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Outrage at Olney’s Pujols/Howard Story Misguided 0

Posted on March 16, 2010 by Don Spieles

Yesterday, Buster Olney of ESPN became the story when he posted an article stating that a “sources” had informed him that there had been internal discussion within the Phillies organization about trading Ryan Howard to get Albert Pujols. Since then, lesser media outlets and the blogosphere has erupted with everything from “professional” condemnations to personal insults and attacks leveled at Olney.

So, we have journalists, both amateur and quasi-professional, accusing Olney of being unprofessional by casting insults at him?  That’s the kind of  irony that inspires Alanis Morissette songs!

The reaction over an utterly reasonable article seems to be prompted more by the fact that Olney is a nationally read writer for ESPN, the network that is the undisputed king of sports news.  The story, in and of itself, lends nothing incredible and is, in fact, much more professional than many of the rebuttals.

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols breaks record

While evidently not likely, a trade of Pujols for Howard is not without it's logic, regardless of which side of the table one looks from.

Some points to be clear on:

  • Olney did not say there was discussion between the Cardinals and Phillies.

“It’s not fully clear whether the Phillies actually have approached the Cardinals with the idea”

  • Olney immediately contacted Ruben Amaro, Jr., the Phillies GM and included his denial in the article.

“Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro flatly denied that the internal discussions have taken place. “Lies,” he said. “That’s a lie. I don’t know who you’re talking to, but that’s a lie.”" Read the rest of this entry →

Manny Ramirez’s Early Goodbye to Dodgers 4

Posted on February 23, 2010 by Don Spieles

As February winds to a close, baseball enthusiasts across the country perk up.  Spring is in the air, even if the temperatures deny it, because there are signs of the baseball to come.  Pitchers and catchers report.  Lists of spring training invitees and late free agent signings pepper the sports pages.  And don’t forget the first prima donna move of the spring, this year provided by non other that Manny Ramirez when he stated upon showing up at Dodgers camp that he won’t be there next year.

Ramirez announced yesterday (more or less unprompted) that he will not be with the Dodgers in 2011.

“I already accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish… for me, all this is just extra. I know I’m not going to be here next year, so I just want to enjoy myself.”

Aside from the timing being odd, one must wonder what might be in the mind of Ramirez with comments such as these.  Do the fans of the Dodgers, fans who have not had a World Series win since 1988, think that Ramirez has accomplished everything?  What of the Dodgers organization? While they pay him his $20 million for 2010, are they thinking that this is all just gravy?

MLB: NLDS-St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers

Ramizez showed his usual "layed back" priorities and set the tone for 2010 when in a press conference he stated "I already accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish..."

The reality is that Ramirez time in Dodger blue has put “butts in the seats”.  He helped them get to the post season two years running.  But if Manny has accomplished everything he wanted to, what does that say about his priorities?

While sports opine about athletes who give stock, canned responses like, “All I’m concerned about is winning,” some might be temped to say that Ramirez’s honesty is refreshing.  Certainly being honest is a great virtue, but so is being professional.  The latter is a virtue that, once again, Manny has proven to be very short on.

over the years, Ramirez has turned himself into persona non grata, particularly in seasons where his contract is about to expire.  After coming to the Dodgers in a trade from Boston – a trade precipitated in part by Ramirez intentional (and unprofessional) lackluster performance – he exceeded expectations in the late summer of 2008.  The Dodgers technically held and option for 2009 that was being waived, so Manny was being a good boy.

Where as this year the free agent news has been dominated by Johnny Damon, this time last year the over-covered gun for hire was Ramirez.  He haggled with the Dodgers for months, rejecting offer after offer before finally signing a two year, $45 million deal at the eleventh hour.  Many speculated that the issue for Ramirez was he wanted not just more money, but more years.  After his behavior in Boston, as well as the in consideration of his age (37 last season), two years was all that L.A. was willing to do. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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