Friday, August 1, 2008

Free Kicks

Y'all didn't think I would get you Free Kicks this week, did you? As any of you who have been watching ESPN lately might know, all potential sports news outlets have been ordered by the media gods to give the following update before writing any additional stories: Brett Favre ate breakfast today, and read the paper. Sources have not yet stated whether he was reading the Green Bay Press Gazette, or whether his eggs were scrambled. Now, let’s line up for the kick.

Don’t talk about playoffs!

I am trying to keep the training camp tales to a minimum over here until the season starts, but I think I am the only one not particularly thrilled about this upcoming season and the only one who sees that things will get worse before they get better. Keep in mind that the Ravens are losing their best player in their history (and it appears that there are more O-lineman are dropping away every day), have the Three Stooges at quarterback (I am a Troy Smith fan but none of them are looking good- and I don’t care how confident Flacco acts), and have to adjust to a new head coach who has never even been a coordinator. Look, I want to give the team the benefit of the doubt, but this team will be interesting, not exciting. I want to see how they adjust and what looks good for the future, but I am not exactly giddy about the prospect of competing with an improved Pittsburgh, and offensive juggernauts in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Are you kidding me?

Daniel Cabrera has been suspended 6 games for hitting Alex Rodriguez on Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees, which will force him to miss one start. The call was “questionable” to say the least, but a suspension is ridiculous. I am rarely a conspiracy theorist, but I can’t help but imagine Hank Steinbrenner on the phone with Bud Selig ordering this to come down. Guys get hit all the time, but when it is the Yankees and A-Rod things seem to get that much more heated. It’s bad enough that they can buy every player on the market (which might not win them championships but keeps them winners), and that they seem to get every close call, but now suspensions are in their favor? When you cross the Yankees, I guess you pay for it- even if they can’t beat you, the league will.

I’m just hoping we can win a game!

It may seem odd, but the Orioles have not swept a series since May 8-10 against the Royals. In fact, they are only 10-25 in the final game of a series this season. It seems strange that the Orioles would be such bad closers; Dave Trembley seems to try to keep them focused rather well, but there must be something that is keeping the Orioles from finishing. Perhaps it has something to do with their travel scheduling and leaving soon after the game, or thinking too far ahead about the next series. This is just another of the multitude of strange trends this team has had- let’s not forget the recent 0-15 streak on Sundays that was broken just last week. Baseball is a game of numbers, and some statistics are simply baffling to O’s fans.

Perhaps the lowly Mariners will be the elixir for a sweep, the team could use one to rebuild their confidence and get back within striking distance of .500. Does anyone else find it odd that the first time these teams played Erik Bedard didn’t pitch and last week he won’t pitch until later in the month as he continues his injury rehab. He has already told the team he doesn’t want to throw over 100 pitches a game; now he might not want to pitch to his old team either. Is it possible someone is scared of playing the Orioles? I know, I need to stop drinking.

*bonus points to whoever noticed the pattern

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