Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

The Worst Athletes

October 15, 2010

Hey everyone, nicktgal here, it’s almost the weekend, so here’s a little reading to kill the time until your Friday night begins…

While watching the Rays-Rangers game 5 and seeing Cliff Lee dominate Tampa Bay, I felt nothing else but hate for that guy.  Spurred by that was a tweet where I listed my most hated athletes, and spurred from that tweet is this piece.

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It’s easy to hate an athlete.  They do what most people’s childhood dreams were until they realize all their hard work isn’t going to pay off.  They get paid, they’re famous, they (in most cases) like what they do.  They had that childhood dream, had the ability to back it up, and backed it up.  We give them their money for what some people consider trivial, and we like it.  But when they mess up, we like to yell at them, curse at them, and feel good about ourselves.

We dislike a lot of the players, love a few of them, and boy, we love the teams we love.

We like him

We dislike a lot of the players.

We dislike a lot of the players.

We dislike a lot of the players.

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Rocco’s Comeback Not the Greatest

October 6, 2010

In response to nicktgal’s “Roccomeback

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Is nicktgal really saying that Rocco’s comeback has the potential to be one of the best comebacks in sports history? This is a joke right? It has to be.

I will give credit where credit is due. I admire Rocco for not letting his condition keep him away from the game he loves. Hell I even like Rocco despite everything I said about him. He’s a decent player who works hard to stay in the game, as he is proving by making the Ray’s playoff roster.

But to say that he is making one of the best comebacks in sports history might be taking it a bit over the edge.

I did a little bit of research on Mitochondrial Myopathy to grasp the extent of how exactly it can hinder you. Just as I suspected it is a horrible disease to have. But, it can be treated with some physical therapy and a combination of vitamins. Of course these treatments don’t work for everyone, depending on the severity of the case. There is no cure for Rocco’s condition but the treatments can help alleviate the intensity of some of the symptoms.

So that got me thinking, Rocco has access to the best physical therapy anyone can get. Even his doctor’s said his case would not keep him from being able to play in the Majors.

So his comeback is more of an “I can play well again” comeback, rather than an “I have beaten all the odds and am back by some miracle” comeback. Still, I will say congrats to Rocco and wish him the best of luck in the playoffs and his future.

Time for work,

Julian

 

Tino Martinez, world series, world series rings, yankees

Definitely cooler than Rocco

 

Roccomeback

October 6, 2010

Just a little newsflash.

Not long ago, in a galaxy right here, Julian and I had a heated exchange.  And, although many of our first F&B readers that have been with us from the beginning may believe that they’ve just wasted their time, their loyalty has paid off.  They get the opportunity to chance to root for the greatest Comeback Kid of all time.
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“We” or “They”

October 1, 2010
This is a side-note from the previous post, “Longoria Speak to Rays Fans,” about Evan Longoria and the Rays scarce attendance, but seemed to be a post in itself.

So, for those of you not interested in quick-speaking Evan Longoria, here is an excerpt from that piece.
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10/1/10

On the topic of fan alienation and all that other crap, I’m making a vehement stand for saying “we” rather than “they.”  When the Jets sign Ladainian Tomlinson, the correct summary is “WE just got fuckin’ awesome.”  When Mark Sanchez doesn’t make a pass for more than five yards against the Ravens: “Fuck US, all this Hard Knocks hype and we suck.”  When we beat the Patriots in the next week: “WE’RE awesome, the Super bowl is ours!!!”

Can Fireman Ed, at least, say "we"?

Just recently it seems I’ve been on this topic at bars and during conversations a bit more than usual.  The #3 wide receiver on our flag football team, who complains too much about me not throwing him the ball, is as fervent as I am in this stance, but on the other extreme.  He says “they,” defending that we aren’t players and have no impact on the team at all.  “We’re a bunch of money venders playing anti-Robin Hood.”

But my retort: “Without us, the fans, there would be no team.  We do indeed pay the money, but without that money the Jets and no other team exists.”

Except I then realize that, being a Playstation 3 owner, when Sony sells another PS3 I don’t say “We just sold another sucker a device that breaks too much.”  Then I try to change the subject before he uses this argument.

Seriously, though, I’ve mentioned sports, especially football, being about camaraderie (I mentioned this on one post… I promise… I’ll find it… it’s here somewhere…).  So when the Jets beat the Patriots and I can say to a Tom Brady mancrusher “We just owned your ass” (no pun intended) it’s a bit better than saying “The team that I like the most just beat the team that you like the most!!!!!”

Longoria speaks to Rays fans

October 1, 2010

Yesterday there were two things that reminded me that baseball (remember that thing?) is indeed still going through its home stretch and preparing for its playoffs.

1.  My buddy brought to my awareness that the Mets/Brewers starting pitcher matchup was Dickey vs. Bush, which was kind of funny.

2.  And Evan Longoria, the Rays 3rd baseman wrote headlines as he “called out” Rays fans for not attending games during their playoff run

Now, I’m a Yankee fan.  Before every baseball season I wait for it with as much anticipation as the NFL season (I know many of you don’t), and throughout the season, all the way up until week 1 of the NFL, it is “baseball season.”  100% baseball.  But I do admit guilt:  Whether it be because I am a Yankee (Yankees?) fan and have always been spoiled and have had the last week or two of the season be a player resting routine, or because this season I could not care less if the Yanks played Texas or Minnesota in the first round, I never, EVER, pay much attention from the 145th – 162nd game.

And between the hype of this years’ Jets and the Yankees starting guys like Chad Moeller, this year has been the worst of it all.  Even my fantasy team, sitting its ass in 3rd place since the all-star break in my boring Rotisserie league, is only checked intermittently.

side-note for any fantasy-heads: Sports banter is awesome.  Sports knowledge is even better.  People that can do both are even cooler.  I understand that Rotisserie Fantasy Baseball is the “true” test of baseball knowledge.  It leaves no room for “bullshit weeks” or tough, unlucky matchups, but there is no denying it being an evil lord of boredom.  Head-t0-head fantasy, for any sport, is more exciting, more current, and leaves room for the “bullshit week,” where a Jose Bautista home run (where the hell…?) on Sunday night leaves you thumping the floor, either with your feet or with your fists.

So when Evan Longoria spoke to, well, from his Twitter, Rays fans about sparse attendance, some pre-playoff attention was brought back to baseball.
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Athletes must be punished more for drunk driving

September 29, 2010
Nick Adenhart, Angels, 34, accident, drunk driving

Nick Adenhart

I  wouldn’t be surprised if many of you don’t remember who Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart is. He never really got the chance to make his name a memorable one.

The reason he never got his chance was because he was killed when a drunk driver ran a red light and T-boned the car he was riding in.

Yesterday the drunk behind the wheel finally got convicted for the murder of not only Adenhart but also two of the other passengers in the car: Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson.

It’s a discomforting fact that being reminded of this tragedy today is the only factor that got me thinking that athletes should face severe penalties from their teams and leagues when convicted of driving drunk. Even for a first offense, even if they are .01 over the legal limit.

Whether they like it or not, athletes are role models for millions of people. Their decisions affect people of all ages at different levels. Becoming a role model comes with becoming a professional athlete. There is no running from it.

So teams need to make sure their players are acting like positive role models. And when they don’t, the team needs to take an action to ensure that the player will think five times before screwing up again.

And the players have to realize that their decisions won’t just affect them and their close ones but also people who look up to them.

When they do something like driving drunk they are not only putting their lives in danger but also the lives of anyone who happens to be in their way (this really goes for anyone not just athletes). And at the same time sending the wrong message to the many fans who look up to them.

When teams don’t punish the player that sends a message that can be just as damaging: “It’s ok that you drove drunk, you will just sit out a quarter.” (Thanks Jets for the “punishment” to Braylon Edwards)

But really this goes for any athlete in any sport. A simple slap on the wrist is not enough, both for the athlete and for the people who look up to them. I guess all I’m trying to say is that the penalty for an athlete getting caught drunk driving shouldn’t be to miss a quarter or a game. It should include a hefty fine and depending on the sport at least a 2 game suspension.

Drunk driving is an offense that happens all too often in sports. It took the life of a promising rookie in the MLB and if that isn’t a wake up call to the Leagues to implement tougher punishments on players who commit the offense then I really don’t know what will get them to change.

Enjoy your day,

Julian

P.S. Still beating nicktgal in the picks. Just saying.

Fast Ball

August 30, 2010

The Cincinnati Reds have what might be the best secret weapon in baseball. That weapon is Aroldis Chapman.

The young Cuban born pitcher was clocked at a mind-blowing 105mph. That’s right, 105.

Now I know it’s one thing to throw a ball that fast, usually if anyone can even get close to that they throw the ball wildly and with no control. Not Chapman. He was blowing away hitters in his last appearance in Triple A ball, getting three straight swinging strikeouts in his only inning of work.

So far the only concern I have about Chapman is how long it will be before he gets hurt. Throwing 105 put’s a lot of stress on an arm and with the way pitchers drop like flies now-a-days I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chapman become a victim of an arm injury. I’m curious to see how the Reds handle the situation. Do they set up a Joba Rules type of system? Did that even really work?

He is used as a relief pitcher and if the injury to the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg taught Dusty Baker and the Reds anything it is that they should move Chapman along with extreme caution.

You can be certain the Chapman will be called up to the Majors once the roster expands to 40 players come September. Only then will we see if he has what it takes to pitch against the best baseball players in the world. Till then all we really know is that the kid can throw gas.

This is actually the last time you see the ball until it's in the catcher's mitt

One Love,

Julian

P.S. Is Tim Cowlishaw the most hated sportswriter in New York right now? I vote yes.

P.P.S. Jim Edmonds had hands down the best catch in recent memory (second to that Japanese guy Nick wrote about). Unfortunately, like Nick, I can’t find the video.

He starts pitching at around the 1:50 mark.

the yankees should keep close ties with the hiroshima carp

August 30, 2010


When I saw Masato Akamatsu, an outfielder on the japanese baseball team the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (yeah….), make a spider-man, super-man, gymnast amalgamation of a catch earlier this August, I remember heading straight for google to see if the video was one of those computer manipulations, the product of some geek with too much time (wait, I can’t talk).

I also remember, after reaching page 4 of google and finding no evidence of phoniness, watching Sportscenter (the video wasn’t on the web yet) on loop for 2 or 3 episodes to see the catch again and again (although I usually don’t remember to change the channel, and do this anyway, and I know it happens to everyone).

The catch was simply incredible, even from the unfortunate zoomed-out camera we’re able to see that the play was easily one of the best in a long, long time, and, in my opinion, ever.

sidenote: the best catch ever was by Eric Byrnes when he was on the Athletics.  It happened a few years ago and I can’t find it anywhere on the internet, I literally just got back from my search tab…no avail….and yes, Julian, it is the best catch ever made. –if anyone can find a catch where byrnes dives backwards in centerfield, do send–

And after I spent the past few weeks giving the video occasional revisits just to see it again and get excited for a second (catches excite me), we were graced with another, maybe better, catch.  Oddly enough, too, from the same team in the same stadium.  Is it a result of the stadium?  or is it just the carp?  I need to check out their stats to see if they can actually hit or if they recruit the circus.  They might want to find new southpaws… both hits were off lefties.

The Yankees need to keep good relations with these japanese teams, especially the carp, because these japs sure can jump, climb, scale, fly, eat lead, catch bullets, anything.

I say make the Carp a farm team and shoot Akamatsu up to the majors to play centerfield immediately, there is no possible way he can possibly hit worse than Curtis Granderson.

Watch them for yourself, and if you’ve already seen them, here they both are again.


Which one is better? And where are these catches on the MLB? aside from Eric Byrnes, of course

Roger, what have you done?

August 20, 2010


short piece on clemens and steroids… I know, I know, everyone is tired of steroids, but it’s 4:30 on a friday, I have a volleyball game later and a night to plan out, excuse the creative juice dam.

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I recently perused a Bill Simmons tweet (I say tweet, sorry New York Times) that said:

This is like twitter porn for me. RT @rogerclemens: I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress.

And after reading it, and after a slight chortle for good ole’ Bill, who, on a side note, is my favorite sportswriter, and, unlike every person on Barstool sports, knows the english language, I’m not sure if I feel bad for Roger Clemens or if I just plain hate him.

(if you’re ever thinking of clicking your “barstool sports” bookmark, navigate to the Sports Guy’s world instead)

–a future blog will expound that notion

On one side, it’s obvious that he isn’t the only one who juiced, lied about it, or benefited physically from it.  And it’s obvious that it isn’t really his fault that his performance on the field has only led to emphasized scrutiny and vilification (well it is, but how could he have known that?).  So, really, you have to pity that, at least a little…come on… a little? no?  okay.

But, on the other extreme, come on Roger, will you handle something correctly, for once? With the help of Brian Mcnamee, Andy Pettitte, your lying and your hubris, you locked the bars on your cell.  Look at all the guys who admitted to steroid usage still playing and litigation free, you made the wrong choice.

And now you’re continuing your “innocence display” on something like Twitter? You screwed over every team you played for.  You caused contretemps in 1999 demanding a trade, pissed off the Yankees so much to the point that they didn’t include you in their “Yankee Stadium farewell video,” and you floated around like annoying Brett Favre  at the end of your asterisked career.  You are, as Simmons put it, a player that belongs to no team.  At least if you were “a Red Sox,” (Red Sock? is a single player a Red Sox? or a Red Sock? dumb name)  or a “true Yankee,” you’d at least have some sort of backing, but you’re not.  You’re being compared to Shaquille O’neal, the growing joke of the NBA, which is a joke in itself.  If I were you, I’d stop tweet-tweeting, Twitter won’t help you now.

I don’t think anybody likes you anymore, sorry William Roger.


the shot heard around the world is not the shot heard around mine

August 19, 2010


I’m not sure if a simple youtube embedment and a single sentence suffices as a “good” post, so, for those readers who might have been a bit confused by tinman-with-no-heart’s latest post (I was, and I am part of this blog -I like to think of myself as forth, and tinman as backwards), here is a short explanation.

While sitting in a dim, skeezy, almost slimy bar – for those who are familiar, Southside Inn –  last night watching the yankees on fuzzy standard definition television last night, Julian and I, refreshed by ESPN’s bottomline, began talking about the topic of Bobby Thomson, the everlasting New York icon who put the Giants into the World Series over the (now underachieving, pathetic) Dodgers.

We spoke about the Polo grounds, what it must have been like to be a ball fan back when “America’s Past time” was actually becoming the past time, and, overall, how much different ball must have been back then.  We proceeded to the obligatory “I wish I knew Babe Ruth” conversation, and then returned back to Bobby Thomson and his home run in game 3.  The conversation halted, though, when I admitted that I had not actually ever “seen” the old mottled clip of the “the shot heard around the world.”  I, in all my baseball knowledge, the most vast baseball encyclopedia in the world!, had never seen the clip.  So, when I went home, after some violent deprecation from my counterpart, I promptly went to my computer, (like usual, because, honestly, I’m starting to think I don’t have much of a life) found the clip, watched it, and read as much on Bobby Thomson as I possibly could before my urge to play video games became unbearable.

sidenote:  The Associated Press article on Bobby Thomson on ESPN.com is well researched and very informative

But even after watching the clip, reading the articles, looking at the stats, and hearing what might have been, honestly, the coolest, most emotional home run call in history, I, at age 22, and having been born 37 years after the shot, was still emotionally distant from the biggest moment in “New York baseball history.”  I’m simply too young to even, honestly, care.

Having realized this, I immediately recalled what is probably the most significant sports moment in my lifetime.   (more…)


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