Friday, August 22, 2008

Ugly Loss

The United States seems to have every major sport on lock-down at the olympics...that is, except baseball. As you look through the sports, the softball girls are blazing their way through opponents, seemingly shutting out everyone they play, the men's basketball team played nearly the worst they could in their last game and still won by twenty...but then there's baseball. See where softball has Jennie Finch and Lisa Fernandez mowing down batters, and basketball's got the likes of Kobe, Dwight Howard, and 'Mello, the baseball team stocks it's roster with Matt LaPorta's and Mike Hessman's...minor leaguers. After today's embarassing loss that saw the United States give up 4 home runs in a 10-2 loss to Cuba, the hopes of an Olympic gold were put to rest. This begs the question, "should the U.S. have brought it's best to the Olympic games?" The simple answer of course is "yes." However it's not that easy. Saying that we should have brought our best, and actually bringing our best without problems, is a different story. The MLB has too much money invested into each team and it's players to simply pull them out of the regular season to play in the Olympics. Not to mention teams are fighting for their playoff lives in their respective divisional races. It sounds like it should be easy, but the Olympics are just at a bad time to play baseball. Too much controversy to touch. Let our Major Leaguers play Major League baseball, and allow our future stars a shot at glory for themselves....if not, they could always count the World Baseball Classic as the Olympics...that, and only that, would keep everyone happy without the fear of second-guessing actions.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Questioning Beijing

Sure the U.S. doesn't have as many gold medals as China, but we are dominating the overall medal count, 95 to 83. Sometimes I wonder, especially in contests that judges determine, how much favoritism is played. China, who is obviously hosting this summer's olympics in Beijing, has the same amount of gold medals, 46, as the second and third most combined (U.S. 29, G.B. 17). For example: Nastia Liukin tied in the uneven bars, yet Chinese gymnist He Kexin, won the gold because of some strange ruling that seemed to be pulled out of a hat... I think a simple coin toss may have actually been a more fair deciding factor....but I guess you can't blame China for that...just a strange coincidence. The thing you can blame them for however, is the age controversy, especially with He. You cannot seriously tell me that she's old enough to nab a drivers license this year. Look at our 16 year olds. Shawn Johnson is 16 and what, 4'8"? But she still LOOKS 16. So anyone who says "Oh the Chinese girls are just really petite," can kindly close their mouth. Just nine months ago a Chinese paper reported Kexin as being 13. So in less than a year, she's gone from 13 to 16. Is there a reasonable explanation for this? No. Just looks to me like China is willing to win gold at any cost. Just take a look at the side-by-side pics of Shawn Johnson, 16 and He Kexin, supposedly 16. Enough said.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Appologies

Hey everyone, I'm sorry I haven't posted since Friday, but I'm trying to get ready for college...packing up, meeting with friends one last time, and so I'm really sorry, but until I get moved and settled in, (moving in on Wednesday) I might not be updating every day. I hope you all understand and please keep checking in! I hope to start things up and really going again later this coming week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Fantasy Focus

Since we had our fantasy football draft yesterday, I'm going with the NFL this week. Oh and by the way, my team is stacked for a 10 person league. So here's what I'm going to do... I'm going to list my team and tell you why I picked them and why you should pick them... Unfortunately that's about all I can do, because I can't exactly write a book for you. I don't get paid for this.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb, PHI (6th round, 60th overall)
There's only one word to describe McNabb: Dangerous. Injury risk? You bet he is. Donovan's missed over 31% of the Eagles' games the past three years, but his upside is so great it was hard to pass him up in the 6th round. In McNabb's career he's thrown 171 TDs compared to only 79 interceptions, so he probably won't be getting me negative points. It hurts that he doesn't have T.O. there to catch balls for him anymore, but he's got Mr. "Wes Welker before Wes Welker was cool" Kevin Curtis, and Brian Westbrook is starting to shine. I'll be praying to the football gods every week, asking not to see Donovan on the injury report.

Runningbacks: LaDanian Tomlinson, SD (1st round, 1st overall)

Do I even need to describe why I took L.T.? The only other person I would have considered with my number 1 overall pick would have been Adrian Peterson, but he's an injury risk... A.P. hasn't played a full season since his sophomore year with the Sooners in 2004. Almost as scary as McNabb. We play a points per reception league so that makes L.T. even better. I need to stop wasting my time here. Obvious pick. Next player.

Jamal Lewis, CLE (4th round, 40th overall)

Lewis may not be the punishing bulldozer he was back in 2003 (2,066 yards), but he bounced back nicely with the Browns last season after some thought his career was done. Jamal's only sat 6 games since 2002, and he's big enough that he deals the punishment. 1,300 plus yards last year and 11 total TDs sounds good... Unfortunately he doesn't catch the ball out of the backfield much (30 catches in '07). But Lewis had the 6th most fantasy points for runningbacks in our league last year and grabbing him 15 runningbacks into the draft made me feel VERY good.

Wide Receivers: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN (2nd round, 20th overall)

"Who's your mamma" is a solid go-to guy for Carson Palmer, and the more he and "Ocho-Cinco" bicker, the more balls come T.J.'s way. He's definitely on the rise. The last 4 seasons his receptions and touchdowns have steadily increased, and with the exception of '05 (in which he only played 14 games) his yards have too. The Bengals might struggle this year as well, which means they'll have to throw the ball if they trail...not to mention Rudi Johnson isn't anything special anymore so they have no run game. Another 4,000 yard season for Palmer and another 1,000-plus for Houshy.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (3rd round, 21st overall)

Second straight year and 3 out of the last 4 that I've had Fitz on my team. The guy is just so solid. 1,409 yards last year and 10 touchdowns. Hopefully the Cards don't keep Leinart in for long because Fitzgerald and Warner are a lethal combo. Some questions about how many catches he'll get now that Anquan Boldin is back, but they were both together in 2005 and I mean they just played terrible together...cough...1,400-plus for both of them....cough. I'm not worried. Arizona actually has a shot at winning their division and plays some weak defenses on their schedule: (Miami, NYJ, St. Louis and San Fran twice each).

Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (5th round, 41st overall)

I may have been able to get this guy a little later in the draft but I didn't want to take any chances. Cotchery had a very quiet 82 receptions for 1,130 yards last year on a dismal Jets offense. With Jerricho taking balls from Brett Favre now, I feel even better about this pick. Can you say, "sleeper"?

Tight End: Tony Scheffler, DEN (7th round, 61st overall)

Scheffler is young but has great hands and very good speed for a tight end. I'm sure losing 15 pounds in the offseason will help that speed even more. He has the ability to shine, no doubt. He's too big for corners and safeties to stop him and he's too fast for linebackers. Jay Cutler's young too, still getting used to playing in the NFL, and the first thing young QBs look for is a security blanket short and across the middle. Scheffler is his man. And even if this pick doesn't work out, I've got Ben Watson sitting on my bench.

Kicker: Shayne Graham, CIN (12th round, 120th overall)

With Vinatieri, Folk, and Josh Brown off the board already, I figured I would stick with Mr. Consistency here. First off, you know the Bengals are going to put some points on the board. Graham's never been injured while with Cincy and he's a career 85% kicker. Over the past four seasons he's averaged 125 points, and he's coming off a year that he scored 131 and only missed 3 kicks all year. A career 79% from 40-49 jumps at me too.

Defense: Indianapolis (8th round, 80th pick)

With a healthy Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney, this defense can be downright scary. Freeney and Robert Mathis on each end will put a lot of pressure on QBs and force some tough throws. Kelvin Hayden and Bob Sanders will be the secondary's anchors. Unfortunately I didn't reach the Chargers defense in time...they will be spectacular. But Indy's D is very solid if it can stay healthy.

Bench: Isaac Bruce, Fed Taylor, Matt Schaub, Ben Watson, Deuce McAllister, Philadelphia

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Take On MLB Replays

Bud Selig said today his "confidence is growing" that technology in ballparks will be ready soon to permit instant replay. Instant replay has been a highly debated issue lately but it appears to have the go-ahead. When asked about the idea in the past, Selig has been against the use of it, however quite a few missed home run calls this season seem to have changed his mind. Replays will be used strictly on fair/foul calls and on determining whether a ball did or did not land over the fence. They will not be used on close calls on the bases or ball/strike calls. I really like this idea. Bud Selig has got to be one of the best MLB commisioners in history in my opinion. I feel he's dealt well with the steroids scandals, he avoided a strike in 2002, and now adding the replay without overstepping his, or the umpires boundaries. If Selig would have added it for any other disputed calls, Major League Baseball would have become an absolute mess. See you can't have replay for ball and strike calls because they are completely based on judgement, which is why you can't challenge a penalty in the NFL. Different umpires have different strike zones and that's not only just part of the game, but also the player's responsibility to adjust to that zone. One more thing to close on...with MLB games already pushing the three hour mark, tell long would it take if we had replay for everything? Recipe for disaster.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Were They Thinking?

The Spain Olympic men's basketball team, which includes the likes of NBA players Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon, is being criticized for a photo released to the public of the entire team pulling their eyelids back to make them appear more Chinese-like. When asked about it, the players say it was all in good taste and an "affectionate gesture" according to Calderon, and "absurd" that it would be taken as racist, by Gasol. Spain's women's team reportedly did the same thing in a photo. As for my input, what were they thinking? Seriously, that's the same as if they played the Olympics in Kenya and painted their faces black. Could someone tell me what Calderon is talking about? Affectionate? Does he even know what that means when he says it? And Gasol...You screwed up. And now he's trying to defend his actions by pissing more people off by calling it "absurd" if people took it in a racist way. Pau, you're getting paid to play basketball, not to tell people what to please just shut up and go practice your jumper. It's clearly a racist act and they should, and have, appologized for their actions. I believe them when they say they didn't mean to offend anyone, but honestly let's use some common sense here. Didn't anyone step up during this photo shoot and say, "Hey guys, maybe it's not a great idea to mock the largest population of humans on Earth...especially when we're going to be playing on their court."? It's too bad that foolishness like this has to happen during a time of world unity. Oh well...see that's what bothers's Spain so it's an "oh well." If the U.S. players did that it would have hit front page headlines of every sports page in the world...because remember, we as Americans are the bad guys and we do everything wrong in the eyes of the rest of the world. But don't worry about it Spain, the world still loves you.

Texas Shootout At Fenway

It must have been "jack up your stats up night" at Fenway on Tuesday, as the Red Sox and Rangers kicked off the series in a way that only two American League teams could have. Final score: 19-17, Boston. The Red Sox opened up with ten runs in the bottom half of the first inning, then slowly watched the lead diminish. Texas scored two runs in the 2nd, only to be countered by a two-run 3rd by the Sox, thanks to a bases loaded walk and an infield single by newly acquired Jason Bay. In the fifth, Texas came back with eight runs to Boston's two on a Kevin Youkilis long ball. Score update: End of the 5th inning, Boston: 14 Texas: 10. Top of the 6th rolls around and the Rangers put up a five spot to take a one run lead, and get another one in the top of the 7th. Bottom of the 7th, Boston puts one on the board, then sticks a four spot in the 8th. Papelbon comes in to close the door and allows a double and a run, but finishes it off. You know it's a tough night for pitchers when Jonathan Papelbon gives one up...I mean it's not like he has a career 1.71 ERA or anything.... A quick overview and some interesting facts about this joke of a baseball game:

  • David Ortiz, AKA Big Papi, had 2 homers and six RBI' the first inning...
  • The 36 total runs put up by both teams is tied for the AL record.
  • Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman gave up 10 runs in the first and stayed in the game, becoming only the second pitcher to ever do that, along with...and this doesn't surprise me a bit...Mark Redman.
  • The game showcased 400 pitches, 37 hits, 36 runs, 13 walks, 11 different pitchers, 11 doubles, two 5-hit performances, and despite putting up a football score, the teams combined to only strand 15 runners.
  • Scott Feldman allowed 12 runs in 2 and 2/3 innings of work (in which he threw 90 pitches!)...only half of them were earned.
  • The sellout crowd at Fenway witnessed a 3 hour 58 minute 9-inning game.
  • Every starter on each squad had at least one hit, with the exception of Red Sox catcher Kevin Cash.
  • 12 of the 18, or 67% of the starters had multi-hit game.
  • Texas joined elite company of being one of only four teams since 1900 to score 17 runs and lose, notably joining the Marlins who lost 18-17 earlier this year against Colorado.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Major Statement

Padraig Harrington held off Sergio Garcia once again, this time to win his second straight Major, the PGA Championship. It seemed to be a rematch of last year's British Open at Carnoustie. It's hard to forget Padraig hitting that famous drive that bounced along the bridge and dropped off into the Barry Burn just a yard away from safety...then followed it up by chunking it right back into it. His double bogey lead to a playoff where he held off Garcia for the win. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Sergio. He's been a very solid golfer throughout his entire career but just can't get that seemingly elusive first Major. If you want me to be blunt about it, I'll be blunt. Sergio, learn how to putt. Grab your flat stick and putt all day, every day until you've mastered the stroke. Perfect example yesterday: At the 15th, 401 yard par 4, Sergio lays up on the tee shot, then knocks a 6-iron off the flag stick. The ball ends up about 10 feet away...and misses the putt. Hole 16 he dunks it into the pond. Hole 17 proved to be Segio's final shot at winning the tournament. After harrington dazzled the crowd with a bombed 5 iron close to the hole, Sergio comes right back and sticks a 5-iron as well, the closest shot to the hole on the day. Padraig drains his putt, Sergio lips out. By then, a stroke back on 18, Sergio watched Harrington win the championship, draining his third straight putt from outside 10 feet. Plain and simple, on the PGA Tour, in order to win a Major Championship, you HAVE to make putts when they count. Sergio, despite having the 5th best scoring average on the tour, is 173rd in putting, averaging 1.82 putts per hole. I guess everyone has their weakness... Although Sergio struggles at times, he's only 28. I'm pretty confident that one of these times, Sergio won't have Padraig draining putts all over the place, and he will win a Major Championship.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Murder, Then Suicide Shakes Beijing

At what point do we stop having an Olympics? When we have a death for each gold medal? The games are supposed to be what holds all the world's nations together. But can we really achieve that in today's world? Nations around the world all seem to have different opinions on various political issues...that's a problem. See some people don't exactly have their heads screwed on straight, so they take political issues out on athletes and other innocent bystanders. For instance, the killing of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the '72 Munich Olympics...and now today. Despite having over 100,000 police officers and militants, the Chinese were unable to stop the murdering of American Todd Bachman. Todd's wife, Barbara, and a tour guide were also seriously injured. The suspect was identified as Tang Yongming, a south-east province native, who after commiting the murder, leaped off the 130 foot Drum Tower viewing platform, falling to his death. Bachman was the father of Elisabeth Bachman, who played on the U.S. Olympic volleyball team in '04, and is married to current U.S. men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon. Hearing this story already angered me to know that this guy got past the hmhmm...ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND guards, but then to hear what a woman said about the whole fiasco put me over the edge. When asked about the killing, she said, "Why are you paying so much attention to this. Murders happen all the time. You should pay attention to the two gold medals that China won today." Now I don't know where this woman was from, but I'm assuming she was a Chinese citizen. Are you kidding me? Yes ma'am, you're completely right...a murder ISN'T as important as a damn gold medal. Something tells me (and again I'm not 100% sure she was from China) that if her husband got murdered, she would want to hear about that over who won gold. Anyway, hopefully the protests will settle down and people will stop being crazy and killing eachother over...well I don't know what it's over. They even said the killer's motives were unknown and there was no clothing on the Bachman's indicating they were from the U.S. What has this world come to?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Friday Fantasy Focus

Since I'll be gone all day tomorrow to watch the Royals and Twins play in Kansas City, I should probably post twice today to make up for it. I decided I would do a weekly Fantasy Focus every Friday. I'll start things off with baseball until the NFL season gets under way. I'll show a player at each fantasy position that you should pick up or consider trading for in your fantasy league.

Catcher: Kelly Shoppach, CLE
While a .280 average, 12 homers and 35 RBI's doesn't jump off the page at you, here are some numbers that might. Over the last week, the Cleveland catcher has 7 hits and is hitting .368 over that span. Also, over the past month, Shoppach is ranked third (McCann, Doumit) among all catchers according to Yahoo! rankings and is tied for the most homers by a catcher in that span (5, McCann).

1st Base: Chris Davis, TEX
Since being called up to the bigs on June 26th, Davis has been a fantasy stud. In only 36 games he's compiled 39 hits, good for a .295 average, 11 homers and 28 RBI's. If you spread that out into an entire season, say 155 games, his numbers would read: .295, 47 HR, 120 RBI. Pretty impressive.

2nd Base: Mike Aviles, KC
Although he plays on a bad Kansas City team, Aviles is a good pick up. Since getting the starting spot in early June, he's hitting .330 with 7 home runs, 36 runs, 31 RBI and 3 stolen bases. Over the past month he has had 40 hits (.377 avg.) and is ranked 3rd among all 2nd basemen.

3rd Base: Melvin Mora, BAL
In the past month, Melvin Mora has gone crazy. In that span he's hit .330, raising his batting average 29 points, from .227 to .256. Also over that month he's hit 4 homers and 28...that's right, 28 RBI's. That's second in the Majors among all hitters (Miguel Cabrera, 32).

Shortstop: Stephen Drew, ARI
J.D's little brother is finally making a name for himself. In the past week he's had 12 hits (.414 avg.) and in the past month he's ranked 6th among all shortstops with 12 runs, a homer, 16 RBI and posting a .346 average. His season numbers aren't bad either: .278, 13 HR, 47 RBI.


Fernando Tatis, NYM
The 33-year-old seems to be back in his old 1999 form when he belted 34 jacks. Tatis is currently on a 12-game hitting streak. During that span he's hitting .383 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's.

Alexei Ramirez, CWS
You don't see many 6'3" guys who can play both second base and outfield. Ramirez has had multi-hit games in 4 of his last 8. And in the past month, Ramirez is hitting .337 with 3 homers, 14 RBI and 5 stolen bases.

Garrett Anderson, LAA
If someone doesn't already have this guy in your league, definitely consider picking him up. Although his power numbers have dropped considerably since '03 he can still hit for average and rive in runs for that potent Angels offense. In the past month, Anderson is hitting .371 with 3 homers and has driven in 21 RBI.

Starting Pitcher:

Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
After starting the season 2-8, Jimenez has come back to win 6 of his last 7 starts (6-1) and his last 3 starts he's given up just 1 run on 11 hits in 22 innings pitched.

Gil Meche, KC
Meche finally looks to be back on track. He's won each of his last 4 starts and is 7-1 his last 10. Over that span he's pitched 64 and 1/3 innings, fanned 52 and only given up 3 home runs.

Oliver Perez, NYM
Before his last start against Houston where he gave up 4 runs in a losing effort, Perez had gone 2-1 his last 6 starts in which he threw 44 and 1/3 innings, allowing just 6 earned runs (1.22 ERA) and 44 strikeouts.


Mike Gonzalez, ATL
Rafael Soriano is back on the DL, which means Mike will get the closing duties again. Gonzalez will get you K's and doesn't allow many baserunners. The only question about him is how many save opportunities he will get on an injury plagued Braves team.

Welcome To The Meadowlands, Brett

Thank you Jesus. The Brett Favre show is finally over. (He was starting to remind me of Ms. New York from Flavor of Love with all the drama) Brett is now a New York Jet. Favre was traded Wednesday night for a conditional 2009 draft pick. Quite a messy pick. Here's how it goes. It's a 4th round pick, but if Favre plays 50% of snaps it turns to a 3rd round. If he plays 70% and the Jets make the playoffs, it turns to a second rounder, and if Brett plays 80% of snaps and the Jets make the Super Bowl (which is likely not to happen) it's a first round pick. I question what the Jets are exactly doing here? Let's be honest...Favre isn't going to play for longer than a couple more years, and if the team is successful with him behind center, the Jets are going to miss out on a young talent that they are without a doubt needing. This also means the departure of long-time Jet, Chad Pennington, who never seemed to live up to the hype he brought when he first got there. Chad's arm doesn't seem to want to stretch the field either...thats a problem in the NFL. Stretching the field won't be a problem for Brett. Favre joins the cast of vet WR's Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, and former Bear RB Thomas Jones. He'll also have the protection of LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who better do a good job of keeping Favre on his feet...I don't know how many more poundings that 38 year-old body can take...especially from the blind side. Overall, I don't think the Jets are that bad of a fit for Brett. They've got a solid core of veterans on their offense and if Thomas Jones can have a solid year like he did when he helped the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance, look for the Jets to be a contender for a playoff spot. We'll have to see if Favre pulls out the new "Meadowlands" leap. And I hope NY fans don't try their normal, "J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!" cheer and try to put Favre into the mix...Favre isn't exactly a name you can spell out...not saying people from the New York/Jersey area are stupid or anything...If I do that I'll have another John Rocker situation on my hands...I don't want any batteries thrown at me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Twilight Zone in KC

I woke up this morning to see one of the most bizarre plays that has ever happened in not only Major League Baseball, but in all of sports history. Let me paint the scene for you. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City. Royals vs. Red Sox. Top of the seventh inning, 2 on, 1 out, and Jason Bay at the plate for Boston. Bay takes a fastball to deep left-center where Royals center fielder Mitch Maier tries to make an outstanding running/jumping catch to rob Bay of a home run. The ball goes in and out of Maier's glove and he falls to the ground. Meanwhile, the ball continues to run along the top of the foot-wide wall in a straight line for about 3 seconds. Ross Gload, the left fielder comes running in, climbs the wall, and knocks the ball down with his left hand into his glove, holding Bay to a double. KC went on to lose the game, 8-2. But somebody needs to buy a lottery ticket! The chances of that happening have got to be less than winning the lottery. Too bad Gload didn't throw anyone that would have REALLY impressed me. You can see the video by clicking here.

In other news:

It looks like Brett Favre will not be playing this a Packer anyway. Head coach Mike McCarthy made a statement yesterday that made it pretty clear that the Packers are going with Rodgers and Favre's future is not in Green Bay. Tampa Buccs fans just let out a huge sigh of relief.

Brad Penny is set to return to the Dodger rotation on Friday. This may finally be the spur to get them over the hump and into first in the NL West....and what the hell happened to Andruw Jones?...Braves fans around the world are saying "I told you so."

Rays OF B.J. Upton will sit today for "lack of hustle" when he didn't run out a grounder in last night's game. I really like what Joe Maddon is doing with these young Rays players...He's turned a cellar team into a first place pennant contender. Joe Maddon: AL manager of the year without a doubt in my opinion.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fine Line Of Dunking. Don't Cross It.

First, I would like to let everyone know that I got my Facebook account temporarily disabled today for advertising my site (deemed as spam). I guess it'll be back in a few days. So anyway, I was searching around on YouTube for some dunks...found some terrible "amateur" ones and figured I'd share my top 5 with you. Enjoy!

#5: I think my favorite part of this one is the other kids' reactions...or lack there of...

#4: Cut through this video and start it 30 seconds in...the failed dunk isn't funny..stupid little white kids...but I couldn't help but laugh at what happened as he was laying on the ground.

#3: Is this Richard Simmons?!? Good thing there was a cushion...

#2: See there's this thing in's called a backboard.

#1: I like his polo and jeans. Hey, at least he looked good while getting absolutely owned.

Monday, August 04, 2008

No Tiger, No Viewers

I couldn't find a great story to write about today (I'm still holding off on writing about Brett Favre for a little while), so as I was looking for a topic I saw an article about Kerry Wood coming off the DL. This reminded me of Tiger Woods and how little golf I've watched since the U.S. Open. This is just crazy coming from such a huge golf fan as myself. And the simple explanation is...well, simple. Tiger Woods isn't playing. Tiger just has some presence around him that makes you want to watch him. Whether it's his 320 plus yard drives, pin seeking pitching wedge shots, or his great-looking wife, people want to watch Tiger! The guy is so mentally focused on every single shot, yet it's as if he was laying on his couch at home. Always relaxed, yet retains extreme concentration. I am one of those people who usually hate when a single player in a sport gets all the attention, but it's just not the same with Woods. Anyone who says Tiger gets too much time on air during tournaments doesn't understand how great of a player they're actually watching. Plain and simple: Tiger dominates the sport of golf. No one currently on the PGA Tour can come close to the success he's had. He seems to be in the top 5 of every tournament. And considering each tournament starts with dozens of players, it's tough not to have an off-day. Golf suffers without Tiger. Whether you see him as a hero or a villain, regardless, people want to watch. Either to see the hero reign or to watch the villain fall. Since Tiger had his season-ending knee surgery to repair his torn ACL, television ratings have plummeted in the events he usually appears in. According to the LA Times, final round viewers at the Buick Open, AT&T National, and British Open dropped 12%, 48%, and 14.6% respectively from last year. Even the story book tale of Greg Norman wasn't enough to save the Open. You can expect viewing to drop as well for the upcoming PGA Championship and Ryder Cup events. Without Tiger, watching golf is just....boring. All we can do is pray he returns from surgery well rested and ready to go for 2009. Hopefully we'll have another 20 or so good years out of him on the PGA then little Sam Alexis will be 21 and probably playing with the guys (following Wie's footsteps..for at least part of the way) and Tiger can begin his mastery of the Senior's Tour.

Remembering A Legend: Skip Caray

Long-time Atlanta Braves announcer Skip Caray died Sunday morning in his sleep at his Atlanta home. He was 68. Skip, the son of Cubs great Harry Caray, was in his 33rd season voicing Braves games. I grew up watching the Braves on TBS and with their rotation of announcers, you never knew who you would get on any given night...but I always hoped for Skip. He had one of the most distictive voices you will ever hear. I can hear him now, "There's a drive! Deep center field! And that ball's gone!" Sends a chill up my spine. It might sound silly, but without Skip commentating Braves games, I really wonder if I ever would have picked up on the great game of baseball. Skip was known for his witty, sarcastic humor and made fans feel a sense of closeness to him. See that's what makes good commentators great. Not only are their voices recognizible, but they truly seem to form a bond with the fan watching the game, and Skip had an uncanny knack for doing that. I remember Skip and Pete Van Wieren always finding some discrete way to sass former Brave Ryan Klesko when ever he would play his old team. Sometimes they would just show a shot of Ryan in the dugout and they'd just start laughing. Things like that, you just can't forget. Skip, we will all miss you dearly.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Panther Punch Out

Carolina Panthers' Pro-Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith was suspended for 2 games and fined $205,000 after a training camp fight with cornerback Ken Lucas. Lucas left practice early with a broken nose and a bruised up eye. Smith was kicked out of practice and sent back to Charlotte. No one really knows how the fight started but apparently the two are known for jawing at eachother since Lucas joined the team in 2005. This whole incident doesn't really surprise me. Steve's had disciplinary issues in the past. After what he did to Lucas, maybe Smith could take those two weeks he's missing and go take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. But then I learned that it was a sucker-punch while Lucas was taking a knee. Come on, if you're gonna break a guy's nose at least do it while he's looking....Some people say the suspension laid down by Pathers head coach Jim Fox is harsh...that it should be two pre-season games. Please tell me you're joking. Veterans like Smith beg not to play in those games. It'd be more of a reward than a punishment in his case...Risky move for a coach who's already on the hot seat....This may hurt some fantasy teams as well. Steve's stock just dropped a little as Smith owners will now probably have to draft an extra receiver when they could have been drafting a RB. Can someone tell me why the league's best WR have conduct or disciplinary issues? To name a few that join Steve: Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Chad Johnson and....Matt Jones..? Oh wait, he's not one of the league's best, but he did get caught snorting some Coke in his car with some buddies. Damn, and the pool of white wide receivers gets a little thinner...Matt, cocaine won't make you any faster.

Michelle... "Wie" Don't Like You

Could anyone have been more wrong about Michelle Wie? Who does she think she is? She's never won a single LPGA event, and she just attempted to make the cut at another PGA event. The result shouldn't surprise anyone. Failure. Wie is now 0 for 8 making the cut in a PGA tour event. She has withdrawn from numerous tournaments, citing heat exhaustion, and a so-called "tweaked wrist" when she was 14 over through 16 holes in the first round of the Ginn Tribute in May 2007. She's been called for grounding her club in the bunker and claimed she didn't know the ruling. The list continues as she's been disqualified twice for scorecards, once in 2005 for signing an incorrect one and just this June she didn't even sign the scorecard. I'll give her a little credit, every once in a while she gets a top 20 or top 10 finish in an LPGA event....But don't try to play with the guys if you can't even beat the girls yet. Not to mention, when she plays badly, it's downright embarassing. Looking through some of her events she's missed cuts by huge margines and back from the leaders by double-digit strokes. It's hard for me to like someone who makes so many mistakes and has had everything given to her to see her fail miserably and not even realize she's embarassing herself. Talk about being caught up in sponsorships...If it wasn't for stupid sponsor exemptions she would never see another PGA Tour event in her life. But she's gotta fill up those pockets with more cash... Have some integrity Michelle. Any person in their right mind has to be saying she's a flop. Coming out at age 14, already at 6 foot, she's got Fred Couples, Ernie Els and Arnold Palmer eating out of her hand...and still...4 years later has never even won an LPGA event. Most people have forgotten about her, but not ESPN. You'll always see her score at the bottom even when she's not on the leaderboard...almost like they do with Tiger...the "Notables" section. Michelle Wie doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with Tiger Woods. You're 18 now Michelle. Grow up and make some solid decisions.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

He Went Where?

Welcome to the jungle...Well interesting day today, as expected. Manny did not go to the Marlins as most expected, instead he heads to LA to play for the Dodgers. It's strange...Manny said he didn't feel "comfortable" in Boston...yeah, because you'll really feel more "comfortable" in Los Angeles? At least it's not the big apple... Speaking of which, Manny will be playing for former long-time Yankee manager Joe Torre. Makes you wonder what that first conversation will consist of...Intriguing.

Even though no one had talked about him for a little while, as I stated in my last post, I wondered if Jr. Griffey would end up somewhere else. Supposedly Griffey will join Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin in the outfield...but not at right...he's going back to center. White Sox GM Ken Williams, when asked about starting Griffey in center said "I know it's hard to believe but trust me, center is the easiest outfield position to play from an injury standpoint." I beg to differ, but then again I'm no GM. You have a lot of lateral movement in center, not to mention how much ground you have to cover. Sorry to say it but that ChiSox outfield might be slower than molasis in January. And what's going to happen to Nick Swisher? I know he's only hitting a dismal .230, but he does have 15 homers and 50 RBI.

Other stuff:

The Mets made no moves. Way to not get a corner outfielder, Omar Minaya. You may be the only person on Earth confident in putting Endy Chavez and Fernando Tatis in the starting lineup. Manny Ramirez would have sounded better.

Minnesota fans began throwing garbage on the field in the Metrodome today after a bad call on a check swing...which lead to Ozzie Guillen requesting his team be taken off the field. Then Ozzie got in a very emphatic argument with a Twin fan above the dugout. Really? No...Ozzie?...Pshh.

In five days the NL Central has gone from tied to a five game cushion for the Cubs over the Brewers. A four-game sweep on the road for the Cubbies?...Impressive. But it probably felt like a home game as supposedly about half the crowd was rooting for Chicago. Hopefully the next series will be a better one...maybe Milwaukee will decide to show up. Oh and Prince Fielder is strong. If you can bust a bat into 3 pieces simply by slamming it onto home plate, you're a man...even if you ARE a vegetarian. Someone tell Prince eating four veggie burgers every lunch doesn't make you a vegetarian. Just kidding Prince. He's a big man....

MLB Teams Finally Making Moves

In one of the slowest trade deadline years in recent memory, some deals are FINALLY starting to happen (Unless you consider the CC Sabathia and Rich Harden moves "trade deadline").Mark Teixeira to the Angels, Pudge to the Yanks, and now the huge rumor swirling around the MLB is that the Florida Marlins...that's right...the Florida Marlins are close to obtaining a certain Manny Ramirez in a 3-way deal that would send Jeremy Hermida to the Pirates and Jason Bay to the Red Sox. That would be one hell of an aquisition for a small market team like the Marlins, who are now looming right around the Phillies shoulders at a game and a half out of first in the NL East. It seems obvious that this would only be a rental for Florida...No way they can keep him with the contract he'll want.

But then again, don't all three of these sound like rentals?

In order for the Angels to keep Teixeira they would need to give him a contract that would seemingly exterminate any chances of keeping Vlad Guerrero or K-Rod. Is Mark really THAT much better that Casey Kotchman? At least Kotchman provided them a future...maybe LA should have gone out and gotten some pitching instead...after all, pitching and defense wins championships.

I like what the Yankees did...Posada on the shelf for the year so they pick up another veteran and former World Series champ to fill the hole behind the dish. But New York needs someone young to fill the catching position...both Posada and Pudge will be 37 by opening day 2009...

And the possibility of a two-headed Ramirez monster in that Marlin lineup might rattle the opposition a little. How is Florida even in the hunt? I looked at their roster during spring training and it looked like a a AAA team plus Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez. Hats off to those young guys. 1997, 2003....2008? The Fish might break the pattern and win it all this year instead...okay just kidding...even with Manny in that lineup they still don't have the pitching depth to go anywhere... Sorry Florida fans.

Well, I guess we'll have to keep checking in on the ESPN bottomline tomorrow to see what happens... Maybe a Griffey Jr. move? Will Ohman? And is Bengie Molina going to Florida?...Many possibilities...tomorrow should be fun to watch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ocho Cinco. Need I Say More?

Chad Johnson may be the most confusing character in all the NFL. I was watching a short clip on a post-training camp interview with Chad on ESPN yesterday and I must admit, he had me listening. First off, he didn't have his usual "grill" in...must mean business. But seriously, how many times the last two years has he claimed to want out of Cincy but still stuck around? You have to give the guy some credit. Randy Moss complained about being in he left games early and didn't show to some practices...oh then he complained about being in Oakland too, but who blames him there? Chad said that he and Carson were going to have some fights and have some issues with eachother in training camp. But what is their feud even over? I guess Carson hates all the media attention Chad's getti...hghm..demanding. All Chad's attention is only bringing this team down. The Bengals already have a number one receiver in T.J. Who's your mama. Maybe Cincy needs to just trade Chad, seeing as that's what he seems to want every year, get either a great future draft pick or some help on defense. Won't that make everyone happy? Palmer won't have to deal with the media, Houshmandzadeh can be even a bigger threat (although I may second-guess that...double coverage), Marvin Lewis won't have to babysit, and Chad can go be happy with another team. Happy Days, happy days...

Monday, July 28, 2008

On The Hotseat

Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has been in a heap of trouble lately. 14 player arrests since April? That's an absolute joke. And now not to mention his possible involvement in a sexual assault case cover-up for a couple of former players? Somebody's stock has fallen off the table... Remember when Ferentz was all over ESPN with the analysts debating over whether he would go to the NFL or take on another highly touted school?...Then he stayed at Iowa and since then has seen his average wins per season drop from 10.3 (2002-04) to 6.3 (2005-07). But hey, he's still raking in the cash and his contract sees him through 2012. Normally I would bash the U of Iowa for signing him to such a long-term deal, but honestly, who saw this coming? Ferentz's problems seem to be looming over quite similar to a once mighty Iowa State coach by the name of Larry Eustachy...and we all know what ended up happening to him. Ferentz is quoted, defending himself, "If a logical person looked at this for anybody to be involved in a cover-up here, basically you’d have to be morally bankrupt and secondly you’d have to be fairly ignorant." Who is he trying to bash here? The media? Sometimes it's better to just keep your mouth shut. Calling out the media is only going to cause him more trouble. Here's an idea Kirk: Get your players in line and keep them in check before you call ANYONE ignorant. Ignorance is not knowing any better, you on the other hand, do. So get your players off the streets and out of the big house, then maybe you can call some shots around the media.


Yeah, so Charles Barkley may just have the worst golf swing on the planet, but you gotta love this guy... I wonder how many times he's yelled "fore" in his lifetime? He speaks his mind and doesn't think twice about it. If you ask me, he's the modern-day Yogi Berra. So today, I'm going to leave you with my top five Barkley quotes...

#5: Kenny Smith: "Charles, there's guys who go over to Europe and play overseas from America, and they dominate!"....Charles' response: "Yeah, those are called 'brothers'."

#4: Before his famous race against referee Dick Bavetta: "Dick Bavetta and Moses parted the Red Sea together"

#3: Talking about an NCAA tournament game that saw UNC miss 22 of its last 23 shots in a loss to Georgetown...Charles goes, "Stevie Wonder could make one of 23 shots."

#2: On one of Nate Robinson's dunks during All Star weekend in 2007: "Any time a little midget does something like this, you gotta give him a 10!"

#1: "Poor black people are in great shape. Black people use duct tape for everything. You break a chair, use duct tape. Your pants rip, use duct tape. You tear your ACL, use duct tape!"

Now Charles wants to be a politician....Hey if Arnold can get in, why not Barkley?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who's It Gonna Be?

Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton? Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman? Excuse me, may I interject with my opinion? Okay here it is. Neither. Rex Grossman has been an underachiever ever since his debut against Minnesota in '03 where he only completed 13 of his 30 passing attempts. Kyle Orton, the stud from Purdue has also underachieved...but at least he seems to win games and not throw them away like Grossman. I think Rex has more talent than Kyle, but I remember a 2005 rookie season that saw Orton go 10-5. So who do you take? Talent and losses or no talent and maybe some wins with a more unreliable QB. Unfortunately the Bears can't start Brian Urlacher or Devin Hester at QB. Also too bad that great Chicago D and special teams has to have such a hideous offense. Here was my idea on the quarterback controversy. It could be fixed in 3 different ways: #1: The Bears had 12 picks in this year's draft...quarterbacks drafted: zero. Opporunity #2: Two words - Donovan McNabb. Chance #3: Might be a little rash, but just start firing some offensive coaches...But who knows...maybe one of those two will have a miracle season...if I'd have to pick between the two: Orton. If he doesn't start winning: Grossman gets the call...after all, he DID go to the Super Bowl a couple years ago.

Other stuff:

Manny wants to get traded now...why doesn't that surprise me? He says "If the Red Sox are a better team without me in the lineup then I would welcome a trade." Get your head on straight Ramirez, that comment made no sense seeing as you took yourself out of the lineup in the first place.

Watching part of the Yanks/Boston game on ESPN. Jon Miller, you might be the worst commentator on the planet. Get Charles Barkley in there or something...Sir Charles is the man.

I think it's about time they re-named SportsCenter to FavreCenter.

Hats off to Goose Gossage. Welcome to the Hall.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Boring Friday, Let's Talk About The Yankees

I worked until damn-near 11:00 last night so I didn't get a chance to write yesterday. And even now I struggle to find a topic. Friday was a pretty uneventful day for sports. One thing did catch my eye though. Yankees/BoSox. I saw last night that SportsCenter was doing a poll on whether the NY/Boston series is any more exciting than any other series in the bigs...of course it is! The Yanks knocked off Josh Beckett in a 1-0 thriller and Joba nearly knocked off Kevin Youkilis' head. Both benches were warned, but would they have been if it was any other series? Exactly as Joba put it in a post-game interview: It was a 2-0 count and you have a 1-0 lead. Not exactly a plunking situation so stop crying BoSox...and don't get me wrong, I hate the Yanks so I'm not picking sides. It is interesting though that Joba picked Youk to throw at in NY last year and got tossed for it. But I must admit, Chamberlain is the man. He's allowed 3 runs or less in all 10 of his starts, but somehow is posting a 3-3 record...where's the run support, Giambi?

Speaking of Giambi, you gotta love the 'stache...mustache ride anyone? All right, I'll stop picking on Jason...he did have the winning "hit" on Friday...if you call an infield dribbler away from the shift a "hit."

Where in the world is Manny Ramirez? Sitting out a rival series game with a supposed bum knee when the doctors said it's fine? Somebody's sending somebody a statement....Just Manny being Manny.

Also in the news:

Trade deadline's coming up...and I have NO idea where ANYONE is going. I'm not even gonna make a guess. I'll leave that to ESPN's so-called "experts"...or former MLB players who know nothing...(cough) Eduardo Perez (cough)

Favre can talk to Tampa Bay and the Jets now...God I'm sick of Favre. Too bad, I used to like the guy.

Former Notre Dame stud receiver Jeff Samardzija finally got the call from the bullpen for the Cubbies. Didn't look bad except he gave up the lead...and that pitch that he threw "just a bit outside!" ...Nice try getting that one..And one more thing...maybe Jeff and Bronson Arroyo can go to the barber shop together...if they even know where to find it anymore.

Boston fans were holding up pictures of Madonna during A-Rod's at-bats on Friday night...I couldn't help but laugh...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Z: Hitter's AND Pitcher's Worst Nightmare?

Carlos Zambrano is hitting .356....and has a slugging percentage of .542...not to mention he's 11-4 with a miniscule 2.96 ERA in 20 starts this year. If none of those numbers mean anything to you, allow me to put some emphasis on them. First off, don't get me wrong...I understand the guy only hits in the lineup every 5 games, but seriously, have the Cubbies considered moving him up in the order? That .542 slugging tops the .501 a certain Ryan Howard is posting. Oh and that one guy...uhh..oh yeah, Josh Hamilton: Slug % of .542. That .356 average puts him only behind Chipper Jones, who finally is no longer in the chase for .400 sitting at .369. The Biz Z on the mound is also tied for 5th in the NL in wins and 6th in ERA. Knocking the ball around the park and pitching your team to wins in a tight divisional race (thanks to the Brew Crew's 8 straight victories) has got to feel good, especially for a guy who brings that kind of an attitude to the ballpark. How can you not like this guy?

Other notes:

With Dan Haren and Brandon Webb, can someone please tell me how the D-Backs are a game under .500? Oh yeah, this is why. Those two are a combined 22-9 and Doug Davis, Micah Owings and an ancient Randy Johnson round out the rotation with a 16-20 record and posting an average ERA of about 4.70. The team is can't expect them to throw up 6 or 7 runs on the board every game.

The Rays and Red Sox are now knotted up at the top of the AL East thanks to a disappointing loss by Tampa to Kansas City. Why do I have a bad feeling about this feel-good Rays story...?

The Packers might postpone Brett Favre's jersey retirement...really? Fancy that.

17 players got ejected during a 10 minute brawl in a class A game between the Cubs and Reds affiliates and a fan was taken to the hospital when a Cubs pitcher threw a ball at the Reds' dugout but missed. Wow guys, can someone tell these hotheads to grow up? You can see the whole fiasco here.

That WNBA fight lead to a 50-year old ESPN analyst Nancy Lieberman playing tonight.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's Bugging Me

So am I the only person on earth who is getting sick and tired of hearing about Brett Favre, Tim Donaghy, and A-Rod?

First, Favre. Okay Brett, so you retired too early...was anyone doubting that? So now your Pack is saying they're moving on and sticking with the kid Aaron Rodgers. Asking for a release simply isn't happening. Let's be realistic here. Brett, you are ranked NUMBER ONE on the all-time touchdown passes list and had a hell of a season last year. You're not going to get thrown away. A trade needs to be made by the Packers organization...but they continue to stall for some unknown reason. Bottom line - Brett: be realistic. Packers: do something.

Next up, Tim. This guy is a loser. Flat out. Everyone needs to get it through their head that the entire group of NBA refs aren't corrupt. You come upon one idiot and he flips the entire sport upside down. Well at least it's getting some publicity for the NBA and commish Stern.

Ahh, and then there's A-Rod. Speaking of losers...okay I'm not calling him a loser but who cheats on a wife who looks like this? And for soon-to-be 52 year-old Madonna? Wow, this is almost as bad as the Hugh Grant/Divine Brown "oral survices" incident. Come on Alex, get your priorities straight. You finally get New York off your ass and now you find another way to get negative publicity.

Oh and just for fun...a little something to think about for the day...How good would the Tampa Bay Rays be if Josh Hamilton wouldn't have jumped on the heroine band wagon?

The Name Game

So I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and somehow we got on the "Why is Ichiro's first name on the back of his jersey?" conversation. Well if you find yourself asking that question right now, I've heard different answers. False rumor: Ichiro, while playing in Japan, was on a terrible team and put his first name on the back of his jersey as a publicity stunt. (Maybe T.J. Houshmandzadeh should consider doing this...might save some fabric). The fact of the matter is that part of Asian culture is to have the family name first. So Ichiro Suzuki is actually Suzuki Ichiro in English. Okay, so now you're thinking, "So then why does it say Matsuzaka instead of Daisuke?" Because Ichiro doesn't like the name Suzuki...that may be the case for Yao as well...I guess the other guys don't mind having their first names on their jerseys...Just a thought.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Battle of the Manuels!

Okay, so I'm surfing my home page, of course they have a rolling page of updates and I notice there's a clip of the Mets v Phillies game where Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (note Charlie, not Mets manager Jerry) gets ejected in the bottom of the 3rd inning for arguing a supposed check swing by Carlos Delgado on an 0-2 count. Unfortunately I can't lift the video clip but Delgado obviously went on the swing. In response, C. Manuel steps out of the dugout and seems to have a normal coversation with third base umpire Marty Foster... Or else it seemed to be... Foster ejected Manuel and Delgado eventually went on to hit a jack in that at-bat. Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I should be, but from the video Manuel looked like he was just having a normal conversation with Foster...hmmm...maybe they pulled a 'Sweet' Lou on the Aquafina commercial...I guess Manuel has a reputation to uphold as the manager of the new leaders of the NL East....All thanks to a 6 run barrage in the 9th off Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano...5 of those runs scored before the Mets even recorded an out. I'm I missing something? Smith and Feliciano....was Billy Wagner taking a nap? A 5-2 lead and Billy's on the shelf with a "tight" felt "tight" in warmups Sunday and he mowed down all 3 Reds he faced to earn his 24th save of the year. The MRI was negative. You're all right Billy. Well is this not slightly reminiscent of last year's Mets team?...Blowing leads, games, series', and playoff chances...I guess only time will tell. (above photo courtesy

Welcome, I Guess?

Hey everyone. I guess I'd like to welcome any of you who are sitting on your computers, in your PJ's, eating a bowl of last night's chile....or whatever you're doing... First let me introduce myself if you don't already know me. My name is Jason Miller and I am from a tiny town called Coon Rapids, Iowa (pop. 1,205). I recently graduated from CR-B high school and I'm attending ISU (Iowa State) in the fall majoring in journalism and mass communications. Because blogs are such a hot topic these days I figured I should get a head start...I read some sports blogs and it looked like a good way for me to express my opinions on sports as well. So here it is! I'll cover pretty much anything I feel like in a particular day...but I'll try to stay on the whole sports topic. Oh and if you've made it this far, I am quite impressed...haha.