Posted on: December 29, 2008 2:37 am

Game Over

There used to be an old joke that asked what Jim McMahon and Jimmy Swaggert had in common, the answer being they could each make 50,000 people stand up and yell JESUS CHRIST!!!  It's been apparent for a few years now that the same applied to Brett Favre.  With one exception--Nobody seems to notice the absolute blockhead plays he manages to pull off week after week.  Its just Brett being Brett, or whatever rationale his appologists come up with.  It used to be that he'd overcome that play with a twisting,spinning jump pass over the arms of a linebacker and thru double coverage into the waiting arms of his receiver.  Anymore, its into the waiting arms of a free safety.  
Favre's willingness to hog a microphone after another humiliating defeat should in no way offset his poor play.  At best, he borders somewhere between mediocre and average.  At best.  Otherwise, he's beyond useless.  A washed up over achiever with no clue that the game has passed him by. 
So when he blindly tosses the ball to a wide open defensive end, then does a swan dive in a vain attempt to tackle the lumbering ballcarrier, then wanders off the field shaking his hand as if THAT was the cause for this latest boo-boo, its just sad.  Theres gotta be a ten year old out there, who's dad has a number 4 jersey and license plates proclaiming FARVE 4EVER.  And that kid, with more objectivity than a nation full of sportscasters, has to be wondering what all the fuss is about.  That kid knows that if he pulled the same stunt, his pee wee coach would cut, bench and berate him all at once.  Yet nobody who's job it is to point these things out utters a peep as Laverneus Coles and Jericho Cotchery dive vainly for balls they were 3 feet open for. 
Give him his due, his yellow jacket, a statue in a wax meuseum.  But give him his walking papers too...   
Category: NFL
Posted on: December 29, 2008 2:06 am

Where the hells Don Fehr on this one?

I'd like to hear the players union jump in on this Mark Teixeira deal to the Yankees.  For years the union has been jumping in, pressuring various free agents to take the best possible deal, sticking its nose where it has no business.  Now Teixeira not only snubs the Nationals better offer to sign with the Yankees, but never even gave them the chance to up their offer, which by all accounts they clearly would have.   Let someone like Tim Redding or Willy Tavares sign for even a few less bucks, and Fehr will be screaming bloody murder. 
Actually, I'm sick to death of hearing Don Fehr's rantings about all the injustices of a group so pampered as the MLPA.  If only we could all be so deprived.  Yet when he has the opportunity to jump in on the issue he's been so militant about, he remains strangely quiet.  This is more proof that the MLPA caters to its select few superstars, ignoring the wants and needs of its majority. 
Category: MLB
Posted on: December 24, 2008 11:33 pm

Scott Boras' dirty little secret.

Ever heard Scott Boras get going when the subject is one of his clients and a microphone gets thrust into his face? There's no end to the dialog spewed forth about what his client has done, can do or will do. Anything said client has ever accomplished, no matter how small is pointed out. There is one fact,somewhat meaningful, that never seems to be addressed.   That simple fact is that nearly every free agent ever signed is, to some degree, over the hill.
 Every Roto-geek who's won his league knows this one simple rule: The 27 Rule.  That is that most big leaguers have a career year at age 27.  There may be a bit of fluctuation.  Some guys peak at 26, some 28, but by and large, this rule is amazingly accurate.  Save for the past 15 or so years, which will go down as the steroid era, career years at 35 to 45 were commonplace.  A trip to will bear this out as far back as you care to look.  From Rogers Hornsby to Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron to Vlade Guerrero, Babe Ruth to Ken Griffey Jr, guys have been maxed out by age 28 for over a century.
The other part of this equation that bears pointing out is that following this magical career season, the majority of players begin a slide in production.  Some times gradual, sometimes much more dramatic.  Exhibit A--Andruw Jones.
Now the problem for Mr. Boras is, baseball's contract structure doesn't allow for free agency until about age 27.  Ironic, huh?  These poor little rich guys are being compensated, not so much for what they WILL do, but rather, what they HAVE done.  Hard to look a GM in the eye and demand top dollar on something as high mileage as a big league free agent. 
Everyone has access to this information, and I'd be amazed if every GM in the league is not privvy to this.  I can only guess it must be easier to market guys like Teixeira by ignoring this simple fact.  You know, selling the sizzle, not the steak.  After all, no one wants to go to the ballyard to see a dinosaur exhibit. 
So before you Yankee zealots get all carried away celebrating an impending World Series triumph, remember this.  It takes much more than an assortment of top name free agents to win it all.  Without a foundation of home grown talent, the big names alone will never get it done. 
And don't bother asking Scott Boras about all this.  His livelihood depends on this not getting out...
Category: MLB
Posted on: December 23, 2008 1:26 pm

The Luxury Of Mediocrity

Its that time of year when baseball fans begin their annual rantings about whether the Yankees ought to be spending through the roof, snapping up every free agent in sight, or whether teams with smaller payrolls deserve a shot at the top dollar free agents.  I'll try to keep away from that subject.  I'm quite certain none of the Steinbrenner clan gives a damn what I think.  I'm also objective enough to know that all teams are NOT created equal.  Right or wrong, that's just how it is.  So when a certain Yankee buff is myopic enough to state that every other team should go get their own YES network and buy all the free agents they want.  That's not only ludicrous, but downright impossible.
There are so many ways to measure success in baseball these days.  Is it the won/loss record?  Attendance?  How about those small market teams stuffing their pockets with luxury tax dollars intended for re-investment?  While there is no hard and fast "right answer", one thing is readily apparent.  And that is teams such as the Yankees are, and have been driving up the overall salary structure.  Not that its right or wrong, only an idiot or a "fanatic" would see it any other way. 
So, Yankee fan, what are you getting for your buck?  Every year, its this free agent or that.  Never a dull moment in the Hot Stove League.  You guys are the talk of the town, dominating every manner of media.  Perhaps that's the measure of success--dominating the tabloids.  But for an additional $30 million in luxury tax, and the A's and the Royals thank you for your support, are you really that much closer to WINNING?  Every Yankee blog I encounter is flush with prediction of an impending World Series title.  As if it were that easy.  If such were the case, we'd be just now sweeping ticker tape off the streets of Manhattan.
No dear Yankee fan, you just can't buy your way to victory.  Until your minor league system is re-stocked, and genuine prospects start coming up,  the best you can hope for is...well mediocrity.  There might be the occasional playoff appearance with an early exit, bringing on the cry for additional free agents that will REALLY put us over the top!  Your success in the late nineties was brought on, not by any free agent buying binges, but rather by that home grown talent you've gotten away from.  Jeter, Posada, Rivera Soriano, and Williams had more to with that successful era.  Kind of reminds you of a certain team from the Tampa area, doesn't it?
Lok on the bright side, though.  You guys can still dominate the media market like no other.  Sometimes you have to take success where you can find it... 
Category: MLB
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