Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Winning is not bullying, no matter what the score.

A parent of a child on the losing side of a Texas football game filed a bullying report against the coach of the winning team last week.  http://tracking.si.com/2013/10/22/tim-buchanan-aledo-bullying-rout/

I know that Sports are full of bullying, and hazing, and all kinds of bad things because the clique that's in power tries to show their worth to the newcomers or whatever other reasons that exist.   However, unless the coach of the winning team was taunting the players of the losing team, then it's not bullying.

Sport is a competition, it's a place where a team is supposed to go out and do their best.  Players are supposed to give it their all.   Yes there are times, lots of times, that one team is so much better than the other team that it reflects in hugely lopsided scores.

I've been on both sides of big losses.  As a kid my parents and sports taught me not to be a sore loser, and that you can learn from losing by studying the winner and improving yourself, and your team.  I've also played on and coached some very talented teams and we won games by a lot.

Aledo won 91 - 0.  Winning is not bullying, but losing and complaining that the winner is bullying IS whining.  The parent of the losing kid should be ashamed.  I hope his kids are ashamed for him.  Sports are not about making sure everyone has a chance to win, it's about trying your best.  Losing gracefully is sportsmanship.  

To the parent of the losing team that complained, you have a choice to solve the misguided perception that losing is being bullied.  You can pull apologize and encourage your kid and the entire team to improve, you can lobby to have the rules changed to include a slaughter rule in football like little league has in baseball, you can lobby your school system to cancel all sports, or you can pull your own kid out of sports.

Ultimately I want my kids to play sports and do their best every time no matter what the score.  I hope they have the opportunity to be on both sides of lopsided games so that they can learn how to win and lose with grace, something this parent clearly still needs to learn.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is Cano worth $305 Million?

I read that ESPN's Buster Olney has found out that Robinson Cano is seeking $305 million over 10 years.

I'm a fan of Cano's.  I like watching him play, I love his approach at the plate.   He's a good hitter.  A solid 25-30 HR a year guy.  But I don't think he's worth $305 million over 10 years.

The real question, the question that the Yankees, and any other team out there looking for a hard hitting second basemen need to ask is, "is he worth it?"

I think that answer is no.

First for $305 Million over 10 years, you better be looking at a near lock for a first ballot hall of fame player.   I'm not sure that Cano will be.  He's a solid player, but I don't watch him play and think he's that much above the rest.  ARod when he was younger just made everyone else look like they were beneath him.  Pujols a few years ago did something similar with first basemen.

Second, ARod, Pujols, and even Alfonso Soriano, may have soured all of baseball on 10 year contracts.  It's just too much risk for a team to accept that they could be stuck owing $90 Million to a 37 year old player who is done.    Between ARod's injuries and drug scandals, and Pujols injuries, and Soriano's simple decline, the risk for a 10 year contract is so high that I don't think teams should take it.

Third does it meet the ultimate goal?  What is the ultimate goal?  I'm guessing for the Yankees, that ultimate goal is winning another world series.   He was part of the 2009 World Series, but he's also been there since then when they haven't been able to win it again.  Since he's already been with the Yankees, he's not the answer for winning another world series.   They may be better off letting him go, taking the loss on his WAR and replacing it in other positions, like pitching.

The ultimate question the Yankees have to ask themselves, is with ARod ailing, Rivera retiring, Petitte retiring, who knows what happening with Jeter, and Sabathia losing his edge quickly. Can the Yankees allow themselves to rebuild without throwing too much money at a position player that will likely not be the one to lead them back to the promised land?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What about Jason?

I read The Jason Collins Conundrum by Phil Taylor yesterday in SI.  I got the feeling that Phil was saying that Jason isn't getting calls from teams because he is gay.  He references a few other bad players who are almost as bad (but none worse) than Collins as reference points proving that Collins still deserves to be in the league.

I was impressed by Mr. Collins for his bravery.  There are so many people in this world full of hate that declaring openly that you are gay can put you in harms way, even if you aren't a pro athlete.

However, I remembered reading an article almost immediately after he announced that he was gay that stated it was unlikely that Mr. Collins would find a team to play for next year.  I went looking for that article and oddly enough it too is titled The Jason Collins Conundrum by Paul Mirengoff.

Mr. Mirengoff states that based on his performance alone it is unlikely that Jason Collins would find a team next year.

I think that it's sad that there is any discussion about Mr. Collins being blacklisted from basketball simply because he openly declared his sexuality.  I don't care what he is.  In my family we will love our kids no matter who they love.  My wife will sometimes tell the kids that she will love them even if they want to marry the toaster.

A player should be hired for his ability, if he can help a team he deserves a job, if he can't then he doesn't deserve the job.

I believe that there are other gay players in the major sports.  I believe that they will feel confident enough to announce their sexuality at some point.  I believe that teams will hire players based on their merit.  For teams, the equation is simple... Does it help them win.   I would be surprised if Mr. Collins was hired this year as anything other than a team trying to draw more fans, or show support for the gay community.  But from what I can tell, based on his performance, he is a player that the game has passed by and its time for him to move on to the next phase in his career.

Maybe he can be a coach?

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Rod.

I have so many things I could write about ARod.  I'll leave all of the history of him out for now, and just state my thoughts about the PED controversy.

Until today my thoughts have been that if ARod did break the PED rules, the same as the other players that did, why is he not given the same penalty.  As a first offense he is due a 50 game suspension just like the rest of the players.

None of these players have failed a drug test though, the evidence is 2nd hand.  I don't know the CBA, and maybe the 2nd hand evidence is enough to qualify, I don't know.  The only player that did fail a drug test is Ryan Braun, who under appeal served no suspension and won the NL MVP award.  He only received a 65 game suspension.

So in my opinion ARod's suspension length is ridiculously long in comparison.  

This morning however while watching the Today show, ARod's lawyer claimed that he has been asking the MLB to waive the non-disclosure agreement in the CBA in order for the evidence to be aired in front of all the world in the media.  If this is done it would completely turn the privacy for the legal process into a public circus.  Matt Lauer contacted the MLB who provided a document that ARod's lawyer could sign in order to give him exactly what he was asking for.   He balked.  He wouldn't talk about it and he refused to answer the direct questions that Matt Lauer was asking him.

It felt very sleazy.  As if he didn't think the MLB would ever offer to go public with everything, so they were trying to hide behind that.  And now that MLB is willing to do exactly what ARod's group was asking for, they don't want to do it.   

Ultimately it feels like ARod is guilty of something.  I believe that he will serve a suspension of some kind, but doubt that an arbitration judge upholds the 211 game suspension, without the evidence being public I would guess that the ruling will be a 50 game suspension for the first time offense just like the other players received.

As an ARod fan for a long time, I have a hard time understanding why he did it.  The other players have so much of an upside with better contracts that could come from the good season that it makes it worth it.  However, with ARod, he already is 5th all time on the HR list.  Even without taking anything he will likely move to at least 4th.  He has several years left at $30 Million a year on his contract, and after that he will be over 40 years old and is not likely to receive another contract.  So he had nothing to cheat for.   The only rationalization is that he was so driven to have the most HR's ever that he cheated to try and get there.   If he would not have cheated this time though, the rest of his stats would have been great enough that he would have likely been in the hall of fame.  Now, it's unlikely that he ever makes it there.  Even if he wins the appeal.  

I just don't understand.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Sports writer

Since I was a kid I knew I was going to be a computer programmer.  I spent an exorbitant amount of time actually writing programs and playing games so I knew what kind of programs I wanted to write.

When I wasn't on the computer though, I was watching or playing sports.   I could detail all the sports I was part of, in one way or another, but suffice it to say, I was into sports.  I wanted to combine the two passions and write programs for sports.

I was never able to do that.  Instead I write corporate programs.  It's a good job, and I still love programming and the challenge of solving problems.  But I sometimes miss the sports connection.   

I love to write about sports still, and I discuss sports, mostly with my dad still, but I am not a sport writer.   In fact I am not a writer of any ilk.  My wife tells me that my writing always seems rambling.  I am never able to get my wit or humor to show through in my writing.  I am cursed with my writing being stuck in a simple statement of opinions and facts.  It's unfortunately not very fun for others to read.

I do know this though.  I will continue to write about sports and post my opinions.