Monday, December 14, 2015

Now the Door Should Stay Closed

I am on the side of Commissioner Manfred. Keeping Pete Rose out of Major League Baseball is the right thing to do. No, he can't get into the Hall. No, he can't be a hitting instructor or minor league coach. He shouldn't be representing MLB in anyway shape or form. Can he work for Fox again during the playoffs, sure, but should he be allowed to teach kids? No. This is a different story than steroids use in the game. The main rule in every clubhouse on every team is "Thou shalt not bet on baseball" and not only did Rose bet on the game when he was a player, but also as a manager. He bet on the Reds and also AGAINST the Reds as manager and also lied for nearly 20 years about betting. Why should this degenerate be allowed back in the game?

What Rose did on the field was legendary and that's why there is a lot of his memorabilia in the hall of fame, but his behavior off the field overshadows all he did (in my opinion) on the field. A manager can't be betting against his team. Who knows how many times Rose did things, like sitting players or removing players from games he's bet on? How do we know if any bookies who he owed money to had influence on in game decisions? And the fact that Rose is still betting on baseball just shows that he hasn't learned his lesson and he shouldn't be allowed to be near a dugout.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Who's Going to Stop Them Now?

The Golden State Warriors have won 16 in a row to start the season. Breaking the record of 15 straight wins with their laugher win against the Los Angeles Lakers when they won by 34. The best chances for the Warriors to lose came when they were losing against the Clippers by as much as 21 and when the Bulls went toe to toe against the Warriors in a hard nose fought game which came down to the last few minutes. Looking at the schedule I don't see a challenge to their streak, but on any given night in the Association anything can happen, and considering the Warriors are mostly a jump shooting team they can have off nights which shooting teams tend to have. Not every team can shoot as well as the Warriors have been on a consistent basis.

In the game against the Los Angeles Clippers that 21 point deficit felt like it was really single digits. In a quick run the Warriors had the deficit down to 10 and next thing you know the Clippers lost the lead and the game. This Warriors team plays as hungry as a team that hasn't won a title which is strange considering they are the defending champs. I don't think they'll get the 72 wins the Bulls had, but if there's a team that can threaten that it would be these Warriors who look more complete and confident than any other team in the Association.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What to do With Kobe?

The Lakers are in an interesting situation. They have a young core of players who they can build around, but they also have number 24 hoping to get to another championship ring and taking as many shots as he wants. These are conflicting interests. In the perfect world you would either want the young kids to get used to playing with the ball in their hands or you want veterans all around to make the push for a championship. The thing is I can't even imagine Kobe being in another jersey. Kobe's legend is the biggest with the purple and gold. Also what other team at this point is ready to trade off pieces for a veteran who's going to demand the ball as much as Kobe will in his march to a championship?

What veteran team has a hole in their roster that Kobe would fill? The Knicks already have a ball hog on their team and adding another one wouldn't make the Knicks an absolute contender to win a championship. The Miami Heat has a solid roster with a solid balance of veterans and young players, but they would have to trade away a lot of that youth (and future draft picks) to add Kobe to Wade and Bosh and I'm still not sure if that's good enough to beat any of the powerhouses out of the Western Conference and at this point that's what teams in the Eastern Conference should be concerned with. So the best solution would be for the Lakers to just let the sunset on Kobe's career in the purple and gold and move on with their young core.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Kansas City Royals.. not the Champion MLB Wanted, but the One MLB Needed..

The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in the World Series 4 games to 1. The way the Royals have accomplished this feat is much different than the way some MLB teams have been building teams recently. With home runs, and the swings and miss, that come along with having power-centric teams the Kansas City Royals have put together a championship team with a bunch of contact hitters and a lights out bullpen that the Royals have been able to use to keep late games close until their offense gets the chance to grind out the runs they need to get the win. That's how the Royals were able to knock out the Mets. It didn't help that the Mets didn't have the offense necessary to beat the Royals. Their offense was heavily reliant on one hitter or so every round of the playoffs. Whether it was David Murphy in the League Championship Series or Michael Conforto in the World Series. That is no way to win a championship.

So the team from Missouri beat the team from New York. The big payroll and big names lost to the medium payroll and to a bunch of no names to the regular fan. The team that relied more on the long ball against the team with an old school approach to the game by putting the ball in play and putting pressure on the opposing teams when they don't expect it. The Royals were taking extra bases and forcing defenses to make throws that they may not have been ready to make. MLB might have wanted the big revenue team to win, but the better built team with the valuable experience they earned in last year's run to the World Series where the Royals fell one game short of winning it all came out on top. The Mets shouldn't feel bad about the way they lost this World Series they were just defeated by royalty.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why is Manziel still Playing?

A couple weeks ago a video from a cop's dash cam recorded an altercation where Johnny Manziel admitted to having "a couple drinks" and then driving and also recorded was Manziel's girlfriend saying that Manziel had "hit her a couple times". Now, coming off of the whole Ray Rice incident and the Greg Hardy situation you would think that the NFL would of acted on this Manziel thing faster. Instead Manziel was able to actually play last Sunday for the Browns. Rice was suspended, Hardy was suspended, but yet the NFL is "investigating" Manziel. The NFL also investigated the Rice and Hardy incidents, but at least to me it felt like their suspensions was doled out with less hesitation especially after the Rice video came to light. If the NFL is actually serious about punishing domestic violence incidents then Manziel should be on the commissioner's list just like Rice and Hardy ended up until a resolution has been found.

Manziel's rehab stint was for alcohol abuse and to better his image with Cleveland Brown fans and the Cleveland front office, but this new incident, while it's still being investigated, shows signs that "Johnny Football's" first rehab stint might not have stuck. NFL players shouldn't be allowed to play while their name may be in the news over any domestic violence related incident. That's if the NFL is really serious about domestic violence and it's sport. The language in the new domestic violence calls for a player could be suspended if the NFL's investigation finds "sufficient credible evidence that it appears a violation of the (personal conduct) policy has occurred. Those violations could include: The use or threat of violence; domestic violence and other forms of partner abuse; disorderly conduct" and considering the details from that dash cam video it should be a no brainer that something happen and Manziel was at the center of it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Prisoner of the Moment

I'm always entertained when fans and critics become prisoners of a moment. Whether it be a play where a player gets hurt or a player does something that bothers them. I like to call this the "lynch mob" mentality and in this day and age with social media being as powerful as it has ever been it is easy for one or two media loud mouths to drag a slew of people into this attack mode that results from the lynch mob. Aftermath from the lynch mob attack tends to put pressure on leagues and players to often recant from things that may have happen in the heat of battle. Rule changes often come from outside pressure being put on the league. Because of this I'm still surprised that Washington still uses "Redskins" as their team name with all the noise being made about the offensive nature of the name.

Fans' issues should be taken into consideration, but should events that are rare in nature and complaints resulting from these events shape how leagues go forward? Player's safety should be a priority, but should a rare/freak injury to a player in any league cause the league to drastically alter how the game is played all together? With social media being what it is leagues need to understand what they should take with a grain of salt and what should be taken seriously. There are too many loud mouths out there complaining about how leagues should be ran and want to play armchair GM or commissioner.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bully v Pampered Superstar

The mess that has been the Washington Nationals was put on serious display when acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon and eventual NL MVP Bryce Harper got into an altercation in their dugout in front of cameras for all to see. The picture of the Nationals season can be the visual of Papelbon's hand being around Harper's neck. The thing is both players were wrong for their actions in the altercation. Papelbon didn't have to snap at Harper in public and Harper should've been more careful with the words he used when addressing a veteran. Since the altercation there has been plenty of words written about it, but what has intrigued me is that former players support Papelbon more than one would think. Harper has gotten a pass from most members of the press and critics of the game. Harper can do no wrong in their eyes and that has caused Harper to act like he's bulletproof. It got to the point where his manager got criticized for pulling Harper from a baseball game where he didn't hustle out a fly ball. After the altercation Bryce Harper pulled himself from the game that's not what 22 year old ballplayers usually do.

Has Harper earned some respect? Sure. Is he the only one to blame? No. Matt Williams, who is the manager of the Nationals for now, has more blame than some would think. This altercation should've been squashed before it got to this point. When Harper called Papelbon "tired" a few days ago in the news Williams, or another veteran for that matter, should've talked to Harper about how things are done and taken care of in house and not in front of cameras. Harper's actions with the media lit Papelbon's fuse and he was just waiting for Harper to do what Harper does and then he exploded grabbing and slamming Harper into the dugout wall by his neck. Papelbon, the bully, wasn't actually the complete scourge this time the pampered baby was.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The New Bad Boys?

The original Bad Boys came straight out of Detroit. With the Pistons playing dirty and doing everything possible to get the win. Is this what the New England Patriots are now? After having a judge do away with Roger Goodells' "deflate-gate" ruling against Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Patriots have been accused of many other episodes where they have either bent the rules or outright allegedly broken the rules including video taping signals from opposing teams. In last night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers apparently the Steelers headsets were receiving the Patriots radio broadcast instead of the coaches being able to communicate with each other. Did the Patriots have something to do with that? Who knows, but with their recent past the Patriots have become the most hated and most suspected team in the NFL.

If anything suspicious happens in any game that includes the Patriots they will be the first suspect and with Goodell catching the loss against the Patriots one would think he would have the Patriots under a microscope. Is this fair? No, but considering their recent past it comes along with being the Bad Boys. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more NFL "officials" watching every aspect of Patriot games just to see if they slip up. The Patriots, for all of their suspected shady activities have shown no signs of backing down. The Patriots have stood firm that they haven't done anything suspicious or dirty, but you know who said the same thing? Those same Detroit Pistons. I'm not calling the Patriots dirty, but only so many teams can have "issues" in New England before something is done.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Awards Down the Stretch

In MLB there are a couple players who have upped their game in the second of the season. The second half of the season consists of play after the All Star game. Joey Votto, first baseman of the Cincinnati Reds has been on fire hitting .391 with 12 home runs and 28 runs batted in. Votto's on base percentage is a pretty impressive .571 (which is just about over half the time he comes to plate). All of which is impressive as has been Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta who was good in the first half, but has been absolutely dominant in the second half to the tune of a 0.91 era in 10 starts since the break. Both of these guys should be in the conversation for their respective awards with Votto going for the MVP and Arrieta going for the Cy Young, but neither one should win it. A case can be made that NY Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes should be in consideration for NL MVP, but unfortunately for him he started the season in the AL and only once in the history of MVP voting has a player switched leagues and won that league's MVP award and Cespedes isn't about to be the second. Will Cespedes get votes? Yes, will he win the award? In my opinion, no.

Both Zack Greinke and Jacob DeGrom have been atop most of the pitching categories all season as have Paul Goldschmidt and Bryce Harper have lead most or all offensive categories in the National League throughout the season. Goldschmidt and Greinke are my picks for their respective awards, but with Votto and Arrieta's performances in the second half, especially with Arrieta potentially going to the playoffs with the Cubs, both teams have something to look forward to toward next year. If Votto can carry this momentum into next season the Reds will be in better position to compete in the playoffs with their season being down the drain. In Arrieta's case if he can carry his momentum into this seasons playoffs the Cubs will be in better position to make a run to a world championship.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Is it Worth it?

Football is a violent and aggressive sport; even with the limiting rules that have been put in place in recent years. This aggression and nonstop action is what draws millions of eyes to televisions every Sunday, Monday, Thursdays, and even some Saturdays. Fans are so desperate for football action that they're willing to shell out money to watch football practice. Not to sound like Allen Iverson, but we're not talking about a real game we're talking about practice. The NFL season lasts 17 weeks, but if you throw in the preseason that adds 4 more weeks and OTA's (Offseason Training Activities) that adds up to about 23-24 weeks of football action and fans can't get enough. Is it possible that the NFL is overexposing it's product and more importantly overexposing its players? This offseason players have been dropping like flies from Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey to Green Bay Packer wide receiver Jordy Nelson two vital players on their respective squads.

I think it's time for the NFL to do away with some of their preseason activities. Either drop a preseason game or drop some of these recent inter-team practices; in which fights tend to break out like the brawl between the Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams. If the league really is interested in the safety of players (which I really don't believe they are) and not the all mighty dollar (which is their main focus) they would make the necessary changes to make sure that players aren't in harm's way. Yes, freak accidents will always happen, but limiting how much time players are on the field helps players avoid concussions and snapped ACLs and hurt ankles that need surgery. Some fans will be turned off by this, but understanding the damage these players take on every snap should make it with it because the players will still be fresher during the season, you know, when games actually count.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Oh the Jets

As if having Geno Smith as your starting quarterback isn't bad enough, he now gets even more proof of the lack of respect that the locker room has for him. In allegedly getting punched in the face by a linebacker over a reported 600 dollar debt and some disrespectful finger wagging with no other player willing to step in between both players just shows that no one else cared what happened to Smith during the altercation. No other quarterback in the league (no matter how bad he plays) would get punched in such a fashion. It doesn't matter if it was a sucker punch or a squared up punch to the face no quarterback would be punched like that. In all my years watching football I don't remember a quarterback getting disrespected in such a way.

Jay Cutler is reportedly not a great teammate and some ex-teammates have come out stating their desire to punch him, but yet the way NFL locker rooms are supposed to work quarterbacks are to be respected and supported even if they suck. Unless you're Geno Smith and the Jets. The lack of support for Smith in the Jets locker room has been quietly reported around the league and the fact that Smith hasn't performed on the field never helped his cause. In the two years Smith has been in the league he's thrown 34 interceptions to his 25 touchdowns leading the Jets to a 12-20 record in those two years. So the joke of the league has been the Jets' organization and the Jets' fans whenever Geno took the field, but now with a broken jaw and missing 6-10 weeks over a petty 600 bucks the Jets have to rely on Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead them. The league will keep on laughing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hindsight is 20/20

As the trade deadline past on July 31st both the Chicago White Sox and the San Diego Padres were expecting to sell off players and rebuild their respective farm systems. The issue was the White Sox were on a winning streak that had them within a shot at the second AL Wild Card spot while the Padres are loaded with talent and could've made a push for the second NL Wild Card spot if said talent played at the level that they normally played at, but unfortunately for both teams neither one has made the run that their GM's expected. In Chicago, while the Cubs have made the push and has captured a Wild Card spot the White Sox have floundered and have fallen to six and half games out of the second spot. The White Sox have some players that could help other teams Jeff Samardzija was an attractive option after the big names came off the board. After Johnny Cueto and David Price were dealt to Kansas City and Toronto respectively many teams probably called the GM of the White Sox to get their hands on Samardzija and he turned them away.

The Padres gave up a lot of their top prospects over the offseason building their super team. Trading for Kimbrel and both Uptons from the Atlanta Braves cost the Padres a lot. Getting Matt Kemp and Wil Myers from both the LA Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays cost more prospects and signing James Shields from free agency cost the Padres four years and seventy five million dollars. The GM of the Padres was quite the busy man in the offseason and he was expected to be busy at the deadline too trying to replenish some of the talent that he had used to build his team. Instead AJ Preller (the GM of the Padres) decided to sit on his hands and not make a move. Trading away Shields, Kimbrel, and Justin Upton (who is going to be a free agent at the end of the season) would've been logical and would've brought back a return that could help add talent to a farm system that needs it. Given the chance to do it all over I think these two teams would've been much more aggressive at the deadline. Moving the deadline back would solve these issues for teams, but that's a story for a different post.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Can an Undefeated Boxer Actually be Hurting Boxing?

Floyd "Money" Mayweather is undefeated and has held titles in every weight class he's fought in, but his demeanor and antics have soured most of the female fan base and the casual boxing fan. Inside the ring Mayweather is a defensive magician. Many and all fighters have thrown punches in Mayweather's direction and one second he's there and the next he's not. All of his opponents have looked foolish for swinging at air and making fighters who usually land a high number of punches land several percentage points lower. When Mayweather tucks his chin behind his shoulder it's almost impossible to get through to land a flush hit. The casual boxing fan has grown tired of watching a fight where the outcome is always in Mayweather's favor and where there's a lack of offense because of Mayweather's defense and because his knock out power has seemingly gone away. So if you're a casual fan it isn't difficult to understand why you would rather not shell out the 60 or 70 dollars to watch a boxer "run" around a ring and still win the fight.

Mayweather's expensive tastes and the way he flaunts the amount of money he's made off these "boring" fights have also alienated fans of boxing. Mayweather is considered to be arrogant and stubborn and has tailored his demands from the challengers, who step up to fight him, to make fights relatively easier for him to win. Being an undefeated champion does have it's benefits and Mayweather takes full advantage of these benefits. As many fans support Mayweather there are as many, if not more, who order the fights just to see Mayweather lose and they've been disappointed 48 times. So as Mayweather sets up to finish his storied boxing career with his last fight in September against Andre Berto I expect to watch the defensive magician work his magic and end his career with as many losses as he started with.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Deadline Madness

It's that time of the MLB season where GMs are at their busiest trying to either upgrade their team or sell off that one piece that can bring back players that'll help the team down the road. Johnny Cueto already has been moved to Kansas City and in a more shocking move Troy Tulowitzki has been moved to Toronto for José Reyes and several pitching prospects. What else is going to happen? Who knows, but plenty of teams have plenty of options that they can consider for their squad. The Mets need a shortstop, second baseman, or right hitting outfielder, the Yankees (along with many other teams) need at least one starting pitcher, and many other teams need to dump salary and open spots for minor leaguers who may be ready for the show. July 31st is always going to be a hectic mess with surprise after surprise of players on the move.

If MLB wants to really make the deadline a serious transaction-fest they should move the non-waiver trade deadline back into August. Give teams time to know where they stand with the second wild card spot. Some teams, like the Tigers, Orioles, and White Sox, still think they can make a run at the second wild card spot so they are still on the fence on whether they should move David Price, Jeff Samardzja, or Matt Wieters, and other pieces. The deadline would be more entertaining if every team had their minds made up and at July 31st there are still a handful of teams that don't know what they're doing, yet. Also, if GMs weren't so anxious to "win" every deal and put their ego aside and did what's good for the organization more deals could be made. There are players to be had. Haggling just makes for a boring deadline.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Luckiest Puppet in the Game

While all hell was breaking loose in New York; with the Knickerbockers winning just 17 games and all the criticism thrown at Phil Jackson it's funny that "head coach" Derek Fisher hasn't felt any of it. Is it because everyone knows that Jackson is the real head coach? Or is it because folks don't think Fisher is worth criticizing? In New York's media heavy environment it's interesting that Fisher has been able to lay low. Not one coach has accomplished what Fisher has. If the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, even the Nets for that matter, any of them had the kind of disappointing season that the Knicks currently had Fisher would be under the microscope, but all the talk has been about Phil. Fisher is getting paid 5 million dollars to be the head coach and to do a job that apparently Jackson might be doing from his luxury box with his high chair.

Alvin Gentry and other veteran coaches should be mad that these rookie coaches are getting paid more than they are and didn't have to go through the development process that was once the norm in the NBA. If you ask me Fisher has the best job in the NBA. No matter what he does, or doesn't do, or how hard he fails the blame will land on Phil and not on Fisher. Funny enough, Fisher never ran the triangle when he started coaching but now that Phil is calling the shots the triangle is back in full swing in New York. If the Knicks win another 17 games next season is Fisher going to be on the hot seat? Is Fisher even scared that that can be a possibility for him since the almighty shield of Phil is protecting him? We'll see next season when first round pick Kristaps Porzingus, Melo, and the rest of the Knicks take the court.

Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Innings is the New Norm

When I started watching baseball pitchers would go at least 6 innings then give the ball to a reliever. Heck before I was even thought of pitchers wouldn't get off the mound until their shoulder gave up and yet there were less injuries. Now a days pitchers are getting paid way more than they're worth and can't (or won't be allowed to) make it past the 5th inning. The evolution of the bullpen has destroyed the modern day starting pitcher. Going into the 5th inning the bullpen is most likely already stirring with guys stretching and playing long toss if not already getting warm. While the starting pitcher is still in the game and not even in trouble. Unless you're the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgardner, or Max Scherzer getting through the 5th inning is a rarity if there isn't a no hitter or perfect game going.

Stat nerds would tell you that after the 5th inning pitchers are most likely to get roughed up because that's most likely the pitcher's 3rd time facing the opposing team's lineup, but isn't the point of Spring Training and preseason pitching camps (that most teams hold before Spring Training) to get pitchers stretched out and ready to pitch deep into games? More and more as bullpens continue to evolve and starters are continued to be babied eventually there's going to come a day when a team is going to have just a huge bullpen and no starters. The death of starters, in my opinion, has begun.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Where is the Outrage?

There is a double standard in sports. Ray Rice had a highly publicized domestic violent incident and he's unemployed and has resentment from many people, but where's the outrage over Hope Solo? She had her own domestic violence incident and yet there isn't the same level of outrage. Is it that violence against men isn't on the same level as violence against women? The fact that one of the victims in this case was a minor at the time should make it even worse, but yet when the US Women's National Soccer team takes the field for their next game Solo will be starting at goalie. Rice can't get a job in the NFL. Even though several big names have come out stating that Rice deserves a second chance. Solo doesn't need that because she hasn't been suspended and hasn't even lost a sponsor.

Now imagine if Hope Solo was a man. If a man would've gotten violent with his brother and niece while under the effects of alcohol he'd be damned. On the same blackballed list as Rice. Even though Solo's case isn't even close to being over I don't believe there is going to be the same public impact as other domestic violence cases where the man is the aggressor. Violence is wrong no matter what the gender is of the aggressor, but yet the public reaction can't be damnation for men, but then silence for female aggressors. Equality should be for all.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Who I Got

So the NBA Finals start tonight at 9pm with the Golden State Warriors facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James against Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving against Klay Thompson, Mozgov against Bogut. These guys wont necessarily face off against each other, but big names (except for maybe Mozgov and Bogut) are going to be out for both teams. It's not easy rooting against LeBron James because he has a strong will to win and makes his teammates better like no other player does in the league, but I believe the team that has been the best team in the league all season will come out on top. The depth that the Warriors have is quite impressive. When you have guys who have played in previous All Star games coming off the bench to spell guys who played in this year's All Star game that's something to marvel at.

The reason the Warriors have been the best team in the league is because they play both top 5 defense and run a very efficient offense. With shooters like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes (who when on a roll looks unstoppable), and Andre Iguodala, amongst others the Warriors' offense is top notch. On the other side of the coin guys like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bout, in the paint, the Warriors' defense has also been top notch this year. The Cavaliers have a tough 7 games ahead of them; even though they have the experience factor over the Warriors I don't think they have the talent to stop the Warriors for 4 games. This has been a magical year for the Warriors and I see it ending with them hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in 6 games.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Here We Go Again

I understand that leagues need their stars and that injuries are bad for sports, but should freak accidents lead to absolute changes? It started when San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey got hurt in a freak accident and now the position of catcher hasn't been the same since. Now, St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright tore his achilles in another freak accident while hitting and now Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer proclaims that the National League should adopt the designated hitter so he wouldn't have to hit. Is watching pitchers hit boring? Sometimes, but there have been pitchers in the past that has made it entertaining since you know they worked on it. Apparently teams aren't emphasizing pitchers to work on their hitting. That may be fine and dandy in the American League, but if you're on a National League ball club that shouldn't be because a player is not going to have the preparation necessary and that's when the chances for injuries increases.

Call me old school, but the NL way of playing baseball has always been the more entertaining to me. Make these managers earn their million dollar contracts by making the right changes at the right times. The NL isn't as ready, set, go as the AL since managers really just have to set a lineup and worry about the bullpen. There's more to baseball than that and if the DH is adopted by the NL baseball will become a boring mess. The league is at an interesting intersection right now because the two things people complain about baseball is that there isn't enough action and that games take too long. If you have pitchers bat the game goes faster, but if you want more offense the DH should be implemented adding one more bat makes offense rise, but also makes the game last longer. As Madison Bumgarner mentioned "We’re not paid to steal bases and all that kind of stuff, but let’s be honest: How often do pitchers get hurt hitting?" Hopefully the league doesn't overreact by this freak accident and mess up the game I grew up loving with the pitcher in the 9 hole.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fight on Royals

Since the start of this season Kansas City Royals hitters have been hit 16 times by opposing pitchers that is the second highest amount in the majors, with the Texas Rangers taking the top spot, but now the big name in the news is Yordano Ventura with him being at the center of several recent incidents where he's throwing at and some times spewing off at the mouth to several hitters. It all came to boil last night against the Chicago White Sox when the benches cleared and punches were thrown, but I don't think Ventura was completely to blame for the whole fracas. At the beginning of the season White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija hit several Royals hitters whether it was by accident or on purpose it got the attention of the Royals pitchers. Now that the Royals are backing up their teammates and hitting the other team's hitters they're wrong?

Alex Rios one of the Royals' more consistent power threats got hurt when he got hit on the hand by a pitch that went up and in when the Royals went against the Minnesota Twins. Eventually hitters get tired of getting hit and of the 16 times Royals hitters have gotten hit 14 have been to Mike Moustakas (5), Alex Gordon (5), and Lorenzo Cain (4). It's about time their pitchers have come to their defense. In a weekend series against the Oakland A's Brett Lawrie, third baseman of the Oakland A's, hurt shortstop Alcides Escobar using a dirty slide going into second base trying to breaking up a double play Lawrie slid into Escobar's leg spraining his knee. During his next at bat Lawrie got hit by Ventura and the next day Oakland A's pitcher Scott Kazmir hit Lorenzo Cain. In my opinion Kazmir did it on purpose as did Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera who then threw behind Lawrie with his 100 mph fastball which led to a bench clearing stare down between the A's and Royals. As long as Royals hitters are getting hit more Royals pitchers are going to retaliate, as they should.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


With all due respect to the best player on the best team, Stephen Curry, if I had an MVP vote it would go to James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Not only is James Harden second in the league in points per game he has done it without the help of Dwight Howard for most of the season. Stephen Curry is a great player in his own right and has broken his own record for most three pointers made in a season with 284, but with being on the best team he can have competition from his own teammates. Steph Curry's teammate Klay Thompson has played well enough that one can make an argument that he should get a vote or two for MVP enough votes to make a difference in the race but enough to make Curry the runner up. James Harden on the other hand hasn't had the supporting cast that Curry has enjoyed all season.

Consider this: if both the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors lost both James Harden and Stephen Curry for the whole season I believe the Warriors would still be a top 10 team in the NBA while the Rockets wouldn't be anywhere near their current rankings in the West or the NBA in general. Both Harden and Curry make their teams great, but the Warriors could live without Curry for a longer period of time than the Rockets could live without Harden. The Rockets were at one point the second seed in the whole Western Conference and there's no coincidence that since Howard has come back and the Rockets have taken the ball out of Harden's hands to incorporate Howard back into the flow of the offense they have fallen to the 5th seed in the West. In my opinion the MVP is in Houston and has a fantastic beard.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why All the Outrage?

The Cubs demoted their stud third baseman Kris Bryant to the minor leagues yesterday and for some reason this has made the MLB player's association upset, but its been like this for years. How many studs have had a very good spring training and have gone down? Pittsburgh Pirate center fielder and current face of the Pirates Andrew McCutchen made his debut in June, Mike Trout the eventual face of the whole sport made his debut for the Angels in July, David Wright made his debut for the NY Mets in July, Miguel Cabrera, the best hitter in the majors, made his debut for the Florida Marlins in June. Why didn't all these eventual all stars make their team out of camp? For the same reason that Bryant didn't. Keeping Bryant in the minors for a couple more weeks gets the Cubs another year of control over Bryant. The same way the Pirates had an extra year over McCutchen and the Mets over Wright. It's the business of the sport.

Keeping a player from getting a certain amount of playing time allows the controlling team to keep the player in the arbitration process for one more year and allowing the team to push back the big money contract for one more year. As much as Cubs fans have suffered they should understand that GM Theo Epstein has a plan. Epstein never said that this would be the year that all of their young studs would make the immediate jump and run away with the NL. Is that going to happen eventually? Maybe. Maybe not, but one thing that shouldn't change is the business of the sport. Yes, the MLB player's association is strong, but I'm pretty sure the owners aren't about to change something that benefits them so much. Bryant is not going to be the last player that is sent down by a team trying to save a few bucks.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nobody does the Super Bowl like the Worldwide Leader

ESPN is in Arizona (as is every other sports network) but they do it differently. I was fortunate enough to go to the "Super Bowl Boulevard" when the Super Bowl was held in the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey and ESPN was allowed to shut down a whole strip of Broadway Avenue in New York City where they had lines and lines of people walking around and taking plenty of pictures and all or most of their football gasbags hosting their shows from Broadway. As air shots of Fashion Square in Arizona (where this year's Super Bowl is being held) where ESPN is located it seems like they have done the same thing in Arizona. It is fun and a good way for Arizona to capitalize even more than they have thanks to fans and tourists that have flocked to Arizona for the "big game".

I'm usually harsh on ESPN about the way they run things, but they do know how to throw a party. Especially when it comes to their favorite sport, football. All the red carpets are out and players that aren't in the game are their to voice their opinions and laying down the groundwork for a potential after playing career of TV work. If media week hasn't taught you anything it's that ESPN is the best way for football to promote it's product even more than even the NFL network can. Marshawn Lynch alone is probably going to make millions with his antics at media week and the way ESPN has helped promote his behavior. If it weren't for ESPN's repeated conversations about "deflategate" and Marshawn Lynch what stories would have come from the Super Bowl? I don't know.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Spurs of the East are for Sale

The Atlanta Hawks are the best team in the Eastern Conference and the same Atlanta Hawks are for sale. Before the season the general manager of the Hawks was willing to step down from his position with the Hawks over a racially insensitive email that had leaked, but ever since then the Hawks have just shot up to the top of the Eastern Conference with wins over the East and West Conference while winning 16 games in a row. The Hawks have a record of 12-2 against the Western Conference with wins over the Warriors, the Trail Blazers, the Clippers, and other playoff bound teams. The Hawks are the surprise of the NBA, since the teams that are usually favored have one or more super star and the Hawks don't necessarily have a super star.

It's a surprise that the Hawks are for sale. With the team being so successful this season and having gone to the playoffs 7 straight seasons one would think that the owner would like to stay in control. Not only are the Hawks for sale, but the whole ownership group is selling. The two main owners that own 50.1% of the Hawks decided to sell and the rest of the ownership group has followed suit. The biggest issue facing the Hawks is their attendance problem. The Hawks rank 22nd in the NBA in attendance averaging 16,471 fans per game, but with their new TV deal and the upcoming TV deal the NBA is going to sign with Turner/Disney there is definitely a profit to be made in Atlanta. The Hawks are going to make the playoffs and have beaten the Western Conference enough times to make me think of them as a legit contender. Now if I only had a billion dollars.

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's A Tiring Act

Marshawn Lynch known better as "Beast Mode" has an act where he feels like he doesn't have to talk to the media and thinks it's appropriate to grab his crotch when he scores a big touchdown. Personally, I'm over it. If Russell Wilson (his own quarterback), Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers the elite quarterbacks in the league have to sit down and talk to the media what makes Lynch so special? Lynch's excuse of anxiety when it comes to the media doesn't hold water since he's sat down and has been interviewed by ESPN for the show 30 for 30. Lynch is a great player in the NFL and it's worth a discussion that without him the Seahawks wouldn't be where they are now.

Lynch needs to grow up and instead of getting showered by skittles he should be avoiding fines and talking to the media and not grabbing his crotch. How much in fines is Lynch willing to pay for his antics? With his current contract situation up in the air with the Seahawks Lynch may find himself without a job, even though another team would definitely pick him up if the Seahawks do release him. I support the league fining Lynch for every one of his indiscretions; from their point of view the league can't have more players trying to act to like Marshawn Lynch. The league has corporate sponsors to worry about and if more players start acting out like Lynch then those sponsors wouldn't  be around for long.

Speaking of sponsors with his antics Lynch is missing out on the potential for making more money off the field. Most players have deals with companies that pay them to be in commercials and on ads everywhere, but besides for skittles I don't think a company would want Lynch to promote their product with the way he's behaving. Marshawn Lynch is a special player, if only he behaved like one.