Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Wow! What a crazy sports summer. We saw USA soccer win their group through an assortment of highly intense, frustrating and exhilarating games only to lose in equally dramatic fashion in overtime to Ghana in the sweet 16. We also saw the National League finally defeat the American League in the all-star game, winning their first one since 1996. We also saw the end of the George Steinbrenner era in New York after his passing. And the one that hit closest to home, I watched the heart and soul of the Arizona Cardinals (Anquan Boldin, Antrel Rolle, Kurt Warner, Karlos Dansby, Jerheme Urban) disperse the roster for many different reasons.

The one that caught my eye the most had to have been the Lebron James Sweepstakes aka The LeBachelor and the rest of the NBA’s insane free agency. I fell in love with all the charades because it was so original and unpredictable. Everyone had an opinion but no one knew anything, especially Chris Broussard.

My prediction had Lebron and Bosh going to New Jersey and Wade and Amare play together in the Miami.

I was close, right?

After the dust settled and Cleveland began to lick their self inflicted wounds, I started hearing all the negative rumblings about all the decisions made. Specifically that Lebron was letting down Cleveland since he was a local boy who made their team relevant. His critics also said he ‘took the easy way out’ and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said he felt “betrayed” by King James.

How could you feel disrespected or betrayed? What does Lebron owe to Cleveland? Did the entire city raise him to be the great basketball player he is today? Did Lebron ever go out of his way to promote Cleveland other than when he wore a home uniform? Lebron was drafted by the Cavs, who just happened to be in Cleveland, and undoubtedly would have never chosen then in a free agency. Dan Gilbert needs to take a deep breath and realize that he’s in CLEVELAND! I know Drew Carey would like to say the Cleveland rocks but it really doesn’t. It’s a boring, cold town in the middle of the worst part of American. Cleveland, in a nutshell, is the butthole of America.

As for the people saying Kobe, Jordan, Magic and Bird never left their cities for greener grass, did you take a look at the cities those guys played for? First of all, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston are three of the biggest markets in the United States. Money, a fan base and adequate living conditions exist all over. Cleveland doesn’t qualify for any of that. Of course those superstars never left, they were always surrounds by fantastic, even hall of fame caliber players and owners who would and could spend money to bring in talent. I’m not saying Dan Gilbert didn’t bring in talent but I would pick Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol or Shaq and Rick Fox or Robert Parish and Kevin McHale over Mo Williams and Antwan Jameson any day of the week.

Another thing is that players don’t want to go play in Cleveland. Look now at all the players willing to sacrifice money and playing time to go play with the Miami Thrice (Lebron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh). Did you see guys lining up to play in Cleveland during the Lebron era? Seth Meyers said in perfectly in the 2010 ESPY’s, Cleveland has the word leave in it. (I know it’s not as funny when it’s spelled because it’s wrong but have an imagination people!)

I hope Lebron goes on to win four of the next five titles (the other title winner will be the Phoenix Suns in 2012.). And in the process, I hope he has career nights every night he plays in Cleveland just to stick it to Cleveland fans.

Now on to Cleveland fans. Who do you think you are? Why do you matter on the national level? You’re no different than a Kansas City or Nashville to me. Just a boring, crappy city with a few sports teams in it. You aren’t even a capitol! You don’t hear Cincinnati complaining about their unfortunate bounces they been dealt in their history. (Yeah, Cleveland had John Elway’s Drive and also experienced the Fumble but Cincy was burned twice in the Superbowl by Joe Montana.)

And what about Phoenix? We have just as much right to be babies like you and we don’t shed a tear, we just get ready for the next great disappointment. Oh, you think you’ve had it worse Cleveland? Is that so? Let’s compare, shall we?

Cleveland Browns: The Browns have a respectable .553 win percentage over their 60 year span than included 8 NFL Championships (The title game before the Superbowl) and 28 playoff appearances. The Browns also got to watch firsthand what many believe to be the greatest running back in NFL history in Jim Brown.

Arizona Cardinals: The Cards come in with the fourth worst winning percentage in NFL history at .416 and only have made the playoffs eight times in 90 years! The Cardinals also have no marquee player to hang their history hats on. In fact, players that Arizona draft tend to go on to have far more successful careers after leaving Arizona (Simeon Rice and Michael Pittman both played at least four years for the Cards and both went on to win a Superbowl with the Tampa Bay. And Jake Plummer who only managed one wild card trip to the playoffs in his six years at the helm of the Cards offense, took the Broncos to the AFC Championship game where they lost to the eventual Superbowl champ Pittsburgh Steelers.).

Cleveland Cavaliers: You had Lebron James for seven years and never won a title. Oh, and Jordan hit a shot over Craig Ehlo. That’s the extent of Cleveland basketball. They’ve always been a subpar team and your only chance of winning a title just took his skills to South Beach.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns, on the other hand, have always remained relevant. They hold the fourth best win percentage of all time, they’ve also only missed the playoffs three times in the last 22 years, and they’ve had three MVP’s. Problem with those incredible stats is that there is a very dark side. The Suns have won zero titles, lost in the finals twice and in the conference finals seven times and the two players who have won the MVP’s, Steve Nash and Charles Barkley, might go down as the greatest players at their position to never win a title. The Suns also were a coin flip away from getting Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Losing Lebron doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

Cleveland Indians: Indians have won two titles.

Arizona Diamondbacks: D’Backs have won one title.

Just because you live in a crappier town doesn’t mean you’ve had a tougher sports life. Have Ben Roethlisberger throw a game winning touchdown pass in the final minute of a Superbowl against you and tell me you’ve have it bad.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What are your thoughts on the usage of tasers to apprehend fans who have run on to the field?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hallelujah! A great day. My favorite ASU player, Kyle Williams, was drafted in the 6th round and the Cardinals traded the awful Bryant McFadden back to the Steelers.

Draft analysis to come soon...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 Arizona Cardinal Draft Needs

So we’re now entering Ken Whisenhunt’s fourth draft as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and looking at what he’s accomplished in the draft so far; Steve Breaston (1000 yard receiver), Levi Brown (2009 Probowl reserve), Tim Hightower (5th round choice), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Probowler), etc. And not to mention, he’ll have Rod Graves, the Cards general manager, who is notorious for having very successful drafts with this organization in the pre-Whiz era.

This year is should be fun though. The Cards have an established offense (Minus a hall of fame QB) but have a lot of holes on the defensive end of things. That makes the first few picks a lot easier, as far as picking positions go. From what I saw last year and from what was lost during the offseason due to trade, free agency of retirement, I have ranked each position from 1-10, one being that the position is set and reserves or starters don’t need to be drafted and 10 meaning that drafting this position is a must.

• Quarterback - 4: The Cardinals are paying Matt Leinart too much to draft another QB right now and the fact that they signed former probowler Derek Anderson from the Cleveland Browns shows that the Cardinals have no intention of developing a new quarterback this season. Unless that certain quarterback’s name is Tim Tebow.

• Runningback - 3: I put this at a three because the Cardinals have two above average runners in the backfield but in this new, stronger, faster NFL, players are getting hurt all the time. It wouldn’t hurt to add a small, flashy back much like Darren Sproles to help out on third down. I know LaRod Stephens-Howlings fits this role but they could definitely use an upgrade there.

• Wide Receivers - 3: This is very similar to the runningback situation. They already have their big three; Larry Fitzgerald, Breaston and Early Doucet; but they did lose Jerheme Urban and Sean Morey to Seattle so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a late pick to be used on a wide out.

• Tight End - 10: If you’ve been around me during a Cardinals game, you know that Ben Patrick is one of ‘my boys.’ The problem is he isn’t very good – not to mention he tested positive for steroids last year and was suspended for four games. Also on the depth chart is Anthony Becht and Stephen Spach, but they’re pretty much lineman who wear jerseys in the 80’s and their hands show it. And with the great depth at the tight end position in this year’s draft, I really expect to see a high pick go towards a tight end. My preference would have to be Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma. The guy is big, fast, athletic and has good hands. His negative is that he missed all of last year due to a knee injury and missed a year of high school football with an injury in his other knee. I still would really consider taking him in the first round. It will help Matt Leinart settle in nicely.

• Offensive Lineman - 6: You can always use depth on the o-line so expect a pick or two to be a guard or tackle.

• Defensive Front Seven - 10: I know this isn’t a position but with a 3-4 defense, guys can play anywhere. And with the losses of Karlos Dansby and Bertrand Berry, the team desperately needs some quality depth to throw in there. Luckily the team still has Darnell Dockett to dominate the line. And the Cards did make an effort to help fill some of those holes with the signing of sack master Joey Porter but he is an aged man and they could still use some youth. And the Cardinals also need to draft a defensive tackle. Alan Branch, Bryan Robinson and Gabe Watson just really aren’t cutting it anymore – or ever.

• Defensive Secondary - 8: The Cards are set at both safety positions and at one corner position but Bryant McFadden needs to go. I was unfortunate enough to watch the early 2000 Cardinals and saw the worst of the worst but never have I seen a corner as worthless as McFadden. I’ll give him credit, he plays a very genius style of defense. What he does is he runs down the field with the receiver and when he sees the receivers eyes look up at the ball, McFadden throws his arms in the air and just tries to smother the receiver from seeing and catching the ball, making zero attempt to make a catch himself. The problem is that it never works. If the ball doesn’t end up in the receivers hand and then in the end zone, it would have been the easiest interception in McFadden’s life except that because he plays the wideout instead of the ball, he never looks back. I just hate seeing DRC making these incredible plays and then seeing McFadden just look silly out there. Please Cardinals, please draft a new corner to put opposite of Rodgers-Cromartie.

So, what I expect from this draft is for the Cardinals to draft a 3-4 hybrid player or a tight end in the first round and expect the team to stack up on more hybrid players through the weekend.

I’ll write something up after the draft and depending on where I watch the draft, I might try to put some of my thoughts down during the draft.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Now I know I said I was 86'ing the video of the day but this is worth posting. Enjoy.

PS: Watch It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia!

The Second Coming

Sorry for the long delay. Just got caught up in a bunch of things. I'm slashing video of the day due to it's suckiness. I'm gonna write a Cardinals pre-draft outlook this week in preparation for this Thursday's draft. Hope you enjoy my Pujols article I wrote last year. Sorry if it's outdated, I tried updating some of it.

“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshiped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan. I gave Jesus a chance, but it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball. I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul - day in, day out - is the Church of Baseball.”
- Annie Savoy, Bull Durham

Ever since Manny Ramirez tested positive for steroids last year, I have been feeling like a Tim Wakefield knuckleball. And after the verification of Sammy Sosa's steroid use, my whole baseball world has been turned upside down and I'm slowly becoming a believer that every player that has found success for the past decade has cheated one way or another. I know this was/is pretty much common knowledge but for some reason, I had way too much faith in the game of baseball.

But due to the semi-recent problems that baseball has had to deal with (i.e. steroids, corked bats, cocaine user, and Roger Clemens' fetish for underage girls.), I have begun to lose my faith in the game. I have always defended a select few players who I truly thought played the game like it was suppose to be played and stayed clean. A few of these players include Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza and Chipper Jones. Man-Ram was also included on this list up until his positive test of a female hormone drug early last season resulting in a 50 game suspension. This is where I began doubting all of these players and I starting thinking about those guys more seriously and I realized it wasn't too far fetched to think these guys were on something illegal.

Kenny G, since 2001, has only averaged 98 games a season and only made three all-star teams. A far stretch from his 141 game per year average between 1990-2000, where he made the all-star team every year and won an MVP in the process. For Mike Piazza, I can see how age might be an excuse but since 2003, his last five years in the league, he only averaged 102 games a year and his batting averaged was 37 points lower that his lifetime average. And Chipper, who is averaging 123 games a year since 2004, had never played less that 153 games since his rookie year. Now, I know you could argue their power number have remained pretty consistent for the games they did play but I just don't think a guy like Griffey, who might have been the best athlete in the game of baseball during his hay-day could have become such an injury-proned player overnight like that. I'm not insinuating that he or the other two players have done steroids but in this era, anything shady like that will make a rational person like me question everyone and everything.

In the quote at the beginning of this whole rant, it talks about the Church of Baseball. That got me thinking about religion and baseball. If you know me, you know that I'm not religious at all and have no affiliation with any religion. So, when I saw that, I immediately adopted the Church of Baseball as my official religion. But that wasn't enough for me. I wanted to really try and find parallels between the Church of Baseball and Christianity. A ironic similarity would have to be that there are 108 beads on a Rosary and 108 stitches on a baseball. Coincidence, I think not. But the main question that came to my head had to have to been, “who is the 'Jesus' of baseball?”

If you go back into time, you can look at a lot of players who were in the game that displayed God-like abilities, such as the season Hack Wilson had in 1930 where he batted .356, hit 56 homeruns, and had a major league record 191 runs batted in. Or during the Yankees' historic 1927 season, teammates' Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth combined to bat an astonishing .365, hit 107 homeruns and knocked in 339 runs, more than half of the Red Sox's 597 runs scored that entire season. Or Ted Williams season were he batted .407 and only struck out 27 times in 606 plate appearances. That's a strike out a little over every 22 at-bats. Or you can look at Rickey Henderson's modern day record of 130 stolen bases in a season. The really amazing part about this is that Rickey only had 143 hits that season and was thrown out a major league record 42 times.

But in our era, these achievements aren't as impressive or heralded (minus the stolen base record) due to the prominent use of steroids in the past 20-30 years. Most notably, Mark McGwire's 62nd homerun to pass Roger Maris and Barry Bonds's 71st homerun followed by his 756th career homerun to pass Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Though I cannot speak from my own personal memory, I believe that when Aaron broke Babe Ruth's homerun record of 714 career homeruns, besides the outspoken racists and direct descendants of Babe Ruth, I believe everyone was generally excited and elated by the fact that such a beloved record was being broken in front of their eyes. But watching Bonds break Aaron's record was quite the opposite. People immediately put the infamous asterisk on the record and pretended that it never happened, still giving the rightful record holder, Aaron, the recognition he rightfully deserved. This isn't how baseball should be treated though. Yes, I know, there is always a bad guy, but never has the bad guy been so truly hated. Not everyone liked Pete Rose, but when he broke the hits record, people tipped their hat. Not everyone liked Pedro Martinez, but when he finished the season with a 1.74 earned run average, you better believe Yankee fans respected it even though they probably didn't show it. But when guys like Barry Bonds were winning MVP's, no one was happy about it.

Getting back to my original point, as mentioned before, I had the question put in my head, “who is the 'Jesus' of baseball?” I listed some all-time greats and even some recent legends but I had to find a player who displayed God-like traits and was capable of being a savior of this great game. And as I searched through the all the players, only one truly stood out. That player would be none other than the Machine, Albert Pujols. Why, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really. If my instincts are right (and I will admit that they have lead me astray. Ex. Manny Ramirez being clean, the Diamondbacks doing well the last few seasons, how the Break-Up was going to end, etc...), I believe Fat Albert is clean of the juices. I know you're saying, 'of all people, why would he be clean?' I agree with you. In this era, how can a man of his size and ability be playing baseball without the added help of steroids? Well, I like to think I can read a persons character by the demeanor they display on and off the field. The man has been nothing but a fantastic ambassador to the game of baseball and is loved by everyone (except Cubs fans). The man just goes out there everyday and puts up unbelievable numbers. I could use the argument as well, that he hasn't been caught or accused of anything yet so that makes me believe a little more that he's done nothing wrong. And some might argue that his numbers are too inflated for him not to be taking steroids or some form of HGH. I counter that with the fact that guys in the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and the 2000's all included players who put up numbers equivalent to Albert's and I'd have a hard time believing that guys during the Ruth, Mantle and DiMaggio eras were juicing. Albert is, in my mind, undoubtedly, the best player I have and probably ever will see play the game of baseball. He was sent here by the baseball Gods to right the ship. He will die, well not literally die but metaphorically die, for the sins of his brothers before him that tainted the game of baseball. He will be harassed, questioned, verbally abused, hated and put down (In other words, crucified) but through it all, he will rise above and save the game of baseball. He will do what Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa did in '98 until they ruined it all and dug an even bigger grave for the game we all so dearly love. Pujols will never truly get the recognition he deserves due to the era he was forced to play in but in years to come, we will begin to understand how he salvaged baseball. He has never asked for anything. He has always played the game with modesty and pride. He is nothing less than a godsend and I hope that one day, when the steroid mess clears itself up, Albert will rise with it and not be attached to this dreadful era of baseball that can only be titled the dark ages. Please, stand up to the popular belief that 'everyone in baseball is using steroids.' Use your best judgment. Sometimes you are wrong and sometimes you aren't. But Albert is the surest thing left in the game and we need to wrap ourselves around it and embrace it and frown upon everything else that makes this sport seem so evil and dreary.

Plus, anyone that can hit a ball as far as he hit it against Brad Lidge in Game 5 against the Astros in the 2005 NLCS should be praised.

My only goal with this is to promote baseball and make it America's Game again. As my friends and I like to say, “Here we go baseball, here we go!”

Monday, April 12, 2010

VOTD: 4-12-10

In honor of ASU alum Phil Mickelson winning the Masters, today's video of the day will be dedicated to everyone's favorite Lefty. Congrats, Mick! Go Devils!

PS: You should expect a new blog in the next few days.