Source of Adam Dunn’s Hitting Struggles Revealed

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When Adam Dunn signed a 4-year, $56 Million contract with the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, GM Kenny Williams believed he was adding his much-coveted left handed bat in the middle of the line-up with a career on-base plus slugging percentage (.OPS), of .890.

Instead he has a player hitting 114 points below his listed weight, who is posting a .487 OPS at a home ballpark known as a launching pad, and is striking out in over 43% of his at bats.  What is wrong with Adam Dunn? The Sportsbank has an inside look at what his problem could be.

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Jim Riggleman is Nuts: Nationals Managerial Job is a Sweet Gig

Stephen Strasburg

One of the problems that members of the sports world continuously have is an inflated ego. They are surrounded by friends and family who consistently tell them how great they are.

This is obviously the case, otherwise they wouldn’t hold the positions that they do. What these members of the entourage don’t comprehend is that they are surrounded by the top people in the world in their respective fields and that there are varying degrees of excellence.

Jim Riggleman held one of the most coveted positions in sports. He was a major league manager for the Washington Nationals before he abruptly resigned recently after a one to zero victory by his team. Abandoning his club on the verge of their interleague series against the Chicago White Sox is a cowardly and spineless move.

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Jim Riggleman Makes Dumb Decision in Walking Away from Nationals

Remember when the Washington Nationals sucked? Yeah, just about 2 weeks ago. Since the Montreal Expos came to America they’ve been a joke. However, things are starting to turn around in our nation’s capital and manager Jim Riggleman has lead them to a 35-34 record this season. Pretty impressive.

He should be proud and happy.

He should resign? Wait, what?

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Strasburg dazzles in debut, but has a long way to go

Stephen strasburg

Washington D.C. is a city accustomed to a honeymoon period when a new boss comes to town, and Stephen Strasburg’s record-setting MLB debut stirred up feelings of hope and change for the Washington Nationals and their fan base. Stephen Strasburg, you’ve just taken your first step into a larger world.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

2010 MLB Mock Draft 3.0: The Final Countdown

Jameson Taillon

For pick-by-pick analysis of the first round of the MLB Draft, click here.

The 2010 MLB Draft is peaking over the horizon, and the only guaranteed predictions come out of the top three slots. After that, it’s a whirlwind of speculation as the options open up for the remaining 29 selections.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

2010 MLB Mock Draft 2.0 (6-2-10)

Bryce Harper

With the 2010 MLB draft just five days away, it’s time for the second version of its mock up, complete with a few changes big and small.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

2010 MLB Mock Draft (Picks 1-16)

Top prospect Bryce Harper

For pick-by-pick analysis of the 2010 MLB draft’s first round, click here.

With up to 50 rounds adding up to 1,600 picks, most of which either don’t sign or won’t be seen for three to four years, the MLB Draft doesn’t hold the same attention grabbing star power as its NFL and NBA counter parts.

But that doesn’t mean MLB Mock Drafts aren’t still fun to discuss and debate, especially with the draft only a few weeks away.

For picks 17-32 of the 2010 mock first round, click here.

For the updated MLB mock draft 2.0, click here.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

Joe Nathan Injury Hurts, Doesn’t Cripple Twins

By Mike Gallagher

246 saves, a 22-12 record, and an ERA under 2.00.  An impressive resume over the last six years for Twins closer Joe Nathan, who is widely considered the second best closer over that span in Major League Baseball.

Obviously, with such gaudy stats and being such an unquestionable rock at the end of the bullpen, it would be ridiculous to say the Twins won’t miss Joe Nathan.  In a bullpen that was shaky in a lot of other areas over the last two years, Nathan was the only sure thing after Ron Gardenhire made his first trip to the mound in a game.

It hurts, yes, but it’s equally ridiculous to believe that this injury is one that decimates the Twins and puts them in a spot that could end up costing them the division.
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Pressing Social Issues in Sport Part 1 of 3

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Paul M. Banks has an exclusive interview with Dave Zirin discussing the past, present and future social issues at the heart of sports

The legendary Howard Cossell once proudly said that rule number one of sports was, they are never to mix with politics.  Today, nothing could be further from the truth. Another sportswriter who agrees with me is Dave Zirin, author of four books and a column, “Edge of Sports,” which appears on Sports Illustrated’s website.

I sat down with Zirin for an exclusive conversation at “The Progressive” magazine’s 100th anniversary conference.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than when I meet someone who bought one of my books and says that they there were now able to connect with somebody politically that they just otherwise couldn’t. They say things like I love my Dad, but we just can’t talk politics, and then through sports they’re actually able to have a real political dialogue. They get started and it’s ‘let’s talk Muhammad Ali, let’s talk Title IX, let’s talk about will there ever be a gay male athlete in team sports?’ and then they’re able to engage on a political level. And that’s been really fun and interesting. It’s rewarding because we live in a society where a lot of people are alienated from politics, but they’re not alienated from sports,” he said.terrordome-full

We all know how mind-numbingly boring 99.999% of athlete/coaches interviews and press conferences can be. This is simply because the individuals are regurgitating the same agonizingly mundane and ridiculously repetitive clichés that the team’s PR department trained them to give as a response. This is all part of the “just shut up and play” mentality that teams expect at all levels of the organization. It’s also glorified and promoted by the evil empire of ESPN. Free thinkers are discouraged at best, ostracized at worst.

I asked Zirin why this is so.

“I think there are three reasons why that is. The first is that sports is an absolutely trillion dollar business, the likes of which it’s early founders and funders never could have envisioned a hundred years ago. And any time you have a business of such size and scope, there’s an effort to corporatize; make it as bland and broad-based as possible for the purpose of selling it to a global audience, just like the way they sell Michael Bay films overseas and they make hundreds of millions of dollars. The sheer size of it makes it hostile to anything that could possibly strangle the golden goose.

Secondly, the people that control sports, the owners as a group, are much farther to the right than the rest of society. Pro sports owners on their own gave more to McCain over Obama by a 6:1 margin, according to a study by politico.com. Remember what made Obama so powerful was his fundraising prowess and McCain had to take federal funds, so think about how out of step that is from the country as a whole. And owners control the messaging in sports.dave_zirin

But there’s something else too. This is the first society that ever viewed sports as some people watch and some people play. Every other society: feudal societies, hunter-gatherer societies, you would watch and you would play. This is long before sports became a commodity to be sold. But we have a society where some people are conditioned to be watchers and any time you have a situation like that, it breeds passivity,” Zirin articulated.

The three factors he described have without a doubt paved the way for “establishment politics” (messages of military, rank nationalism, jingoism) to make their presence felt in sports. Any time we rise for the singing of “God bless America,” The Star Spangled Banner or express excitement from an Air Force flyover we are making or responding to a deeply political statement. But we think of these things as just routine because they are commonplace at the stadium. More extremist examples would be Military Appreciation Night (so conveniently acronyms M.A.N.) at the Washington Nationals park. (although this isn’t much of an influential example because no one really seems to be aware that the Nats exist), This promotion, little more than an advertisement for the military-industrial complex, leads to Veterans Day ceremonies sponsored by leading defense contractor Boeing art Soldier Field.

Then the slippery slope starts to John Smoltz and his warning of “the socialist conspiracy to teach evolution to our children” and also Jerry Colangelo staging his “Faith and Family days” at the arena/ballpark, promoting his anti women’s rights propaganda to a captive audience.

Clearly, when it’s status quo or right-wing politics, indeed politics have their place in sports. (or so we’re told) When it’s resistance politics, or dissident politics on the other hand…then politics have no place in sports. (supposedly)