After beating the Steelers and winning Super Bowl 45 Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers is now officially an
elite quarterback. In my opinion, you have to do to things to be an elite
quarterback in the National Football League.
First, you have to be well . . . great. You
have to make other guys better. Do you think Wes Welker would put up the stats
he puts up with Tom Brady if say Colt McCoy was throwing at him?
The second thing is pretty simple, yet
hard to accomplish. You have to win at least one ring. When you win a ring it
means that the quarterback is great and tough. He makes his teammates better,
and he is a leader on and off the field.
For example look at Aaron Rodgers, Drew
Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady
(the quarterbacks of last six Super Bowl champions) and tell me that they
aren’t great, they aren’t though, they don’t make their teammates better, and
they aren’t a leader on and off the field. You can’t.
In the case of Roethlisberger I question
his leadership after his actions that got him a four game suspension from the
NFL. After that, his teammates didn’t even select him as a team captain. I mean
most teams have their quarterback as their captain.
At the end of the day though the Packers
won and will be going to the Whitehouse (they has potential for awkwardness
since Obama is a Bears fan).
His last name barely fits on his jersey, he
couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher last year, and he’s only hit
twenty-three home runs in his career. Yet, Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be catching Josh Beckett, Jon
Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2011.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was drafted by the
Atlanta Braves with the thirty-sixth pick in the 2003 draft, one pick before
Orioles all-star outfielder Adam Jones.
In 2006 with the braves class A
affiliate, the Rome Braves, Salty had his best year of his young career. He hit
.314, with nineteen home runs, and eighty-one runs batted in. After his
breakout season Baseball America ranked Saltalamacchia as the eighteenth best
prospect in Major League Baseball.
The following year, Saltalamacchia became
the starting catcher for the Mississippi Braves (AA). In twenty-two games,
Salty hit .373 with seven big flies.
The same year, in 2007 Saltalamacchia was
called up on his twenty-second birthday after an injury to Brian McCann and
then made his major league debut.
On July 31, 2007, also in the same year, Elvis
Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Saltalamacchia were
traded to the Texas Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay.
Fast-forward three years latter and
Saltalamacchia was put on the disabled list after the first two games of the
2010 season. He was then sent down to AAA because he couldn’t do one of the
simplest things in baseball. Eventually and thankfully, Salty learned how to
throw the ball back to the pitcher.
On July 31, 2010 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Chris McGuiness, Ramon Mendez, a player to be named later (Michael
Thomas), and some money. He was then sent to Pawtucket.
Saltalamacchia was eventually called up after
an injury to Kevin Cash. In his first appearance in the Red Sox starting line
up on August 12, Saltalamacchia went 2-4 with a run scored.
So far, in his time in Bean town, Salty went
just 3-19 (.158), with one RBI, two runs scored, and no home runs. Yet, despite
those stats, the Red Sox are letting Jarrod Saltalamacchia control one of the
best pitching staffs in baseball.
Do the additions of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon make the Rays contenders again? My answer is no.
After losing Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett, Joaquin
Benoit, Randy Choate, Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Brad Hawpe, Dioner Navarro, Carlos
Pena, Fernando Perez, Chad Qualls, Rafael Soriano, and Dan Wheeler the Rays
think that by signing two outfielders, one 37 and the other 38, they along with
the rest of America thinks they are “good” again.
I mean I think that the Rays’ general manager, Andrew
Friedman, is one of the best in baseball. However, what the heck is he
First off, the Rays didn’t really need any more
outfielders/ designated hitters. I mean Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton, and Ben
Zobrist make up maybe one of the best outfields in baseball, even without
Crawford. Now, either Johnny Damon or Desmond Jennings will have to sit on the
bench. That is, unless, Jennings gets sent down to AAA.
However, Zobrist could also be moved to shortstop,
second base, and first base. If Zobrist does get moved to the infield, in my
opinion he would most likely take Dan Johnson’s spot at first.
Then at D.H. you have Matt Joyce and/or Dan Johnson
(depending on Zobrist) who aren’t the best players in the world, but they both
are capable of being an everyday D.H.
The problem with me is that I don’t understand why
they signed both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. Their outfield has enough
depth with Justin Ruggiano as to fourth outfielder and Joyce can play the
Jennings is ready for the majors so he shouldn’t be
sent down to AAA. I understand signing Damon or Ramirez to D.H. Yet, I think
signing both of them may have been the Red Sox’s “fault.”
Everyone knows that they Rays have had a pretty bad
offseason. I mean just look at the first sentence of this article. The Red Sox
on the other hand “stole” Carl Crawford and Dan Wheeler. So, I’m assuming that
these moves were made to say that they Rays aren’t just going to roll over.
Also, another obvious reason is attendance. I mean
the Rays have always had low attendances. Heck, Carl Crawford said he signed
with the Red Sox in part to the fact that he knows that there is going to be a
full house every night. I mean Damon has an “attendance clause” for crying out
However, from Damon and Ramirez’s point of view this
is the perfect team. Damon could be “getting back” at the Yankees for not
resigning him. Also, I’m not exactly sure Damon likes Beantown anymore. Manny
might be trying to “get back” at Boston. I mean that’s just not how you want to
end your stay anywhere. Most likely though, both of those things are false.
But what can you expect from the two of them. Well, I
believe player A, will hit fifteen-twenty home runs, drive in over
seventy-five, and bat anywhere from .250 to .290. Player B will hit ten to
twenty homeruns, drive in either around fifty or eighty, and bat around .250.
Who do you think are player A and B? Player A is
Johnny Damon. Player B is Manny Ramirez. Damon has the potential to have some
nice power numbers this year while the odds are he’ll have a higher batting
average then Ramirez.
Manny though, has an injury history. If he stays
healthy though I think you might be able to see some of his old form return.
Regardless of the performance, baseball fans need to
play close attention to the Rays this year. It could be the last year that two
of baseball’s greatest players play.
Also, in a completely off topic story, am I the only
one that found it ironic that Tom Brady got foot surgery after playing the
* Here is my persuasive essay for school and as you can imagine, I wrote it about sports.
Small market teams don’t stand a chance against
the big spenders in Major League Baseball.
At New Yankee Stadium,
Yankee fans cheer for “their” team, a team that had a payroll of $206,333,389
in 2010. One of their many star players, Alex Rodriguez, made thirty-three
million dollars last year.
However, at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirate
fans don’t cheer for a star player, because they don’t have one. In fact their
payroll last year was “just” $34,943,000. Is it fair that Alex Rodriguez made
nearly as much money as the entire Pittsburgh Pirates last year?
Much like their
payroll, the Yankees were at the top of the list when it came to winning. The
Pirates on the other hand, had one of the worst records in baseball. Major
League Baseball needs a salary cap.
A “salary cap” is a
limit on how much money teams can spend and/or how much money a player can
earn. It would level the playing field, increase fan attendance, and increase
team and league revenue.
However, if a salary cap was implemented, the
large market teams wouldn’t have enough money to have ten superstars on their
team. As a result of this, more superstars would have to play on “bad” teams
and the overall talent level would become more evenly divided among all thirty
Many casual baseball fans go to a game to see the
superstars. With the talent being more evenly divided, fans in Baltimore,
Pittsburgh, etc. will get to see more superstars play; thus increasing fan
attendance. Due to this increased interest and attendance of the game, the
league’s revenue would increase.
Personally, I’m a fan of the Boston Red Sox, who are a big
spender. With that said, is it fair that the Red Sox can out spend the Pirates
by over 160 million dollars?
Not everyone agrees on the topic of a salary cap. Some say
the fact that some teams can spend ridiculous amounts more money than other
teams is just a part of the game.
On one side, just because you have a high payroll doesn’t
mean you are going to be good. Despite having the third highest payroll in
baseball last year, the Cubs finished fifth in their division.
Then there are always teams like the Rangers and Rays, who
despite being in the bottom ten in payroll, made the playoffs.
However, there is one roadblock, the Players Association.
They would most likely reject anything about lowering player salaries. However,
I’m sure Alex Rodriguez can afford to give up a couple million dollars.
So, Bud Selig (the commissioner of the MLB), if you
know what is good for the league you need to try to implement a salary cap
I sit here writing, I am still trying to figure out exactly why the New England
Patriots had to lose to the New York Jets. I mean any team but the trash
talking, cocky, annoying Jets. I would have rather gotten killed by the Steelers
next week, murdered in the Super Bowl by the Packers or Bears, heck even lose
in the divisional round to a team like the Seahawks then lose to the foot
Now I know that when I turn on Mike and
Mike tomorrow, Mike Greenberg will be sitting there saying how much he loves
Mark Sanchez and how good the Jets are.
Any team but the Jets. Any team. Any
team. I would have just loved the Jets to shut up. I mean after the week
thirteen loss, the Jets actually shut up! That was arguably the best two days
of the football schedule, the two days when the Jets were absolutely quiet.
But now though I think I’m beginning to
understand why exactly the Patriot loss still stings so badly and why it is
still keeping me up at night, two nights later. My conclusion is, Boston sport fans have been spoiled since
Name one other city with just one NFL,
NBA, and MLB with stars like Tom Brady, Paul Pierce, and David Ortiz. You just
Since 2001 the Patriots have won three
Super Bowls (2001, 2003, 2004), The Red Sox have won two World Series (2004,
2007), and the Celtics won the NBA Finals back in 2008. That’s six
championships out of the possible twenty-seven, or over 22%, of all the possible
championships in the NFL, MLB, and NBA, since 2001.
No offense to anyone, but many Boston
sport fans, myself included, can be brats when it comes to sports.
Oh this guy isn’t doing good trade him. We have a weakness at
this position, so we have to get the best guy out there. When we don’t get what
we want, we let people hear it. Same thing for New York, Philadelphia, Chicago,
etc. fans. Again, no offense.
However, that’s part of the “beauty” of
large marker sports. In Kansas City and Baltimore fans are more laid back for
the most part. Again, no offense. Fans are so dedicated and passionate about
winning. They accept nothing but the best. Look at the crazy fans at football
games that paint their whole body. They are either Raider fans, or fans of the
Patriots, Jets, Giants, Eagles, Bears, etc. When you grow up around a winning
culture, you don’t know how to deal with defeat. Do you get angry or sad? Does
it last a few days or a few weeks?
Recently though, I’ve been learning how
to deal with defeat (unfortunately). The Celtics lost game seven of the NBA
Finals, the Red Sox didn’t even make the playoffs, and now the Patriots are
potentially “done” with their dynasty.
When you’re a kid, you can’t imagine that
your team will lose. I mean they’re your team.
When your team does lose it teaches you a great lesson in sportsmanship and how
to deal with defeat. I am just now getting that lesson though.
I have a friend who is a Cleveland sports
fan and trust me he has got that lesson . . . big time. Today though, I realize
that when I’m practically screaming at the TV after a Kevin Garnett alley oop,
or a Tom Brady touchdown, or a David Ortiz home run. There is some ten-year-old
kid either upset or mad that that had to happen against his team. But he doesn’t know that he is learning maybe the most
valuable lesson in sports.
Looking back, I wish there was a time
when I was that ten-year-old kid. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner then
latter. The “bad” news is that the Celtics look to be making another title run
and the Red Sox have restocked to win another ring. On second thought, I think
that lesson can wait another year. J
When you don’t know how to deal with
defeat and accept nothing but the best and you don’t get the best it stings more
2.) http://connect.in.com/red-sox-tickets/photos-1-1-1- 72693d71aaca1b6b9cf5cbfeec0dac4d.html
P.S. Rex Ryan owes me for not making the title Dazed, Confused, and De-feet-ed
was born in Northridge, California and raised in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. His
name is probably the second most mispronounced name on the Red Sox behind
Jarrod Slatalamacchia. But, Ryan Kalish (KAY-lish) is making a name for himself
self in Bean town. He may have only eighty-four major league at-bats under his
belt, two home runs (one of which I saw, his first, in New York), a .238
batting average, and just ten RBIs but the outfielder deserves to be starting
in left fielder on Opening in 2011.
off, I’m not turning the page for the year the Red Sox can and will make the
playoffs. I’m simply just looking at the potential roster next year. Both J.D.
Drew and Mike Cameron will most likely be gone after the 2011 seasons is over.
So the obvious choice would be to trade one of those two players in the
offseason. It would make more since to trade Cameron as that allows Ellsbury to
move back to center, where he has played most of his career.
Jacoby does not have the best arm for an outfielder his speed would be wasted
were he to play in left with the Green Monster as his backdrop. Which is why he
never should have moved to left in the first place.
Anyway, while Daniel Nava, Darnell
McDonald, and Bill Hall have had nice seasons there simply is not enough room
and are simply not better then Kalish, Cameron, Ellsbury, or Drew.
The point is though someone is
going to get traded. I doubt Ellsbury would get traded partially because I am
not sure there would be an takers till we know he can still play ball. Cameron
would most likely be a one-year rental as I expect him to retire after his
current deal. As for Drew, he is often regarded as one of the most overpaid
players in major league baseball, meaning the Red Sox would most likely have to
toss in some money.
So what can we expect for Mr.
Kalish in the future? Well, in that very bright future I can see him hit .325
with fifteen homeruns, and 100 RBIs. Eventually, I think he’ll be a line drive
machine and hit doubles off the monster every game. However, next year I think
maybe a .290 average with five-ten home runs with any where from 60 to 85 runs
He could see time in the two, five,
six, or seven holes depending on injuries. He will most likely play all three-outfielder
spots. But at the end of the day the most important thing is that Kalish is
nearly a five-tool player. He can hit for contact, field (he has one error and
44 put outs), he can throw (he has two outfield assists), he has decent speed
(he’s faster then Big Papi J),
and the power will come as he reaches his prime.
He might turn out to be a six-tool
player, meaning he can hit in the clutch. I have said it before and I will say
it again, some players, like Alex Rodriguez just can’t hit in the clutch and
choke up. And for the record I think A-‘Roid last year in the postseason was a fluke.
Kalish’s first homerun was at Yankee
Stadium and the other was a grand slam. In his first game against the Tigers he
had two hits in four at-bats with an RBI and a run. Is that a sign of greatness
in the clutch or just a fluke? I believe the answer is greatness.
was often over shadowed in the minors by prospect Josh Reddick but know with
the opportunity to play full time Kalish is showing he is just as good if not
better then Reddick.
*Sorry I forgot to post this a few days ago.
After 1,648 hits, 326 home runs,
1,090 runs batted in, 1,592 games, and parts of twelve seasons, Lance “The Big
Puma” Berkman is leaving Houston to play with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez,
Mariano Rivera and the rest of the New York Yankees in the Big Apple.
It’s a bittersweet day in Houston.
On one side, the team is starting over and getting younger. On the other side,
you are losing a franchise player who played his college career (with the Rice
Owls) and pro career in Houston. Berkman has given the city of Houston so many
memories, good ones and bad ones.
Personally, I have two distinct
memories about Lance Berkman. The first autographed baseball I ever got was
Lance Berkman’s on my ninth birthday. However, In spring training of 2008,
while I was trying to get autographs, he went off the field, in a golf cart,
into the clubhouse, (the Astros clubhouse at their spring training park,
Osceola County Stadium, is on the other side of the left field fence) totally
ignoring the fans.
That day, Miguel Tejada, Jose
Valverde, Hunter Pence, and Wesley Wright, among others came a signed for the
me and the rest of the fans. I understand that fans do get a little crazy
sometimes. Ex-Astro Roy Oswalt use to only sign to small groups of fans while
with the Astros but spring training is different. Which, I understand.
Anyway, it has been a gradual
decline in power since 2006 when “Fat Elvis” hit 45 home runs. Since then, he
has hit 34, 29, 25 and 13 (in 85 games this year). And with the exception of
2008 when he drove in 106 runs his RBI totals have gone done every year since
2006 when he had 136 of them.
Now, I expect his power numbers to
increase with the dimensions of Yankees stadium and not having to face Josh
Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Hallady, or Mat Latos (who has a 0.99 WHIP) along
with the rest of the National League pitchers. However, the one thing that
could make his disappointing season even more disappointing would be if he
can’t play ball in the spotlight of New York City.
Wednesday Clay Buchholz and Jed
Lowrie returned from the disabled list. And while, Buchholz didn’t do that good
(Lowrie to me looked great) they are playing.
In order to activate Buchholz and
Lowrie Boston designate Ryan Shealy for assignment and sent Dustin Richardson
and Fernando Cabrera to Pawtuckett (AAA). The Red Sox active roster now has 25
With the emergence of Daniel Nava,
Darnell McDonald, and some nice play lately by Kevin Cash, Michael Bowden, and
Atchison, whom do you send down in place for Jeremy Hermida, Jacoby Ellsbury,
Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek and Josh Beckett.
soon as I finished writing Hermida’s name NESN said that Daniel Nava has been
optioned to Pawtuckett. It is a shame that Nava has to go back down after doing
a great job filling in for Hermida but at the end of the day either Darnell
McDonald or Nava had to go down and Boston chose Nava. He will probably be back
up in September unless another outfielder gets hurt.
might not be back as soon as Hermida but unless there is another injury among
the outfielders it looks like Darnell McDonald will be sent down. Obviously, a
shame that he has to be sent down but he will be back in September with Nava unless an injury happens.
Lowell is an interesting case. He will start his rehab Thursday. He has
publicly said that he is frustrated and honestly who could blame him. He has not
gotten many starts at third and with Big Papi stepping up not many at
designated hitter. He has done a decent job in a few starts at first base. I
think he will probably get traded before the deadline so it doesn’t really
matter who gets sent down.
think that Lowell might get Boston maybe a left-handed relief pitcher or a
decent prospect. Eric Patterson will probably get sent down but might get
called up after Lowell’s trade. If Lowell does not get traded then Patterson
will get sent down, designated for assignment, or maybe even get traded.
Lowell just gets traded for a prospect who is not ready yet then look at either
Nava, McDonald, or Aaron Bates to get called up. There are many possibilities
with Lowell so we will just have to wait and see.
Everyone now has heard about Chris
Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade teaming up down in Miami. Now Wade will
probably be the leader, James the star, but where does that leave Bosh? The
If the Heat want to win they must
learn to all be the playmaker and superstar. I think that if one player
averages ten more points then the other two stars then the Heat will not win
the championship. James and Wade need to average 20-25 points each while Bosh
needs to average 10-15 points per game and 5-10 rebounds.
The Celtics showed that one ball
hog that is a superstar cannot win it by himself. The Celtics beat the Heat, Cavs, Magic, and nearly the Lakers. Actually they beat, Wade, James, the Magic, and
nearly Kobe. The Magic’s superstar, Dwight Howard cannot hog the ball because
he plays in the post as a center. The Magic’s “potential ball hogs” were Jameer
Nelson, Matt Barnes, and Richard Lewis, all-stars but not superstars.
Why is Howard a first all-NBA team
player? His point guard. Howard is a good player but if his starting point
guard was not so good he would drop to the third all-NBA team.
A point guard can completely make a
big man better or worse. For example, Pau Gasol has been better in LA not
because he is a Laker but because of Derrek Fisher. Amar’e Stoudemire needed
Steve Nash to be a superstar.
LeBron James has hurt if not ruined
his chances at being compared to Michael Jordan . . . or has he? And if he has
is it his fault? Well, no one should be compared to Jordan. Not Kobe, LeBron,
or anyone. There is one Kobe, one LeBron, one Jordan, one Russell, one Bird,
and one Magic. It is so annoying to me when legends get compared to all-stars
and players from different generations.
Anyway, back to my point. Kobe,
Jordan, Russell, Bird, and Magic played with one team and won a ring with that
one team in fact they won a total of 30.
However, Kobe had Shaq, Jordan had
Pippen, Russell had Cousy, and Magic had Kareem. LeBron? He had well . . . Big
Z and as much as I respect Big Z he is not a Shaq or Kareem. Sure he had Mo
Williams, Antawan Jaminson, and Shaq but for a combined 3 and a half seasons. Williams
and Jaminson are all-stars but not legends. Shaq last year was 37 and not the
Shaq Kobe played with. LeBron now has Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to help him win a ring.