Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A look at how the sporting media treats two different groups of MLB PED abusers

Known steroid abuser hits game winning home run and the sporting media goes crazy with adulation. Odd behaviour just weeks after almost openly organising tar-and-feather mobs to chase down A-Rod. Does the media treat PED users a certain way depending what group they belong to?

Frequent readers, or, should I say, the frequent reader, of this column will know the author will never be described as a gigantic Alex Rodriguez fan. Quite the opposite in fact. However, you do have to ask what’s going on today, with this ridiculous adulation around admitted Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) user Jason Giambi.

For those of you who missed it, Giambi hit a big, game winning home run for Cleveland last night, pushing The Tribe onwards in the American League Wild Card chase. Interestingly, despite the fact that Giambi was not only heavily associated with PED abuse, he actually admitted to it, most sporting media entities are today fawning praise over him like he was the slugging version of Mariano Rivera.

Is this not hypocritical behaviour from the same group that basically drove a giant collective stake through the PED infested heart of A-Rod not so long ago? Why does Giambi get praise heaped upon him while A-Rod suffers continued criticism, ridicule and worse?

Sure, A-Rod’s steroid abuse is well documented at this stage, however so is Giambi’s. In 2007 Giambi admitted to the media that he was ‘wrong for doing that stuff.’

We’re not asking why does Giambi get a free-pass here, we’re asking why does Giambi get adulation heaped upon him? Why isn’t he subjected to the same scorn as A-Rod?

Perhaps this is just a part of a wider process.

Let’s take a look at the usual suspects, and let’s group them into two batches, A and B. Don’t get too bogged down in the ‘he said she said’ element of each individual, for better or for worse the below lists contain equal amounts of rumoured, admitted and proven PED abusers.

Group A
Brett Boone
Ken Caminiti
Eric Gagne
Kevin Brown
Mark McGwire
Ryan Braun
Andy Pettitte

Group B
Miguel Tejada
Jose Canseco
Sammy Sosa
Manny Ramirez
Alex Rodriguez
Barry Bonds

Take a look at the two groups, and then answer the following question. If you had to pick one, which group would you say is open to the more abuse, ridicule and slander, of those two? It’s no contest, right? Group A, for whatever reason, are largely treated with a kind of nodding, winking respect, a kind of parental disappointment, ‘Yes, we know you did wrong, but we still love you’.

It’s basically open season on Group B. Anything goes. A-Rod is of course the poster child of the group, and let’s face it, he has been crucified.

In no way shape or form am I defending anyone on either list. Personally I think all PED users are filthy cheats and should be banned for life and stricken from any and all record books, but, that’s just my opinion.

What is fascinating is how the individual abusers in those groups are treated by the media. My firm hypothesis would be that the individuals in Group A are treated with far, far more respect than the individuals in Group B. It is very much a different ball game as to how the players in both of those groups are described by the media.

Group A, Group B.

Tell me this, can you see the separating factor?

Boston Irish Linkage

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to figure out if you think the Redskins logo and nickname are racist or not: A handy guide.

Full article

Worried about your answer to the topical question as to whether the Washington NFL team's nickname and logo are racist or not? Can't find the time to figure it out for yourself? Our handy guide can help you come up with an answer in seconds!

Read the full post here in my column on Irish Central  

Boston Irish Linkage

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New England Patriots lose Tom Brady to disabled list with 'Lost mind'.

The Patriots just about handle the Jets at wet and windy Gillette Stadium, but lose their MVP level quarterback for a potentially long period to a broken brain related injury. 

Tom Brady - lost his mind

Last night the New England Patriots may have won a battle however they also may have lost the war. In brutal weather conditions the Patriots handled the Jets 13-10 to go 2-0 on the fledgling NFL season but in doing so may have lost their future Hall Of Fame quarterback to injury.

Brady was not seen to be in any trouble leaving the field, however early post-game reports indicate Brady is already listed as doubtful for the Sunday 22nd game against Tampa.

Brady is on the injury report as; Doubtful: Lost his mind. 

Sources indicate the injury may have occurred during any one of the number of drops of Brady passes by his terrified rookie wide receivers.

Dr. Alfonso Marquez, a leading expert in lost minds with a masters from the Cancun University of Good Medicine, spoke to reporters after the news came out that Brady was on the disabled list.

''Basically if you watch the game tape you can actually see the moment Brady loses his mind, as it were. Sometimes if you are near the person you can hear an audible 'pop' as they actually lose their mind'

Dr. Marquez went on to say that 'although unusual, players often do lose their minds in stressful situations, and they can be very tricky to get back'.

As usual the Patriots are keeping very tight lips about the situation, and Bill Belichick had no comment after the game. In other NFL news, Denver have announced that former Patriot receiver Wes Welker has been downgraded to  'probable' for Sunday's game against the Giants, after pulling a muscle in his backside while laughing at the TV last night.

More updates on that situation to follow.

Boston Irish Linkage

Monday, September 16, 2013

Red Sox fan wakes from coma upon hearing his team are in first place

A lifelong Red Sox fan who was involved in an accident in September 2012 and went into a coma, woke suddenly and unexpectedly as relatives discussed the Red Sox first place standing at his hospital bed.

Red Sox - winning

A Boston man who has been in a coma since being involved in a bad traffic accident back in September 2012, has woken suddenly from the coma during a conversation between his relatives at his hospital bedside. Relatives of the man described the man jolting up in bed upon hearing that Boston are now 9.5 games ahead in the American League East. As the man woke slowly in front of family and friends, his first question was ‘How are the Yankees doing?’ to which a relative confirmed that New York are 12.5 games out in the East and in danger of missing the playoffs. The man, John Fitzgerald O’Shaughnessy, 34 of Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts, fainted immediately and had to be revived a second time.

Eye witnesses say Mr Fitzgerald then listened quietly at first as friends and family slowly described how Boston, so bad in 2012 and 2011, are only a couple of wins away from officially clinching the AL East title, and now among the favourites with bookmakers to win the World Series. Reports go on to say that Mr Fitzgerald then began babbling ‘in tongues’ and had to be calmed by hospital staff.

After a short period of relaxation a somewhat calmer Mr Fitzgerald heard that the Red Sox consensus best starting pitching of the last couple of months has been John lackey, to which he replied; ‘’Okay guys, stop f*****g around, now you’re just f*****g with me.’

Mr Fitzgerald is expected to recover fully from his injuries and commented that after reading a few articles in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald on the Red Sox, he will eventually check how his wife and three children are doing.

Boston Irish Linkage

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Which two teams will take the AL Wild Card slots?

The chase for the two American League wild card spots is hotter than Miguel Cabrera’s bat. Six teams have a realistic shot at grabbing one of the two places, and the final couple of weeks of the MLB season will be all the more exciting for that fact.

As you no doubt already know the new(ish) Wild Card system means that there are two spots available as opposed to the old version of the system in which only one team progressed through same. The two teams then play a one game playoff to see who goes on to play in the Divisional round of the playoffs-actual.

The teams in contention are (deep breath) Texas, Tampa, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore and Kansas. Yes, Kansas. The intensity of the chase comes from the fact that they are right now all within 2 games of each other in the Wild Card standings. It is entirely realistic to suggest we might see a Wild Card playoff game between Kansas and Cleveland, with ‘bigger’ clubs like Texas and New York watching from a distance as they make their off-season holiday plans.

Of the six clubs, which are the more likely to progress? Let’s chop it up.

Despite currently being the leader of the pack we are talking about, Texas are facing a tough-ask in grabbing one of the two available spots. First of all, they are on a terrible run of form. They just got swept in three games by Pittsburgh (huge red flag, an AL team being swept by an NL team at home in their own ballpark!) and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. They have 17 games left and 10 of those are against Wild Card rivals, including a crucial 4 game series in Tampa. All things considered, Texas are in deep trouble.

Speaking of Tampa, how bizarre is it tuning in to watch their crucial games against the Redsox only to see that cavernous, gaudy stadium basically empty? Their fans are nothing short of a disgrace. Their form is pretty bad too, they are 3-7 in their last 10 games and are being pushed aside by Boston as we speak. Their remaining schedule is littered with potential booby-traps. There’s the big 4 game series against Texas and then 4 against the Orioles and 3 against the Yankees. With the way they are playing right now, you can’t really back Tampa to grab one of the 2 spots with any confidence.

The Yankees are an interesting case. They are playing to a reasonable standard, 6-4 in their last 10, if you forget the recent Redsox series, they had been taking care of business up to that point. The forthcoming weekend series against Boston will of course tell us a lot about their chances, and they have Kuroda, Sabathia and Nova lined up for that. The fact is, whatever they do in that series, they then face a pretty soft remaining schedule. 9 games against bottom-feeders Toronto, San Francisco and Houston are potentially the Yankees ticket to the playoffs. There is a series against Tampa too in there to worry about, but all in all you would have to think the Yankees can win at least 10 of their remaining 16 games and potentially pass both Tampa and Texas on the basis of that alone.

Cleveland are having a great season and despite a little 2 game losing streak are in good form (6-4 in their last 10) at just the right time. They are facing nothing short of a cake-walk of a remaining schedule too, with 14 games against the White Sox, Astros and Twins. They have 6 alone against the White Sox and you have to fancy them to win 4 of those at least, with as bad as Chicago are playing. They should take 11 or 12 of their remaining games and with that push themselves up the Wild Card standings.

We’ll call it right now, the Orioles are not going to the Wild Card playoff. It just isn’t happening. Sure, the 6 games against the abysmal Blue Jays on their run in look juicy. However, the 11 remaining games against New York, Boston and Tampa are the reason the Orioles will not be playing playoff baseball this season. The fact is they have to pass 4 different teams to grab the last 2 spots, and with that schedule ahead of them that just isn’t happening.

Finally, Kansas have had a fantastic season thus far, and they are playing good baseball just when it matters most, 7-3 in their last 10. The problem for them is they have to pass 5 teams to make the playoff, and they face 9 very difficult games against Detroit, Cleveland and Texas. Their only chance is if they survive those 9 and then blast their way through a remaining 7 games against Seattle and Chicago. It could happen, sure, but the odds are against them. They are simply running out of schedule.

Overall analysis?

Cleveland and New York have a great chance of facing each other in the Wild Card playoff game. Cleveland are playing good ball and have a very straight forward remaining schedule. The Yankees have a tricky few games against Boston and Tampa but after that they face a 9 game run-in against some of the Majors worst teams.

However, any which way you chalk it up, the remaining couple of weeks should be fascinating.

Boston Irish Linkage

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Senior US Republican Senator John McCain saps Syrian leaders funding via ‘Operation Full House’

What at first was being reported by the misguided liberal media as a bored old Senator earning $174,000 a year while playing games on his iPhone was in actual fact a glimpse into a highly secret CIA/NSA operation aimed at destabilizing Syrian leader Bashar Hafez al-Assad’s funds.

McCain playing poker while in a Senate hearing

Poker news from the capital. Yesterday the liberal media frothed at the mouth at a picture that emerged of Senior US Republican Senator John McCain seemingly playing a game on his iPhone during a Senate hearing. You could cut the sanctimony with a knife, it hung that heavy in the air. Little did the Knights Of The Keyboard know, they were being afforded a brief glimpse into a deep under cover, heroic operation to sap enemy funding via the poker skills of the would be President.

Today McCain and his team have admitted that what the media have been gushing over was in fact a complicated, brilliant operation called ‘Operation Full House’. Citing national security, McCain says he is not at liberty to divulge all the information, suffice to say McCain was actually playing against Syrian leader Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and was, by all accounts, ‘taking him to the bank’.

It is a little known fact that McCain is an established poker player and goes by the pseudonym  ‘Dallas McCain’ while working the tables in Vegas. McCain may or may not have honed his card playing skills while in captivity in Vietnam. This fact had been guarded carefully until now in the interests of national security.

The Republican Senator’s admittance to CNN that “Occasionally I get a little bored,” was actually a coded message to an operative to download the funds from Senator McCain’s Poker account to a holding bank in the Cayman Islands.

The former presidential candidate was the ideal candidate for this operation, not just because of his poker playing skills, but also under the assumption that Assad would never suspect a Republican candidate would try anything tricky of this nature.

McCain - Poker playing hero

Boston Irish Linkage

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

UGG shoe line brings out new commercial featuring Tom Brady

Five trips to the Superbowl? Three Superbowl wins and two Superbowl MVP awards? Forget all that junk. Tom Brady may have pulled off what was previously thought impossible in the United States. He's made men want to buy UGG shoes! New commercial from Australian company features Patriots quarterback and is actually pretty stylish and creative.

Patriots trigger man Tom Brady in the new commercial

Okay, at the end of the day we're talking about a commercial here, but in the case of this UGG shoes commercial at least a bit of thought went into it, and at least there is a strong sporting theme running through it.

The Australian shoe company's new commercial, titled “For Gamechangers” is basically a walk through the key elements of Tom Brady's sporting journey, told in great detail via a walk through a team bus. If you look closely you will catch references to Brady's;

  • High school QB career (with a gentle nod to the fact he almost played baseball instead of football)
  • His Michigan Wolverines career
  • The fact Brady was the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft
  • Brady's Super Bowl MVP turns
  • His current NFL career

Enough with the chit-chat, here's the video itself

As you can see, a lot of work went into this pretty stylish commercial. It was shot by filmmaker Spencer Susser on a custom-built 250-foot set on a sound stage in Los Angeles, which took two weeks to design and erect.

The attention to detail is admirable. Junipero Serra football jerseys and baseball uniforms, University of Michigan helmets and then apparently Mr. and Mrs. Brady's 1990's era living room.

Patriots fans will enjoy the finer points of the shot, and fans of other teams will no doubt have fun mocking the New England QB, as they place an order for their first pair of UGGs.

 Follow Cormac on Twitter

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports


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