Sunday, May 30, 2010

Those Who Served

On Memorial Day, I thought I'd take a few seconds to tell a few stories about guys who served in the Armed Forces. This is by no means a full and comprehensive list, and it is not meant to be a condemnation of athletes who don't serve or who protest military action. It's just a few stories I'd like to share about guys who served.


Yogi Berra:
The king of the Malapropism, Yogi Berra, before he played baseball, served on a boat that invaded Normandy on D-Day. Barely 18 years old, he volunteered for the Navy. In 1944, he was part of the invasion of Omaha Beach and was on a boat about 150 yards off the coast. The ships' job was to clear the way for the army transports, which meant it went in before a lot of the other ships in the invasion. Yogi and his boat were out in the water, under fire for twelve days.

"I never brought it up. I never said that I was in the service, unless someone asked me," said Berra. "There are other things to think about."


Rocky Bleier:
Rocky Bleier was best known for playing fullback for the Pittsburgh Steeler teams during the 70s. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968, Bleier went to Vietnam to serve his country. While in country, Bleier was ambushed and was hit with grenade shrapnel in his right leg and rifle fire. He was told by doctors he would never play football again. While recuperating, he received a postcard from Steelers owner Art Rooney which read "Rock - the team's not doing well. We need you. Art Rooney."

One year after being wounded, Bleier reported to Steelers training camp. He spent two full years trying to regain a spot on the active roster, and was even waived on two occasions. Eventually, an off-season training regimen brought Bleier back to 212 pounds in the summer of 1974. From that point on, he would be in the Steelers' starting lineup. 1974 was also the first year the Steelers won a Super Bowl.

Ted Williams:
While many consider Ted Williams the greatest hitter who ever lived, most don't know he stats were impeded by 5 years of service he gave his country in WWII and in Korea. After volunteering for a flight training assignment, he served as a flight instructor for the Marines during WWII. In 1952, Williams, who was on inactive reserve duty for the Marines, and was 33, married and with a child, who called up for active duty. He was sent to Korea and flew 37 combat missions. John Glenn, who was in the same squadron as Ted Williams, had this to say about Williams during one mission: "Once, he was on fire and had to belly land the plane back in," Glenn said. "He slid it in on the belly. It came up the runway about 1,500 feet before he was able to jump out and run off the wingtip. Another time he was hit in the wingtip tank when I was flying with him. So he was a very active combat pilot, and he was an excellent pilot and I give him a lot of credit."

"Everybody tries to make a hero out of me over the Korean thing," Williams once said. "I was no hero. There were maybe 75 pilots in our two squadrons and 99 percent of them did a better job than I did. But I liked flying. It was the second-best thing that ever happened to me. If I hadn't had baseball to come back to, I might have gone on as a Marine pilot."

Bob Feller:
On December 8th, 1941, Bob Feller who was an all-start pitcher and who had won the triple crown of pitchers in 1940, joined the Navy. he was the first major leaguer to volunteer for combat duty after Pearl Harbor. He was 23.

He was gun crew chief on the U.S.S. Alabama for the duration of the war, which fought at Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and in the Marshall Islands. For his service, he earned five campaign ribbons and eight battle stars.

"I'm very proud of my war record, just like my baseball record. I would never have been able to face anybody and talk about my baseball record if I hadn't spent time in the service."

Pat Tillman:
There's been a lot said about Pat Tillman. Some people thought he was a "G.I. Joe guy, who got what was coming to him." Others felt he was a hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Here are the facts. He was a seventh round draft pick who played his way into the Arizona Cardinal starting rotation. He earned $512,000 as a safety for the Arizona Cardinals in 2001. Then, motivated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he turned down a three-year, $3.6 million offer from the Cardinals to enlist in the Army. He was killed in action by friendly fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.

Despite the controversial way and subsequent investigations into Tillman's death, Pat's jersey is the top selling Cardinal jersey in their franchise and is consistently on the top jerseys sold in the NFL.

Sometime today, between the ballgame and the B-B-Q and the third beer, remember those who sacrificed their time, money, loved ones and lives for their country.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Five

1. Should Jamarcus Russell have to give back some of the money the Raiders gave him?

2. Should athletes be on a sliding pay scale based on performance: The better they perform, the more they earn?

3.Who would you rather play 2nd base on your team: Chase Utley, Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia?

4. What about Tim Lincecum or Ubaldo Jiminez?

5. What's the worst commercial starring an athlete?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whither Mark Teixiera?

What the heck is wrong with Mark Teixeira? In fits and starts this season, he has showed some signs of life, but then he’s retreated back into his prolonged slump. One night he’ll go 3 for 4, the next he’s 0 for 4 with 2Ks. So what’s wrong?

Checking the numbers, one sees that for the most part, he’s doing what he’s done his entire career. He’s not swinging at more bad pitches this year. He’s actually walking a bit more this year than he normally does. His K level is about the same as its always been. So what could be the problem?

2 things. One is Batting Average of Balls In Play. Last year, Teixeira’s BABIP was .302. This year, it’s down about 80 points to .226. Simply put, he’s just not hitting them where they ain’t.

The other is Teixeira’s Home Run/Fly Ball ratio. Over his career, Teixeira’s HR/FB ratio was just under 19%. This year, it’s hovering around 11%. He’s hitting roughly the same percentage of fly balls; they just aren’t leaving the park. As Teixeira himself says: “”I feel great,” Teixeira said. “I’m swinging at good pitches, but I’m just not doing the damage that I want to do.”

Taking those stats a little further: Over his career, Teixeira has only hit for a .217 average on balls he hit on the ground. Not great. And he’s down on those a little for this year—batting .164 this season on balls he hit on the ground. But over his career, Teixeira has a .296 average on fly balls he hit—this year that average is .188. Over 100 points lower this season on fly balls he’s hit.

What does this suggest? Possibly that it’s just a mechanical thing. Joe Girardi said recently: “It seems like he’s having a hard time staying back right now. He’s out in front, swinging and missing some. It looks like he’s not picking up the ball at times.”

Teixeira’s swing has always had an uppercut hack to it—and when his timing is right, he can drive pitches out of the park in a hurry. Now though, out in front of pitches, Teixeira is getting a little under the pitches. He’s still driving them into the air, but not with the drive needed to put the ball out of the park.

Regarding his timing—whereas Teixeira’s 2010 numbers versus power pitchers is about the same; his numbers against “finesse” pitchers are way, way down. From a .304 lifetime average against finesse pitchers to .197 this year. Which, once again, would suggest he’s getting fooled on pitches and thus missing or fouling off pitches he should drive.

The good news is: his BABIP is way up in May—. 289, as opposed to .148 in March and April. And as most people know by now, Teixeira is a slow starter—his best months by far over his career are August and September—and as the weather warms, so does he. He’s just too good of a player not to get on track. As he said of himself recently: “This is my eighth year. I’ve had a lot of ups, a lot of downs. I’ve never tried to reinvent myself.”

In other words, he’ll be fine.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is Jorge Posada a Hall of Famer?


With the Yankees quagmired in injury and mediocrity lately, let us turn our attention to something a little more fun and interesting.

Question: Is Jorge Posada a Hall of Famer?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Transactions....


Good bye Giants Stadium.



You stay classy, Brian Urlacher.



OK, how is a cold weather Super Bowl a bad idea? Oh, boo hoo, it's cold. Waaaaah. Pardon me, but I though football players were tough guys, guys who prided them selves on being withstand brutal beating and being battle-tested warriors. And boo hoo, sports media guys might have to use their access to the Super Bowl in a colds stadium. Awwww, rats.

Listen, football is a harsh game, meant for mud, not Astroturf. meant to be played outside, not in some ridiculous dome. And it was certainly meant to be played in the cold. If guys like Santonio Holmes are going to pout, ignore the massive ducats they earn for playing this game and is upset he can't spend the evening before the game on the beach, more's the better. Football players are not supposed to be playing the game in perfect conditions, and it should be embarrassed that they would complain if they don't. Did Dick Butkas complain about it being cold in Chicago. Did Bart Starr nag that it snowed in Green Bay? Fer chrissakes, no. because they are football players. As Joe Delessio wrote in New York Magazine the other day, "As for the wusses among the other owners? They're free to vote for either Tampa or Miami when the host city is selected on May 25." Amen.


What do you say? Can the Redskins trade Albert Haynesworth before training camp. Maybe some team does want to take on a huge contract belonging to a malcontent, because yes, he is a very good player. But can't see there would be many of them. Maybe the Texans?


Maybe a ton of teams would want Roy Oswalt should/when the Astros trade him. And MLB Trade Rumors lists a few. Out of the few, the team that makes the most sense for him is in Arlington. Oswalt wants to remain in the south, and he would fit very well in the Rangers rotation. The Rangers have the bats, and they are close on having a good rotation. Oswalt would give them that.


Seems like the Cavaliers are doing exactly what LeBron is telling them to do.


I know its only May, but man. The Yankees seemed to get old fast.


That said, could we stop with the stupid "What the Yankees passed on with Johan Santana" crap. Just take a look at Phil Hughes stat line and his age (23) and you'll know why we didn't trade for Santana.


I know the Angels don't want to hear this...but I'm pretty sure it's time to call Bradon Wood a bust.


Considering he is owned over 80 million for the next 4 years, I can't see how the Wizards will trade Gilbert Arenas. I get they don't want him anywhere near John Wall, but they are going to have to cut him. I could be wrong though.


Finally, I know this has been all over the web, but man it is still funny.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Five

1. What's the coolest name for a sports team you've ever heard. College or Pro.

2. Is Gale Sayers wrong to call out his former team?

3. Do you think Lance Armstrong doped?

4. Favorite sports movie—drama and comedy.

5. Now that the Padres are 24-17 and leading the NL West, will Adrian Gonzalez get traded at the trading deadline. Does San Diego resign him?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Look At Some Recent Yankee Traded Prospects

Just a quick look at some of the prospects the Yankees have traded away. 


Austin Jackson
After a torrid start, Jackson, the past two weeks has cooled off considerably. Still Jackson is batting .331, including 3 triples and has 6 stolen bases. he has taken well to playing in center field and should improve with time. He does however, strikeout way too much, leading the AL with 47 whiffs.

Jose Tabata
The key component in the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte trade, the 21-year-old Tabata is considered one of the jewels in the Pirate farm system. And with reason. Tabata is batting it around in AAA Indianapolis at a .323 clip. A natural right fielder with a strong arm, Tabta projects to a good contact hitter with some decent power.

Ian Kennedy
Kennedy has taken to Arizona in a big way this season. Mixing in his curveball and changeup more than he previously did, Kennedy has improved his K/9 ratio to almost 8 a game—but also giving up a HR/9 ratio of 1.4. With a ERA at 3.24, and a fastaball that barely scrapes 90 mph, Kennedy seems a natural National League pitcher and should have a good career there.

Melky Cabrera
There's no kind way to say this: Melky has lost it by leaving New York. maybe it was having his friend Robinson Cano with him, maybe its the unfamiliarity with NL pitchers. Who knows? Point being, Melky stinks. Every single offensive number is down...by a lot. Batting .193, Melky looks lost. Still 25, Melky can come back and be just fine. But if this keeps up, it wont be with the Braves.

Tyler Clippard
Traded for Jonathan Albaladejo way back in 2007, Clippard has come around as a decent reliever. Once a top ten Yankee prospect, his career as a Yankee was brief and undistinguished. However, the last two years in Washington have brought about a change in Clippard, pitching to a 2.55 ERA the last two season. Armed with a nice hard slider, Clippard has a nice 10.2 K/9 ratio. He also has, however, a scary BB/9 ratio of 5.1. Just 25, Clippard needs to improve his walk ratio if he has a true shot at becoming a closer.

Mike Dunn
Part of the Javier Vasquez trade, the 25-year old lefty is simply owning AAA-ball. A reliever, Dunn has a .39 ERA and 23 Ks in 18.1 IP. Armed with a fastball that can touch 95, it will be interesting to see how Dunn pitches if and when the Braves call him up.

Arodys Vizcaino
The main chip in the Javier Vasquez trade—and the Yankees no. 3 prospect according to Baseball America before he was traded—Vizcaino has pitched to the tune of a 3.71 ERA. Erratic, Vizcaino still has 40 Ks in 43 IP. He has only given up 1 HR so far. After a poor start on the 13th, Vizcaino pitched a 8-inning shutout. Armed with a fastball that touches 95, scouts feel as he matures—he's not even 20 until November—Vizcaino could add some mph to it.

Phil Coke
Lefty Phil Coke is pitching fine in Detroit, earning a 3.32 ERA so far. A fly-ball pitcher, Coke seems comfortable in spacious Comerica Park. Batters are hitting .239 off of Coke and he has yet to give up a HR yet this year. Batters are just hitting .167 off of Coke in a tie game and just .83 in "clutch" situations.
 
Second-guessing is easy, but just one comment. For these guys, the Yankees have gotten, Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, Jonathan Albaladejo and Boone Logan. Just something to think about.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The End for 2 Greats?

Baseball is not like basketball or tennis. It's not a sport where two opposing athletes can go play after play against each other. There is no Wilt posing up Russell, or Federer serving against Nadal. And opposing pitchers rarely face each other and never using their best tools against each other.

Which is a shame. Because the case maybe that this is the last year for both Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, positions 1 and 1A in the list of Greatest Relievers of All Time, could be in their last years, having only played against each other a handful of times.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Transactions....

Poor Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He's go the Mackey Sasser disease and can't throw back to the pitcher. Seriously, I don't think anything scares major league players than getting caught up in their own head. Ask Rick Ankiel or Chuck Knoblauch.


For a guy who has caught 57 passes total in the past two years, Roy Williams sure is chatty.



If it's a year with a zero at the end, it must mean the Nets will win the lottery and have the first pick in the NBA draft. In 1990, the Nets won and selected Derrick Coleman (Ooops) and then in 2000, the Nets, with the first pick selected Kenyon Martin (Ooops redux). While both were decent players, they came with headaches and baggage. If the Nets win this time, the obvious pick is John Wall, who, lucky for them, is supossedly, a decent kid and human being.


BTW, this NBA draft might be the most fun one in a while, name-wise at least: Al-Farouq Aminu, Ekpe Udo, Donatas Motiejunas, Hassan Whiteside and my favorite, Quincy Pondexter.


Yahoo blogger "Duk" has a problem with Evan Longoria almost busting up Dallas Braden's no-hitter last week with a bunt. Why? If Herm Edwards is right and you play to win the game, then bunting is perfectly acceptable. Longoria owes Braden nothing but his sincere effort to win the game. If Longoria tanks it, then Braden didn't pitch a no-no. He got a gift.


After practically buying a ticket back to Europe during the season, now Darko Milicic says he wants to return to Minnesota next season. My question....would Europe even take him?


In an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, writer Michael Salfino writes that in 130 starts for the Boston Red Sox, their ace got shelled in 31 of them—a "24% terrible-start rate." Considering the dude just signed a 64 million dollar contract, that news is music to Yankee and Ray fans everywhere.



In "I don't know who my fans are at all" news, FOX decided that the show they are planning to run after the Super Bowl is...wait for it....Glee. Whaaaaa? Football and Glee—a match made in hell. Seriously, who does FOX think their football fans are?


Pending Pinstripes has a great article on Phil Hughes fastball. For those who have watched him pitch, it's really an interesting read.


The Notre Dame vs. the U. of Miami rivalry will continue in 2012. That might have been news in 1998, but now instead of "Catholics vs. Convicts", it should be the Mediocre Bowl.



Love the fact that SportsCenter is asking the question where does Ken Griffey Jr. rank amongst the all time great outfielders—considering he played in the steroid era and held his own against some of the biggest juicers—but my problem is where people placed Tris Speaker. 14th? How? The dude batted .345 lifetime! he has more total bases than Lou Gehrig. He has a .428 lifetime OBP, which is 12th all-time. Sorry, but there is no way he's behind Clemente, Robinson and for godssake, Bonds.


And lastly....I wish I had this guy umping when I was pitching.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Five

1. Do you believe Brian Cushing when he says he didn't take any performance-enhancing drugs?

2. Do you believe Lawrence Taylor when he says he never had intercourse with that unwillingly underage prostitute? (Which mugshot do you prefer, the 1986 or the 2010? I know, poor taste)

3. Is Tiger Woods done as a dominating golfer? (I can't believe I just asked a golf question.)

4. Should Notre Dame remain independent or join the Big 10?

5. OK, a question on everybody's mind: Should Lebron leave Cleveland—what's the worst moment in Cleveland Sports history:
A) Jordan over Ehlo
B) Elway's Drive
C) Blowing Game 7 of the 1997 World Series leading 2-1 in the 9th
D) Lebron Bailing on the Cavs with a weak showing in the playoffs

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Curiouser and Cursiouser: Steroids and the NFL in 2010

Brain Cushing is a jerk.

If he did what we all think he did, than the above statement is true. He would be a jerk, cheater and a liar. That would not be up for debate.

But what about Shawn Merriman? Or Dana Stubblefield? Or Bill Romanowski? Or any of the other hundreds of NFL players?

This is not to absolve Cushing. If he did take a banned substance, than everything that happens afterward, he brought on himself, including losing the NFL Rookie of the Year.

But was Merriman's Rookie of the Year taken away from him? Or was Stubblefield's? Nope.

Why all the hate on Cushing now?

For years, players of the NFL seemed to ride with out much hoopla when they got busted for steroids. In 2005, 60 Minutes reported that NFL players were prescribed steroids....and no one seemed to react at all. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi...all major news. The NFL....shrug.

Until now.

When Will Smith and Calvin Pace and Charles Grant last year for violating the Substance Abuse Policy, did anyone care? No, it was more of a nuisance, "damn, my team is without him for 4 games!" What about when Jason Ferguson got busted? Do you even remember that? Rodney Harrison? Marcus Stroud? Shaun Rogers?

The only thing different about Brian Cushing is that he was white and successful. A burgeoning star. Ryan Tucker, another white NFL player was a fine player, but not a 1st round draft pick and a Rookie of the Year. Same with Eric Ainge. He was never a big name, big ticket guy. Cushing is.

Did the media feel they needed to treat Cushing differently? Did they have hopes pinned on him? Or did they want to trample him harder than they wanted to, say Shawn Merriman or Rodney Harrison—who now has a voice of authority position on NFL Night in America—because, the media, mostly white guys, felt the need to hit one of their own race harder?

Is that why they are clambering for a re-vote of the Rookie of the Year vote?

It's impossible to say. Perhaps race had nothing to do with it at all. But what is true is that Shawn Merriman was busted for hard steroid use and no re-vote was taken. And Cushing was busted for "...elevated levels of hCG...The level that he tested positive for was so low that it would not have been considered a positive test even a year ago." Also, "Cushing was tested randomly numerous times throughout the season and never tested positive again." And it is headline news for days.

Again, this is in no way to absolve Cushing. But it is curious that after years of benign neglect from the media and the public in general—even after big name players were caught—suddenly people seem to care.

Very curious.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Joba In His Element

Google “Joba Chamberlain” and “velocity” and you’ll find a whole slew of articles pontificating where and why did Joba’s velocity go? One recent one from theYankeeU.com states that it could be poor mechanics or rotator cuff problems and admits, “Some may think that I might be overreacting to one disappointing outing, but, to be clear, Joba’s velocity has been an ongoing issue.”

Well, to anyone watching last night’s game, Joba Chamberlain, and his velocity, are just fine.

Hitting 98 mph on the radar gun last night, Chamberlain struck out the side in the 9th on 14 pitches, 10 of them strikes. He pounded the zone and seemed to just dial it up and chuck.

And the results speak for themselves. Chamberlain, far more comfortable on the mound as when compared to last year, has got his velocity and his killer instinct back. Despite what the Yankees and some feel, it seems Joba was made for the gun slinging closer role.
According to Fangraphs, Chamberlain was throwing his fastball (two- and four-seam), and especially his slider—his best pitch —much more this year than last year and to better effect. As a starter last year, Chamberlain threw his curve and change—not his best pitches—more and the result wasn’t what he or the Yankees wanted. His arm velocity dropped as a starter and he seemed tentative on the mound—thinking instead of chucking. This year, without a pitch count, without the burden of mixing up his pitches and showing batters different looks, Joba is free to do what he was born to do; throw really, really hard. And he has, with great success. All of his stats have reverted back to the pre-starter experiment, and he looks like a legitimate closer, right now.

The White Sox, in 1976 tried to make a starter out of Goose Gossage—his ERA jumped over 2 points, and, in 80 more IP than the previous year, Goose only struck out 5 more batters. John Wetteland was a terrible starter, but became one of the better relievers in the 90s. Same for Eric Gagne and Joba’s mentor, Mariano Rivera. In the minors, Lee Smith was a starter and a fairly terrible one at that. However, when he came to the majors, he was converted to a reliever and to everybody’s common sense, they left him there.

The point is, trying to turn Joba into a starter is like trying to turn a donkey into a unicorn. It’s just not who he is and you won’t get the best out of him. Watching Joba last night, you could see that he was in his element and that he was tapped into all of his talent. The Yankees might be able to convert Chamberlain into a starter...eventually. But really, would that be the best use of him? Which would you take: A slower-armed, self-doubting, commonplace starter, or a dominant lights-out reliever?

After watching him last night. I would go with the dominant reliever.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Transactions....


Sorry, some computer problems of late. hope we're back up and running smooth now....


Congratulations to Patrick Willis—a superb linebacker who keeps his head down and his on-field-aggressiveness up—for his shiny new 50 million dollar contract. And congrats to the 49ers brass, who had the common sense to sign Willis to a contract that he has indeed earned.


Considering how he pouted his way out of Boston, it was really classy for Red Sox Nation to give Garciaparra a hero's sendoff last week. I guess alls well that ends well—I mean, the second they traded Nomar...the Sox started winning.


This article by Will Leitch about with Ryan Howard cost more than Mark Teixiera, makes some really good points about smaller market teams paying their stars a lot of money, but also contains the usual "The Yankees are rich evil monsters" points. Like this one:

The Yankees' financial advantages so dwarf every other team that trying to be the Yankees every decade or so, with one guy, plays right into their hands. The guy you mortgaged your whole future for, the one you were absolutely convinced that if you didn't sign him forever your fan base would abandon you? Yeah, the Yankees have five guys like that.
First off, don't say Philly is a small market. It averages the most fans per home game in 2010 than any other team. The reason Philly spent the money for Ryan Howard was, yes in part to keep fans thinking that they are annual contenders, but also, because they are a better club with Howard than without. Once again, spending money begats success, which begats more money. Case in point, early in the 2000s, the Phillies were a middle of the pack team, payroll-wise. And they were riding a streak of no post-season appearances from 1993 until 2007. As a result of middling pay, and middling play, fan attendance was way down. In the late 2000's, however, payroll went up, play went up, and now the Phillies are the 1 fan-drawing team in baseball. Coincidence? I think not Mr. Leitch.


In the "Why hasn't this happened already?" news of the week, on-the-trading-block Jared Gathier
is being held out of practice due to 'unspecified injuries (he's being traded to Buffalo). Buffalo has dire need of a LT and Baltimore has dire need to get Gathier out of town and being a distraction. This should happen.


Can we let this idiotic "dust-up" die already?


In one of the most ridiculous football signings of all time, last offseason the Tampa Bay Bucs signed colossal bust, wide receiver Michael Clayton to a 5 year, 24 million dollar contract. After a nice rookie season, Clayton never had more than 38 receptions after 2004, yet the Bucs gave him the check with all the zeroes. Now, surprise! after another dismal season where Clayton caught just 16 passes, the Bucs are trying to get rid of him. But....wait for it....nobody else wants his fat contract either. So in a weird Catch-24 type situation, the only reason the Bucs won't cut Clayton, is because they are paying him too much.


I know he's been struggling a bit this season, but after watching a bit of the Dodgers-Rockies game yesterday, I'm going to come out and say, Clayton Kershaw has the best pure stuff of any young pitcher in the game. Wicked fastball, filthy curve. The kid has it all.


Unsigned Timberwolf No. 1 draft pick, Ricky Rubio did nothing to help the Timberwolves get value for when they eventually trade him. Sure he's a fancy Dan of a passer, but in the European Championships, Rubio averaged 6.5 pts, 4 assists and had a 34 percent shooting percentage. In effect, what these stats say is that yes, Rubio can run and pass with the best of them, but he still hasn't proven himself to be able to shoot and anywhere further than 5 1-2 feet.


The whole fan-tasering thing that's been happening a lot lately....hilarious. And to the people who think it's excessive....that's ridiculous. They had not way of knowing what this kid was or wasn't capable of doing. To the New York Times Editorial Board in their offices, "he posed no evident threat." To the man doing the chasing...who knows what this crazy wackjob was capable of—knife, gun, karate kick to the face, bomb? I say taser the dude. He'll live. And hopefully, learn.


Does this bother anyone else? Soldier Field should not have Astroturf. There, I said it.


And finally, a video gem that has been circling the web a bit lately. But if you haven't seen it. Please, just watch it. The best depiction of a sport's fans anger and disappointment at his own team I've ever seen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2 Trade Proposals

The Yankees are cruising. Even still, behind the great record, a few cracks are emerging. Andy Pettitte's injury reveals a lack of depth on the mound, what with Javier Vasquez's issues. And while some of the older Yankee players are not seriously injured, it does show that the Yankees are one serious injury away from catastrophe. A trade for depth might be a smart move.

Here are two trades I think the Yankees should make.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The World We Live In Today

Going to Yankee Stadium is an act of courage.

No, truly it is. By now, you’ve heard that some d-bag tried to blow up Times Square. And you’ve heard on the news Police Commissioner Ray Kelly say that various agencies have stopped in the neighborhood of 20 attempts to bomb New York City—and I would guess it is probably much more than that.

Why New York? Well, because it is the symbol of everything terrorists hate and want to destroy. It has the U.N., Times Square, the Statue of Liberty; it is the place where the world interacts, does business, and has so many people from so many places live next to each other in relative peace.

And it has Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium is not just the home of the most valuable sports franchise on the planet; it is a symbol. Like London’s Big Ben, Sydney’s Opera House or The Athenian Acropolis, it is an icon of America. It’s our national pastime’s holy place, it’s Mecca. There was a real reason President Bush had to go out in the middle of Yankee Stadium in the days after 9/11. It was to show the world we are not afraid. It was to reclaim our daily lives, and our national sport.

He had to do it because New York, where I live, is the battleground of this war. If this were another war, than New York would be the front line, where the trenches are dug. Yet, on any day, today for instance, New Yorkers go on and live their lives as if normal. After a foiled bomb attack, they shrug.

There was no mass exodus after 9/11, people fleeing New York. There were no people refusing to enter Manhattan. And there were no attendance drops in Yankee Stadium.

In fact, attendance, proud to say, at Yankee Stadium, was higher in 2002 than it was in 2001. And this year, it is even higher.

But make no mistake, have no illusions. Yankee Stadium is a target. What would be better for terrorists than to have, during a Yankee game, on national T.V., an explosion killing tens of thousands and Yankee Stadium, an American symbol, destroyed?

And we have no illusions. This is the world we live in today. Civilians are the targets and our daily lives are the war. And sporting events are under threat. Every day.

But we continue. We go to ballgames. We bring our wives, our children. We show no fear, and commit actions of courage each and every day.

Play ball.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Transactions....

Phil Hughes is the real deal. No, I mean it...he's the Mac Daddy. Check his stuff out next time he pitches and you'll see.



How is it that so many rookies are sucking wind and hurling lunch at their rookies minicamp?


Interesting article in the Boston Globe saying that now that Vernon Wells is healthy and producing, the Blue Jays might want to trade him. Why? Because Wells has a 126 million dollar contract that runs through 2014. Lotsa luck, Blue Jays. i just can't see anyone doing that.


I guess Joe Torre isn't a genius anymore.


I get that the Phillies needed to keep Ryan Howard. And I think Ryan Howard is a dangerous player. But still, I just don't see paying him 25 million a year. He can't hit lefties, and Ks way too much. I just think he's very good, but not that good.


True to what I predicted, the Seattle Mariners have a fantastic pitching squad. However, they still can't hit, batting a pathetic .236 as a team. Hello? Jermaine Dye?


It's getting a little ridiculous how big these college sports divisions are going to be. Some reports have the Big 10 expanding to the Big 16 and the Pac 10 swallowing up Boise State and a good portion of the Mountain West. OK, fine, if it just comes down to a 4 mega-divisions—say SEC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-10—maybe we could finally institute a 4 division championship series like college basketball has.


I really wish announcers would stop saying "Get off the schnied." I really do.



MLBtraderumors.com says that next year, the Rays have a lot of free agents coming into their pay years, but that the owners want to reduce payroll by about 10 million. The list below says which players will become free agents:


The Rays have a huge slate of important free agents, headlined by Carlos Pena, Carl CrawfordPat Burrell, and Rafael SorianoGrant Balfour, Gabe Kapler, and Randy Choate will also be eligible.  The group earns about $40.4MM this year, more than half the Rays' payroll.  If Wheeler departs, $43.4MM will come off the books.
Forget about Crawford, he's gone. No way they resign Pat Burrell. Randy Choate is replaceable, as is Gabe Kapler. Look for the Rays to try to keep Pena and Soriano, and maybe Balfour who's quietly done a good job. But it's unlikely they can get all 3.
 

It feels like the Utah Jazz have needed a game-breaking small forward who could defend a little since....well, forever.



How desperate are the Redskins to get wideout help? They brought in literal greybeard Joey Galloway, who you remember was drafted in the NFL Draft class of 1947. Joey....shave that beard buddy.


Is it time to move Javier Vasquez to the bullpen and Sergio Mitre to the rotation? No? Not yet?


And lastly, no explanation needed. Just a genius who compiled some of the best NFL runs of all time. Watch and enjoy.