Saturday, April 30, 2011

'86 METS MAKING A MESS IN THE NEW MILLENIUM

The 1986 New York Mets were defined by their swashbuckling, we'll kick
your ass and like it arrogance, and scintillating talent. General Frank
Cashman built this World Championship team through incredible
drafts, selecting players like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and
Lenny Dykstra and making superb trades, acquiring stars like Gary Carter,
Keith Hernandez, and Ray Knight, who had plenty left in the tank.

Cashman drafted and traded for players who were not only supremely
talented, but ones who had the moxie and thick skin to handle playing
in the pressure cooker that is New York City. This team feared no
one and played with reckless, and almost helter-skelter abandon.

In the clubhouse, they had a collection of "Idiots" long before Kevin
Millar rode into Boston with his "Cowboy Up" mantra and Johnny
Damon grew a beard and his hair long and played centerfield like Jesus.
The son of God did have a much better arm, though. The New York
version of the "Idiots", were reckless on and off the field. They
challenged and punished opponents, and weren't afraid to tell them
about it. After the games, they'd paint the Big Apple red and close
many a bar down, damn the consequences. During that championship
season, four members of the team were arrested after getting
into a bar brawl in Houston after a game.

That was then, but not much has changed now for many of the players who
brought the Mets the second World Championship in franchise history.
When I read that Roger McDowell,  now the pitching coach for the Atlanta
Braves got into trouble for making homophobic comments to fans in
San Francisco and threatened to knock the teeth out of one of them, I
couldn't say I was surprised. McDowell, when he was a reliever with
the 1986 Mets, was half-clown and half-clutch performer. He ignited
a pack of matches taped to a teammates foot before the the game, then
put out fires during it. He was always playing pranks and pushing the envelope
with his antics. McDowell, will most likely be served with a big suspension,
or perhaps, even be fired from his job after an investigation is conducted
by Major League Baseball

This incident with McDowell came less than two weeks after Lenny Dykstra
found trouble with the law. "Nails" as he was called for his gutty, and fearless
style of play, was accused of of telling a masseuse to give him an on-the-spot
massage as part of the job interview. Oh yeah, he stripped down to nothing as
part of the "informational interview."  "Nails" has turned into a total train wreck
over the past year, filing for bankruptcy,  accused of fraud, charged with grand
larceny, and sued for failing to pay his bills. You can't make this stuff up.

What is it with the '86 Mets? Can anyone of us say that we're really
surprised that these guys are still  doing stupid things and getting in trouble
with the law? Are most of them afflicted with the disease affecting a lot
of athletes known as "terminal adolescence". Or is it just "arrested
development?".

That team was made up of characters, but that should never be confused
with "character". It wasn't just McDowell and Dykstra who made headlines
over the years. Kevin Mitchell has been arrested for attempted rape and
battery, where he was charged with attacking  someone at a golf course
in San Diego. Wally Backman, the gritty and gutty second baseman
of the championship team, lost a managing job with the  Arizona
Diamondbacks after it was discovered he had an arrest for a DUI and
domestic battery on his record. Tim Teuffel is get sued for netting profits
in the Madoff ponzi scheme. Dwight Gooden has been in and out of
prison so many times, he's starting to look more familiar in an orange
jumpsuit, than his baseball uniform. And Darryl Strawberry's struggles
have been well-chronicled: Tax cheat, drug and alcohol problems,
domestic abuse, it's just crazy.

Oh, teams still have players who get in trouble with the law. Where there is
Pac-Man Jones, there is usually an arrest. Perhaps, the Cincinnati Bengals
are the modern day version of the Mets, except the only thing they capture
are the headlines for their plethora of players arrested. They are a
terrible team, at least the Mets won a championship.

The '86 Mets weren't the first team made up of players with questionable
character who had problems long after their they hung their spikes up,
and they certainly won't be the last. They had players "with the guts of
a burglar", who played with no fear, and said damn the consequences. And
 it appears that's how many of them are playing in the game of  life.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WILL CAM DISCOVER NEWTON'S LAW OF GRAVITY IN NFL DRAFT?

Cam Newton's equipped for the NFL's fast lane. He has the body
of an H3 Hummer, runs like a Ferrari, and shines like a meticulously
detailed Bentley.

But get out of the Car Fax and you'll see that he has some serious
damage under the hood. There was the arrest for stealing a laptop
at Florida, whispers of a cheating scandal, and that pay-for-play
drama with Mississippi State that monopolized the headlines in the fall.

Still, scouts are drooling over Newton like a 13-year old goes
gaga over a high school teacher who has all the "tools". The former
Heisman trophy winner is gifted with a bazooka for an arm,  legs
that can cover forty yards in 4.5 seconds, and a body that is 250lbs
of twisted steel.

But Newton's ability to play quarterback at the next level has been
seriously questioned by anyone and everyone who has and has not ever
played the game. They say he played in the spread at Auburn, didn't
have to drop back or read a defense, but rather the numbers off a card
that the offensive coordinator displayed on the sideline.

As you read, there are a lot BUT's and HOWEVER's with Cam Newton
because he's a mega-talented star with lots, and lots of question marks.

As John Gruden demonstrated in his coaching session with Newton on
ESPN, just calling the plays can be like learning a foreign language. How
about: 3 set, triple right, kill option zone, z post, x fly, y cross, on one,
ready break. In that session alone, Newton's head was spinning like a top
on the playground.

Does a team like the Carolina Panthers really want to invest about $50
million dollars in a player who may not be a able to read a defense or
call an audible? Newton admitted in his meeting with Gruden that
he NEVER called an audible at Auburn. Never? How is he going to
do when James Harrison is frothing at mouth while showing blitz and
Troy Polamalu is sprinting up the middle like a heat-seeking missile?
Oh, the Panthers will probably take Newton cause their franchise,
which is on life-support, needs Newton to be its defibrillator. Somebody
who can spark ticket sales and sell sponsorships.

Plus, every coach and staff thinks they can "coach up" a player.
Didn't they think that with JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf, two
gifted college QB's who didn't have the brains or moxie to play QB
in the NFL. They turned out to be two of the biggest busts in the
history of the league.

A QB is the CEO of the team and the face of the franchise. Can
the Panthers trust a player who was stealing laptops in college? Can
they teach a guy who never learned how to read a defense in college,
to break down the sophisticated, Star Wars defenses of the NFL?
Matt Ryan was a ready made NFL QB coming out of Boston College.
He started for three years, ran a pro-style offense under Jeff Jagodzinski,
who was an offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers.

In his pre-draft meetings with the Atlanta Falcons, he was breaking
down defenses and making sight adjustments better than the coach
who was grilling him. Newton is nowhere near as advanced as Ryan,
and even Ryan struggled in his second year when teams adjusted to him.

Newton will be a project to which team drafts him. He'll  need a
good two to three years to develop into just a solid back-up. That's how
Aaron Rodgers developed after being drafted in the first round. He sat
behind Brett Favre and learned the ropes. And when he was called
upon, Rodgers proved he is one of the best QB's in the NFL. Carson
Palmer sat behind the immortal Jon Kitna in Cincinnati for a year after
being the first overall player taken.

Newton won't be sitting behind a Favre or a Jim Kelly in Buffalo,
if the Bills do take him. Newton will be thrown into the fire right away.
But Newton has been thrown into the fire a lot over the last year,
hasn't he?

Tonight's NFL draft should be very interesting and guaranteed to
draw some big ratings, thanks to Newton and his mystique. The man
who wore number 2 at Auburn is most likely to be taken first overall
by the Carolina Panthers, but don't be surprised if he keeps falling, and
falling, and falling and drops a lot further than expected.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

TOP 10 THINGS BART SCOTT "CAN'T WAIT!" FOR.

10. Can't Wait! to see Brandon Marshall so I can rip him about his
      wife trying to gut him like Hanibel Lecter with a steak knife.
      Going to send along some fava beans and chianti.

  9. Can't Wait! to see Mark Sanchez and explain to him the difference
      between a 16-year old girl and a 21-year old. It's usually a dead
      giveaway when she says, "wait, I have to put my retainer in before
      I go to bed."

 8.  Can't Wait! to see the new Rex Ryan foot fetish videos. Sexy
      Rexy and his wife have been working on two blockbusters,
      "Feet gone wild", and "This little piggy went to the market."

 7.  Can't Wait! to see Antonio Cromartie on Father's day. With
      9 kids by 7 different woman, he's going to need some name tags.

 6.  Can't Wait! to see Tom Brady and rag on him for dancing like
      Pee Wee Herman in that video from Brazil. And Can't Wait! to
      send him some tissue after seeing him break down in that
      "Brady 6" piece cause he didn't get drafted in the third round.

 5.  Can't Wait! to see Braylon Edwards and congratulate him for
      not getting arrested in the off-season. For once.

 4.  Can't Wait! to see Vernon Gholston. Oh, wait a minute, they
      finally cut his ass. He was the biggest failure in Gang Green
      since Rich Kotite was wearing a fake nose and glasses on the
      sideline. What? They weren't fake? My bad.

 3.  Can't Wait! to see Tiki Barber and recommend that he keeps
      himself retired. You left your pregnant wife with no class,
      NBC fired you, and no NFL team wants you. There's always
      the UFL.

  2. Can't Wait! to tell Rex Ryan to keep his fat mouth shut. The guy
      guarantees a Super Bowl win every year and it's getting old. How
      can so much garbage come out of his mouth at the same time
      so much is going in? At least he kept his shirt on this off-season
      and didn't flip anybody the bird.

  1. Can't Wait! for this NFL lockout to end so I can cash in on all
      this "Can't Wait!" stuff.

The day I tried out for the Boston Bruins

Saturday, April 23, 2011

CARL CRAWFORD: A DEER IN THE BOSTON HEADLIGHTS

Carl Crawford is already heading into Mike Hampton territory. You
remember Hampton, don't you? He parlayed a 15 and 10 season into
a monster of a contract. The Colorado Rockies gave him an 8-year,
$121 million dollar contract, which was unheard of for a pitcher.

Hampton wore that mega-deal around his neck like an albatross. He
buckled under the pressure of it like Bernie Madoff did after his Ponzi
scheme was uncovered. Hampton was always getting hurt or whacked
around like a Pinata at a 10-year olds birthday party. Over the next 8
years, Hampton won just 63 games. Oh, but he could hit. He finished
his career with a .246 average.

Crawford could only wish he could hit like Hampton right about now.
After Friday's oh-fer, the speedy outfielder is hitting .135 with an OBP
of under .200. That's not exactly what the Red Sox had in mind when
they signed him to a 7-year, $142 million dollar contract in the off-season.

Right now, Crawford is hitting seventh in the lineup as an outfielder with
not many hits and no power. He can't steal any bases because he never
gets on-base to even try.

Is this a case of Crawford getting caught in the Boston headlights? Is
the pressure of signing the 14th richest contract in sports history causing
his to squeeze the bat so tight that saw dust is coming out? Crawford makes
a cool, $125,000 per game. That is insane!

When Crawford played for Tampa Bay, he never had to be "the man."
Thathonor was bestowed upon All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria.
I was goingto say that Crawford just blended into the crowd, but the
trouble is, there weren't many of them at Tropicana Field. High school
football games had more fans for Friday night football games than the
Rays averaged during Crawford's time there.

In addition, the media down there is softer than the stay-puff
marshmallow man. They would much rather be your friend, than ask
you a tough question or write something bad about you. Crawford had
it so good and so easy down there.There was no pressure, no criticism,
and he could go unnoticed around Tampa and not have to worry about
fans getting all over him if he was in bad slump.

And Crawford's personality was perfect down there. He is just a nice
guy. Nevercauses any waves and is friendly to his teammates, media,
and fans. I wouldn't say he had anything close to thick skin. He is a
ridiculously talented player who was so good at football and basketball
in high school, he could've played just about anywhere he wanted in both.

Now, he's in the Hub of the sports universe. A place where every
game is covered like the World Series, and fans pack the house every
night. If you pick your nose and say you did it with your right finger, the
fans will call BS and tell you did it with your left. Fans in Boston know
the name of the mother of the back-up second baseman of the team's
Class A affiliate in Salem, Virginia.

The media? Uh, we already know that it's tougher than tough. They don't
want to be your friend, but do want to know why you swung at that nasty
3-2 slider in the dirt in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. They are
merciless. After the game,  players coming back from their shower will
find a bigger hoard of media than that of a presidential news conference.

Edgar Renteria found out what Boston was all about the hard way.
He signed a 4-year, $40 million dollar contract in 2005. I covered his
initial press conference with the Red Sox and did a one-on-one interview
with him after it. His eyes were bugged out, just like the guy who got
his boat rammed by the big yacht in "Caddyshack". You know, the
holy &^$#! look. Renteria was sweating and his hands were shaking.
I was like, "this dude, ain't going to make it here." And he didn't. Renteria,
once a slick-fielding shortstop made 30 errors in his first season. The
Red Sox had seen enough. They paid the Atlanta Braves about
75 percent of his contract to take him. Please, just take him.

The worst thing that could've happened to Crawford happened. He
got off to a horrendous start. He not only can't hit, but he's having
trouble fielding.The fans are already on him, and he's getting criticized
for the first time in his life in most sports-crazed town in the country.

Crawford's make-up is going to be seriously challenged. There's nothing
worse for a hitter to look up on the board and see your average
hovering near the price of a bottle of water. I know all about that,
I got off to a 2-for-21 start in my second year in the minors, and I
felt like my season was already over.

The mental battle is a tough one and Crawford will have to pull
it together just to finish with a respectable year. He didn't even have
to be the man with the Red Sox. After all they already had established
stars like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Adrian Gonzalez, who is
also having trouble adjusting from life in sunny San Diego where everyone
is laid back, to Boston, where everyone is type-A. But when you're
"the man" with a $141 million dollar contract, there his no place to hide.

On Friday night in Anaheim, some fans sitting near Red Sox dugout
were throwing crumpled up dollar bills at Crawford while he was in
the on-deck circle. Ouch. Good luck, Carl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MY STORY: I WAS ABDUCTED BY AN ALIEN NAMED BUTTOFUCCO

I'm sure that headline caught your attention. It's juicy, intriguing,
and the kind of thing that makes you go what the....? Putting something
"catchy" in the headline gives me hope that you'll click on and read the
article, right? Isn't that how it works these days with pretty much everything?

That's what's happening more and more these days. People, especially
publishers and publicists are throwing out the big hook, to see if
they can haul in a great catch. It seems like everyone who writes
a book has something sensational, bizarre, or outlandish in it, just
to attract attention. After all, a book is just a book if it's not
controversial. No dirt, no buy.

In the past week,  I've discovered that Ashley Judd was sexually
molested and suffered from depression. Karen DiGuardi, the former
"American Idol" judge, said she was molested, date raped, and sexually
harassed. Meridith Baxter Birney, who acknowledged recently, that
she is a lesbian, also is claiming that her husband physically and
verbally abused her.

All of this is serious stuff, but I have one question: IS NOTHING
SACRED ANYMORE? Why do we have to hear about this personal
stuff? Just to sell a book? These people are selling their souls just
to try to cash in and make the New York Times best-seller list.
Why? Because they can write a sequel, dish more dirt, and get
paid even more money. It's the American way, right?

Athletes are hardly immune from this type of behavior. Andre
Agassi, in his autobiography, "Open", claimed that he did crystal
meth and that punk-rocker hairdo that he used to wear? Yeah,
that was actually a friggin' wig! He said he hated his dad and
resented losing his childhood to tennis. And of course, that book
zoomed to the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

I can hardly wait for the Steve Phillips autobiography to come
out. I'm sure he'll blame his stupid sexual addiction on a
conversation he had with the Dali Lama, or it was because he
had trouble dealing with his separation anxiety from Bobby
Valentine. Perhaps, he just needed to feel loved after running
the New York Mets into the ground.

But seriously, I don't know what to believe anymore. Rape,
drugs, depression, adultery, bad bowel movements, sexual
dysfunction. STOP!! It's starting to seem like it's all made up
or embellished. Why didn't we hear about this stuff before
they put it into a book? Why do we even care to hear this stuff,
anyway?

Are people really that interested in other people's problems?
Maybe Lou Holtz was right when he said, "only 10% percent
of the people care about your problems, the other 90% are glad
that you have them."

There were more than 36 books written about Mickey Mantle
before last year. We thought we had known everything about
the Yankees icon. But noooooooooooo. Jane Leavy comes out
with a new book called: "The Last Boy...", and she states that
Mantle was probably sexually abused by a half-sister,  and that
he hit on her doing an interview. And of course, it becomes a
best-seller. Dirt, dirt, and more dirt.

What's next, the Pope coming out with a new book, where he
admits betting on the ponies with Pete Rose?

All this stuff is absurd. Stop the insanity, stop the lies, and
stop buying those books that make you shower twice after
reading them. Hey, when is Jenn Sterger going on the circuit
to promote her upcoming book?

Monday, April 18, 2011

MIKE LEAKE: THE LINDSAY LOHAN OF BASEBALL

Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds is a wonderfully gifted pitcher.
God blessed him with thunder in his right-arm and the ability to
break off knee-buckling curves balls. Apparently, Leake got the
short end of the stick when it came to gray matter.

On Monday afternoon, Leake was arrested for allegedly stealing
six shirts valued at $59.88 from a Macy's department store in
downtown Cincinnati. In his second year, Leake is making a cool,
$425,000. Not bad for a 23-year old kid who is less than two years
removed from Arizona State. Perhaps, he was just short on cash,
or had spent most of his money bailing out his friends on the
Cincinnati Bengals.

Whatever the case, Leake is in a world of trouble. Oh, he won't get
anywhere near the 6 months in jail that goes with a conviction of that
crime, but how is he ever going to explain why he took the security
tags off six shirts and walked out of the store. He couldn't use the
"Oh, I forget that I put them in my bag and walked out", excuse.
Not when store cameras showed him peeling off the sensor tags.

In a press release, Leake apologized "for this distraction" but said
nothing about his Pac-Man Jones-like stupidity, who coincidentally,
plays for the Bengals now. The city's NFL team, as you may know,
leads the free-world in player arrests with 17 over the last four years.
Or is it 18? Whatever, it's not important, and I can't keep track
anymore.

Last year, Leake became just the 21st player in major league baseball
history to be drafted and go straight to the show without having spent a
day in the minors. In 2010, he had an immediate impact, going 8-4 to help
the Reds win the NL Central. Leake is 2 and 0 so far this season. Why
in the world would he do such a stupid thing? Did he channel his inner
Lindsay Lohan and feel daring? Did he want to get on TMZ?  At least
he didn't use the "do you know who I am?" thing to try to shield him
from trouble.

In their own press release, the Cincinnati Reds said they "don't condone
this type of behavior. (Does anybody?). And they all but said that Leake
is a complete moron, which he really must be. I mean, he could've gone
to the store manager and said, "Hey, can I do a card signing in exchange
for these shirts." Or he could've signed up for a Macy's credit card
with the chance to get 10% off immediately. Leake should've gone the
twitter route and posted, "@Macy's downtown mall. Outa cash.
Can somebody by me 6 t-shirts quick?" You just know some star-struck,
celebrity obsessed fan would've been there sooner than Pete Rose's
next dye job, to pick up the tab.

Leake's attorney's said that the Reds pitcher will get to tell his side of
story in court, but is staying mum for now. Perhaps, it was all part of
a prank with his teammates, which is not unheard of in the world of
baseball. Whatever the case, this much is certain, the Cincinnati Bengals
are off the hook for a few days.

DON BRENNAN: THE ANTI-JENN STERGER

Unless you're one of his 494 friends on Facebook, or grew up in
Stamford, CT., where he is just a few notches below the great
Bobby Valentine in popularity and Q-rating, then you've probably
never heard of Don Brennan. Brennan is the sports director at
WWSB in Sarasota, FL. He is a one-man band who does everything
but fly the news chopper for the station.

Brennan got into the business because of his love for sports, unlike
Jenn Sterger, who got into television for the love of herself. She was
discovered by some horned up sportscaster who drooled over her
wearing a barbie-sized tank top, that covered Pamela Anderson-sized
twins. He got noticed after paying his dues and banging down the doors
that were slammed in his face.

Brennan can tell you every number of every player who played during
his lifetime. Sterger can tell you the the number to every big agent and
power broker in the business, who might be able to turn a small town
girl, into a household name.

In a business where many shower in snake-oil, and would throw their
mother under the bus, and then run back over her to get ahead, (see FSN
Arizona anchor) Brennan is pure gold. When a news director called me
about "Donnie baseball", as he's affectionately known as, I didn't hesitate
in giving a recommendation. I said, "I can't tell you about his talent, that's
for you to judge. But I can tell you he's the best person you'll ever meet
in the business."

Brennan, who resembles a young James Caan, is not only the kind of guy
who'd give you the shirt off his back, but he'd surrender his whole condo
for you to live in. He is hard-working, dedicated, and has no agendas.
Oh, Donnie is not perfect. After all, he is 100% Irish, and that means he
carries a little bit of a temper. If you don't want to see it, don't cross him.

Donnie baseball wasn't handed anything in this business, and he has a
great wife, who allows his to live out his dream. During the week, Brennan
lives in Sarasota, but as soon as the main anchor signs off on Friday night,
he makes the three-hour trek across alligator alley to his wife and two boys
who live near Miami. Sometimes getting home at 3am, Brennan is always
there for his son's when they come barging through his door at 7am,
wanting to play baseball.

Brennan is everything that's right about the business. Great guy, trustworthy,
and hard-working. On April 27th, he gets a bit of the spotlight that's been
a long-time coming and certainly well-deserved. Brennan will play himself,
a sports anchor for a station in Sarasota on an episode of "Cougar town" on ABC.
Take your moment and run with it like Usain Bolt, Donnie B.  You deserve it.
We'll all be watching.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

MY TEAM STINKS! PANIC GRIPS THE BASEBALL NATION.

Panic. In Boston, Red Sox nation needs Dr. Phil after its team got
off to a wicked bad start. Panic. From the gateway to the west, fans are
threatening to jump off the Arch after watching Albert Pujols hit
just .150 in the first ten games. Panic. The toe-tap, no-stride, and
apparently slow-bat of Derek Jeter has been examined ad nauseam
after he didn't hit .750 in the first two weeks of the season. The
Yankees captain is so fed up with the high-powered microscope on his
left foot, that he refuses talk about it anymore.

People: R-E-L-A-X. The calender hasn't even turned over to May
yet, and most of you are already hitting the panic button.  It's a marathon,
not a sprint, stupid. Do you think anybody's going to be crowned
with a wreath after the first mile of the Boston Marathon? Hell, no.

The baseball season has not even warmed up and some people think
their teams season is over. I mean, unless you're a fan of the New York
Mets, who's 2011 campaign ended when it was discovered that Fred
Wilpon had been sleeping with Bernie Madoff and hiding all the profits
under his mattress, and the best free-agent they could sign was the
immortal Chris Young, then your team is still in it. Yes, even the Kansas
City Royals appear to have a shot of staying in the race until June.

Red Sox fans should know that nothing is over until John Blutarski
of "Animal House" fame says it's over. Don't they remember how their
team coughed up a 14 1/2 game lead to the Yankees in late July of
1978.  They entered Sunday's action just 5 games out of first place with
a million to play, yet, sports talk radio in Beantown and  the "fellowship
of the miserable", a phrase famously coined by then Celtics coach
Rick Pitino, think the season is on the verge of becoming the "Titanic II".

So what if Carl Crawford is not the supersta pissa  they thought
he was going to be. The speedy outfielder looks more and more like
Edgar Renteria, who was caught in the Boston headlights, and got run
over on Yawkey Way, than the supremely talented athlete they are paying
$20 million dollars a year for. (Despite never hitting 20 home runs
during any season of his career)

Boston and their $200 million dollar payroll is loaded with ridiculous
talent. They will correct themselves and get back to near the top of
the division. Remember, teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Phillies
are built for October, and not just getting through the season. Unless,
they suffer catastrophic injuries to key players, they will be there at
the end.

The ridiculously loyal and forgiving fans in St. Louis,  even got there
panties in a bunch after watching Pujols, the greatest hitter in the game
get off to a bad start. Keep in mind, Pujols is a LIFETIME .331 hitter,
who could get out of bed after an all-night bender and hit .300. I realize
Pujols doesn't drink and Tony LaRussa, who sometimes drinks too hard,
are not worried, and they shouldn't be. Give me a break. Do you think
Pujols is going to hit .220 with 7 home runs and 25 Rbi's during his
contract year? Relax, people. Pujols will score big in your fantasy leagues.

Conversely, people can get into a false sense of security with quick starts
After the Baltimore Orioles got off to a 6-1 jump, everyone was proclaiming
Buck Showalter to be a genius. Entering Sunday's game, the Orioles
have lost six straight games to fall under the .500 mark. Haven't heard
anybody talk about Buck being a shoe-in for  baseball's manager of
the year, lately.

The 162-game season is a brutal test of talent, character, and stamina.
There are slumps, injuries, and inconsistent play. Just getting to the
all-star game healthy and in position to make a second-half run is a
challenge. And when you get to the break, there are STILL some 75-80
games to play. There are no "greenies" anymore to give the players
some pep in their step. Steroids, as we saw with Manny Ramirez, might
be still lingering in the game. But these don't players have the same
"edge" as they used. The six-month, 162 season is the ultimate test.
The bad teams get weeded out by the all-star break, and the teams
that are built the best, are usually there at the end.

So sit back, relax, and keep your hand away from the panic button.
It's a long journey, so just enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spectacular Goal by BU hockey star

HOW JENN STERGER OVERPLAYED A GREAT HAND.

Maybe we should just blame all of this on Brent Musburger. After all,
it was the iconic sportscaster who really "discovered" Jenn Sterger
back in 2005. During a broadcast of a Miami-Florida State game,
the cameras cut to the crowd, and there in the front row, was a scantily
clad and surgically-enchanced beauty, with an Ultra-bright smile,
comfortably illuminating her face. She seemed perfectly positioned,
and incredibly poised, as if a television god had put her in just the right
place.

The red light went on, but it might as well have been green. It was
go-time for Sterger, and a chance for those around the country to
witness what most in Tallahassee had already seen. The moment was
ripe for Musburger to channel his inner Keith Jackson and give us a
big, "Whooooooooooa Nellie!", signifying his shameful surprise of
uncovering a jaw-dropping beauty that appeared to be so pure and clean.

But instead, he proclaimed that "1,500 red-blooded Americans just applied
to Florida State." Those nine words put Sterger on the map.  Like a teenager
gushing about being asked out on her first date, Sterger was visibly excited
on "Good Morning America", telling George Stephanopolous, how she
bottled up that Musberger moment, and decided to "just run with it,"
acting like she wasn't worried about the expiration date, somehow knowing
it'd be awhile before her sudden fame would just peter out.

Boy, did she ever run with it. It was the Great American race
for unquestionable fame and a small fortune. Sterger constructed
her own web site with no shirts and plenty of skin. Maxim and Playboy came
calling, and the clothes easily came off.  A blog here, a blog there,
the Internet flooded with Sterger and her long-flowing hair.

In less time than it took Deion Sanders to run the 100-yard dash,  Sterger
turned into a PR machine, much like the one Sanders built when he was
in his prime at Florida State. Like Sanders, the FSU cowgirl had
mastered the art of self-promotion, where every picture and conversation
had to involve me, me, and more me. Tallahassee was not big enough
to handle her ego and ambition, and it was more than obvious,  it
was time for her to flee.

New York City is where the real action is, the concrete jungle where
dreams are made of, and the place to cash it all in. So with dollar signs
in her eyes, Sterger parlayed her 15 seconds of fame into much, much
more. She hired an agent, who pitched her vital stats and suggestive,
staged photos to the NewYork Jets. Gang Green gave her a shot as a
stadium"hostess", which is akin to being hired in football operations as a
quality-control assistant. Huh? Exactly. I don't understand what those
jobs entail, either.

On "GMA", Sterger described walking through the tunnel before a game
as, "electric and spine-tingling," forgetting for a moment that she wasn't
actually being paid to dress up in a barbie-sized half-shirt, to be part
of the big man's game.

But this was all part of Sterger's game, and that stint in the Meadowlands
was just a whistle stop for a model/actress, who wanted to board the
express to stardom. Sterger received a call from Versus, to go from
sideline, to player on a show called, "The Daily Line."  However,
she left the Jets with plenty of ammunition, and tucked it away deep
in her back pocket, waiting to use it at the most opportune time.

Sterger now had a spot, albeit a small one, on the national stage. Despite
a flyweight resume and a reel whose only highlight was Musburger's
national  proclamation that she was a piping-hot babe, Sterger made
a significant step in her quest to reach Erin Andrews-type fame. But
the buxom-bombshell  wasn't satisfied just yet, so she morphed into
Veruca Salt, the petulant child in "Willie Wonka",  who wanted everything
she could get. And she wanted it NOW!

So she reached into her back pocket, picking out the Ace, then
carefully placing it in, what had become a pretty stacked deck.
When she was with the Jets, you know the story by now, Sterger received
some pretty racy pics, voicemails, and texts from a 40-year old
man, with a gray beard and brow.

With  #4 on the other end, Sterger had a great number and all the
ammo she needed to cash in her golden ticket. Yes, Brett Favre was
at fault for his reckless and juvenile behavior, and he was partly
a clown, but this appeared more about Sterger's addiction to attention,
and the almighty dollar. She didn't care if she brought the Hall of Fame
quarterback down.

Why else would anyone save all those messages from Favre for almost
two years, if you didn't have a grandiose plan, and one big agenda? If she
was so freaked out by them, why didn't she just put them in the trash.
forever lost in cyberspace. But no, she had to use them to try to get some
cash.  And really, Jenn, if you never wanted anyone to see them, how
did they suddenly show up for the world to see, on a site called Deadspin?

During the season, it became the story that just wouldn't go away. Sterger,
now an expert in high-mileage, told everybody she was trying to stay
above the fray. But when you're dealing with a steamroller like the NFL,
you must play your cards right, or it is you that will dearly pay. And it
was ultimately Sterger who did get burned.

Roger Goodell and the NFL waited her out, knowing that the truth
and her real colors would be exposed. There was no big check to
make it all disappear. She lost her job with Versus because of dismal
ratings, and she was suddenly free-falling in her paper-thin career.

So the PR machine is fired up again, with Sterger on the circuit
trying to convince everyone she's "ridiculous, funny, and sarcastic."
We can see all the rest. She claims she doesn't like attention, yet Sterger's
giving the "exclusive's", trying to rebuild her image, while hoping an
invitation for an audition, will suddenly appear.

Sterger outsmarted herself and overplayed what had been a great hand.
She went pretty far, despite having done very little. Sterger tried
to stare down the NFL and drop hints of a lawsuit. But in the end, she
was just that FSU cowgirl, who was tapped on the shoulder by fate's
fickle finger, and became her own little star. She was thrust into sudden
fame, that she clearly wasn't ready to handle.

Sterger adamantly denies she is a gold-digger, but it's crystal clear she
is digging for more attention. Since striking that "look at me" pose at
Florida State, Sterger has always known exactly where the cameras
and media power brokers are. The ones who can turn a small town girl
into a mega-star

When the red light went on at "GMA" it was go-time again for Sterger,
time to be like Veruca Salt, trying to get everything she could get.

Oh, she will resuscitate her career, all one has to do is look at Steve Phillips
and Marv Albert to know that,  no matter how you screw up, the fat lady
rarely sings.

Monday, April 11, 2011

RORY McILROY WINS BIG AT THE MASTERS

A funny thing happened on Sunday. I was watching a golf tournament
and a NASCAR race at Talledega broke out. These fine-tuned machines,
with the exception of a stocky one from Argentina, were fighting for
position while barrelling toward the finish. There were no restrictor
plates, just a bunch of guys hell bent on glory, throwing caution to the wind.

It was white-knuckle time. The slightest of errors would crush the chance
for sports immortality. One mistake, and you could lose control, turning a
nice Sunday drive, into an unforgettable disaster. Remember Greg Norman
at the Masters in 1996. He was up by six shots with 18 holes to play.
The Butler cabin already had the chairs lined up, and his jacket size
ordered. However, he spun out and wound up like Rusty Wallace
in 1993 at Talledega. Wallace flipped over seven times before coming
to a stop. His car, a skeleton of its former self, kind of like Norman.

Rory McIlroy made that one crucial mistake, a colossal one that caused
a terrible wreck. You wanted to turn away, or at least put your hands
over your face. But you couldn't. You peaked through your fingers and
watched a gut-wrenching disaster.

McIlroy, in position to win the Masters at just 21-years of age, came
apart right before our very eyes. Like Wallace did 18 years before him, the
golf prodigy walked away without any physical damage, the psychological
effects however, may rear themselves next week,  next month, or as
McIlroy hopes, in his next lifetime.

Nobody will ever be able to get inside of McIlroy's head to find out
what he's thinking. But after watching him handle a most public failure,
we certainly know what the kid is made of.

His errant drive on the 10th hole was the start of his epic disaster. Few
of us will ever forget the image of him standing, looking shell-shocked,
as he pontificated his next shot in the shadow of  Butler cabin. The misery
for McIlroy didn't end until he tapped in for an 80, a score comparable to
Chipper Jones hitting .210 for the season.

The coveted green jacket in his rear view mirror, and all the critics
straight ahead of him, McIlroy could've made excuses or hid like Rafeal
Soriano after blowing a save earlier this season.

But McIlroy stood tall and acted with amazing class and dignity. His
one car accident was horrific, along the likes of Norman's incredible
wipe out. However, McIlroy vowed to learn from it, and many athletes,
including Tiger Woods, should learn from him, as well.

During his spectacular crash, McIlroy didn't slam a club, drop an f-bomb,
stare down a restless photographer, or act like a petulant 5-year old
who didn't get his way. The kid kept his composure and never really
lost his temper. Oh, sure he flung his putter after 3-jacking on the 12th
hole. But it was more of a surrender than a Tiger Woods attempt at
a record javelin throw with his putter.

McIlroy envisioned walking up the 18th fairway to a thunderous
applause, the prelude to being crowned a champion. But after blowing
a big-lead on the final day, it must've felt like golf's walk of shame.
A stroll accompanied by incredible pain, and incessant thoughts
of what might have been. An opportunity lost, and the story
of a major collapse written. Rory managed a little smile and gave
a tip of the hat, thanking the patrons for trying to ease the torture
that came about from his nine-hole hell.

Unfortunately, McIlroy's meltdown will be etched in the annals of
Masters history, along side Norman and the choke of Scott Hoch.
But his pure class and the way in which he handled an embarrassing
failure, will be respected and remembered for a long time as well.
McIlroy may have lost the tournament, but he won over a great deal
of fans.

THINGS I'LL DO IF BARRY BONDS GOES TO JAIL.

Did the same prosecution team in the O.J. case get assigned to
the perjury trial of Barry Bonds? They had just about eight years
to prepare and millions of dollars to work with, and that was the
best they could do?

Oh, that was smooth, trying to submit a secretly recorded tape that
supposedly was going to be the slam dunk, Katie bar the door evidence
that would send the home run king in the big house. Attempting to get that
by the defense, is like trying to sneak the sun past a rooster. Not happening.

This team put together by the government has been so bad, that Roger
Clemens is doing cartwheels and already working on new ways to screw
up the English language for his perjury trial in three months. Is it in June or
July? I don't know, I misremember.

They talked about a growing head, shrinking private parts, and the bad
temper of Bonds as proof that he had taken steroids. His ex-girlfriend
claimed that he yelled at her and threatened to kill her. It had to be the
effects of steroids, they said. If that was the case, Mel Gibson must've
been downing steroids as if they were Flinstone chewables.

Bottom line. The government has no chance of getting a conviction.
Bonds will never spend a day in jail because of all this. Never. If he
does, I will do the following.

TOP 10 THINGS I'LL DO IF BONDS GOES TO JAIL.

10. I will shave my head like Bonds.

 9. Will shine my newly-shaved dome with flaxeed oil.

 8. Dress up like a giant syringe and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

 7. Swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco in a purple speedo. I did 3
     miles in the East River in NYC in trunks, so I'm not worried
    about going a bit lighter.

 6. Put an asterisk on my forehead.

 5. Have "762", the number of Bonds' lifetime HR's tattooed on my
     right bicep.

 4. Have "73",  Bonds' single-season record for HR's tattooed on my
     left bicep.

 3. Pierce my nipple and hang a ring with #24 on it.

 2. Start a "Be Nice to Barry" Facebook page.

 1.Name my first two kids, "The Cream", and "The Clear."

Friday, April 8, 2011

MANNY RAMIREZ' SAD GOOD-BYE

It's over. The fascinating, yet controversial career of Manny Ramirez
is done. After failing a MLB-administered drug test for the second time
in less than two years,  Ramirez chose to end the music, rather than
face it. There was no press conference, no tearful good-bye. Just a vanilla
flavored press-release from Major League Baseball stating that Ramirez
had retired.

Ramirez is the first player with Cooperstown credentials to call it
quits after a drug bust. I mean, a stone-cold, I' done, and never coming
back, surrender. Rafael Palmiero, who was a lead-pipe lock
for the Hall of Fame, finished out the season in 2005 after serving
a 10-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. He was
essentially blackballed by the league, never finding  another job,
despite having 3,000 hits and 500 home runs on his baseball card.

Are we surprised that Ramirez failed another drug test? Are we surprised
about anything that happens in sports or life anymore? No. Many are
wondering how Manny could be so stupid as to tempt fate once again.
But after watching his personality and performance develop over the
years, nobody can honestly say they are surprised this has happened.

Ramirez was one of the greatest right-handed hitters the game has ever
seen. He was brilliant in the box, capable of setting up a pitcher by
looking awful on a pitch in the first inning, only to drill the same one into
the Monster seats later in the 8th. Teammates and opponents alike were
awestruck by his near perfect mechanics, and a maniacal work ethic
that the public rarely saw.

But his antics and personality were so far removed from any player
with his stats or credentials,  the game has ever seen. He, at times, was
the clown prince of baseball. A player who would cut off a throw in
the outfield from Johnny Damon, or run into the bowels of the Green
Monster to make a phone call or a mess after relieving himself.

The sideshow even had a name for it. It was "Manny being Manny."
The stuff of stupid, but tolerated as long as Ramirez could still rake
40 home runs and drive in 120 a season.

The stats, however,  would eventually slip, as did his sanity. In 2008,
after making an all but an impossible ticket request to 64-year old
traveling secretary Jack McCormick, who said he'd try to make it happen,
Ramirez threw him to the ground. There was the dugout skirmish with
teammate Kevin Youkillis, and a defiant and selfish attitude that
became unbearable with his teammates.

Left little choice but to cut out the sprouting clubhouse cancer, Red Sox
GM Theo Epstein, did the unthinkable. He traded Ramirez, jettisoning
him to Los Angeles in a 3-time trade that shocked major league baseball.

Ramirez' "Manny being Manny" act, played perfectly in laid-back
Chavez Ravine. Hollywood, became "Manny-wood" and Ramirez
became the biggest thing to hit Tinsel-town since Wayne Gretzky in 1988.
The Dodgers even convinced Ramirez to wear number 99.  He became
the new King of  L.A,  and the change of scenery did Ramirez good. He put
up mind-boggling stats in just over 50 games with the Dodgers, leading
them to the NLCS.

But in 2009, Ramirez would sit out that many games after testing
positive for a female fertility drug, which is used by many bodybuilders
to mask steroids. Despite being outed as a cheat, Ramirez didn't
incur the same wrath that A-Rod or Roger Clemens did. Maybe
it was the whole, "Manny being Manny" thing, which provided a shield
to all the negativity. There were some who felt that, despite the
failed drug test, Ramirez was still a Hall of Famer.

However, any hopes of the Hall for Ramirez went up in smoke with the
second failed drug test. How can Manny get a plaque in Cooperstown,
while Palmiero has become a pariah, with so few votes on his first
election try, it will be impossible just to get even close to making it.

How can Manny get in after failing two drug tests, while other players
who were only suspected of using steroids, will never even sniff the
required of number of votes earn enshrinement?

To the current Hall of Famers, and the caretakers of the game, Ramirez
is a joke, who not only disrespected himself, but the entire sport. He
thumbed his nose at everybody in baseball, challenging them to find him
guilty of defrauding the game. They got him not once, but twice, and
didn't need a third strike to make Ramirez leave for good.

Over the next few days, all these on-line polls will come out asking
if Ramirez belongs in Cooperstown. The debates will rage on
"Baseball Tonight" and MLB Network between players who were
at times, suspected users themselves. Isn't everybody under a black
cloud who played during that era?

Ramirez has NO shot at making the Hall of Fame. I have a greater
chance of starring in the next great infomercial for six-pack abs,
than Manny does of being immortalized in the game.

Sure, the numbers are staggering. A .312 batting average, 555 home runs,
more than 1800 rbi's. Incredible. Ramirez was lethal with the bat, and a
laugh a minute comic when he traveled to his own little planet. There's
no question, Ramirez was a talented slugger. Unfortunately, he is now
forever tainted.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

LEBRON'S MOM SHOWS OFF HER TALENTS IN SOUTH BEACH

In case you missed it, Gloria James, mother of the most famous basketball
player of the planet, was arrested at around 5am on Thursday in South Beach.
Lebron wasn't around to bail her out, but he couldn't have been too happy
about dealing with this type of publicity.

Ms. James, who was also arrested for DUI in 2006, allegedly had some
choice words for a valet, who apparently took too long in fetching her car.

Details are still sketchy, but Ms. James, allegedly knocked the valet
upside da head with her Louis Vuitton purse. LeBron's mom is turning
into the Lindsay Lohan of the NBA, as she always seems to be in trouble.

There were rumors in Cleveland that she was sleeping with Delonte West,
a teammate of her son with the Cavaliers. I think Nike needs to make
another commercial on the LeBron's, this one featuring the King and his
mom showing off their talents in South Beach.

In light of LeBron's mom's troubles, I bring you the TOP 5 mothers
of pro/college athletes.

5.MILDRED HARRISON. The mother of the Steelers All-Pro hit man
James Harrison, was arrested for simple assault in 2009. She was hosting
a party for a Thursday night special between the Steelers and Browns, but
it was Mildred, who turned out to be the main event. Amidst the chaos, four
people were injured when they were hit in the head by beer bottles. Mildred
had her mug shot taken with her Steelers jersey on. She was also fined
$100,000 by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for excessive violence.

4. ALLA KOURNIKOVA The mother of Anna, the hottest female tennis
player to ever hit the courts, was arrested for child neglect in 2010. No, she
didn't leave Anna alone at home with Richard Williams, father of the famous sisters.
But Mrs. Kournikova did leave her 5-year son at home, while she went to run
a few "errands." The neighbors saw the kid climbing out of second-story window
and felt it was time to call the police. Well, at least Mrs. K dead-bolted the front
door so junior couldn't get out the through the front.

3. ANGELA BRYANT. Jeff Ireland, the GM of the Miami Dolphins, made
headlines last year after it was discovered that he asked Dez Bryant, during a
pre-draft interview if his mother was a prostitute. Ireland is extremely lucky
that Dez showed remarkable restraint and that he didn't end up wearing cement
shoes somewhere at the bottom of  the Keys. But Angela does have one
heckuva past. In 2007, she spent 18 months in prison after selling crack.
Then in 2009, she  was arrested for controlling an illegal substance, (crack),
but somehow got off with 10 months of probation. Is it any real surprise that
her son, Dez, a first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys, has nearly an
$800,000 bill for a boat of diamonds?

2. KELLY BRAXTON. You never heard of Kelly Braxton before this
blog, and chances are you'll never hear about her after you read this. In
2010, just hours after her son, Braxton, put pen to paper and signed
a national letter-of-intent to play football at Ohio State, Kelly channeled
her inner Terry Tate, the crazy office linebacker in those Reebok commercials.
She started attacking everyone in the family and was wielding a knife when
the police arrived. Kelly was arrested for assault. Her family admitted that
she had mental problems. Really? Ya think?

1. GLORIA JAMES. She's been arrested so often, she should be playing
for the Cincinnati Bengals. Gloria would fit right in with those outlaws. Somehow,
I don't think we've heard the last of the mother of King James. I'm thinking
she should have a steel-cage death match with Mildred Harrison on pay-per-view.
Sign me up. I'd pay $49.95 for that one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

KEVIN MILLAR: COWBOY, SHUT UP!

As a player, Kevin Millar never met a microphone he didn't like.
He was the quote machine with bleached-blonde streaks in his
hair and the, "I'm having the time of my life" smile on his face.

He  became a cult hero in Boston, bringing together a band of
"Idiots", while helping the Red Sox exorcise an 86-year curse. Gritty
and clutch on the field, Millar was engaging and entertaining off it.
His "Cowboy Up" mantra during the 2003 season has been woven
into the fabric of Red Sox nation.

Few were surprised that after his 12-year career ended, Millar went
straight into television, working as a baseball analyst. He's funny,
insightful, and loves the camera, as much as the camera loves him.

Millar has made a seamless transition from the batter's box to
broadcasting, landing a coveted role on MLB Network. Perhaps
in an effort bring attention to his new show, "Intentional Talk",
Millar launched a verbal grenade at Lou Pinella, the former manger
of the Chicago Cubs, and future Hall of Famer.

Millar, who tried to make the Cubs on a minor-league contract
in 2010, said while he was in spring training, Pinella lacked
organization and preparation. This of course, coming from a guy
who admitted to taking shots of Jack Daniels before playoff games
while he was with the Red Sox. Now, that's preparation.

According to Millar, Pinella often didn't know who was in the lineup and
didn't give him the courtesy of telling him when he was going to enter
a spring training game. First of all, Millar was hardly an established
star with the creds to make any type of demands. He was trying to
earn a job as a role player, which meant he could pinch-hit, spot start,
be part of a double-switch, or  insurance against an injury to an every
day player.

Perhaps, Pinella was trying to see how Millar would react if he
had to go into a game cold after a player got hurt, or had to pinch-hit.
That was going to be his role, wasn't it?  Bill Belichick has pulled
Tom Brady in late season games, inserting the back-up quarterback
for a series to see how he performs on the spot and under duress.
Belichick wanted his team and back-up QB to be prepared in the
event of an injury to Brady. It's all part of his meticulous preparation.

And the last time I checked, Pinella, who is a three-time manager of
the year and on his way to Cooperstown, didn't have babysitting as
part of his job description. That came out of his contract after he gave
Rob Dibble a facial with the carpet in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse
and scolded him for "not wanting to be treated like a man."

Pinella, like Millar's former manager, Terry Francona, has always
treated his players like men, not children.  Both expect the players
to always be prepared.  It's part of being a professional. Pinella, like
Francona had only a few rules: Be on time, be ready, and play hard.

Sweet Lou managed for 23-years and led the 2001 Seattle Mariners
to 116 wins, tying them for the most in major league history. In 1990,
he led the Reds to a stunning World Series victory over the vaunted Oakland
A's, sweeping them in four games. And now, he gets a dart from
a guy who never played a game for him in the major leagues?

This shot by Millar was unnecessary. If he brought some attention
to his new show, then good for him. But a man who lives in a big
glass house, shouldn't be launching missiles, especially at Pinella,
who had a good career as a player,  an even better one as a manager.

Millar, you may remember was a "scab", a replacement player during
the strike of the 1994 season. Because of this, he could not be a
member of the  Major League Players Association. And there were
more than a few whispers about him being a steroid user. Google Millar
and steroids and you'll see a lot of stories on the subject
pop up.

Kevin Millar is an applause junkie, who enjoys seeing his
name in the headlines, and face on big-screen tv's.  He has a bright
future in the business, but this is one time the man who coined
the phrase, "Cowboy Up", should have just shut up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

TV ADS WITH TIGER TO BE UNVEILED AT MASTERS.

Since running over that fire hydrant 16 months ago, splashing
the sordid details of his sex life across every multi-media platform
known to man, we haven't seen Tiger Woods pitching many products.
Once a sponsors dream, Tiger quickly turned into their nightmare,
thanks to his double-life and recent rash of double bogeys.

Remember when Tiger's commercial cache included a spot that
made him appear as if he walked on water? Do you recall the one
where he played hackey sack with his club and ball, then smacked
it 200 yards out of mid-air. Just like some of the shots he used to
make, Tiger could put his signature on some brilliant commercials
But thanks to Nike, Tiger also made a few controversial ones.

One of the first ones the swoosh and the snake produced, flirted
with racism. Tiger claimed there were "still courses that he
couldn't play on because of the color of his skin."

During the Masters last year, in his return to the game after scandal
and sex rehab, Tiger faced the camera, and his late father, Earl,
appeared to be talking to Eldrick from his grave. He asked Tiger,
"have you  learned anything?" This commercial bombed worse
than Charlie Sheen's first live show in Detroit on Sunday.

During the Masters this week, Tiger tries to make a comeback as
a pitchman, taking part in several commercials that will air
throughout the tournament.

NIKE REDUX
Tiger facing the camera, hears not the voice of his late father,
but rather, the one of his ex-wife.

Hi Tiger, this is Elin....I'm sorry that you lost your number one
ranking. What, you're like, number 7 in the world now? Isn't that
the rating you gave that waitress from Denny's?

I saw that 120-yard drive you hit at Doral. It didn't even make the
ladies tees. LOL. The ladies tees! I haven't seen a drive that bad
since you got behind the wheel all whacked out on ambien.

Oh, and thanks for that $150 million dollar check. I think I can make
ends meet for awhile. One other thing, Tiger. After losing your rep,
your ranking, and your real family, I just have one question.
Was it worth it? NIKE: You just blew it.

TIGER AND THE DUCK MAKE FIRST COMMERCIAL TOGETHER
Note: When you see AFLAC in parentheses, insert screaming duck

I'm Tiger Woods. If you get in an accident and can't work.. (AFLAC!!!)
will take care of you. If you have to go to sex rehab  (AFLAC!!!!)  will
pay all your bills until you return.. And if you're injured and can't
get out of bed..(AFLAC!!!)  will order from Denny's and bring
breakfast and a side order of waitress home to you. It's great,
now if they can only keep me from duck-hooking....(AFLAC!!!) all my
drives.

TIGER, THROUGH Eharmony, FINDS HIS PERFECT PARTNER
I'm Tiger Woods...there are strip clubs that no longer invite me in...
Denny's refuses to serve me breakfast.....and sex rehab centers turn me
away. I'm a pariah. I don't have any friends and my favorite porn stars
don't even return my text messages.

So what's a man to do? Well, I've logged onto Eharmony.com.
The "E" standing for Eldrick and every other loner. Eharmony is
not like match.com. It finds a compatible partner, matching
you with people with the same likes and interests.

I wanted someone who likes skanky-looking woman, someone who is
addicted to sex. Someone who has shared the same experiences I have.
And most of all, someone who's embarrassed themselves and screwed
up their life just like me. "Hey, Steve. Wait up! Steve Phillips.
You're my new  BFF. Wait me for me! Eharmony.  It's all good,
even when your life isn't.

Tiger, The Masters, and commercials. A tradition unlike any other.

Friday, April 1, 2011

LOU GORMAN : GREAT BASEBALL MAN. AN EVEN BETTER PERSON

You've probably never heard of Lou Gorman, and chances are
you'll forget about what he accomplished in baseball by the next
edition of "SportsCenter".  But if, and when you come across his
name again, I hope you'll say, "Yeah, Lou Gorman, I heard he
was one heckuva nice guy."

Gorman died early Friday morning, just hours before his beloved
Red Sox were going to open their new season. A cross between
Captain Kangaroo and the Pope, Gorman was a man of impeccable
character and integrity, who wouldn't say a bad thing about anyone,
not even Oil Can Boyd.

A captain in the Navy, Gorman served our country for eight years
before embarking on a baseball career that few could only dream of.
He was a general manager in Seattle and Boston, and helped build great
farms systems in Baltimore, Kansas City, and New York. He earned
two world series rings as a consultant with the Red Sox and was
inducted into six Hall of Fames.

I first met Gorman during spring training in 1988 when I was just a low
level minor-leaguer trying to find my way in camp. He was the general
manager of the Red Sox, who just two years earlier, came within a
strike of beating the Mets, a team he helped construct, in the World
Series.

We had finished a minor-league workout and I went to watch
the big team play an exhibition game. I kept getting kicked out of seats
by people who had actually paid for them. Gorman had been
watching all of this, and invited me to sit next to him in his customary
spot just off press row. I was a nobody and he made me
feel like a somebody. That was Lou Gorman.

Gorman let me sit there the entire game and pick his brain about
building a team and inquiry about all the players he had drafted,
from Jim Palmer to George Brett to Daryl Strawberry. It was
flat-out awesome and something I'll never forget. I thanked him
for the experience, and then we went our separate ways.

18 years later I made it to Boston, not as a player but as a sportscaster
for NESN. Our offices were in Fenway Park and we shared a break
room, or at least I did, with Red Sox front-office personnel. What
money I made from NESN, I felt guilty because it felt like stealing.
Boston. Red Sox. Fenway Park. Baseball. NESN. Are you kidding
me?

I was in the kitchen one day stealing all the Red Sox food supplies,
(kidding, kind of) when Gorman walked in. It was like seeing
your grandfather after so many years. I introduced myself and told
him of our meeting in Winter Haven in 1988. He said he remembered
me, which he clearly didn't. Lou always wanted you to feel good
about yourself and feel important. That was Lou Gorman

This is how Lou treated everybody, like you were his best friend.
Always happy, always positive, he made everybody feel at home.
I still had an itch for baseball and asked if I could talk with him
some time and get his advice on making a career move back into
the game. Lou said it was no problem at all. He gave me his card
and said to call to make an appointment.

I called two weeks later and made the trek to his office at Fenway
Park. Trying to find it, one has to navigate the narrow hallways
as if they were galleys on the submarine in "The Hunt for Red
October." I managed to find Gorman's pint-size office and he
welcomed me like I was a member of the family.

We talked and talked and talked some more about baseball.
We'd get interrupted by phone calls, and Gorman would just say
he was busy and kindly asked to call back. I had the chance to
soak up all of this man's knowledge of the game, and the stories
were priceless.

He was instrumental in drafting some of the best players in the game.
George Brett, Willie Wilson, Bret Saberhagen, Dwight Gooden,
Strawberry, Dykstra, Mo Vaughn...the list went on and on.
As a baseball junkie, I had gone to the right place to get my fix.
Lou Gorman was amazing.

I asked him about the infamous trade of Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson,
one that followed him forever with the Red Sox. He didn't bat an eye.
"We already had Wade Boggs at third, and Scott Cooper, another solid
prospect in the minors," Gorman would say. "Bagwell hit for average in
AA but didn't have much power. We projected him to be a 10-15 home
run guy." Then the steroid era came. My words, not his. Bagwell went
on to hit almost 500 home runs for the Houston Astros.

People stopped by Gorman's office as if they were visiting Santa
Claus at the Mall before Christmas. Everybody loved Lou Gorman.
Everybody. He was a guy you hoped, would live forever. He deserved
to. A gentleman, a patriot, a man who helped so many others in
need, Lou Gorman was a class act. That was Lou Gorman. He will
be missed.