Beyond the Stadium

What Plays Out Beyond the Game

Boorish Boras

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 Never mind that the World Series was mind-numbingly boring and no one watched it, what slime ball uber-agent Scott Boras did was tasteless, pointless and careless.

            During game four of the World Series, (THE WORLD SERIES!!!) Boras announced that his cash cow…uh…superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez would be opting out of his remaining three-year contract. Seriously, this amazing news could not wait until after the most important series in the Major League Baseball season?

            After this little fiasco, MLB has openly expressed it’s displeasure with Boras, saying, “There was no reason to make an announcement last night other than to try to put his selfish interests and that of one individual player above the overall good of the game.”  

            I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. Honestly, who gives a damn about A-Rod’s status during the World Series? He, along with the rest of his team, sucked in October, and did not deserve to be discussed until the Fall Classic wrapped up.

            The Yankees, and everyone affiliated them, have an annoying knack for crashing other teams’ parties, but Boras took it a step further. The agent later apologized, but how could he have possibly not seen this coming? He knows he was being an ass about it, and fed the media some useless public repenting. A-Rod will never get the $30 million-per-year everyone says he will. The Yanks are really the only team with enough financial clout and lack of foresight to re-sign him, and Boras will find that out soon enough.

October 30, 2007 Posted by | strange stories | 1 Comment

The Best Game of All Time…Ever

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On Sunday, November 4th at 4:15, two titans will come together and partake in an epic struggle to….ok…I think its safe to say I am sick of this shit. It’s the Patriots against the Colts, and sports media would have us thinking it’s just about as good as the rebirth of Christ. Yes, the game will be all good and dandy, and I am excited for it, but really, how hyped up can something be?

            Suddenly it has become of game of Good vs Evil, and I just can’t justify that. Ever since the Pats were caught cheating, the entire world has turned against them. A few years ago they were America’s team, the perfect model of sportsmanship, camaraderie and humility.

            Oh, how the tune has changed. The Pats win a few Super Bowls, the rest of the country gets jealous, and everyone starts hunting for something to pin on the team. Maybe I’m just a biased New Englander, but since when have the Colts become America’s new team? Just because Bill Belichick is aged, premium USDA Asshole doesn’t mean the rest of the team should be scorned.

            Regardless of the silly hype, the game should end up being a great match-up, though not the one everyone is looking for. It will be an offensive circus-kind of like a basketball game, but one that will be fun…and that people will actually watch. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the fireworks of a combined 47 receiving touchdowns.

October 30, 2007 Posted by | Big Events | Leave a comment

Falling Rocks Ahead? I Hope Not

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According to the venerable baseball legend, Dane Cook, (and the other Dane Cook as well), there is ONLY…ONE… OCTOBER!!! If this is truly the case, and we, the baseball-crazed public, only get this month once, than I hope for the sake of all sports fans that the Colorado Rockies can conjure up some high-altitude magic. In a playoff year rife with sweeps, it would be nice to see the scrappy Rockies stand up to those Red Sox bullies and play through October.

            There are a number of reasons why the Rockies should be able to salvage a game or two in the series. First is the use of the legendary “Humidor“, which made Coors Field less of a golfing range and more like, oh, a baseball stadium. Pitchers now have greater control over their pitches, and Colorado’s greatest playoff weakness-its hitting-will no longer be so glaring. The Rockies’ Josh Fogg, who snuffed out the Sox in June and sports a 1.13 post-season ERA, needs to be the man to set his team back on track.

            Another advantage for the Rockies is actually a Red Sox blunder in sitting Kevin Youkilis. The first baseman with the Abraham Lincoln facial hair has 4 homers and 10 RBI’s in the postseason, which contribute to his amazing .771 slugging percentage. Personally, Youk seems much more dangerous than Ortiz. Line drives meet their death in Youk’s glove, and he is tearing up opposing pitchers. Ortiz, on the other hand, is no defensive whiz and he is playing with a balky knee. Teams tend to underestimate Youkilis, giving him more pitches to hit than Ortiz.

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            With the mystique of Coors Field, the unpredictability of Daisuke Matsuzaka and the subtraction of the Boston home crowd, the Colorado Rockies have a strong chance for victory. I am a loyal Sox fan, but I like a good Series as much as the next fellow. The only downside about a 7-game thriller is that we will all have to deal with Dane Cook commercials for that much longer.

             

October 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Judgment Day

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 The floodgates will open, spilling not water but a torrent of names. Cheaters from every corner of the globe will be exposed and humbled. Every sport will buckle under the burning might of justice. Well, at least according to sources within the Mitchell investigation. What happens in the real world has yet to be determined. 

            Sports fans and organizations alike are bracing for an explosion from the Mitchell steroid investigation. Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Paul Byrd has become the latest player accused of using HGH…about $25,000 worth. A raid of a New York Pharmacy produced about $7 million worth of that oh-so-tasty raw HGH, along with a generous helping of ‘roids as well. The proverbial “shit” certainly seems to be hitting the fan.

            But will the steroid investigation really be the earth-shaker the media makes it out to be? I find all the “hype” difficult to swallow. Mitchell has had almost zero leverage with this investigation. Players could not be forced to talk with him, and the only player known to do so was Jason Giambi.

             The investigation was supposedly given a list of names the size of a Cleveland midge swarm, but I will believe it when I see it. Until then, I just have to focus on the shame the playoffs is facing with Byrd. This man wrote a memoir concerning his religious views and the temptations of cheating, then ends up with a giant pile of HGH. Unless God personally dropped off the shipments at Byrd’s house, I can’t believe he was using all of it for a legitimate reason. Regardless, its just another reason to root for the Red Sox.

October 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Red Duds for Dusty

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 Out of either extreme bravery or foolishness, Dusty Baker has become the fifth manager of the Cincinnati Reds since 2003. The last time the Reds won the World Series was 1990, but has been a model of uselessness since then. Baker can feel as “inspired” as he wants, but the Red Machine is too beat-up, and has too many missing parts to make the playoffs anytime soon.

            After leaving the game (getting fired), Baker became an ESPN analyst. He was approached by the Reds, who pursued him aggressively. Baker was impressed by the three-year offer and eventually took the bait. Why poor old Dusty would do this to himself, I have no idea. Honestly, who in their right minds would torture themselves managing the Cubs then turn around and take the helm of the equally frustrating Reds?

            At 58, it would seem Baker would have much more fun and a lot less stress by staying in the safe confines of ESPN-land.  With so many years mediocre years, I don’t see why the Reds wanted Baker so badly. The man obviously wanted to exit the scene after years of managing, but he was enticed back with a fat deal. He is not the one to provide “stability, continuity [and] credibility” for the Reds, and they will not see success any time soon.

October 16, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Goodbye George

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       For 34 years, his powerful shadow loomed over Yankee Stadium, stretching out past the Bronx and engulfing all Yankee fans. His era was marked by dominance, controversy and power struggles. There were World Series victories and division championships galore. Finally, though, the power of George Steinbrenner has waned, and he has given control of his “evil empire” over to his sons. 

     Hank and Hal Steinbrenner will now pull the strings of the organization, with the 77-year-old Boss reducing himself to the role of chairman. From my perspective, the Yankees couldn’t have asked for anything better.

             While the Boss had a long run of success, the Yankees have dug themselves into a pit that no over-the-hill All-Star could dig them out of. Over the last decade, Yankee Stadium has become the place where good players go to die. The Yankees have hit bottom this season, finishing second to the Red Sox for the first time in almost a decade.

            This is the perfect time to phase out the painfully outdated Steinbrenner. The new stadium will be completed in 2009, the Yankees are nurturing a core of young players reminiscent of the team that ruled the 90’s, and ol’ Joe Torre finally seems to be on the way out. While it may seem far off, the Yankees are close to a return to dominance-if they can shake the formulaic and impatient Steinbrenner from their backs.

October 16, 2007 Posted by | Big Events | Leave a comment

One is Done

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In a season of near-endless upsets, the 43-37 Kentucky victory over LSU is perhaps the most epic and important. It has been almost four years since the last no.1 was toppled. LSU was only on top for two weeks and for the first time since 1959, but were strong favorites regardless.

            Top ten teams are falling easily and often, with LSU representing the 10th to tumble in the last two weeks. The triple-overtime marathon was more surprising than Appalachian State, even more shocking than USC falling to Stanford. It is becoming so common, though, that the wonder of it all is wearing off. My biggest reaction to this college football season is: Why?

            I can’t recall a single season with so many upsets and uncertainties. No team is safe, no lead too padded. Perhaps college football has reached such a level of sophistication, from training to diets to technology, that they are all reaching a shared plateau. There seems to be young superstars everywhere, proliferating like vines in Wrigley Field. Will a no.1 lead ever be considered “safe” again? I don’t know the answers, but would love to see a day where rankings no longer hold water, and any team could hold their own on the field.

October 14, 2007 Posted by | Big Events | Leave a comment

Taking a Knee

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          Dolphins Quarterback Trent Green came up to the side of Texans Travis Johnson, saw a huge size disadvantage, and lowered down for the hit. The move immediately went horribly wrong. Green’s head came in violent contact with Johnson’s knee, and he crumpled to the ground. Johnson went head-over-heels from the awkward hit, lucky his knees weren’t destroyed from the impact.

            Johnson soon got up and, infuriated with the move, went over to Green and began shouting. But Green didn’t shout back. He couldn’t. His body lay immobile, rendered fully unconscious with a grade three concussion. The scene on television was horrifying: an angry Johnson taunting Greens seemingly lifeless body.

            After the game, Johnson went on a tirade, accusing Green of a dirty hit, and saying he lost all respect for the man. In no time, football analysts and reporters reached the unanimous agreement that Johnson was a Satan spawn and Green was totally innocent in the whole affair. I just can’t justify a view like that. Green lowered his shoulders right to Johnson’s knee, it was apparent from the replays. It was a cheap, dirty hit, and Johnson somehow managed to walk away from the affair without his knee being blown out.

            While terrible that Green is in such a condition, it shouldn’t affect the viewpoint of the football world. If Green was not injured in the play, he would have been chastised endlessly for such a cowardly hit. True, Johnson shouldn’t have taunted a man who was visibly unconscious, but he had every right to be upset for nearly having his knee blown out.

            If Green does (hopefully) make a full recovery, he should not be allowed to play in the NFL again. This is not because of the dirty hit, but because it is far too dangerous. The NFL takes concussions far too lightly, despite all their claimed research. Two concussions in 13 months is far too many, and a third could be catastrophic. If Green is too much of a “gamer” to leave the game, his doctors or the league itself should make the correct decision for him.

           

October 9, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment