Julia of Julia’s Rants has challenged me to a duel!
The New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox for a three game series at Fenway Park in Boston beginning Friday, April 24, 2009. If the Yankees take the series, Julia has to change her website banner to show the Yankees logo. Conversely, if the BoSox take the series, I will have to sport the dreaded Red Sox emblem on this site.
But, let the record show that Julia has the unfair advantage of home field! But it is her birthday weekend, so I suppose some concessions must be made…
I am wondering what Julia’s site will look like…
My feelings about the
Boston Red Sox New York Yankees, baseball, sports and life in general.
This bet actually reminds me of an ongoing bet that I have had with a friend in Tampa named Kelly. Kelly has been a devout Devil Rays, excuse me, Rays fan for many years.
She was a season ticket holder for Rays games when getting a root canal was preferable to going to Tropicana Field. She likes to get her season tickets in the upper balcony, and there were often times that you would need binoculars just to see the person sitting next to you.
For several years, the bet has been about bragging rights.
For each series played during the season, the winner has bragging rights until the next series is played. Whichever team takes the season series has bragging rights throughout the off-season, and the other person is powerless to retaliate.
When the bet was first made, I had the advantage of the high and mighty Yankees against the lowly, pathetic then Devil Rays. Of course, tables were turned on me last season, and I had to reluctantly take what I had been giving for so many years. Fortunately for me, the Yankees went out and spent $423.5 million in the off-season, so hopefully, I’ll be able to return to my “perch” again this year!
Actually, Kelly let me know that I had a thing or two to learn about “bragging” as she showed me how it is really done!
It’s going to be a very exciting summer in the American League East…
Manny Is Officially From Another Planet
Manny Ramirez has turned down the Dodgers for the fourth time. I thought the latest offer was very generous given the current state of the economy. Plus, it isn’t exactly like there are teams beating down the door to sign Manny.
A quick scan of the Los Angeles Times’ Business section shows the following headlines:
- GM posts $9.6-billion quarterly loss
- Source: U.S. on verge of deal to boost its stake in Citigroup
- Student loan companies’ shares plunge on Obama proposal
- U.S. banks post collective $26.2-billion quarterly loss
- Weak healthcare stocks drag market lower
- The sun sets on the Rocky Mountain News
- 667K new jobless claims; continuing claims top 5M
- AIG could be broken up
- Economy still going south
I feel that Manny is proving to be very selfish, and we are seeing the true player that exposed himself in Boston. It is a very unfortunate situation, and the Los Angeles Dodgers deserve better.
On a side note, that is sad news about the closure of the Rocky Mountain News, which became Denver’s first newspaper on April 23, 1859.
Other Tidbits for a Friday…
Admittedly I do not follow the PGA very closely, but who is Tim Clark and how did he beat Tiger Woods?…
The Minnesota Vikings should be announcing later today that they have acquired QB Sage Rosenfels from the Houston Texans. I am not sure how I feel about the acquisition. Granted, I do not think that Tavaris Jackson is the answer, and Gus Frerotte is getting too old. I really like Matt Cassel, but when the New England Patriots placed the franchise tag on him, it removed him as a possibility as the cost to acquire him would be so great. Picking up someone like Jeff Garcia or even Michael Vick is equally unappealing. There just doesn’t seem to be any viable answers out there, so perhaps Rosenfels is the best option available. The cost to acquire Rosenfels is reasonable (fourth round draft pick, and contract extension of three years for $9 million). Like Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, Rosenfels hails from Iowa. He was born in Maquoketa, IA, and played college football at Iowa State. Given that I also grew up in a small Iowa town, I can relate to Sage and Kurt (well, except for the part about the million dollar contracts…and okay, the superior physical conditioning…and, I know, the heighth of the players…). Hopefully, Sage can have some of the success that Kurt has experienced. His stock was very high after the 2007 season, but the bloom lost much of its luster this past season when he went 2-3 filling in for injured QB Matt Schaub.
The Phoenix Suns, minus star Amare Stoudemire, have now suffered blowout losses to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers within the past week. The Suns were also without Steve Nash in the loss to the Lakers, but this has been a very disappointing season. The Suns, if they make the play-offs, look like they’ll suffer another first round exit…
On the bright side, the San Jose Sharks beat the Ottawa Senators last night, 2-1. The Sharks were powered by two power-play goals by Milan Michalek and Patrick Marleau, which were scored 1:18 apart in the second period. The Sharks, 42-9-9, lead the Western Conference by 5 points over the Detroit Red Wings.
Have a great weekend everybody!
RETURN OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
‘God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!
Why look’st thou so? With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.
— From Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner has returned! Ken Griffey Jr., 39, decided to sign with his original team after deliberating between the sentimental choice versus playing close to home with the Atlanta Braves. Some news accounts earlier in the week were erroneously reporting that Griffey had chosen the Braves.
I was surprised. I had expected Griffey to stay close to home, but obviously the lure of the sentimental return proved to be too great in the end. On one hand, it is a nice story to see his return to Seattle. The fans are excited, and he has the chance to end his career wearing the same uniform he started with. But on the other hand, he is a shell of what he used to be.
As a Cincinnati Red in a June 2007 series at Safeco Field against the Mariners, Griffey did say, “I think I owe it to the people of Seattle, and myself, to retire as a Mariner“.
Apparently, it was Griffey’s teenage daughter who helped seal the deal. Taryn Griffey plays for an AAU basketball team that’s based in the Atlanta area, but according to agent Brian Goldberg, “She told him, ‘Dad, I really think you should go back to the Mariners and not have any regrets about how you finished,” Goldberg said. “That kind of put it over the top.”
Griffey, with 611 career home runs, will play left field and DH for the Mariners.
Despite signing free agent pitchers Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami and trading for pitcher Javier Vazquez, this has been a disappointing off-season for the Atlanta Braves. In addition to losing out on Griffey, they failed in their attempts to sign or acquire Mike Hampton, A.J. Burnett, Rafael Furcal, and Jake Peavy. It also sounds like the Braves will look to fill their outfield needs internally, rather than pursue a trade for someone like Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher.
I’ll admit that it’s nice to see Griffey back in Seattle, but hopefully, we won’t be seeing any repeat headlines like this…
NEW OLD VISITORS
The Yankees had two visitors in camp today. Bernie Williams was invited to practice at the major league facility by manager Joe Girardi as he prepares for the World Baseball Classic. “Obviously he’s retired as a Yankee, but, you know, once you’re a Yankee, you’re always a Yankee,” Girardi said. Hmmm, I wonder if Mike Lowell knows that he is still a Yankee? 😉 The other visitor was owner George Steinbrenner, who is rarely seen in public these days. The frail 78-year-old owner was taken from the parking lot to Steinbrenner Field by golf cart, using a wheelchair to get to his office.
LET THE BATTLES BEGIN…
Nice to see that the Great Yankees-Red Sox War resume battle this week with the opposing points of view regarding a salary cap in Major League Baseball. Red Sox Owner John Henry called for a salary cap, and President Larry Lucchino criticized the Yankees’ spending on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. Yankees Co-Chairman Hank Steinbrenner, never at a loss for words, fired back with “Along with a few other teams, we’re basically baseball’s stimulus package.” Say what you will about Hank, but he’s right. The Yankees pay a heavy price for their spending habits as evidenced by the high luxury taxes and revenue sharing they pay each year for exceeding the salary thresholds; money that is funneled to other teams. According to AP, the team paid about $110 million last season.
It’s exciting to see the Phoenix Suns return to their “offensive” ways. In the two games since Terry Porter was dismissed as coach, the Suns have scored a total of 282 points. Of course, the opponent in both games was the Los Angeles Clippers. But it’s exciting to see the team return to its fast-paced strategy. It doesn’t mean it will result in a championship, but it is fun to watch. I felt Terry Porter was a mistake when he was named to replace Mike D’Antoni since he was coming from a defensive-minded team like the Pistons. I know what much of the appeal to the Suns was, but they need to stick with the strengths. This is a great opportunity for interim coach Alvin Gentry.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
TIGER’S IN THE HOUSE
Tiger Woods has announced on his website that he’ll make his 2009 PGA Tour debut at the 2009 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship near Tucson, AZ February 23rd through March 1st. Tiger is the defending champ, and also won the event in 2003 and 2004. It will be exciting to see the new dad back in action!
I have to admit that Alex Rodriguez has done exactly what I expected him to do. Granted, he had plenty of professional and legal advice in the hours leading up to his interview with ESPN, but I feel that he handled the situation in the best possible manner under the circumstances.
He admitted taking a banned substance, was apologetic, and expressed the proper degree of regret and remorse. So long as there are no further disclosures of subsequent drug use, I do feel that A-Rod can slowly begin to rebuild his image and legacy. Sure, he’ll be harassed in opposing cities, and even at home until he slams a few game winning home runs. But clearly, Alex has handled this much better than, say, Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds.
None of us will ever know the pressure that goes with a then-record $252 million contract and an intense desire to not only be among the best but to be the very best. It’s not an excuse to cheat, but it was an era that did not have the necessary controls in place.
Actually, A-Rod may benefit from being the first of 104 players disclosed as testing positive for PEDs in 2003. Right now, the spotlight is clearly on him, but once the other 103 names start to filter out, there will be other surprises and the attention A-Rod is currently receiving will be significantly diluted.
I found it absurd that the New York Daily News would actually suggest that the Yankees should simply drop A-Rod and the “eat” the remainder of the $275 contract. To simply prove a point? That makes absolutely no sense to me. If Alex truly stopped using PEDs after 2003, it means that he has been clean for over five years. There needs to be a statue of limitations for forgiveness.
I was fooled by A-Rod once, but I am willing to give the guy another chance to prove himself. Hopefully, the rest of America will agree. But, Alex, don’t let us down again…
Congratulations to Tiger Woods and family…
Congratulations to Tiger and Elin for the birth of their second child, a son named Charlie Axel Woods. The baby was born Sunday night according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
I liked the ESPN comment that said “Let the records show that Woods now trails Jack Nicklaus by four majors and three offspring”.
Tiger’s daughter, Sam Alexis, was born June 19, 2007.
Hopefully, Tiger will be back in action soon despite the “increased” household…
3 Days to Camp…
Despite the ongoing A-Rod saga and the residual effect of The Yankee Years, I am getting excited about Yankees camp opening this Friday for pitchers and catchers. The first workout is scheduled for Saturday. It is going to be so fantastic to see Yankee-related interviews involving others than just A-Rod, Joe Torre, and Derek Jeter.
What’s the over/under for how long it takes CC Sabathia to take command of the Yankees’ clubhouse? His energy and personality will bring so much to the team, and it will be great to see him prepare for the Yankee Stadium home opener on April 16th. I feel the city of New York will become quickly enamored with CC, and he’ll give DJ a run for his money in terms of popularity. Well, maybe not with the teenage girls, but with the rest of us.
I am feeling pretty good about a sweep of the Boston Red Sox on April 24th through the 26th! 😉
Time to start thinking about something other than PEDs…finally!
1. Alex Rodriguez: AP Bill Koutron
2. Tiger & Elin Woods: David Cannon/Getty Images
3. CC Sabathia & A.J. Burnett: AP