Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Small Feet, Bigger Feats

     He's 5'8, and weighs 165 pounds, and the only thing he cares more about than baseball is his own family. He's not your average ball player, and he never has been. He's had nicknames ranging from Lazer Show to Muddy Chicken. He's Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was first known to scouts as a small player with a big swing and an even bigger mouth, though they said, "It's unfortunate he doesn't have any tools." He was supposedly a sufferer of David Eckstein-itis, and was thought to be an overachiever thriving on lower expectations, but he has since shed that title in favor for another, Future Hall of Famer.

     When he was drafted, many of his teammates were not just surprised, they were nearly appalled by his both his lack of height and muscularity, and they thought he was somewhat of a wasted pick. Now, years later, he is an All-Star, and he won Rookie of the Year and later the MVP in his first two seasons.

     There haven't been many people of his size and stature playing professional baseball over the years, but when they have, they have definitely made their mark. To name a couple: legendary catcher Yogi Berra, the Reds' Joe Morgan, and annual Cy Young Candidate Tim Lincecum. Coming from a blogger who he himself stands a diminuitive 5'1.5 and projects to be 5'8, he is truly an awesome player, his leadership in the lockerroom and talent on the field is unmatched.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tim Tebow's Terrible Trial

     Anyone in the world with an interest in sports and an internet connection has heard of Tim Tebow. Though he came out of Florida as one of the most popular college football players ever, a national champion, and even a Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow was expected to fall past the first round and possibly be coverted to play tight end. However, Tebow was picked by the Denver Broncos late in the first round by a regime that has since been eliminated. His number fifteen jersey flew of the shelves, soaring to the top to become the most popular in the league. All of this happened before he played a down of professional football.

     He rode the bench over half the season, watching incumbent quarterback Kyle Orton light up opposing defenses, until Orton was hurt. Tebow started the last three games of the season, and his amazing athleticism was shown when he misinterpreted an audible and ran a QB sneak for a monster gain and a touchdown, but the play was designed as a simple handoff. This year however, he might not get the chance. Tebow has not looked good during training camp, though he is still wildly popular with the fans, and the controversy regariding the aforementioned Orton being traded to Miami has made this an interesting situation.

     Tebow is a great player and an even greater person, and I wish him the best in the future, but in all honesty, if I were in the Bronco's front office, I would not hesitate to bench him. Orton is too good a player to not play, and his play made a star out of receiver Brandon Lloyd, who has already said he would be "pissed" if Orton was removed from the lineup in any way. However, a player like Tim Tebow brings fans to the stands, something Orton has already said he doesn't care for very much.

     I think the Broncos should wait until Orton's contract expires then start Tebow, who, by then, will have had plenty of time to know the offense and develop as a pro quarterback, or they could deal Tebow right now instead of Orton to Miami and end the fan uprisings in both cities.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Fear the Deer

     Major League Baseball fears the deer. Yes, the largest professional league baseball league in the world is afraid of a deer. What a sissy of a league! Isn't this a sorry excuse of an American baseball league? No! MLB has reason to be afraid of the deer, because if their antlers are harvested at the right age, they can be turned into a product called deer spray. This product does not show up in the steroid or anti-doping tests employed by the MLB, which happen to be urine tests, because it is a natural supplement, but the spray shows up only in blood tests, which are not allowed.
      This spray supposedly has qualities similar to anabolic steroids and,       because it contains a chemical called IGF-1, it mediates the level of human growth hormone (HGH). This supplement has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list for international competition for a while now for its muscle building effects, and was supposedly used by Baltimore Ravens linebacker and future NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.

     I know the league has good intentions at heart, but Major League Baseball may have just created its own pseudo-steroids problem, because they just went out and blatantly said that there is a highly effective performance enhancer out there, and unless it is contaminated, there is no proof any players have ever used it. Wow! I think that's no better than telling a thief that a bank is closed, but the door to the vault is unlocked and the security system is no longer working! What idiocy! Then it gets worse.....the reason they banned the spray is not because of its performance enhancing abilities, but because it could be show an actually banned substance. I wouldn't be surprised if I see  homerun totals and power statistic in general go up. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What I Hate About the MLB Trade Deadline

     I do not like the MLB trade deadline. No, I hate the MLB trade deadline. I love the fact that it is a brief period of rapid fire transactions around the league, but all too often it is the time of the year where the rich get even richer and the small market teams are beaten to the punch. Take the New York Yankees for example. More often then not, in both free agency and around the trade deadline, they use their immense resources and prestigious brand to draw players to them, and they are almost always successful. The Yankees' resources have practically  bought themselves championships, like when they offered Alex Rodriguez a contract that only the late George Steinbrenner would allow his team to write. Later on in his career, Rodriguez was given a contract larger than THE ENTIRE FLORIDA MARLINS' SALARY AS A TEAM! That is why the MLB needs a salary cap  like the NFL's my friends.
     The Yankees are not the only teams like this, however. The Boston Red Sox are nearly the same, as they have won many a star player sweepstakes, i.e. when they offered outfielder Carl Crawford a contract valued at $160,000,000, outbidding any other team by a huge margin. Over the course of his eight year, deal he will make wha would take the average American with a salary around the national average 3,200 years.  The raw capital they, along with the Yankees and even the Phillies, have has also allowed them to hire a higher number of high-quality scouts, which allowed them to develop consistent farm system that they ravage to trade for even more talented players. They cycle continues.

     However, the Yankees and their fans are like spoiled children, and when they don't get what they want, they whine, and whine, and whine. For example, when pitcher Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies for less money, the whole legion of fans attacked Lee, and one radio host claimed he could have donated some of his money if he had a higher contract, and therefore was killing children in Africa. See what I mean?

     The Phillies themselves however, are no better. They made headlines this year by signing the aformentioned Lee, and from it creating one of, if not the best, starting rotation of all time. They used their own bountiful resources to outbid and beat any small market team to the punch. Not only did they do that with Lee, they did it with Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. This trade deadline was not different, and they dealt for left fielder Hunter Pence. The rich get richer.

     Dusty Baker, the manager for the Reds was quoted that he himself disliked the trade deadline because, "Around this time of year, the rich can only get richer." The MLB needs a hard salary cap....bad. I would love the trade deadline if the small market teams actually had a chance.

Monday, August 1, 2011

End of An Era

     After over a decade of playing in the National Football League, legendary wideout Randy Moss has retired. The thirty four year old wideout has retired after thirteen seasons in the league, for the options he was given were not necessarily, he believed, in his best interest as a player. After being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998, he began a prolific career that ranks only behind Jerry Rice in touchdowns, yards, and 100 yard games. However after playing with the Oakland Raiders for two seasons, Moss joined the New England Patriots and his record setting 23 touchdowns were instrumental to the Pats huge success in 2007. His productivity stayed constant, but this season was a catastrophe, for he was traded from the Patriots to the Vikings for a pick, he was then cut and signed with the Tennesse Titans. He finished with under 40 catches and less than 500 receiving yards. After supposedly vigorous workouts and two-a-days during the lockout, Moss decided to retire, though it is believed he will not stay that way for very long. If he does return, expect the high bidders to be teams in dire need of receiving help, like the Bengals, or Bears. Moss was truly a brilliant player, and it is only a matter of time before he has his place in Canton.

Picture taken by : Damian Strohmeyer, Bob Rosato/SI
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