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Sacrificial Lamb

In NFL on September 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

After finally winning the labor stalemate, the real NFL refs were greeted with a standing ovation upon their Thursday night return. Now everything is back to normal, and all is well again in the land of American professional football.

Or is it?

Why Roger Goodell wouldn’t come out and directly say the game winning/losing touchdown from Monday night was blown, the league did come out and admit that Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate did push off on the play. Even Tate admitted it. This means Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference, which would have consequently ended the game and given Green Bay the victory.

Now the second biggest controversy in the history of MNF.

Since then, Goodell has brought back the real refs and issued a letter of apology to fans for the replacement officials. When the integrity of the game was seriously brought into question, and owners knew they couldn’t get away anymore with cheaply stiff-arming the real officials in their labor dispute, and made Goodell do the right thing.


I say mostly, because they forgot atonement for the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers 2012 season.

Let’s be perfectly straight forward here; the Packers were robbed of Monday night’s victory by a bunch of unqualified officials who were employed by a league that demonstrated clear disregard for the game simply by hiring them. The mistakes made weren’t just those of Lance Easley and the rest of the replacement officiating crew, but of the commissioner, the owners, and the league, by entrusting the replacements with duties they were grossly unqualified for.

And if it wasn’t for Monday night’s outcome, the league would most likely still have replacement officials indefinitely scheduled to call games. We might have been given more legitimate fodder for Saturday Night Live and (Warning: Extremely Offensive) South Park parodies. But we’re not, and now amends need to be made. Now, as logistically difficult as it will be, the league needs to make right on their biggest failure.

They need give Green Bay their rightful win.

Be clear, I am not a Green Bay Packers fan. I have nothing against the Seattle Seahawks (except maybe their uniforms). I understand the difficulties included by changing the game’s final outcome after the fact.

But for a league with a season only sixteen games long, a single loss could be the difference between a Super Bowl and watching the game on television. If Seattle were to make the playoffs, and Green Bay sent home early, the Seahawks would not rightfully deserve their place in postseason play. The season would truly need an asterisk by it in the record books.

Furthermore, Roger Goodell reverses plays and penalties all the time. If he and the rest of the owners are truly interested in saving face this tainted season, there is still one more thing they need to do. There is still one more wrong from the whole replacement-era that needs to be fixed. The owners need to stand together for a team that does not have one, but many.

They need to do right.

Green Bay over Seattle (12-7).


Monday Night Fallout

In NFL on September 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

Fans and players of the 2012 NFL season.

It’s been a few days, and while the story still hasn’t died down, it’s time to forget this week’s Monday Night fiasco.

Forget that M.D. Jennings really intercepted the ball, and Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference. Forget that Lance Easley, the replacement official who blew the game, is normally a California high school referee who before this season has never officiated a game above Division III college football. Forget that the Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials determined Easley wasn’t yet ready to officiate Division I football games, yet is somehow now a zebra for the NFL.

Forget his incompetence shifted upward of $150 million to $250 million dollars in bets.

Forget all of that, because ESPN is reporting that the NFL and striking officials may have a verbal agreement in place, and if everything goes right, the real refs might be back this Sunday.

(Good luck to the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens who play Thursday and will have to wait another week before their games can be properly officiated)

“Come on!”

Despite all the chest thumping and posturing the NFL has done the last few days, saying how the outcome to Monday night’s game would not affect their negotiations with striking officials, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s owners had no other choice but to make a deal happen, and make it happen sooner rather than later.

ESPN commenters Trent Dilfer and Steve Young lambasted the league and the legitimacy of the 2012 season on national television. Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews posted Goodell’s private phone number on his facebook page. The league received 70,000 calls from complaining fans, players and coaches. The entire Packer’s team was threatening to take a knee every play on Sunday to protest.

As demonstrated by how the league has dealt with this labor issue, and last year’s player CBA, which consequently lead to a lockout, it has become very apparent that the owners of the NFL are more concerned with nickels and dimes than the players or their fans. If Goodell was truly worried about player health and preventing concussions, he would not have let a bunch of volunteer, Pop Warner referees be put in charge of throwing flags at the highest level of the sport.

But if everything goes right, that will all be put behind us. If everything goes right, Ed Hochuli and the rest of the real refs will be back to work on Sunday, and we won’t have to worry about this level of incompetence anymore.

At least until the next labor contract runs out.





In NFL on September 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Well, that about does it. After what just happened at the end of Monday Night Football, I am done standing up for the replacement refs. I am done saying “they’re doing the best they can,” and “who cares if they take more time, at least they’re making sure they make the right call.”

After Golden Tate somehow caught the ball while it was in the hands of the Green Bay defense, there is no more excuses for the scabs.

The replacement refs blew it. Plain and simple. They singlehandedly gave the game to the Seattle Seahawks.

The ref of the left calls touchback, the ref on the right calls touchdown.

It was all cute and laughable when the replacement refs were mistaking Arizona for Atlanta. When they were giving Seattle and San Francisco extra timeouts. But now when the most crucial call came down to the wire, they absolutely blew it. Their ineptitude cost a team a win, and when your sport’s season is only sixteen games long, a win is the difference between a potential shot at the Super Bowl, and an early vacation. This is the breaking point.

The NFL needs to bite the bullet and give Ed Hochuli and the rest of the refs whatever they are asking for. Back pay for the last few weeks is a small price to pay when calls like this are deciding the fate of the league. The NFL needs to do everything possible to make sure the real zebras are back in uniform for Thursday night’s Baltimore/Cleveland game. They simply must.

This isn’t about watchability or convenience. Right now the NFL, the biggest, most profitable professional sports franchise in the history of the  country is facing a legitimacy crisis. Right now, with calls like Tate’s miracle touchdown, the only difference between the NFL and the WWE is that at least the refs for the WWE know the rules of the farce they are supposed to oversee.

Golden Tate’s touchdown celebration.

The NFL’s replacement refs on the other hand, ran off the field without knowing the scoring team needed to kick an extra point afterward. They left the scene of their crime as fast as they possibly could. They ran into the locker room after M.D. Jennings had both hands on the ball, cradled it to his chest, and maintained position all the way to the ground while Golden Tate had one hand on it.

Given the circumstances, I don’t know if I can blame them.

The NFL needs to #FreeHochuli

They simply have to.

Welcome Back To Earth

In NFL on September 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

Three weeks ago, before the NFL season began, the Green Bay Packers were supposed to be the best team in football. Their offense was supposed to be better than any defense in the league. Aaron Rodgers was supposed to simply will his team to another Super Bowl berth.

Then, they were handedly beaten by San Francisco.

Since that game the 49ers have been hailed as the most dominant team in the league. Some people were already willing to call the season off, and hand the Lombardi trophy to Alex Smith and Co.

Then, the 49ers lost to Minnesota.

“Was this guy always this good?”

So what does this all mean to San Francisco’s Super Bowl hopes? Or Green Bay’s for that matter?

Absolutely nothing. It’s week three, after all.

Now, if you’re a 49ers fan, you’re upset because your team won’t go undefeated. You’re embarrassed by their performance against the lowly Vikings. That’s understandable. But beside the 1972 Miami Dolphins, how many teams have gone undefeated? The one team that came close, the 2007 New England Patriots, lost only one game, and that was the Super Bowl. Don’t you think Tom Brady wishes he could have gotten that one loss out of the way a little bit earlier?

Worst 18-and-1 season ever.

Look at the last few teams who went on a tear through the early part of the season, only to have a hiccup when the game mattered most. The 2009 Indianapolis Colts didn’t lose a game until late in the year, and it was like that one inconsequential loss threw their whole season out of whack. Same with the Green Bay Packers from last year.

Regardless of who your team is, it never feels good to have them lose a game. But it’s just one game. All of these “experts” who are already counting off the 49ers this morning, saying maybe they’re not the team we thought they were, need to relax. The team might very well not be the team we thought they were, but that can be said about practically every team at one point or another. The Arizona Cardinals have already won more games by week three than most “experts” predicted them to win all year.

That’s why they play the games. If every outcome was decided beforehand, why would we watch?

“I see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl!”

My point is this; just because the 49ers lost to supposedly one of the worst teams in the league, doesn’t mean anything. It’s one game and it’s week three. All teams have off games. This is why “Power Rankings” make no sense after the first game of the season, because no one has a large enough sample set to determine anything substantive at that point of the season. Play a few games first, and then make a judgement call.

(By the way, my Power Rankings will be coming out next week, with rankings coming every four weeks after that)

The 49ers had a bad game, just like the Packers had a few weeks ago. It also didn’t help that the 49ers stepped up to play week one, just like the Vikings did yesterday, but that’s how it goes. If the Packers or Niners play the way they’re supposed to for the rest of the season, see if anyone looks back at those two hiccups and even cares anymore.

Boston Red Sox Offseason To-Do List

In MLB on September 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

With the end of the MLB regular season less than three weeks away, there are more than a few teams who will look back at the year with disappointment and regret.

“There’s no crying in baseball!”

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who still might not make the playoffs after making the biggest blockbuster trade in the history of the league.

The New York Yankees, who blew a ten game lead to a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 1993. 

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who suffered injuries and under-performance, and failed to live up to the expectations of 2011.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who acquired Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, yet are 4.5 games behind the Oakland A’s (a team whose payroll is roughly $100 million dollars less than the Angels) for the last AL Wildcard spot.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who imploded under the weight of big contracts and egos. 

The Detroit Tigers, who like the D’backs, also failed to live up to expectations. 

The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins, simply for being the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. 

And lastly, any team who didn’t have a player suspended for PED’s, yet have to watch the San Francisco Giants and A’s play in October. 

There are a lot of teams who will look back at 2012 with heartache and sadness, anger and frustration, but none of them will have more heartache, and feel more sadness, anger and frustration, than the Red Sox of Boston.

“I wonder if anyone wants to go out for KFC…”

After suffering one of the biggest meltdowns in the history of Major League Baseball last season, the Red Sox fired Terry Francona, the skipper who broke The Curse of the Bambino, and replaced him with Bobby Valentine, a man few thought would be successful in the position (know what I’m saying, Curt Schilling?).

Valentine was doomed to failure as the manager of the Red Sox from the beginning. First, the club’s management was torn about hiring him from the get go. Second, the players were still pining away for the last guy they got fired. Third, because Valentine’s managerial style was completely opposite of Francona’s, Valentine was never able to fully embrace his style of coaching, and consequently was never able to sell his vision to any of his players.

It didn’t help that Valentine also kept digging his grave with his constant misspeaks and gaffes.

This isn’t to say all of the troubles befalling Boston can be pointed to the hiring of Bobby V. The players themselves are just as, if not more responsible for how 2012 turned out as anybody. They vastly underperformed. They refused to change their ways. They refused to play like professionals.

Yet, for all the problems facing the players and the franchise, there are three simple solutions the Red Sox can take in the offseason, to begin the rebuilding process and turn this ship around.

1. Fire Bobby Valentine

“Please do what I say.”

While Valentine has had a successful major league managerial career, he will not find success in Boston. Unless Lou Luchino (The Red Sox’s President and CEO) plans on trading away the entire roster, top-to-bottom (going so far as to rehire new beer and hotdog sellers, as well as Fenway parking lot attendants), Valentine has lost the clubhouse. He will not be able to pull any player from the current roster to his side, and therefore has to go.

2. Fire Bobby Valentine

“And so now you agree with Curt that you weren’t the right man for the job…?”

Curt Schilling was right; Bobby V wasn’t ever going to work in Boston. With the roster the way it was built, the team just wasn’t going to easily transition from Francona’s laid back, beer guzzling, fried chicken eating ways, to Valentine’s strict regime. Instead, the team need to look at other guys who are somewhat like Francona, yet bring a new voice of leadership to a team longing for someone they can believe in.

Bob Brenly did the same magic for Arizona over a decade ago, after he replaced the strict rule of Buck Showalter. Currently, all Brenly’s up to is sitting in the announcer both in Chicago. Trying to jumpstart the Red Sox couldn’t be worse than having to watch the Cubs play everyday, could it?

I didn’t think so.

3. Fire Bobby Valentine

“It’s not you, Bobby, it’s me. Specifically, it’s me hating you.”

Everyone knows Dustin Pedrioa leads this team. He’s already led a mutiny against his manager, and as long as he plays in Boston, no’s ever going to listen to anything Valentine will ever say. While the players are in the wrong for not giving Valentine a fair shake at his job, it’s time for the club to find a man the team can respect.

An Article That’s Complimentary To Robert Sarver

In NBA on September 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Robert Sarver is many things to Phoenix Suns fans, and none of them have been very good.

He is the man who traded away Rajon Rondo, Luol Deng, Nate Robinson, Rudy Fernandez, and Marcin Gortat on draft day.

He is the man who wouldn’t pay Joe Johnson what he wanted.

He is the man who let Amar’e Stoudemire walk in free agency, then thought he could replace him with Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick and Josh Childress.

He is the man who traded Steve Nash to the hated Los Angeles Lakers.

“I thought you said this was going to be complimentary?”

Yet, for all of the poor basketball decisions and mismanagement Sarver has inflicted upon the Suns, it’s maybe time for everyone who bleeds purple and orange to give the guy a break. Maybe the Robert Sarver of 2012 isn’t the same Robert Sarver who bought the team in 2004. Maybe there is hope for him as an owner after all.

No one in Phoenix can forget those first few years after Sarver bought the team. How, as Jerry Colangelo laughed all the way to the bank to cash the overpriced check he was given, Sarver stood at courtside in his bright orange shirt and oversized foam finger and yelled at the refs.

“Look at me!”

Sarver came to Phoenix fancying himself as the second coming of Mark Cuban: an uber fan with enough money to buy a franchise of his very own. So, like Cuban, Sarver interfered with his team’s on-court operations, and thought he knew best about everything. He was, after all, a powerful and successful business man who had succeeded in almost every avenue of his life. Why wouldn’t his top-down management approach work for his basketball team as well?

Joe Johnson will take what I give him. 

I’m not paying for rookies.

Shaq would be a great idea!

Yet, despite his actions and interference, his refusal to listen to his ever changing roster of GM’s (Bryan Colangelo, Mike D’Antoni and Steve Kerr), the team still won. Perhaps it was easy for Sarver to think his decisions were the right calls, especially after the team kept getting so close to their first Finals appearance since 1993, year after year after year. It might be easy to think that, when Nash was defying nature and continued to play the way he did, year after year after year. The team hit some rocky roads along the way, but they would be just fine, Sarver might have convinced himself. They would still find a way to win. They always had.

But then the good times dried up. Then year after year came and went without a playoff appearance. Then the boos were heard loudest during former coach John MacLeod’s Ring of Honor induction ceremony (especially when compared to the cheers Jerry Colangelo received seconds before). Then the good times were gone.

And so came the summer of 2012, when the team went into complete rebuilding mode. When they traded away loved ones and idols. When everything changed, and Sarver was no where to be found.

Who is absent from this photo?

In case you missed it, let me repeat that last part again: Sarver was no where to be found. 

There is no handbook or guide given to owners when they buy a team. They take from their experiences and approach their new venture with the lessons learned from the business of their lives. They know what has worked for them so far, and they apply those methods to the new model they are beginning, and hope it works again.

It was easy to criticize Sarver from the outside about the trades, the signings or the lack-thereof, but from the inside, all he saw was that his team was still winning. And isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about?

The whole world was rough on the guy for the way he acted at games, but he bought the team because he was fan first, and what fan hasn’t done crazy things for the team they love to root for?

Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy behavior.

Yet look at Sarver now, and you’ll find you can’t see him. You don’t hear him. He is, for all intents and purposes, absent from the day-to-day operations. The personnel decisions. The press conferences and courtside seats.

Sarver is finally acting like the other owners of the other teams. He has built a management group he has faith in, and has let them do their jobs instead of trying to do it for them. He has taken on a group of players who provide a high ceiling of potential. He has given the team the financial flexibility to make a move on a coveted free agent next summer (who in Phoenix isn’t hoping James Harden won’t make a hero’s return to the Valley?). This, of course, was only after he let his current GM, Lon Babby, make a move (albeit unsuccessfully) on a coveted free agent this summer (Eric Gordon).

Now that the veil of winning is finally gone, it’s as if Sarver is finally learning the lessons he should have learned years ago. It’s important to remember that everything we do or try to do has a natural learning curve to it. Being an owner of a professional sports team is no different.

Maybe Sarver just took eight years to get on the upswing.


In NFL on September 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Fans of traditional football aren’t fans of Tim Tebow.

“He’s just a halfback who throws,” his critics argue. He “doesn’t have the right mechanics for the position.” He “isn’t a traditional NFL quarterback.”

Insert something overly positive here.

The average fan though, loves the guy. He’s wholesome, he tries hard, and when he starts, all he does is win.

That is why the New York Jets need to #FreeTebow

This isn’t about how Mark Sanchez looked phenomenal in his week one start against the Buffalo Bills, or how the Jets sputtered this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This isn’t about how coordinator Tony Sparano needs to incorporate the Wildcat into the Jets’ offense next Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. This has nothing to do with Sanchez, Sparano or even the Jets.

This just has to do with Tim Tebow. This just has to do with how he needs to play.

And as long as Tebow is a Jet, he won’t. Despite Sanchez’s flaws and struggles, the team isn’t going to get rid of the other quarterback anytime soon. There is no place for Tebow calling plays in New York.

And while Tebow doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would ever come out and demand a trade, the Jets need do just that. The Jets need to trade their backup QB to a team that can give him a legitimate chance to play the position. Keeping him for an occasional gimmick play here, or a block on special teams there, is a disservice to the player and his fans. Considering how he performed last year on a Broncos franchise still pining for John Elway to come out of retirement, when he lead them to a playoff victory over the heavily favored Steelers, it’s just a disservice to football, whether you’re a traditional fan or not.

Whether you love or hate the guy, he deserves a shot to start on Sundays.

Now the Jets need to find a way to make that happen. Is On Vacation!

In Keep Updated on September 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

Again, still not what I’m doing.

The last time I took some time off, it was to work fourteen hours a day on my thesis. This time I’m taking time off just to take some time off.

New articles will be back up next Monday.

Until then.

A Few More NFL Predictions

In NFL on September 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm

While the NFL season officially started Wednesday, when the Dallas Cowboys destroyed the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the rest of the league (except Oakland and San Diego) will begin their 2012 campaign this coming Sunday.

“Enjoy the win. I’m going to go home and polish my two Super Bowl rings.”

And while I already did a 2012 predictions article earlier in the week, here are a few more predictions about who is going to win their division and why.

AFC East-New England Patriots

Ryan Tannehil is not Dan Marino, and the Tebow-Sanchez experiment in New York is already an epic failure, and the season technically hasn’t even started yet. The closest competition to the Tom, Gronk, and Darth Bellichick are the Buffalo Bills, but do you honestly think Fred Jackson will over-perform two years in a row, and not somehow get hurt sometime during the year?

“I’m telling you, Coach said I’m better than Joe Montana…”

Me neither. The division is the Pats to lose.

AFC North-Baltimore Ravens

Let’s face it, the Ravens are old. I mean, really old.

“Watch the hip replacement!”

And except for Ray Lewis, none of the guys on the team have a Super Bowl to their name. Even then, Lewis wasn’t even allowed to say he was going to Disney World in 2000, because he was facing questions about his alleged involvement in a murder.

Sure, youngbloods Joe Flacco is chipper, and Torrey Smith is spry, but this might very well be the Ravens last best chance to give Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, and the rest of the old guys a big shiny ring to wear in retirement. 2012 is a make or break year for the Ravens, and they’re finally going to do it.

AFC South-Houston Texans

After living in the shadow of Peyton Manning for the franchise’s entire existence, the Texans finally reached the playoffs in 2011. Why? Because Manning was recovering from neck surgery and didn’t play a single game.

In 2012, Manning is in on a completely different team in a completely different division.

“You’ll have to work harder than that to be the best team in the state!”

With Manning gone, and Arian Foster and Andre Johnson anchoring the offense, the Texans are poised to be perennial winners of the division for a few years to come. That’s even without Mario Williams on their roster anymore. Watch out soon, because this team is probably going to be the next team in Texas to win a Super Bowl.

And that’s probably going to be sooner then you think.

AFC West-Denver Broncos

Two words: Peyton Manning.

“Let me just strap my neck in, so when I get hit my head doesn’t pop off.”


AFC Wild Cards-Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals 

With Rashard Mendenhall still recuperating from a torn ACL, and the rest of the team getting older by the day, the Steelers have one more run to the playoffs before the rebuilding process begins.

New Guard vs. Old Guard.

The Bengals on the other hand, have a second year quarterback and a second year wide receiver, who may very well be the best receiver in the NFL. It’s the past meeting the future, then heading off into two very different directions.

NFC East-Philadelphia Eagles

Least year, the Eagles were supposed to be the Dream Team of the NFL.

Instead, they had one of the worst records in the league until they somehow won their final four games. See, look what a little time together can do for a team.

“Try not to get me fired!”

With so many offseason pickups last year in the lockout-shortened preseason, the Eagles didn’t have the necessary time to jell in order to play to their potential. In 2012, the team has had a full offseason to adequately get to know one another, the playbook, Andy Reid’s mustache and where to find the best cheese steak in town.

This team has the talent to win, and now they’ve had the time to learn how.

NFC North-Green Bay Packers

Last year, it actually looked like the Packers were going to be the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to run the table from start to finish. Instead, they didn’t.

“Alright guys, what do you say if we lose a game or two this season, we do it earlier in the year?”

Now that that’s off their back, expect them to continue their winning ways without all the pressure of “being perfect.”

NFC South-Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have had the misfortune to play in the same division as the Panthers during the Jake Delhomme-era, and the Saints during their Headhunting-era. This year, with Cam Newton and the Tampa Bay still developing, and half the Saints defense suspended, the time to seize the day has finally arrived for the Falcons.

“…and that’s why we didn’t win in 2010. Then we didn’t win in 2011 because…”

Wait, news just broke that Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith won their appeal concerning Bounty-Gate, and are now clear to play. Forget what I said before, because the NFC South is going back to New Orleans. Sure, the coach is still suspended, but we all knew Drew Brees really coached that team anyway.

NFC West-San Francisco 49ers

Because of their record in 2011, picking the 49ers to win the division should be the easiest pick of all, but this is the NFC West, and somehow nothing ever goes the way you expect in this division.

Last year, the 49ers were supposed to be the worst team in the division, and not a fumble away from perhaps winning their sixth Super Bowl. The Seahawks won the division in 2010 with a losing record, and then went off to the dethrone the defending Super Bowl champ Saints. The Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl with a 9-and-7 record. The Rams became the Greatest Show On Turf.

“I can’t believe this division is so bad, I actually look alright.”

Just when you think you have a sure thing in the NFC West, a team does something crazy and messes the whole thing up. History has the 49ers facing a dramatic slide from their superb play a year ago, and if that happens, Seattle might very well swoop in with their rookie quarterback and make some noise.

If not though, and if the offseason pickups San Francisco acquired do more good than harm (we’re looking at you, Randy Moss), there is no reason why the 49ers shouldn’t repeat as division champs.

I have them going so far as to losing the Super Bowl against the Ravens. Alex Smith still is their quarterback after all.

NFC Wild Cards-Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears

Tony Romo isn’t hurt (yet) and Jay Cutler finally has someone to throw to. In the tough divisions these two teams play, they’re going to come out a little beat up and a little bruised, but they’re going to come out just the same. Good enough for the Wild Card.

Too bad the Cowboys will be the wildcard, and Jerry Jones can’t watch his team lose on that giant television. One day, I suppose…

It’s A Race!

In MLB on September 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

In the fine fashion of the 2011 Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees are in the midst of a late season meltdown. After blowing a ten-game lead in the AL East, the Yanks are now tied with the Baltimore Oriole’s for first place in the division. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays are not far behind.

The media, Yankee players, brass and fans all seem wondering “how the heck did this just happen?”

“Oh no!”

Right now, the Orioles are playing like Cal Ripken is back on the team, and the Rays are continuing their defiance toward having to spend money to compete in one of the most expensive divisions in baseball.The Yankees still have twenty-seven more games to play, but is that going to be enough to rebuild a division lead, or just fall further into the worst collapse in New York Yankee history?

When the playoffs start, who’s going to end up representing the AL East?

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