Throw Back The Marlins

June 24, 2010

- See all 763 of my articles

No Comments

The Florida Marlins seem to be in the news a lot this year.  Earlier in the year, All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez was benched after showing lack of hustle on a play.  Ramirez accidentally kicked a ball while fielded it, then allowed two runs to score as he ambled after the ball.  Ramirez then lashed out at manager Fredi Gonzalez, as if Ramirez was the victim.  After Roy Halladay’s pefect game, the Marlins announced that they would be selling unused tickets to the game (and there were many of them, as is the case with all Marlins home game) at face value – effectively killing the value of the tickets that had been purchased by die-hard fans who actually attended the game.

On Wednesday, the Fish fired manager Fredi Gonzalez in spite of the fact that the Marlins were actually still in contention – in spite of the ongoing efforts of ownership to trade good players whenever they get to the point of earning a large salary.  It’s not the first time that the Marlins have axed a manager who was producing solid on-field results.  In 2006, the Marlins had a payroll of just $14 million – lower than the salaries of several players, and 1/5 the payroll of most team.  Nonethleless, first time manager Joe Girardi led the team to a 78-84 record and kept them in contention for a playoff spot late into the season.  This was substantially better than anyone would have expected prior to the season, and Girardi was named National League Manager of the year.  By the time the award arrived on his doorstep, he had been fired.  Things worked out OK for Girardi, though.  He’s now the manager of the Yankees.

What got me riled up the most, however, was the news that the Marlins were bribing their fans to cast All-Star votes for the Marlins.  If you case 200 all-Marlin ballots, you get two free tickets to a Marlins game.  If you cast the most ballots, you get access to a suite at a Marlins game.  The Marlins say that other teams also make a push to have fans vote for their player, but Florida is much more aggressive than other teams.  I don’t even like the fact that people can easily vote 25 times online because of how it dilutes fan voting.  Having a team actively encourage ballot box stuffing makes me sick.  I wish Major League Baseball would step up and protect the integrity of the game.  If teams engage is this sort of activity, ban their players from the All-Star game for a year.  Maybe that would put sportsmanship back into the equation.

Maybe this would be a good time to start discussion contraction again?



Two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball toed the rubber on Wednesday night.  Stephen Strasburg face another cupcake team when he took the mound  against the Royals (having faced the woeful Pirates and Indians and the mediocre White Sox in his first three games).  Strasburg struck out nine and walked none, but did allow nine hits (all singles) in six innings of work, allowing just one run.  However, Brian Bannister of the Royals combined with the bullpen for a shutout, giving the Roayls a 1-0 win.

Ubaldo Jimenez was in search of his 14th win when he faced the Red Sox.  Jimenez was rocking and rolling early in the game, but ran into trouble in the sixth inning.  A flare down the right field line by Marco Scutaro put the Sox ahead 6-5 and sent Jimenez to the showers (actually, to the bench, where he watched the rest of the game).  It was by far the worst game of the year, statistically.  In spite of that, my friend Lazy Man at Lazy Man and Money came away impressed with Jimenez.  The Rockies took Jimenez off the hook by rallying against Papelbon in the ninth.  Homers by Ian “Stewie” Stewart and Jason “Jason” Giambi sent Colorado fans home happy with an 8-6 win.  The Rockies go for the sweep tonight when they send Jason Hammel to the mound to face off against Daisuke Matsuzaka.

I’m not much of a soccer fan, but I was following the ESPN Gamecast of the USA game against Algeria yesterday.  I had discussed various scenarios with occasional contributor Fulton Christopher, and when England went up 1-0 against Slovenia, we knew that the US was going to need a win to advance.  A surge of pride went through me when the news of Landon Donovan’s late goal splashed across the screen.

Across the pond at Wimbledon, news of Roger Federer’s near defeat at the hands of Allejando Falla in the first round was the buzz on the first day of the tournament  .  Down two sets, Federer rallied to beat the Colombian in five sets.  The tournament’s top seed struggled again in the second round, with Serbian Ilija Bozoljac taking R-Feds to four sets. 

On Wednesday, the big news was the match between American John Isner and Nicolas Mahut of France.  The match actually began on Tuesday.  It was suspended because of darkness and was resumed on Wednesday.  They played the entire day on Wednesday before the match was once again suspended because of darkness.  At the end of the day, they were tied 59-59 in the fifth set.  For those who don’t follow tennis, you typically play to 6.  The match is demolishing many records, and the length is unfathomable to everyone.  Matches simply don’t last this long, ever.

It will be interesting to see how the winner fares in the next round.  Conventional wisdom would be that they’ll be easy prey for an opponent – but only time will tell.  Both players are also playing doubles, and will play their first round doubles matches shortly after their singles match is completely – assuming that it doesn’t continue until the end of time.

Hots dogs, Tiger, and Larry the cable guy

July 7, 2009

- See all 177 of my articles

1 Comment

As covered last week by yours truly, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship lived up to all the hype.  Joey Chestnut became a three time champ downing a new world record 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  Amazing.

Tiger Woods outdueled the field and won for the third time this year.  Hunter Mahan threw an impressive final round 62 at Eldrick at Congressional, but it was not enough. Woods had his game face on all day and won for the third time this year.  He heads to the Open Championship in two weeks and if he can play like this should be considered the favorite..then again…when isn’t he?

Tragedy hits the NFL.  Seems like we have been talking too much lately about untimely deaths of popular figures of American culture.  The more details that are coming out the less the local community feels like they really knew Steve McNair.

Roger Federer wins an unprecedented 15 grand slam title.  While last years match was considered “the greatest game ever played” we do not seem to be hearing the same talk this year about this 2009 version of the Mens’ Wimbledon Final.  Roddick and Federer went more games this year than Nadal v. Federer last year.  Nike wasted no time in having a smooth looking velveteen jacket that was gold and white with a nice “F”  on the front and a smooth number 15 on the back…..wonder how long it will be before that is outdated?

Lance Armstong is making a comeback to vie for the Tour de France this year after retiring some years ago.  The seven time winner finds himself in 3rd place behind current leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland just 40 seconds behind.  Can  Livestrong continue this feat and win an 8th Tour?  Either way it will be an amazing story and it will be especially with the French Media, who has looked for every possible angle to try an diminish the great cyclists record in this prestigious event.

For you fantasy geeks out there remember that most Fantasy Football drafts are just around the corner.  Many of my co-workers are already buying magazines and laying out the big plans for the boys bachelor party weekend…errrrr…Draft Collaboration.  It is truly amazing how much wasted efficiencies are realized each year by millions of workers surfing the net and trying to figure out who is a better pick, Adrian Peterson or Michael Turner.  Count me among those that love the fantasy leagues and the draft parties.  I am just not a rabid fan as many I know.  Look for some upcoming fantasy football articles from the Goodman file later this year.

In college sports news “of sorts”  The University of Nebraska allowed comedian, Larry the Cable Guy, to perform a 4th of July concert at Memorial Stadium.  This is big news to those of us here in Nebraska as the last time a “non-football” event was held at Memorial Stadium was the Farm Aid concert some time in the 1980’s.  The only reason that year the University allowed the Farm Aid concert was because they were going to tear up and replace all of the Astroturf in the stadium.  Larry who is a native Nebraskan, charged a whopping $4-$6 dollars for tickets depending on seating and where you purchased them.  You can catch the action on Comedy Central likely in a month or two as the event was taped to be shown on TV at a later time.  Nice Job packing the house with over 50,000 who watched the concert this past Saturday.

Until Next week….GIT – R- DONE!

The week in sports

June 9, 2009

- See all 177 of my articles

1 Comment

A big week in sports and a lot of stories to touch on…so this week Johnny G decides again to do the weekly run-down.

The Big Unit gets the big 300th Win. I wrote an article about this last week and I was glad to see Randy pick up 300 on his first try. Too many times in sports is seems like an athlete gets close to a milestone and it takes a long time to get it done and out of the way. Nice Job Mr. Johnson

The Magic decided to not show up for Game 1 in Los Angeles and then played better in Game 2. I am not a big fan of the NBA and last night reminded me again as to why. Too many ghost calls (for both teams in my opinion, but most of which Kobe was the benefactor of) impacts the final score of the game way way way too often in NBA games. I guess this is why I am a fan of individual sports like golf, because there is no referee to blame the outcome on.

Speaking of golf, I guess Tiger Woods’ knee must be feeling better. Jack Nicklaus the host of the Memorial Tournament joked that Tiger was really struggling in his comeback from the surgery since he had only what??? A bunch of top tens and a win to his credit so far this year? I guess you can add another win to the tally now. The folks running the US Open are hoping he can keep that going in two more weeks.

Roger Federer finally breaks through in an easy coasting straight set triumph at the French Open. This now adds him to the list of tennis players to win the career Grand Slam. Many would argue that Federer is the best of all time. He now has tied Pete Sampras with 14 career Grand Slam titles. I, for one, don’t feel he is even close to done winning them just yet.

The College World Series will be starting next weekend in beloved Omaha, Nebraska. The CWS has become one of the most popular NCAA tournament venues thanks mainly to the fantastic coverage provided by ESPN of the games in Omaha. Matter of fact a few years back when the NCAA was considering moving the CWS out of Omaha, the ESPN telecast became more of a “telethon” constantly pimping the great job and the fine folks and hospitality that the city provides hosting the tournament. Omaha has now committed to building a brand new stadium which will be used almost exclusively for this tournament for the few decades. I guess it does pay to have a major network in your corner.

And since ESPN is wanting to throw it’s weight around, the SEC begins a new 15 year contract with ESPN starting this year which will televise all of their games not already picked up by CBS coverage for a smooth 2.25 Billion dollars over that time. If you’re a fan of the SEC all this means that the future looks good. If you’re a competitor of the SEC, you know this league is not going to be backing down…and if your are not on the Big 10….errrr Big 11 network already you better hope that your conference is planning on something soon with an exclusive television deal….or during National Titles games we are going to hear a lot more chanting of S-E-C, S-E-C!