The Triforce of Shame, Cal, and other news
Hello, everyone – Dan the Man here. Many thanks to Neal for allowing me to take the reins for a short time. Should be great fun and I’ll do my best to not burn the place down.
As he said, Neal leaves TLC during a time when the three largest American sports are all in a bit of a pickle. Mostly, this isn’t any big surprise. I think we’re all used to the fact that sports consist not only of drama on the field of play, but also off. That said, it’s hard to think of a time when the MLB, NFL, and NBA produced such shameful behavior simultaneously. Here they are, in order of shamefulness, #1 being the most shameful:
1. The NFL and Michael Vick: All sports will have their problem players and legal scandals because sports are inherently based on talent first, and character second (or third, or fourth). Even so, when an allegation such as dogfighting arises in one of the leagues most talented athletes, it’s still shocking. Couple that with the gruesome details of the indictment, and that shock turns to disgust. I’m not a huge football guy, but I’m prepared to ignore the NFL altogether if this guy plays this year. Bottom line: You can’t torture animals for monetary gain and enjoyment and play football.
2. The NBA and Tim Donaghy: David Stern’s tepid press conference, in which he appeared defeated, left many NBA fans a little unimpressed. By all accounts, Stern is a good guy who is perhaps just a little too focused on teaching the NBA some manners. But in a time when technical-foul-leading referee, Tim Donaghy, a “rogue, isolated criminal”, may have skewed the NBA Playoffs because of betting, giving inside information, and point-shaving, you expect your commish to lay down the law with some fervor. A shameful event for the NBA, one that surprisingly doesn’t involve its players for once. Phoenix should have won, damnit.
3. The MLB and Barry Bonds (and Bud Selig): Hey, how about that! The MLB gets a break on the shame list – with all this other news going on, the by-gone steroids era doesn’t look so bad now. What does look bad is all this wishy-washy behavior by commissioner Bud Selig. Unlike David Stern, who is at least kind of charming, Bud is a complete stiff and, if I may, a joke. First it was, “Well, I don’t know if I’m going to attend, probably not, it depends…” Now he’s saying, in a moment of revelation while watching the Giants game, that he will travel to San Fran to watch a great moment in baseball history. Oh, but then, see, he’s got to catch the Cal and Tony induction, so maybe he’ll miss it, but if not he’ll probably rejoin the Giants afterwards….. DUDE. It’s either, “I won’t be attending because of my personal opinions towards Barry and the steroid allegations” or “Of course I will be with the Giants every step of the way to witness great baseball history.” I guess either way, he either looks like a hypocrite for being around during the steroid era and having a negative opinion of Barry, or a joke for believing that Barry breaking the HR record is a legitimate achievement. It’s tough to be the commish.
To tell you the truth, I’m mostly ignoring these things for the moment and instead enjoying the Orioles quietly play good baseball. I had a chance to listen to the Cal ceremony on the radio last night and I have to say, even with the epicly cheesy music, I couldn’t help but get a few goosebumps. I’m a little young to remember Cal in his heyday, but I’ll never forget when he stayed late after a game to sign my baseball mit. Baltimore is a working class city and it loves a hard worker, as was evident by last night’s attendance. (This brings to mind what might happen to attendance at Camden Yards if Cal ever takes a position within the organization). All in all, it was a nice little send-off featuring Oriole greats Earl, Brooks, Eddie, and Robin Roberts. I had a chuckle in the car picturing what it would be like if Jim Palmer had been hosting the ceremony instead of Gary Thorne.
In other O’s news:
–Chris Ray has a bone spur in his elbow, setting up for some stressful games in which Danys Baez will likely be closing. It remains to be seen if Ray will get surgery, a la Hayden Penn.
–Trembley called out Gomez for attempting to steal third with 2 outs. No hard feelings, Gomey, but I like to see that from D.T. To his credit, though, Gomez has been doing a hell of a job filling in for Mora and Miggie.
–Miggie is ready to start a minor league rehab assignment, and Mora should be cleared for baseball activities relatively soon. Bynum has yet to begin baseball activities.