Monday, August 29, 2005

Milton Bradley & Jeff Kent

Hey, multiple winners! I'm sure their moms are proud.

This past week, Bradley and Kent offered themselves up as the new poster children for how to be a bad teammate. First, Kent questioned Bradley's hustle for not scoring from first on a double, despite two key facts:

1. Bradley was already playing hurt, and;
2. The Dodgers won the game.

But since it cost Kent an RBI on the stat sheet, he felt the need to chastise Bradley, despite never having acted as a clubhouse leader before and being assured of having his comments taken as exactly what they were, bitching.

For Bradley's part, he decided to play the race card. What he said may be completely true, but since his manager asked him to let things settle, and since injecting race into any discussion is going to keep things inflamed, I'm thinking Milton could have exercised more prudence.

Kent, of course, then decided to go with the "some of my best friends are black" defense, making him look really guilty.

All in all, a great week for the Dodgers.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Jeffrey Flanagan, Round Two

Ol' Jeff is always good for a moronic tidbit or two, and he certainly delivered on that expectation today. He claims that this year's Royals might be the worst offensive team the franchise has ever fielded. In that speculation, he may turn out to be correct, but not because of the voodoo batting average and steals stats he cited. Remember, this is the man who thought Ken Harvey should be the Royals' regular first baseman, so we're not dealing with an expert in baseball offense.

It's about runs, Jeff, and the Royals are last in the league. Their average of 4.20 runs per game is about 13% worse than the average of other teams in the league. That's bad, but it's not the worst in club history. That dubious honor goes to the 1996 team (15.0%) followed by the 1995 team (14.5%) and the 1992 team (13.6%).

This year's club would be fourth-worst in franchise history, so this could still get worse. (FYI - The math is mine, but the raw stats came from here.) Give them a few weeks, Jeff, and you might finally be right about something.

You just won't understand it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Gary Sheffield

Just because I can. And because every time he opens his mouth, he sounds like a flaming ass. I especially like the part about him having a bad reputation because the media are mostly white. Yeah, Gary, I'm sure that's it. It has nothing to do with you lying about decking a teammate in Milwaukee, or admittedly dogging it in the field to force a trade, or your admission of steroid use that you want us all to forget, or your veiled threats at the Red Sox pitching staff a couple of weeks ago, and on and on. No, you're just misunderstood by us prejudiced white folks. Just the man trying to keep you down. Again.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Kevin Kietzman, of Sports Radio 810 WHB

We're going away from baseball for the first time because the situation simply demands it.

For much of last week, Kietzman dedicated a great deal of time on his afternoon radio show to a story no one else in the local media cared about. He kept trying to get at the incident in the University of Kansas' football program that instigated the recent internal investigation and resulted in several relatively minor NCAA violations being self-reported, along with a few minor self-imposed sanctions.

Kietzman wanted more. He wanted to know what triggered the investigation in the first place, even though the initial questionable activity was later proven not to be a violation, which the NCAA had already announced. Kietzman, in his own words, went to lengths he's never gone to before in his career, writing a letter to the government of the state of Kansas, citing open meetings laws in an attempt to dig up the details on the incident. He stated plainly on his show that whatever the incident was, it must be embarrassing to the university for them not to disclose it, and went on to imply several times that it could involve, in his words, "academic fraud" or "embezzlement".

All of it turned out to be a big fat nothing, the incident being nothing but the result of some coaches meeting where they are drilled on NCAA regulations. Nothing sinister or embarrassing about it, but Keitzman pursued it with extraordinary zeal. Why?

Here's the motivation he never bothered to disclaim on his show; Keiztman is a K-State grad, and, at least at one time, was a K-State football season ticket holder. He therefore has a personal interest in embarrassing KU's football program, which now regularly lands top in-state prospects that K-State seeks. On top of that, Keitzman is part owner of a radio station that serves as an affiliate for K-State football broadcasts, so he's also got a financial interest is seeing KU football embarrassed. K-State football is helped by embarrassments to KU's program, and a strong K-State program helps line Kietzman's pockets.

To practice what I preach, I'm a KU alum and football season ticket holder. I suspect that Kietzman's old journalism instructors would have wanted him to make a similar disclaimer.