Monthly Archives: July, 2010

Guest Column: Joe McGrath on the Olympics

Editor’s Note: Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.

So, I’m in the doctor’s office the other day, and I’m flipping through the magazines while I’m waiting. I come across an article talking about how South Africa wants to get the Summer Olympics.

My first thought was “Jesus H. Christ…didn’t you assholes learn anything from the World Cup?” Then I realized who I’m dealing with. Yeah, I know FIFA is run a bunch of European sandal-wearing ovary-boys, but they look like John Fucking Wayne compared to those noodle-wrists at the IOC.

Then as I was looking another article telling me about what a great guy former South African president Nelson Mandela, it dawned on me. These people don’t want to learn anything; this is all just another exercise in that “politically correct” bullshit.

Face it. The only way you could even think about having another major sporting event in a crime-ridden shit-hole like South Africa is to completely ignore what a disaster the World Cup was. While the world was busy fellating Mandela (the World Cup preview edition of Time magazine was at my doctor’s office; it says “Nelson Mandela is the most important person and greatest human on the planet”), it was very easy to ignore the realities of the World Cup.

Reality number one is that nobody showed up.  I know I’ve  said that before, but it’s true. FIFA literally had to give away close to 750,000 tickets to keep all those soccer stadiums from looking nearly empty.  Even the majority of the tickets they sold were to locals, which is not how you rake other people’s money into your local economy.

Sure, you can try to find stories about the crime that continues to run wild in South Africa, but they are largely limited to these “blog” things, whatever the hell a “blog” is, because the regular media has Mandela’s dick so far down their throats they have to squat every time he needs to pee. I’m an old hockey man, which means I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about this Internet thing. So I had one of my grandkids do a little “googling” for me. Again, don’t ask what the fuck that means, but here’s what the kid found.

Statistics released by the South African Police Service showed that between April 2008 and March 2009, this country of 48 million million people had 18,148 murders and 70,514 sexual crimes. By comparison, the United States, with a population of 300 million, had 14,180 murders and 89,000 sexual crimes in 2008. This probably explains why most civilized neighborhoods in South Africa look like an American gated community on steroids.

Any house that looks it has more than thirty US dollars worth of stuff in it needs prison walls around it to keep the scumbags out. Who the hell is going to go to a country where the civilized side of the wall needs motion detectors linked to alarm systems and illuminated by spotlights, and windows with bars, and doors with  multiple locks?

The fact is the murder rate in South Africa is eight times higher than that of the USA. In Gauteng, a province that’s home to 10.5 million people and the World Cup host cities Johannesburg and Pretoria, there were 1,940 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in 2008. Detroit stands as the shining example in this country of what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum, yet the violent crime rate in Michigan, which has roughly the same population as Gauteng, was nearly one-fourth that number.

What does all that shit mean? It means that “political correctness” is such bullshit that nobody will admit that Nelson Mandela was little more than a commie bum who brought little more than an era of  unprecedented crime, murder and mayhem to South Africa. It also means that while nobody in their right minds would ever dream of holding the Olympics in an unflushed toilet like Detroit, the world will beat a path to the door of a cesspool if it was founded by a “politically correct” dipshit.

Your Jamie Moyer Update 7/24/10 – Hopefully, This Isn’t The Last One

If nothing else, Jamie Moyer is a pragmatist.

Moyer left his last start Tuesday in St. Louis when he strained his left elbow after making a pitch. He returned to Philadelphia on Wednesday to be examined by team medical personnel. Moyer stood at his locker Friday afternoon, speaking to reporters of pitching again, not retirement. Today, what is suspected to be a strain of Moyer’s flexor pronator muscle and a sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament is likely going to send the Philadelphia left-hander to the disabled list with no timetable for a return.

Faced with the possibility of a career-ending elbow injury, the 47-year-old left-hander said he owes it to himself to try everything to return to the mound this season.

“That’s my goal,” he said. “But without a full diagnosis—I think that’s only fair—but the competitor in myself, I want to pitch. If my arm doesn’t allow that to happen, it’s not going to happen. I believe I’m going to make some sort of a, I don’t want to say comeback, but I’m going to make some sort of attempt to get back out there.”

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that Dubsism is your home of the Jamie Moyer for the Hall of Fame Campaign. While we know that Moyer’s induction into Cooperstown is a bit of a long-shot, there is no denying that his career numbers put his name next to many baseball immortals. Moyer has made 686 appearances in a 24-season big-league career, starting 628 games and winning 267 since his major league debut on June 16, 1986. Moyer was every bit an effective pitcher for the Phillies in his 24th season. Regardless of how the story ends, Moyer has been an effective pitcher in the other 23 as well. Moyer has pitched long enough that major advances in treating sports injuries has progressed well beyond the medical standards of the day when Moyer first came to the bigs.

Moyer shown here on the trainer's table during his rookie season with the Cubs.

But while Moyer prefers not to think about the inevitable end to a storied run, he knows eventually the day is coming when he will to walk away from the game.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it, but I haven’t spent a whole lot of time thinking about it, because I’m not there yet,” he said, holding back tears. “It’s one of those situations that you don’t want to have happen, but if it happens, it happens. There’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t turn back and change anything. I feel like I can look myself in the mirror and know that if that was my last outing, so be it. I’ve given it my best and I enjoyed my career. At this point, I’m not looking at it as that being the case. I’m still under contract, so I feel obligated to make every effort to allow this to heal and give myself that chance to pitch. When it’s over, it’s over.”

We here at Dubsism wish you all the best Jamie Moyer. We have every that we have not made our last update to the Moyer-o-Meter.

R.I.P. Chicago Cubs

Usually this takes until some time in August, or in a “good” year on the North Side we may get to an even more painful collapse in October, but for 2010, its official!

The Chicago Cubs are dead. They are as of today 11 games out of first place, they have as good a chance of catching the Wild Card as Osama Bin Laden does of joining the B’nai Brith, Lou Piniella is retiring so that he doesn’t get fired, Derrek Lee is rumored to be on the trading block, and their 90-million dollar pitcher is a major league headcase.

In other words, 2010 just becomes another typical year of Wrigley-based failure; the 102nd consecutive year the World Series remains thankfully Cub-free.

…And For Your “Pot Calling the Kettle Black” Moment

So, let me be sure I got this straight…Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the same man who has deserted two universities and an NFL team strictly for money is calling anybody a pimp?

HOOVER, Ala. (AP)—Nick Saban didn’t pull punches Wednesday when discussing the improper contact with athletes by unscrupulous agents, comparing their behavior to that of a “pimp.”

The Alabama coach was upset about the rash of recent agent-related incidents that have resulted in NCAA investigations at several Southeastern Conference schools.

“I don’t think it’s anything but greed that’s creating it right now on behalf of the agents,” Saban said in a rant at the SEC media days. “The agents that do this—and I hate to say this, but how are they any better than a pimp?

Let’s break that down, shall we? I can certainly understand Saban being upset, being that his very own Crimson Tide are falling under the microscope because of, amongst other things, the actions of the agents in question. But it is a big day in Hypocrisy City when Saban appoints himself the arbiter of sanctimony.

Apparently, he’s gambling on the fact that nobody remembers 1999, when Saban led the usually mediocre and at-the-time on probation Michigan State Spartans to a 9–2 season that included wins over Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. Following the final regular-season game, Saban abruptly resigned to accept the head coaching position with LSU. Of course, he collected a big bag of money.

It would also seem he’s rolling the dice that nobody recalls 2004, when Saban ditched LSU, on Christmas Day no less, for another big bag of money from the Miami Dolphins of the NFL.

I’ve been known to gamble a bit in my day, but even I wouldn’t let a bet ride three times, but then again, I’m not Nick Saban. Once again, he’s betting on your faded memory, one that hopefully doesn’t remember his empassioned speech in 2006 telling all of us how he was “not going to be the coach of Alabama” that happened mere hours away from Saban boarding a chartered jet bound for Tuscaloosa with yet another giant bag of greenbacks.

Let’s be even more honest here. I’m certainly not defending agents or their minions. Agents are the only group of people who have found a way to be even larger parasites that lawyers, but Saban is the last guy who should be the spokesman for honor and virtue.

The Dubsism Baseball Power Rankings: The “Race at the Far Turn” Edition

For me, the All-Star break has always represented the “far turn” in the horse race that is the Major League Baseball season. This is the point when general managers acting as jockeys must decide whether they are contenders or pretenders; whether to go to the whip (trade for talent to augment a “stretch run”) or “wait for next year” (have a fire sale).

This is why the rumor mills are always abuzz in the weeks around this time. Even before we can get to that buzz, the Blue Jays have decided they are selling, and the Rangers are clearly buying. The Braves grabbed a veteran shortstop while doing a bit “addition by subtraction” by sending perennial underacheiver Yuniel Escobar to Toronto in exchange for Alex Gonzalez.  On the other side of the coin, the Rangers finally discovered that pitching might be the key to a run through October by acquiring all-star caliber pitcher Cliff Lee from the Mariners, who were clearly over-rated to start the season.

Speaking of pre-season ratings, the far turn is also a good place to really look at how wrong your prognostications were. While the Blue Jays gave us a nice surprise for a while, ultimately they are showing they don’t have the ponies to run with the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox. Meanwhile teams that looked to be at the front of the pack are running like they shattered a collective leg.

For example, the Phillies entered this campaign as the defending National League champions; for 10 weeks they played as such. However, for the past six, they have forgotten how to score, and for large stretches of that time the ageless wonder Jamie Moyer has been a more effective pitcher than the bazillion-dollar ace Roy Halladay. The turning point came during that Mets series in June when the Phillies’ seemingly discovered how to score negative runs.

In contrast, the Minnesota Twins never really had such a clear-cut moment spelling doom. Instead, the Twins seem to be on a march toward “death by a thousand cuts;” every day brings a new seemingly small problem that while insignificant by itself, in total they become a blow to the system that can’t be overcome. The loss of uber-stud Justin Morneau to a concussion could have been that fatal blow if only the Twins weren’t 90% of the way to bleeding out by then.

Peruse the full rankings and draw your own conclusions. The numbers behind each team indicate change from the previous ranking. Teams with the biggest changes from the last ranking are in are in bold. The teams with the biggest difference between their preseason ranking and their current position are in italics.

  1. New York Yankees 1 (Pre-season rank #2)
  2. Tampa Bay Rays 1 (Pre-season rank #4)
  3. Atlanta Braves 1 (Pre-season rank #8)
  4. San Diego Padres 2 (Pre-season rank #25)
  5. Boston Red Sox 8 (Pre-season rank #3)
  6. Texas Rangers 11 (Pre-season rank #11)
  7. Chicago White Sox 14 (Pre-season rank #9)
  8. Colorado Rockies 10 (Pre-season rank #5)
  9. Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (Pre-season rank # 13)
  10. Cincinnati Reds 1 (Pre-season rank #18)
  11. Detroit Tigers 1 (Pre-season rank #14)
  12. New York Mets 7 (Pre-season rank #23)
  13. San Francisco Giants 1 (Pre-season rank #17)
  14. St. Louis Cardinals  ↓ 6 (Pre-season rank #6)
  15. Los Angeles Angels 5 (Pre-season rank #15)
  16. Philadelphia Phillies 11 (Pre-season rank #1)
  17. Minnesota Twins 14 (Pre-season rank #10)
  18. Toronto Blue Jays 11 (Pre-season rank #28)
  19. Oakland Athletics  3 (Pre-season rank #21)
  20. Florida Marlins 5 (Pre-season rank #12)
  21. Chicago Cubs 1 (Pre-season rank #22)
  22. Milwaukee Brewers 1 (Pre-season rank#20)
  23. Kansas City Royals  1 (Pre-season rank #29)
  24. Washington Nationals 4 (Pre-season rank #24)
  25. Houston Astros 1 (Pre-season rank #26)
  26. Seattle Mariners 1 (Pre-season rank #7)
  27. Cleveland Indians 2 (Pre-season rank #30)
  28. Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (Pre-season rank #16)
  29. Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (Pre-season rank # 27)
  30. Baltimore Orioles  ↔ (Pre-season rank #19)

Could We Be Ready For a Return To The “Soul Patrol?”

For those of you unfortunate enough not to be Minnesota Twins fans, you may not know that the “Soul Patrol” was the moniker giver to the fans of Twins’ left fielder Jacque Jones in the early part of the previous decade. Jones was a key cog in the machine that brought a baseball resurgence to the Twins in 2001 after nearly a decade of the hardball equivalent of sucking swamp water. I was a “Soul Patrol” member; my 2001 Jacque Jones jersey still has a place of honor in my closet.

I now no longer live in Minnesota; in fact, my current domicile falls in the home market of the rival Chicago White Sox. So, while I am watching the Chicago feed of Friday’s White Sux-Twins tilt, “Hawk” and Steve Stone trot out the night’s trivia question: Who holds the Twins’ record for lead-off home runs?

I am not sure if there is a true “Soul Patrol” member who doesn’t know the answer to that; I am sure I am one who does. Jones swacked 20 lead-off dingers in a Twins uniform; and I was under the teflon roof of the Metrodome for two of them.

But that isn’t the important part. The tidbit of note in all of this: Jacque Jones is currently on the roster of the Twins’ triple-A club, the Rochester (N.Y) Red Wings. Rumors are circulating that if the concussion situation with uber-stud Justin Morneau goes beyond the 15-day bucket of the disabled list, Jones may get a call-up to the big club in Minnesota.

How sweet would it be to have “Soul Patrol Redux” in the new ball park? Don’t get me wrong, if the choice is retro-cheese versus a Home Run Derby champ and American League MVP on the roster, I’m going with Morneau all the way. But if the circumstances dictate, why not get another blast of 11-proof Soul?

Your Jamie Moyer Update 07/16/10 – It May Be Time To Say “Phuck Philadelphia Phans”

Sadly, all roads have bumps, particularly those that take 24 years to traverse. While Moyer has a lot of history in the Windy City, it would be a safe bet to say he would rather not remember the most recent bit of it.

Moyer heads back to the mound after serving up his 2nd homer of the 3rd inning.

Last night, Moyer took a beating, giving up 6 earned runs on five hits in three innings. In what was his second-shortest outing on the season, the future Hall-of-Famer gave up two more home runs, bringing his all-time record mark to 511. As for the rest of the numbers on the Moyer-o-meter, well, you can see for yourself.

But more importantly, this is Moyer’s third straight loss, and one of only two on the year where he really struggled. For a while this year, Moyer pitched better than the team ace, Roy Halladay. It begs the question, Philadelphia: Where’s your love for Jamie Moyer?

That’s right, Philly fans; I’m calling you out. Come throw all the batteries you want at my house, but if you don’t support Jamie Moyer, you suck dog balls as sports fans. Sure, he is in a bit of rough spot right now, but that’s when real fandom kicks in.  You will show your loyalty to some shit-bag like Allen Iverson, so why can’t Moyer get any love?

First of all, Moyer is a hometown guy. He was born in Sellersville, PA and attended St. Joseph’s University. At age 47, he’s been in the Major Leagues for 24 seasons and pitched over 4,000 innings. That means Moyer has been in the majors since before many of today’s players were born. Moyer has won more games in his 40s than he did in his 20s, and theoretically could win #300 should he still be pitching when his age matches his jersey number.

Moyer was actually on a Major League roster when the Phillies wore these togs everyday.

Know what that means, Phillie fans? It means this guy should be a goddamn hero to each and every one you of Philadelphia fat humps who tunes in from his recliner with his remote in one hand and some cheap-shit beer in the other. Don’t forget just a few years ago, Moyer was a crucial part of a Philadelphia team winning a major sports championship, which happens about as often as a fucking solar eclipse. Keep in mind there are a lot of you who might be fifteen years younger than Moyer who can’t even play wiffle-ball with your kid without pulling every goddamn muscle in your body or fuck your wife without taking a handful of pills.

In other words, Philadelphia, it is time for you to get off your collective cheese-steak softened asses and cheer for the ageless wonder every time he takes the hill. If you don’t you will officially be the shittiest sports fans in America.

This Week’s “Shut the Fuck Up” Moment: Jesse Jackson and Dan Gilbert

Remember the movie “Forrest Gump?” Despite the fact it’s one of the most-overrated movies of all time, it did give us the classic line “stupid is as stupid does.” Sometimes, it’s more like stupid is as stupid says.

At first, I thought Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert had a lock on the stupid comments in the whole LeBron James-to-Miami affair. That was until Jesse Jackson opened his mouth.

CHICAGO (AP)—Jesse Jackson criticized Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, saying Gilbert sees LeBron James as a “runaway slave” and that the owner’s comments after the free-agent forward decided to join the Miami Heat put the player in danger.

In the aftermath of James’ announcement he was leaving Cleveland, Gilbert inserted all ten of his idiotic toes into his fat mouth by firing off an incendiary letter to Cavalier fans, ripping James and promising to deliver a title to Cleveland. He called James’ decision “cowardly” and later told The Associated Press he believes James quit during a handful of Cavaliers playoff games.

“He has gotten a free pass,” Gilbert told the AP in a phone interview late Thursday night. “People have covered up for (James) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is.”

Now, despite all of Gilbert’s best attempts to sound like a jilted ex-wife, Jesse Jackson decided to take the tone up to the exceptionally stupid level and flavored with a bit of race-baiting. The reverend just couldn’t help but weigh in with a press release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

“He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship—between business partners—and LeBron honored his contract.”

Seriously? Ok, let’s take a step back and break down what is really driving this.

First of all, Gilbert isn’t pissed off because he is a guy who bleeds Cavalier…uhh, whatever color they are wearing this week. Rather, this is a guy who bought the Cavaliers in 2005 and just watched about 60% of the net worth of his investment head south. Honestly, nobody gave a damn about the Cleveland Cavaliers pre-LeBron; what makes anybody think the post-LeBron era will be any different?

As for Jackson, call me a cynic if you must, but this is all just about getting some publicity. Face it, America has always had one black guy they are inclined to install as the “voice of the community.” Jesse Jackson got booted out of that spot by your current president. Don’t forget Jackson got caught on camera saying that he wanted to “cut Obama’s nuts off.” Despite what the revered would have you believe, he made those comments out of sheer jealousy; Obama had the audacity to take Jackson’s street corner.

What does this have to do with basketball? Actually, very little. But, it does have a lot to do with publicity. The LeBron situation garnered headline for weeks, and the cable TV special during which he announced his decision gathered the third best cable ratings of the year. Immediately after the decision, Glibert upped the temperature by releasing his idiotic statement. And right after the ratings for this prime-time sports-soap were known, there was the Reverend Jackson to get his chunk of the spotlight, because honestly, since Obama’s election, he’s become about as relevant as the Cavaliers sans LeBron.

Honestly, there was a veritable buffet of reasons to punch holes in Gilbert’s twaddle. For example, one could have pointed out that if Gilbert believed James quit during the playoffs, why would Gilbert then offer him a maximum deal to come back? Plus, why would Gilbert fire the coach if the playoff loss was LeBron’s fault? Because none of those valid point carry the incendiary value of making “slave/plantation” comments.

While it should be obvious to anybody with a pulse and a reasonably-functioning cerebral cortex that the “slavery” analogy is at best idiotic; how many slaves do you know that were worshipped as the “Chosen One,” paid an eight-figure salary,  and given more media coverage than the war in which this country is currently embroiled? The real problem is “playing the race card” does the only thing it ever does; obscure the real facts of the matter.

First, the attitude about the “white owner/black-athlete-as-commodity” has persisted in sports for decades, and it is time not only to dismiss it out of hand, but those who believe it as well. Specific to this situation, it is time for everybody to understand while Gilbert has the right to feel hurt inasmuch as his bottom line just got tagged hard, but he needs to realize that public venting only reflects badly on him. Meanwhile, Cavalier fans need to grasp the idea James not only has the right to burn all the bridges he wants, he can do so without impacting his own bottom line because he has true talent.

More Proof Dudes are Better Athletes…

Yes, this is another Caster Semenya update. He she Semenya scored its first win since being restored to international competition by the IAAF. The only “female” athlete allowed to compete with “internal” testicles won the 800 meters on Thursday against a field of non-testicled women.

Even Steven Tyler would be confused: Dude DOES look like a lady...sort of...

The South African she-male won in a time of 2 minutes, 4.22 seconds, almost 10 seconds slower than the national record she set when she won gold at the world championships in Berlin last August in 1:55.45.

Semenya was reported to be pleased with his performance, even though he admits he may have been menstruating.

“To come and run a 2:04 is not easy, especially after what happened,” Semenya said.  I was a little bit nervous because it has been a long time not competing.  It’s a new beginning”

Semenya also stated that he was breaking in a new jockstrap and that some “personal chafing” may have also effected his time.

File Dump: The Mangino/Fulmer Edition

Originally, this was just going to be a good-bye to my favorite corpulent coach, Mark Mangino, formerly of Kansas. But  lo and behold, somehow in the process we also unearthed an archive of goodies on another fat coach, Phil Fulmer of the hated Tennessee Volunteers. In either event, we found ourselves with a ton of stuff now about as useful as a salad fork in either of these guys’ place setting. However, this stuff is just far too precious to die in a file folder somewhere.

Mark Mangino:

The hilarity of Baby Mangino must never be forgotten.

It really is too bad the guy got fired. Where else can you get such pure meltdowns as only he could deliver. Its a good thing he isn’t hanging out at one of those eating contests, because he clearly doesn’t care for hot dogs, so much so that he vomited up the entire Orange Bowl.

Although to be fair, perhaps Mangino could use a wee bit of purging.

After all, when he left Lawrence, I bet Southwest Airlines hoped Mangino didn’t have a Twitter account.

Phil Fulmer:

The sad part about when a coach gets fired is nobody seems to remember the days when he didn’t suck. Fulmer didn’t suck as recently as 2007, but we are still going to make a lot of “fat jokes.”

Sometimes, you get a sandwich named after you. But that pales in comparison to getting your own drive-thru.

And as long as one is working the restaurant side of the street, a buffet joke can’t be far.

There is a rule when making fat jokes: At some point, there MUST be a donut reference.

With a doofus like Fulmer, two donut jokes are required.

No, make that three.

Of course, a diet of donuts, drive-thru and buffets will necessitate some very large pants.

At least since leaving Tennesee, Fulmer has found a rewarding career entertaining children the world over…at least the ones with blind faith and blanket-attachment issues.

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