All Star Ballot

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I just heard during the Phillies game the current all star balloting counts and I was shocked at a couple things. Perhaps some homerisms are showing in me, but Ryan Howard not being in the top five for first basemen and Chase Utley behind Craig Biggio by so much just floored me.

Albert Pujols, without a doubt, is deserving of the starting job at first base for the National League All Stars. Anybody who would argue that is just a moron. However, Ryan Howard, who is hitting around .300 and knocking in runs with his homeruns and other hits should be serving of a spot in the top five!

Chase Utley, mark my words, is the best second baseman in the National League.

If you haven't made it out to the ballpark near you, then feel free to vote (up to 25 times) at this site.


People I'm Tired of Hearing About

There is an ESPN report that Roger Clemens is coming back to the Astros for the rest of the season. The Astros are in denial. Sportscenter has reported all evening that not many people really know what is going on and the whole broadcast has been centered around speculation and "What-if's" and flashing up Clemens' career stats etc. All of this leads into this little Top Five List of People I'm Tired of Hearing About...

1. Roger Clemens - the arrogance of knowing that everyone is waiting for this guy to make a decision on whether or not he'll come back, which team he'll play for, and the fact that the season is blowing by and the decision on what team to go to is becoming easier and easier just bothers me.
2. Brett Favre - If ever there were a number of press conferences to announce nothing, Brett Favre takes the cake. How many times was there a conference to say that he hadn't made up his mind yet? Same thing as Clemens. This guy was one of the greatest quarterbacks and his image is being tarnished the longer his decision goes unmade.
3. Barry Bonds. I just heard a quote of Bonds saying he loves Albert Pujols for coming out and defending him. Bonds apparently is hoping and rooting for Pujols to break his single-season homerun record because "it would be great". Yeah right. He wants Pujols to break his record because then the controversy would go away. It would be proven that you don't need steroids to accomplish the record. Bonds' career would then restore itself slightly.
4. Rasheed Wallace. Any guarantees Mr. Wallace heading into game five, down 3-1?
5. Mark Cuban. I am a firm believer that in team sports, the team should be the only newsmaking focal point. Cuban, although successful, violates that philosophy with ease. His team may win the NBA championship, but we all know cameras will be on Cuban at just about every critical point throughout the rest of the playoffs. All the credit in the world to Cuban for his passion, although sometimes too eccentric, but the guy is committed to winning. I just don't need to see the grungy looking, scarey looking self-made billionaire.


Summer Time

Memorial Day weekend has come and passed, and now the heat o summer is starting to make its presence known. Crank up the air conditioning and put some extra icecubes in the lemonade because it's going to be a scorcher! Or so they say!

I've been having problems with Blogger lately (not their fault, but the fact that I've created multiple blogs and scrapped old ones to work on a fresh one, and I've been getting my login info mixed up with older blogs).

I saw the third X-Men movie over the weekend. Being a fan of the X-Men movies I thought the third movie was a good end to the story, or was it? I admit I walked out before the scene after the credits, so I have no clue what that's all about.

And how about that 24 ending? Each season I wonder how Jack Bauer will get into more trouble. This much I know (assume); Jack won't be spending a day in Los Angeles next season!

I have also recently discovered the beauty and simplicity of section 416 at Citizens Bank Park. It's even better when you have one of those Buy One Get One coupons from Lukoil!

I hope everybody had a safe and memorable Memorial Day (no pun intended) weekend and also found a way to pay tribute to those who the holiday is intended for. And if you scarfed down a hot dog or two, more power to you!

Note: After writing the above and doing a spell check, I found it humorous to find that the words "Blogger" and "blogs" were not in the dictionary for Blogger's spellcheck feature!


Hall of Famer Joe Paterno

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Congratulations to Penn State football coach, and in some families such as my own, a man worth putting on top of the Christmas tree, Joe Paterno for his recent election into the college football hall of fame. Needless to say it was a matter of time. Perhaps the Hall committee got tired of waiting for he and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden to retire. Both men deserve to be in the Hall, although I'll say JoePa deserves it more. :)

What troubles me is that today I read an article by a columnist stating that now is the time for Paterno to walk away from coaching. Not only is this a tired, old discussion (not to mention out of season) but it is irresponsible for a writer of his lack of caliber to be calling out the great Hall of Fame coach, saying that there is nothing else for him to accomplish, as if the man is so narcissist that he wants to coach just for his accomplishments. The mark of a great coach is a knowledge and passion for the game; two attributes that Paterno has and can probably be unrivaled in that category. It is especially uncalled for when the man is coming off of an 11-1 record and looks to have brought Penn State back to winning ball games and making trips to bowl games in the next few years.


The Nose Bleed Section

Friday, May 12, 2006

Aaron Rowand, centerfielder for the Phillies, just etched his name in Philadelphia's hearts. In the first inning of the final game of a three game series against the division leading rival New York Mets, with the bases loaded and two outs, Rowand went chasing after a ball in deep centerfield, made the catch, crashed into the hard wall, broke his nose, ended the inning and any threat of a Mets score, and kept Philadelphia fans, including myself, talking about his heroics the rest of the night and the next day.

The reason this is so important is because we know we have players who will give their all, unlike Kenny Lofton, who asked why he would want to hurt himself in that situation. This one play symbolizes the epitome of the team's future. This is not the group of mouths that had a bad taste surrounding them and pitted them against the media and the fans. Sure, Mike Lieberthal is still around, and Bobby Abreu still is the worst Gold Glove rightfielder in history, but the nucleus is now the likes of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Aaron Rowand.

This team is fun to watch and likeable. They have a sense of humor, they have a baseball GM who's not afraid to make moves or take chances. And they can hit the ball.

Tonight the wait for Cole Hammels comes to an end in Cincinnati. I have a fear that the Reds may give Hammels a rough debut, but at least we get a chance to see what the kid can do in the majors.

I think it is great that we're not looking at mini-camp and talking to death about it, because the Phillies are looking alright.


Barry Bonds and Philly Fans

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Two things to discuss quickly today.

Barry Bonds has continued to make himself look like a foolish hypocrite. Let us leave the cheating substance abuse out of the picture for the moment. At the end of his trip to Philadelphia, where he hit homerun number 713*, he was asked about the booing by the fans. In his response he said that it was nothing compared to LA or San Diego. I'm ok with that, as those are his rival teams. But he also stated that the fans who come out and boo should be scolded for doing so in front of their kids, and that they should think about the example they are setting for their kids.

Read that last sentence back to yourself and think about it. Does anyone else find that a little off-beat? I mean, isn't it Barry Bonds who has "alledgedly" taken performance enhancing drugs, or steroids, like no man has ever before just to get himself in the limelight and catch a record he was jealous of, and thus finds himself chasing the all-time homerun record? Shouldn't Barry be thinking about the example he's setting for his own children first?

Second, the Philly fans. Leading up to the games between the Giants and Phillies you could see the headlines coming from a mile away "Bonds goes to Philly, the place where they boo Santa." Now, remember the fact that this whole incident of throwing snowballs happened in 1968, once. Once. It happened once and it was in 1968. 19.......68. I suggest you read chapter four of The Great Philadelphia Fan Book by Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano explaining the whole incident and how it has become sort of a tall tale, including the point of view of the Santa Clause in the story, to realize just how overblown that is. ESPN had an article discussing how Barry is going to Philly in what is sure to be a wild crowd.

Now, Philly fans have gotten a bit of a bad name for the booing, stupid incidents here and there and our attitude. Writing about Philly fans is the easiest thing a reporter can whip up. All you have to do is mention batteries at J.D. Drew, drunk Flyers fan jumping in the penalty box with Tie Domi (even though Domi started it), cheering when Michael Irvin is down, and oh yeah, snowballs at Santa. These reporters should be ashamed of themselves for writing such garbage.

ESPN carried Sunday night's game. There were members of the national media all over Citizens Bank Park all weekend, jotting down everything Phillies fans did. ESPN analysts were preparing to discuss the Philly fans and their embarrassment at the expense of Barry "*" Bonds. The nation's sports media was typing up their Philly fans stories and what did they get? Only some of the most clever signs, and the normal boos that show up everywhere else.

Nothing thrown on the field.

Nobody storming the field to take a shot at Bonds.

No syringes. No batteries. No snowballs.

And do you think the national media will write a story about how well behaved, clever, and supportive the Phillies fans were. Nah, I didn't think so either.

Philadelphia: Home of the best overall combination of sports passion and knowledge in their fans. No question


Nintendo Wii

Monday, May 01, 2006

So apparently the next Nintendo system, codenamed "Revolution" for a while now, will now be called Wii (pronounced "we"). Some of you know I've always been a Nintendo guy, as opposed to the Sega guy, or the XBox guy.

What a dumb name. Cool system. Dumb name.


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