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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hump Day Review: Trade talk, more

With the proviso that a lot of what I’m about to say could be outdated at any minute, here’s my latest Hump Day Sports Review:

Trade talk. Six weeks ago no one expected the Phillies to get Roy Halladay. Now because of all the talk about the possibility, it’s clear fans are poised to turn this into another rallying cry about what the Phillies didn’t get. It’s ridiculous. I’ve heard sports talk-show hosts and callers alike go so far as to suggest acquiring Cliff Lee would be some sort of consolation prize because all of a sudden Halladay is godlike. In about two weeks, the notion of choosing not to gut the farm system of the World Champions who are running away with the division has become stupid. I’ve read Facebook comments suggesting the Phillies won’t get Halladay because “this is Philly after all” and that they will try to “back door it and try to get” Cliff Lee.

Apparently, Phillies fans don’t need laser lights the be stupid.

Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young Award last year, which means he beat out Halladay for the award that goes to the best pitcher in the league. I’m not even stating that Lee is better than Halladay, but it just gets tiring to watch as Philadelphia fans jump on what is essentially the first thing they heard and have no ability to analyze a different possibility. The fact is that if acquiring Lee allows the Phillies to hold on to one or two prospects that they would need to give up for Halladay, it’s a better deal.

UPDATE: It is a better deal! The Phils have acquired Lee without losing J.A. Happ or touted minor leaguers, including outfielders Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, and pitcher Kyle Drabek.

Dumb Fans. There’s not much new to be said about what went on at Citizen’s Bank Park on Saturday. Whoever was aiming a laser light at the Cardinal players during the game is nothing more than a person desperately looking for attention. The friends who likely give it to him and were too pathetic to point him out to authorities are equally sad cases.

As far as the fight in the parking lot that ended in a death, it’s a reflection on society more than anything. I don’t know the details, but the fight apparently (or, maybe I should say, “allegedly”) started at a bar in the stadium between two groups, one of which was attending a bachelor party. If people with nothing worth saying like Colin Cowherd want to try to turn that into a statement about Philadelphia, they should knock themselves out. I heard he made some asinine argument that it was an example of Philadelphia having less educated people than other major cities. I didn’t hear it because the few times I listened to him I started to think Anthony Gargano was good at sports talk by comparison. (He’s not.)

I’m tempted to say the laser light incident is, in fact, a reflection on Philly fans, but I heard Mike Missanelli on ESPN 950 say umpires have said it happens all over. And, with the possible exception of Cowherd, everyone knows tragic behavior stemming from bachelor parties isn’t unique to Philadelphia.

We have our share of idiots, but every time individual dumb fans act up it’s really not time to indict the city. Not to worry, an E-A-G-L-E-S chant at a Phillies game is never far off as true evidence that we do have a segment of stupid fans residing in the City of Brotherly Love.

Eagles return. As I alluded to when Harry Kalas died, I don’t quite understand why fans feel a need to offer condolences on the passing of Jim Johnson. I feel a sense of sadness, and maybe fans feel obligated to say it when they call sports talk. This isn’t a criticism, just an observation. . . . Last week I said I was a tad concerned that Jeremy Maclin wasn’t signed. The tad has grown. I’m almost more concerned because of the way the Eagles seem to punish their own players for holding out. . . . Joe Banner’s pronouncement that the Birds have the best roster has been taken by some as putting pressure on Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb to win now. I doubt it. I think it’s just Joe tooting his own horn.

Almost good news. For an all too brief moment it looked like Pete Rose finally had his chance to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Then reports that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was considering ending Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball were adamantly denied. If I haven’t written it before, I’m glad to get a chance to do it now: The Hall of Fame is a waste of space without Pete Rose.

Yes, he bet on baseball. I’m tempted to say “get over it,” but I acknowledge that it calls his integrity into question. But he’s the best hitter the game has ever seen, he played with a competitive fire few can match, and the bottom line is he has the most hits ever. If he’s not in the Hall of Fame there’s no reason to have a Hall of Fame. There’s little doubt he’ll be inducted posthumously. He deserves to be around for the ceremony.

The hypocrite in sports leagues. Some day I plan to write a full post on this, but the idea that the NFL, other sports leagues, and the NCAA, have joined a lawsuit to try to stop sports gambling in Delaware is the epitome of hypocrisy. Roger Goodell can talk until he drops about not wanting to be associated with gambling. His league’s website has a banner for playing fantasy football (as of the time I checked, not that I expect it to disappear any time soon) right across the top of it’s main section. I’m quite sure every other league offers the same thing. Does Rog somehow think guys aren’t playing fantasy football for money? Does the NCAA think everybody fills out brackets in March just for fun? If Goodell and the other commissioners ever succeeded in doing away with sports gambling, the popularity of their leagues would take a huge hit, and they know it.

It’s 2009. Enough with this ridiculous notion that legalized sports gambling will somehow damage society. Legalize it, put it online, and start reaping the rewards.

Favre still retired. Ego Boy, a.k.a. Brett Favre, is staying retired. But if you think that’s the end of hearing his name on ESPN, well, don’t bet on it. SportsCenter hosts took about 3.5 seconds after the “story” that Favre is not un-retiring . . . which is only a story because they were Favre’s constant accomplice in his refusal to let go of the spotlight . . to suggest that he could return mid-season. They never covered why a man that can’t play any more would bother.


Anonymous said...

MDefl posting,

Even though I was a huge proponent of acquiring Halladay, I will say that the Phils made a very good deal to get Lee.

Acquiring the reigning Cy Young winner who has a 3.14 era is not "back door" imo. I am happy with the trade. My only issue is that if Pedro pitches well, then Happ goes to the pen. He does NOT have the type of stuff to be a closer. Still, that is a minor issue. I am happy with the trade.

Anonymous said...

MDefl posting


Cowherd is an idiot. Both he and Bayless now have it out for Philly since Mikey Miss humiliated them on air. I pay them no mind.

I will say that it is a disgrace for that kid to die over a spilled beer. This sort of thing happens everywhere. The laser pointer, obviously not as severe as the murder, was idiotic.

For some reason the national media forgets everything that happens in other cities. What happened in Philly last year when the Phils won the world series? Can't remember? That is because NOTHING happened.

I am going to look you up on facebook. I am newby there. People keep sending me pillow fights and other nonsense that I don't bother with. I tried but could not figure out how to do all the stuff people are sending to me. My brain has limited capacity.