Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dodgers Trade For Hanley Ramirez

Details are still coming in at this point, but reliable sources are saying the Dodgers have pulled off a trade for Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate. In turn, Miami will get Nathan Eovaldi, who was scheduled to pitch Friday against the Giants, and prospect Scott McGough. Also, no money is changing hands in the deal

Ken Rosenthal has said that it will be Don Mattingly who decides whether Hanley ends up at shortstop or 3rd base. My initial reaction is that he'll be at short at least until Dee Gordon gets healthy. Then again, Hanley has been decent at 3rd this year, so playing him there would free up Jerry Hairston Jr. who hates the position, and gives the Dodgers the chance to rid themselves of Juan Uribe.

Either way this is a big deal for the Dodgers. They pick up a proven hitter, granted he hasn't been great lately, and they can get rid of some dead weight. Will definitely be interesting to see how it works once Gordon is back though.

Follow me on Twitter- @TwittinSports

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Penn State Sentenced To Life Without Parole

Ok, so Penn State didn't get the death penalty, but put in prison terms, they pretty much got a life sentence without the possibility of parole, in terms of football at least. Do I think the punishment was fair? Yes and no. I'm going to go point by point for each of the sanctions. I don't expect most people to agree with me.

The school has been fined $60 million. Perfectly acceptable, if not even a little low. All of the money will be donated to charity. This is a great starting point. For once the NCAA gets something right when it comes to a punishment. I was surprised it was this high only because I read on Sunday that $60 million was the absolute highest the NCAA would go. I thought it would be in the $30-$40 million range, but I'm happy its as high as it is. I could've gone for a nice round $100 million though, that's just me. This punishment has a direct effect on the institution.

Penn State must reduce 10 initial scholarships and 20 each year for the next 4 years. I'm good with this sanction as well, on the condition that it doesn't impact any current students. No one in the student body had anything to do with this case. There is no reason for any current student to have their financial aid reduced because the administration covered up the actions of a monster. The institution should be punished. As long as the scholarships that are being reduced don't adversely effect the current student body, I'm fine with this.

The school must vacate all football wins from 1998-2011. Now we're getting to a point that I don't really agree with. Recently, schools that have had to vacate wins had to do so because of improper benefits, benefits that aided the program. Now I understand that the NCAA wanted to wipe Joe Paterno's name from the record book. But it really doesn't seem fair to all of the Nittany Lion players. They didn't do anything wrong that pertains to this debacle. They played their hearts out and won football games the right way. It's not their fault their coach was, for lack of better terms, a total piece of crap. Again, I get that the NCAA doesn't want Joe Paterno as the all-time wins leader, plus this pretty much guarantees that the statue will never go back up. But this effects people who are completely un-involved in the case. That doesn't seem fair.

The athletic department is on a five-year probation. Pretty standard, it is what it is. Not much to talk about on this one. Also, players may transfer to another school and they're eligible to play immediately. Again, pretty standard.

Four-year postseason ban. This is the one I have the biggest problem with. Why are the players on the team right now being punished? What did they have to do with this? I get that the NCAA wants to punish the school. But they aren't just punishing the school, now they're punishing a football team that wasn't involved. Yes Paterno was their leader. Guess what, he's dead, and before he died, he was fired. He's not there anymore. Football is the biggest revenue generator for Penn State in terms of athletics, so they're an easy target. But my suggestion would be this. Instead of a postseason ban, make Penn State don't every single cent they receive because of football. Everything from ticket sales, to merchandise, to concessions. Every dollar should be donated. Not only that, but the university should have to foot the bill for everything. No taking money from boosters or sponsors. This way the school is punished, not the team.

What the NCAA did in this case sets a very dangerous precedent. I thought the NCAA was in place to make sure schools didn't cheat and to make sure student-athletes followed the rules. While Penn State absolutely deserves to be punished, I feel like the NCAA has overstepped their bounds. This was a legal case, one that Penn State should be ashamed of for a long time to come. It has been reported that they agreed to these sanctions in order to avoid the death penalty for up to four years. I get that the NCAA is punishing the school, I just don't agree with how it's being done. Sure the school gets to have football, but it's football that doesn't mean anything. Recruiting is going to be almost non-existent. The only reasons USC was able to recruit players during their punishment period was that they still got to play on National TV, the sanctions weren't as strict, and USC has been much more competitive in the last decade compared to Penn State.

So while Penn State essentially talked their way out of the death penalty, I'll be shocked if they fair any better than SMU has since they received the sentence. Football is essentially dead at Penn State, and I don't see it coming back any time soon. Which in my opinion, is just wrong. It would be a different story if the entire coaching staff had been a part of this. But as far as we know, it two of them. Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky. Both of whom are no longer a part of the program. But for whatever reason the NCAA decided to punish student-athletes who weren't involved, and that's just wrong.

Follow me on Twitter- @TwittinSports Like the blog on Facebook- A Bloop and a Blast

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Managerial Discretion

How can anyone be surprised by the most recent antics of Bobby Valentine and Ozzie Guillen? These two guys are known for running their mouths (or speaking their minds, however you choose to word it.)

If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll explain as best and as quickly as I can. Valentine reopened the whole Youkilis business by saying he knew he'd play better elsewhere and he doesn't think Youk ever got over/forgave him for his comments in April. Not only that, but he hinted that Youk was the source that ratted out the pitching staff for their chicken and beer escapades last season. It seems Valentine has no clue what loyalty is, especially to Red Sox fans. Maybe he learned a lesson Monday night when Youkilis got a louder and longer ovation in his first trip back to Fenway then he'll get all year. I doubt it though.

Guillen is in the news for his mouth because of an incident in Sunday's Marlins vs. Nationals matchup. Guillen complained that rookie phenom Bryce Harper had pine tar too high on his bat. Supposedly this can cause more friction thus causing the ball to travel further. Personally, this is something I'd like the Mythbusters to test, but that's neither here nor there. In his next at bat, Harper allegedly pointed his bat at Guillen before stepping into the box (the horror!!!) Guillen was then seen on the top step cursing at Harper and pointing a bat back at him and shaking it around while making faces. Whose the 19 year old again? Guillen's actions were not only ridiculous, but if I were a Marlins fan, I'd be embarrassed.

Now I'll be the first to say I like a passionate manager who stands up for his guys. But what Guillen and Valentine are doing is almost the complete opposite. They're attracting unnecessary attention to their club. Sure it's not directed at a member of their own squad, but how would you like to work for one of these clowns? I know I wouldn't. Again, no one should be surprised by these idiots running their mouths again. I'd just like to know what each hoped to accomplish by their most recent headline grabbing antics.

Follow me in Twitter- @TwittinSports

Friday, July 6, 2012

UFC 148 Preview

Rather than go through the entire card, I'm just going to focus on the two main event fights. Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz, and Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva.

For the Ortiz/Griffin fight, it's important to note that Ortiz has already said this will be his last fight, he plans on retiring after the fight. That right there has to give him a bit of an advantage. He's 1-6-1 in his last 8 fights, and this is the rubber match between the two. Ortiz won the first fight and Griffin won the last time they met. You have to give the striking advantage to Griffin, but Ortiz is still the superior wrestler. I wouldn't be surprised to see this go down to a split-decision and have Ortiz come out on top. I think he'll do whatever he can to get the fight to the ground and keep it there.

By now pretty much every single MMA fan knows that Sonnen vs. Silva will be probably the biggest fight in UFC history. Again, as every fan knows, their last fight was legendary. Sonnen absolutely dominated Silva before getting caught with a submission late in the 5th and final round. Sonnen then tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, and he hasn't shut up since. Silva is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet right now, he hasn't lost since June of 2006, and he's never lost in the UFC. There's a reason Dana White has called him the greatest mixed martial artist ever. This fight should be nothing short of amazing.

As per his usual, Sonnen has done nothing but run his mouth leading up to this fight. Even going so far as to say he'll leave the UFC is he loses, which I would love to see happen as I can't stand the guy, but I doubt that will happen. He's too big of a draw for the UFC, and he wouldn't be able to deal with not winning. If you saw the interview on Dan Lebatard is Highly Questionable yesterday, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Sonnen seems to live in some alternate reality where only he speaks the truth and no one can say anything different. He's not a normal person, and it's a good thing he's a professional fighter. If he wasn't he'd probably be serving quite a lengthy prison sentence for some violent crime. Just my two cents, but that's the feeling I get from the guy.

As for my prediction, I think/hope/pray that Silva absolutely wipes the mat with this idiot. There is no denying Sonnen's talent, he's a great fighter. But I don't think he's on Silva's level. Yeah he was within seconds of becoming the champion the last time they met, but he didn't. That's what's important. He isn't the champion, Silva is. The normally subdued champion has even been doing some trash talking. This is what makes me think Silva will win. He hasn't been challenged since the last fight with Sonnen, and he knows he got beat down for the vast majority of the fight. He won't allow this to happen again. I'm saying Silva by knockout in the 4th round.  I'm not extremely confident with that pick, though. I think Sonnen will come out stronger than last time too. He knows this fight will make or break his legacy. That being said, I still like Silva to pull off yet another victory.

Follow me on Twitter- @TwittinSports Like the blog on Facebook- A Bloop and a Blast

Monday, July 2, 2012

Home Run Derby Rosters Announced

The "teams" for the 2012 Home Run Derby have been announced. The NL team will be captained by Matt Kemp and he selected Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Gomez to join him. Robinson Cano, the AL captain and defending champion, chose Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder, and Mark Trumbo to round out his squad. Right away, I like the AL to win, and I'd put my money on Bautista to take the whole thing.

But that's not the point of this blog. There are actually a couple of points I'd like to discuss. One, I hate the idea of Kemp participating, and two, would you want the star slugger of your team to take part in the derby?

First off, Kemp is on the DL right now. It's the second time this season he's missed time with an injured hamstring, and isn't projected to return until July 13th. It's not that I don't think he should be allowed to swing, I just think it's a horrible idea. I know he's been taking some batting practice, but he's not swinging in BP like he will be in the derby. I'm not concerned that he'll aggravate the hamstring, I'm worried he'll totally screw his swing up for the rest of the year. Kemp already has a sweet swing, he drives the ball to the opposite field and center. I would hate for him to try and pull the ball during the derby and mess up his swing.

Secondly, if you're a fan of the teams being represented by these guys, are you happy about it? We all know what has happened in the past to winners of the derby. On average, the past 10 winners of the Home Run Derby have seen their dip following the All-Star break. That's hardly a coincidence. If you're a fan of a team who has playoff potential, do you want to see your guy in the derby, and if you do, are you concerned his numbers will drop in the 2nd half of the season? 

Also, you may have noticed that I posted this over at too. So I apologize if you're reading this twice, but they were nice enough to allow me to continue to post on my personal blog as well. So I'm going to do just that. I won't be posting everything on both sites, but it will happen on a semi-regular basis.

UPDATE-Giancarlo Stanton has been replaced with Andrew McCutchen. I still think the AL wins the thing with Bautista being the champion.

Follow me on Twitter- 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Is Tiger Back?

If you haven't heard, Tiger Woods won the AT&T National on Sunday. So naturally, people all over the internet are saying he's back. Just like he was when he won the Memorial in June. But in my mind, Tiger isn't back, and he never will be.

To say that someone is back, means they have returned to their original state. I'm not saying Tiger won't win another major, or majors, but he'll never dominate the way he did.  For one, he's older, he's had injuries, and his mindset isn't the same. Add in to the equation that he's now facing golfers who never had to go up against him in his prime, and there isn't the same "fear" of facing Tiger as there used to be. Also, it seems as though he knows or believes he can beat anyone on tour. He just doesn't play with the same confidence. Put it this way, e won 10 majors from 2000-2006, that's 25% folks. That kind of run will never be duplicated by anyone. People say never say never, well I'm saying never. It won't happen.

I don't need to go into the whole scandal thing, and how that really screwed him up. We all know that. Sure, Tiger still has the potential to win on a weekly basis, but so does everyone else. Tiger used to beat his opponents. Now, it seems as though for him to win, his opponents have to beat themselves. This isn't the Tiger I remember. Sunday was a perfect example. Bo Van Pelt had the opportunity to put Tiger away, or at least grab an outright lead, but he couldn't close. Tiger benefited from Van Pelt's miscues. That isn't to suggest Tiger didn't deserve to win, he absolutely did. But he just doesn't win in the same fashion he used to.

I'm one of the people who still have trouble saying Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time. Is he in the conversation? Absolutely. Can I argue that he is the greatest ever? Sure I can. He still has plenty of time left to win more tournaments, including majors. But he'll never be "back." It's just not possible.

Follow me on Twitter- @TwittinSports Like the blog on Facebook- A Bloop and a Blast