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On the Field with a Feminine Flair
From the Dugout to the Sidelines
Well, six days if you want to be exact. I can't wait for Opening Day. Opening day is one of the greatest days in all of professional sports. For twenty four hours, everyone is equal, Your winning percentage is either .000 or 1.000. It really is an anamoly in sports and it's wonderful. It should be a national holiday really. I mean even the President takes the day off (as much as a President can take a day off, I'm sure).

This year promises to be a great one from the perspective of a Yankees' fan. The pitching staff, it can stay healthy is by far the best in the league and the lineup is nothing to sneeze at either. With Jeter, Rodriguez, Sheffield, Matsui and Giambi at full strength and the support of Womak, Williams, Posada and Martinez, we could have the likes of an juggernaut that haven't been seen since 1998.

The schedulers must have been high when they made up the opening day match ups. Yankees/Red Sox, immediately, not a week or two into the season as it's usually done. We've got a home and home with them right away and who would want it any other way? What better way to try and erase some of the bad taste in our mouths from last October then come steamrolling out of the gate and beat the shit out of them immediately?

Yes, of course, that's wishful thinking on my part, but I can't help it. The stage is set for an unbelieveable showdown, where it'll feel like the season never actually ended and games in the first week in April feel like them actually mean something.

I hope the Red Sox are ready to defend their title. I seriously doubt that they are.

Current Mood: determined

Shout from the Stands
Thanks to the wonder that is MLBTV.com I'm watching TINO MARTINEZ PLAYING FOR THE NEW YORK YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

K, yeah that's all...

Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

Shout from the Stands
Some people are good winners. Some people are good losers. The Boston Red Sox are neither. If they were good winners, they'd act like they've done it before, like it's no big deal. The dog and pony show they're running out of their spring training facility this winter is absolutely ridiculous. I can't imagine Terry Francona, a baseball man for whom I have the utmost respect, is pleased with this circus he's got in Spring Training. Really though, what can you expect from a group of guys who call themselves, "The Idiots". Yes, they won the world series and it I still have residual pains from those losses in games 4, 5, 6 and 7. Am I bitter? Damn straight I am. Are the Yankees? Most definitely. But which team is acting like it lost? The Red Sox. Is it too much to ask to win with some dignity and grace? Apparently it is.

The Red Sox as an organization have been attacking Alex Rodriguez since last year and with avengence more recently. The excuse they give? That he got into a fight with Jason Varitek and that he slapped at Bronson Arroyo's glove during the ALCS. Well, if I recall correctly it was Varitek that threw the first punch in that fight and Bronson Arroyo is lucky Alex didn't put his shoulder down and barrel him over. Perhaps they think that ARod is the "weak link" in the clubhouse. That they can get into his head and mess with his mind before the season starts. I don't blame them for doing so to be honest. This is Alex's second go-round with the Yankees. To all the baseball fans out there: What usually happens when a high profile guy starts his second year with a club he's been traded to? To all those that answered, "He kicks the rest of the league's ass" or some variation there of, take a gold star and a cookie. The second year Yankee is the one everyone has to fear. It's simple deduction really. They know that getting into Derek Jeter's head is impossible and that goes the same for people like Mo, Tino, Jorge and Bernie. Been there, done that, it's impossible. Jason Giambi has far too shit to deal with this season to worry about the things that the BoSox are talking about. Antagonizing people like Randy Johnson and Carl Pavano is never a good idea. Gary Sheffield hits better when he's pissed off. So who's left to antagonize? Alex. He's the weak link. He's the guy coming off the less than stellar year, who has shown in the past that he is affected by what other people say about him. I think Alex is right by not responding to the childish and bush league antics of the Sox.

I'm starting to question the minds of the Red Sox though. I mean did they pay attention at all this winter? The Boston Red Sox lost their ace pitcher and gained an over weight, heavy drinking forty year old with a bad back. The Yankees added Randy Johnson, the best veteran pitcher on the market, Carl Pavano, the best young pitcher on the market and Tino Martinez, a clubhouse guy who's going to add great leadership ability to that clubhouse. The Yankees got better. SIGNIFICANTLY better. The Red Sox stayed the same and to be honest probably got worse. What was seperating these two teams last year? How evenly matched were they? They were really on par last year and that's being generous to the capabilities of the Yankees starting pitching and bull pen. The Red Sox were actually the better team. How close were the Sox to losing that series? As close as it comes.

The Red Sox really ought to learn how to keep their mouths shut. Someone very smart once said, "Winning the championship is the easy part. The hard part is defending it."

Current Mood: energetic energetic

Shout from the Stands
Hockey is in trouble. There is no denying that. Of the four "major" sports in the United States, hockey has the smallest fan base, the cheapest television contracts and the biggest financial difficulties I've ever seen. There are a whole lot of avid sports fans out there right now who barely even registered that the hockey season wasn't going on. I'll be perfectly honest, I'm a casual hockey fan. If the game is on and there isn't anything else to watch, yeah I'll watch it, but it doesn't happen often. I watch the Stanley Cup finals, because the level of pressure is just so much higher during that series, it makes for a more interesting game. Hockey fans would be fooling themselves however if they didn't acknowledge that there are some serious flaws in the sport, both on and off the ice.

First of all, I'm disappointed that the season was cancelled. Not beause I'll particularly miss hockey, but because it's sad that the two sides couldn't come to an agreement when they had plenty of time and opportunities to do so. I have to side with the players on this, on principle. Hockey is in trouble financially because of the owners. Owners aren't making any money because a select few have jacked up the price of players over the years, thus jacking up payrolls over the years and making it very hard for most organizations to make a profit or break even at the end of every season. The revenue in the sport just isn't there the way it is in sports like basketball, baseball and football. The TV rights to the games certainly aren't comparable in cost and neither are advertising rights. Running a hockey team is not the same as running a team in the other three majors. An owner can't depend on his revenue to pay his players salaries.

So...here we all are...the owners want to install a salary cap, the players didn't want one. Well, DUH. The reason the salaries were so high wasn't because of the players, it was because of the owners. The owners created the financial problems in the sport and now they were asking the players to bail them out after their own stupidity and short sightedness got them into this mess in the first place. If I were part of the players association I wouldn't want a salary cap either. I'll be honest. I'm biased. I wouldn't side with the owners under any circumstances, in any sport. Let's see...who would I rather have the money, Jim Dolan or Mark Messier? George Steinbrenner or Derek Jeter? The choice is not a difficult one to make.

That being said, it was obvious that the negotiations weren't going to come to a conclusion unless the players relented and allowed for a salary cap. The problem was, they didn't back off soon enough. They thought they owners were bluffing and the owners, dirty bastards that they are, weren't. The players and their represetation should have recognized that earlier and given in, because it doesn't matter to the owners whether or not the season was played, in fact some of peopl would rather the season was cancelled given that they lose money during the season.

Enough financial crap. Hockey is in trouble for other reasons too. Let's face it. Hockey is dealthy boring on television. It's beyond exciting live. On TV however, it's dull as shit and hockey doesn't have a large enough fan base here in the states to support itself solely on ticket sales and crappy television rights. So, what do you do when your sport is floundering? Very simple. The best defense is a good offense. It applies in war and it most certainly applies in professional sports. What did baseball do when the games got too long and too low scoring? They tightened the laces on the ball, they built smaller ballparks and they lowered the mound a few inches. WAM! Literally. Offense went on a surge and so did the interest in the game. In fact interest was so high that pretty much everyone ignored the obvious steriod problem in the sport for over a decade. That's what hockey needs to do and I don't mean ignore steroids mind you. They need to open up the game, let the fantastic skaters they have on the ice skate. Get rid of the red lines, get rid of icing, move the defenders off the net, get rid of that slow grinding pace hockey games have now and speed it up. You have some of the most incredible athletes in the world on that ice, let them show it. It needs to be more exciting for the fans at home. You up your audience at home, you up your cable deals, you increase revenue, it's as simple as that. At this point you have ESPN saying it might not renew it's deal with the NHL because ratings were crap last year and no one cares about hockey anymore. Well ratings were crap last year, but I do think people still care about hockey and if they don't bloody well MAKE them care.

Current Mood: mischievous mischievous

Shout from the Stands
I've never understood the popularity of NASCAR. Races take hours, they're pretty damn boring til the last lap. The cars go fast, very fast, so fast any real strategy gets lost in the speed. I understand that it's one of the most popular sports in a large part of the country, but I never really understood it or care to honestly. I've been to a race track, it smells like burnt rubber and engine fumes, the people are there not to watch the race, but to see just how drunk they can get in the parking lot before, during and after the race. It's dangerous to the point of being ridiculous and watch cars go around in circles isn't really my idea of a good time.

Now I'm sure similar comparisons can be made to most professional sports. After all football is the sport of tailgating and if you've been to Yankee Stadium then you know drinking is to the stands, what the game is to the field, but I don't know. There seems to be so much more involved in a game like baseball or football. My idea of athletic ability isn't being able to keep control of your car and your bladder for however many turns you make around an oval.

Oh and on a completely unrelated side note: What the hell were Becks and Posh thinking, naming their kid: Cruz (as if Brooklyn and Romeo weren't bad enough).

Current Mood: curious curious

Shout from the Stands
I'm sick of people saying that the "World Series" shouldn't be called the "World Series" because there aren't teams from the entire world playing in it.

Newsflash ladies and gentlemen, if you put the perennially hapless Tampa Bay Devil Rays on the field with any professional team from any other country odds are the DRays would win that series. Major League Baseball is comprised of the thirty best baseball teams in the world. Period. There is no arguing this point. It is a fact.

Now, that being said, that doesn't mean that the best baseball players in the world only come from the United States. Major League Baseball is probably the most diverse professional American sport. There are players from every Latin American country you can think of, blacks, whites, Asians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Canadians, Australians etc. etc. etc. If baseball is played at all in your country, odds are you've got a Major Leaguer. Keeping that in mind, it can be called a "World Series" because the best baseball players from around the world only come here to play. They don't stay in their own coutries because to be honest, we're the only ones around paying the big bucks for it.

So to all those idiots on talk radio. NYAH!

Current Mood: cranky cranky

1 Fan // Shout from the Stands