Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sports this 'n' that

As noted in the NFL preview on Thursday, New England QB Tom Brady had his suspension voided by Judge Richard Berman, who ripped into NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying that the NFL didn't really have enough evidence to prove Brady had anything to do with Deflategate. Unsurprisingly, there is talk that the league will file an appeal. Why bother?

In hindsight, they went after the wrong guy. The Patriots had already punished their two sacrificial lambs. Brady was held up to scrutiny because the league, and in particular, Goodell, wanted a high profile guinea pig to prove that no player, no matter the status, was above the league. Brady was it, and he helped them out by destroying a cell phone that potentially had or didn't have damaging evidence. Had he kept the phone, he  might've saved the league the embarrassment if they discovered that there was nothing incriminating to be had. Ultimately, Goodell's case was exposed as a glorified witch hunt, and a waste of everyone's time. Given how competitive Brady and coach Bill Belichick are, they'll just take it out on their opponents, starting with the season opener vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 10. They love running up the score, so look for that to happen, what with Pittsburgh's defense weakened by the retirement of Troy Polamalu, among others.

If they wanted to nail someone, the league should've just swallowed corporate pride and gone after one of its biggest patrons, Pats owner Robert Kraft. This was all happening, from Spygate to Deflategate, on his watch, and he has to be held accountable for the actions of a few idiots in his employ. The Patriots have already lost a draft pick for next year and were fined, but the league should've gone after Kraft in this case. Brady? Why not retroactive discipline for a post-game tantrum in Charlotte after a loss to Carolina in November 2013? He was never fined for that.
The Tri-City Valleycats won their 4th straight Stedler Division title Thursday. Now, the priority in their final home series, starting tonight vs. Connecticut, is securing home field for the 1st round, which begins Wednesday. Presently, the V-Cats are the #2 seed in the New York-Penn League. It's not going to be easy. Staten Island, which beat the V-Cats on Friday, is in a 3-team race with Aberdeen & Hudson Valley in their division, and it's looking like two of the three will make the playoffs, one as a Wild Card.

Still, there's no denying the Valleycats' accomplishments of late. 5 division titles in 6 years. Two league titles in that span. It will surprise no one, then, if manager Ed Romero, 3-for-3 in division titles, is promoted, and the Valleycats have a new man in the dugout next summer.
While the Mets lead the NL East by 5 lengths (games) headed into today's action, no one's favorite agent, Scott "20 Mule Team" Boras is at it again.

It got out in the media on Friday that Boras, who represents a large chunk of major league players, including Mets ace Matt Harvey, wants the Mets to shut Harvey down before the playoffs, once he reaches 180 innings pitched. Presently, Harvey, who suffered from dehydration in his last start, vs. Philadelphia, is at 166 1/3 innings, meaning he has 13 2/3 innings left, if Boras is telling the truth. Boras claims this is what Harvey's doctors, including orthopedic specialist James Andrews, want done. Allow me this, then. I call BS on Boras, because it's all about losing potential future money to the greedy scum. Allow me also to quote yet again a certain piece of literature:

Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it.---George Santayana.

Three years ago, Boras bullied the Washington Nationals into prematurely ending then-ace Stephen Strasburg's season, leaving him out of the playoffs. Strasburg, like Harvey, was coming off Tommy John surgery. Washington was eliminated in the division round. Mets GM Sandy Alderson hasn't forgotten, and if he did, the local papers, especially with people writing to the letters pages, will remind him and Boras of that. Leave it to a self-serving dirtbag like Boras to throw shade on the Mets' run to the playoffs. For that, he gets another set of Weasel ears. Stop trying to say you're protecting your clients, Boras and tell the truth, otherwise, take a piece of advice from a certain movie star.........

Saratoga Race Course is known as the "Graveyard of Favorites". A week ago, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah found that out, losing to Keen Ice in the Travers. Trainer Bob Baffert had waited until the last possible minute to ship his star horse back East for the third time in as many months, and the fatigue in the summer heat, coupled with the law of averages, caught up with American Pharoah. If you look at the three previous head-to-heads between American Pharoah and Keen Ice, you'd see that Keen Ice was getting closer. In those three races, he finished 7th, 3rd, & 2nd.

Ahmed Zayat, American Pharoah's owner, is pointing his champion toward the Breeders' Cup on Halloween as the last race before retiring to stud. Keen Ice will be waiting, I'm sure. Horse of the Year could be on the line.

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