Monday, May 22, 2006

Barroid Injects Himself Into Record Books

7 1 4*
For once I agree with Barry Bonds. After finally hitting homerun #714 on Saturday, the Ambassador of Beef Roids told the press they should now focus their attention on the historic pace Albert Pujols is on. After all, Pujols is on pace to smash nearly every career offensive mark, all without shooting himself with insulin, cattle roids or female fertility drugs. The fact Albert is doing all of this without having to increase his hat size every week is impressive. Hopefully one day Pujols will be able to eclipse all of Barroid's inflated records, but that's so far off it's not even worth discussing yet. As for the Sultan of the Syringe? He finally tied "that fat white guy" with a dinger off Oakland lefty Brad Halsey, 9 games after he hit #713. I'll admit, I was hoping something would happen that would prevent Bonds from ever tying and passing the Babe, but I knew it was unlikely. I also realize it's still very possible that he will pass Hammerin' Hank. The one thing that does make me happy about Bonds hitting #714 was the 19 year old Oakland fan that caught it. He had some choice expletives for reporters when asked how he felt about Bonds, and has already said he plans on selling it, as opposed to giving it to Barroid. Whatever he decides to do with the ball is irrelevant. MLB was right. While the number 714 has a place in our hearts and minds, the real record is 755. All Barry did this weekend was pass Babe Ruth on the all-time homerun list, he didn't erase the Babe from our minds and he never will. History will still remember the Babe as perhaps baseball's greatest icon, while Bonds will be remembered as a cheating racist with an ego so big he ruined what was a sure-fire Hall of Fame career just to hit a few homers. So go ahead Bar, knock a few more in McCovey Cove, it won't change the fact that you cheated and disgraced the game for the sake of your own bravado.
From Glory To Glue?
Now I've never been one to take a career ending injury lightly, but that headline was too good to pass up (and this is a horse not a person). The scary part is, the headline could become reality. After a false start in the 131st Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby winning superhorse Barbaro only managed to make it a few hundred yards down the track at Pimlico before pulling up lame with what turned out to be a broken ankle. Bernardini was able to take advantage with Barbaro out, taking the race by more than 6 lengths over Sweetnorthernsaint and Hemingway's Key who finished third. But the result was secondary to the devastating injury to Barbaro. To make matters even worse, it's now being reported that Bernardini may not even run in the Belmont, meaning nobody will be watching. There will be no chance for a Triple Crown, no Barbaro and no Bernardini. AKA No reason to watch.

*After 7 hours of surgery on Sunday, Barbaro survived and is able to stand. Word is it's tough for a horse to recover from leg injuries because, unlike humans, they can't exactly stay off of the leg. Doctor's also say that it's common for horses to be killed right on the track after experiencing an injury this severe. Somthing tells me the 150,000 people in attendance and the millions watching on TV prevented that this time. For his sake, I hope the injury won't prevent him from knockin' up a couple female horses and spendin the rest of his life as a spoiled babymaker.

Playoff Notes
*Something tells me that when the NHL returned to action this season, these weren't the 4 teams the league wanted to see in the conference finals. Two teams from cities where hockey is at best the 5th most popular sport (Anaheim/Carolina), another team that's the 3rd most popular in it's own state (Buffalo), and probably the least popular team in Canada (Edmonton). Again, I'm not trying to say these games aren't exciting, but I'm willing to bet more people are watching Law and Order re-runs than these games. It's bad enough that nobody could find them during the regular season on the Outdoor Life Network (and I swear I still can't find it and I have a digital cable box), but now all of the fans in the big markets have tuned out for good. Not to mention the average fan can't name 5 players that still have a chance to win the Stanley Cup this year. No matter how exciting the games are, if the fans can't relate to the players, and no big market teams are in contention, then the interest is going to be low at best. Add to that the fact that your league is coming off of a strike, and things aren't looking too hot for the NHL. I don't care how many tickets they claim they are selling.

*If you really thought the Cavs were going to somehow beat the Pistons, then I'll take a shot of whatever you're drinking. Even when they were up on Detroit 3-2 with game 6 at home, I just didn't see Cleveland being able to knock off the defending Eastern Conference champs. LeBron put forth a great effort trying to lead his team, and even without Larry Hughes for most of the series they were able to push them to the brink. Bron will get his, just not until he gets a few more key role players to compliment him. As for Detroit. Outside of Philly and Pittsburgh there aren't too many cities I dislike more. But I will be cheering for them if only so they can win a ring without that selfish old fart Larry Brown.

Red Sox Update
Last Week: 4-2
Overall: 25-16
Standings: 1st place by 1.5 games

*Not a bad week for the Sox, but a great week for Mr. Josh Beckett. While taking 2 out of 3 from the Phillies to open interleague play, Josh Beckett not only got a win on Saturday, but he hit a dinger. I think that alone justifies trading for him, even if Bronson Arroyo already has 2 homers this year. This week the Sox welcome the Yanks to Fenway for a 3-game set that could either keep the AL East race close, or put the Sox firmly in the drivers seat for the first time this season.

Diamonds Are Forever
*I'd be lying if I said I wasn't envious of Michael Barrett. He's a big league catcher, making tons of money, in a city with great baseball tradition, and best of all he got to take a swing at AJ Pierzynski. From all the replays I've seen, its pretty clear Barrett over reacted, but who cares. AJ's always runnin' his mouth, and it was only a matter of time before someone took a swing at him. He was well within his right to knock Mike over, and it did look like he was trying to make his way back to the dugout, but Barrett says he was a little dazed and his emotions got the better of him. But hey, since Derek Lee has been injured it's the most excitement the Cubs have had.

*If the season ended today, there's a good chance Jose Contreras would be a serious contender for the AL Cy Young Award. That's gotta sting for Yankee fans, who have major pitching issues. Not only has Randy Johnson been a huge disappointment, but the two guys that were supposed to bring youth to the staff, Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano, have been complete busts. It seems like just yesterday that the Evil Empire sent Contreras and $3 mil to the White Sox in exchange for Esteban Loaiza in August of 2004. But now, the once inconsistent Cuban is mystifying hitters this year (and I don't mean they can't figure out how old he is or why he looks like Shawn Kemp), continuing the success that helped the White Sox to their World Series title last October. Despite a no decision yesterday to the Cubs, Jose is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA and almost a 3 to 1 strikeout to BB ratio. (Mike Mussina is the only Yankee starter with an ERA under 3.80 this season)

*Just when the Mets look as though they are going to take the first two games from the hated Yanks, Billy Wagner went Rick Ankiel and blew the game. Wagner came into the game with a 4-0 lead, taking over for Pedro Martinez after Petey went 7 strong, striking out 8 and allowing only 4 hits, and promptly imploded. He was only able to record one out while walking 3, plunking Bernabe Williams and giving up two hits. It's one thing to blow a save, but it's another to do it like this. If you're a Met fan, you need to be watching Wag's next few outings closely, because we all know it can take just one bad outing to totally break a closer's confidence. Don't believe me? Just ask Mark Wholers or Mitch Williams. Who? Exactly.

*Now I know this story made the rounds last week, but for those that missed it it definitely bears repeating. Jose Canseco is back in baseball. No not pro, not semi-pro, but the SoCal Senior League. And what type of bats do they use in this league you ask? Well metal bats of course. You got it. A man with more juice in him than the Kool Aid guy, is wielding an aluminum stick, and taking his hacks off of dentists, CPA's, bankers and griddle jockeys from the local Jack in the Box. The only question isn't how far he's going to hit these bombs, or even how many guys hes gonna kill with his screaming liners. The public wants to know. Will he pitch? Because that's the only real way to level the playing field between Jose and all those 9-5ers. But seriously, Jose joining this league may sound a bit absurd, but you also have to tip your cap to him for still trying to play the game he loves. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Fantasy Update
Week 7 Final Score: 9-9-4
Record: 67-66-21
Week 8 vs Coz's Coalition (69-64-21)

*My team has officially changed names once again, this time from Centerfield Cereal to Hanley Ramirez. The name change didn't bring me a great performance, but I've still been encouraged by a lot of the players on my team recently. I need to have a big win soon though, or the ass backwards scoring method in this league may begin to drive me crazy. Operation stop losing begins.......NOW!


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