As you already know, TK is going to be a bit light on content for the summer. It just had to be like that; we all got burnt out (get it? Burnt Toast) and the writing seemed forced and not up to the high standard we have set here at the House that Toast Built. To get us back in gear, here are some random sports related thoughts that I have.
What a chode
NBA Referee Scandal
I really hate that this is a story that is headlining most sports coverage these days. We all know that Tim Donahey is an admitted cheater and that he altered (or at least attempted to) the outcome of many games. We also know that the NBA is the shadiest organization in sports, so this shouldn’t have come as a complete shock. There have always been rumblings of draft lotteries being fixed for certain teams and/or players. There are almost never sweeps in the playoffs (because the NBA wants more TV money) and no lead is ever safe. Just look at this year’s playoffs: there were at least 4 giant comebacks in the Lakers-Spurs and Lakers-Celtics series’ alone. Is this because the teams don’t try hard all the time? Possibly. Could it be because the refs either choose to or are told to keep it close? Also a possibility. The point is, that nothing that comes out of Donahey’s mouth should be so ground breaking that we stop the presses for it. I know he claims that the refs handed Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals to the Lakers. But this is an admitted cheater, why is his word worth anything? Just like with Matt Walsh and “Spygate” (stupid name and why do we always have to call everything a “gate”?), the timing is a bit curious and you really have to consider the source. Plus, it’s in the past and there’s nothing that can or will be done about it now. So quit updating me every hour as to the on goings of this scandal (I’m talking to you SportsCenter/Around the Horn/PTI/NBA Live/NBA Countdown…) and focus on sports.
Way to step up Kobe...
I’ll be honest; I did not see this coming. Heading into the series I thought that the Lakers were clearly the favorites, even if Boston won 66 games this year. They had played better in the playoffs, seemed to match up well, and had a deeper bench. It all added up to the Lakers taking the crown in 5 or 6 games—or so I thought. Then I realized four important things: Kobe is not MJ—not even close, Pau Gasol sucks, Paul Pierce is really good, and Ray Allen isn’t finished yet. Add it all up and you get Boston in 6. Oh well, at least KG gets a ring. I think everyone in Minnesota can appreciate that.
The men who should be playing in the House that Ruth Built in early July
MLB All Stars
The All Star game is coming up in just a few weeks. The one thing I’ve always hated about MLB’s version of this gathering (other than the whole “It Counts Now!” angle) is the mandatory representative for each team. Do baseball officials really believe that a ton of people in Pittsburgh, who wouldn’t have watched otherwise, are going to tune in just to see Jason Bay come in as a defensive replacement in the 6th inning, only to be pinch hit for right awa? C’mon. It’s absurd and it takes at least 3-4 spots away from deserving players every year. That said, here are the guys I think should make the All Star teams (position players only) without the mandatory representative rule:
Note: A bunch of these guys won’t make it because of fan voting. “Oh, Ichiro? I’ve heard of him.” It's just another reason why the Mid Summer Classic is a joke.
American League: C—Joe Mauer, AJ Pierzynski 1B—Kevin Youklis, Justin Morneau 2B—Brian Roberts, Ian Kinsler 3B—Alex Rodriguez, Joe Crede SS—Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria OF—Josh Hamilton, Milton Bradley, Carlos Quentin, Manny Ramirez, Magglio Ordonez
Thoughts: A lot of Rangers considering they're not a very good team. By the way, what happened to the shortstop position in the American League? Was it that long ago that it was the glory position in all of baseball? Back when A Rod, Nomar, and Jeter were at the top of their game and a guy like Tejada couldn't even crack the lineup even with his ridiculous numbers. Now? Christ, I could make the league and hit .260 and probably be a reserve.
National League: C—Geovany Soto, Benji Molina, Russell Martin 1B—Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Howard 2B—Chase Utley, Dan Uggla 3B—Chipper Jones, David Wright SS—Christian Guzman, Hanley Ramirez OF—Nate McClouth, Lance Berkman Ryan Braun, Ryan Ludwick, Alfonzo Soriano
Thoughts: NL catchers are very good this year. I could have put Brian McCaan on this team too and he would have deserved it. Nice to see McClouth having a good year for Pittsburgh. Xavier Nady is a strong candidate for the Pirates too. I put Soriano on even though he's been injured because he's been absolutely dominant when he's been in the lineup.
Bristol is about to be empty during Week 1 of the NFL season
I just read the other day that ESPN is pulling out all the stops for the first Monday Night Football game of the year. The game features the Purple playing in Green Bay against the Packers, and I guess that Brett Favre’s jersey is going to be retired (cute). Apparently this is a big enough deal that the MNF crew will be live in GB, along with the 7 man NFL Countdown crew, PTI, SportsCenter, and at least 4 sideline reporters, not to mention all of the camera and technical crews. Seriously? This isn’t going to be some sort of significant or historical moment in the annals of football. It’s the first Monday game of the year and they’re retiring a guy’s jersey. I honestly cannot believe how much the media D rides Favre. Do you think he gets chaffed from ESPN sucking him off so much? I know that the World Wide Leader is known for overdoing things at times, but this takes the cake. I guess I’ll just have to be ok with the world watching as we kick the sh*t out of the Packers on the first stop on our Ass Kicking Tour 2008. Per Jarred Allen’s warning, I really hope Aaron Rogers took out some extra life insurance.
Easy there Tiger...
Chad Johnson, Adam Jones, etc.
Speaking of things that I don’t understand, can someone please explain to me why A) NFL Live is on every single day, but Baseball Tonight isn’t and B) I have to hear about guys like Chad Johnson and Adam Jones (I’m not going to call a grown man “Pacman”) every day? Our country is obsessed with the negative, and nowhere is it more prevalent than in professional sports. We constantly focus on the negative (Michael Vick, Spygate, Steroids, etc.) and give it way too much coverage to the point where it is glorified. As a professional athlete, you get more time on TV and in the papers if you do something bad than if you’re staying clean and having outstanding personal or team success. Then we wonder why high school and college athletes consistently get busted for using performance enhancing drugs, partying all night, and doing all sorts of other dumb things. Just because Chad says he’s not coming to camp and then shows up doesn’t mean that I need round the clock coverage of his OTA’s. Stop giving these guys so much attention.