Saturday, June 26, 2010

LeBron and Strasburg: My 2 Cents

It seems like the two biggest topics in North American sports right now are basketball superstar LeBron James' possible departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers; and the rise of impressive rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Much has already been written about both elsewhere so I won't bore you with the details here. But here's my humble take:

- James, an Akron, OH native should not leave the Cavs until he wins a championship for his (almost) hometown team. But he's given the team 7 years and a valiant effort, so if he chooses greener pastures I won't hold it against him one bit. (On a personal level, I would very much NOT like for him to join the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets, or whatever the fuck they end up calling themselves, for the reasons I've espoused here.)


- The hoopla surrounding Strasburg has honestly surprised me. ESPN has called him "the most-hyped pick in draft history", while Sports Illustrated considers Strasburg "the most hyped and closely watched pitching prospect in the history of baseball". Yes, the 21 year old is a wonderfully talented phenom but all this acclaim is quite over the top. (Mr. Baseball Nerd, Keith Olbermann agrees.) The fact is, Strasburg has started against mostly low-rung teams (Pirates, Indians), one of which he lost to (Royals), and the only solid team he's faced (White Sox) Strasburg got a no-decision in a game his team eventually lost. 4 games does not a Hall of Fame career make.

Yeah, he's averaging 10 strikeouts per game but c'mon, how 'bout we wait 'til he's been around a couple of seasons and the hitters have had a chance to see him. In the meantime, I suggest following Mr. Wolf's advice, let the the Nats milk the situation for all its worth and enjoy the ride. And if you think the sad saga of the D-Train has made me even more skeptical of the whole Strasburg hype, then you are quite right.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fox: Obama Gives Back Chunk of AZ to Mexico

Man, they've got balls over in Murdoch land.

A strip of an Arizona wildlife preserve on the border Mexico has been closed off to visitors--for security reasons, due to increased violence in the area--since 2006. You know, when W. was still president.

So, what does Fox Noise do in these times of controversy regarding AZ's stance on illegal immigrants? Why, fan more flames by reporting on their supposed news shows, not on the propaganda hours of Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc that President Obama has actually given Mexico a stretch of land by the border. And then, after the damage is done, erase all record of ever having reported it. Un-fucking-believable.

No, wait--what am I saying? I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE Fox is capable of this kind of wretched, unethical bullshit. Sensen No Sen has the complete lowdown.

Monday, June 21, 2010

GOP Shows True Colors in Defense of BP

I'm no fan of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, but I like that he makes the clear distinction between a political gaffe and a deep-rooted ideology, vis-a-vis Republican apologies and concern for BP.



Dems need to harp on this every day until the November elections. To take the side of an oil company that thru negligence and greed--not to mention lax regulation and very little oversight during the 8 years of the previous administration--created a disaster such as this, is a disregard for the people of the highest order.

Remember what I've been saying about the GOP/conservative "sink or swim" philosophy? This latest genuflection is just another manifestation of it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Imperfect End to a Perfect Game

In a recent span of a week or so in which umpire malfeasance has repeatedly reared its ugly head, last night's incident clearly takes the cake.

I'm sure you have all heard by now of Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga being denied a perfect game vs the Cleveland Indians, Wed night in Detroit, after umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at 1B that would've resulted in the final out of the game. (Btw, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera deserves at least 10% of the blame for what eventually went down--what the hell was he doing chasing a grounder clearly in the path of the second baseman, instead of covering his base?!)

This was a disaster, plain and simple. And baseball fans round the whole world, not just here in the US, witnessed the sad debacle.

Commissioner Bud Selig should overturn the call, which, if I'm not mistaken would require the Tigers, Indians, and umpire Joyce to sign off. As for issues of MLB credibility taking a hit if the call were to be overturned, well, they turned a blind eye to obvious steroid use after fans returned to the game, following the '94 strike--so much for credibility. And there is precendent for changing calls--the infamous 1983 Yankees-Royals "pine tar game" comes to mind--why not do the right thing for a change?

Anyone w/a sense of fair play should not object to this perfect game being awarded, especially when the end result of the game itself was subsequently not altered as a result of the blown call. I'm a Yankee fan and Galarraga is not one of the non-Yankees I follow, but I'm a baseball fan as well. And I felt lucky to at least have caught the game from the 8th inning on, only to be utterly dismayed by the call when it went down.

Joyce candidly recognized his mistake after the game and approached Galarraga with what has been reported as a very sincere apology. That was classy. So was Galarraga's reaction to the whole thing. Let's hope Selig will follow in their footsteps and do what's right.

Oh, and yeah: Junior retired. It took a fuck up of historic proportions to overshadow the news of a living legend saying goodbye. Jeez...