Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"I and millions of fans think that's pathetic."

That's a Republican, Jim Bunning, speaking for all of us about baseball's steroid problem. A year ago, the union didn't want steroid testing or any punishments; now they're proposing a 20 game suspension for a first time offender. I'd consider that progress, but Jim Bunning and John McCain are trying to grab some headlines by fighting for the integrity of America's past time.

If Jim Bunning wants to speak about what's pathetic, here's what one fan thinks. I think it's pathetic that your house majority leader was just indicted, I think it's pathetic that your President chose a crony who's only experience is running horse shows to head FEMA, I think it's pathetic that the federal government didn't respond quicker to Hurricane Katrina, I think it's pathetic that the administration is already politicizing the rebuilding of New Orleans, I think it's pathetic that you have so many hearings about this drug problem but just shrug off the President's past drug use and the governor of California's celebrated steroid use, I think it's pathetic that you haven't investigated the misleading arguments that lead us into the Iraqi quagmire, I think it's pathetic that nothing is been done about Karl Rove who compromised National security for political gain, I think it's pathetic that Congress is avoiding the topic of prisoner abuse, I think it's pathetic that nothing is being done about the oil industry and insurance companies screwing Americans after a natural disaster, I think it's pathetic that when there's so many important issues for you to address, you're wasting your time on baseball.

If there were no Wild Cards...

This is what the standings would look like if the divisions were like they were before the Wild Card was introduced:

AL East
1. Indians 92-65
1. Red Sox 92-65
1. Yankees 92-65

AL West
1. White Sox 94-63
2. Angels 91-66

NL East
1. St. Louis 97-61
2. Philadelphia 84-74

NL West
1. Atlanta 90-68
2. Houston 86-71
3. San Diego 78-79

The Sox, Yanks, and Indians would be battling for one spot in the playoffs. The Angels, Phillies, and Astros would be out of luck, and the Padres would be 12 games back.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Couldn't resist

Derek Jeter's new girlfriend?

To make up for the picture above

Haven't written about women sports in a while. Kournikova actually has played in a recent tournament.

Metaphorical headache

In baseball, if a batter has three strikes, he's out. Teachers and parents created a metaphor out of this and now when children misbehave, they'll say, "that's strike one," and so on (not a good behavior strategy by the way, you can read about it at BartcopTeaching). Politicians also use the metaphor when talking about crime, and, if someone is arrested three times, they go to jail for a long time.

So where am I going with this? Here's a quote about steroid punishments:
"Twenty games are not enough," baseball spokesman Rich Levin said. "Also, the union's proposal is not three strikes and you're out. It is three strikes and maybe you're out."
We've gone full circle! Levin is using a baseball metaphor to talk about baseball. And no, I am not high right now.

Sentimental crap

Here's a reason to root for Charlie Weis. It involves him visiting a kid who knew he was dying, so it may get a little emotional.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

Patriots Steelers thoughts

  • What the hell is a PCL? Rodney Harrison tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL, so he's out for the season. The Pats survived last year without Ty Law, so who knows, they may be okay. We'll quickly learn how good Eugene Wilson is.
  • Brady 12 for 12 in the 4th quarter. Nothing else to say.
  • A lot of credit should be given to the rookie offensive linemen on the Pats, but they must have gotten a lot of help from Ben Watson and Daniel Graham. Hope you don't have these two guys on your fantasy team because they'll be spending a lot of time on the line now.
  • I was ready to execute Kevin Faulk for those fumbles, but then he made another big catch and run during the Pats final drive.
  • Adam Vinatieri is great, yada, yada, yada. Interesting that the Pats set up the field goal without calling a timeout or even spiking the ball. Michael Felger of the Boston Herald claims that most NFL teams would not have been able to pull that off so smoothly.
  • I wonder when Bill Cowher is planning on calling that last time out.
  • If Brady and Vinatieri didn't deliver, I'd be going on and on about that terrible pass interference call -- just a terrible call.
  • Nice lateral by Randel El. I think he got the idea from watching the commercial with Moss and the Burger King mascot too much.
  • Hopefully we saw the last of Klecko as a fullback last week in Carolina. Patrick Pass always seems to perform well when given a chance.
  • Willie Parker ran for just 55 yards. Is it too early to say the Patriots have the best defensive line in football?

Patriots Free NFL Thoughts

  • Pennington's out for the season. Based on what I saw over the first few games of the season, Jets fans shouldn't mind too much.
  • Eagles and Bills fans should mind about their teams' injuries. J.P. Losman doesn't look like he'll win many games on his own. Takeo Spikes, the heart of the Bills defense is done for the year. Ackers may be out for only a week or two, but he may be the most irreplaceable Eagle.
  • Speaking of kickers, is there a more enjoyable person to watch fail than Sebastian Janikowski?
  • I'll admit it. I like Chad Johnson's touchdown dances.
  • Is is possible that Brett Favre will be the quarterback of a 1-15 team?
  • Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison just became the most prolific passer receiver combination, passing Jim Kelly and Andre Reed. These combos also happen to have the same amount of Super Bowl rings, none. That's not really fair to Kelly and Reed. They at least made it to the Super Bowl.
  • Jim Haslett was right to complain about the Saints New York "home game," but he complained for too long. His team looks like they're losing focus, but you really can't blame them either.
  • With the Sunday Night Football announcing crew every player and play is amazing. They're actually not exaggerating when they talk about LaDainian Tomlinson. It will be interesting to see how he does next week.
  • Watching Bledsoe hooking up with Terry Glenn brings back good memories, but the talent on the field in that game did little to remind me of those great matchups the Cowboys and Niners had in the nineties.
  • The Dominoes pizza with steak looks disgusting.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Answer to Guess the Athlete

Here's the roatation of the 1995 Red Sox, the last Sox team to win the division.

Tim Wakefield 16-8, 2.95 ERA
Erik Hanson 15-5, 4.24 ERA
Roger Clemens 10-5, 4.18 ERA
Zane Smith 8-8, 5.61 ERA
Vaughn Eshelman 6-3, 4.85 ERA

Friday, September 23, 2005

Snitch or Liar?

Rafael Palmeiro has quickly turned from a player no one cares about into a player that everyone absolutely hates. Congress is investigating him for perjury, so he's trying to come up with an excuse for testing positive. He could have went the generic way and said that he misread a label or a doctor gave him something for an injury. But no, team player Palmeiro decided to blame his teammate, Miguel Tejada. Palmeiro claims that Tejada gave him what Raffy thought were B12 vitamins, and those must have actually been steroids. Sure, I always take vitamins that people hand me.

First, I think Palmeiro's a liar. It's bad enough that he's trying to throw the blame to a teammate, but what's worse is he's trying to blame one of the most popular players in baseball. Luckily for Tejada and baseball, Palmeiro has no credibility. Then again, Tejada was a teammate of Jason Giambi.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Batting 7th, Dontrelle Willis

Jack McKeon put pitcher Dontrelle Willis in the 7th spot of the lineup tonight. Not sure if this is a compliment to Willis or an insult to the Marlins' hitters. Willis ended up going one for four. Oh yeah, he also outdueled Pedro Martinez to pick up his 22nd win. (I must have motivated Pedro because he's pitched well since I said he's "surprisingly fading")

Back to Willis; he's been one of the best stories in baseball. It's a shame he plays in a city that ignores baseball. The Florida papers will probably write more about Ricky Williams farting than Willis getting his 22nd win.

Has a team ever won with one average reliever?

And with inherited runners on base, Mike Timlin is well below average. The Red Sox have the worst bullpen in the history of baseball, and to make things worse Keith Foulke's done for the season. If the Sox make the playoffs (that is a very big if), I guess Francona will just have to depend on all of his starters pitching complete games (I'm not sure if Matt Clement can pitch a complete inning right now). In other words, Francona needs to do something to improve the bullpen. Some ideas:
  • Try the young arms. Hansen, Papelbon, and Delcarmen have the talent, but are they ready? Let's find out and put them in pressure situations. Francona's other option is to pitch Timlin too much or put in a veteran who he already knows will fail. It is a risk to put in young pitchers in a pennant race, but the Sox are in a desperate situation, and they'll need more than Timlin if they make the playoffs. The Sox need to find out if some of these guys can do it.
  • Overwork Wakefield. His arm is amazing, so you could put him in some situations between starts.
  • Put Arroyo in the bullpen. This might be the most drastic move because he's one of the better starters on the team. However, he has a rubber arm and has come up big in the playoffs out of the pen. The problem is you're taking him out of the rotation, which means David Wells and Matt Clement play a bigger role.
  • Score 20 runs a game.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


The New Orleans Hornets will be playing their home games in Baton Rouge and Oklahoma City. However, when they play the Knicks, their "home games" will be at Madison Square Garden.

Piniella leaving

It's been reported that his contract will be bought out at the end of the season. That means the rumors of him replacing Joe Torre will begin very soon, especially if the Yankees don't win the World Series.

If I were a Yankee fan, I'd probably have a meeting tomorrow with a parole officer. Wait, what I meant to say is if I were a Yankee fan, I would not want Torre replaced with Piniella. If Piniella were managing the Yanks this year, there is no way they'd be in contention. Torre's calm patience and leadership has helped the Yankees' pitching staff survive and helped Giambi become a contributor. The Yankees would have quit with Piniella at the helm.

Well said...

"They made this seem like the Super Bowl," quarterback Aaron Brooks said of the NFL and the hoopla after New Orleans had six turnovers and 13 penalties. "We played a team that outplayed us today, but it was way overdone. Setting up a stage, traveling out here, was uncalled for.

"Try not to patronize us next time, traveling us to New York, saying we're playing a home game."


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

2-0 jubilation?

Winning the first two games puts you on top of all those stupid power rankings, but several 2-0 teams have gone on to have terrible seasons. How excited should fans be about the following 2-0 teams?

New York Giants: You may have noticed I have a bit of an anti New York bias. Their "road game" against the Saints just completely pissed me off. Giving the Giants an extra home game was completely unfair to the rest of the NFC. They've looked good lately, and I respect Tiki Barber, but the Redskin's, Eagles', and Cowboy's defenses will give Eli fits. They probably don't make the playoffs.

Washington: Their defense has looked good and their offense has looked good for half of a quarter. Can you picture Brunell taking a team to the playoffs?

Tampa Bay: I'm on the bandwagon. Gruden can coach and Cadillac Williams has looked great.

Cincinnati: Palmer and his receivers can do a lot of damage and Rudi Johnson is an underrated back. They'll make the playoffs.

Pittsburgh: They haven't had the best competition yet, but they've looked very good. As long as they can keep up the running game, the Steelers will be a scary team. I'm not sure how they'll recover from their loss to the Patriots next weekend though.

Indianapolis: They have a defense and the usual offense. They'll have a great season, but it won't mean anything of Manning chokes in the playoffs again.

Kansas City: Wonderful offense and an improved defense, but they've already had some bad injuries. With their running attack, they'll scare teams into the playoffs.

0-2 Panic?

The 2001 Patriots proved that an 0-2 record doesn't mean your season's over. Here's the winless teams in the NFL. Should they be thinking about the playoffs or a high draft pick?

Green Bay: Favre looks old, their best receiver is out for the season, and Mike Sherman is their coach. Green Bay fans should start looking for Mel Kiper articles. One positive, they get to play the Vikings twice.

Minnesota: Culpepper can't be this bad? Mike Tice is that bad. There's some talent on this team, so I'd say look for a season of mediocrity (about 8-8)

Arizona: Come on it's the Cardinals! The only question is how will they screw up next year's high draft pick.

Baltimore: As usual the defense will win some games, but with their quarterback situation the Ravens are looking at an 8-8 record.

Houston: Just terrible. Houston fans, stick with the Astros and Rockets, or even the Comets.

Oakland: Not a big Norv Turner fan, but I think this team has the talent to turn things around. They gave the Chiefs a tough time, and I don't see any other powers in the AFC West.

San Diego: Let the quarterback controversy begin. They should have traded Brees in the offseason; his value will never be as high again. With Gates and Tomlinson they can get back into the playoff race.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Redskins comeback

I was all set to write about how Parcells is such a good coach for Bledsoe and how the Cowboys might have deserved the preseason hype they received. Then on 3rd and 27, Mark Brunell of the 90's showed up scrambling for 25 yards, making clutch 4th down throws, and throwing two perfect bombs to Santana Moss.

As for Dallas, Aaron Glenn has to at least put a hand on the speedster Moss. Roy Williams can't let Moss get by him in that situation, and then let it happen again. Also, Bledsoe brought nothing in the fourth, but I wouldn't blame him for the loss.

As for Madden and the ABC crew. First they post a statistic saying that Parcells is 77-0 when his team is leading by at least 13 points in the fourth. Then, they show a montage of Roy Williams' highlights, and Madden gushes about how wonderful he is. Roy Williams then gets burnt twice and Parcells doesn't run Julius Jones enough to close the game.

NFL quick thoughts

  • Fantasy owners of Daunte Culpepper may be considering retirement.
  • Let's not get too carried away attributing the Vikings struggles just to Randy Moss's departure. The Vikings also lost their offensive coordinator and their best offensive lineman. Mike Tice is also their coach.
  • Moss hasn't given the Raiders any wins either so far.
  • I did my Patriot overreaction yesterday, but I'm worried they miss Charlie Weis. Weis was a disciplinarian in practice, so maybe he would have prevented some of those stupid penalties and drops. Yesterday's play calling wasn't good either. Charlie would have called some screens.
  • I was going to mention how Curtis Martin continues to amaze, but now he's having an MRI. That means more of those Pennington passes!
  • Green Bay 0-2. Kris from Key West left just in time.
  • Romeo got his first win with Braylon Edwards looking good. Don't get too carried away;they only beat the Packers.
  • The Steelers beat the Texans. In a related story, I beat my five-year old niece in tic-tac-toe.
  • The Texans took David Carr with the overall number one pick in 2002. The Bengals took Carson Palmer with the overall number one pick in 2003. Timing is everything.
  • Palmer will be considered a top 5 quarterback very soon.
  • The Colts' defense is winning games? That is bad news for the rest of the league, but the Colts' defense gets too much blame for playoff struggles over the last few years. Look at the playoff losses the Colts had against the Jets and Pats. It was Superman Peyton Manning's fault they lost those games, not the defense's.
  • Is Brian Billick still an offensive genius?
  • With that commercial where that guy sky dives to his car, they say that you should not try this at home. But how else do you get to your car if your home is on top of a mountain too steep for cars?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

In honor of my earlier post on Tim Wakefield, who were the four other starters who made up the Red Sox 1995 starting rotation?

The picture of teammate Mike Greenwell is there for some inspiration.

My post game overreaction

  • When the Pats lost to the Steelers last year, they were outplayed by a team who was better than them for that day. This wasn't the case in the Carolina game.
  • So many stupid penalties, so many dropped passes and dropped interceptions, and a bunch of terrible passes by Tom Brady. The Pats lost this game; don't get too carried away if you're a Panthers fan.
  • The following post are not excuses for the Pats' loss. They deserved to lose.
  • Carolina is a dirty team. The announcers kept saying "tough," and they do play tough, but cheap shotting Troy Brown on the sideline is not "tough;" it's dirty.
  • Yes, Rodney Harrison is a dirty player too.
  • The refs of this game must have Stephen Davis on their fantasy team. If the ball crosses the goal line it is a touchdown, but I thought the ball had to at least be in the player's hands. Davis also had a possible second half fumble, but a ref with a quick whistle saved him.
  • Where was that quick whistle when Ben Watson fumbled?
  • Speaking of fantasy sports, CBS shouldn't let Dan Dierdorf and Dick Enberg embarrass themselves talking about the subject. After the first half Dierdorf said that fantasy owners must be disappointed because Davis had only about 30 yards rushing. He had 2 touchdowns in the first half! Touchdowns are how you get points! The refs weren't disappointed with Davis's first half.
  • Enberg needs to stick with tennis and Deirdorf needs to stick with the golf course.
  • Only one player on Carolina impressed me -- the kicker, John Kasey who had two field goals over 50 yards.
  • Why does Ricky Proehl turn into Jerry Rice every time he plays the Pats?
  • And the Red Sox are getting blown out too! Maybe I'll watch the Food Network.

USC=Mike Tyson?

USC beat Arkansas 70-17, and there's not even any mention of the game on the front page of's college football section. USC right now reminds me of Mike Tyson before the Buster Douglas fight. The games are on late, most of the opponents are weak, and people just assume it will be an easy win. So, is there a chance that USC could get upset late at night with no one watching? And could Pete Carroll get a tattoo on his face and bite off someone's ear?

Hey big spender, dig this blender

General Managers may want to read this information by Gordon Edes before they sign a pitcher this winter.
We took a group of the 17 top free agent starting pitchers who signed last winter and combined their numbers as of Friday. Clubs paid $353.25 million for those pitchers and got a .500 record (147-147) as a return. That doesn't include the $32 million, two-year extension the Yankees gave Randy Johnson after trading for him.

Entering yesterday, and with just two weeks left in the season, only two of those 17 pitchers had won as many as 15 games: Pedro Martinez (15-7) of the Mets, and Jon Lieber (15-12) of the Phillies. The Red Sox' David Wells (13-7) and Matt Clement (13-5) had a chance.

Some example of signings that haven't worked out so far:

  • Kris Benson, Mets $22.5 million, 3 years. 9-8, 4.16 ERA
  • Eric Milton, Reds $25.5 million, 3 years. 7-14, 6.56 ERA
  • Russ Ortiz, Diamonbacks $33 million, 4 years. 5-10, 6.88 ERA

Way to back your player

Terry Francona takes some grief in Boston because he never will criticize one of his players publicly, no matter what the player does. This trait is one of the reasons players like playing for Francona. On that note, here's what Chicago bullpen coach Art Kusnyer had to say about Damaso Marte after Marte had an argument with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen:

''He wasn't mentally tough enough to go back to the basics because of his frustration. He comes in and attacks the manager, tells him that no one likes him and that type of thing. Where does that come from? That's like talk from a 7-year-old kid. It's like he ran out of ammunition and was backed into a corner, so he attacked Ozzie in a childish way. Do you want a pitcher who doesn't believe in himself?"


BC lost. Keeping my usual behavior, I barely watched the game. At Dick's Last Resort, I saw that that BC was up 17-14. I was then distracted by a bachelorette party. The next thing I knew BC was down 11 points, and they couldn't get the ball in the endzone from the one yardline.

I learned again why I don't gamble, and hopefully you learned not to get your gambling advice from the internet.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


College football gambling advice from someone who doesn't gamble or watch much college football

Florida State's playing BC tonight at 7:45, and I think FSU is favored by a point. You can call me a homer (even though I couldn't care less about BC), but I'm putting everything on BC. I haven't watched a BC game in over a year, but I hear that they're playing well and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka may be a top ten pick (maybe he'll turn out to be as good as Mike Mamula).

FSU looked terrible against Miami. The only strength I could see out of FSU was their pass rush. BC always turns out good NFL offensive linemen, so I figure they'll have some god players this year to alleviate FSU's defensive attack. As for BC facing an athletic FSU team: BC does have experience playing Miami, so playing against fast Florida athletes won't be a complete shock to them.

Not convinced by my vague arguments yet? BC is playing at home. FSU has never played in Boston, and it will be 60 degrees and raining. Also Tom O'Brien seems to be a good coach and Bobby Bowden might be coming down with a case of JoePaternoitis.

3 games, 26 innings, 5 runs allowed

Those are the recent numbers of Tim Wakefield, and his outstanding pitching has given him a win, a loss, and a no decision. Consider me a member of the Tim Wakefield Fan Club (as long as I don't have to pay any dues). Since 1995 his roles including being the staff ace, a closer, and an inning eater for the Red Sox. Fortunately for the Red Sox, he's still pitching as good as ever and knuckleballers can pitch well into their forties.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Another umpire needs to be fired

Homeplate umpire Fieldin Culbreth decided to be the star of the game as he ejected Randy Johnson in the second inning for complaining about a call. Here's the humble umpire describing the incident:

"I can assure you that nobody finds it exciting to come to the ballpark this time of year and have to eject Randy Johnson... Randy immediately came off the mound and had some choice words to say. I told him to knock it off and get back on the mound. He screamed again, an expletive and, `Just call it a strike.' And at that point he also screamed out, 'And the pitch to Wells was an expletive strike as well.' And at that point, I ejected him."
And after the game Culbreth went directly to church. The way Culbreth describes everything, his decision to throw out Johnson sounds reasonable. Then you watch the video, where Culbreth throws off his mask and vehemently points at Johnson as he yells at him. It's another case of an umpire being confrontational.

Don't worry, a Yankee fan didn't hack into this site. I'm not defending a Yankee; I'm complaining about a bad umpire.

Answer to Guess the Athlete

Huston Street, 22-year-old closer for the Oakland A's. He's 5-1, has 22 saves, and a 1.36 ERA.
He's also can be found in St. Marysville, California.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Should a DH win MVP?

Yes. I also think starting and relief pitchers should be able to win the award too. I choose my MVP by looking at players who contributed the most to a winning team (the only exception to this would be if a player was having a ridiculously good season. For example, if a Royal batted .400 or hit for the triple crown this year, I'd vote for him).

Good fielding can help make a case for an MVP candidate, but so can other things such as clutch hitting, runs, RBI, ERA, wins, saves, etc. If a player is a poor fielder or a DH, he needs to do a little more than a similar player who also fields well. Because of this, a DH shouldn't win often.

I just think it's wrong to eliminate a DH from contention just because he doesn't field

My MVP votes

American League: David Ortiz The Red Sox have won because of their hitting this year and Ortiz has been the steady core of the lineup. All of his recent clutch homeruns put him over the top. If A-Rod leads the Yankees past the Red Sox in the next few weeks, my vote would change.

National League: Andruw Jones Gold Glove Fielder, over 50 homeruns, surrounded by a bunch of rookies.

Nice season

No tackles, no interceptions, one fight, $10,ooo fine, one torn ACL. That's it for Kevin Mathis's 2005 season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dear ESPN,

I love that you show competitive eating once in a while, but I think you can create a better show. Call it Competitive Eaters Attack! Find restaurants that have buffets or all you can eat nights and bring two competitors in along with the cameras.

We'd have the excitement of the competition along with the comedy of watching the restaurant staff's reaction. Think about it, the great Kobayashi pays ten dollars for all you can eat pizza. Would the restaurant run out of dough? How many slices would it take before the owner had a nervous breakdown? 30? 40? 50?

E-mail me at so you can get an address to send me all those royalty checks.



Bush Taps Isiah Thomas as New FEMA Head

You know your quarterback situation is bad when...

You sign Kordell Stewart. Sorry Ravens fans.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The return of NFL quick thoughts!

  • How does Mike Martz still have a job?
  • Ty Law gets an interception and the Jets get blown out. Perfect.
  • Broncos lose to the Dolphins. If Mike Shanahan retired with Elway, some people would still call him a genius.
  • Two touchdowns for rookie Alex Smith! He really was worth the number one pick! He's a Tampa Bay tight end who was drafted in the third round? Nevermind.
  • So is Ray Lewis gonna hire a hit on Kyle Boller or Matt Stover?
  • Impressive win for Drew Bledsoe, but I think that Burger King mascot is in his head.
  • Was that the same Larry Johnson who had to take his diapers off? He looks like a new man.
  • Why I don't gamble and why I avoid making predictions on this site: I thought the Steelers would struggle with Bettis and Staley out.
  • But I'm not always wrong: Green Bay lost (I've been saying they'd struggle) and Mike Williams caught a touchdown pass (I defended the Lions' controversial pick of Williams).
  • The Colts are up 24-0 with 90 seconds left, so Manning tries to throw a 40 yard pass. Dungy must have Manning on his fantasy team too.
  • For those of you sad about the Patriots not playing on Sunday, at least you had their commercials. My grades:
    • Troy Brown Dunkin' Donuts: B+ (great acting, pretty good idea, but not as good as Brown's classic United Way "I got Bingo!" commercial),
    • Tom Brady and O-Line Visa: C+ (great idea, some wasted opportunities.)
    • Generic Patriots Coors Lite snow train: F (corny. Fans being overheated in Foxboro isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Don't think this commercial will make much sense in December)
    • Diet Pepsi Machine with real Patriots: D (I didn't give it an F because they tried to be creative, but it just didn't work).

Guess the Athlete!

Answer on Friday

Federer the Great

If Roger Federer were human, Agassi would have won the match. Agassi was doing everything right and Federer's backhand was way off. In the third set Agassi was clearly the better player, but Federer has that serve. Much like Pete Sampras in his prime, Federer can still win a set where he's being outplayed because of his dominant serve. Then there was the fourth set which demonstrated why some people claim Federer may be the best ever.

Fading Mets

They've lost six straight and are 1-9 in their last ten games. Pedro's suprisingly fading just like he did last year, and then there's Carlos Beltran. Here's what Mike Lupica had to say about him:

Bernie Williams has 12 home runs and 61 RBI so far this season, and is supposed to be a player in decline after a great Yankee career.

Williams has been about as productive a hitter as Carlos Beltran, and has had more dramatic swings than Beltran has had.

Beltran came into the weekend, the second week of September in the first year of a contract that will eventually pay him $119 million, with 14 home runs and 65 RBI and a batting average of .271.

Big season?

Beltran never had a big week.

For this one season, he has been as much of a free-agent disappointment as any big hire either the Yankees or Mets have ever made. A thinner Mo Vaughn.

Head Hunter

Julian Tavarez beamed Mike Piazza in the head last night. He's the same guy who got fined for throwing at the heads of Astros in last year's playoffs and he threw at Orlando Cabrera's head in Game 3 of the World Series.

There's nothing to worry about though, Tony Larussa said he didn't mean to do it.

I'm not making an excuse, but here's my excuse

Sammy Sosa on his poor steroid-free season:
''My problem has been my feet, and that's difficult for any hitter to overcome," he said. ''I've played with a lot of pain this year but I haven't told anybody. It's not an excuse. But it has hurt. I have to talk now because it's been troubling me."


Remember all of my criticisms of Curt Schilling. If he keeps pitching like he did yesterday, forget any bad thing I said.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mary Pierce is an ugly liar

Elena Dementieva was beating Mary Pierce in the US Open Semi-Finals when Mary Pierce called for a 12 minute injury timeout. The only problem was that she wasn't injured. On the court she showed no signs of injury and her treatment basically was a 12 minute massage. This ruined Dementieva's momentum and allowed Pierce to compose herself. Pierce then when on to win the match.

Pierce did not break any rules although you can question her sportsmanship. Tennis clearly needs to make changes to their rules to prevent players from being deceitful to get a long time out.

What makes Pierce an ugly liar is her face and the post match press conference. I wish I had the video because her body language showed all the signs of lying. A quote doesn't do it justice, but here's some of her defensive remarks:

"No," she said flatly. "No, no, not at all. I mean, I'm 30 years old. I've been on the tour for 17 years. I don't believe in that. I don't think that that will make a difference.

"I believe at this level where we're playing, were all very good players, we're all very mentally strong. I had injuries that I needed to attend to, to help me. I was hoping that would help, that I could play better -- and I did. I just needed to do what I needed to do for my body and that was really it."

"Everybody gets injured," Pierce said. "There are timeouts for certain reasons. Some players go to the bathroom [90 second timeout]. Some change their clothes [90 second timeout]. Elena went and changed her clothes after I won the second set, so it's part of the game."

Friday, September 09, 2005

We're waiting

Before Super Bowl XXXVIII, Warren Sapp said, "I say the day they beat me is the day I retire because I'm no longer able to play this game like I should."

Thanks to for remembering this quote.

Good Bill Simmons imitator

Peter Schrager of did a running commentary of last nights game and I thought it was pretty good. Excerpts:

  • Buddy Ryan's son is the defensive coordinator of the Raiders. Think he's ever punched Kevin Gilbride's kid in the face?
  • Ronald Curry sighting. People forget that in one school year, Curry, Michael Vick, Aaron Brooks, and Allen Iverson played quarterback for Virginia high schools. Not too bad.
  • Here's a reality show idea for FOX. Put Tom Brady in Boston, Derek Jeter in Manhattan, Matt Leinart on the USC campus, and Larry King in a Boca Raton retirement home. Give them one week, and see who gets the most action. Call it "Tail Fest".

Answer to Guess the Athlete!

It's Bill Fralic, the second pick of the 1985 draft. I don't think the Bills are kicking themselves too much for drafting Bruce Smith instead of Jerry Rice, but some other teams can't be happy with their picks.

Here's the top 16 picks of the draft:

1 Buffalo Bills Bruce Smith DE 06/18/1963 Virginia Tech
2 Atlanta Falcons Bill Fralic OG 10/31/1962 Pittsburgh
3 Houston Oilers Ray Childress DT 10/20/1962 Texas A&M
4 Minnesota Vikings Chris Doleman DE 10/16/1961 Pittsburgh
5 Indianapolis Colts Duane Bickett LB 12/01/1962 Southern California
6 Detroit Lions Lomas Brown OT 03/30/1963 Florida
7 Green Bay Packers Ken Ruettgers OT 08/20/1962 Southern California
8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ron Holmes DE 08/26/1963 Washington
9 Philadelphia Eagles Kevin Allen OT 06/21/1963 Indiana
10 New York Jets Al Toon WR 04/30/1963 Wisconsin
11 Houston Oilers Richard Johnson DB 09/16/1963 Wisconsin
12 San Diego Chargers Jim Lachey OT 06/04/1963 Ohio State
13 Cincinnati Bengals Eddie Brown WR 12/18/1962 Miami
14 Buffalo Bills Derrick Burroughs DB 05/18/1962 Memphis
15 Kansas City Chiefs Ethan Horton TE 12/19/1962 North Carolina
16 San Francisco 49ers Jerry Rice WR 10/13/1962 Mississippi Valley State

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pats win

Not much to say about this game. The Pats offense was good in the first half, and the defense was good in the second half, and the special teams -- well, they need some work. Now I get to look forward to an being exhausted at work tommorow. We need more weeknight games that start after 9 PM.

Excuses, excuses

Last night I suffered through miserable traffic, parked too far away from the park, showed up late for the game because of my stupid job, paid $6.75 per beer, paid $3.00 per slice of pizza, and sat in uncomfortable seats that were facing the Green Monster. And if someone offered tickets to me for tomorrow I wouldn't hesitate to say yes.

Between going to last night's Sox game and watching tonight's Pats game, I haven't had time to post much. If you're lucky, you might get a drunken post later tonight.

"It couldn't have been more fun to lose"

That's what I said after playing Strip Twister with the Bush twins. James Blake happened to say the same thing after losing to Andre Agassi in a thrilling five set match.

Hopefully James Blake builds off of this tournament and goes on to more success next year. As for Agassi: this isn't a good time to admit it, but I'm not a big Agassi fan for a few reasons. His hype came before his success, he wasted his amazing talent early in his career, and when things aren't going well for him on the court he turns into a baby.

That all said, I don't hate Agassi and I admire him for what he's done at the end of his career. If you want to beat Agassi, you better do it less than five sets because not many people are in better shape than him or as mentally tough. A veteran like Agassi is supposed to be mentally tough, but he's not supposed to be in better shape than guys 10 years younger than him. The fact that Agassi has worked to get himself in better shape than his opponents is the most admirable thing about him.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Deja Vu all over again

Ortiz celebrates after hitting a walk-off homerun to beat the Angels. What a nice reminder of last year.

US Open

You can guess the theme.

College notes

For expert opinions go somewhere else. Here are my thoughts after seeing 5 quarters and some highlights.
  • Unfortunately I chose to watch Miami, FSU -- not a good game to get the public interested in college football.
  • I saw a quarter of Notre Dame and it was like watching the junior varsity version of the Patriots. Many NFL owners must be having second thoughts about not hiring Charlie Weis when they had the chance.
  • Every time I see the crowd of a Florida game I kick myself for going to the wrong college.
  • Oklahoma loses to TCU while FSU and Miami look very shaky. There are three less teams Pete Carroll needs to worry about facing in a bowl game.
  • Either FSU's pass rush is really good or Miami's offensive line is really bad.
  • The biggest adjustment for me when watching college football is the inconsistent field goal kicking. With most NFL kickers (excluding a certain Jet last year), fans don't need to be nervous with a kick of less than 30 yards. Miami and FSU fans can't say the same thing.
  • Is Greg Olsen the next great Miami tight end or did FSU just forget to cover him? And how did Miami score only seven when the defense could not stop Olsen?
  • FSU receiver Decody Fagg must be tougher than a boy named Sue.

Lloyd McClendon fired

It's a shame when one of the game's best arguer gets fired. He got extra points in my book for going after Tony Larussa.

One headline leads to another...

First: Armstrong, Crow engaged
Then: Armstrong considering comeback

Very smart Lance, this "comeback" will give you plenty of excuses to get away from the wife. "Sheryl, I'd love to join you and your mother for tea, but I have to train."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

Answer on Friday (hint: he has something to do with a previous post.

EDIT: the athlete in question is the blocker (# 79), not the quarterback.


Jerry Rice decided to retire. Maybe he saw my post comparing him to an old Tony Dorsett. Now I'll try to forget his years with the Raiders, Seahawks, and Broncos, and remember him as a 49er who was best wide receiver to ever play the game. He was also a little better than wide receivers Al Toon and Eddie Brown along with thirteen other guys who were drafted before him in 1985

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Greatest Latino Player?

Major League Baseball is creating a Latino Legends team, but Gordon Edes of The Boston Globe writes that they forgot to put some players on the ballot. "...Perhaps the most intriguing omission was that of Ted Williams, whose mother was Mexican, though his Latino roots were not widely known..."

Remember how excited I was about David Terrell on the Pats?

He was cut.

An American to root for

James Blake pulled off an impressive upset, beating number 2 seed Rafael Nadal 6-4,4-6,6-3,6-1. Bud Collins does more than wear funny pants; he's a great writer and knows everything about the history of tennis. Here's what he wrote about Blake.

...However, one year ago, watching the Open on television, a troubled Blake was wondering whether he would ever play in the big league again. It was a ghastly year that included a broken neck, viral attacks, facial paralysis, and, worst of all, the death of his father...

...Get this: Not since Charlie Pasarell beat Fred Stolle in 1965 had an unseeded American bounced the second seed...

...As Blake prepared to serve match point to conclude a five-game gallop, a rare tribute was offered by the multitude. Everybody stood and clapped and yelled so bombastically that even the ''James!" gang was lost in the cacophony....

Friday, September 02, 2005

Answer to Guess the Athlete

listerplus was right, it is Saturnino Orestes Arrieta Armas Minoso. He played one year in the 40's, played a lot in the 50's and 60's, played 3 games in the 70's, and 2 games in the 80's.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Nothing today

Watched a lot of news about New Orleans and read through bartcop. I just don't feel like writing about sports tonight. Sorry.