MLB – Major League of Betrayal?

Alex Rodriguez is the “straw” and my perception on America’s Pasttime is the “camel’s back”.  No thanks to his admittance to taking a performance enhancing drug during the 2001 season and on through the 2003 season, I feel as if I’ve fallen out a tire swing and everyone’s pointing and laughing.  Like a sweaty wrist band being tossed in the 5th row worn by LeBron from a 40 pt. night, I feel used.  This isn’t right!  I questioned the sport when other players were being dipped in the juicy discussion of Steroids, but this has gotten completely out of hand. 

What's next for who we all thought was one of the greatest?

What's next for who we all thought was one of the greatest?

Alex Rodriguez, for the past handful of years, has been put on one of the highest statistical pedestals Baseball has to offer.  At 33 years old, he is currently on pace to, not break, not shatter, but pulverize the all-time Home Run record to smithereens.  He was the youngest player to hit the 300 home run mark(*), the youngest player to hit the 400 mark(*) and the youngest to hit 500(*).  He has been one of the most prolific and talented players to ever step foot on the “field of dreams”.  This has been such a dream story too, not to mention.  Rodriguez, who started his career with the Mariners, has done nothing but drop the jaws of all the hot dog loving, peanut craving, beer enhaling, baseball fanatics of the world.  A-Rod, over his youthful 15 year tenure, has averaged a more-than-respectable .276 batting avg.(*) while cranking out 37(*) long balls a year.  Sounds Goliath-like. 

Well, like Goliath, A-Rod’s journey has come to a halt, as David this time, goes by the name of Sir Enhancing Drug, first name, Performance.  That’s right.  Like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and gang, the once-loved Alex Rodriguez is in the mix of the possible asterisks of our time.  Sadly, Rodriguez’s true colors have shown, in more ways than one.  He admitted taking these substances from 2001 through 2003.  Well it just so happens that his HR average sky-rocketed to 52 per year.  His best three year stretch in that category in his career.  Also, his interview with Katie Couric that took place in December of ’07, when looked at now, is undeniably proven to all be a lie.  A-Rod, at the time, put a stop to the press surrounding the possibility of him taking the banned substances.  When asked if he had taking any, Rodriguez simply replied, “no.”  Following that was the question of if had ever been tempted to use the PED’s.  A-Rod again replied, “no.”  What a set up for Couric as she fired back with, “You never felt like, ‘This guy’s doing it, maybe I should look into this too?  He’s getting better numbers, playing better ball.'”  In a very coy manner, Rodriguez replied, “I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field.  I’ve always been in a very strong and dominant position…So, no.”  While very believable at the time, looking back, that interview should have proved his guilt way before his admittance just 4 days ago.  Watching again, one will notice, after he responds with his first, “no”, while Couric is asking the next question, A-Rod starts twitching a little in his face, showing signs of discomfort.  One would also notice that when asked if he had ever been tempted, rather than answering with a “of course not” or a “well there are temptations, but I know the right thing to do”, A-Rod instead, takes a second to himself, as if he was deciding, “should i go with ‘no’ or ‘yes’ on this one?” before finally arriving at the well thought out answer of, “no.” 

This is simply preposterous, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m quite worried for the baseball loving youth.  Their rugs have been swept from underneath all of their feet these past few years.  Imagine all of the parents of the kids whose favorite player is A-Rod.  Imagine them having to tell them, “Well Timmy, it turns out Alex cheated.  He took medicine that is illegal in the baseball world, that so happens to make him bigger, stronger, and more accurate.”  Meanwhile, you don’t see Dwight Howard taking magic Kangaroo pills, nor do you see Devin Hester taking Road Runner hormones.  It’s scary to think about all the other possible Baseball athletes that have done the same thing.  What happened to raw talent?  Are we supposed to look up to those who decide to get a quicker reaction speed from needles and pills?  What have we become fans of?  I know for a fact that America’s Pasttime wasn’t smoke and mirrors for the public so they can enjoy what’s going on outside of the curtains. 

We can only feel sorry for those all-stars who chose the needle for so long, before we, as the Fan, feel a sense of betrayal.

Time T.O. Stop

Enough is enough!  I have defended Terrell Owens for the last time.  I liked the raw super talent that he had.  I liked the fact that he was overly confident and was never going to apologize for anything he said, but now it has gone too faCry-baby Owensr.  I excused Terrell’s actions in San Francisco because of the situation the team was in I did not want to see his talents wasted.  I forgave the outbursts in Philadelphia because I do not like the Eagles so I was ok with seeing that team self-destruct.  When Owens got to the Cowboys he said it was going to be different, and for a little while it was.  He behaved himself, caught his touchdown passes, and didn’t cause any major problems.  He behaved himself for just long enough so people would start to think that Owens and Romo would be a combination that could win a Superbowl.  That all but ended this week as Owens once again was able to successfully ruin a season.

I do not understand why he feels the need to do this over and over again.  He was getting the ball!!!  So what if Romo and Witten draw up little plays, that’s what teammates do.  They did not do it as a plot to ruin Owens career, the little “plays” if you even want to call them that are things that both players see in the defense so they make the necessary adjustments.  If anything Romo should go to T.O. and tell him that by forcing the ball to him he is ruining his stats, or better yet Romo should tell T.O. if he ever wants to even see a football again he will get on Romo’s team instead of trying to get everyone against him.

No Memory = No Common Sense

 

 cassel

The New England Patriots of the future are saved.  Given the fact that they are facing a spontaneous quarterback delimma,  the young-gun talent of Matt Cassel has landed as a gift in the lap of Belichick and gang.  With so much hype surrounding the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Matt Cassel, it is now obvious that he has proven his stay, and will be taking over the starting job from injured Tom Brady.  What?  Not persuaded?  Well take a gander at why this non-erroneous statement holds water: 

Matt Cassel, in his 10-game adventure as the starter in New England, has amassed a QB rating of 90.5.  Well, sure, sure Brady has averaged 92.5 over his 7-year tenure (including a 117.2% rating in 2007) but how can one overlook this cannon-arm from  Cali?  And would you believe it!?  Just these last two weeks Cassel has gone back to back throwing for at least 400 yards!  Can’t beat that!  Well, sure, sure Cassel and the Patriots ended up losing to the Jets in the first of those 2 games, but it’s the stats that count!  Or is it?  In the matchup against New York, Cassel did throw for 400 but on 51 attemps.  21 of those attemps found, well, nobody.  But take it like it is, Cassel is what’s hot right now.  Right now the Pats are at 7-4.  They are in great shape to make the postseason and they’re doing all this with…Matt Cassel!  Well, sure, sure the Pats went 16-0 in the regular season last year, and had no room to even think about not making the playoffs, considering the fact of going undefeated with…oh…Tom Brady, but bottom line Cassel needs to be landed the franchise tag immediately. 

Who cares about Brady taking the Pats to 3 super bowls in 4 years, and winning all three?  Or who cares, about how just 1 year ago Tom Brady broke the single season record for passing touchdowns, as he accumulated 50, while just throwing 8 interceptions?  Who cares about how Brady took his game even one step higher last year, throwing for a league leading 4800 yards (1300 more yards than in 2006)?  The truth of the matter is, at age 31(which is “apparently” the new 40…) with a bum knee, Tom Brady is washed up.  The Patriots will really consider Cassel taking over.  I mean c’mon, it’s just Tom Brady right?  He’ll be forgotten about soon, right?  I’m not just making a completely ridiculous claim, that by no means, has any validation to it, am I?  I’m not just randomly jumping on a bandwagon, and getting into the “Now”, and specifically and utterly forgetting about someone who can possibly go down as the greatest quarterback of all time, am I?  Nah…can’t be. 

I must let you know, when all is said and done, don’t take my word for it, I am simply an example of a sports fan who has No Memory.  Sadly, I exist.

Here’s to the Guys who Probably won’t get It

With the major league baseball season winding down it is time for the playoffs and awards.  Everyone knows the names of the guys who are leading the way to receive some of the awards, I will attempt to make the argument for some of the guys who probably won’t get the award when they are handed out and I will try to predict who actually will win.

Manager of the Year

AL- Ozzie Guillen- He is having a fantastic year during the wrong season.  With the Angels so far ahead in there division and the Rays making their first playoff appearence in franchise history there is just simply no room at the table for Guillen.  Why not Guillen though?  His team is in first place, and the team is not very good.  Right after the All-Star break the White Sox looked like they were done, but one rant by Ozzie Guillen seemed to turn this thing around for the White Sox.  winner- Joe Maddon

NL- Tony La Russa- This pains me to say this, but La Russa has done a fantastic job managing this team.  His team has less talent and his pitching staff is held together by scotch tape, but La Russa has simply gotten it done.  No one thought that the Cardinals would still be in the race (not really) this late in the season which is an incredible feat for this team.  winner- Lou Piniella

Rookie of the Year

AL- Alexi Ramirez- This is one where my guy might actually win it.  Ramirez has played an outstanding second base for the White Sox this year, and has added power and speed to an aging lineup.  He gets lost in the shuffle with all the big names of the American League but may finally get some of that credit back. winner- Evan Longoria

NL- Jeff Samardzija- He won’t win it, his teammate Geovany Soto will.  Samardzija has been a spark in the Cubs bullpen though this year much like Joba was for the Yankees last year.  Samardzija ultimatly will end up in the rotation in the next couple of years but at least for now he has done a great job in the pen. winner- Geovany Soto

Cy Young

AL- Daisuke Matsuzaka- Daisuke has drastically improved over last year.  He has posted an 18-2 record with an ERA under 3.  His striekout numbers are down but he is pitching better to American hitters than last year.  He falls in to the same category as Ozzie though as it is just a crowded table for this award this year so Daisuke will be left out. winner- Cliff Lee

NL- Ryan Dempster- If the Cy Young was given for pitching at home, he would be a unanimous decision for this award, but it’s not so unfortunatly for Ryan there too goes his chance.  What should not be overlooked though is that Dempster was a CLOSER last year and has made a smooth transtion back to the rotation posting 17 wins.  Dempster should be in a very interesting conversation between Webb, Lincecum, and CC. winner- Tim Lincecum

MVP

AL- Dustin Pedroia- The Red Sox’ offense was not supposed to be able to keep up when Manny left.  Enter Dustin Pedroia who has stepped in and been a huge contributor for the Red Sox by contributing in ways Manny didn’t: get on base, move guys over, score runs, play tough sound defense, steal bases, and most importantly play TEAM baseball. winner- K-Rod

NL- Aramis Ramirez- His numbers are good, near 30 homeruns, 100 RBI, close to 100 runs.  What he does in the clutch is what is the most impressive.  He has come through countless times for the Cubs this year when the game is on the line.  His defense is drastically improved and he is one of leaders on a club that is looking to make a serious run in the playoffs (crossing our fingers). winner- Albert Pujols

The awards won’t be handed out until after the World Series, but keep an eye out for the players I have named because they will be the difference makers in the post-season.

Funny Moment in college football television

While watching the Michigan vs. Notre Dame football game this afternoon my roommate and I noticed a simple error made by NBC sports announcer Tom Hammond:

We thought it was hillarious and recorded it for the whole world to see.  Enjoy

Jake Locker Costs Team Big Time

Jake Locker, the quarterback for the University of Washington, cost his team a chance at a big time upset of BYU on Saturday.  Locker scored what appeared to be the game-tying touchdown at the end of regulation.  Locker was so excited about his touchdown that he threw the ball into the air and celebrated with his teammates.  A flag came flying in to the endzone for unsportsmanlike excessive celebration.  Needless to say the 15 yard penatly killed the Huskies and they lost the game.  After the game there was outrage that a penalty like that could decide a game, but for once the refs got it right.  The rule for excessive celebration states that if a player throws the ball “high in the air” it is grounds for the penalty.  Like the rule or not it was called correctly.  With that said Locker’s last throw of the game was the one that cost him, and it was not an incomplete pass or an interception that did it.  A seemingly harmless toss into the air that came harmlessly to the turf cost his team the win.

Free Agent Class 09

With all of the trade talks over, and more and more teams on the outside looking in at the playoffs. People start to talk about potential free agents, and how might your particular team look come next spring training. This year it is a class of juggernauts’. Mark Teixeira, C.C Sabathia, Adam Dunn, Manny Ramirez to name a few. Plus it is never too early to give a couple predictions on how these free agents might pan out.

Mark Teixeira: This is an interesting case because he has given no information on what he is looking for in a place to play for the next ten seasons. He expects to sign a monster of a deal, and that really only allows a couple of ball clubs a chance of signing him, and there are only a couple of those that have a need at first. The Yankees are the obvious suitors to signing a big contract, and I would say they are going to be strong contenders. I see this race coming down to two other team getting Tex, the Angels, and Baltimore Orioles. Teixeira is ripping the cover off the ball under the sunny California sun, and after living in California for awhile, it is very hard to leave. When the Angels made a trade for him, I thought that was the best thing they could do to have a chance of signing him this off-season. And the Orioles have a couple good things going for them, a group of good young ball players to build around in Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts, and Mark is a Maryland native. When all is said and done, Teixeira will be playing with the Halos.

C.C Sabathia: Same things being said for C.C, he is going to draw a huge contract. A contract so large that it will resembles Johan Santana. And again there are only a couple of teams that can pay him that much money. I see this being a two team race again between the Yankees, again, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. And it is well known that C.C. likes to hit so that puts the Dodgers a little bit of a favorite. But I don’t see the Yankees missing out on both of these guys, so I think they offer a contract to C.C. that he can’t refuse, and they will let him take batting practice anytime that he wants.

Manny: He is going to stay in Los Angeles, because he is so well loved there. He brings a different vibe to Chavez Ravine that I have never seen before. People walking around in their number 99 jerseys, with there fake dreads hanging over there shoulders. He gives them the power hitter they needed for the last two seasons and for that reason he not going anywhere. I also think he is not going to get the 4 year 100mil that he wants from anywhere so he comes crawling back to Colletti, and Ned will have a big smile on his face, as he signs him for a couple of years.

Dunn: I have been racking my brain, for a team that is going to want Dunn. He is not staying in Arizona, because Adam is just a short term fix in there lineup. They have way too much depth to waste that money on one player. I would like to think with his inability to play defense he would draw more interest from an American League team. So the Blue Jay, Rays, A’s, Angels and the lone national league team Mets. Are all suitors, with the Mets winning out in the long run, because Dunn still wants to lay defense, even though he is not great at it.

Here are my early, early prodections. Most of them will change, between now and winter meetings, but this is where we stand now.

Scott