Archive for the ‘ MLB ’ Category

“Impostors”?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Torii Hunter found himself in a little bit of hot water regarding his comments about Latino baseball players.

Hunter, who is black, went on the record of saying that black Latino players are ‘impostors’ about two weeks ago in a series of roundtables by USA Today. The comments were posted on Wednesday’s edition of the paper. He would go on to say that he meant no harm with the comments and that they were not racially charged.

The subject originally came about from the low number of African Americans that are represented and the decline of the representation of African Americans in baseball in recent years, although the number in 2008 (10.2%) signified the highest percentage since 1995, a sign that things are changing.

But back to Hunter, he has been known for many years as one of the good guys, and is always engaging to the media, and during his reaction, he was agitated over the fact that the media did spin it to make it seem like it was racially charged. Here’s what was said:

“People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they’re African-American. They’re not us. They’re impostors. Even people I know come up and say: ‘Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?’ I say, ‘Come on, he’s Dominican. He’s not black.’ …

“As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It’s like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It’s like, ‘Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?’ … I’m telling you, it’s sad.”

Hunter did kind of stir the pot with those comments, but it seems as if that was his thoughts, but when you are in the spotlight, you always have to choose your words carefully. Just like with Derek Anderson and the Cleveland Browns release, what a player says can be spun into something that it is not. At first Hunter was not going to back away from his word, but when the reaction was too negative, he had to say something for damage control. This issue will not be serious, and by the time Opening Day comes around, it will be forgotten.

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Mark McGwire- No Surprise

So Mark McGwire finally admits it. He used steroids in the 90s. There’s only one thing to say about this:

No, really, you don’t say?

Come on Big Mac, we have known this since the 1998 Home Run Chase. There was reports that you vehemently denied, and there was the Congressional Hearings where you was a complete mute. Why wait until you are to return to the St. Louis Cardinals as a hitting coach to confess all this?

As much as the people knew that this happened, this is no surprise in terms of the fact that another face of the Steroid Era of Major League Baseball has come clean. But there was never really a drug testing policy established, and players got away with any and every thing. So the questions of integrity can be raised, but people wanted to feel good about baseball again. Sure it took a 5-10 years later to uncover the ugly truth, but at the time, baseball was on life support. The 1994 strike and cancellation of the season and ultimately, World Series just took away people’s love for the game, due to greed and corruption from the owners and players. Jose Canseco did blow the whistle on the steroid abusers, and from Andy Pettitte to Roger Clemens to Alex Rodriguez. At least Pettitte and A-Rod admitted their wrongdoings, and they were forgiven.

But McGwire, his window of opportunity was shut down a long time ago. When he did not come forward at the Congressional Hearings, and just confess to what he did, he lost all credibility and his chance to be in the Hall of Fame. Although it is good that he finally came clean on this, which was probably one of the conditions of his contract to be the Cardinals’ hitting coach and say this to distract the start of Spring Training and have a full blown media circus, there’s only two words for you on this, Big Mac.

No Surprise.

TSX Rapid News (1/14)

Welcome back to TSX Rapid News, lets go into the top stories for the Afternoon so far.

– The Kansas City Chiefs? or the Kansas City Patriots? Former Patriots assistant now turned Chiefs GM Scott Pioli has hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel as the defensive coordinator for Kansas City. This came a couple days after Pioli hired former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis as the team’s offensive coordinator, taking the role away from head coach Todd Haley. Pioli, Weis, and Crennel all worked with each other in New England during their dynasty years of 2001-2004. With a young team that showed promise late in the season, Kansas City is looking to be a force to be reckoned with in the next decade. All by doing it the “Patriot Way”.

– Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee and will be out for four months. Griffin, the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, injured his knee in the final preseason game against the New Orleans Hornets. He was targeting to make his debut Jan. 20th, but now with this news of surgery he will not. He will be a rookie next year.

– Lane Kiffin was introduced as the head coach of University of Southern California on Wednesday. Kiffin, who took the job after Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks as their head coach/executive vice president, went only 7-6 after one season at the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers who were really on the rise with recruiting, have had several players de-commit from the school upon the news that Kiffin was leaving Knoxville. Students were not happy either, forming a riot and burning team merchandise in protest of Lane’s departure.

– New York Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran will undergo knee surgery and will miss the first few weeks of the season. The surgery however, was not cleared by the Mets, and after injuries ravaged them to a 70-92 season a year ago, this is the last thing they needed. The Mets did say that Beltran’s osteoarthritis has worsened, and that surgery was need to clean the affected area. At least they do have Jason Bay now.

Stay tuned this tonight (early tomorrow AM) for TSX Rapid News: Late Edition.

TSX Rapid News (1/6)

This is the new edition of TSX Rapid News for January 6th.

– Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings took home top honors as Offensive Rookie of the Year. The standout from Florida had 60 catches for 790 yards, 15 rushes for 145 yards, and averaged 27.5 YPG on kickoff returns. He is the second Viking in the past three years to win the award (Adrian Peterson won in 2007) and the sixth player in team history to win. Texans rookie Bryan Cushing won Defensive Rookie of the Year yesterday after posting a season where he had 133 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a safety, which propelled him into being the second Texan to win the award after DeMeco Ryans win in 2006.

– Former Detroit Lions WR Charles Rogers was sentenced to 93 days in jail after being put in contempt of court following an arrest of public intoxication. It’s a fall from grace from the player who was drafted #2 in the 2003 NFL Draft.

– The Unit retires: Randy Johnson, who has been one of the most dominating and intimidating presences during the 90s and 2000s, announced his retirement Tuesday after 22 seasons in the major leagues. Johnson went 303-166 with a 3.29 career ERA and his 4875 strikeouts are the most all-time among left handed pitchers and second to only Nolan Ryan. He did this playing for six different teams: Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks (two stints), New York Yankees, and the San Francisco Giants).

– In the World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal game, Team USA beat Team Canada 6-5 in overtime after John Carlson scored the game-winning goal on a 3-on-1 that bested goaltender Martin Jones. It was the second gold-medal in the championships for the US, and it stopped Canada’s dominance of five straight gold medals, as they were denied a sixth gold medal.

TSX Rapid News (1/5)

Welcome to the new TSX Rapid News, where we cover four different sports stories from around that aren’t worthy of a post, so let’s get into it.

– The NFL offseason began for 20 teams yesterday, and two teams are already clearing house. The Buffalo Bills fired their entire coaching staff, including interim head coach Perry Fewell, but the good news for Fewell is that he has the opportunity to interview for the head coaching job. The Washington Redskins fired Jim Zorn, which was already anticipated in Week 5. The ‘Skins are already meeting with Mike Shanahan, and it is anticipated that he will become the next coach of the Redskins. The only thing with Shanahan is that he will want to have TOTAL control of the team (Head Coach/GM). Washington has a GM already (Bruce Allen). It looks good on the surface, but will it lead to a clash in the future if Shanahan’s hired? Time will tell.

– Gilbert Arenas says the guns were “a joke” on teammate Javaris Crittenton. This is really no laughing matter, and in the process, makes the Washington Wizards a laughingstock. It’s okay to be positive and look at the bright side, but don’t say “i’m a goofball” and act like it’s not a big deal. This is a serious matter, and at the end of the day, Joke is on him. The Wizards SHOULD trade him, but that hefty contract is something nobody wants to take on.

– The Utah Jazz may be cleaning house and rebuilding. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears, the Jazz, who have a team payroll exceeding $77M, and ownership does not want to pay the NBA luxury tax for a start that has been rather mediocre. So every player except for Deron Williams is on the trading block. But even though Utah wants to take money off the payroll, they want to remain competitive, but there have been no takers. This Jazz team has been underachieving, and it is disappointing. If they want to shed payroll, they will not be as competitive in the West.

– On the same day Jason Bay was introduced as the New York Mets’ latest addition, his former team made a big splash in free agency. The Boston Red Sox announced they are in the process of signing Adrian Beltre to a two year contract to compliment and eventually replace fan favorite, but oft-injured Mike Lowell. The BoSox also need to keep up with the New York Yankees. The signing of Beltre does help his former team, the Seattle Mariners, clear payroll for Chone Figgins, who signed with Seattle after being a fixture for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Marion Jones: Redeeming Herself

She was on top of the track world at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, winning three gold medals and two bronze medals.

Now she’s trying to redeem herself in a new arena of sports.

Marion Jones, who was regarded as one of the best track and field stars of her time, has been working on her skills in basketball and is looking to try out for the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars. She is planning this a year after she spent a six-month jail term for lying to a grand jury for her part in the BALCO lab scandal, and also lying about her performance-enhancing drug usage at the 2000 Sydney Games. She was stripped of her five medals (three gold) and her image was tarnished after she vehemently denied using any kind of performance-enhancing drugs.

But now she is looking to make a comeback, just in a different arena. Jones was the point guard on the University of North Carolina’s 1994 National Championship team, and although she has not played basketball on a competitive level in 15 years, she believes she still has what it takes, so SilverStars head coach Dan Hughes is giving her the opportunity to showcase her skills and begin a new career, and is not looking towards her past, but what, if anything, can she bring to the SilverStars’ future

But there are things that stand in the way of that:

The length of time between playing competitive basketball. Jones is 34, and she last played at a high level in 1996, but the good thing is that she is going to try to play in Europe to get in basketball shape again and then join the WNBA in the summer when the season begins. Also, there is the scrutiny of the fans, who will question her every move if she plays, but all she will have to do is look at baseball figures, such as Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, all of which resurrected their careers after performance-enhancing drugs nearly derailed their careers. If a team does sign Jones, it will attract attention and press their way, and boost the bottom line at the ticket office.

So at the end of the day, will this work out? It will depend on if she makes a team in Europe. If she can play among a team there before the WNBA season start, the prospects of a team picking her up will increase greatly. After one of the best WNBA seasons in recent memory, the league and one of its clubs will want to pick her up to keep the good press going.

Either way, Jones will get the redemption that she is seeking.

MLB Postseason Awards- Cy Young Award

More MLB postseason awards have been handed out over the past few days, and the Cy Young Award Winners were selected a few days ago. One winner is a first time winner that has overcome so much in life on and off the field. The other has been here before, and also he joined a pretty exclusive club.

In the American League, Zack Greinke has come a very long way. From being the #6 pick in the 2002 MLB Draft to a major-league leading 17 losses in 2005, and then suffering from social anxiety disorder and depression throughout the 2006 season, Greinke had his career season in 2009. Signing a four year, $38M contract in January with Kansas City, he returned on the first year of the investment, with a career best 16-8 record, and a major league leading ERA of 2.16, six complete games and three shutouts, and a career-high 242 strikeouts, which was second in the American League to Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander. The award is Greinke’s first Cy Young award, and he’s the first Royals’ pitcher to win since David Cone in 1994.

In the National League, “The Freak” goes back-to-back. Giants’ young ace Tim Lincecum barely won his second Cy Young Award for the National League, beating Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals. He went 15-7 on the season with a 2.48 ERA, and 261 strikeouts, which was tops in the National League. Lincecum became the 15th player in Major League history to win two or more Cy Young awards, and also became the youngest pitcher to win back-to-back awards in just his third season in the majors.

Next up on the MLB Postseason Awards- the Most Valuable Players of the American and National League.

(photos courtesy of Getty Images)