Archive for April, 2004

Death of a Hero

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

By now you’ve probably all heard about the death in combat of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman. Half a year after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, he joined the Army to defend his country. He was killed in action in Afghanistan last Thursday. ran this story on Tillman. It has a nice picture of Tillman in uniform.

This guy gave up one of the coolest gigs in the world–one that pays millions, to boot–to defend his country. He sought no publicity and didn’t duck combat like prior celebrities (including one of my favorites, Elvis). He joined the army because he felt it was the best way to keep his family and country safe. He did something I didn’t have the guts to do, and he left behind a salary several orders of magnitude greater than mine.

The NFL ought to retire this guy’s number.

Others have said it better than me, so I won’t go on any longer. I tip my hat to a hero.


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Barry Bonds, Steroids, Etc.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

For the past few years all the buzz around the Major League Baseball and sports in general has been surrounding steroids. Players like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa have had their names thrown into the mix of the talks. Everyone looks at them when they first began playing and them now. They say that, “Oh, they are just so much bigger now.” As a result, they must be on steroids. I think that is just stupid. How can we as Americans treat people that way? It goes against everything that this country is founded on. People can work out and get the same size Bonds and Sosa are, the only thing steroids do is make the process easier and faster. From everything I hear, Bonds is a gym nut and works out all the time. He also has developed as a hitter over time. Players grow into HR power. Young kids tend to not reach their power potential until later. This could also be evidence in favor of Bonds. Now as far as if he is on steroids or not, I have no clue. I will make that accusation when I see his test results. Until then, my mouth is closed on the issue and others should be too.

Recently I posted a response to the Uncouth Sloth’s article about Bonds. Brian Hipp also chimed in on the comment section and on his own site with some great things to say. I was ridiculed in the comment section of that post for saying that someone should be considered innocent until proven guilty. I think this should apply to sports as well as the court of law. After all, sports take place in this country, so the same principles should apply. Hear me out now; I am not saying that I don’t think athletes–and specifically Barry Bonds–are not using or have never used steroids. No one is naive enough to believe that. What I am saying is that we cannot and should not base our opinion on nothing other than speculation and rumors. The only way it should happen is after a player has failed the drug test. To speculate on the idea discredits potentially innocent peoples’ accomplishments and brings negative press and publicity to a sport that we all love and enjoy very much. We must if we are writing about it and reading about it.

MLB tested players last year “anonymously.” The results of those tests revealed that steroid and drug use was a growing problem in baseball. I feel that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with quickly and strictly. The current policy for baseball is merely a slap on the hand for offenders. I wouldn’t be afraid if I was a player. You can cheat 5 times before you’re suspended for 1 year. What kind of punishment is that? Hopefully the results of the tests last year will make baseball understand that something needs to be done. Selig, who I happen to think is an alright commish, wants to implement mandatory drug tests for the players. There are two problems, however. The first of these is the players’ union. They are such bloodthirsty, money hungry pigs that they will not even dream about discussing anything that might infringe on “The players’ rights.” Screw that!!! What about players’ health? What about the employers’ rights to maintain a drug-free environment? What about the paying customers that want to see drug-free baseball? Do our opinions not matter? The fact of the matter is this: in life, a lot of times when you are in the application process for a job, that job requires a drug test as a condition of employment. Even more often than not, employers may at times test their employees periodically. Baseball is a job. There should be no exceptions to this fact. Owners should have the right to test their employees.

The second problem Selig has is that you can test the players all you want, but if you do not have a proper punishment in place, it does no good. Baseball and sports in general need to adopt the following policy. The first time a player is caught using, it calls for a mandatory one year absence without pay. That player is also required to undergo a drug rehab program and successfully pass that. Everyone should get the chance to be forgiven for a mistake. One time and one time only, though. None of this Dwight Gooden stuff where the guy gets busted time after time and is still let back into baseball. If you break the rule, fine, we’ll forgive you. People make mistakes. If you break it again, then the sport does not mean as much to you as it should. As a result, you should not be a part of it anymore.

By talking about Bonds and Sosa and other players without actual hard core test results it does nothing but bring potentially innocent people down. It also brings the sport of baseball down. That is something that I hate to see. People may ridicule me and call me naive, but I care about this sport very much. I love it very much and want to see it continue to be “The National Pastime.” So if you ask me if Bonds is using, I will say I don’t know. I will never say anyone is until I see test results. Ridicule me if you want, but it’s what I feel. I would love to hear your thoughts though.


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Picks to click for 4/22/04

Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

As I said in my previous post, we are going to start out on April 30th with the pick to click contest in an effort to give everyone the chance to play from the beginning. Until then, people can use these games as practice. Just post your pick in the comment section before gametime. The prize for the overall winner will recieve a nice Cubs plaque and a gift certificate to shops. Get your practice in and have fun with this.

Joe – Kerry Wood

Dave – Todd Walker

James – Kerry Wood

Keenan – Sammy Sosa

D-Trick – Moises Alou


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New look and pick to click contest

Wednesday, April 21st, 2004

So there is a new look to the site. My buddy Chris designed our new banner for the top and I changed the colors up a little. All in all, I think it looks nice. Let me know what you all think of it.

At the beginning of this season, we started a pick to click contest. It started out as a friendly competition between the staff here. However, I have decided that it would be fun to open it up to everyone that reads the site and put a prize up for the winner. So here are the specifics:

– I will post each morning at it will say pick to click for whatever date the game is

– Everyone that is interested can post their pick in the comment section up until the start of the game

– Each day I will update the standings with the winning pick getting a point for whoever picked that person.

– You can pick the same person as someone else but bear in mind that if you get a point, they also do.

– No one can pick the same person 2 games in a row.

– Winning pick will be decided by me each day. (if it is close, we go by CBSSportsline player of the game)

That’s it. The contest will begin as of the game on April 30th. I figured what better place to start than the series with the Red Birds. Everyone will be at zero at that point. You’re name will not be added to the standings until you get a point. The contest will run up until the last game of the season (playoffs included). The winner at the end of the competition will get a prize. The prize for 1st place will be a gift certificate to gift shop and a Cubs plaque. So, it’s a pretty good first prize. Make sure you remember to get your pick in each day or you can’t get a point. May the best person win.


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Pirates come back for seconds

Wednesday, April 21st, 2004

Cubs – 12 vs. Pirates – 1

So I guess one time wasn’t enough for the poor buckos. They decided that a second helping of butt kicking would be nice. So, the Cubs happily opened up another can for them. I wasn’t able to see the game tonight because it wasn’t on WGN, but I was listening on MLB radio. I knew it was over when we got the first inning over with. We just couldn’t stop. At one point, I actually thought we may go through the order twice in one inning. That would have ruled. I am sure some other team has done it in the past, but I have never seen it.

I did feel bad for Josh Fogg. He just got rocked. The poor guy didn’t even get a batter out. Nothing will kill your ERA more than that. His ERA has skyrocketed to 17.00. On top of all that, he has to wait 5 days before another shot. That’s gotta suck.

The Cubs have just been plain awesome and it is gonna just keep on getting better. 4 more wins to come for my prediction to come true. I have no worries about this season at all.

Player of the Game

Can it really be anyone other than Corey Patterson? The guy had 5 hits in one game. That’s just awesome. I think that will be a huge lift for him. He’s now hitting over .300 and hopefully will continue the hot hitting.


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