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.