September 25, 2008

Questions abound

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Football, Ice Hockey, Olympics

I’ve got a few things I have to ask the sporting world. There have been a few calls and decisions made that just don’t make sense over the past few days and I’d like to address these.

How the hell did Matt Millen run the Lions (into ground) for so long and got away with doing such an egregious job? The fact that the team went 31-84 under his guidance is inexcusable and it was about time he was fired. It’s this sort of mismanagement that makes it no wonder why American automakers are doing so poorly. This has to be a great day for Detroit Lions fans, a day that took way too long to get to.

Who is going to be the Toronto Maple Leafs captain this season? With Mats Sundin still in Brett Favre/Roger Clemens -like limbo, somebody has to wear the C right? Last night against Pittsburgh in an exhibition game, Jamal Mayers actually had an A on his chest which goes to show you the dearth of leadership figures on the team. So do they give it to scaredy-cat looking Tomas Kabrele? Overpaid underacheiver Pavel Kubina or — according to management — “the only top-6 forward on the team” Nik Antropov? I say give it to Vesa Toskala, the only Leaf deserving of getting any ice time.

Is it really worth it to start Trent Green over Marc Bulger? Either way the Rams defence is going to allow a ton of points and the offensive line isn’t going to be very good at blocking for whoever is at pivot. The real change that needs to be made is at coach and you have to sense that Scott Linehan is not holding onto his job after this season, if he doesn’t get fired during the campaign that is.
Why did fans in Toronto give A.J. Burnett a curtain call last night? He didn’t try for the first two and a half seasons as a Blue Jay, has openly mocked fans previously (this season too), said he wanted out and more than likely will opt out of his contract to greedily secure even more money. He only started pitching to his potential after the all-star break when his agent must have reminded him of his opt-clause. Now, fans are cheering him because he’s running out of town as quickly as possible, leaving the team without anything close to a No. 2 starter behind Roy Halladay? The real question is if he already packed up his locker and has flown home for a winter holiday.

Why would the Giants suspend their best offensive player (who recently signed a contract extension) for the next game because he missed a meeting due to a family emergency? What does that prove? They’re only hurting themselves by being this stubborn about discipline. Even worse, this is a bye week for the Giants so technically Plaxico Burris for two whole weeks. If there’s sense to be made of this move, I’m not getting it.

Why are the Browns sticking with Derek Anderson when he’s struggled horribly this far and Brady Quinn is ready to go? My only reason for this is the Browns opponent this weekend: Cincinnati. Anderson rose to fame last season in a marvelous shootout with the Bengals and the media fell in love with him. But why not give Brady — the future of the Browns — a chance to do the same?

Why are we still talking about the age of the Chinese gymnasts? I don’t care how old they were in Beijing or how old they were in Sydney. They were the great and I don’t know what age has to do with it. Sure, they could be more flexible, but what they gain in that area, they would lose in strength and experience. And really, what kind of sport are you actually better at when you’re 12 than when you’re 16? I don’t get that.

How come nobody is tearing apart Lance Armstrong? All summer people skewered Brett Favre for his retirement/unretirement. Same can be said for the aforementioned Sundin. Why is everyone embracing Lance with open arms? It’s only cycling. I’m juts glad that the ex-leader of his new team Astana, Alberto Contador, is leaving because Armstrong’s coming back. Contador earned his right to be the leader of the pack on the team and Armstrong shouldn’t have been able to walk onto the team and take that from him.

Do the Rays actually have a chance at winning it all? Realistically, I would put every cent I have on Tampa Bay not winning the World Series this year if I could. The only teams I could actually see them beating in a playoff series are the White Sox or Twins. That’s it. Not even if they faced the lackluster Dodgers in the Series because we all know Manny would bat .800 and have 10 homers and 30 RBIs in that scenario. I just hope they can actually sell out their first ever playoff games.

How many three and four-run saves did Francisco Rodriguez get this season? I don’t think he legitimately had to work for half of his record 62. This save rule has to be changed because it’s ridiculous that anyone can (and I’ve seen K-Rod do this) come on with two on and  four-run lead with two outs in the ninth and collected the save by getting one out. It’s absolutely retarded and I feel like yelling at anyone who says his record is just.

Finally, what do the Yankees do now? Can the Evil Empire actually go through a rebuild? I mean they just resigned A-Rod for a ton of cash. They don’t have tremendous prospects in their system, their rotation is a joke and a bunch of their guys are slated for free agency. It will be an interesting winter for the Yankees and I think they will go after some big names because seriously, would you really think that the Steinbrenners would have their team not make the post-season for the first year at new Yankee Stadium?


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