Monday, July 31, 2006

Hey ESPN.....Leave Soriano Trade Talk Alone, Already!


All I have heard from the ESPN honks this past 10 days was "where is Soriano gonna go!?!?"  I heard it so much that I prayed to God that he'd get dealt soon so they'd shut up about it.

Trade day came and went and Soriano is still in DC. 


And they still talk about it constantly.


Yeah, it is a story.  Soriano was probably the best player on the trading block.  And, yes, there were juicy rumors about him going here or there.  But in the end, nothing happened which led the barrage of SORIANO NEWS to come up completely lame.  The done deal that sent him to Chicago.  Nope.  Nada.

So, please, save your faces of the Every Soriano Purchasing Network crap to please go away.

Thank you.

Landis' Sample Tainted



Tests show that some of the testosterone in Floyd Landis' system at the Tour de France was synthetic and not naturally produced by his body as he claimed, according to a newspaper report.

The French antidoping lab testing the American cyclist's samples determined that some of the hormone came from an external source, The New York Times reported on its Web site Monday night, citing a person at the International Cycling Union with knowledge of the result.

The finding undermines the defense that Landis has stood behind since he tested positive for an elevated ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone following the 17th stage of the Tour de France, where he staged a stirring comeback in the Alps to make up for a poor performance the day before.

Looking and sounding defiant, Landis said Friday that his body's natural metabolism -- not doping of any kind -- caused the result and that he would undergo tests to prove it.

"We will explain to the world why this is not a doping case but a natural occurrence," Landis said at a news conference in Madrid, Spain.

But after determining that Landis's ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone was more than twice the limit of 4:1, the lab performed a carbon isotope ratio test on the first of Landis's two urine samples, the person told the Times.

That test determines whether the testosterone it is natural or synthetic.

Landis officially requested the testing of his backup urine sample Monday for an elevated testosterone ratio. If the "B" test is negative, Landis would be cleared. If it's positive, which Landis' lawyers say they expect, he could be stripped of his Tour victory and banned for two years.

The Times reported that Landis was in New York on Monday night and could not be reached for comment.


MLB Deadline Deals

from Trade Central 2006

Royals Rockies
1B Ryan Shealy, Colorado
RHP Scott Dohmann, Colo. Springs (AAA)
RHP Jeremy Affeldt, Kansas City
RHP Denny Bautista, Omaha (AAA)

Dodgers Devil Rays
SS Julio Lugo, Tampa Bay
OF Joel Guzman, Las Vegas (AAA)
OF Sergio Pedroza, Vero Beach (Hi A)

Dodgers Cubs
RHP Greg Maddux, Chicago (NL)
INF Cesar Izturis, Los Angeles (NL)

Rangers Pirates
RHP Kip Wells, Pittsburgh
RHP Jesse Chavez, Oklahoma (AAA)

Yankees Pirates
1B/OF Craig Wilson, Pittsburgh
RHP Shawn Chacon, New York (AL)

Padres Cubs
INF Todd Walker, Chicago (NL)
RHP Jose Ceda, AZL Padres (R)

Rangers Royals
DH/1B Matt Stairs, Chicago (NL)
RHP Joselo Diaz, Omaha (AAA)

Mets Pirates
LHP Oliver Perez, Indianapolis (AAA)
RHP Roberto Hernandez, Pittsburgh
OF Xavier Nady, New York (NL)

Reds Twins
RHP Kyle Lohse, Minnesota
Zach Ward, Dayton (Lo A)

Tigers Pirates
1B Sean Casey, Pittsburgh
RHP Brian Rogers, Erie (AA)

Reds Phillies
LHP Rheal Cormier, Philadelphia
RHP Justin Germano, Louisville (AAA)




Reds Keep On Making Deals


It is a nice sign for the Reds that they are making deals like this.  In past seasons, usually we are the ones dropping salaries, not picking them up.

Trade deadline deals are toss-ups, as we know.  The trade that sent us Eddie Guardado from Seattle has worked out really, really well.  The trade that sent us Gary Mejewski and Bill Bray hasn't.  At least not yet.

So, today, the Reds made two more moves....both to help the pitching staff. 

REDS-PHILLIES DEAL:  The Reds dealt away RHP Justin Germano [AAA] for LHP Rheal Cormier.  Cormier is 2-2 with a 1.59 ERA.

He will be called on mostly as a reliever in the bullpen.  The kind of guy that can come in and be a stopper against a left handed pitcher.  He also is a good long reliever, who has a rubber arm of sorts and won't mind being in there several days straight.  To make the deal work, the Reds agreed to a one-year contract extention for 2007 [worth $2.5M] and a club option for 2008.

Germano started on Saturday in a loss to the Brewers.  He was sent down after that game. 


REDS-TWINS DEAL:  This one is a bit harder to swallow.  The Reds dealt away RHP Zach Ward [A] to Minnesota for RHP Kyle Lohse. 

Lohse can be used as a spot starter, or might see some rotation time.  He wasn't having a good season at all in Minnesota, going just 2-5 with a 7.07 ERA.  Last year, in 30 starts, Lohse went 9-13 with a 4.18 ERA.  Earlier this season, he was dropped from the Twins' rotation and was even sent to the minors for a spell.

What makes it hard is that Zach Ward was 7-0 for Class A Dayton...with a 2.29 ERA and was one of their top prospects in the entire organization.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Buck O'Neil's Hall of Fame Speech


Below is the transcript of Buck O'Neil's Hall of Fame speech....which he spoke in honor of 17 Negro League players inductions into Baseball's Hall of Fame.  If you'd like to listen to it, click here:   Buck O'Neil 

"This is outstanding. I've been a lot of places, I've done a lot of things that I really liked doing. I hit the home run, I hit the grand slam home run, I hit for the cycle, I've hit a hole in one in golf. I've done a lot of things I like doing. Oh, man. I took along with the other president and I got to hug his wife Hillary, so I've done a lot of things I like doing, but I'd rather be right here right now representing these people that helped build a bridge across the chasm of prejudice, not just the ones like Charley Pride and me that lead across it. Yeah.

This is quite an honor for me. See, I played in the Negro leagues. Tell you what, the Negro leagues was nothing like Hollywood is trying to make it. The Negro leagues was the third- largest black business in this country. Yeah. First black insurance, white insurance. It was a ten cent policy, just enough to bury us, but the black insurances insured our crops, our homes. Yeah. Stock, they made millions.

Next, Madam C.J. Walker, cosmetology. You see that pretty hair over there, don't you see it? Mrs. Robinson. Tell you what, yeah, that's right. Madam C.J. Walker was doing that a hundred years ago and she made millions. To tell you the truth, Madam C.J. Walker was the first black woman millionaire in this country and to tell you, Madam C.J. Walker might have been the first woman millionaire in the country that earned it. They had other women millionaires but they inherited the money. Madam C.J. Walker earned it.

Next, Negro league baseball. All you needed was a bus, and we rode in some of the best buses money could buy. Yeah. And a couple of sets of uniforms. You could have 20 of the best athletes that ever lived, and that's who we are representing here today. It was outstanding. And playing in the Negro leagues was a lot, which a lot of you don't know, see, when I first came to the Negro leagues, five percent of major league ball players were college men because the major leaguers wanted them right out of high school, put them in the minor league, bring them on in. But Negro leagues, 40 percent of Negro leagues, leaguers, were college men. Thereason that was, we always spring trained in a black college town and that's who we played in spring training, the black colleges, so when school was out, they came and played baseball. When baseball season was over, they'd go back to teaching, the coaching or to classes. That was Negro league baseball. And I'm proud to have been a Negro league ball player. Yeah, yeah.

And I tell you what, they always said to me Buck, I know you hate people for what they did to you or what they did to your folks. I said no, man, I never learned to hate. I hate cancer. Cancer killed my mother. My wife died 10 years ago of cancer – I'm single, ladies. I hate AIDS. A good friend of mine died of AIDS three months ago. I hate AIDS. But I can't hate a human being because my God never made anything ugly. Now, you can be ugly if you want to, boy, but God didn't make you that way. So I want you to light this valley up this afternoon. (Inaudible) when you reach love on this level, you love all men, not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, but you love them because God loved them, and I love Jehovah my God with all my heart, with all my soul and I love every one of you as I love myself.

Now, I want you to do something for me. I'm going to get off this stage, I think I've done my six minutes. But I want you to do something for me. I want you to hold hands, whoever's next to you, hold a hand, come on, you Hall of Famers, all you people out there, hold hands. Everybody hooked up? Everybody hooked up? Well then I tell you what, see, I know my brothers up here, my brothers over there, I see some black brothers of mine and sisters out there. I know they can sing. Can you white folks sing? I want you to sing after me:

(Singing began) The greatest thing, come on everybody, the greatest thing, in all of my life, is loving you. The greatest thing in all of my life is loving you. The greatest thing in all of my life is loving you. The greatest thing in all my life is loving you. (Singing ended)

Thank you folks, thank you folks, thank you folks, thank you folks, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Now, sit down. I could talk to you 10 minutes longer but I got to go to the bathroom."

                                   Buck O'Neil 

A New Record

Sorry...but I only have 7 1/2 more hours to post something to break my here it is.

Sports is cool!

There.  That breaks my record for posts in a month.  This is my 59th post in July, breaking my mark of 58 posts I did in March.  Since March is "March Madness", it is understandable why that was my top mark. 

Of course, I could break this record only because I've basically been off work all of July.  I had the first 9 days off due to vacation.  I worked the next 7 before shutting myself down with a back injury.  But with football camps opening, NBA free agency, baseball turning the stretch, the World Cup and all the scandals around the sporting has been busy. 

My top 6 months??

1-July 2006 [59]:  Again, time off is good.
2-March 2006 [58]:  I love college hoops!
3-June 2006 [51]:  NBA and NHL playoffs, plus the start of World Cup action.
4-December 2005 [50]:  With the Redskins inching toward the playoffs, my blogging was strong.
5-May 2006 [48]:  NBA and NHL playoffs. 
6-January 2006 [46]:  The NFL playoffs force me to blog my butt off.

Hard to believe that my first month here [May 2004] netted just 19 entries.

The Best Players In Baseball Franchise History


Major League Baseball is going around asking who the best players are for each franchise in their history.  Quite a task.  I mean, who is the greatest Yankee among all the greats they've had??  And, at the same point, who is the greatest Devil Ray??  Intriguing to say the least.

So, I am going to do my a 3-part look at the greatest of each franchise in the MLB, NFL and NBA.  I'm sure that my picks could be controversial....but it is me talking.  I am not a fan of each of these I'm not going to fret if fans of those teams call me crazy for certain picks.

Not all of my picks were on the MLB's official list [vote here: Major League Baseball : DHL Home Town Heroes Sweepstakes] but the list is flawed a bit. 

Either is Major League Baseball.

ANGELS:  Tim Salmon.  Salmon is among the all time Angel leaders in most offensive categories.  He's been there for their highest moment - their World Series championship.  He also was a California Angel, an Anaheim Angel, and now a Los Angeles Angel.  He could be eclipsed by Vlad Guerrero at some point. 

ASTROS:  Jeff Bagwell.  This one was tough.  Bagwell beat out Nolan Ryan for that top spot [Ryan was also considered for the Angels' top spot].  Bags leads the Astros in HRs and RBIs by a ton, and is 2nd to Craig Biggio in hits.  He also has an MVP award, a Gold Glove and a Rookie of the Year honor. 


ATHLETICS:  Lefty Grove.  What a tough one here.  I love Ricky Henderson and Reggie Jackson...but Grove was just that much more dominant.  From 1928-1931 [when hitters ruled the league]...Grove put up records of 24-8, 20-6, 28-5 and 31-4...and lead the A's to three straight World Series titles.

BLUE JAYS:  Carlos Delgado.  Delgado is by far the Jays top HR hitter [336 to George Bell's 202] far the Jays top RBI man [1058 to Bell's 740] bases leader [2786 to Bell's 2201] and walks leader [827 to Lloyd Moseby's 547]. 

BRAVES:  Hank Aaron.  Think about this.  Even with all these guys running up the home run charts....Aaron still leads them all.  And he did so in an era where ballparks weren't as small nor steroids were as prevelant.  Not only is he the HR King...he's the RBI King and Extra Base Hit King as well.  Of course, when 755 of your hits were home runs, you should be pretty high on that list. 

BREWERS:  Robin Yount.  Yount is everything in the Brewers' history.  A great hitter who excelled in the outfield and at shortstop [in fact, he won two MVP at each position].  He had deceptive speed [he was one of the better doubles and triples hitters and was the leader of the 1982 AL championship team. 


CARDINALS:  Stan Musial.  Some players just define organizations, and Stan the Man does that.  He has a lifetime average on .331....475 HRs....1,951 RBIs...7 hitting titles....3 MVP awards....and 20 straight All Star appearances.  He also won three World Series Championships. 

CUBS:  Ernie Banks.  Just as Musial is Mr Cardinal....Banks truly is Mr Cub.  Before there were the A-Rods, Nomars and those other big hitting shortstops....there was Banks.  Five times he hit at least 40 HRs in a season and won two MVP awards. 

DEVIL RAYS:  Carl Crawford.  There isn't much to choose from here, but Crawford is the best talent that has ever come to Tampa [well, for the home team]. 

DIAMONDBACKS:  Randy Johnson.  Johnson was good in Montreal.  Great in Seattle.  But he became elite in Arizona.  In his 6 seasons in the desert, only once did his ERA go above 2.64 for a season.  And that was his injury shortened season of 2003.  He also won four straight Cy Young awards in Arizona. 

DODGERS:  Sandy Kofax.  The best left handed pitcher ever whose minicule ERAs in the 1960s make him a legend.  And he's one of the few players on this list that didn't hang on too long.  


GIANTS:  Willie Mays.  It is hard for me not to have Barry Bonds anywhere, but Mays is the best Giant for many reasons.  He has the most HRs as a Giant more RBIs as a Giant, more runs as a Giant and pretty much everything else.  Also, Mays was a much better defensive player while playing a tougher defensive position.  Oh, and that steroids thing. 

INDIANS:  Bob Feller.  Feller led the American League in strikeouts every year he pitched from 1939 to 1948.  Of course, WWII took four seasons away from him [players did that back then].  Yet he came back in 1946 win 27 wins....with 36 of them complete games....and 317 strikeouts. 

MARINERS:  Ken Griffey, Jr.  Remember how Griffey was supposed to be "the next greatest player".  His Cincinnati time has brought injuries, but his Seattle time was why people felt that way.  His great 56 home run seasons [twice he did that] is overshadowed by the roided up numbers that others put ahead of him.  And unlike those guys, Griffey was a Gold Glove outfielder who stole hits and home runs just as he was getting them. 

MARLINS:  Mike Lowell.  Miguel Cabrera should take over this spot any day now....but Lowell leads the franchise in most stats.  Florida was a tough one since they basically follow the "develop em off" program. 

METS:  Tom Seaver.  Another former Red, Seaver was the glue of the franchise during that magical run in the late 1960s early 1970s.  He has a lifetime 2.86 ERA...which is amazin' in the modern era. 


NATIONALS:  Andre Dawson.  I know that most of the Hawks numbers have been eclipsed by Guerrero...and Dawson was long gone before the team moved to DC, but he was the top dog of all the Expos/Nats.  Gary Carter and Tim Wallace may have him matched in the stats column, but Dawson's overall talent puts him ahead.  Just factoring in the Nats??  Well, I guess Alphonso Soriano's half a season. 

ORIOLES:  Cal Ripken Jr.  The second "Jr" on this list....but Cal meant more to Baltimore than most great players could.  I always said that if it wasn't for "the Streak", than Ripken wouldn't be thought of as highly.  But, again, that's like saying if not for the home runs, no one would care about Babe Ruth.  Ripken also was a great segue from the defensive minded shortstops of the 1980s to the power hitting ones of the 1990s and today. 

PADRES:  Tony Gwynn.  In an age of power ball...Gwynn was still one of the most reliable hitters ever.  He also revolutionized the way hitters prepare themselves as far as notes and video.  He has 8 batting titles...including a .394 average in 1994, and will be a Hall of Famer next year. 

PHILLIES:  Steve Carlton.  This one is really hard for me.  I had Mike Schmidt's name typed there a couple of times.  He did have 8 home run titles mixed with his 10 Gold Gloves.  But Carlton was as money as you could have...even on some bad teams.  He won 4 Cy Young awards.  The 1972 season alone is just unreal!  Carlton went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA on a team that ended up winning just 59 games. 

PIRATES:  Honus Wagner.  The O.G.  Eight hitting titles, five RBI titles, five stolen base titles and a darn good defensive shortstop.  When your tobacco card is that sought after....I guess you are pretty good. 

RANGERS:  Juan Gonzalez.  He is the Rangers all time HR King, RBI King, second in runs, third in hits and has two MVP awards.  He also was a leader in the first Rangers playoff teams.  It was a close call with Juan Gone, Pudge Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro. 

RED SOX:  Ted Williams.  He could be the greatest hitter that ever lived.  The last man to hit .400 for a season, did so 65 years ago.  And if WWII and Korea hadn't stolen five of his peak years, who knows what kind of records Williams would own right now. 


REDS:  Johnny Bench.  As my favorite team...this one is tough.  But I will go with Johnny Bench over Pete Rose.  Rose is my favorite player and means more to the city of Cincinnati than Bench ever will.  However, Bench may be the best catcher to put on a mask [well, aside from Josh Gibson] and reinvented what a catcher could be. 

ROCKIES:  Todd Helton.  For a franchise with nothing much to cheer for, Helton has been the diamond there.  He is Colorado's all time HR, RBI and hit king.  He also leads all active hitters in average. 

ROYALS:  George Brett.  Brett won a batting title in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.  Amazing.  He also pretty much owns the Kansas City record books. 

TIGERS:  Ty Cobb.  Cobb owns the #1 career batting average, he's #2 in hits, #2 in runs, #4 in total bases, #4 in stolen bases and #5 in RBIs.  One of the greatest ever. 

TWINS:  Walter Johnson.  Sure, Johnson never played for the "Minnesota Twins", but in their former life as the original Washington Senators, dude won 417 games [2nd all time]....with an unhearded of 110 shutouts [2nd place trails him by 20 shutouts].  As just a Twins player, I'd vote Kirby Puckett.

WHITE SOX:  Frank Thomas.  Thomas dominates most offensive categories in White Sox lore.  May not be as revered as Luke Appling....but still, the greatest White Sox player. 

YANKEES:  Babe Ruth.  The Yankees have had some greats, but none did for baseball what Ruth did.  He completely changed the game from "small ball" to a power game.  Everything that has happened in baseball since can be attributed to what Ruth did. 

Congratulations, Bruce Sutter




ALL STAR:  1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984

CY YOUNG AWARD:  1979 [finished 3rd in 1982 and 1984]

SAVES LEADER:  1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984

12 seasons.....300 saves....68-71 lifetime record....1982 World Series Champion

What Happened To My Redskins?


The 2006 season marks the 15th anniversary of the Super Bowl XXVI champion Washington Redskins team.  It is a happy time to reflect on a team that steamrolled thru the season and the playoffs to dominate the Buffalo Bills in the championship game.

It also is a time to reflect on what has gone wrong since then.

That 1991 team was it's own way.  This wasn't a historically great team.  A kind of one-and-done season.  The Skins went 14-2 that season....with the only two losses coming to Dallas [in a game where the Boys had a few lucky plays and won by 3] and in the finale against the Eagles which the Washington starters rested and still lost by just 2 points.  So 5 points seperated that team with a perfect record.

Quarterback Mark Rypien threw for 3,500+ yards and was the MVP of the Super Bowl.  In that season, Washington beat the Lions 45-0 on opening day.....beat Phoenix 34-0.....beat Philly 23-0....beat Cleveland 42-17....beat Atlanta 56-17... and beat Pittsburgh 41-14.  Only six games were decided by less than a touchdown....and two were Redskin losses.  The Redskins scored 485 points that average of 30.3 per game....and allowed only 224.  That means the average score of a Redskins game that year was 30-14.  Wow.  The team bulldozed Atlanta and Detroit before running the Bills out of the Metrodome in the Super Bowl.  Everything was good. 

But Joe Gibbs coached just one more season after that title team before going the NASCAR route.  In the 14 seasons since that Super Bowl team, the Redskins have been to the playoffs just three times.....with just three wins and just one NFC East title.  As just a reminder, from 1982-1991 [just one decade], the Redskins won the NFC East four times [five, if you count the 8-1 Redskins in the strike shortened 1982 season], went to the playoffs seven times, with a 15-4 playoff record in that span, with three Super Bowl championships in four Super Bowl appearances.  They had just one losing season in that span....a 7-9 team in 1988. 

What happened?

It is easy to blame current owner Daniel Snyder....but he's owned the team since 1999, and the team won it's only NFC East title over the past 15 years that season.  The Redskins were 26-59-1 in the six seasons prior to Snyder coming aboard....and has been 54-58 since his arrival. 

The team also moved from loved RFK Stadium to Jack Kent Cooke Stadium [now FedEx Field] in 1997.  FedExField currently is the largest stadium in the NFL. 

Well, a lot of it had to do with those great Redskins of that era leaving.  Russ Grimm departed in 1991.  Gary Clark, Don Warren and Wilbur Marshall left in 1992.  Art Monk, Mark Rypien, Charles Mann, Ricky Sanders, Ed Simmons and Jeff Bostic left in 1993.  Chip Lohmiller, Raliegh McKenzie and Monte Coleman in 1994.  Jim Lachey in 1995.  Really, only Darrell Green stuck around for a while, retiring in 2002.  To Redskin fans, these players made up the heart and soul of the franchise in the late 1980s and early 90s. 



Add to that fact that the Redskins failed to replentish the roster well via the draft.  Guys like Andre Collins, Bobby Wilson, Desmond Howard, Tom Carter, Heath Shuler, Michael Westbrook, Andre Johnson and Stephen Alexander didn't really pan out well.  Also, the Skins have had haphazard leadership as well.  Richie Pettibone wasn't ready.  Norv Turner, though semi sucessful, wasn't respected.  Marty Schottenheimer was thrown under the bus by Snyder.  Steve Spurrier was a monumental mistake.  Then the Skins had to go back to Gibbs again. 

Not that it is all bad.  The Redskins are the most valuable franchise in North America....with an estimated value over a billion dollars.  Again, the team plays in the NFL's largest stadium and isn't struggling to sell tickets.  It is also one of the most loved franchises in the league.

Maybe that's what makes it tough. 

At least hopes are high now.....but they've been that way for 5 years or so.  Every year, the Redskins tinker a bit in the offseason by being major players in free agent movement.  This year is no different.  But only once has it payed off...and that was last year.

Still, if there is anyone the Redskins trust, it is Joe Gibbs.  And he is the only holdover to that great era that ended on that field in the Metrodome...15 seasons ago.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Charlotte's NBC Sports Director Resigns Because of Vulgarity


Channel 36 sports director Chuck Howard has parted ways with the station in the wake of a technical goof that allowed a vulgarity to slip onto the air.

Howard, 41, WCNC sports director for 11 years, was taping a round-up Wednesday night for the next morning's "6 News Today" when he decided to redo the segment. "Let's retake that," he said, prefacing the statement with the S-word.

But when the round-up aired at 5:51 a.m. Thursday, the station showed the aborted segment rather than the one intended for broadcast.

Morning anchor Colleen Odegaard immediately acknowledged the error and apologized to viewers. Howard was not on his usual newscasts Friday.

"Chuck has tendered his resignation and we have accepted it," Stuart Powell, president and general manager of the NBC affiliate, said Saturday.

He said he could not comment on the reasons for the resignation. A message left at Howard's home was not immediately returned.

Howard, who worked on the station's evening and 11 p.m. broadcasts, joined WCNC in 1995 from a station in Buffalo, N.Y. In 2003, he was named North Carolina's best sportscaster by the Electronic News Association of the Carolinas.

Kobe v Michael


Below is a video a buddy of mine RichCBT found.  It is nearly a shot-by-shot replica of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan performing the same a cyberspace version of H-O-R-S-E. 

Rich said,  "I've always thought that the Kobe--MJ similarities were eerie, and I don't think most of it is conscious on Kobe's part.  They just have similar (and nearly unmatched) physical talent-levels, size, voice, gait, and mannerisms.  Clearly they are two of the most talented to ever lace them up.  I do not find it a Kobe put-down to say that MJ still may be the greatest, but Kobe's got more years to establish himself as MJ's equal or superior."  I agree with him. 


                  YouTube - Kobe biting MJ

Those Stupid Names!!! Cities, That Is!

There are dumb names all over sports.  And I'm not talking about the Los Angeles "Lakers", Utah "Jazz" or "Houston Texans".  I'm talking about the name of the team.  Not the nickname...the first name.

Normal protocol states that you use the city's name....or if a suburb of a city, the metro city it surrounds [like the Detroit Pistons play in nearby Auburn Hills, Michigan].   In the NFL, it is okay to use a regional name...since NFL teams truely are a more regional event than, say, baseball or most cases.

So, below are the ones that chap my butt!

14-UTAH.  Utah has the Jazz....and, well, when you think Utah, you think Salt Lake City [or sandy hills where mormons hide their polygamy].  It's just easier to say "Utah" than saying the "Salt Lake City Jazz". 

13-NEW ENGLAND.  I won't split hairs on this one.  Two things work in their favor.  One, only the NFL team gets called that [oh, and for the record, I'm not counting MLS or anything like that] and that team plays in Foxboro.  While the Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox get love all over New England...only the Patriots get that name.  But, since there are a little ways from Beantown....I'll excuse it. 

12-TENNESSEE.  I can excuse this one since the Titans found Memphis and Nashville home.  Still, Tennessee football really involves orange. 

11-ARIZONA.  Same this here.  Phoenix has the Suns and Coyotes...but pull the "Arizona" tag for the Cardinals and Diamondbacks.   And the Coyotes and Cards play in the same Phoenix suburb. 

10-COLORADO.  This one is odd.  In theory, football teams use the regional moniker more often than the other sports.  But the Colorado Rockies and Colorado Avalanche use the name while the Nuggets and Broncos just use "Denver".  It is just odd since "Colorado" seems like an adjective in those names.  Like the mountain region....the Colorado Rockies....or a disaster in that region...the Colorado Avalanche.

9-INDIANA.  Same thing here.  Why are the Colts called "Indianapolis" and the Pacers are "Indiana"?  It should be the other way around.  Really, it may as well be the Indiana Colts. 

8-MINNESOTA.  Not too much of a gripe here either.  But...all four of their teams are named "Minnesota", as is the local college team.  The Timberwolves, Vikings and Twins all play in Minneapolis and the Wild play in St Paul.  Why not just use the city once?  It worked for the Minneapolis Lakers. 

7-TEXAS.  No offense, but you are the Dallas Rangers.  Just accept it.  Texas is too big of a state to claim your own....especially when the Houston Astros have been there longer and been more sucessful.  They played in the state-of-the-art Astrodome for years.  The Rangers played in a converted minor league stadium.  And spare me the "well they play in Arlington" crap.  The Dallas Cowboys play in nearby Irving [and are trying to build a new stadium in Arlington] and they don't call themselves the Texas Cowboys.  Heck, they have more of a right to do so than anyone. 

6-NEW JERSEY.  Jersey is home to FOUR pro teams....but only two get the moniker.  And only one of the two, the Devils, wasn't a New York team previous.  The Nets were a New York team....then were named New Jersey when the NBA absorbed four ABA teams...and will be the Brooklyn Nets at some point in the future.  The only thing that bothers me about "New Jersey" is that is seems only the Devils get love from the rest of the state.   

5-FLORIDA.  There are the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers.....yet there are baseball and hockey teams in Tampa Bay too.  What's wrong with being the "Miami Marlins" or "Miami Panthers"???  The Dolphins and Heat work it well....and they are the elderstatesmen. 

4-CAROLINA.  Here is what chaps me about this.  There are two Carolina teams.....and they play in completely different cities.  The Carolina Panthers play in Charlotte...the state's largest city which is on the state line with South Carolina.  The Carolina Hurricanes play in Raleigh, the state capital which lies near the coast.  Charlotte and Raleigh really don't like each other much.  Charlotte still views Raleigh as a minor league town since hockey doesn't stir up that much emotion in the rest of the state.....and Raleigh laughs at Charlotte since the center of the North Carolina sports scene lies in the Triangle were the ACC rules.  And, still, when anyone says "Carolina" in the still means the Tar Heels.  Oh yeah....Carolina also implies South Carolina...and no one really cares about them. 

3-NEW YORK.  See Jersey above.  How can you be called the New York Jets or New York Giants when you don't play in the state or city??  You are across the river in New Jersey!  I know, it may as well by New York.  Yeah, but still.  That's like the St Louis Cardinals playing in western Illinois, the Cincinnati Bengals playing in northern Kentucky, or the Detroit Red Wings playing in Windsor, Ontario. 

2-GOLDEN STATE.  This one makes no sense.  Why not the "Oakland Warriors"??  Why "Golden State"??  I know it's the state nickname...but you are one of FOUR NBA teams in the state.  And you suck....even with the Clippers and Kings there.  And if any NBA team would claim to be the state's would be the Lakers.  Also, I was for the Raiders being named this so they could split games in Oakland and Los Angeles. 

1-ANAHEIM.  Those Orange County people sure are weird.  They have two dumb sports team names.  Call it the Yoda Syndrome.  On once side, there is the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  Cute.  Name your hockey team after a Disney movie.  Why not the "Yankees of New York"?  Fine, it is your niche.  But then you screw around and call yourself the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim".  What?  Using the New York theme again...can we just call the NY Giants the "New York Football Giants of New Jersey"???  Same thing.