Category:General
Posted on: May 30, 2008 6:25 pm
 

Blog Cabin: Chipper's chase

In the news...

The story has gotten a little attention, but not nearly as much as I would have expected.
I mean, we’re exactly a third of the way through the season, and Chipper Jones is hitting .420 for Pete’s sake!

It’s been 67 years since Ted Williams hit .406. No man alive has hit .400 in a complete season of Major League Baseball.

And, I know, it’s very early to start counting chickens, but if the guy keeps swinging the bat way he has been, there’s no telling what could happen.

Even if the chances are slim, it is, without a doubt, the best story of the season so far. Heck, it would be the best baseball story since the race between McGwire and Sosa... In hindsight, of course, I’d have to go back to the Cal Ripken streak for something a little less tarnished.

Chipper’s an easy guy to get behind, too. Although he’s struggled with injuries, he’s always been a hard-nosed, throwback type of player. He’s the kind of guy you saw in the league before the era of super-inflated salaries, and more importantly, steroid-inflated biceps.

...And that leads me to consider the deeper meaning of a guy like Chipper hitting .400 in 2008.

If the steroid era has, presumably, just come to an end, than what are the implications of a player immediately hitting .400?

For me, I wonder what we may have missed while a good portion of the players in the league were taking the needle. What if Tony Gwynn had faced a few less “enhanced” pitchers in 1994, when he hit .394? How many wins did juiced-up bats cost Pedro in 1999, when he had 23?

Sure, we probably would have never seen a 73-homerun season, but how many legitimate players lost their chance to do something special? Athletes are naturally becoming bigger, stronger and faster, and training in today’s game is beyond comparison with anything they had back in the days of the “Splendid Splinter”.

Basically, would the great clean players of this generation have been some of the best of all-time? Would players, like Chipper and Frank Thomas, have ascended to become the superstar players of the league?

It’s impossible to say for sure, but if Chipper hits .400 on the most even playing field in quite some time, I think we can pretty much throw away every statistic from 1990 to present.

Of course, some people will say that it all evened out in the end. Hitters are juicing; pitchers are juicing... so it’s all square, right?

Wrong.

That’s argument’s fine, unless you’re clean. A clean pitcher faced the double-whammy of trying to keep pace with cheating pitchers, and compete against cheating batters. The same goes for a hitter.

Chipper’s done well despite that challenge. He’s been consistently good without any extra help, and I hope he can keep his bat hot enough to do what a lot of us thought might never be done again.
Posted on: May 28, 2008 7:19 pm
 

Blog Cabin: Michael Jackson and the fecal fiasco

In the news...

What the heck is going on in the world of mixed martial arts?

Over the last few days, this sport has endured two events that have left me utterly perplexed.

Story 1: Michael Jackson attends UFC 84
Baseball has Billy Crystal and Bill Murray. Jessica Simpson and Matt Damon have been seen in the stands for NFL contests. Basketball keeps us entertained with Eva Longoria and Jack Nicholson. Even hockey can pull the likes of Kid Rock.

Now, MMA has Wacko Jacko.

True to form, the Skeletor-looking pop star showed up in a wheelchair and a burka-like ensemble that left only his eyes exposed... those, of course, he covered with a pair of super dark sunglasses.

Truly bizarre. Truly confusing. I mean, MMA of all things? Is it possible that Michael Jackson is starting to take interest in normal activities?

Maybe Jackson has been forced to start growing up since leaving the Neverland Ranch. It has been a couple years since a childish M.J. left the mansion behind, so if we play by Peter Pan rules, he might finally be reaching the maturity level of a teenager. Now, if the teenager he becomes is still a boy, it might easily become interested in the violence and showmanship that MMA provides.

Aww... Little Mikey has outgrown his pet monkey and ferris wheel. Who’s our big skull-faced man?

Story 2: MMA fighter poops his pants in the ring
Fred Mitchell literally “beat the crap” out of Corey Wethey during a small-time fight in Louisiana on Monday. According to thetowntalk.com, Mitchell struck his opponent so hard with a knee to the body that Wethey immediately lost control of his bowels.

Mitchell said that he began to smell something foul after delivering the blow, and that the smell continued to worsen as the match went on. At one point, Mitchell removed his mouth piece to alert the ring official. “He s--- himself,” Mitchell said repeatedly to the stunned referee.

You can’t write this stuff... and still, the worst is yet to come.

While Mitchell was pleading with the official, Wethey regained the advantage, and locked Mitchell's head between his thighs.
Wow. I knew these MMA guys were tough... but that seems a little extreme. How about a couple new rules? If you crap your trunks, you have to tap out. If you’re wrestling with a guy who does his business, you are allowed to run away, screaming like a little girl, and jump over the fence.

The incident required a 10-minute intermission while officials scrubbed down the ring. Mitchell went on to win the fight by Wethey's disqualification.


From the Blogosphere...

The Bong Show has set himself up as the Community's new disciplinarian and giver of knowledge. Anytime you encounter a troublesome member, just send them Bong's way. His blog is full of handy links and pictures that are sure to reform even the most hardened troll.

Has Kobe reformed his image? Jesse James says that the MVP has done a lot to help the cause this season. Read about his revelation.

Resident ranker dantheman4250 gives us his "very early" NFL power rankings. Could the Dolphins be at No. 6? No.
Posted on: May 27, 2008 7:21 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2008 7:22 pm
 

Blog Cabin: Shut down Big Brown


















In the news...

So, the possible Triple Crown winner has a crack in his hoof.

The horses’ trainer and a hoof-specialist have said that the injury isn't a big deal, but they haven’t really addressed the possibility of causing further damage by racing a horse with a cracked hoof.

It begs the question... What happens if Big Brown goes down?

After Eight Belles was put down immediately following a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, I’ve got to think that any in-race injury would spell a near-collapse for the world of horse racing.

I’ll admit that I’m no equine expert, but from what I understand, I’m not sure why they would even run Big Brown in this situation. I mean, the horse is already drawing ungodly stud money. Why risk it?

I’m sure the honest answer would be “more money.” Aside from the winnings and wagers, that stud fee would continue to skyrocket if Big Brown were to win the Belmont.

It’s probably why everyone involved with the horse continues to tow the company line. “He’s fine. He’s been angry because he hasn’t been practicing as much. The horse loves to run. The horse loves to have its picture taken. The horse is in no pain.”

That last one is kind of funny, actually. Right after hoof expert Ian McKinlay said that the horse isn’t in any pain, he went on to compare the injury to a finger nail cracked all the way up to the cuticle.

McKinlay even said, “You know how sensitive it is by the cuticle.”

Um, yeah... I do. And I damn sure wouldn’t want to keep tapping my finger if it felt like that.

As much as I want to see a Triple Crown winner, I hope they decide to keep Brown in the barn for this one. Thoroughbreds’ hooves are so fragile as it is, a horse in pain could seriously injure itself, the jockey or any other horse or rider on the track.

Don’t give them another excuse to destroy horse racing.


From the Blogosphere...

How much impact does an MLB manager have on the outcome of a game? Apparently, not enough for us to crucify Willie Randolph... or at least that's what MetsRChamps is telling us in his latest blog.

On Sunday, Mikeyfan1599 made his way to Charlotte for the 600. Now, one of the site's top race fans brings us his thoughts on the performance of Michael Waltrip Racing.

MVKrum takes his shot at some preseason NFL power rankings. Jags at No. 4?!
Posted on: May 23, 2008 6:43 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2008 7:14 pm
 

Blog Cabin: A turning point for MLB?

In the news...

Hallelujah! The Major League Baseball Players Association has finally taken a step in the right direction when it comes to drug testing.

Stop laughing, I’m being serious here.

On the last possible day for ratification, the players approved a deal which calls for an increase in the frequency of tests and in the authority of the program's independent administrator.

In return for the players’ approval, Bud Selig agreed to rescind suspensions against two players, and to not discipline any player implicated in the Mitchell Report. Of course, this agreement comes under increasing pressure from lawmakers to improve drug testing, or face legal action.

From the sound of it, the baseball establishment has been forced in to an uneasy truce... but it’s a truce none the less and, at this point, I’ll take it.

Anything that moves in the direction of fully-independent testing is exactly what MLB needs to be doing right now, and I’ve got to applaud Selig for getting it done. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the commissioner actually did the right thing by meeting the players’ demands.

As much as I hate seeing the players manipulate the “absolute” power that baseball’s commissioner is supposed to wield, bargaining skills have become an essential part of today’s game.

Besides, I could care less if every last Mitchell Report suspect is tracked down.

Most of the players in the Mitchell Report are nobodies, anyway. “Names”, like Wally Joyner, David Justice and Mo Vaughn are already starting to fade in to baseball obscurity.

As for the few superstars on that list... Well, let’s just say that I don’t think Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds will be getting in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, if at all.

Even if they do, they will join the Pete Rose’s and Joe Jackson’s of the world... Destined to be remembered more for their transgressions then for their play on the field.

We, as fans, know where we stand. We know what happened to America’s game, and we’ve already decided who’s clean and who’s dirty.

Yep, Bud did a good job by keeping the blood hounds in the yard on this one. Maybe this signals a turning point. Maybe we can finally stop ripping baseball down, and start putting it back together again.


From the Blogosphere...

The Angels have just finished taking two out of three from the Toronto Blue Jays, and now head to Chicago to take on the scorching hot White Sox. Still, HALOS02 thinks that, if his boys can shut down Chicago's long ball, they should be able to win the series.

Who's your favorite NFL player NOT on your favorite team? Let koala know.

Duckplucker tells us why instant replay has no place in America's pastime. He's right, too. What are we going to do... remove the entire human element?
Posted on: May 21, 2008 6:32 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2008 6:35 pm
 

Blog Cabin: Goodell takes a bite out of crime

In the news...

Roger Goodell may have flubbed up the Spygate scandal, but he’s making up for it with his improvements to the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

In what might be one of the best moves I’ve seen from a league commissioner, Goodell announced, yesterday, that teams will now face financial penalties for the actions of their players. According to the new policy, clubs will be fined if any player is suspended for disciplinary issues.

In related news: Pacman Jones was just cut by Dallas, and the Bengals have officially disbanded.

Actually, the Bengals might have the right idea for once. By cutting Chris Henry and Odell Thurman before the season, Cincinnati may have gotten ahead of the curve. If they're careful, and can limit this season's arrests to five or six, they may be able to break even.

Seriously, though... I wonder if Jerry Jones might like to have that Pacman trade back?

In any case, as someone who has written more than a few blog entries about the NFL’s criminal contingent, I think that this is exactly what the league should be doing with its time. It’s definitely a whole lot more important then worrying about the length of a guy’s dreadlocks, which, by the way, the NFL decided to table for a later date.

This is exactly how sports should be working. Players will now be valued both for the quality of their work, and for the quality of their character... except for rookies, who hold a magical value more precious then a diamond statue of Vince Lombardi.

I mean, that Matt Ryan deal is ridiculous, right?


From the Blogosphere...

OK, LSU Fans... How many of you know about all of the Tigers' incoming recruits? If there's any doubt in your mind, brush up with LSURay's Bayou Blog. Today, Ray tells the community about Chris Faulk, a monster offensive lineman.

Smorgie @ the Y wants to know what diamond chatter may translate well in the bedroom. I'm thinking this blog is on the verge of a volcanic eruption of replies.

The Lakers have advanced to the Western Conference finals, but how good have they looked in getting there? Deedsy404 has a game-by-game breakdown of the Lakers' round-two action.
Posted on: May 20, 2008 7:15 pm
 

Blog Cabin: 'Money' Mayweather is a counterfeit

In the news...

Did anyone else hear the latest rumor about Floyd Mayweather?

It’s a good one.

Word on the street says “Money” likes to make it rain fake $100 bills when he hits the scene. I hope this turns out to be true. How hilariously ironic would that be.

Specifically, rumor has it that May was throwing out the hundreds at an Atlanta nightclub last week, and for some strange reason, some of the other patrons were not so happy when they found out that “Money” was a counterfeit.

That might be a little embarrassing when you’re standing at the register, don’t you think? The clerk takes that special clear marker and runs it across Benjamin’s face... What!? It turned black!

That’s right, it’s the Wal-Mart security office for you. You’re sitting there next to a kid who tried to steal a candy bar. It’s just like when you had to go to the principal’s office in grade school.

Thanks, Floyd.

How much monopoly money do you want to bet that these knockoffs are part of the prop cash that WWE promoter Vince McMahon gave him for getting in the ring at Wrestlemania?

I got three orange ones, so I can cover anything that Mayweather gave you at the club and still have enough left over to buy Boardwalk.


From the Blogosphere...

Although the NBA playoffs have been somewhat predictable so far, Feanor says that the conference finals should be full of surprises.

Always the first to break things down, dantheman4250 brings us his early thoughts on some of college football's best recruits. Also, take a look at the video links for incoming players at USC, Miami, Notre Dame and Florida State.

Nuf Ced offers us a monologue on baseball. It's not quite James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams, but it's pretty good, and it covers the gamut: from history to war to America. Take a stop by Third Base to check it out.
Posted on: May 19, 2008 7:30 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2008 7:42 pm
 

Blog Cabin: Parents sue Little League Baseball







In the news...


People are despicable, and they’re getting worse every day. You can call me a pessimist if you’d like, but I think that a lot of people over the age of 25 may share that sentiment.

It sounds cliché, but it really was a simpler time when I grew up. When you needed information, you went to the library. When you wanted to talk on the phone, you had to use the corded model attached to your kitchen wall. When a kid got hurt playing sports, his money-grubbing parents didn’t try to capitalize on their son’s injury by suing everyone involved.

That’s right. In the most pathetic story of the day, the parents of Steven Domalewski have filed a suit against the makers of a Louisville Slugger aluminum bat, Sports Authority and Little League Baseball, after their 12-year-old son was hit in the chest with a line drive.

When the ball hit Steven, who was pitching, his heart stopped for 15 minutes, causing brain damage.

Now, I do feel badly for the boy. I feel horrible, in fact. It’s a terrible thing to see a child’s life transformed like it has been. Still, what his family is doing is selfish and unforgivable. Suing Little League Baseball for Pete’s sake!?

Not every unfortunate, or even tragic, event means that someone deserves millions of dollars.

Parents like this are the reason that community ballparks across America remain locked while not in use. They’re the reason that police reports are filed when two third-graders get in a fist fight. They’re the reason that dodgeball and tag are being banned in schools around the country.

Doesn’t anyone understand the words “freak accident”?

You can’t always blame things on negligence or malice. There are probably 10,000 balls hit every day with metal bats just like that one. Even college players use metal bats. There was nothing wrong with the equipment, and Steven wasn’t a victim. Unfortunately, he was just very unlucky.

Steven’s father is now saying his son would not have been injured with a wooden bat, and that the lawsuit will help make the game safer.

Who do they think they’re kidding? If that’s all they cared about, it probably would have been easy to petition the league. Besides, wooden bats hit the ball hard too, and they break. Sharp wooden daggers flying around the infield... yeah, that’s safer.

No, it’s obvious that the parents are looking to make more dollars than sense. Steven wasn’t even injured in a Little League game, but Little League is being sued because their logo was on the bat.

That’s right, let’s target an organization that offers a healthy outlet for millions of children. Let’s take their money. Let’s cause leagues to close. Let’s make kids pay more money to join. After all, your kid was hurt, so why not take it out on everyone else. Let’s send America’s youth back in front of the TV or computer.

What scumbags.

Newsflash: You can’t expect your kid to play sports and never get hurt. It comes with the territory. You can’t play baseball with fun noodles and marshmallows.


From the Blogosphere...

Harst has his view on some of the hottest NBA prospects. This member has devised his own rating system, and he calls it "Boom, bust or blah." I'm sure you get the picture.

A lot of us have had a conversation that starts with, "What ever happened to that guy? I thought he was supposed to be the next big thing?" Or, sometimes, you just can't understand why the GM decided to take one guy over another. I mean, that other guy turned in to a star shortstop, right? MiamiHuskerFan spends a little time playing the game with some past Chicago Cubs prospects.

Who are the top 64 athletes? Dantheman4250 wants your votes, as he prepares a bracket contest to determine the best of the best.
Posted on: May 14, 2008 7:02 pm
 

Blog Cabin: Micah Owings could be the next Ruth

When two knowledgeable baseball fans talk about the greatest players of all time, there are a myriad of names that might come up.

If they’re talking position players, you’ll usually hear about Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams or Ty Cobb. If it’s pitching, Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax will all be near the top of the list.

Then, there’s the great “He”.

He is the one whose name is as important as the game itself. He is the only man who was absolutely dominant, both in the batters box and on the hill. He is, of course, Babe Ruth.

Over the course of its history, baseball has undergone rule changes, equipment evolution, philosophy shifts, segregation and drug use. All these factors make it almost impossible to nail down “the greatest” player of all time, but for those of us who know about his early career as a Red Sox hurler, the Babe is just about as close to a lock as you can find...

...Enter Micah Owings.

For the first time that I can remember, some of us are seriously wondering if it could happen again. Have we found a pitcher who is so offensively gifted that he demands a spot in the field when he’s not on the mound? I think we have.

Over the last two seasons, Owings has proven himself to be a solid part of the Diamondbacks rotation, but, like Ruth, he may be even more effective with a bat in his hands.

In 84 Major League at bats, Micah has hit .389, with five homeruns. You can’t rake like that without someone taking notice... and both the fans and management have done just that. Owings has been seeing some appearances as a pinch-hitter lately, and it’s even been rumored that he may DH during interleague play.

If that works out well, why not throw him in the lineup on the nights when he’s not starting? If Rick Ankiel can learn to play the field, I’m pretty sure Owings can figure out how to track down a fly ball or catch a throw to first base.

As a fan, I would be extremely excited to see if he could become the first all-around ballplayer since Ruth, and it would undoubtedly be the most impressive sports achievement of my generation.

I know it’s way to early to assume things, but could you imagine... one player with 200 wins, 2000 strikeouts, 400 homeruns and 3000 hits. If he can stay healthy, I would say that those numbers should be within Owings’ reach.

The move would come with its share of questions, though.

  • Would playing the field increase the chance of injury?
  • What kind of price tag would a guy like this demand come contract time?
  • Would a player like this, even with moderate success, be a lock for MVP every season?
  • Would splitting a players focus between pitching, batting and fielding detract from his effectiveness in any or all of those areas?
  • What the heck would we do about his fantasy status... and for that matter, how are the people at Topps going to get all those stats on the card?

These are questions I’d love to find answers for, and along the way, maybe we could clear up that pesky “greatest player ever” debate once and for all.

Who knows, we could have the next Babe Ruth on our hands.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com