Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo! Sports’

A Passive-Aggressive Letter to Major League Baseball

December 19, 2012

baseball moneyJust for the record, I hate when people write “Dear ________ (i.e. “Homework”), Please stop being so hard! Love, _______” on Facebook. So stop doing that. My version on this blog is awesome and clever, okay? Stop laughing!

Dear Major League Baseball,

First of all, thanks for all the great times. The home runs, the no-hitters, the magical moments, the near-misses, the joy and the agony, the PED’s and — wait. Okay, that’s enough dilly-dallying. I’ve sugar-coated this enough: I’m pissed.

It crosses my mind every so often. Usually when Joe Schmo So-and-So and his .225 average signs a six-year contract for $90 million that ends up equating to about $225,000 per hit each season. I accept it as fact and move on. Then Frank Tank Wanky Wank and his 1.35 WHIP signs for four years and $48 million, roughly $1 million per win each season.

And worst of all, players who actually deserve big money at the given market value, sign contracts worth between $200 million and $250 million dollars. For playing a sport. A child’s game, played by men.

Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I love baseball. Always have, always will. And I’d give at least half a nut to be playing in your league, making that kind of money for a daily routine of catch, batting practice and bullpen sessions.

But when I see articles like this, I get upset.

Josh Hamilton signing

Oh, did I mention I’m a Dodgers fan? I worship the team that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on free agents and negotiating rights and probably unnecessarily fast cars.

That team, and this sport is my passion. I realize this is “how it is.” And I definitely realize that I shouldn’t complain, since my team is riding that gravy train to being the best team in baseball on paper. But after the hypothetical confetti settles on a hypothetical World Series title, I’m going to get pissed again.

I apologize for the bluntness (no I don’t), but why are grown men with nary a financial management skill being handed game checks worth six figures for swinging a piece of wood at a ball of laced hide?

Professional athletes don’t have it as easy as I’m making it out to be, so I digress. It’s a tough job. And they deserve to be well-compensated for doing that job, especially when the ridiculous income would go straight to the slick-haired, three-piece-suited, likely dirty executives that run the league and the media otherwise.

But even a phenom like Mike Trout – and this isn’t a reach, since the market trends up every single year and he’s already the best player in the game at age 21 – is going to be in line for a contract worth over $300 million when he hits free agency.

Do you realize how much money that is? I’ve never had $300,000,000 $3,000,000 $30,000 $3,000 at any given time in my 24 years on this planet.

I get it. I understand the system. I really do. But what in the world does Albert Pujols do with his $27.5 million per year? Make a side cash salad with his dinners? What does Barry Zito do with his nearly $2 million per win? Buy every fedora and scarf in the Northern California region (that explains why I can’t find any good ones…)?

There are people all over the world starving for 1/100,000,000th of that total in a lifetime, let alone in one calendar year. Most third-world countries would beg for school supplies, shoes, and fresh water for their children.

And even in America, thousands upon thousands of hard-working people work two jobs just to afford rent on a crappy apartment in a shitty neighborhood. If they want to watch Mike Trout play baseball, they better find a hotel lobby with the game on. rich a-rod

I don’t mean to get all sappy and dramatic on you, but I’m just making a point. Here it is, in all its glory:

SALARY. CAP.

Yeah, yeah. It would be tough to sell the players on such a thing. The logistics would be hell. But any player who says, “I deserve $_______ million!” is only justified in saying so because there isn’t a cap. They see mediocre players getting gigantic bonuses, and expect to exceed that. They are right. But you are wrong.

Fix it. Now. Please. Even this die-hard Dodgers fan wants there to be a limit to how much his team can spend.

Here is my proposition: Contract length cap – 7 years. Contract amount cap – $12 million per year/$84 million in a contract. You don’t have to do away with contract options, bonuses and incentives, as long as they don’t exceed a total of $100 million and/or 10 years.

Stop crying, Richie Rich executive guy. You’ll still get a hefty paycheck yourself. You can allocate the leftover funds to making the stadiums nicer, safer and more fan-friendly. You can set up more promotions for your adoring fan bases. Allocate more money to minor league players, as a reward for making it that far. Maybe even donate to charities! Set up developmental leagues in inner cities and foreign countries. Spread the gospel that is the greatest sport in the world.

I’m sure the Albert Pujols and Mike Trouts of this world will survive without a fourteenth guest bedroom in their Malibu mansions.

Much love,

Jeremy Dorn

Baseball Conossieur/Broke-Ass Blogger

March Madness – Day 2

March 16, 2012

In any other aspect of life, 11 out of 16 really isn’t that bad. It’s probably a passing grade, at least. And it’s definitely not the relevant version of an apocalypse. But when it comes to a March Madness bracket, missing five on day one is a terrible outcome. And ladies and gentlemen, my bracket is officially busted.

But, I won’t give up. Yahoo! Sports has a $5,000 “second-chance” pool, and I’m all in on that. We keep on keepin’ on in rough times like these, even if my little newspaper bracket has more red lines than cow has stomachs. No, literally there are five, as compared to four cow stomachs (okay, four compartments within the stomach, whatever).

So here we go. My first round, day two predictions for March Madness:

(6) Cincinnati def. (11) Texas – I got asked a funny question by a friend when the NCAA field was announced. He said, how the hell did Texas get in? I responded, they are Texas. And that’s really all there is to it. That old saying “it’s the name on the front of the jersey…” really applies to UT. Because the selection committee saw that burnt orange and started drooling, regular season be damned. Well, Cincy is here to show them who’s boss.

(3) Florida State def. (14) St. Bonaventure – This is a case of another team many believed got unfairly included in the field. Why was a team like Drexel left out for the likes of St. Bonavenutre? I’ll tell you what – against a team that beat Duke AND North Carolina twice each this season, St. Bonny’s is in for a whoopin’. I’ve got the Seminoles in my Final Four, so I’m pulling hard for these guys. I expect FSU to do exactly that – F.S.U. (F*** shit up)!

(2) Duke def. (15) LehighDuke may not be quite themselves this year with so much youth on the team, but they are still damn dangerous and I expect them to make a deep run. Step one will be defeating Lehigh, who hails from…um. Where…who…what…I literally have no idea. It sounds like a preppy private high school. Good luck staying within 25 points, Lehigh.

(7) Xavier def. (10) Notre Dame – I honestly don’t even remember who I picked in this game on my real bracket. But I’m going with X-to-the-A, Xavier! How can you root against the only team who will ever start with an X? And rooting for Notre Dame is so cliche, anyway.

(6) San Diego State def. (11) NC State – I swear I’m picking an upset eventually. Just not this one. This was actually a very tough choice for me, based on the logic of sympathy. SDSU was supposed to be in the midst of a down year, and instead ended up with a favorable seed in March Madness. NC State was the last team in, and their live reaction to the news could be a Disney movie in itself. In the end, the Aztecs win because Ron Burgundy likes San Diego.

(8) Creighton def. (9) Alabama – Creighton Fraker, one of the top 24 American Idol contestants this season, was unjustly upset when he wasn’t put through to the Final 13. So, his namesake is making up for it by pummeling Alabama (who should really stick to football). Okay, fine the Tide is pretty solid, but nobody likes to see a show-off.

(3) Georgetown def. (14) Belmont – A lot of people have tabbed this as a potential upset. I can see why, but I’m not interested in agreeing. Belmont could be a Cinderella, sure. Especially against chronic choke artists like Georgetown. But I don’t see it happening this year. The stakes are high, especially for the 14 seed. You could say…the Belmont Stakes are high…No?

(1) North Carolina poops on (16) Vermont – No Syracuse/UNC Asheville scare here, although it would be pretty cool. I think UNC will do dirty, unspeakable things to Vermont. Are they still a state, by the way? Anddddd the judges have conferred…the ruling is…YES! Vermont is still a state. Which is good, because this crew is going straight back home after two very ugly halves of basketball.

(4) Michigan def. (13) Ohio – The two major schools in these respective states hate each other with a fiery passion. I can relate (Giants vs. Dodgers, Cougars vs. Huskies). Unfortunately for hopeless dramatics, this is the baby brother of Ohio State. And they aren’t very good at basketball. Good enough, I suppose, but Michigan should run these guys ragged on the hardwood.

(7) St. Mary’s def. (10) Purdue – All hail the East Bay boys! St. Mary’s is a solid 12-minute drive from my house, so of course I’m pulling for them. I ultimately have other motives too. St. Mary’s and Gonzaga have a huge rivalry, and it’s a small victory for my pride every time Gonzaga loses. As long as the Gaels get farther than Gonzaga in this tournament, I can mask my indifference with a smile.

(12) South Florida def. (5) Temple – There we go. There’s the upset we’ve been waiting for. I love these 12/5’s for some reason. This is legit though – in the play-in game against Cal, South Florida just whooped on the Bears. I believe the halftime score was somewhere in the neighborhood of 325-13. Look for that momentum to carry over to today’s game.

(2) Kansas def. (15) Detroit – This should be interesting. Kansas is one of the best teams in the nation and will have no trouble handling Detroit if all goes right. But you never know with Bill Self and KU – they’ve been victims of an incredible amount of legendary upsets over the past five tournaments or so.

(10) Virginia def. (7) Florida – This ain’t your back-to-back National Champion Billy Donovan Gator team. This is your about-to-get-crushed by Jeremy’s alma mater’s former coach’s new team Gators. Confused yet? Basically what I’m saying is Florida isn’t really all that great, but the Cavs, led by former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, definitely are. This is a pretty easy upset to call if you ask me.

(2) Missouri def. (15) Norfolk State – I want Mizzou to lose, partially because I have good friends at Kansas (they are not cool with Missouri, to put it nicely). And also because when the seedings were announced, most teams jumped up and down and celebrated and hugged. Missouri had confetti pouring out of their ceiling. Literally. And this is after one good season of basketball. But, I can’t pick against a team this talented. Not when the opponent is Norfolk State, at least.

(8) Memphis def. (9) Saint Louis – I can’t believe I made this choice. I mean, that David Freese guy is so clutch and Chris Carpenter is a bona fide ace out there on the mound! Oh, it’s the SCHOOL St. Louis? Not the entire city? Well that’s a stupid name. In that case, go Memphis!

(1) Michigan State def. (16) LIU Brooklyn – This could be a fun game. What does LIU stand for (don’t Google it ya cheater!)? I’m going with Lazy Irish Unicorn personally. Doesn’t fit quite with the whole Brooklyn stereotype. Then again, neither does losing at basketball. But it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen hard. Although I’d love to see the Spartans go down in a historic fireball of FAIL since Sports Illustrated picked them to win the whole shebang.

There’s my 16 games for Day 2! Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to hit refresh a million times while wishing I had a TV at work. Go LIU!

Student-Athlete of the Year

February 26, 2012

Far too often, we wake up to the morning news screaming at us about a prolific college football program being suspended for illegal benefits. Or a star linebacker getting busted for dealing drugs. Or a point guard arrested on a rape charge. The thuggery of college sports dominates headlines in America.

Today, we have a beautiful break from that nonsense. We have a walk-on safety at the University of Virginia who is fighting for a worthy cause in the most selfless way possible. According to a Yahoo! Sports article, Joseph Williams is currently on a hunger strike that has lasted eight days thus far, in order “to protest the economic and social injustices perpetrated by the UVa administration against the vast majority of the University’s service-sector employees.”

Wait, really? A kid who graduated high school at age 16, earned a walk-on spot on a D-I football team and has all the open world ahead of him for the taking, is starving himself for men and women who serve the UVa community with their bare hands?

Damn.

That’s class. Apparently, Williams wrote a very nice essay (read it here) detailing the reasons he was striking. Among others, he cited his own past. One of four children raised by a single mom, living in 30 different places as he grew up, makes this a very personal issue for Williams.

And the general Charlottesville, VA area is truly an above-averagely expensive place to live. So $7.25 an hour for some of the hardest working people in the community is not going to cut it.

That’s unjust no matter where it’s taking place. But the fact that Williams and his comrades have the balls to strike and go public about it for the benefit of the workers who are being snubbed, is beyond admirable.

A huge problem in our country is the pay scales are all out of whack. Roger Goodell is making $20 million a year as the NFL commissioner. Oil tycoons make billions of dollars a year to poison the Earth, yet the thousands of teachers and professors educating the future generations of students who may take a stand against these very financial crimes, are struggling to get by.

Where is the justice in that? And a good chunk of student-athletes take their privileges and abuse them. Even if it’s not in an illegal manner, too many student-athletes openly abuse their social standing. That’s not to say that there aren’t good role models – but we only get flooded with negative news.

I just hope for two things. First, that the (vastly overpaid, by the way) powers that be at Virginia take serious consideration to what Williams and the 17 accompanying protesters are doing. And second, that student-athletes everywhere start to realize how much good they can do if fighting for the right causes.

Joseph Williams gets a standing ovation from this blogger. Keep it up, young man.

So THAT’S Why Dwight Wants Out!

January 27, 2012

Holy guacamole we have a lot to talk about today. The last 24 hours in sports has gotten me buzzin’ on the good stuff. Winter X-Games is in full gear, the Magic have 99 problems but a swish ain’t one (actually it is), and hockey really is the best at something! Here we go (Oh, come ON. Totally fake, that house would not be livable)!

I’ll be honest. The reason I’m bringing up the Winter X-Games is because the guy who won gold in Snowmobile Freestyle laid down the first acceptable Tebow (short for Tebowing in this case) I’ve seen in months. First of all, I don’t know what a hippie-haired kid from Texas is doing winning a Winter X medal, but he killed it and then nailed the pose in front of Tebow’s Colorado faithful. Check it out.

On to the NBA, where Magic tricks are pulled on a daily basis. Or so it seems. I actually feel bad for Orlando (but I definitely don’t feel bad for this British broad…eat an apple, woman!). Not only does Dwight Howard want out, but they are giving him no reason to stay, and doing so in a losing-to-Boston fashion. And nobody likes Boston teams. Not even Boston likes Boston teams. Oh god, I can hear the mob of chowdah-slinging ruffians coming at me from here!

But really, the Magic got absolutely blown out by the Celts a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday, they built up a HUGE halftime lead. As in insurmountable. As in the only team who could blow that type of lead would be the 2004 Yankees (ZING! And Boston loves me again). Yet the Magic vanished, and they did blow that lead and any hope they had of retaining their big man. I no longer blame Dwight for wanting to bounce. That was simply embarrassing.

They were up 21 at halftime, had a big lead of 27 in the second half…and lost by eight. Twenty five points in the second half for Orlando, including being outscored 27-8 in the fourth quarter. Yikes. Sayonara, D12. I’m not even mad. That’s amazing! It must have been more difficult to screw up so royally than to actually win the game.

In other NBA news, I learned I’m very much in the minority. Not only because I hardly care about or follow professional basketball, but because I thought the ABA uniforms in the Grizzlies vs. Clippers game yesterday were freakin’ SWEET! Seriously, the NFL is going to let Nike’s blind fashionistas design next year’s uni’s when they could go with awesome throwbacks like that? I hope they wear those every night!

Before I move away from basketball altogether, I’ve got a little surprise for you! Remember the big posterization I mentioned from the college game a couple of days ago? Happy learned how to Google! Sit back, relax and enjoy this face mashing. That’s the most offensive thing I’ve seen since war and famine. Okay, I’ll stop stealing movie lines.

Moving on. Let’s talk a little football. First, the boring stuff. The Bucs hired former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to take over the head coaching gig. Hey, if you think his college record that’s one game over .500 is that impressive, good on ya. Turning around the Rutgers football program is no small task, but an underachieving team full of rich, thuggish prima donnas is a helluva lot bigger problem. If Schiano can get QB Josh Freeman to regain confidence, leadership and the decision-making ability he showed in 2010, there’s a chance. Otherwise it’s going to be early curtains for the coach.

According to ESPN’s Cold Hard Facts segment, they think Rex Ryan is on the hot seat for next season. I’m a bigger fan of Rebecca Black than Rex Ryan, so after seeing that on the tube, this was me in my living room: Wahoo! I’ll bet you 50 pesos that you can’t watch that commercial without cracking a smile. And I’m so, so sorry if you clicked on the Rebecca Black link. I really am. But at least we know what day it is now…ugh.

Before I move on to some tear-jerking football news, can we just settle something? I respect Yahoo! Sports, I really do. I get a lot of breaking news through them and generally enjoy the blogs and articles I find on there. But my God, if they aren’t the worst at mis-titling their stuff. At least once a day I find something like this that was originally titled “Harbaugh Disses Californians.” Um. What?

And most recently the media has been getting its collective rocks off to a Peyton Manning vs. Colts’ owner Jim Irsay spat that isn’t a spat at all. In fact, the media made it news in the first place. It’s extremely frustrating to see a sports media outlet putting misleading titles on stories that aren’t controversial, just so they will get more reads. It’s cheating. It’s like drinking Four Lokos at a party – obviously you’re going to get drunk first and at the cheapest price. Be a man and drink a beer! “Firing back,” my ass.

Now, I don’t have much to say about these next two. Except they make my tummy feel funny in a good way. Not like the first time I saw Hayden Panettiere all grown up. More like that choking-back-tears feeling I get at the end of The Green Mile (spoiler alert). Check out Kyle Williams’ biggest little fan, and why Jason Pierre-Paul’s biggest supporter has never seen him play.

Lastly, for football, JoePa’s service took place yesterday. ESPN covered a bit of it, but a couple of things really struck me. First of all, 12,000 people showed up to support Paterno. Twelve. Thousand. That’s incredible. If I have a quarter of that many people who care about me when I’m gone, I’ll consider my life a fantastic success.

That being said, and I’m sure I’ll take flak for this one, Nike chairman Phil Knight had absolutely no reason to bring up the scandal when he was speaking. It was nice of him to whip the crowd into a frenzy for pro-Joe sentiment, but blaming what happened during the Jerry Sandusky investigation solely on the investigators is pure ignorance. I understand it’s not the time or place to acknowledge that Paterno played a role in everything, but that’s when you just keep your mouth shut.

Alright, we have one more bit of business today. I promised you that hockey actually does something better than every other sport. And now I’m here to deliver. The NHL All-Star Game is perfection. The MLB game is insanely flawed, the NBA version is over-the-top, and the Pro Bowl in the NFL is irrelevant. But in hockey, two captains get to choose teams in a draft format out of the pool of All-Stars. It’s fun for the players and the fans, and actually keeps the viewer interested.

And how awesome is this? Every year, the last guy picked in the “draft,” wins a new car. It’s like Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft, except they actually get to play…and then drive away in a sick new ride. Well done, hockey. Well done.

Whew. That was a lot. Hope you enjoyed it. And since it’s Friday, everyone’s getting ready to party this weekend, and I definitely need to redeem myself for linking to Rebecca Black earlier in the blog, here is the Friday Song of the Week. Because who doesn’t like a little fun? See what I did there? Seriously though, this band rocks.

Peace!


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