Sports and my thoughts

Monday, January 31, 2005

Mr Steroids to miss most of spring training

Maybe the steroids is finally catching up to Barry Bonds or maybe it is just his age catching up to him as well. Perhaps a combination of the both.

Barry Bonds is expected to miss much of spring training following arthroscopic surgery Monday on his right knee, but the San Francisco Giants slugger should recover in plenty of time to resume his chase of Hank Aaron's home run record in April.

The seven-time NL MVP had a "minor arthritis cleanup," the Giants said in a statement. Dr. Arthur Ting also repaired a small tear in Bonds' meniscus.

Giants trainer Stan Conte expects Bonds to return for at least the final two weeks of spring training, and the 40-year-old should be back to full strength before Opening Day.

James wants out of the Colts?

Ya maybe if he was to go to the Patriots but to Miami? Is Edgerrin James on crack? Who the heck in there right mind would want to leave an offensive titan like the Colts to go to a crappy team like the Dolphins? I just don't understand what he could be thinking.

Could the Colts' Big Three soon be just the Big Two?
According to a report in the Miami Herald, Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James is interested in leaving behind teammates Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison and joining the Miami Dolphins.

James has told several friends that he wants to return to South Florida, where he played his college ball for the University of Miami and where he makes his off-season home.

James is unsigned for the 2005 season, but the Colts can lock him up by tagging him as their franchise player — a move that would cost them approximately $6 million in cap space.

Indianapolis has expressed a strong interest in keeping James, who rushed for 1,548 yards in 2004 — his highest output since the 2000 season. But after signing Manning and Harrison to long (and expensive) contract extensions the last two seasons, that might not be an option.

But speaking of options, the Dolphins suddenly appear to have a number of them at running back.

Its not like he wasn't getting enough touches as a Colt. He rushed for over 1,500 yards, that is a whole lot of yards. Even when I play a pick up game of flag football I still play to win. Winning is the most important thing. He would have no chance of winning if he went to the Dolphins.

Gibbs to coach the Redskins for 5 more years

Unless the Redskins start winning I don't see Joe Gibbs coaching football 2 or 3 years down the road.

Joe Gibbs emphatically reiterated his commitment to the Washington Redskins on Monday, quashing speculation that began with a misinterpretation of remarks he made at a NASCAR media day last week.

"I signed a five-year contract when I came here," Gibbs told a news conference Monday. "Most people sign three-year contracts. My commitment to the Redskins, I want to do every single thing I can to restore the Redskins to winning football games."

"I'd say that my commitment is a minimum of five years. I want to get the Redskins back to winning, and that's first," he said.

Last week, Gibbs said during a NASCAR media tour that his "time in football will be short" compared to his commitment to his racing team. He then repeated a variation of a lighthearted one-liner he used several times during last year's 6-10 season: "If we don't win a few more games next year, my time in football will be real short."

I think his statements he made last year are more to the truth. If the Skins don't start winning this year and make the play offs he will retire away from football to go back to racing. Gibbs strikes me as a man who hates to lose and when he does he is miserable. Gibbs is a competitor and won't want to stick around with a bunch of losers.

A-rod accepts blame

The girlie man slapper says he will accept the blame for the Yankees losing to the Redsox in the ALCS.
It's been two weeks since George Steinbrenner summoned Alex Rodriguez to Tampa for a private meeting, but the ramifications of that summit linger. The Boss' words were designed to startle A-Rod, whose 2004 numbers were respectable but failed to elevate him to Reggie or Mattingly or even Derek Jeter-status.

Steinbrenner has a theory why Rodriguez hasn't yet swept up the Yankees with his Cooperstown talent: the third baseman was too worried about his friendship with Jeter. The Yankees prefer that A-Rod be a little less self-conscious, a little meaner, even if it calls for greater independence from the shortstop.

So basically he wants A-rod to stop trying to make out and hump Jeter and become a baseball player.

The message wasn't lost on A-Rod, who acknowledges there's still a "gap" between his career stats and what Yankee fans saw from him last year.

"(Steinbrenner) wants me to lead and lead by example and not to try to fit in," Rodriguez said the other day. "He told me, 'you already fit in, you're a Yankee. Now is the time to do what you do best.' "

A-rod is a cancer to what ever team he plays for. I am glad the Redsox never acquired him in the first place. So many things had to happen just perfectly for the Redsox to win there first ever World Series Championship in 86 years and not getting A-rod was one of them.

Alex Rodriguez will never earn his pin stripes in the same sense as Jeter did. Jeter is a winner, as much as I hate to admit that. While Jeter is there A-rod will always be second fiddle to Jeter.

Are the Patriots a dynasty?

ESPN writed Greg Garber asks the question.

Punch the words "Patriots" and "dynasty" into the search engine Google and at last check 96,800 listings come back in .58 seconds. Do the same thing on LexisNexis for the past week and it spits out 252 stories from such far-flung periodicals as the San Jose Mercury, the Kansas City Star, the Hartford Courant -- and The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia.

The D-word is getting serious play, and it's only going to get worse as we careen ever closer to the kickoff between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. Every Super Bowl has a theme, and this one -- with apologies to Terrell Owens -- is the Dynasty Bowl.

Are the Patriots, on the threshold of their third Super Bowl victory in four seasons, a true dynasty -- whatever that really means? Can they stand side by side with the great teams in NFL history?

The 1961-67 Green Bay Packers won five championships (two of them Super Bowls) in seven years.

• The 1971-73 Dolphins reached the Super Bowl three straight years, winning two.

• The 1974-79 Pittsburgh Steelers won four titles in six seasons.

• The 1981-94 San Francisco 49ers won five Super Bowls (every single one they played in) in a span of 14 years, including four in nine seasons.

• The 1990-93 Buffalo Bills are probably a stretch, but they did make four straight Super Bowls.

• The 1992-95 Dallas Cowboys won three Super Bowls in four seasons -- the very feat the Patriots are trying to match.

So if the Patriots win Sunday are they a dynasty? The simple and quick answer is yes. Winning 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, especially in the salary cap era, means you are a dynasty. In my opinion the Patriots are one of the greatest dynasties in football hystory. The best part about the Patriots is; they are only going to get better next year and the years following. They have a chance to win the Super Bowl the next few years while there young talent just gets better with time.

Westbrooks to return punts again

Who really cares? I know I don't. They could have McNabb return the punts and I don't think it will change anything. Having Westbrooks return punts shows me there desperation. They are desperate for something to pump them up during the game and to try and get momentum on there side.

In keeping with the game-planning gag order traditionally imposed on players from every Super Bowl team, Brian Westbrook wasn't about to spill the beans here on Sunday evening, and not even the threat of bamboo shoots under his fingernails would probably have elicited a confession about what figures to transpire next weekend on the Philadelphia Eagles' punt return unit.

But asked in the first media session of Super Bowl week if he might reprise the punt return responsibilities that were a significant part of his NFL résumé before he became the Eagles' starting tailback, Westbrook could barely stifle a mischievous grin.

"I'm lobbying for it, lobbying pretty hard, to tell the truth," said Westbrook, who in just his third season has emerged as the centerpiece of the Philadelphia offense. "But we'll just have to see if [the coaches] listen."

Rest assured, the Philadelphia coaching staff, in particular standout special teams chief John Harbaugh, has already decided to act on Westbrook's entreaties. Barring a change during the week of practices preceding Super Bowl XXXIX, the elusive Westbrook will be utilized as a punt returner next Sunday night, at least part of the time.

Coach Andy Reid claimed that allowing the versatile Westbrook to reprise a role at which he excelled in the past had not yet been discussed by his staff. Harbaugh allowed last week, though, that Westbrook is "in the mix" as the Philadelphia coaches attempt to maximize the abilities of their playmakers.

Telling everyone what they are doing just makes it easier the Patriots to game plan against the Eagles. Although with special teams there really isn't much you can plan for outside of deciding where and to whom to kick the ball. Kicking to Westbrook will just get the Patriots hard hitters another chance to hit him.

Is Boston a Baseball or Football city now?

Redsox Nation rules supreme according to a poll on By a 77% to 23% margin Redsox Nation is Boston town.

This is no surprise to me, a poll wasn't necessary to tell who is more important to Bostonians. All we have to do is go back to last year during the A-rod saga. The Patriots were winning their second Super Bowl in 3 years and what was the top story? A-rod!

The fans here care about the Patriots don't get me wrong. But I am sure everyone in Boston would rather see the Redsox win the World Series than the Patriots win the Super Bowl. Luckily both teams kick butt and we will get see another Super Bowl for the Patriots and hopefully a repeat from the Redsox.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Piazza's not gay?

I still don't buy it, but Piazza married a former playboy playmate, Alicia Rickter.

Mets catcher Mike Piazza married former Playboy Playmate and "Baywatch" star Alicia Rickter in a candlelight church ceremony.

With former Mets pitcher Al Leiter and Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez among the baseball stars in attendance, Piazza and Rickter took their vows at St. Jude's Catholic Church on Saturday before boarding a yacht to a lavish reception at nearby Fisher Island.

The 36-year-old catcher's best man was his brother Tony. Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius Catanello of the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York performed the ceremony that was attended by about 120 people. He said Piazza was nervous "like a regular groom, but he's OK."

Rickter, 32, wore a white satin Vera Wang gown and was joined by five bridesmaids, including maid of honor Angelica Bridges, a "Baywatch" co-star, and Playboy Playmates Brande Roderick and Lisa Dergan.

Jason Giambi

Cashman expects a healthy Jason Giambi at spring training.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN on Sunday, in an interview dealing with the embattled Jason Giambi, that the team expects the first baseman to be "100-percent healthy" for spring training. "Yeah, everything is coming back fine," Cashman said. "[Giambi's] 100-percent healthy, ready to go, and we are excited about that."

Who happens to be a big waste of money.

Asked if the Yankees have sought a way out of Giambi's contract, Cashman denied the Yankees took any steps toward nullifying parts of the deal. Giambi, the 2000 American League MVP with Oakland, signed a seven-year contract with the Yankees before the 2002 season, the sixth-highest deal in baseball history. The contract still runs for four more years at a cost of $84 million.

" … if there's any violations of anybody's contracts, we reserve the right to exercise whatever right we have," Cashman said. "But we have not pursued anything with Jason Giambi … [and] he's coming to spring training and we are excited about the team we have and we are excited about the potential that he could provide."

They defiantly want out of his contract. With out his steroids he won't be able to do anything like he did as an Athletic. Giambi will be lucky if he plays like his brother and hits 270 with 20 homers. The Yankees would do anything to try and get out of his contract. I still don't think he will be 100% healthy come spring training.

I just don't understand

I really don't understand why the media is making such a big deal out of the Eagles losing Terrel Owens. Well I understand why, but what I don't understand is why there is no attention made towards Ty Law. While TO is one of the top 5 wide receivers in the game, in the same respect Ty Law is one of the top 5 corner backs in the game.

Maybe the reason there isn't the same amount of attention is given to Ty Law is the Patriots defense is still one of the best with out him. The Patriots are one of the best teams in the league in adapting to what they have. In the beginning of the year who would of thought Troy Brown would be playing CB in the absence of Ty Law and filling in masterfully if I might add.

But with out Terrel Owens who do the Eagles have now? Freddie Mitchel? If TO was healthy this guy might not even be a starter. Who else? Pinkston? He is afraid of being hit to the point where he cowers away. What hurts even more for the Eagles in there lost of Chad Lewis. Lewis is a great tight end and is a go to guy for McNabb. The only threat the Patriots have to worry about is McNabb and Westbrook.

If the Patriots can contain Westbrook, which I have no doubt they will do, the Eagles won't be able to do much offensively. The Patriots are going to win this game by at least 14 points. I just can't wait to hear the excuses why the Eagles lost, and I'm sure it will start with the lost of Terrel Owens.

Crennel to the Browns

This may happen the same night as the Super Bowl. As a Patriots fan I am going to hate to see both Charlie Wies and now Romio Crennel leave the Patriots. But I know it is only a matter of time before great cordinators leave to try their luck as head coaches. I have no doubt if Crennel does go to Browns he will do nothing but good stuff for them.

Those close to Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress have been holding out hope that a victory over New England in Super Bowl XXXIX would keep him alive for the Cleveland Browns' search for a new coach.

But league and team sources have confirmed the obvious, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is the Browns' choice and a formal job offer job will be made as early as Sunday night after the Super Bowl.

The Browns also interviewed interim coach Terry Robiskie and Steelers offensive line coach Russ Grimm.

The lead figure of a group that helps minority candidates said Friday he had a "very encouraging" conversation with the Browns about Crennel's chances of becoming head coach.

"They said that his interview was excellent, that the owner was thoroughly impressed with him, that they liked him a whole lot," said John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

The Browns have not spoken publicly about each candidate's chances.

Crennel, 57, is in his fourth season as Patriots defensive coordinator after one season in that position with the Browns. He has been an assistant on four Super Bowl champions -- in the 1986 and 1990 seasons with the New York Giants and the 2001 and 2003 seasons with the Patriots.

I wish both Wies and Crennel would stay and help the Patriot Dynasty stay in power. But I have no doubt the Patriots and Bill Bellichek will be just fine and will find adaquet replacements from with in the orginaztion. Right now I believe Brady is just as much the offensive cordinator as Charlie Wies is and Bellichek is a defensive minded coach. The patriot players know the system and will be able to coach themselves into even more greatness.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

NHL lockout

I am starting to get sick and tired of this NHL lock out. The owners and players aren't hurting themselves, they already have and make enough money to support themselves for the rest of there lives. The only person they are hurting is us, the fans. We miss hockey.

The players and owners need to just sit in a room until they figure somethign out and if that don't work they need to talk to me. I could fix hockey in a matter of minutes. The problem with hockey was there is too many teams and not enough talent to make it competitive and fun to watch for the average fan. If I were in charge I would cut about 10 teams. I am not sure which ones I would get rid of but they are out there.

Hockey also needs a salary cap and profit sharing that football has. There is a reason football is the most watch sport in America now, every given sunday anyone can win and lose, well exept for the Patriots, they always win when it matters. But that is another story all together.

Sosa traded to the Orioles

I don't really understand this trade, the Orioles don't really need any more offense they need pitching. And the Cubs don't really need Jerry Hairston as they already got Nomar and Walker for short and second. If the Orioles could move Sosa and get some decent pitching in return it would work out good for them. Hairston could be a decent lead off hitter for the Cubs and can play a multiple different positions. So it could work out for the Cubs.

Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa will be traded to the Baltimore Orioles for infielder Jerry Hairston and at least two minor-leaguers, pending physicals and approval from commissioner Bud Selig and the players' association. An Orioles source told ESPN's Tim Kurkjian that the only way the trade will not happen is if someone fails a physical.

The Cubs would pay a substantial part of Sosa's $17 million salary this season, major-league executives told the AP. Sosa would agree to void his salary in 2006, they also said.

Sosa's contract gives the Cubs an $18 million option in 2006 with a $4.5 million buyout. But the contract says that if he is traded, his 2006 salary would become guaranteed and a 2007 club option would be added at $19 million with a $4.5 million buyout.

The players' association had told Sosa's agent, Adam Katz, several weeks ago that voiding the option would not be a problem.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Redsox get the winning ball for their victory tour

I still can't believe Mientkiewicz tried to hold onto the ball that ended the curse of the Bambino. But at least now they made a deal to lend the ball for the victory tour. As far as I'm concerned the Redsox fans should own this ball. We are the ones who pay for his salary and every other Redsox players salary. We deserve to be able to see the ball.

The baseball Doug Mientkiewicz caught for the out that ended the Boston Red Sox 86-year championship drought is going back to the team - for one year, anyway. The club and its former first baseman announced Friday that while no decision has been made on who owns the ball, it will be encased in a special plaque and join the World Series trophy on its victory tour. "Doug was a key part of our stretch run and postseason victories and he won over our fans in a very short period of time," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said. "We thank him for his many contributions and are pleased that our fans will be able to get close to the ball. We wish him the best of luck in the other league in 2005.

Before this whole escapade about the winning ball, I wanted Mientkiewicz to stay in Boston over Kevin Millar. Now don't get me wrong I love Millar, he has been a hell of a player for the Sox over the past few years and is great for the club house. In reality I would have loved to have both on the team. I believe Defense wins in the long term, although the Sox did make 4 errors in the first two games in the World Series this year. But now I am glad Millar is here to stay and Mientkiewicz is gone.

Freddy Mitchel isn't too bright

First of all you shouldn't talk smack, all it does is fire up and motivate an already motivated team. But if you are going to talk smack the last person you should be talk about is Rodney Harrison. Harrison flat out kills you when he hits you. He is the last person I would want to try and make angry at me. I can't wait to see Harrison hit Mitchell in the Super Bowl.

The Philadelphia Eagles' other loquacious receiver - the one without the Pro Bowl pedigree and ankle injury - offended some Patriots when he dissed their secondary in a television interview.

Mitchell, a starter only because All-Pro Terrell Owens is hurt, said he just knew the numbers - not the names - of New England's cornerbacks. He singled out Rodney Harrison, saying he "has something" for the veteran strong safety.

"It just shows he doesn't have respect for us," Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel said Friday, responding to Mitchell's comments from a day earlier.

The Patriots' defensive backs will see Mitchell up close when the defending champions meet the Eagles in the Super Bowl next Sunday.

"You have so many young guys nowadays, so many young guys that don't have respect for the game," Harrison said. "Some people are just immature. Some people really haven't experienced certain things."

All I can say is good luck Mitchell, you are going to need it to stay alive,

Terrel Owens...Selfish or determined

This is the big news story I have been hearing about all week and I am getting pretty sick of it. Who cares what anyone thinks of about if TO plays or not, the Patriots are going to win by a blow out.

The reason Terrel Owens is getting such a rash about trying to play is because of who he is. If this happened to someone like Jerry Rice or Marvin Harrison who are both class acts, they would be praised for their efforts trying to get back on the field and play. But because TO is such a douchebag and egomaniac he gets attacked for everything he does. Until TO treats the game with respect he will get no respect in return.

I have no problem with celebrating a touch down or victory, but people like TO and Randy Moss just go overboard and are disrespectful in nature. Players like them, although very great receivers, should not promoted and shown over and over again on Sports Center and other sport shows. This just encourages them to do what they do more. I've never seen other great receivers like Marvin Harrison, Heinze Ward, or any one on the Patriots act the way they do. They play football the way it was supposed to be played and treat the sport with respect.