Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I WAS JUST THINKING...


I was just thinking that the St. Louis Cardinals haven't missed Albert Pujols at all. They gone to
the World Series and two NLCS since God told him to take the money and be an Angel. So, I think
the Yankees can manage to succeed without Robinson Cano.

I was just thinking the Seattle Mariners how much they're going to regret giving a 30-year old
second-baseman a 10-year contract for $240 million. Name a player not on steroids who gets better from years 35-40?

I was just thinking how ridiculous the Dallas Cowboys look for firing defensive coordinator Rob
Ryan and replacing him with 70-something-year-old Monte Kiffin. Their defense would make
Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell look like Hall of Famers.

I was just thinking that Bill Belichick is proving his coaching genius once again. He lost Wes
Welker, Danny Woodhead, and Aaron Hernandez before the season and Vince Wilfork and
Jarod Mayo during it. They are 10-3 and are in the thick of the race to the Super Bowl. Now,
they have to find a away to win without Rob Gronkowski, but with the Hoodie, I don't think
it will be a problem. He always adjusts and finds a way.

I was just thinking the NFL's idea of a Super Bowl in New Jersey during February is beyond
stupid. What was the reasoning again? Further proof that the smartest people in the room often
make the dumbest decisions.

I was just thinking that there is nobody like Mike Ditka and there never will be. He is a man's
man, superhero, and a guy who is so hard not to like.

I was just thinking Florida State really shouldn't let Jameis Winston do any interviews on-camera.

I was just thinking that Scott Boras must be the best negotiator in the history of the world. Getting
Jacoby Ellsbury, who has averaged 10 home runs a year for his career and sometimes misses more
games than he plays, a $153 million contract.  Man, THAT is good.

I was just thinking how absurd it was for all those experts in the media who were burying Peyton
Manning after he lost the Patriots three weeks ago. They said he can't play in the cold and was
showing his age. SHUT UP. The guy has 45 TD passes this season and has thrown for more than
4,500 yards with three games to play. He's the lock for record fifth MVP.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

JAMEIS WINSTON AND A MARKET CORRECTION

The state attorney investigating sexual charges against Jameis Winston will release his findings
at 2pm on Thursday which could be monumental for the Heisman Trophy front-runner, Florida
State, and college football. If the Florida State quarterback is charged, his season, Heisman
chances, and career could be over. If not, he will win college football's most prestigious
award and lead the Seminoles into the national championship game.


What is amazing to me, is the about-face the media and public made when the possible charges
against Winston came to light last month. Here was an elite quarterback who was a suspect in
a heinous crime and the court of public opinion didn't go into a frenzy calling for him to be
suspended or banned from playing college football again, kind of like they did with Texas
A & M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Funny how things work out. Manziel was investigated for taking money for signing autographs,
yet was treated like he was the focus of a sexual assault investigation. Winston is being
investigated for sexual assault, but is being treated as if he just took a little money for singing autographs.

The hatred for Manziel was almost bizarre. The media, mostly ESPN and the experts like
Mark May and Lou Holtz, crucified the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. After he got flagged
for taunting in his first game this season against Rice, you'd have thought Manziel ate one of
their grandchildren and was the first player in the history of the game to get flagged for talking
a little smack.

When ESPN broke the story that Manziel may have taken money in exchange for autographs,
the rush to judgement broke the speed of sound barrier. Somebody, somewhere had a picture
of Manziel signing a ton of autographs in a hotel room, so by golly, he was GUILTY.


Winston's DNA shows up on the underpants of his accuser and nobody vilified the guy as
they did Manziel for using bad judgment. The investigators have actual DNA of Winston
showing that he was there and the accuser wasn't lying and nobody really says peep. Yet,
when somebody has a tape of Manziel talking to a sports memorabilia representitive, he was
all but tarred and feathered. INSANE!

Manziel reportedly overslept and missed a session of the Manning passing camp last
summer and he gets treated as if he's the worst person in the world. After all, nobody has
ever overslept and stood up the Manning's, who have been tagged as football royalty.


When news broke a few weeks ago that Winston was involved in an incident with BB guns
where windows were shot out on campus, nobody bats an eyelash.  When a police report
showed that Winston was accused of stealing sodas from a fast food joint, everybody turns
a blind eye.

Why was there such a market correction on the attitude toward Winston after all the flack
created with Manziel? Did people all of a sudden realize that a person is innocent until
proven guilty?

Did people just decide to chill out and let ALL the facts come out before they put a kid
on a stake and burn his reputation?


Or did they just think Winston "seemed" like a good guy whereas Manziel is considered
a punk, entitled, and a person who comes from money. Right, nobody in this country is
ever  jealous or wants to knock someone off their lofty perch. Sure, it never happens at school,
work, or in sports. Give me a break.

I am glad the court of public opinion didn't crucify Winston right away. Maybe they''ll
decide all future cases in this manner, but I doubt it, because in this country, it all depends
who it is and if they are likable or not.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

YANKEES, ELLSBURY, AND 'CIVILITY IN BASEBALL'

On Monday night at a library in Stamford, CT.,  Brian Cashman took part in a series called,
'Civility in baseball.' Cashman talked about winning 'the right way' during his time at the
podium.

I thought of this when news broke on Tuesday that the general manager of the New York
Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a mammoth, 7-year, $153 million contract. In less than
24 hours, Cashman went from 'civility' to insanity. It wasn't so much that Cashman had
snagged away a good player from the Yankees arch-rivals, but he shocked everybody by
making Ellsbry the fourth-highest paid outfielder in the HISTORY of Major League
Baseball.

It's so absurd that even Carl Crawford, who was lavished with a $142 million contract
despite never hitting more than 19 home runs, was laughing his ass off. So were many of
the so-called'experts' in the sport that employs them.


Yes, I realize that money is no object to the Yankees. They are still paying off Kei Igawa
and his $45 million contract, most of which he has earned playing in the minor-leagues.
I realize they have long been an organization that can erase previous mistakes by lavishing
more money on coveted free-agents. But this mega-deal with Ellsbury is ludricrous.

In his first seven years in the major leagues, Ellsbury's seasonal averages look more like
those of Juan Pierre than Josh Hamilton:

102 games 68 runs 9 HR's 44 RBI's 34 Stole bases .297 average  .350 OBP

Cashman needs to get his head examined after giving a contract out like that to Ellsbury.
Theo Esptein is off the hook for good after giving Crawford that colossal contract.



Through the ages of 24-30, Ellsbury proved to be brittle with the Red Sox, missing more
than 150 games and having his toughness and commitment questioned by his own teammates.
Does anybody really think that from the age of 30 to 37, the life of his Yankees contract,
Ellsbury is all of a sudden going to get more durable? The body doesn't work that way.

I've heard many of the talking heads on television say that Ellsbury has proven he can play
in a tough market like Boston.


But Ellsbury NEVER had to play under the pressure of a HUGE contract in the media
capital of the world. There is a big, big difference. How many players have we seen
flop under the pressure of trying to live up to a big contract? AJ Burnett? Josh Hamilton
anyone?

Ellsbury was never anything close to being 'the man' in Boston. With Big Papi, Dustin
Pedroia, Jon Lester, and many other 'bigger' players in Boston, Ellsbury had a big shadow
to play in, which was far from the sizzling microscope those other players were under.

That changes now because of the absurd contract. $153 million? Even David Ortiz
is breaking into a cold sweat.

And haven't the Yankees learned anything by now? Look at all the 'dead' money they
had last year with the injuries to Curtis Granderson, A-Rod, Mark Teixiera, and Derek
Jeter. It was more than the payroll of most teams. Now they added a player who is
more brittle than all of them.

Civility in baseball? This is absolutely insane. Good luck, Yankees. Good luck, Jacoby
Ellsbury.


 

Monday, December 2, 2013

CYBER MONDAY: THE BEST THINGS I FOUND ON-LINE

I missed out on Black Friday because I didn't want to deal with the crowds and taser-wielding
freaks who wanted to beat the competition to save $50 bucks on the game of Twister. But I
did get up early for Cyber Monday. Man, did I get some great deals! Here are a few things
that I purchased with my best friends credit card.

STUN GUN. If I do camp out all night for Black Friday next year, I'm going to be prepared
to deal with all those crazy people in a hurry to get that Nutri-Bullet for half-price. Forget about
the tasers, I'm going with the Cadillac of stun guns. 300,000 volts should be enough to knock
out somebody the size of Vince Wilfork.  Amazon.com had one listed for only $24.99! Cyber Monday is awesome!
 


TATTOO KIT.  After losing out once again for People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" honor,
I had a thorough self-examination. I surmised that I was just lacking some ink. Adam Levine
had tattoos all over the place and that gave him the nod over me in 2013. I went on-line and
found a home-kit for tattoos for $104. I can make the payment in three easy installments so
it was real deal.

THE WHIZZANATOR I got an early jump on shopping for some of my not-so-close
friends. I found the perfect gift for Ryan Braun, Von Miller, and the Jamaican track team.
The Whizzator allows anyone to beat a drug test without blaming it on a FedEx courier or
tainted meat. Great deal. It cost me just $99 for two kits. Cyber Monday is flat-
out awesome.


THE BOOK OF A-ROD Speaking of drug cheats, A-Rod has a wonderful book on his
life and times. "A-Rod: Major League Hero" could make for a great stocking stuffer.
Foreward by Anthony Bosch, and get this: There are  8 color photos inside. The one of 
A-Rod kissing himself in the mirror sold separately. I managed to get this sure-to-be New
York Times Best-Seller for $4.48! What a bargain!



LIE DETECTOR TEST.  It's amazing what was out in Cyber space on December 2nd.
I found a lie detector test that electrocutes a person telling true lies. This would be perfect
for Brad Steinke, who tells more tell tales than Lance Armstrong, Ryan Braun, Tiger Woods,
A-Rod, and Micheal Vick combined. Brad, I'll give you one question. If this device shows
that you're not lying, I will give you $10,000 on the spot. What? You suddenly got sick?
That's what I thought.


GOLF RULES ON THE SPOT What do you give the golfer who has everything? How
bout the rules of golf for your back pocket. This is the perfect gift for Tiger Woods who
will know longer have to "guess" on his penalty drops during his PGA tournaments.


BODY PIERCING KIT It's really amazing what you can find on-line these days. I was
debating whether or not to pierce my tongue, but it became a no-brainer after I bought the
home body piercing kit for $79.95. To be able to yell, scream, and bite down hard on my
tongue in the comforts of my own home was just too good to pass up.



RON BURGUNDY MAKE-UP KIT Who is hottest television anchor on television right
now? Brian Williams? Doubt it? Matt Lauer? Be real. Ron Burgundy is the most-talked
about TV personality on TV right now! With his movie set to debut this month, he is everywhere.


I found a Ron Burgundy anchorman kit on Amazon. It's complete with a wig and mustache.
I ordered it just in case I wanted to make a real comeback. It can be yours for $24.99. Guaranteed
to be a big hit next Halloween as well.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

ALABAMA, AUBURN, AND THE BEAUTY OF SPORTS


You can gauge the pulse of the sports nation by checking out the news feed of Facebook
during the weekend. Once you navigate through the pictures of food and the bare feet by the
ocean, there is usually a plethora of comments posted by sports "experts" across the nation.

It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out the type of fans out there. There are the ones
who think their teams and players should win every game, championship, and post-season
award. (Boston fans).  The ones who think their teams should win everything, but never do.
(Jets, Mets, Rangers, and Knicks). Finally, there are experts who aren't happy unless they
are bitching about their teams. They can't do this, can't do that, and just plain suck. It
really is quite entertaining.


A lot of these folks talk about their favorite teams using "we" and "us" in the same sentence,
as if they have actually sweated through two-a-days together or took part of a champagne
celebration in the clubhouse. Wearing authentic laundry of your favorite team during a
two-hand touch football game on the weekend, doesn't actual make you a part of it. And
in all reality, we all are cheering for laundry with the name of the team stitched across the
front of it.

Saturday was a day not to root for a team, but rather to just admire and inhale the beauty of
sports. There was no script and nothing was routine. It was spectacular. Ohio State-Michigan,
which is quite possibly the best rivalry in college football, was a scintillating game not
decided until the Wolverines had the courage to go for the win, but came up short. I could've
used the word, "failed", but that doesn't quite fit for a team that played so valiantly and
played for a  monumental win, instead of a tie. Who can get on them for that? Who can
get on a bunch of kids and young men, which we often seem to forget.

That game was just a teaser for one that turned out to be one for the ages. Alabama-Auburn,
heated rivals, the Iron Bowl, a trip to the SEC championship on the line. There was Nick
Saban, the control freak who often preaches about "the process" matching wits with Gus
Malzahn, an offensive wizard who has resurrected a proud program in less than a year
in the toughest conference in the country.


The Tide are the like the New York Yankees of college football, a program steeped in
tradition where success is defined by the number of national championships, not division
titles, they've won. To Alabama, Auburn is the red-headed step child and the program that
has always taken a back seat to the Tide.


Saturday was different. You could just feel it from the opening kick-off. This game had
everything: big plays, bad calls, taking chances, and finally, a sequence that will go down
as one of the most important in the history of this great rivalry. Even if you were just a
casual fan, it was easy to get totally engrossed in this game. You didn't dare click away
or get up for food or to take a long bathroom break. This was just too good. This is what
sports is all about. This was a beautiful thing.


Good is not a word many used to describe Saban's decision to try a seemingly unmakeable
57-yard field goal. Of course, most of the experts used it after Auburn returned the miss
for a touchdown with no time left on the clock. Saban went for the win. What's the crime
in that? He had to at least try to win the game. Anything can happen in overtime, right?
The control freak that Saban is, he wanted to his team to decide it.


It's another great thing about sports: the debate.

However, there is no debating the beauty of this game, even if you didn't like the final
score. If you didn't really care who won or who lost, this game personified the beauty of
sports. In any given game, you can see something you've never seen before, even in
a world that's experienced millions of games over more than 100 years. Oh, sure, a failed
kick has been returned for a touchdown before, but it didn't end a game the magnitude of
the one played between Alabama and Auburn.


It's never happened to a coach like Saban who prides himself on being meticulously prepared
and teaches his players to be ready for any situation. He prepared him team for a return
on a failed field goal, and they still failed to stop it.

It can happen in sports and that's the beauty of it. We should always appreciate it.