November 4, 2007 - Leave a Response

An Interesting Turn of Events

November 4, 2007 - Leave a Response

It was announced this week that Joe Girardi will become the new manager of the New York Yankees.  Joe Torre has gone to the west coast, as the manager of the LA Dodgers.  Girardi signed a 3-year contract.  He beat out Don Mattingly who was also vying for the position. 

Girardi seems like he will be a good choice for the Yankees.  When he managed the Florida Marlins, he took a young team that wasn’t very good and they ended up almost making the playoffs.  Girardi’s personality is a lot more fiery than Joe Torre’s was.  That could be just what the Yankee’s need. 

When Joe Torre was the manager, he was very laid back.  Sometimes, when the Yankees weren’t doing so well, I wished he would get off the bench and yell or do something to light a fire under them.  Girardi might do just that. 

As much as I will miss seeing Joe Torre on the Yankee bench, I think that change can be good.  Anything that could make the Yankees World Series Champions again will be welcomed.

Torre Walks

November 4, 2007 - Leave a Response

As most sport fans know, on October 18th, Joe Torre quit the Yankees. He rejected the contract that would have paid him 5 million dollars for next season. It was a 2.5 million dollar pay cut from this past year. Torre wanted to leave with his dignity, his respect, and do it his way.

The Yankees messed up big time here. Torre has brought the Yankees to the postseason in all the twelve years he has been with the team. The Yankees have won 10 American League East Championships under his watch. They won the World Series 4 times with him as their manager. Granted, they hadn’t won the World Series since 2000, but no other team has ever made the playoffs for twelve years in a row.

Joe Torre was the epitome of Yankee tradition. He was the captain of a ship that, no matter if they were ahead or behind, always sailed with dignity and poise. The New York Yankees personify what baseball is and Torre played a large part in that. Letting him walk away was a big mistake.

George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner, seems to be placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Torre. Yes, Torre is the manager, but this is not a college baseball team. He is not still teaching these players, who earn more then he does, the game of baseball. These players should be responsible for what they do. From what I saw, Torre didn’t miss a catch, Torre didn’t bobble any double play balls, Torre didn’t have problems with his pitching or his hitting. So why then were the Yankees trying to make him quit? Maybe Steinbrenner should have had this contract negotiation with some of the players on his team. Maybe if he dropped their contracts a couple of million dollars they would play better.

It’s too late now. Next year we will see a different face at the helm of the ship. As for Torre, no one is sure what will become of him. Is he done with baseball? It is uncertain. One thing is for certain, a remarkable manager is out there for the taking. Maybe another team will gain what the Yankees have surely lost.

Tainted Baseball

October 8, 2007 - Leave a Response

This summer a couple of baseball greats surpassed records held in homeruns. Alex Rodriquez hit his 500th homerun for the New York Yankees. Another was Barry Bonds. Bonds hit his 756th homerun to break Hank Aaron’s record held for 31 years. Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record in July 1976.

Matt Murphy, a student from New York, caught the ball and decided to sell it. Marc Ecko, the fashion designer, bought the ball. He then decided to put it in an online auction and let the fans decide if it should be branded with an asterisk. The fans decided that it should.

This was an interesting scenario because Bonds allegedly broke that record while using steroids. Now that ball, which will be put in the Baseball Hall of Fame, will forever be tainted.

It was never proven that Bonds had or has been using steroids, but if you look at his stats , it is something to ponder. Starting out his career Bonds had been hitting about 20-30 homeruns a year. Then his numbers seemed to spike. It isn’t unusual for a good baseball player to hit 30-40 homeruns in his late twenties to early thirties, however, when Bonds was 36, he hit 73 home runs. It just seems like such a jump in numbers, especially as his age is climbing.

It’s true that steroids weren’t always illegal in baseball. The union for major league baseball players had decided in 2002 that players should be tested for the use of illegal steroids. The point they make is that is makes for an unlevel playing field. This is true. The players that are breaking the records fairly aren’t going to be able to compete with the players that are using steroids because the records the steroid users are breaking are much bigger.

The steroid Bonds was allegedly taking was supposedly undetectable. It was called “the clear“. If this is the case, then it makes the problem even worse. If he was taking a steroid he knew was untraceable, then he was doing it to break records. He wasn’t just taking a normal steroid that could be openly found out about. It was hidden on purpose.

It just makes it seem that he was taking them not only to get bigger, but to break records, as well. It makes the whole ordeal very sketchy and because of this the fans seem to have told Bonds, through the online auction, that his records will always be in question.

Sign Stealing is a No No

September 30, 2007 - One Response

The consequences of stealing someone’s words, or plagarizing, for a paper for school could be as severe as receiving an F for that paper or as devestating as failing that class.

On Sunday September 9th, the  coach for the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, and an employee for the team were caught taping the signs that were being given from the Jets sidelines.  Roger Goodell, NFL comissioner, ended up fining Belichick $500,000 and the Patriots franchise was fined $250,000.  Their first round draft pick, if the team makes the playoffs has also been taken away.  For a man who is making a reported $4.2 million in 2007, more could have and probably should have been done.

This technically wasn’t the first time that Belichick and the Patriots have been caught stealing signs.  They were also caught stealing signs during a Packers game last year.  They were basically told not to do it again and nothing more came of it.  For the simple fact that this is now the second time they have done it and got caught, fining Belichick and the franshise a total of $750,000 does not do it.

Belichick should have been suspended for one game.  Maybe this would teach him a lesson or show other franchises and coaches that this is something that is not being taken lightly.   This comes after the NFL sent out a letter to all teams last year warning them against stealing other teams signs.  Belichick and the Patriots blatantly ignored the rules and went back out there with their cameras this year.  Rules don’t seem to apply to them.

Sign stealing is not uncommon in the game of football.  Anything that gives the team an edge.  Videotaping signs from the sidelines, however, is.  Another reason that this comes off a lot worse is for the fact that they have been caught.  Twice.  They also completly ignored the letter sent out about sign stealing last year.  This from a team who has won 3 superbowl championships in 4 years.  Could this be the reason they are so successful?  Probably not, but now it will always be questionable.