Category Archives: Red Sox

Half Favre, Half VickSoxPublicHealthCareOption

Ugg…

Sorry it’s been so long. Work, vacation, slow news month and family visits have kept me from putting some words together in weeks.

This Brett Favre thing. I’ve written about it before. I’ll try to keep it short this time. I do have a couple new thoughts on the matter.

I don’t think Brett ever stopped coming back. I know he called off his return several weeks ago due to tendon damage in his shoulder. I know that (with the exception of the NFL network), Favrewatch was declared dead. In my opinion, Favre just didn’t want to hole up in dorm room for a few weeks and take part in training camp. I think that Childress, the Vikings and Favre knew that he was going to come flying in on his shiny Lear Jet and just didn’t want him to absorb (another) PR hit because he didn’t want to attend camp. Saying that this all transpired on a Tuesday afternoon phone call from Childress, well, that’s just a flat out lie.

I do find it amusing that in the pool footage of Brett walking onto the Vikings practice field for the first time he is shown struggling with his helmet. It appears that his helmet is too small for his head. (or maybe it’s the other way around).

The more I hear people hate on Brett, the more I start to root for him again. It’s slowly becoming a rule of thumb for me, if vocal America is angry at you, my instinct is to go the other way. Yea his behavior is ridiculous. Yea, I’ve been a vocal critic. But who are we to tell a man when he has to stop playing football? Maybe if he had handled the other stuff better, the retirements, the press conferences, the media zoo, this wouldn’t be such an issue, but really, the guy is a quarterback, not a publicist. His job is to throw an awkwardly shaped ball, not shape his image for America. My point is, he’s not exactly a savvy guy. It’s harder to hate a guy for incompetence. I’d be shocked if this whole dog and pony show was anything other than mismanagement by unqualified people.

Speaking of unqualified people, Brad Childress is such a dope. He looks like he should be teaching geology at the local community college

Mike Vick is the big winner here. The national media flew out of Philly before you could say rape stick. Our nations collective attention deficit disorder continues to be on full display

As far as Mike Vick goes, the man went to federal prison and served 23 months. Why shouldn’t he get an opportunity to work again? No brainer in my opinion. If you went to prison for two years you’d lose your job, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to work in your field again. We should be celebrating the fact that a celebrity charged with a crime actually served time in prison, not demanding more punishment. Don’t get greedy folks, baby steps. You all know that Dante Stallworth killed a man right? A human being, a father? Go check out his prison sentence and talk to me about Mike Vick. We love dogs more than people. I get it. I love dogs. Honestly though, Dogs>people? Michael Jackson is revered worldwide even though he may or may not have been a diddler but Mike Vick is a monster? I’ll gladly argue this point with anyone up for it.

I think Visanthe Shiancoe has become almost draftable by this new development. AP’s draft buzz is a universal #1, but this helps his status immeasurably. Teams won’t be able to load up on the run quite so often, leading to more space (and more yards) for AP. Easy money with that #1 overall pick.

Speaking of fantasy football, I love/hate this years draft. It seems like each position has three elite guys and a bunch of maybes and question marks. The rookie running back class is weak and the veterans are hanging on by a thread.

I believe David Ortiz.

If you’re in Boston these days, beware of falling sky. It’s been awhile since the Sox were as manic depressive as this and it shows in their fans increasingly bitter and desperate behavior. WEEI, not normally known for it’s rational commentary has touched on pre 2004 levels of illogical callers. Every time Red Sox Nation gets out their Patriots jerseys the Sox win a must win and pull them back in. I’m glad the Red Sox picked up Alex Gonzalez, he can field, he can’t hit, but he can lay down a bunt. I think we can all agree that bunting and middle of the diamond defense are essential components of a playoff team. As far as my beloved team goes, they don’t suck, but they have a real hard time beating good baseball teams and that worries me immensly. Clay Buchholz continues his run of top of the rotation opponents with Roy Halladay tonight on ESPN. I hope they can go 3 hours without bringing up ole #4, but I doubt it. I’d imagine that even in Toronto, in an MLB game, Brett Favre’s name will be said at least twice.

My game ball this week goes to Congressman Barney Frank. In the face of hundreds of extremist drones/operatives/nutjobs most members of our legislative branch of government have elected to forgo reality and try to engage these people in a civil manner. (As if they would do the same) Well, here’s some of Mr. Franks better quotes from a recent town hall meeting in lovely Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

“… he (Frank) gave up when one woman compared health care proposals favored by Frank and President Obama to policies of Nazi Germany.

“When you ask me that question, I’m going to revert to my ethnic heritage and ask you a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?” Frank asked. “You stand there with a picture of the president defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase health care to the Nazis,” he said, adding such behavior demonstrated the strength of First Amendment guarantees of what he called “contemptible” free speech.
“Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table,” Frank said to the woman. “I have no interest in doing it.”

Thanks to Barney Barn Barn. I needed that. If you violently oppose a public health care option, I suggest you get laid off and contract cancer. Or better still, get cancer and be out of work for so long that you are fired and lose your health insurance. Or better still, pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month from that point on because you are high risk due to your previous condition. This isn’t about Obama. This is about doctors who normally go to third world countries doing their volunteer work right here in America. Rural America, the new 3rd world, this time with Walmart and McDonalds. Get Diabetes. See if we care.

Until next time….

jjohnsonpro@yahoo.com

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Boston Red Sox, Brett Favre, Clay Buchholz, Michael Jackson, Michael Vick, Minnesota Vikings, MLB, NFL, President Obama, Red Sox, Sports, Stallworth, Toronto Blue Jays

I have a genetic condition

Last week, Nomar Garciaparra returned to Fenway Park for the first time since being traded away from Boston in 2003. He received a rousing and emotional standing ovation from the fans and held court with the media before the game. His demeanor with the media was jovial, open and nostalgic.

As a Boston fan it was nice to see. It’s not why I write of it though.

I write about this homecoming because of an interesting revelation Nomar made during said pre game press conference. Apparently, Nomar has a genetic condition which causes excess scar tissue to develop at the injury site and limits rehabilitation and increase the likelihood of additional injury.

!

Many have thought, mostly due to this SI Cover, that Nomar’s injuries were because of steroid use. The theory is that his muscles got too big for his tendons and started to give out on him. This news might certainly help dampen that speculation, at the very least in the Boston sports talk radio scene.

A question though, that no one seems to be asking… What if this genetic condition had been discovered before Nomar was drafted? Or before he got his first big league contract? How many other players have a similar genetic condition but have not had their careers threatened or altered drastically by injury? As a team, wouldn’t you be less likely to put good money and development into a guy who has an injury that “limits the effects of rehab” and “increases the likelihood of additional injury”.

Should these tests be made available to clubs? If I were an agent or a players union rep I would stand up and scream absolutely not. If I owned a team, or was the general manager of a team, I would argue that the clubs sink millions and millions of dollars into these players, and we deserve to know what our likely returns will be. In a league with guaranteed contracts, players with preexisting conditions could handicap a team for years and teams should have the opportunity to negotiate salary with all medical issues on the table.

Yet Nomar had 6 1/2 good/great seasons with the Red Sox. He helped the team and fan base tremendously and was arguably one of the best shortstops the team has ever had. A genetic test may have kept that from happening and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Yes, Nomar’s career was altered dramatically by injury, but he’s played 13 years of Major League Baseball, 8 of them with more than 120 games. The list of players who do not have announced genetic conditions that washed out of baseball due to injuries could fill a book. Should a man’s genetics preclude him from the opportunity to succeed in the big leagues?

While I’m on the Red Sox, I came across an interesting tidbit regarding Clay Buchholz and the Roy Halladay rumor mill. Apparently, two scouts from the Blue Jays were in the stands when Clay pitched on Sunday July 12th. Incidentally, Clay Buchholz has been called up to pitch in the Red Sox first game after the all star break, to let the pitching staff settle into order. His opponent? The Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto GM JP Ricciardi has vowed to scout players on other clubs in preparation of a potential deal, so this could just be due diligence. Something to keep an eye on though. Maybe a Buchholz, Penny and prospect X deal for Halladay? I’m sure this deal would be incredibly unpopular up north but at some point these middle of the road teams have to accept they aren’t going to do it as is and cut bait. Ricciardi is a graduate from Moneyball academy and has yet to blow up the middling Blue Jays. This could be his first move in a complete youth movement dismantling of that club. Stay tuned.

I was watching President Obama’s farewell ceremony from Ghana this weekend and almost choked on my tongue when President Obama mentioned that Ghana’s president, John Evans Atta, was a member of the Ghanian National Hockey Team. A little research has disclosed that he meant field hockey (a very popular sport for men worldwide).
Just thought I’d share that little moment of hilarity. Ghana’s national Ice Hockey team? I should have known. (Cool Runnings 2 anyone?)

It’s my opinion that Ron Artest to the Lakers was without question an excellent move. I don’t think that anyone will be calling the Lakers soft anytime soon. What’s the over/under on times Artest makes Bynum or Gasol cry by the end of training camp? It will be interesting to see Ron be Kobe’s personal attack dog this season. It’s like Rodman mixed with Pippen’s skills. As a side note, Ron Artest is a prolific Twitterer. About half of his tweets are completely absurd, the other half are totally priceless. He will certainly add to the entertainment factor of the Lake show. Ariza is a strong up and coming player, but his value was inflated by an excellent post season and by playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. He has a career in the NBA ahead of him but Ron Artest is a proven kind of crazy. Kudos to Ariza’s agent for completely blowing any chance he had of staying with the Lakers. It’s always nice to see an agent get bitten for overestimating his players value. Between Sheed to the Celts, Shaq to the Cavs and Ron Ron in LA I’m already fired up for a new NBA season to start.

Exactly what does the mainstream media expect Brock Lesnar to say after he battles a man with his bare hands? The guy goes from being a killer ball of raging testosterone with his life in his hands to having a microphone and a thousand cameras shoved into his face. This whole WWE chatter is fricking ridiculous. MMA fans getting righteous about the purity of their sport borders on obscene. Should he quote Shakespeare next time? Perhaps a little taste of Hemingway? Give me a break people. He fights 260 pound men for a living. What exactly are you looking for. You got your blood. Don’t cry about a couple of fingers and some naughty words.

The new Domino’s pizza ad campaign makes me want to hang myself from a freeway overpass. “Yo this is Jimmy from Philly and my philly cheese steak pizza is da bomb!” “Yo this is dudebroguy from Cali and my veggie pizza is totally tubular bro” *Choking noises, air escapes from my body* Not only do they have some of the worst pizza in the civilized world, they also continue to make horrendous ads. They were the first to jump on the “bailout” buzz term, now they shamelessly pump false regional stereotypes to pander pathetic pizzas. Ick. And when did mushrooms, spinach and olives come to represent California cuisine anyway? What’s a matter Dominoes, avocados and sprouts too expensive? Tie me a rope and loop it around a sturdy pole, I’d rather order pizza from a public pool’s snack bar than eat your crap.

Game ball this week goes to Andy Roddick. In case you missed last week’s epic Wimbledon final, take notice. Andy Roddick is now in the conversation again. I’ve been watching Andy his whole career and I’ve never seen him play a better match than the one he lost last week. He was aggressive, his focus was almost eerie, his ball striking was fierce and accurate. He has got his fitness level and game to a point where he can challenge the Federer Nadal stranglehold on the sport. Federer? Well, he’s just out of this world. Aside from his running forehand, no one part of his game will blow you away. It’s the sum of his parts and consistency that puts him head and shoulders above everyone else. He refuses to lose and will not blink when the match is on the line. The guy is incredible and his success is becoming obnoxious. I anxiously await this years US open. I can’t wait to see Roddick on the home court and hope he continues to play like he did in England. Great job Andy, thanks for the match.

email me jjohnsonpro@yahoo.com

1 Comment

Filed under Andy Roddick, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Brock Lesnar, Clay Buchholz, Domino's Pizza Commercials, Genetic Condition, Ghana, Los Angeles Lakers, MLB, MMA, Moneyball, NBA, Nomar Garciaparra, President Obama, Red Sox, Roger Federer, Ron Artest, Roy Halladay, Shaq, Toronto Blue Jays, twitter, US Open, Wimbledon

iThink, therefore iAm

Ladies and gentlemen, Manny Ramirez! In a surprise communique with reporters, Manny broke his silence last week with the words, “(it’s) in the past and that he wanted to “move on” He also said he has no plans to publicly explain the reasons behind his 50 game suspension.

 

I can’t say I’m shocked. Manny isn’t exactly known for being open with the media, even in the best of times. We’ve been spoiled in the steroid era, there even seemed to be a PR handbook developing that Manny’s people appeared to be following.

 

Player gets caught, preferably announcing his suspension before MLB can. Player releases statement through agent, written of course by a very slippery PR guy. Statement is not surprisingly vague and quotable only in regards to mentioning the fans and starting the process of “moving forward.”

 

Player then drops off the face of the planet if possible.

 

When player returns, they give a press conference designed to A) avoid putting anything on the record that may give a federal prosecutor any ammunition for a future indictment or perjury trial, B) make sure his fans know he is very, very, very, very, VERY sorry, C) give as little information as possible regarding actual drugs used and how often.

 

If possible, said drug use should be only to return from injury and/or drug use should not actually be referred to at all.

We have seen positive tests blamed on age and youth, supplements and now fertility drugs. We get a press conference, an exclusive interview, perhaps some leaked court documents.

 

But I’ll tell you right now, we will get nothing from Manny.

 

He doesn’t need the media. Doesn’t want it, doesn’t read it, watch it, care about it. He has shut down the media for months, years even of his career. When he does speak, he borders on comedy, “I’m a bad man”, to sad, ” I didn’t rape anyone”.

 

He will return to the Dodgers, bat .490 and hit 85 home runs. If he hits a game winning home run in the playoffs he may speak to the media, but by then they’ll all be zonked on the goofy kid kool aid and just ask him things like, “Manny, how did it feel to win the series with a 600 foot bomb?”

The best part is, the Dodgers will protect him and enable him. Boras will guard him like Bruce Bowen in his prime. The Dodgers fans will cheer for him 5 times louder than any steroid chant they gave Barry. Bill Plaschke will write himself out of town screaming about it and ducking death threats but Manny Ramirez will 100% get away with it, make millions and be a hero to his teams fan base.

 

This week I overheard two Dodger fans discussing Mannygate. One of them brought up an interesting point I hadn’t considered. His suspension is actually good for the team because they can use the salary he forfeited to sign another pitcher. Makes sense to me and perfectly illustrates the current mindset of Dodger fan. The Dodger fan that screamed bloody murder at Barry for his yet unproven steroid use and would gladly chant A Roid if given the chance.

 

Awesome.

 

There seems to be a very small national debate over whether the Magic choked in game 4 or the Lakers pulled rank on them and stepped up to the challenge. To me, without the slightest doubt that game was the biggest choke job of the year. The refs gave them the game and they blew it. The Lakers played like crap most of the game and they blew it. The end of that game felt like watching a gift exchange where one person says, “here, I bought you this “and the other one says, “no, no, you didn’t have to”, and the other says, “no please take it” and the other says, “no, no, I can’t possible accept this”, and the other person says…

 

You get it. It was awkward and painful for all involved. I’ll say one thing, if Orlando can’t win that game they don’t deserve to win the series, so at least we figured that out. Congratulations to the 2009 NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers and the finals MVP Kobe Bryant.

 

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, David Ortiz appears to be breaking out of his slump…

The iPhone has joined the 21st century by offering copy and paste and picture messages in it’s new phone/ software upgrade.
As an iPhone owner, I’m ecstatic and angry that it’s taken this long… How dare they advance technology by two years while forcing us to wait so long for a basic function. It’s like offering a flying car without turn signals

 

I read that Stephen Strasburg is 16 feet tall and killed a bear when he was 3 years old…

The Yankee’s being 0-8 versus the Red Sox in 09 means very little to me except for two things. 1) Increased fan / owner pressure to do something shortsighted and stupid 2) Further proof that the Yankees, despite their free agent signings and the return of ARod, continue to be built to demolish poor and mediocre teams in the regular season. With the new Yankee Stadium looking like Coors field east, they seem poised for a nice run towards a loss in the divisional playoffs.

 

Meanwhile, with John Smoltz contractually obliged to pitch for the Red Sox major league team, Boston has the “problem” of 6 starting pitchers. 7 if you count an invigorated Clay Buchholz. 8 if you count Michael Bowden, who would be starting for 85% of teams in Major League Baseball. And arguably the best bullpen in baseball.

 

So there’s that.

 

Game ball (pucks) goes to the referees in the NHL. You have made the NHL playoffs a supreme product by allowing the players to decide the fate of each game. What a concept. Thank you. Name one NHL ref. I didn’t think so. Congratulations to Penguin fans, you did it the hard way, beating big D in Detroit. I can’t imagine how nerve wracking that last 6:07 was for someone deeply invested in the teams playing. I was only half heartedly rooting for the underdogs and found myself riveted. Congrats again.

David Stern, you have a serious problem and I resent every minute of it. Your officiating is a horrible joke. I’m not exactly what you’d call a conspiracy theorist but I believe you are involved. I just refuse to believe that you are that blind and that incompetent. Put your house in order, it’s embarrassing and it will cost you and your precious league money if it hasn’t already.

Leave a comment

Filed under David Stern, iPhone, Los Angeles Lakers, Manny Ramirez, MLB, NBA, NHL, Orlando Magic, Red Sox, Steroids, Yankees

NBA playoffs and MLB thoughts

Chauncey Billups, Winner. 

Nuggets, better than the Lakers? 

The Blue Jays have had a great start but their pitching is too young and not good enough to keep it up. The AL east keeps getting better though and as a Red Sox fan this upsets me. 

I don’t know wether to love or hate Chris Andersen (NBA, Nuggets) His hair and tattoo’s are quite the statement. My gut instinct is to hate him because of the way he looks but I know that’s not right. 

I love seeing Melo guard Kobe. Here’s why… 

Kobe’s dirty little secret is that he doesn’t want to drive to the hoop anymore. If you take that fear away you can get up on him and put your hand in his face and make him uncomfortable. Carmelo isn’t as quick as Kobe, but when you’re talking about perimeter defense I don’t think it’s that big of an issue. Kobe will score a ton, no matter who covers him. But if you make him work you can keep him from going nuts. He did however show his iceman talents last night several times. Down by 3, momentum swinging wildly to the Nugs? Kobe sinks a 3 that barely touches the net. Need a basket to slow the other team? Kobe again. If I had a buck for every time I’ve seen him answer or end a momentum swing I’d have a thousand bucks. Plus, they’re good buddies (insider knowledge, their wives and kids hang out whenever Denver comes to LA) and Carmelo is really, really, really emerging as a player. 

The Cavs will still beat the Magic handily in the Eastern Conference Finals. Their bench scored 5 points and they lost by 1. I think that Stan Van Gundy’s “We’re all witnesses!!!!” is getting a little too much credit for the game one win. 

The Cavs practice full court desperation shots in every practice. They’ve now ended all three of their game one’s first halves with a half to 3/4 court shot. Did you see how the Magic tried to swarm Mo Williams when he made that shot? Anyone else remember a time when the opposing team was actively trying to stop a 70 foot shot? 

Interesting article in SI about Allen Iverson and his legacy. It says that he makes every team he’s been on worse, every team he leaves better, and that Larry Brown is the sole reason the Sixers were competitive. I think AI was an incredible player but I would tend to agree with the authors viewpoint. 

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/chris_ballard/05/19/allen.iverson/index.html 

Peavy doesn’t want to leave the NL… doesn’t want to go to a hitters park, doesn’t want to drive on Wednesdays, doesn’t want to eat egg whites on rye, doesn’t want to drink orange gatorade… 

And I don’t blame the guy. Why? I can’t say… Usually I would be killing a guy for this kind of stuff. Maybe it’s because the Padres are so irrelevant to my life, I don’t know. 

I’ll say this, some of the chatter says he doesn’t want to switch leagues because of the hitters in the AL. I think it’s more that he already knows all the hitters in the NL and if he switches leagues he’ll have to start over. He earned the no trade clause, why not use it? How much of a factor was Ozzie Guillen? The 20-1 loss? We’ll never know. I’ve read a bunch of opinions on the matter and I’m thinking he ends up with the Brew Crew. It’s not like the White Sox were offering an amazing package that other teams won’t be able to match. Now that other teams see how much (little) they’d have to give up the offers will come running in. 

I hate the Phiten Titanium gear commercials. 

Dice K returns to the Red Sox tonight. His draw? Johan Santana and the Mets. Welcome back buddy. 

Rumor of David Oritz and Manny Delcarmen bring traded to the Nationals for Nick Johnson? I hate it. 

Michael Vick? I forgive him. 

I know a guy who spent time at the same prison Vick was at. He said they ate bologna sandwiches and drank red drink almost every day. You also get an hour of yard time every week. Does that sound like an NFL training regimen? I’m thinking not. I kind of hope he gets a job in the CFL first. 

Game ball goes to Eric Byrnes for dropping the ball in the stands. The expression on his face is priceless. Thanks for the laughs Eric, we love you (not really) but you stink. Sorry bud. 

Good luck out there. Happy Memorial Day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Allen Iverson, Eric Byrnes, Jake Peavy, Lakers, Michael Vick, MLB, NBA, Nuggets, Red Sox