Friday, September 24, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Random Friday Thoughts

Baseball Stuff

Alright – so it’s a little old by now, but if you didn’t see it last week, Derek Jeter was flexing his acting skills (see: The Other Guys) against the Tampa Bay Rays last Thursday…

He got on base by pretending to be hit by a pitch, making it look like he’d just been shot by Mark Wahlberg (you can see it here). Jeter said after the game that, yeah it didn’t hit him, but the ump told him to get on base (after he sold it nicely) and at the end of the day his job is to get on base.

True enough, Derek! I’m only adding this in here because it always makes me laugh when an athlete is confronted about a blatant dive or whatever you want to call it!

Tampa manager Joe Maddon wasn’t impressed by the whole ordeal, but had a funny way of saying it:

“There’s several thespians throughout baseball. I though Derek did a great job and I applaud it, because I wish our guys would do the same thing.”

While Maddon will likely be staying put with the Rays, who he’s doing a great job managing, USA Today reports that it could be a record-breaking year as far as managerial changes.

The record is 13 – which has happened on two occasions – but it’s setting up to be a very interesting off-season on that front. So far, there have been seven manager swaps, there are 12 guys in the final year of a contract, some managers will very likely be fired, there are a handful of guys who still have the “interim” tag on their title and, of course, there are managers like Joe Torre, Lou Piniella and Cito Gaston who are retiring.

So, the league’s general managers will have a lot on their minds this winter – but here’s a bit of good news to mix in there: The Wall Street Journal says could be the first year in the modern era of baseball where salary and success bear almost no relationship!

That’s good news for the smaller clubs I guess, maybe not so welcome for the teams like the NY Yankees who spend like it’s going out of style. It’s also good news for the game of baseball – because no one likes to see a huge lack of competitive balance (unless your team is the one winning).

It’s just not healthy for the sport when the teams that can spend hundreds of millions of dollars crush everyone else! Maybe one of these days the Blue Jays will be able to compete a little better in that dreaded AL-East…

Who Would You Rather…

No we’re not playing that game, but here’s a question for you: Who would you rather watch – Toronto FC at BMO Field, or Manchester United at Old Trafford?

One is a legendary club with supporters around the world and an all-star cast of international stars, while the other has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons and fields a lineup of players you might know depending on how close you follow Major League Soccer.

Now, factor into your decision what you think it might cost for a season ticket.

You’ll be surprised to learn, as The Globe and Mail points out, that a Man U season seat is actually cheaper than a TFC one by about $100!!!!! And you get to see 19 games instead of 18!

Once again – if you were choosing between a Man United and Toronto FC season ticket, it would cost you less money to see the far superior of the two teams (in lineup, league and overall quality)!

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment says it’s difficult to compare the two. Yeah, I’d say! He’s got a point when he says the big EPL teams can cram about three times the people into a stadium, so they can afford to charge less…but it still boggles my mind!

Bad Beckham?

Okay, so follow me here – we were just talking about Manchester United and the MLS and paying for stuff, right?

Okay – so former Man U superstar and current LA Galaxy player David Beckham is in the news this week for the same reason a few other prominent English players have been in the past few months: prostitutes!

Though he vehemently denies it, The Huffington Post pulled a report from In Touch magazine that quotes a 26-year-old former prostitute who claims to have done the dirty with Dave five times in 2007, at $10,000 a night.

Meanwhile, Becks is planning legal action and will demand a front-page retraction of the allegations. The Guardian says he’ll be suing in the US and in Germany for malice, defamation and slander.

If he’s willing to go through all of that, he’s probably telling the truth. Not like Peter Crouch, and more recently, Wayne Rooney, who were both busted for the same type of thing and have spent the time since apologizing and avoiding the paparazzi.

For the record, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says the booze culture and the fact that “everyone’s got a camera” are to blame for these footballers getting into so much trouble lately.

“There’s one common problem – I’ve said it all along. It’s called drink. These things don’t happen unless people have a drink 99 per cent of the time. People have a drink; we all drink. I’m not sitting here saying I never have; of course I have. I’ve liked to drink all my life.”

But Redknapp says players shouldn’t be putting themselves in these situations. It’s tough though, you give a young man more money than he knows what to do with, along with a bit of fame, and it can all go wrong in a hurry.

Seems like a bit of an epidemic over there though!

PEDs and the UFC

No fancy segue for this one – but there’s been another PED scandal in the world of mixed martial arts.

Chael Sonnen, who recently ran his mouth a bit about some other UFC fighters, is facing a one-year ban from competition and a $2,500 fine after a positive test for performance enhancing drugs.

The tests were done after his UFC 117 loss to Anderson Silva, a fight he dominated until a last-round submission by the champ. Sonnen plans to appeal, but has been eerily quiet since this news broke, which leads a lot of people to believe he’s probably guilty. It’s sad, because that positive test really takes away from what was a breakout performance against one of the best fighters there is.

Some guys never learn eh? It seems like every day the tests are getting better and it’s been a hot topic across all of sports for a long time now – but some guys think they’re smarter, or they’re led astray by someone who thinks they’re smarter than everyone else.

Because of the suspension, Sonnen will no longer get the rematch with Silva that was planned – instead it’ll be Vitor Belfort facing the middleweight champ.

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