Saturday, May 19, 2007

Weekly Roundup

It's been a pretty dramatic week of sports and all of the PTIers of the office coolers have been doing overtime to keep up. Here are some of my thoughts on the week's big issues:

Chipper wants equity, ESPN asks if Interleague Play is "worth it"
The Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones made headlines this week for his rather brazen criticism of major league baseball's scheduling. The Braves will play one of the hardest interleague slates this season with games against Boston, Cleveland, Minnesota and Detroit. Jones argues that this is unfair to the Braves when other division leaders like Milwaukee get to play some of the AL's patsy teams.

While Chipper certainly stated the obvious, the Braves have a harder schedule than other teams, he doesn't really have any grounds for criticism. Every year, teams like Toronto, Florida and Minnesota have to play in some of the best divisions in baseball. Those teams have to face the league leaders day in and day out. Why? Just because they happen to be so geographically close to some of the nation's best franchises like Atlanta, New York, Boston and, now, Detroit and Cleveland.

There's a reason that Atlanta will play Boston multiple teams this year and it has nothing to do with an arch-conspiracy. Everyone and their mother wants to see those teams play! Turner Field gets its best attendance when Boston comes to town. I'm sorry if that isn't fair to you Chipper. You should just make up for those games by making sure that you stop losing series to the Washington Nationals. That's what will cost you a division title, not the AL.

Roger Clemens is GOD!
Sometimes I have the bad habit of being a media source talking about the media. That gets old after a while. But let me first say this: ESPN should never show a minor league baseball game with the pitch count of one of MLB's greatest crooks of all time! The "saga" of Roger Clemens' return to the majors has had news sources bending over backwards to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of Clemens' breakfast routine.

The man has held baseball hostage in a way that approximates what would happen if Bonds is actually proven guilty. Clemens is guilty and yet no one is talking about it. He is using the industry's lack of a salary cap and obsession with super-stardom to make oogles of dollars and make himself feel like a franchise savior. The worst part is that no one is talking about it.

No one has even publicly hinted that Clemens has probably taken steroids when the circumstantial evidence is just as strong in his case as it is for Bonds. The guy is huge, and old and still has power. Wait a minute, I have heard that one before. I find this really fishy and kind of pathetic. I just hope that ESPN doesn't start airing his bullpen sessions live as well.

Spurs advance with asterisk
I feel really bad for Tim Duncan right now. Yeah I know that he does that eye-bulge thing whenever he gets touched and he already has several NBA titles, but he doesn't deserve this public hate. While people certainly aren't mad at him persay, any accomplishment that he and his team achieve this postseason will be forever tarnished by the public opinion regarding the "dirty Spurs" and the "fascist Stern."

The Spurs played hard. Really hard. The Suns played hard too. I'm disappointed that events transpired that didn't allow the Spurs to advance peaceably. Let's face it, Horry's foul on Nash was hard...but it wasn't two-game suspension hard. In fact, I could go on Google and find 15 harder fouls in key NBA playoff moments within 10 minutes.

But all because of the heatedness of the series and the controversy over Bowen's groin-kneeing, we were made to feel like the foul was really really dirty. If no one had come off the bench (necessitating the one-game suspensions), I really don't think that Horry would have been suspended, much less for two games.

But, thanks to the role of the popular opinion (it's pretty powerful if I haven't already said that. I did? Several times? OK) the Spurs are all dirty, cheap cheaters and nothing that they do from here on out will be legit. Well, there's always next year.

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