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Friday, November 27, 2015


LeBron to the Brooklyn Nets Eventually?

LeBron’s close relationship with rapper Jay-Z has been well-chronicled. Jay-Z is a part owner of the group called Yankee-Nets, meaning he’s a part owner of the New Jersey Nets. There’s been talk about the Nets eventually moving from East Rutherford to Brooklyn even. Currently LeBron is signed with the Cavs through the ’09-’10 season but he’ll be a free agent after that, and his relationship with Jay-Z gives reason for Cavs fans to panic, says Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports.

LeBron doesn’t want to just win titles. His stated wants include becoming sport’s first billionaire athlete. Among his advisors, he counts Warren Buffet. Jay-Z has helped James focus his mind on chasing something bigger than basketball.

And whatever these grand dreams of LeBron are, the prevailing thought suggests LeBron would have a better shot at achieving them in New York rather than Cleveland. As you could probably tell in my Twins to keep Johan argument, I’m all for the “little guys” keeping their star players rather than New York teams getting a hold of them. I’m guessing a lot of his decision will have to do with the success of the team over the next few years. If he wins a ring in two years it would be hard to leave after a championship season. That’s about the only chance Cleveland has — Cavs fans better start praying.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Getting $20 Million to Make Wrestling Debut

There were rumors that Pretty Boy was contemplating a future in MMA. That’s no surprise considering the relationship he struck up with Mark Cuban who owns HDNet (and a little something called the Dallas Mavericks). Anyway, the offers from MMA must not have been enticing enough for PBF who’s looking to score another big payday after raking in the dough from his fight with Oscar De La Hoya. And apparently Pretty Boy has spun the wheel of fortune and landed on wrestling.

Floyd is making his wrestling debut and will be paid $20 million for his fight against some dude named Big Show. Since I’ve never seen WWE, I had no idea who Show was. Now I understand the nickname — he’s 7′ tall and weighs 430 lbs. That’s a lotta man. While Pretty Boy is making his name as a shrewd businessman, this can’t please boxing fans. Unfortunately when promising challengers like Paul Williams lose fights in Temecula, it doesn’t really help the cause. About the only other claim boxing purists can make is that Mayweather should fight Miguel Cotto. Aside from that, there’s really no gripe boxing fans can make. Pretty Boy can pretty much do anything he wants and we can’t say anything about it. Though I do have to say, I’d much rather see the man in the boxing ring. He just doesn’t have a whole lot to gain from it.

You Can Buy Karl Dorrell’s House

You can have the honor of purchasing Karl Dorrell’s home [The Wizard of Odds]

CBS screws over Kentucky fans [Awful Announcing]

Tony Gonzalez isn’t a fan of sluts [You Been Blinded]

Official Proof: Stephen A. Smith loves his cheese doodles [Deadspin]

Angels prank pitcher John Lackey [Obscure Sports Quarterly]

Oregon boosters rooting against Ducks to have Ernie Kent fired [Signal to Noise]

Good thing Shawne Merriman’s a linebacker and not a quarterback [Mr. Irrelevant]

The sleeper teams this year in the National League [Baseball Mastermind]

Isiah Thomas is convinced the NBA is a small man’s game [The Sporting Blog]

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NASCAR Crapped on Race Fans Sunday

I’m not sure how many of you are race fans and know exactly what happened Sunday night. For those of you who aren’t, let me fill you in. The Auto Club 500 was set to start Sunday afternoon in Fontana but was delayed over an hour because of rain. They finally got on the track while it was still slick, resulting in two incidents that saw the race come to an end for a few drivers. Then after 87 laps, the rain really started to come down so the red flag was dropped, and the tarps were thrown over the cars. At this point it was well into the evening on the East Coast, and certainly in the evening on the West Coast, where the race was being held — I’d say around 6pm PT. What ensued over the following five hours was maddening, if not downright embarrassing.

Scrambling to decide what would happen, FOX began airing re-runs of shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy on my local affiliate as they presumably tried to dry the track off in Fontana. At 9pm — midnight on the East Coast mind you — there was a cut in to the FOX studio at the track where they announced the race would resume in an hour, at 10pm PT, since the weather reports indicated the sky was clearing up. Great. With nearly two-thirds of the race incomplete, they would try to finish it up at 1am on the East Coast. A nice kick in the nuts for the die-hard fans out in the Carolinas and whatnot. Anyway, the news continued to get worse for the soldiers who braved the hour of anticipation.


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The Rise and Fall of Bartolo Colon

It’s really amazing the way time flies by. Seeing contracts that were once monster free agent signings expire really blows your mind. Can you believe Manny’s ginormous deal is almost up? Before you know it, you’re gonna wake up one day in Spring Training and see your squad bringing in Barry Zito for a tryout since his once enormous seven-year deal is up. Crazy. With that in mind, I must bring up Bartolo Colon. The reports over the weekend were that the Red Sox had signed Bartolo to a minor-league deal. Just what, four years ago, Colon was one of the hottest arms on the free agent market getting a big-time four-year deal from the Angels for just over $50 mil. These days that’s what the Mariners practically paid for Carlos Silva.

So Colon sucked in his first year with the Angels. About the only thing he did right was stay healthy, making 34 starts for 208 innings (he didn’t last very long in most of them). He still won 18 games, largely because the Angels hit for him. Same story in 2005, but Bart was much better that year and won the Cy Young (though Johan Santana was superior). ’06 and ’07 were lost causes because of injury, and Colon’s dumbass didn’t get surgery to repair his rotator cuff in the off-season and wound up being useless last year. Now what, four years later, dude is back on the market again, and the best he can do is lock down a minor league deal?


Manny Ramirez Switching to Scott Boras

Funny, just a few months ago I was wondering whether or not superagent Scott Boras was losing power in the baseball world. He had little involvement in the A-Rod negotiations, we were told, and he was fired by Kenny Rogers, all within a few weeks. But now this revelation by Jon Heyman of SI that the Red Sox slugger is switching over to Boras means that all is still straight in the baseball universe.

Much ado has been made over Manny’s contract situation recently. He has said this week that he wants to remain with the Red Sox for his career. On the other hand, Manny also said he would have no problem becoming a free agent after the year, rather than exercise his option for ’09. So what to make of this news? Ordinarily you wouldn’t figure a man intending to re-sign with his existing team would go out and hire the most notorious of all baseball agents. It’s as simple as putting A and B together: hiring Boras = pursuing free agent contract.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Red Sox do have several Boras clients on their team, including JD Drew, Dice K, Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury, Julian Tavarez, and Alex Cora. Clearly Boras and the team have a good working relationship, so the possibility that Boras re-signs certainly exists. I just don’t get why any player would switch to Boras if they didn’t have the intention of making a huge score in the free agent market. We’ll wait to see what happens.

Barry Bonds to Play Ball in Japan?

You always knew there was a possibility, as remote as it may seem. With nobody paging Jeff Borris to inquire about Baroid this off-season, the agent threw it out there that his unemployed client could be headed to the Far East to play ball in Japan. I’m sure it was meant more as a joke than a threat, but nevertheless, the idea is quite humorous.

“He’s not retiring,” Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, told Metro yesterday. “He intends to play somewhere. If a door doesn’t open for Barry in the major leagues, as unbelievable as that possibility sounds, then Japan certainly is an option.”

It’s amazing how hard they’re trying to find Bonds some work. Just this week a story hit the wire reminding folks that Barry’s services were still available. As suggested in the article, it’s quite possible that Bonds is being blackballed from the game. Whether it’s unspoken and subtly insinuated by Bud Selig is unclear, but we do know that it’s already Spring Training and Bonds does not have a job. Japan? I would die to see it. And let’s not forget that Barry actually does have a job offer on the table.

Roger Clemens’ Attorney Now Hedging, Maybe He Was at Canseco’s Party

Ahah! Maybe a serious breakthrough in the Roger Clemens/Brian McNamee he-said/she-said ordeal. Friday it came out in the NY Daily News that some kid had photo evidence that Roger Clemens was indeed at a Jose Canseco party in 1998. That would be significant because McNamee testified that Clemens first became interested in steroids in 1998 when he talked with Canseco about ’em at a party. Additionally, Clemens swore under oath that he was not at the Jose Canseco party. Now the latest report from the NY Daily News is that Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin is hedging on his original stance because of the photo. Hardin’s backtracking represents a major turning point in the case.

If you remember a few weeks ago, I pointed out that Rusty Hardin said in a news conference that this was the “second coming of the Duke Lacrosse case,” and that many of us who said Roger was a user would have to eat our words. That was the first time I was worried about jumping to the conclusion that Clemens was lying. Hardin was so forceful and persuasive in his speech that I really had no choice but to reconsider my stance. Well now after reading Hardin say “Roger was playing golf at the time of the party, and has stated that he may have stopped by the Canseco house after playing golf before heading to the ballpark for the game,” I have no choice but to think these guys are full of it. How could Clemens say he wasn’t at that party, but Hardin is now reading statements saying “hey, there’s always the possibility the guy was there.” What the heck is that? Either Roger is lying to his legal staff, or the legal staff knew Roger was lying the whole time. Point McNamee.

Pedro Martinez 1999: Best Season Ever

I’ve been meaning to write something about this for quite a while, and thankfully all the Mitchell Report madness has given impetus to this very post. Just last week, Pedro Martinez proclaimed he dominated the Steroids Era cleanly, and added that he’s damn proud of it. I’ll gladly note that he’s the second Hall of Famer to recently say he dominated the Steroid Era cleanly. While I haven’t gone through every outstanding individual season of all-time, I have a pretty solid foundation for the history of the game. That being said, given the context of the era in which Pedro peaked, his 1999 season could very well be the most dominant season in the history of the game. Allow me to make my argument.

In 1999, names like Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Jason Giambi, and Ivan Rodriguez dominated the offensive categories, just to give you some context. In 1999, Pedro Martinez went 23-4 in 29 starts. He threw five complete games over 213.3 innings, walking a measly 37 batters the entire season. Oh yeah, he also set a career high with 313 strikeouts — a nice 8:1 ratio for those of you keeping score at home. In those 213.3 innings, a year in which 2,635 home runs were belted (the 2nd most in AL history according to my calculations), Pedro gave up just nine of them. His ERA was only 2.07, almost three full runs lower than the league average of 5.02 (also the 2nd highest in AL history according to my calculations).

The second closest pitcher to Pedro in ERA was David Cone at 3.44, almost a run and a half lower. Pedro had a 2.07. Three players with ERAs in the 4’s made it in the Top 10 of the league that year. Get that? An ERA in the 4’s meant you were having a really good season. Pedro’s WHIP was 0.92 — the next closest wasn’t even sub 1.2 — it was Eric Milton at 1.22. Pedro struck out over 13 batters per nine innings pitched. The next closest was Chuck Finley at not quite eight and a half.

I remember watching Pedro pitch that year and knowing it was special. It was news only when he lost; you always expected him to win that year. Pedro’s pitching prowess was unrivaled during his prime. Some people may say other pitchers had more dominant seasons, or that certain batters had more impressive years. Rather than fawn over the way Barry Bonds cartoonishly made a mockery of the record books in his super-human (steroids-aided) form of 2001 and 2002, I’d rather marvel at the 5’11” 170lb specimen of a man who made all those hulking roiders look foolish like nobody else did.

If you have a suggestion as to what the best individual season was in history, please feel free to add it and defend it in the comments. I’m going with Pedro Martinez in 1999.

Other baseball posts you might enjoy:
The End of the 300 Game Winners
Johan Santana Doesn’t Make the Mets a World Series Winner

Vesa Toskala’s Third Leg Stops Five Hole

Ohhh boy. Sometimes these headlines just write themselves. I was absolutely busting up like you couldn’t believe after seeing this video. It will only take about 10 seconds of your time, and make sure you have the volume down slightly if you’re at work — the language is mildly NSFW. Enjoy the enjoyment:

Maybe it’s the imagery of the whole event that gets me laughing. I dunno. I have the sense of humor of a 3rd grader, what can I say.

Video courtesy of Awful Announcing, like usual. I just hope I never make it on there for the wrong reasons, unlike some of the guys below.

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