To my loyal readers (all four of you):
It would appear that the realities of my upcoming fall semester at UMass will require that I take a break of indeterminate length from posting here at Sporting American. This, of course, leaves me saddened, but I am also rather excited to get started back at school. I know this is the start of something big.
I very much appreciate any and all who have taken the time to read my work here. With any luck, I will be back posting some day, perhaps over winter break. Thank you kindly for your support!
This was a supposed to be a different post. This was supposed to be a post about the long, strange (and ridiculously entertaining) trip that has been the 2011-2012 Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the team have changed almost daily since I first set out to write said post, so I’m shelving it for now. Perhaps I’ll pick up the pieces and construct a cohesive narrative out of the mess after the season ends and things quiet down. Assuming, of course, that they actually do quiet down. Instead, I’d like to offer some opinions about the recently completed Boston/Los Angeles über-trade that saw three star players and a small college endowment flip flop coasts. Yes, this trade was as ridiculous as it seems, and we’ll likely be talking about it for decades. Let’s start right… now.
Firstly, I can’t really say that there are really any winners or losers in this trade, at least in the traditional sense. This wasn’t a trade where, say, a contending team just lost its ace starting pitcher or cleanup hitter to an untimely injury and went out and made a stopgap move to plug an obvious hole. The motivations behind the deal, at least from Boston’s side, we’re obviously more deep rooted and intangible. Continue reading
There’s one piece of advice I’ve encountered over and over again in my early sportswriting studies—to improve the quality of your writing, improve the quality of your reading.
Whoa, man, that’s deep.
But it’s also true. I mean, how is a writer supposed to know what good writing looks and feels like if he or she never experiences it? A number of months ago, while caught up in a spring training baseball fervor, I was listening to a FanGraphs Audio podcast 1 interview with a minor league scout whose name escapes me. One anecdote he relayed to the listeners stuck with me. Continue reading
[NOTE: The following is the first of a series of guest posts provided by my buddy, Cal Walsman. Let's welcome him to Sporting American.]
I always knew Dwight Howard would eventually land on the Lakers. I swear I did. Think about it this way. He was past the point of being able to stay in Orlando. I mean the dude practically made smores with the fire from bridges he burned right? All the while two teams continued to be whispered in negotiations, the Nets and the Lakers. Was there occasionally some guy walking past doing the occasional *cough* Rockets *cough*, yeah but there was no way he was resigning there, and it is too flat out risky to try and rent-to-own a player in the NBA. If a player leaves in free agency, a team gets NOTHING in compensation. If you can manage to trade him, you can get a “Trade exception”. What does this mean? It means the Lakers gave away Lamar Odom for NOTHING last year, and signed Steve Nash in free agency this year even though they were CRIMINALLY over the salary cap. I’ve tried to think of the reasons an athlete would want to go to one team or another, and I have lined them from first thing on the brain to last thought before retirement. Continue reading
I am shocked, shocked to find there was performing enhancing drugs involved with the Bartolo Colon resurgence. Yes, everyone’s favorite overweight pitcher has tested positive for testosterone usage. Who knew? As per Major League Baseball’s drug testing program, Colon will be subjected to a fifty game ban, effective immediately.
Colon, who underwent somewhat controversial, yet MLB-approved stem cell therapy for ligaments in his shoulder and elbow back in early 2011, has long been under public PED scrutiny. His career appeared to be on its last legs after struggling through several injury plagued seasons following a 2005 effort that culminated in a Cy Young award. 1 Colon would instead prove quite useful on the mound for the Yankees and Athletics in what appeared to a be a triumphant return to form for the Dominican right hander.
Did I say triumphant? Because I meant despicable. What had always been surmised about Bartolo Colon is now proven fact. He is a cheater. He was once a Yankee and helped my favorite team to a number of wins, but facts are facts. Colon broke the rules and will be punished as such. Colon’s suspension now leaves the possibly playoff bound Oakland A’s with a sizable hole to fill in their rotation. Oakland has a considerable surplus of young arms to fill in Colon’s vacated slot, but it’s never easy replacing a 2.8 WAR player. Hopefully, for the sake of one of baseball’s best stories, Oakland can overcome the loss.
As for Colon, his career might be over. Good riddance, I say. Maybe he and Melky Cabrera can use all their new found free time to start a website together!
1. That shameful ’05 Cy Young ballot represents the peak of old school, pitcher-wins dominated voting doctrine. What a crock.