Sports Hell, Part V: The Traitors

July 27, 2007

http://operationathletics.typepad.com/operationathletics/images/mcgwire_canseco_ft.jpg

The NBA ref betting scandal. The steroid mess. Dogfighting. It’s a terrible time to be a sports fan, so like we mentioned earlier, we’re taking a trip through sports hell, with the help of Dante.

Part I: The Lustful and The Gluttonous

Part II: The Prodigal, The Avaricious, The Wrathful and The Slothful

Part III: The Violent

Part IV: The Fraudulent

The ninth and final circle of hell enslaves the worst of the worst: the traitors. Each of the sinners in the deepest realm–and there aren’t many in the exclusive club–betrayed someone important to them. There are four sections, each progressively worse, with the nadir coming in the final section: those who betrayed benefactors. In Dante’s original, Judas (who betrayed Jesus) suffers with Brutus and Cassius (who betrayed Caesar).

Who will be our un-holy trinity?

Well, which three, ahem, big Bay Area stars betrayed their ultimate benefactor, the sport of baseball?

The Ninth Circle: The Traitors

To Kindred

  • Michael Vick: PETA just got mad on behalf of canines everywhere that we lowered dogs to Michael Vick’s kindred level.
  • Rae Carruth: Conspiring to kill your lady friend will get you on this list, unfortunately.
  • Orenthal James Simpson: If OJ did kill his wife, here’s the circle of hell we’d put him in.

Bay Area Reps:

  • The DeBartalo Family: Granted, they haven’t killed each other like the others here, but for heaven’s sake, can’t they get along? Bicker, bicker, bicker! Sue, sue, sue!

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Giants Roundup: Ryan Klesko Did Not Hit A Homerun Last Night Either

July 27, 2007
  • A winning streak grows in China Basin! Two in a row! Tim Lincecum won his fourth consecutive start, Dave Roberts notched three hits and the bullpen tossed three shutout innings en route to a 4-2 victory. [SFGate]
  • A plan to make the team more interesting. We’re behind any plan that involves Freddie Lewis getting more playing time. [McCovey Chronicles]
  • You know what does make the game more interesting? Joe Montana appearing on Pac Bell’s centerfield video screen and lending the following words of support: “Hey Barry, Joe Montana here. Congratulations on a great career, and good luck on the road to history. And remember, don’t just break that record. Give ‘em a number that no one will reach.” Hey Barry, Say Hey here … you may remember us from such blog posts as … [The FanHouse]
  • The always incendiary Jeff Pearlman has some unflattering things (to put it nicely) to say about Mr. Bonds. Must-read. [Deadspin]
  • Catfight Part One: Curt Schilling called out Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire on HBO’s “Costas Now,” saying all types of jackass-y things. [100% Injury Rate]
  • Catfight Part Two: Barry Bonds, apparently unaware that it was Schilling who ripped him, responded by making bashing everyone’s favorite Olympics broadcaster, Costas: “You mean that little midget man who absolutely knows jacks — about baseball, who never played the game before… You can tell Bob Costas what I called him.” [With Leather]
  • Catfight Part Three: Yesterday, in a phone interview, Costas had this to say about “the little midget man” (yes it’s a redundant phrase): “”As anyone can plainly see, I’m 5-6 1/2 and a strapping 150, and unlike some people, I came by all of it naturally.” [SFGate]
  • Bloggers in USA Today? Now we’ve seen everything. Congrats to Lefty. [USA Today, via El Lefty Malo]
  • Barry’s so whimsy. As a child, he played a baseball game against Donald, Goofy and the rest of the Disney characters. Suuuuuure Barry. [ESPN]
  • Gary Sheffield thinks Bonds is the greatest player ever. The argument would hold more water if Sheffield wasn’t a racist idiot. [The FanHouse]
  • If you haven’t yet done so, check out this new Giants blog trying to get the Gigantes to play one final game at Candlestick. [One More At The ‘Stick]
  • Finally, with last night’s win, the Giants’ chance of making the playoffs rose from 0.1% to 0.3%. Look out! [Sports Club Stats]

The Soccer Report: On The State Of American Soccer, And Why It Could Succeed This Time

July 26, 2007

 

http://upload.moldova.org/sport/fotbal/Beckham_USA_New-York.jpg

Brendan McCarthy is our existentialist soccer guy. So in honor of MLS Primetime Thursday, we’re giving him the platform since he’s better… equipped to handle this sort of thing.

Not too many things in sports frustrate me as much as the dismissal of soccer by the general public. Not steroids, not time outs in basketball, not Michael Vick and his side business.

In life, there’s always George W. to match any displeasure I might feel, but in sports, it’s different. Through time, I’ve come to terms with many of the emotions that arise whenever a Joe Schmoe condemns soccer with frivolous logic [Ed note: we don't know what you're talking about]. I’ve dealt with the anger, the befuddlement, and the disappointment because I realized that conversations (or lack thereof) neither change any opinions on the sport, nor do they affect the success of sport around the world. The ignorance only affected me and those like me in the United States. In a way, it resembles the utter helplessness a thinking person feels in this American political decade. We know the facts, we have the arguments, yet people just keep ignoring the truth.

But maybe the time has finally come. Maybe the country is finally ready to accept the original football. There is certainly much to be done, no arguing about that. Yet, is it not impossible to see the future of soccer in America as a sky’s the limit sort of deal? While America’s sporting world trips over itself, the young, adolescent MLS is becoming a man, and it is eager to prove its worth in the adult world of entertainment. And if it is, truly, then there is a bit to consider for how and why.

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Sports Hell, Part IV: The Fraudulent

July 26, 2007

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The NBA ref betting scandal. The steroid mess. Dogfighting. It’s a terrible time to be a sports fan, so like we mentioned earlier, we’re taking a trip through sports hell, with the help of Dante.

Part I: The Lustful and The Gluttonous

Part II: The Prodigal, The Avaricious, The Wrathful and The Slothful

Part III: The Violent

The penultimate circle of Dante’s inferno contains all types of frauds, as you’ll see. The thing that differentiates these sinners from the earlier ones is the use of reason to knowingly do, um, bad things. So no Mike Tyson.

The Eighth Circle: The Fraudulent

Panderers & Seducers:

  • Mark Chmura: “No judge, I do not know why I was in a hot tub with my 17-year-old babysitter at her prom party.”
  • Chris Henry: “No judge, I do not know why I served two underage girls lots of alcohol in a hotel room.”
  • Marcus Vick (Michael’s younger brother): “No judge, I do not know why this girl is suing me for $6.3 million because I had sex with her when she was 15.”

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A’s Roundup: Mike Piazza Would Prefer You Didn’t Throw Things At Him

July 26, 2007

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  • They tried, but they failed. The A’s tied the game in the top of ninth, but the Angels won the game in the bottom of the ninth. It’s just one of those seasons. [SFGate]
  • The most frustrating part of the loss? The guy who the A’s trotted out to pitch that fateful final half inning. [Athletics Nation]
  • The Drumbeat think that yesterday’s loss was the nail in the 2007 coffin. The season’s over, the fat lady is done singing, and it’s time to start looking to 2008 and beyond. [The Drumbeat]
  • Mike Piazza got hit in the head with a half-empty water bottle while in the on-deck circle during yesterday’s game against the Angels. The way he handled the situation both uncool and cool. Uncool is this whiny postgame statement: “I’m pressing charges. He’s going to spend the night in jail. He hit me right in the helmet. … It’s just inexcusable at a baseball game to throw a bottle at someone. Just a joke.” Now we’re not condoning throwing things onto the field in any situation, but maybe Piazza should have passed on that statement. On the other hand, this was “cool”: he then got a hit off closer Francisco Rodriguez en route, sparking a comeback against the dominating closer. [SFGate]
  • Billy Beane, meet soccer. Oops, soccer took a dive upon shaking hands. Yellow card! [Biz of Baseball]
  • Meanwhile, Bobby Crosby got back together with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Miss Disabled List. [SportSpyder]
  • In general baseball news, player names were reportedly given to George Mitchell by the former Mets clubhouse steroid dealer. [Inside Bay Area]

Clip Of The Day: Barry Zito Sings

July 25, 2007

Insert your “Barry Zito is like Richie Valens because they both crashed-and-burned once they got paid” joke at your own eternal peril.

Anyway, here’s BZ singin’ the Beatles.

[Note: We can't really tell if it's Barry Zito. But the youtubes wouldn't lie to us twice in one title, would they?]


Sports Hell, Part III: The Violent

July 25, 2007

The NBA ref betting scandal. The steroid mess. Dogfighting. It’s a terrible time to be a sports fan, so like we mentioned yesterday, we’re taking a trip through sports hell, with the help of Dante.

Part I: The Lustful and The Gluttonous

Part II: The Prodigal, The Avaricious, The Wrathful and The Slothful

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. After skipping the heretics–everyone in the sports world thanks god already–we’re headed straight for lucky number seven. For some reason, these guys seem the scariest to us. Here come the crazies!

The Seventh Circle: The Violent

Against People & Property:http://www.emptythebench.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/urbina1big.jpg

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