Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking for a Midweek Pulse

Since it’s a brutally slow Wednesday, it’s as good a time as any to bring back a gimmick I used once this summer. I’ll look at a screen shot I’ve taken (and poorly done I might add) of the top stories on and talk about the importance, or lack thereof, of each article. I know, it’s as exciting as it sounds. Please stay calm. Also, I might have claimed that this was going to be one of many regular features here, and if I did, I lied.

NOTE: As much as I like to point out ESPN’s failures, this isn’t a knock on them. These are seriously the biggest things going on in sports as of 3 o’clock this afternoon.

A-Rod greeted by boos, replies with homer. I first read “boos” as “booze” in my head. I’m sure Rodriguez would have enjoyed being greeted by booze so he couldn’t feel anything for awhile, but while it’s not hard to play on LSD (see: Dock Ellis’ no-hitter while high on LSD), I imagine it’s probably a little harder to play drunk. Former Yankee pitcher David Wells claimed he threw a no-hitter hung over, but not drunk. Big difference.

And kudos to the Toronto Blue Jays for actually having fans at a spring training game. I was unaware Blue Jay fans existed south of the US/Canadian border, but after I looked at the temperature in Toronto (currently 36 degrees), I can see why they might be in sunny Florida (current temperature of 69 with a high of 78 tomorrow).

We can also expect to see a story about fans booing Rodriguez exactly 162 times during the baseball regular season.

Buccaneers release Brooks, Dunn, three others. At first, I thought the Bucs owned the rights to the musical tandem Brooks & Dunn, but alas, we weren’t that lucky. It will be interesting to see if Derrick Brooks can have success in his solo career…(whoops, sorry about that)...have success somewhere else.

He played in the same defense his entire career and mastered his role in that defense, which helped offset the decline of some of his physical skills. I’m sure someone will at least give him a look, but I would assume the demand for a 35-year old linebacker won’t be that high.

As for one of the three others, Ike Hilliard, there is continuous demand in the NFL for underachieving, veteran wide receivers.

Amid layoffs, Goodell takes 20 percent pay cut. In terms of a game of PR moves, Goodell, playing the role of the ’92 Dream Team, just had another dunk where, as he hangs on the rim, his junk ends up in the face of Bud Selig, who is playing the role of the Angolan National Team.

In progress: Match Play bracket. Something about some guy named Tiger Woods coming back. He doesn’t sound very good. Look for Kenny Perry to win it all.

Beltre might defy Ms, play in WBC. Let’s see, the fans have turned on Bud Selig, the players have to be pissed off at him that a list of steroid users that was never supposed to be released is going to be released, and every couple of years each team’s management has to worry about its players getting hurt in a tournament no one cares about that was created by one Bud Selig. It’s like he made a high-stakes bet that he could pass Gary Bettman as the worst commissioner in the history of modern professional sports.

Brodeur’s back; Clemmensen returns to the AHL. Speaking of Gary Bettman, this has to be the first time his league has been mentioned on the front page of ESPN’s website in like 10 years. Somewhere Bud Selig is already counting his money.

Tejada turns down DR after request to play 1B. Perhaps if they added a non-extradition law to the country he might reconsider. Tejada is awaiting sentencing on March 26th after he was convicted of lying to congressional investigators about his knowledge of other players using steroids. He most likely won’t face jail time, but with the current nation-wide “She’s a witch! Burn her!” attitude towards baseball players, I would at least be a little nervous.

Crosby’s sore groin keeps him out vs. Islanders. Another NHL story! Gary Bettman is on fire right now! But seriously, NHL ’94 on Sega Genesis was one of the greatest video games ever made. I can’t even ballpark how many hours I spent playing that game.

Matsuzaka struggles in Japan WBC tuneup win. You sly devils at ESPN. First you give us a Yankees’ story and then finish it up with a Red Sox story. What a great way to subtly mention your favorite rivalry in all of sport (Yeah, I know I’m reaching here, but dammit, look at this list! There’s nothing going on!). I can only hope that this year’s 21 televised Red Sox/Yankees’ games are as riveting as the last 2,509,367 that have been on TV since 2002.

Insider: Introducing “Wednesday with Mel”. Anyone want to pony up $3.33 a month to spend an intimate Wednesday afternoon with Mel Kiper? Robes and candles are not included in the price.

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