Tag Archive | "Derek Jeter"

MLB Needs To End This All-Star Game Charade

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MLB Needs To End This All-Star Game Charade

Posted on 16 July 2014 by Peter Dilutis

Fast forward three months. Our Baltimore Orioles have made it to the World Series for the first time since 1983, matching up against the Atlanta Braves. It’s the situation that we all dream about when we’re kids playing catch in the backyard or taking batting practice on the neighborhood fields.

Game 7 of the World Series. Bottom of the 9th inning. Tied game. Bases loaded. Two outs. Full count. The fans are going absolutely bonkers. Baltimore is a ball four, walk, hit or error away from walking off with their first World Series win in 21 years.

And why is it they are in position to walk off with the win?

Because just three months earlier, Pat Neshek entered the All-Star Game, played at Target Field, home of the 44-50 Minnesota Twins, and gave up three runs to the American League, including a sacrifice fly from Jose Altuve, member of the 40-56 Houston Astros.

Wait…what?

It has absolutely nothing to do with what team had the better regular season record. Where the seventh game of the World Series is played has nothing to do with either of the teams participating in the series, unless of course members of those respective teams made an impact, positively or negatively, in the All-Star game.

Rather, representatives from all 30 teams, 20 of which will not make the postseason and 22 of which will not make it past the play-in games, determine where that legacy-defining Game 7 is played.

In what alternate universe does that make sense? You’re telling me that a bunch of millionaires in $25,000 suits got together, deliberated in a boardroom and came out with this solution?

Imagine if Luis Gonzalez’ hit over Derek Jeter’s glove in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series would have simply put the Diamondbacks up 3-2 rather than ending the game? What if history was re-written and that Game 7 had actually been played in New York? In 2001, the American League won the All-Star game. Under our current All-Star game rules, that legacy-defining game would have in fact been played at Yankee Stadium. How might that have changed the legacy of Derek Jeter? He could have six rings instead of five. Joe Torre would have another World Series under his belt. Even Mike Mussina could have a ring to display on his mantle had the location of the seventh game been switched to the Big Apple. Crazy stuff.

We’re talking about a game in which AL manager John Farrell admitted that his main objective was not to win, but to get as many players in the game as possible. And let’s be honest – why does John Farrell care who wins the game? His Boston Red Sox are 43-52, 9.5 games behind the Orioles and they’re more concerned with what kind of young haul they can get for Jon Lester at the deadline than what stadium they’re going to be playing in come October. We’re talking about a game in which Adam Wainwright admitted to grooving pitches right down 5th Avenue to leadoff man Derek Jeter in his final “farewell” All-Star Game sendoff. Jeter doubled in his first at bat and later scored. The American League went on to score three runs in the first inning.

Ultimately, they won the game by two runs, 5-3.

Had Adam Wainwright actually tried to pitch to Derek Jeter, the National League very well may have won the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, awarding them home field advantage in the 2014 World Series. Meaning, of course, that in my above scenario, a run would not walk the game off for the Orioles. Instead, the Atlanta Braves, or whoever their opponent would be in our dream scenario, would get one more at bat in the bottom of the inning with a chance to tie or win the game.

Hundreds of years from now, when all of us are dead and gone, the 2014 World Series winner will live in infamy in countless record books and libraries throughout the sports world. Legacies will be defined. Future contracts will be signed. Statues may very well be erected. Hall of Fame candidacy will be voted upon.

And all of that history could be changed in a flash – because of an All-Star Game played in July amongst members of all 30 MLB teams that served more as a spectacle and farewell tour to Derek Jeter than it did as a real game.

The NBA All-Star game is nothing more than a glorified dunk contest. Roger Goodell has threatened to put an end to the NFL Pro Bowl because the players just won’t take it seriously. And as we saw from Adam Wainwright on Tuesday night, major league baseball players don’t REALLY care about winning. Derek Jeter’s 4th inning moment yesterday was always going to more important than the end result of the game. Undoubtedly, more people know about that moment than know the end result of the game. The same thing happened last year at Citi Field when Mariano Rivera was paraded out in the 8th inning as Enter Sandman blasted over the speakers.

The All-Star Game is an entertainment spectacle. It is NOT a competitive game. Not even close.

By placing such a high importance on the result of a glorified exhibition game, Bud Selig and the powers that be within Major League Baseball are putting the integrity of this great game on the line. It may not seem like such a big deal right now. It’s hard to really understand the significance of something, whether we’re talking sports or life in general, until your life and/or interests are directly impacted.

But when you’re favorite baseball team is on the mound in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the World Series, watching the opposing team walking off the field with a one run win in front of the home fans, perhaps you too will question the logic and integrity of the current All-Star Game format.

In the meantime, I guess all of us Orioles fans should be thankful that the American League won, right?

 

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Orioles get “Sabathia’ed” — My final post-card from The Bronx

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Orioles get “Sabathia’ed” — My final post-card from The Bronx

Posted on 13 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

As I sat in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium on Friday night and watched Game 5, all I kept thinking about was how unbelievably thin the margin of quality was between the Orioles and Yankees in 2012.

They played 23 times.  New York won “the series” 12-games-to-11.  I assume if they started another 7-game playoff series today, the Yankees would win that one, 4-games-to-3.  It truly was “that close”.

Or was it?

Sure, the 5th and final game went right down to the final three outs for the Orioles, but a few things stood out over the last six days that clearly displayed the difference(s) between the two clubs.

Without sounding like I’m part of the TBS broadcast crew, let’s go ahead and give credit where credit is due for the victors.

Make no mistake about it, New York won the series because of one man: C.C. Sabathia.

It’s that simple.  He beat the Orioles twice.  The Yankees won three games total.  That says it all.

Some players get paid 20 or 25 million dollars and put up a season or two worthy of that kind of production before starting to show cracks in the armor.  Sabathia earns every penny of his $23 million salary.  He’s a horse.

With all due respect to what turned out to be an Orioles strength in 2012 – starting pitching – the biggest reason why the Orioles will be on the golf course this Monday and the Yankees will be flying to Detroit is because New York has a true, legitimate #1 starter and the Baltimore team does not.

No disrespect to Jason Hammel.  Or Wei-Yin Chen.  Or Joe Saunders.

Those guys are decent major league starters.  Good pitchers more often than not.

But they’re not even close to Sabathia.

And that’s the biggest reason why New York won the series.  Sabathia beat us.  And, I guess, for $23 million a year, he probably should beat us.

Lesson learned for the Orioles moving forward:  If you want to be a champion, especially coming out of the American League East, you need to spend big money on a #1 starter.   Or Dylan Bundy better wind up being awfully freakin’ good someday down the road.

The play Derek Jeter made in the 8th inning of Game 5 should be the one they show on a continuous video loop in Cooperstown when his bust gets bolted into place sometime around 2020.

He’s no longer even close to the best shortstop in baseball, but when he needed to make a difficult play – with the game and perhaps his team’s season on the line – #2 moved gracefully to the top of the infield grass and made one of the most stylish plays of the year to nip J.J. Hardy at first on the slow chopper that snuffed out the Birds’ 8th inning rally.

If Jeter doesn’t come up with that play, Lord only knows what kind of inning the Orioles wind up producing.  I might be sitting in a coffee shop in Detroit right now getting ready for Game 1 of the ALCS between the Birds and Tigers.  That play from Jeter was a monster.

The final piece of bragging I’ll do on the Yankees centers on Joe Girardi.  Because he manages the Yankees, everything he does gets magnified x 100.  He has his detractors, as nearly all managers do, but Girardi had a spectacular series, aided greatly by the fact that his team swept Boston at season’s end to help give his aging roster a rest and set up the possibility of having Sabathia pitch twice if the series went five games.

I don’t think it’s fair to say Girardi “out-managed” Buck Showalter in the five games.  Buck made nearly all the right moves as well, particularly with his stellar use of the bullpen.  But Girardi got an “A” on his report card.  The biggest move, of course, was his decision to sit Alex Rodriguez for Game 5.  I heard lots of Yankee fans on Friday night bemoaning the fact that Girardi sat A-Rod, but it was the right call.  The $30 million man was making Chris Davis look like Babe Ruth.  And it was clearly getting to him.  So Girardi did the right thing, as tough it was.  He went with his “best line-up” for Game 5.  That’s what you do when you want to win.  We might not ever know if Sabathia bucked Girardi late in Game 5 or whether the skipper himself decided C.C. was going to pitch the whole night, win or lose, but the manager won again when he his workhorse finished the game off with runners all over the place and the Orioles foaming at the mouth for one big hit in the 8th or 9th inning.

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My mea culpa to Derek Jeter and the Yankees

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My mea culpa to Derek Jeter and the Yankees

Posted on 04 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

This won’t take long.

When the Yankees came in to Baltimore back in early September and lazily bumbled their way through a four-game set here, I pronounced them second class citizens.

I wrote a blog at that time predicting the Orioles – not the Yankees – would win the American League East.

Turns out, I was wrong.

My reasoning was solid, I’ll remind you.  The Orioles had a cakewalk-schedule over the final 20 games, while the New Yorkers had a tough one.  Baltimore’s team is filled with youth, the Yankees are filled with early signs of arthritis.

I figured the Orioles would cruise through their schedule and win the East.

I was wrong.

The Yankees, to their credit, held serve.

Nothing else to see here…if the Orioles go to Texas on Friday and win the Wild Card game, we’ll see New York for five more games — well, wait, make that FOUR more games.  That’s how long it will take the Orioles to dismiss Joe Girardi and Company in the ALDS.

 

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Let’s watch the Yankees crumble today in the aftermath of the blown call on Teixeira

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Let’s watch the Yankees crumble today in the aftermath of the blown call on Teixeira

Posted on 09 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

Just as I wrote last Thursday, the Yankees are going to leave town today no longer in first place and with their tail firmly tucked between their legs.

Remember what I wrote?  ”You’ll be fortunate to win two of the four games, more likely to win only one and, of course, there’s always a chance you’ll go 0-for-4 in Charm City.”

And that looks like how it’s going to play out.  With Wild Pitch Freddy Garcia on the mound today, the only way the Yankees depart Camden Yards with a Sunday win is if they score 7 or 8 runs.

(Yes, I’m fully aware that Mark Teixeira was safe on Saturday night, for those of you who are about to hit the down arrow and comment in the space provided below.  So what?  That would have only tied the game.  Who knows what would have happened after that?  That’s like blaming Billy Cundiff for the loss in New England last January, like a lot of idiots have done since then.  His miss only cost the team a shot at winning in overtime, it didn’t actually “cost the Ravens the game”.  But why let reality play a factor in the discussion?  So, yes, Teixeira was safe last night.  Deal with it.) 

Speaking of Teixeira and last night’s umpire gaffe, it will be interesting to see how New York responds today.  Do they have the heart to come out for today’s game and “turn it on” after having one half-stolen from them last night?  Or will they just curl up in the fetal position?

I’ve watched all three games of this series and I’ll tell you what stands out to me.

The Yankees are old.  And fairly one dimensional.  Their pitching staff stinks like one of my 2-year old daughter’s diapers.  They’re just not that good.

All you have to do is look at the top of the 9th of Saturday’s Orioles win for proof.  Bases loaded and no one out, down 5-3.  The “old Yankees” (as in, the teams of three or four years ago) would have piled on there, with a double into the gap, a floating single into shallow right field and another double to finish off a five run uprising and an 8-5 win.

Last night, Nick Swisher couldn’t get the job done.  And neither could Teixeira.

Sure, A-Rod turned on a pitch from Wei-Yin Chen on Friday that most Division 1 college hitters could have belted out of the park (speaking of out-of-gas…that’s Chen), but #13′s bat speed is about 60% of what it was five years ago.  I hope he gets some firewood together to keep himself warm in this, the November of his career.  Swisher looks lost.  Teixeira is hurt, obviously, so it’s probably unfair to judge him, but he looks like a guy in dire need of a few months off.  Their oldest player is their best player.  I’m not sure if that says more about the Yankees or more about Derek Jeter.

They’ll hobble out of here today and continue on with their quest to make the post-season, but from my viewpoint, the Yankees are just trying to will themselves to wins now.

Here’s one piece of good news for Teixeira, who injured his hamstring in the 2010 playoffs and had to watch some of the post-season from his couch:  You’ll be on that couch again in a few weeks, resting comfortably.

 

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Time to “Buckle up” — there’s Orioles Magic in air for Baltimore tonight

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Time to “Buckle up” — there’s Orioles Magic in air for Baltimore tonight

Posted on 06 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

All of these wins and hours of scoreboard watching for fans of the Baltimore Orioles – and finally – tonight the city will fill Camden Yards with the “magic” that only a Cal Ripken event can exert for the Charm City.

Alas, no scriptwriter in Hollywood or even a “Major League” movie redux could’ve dreamed up the juiciness that this unexpected Baltimore Orioles pennant run has facilitated this weekend.

Last week, the stands were empty as the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox came to town.

This weekend, with the New York Yankees on the ropes and the Orioles surging and trailing the Evil Empire by just one game in the AL East, Camden Yards will be buzzing with orange energy for the first time in eight years despite the “premium pricing” methods of Peter Angelos’ staff.

In the land of pleasant living, we call it “Orioles Magic.” Berthed in 1979 under Wild Bill Hagy with Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Rick Dempsey and Earl Weaver, brought to life by a World Series win in 1983 and resurrected duing the “Why Not?” campaign of 1989, the city’s enthusiasm and genuine love for the Baltimore Orioles has been dormant for the better part of 15 years at Camden Yards under the weight of last place and its own evil ownership regime.

But tonight none of that will matter because the Orioles can beat the Yankees and go back into first place in September.

Hard to believe it was 17 years ago tonight that Cal Ripken ran his victory lap amidst the confetti and “One Moment In Time.”

And make no mistake about it, a statue ceremony and a fancy giveaway item would’ve brought plenty of people to Camden Yards tonight no matter the record of the 2012 Orioles.

But what we’re going to witness – or in my case, be a part of – tonight should truly be “magical” for any longtime fan of the Baltimore Orioles.

Despite falling out of first place with last night’s loss in Toronto combined with a Yankees win in Tampa, tonight’s game once again has first place on the line and the 46,000 who are holders of these lucky tickets should be expected to bring full O-R-I-O-L-E-S voices tonight as Camden Yards should erupt with sound where previously it’s been a bunch of excuses and reasons for why the seats are empty.

I’m going to the game tonight. And, yes, I bought a ticket.

Other than “Free The Birds” events, it’s the first ticket I’ve purchased since 2004.

It’s worth going tonight to feel the civic energy and I’ll be bellied up to the centerfield bar soaking in the energy and enthusiasm that I wrote about in 2006 when WNST led the “Free The Birds” movement.

And in as much as some have twisted my words, I’ve never wanted anything more than what we currently have in Baltimore – a relevant baseball team that brings together the community for a common cause.

I’m not sure some fans are really prepared emotionally for what tonight will look and feel like inside Camden Yards.

Internally, many of the longtime employees certainly couldn’t have had any fire drills for this. And the players on the field – Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, the core guys who have only seen the stands full of Yankees or Red Sox fans over the years – should especially soak in the noise tonight because they’ve earned the right to Baltimore’s cheers with their solid play and the excitement they’ve filled our living rooms with this summer.

I think even Derek Jeter will be taken aback because he hasn’t seen anything like this since 1997. Usually, it’s 40,000 Yankees fans beating on the home team.

It won’t be that way tonight.

This is the Baltimore Orioles chance  – players, coaches, employees and ownership alike – to drastically move the needle on the fan

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An open letter to the New York Yankees — It’s over, guys.  O-V-E-R…

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An open letter to the New York Yankees — It’s over, guys. O-V-E-R…

Posted on 06 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

To: Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees

I’m sure when you all looked at the 2012 schedule back in March, you probably assumed the post-Labor Day series in Baltimore would be a 4-game walk-in-the-park.

Turns out you were right.

It WILL be a walk-in-the-park.

For the Orioles.

Let me officially welcome you guys from New York to the beginning of the end.  I imagine you started to feel it – for real – last weekend in Yankee Stadium when the Birds buzzed in and slapped you around on Friday and Sunday, serving notice that this September might be different than the others of the last 14 seasons prior to this one.

In fact, let me take a second to remind you that Yankee Stadium actually transformed to “Camden Yards in The Bronx” this year, as the Orioles won all three series’ played in “your” place.  How’s that humble pie taste, Joe?

If you haven’t been paying attention — and honestly, when I watch the Yankees this season, I wonder if you are — the Orioles are threatening to claim the top spot in the American League East.  And with Tampa Bay putting their foot up your ass in Florida earlier this week, the Yankees are in the not-so-delightful position of actually having to fight for the right to make the post-season.

For once, the Yankees are just like any other team, fighting and scratching for wins down the stretch.  You’ve lost more than you’ve won since the All-Star break.  Not all bad for a team of scrubs.  But not good for a team like the Yankees who are supposed to win 55% of their games just by showing up at the stadium on time.

And now, on September 6, the time has come to separate the men from the boys.  Let’s see how the Yankees react to this moment-of-truth over the next four days in Baltimore.  Do you have the stones to man-up and win 3 out of 4 to put a halt to this freight train in orange?  Or will you buckle under the pressure of that 10-game A.L. East lead you squandered in less than 50 days?

Here’s my guess:  The Yankees are going to leave town late Sunday evening embarrassed and battered.

Based on the pitchers you’re scheduled to send to the mound, I’d say you guys will be very fortunate to win 2 of the 4 games and more likely a safe bet to win only one.  And it sure wouldn’t surprise me if you go 0-for-4 in Charm City this weekend.

This weekend, by the way, is simply the finishing touch on a season gone haywire here in Baltimore, where the Orioles have done the unthinkable and gone from worst to maybe-first.  That we’ll be jetting above the Yankees in the process is just icing on the cake.  I’m not naive enough to think this is the beginning of some sort of decade long trend where the Orioles win division titles “on the trot” (as they say in England) while the Yankees wallow in 3rd or 4th place.  That gives me even more energy to laugh at what’s happened this year.  It’s come completely out of nowhere.  We might not experience something like this for another decade.  So while we have it, here, at our fingertips, we’re going to revel in it.  You don’t mind, do you?

How that all relates to the upcoming post-season, I have no idea.  But I know this…when the dust settles in a few weeks the Orioles will be ahead of the Yankees in the standings.

Make book on that.

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monday morning

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This Year, We All Should Embrace The Mid-Summer Classic

Posted on 09 July 2012 by Big Chee

It is Monday Morning. If you are like me on the first day of the work week you are probably trying to ease the depressing realization that the weekend is over and you have the five day grind ahead of you. For me at the 9-5 desk job I am spending the first hour(s) of my day meticulously analyzing my fantasy baseball team and catching up on sports stories I might have missed during the pregame Friday & Saturday night.

The anxiety could be even higher this week, and I may have to spend the beginning of my day reading about how bath salts turn humans into zombies and why Scientology ruined the marriage between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Baseball is at its All-Star Break. Wimbledon is over. The Olympics have yet to begin in London. Football, basketball, and hockey have yet to begin. Might I actually have to start “working”? Ugh, this could get brutal. I better drink another Espresso double shot. Embrace yourselves everyone; we are about to experience the worst sports week of the year.

I mention the All-Star Break for baseball, for the past ten years I have taken a dissenting attitude towards MLB’s mid-summer event. That differs in my apathetic stance towards the Pro Bowl, NHL & NBA All-Star Games, where I can watch the highlights on SportsCenter and live with myself.  In 2002, Bud Selig and the MLBPA transformed the event from casual to competitive. I used to hate it. It baffled me that home field advantage in the World Series was indicated by which All-Star Team’s pitchers brought their best stuff during the one inning each of them would get on the mound. It drove me nuts that traditional cellar dwellers like the Royals, Pirates and Orioles (sorry everyone) had at least one player on the All-Star Team, even though there was a better shot of Anna Kournikova coming out of retirement to beat Serena Williams to win the Wimbledon than any of those teams winning the Fall Classic.

This year, I have decided to cave in and embrace the All-Star Game, and I suggest all of you fellow sports fanatics do the same. This year, forget about them ludicrous reasons I mentioned in the previous paragraphs. If you love sports, chances are you are someone who craves competitiveness in sports and life alike. Plus this week, you don’t really have a choice, right? The 4th of July relaxed attitude around your office is over. Daily stresses are back and we are on the full five day work week again.

If you are a Baltimore Orioles Fan, as most of you reading on WNST.net probably are, this is the first time in more than a decade that this game has some real meaning to it. Let’s call a spade a spade, does anyone reading truly believe that the O’s are ready to make a push to play in the World Series? I did not think so. However, heading into the All Star Break, Baltimore is six games back of the Yankees, six games above .500. If the season ended now, the first year of expanded playoffs would open with Baltimore at the Los Angeles Angels for the one-game AL wild card. The guys representing the resurgent O’s this year in Kansas City, Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Jim Johnson, make up a trio that marks the first time since 2005 that the Orioles have sent multiple players to the All Star Game.

“It’s pretty cool,” Jones said of the group the Orioles will send to Kansas City. “For the last seven years, it’s been one player. You have to win to get more than one player nowadays. Representing the Baltimore Orioles, it’s a tremendous accomplishment for us as a team, also.”

Wieters, who was the Orioles’ representative in last year’s All-Star Game also added, “It makes it even more fun that you get to share something with your teammates that you’re battling the whole year with.”

Comparing baseball’s All Star Game to the other major sports in the United States, one cannot forget the fact that just because it is an exhibition game, the play of the field does not change. For example, in the NBA’s ASG, there is little to no defense played. There is an open lane almost every time when either squad comes down the court. While alley oops and monster dunks are cool, when it occurs every possession, it can get old very quickly. In baseball, the matchups do not change. When Clayton Kershaw comes to the mound and faces Adam Jones, do you think he is going to toss a 75 mph meatball for Adam Jones to crank towards the fences? Not a chance. He is going to bring it just like he would during a regular start for the Dodgers.

I mention those All-Stars facing each other as just one example of a potential matchup that makes for a great watch. How about the 23 year old phenom Steven Strasburg going head to head with legend Derek Jeter who is 15 years his senior? How cool would it be to see RA Dickey, the arguable front runner for NL Cy Young, tossing his knuckleball and trying to fool slugger Josh Hamilton? And 2012 will be the last All Star Appearance for eight time all star and surefire Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who is retiring after this season. It will certainly be weird without him in Atlanta next season that is for sure.

Back in February of this year, I explained to Mike Huber on XTSR Towson Radio why I believed that the second calendar month was the worst sports month of the year. The football season was over. Pitchers and catchers report in the middle of the month, but baseball was still months away from beginning. Basketball, both college and professional, was still in their respective regular seasons. Same applies to hockey.  Not to mention on the East Coast, February is typically a cold, dark month (but after this torturous heat wave, I sure would not mind a 35 degree day.) Now we approach arguably the worst sports week, not entire month, of the year. I hope my words give you something to look forward to when it’s quitting time on Tuesday.

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Phelps makes way onto odd list

Posted on 27 June 2012 by WNST Staff

AshleyMadison.com asked women across America which athlete they would most likely cheat on their husband with. Over 13,500 women responded by picking their top three athletes which yielded the following results :

International Soccer Star and Sex Symbol David Beckham was the overwhelming winner with 43.1% of ALL women surveyed saying they would cheat on their husbands with him.

  • ·         Ultra-conservative New York Jet QB Tim Tebow was second with 19.6% of all women surveyed.
  • ·         New England Patriot and the most prolific QB in the NFL, Tom Brady was a close third with 17.9%. Brady is currently married to Supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
  • ·         Mark Sanchez may be the #1 QB on the Jets but only 8.1% of women said they would have an affair with him, well behind his back-up, Tim Tebow.
  • ·         MLB Future Hall-of-Famer and New York Yankee Derek Jeter led the way with 16.5% of women looking to hit a Home Run with him, edging out Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez, who garnered 13.2% of women respondents.
  • ·         In the battle of the Manning’s, Peyton edged out his younger brother Eli : 9.6% to 8.5%.
  • ·         NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James is the top NBA player amongst women looking to go to the hoop, with 5.8% of all women surveyed looking to cheat with the King. (Kobe Bryant came in second with 4.4%)
  • ·         Andy Roddick (5.6%) out volleyed both Rafael Nadal (4.6%) and Roger Federer (4.2%) to become the top tennis player chosen amongst women
  • ·         Michael Phelps was the leading Olympian with 10.5% of women ready to jump in the pool with him.
  • ·         Top 5 NFL players (are all QB’s): Tim Tebow (19.6%), Tom Brady (17.9%), Peyton Manning (9.6%), Aaron Rodgers (9.5%), and Eli Manning (8.5%). The top non-quarterback was Reggie Bush (6.9%).
  • ·         Top 5 NBA players: LeBron James (5.8%), Kobe Bryant (4.4%), Lamar Odom (3.7%), Dwyane Wade (3.6%), and Kris Humphries (3.3%)
  • ·         Top 3 MLB players: Derek Jeter (16.5%), Alex Rodriguez (13.2%), and Matt Kemp (1.6%)
  • ·         Top 5 non- NFL, NBA, and MLB athletes: David Beckham (43.1%), Christiano Ronaldo (11.0%), Michael Phelps (10.5%), Kelly Slater (9.2%), Lance Armstrong (7.4%)
  • ·         Top 10 athletes overall: David Beckham (43.1%), Tim Tebow (19.6%), Tom Brady (17.9%), Derek Jeter (16.5%), Alex Rodriguez (13.2%), Christiano Ronaldo (11%), Michael Phelps (10.5%), Peyton Manning (9.6%), Aaron Rodgers (9.5%), Kelly Slater (9.2%).  Tiger Woods came in 15th (6.1%).

**Note:  The percentages are based on 300% since each women picked three athletes.  You could also divide every number by three to get an accurate percentage based on 100%.

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Players We’ve Most Enjoyed Watching in Our Lifetime

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Players We’ve Most Enjoyed Watching in Our Lifetime

Posted on 22 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Our third edition of “The Starting Nine (Ten)” Wednesday centered around the subject “Who are the players you’ve most enjoyed watching play baseball in your lifetime?”

Was I supposed to follow up with something else here? Umm…let’s dance! (Oh, and bear in mind that I’m 28 years old and Ryan is 24.)

Glenn Clark’s Nine (Ten)…

Pitcher-Randy Johnson

Catcher-Ivan Rodriguez

First Base-Frank Thomas

Second Base-Roberto Alomar

Third Base-Chipper Jones

Shortstop-Derek Jeter

Outfield-Kenny Lofton

Outfield-Ken Griffey Jr.

Outfield-Ichiro

Designated Hitter-Harold Baines

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You gotta fight…for your right…to enjoy Friday Mud

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You gotta fight…for your right…to enjoy Friday Mud

Posted on 09 December 2011 by Drew Forrester

This Sunday should be lots of fun.

True, it won’t be the same as Peyton Manning showing up with the Colts and getting his head handed to him, but it will still be joyous none the same.

As long as everything goes well, that is.

I shudder to think what the response would be around town if, somehow, the Colts come in and — you know what…I’m not even going to write it.

Forget about it.

I’ll just say this: It sure will be good to look up at that scoreboard with 3 minutes left in the game and see the following: RAVENS 37 – COLTS 6

It better be that way.

I’m counting on a Ravens beatdown of Indianapolis the same way you’re counting on Friday Mud getting your weekend off to a great start. I know you’re counting on me. That’s why I do what I do for you.

I do it all for you.

Enjoy your Mud.

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> There’s nothing like a photo at the moment of truth that tells the story forever. You know what I mean…a snapshot in time…etched forever through the eye of lens. For instance, RIGHT HERE is that moment-in-time reaction from Dana Eveland’s wife on Thursday when her husband informed her they were moving to Baltimore to join the Orioles.  Poor girl…she must have seen The Wire.  Or…the Orioles.

>  An odd situation has been occurring at Heinz Field this year.  It seems like a bunch of female fans who have been invited to a pre-game “girls only” party inside Gate A of the stadium have been leaving the gate open as they walked in — and fans without tickets have been streaming in behind them, unbeknownst to stadium security.  The Steelers front office tried a number of things to get the female fans to close the gate behind them, but nothing worked.  Finally, they got right to the point and put THIS SIGN UP to remind those attending the girls-only party to close the gate.  I hope that worked.

>  After a rough 2010, the Minnesota Twins have launched an off-season promotion called “Meet the Twins”.  It’s a neat concept, actually.  A Twins’ staffer takes a bunch of season ticket brochures along and a hand-held credit card machine and you can sign up for a mini-plan or a full-season plan right on the spot.  The idea, of course, is for you to “Meet the Twins” and be so energized by it that you might just buy tickets right on the spot.  RIGHT HERE is a photo from last week’s promotional stop at a bar in Minneapolis.  Does Southwest fly to Minnesota from Baltimore?

>  Remember when Jack Kent Cooke incorporated the area right around FedEx Field and called the “town” Raljon in honor of his two sons?  I know, it seemed weird at the time, but the Orioles have actually done the exact same thing with the area just in and around Camden Yards.  They’ve completed the proper paperwork to change the location of Camden Yards.  Starting in 2012, you’ll know you’re in the vicinity of OPACY when you SEE THIS SIGN welcoming you to the area.

>  The tragedy involving John Lennon on December 8, 1980 always brings me back to this question — Does anyone remember what Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, was wearing that night?  Anyone remember?  I do.  He was wearing THIS SHIRT when he pulled the trigger.  Enough said.

>  No wonder the Orioles didn’t accomplish anything at the winter meetings in Dallas.  Our WNST staff photographer was down there and took THIS PHOTO of a sign that was hung on Dan Duquette’s hotel room door all week.

>  These days, college athletes have no concept of sportsmanship.  For example, TAKE A LOOK AT THIS GIRL on the Central Connecticut volleyball team.  That pink hair ribbon is completely distracting to the opposing team.  No way she should be allowed to play with that in her hair.

>  Let’s get to #5 on my list of “Top 10 Winners of the last 20 years” in professional team sports.  In case you haven’t been around, #10 was Drew Brees, #9 was Greg Maddux, #8 was Ray Lewis, #7 was Derek Jeter and #6 was Ben Roethlisberger.  The man who makes #5 on the list is a 4-time champion and a 3-time MVP.  And he’s not only a winner on the field, he’s a winner off of it as well, with his own foundation that serves a variety of purposes across the country.  When you think of “winner”, you better give this guy special attention.  He’s been a winner since he became a professional.  TAKE A LOOK AT HIM right here.

>  Our WNST staff photographer snapped THIS EXCLUSIVE PHOTO of Ben Roethlisberger during halftime of Thursday’s win over the Browns.

>  I’m definitely happy about the Beastie Boys getting inducted into this year’s class of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.  It still doesn’t make up for RUSH not being in there, but nothing will.  The Beastie Boys are one of my top 5 favorite groups of all time and their latest CD – Hot Sauce Committee – is one of their best ever.  RIGHT HERE is a little Beastie’s treat for you.  ”Ah yes indeed it’s fun time…”

The Shoot Section (where I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth)

I’m not going to beat up Dan Duquette over his two winter-meetings acquisitions.  I’ve done that enough.  But what I WILL beat him up over is the things he’s saying to the media.  Or, rather, the media the club hand picks for access to Duquette.  This week, DD said two things that were laughably disrespectful — and I think I’m the only one in town who bellyached about it.  First, when commenting on the likelihood that the Orioles wouldn’t be big free agent spenders this off-season, he propped up that excuse by saying, “Over the years, the Angelos family has always been prudent with the fans’ money.”  Then, a couple of days later when someone asked him about the team’s player budget for 2012, Duquette remarked:  ”What our budget is…what we spend on the players…the fans don’t think that’s important.”  Yes, he said both of those things.  Dan, I know you haven’t been around in a while, so pull up a chair and let Professor Drew teach you something.  First, the Angelos family has been “something” with the fans’ money, but it’s certainly NOT prudent.  How about…stingy?  Or cheap?  Try those.  And yes, Dan, we absolutely DO care what the team spends on players.  We care what the budget is.  Because, as you noted with your earlier dumb reply, it IS the fans’ money you’re operating with.  So, sir, you have an obligation to keep the fans as informed of things like that as you can without compromising the club’s position on the field in any way.  I think most of us know what’s coming in 2012 at OPACY.  More losing.  I’m as resigned to that as I am that it’s going to snow at some point this winter and I’ll have to spend three hours shoveling.  But that resignation shouldn’t be outweighed by neglect from the Orioles — and that’s what they’re guilty of when they – or a representative of theirs – keep the fans in the dark by offering outrageously inappropriate comments like “it’s not important to the fans what our player budget is.”  Come on Duquette.  Start caring a little more about the people who pay your salary…

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