Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm prepared for the hate mail

I was flipping through the sports pages (I hate print news, but that’s another post), and it seems there’s not much going on. Apparently there was a draft of some sort, and some guys played ball (Mother Nature is now a Yankee hater too). And then there was this gem: “ESPN2 makeup artist files harassment suit.” Now, as a female my opinion on sexual harassment in sports is not a popular one. And I’m prepared for the hate mail, so here goes.

I am sick and tired of hearing about sexual harassment suits like this. You’re a female working at ESPN for chrissakes! That’s like walking into a frat house in your best Saturday Slut outfit and complaining that the drunken idiots keep hitting on you. What did you expect? The guys over at the four letter word are moderately retarded at best. They spend all day staring at each other, reading sports stats off of a prompter, and interviewing athletes. So when a piece of tail walks by, let ‘em look! If you didn’t want to get ogled by a bunch of overgrown frat boys, then go work for the Lifetime channel.

It has been my observance in most “sexual harassment” situations that the bitch had it coming. I work in sports myself and have seen female co-workers strut around the office in skirts and slightly too tight blouses and flirting with the men like horny co-eds. So why is it harassment when some poor middle management sap takes the bait? Men are definitely getting a raw deal here. And the sad part is, all a woman has to do is say the words “sexual harassment” and the guy is done, regardless if there is merit in the accusation or not (Unless your name is Isaiah. Apparently nothing gets you fired if you’re that guy).

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t situations that are cause for action. But lighten up, ladies. Know your environment and what to expect from it. Getting denied a promotion because you wouldn’t sleep with the boss? Sexual harassment. Getting your ass grabbed by Jay Crawford? Don’t lie. You know you liked it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Gay Mafia

What happens when a bunch of aging, flatulating, knob polishing, blog commenters get together to write about absolutely nothing? They end up a year later, still flatulating and knob polishing while writing about absolutely nothing.

Happy Birthday, Boys. May your holy day be filled with beers, bongs, and boobs.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sports figures who need to grow some balls

So I took a few days off from posting and the Yankees got swept (??) by Colorado. I’m not saying there’s a direct correlation, but whatever.

There’s much going on in baseball land today and so I’ve decided to compile a list of Sports Figures Who Need To Grow Some Balls. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Dave Trembley. Listen, I understand it’s tough being the hated guy temporarily replacing the other hated guy who just got fired. But putting a player at serious injury risk just to keep up a streak? And not even a record holding streak at that? Grow some balls, dude. Let Tejada cry over his streak and do what’s best for the team. At 15.5 behind, you’ve got bigger issues than meaningless streaks.

2. Bud Selig. Seriously, he’s like the “short bus” lion in the jungle who finally ran down the slowest, fattest antelope (and by slow fat antelope, I mean Giambi). And I think I speak for the majority of the population when I say, MOVE ON. Giambi’s on his way out, he’s not worth much to most teams, aside from some streaky hitting, and he’s not breaking any records. Yes, it’s wrong to cheat. But how about chasing down the other fat antelope who is about to break one of baseball’s most respected records. Just a suggestion.

3. Roger Clemens. You’re pitching like a girl. Grow a set and win a game or two, would ya? I mean, 7 Cy Youngs and you can’t beat the Rockies?

4. Ken Griffey, Jr. One of the most respected players in baseball is afraid of getting booed. I mean, is this a phobia? Or just a small fear? And is there professional treatment for this? Someone get Arod on the phone. And for that matter…

5. Seattle fans. Shut up. You wouldn’t have a franchise if it weren’t for this guy. You should give him a standing ovation and then line up to service his member. Just a suggestion.

I sense this may become a recurring series. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Welcome home

It's an emotional day here at Strike Zones and End Zones and this is one of the few posts you'll see on here that isn't sports related. After over a year serving in Iraq, my baby brother is returning home tonight. It's been a long, tear filled ride and I'm glad it's over for now (who knows if he'll have to serve another tour). My heart goes out to all of you who still have family over there.

WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER.

UPDATE:
My brother's homecoming made the news! You can see the video here I'm having a hard time enbedding the video to this site).

Monday, June 18, 2007

120 Pitches

"He'd thrown enough pitches," Torre said. "There was no need to make him throw 120.”

Having been at the stadium last night to witness Wang’s near complete game, I can tell you that Torre’s decision, for lack of a better word, sucked. A complete game is not easy to come by these days and all of us in the stands knew, as the game wore on and Wang never faltered, that we were in the presence of greatness. And we were about to experience, in person, a modern day baseball rarity.

Two outs with a six run lead in the bottom of the ninth, and Torre decides to pull Wang and let Myers pitch to Delgado. Minutes later, the Yankees had the win, but the feeling in the crowd was not as celebratory as it should have been. We all stood there, looking at each other with confused looks on our faces. We were angry, perplexed, annoyed. We needed a good explanation and we never got it.

If Torre felt there was no need to “make” Wang throw 120 pitches, then maybe they should have left it to Wang. He'd earned the right to make that decision. There was no injury and no logical reason to pull him. To rob him, and us for that matter, of a complete game was ludicrous. And as the curtain closed and the crowds started to leave, I couldn’t help but feel cheated.

Friday, June 15, 2007

In Honor of Father's Day

In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to share the story of why sports became, and still is, such an important part of my life. (My apologies for being serious. I promise to return to shenanigans and drunken blogging tomorrow).

My dad adopted my little brothers and I when I was 6. My brothers were younger and had that natural gender bond with him that allowed them to start the father/son relationship easily. I, however, was a rough and tumble 6 year old girl. I wanted desperately to bond with my new dad and had not yet established a common ground. He was a man’s man and not one to show emotions, and so I struggled trying to find something to connect to him with. One of the things I noticed was how much time my dad spent watching sports and so I started to pay attention. I would ask him questions about the games, the players, the teams and I would sit there and listen as he talked. And the more he talked, the closer we became. And I fell in love with sports, both for the competitive nature of it, and for the relationship with my dad that sports provided for me.

As I’ve gotten older, my love of sports has grown into a near obsession that has surpassed both my brothers and my dad. My dad cheers against all of my favorite teams, just to get me all riled up, and whenever the Yankees blow a 4 run lead in the 8th the first phone call is always from him. While our conversations have, of course, evolved over the years to cover more worldly topics, it was our initial connection over sports that provided the platform for the amazing relationship we have today.

Whether he is with me physically or not, every game I watch, I watch with my dad .

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Shamefully Overlooked Sports Rivalries

It's collaboration week here at Strike Zones and End Zones. For my next trick, I've teamed up with JP of Pyle of List to highlight one of the most overlooked sports rivalries in sports: Babe Ruth vs. The 5th Hole. Head on over and check it out.

Join me this weekend on Ladies... where MetsChick and I will discuss the happenings of the Subway Series. I'll be at the Stadium for all three games, so I apologize in advance for any drunken blogging.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Voo Doo

Head on over to The Extrapolator to see what we've cooked up for today's Voo Doo Sabermetrics on Dmitri Young...

For now...Yankees. Winning streak. Met's series this weekend. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, June 8, 2007

There's no crying in baseball

"He came to me the next day, and he apologized and I apologized to him and we cried," a teary-eyed Zambrano said after he beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. "I still love him."

WHAT?? There’s no crying in baseball! OK, well maybe there could be. But only under certain circumstances. Having a lover’s quarrel in the dugout does not qualify. The following, however, are acceptable reasons for crying in baseball:

1. You shake off your catcher for the last out of a no hitter and give up a line drive.
2. You spend an estimated $100 million to talk to and sign a Japanese pitcher, only to have said pitcher maintain a 4.63 ERA.
3. You blow the chance at winning the World Series by botching a ground ball to first.
4. You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and realize you’re this guy.
5. You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and realize you play for this team.
6. You’re a Red Sox player, it’s October, and the Yankees just kicked your ass after sneaking into the playoffs with a Wild Card spot.

This is a working list. Any and all suggestions are encouraged.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The talent factory

I was at the batting cages last night for my weekly therapy (some people take anger management, I go to the cages). Each week I take some time to watch the kids, who are the future of the sport, practice and last night my friend brought up a good point. We were watching a young kid, couldn’t have been older than 12, with an incredibly technical swing. He was a good sized kid for 12, and each swing was taken with the same calculated measure, same swivel at the hip, and the same release. This kid had been taught, and taught well. It was like watching a robot hacking line drives.

In the next cage over was another kid, about the same age but much smaller, drilling the ball with the reckless abandon of a street swinger. There was nothing pretty about it. His form was off, his feet seemed unbalanced, yet he was drilling the same line drives as the robot kid. This one had not been taught. His talent was inherent.

So the question that came up was, which kid will go further in the sport? The one whose parents have obviously invested time and money for their son’s proper training? Or the kid with no training who just has a natural eye for the ball?
Of course all good players need to have some of both to be more successful. But which is more important? A player with natural talent can be taught the technicalities, but you can’t teach natural talent to a technical swinger. The problem is, at that young age it’s not about the talent, it’s about whose parents push them further.

It takes dedication, money, practice, coaching, and a lot of other things to keep a youth player going. And once you get to high school, there are talent scouts and college recruiters to deal with. It takes motivated (sometimes overly motivated) parents to handle this. Many kids with the natural talent don’t have parents that push them, and so they fall by the wayside.

I guess my biggest question is are the players that end up the most talented, born to be so? Or are they created along the way?

Monday, June 4, 2007

On butter and brawling

I write this post in a similar condition as the last one…hung over and on a plane. I should definitely not be allowed to go to Vegas.

One of the great things about Vegas is that you’re never at a loss for interesting people. I went to Blondie’s Sports Bar on Friday to catch the first game in the Yankees/Boston series and found myself surrounded by Yankees and Red Sox fans. Thousands of miles from both hometowns, and yet there were more fans of those two teams than any other. It truly is one of the greatest rivalries in the history of sports. (side note: Pyle, lets do a list of greatest rivalries ever).

The highlight of the evening (besides the Yankees winning), was when a Red Sox fan offered a Yankees fan $100 to eat 50 little restaurant packs of butter. And the crazy bastard did it. I’ve never been more prouder to be a Yankee fan. It wasn’t that he actually did it (because that was just plain stupid) but it was the fact that he got challenged and didn’t back down. It reminded me of the old Yankees who didn’t take crap from anyone, let alone Boston. And somehow that attitude found it’s way to Fenway where the Yankees showed some of the old fire and fight, complete with a ninth inning, bench clearing brawl.

Now I’m not going to condone fighting in baseball (you know, except for when you clock your own catcher in the dugout), but it was good to see the Yankees caring about something and sticking up for one of their own. They played as a team, which is one of the many things that have been missing this season. And sure enough, they took the series 2-1. There’s a lot of work to do, and I don’t think for one second they’ll take the division. But for the first time in quite a few games, the Yankees were fun to watch. Not because they won, but because they cared. And dammit, they made me care too.