Posts Tagged ‘A-Rod’

Deciding the Best MLB Rivalry

March 24, 2012

Hey. I’ve only got a minute. My buddy just got home from Africa and we’re watching Klay Thompson dominate for the Warriors and drinking beer. But I thought, let’s decide which of the three big rivalries in baseball is THE biggest.

I’m biased, but…when has that stopped me before?

So we know the three biggest rivalries are Giants/Dodgers, Yankees/Red Sox and Cubs/Cardinals. If you disagree, you’re absolutely insane. Anyway, here’s my order:

3. Cardinals vs. Cubs: This one has a sweet inter-division flair to it. The Cubs suck. The Cardinals are okay. Can you tell I don’t know anything about this rivalry? It doesn’t mean the actual battles between the two aren’t legendary. My Cardinals-fan girlfriend won’t even acknowledge that Cubs fans exist. Maybe she should be writing this blog…

2. Yankees vs. Red Sox: Oh, yeah. I did it. Of course this is one of the most historic rivalries in sports history. Babe Ruth, Bucky F*cking Dent, Curt Schilling…the list goes on and on. If you doubt this being an amazing rivalry, look no further than 2004. I showed up to the regular season game in 2005 at Fenway when Schilling returned from his ankle rehab (and unfortunately gave up the game-winning home run to A-Rod…). And let me tell you. Saying there is no love lost between those two teams is an understatement.

1. Dodgers vs. Giants: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I mean for God’s sake, a Giants player hit a Dodgers player in the head with a bat…IN A GAME! These teams and their fans absolutely hate each other. With a fiery passion. They have both won six World Series, both won 18 pennants and have an almost exactly even record against one another. The newest aspect of this rivalry is Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum, the two aces. All I’m gonna say as a humble Dodger fan, is that Kershaw (cough – the Cy Young winner last year – cough) went 4-0 against Lincecum in 2011. No biggie.

Well, there you have it. Comment below and let me know what you think. Until tomorrow!

The Stars are Fading

March 13, 2012

I was talking with a buddy about this via text earlier today: All the stars from our generation in baseball are starting to retire. And it hurts. We’ve already lost Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey, Jr. to retirement.

Alex Rodriguez is a hobbled old man (but really, who liked him anyway?). Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones are winding down their careers. It’s just a sad, sad time for us 90’s kids.

The one that kills me the most is Mariano Rivera. As we all know by now, Mo has decided to be frustratingly covert about his post-2012 plans. He has hinted at coming back and hinted at retiring, but when the contract is up, he’ll have a big decision to make.

Rivera is getting on in years, but he’s still one of the best closers in baseball and is absolutely dominant in the postseason. He hasn’t had any major health issues, so this is purely brought on by being satisfied with his illustrious career.

It’s not often that a player gets to go out like that, but nobody is more deserving of such an honor than Mariano.

Whether or not Mo decides to retire after the season, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and go down as the greatest closer the game has ever seen. He’s won five rings with the Yankees and has an almost microscopic postseason ERA. The numbers will be remembered, but there are so many other intangibles that stand out about Rivera.

The reasons I will miss him (and let’s be real…the reasons I’ll cry when he retires) formulate an endless list. First and foremost, he is one of those rare players (like Jeter and Bernie Williams) who have the humility and class to make any baseball fan root for them.

I hate the Yankees – I’m in the majority there. But if you tell me that you hate Rivera, you will get a swift kick to the groin. Unless you’re bigger and faster than me. It’s impossible to hate a guy that has earned the sport’s respect with his play and his demeanor.

I remember watching an E:60 special on Mo a few months back. He hails from a small town in Panama, where he often returns in the off-season to help rebuild and financially strengthen a poor community. He is trying to spread the gospel of baseball in the place he grew up.

That’s not necessarily out of the ordinary for a successful Major Leaguer. But, Rivera is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players whose scope of influence is so vast that it can literally touch any fan, player or person on multiple continents.

Rivera never had a controversial moment in New York, even under the bright lights of the big city. He never basked in that spotlight, even amidst a wealth of prima donna teammates like A-Rod.

And perhaps best of all, Rivera is a great sport. Despite serving up the World Series-winning rally in 2001 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in one of his rare moments of failure, Mo never made excuses about his play.

Rivera is a true champion and a model human being. For my sake, your sake, and baseball’s sake, let’s hope he sticks around for another contract or two and continues to dominate hitters for a living. Bromantic tribute, end.

Bochy-ing That One…

March 9, 2012

Jamblinman’s the name, being punny’s my game! As much as I just want to sit here and absolutely tear the San Francisco Giants’ manager a new one…I can’t. I respect Bruce Bochy. And I’m tired of being so angry all the time.

Okay, that second part isn’t true. But still, I’ll quash the little devil in a Dodgers jersey whispering in my ear and try to be fair and sensible in today’s blog. That being said, what Bochy did at Spring Training this week was absolutely ludicrous and wrong.

Oh, you haven’t heard yet? Here, let me help you out. Don’t scoff at this – it IS news (for once…way to go, Yahoo!). Pete Rose is banned from baseball for violating what amounts to an unwritten rule; a silent code if you will. A-Rod almost got his face ripped off by Dallas Braden for breaking an unwritten rule. And now Bochy has joined a club he doesn’t belong in.

Luckily, the Giants quickly rectified the situation and did solid damage control. But it worries me that Bochy even went there in the first place. I could understand someone like Ozzie Guillen pulling shit like removing another team’s scout from the stands during practice, but not Bochy.

Why is this a big deal, you ask? First of all, because you just don’t do it. This isn’t Rajon Rondo listening in on another team’s huddle. This isn’t a Patriots employee video taping the Jets’ walk-through. This is not immoral or illegal in any way. It’s a scout, well…scouting.

Unless Bochy and the Giants were working on a super secret new hit-and-run play that is going to revolutionize the game as we know it, there is no violation here. And no, they weren’t doing that. Mostly because the Giants couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn so they won’t worry about hit-and-runs. ZING had to do it.

As the Yahoo! article states, anything that has to be secret in baseball is done in the clubhouse. Nobody stands on an open diamond and yells, “HEY GUYS! LISTEN UP! THIS YEAR, WHEN I TOUCH MY BELT, THEN MY NOSE, THEN MY BELT AGAIN, IT’S A DELAYED STEAL! DON’T TELL ANYONE!”

Plus, did Bochy not realize that his shenanigans might get his own team’s scouts some rough treatment when they try to scout other teams? Oops.

The disgraced scout told Yahoo! that he was there to scout the Giants’ outfield arms. Chances are, that’s exactly what he was doing. And even if he wasn’t, so what? Baseball is the most simply complicated game in the history of the world. There are strategic intricacies to every pitch and every play and that’s why I love it.

But, everyone knows the same strategies and how to execute them – it just comes down to who does it better.

Between the A’s-to-San-Jose fiasco and now Bochy being a bum, the Giants are really starting to rub me the wrong way. And if I’m getting that feeling one week into Spring Training, you can imagine how fiercely I’ll take this rivalry in 2012.

Let’s just all make sure that if we watch the Giants warming up this season, to warn Bochy ahead of time that you come in peace.


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