Can We Please Dump This Guy?

Yankees hurler Carl Pavano was struck in the foot by a line drive while throwing batting practice this weekend. Witnesses said that he may have actually avoided the batted ball, but unfortunately he was slowed by the water weight he is retaining during his menstruation cycle.

You would be smiling too if you had gotten away with stealing $20 million in two years

Fireworks, Volume I

This is the first installment of a new feature on www.fowlballs.blogspot.com. Recently recruited author Deputy Dog will be writing a weekly column containing his views on the weeks news that would make Lewis Black spit his coffee all over John Stewart. Though not for the faint of heart, Fireworks will prove to be a groundbreaking feature on the world's favorite sports blog. Expect to see this column every week, or at least until Deputy Dog suffers his first heart attack or stress induced hemmorhage. So without further ado, I give you Fireworks.

Billionaire Bucket Boy
Mark Cuban once call Phil Jackson his “bucket boy.” AJ Smith now knows how Cuban felt that day. Smith, the often praised GM of the San Diego Chargers, has made Charges principle owner Dean Spanos his personal “bucket boy.” Smith leverage Spanos into firing one of the NFL’s all-time winningest coaches in Marty Schottenhiemer because Smith did not like him. Say what you will, but the Charger’s playoff loss to the Patriots was not Marty’s fault. Marty didn’t drop anyone of the 7 passes that hit receivers in the and then wound up on the ground. Nor did he throw the pics of his young QB or fumble the ball away, as did his “skill” players. Too many times we rely on stats, but put that aside and think about statements of fact. Marty Schottenhiemer is an excellent football coach and did not deserve his fate out west. Hell, Marty would have multiple Superbowl Titles if he had not had to be the victim of John Elway becoming John Elway. And let’s not forget the A-Rod-like playoff choke-job of Ernest Byner. With Schottenhiemer’s head on their wall of shame, Smith and Spanos put the franchise’s on the field performance in the less-than-capable hands of Norv Turner, who has proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that he not a good head coach, even if you discount his disasterous year with the worst franchise in sports, the Oakland Raiders. If you look closely, you can see the strings in Spanos’ arms and AJ doing his best impression of Ghepetto. Rumor has it the Democrats may want to run Spanos for the White House in 2008.

Toodaloo Tiki
Tiki Barber is a quitter. Let’s get real. He’s not a hero or a guy being smart and saving his body, he is, in fact, a gutless wonder. He was a mediocre NFL back with big time fumblitis prior to Tom Coughlin arriving in Giantland. Coughlin cured his disease of putting the ball on the ground and helped Tiki become all-world. 3-4 more years at his current pace and he was a lock for Canton. Now he’s a lock for The Today Show. Matt Lauer never helped anyone get that bronze bust, pal. It’s not bad enough to quit, but on his way out of the locker room he took the time to rip the coach that was responsible for his game going to the next level. Fucking ingrate. Reminds me of another memorable chicken-shit running back who quit in his prime, Barry Sanders. I will not mention Jim Brown, since he might read this, hunt me down and snack on my spine.

Pacman Should Eat-A-Bullet
Ok, the details are still sketchy in the Las Vegas incident involving Adam “Pacman” Jones of the Tenessee Titans, but if it is proven the shooter, shot 3 people (2 bouncers and a female customer) at a strip joint, was part of “Pacman’s” entourage, he should be thrown out of the NFL for life and arrested for accessory to murder. Douche-scumbag.

Truer Words
Years ago, when the greatest mouthpiece of all time, Sir Charles Barkley, utter the famous quote “I am not a role-model,” no one knew how profound Charles was being. Athletes should be enjoyed on the field and educated of it. Between the thugs in the NBA, the bruts in the NHL and ass-clowns in the NFL, athletes as role-models are a thing of the past. Not to mention the synthetically swollen head of one Barry Lamar Bonds. Where have you gone Donnie Baseball? On a side note, if Dean Spanos decides to run in the 2008 election, Deputy Dog fully endorse Sir Charles Barkley for President.


Official Stances

This section will reveal exactly where http://www.fowlballs.com/ stands on assorted sports issues. This serves two purposes: First, it allows me to spread my creative wings and not have to write the bandwagon articles and be the millionth hack writer to regurgitate the same article. Second, and probably most importantly, it means that I am not expected to write 5,000 words every time A-Rod strikes out with two men on in the eighth, or Big Ben throws three picks (therefore fending off carpal tunnel syndrome for a few short years).

Do not trade Alex Rodriguez
In short, this is one of the greatest players ever to lace up a pair of spikes. He stays.

The Patriots are NOT underrated
Its about this time every year when Tom Brady makes some asinine statement about how they are not given the respect they deserve. Most years it is just irritating because their team is obviously the class of the AFC. Now it is even MORE irritating because they are not overrated. They are just not good. Keep in mind that I am not a Jet fan, I am THE Jet fan. The AFC East sucks, and Peyton Manning just kicked dirt on your grave.

We are for the DH
Pitchers swing like women. Except Carlos Zambrano, a favorite of http://www.fowlballs.com/.

We want Roger Clemens to pitch forever
I hope the Rocket pitches until the Astros are forced to waste draft picks on his great grandchildren to get him to pitch half a year.

We don’t watch the NBA, WNBA, or NHL
Too many convicts in the NBA, no dunking in the WNBA, no scoring in the NHL. Sorry.

Derek Jeter was robbed of the AL MVP Award
Justin Morneau is arguably the third most valuable player on the TWINS. Enough with the Yankee hater mentality, please.

Barry Bonds should be embraced...
...for now. He is innocent until proven guilty. However, as soon as it is proven that he has been taking seroids since 1999 (like we all know will happen), I will turn on him quicker than Henry Hill.

Gary Sheffield is the Greatest Baseball Player of All Time

The title says it all. Why would I write an article with such a presumptuous title you ask? Partly because I admire his body of work as a potential Hall of Famer. Partly because he used to play for my favorite team. But mostly, like most New Yorkers, I wrote that title because I am legitimately afraid that Gary Sheffield may surf the internet and read this article. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I cower at the thought of Gary Sheffield.

There really isn’t any other explanation for the favor that the “tough” group of New York sportswriters have given Sheff since he arrived in the Big Apple. Look what they did to Jason Giambi when his testimony was leaked. Nasty headlines, fans booing, and this is from the guy who actually gave a public apology for the distraction, albeit half-assed. Not Gary though. He pranced his way right through his tenure in New York, scoffing at we fans who claim to know so much. Just because we applaud sacrifice bunts and pull for guys like Bubba Crosby to get in the game (as long as we are up by ten), doesn’t mean we aren’t dumb to things from time to time.
I may be the biggest culprit. In my circle of friends, we call it a “Man Crush”. Completely heterosexual, just an unhealthy fixation. I was the happiest fan in Yankeeland when we signed Gary Sheffield. I called a friend of mine as soon as it happened and said “FINALLY! A guy with balls on the team!” The fact is that as Yankee fans, we hadn’t seen anyone with that type of attitude since Daryl cold-cocked Armando Benitez on his way into the dugout. I bought an autographed 8x10 picture of Sheff in pinstripes. Then it got better. When Pedro hit Sheff in the shoulder, he didn’t charge the mound, oh no. He held his bat like cavemen held their women and mouthed the words “Not me” at Pedro. How the 19 lb. Martinez didn’t crap himself on national television is beyond me. I then bought an autographed 16x20 picture of Gary….and in this one he wasn’t smiling. Fast forward to the 2006 season, Gary gets hurt. First I was upset that he was hurt. Then I thought maybe if he just gave his wrist a dirty look, it would be so scared that it would heal itself for fear of Sheff kicking its ass. No dice. Gary Sheffield looked to be out for a couple of months, but who would replace him?

Yankee fans we agonized as we were forced to stomach Bernie Williams patrol right field. That’s right, every runner that was on first base was GUARANTEED third base with any base hit from center field over. It was disgusting. Which led to the obvious transition of the Yankees pulling someone off the MLB scrap heap to become a star on the biggest stage on earth, a la Aaron Small. Unfortunately, Aaron Guiel did nothing but bear a striking resemblance to Timmy Lupus. Right about then, the Rumor Mill started linking the Yankees to Bobby Abreu. (Sidenote: I HATE the phrase “rumor mill”, always have. I am now accepting suggestions for an alternative. “Hot Stove” is stupid too.) It was at this point, we all expected Sheff to have one of the trademark blowups that we had heard so much about. With that, he actually gives the Yankees his blessing to get OBP Bobby. UNREAL! WHAT A TEAM PLAYER!

Then he comes back and volunteers to play first base. This was exciting! Obviously working with Don Mattingly would turn Sheff into a Gold Glover in three weeks, and we could keep Giambi in the DH slot. “He used to play the infield! First base is easy!”. I swear to you who are not in the New York area, this is what we were thinking. It never crossed our minds that a team spending $200 million was holding American Idol-style open tryouts at first base a week before the playoffs. This is when the YES network REALLY stepped up the propoganda to get us even more whipped up. While playing in his first game at first base in Tampa Bay, Sheffield picked a ball my 8 year old nephew grabs 9 out of 10 times. We then heard about it for the next 6 innings. World Series in the bag!

(It is here where I would give a synopsis of the Yankees-Tigers ALDS. However, it still makes me want to throw up bile even thinking about it, so I will allow readers to remember it for themselves for the next two minutes…done??? Good)

OK, so the Yankees crapped the bed. Sheff still wanted us to pick up his option, right? Think again. Contract time fellas, and now it was back to Gary being all about Gary. It reminds me of “My Blue Heaven”. Steve Martin as a mobster; classic. Anyways, we know he is scum, but over two hours, we get to love this guy. Then at the end, he builds a baseball field for the kids, writes a book, and is the toast of Fryburg….but wait a minute! He is STILL a scumbag! Now he has a baby, but its with the cop lady?!?!?! What about the wife that could “melt all this stuff”? And the baseball field was OBVIOUSLY a ploy to keep him out of jail. Why did we like this guy at all? This is the same empty feeling that I have about Sheffield.

This brings me to the point. Now, he is back to being Gary Sheffield, detriment to the team, clubhouse cancer. He’s the “me first” player we thought he was all along, and now we can destroy him for it. But wait, what’s that? The New York papers AREN’T ripping Gary Sheffield?!?!?! EXACTLY. I will be honest. There are only two men on this planet that I have never personally met that I fear. Mike Tyson and Gary Sheffield. The only difference between the two is I am only 100% positive that one would bite another man’s ear off, but the other one I am only pretty damned sure he’s capable. This guy is the Chuck Norris of sports. Nobody screws with him. I bet R. Kelly hasn’t been out of his house since that sex tape scandal broke out.

So here’s to hoping that Gary Sheffield doesn’t read past the headlines. Even more so, I hope that the media in the world’s greatest city grows a pair and finally gives the poster boy for all that is wrong with sports the game of baseball. Steroids, attitudes, trying to reneg on contracts that they agreed to in the first place, and how about attacking Joe Torre in interviews? As if the man doesn’t have enough to deal with right now. Lupica and friends have been WAY too quiet, and its time they let him have it….just like they unleashed on Cashman for not signing Vlad at bigger money….that’s another article though….

Also, I am now accepting emails suggesting a replacement Man Crush, though I must admit that Leon Washington has the inside track.