Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When Tempers Flare, Disaster Ensues

"Somebody's cold one is giving me chills."

Oh what's up. Outside of all the football that went on over the weekend, I felt the need to conjure up some more feelings on the other random occurances that went on.

Ok, the Milton Bradley saga has to be one of the funniest things ever. Funny because a.) he got hurt while arguing with an umpire over a call that was made two innings before that and b.) he's just not that great of a guy. Bradley has always been a complainer and a guy who demands attention because he believes he's "just that good." Well, his latest incident is almost Bill Gramatica-like in terms of how a guy doing something that's completely out of the realm of the situation, manages to hurt himself and is done for the year (if you may recall, the reason I bring Gramatica up is because he tore his ACL while celebrating a kick he made in the first quarter of a game). What's even more bizarre is that it was the actions of Bradley's manager who caused him to tear his ACL. As Bud Black tried to keep his player back, he accidentally caused Bradley to go down in a heap while restraining him. This is one of the biggest doses of karma you may ever see in sports, or in life in general. Bradley is notorious for making a big scene when things do not go his way, and now, he just got put in his place for his actions. I know that it's not at all a "horrible" thing to do when someone argues with an umpire, but when someone does it non-stop, and goes out and taunts fellow players and fans, then this is "just desserts." I know that this will not be the last time Bradley will get into an argument with an ump, a coach, a player, or even a fan, but the fact that he suffered a severe leg injury should put a lot of prespective into exactly why it is that Bradley chooses to do what he does.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com recently put up an article about the whole camera-gate/"oh they cheated, boo-hoo" fiasco. I promise that this will be the last time I'm going to comment on this issue, that is unless someone else comes out and attempts to compare what happened with the Patriots with the evidence of Tom Donaghy's connections with the mob and him throwing the games he was refereeing. Umm...ok, I know that it was a reader who threw that comparison in there, but the fact that it was included in the article makes me believe that Easterbrook is in an agreement with what this guy was saying. First, it was obviously a stupid maneuver by the Patriots and their staff for even having a camera on the sidelines after they were told that doing so was "against the rules and subject to penalty." However, to me, the reason the tapes and documents were destroyed by the league so quickly was because a.) it was a besmeerchment on the league if they allowed the whole issue to linger, leading to questions about the integrity of the NFL, and b.) to really believe that those tapes, in any way, shape, or form, really helped New England to win all those games and three Super Bowls, is laughable. Sorry, I know that there are so many people out there that hate the Patriots because "we win too much" and "we're that damn good," (ok, that one was me), but what people tend to overlook is that the game is won on the field. Do we know if any other teams have done anything like what the Pats did? No, because, instead, we'll focus on the team that wins all the time, and let the other 31 teams go on their merry way without any kind of investigation. Oh by the way, do you know who came out looking really bad in this situation? It wasn't Bill Belichick, but rather, it was the accuser, Eric Mangini, who is coming out looking like a snitch and a total "Milton Bradley" (seamless comparison). So when the Patriots go to the 'Lands and win by 24 points, something must have been up. Ok, well what about last year when the Jets seemingly knew every single play we were calling on offense and won 17-14 at Foxboro? Considering we beat them twice that year, I demand an investigation as to why the Jets looked so good against us in that second game. Does that make me a little crazy? Sure it does, but honestly, what does everyone think they are going to find out by seeing all the videos the Pats handed over? Wouldn't it be kind of the same thing as a guy standing on the sidelines and noting the different signs a co-ordinator is giving to his team? Don't they already cover their mouths and do everything humanly possible to disguise what they are trying to relay to their players? I'm not going to sit here and say that I didn't think it was exactly "noble" of the Pats to be doing this, but in the same token, I don't really understand what is with all the outrage? If a guy steals a sign in baseball, is there media coverage on ESPNews and other sports stations calling him a cheater ("Beli-cheat" was used in the article)? Absolutely not. Yes it was wrong of the Pats to use video on the sidelines, but at least to me, this whole thing was overblown in terms of thinking that the Pats won their Super Bowls and a truckload of games over this decade because of a simple video camera on the sidelines. I may sound biased, and I am to the utmost degree, but in all honesty, can we start to get over it? They're good, they're going to win a lot, let's just leave it at that.

Thank God for Brian Griese! Finally, the Bears are putting Rex Grossman out of his misery and starting Griese for Chicago's next game against the Lions at Ford Field. Look, I realize that the Bears haven't had a good QB since, *cough* Jim McMahon *cough*, but really, how did Grossman even last this long? To me, I think it was those very rare games when Grossman would play mistake-free football and lead his team to victory, then all of a sudden, Bears' fans had some hope. "Hey, maybe this guy is not so bad after all." Let me just be perfectly honest: There hasn't been a good NFL QB to come out of Florida...well...ever. Grossman was basically handed the starting job last year, and pretty much pulled a "Roethlisberger" by not "messing" it up (keeping it PG-rated) to the point that his team couldn't recover. Yes, Grossman did throw for over 3,000 yards last year, but let's not forget that he was 10th in the league in attempts (480). Another notable "great" also threw for 3,000 yards last year with less attempts (J.P. Losman, 429). So, the hook on Grossman was inevitable, especially after the start he's had this year, throwing for only 500 yards in three games, a 52.8% completion rate, and a 45.2 QB rating (only Tavaris Jackson trails him). So, now the job goes back to Brian Griese, who is now in his second year with the Bears. Oh by the way, this guy actaully isn't all that bad. The last time he played in ten or more games was three years ago with Tampa. In just eleven games, Griese threw for 2,632 yards, 20TDs, 12 picks, and a 97.5 passer rating. If you expand those averages to sixteen games, Griese would have thrown for 3,828 yards, 29 TDs, and 17 INTs. Now, he has a running game, and capable receivers in Bernard Berrian, Mushin Muhammad, and Desmond Clark, and with Greg Olsen also healthy, I expect the Bears to really bounce back from the mire Grossman left them in and resurface some point in the middle of the year as one of the teams to beat in the NFC.

So those were some editorial issues I thought I would just get out there. Tonight, the Sox are facing the A's, pitting Schill against Chad Gaudin, who has a 2.03 ERA in eleven career appearances against the Sox. Also, tonight marks the return of Manny Ramirez, who has been sidelined for the last 24 games with a strained left oblique. Manny will bat second in the order, but yet, J.D. Drew is still in the lineup, which kind of takes some of the fun out of this. If only the Sox would finally start Ellsbury in right, Coco in center, and Manny in left, then I might be somewhat happy. The Sox were only 12-12 without Manny in the lineup. Not trying to dumb down his comeback, but bare in mind that Youk also missed a significant chunk of that time as well, so while Manny's return will be more than welcomed to a inconsistent lineup, this team needs Youk to also get healthy before October starts (we're actually in the playoffs now, so I can say that with a lot more confidence). Anyway, I will be keeping my eye on the action all week, and again, I hope to be updating you a bunch as this week rolls on. Take care everyone. Peace.


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