Sunday, March 13, 2016


There are a few big stories in sports right now and I'm on the wrong side for the most part.

Sharapova's failed drug test
Okay, I'm certainly against PED's, no matter what the excuse, but this one doesn't upset me as much as some. Sharapova admitted she took a banned substance, didn't blame it on anyone else and didn't say it was an accident. It was a drug she had taken for years, legally, but when it was put on the list this year, she didn't bother to read the notice she was sent. Totally her own fault and she was up front completely about it. There seems to be no sympathy, no understanding and definitely no forgiveness. Should she be suspended? Absolutely. Are her sponsors correct in dropping their sponsorship?  Well, here it gets a little sticky for me. This wasn't a case of someone trying to steal an edge, or trying to hide an illegal act. She made an honest mistake and yet she's being treated like a pariah. People like Bonds and McGwire are given cushy jobs even though they obviously tried to circumvent the rules. Nike continued to back Lance Armstrong, a proven PED user but Sharapova's sponsor jumped off that ship like it was the Titanic.
So punish her of course, but let's have a little more understanding, please.

Gossage fires a high hard one 
The same way he pitched, Goose comes right at you with his opinions. A couple of days ago, he spouted off about all the showboating in baseball, in response to Bryce Harper saying that all the posturing is a good thing. Goose called guys names, pointed fingers and did not give any slack in his opinions. Harper said the game has changed and the fans like it when guys toss bats, stand at the plate and admire home runs and take forever to round the bases. It's okay in his world for pitchers to celebrate openly on the mound after a strikeout. Gossage's point is that they should celebrate but not preen and show up the opponent. Goose also complained that pitchers couldn't brush hitters back without starting a brawl and umpires are trying to read minds about intentions. More about that later.
The Goose even got called into a meeting with Girardi and Cashman over his remarks. Obviously, we don't know exactly what was said in the meeting, but afterwards Goose didn't sound like he had backed off of his statements one bit. I'm on Gossage's side on this one. So jump up and down and clap your hands after hitting a homer but don't stand at home plate admiring your hit. You can still watch it as you run to first. Pitchers can pump their fists after a strike out but low key always. Do that and no one will get upset.

Speaking of high hard ones...
There was an article on ESPN lately about Baseball's unwritten rules. Now we've been over this before and my position is known, especially on some situations.
**What's with "Defensive Indifference." If you allow a guy to steal, you ought to be penalized for it. Just because you have a big lead, doesn't mean you shouldn't play the game right. Not holding a runner on and playing back to prevent a hit isn't right. You're asking the other team  to "help" you get an out. If you don't care if a guy steals, then fine, your pitcher and catcher have a stolen base charged to their record. A team has a big lead and yet they steal a base anyway. You don't like it? Don't get mad, prevent it! Stealing is part of the game.
A pitcher is pitching a no-hitter late in the game. The third baseman plays back to prevent a hit because the batter is "not supposed to bunt for a hit because that is cheap." What's next? Are you going to say a hitter can't swing at a 2-0 or 3-0 pitch because that's unfair to the guy going for a no-hitter? Play the game right, earn your milestone without forcing the other team to help you.
Okay, I'm done.

Is spring training too long?
There are some players that need more time than others. Hitters need to face live pitching. Pitchers need to stretch out their arms, and managers have 60 or 70 players to look at. So, no, I don't think it's too long. Unlike pro football, you can buy season tickets for a team without being forced to buy spring training game tickets at the same price. If they're too long it's only because the media covers every single aspect of it from beginning to end, and we get tired of watching Single A ball players look helpless against the major leaguers.

Thank the lord Billy Martin didn't have to deal with this
Buck Showalter tells the story about telling one of his rookie pitchers how to pitch to a certain batter.
BS: "Listen, I want you to move so-and-so off the plate next time he's up."
Rookie: "Oh I don't think I can do that, skipper."
BS: "Yes, you can. Pitch him inside. Move him off the plate. He's diving across the plate and hitting line drives to right."
 Rookie: "No, I can't do that."
BS: " Look, I'm not asking you to hit him. Just move him off the plate."
Rookie: "I can't ." 
BS: "Why not?"
Rookie: "We have the same agent."

"BYU has a junior college transfer tackle named Handsome Tanielu. To give you an idea of the narcissism of college athletes today, at the first practice somebody yelled “Hey, Handsome” and 38 guys turned around."  -- Brad Dickson
" Instead of a calendar girl, I once dated a colander girl. Our relationship was strained."  -- RJ Currie
[Sorry about that, but my wife likes RJ - Chad]
"Russian ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, but it was a fait accompli.  Skating officials knew something was amiss the moment she flipped her dance partner into the stands."  -- Dwight Perry

"Now rumors might have both Mark Sanchez and Colin Kaepernick in Denver. Good thing for fans Colorado has legalized marijuana."  -- Janice Hough
"PGA Tour caddies lost their lawsuit seeking compensation for having to wear bibs with advertising: “Dear fellas: Your job consists of carrying a golf bag, telling your guy, ‘178 yards’ and collecting up to 10 percent of his earnings for doing very little. Quiet, please!"  -- Greg Cote
" An elderly fan at a Philadelphia Flyers game removed her bra and threw it on the ice. I’m trying to confirm that the players threw it back."  -- Brad Dickson
"A streaker who ran onto the field during a rugby match in Auckland, New Zealand, claims he was repeatedly punched by a security guard after he was apprehended. So both could face charges — as in public indecency for the streaker and, for the guard, naked aggression."  -- Dwight Perry
"Leonardo DiCaprio won an Academy Award for The Revenant. The Cleveland Browns have a shot at an ESPY for The Irrelevant."  -- RJ Currie
" The Colts resigned Adam Vinatieri for 2016. Not sure how this fits with Indianapolis’s cap room, but at least the team knows his medical bills will be covered under Medicare."  -- Janice Hough
"I'm refusing to call Johnny Manziel the Edsel of draft picks. Let’s be fair. The Edsel lasted three years."  -- Bud Shaw, Cleveland Plain Dealer
" Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has been arrested for the sixth time in 17 months. That ties the record held by Otis on “The Andy Griffith Show."  -- Brad Dickson
"The news isn’t all bad for William Collins, the Kentucky fullback arrested after allegedly pilfering a parking meter and trying to flee from the cops. He’s the world-record holder in the one-meter dash."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Nebraska high school state basketball tournament is underway. Some claim Nebraska has too many classes. There may be something to that. A Class D-2 school had to suit up the shop teacher."  -- Brad Dickson


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