Manny, enough already

February 27, 2007

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I love the Red Sox. I love Manny Ramirez. But I hate what Manny Ramirez is doing to the Red Sox. There is only so much one team can take from one player. Yes, I have heard the argument. His career numbers are astounding (.300, 35 HR’s, 120 RBI a year). Watching him hit is truly a joy and I am certainly glad to have been able to witness his brilliance firsthand.

But this has got to stop. All of this, “I come to spring training when I want and I leave spring training when I want” attitude. “My mother is sick. I was at a car show.” No disrespect, Manny, but you sound like a first grader digging for excuses as to why you didn’t do your homework. I hate to use a cliche, but the name on the front of the jersey is far more important than the one on the back. It’s time you start following the rules the whole team abides by, otherwise I think your time in Boston is up.

I love watching you hit and one day I will share your legendry with my kids, but if this keeps up, the story will just end on a sour note.

Watch Manny do what he does best:

Sound off about Ramirez and the Sox this year.

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Last week, the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators engaged in one of the biggest brawls in hockey history. After Chris Drury was knocked to the ice with a suspected concussion, the Sabres retaliated immediately by starting several small scuffles with the Senators that eventually turned into all-out fist fights. At the end of the melee, 100 pentalty minutes were dished out and even the goalies were seen exchanging blows. Surely, it was an exhibition in how dirty sports can be.

On the other hand, it’s also an exhibition of how beautiful the sport of hockey is. Where else can athletes let loose with their emotions and throw fist after fist at their opponent’s head? It sounds brutal, but this is what makes hockey great. The tenacity, the fire, the camraderie. All of these things make it an admirable and likeable game. Okay, you’re going to mess with our goalie? You better watch your backs then, because we are coming right back at you. You gotta love it, eh?

Watch the brawl unfold:

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I’d like to step away from my usual theme of professional sports and switch gears for this particular post.

In covering the Quinnipiac men’s basketball game earlier today, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of my school actually putting together not one, but two highly-successful sports teams: men’s hockey and now men’s basketball. It’s hard for me to sit on press row and act like a profeessional journalist all the time when I want to stand up and cheer. Saturday’s 81-76 win over Robert Morris was no exception. The ‘Cats fought off yet another viscious opponent and the entire time I felt like clapping.

I know that nothing is more appealing to me than becoming a sports journalist someday, but watching these games really tears at me. It’s so hard to be a student and a professional at the same time, especially when your school is on the verge of acheiving something it has never before achieved.

With the win, the Bobcats secured home court advantage at least through the opening rounds of the NEC tournament. Needless to say I will be at the rest of the home games, watching closely and hoping to produce good journalistic pieces. On the outside I will remain calm and collected. But on the inside, I will be pulling for them from the opening tip until the final buzzer.

 To see photos, watch video and listen to audio clips of the men’s basketball team’s season go to: http://athleticsmedia.quinnipiac.edu/athletics/photos/MensBasketball/index.html

Going to Knight school

February 20, 2007

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t agree with about 99 percent of what Bobby Knight says. In this article, however, Knight makes several excellent points about the NBA’s minimum age rule. The rule, which states basketball players must wait at least a year after high school before entering the NBA, has many flaws which the league need not worry about. The main issue is that high school players are matriculating to big time schools, playing until the end of the season and then dropping out to prepare for the NBA. Although this debacle in no way affects NBA teams, it certainly hurts college programs.

Knight argues that when Texas Tech recruits athletes, the university wants a guarantee that a player will commit to both academic and athletic responsibilities for a full year before jumping ship. His point is a good one because it would be practically impossible for any school to build a credible and successful program if it couldn’t get it’s student-athletes to commit for a full year.

Bobby Knight is a volatile and unlikeable sports figure, but you can’t help but agree with what he has to say here.

Onto Green(er) Pastures

February 19, 2007

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Second-year Celtic swingman Gerald Green finally gave Boston fans a reason to smile over the weekend, winning the highly-touted All-Star slamn dunk contest. Although at the end of the year the Celtics may wind up with the worst record in the league, Green showed why his future as a Celtic certainly looks promising. His athleticism and leaping ability put him in the upper echelon of young players in the NBA.

Green’s silky smooth jumper also resembles the great Larry Bird’s, and many Boston fans may find it easier to forget about the teams 19-game losing streak with the promise of this talented young man’s future on the horizon. Couple Green’s talent with the high probability that the Celts will land either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant in this year’s draft, and this season might just be a small hiccup for the NBA’s greatest all-time franchise.

To learn more about the Celtics and Gerald Green’s big night visit http://www.nba.com/celtics/.

Foulke hero

February 17, 2007

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I can’t think of another time in New England sports history when an athlete took as big of a fall from grace as Keith Foulke did. Foulke, the embattled closer for the Red Sox for the last three seasons, retired earlier this week before throwing a single pitch for his new team, the Cleveland Indians. Foulke helped the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years back in 2004, but also was the source of much controversy with his comments about the fans and “Johnny from Burger King.” Never has someone endeared himself so much with his talent only to lose it all so quickly.

 I for one, will never forget what he helped to accomplish. There is no chance the Sox win the championship that year if he doesn’t come out of the bullpen for them. It’s sad that his body and personality broke down over the two years following the title run, but sometimes that’s what sports do to people. In my opinion, Foulke will go down as a legend for the 2004 season. Hopefully other true fans will realize that and herald him as I have come to.

 To discuss your thoughts on Keith Foulke and the Red Sox, click here to head to the team’s message board: http://www.forums.mlb.com/ml-redsox

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As a diehard Red Sox fan, nothing pleased me more than reading this article. Like many Red Sox followers know, last year the team went into spring training with seven legitimate starters. Then, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brass decided they could afford to give up Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo went on to become an All-Star with Cincinatti, while the Red Sox were left to wonder whether Wily Mo Pena would ever be able to hit a curveball.

This year, the Sox mean business. They come into 2007 with four starters who could be aces in the Major Leagues, (Schilling, Matsuzaka, Beckett and Papelbon) as well as the ever-reliable Tim Wakefield who is usually good for 15 wins a season. Barring a total mental breakdown from the Sox front office again, this year’s team seems to have the necessary pitching to make a serious postseason run. And nothing, nothing, makes me happier.

More of Mauer

February 12, 2007

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The Minnesota Twins signed young catcher Joe Mauer to an extension this weekend that will make the rising star $33 million richer. The four-year deal is a handsome one for last year’s AL Batting Champ. Mauer has proven to be one of the most durable players in the game since a knee injury in his rookie season.

With the signing, the Twins have made an excellent strategic move in locking up one of the league’s premier young stars. Mauer also brings tremendous marketability to the franchise especially with the Twins opening up a new stadium for the 2010 season. At only 23-years-old Mauer has become the face of the ballclub and his re-signing should only help to bolster that image.

J.J. Redick

The Duke men’s basketball team didn’t just lose its all-time leading scorer when J.J. Redick matriculated to the N.B.A. after last season. It also lost a proven leader and seasoned veteran who helped to mentor the younger players. It lost a go-to guy that would step up and make crucial shots every time he was called upon. But most importantly, it lost someone who could pick up a team when it was down, and carry it through the low points of a grueling season.

Duke sure needs a guy like that right about now. The Blue Devils lost to North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium last night, 79-73, in a game where a player like Redick clearly would have made the difference for the Blue Devils. Duke had its chances to put a young Carolina team away but never was able to put the final nail in the casket. Freshman Jon Scheyer had a career high 26 points, but even that wasn’t enough to help the Dukies. At 18-6, Duke needs to recapture its traditional magic if they hope to make some noise come tournament time. And with a tremendous void left by Redick’s departure, someone has to become a leader rather quickly. Otherwise, the Blue Devils will be left to cope with their season ending much sooner than seasons past.

This latest article, which deals more with advertising than news, caught my eye because it seems that advertising over the Internet has induced more sales than advertisements on television or in magazines. Now advertisers are making the switch to market there products using broadband over other forms. Internet shopping has been on the rise in the past decade and this signifies just one more way in which Internet media may take over in the long run.

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