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August 2008

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Aug. 26th, 2008

2008 Cy Young Awards

To me, it's absolutely obvious who should get the AL Cy Young Award. Roy Halladay is just nowhere near as dominant as Cliff Lee this season. Cliff Lee is on a losing team, and he still has 18 wins (he's going for his 19th later today). Toronto has a winning record and much more run support and a solid defense to back Halladay up. Of late, Cleveland hasn't struggle as much in the offensive department thanks to a man named Grady Sizemore, who's really showing his true colors. But their defense is something that's completely falling apart. Yet, whenever Cliff Lee steps on that mound, they really step up their game and get the win. Maybe it's the fact that it's him on the mound, at that gives the team confidence. That just shows how dominant and reliable of a pitcher Cliff Lee is. He definitely has one of the best comeback stories baseball as seen, and he's showing that his pitching is Cy Young-worthy. Now with the NL Cy Young race, it's a little different. There are three people who are really in the race (for me at least). A lot of people are just looking at Brandon Webb and C.C. Sabathia as contenders, and it's almost criminal how often people ignore probably the most eligible contender of all! And that pitcher goes by the name of Tim Lincecum. Yes, it's true that he doesn't have 19 wins. But he leads the National League in ERA and strikeouts. He only has three losses and out of those losses, he's only had one outting that you can call indecent. His worst enemy is no decisions. He's on a team that has a just okay offense. When the team does get the job done, providing enough run support for Lincecum, it's usually only by a run or two. And that would be enough for Tim if he pitched a complete game ever time he started. But he usually only lasts 7 to 8 IP. Which is amazing to have as an average per start! The real problem is that the San Francisco bullpen effs Lincecum over 75% of the time. If San Fran had a sturdy bullpen, Lincecum would easily have as many wins as Webb. He's shown that he is easily the most dominant pitcher in the National League right now. He consistent. C.C. is good, don't get me wrong. Obviously, his record in NL proves it. But he hasn't had the whole season to prove himself in this league. For some people, what he's provided as of now is enough to award him the Cy Young. But I want to see how a pitcher lasts throughout the whole season. A strong performance every single time they come out on the mound. And that's what Lincecum has shown. Throughout his 27 starts, he's had one bad outting. And in that outting he still lasted 6 innings and only gave up 4 earned runs. But there are multiple outtings for Webb were he gives up 6 or 7 runs and only lasts 4 innings. I'm sorry, but that's not dominance. Especially when it's against teams that are under .500.

Aug. 24th, 2008

Bandwagon

I've never really gotten why there are so many people who hop on bandwagons. Yeah, I understand that once teams start doing well and winning games and championships that it's easier to root for them. Then you always have the fact that they won the latest Superbowl or World Series to back up the reason you "like" them. But I still don't get it! Loving sports isn't about your team always winning. It's about loving a team whether they win or lose... because they're your team! I grew up by Seattle, and I have always been a Mariners fan. And we'd always go to the games at the Kingdome and listen to the broadcast on the radio. I grew up to the sound of Dave Niehaus yelling over those airwaves. And then one year, the Mariners were amazing. I remember it like it was yesterday. The 1995 season was one you'd always dream of. I'd listen to the games hoping that my favorites, like Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr., would turn out an amazing performance. And more likely than not, they did. I lived through years of the Mariners being one of the best teams in the AL West. And I was always a fan. I was there with them when they just couldn't get to the playoffs. I was with them when they won a record-setting 116 wins in one season in 2001. I was with them through the Griffey Era. And I'm still with them through the Ichiro Era. The fact that I'm still with them, even if they're the worst team in the American League right now, shows that I love them. And do you know how much better it feels when a team you truly, deeply love and admire wins?! It is the best feeling in the world, hands down. If you just love whichever team is winning, all the so-called happiness you feel when they win is fake. If you don't know what loss and agony feels like, then the joy of winning means nothing! You have to stick to a team that you can love your whole life and be with them through it all. Hey, maybe one day the Mariners will end up winning a World Series. And the joy of that will be so overwhelming because I stuck with them through their worst. Just like I stuck with Boston when they just couldn't seem to win an ALCS title. That's why 2004 was so much more enjoyable for me than some other schmuck who hopped on the bandwagon after '04. And every year the Twins would claim their division, it would mean so much more to be than some guy who "loved" them just because Johan got a Cy Young and Morneau got MVP. So that's why it makes no sense to me about bandwagons. All those people out there who love the Red Sox just because they've won the World Series two times in the past four seasons, or the people who love the Yankees just because they have won more championships than any other team, or the Tom Brady/ Patriots lovers who love 'em just because of their rings; this is to you. This is to the fact that you have no idea how it feels to truly enjoy sports. You go around thinking you're the best just because you are like all those other nobodies who jump on with you. Just so you know, you're not.

Aug. 23rd, 2008

Closers

If I asked you who the best closer in baseball is right now, who would you say? You might be the kind of person who only looks at the number of saves, so Francisco Rodriguez would win hands down. I mean, look what he's done! Wow, he'll definitely break a major league record. Yeah he's good, but not the best... Okay, so maybe you're old-fashion. You respect the players who have always been dominant. You'd probably go with the 13-year veteran, Mariano Rivera. I mean, look at his rap sheet! Four World Series Championship rings, 1999 World Series MVP, and I could get going for days with all the awards and achievements his received! But not this year... Oh, so maybe you think I'm going for a recent WS champ? You might say Jonathon Papelbon. Hey, don't get me wrong. I love Jon-Bon, but he's definitely not the most dominant closer in this day and time. Of course there are closers like Wagner, Wood, Percival, Lidge, even Wilson that are good, yes, but not the best. Who else is there?! you may ask. I'll tell you. His name is Joseph Michael Nathan. It's reasonable to say that I'm a little opinionated on the issue considering that Nathan is not only on my favorite team, but also my second favorite baseball player ever. Joe Nathan has 35 saves in 38 chances so far this season; second in all the majors. And look at his ERA! It's 0.98! That's more than half a run less than the next closest closer in the conversation (Mariano Rivera, 1.57). Mr. K-Rod, with his 49 saves, has an ERA of 2.70 and 5 blown saves! He's accounted for two losses with the Angels so far this season, compared to Joe Nathan's 0 losses. Yes, I understand that Rodriguez has 14 more saves than Joe Nathan. But if Joe Nathan were put in K-Rod's shoes and had has many opportunities, I'm sure he'd have at least 49 saves if not more! And I'm not dissin' my Twins. The reason why they don't give Nathan as many chances as the Angels give K-Rod is because they always blow away they're opponents so Nathan doesn't get the chance to close. Oh yes, of course. But the whole point of this is that Joe Nathan is completely underrated. Yes, he's an All-Star so I guess he has technically been recognized for the great closer he is. But when someone says closer, I guarantee you that the first three people you think are Mariano River, Jonathon Papelbon, and Francisco Rodriguez. That's just not right.

Girls and Sports

As a female myself, I can't criticize other chicks that love sports. But there is a difference between loving the sport itself and looking for sexy men to ogle over. And if you know me at all, you're probably cracking up right now. Yeah, yeah, it's true. I love me some professional athletes. But like I said, there's a difference between loving the sport (and you might as well enjoy the athletes while you're at it) and claiming yourself a true fan in the hopes of getting knocked up by a sports star. It just downright infuriates me when I see girls that know nothing about baseball or football that say crap like, "OMG I love Tom Brady because he's so ripped. And he's good at throwing the, er, cow skin or whatever! Blah blah blah. And Alex Rodriguez is so sexy! He hits a lot of house-run thingys... right?" If you're a girl who can tell me the division standings in the majors right now and let me know that you aren't just a bimbo that goes for jocks, then you're alright in my book. For real. My best friend, Elena, is a complete maniac when it comes to pro athletes. She's all about Scott Kazmir, Patrick Kerney, Grady Sizemore, Jed Lowrie, and the list goes on... for a while! But the reason why it doesn't annoy me one bit is because she's a true sports fan! Yeah, she can text me after Sizemore (or according to her, "More-size") hits a homerun and say, "OH MY GOSH, he is so sexy! I love it when he hits homeruns! Woo!" I just laugh and text back, "Yeah, we know Elena..." The reason why she can act like that and I could care less is because she can also tell me how many homeruns he has on the season, who's before and after him in the homerun standings of the AL, his batting average, and how he did during the game! She's a true Indians fan; a true sports fan! And it's the same with me. When Kevin Slowey was on the mound earlier this week, I was freaking out about how sexy he was because he kept striking out guys. But I also know that his 12 K's that game was a career high for him! I knew that before, he had only averaged 4 strikeouts a game and that it was his 10th win. Yeah, I guess it's true that you can look up all of this on the internet. But I'm straight-up. I don't eff around, especially when it comes to sports. Of course I don't know everything about sports. I'm not saying that I do. But if you want to be a chick that "loves" pro athletes and not annoy the hell out of me, then you have know and love the sport itself. Please, respect the players and don't just go after their meat like they're livestock. Recognize them for what they really are, amazing athletes.