Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Weak Ender: LIVE!

This picture of Marisa Miller from the ESPYs leads me to one question – they already filmed the ESPYs? The most self-serving of award shows (even more so than the Golden Globes) looks even worse in my estimation by being staged.

Filming on the dead day of sports (the Wednesday after the All-Star game when there is no sports at all going on) seems like a solid play. But why the hell is this award show taped? Are they afraid that some jilted mistress will come into the joint and blow away her millionaire boyfriend? (Though, that would be cool.) Are they afraid that somebody will mention how much they hate Chris Berman?

These are only reasons why the ESPYs should be shown live.
Who wouldn’t watch this on a Wednesday night with nothing going on? The guy on ESPN radio filling in for Calvin Cowherd today made another interesting point, why doesn’t the NBA have it’s draft on the Wednesday after the All-Star Game? The obvious answer is that the WNBA had a full slate of games (again, no major sporting events happen on the dead day of sports), but come on.

(And that’s a rant for another day. In this economy, why are they still wasting money on things like the WNBA?)

This just doesn’t seem to make sense. But this is ESPN. They are writing all of the rules right now.

MANNY RAMIREZ returned to Dodger Stadium on Thursday and was welcomed with open arms. Some are calling Dodgers fans hypocrites for not jeering Ramirez after the years of abuse heaped on Barry Bonds.

And while this may seem wrong, I’m going to back Dodger Fan here.

People seem to forget that Barry Bonds was a huge d-bag well before he ever stuck a needle in his bum. Bonds was a wife beater who through his wife down a flight of stairs. This is why people hate Barry Bonds. The steroids were just a bonus.

And come on, everybody has a juicer or two. You’d be na├»ve to think otherwise. So Dodger Fan, there was no harm welcoming back Manny Ramirez. If Garret Anderson was ever found to have used steroids, I would be disappointed, but I’d still likely forgive him.

ALRIGHT, THAT was a pretty good pitch by President Obama on Tuesday night. That sweeping curve would have had a right-handed hitting batter flailing.

AND FINALLY, the Tony RomoJessica Simpson breakup has received little attention here, and rightly so. People believe that now that Romo has lost his two biggest divas – Simpson and T.O. – he is on the verge of a big season.

Yeah, we will see that when we believe it. Romo was still up in Lake Tahoe this week swinging the sticks in the Pro-Am. And sure, Ben Roethlisberger was up there, too, but Big Ben was won a pair of Super Bowls during his brief NFL career. Camps are coming up, for sure. The players also have a right to get away.
But if you want to prove that you are dedicated to your team and getting back to the playoffs, maybe you can skip the golf tournament this year. You can still play golf, but how about going off the grid for a few weeks until the season starts? That shows me that Romo still doesn’t quite get what it means to be an NFL quarterback.

Truthfully, he might never do it.

Romo is without his convenient excuses this year. Romo has nobody to blame but himself when he falls on his face this season.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Word About the All-Star Game

That stupid 2002 All-Star Game. All Bud Selig had to do was pull out the pitching screen and settle an all-star tie with a home run contest.

No, he had to call the game and then this all happened.

The All-Star Game suddenly needed to matter again. When the game certainly did not. Honestly, how much heat would Selig have taken if he would have settled the 2002 All-Star Game with a home run contest? Some would have taken shots. Especially those who just want to complain about everything.

But you could imagine that most people would have had a laugh, enjoyed the outcome and gone on with their lives. But that tie stuck with people worse than the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

Come on, this was an All-Star Game. Nobody cares if the Pro Bowl, NHL or NBA All-Star Games end in a tie. But baseball had to overreact.

Because of that, Chone Figgins didn't get into the 2009 All-Star Game. Figgins had to scramble for a noon flight on Tuesday, fly to St. Louis and get to Busch Stadium with only minutes to spare. All to just sit on the bench and watch the game.

Some are going to blame Tampa Bay coach Joe Maddon. But you cannot. He had to save his bench in case of a tie and that indignity. So do not be too harsh on Joe. The Angels fans are not going to let him off the hook. But if the upside is getting Roy Halladay and an AL pennant, then it's all good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yankees Fans Totally Rational

Seriously, if you listened to AM 830 (the Angels flagship) this morning, the Yankees fans comments echoed what many of them are saying here ... "You aren't good enough to beat the Red Sox."

What has happened that the Yankees have become so frustrated with the Angels that they are leaning on the Red Sox?

But this is by far my favorite comment of the day, taken from Pinstripe Alley. The blog is good, but this comment just killed me and ranks high for unintentional comedy.

year after year they play this team they are beaten soundly, especially when they go to the OC, I really wasn’t surprised. I actually was hoping for 1 win but I guess that was reaching on my part.
What really concerns me is the fact that they have to go out there during countdown time (Sept 21-23…actually Sept 18-23 but the 21-23 is against the Angels) and play them again. TPTB with Major league Baseball had to have known what they were doing because that could become a huge scenario especially if they need a few wins to even make the playoffs. Bud and his buddies must have said “How can we keep them out of the playoffs again” and someone said..“oh……. have them play the Angels in late September”"!!
The Yankees better get real good in the 2nd half b/c that series could kill them!!

Honestly, the powers that be in the MLB want to keep the Yankees out of the playoffs? Priceless.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Post Mortem: Yanks Get Money's Worth

There was a great illustration of what the Yankees have been paying for all of these years in the seventh inning of yesterday's game. The Yankees had bases loaded, no outs, with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez coming to the plate.

Did anybody, anywhere expect the Yankees to score here?

I had a text message all ready for Reader Matt P., but didn't want to jinx anything, so I never sent it. But this situation was more perfectly scripted than Saturday night's UFC title "fight."

Teixeira struck out. A-Rod hit into a double play. And in the drafts of my text folders sat this unsent message: the (rhymes with bunt) strikes out, a-rod dp.

And for an added bonus, A-Rod struck out to end the game, too. In fact, that was such a forgone conclusion that KCOP started airing the postgame show while A-Rod was going through the pretense of pretending to be a Major League player. C.C. Safattia allowing five runs in just over six innings. And legions of Yankees fans once again filed out of Angels Stadium having watched their $200 million team lose to the Angels again.

The Angels without soon-to-be AL MVP Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera and Vlade. The Yankees were out-slugged by Erick Aybar and Brandon Wood.

At what point do Yankees fans stop enduring the kick to the groin that the Angels continue to deliver time after time. Every time the Yankees come to Anaheim, they look like that passed out chick with the magic marker drawings on her face in those anti-drug ads. But those East Coast morons continue to spend their money to come to the game and watch their team lose. But maybe it is a fitting memorial for the Yankees fans. Most of them are losers who couldn't hack it in their hometown, so they had to flee to Southern California to try to start over.

Right now, you would have to imagine that Teixeira would like to do that, but it's too late. The Angels are much better off without Teixeira. Kendry Morales has proven to be his equal and, let's face it, Morales is actually clutch. And he doesn't need a bogus stadium to inflate his home run totals.

HOW SWEET was it that Derek Jeter's error led to Aybar's heroics on Friday night? For those who missed it, Jeter dropped a popup by Angels catcher Mike Napoli. Aybar then hit a three-run home run in the extended inning that pushed the Angels over the top.

Of course, most of you did miss it because an error by Jeter is hidden like the microfilm of the JFK assassination that Sean Connery hid in that church pew in Fort Walton, Kansas in The Rock. If the situation was reversed, we'd have an Outside the Lines special on the grit of the Yankees and how they turn any error into their advantage. Instead, FOX and ESPN hid the story.

And notice, the Angels were close to throwing the ball away on Sunday, but the Yankees couldn't capitalize on those mistakes.

AGAIN IS anybody buying that the UFC is real? Brock Lesnar was in the title fight on Saturday night. Who was his opponent, the Rock? HHH? The Greek actually saw the fight and said that after Lesnar won, he flipped off the crowd. The Greek surmised that Lesnar should change his name to Stone Cold and have his wife Sable toss him beers after each winning, taking a turn on all eight of the ring posts.

That's not a bad idea.

AND FINALLY, why are they still showing Billy Mays commericals? Billy Mays here, uh, no you are not. Does this seem wrong to anybody else?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Weak Ender: Erin Andrews Takes Balls on Chin

Sorry it turns out it was one ball, singular.

Ah man, see all of the great things happen when you go on staycation. Erin Andrews was hit in the chin with a foul ball.

And there isn't any video of this?

And pity poor Mets infielder Alex Cora who hit the ball. The internets are full of people with unhealthy and irrational obsessions with Ms. Andrews. Cora probably has numerous hate groups organized on Facebook right now. I know, I learned the hard way when I dared to mention that Andrews might not be the hottest chicks in the world.

This is just one of those things that I'll never get. Much like the plot of LOST.

AND FINALLY, yeah I know, not much here. But there isn't much going on and like I said, I'm in the middle of a staycation so I'm limiting my computer time. But one thing I have seen scrawled across the screens is Chad Ochocinco's intention of Tweeting during NFL games.

On one hand, you hate to see an attention-seeking receiver make a bigger fool of himself by attempting to stay connected during a game. But on the other hand, you really like to see somebody tweak the ultra-conservative NFL. And really, you have to believe the NFL is likely most upset about Ochocinco's intention mainly because the league cannot make a buck off of it. Because you had better believe it, if the NFL could make any sort of money from No. 85 using Twitter during a game, then you the league certainly would.

And really, the NFL has sideline reporters stationed behind the benches to get the latest scoop during NFL broadcasts. So why would the league even care if somebody was using Twitter during the game? A Tweet from a player seems to be much better than a sideline reporter overhearing a conversation. But again, it's the money.

My guess, the NFL makes Twitter pay money to have players Tweet during the games. Maybe that's not as sexy as having Erin Andrews catch batting practice with her chin. But this could generate a new revenue stream for the league.

Ron Artest is Crazy

Ron Artest is nuts. News flash, I'm sure. Like what other mysteries of the world could I possible impart on the world? Tiger Woods is good at golf. Marisa Miller is hot. And A-Rod likes manly chicks so much, he should start dating one of the Williams brothers.

So we get it, Artest is nuts. But he went completely overboard during his opening news conference with the Lakers.

Artest alluded to the notion that he was underpaid (by NBA standards) but admitted that if you can't live on $33 million, then you cannot live on anything.

Wait, what? An NBA player admitting that having millions of money is enough? That should never happen. Remember, it was Patrick Ewing who said that NBA players might make a lot of money, but they also spend a lot, too. Yes, in child support. However, Ewing is so hard-up for money, though, he's selling out for Snickers.

This is truly troubling. An NBA player claiming that being rich is a good enough. This reads like an Onion or Sports Pickle spoof article because a.) you would never expect an NBA player to admit this and 2.) you wouldn't expect that player to be Artest.

For some reason, though, I'm expecting good things from the Artest era. So much so, that I'm already looking forward to next year's playoffs.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Death Does Not Equal Hall of Fame

For starters, isn't it funny how Michael Jackson is forgiven for his egregious actions with children following his death, while a perceived good guy like Steve McNair is looking like a bigger a-hole in death?

Maybe you should live life as a d-bag because death seems to be the ultimate cleanser.

And with that, some people like to believe that death increases your Hall of Fame credentials. Though, that has been proven on occasion. Just look at Bob Hayes and Art Monk. Former Redskins safety Sean Taylor also got a sweep of Hall of Fame sentiment after he was gunned down (and was omitted from that earlier rant). People have obviously regained their senses about that one. Seriously, he ran over a punter in the Pro Bowl. Whoopie!

Now people are trying to get McNair into the Hall of Fame. Please stop people. McNair was a pretty good quarterback and did some great things. But the criteria should be, can you tell the history of the NFL without this person? And really, you can. Coming from Alcorn State was a great story, but not greater than say, Doug Williams -- who also has the caveat of having a Super Bowl win. And really, if you are going to be a quarterback in the Hall of Fame without a Super Bowl title, you had better be damn special. But compared to his peers, McNair does not stand out.

You cannot blame people for their knee-jerk reaction to stories like this. McNair's death is hitting some hard. However, that doesn't mean that the Pro Football Hall of Fame should lower its standards.

The Post Mortem: People are Working Today?

Though, that might be a very liberal interpretation. The Summer of THN, however, continues to roll on with a week-long vacation. But, I know that some of you want to make Steve McNair jokes, but want somebody else to be the bad guy, so let me take a break from my siesta to drop some knowledge.

If the editors in Nashville have any balls, the headline following McNair's funeral will read, "Air McNair grounded for ever."

There is no way that it is too soon. You should have read my Twitter entry moments after everything went down.

I don't wan to make light of the situation, but when you consider Rae Carruth, O.J. Simpson, Leonard Little, Ray Lewis' posse, Donte' Stallworth, Michael Vick, etc., it's nice to get one in our ledger joining Fred Lane's widow.

McNair will get a patch or armband from the Titans. What does Stallworth's victim get? Sorry, I just cannot get too worked up over this. Yes, it's sad when somebody dies. But it happens every day. The guy was dating a woman while he was married and this is the kind of stuff that can happen. I will always appreciate McNair's talents on the field, but you aren't getting me to bite on this story.

But you know who is likely really pissed right now? Brett Favre. He was probably going to announce his return this week, but cannot do it. Not without being accused of acting like an attention whore, trying to steal the spotlight away from McNair's passing.

AND FINALLY, yeah, cutting it short right now because my XX bottle is starting to bleed. But eBay and Craig's List will not allow people to sell their Michael Jackson memorial tickets. WTF. Everybody else is in the world is allowed to profit from his death, but we aren't?

Oh, and for the record, Michael Jackson's post-Jackson Five music blew. So now, I will not respect his talent.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Weak Ender: Happy Fourth!

There is nothing like starting the Fourth of July weekend with a photo of an All-American girl at an All-American sporting event.

Oh wait.

But as Earl Bloom over at the From the Dugout blog says, you have to dig that form. You don't learn that in Russia.

Hopefully by the time you are reading this, Brett Favre has already signed his deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Both team and player trying to sneak this deal across at the last moment. And really, you hope that is true so that you suckers still working today have something to read about.

READ A blog post from Jamie Dukes on Weird, for sure.

Dukes -- if you are not sure who he is, played in the NFL I believe -- is under the assumption that players and entertainers are people too, and that we should give them a break when an athlete breaks the law or acts against the social norms.

That's a great thought and everything. These young kids are given millions overnight and you can imagine that they will probably run wild.

However, all of the money in the world would not make me build a fake Disneyland at my house to lure kids over in order to molest them. All of the money in the world would not lead me to start a dog-fighting ring. All of the money in the world would mean that I would always call a cab. All of the money in the world would not lead me to shoot up a strip club. All of the money in the world would not lead me to have unprotected sex with numerous women and then not have enough to kick down for the abortion.

And maybe more importantly, all of the money in the world does not mean that I would kill my ex-wife and some poor waiter returning her sunglasses while children are sleeping upstairs.

Athletes are not normal people like us. Normal people like us go to jail when we make mistakes.

Enjoy your holiday.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Angels Top Organization

ESPN the Magazine ranked the top sports organization in sports and it should come as no surprise that the Angels are the top of the list.

What, were you expecting the Raiders?

Some teams preach commitment to excellence, others live it. The Angels are that organization. The Angels excel where organizations such as the Raiders and Dodgers lag far behind.

Here are some of the reasons given by ESPN the Magazine. A damn fine magazine that, although I have never read it, must be pretty good.

  • The fans love going to the stadium. The Angels have had a couple of incidents this year with a fan getting punched down the stairs and an off-duty cop (a Los Angeles cop, mind you) firing at some fans. But even with those incidents, an Angels game doesn't seem unsafe. There's never a take-your-life-in-your-hands feeling that you get from going to Dodger Stadium. And that's just on the drive up. Raiders violence is legendary and doesn't need embellishment. The only time there are really uneasiness at Angels Stadium is when the Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees are in town. Even then, the tide has turned so that Angels Stadium is at least half-filled with Angels fans now.

  • Angels fans also show up to games. The article mentions that even during a recession, the Angels have faced a dip of just over 200 fans per game. That antiquated notion of Angels fans not showing up in force clearly isn't at work here, even in this economy. Obviously this town supports a winner. Which isn't a bad thing. Why do people always complain when fans only support winners. That's what you should do.

  • Here's one of the kicker: Tickets to root-root-root for the 2009 Halos cost an average of just $20.05, and the total fan cost to attend an Angels game is the fifth lowest in MLB and 32% less than it costs to attend a Dodgers game. The fifth lowest in MLB. Dodgers fans are paying more money to drive to LA, risk their lives on the road and in the stadium, and the product hasn't reached the Angels level in recent years. Hard to believe that these teams lose money. And the Raiders, how do they even get fans in the stadium? Are these the kind of people that find prison showers welcoming?

  • Mike Scioscia Imagine that, having a competent field general leading your team. This is where the Angels kind of lose it for me. The team would be much better if they had a puppet in the manager's chair, with the actual decisions coming from Artie Moreno. Either that, or maybe the Angels could take the manager from the Ayres Inn on Douglas and make him the hitting coach. The Raiders basically did that with Tom Walsh a few years ago.

The biggest reason is the owners. Moreno lowered beer prices as his first act as owner. That makes Moreno seem like one of your drinking buddies is running the team. Like a cooler version of Mark Cuban -- sans the too-tight T-shirts. Moreno might boooze at the games, but he isn't in the dugout suites yelling at officials. He keeps the players happy for the most part unless they turn down generous contract offers like K-Rod and John Lackey did. Beer prices are fair with $6 Pacificos all over the stadium. The stadium food is good as the Ruby's chili cheese fries dominate. Parking is only $8, and the only real hassle comes with the d-bag trinity (Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees). Angels fans have it pretty good with Moreno. Take a look at some of the other owners in sports.

The Dodgers put all of its marketing into Mannywood, and he ended up testing positive for steroids. Note, the Rally Monkey will not test positive for steroids. You cannot tailgate in the parking lot, even after paying $20. Ticket prices are way higher. They put in a beach party in the upper deck (which should get more scorn in this space) and sold endless hotdogs during the height of the Swine Flu.

Making fun of Davis is too easy now. Davis does try, give him that, but time has past him by. Much like your uncle who still cracks racist jokes at Thanksgiving and forwards unflattering, off-color jokes about the President.

The Clippers and Donald Sterling are rated as the worst, just one step -- I figure -- ahead of the Raiders. The only difference between Davis and Sterling is that the Raiders do want to win. The Clippers are just another Hollywood accessory.

Angels fans should feel pretty fortunate for the situation that they have.