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PLAY BALL - A LOOK AT THE 2017 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON

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PLAY BALL - A LOOK AT THE 2017 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON

By Howard T. Brody

For the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs will open a Major League Baseball season as the defending world champions breaking the longest drought in professional sports history when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games to win the 2016 World Series.

 

 

The question now is can they do it again?

While Las Vegas sports books have made the Cubs the early odds-on favorite to repeat as Major League Baseball world champions, that might be easier said than done.  Only two National League teams have been able to win back-to-back world championships since the Cubs last did it in 1907 and 1908 – the New York Giants in 1921 and 1922 (defeating the New York Yankees), and the Cincinnati Reds in 1975 and 1976 (beating the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees).  

While the Cubs finally beat the odds last year, is there enough momentum for them to win two in a row? Or will this be the year that the Cleveland Indians finally break their dry spell and win the World Series for the first time since 1948?  Perhaps we will see a team that has never won a World Series, like the Houston Astros, experience the thrill of victory.  Or maybe the time has come for the Seattle Mariners or the Washington Nationals, the only two franchises who have never appeared in a World Series, to make their Fall Classic debut.  

While other publications and websites are making their predictions, STRIPLV is doing the same and here’s how we see the 2017 Major League Baseball season unfolding.

National League Projected Finish

Eastern Division

Washington Nationals

New York Mets*

Miami Marlins 

Philadelphia Phillies 

Atlanta Braves

Central Division

Chicago Cubs

St. Louis Cardinals

Pittsburgh Pirates

Milwaukee Brewers

Cincinnati Reds

Western Division

San Francisco Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers*

Arizona Diamondbacks

Colorado Rockies

San Diego Padres

American League Projected Finish

Eastern Division

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles*

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays

entral Division

Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

Western Division

Houston Astros

Texas Rangers*

Los Angeles Angels

Seattle Mariners

Oakland Athletics

NL EAST

With the Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies all coming off of disappointing seasons (all three finished below the .500 mark), the rebuilding process continues in those cities.  Despite some roster moves here and there, none of the three pose a threat to capture the division crown, but they can play spoiler. 

The biggest setback for the Marlins has to be the loss of pitcher José Fernández, who was killed in a boating accident last September.  In an era when quality pitchers are a commodity, Fernández will be hard to replace as he was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA.  While catcher J.T. Realmuto and outfielder Christian Yelich are ready to become breakout stars, it just won’t be enough for the Marlins to climb higher than third place. 

This leaves the New York Mets and Washington Nationals to battle it out for the top spot in the division.  The great Mets teams of the past have always had great pitching, and heading into spring training the Mets have three solid starters in Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom, and Matt Harvey.  But will that be enough to unseat the Nationals who remain virtually unchanged since last year, and who had the second-best record in the NL after the Cubs?  Perhaps if Zack Wheeler can finally return after two years on the shelf following Tommy John’s surgery the Mets would be the favorite, but that might be wishful thinking.

Bryce Harper, the potential comeback player of the year, could help the Nationals once again win the NL East—this time in the final week of the season, just squeaking by the Mets.   But, even though the Mets won’t win the division, they will earn one of the two NL Wild Card spots.

NL CENTRAL

The defending world champion Chicago Cubs, who won 103 games last season, are poised for another 100-win season.  With the exception of outfielder Dexter Fowler, the team returns for the most part intact. If outfielder Kyle Schwarber stays healthy all season and performs even close to what he did in last year’s Fall Classic, that can be the stuff MVP seasons are made of.

Unless the Cubbies completely fall apart this season, the only team that has the potential to give them a run for the division crown is the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that signed Fowler, but the division crown will be based solely on their pitching.  Top prospect Alex Reyes’ future looks bright, and Carlos Martinez is pretty solid as the ace of the staff.  If Adam Wainwright can return to form like he was in 2013 and 2014 where his ERA was under 3 (last year it was 4.62), and he won 19 and 20 games respectively, and if Lance Lynn, who missed all of last year, can return with even a decent showing, then the Cardinals could make a run for the playoffs in a Wild Card spot.

Like the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds all finished under .500 last year, and despite making some roster moves, none of these three (except perhaps the Pirates) are expected to reach the .500 mark this year.

With all things considered, look for the Cubs to be the only Central Division team heading to the playoffs.

NL WEST

Last year the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants were the only two teams in the Western Division to finish above .500.  At the end of the season, only four games separated the two teams, with the Giants ending up taking a Wild Card spot.

The San Diego Padres finished 23 games off the pace last year in the cellar of the NL West.  With Andrew Cashner, Matt Kemp, James Shields, and Melvin Upton Jr. all gone, young players like Luis Perdomo and Hunter Renfroe will lead the charge, but it just won’t be enough.  The Padres are rebuilding, and for 2017 the best role they can play is spoilers.

While the Arizona Diamondbacks have the nucleus of a solid team behind starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, while their young, everyday players are overall getting better.  However, they are still a year or two away from gelling as a serious playoff threat.

The Colorado Rockies, led by third baseman Nolan Arenado who tied for the league lead in home runs in 2015 and 2016, have all the makings of a potential Cinderella team.  With outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon returning after career making years and shortstop Trevor Story getting in a full season after his 2016 NL “Rookie of the Year” bid was cut short due to injury, their batting lineup 

Right-hander Jon Gray, righties Tyler Chatwood and Chad Bettis and left-hander Tyler Anderson, and you have four twenty-something starters who are coming into their own.  However, like Arizona, their roster is a year or two away, so unless they mature faster as expected, expect the Diamondbacks to finish third.

That brings us back to the Dodgers and Giants. Reminiscent of the battles these two franchises had throughout the 1950s when they both played on the East Coast in the shadow of the Yankees, look for the Dodgers and Giants to once again slug it out for first place in the NL West. However, this year should be a reversal of fortune as the Giants will take the division title while the Dodgers get a Wild Card spot. 

AL EAST

While the Tampa Bay Rays finished their 2016 campaign strong, they still finished 25 games out, and they’re going to need more than a good defense led by shortstop Matt Duffy and a decent but questionable pitching staff that includes Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, and Blake Snell.  They’re going to need some oomph in their lineup.  Unfortunately, perennial All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria and the ever-improving outfielder Kevin Kiermaier just aren’t enough. 

For the first time in several seasons, youth will be the name of the game in the Bronx as catcher Gary Sanchez, and outfielder Aaron Judge are two of the question marks for the New York Yankees.  Starlin Castro at second base and Didi Gregorius at shortstop give the Yanks a solid tandem up the middle, but pitching remains the biggest question mark for the Yankees, and if they are going to have any chance at all of making the playoff, they need more than Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Chad Green. Much more.

While some are picking the Toronto Blue Jays to return to championship form, they will be hard pressed to do so.  Heading into spring training it was thought Joe Biagini could be a strong starter for the Jays to go along with their projected rotation of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ, and Marco Estrada, but a strong spring by Mat Latos could change that.  With Edwin Encarnación going to the Cleveland Indians and Michael Saunders going to the Philadelphia Phillies via free agency, the Blue Jays lose a lot of run production, although they still have former AL MVP Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista.

If third baseman Manny Machado, first baseman Chris Davis, and designated hitter Mark Trumbo provide as much power this year as they did in 2016 – they all hit over 30 homers – the Baltimore Orioles will once again make a run for the AL East title.  However, their big question mark is pitching.  While they may have Zach Britton as their closer, their starting pitching is nothing to write home about as Kevin Gausman is their only potential starter who had an ERA last year under 4.  Baseball being the game it is, 2017 could easily see the O’s go from a potential Wild Card spot to the AL East cellar.

Expect the Boston Red Sox to repeat as AL East champs.  In addition to a pitching staff that includes starters David Price, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and closer Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox return with a balanced offense that includes outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, designated hitter Hanley Ramirez, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

AL CENTRAL

Last year the Minnesota Twins had the worst record in the Major Leagues.  With a team whose 40-man roster with just one pitcher who had an ERA under 3 (Buddy Boshers 2.65 in just 34 innings) and not one hitter with a batting average over .300 last year, despite some potential home run power behind second baseman Brian Dozier and third baseman Miguel Sano Twins fans can expect to see more of the same in 2017. 

For the most part, the Chicago White Sox played a lot better last year than their stats would lead you to believe.  And while they seemed to have made some improvements over 2016, they only have one bona fide winning starter on their pitching staff with Jose Quintana, a decent closer in David Robertson, and two above average bats in the lineup with first baseman Jose Abreu and third baseman Todd Frazier.  Perhaps if outfielder Melky Cabrera has a stellar year, the best the South Siders can hope for is a third place finish in the AL Central.

Like most teams in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers don’t seem to have the pitching to make a playoff run.  Justin Verlander was the only starter with a winning record (13-9) on the team, and while closer Francisco Rodriguez may have had 33 saves in 2016, his ERA was 3.76.  Only Detroit setup reliever Justin Wilson had an ERA under 3 (2.95).  So as much as Tigers fans are hoping for a playoff spot in 2017, you simply can’t win a championship by giving up nearly four runs a game.

That leaves the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals and the defending American League Champion Cleveland Indians to fight for the AL Central title.

The Royals went from winning back-to-back league championships in 2014 and 2015 to playing .500 ball last year.  The Indians were just the opposite.  They went from playing one game over .500 in 2015 to winning the Central Division by eight games over the Tigers in 2016. 

While there’s no reason to believe the Indians will falter— because if anything their team has gotten stronger with the addition of Edwin Encarnacion to their lineup— many Vegas odds makers have picked Cleveland to win the AL crown.  We believe the Royals will bounce back to give the Indians a run for their money.  Although the team looks nothing like it did in 2015, the Royals have consistently put a competitive team on the field the last four seasons.  However, if their pitching, which is questionable, does not get the job done, they can easily return to the form we saw them a few years ago when they would finish 20 or more games out.  At the end of the day look for the Indians to repeat their division title while the Royals just miss a Wild Card spot.

AL WEST

While the Seattle Mariners finished nine games out last year behind the Texas Rangers, unfortunately they will not have enough steam to battle for first in the AL West.  This is despite a batting lineup that includes designated hitter Nelson Cruz, second baseman Robinson Cano, and third baseman Kyle Seager, as well as a  pitching staff led by starter James Paxton and closer Edwin Diaz. Relievers Steve Cishek and Tony Zych are coming off injuries, and they put two big question marks in the Mariners’ roster. 

Both the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in the rebuilding process and and are probably a year or two from making a serious run at the playoffs.  Of the two, the A’s have no chance whatsoever.  Aside from outfielder Khris David, who slugged 39 home runs last year, the team lacks players who hit for average or who have decent on-base percentages.  Their pitching is abysmal.  On the other hand, if the Angels can find some pitching, their bats could carry them toward a Wild Card spot.  Any lineup that has outfielder Mike Trout and designated hitter Albert Pujols (even if he is in the latter part of his career) is a dangerous one, and they would certainly need to get another bat aside from third baseman Yunel Escobar to hit over .300. 

Instead expect the Houston Astros to step up and challenge their cross-state rivals, the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers will be tough to beat behind starters Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, setup men Matt Bush and Jeremy Jeffress, closer Sam Dyson and a starting lineup that includes first baseman Mike Napoli, second baseman Rougned Odor, third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Norman Mazara.  Starting pitcher, Tyson Ross is expected back from rib surgery sometime before the All-Star Game, and shortstop Elvis Andrus might or might not be ready for the start of the season.

However, the Astros are poised to take down the Rangers.  The Astros pitching staff is solid with starters Collin McHugh, Lance McCullers, and Dallas Keuchel, reliever David Paulino, setup men Luke Gregerson and Will Harris, and closer Ken Giles.  There is also a lot of talk about pitching prospect Brady Rodgers cracking into the starting rotation, but pitching isn’t their only strength.  The Astros have a great balanced offense led by shortstop Carlos Correa, outfielders George Springer and Josh Reddick, catcher Brian McCann, second baseman Jose Altuve and designated hitters Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran, who split the 2016 season between the Yankees and Rangers and last played for the Astros in 2004.

Not only will the Astros challenge the Rangers, but they will take the AL West title, while the team from Arlington takes the Wild Card spot.

THE PLAYOFFS

In the National League, the Mets will travel to Los Angeles for the Wild Card game only to have the Dodgers beat them.

The Division Series will see the Cubs top the Giants while the Nationals beat the Dodgers.

And in the League Championship, playing in their 13th season in Washington since the franchise moved from Montreal following the 2004 campaign, the Nationals will upset the Chicago Cubs and go to the World Series for the first time in their team’s history.

In the American League, the Texas Rangers will continue to slide as the Baltimore Orioles will upset them in the Wild Card game.

The Division Series will witness the Cleveland Indians beating the Boston Red Sox, while the Houston Astros will top the Orioles.

And in the League Championship, the Indians will be denied a return to the Fall Classic in their bid for their first World Championship since 1948 as the Astros will become the first team ever to make the World Series having represented both the National and American League. 

THE WORLD SERIES

In 2005 the Astros, representing the National League, were swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox.  Their appearance in this year’s Fall Classic would no doubt be historic simply for the fact that no team has ever even won the championship from one league and then won the championship from the other league.  The only other team in baseball that could do that aside from the Astros would be the Milwaukee Brewers who represented the American League in 1982, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games and now play in the National League Central Division.

But the past is the past, and the present is the present.

And so at the end of the season, it will be the Houston Astros that will forever seal their place in history as an American League team by defeating the Washington Nationals in a World Series that will go six games, making them the 2017 Major League Baseball World Champions.

 

TIE ME UP (BUT DON'T STEP ON MY FACE)

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TIE ME UP (BUT DON'T STEP ON MY FACE)

By Lainie Speiser

I’m a boss on the streets and a servant in the sheets, in other words— the typical sexual submissive.

I’m one of those people that likes to be in charge.  I take on more responsibility than is necessary, I’ve got a lot of opinions, and I’m not afraid to express them.  Some people have had the nerve to call me pushy and aggressive, but what kind of publicist would I be if I were shy, passive, and unassuming?  A homeless one, that’s what.  I love what I do, but admittedly it can get a little stressful.  There’s pressure.  There’s worry, I don’t feel like I can let my guard down, so when I have a hard day all I can do to relax is get on my knees and deliver the best blow job in the world.  Or be thrown over a manly, hairy lap and get spanked hard.  Or get tied up with my tights taken from the hamper and fucked hard from behind.  This is how I unwind. 

I was always like this, but I didn’t put a label on it because labels are limiting and that’s not the way I like to live.  But there’s always been this willingness when it comes to sex, and this desire to please my partner in every way I can and this joy in being servile.  A lot of strong-willed people are like this; you’d be surprised how powerful men really want to get to get into some strap-on sex action.  Not because they are gay, but because it’s the ultimate act of giving up total control.  I know these men exist because I’ve been the open-minded woman who’s said, “Sure that sounds like fun.”  But it wasn’t fun because it takes a lot of stamina to fuck a person, I discovered, and ever since have respected all of the work that men do to make us ladies happy. Also, once you open that door with a man— once he gets a taste for anal play— nothing else will do, and as I’ve said, I don’t enjoy labels.

Before you stop reading this because I’ve disgusted and offended your male sensibilities, this column isn’t about strap-on in the butt sex; it’s about me being a submissive and the good and the bad types of dominant men I’ve sampled before I decided all I wanted was a Daddy aka my husband.

It was a typical Saturday early afternoon, and my husband and I love brunch at the bar, but as we got closer to the only two empty seats left, I saw one of my former Domme lovers whom I call, “The Face Stepper” sitting there with his arm around his date with a firm fistful of her straight, brown hair.  “I don’t want to sit here. Let’s go get a table,” I said to David, grabbing his hand and leading him to the hostess station. “There’s a guy I used to know there, and he’s a total creep.” David, like most men who are in love with the wife, didn’t want to know anymore and we were lead to a table where he could still watch the hockey game.

When you’re a single submissive woman who loves sex, knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to get it, you sometimes meet some interesting people.  The Face Stepper was one of these, and I call him The Face Stepper because the last time we were 

together he came on my face, then stood over me on the bed, lifted his size 12

bare foot, and rubbed his spunk into my face with it. I’m not that kind of submissive.  I know some women and men like it when they get their face stepped on, but not me.  I don’t take things that literally. 

You see the one annoyance with dealing with men who enjoy dominating is some of them do not know when to stop.  Every time me and The Face Stepper went out for a drink or to grab a bite to eat, he couldn’t leave what we did two hours ago, on my living room floor behind.  I’m an old-fashioned lady.  What happens behind closed doors stays there for me— it’s not my entire way of life.  Just because I enjoy getting fish-hooked (this means having your mouth roughly held open my two fingers in the corner of your mouth) when getting fucked it doesn’t mean you should pull my hands behind my back while we are at a party.  It’s common sense, to me, but I guess some people need to be told what is inappropriate behavior outside of sex sessions.  I remember once someone at a restaurant, a bartender, complimenting my long hair.  The Face Stepper responded with, “Yes all of this hair makes for great handles,” he said taking a fistful on each side.  It was awkward for everyone around us but him. 

Prior to the face-stepping, this guy— an attractive, older, gentlemen who does good deeds as a public defender— was enjoying dominating me.  He enjoyed pontificating while tying me up. “You’re going to learn so much about yourself,” he said.  “You’re going to learn a lot about yourself because of me.”  I’ve never taken well to this kind of pretentious talk; it’s not sexy to me because it sounds like a lecture.  I’d rather be told I’m going to be fucked so hard your cum is going to pour out of my ears.  “Oh yeah?” I said and started laughing.  “Because I just thought you need to learn a lot more about yourself from ME!”  The laughing made him angry; I wasn’t playing along with this fantasy of the wise man breaking down the wise ass publicist.  He roughly got off me and stood in front of the bed.  “LISTEN! THIS ISN’T A JOKE! IF YOU CAN’T SHUT THE FUCK UP THEN LEAVE!”  Which made me want to laugh even harder because it’s hard to keep a serious face when you’re tied up and being yelled at by a man over 50 wearing purple bikini underpants.  “I’M SERIOUS! I’M BEING SERIOUS!  THIS IS SERIOUS TO ME!”  So, I gave him my safe word, “peanut butter” and he untied me, and I left, following orders like a good submissive should. 

Later at home, I thought maybe he wasn’t being serious.  What if this was part of the whole scene?  Yelling at me like a schoolmaster at a pupil who was passing notes and not paying attention.  As annoying as he could be, it’s also not the easiest thing, to find a man who is comfortable dominating a woman, especially in this politicall correct world we live in.  Then on second thought, it is easy to find a man who enjoys being dominant but what’s not easy is to find a man who does it right.  The men who do it best are the men who are completely secure in their masculinity and sexuality and enjoy giving and pushing their partner’s limits.  Being dominant isn’t about being angry at all: it’s about being nurturing, even paternal.  That’s why I call my husband my Daddy.  That, and his name is David and I’ve dated about five men before him named David, and I’d rather not recall any of them that often, especially The Face Stepper.

 

SHE AND ME AND THE LANGUAGE BARRIER MAKE THREE

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She and Me and the Language Barrier Make Three

This is a guide to the sometimes subtle (and not so subtle)differences of interpretation to sex and relationships in men and women.  At times, it is a wonder that men and women can communicate at all.  I mean, we see things differently for one, and that’s a proven fact, but we also are coming from an entirely different set of vocabulary definitions and rules.  It would appear that the only way we are ever going to completely understand each other is to create a gender translation dictionary.  Let the love and understanding begin.

“SEX”

Men:  An intense sexual craving that generally begins at the onset of adolescence.

Women:  A moderate to intense craving for sexual intimacy, which begins during the exchange of wedding vows and ends by the conclusion of the reception.

“HUSBAND”

Men:  The boss of the house.

Women:  Provides a house for the boss.

“WIFE”

Men:  How come life rhymes with wife when death seems to be the only escape?

Women:  She who stands by her husband through all the trials and tribulations he must face.

 

“FIVE MINUTES”

Men:  Two and a half hours, depending on whether there is overtime or not.

Women:  Another hour and a half.

“TWO MINUTES”

Men:  That ought to be enough foreplay.

Women:   Wham Bam he just gets it in.  The next thing I hear is  “Damn!”

“BLOW JOB”

Men:  Morning, noon, and night.

Women:  Birthday and anniversary.

CHEATER”

Men:  If a man screws a woman in the middle of a forest with nobody else around to see other than a camcorder, three friends, and a chipmunk;  did it still happen?  Most men seriously question the validity of such a possibility.

Women:  Man screws strange woman, therefore he is a cheater! 

 

“WEDDING RING”

Men:  The world’s smallest and most expensive handcuff;  usually followed by a ball, a chain, and an Elvis preacher to weld it all together.

Women:  A certified diamond of exceptional color, clarity, karat, and bragging rights.

 

“WE NEED TO TALK”

Men:  “You”  need to talk.

Women:  Silly man, shut up and listen.  It’s time for your pussy whipping.

“MOTHER-IN-LAW”

Men:  The enemy who destroys his piece of mind by giving him a piece of her own.

Women:  The person I must try to impress, befriend, and respect.

.

“WEDDING JITTERS”

Men:  Thought-provoked stricken fear of the most grimace proportions!

Women:  Excitement which denotes decades of advanced thought for this one pivotal moment that will set forth the motions of the rest of her life.

“SHOTGUN WEDDING”

Men:  A  “wife or death”  situation where the man must choose between an instantaneous death by the father inlaw or slow painful one by the daughter.

Women:  A life form on the way, which unfortunately does not give enough time to properly plan the big day.

“CAN WE TIE THE KNOT?”

Men:  Can I secure you to the bedpost without the usual loose bowtie?

Women:  Get married!

“LIE”

Men:  A truth that can only become a lie if it is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt not to be true, at which point it shall then become no longer remembered.

Women:  A complete and utter untruth that shall never be forgiven for as long as the guilty offender continues to fog a mirror.

“THREESOME”

Men:  Me and you and a blonde named Fondue.

Women:  You and me and a baby make three.

“COMPROMISE”

Men:  An amiable agreement whereby both parties unanimously decide just to 

let the woman have her way.  If mama’s not happy…

Women:  A beautifully negotiated discussion of dreams, needs, and passions that is followed by an equally prosperous agreement between both parties.

“I’M SORRY”

Men:  Okay, enough is enough;  let’s get on with some make-up sex!

Women:  But you’re about to be sorrier.

 

“WEDDING VOWS”

Men:  Repeat everything the guy in the funny hat just said.

Women:  Thirty seconds of the most intense vocalization of life and love 

between two lovers, matched by only that of the poetic conversations 

between Romeo and Juliet.

“DOES THIS MAKE MY ASS LOOK BIG?”

Men:  Ugly day?  Honey, if you hear these words out of me, I must be as gay as Lance Bass and a green tutu on Saint Patty’s Day!

Women:  Please shower me with compliments;  I’m having an ugly day.

“SIX INCHES”

Men:  Nine inches of fury.

Women:  Three inches—over in a hurry.

“YES”

Men:  I have no idea what you just said, and I actually don’t care all that much.

Women:  Yes.

Looking over these differences at a glance, I have to wonder to myself if perhaps we are not that different after all—then I removed my rose-colored glasses and put on my prescriptions.  Men can easily evade much of these difficulties by nodding and saying,  “Yes,”  for most of their responses.  This will inevitably lead to a stand-down every so often when the woman realizes that you were not listening, but this can also be easily negotiated with another properly timed,  “Yes,”  and a well-placed nod—And so the world turns;  one misunderstood statement and calculated cover-up at a time!  

STRIPLVSTYLE - 0417

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The new Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet

The ultimate in open-air exclusivity

The first cabriolet from the Mercedes-Maybach brand celebrated its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last December and hits the market this spring– limited to 300 examples and with a net price tag of $323,000.  The high-end appointments in the interior make up part of the vehicle’s special characteristics.  Unique features include nine additional color concepts for the interior, the trim – optionally refined with “flowing lines” – plus the hand-finished craftsmanship of the leather seats with perforations in a waterfall-style look.  The drive system requirements are catered for by the 6.0-liter V12 engine with an output of 630 horsepower.

Carbon 6 Jewelry

What started as a Kickstarter project is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing men’s jewelry and accessory brands.  The founder was inspired to create the line after watching an outdoor show with his wife.  When he stood up to shake off the blanket, they were seated on, his wedding ring fell off his hand and bounced away, never to be seen again.  When he couldn’t find a replacement that met his requirements of being comfortable, durable, safe to wear, good-looking, and meaningful, he decided to make his own.  He used his background in mechanical engineering to design a unique line of men’s jewelry using carbon fiber.  

Carbon6rings.com

GOLD RUSH MAN BY PARIS HILTON

Gold Rush Man Paris Hilton is inspired by the charming and debonair man who epitomizes the old Hollywood glamor couple.  The fragrance evokes a masculine sophistication in any man who wears it, instantly transporting him to a place of chivalry and refined style.  This new eau de toilette combines exotic citrus and sensual spices to create a smooth and irresistable scent that envelops the skin like liquid gold.  $55

MOONLIGHT CAST IN CALVIN KLEIN UNDERWEAR CAMPAIGN

It’s been a good year so for the leading men of Moonlight.  The Barry Jenkins film took home best picture, and actor Mahershala Ali won the best supporting actor at the Oscars.  Raf Simons wanted to give them one more source of pride this morning: their own Calvin Klein Underwear campaign.  Shot by photographer Willy Vanderperre— a long time Simons collaborator— Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Ali model classic CK briefs and basic tees.  The campaign is called “Revelation.”

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