Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 points to make you feel better about the Jon Lester situation

A quick look at some of the reasons that make Jon Lester signing with someone other than Boston easier to handle.



Jon Lester is gone.

That much is true. Maybe it is time to start looking for the silver lining in this situation. here's a look at some of the reasons it may not be as bad as us Red Sox fans initially thought.

  1. Lester didn't sign with the Yankees
  2. Chicago is a nice town to visit. A trip to Chicago to pay homage during one of Lester's starts is not the least appealing idea ever. 
  3. He's now a seriously coveted Fantasy Baseball piece, pitching in the NL will bump his stats exponentially. If you are a Lester owner in a keeper league, you just hit the jackpot.
  4. If Lester regresses to the point where he starts getting shallacked on a weekly basis, at least we don't have to watch that happen on the mound at Fenway. 
  5. In a somewhat related point, we probably won't have to suffer through a 38 year old Lester trying to get outs on the mound at Fenway (and I say that out of love and respect, no fan needs to see that happen).
  6. If you are a Red Sox fan that just moved to Chicago, well depending on your perspective, you either just lucked-out, or it's kind of like moving to a new town and finding out an old girlfriend who dumped you is living next door. Let's go with the former (you lucked-out).
  7. He didn't sign with the Yankees (It bears repeating, as it wasn't a million miles from happening, the Yankees were starting to sniff about as the talks dragged on).
  8. Lester didn't sign with St Louis either (almost as bad as the Yankees at this stage)
  9. The Cubs, who have lost close to 500 games in the last 5 years, probably will not be appearing in the World Series any time soon. Therefore, the Red Sox probably won't be facing Lester in the big show any time soon. 
  10.  Remember, he didn't sign with the Yankees!


Rock on, Jony boy, rock on


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just don’t lie to us, Jon.

Jon Lester has chosen the Cubs over the Red Sox, for a few million dollars more. We can only hope when he finally comments on this that he doesn’t insult the intelligence of Boston fans by using the word ‘contend’ or any variation of same.


From what I can see, after trawling the Internet in the early hours of this Wednesday morning, Jon Lester, former Red Sox and former Oakland pitcher, has not so far publicly commented on his decision to choose the Chicago Cubs as his next place of business. This is written in the hope that when he does comment, publicly, that he does not insult the intelligence of the Boston fans that wanted him to come back to Fenway so badly.

If Lester says he wanted the extra $20 million in cash, I would be cool with that. If Lester says he wanted out of Boston thanks to the crushing local media, I would understand and be cool with that also. If Lester says he wants to simply try something new, again, I would be cool as a cucumber with that.

My problem will be if Lester uses the word, or any variation of the word, ‘contend’ when he speaks to the masses for the first time on this.

The Cubs are a lovely, warm, cosy old team and their stadium is a national treasure, sure. However recently they have been absolutely pathetic in terms of results. Their last winning season was 5 years ago, in 2009. Since then they have won 346 games and lost 464. As recently as 2012 they lost 101 games. 101 losses! They are, frankly, a bad baseball team. Now, sure, they are building, and looking to contend and all that jazz. However a reasonable, relatively intelligent estimate on their first real push through the playoffs would have to be 2-3 years from now. Lester will be 34 years old. That’s just getting there. Winning the Series? That has to be 5 years away, surely. Lester would be 36 years old.

That’s assuming their rebuild goes well. What if it doesn’t? American professional sports teams seem to think that rebuilding is a given, that they will come out on the other end smelling of roses. What if the young guys don’t work out and the free agents are a bust? Even if Lester pitches his backside off, it could all be for naught.

I thought Jayson Stark made a great point on ESPN when he said;

A day like this doesn't help Javier Baez make more contact, of course. A day like this doesn't turn Addison Russell or Kris Bryant or Jorge Soler into instant stars. All that was always going to take time. And it still will.


Contending? Unless Lester plans on starting 2-3 days a week, and adding in some much needed power slugging also, then the Cubs are still a long way from contending.

With all due respect to the charming city of Chicago, the Cubs, right now, stink, and it will take a hell of a lot of rebuilding to get it right. If Lester actually wants to be part of a rebuilding project, well, good for him so. Just don’t tell us you want to contend, when the team you just joined has lost 464 games in the last 5 seasons combined.

Please, Jon, do not use the word ‘contend’ when you eventually speak to us all. It would be less of an insult to our intelligence if you just said;  

‘’Yeah, Chicago offered me a couple of extra million, now I’m gonna go look up who does the best fried chicken in Chicago, and then go shoot a few deer.’



Wednesday, December 03, 2014

1999 - The Magnificent Martinez's greatest trick

There has been quite a bit of chatter about The Magnificent Martinez lately. We're not talking about some two-bit magician here, we're talking about the wizard of the mound, Pedro Martinez. 

Recently the whole 'pitcher winning and MVP' thing came up, and after that came the announcement that Pedro is on the next Hall Of Fame ballot.

In regards the MVP portion, a belated congratulations to Clayton Kershaw, who won not only the 2014 NL Cy Young award, but also the NL MVP award. This is a tremendous feat for a pitcher to accomplish. Kershaw achieving this cast my mind back to the summer of ’99, and Pedro Martinez. For many who saw him throw, live at a game in particular, Pedro is the greatest pitcher ever to set foot on planet Earth, and ’99 was his greatest year. Some point to other seasons of his as having been pretty damn good (take your pick really from the phenomenal stretch he showcased between ’97 in Montreal and the infamous ’03) however for many, including me, ’99 was pure magic, on a number of levels.



Martinez deals

First of all, Pedro was still relatively new to Boston, having come from Montreal just 2 years earlier. Second, the numbers. Good lord, what numbers. Third, Pedro’s incredible, almost hard-to-believe All Star game outing, and everything around it (For God sake, it was in Boston, how perfect!). Then there was that magical night in New York where Pedro gunned down 17 Yankees.

The fifth piece of evidence towards proving ’99 was the greatest season ever submitted by a Major League pitcher is the 5 innings of shut-out relief Pedro tossed in the playoffs in Cleveland, a night embedded deep in the mind of every Red Sox fan who saw it.

Then there was his brilliant outing against the Yankees in the ALCS.

Finally, there is the context of the period Pedro did all of this in. Let’s just say it was not a level playing field. Other pitchers were being slapped around by enormous, hulking, roiding batters who were able to meddle in the dark arts of steroids while bashing obscene numbers of home runs. Pedro? He conquered all before him.

Sure, Pedro had other seasons that were perhaps better statistically on some levels, and sure, other pitchers have submitted similarly brilliant seasons in terms of numbers, however I put it to you that contextually, when you consider everything, no pitcher has ever delivered anything like the gift Pedro gave us in the summer of ’99.

To start, some of you will remember the breathless Boston Globe reports in the winter of ’97 that Pedro was coming to town. I remember distinctly where I was sitting when I first read the news, I can picture the article in front of me now. If I recall correctly the picture of Pedro was in street clothes, with a flat cap on, looking confident and stylish (Update: The Internet is an astonishing place – I just found the article).


Pedro comes to town.

He had just put forth an astonishing season in Montreal and the hope was that he would be the Ace at the front end of the Red Sox rotation. Goodness me did he deliver on that. Pedro announced himself to Boston with a stunning debut season that really raised the bar for expectations and indeed the hopes of Red Sox fans. That’s one of the many elements that makes ’99 so special. We knew Pedro was good, we saw just how good in Montreal, and we had a taste of the real potential of the great man in ’98. When Pedro was able to kick on upwards into yet another gear in ’99, well, it was simply jaw dropping.

On to the numbers.

As you can see from the below, the numbers that Pedro Martinez put up from ’97 through ’03 were nothing short of sensational. You could pluck out a couple of seasons as examples of ones that might surpass even 45’s transcendent ’99, however when you add all the other contextual aspects we’re discussing here, there really is only one season in my mind that constitutes Pedro’s greatest.

Pedro's greatest streak of stats - click to view in large


His ’99 was simply a thing of beauty.

Pedro won 24 games while losing only 4. In 213 innings he walked only 37 batters while striking out an incredible 313. Pedro struck batters out that season at an otherworldly rate of 37.5 %, whilst walking 4.4 %. That’s just unheard of. To put this in context, the other, human pitchers that season had rates of 15.6 % and 8.8 %. Pedro was in a class all of his own. His ’99 ERA of 2.07 was below half of the MLB average.

During ’99 he went on several streaks that, statistically, have few or no peer.

In September Pedro went 8 straight games with double-digits in strike outs. He was just abusing batters and sending them back to the dugout confused and demoralized. In 8 starts from August to September 27th Pedro tossed 62 innings allowing 8 runs which meant an absolutely ridiculous ERA of 1.16. In that period he K’d 107 batters at a rate of 46.5 %.

Looking at the numbers for that period of time, you could say that Pedro’s work between August through September in 1999 might be the greatest single stretch of pitching ever in Major League Baseball.

An integral aspect of Pedro’s ’99 season, and a portion of the reason why I contend it was his greatest, and indeed the greatest, was the ’99 All Star game at Fenway Park. The game itself, the surrounding pageantry, the home-run derby, the location, the stars, they all added up to an incredible All Star weekend in Boston. What Pedro did to the National League All Stars he faced, however, should probably have been adults-only entertainment. His stuff was absolutely filthy on the night. Anyone who watched that game saw that Pedro was psyched beyond belief to be starting for the American League. He left literally everything out there.



The sparkling energy and passion with which Pedro threw that night is clearly visible and audible from that clip. The POP of the fastball exploding into the catcher’s glove, the radar gun numbers, the stoic, controlled but fiercely competitive look on Pedro’s face. Remember this was the All Star game. These were baseball’s best-of-the-best and Pedro struck them out like they were Little League scrubs.

That pitch to get Larkin, what the hell? Sure, I know it would be labelled a changeup, but in reality it was so much more. The pitch dove away as if the ball was literally taunting the over-matched veteran Larkin. Not a chance, buddy. The pop of Martinez’s fast-ball to Larry Walker as it hit the glove makes me want to pump my fist every time I heart it.

It was an explosive 2 innings on the back of a glittering All Star event.

Then there was that night in New York.

I happened to be at that game, I was working in Boston for the summer, and wanted to see Pedro pitch live one more time before travelling back to Ireland. I wrote this a couple of years later, and like every pitch that night, every word of this still rings true.

With the Yankees winning the Sox were in trouble. And that's where Pedro broke out perhaps the best game of his career. In the middle of the team's longest road trip against their strongest competitors, he faced down the Yankees and threw a complete game one-hitter, facing only one batter over the minimum. Pedro struck out the side in the 5th, 7th, and 9th innings, for a total of 17 in the game. He fanned every Yankee who came to bat at least once.

Pedro was such a ferocious competitor, he was like a boxer, who was angered by his opponent (Chili Davies) landing a punch, and who went on to absolutely annihilate him. With Pedro dealing his 97 mph fastball, his wicked curve and that delicious changeup, the powerful all-world Yankees lineup was reduced to one fair ball after the fourth inning. Have a think about that. They hit one ball into play from the fourth inning on.

Every time he fired in one of his pitches I felt my emotions get pushed higher and higher. The Dominican fans in the bleachers were going absolutely insane. My new buddy beside me was pretty quiet, completely focused on the game, but after every strike out he just mumbled, 'K, another K'.

The Sox offence struck for two in the sixth and one in the ninth, and that was all Pedro needed. He finished his magnificent performance by striking out the side in the 9th inning, and the Dominican fans in the bleachers went absolutely insane. I didn't even notice that my body guard was gone, so, faced with overwhelming odds I settled for a little personal fist pump almost hidden by the seat in front of me.

I practically floated out of Yankee stadium, everything from there is just a blur. The bright stadium lights, several Red Sox fans celebrating in front of the stadium.

Like Ron Bergundy, ''I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there. If you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back.'' I want to come right out and say that was the single greatest pitching performance I have ever seen. Pedro, that night, was the greatest.

As I left the stadium I heard Frank singing '...start spreading the news..' over the PA system. I couldn't get that song out of my head for days, and when I hear it now I remember nothing but that chilly night in New York watching Pedro carry the Red Sox on his back deep in the heart of Yankee land.
Here are the highlights.




After the regular season, on to Cleveland, where the Red Sox faced the super-powerful Indians team that had a lineup for the ages. Pedro didn’t start, but he hovered over the city of Cleveland like a dark storm cloud waiting to pounce. The Indians bashed 8 runs off some, it must be said, pretty poor Red Sox pitching, before Pedro put his cleats on and jogged from the ‘pen to the mound. What followed was simply epic. Pedro pitched 6 shutout innings of baseball, as Boston rode his back out of town and into the next round. Pedro stripped the Indians batters and indeed fans of all hope, disarming them quietly and efficiently. He had the focus of an ice-cold assassin all night long, and mowed the Cleveland batters down one-by-one without seemingly breaking sweat.

Focus


God bless the Internet, you can watch the entire game here (and boy is it a wonderful trip down memory lane for fans of the Red Sox but also for fans of great pitching. Not so much for Indians fans, however).



The razor sharp focus that Martinez displayed when cutting down the Indians final hope, Omar Vizquel, that’s something you just can’t teach. In that time, in that place, only a legend could perform like that.

On to New York.

Putting an emphatic exclamation mark on his brilliant season, Pedro carried his excellence on into the ALCS against the New York Yankees. In his one start against them (his heroics against Cleveland came at a cost, the Red Sox in hindsight needed Pedro more than just once against the Yankees) he blew past them almost as if they weren’t there.

Grab a beer, get yourself some pretzels and put your feet up. Here’s the entire game



Side note: One of the greatest Red Sox fans chants of all time;

''Where is Roger? Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. In the shower! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap''

You really have to take a deep breath after considering all of that information. Remind yourself, all of that, all of the above, Pedro did all of that in one single season. That’s a lifetime of achievements for most pitchers, even the best. Pedro managed to cram it into one single magical season.

You will notice I haven’t commented on the two individuals who left Pedro completely off their MVP ballots in a spiteful move that thankfully we haven’t seen repeated too often since. One of those idiots had the bare-faced cheek to put two pitchers on his ’00 ballot despite claiming he left Pedro off in ’99 because he didn’t think pitchers should be allowed into the MVP voting (who knows how that clown sleeps at night). I won’t spoil this piece with his name, because quite frankly his ugly little temper tantrum doesn’t take away from a half of fraction of a percent of what The Great Martinez achieved in ’99.

You can bet Pedro doesn’t care either. He’s obviously a very grounded, confident man, and clearly very happy with his lot in life now. He has done things that no other player will manage, and he can sit back and enjoy the memories now that his playing career is over.

He gave us a season for the ages in 1999 and no one can ever take that from him.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Horrifying football wallpapers

Oh boy, some of these are absolutely horrific. A collection of the worst football wallpapers you could care to imagine. Check them out here on my latest for Balls.co.uk.

Scary!

Some of them are horrible, Some of them are just mind boggling. The range of obsolete, semi-unknown players on display is impressive. After you flick down through enough of them, you end up remembering that a lot of people spent a lot of time on these.

And that's terrifying in itself.

Just...what?

Monday, November 10, 2014

What up, Ukraine?!

Every now and then the Internet throws something funny at you. Check out this blog's viewer stats broken down by country.



Hey Ukraine! What's up?! I had no clue Irish baseball or US sports in particular were so popular in the Ukraine. I triple checked and I don't think I said anything to piss you guys in the Ukraine off, ever, but, please do correct me if I am wrong!

In the meantime, thanks for coming, and, I have always been a big fan of Andriy Shevchenko


The irresponsible callousness of Irish TV show ‘Love/Hate’

Ireland is a funny little island at times. Perhaps in part due to its relatively small population and subsequently intertwined gossip networks, perhaps due to the fact there’s relatively little else to do in the evenings, we tend to gobble up ‘hit’ TV shows like a fat guy gobbles up cheeseburgers at McDonalds. They infiltrate all levels of the Irish entertainment World, and set in like a plague amongst a hungry populace ready to eat it all up. Give us the TV show, give us the related YouTube clips and the vines, give us the talk-show appearances and the hyperbolic daily-rag-newspaper ‘specials’ on the show.



I realise fully I am in a considerable minority in that I have a boat load of issues with this stupid little TV show that’s gripping Ireland as we speak. Love/Hate, we’ll call it LH going forward, is many things. First and foremost it’s a sensationalized dramatization of a tiny percentage of the drugs world in Ireland. It is massively irresponsible, and is, in my opinion, completely the wrong TV show for Ireland at this moment in time, at the juncture in Irish society. It is guilty of pandering in its sleaziest form and finally, it is a contextually wildly inaccurate portrayal of Irish society today.

First of all, LH is guilty of a sick level of sensationalizing, over inflating the impact of a very small percentage group within the Irish illegal drugs world. If you were to believe LH, Dublin in particular is basically worse than the Baltimore of the early 2000s, so brilliantly depicted on The Wire. Make no mistake, sections of Baltimore were a no-go area at that time. For anyone who has read David Simon’s brilliant book on the subject, ‘Homicide’, the show The Wire told the story brilliantly, and with very little hyperbole. Baltimore actually was that bad.

Dublin is not.

Sure, it’s bad in many ways. The illegal drugs issue is very bad, and people, families and kids are falling through the cracks, dropping unassisted by a Government and a police force either unwilling or unable to save and or protect them from a life spent in drugs. The sick re-packaging of this story by LH, turning it into some kind of sexy drama, with young faces, gun fights and dramatic incidents, is an ugly lie.

You want to argue that LH is not sensationalized? Go ahead and google ‘Love/Hate’ and click on the images tab.

Dramatization/sensationalization, moi?

You want to argue that RTE are entitled to dramatize the drugs world in Ireland? Okay so. That’s where the irresponsible nature of LH rears its ugly head. The characters. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand if you like, but Ireland’s teen-youth in particular are absolutely lapping this stuff up. They are changing their social network profile pictures and handles to incorporate LH characters pictures and names. They are sitting in fast-food restaurants loudly talking about drugs. They are brazenly purchasing drugs on the street in the cold light of day.

In short, the TV show LH is empowering Ireland’s youth to watch, enjoy, act out, live in and soak up Ireland’s drug world.

Again, go play emu and bury your head in the sand if you like, but the younger generations of Ireland are absolutely loving this TV show, and, sorry kids, they aren’t smart enough to know what to copy and what not to copy.

This leads me to the aspect of pandering.

You might be sitting there thinking ‘screw this guy, we don’t have a drugs problem’, well, sorry,  if you think that, then you are oblivious, and you are a victim of RTE and LH pandering to you. They are showing you these idiots running around with guns and drugs, having sex and living these fast-paced sexy lives, and you are soaking it all up because you don’t think there’s a real problem with drugs. It’s either that, or you don’t care, and I don’t know which of those categories you want to belong to, but if you completely disagree with me, go ahead and pick one.

LH is pandering in its sleaziest, lowest form, by a national TV station, over a frankly gormless population that is swallowing it all up happily. We sit there in our comfy suburban homes watching this stupid TV show so we can talk about so-and-so shooting so-and-so or whoever screwing whoever in last night’s episode. Meanwhile, for those whose lives are ruined by drugs, today is just another day itching, scrounging, fighting and dying in a nasty, ugly world completely devoid of the sexy, sensationalized nature of LH.

Most of all, what this irresponsible show is completely lacking is context. Sure, there are a tiny proportion of idiots involved in the illegal drugs trade running around with a lot of money, a few old guns and a lot of time on their hands with which to conduct dramatic drugs-related incidents. There’s no denying it. What LH is abjectly missing, and therefore deliberately misleading everyone who watches it, is the true context of the drugs world in Dublin and Ireland.

Drugs in Ireland is that sad, haggard couple, completely strung out, pushing a toddler in a trolley down O’Connell street, asking tourists for a euro for a youth hostel. Drugs in Ireland is creepy 30-50 year old men with backpacks wandering around our streets in broad daylight selling pills, tablets and weeds to 15 and 16 year olds. Drugs in Ireland is the boarded up houses of former drugs dealers. Drugs in Ireland is a slew of young men and women sitting in semi abandoned houses smoking weed all day long as their lives slip away around them.

None of those things are quite as sexy or as dramatic as the garbage LH tries to peddle, and in that we see clearly the worst aspect of LH, its deliberate, callous and misleading glorification and dramatization of drugs in Ireland.  They are feeding us an irresponsible, pandering and misleading pile of trash, and, as always, Ireland is gobbling it up.

Mexico is currently ripping itself apart in grief and trauma after the horrific murder of 43 young students by a drugs gang acting in collusion with a corrupt local mayor and police force. This was able to occur in a society where illegal drugs are an everyday way of life, an accepted entity that has gripped an entire nation.

Obviously Ireland has a long, long way to fall before it slips into that level or horrible tragedy, however big disasters come off the back of smaller steps leading to same. Walk around the streets of Dublin, Cork, Limerick or Waterford and see for yourself, there are disgusting, sleazy, ugly older men wandering around with backpacks full of illegal drugs, selling them in broad daylight to teenagers who are lapping them up, grabbing at a taste of the drugs world, that same world so gratuitously glorified by Ireland’s state television station, RTE, on the irresponsible, callous and completely misleading show, Love/Hate.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thoughts on 'Gone Girl'

There's a great line in '30 Rock' where Tina Fey turns to Alec Baldwin and says;

'Well, you just hate everyone, don't you?!' 

Much like Baldwin's character in 30 Rock,  it's apparent 'Gone Girl' director David Fincher doesn't suffer fools easily, and thoroughly enjoys making fun of them. He's also pretty pissed off at many of societies vagaries and thoroughly enjoys laying them bare for us. He does this in 'Seven', in 'Fight Club' and now in 'Gone Girl', where Fincher lays waste to the media, elements of the police, the legal profession, suburban St. Louis, over-bearing parents and snooty, rich business men too. No one escapes Fincher's acerbic eye.

'Gone Girl'
'Gone Girl' 


The basic premise of 'Gone Girl' starts with a married woman going missing under suspicious circumstances and the story runs off in dozens directions from there. There's basically no point in outlining the story as any commentary would be spoiler heavy. Suffice to say, it's riveting from start to finish.

Riveting for me anyway. I do wonder about some movie goers. Be it the chatty, loud, obnoxious middle aged couple that made me choose to move seats, or the dozens of people that complained audibly, after it all ended, about the plot, you have to wonder why some people bother going to the cinema.

That latter group, I would love to ask them what exactly they expected, Sly Stallone to swoop in, kill the bad guys and deliver a catchy quip as the credits roll?

If you're not going to open your mind and let the movie maker tell you a story, then what's the point?

Back to the movie itself, 'Gone Girl' is smooth, stylish and zips along at a frenetic pace, to the point you are surprised when the couple of hours are gone.

Ben Affleck delivers the performance of his lifetime, for me anyway, and explores every inch of his character. I suspect he has some fun exploring the perception his suspect husband is smug and lacks the 'correct' emotions for the given situation.

'Gone Girl'


Tyler Perry is nothing short of a charming revelation in a serious role, he fills the screen brilliantly as a high profile lawyer, and leaves you wanting more. There are plenty of other excellent supporting performances, and David Fincher's usual technical team excel as always in making his vision as aesthetically brilliant as possible.

Fincher always has a great handle on what he wants to do musically in his movies, and the soundtrack is absolutely mesmeric.


It has to be noted strongly that Rosamund Pike is also something of a revelation, perfectly cast as a spoilt, only-child, upper-class young lady who goes missing, igniting a massive search for her. She is quite literally perfect for the role, and the depths to which it evolves.

Most of all, 'Gone Girl' is a provocative, entertaining and sometimes shocking movie. It has some good depth to it, and if you give Fincher a chance, the way he tells the story is a nice two fingers to the pervasive World of formulaic movie making we live in today.

 'Gone Girl'
 'Gone Girl'

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm boycotting ESPN for 3 weeks

As you may or may not know already, ESPN in its infinite wisdom has suspended Bill Simmons for 3 weeks in light of negative comments he made about the NFL. Yes, the NFL. Not ESPN. However, someone in the NFL must have been angered by these comments and must have subsequently made an angry call to ESPN, who bent over as usual and took it.

Bill Simmons suspended


If you recall, ESPN once ran an article on LeBron but then took it down hours later because LeBron's team didn't like it (here it is in full if you are so inclined).

Simmons is a very large proportion of what is 'good' about ESPN, for me anyway. Sure, he is New England everything, or at least he used to be, but his articles are entertaining and generally pretty knowledgeable. He is definitely a well meaning guy, and his heart is, by and large, in the right place. For me, he has every right to call foul on the NFL, and the fact ESPN has suspended him does nothing but make a further mockery of the site.

For the record, Simmons said

"I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I'm in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. Because if one person says that to me, I'm going public. You leave me alone. The commissioner's a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast. … Please, call me and say I'm in trouble. I dare you''

ESPN 'retaltaited' by suspending him and saying this

"Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN's journalistic standards. We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks."

I am disgusted by this cowardly action, ESPN should be standing by it's journalists, not throwing them under the bus. However the key to understanding this stab in the back is, as is so often the case in corporate America, money. ESPN has invested over 15 billion dollars in the NFL and they are clearly going to protect that investment quite aggressively.

Even  if it means suspending their own talent, should they dare to besmirch the name of the NFL.

Well, screw you ESPN. You want to suspend one of the chief reasons I bother visiting your site? Okay so, I will avoid your site for the duration of that suspension.

I invite my readers and friends to do same, and spread the word on Twitter with #DontVisitESPNFor3Weeks and of course #FreeSimmons

Simmons was brave enough to speak his mind on how the NFL has run out of control, and he deserves our support.





Ireland Croatia

Ireland Croatia
The Irish Team in Croatia 2000

Heroes and villains on Fox Sports

Heroes and villains on Fox Sports

'I didn't know..' gets a mention on Fox Sports

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