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2009 November | The Sports Report Girl - Part 3

The Yankees Win, Theeeeeeeeeeeee Yankees WIN!

November 5, 2009 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

The Yankees win… again. That’s a lot like a fat kid eating a hamburger in front of a homeless shelter. While the rest of us have to abide by the “wait till next year” chant, New York faithful are busy thinking of a better, more improved lineup next year. The lump in my throat is the knowledge that John Lackey is available this winter and we could very well see a stronger Yankee team with more than three starters in the playoffs. This is a thought that will keep me up at nights.

The Phillies are fine. There is no need to jump ship yet. They still have the second best lineup in baseball and will concentrate on their bullpen and pitching staff this off-season. Hell, if they just took Brad Lidge outback that would net them five extra wins next season easy.

While I am sad that the baseball season is no more, I am stoked to give out some very prestigious awards:

The Scott Brosius Award for Least Likely MVP – Hideki Matsui
If you would have told me that Matsui would win the World Series MVP a week ago I would have called you a liar. They just don’t give those out to designated hitters. Well except for 2004 when Manny Ramirez won it. He is essentially a DH that walks around left field for nine innings.

World Series Foot-in-the-mouth Award – Cole Hamels
Mental note: Never insinuate that you may be quitting if you live or work in, at, on, or around the city of Philadelphia. It may be the City of brotherly love but they will kill you in your sleep if they think you’re not trying.

That’s the last time we will see him in a meaningful game Award – Pedro Martinez While he made the Yankees his daddy, he now has to ask his mommy if he can pitch next season.

Done celebrating because I will be a Blue Jay next year Award – Johnny Damon
Look for the Yanks to upgrade over the whithered outfielder. He has a very slim chance of coming back to New York, unless of course the Yankees are just giving money away. Oh, WAIT.

What a difference a year makes Award– Cole Hamels and Alex Rodriguez
Last fall Cole Hamels was described as Sandy Koufax, wrapped in Bob Gibson, enveloped with bacon, and stuffed in a Christmas stocking. Now he just leaves hanging curveballs to anyone who asks for them. Rodriguez on the other hand, has renewed his career. He is no longer a choke artist, steroid taking, money grubber. Well at least not in New York. The rest of America still needs more convincing.

Sometimes When We Touch

November 5, 2009 by AC  
Filed under Boxing/MMA, SRG's Blog

Meet Manny Pacquaio. America’s Latest Boxing Celebrity.

The likeable five foot five, pound for pound champion is dominating the media like Oscar De La Hoya did in his prime, and the masses are eating it up.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, with the audience chanting “Manny,” a smiling and relaxed Pacquaio talked about his many talents (which include singing and acting), his upcoming movie, “Wapakman,” as well as the political issues that face his homeland of the Philippines.

He also mentioned a little side project… an upcoming battle against welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on November 14th. Seemingly Pacquaio can juggle fighting with his various other activities well enough that he can still beat the best fighters in the world and raise awareness about his country and his many other pursuits.

In little over a week, Manny Pacquaio and Miguel Cotto will go to war.

The early rounds will be the biggest test for Cotto as he will get a taste of Pacquaio’s power for the first time. If Cotto can get through the bombs and return some of his own, then the fight will be a lot harder to predict.

The majority seems to think Manny will stop Cotto without any problems. Others are worried that Pacquaio is getting too caught up with both his celebrity status and political career in the Philippines, as well as the conflicts within his own camp.

A source of tension comes from Pacquaio’s “advisor” Michael Koncz, who seemingly has come from thin air. Koncz has no real ties to boxing other than his connection to Bob Arum. The bad blood between Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach and Michael Knocz is boiling to a surface with Koncz urging Pacquaio to dump Roach.

Normally camp drama is a red flag for the fighter and has been known to change the odds at the sports books in Vegas. Add to that Manny’s multi-tasking, and the question begs to be asked… “Is he as dangerous as he used to be?”

But since we’re talking about the best trainer and the best fighter in the business, the likely answer to that question is, “Yes he is.”

Back to the Jimmy Kimmel interview, Pacquiao ended his appearance by singing “Sometimes When We Touch.” The sentimental song, its lyrics dripping with irony, would make the perfect background music for a YouTube video of Pacquaio destroying Cotto.

But if you think about it, the rendition would work just as well if Cotto were to pull the upset.

Pull Your Head Out, Bud Selig!

November 4, 2009 by SRG  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, Random Thoughts, SRG's Blog

After the post season we’ve had in Major League Baseball, the time has clearly come to expand the use of Instant Replay. Yet Commissioner Bud doesn’t think so.

On Campus: week 10

November 4, 2009 by SRG  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

This week the Sports Report Girl takes a look back at the beatdown the Ducks put on the Trojans and the BCS shakeup that ensued. Plus, a look ahead to LSU-Alabama, Ohio State-Penn State and Oregon-Stanford.

The World Series, Through Game 5

November 3, 2009 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

There you have it. Cliff Lee is the dominant ace the Phillies wanted and needed. In the end, though, it won’t be enough. Philadelphia has proven that they can score with the best of them. They just have trouble stopping the Yankee assault. This point was driven home last night.

As soon as Cliff Lee relinquishes the ball to another arm all assuredness goes out the window. The Phillies may have won game 5. Yet all they did was stay the execution. To win it all they have to face both Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia. Both are seasoned big game hurlers. Philadelphia has a glaring problem from the mound.

The Phils send up Pedro Martinez in game 6. Unfortunately, they need him to pitch all 9 if they have a chance to force game 7. Yankee hitters proved they can get to the bullpen in a hurry. If they do play Thursday, they send up Cole Hamels, a player that indicated recently that he just wanted the series to be over. Receiving flack from teammates and the city of Philadelphia, Hamels has recently backtracked on those comments. In the end however, you need a fearless pitcher to command a game 7. The Yankees will have that in tonnage in Sabathia. The Phillies will be hoping Hamels can keep the score down enough for Cliff Lee to close out the game. That is no strategy for success.

The TWO Stooges… Urban Meyer & Brandon Spikes

November 3, 2009 by Dion Rabouin  
Filed under College Football, Football, SRG's Blog

On Monday, University of Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer suspended starting linebacker Brandon Spikes for the first half of next week’s game against Vanderbilt for eye-gouging another player during the Gators victory over Georgia. I have always maintained that Meyer is one of the classiest guys in all of college football, but what he did on Monday was absolutely unforgivable.

In Meyer’s defense, much more depraved, disgusting and unjustifiable things happen on football fields from high school to the NFL every week. I’ve heard stories that range from hair pulling to attempts to break fingers to squeezing testicles (yes, really), so a linebacker going all Moe from Three Stooges on a running back in a pile really isn’t the end of the world. Anyone who thinks this is even in the top 10 of worst things that have happened during a big-time football game this year is hopelessly unaware of what football is all about. What’s brought so much attention to this case is the omnipresence of the Internet and the expansive number of cameras on football games now.

Back in the day, this sort of thing would happen and no one would have any idea. If someone did happen to catch it live, it might grow into a myth or a debate down the road, but there would never be the kind of irrefutable evidence that exists today.

I understand why Meyer only suspended Spikes for a half. Like most coaches and most players, Meyer knows the kinds of things that go on during games. Spikes had actually gotten poked in the eye by a Georgia player earlier in the game and Spikes wasn’t even called for a penalty on the play. The announcers didn’t even say anything about it.

Unfortunately for Meyer and Spikes, in today’s world you have to give out discipline based on perception and not reality. In reality, what Brandon Spikes did isn’t worth more than a one half suspension. In public perception, however, Spikes should be given at least a one-game suspension, and maybe even two. When it starts to look like your players are undisciplined thugs and you’re willing to turn a blind eye to any kind of behavior if it means the team can keep on winning, it makes you look bad and it makes the program look bad.

There have been mounting comparisons of the Gators, under Meyer’s tenure, to the old Miami Hurricanes under Larry Coker and not about their play on the field. One such comment comes from an Orlando Sentinel blog that lists the “arrest*” of 24 players throughout the past five years. Half of the arrests are for juvenile offences that just about every college student has been guilty of – truly degenerate acts like throwing paper cups or not moving out of the way of a police car, for instance – and the other half of the offending parties who committed real crimes were suspended indefinitely and/or removed from the program.

Make no mistake, Urban Meyer is a classy coach who has taken the high road – the zero tolerance road – with any player who had off-the-field issues and his record speaks to that. That’s what makes this latest instance so troubling.

A big part of being a coach at a big-time college football program is managing the perception of yourself and your football program. Urban Meyer didn’t do a very good job of that on Monday.

* In the interest of full disclosure I will admit that I love Urban Meyer. I have never once questioned his judgment in the five years he’s been the head coach at Florida, and would follow him off of a cliff and into an abyss of lava.

Brett Favre… the Best Ever!

November 3, 2009 by SRG  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, Random Thoughts, SRG's Blog

I still can’t get over how Favre handled himself Sunday in Green Bay… Pretty impressive if you ask me.

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