Saturday, May 14, 2016

More idle rants

Sports Illustrated had a blurb about NY Met pitcher Bartolo Colon being the oldest player ever (42) to hit his first home run. Excuse me, but when they mention the name Colon and "going deep" in the same sentence, yours truly squirms a bit in his chair. Ahem.

After getting off to a fast start, the Detroit Tigers have now lost 11 of their last 12 games. They find themselves 5 games under .500, and nine out of first place in their own division. Another month like this and their season could be over before Father's Day. This probably wasn't exactly what owner Mike Ilitch had in mind when he plopped down over $200 million in salaries. That's a whole lot of pepperoni.

Some say manager Brad Ausmus is on the "hot seat". Probably so, but it's not fair. Any team is only as good as the players and there's nothing a manager can do about it. If hitters can't hit and score runs and pitchers can't get guys out, it's not HIS fault. The true heat should come down on GM Al Avila. He's the guy that signed off on all the ridiculous contracts for a bunch of players who can't seem to get out of their own way.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins had a rock-em sock-em affair in Game 1 of their NHL eastern conference final series. A Bolt crushed a Pen head-first into the boards. He had to be taken off by stretcher. Then the Pens managed to hobble the Lightning goaltender. Bring on the stretcher again. It's probably a fair statement to say some serious bad blood is already brewing between these two teams. TB would win the opener in Pitt to swipe home-ice advantage -- if that even matters. This series could get seriously ugly -- and hazardous to player health -- before it's over.

Why is it that every commercial advertising a super-duper wonder product is pretty much the same? They all cost $19.99 -- but wait -- you can get TWO of these miracle inventions if you call now at 1-800 - SHYSTER. And if these things are that great, then how come they're not available in stores? Then again, that Ginsu all-purpose kitchen knife I phoned in for years ago still comes in handy once in a while. Maybe I should coat the handle in Flex Seal.

The word "hater" has spiraled out of control. The politically correct crowd is quick to label someone a hater if they dare show anything less than adulation towards an athlete. No criticism is allowed is their pitiful little world. Everybody's great. I beg to disagree.

No, yours truly was never a fan of Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, or Kobe Bryant for various reasons. They had/have their legions of faithful followers and good for them. But I wasn't one of them. Hey, this is America and anybody can root for or against anybody they choose. Don't believe that? Check out the current Presidential campaign. Groupies here and bashers there. Most of them don't even know why they love/loath any given candidate other than long-misguided blind party affiliation. Dems spend more time bashing Reps, and vice versa, than they do trying to accomplish something good for the people they supposedly represent. It's pitiful.

In the cases of Tiger, Serena, and Kobe, yours truly was turned off by arrogance, always blaming a loss on a mysterious illness/injury, and look-at-me selfishness respectively. I don't hate them -- never did or will. But I didn't have to root for them just because so many other people chose to. A big difference. In fact, I rooted against them. If you tell me that's not allowed, I'll counter by citing an infinite number of classic rivalries. Ohio State/Michigan. Army/Navy. Red Sox/Yankees, or pretty much anything Boston/New York. Notre Dame/pick one. FOX/MSNBC. Donald Trump/Democrats/his own party. Various religious factions in the middle east. The bad blood list could go on forever. There's some SERIOUS animosity going on between many of these folks, so don't tell me I'm some kind of hater because I root for -- or against -- different people. It is my right as a fan and a person to make my own choices. Ironically, the true "haters" appear to be those that accuse others of it.

Lebron James needs to know when to shut up. In a recent interview LJ waffled on the difference between "most valuable" player and "best" player. This was likely due to Steph Curry being the first player in history to get 100% of the MVP votes this year. Curry's stats spoke for themselves. A 90% free throw shooter, 50% on two point shots, 40% from behind the arc (though it seemed higher), obliterated his own record on 3's by making over 400 of them, and the Warriors put up the best regular season record of all time?  Well, duh, OF COURSE he was going to be the MVP. No matter what James said about it, he was going to catch some flak. It was a no-win proposition in the public relations world with the press. Dude should be channeling his energy into getting ready for whoever comes out of the Miami/Toronto series -- not trying to split hairs about a vote that was long a foregone conclusion anyway.

Start with SI, end with SI. If one opens up an issue and sees an article written by either Tom Verducci or Chris Ballard, they can be assured it will be long winded, as in Michenerish. They go on forever, page after page. Anybody that can slog through one of these tomes in a single sitting on the "throne" is either a speed reader, or won't be able to feel their butt when they finally try to arise.

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