LeVar Arrington was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident yesterday; usually that would be the top off-season NFL story if not for the consistent and reliable—–PAC MAN JONES!!
I don’t understand the risk/reward of riding a motorcycle when so much money is on the line. There are so many other ways to get a rush—-parasailing, skydiving, bungee jumping—–that I don’t see why these guys need to ride motorcycles. Every couple of months there’s always some famous person getting seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Arrington, unlike Ben Roethlisberger, was wearing his helmet. Considering that NFL contracts are not guaranteed, why do these guys insist on running that risk? Regardless of what they do, baseball players are going to get paid because of their guaranteed contracts and insurance policies (and occasional creativity with their cover stories), yet it’s a relative rarity that baseball players troubles of this kind are played out in the press.
As for Pac Man Jones, I was dubious as to the wisdom and reasoning behind suspending him for the entire 2007 season. One thing that you do not want to do with a guy who tends to have trouble follow him around (or puts himself into a position where he courts it) is take away the structure of his job and send him off into the world with nothing to do.
In his heyday, Mike Tyson was the same way; when he was training seriously for a fight, he was in a figurative box; there were structured activities for every part of his day. During those times, he managed to stay out of trouble for the most part. It was when his original training staff and management group were slowly stripped away, and during his down time that he got into the majority of his scrapes. Now Pac Man Jones is wanted for questioning in a shooting involving a member of his entourage and another group of men with whom they were arguing.
If Jones is truly trying to change his behaviors as he supposedly claimed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, then he shouldn’t be hanging around with the same people in the same places. Now he’s in trouble again and doesn’t have to worry about mini-camp, pre-season, etc. I don’t think anyone should be surprised if and when one of the incidents in which Jones is on the outskirts winds up catching him in the crossfire and his face and the "tragedy" of his fate are lamented for all to see. No one will be able to say it wasn’t foreseen or that he wasn’t warned.
Everyone who watches the Sopranos knows that tomorrow night is the series finale. Supposedly they shot five different endings to the show so that even the actors don’t know what is going to ultimately happen to Tony. Here’s my best, educated guess: Tony survives and becomes a witness for the federal government. There are a couple of reasons I think that this is the most logical way for them to go.
For years, I said that the only realistic way for the show to end was with Tony dead or Tony in jail. I never thought that he would turn government witness; but with the turn of events on the show, he really has no other options. Both of his closest cohorts are dead (Bobby "Bacala") and in a coma (Silvio Dante); he wants to live; his widowed sister and her family are going to need someone to take care of them; he wants to see his children rise into adulthood.
The relationship with New York and Phil Leotardo is probably damaged beyond repair and he’s probably not going to be able to get to Phil to kill him. What better way for Tony to A) survive; and B) get back at Phil than by sending him and his lieutenants to jail for the rest of their lives?
Another thing that has to be considered is how difficult it is for the creator of a character to kill that character off; I’ve experienced this in my fiction; it’s like someone really dying and is very hard to do. I don’t know that David Chase and the writers are going to be able to bring themselves to kill Tony when it comes down to it. The guess here is that Tony becomes a government witness and is relocated.
Here are my NHL first round playoff predictions for anyone interested in hockey:
1) Buffalo Sabres vs NY Islanders—Islanders in seven.
2) New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning—Devils in five.
3) Atlanta Thrashers vs NY Rangers—Rangers in six.
4) Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins—Penguins in seven.
1) Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames—Red Wings in six.
2) Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild—Ducks in seven.
3) Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars—Stars in six.
4) Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks—Sharks in five.
Steve Trachsel has been a most unappreciated 15 game winning free agent. The perception appears that Trachsel’s 15 wins came as a result of great run support and that he would have been lucky to win 10 games with a weaker team than last season’s New York Mets.
In all fairness, Trachsel didn’t pitch all that well last season, but he didn’t pitch all that badly either. The thing that is sticking in everyone’s mind is his embarrassing performance in the NLCS against the Cardinals; but that shouldn’t prevent someone from giving the man a job as their fifth starter. Now, the injury to Kris Benson of the Orioles may have opened a spot for Trachsel.
Benson, like Trachsel, isn’t the best pitcher in the world; but his statistics are relatively similar to Trachsel’s. They can both be counted on to pitch 190 or so innings and win 12-14 games while losing close to that number. If the Orioles now deep bullpen performs as expected and their offense produces up to its capabilities, they’re only going to need someone like Trachsel to pitch as he did last season with the Mets. I think within the next few days, the Orioles will sign Trachsel to replace the injured Benson and get a similar performance.
I rarely agree with a certain bloated (mentally and physically) radio talk show host here in New York, but he’s right about the Yankees not needing to have signed Doug Mientkiewicz at the expense of Bernie Williams’s roster spot.
While I completely understand and agree with the Yankees desire not to have Jason Giambi playing first base, Mientkiewicz wasn’t a necessary signing. The Gary Sheffield to first base experiment was a disaster and the experiment may have also cost the Yankees a spot for Williams. Had the Sheffield experiment gone a bit better, the shifting of one of the Yankees outfielders (Bobby Abreu most likely) to first base would have been a more viable option. Abreu has won a Gold Glove in his career in the outfield, but he is not a good outfielder. (His former manager in Philly and now a Yankees coach Larry Bowa, who adores Abreu, said as much in an interview before the Yankees got him.) Abreu could have been shifted to first base.
Mienkiewicz’s image isn’t exactly sterling either; I can see him irritating Joe Torre if he is as petulant as he was while playing with the Mets and whining about not getting playing time while hitting .220. Then there was the ugly fight with the Red Sox over ownership of ball that recorded the last out in the World Series.
Looking at the situation objectively, would the Yankees be better off with Abreu at first, Williams in right field splitting time with Melky Cabrera, or with the probable platoon of Mientkiewicz and Josh Phelps at first base? I think it’s the former, on and off the field.
For a guy as physically fragile as J.D. Drew; and with the number of times he’s gone from team to team for reasons varying from wanting more money to being traded to appearing to look for something he’s never going to be able to find; what is the hold up in introducing him and placing him on the 40 man roster?
This contract is taking longer to complete than the SALT agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union. The longer this drags out without the lavish press conference with the verbose Theo Epstein spouting his corporate catch phrases and everyone—–from Drew and Scott Boras to the Red Sox officials who seem so unenthusiastic about this signing—–performing their best selling job to the media and fans, the more it appears as though this marriage is going to be doomed from the start.
Drew is giving me the impression with all of the continuous moving from one venue to another that the fans reaction isn’t all that important to him one way or the other; that he’s trying to make as much money as he possibly can doing something he doesn’t particularly like and bouncing from team to team to find a situation that is at least tolerable. But the Red Sox fans, who have been open in their skepticism regarding Drew, must be wondering what’s going on with this contract that it’s taking so long to finalize and why Drew still isn’t listed on their roster.
This is a bad start and both the Red Sox and Drew; all involved had better hope that it isn’t a portent of what is to come once the deal is done and the season begins, because if it is, things can go very bad, very fast.
As horrendous as Jeff Weaver was with the Angels last season; with the colossal failure he was in New York; and the disappointment he was in Detroit; what makes the Seattle Mariners believe that three months in St. Louis under the tutelage of Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa and some success in the playoffs will translate into a smooth transition back to the American League?
Weaver didn’t even pitch all that well during the regular season with the Cardinals; he pitched relatively well in the post-season in some high pressure games, but that doesn’t mean he’s "turned the corner", as the Mariners undoubtedly hope. This move seems more desperate than anything else.
On the plus side, Weaver only signed a one-year contract; he should still be motivated to prove that he deserves a long term deal; so it’s no long-term commitment for either side; there really isn’t much for either side to lose. The Mariners shouldn’t place their hopes particularly high with Jeff Weaver.