Unluck of the Irish

>> Monday

While this is still in the rumor stage, the readers of YCS would be interested in knowing that Colin Falls's status with Notre Dame is in serious jeopardy. Apparently Falls committed a Du-Lac violation, with Vinnie speculating he used the wrong fork for salad at dinner one night. Seriously, ND's luck in 2006 continues to go down the crapper as Falls would have been their leading returning scorer. For a team that likely would have been an NIT team anyway, this ensures that they will struggle to make the Big East Tournament, let alone the Big Dance. Keep tuned to YCS for continuing information on this story.


The All-Star Break: What a casual fan can watch for

With this past week's matches having been completed, the league will take a rest as we head into the All-Star break. With the season at its 2/3 mark, the final race to the finish of the MLS league campaign is about to begin. For those who haven't been watching during the previous part of this season, the final leg contains several storylines that are worth following.

1.) MLS Success against the World's Best
While the US National team may not have fared well at the World Cup, MLS clubs are still hanging right with and at times beating the world's best, and most of these visiting teams have furnished most of their starters. DC United's reserves beat Celtic FC's starters 4-0. New England played Celtic to a 1-1 draw. Columbus tied Everton 1-1, Chivas USA beat North American champion Club America, and FC Dallas beat elite Mexican club Tigres in a two-leg exhibition series. Earlier in the season, Red Bull New York beat Bayern Munich 4-2, but the German champions furnished a reserve team with many starters on World Cup duty.

Still to come, DC United will play Real Madrid in Seattle, and Madrid will then play against Real Salt Lake in Utah. European Champion FC Barcelona visits Red Bull New York, and English champion Chelsea takes on the MLS All-Stars on Saturday. Even in losses, no MLS side has been embarassed or outclassed, which shows how the quality of competition in the league has grown, even in the last five years.

2.) DC Dominance
DC United has more or less locked up the Eastern Conference regular season championship with a record of 13-2-6. United recently had a 14-game unbeaten streak broken, and the 2006 United team could break the record for best regular season performance, currently held by the 1998 Los Angeles Galaxy who finished with a record of 24-8 (22-6-4 in today's scorekeeping with no OT). With a relatively easy draw in the US Open Cup, the possibility of United becoming the first team to complete the domestic treble (Open Cup, Regular Season Champs, MLS Cup Champs) is on the minds of the faithful on East Capitol Street. Anything short of an MLS Cup title will be a colossal dissappointment.

3.) The Wild Wild East
After DC, the rest of the East is up for grabs. Only 6 points separate 2nd place New England from 6th-place Columbus. Chicago has some advantage in this stretch because they have already played most of their road games, and have a match in hand. Five teams will fight for three playoff spots.

4.) Who's going to Europe, and when?
The FIFA summer transfer window is closing, and many US stars stayed put, likely as the result of a lackluster World Cup. However, Chelsea has shown interest in DC United playmaker Freddy Adu, and Clint Dempsey appears to be the next American to cross the pond. Dempsey has said that he wants to win MLS Cup to atone for his poor performance in Germany, despite the fact that he was the only American to register a goal. Jean-Phillippe Peguero has also attracted European interest.

5.) The Coaching Carousel
Anyone who said that MLS is a "no-pressure" league was sorely mistaken. Three coaches have gotten the ax already, and all three of their teams were in playoff contention. Frank Yallop (Los Angeles), Seth Stammler (Kansas City) and Bruce Arena (New York) have all been charged with the task of bringing their clubs to the promised land. Arena takes over RBNY on August 12. The Red Bulls are currently on a 5-game unbeaten streak, and have climbed out of the cellar and into 3rd place in the East. Dave Sarachan in Chicago is also on the hot seat. The Fire are on a 4-match winless streak and have looked lifeless in several outings.


The Value of Offensive Lineman

>> Sunday

After a discussion Friday night involving Reggie Bush, someone stated that he was unquestionably the top prospect in the 2006 draft. Immediately, I objected as LT D'Brickishaw Ferguson holds that distinction in my opinion. Soon after that proclaimation, the response came that no offensive lineman is really that valuable. Not an uncommon thought, as I vividly remember a certain New Yorker's disgust to when the Jets drafted Ferguson ahead of Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler. He stated that you should never draft a lineman with a top-five pick. Adding to the irony of this situation is that the Jets drafted another lineman, C/G Nick Mangold with their other first round pick. However, I believe that the Jets now have a strong offensive foundation for the next few years, and would not be shocked if both guys end up in Canton, especially Ferguson. For an example of what a strong offensive line can do, just look at season's NFC Champions, the Seattle Seahawks. With Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson anchoring the left side of their line, Shaun Alexander has become a dominant running back. Matt Hasselbeck emerged as a top-tier quarterback even with receivers who couldn't catch a cold. The Denver Broncos continually contend in the AFC because of their offensive line, in spite of the fact they have had Jake Plummer and Brian Griese under center and a rotating door of running backs that George Steinbrenner envies. Hell, when Reuben Droughns and Mike Anderson on a surgically repaired knee can rush for 1,200 yards, you see what a strong offensive line can do for a team. Even a single stud lineman can turn the tide, with Orlando Pace being a main cog of the Greatest Show on Turf all these years despite never having a consistent line next to him. On the other end of the spectrum, the Detroit Lions have continually struggled to score points despite a heavy emphasis on skill positions the last few drafts. While many people blame Joey Harrington and their WR's work ethic, a major root of the problem has been an awful offensive line. With only Jeff Backus as a legitimate anchor, they have watched their skill position guys consistently underachieve despite the talent of guys like Roy Williams and Kevin Jones. Their offense will continue to struggle until that line is improved. With the acquisition of Steve Hutchinson and return of Matt Birk, watch the improvement of the Vikings offense, especially their running game. They will make Chester Taylor look much better than the career back-up he has been. In turn, look for the high-octane Seahwaks offense to come back to the pack without Hutchinson. While they may not be the sexiest draft picks, the long-term impact Ferguson and Mangold make will be just as significant as star skill position players.



>> Friday

Ladies and gentlemen, the motherfuckin' Chorizo!


ESPN Needs to Correct Their Headlines Regarding Floyd Landis Immediately

>> Thursday

For the past 12 hours, ESPN has reported the allegations from Tour de France officials regarding Floyd Landis' testosterone levels during stage 17 of the Tour (The stage of his dramatic comeback). ESPN reported that Landis' "A" sample tested positive for abnormally high levels of testosterone when in fact it has been made quite clear by many that his "A" sample was shown to have abnormally low levels of testosterone. ESPN has even had Tour officials and other scientists on air whom have stated this fact, yet ESPN has failed to correct themselves.

Because of the blatant use of this misinformation, Floyd Landis' career has been cracked and obscured because of the continuing American medias fallacy. Nevermind that it has NEVER been absolutely proven that testosterone increases performance and nevermind that his "abnormally high levels of testosterone" reported by the American media was only slightly over 1200 ng. / dl. Certainly these levels would make one suspicious, but disastrous levels over 1200 ng. / dl. have been reported for decades in cycling. It is not that abnormal. But, since Landis' test showed LOW levels of testosterone, one might wonder as to how this could effect performance.

In simple words, it wouldn't and there are plenty of reasons for his "A" sample to test the way it did.

A.) Landis had an exemption from Tour officials to take cortisone shots for his degenerative hip.
Now, as everyone should know, the largest amounts of testosterone is produced by the testes (Leydig cells) in men, and also produced in synthesized form by the adrenal cortex. Synthetic cortisone, which could be delivered by simple substances such as rash cream, etc essentially decreases the output of protein-based hormones, such as testosterone.

B.) Landis was also taking oral medicine for his hyperthyroidism...I am not sure what medication he was taking, but iot is certainly possible that those could have effected his blood sample.

C.) Landis and his teammates all consumed alcohol the night before (Whisky). It again has been proven that alcohol decreases one's testosterone levels.

In essence, what American reporters have been trying to say is that his ratio from testosterone to epitestosterone was high. Normally, the ratio for a normal individual is 1:1, but 4:1 is the new limit before investigations are to begin. Reports are that Landis tested at a 5:1 ratio, which would have been "normal" one year ago.

If Landis had been a user of synthetic testosterone, earlier urine tests would have also been affected. "One-time" use which has been suggested by many, would cause an abnormal result, but it would have no effect on performance whatsoever.

In all, these reports by the American media are completely erroneous and should be ignored until the "B" sample has been fully tested and analyzed by United States Doping Committee. The tests performed were done in a French laboratory and there have been growing frustrations about the American dominance in the Tour. Landis may indeed be guilty, but one must remember that Lance Armstrong tested positive in the 1999 Tour for the exact same thing. Only, Armstrong was sly enough to present a doctor's note for saddle sore cream (which contains slightly levels of cortisone) immediately prior to his blood test. In my mind, Landis is not guilty simply because the facts do not match up. Unfortunately, this stigma will never go away.

Stay Classy


Current notice on baseball-reference.com:

The site will be down very briefly sometime between 2-5am EDT the morning of Friday July 28th for a quick server upgrade. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Up until about two months ago, this would have proved a huge inconvenience for me. But alas, I am now in the "real world" and spend the hours of 2-5am EDT asleep in my bed (not even on the couch!). Funny, graduating from college didn't make me wistful, but that notice really hits home.

Maybe I'm just going through hormonal changes; I'll let you all know if I start getting hot flashes.



...gurggle gurggle gurggle

Seriously--when will this outrageous rookie contract madness end? Get your act together, NFL.


Both of these thoughts are sort of related to porn (and by having the word porn in this title, we're sure to draw a lot more readers)

>> Wednesday

After watching the Yankees/Rangers game in which the lead changed three half-innings in a row, I was left with one thought: Thank God someone is taking full advantage of The Boss' mustache exception for facial hair. Sadly, he had to trim it up a bit when he was traded to the Yankees, but I saw him tonight, and the stache' is still looking pretty good. (Of course, by "good" I mean it looks like he should be in a porno).

Also, in case you haven't heard Harold Reynolds was fired for sexual harassment. He claims it was a "misinterpreted hug" and I actually tend to believe him. In a sports environment, which has largely been synonymous with a testosterone-filled environment, it is pretty easy to imagine (a) men feeling threatened by the presence of females, and (b) a female jumping the gun with sexual harassment decisions. Of course, I have no idea what happened.

Besides, come on, would you turn down a hug from Harold Reynolds?


Eric Karros seems to have a good handle on the A-Rod bunk

In addition to being a fellow handsome Mediterranean ethnic, Eric Karros knows the score when it comes to Alex Rodriguez.

A few minutes ago during tonight’s ESPN broadcast of the Yankees-Rangers game, PBP guy Dave O’Brien and Karros talked about Yankee fans booing ARod, despite his well-above-average offensive production.

After O'Brien attributed much of the booing to ARod's defensive struggles, Karros broached the "clutch hitting" subject with such appropriate disgust that I think he stopped just short of saying, "Yankees fans are retards."

Karros followed up with (what I thought) was a very eloquent synopsis: [paraphrased] "It makes you wonder if Yankees fans care more about their team winning than criticizing the play of Alex Rodriguez."

Very well put, my Greek brother.

(And now I must atone for this compliment with twenty anti-ESPN posts.)


Man, Derek Jeter's Having A Kickass Season And A-Rod Really Sucks A Lot

I'm sick and fucking tired of all the bullshit that everyone continues giving Alex Rodriguez. One last statistic for everyone to consider: A-Rod's OPS is .001 lower than Yankee God Derek Jeter. That's right, one one thousandth of a point. Also, A-Rod has more home runs, RBI and even runs scored than Derek Jeter. So please, give me a fucking break.

Look for one post coming soon from me on this topic.



Former big leaguer and current Tigers First Base Coach Andy Van Slyke is in the news right now because yesterday on The Sporting News Radio (which, come on, you didn't know existed) called Ozzie Guillen a "typical latin ballplayer." He's in trouble because its perceived as racist and stereotypical to insinuate that Ozzie, like a majority of latin ballplayers are hotheaded.

Somewhere, Roberto Alomar is screaming "BULLSHIT!"

There you have it, in addition to being a moronic clown, Ozzie's a stereotype.

The most important thing about this story, obviously, is that it puts Andy Van Slyke in the news where he belongs.


I Assume He Means Cheating, Thuggery and Dirty Play

"I want to get this organization back to where it belongs."
--New Raiders Coach Art Shell


Dammit Greg Couch, stop living in a golden era that only existed in your own mind!

Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a truly stupifying piece yesterday. He says his attention was caught Sunday when three Americans won on the same day (Tiger Woods winning the British Open, Floyd Landis winning Le Tour, and James Blake beating Andy Roddick in some tennis tournament that only die-hard tennis enthusiasts would have heard of.)

He says these yankee triumphs are more the exception than the rule, citing American collapses in international competition over the past three years. He says the reason why American teams don't succeed any more is because kids don't have fun in sports.


Let's for just a second assume he has successfully diagnosed the problem. If pressure has gotten to kids in sports over the last three decades, and winning has become the only objective, then it would seem to follow that the kids who survived little leagues and peewee leagues and Pop Warner would be the best equipped and talented (the ones where winning was constant and the game stayed fun), and the best-suited to pressure-filled situations. However, Couch's premise doesn't match his conclusion. If the best kids grew up to become the best athletes in an era where fun has lost its emphasis, wouldn't these athletes be dominating due to superior mental and physical superiority? Think about it for a second.

Likewise, hasn't the last 30 years or so seen the rise of the "participation trophy" and the mantra of "Everyone is a winner, we don't keep score?"

As if his faulty premises and ridiculous concusion weren't enough, Couch's argument straight-on contradicts itself later on. He says that after World War II and economic recovery in affected countries, more countries besides the United States were able to devote resources to training and scouting and generally equipping the world's best athletes for competition. However, this flat-out contradicts his earlier point, saying that kids need to learn to play the game informally and not be bogged down in the pressure situations of organized competition and instruction. He sarcastically refers to the addition of chalk lines and bases at the park where he used to play little league as "Improvements?". While Couch may have a point muddled in there somewhere, it's completely lost because he can't decide whether teams succeed by increased investment in better training or by less infrastructure and less instruction!

Couch also has very shaky ground to stand on when examining US successes and failures in international competition. "U.S. Soccer didn't win a game at the World Cup and lost to Ghana." The print edition of the Sun-Times carried a picture of Claudio Reyna and the words "Underachieved" under it. Underachieved? Not to anyone who's watched more than 20 minutes of soccer before in their lives. It doesn't take a full-blown soccer hooligan to know that the US hasn't really made a name for themselves in international competition. His assessment of Team USA's fortunes at the World Baseball Classic? He mentions that they lost to Canada. One tournament is enough to uproot the entire system and bring about a return to a golden age of pickup games and sandlot ball producing major leaguers.

His most egregious abuse of the facts was, "No Americans made the Wimbledon quarterfinals."
This is just flat out wrong, as in 2006, Americans took second in mixed doubles and won Mens' doubles. Even if he wants to apply this categorization to the singles competitors only, one year of shortcoming in Couch's mind is enough to erase the fact that 11 of the last 16 Ladies' finalists have been Americans. On the Mens' side, 13 of the last 30 finalists have been Americans. The next closest country has FOUR of the last 30, and he just happens to be a player named Roger Federer. You might have heard of him. He's been the number one player in the world for the last two years.

He says "we hear less about American sports successes than about the fattening of America." But news reports contain reports on the growing childhood obesity epidemic and ways to lose weight seemingly constantly. Of course we're going to hear less about American success in international competitions that sometimes only come once every four years.

Remember why he wrote this article in the first place? Because of Tiger, Floyd and the other guy all winning on the same day. Tiger Woods's dad started teaching him how to play golf when he was three and won the Junior World Golf Championships when he was 9. Somehow intense instruction and worldwide competition didn't seem to keep him from succeeding on an international stage. Maybe he'd be winning every tournament if he only focused on having fun as a kid. Floyd Landis was named junior national champion at age 17. Somehow competition was able to work for him. As for tennis, while I can't find anything on this guy, past champions Venus and Serena Williams began winning tournaments when they were barely older than toddlers.

He also cites examples of the demise of fun by observing kids saying "we won we won" during the end-of-game handshake in a little league game as if this were something new. I know I can remember saying that in the handshake line for little league. It didn't happen often because my team always sucked (total coincidence when paired with my general sucking at baseball). While power-mad parents heckling kids and putting intense pressure on them are out there, and even on the rise perhaps, they remain the exception to the rule.

But of course if we all played hooky from school, walked through the fence with the loose board in it, threw down some old newspapers for bases and just played pickup, sandlot ball all day, Americans would dominate international competition. Not friggin likely Greg. So put your shoebox full of baseball cards away and stop reminiscing about a golden age that only existed in your own mind and on the Little Rascals.


World Coming to an End. I agree with Jaimie Trecker

Many people who have read my posts on YCS, (and judging by most people's interest levels, that is not many) know my hate-hate relationship with Fox Soccer Channel's Jaimie Trecker.

However, in the wake of yesterday's appellate ruling in the Italian match-fixing scandal, I agree with Trecker's assessment. This is the worst wrist-slapping I have ever seen.

First of all, I have to register my outrage at the fact that an appellate hearing was even held. Months of gathering evidence, witness testimony, phone call transcripts, receipts of bribes and payments were enough to send Juventus, Fiorentia, and Lazio down to Serie B, the triple-A of soccer in Italy, and to kick AC Milan out of the Champions League. Only a week of appeals was enough to redeem Milan (Back in Champions League), Fiorentia, and Lazio (sent back to Serie A), and drastically cut the points penalty Juventus had to start the 2006-07 campaign with.

On what grounds did these clubs appeal? New evidence? Improper trial practice? Nope. Too harsh penalties. For real. This is like a convicted felon appealing his case because he doesn't want to go to jail. All 4 teams involved in the biggest match-fixing scandal in history (Yes, even bigger than the 1919 World Series) could all be back in the top flight of their domestic league and lucrative European competition by this time next year. Juventus spokespeople have said that they will appeal again in civil courts. Again. No new evidence, just an unwillingness to admit that even after all available criminal courts of law found them guilty, that they fixed matches. The civil court proceedings will likely delay the start of the Serie A season, due to start in August, making fans of all teams 20 Serie A and all 22 Serie B teams suffer for the actions of a few selfish, cheating clubs who flagrantly broke the rules for their own financial and competitive advantage.

Why the leniencyfor the convicted cheaters? I'm totally befuddled. All I can come up with is Money, and then it makes perfect sense. Juve, Milan, and Lazio are three of the most well-known Italian clubs. Two seasons ago, tiny Genoa was ready to compete in Serie A for the first time in years until it was discovered that they fixed only ONE match, not two years' worth like Juve and one season's worth like Lazio and Fiorentia, or even a couple matches like Milan. Genoa were sent down to Serie C (double-A) and soccer obscurity. Where's their appeal?
As it presently stands, Inter Milan and AS Roma will be Italy's representatives in the Champions League Group stages. AC Milan ( pending the outcome of a UEFA emergency hearing on Thursday) and Chievo Verona will enter at the last qualifying stage.

This ruling pisses me off to no end, even though I don't follow Italian soccer as I do English and American soccer. It's because today I am sad for the game I love because it seems that rampant cheating is undeserving of punishment, at least in Italy. I can only hope this does not set precedent for future discoveries of wrongdoing.


This Is Why Steve Phillips Is Only Allowed To Ruin ESPN And Not A Major League Baseball Team

There is a link on ESPN.com right now that says "Phillips: Yankees should trade A-Rod." Yeah, exactly. Steve, you are one sandbaggin' son of a bitch. I'd actually like to think that Steve Phillips is trying to convince Brian Cashman to trade A-Rod so that Stienbrenner will fire Cashman and hire Steve Phillips. Nah, that's not true, Steve Phillips is just stupid.

Also, Deadspin is reporting that the Brewers are adding a new sausage to the sausage race, a Mexican "Chorizo." And for those of you who fear that the Bratwurst's lederhosen and the fact that the Italian is named Guido aren't stereotypical enough, the Chorizo will be adorned with a giant sombrero and a Mexican flag-themed outfit. Hell yes.


Kasey of "Kasey's Cubs Page"--How dare you claim yourself a Cubs fan!

>> Tuesday

"GO NEIFI!"? "GO NEIFI!"?!?!?!?! No real Cub fan would say that!!!

(Scroll down to sponsor.)

I declare today, July 25, 2006, World "No to Neifi" Day. And with that, I promise to never write about Neifi Perez again...at least until "No to Neifi" Day 2007. Hopefully he'll be retired by then.


Let it be known: Carlos Zambrano has a higher OPS than Neifi Perez

The "Great Zambino," as the espn.com headline tags him [heavy sigh] is up to .623 tonight after his fourth homer on the season.

Meanwhile, Neifi "I have incriminating photos of Dusty Baker" Perez continues to flounder at .620 and remains a washed-up/never-good heap of garbage.

Zambrano in 2005: .763
Perez in 2005: .681

But remember--Neifi is a great-glove-man-who-can-play-anywhere-on-the-infield.



See? Hawk Harrelson Isn't Always Biased Toward the White Sox

Not twenty minutes ago, Hawk said, "Last year, every break went the Sox' way"--clearly attributing their 2005 championship in part to good fortune and favorable missed calls.

So there.

Unfortunately, the remark sparked a two or three minute conversation, during which Hawk employed the cliche, "You make your own breaks," and Darrin Jackson insisted that "in the few years before last year, every break and every missed call went against the White Sox" (his emphasis).

Man, Darrin Jackson is probably the least articulate person--mind you, I said person, not just broadcaster--that I've EVER heard speak (emphasis mine). Seriously, I don't think I'd even invite him to a dinner party for fear that he'd embarass himself so.

Also, I have more to say on the "breaks" issue, but I'm gonna save that for a later post when I have some more time to kill. Damn, I wish I were unemployed (well, not really).


The Return Of Big Ben

Ben Sheets makes his return for the Crew tonight vs. the Pirates, a very welcome sign for anyone that's followed the struggles of all the pitchers who tried to replace Sheets and Ohka during their absences (i.e., Ben Hendrickson, Zach Jackson [who wasn't that bad], Jorge De La Rosa, Dana Eveland, etc).

So far through the first his velocity is down on his fastball (topping out at 94, mostly around 89-91) and his hook isn't quite there yet, both of which are to be expected. Encouraging, however, is the fact that he's not having trouble finding the strike zone.

Now for the bad news: Rickie Weeks is sitting out tonight because of tenderness in his wrist, so Chris Barnwell is making the start at 2nd Base. When added to the uncertainty of the Koskie post-concussion situation, the Brewers really can't afford to lose Weeks for any significant preiod of time, and hopefully he'll be back in the lineup within the week.

A bit of trade news with the Crew as well. Reports are that the Brewers have traded reliever Jorge De La Rosa to the Royals for utility infielder Tony Graffanino. Not really sure this is noteworthy, but it does provide an opportunity down the road for Hall and Cirillo to get some rest in the upcoming weeks, since both have been thrust into everyday duty.

According to ESPN, the Brewers are not shopping Carlos Lee around the trading deadline, which is potentially a mixed bag. Word is that Doug Melvin is working with Lee's agent Adam Katz to get a long-term deal done, but according to the Journal Sentinel, the two sides are still very far apart. If the Brewers elect not to trade Lee at the deadline, it is absolutely imperative for them to re-sign him, because otherwise they're left with nothing but a 30-100 sized hole in their lineup.



For some reason, NBC is going to call its football pregame show this year "Football Night In America." Does anyone else find that title really weird/lame/stupid/stolen from that game where the guys skate around with sticks and shit?

At least it's being hosted by Bob Costas. Sadly, he's joined by Chris Collinsworth and Shannon Sharpe. You win some, you lose some. Also, Jerome Bettis will be there, and I'm willing to bet that by Week 1 Jerome weighs 400 pounds.


Off to the Ball Game!

I'm headed down to the White Sox game tonight, to see Jose Contreras and the Sox take on Johann Santana and the Minnesota Twins, and I'll surely be back with some musings or rantings tomorrow.

In the meantime, a couple of observations with the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline approaching. For the record, the waiver/trade process can be a very confusing one, so here's a link to a site that explains how this works.

Over on Chicago's South Side, the White Sox have already been busy. This weekend, the Sox designated backup catcher Chris Widger for assignment, and replaced him with Sanday Alomar Jr, who was acquired from Los Angeles. (I suppose nowadays I need to specify the Dodgers, and not the poser team from Anaheim) These are familiar surroundings for the 40 year-old Alomar, who is about to begin his 3rd tour of duty with the Pale Hose, having last been here in 2004. The one year that Alomar missed out on brought a World Series trophy to the Sox, a career capstone that Alomar has yet to achieve, so you can expect him to play hard for a repeat. Age nonwithstanding (and Widger was no spring chicken at 35), this is an improvement for the Sox. Widger lacked in game preparations, and failed to make an impact in games he caught this season. In addition, Sox pitchers had an ERA over 5 in games Widger caught. While blame can't be placed solely on the catcher, this shakeup could serve to make some improvements to the Sox chemistry, as Widger did catch every six games or so.

In addition, the Sox acquired reliever Mike MacDougal from Kansas City, also for a prospect. MacDougal, when healthy, was strong in the Royals bullpen, and should serve as a good late inning spark for the Sox. This will help in shortening the length of the starting pitchers' appearances, something Ozzie Guillen has said is becoming necessary.

The rumors are running rampant about more deadline moves coming out of the South Side, and several national outlets reported yesterday that a deal was all but done to bring Alfonso Soriano to the Sox in exchange for starting-pitcher-in-waiting Brandon McCarthy. These rumors were dismissed, and the trade does not appear to be happening, saving me from a meltdown. McCarthy just might be the pitcher of the White Sox future. With Buehrle and Garland inconsistent this season, and Buehrle, who will be a free agent, already expressing a desire to pitch for his hometown Cardinals, it looks like the starting five we see today will not be set in stone for years to come. While Contreras is becoming nothing short of a franchise player, there is a good chance either Freddy Garcia and his inconsistencies, Javier Vasquez and his sixth inning terrors, or both could be gone as well this offseason. That said, McCarthy is waiting in the wings, and has shown tremendous potential to be the Sox ace of the future. Should the Sox deal him for Soriano, not only would they miss out on this, but they also would acquire a player with essentially no place to put him. What would likely happen is, Soriano would play in left field, and Scott Podsednik would move to center, relegating Brian Anderson to the bench. While Anderson's numbers have not been strong, he is beginning to show vast improvement at the plate, and his glove is certainly solid out in the field. While many are calling for his head, I am most definitely on the Brian Anderson bandwagon, and encouraging Sox fans to show patience, and to have a little faith that this young prospect will come around. Soriano, on the other hand, would pretty much be acquired to block another AL Central team, or possibly the Yankees, from acquiring him. While there is something to be said for making sure your rivals don't get stronger, the priority is bettering your own team, and spending your pitcher of the future on a block player is not a smart way to look at things. It seems, and I hope, that Ken Williams agrees with this philosophy, but it will take the next few days to know for sure. I can say this, though. I don't believe Williams and the Sox are done yet.

One final thought on the other side of town. There's another rumor going around Chicago that the crosstown Cubs are looking to acquire Alex Rodriguez from the Yankees, possibly for Aramis Ramirez and Jacque Jones. If the Cubs were smart, and willing to take on at least most of A-Rod's salary, they'd pull the trigger on this deal. Acquiring arguably the best player in baseball would be a good way for the Cubs to show their fans that they do care about the future of the team, and that while this year is essentially over and done for, they are buyers and not sellers, and are looking towards success in the near future. Rodriguez is getting a bad rap in New York, as Vinnie mentioned in a previous post, and he just might have the chance to shine in a new venue. While I'm more concerned with the dealings on the South Side, this one could be an interesting one to follow, and I will be doing just that...


Blazing God Damn Saddles

The funniest part of this story is obviously the headline. Or, it could be the video. Or, maybe the fact that the jockey's name is Paul O'Neill, leading me to believe that there was a former Yankees outfielder (or maybe a former Treasury Secretary) involved in this hilarious story.

Either way, this is gold, Jerry, gold.



>> Monday

From Jason Whitlock's stupid fucking column about the NFL:

1. The Baltimore Ravens are my pick to win the Super Bowl.

I love the acquisitions of veteran Trevor Pryce and rookie Haloti Ngata for Baltimore's defensive line. Price and Ngata should make Ray Lewis unstoppable again. Steve McNair solves Baltimore's QB dilemma. Plus, I recently read John Feinstein's book about the Ravens, "Next Man Up," and the book made me like and respect Brian Billick.

Trevor Pryce is 100 years old this September and fuck you, reading a book about a fucking team doesn't mean they're gonna win the God damn Super Bowl, Jason Shutthefuckuplock.

However, "Next Man Up" is a good book.


SI: Be Quiet And Leave It To The Professionals

One thing I hate is when sports magazines try and jump on the fantasy bandwagon and provide really, really poor fantasy avice. Case in point: the new issue of Sports Illustrated.

It's bad from the outset, starting from their choice of cover boy. They chose Reggie Bush (a rookie who, if you haven't heard, may not even decide to play this year) for the cover. For those of you who aren't big-time fantasy addicts, rookies, as a rule of thumb, are rarely impact fantasy players and are never, ever, ever worth promoting that much for fantasy football. There's a reason every other reputable fantasy football publication decided to put Larry Johnson (not Grandma-ma, the other one) on their covers.

Once you get inside, it gets even better. SI actually ranks Tom Brady above Peyton Manning in the QB rankings. Apparently SI's leagues have handsome points for their players. Otherwise, I can't imagine why anyone would say that. At all. Ever.

Also great is the worthless advice of SI football "expert" Peter King who writes an "I think I think" about how if you have a fantasy team you should just pick Peyton and a bunch of bum running backs and then you're guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Peter King, I know I think you suck.

Okay, this post is rambling and stupid, I'm done. I just wanted to get that off my chest. Oh, also, I can't wait for football season.


Congrats, YCS staff

Let's all take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for not making any childish, insensitive, or homophobic slurs during the entire length of the Gay Games, which finished in Chicago yesterday.

If I said I wasn't surprised, I would be lying through my teeth.


Read between the lines kids

Am I hearing this right? Are people actually convinced that T.O. has finally found a place where he will not cause trouble? Do they seriously think he’s going to simply go out on the field, play up to his potential in every game, and never complain about anything?

For some reason, the majority of the sports world is buying this. Well, in the fashion of that lame game on Around the Horn, I’m selling.

Remember, the Cowboys play in the toughest division in the NFC, which means they will lose some games. And we all know what happens when T.O.’s teams lose games. It sure as hell isn’t HIS fault.

The problem is that a lot of fans have not yet mastered the T.O. language. They still think when he says, “I’m happy in Dallas, and everything is going to be just fine” he actually means he’s happy in Dallas and everything will be just fine. Well, allow me to offer some translation for some of his recent comments. Then maybe everyone can see that drama in Dallas is as foreseeable as another Kurt Warner injury.

(On his new book) “I didn't want to bring any distractions into training camp, especially with a lot of new guys. I know what happened last year with a lot of things swirling around and things that happened in the past. My thing was to get it out there and get it over with and then move forward and concentrate on football.”

Translation: I can only hold so many controversies on my plate at once. With all these young fuckers and people I don’t know, I’m bound to cause some trouble before the regular season starts, and I’ve got to make sure I’ve got room for that.

(More on his book) “That was one of the main reasons I put the book out -- to basically give the fans in Philly, and really from afar, my explanation and my insight on really what happened. I just wanted to put something out there that's honest. It's not secondhand information. There is a number of people within the organization that can back me.”

Translation: Man, did I give Philly the finger or what? Just remember, I’m T.O. bitch! You want to trash me, I can put out a book saying you’re wrong. Go ahead, try saying something about me, I can have a room full of people ready in 30 minutes that will say you have sex with baby kittens.

“I think for so long, I was vulnerable. I'm a sensitive person; I'm an emotional person. I try to go out and be who I am, and I feel like it shows through the book.”

Translation: Assholes have feelings too, and I’m ready to blow at any minute if mine are hurt.

(On his two games against the Eagles this season) “I'm looking forward to it. I knew coming here, we played them twice a year. They knew that. I knew that. They just have to deal with it. I'm ready.”

Translation: You all think you’ve seen T.O. at his worst? Just wait. Just wait. Run me out of town…

(On his first choice for relocation) “(Atlanta) knew that I was on the market, but for whatever reason, they didn't pull the trigger…Definitely, I did look at Atlanta as a place to play, but unfortunately that didn't happen.”

Translation: I don’t get why the hell anyone wouldn’t want me…Man, I don’t want to be in Dallas.

“D. Hall is a great cornerback, who's very competitive. Take nothing from him, but we'll see each other this year.”

Translation: You all got your panties up in a bundle because he kept me out of the end zone last year. Well this year, I’m going to score on him and then I might piss in his Gatorade cup, just for good measure.

(On playing with Drew Bledsoe) “He had Keyshawn, and our games and our speed is a little bit different. There is an adjustment that he has to make there. That will be the purpose of training camp and throughout the course of the season. We can work on things and get better as a tandem.”

Translation: He better realize that he ain’t playing with that monkey ass-clown no more. I don’t need to write a book begging for the damn ball, because I’m the best damn receiver in the game. If you don’t figure out how to get me fifteen touches a game, you’re a goddamn idiot, and I’ll let you know that you’re a goddamn idiot.

(On playing under Bill Parcells) “As far as our personalities clashing, I don't really see that happening”

Translation: That fat ass will stay out of T.O.’s way and let T.O. play football the way T.O. wants to play football…T.O.

“I've had many conversations to date with Bill and Jerry Jones. I think right now we are just going to let the season play out.”

Translation: I’m a tumor, I’m a tumor, I’m a tumor…I’m a tumor, I’m a tumor, I’m a tumor, hey, hey…I’m a tumor.


Time for Brewers to say "El Ca-bye!-o"

>> Sunday

By Hacky von Suck
Special to Yellow Chair Sports

If the Brewers don't trade away Carlos Lee before next Monday, they are absolutely, enequivocally, probably likely making a decent-sized mistake. I think.

At least as far as I see it, the rest of this season is meaningless, and the Brewers are letting Lee walk anyway after the season. And for those that think the Brewers' season is still meaningful, let me put it this way: Come this time next year, will the Brewers be in a better or worse position than they are now?

Sure, anytime a team is in contention, they would love nothing more than to win their race. But this NL Wild Card race is so horrendously bad that it almost doesn't seem worth winning. It's certainly not worth hanging onto a departing star or trading young talent for Greg Maddux. As much as it hurts to admit, Greg Maddux is washed-up. He's old. He's easy to hit. Not very good. Below average. Sometimes lousy. Believe me; I would be the last person still denying this if I could. He might be of marginal help to a contending team, but the Brewers would be insane to acquire him.

Yeah, yeah, I know; any team can win if they just get into the playoffs, especially in Major League Baseball. But realistically, should the Crew win the Wild Card, they would be the worst team among the eight playoff teams--meaning the worst among themselves and their three potential opponents. I wouldn't like those odds a whole lot.

It's easy to say, "Look what they've done this whole time without Ben Sheets and Tomo Okha," and believe that their best baseball will come in August and September. But Sheets almost undoubtedly won't be his studly self again until next season, given how much time he's missed. Why burden him with the strain of a playoff race when any delusions of 2004 Ben Sheets will likely prove to be in vain?

The Brewers' situation is incredibly fortunate and rare. They have two second-year guys with ridiculous potential who are already among the best players on their roster and for whom free agency remains distant. Add to that guys like Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy, and Gabe Gross (OPSing only thirty points below Lee--granted, in 40% of the ABs, but still), as well as the talented, mostly young pitching staff.

Why not stockpile more young talent? Even if that means a logjam at a few postions or a few guys that don't pan out, so what? Either way, next year they won't have Lee, without whom I believe the Brewers will still improve from this year and contend in 2007. And if they do, they'll still have plenty of young talent in the minors should they need to make deals then.

I simply see no reason for the Brewers to put any more stock into this season. I don't care if they close all five games in the Wild Card race by next Monday. Their best days are clearly ahead of them, and they could be even brighter should Doug Melvin think practically.

The Brewers have made difficult moves involving fan-favorites (Richie Sexson, Lyle Overbay, Jeromy Burnitz) to get where they are now, and in the process, they have increased fan interest and attendance, in addition to their talent level. If Melvin trades Lee and/or Bill Hall to make the team better long-term rather than getting caught-up in that carpe diem, "win now" trap, the fans will understand. Remember--the Brewers have the ultimate gate draw: optomism. That, and not Carlos Lee, is what has excited Brewer fans this whole season.

Who knows; maybe Sheets gets hurt again next year; maybe Hardy and Hart never fulfill their promise; maybe Chris Capuano decides to join a mission in Ghana. But just because things can destroy future hopes doesn't mean present ones should be chased at all cost. They may seem nearer or more attainable, but once they slip away, you're left with nothing.

So screw carpe diem. It's a terrible mantra for running a baseball franchise--unless years of crap for one year of thrills appeals to you. Cubs fans know this well. Braves and A's fans do too, but for the opposite reason.

So please, Doug Melvin--if the offers are there, deal Carlos Lee; deal Bill Hall; deal anyone that doesn't fit into a long-term plan. Keep the farm system strong; make it stronger. The major league talent is already strong, and free agency is still far off. Don't fuck it up.

And who knows; maybe the El Caballo-less Crew will pull off a Wild Card miracle anyway--Carlos Lee and Greg Maddux be damned.



I realize that by laughing at the lousy writing of a retired NASCAR driver, I've become an unabashed elitist prick with nothing better to do than waste my time ridiculing less intelligent people. But come on; this is too damned funny. The title, the title graphic, the awkward sentences, the title, the meandering through unrelated subjects, the self-contradictions, the title--it's all too precious.

"You can check out all things Rusty at his constantly updated and upgraded Web site at rustywallace.com."


(Man, I need to get a weekend job or take up pottery or something before I completely lose it.)


I Used to Respect New York Sports Fans...

...But they've really done it this time.

I swear to God--if Yankees fans have gotten to ARod so much that his game is permanently affected, I may be as big a Yankee-hater as there is out there. I'm not kidding.

If Yankees fans have done to the greatest all-around talent we may ever see what they did to Chuck Knoblauch, I will damn them forever. It's not even funny.

Thanks to their fabricated conceptions of "clutch play," overwhelming Jeter love, and total disregard for the insignificance of strikeouts, they may be undermining the abilities of the best player they may ever see. It's ridiculous.

I really, really wish ARod could leave the Yankees for some team that would be undyingly grateful to have him, but sadly that contract might be the worst thing that ever happened to him. No one but the Yankees could ever afford him, and he's overpaid no matter what.

Fuck you Yankee fans, you irrational, spoiled fucking ingrates. ARod has done nothing to deserve this.

In the paraphrased words of Lee Elia, I hope ARod gets fuckin' hotter than shit, just to stuff it up them 40,000 fuckin' people that boo him every fuckin' night, because if they're the real Yankee fuckin' fans, they can kiss my fuckin' ass right downtown and print it!

(Now that I got that off my chest, it's off to church.)


Introduction and a First Rant

>> Saturday

First off, let me take a moment to introduce myself. I'm Danny, the newest member of YCS. Somehow, Matt felt that there weren't enough amateur hacks writing for this fine blog, and that it was high time to add one more amateur hack to the fray. So, in a moment of mental incapacitation, I decided to accept and publicly associate myself with the rest of the clowns here at YCS.

Born and raised in New York City, I bleed Jets green, Rangers blue, and Knicks frustration. New York baseball somehow managed to bypass me, and I found myself a fan of the Chicago White Sox, with a soft spot in my heart for the L.A. Dodgers as well. I have been in Milwaukee for the better part of the past 8 years, so I do feel a local connection to the Bucks and Brewers, and find myself rooting for them as well. Right now, I am hoping to find a job in the sports industry here, and I may have done just that in the marketing department of the local AHL hockey team, the Admirals.

Being a Marquette alum, Marquette WARRIORS basketball is my life and obsession, And in the collegiate game, I also go for UCLA basketball and football, and Notre Dame and Rutgers football. Seeing as I'm dating a Notre Dame alum, I'm sure there will be plety of rantings and musings coming from me about their much-anticipated season.

I suppose that is more than any of our twelve readers (most of whom are posters here as well) would care to know about me, so on to the good stuff. I found myself sitting here the past couple of days, wondering what to make my first post on, and the White Sox went ahead and answered the question for me.

I'm still on a high from last season. August/September swoon nonwithstanding, the Sox put together a dream year that culminated in bringing home some hardware. Aside from a shaky first week, 2006 looked very promising for a repeat. Now, the doubts are beginning to form, and I think that it's safe to say that I am officially on the ledge.

Losing 6 out of 7 after the All-Star Break, and falliing 6 1/2 games back, things are becoming a little precarious. I'm finally convinced that this Tigers team is the real deal, and not an April/May fluke. That said, the Sox need to right this ship fast, and start stringing together some wins. There is a competitive AL East charging up right behind the White Sox, and the Yankees are only 2 and a half games back from the Wild Card spot that the Sox had seemingly locked up as their fallback. In addition, the Twins have finally learned how to win as well, and as of this morning, are only 3 games back from the Sox in the AL Central standings.

Hawk Harrelson (who I still maintain is one of the best broadcasters in the game- people, a local broadcaster is SUPPOSED to be a homer!) made an excellent point during the finale of the Sox-Tigers series (Incidentally, this point was made before the Sox took the gas, and Hawk stopped talking). Last year's White Sox never really beat themselves. Sure they were outplayed sometimes, but no team is going to go 162-0. Everything seemed to be working in perfect order. When one bat went cold, another one in the lineup was right there to pick up the slack. All the pitchers had their best stuff most games, and when they didn't, there was usually enough run support to keep the team competitive.

This year, it is starting to seem like all the Sox are doing is beating themselves. The last 2 against Detroit served as a perfect example of this. Wednesday night, the first 4 hitters in the order failed to reach base, and all the team could muster was 4 hits, and 2 runs, both on solo home runs. This seemed like it might be enough, until Javier Vasquez' usual implosion hit in the 6th inning. One grand slam later, and the Sox are down and out. Thursday was no different, as the Sox failed to bring their A-game. A broken up double play with 1 out led to Detroit scoring the go-ahead run on the next at bat, and here we are again. It's been downright uninspiring, and yes, sadly, I think it is time to climb out onto that ledge. I will concede that there is plenty of season left, and here's hoping that this team can put together some of the magic from '05, and reel me back in off the ledge.

Whew! Soapbox off.......


Link for the Cubs fans

>> Friday

A well-written (and I would say rather accurate) analysis of how the Cubs make roster decisions...Features jabs at both Neifi Perez and Corey Patterson.

(Thanks to my brother for the link.)


As Opposed to Every Other Night?

White Sox fans to sport mullets

(Someone had to make that obvious joke.)


Local Jew To Enjoy Sports As Spectator Only


Please welcome Danny Manson to the staff at YCS. We're sure he'll be able to offer plenty of sports insight, like what players to bench on your Fantasy Baseball roster because they won't be able to play on Yom Kippur.



41 days and counting...

Well it's that time of year again. The Brewers are quickly driving themselves out of playoff contention, and I'm developing a serious itch for football.

The first real football game is 41 days away (the first Div. I-A college football game). Like every other year, that's too far away. Luckily for football enthusiasts like myself, there are other events that are almost football.

The most popular almost-football event is the NFL preseason, which begins Aug. 6, in 16 days. But for me and 72,000+ Packer fans, that is just not soon enough. So on Aug. 5 we're going to Lambeau Field for the annual Family Night Scrimmage. That's right, the Packers sell out a scrimmage - 72,000 people looking for something, anything, that resembles a football game.

And while football has not returned to us yet, you know we're getting close with the return of Jason Whitlock, the football expert I respect most, who will be recognized by all YCS members as a genius.

Of course, there's always offseason news. For example, former Wisconsin Badger Booker Stanley is looking to spend the rest of his life in prison. Couple that with Brent Moss' continued coke problems and all of a sudden Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne's "underachieving" career looks pretty good in comparision to other former Badger backs.

Well, I guess all we can do for now is wait, and bust out the old Madden games.

Coming soon, your YCS NFL predictions...


This Ted Ginn Kid Can Apparently Play A Little Football

>> Thursday

This video from YouTube is probably one of the most ridiculous highlight videos I've ever seen.

Watch it, trust me.


Ladies And Gentlemen, The 2006 YCSPYs!

>> Wednesday

Remember Sunday night, watching the ESPYs, thinking "man, these are gay. Some asshole bloggers should get off their do-nothing duffs and do an hilarious satire of this stupid awards show."

You're in luck, friend. We are in fact those bloggers, and this is in fact that hilarity. Roll out the red carpet, baby!

Larry Bowa Award for Most Inept Coach
Quin Snyder, Mizzou Men's Basketball
Dusty Baker, Chicago Cubs
Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox
Mike Tice, Minnesota Vikings

And the YCSPY goes to...Quin Snyder, Missouri Men's basketball. I'd make a hilarious quip here but I don't follow college basketball and I voted for Mike Tice.

Steve Phillips Award for Worst General Manager
Isiah Thomas, New York Knicks
Matt Millen, Detroit Lions
Jerry Angelo, Chicago Bears
Steve Phillips, ESPN

And the YCSPY goes to...Isiah Thomas, soon-to-be-former New York Knicks GM. Come on, did you really expect anyone else to win this one?

Lawrence Phillips Award for Most Mischevious Chemically Altered Athlete of the Year
Santonio Holmes, Ohio State Buckeyes/Pittsburgh Steelers
Rick Sutcliffe, ESPN
Kyle Orton, Chicago Bears
Bode Miller, USA Skiing
The Cincinnati Bengals Offseason

And the YCSPY goes to...Kyle "Neck Beard" Orton, Chicago Bears. This year Kyle only has to sober up for practice since he's behind both Rex Grossman and Brian Griese on the depth chart. You know what that means, mothers in the Chicagoland area - lock up your daughters and hide the Jack.

1942 New York Mets Award for Worst Team of the Year
Kansas City Royals
New York Knicks
Houston Texans
ESPN Baseball Tonight Hosts (Steve Phillips, Joe Morgan, Jon Kruk, Harold Reynolds, et al)
Yellow Chair Sports Writing Staff

And the YCSPY goes to...The Kansas City Royals. Play along at home and make up your own joke here. I'm not some damn clown here to crack jokes and amuse you. And I'm certainly not a Killer Clown From Outer Space.

Ken Harrelson Award for Truly Awful Work in the Field of Broadcasting
FOX Saturday Baseball: Joe Buck & Tim McCarver
FOX NFL Football: Joe Buck, Chris Collinsworth, Troy Aikman
ESPN Sunday Night Baseball: Joe Morgan & an undeserving John Miller
ESPN Sunday Night Football: Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul McGuire
ESPN College Pasketball: Mike Patrick et al
WGN: Len Kasper & Bob Brenly

And the YCSPY goes to...It's a tie! This year, we're proud to recognize the terrible work of FOX's Joe Buck & Tim McCarver and ESPN's Joe Morgan. John Miller, we hope that next year your agent will have found you a better broadcast partner. Like, seriously, anyone.

The Magic Hour Award for Worst Studio Show
Baseball Tonight
FOX NFL Sunday
NFL Live (specifically Sean Salisbury and Merrill Hodge)
The Fat Guy and the Broad on FOX before baseball games

And the YCSPY goes to...The Fat Guy and the Broad from FOX. Congratulations, whoever the hell you two are. Seriously, I think these people are both close friends of Rupert Murdoch, because they don't offer anything to anyone as far as I can tell.

Charles Barkley Award for Most Annoying Athlete
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia Eagles/Dallas Cowboys
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants
Bode Miller, USA Skiing

And the YCSPY goes to...Terrell Owens/TO. Congratulations on the new book, TO. You've got to admit, there's nothing more fun than watching an asshole millionare do pushups in his driveway in front of about 50 reporters with nothing else to do.

I Don't Know Who To Name This After Award for Most Disappointing Team
Michigan State Men's Basketball
Indianapolis Colts
San Antonio Spurs
Yellow Chair Sports Writing Staff
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Pistons

And the YCSPY goes to...The Indianapolis Colts. Like an abusive husband, year after year they get your hopes up, act nice for the entirity of the regular season and then BAM, they punch you in your back-talking, dinner-burning face, Brett Myers style. And what do you do? Cry a little, call the Colts an asshole and then end up refusing to press charges. Stop crying about it and just divorce the Colts immediately, it's not like they'll get custody of the kids. Get out now, girlfriend.

Scott Norwood Award for Biggest Playoff Meltdown
The Deadbeat Dad Indianapolis Colts
Brad Lidge
Detroit Pistons
2006 Detroit Tigers (come on, you know it's gonna happen)

And the YCSPY goes to...Another Tie! Clearly we don't have enough voters. So shut up, and we'll give it to both Brad Lidge and The Colts. Lidge's meltdown has been much more longlasting, though, while it's pretty much just par for the course with the Colts.

Bob Ryan Award for Public Relations
Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox
Marco Materazzi, Italian Soccer
Kenny Rogers, Kenny Rogers Roasters

And the YCSPY goes to...The Oz Man. This was the closest thing to a landslide that we had, with even Zuch voting for crazy ass Ozzie Guillen. However, Sever's soccer lobbyists must have gotten to Vinnie, because he voted for Materazzi. What a [expletive] fag.

Rocky Marciano Award for Greatest White Hype
Adam Morrison
Drinkin' J.J. Reddick
Steve Nash
Dirk Nowitzki

From Coming to America: "Oh, there they go. There they go. Every time I start talkin' 'bout boxing, a white man got to pull Rocky Marciano out their ass. That's their one, that's their one. Rocky Marciano! Rocky Marciano!"

And the YCSPY goes to...Adam Morrison. Also, I'd like to congratulate all the YCS staff members that made the same lame "Morrison wins by a stashe" joke when they sent in their ballots for being totally lame.

Olympics Award for Most Feigned Interest in a Sports Story
Winter Olympics
Barbaro's Health Saga
Return of the NHL
The World Cup following USA being knocked out (even before that, let's be honest)

And the YCSPY goes to...Barbaro's Health Saga. Matt Zuchowski put it best when he said, "unless you're a horny mare or the Elmer's Glue Factory, you honestly don't give a shit about that horse." Amen.

The We're All Childish Misogynists Award for Best Female Athlete
That chick who drives the racecar
That Asian golfer girl
That smokin' hot Russian tennis player (no, not Kournikova but that new one)
That girl who fell off her skateboard or snowboard or whatever dey call those things (either way, she's a fox)

And the YCSPY goes to...That smokin' hot Russian tennis player.

From The Simpsons:
[Guy ogling Marge after she got breast implants]: "Hey lady, I like the way your body looks!"

Duke Men's Basketball Award for Team Most Over-Hyped by the Media
US World Cup Team
Indianapolis Colts Playoff Chances
Detroit Pistons

And the YCSPY goes to...The US World Cup Team. Sever will be pleased, we talked about soccer.

Bode Miller Award for Most Over-Hyped Athlete
Danica Patrick
Bode Miller
Michelle Wie
Ozzie Guillen
Mario Williams

And the YCSPY goes to...Danica Patrick. However, she's still foxy, and you can't over-hype foxiness.

Chad Moeller Hitting for the Cycle in 2004 Award for Biggest Fluke of the Year
George Mason's Final Four Run
Ozzie Guillen
Gary Payton Not Being a Dick for the Entire Season
Jeff Fancouer's Rookie Season
Chad Moeller's Cycle In 2004

And the YCSPY goes to...George Mason Men's Basketball. Also, I hate them forever for making me have to watch a bunch of shit in March about the real George Mason.

Ty Cobb Lifetime Achievement Award for Being an Unconscionable Asshole in Sport
Barry Bonds
Terrell Owens
Marco Materazzi
Ozzie Guillen

And the YCSPY goes to...Terrell Owens. Stand and applaud, Jeff Garcia, Steve Mariucci, Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid and Bill Parcells and anyone who's ever met, played with, coached or seen this guy on TV.

Mike Tyson Award for Classiest Move by an Athlete
Delmon Young throwing a bat at an umpire
Brett Myers punching his wife in the face
Wayne Rooney stamping on some guy's groin during a game
Kenny Rogers' cameraman shenannigans

Everything Marcus Vick has done in the past calendar year

And the YCSPY goest to...Delmon Young. You've got to admit, that was one of the coolest/most hilarious things you've ever seen.

Special Awards

Award for Most Fraudulent Athlete: Jason Giambi. Remember when he was terrible last year after he had to get off steroids? That's why they make HGH, kids. God bless untestable substances!

Roy Munson Award for Screwing Up Your Entire Life in an Incredibly Brief Amount of Time: Marcus Vick. Gunslinging quarterback was "on a gravy train with biscuit wheels," and threw it all away just for the chance to step on Elvis Dumervil.

Congratulations to the winners! We'll see you next year, when we'll be hosted by Billy Crystal. Maybe Lance Armstrong will make some "left nut" jokes too, if you're lucky.

To those who didn't win: well, in the words of Ozzie, "play better next year." That means you, Travis Hafner.

Good Night!


I Will Never Tire Of This

Thanks to Deadspin for finding the video clip of Kellen Winslow Jr. in college proclaiming himself a "fuckin' soldier!"

I think Kellen Winslow Jr. is totally insane.

My favorite quote from Winslow is when he's asked if he knew that the player was hurt and he responds, "Yeah, I don't give a hell!" What?


Area Slob Outscored By Vince Young On Wonderlic

Just thought I'd let everyone know that for this ridiculous job I'm applying for, I have to take the Wonderlic next Thursday. Then, I assume I'll be going through the bench press, shuttle run and the rest of the scouting combine drills for this damn company.

I ain't running the 40 either. If LenDale didn't run, I ain't runnin. Maybe I'll run it at Marquette's pro day.


Stop! Grammar Time...

>> Tuesday


WARNING: This is our most boring post ever.

Seeing as we grew so impassioned over grammar debates regarding Pat's previous post, I thought a quick post on grammar rules might be appropriate.

"But how is a post on grammar rules appropriate for a sports blog?" you ask.

Easily. For one, I figure that if ESPN can show spelling bees and poker, we can talk grammar. Hell, I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather watch people debate grammar on TV Around the Horn-style than watch the World Series of Poker--or Around the Horn itself (but not the National Spelling Bee; that kicks ass).

But more importantly, we should discuss these topics on YCS for the simple reason that we often criticize the grammar--and writing on the whole--of nationally published authors. As such, we should be mindful of word-usage in our own writing.

For now, I will only address the few topics brought up in the last post.

Who/Whom: I think we all know the basic rule--"who" takes the place of a subject noun, and "whom" takes the place of an object noun. But Nate makes a good point about the importance of this rule: we rarely use "whom" in conversation, so who cares? Why not just use "who" all the time?

As the one person on this blog who has criticized a sportswriter for improper "who" use, I will admit I mostly agree with Nate's sentiment. (I would have never pointed out the transgression had I not been so annoyed with the author and his lame best buys-worst buys chart.)

However, if one is to misuse "who" or "whom," most anyone would agree to err on the side of "who." Simply, a misuse of "whom" stands out more, as it is the less frequently used word. To be sure, proper uses of "whom" often sound awkward to a listener or reader for this reason (e.g. "Whom do you like better--Woody Paige or Skip Bayless?"). Although "whom" may be grammatically correct, "who" has become the choice of the unwashed commoners, and our standards for this rule have adjusted accordingly.

How-EV-ah [in Stephen A. Smith voice]...I would still argue that proper "whom" usage immediately following a preposition should be observed (e.g. "Dave Winfield entered the Hall of Fame as a member of the Padres, the team with whom Winfield began his career.") As this sentence construction is virtually never used in conversation, it carries a more formal and deliberate tone. That being the case, no vernacular-based argument can rightly justify an improper "who," and the misuse only comes across as sloppy disobedience of the rule.

Preposition at the end of a sentence: Again, I agree that the merits of this rule are overvalued. In many cases, ending the sentence with a preposition is fully necessary in order to express a common phrase in the most efficient way possible (e.g. "The NHL was locked out. Or was it on strike? I don't really care about hockey.")

However, [with Stephen A. Smith attitude] unnecessary abuses of this rule should always be avoided, particularly when we tack a preposition that adds no meaning onto the end of a sentence (e.g. "I can't imagine where Zidane's mind was at.")

The relevant issue with this rule is not so much the ending of a sentence with a preposition as it is the use of a preposition without an object. If the object sounds more natural (a judgment call) before the preposition, write it that way.

In short, feel free to say, "Who did you go to the Lansing Lugnuts game with?" but never, "I only went to the Cubs game to see Greg Maddux, a man for who I would do anything...around."

If you do, I'll slap your hand with a ruler and curse you in the name of "La Madonna." Be warned.

Split infinitives and dangling/misplaced participles: Technically, these are both "style" issues rather than grammar rules, but on some level, both are the same anyway. (So nuts to the labels.)

Speaking strictly from experience, the latter "rule" is a total judgment call. See how I did that? Obviously, "speaking [...] experience" refers to "I" or "me," even though neither word appears in the sentence. Yes, the phrase is dangling, but any reader would understand the meaning of the sentence just as easily as if I had incorporated myself as a subject.

The so-called "misplaced" participle is merely a matter of proximity and common sense. For example, suppose I write, "Michael Barrett quickly avenged the collision, rightfully punching A.J. Pyrzynski in his ugly, goofy-assed, Polish face." In this case, any reader would understand that "punching [...] face" refers to "Michael Barrett" and not "collision," so the usage is perfectly fine. Now, suppose I write, "Noticing a rat at the feet of broadcast partner Tim McCarver, Joe Buck poured a pot of boiling tea on the broadcast booth floor, thankfully scalding the worthless vermin." As we can see, this situation is far more ambiguous and should be avoided.

In regard to split infinitives, I have never, ever understood the argument against their use. Does one even exist? Besides "don't do it," I have never actually heard a rationale for this rule. In fact, I often feel that the split infinitive sounds far better than an in-tact infinitive (or whatever the opposite is called). Observe:

"For one fully to understand Scoop Jackson's writing, he must possess powerful mind-reading skills."
"For one to fully understand Scoop Jackson's writing, he must possess powerful mind-reading skills."
"For one to understand fully Scoop Jackson's writing, he must possess powerful mind-reading skills."
"For one to understand Scoop Jackson's writing fully, he must possess powerful mind-reading skills."

The first and third examples sound hideous, and the fourth example sounds choppy. Also note that this sentence contains another "misplaced" modifier example but should never be written anyway. "To" could replace "For one," and "one" could replace "he."

But I will reserve that topic for my next writing mechanics post, "Resume! Grammar Time."

(P.S.: Who else is with me on the grammar debate show thing? I think I'm gonna pitch it to PBS tomorrow.)


Someone Please Stick a Toothpick in Phil Roger's!!!

Anyone whom has been reading this blog knows and understands my feelings about the Tribune Company getting their act together and canning the sitting duck manager Rev. Johnnie B. Or more appropriately, maybe Dusty "toothpick" Baker could wrap his lips around a revolver, but we won't go there. But, instead of firing Dusty, Phil Roger's believes the Cubs should extend his contract another 2 years. http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/cs-060717rogers,1,5414445.column?coll=cs-home-headlines

Now, I am open to all opinions, but when the opinion becomes ridiculously stupid, I feel it is my duty and obligation to call that person out. Roger's states that "Baker offers you one thing you're not going to get anywhere else—stability." Um, Phil do you realize that by extending Johnnie B's. contract, you are only prolonging the inevitable manager search. Everyone ackowledge's that Dusty does not want to remain manager of the Loveable Loser's for much longer. By extending the man's contract all you are doing is putting more grey hairs on a man whom already survived the big C. Everyone wants him out of the North Side including Johnnie B. himself, let him go.

Roger's also states that there are no other viable alternatives to Dusty other than Girardi, whom the Marlins would let go if the Cubs were willing to trade Prior or Zambrano, and Pinella whom obviously is not a long-haul guy to go with. Well, the Cubs wouldn't be in this situation if they listened to me a year ago and hired Grady Little, but thats a moot point now. I agree that the Cubs would need to give up a lot to extract Girardi from that hole in Miami and that Pinella would only solve the problems briefly, but the Cubs need to cleanse the team of this vile and destructive force that is Baker. If I were the Cubs, I would throw everything at the Marlins except Lee, Z, and Barrett and get Girardi in here. He understands the pressure that the North Sider's are putting on the Cubs and I believe he would thrive in it. Giradi is the type of guy who has no problems chewing someone out and kicking someone in the ass (Aramis Ramirez anyone?) and he is a man who could tutor young players into becoming fantastic assets to a club that needs them. Girardi could also help Barrett develop his defensive skills behind the plate.

Now, assuming that the Cubs fail to get Girardi out of Florida (we should expect this right?) and extend Dusty, Roger's has a couple ideas in which could guarantee success for the North Siders.

1.) He wants to Cubs to add a big bat for left field - Carlos Lee, Cliff Floyd, Alfonso Soriano and platoon Murton in right field with whomever. Please, lets not forget that Murton is in his first full year in the Show and he is currently hitting .277 and his obp is .344. Yes his SLG. is only .375 but come on...this is the only man in your lineup who can draw a walk. These are not bad numbers for a first year guy.
2.) He wants to get Prior healthy first. Now, this point should just force us to find this jack ass and beat him to a bloody pulp. ROGER'S, WHY THE HELL ARE YOU EXPECTING PRIOR TO BE HEALTHY YOU FUCKING IDIOT??? He then advocates the Cubs to sign a top notch starter, but not necessarily Barry Zito. Um Phil, can you please tell me who the "top notch" starters are on the free agent list?
3.) And finally the kicker....trade Michael Barrett and committ to Henry Blanco. WHAT!?!?!?! He thinks that because Barrett doesn't play defense like Blanco, despite hitting about 60 points higher, that Blanco should be the full time guy. If this doesn't make you want to scream, then you should be screened for some debilitating disease.

After these wonderful arguments by the Tribune's top sports man, I have another idea. Is it possible to get Neifi Perez, Dusty "Trusty" Baker, and Phil Roger's all together for a public stoning???

My point still stands....fire Dusty, he has worn out his welcome in the friendly confines and do whatever it takes to get Girardi in here.

Stay Classy


Did a child draw this?

This picture accompanied the official, team-issued story of former US National Team coach Bruce Arena taking the head coaching position for the New York Red Bulls.

First of all, this caricature looks nothing like Bruce Arena.

Secondly, am I the only person that thinks this picture looks like something a child would draw? With everything labeled so that people know what it is? ("Dog," "House," "Daddy," etc.)

Honestly, eight years as National team coach, two World Cups, and they couldn't find a friggin file photo?


How does this work?

>> Monday

Read the lead for this story, and please explain to me how a team can ride the arm of a closer to a winning streak.


A Few Thoughts...

While watching the Brewers/Giants game on FSN:

1. Felipe Alou looks like he has absolutely no idea where he is, what's going on or who the people around him are. He is nothing more than a confused old man.

2. Speaking of confused old men, have you looked recently at the Giants roster? The "young guy" of the team is friggin' Randy Winn. Omar Vizquel, by the way, has continued to elude the icy grasp of Death and still plays short for the Giants. Man, the Giants are old.

3. If I see another camera shot of a bunch of guys in the dugout high-fiving and congratulating a hitter after grounding out to second with a man on second base and less than two outs, I'm gonna lose it. Cut the touchy-feeley small ball bullshit and give me a God damn base hit. It reminds me of a story about David Ortiz's first spring training game with the Red Sox. He was up with nobody out and a guy on second and tried to hit the ball to the right side to move the runner over, per the instructions he'd always gotten in Minnesota. After he did it, he came back to the dugout and Grady Little looked at him and said, "Hey, next time, just bring him in."

4. Zach Jackson's delivery is way too noisy for him to have consistent success in the majors. I guarantee that at the beginning of next year, you'll hear reports of Mike Maddox making significant changes to his mechanics. He's got talent, but as examples like Dontrelle Willis (his first-second years) illustrate, violent deliveries that maintain the gimmick advantage of deception really hinder a pitcher's ability to have consistent command of the strike zone. I think it's a key reason that Jackson has struggled with walks in his last couple of outings.

5. This has nothing to do with baseball, but if you follow this link, you'll see a video of Bush saying "shit" during a conversation with Tony Blair.

6. Congratulations to Mariano Rivera getting his 400th save. However, I'm gonna leave it to Vinnie to discuss the real significance of this milestone. Yeah, 400 saves are impressive, but in general I agree with the V-man that the save is a really, really overrated statistic. I mean come on, it made Derrick "Mr. 4.70 ERA" Turnbow an All Star. Come the fuck on.

7. Situation: Nobody out, top of the 6th inning against Jason Schmidt. Carlos Lee leads off the inning with a double, Prince Fielder follows with a single and Gabe Gross follows with an RBI double to right, scoring Lee and moving Fielder to third. 1 run in, nobody out, runners at second and third. Billy Hall follows Gross with a three-run homer to left field, scoring Fielder and Gross. Surprisingly, my first thoughts were not: "Oh no, Billy Hall just killed the rally!" Eat me, old-schoolers.


T-Walk once again proves he is a man among boys

After committing two errors in yesterdays 11 run blow out, Todd Walker proved how much of a man he is by shouldering the blame: http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-csep17.html

Hopefully T-Walk will be traded to a true contender and soon!!!


ESPN Fucks Up...Again

From ESPN's weekly Baseball Power Rankings:

"One year after posting their first winning season in years, the Brewers have a real shot at the Central division title."

The Brewers' record last year, by the way, was 81-81. Winning record, my ass.


Estimated Run Time: 3 Minutes, 30 Seconds

>> Sunday



Have you heard?

...Ben Wallace has an afro!

If an article mentions Wallace's hair within the first two paragraphs (like this one or Rick Morrissey's column Friday morning), save yourself the time, and do not read it.

Because if the author mentions the afro within the first two paragraphs, he will probably mention his "swagger" within the first three and his "veteran presence" within the first four. Add in the requisite mention of Wallace's days at Virginia Union College, and whoops--750 words are up without a bit of basketball insight.

Seriously--the afro angle is beyond old. WAAAY beyond.


Approved by the Punmaster General

Fungo-cide: Zambrano kills injury worries in Cubs' rout

I can just imagine the headline writer wrestling this one over: "Do I use the 'fungo-cide' thing now or do I bide my time and wait for a better opportunity? Ideally, I would save it for when someone actually gets killed by a fungo, but that's like a one-in-a-billion chance. I might be retired by then. Plus some people might think a pun is a poor fit for a death story. But it's too clever not to use...And who knows if a fungo bat will ever make news again. Alas, I've waited so long already. I'd better use it now...But how? 'Zambrano kills Mets'? 'Injury concerns put to death'? 'Zambrano lays memory of bat scare to rest'? Wait, I've got it! 'Zambrano kills injury worries'! That's it!"

Coming soon: former Minnesota Twin Kent Hrbek's obit piece, "Herbie-cide."


I hate those Damn...uh...Red Sox?

>> Saturday

This morning (actually it was around 1:30 and I had been up for five hours, but it still felt like morning), I was sitting on the couch in my boxers, the taste of margaritas and Icehouse still in my mouth, drenched in sweat from the humidity and the hangover, watching baseball, when something happened...something strange. Alex Rodriguez (an admitted New York Yankee) stroked a line drive into left field to bring in a run and put the Damn Yankees up 2-0 over the White Sox.

And I cheered.

It was a subtle, but unmistakable, fist pump and quiet "yes!" Before I could give it a second thought, Bernie Williams knocked the first pitch he saw to the wall bringing two more runs in. No doubt about it now, I was cheering for the Yankees.

For as long as I can remember, I have hated the Yankees. They have been in the same boat as the Chicago Bears, Duke, Notre Dame and Saddam.

But now...it's different.

Is five years all it takes? Five World Series that don't end with Steinbrenner going home happy? Five years without yet another commerative Yankees Championship DVD from Sports Illustrated?

Maybe it's the fact that the Red Sox finally knocked them off, and they did it exactly the way everyone hoped they would. Maybe I feel bad for A-Rod because he's berated for delivering shitty numbers like a .900 OPS and 65 RBIs (both of which are second on the team, behind a juiced-up Giambi...that's right, better than that Jeter kid). Maybe I've been watching too much Seinfield lately. But for some reason, I am finding myself more sympathetic towards the Yankees.

Next inning: Jeter swings at the first pitch, hits a double, and drives in another two runs. Jesus! I'm cheering for Derek Jeter!

Well I guess there's no use in fighting it. I've always allowed my whims to turn me into a fan for whatever team they please. I guess the days when I hated the Yankees are in the past. Maybe if they win another three or four championships things will go back to normal, and the pinstripes will infuriate me once again. Till then...

Bechtel finally got his ass out of bed around 2:00 and came downstairs. Once he sat down, the first words out of his mouth were, "You know, I don't think I hate the Yankees anymore."

Anyone else?


I'm Getting Too Old for This

>> Friday

I wish I could just laugh at this kind of crap and let it go, but I just can't help myself. I think it's becoming a disorder.

Money Players

When I saw this description,

Alex Rodriguez may never produce numbers worthy of $25M a season. But does that make the Yankees third baseman baseball's biggest bust? And who are MLB's bargains? Kieran Darcy did some digging.

...on the espn.com homepage, I was really, really hoping that Kieran Darcy would turn out to be some unknown intelligent baseball mind so I wouldn't have to rip apart his crappy little chart on our crappy little blog. But he's not, so I do. (Again, the thing about my disorder.)

Aside from the fact that most of his "overpaid" guys are either injured players or guys at the tail end of long-term contracts from the unquestionably overinflated late-90s/early aughts salary boom and the fact that most of the "Bargain Basement" guys are simply awesome players who have not reached their free agent eligibility, some of his choices are a trifle off. Which is to say they're terrible.

The "Worth Every Million" category confuses me in general. These are more or less a handful of the best players in the league and, accordingly, among the highest paid. By being both a) the best and b) the highest paid (by current market value, mind you; not freakish 2000 market value), some might conclude that these players are rather fairly paid.

A more critical baseball mind might further conclude that a couple of these guys border on overpaid. I am that critical baseball mind. And as such, I conclude that:

1) Curt Schilling at that price is most definitely overpaid at his current career stage and ability level, and furthermore, Darcy gives a horrendous justification.

Who would you rather have on the mound in the postseason?

Technically, this isn't a justification at all. Technically, it's a question. And technically, I could not only list at least ten guys I'd rather have in any game--playoffs included--but I could also point out that "Whom" is the word he should have used. (And you can bet I would point that out.)

2) How is Mariano Rivera underpaid? I'm sorry; I don't care how good a reliever is. I understand the impact of pitchers in general and the greatness of one "Mo" Rivera. But he's a pitcher that pitches less than 100 innings per year, and I can't justify that fact with $10.5mill per.

Worse yet, he goes on to list Eric Gagne in the "Worst Buys of All" category at $10mill per. This begs the question: what is the premise of these sports bargain articles in general? Are they to point out poor signings caused by poor management decisions? Or is it simply a way to compare production to salary?

If it's the former, then Gagne is every bit if not more of a "bargain" based on the timing and amount of the two signings. If it's the latter (as it mostly clearly is in this case), why not just take each player's salary and divide it by some simple metric (OPS, WHIP, ERA) and rank players by this ratio, stashing injured players in a separate category? But God forbid he be formulaic; then he might lose the facade of subjective insight. Instead, he woud prefer to waste space by letting us know that Eric Gagne is hurt. Thanks--I hadn't noticed.

As a final point, note how many frequently-bitched-about Yellow Chair transgressions pop up in his punchy one-sentence diagnoses: ARod's a choker...this guy is clutch...this guy wins Gold Gloves...this guy gets lots of saves. Also note that Kieran sounds like a girl's name.


Another Case of Someone Not Thinking Things Through

Over the past couple days, I marveled over the discussions pertaining to Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. All points brought up have serious flaws and clearly show certain people writing off the cuff instead of researching and thinking things through. In Mike's article, he makes some good points why Chicago would struggle hosting the Summer Games and they are legitimate concerns. But, he fails to think realize that all of his concerns are easily resolved.

1.) The first concern brought up was that of Traffic in the Chicagoland area. Yes, this is a mighty concern, especially for those of us whom live in the city, although I find it hard to believe those whom do not live within the city limits are as concerned as those living within. In 1984, Los Angeles had roughly3 million residents (Chicago currently has about the same) and they were able to reduce congestion through the use of public transportation which was significantly overhauled and revamped prior to the Opening ceremonies. Having the Olympics in Chicago allows the city to redo some of the problem spots of the expressway (they are currently working on the Eisenhower) and the EL. As is the case in London with the Tube, Chicago has a public transportation system that could easily cut down on traffic on the expressways. BTW, I would like to point out that there would be no real immediate need for "summer construction sites" as Mike points out b/c most of those problems should be resolved before opening ceremonies. Also, need I point out that if Atlanta can put on a good Olympic Games with their 10 lanes of death expressway system, then Chicago would be fine.

2.) The second issue is where the city would come up with private funding for the Games. As Nate so bluntly put it, Mayor Daley and other officials within the Illinois government have significant connections to private ownership and buisness. Mike, being a poly sci major and engrossed in Illinois politics, you should have realized this fact. The city would easily be able to put together over 2 million dollars from pivate ownership. Need I mention Corporate Chicago chipping in a lovely 220 million for the Millenium Park project.

3.) The third issue is apparently what would the city do with a new aquatics center which will be built around the ITT campus. This is another one of those points where Mike seems to be rambling off random ideas about why this whole bid would be a bad idea. What would the city do with a state-of-the-art aqautics center? Are you kidding me! If this is one of your arguments, please stick to soccer b/c you obviously have no clue about what you are talking about in anything else. This swimming center would be a wonderful addition to the city and an opportunity to host national and world championship meets as they currently do in Sydney. This would also be a place where they could hold state swimming / diving meets for the high schools. Not to mention, this would be a great public place for swimming besides North Ave beach.

4.) Yes, the plan calls for an 80,000 seat temporary stadium to be built. Now, obviously one with an unimaginative and one-track mind would compare this statement to look like t-ball bleacher's or "grandstands for the British Open." But in reality, it will look like a normal stadium. The stadium in Bejing will be part temporary, as will the stadium in London for the 2012 games. The stadium in London will be taken apart once the paralympics are over with and will become a 25,000 seat stadium. For what purpose I do not know, I am guessing soccer, polo or something of that nature.

5.) The fifth problem is apparently parking in the city and I agree with you excpet that you forget to mention one simple thing...public transportation. With a new public transportation system, it would seem pointless to argue about the parking situation for Bears games, let alone Fire games. For someone who has never been to a Bears game, you seem awful quick to judge what the parking situation is and you rely on nothing but word of mouth. As for someone who has been to about 15 Bears games (me) I can honestly tell you that parking is not a big deal and has never been a problem. Oh and by the way, did I tell you that the LSD is not the only way to get in and out of the parking lot. Oh and also, are you forgetting about the massive parking lot behind McCormick Center? The city could easily build a couple extra parking lots because the entire surrounding areas are nothing but old warehouses. Again, please stick with something you know b/c this is another case of you exaggerating a problem that isn't there.

6.) I don't know why I am responding to this, but in your article, you say that the Olympics would be a bad idea b/c of the duel-stadium idea. What!?!?!? Okay, I agree that it is a bad idea (that is only what it is, it is not set in stone and the IOC wouldn't allow something like that anyways) but how does that fit into your argument. You ralk about economic reasons why the olympics would not succeed here andthe added burdens to the city, but then all of a sudden you say that bringing the Olympics to Chicago is a bad idea b/c of a foolish idea that will not turn to actuality. Jeez, stick to one topic please.

All in all, Mike's article should be ignored because it is all unfounded nonsense. The Olympics in actuality would bring in hundred's of millions of dollars for the city and that is a point that cannot be argued. Yes, certain people will say, well look at the Athens which lose millions of dollars from hosting. Need I remind those people that that all occurred because of poor planning, terrible construction dates, and corrupt politicians. The Olympics would allow the city to revamp many of the problem areas that have been causing headaches for a long time. They would be a wonderful addition to an already sports crazy culture.

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