Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

And just like that, the sports world revved back up this weekend. What should have been a nice, quiet Summer weekend, was instead stained by a steroid suspension, an alleged subsequent cover-up, terrible quarterback play by the Arizona Cardinals’ $64 million man, and of course, the Jets offensive offense. Here we go:

Melky Cabrera- Not sure if everybody caught this story, but All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended 50-games over the weekend for using banned substances. Unfortunately, the public is numb to this sort of disgraceful behavior so there isn’t really much to discuss about the suspension itself. But in further news, it was revealed Mr. Cabrera hatched an elaborate cover-up to fool Major League Baseball in an effort to be cleared of any wrongdoing. Unfortunately for this cheater, the cover-up didn’t work so well.

You see, Cabrera allegedly created a fake website to show he had ordered a supplement that had been accidentally spiked with testosterone. As part of the collective bargaining agreement, players who test positive for banned substances and face suspension are allowed to prove they accidentally took a supplement that caused the failed test. While there has always been excuses for ingesting foreign substances in the past, Cabrera’s creation of a website hocking a fake product takes the cake. What a idiot…

Not only did Cabrera cheat the game, fellow players, and fans alike, but the fact that he contributed an MVP performance at the All-Star Game, a game that determines which league has home-field advantage in the World Series, means his actions have also tarnished the upcoming Fall Classic. I hope Major League Baseball comes down on Cabrera hard – not just for the failed drug test, but having the audacity to further deceive league officials once he had already been caught. Baseball is a beautiful, albeit slow, game. There is no room for this deceitful cheater.

Arizona Cardinals/Kevin Kolb- “Ultimately Kevin was the guy that we had the highest grade on, that we felt was the best fit for what we’re trying to get accomplished as far as a fit with our offense, where he was age-wise, what he had done in the league,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said.  That quote was from July 29, 2011 – the day the Cardinals completed the historically lopsided-trade for Kevin Kolb. While I realize hindsight is 20/20, how could the Cardinals have been so wrong? The part that is most shocking to me is the final part of the quotation, “…what he had done in the league.” Umm, Mr. Whisenhunt, what exactly had Kolb done in the league?

At the time of the trade, Kolb’s injury-plagued career stats were: 194 of 319, 60.8%, 2052 yards, 11 TD, 14 INT, 7 Fumbles. I don’t understand what it was about his past performance in the league that made the Cardinals so sure he wouldn’t continue to be an injury-prone, mediocre quarterback? Obviously they saw something the rest of the league didn’t… If they didn’t believe he was more than he had shown, then how else do you justify giving up a 2nd-Round Pick, a solid cornerback, and $64 million contract. Only the Cardinals…

After another on-field debacle this past weekend, it seems most Cardinal fans’ optimism in Kolb has finally flown the coup. While handing the reins of the franchise over to a former 5th Round pick from Fordam isn’t the most ideal situation, its seems the Cardinals’ miscalculation of Kolb’s mediocrity has left them with few options. As a Cardinals fan, let’s just hope the team does not compound one mistake with another. Just because Kolb is undeservingly getting paid like the starter, doesn’t mean he has to be it. For what its worth, my vote is to go with the low risk/low reward Skelton.

NY Jets- One of the great things about living in New York City is the media-firestorm that accompanies any local sports story. This past weekend, the New York Giants treated the New York Jets like the attention-seeking little sisters they are. The 26 – 3 victory by the Giants proved to fans everywhere who owned New York on the field, if not the headlines.

I know one should not look too much into a pre-season outcomes, but the media in New York is going bananas. Plain and simple, it doesn’t look like the Jets are going to be any good. In a league where offenses have become more and more explosive, the Jets’ looks like it is stuck in the mud. Even with the alleged-defensive mastermind Rex Ryan at the helm, asking one’s defense to consistently shut down opponents is a tall task to ask in this offensively-evolving NFL.

I’m not a fan of Mark Sanchez’s, but the Jets have done him no favors in recent years.  Since taking Mark Sanchez 5th overall in the 2009 draft, the Jets have done an abysmal job of surrounding him with playmakers. Since 2009, the organization has had three opportunities in the 1st Round  to draft additional offensive studs to help Sanchez, but instead choose to take  a cornerback and two defensive linemen. Good luck with that, Mark.

Speaking from years of experience being a Cardinals’ fan, you need playmakers to score points. Unfortunately for Jets’ fans, Tim Tebow isn’t what was needed. Instead of rattling the confidence of your alleged franchise QB, why didn’t the Jets spend their resources on actually giving Sanchez a chance to succeed? To Jets’ fans everywhere, enjoy the next 3 seasons of 5 to 7 wins.

That’s that.

Reality television is crippling baseball. What used to be summer’s great pastime – where young boys spent their evenings next to their fathers praying their favorite team could finish the ninth inning before bedtime – is slowly being replaced.

You see, sports were the original reality television. Long before networks decided to tape people living together, or create made-for-TV races around the world, or give some rich playboy 15 stunning women to choose from, sports were the original ‘did you see that’ television.

Previous generations grew up idolizing star-athletes whom they spent countless hours bonding with through their radios and televisions. Young boys everywhere took their allowances to the nearest memorabilia store to buy a pack of trading cards, hoping to pull their favorite player out of the unknown. But to the younger generation, it has all changed.

When television producers realized the ‘unknown outcome’ of sports is what drew the audience and their loyalties, they asked, “How do we emulate this ‘unknown’ to a non-sports audience?” Or, “How do we imitate this appeal to those who enjoy dancing, singing, traveling, cooking?” Answer: Competition. Competition is what America loves. The successes, the failures, the trials and tribulations – America loves it all. Instead of doing a show about how to dance, producers decided to have them compete. Instead of doing a show about how to cook, producers decided to have them compete. At that point, sports were no longer the only competition in town. They had company, and lots of it.

Baseball has seemed to take the majority of the beating when compared with the other two major sports. Football benefits from its’ limited number of games and the consistency of its’ programming. Basketball is benefiting from a new wave of budding superstars. Baseball is slow. Baseball is plentiful. Baseball is no longer the only show in town.

In the past, when a young boy watched baseball in the summers, much of the reason was because there was little else on television. Now, that same young boy is just as likely to tune into Duets or Dancing with the Stars as he is a Tuesday night baseball game. Just one generation later, the young boy who grew up rattling off the stats of the entire Yankees lineup, would likely have a greater chance of rattling off the past 5 winners of American Idol. It’s not matter of right or wrong, it’s simply different.

Baseball seems to be losing the younger generation of America. A generation that thrives on multi-tasking and constant chaos has trouble sitting on their hands for 3 1/2 hours straight for 162 games a year. Instead, baseball has attempted to do everything in its’ power to make stadiums more ‘fan-friendly’. Last season, I went to a minor-league baseball game and it was if I walked into a carnival, and a baseball game just happened to be playing in the middle of it. People, it is just a freaking t-shirt! It is not like they are throwing gold nuggets into the crowd. Please relax.

Should baseball continue down this path, the television audience will soon be gone. If younger generations only identify with baseball because of its’ ‘carnival-like atmosphere’, why would they ever watch a game from home? There is no carnival at home… just a slow, drawn-out game they didn’t even pay attention to when they were at the stadium.

Now a days, no one wants to make time for 162 games that each take 3 ½ hours to watch. In that same time span, one could watch at least three television shows – all while getting instant updates about the game on their Twitter feed. Technology has changed. Competition has changed. Consumption has changed. It’s about time baseball finally got caught up to speed. That’s that.