Archives for: 2008, week 18

05/07/08

MLBPA Wonders Why Bonds Hasn't Been Signed?

Permalink 03:06:09 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

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BALCO, locker room wrecker, selfish behaviour, discontent for sports reporters, disregard for rules of baseball, selfish disassociation by preventing card companies and game makers from using his name, special contracts, perjury trial soon to follow, me me me attitude... have you figured out which former baseball player is being described? Had enough of his baloney yet? Stay tuned, Barry Bonds is ready to make more headlines.

No baseball team wanted to touch damaged goods. Single season home run record, all time home run champion... it hasn't been enough for major league clubs to take a chance on an aging former player who could single handily win ballgames with his bat... or ruin team chemistry with his attitude. Let's face it, unless 43 year old Barry Bonds is willing to sign a minimum salary contract, nobody in their right mind will touch him. He's a distraction, plain and simple.

If a team like Kansas City, Minnesota, Baltimore or Texas thinks his presence will fill seats... then go for it. Why should any MLB team take a chance on Bonds? Well folks, that's exactly what the Major League Baseball Players Association is about to investigate. Is there collusion? Probably. Should we feel sorry for Barry? Absolutely not. He's done more to hurt the game in recent years than help. Perhaps he shouldn't be penalized by baseball's failure to regulate or investigate steroid allegations before he tainted the most sacred of records? Perhaps I'm biased against any and all players acting as if they were above the game? Absolutely. This point begins at the top with major league owners and the commissioners office. Owners should have been severly fined, general managers suspended, team doctors brought before medical review boards while Selig was sent packing. As stated in previous blogs, they were ALL in the know just for increasing revenues.... one word... GREED.

Back on point. Collusion probably does exist. It will take a lengthy investigation by MLBPA to prove this fact and by the time it's over (two years), Bonds will be physically finished. Yes, Barry had one of the greatest batting eyes baseball has ever witnessed. One of the quickest swings in the history of the game. Odd for such superior calibur player to be unsigned and unwanted, right? Well, Barry's baggage speaks volumes. Maybe baseball wants to turn the page on scandals and wherever Bonds goes negativity follows. Rumors surfaced recently of MLB covering up prior failed steroids tests too.

Commissioner Selig can put an end to all speculation by issuing a suspension for previously failed tests. He can suspend Bonds any number of reasons and this sideshow will finally be put to rest. So, why hasn't the Commissioner taken action? Plain and simple, MLB would have to admit what we've all known for years. Bonds and many others were juicing with full knowledge of everyone in the game. This is exactly what they do not want to admit. Not ever.

So Barry, exit gracefully if you can. Don't push for another long trivial investigation. Take your records and fade away. Let this be your farewell gift to baseball. Enough is enough!

05/06/08

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conference Finals

Permalink 12:00:17 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

Eastern Conference
(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (6) Philadelphia Flyers

This is a great matchup between arch rivals dueling in Pennsylvania. It wasn't long ago the Penguins almost folded up shop and left Pittsburgh. Now, they're taking aim at hockey's ultimate prize. Everyone is contributing for the Penguins making them extremely tough. Evgeni Malkin, Sydney Crosby and Marion Hossa have been nothing short of spectacular thus far in two rounds of playoff hockey. Marc-Andre Fluery has been sensational between the pipes posting two shutouts in nine games (8-1, 1.76 GAA). Now they face a new kind of opponent and in state rival Philadelphia. Can this team handle the resurgent Flyers?

Philadelphia won five regular season games vs Pittsburgh. RJ Umbarger has been nearly upstoppable. After scoring only 13 regular season goals, he's beaten opposing net-minders 9 times in 12 games. RJ has added incentive... he's a Pittsburgh native... and he'll be pumped up even higher vs his former hometown team. Late season pickup Vasclav Prospal has answered the bell setting up nine goals. Danny Briere leads all Flyers with 14 points. Goalie Martin Biron (8-4, 2.72 GAA) hasn't matched Fluery's stats but he's been every bit as tough with games on the line. He will have to be superb all series long.

Key to this series will be the powerplay. Philly has been penalized most often during this playoff season and Pittsburgh is one of the most dangerous with a man advantage. Champions do not make stupid mistakes so the Flyers must not make bad penalties. It's been a team effort so far for Pittsburgh, all lines are clicking. "Old time hockey" might be in store coming from Philly... dominate the boards, hit hard, break up passing lanes and wear down the younger and quicker Penguins while screening Fluery whenever they can.

This series has all the makings of a tough seven game battle.

Prediction: Pittsburgh wins in 7.

Western Conference
(1) Detroit Red Wings vs (5) Dallas Stars

Detroit is the best team still standing in this years NHL Playoffs. They're rich in tradition, skill, coaching and know what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. Detroit is hot, red hot. Goalie Chris Osgood is undefeated starting the last six games (6-0, 1.52). Johan Franzen has netted 11 goals including two hat tricks vs Colorado. In his past 25 games, Franzen has scored 26. The Wings are playing near mistake free hockey and firing away on opposing goalies. Crisp passing, speed, sharp coaching... there hasn't been a successful formula to slow these guys down.

Dallas is coming off an emotional seven game thrilling series vs San Jose. Four games were decided in overtime including a nail biting quadruple OT in game 7. These guys could be burnt out or they'll come into this series riding an emotional high. Time will tell. Dallas' aging team must play mistake free... a term often used in playoff hockey... but one which must prevail in this series. On paper they just can't keep up with the free wheeling Red Wings. Marty Turco inspired play must continue (8-4, 1.73 GAA). He'll need to play his best ever hockey, control rebounds and shut down Detroit's offense.

Series keys: Initially, well rested Wings vs worn down banged up Stars. Detroit is just too fast and dominating in all facets of the game. Dallas cannot waste valuable time killing penalty after penalty and will need all breaks to bounce their way. Red Wings will not be denied.

Prediction: Detroit rolls over Stars in 4.