Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Milton Bradley: Going, Going, Gone

You can only show compassion for so long, because at some point, compassion has to step aside and let pragmatism move into its breach. In Chicago, it did just that when the Cubs told Milton Bradley to take his baseball gear and go home.

Like a handful of teams before them, the Cubs tried and failed to fit Bradley’s combustible character into a situation that would keep it from turning into an inferno. They surrounded Bradley with professionals, partnered him with a player-friendly manager in Lou Piniella and plopped him into a city that reveres men who wear Cubs jerseys.

The organization was hopeful that, under these circumstances, Bradley would achieve the stardom that has long been predicted for him. He would build off the season he had with the Rangers a year ago and give the Cubs a potent bat in the middle of the batting order.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

R.I.P. Tiger Stadium (1912-2009)

Tiger Stadium, which stood watch at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull for nearly a century, will most likely be laid to rest today or tomorrow.

All that remains is a portion of the lower deck wall at the corner of Cochrane and Michigan.

The official age of death will be 97.

The corner of Michigan and Trumbull, known as Bennett Park, became the Tigers’ first home on April 28, 1896 — a 17-2 win over the Columbus Senators.

(Continue to Michigan and Trumbull)

Lanny Wadkins Has Plenty to Say

Golf Magazine features one of the best sports interviews you'll ever read when it goes shot for shot with Lanny Wadkins in its October issue.

Writer Alan Bastable stood in there strong and put a number of potentially contentious issues in front of the feisty Wadkins.
Wadkins (pictured) seldom backed off and gave as good as he got, taking on, among other things, the World Golf Hall of Fame, CBS Sports, and Tiger's lack of competition.

But rather than continue to tease you, we'd like you to check out of the Grill Room and go to this link so you can read the thing.

Yeah, yeah, we know that by directing you out of here, we are probably breaking some golden tenets of website traffic, or page views, or unique visitors or something else we don't understand. No matter, we are nothing, if not committed, to serving our clientele with the very best in sports prose.

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Bucs 'D' a Big Nightmare

Tuesday is the traditional day off for NFL players, thank-you Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Some might argue that certain members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense take Sundays off as well.

This 2009 Tampa Bay defense has become youthful head coach Raheem Morris' nightmare.

The question was posed to him at his Monday press conference: "Is this defense getting out of hand?"

Morris, without hesitation blurted: "It's already out of hand!"

(Continue to Buccaneer Bow Shots)

Redskins Going Nowhere Fast

If you witnessed the Washington Redskins 9-7 victory over the hapless St. Louis Rams squad at Fed Ex. Field in Landover, Md., you would have probably would have thought you were in South Philadelphia with all the booing that went on along the Beltway this past Sunday.

Even though fans are no doubt happy about seeing their Skins get their first win of the season, they are frustrated with an offense that rolled up 362 yards offense, but only managed to come away with just three field goals.

While it's never good discount any victory in the National Football League, I think Redskins fans are looking down the road when they have to run across teams the high-powered offenses in their own division like the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles—that have all put more than 20 points on the board so far this season. The team has not scored 30 points during head coach Jim Zorn's tenure in Washington.

(Continue to NFC 'Easter)

Good Weekend for Kessel, Dubinsky

A couple of NHL mini-dramas came to a close this weekend as the Boston Bruins finally traded free agent winger Phil Kessel, and center Brandon Dubinsky ended his holdout with the New York Rangers. Now if there could only be some end-game with the Phoenix Coyotes situation, the NHL would be soap opera-free, and we could move straight ahead and begin opining about where the Atlanta Thrashers are going to deal Ilya Kovalchuk by the trade deadline.

Dany Heatley traded? Check. Phil Kessel traded and signed to new long-term deal? Check. Brandon Dubinsky holdout ended with new multi-year contract? Check. Francis Bouillon free agency courtship ended with one-year deal in Nashville? Well, yes, check. But let's not get off-track here.

After Heatley was traded by the Seantors to the Sharks, even more focus was placed on Kessel's saga in Boston. A 21 year-old with one outstanding season among three in the National Hockey League, Kessel was poised to break the bank after his 36-goal campaign a year ago. With the Bruins up against the cap, it was a foregone conclusion that Kessel would be dealt, and, in fact, he was on Friday to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

Who'll be the First to Five?

One riveting sidebar story that will most likely persist the entire 2009-2010 season is which future Hall of Fame NBA player, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant (photo above holding trophy), will possibly capture his fifth championship title first this year.

Big Shaq won three straight titles with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001 and 2002) and one with the Miami Heat (2006). The Big Fundamental has captured four championships with the San Antonio Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007). And Kobe, currently the best baller in the game, got all his rings with the Lakers of course (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009).

(Continue to All Net)

Hansbrough Will Succeed in NBA

There have been plenty of naysayers who doubt Tyler Hansbrough's ability to transition from the college game to the NBA. Well I say nay to their nays.

Hansbrough played four successful years at UNC at Chapel Hill. He is not what some would call a "natural athlete," but for anything he lacked in raw talent he more than made up for by putting in blood, sweat, and tears. In the workout room he even earned himself the nickname "Psycho T" for his high intensity, maximum effort workouts.

Many question whether his 6'9" 250 pound frame will be well suited for banging around under the boards in the NBA. To make his game more complete and well rounded at UNC, Hansbrough worked tirelessly to improve his outside shooting. By the end of his tenure are UNC, all of his hard work and extra practice helped make him a threat even outside of the paint. His work ethic and leadership contributed to the Tar Heels' success and helped them bring home the 2009 NCAA Championship.

(Continue to The Pine Rider Writer)
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