Thursday, May 24, 2007

The press and the Internet

A dangerous combination if ever there was one.

Within the last week news outlets reported failed drug tests by Bengals trouble child Chris Henry and Yankees lightning rod Jason Giambi. Both reports turned out to be false.

As regulars here may have noticed, my only reference to either incident was a note that Henry "might have more trouble coming his way." Like many bloggers and reporters, I will jump on a controversial story, but this time I stayed away. I couldn't tell you why.

I can say that the Internet and news stations televising 24/7 have done more damage to the quality of reporting than anything else.

Print journalists are so desperate to get a scoop, that sometimes corroboration falls to the way side. Let's face it - it's difficult to scoop anything now because the Internet and television provide close to instant access to the news. Print journalism is slowly becoming obsolete, although not slowly enough for the newspaper companies.

For those of you that believe that the news mediums are still working - I have a question; are you seeking news, or are you seeking entertainment?

I pose this question due to the three weeks of coverage of the run away bride story that didn't feel like it was going away, and the coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death. Let me tell you how NASA PR people breathed a sigh of relief when all the cameras turned to the, I still want to know how the raving stalker passed the military psyche profiles to be picked for the space program.

Now back to my regularly scheduled sports coverage...

After his last two starts, I would say someone needs to remind Curt Schilling that he's not throwing batting practice.

Clemens was unimpressive against AA ball last night, giving up 3 earned in five and a third. By all accounts (from major league scouts) he was out-pitched by Red Sox prospect and Portland Sea Dogs pitcher Clay Buchholz. According to an article by Rob Bradford at the Boston Herald, a major league scout said, "we need one game to win the division and you’re giving me a choice between starting (Buchholz) or Clemens, I’m taking (Buchholz) off of what I saw tonight."

Rumors have circulated that Clemens next start will be with the Yanks. From the scouting reports - I wouldn't hold my breath that it will be a quality start.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rim shots

Arbitrarily speaking...
While it sounds like Floyd Landis had a good day in court on Monday, and it has been revealed that at least one lab tech was aware that the "anonymous" sample being tested belonged to Landis, I believe this still could go either way. I base this mostly on what I have seen from other arbitrators (for example, I still don't understand how an arbitrator was going to find in favor of Terrell Owens when he was trying to get out of his contract with the 49ers).

Dog eat Dawg...
The Washington Redskins released a statement "on behalf of" Clinton Portis apologizing for his comments to a Virginia media outlet regarding Michael Vick and dog fighting. After listening to Portis' tirade, it was pretty obvious that the statement did not come from him - he's no where near as well spoken as the statement would make him out to be.

The meat of the Redskins released statement read, “I want to make it clear I do not take part in dog fighting or condone dog fighting in any manner.” Portis' words to a Norfolk news station, “I don’t know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it’s his property; it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.” Doesn't sound like the same dude to me.

Gotta admit, wouldn't be surprised to hear that police wanted to talk to Portis at some point regarding the dogfights that he seems to know so much about on the back roads of Mississippi.

At best...
For New Yorkers, the Yankees win tonight and come away with a series win against the Sox and close the gap back to 9.5 games. The Sox finish off the road trip with three against Texas before returning to Fenway for three with the Tribe before hosting the Yankees for three.

The Bomahs - they host the Angels and then go to Toronto for three before arriving at Fenway.

Just a guess, but with the way the Yankees are playing I would be surprised to see them do any better than 3-3 during the next six games (tonight notwithstanding). I could easily see them drop two to the Angels and at least one to the Jays. At the same time, I can't really see the Sox doing any worse than 3-3, and think they will go 4-2 between now and next week when they see the Yankees again.

Say Ow!
Junior's back in the fold with the Pats, giving them the needed depth at linebacker. Rumor has it that Vinny Testaverde could be returning, Belichick has already said that Troy Brown has a place with the team if healthy, and Chad Brown might be returning (I would guess that they wouldn't use him inside like they did last time - he's just not suited to it).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sox score 19 to Braves 20 and take 2 of 3, and other thoughts...

Game one - 13-3 Sox
Game two - 14-0 Braves
Game Three- 6-3 Sox

Just goes to show you, it's not how many you score in a series, it's when you score them.

Last Call?
Tonight could be the start of the Yankees last real chance to get going - but to do that, it will take a sweep of the Red Sox in the Bronx. The way the Yankees are playing right now, I would say at best that the Yanks will gain one game over the course of the next three. At worst...well, they walk away another three games down.

It might still be early in the season, but if they don't get going before Clemens makes his re-entry to the Bronx, then The Rocket's return will be less NASA re-entry and more of a backyard bottle rocket.

Stupid is as stupid does...
Since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell brought the hammer down on Pacman Jones and Bengals wideout Chris Henry (who might have more trouble coming his way), the following boneheads have been in the news for all the wrong reasons - Falcons QB Michael Vick (links to dogfighting), Jets kick returner Justin Miller (assault), troubled Bengals linebacker AJ Nicholson (domestic assault, released by Bengals), Jaguars cornerback Ahmad Carroll (drugs and weapons).

Two of the players, as noted, were released, the others face potential suspensions. It begs a question - What percentage of the players in the NFL, particularly the...bad decision to make the connection between stupid behavior and the loss of their paycheck? I guess we're on the verge of finding out.

And on a vaguely related subject - Clinton Portis, you need to just keep your mouth shut. Vick possibly being involved in illegal activities isn't The Man bringing him down, it's Vick potentially making really boneheaded decisions that could get him sent to jail.

Just because you know places in Mississippi where you can go to enjoy a dogfight, it doesn't make it either right or legal.

Musical chairs...
The annual MLB salary dump is looming and the rumors are just beginning to fly about what team will attempt to trade away their big contacts in an effort to build for the future. The important questions for Sox fans really are who is selling and what are the Sox buying? Pitching or hitting? It all really depends on Theo Epstein's plans for the stretch run and for next year.

If the assumption is that the Sox and Curt Schilling are parting ways at the end of the year, it is feasible that the Boston could look to replace the ace from within their own system. The brain trust has seen both Jon Lester and Kason Gabbard experience big-league success, and in a division with the Yankees, the fact that the two are lefties makes them major commodities.

The rumor right now, however, is that the Sox are interested in pursuing 26-year old Oakland pitcher Rich Harden. If the Sox get him, what does that do for Lester's rehab schedule? Does he spend more time in the minors? Does he become the bait to land the more established Harden?

If the trade happens, next year's rotation could look like this -

If the trade doesn't happen, don't be surprised to see Gabbard and Lester in the rotation.

Think before you speak...
The other day I heard an athlete, who shall remain nameless, say, "when you play basketball, you play to win."

Well, I guess that explains why I couldn't get the college scouts to watch me when I played high school football...they didn't come because I wasn't playing basketball on the gridiron, and thus, wasn't playing to win. Oy.

In footy news...
Metro season has started. For those of you unfamiliar, Metro leagues are kind of like teams set up within a team. The Baltimore/Washington Eagles has three Metro Teams - The Baltimore Bohemians (the team I play for), Washington, and Northern Virginia. When we play Philadelphia, New York, etc., members from each of the Metro teams play.

The Metro leagues allow us to work on our skills in a competitive game environment.

This past weekend marked the second week of metro season, and the first game for Bohs.

Final score -
Baltimore 14.9-93
Washington DC 4.4-28

I will post more of a game summary and Metro standings later in the week.