Monthly Archives: February 2014

The AROD SAGA

Let me start by saying I am not an Alex Rodriguez fan.  He has taken PED’s & Steroids and whatever else he has put into his body during his career.  He has said and done stupid things and has been his own worst enemy.  He should face every penalty the same way everyone else has.  So I am not defending these points.  What I will defend is the way MLB treated him, pursued him and put him on trial.

Bud Selig has been a terrible commissioner.  There has been no good done on his watch.  We went through a player strike which cost the fans parts of two season including the World Series.  The boom of steroid use was on his watch as he and everybody involved, the players, owners, stadiums & sponsors and anybody else you can think of profited from the benefits of this which was capped by the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa epic Home Run chase of and the destroying of Roger Maris’ magical 61.  Steroids or no steroids, PED’s or no PED’s this was a classic race.  The way Mark McGwire handled himself with so much class and the respect he showed the Maris family no doubt has helped him find his way back into baseball without really any mention of the past.

Why was this allowed for so long?  Well for Selig he needed something to bring the sport back from the dead.  America’s two biggest sports are the MLB and the NFL.  Baseball will never have a salary cap and the way the NFL handles this is brilliant.  Every team should have a chance to win and also not be able to sign all the top players every year as the Yankees do every time they don’t make the playoffs.  So the HR chase brought the sport back and the fans back to the stadiums.  The owners for this reason too didn’t care.  And would any owner really care if they have players doing roids if it makes their team win and more money.  After all there wasn’t any rules against this.

Now the point I will make here will be discussed later in this post.  The players made money on top of money.  If your a clean player and I am sure there was some but definitely in the lower percentile of players, were to go to the union and complained the answer was by these guys putting up these huge numbers it drives up the salaries not only for themselves but for every other player.  Like AROD making 25 million for how many years.  So everyone was making money.

So what happened.  The federal government got involved.  The baseball fans wanted answers.  Selig tried to put rules in place.  Salaries are still sky rocketing.  AROD remained the top dog steam rolling towards breaking the all time HR record just recently set by Barry Bonds on steroids.  Selig realized how bad the sport was under his watch and he needed to do something to change his legacy.  So he went after AROD with all guns blazing.

It is still amazing to me that Ryan Braun does not get more heat for what he did.  This player failed a drug test.  He got off on a technicality that still has not been proven to me how that one day of lag time took his negative test to a positive.  So Braun goes public and calls this guy a anti semite and says he was intentionally set up.  This guy loses his job and had his reputation dragged through the mud.  Now Braun admits his guilt sort of.  He accepts the suspension and I like how he said I only used it to rehab an injury.  How does no one talk more about him.  I think what he did was far worse than anybody else did including AROD.

As the evidence came out and all the back and forth started what we saw was just how low Selig & MLB went.  They paid a drug dealer cash for information. Anthony Bosch is a convicted felon who sold drugs to minors.  This guy is the one they trusted?  Paying for his personal security after AROD or someone in his inner circle threatened his life.  Do we really believe AROD would be so stupid.  He has the money to make this guy disappear.

The fact that MLB controlled the whole hearing including the judge makes this a joke and no matte what evidence AROD had the decision would be just what Selig wanted.  Not to mention this evidence would not be admissible in a court of law.  I have heard statements that you need to break the law to catch a criminal.   Sure the FBI does.  But when has MLB become the FBI.  Furthermore it was disgraceful that the very next day after the decision was announced there was Bud Selig on 60 minutes pounding his chest when he refused to meet AROD face to face.

My bigger issue is Bosch said there are ways to get around the testing.  AROD has never failed a drug test so how does he get all these games.  Is Selig going after anybody else with the same passion.  No.  That is my issue.  Somehow AROD is the flag bearer of PED’s.  He has always been the one on the cross because he makes the most money.  Bosch has said there are others and MLB still is not going after them.

Now I am not in union so this is easy for me to say.  What has this union done for AROD.  Point One.  Why was AROD the only one who’s name was leaked off the list of 100 players to fail a drug test.  What did the union do about that.  Point Two.  When AROD wanted to get traded to Boston from Texas and agreeing to take a pay cut to do it the union would not approve it.  Why cause it would affect the salaries of the other players.  They didn’t have AROD’s best interest.  And now this past arbitration.  The Union said it was fairly done.  I know people are saying this was agreed upon by the union.  Does anyone really think the union knew MLB would ever go this low to nail someone.

Imagine your a player like Mike Trout and Chris Davis.  They are probably saying to themselves let’s get AROD out of baseball.  He is abusing drugs.  And I would think a lot of players are saying the same thing.  But once they really think about it what’s to say MLB won’t treat them the same way.  These players need to ask themselves that.

This can be debated forever on who was right or wrong about this.  And I would debate my side against anyone.  Any time and any place.

SUPER BOWL AFTERMATH

It is now a few weeks after the worst Super Bowl I have ever seen.  We have seen blowouts before but not with the best offense in the game with a legendary quarter back getting completely shut down.  Not to mention my home town hosting it’s first and last Super Bowl ever.  Let’s look at some of the themes coming from this game.

It’s not fair to start with Peyton Manning.  Let me give the Seattle Seahawks their due.  What an unbelievable defensive performance.  I might have enjoyed it more if not for a genuine hatred for that piece of crap head coach Pete Carroll.  I bet you thought I was going to say Richard Sherman.  Why do I hate Carroll so much?  Because he was a garbage loser head coach with the Jets and Patriots.  He goes to USC where he basically throws out the rule book and lets the players and boosters run a muck.  They buy the top players and he bullies teams and runs up the score(yes embarrassing my Notre Dame team) and wins a national championship.  Then scurries faster that a rat to Seattle when the heat was coming down from the NCAA.  Even to the extent that Reggie Bush’s Heisman was taken away a first time that ever has happened.  Ol Pete as we see is doing just fine.  USC has not recovered.  I am not about to call him a genius but he has done what only 2 other coaches have ever done and that is win a National Championship and Super Bowl.  Jimmy Johnson who will get a lot of credit from me for what he did for the Miami Hurricanes.  What he did in Dallas was just brilliant.  The sucker Minnesota Vikings gave the Cowgirls a bushel of draft picks and Jimmy recruited and coached many of the players drafted by Dallas.  So I won’t give him that much credit for coaching so many hall of famers.  Barry Switzer built the Oklahoma Sooners but he rode Johnson’s coat tails in Dallas and he proved what a horrible coach he was when he could only win once with that great team.  Now Pete Carroll did resurrect USC.  I will give him that and he turned the culture around in Seattle but John Schneider drafted the team brilliantly.

Jerry Reese with the Giants was called a genius when every player he brought in produced and every draft pick worked out.  So is he now a bad GM because his moves aren’t working now.  Sometimes everything works out.  Schneider will miss on some of these moves.  It’s only natural.  No one bats 1000 here.  And Doug Baldwin.  You are a OK wide receiver and a mediocre fantasy player.  Please stop making yourself out to be Jerry Rice.  Seattle didn’t win because of their offensive prowess.  The defense won this championship.  I seem to recall the Denver defense keeping this a game until they broke down.  If the Seattle offense was so good then this game would have been put away in the first quarter.  Cris Carter is and will always be a better player than you and your shiny new Super Bowl ring won’t ever change that.

It was simple this year.  The NFC was where the big boys played.  All the games were physical fast paced games.  The AFC were games were finesse filled with lots of offense.  The Seahawks just punched the Broncos in the face and Denver backed down big time.  They take their cue from their leader Peyton Manning.  More on that later.  No AFC team would have beaten the Hawks on that day.  We can talk all day about what they did but that game was so boring who wants to re live it again.  Seattle is the Super Bowl Champs and it was well deserved.  BUT.

This will not be a dynasty no matter what the fans say, no matter what the players say.  They all say the same things right after the Super Bowl.  Let’s face facts.  This reminds me a lot of the Giants Super Bowl win against the un defeated Patriots.  There was so many late draft picks who contributed to that win.  And as the Seahawks will find out every one is going to want their money now.  This is not me drinking the haterade either.  It is just the facts.  Russell Wilson while he is now a championship quarterback most likely won’t command 20 million a year like Joe Flacco did.  Flacco did carry his team and Wilson did not.  But we will see.  Now that secondary will have to get paid.  I read where Golden Tate said Seattle will get a hometown discount from him.  That is so sweet.  But what happens when teams like the Redskins and Jets come calling with a bag full of money and the promise of being a # 1 WR.  Will he say no.  On his team he is at best the third best wide out.  Just think about that.  Also.

This idea that no one is in their class is ridiculous.  I have heard Seattle fans talk like they are so much better than the 49ers.  I seem to recall the 49ers driving down the field and throwing the ball into the end zone in Seattle to win the game and go back to the Super Bowl.  Let’s face it Seattle needs home field advantage through out to make it to the Super Bowl.  Seattle is real good.  But the NFL is not designed to have dynasties.  That is why it is the greatest sport.

Much has been made of Peyton Manning’s legacy.  If he had won it might have made him the greatest quarterback of all time.  But to say by losing the game drops him a level is not fair either.  Manning still is the greatest regular season player in NFL history.  His 5 MVP’s and the multiple playoff appearances can’t be ignored because of all the playoff losses he has.  You can’t win the Super Bowl every year so most times your season ends with a loss.  That is just the facts of it.

The problem with Manning is that he becomes so much of the focal point of his team he over shadows his own head coaches.  Let’s look at who they are and none are considered strong willed or have big personalities.  Jim Mora did and he lost that battle.  Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell and John Fox.  Those guys are very mild mannered.  John Fox looked clueless on the sidelines.  Manning’s team takes their cues from him.  That is just the facts and Peyton never re invents himself during the game.  When the game becomes chaotic unlike his brother his game goes to crap.  How could Denver not know Seattle would play this way.

So where does this leave Manning’s legacy.  I live in NY and went to Macy’s at 34th street and Peyton gear was selling like hot cakes.  So the common fan clearly loves  him.  He could hold every major passing record when his career finally ends.  But he will have only one ring.  To compare him to Montana is not fair.  Super Joe played on great all around teams and being a Giants fan I have seen the Giants smack the Joe and the niners all over the field in the playoffs.  The comparison to Brady and his 3 rings goes like this.  Those Patriot teams played great defense.  Peyton never had this.  The one thing the Peyton people can say is the one year Peyton  didn’t play the Colts were horrible and won two games.  The one year Brady was out for the year the Pats still won 11 games.

Super Bowl wins can’t be the biggest determination in this discussion.  It’s just not fair.  Peyton knows what was at stake in this past Super Bowl.  This was no doubt a legacy game and Peyton still has not convinced alot fans that he can win the big one.  This second one would have put him in a class all his own.