Friday, July 30, 2010

Lewand Gets A Costly Punishment

NFL commish Roger Goodell doesn't discriminate when he hands down his brand of justice. Detroit Lions team president Tom Lewand found that out. He was made an example of when he fined Lewand $100,000 and suspended him for 30 days. No team activities until game three. Do not pass go and do not collect $200 while your handing out punishments Big Raj.

Lewand was caught drinking and driving, but pleaded to a lesser charge. He alledgedly was the designated driver. A loaded designated driver, the kind of driver I want taking me home. He went through the legal system and was fined $1000.

Goodell and Lewand met on July 24 and this is the conclusion they came to. This should serve as a lesson to Lewand. Also this should be a message to other NFL executives who seem to think they can get over on the system.  The players aren't the only ones being policed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Angels Thrwarted In Move To Strengthen Team

The Los Angeles Angels failed to strengthen their team, when they attempted to trade for Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee. Lee has a no trade clause and nixed the deal saying he wanted to do what was best for him and his family and stay in Chicago. He also said that he would like to remain a Cub after this season and beyond.

Even though Lee has somewhat struggled this year, he would've been welcomed to an Angels team that needs another bat in the lineup. His Gold Glove defense would've also been a help. Current first baseman Kendry Morales is on the DL with a broken leg after celebrating a a walk off grand slam in May. This is a blow to the Angels in their pursuit of the first place Texas Rangers, but I'm sure they'll keep looking to make deals until the trade deadline on Saturday.

Lorenzen Wright Found Dead

Former Memphis Tiger and Atlana Hawks center Lorenzen Wright was found dead in Southeast Memphis. I never knew he was missing until i read the report that his body was found this afternoon.

Wright last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009. He starred for his hometown Memphis Tigers in college and also played for the Grizzlies. Wright was a former lotttery pick and played in the NBA for over a decade. 

The police report said it appeared Wright had been shot multiple times and that it did not appear to be suicide. Wright was 34 and left behind six children. 

'Reality Boys' Team Up In Cincy

After seemingly being blackballed by the NFL, Terrell Owens finally has a home. Owens is the newest member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Owens officially signed with the Bengals yesterday and now joins fellow reality star Chad Ochocinco. Ownes is a good pickup and him and Ochocinco, along with Antonio Bryant gives the Bengals a potentially explosive group of receivers. Of course if this pairing was done about 5 years ago it would be absolutely lethal. Owens clearly isn't what he once was. Although, even at 37, he has kept himself in great physical condition and still can get the job done. He gives quarterback Carson Palmer another target to throw to, if he can hang onto the ball. Owens has been plagued by drops the past few years and he also has his past to deal with. He does have a lot of baggage, but I also believe he really wanted to win. It just always came to his teammates' expense. Maybe he's turning over a new leaf. He was awfully quiet in Buffalo last year. Not just statwise either. I wasn't in the locker room, but there weren't any public outbursts or throwing his quarterback under the bus. Even though the Bengals are starting to resemble the Raiders of old, with the cast of characters they've assembled, this could actually be a good landing spot for Owens.    

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jack Tatum, R.I.P

The man who I consider the godfather of hard hitting safeties, Jack Tatum, passed away from a massive heart attack. He was 61. Tatum previously battled diabetes and other health problems for years.

To me, Tatum brought in the era of the jaw rattling safety. He was a feared man on the field. Ronnie Lott, Kenny Easley and others were players in the same mold. Hard hitting, fearless, and dared you to come across the middle. Being from Michigan it would be wrong to pay a Buckeye this much respect, but Tatum was the man. He was more known for paralyzing a defenseless Darryl Stingley in 1978. Even though he never formally apologized, there was some remorse for the vicious hit that confined Stingley to an electric wheelchair the rest of his life.

Tatum was best known for his days as a Raider, but played his last year for the Houston Oilers. He may not have been the best to play the game, but to me, the godfather of safeties that made receivers think twice about going across the middle.

They're Done

I hate to keep harping on one thing and beating a dead horse, but after being no hit by Tampa Bay's Matt Garza, I came to the conclusion that the Detroit Tigers are done. Donelike the Thanksgiving turkey when the little red thing pops up. The Tigers showed no signs of life and looked overmatched most of the night. I guess that's what happens when you have to replace proven major leaguers with 4a player types. Some will fault Jim Leyland, but he's only playing the hand he's been dealt. It's been a combination of bad luck, untimely injuries, and Dave Dombrowski not building enough quality depth in the minor league system. It's all happening at the worse time of the year, where th Tigers face their most brutal stretch of game. All on the road no less, where they've struggled all season.

I hate to give up on the season, but it's pretty hard to watch a team that seems close, but they're really far away. I still say don't make any desperation moves since they really don't have any chips to bring to the table. Unless they get a sweetheart of a deal. It would be a disservice to the fans to publicly admit giving up on the season. Deep down I think they all know it's pretty much over and the day will come where they'll be playing for next season and beyond. I'll still watch ad support them any way I can, but I think i have the same sentiment as many Tigers fans. It's over. Wait til next year. Then again, I could be wrong. Stranger things have happened. 

Yes, Garza still has that thing on his chin.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tigers Need Help After Guillen And Ordonez Injuries

With Carlos Guillen on the 15 day disabled list and Magglio Ordonez out for the time that you get a rebate check (6-8 weeks), the Detroit Tigers might be desperate to pull the trigger on a trade that could bring another heavy bat to their lineup. This is a big blow to their hopes of catching the White Sox and without them they could fall out of the race altogether.

I would like to see them make a trade, but I just don't think they have enough ammunition to get a trade done without depleting a pretty thin farm system. They were rumored in talks for pitching, notably Arizona's Dan Haren, but he was dealt to the Angels. I heard they might be in play for Kansas City's Jose Guillen. Another rumor that has been put out there is that they are interested in Washington's Adam Dunn. I'm sure Tigers fans would love to see that, I just don't think they have the goods to get the deal done. I also heard they had scouts looking at the Phillies' Jayson Werth. With the Phillies semi struggling on offense, that might not happen.  If the Nationals reportedly asked the White Sox for Gordon Beckham, they'll want Fort Knox from the Tigers. If they can't get any deals done without giving up anything significant, I'm afraid they'll need to pull the retooling trigger a bit faster than the people of Detroit would like.

USC's Short Term Success Yields Long Term Problems

If everyone in the Pac-10 plays thier cards right, they can bury USC, starting this season. With the Trojan brass booting out former Athletic Director Mike Garrett and giving back Reggie Bush's Heisman, it seems like they're trying to get back into the good graces of the NCAA. They also picked former Trojan QB and Rhodes Scholar Pat Haden to run the athletic department. All because everyone looked the other way and Garrett was so smug and arrogant that hedidn't want to see the wrong doing going on with the football and basketball programs.

The if you don't know, you don't need to know atmosphere in Trojanland, fostered by Garrett and former coach Pete Carroll and others allowed to go on at USC was and is unacceptable. Of course the only ones punished for this are the current and future players at USC.

This is why I say it's time for teams in the Pac-10 to step their game up and bury USC. This is theperfect time for Rick Neuheisel to get UCLA back on track. This is a prime moment for Oregon to cement their staus as kings of the Pac-10 (if they can keep out of trouble). California and Washington can possibly take a step up in class by landing some great talent that is sure to spurn USC to go elsewhere. The Trojans are amn lucky Texas, Oklahoma, and others didn't take the invite to go to the Pac-10. I'm sure they'll get back on their feet, but it might take a while before that happens.       

Kiffin keeps pissing off Tennessee

USC head coach has once again pissed off someone in Tennessee. This time for stealing away Tennesse Titans running backs coach Kennedy Pola. From USC alum and Titans head coach Jeff Fisher. It's not the point that Pola left for a lateral job move. It's the fact that Kiffin hired him away without asking Fisher for permission to talk to him about the job. Now the Titans are staring at going into camp without a running backs coach. The reason why the Trojans need one is because former coach Todd McNair was the fall guy in the cheating scandal.

Pola, who also is an USC alum,and played and coached for the Trojans, is also the uncle of former Trojan and current Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu. I have no problem with Pola going somewhere that he feels he advance his coaching career. But the way this went down, I don't know if he will get another shot on an NFL coaching staff. Not after leaving one of the longest tenured coaches in the league today. Jeff Fisher is none too pleased with how this all went down.

"I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin's approach to this,'' Fisher said on Saturday. "Typically speaking, when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

"So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism."

Word is, that Pola wasn't Kiffin's first choice. Eric Bienemy, the running backs coach for the Vikings got a promotion and pay raise to keep this scenario from happening to them. If Kiffin had any friends left in Tennessee, he doesn't have any now.

Kiffin is now trying to explain another mess he's created.

"We reached out to Kennedy Pola [on Friday] to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process," Kiffin said.

"Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today. Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation. I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events," Kiffin said.
I think Kiffin needs to keep his mouth shut and coach since it seems like he can't do anything on the up and up.

One Of The Best Dunks Of All Time

This is one of the most illest, underrated,not talked about dunks of all time.

Nice music.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ndamakong Suh- TV Star

I never knew commercias of the big man existed until now.

As a Lions fan, let's hope this translates to the field.

Wake Up The Echoes

Word on the street is that the Notre Dame-Miami rivalry will be restarting in 2012.

 The Hurricanes and Fighting Irish will play Oct. 6, 2012, at Soldier Field in Chicago, then play a home-and-home starting in 2016 at South Bend, Ind. They play in Miami the next season. Even though the series dates back to the 1950s, this rivalry really got going in the 80s with Miami's emergence as a player on the national scene.Notre Dame leads the series 15-7-1.

In 1985 the Canes whipped the Fighting Irish 58-7 in coach Gerry Fast's last game. I personally enjoyed it as Miami blatantly ran up the score with no regard. On the flip, if you can't stop the backups, don't complain. That's why I couldn't be a broadcaster. I'm a bit biased. Going into the 1988 game Notre Dame supporters coined the contest 'Catholics vs. Convicts'. Notre Dame won the game and that was also the last time the Fighting Irish won the national title. During the 80s and early 90s this was a game that was a deciding factor in the national championship race. Notre Dame won the last game in the series in 1990, 29-20.                                                                                                                                                                             

I'm anxious to see this series get started again. I hope both teams are nationally relevant by the time this game rolls around. I would love to see the pregame trash talk and pushing and shoving that teams aren't allowed to do these days. Wake up the echoes.

Huggs Is Ok After Bad Fall

West Virginia basketball coach is expected to be released from a Las Vegas hospital today after breaking four ribs in a bad fall. Reports don't get into specifics, except that he was in Vegas for a recruiting trip. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said the fall was not related to any previous heart problems. Huggins is expected back in Morgantown later today.

I do hope he makes a quick and healthy recovery,as he is one of my favorite coaches. I've always liked the teams he's coached and the style they played. I also hope this wasn't related to alcohol use, since he's had a problem with that before. It also got him unceremoniously dumped from the University of Cincinnati.

Bulls' capspace doesn't land big prizes

Basketball fans you've seen this happen before. A team trades players (salary dump) and gets rid of draft picks to clear salary cap space to land a few big prizes in a bumper crop of free agents. Then no one takes your money and you have to settle for a second tier player on the market. The team that I speak of is the Chicago Bulls. Remember when Michael Jordan retired and Pippen and Rodman parted ways and GM Jerry Krause said "organizations win championships,not players" or something to that effect. They proceeded to clear out scores of cap room and no one came to Chicago. Its almost the same scenario except the cupboard isn't bare and they do have young pieces in place with Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah, and James Johnson. They signed Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, and Kurt Thomas. Probably not what they wanted out of free agency, but they were solid pickups. In the process they lost Brad Miller to the Houston Rockets.

I do consider the Bulls to be losers in free agency, but they're a young, up and coming team, so shed no tears for them. To me it looks like Derrick Rose wants to be the man in Chicago and i think he's up to the task. Noah is maturing and becoming a solid player. If Deng can stay healthy and all the pieces click, they will be a contender in the Eastern Conference for years to come.

Second Half Predictions

The second half of the baseball season has started and I have a few predictions in store for the rest of the season. Of course, I coud be wrong.

AL East-I see the Yankees taking the division, but they won't run away with it. Tampa Bay and Boston will ahve a lot to say about that. I figure either the Rays or Red Sox should win the wild card. As of now New York holds a 4 game lead on Tampa and 7 up on Boston. I do expect all three to make significant trades as the deadline nears. The Yankees are in the mix on everyone, Boston has been quiet on the rumor front, and the Rays have been rumored as a possible destination for Kansas City's Zack Greinke. If Greinke lands in Tampa, that could possibly change the tide in chase for the AL East title.

AL Central-No one seems to want to take control of this division. Although it looks like the White Sox are showing no signs of slowing down. They've been involved in trade talks, notably for Milwaukee's Prince Fielder. If that happens, pencil them in for the playoffs. I do think they need more pitching,especially to be considered a serious threat to get to the World Series. I expect the Twins to get healthy and right the ship and make their annual late season surge. I like the Tigers, but I think they should play more for the future of the franchise than make any deadline deals. They should hang around, but flame out towards the end. You can't lose four straight to the Indians and expect to win your division. Also, the Twins and White Sox have their number, even though no one in the Tiger clubhouse will admit to it.

AL West- The Texas Rangers have forged ahead to a seven game lead over the Los Angeles Angels, with a chance to push it to nine by the end of the weekend. Texas got one of the biggest trade deadline prizes, being the surprise winner in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. The offense can mash with the best of them and now they have a little piching to go with it. The Angels need to pick it up if they want to catch the Rangers. I still think they need another big bat in their lineup to make that happen. Right now I see the Rangers running away and hiding with the division crown.

NL Central- I think the St. Louis Cardinals will overtake the Cincinnati Reds when it's all said and done. The Reds have shown more staying power than I thought they would. Scott Rolen, who has been a big piece of the Big Red resurgence is hurt and I can't say for how long. That could be crucial. I do hear pitcher Edinson Volquez is due back soon and that could balance out the loss of Rolen. St. Louis has staved off these kind of challenges before and I don't expect that to change. Their involved in the Roy Oswalt trade talks and Roy wants to be in St. Louis. Do the Cards have what it takes to pry him out of Houston? Who knows. If that trade is made, they would be the favorites to represent the National League in the World Series.

NL East- It's a bit surprising the Atlanta Braves are in first and six up on the Mets and Phillies. I mentioned in another post the Phillies hve shown themselves to be a strong second half team in the past. They could get Pedro Martinez back and could also make a big trade to vault them back into first. I haven't been sold on the Mets since they blew that seven game September lead a few years back to the Phillies. They're starting to fade, even with the return of Carlos Beltran. The Braves are the surprise leader in the clubhouse and I don't see them going anywhere. They have a balanced lineup and their trademark pitching with the savvy Bobby Cox leading the way. I expect this one to go down to the wire between the Braves and Phillies.

NL West-Once again, this is the wild west. Four teams have a legitimate shot at winning the West. The San Diego Padres don't have much offense, but they do have strong pitching and they do have the best offensive force in the division in first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Don't expect them to make any moves at the deadline though. I haven't seen many of the games the teams in the NL West play in since its too damn late to watch them. I do know this much, the Giants,Dodgers,and Rockies will make this pennant chase exciting to watch. With six games separating the furthest competitor (Dodgers), this will be another that goes down to the wire.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jimmy Johnson on Survivor?! I think he's just bored

Former Super Bowl and National Championship winning football coach Jimmy Johnson will be going on the Survivor reality show. Personally, I think he's bored. Think about it. Jimmy has always been hyper competitive. He likes to win at everything. If he doesn't, he sure acts like it. He needs another challenge, but doesn't want to coach football to meet that challenge, so he found a new one. I might watch it just to see how Jimmy handles himself. If he does win, I wonder is he going to keep the money. I don't think that would go over too well with a person less fortunate finishing behind Jimmy and not getting the money. I'll be tuned in to see how he does. 

The Buddyball Era

Once LeBron James joined Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami, two of his closer friends in the NBA, I said it was the start of buddyball. Now it seems like New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul wants in on the action. Not necessarily going to play in Miami, but calling for a trade where there is an established superstar. He wants a trade unless the Hornets can convince him that they're willing to become a contender. As of now I don't see that happening in New Orleans at this moment due to the slow pace of an ownership change.

I can understand wanting to win, but don't try to pout your way out of town. Making a trade demand makes you look like a spoiled child. By trying to go to a team that has a big time player is only saying I want to play with my boys. Especially in the light of the Miami 3 get together. Players must remember this is basketball not the get along gang. Saying he wants to go to New York, Orlando, Dallas, and Portland. All teams that are playoff contenders, with the exception of the Knicks. But the Knicks do have Amare Stoudemire,supposedly one of Paul's "boys". I'm no insider, but Stoudemire said he could deliver Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks if he signed there and Paul said that he, Anthony and Stoudemire would form a "big three" in New York  at Anthony's wedding. Here's the thing Chris, management holds the cards. They're not going to trade you for a bag of basketballs and the towel boy. If the Hornets do trade you, they have to get fair value. It's a business. I know the Hornets have never been the ideal franchise, they still have to trot out a good product to keep the fans interest and make money.

Personally, I get tired of athletes making these kind of demands. Paul should've thought about this when he signed his contract extension in 2008. I understand the Hornets appeared on the cusp after taking the defending champion San Antonio Spurs to seven games. But he should've tried to look at the bigger picture. Hey, money talks doesn't it? That was as good as it was going to get with the way the team was constructed. But he signed on for more and now he wants out. Unless some team gives up a king's ransom for Paul, he ain't going nowhere. Unless some GM pulls out a handgun and pantyhose and completely robs the Hornets. Right now the best option is to just try and get his team back to the playoffs.

Fans,buddyball is here, whether you like it or not.   

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tigers just don't have enough

The Detroit Tigers have put themselves in a position to contend for the AL Central division title. Not a big deal if your a Yankees or Red Sox fan. It's a big deal to be playing competitive baseball in August and September considering where they were at the beginning of the decade. As a Tigers fan, personally I'd like to just get to the playoffs. Deep down I'd like a whole lot more, just like a lot of others up here in Southeastern Michigan. I would like this team to be a force like they were in the 80s. I grew up watching them contend in the tough AL East and win a World Series. I want them to be able to be like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cardinals where year after year they are in the conversation about the World Series.

This year in particular will be tough for Tigers fans. It seems a lot of them have aa clouded view of this team. You hear it everyday on sports talk radio. All we need is another bat or another top end starter for the rotation. The Tigers won't get them because they don't have enough. There are more flaws on this team than fans will admit to. They don't have any bonafide starters for their pitching rotation. Not enough depth in the positional player category. Or enough depth in the minors to go get a difference maker in a trade. They're tied in to some bad contracts. They have dead money on the payroll.

There's a debate whether they should be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. I say stand pat. Wait for some of that dead money to come off the books in  the offseason. If you can get rid of Magglio Ordonez or Carlos Guillen for some good young talent, do it. I know that's a stretch, but with the recent events in Tigerland it's something to think about. Brandon Inge in gone for 4-6 weeks. Don't panic. I know there's not much behind him, due to a lack of dept in the minors, but don't trade for someone that may not help you anyway. Remember Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff last year. I'm not saying to give up on the season, just play solid baseball, see what you have for the future and put that new money to good use in the offseason. Fans, face it,this team is fools gold and it's about time some of you realized it.    

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ex-Michigan Hoopsters Report

To whom it may interest, I'm just keeping Michigan basketball fans in the know aboutsome of the recent ex Wolverines trying to make it in the NBA or elsewhere.

DeShawn Sims-Has a spot with the Boston Celtics summer league team. Don't know how well he's doing. Could be NBDL bound and a possible late season call up. Tryingto make it to training camp right now.

Courtney Sims-I hear he might actually earn a spot with the Lakers. He's averaging around 12 and 6 in summer league play. Averaged 18 and 9(I could be wrong) in the NBDL last year. He's spent time with the Pacers and Knicks the past few years. I hope he's toughned up from his Michigan days.

Chris Hunter- I know he played in the NBDL and also earned a call up from the Golden State Warriors. He could possibly earn a spot on the opening night roster.

Manny Harris-He probably faces the steepest climb of them all. He has the ability but probably should've stayed his senior season in college. Currently on the Cleveland Cavaliers summer league roster. He's played only five minutes though, due to a "severe" ankle sprain. Last game he was in street clothes. Not a good sign. Probably suited for overseas duty or the NBDL.  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Brad Thomas Sucks!

I hate to bash a player, because to be a professional athlete you have to be pretty damn good at your craft. I hate to say it though, but as a Detroit Tigers fan I have to say this. Brad Thomas sucks. I think any Tigers fan would say the same. How he still has a spot on this roster, I don't know. He quickly pitches the team out of close games. He's worse than former Tiger Jason Grilli. The Tigers must really be desperate for middle relief since he's still on the team. Get rid of him and bring someone up, anyone, from the minors to take his place. He simply cannot get the job done. 

No Jolly Times In Green Bay

Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly was suspended by the NFL for a year and possibly more for violating the league's substance abuse program. He's eligible to apply for reinstatement after the Super Bowl. He also could be facing up to 20 years in the slam if he's convicted of his July 2008 arrest for possession of at least 200 grams of codeine outside a Houston nightclub. That's right,codeine.

I'm no drug major, but I know about some of what goes on in the drug culture. I did not know codeine could be measured in grams. For some reason codeine or the codeine based cough syrup seems to be the new drug of choice among some NFL players. It seems like most of the players hail from the south. think about it. Late Chargers safety Terrence Kiel hailed from Texas. JaMarcus Russell, from Alabama and played college ball at LSU. Johnny Jolly, from the home of the "lean" Houston, Texas. Both Kiel and Jolly played collegiately at Texas A&M.

I'm no counselor or anyone of that ilk,but you would think that some of he high profile deaths due to the "drank" and "lean" in the hip-hop community would put a bug in their ear that codeine is a potential danger. Just as much as any other drug out there. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to live their life, but for pro athletes, kids look up to you guys. Stay away from the drugs.    

Russell Starts The Long Road Back (Maybe)

A report was put out earlier this month that the New York Jets had thoughts about signing former first round bust and Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Hopefully Jets brass came to their senses and put an end to that rumor. I haven't heard too much about it so that one probably went up in smoke. There has been a report that Russell could begin his long road back to respectability and the NFL with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL (United Football League). I guess UFL officials have denied the report, and he wasn't listed on theNighthawks' roster or any other team roster for that matter. I guess everyone deserves a second chance, fresh start, or whatever. Problem is, he still has that little "sizzurp" case hanging over his head. There's also a rumor that anyone who signs him might have him switch positions. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Story That Won't Die

I'm sure you've heard what everyone else has. You know, Jesse Jackson's statement about Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. In a nutshell, he said Gilbert's reaction to LeBron James' departure from the Cavaliers reflected a slavemaster mentality. Sorry Jesse, I don't think it's that deep. While I don't agree with the way Gilbert reacted, I also don't think of major league sports owners as "slavemasters". Hell, James must be the most encumbered slave in the history of the United States. If making around $20 million is being enslaved, then put the shackles on me and sign me up. This adds another level of absurdity to this whole saga.

First, I don't agree with the way James put his free agent status on display. It was ridculous. Lots of people watched,but it was ridiculous. I don't agree with the way he left the Cavs in a lurch. If he knew he was going to leave, he could've told them sooner so they could proceed with a plan B. Now you know why Gilbert is so angry.

Which brings me to Gilbert. I hate to say it, but he acted like a bitch. I can understand he has to galvanize the fan base in Cleveland to sell tickets and make money. But with the fans already burning James' jersey, he did nothing but add fuel to the fire and possibly put James' life in danger anytime he sets foot in the State of Ohio. I do agree with Jackson in that regard. Gilbert knows he's lost about half the value of his team and they're about to return to the Cadavalier days and he knows it. He also knows he won't win a championship before James in Miami,but he has to be a showman to get someone to buy tickets there.

Now this is something Jesse Jackson shouldn't be involved in. It was front page and I guess he had to get involved and get in the spotlight in some kind of way. Comparing this to slavery is an insult to thosewho went through it and the descendants of those who went through involuntary servitude. Last time I checked playing in the NBA was the farthest thing from slavery, involuntary servitude, etc. Please,stay out of this one Jesse. Isn't there some hostages that need to be freed somewhere?

This story just doesn't want to die. All parties besides James, need to let go and move on.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Let him go

In the wake of USC releasing Seantrel Henderson from his national letter of intent, there's a similiar story brewing in Chicago. The University of DePaul won't grant a release to Walter Pitchford from his letter of  intent. Pitchford was recruited by coach Jerry Wainwright and committed to Depaul. Problem is, during last season Wainwright was given the ax. Pitchford a 6-10 center decided he wanted out and try his luck elsewhere. No problem right? Wrong. Depaul has behaved like the bully on the block and won't release him. This is ridiculous. I'm not trying to bash the young man, but he was a two star recruit from the info I read on But he was good enough to be recruited by several Division I schools. So why are the Blue Demons intent on keeping the young man? The athletic director (Jean Lenti Ponsetto) said they wanted to find a player to replace him at the same time. This is the biggest bunch of bull I've heard. Let the young man go. He clearly doesn't want to be there. Why keep him? Maybe he didn't connect with the current coach Oliver Purnell. Maybe he was made promises by the former regime that won't be kept under the current one. You always hear that you choose the school, not the coach. The main reason a player chooses a school is because of the coach. Once the coach leaves or gets fired, the player really has no interest in staying with the program.

You see that USC released Henderson, a mega recruit, so he could head to Miami. That was in the wake of USC going on probation. They could've easily told him no. Recently Kansas State granted Dominique Sutton a transfer to a school closer to home and his two children. Sutton was a key player in K-State's run to the Elite Eight. So there should be no reason DePaul wouldn't grant Pitchford a release. If they don't release him, it could hurt with other recruits, as Purnell tries to turn this once proud program around. DePaul needs to think twice about holding this young man hostage in a place he doesn't want to be.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lee Makes Rangers Legit

The Texas Rangers ended up being the surprise winner in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. Even though the newly acquired Lee lost his first start for his new team,he transforms the Rangers into a legitimate contender for the American League pennant. It definitely gives them a  leg up on the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. Lee has been a mercenary of sorts the past two years.Last year being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies,then to Seattle and now division rival Texas. The only hurdle that remains is can the Rangers sign him to a long term deal after the season is over. 

Champagne Dreams Gone In The Wind

For the Cleveland Cavaliers organization and their fans their championship dreams are LeGone. Gone down to Miami, with the dozens of fans and thousands of others that have jumped on the bandwagon in South Beach. Right now is a desperate time for Cleveland and their fans. A group of people that have had the dagger in their heart over and over. The champagne dreams they had had with LeBron are now replaced with thirst and the taste of Steel Reserve.

From way back in 1954, when Willie Mays robbed Vic Wertz in the World Series, sports in Cleveland hasn't been the same. Sure they still can hold on to the black and white footage of Jim Brown running over the Colts back in 1964, but that's about all they have to hold on to. Let's see, there was 1981 when Mike Davis picked off Brian Sipe on that cold day in Municipal Stadium. How about The Drive and The Fumble in consecutive years, the latter which the fans of Cleveland ran Earnest Byner out of town. Never mind he was the reason the Browns were in the position they were because of him. There also was another AFC title game loss to the Broncos. There was The Shot, which brought Craig Ehlo into kids' bedrooms across America (posterized). Brad Daughtery's bad back, Danny Ferry being a bust. Art Modell moving the Browns franchise out of Cleveland. The city to reap the benefits of a Super Bowl winner, Baltimore. There was 1994, when the Indians finally righted the ship only to have a  the rug pulled out from a possible World Series winning team due to a strike/lockout. There was World Series loss to Atlanta. The memory of Joe Table (Jose Mesa) not being able to close the deal against the Marlins in 97. Or was it 98? The playoff loss to the Steelers in which the Browns wasted a sizable lead. The ALCS where the Indians blew a 3-1 lead against the Red Sox.

Cleveland's luck looked to change for the better when the Cavs drafted LeBron James. He led them to the brink of the playoffs, then went on to crash the big stage,dethroning the Detroit Pistons as kings of the East. He never made it back to the Finals,as the last two years proved to be disappointing, bowing out to the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics in six games both years. Which leads us to this. Owner Dan Gilbert says that the "curse" will go down south with James. Sorry Dan, this ain't the Bobby Layne Lions curse here. The champagne will be replaced with Steel Reserve and Cleveland fans will remain thirsty for another 50 plus years, because as I see it right now there is no hope with the Browns, Indians, or Cavaliers. Hey Clevelanders, at least you have the Buckeyes and old Jim Brown footage. How about this, you guys can come up here and pull for our perennial losers, the Detroit Lions. 

LeBron Will Never Be Viewed As The King

With LeBron James officially a member of the Miami Heat, its safe to say that many will say that no matter how many titles he wins there, he will never be known as the King. James is without a doubt one of the top players in the NBA today and perhaps will go down as one of the greatest of all time. But with him signing with Miami just says that he wasn't able to close the deal in Cleveland. I will agree with many that a championship in Cleveland would've meant a whole lot more to his legacy than teaming up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to win one and possibly more. I'm not here to bash James for his decision. In the spirit of competition,the man wants to win.I can't blame him for that. Same goes for Wade and Bosh. Both of them will be look at the same. Players that couldn't win without another superstar. Wade does have a ring and it was his team, but he still had Shaq with two good knees and something to prove. It also helps to have the officials in your back pocket and another star (Dirk Nowitzki) shrinkig up in the spotlight.  All three are grea players, but the spotlight wll be squarely on James. This is Wade's team and his town. I've always said that James lacked a killer instinct, and him going to Miami confirmed my suspicion. True, he's a great player, but in the past and this year's playoffs included, he has shrunk in big moments. It kind of reminds me of Ric Flair hiding behind the Four Horsemen. There's a tier of great players like Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. Its true they had stellar help around them, but the team was built around them. Like the Cavaliers were built around James. Instead he will go down with the likes of James Worthy, Billy Cunningham, Robert Parish, and countless good players who were a cog in the machine.  

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gilbert Is Being Foolish

With the LeBron James "decision" brings the question, where is the loyalty in sports? Quick answer. Never has,never will be. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert found this out the hard way. Now he's acting like an angry ex wife whose husband has decided that he wants to move on because he knows things aren't going to work out.

Thing is,Gilbert tried a dirtbag move when he tried to pry Tom Izzo out of Mchigan State. Nevermind the fact that Michigan is the place where Izzo was born and raised and he bleeds green and white. He fired a coach and general manager that got the Cavaliers to their only Finals appearance in franchise history. There's no loyalty there. So,of course when James skips town, he questions his loyalty to the franchise, city of Cleveland, and the state of Ohio. Furthermore, selling James' Fathead for $17.41. The year 1741 is Benedict Arnold's birth year.

I can understand his frustration. He just doesn't have to act like a child that didn't get his way. Cavalier fans were already running around burning James jerseys and the way it was going it could've been a near riot.Then Gilbert writes his open letter to te fans to further stir up the hornets nest. I do see where he's coming from. Circling the wagons, rallying the fans, to keep some interest in his team. Especially since its value is losing millions as we speak. With the open letter, he might have saved a little value. But we all know that the Cavs are gonna be worth a 77 Pinto and a bag of hockey pucks when its all said and done. He could've done this differently. I don't disagree with what he did, just how he did it. He did this clumsily and it could cost him with high profile players in the future.

Gilbert is a businessman, a pretty good one from what I understand. I'm sure he's had to let some people go in this current economic climate. He should know this is a cutthroat world and sports isn't any different. He should go ask Mike Brown and Danny Ferry about that.       

The King's Final Decision

The LeBron-a-thon is finally over. After weeks of specualation and self promoting, LeBron James decided that Miami was the place he wanted to be. Its now time to usher in the era of "buddyball" as James will join Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade wth the Miami Heat.

I don't blame LeBron for leaving Cleveland. He was a free agent. Something every professional athlete works for, namely to better teir situation,financial or otherwise. Basketball wise I would've chosen Chicago,but word on the street is that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf wouldn't give James' "team" the run of Chicago. You know James' team, His buddies from high school,hangers on that get perks like LeBron and get their bills paid for being yes men for him. Anyways, the way the Cavs were constructed they would've contended,but it just seems that whoever they put around him just doesn't seem to work out there. I personally don't think tey would've won a title. But if James stays and they win,its his title. He wouldn't look like the carpetbagger he is today. He truly would've been King James. Now it looks like he's trying to piggyback his way towards a title. I don't blame him though. He wants to be a champion and he figures going to play in Miami is the best way to get one or more. He left millions on the table to go chase a ring. Cavs fans, what is the crime in that? None last time I checked. I had a previous post about forgoing money for titles. There's nothing wrong with that. I just don't agree with the way he did it. We didn't need a faux 60 Minutes special for him to make his "decision" and dragging this out.

Everyone will say the Heat is trying to buy a title. Doing it the "Yankee Way". Once again there's nothing wrong with an owner willing to come up with money to spend to get a winner in the city their in. The only problem I see is their current depth. Who do they get to surround Bosh,James, and Wade? At least the Celtics had a few young pieces in place when their big three won their championship. I guess they have a deal with Mike Miller, but also traded former number two pick,Michael Beasley to Minnesota. Also don't be surprised if Pat Riley finds his way back to the bench, backstabbing Erik Spoelstra, just like he did Stan Van Gundy. Don't hand the championship to them just yet, as they still have to contend with Orlando, the "Green Monster" in Boston, and of course, Kobe and the Lakers. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The pierogi lives on

The pieorgi racer (think Milwaukee Brewers sausage races) from the Pittsburgh Pirates games has been rehired because the Pirates organization failed to use "internal corporate procedure".I get a kick out of this because in addition to losing baseball games,they can't even fire a pierogi racer properly. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

D.A. does not stand for District Attorney

Am I the only one that can't stand when a pro athlete hits D.A. status. In this case and many others D.A. stands for dumb ass. The latest to reach this status is colossal first round bust and former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Russell was arrested at his home in Alabama for possessing codeine based cough syrup. For those not in he know, this is the stuff used to make purple drank, which is pretty big in the rap community. Its also commonly known as syrup. A few years back former San Diego Chargers saety Terrence Kiel was caught with a caseload of this stuff. I could be wrong. Anyway, with the millions he stole from the Raiders and old man Davis, he shouldn't be getting caught with the stuff to sell or use, especially if you plan on trying to make it back to the NFL. 

This could be the best name in college basketball

The best name in college basetball next season could belong to St. John's recruit God's Gift Achiuwa. The 6-9 Nigerian was raised by devout Catholics. He's currently at Erie Community College. Even if he doesn't play I'm sure his name will get plenty of attention.

Probert passes at age 45

Former NHL and Detroit Red Wing tough guy, Bob Probert passed away today in Ontario at age 45.  Probert played 16 seasons in the NHL for the Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.

Probert collapsed on a boat in Lake St. Clair and crews performed CPR before he was transported to Windsor Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Probert was a key member in the rise of the Red Wings in the mid 80s, until he ran into off ice troubles,mostly fighting a drug and alcohol problems. Locally the fans in Detroit always had a soft spot for him despite his troubles and playing for the hated Blackhawks. Probert also was known as one of the toughest men to play the game during that time. Everyone that knew him, says he was a great guy and the fans in Detroit could identify with him. Its sad to hear of his passing.

Say it ain't so Joe

According to a report in the Bergen (N.J.) Record, Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars recently interviewed for the soon to be vacant GM job for the New Jersey Nets. Dumars denied the report,but considering that the team is up for sale,that could lead to some uncertainty about his job. Oklahoma City's GM Sam Presti and New Orleans' Jeff Bower have also been mentioned to be interviewed.

Dumars has done a good job since being handed the reins to the team in 2000. A lot of people know that his draft history hasn't been that good (Mateen Cleaves,Rodney White,Darko Milicic),but he did build this team into a contender and deserves a chance to do it again. I would hope that new ownership will keep him around andt that Dumars has no ideas about leaving.   

Some chase championships,some chase money

This is dedicated to the NBA free agency period. I know when it comes to your job, whether we think of it as a job or not,it is, you have to make the best decision for yourself. A lot of times that decision usually is based on how much you get paid. I remember once at a meeting we had,the question of why do we work here was asked. My answer was I just want to get paid. Which brings me to the NBA player. I know you have to get the best deal out there for you. You have a lifestyle to maintain. You have family and friends counting on you. Which means when its time for free agency you have to get that extra million or five to take  care of yourself and others. It just seems that there is no competitive spirit anymore among some players.Once again, I understand,get your money. But sometimes you do wantto be known as a winner. I know players such as Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James will make their decision on where they can win at.And win now.Prior to free agency,word on the street is that Bosh said that "he's never been out of the first round. It's evident that he wants to win. Wade has a ring,but wants more to solidify himself as one of the true legends. James wants so desperately to win,but doesn't know if he can do it in Cleveland. Some of the other players in this class are about the money,which I don't blame them for doing. But in the back of your mind you also want to be known as a winner. I'm sure Bosh will hitch his wagon to the Wade or LeBron express.Players such as A'mare' Stoudemire are clearly chasing money. Why else would he ponder signing with the Knicks. He gets his max deal and plays for a crappy team.He'll get his numbers,but will be out of the playoffs by February.Of course I could be wrong. But the Knicks are nowhere near championship caliber or even in the playoff neighborhood. Like I said get your money,but I know some of you NBAers could sacrifice a few mill to try and get a ring/rings.Look at Shaq,he knows he's about done,so he's running around chasing championships.LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh are the same.They want to be champions. Players such as Stoudemire and Atlanta's Joe Johnson,not so much. Or else both would still be in Phoenix with a true contender.  

Boller bags a beauty

Kyle Boller hasn't really done anything significant in his NFL career until now. That is because he reportedly is engaged to beauty queen Carrie Prejean. I normally don't follow the celebrity style aspect of atheletes,because I really don't care who they're married to or having sex with. I know,that sounded kind of like a disclaimer. But only because Boller, who was a former first round pick of the Baltimore Ravens really hadn't done anything noteworthy in the NFL,until getting engaged  and married to Prejean,who was stripped of her Miss California title. I hope everything works out from a relationship standpoint,much more than his not so stellar NFL career.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Simms loves his chronic

You would think pro athletes would think that when they smoke marijuana,they're bound to get caught.The most recent athlete to be made an example of is Tennessee Titans backup quarterback Chris Simms. Simms was stopped early Thursday at a Manhattan police checkpoint with his wife Danielle in tow.

Reports say that Simms' eyes were bloodshot,smelled like marijuana and slurred his words.Like police won't pick up that familiar scent.Police said Simms admitted to smoking marijuana before he was stopped.But Simms says he was talking about cigarettes.A likely story.If convicted Simms faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.The money he can afford, the jail time, not so much.

Before we all rush to judgement,remember this is all alleged.And the marijuana smell could've been from two unidentified passengers in the back seat.Haven't I heard this one before. It's someone else's gun,drugs,etc.I'm sure Phil is beaming with pride right now.

Happy 4th of July

 Just wanted to wish everyon a safe and happy 4th of July.Even though we know the real reason behind this day, celebarate wildly. Be blessed for all the freedoms we have that allow us to celebrate. Whether its beer, barbecue, baseball,or just watching the hot dog eating contest, have a good time doing it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

R.I.P. Don Coryell

Ex San Diego Charger coach Don Coryell passed away from unknown causes at age 85. The offense known as "Air Coryell" was a precursor to a lot of the offenses ran today. Coryell is known as a pioneer of the aerial attacks that he ran in the 70s and 80s with the San Diego Chargers. Back then they were one of the most exciting teams to play the game.They never won the Super Bowl or even went to one,but you can't deny the long range impact that Coryell and the Chargers had on the game. He was definitely an innovator of the game. Hopefully he will get his due by getting enshrined in the Hall of Fame.