Thursday, July 17, 2008

Big H Takes Big Apple By Storm...

Welcome, boys and girls, to the Josh Hamilton bandwagon. Whether you call him "Big H", "The Natural", "White Horse Surprise", or simply refer to him by his given Christian name, the fact is you're now a fan. Hope it makes you happy, cuz now I'm scared the new found popularity is gonna take my once hidden gem, and turn him into the second coming of Lenny Bias...

2008 All Star Game
-As my main man, Big H, rocketed bomb after bomb into the crisp, Bronx summer night, two distinct thoughts crept into my head...

1) As awesome as it is watching this kid launch Ruthian bombs deep into the stands, there's no way he can keep this pace up through all 3 rounds. We've seen this act before (McGwire @ Fenway....yea, McGwire. Remember him?), and it just takes too much out of a guy for even the freakiest slugger to keep that pace up. 13 homers in a row?! Mighty impressive, but a mighty hard act to maintain at the same time. This year's derby will always be remembered as Hamilton's official coming out party. My next point, is whether or not that's really the best thing for him...

2) This kid needs to be the "Next Big Thing" about as badly as Lindsay Lohan needs a handful of Xanax and a bottle of Kettle One. I mean, I hope as much as the next guy that Hamilton's battle with heroin can inspire others to get clean, but I've seen enough Behind the Music's and Intervention episodes to know that his new found fame could lead to a major league relapse. I'm not hoping for it, obviously (OK maybe not so obvious), but I just can't help but think it's gonna take some sort of superhuman willpower for him to hold all his demons at bay while dealing with his new found fame. And hey, I hate to focus on this dark side of the guy's life, or even the dark side of life in general, but I couldn't help thinking it as I was watching him hit, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a wee bit serious about my concerns...

It's a great moment in All Star and baseball history....for now...

-And just allow to to clarify something that apparently most of America missed during the derby Finals. With 1 out left, a pitch came into Hamilton that caused him to take it, and comment to his 71 year old pitcher. The all knowing Joe Morgan stated as fact that Hamilton was telling the gas chuckin' geezer to "take something off" his pitches. I could have sworn he was simply telling the elderly gentleman to switch to the Century 21 "gold" ball, but with the peeps I was watching it with siding with Morgan, I simply chalked it up to a simple mistake or misunderstanding on my part and went back to watching. Ahhhhh, but then I remembered. When it comes to baseball, Joe Morgan is about as astute as he is racially unbiased, while I tend to serve as the ever absorbent nerdy sponge that I am, with a memory like a rusty bear trap. I might forget somethin' now and then, but it's gonna be a bloody struggle for that memory to escape my brain, I'll tell you what. Point is, upon further review, I was right (shock), and Morgan, as usual, was dead wrong. Just a little piece of advice. When you see that little, black Muppet open his mouth, leave the room, change the channel, or cover your ears. If you're really inspired, feel free to fly to whatever park he's at and cut out his tongue. But that would be going above and beyond, and would at the very least earn you a nice shiny medal....and 15 to life...I know, not an easy choice to make...

-As for the actual game itself, it may have been one of the most sneakily entertaining things I've seen in quite some time. Granted, I spent most of the game with my back to the TV playing poker, but the clutch pitching and fielding that went down in the last 6 innings, impressed in a way that differs from the usual homer fest that All Star games tend to be. Scoreless through 4? Guys like Aaron Cook getting the NL out of multiple bases loaded jams in extra innings? Multiple close plays at home plate? And Hell, an extra inning All Star game that didn't end in a freaking tie!?! Nice! Sure I would have loved to see the two teams trade big flies as much as the next guy, but watching some of baseball's other tools on full display wasn't such a bad thing either...

Red Sox Update

Overall: 57-40, 1st in AL east by 1/2 game (actually trail Rays by 1 in the loss column)

-What's not to love? The Rays are sliding. The Yanks are stagnant. Papi's on his way back. And Lugo is on the DL for the next 4-6 weeks! Hell, even JD Drew...(throat clear)...All Star game MVP JD Drew, is still doin' work! Can't say I approve, but I figure a nice 15 day stint on the DL in the second half will get him back in my good graces. Now I could waste my time here giving you some sort of second half preview, and notes on shit to look for, but I feel it's easier for me to just sum it up. I still got the Sox winning the series, and I still have the Yankees making a push to challenge them in the East. How it all unfolds? Well that's the fun part...

News and Notes
-Now I know I said I was through with Brett Favre, but seeing as he refuses to stay off the front page, I have no choice but to crucify his ass yet again. So let's see. Now, after spilling his guts to Greta Van Susteren (say her name with a lisp, it's great) about how the Pack forced him to retire, were "untruthful" to him and have broken the bond of trust with the QB, he's come out and said he has no imminent plans to file for reinstatement. Quick logic tells you, that the $15,000 a day fine he'd have to pay for being reinstated but not at camp, is the only reason he's not filing right now. And that tells you that if he does want to come back, then it's certainly not going to be in Green Bay. Listen. You know and I know that if Favre just showed up, the starting job would be his before week 1. He's still better than Aaron Rodgers, and despite the front office's attempts to "move on", the best thing for the Green Bay Packers in 2008, is for them to have Brett Favre running the show. I figure if we all know this, then Brett must know it too. Simply put, it means it's all about his bruised ego. He feels he was slighted by GM Ted Thompson, and he wants the whole world to know it. He wants everyone to know that he, the great Brett Favre, isn't being given a second chance...err, 4th or 5th chance, by the big, bad, mean 'ole GM. Brett and his agent have made it clear that they think the onus is now on the Packers. I say just the opposite. Open your eyes, man, and show up to camp. You'll call their bluff, get your starting job back, and begin yet another 16 game swan song that will only end with more questions than ever and bout your future. In failing that, allow me to echo my thoughts of last week. Get off my TV, you glory-hogging, pill poppin' ass clown, or I might just have to start attacking your character...

-What Roger Clemens and Tim Donaghy lack in integrity, their respective accusers more than make up for with their superb sense of timing. In the week long sports lull that is the All Star break, both the NBA, and former Met bat-boy turned roid dealer Kirk Radomski have stepped forward with new "evidence" to further shovel dirt on the names of their sports particular black sheep. Radomski has apparently come forward with receipts of HGH shipments to the Rocket's launching pad, while the NBA's investigation has uncovered a high number of phone calls to another ref, which they believe to be directly related to his fixing of games. You think Radomski really just found these receipts under his TV as he claims? Or that the NBA's investigators just happened to stumble upon these phone records in the last few days? Well if you do think the timing of these stories is a coincidence, they I got some Enron stock I'd love to unload on you, you poor, poor bastard. The days leading up to, and following the MLB All Star game are the least active sports days of the year. Seeing who decides to take advantage of these days to get their agenda out there, will lead you right to the worst scum on the face of the earth...

-You win, and people poach your talent. It's as old a tradition as US tricking it's citizens to support bogus "wars", and now the Celtics have gotten a taste of it first hand. James Posey signed a 4 year, $25 million deal with the New Orleans Hornets, instantly making them better, and leaving the Celts with a hole in their bench the size of the Larry O'Brein Trophy. OH, and you know how a lot of times people say "well he was worth more to us than he is to you?" Not in this case. He was a glue piece for the Celts, and do the same for a talented New Orleans team that seems to be at the brink of achievement. And no, new acquisition, Patrick O'Bryant, isn't the guy to take over that role, as the link below would suggest. Draft picks Bill Walker and JR Giddens aren't that guy either, and with no legit free agents left on the market, it really makes me wonder where Danny boy is planning to go to fill out his roster. Not in a "doubting" sort of way, I'm just curious to see what move he makes next to ensure this team has a legit shot to repeat...

-And hey. Remember when I said Syracuse's, Donte Green was gonna be one of the best players in the '08 draft and would go down as a steal when all was said and done? Well I know it's only Summer League ball, but when he dropped 40 beans in his rookie debut, I bet he made a few GMs at least give a second thought to passing on him. Oh, and did I mention that Derrick Rose had an MRI this week that showed he has tendinitis in his right knee? Yeah, I had a feeling at the time I had the players in that draft nailed, and let's just say I'm likin' what I see in the very early returns...

-And with defending champ Paddy Harrington ailing, and T-Money Woods on the shelf with his knee rehab, John Daly has stepped up to save this week's British Open. JD is now involved in a very public, he-said he-said battle with world renowned swing coach, Butch Harmon, over an incident in March that saw a hammered Daly play half a round with Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Jon Gruden as his caddy. Harmon quit on the spot as Daly's coach, and the war of words has been on ever since. The latest development has Daly saying that Harmon's accusations screwed his life up for a "little bit", with Harmon responding by telling fans and readers to "consider the source". What? So Johnny had a few pops...and yea maybe he did have Gruden finish the round as his caddie...but...OK fine. But is this really necessary, Butch? Sending a volatile alcoholic on tilt in a country where they slam pints with breakfast. I mean, at least it gives us something to watch for in the British least til Friday's over and JD heads back to his "flat" to sleep one off and tie another one on. Then it'll just be Sergio and the Phat man battling for a Tiger-less title. And I think I speak for us all when I say I'd rather be naked and knee deep in diseased goat feces than watching any of that mess. Pfffff. British Open. Bunch of Euro trash...

And hey, it could be worse. No seriously. At least JD isn't hitting people with a car that has his picture on it, and then trying to tell the cops it wasn't him! Yeah, I'm atalking about you, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson! God Bless TMZ (picture), and God Bless the UFC. The only sport in the world that can make John Daly look like the President of Mensa...

Well that's it for me this week, kiddos. We're only a week away from Pats training camp, and although I'll be spending next weekend in NYC, you'll be sure to hear from me before I depart.
Until then. Keep the junk out your veins, and keep makin' it rain...
Catchy line or no?...
Whatevs...Peace in the Middle, I'm out like Flynt...


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