11 January 2007

Are we surprised?

The NY Daily News reported today that Barry Bonds failed an amphetamines test last season and then tried to blame it on teammate Mark Sweeney.

Finally, some evidence for those who can't accept that Bonds cheated to get where he is. I don't really have much to say about this since it only validates what I've been saying all along.

Bonds is a cheater.

Caught in the act (TJ Quinn)
Marises believe MLB should return HR crown to Roger

Daily Lineup 1/11/2007: David Beckham Edition

In honor of what's probably the biggest event in the history of MLS - the signing of David Beckham by the Los Angeles Galaxy - I'm dedicating today's Daily Lineup to the event.

10 January 2007

Hall of Fame Day (Well, actually yesterday)

Congrats to Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn on their induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This pair was truly deserving of this honor and it's unfortunate that the controversy over Mark McGwire had to come on the same election.

I saw Ripken play once. He came in for a few innings during a Baltimore Orioles-Rochester Red Wings exhibition game and I came within feet of getting his autograph. This was back in the days when this sort of thing was allowed - the past bargaining agreement put an end to minor league exhibition games. I'm pretty sure the one I saw was the second-to-last of its kind for the Baltimore-Rochester marriage. Albert Belle put the kabbash on the final one.

Anyways, back to the Hall of Fame. If I had a vote (which I hope to have someday), I would've also put Goose Gossage and Bert Blyleven in. They're getting close and Goose should have a chance next election in the absence of a big name.

I was disappointed to read and hear about the writer from Chicago who submitted a blank ballot since he felt he shouldn't make a judgment on the Steroid Era. It may sound trivial but voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame is a pretty big honor and privilege and to submit a blank ballot seems like shirking that responsibility. I understand that this writer claims to have been making a point but after hearing him on Tuesday's Cold Pizza, I don't have much respect or consideration for him. If he didn't want to make a judgment on McGwire, then fine, don't vote for him. But what about the Ripkens, the Gwynns?

It's hard to conceive how there has never been a unanimous choice to the Hall of Fame. Not just Ripken but what about Babe Ruth? I have to chalk this up to self-righteous writers feeling that they can play God when it comes to the players. It's one thing to decide not to vote for a suspected steroid user until more information is available but it's another to not vote for a player because one feels that no one should ever be a unanimous choice. If everyone took that route, then no one would ever get the 75 percent needed to make it into the Hall.

I'm glad though - check that - I'm extremely happy though that McGwire only receive 23.5 percent of the vote. I thank the Baseball Writers of America for sending this message to Big Mac and all other steroid users. If they're going to continue to play this game of lies and deceit, they're going to ultimately pay the price. They may bask in their fame and dollars now but the halls of history will not remember them so kindly. How many times now, will fathers have to explain to their sons why Mark McGwire - the man who has so many bats and jerseys enshrined in the Hall - isn't a member himself?

Palmeiro, Bonds and anyone else still lurking in the shadows, this is your chance, your warning. Come clean. Ask for forgiveness. And maybe, just maybe, you'll have the slightest of chance of being welcomed into the Hall of Fame with the likes of great players and great people like Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn.

09 January 2007

2006 Extra Innings NFL Playoff Update

After shooting 75 percent on this weekend's playoff games, we now move into Divisional Round. To recap my predictions for this upcoming weekend:

Ravens over Colts Chargers over Pats Saints over Eagles
and the now-defunct Cowboys over Bears

Since that last prediction went kaput thanks to The Bobble, I now must weigh in on the new matchup.

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears.
Last week, I said that Rex Grossman isn't working as the Bears' quarterback and I still feel that way. If this franchise is going to have any long term success, they're going to have to find a solid option at quarterback. I don't know if that means playing Brian Griese or finding someone somewhere else but he can't lead the Chicago offense. When it comes to facing the Seahawks though . . . hmmm. I originally was going to write that I'm going with the Bears but I'm going to pick the Seahawks instead. Watching a healthy Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander churn through the Cowboys this weekend has shown me that despite being a 9-7 team, Seattle - now running at full health - has a chance in this post season. The Seahawks move back into the NFC Championship after this weekend.

Daily Lineup 1/9/2007

"If I had to guess, I'd say about 95 percent of the guys on tour are against Wie's competing on their circuit, but it has less to do with sexism or ageism than the simple fact that she's just not good enough," says Jason Sobel. Thank you.

NHL Power Rankings (Scott Wraight)
The Sabres not only took back the top record in the NHL this week but they remain on top in SI's rankings.

Romo will rise (Tim Layden)
As a Bills fan, I'm not allowed to like Tony Romo. But I guess I can like his desire to perfect in the game.

Smacking Down Big Mac (John Donovan)
23.5 percent of the vote. McGwire was closer to being left off the ballot next year than he was to making it into the Hall of Fame.

Stop obsessing over coaches! (Gregg Easterbrook)
I remember when all coaches wore suits and just stood on the sidelines. Well, actually, I don't. I just wanted to sound knowledgeable.

08 January 2007

Daily Lineup 1/8/2007

Hall of Famers vs. Non-Hall of Famers: Who would win? (ESPN.com)
McGwire, Rose and the Boys take on those immortalized in Cooperstown.

Less is more (Allan Muir)
Continuing the theme of the new NFL (myNFL?), the league has discussed dropping the number of divisions. Allan Muir gives his input on who should go where.

Migden suits up to block 49ers' move (Daniel Macht)
San Fran's plans to out of the city may soon hit a hitch.

The NFL's new power family (Peter King)
Parcells began Belichick who began Mangini . . .

An uncomfortable vote for McGwire (Jayson Stark)
Aw, c'mon, Stark, c'mon. Just don't vote for Bonds in a few years. Please.