General Sports

Odds and Ends: Should bloggers get Press Credentials?

Eric Mcerlain over at Off Wing Opinion posted a link to Sports Media Journal’s poll asking whether sports bloggers should get media credentials. There are only 51 votes as of this writing but almost 2/3 of the respondents say no. And I have to agree with them. A few bloggers, like Eric, absolutely know their stuff. We’ve had Eric on a few podcasts and his knowledge of hockey and the NHL is extraordinary. Giving him a press pass enhances his writing.

However, the majority of bloggers are goddamn useless and add absolutely nothing to sports “reporting.” Hell, why do you need a press pass to post a blog entry on which player in the starting lineup compares to the cast of the Partridge Family? Bill Simmons doesn’t need a press pass and the majority of bloggers are cheap imitations of the Sports Guy. (Even the Sports Guy has become a cheap imitation of the Sports Guy.) You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve clicked on a link, read the blog entry, and thought, “are you f’ing kidding me? Did I just waste time reading that shit?”

No, bloggers do not need press credentials. The good ones come up with important topics and opinions with or without access. The bad ones will always suck the life out of this game, whether or not they have access to the free buffet. And for the record, we don’t have press credentials.

In other news…

[]: Bengals release LB Nicholson after arrest on a domestic violence charge

[Idaho Statesman]: Another story for the ‘Hockey players are the toughest athletes’ file

[]: The worst logos in hockey

[TrojanWire]: Well, at least we know Steve Nash doesn’t get his chest waxed

[Ump Bump]: For Ozzie Guillen, profanity is but a station in his train of thought

[SportsBurn]: Tony Romo to judge Miss Universe pageant. Bastard.

MLB General

The Full Count: Almost Perfect — 27 up, 27 down

1. Surprise of the Year: Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox strugged enormously the second half of last year and wasn’t so great in his first two starts of 2007. But, in a surprising performance to say the least, he tossed a no-hitter against the Rangers, a good-hitting team. Buehrle went the distance ans was only one walk shy of perfection. He struck out 8 and picked off the only baserunner he allowed. The no-no was the 16th in White Sox history but their first since 1991. On the offensive side, Jim Thome hit two homers and Jermaine Dye had a grand slam to supply all of the White Sox’s 6 runs. Another major league pitcher, the Mets’ John Maine, went into the seventh inning with a no-hitter going as well. Maine and the Mets disposed of the Marlins, 9-2.

2. Worst team in the league: Many would be surprised to find that the worst team in the entire majors is the Philadelphia Phillies so far this year. They fell to 3-10 after a loss to the terrible Nationals in 13 innings on Wednesday. Nothing has gone well for the Phils this season. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, their two best offensive players, are hitting under .230. Brett Myers was so bad as a starting pitcher that they moved him to the bullpen. Absolutely nothing has gone right for the Phillies, except for Jimmy Rollins’ surprising power.

3. Star Power: Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds faced each other on Wednesday,. and they both showed why they are two of the game’s most feared hitters. Pujols, who has been struggling, hit his fourth homer of the season and increased his average 40 points via three hits. Bonds, meanwhile, hit a solo homer in the eighth to tie the game, which the Giants eventually won in 12 innings. The Bonds homer was his fourth of the year, and number 738 on his career. He’s had a fantastic start to the season, and ranks first in the NL in slugging and OPS.

Player of the Day: Mark Buehrle, White Sox: 9 innings, no-hitter, 8 strikeouts.

Walk Off: Ryan on Poor Man’s PTI had a great idea: the best snub ever for a sports editor on a major newspaper would be to bury the story to a blurb when Barry breaks Hank Aaron’s record (by now, it’s inevitable) next to some story about womens water polo or something. “And in other news, Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s Home Run Record.”

MLB General

The Full Count: Dice-K can’t catch a break

1. Bad Roll of the Dice: Daisuke Matsuzaka is perhaps the unluckiest pitcher in baseball this season. He has lost two starts in a row despite pitching a quality start in both games. Dice-K was simply outpitched by Felix Hernandez a week ago and Gustavo Chacin on Tuesday. Chacin improved to 2-0 for the Blue Jays after allowing one run into the seventh inning. Matsuzaka, meanwhile, allowed three runs and struck out 10 but didn’t get any support from the offense. With the win the Blue Jays passed the Sox for first place in the AL East, and there are still two games left in this series.

2. Powerhouses: Everyone knows Alex Rodriguez is great. He is having an April like Albert Pujols did last year, as he leads the majors in homers (8) and RBIs (21). Last night A-Rod was part of a Yankees offensive rampage that led to eight runs in the firs two innings and a 10-3 rout of the Indians. While it shouldn’t surprise too many people that Rodriguez is having this type of season, what is surprising is the second-most-powerful player in baseball–Ian Kinsler of the Rangers. Kinsler, a fantasy breakout pick by many this year, has provided a monstrous 7 homers and 13 RBIs, including 1 and 3 in the Rangers’ 8-1 romp over the White Sox. Also in that game, Sammy Sosa hit his third homer of the year, a three-run blast that gave him 10 RBIs. While nobody should expect Sammy to hit above .250, he could have a 30-homer season if healthy.

3. Beasts of the East: The Braves and Mets have been exchanging wins recently as they crush their divisional competition. The Braves beat the Nationals on Tuesday, led by Chipper Jones’ 4th homerun and four hits by leadoff man Kelly Johnson. The Mets, meanwhile, manhandled the Phillies 8-1. Moises Alou of all people had 2 homers and 3 RBIs for New York. The Braves and Mets are a half-game separated in the divisional race, with their next series against each other this weekend.

Player of the Day: Carlos Lee, Astros: 3-4, HR (5), 4 RBIs (16), and 2 runs in a 6-1 win over Florida. If there had been a Full Count on Saturday, Lee would have won this as well with a 3-homer, 6-RBI performance.

Walk Off: The Detroit Tigers are showing this year that their 2006 run was no fluke. They are 9-5 and are standing out in the crowded AL Central race. While their strength of schedule hasn’t been too impressive–they’ve played the Blue Jays twice, Orioles, and Royals twice–they are beating the teams they should beat while going 3-3 against the potent Blue Jays. The Tigers have crushed Kansas City a combined 19-11 the past two nights, showing that they have more ways to win than a pitchers duel. And the top half of their rotation–Verlander, Robertson, and Bonderman–have been fantastic. Detroit was my preseason pick to win the division, and they haven’t showed anything that would make me change my mind.

MLB General

The Full Count: Dodgers doing it right

1. Honoring Jackie: 60 years to the day after Jackie Robinson first took the field for the Dodgers, the entire team wore his number 42 and many Hall of Famers were present at Dodger Stadium to honor him. After a pregame ceremony celebrating Robinson and his achievements, the Dodgers honored him on-field with an impressive win over the Padres. Three Dodgers had three hits as San Diego starter Chris Young lasted only two innings. Randy Wolf was the winning pitcher with a quality start that improved his record to 2-1. The Dodgers’ 9-3 victory broke a tie with the Padres for second in the NL West. Arizona still leads the division.

It’s a good thing the Dodgers moved to the west coast as more than 1/3 of the games were canceled due to heavy rains on the eastern seaboard.

2. Only one hit was needed: The White Sox must have been puzzled after allowing only one hit against the Indians but still losing 2-1. Sox starter Jose Contreras allowed two unearned runs in 5 one-hit innings to take a loss. The Indians took advantage of two errors in the win, and got some incredible pitching of their own. CC Sabathia, who was one of numerous non-Dodgers wearing #42, pitched 8 innings, allowed one run, and struck out ten. He’s 3-0 on the year with a 2.14 ERA. The Indians are now first in the division at 6-3.

3. Breaking out the Bats: Albert Pujols may be struggling this year, but at least he’s good on Sundays. The 2005 MVP hit his first homerun of the season on Sunday, April 8, which was his only homer until Sunday, April 15. Pujols led the Cardinals with 2 homers, 5 RBIs, and 2 runs as they crushed the Brewers 10-2. Chris Duncan and Preston Wilson helped out with four hits and three runs, respectively. Braden Looper pitched well to earn his second win of the year for the Cardinals, who are now tied with the Brewers for second in the division. Pujols is still hitting just .183 on the year, though.

Player of the Day: Kyle Lohse, Reds: 8 innings, no runs, 12 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over the Cubs.

Stat of the Day: Chris Young’s loss to the Dodgers ended his streak of 25 road starts without a loss. Young had been 9-0 with 16 no-decisions during the streak.

Walk Off: The Yankee aren’t in good position right now. Three of their best starters (Ming-Wang, Mussina, Pavano) are injured right now, leaving Andy Pettitte as their only starter with experience. However, Mariano Rivera blew a save to waste Pettitte’s excellent start on Sunday. Pettitte has a 1.50 ERA in four appearances but only one win. Without the pitching to carry their dynamic offense, I think this is the year the Red Sox will takeover the division from the Yanks.

Chicago White Sox

What exactly is Ozzie Guillen’s problem?

We don’t ever remember hearing about Jim Leyland saying anything bad about anybody. And even though he manages the Detroit Tigers, what has he ever done to Ozzie Guillen except beat him out for a playoff spot last year? So it’s quite puzzling that Ozzie Guillen would launch an unprovoked attack on the Tigers manager. (Not surprising that Ozzie would talk out of his ass, suprising that it was directed towards Leyland.)

To me, Sparky Anderson was the greatest. He managed my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds. But Sparky Anderson lose 100 (games) with the Tigers. (Anderson lost 100 games only once, in 1989 when the Tigers were 59-103.)

But everybody remember Sparky Anderson with the Big Red Machine. Jim Leyland. Jim Leyland quit with the Colorado Rockies. Can’t handle it no more. `I’m gone.’ Having money on the table. He said, `I don’t need the money. My health is more important than baseball.’ Is he a great baseball man? Awesome. Is he a great manager? Hell, no.

Ozzie is amusing sometimes because he gives sportswriters and bloggers something to write about. But we wish someone would open a can of STFU for him already. Actually, what would be better would be a Tigers-White Sox brawl and have 63 year old Leyland kick his ass.


[The Detroit News]: Chicago’s Guillen fires a salvo at Leyland

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox revenue generating genius

We usually roll our eyes when corporate greed takes over baseball (remember the Spiderman basepads?) but a new deal that the Chicago White Sox have inked with 7-11 stores is absolute genius. From now on, weeknight games at US Cellular Field will start at 7:11 so that “every time the media announces the game’s start time, it will be a gentle reminder of our sponsorship”. Pretty good. Pretty pretty good.

No details of the deal have been released but it is expected to be at least $500,000. Half a mil to push back a start time by 6 minutes? Whoever did this deal deserves a promotion.

Insert your own Portland Trailblazers 4:20 start time joke here.


[Catbird in the Nosebleed Seats]: The White Sox Thank Heaven For 7-Eleven
[Yahoo]: Later games in store for White Sox with 7:11 p.m. starts

College Football

Oct 9 in Sports History: The biggest ass whoopin’ of all time

Coach John Heisman

In 1916: There are blowouts, and then there are BLOWOUTS. And then there are B-L-O-W-O-U-T-S. And after that we have what Georgia Tech did to tiny Cumberland University of Lebanon, TN in a college football game. Georgia Tech, coached by the legendary John Heisman (some award’s named after him, I don’t know), led 63-0 after the first quarter, 126-0 at halftime, slowed down in the third quarter at 180-0, and called off the dogs (I’m not being facetious, they cut time off the clock in the second half). When all was said and done, Tech impressed the pollsters with a 222-0 close shave in Atlanta. According to a game account by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, neither team made a first down; because Cumberland did not have a gain longer than 10 yards and Tech scored before they ever needed one. Tech’s Jim Preas kicked 17 out of 18 extra points. In the first half. (Heisman used a different team in the second half ).

In 1919: The Cincinnati Reds finished off the Chicago White Sox five games to three in the World Series. The Reds first World Series championship would quickly become tainted as some of the White Sox players admitted to hooking up with gamblers and throwing the series for money. The “Black Sox” Scandal would cast a shadow over baseball for decades. Eight White Sox players would be banned from baseball for life. (

In 1906: The first-ever World Series played in one city pitted the powerful Chicago Cubs, winners of a record 116 games, against the Chicago White Sox, affectionately known as the “Hitless Wonders.” The first game got underway under snowy skies, with the White Sox winning 2-1. They eventually shocked the Cubs and took the series. The games were so popular in Chicago that the two teams would meet at the end of every season for the next decade or so, even if they were not pennant winners. (

MLB General

The Full Count: Twins in, White Sox out

1. Twins are in: The Minnesota Twins became the third AL team to clinch a playoff berth. With an 8-1 victory over the Royals, they secured at least the Wild Card title. They could still win the overall division title, though that really wouldn’t do much for them. The 93-63 Twins continue to win even with injuries to stud starters Francisco Liriano and Brad Radke. That’s because of a dominant Johan Santana, a resurgent offense, and a capable bullpen. Joe Nathan has been the most underrated closer in baseball this season, with 35 saves, 6 wins, and a 1.65 ERA. On offense, players like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have been getting most of the attention, and they deserve it. But Torri Hunter and Michael Cuddyer have really stepped up the second half. Cuddyer in fact is having the most unknown 100-RBI season in baseball this year, while Hunter is having a career best season with 30 and 95. It’s all the little pieces that keep the Twins going and that make them the most dangerous team heading into the playoffs.

2. Unable to defend: The White Sox have gone from the best team in baseball to completely out of the playoff race. The Twins’ clinching of a spot yesterday meant that the ChiSox were eliminated from postseason contention. They got blown out 14-1 by the Indians in their final meaningful game of the season. The White Sox’s downfall was starting pitching. Contreras, Buehrle, Garcia, and Garland have all gone from ERA’s in the 3s last year to plus-4 ERA’s this season. While their offense has been one of the best in baseball, that hasn’t been enough to produce wins down the stretch. The team’s collapse even cost Jermaine Dye an MVP award. Expect to see a vastly different White Sox team take the field next season.

3. It’s not over–yet: Amazingly, the Houston Astros are still in the playoff hunt. After beating the Phillies yesterday in the opener of a pivotal series, the Astros improved to .500 for the first time in a long time. At 78-78, they are 2.5 games back from the division-leading Cardinals. Compare this to about a week ago, when they trailed the Cards by 8.5. Winning the division is about their only hope of making the playoffs, as they still trail by four games in the Wild Card hunt. Keep an eye on the Astros, but don’t expect much from this inconsistent team.

4. Will you win already?: The A’s have been sitting around with a magic number of 2 for the last few games. They have lost three in a row while the barely-alive Angels have won three in a row, meaning they still have to win to get in. While Oakland will still make the postseason barring an improbable collapse, it’s never good to be terrible at the end of the regular season. They allowed 21 hits yesterday in a 10-9 loss to Seattle. The Angels beat the Rangers, but are still five games back.

5. Junior ties Reggie: Ken Griffey Jr. tied Reggie Jackson at #10 on the all time HR list with three run pinch-hit dinger. At 563, he needs another 7 to pass Rafael Palmeiro for 9th place. The Reds have been out of the playoff race for some time now but it’s good to see Griffey reinforcing his stature as a Hall of Fame player.

MLB General

The Full Count: Marlins’ Sanchez throws no hitter

1. The Drought is Over: Believe it or not, you just waited through baseball’s longest no-hitter drought of all time. Believe it or not, it was an unknown rookie on baseball’s most overachieving squad that captured the no-no. Anibal Sanchez threw the Marlins’ fourth no-no in team history, the first since 2001 by a rookie. He was the first to do so since Randy Johnson in May 2004, an 841-day span. Sanchez did it against the Diamondbacks, as the Marlins won 2-0. Here’s his line: 9 innings, no hits, no runs, four walks, and six strikeouts. Sanchez also allowed a baserunner to reach via error, and he needed a few defensive gems to accomplish the no-hitter. Perhaps the biggest one of those came in the 7th innings with two outs, when shortstop Hanley Ramirez fielded a tough grounder to his left, spun, and threw a bullet to first for a close out. The stadium in Miami was one of the least likely atmospheres to witness a historic feat, considering the paid attendance was only 12,000 and about half that actually were in the stands at any given point. On the year, the 22-year-old Sanchez is 7-2 with a 2.89 ERA. Since the start of August, he is 3-1 with seven straight quality starts. Sanchez, a native Venezuelan, is one of many rookies on the Marlins roster and wasn’t even among their numerous candidates for Rookie of the Year before yesterday. Well, he is now.

2. The Deadly Duo: Chicago couldn’t afford a sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. They needed to at least stay close to the Twins. And they did just that with an 8-1 victory yesterday. Their best two offensive players, Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye, came up big in the win. Dye hit his 40th homer of the year, a two-run shot. Thome went 4-4 with his 39th shot of the year. The duo, which has been pacing the White Sox’s dynamic offense all year, struck again against Boston. Pitching-wise, Jose Contreras broke out of a month-long slump in which he had gone 0-3. He finally won his 12th game of the season with an 8 inning, nine strikeout performance. The White Sox took advantage of a Twins loss to move to just .5 games back of them for the Wild Card. Each team is closing in on the slumping Tigers.

3. Daily Double: The New York Mets played a home doubleheader against the Braves yesterday, and they sure took advantage of it. The Mets won the first game 4-1, behind a recent call-up’s starting pitching. Dave Williams, who has been back and forth to and from Norfolk all season, pitched a gem to move the Mets on in game 1. In game 2, the Mets won by a more convincing margin. Despite resting David Wright and Carlos Delgado, New York moved on behind Jose Reyes and Shawn Green homeruns. At 86-52, they have the best record in the majors.

4. Watch out!: Don’t look now Oakland Athletics, but the LA Angels are coming for you. The team has won five games in a row, gaining 3 games on the A’s in the process. The Angels easily beat the Orioles last night by a margin of 8-4. Vlad Guerrero hit two RBIs to bring his season total to 109–best in the division. Rookie prodigy Howie Kendrick hit his 3rd homerun and 23rd RBI of the year. And young starter Ervin Santana won his 14th game of the year, though he allowed 4 runs in 7 innings. The Angels are still 5.5 back of the A’s, but with the way they are playing that gap could be diminished very soon.

5. Gaining firepower: The major’s best offense is about to get even better. The Yankees, who won 8-3 last night behind two homers and six RBIs from Jorge Posada, lead the MLB in runs scored and OPS. Now they will return Hideki Matsui, who put up 100 or more RBIs from 2003-05. Matsui had his first rehab start yesterday for the AA Trenton Thunder. He went 1-3 with an RBI. Though no specific return date is listed for Matsui, when he does come back it will likely be at the designated hitter spot. That could provide a huge boost for the Yanks as they make their run at their first World Series title since 2000.

MLB General

The Full Count: Who is Gary Bennett?

1. Take a walk: Who is Gary Bennett? Most people besides Cardinals fans have no idea. But for one weekend, Bennett has captured the baseball world with his performance. After hitting a walk-off single and driving in both Cardinals runs in their 2-1 win on Saturday, he followed that up with an even more impressive performance. With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth yesterday, Bennett hit a walk off rand slam that capped a Cardinals sweep of the Cubs. The career backup catcher helped win two games as the Reds lost two, giving St. Louis a three game lead in the division. Here are two interesting tidbits about the NL Central: every team in the division has a three game streak going of some sort (either winning or losing), and the bottom three teams in the division have each allowed exactly 666 runs.

2. Seeing double: Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams are arguably the greatest Yankees from their 98-01 three peat. And yesterday they did something as a duo that they had never done before. Both Jeter and Williams homered twice against the Angels on Sunday as the Yankees won easily 11-8. Williams had his first multi-homer game of the season and drove in 6 RBIs. Jeter continued his incredible success this season with his two blasts and three runs. Both Williams and Robinson Cano went 4-5 on the day as the Yankees extended their divisional dominance. They lead by 6.5 with one week left before September.

3. Rebound: Mark Buehrle needed a good start. His ERA had inflated to almost 5 after multiple bad performances since the All Star break. But yesterday Buehrle finally got what he needed: a win. He allowed one run in 7 innings against the Twins for his 11th victory this year. He has 11 losses, however, and his ERA is still over six since the break. But he gave the White Sox a win in their last game of the series against Minnesota, though they still remain a half-game back of the Twins. The Tigers also won yesterday, meaning the White Sox remain 5.5 back.

4. Logjam atop the NL Wildcard: Cincinatti, which looked like they could even challenge for the division title, lost 3 in a row over the weekend to the Giants leaving them in danger of being caught in the wildcard race. The Padres did not help themselves by going 1-2 over the weekend and remain 1/2 game back. Meanwhile, the Phillies were rained out on Sunday but remain 1 game back after splitting the first two with the Mets. And of course, don’t count out San Francisco, who have moved to within 2 games. Should be a photo finish.

5. Let’s hope he doesn’t throw a bat: The Devils Rays are expected to call up Delmon Young from the minors on Tuesday. Just this April, Delmon was suspended 50 games for throwing a bat at an umpire after he disagreed with a call. The Rays find themselves with an open roster spot after Jonny Gomes hit the DL and sent Ty Wigginton down to Triple-A. They are trying to determine if Young can be their everyday rightfielder next season.