Archive for the ‘Sports Talk’ Category

This afternoon Kerry Wood was traded from the Indians to the Yankees. I know there are many Cub fans that have a sore spot set aside for Woody due to the fact that his injuries prevented him from living up to his, (dare I say?) Strasburg-like hype.

I am not one of those Cub fans. Wood remains one of my favorite Cub players of all time. In fact, he probably only ranks behind Mark Grace on my list. Yeah, Kerry had a lot of injury issues but those were a by product of what made him lethal. I personally wanted Wood to finish his entire career in a Cub uniform but that was not meant to be. Even though he wanted to stay, the organization felt it was time to turn the page. Now he gets to chase a ring as a member of the Yankees.

I will obviously be pulling for the Twins to win the AL and the World Series, but if the Yankees were to win it now…I wouldn’t be as upset as usual. 🙂

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Sometimes baseball players amaze me. This is a picture of Felipe Lopez last night after hitting a home run in the top of the 11th inning off of Brian Schlitter of the Cubs. The home run ended up winning the game for the Cardinals so I’m not arguing that it wasn’t a big hit. But this display from Lopez was certainly over the top.

First off….he’s Felipe Lopez. The same Felipe Lopez that is currently on his 6th team in 10 ML seasons. The same Felipe Lopez that currently sports a lifetime .269 batting average.

Secondly….you just don’t go into that kind of theatrics after hitting any home run, I don’t care who you are. On top of that, it’s not like he hit the ball off of Mariano Rivera. He hit it off Brian Schlitter who was making his 4th ML appearance (and his 1st since being activated from the DL).

While I am sure Lopez just got caught up in the moment and truly isn’t a bad guy, I’m sure he realizes that he is due a fastball between the numbers on his back the next time the Cubs and Cardinals face off.

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When I was younger, I very much looked forward to the annual Home Run Derby that was conducted on the night before the All-Star Game. Back then it was fun to watch but now…. ugh! For the most part, the actual competition was ok. Corey Hart had a great 1st Round, Hanley Ramirez was very impressive, and David Ortiz closed the night with a great Championship Round performance. But the broadcast was horrendous. Let’s break down the 3 antagonists.

1. Chris Berman – Ok, I know the guy is one of ESPN’s originals but I think it is high time that the powers that be at the “Boo Yeah Network” put Berman out to pasture. Every year, this show is the exact same thing. I honestly feel that I could make an audio recording of any given year and insert a local suburb into his “That ball is all the way to (insert city here)” line and I would get the same experience. And did anyone else get the feeling that he made out a list of the towns he was going to use and was just waiting anxiously to use one? He sure sounded happy yelling “That one is heading to San Juan Capistrano” on a ball that landed in the bullpen.

2. Joe Morgan – Really, I don’t know if much can be said for Mr. Morgan. ESPN should have taken him off the air a long time ago, yet he continues to be part of all their big broadcasts. I’ve never heard an announcer that is quite the combination of ridiculously biased, wrong about most things, and switches his allegiances as much as Morgan.

3. Bobby Valentine – Who is the genius at ESPN that thought putting Bobby V on the air was a good idea? Every time I see him on TV he seems uncomfortable. Last night when he called David Ortiz by “Jose”, I thought I was going to fall off the step ladder I was on. Note to ESPN (and any other network) – just because someone worked in baseball or played baseball, they aren’t necessarily TV material.

On the Derby itself, I think it is time for MLB to think about retooling the event. It is clear now that the players are somewhat hesitant to get into the derby due to it being so physically taxing. Here is what I suggest (MLB can pay me royalties if they use the idea):

  • 8 MLB players are paired with one of their teams’ Minor League prospects (ex. Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison)
  • MLB player gets 10 outs / MiLB player get 7 outs
  • Each “team” goes through just one time.
  • In event of a tie, the tied teams go to a tiebreaker

The current Derby takes WAYYYY too long with the multiple rounds. While my format comes out to roughly the same amount of “out swings”, I think the pace would be much quicker. I also think the fans would be more into it since it would be teams competing instead of just individual players….so you’d get the Red Sox versus the Marlins in the final. Just a thought.

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I had a whole other post ready to go but this was a news story that was too big to ignore.

George Steinbrenner passed away today at the age of 80 after a massive heart attack. Whether you liked the guy personally or not and whether you agreed with his tactics and methods, you had to admire the guy’s desire to be the best. When he bought the Yankees, they were a shell of their past glory and over the years he transofrmed them into a corporate giant that went beyond a sports team.

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Yup, I’m back to not updating this regularly. Shocked, aren’t you? 🙂

What I have been doing in my rare spare time is playing a lot of The Show 09 on the PS3. The other night I downloaded someone’s roster set that had what they called “All Time Teams” for each team. I assumed this would consist of 25 of the best of all time for each team. That’s about half right. Most teams had their best players but also had a smattering of current scrubs taking up roster spots. Plus, the ratings were all WAY too high.

So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to take this roster file and actually make it correct. What I plan on doing is going through for each team and setting a roster that I consider to be their actual All Time Team. Pretty ambitious, huh?

The hardest part for me is coming up with each team’s 25 man roster. You would think there would be somewhere on the internet where some place like TSN, ESPN, or SI has actually surveyed people and posted each team’s best. But I can’t find it. So I’m openly asking if any of you would like to help contribute. After you pick a team to do, here is what I would need…

  • 25 man roster for your chosen team
  • Players eligible for your team should have played more years for that team than any other. For example, Frank Robinson played 10 years for the Reds and 6 years with the Orioles. So in my roster set, Frank ends up in Cincinnati.
  • At least one player from each position
  • Bench players should make sense (don’t make every bench player an OF)
  • Five starting pitchers
  • One closer
  • Bullpen can be made up of left over starters or actual relief pitchers

Seems simple enough, right? If I get some interest from here, I will plan on documenting my progress and giving credit where credit is due.

If you’re interested, email me at djw1207 (at) live.com

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Hopefully you’re as sick of this soap opera as I am. Ever since the spring of 2008, all I’ve heard or read about was the second coming of Cy Young, or you may know him as Stephen Strasburg. I’ve touched on him in a post back in March and every media outlet in the world has had something on him since the draft. He is the arm that is supposed to set the world on fire.mlb_a_strasburg_300

There’s just one problem….he’s not signed yet.

Here we are now with less than 11 hours before the deadline for draft picks to be signed. Stephen has chosen Scott Boras to be his agent, which means that we all knew it would come down to the last day and probably the last couple of minutes before we know if he signs or not. Boras is a love/hate kind of guy. His players love him because he gets them top dollars. Fans hate him because he seems to be the epitome of greed and what is wrong with American sports.

Boras has floated numbers upwards of $30 million all the way up to $50 million. The Nationals have reportedly offered as much as $17 million, which would blow away the previous high water mark of Mark Prior ($10.5 million).

So there is the background and here are my thoughts…

Strasburg needs to take his $17M, sign the contract, and get himself on a team and pitching. Don’t be greedy….just play ball. Listen, I know that a player should get what he feels he is worth, but let’s remember that this is a kid who pitched against college kids last year. This isn’t an established Major League player gunning for a free agency windfall.

If they don’t come to an agreement, this absolutely cannot end well at all for Strasburg. Look at past pitchers who have turned down big contracts because they felt like they were worth more. Luke Hochevar isn’t tearing up anything. And what about Matt Harrington?? Don’t you think he wished he had done it differently? Turning down $17+ million (if that is indeed the offer) won’t doom Strasburg to baseball failure, but would make him the poster boy of greed in baseball.

Ultimately, it comes down to Strasburg and not Scott Boras. If the kid wants to play, he’ll tell Boras that the offer is good enough and he just wants to play baseball. But if he is more concerned with setting salary records, this could end up with no contract by midnight tonight. I am hoping for the former and not the latter.

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For the second time this year, I’m forced to publicly say “I’m embarrassed to be a Cub fan”. Earlier this year I said that after watching Cub fans cheer when Jose Oquendo was tagged with a line drive during a Cubs/Cards game.

Last night I watched an idiot fan in the bleachers throw his beer on Shane Victorino during a game that was already 12-1 and out of hand at that point. That was bad enough, but the fact that the dude got away with it is even worse.

8-13-2009 1-16-16 PM

Above you’ll see a picture of the aftermath of the beer tossing event. I wish I had a link to a video of it but I don’t….but if you watch the video or you watched the game live last night, you could clearly see the douchebag on the left was the guy who flipped his cup onto the field. Sadly for the guy on the right in the jersey, he successfully made a complete ass out of himself and drew too much attention and the security whisked him away to “Cubbie Jail”.

As of now, the actual perpetrator hasn’t been found but the matter has been turned over to the Chicago police. The Cubs also made a formal apology to Victorino on the event and it sounds like Victorino is being a good guy about it and not placing blame on the Cubs organization as a whole.

Personally for me, I’m embarrassed by this. I’m embarrassed to get myself lumped into a group with ass-hats like this kid and people assume I’m a drunken idiot who’s only there to drink because I’m a Cubs fan. If you’re someone like this…someone who is more interested in getting tanked and sitting in the sun than watching a Major League game, do us all a favor and sit on your porch and do that while listening to the game on the radio or watching on TV. I know, when a fan pays his money for a ticket, he is entitled to make his experience anything he wants, but not when it interferes with the game or someone else’s viewing of the game.

Ultimately, nothing is going to change because of this. Stupid kids are going to continue to go to games, get drunk on Old Style, and give the rest of us a bad name. But what I want to happen is for this kid to get busted! I know it’s a snowball’s chance, but if you know this kid or know his name, report it to the Cubs and let’s at least have one less bozo in the bleachers!

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