Tuesday, October 18, 2011

...And a Little Bit of Chicken Fried...Cold Beer EVERY Night

So this whole thing has gotten way out of hand in my opinion.  I am not saying that as a Red Sox fan I approve of the actions of no less than three of our pitchers during the games.  However, do these stories really need to continue coming out.  I am a little skeptical about some of the stories.  As someone who has worked in media before, I am inclined to believe that some of these reporters do not have the integrity to not make up these sources, just so they can latch onto the big story in sports and make a name for themselves.  I mean, really.  There are just a few too many anonymous sources making these allegations.  Now, the beer and fried chicken?  I will believe that.  You give me the name of a single man who does not enjoy some good beer and fried chicken at night.  Do I agree that it should be done when your, "On the job"?  No.  These guys are baseball players who are paid GOBS of money to go out every night and do something that as kids we beg out parents to let us stay out late and do for free. If you are playing the sport professionally, it can be assumed that you enjoy it.  And if you enjoy the game of baseball, why not sit in the dugout and cheer on your team?  But then again....sitting in a dugout watching the game, or watching it on tv with beer and fried chicken?  I wont say that I wouldn't consider the latter.

P.S. Can you believe the timing?  A music video just came out recently called Hell Yeah I Like Beer by  Kevin Fowler and all five of the Sox starters are in it singing it.  I'm serious!  Go hit youtube real quick, and I'll wait here until you get back.

See??!!  Even I'll admit that the timing is funny.

But let's get serious here.  There are some holes in this story that I need to point out.  I am inclined to believe Jon Lester in his reports yesterday.  He admitted to the beer and fried chicken.  Thank God.  I just wanted someone to come out and confirm it.  But he said that he, Josh Beckett and John Lackey do not play video games...not in the club  house and not at home.  I believe that.  I have a hard time picturing John Lackey playing XBox or PlayStation, let alone Beckett or Lester.  Why would Lester come out and admit to the beer and chicken and not to the video games?  It makes no sense.  The other hole is this new report that just "leaked" about the Red Sox drinking in the dugout.  Am I supposed to believe that just as Lester comes out and admits to the drinking and chicken in the club house it is just a coincidence that this story comes out the next day?  No.  The media wants to cash in on this cash cow for a little bit longer.  So now that Lester has admitted it and taken responsibility, what should a media member do?  How about fabricating some story about drinking that supersedes the previous story?  What could be more offensive than drinking in the club house?  How about drinking on the field?  Yea, why not.  With all this going on, it could be believable, but not to me.  I know how easy it would be to make up a story.  For God sake, I could tweet to someone at ESPN right now that I heard David Ortiz on the phone with Brian Cashman at D'Angelo's in Boston earlier today.  Do you have any idea how quickly that would be the head story on ESPN.com?  That ESPN person would say a reliable source said it.  Reliable source?!  I don't even have a picture on twitter, and that's what they would say.  That is why when I hear a story like this, something this insane, I cannot believe it. 

Here are the facts, folks.  The Red Sox had the biggest collapse in baseball history.  A team with millions of follower and fans falls apart in a month.  And now all of those millions are asking why?  How?  Who?  Who is to blame? Who is the one person we can blame for this?  And as such, Francona is gone.  Epstein is gone.  Boston media members are calling for the heads of players that 2 months ago they would have bought them champagne for just sitting in the same restaurant as them.  Then this story breaks about the beer and chicken and now we blame the three pitchers on our team for it.  Now yes, we turned to Beckett and Lester to stop the bleeding and they couldn't.  But am I supposed to believe that them drinking on off days lead to that?  Because I don't.  I believe that this is a team that became to confident in their playing and thought they had the playoffs in the bag and that they could let up a bit.  Just like every other person in the world.  When you could try hard and be successful or slack and be only slightly less successful, they will slack off.  Then by the time the team realized they were in trouble, it was too late.  They were nervous, and Tampa was confident.  Even guys like Boston legend (I say gingerly, because he was only here for 5 years) Curt Schilling who said they wouldn't make it.  Let's face it everyone.  The team blew it.  It's not the first time we've seen a collapse in sports.  And it wont be the last.  And this witch hunt that the media is doing to point the finger for it is only hurting the team.  But they don't care.  They just want to make a name for themselves.  "Hey did you know I'm the one who broke the story about the Sox drinking in the club house?"  That's all these people want.  Do you think they really care?  Look, we all know what happened.  We understand about the beer and chicken.  But do we really need some young reporter trying to make a name for themselves by falsifying reports because they could make sense based on the crazy things that have wound up being true?

I applaud Jon Lester for stepping up and admitting it.  He took responsibility saying, "I sucked."  And he admitted to the beer and chicken.  What we need now is for more players to take his lead and admit to stuff.  But until they do this media witch hunt will only continue putting strain on a formidable team.  Just step up and admit to it boys.  And to the people in the media, accept what they have to say and stop making up things to try to make a name for yourself!  Drinking in the dugout...are you kidding me?!  Don't you think if one player was that any one of the dozens of camera pointing in the dugout would have caught something?!  This is becoming a joke.  Media members are supposed to report the news.  Not make it.  Somewhere along the way they forgot that.  And until they remember it again, how in the world can we believe them when stories like this come out?  I don't trust it!  And I certainly hope you don't either.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Dark Ages of East Coast Sports

It kinda feels like the end of the world here in New York...no, not because of protests in Wall Street or because picking a president for this upcoming election is as miserable as filing taxes...but because hope seems to be lost in minds of all sports fans here in the East Coast.

Let me explain sport by sport-

I don't need to need to look hard to see the disgust with any baseball fan living by the Atlantic...Eamon highlighted in his last post the total embarrassment in the AL East. The Red Sox is living the worst of the nightmares, trumping the Mets in the "worse collapse ever" category. They gave their expected playoff entry to the Rays, who have less fans in attendance than people reading this blog (not unexpectedly, of course). Yet, when the best performance in Tampa Bay comes from a September call-up, it is understandably so that the team flops, the bandwagon fans leave, and management re-starts doomsday scenarios of MLB "vaporizing" your franchise. Then there's the Yankees, the "200 Million-Dollar Underdog". It was the Yankees which took the AL East, only to be cleared knocked out by Doug "Double" Fister and the Detroit Tigers.
Of course that's only half the story...The NL East has as much to cry over. Overshadowed by Boston's epic collapse was Atlanta's last-week fall out of the Wild Card. Their loss leaves the Cardinals with the playoff birth, leaving St. Louis to just eliminate the other "Best Team On Paper": the Philadelphia Phillies, with their Four Horsemen, err, Aces. Granted it was fun bar-hopping along the Lower East Side seeing Yankees and Mets fans unite in joy witnessing the Phillies stumble (pun maybe intended) out of the playoffs. However, now I can confirm there are more fans here lining up to watch "Moneyball" than to sit around and watch Middle America (Detroit, Texas, Milwaukee and St. Louis) hog the playoffs.

Pro Football:
It would be a lie to say that pro football is hopeless along the East Coast. All Patriots fans would just point to New England to say they are as good as ever, Giants and Redskins fans would claim they are the team to beat out of the NFC East, Buffalo is playing like they don't remember what a guaranteed miserable team they are supposed to be, the Ravens are still on top of the AFC North, and let's not forget about the Falcons down south.
Granted, it may be peaches now, but there are still much doubt placed throughout the area. The Jets and the Eagles, while still not dead, easily are winning the "Most Overrated Team" awards in their respected conferences. The Patriots don't remember how to win in the playoffs for 7 years now. The Giants are a perennial second-half collapse team. The Redskins don't know who their quarterback or running back is, so why expect them to succeed long term? Remember the embarrassing playoff losses by the Falcons and Ravens last year? And are you actually pin hopes on the Bills?? Do they even count as a East Coast team?? So yeah, it's cool to root for some East Coast teams now, but come Super Bowl time, there's a better shot we will be watching the Super Bowl to watch commercials, another 80s throwback concert, and to give a reason not to show up to work the next day than to root for your team.

Pro Basketball:
Let's face it, the NBA isn't going to have a season this year...and it'll be one more year my Dallas Mavericks will hold on to the title.

College Football:
Realistically, this sport doesn't exist in New York or Philly. I mean common, this is why the Big East is just counting down days until College Basketball season to show why it is still a legitimate conference. And no, you're not looking for Boston College or Maryland if you're living in Boston or Washington D.C. to find a reason to watch (Yes, Virginia Tech is doing well, but it's also by West Virginia, so try to justify it being a East Coast team...).

Best bet for a lot of East Coast chances of glory...and is holding the only East Coast professional title in the Boston Bruins. And without basketball, what else will you watch during your weeknights? That said, let's face it, I want to convince more people to watch hockey, but I also want to convince more people to watch soccer, tennis, golf and curling...

College Basketball:
Without the NBA, I guess the best shot for sports fans to enjoy in the East Coast is to watch college basketball...there's a reason the Big East tourney is played in Madison Square Garden (knock on wood); it, and not college football, is the city sport. And again are East Coast teams bringing title; just look at UConn last year.

So yeah, it's not the greatest time in the East Coast sports-wise, but hang in there my simple friend, and there'll be light in the end of the tunnel (the kind not coming from the 6 train).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What do you call 200 guys sitting on their couch Watching the MLB Playoffs?

You call them the AL East.  5 teams in this division, 40 players per team in the months of September and October.  I want you to think about that for a minute.  The AL East!  Not a single team in the playoffs past the ALDS.  This is a division that for the last 2 seasons has been projected to set the record for the most combined wins for a division.  How can that be wrong with teams that have the caliber and payrolls like the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, who were just eliminated from the post season by the Detroit Tigers minutes ago.  These teams are in the top four on the list for highest payroll for any sport in the world (the other two teams being soccer teams in Europe).  Then you add the outstanding pitching and the young, capable offense of the Tampa Bay Rays, and you have 3 of the best teams in baseball. Then you have a situation where any other two teams could help set that record that I mentioned above.  Those teams are the Toronto Blue Jays who have a strong offense lead by the two-time home run leader in Major League Baseball, Jose Bautista.  Then you add the Baltimore Orioles.  Kind of the black sheep in the division.  A lot of older players who are past their prime (see Vladamir Guererro), but with a few young prospects who could be good (see Matt Wieters).

However, after digressing for a moment, I would like to point out yet again, that a division that combined for 428 wins on the season, with the top 3 all getting 90+ wins a piece, will not be representing in baseballs version of the Final Four.  It is some what refreshing to see, seeing as how recently it's been Yankees or Red Sox, who's going to the ALCS or World Series?  Now there's a change in a sport that is criticized for letting teams like those two afford so much more talent than the rest.  That is some what refreshing.  But one has to ask, what could lead to this division not being able to send 1 representative to the Championship Series?  Could it be confidence? Comfort?  Are the Blue Jays and Orioles happy finishing nowhere about fourth place every year?  Are the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees just okay with 90 wins?  As we saw this year, 90 wins isn't enough to cut it in this league, especially in that division.  I think the Yankees, Rays and Sox have gotten too confident.  Thinking to themselves, "Oh, we're [insert team name here]!  It's a give in that we'll make the playoffs.  Of course we'll make it to the ALCS.  Now we just have to worry about our flight arrangements to the National League ballparks at the end of the month."  Well guess what boys?  One of you didn't even make the playoffs, after the biggest collapse in the history of baseball.  Another made an outstanding come back in the month of September only to get a single win in October.  And the last has always been synonymous with winning, and they couldn't even win a best of 3 series with 3 games at home.

I'll tell you one thing, AL East.  It's time to step it up.  It's officially a year not one of your teams is in the ALCS.  There will be no AL East pride marching into the Fall Classic that we call the World Series.  No!  The best division in baseball (which in the regular season it was, so don't give me any of that, "Oh well the NL Central had two 90+ win teams too and they're both still in the post season."  I don't want to hear that.  The AL East was the best division in baseball in the regular season.)  All I can hope for now is that at least some of the players will be watching SportsCenter or some other Sports channel and see on the ticker at the bottom of the screen that there is not a single AL East team listed.  It's a crying shame.  They're adding another wild card team to the post season in 2013.  You know why?  The AL East!  Plain and simple.  So now rest up with you're overly expensive homes, cars, and appliances because in 2012, you are expected to show up, and prove why it is that every year baseball analysts from all different sports networks predict the record to be broken this year.  Step it up boys...all of you!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

You Give a Guy an Inch and He Takes a Mile!

Jeez, you know, it was only a couple days ago that Miggy came to me saying, "Oh Eamon, your blog is so awesome, can I please be a part of this amazing thing that you've been a part of for so long? Please!!"  And then in his first post he decides to shit on the hand that feeds him.  I mean, look at this guy.  Thinking he's Eric Estrada and everything.  Let me make something perfectly clear, you are no Eric Estrada!  To clarify something else, I started this blog as a nation-wide sports blog, but the facts are that my entire following were from the New England area and wished to hear less about the Redskins, or the Texas Rangers, or the Seattle Mariners (which by the way is Miggy's team, cue the collective "oh...too bad..." in 3-2-1...go!)  So that's what I did. 

Now moving on to Miggy.  I brought him in because I figured he's not from the New England area, and maybe he can bring in a different following.  But now he wants to start stuff with the person who was generous enough to bring him in?  Okay...from now on, I will be reviewing all posts by Miggy before he posts, just to make sure they're up to the standards of this blog!  Way to go Miggy...now you can never write for real as long as your my "employee."  (I put it in quotes, because I will never pay him.)

This is the only time I will ever say this.  Miggy and I are great friends and I am very excited to work with him.  We have worked together in the past, as he said on a sports show that he got started (which would have failed without me).  And everything disparaging I say simply to cause controversy for you, my followers.  Just so no one thinks I'm the worst person in the world who is enslaving Miggy simply because he can't write for anyone else (tee-hee).  But I look forward to this blog to taking off now that I can get the followers from New England and Miggy can help to colonize the rest of the country.  Just wait.  Brag about this blog.  Because in 3 months, it will be the greatest blog in the country, and you'll want to brag about it that you knew it before it became a fad!  Pass the word, this thing is going to take off now!  Because both Miggy and myself are completely....Out of Bounds!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Kid on the Knoblauch

Hello fellow nobodies...

My name is Miggy, and I'm the new contributor for the blog Out Of Bounds...

(Since Eamon is desperate to get this blog on the main, and I'm just desperate for attention, this partnership is just made in heaven)

To give you a (sports) background of myself:
-Born in Sydney but grown in New York City (gasp, a New Yorker in a Boston Blog)
-NOT a fan of New York teams...not saying I despise them, just that they aren't my favorite teams (and neither are Boston teams)
-I root for the Seattle Mariners, the Dallas Mavericks, the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans (and if you feed me enough attention I will explain why)
-Went to Villanova along with Eamon, and produced/hosted/burned-into-ground the sports show "A Miggy-Flavored Sports Show" on campus television (Eamon provided baseball segments along with pulling his impersonation of a Boston-jerk game-show host)

So what the hell would I be doing for this particular blog?
-Well, since Eamon likes to ignore the rest of the world except for New England, I guess I have to fill the world with everything else in terms of sports...and when I mean everything, I was a college medalist in curling, so there's no limit on what I could bring up...however, I'd be too mean a person to bring up Big East basketball (and Villanova basketball) enough to make Eamon feel like recognizes something sports-related (barely)

So starting this week I will be dropping knowledge bombs from time to time, feel free to be obliterated in the process