Sunday, August 31, 2008

The race is on!

With the regular season winding down (including the game going on right now, the Red Sox have only 27 games left in the regular season), the pennant race is heating up for the Red Sox. As I write this, they are 4.5 games behind the Tampa Rays for the division and 3.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins for the wild card lead.

For a team that is missing so many of their regular starters (Beckett, Lowell, Youklis), they are playing surprisingly well. Dustin Pedroia is really stepping up his game by getting a hit in 11 consecutive at bats.

For baseball fans whose teams still have playoff aspirations, this is the best time of the season. Every run scored let's us breathe a little easier. Each out that our defense gets allows us to relax a bit more.

This is only the beginning of baseball's playoff atmosphere. Each out, run scored, and every pitch is more and more important as we inch closer to the end of the regular season.

Right now is an exciting time of the year for baseball fans. So "get your popcorn ready" because this will be fun to watch.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

No victor to hail about

After watching U-M fall to the Utah Utes this afternoon, my feelings about this team and this season are confirmed. U-M fans, put your seat belts on because this year is going to be a rocky ride.

The game began fairly well, redshirt sophomore quarterback Nick Sheridan started out 9-14 for 89 yards and a touchdown. But it was all downhill for him and the maize and blue from there. Michigan gave up over 300 total yards IN THE FIRST HALF to the Utes and fell behind 22-10 at the half.

After a botched hand off to begin the second half, head coach Rich Rodriguez made the switch at quarterback to redshirt freshman Steven Threet. He didn't fair much better, but at least he didn't make a turnover. It looks like Threet is the better quarterback of the two, but neither one are able to run the spread like it is supposed to be run. My guess is that Rodriguez is going to bring in a freshman next season to run his offense.

The defense in the second half was great. After allowing 313 total yards in the first half, they made some adjustments at halftime and only allowed 28 total yards after that. All that Utah could muster in the second half was one field goal. Michigan's special teams played well also. They were able to cause a fumble, block a punt and an extra point.

This game was interesting to watch because they are both running the same offense (the spread). Michigan was running it for the first time in a game. Utah has been running it for years now, and it showed. The only comfort that I can give myself is that once Michigan gets more players in that can run the spread offense, they are going to be tough to beat. Rodriguez is running this offense with a lot of players that Lloyd Carr recruited. But until then, we may be subject to more games like this.

So buckle up Michigan fans. Please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times because this year is going to be a wild ride with many ups and downs.

Friday, August 29, 2008

When you've got to go, you've got to go



A fan was ejected from this past Tuesday's Yankees vs. Red Sox game because he left his seat to go to the bathroom during the playing of "God Bless America" during the 7th inning. He was apparently in violation of a stadium rule.

I for one had no idea that a rule like this existed, but I like that there is a rule like this in place. I've been to a lot of sporting events in my lifetime and have seen way too many people either not paying attention or leaving their hats on during the playing of these patriotic songs.

The fan in question, Bradford Campeau-Laurion, stated that he was stopped by 2 NYPD officers working as security at Yankee Stadium as he was heading to the bathroom. Campeau-Laurion says that the officers told him that he would have to wait until the song was over before he could use the bathroom. Campeau-Laurion then stated "I don't care about God Bless America, I just want to use the bathroom". He says that the two officers then put his arms behind his back and escorted him out of the park. The officers told him that if he didn't like it (the song), then he can get out of the country.

Who is at fault here? Let's start with the "victim". God Bless America is at best a 2 minute song, right? I don't know why he couldn't have waited, or even gone before the song started. He must have known that he had to go before the song started, two beers doesn't just sneak up on you. Then, when the cops stopped him, he had the nerve to say that he doesn't care about God Bless America? He had the nerve to say it to 2 NYPD officers? It's understandable that these two took such offense to him saying that he doesn't care about the song. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet that these two gentlemen were involved in or knew someone who was involved in 9/11.

All that I know from the story is what they said on this video
http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?cl=9491967 so other things may have happened. From the story told on this video, the cops probably reacted too quickly and harshly. They could have informed this gentleman of the stadium rule (like I said before, I had no idea that one existed). The video states that the cops wrote in their report of this incident that this man was acting very inappropriately and smelled like alcohol.

My take on this situation is that the fan that got ejected was at fault. Even if he didn't know about the stadium rule, he should have known better. When the national anthem or God Bless America is playing, we all need to pay attention and give it the respect it deserves.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Instant Replay


Today is the day that will live in history for the game of baseball. Instant replay will be introduced in a select few ballparks today, and then be used in all ballparks starting on Friday. It will only be used after disputed home run calls, but not to determine balls or strikes. Over the past few weeks, MLB has been installing cameras at all of the stadiums that will be linked with their offices in Manhattan.


This has been a very hot topic for people. Some are in favor of it, others are not. I have not decided where I stand yet.


Their are many reasons for me being against instant replay. For one, people already complain about how long the games are. Instant replay will extend the length of the game, without a doubt. I guess that you can consider me to be an old school baseball guy, but I would rather not have to stop the game, go to the video, replay a home run to determine if it is fair or foul, and then come back to the field to announce the call. That just doesn't seem like baseball to me. I would like to see the umpires see everything with their own eyes and make the call. As Yogi Berra once said "You can observe a lot just by watching".


On the other hand, I am for it. If the Red Sox are in a tight game with a playoff berth or World Series championship on the line, I would like to see the umpires make the right call if David Ortiz hits a home run that looks foul but is actually fair. But, if a blown call by the umpire goes in my teams favor, then I don't want instant replay at all.


I don't think that we are ever going to come to a consensus on this topic. Instant replay has its advantages and its disadvantages.


If instant replay is instituted next year (the rest of this season is a trial run), where do we go from there? Will we next have the umpires explaining to the crowd why the made the call that they did? I can see it now, there is a close play at first and the umpire turns on his microphone to tell the crowd, "The first baseman #24 pulled his foot, allowing the base runner to safely reach first base".

If we have umpires turning on microphones to explain to the crowd what happens, then maybe we'll have hilarious situations like this...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yq9AxoOP94

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One last series in the house that Ruth built



The Red Sox and Yankees last night started the final series between these two storied franchises at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox won the first game in commanding fashion 7-3.

I haven't seen any pictures of the new Yankee stadium but I'm sure that it will be great. And I'm sure that many Yankee fans are looking forward to the new stadium. Even though I'm not a Yankee fan, I am not looking forward to the new stadium. I have always been a fan of the older stadiums.

Growing up as a Tiger fan, I loved going to Tiger Stadium. Even if it wasn't in the nicest area of Detroit, it was still a great place to go to watch a game. Just the simple fact of being in a place with so much history made me love being there all the more.

Don't get me wrong, I've been to Comerica Park quite a few times. It is very nice, but it isn't Tiger Stadium. Sure, Tiger Stadium had it's faults (obstructed views, missing some of the game to go to a concession stand, etc.), but that's what made it special to me.

I've never been to Yankee Stadium, heck, I've never been to New York. But, the next time that the Yankees host the Red Sox, it won't be the same. The rivalry, uniforms, and players (unless Hank Steinbrenner goes on a rampage) will be there. But the mystique that is Yankee Stadium will not.

**The Yankees are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993. If this happens, Hank Steinbrenner could shake up the roster in a grand way.**

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pre-season picks

Most people have submitted their pre-season picks for the NFL. For those of you that don't know, I have chosen to be a Kansas City Chiefs fan. The Chiefs are a young up and coming team with a difficult schedule facing them this year.

I've seen a lot of "experts" predictions and none of them have the Chiefs finishing any better than 5-11. A few of them even have the Chiefs finishing 3-13!

To be perfectly honest, the Chiefs aren't going to be a great team this year. I believe that they will finish better than the 5-11 that a lot of people are picking (7-9 is my pick).

Even though the Chiefs probably aren't going to have a great season, I'm okay with it.

I feel revitalized as a pro football fan ever since I started my "free agent fan" crusade. The Lions always got my hopes up every preseason and then let me down during the regular season. I am confident in the Chiefs organization that they will put a winner on the field in the near future. Here's to a great NFL season! Go Chiefs!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Life Lessons


My wife and I were at a Frontier League baseball game this past weekend during our vacation. We had a great time watching the Traverse City Beach Bums take on the Southern Illinois Miners.
The Beach Bums, like most minor league teams, have an on-field personality that helps run the in between inning promotions. This person directs the crowd by getting them to cheer for the contestants as they perform those crazy contests that we all know and love (the dizzy bat race is my personal favorite).
The person doing this for the Beach Bums, had no personality at all. We found him to be actually a downer, as he seemed not at all excited to be at the game. Granted, it is very close to the end of the season and he may have just been having a bad day.
But, I can't accept that as an excuse. In baseball, and any service oriented business, you need to treat every day like opening day.
This guy may have been full of personality and spunk for the whole season, but for my one game this year, he was dud. It almost seems like he's stopped caring about his job. And judging by the lack of attendance that night, the fans have stopped caring about the team. I hope that the Beach Bums can create a "fun is good" attitude over the winter and come back with a bigger and better season.

The IOC tells baseball and softball "You're outta here! (at least for the 2012 games in London)

Well, the Olympics are over in Beijing. With a fantastic closing ceremony, China handed over the Olympics to London for the 2012 summer games.

I'll be the first to admit to it, I didn't care for the Olympics before this year. It always seemed to be pretty boring. I just never got that interested in swimming, track & field, or diving. But this year I made myself watch and guess what? I'm a fan of the Olympics now. It was really amazing to see all of these athletes performing for their countries. It was really great.


But then I read an article stating that this was the last year for both baseball and softball as Olympic sports (at least for the 2012 games in London). Both baseball and softball can try and convince members of the IOC that they deserve to be Olympic sports, but do you really think that it will happen?


So why cut these sports? The IOC hasn't cut an Olympic sport since 1936 when they decided that polo wasn't fit to be in the Olympics. The article goes on to say that the IOC thought about replacing baseball and softball with sports like golf, rugby, squash, karate, or roller sports. ROLLER SPORTS?!?! Are you serious IOC? I can just see it now, the 2012 Olympic women's roller derby team is made up of members from teams like the Cosmonaughties, Dames of Destruction, Fresh Meat, or the Hard Knockers (believe it or not, these are all real roller derby team names).


If a sport needed to be cut, why not something other than baseball and softball? I looked at a list of all of the sports of this years summer games and found a few that are less popular than baseball and softball. Why not cut canoeing, badminton, BMX cycling (they have the X Games), trampoline, handball, or table tennis (better known as ping pong)?


The bottom line is that the Olympics made a mistake by cutting these two sports. They were definitely not hurting the Beijing Games at all and will be sorely missed in 2012 for the London Games.


Wake up IOC. Your decision has already gotten the 2012 Olympics off to a bad start.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A few tidbits...

Well, I am officially going on vacation and will not be posting until Sunday. So I thought that I'd touch on a few different things for you to think about for the rest of this week.

Is this years Olympic men's basketball team (the Redeem Team) better than the 1992 "Dream Team"? I'm going to say yes. Not to take anything away from the '92 team, but this years team is faster and is playing against much better competition.


Let's take this position by position, shall we?

1. Point Guard: Magic Johnson vs. Jason Kidd

Magic is a much better scorer than Kidd, and he brings more leadership qualities than Kidd. I would however give a slight edge to Kidd in the passing department. Overall though, I've got to give it to Magic. Advantage: Dream Team

2. Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant

This is the one on one match up that I think that everyone would love to see. They are both freaks of nature out on the basketball court. They are each tremendous scorers also. I feel however that MJ has that "killer instinct" and is able to put teams away by himself. In my opinion, Kobe has not made that step in his career into that upper echelon of super stardom like MJ did. Advantage: Dream Team

3. Small Forward: Larry Bird vs. Lebron James

Larry Legend is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He's won world titles, mvp's, and an Olympic gold medal in '92. But he's no King James. Advantage: Redeem Team

4. Power Forward: Charles Barkley vs. Carmelo Anthony

The round mound of rebound has and always will be one of my all time favorite players. He's never been afraid to voice his opinion on anything. And he's never been afraid to mix it up underneath the basket. Both he and Anthony are great shooters, but Carmelo is way too athletic for Chuck to handle. I've got to give this one to 'Melo. Advantage: Redeem Team

5. Center: Patrick Ewing vs. Dwight Howard

Patrick Ewing is no match for Superman in this one. They are both pretty evenly matched in terms of size, but Howard is way too athletic for Ewing. He takes this one hands down. Advantage: Redeem Team


Now, onto those crazy cats from Cincinnati, the Bengals. Yesterday they re-signed receiver Chris Henry. Chris Henry has been in trouble with the law many, and I do mean MANY times. A few months ago, Bengals management made very clear the fact that they cut Henry because he presented a negative image to the team. The following is a direct quote from the Bengals website where their president, Mike Brown, addressed the situation back in April.
"Chris Henry has forfeited his opportunity to pursue a career with the Bengals. His conduct can no longer be tolerated."The Bengals tried for an extended period of time to support Chris and his potentially bright career. We had hoped to guide him toward an appropriate standard of personal responsibility that this community would support and that would allow him to play in the NFL. We acknowledge those fans who had concerns about Chris; at the same time we tried to help a young man.
"But those efforts end today, as we move on with what is best for our team."
Apparently, the Bengals feel like Chris has learned his lesson. Isn't this just like sending a child to their room for misbehaving? This doesn't look good for the Bengals. For a team that has had countless run ins with the law, they should be trying to change their image. If anyone remembers the Portland Trailblazers from years past, their image was horrible. They were viewed as a bunch of overpriced pot heads. They have since changed the face and reputation of their team. Now the Bengals, with their reputation for employing criminals to play football for them, are bringing back one of the players most responsible for creating this mess!
I believe that their president, Mike Brown, is going to lose his job by seasons end. This will also end in head coach Marvin Lewis losing his job to.
Well, that's it for now. I'll be back to post on Sunday.

Monday, August 18, 2008

posting

Just to let everyone know, you no longer have to have a google account to post on my blog. I was unaware of the setting before which made people have a google account to post. I changed that today and now anybody can post.

So post on people!

Josh Hamilton

I was watching ESPNEWS this morning, getting the latest scores and highlights like I normally do. Most of the time, I watch it to see if the Red Sox won and the Yankees lost. Before they showed highlights of those games, they showed the Rangers/Rays from last night. The Rays won 7-4, but that wasn't the interesting part.
In the bottom of the ninth, Josh Hamilton came up to bat with the bases loaded and his team down 7-3. The Rays manager had his pitcher intentionally walk Hamilton! I"ll say it again, the Rays manager had his pitcher intentionally walk Hamilton and force in a run! For those that aren't big baseball fans like me, this is something that hardly ever happens. Josh Hamilton is only the 4th player in major league history to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. And he is the 1st American league player in 107 years to do it. This is a sign at how respected he is as a ballplayer.
After watching them show it on ESPNEWS, I just thought to myself how amazing it was at how far Hamilton has come.
He has gone from a highly touted #1 overall draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, to being a drug addict out of baseball completely, to fighting his way back to an All-Star season for the Texas Rangers this season. He wrote a story for ESPN.com last season while he was with the Cincinnati Reds about his recovery and what got him through it all. Please take a look and read it here http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2926447 .
I can definitely relate to Hamilton in my own personal way. His dream was to play major league baseball. I had a goal of graduating college. Along the way, I encountered many hurdles and obstacles. Some of them were self imposed, some of them were not. Throughout these many years of attempting to finish school, I considered quitting many times. But deep down inside, I always knew that I could do it.
I'm sure that many people doubted my ability to focus and graduate. Hamilton also had many doubters. The one thing that we both had in common was that we had God on our side.

I still have a couple of more semesters to go, but I will be graduating in April of '09 with my bachelors degree. If you or anyone that you know has ever felt given up on, pass along this story of Josh Hamilton. He shows that through Christ, you can accomplish anything. In the words of the late, great Jim Valvano, "Don't give up, don't ever give up".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

End of an era? (I hope not)


The Atlanta Braves placed Tom Glavine on the disabled list yesterday, effectively ending his 2008 season and possibly his career.
I really hope that this is not the end for Glavine. He has always been one of the "good guys" in major league baseball. Glavine, along with John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, was part of a dominant pitching staff that some would argue to be the best that baseball has ever seen.
Tom Glavine helped revive a city known for baseball mediocrity for years. The Braves won a record 13 consecutive division titles, went to the World Series 5 times and won it once. Glavine won the Cy Young award twice and was a 20 game winner 5 times during this decade.
He was also a part of a hilarious Nike commercial entitled "Chicks dig the long ball". Watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=191cXzNjJtQ
If this is the end for Glavine, I hope that it will be the end for Smoltz and Maddux also. The reason is that the three of them were such a huge part of baseball in Atlanta during the 1990's. I would really like to see the three of them go into the Hall of Fame together. You will never again see three pitchers of their caliber stay together on the same team for that long again. I promise.
If you are a big baseball fan like me, or just enjoy watching the game from time to time, I hope that you had the opportunity to watch Glavine pitch at some point. He was never the biggest, fastest, or strongest. Tom Glavine is a pro's pro and would be a great role model for anyone.
I'm not a Braves fan, but I certainly am a Tom Glavine fan.
If this is indeed the end of the road for you as a player Tom, thanks for the memories.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

History in the making

I hope that I'm not jinxing him, but I believe that Michael Phelps is going to make history at this years Olympics. I'll be the first to admit, but I'm not a very big Olympic fan. I never got into the "us versus them" mentality or even just watching to root our fellow countrymen on to victory.
But this year is different. I've really enjoyed watching Phelps swim. He is far and away the most dominant athlete that I've ever seen. Tiger Woods is dominant in golf, Lance Armstrong was dominant in cycling, and Michael Jordan was dominant in basketball. But none of them compare to how Phelps is performing at this years Olympics.
We are watching history in the making folks, be sure to catch it before the Olympic games are over. This is the kind of performance that you will be telling your grandchildren about fifty years from now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Confirming my fanhood


Well, as I announced earlier, I am now a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. I felt pretty good about my decision, as I had given it quite a bit of thought. But, I got an email today from the Chiefs that confirmed my decision.

The customer relations representative from the Chiefs that had emailed me a few weeks ago sent me a response about my decision. She congratulated me and said that I had made the right choice. I will be getting a 2008 yearbook, fan guide and pocket schedule.

She ended by hoping that I can make it out to a game sometime in the near future and thanked me for choosing them as my new team.

Just the shear fact that she sent me an email thanking me for choosing them has confirmed my choice. Couple that with me not being able to send an email to the Lions because they were "closing the transmission channel" has made me very happy with my decision.

Pick your poison


I was reading an article on mlive.com today written by Steve Kornacki. He spoke about how Gary Sheffield is unhappy with his role as DH for the Tigers.

Shefflield told a reporter from the Boston Globe that he doesn't want to be a DH and he does not feel like a ballplayer when he DH's.

You don't feel like a ballplayer, huh Sheff? Well, it shows because you're certainly not playing like one! You've got 10 home runs and 33 rbi's this year. You're only hitting .067 on this current homestand. These stats show that you really don't feel like a ballplayer.

He goes on in the article to state that he doesn't feel know how he can lead when he's not playing in the field. Jim Leyland's response to this whining from Sheffield was that he can lead by knocking in runs and playing his butt off. I totally agree with Leyland. But Sheff has never been able to lead by example. Wherever he's gone (Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and now Tigers), he's been a cancer to the team. Remember, he's the one that accused Joe Torre of treating the white players on his team different from everyone else.

Leyland goes on to say that before the Tigers even made the trade for Sheffield back in '06 he spoke with him on the phone. He told Sheff, "all that I have is DH, if you don't want it, do not accept this trade". When the reporter brought this up to Sheffield, he responded "I understood that, but in my mind I'm not going to accept that. That's my role but I don't have to accept it or like it".

He's right, he doesn't have to accept it. But it's the truth. He signed a 1 year contract with Detroit back in February and will be a free agent at the end of this year. I'd be willing to put up one million dollars against Sheff finding another team that will sign him to a deal and make him a starter in their outfield. It will not happen.

A few people responded to this article suggesting that the Tigers would have been better off dumping Sheffield and bringing in Barry Bonds. I have mixed feelings about that. Yes, Bonds is a better hitter than Sheffield and wouldn't whine about not being an everyday outfielder. But Bonds come with SO much baggage it would be even more of a distraction than Sheffield is. No matter where Bonds goes, the steroid talk will follow.

Bonds or Sheffield, pick your poison. Personally, I'd take door number 3 and bring up Mike Hessman from Toledo for the rest of the year. He's been dominating the pitching in the minor leagues all year.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Washing my hands of the Lions

Since I announced yesterday that I had chosen to become a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, I hadn't really thought about letting the Lions know. But, after talking with my brother, I figured that I should let them know. It's kind of like accepting another job and not letting your previous employer know.
So, this afternoon, I sat down and wrote the Lions. I reminded them of the previous email where I declared my free agency as a fan. I then expressed my disappointment in the fact that I was a fan for over 32 years, and they didn't have the courtesy to even send me an email. I would have been happy with even an automated response (that is what I got from the Bears and Steelers).
The email ended with me officially resigning as a fan of the Detroit Lions so that I could become a Kansas City Chiefs fan.
After I sent the email, it was sent back to me with a statement saying that the service was not available and they were closing the transmission channel. How messed up is that? The Lions organization is not even accepting any emails from their fans! If I were still a Lions fan, I'd be very upset. They are not a very fan friendly organization at all, in my opinion.
Any questioning that I had of my decision to switch allegiances after 32 years has just been answered. I have officially washed my hands of the Detroit Lions.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And the winner is....

Well, the time has come. Three weeks ago I sent out an email to all NFL and AFL teams declaring myself a free agent fan. I asked them why I should be a fan of their team and what their team could offer myself as a fan. I had replies from the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, and New York Jets. The only team from the AFL was the Grand Rapids Rampage.
After a lot of thinking and researching, I have come to a conclusion. My favorite team from the AFL is the Grand Rapids Rampage! They sent me some merchandise as well as a handwritten note explaining reasons why I should be a Rampage fan.
My new favorite team in the NFL is the Kansas City Chiefs! It was a tough decision between them and the Houston Texans. Houston sent me an email and a really cool fan pack which included a Texans hat. Kansas City was really the only team that put some thought into their email to me selling Chiefs football. The rest of the teams wrote a few sentences about their team, but the Chiefs (Ali Pollock, client relations for the KC Chiefs) wrote me a really insightful email about the team and why she enjoys them also.
So, today I will email the Detroit Lions (my former football team) and inform them that I am no longer a fan of them. I will also email the Rampage and Chiefs and tell them that I am officially on board with their teams.
Go Chiefs (this fall) and Go Rampage (next spring)!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Manny and the Sox

I heard a report this morning on ESPN radio that MLB is investigating whether or not Manny Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras, colluded against the Red Sox to force a trade out of Boston. For those of you that don't know what collusion is, it is when a group of people collectively decide to make something happen by not doing another thing. For example, some people have speculated that the owners of all of the teams in the major leagues are colluding against Barry Bonds. These people think that the owners collectively wanted to get Barry Bonds out of the major leagues so they made an agreement that no one will sign him.
Now, back to Manny's situation. The reason why this was brought up is that in the final week of Manny's Boston tenure he was clocked running from home to first at just over 5 seconds. That's pretty pathetic of a time. People believe that Manny was "dogging" it so that the Red Sox would get tired of him, trade him away to a team that would allow him to become a free agent at the end of the year, rather than pick up his option.
Do I believe that Manny dogged it the last week of being a Red Sox? Absolutely. Was this the first time that he's done it? No way. Since I've been watching the Red Sox (2004) Manny has always been a guy that plays when he wants to play. If he doesn't feel like it, he won't run hard to first base to try and stop the double play. Manny would never run over the catcher to try and score the winning run.
Manny isn't the first ball player to dog it on the field, nor will he be the last.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Free Agent Fan update...

I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop on my free agent fan status. I am still taking offers until Saturday August 9th. Just yesterday, the New York Jets contacted me about becoming their newest fan. After they made their offer to me, they went out and traded for Brett Favre. In my mind, that means that the Jets consider me to be a higher priority than a future hall of famer. Thanks Jets!

Baseball and other things...

There are a few things on my mind today that I wanted to write about.
First off, we are into August and for baseball that means the stretch run for chasing playoff spots. There are really good races going on in the both leagues. The american league east division is especially exciting. The Tampa Bay Rays are still atop that division and continue to hold off the Red Sox and Yankees. The White Sox are in first place in the Central with the Twins hot on their tails (The Tigers are 8.5 games back and fading fast), and the Angels have had the western division taken care of since the all star break. The national league has some good races going on also. The Phillies and Diamondbacks each hold 2.5 game leads in their respective divisions. The Cubbies are 5 games up on the Brewers. These should all make for some great baseball to be played these last few months
Also, the Olympics start tomorrow in Beijing. The men's basketball team is favored to win the gold medal with our NBA super team. I will be the first to stand up and admit that I was really excited when the dream team went over to Barcelona and beat each country unmercifully. But, I wish that it was a one and done type scenario. I would have liked to see us go back to using college players for the '96 games in Atlanta.
Last and certainly lease, the city of New York has a new diva in town...Brett Favre.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

For the last time...Favre (I hope)

I really hope that this is the last time that I feel like I have to talk about Brett Favre and this soap opera that he's created. He apparently left Green Bay's training camp and is at his house in town. I've been told that he's waiting around to find out what the Packers are going to do with him. The rumor that is going around is that Favre is going to be traded to the Buccanears sometime today. I think that is for the best.
As I was watching SportsCenter this morning they showed some footage of the Packers practice. All that I could hear were fans chanting "We want Brett, We want Brett". Well, I've got news for all you cheeseheads, he's not coming back. For the last few years he has been dragging his feet about whether or not he's going to play another season. Then, when he finally makes up his mind and files retirement papers, he decides that he's got the urge to play again!
Don't get me wrong, Brett Favre was a great quarterback and could probably still be a great quarterback if he plays again this year. But his actions so far have divided the town of Green Bay and possibly the Packers players themselves. He's also made it pretty much impossible for Aaron Rodgers to get any sort of fair shot to be the qb of the Packers. He already knew that he had some massive shoes to fill once Brett retires, but I don't think that he ever expected this to happen.
Oh sure, Favre is saying that he is staying away from Packers camp because it is in the best interest of the team. But the sure fact of the matter is that he doesn't care what's "best for the Packers". Brett is only interested in what's best for Brett.
I don't know if I'm the only one that feels this way or not. All that I hear on ESPN is that the Packers are better off with Favre and it is silly for them not to welcome him back. I believe that Favre feels like he's bigger than the Packers and is trying bully them into giving him his job back.
I for one am glad to see the Packers call this bully's bluff and send him off to another playground.

I've got another prediction for you all. Brett Favre will not play football this year in the NFL and Aaron Rodgers will leave Green Bay at the end of the year also.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Are you ready for some football!!

The football season is upon us people! I really look forward to this time of year. Football season means that the leaves will start changing, the weather gets a little cooler, cider and donuts are available (mmmmm....cider and donuts). I do love watching the NFL, but college football is very exciting. Each saturday we all watch our favorite teams do battle on the gridiron against their rival schools in hopes of getting a great bowl game. Then, we all spend the next week at work hyping our team up and knocking down our co workers favorite team. If our team wins the big game, we get to gloat for the next year. If our team loses, then we have to take some good natured ribbing until the next years game.
As a Michigan fan, I am approaching this season with a feeling of uncertainty. In years past, we knew what kind of team we had, who the top players were going to be, what games were going to be the tough ones, etc. This year, I don't really have any idea who these guys are. The big name guys (Henne, Hart, Long, Manningham and Arrington) are all gone to the NFL. I've heard that the quarterback will probably be an incoming freshman. Rich Rodriguez is taking over the program and will do a good job. I'm just not sure how the next couple of years will go. The adjusting period is making me nervous. Last year we were all excited because there were a lot of seniors with loads of experience. Many thought that they were going to contend for the National Championship. Then with the surprising loss to App St. and then to Oregon, we knew that the hopes of sending Lloyd out in style were over.
I'm just wondering how everyone else thinks that the Wolverines are going to do this year. I'm predicting 7 wins.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Favre = Cher ?

Check out this link of Rick Reilly of ESPN comparing Brett Favre to Cher...
http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?categoryId=2378529&brand=null&videoId=3518094&n8pe6c=2

Baseball thoughts

Living here in Michigan, I get to see a lot of Detroit Tigers games. Even though I'm a Boston Red Sox fan, I do enjoy watching the Tigers also. This team seems to be falling apart as the season wears on. I understand that they needed to move Pudge. But to get a player like Farnsworth is just mind boggling! Since he's come to Detroit he has pitched 3 innings and given up 5 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 home runs, blown one save opportunity. His era is an astonishing 15.00!!
I'm trying to figure out what Dave Dombrowski is thinking. For the Tigers sake, I hope that he's trying to clear salary cap room (Farnsworth, Rogers, Jones, Rodney, Thames, Wilson, Seay, Santiago, Perez, Miner, Zumaya, among others)to make a run at some solid players in the off season. These players 2008 salaries totaled in at close to $41 million dollars. Let's hope for the Tigers sake that they can make some improvements this off season and return to their 2006 form.

Also, I'm going out on a limb for a prediction. Jim Leyland will not return as Tigers manager next year. You heard it hear first!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Free Agent Fan

I just wanted to let everyone know what I'm doing to help in my search for a new favorite NFL team. First of all, I've run out of patience with my previous favorite team, the Detroit Lions. So what I've done is emailed every NFL and AFL (arena football league) team that I could and told them that I am a long suffering, disgruntled Detroit Lions fan. I declared my fan free agency to each team (even the Lions) and asked them if they could tell me why I should be a fan of their team. I also asked what they could offer that the other teams couldn't. I remember reading about another person doing something similar to this but I don't remember what sport.
I supplied each team with contact info in case they wanted to get a hold of me.
To my surprise, five different teams contacted me! The Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, and Seattle Seahawks all sent responses from the NFL. So far, only the Grand Rapids Rampage have contacted me from the AFL. Buffalo and Houston sent me nice fan packs and Grand Rapids sent me a box of merchandise!
I've given teams until August 9th to contact me and make their case. I will be making my decision on that day.
This has been a very fun project to work on. If anyone else is disgruntled with their hometown team, declare your free agency and find out what other organizations will offer you! The professional athletes shouldn't be the only ones that teams fight over.

Favre

I just heard the news that Roger Goodell has reinstated Brett Favre as an active player in the NFL. The Packers have 24 hours to either put him on their active roster or let him go. In that case he would either be traded or released.
I'm not a Brett Favre hater at all. I loved his performance in "There's something about Mary". I am getting sick and tired of is professional athletes retiring and then deciding that they still have the urge to play again and come back. Once an athlete retires, they should be able to ride off into the sunset and not come back. Two athletes come to mind that rode off into the sunset and then came back are Michael Jordan and the late Reggie White. Both are legends in their respective sports and came back after a few years off and did more bad then good on the field.
Granted, Brett Favre just "retired" back in March, and I've got no doubt that he can still play in this league. My problem is how he's handled it with his lack of decision making.
This drama has unfolded just like a soap opera. Favre retired in March and not long after that was paid a visit by some of the front office brass of the Packers (I'm sure that GM Ted Thompson was one of them) wanting to see if he would have any interest in coming back. Brett said no. Soon after that the Packers offered Brett a 10 year $20 million marketing deal with the club. This would mean that he would have to stay retired. Honestly, I do not know if Brett rejected this deal at the time or not. Then, once training camp came near, Brett started to make some noise down in Mississippi that he wants to play again.
MAKE UP YOUR FREAKIN MIND BRETT!!!
Of course you have the urge to play again! This is all that you've known for the past ump-teen years. I'm sure that all retired players get that urge to play again once training camp starts. Go ask them. I doubt that the feeling ever goes away. I'm sure that Steve Yzerman would love to lace up his skates again. The same goes for Goose Gossage. I used to work in minor league baseball and I get the urge to work in that sport again whenever I go to a game.
I know that some people will argue that the Packers should take Favre back because he is the best quarterback that they have. I agree with this to a point. Yes, Brett is the best quarterback option that the Packers have right now. But, Favre has been dancing back and forth with the idea of retirement for the past few years. In my mind, the Packers got sick and tired of catering to him and his inability to make a decision. Once Favre "retired" in March, they went full steam ahead with the Aaron Rodgers experiment.
I hope for Brett's sake that he can finally make up his mind and commit.
"To play or not to play...that is the question"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Trading deadline

Well, the trading deadline has come and gone. Three future Hall of Famers were traded within 24 hours (Pudge, Manny, and Junior). Some of them were good deals, some of them weren't good deals.
Let's start with Pudge. The Tigers traded him the the Yankees for Kyle Farnsworth. For the Yankees, this was Christmas in July. They aquired a great catcher to replace the injured Jorge Posada who is out for the rest of the year. Pudge will only be a Yankee for the last two months of the season before he becomes a free agent and heads to Florida to return to the Marlins. The Tigers received reliever Kyle Farnsworth...and nothing else. Some Tiger fans will remember Farnsworth from the '05 season. He has a fantastic arm with a fastball topping out in the upper 90's. However, during the past few seasons he has become notorious for blowing leads late in the game. I know that the Tigers needed bullpen help, but in my mind they still haven't gotten it. Farnworth(less) will not help them out at all and will be out of Detroit once his contract is up.

Next up is Manny. I'll admit, I'm a Boston Red Sox fan. I was a big fan of Manny and understood the phrase of "Manny being Manny". Lately though, it has become a distraction. It shouldn't take a major league player over 5 seconds to run from home plate to first base! Heck, even Bartolo Colon says that Manny is slow. But, Manny does one thing well. He drives in runs. Once he retires, we will see him in the Hall of Fame. That being said, he shoudn't be a distraction to the team. He has openly criticized the Red Sox management and made it so that they had to get rid of him. I believe that this trade was a win/loss for the Sox. It was a win because they got rid of a big distraction and now can concentrate on playing baseball. It was a loss because they had to rid themselves of one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time. I do like the acquisition of Jason Bay though. He will do a solid job.

Finally, Junior Griffey getting traded to the Chisox. I like this trade for both clubs because Cincinnati wasn't going anywhere anytime soon (playoff wise). So they got some decent prospects and rid themselves of Griffey's contract. The White Sox acquired a future Hall of Famer that they hope will be that little extra "oomph" that they need to get back to the World Series. I am a bit concerned with putting Griffey in center field. Hopefully for the White Sox, this move won't backfire on them. He had the reputation for getting hurt in years past and will have to cover a lot of ground in center field.

These moves should provide for a very interesting last two months of the season. Can Tampa stick it out and capture their first playoff birth in team history? Will Manny bring the Dodgers back to the promised land? Can the Red Sox repeat? Only October will tell.