Monthly Archives: April 2011
Will someone please move the 2011 NHL playoffs out of the witness protection program?
What is arguably the best postseason tournament in all of professional sports is hardly seen on mainstream television these days. Unless you have Versus and CBC, you are missing out on the NHL playoffs.
What is even more baffling is that the NHL re-upped with Versus (along with NBC).
Now what I wish NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will do is have more playoff games televised on NBC. In fact, more NHL regular season games should be televised on NBC instead this once-in-a-blue-moon crap.
Sports fans are missing out on all those first round games decided in overtime and in Game 7s. Game 7s and overtimes are “must see TV” in the NHL playoffs because the intensity in those games are ratcheted up by at least 100%.
It’s too bad that casual sports fans are missing out on the NHL playoffs. It’s reason #1,001 why Bettman should be fired…
For once, Bud Selig did the right thing.
The Major League Baseball commissioner took over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers, effectively placing a cease and desist on former owner Frank McCourt’s tenure.
How it got to this point is one thing. How MLB allowed this buffoon to assume ownership of the Dodgers is even more baffling.
I mean, McCourt clearly did not have the cash to buy the Dodgers in the first place. He had to secure loans from outside entities so he could be approved by MLB. McCourt thus became the first owner in recent memory to buy a major sports franchise on credit!
It only got worse from there. He and his equally buffoon-ish wife sought out to be bigger than the Dodgers themselves. They reportedly told employees that they (the McCourts) were going to be the brand – not one of the most iconic baseball teams in the world. Speaking of employees, they fired a lot of folks who was associated with the team for decades.
The McCourts also ran a team in the nation’s #2 media market as if it were the Pittsburgh Pirates. Everything was done on the cheap, from signing free agents to not beefing up the personnel department. The personnel decisions were not made by the general manager, but by the McCourts themselves.
Simply put, it was all about the McCourts from day one.
A couple of things served as straws that broke the camel’s back.
- The ugly divorce trial where Frank McCourt drew up faulty papers that wrote his ex-wife out of the ownership group. And if that wasn’t enough of an embarrassment…
- He had to secure a $20 million loan just so he could MAKE PAYROLL.
Are you kidding me? Dude who is the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers has to borrow some money just to make payroll?
Hopefully Selig and the rest of MLB learned a valuable lesson: if some dude or woman interested in buying a franchise does not have the cash nor acumen to effectively run one, RUN.
The JaMarcus Russell story is beyond sad.
John Lucas, a former college basketball/tennis great who serves as a mentor to troubled professional athletes, recently dropped Russell. Lucas reportedly grew frustrated with Russell’s lack of effort and drive.
Now here’s the obvious question: how and why in the hell someone with Russell’s talent piss away a promising future in the NFL?
Here’s the answer: it’s a lack of heart.
Russell apparently is one of those brothers who is used to things coming to him easily, meaning he never had to work to perfect his craft. When adversity hits, they tend to give up and move on to the next thing.
Russell came out of college dripping with talent. He could throw a football 70 yards from his knees (in shorts, not on film). He displayed crazy agility and was able to complete passes on the run. The problem was the recipient of those passes were almost always open. Russell never displayed an ability to fit a football into a tight window (in tight coverages).
That is what bugs me about GMs and other NFL draft pundits. They get carried away with measurables instead of what they see on tape.
But I digress…
At any rate, Russell will go down as the biggest draft bust ever. He is now radioactive to all NFL personnel men (and perhaps even CFL or UFL folks).
He has no one to blame but himself and his lack of heart.
He was convicted of of obstruction of justice earlier in the week. While he was not convicted on the more serious charge of perjury, he is nevertheless a convicted felon.
While the prosecution did score a victory in terms of getting a conviction (albeit ONE conviction), there are no true winners here.
Bonds loses. His legacy has taken a HUGE hit. His accomplishments will always have that “yeah, but” to it. Yeah, but he took steroids and other performance enhancement drugs. Yeah, but he wasn’t a good teammate. Yeah, but his alleged PED use was a huge distraction.
Bonds’ Hall of Fame chances have taken a huge hit. The baseball writers have already made it a point not to induct alleged steroid cheats into the Hall of Fame. They haven’t (and won’t) vote Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro. They probably won’t vote Manny Ramirez in.
Bonds won’t go in on the first ballot, though he should (after all, he did hit those home runs and collect some Gold Gloves). The writers are going to make a bigger statement with Bonds. I guess the question is no longer when Bonds get in the Hall, but IF he gets in at all.
Wait, there are more losers.
Major League Baseball loses. It’s home run king is an alleged steroid cheat. Another black eye for the sport where its icons are being linked to steroids. From McGwire to Sosa to A-Rod to Roger Clemens to Bonds. When does it stop? That’s what happens when people in a sport look the other way when it comes to cheating.
The government loses. Nice to see our federal government put our tax dollars to good use eh? A trial where the judge declared a hung jury on the perjury charge against Bonds wasn’t a total waste a time was it? Gotta love our government. Keep up the frivolous spending ladies and gents.
The American people lose. Our tax dollars have been wasted on this trial – to the tune of at least $10 million. As in other walks of life, the average citizen gets screwed.
While this may shape out as being the best post-seasons in recent memory, this might be the last time we will see the NBA for a while with a lockout looming. I’ll go a step further and say that the impending lockout will wipe out half of next season at the VERY LEAST.
Well, enough with the pessimism. Here is how I think the first round will turn out…
(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Indiana Pacers. Bulls in 4.
(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers. Heat in 4.
Those two series will be wastes of everyone’s time. Hit the fast-forward button to the second round please…
(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) New York Knicks. Celtics in 7.
This will be one of the two best opening round series (Mavs-Blazers being the other). I think the Celtics will rue the day that GM Danny Ainge traded away Kendrick Perkins. It’s the only reason my Knicks will have a chance in this series. While the Celtics will have some trouble stopping 2 30-point scorers in Carmelo and Amar’e, they should pull it out on grit alone – unfortunately…
(4) Orlando Magic vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks. Magic in 5.
Does anyone outside of the five Hawks fans think Atlanta has a chance after ending the season on a six-game losing streak? Another dog of a series. This reminds us why the NBA should have left the first round as a best-of-five instead of seven.
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies. Spurs in 6.
Watch out for the Grizzlies. I think they will push the Spurs and pick up their first post-season wins in franchise history. Too bad the sparse crowds in Memphis could give a damn.
(2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) New Orleans Hornets. Lakers in 4.
This is the “Chris Paul can’t wait to get out of New Orleans” series. It’ll remind him why he will never win in New Orleans, and the league why it should contract the Hornets and move them back to Charlotte (more on that in a future rant). At any rate, look for Kobe Bryant to cuss out another referee and call him a f—-t…
(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Portland Trailblazers. Mavs in 7.
This, along with the Celtics-Knicks series, is the best series in the first round. The Mavs should be scared though. Portland is playing some good basketball and is a match-up nightmare for them. The Mavs should tough this out, but they will definitely earn it.
(4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Denver Nuggets. Thunder in 5.
No secret as to why Nuggets coach George Karl preferred playing the Mavs over the Thunder in the first round. The Thunder should end Denver’s impressive post-Carmelo run thanks to studs Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. I wouldn’t be shocked if this ended in a sweep.
Your heart has to ache for Rory McIlroy.
There he was, sitting pretty moments before the last round at the Masters with a 4-stroke lead. All he basically had to do was to keep an even keel and not take too many chances.
However, folks say that if you play not to lose, you do just that – lose.
Then came a triple-bogey on hole #10, followed by a bogey on #11. The horror continued with a double-bogey on #12. When he hit a drive into the creek on #13, his slumping posture said it all.
Calgon, take me away!!!
All of the madness led to an 8-over 80 for the round to fall to a tie for 15th, 10 strokes behind the eventual winner Charl Scwhartzel (now there’s a cool-ass golf name for ya).
This goes to show that golf is the ultimate form of witchcraft. It will turn on you in a blink of an eye if you are not careful. If it messes with the best in the world in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson, anyone is fair game. Too bad it happened to a nice kid like McIlroy.
The question is can he bounce back from it? I think this may stick with the young man for a while, especially given the WAY he lost the Masters. I mean, if he has a lead in another major or other tournament, will that choke job at the Masters creep into his head?
I’m pulling for this kid. I just hope I’m wrong…
Yet he had to quit baseball because of performance enhancing drug (PED) allegations.
Such is the sad case of Manny Ramirez.
The question now is Manny a Hall of Famer?
Well, since the Hall voters usually vote on candidates’ numbers, then Manny should be a sure thing. He had amassed 555 home runs, 1,831 RBIs, 2574 hits and owns a .312 lifetime batting average.
Here are some more of Manny’s honors for you to chew on:
- 12x All-Star (1995, 1998–2008)
- 9x Silver Slugger Award (1995, 1999–2006)
- 2x Hank Aaron Award (1999, 2004)
- World Series MVP Award (2004)
- 29 post-season home runs – 1st
- 78 post-season RBIs – 1st
- 22 grand slams – 2nd (to Lou Gehrig)
Unfortunately, what will keep Manny out is his Hall of Fame arrogance/stupidity when it comes to PEDs. Not only was he busted once A YEAR AGO, he was busted AGAIN this season. The Hall of Fame voters made it clear that they will not induct anyone connected to PEDs (see Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro).
I’ve always maintained that steroids and other PEDs does not help a batter hit a baseball. Either he has that gift or he doesn’t. And I believe one’s baseball statistics should speak for themselves.
However, I do understand that they call steroids “performance enhancers” (outside of the bedroom) for a reason. And his stupidity in allowing himself to get caught TWICE should alone keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
I loved that a team in one of the play-in games reached the Final Four by kicking ass and taking names as VCU did. I also liked having a coach named “Shaka” explode on the scene.
I just pray that the NCAA does not use that as an excuse to expand the tournament some more, especially if it’s to 96 teams. Word on the street is the suits are really pushing that notion.
First of all, the tournament was fine the way it was. Hell, there was no need for a play-in game of ANY kind. The really tournament always starts on a Thursday, not the Tuesday before.
Expanding the tournament only undermines the regular season that much more. I mean, what is the point of playing and winning some regular season games when you can skate by on mediocrity and get in as the 95th team? And do we really need to see a team have to win that many more games in the tournament to even make the Final Four?
There is a reason why a regular season exists. It weeds out the contenders from the pretenders in order to determine who earns a spot in the tournament. It makes the post-season that more meaningful.
Why care about a regular season if half the damn teams qualify for the tournament?
At only 6’6″, Rodman was the NBA’s most ferocious rebounder and defender from the late ’80s thru the ’90s. He was a two-time defensive player of the year. He was a seven-time rebounding champion. He was a seven-time All-Defensive First Team member. He was a two-time NBA All-Star and All-NBA Third Team.
Oh yeah, Rodman helped teams win NBA titles (to the tune of five championships).
Yet what he is remembered most is for his antics on and off the court. On the court he’s kicked a cameraman, had multiple verbal assaults on officials (then again, who in the NBA doesn’t do that?), racked up technicals, and had numerous ejections.
Rodman’s life off the court was even more tumultuous. During his playing days in Detroit, he once tried to blow his brains out in the parking lot outside The Palace of Auburn Hills. He really was the first NBA baller to sport numerous tattoos and multiple piercings. He dyed his hair all sorts of colors.
Rodman also had constant run-ins with the law. In July 2000, Rodman pled guilty to drunken driving and driving without a valid license after an arrest in December 1999. In 2008 he was was arrested following a domestic violence incident at a Los Angeles hotel.
And who could forget his best-selling auto-biography “Bad As I Wanna Be”?
Despite all of the personal life drama, I’m glad the voters for the Basketball Hall of Fame recognized Rodman for his production on the court. We may never see another 6’6″ player dominate on the glass and the defensive end in the NBA for quite some time, if ever…