DeMar DeRozan Still Feels Some Type Of Way About How His Trade From The Raptors Went Down, Which Is Fair Despite Not Being All That Foul
The truth is, there is nothing wrong with DeMar DeRozan feeling as though he was wronged. To think otherwise you'd have to be complete sociopath, as it would require a complete unfamiliarity with how long-term relationships work, be they personal or professional. The NBA is a business, and a cutthroat one at that. Still, not being able to see why the face of a franchise wouldn't take kindly to being misled to his face by said franchise just prior to a decision that altered his life requires an abjectly inhumane view on the type of high-level competition that both encourages and thrives off of emotional investments. The virtues of loyalty are fundamentally impractical to uphold in professional sports, but that doesn't mean they aren't celebrated ad nauseam by those that are most likely to ignore them when push comes to shove.
Unfortunately, while agreeing that Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors handled the break-up poorly, it's important to note that it would have been impossible to handle it perfectly. Midnight phone calls are inherently disrespectful so one that's meant to deliver devastatingly unexpected news was particularly poorly timed. However, was there really any truly "respectful" way to tell DeMar DeRozan he was being traded for a malcontent on an expiring contract because the organization under which he worked his ass off to grow exponentially as both a player and team leader came to the conclusion that he just wasn't good enough?
Considering the phone in question belonged to someone who embraced an underrated city more so than any star player that came before him, that call would have been shock to the system no matter how, why, or when it was received. I suppose it would be nice if he were given some indication that it might be coming, but what wouldn't have been nice is trying to smooth things over in training camp had the best player on the roster felt unwanted by a potential trade that never went through.
In seeing things from DeMar DeRozan's perspective, I'm inclined to agree that the Raptors went about things the wrong way. The problem is that, in seeing things from a neutral perspective, it becomes pretty damn difficult to think up the right way to cut a tie that was pulled as tightly as the one that bonded DeMar DeRozan and the city of Toronto for the last nine years. For that reason, I'm not so sure it's blame that should be directed at Masai Ujiri, as much as it is the type of resentment that results from almost all instances in which one party is essentially telling another that they can do better. That band-aid getting ripped off was going to sting regardless, even if the wounded person wishes it was done differently in retrospect.
Not So Coincidentally, A Fire Alarm Interrupted The No-Hitter Of Cardinals' Austin Gomber Just Prior To It Being Spoiled
Disclaimer: Given that it's both much more likely and interesting, I'm going to assume this was the work of a fan, as opposed to one of the rarest and most inconveniently timed alarms in sports history.
And well, I suppose that's one way to stretch a 7th inning. It's not a particularly organic or admirable one. However, having never felt strongly enough about any game to decide to instill fear into the thousands upon thousands of people in attendance in hopes that an interruption might influence its outcome, I do oddly respect how much the fella that cried "fire!" loves his Cincinnati Reds. We're talking about 1-of-162 being played between teams battling for last place in their division during the dog days of summer. To still be so worried about a basement-dweller being no-hit at this point in a lost season that a stadium-wide false alarm feels like a fitting attempt to freeze it from coming to fruition requires almost an unforeseen level of allegiance.
Now, given the emotionally-instigated stupidity of sports' fans, I do worry that the faux-vindication provided by the dependable bat of Joey Votto (who definitely didn't need the pitcher to be distracted to do his damage) might inspire copycat culprits. However, as a one-off act of gamesmanship, I can appreciate that someone went above and beyond the call of self-appointed duty to make sure his crappy team graced his presence with at least one hit.
Sucks that Austin Gomber's rhythm was the victim, but at least he has an excuse, as the odds weren't in his favor to finish with a spotless stat line regardless.
Julio Jones Is Surely Feeling The Heat Of His Holdout Now That Children In Atlanta Are Removing Him From The Home Screen Of Their Smart Phones
STOP THE PRESSES! Never mind a market value contract, the Falcons need to bring this important piece of news to the negotiating table. Three years left on his deal or not, Julio Jones efforts have exceeded his pay grade enough for his holdout to seem reasonable. Still, how can that be our primary concern here when we should be asking the most important question known to man or woman...WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?!?
I understand wanting to be compensated fairly while inside his relatively short earning window in a barbaric game of sub-concussive collisions that's liable to literally break him before it breaks the bank on him. However, what would little Julio think if he found out his favorite player was motivated by the almighty dollar while he was still emulating his moves down by the schoolyard? Would it really kill him any faster than the game of football already is to just once take note of the Wu-Tang Clan's motto of being "for the children"? I mean, how are those fickle little 5th graders going to get to sleep at night without the comfort of knowing their team's most talented offensive player will be on the field during the first week of the season? Bet the silent-but-deadly wide receiver didn't think of the feelings of those still playing soft toss when he decided to play hard ball with the team they root for on Sundays! I get not wanting to come into camp and risk his health running the same old route tree for an organization that won't even put a couple more drops in the bucket used to water his money tree, but to do so at the risk of leaving one less screen saved?! Has the man no shame!
I'm going to give Buck Lanford the benefit of the doubt that most television personalities haven't earned in assuming that the 'Good Day Atlanta' co-anchor was just showing his sense of humor on social media. Still, even in jest, abusing the innocence of the kids will never not be considered the lowest blow of bargaining chips.
Jon Gruden Says He'll Walk Away From His 10 Year, 100 Million Dollar Deal If He Disappoints...Or Dies
LBS- In an interview with Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY on Tuesday, the Raiders head coach hinted that he would walk away from his ten-year, $100 million deal with the team if he is unable to meet expectations.
“If I can’t get it done, I’m not going to take their money,” Gruden declared.
“Who guarantees I’m going to live 10 years?” he continued. “So I don’t think about that. You start thinking about a 10-year contract – people don’t know how it’s structured and it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is, ‘Is Khalil Mack going to be here? Is Donald Penn going to be ready to play?’ I’ve got more important things to worry about than eight years of my contract.”
As experienced and enthusiastic a talker as Jon Gruden typically is, this quote leaves me hoping he does fulfill the entirety of his asinine contract that would have to defy indefensible odds to prove a worthy investment, if only because it will keep him out of the field of suicide prevention. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm proficient in giving people peace of mind, but even the most morbid of cynic could have offered the Raiders' faithful something more assuring than "don't worry, I could always die!".
Also, I'm not exactly sure what Jon Gruden's definition of "getting the job done" entails, but considering the implication that his soul's ascension from Earth would be his most likely failure, I think his standards are slightly easier to fulfill than that of the soon-to-be relocating franchise that has quite a bit staked in surpassing expectations.
It seems odd that we're talking about the NFL's richest retread getting canned before he's even started his first training camp. However, since we are, I think it's fair to state that neither he or his agent would have cast a decade long deal worth nine figures on the nose if they were merely a few 6-10 seasons away from letting the team that bit on it off the hook. The Raiders should be hung out to dry and put on display for handing out an irresponsible contract to a head coach who, based on nothing more than his extended absence from the sidelines, has long been better in theory than in practice. It's true that you can't take it with you, but - win, lose, or withdrawal - Jon Gruden should absolutely be trying to. Especially if, for whatever reason, he's grimly got one foot in the grave prior to moving to Las Vegas.
The Senators Are Having Their Season Ticket Holders Vote On Their Primary Logo, Which - All Things Considered - Seems Somewhat Disingenuous
SportsLogos- The Ottawa Senators are draggggging out the process of getting a new logo for the team, but at least it looks like they’re consulting with their season ticket holders for what they should do if anything at all.
Despite using their alternate “O” logo, based off of what the original Senators wore in the 1930s as if it was a primary logo last season, the team has made no changes to their primary logo, nor to their home and road uniforms for 2018-19. The topic of the team’s identity came up at a town hall-style event the team held earlier this year with team owner Eugene Melnyk discussing how fans loved both the “O” logo and the centurion’s head logo and that they needed to think more about it.
Thanks to a Tweet from TSN 1200 on-air radio personality Shaila Anwar, we appear to have gotten a look at some of the options the team has been considering.
Knowing full well that beggars can't be choosers, I suppose Ottawa Senators' fans that have basically been on bended knee pleading to have their own thoughts, feelings, and concerns heard by a franchise whose status appears as dark as the soul of Mike Hoffman's fiancee should appreciate the opportunity to help pick their team's logo. After all, something is universally considered to be better than nothing.
It's just that, having come a year and half after the owner threatened the fans with a potential relocation of the team, a poll enlisting those same fans help in picking said team's aesthetics feels at least mildly disingenuous. Imagine being told your car could potentially blow up at any wrong turn...and then being offered a free oil change. I perceive that's how the Senators most loyal supporters might be feeling as they ponder what they want their losing team with the uncertain future to be buried in.
I mean, even asking for a show of hands in favor of doing everything in their power to keep Erik Karlsson is pointless at this point, for it's only a matter of time before his transcendent talents are taken elsewhere. Therefore, if Eugene Melnyk truly wanted to make things up to those that are unfortunate enough to find themselves fiscally and emotionally invested in an organization that often seems self-sabotaged then there's only one question whose answer would be appropriately crowdsourced, and that's when to pull the plug on what's looking like the slowest of slow deaths.
Honestly, I bet if an "Olympic Athletes of Russia"-esque option were offered so that the paying customers were temporarily freed from having to directly identify with the team they were hopelessly rooting for then it might be the sneaky sleeper pick of a set of logos that fittingly spells 'SOS'. That's how dire things currently are in Ottawa, and throwing a bone the size of a toothpick to a slight majority of Senators' season ticket holders certainly isn't going to make home ice feel like a happy place.
Presumably To Quiet The Cries Of Laziness, It's Being Reported That Yankees' Gary Sanchez Was Playing Through An Injury When He Dogged It To First To End The Game
Welp, that explains it. Gary Sanchez wasn't absurdly lackadaisical in getting down the first base line on the bases-loaded, game-deciding double play he presumably could have beaten out had he been running at anywhere close to full speed, he was just hurt and decided not to tell anyone. He didn't actively choose to dog it, he was physically incapable of doing anything other than dogging before putting himself in a situation in which dogging it was sure to cost his team the game.
Whew, what a relief! I bet knowing that Gary Sanchez would have continued playing at a lackluster level if not for being forced to use his compromised health as an excuse for taking a light jog into the loss column is sure to make Yankees' fans feel better about the situation! Their starting catcher wasn't lazy, despite getting halfway to first before showing any actual urgency in the most urgent of situations. He was stubborn and selfish in a way that, if not for him being outed in the most embarrassing fashion possible, would have unnecessarily persisted throughout a long season that provided for than enough time for 10 days of rest, relaxation, and recuperation to a struggling starter, but definitely, definitely not lazy!
He still put forth a losing effort in very winnable game, but at least he decided to be self-serving well before he power walked through a 6-4-3 double play...when he allowed the fist run of the game to score from second during his casual stroll to a runaway rebound...
Anyway, I hope we all learned a valuable lesson here, and that's that we should never jump to conclusions...in underestimating how stupidly professional athletes can act when their competitiveness is either in question or in high gear...
Kevin Love Just Got Paid By The Cavaliers, And There Is No One More Deserving Of Being Their Last Glimmer Of Hope
From the Cavaliers' perspective, I hate this deal. As evidenced by him repeatedly falling (or more accurately, being pushed) onto the sword that pierces Cleveland's logo over the last four years, Kevin Love is the consummate team guy. However, at this point of his career, I fail to see how he's more valuable to an organization that should be looking to hit the reset button than a contending organization looking to add a talented and trusted All-Star who has proven he can excel with and without the ball in his hands. Simply put, as selfless as he was in sacrificing his stats and turning over his touches to LeBron James, a 30 year old Kevin Love isn't taking a team much of anywhere as it's best player. At less than the max, his contract is far from untradeable, but shipping him off sooner rather than later for as many assets as possible was probably the play here.
Now, with Dan Gilbert being a massive dumbass who has long been saved from his franchise drifting into a well-deserved depressing state by one LeBron James, I don't particularly care that the Cavaliers are going to stagnantly suck for the foreseeable future. It's just worth noting that that's what they committed themselves to by paying big money to someone who is better off as a second or third scoring option on a successful team.
From Kevin Love's perspective, on the other hand, I love this deal. I know he probably just decided to stay because he's comfortable in Cleveland, but I can't think of one single player who is more deserving of the right to do whatever the hell he wants as the provider of good stats on a bad team than the guy that's spent the last 4 seasons as a wildly underutilized whipping boy. With all he went through as the proverbial punching bag for an Eastern Conference powerhouse, I'm glad he secured a much more elusive bag. Choosing to potentially bookend his career with another extended stay in NBA obscurity actually makes a lot of sense for someone with anxiety issues who probably aged like the damn President while not even being able to conceal a damn cough without getting blamed for literally all the drama taking place in the King's castle.
Considering it was Kevin Love's defense against one of the most un-guardable players in NBA history that helped guarantee the eternal validation of a ring on his finger, he should just rain threes and cash checks while flipping the script on a franchise that treated him like a goddamn extra since his arrival. Kevin is finally going to feel the Love, even if it's only because Cavaliers' fans have been left with nowhere else to direct it for the time being.
Yet Another LeBron James' Mural Was Defaced, And Why Exactly Are They Still Being Crafted In The First Place?
I don't want this to sound like a defense of the ungrateful assholes lurking in the shadows waiting to deface the likeness of the most talented basketball player of all time who did nothing more than willingly chose to join a franchise that, history notwithstanding, couldn't be less deserving of said talents. If you feel so strongly about Kobe Bryant's legacy as a Laker that you take to the vandalization of art in its honor then your sports' fandom might legitimately be in need of a lobotomy. Especially since the foreshadowing of the fortuitous future that you can't bear to witness, for whatever terribly idiotic reason, is mere months away from coming to fruition regardless of much money you waste at Home Depot.
That being said, it's not some sort of secret that Kobe Bryant's resume is so far beyond reproach in Los Angeles due, almost solely, to how much the most front-running fanbase in all of sports cherishes winning. LeBron's 3-6 record in the NBA Finals is wildly overblown as a knock against him, but it's certainly not a surprise that the city of superficial celebrity typically treats the showing of locally-sourced rings as a right of passage. All due respect to the amazing artists, who wasted no time in crafting two intricate and awesome murals, but had they let LeBron actually put on a Lakers' jersey before painting a larger-than-life size version of him in one than we are probably talking about a much lower probability of having their work almost instantly go to waste.
Sports' fans in general are fickle beasts, but those that reside in Los Angeles in particular take that mindset to egregiously entitled lengths with their undying loyalty to victory above all else. One game-winning fadeaway that tops off a 40+ point triple-double and the Kobe getting the most consideration will be the $90 slab of beef they order in celebration of their team's return to NBA relevance. I understand an artist's urge to paint the King on his new throne given that the magnitude of his arrival surely makes for a hell of a muse, but how many times we need to see property destroyed before taking the hint that the City Of Angels, as a whole, won't stop demonizing LeBron until his presence starts paying actual dividends? I might disagree with the close-mindedness of the approach, but - considering it's turned a flawed player and person into some sort of guiltless Godsend - it would be foolish to continue clearing Benjamin Moore's stock of purple and gold paint while ignoring that it exists.
Thomas Morstead Crushed 418 Pull-Ups In An Hour As Part Of A Fundraiser For A Friend/Saints' Employee Who Has Cancer
Usually I'd say that it's pleasant surprise to see a professional athlete spending one of his last few days of downtime during the rapidly receding offseason giving back, but the only surprise here would have been if Thomas Morstead weren't on high alert for the next opportunity to use his platform to make a difference in lives of others. Being able to bang out 418 pull-ups in one hour, which roughly equates to a pull-up every 8.5 seconds, is undeniably a credit to how physically committed he is to remaining one of the best punters in the NFL, and yet that's nowhere near the cause that's most near and dear to his heart. At this point, it's honestly probably easier to list off the philanthropic endeavors he hasn't had a hand in than the ones that he has, as his greatness as a player somehow pales in comparison to his goodness as a person.
It's awesome to see one Saint looking out for another in a time of need, the truth is that Thomas Morstead proved he'll give the shirt off of his back regardless of the colors of the jersey on yours when he encouraged the raising of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a Children's Hospital in Minnesota immediately after being eliminated by the Vikings in heartbreaking fashion. He's just a genuine dude that exemplifies the togetherness of not only the New Orleans Saints as an organization but the NFL as a community, and for that reason he's the ultimate role model for prospective role models. Therefore, there is truly no better lead to follow if you're feeling so inclined to donate to the worthy cause of setting up Chris Cordaro's family for a future that tragically might not include his presence for too much longer.
Kawhi Leonard Took His First Picture As A Member Of The Toronto Raptors, And He Seemed Ambiguous To Be There
Far be it for me, a human being, to remain skeptical of the results from a computer generated app that scientifically goes but skin deep in breaking down one's emotional makeup, but I think that's exactly I'm going to have to do in questioning this Reddit user's findings regarding Kawhi Leonard's attempt at a smile...
Don't get me wrong, based only on the picture I'd say 38% happy is pretty close to accurate. In my opinion, the 60% neutral can probably be split into 30% lifeless and 30% concerned about the gun pointed at him from behind the camera, but all-in-all it's not the worst educated guess at the silent sulker's state of satisfaction.
I just have one question. How are we to know that whatever program was more than likely being run to update the emotional range of this semi-self-conscious robot had finished uploading at the time of this picture being taken? That grin looks like it belongs to someone, or something, that's still trying to reteach itself how to grin after a thorough wiping of its memory and therefore I'm quite certain this was snapped mid-buffer of his sterilization of all things San Antonio. Had they given him five more minutes to reconfigure himself, who knows what type of expression we'd be left presumptuously dissecting?!? It could have been anything from his lips actually curling to portray genuine excitement (though doubtful) to smoke billowing out of his ears as his alarm started blaring while an error message reading "unauthorized access to mild gratification" scrolled across his sternum. The showing of teeth leads me to believe that the upper 30th percentile of joy is spot on, but the blankness of the stare leads me to believe that's just his factory setting while his uncle tries to figure out how to re-download irreparable resentment into his repertoire.
I guess we'll find out more when the season starts, and that guess will probably prove incorrect if this past offseason is any indication. Simply put, I know no more about Kawhi Leonard's emotional state now than I did before I spent far too much time squinting at a picture of someone who, upon 276th look, might have been delivered straight from Madame Tussauds' Wax Museum to the gym of a franchise that was desperate to make it seem like they didn't trade for the expiring contract of an insatiable superstar.
Dwight Howard Dropped An All-Time Dwight Howard Quote In Talking About His Career, And By That I Mean It Was A Painful Attempt At Coming Off As Funny
Sorry to go all "Gregg Popovich", but I'm going to need an immediate timeout here...
::steps outside and takes deep breathe of freedom::
Okay, we're good now. I just need to remind myself what it was like to not be trapped in the torture chamber that was that a Dwight Howard quote that was as cringeworthy as it was exasperating. Seriously, having never been waterboarded the following might be presumptuous, but enduring that eardrum pun-ishing answer had to be the closest thing to the audible equivalent. By the time he let the room know he was joking, thirty full seconds into the joke, I was honestly wondering whether or not I was going to come out on the other side of it with all my senses in tact. Had a screwdriver been within arm's reach, I'm no so sure I wouldn't be Googling the intricacies of lip-reading, for the undeserved laughter that filled that room of reporters and saturated the ego of the sociopath speaking vanished what little hope I had for the news' breakers in the Nation's Capital. The overdone clap that followed the longest 52 seconds of my life was somehow the most disingenuous #FakeNews to come out of Washington in the last year, and that includes every single optimistic soundbite about Dwight Howard's fit in a locker room whose fuse is already on ticking time following the introductory press conference.
The most enigmatic man in basketball is already going above and beyond in trying (and, in the opinion of every person with a sense of humor that exceeds the 3rd grade level, failing) to make himself seem likable. If history is any indication, that means it's probable his entirety transparent "see, it's everyone else's fault I got bad rap at every single stop along my career path!" schtick will have already drove John up the Wall by Week 2 of the regular season, never mind Year 2 of the most dimwitted contracts ever designed.
Chad Johnson Gave A Massive Tip At A Steakhouse In Miami To Remind Everyone Of Exactly How Badly He Torched The Chargers In 2006
I don't want to speak ill of a guy who left a 150+% tip, as - no matter the intent - giving to someone in such a thankless position in the service industry is a selfless move that deserves the proper accreditation. Fiscally matching your yard total from a loss that took place just over 12 years ago is such a vain move that it probably doesn't even know this sentence is about it, but if staring at his own career in the mirror is what gets Chad Johnson to be unnecessary gracious with his money then all the power to both him and his ego.
That being said, for someone who grew up during the "child please!" era in which Chad Ochocinco was too damn talented and entertaining to get called out for taking legal liberties with the Spanish language, this is a painful reminder of how far we are removed from him dancing all over the opposition he disrespected.
At first I thought the Smith & Wollensky in which he found himself dining was in San Diego, which would have made that a pretty funny troll job of a franchise that's since moved. However, upon seeing that he was actually in Miami, this began to feel like the type of tale of your grandfather might spring on you out of nowhere without realizing he's already told you upwards of two dozen times. Like, it's still endearing that he remains so enthusiastic about it, but it's a bit depressing that there's so little left of his glory days to refer back to. His stats never had to speak for themselves even though they easily could have, but now the person that put them up is irrelevantly interjecting them into conversation.
I don't know, it's obviously an awesome thing to do regardless, so maybe I'm definitely looking too much into it, but being gratuitous in tipping the hat off his head to his own accomplishments just seems a bit forced with no monthly or regional significance to it. Especially since the person doing it was always so calculated in his hijinks when he was straight clowning corners...
A DMV IN Ohio Is Using A Picture Of LeBron In A Lakers Uniform To Make Sure People Don't Smile While Getting The Picture Taken For Their License
My first thought upon seeing this was that the people that are running the show at this particular DMV are the worst of the worst, and - for that reason alone - I actually respect them leaning into their irredeemable reputation with a move that's as on-brand as it is off-color to the Cavaliers' faithful. Make no mistake, pandering to the scorned sports' fans of a city is liable to bring the absolute worst out of them, and to that I say...when in Rome.
The sight of LeBron in Lakers colors might fittingly leave it's target audience with the type of horrified expression you'd expect of someone that unexpectedly walked in on a recent ex sleeping with the hot moron up the street while collecting his/her belongings. Therefore, it remains to be seen how effective it will be in resulting in an emotionally void appearance that would make Kawhi Leonard proud (if he were physically capable of such a feeling). However, what it will undoubtedly be effective in is getting Cleveland's most impassioned diehards to hate their lives just a little more than usually, which I imagine is at least 40% of why the DMV is the joy-draining black hole of despair that it is in the first place.
Might as well get all of your frustrations out of your system while undergoing the most depressing, dehumanizing experience know to man, woman, or poorly-parented child. Hell, I say they go all-in and slap a Hue Jackson FatHead on the wall so that the long, long overdue walk to the car feels even more like escaping hell on Earth.
Josh Hader Took The Mound In Milwaukee For The First Time Since Having His Prejudice Tweets Dug Up During The All Star Game...To A Standing Ovation?
It's times like this when I'm forced to acknowledge the sheer idiocy of being a sports' fan. I'd be lying, to myself mostly, if I said that - if only for a fleeting moment of introspection - it didn't make me question whether the awe-inspiring highs were worthy of the abhorrent lows that come with rooting for common clothes over common sense. It's not so much an indictment of Brewers' fans (though Milwaukee is more...shall I say...regionally inclined to an uptick on the decibel level of one of the more dumbfounding standing ovations you'll ever witness), for every team has supporters who are liable to view the field of play as a moral-free zone. Instead, it's yet another indictment of fandom as a socially stupid construct that has, does, and probably always will run counterproductive to progressiveness.
Now, it might not be the worst one, as it would be pretty damn hard to top the amount of fans - of all genders - that showed up to Ray Rice's first preseason game immediately following the domestically violent TKO seen around the 'WWW' in Ravens' jerseys that donned the #27. Still, to loudly cheer for the mere appearance of a pitcher whose blatant prejudice, be it a result of youthful ignorance or not, was willfully on public display for years on-end before getting dug up by internet sleuths (who I find to be relatively despicable in their own right) is to display priorities that are just as out-of-whack as the wackness of Josh Hader's attempts at self-expression during his late teenage years.
A light clap that doesn't differ greatly from one that any reliever might receive upon his insertion into a game would have been more than enough to show Josh Hader that an adopted family is also quick to forgive the most unforgivable of failures. That said, it's important to note that even his biological family couldn't bear their own damn name in the tidal wave-esque wake of his wrongs...
The people that are genetically predisposed to taking a bullet for Josh Hader weren't about to take a verbal beating on his behalf, so for those whose familiarity with him begins with his outfit and ends with his ERA to not take the hint is nothing short of a black-eye on a culture that's too often blissful in its ignorance.
I'd like to think you can't survive in professional sports if you believe in even 15% of what Josh Hader tweeted in pre-2013, so I'm optimistic enough to believe that a teenager who was disproportionally close-minded and discriminatory for his age has greatly grown and matured over the last seven years. Be that as it may (or may not), there is absolutely nothing hopeful about setting the bar for a hero's welcome at saying "sorry" for a spectacularly sizable spattering of racism and homophobia. Defending the indefensible with a resounding reception that was fit for a recently released prisoner of war simply because he's getting ready to take the pressure off your team defense during crunch time isn't a show of acceptance or support. Not even letting him throw a single pitch before throwing away their dignity was a celebration of abject stupidity that displays a combination of the dangerously subjective blindness, deafness, and dumbness that makes sports' fan look worse and worse as the societal lens continues to zoom in on them as a whole.
That boisterous subsection of Brewers' fans is far from alone in their barbaric compartmentalization, but if you juxtapose that standing ovation next to the reaction that a certain former 49ers' quarterback received for kneeling in protest of beliefs that run pretty parallel to the following and you still don't see the problem then you are - without question - part of it.
Unfortunately, Even The Feel-Good Back Story Behind The Man Who Grabbed A Foul Ball Intended For A Young Cubs Fan Can't Make Him Likable
What could be derived from this video, and especially the back story that followed, is that the internet is a context-free cess pool that makes it way too easy to dump on the moral fiber of complete strangers without even having a full grasp of what little we know we've seen of them. Unfortunately, if that were considered "news" at this point then it would be about as breaking as the ligaments in the elbow of Tommy John himself, so therefore the most notable part of this story is that it's victim kind of stinks at appearing sympathetic.
In most cases, we'd offer a halfhearted apology to a person who was unjustly charged with being a thief of innocence in the court of public opinion, but in this case it just doesn't seem completely called for. Whether that Cubs fan had already given a ball to a kid or not, he was objectively too damn happy to happen upon one rolled to him from 5 feet away after being soft-tossed to a glove of someone who was so neglectful in his defensive awareness that he might be able to give Manny a few lessons in "being Manny".
The fan in question reportedly doesn't deserve to be criticized for shamelessly beating a child in a game of Finders Keepers, but celebrating that pity prize as if he were a Mets' diehard caroling the ball that rolled through Bill Buckner's legs seems a wee bit excessive depending on how strictly you uphold social norms. I mean, he pridefully posed that thing to his significantly other like he had just snuck up behind it with a self-carved club, beat it unconscious, and dragged it back to his cave to dissect as sustenance for the upcoming sun cycle. The self-affirmative clap and the thigh pat to an impressed peer were just icing on the least humble pie you've ever encountered.
I'm all for both loving the game and loving one's self, but - as social media forces us to make something out of nothing - I'm familiar with something being made out of nothing when I see it. The most recent victim of the internet's instinctual outrage was at least guilty of that, so I'm glad that someone much more modest got something even cooler out of the whole ordeal...even if, in retrospect, the lack of a shit given by that kid and his mother made it obvious that he already had a ball...
The Lakers Are Excited About Giving LeBron A Look At Center, And I Can't Wait To See What Kind Of Look They Receive In Return
BR- As currently constructed, the Lakers have plenty of guards and wings but are a bit light at center with JaVale McGee the only free-agency addition at the position. Ivica Zubac and rookie Moritz Wagner will need to show they're ready for regular roles.
Nothing about that trio should inspire confidence. Instead, the Lakers' best and only choice may be to deploy James as a small-ball center.
"We may not see this on day one, but the coaching staff is eager to see our version of the [Warriors'] Death Lineup with Lonzo [Ball], Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, [Kyle] Kuzma and LeBron," a second Lakers executive said.
I guess I can't act surprised. It took the Los Angeles Lakers all of one single afternoon of getting proactively counterproductive to leave everyone feeling underwhelmed about their addition of thee most impactful free agent in NBA history. Therefore, I had no reason to think they weren't capable of trying him out at a position that's even more strenuous than the one he's been stubborn to playing in the past. After no more than a few hours of them smashing blockheads into round holes in their lineup, it was obvious that leaving LeBron in the hands of the Lakers was like gifting a MacBook to an infant. So, the fact that they appear ready to do the equivalent of drooling all over themselves while aimlessly mashing at all the wrong keys of an otherwise versatile "toy" is a pretty fitting sign that they don't even realize that they aren't mature enough to play with it properly.
Look, I'd never discount LeBron. If only because he's still the best player on the floor at any given time, there probably be is a way to craft a successive small-ball lineup around him at the 5. The question is whether or not I have confidence in the team that made Lance Stephenson a free agency priority in the year 2018 to completely reinvent one of the most innovative lineups in NBA history, and the answer is...well...stomach busting laughter.
If LeBron is going to be "conserving energy" from the same position in which a relentless defender like Draymond Green is used to completely disrupt offenses then the Lakers would need to take the current perogatovies of 'the death lineup' to one of Los Angeles' finest plastic surgeons for a facelift if it had any hopes of resembling a pretty brand of basketball. I suppose with enough trial and error it could potentially work, so it's got to be a huge relief that the player they plan on playing out of position has such an extensive track record of open-mindedness and patience when it comes to coaching...just ask the guy in the picture above!
UPDATE: Never mind, the Lakers TOTALLY know what they are doing!
When The Commissioner Of A League Thinks One Player Is The Key To Marketing The Sport, That Sport Might Have A Marketing Problem
I don't particularly want to get into a debate about whether or not Mike Trout owes it the league that employs him to step out of his comfort zone, as the mild-mannered masher and indomitable introvert that he is, to market a professional sport whose popularity is regional at best and dwindling at worst. That's mostly because the idea that he should feel obligated to participate in anything outside of 162 contracted games per season (not counting media availability and charitable endeavors) is patently absurd. However, it's also because turning the MLB's marketing issue into a one-on-one pissing contest between a single athlete and the person responsible for overseeing upwards of one thousand athletes tells you all you need to know about how narrow-minded Rob Manfred and Co. have been at solving it.
I get it. Based on what the transcendency of his talent calls for, Mike Trout's 'Q Score' might as well have graded out as an 'F'. The consensus best player in baseball being merely as recognizable to the general public as a NBA role player who is most known for his hairstyle at this point in his career is an awful, awful look for the MLB, and for that reason it absolutely had to be brought up to its foremost authority.
It's the targeted response from said authority, that loosely translates to "why don't you ask him why he's not more popular?", that I take umbrage with...
I'm sure the question referenced Mike Trout by name, but I find it quite worrisome that the person that it was asked of couldn't see that it was clearly hinting at a far broader phenomenon. Imagine Gary Bettman being pushed on the NHL's need for more goals after a low-scoring Penguins playoff game, and him responding by saying "Sidney Crosby is too pass-happy, what the hell do you want me to do about it?". If hockey isn't your thing then picture Adam Silver taking a question about parity in the NBA that invokes the Warriors' dominance as an example and him slamming a cupcake on the table with candles that read 'KD' sticking out of the icing and walking off stage. Pointing a finger at the one specific guy that's indifferent about the camera being pointed at him is ironic, but the implication that the Angels' outfielder, as incredible as he may be, is the end-all and be-all of baseball players whose playing style could prove profitable if advertised properly is nothing short of moronic.
I suppose it would be cool if Mike Trout had both a vibrant personality and a desire to put it on display on a daily basis, but him not wanting to singlehandedly take on the task of growing the game doesn't let the people whose actual job it is to do so off the hook. Get the asses in the seats and he'll do his best to keep him there, but if orchestrating dog-and-pony shows is a stipulation in anyone's contract then it's that of the person who swung and completely missed the point by making a league-wide problem personal.
This Is Quite Possibly The Worst Blown Call In Sports History, But I Still Empathize With The Guilty Umpires
I want to make one thing clear, there's no valid excuse for even one umpire, never mind two, to miss that call. Completely whiffing on a baseball is an inherently blatant act and this one was no different, so shame must go to the multiple people who somehow thought otherwise despite being paid to focus intently on what's taken place in front of them on the baseball diamond.
That being said, I can kind of feel their pain. Maybe it's the undiagnosed ADD talking, but doesn't crouching behind a plate and paying the closest of attention to what is, at its core, a monotonous game of pitch and catch seem absolutely exhausting? I mean, these two idiots signed up for it, but watching them fail miserably at focusing is a reminder of why I never would. Even during shows I am fully invested in I'm liable to need a replay after catching myself mindlessly watching, so who the hell am I to act like falling asleep at the proverbial wheel isn't an innately human practice? It doesn't particularly make any sense for two separate officials to get caught simultaneously engaging in it during the first inning of a game. However, in (justifiably) mocking these two morons it's important to note that we do so from a high horse, as - generally speaking - our bouts of obliviousness at the workplace aren't being broadcasted.
Sidenote: I would definitely be the angle-worker who was taking a selfie during a historically stupid play and left wondering what all the hubbub was about after. The "phone", in my case, would have either been a structurally flawed hot dog (too many condiments) or a beer that was rapidly losing it's refreshment to the summer sun. Either way, I could have been sitting two rows away the ineptitude and it's likely I'd still need the use of the internet to find out about it. Just goes to show that even umpiring has made more difficult by social media, especially when you're really, really bad at it...
I want everyone to keep in mind that I'm judging based off the rarely referenced and extremely unforgiving scale of instances in which a dropkick has been executed to perfection on the pitch, but didn't that particular cleat(s)-on-sternum contact seem relatively unavoidable? I wouldn't go as far as saying that our boy Melisse even tried to avoid it, as he seemingly lifted his second leg for no apparent reason, but when there's a set of washboard abs at your disposal you're not going to not use them to break your fall. That's just human instinct taking over, as far as I'm concerned.
Getting hit with a move that's typically delivered by those wearing sequenced speedos and face paint in a WWE ring probably shouldn't be considered an occupational hazard of playing professional soccer. However, with how long his feet hung in the air, I think there's an excellent "he ran into me!"-type case to be made that the victim was at least mildly complicit in the collision. Of course the slow motion replay helps that case exorbitantly, but the fact remains that, of the handful of gut-punching dropkicks I've seen, that one seemed the most like the incidental result of applicable athleticism and happenstance meeting in the middle of an opponent's ribcage. Then again, that's not saying all that much when this is what it's being compared to...
The Dolphins, In Their Infinite Wisdom, Have Decided To Attack Anthem Protesters Head-On With Unoriginal Authoritarianism
Finally, a fool proof solution! I suppose you could make the argument that everyone from Papa John to Mother Putin to Good Ol' Boy Goodell have already tried to threaten the most harmless act of social activism out of football, but the Dolphins are the first team to develop a wildly ambiguous system of discipline that matches the precedent (or lack thereof) of just about every penalty the NFL has ever levied down. One knee during the anthem gets you a 4-game suspension...orrrrr a $5 fine and a slap on the wrist if your happen to have even one single irreplaceable skill. After all, nothing shows how serious you are about instituting your fascist policy on behalf of those that care more about flags than fairness quite like preemptively hedging on it in case it lowers your chances of winning a football game!
There's just noooo way this news isn't check and mate to such a polarizing issue. Problem solved, nothing else to see here! If the backlash to the backlash of seeing the First Amendment in action has taught us anything it's that the peaceful protests defffffinitely haven't become a rebellious response to the white and privileged trying to use their power to suppress free speech. Therefore, for this to continue, one or more of fifty-three predominantly black players who make a living in the diverse city of Miami would have to care about the prejudice of police brutality enough to call their owner's bluff. HA! It's a good thing that's not going to happen or they'd have to fall back on their last resort of blackballing a prominent player out of the league in trying to prove their pathetic point!