August 24, 2007

Wild Bill Hagy Oldie but Goodie

This comes from a 1979 news "magazine", apparently on WJZ. Highlights include a little interview with Elrod Hendricks, a Marty Bass sighting, and a seemingly impossible 7 minutes and 54 seconds on Baltimore with the only black people shown being the players.

August 23, 2007

American Gladiators Is BACK Baby!

I'm ecstatic to relay the news that NBC is bringing American Gladiators back for the mid-fall season. NBC, completely oblivious to any recent scandals relating to steroids and professional wrestling, will once again be showing us musclebound men and women in spandex destroying the dreams of little (usually single parent) athletes from around the country.

My favorite events are Assualt, Conquest, Joust and the football one.

American Gladiators makes this not gay somehow

ESPN's 100 Greatest Beatdowns

Check it out here. At least Baltimore has been on a giving end of a few of these, including Super Bowl XXXV and the 1966 World Series.

Jets Deal Kendall to Redskins for Mid-Round Pick

I hate the Jets. They're the only team that consistently allows the Redskins to make deals that aren't patently moronic. First it was off-loading Patrick Ramsey for a draft pick and Laveranues Coles for Santana Moss. Now the Jets have sent noted malcontent G Pete Kendall to the Skins in exchange for a mid-round pick.

This definitely looks like a (rare) win for the Redskins, who benefit from the Jets' unwillingness to negotiate with Kendall and Pete's own self-immolation caused by incessant complaints about management.

Just one question: How does this get Pete Kendall a new deal? If he thought Jets' management was bad, what is he going to think of the holy triumverate of incompetence at Redskins Park? At first blush, this deal looks great for the Skins, but what's to keep him from just changing the venue of his holdout?

I guess we'll find out soon.

August 22, 2007

On Behalf of East Coast Bias...

I'd like to be the first to congratulate Tony Romo and the Texas Rangers on beating Steve McNair and the Baltimore Orioles by four touchdowns and a field goal, 30-3.

Things you'd never think you'd hear while watching a baseball game: "And the Orioles now trail by 27." Nothing like seeing fans put on rally caps hoping for a 28-run inning.

Seriously... holy fuck... is this RBI Baseball? Bases Loaded? T-BALL???

Wild Bill Hagy is rolling over in his still soft grave.

If any Oriole fan dares talk shit about my Nats for the next 10 years, I'm just going to have to come back with "30-3." Nice job Trembley. I think J-Red might have a new open letter to you on the way.

Oh, and congrats J-Red and Brien on 400. We're still going...

Nationals Update

Current Position: 4th place. Alone out of last place in the NL East for the first time since mid April.

Projected Record (based on current win %): 73-89

Better win/loss percentage than: Devil Rays, White Sox, Royals, Rangers, Marlins, Astros, Reds, Pirates, Giants (23rd out of 32 teams)

Team payroll: $37,347,500 (30th out of 32 teams)

Tell me again why Manny Acta should not get significant numbers of NL Manager of the Year votes? I think even the biggest Nats fans were projecting a certain 100-loss season, and that was before the starting rotation got torn apart by injuries, and Nick Johnson showed that only Barbaro is a slower healer. I'm not saying Acta should win the whole thing, as I think Arizona is an even bigger success story. But if you're a Nats fan, you've got to be positively geeked to have Acta leading this club for a good long time.

Terps Getting Some Love

From College Football News' online ACC Preview, full conference preview available here.
ACC Atlantic Predicted Order of Finish

1. Maryland

Predicted record: 8-4 (Conf. record: 6-2)
Best Offensive Player: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Soph.
Best Defensive Player: LB Erin Henderson, Jr.
Offense: It's all there for the Terps to be steady, explosive and very, very productive as long as everyone plays as well as they should. This will be one of the four best offenses in the league as long as injuries don't strike up front. The line is full of veterans and should be a rock, but there's no depth. The receiving corps might be the fastest in the ACC and Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore form a tremendous 1-2 rushing punch. It's all there for a big season, but that's what everyone said last year and the Terps were merely average.
Defense: The defense didn't exactly work last season, but it didn't seem to matter. No one stopped the run, the secondary was average, there weren't enough takeaways, and the 3-4 that was supposed to generate a serious pass rush wasn't even close. The Terps still won nine games helped by the defense coming through when it absolutely had to. This year's group won't be so fortunate and has to be better. The defensive line should be improved with end Jeremy Navarre and tackle Dre Moore good enough to hope for All-ACC honors. Erin Henderson leads an athletic linebacking corps that needs experience, but should be good in time. The secondary is a concern, especially the corners. They're hoping Isaiah Gardner will become a shut-down defender after returning from a shoulder injury.
MY REACTION: The Terps are thus predicted to make it to the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville, whereupon it is projected that they would lose to the Hokies. I think any Terp fan would be thrilled with that kind of season. However, between B.C. (great QB), Clemson and F$U (Bowdens are never easy), NC State (great new coach), and Wake (returning just about everybody), the ACC Atlantic is essentially totally up in the air.

Open Letter to Orioles Manager Dave Trembley

Mr. Trembley,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on being named the Orioles manager through at least 2008. You've done a great job with limited talent, and you appear to have earned the support of not just the veterans, but the players you have managed previously at AA Bowie and AAA Ottawa. I think most Orioles fans are pleased with the selection, as am I.

On the other hand, there is still that Miguel Tejada streak-extending sham that we need to get past. Any PR man in any business would tell you that you would be a fool to bring the issue up on your own accord, as many have seemingly forgotten about it. I think you still need to make a public apology.

You see all of the empty seats in Camden Yards when less than marquee opponents come to town. I'm one of the absentees. As a young man who is part of the generation born between 1975 and 1985, I am still unsure whether I am an Orioles fan or a Cal Ripken fan. Really, for most of my life, they were one and the same. We 21- to 32-year-old fans need to feel like the Orioles are still representative of something good and pure in baseball. The Tejada incident felt cheap and contrived, not to mention utterly pointless.

I understand that you were new to the leadership mantle at the time, and the Tejada move quite likely earned you the respect of the veterans on the team. You also probably had a strong feeling that Tejada would have to sit anyway. Still, as a man relatively new to the Orioles organization, you need to at least indicate to us that you understand why we became upset.

I would like for you to publicly address the crowd over the PA system before the last home game this season. At the most apologize, and at the least explain yourself. If you did it out of respect for a veteran leader, and would do it again, say that. If you made a mistake and did not realize the impact Ripken has on the young fans of the franchise, say that. Over the offseason, people will again forget the incident, but they will not forget your honesty.

You've won over the team. Now please make this simple gesture to ensure that you have won over all of the fans. Then we can all come and enjoy the games next year knowing that we might not have the roster that New York and Boston has bought, but we'll still be scrapping in the Trembley style we've seen the past couple months.


Young Adult Orioles Fans

August 21, 2007

And the San Diego Chargers are Smiling

Why you might ask? Most people remember that Michael Vick was chosen first overall by the Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft. What most people don't remember is that the Falcons actually had the fifth pick, and received the first pick via trade with the San Diego Chargers. Who did the Chargers select with the fifth pick in that draft? None other than LaDainian Tomlinson. Not only the most dominant running back in the game right now (and likely to be one of the top three all time when all is said and done), but one of the most marketable, charismatic, and likable players in the game. A far cry from a half-decent quarterback who will soon stand convicted of despicable crimes towards man's best friend. The comparison between the two reminds me of the old George Carlin line about why he couldn't be a Boy Scout: "I wanted to be a Boy Scout, but I had all the wrong traits. Apparently, they were looking for kids who were trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Unfortunately, at that time, I was devious, fickle, obstructive, hostile, rude, mean, defiant, glum, extravagant, cowardly, dirty, and sacreligious."

Anyway, enjoy your luck while it lasts, Charger fans. You now have Norval E. Turner as your head coach. And PhiLLLLip Rivers as your QB. If you don't know why PhiLLLLip is spelled with 4 L's, you obviously aren't a Terps fan.

August 20, 2007

If the Falcons Cut Vick What's the Cap Hit?

In December 2004, Vick signed a 10-year, $130M contract, with $37M of that in the form of signing bonus (leaving $93M in base salary). According to USA Today, Vick earned $600K in base salary in 2005 and $1.4M in base salary in 2006. I read that his base salary in 2007 would have been $6M.

A player's signing bonus is theoretically pro-rated over the length of the contract to spread out the salary cap hit, though the Falcons apparently took a large part of the cap hit in the first year. If my understanding is correct, cutting Vick now (before the 53-man roster is set) would clear some cap space for 2007 (Vick's base of about $6M or so), but the Falcons would suffer cap hits totalling $14,682,000 in 2008.

Falcons - take note - get Jeff George, Chris Chandler, and Bobby Hebert into camp NOW and get a good competition for Harrington's backup spot. You can afford them.

And Bobby Petrino, aren't you glad you were patient and waited for just the right NFL opportunity?

Thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for giving me confidence in my cap calculations.

BREAKING NEWS - Vick Takes Plea

After an earlier CNN report that Vick had been offered a recommended sentence of 18-36 months, CNN is now relaying that the Virginian-Pilot is reporting that Vick has accepted a plea deal, only to the federal charges.

Even if he only receives 18 months, he still faces state charges that could put him in prison and out of football for anywhere from 2 to 42 years. When Vick officially enters the plea next Monday, his football career simultaneously ends.

ESPN's story includes a statement from Billy Martin.

Vick: Don't Believe Everything That You Read

You'll get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve.

On Friday, ESPN's Len Pasquarelli had this to say about any potential plea bargain in the Vick dogfighting case:

Sources said that, in any plea, Vick would seek to avoid additional charges in Virginia, where Gerald Poindexter, the Commonwealth's attorney for Surry County, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that he intends to pursue charges and to present evidence to the local grand jury when it convenes Sept. 25.

The state charges could add a maximum 40 years in potential jail time, if Vick were convicted.

"Not having to deal [with charges in Virginia] is a key," said a source. "It's a big part of [the negotiations]."

Len needs new sources. I spoke to Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Poindexter on Sunday evening. He emphasized to me that the proceedings in Richmond (where the federal courthouse is located) have no effect on his investigation. He told me in no uncertain terms that he has not been a part of Vick's plea negotiations with the federal authorities, and that he has every intention of prosecuting his case once his witnesses are freed up from the federal proceedings.

Also, Poindexter is the only Virginia official with authority to negotiate the plea. Section 2.2-511 of the Code of Virginia only allows the Attorney General to prosecute certain types of crimes. These crimes do not fall within his purview.