J.P. Ricciardi is a moron. I really can’t believe that he couldn’t get a deal done for Roy Halladay. The Jays need prospects much more than they need an ace they can’t properly support. By being stubborn and uncooperative he has sunk the team’s best chance of being competitive a few years down the road. Another bone-headed move by a truly terrible general manager. I wasn’t particularly clear why Toronto hired him in the first place, and I really don’t understand why they have kept him around for as long as they have. I’m not convinced that the Jays can compete with the Red Sox and Yankees at the best of times, but they certainly won’t with him in charge.
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Wow, am I ever glad that people don’t bet on swimming. Or maybe people do, but only the real degenerates. What’s going on right now at the World Championships is that swimming has descended into being a total mockery of a sport, and they seem to have little interest in doing anything about it.
Well, it’s been an interesting day in professional football for this weeks NFL picks. The hallmark story involves the legendary Brett Favre, who, at 39 years old, turned down the starting spot with Minnesota today. Additionally, QB Michael Vick is certainly a person of interest these days and there are a few other guys who are worth considering on this weeks nfl picks.
I need to go back to the events of Monday for a second because there was a lot going on and I haven’t had a chance to hit on it yet. Specifically, I want to talk about the Charlotte Bobcats. They clearly seem to have lost their mind. I mean, I know Larry Brown is getting older and all, but I didn’t know he was totally senile. If you missed it, they have traded Emeka Okafor to the Hornets for Tyson Chandler. Bizarre deal.
Each year in the second-half of the MLB season, some teams take off while others seem to simply falter. We’re now about 100 games into the season with 62 left to go. Here’s what’s happening in the AL.
He’s reinstated, so that means we need to talk about him – even if we are already sick of doing so. Here are a few things that I’m thinking about:
– I think that it’s a bit ridiculous that Vick is suspended for at least five more games. I have written a few times before about how I don’t understand Roger Goodell’s burning desire to be a higher moral authority than the courts or the higher powers. I strongly believe that Vick had to pay a debt to society for what he did. I also think that he has paid that debt in a pretty significant way – both in terms of time and financial impact. He deserves everything that has happened to him, but I don’t understand why Goodell feels like the league needs to exact another pound or two of flesh when Vick has already paid a massive debt. The punishment needs to fit the crime and all that, but I don’t understand why Goodell believes that the football punishment must significantly exceed the societal punishment
I was reminded of an incredible stat while reading Peter King this morning – at least five different NFL teams have made the playoffs after not making them the year before in each of the last 13 years. Considering that there are only 12 playoff teams that is truly incredible. The flip-side of that, of course, is that at least five playoff teams from one year haven’t made it the next. The short handicapping lesson to take from that – last year means almost nothing.
I’ve mentioned it a few times over the last three weeks, so if you read this blog the you have probably guessed I am a big fan of the race. I haven’t always been. I watched the last three or four Armstrong victories pretty closely, lost much of the interest when he retired, and became far more obsessed by it than I would have guessed this year. I’m a huge Lance Armstrong fan for a lot of reasons. I think he’s the most ridiculously talented, freakish athletic there is. I am in awe of his competitive fire and his will. I’m also pretty loyal to his cause – my mom died of cancer last year when she was far too young, so I’m not a huge fan of the disease.
The major sports leagues in the U.S. are not just going to sit back and let Delaware legalize sports betting. They obviously fear that it would establish a dangerous precedent. If you haven’t followed it, here’s a quick summary – the state of Delaware has decided to legalize sports betting as a way to raise more revenue for the state. There will be a lottery as well, but the controversial idea s that they will have Vegas-style sports books located in the existing race tracks in the state. Other states, especially New Jersey, are watching very closely because they would be interested in doing the same – in Atlantic City in New Jersey’s case. The state pushed through the legislation quickly and intends to have it up and running in time for the wildly lucrative football season. The leagues aren’t happy about it at all. They are outwardly opposed to gambling in any form, and their position is that they fear that widespread gambling will lead to corruption within the sport, or at least it will allow questions to be raised each time there is a close finish or a controversial call. In an attempt to stop progress in Delaware the four major sports and the NCAA have banded together and have sued the state.
The UFC scored a huge victory yesterday, and they didn’t even have to do anything. Former UFC fighter Josh Barnett was supposed to be in the main event of the next Affliction card against Fedor Emelianenko on August 1. Barnett was briefly a UFC heavyweight champion, but he was stripped of that title and booted from the UFC when he tested positive for steroids. He moved on to Pride and then to Affliction after burning that UFC bridge, and he established himself as a top heavyweight outside of the biggest organization. In his pre-fight drug test this week he again tested positive. That means he obviously can’t get a license for the fight, and he was booted from the card. Affliction didn’t have the time to replace him, so they took the unusual step of cancelling the entire card. That’s a huge blow for a fledgling organization, and it could even be a fatal one. EliteXC was forced to declare bankruptcy after less of a setback than this one. Whether Affliction survives or not, this only serves to further establish the UFC as perhaps the only legitimate MMA organization out there. At the very least, they are by far the most professional. The best possible outcome of this is that Fedor Emelianenko would finally get frustrated by not fighting in the biggest and best and would join the UFC like he really needs to do. That would open up a world of possibilities – Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar and so on. There is no better place for him to be, and no other way for him to prove that he is what everyone thinks he is – the best heavyweight in the world, and perhaps the best fighter period.