Friday, July 22, 2005
And even more random thoughts
Mostly from the world of sports:
- Curse of the Sam-bino? It was no secret that Kerry Wood was one of the main reasons that Cubs veteran slugger Sammy Sosa was traded to Baltimore. It was Wood who destroyed Sammy's clubhouse stereo and constantly bashed Sosa to the media over the winter. While Sammy has struggled with the Orioles, at least he has been able to stay in the game. Wood has only managed to pitch 54 innings for the boys from Wrigleyville (with an ERA of 4.67), and today comes word that Kerry is hurt again. I said back in Kerry's rookie year of 1998 that the Cubs should have traded him then because his stock would never be higher. His mechanics and overuse of his curveball will force regular trips to the disabled list, and his occasional wildness is one of the reasons that he has never won more than 14 games in a season. (Compare that to Greg Maddux, who has won at least 15 games per season for the past 17 seasons and is on pace for his 18th straight season in 2005.) Combine his lack of performance with his team-high salary of $9.5 million per year and you have nothing but trouble. I hope that Kerry Wood doesn't start bad-mouthing Mark Prior or Carlos Zambrano, who are ten-times the pitcher that he is, in the same manner that he bad-mouthed Sosa. Maybe if Kerry concentrated more on the mechanics of the game and less on the actions of his adult teammates, he could manage to stay on the field.
- Are there any other athletes - or even people - than can manage to offend nearly every sports fan like Terrell Owens can? Let's take a look at his comments over the past week. First, he threatens to not play the 2005 NFL season if his contract - signed last summer - isn't restructured. Second, he insults his current teammates and Philly fans by saying that his talents aren't appreciated by them. Third, he compares himself to Jesus as a fellow persecuted figure. Finally, today, he cries about his paltry $49 million contract, saying that he won't play for that figure because he "is doing this for (his) family," and if the Eagles won't pay him, he wants to be traded. For his family? How big of a family is that, TO? I know this may come as a shock to you, TO, but some of us actually make it by on less than the $7 million average salary that you rake in from your NFL job, much less the millions of dollars that you receive from Right Guard, Gatorade, and other product endorsements. TO, you're a moron, which makes your relationship with your agent, Drew Rosenhaus, a perfect match. But since you're struggling with making ends meet, blogger Chris Gretton has an idea for a product that is sure to make you tons of cash. After all, it looks like you're having a tough time of it...
- From the "Why Isn't Anyone Talking About This" file: New York Yankees First Baseman Jason Giambi admitted to using steroids in testimony to a federal grand jury. He says he's clean in spring training. Giambi then proceeds to look a shell of his formal self. His batting average is at .195 on May 9th. The Yankees are thinking of demoting Giambi to the minors or possibly looking to void his entire contract, which pays him over $13.5 million for this year alone. Giambi holds on to the majors and languishes in mediocrity for nearly two more months, hitting at a .251 pace with only 5 home runs. Suddenly, on July 4th, Giambi turns into Superman. Since that time, he has hit over .400 with 10 HRs. Am I missing something? A known steroid user is sucking like a bilge pump and suddenly is the best hitter in baseball - and no one makes one comment that this new-found ability might be attributed to Giambi's return to steroid use?!?! I can certainly understand Major League Baseball's reluctance to test Giambi - they need the Yankees in the postseason for ratings at a time in October when they are consistently struggling to pull numbers from college football and the NFL - and I can see ESPN, CNN/TBS, The Chicago Tribune/WGN, and Fox's stake in this as the contractual partners carrying MLB live on television, but surely someone else has noticed that Giambi doesn't even carry himself like the same human being from earlier in the season. Heck, the veins in his arms look as if some mad scientist replaced his normal veins with garden hoses. Of course, no one has been able to nail obvious steroid-user Barry Bonds, so why should I expect any less in the case of Mr. Giambi?
- The line-up: the Patriot Act, the World Series of Poker, the NHL, the Rocky Top Brigade, and the Air Force Academy football team playing The University of Tennessee Volunteers in 2006.
Will those of you whom we are glad to see return step forward?
Not so fast, NHL...
- On the bright side of life, I would like to give kudos to Mike Hamilton and The University of Tennessee Men's Athletics Department. I have been tough on AD Hamilton recently, because I feel that he was dishonest with former basketball coach Buzz Peterson, bungled the hiring of Bruce Pearl, is making a huge mistake in reducing Neyland Stadium's size by nearly 10,000 seats, and made a poor decision in turning down a night game on ESPN in favor of a 12:30 time slot in the heat of the day on regional television. However, I want to be fair in acknowledging a good move by Hamilton and his recent additions in the UT Ticketing Office. Not only did the staff at UT make every effort to let fans purchase individual game tickets several weeks earlier than in previous years, but technology improvements on the UT website allowed for purchasers to see which seats they were buying. Plus, much to my amazement, the tickets this VOL acquired were ordered on Monday and in my hands via U.S. Mail on Tuesday. I was very impressed, and the seats (6th row for the UAB game, 13th row for Ole Miss) are fantastic. (Also, thanks to the VOLConWife for the tickets. That present may take the sting out of my upcoming birthday and the forest fire on the cake.)