Everyone's favorite investigative reporter, Fletch, is back, and this time I brought some hate with me to the picnic.
As a resident of Phoenix, I can't help but think my taste buds are betraying me. After all, the water coming out of my tap doesn't taste any different (I think - people in Phoenix don't actually drink their tap water, lest they desire a case of Montezuma's Revenge.). But if I didn't know better, the city was mixing in wine with the normal dosage of H2O and other various vitamins and minerals. The reason I can't help but think this is that some of the biggest names in sports in the Valley of the Sun have turned into whining ninnies. To wit:
In the April 23 issue of ESPN The Magazine, Shawn Marion was quoted as saying "I want the recognition. I feel I've done what it takes to get it, but for some reason it hasn't happened." This comes from a gentlemen who earned more than 15 million in 2007 and is a veteran of four All-Star games. He also said "Steve is the MVP of the league but I've had people tell me I am the MVP of the team." Whatever that means. Shawn - I hereby award you some brie.
Fast forward to the June 18 issue of the same magazine. The issue is titled "Revenge of the Jocks" and features a number of articles written by various athletes, telling us all how miserable (yet thankful) they are. The cover is graced by Arizona Cardinal QB Matt Leinart - in the photo, he is tearing up a mock previous issue, also with him on the cover and stating "Leinart plummets in the draft." Inside, we get an article written by Matt in which his sole purpose as a "reporter" is to attend the owners' meetings in Phoenix and ask various coaches why they passed on him in the draft last year. "Coach Fisher...we bonded. I loved Nashville. Why did you cost me money?" "Coach Mangini...I love NY. Why did you cost me money?" Cry me a river, Matt - no one forced you to enroll in ballroom dancing class - you are now the proud recipient of feta.
The last entry is open to interpretation, so Randy Johnson will only get some Kraft Parmesan for his troubles. In fact, Randy has plenty of reasons why he didn't fly with the Diamondbacks for their latest road trip. The guy had just pitched the night before, he's in his mid-60s, he's angrier than Gargamel, and oh yeah, he's earned it. If he doesn't want to travel for a trip that he won't be pitching on, he should be able to with no questions asked.
Except one. As it turns out, both of the times Randy has neglected to join the team on a road trip, the D-Backs were headed to New York. That's right - the same New York that Randy made friends with his first day in town after signing with the Yankees a few years back. Coincidence? I don't know - maybe he just doesn't like the wine they serve there.