TarHeelPirate

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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Ban Mark McGwire

Posted by AB on January 12, 2010

So, Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids during his Major League Baseball career.  I’m glad that he has finally admitted the obvious, but let’s not pretend that he is coming clean for unselfish reasons.  In the offseason, he was hired by the St. Louis Cardinals as the hitting coach.  He must have calculated that a season full of unanswered questions might be distracting for the Cardinals organization, so he decided to come clean well before the beginning of spring training.  But he should not be allowed to work in MLB.  He should be banned, and now is the time for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to make a clear, strong statement to the world about the embarrassment brought upon the great sport of baseball.

Some believe that since there was no testing for steroids until 2005, he shouldn’t be punished by the league.  That’s nonsense.  I’m hearing people debate whether he should be in the MLB Hall of Fame.  What?  He cheated!  He took substances that are illegal in this country.  He’s lucky that the statute of limitations ran out in 2006, preventing his prosecution for a crime and jail time.  The Hall of Fame is a privilege, not a right.  Not only should he be prevented from being a part of the Hall of Fame, he should be banned from baseball.  Pete Rose has been banned for two decades, now, but he didn’t cheat the game like this–he gambled.  Pete Rose has the most hits in the history of baseball, yet he is not only banned from the Hall of Fame, but he is banned from having a job in Major league Baseball.  Mark McGwire deserves no less.  Reinstate Pete Rose and I will accept Mark McGwire’s right to work in MLB.

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Posted in Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t Call it a Comeback

Posted by AB on January 12, 2010

It has been several weeks since I posted on TarHeelPirate, but I’m making a comeback.  It’s a new year and a new decade, which brings new possibilities to all of us.  I will begin writing more and, hopefully, better.  And I will write about anything that comes to mind, but it will be mostly politics and sports.  Maybe I can expand my writing interests, but we’ll just have to see.

Posted in Economics, Entertainment, Misc., Politics, Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Media Glee and Tiger Woods

Posted by AB on December 11, 2009

When the news came out that Tiger Woods had been in a car accident, I was watching a college football game on CBS.  During a commercial break, the CBS Sports anchor reported that Tiger Woods had been in a car accident, just outside his home, and was in serious condition.  The news seemed dire.  But a short time later, the same anchor backed off of the report that his condition was so serious.  I later went to my computer to see if there were any additional, more accurate reports.  I had no difficulty finding additional reports, but accuracy was at a premium.  Within about an hour, I must have read or heard a dozen different accounts of the story.  Unfortunately, weeks later, no one seems to know what really happened during that early morning incident, but that has not stopped the media from reporting each and every whisper that it hears.

In recent years, we have been inundated with the flaws of man.  The 24-hour cable news programs, along with the internet has magnified the sensational over the newsworthy.  They cannot be blamed, however, for the sensationalism.  It’s part competition, but it’s mostly because of the demand over an increasingly dumbed-down culture in our country.  What does it say about us that we are more interested in the “Octo-mom” or the “Balloon Boy?”  What does it say about us that we are more interested in the stories told by Tiger Woods’ mistresses than we are of health care reform?

All stories like that of Tiger’s have some journalistic merit, but I have rarely seen anything like the media backlash in this case.  Not since the Bill Clinton impeachment has infidelity received so much media attention–that’s saying a lot.  The thing has surprised and disappointed me is not so much the saturation of coverage, but the apparent glee on part of the media.  It has seemed as if many were just itching to unload on Tiger Woods.  No news or talk show host can refrain from shaking his or her head in response to the latest attention-grabbing rumor about Tiger Woods.  On the other hand, it is great to see that everyone in the media has been perfect throughout their entire lives.

No one can condone the actions of Tiger Woods, and I certainly won’t, but adultery is not a crime.  The relationship difficulties are between Tiger and his family, and no matter the disapproval by the media, he does not have to talk about that relationship with anyone.  So, media, it is okay to report on this story, but let’s just try to be a little less giddy about the fall of one of the world’s great popular entities. 

In hopes that Tiger Woods will have the courage to stand up after being knocked down, I’ll leave on a paragraph from Kahlil Gibran’s, The Prophet:

You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.    This is but half the truth.  You are also as strong as your strongest link.                              To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam.                                                                                                                                                  To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconsistency.                       

Posted in Entertainment, Misc., Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

World Series Begins Tonight!

Posted by AB on October 28, 2009

world_series_trophy.jpg  The Prize

In less than an hour, New York Yankees’ pitcher, C.C. Sebathia, will throw the opening pitch of the 2009 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies’ leadoff batter, Jimmy Rollins.  The best-of-seven series opens at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

This is a matchup between what I thought were the best in their respective leagues, throughout the regular season.  The Phillies are the defending World Champions, but you wouldn’t know it if you listened to the media.  According to most national media commentators, the Phillies might want to save some embarrassment by just forfeiting.  Well, I have news for those people:  the Phillies are going to win.  Don’t get me wrong, the Yankees are a great team, but the dismissal of the defending champs will seep into the mindset of the Yankees players, and they will be out-classed, out-played, and out-coached.

It really saddens me two know that either of these fan bases are going to celebrate a World Championship, but I am heartened that the other will be miserable.  These are two of the most obnoxious fan bases in professional sports; the New York snobs and the Philadelphia ass-holes.  While saying that, I must point-out that while I am annoyed by them, they are some of the most passionate, knowledgable, and loyal fans in professional sports.  I have to give it to them; they are great sports fans.

While I was rooting, slightly, for an all Los Angeles World Series, I have not the slightest rooting interest in this series.  I don’t care who wins.  But I do love baseball, so I look forward to a great World Series, and this one should be a good one.

My prediction:  Phillies win in 6 games

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Yankees Win ALCS, Advance to World Series

Posted by AB on October 26, 2009

Last night, the New York Yankees won the American League Championship Series over the LA Angels, four games to two.  They will host the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies when the World Series begins, on Wednesday.  This is the Yankees’ first trip to the World Series since 2003, when they lost to the Florida Marlins.  They haven’t won the Series since 2000, against their cross-town rival New York Mets.

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UPDATE: Phillies Advance to World Series

Posted by AB on October 22, 2009

Last night, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the LA Dodgers to win the National League Championship Series, four games to one.  The defending World Series Champions will play the winner of the Yankees/Angels American League Championship Series.

This Phillies team is much better than last years, in my opinion.  Not to mention the experience from last years series, the additions of Raul Ibanez and Cliff Lee bolstered the lineup and starting rotation.  No matter which team represents the American League in the World Series, it will be difficult to stop the red-hot Phillies.  What was an up-and-down regular season for Philly, they easily won the NL East, and now they seem to be playing their best baseball of the season.

Congrats to the Phillies.  I don’t like them, but they are one helluva baseball team.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MLB Playoffs: Catch It!

Posted by AB on October 15, 2009

After 162 regular season games and a best-of-five divisional playoff series, the league championship series begin tonight.  The National League Championship Series will begin tonight, as the defending World Series Champion, Philadelphia Phillies, plays the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium.  The American League Championship Series will begin on Friday, in Yankee Stadium, as the New York Yankees host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (does anyone call them that?).

These four teams are, in my opinion, the best four teams in baseball, and they have proven as much throughout the long regular season and subsequent divisional series.  If you were to ask knowledgable baseball people, most would say that the Yankees are the prohibitive favorites to win this year’s World Series.  

In the offseason, the Yankees added the top three free agents–C.C. Sebathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixiera–to a team with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, and Mariano Rivera.  They, by far, have the highest payroll of the four remaining teams, but money doesn’t buy championships.  They have the highest payroll every year, but have not won a World Series since 2000.  If the games were played on paper, the Yankees would be unstoppable.  Fortunately, for baseball fans, they are not played on paper.

The Angels last won the World Series in 2002.  They feature a well-balanced lineup, without the star power of the Yankees, but just as effective.  The Angels, however, are playing for so much more than the other teams.  The Angels have rallied around the spirit of a fallen teammate, Nick Adenhart.  A rookie starting pitcher, Adenhart was killed in a car accident, early in the season.  The Angels are the sentimental favorites, and they have all of the intangibles that the Yankees lack, which should make this an interesting and close series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the hottest team in baseball in the first half of the season, but became very inconsistent throughout the second half.  This is a team that can dominate at one stretch, and at other stretches, they are mediocre.  They have a strong lineup, one through nine, featuring Rafael Furcal, Orlando Hudson, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Andre Ethier, and Manny Ramirez.  The starting pitching is solid, but the Dodger bullpen can dominate.  If the Dodgers get hot, it will be difficult to stop them.

An equally impressive lineup belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies.  They are the defending champions, so they are the team that has proved most.  The Phillies know within themselves what it takes to win it all, and that is an important psychological advantage.  The Phillies, like the Dodgers, have gone through hot and cold stretches throughout the season.  Their lineup includes Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jason Werth, and Raul Ibanez.  Before the trade deadline, the Phillies acquired Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee, to pair with last year’s World Series MVP, Cole Hamels.  The Phillies’ fortunes could land at the feet of closer, Brad Lidge.  He struggled more than ever this year, but seemed to have regained his dominance in the divisional series. 

Both series should be more than entertaining, and I am hoping for an all-L.A. World Series.  I’m pulling for the Dodgers and Angels, not because “I Love L.A.,” but because I do not like the Phillies and the Yankees.  But, overall, I am pulling for the Angels to win it all.  I like the way that they play, and I’m always a sucker for the team who plays for a higher, more sentimental cause.  In this case, it is Nick Adenhart.  Wouldn’t it be great for his teammates to honor his spirit by delivering a World Series ring to Adenhart’s family?  I think so.  Go Angels!

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chicago, USA Loses Olympics. Right-Wing, USA Rejoices.

Posted by AB on October 2, 2009

olympic rings by choithim.

Today, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The four finalists were Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo. 

The story should be the pride that Brazil and all of South America should feel as they celebrate the continent’s first ever Olympic Games.  Unfortunately, the story in this country has become the non-sensical joy of the right-wing punditry and political class.  As soon as President Obama announced that he would be going to Copenhagen to give a presentation in support of Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, bloggers and talk-show hosts from the right were openly rooting against the bid from the United States, insulting the city of Chicago and its citizens.  Republican politicians hit the President, insinuating that he didn’t have time to speak in Copenhagen, with so many other things going on.  I guess they forgot that President Obama’s trip of less than 24 hours pales in comparison to President Bush’s four days as a spectator, last summer in Beijing.  There were not complaints from the right, or the left, for that matter, as our economy was nearing collapse.

The news that Chicago, USA was the first city eliminated by the IOC became music to the ears of President Obama’s critics and opponents.  It was as if they had just won the lottery.  They are rejoicing at the thought that our country has lost-out on the Olympics, and that President Obama has “failed.”  Openly rooting against the United States?  Some might call that un-American or anti-American.  Not only that, but to rub it in the face of those who worked so hard to bring the Olympics, once again, to the United States.  These reactions are beyond the pale, and I would be embarrassed to be connected to these opponents of our country.

No doubt, this is a disappointment, but not only for Chicago or the President.  The Olympics would have brought hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the midwest.  I guess the question that must be asked to all of those hucksters hoping for America’s Olympic bid to fail is this:  “Why do you hate America?”

While I am disappointed that Chicago lost its Olympics bid, I am happy for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and all of South America.  All of these years, and South America has yet to have the opportunity to host an Olympic Games, Summer or Winter.  If not here, in the good ‘ole USA, then I’m glad that it was Rio.  But let’s face it; despite the oversized expectations, Rio de Janeiro was a shoe-in.  No other country could overcome the this long-overdue nod to a South American city.  I have no hard feelings toward the IOC for selecting Rio, but I do have hard feelings toward Right-Wing, USA for its actions.

Maybe Chicago officials should have pulled a Salt Lake City and paid bribes to IOC officials to secure the bid.  In fact, that embarrassment might have played a part, in the minds of voters, for denying Chicago’s bid.  Whatever the case, the right-wing hacks of America will have their fun at the expense of Chicago and the President, but President Kennedy said, after the Bay of Pigs, “There’s an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”  Well, this is not the Bay of Pigs, but this is a small embarrassment for the President, and one that will go away, despite the joy of Right-Wing, USA.   

Get to work Rio!

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9/11, Eight Years Later

Posted by AB on September 11, 2009

American-Flag.jpg america bitch image by FELMZ420

Eight years ago, today, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon burned.  America was attacked, from the sky, by a yet to be identified group of enemies.  It was one of those moments in our history in which everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing.  I always heard my elders telling stories of where they were and what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been killed, or when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, or Bobby Kennedy. 

I never really had that moment until September 11, 2001.  Well, there was the moment of the Challenger explosion.  I remember where I was at that moment, but I was just a child, and that was an accident.  9/11 was something completely different.  The feeling that most Americans had on 9/11 must have been like when the “greatest generation” learned that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.  There were, however, no 24-hour news channels in the 1940’s.  We were inundated with information about the 9/11 attacks.  We lived the attacks. 

The attacks of 9/11 seem like just yesterday.  Unfortunately, the unity that our nation felt in the months following seems like millenia ago.  We survived because we were united.  We will fall if we continue to be divided. 

Let us not forget how we felt on that sad day.  But let us not forget how we came together.  We did not think about Democrats or Republicans, or liberals or conservatives.  We were, trulythe United States of America.

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Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009)

Posted by AB on August 26, 2009

We have lost a great American leader.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy lost his 15-month-long battle with brain cancer, early this morning.  He was 77-years-old.  Everyone knew that this day was near, but that fact does not make the loss any more difficult for his family, friends, and this Country.

Kennedy, the “Lion of the Senate,” is considered by many as the greatest, most influential Senator of the last 50-years or more.  He had a hand in every major Congressional legislation that the United States has passed since the mid-1960’s.  His life’s passion, however, hangs in the balance.  He was dedicated to making health care a right, rather than a privilege.  Unfortunately, his illness  has prevented him from leading the Senate through this legislation, and his colleagues have proved themselves incompetent.

All Americans–Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, of all ages and every race– have been influenced by the actions of Ted Kennedy, and for the better.  He will be missed, but we must attempt to live up to the legacy that he built and left behind.  I can think of no better way to honor Senator Kennedy than to make real health care reform a reality.

God Bless, Sen. Kennedy.  You no longer have to fight, and you can, finally, be reunited with your beloved brothers.

Posted in Economics, Entertainment, Misc., Politics, Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »