A Case FOR A-Rod

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So apparently Alex Rodriguez is getting killed in New York. Anybody surprised?

In an off year A-Rod has been throwing errors from third all season long, his batting average is below normal A-Rod standards, and his strikeouts and untimely hitting seem to be getting the Yankee fans up in a roar. Funny, for a second I thought I convinced myself I was talking about Bobby Abreu. Anyway, I am starting to think that picking on A-Rd has become the trendy thing to do.

It's easy to point out the inefficiencies of the game's highest profile player. It's a natural thing to point out when a great player starts to show signs of weakness. In this case you are talking about a guy who once signed a record smashing contract, thus ditching his small market former team for a team with no chance of winning.

It seems we can not get through a day without hearing a criticism of A-Rod. Now, I'm no Yankee fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say it's getting old. Let me just say this; What third baseman in the league would you take over him? Heck with that question, the guy's a natural shortstop! How many thirdbasemen or shortstops would you take over A-Rod?


Parking Lot Etiquette

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I have a no new pet-peeve; People who can't back out of their parking spaces properly.

It always amazes me how so many people have trouble backing out of their parking spots. How many times have you seen people slowly inch their way out of their spot, holding up traffic, only to have to adjust once more (sometimes twice)! The problem is these people slowly back out in a straight motion, instead of cutting their wheel to the way they want to go because they are afraid of scratching the cars on their sides. I believe that if you can pull into a spot without inching your way in, then it should be 100% possible to back out in the same (well, opposite) motion!

The people with the most problems are not a surprise; old people and women with big SUV's. Look, no matter who you are, if you're going to drive your car, learn to drive it.

What they should have in driver's ed is a session on parking lot etiquette. Too many times people race their cars down a lane and have to slam the brakes or swerve out of the way of a car backing out. And then, who honks their horn? The racing driver. And also, if there is a crosswalk ANYWHERE and people are standing there waiting to cross, you have to let them go! Don't keep driving. That completely renders the crosswalk useless! The last thing we want is real life Frogger in the parking lot.


Monday Update

Monday, July 17, 2006

Well the dog days of summer are really here as we're experiencing near record breaking heat this week. How ironic then that the trade rumors are starting to sizzle in Philadelphia everywhere you look.

Whether it be Allen Iverson or Bobby Abreu, everybody seems to have an opinion on some form of trade or no trade move. Of the two, the most likely to be traded would surely be Abreu. With the American League races as tight and competitive as they are it's very possible that Abreu could end up in Boston or New York. And with more teams mentioning his name every day it has gotten to the point where if the Phillies don't trade Abreu, the more I wouldn't be surprised. It is, afterall, in their history of bad decisions to not make a move when they should to help the team's future (Billy Wagner anybody?).

The longer and longer the trade rumors go on about Iverson, the more and more I feel he will be a Sixer this coming season. I'm one of the many who feel the Sixers should not trade him. Besides the fact that you won't get equal value for him, there is the fact that you won't get anything for him. Whatever the Sixers get in return would likely be junk and not players to build a team with. If you're not getting anything that will help your team on the court, there is no reason to trade him, or anybody. I understand that the money that would be unloaded would be the key factor, however I stand by the notion that you need players to help build the team, not junk players just to free up cap room.

And here's an interesting story...

GMAC Bowl moves to day before BCS Title Game

I'm still note quite sure for the reason of this. The plan is to broadcast the game in primetime the night before the BCS championship game. Is anyone going to be watching this game when another BCS game will be played? Sure, people may switch their TV sets over on commercials, and it gives bars a second game to put on, but it seems to me that the GMAC Bowl is trying to sell itself as a legitimate bowl game, when in fact this move will only hurt the game. The bowl analysis and pregame shows will be limited at best when put up against a BCS game. Even though ESPN will be broadcasting the game, it will still get pushed back in the Sportscenter lineup past the BCS game, title game, and even the NFL playoffs. If I'm in charge of the GMAC bowl I keep humble and stay right where I am with the week before Christmas.


All Star Game

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tonight is the Major League All Star game, and for the third year in a row we will be constantly reminded that the winning league will receive home field advantage in the World Series.

Naturally both managers (Phil Garner of Houston and Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox) are saying the right things; that they want to manage the game to win, rather than try to get all of their players in for an appearance. While I like that they say they have the attitude of winning in mind, I'm not quite ready to believe it (come to think of it I actually do believe Guillen).

Whether the American League continues to demonstrate its recent dominance over the National League, or the NL squad puts to rest the AL bandwagon remains to be seen. I would bet on the AL winning but when it comes down to it, does anyone really care?

We all know that homefield advantage in the World Series should be determined by regular season record (just like every other sport except for the NFL and its neutral site). A recent ESPN poll showed that 77% of those polled believed the home field advantage in the World Series should be determined by overall record. A paltry 14% thought the All Star game result was a good idea, and a measly 8% were too old fashioned to give up on the alternating year concept.

They say it is the fans game, so why don't the fans get their way in determining the impact of the result? Why do the players that the fans want to see not have to show up? Those players who back out of the game should forfeit their All Star bonus! Until baseball decides to revoke the fans' right to vote for the starters, and the fans don't always get it right (see Ken Griffey Jr. on occasion), the players that get the most votes should have to attend. The game will never really live up to the bragging rights contest it used to have because we now have too many interleague games. It used to be hat the teams really want to win the game and would go all out. Not every player would play and that was ok! It is because of this attitude that managers seem to have that they should get everybody in that has caused the all star game to seriously drop off in appeal. The best of the best should play and whoever gives you the best chance to win at any particular moment should play.

In any event, enjoy the All Star game, whoever you root for. I'm a National League guy so hopefully Ryan Howard can knock in a go ahead homerun and Tom Gordon will pick up the save in the late innings.


Phillies Ownership = Clueless

Monday, July 10, 2006

As if you needed more proof that the ownership of the Phillies has no clue on how to connect with their fanbase, read this interview with limited partner in ownership, Bill Giles from the Philadelphia Inqurier.

One Phillies Owner Speaks Out on Team's Struggles

We all know that the Phillies as an organization failed miserably in the handling of the Brett Myers incident. What is worse than the fact that they continue to let it go by avoiding having him start in Philadelphia for quite some time (at which point this whole fiasco will come alive once more), Giles takes a defiant stance and states that the reports are very erroneous, attempting to convince us that Myers was actually trying to help his wife. If that is the case I'd like to hear his thoughts on the police report filed by Mrs. Myers (in which she says she was hit twice), why the Myers' are being given counseling, and why Myers was given a leave of absence. Of course, Giles isn't the one to ask about any of that.

The thing that strikes me the most is the fact that he, pretty much on behalf of the ownership group, attacks the "crazy" fans who call talk radio and he actually believes that the majority of fans are happy go lucky supporters of the club win or lose. This is a clear example of the Phillies organization, from top to bottom, not understanding the mentality of the fan. And it isn't just Philadelphia fans. I would LOVE to see how the fans in New York or Boston would react if he tried saying anything like this in those cities.

The truth is it is not Philadelphia or their fans. It is an organization that fails time and time again to realize that they are problem. The ownership and management ALWAYS fail to assess blame properly.

Since 1993 the Phillies have made zero playoff appearances, and have only sniffed the playoffs twice, one of those by fluke. Even on the terrible teams in this league there have been changes on multiple occasions since 1993.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have had four different managers since 1998. The Phillies have had three since 1997. Even the terrible organizations have had the stones to make a change instead of giving in to futility and making the players feel good about themselves. The only thing that ballplayers should feel good about themselves is having a chance to be playing in the major leagues, and making "x" amount of dollars.

This whole interview got me steamed, a bad way to start the week. Here's the final question and response:

Q: Can this team be contenders next year?

A: "In this day and age, you can go from last place to first place easily in a year. Take the Cincinnati Reds. They're basically the same team. They've just added some pitchers. And they're very much in contention to win their division. I don't think there will be any problem, if we're fortunate enough to get the right players, to compete soon."

True, teams do go from worst to first every so often (see the 1993 Phillies, which is probably why this ownership refuses to think they need to change very many things). But look at what the Reds did. "They've just added some pitchers." As Drew Rosenhaus would say, "DUH!" The Phillies could have had Bronson Arroyo for Billy Wagner and a bag of baseballs last year easily! While that blame is assessed to the previous GM, the ownership should have known about this possibility and pushed for the move to be done.

I agree the best owners in sports GENERALLY should not be involved with player moves and contracts, but they are the owners. What they say ultimately goes. Is it any coincidence that the Yankees are the Yankees under George Steinbrenner? Or that the Dallas Mavericks have become winners under Mark Cuban? The Phillies also had a clear example of what an enthusiastic owner can do to a team in Philadelphia (see 2001 Sixers with Pat Croce).

I've said it before and I'll say it again; Do not EVER attack your fanbase and insult them with remarks like "unintelligent", "unknowledgable", or "crazy". The fans will always be here. The owners will not.


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