Monday, October 29, 2007

The Girardi Era

I know this blog has become a bit of an index of where else to find me lately and for that I apologize. Between the Huffington Post and The Naughty American it's been a bit crazy.

For those of you who have been loyal, I promise to post more original content here. And what better way to come back than with the state of the Yankees. For those of you with limited time, feel free to skip to the bottom for the one sentence summary.

I'm hardly the first to say it, but while the Alex Rodriguez announcement by Scott Boras during the final World Series game was easily the most newsworthy part of the entire series (seriously, for non-Boston fans, this series was about as exciting as watching my dog lick his balls), it was a very low class thing to do. Definitely about as low class as you'd expect from Boras, but it was in poor taste nonetheless. The rule that prevents teams from making major announcements during the World Series should extend to the players and agents as well. As much as I hated watching the Red Sox win the Series, it was their moment and the attempted highjacking was unnecessary.

The Yankees spent the season stating that if Arod opted out of his contract, they wouldn't make him an offer. They should stand by this statement for two reasons. First, if this is an attempt by Boras to call the Yankees bluff, then let him do it. The desperation of major league teams for talent has created a monster in agents like him and it needs to stop. If a player feels the need to opt out of a $252 million contract because he doesn't like the coach, players, team colors, whatever, than I have no sympathy – MVP or not. Which brings me to reason two. No player is worth the money and drama that this situation involves. If the Yankees are prepared to enter into a “re-building” era, bringing in a new coach and young talent, then they should do it. Make an effort to keep the anchor players like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada and the rising starter Melky Cabrera and use the money they would offer to Arod to build around the core. Let Arod go find a team willing to pay $30 million a year. Yes, even if it turns out to be the Boston Red Sox.

The second big Yankees announcement in as many days involves the next manager of the team. As I predicted a year ago after he left the Marlins, Joe Girardi has been offered the job and he is expected to take it, ending months of speculation. Girardi will be a great fit for the players and is a smart choice for the job.

So basically fuck Arod, welcome Girardi, and go Yanks.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Rockies are boring

The Colorado Rockies have been called God's Team because of their religious affiliation. Their Christian morals have kept them from being victims of negative press. In an era of cheating and scandal, this should be a breath of fresh air to sports. But is that what the fans really want?

Read the rest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Red Sox have their nuts in place

My newest article for The Naughty American deals with the Red Sox and their nuts:

As the Red Sox prepare for the World Series, the organization will make sure that the field is ready, the uniforms are clean, and their nuts are in place.

“They're pretty meticulous about their nuts, especially for the World Series,” explains Rob Barry, who has been handling the team's nuts for the past 27 years.

Read the rest...


Enjoy

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Listen In

I'll be a guest again this evening on WMEL radio in Orlando for their sports program Last Call. Listen in online around 6:35 ET - I'll be on in the last part of the hour-long show.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fine...here's my opinion

So, I've been asked quite a bit about my opinion on the Suzyn Waldman debacle. I've basically stayed mum...until she claimed she was only being criticized because she's female.

Nothing pisses me off more than women in sports who play the sex card. For my take on this, head to this week's commentary on The Naughty American.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Farewell Joe

Well, it happened exactly as I predicted. The Yankees offered Joe a deal and he told them to shove it. To this I say, BRAVO.

It's not that I want to see him go. He's one of the best managers in the history of baseball. But he deserves more respect than he's gotten from Steinbrenner and he'll get it elsewhere.

As for his replacement, I'm calling it now: Girardi. While much talk has been made of Mattingly stepping in, I don't think he has the stones. Girardi has the experience and the balls to deal with Steinbrenner. He did great work in Florida, despite having to deal with Jeff Loria and the lowest payroll in baseball. And while some think it would be a problem, Girardi's managerial style will make coaching former teammates easy.

As for who goes with Torre? Let them all go if need be. Mariano? See ya. Posada? I love you, but if you gotta go I understand. Arod? Easily one of the best players in baseball. But enough distractions. The $200+ million payroll isn't working. If it's going to be a new era, so be it. Take the money and use it for younger pitching and players who aren't so distracted by their own superstardom.

It is sad to see Torre go and I know he'll be just as successful wherever he lands next. His contribution to the franchise and his impact on the spirit of the team is unrivaled. But sometimes you have to move on. It's been a great 12 years. Here's to a great 12 more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm getting naughty

I've been asked to write twice a week for The Naughty American. Some Most of you are probably familiar with its parent site Naughty America. While I won't be writing about porn (at least not often) I will be writing about sports, as well as adding a commentary once a week.
My first piece on the underside of competitive eating is up. Check it out when you get a chance.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Who's on first?

The genius that is Buck and McCarver. Actual exchange from tonight's Red Sox/Indians broadcast:

McCarver: When a catcher has to use his thumb to give signs, that means the pitcher has more than four pitches

Buck: Or five...more than five

McCarver: Has more than four...

Buck: Oh yeah, you're right.

Special thanks to Unsilent Majority for the transcription.

Who Would You Do?

The folks over at Epic Carnival have started a series called Who Would You Do where they pit female sports bloggers against each other in an objectifying competition. This week they decided to exploit yours truly. Now, I'm against the cheapening of sports bloggers like this especially ones that are working hard to level the playing field so I'm not going to tell you to vote for me. But I'm not going to tell you not to. I'm just saying.

So in honor of the stupidity that is this contest, I bring you my own.

Who Would You Do: Charlie Weis vs. Lou Holtz


Charlie Weis


Since the dropping of some gut fat, Charlie's been looking a little less bacon cheeseburger and a little more bacon turkey burger, however a 1-6 start this year is not sexy. It's a plus that he got his coaching start in the New Jersey high school system and on paper, his coaching resume is quite impressive.His NFL coaching career saw him through four teams serving twice under the equally sexy Bill Parcells. And he's just as capable with a play book as he is with the menu at Denny's.



Lou Holtz


Lou's coaching career is studded with accomplishments. A 249-132-7 record as a college coach is only slighty marred by his disasterous 3-10 record as an NFL coach with the Jets. But it's the Jets – can we really hold that against him?

Combined with his legendary stats as a coach, Lou's goggle-like glasses and endearing speech impediment leaves me weak in the knees. Listening to his tongue mangle words makes my mind wander to his other possible talents. Plus, a night with him would put me that much closer to his membership at Augusta.

So do you prefer beef or chicken? You decide.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Listen In

For those of you who are around, I'll be a call-in guest this evening on WMEL radio in Orlando for their sports program Last Call. Listen in around 6:30 - I'll be on in the last part of the hour-long show.

I'm pretty sure I won't make a fool of myself, but I make no guarantees.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chicago Sports Weekly

Chicago Sports Weekly did a feature on female sports bloggers and yours truly was included in the mix. Check out page 28-29 of this week's issue.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sports Sponsorship: When is it too much?

[Editor's note: This article also appeared on the Huffington Post on October 8]

Recently the New York Yankees paid tribute to the late baseball great Phil Rizzuto in a touching ceremony before a home game. There were words of remembrance in front of tens of thousands of fans and the playing of Taps to honor the passing of Rizzuto. There was also a large MasterCard logo on the ceremonial podium. As corporate sponsorship becomes a larger part of major league sports, it raises the question of what can't be bought. Or better yet, what shouldn't be bought?

As sports fans we have become inundated by corporate logos as companies scramble to stick their brand on every aspect of the game. For a corporate name it is the perfect way to gain exposure with a large target demographic, but at some point it stops becoming smart and starts becoming offensive. In Major League Soccer, a number of teams do not wear their team names on their jerseys, rather the name of their highest paying sponsor. The New York Red Bulls, formerly the Metrostars, even changed their name when the energy drink company bought the team. Not only does this make each player a walking advertisement, but also any fan who buys and wears the jersey. It might not be long before other sports follow suit. Imagine the Yankees pinstripes, easily the most famous jersey in major league sports, bearing that MasterCard logo. Or worse yet, becoming the New York MasterCards.

Sports sponsorship investing in the US, which according to eMarketer accounted for $8.9 billion in spending last year, has left outside companies scrambling to get a piece of the pie. VNU, the company who owns data research brands such as Nielsen Media Research and Billboard, recently introduced a service called Sponsorship Scorecard, which allows companies, teams, and sports leagues to track the return on their sponsorship investment of televised sporting events. Through research, they can determine which sponsorships will put a companies brand in front of the highest number of consumers. All of this comes at a cost to the corporations which is then passed down to the consumer in the form of higher ticket prices and raised consumer retail values.

So who wins? First and foremost, the team owners who pocket millions by selling ad and logo space to hungry corporate suits. Hired public relations and marketing firms get paid hefty retainers to find appropriate opportunities, including the misguided recommendation of the aforementioned podium sponsorship. And finally the corporate sponsors themselves, who get to place their brand in front of millions of paying consumers.

In the end, the fans and consumers pay the highest price. They buy products at a cost inflated to cover the expense of the sponsorships, marketing, research and public relations retainers. They pay top dollar for team jerseys, only to wear them and provide free advertising for the company whose name is emblazoned across the front. And they have their emotional moments of tribute intruded upon by the inconsiderate exploitation of the passing of a legend.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Joba Chronicles

Just another reason to love Joba Chamberlain. He held his composure during last night's freak bug attack. And when asked about it later, he said:

"Yeah, it bugged me..."

Classic.

As an exercise in media originality, let's keep track of how many writers and bloggers compare the bug attack to the the plague, shall we? Here's a small sampling. (We're all so fucking original.)

ESPN: Joba, Yankees can't avoid the plague

NY Daily News: "Here was a Biblical plague come to destroy a rookie reliever..."

AZ Snakepit: "...after being beaten by the Cleveland Indians and a plague of locusts."

The Canton Repository: "The remake of the Fourth Plague of Egypt took place with the Yankees leading, 1-0."

The OpEd News: "With a cloud of bugs reminicent of a biblical plague harrying his face..."

Tea Leaves: "Then, the midges came out, like some Biblical plague..."

Somewhat Manly Nerd: "It was like God sent down a plague to sabotage Joba."

The Opinion Smith: "There was an insect plague of Biblical proportions at Jacobs Field."

The Yankee Apologist: Even God Hates The Yankees, Sends Plague

Friday, October 5, 2007

Yankees Words of Wisdom

Well obviously there's been much coverage of the Yankees beat down at the hands of the Indians. Wang blew it like a whore at a banker's convention. What can the Yankees possibly have to say? Let's take a look some of the wise words uttered to the media by the boys in pinstripes:

"They just were hitting everything," Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez said. "Even their outs were hard."
Well that just proves it. Smart guy. And totally not gay.

"Let's just get over it and lick our wounds and then we'll figure it out," New York manager Joe Torre said.
Yeah. We've got plenty of time before tonight's game. We'll talk about the loss, take some bubble baths, cry over it with some red wine and Ben & Jerry's, and then we'll figure it out. Good plan.

"We needed to stop them," said Johnny Damon, who hit a disputed homer leading off the game. "We couldn't stop their offense. Everything they were hitting went out of the park. You definitely don't want to see that happen in the first game."
And by “we” you mean “Wang”, right?

"I thought it was exactly the game plan we wanted to execute," Rodriguez said.
Ah, I get it. You're hustling them. Get shelacked and make them think you suck. And then win when they're least expecting it. Carry on then.

"I feel today wasn't good," Wang said. "Maybe I worked too quick."
Yeah, that's it. You were too quick. You were Johnny Fucking Quick. The goddamn Flash. Slow it down next time. Genius.

[This post also appears on Babes Love Baseball]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'm a live bloggin' y'all

For those of you who'll be around, I'll be live blogging the Red Sox - Angels match-up tonight over at Deadspin. I'll do my best to entertain you while keeping my Sox hatred in check.

Check in when you can and see what I'm up to. I'm sure the commenters over there will be more than willing to keep me on my toes.

Welcome to the post season!!

UPDATE: You can see the results of my live blogging here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Stop Being A Pussy

I've brought you Sports Figures Who Need To Grow Some Balls and Sports Figures Who Need To STFU. Today we have Stop Being A Pussy.

Today's pussy: Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie broke the world marathon record on Sunday by winning the Berlin marathon in two hours, four minutes and 26 seconds. Almost 3 hours of sweating, cramping, and fatigue that turns even the strongest men into vomiting wimps. But 10 minutes after breaking the record, Gebrselassie called the former record holder and apologized.

What? You don't apologize for breaking a record (unless you're this guy, at which point you should apologize for breathing). You call the former record holder and say “Yeah bitch! Let's see you do THAT!”. Now I'm all for good sportsmanship, but the unwritten rules of competition state that if you're going to kick some ass, you do it unapologetically. So stop sniveling and start training Gebrselassie. I'm sure someone's coming after your record and I guarantee you there will be no apologies when they dust you.

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Speaking of record breaking, Michael Strahan broke the Giants franchise record for career sacks in Sunday's game against the Eagles with a sack on Donovan McNabb. Mark Ecko is now trying to have an asterisk branded on McNabb's ass before launching him into space.