Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez reportedly linked to PED in 2012

a-rod-steroids

Now we have smoking gun to indict A-Rod as who he truly is: A-Roid.  Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, along with former Chicago White Sox pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera are the four biggest MLB stars treated at a South Florida clinic where, according to a report in Tuesday’s Miami New Times, they received performance-enhancing drugs.

Records taken from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic near the University of Miami, indicate those players and many other athletes — all of whom have connections to South Florida — received various substances from Anthony Bosch, the head of the clinic, who is already under investigation by MLB and DEA.

[Read more…]

L.A. Angels’ Albert Pujols Contract is Nonsensical

It is amazing that as the NFL and NBA recently concluded labor disputes their popularity isn’t suffering as much as Major League Baseball; who are losing the youth demographic. The decision for L.A. Angels owner Artie Moreno to pay Albert Pujols two hundred fifty four million dollars over ten years is ludicrous and absurd. Say that again $254 million over 10 years.

There is speculation of what Pujols’ age really is.

In 2011, I am skeptical of this notion because data around the world are fairly transparent. If that were the case, the truth likely would have come to light by now. Even so, men of a certain age (shout out to Ray Ramano) will not produce more than in their prime without assistance from performance enhancing drugs.

[Read more…]

World Series to Determine Fair Value for Albert Pujols, Stl. Cardinals?

Shaun Marcum and Edwin Jackson struggled in their starts on Sunday night in the 2011 National League Championship Series. That was no surprise considering their previous track records. The eighteen total runs scored made the over betters elated in Las Vegas. Albert Pujols had a home run and two runs batted in for the Cardinals.

Pujols has an average of over four hundred in the postseason with an on base percentage of over .550. He is widely seen as the top hitter in the National League and is a quality teammate-citizen in the Midwest. His prowess at first base has really improved over the years due to his diligence. There is nothing negative that I can write about the man besides his age. The player on the wrong side of thirty probably has the best years behind him…if he is not taking supplements.

[Read more…]

Depth is the Key to Surviving MLB’s 162 Game Marathon

The first priority for team management has to be the daily line-up that takes the field.

This undoubtedly is the reason that position players in Major League Baseball like Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez have traditionally received more money over a longer term than pitchers like Johan Santana and C.C. Sabathia. While it is true that arm problems can derail a career in a heartbeat, front office workers also comprehend that players in the line-up everyday consistently create a following with the fans that a player taking the mound every fifth day just cannot create. With that said, pitching is paramount to the success in regular season play and throughout the postseason in both leagues.

[Read more…]

Derek Jeter Possesses By Far the Best Contract in Baseball

derek jeter

There was a time in sports when players were rewarded for their performance on the field. It actually is more logical to pay a player for his potential rather than his resume since that is essentially the period of time for the contract. It does help to have a body of work at the highest level to convince owners and general managers to part with some of their money. Derek Jeter is definitely on the downside of his illustrious career.

Jayson Werth and Carlos Pena have taken a substantial amount of heat in the media for the terms of their contracts, but it should come on the other side of the aisle because management is the side that agreed to the terms.

By Patrick Herbert

[Read more…]

Memo to Yankees, Derek Jeter: Not a Leadoff Hitter

derek jeter

With the moral demise of Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter is now the most revered man in all of sports.

Whether he is driving by a fire in a “Rescue Me” trailer or running out to his position in the Bronx, graceful is a word that describes him. The captain is every manager’s dream and Joe Girardi is certainly enamored with him. This is the only explanation why he is still hitting leadoff in that hallowed line-up.

It is much too small of a sample to be conclusive, but Jeter only has two postseason hits so far with no walks. One of the aforementioned singles was even on an “excuse me” swing to shallow right field. During regular season play Jeter did achieve the magical mark of one hundred runs scored; he also was effective in the extra base department with thirty doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. His sixty-three walks helped offset his low batting average of .270. His on base percentage hit .340 according to the sortable stats link at http://yankees.com (This site provided all of the statistics for this piece).

By Patrick Herbert

[Read more…]

Mauer Signs With Twins for Eight Years, $184 Million

By Mike Gallagher

It’s been rumored for months and months and has been the talk of the offseason here in Twins territory.  But it’s finally official. [Read more…]

MLB Championship Series showcase East/West Coast battles

east-west

By Jake McCormick

The MLB is resurrecting their own versions of the 90s rap battles between the East and West Coast. Both the National League and American League Championship Series feature matchups between teams roughly 3,000 miles away from each other. And from the storylines and talent on each team, the rest of the postseason will give similar career/entertainment boosts as a result.

Two things are for sure when the Los Angeles Angels take on the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers face Philadelphia Phillies: Both series will go more than four games and both will feature some instant classic playoff moments. Although it would be hard to top Jonathan Papelbon’s implosion over the last two innings of the Red Sox-Angels series. There’s not much that pleases me more as a baseball fan than watching cocky closers get worked like a new army recruit.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
dodgers1This matchup screams Rocky II, and for once not in the way that benefits Philadelphia. Both teams played at this stage a year ago, only Philadelphia had the home field advantage. The Dodgers have come back a year stronger and more hungry, whereas the Phillies look just as good, but have lost a few key steps along the way.

The Phillies and Dodgers have strong rotations, but each has one cold spot that could easily be exploited if either team gets on a roll. Cliff Lee has so far looked like CC Sabathia was supposed to for the Brewers last year, giving up two earned runs in 16.1 innings. Game 1 starter Cole Hamels is supposed to be the team’s ace, but he struggled in his NLDS start and will be facing a right-handed heavy Dodger lineup.

philliesThe Dodgers somehow stopped the Philadelphia hit parade during the regular season, as the team only hit .214 in seven games. The Phillie left handers will need to find a way to get past Dodger south paws Clayton Kershaw and Randy Wolf, who both rank tops in the league in opponent OPS. They also have the best bullpen in the National League, including lefty late-inning specialist George Sherrill.

The key to this series will be the back end of both teams’ bullpens. Brad Lidge has a stat line that only Eric Gagne would’ve been able to rival, had he stayed the Brewers’ closer throughout all of 2008. Both of these teams can hit late in games, so the matchup between Lidge vs. Mr. Clutch Andre Ethier or Jonathan Broxton vs. Ryan Howard will show its face at least one time apiece. Consider this a grudge match of the best of the NL, and the Dodgers will take the series in the same number of games they played against the Phillies in 2009.

Verdict: Dodgers in seven

Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees
YankeesThe regular season 5-5 split record between these two teams sums up how evenly matched the ALCS will be. The Angels and Yankees finished one and two, respectively, during the regular season in runs scored, and played as well as any team in baseball over the last month of the season. There’s no doubt this is the Tupac vs. Notorious B.I.G. of the East/West MLB feud, minus the ending, of course.

The Yankees have decided to go with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte for the rest of the series. Instead of performing like an overused 30 GB iPod, Sabathia is a refurbished 80 GB in his first playoff bid as a Yankee. The regular late season use will come in handy considering he was 0-2 with above a 6.00 ERA against Los Angeles. Do I even need to mention Mariano Rivera, considering he is the Delivery Man of the Year?

AngelsThe Angels have also set their rotation with John Lackey, Joe Saunders, Jerad Weaver, and Scott Kazmir. Lackey has the most playoff experience, and he and Weaver pulled 7.1 innings against an always tough Red Sox team. Closer Brian Fuentes was a question mark heading into the postseason, but he seemed to have found a groove against Boston, allowing no hits and only one baserunner on a walk in two saves.

Both of these teams convincingly swept their opponents in the divisional series, and are as ready as ever to face off for the American League pennant. Bobby Abreu and Mark Teixeira get their chances, in a way, to Brett Favre their former teams in at least four games. Alex Rodriguez suddenly has the playoff confidence of David Eckstein, Aaron Boone, and Craig Counsell all wrapped into one. The series will be close any way you slice it, but in the end New York will find itself in the World Series for the first time since 2001.

Verdict: Yankees in six.

If my predictions prove correct, it would be a Dodger-Yankee World Series; the best of each league. That would pit Joe Torre against his former team, which would be the ultimate Brett Favre moment of the MLB season, except the revenge game would mean a little more in the long run.

Tom Crean Influences Brewers’ Top Draft Selection

crean-and-sheets
By Melissa S. Wollering

He always reminded me of Ben Sheets: a fair asset to his sport with leadership and command on the court/field, sprinkled with a little self-nullifying whining and a funny drawl. Turns out Tom Crean helped the Milwaukee Brewers’ draft their first college pitcher in the first-round Tuesday since Ben Sheets was selected as such back in 1999.

Down in Indiana, Eric Arnett became known for his hard throwin’, clocking fastballs in the mid-90’s, complementing them with Speedy Gonzales sliders. He’s the Jolly Green Giant—at 6’5”, 225 he basically throws downhill from the mound. In contrast to a Manny Parra, he also averages nearly eight innings per start.

macha-manny
If you’ve ever questioned Tom Crean’s dedication to Wisconsin sports in general, now is a good time to eat your words. He’s got our back.

Call Crean the Milwaukee Brewers’ unofficial scout with a nose for multi-sport players (Arnett played football, basketball and baseball for his high school in Pataskala, Ohio).  Shortly after Tom Crean left Marquette to take over the Hoosier men’s basketball program, Crean had Eric Arnett work out with the team and travel as a practice player.

eric-arnett
Arnett never suited up for games, but made such an impression on Crean as an athlete that Crean vouched for him, calling Doug Melvin and Bruce Seid once he heard of the Brewers’ interest in Eric.

The Brewers were able to take a good look at Arnett last Saturday while the organization held a workout for several draft-eligible players. As Doug Melvin has stated before, it was important for Milwaukee to select a player with signability in addition to ability.

Bruce Seid says the Brewers didn’t draft for need but rather went with the ‘best player available’ mentality.  Yay for good arms.  Yay again for good Big 10 arms. The fact that Arnett seems keen on getting professional career going fast also helps.

“I’m looking forward to signing as soon as possible,” said Arnett, in an interview with Tom Hardricourt Tuesday. “I’m a fairly ‘signable’ guy. I don’t think it would take too long.”

kids
Which is a good thing.  The Crew’s previously solid farm system pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress was recently demoted from Class AA Huntsville to Class A Brevard County due to a severe lack of command.

As for the rest of the draft, the Milwaukee Brewers picked up a nice mix of high school and college guys. University of Tennessee’s Kentrail Davis is a centerfielder who batted .308 with 9 homers and 30 RBI on a less-than-stellar team last year. He truly was the diamond in their rough, even though he’s only a sophomore.

The Crew also drafted RHP Kyle Heckathorn from Kennesaw (Georgia) State, who looks identical to Arnett.  He dons a fastball in the high 90’s, a hard slider and 6’6”/240 stature. Hmm…Melvy and Seid might have a “type” as narrow as Kate Hudson’s dating prototype. Wait…hers are much more self-absorbed, psychotic and overrated at baseball. 

kate-hudson-a-rod
For the second of the two CC Sabathia picks, the Brewers’ took a high school outfielder named…wait for it…wait for it….Max Walla.  Arguably the BEST name in the entire draft. Out of Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy, he’s a left-handed-hitter with power, power, power.  51 homers during his junior year and summer ball. A lefty with those numbers probably made Melvin drool into his Total Bran w/Raisins Wednesday morning.

The Brewers also picked up prep catcher Cameron Garfield of Murietta, CA High School. In the third round, they found a Tulane shortstop named Josh Prince. Considering the Milwaukee Brewers’ entire foundation is built upon its farm system, players selected this week could make a huge difference in the organizations’ future.  I, for one, hope to be writing about them in this column in a few years. Walla, Walla, watch-out!

Progress on Gays in Sports, but Still a Ways to Go

johnamaechi1By Jacob McCormick

As homosexuality takes on a stronger and more visible presence in modern American society, so do their vocal opponents. Yet no matter how hard people work to silence the homosexual voice, gays and lesbians continue to come out of the closet and prove that no matter how loud people piss and moan about them, they’re not going to give up on living a happy and productive life.

Gays and lesbians are the most persecuted minority in society today, but the acceptance and tolerance of homosexuality will eventually improve as people realize “yes,  gays do indeed deserve an equal chance at succeeding in life.”

However, the world of professional sports is the one realm of society that stands little chance for changing in the near future. As a general sports fan, it’s embarrassing to see athletes who are more comfortable with teammates’ criminal records than their private lives away from sports. You tell me which area has the most negative impact on team chemistry on and off the court/field/diamond?

From kindergarten to the professional ranks, sports have become the pinnacle of masculinity in America. How many fathers do you know that push for their sons to join the cheerleading squad or become interior decorators? Those are two good examples of stereotypical “gay” hobbies or professions, but nowadays the line separating gay and straight archetypes has almost been erased.

Straight men enjoy matching clothes and gay men enjoy playing sports. The problem is that those gay men engaging in stereotypical “straight” hobbies continue to live a lie by disguising their sexual orientation from fear of severe alienation by their ignorant peers.

A prototypical example of idiotic bigotry towards homosexuality in sports is to look at the reaction of ex-NBA player Tim Hardaway right after the coming out of another ex-player, John Amaechi in February 2007.marksanchez2

Obviously Amaechi deserved some attention because of his courageous admission in the wake of a career that could just as easily been pushed into the back of a closet. But because he wasn’t a recognizable face to NBA fans, the attention seemed over-hyped. Yes, it is a big deal, but Amaechi was never All-Star caliber and his coming out hasn’t resulted in a much needed change in anti-gay attitudes in the NBA and/or other professional sports around the country. Since Amaechi’s coming out party and the three month media hangover of coverage, no professional male sports figure has followed suit.

The fact that Hardaway had the guts to speak his mind to the media demonstrated the exact reason why many homosexuals in Amaechi’s position choose to play out their careers in silence. NBA players, along with many other professional athletes in popular leagues such as the NFL and MLB, carry Hardaway-like resentments towards homosexuals. arod1Ironically, as Amaechi points out in his personal biography, the locker room is filled with “gay” activities, such as swapping expensive and flashy clothes, flexing muscles to each other and showing off jewelry. The recent Alex Rodriguez and Mark Sanchez’s photo shoots? Yeah, totally straight.

The only way these bigoted sentiments against gays in sports will change is if a current or former All-Star, who has already won respect from the rest of the league, opens up about his or her homosexuality. People don’t change their positions on hot button issues until it directly impacts their lives and relationships with family and friends.commies

American society is more accepting of homosexuality than it ever has been, given that 25 years ago it was more acceptable to be openly Communist then gay. For famous athletes still wrestling their inner demons, Amaechi sparked the fire. But a proven, successful athlete needs to fan the flames if we want to see real attitude changes on a mass scale. It is possible as long as a higher tier player is willing to become a martyr for the cause. Only at that point will the sports world see larger steps towards equality than the baby steps that have been taken for too long.

Dbag Bracket Finals, Vote Early Vote Often

Rachel Nichols vs. Notre Dame Fans with no connection to the school

It’s the final countdown! This is Chicago so vote early, vote often for the national championship of the inaugural douchebracket. POLLS CLOSE ON SUNDAY APRIL 5TH 10:30 CT!!!!

Our two previous Final Four games were as different as night and day. Rachel Nichols was up by as many as 50 points before the final score was tallied. She more than doubled Ronnie Woo Woo’s percentage- winning 67-33%.

Alex Rodriguez was up by as many 10 for most of the contest, but whittled down the stretch as the non-academically affiliated Notre Dame fans chipped away at the double digit deficit and emerged victorious in final minutes by the SLIMMEST of margins 51-49% The final game should be equally exciting!

Vote in the Dbag Bracket Final Four

Here we go! Polls close at 11pm central on Thursday night. Soon after the title game poll will open. Vote as many times as you like