Monthly Archives: November 2008

“Turning The Page” On K-Rod!

Angels owner Arte Moreno said on a radio show recently that the team was “turning the page” on record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a free agent, is apparently out in Anaheim. After helping the Angels to a World Series title in 2002 and setting the MLB record for saves last season, K-Rod is persona non-grata. Moreno did say, however, that the Angels were open to re-signing the closer should they be unable to sign any of their other targets.

I’m pretty sure this means that K-Rod’s time under the Halo is over. And I’m glad that’s settled. I’ve grown sick of his ninth-inning antics. Or maybe his ninth-inning antics make me sick. Either way, I’m glad he’s gone.

Now GM Tony Reagins can shift his focus to re-signing 1B Mark Teixeira and another front-line starting pitcher. Teixeira is the protection Vladimir Guerrero needs if the Angels are going to get back to a World Series. Reagins must find a way to sign him, even if it means 10 years, $100 million. He’s the cornerstone the franchise has been waiting for since Wally Joyner broke Gene Autry’s heart.

Another starter would mean admitting the Jon Garland experiment was a mistake. But that’s OK. Getting C.C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets will wipe away any memory of Garland. Even getting Jason Jennings or Oliver Perez would probably wipe away any memory of Garland. Shoot, even Braden Looper or Pedro Martinez would wipe away any memory of Garland.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Los Angeles Angels, MLB

NBA = Nappy Baller Angst

Last night’s Houston Rockets-Phoenix Suns game produced the first on-court fight of the season, as the two teams mixed it up at mid-court with surprising vigor.

Two players, Matt Barnes of the Suns and Rafer Alston of the Rockets were ejected with double technicals, and Shaquille O’Neal, Tracy McGrady and Steve Nash each received technicals for their roles.

The video, via ClutchFans, does a good job of catching all the “action.” At about the 5:30 mark you can watch trouble brew as Barnes collides with Alston, who is trying to set a pick for McGrady. T-Mac promptly steps back and nets a 3-pointer.

Alston then charges down the court after Barnes and the two players play chest-bump, with McGrady then joining the freckas from the side. All he does is flap his gums at Barnes, hardly playing “peace-maker.”

That’s when things get interesting.

Other players start to get involved, along with the referees. There’s plenty more pushing and shoving, especially from Shaq, who comes in and just destroys both McGrady and Alston and anyone else in his way.

I’m telling you, it’s must-see YouTube.

Anyway, Nash again gets the blunt end of an altercation as he’s sent sprawling after sucker-slapping Alston. He tried to get away after his cheap-shot antics but could not. He’s so small; there was nothing he could do. He was trampled by the herding masses caused by Shaq’s wide swathing.

With Nash unsuccessfully attempting to retreat a certain trampling, Alston manages to get in a few retaliation hacks at his grill. This makes Little Stevie get really ‘Nash’ty. You can see that Canadian blood start to boil as his face, already red with humiliation, sprouts a white maple leaf from ear to ear and forehead to chin.

In the end, referees, coaches and that pacifist Yao Ming do enough to clean up the mess and get order restored. I think the Rockets win the game, but that’s not important. What is important is that the league review the tapes and fine and suspend the appropriate parties. Namely, Shaquille O’Neal.

Shaq practically incited a riot with brute strength. I think that his decision to join an on-court altercation should be judged with the same severity as players who leave the bench to join an altercation. That is, automatic ejection and suspension. He’s a behemoth, a modern-day King Kong. He could end a point guard’s life by simply bopping him on the head. The threat he poses to other humans is immense and can no longer be overlooked because of his charm and funny one-liners.

Some member of arena security should have plugged him full of tranquilizers and put him in a shackles or an iron cell. If that had happened he would now be en route to NBA offices under armed surveillance, probably smelling terribly and lusting after white women — just like King Kong.

1 Comment

Filed under Basketball, NBA

A Steelers’ Fan, For One Night

Thank all that is holy that the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

As I’m sure most everyone now knows, the Redskins Rule has been almost deadly accurate in predicting who will be the next president. Since 1936, the ‘Skins have built a 17-1 record in determining the presidential election.

Here how the Redskins Rule works:

If the Redskins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent party retains the White House. If the Redskins lose that game the challenging party wins.

Well, make the Redskins pre-presidential record 17-2 because they lost to the Steelers on Monday night!

Go Steelers, Go! Go Steelers, Go!

The 2005 Super Bowl Champions handed Washington it’s most stunning defeat since the War of 1812, when the city was sacked and the White House set ablaze. 

After going down 6-0 in the first quarter, the Steelers, led by Byron Leftwich, scored 23 unanswered points to give Steelers fans and Democrats nationwide a great deal of joy. Leftwich, in the game because of a shoulder injury sustained by Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger, is a black man. No irony there, certainly.

Still, even a Steelers’ victory couldn’t help me sleep much last night. Maybe it was the chili burger I had for dinner. Or maybe it was the internal anxiety that accompanies the thought of another Republican in the White House.

Either way, I’ll probably continue to feel like my insides are on fire until I see a concession speech from John McCain.

2 Comments

Filed under Football, NFL

Galaxy Smart To Loan Becks

David Beckham will play with Italian superclub AC Milan on a loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy.

This is going to hurt Major League Soccer. Or will it?

Beckham hasn’t exactly been great this year. He’s had moments of tremendous skill on free kicks but those moments haven’t equated into victories for the Galaxy (8-14-8, 33 pts), bottom-feeders in the MLS’s Western Conference. He played on a mediocre team that had a completely mediocre season and missed the MLS Cup Playoffs.

And now, the Galaxy’s off-season schedule only includes matches that have been canceled now that Golden Balls won’t be making the trip to Australia and New Zealand. But those matches were hardly the quality of competition Beckham or his Galaxy teammates need to face in order to get better. At least he’ll be training at a world-class level for 12 weeks leading up to the new season. That’s more than can said for his Galaxy teammates.

At his advanced age (33) Beckham needs to work constantly to stay in playing shape. Training on the right side for AC Milan will definitely keep his pace up and may even improve his stamina. Injuries are always a concern, but Beckham is healthy and should remain so if Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti treats him properly.

If anything, he’s a warrior for wanting to continue training for and playing in meaningful matches. He could take the winter off and kick around L.A. but he’d rather be on the pitch. His choice of loan partners, Milan, only proves his commitment to the Galaxy is more than just about being in L.A. — it’s about bringing world-class soccer to MLS.

Sure, Beckham’s real passion seems to be suiting up for England now that he’s only one cap away from tying England’s all-time leader, Bobby Moore, at 108.

Playing for Milan will make that goal a reality. And the Galaxy, by osmosis, a better team.

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS, Soccer