trimming the fat from already thin budgets. Hendrick Motorsports, which employs three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, finds itself bunkered in a financial hole with some nervous sponsors.

I heard on the news today that Arizona is switching to a four-day school week, in order to save money. California and Kansas are suspending tax refunds and may not be able to pay their state workers. They just don't have any money. New York is in the same boat; I fear they're going to have to make similar drastic decisions.

I am still planning to drive down to Florida for spring training in a couple of weeks, but I'm starting to wonder if I should stay home and save money. This is the scariest economy I've ever seen.

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posted by BubbaFan, 8:15 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not Forgotten


Spring training is here. There's the usual jump in traffic at Bubba-Crosby.com, as people turn their attention to the upcoming baseball season.

Most of the visitors found the site using the obvious search terms: Bubba Crosby or Crosby Bubba. Some were specifically looking for the web site, searching on Bubba Crosby.com. Others were clearly wondering where Bubba is now, searching on Bubba Crosby spring training 2009 or Bubba Crosby back to minors. A surprising number found the site searching on Bubba Crosby bio, which may also have been an attempt to find out where Bubba is now.

Bubba's name has been coming up in a lot of news articles and sports blogs lately. Often, it's a reference to Brian Cashman's disingenuousness: "Bubba Crosby will be our opening day center fielder." Meaning that Cashman may splash for a big money free agent, despite his claims otherwise. Sigh. That's not exactly what I hoped Bubba's legacy in NY would be. :-P

Here are some more interesting Bubba references:

6 pound, 8 ounce Baby Joba likes the young players who are scrapping for their jobs:

As a Yankee fan, I tend to take All-Stars and Hall of Famers for granted. In just the last two years the Yankees have signed CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Roger Clemens, and re-signed Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada. I love watching these high caliber players, and I will always root for them; well, as long as they are in pinstripes). But I've always been more enthralled with the guys who's destiny isn't yet set, the guys who are still trying to make a name for themselves. It's the Melky Cabreras, the Bubba Crosbys, the Brett Gardners who keep baseball in my blood.

I always seem to connect with the younger players who are still trying to prove themselves at the big league level. I quickly became an adamant supporter of Chien Ming Wang and Robinson Cano as they rapidly developed into integral members of the team, but it was Cabrera who became my favorite player. Melky is not an all-star, but it is always a blast watching him play. He just oozes energy, whether it be his bullets from center that save a run, his priceless handshakes with Cano, or his game-saving catch against the hated Red Sox, robbing Manny Ramirez of a home run. There is something about the youthful enthusiasm that he brings to the field every day that makes it impossible for me to stop rooting for him.

I had the same feeling with Bubba Crosby a few years back. One of my fondest memories of the Yankees is when he hit that walk-off homer against the Orioles. Sure, in the grand scheme of things it was insignificant, but in the moment it was one of the most exciting baseball events that I've experienced in recent years. He isn't a star, he isn't even a big leaguer anymore, but his excitement after that shot to left was a perfect example of why baseball is America's past time; it is all about living out your dreams.

I feel much the same. Though I'm not that keen on Melky any more. He's gotten a chance many other players would kill for, but doesn't seem to appreciate it.

Baseball Minutia has some random musings on the number 216, which is the number of stitches on a baseball. It notes that Bubba Crosby is the only player in MLB to have a batting average of .216.

Arizona Diamondbacks Chris Young was inducted into the Bellaire Cardinals Hall of Fame:

Rocky Manuel says Young's contributions to the Bellaire program rank among the elite.

"Young was just a super player, a talented player arguably among the best outfielders we've had at Bellaire among (Jose) Cruz and (Bubba) Crosby and those guys. He was just outstanding."

Rotoworld had a "favorite players" thread, and at least one person picked Bubba. (No, it wasn't me!)

Tyler Kepner lists 25 Random Facts About 25 Random Yankees, including this one:

Bubba Crosby – When the Yankees dressed their rookies like Elvis, they didn’t make him wear a wig because they figured his real hairstyle was close enough.

Hmmm. Not sure if I buy that. The sideburns were rather Elvis-like. But it looks to me like he did wear a wig for the rookie hazing:


That's him with the black scarf, second from left. If that's not a wig, they teased the heck out of his hair...


Happy Valentine's Day!

posted by BubbaFan, 8:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hot Stove Winding Down


Most of the big names are signed now, though perhaps not for the money they were hoping for earlier this year. Adam Dunn signed with the Nationals. (I'm starting to feel very hurt that they didn't claim Bubba when the Reds released him a couple of years ago. They seem to grab every other Reds outfielder they can get their mitts on.) Ken Griffey, Jr. is signing with his old team, the Mariners. And Bobby Abreu signed with the Halos. He got a one-year deal for $5 million - a far cry from the multi-year $15 million a year deal he was supposedly expecting.

And Torre continues collecting former Yankee pitchers. The Dodgers signed Jeff Weaver and Tanyon Sturtze.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh beat reporter Dejan Kovacevic thinks Andy Phillips has a good chance of making the roster:

The bench will look almost completely different than last year, but its exact makeup is not yet known.

The locks are Hinske as a reserve outfielder, Vazquez for the infield. One of Jason Jaramillo or Robinzon Diaz will be the backup catcher, with early odds on Jaramillo. That leaves two spots, one for another outfielder and an infielder capable at shortstop. The former could be veteran tryout types Craig Monroe or Jeff Salazar or, with a very good spring, Steve Pearce. Bet on versatile, experienced Andy Phillips for the latter, with a push from Luis Cruz.

Interesting. Cruz is on the roster, and Andy is not, but Kovacevic thinks Andy will win out. I hope so; the guy deserves a break already.

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posted by BubbaFan, 10:23 PM | link | 1 comments |

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A-Roid




Well, Yankee fandom is in an uproar over the SI report that A-Rod tested positive for steroids. Some fans feel betrayed that their hero is a cheater. Some never liked A-Rod, and this just confirms their opinion of them. Some think the reporter, Selena Roberts, is just out to get A-Rod.

Me, I'm not surprised. There have been allegations of juicing against A-rod before. Canseco may be a sleazeball, but given his track record, I believe him, at least when the subject is 'roids. He said A-Rod was a juicer, so I'm not exactly shocked by this article.

I’m also not surprised that A-Rod was warned. If you read the Mitchell Report, it’s pretty clear that everyone was complicit: the league, the teams, the players’ union. Players were routinely warned of upcoming testing, even though they weren't supposed to be.

Pete Abe is apparently away this weekend, but Sam Borden is covering the story at LoHud. He says that Selena Roberts is an excellent and deeply respected journalist, known for doing accurate and thorough work. He criticizes A-Rod for not warning the Yankees this was coming. (He knew, since Ms. Roberts gave him a chance to tell his side of it.) He points out that A-Rod flat-out denied using steroids, more than once. He says A-Rod should fess up, like Pettitte, not try to cover up, like Clemens. And he thinks this will not be good for the Yankees. A-Rod has always been easily distracted by this kind of off-the-field drama, and this is probably bigger than any of the other controversies that have swirled around. Unlike she-male strippers, "Slapgate," sleepovers with Jeter, fooling around with Madonna, etc., this affects the core of his baseball identity.

The denizens of Bronx Banter predict that A-Rod will "handle the situation in the worst possible way imaginable, because he always does," and refer to him as the "human PR disaster." I know what they mean.

I am really wishing the Yanks hadn't re-signed him. He's a great player, but I'm just so tired of the never-ending A-Rod circus.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:37 PM | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bubba's Hat


Someone is selling a Bubba Crosby game-used hat on eBay.


The description says:

Former NY Yankee outfielder. Impressive New York Yankees game used hat, worn during the 2005 season, size 7 1/4, great use throughout with lots of staining to sweatband area, Crosby added some personal touches inside bill writing "BC" and "Joshua - Be Strong & Courageous" , Steiner hologram and accompanied by Letter of Authenticity from Steiner Sports. We have rarely encountered Yankees caps with personalizations such as this - we believe this hat was worn during the 2005 ALDS as we have found photos that show writing underneath Crosby's hat but have not definatively photomatched the hat.


I think Joshua - Be Strong & Courageous is a quote from the Bible, not a message to a friend of his named Joshua.

There was writing that looked like this under the bill of the cap Bubba wore during that last game of the 2005 ALDS. You could see it in some of the photos of the collision with Sheff. Bubba's hat flew off, making the arch of writing visible.

Maybe he wrote that on all his hats. But...it seems like the kind of thing you'd do before a big game. Like in the postseason.

This could be the very hat Bubba wore in that infamous heartbreaker of a game.

The seller is asking $99 ($125 for Buy It Now). It certainly is a unique item. I don't think I've ever seen a Bubba Crosby game-used hat on eBay before. But I dunno how much appeal a memento from that game would have for Yankee fans.

UPDATE: Well, someone wanted it. It sold via "Buy it now," around the time I posted about it.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:43 AM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Chase Traded


The Yankees DFA'd Chase Wright to make room for the return of Andy Pettitte. MLB Trade Rumors reports that he's been traded to the Brewers, for outfielder/catcher Eric Fryer. (Outfielder/catcher? That's not a combination you see very often. Though I guess there's Craig Wilson...)

The Brewers also signed Ramiro Medoza.

MLB.com has a Pirates roster rundown. Their roster is mostly set, with only two bench spots up for grabs in spring training. They will likely go an infielder and an outfielder. Andy Phillips is one of five players vying for the infielder spot. Luis Cruz, who is on the 40-man roster, likely has the inside track.

However, Cruz has some intriguing competition. There is (Garrett) Jones, who, like Hinske, could be a pinch-hitting power threat. Jones, 27, has just brief Major League experience, but he hit .279 with 23 homers, 33 doubles and 92 RBIs as a first baseman and outfielder in Triple-A last year. He led the International League in total bases and finished second in extra-base hits.

Phillips would give the Pirates needed versatility since he can play anywhere in the infield. He does have substantial Major League experience, having hit .250 with 14 homers and 70 RBIs in 557 big league at-bats.

The other two, former Reds Pedro Lopez and Anderson Machado, are long shots.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:43 PM | link | 1 comments |

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Not-So-Super Bowl?


No, I'm not denigrating today's game. I love football, and the Steelers and the Cards are worthy opponents. The historic Steelers dynasty vs. the long-downtrodden Cards. I have a feeling the Cards will face a fate similar to that of the similarly scrappy underdog Rays in the World Series, but I'm happy to see them play in the big game at last. (If the Cowboys couldn't be there, anyway. Sigh.)

Rather, I'm talking about how the ongoing financial crisis is affecting sports, including the Super Bowl. Entertainment, including sports, has traditionally been relatively recession-proof, but this economic slump is far worse than usual. Also, sports is much more dependent on advertising revenue from banks and auto manufacturers - both hard-hit by the downturn - than I had realized.

The Mets had a naming rights deal with Citibank, but now that they've been bailed out by the taxpayers, some are questioning whether it's money well spent:

Citi Field or Bailout Ballpark?

The Mets are moving into a new baseball park this year and Citigroup agreed in 2006 to pay $400 million over 20 years to have it named Citi Field.

But that deal, like the planned purchase of the jet, has come under scrutiny from Congress now that Citigroup has received $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money, as well as a government backstop for more than $300 billion in loan losses.

With that in mind, House members Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, and Ted Poe, R-TX, this week urged Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to intervene.

"Citigroup is now dependent on the support of the federal government for its survival as an institution. As such, we do not believe Citigroup ought to spend $400 million to name a stadium at the same time that they accept over $350 billion in taxpayer support and guarantees," Kucinich and Poe wrote.

NPR wonders: Will The Super Bowl Stay 'Super'?
Other signs of the event's troubles abound: Usually free-spending major advertisers — such as U.S. automakers and financial institutions — are in dire financial straits, sports-marketing and sports-sponsorship growth is virtually flat and the NFL itself is laying off staff members.

And if you need more evidence, Playboy and Sports Illustrated have canceled their Super Bowl soirees this year. Maxim magazine has trimmed back its party plans. And the Tampa Tribune is reporting that corporate jet traffic may be less than expected.

"No one is immune from the economy," said Reid Sigmon, the Super Bowl host committee's executive director, "not [even] the NFL."

Even the millionaire athletes are feeling the crunch:

For sale: Championship sports bling
There's no official count, but cash-strapped former and current sports stars, players' families, and staff seem more willing lately to part with their old championship rings and other personal memorabilia. Eager vendors use sites like championshiprings.net, tjscollectiblesinc.com and championshipsportsrings.com to sell MLB, NBA and NCAA rings for as much as $40,000 to buyers around the world.

Tim Robins, who owns online vendor championshiprings.net, says the offers from players and others with rings have increased dramatically since the economy turned sour. Over the past 90 days, Robins says he has bought more than 400 rings; he typically purchases about 100 a month.

"We're buying more rings than we ever have," says Robins, who's based in Trabuco Canyon, Calif. "It doesn't matter how famous a player is or how much money they've supposedly earned; the hard economic times are affecting everyone."


Enjoy today's game. One day, we'll be looking back at this as the "good old days."

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posted by BubbaFan, 11:18 AM | link | 0 comments |