Speaking Of Sports

No politics for today, today it’s all about sports.

5 years, $ 22 to 24,000,000 a year.   Derek… please, just stop, OK? You are a 36-year-old Shortstop coming off of the worst year of your career.  One of your main claims to fame is being a real class act, the humble hard working guy. 

It isn’t happening.  So stop trying.  I don’t see anyone willing to pay that kind of money.  Certainly not the New York Yankees.  They know that the amount of money your asking for is money NO ONE is willing to pay, so every time you toss out a ridiculous figure lie that they can sit back and giggle.  And let me use that term again.  NO ONE.  Not Epstein in Boston, not your old manager Torre in L.A., not Cashman, no one. 

Now, brothers and sisters, I am a life long Yankee fan.  Been one since the days of Bill Sudakis, Ron Bloomberg and Fred “The Chicken” Stanley.  I remember the bad old days when the team could not get out of it’s own way.   I remember when things started to turn around during the mid 90’s, when Gene “stick” Michael built the guts of the team, getting Tino Martinez from the Mariners, trading Roberto Kelly to the Reds for Paul O’Neill, picking up Jimmy Key, David Cone, and  getting Scott Brosius from the A’s.  I remember the team building up with farm products, great players like Derek, Bernie , Jorge, and Mariano. 

I remember and am grateful for the good times fellas, thank you, really.  But how far does that thanks go, really?  Do we pay to keep him a Yankee for the rest of his career as a way to say thanks? Absolutely!  But for that much?  C’mon, be serious.  I know it’s a negotiation, and I know yer supposed to start out asking for more than your gonna get, but this is friggin ridiculous.  $22 mill being the LOW number?

C’mon, Derek. Srsly, cut the shit.  I don’t want to find out how good an everyday shortstop A-rod is because of you get all greedy.  Be the captain, not just another businessman trying to fleece the fans. 

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Viddy of the day:  Cal Ripken interviewing Derek Jeter about work ethic.

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To cure us of our immoderate love of gain, we should seriously consider how many goods there are that money will not purchase, and these the best; and how many evils there are that money will not remedy, and these the worst.

Charles Caleb Colton

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So the Broncos taped the 49ers practice before the game they played in London.  So what.  They suck.  They lost the game they did this crap in, haven’t they paid enough?  Well, no actually not, it IS wrong to do.  Bad Broncos.  Slap on the wrist is what they get, $50,000 fine for the coach. 

But according to Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, the guy who did the taping got fired, and they didn’t use the tape.  Now to be serious, it is indicative of just how far teams are willing to go to try to win, how desperate teams are to win that they would do this crap.

How to put this… In this day and age I find it incredibly unbelievable that if given information that could have ostensibly given them an advantage, any sports team would not use it.  They very much sound like a team covering their asses here.  I for one hope someone is doing something for the guy who got thrown under the bus here, former video director Steve Scarnecchia.

Not expecting it though.  He may have been guilty as they say he is, but I for one, really doubt it.  If McDaniel is really the innocent he claims to be, he would have reported Scarnecchia as soon as it happened.  He didn’t.  Guilty people and writers create stories. McDaniel isn’t a writer.

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Every era has a currency that buys souls. In some the currency is pride, in others it is hope, in still others it is a holy cause. There are of course times when hard cash will buy souls, and the remarkable thing is that such times are marked by civility, tolerance, and the smooth working of everyday life.

Eric Hoffer

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Bad news for a good guy.  Mike Modano looks like he may well be done.   He is out indefinitely after getting hurt by the errant skate of R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Two guys skating trying to make a play on the puck, got tangled up, Umberger ended up twisting with one skate in the air, and it caught Mikey Mo on the wrist. and did tendon and nerve damage last night.  He had surgery today, and it is reported that the surgery was in fact successful, but it is unknown how long Mikey Mo will be sidelined.

I for one hope Mike comes back quickly.  He really is one of the good guys in all of sports, truly one of the most talented players to ever play the game, the highest scoring American born player of all time, playing in his 21st season for a perennial contender, it would really suck if his playing days ended like this.   

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 That’s it from here, America.  Have a good night.

Trade Deadline News

We need just two players to be a contender. Just Babe Ruth and Sandy Koufax.         

Whitey Herzog         

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It’s been a while since I’ve written about sports.  I think the last time I did was during the Stanley cup, just before the finals.  Well there’s a number of things going on out there, and I think it’s time I revisited the world of sports.  In particular the MLB trading deadline.         

Adam Dunn

 

Now, when you’re in the middle of a pennant race,  and one of your star pitchers gets hurt like Jake Peavy did,  it just makes sense to go out and get a starting pitcher at the deadline.  Just like the Chicago White Sox did, when they got Edwin Jackson from the D-backs for a rook and a their top prospect.  You don’t do much in the way of trading away your future, and you get someone who can give you innings as a starter, who has decent stuff, and can get guys out.  Ya, Jackson has a high ERA, over 5 I believe, and he walks a lot of guys, but he isn’t too bad, so Ozzie Guillen should not have too much of an issue getting some good innings out of him.  The White Sox pitchers don’t walk too many guys, so maybe whatever the White Sox Pitching coach is doing there will help Edwin Jackson out.         

For all that I said above,  the rumor du jour says Jackson isn’t finished moving, and should not unpack in Chicago.  The White Sox may try to  move Jackson to the Nationals for Adam Dunn.  Dunn has improved his batting average each of the last three years, and is on pace for his highest career batting average, and is one of the leagues better power hitters, averaging 40 home runs a year over the last 6 years and looking like he will make it to that average again this year.          

Now the move is no guarantee, since the White Sox have already given up their top farm guy, a pitcher by the name of Dan Hudson, and would only be willing to make the deal if they don’t have to trade away any more of their farm, on top of sending Jackson to the Nats to get him.  Stay tuned to the MLB to keep up with all the up to the minute details on all the deals going down.         

Then there is the deal the Nats already made, trading away their closer, Matt Capps to the Twins for catching prospect Willie Ramos.  The Twins, with Mauer, their all star catcher, don’t really need Ramos anytime soon, and being in need of a closer, this was an easy trade for the Twins to make.  Must’ve been slightly harder for the Nationals.  Capps really is a very good closer.  He was one of only 2 bright spots for the Pirates last year, before he was traded to the Nats, the other being Andrew McCutchen…         

Enough about the Nationals.  Let’s talk about the Big Money.  Da Yankees.  They make me ask a question.         

Why?         

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I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball. In boxing, your fist usually stops when you hit a man, but its possible to hit so hard that your fist doesn’t stop. I try to follow through in the same way. The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.         

Babe Ruth         

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Viddy of the day: Fox sports MLB weekend preview.         

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Austin Kearns

 

         

I can almost see the need to pick up an Austin Kearns.  He hits lefties and righties at about the same rate, .250 for lefties, .278 for righties, not great but respectable, you could always use another bat off of the bench, and it only costs you a player to be named later, or cash? No sweat.  But I have to ask, why Lance Berkman?  The man has lost a step, he is not hitting like he used to, his average has been dipping the last few years, his power numbers are dropping.         

And he, I am guessing from everything I’ve heard loves playing in Texas.  He was born and raised there, played his college ball at Rice University, in Houston, was drafted by and has played his entire career for the Houston Astros.  So we know he fits in well there.  Now he had a list of teams he wanted to be traded to, and apparently the top one was the Yankees, so apparently he does want to win rather than just play out the string in Houston.  The man wants a ring, and putting the Yankees on your short list for a trade is a good way to get that ring.  That much I like.       

Now how well does he fit in with the Yankees as a player? We have a first baseman, Mark Teixeira, so no go there.  He would obviously play the DH role, but what does that do? It means you bench whatever regular player you were thinking of giving the half day off to, because it has been, for those who aren’t Yankee fans, the practice of Yankee manager Joe Girardi to give his stars half days off by putting them in at DH.  He’s spelled Jeter, A-Rod, and Posada that way when those guys got nicked up or just needed a little rest.        

 

Get Berkman and you lose that, and get in return a $14,000,000 dollar contract with a 34 year old player on the downside of his career. As much as Berkman may still be a force… in Houston, I don’t know that that matters in New York.  But one thing is for sure, we’ll find out what happens.  He’s a Yankee now, like it or not.         

Ok, Lance can play outfield too, he has plenty of experience out there.  And he’s a very good outfielder.  Gotta grant him that much. And maybe those faltering numbers of his will improve in the bandbox that is Yankee stadium.         

And maybe he fits in just fine here in the big city, too!        

Good Luck Lance,  I hope this works out for both you and the Yankees. You’re one of us now.  Welcome to the Club!         

The other deals?  Not really big news.  Oswalt is not the same guy he was a few years ago, and the Phillies found that out during his start yesterday.  Miguel Tejada? He can help the Padres sow up the NL west, but they had that more or less anyway. Same type of deal with Cristian Guzman signing with the Rangers in the AL Central.   I don’t know that Podsednik in L.A. is that big of a deal.  I like Scotty Pods, but the Dodgers will need more than him to make up the 7 games they are down to the Padres.         

But there is talk of  Joe Torre and the Dodgers going after Ted Lilly, and they really could use the pitching help out in L.A.  John Ely and Vinny Padilla aren’t getting the job done out there, and that is why the Lilly deal makes sense for the Dodgers.         

And on that note, I am done.  Have a good night America, and LET’S GO YANKEES!

Screw the Tea Party, I’m Voting for my Cats

Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.

Ernest Hemingway;  A clean, well lighted place

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Tuesday’s links:

Senate weakens bid to tax Wall Street like the rest of us

Senate jobs bill would hike fund manager tax

Live blogging the primaries

Sue Lowden to buy U.S. Senate seat (satire)

Phenom! Strasburg strikes out 14 in Nats debut

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In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.

Ernest Hemingway

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Screw the Tea party, I’m voting for my cats.  

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I have to tell you that I am watching the elections with only lukewarm interest.  Sue Lowden looks like she will lose, at least that is what polling looks like.  The kid, Nikki Haley won’t reach the 50% barrier to avoid a runoff for the republican spot on the ticket for the Governorship of South Carolina.  The tea party is 1 for 2 in New Jersey, with a win in the third district and a loss in the 7th. 

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The kid Strasburg from the Nats looked pretty damn good in beating down the Pirates today.  14 k’s is impressive, regardless of what team the kid pitched against.  Let’s see what happens when the kid faces Albert (ROIDS) Pujols, or Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun.  Good start tho, kid, don’t let it go to your head!

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I wonder if the tea party patriots understand what they are really going to get for when they vote for these ultra conservatives.  The people they vote for will be walking into the lions den, and they will be just as affected by lobbyists and monied interests as the people they may well be replacing.  The problems in Washington come as much, if not more from lobbyists and corporate influence of congressmen as corrupt congressmen and women.  Without fixing THAT money issue, the tea party will find that the people they vote into office will be just as liable to the influence of money as their predecessors. President Obama, who ran for President and won on fixing that, has been unable to.  If he can’t do it, what makes you think you can?

Have a nice day!

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Ending today’s article with the Viddy of the day, from youtube via Fora.tv;  Nouriel Roubini talking about accountability on Wall Street.

G’night America

What Do Rachel Maddow and Fantasy Baseball Having In Common?

They both kick ass!

I am so proud.  I am a big fan of Rachel Maddow.  She is just a good kid, whip smart, fun, brash in all the right places and she is a strong media voice on the left to at least equal, if not surpass the MSM voices on the right.  So why am I proud?  My girl Rachel went into the lions den.  To CPAC.  The last two days of the Rachel Maddow show has had snippets of her there, from the visit she made to the John Birch society booth, to giving an autograph to a fan, on, of all things, a magazine cover with Sarah Palin on it.

RACHEL!  TOSS ME SOME OF THAT CPAC SWAG! I can’t make it down there!  PLEEZEZ???? I’m just a liberal who wants some politiswag!  If they would only hold major political type events of that nature here on Staten Island.  Ah well!   🙂    This viddy is from yesterday. Dig the super huge pic of Sarah Palin.  lulz!

The birchers sounded slightly insane, claiming that water fluoridation was meant to keep the population down, or something weirdness like that.  She claims that only one person was nasty to her, some guy who was apparently vociferously anti-gay, who yelled at her, and handed her something. 

They are selling a book titled  “The Tyranny of Liberalism”!  Love the fact that people who are accepting of everything except..I dunno, TYRANNY could somehow be tyrannical.   I dig that title because of that, I may look that one up, just for the giggle factor.  The consumers guide to the apocalypse sounds all touchy feely and filled with love.  I wonder if there are any 20% discounts for the Armageddonist on the cheap…

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If the average person paid as much attention to politics that they paid attention to sports, the world would be a much better place.  Watch a Fantasy baseball viddy.   This guy is a putz BTW.  Just watch and giggle.

Fantasy sports.  I used to live on the stuff.  I can remember the times when I would have over 20 teams going at one time, and I used to win fairly often as well.  I don’t hit the fantasy sports quite as hard as I used to, but I think I’m still pretty good at it.  I have a fantasy hockey team on Yahoo! that uses the same settings as the public leagues, and that team, if it listed as a public league would be in the top 25 overall out of  hundreds of thousands of teams.  Sidney Crosby + Ryan Miller + Patrick Marleau + Marian Gaborik  + Martin Brodeur  = First place from day one. 

I put together a draft list that I thought was pretty good for a yahoo fantasy baseball league that autodrafted today.  It is the first draft that tells me how I am doing with general player placement as far as drafting goes.

I did pretty well, except in one area, starting pitching, where I f*cked up something fierce.   I have to say that I think I really did well besides that though, seeing how I drafted in the 12th spot, last, a far from ideal place to draft from.  OK, I did end up with 2 WTF players on my roster, and one guy I am unhappy with on offense who is in a key position.  The list that follows is in the order they came to me in:

Round 1 – 12th pick: OF Matt Kemp Round 2 – 13th pick: 1st base Mark Teixeira Round 3 – 36th pick: 2nd base Dustin Pedroia

Round 4 – 37th pick: OF Ichiro Suzuki Round 5 – 60th pick: 2nd base Robinson Cano Round 6 – 61st pick: RP Mariano Rivera

Round 7 – 84th pick: RP Jonathan Papelbon Round 8 – 85th pick: RP Francisco Rodriguez Round 9 – 108th pick: RP Jaokim Soria

Round 10 – 109th pick: RP Heath Bell   Round 11 – 132nd pick: RP Huston Street   Round 12 – 133rd pick: OF Michael Cuddyer

Round 13 – 156th pick: OF Brad Hawpe   Round 14 – 157th pick: SS Miguel Tejada   Round 15 – 180th pick: C Yadier Molina

Round 16 – 181st pick: 3rd base Adrian Beltre   Round 17 – 204th pick: SP Johnny Cueto   Round 18 – 205th pick: SP Scott Kazmir

Round 19 – 228th pick: 1st base Todd Helton  Round 20 – 229th pick: OF/1st base Nick Swisher  Round 21– 252nd pick: SS/2nd Clint Barmes

Round 22 – 253rd pick: 2nd base Akinora Iwamura   Round 23 – 276th and final pick: SP Joe Blanton

6 Relievers in a row. Wow!

If there is anything to learn from this, it is this: Rank starting pitchers higher next time.  I ranked Lincecum 8th and Halladay 11th, and didn’t rank another pitcher until I ranked Zack Grienke, CC Sabathia, Chris Carpenter, and Felix Hernandez  27th through 30th.  The next starter after that? Dan Haren at 55th.  Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright, Yovani Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez,  and Wandy Rodriguez all ranked FAR too low.

Lesson learned.  I put Iwamura and Barmes on the Waiver wire, I’m hoping to pick up Joel Pineiro and Scott Feldman.  Kinda Surprised that Pineiro didn’t get drafted, even if he is a projected  #5 starter with the Angels.  Already got an offer for one of my 6 closers, and I’m sure to get more. The offer?  Josh Beckett for Mariano Rivera.  I said no.  With the closers I have, I’m sure I’ll get more and better offers, along with a few stupid ones.  I think I can get more for Mariano than Beckett.  I’d be surprised if I couldn’t get a Matt Cain or a Josh Johnson if I’m being offered starting pitching, or maybe Youkilis or Figgins to help me at 3rd base.  Should be fun!

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That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote:  I’ll never forget September 6, 1950. I got a letter threatening me, Hank Bauer, Yogi Berra and Johnny Mize. It said if I showed up in uniform against the Red Sox I’d be shot. I turned the letter over to the FBI and told my manager Casey Stengel about it. You know what Casey did? He gave me a different uniform and gave mine to Billy Martin. Can you imagine that! Guess Casey thought it’d be better if Billy got shot.   Phil Rizzuto

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.  Dale Carnegie

Anagram: One Million Strong/ No Selling To Minor

     Jerry, Nick, and Johnny

    Today was a good day.  My wife and I went to the Canyon of Heroes today and saw the Yankees championship parade.  It was… fun is the wrong word, but it was enjoyable, mostly.  Good stuff first.  And there is a first today, all the pics and viddys (with one exception, and you’ll be able to tell which one that is) were shot…. by me.  🙂 

     First Viddy is of the float that had Mariano Rivera on it.  All viddy’s shot just before the very end of the parade, just before the Tweed building on Chambers Street.

     It was chilly, not cold, but chilly.  It was windy.  It was crowded.(duh)  There were no spots up front to be had for any of the late comers, like

16350_169151794031_631859031_2769415_2091981_n

The rhino shows some pinstripe pride

my wife and I, but we got as close as possible, I got a lot of these shots after fighting for that spot for a good long time, had to be 45 minutes, maybe longer.  People moved over, we moved up.   You can see we were still several rows off of the front after even that time from the next viddy.

     There were a lot of people there, as many as 1,000,000, hence the blog title.  That million is a number that I have heard bandied about on nj.com, among other sites.  I dunno about that, I never got a glimpse of the entire crowd, being in it at the time.  Michael Kay said he thought the crowd didn’t look as large this year as some of the 90’s parades.  I can’t speak to that, I never went to those parades, but it was absolutely a huge amount of people.   And there may not have been as many people as at some of those 90’s parades, but we more than made up for in heart and love for our favorite team, the New York Yankees.

     And yes, that ugly goofy looking monkey holding the pennant there is me, your beerless leader, Das Rhino.  Pic taken by my wife. 

       Aside from the story at the end of this paragraph, there was a lot of fun had.  Pictures taken, over 100 of them, some very bad ones, a few good ones which my wife cropped on her laptop, Like the one at the very top of this blog.  Had to splice out the legs that were on either side of that shot.  And don’t worry about hiding the kids, Carrie PreJean was nowhere around, they belonged to two separate people on either side of me.  🙂

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    Now to the bad stuff, which happened early on, before and just as the parade was beginning.

Moment_Of_ Crush

The spot where the crush happened

    It would be better if next time there are signs up telling people where to go.  Despite everyone knowing where the canyon of heroes is, there were thousands of people who were simply in the wrong place when the parade went off, and there were a thousands of people who were a few blocks north of the turnoff at Chambers and Broadway.  I got caught there because of all the streets being cut off and having no way to get there but going north of the parade route and coming back.  Cops were only minimally helpful.

     My wife and I got caught in a crush just above the corner of Broadway and Chambers street at around 11:20.  It was all of 30 feet off of that corner where the serious part of the crush happened. It scared the hell out of my wife, and rightfully so.  She had someones elbow in one ear and another in her neck. She was being pushed from in front and behind and one side.  I was on the other and fought to get her some room.  I did what I could, but it wasn’t enough to keep my wife, who has asthma, and was having some trouble breathing as it was, from panicking. 

     She is fine, but she got squished like a bug there for a few minutes, and there was real danger there, and she is as sore as hell now from the crush.  That danger was due to scaffolding which cut down the size of the sidewalk, and the crush of people in that confined space made a hard push to get to actually see the parade more difficult. 

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    That’s about it, except a final viddy, again from today’s festivities, this shot at Foley Square, where there was a screen showing the ceremonies a few blocks from city hall,  Couldn’t get close enough to see it in person.  The crowd there was pretty large, but the sound system wasn’t loud enough. I could barely hear it, though the sound does kinda come through here.  And the high pitched monkey scream that you hear in all the Viddys? Ya…that’s me.  I sound like a  f***** monkey.  Maybe I should change the name of this blog to Mike The Monkey.  LOL.

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:  There are surprisingly few real students of the game in baseball; partly because everybody, my eighty-three year old grandmother included, thinks they learned all there was to know about it at puberty. Baseball is very beguiling that way.  Alvin Dark

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.  George Bernard Shaw

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.  Stephen King