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Derek Jeter Will Be Missed

Derek_Jeter_Hit_-2722_editDerek Jeter played his last game as a Major League Baseball player yesterday.  All of those seasons have been as a member of my beloved New York Yankees.

This is not going to be a long loquacious rant.  This is going to be a short and sweet tribute to one of my favorite baseball players of all time.

There are naysayers that are quick to point out that Jeter was not statistically a great player.  I’ll count the ways for them:

  • Batting average: .310
  • Hits: 3,465
  • Home runs: 260
  • RBI: 1,311

Aside from the batting average and number of hits accumulated, a lot of critics like to paint Jeter’s power numbers as statistically pedestrian at best.  Don’t believe me?  Check out what ESPN’s Keith Olbermann had to say about Jeter.

To Olbermann – and other critics – here are the stats that I would like to present:

  • 14× All-Star (1998–2002, 2004, 2006–2012, 2014)
  • 5× World Series champion (1996, 1998–2000, 2009)
  • World Series MVP (2000)
  • AL Rookie of the Year (1996)
  • 5× Gold Glove Award (2004–2006, 2009–2010)
  • 5× Silver Slugger Award (2006–2009, 2012)
  • 2× AL Hank Aaron Award (2006, 2009)
  • Roberto Clemente Award (2009)
  • New York Yankees captain (2003–2014)

Oh and to top it all off, anytime a player gets cheers by fans of his arch-rival is a sign that he is indeed an icon.  Watching the Boston Red Sox crowd at Fenway Park not only stand and applaud him after the last hit of his career, they chanted his name!

Look, I’m not going to argue that Jeter deserves to be on the Yankees’ Mt. Rushmoretwice.  Hell I’d barely place him into my top 10 Yankees of all time.

However, there is something to be said about exuding some class.  Jeter is class personified.  His picture should show up in Webster’s definition of the word.  Not only would Jeter be on that Mt. Rushmore of baseball players, I think he is among the classiest athletes of all time.

Major League Baseball, Yankee fans, and sports fans will miss Derek Jeter.  I already do.

2014 NFL Week 4 Preview

NFLGame of the Week:

New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys.  This is a chance to see if the Cowboys are for real.  Let’s be honest about something: Dallas’ wins have come against cream-puffs.  Meanwhile the Saints had to endure a road game against the hated Falcons in Week 1, followed by a hostile Cleveland crowd in Week 2.  Remember how Dallas fared against a good team (though an underachieving one) in the 49ers?  The same thing will happen against New Orleans.  Drew Brees has to be licking his chops at the prospect of going against that porous defense.  Saints 30, Cowboys 23.

Revenge Game of the Week:

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens.  Ya think former Panther Steve Smith Sr. (still trying to get used to calling him “Sr”) had this game circled for a while?  I’m looking for the Panthers to get curb-stomped by Baltimore’s D.  If the hobbled Cam Newton starts at QB for Carolina, I will pray for his safety.  Ravens 23, Panthers 13.

Thursday’s Game

Redskins over Giants

Sunday’s Games

Bears over Packers
Texans over Bills
Colts over Titans
Jets over Lions
Steelers over Buccaneers
Dolphins over Raiders (London Bridge will fall the hell down thanks to this gem)
Chargers over Jaguars
Falcons over Vikings
49ers over Eagles

Monday’s Game

Patriots over Chiefs

Last week’s record: 10-6 (Slightly better than last week, but still…)
2014 record to date: 26-22 (Hail to mediocrity!)

A Belated Happy Birthday… To Me!

As I celebrate my birthday a day late, I want to thank you all for the continued support of my blog.

That is all…

Bisciotti and Goodell Should Share Blame for Rice Fiasco

404px-Baltimore_Ravens_logo.svgBaltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has had a rough two weeks.

He gave a press conference yesterday in response to an ESPN investigative report into the team’s handling of Ray Rice’s domestic abuse case.  Not only did Bisciotti say that a significant amount of the information in the story was “manufactured” from accounts provided by Ray Rice’s peeps, he believed that Rice’s camp is attempting to “build a case for reinstatement.”

The ESPN report in question was from “Outside the Lines” which reported Friday that Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome tried to persuade NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be lenient with Rice following the former Raven’s February arrest.

According to the report, Ravens coach John Harbaugh urged team officials to cut Rice immediately after a first TMZ video, which showed Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator, was released in February.  The report also indicated Harbaugh went to Newsome in March and asked him to release the three Ravens, including Rice, who were arrested in the offseason.

Bisciotti defended the integrity of his organization during his presser.  Newsome and Harbaugh issued rebuttals to the “Outside the Lines” report.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to believe the “Outside the Lines” report, specifically ESPN’s Don Van Natta who helped author the report.  The texts between Bisciotti and Rice are there for public consumption.  Bisciotti supported Rice when the first video came out, and the proof is there that he urged NFL commissioner/warden/playa hater Roger Goodell to exercise some leniency on Rice.

So what we have here is Bisciotti has gone from supporting Rice to essentially throwing him under the bus.

I think Bisciotti should be embarrassed for his role in the Rice fiasco.

I find it hard to believe that the Ravens organization DID NOT know what was on that video.  And even if the organization didn’t know, it should have.  Bisciotti and co. simply wanted the whole thing to go away, and cared too much about the bottom line to do the right thing.

Sure Bisciotti did more than Goodell in addressing the situation, but he still should have done more.

I am already on record stating that Goodell should lose his job over his bungling of the Rice domestic abuse case from the beginning.  In a perfect world, both Goodell and Bisciotti would be ousted for their roles in how the Rice investigation was handled.

Too bad the owner can’t fire himself.

Jameis Winston Needs an Intervention

florida stateI’m starting to wonder about Jameis Winston.

The Florida State quarterback has been suspended for the first half of Saturday’s game against Clemson after he was seen shouting an obscene sexual phrase on campus Tuesday, which is the latest incident in which his off-field behavior has created problems for the team.  The obscene sexual phrase in question was “fuck her right in the pussy!”.

Those who are social media-savvy know that phrase has been used in countless videos.  Here’s a compilation of sorts that will get the blood flowing:

Yeah, that’s not juvenile right?

I have one question: what in the hell is up with Winston?

First of all, he was involved with the alleged sexual assault case last year.  Then he decided to steal some crab legs from a grocery store, while claiming not knowing how those crab legs ended up in his pockets.  And now this.

Let’s get one thing clear: this kid doesn’t get it.  I mean sure, most college kids have done stupid shit at least once on or off campus.  Hell Lord knows I’ve done more than my share of stupid shit.

However, with Winston it is different because he is held to a higher standard.  He is the starting quarterback on the defending national champion Seminoles.  He is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.  He is also a potential top overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft!

Winston had been suspended for the first half of the big ACC showdown against Clemson this weekend.  I think that’s a rather light punishment considering what all he has gotten away with.

Even with this “punishment”, it’s not as if Florida State officials have done much to curb his questionable behavior.  Whenever Winston ran afoul of the law in the past, FSU officials essentially shrugged their shoulders and waved it off as Jameis being Jameis.

After Winston was caught taking the crab legs and crawfish without paying, he was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service and was suspended from playing in a three-game baseball series against Minnesota.  But FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher didn’t discipline him for the incident.

One of these days Winston’s time will run out and he will be “Law and Order”ed somewhere on Rikers Island.  Besides, doesn’t he realize he is costing himself potential $$$ in his NFL future?  He needs to act like he has some sense fast, quick, and in a hurry.

The sad part is that history has shown that Winston STILL will not get it.  Maybe an intervention (or exorcism) would help?

2014 NFL Week 3 Preview

NFLGame of the Week

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks.  Super Bowl rematch – it does not get any better than that.  Seattle looks a little less invincible in their loss to the Chargers last week.  That said, I still think Seattle is the best team in the NFL.  And I know that Denver brought in some veterans to augment their roster, and is looking pretty good themselves.  However, until the Broncos get their heart back from last Super Bowl’s curb-stomping at the hands of the Seahawks, there is no way I am picking against Seattle at home.  It will be a good one though…  Seahawks 27, Broncos 17.

Upset Special

Browns over Ravens.  It’s hard for me to say this as a Steelers fan, but I like what is going on in Cleveland.  Though I must say if it were up to me, I’d have the earth swallow up both teams, but anyway…

Thursday’s Game

Falcons over Buccaneers

Sunday’s Games

Bills over Chargers (Are the Bills for real?  We will find out by the end of this game…)
Cowboys over Rams
Redskins over Eagles (Desean Jackson will get his revenge)
Giants over Texans (don’t trust the Texans just yet…)
Saints over Vikings
Bengals over Titans
Packers over Lions
Colts over Jaguars
Patriots over Raiders
49ers over Cardinals (something tells me the Niners are pissed from blowing Monday night’s game)
Dolphins over Chiefs
Steelers over Panthers

Monday’s Game

Bears over Jets

Last week’s record: 8-8 (What in the hell is going on with my picking skills?)
2014 record to date: 16-16 (Mediocrity at its best…)

B1G Is One Sorry-Ass Football Conference

big10-11-nav-logoIt has been quite an interesting last two weekends for the Big Ten conference.  And by interesting I mean losing big out of conference games and lowering its standing in the so-called “Power 5″ conferences.

Let us count the ways…

Last weekend the B1G’s three brand-name schools Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State all lost BIG (no pun intended).  The Spartans ran out of gas and therefore got run out of town in the second half  in Oregon.  Michigan was shut out in what may be the last regular season meeting vs. Notre Dame.  And in what was the biggest shocker of all, Ohio State lost by two touchdowns to Virginia Tech – at home.

The B1G went 3-5 in seven non-conference games, the only three wins being Ohio State’s demolition of Kent State, Michigan getting by Miami (Ohio), and Nebraska’s curb-stomping Fresno State.  Minnesota and Illinois were blown out. Purdue fought hard but was ultimately over-matched. A shootout slipped away from Maryland. It’s probably best not to mention what happened to Iowa at all.

And after Saturday the Big Ten finds itself with a 1-10 record against Power 5 opponents.  Hell, the B1G also lost three games against Mid American Conference schools this season (Indiana losing to Bowling Green, Central Michigan curb-stomping Purdue, Northwestern losing to No. Illinois).

The B1G has nobody else it can blame for the lack of respect nationally when it keeps coming up short in its biggest opportunities to earn it around the nation. There may still be a College Football Playoff contender or two at the top of the league, but if there’s a logjam for the third and fourth spots in December, the B1G’s best may look back at September games it wasn’t even involved in as the reason it gets left out of the playoff field.

Hell you know it’s bad if fans of the conference of my youth, the Atlantic Coast Conference, are clowning another conference’s perceived weak “little brother” standing among the other “Power 5″ conferences.

Now the B1G could correct this problem next weekend by simply doing the following: win all of its non-conference games.  Nebraska needs to beat Miami at home, Maryland needs to win at Syracuse, Iowa needs to win at Pitt, Indiana needs to a Missouri, and Michigan needs to beat Utah at home.  It’s daunting, but doable.

Otherwise the Mid American Cnference will be looking to pile on the B1G misery.  #MACtion indeed…

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