Friday, July 20, 2007

The number 95 and other thoughts produced by the two cells that are left...

There are a lot of things that Michael Vick should be worried about in this case -

He should worry about the sheer amount of details in the indictment that include where and when dogs were purchased, the actual amounts bet on fights, locations of the fights, and the fact that there are at least four witnesses for the prosecution listed in the indictment.

He should worry that his cousin who was so ready to take the fall for him a month ago, even going so far as to have a press conference during which he admitted culpability and denied Vick has any knowledge, appears nowhere in the indictment.

He should worry about the timing and the fact that the Federal court in Richmond is known as the fastest in the country at pushing cases through the courtroom.

He should worry about the fact that it's the federal judiciary rather than some local like Mike Nifong who was incompetent or Surry County District Attorney Gerald Poindexter who was dragging his feet on the investigation, and likely to let it drop.

Most of all he should worry about the number 95. That's the percentage of criminal cases in federal court which result in a conviction. There are a number of other people who have a lot more money than Vick who are now behind bars after being dragged into the federal judiciary. Anyone remember Enron and their brain trust?

There are claims of racism already appearing in some quarters, others are alleging that it's because Vick's a celebrity, however, I put it to you, ask the average - and I emphasize AVERAGE - Michael Vick fan from a predominantly black community in Georgia to tell you who Ken Lay was...I give an outside chance at best that the individual will know who that was and that he was nailed by the feds.

Also, if this had been some white guy, Samoan, or even black guy who was a back-up lineman making league minimum with the Falcons, I guarantee he would be cut already. If anything, I would say that Vick's celebrity has thus far protected him as anyone of his previous transgressions - the water bottle, flipping off the fans, smoking the roach on the girlfriend's MySpace page - would have gotten a bottom of the roster player cut.

Baseball writers need to...

Get off the Bud Selig's back about attending Barry Bonds perversion of baseball's biggest record. I am no Bud Selig fan, but this constant whining from the writers - particularly the ones at ESPN - needs to stop.

Selig does not need to be there - get over it.

The vast majority of writers turned as blind an eye to the problem as any of the owners - at whom the writers point their fingers, seldom lumping themselves in as culpable. Now they seem to be beating on Selig as though making him the bad guy in all this gives them a pass on "celebrating the record" as it should paraphrase ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney is among those that think it would be a travesty for Selig to not be there, because it would belittle the breaking of the record.

His argument is that it seems as though Bonds has become the scapegoat for the entire era and that people have forgotten that Bonds was not the only one on the juice, and that's not fair.

Nobody has forgotten that others were juicing - Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, and Rafael Palmiero are still talked about regularly. There are still whispers of why Pudge Rodriguez got a lot less pudgy when the testing was instituted and why Roger Clemens, after three years of decline in his 30's, suddenly seemed to be 25 again...after being on a Red Sox team with Jose Canseco

It feels to me like the baseball press is trying to make Selig the bad guy in this just so they can make themselves feel better about covering this travesty. The man has cheated the game and the its fans and the writers will once again be culpable in the sham that will be the home-run record.

I guess there are those that learn history and are doomed to repeat it anyway.


Dave said...

The ass-kissery at ESPN over Bonds has been atrocious. I firmly believe that the bosses there have made it policy to back Bonds. Isn't it odd that not one single person at ESPN has come out against Bonds?

I'm really disappointed in Olney. I like his writing and insights, so to see him say something like that is just sad.

If you didn't see it yet, read Tom Verducci's piece on Aaron in this week's SI. Fantastic stuff.

Kevin Smith said...

I'm with you on Olney - I've generally enjoyed his work, but was disappointed to hear him this morning on ESPN Radio calling out the commish.

Will have to read the Verducci piece, haven't had the chance to look at it yet.