Apparently there’s another banned substance problem in sports.

With all apologies to Fire Joe Morgan (who does this much better and funnier), I couldn’t, in good conscience let this pass with out it’s due mockery…

Well here we are on a Monday and who else to judge the state of sporting world with anecdotal evidence and poorly thought out pronouncements. I probably could have let this go except for the fact it’s completely arbitrary, lacks any direction and I hate people that refer to themselves as “we.” Enjoy:

I woke up this morning with an inexplicable urge to read a hokey, simplistic contrivance by a small bitter man. Well Pete Aflano of the Fort Worth Star Telegram gives us: The Monday Morning Quarterback. Here we go:

Apparently there’s another banned substance problem in sports.

Whoa, Ok, hang on. There is? That’s a weighty declaration from a man whose last baseball related piece bemoaned about the seasons being too long. I give Pete a lot of grief but has he infiltrated an illegal drug ring not just affecting baseball but sports in general? Wow, I really have to give credit to Pete here; this is a major, major story.

And it doesn’t have anything to do with Josh Howard’s admission on Michael Irvin’s radio show that he likes to chill during the off-season by smoking weed. A whimsical thought here: Given Irvin’s brush with drugs over the years, do you think he and Howard may have a future as the new Cheech and Chong?

What? Get to the “another banned substance problem in sports.”

As fascinating and ill-advised as that revelation is by the Mavericks star forward, you may not have heard about the no-nonsense approach Major League Baseball took last week against bottled water.

Oh.

So it really isn’t another banned substance problem in sports. You lied to me Pete.

Yes, you read that correctly. Water, the stuff that comes out of the tap but we are willing to pay for at the store. The beverage that is generally regarded as the best and purest means of quenching your thirst without adding calories, sugar, salt and some chemical concoction responsible for the rainbow of colors among the sports drinks on supermarket shelves.

I was pretty hazy on what water was, thank you General Jack D. Ripper.

Eight glasses a day is what health experts say should be the minimum amount we consume. It helps cleanse our bodies internally, as well as externally, when we combine it with soap in the shower.

Well last time he told us what a “fitness expert” would have said IF he would have asked one. At least this time, and Pete is implying that he actually did research here. Pete says experts, (being plural so at least more than one) said to him that eight glasses of water per day is what experts recommend we consume. I blast this guy every time he touches on my favorite sport while doing absolutely no research or fact checking. Now Pete implies that he talked to two people during the writing of this story. I have to check, hold on.

Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid, according to Jurgen Schnermann, a kidney physiologist at the National Institutes of Heath.

Oh, nope, Pete just pulled the eight glasses thing out of his ass but I like that he cares enough to lie to me. I feel like I’ve made a difference. But more to Pete’s point.

You mean to tell me Baseball has banned water? Players are no longer allowed to drink water, bottled or otherwise, are they mandated to shower with Gatorade? Well I guess that’s still kind of a big story, sorta.

Don’t get me wrong, the Monday Morning Quarterback is not angling for a bottled-water endorsement. If you promise not to tell anyone, we’ll confess to basically disliking water. We’ll tolerate in flavored fitness drinks, but that’s about the extent of it.

You’re really soft selling your argument Pete.

It seems baseball tried to sneak a fastball past us while we were preoccupied with the NBA, the NHL playoffs and the NFL draft. (By the way, we think the Steelers may still be on the clock).

I can’t believe that baseball has banned the consumption of H2O for all players. It’s too bad players don’t have an ultra-powerful union that could campaign for the rights of its members to drink water.

Apparently, Gatorade is the “official sports drink” of MLB. That means baseball players cannot drink bottled water in the dugout even if they remove the brand label from the bottle. They can drink water from a water cooler or fountain but no plastic bottles, even if they are the environmentally friendly kind.

Oh, so they’re not really banning water, just plastic bottles in the dugout. That really isn’t a big story worthy of the outrage that Pete thinks will come from this development.

OK, insert your own punchline.

Hello? Pete? Hello?

Most people we heard jumped on the fact that baseball was quicker to crack down on bottled water than steroids, HGH and amphetamines. The next question may be this: Why is that, exactly?

Most people he’s heard, not his idea, then another question. I think we should look for answers from what an aging iconic pop star from Detroit who speaks with a British accent and that’s really into Kabala sang about 25 years ago.

Well, as Madonna sang in her formative years, “we are living in a material world,” and baseball needs a lot more than the hard-earned money you spend for tickets and concessions to pay multimillion dollar salaries to players and still turn a handsome profit.

Here comes the “baseball making money = evil” half thought out point Pete is famous for on this site.

That’s where the television revenue, merchandising (all those alternative jerseys and hats) and product licensing cone into play. It’s why the NFL requires players to wear designated caps on the sidelines when they remove their helmets. The fear of alienating corporate sponsors because of image reasons is what prompted the NBA to institute a dress code before the 2005-2006 season when the impression was that many players looked like rappers than hoopsters.

First off, Pete’s a racist. Secondly, who gives a damn what baseball players drink in the clubhouse on the bench or at home or what hat they wear? Does it really add or detract from anyone’s enjoyment of any sport?

And it is why MLB wasted no time having signs placed on clubhouse doors that say “No Bottled Water on the Bench.”

Hey, Grand Theft Auto IV comes out tonight at midnight. I took tomorrow off work to play all night. I remember how much I played San Andreas on the PS2. Man, GTA IV is going to be sick.

The Newark Star-Ledger blew the whistle on baseball last week when a reporter noticed a sign at US Cellular Field in Chicago when the Yankees were in town to play the White Sox.

It was Ed Price, not that details are important to any Alfano piece. Also, kind of a dick move naming the paper but not the reporter.

Another digression: Remember when it was simply Comiskey or White Sox Park ? See what we mean?

Well I remember that field used to be called New Comiskey Park . There was another stadium called Comiskey Park . The building known as US Cellular Field has only once been known as New Comiskey Park . I have not ever heard of such place as “ White Sox Park .” Was that a play on words marketing for the parking lot? So no, I don’t see what you mean.

All you need to know about the top priority of professional sports leagues these days is to see how quickly they respond to anyone jeopardizing a marketing agreement. That’s because steroid use, alcohol abuse, felonies and other crimes and misdemeanors have failed to slow the gravy train. Baseball’s steroids era may have given the game a black eye with historians and pundants, but it was also a time of growth and prosperity.

Read that first part again:
“All you need to know about the top priority of professional sports leagues these days is to see how quickly they respond to anyone jeopardizing a marketing agreement.”

That’s all you need to know. I’m not sure why Pete’s so angry at Major League Baseball for making money. Apparently, Pete was of the belief that baseball was not a business. With every MMQB piece, I find him becoming more and more bitter toward capitalism in general. I think Pete is some kind of closet-radical communist with a secret agenda to have the government take over control of baseball and run it as a non-profit organization. We would all get free tickets and tax payer funded merchandise while the players make minimum wage. But what kind of catcher are you going to get for minimum wage. He probably wouldn’t be very good a blocking pitches in the dirt or calling a game, but it would teach those bastard owners to run a successful business.

Baseball should toast its good fortune – with a bottle of Gatorade of course.

I think this was an exercise to make some haughty self righteous point about the benefits of steroids to owners done in such a way that muddles any reasonable concept that may or may not exist. If players were injecting themselves with steroids on the bench, Pete might have a fair point or if Major League Baseball was attempting to stop all players from drinking bottled water 24 hours a day, seven days a week he would have a point. On top of that, he didn’t even think of it. He wrote:

Most people we heard jumped on the fact that baseball was quicker to crack down on bottled water than steroids, HGH and amphetamines.”

I would like to know exactly how much money Pete spends on Major League Baseball in general per year. I bet it’s under twenty bucks. If Pete wrote a story about how little work goes into writing a story it would open a rift in the time space continuum and the universe would end.

Posted under FJM ripoff, Humorous, Pete Alfano

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 29, 2008

Mets Something Something Lose

Motherhumping Fifth Inning

Have you ever been in the midst of a deep sleep and be jostled then continue dreaming only you’re dream takes a weird turn for the worse. Yeah, that sums up an Oliver Perez outing.

Oliver Perez was cruising through the Nationals order until the fifth. Perez walked the leadoff runner, gave up a single and issued another walk to load the bases, single up the middle scoring two After getting an out on a liner to center putting runners at the corners, Perez ran the count full and with the runner going, induced a groundball to second scoring the third run of the inning. Perez surrendered a first pitch line drive but was bailed out by a brilliant defensive play by David Wright who made the risky throw to first to get out of the inning.

I didn’t use hitter’s names there so I could cut and paste that for later use; it’s going to happen again.

Not to bury the lede, but how in the hell did David come up with that ball? That is one of the best plays I’ve seen Wright make in his career. I would put that over that stop in 06 that started a game ending double play in Philly and the diving backward, over his shoulder barehanded grab in San Diego in 05.

After a Casanova turned a double to right into a single, Willie Randolph made a move highlighting his team’s bullpen woes, letting Perez sac bunt the runner over. I’m not going to criticize the decision to run into an out, but if you are, you should be sure your player can put down a simple sacrifice bunt. That’s the second time in the past four games a Major League player could not perform a simple sacrifice bunt.

I imagine a Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid-esque conversation in the Mets Dugout:

Jerry Manuel: Casanova’s on Skip, who you want here?
Willie Randolph: Leave Perez in.
JM: Are you kidding, were you watching last half inning? He’s lost the plate, he can’t go out there without putting at least two on
WR: Don’t worry, Heilman’s going to kill us anyway.

Motherhumping Sixth Inning

And like a predictably bad movie, Perez left with two on and two out, Heilman walked Milledge to load the bases and then there his patented homerun ball resulting in a grand slam to Lopez.

Motherhumping Seventh Inn…

SIGH

You know what, forget it. I have to get to bed. Tomorrow is Hawaiian Shirt Day at work so…you know, if I want to…I can go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

An ugly, ugly, state of affairs.

Before I go, in other news…

Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison today for failing to pay taxes. Charges have yet to be filed however, for starring in the movie The Fan. (Note: Zing)

Posted under Angry Rant, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 25, 2008

Do Not Trust This Man

Flowbee
New Mop-up Duty Specialist

Aaron Heilman’s new nickname is Flow Bee as he sucks AND he blows.
Aaron Heilman
Good God, I am tired of watching Heilman load the bases. I am tired of the way he purses his lips while looking in for the pitch. I am tired of Notre Dame. I hate the number 48.

Reyes’s error opened the door, and Heilman would have gotten out of the eighth, but I have absolutely no confidence in him right now, regardless of his luck against the Phillies on Saturday.

Second Heilman nickname: That guy who takes a shower while the Mets are in the field in the Eighth.

Give Duaner his eighth inning role back. Now.

The Cubs are a hot team. Zambrano is a dyed in the wool ace. The Mets were likely to score one or less, but game ball to Aaron who took the Mets completely out of the game.

Never blog angry

Posted under Angry Rant, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 22, 2008

Tags: ,

Baseball’s New Rivalry

A rivalry is building in between the Mets and Phillies for the first time since, well ever. Friday night set the tone for the top two candidates for the National League East‘s season long battle for dominance. Forget ESPN’s Red Sox-Yankees obsession; it’s stale, over-hyped and cliché; Mets-Phillies is Major League Baseball’s main event.

Game One

Johan did what Johan was brought in to Due on Friday night, pitching striking out 10 and giving up another solo shot to Chase Utley. Though he was charged with three homeruns, two came on after Santana left the game in the seventh after Heilman was brought in to deliver his trademark gasoline ball to a two on spark. I have Zero faith in Heilman. The stand out performance on offense was premature MVP candidate David Wright who went 4-4 with a triple, two doubles, a single and a walk. The heart-stopping moment was delivered on a stolen base attempt by Jose Reyes, sliding into Chase Utley’s knee. Though Reyes was shaken up momentarily; no significant injury was sustained. I really wish he would slide in feet first, but he’s not likely to change his stolen base technique even at this early stage of his career.

Game Two

On Saturday, the southern half of the country was deprived of another classic. Fox unwisely chose to broadcast the Dodgers Braves game to the south and southwest United States. A Fox spokesman released the statement, “Come on, it’s not like the Braves are on TV 150 times a season on a nationally broadcast basic cable channel. The Braves are America’s team in this the year 1995”

As I live in the area given sub par baseball on Fox’s game of the week, I was forced to listen to the game via the Phillies broadcast delivered by play by play man and Campbell’s Soup pitchman Harry Kalas who’s deep voice and monotone cadence lulls listeners to sleep and diverts any and all audience attention from actual game play.

I cannot, in good conscience give any insight into the plays of Saturday’s game, as I was blacked out of MLB TV coverage.

I was treated to Fox’s “Bonus Coverage” of the bottom of the eighth. The game is over and I still can’t believe Heilman struck out two with the bases loaded rather than, say, give up a grand slam on the first pitch of the first at bat of the hitter he faced. The inning was prolonged by misreads/terrible reactions by both Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan. I still don’t trust Aaron Heilman any farther than I can throw him. And with my bad knee, I shouldn’t be throwing anyone.

Why can’t Fox broadcast the rest of the game in their stupid “Bonus Coverage?” What’s the point of showing only the eighth, not the ninth, getting the audience interested and then going to local news?

Howie Long: We now are going to take you to the Meadowlands where the Giants trail the Cowboys 20-18 with less than 30 seconds remaining:

Joe Buck: The Giants have the ball at the 49; they’re going to have to get to at least the 35 to get into Tynes’ FG range and call time out right away. This play right here will decide if the Giants will advance to the NFC playoffs.

Troy Aikman: It’s plays like this that really test a quarterbacks patience. Eli has to focus, take his time. He has 20 seconds left, but a sack or even an incomplete pass brings up forth down. The Giants need a big gain here.

Joe Buck: Eli drops back to pass, he’s got time, rolls right, HE’S GOT BOSS AT THE 31, THE GIANTS CALL TIME OUT AND BRING THE FIELD GOAL UNIT ON TO TRY FOR THE WIN!

VOICE OVER: This has been a presentation of the NFL on Fox, we now return you to our studio broadcast.

Jimmy Johnson: Whew-we, that was exciting! NFC Football at it’s finest. I wonder if Tynes will make the field goal. I guess we’ll never know.

Now on Fox Four News, what you don’t know about ice cream, may be fatal…

Wright and Reyes were the big contributors today, according to the box score, anyway. David may be at his peak as a hitter and the League should be scared.

This series doesn’t quite have a playoff feel, but it’s as close to October as imaginable in April and each month the calendar page turns, the pressure intensifies. This isn’t the familiar struggle against Atlanta; a city 850 miles away with an indifferent fan base. Philly is a train ride away, a rabid fan base and a team that took the east by a game in 2007. The Mets collapsed, but they own the title NL East Champs. Disregard that other New York team; it’s two relatively meaningless series’ nothing more than six regular season games. 2008 is Mets Phillies.

Mr. Met verses Philly Phanatic (a San Diego Chicken rip-off, but whatever)
Reyes versus Rollins,
Wright versus Howard,
El Duque versus Moyer (obligatory age reference),
Beltran versus Burrell.
Potent pitching staff versus pervasive power throughout the lineup

This is Us versus Them.

The Mets may have won the series, but make no mistake, the NL East is far from over.

Posted under Angry Rant, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 19, 2008

Welcome Back

“As a teammate, I know, I see when somebody’s not happy and I didn’t think he was happy,” “I tell him ‘I want you to be the Reyes that you always have been. ”

“We’re happy he’s doing it again. We don’t care if other teams get offended.” – Carlos Beltran

I think Carlos has stumbled into this year’s marketing slogan:

The 2006 Mets: Our Team, Our Time
The 2007 Mets: Your Season has Come
The 2008 Mets: Fuck’em if They Can’t Take a Joke.

Last night’s game was the Mets baseball I’ve missed for the past dozen months. The Mets played the way a division contender plays. Maine wasn’t dominant but good enough to win. The bats did their share and our leadoff man reminded me why he’s my favorite player. The trademark ear-to-ear smile was desperately missed.

Here’s the chip on our shoulder, we dare you to try and knock it off.

Posted under Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 17, 2008

Tags: ,

All Hail the Second Spitter

I turned on the game in the first inning and apparently Tuesday’s series opener was Roger McDowell day at Shea Stadium. Every player was wearing his number 42. I never would have guessed Roger was that important to the Mets. Sure he was a integral part of the World Champions bullpen but I really would have expected In fact, I assume that McDowell’s stature must have impacted Lastings Milledge and Paul LoDuca as they convinced their team to also wear 42. Amazing. I would have thought that Gary Carter or Keith Hernandez would receive that honor first. Of course they could have been honoring Butch Huskey…

Sorry for the random post, I started watching the archive at midnight and finished up around 3 AM.

Great game today out of Jose and David. With old age such a factor on this roster, the two are crucial to the Mets success. Its almost fortunate that Reyes didn’t hit for the cycle. After every Reyes homerun, he seems to hit a funk at the plate with an increased uppercut (see Jose‘s last at bat for a visual aid). Walks, singles, doubles and triples are fine.

Mike Pelfrey looked very solid in 7 scoreless. With El Duque and Pedro out, Pelfrey is essential to the Mets chances.


Welcome back Filthy Sanchez!

I have missed having Sanchez in the pen. A 6-0 lead in the ninth was a perfect environment for the goggled one’s comeback. Given the cold weather, the teams early mediocre start, Willie would have gambled putting in Sanchez in a key situation.

The Bottom line is that the Nationals are a weaker team the Mets need to make a habit of beating this year.

The Great Booing Debate of ’08

Every year, it seems, the debate of to boo or not to boo is an issue in the Mets season (though it’s usually not until May). I suppose last seasons end left some residual angst and cynicism. For the record, I feel that booing should be exclusively reserved for two reasons:

1. Lack of effort. Steve Trachsel’s give up performance in the 06 NLCS comes to mind, a certain Braves southpaw’s third of an inning, this extends to the Mets front office.

2. Players you truly hate. Whether based on previous transgressions or solely on douchebaginess. Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Guillermo Mota, Jimmy Rollins.

If you’re going to boo a slumping player, cheering for him during success is hypocritical.

I would hope fans at Shea were booing management and Omar Minaya giving up on Lastings Milledge and trading him to a division rival. Kind of insulting to Church and Schneider but whatever. If that isn’t the case, it wasn’t like Lastings demanded a trade out of Queens. I can understand harboring ill will towards Paulie Ballgame after the Mitchell Report and some of his remarks. Who are we, Astros fans? It’s not that big of a deal, just bizarre.

Seriously, the whole Jackie Robinson day is getting out of hand.

Stop writing your angry email.

I agree that Robinson’s contributions to baseball were monumentally important to the game of baseball as well as American culture. I also agree that his courage to break the color barrier and the man himself should be and is respected universally throughout baseball.

That said, Jackie Robinson thing borderline absurd. Every player wearing 42 is off-putting and confusing. When I see Reyes or Wright not wearing their respective numbers my brain takes a minute to adjust. Besides that, it’s creepy. What’s next, every player hitting righthanded? The broadcast team referring every player to as Jackie Robinson? Rachel Robinson starting at second and leading off? It’s becoming like that bad SNL sketch in the 80’s after Bart Giamatti died and MLB mandated every player change their name to Bart and the sport would be known as Bartball. Tap the brake, MLB, it’s getting ridiculous. His number is retired in every ballpark in the Majors; we named a rotunda in his honor at Citi Field; he has a whole day. Every player in 42 is excessive and unnecessary.

Resume your outraged email.

Posted under Angry Rant, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 16, 2008

The Alou Oversight

What was Omar Thinking? What were we thinking?

Omar should have known better. We all should have known better. Pick up the 7.5 Million dollar option on an outfielder that only played in 87 games in 2007 and 98 games in 2006? Is that at least prorated?

We fell in love with the .392/.524/.341 OBP/SLG/AVG line and thought it was a bargain at seven and a half million. We rationalized that no other outfielder with that kind of production could be picked up for near that price. Even if he plays in 120 games, it’s worth it right?

Alou costs much more than 7.5 million dollars. With Carlos Delgado’s bat slowing, the Mets desperately needed a productive, solid and dependable bat for the middle of the order and they got one…for half the season…maybe.

Back in October the Mets were still reeling in the aftermath of one of the greatest collapses in baseball history. Glavine was leaving (though most fans didn’t mind that so much) and a season full of expectation and promise was left to only look to next year.

I signed off on the deal back then. I gave it a thumbs up and a knowing nod. I convinced that Alou was going to find a fountain of youth and have a healthy season for the first time since he was a Cub. Then I set out on a quest to find a real unicorn. He didn’t and I haven’t. Who knew?

The Mets expect Alou back in the lineup in May after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia. And by expect, they mean hope.

With Castillo now day to day and likely headed to the DL at some point, unless the Mets elect to play with 24 and an emergency player, Angel Pagan will now hit in the two hole. Pagan, a spring training standout, will hit in behind Jose Reyes who apparently has forgotten that not swinging at four balls grants you first base. Wright and Beltran are still solid and then you have Delgado who is still effective middle-in, but vulnerable outside, Ryan Church, Damion Easley and Brian Schneider.

Right now, save for the three and four hole, none of that lineup is Murderer’s Row or even 2006’s offense that gleaned significant production from the entire lineup, one through eight.

Moises Alou should have been an expensive luxury. A fourth outfielder. A DH for inter-league play, possibly a World Series. Moises Alou should have been the Mets answer to Gary Mathews Jr.: a extravagance made feasible by location in the best market in the country, not someone to count on as an everyday outfielder and lineup staple. It would have better served Omar to find a productive and non-injury prone corner outfielder to protect Beltran. The There’s no one better available than Alou notion should have addressed the question as to the availability of a better outfielder on the market than a combination of Angel Pagan, Endy Chavez and Marlon Anderson?

The offensive lag may be a hangover from a spring training shortened by injuries to nearly the entire squad. The Mets may shake off the cobwebs and start producing runs in copious amounts. Alou may return in May and stay healthy for the rest of the season. That may have been a horn on the head of that horse I saw this morning. Watching these first games, I have confidence in scoring chances only when the Mets number three and four hitters are at the plate.

And we should have known better.

Posted under Angry Rant

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 9, 2008

Tags: , , , , ,

Small Sample Size

This is getting depressing. The fact that this was the last season opener Shea will host is merely a sad footnote. Vintage Oliver Perez today:

Step 1. Cruse through the order
Step 2. Lose the plate
Step 3. ?????????
Step 4. Profit

Though this was disappointing (speculate on your own as to your personal level of devastation), it’s not cause to start the panic. The Mets had what was essentially a shortened spring training due to injury, the sample size on the season is too small to indicate any kind of trend and the Phillies are a legitimate National League contender. The sky isn’t falling. Yet.

That said, Jose Reyes has got to draw more walks to get on base. Again, it’s a small sample size, but one walk in 27 at bats is not confidence inspiring especially when coupled with a .250 OBP. It’s been said many times, by many other Mets bloggers and writers that the as Jose Reyes’ season goes, the Mets season will go with it. That is a fairly obvious statement since Reyes leads off the offense, thus drawing more at bats, Reyes also sets the tone, for what that’s worth.

A six game period is a small sample size, so this is anecdotal at this stage of the season. Six home runs in six games is troublesome though half of those homers were surrendered by pitchers now on the DL (Wise 1 and Pedro 2)

This is depressing me…

Carlos Delgado’s solo shot was a temporary stress release. At this stage in Carlos’ career, those will likely be much like Mike Piazza in his last years in New York: impressive and infrequent.

Sample size aside, this season hasn’t started out as confidence inspiring.

With El Duque having a setback (surprise), tomorrow Mike Pelfrey’s performance can change that.

One more thing, Wally Mathews, in his game recap, shows he’s a class act:

Granted, the Phillies won, 5-2, but as long as you don’t measure success by the final score, there were plenty of positives to take home.

Rick Astley got some airplay. Jimmy Rollins got hurt. It was sunny. And even though Tuesday felt a lot less like the start of something new than a continuation of something old, you just know it can get only better.

Stay classy Wally!

Posted under Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 9, 2008

What’s your Point, Pete?

With all apologies to Fire Joe Morgan (who does this much better and funnier), I couldn’t, in good conscience let this pass with out it’s due mockery…

Well here we are on a Monday and who else to judge the state of sporting world with anecdotal evidence and poorly thought out pronouncements. This one isn’t the worst thing in the world like the last time Pete explored Mets related issues. (Note: The article was removed from the website shortly after I posted it on this site. All other columns are available dating back to January) I probably could have let this go except for the fact it’s completely arbitrary, lacks any direction and I hate people that refer to themselves as “we.” Enjoy:

Monday Morning Quarterback
SPORTS LEAGUES, PLEASE GIVE THESE GUYS A BREAK

The too-long seasons mean more injury problems and a diluted product.
With everything that is going on in professional and college sports, we’re not going to predict the winner of the NCAA basketball final, or whether Tiger will win the Masters, or even if the gods are conspiring against the Rangers because major roadwork on I-30 coincided with the start of baseball season.

Good, because the last thing I wanted to read in the NEWSPAPER was in-depth analysis of both teams in the championship’s strengths and weaknesses as it relates to a head to head match up. Analysis of facts is not why anyone reads this stupid column. Also, how would he “predict” if the gods are conspiring against the Rangers because roadwork on I-30 coincided with the start of the season? I predict that Mookie Wilson hit the ball that went through Buckner’s legs allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run…22 years after it happened.

No, we have assessed this embarrassment of riches and are offering a radical suggestion to sports leagues- call a time out.
We don’t mean during the actual season.

Good because that would be ridiculous.

We understand the business of professional sports dictates that no one is going to shorten the regular season or playoffs, not with all those multi-million dollar salaries to pay. So fans will continue to enjoy a full time calendar of events in September and again in April, when baseball, basketball (college and pro), hockey, golf and auto racing are all in high gear.

I love how Pete takes a resentful tone towards the business of the sports world and then recognizes both college and pro basketball as legitimate enterprises, however college baseball, a non-revenue sport, is not included in Pete’s list of worthwhile April sports. At the Fort Worth Star Telegram, hypocrisy reigns supreme.

But if you’ve taken the time to look at the injury reports, you have to wonder what price is being paid by the athletes and teams and whether fans are getting their money’s worth.
There is an allstar team of pitchers who have recently returned from injury this spring or are on the disabled list – Josh Beckett, Pedro Martinez, John Lackey, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Carpenter, B.J. Ryan, Mike Hampton, Chad Cordero, Mark Moulder, Andy Pettitte, John Smoltz – we could go on.

Yep, a bunch of pitchers, most of them at the end of their careers and histories of injuries. Before I read this, I couldn’t imagine Mike Hampton on the disabled list, what a concept!

Among position players, Eric Chavez, Scott Rolen and Moises Alou would look good in the middle of a lineup.

Chavez is recovering from back surgery, Rolen broke a finger during a spring training drill, and Alou had to have surgery to repair a hernia. I just thought someone might wonder what their injuries were…since this is an article about why they got injured; Pete did not.

NBA players such as Yao Ming, Dwyane Wade, Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry and Shawn marion have had their seasons cut short, while Paul Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry Stackhouse and Dirk Nowitzki (who must have the best recuperative powers in sports) are among the higher profile players who have had to sit out.

Your Dallas Stars lost…

Ok, I wouldn’t make anyone read this. Lets go to the next paragraph after Pete cuts and pastes injury reports from NHL.com

Sure, we know the mantra of injuries are part of the game, but how many of them can be attributed to constant wear and tear and not a freak accident?

Pete is really good at two things; lists and asking questions he has no intention of even answering. I want to try, here goes:
Companies such as Ford, Chevy, Honda and BMW are all automakers. How many more car companies are there? How much do they cost?

Given the money invested in athletes, teams are more demanding than ever about what players do with their so called “down time” during the offseason. The NFL is just one minicamp after another, while baseball players are expected to stay in top condition, and also do some throwing and hitting, which is easier for many teams in sunbelt cities. Many Latin players take part in winter ball.

Many writers took an English class after middle school and are expected to craft thoughts together to form valid points and logical opinions. Others work for the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
I assume that Pete is talking about Dominican Winter League Baseball, The Mexican Pacific League, the Puerto Rico PBL and the Venezuelan PBL etc. Winter ball is for young players that need to develop. Latin heritage is not required to participate. None of those injured pitchers played winter baseball, nor did Alou, Chavez or Rolen. Next

Demands are made on the NBA to provide stars for international competition, and not just in an Olympic year. Imagine the angst in the front office of the Houston Rockets, where team officials are wondering whether Yao will risk returning too soon from foot surgery to represent China in the Beijing Olympics.

For that matter, how many NBA players can resist the siren call of a pick-up game during the summer?

53 NBA Players can resist the siren call of a pick up game during the summer. Not 52. Not 54. Exactly 53 players.
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If you believe that athletes – like cars – have only so many miles on them no matter how much regular maintenance they receive, the perhaps we should encourage them to give it a rest during the offseason. We’re not advocating that they become couch potatoes with a severe case of the muchies, but what’s the bid deal if they report to camp several pounds over their playing weight and easily winded?

Is this a joke? Is he actually asking why professional athletes shouldn’t maintain good physical health?

We know this is Heresy. Fitness experts will say that athletes are at a greater risk for injury if they are out of shape. But that wouldn’t be true if team trainers and coaches allowed players time to gradually build up their strength and stamina.

I hope Pete thinks heresy means ridiculous.
(Editor’s Note: Pete would have asked a fitness expert to go on the record to provide credible testimony as to positive and negative aspects of a player falling out of shape and then the aspects involved with that said player working to get back in shape, but he doesn’t know how a phone works. Also, he made up the occupation of “Fitness expert”)

Would a pitcher, for example, have a better chance of avoiding rotator cuff or Tommy John surgery- or at least delay it – if he didn’t pick up a baseball until January at the earliest?

Do you think Bill Belichick can survive with one less minicamp and more time to kick back with Bon Jovi CDs?

Didn’t he just advocate players reporting to their respective camps out of shape and then be given more time to get into shape?

It’s just getting harder to get enthused about the start of the season – any season- when the fans aren’t the only spectators.
Pete Alfano, 817-390-7985 palfano@star-telegram.com

It’s just getting harder to get enthused about reading a column – any column- when the author is also a spectator.

As per usual when reading a Pete Alfano op-ed piece, I’m never quite sure if he is making a point or if he is trying to express that there is no solution or that he wrote this in 2 minutes. Feel free to call his office or shoot him an email. He should change it to either, “More Questions than Answers” or “What’s your point, Pete?”

Posted under Angry Rant, FJM ripoff, Pete Alfano

This post was written by Dan in Texas on April 8, 2008