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Monday, May 24, 2010

Another great moment in irresponsible Milton Bradley journalism

Milton Bradley isn't keen on coaching or much in the way of structure when it comes to people guiding his baseball career, but he has apparently hired a personal PR rep. That's the only reasonable explanation for this

The headline for the ESPN.com piece linked above by Elizabeth Merrill reads, "Bradley no longer blaming others." Fine and well. Leaves you skeptical, but you read on, only to come across this second-paragraph sentence about getting pulled over after infamously bolting from the ballpark in the middle of a game earlier this month with the Seattle Mariners:
And now he is stopped on the side of the road, pulled over for speeding, even though he knows the car in the next lane was going just as fast.
Either Merrill got a Doc Brown DeLorean up to 88 mph, went back in time and hopped in the car with Bradley to witness this car speeding along with Bradley, or Bradley told her the overlooked motorist next to him was going just as fast. Nevermind what he was doing. She clearly took his word for it and wasn't quite quick enough to realize what he was doing before she wrote and submitted the story. Deflecting blame. It's the story of Milton Bradley's life and supposed subject of this article, yet it contradicts itself in Paragraph 2.

Now what did we learn?

Irony can be a writer's best friend if used intentionally. And when it accidentally slips through and into your by-lined copy, it makes you look like a high school cheerleader writing a letter to the editor of the school newspaper, and it inevitably bites you on the ass. Unfortunately for Merrill and the ESPN employee who wrote this headline, it's currently biting them on the ass in front of millions of readers on the Web site.

Don't bother reading the whole thing – it's a waste of your time, as I could tell 1 1/2 paragraphs in. All the further reading you need to do can be accomplished by going through and soaking in the soothing ocean tones of the subheads: He speaks softly, He acts differently, He could help the Mariners, He's been welcomed, He's working on himself.

Are we talking about Mr. Rogers here? I'll take a shot at helping her out with those and cleaning them up for accuracy's sake:
  1. He speaks softly and so do most serial killers.
  2. He acts differently and by "differently" we mean psychotic and delusional.
  3. He could help the Mariners if he could still hit a baseball and didn't need to take two-week leaves of absence starting without notice in the middle of a game when he suddenly decided to take his ball and go home like a 5-year-old whose mommy said he was special and allowed him to breastfeed a year or two too long.
  4. He's been welcomed because everyone in the clubhouse is afraid he hides a knife in his locker.
  5. He's working on himself because his agent finally made him realize he will be out of baseball permanently by August if he doesn't at least make it look like he's changing.
The only worthwhile tidbit the reader gets out of sticking with this from start to finish is that in addition to sucking at life in general, Bradley also sucks at driving a motor vehicle, and his it's-someone-else's-fault attitude even carries through to that part of his life.

Merrill also forgets to point out that, in no uncertain terms, Milton Bradley sucks at baseball. She blabs on for 2,400 words about red lights flashing and rain falling as amateur metaphors for being misunderstood – nothing new to anyone who has read local coverage on this clown for the last decade – yet beyond a simple mention of a bad batting average, she doesn't point out that on the field, all Bradley is good for anymore is the occasional walk. And the only thing that's kept him in the Mariners' clubhouse is his contract. If he wasn't financially handcuffing the Mariners for this year and next, he'd have been served his Eric Byrnes walking papers long ago.

She mentions he was suspended and traded, but fails to point out that he was suspended by one of the most tolerant, docile general managers in sports. The Cubs' Jim Hendry is fine with the sign he has on his forehead that reads, 'walk all over me,' and even he found it in his non-confrontational heart to take extreme measures to get Bradley out of his clubhouse.

This is apparently front-and-center material on ESPN.com, yet she didn't even take the time to go to one of Bradley's former teammates or employers for comment. She mentions a Hendry quote, but didn't even look back through anything archived to see what others who have shared a clubhouse and seen his destruction first-hand have said about him now that he's not their teammate. It's one-sided fluff.

That one side turns downright irresponsible and subjective two-thirds of the way through the He speaks softly section:
Detractors would say Bradley has spent most of his career angering people.
Keyword there – I think you can guess it – being "detractors." She makes it sound like being skeptical of Milton Bradley is on par with telling a 5-year-old on Christmas morning there's no Santa and the coal in their stocking is actually from their parents. At this point I seriously started questioning if Bradley's agent was a ghost writer on this piece. I think of detractors as people who put a negative spin on something that isn't necessarily negative or absolutely the fault of the person they are detracting from. Milton Bradley doesn't come close to fitting into any gray area there.

One thing I'll give him is he must actually be a pretty eloquent speaker, because in one way or another, he turned an ESPN.com senior writer into his puppet. That could also be Merrill's pro-athlete rhetoric shining through, but no matter how this got here, it should have resulted in one thing.

Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com should have been told by her editor on this story to simply try again. She should have been handed a marked up copy of the story and told to start over. And if she wasn't able to produce an objective piece of journalism after that, she should have been handed a cardboard box and told to be gone by the end of the work day.

Calls for termination in journalism typically have something to do with something overly controversial coming out of someone's reporting. The opposite is true here. Merrill fluffs her way through a story – and by story I clearly mean carefully worded press release – on one of the most outwardly controversial and inwardly troubled players in sports. She fluffs her way in circular fashion to the same result of inaccuracy she'd have reached with the other, more sensationalist extreme. And that's just as bad, if not worse, than someone crossing the line on the side of radical.

If you're not convinced of that, ignore what I said earlier and read her story all the way through.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Randy Moller is the MAN!!

In case you haven't heard of my obsession with Florida Panthers' announcer Randy Moller's insane goal calls, the Dan LeBetard Show has commissioned the fourth installment of his highlights to YouTube, so I had to share it here. If you didn't catch it on my Facebook page (@chicagosportsslant) last week, here it is again!! The man is brilliant, and yes, the rumors I have heard is that when one of the White Sox broadcasters leaves for vacation at some point this summer, 670 The Score has asked Moller to fill in. Hell, they should hire him full-time after listening to that monstrosity of a broadcast. STOP LOOKING AT ME, SWAN!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just another night at the Cell

Man, you've got to love cell phone cameras, they always bring out the best in everybody. OK, maybe that wasn't quite the case at U.S. Cellular Field during Thursday night's game against the Angels. Check out this example of Sox fan-on-Sox fan crime in the right-field bleachers. The dude with the fro gets his ass kicked by the guy who needs to spring for a new jersey. Complete with a mom in a jean jacket trying to send everybody to time-out. Hope there weren't any kids in the section.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cheater: The man who stole your sporting heart

Lance Armstrong is not an athlete. He's not a comeback story or a role model, he's not a record breaker or a champion, and he's anything but a hero.

Lance Armstrong is a cheater.

Lance Armstrong is a liar.

Lance Armstrong is a doper.

Lance Armstrong is a criminal.

Notice the word alleged missing from all of those statements.

He is all those things rolled into one, yet virtually all of America continues to give him the benefit of the doubt. So why is it we blindly side with him time and time again when people with potentially credible information speak out against him? Why is it the first thing we do is search for motive and try to defame those speaking out rather than question the man in question?

CANCER: A CREATOR OF ATHLETIC SENTIMENT

Lance Armstrong is a survivor. He took a deadly disease he didn't deserve and fought a fight no person should wish upon another. But then he wrapped it around his wrist on a yellow band, grabbed our needing emotions for athletic heroism and took us all on a supposed ride to greatness we'll soon learn is fraudulent.

We all had it in the back of our minds this could be too good to be true, but we ignored those thoughts so we could join in adoring what seemed to be the most remarkable championship story, comeback story and personal survival story turned athletic triumph all rolled into one functioning combination of man, handlebars, wheels and frame. That means Lance Armstrong is a manipulator, and when you allow a supposed symbol of sporting greatness to play chess with the minds of the sports world, you have a major, major problem.

His accuser, Floyd Landis, who recently admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs for a great deal of his career and during his 2006 ride to short-lived glory in the Tour de France, is a disgraced cheater. Armstrong is still a glorified cheater. Aside from confession, that's the only worthwhile differentiation between the two. Armstrong and Landis are as similar as the phrases "alleged guilt" and "supposed innocence." It's just that one got caught and one got caught and had the means to cover it up.

Armstrong is Landis' doping, Roger Clemens' denying, Barry Bonds' delusion and Alex Rodriguez's ego all wrapped up in one slender frame. And by now, with everything that has come out on him, if we still want to think he is innocent, then we better think the same about Clemens and Bonds. They've taken the same deny 'til you die mentality without anything being proven definitively. If we still think Armstrong is a legitimate seven-time Tour de France Champion, then we better still believe Bonds is a clean and rightful home run king. We better believe Clemens is one of the greatest pitchers we've ever seen and that he got to that point naturally. Because if we don't see these people as apples to apples, our judgment has been completely skewed by one thing – cancer.

It sounds terrible to say aloud and looks terrible to see in print, but it's the only difference between him and the others. It's what has created the sentimental hall pass we continue to give him, and all the while our public scrutiny sends the others to the guillotine. Cancer, just like any other life-threatening disadvantage, has the ability to ooze sentimentality in sports quicker than it can multiply its deadly cells.

Sports fans are so attached to the appeal of the sentimental story, the intoxicating aroma of the against all odds champion, that their ability to decipher true from false and magical from fabricated is completely flawed. Armstrong has made a living legend out of himself by realizing the power of what he claims to be – a sports miracle.

And the biggest problem with all of this is these major cheaters in sports are ruining sports as we know them. Much of why we follow professional athletics is to see someone deliver on the unthinkable. And when time and again the person giving us the alleged sports miracle is a fraud, we systematically begin to detach from wanting these things. Value is lost in the once-invaluable dimension of the sports world, and we begin to assume the worst of the very best.

IF EVERYONE'S DOING IT

Armstrong's sport of cycling is littered with performance-enhancing drugs. Scandals come about nearly as frequently as a Tour winner is crowned. For some, it brings to mind the old question of if everyone's doing it, isn't it an even playing field?

Without question, no.

It's the most ridiculous argument in the history of sports because it completely ignores the entire idea behind sports. In simple terms, any sporting event can be classified as a test of who is the best at following the rules and coming out ahead. If one guy is breaking the rules, it's an uneven playing field. If everyone's breaking the rule, there's no playing field to stand on.

Baseball has foul lines. If a player hits the ball on the wrong side of the line, he cannot advance to first base. That's a rule. You have to abide by it to win, and if he decides he wants to take that lap around the bases regardless, people will look on with utter confusion. In hockey, if a player slashes someone with a stick, they have to go to the penalty box. That's a rule everyone playing knows, and if that player simply ignores it and tries to play on, he'll be laughed at, ridiculed and sent to the dressing room faster than than Lance has ever pedaled.

It is no different with cycling. You can't elect to take a shortcut or hop on the train. If you do, you've broken the rules and you can't win. It's the same with cycling and PEDs. If you come to the race with equipment that doesn't play by the rules, you can't win. If that equipment happens to be your body, you've likely broken one of the most serious rules of all.

YOUR FELLOW TEXAN'S PRECEDENT

Armstrong fell off his bike Thursday, scraped his knee and walked it home from his friend's house, only to answer questions about Landis' accusations.

If Armstrong plans on going through with his script, he better do so proactively and defend his supposed innocence the way Clemens has with legal action against those who have spoken out. At this point, he has to file a defamation suit against Landis because, as anyone who has ever told a lie knows, it doesn't work if you don't go at it 100 percent.

Armstrong has to take it to that level. He has to turn this into a legal matter. He says he has nothing to hide, but he has to remember he dabbles in a sport built on cheating since its beginning. That should tell us no matter what he says about not having anything to hide, he shouldn't be surprised when people expect him to approach this like he has everything to defend. And this time, he can't just spin this as the French Vendetta.

This is an American athlete he supported in 2006. An American athlete who won his race in his absence. Floyd Landis has no reason to make things worse for himself, and by fabricating something about Lance Armstrong, that's exactly what he would be doing. He'd be opening himself up to everything Armstrong now has to do from a legal standpoint. And Landis has been through hell, high water, and high water in hell in the court system to defend his own lie. He wasn't dumb enough to disclose this information without having his lawyers dissect every word of it and make him understand he is now the Brian McNamee to Armstrong's Clemens.

Yes, he's probably looking to sell books. But he's not looking to sell books from behind bars or sell books in order to afford restitution checks made out to one Lance Armstrong.

THE WAR AT HOME

I fear the worst part about all this is no matter what Landis says, people and American media will still remain in Armstrong's corner. The way he's perceived in America is comparable to that of wartime propaganda. Things are always made to look better by patriotism and your own country. It boosts morale, makes believers.

Apparently, his disease-driven persona has that big of a hold on our perception. People are already writing about Landis as a disgraced cheater whose motives now are driven by trying to drag everyone else down with him. Their columns make it sound like telling the truth is wrong if it's about another person. These are the same writers who ripped MLB players for not speaking out against each other and adhering to the code of silence when their sport was suffering. It was their innocence first, the sanctity of their sport second or never.

But there's no such thing as dragging someone else down for something they did, and the only time we try to make it that way is when we're grasping at sentimental spokes.

I am 100 percent convinced this man is a manipulative cheater. And if you're not quite there with me yet, I'm not going to get too worked up about it. Give it time. You will be soon. And when you get there, you'll feel this letdown, and you'll better understand where these words came from.

Lance Armstrong is a cancer to the sporting world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

QUOTABLE: Ozzie on the sorry state of Chicago sports

You know it's gotten bad in Chicago when even Ozzie Guillen is jumping on the hockey bandwagon, and that's just what he's apparently done over the last two years. The Sun-Times' Joe Cowley weighs in with yet another entertaining Ozzie rant:
''Chicago really needs it,'' Guillen said. ''We all suck. All sports in Chicago are very bad, and we need that. We need something good and positive for the city. We all need that.

''I spend more time in Chicago than Caracas. I'm a big Chicago fan. I'm not jumping on the bandwagon because I didn't know much about hockey till last year. We need stuff like that.

''The Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Bears, we're not doing too good. Hopefully, at the end of the season, the White Sox make those guys smile. But right now we don't, and we need the Blackhawks to eat the Sharks in San Jose.''
He doesn't always put it kindly, but he's definitely right on with this. That Blackhawks are certainly deflecting some of the bad that's drifting around town between The Cell, Wrigley, Halas Hall and the brief stay the LeBron Show had in town against the Bulls.

That said, I do wonder what the hockey buzz would be like in town right now if the Sox and/or Cubs were putting a good product on the field. Sure, you'd still have your hockey die-hards on board no matter what else was going on, but would the Hawks be hogging the headlines quite like this if they weren't the only respectable act in town? They sure wouldn't be making it into Sox notebooks like this in the Trib or Sun-Times if there was anything positive on the baseball front to write about. I've got to believe they're benefiting quite a bit from four-fifths of the teams in town not being able to raise a positive hair on anyone's neck.

Friday, May 7, 2010

BREAKING: Cubs promote Castro

A day after being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs have started to make changes and have begun the process by promoting top prospect Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee.

ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas first tweeted the development, and it has since been confirmed by multiple Chicago news outlets.

The Cubs wouldn't promote Castro without planning to play him every day after he put up a .376 batting average in 121 minor league plate appearances with an OPS nearing 1.000. That means Ryan Theriot will shift to second base, Mike Fontenot will be where he belongs and should feel lucky to be – the bench – and Chad Tracy's Cubs career will go down as a blink of the eyes unless he lands at Triple-A Iowa.

I'm not sure how I feel about the move considering just how raw and young Castro is, but the way this club is playing, it certainly can't hurt the team. At least it gives Cubs fans something exciting to watch.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thought it was all Chicago's fault, Milton...



As has seemingly happened at all of Milton Bradley’s extensive stops in his baseball career, Seattle was supposed to be a “second chance” (though he’s on about his 15th chance, truthfully). Things were supposed to be different in Seattle. They were going to do their best to make him feel welcome.

And as has happened in every other outpost of his career, it appears that those efforts were futile and Bradley has poisoned yet another organization after his violation of one of the biggest clubhouse rules in baseball after Tuesday’s game.

Sammy Sosa is still vilified in this city after walking out of the clubhouse with the season finale still going on in 2005. His infamous boom box was destroyed by his relieved teammates after the game, a moment of liberation from Sosa’s dictatorship. He will never be welcomed back by Cubs fans or the city of Chicago for that unforgivable act, the cardinal sin of any team sport. Ex-Cub Bradley pulled the same trick last night.

After striking out looking in the sixth inning last night, he pulled himself out of the game, packed up his belongings and left the stadium. I’m sorry, I thought it was all the racist city of Chicago’s fault for last season’s debacle? Who’s to blame this time, Milton? I’m sure he’ll pull aside a reporter when he feels the time is right to have his interests served to concoct a scapegoat for this one. Where’s Colleen Dominguez when you need her?

In his short tenure in Seattle, he started 1-for-21, misplayed a ball in Oakland that gave the A’s a walk-off win, flipped the bird to a fan of one of his (many) former teams in Texas (again, thought it was all Chicago, Milty?) and now walked out on his teammates and left the park, claiming that he “wasn’t helping the team.” So now it’s a pity party, Milton?

Aramis Ramirez is in the midst of one of the worst stretches of his career for the Cubs. He’s even been dumped to No. 6 in the lineup tonight because of it. Last I checked, he didn’t pack up his bags in the sixth inning of a game and go home. Carlos Zambrano was humbled beyond belief by being yanked from his nearly decade-long role as ace of the Cubs and being relegated to a set-up man. Is he back in Venezuela wallowing in his sorrows? No.

I’m sure neither guy is happy. They’re both struggling. They’re both not living up to their reputations nor their contracts. But they’re still part of a team.

No matter how poorly Bradley is playing, as a member of a team (and a well-paid one at that), you cannot pull the “feeling sorry for myself” act and simply take your bat and go home. That is unacceptable.

He did make a scheduled appearance this afternoon in Seattle to read to kids at a school. So I guess he’s still a member of the Mariners. By the way, I’m so glad those poor kids get the chance to see Milton Bradley, role model. Scary. He sent a great message to adoring kids everywhere by walking out of the stadium when things aren’t going well just hours before showing up to read to them. Great message for anybody to live life by.

I’m sure manager Don Wakamatsu and GM Jack Zduriencik would like to have a few words with Milton before tonight’s game.

No matter how much they hoped and prayed they wouldn’t have to go through this with Bradley, there is no way they could be surprised that this is the path this relationship has taken. Nothing in his past suggests anything but constantly being on your toes to apologize for a player who is barely worth the trouble based on his production.

Even reading Seattle Post Mariners beat writer Geoff Baker’s story detailing the events of the past 18 hours in the Mariners clubhouse shows how even the media in his new cities have to get used to dealing with Bradley. He admits that in his 12 years of covering Major League Baseball that he has never encountered a case like Milton Bradley.

He pleads for the team to help him cope with pressure and help him get back into the good graces of his team. He says that the organization needs to bend over backward even more than they already are to help this troubled young man.

Geoff, drop an e-mail to Gordon Wittenmeyer, Phil Rogers, Paul Sullivan and Bruce Miles. They wrote the same things when Bradley got off to a slow start here last year. And by the end of the failed experiment, they had completely given up hope, as had the Cubs organization.

You’re going to wind up feeling the same thing, whether last night was Bradley’s last game in Seattle (which I guarantee it wasn’t) or he fills the final two years of his contract. His act becomes exasperating quickly no matter he is. It’s just your turn, Seattle.

Enjoy

Monday, May 3, 2010

BREAKING: Bulls to fire Del Negro

Ready the cannon.

The Bulls have called a news conference for noon Tuesday, and sources tell multiple Chicago news outlets the organization will announce the firing of coach Vinny Del Negro.

Del Negro's three-year deal will be cut a year short with approximately $2 million remaining.

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Kei Kamara gives us all a reason to continue not watching MLS

If someone put a ball on one side of a line and there was nothing impeding that ball from crossing that line if you were to start it in motion with your feet, you'd be confident in your ability to accomplish the task of moving it to the other side of the line, right?

So why is it this professional soccer player can't quite do it:


More Roughness

And you thought it was all mint julips and floppy hats...

No, fans at the Kentucky Derby can get right back to their redneck ways as soon as a monsoon and abundant liquor get involved. The best video to come from the weekend (unless you bet the farm on Super Saver...):

Saturday, May 1, 2010

QUOTABLE: Another reason to love Ozzie Guillen

Ozzie Guillen 1, Nick Swisher 0.

Here's what the White Sox manager had to say about Swisher's home run celebration against the Sox today, according to a tweet by Sun-Times Sox writer Joe Cowley:
"That's the way he is. Good for him, enjoy it. I wish he could do it for me, he was a very horseshit player for me.''

And that's what he said after a Sox win over the Yankees. Imagine how harsh he would have been if he'd been in a bad mood after a loss.

Want Chris Bosh in Chicago? Then tell him

Toronto Raptors star and soon-to-be member of the free-agent class of 2010 Chris Bosh is trying to decide what his next move should be, and he wants you to give him your thoughts.

Bosh turned to Twitter yesterday with a few tweets about his future.

"Been wanting to ask. Where should I go next season and why?" he said in the first post.

The second post scaled things back a little, which was probably a smart move considering he still hasn't opted out of the final year of his deal in Toronto, a $17 million pact he's likely to leave on the table with the north-of-the-border franchise.

"Ok... Let me rephrase the question. Should I stay or should I go?" he asked in the second tweet.

Everyone in Chicago right now is talking about Vinny Del Negro being canned and Phil Jackson rumors, but this is the stuff people should be worried about – the players – and man, Chris Bosh and his 24 points and 10 rebounds per game would look damn good on that front line next to Ritalin Boy Joakim Noah with Derrick Rose feeding him the ball.

Also, he's one of the realistic free agents the Bulls can land. Sure, it's nice to dream about LeBron and D-Wade, but those guys aren't going to be playing at the United Center next year. Bosh? Who knows.

So get on Twitter and tell him you'll mow his lawn for a year if he comes to Chicago.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sox leadoff hitter? How about the guy who always swings at the first pitch

I know Juan Pierre isn't hitting, but I'm not one for making a move just for the sake of making a move. That's exactly what Ozzie Guillen has done by putting Alexei Ramirez in the leadoff spot tonight.

Two nights ago, Guillen said he didn't pinch hit for Pierre with a runner on third and the game on the line in the ninth trailing by one because he didn't want to shake the speedy outfielder's confidence any more than it already was. Well, moving him to the nine-hole in favor of a guy with no plate discipline whatsoever isn't going to fix things.

Sure, Pierre doesn't take many walks and he hasn't been known as an on-base percentage guy throughout his career, but he's a lot closer to that than Ramirez. I like Alexei and I think he's a dangerous hitter, save for the first month-plus of the season each year, but he's never going to be a productive leadoff guy. He swings at the first pitch all the time and is way to aggressive at the plate. He doesn't walk and he doesn't have Pierre's speed.

The alternatives aren't great either. Some of the names being bounced around are strikeout king Alex Rios and third baseman Mark Teahen because he's got a decent OBP, but neither of those guys are realistically going to be the Sox leadoff man for the long haul. Rios should be a run producer for this team and Teahen is a No. 7 hitter and not much more.

Fact of the matter is, leadoff men are hard to come by in this league. The one best suited to fill the role for the Sox isn't getting the job done, but he's not going to hit .200 for the whole year. In fact, look at Pierre's OBP over the last few years and you'll see last year it was better last year (.365than it's been since his second to last year in Florida.

He's not hitting, but he's going to hit better, and he's going to hit better in the leadoff spot than anyone else on this team. So why make a move?

Remember, when it comes to Roberto Luongo, there's plenty of crying in hockey

Remember this? Yep, Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo cried last year after the Blackhawks embarrassed him in Game 6. If I'm not mistaken, that was Patrick Kane's hat trick game. He's about as emotional as the women on The View, so hopefully Dustin Byfuglien and the Hawks can get in his head again starting tomorrow. Enjoy:

CSS Headlines

8. University of Kentucky announces basketball program as a whole is going pro

7. Tebow asks Broncos if name on back of jersey can read 'Jesus,' Broncos fans already calling for it to read 'Bust'

6. Vinny Del Negro expected to be fired by team that started Brad Miller in 37 games but still made the playoffs

5. Vegas odds say Luongo will cry by Game 3 in this year's Blackhawks-Canucks series

4. Zambrano OK with move to 'pen as long as he can still assault water coolers between innings

3. Peavy looking into contract to see if he can exercise no-trade clause retroactively

2. Andruw Jones trying to find a way to be first player in history of baseball with more HRs than RBIs

1. Favre becomes grandfather, waffling on whether or not he will play with grandchild next year

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Canucks do not like Blackhawks – or The Fratellis

Nice little video here to check out while the lull between the first and second rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs drags on for a few more days. It's no surprise that the Canucks aren't fans of "Chelsea Dagger," but in other news, you'll notice toward the end of the video that Henrik Sedin still looks like a robot:

BREAKING: Pierre loses leadoff spot

Sun-Times White Sox writer Joe Cowley tweets Sox outfielder Juan Pierre will be benched tomorrow, and when he returns to the lineup, he'll no longer be the Sox leadoff hitter.

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will move Pierre to the No. 9 spot in the order starting Saturday, according to the post.

After Thursday's 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers to salvage a win in the three-game series, Pierre is hitting just .200. He went 0-for-5 in the game and also grounded out with a runner in scoring position in the ninth Wednesday to end a 6-5 loss.

SUPERBAD: 2010 MLB payrolls make Cubs and Sox look even worse

Sports Illustrated has payrolls for each MLB team posted with top salaries for each listed. It's pretty interesting stuff, and it shows just how much wasted money is going around to overpaid players in the league. I thought the NBA was bad, but MLB is right up there. And considering the Cubs and White Sox are in the top 10, I can't say there's a city wasting more money on bad baseball through the first three weeks of the 2010 season. Here's the list rounded to the nearest million:
  1. New York Yankees $213 million
  2. Boston Red Sox $168 million
  3. Chicago Cubs $144 million
  4. Philadelphia Phillies $138 million
  5. Detroit Tigers $134 million
  6. New York Mets $126 million
  7. Los Angeles Angels $121 million
  8. Chicago White Sox $103 million
  9. Los Angeles Dodgers $102 million
  10. Minnesota Twins $98 million
  11. San Francisco Giants $96 million
  12. St. Louis Cardinals $94 million
  13. Houston Astros $93 million
  14. Seattle Mariners $91 million
  15. Milwaukee Brewers $90 million
  16. Colorado Rockies $84 million
  17. Atlanta Braves $84 million
  18. Toronto Blue Jays $79 million
  19. Cincinnati Reds $76 million
  20. Arizona Diamondbacks $75 million
  21. Kansas City Royals $75 million
  22. Baltimore Orioles $74 million
  23. Tampa Bay Rays $73 million
  24. Washington Nationals $66 million
  25. Texas Rangers $65 million
  26. Cleveland Indians $61 million
  27. Oakland Athletics $58 million
  28. Florida Marlins $47 million
  29. Pittsburgh Pirates $39 million
  30. San Diego Padres $38 million

Monday, April 26, 2010

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Up and over the catcher

This is about as close as you can come to posterizing someone in baseball:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kap and I were in agreement on this one


After Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano did his patented stand-and-watch routine in New York Monday, leaving him on second base when he should have had a triple, I went into an irate tirade on Soriano, and WGN postgame host David Kaplan apparently did the same thing. He went off on a caller who criticized Kaplan for calling out Soriano, and in listening to this, it brought back all the memories I had from that game. The good thing, as we sit nearly a week later, is that Soriano seems to have gotten the memo. Later in the series, he hit a drive that could have been a triple and he put his head down and sprinted out of the box and reached third base safely. See, that wasn't so hard, was it Alfonso? Just keep your damn head in the game and you will help me sanity immensely. Things are good after the weekend sweep at Wrigley North, so don't give me a reason to go back to how I felt Monday, please?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Maybe Joakim Noah is on to something

Here are a couple of videos trying to increase tourism in the fine Midwestern city of Cleveland. Perhaps Bulls forward Joakim Noah watched these videos to form his opinion on the pride of Lake Erie. Or maybe Noah is trying to trash the city of Cleveland so much that LeBron James chooses to become a Chicago Bull in the postseason. You make the call! (By the way, YouTube does not have the ability to embed the second video, so when you watch the first one, just click on the second one and enjoy. Douchebags.)

Joakim REALLY hates Cleveland

Prior to Monday's 112-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Cleveland that put the Bulls down 2-0 in their first-round NBA playoff series, Bulls forward Joakim Noah got plenty of publicity (particularly in Cleveland) for his disdain for the fair city of Cleveland. He pretty much said it was a shithole, without saying the words. Well, despite Noah's incredible Game 2 performance, he couldn't resist taking another shit on the pride of the shores of Lake Erie after the game. Check this out:

Monday, April 12, 2010

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Hockey coach breaks whatever he can get his hands on

Pay special attention to the player directly to the right of the coach. He can't help laughing at his coach while he protects himself from the projectile shards of hockey stick. I'm not exactly sure what the coach is screaming at the officials, but I'd like to think it's something like, "I drive a Dodge Stratus!"



More Roughness

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This ad is incredible...

I understand that the mainstream media will have its way with Tiger Woods as he returns to competitive golf this afternoon in arguably the most anticipated round of golf of all time.

And I realize that the majority of his sponsors have left his side after his admissions of infidelity in his marriage and subsequent hiatus from the game of golf.

But after watching this 30-second video I posted below, it had a Johnny Cash "God Will Cut You Down" feel to it. Maybe I'm being nostalgic and looking for the big story, but tell me you don't feel the same after watching this. I dare you.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Buehrle or the guy from Vanderbilt with a broken knee? Who you got?

Sure, Mark Buehrle's kick save-football snap play on Opening Day was impressive, but would he have completed it with a broken knee cap? Check out the following two videos and let us know which is more impressive:


Monday, April 5, 2010

Cubs Opening Day lineup

The Cubs official lineup is posted for Opening Day in Atlanta, and as expected, there aren't any surprises. Here's the team Lou Piniella and the Cubs will field against Derek Lowe and the Braves at 3:05 today:
  1. Ryan Theriot, SS
  2. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
  3. Derrek Lee, 1B
  4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
  5. Marlon Byrd, CF
  6. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  7. Mike Fontenot, 2B
  8. Geovany Soto, C
  9. Carlos Zambrano, P
The Cubs are 1-2 in Piniella's tenure with the club. Their only Opening Day win came last year, which was also the only year they didn't make the playoffs with Sweet Lou.

Pippen elected to Hall of Fame

In fitting succession, Bulls great Scottie Pippen will enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 one year after Michael Jordan entered the Hall.

Pippen won six NBA titles with the Bulls and Jordan, and was an NBA All-Star in seven of his 17 seasons in the league.

Pippen is one of the all-time great underdog stories for the NBA after emerging for the Bulls out of little-known Central Arkansas to be widely considered one of the game's 50 greatest players to ever take the court.

"This is a great moment. This is something that I never dreamed would happen to me as a player," Pippen said. "This is very special to me as a kid who walked on at the University of Central Arkansas."

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: 6 1/2 minutes of gang violence on ice

You know things have gotten out of hand when a bench-clearing hockey fight results in one team no longer having enough players to finish the game:


More Roughness

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Where soccer meets bullfighting



More Roughness

Sunday, April 4, 2010

White Sox Opening Day lineup announced

Here's what the Sox's lineup will look like tomorrow in the season opener at 1:05 against Cleveland:
  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
  3. Carlos Quentin, RF
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Mark Kotsay, DH
  6. Alex Rios, CF
  7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  8. Mark Teahen, 3B
  9. Alexei Ramirez, SS
Mark Buehrle will be on the mound at the Cell against Indians right-handed starter Jake Westbrook.