Dave for Commissioner

 Posted by on 2014/08/14 at 19:10  Baseball, Sports
Aug 142014
 

Major League Baseball owners or their designated emissaries are gathered today in Baltimore to elect a successor to retiring Commissioner Bud Selig.  Apparently, there is enough back room dealing and cloak and dagger stuff going on to pique Tywin Lannister’s interest.  However, that stuff will be better covered by folks who have sources and stuff.  Me?  I’m going to explain the five main changes that, given the job, I would pursue.

First off, good riddance, Bud.  I’m sure that the owners will install another Commissioner who is every bit the empty suit that Selig has been, but that’s not enough to dampen the relief I feel seeing him go.  In fact, the first three things I’d do as Commissioner are direct repudiations of Selig’s legacy.  The last two are a bit more radical, and, I think, a bit more fun. Continue reading »

Jul 152014
 

This happened on Facebook earlier today, which I was perusing on my phone because the power was out because JCP&L hates customer satisfaction almost as much as Comcast:

Knicks_Lakers_FB

In the immediate term, it’s fairly obvious that the Knicks are better off.  The Knicks have a ride-or-die Carmelo Anthony and not a coming-off-injury Kobe Bryant.  Putting aside the fact that north of $120 million would have most people ride-or-die for anything from the Knicks to Scientology, Melo is a top-5 scorer and under-appreciated rebounder.

Who knows what Steve Nash (one of my top-5 favorite players of all-time, a list topped by 5 time Champion Timmy D) has left, while the Knicks added serviceable point guard José Calderón in their first competent trade in recent memory.  Still, as a Knicks fan, pessimism about the direction of the team is a reflex.  Could they actually be better off than the Lakers? Continue reading »

We Could Be Villains

 Posted by on 2014/06/26 at 19:00  Soccer, Sports
Jun 262014
 

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past couple days, a dude did this during a Tuesday World Cup match:

"I don't drink... wine."

“I don’t drink… wine.”

That’s Uruguay ( / Liverpool) striker Luis Suarez.  Italy’s Mario Balotelli had been subbed out, making it fairly easy to say that he was also the best player on the field at that point in the match (I’d argue he’s better than Balotelli, but, let’s save that for another day).

Dave, what the hell?  Is he…

Yup.

And he’s, like, good?

Really, really good.  He led the Premier League in goals last season.

This is also the third time he’s been caught biting an opposing player.

Seriously, WHAT THE HELL?!

So glad you asked.

Suarez complains to the ref as much as anybody on the field.  He flops in ways so brazen, I’d bet they raise Vlade Divac’s eyebrow.  He constantly looks like somebody farted in his nearby vicinity.  He also inspired this text, from my buddy Matt, in the aftermath of Tuesday’s chomping scandal:

Suarez vaulted into my top five favorite current footballers after that bite today.  He is a true villain, and the world is better for it.

I couldn’t agree more, and that’s only partially because I’m a shameless Liverpool homer. Continue reading »

The World Cup (?)

 Posted by on 2014/06/11 at 21:17  Soccer, Sports
Jun 112014
 

No, I didn’t just have a Ron Burgundy moment.  Look, I love the World Cup and am looking forward to a month of great soccer, but I have one complaint about the tournament.  This is the trophy everyone (read: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, and maybe Uruguay) will be playing for:

worldcup

Lovely enough, with one issue: IT’S NOT A CUP.  The World Cup’s MVP equivalent, the Golden Ball, looks like a ball.  The Golden Boot looks like a shoe.  The Golden Glove?  Yep, it looks like a glove.  How can FIFA gets all of its trophies right except the most important one?  Wait, they’re FIFA.  Forget I asked that. Continue reading »

A Layman’s Guide to World Cup Soccer

 Posted by on 2014/05/27 at 06:58  Soccer, Sports
May 272014
 

About a month ago, I set out to explain to non-baseball fans the nuances of baseball’s various forms of “cheating”, because I’m a uniter.  With the World Cup around the corner, I bring the non-soccer people a few pointers to help them understand what the hell they’re watching next month.

Every fourth summer, Americans are told that, like people pretty much everywhere else in the world, they, too, are really, really into soccer.  If for no other reason than it typically morphing into a day-drinking opportunity, Americans usually tune in, and, having never been to Italy, cheer for the Italian soccer team.  That second part might have more to do with me being surrounded by people from New Jersey, and not necessarily reflect “Americans”.  But, I digress.

If you’re one of the people making your quadrennial dip into the other futból world, welcome.  I’m not one of those guys here to lecture you about the “beautiful game” or how soccer is intellectually superior to the popular American sports.  Screw those jerks.  On the contrary, I’m here to make your viewing experience as enjoyable as possible.  So, first, here are a few things you might hear soccer announcers say, and what they mean.  If you do know the rules of soccer, don’t skip this part of the program.  This is really a framework to make jokes masquerading as soccer education.  Promise. Continue reading »

In Defense of Selling Out

 Posted by on 2014/05/01 at 13:40  Baseball, Sports
May 012014
 

Wow, I spend a disproportionate number of my Sports posts defending unpopular opinions.  It appears that a forum read by a whole half-dozen people really ignites the fire within my natural contrarian.

We’re back at it this week, because I have beef with my Yankees fan brothers and sisters.  I know grown men who felt a compulsion to buy a ticket to boo a 31-year old who decided that he would prefer to have an additional $65 million, as opposed to an absence of $65 million.  Fine, it’s New York; we boo everyone other than Santa Claus, so this scene was fairly predictable:

Cool.  I mean, the big sign that read “TRAITOR” felt a bit melodramatic, but, cool.  Then, the artists formerly known as Section 39 kind of took things off the rails.  A group of Yankees fans failed to see the irony in them showering a player who left a team to make more money with chants of “You sold out!”.

I wish Cano had some kind of forum to reply with, “Didn’t ya’ll just give $153 million to JACOBY ELLSBURY?!” Continue reading »

Apr 242014
 

Last night, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the 2nd inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox for having some schmutz (technical term) on his neck.  Post-game comments from the Sox’ manager and players indicated that Pineda’s transgression was not what he did, but how he did it.  This may be confusing to the more casual fans among us.  Is neck-schmutzing illegal or isn’t it?  Are you using double negatives to confuse me?  What the hell?!

The umps are not checking Michael Pineda's pulse

The umps are not checking Michael Pineda’s pulse

Breathe.  Cheating in baseball is a complex and nuanced issue.  I’m here to help walk you through the ins and outs of “getting an edge”, “gamesmanship”, or any other euphemism you can think up for cheating on the mound. Continue reading »

After the Season There’s the After-Season

 Posted by on 2014/04/17 at 11:33  Basketball, Sports
Apr 172014
 

Now, our journey truly begins.  There is much ahead of us.  The nights will be long, often bleeding into day.  Well, they’ll bleed into about 1:30 – 2AM the next day; the West Coast games typically don’t end much later than that.  That’s right, kids, the NBA Playoffs are here.

Begins?!  Dave, are you high?  They just played an 82-game season!

Yes, maybe, and I understand that.  Look, #RealTalk: the NBA regular season is like excessive foreplay.  It’s exciting when it starts, it has its lulls and thrills, but by the end, everybody recognizes that it’s past time to get it on.

It is, indeed, past time.

Like I said, Dave, you just got 82 games.  What makes the Playoffs so special?

So glad you asked, and the timeliness of you asking me why this night is different from all other nights is not lost on me.  Here’s why I’m amped to stop dozing off during halftime of the late games and double or triple down on my already high NBA consumption: Continue reading »

In Defense of A-Rod

 Posted by on 2014/04/10 at 13:20  Baseball, Sports
Apr 102014
 

Note: I see my pageview stats, which made me a little bit surprised that I received more than a couple comments about there being a lack of posts over the past few weeks.  Apparently, the three of you who do read this blog feel strongly enough about having reading material to kill the tail end of your Mondays and/or Thursdays to ask why I’m not providing said reading material.  Fair enough.  I’m back in the saddle.

Photo: NYDN / Getty Requires no further comment from me.

Photo: NYDN / Getty
Requires no further comment from me

That said, be careful what you wish for.  A lot of you are about to disagree strongly with today’s post.  As baseball season begins, I’m going to tie up my one loose end from last year.  After this, we’ll get back to more current (and, hopefully, on-field) stuff.  However, I found the hysteria surrounding Alex Rodriguez’s performance enhancing drug suspension strange, and, in many ways, troubling.  Here is my defense of A-Rod.  It is the longest piece I have ever written for this site. Continue reading »

Scattered Thoughts on the NBA Stretch Run

 Posted by on 2014/03/20 at 09:52  Basketball, Sports
Mar 202014
 

I decided that the gym iPod mix song posts were weak, so I’m putting the kibosh on them.  My attempt to solicit a new Tuesday topic via Facebook left me mostly with stuff that you don’t want in your browser history.  If you think there’s something I’d be good at riffing on weekly, drop a line in the Comments section below, or hit me up on Twitter with the hashtag #TuesdayTopic (so I know what the hell you’re talking about).

I know my first few sports posts have each centered around one main topic, but here’s the deal: there’s nothing I have a lot to say about this week.  It’s too early to talk baseball just yet; that will likely happen next week.  The NCAA Tournament starts today (Go Cuse!), but I already spent last week explaining how it’s an inferior product to the NBA game.  I don’t talk football in March, because that’s stupid.  Soccer was tempting, but I remembered who my readership is.  Hockey is cool, but those three words sum up my opinions on the sport pretty well.  So, what ya’ll get is my thoughts as we enter the last month of the NBA season.

Let’s start at the top (of the standings). Continue reading »