Recent Comments by Venicemenace

NCAA Conference Death Watch - Big East gains on Big 12

"If conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, we would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States," Boeheim said. "This audience knows why we are doing this. There's two reasons: Money and football.

"We're going to end up with mega conferences and 10 years from now either I'm going to be dead wrong -- and I'll be the first to admit it -- or everybody is going to be like...why is Syracuse going to Miami in basketball this week and next week they're going to play Florida State?"

From an interview with Jim Boeheim. The article adds,

During an interview prior to his speech, Boeheim was skeptical that conference realignment will actually result in more money for most schools once costs are considered.

posted by Venicemenace at 06:02 PM on September 19, 2011

NCAA Conference Death Watch - Big East gains on Big 12

This seems like a step back for football and a giant leap forward for basketball.

Strictly speaking of the ACC, I guess so. But overall, the best basketball conference ever just got shredded because of football-driven concerns.

RIP, Big East. Now I get to watch my Georgetown Hoyas program slowly disintegrate along with the rest of the Northeastern Catholic schools that don't have big-time, state-funded football programs.

posted by Venicemenace at 05:47 PM on September 19, 2011

Gladwell on Grantland

I'm no Tom Yawkey fan, but Gladwell heavily embellished the anecdote about the Robinson/Mays tryout. I have never seen it written that Yawkey ran onto the field yelling epithets. I'm not even sure that it was said to have been Yawkey that cursed at the players (from the stands).

I'm not defending Yawkey against the overall charges of racism, he was basically the human embodiment of the "curse," but Gladwell is playing pretty fast and loose with the facts in this article as per usual.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:11 AM on August 23, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

Yes, let's suspend one of the best players on one of the two or three best teams in the league in the heat of the pennant race because he isn't following our orders in matters almost completely irrelevant to the game itself.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:54 PM on August 04, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

Just read this and my jaw dropped.

"This is classic Alex Rodriguez," one high-ranking baseball official said Wednesday night, after the commissioner's office announced it will interview A-Rod as part of its investigation into his alleged involvement in illegal high-stakes poker games. "In a lot of ways Alex is no different than Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. He's a thrill seeker, and he does everything he can to be overt. He's a classic example of where we are in society, the age of celebrity, where everyone loves triumphs and tragedies."

That's one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. The guy played some poker games with his friends, with stakes commensurate with the disposable income afforded by their vast earnings. Some guy that was there did drugs. How that makes him a starlet with substance abuse problems is beyond me. This official should be ashamed of himself for being so petty with regard to one of baseball's biggest stars.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:49 PM on August 04, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

Some here seem to take the view that wealth is an excuse to violate the law or a defense to illegal activity?

Of course not, but Major League Baseball is not an arm of the legal/judicial system and until such time as A-Rod has been apprehended for his participation in "underground" poker games, this really isn't any of their concern.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:59 PM on August 04, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

If we were to assume that he gets himself in debt, he might be indebted to the wrong kind of people.

Like Tobey Maguire is going to threaten to break A-Rod's kneecaps or make him throw games.

The amounts of money here are paltry by the standards of A-Rod's income.

Total non-issue in my opinion, and I really hope this doesn't turn into a suspension that would affect the outcome of this season or the next. That would be a way bigger crime than A-Rod playing poker with movie stars.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:08 AM on August 04, 2011

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

A stat called Pitches Saved measures the efficiency of MLB pitchers; it calls Greg Maddux the most efficient pitcher of our time. "During his career, the league average was 144.1 pitches per 9 innings, yet Maddux himself averaged only 120.6. For reference, no other pitcher with at least 2000 IP since 1988 has averaged fewer than 130 pitches per 9 innings." The ace's side career as a mass murderer goes curiously unremarked upon.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:50 AM on May 08, 2011

Fans Choose Next Recipient of Madden Curse

I have been voting for Vick all along. Just to see heads explode if he actually wins.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:28 AM on April 19, 2011

Red Sox To Sign Crawford

Worth noting that the Red Sox play 81 games at Fenway Park, not 162.

My feeling is that Crawford was signed for his all-around skills, his competitiveness and the visceral appeal of his game. The team, while scrappy, was deadly dull last year and the owners knew they needed to rejuvenate the roster. As a Sox fan, I am more excited about the Gonzalez acquisition, but adding Crawford to the lineup -- and taking him away from the Rays, and keeping him away from AL rivals -- is a huge bonus. Is it April yet?

(Rcade...did you check the date on that article?)

posted by Venicemenace at 01:03 PM on December 09, 2010

Final: Celtics 94, Cavaliers 85

@rcade: golfers and NASCAR drivers are poor examples because they don't play team sports tied to a specific city

I disagree -- if there's so much money to be made in local endorsements, why do these sports figures make more in total endorsements than many team-based athletes that can take advantage of local income? If being marketed as a local star in NY/LA is such a gold mine, why don't NY/LA athletes routinely top the lists of top endorsement earners? I think the fact that golfers and NASCAR drivers, not to mention players in random cities like Orlando (Howard) and OK City (Durant), make as much or more in endorsements than the stars of big-city teams demonstrates that local endorsements are not going to be a major factor here. LeBron already outearns Kobe and Jeter combined in endorsement income.

@athiest: when Luke Walton has a championship and Lebron James does not, it is hardly a measuring stick of how great a player either is

Yes, there are plenty of mediocre role players with rings. The point is that LeBron has been constantly compared to Jordan and the rest of the NBA's all-time greats. If he wants to earn his place in that pantheon, he has to carry his team to a ring. End of discussion.

I pretty much agree with Bill Simmons' take on the Knicks vs. Bulls decision:

If he cares about winning titles (multiple) and reaching his full potential as a player, he only has one move: the Chicago Bulls. That's always been the play...Deep down, I think LeBron (and just as important, the people around him) realizes that he needs one more kick-ass player to make his life easier...

Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah proved that they were warriors these past two springs. They could be his Pippen/Grant or McHale/DJ. Easily. Rose could take the creative load off LeBron on nights that he doesn't have it. Rose could come through a few times in the clutch. Rose could hide some of LeBron's faults. It's the single smartest basketball move for LeBron James. It's the Michael Corleone move.

Of course, it doesn't have the same upside as New York: Biggest market, great fans, most meaning. If LeBron saved professional basketball in New York and brought Knicks fans their first title since 1973? That's the best available accomplishment in team sports right now. Name me a better one. You can't. Biggest star, biggest city. But it wouldn't be a smart basketball move. He could only bring one good free agent with him, and from what we've seen, would LeBron + (Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson or Amar'e Stoudemire) combined with what the Knicks already have (not much) translate to anything more than what just happened in Cleveland? Please. That's the Sonny Corleone Move.

posted by Venicemenace at 04:15 PM on May 14, 2010

Final: Celtics 94, Cavaliers 85

I guess I'm skeptical that LeBron James is being robbed of opportunities right now to do whatever it is he might want to do. How hard is it to get on a plane to NY or LA? Hell, with a max contract or an indulgent owner he can take a private jet.

LeBron is going to make max money and rack up massive endorsements no matter where he plays -- and I would hasten to mention that the most highly endorsed athletes do not necessarily play in NY/LA. Tiger, Peyton, LeBron, Dale Earnhardt all make tons of endorsement cash and none are based in the center of the media universe. (Tiger isn't the moneymaker he once was, so you can sub the surprisingly lucrative endorsement deals of Phil Mickelson in there if you want.)

It doesn't matter what uniform he is wearing, LeBron ALREADY plays in Jordan's shadow. His best chance to carve out a legacy of success is to get himself on a team with a great point guard and a great big man. I don't think the Knicks are able to offer that.

posted by Venicemenace at 03:15 PM on May 14, 2010

Final: Celtics 94, Cavaliers 85

Can someone explain to me exactly how New York is going to make LeBron that much more money from a merchandising standpoint? What, is he going to do local commercials that will dwarf his existing national endorsements? Will his jersey inching up from #2 to #1 in leaguewide sales create that much of a windfall? Will his contract include ownership of the MSG Network? I feel as though this concept is taken for granted but rarely explored with any specificity.

If LeBron is going to flee Cleveland, he'd find a much better supporting cast waiting in Chitown.

Celtics have looked awesome lately, thanks to the evolution of Rondo and the the healthy return of Garnett. Bring on the Magic.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:57 PM on May 14, 2010

Fantasy Baseball?

Yo, can I get in on this? I played a few years ago in a SpoFi league and didn't do very well. I need to redeem myself.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:20 PM on March 16, 2010

Torii Hunter: Latino Players are Black 'Imposters'

No, Hunter's point is that the US based agents, like Boras, have made ML teams look to other ports for talent so they don't have to deal with negotiating with hardened sports agents, but rather bass-akwards Dominican families with 16 year old (or so they say) talented kids. That might be true. If the talent is available somewhere else at a cheaper rate, most businesses would go that way.

Despite the obvious offensiveness of calling black Latino athletes "impostors," I'm not sure that Hunter's thesis that teams would rather get a cheap Latin player than deal with a hard-nosed American sports agent working on behalf of an African-American player holds water at all.

Let's look at this year's crop of prospects. The highest-rated African-American player, Jason Heyward, was drafted and signed with the Braves for a $1.7m bonus out of high school. The highest-rated white player, Stephen Strasburg, was drafted and signed with the Nationals (repped by Scott Boras) for a $7.5m bonus and a $15m contract out of San Diego State. The highest-rated black Latino player, Aroldis Chapman, was signed as a free agent by the Reds with a $16.25m signing bonus and a contract worth at least $30m after defecting from Cuba.

Now, you could frame the argument as "the average black Latino signee gets less than the average African-American draftee," but I'm not sure that this is true, either, though I don't have the data to back it up. I seriously doubt Torii Hunter does, either.

At the very least, we know that Latino players are not subject to the draft system; thus, teams will have LESS leverage in negotiating with a Latino player that can sign with any other franchise than they would in negotiating with an African-American player that they have drafted and obtained exclusive rights to.

Once players are established in the major leagues and become free agents, they all have access to the same representation and thus it doesn't make sense to say that one ethnic group would have an advantage at that stage.

My point is this - not only are Hunter's comments about the "not-black-ness" of black Latino athletes incredibly uncalled for, his economic arguments also lack soundness.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:50 AM on March 12, 2010

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I understand that many, many people...will think what Sean Payton did was bold and creative. I don't agree with that way of thinking. I have my point of view. That's the beauty of life in this world. People think differently and there is not just one way to see things, there is not just one perspective. I think what Sean Payton did was dirty. Most people don't. That's fine. You are entitled to think what you want. I am entitled to think what I want, and I dare anyone out there to take away my point of view.

Jesus, this guy wouldn't last five minutes on Sportsfilter before the natives surrounded him with torches and pitchforks.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:26 PM on February 10, 2010

Wes Welker Tears ACL, MCL in Patriots' Finale

I don't see any legitimate parallels between the Colts and Welker. At all.

The criticism directed at the Colts last week focused on their decision to ignore the chance at a 19-0 season and essentially throw the game against the Jets in order to rest starters for the playoffs. Your take on this decision largely comes down to where you stand on the "the Super Bowl is all that matters" argument. I believe that when you are that close to a perfect season, you owe it to the players and the fans to go for it. The Colts backed themselves into a lose-lose situation: fail to win the SB and you're pilloried for squandering your momentum, win the SB and everyone immediately thinks, "Damn, they could easily have gone undefeated."

I heard Ron Jaworski state "Nobody remembers the 18-1 Patriots." Seriously?! Nobody remembers one of the most impressive offenses ever, or the team that lost one of the most dramatic Super Bowls of all time, in which a team on the cusp of a perfect season was knocked off thanks to a miracle catch and titanic pass rush? At least the Pats had the stones to attempt the perfect season -- and I agree with Michael Irvin, there is nothing better than taking on all comers and emerging with a flawless record. (Hopefully that's the last time Irvin and I see eye-to-eye on anything.) Do you really think the 1972 Dolphins, a team that is repeatedly mentioned every freaking NFL season, was that great of a team on the field? The undefeated season is the greatest accomplishment in sports.

The Welker situation is totally different. Nobody in the NFL is arguing that a team in a non-historic situation that's already clinched the playoffs shouldn't rest injured players, and should play its stars for 60 minutes in a meaningless game. But neither is anyone in the NFL arguing that once you clinch a playoff spot, you should immediately bench all your starters for the rest of the regular season (which the Patriots would have to do in order to avoid this injury). Hell, you'd better keep them out of practice too, to follow that logic. The second the playoffs are clinched, non-contact drills for everyone until the coin toss of the first playoff game! Encase your Pro Bowlers in plastic bubbles to ensure they don't slip on some ice or cut themselves shaving!

As LBB pointed out, even Bill Polian and his fellow die-hard believers in resting starters sent Manning out there the last two weeks of the season for SOME repetitions. Welker got hurt AT THE VERY BEGINNING of the game, and his injury was more due to the crappy Texans turf than to some sort of Belichickian blunder. The resting-the-starters debate does not even enter into it.

It sucks, SUCKS for Welker and any unbiased NFL fans that one of the league's best receivers might not be back to 100% until 2011. That's pretty much the extent of the story here.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:02 PM on January 04, 2010

Browns agree to send Edwards to Jets

Braylon is strange ?


To be fair, that name was basically invented in the last 10 years.

That said, today there are over 300 Braylons for every million babies born in the US.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:44 AM on October 08, 2009

Twins, Tigers Will Decide AL Central in Playoff

That Leyland has enough confidence in Porcello to throw him to the wolves should cement his bid for ROTY.

I think Porcello is awesome - and I'm still astonished that the Tigers seem to have handled him well this season, despite totally rushing him to the majors at the tender age of 20, with only one season of A-ball under his belt.

All that said, I think Jeff Niemann is the rightful ALROY. Here's a solid argument that I tend to agree with.

posted by Venicemenace at 04:22 PM on October 05, 2009

Mark Reynolds Sets New Single-Season Strikeout Record

If that was your point, it's not a very good one.

162-game averages for Mark Reynolds and Babe Ruth

Reynolds: .259 BA / .341 OBP / .506 SLG - 35 HR, 103 RBI - 214 K, 69 BB - 113 OPS+

Ruth: .342 BA / .474 OBP / .690 SLG - 46 HR, 143 RBI - 86K, 133 BB - 207 OPS+


One thing I will say for Reynolds, he is a solid basestealer as well. He's one of those guys who absolutely rules in fantasy baseball, above and beyond his all-around skills in the actual game, but I'd take him on my team, real or imagined, anytime.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2009

Mark Reynolds Sets New Single-Season Strikeout Record

I mean, he did in fact hold the strikeout record from 1926 until 1964 so it's not as if he wasn't striking out regularly.

And yet Reynolds has shattered Ruth's ancient strikeout standards with consecutive 200k seasons. It's unprecedented in baseball history to whiff at that magnitude. The Babe Ruth comparison is simply not apt.

Reynolds is a very good offensive ballplayer at the moment, as his 40+ bombs attest. (I don't care very much about his RBI numbers, as that's a completely overrated stat.) He markedly raised his BA this year, along with his OBP and total walks, all of which are good things. His OPS+ of 131 was the best of his three-year career. Baseball Reference raises comparisons to Mike Schmidt, and what's not to like about that?

My only concern, were I drafting for a dynasty league for instance, is his "So what?" attitude. Reynolds is approaching his prime, his bat is moving as quickly as it ever will, and when he makes contact, he blasts the ball out of the park. That won't always be the case, and unless he makes a concerted effort to improve his plate discipline, his stats will go way downhill when he cracks 30.

Now, a two-word quote shouldn't damn him in our minds, but my hope is that Reynolds will strive to be more like Adam Dunn, who strikes out many times a season but also complements that with 100+ walks a year. A player with "young player" skills like Reynolds ought to be continually working on his plate discipline, or his career will be as short as many a free-swinging slugger's before him.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:26 AM on September 25, 2009

Mayo: The Heir Apparent

Rumple, I don't think that McMullan's article was deficient because it failed to opine on the NFL culture of playing through pain. She presented the evidence and allowed you to draw your own conclusions. When she writes that "his aches and pains were not for public consumption," she is explaining the NFL world as it is, instead of penning an opinion piece about how it should be.

One of the reasons why I liked this article a lot was that the author subtly addressed the brutal culture of an NFL team and the tensions that often exist between coaches and players, veterans and rookies, a player's desire to excel and the physical torment that can often entail.

There is so much in this article for Patriots fans to chew on. The injury Mayo concealed last season is a window into the harsh world of the NFL, and a reminder that every star NFL player is one ill-fated play from going on IR. Instead of celebrating Belichick as a genius, this article presents him as a brutal taskmaster...a more nuanced view that's often missing in local sports coverage of our extremely successful coach. What of Mike Vrabel - was his trade to Kansas City a result of his tendency to openly contradict Belichick's decrees? The passing of the torch to Mayo - symbolized by the green dot on his helmet, but also the growing respect of the longtime veterans, who themselves are potentially made obsolete by the rise of the next defensive captain - is a poignant tale indeed.

And man, Rodney Harrison is going to be the most awesome media commentator ever.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:11 PM on September 14, 2009

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

Hilarious point, Athiest. I burst out laughing at my desk.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:29 PM on August 27, 2009

Chris Brown: How Blogs Killed (and Saved) Sports Writing

Access is increasingly pointless when athletes speak more candidly on Twitter than they do in the locker room. Michael Beasley's recent online meltdown is evidence of this.

To carry on with justgary's example, one of the big sports stories in Boston is the complete fade of Jason Varitek's baseball skills, and the obvious need to bench him and get Victor Martinez behind the plate every day.

Sports blogger Chad Finn of
Josh Beckett, whose respect for Varitek is well documented, endured his worst start in weeks on a day in which his favorite catcher was pulled from the starting lineup just three hours before game time with neck soreness.

You know what that is? Coincidence. Nothing more.

Yes, we know Beckett is obsessively prepared, a dedicated slave to his own routine. He likes things just so, and he gets angry (or angrier) when they are not. Even Terry Francona noted that his ace seemed anxious after learning Varitek would not be behind the plate. But Varitek's absence had nothing -- OK, very little -- to do with Beckett's struggles last night.

Sports blogger Joe Veno of Fire Brand of the American League:
Jason Varitek has been a great asset over the years. A notoriously great "game-caller," if that exists. A great leader in the clubhouse, which believe it or not, does actually matter--although impossible to quantify. Varitek has given the Red Sox pitching staff throughout the years, a sense of comfort that is only known by the players within the lines. He has been "The Captain."...Again, an asset.

But Victor Martinez needs to continue to catch most of the time. Four out of every five days, preferably.

Now for professional sports writer John Tomase of the Boston Herald:
The Red Sox captain was a late scratch last night, forcing Victor Martinez to move behind the plate to catch Beckett for the first time. The two had never so much as thrown a side session together, and it showed.

Martinez hastily huddled with Varitek before the game, and then did the same with Beckett, but it's unfair to expect any catcher to walk right in and know how Beckett ticks. The staff ace has spoken in the past about how the get-to-know-you process with Varitek took much of his first season here in 2006. And as he told last week, he doesn't spend a ton of time reading scouting reports, instead putting himself in the best position possible physically to have every pitch at his disposal, while relying on his backstop to know the ins and outs of opposing tendencies.

Still, the numbers are hard to ignore. Beckett is 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA when Varitek is his catcher. When someone else catches him, Beckett is 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA.

"No discounting Varitek's value," read the headline in the Herald.


Now, I suppose reasonable people can disagree...but I don't see any appreciable increase in the quality of writing in the third example. (None of the three are terribly well written, of course.) Sure, Tomase got a quote or two from the players involved. But do those quotations add appreciably to our understanding of the situation? In this case, I'd argue that they don't.

As far as I'm concerned, the "pro" John Tomase got the story wrong, and the two "amateur" bloggers got it right. Varitek is toast, and no amount of "game calling skills" or analysis based on a miniscule sample size is going to convince me otherwise.

(And don't even get me started on the complete inability of the legions of professional Boston sports writers and talkers to recognize that the Sox' biggest flaw is their porous defense.)

posted by Venicemenace at 09:35 PM on August 24, 2009

Did Vick Break Reinstatement Deal by Drinking Vodka?

Unless us "normal people" were working at an animal shelter or the like before we were arrested for the same crime, we'd be allowed to resume the same career we had before our arrest.

I'm not sure this is true. There are lots of jobs that are off-limits to convicted felons.

(That said, I think this story is kind of dumb, and if ordering a cocktail will put Vick's return in jeopardy, that's ludicrous.)

posted by Venicemenace at 12:47 PM on August 24, 2009

Draft Pick Stephen Strasburg May Turn Down Record-Setting Contract

Well, I hate to disagree with the wise minds assembled here, and sorry for being late to the party...but I think the anger directed at Boras and Strasburg in advance of this signing was completely unwarranted, even more so since Strasburg signed for much less than some speculated it would require.

Inigo2 is absolutely correct - Ted Lerner is a billionaire; since when do we start feeling sorry for him based on a $15m financial outlay? In general, I don't understand the tendency of sports fans to side with the billionaires against the millionaires. If my team drafts a player universally considered one of the finest to come out of college in decades, and the mind-bogglingly wealthy owner refuses to pay fair value for him because it would unacceptably cut into his annual profits, I know who I am going to blame in that situation.

Nor do I buy the argument that high player salaries translates to gouging the fans. Does the NFL, with extremely owner-centric salary policies, price tickets at $5 a pop? Nope, I didn't think so.

I don't agree at all with the argument that Strasburg should have to "prove himself" in the pros before earning a $15 million contract. Strasburg played his entire junior season under a microscope, with dozens of professional and amateur scouts tracking every pitch. I know I set up a Google Alert to follow his season, and I'm just a schmo. I'd say he did pretty well in that yearlong audition: 109 IP, 16ER, 195K, 19BB, .172 BAA and a no-hitter.

The fact that he was facing college hitters is irrelevant given how good those numbers are, along with best-in-a-generation scouting reports. Let's look at this in a real-world context for a moment. If you recieve a promotion, and have performed exceptionally well in the subordinate role in a manner that abundantly qualifies you for the promotion, wouldn't you expect to be paid in a manner concomitant with your new position? Or should you get paid the same salary until you "prove yourself"? Why do people have expectations of professional athletes, whose livelihood is far less stable than most other professions, that they would never impose upon themselves?

This is an excellent article that references the average value for various types of prospects, based on statistical analysis. Top 10 pitching prospects are valued by this analysis at $15.2 million. Since we know that Strasburg is considered by every knowledgeable observer to be an exceptional pitching prospect, with ridiculous stuff, control and the stats to back it up, I think it's fair to say that the payday he got was fully reasonable.

Finally, I'm sure I am alone here, but I'm going to stick up for Scott Boras. History clearly shows that when his client wants max money, he holds out for max money. When his client wants to get paid but also wants to get a deal done, he blusters and ultimately does a deal. So much was made of how Boras' influence over Strasburg, Ackley and Tate would allow him to blow up the draft for his own nefarious purposes. Instead, he got all three signed to reasonable deals that would give them financial security, even in a situation in which they had limited leverage. Scott Boras is just doing his job, and I for one have no problem with that.

posted by Venicemenace at 05:16 PM on August 18, 2009

Bolivian coach quits over fielding 12-year-old son

Isn't this the same kid who went into the game, got knocked down by an opponent, and cried? Watch the video and tell me he should have been on the field. They don't have any adult players of his skill level in Bolivia? Come on.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:33 PM on July 24, 2009

Millen out as Lions president, GM

I believe the theme song for this news story ought to be "Finally" by CeCe Peniston.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:46 AM on September 24, 2008

New Stadiums: Prices, and Outrage, Escalate

We get the $5 tickets in the view section to see the Angels

Not a bad seat in that stadium, either. I've sat all over and always had a good view. I could go without some of the Disney-esque pageantry, but the Big A is always a good value.

As for Lucas Oil Stadium, it raises an interesting issue. While the fans are not being squeezed by PSLs there, it's worth noting that the state of Indiana and city of Indianapolis ponied up north of $700 million to construct the stadium. In essence, the construction was paid for not just by the fans' taxes but by the taxes of everyone in the state. The Jets-Giants stadium is being built with private financing and PSLs. Doesn't it seem a bit more fair to levy the cost on the people who will actually flock to this stadium and claim the best tickets?

posted by Venicemenace at 09:45 AM on August 27, 2008

9 year old with a 40 mph fastball, gets the boot.

I did a little google searching and found an article from a local paper, the New Haven Register, that describes the situation with a bit more detail than the wire story, as per usual. Here's the link:

(Tried to link it using HTML tags, but the remainder of my original comment got deleted. Yarr)

Here are some passages from the story that struck me:

"Parents are angry. There are lawyers involved. Conflicting and wild accusations are flying. The adults are fighting over the kids." "The fighting started this week when Coach Wilfred Vidro refused a directive by league officials" "Parents posted brightly-colored signs and many wore handpainted T-shirts with sayings such as, Lets be fair, its all about the kids,-- Theyre only kids,-- and Let Jericho Pitch.--" "Noble said they cancelled the game for fear the adults bickering would create an unhealthy environment.--" "She said league officials came to their house about five months ago to recruit Jericho, who also plays in another league. "

This is not a Harrison Bergeron issue of political correctness - Jericho was already in another league and was drawn into this situation by the very league that now seeks to expel him; meanwhile, the coach and parents have declared war on the league, which is why this was brought to our attention in the first place. It seems very evident to me that all the problems that have arisen are the direct result of willful and obnoxious adults. If we take at face value that Jericho Scott is a superlative pitcher when compared to the beginners in the New Haven league, it's pretty evident that he should move up to face stiffer competition. You'd think that could have been handled quickly and quietly to everyone's satisfaction, but instead this has escalated into legal cases and front page stories; a battle over a PLAYOFF for nine-year-old baseball players.

I lump them all together in this indictment - the adults in this story (a) recruited a nine-year-old for an introductory league (b) plunged into intrigue regarding what team the kid would play on (c) issued fiats regarding his playing time from above without moving towards an actual solution to the issue (d) willfully refused said fiats, leading to more drama (e) staged protests and counter protests at the site of a little kids' baseball game (f) dissolved a team as a high handed power play (g) got lawyers and reporters involved, splashing this poor kid's name across and hundreds of other media outlets.

This entire situation, which should never have arisen and once it did arise, could have been handled in one simple meeting. Instead, all the so-called grownups in the scenario are acting like spoiled babies. Fucking ridiculous.

posted by Venicemenace at 04:02 PM on August 26, 2008

Liukin wins gold, Johnson silver in gymnastics

The new setup actually goes you one better on user numbers, it tells you the actual date a user joined. But my understanding is that the numbers have been preserved and are on their way.

Nastia Liukin was absolutely amazing. Johnson is also fantastic. The two of them put on a clinic. It was really fun to watch.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:29 PM on August 15, 2008

Jason Lezak's Unbelievable Freestyle Relay Swim

While I've oft bitched about network sports announcers' propensity to focus on storyline instead of just calling the game/race/match, I actually thought this worked out amazingly well. Going into the race I wasn't that invested in Phelps' quest for 8 golds and the shit talking from Thorpedo and the French...just seemed like more network hype. As the race went on I thought it was unfortunate that Phelps was going to lose out on a gold because the French team was just too good, but that's why getting 8 golds is so tough. Then when Lezak made his move, I just started freaking out. My poor downstairs neighbors...

Despite all the hype, there were so many cool elements to this story, it actually lived up to the advance billing. Phelps' quest for 8 golds continues, Lezak delivers one of the finest Olympic performances I've ever seen (and the look on his face on the medal podium was awesome), and FIVE relay teams broke the previous world record!

posted by Venicemenace at 10:05 AM on August 12, 2008

Cheating Eight Year Old

This time Belichick has REALLY crossed the line!

posted by Venicemenace at 07:15 PM on July 24, 2008

Jason Taylor Traded to Redskins

In theory, this is a great pickup, but haven't the Redskins been disappointed time and again by big-name veterans who prove to be creakier than advertised? Absent that history, I'd commend the Skins for getting Taylor on the cheap - he's an awesome player - but I have to wonder if this isn't just another Dan Snyder Special.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:36 PM on July 21, 2008

TigerTown could win ESPN'S search for TitleTown!

Not to take anything away from the proud Tigers of Massillon, but this whole "competition" is a disgrace. How can ESPN just take Green Bay's nickname and squire it around the country, much less "award" it to some other town?

posted by Venicemenace at 01:31 PM on July 21, 2008

It was very ugly for Uggla

The fans did a lot of booing IMO...what happened to enjoying a friendly exhibition?

posted by Venicemenace at 11:25 PM on July 16, 2008

Joe Buck Prefers Bachelorette to Baseball

You give him grief for targeting Joe Average, but that's exactly what national announcers are supposed to do -- make the game accessible for anyone who tunes in, not fill it with obscure trivia and stories just for diehards. I do think this is true to an extent - I suppose if I was hired to announce the MLB playoffs, the producers would end up yelling at me to dumb down my commentary because the hardcore fans are going to watch regardless, and let's not alienate the channel surfers with cockamamie terms like "VORP." So it's not all on Buck that nationally-televised games have such insipid announcing. That doesn't explain the idiotic "insights" of Tim McCarver, however. While I certainly see your point, fraze, it doesn't change the fact that for those of us who follow the entire sports season and watch every game of the playoffs, the announcing becomes more tiresome and repetitive with each game...which may be part of what Buck is complaining about. Bad announcing is driven by the market. Doesn't change the fact that it is still bad announcing. I mean - Jesus. If you're gonna skip sports for another television program, or admit that you do on the radio, can you at least watch/namecheck something good like The Wire?

posted by Venicemenace at 03:25 PM on July 03, 2008

Joe Buck Prefers Bachelorette to Baseball

I loathe Joe Buck's announcing and this is just more fuel for the fire. Since his broadcasts are always tailored to the disinterested, casual fan, it's no surprise to learn that he, too, is a disinterested and casual baseball fan. In my mind, the most frustrating aspects of national baseball broadcasts are the terrible announcing, interminable commercial breaks that frequently overlap with gameplay, and nonstop product placement and network promotions, with slow gameplay coming in a distant fourth. I have begun listening to most nationally-televised games on the radio, where I won't be subjected to small-minded banter and idle speculation about what might happen if this guy gets a hit, and then the game might be tied up, and then OH MY GOSH the hitter who hates this particular pitcher might come up with the game on the line, and what drama that would be!!! Stop speculating on what MIGHT happen to maximize the drama, and just call the game as it happens! Joe Buck pointing out that baseball broadcasts aren't what they used to be isn't the issue, although his horrendous hegemony over big games is clearly part of the problem. Quite frankly, I don't really care if he watches games constantly in his free time, as long as he keeps up with the sports he announces through one of the many media options we have these days. But for the national voice of MLB to declare publicly that he prefers The Bachelorette, of all things, to a baseball game? That's appalling.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:31 PM on July 03, 2008

AFI names its top 10 sports movies

You're not a tool, Major League rules. It's definitely better than Jerry Maguire. Hats for Bats.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:48 PM on June 19, 2008

AFI names its top 10 sports movies

I love that Breaking Away is on the list, but I was disappointed to see that Field of Dreams and The Natural aren't; I'd take those two over either of the baseball movies that made the cut.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:35 PM on June 19, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

I think we're simply looking at different criteria. You're looking at what the media (notorious front runners and masters of the obvious) had to say about the finals matchup, specifically. I'm looking at the season as a whole, a season in which the Celtics were considered the front runners and the best team in the NBA throughout the season, as well as looking at the attitude of the local L.A. fans. I don't doubt that the people you talked to might have favored the Celtics, or at least harbored reservations about the Lakers. However, I followed this NBA season pretty closely and I really do not recall any point at which the Celtics were favored to win the title. Hell, even Bill Simmons took the Lakers in 6 over the C's in his pre-playoff preview. To try to get a sample of what LA fans were thinking before the Finals began, I perused a few blogs: "Lakers win the NBA championship in five" "Lakers win it in either five or six games" "I expect the Lakers will win" "I'm having a hard time deciding between Lakers in 5 or 6" "When it comes down to it, the Lakers have the best player on the floor (Kobe), the better coach (PJ), similar balance up and down the roster. They've beaten a running team, a physical team and a championship team, showing along the way they can win in a variety of styles. To make a long story short, right now they're the better team. Not by a ton, but by enough. Lakers in six." (In my browsings I also found this amusing slideshow with "celebrity" picks. Kristi Yamaguchi took LA, what more evidence do you need???) As for your contention that the Celtics were favored in preseason, I don't think that's supported by evidence either. Am I allowed to cite ESPN for this one? The vast majority of their panel took Chicago and Detroit over the Celtics as Eastern favorites. Chad Ford was the only one to pick an Eastern team to win it all and he chose the Pistons. As I recall, the knock on Boston was that they were supposed to be terrible beyond the Big Three. Cjets, I don't doubt that you and your circle of Laker fans might have seen the Celtics as favorites all along, favorites going into the playoffs, or favorites going into the Finals; I have no possible way to disprove this. But I simply don't see any evidence to suggest that your take reflected popular opinion, however it might have been measured. I never claimed to be speaking for CJets and his Laker Fan Posse. But it seems pretty clear that the Celtics weren't the favorites here by any other measure.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:48 AM on June 19, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

Even at the end of the season, the Celtics finish with 66 wins, 9 more than the Lakers. Again, the Celtics are the favorites. I would honestly love it if you would show me in what forum the Celtics were favored to win the Finals against the Lakers once the matchup was set. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But so far I've cited LA columnists like Adande and the admittedly lame Plaschke, a variety of national "experts" (slam them if you will but I think Henry Abbott and John Hollinger know what they're talking about), and to this I'll add the Vegas line which strongly favored the Lakers going into the series. And isn't the conventional wisdom that when two teams are evenly matched, the best player generally wins? I mean, a few years ago SI picked the Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl. Nothing is more laughable than the preseason preview magazines for a given sports season after the season is concluded. As for regular season records, since when do they determine the best team in the NBA? The Spurs have mailed in the regular seasons all throughout their run of success.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:25 AM on June 19, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

But surely he, along with the ESPN experts, qualifies as someone who's been watching the team all year. And personally, I agree with his analysis here. I don't doubt that Laker fans had a far more accurate picture than casual fans of the team's true nature. But claiming that the Celtics were favored to win all along is revisionist history. That said, I hope Bynum comes back strong and the Lakers are able to get Artest. If the Celtics can stay focused, that might make for a hell of a rematch...

posted by Venicemenace at 02:49 PM on June 18, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

The Celtics became popular favorites to win it all before the season even started...They had home court throughout the playoffs and anyone who had the Lakers as favorites hadn't been watching them all year. You can focus on the haters. What if instead we focus on the "experts"? Abbott - Lakers in 5 Adande - Lakers in 6 Ford - Lakers in 6 Hollinger - Lakers in 6 Rose - Lakers in 7 Sheridan - Lakers in 6 Stein - Lakers in 5 Thorpe - Lakers in 6 Game 6 was clearly a thorough ass-kicking. But the series was not. "I picked the Lakers to win in five games. The Lakers could not have won this series if it had gone 25 games." - Bill Plaschke

posted by Venicemenace at 02:14 PM on June 18, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title

Although I'm quite sure the rest of the country is sick of Boston championships, I really enjoyed this one. It was fun to pull for the underdogs again. Paul Pierce has played so hard for so long for the Celtics; it was awesome to see him get his first title. Of course I'm glad for Garnett and Allen as well, but anyone who's supported this team for the last decade knows that Pierce has been the heart and soul of the team through all the ups and downs - from playoff runs to almost traded, from All-Star games to embarrassing outbursts, from an almost fatal stabbing to a perilous bounce of the ping pong balls. Statistically, Allen was the most consistent, and Garnett and Posey played amazing D. But this series turned on Game 4, when Pierce raised his game to an otherworldly level, silencing Kobe and pouring in points. He well deserved the MVP, and it was sweet to see him win it after rooting for him for a decade. Congats Boston, but don't celebrate too much because the Lakers will be back next year...Next year with Bynum they will not be so soft. I have a healthy amount of respect for Bynum, but that doesn't include tempering a championship celebration out of fear of what he will do next year. He's a solid player, but it's saying a lot to suggest that his absence was the difference in this series. This was a thorough ass-kicking of a truly overrated Laker team. After all, although the veterans get most of the press, two of the Celtics' starters are in their early 20s. If Rondo adds a jump shot, and Perkins improves his post play, the C's could become truly awesome for the next couple of years. I don't think those are unrealistic hopes for a couple of guys whose game has improved exponentially of late. However, if last off-season is any guide, a new title contender may come from an unexpected place with a few fortuitous trades or wise draft picks. The season certainly rejuvenated my appreciation of the NBA, that's for sure. on preview: Amen, yerfatma

posted by Venicemenace at 10:50 AM on June 18, 2008

Boston Herald Should Name Its SpyGate Source

Venice, you can call me out whenever you feel it's necessary, and if you want to be an ass about it then that's you're prerogative. If you think my posts make me look like a fool, so be it. Awww come on. I never made it personal. Admittedly, I don't pull my punches on this topic - but I have taken particular care in this instance to restrict my criticism to the ludicrousness of your "theory," and I haven't said anything about you being a fool, looking a fool, acting a fool, etc. Play the ball, not the man, ya know? By the way, rcade, thanks for outing those sources...I can't imagine a better sports-related example of a case in which anonymous sourcing of quotes obscures the true motives of those quoted, thus leading to misguided news coverage. Of course, this is a huge problem in political coverage, too. Is it just me, or do political journalism and sports journalism seem remarkably similar these days? (To the detriment of both.)

posted by Venicemenace at 01:43 PM on May 19, 2008

Boston Herald Should Name Its SpyGate Source

Sorry, but I'm not inclined to treat make-believe, so-called "theories" - completely bereft of any supporting evidence needed to justify that moniker, mind you - with respect. I take my words seriously when I'm discussing serious matters, and I expect to be called out when I make an invalid point, just as I am quick to call others out for doing the same. Lebowski, you claim that Pats fans refuse to accept that our "precious team may have f'ed up." This is demonstrably false, particularly so in my case. I'm the one who posted the original Spygate thread to SpoFi, in which I referred to it as a "cheating incident" and later commented "I'm a huge Patriots fan, but even I know they deserve some kind of punishment." There's a big difference between making knee-jerk attacks on Belichick critics, as you accusing the SpoFi Pats fans of doing, and accepting that the Patriots were wrong to tape coaching signals from the sidelines, and agreeing that they deserved their punishment, while still defending the team against baseless attacks, which is what LBB and I were actually doing.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:53 AM on May 19, 2008

Boston Herald Should Name Its SpyGate Source

You should've picked that up while reading my first comment that simply proposes a different scenario including a lot of unknowns. You mean the comment above in which you asserted with zero evidence that the Patriots had somehow forced John Tomase to retract a legitimate story, to his great shame and humiliation, using a tactic you described as "the old hush hush"? It was such a baseless and insipid point to begin with...I'm not sure why you feel the need to call further attention to it.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:38 AM on May 19, 2008

Witness This! Pierce and LeBron Duel; Celtics Advance To Conference Finals

What's up with the link - wire story on the Ottawa Citizen web site? Seriously? Bob Ryan, arguably the best chronicler of the Celtics ever, had a good column today about the game. I was most struck by this passage about Pierce's place in the Celtic pantheon: Every once in a while Pierce reminds us that he is the greatest pure scoring machine in Celtics history. Many old-timers bristle when you say that, citing John Havlicek, Sam Jones, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, or whomever. But it just happens to be the truth. He can get his own shot, which is a major plus. He is an extremely proficient, highly ambidextrous, driver. He takes a lot of free throws. He is a constant 3-point threat. And he is the best fast break finisher the team has ever had. No argument. Truth's secret, according to Ryan, Doc and LeBron: his footwork. Boston's radio airwaves were filled with negativity this morning, as the nattering nabobs looked forward to the Detroit series with doom and gloom. Keep things in perspective, people! One year ago, Celtics fans were praying for the right bounce from a ping-pong ball. Now they get to watch their team vanquish LeBron, despite a 45-point barrage. A team full of hapless rookies has been replaced by canny veterans who know how to make plays. The C's are one of the last four teams standing. I applaud Ainge for orchestrating this transition, no matter what happens the rest of the way. Back in the praying-for-Oden-or-Durant era, Pierce let loose in a Jackie MacMullan piece, declaring that he didn't want to be traded to a contender, as was rumored, or joined by any more young players, however heralded - he wanted to be surrounded by veteran talent so he could take the Celtics deep into the playoffs. The atrocious losing streak that the Celtics went through last season while PP was injured led many fans to believe the team needed to blow everything up, trade Pierce and start over with Oden/Durant. Pierce thought otherwise. He caught a lot of heat for these comments, but in retrospect it seems that his head was in exactly the right place: [Pierce said] "'That just shows you how badly we need another veteran player. Veterans know how to squeeze out wins, even when there are injuries. Good teams are able to maintain until great players come back. We weren't that kind of team." While he was injured, Pierce said he considered many things, including requesting a trade. "I had so much time to sit there and think about my future," he said. "I'm looking at us losing and I'm saying, 'Man, what do we really have here? Is there hope? Where do we go from here?'" Pierce said he's willing to reach out and sell Boston to potential acquisitions. "I'd love to play with Garnett," Pierce said. I, for one, am very thankful that the ping pong balls DIDN'T bounce the C's way last summer. (And, of course, for the fact that Boston has a friend in McHale!)

posted by Venicemenace at 09:26 AM on May 19, 2008

Boston Herald Apologizes for False SpyGate Story

As Will Bunch wrote in the Philadelphia Daily News, "If you simply took Specter at face value, and assumed his passion for grilling the NFL in his official Senate capacity is the passion of a jilted fan, that alone would be an outrageous abuse of his authority. But the truth is much worse, because Specter's interest in this issue dovetails far too closely with those of his two largest contributors, whose employees have given his campaign more than half a million dollars to keep him in office. I believe if there's any Senate hearing involving the NFL and Arlen Specter, it ought to be the Senate Ethics Committee, looking at a potential link to these donors." (Sports Illustrated) While I agree that the use of anonymous sources, or relying too heavily on one possibly misleading informant (cough cough, Curveball), is one of the serious problems mainstream media in the US needs to wrestle with, there is part of me that feels a little sorry for John Tomase and the Herald. Tomase isn't a hatchet man, he's actually a pretty good reporter. Meanwhile, I don't blame the Herald for running a story potentially harmful to a hometown team on the eve of a big game -- given how much we rely on beat writers and other reporters for our information on our favorite teams, don't we want those reporters to deliver the unvarnished truth, not a team-approved PR edition a la I don't want my local papers to cover up for my favorite teams or take their stories at face value, I want them to investigate and if dirt is being done, expose it. For instance, reporters from the Indy Star should be leading the charge to find out what exactly happened with Marvin Harrison, his Belgian hand-cannon, and Philly malcontents a week or so ago. So I don't hate on the Herald for betraying the Pats with this story, I only hate on them for running a half-reported, bogus "scoop." My beef with them is as an armchair media critic, not a sports fan. The Herald has admitted its mistake and apologized, and will no doubt by punished by the animosity of the die-hard sports fans that make up a large percentage of its readership. Tomase's name is mud in Boston right now, on a par with Mike Fish and Gregg Easterbrook, if not Walsh himself. It would be ironic if the same Patriots fans who desperately want Spygate to go away persist in rubbing this mistaken story in the face of the Herald for months on end...

posted by Venicemenace at 01:39 PM on May 14, 2008

College junior self-declares for 2008 NBA draft.

Before this kid wasted all his time, he might have checked the internet to see if this joke has been done before. It has. Several times. Not the first FPP on the topic here either.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:47 AM on May 09, 2008

Clemens reportedly had affair with country star

Dyams: I thought this post might have a logical discussion of how this issue, if it turns out to be true, might negatively impact Clemens as he faces further legal issues...I apologize for my mistake in posting this. Really, your only mistake was not tracking down the original article and making THAT the FPP. If everyone had read the original article, not this rehashed MSNBC link, a lot of confusion might have been cleared up. It's important to link the original article because a re-hash is not going to make nearly the same effort to get the story right. To wit: (1) The NYDN states in the first sentence of their scoop that "several sources" confirmed the romance. Not McNamee's lawyers, not idle speculation on the Interwebs, several anonymous but mutually supporting sources. It's inaccurate to describe this as mudslinging or an "unconfirmed story." While I'm sure we'd prefer the sources to reveal themselves, McCready's "I cannot refute" statement pretty much seals the deal as far as this media skeptic is concerned. (2) Richard Emery's comments are only a small part of the NYDN article and not really the story at all. He even couches his thoughts on the matter as a hypothetical: "If it's proved that he's a philanderer, his reputation is already damaged. When you sue for defamation, you put your whole reputation in the community at issue. Anything is fair game, including his claim of sanctimonious purity." (emphasis mine) The quotes from Emery in the NYDN article are a lot more nuanced and make it clear that he is simply reacting to the story as presented to him by the Daily News. In a related vein, attacks on attorney Emery's ethics are absurd. He is representing his client! If I was paying a lawyer to defend me in a defamation case, I sure as hell wouldn't expect him to take a hands-off approach to the plaintiff in the name of "good sportsmanship," ESPECIALLY if I was innocent! Would you? Much of the junk about posting to 153 and such only reinforces what I've been feeling for some time now. This site used to be enjoyable, but it just isn't anymore...Anyways, it's been fun while it lasted, and consider this my final post. Come on. You (lazily) posted a link to a tawdry sex scandal story that is only tangentially related to sports, and you expected a sober discussion of the legal ramifications? Then when this doesn't happen, you denounce the whole website and loudly announce your retirement? If the website isn't entertaining you any more, you can just leave, you know. You don't have to give two weeks' notice or anything.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:26 PM on April 30, 2008

Does speed kill?

Location > Changing Speed > Movement > Velocity. So said Maddux while wiping blood off his samurai sword.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:29 PM on April 23, 2008


the Patriots have not abandoned the trademark attempt and continued working on it after the Bowl loss. By ordering their lawyers to fix a typo lest someone else get the trademark on "19-0" toy banks? Stop the presses!!!! This might constitute actual news. Or then again, it might just be another excuse for y'all to continue to develop the optimal alignment of expletives and unprintables to express your feelings about the Patriots.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:06 PM on April 23, 2008


Well as long as this is what passes for discourse around here, fuck the goddamn Chargers, Steelers, Jets, Colts, Giants, etc. Did any of you actually read the link? The trademark application was filed in advance of the AFC championship. This latest "news" is only that a lawyer recently amended the filing to correct a typo - from "toy bans" to "toy banks." The Smoking Gun infers from this that the Patriots remain committed to securing the trademark, but it's quite possible the lawyer was acting independently of the team to fix his own work. I don't see much difference between this and the latest "Matt Walsh orders a ham sandwich and seems to imply while making his order that he knows something about Spygate" pseudo-news stories that litter the ESPN front page for the sole purpose of racking up page views. That said, financially wise though it may have been, attempting to secure the trademark in the first place was an act of utter hubris. Better to pay the squatters later than invite retribution from the gods like that...

posted by Venicemenace at 10:11 AM on April 23, 2008

Where have you gone Darius Miles?

Remember the starting lineup for the Cavs when LeBron first entered the league? C Ilgauskas F Boozer F D. Miles G Ricky Davis G LeBron One of the sloppiest-playing teams I've ever seen in the NBA. As I recall the Cavs blew up this lineup just about as quickly as humanly possible. It was fun to watch for a few games though!

posted by Venicemenace at 12:24 PM on April 17, 2008

Chris Webber retires

When I think of C-Webb, I think of the guy calling the timeout his team didn't have. Sad but true. Enjoy retirement, fella.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:37 AM on March 28, 2008

Jose Canseco Has 'Stuff' on A-Rod

And as for Canseco himself, give him all the credibility you want for bringing this issue into the light, but he's also probably the biggest reason it became a problem for the sport in the first place. Canseco started the problem, to a large extent (with his Bash Brother McGwire), and now he wants to keep it going as long as possible to continue profiting. Dyams, you keep asserting that Canseco is largely responsible for PEDs in baseball. I find this hard to accept since there are PEDs in virtually all sports. Just because he was a user, helped distribute them, and then became a whistleblower (albeit the sleaziest of whistleblowers), it doesn't follow that he was the Johnny Appleseed of roids. The reason it seems like he's at the epicenter of PED use in MLB is because he is one of very, very few players to speak openly and candidly about PED use. That does NOT make him a hero or even admirable, except by contrast with the liars and coverup artists that some of his colleagues have proven to be.

posted by Venicemenace at 03:04 PM on March 27, 2008

Jose Canseco Has 'Stuff' on A-Rod

I've said it before, but the ongoing talk does nothing but hurt baseball. While I don't think of the PED issue as that dire, I have a hard time accepting this statement. If PEDs are a problem for baseball, then it is the use of PEDs that has hurt the sport, not the release of information about PED use. It sounds like you are advocating a cover-up of any damning PED information that has yet to emerge in an effort to protect baseball. I don't think that's a wise solution at all. Coverups ultimately unravel and backfire. Regardless of Canseco's motives, you have to acknowledge that he has demonstrated more veracity on the PED issue than other players, owners, or even beat writers. The first round of prominent guys he accused have all come to be regarded as legitimate PED users. His first book, while worthless literature, is nevertheless a milestone in the exposure of widespread PED use in MLB. While his motives are sketchy and he's not a wholly consistent witness, we have to lend his accusations some degree of credibility since his past accusations have held up under serious scrutiny. That doesn't mean his most recent statements are necessarily true, though. After all, Canseco is covering for Clemens (against whom a mountain of evidence has been compiled) and apparently offered his silence to Ordonez. So while Canseco's word alone isn't enough to convict A-Rod in the court of my opinion, it also isn't something to be quickly tossed aside. More to the point, though, while I think Jose Canseco is a bad guy, I don't think it's fair to label him THE bad guy of the PED debate. If anything, I'd say the bad guys are the union reps who foolishly stymied efforts to implement PED testing, the owners who turned a blind eye to PED use and made very little effort to stop it, and the star players who have lied about their PED use. Canseco is a sleaze, but at least he has told the truth on an issue about which so many have repeatedly misled the public.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:49 AM on March 27, 2008

The Red Sox and Oakland open the season in Japan with Dice-K returning home to start.

From that Maxim article: "What is there to say about a city whose biggest contributions to popular music are Aerosmith, Boston, and New Kids on the Block?" That you conveniently overlooked the Pixies, douche.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:19 PM on March 21, 2008