All posts by Wayne Cavadi

How Richard Sherman Became My Favorite Player in 30 Seconds

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And for my next number…

It’s unreal. You think you have an awesome blog in the works. You think, Nothing can make me angrier at sports than what I just witnessed. But then, as a sports blogger, you jump on Twitter and Facebook to see what the world is saying and BAM! I have a new topic. So, I am putting my post Brady/ Manning V rant on hold, because I feel it my duty to the sports world to talk about the NFLs newest bad boy.

As long as he isn’t playing my Texans, Richard Sherman is my favorite player in the NFL. In one night, this classless thug out of Compton made himself his own corporation. He was both blasted and praised on Twitter and Facebook, talked about on every sports network, and defended by sports bloggers across the nation in less than twelve hours. If you didn’t know who Richard Sherman was last night, you sure do now.

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U mad, bro?

None of this is new for Sherman. He called Roddy White an easy matchup, told Revis to pick up his game, and labeled Harbaugh a bully. He tweets and texts opposing players, and whether you’re the back up wide receiver or Tom “The Golden Boy” Brady, he’s going to tell it how it is. He is the new Terrell Owens. Instead of OchoCinco, we now have DosCinco. And much like his predecessors, he has the walk to back all the talk. Love them or hate them, these are the players people remember. Ten years from now, more people will remember Randy Moss than James Lofton or Tim Brown because there is more entertaining sound bytes from Randy than those two ever had.

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The Bank of Randy

And there is nothing wrong with playing the game as the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson do. They are two of the best at what they do and simply let their play do the talking. Tom Brady is from the Bellichek camp and never talks, but that isn’t what makes him better than Ryan Leaf. People want controversy, it makes them orgasm to have the opportunity to have a focal point of their rage. Richard Sherman gave everyone that last night.

If you don’t know by now, Richard Sherman is absolutely brilliant. He was salutatorian in high school, had a rumored 1400 score on his SATs, and earned a Communications degree from Stanford. On top of that, he was recruited by a one Pete Carroll, current mentor to The Legion of Boom, and while in high school, Sherman made Carroll, the coach of our nation’s best (and probably dirtiest) program amid a 34 game winning streak, wait over two hours to interview so he could finish an AP course. Yet because of his “antics”, because of his “trash talk”, he was labeled a classless thug.

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RRROAW RRRRRROAW like a dungeon dragon

Why? Because he is from Compton? Because he is a dumb jock who couldn’t possibly know what he was talking about? Because instead of saying the same watered down “I tip my cap to the Niners but this is just one game” garbage we always hear, he called out a guy he totally took to school and shut down possibly the most over rated QB in football?

Let me tell you what Richard Sherman is. He is an entertainer. He brought some life back into a game that the higher ups and union are trying to take away. He is a shut down, lights out defender who plays the game hard and extremely well. Oh yea, he also happened to save that game and put the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, which has been an after thought to his words. So, all of you people hating on him, stereotyping him, and trying to bring him down are just fueling the fire. And, folks, I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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Ta Daaaaa

That being said, I totally think it’s Peyton Manning’s year and the Seahawks won’t win the Super Bowl, but man, are we in for a great two weeks.

Maybe it’s because my idols are Howard Stern and Frank Sinatra. Maybe it’s because, like those two, I don’t know how to keep me thoughts to myself. But I think Richard Sherman is an alright dude. I need to cool off. Till next time, maybe I will actually have the chance to tell you about my thoughts on Brady and Manning.

Baseball’s Biggest Jerk

What a week, folks! For one, I entered this Twitterverse, so be sure to follow my daily rants at @UofDWayne (shameless plug). Of course, it is all climaxing with the Brady/ Manning Bowl, but there have been quite a few days leading up. The coaching carousel in the NFL is a spinnin’ round and round so fast, it’s hard to keep up. Wisenhunt chose the Titans, which made Frank Reich an Offensive Coordinator in San Diego. The Vikings got Mike Zimmer at the helm, and he brought good Ol’ Norval on as his OC. Jim Caldwell is getting a second chance in the Motor City, and there’s a new Gruden in the head coaching ranks over in the Capital. Throw in the big NCAA coaching changes with Strong, Pruitt, Grantham, and James Franklin, and it’s hard to believe the Cleveland Browns still don’t have a Head Coach. Well, Dawg Pound, I have good news for you, because I know someone who has absolutely nothing to do for the next year or so.

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This is my pretend regret face.

Oh, A-Rod. There was so much I wanted to write about this week, but you just keep giving us bloggers and the National media so much to get angry about. It is in my most humble opinion (and on my blog, that’s really all that matters) that Alex Rodriguez has become MLB’s All Time Biggest Jerk. He really is in a class of his own now. Pete Rose, over rated as a jerk. Sure, he gambled his way out of the Hall of Fame (which is another rant all in itself) but, man, that guy left it all on the field: He is the all time hits leader, a key cog in The Big Red Machine, and unquestionably the most deserving player of the name Charlie Hustle. Roger Clemens, total jerk. But he was always driven by that competitive spirit. First, he wanted to prove the Red Sox wrong when they said he was done. Then, after those two years with the Blue Jays when he was better than he had ever been, he wanted that ring. And then he got it and wanted another… And another… And another. He was just a big child, very Favre-esque, who simply never ever wanted to hang up the cleats. Barry Bonds, Jerkasaurus Rex. But his punishment was watching his Giants go from irrelevant to two time champs in what seemed like just moments after his retirement.

But, A-Rod, oh A-Rod, from day one, you have pretty much had it all, and it has never been enough. Trophies, championship rings, models and pop stars, strippers and hookers, and that money, all that stinking money… And it was still never enough. So without further ado, here are:

THE TOP 10 REASONS A-ROD IS THE BIGGEST JERK IN MLB HISTORY!

10. The bottom rung on the climb to jerkdom is personal.

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“Seriously, bro, chill out.”

I’m a Yankee fan living in the South who has a girlfriend that is a huge Boston Red Sox fan and I have to go to work every day with Teddy Ballgame, who is a huge Tigers fan. I take enough crap on a daily basis sans A-Rod, I don’t need his continuing stupidity to add fuel to the fire.

9. Game 6, 2004 ALCS vs. the Red Sox and May 30th, 2007 vs. the Blue Jays.

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In his first playoffs against the Red Sox for my beloved Yankees, he crushed a weak grounder, and instead of hustling it out, he slaps Bronson Arroyo’s hand to pry the ball lose and becomes the poster child for Yankee hatred by the growing Red Sox Nation. Three years later, in 2007, A-Rod was enjoying his sickest start to a season: he had a 23 game hitting streak, 14 homers and over 30 RBIs in April alone. But then in May, right when us Yankee fans really bought into the new A-Rod, he yells “Ha, I got it,” on a routine fly ball to the third basemen of the Blue Jays causing him to drop it. Nothing like the highest paid player in history using a little third grade antics.

8. In 2001, A Rod becomes Pay Rod and A Wad to Mariners fans when he bolts town to become the richest player in history with the Texas Rangers. That very same 2001 season, the Rodriguez-less Mariners set the all time mark for wins in a season, and the Rangers begin their two year reign of being dead last in the AL West.

7. Playoff chump. Did you know from 2004 up to the 2009 championship run with the Yankees, A-Rod went 0-29 with runners in scoring position and left 38 playoff runs stranded on base? That’s a Jerk with a capital J.

6. Although I did rather enjoy it, he did royally screw the Red Sox in 2003. The Rangers, who must have been tired of being worthless with the “best” player in baseball eating up their salary and not being able to get anything resembling a quality pitching staff, had a deal in place with the Sox to send them A-Rod. It required a voluntary salary cut… Yea, right! Well, I’m sure once A- Fraud cried about that, the union stepped in and rejected the deal and the Red Sox joined Mariner and Ranger fans in their loathing of Rodriguez.

5. To juice, or not to juice, that is the question.

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In 2007, Rodriguez denied taking steroids in an interview with Katie Couric, a news host and reporter that only a few million people watch on a daily basis. Not even two years later, in February of 2009, he admits to taking steroids with the Rangers due to the heavy pressure of living up to his contract, but stopped using by the time he got to the Yankees in 2004.

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A ROD SMASH!!!

In 2011, it was proven that A-Roid had contact with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty to bringing unapproved performance enhancing drugs into the country from Canada. And then there is Anthony Bosch, the founder of Biogenesis and all around scumbag. I mean, look at the guy:

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Does he look a little bit like Greg Brady gone bad?

The 60 Minutes interview was mind blowing, but in all fairness, keep in mind, this guy reached a deal with Major League Baseball to sing, so it is quite a song he has sung. But what can’t be denied is that in 2012, there are 553 text messages and 53 phone calls on record from A-Rod to Bosch. Rodriguez mysteriously had that Blackberry almost instantly deactivated so nothing can be proven. That seems like a lot of phone calls and texts about vitamins and natural supplements, which is what A-Rod’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, contends.

Now, and this is only my opinion (and as I mentioned earlier, this is my blog, so it’s all that matters) A-Rod knows what he is doing. Yes, he has passed 11 drug tests, but he is in the Mitchell Report, he has ties to Galea and Bosch, and he gets so defensive about it. He hops from dealer to dealer finding “supplements” and regimens that he knows can beat the tests and he will never get caught. But, I’m going out on a limb here and I’m going to say A-Roid couldn’t be a more accurate nickname.

4. The numbers he has tarnished. As of right now, A-Rod isn’t going to get into the Hall of Fame. This dislike of him isn’t a new thing, as fans, reporters, and baseball higher ups have never really seemed to like Rodriguez. This makes all those numbers and records he has achieved even more tainted. He is the first player to hit 150 home runs with three different teams, but we know for a fact by his own admission that he was juiced up for his Ranger years. He was the youngest to 500 home runs and surpassed the Babe as the fastest to 600. BABE RUTH! He passed another of baseball’s greats, Jimmie Foxx, to become the only player to go 10 straight seasons with at least 35 homers, 100 runs scored, and 100 RBI. He has more 100 RBI seasons than anyone (14). And lastly, in a league rich in Hispanic heritage, he is the all time leader in home runs for all Hispanic countries represented in the MLB (of course, he passed Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez on his way to the top, so I don’t know how honorable that achievement is).

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3. The money. In 2001, he signed a record 10 year, $252 million dollar contract. Six years later he signs a new 10 year deal for $275 million. Seriously? I don’t think there is a person alive who deserves to make almost $28 million a year, let alone a lying, cheating, little cry baby.

2. He’s always the victim. He didn’t take steroids to get better, but because of all the pressure the media and fans put on him. Last year, he claims he was ready to play, but Cashman and the Yankees plotted against his return to avoid paying him. Now, he holds a press conference in Mexico City, saying 2014 will be a year of reflection so he can come back stronger. Oh please, A-Fraud, no one believes you anymore.

1. HE IS SUING MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND THE PLAYERS UNION!!! He is fighting the beast that made him who he is. And I will admit, Bud Selig went about this all wrong, but that is not why he is suing. He is attacking Michael Weiner, posthumously, who can not defend himself from beyond, but defended A-Rod while he was here! His team of lawyers is attacking players, such as David Ortiz, who reached out, took A-Rod out to dinner and tried to console him. Tacopina said he would not name the other players accused of using PEDs, “but some of them are god-like in Boston right now.” He doesn’t want to serve a punishment that is just a little bit longer than all of the other players who served their suspension for Biogenesis without a fight or appeal. And it’s not because he wants to win, it’s not because he let Yankee fans down. It’s because he wants his money and records.

It’s time for Alex Rodriguez to go away. Maybe place him in exile, like Napoleon was on Elba. I’m telling you, when it’s his time to be in the Hall of Fame, and voters shun him, Tacopina will be suing them, too. I need to cool off. Special thanks to my new editor, The Varrass, and don’t forget to follow my daily ranting on Twitter at @UofDWayne

Till next time, folks. Hopefully Davone Bess doesn’t see anymore officers until then.

Happy Freakin New Year from the Hall of Fame

Hey there, sports fans. My name is Wayne, and I am a sportsaholic. With Chris Christie closing bridges, a united healthcare plan no one understands, religion starting wars all over the world, and Miley Cyrus reigning as the queen of pop culture, I don’t see much of a reason to follow much else. That being said, I feel like the perfect time to start a blog, especially one centered around sports rants, is the beginning of a brand new year. It isn’t because this is something I have procrastinated about for two years (which I have) and made some sort of resolution to start. And no, it is not because this is the time to start anew. It’s simply because in January, the biggest hypocrisy in all of professional sports occurs: the voting for the newest inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Oh, dear reader, where do I start? Well, before I tear apart what has transpired, how about I say congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox. All six are very deserving of the honor and I truly believe they are all first ballot guys. If you were to ask me who the three best managers of my lifetime were, those three take the honor. Plus, are you going to tell a guy named The Big Hurt he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall? I’m not.

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One of my big problems with this years votes is Greg Maddux. I’m 38 years old. I had the pleasure of watching Greg Maddux’s entire career and remembering it. Growing up in the New York City area, as a Yankee fan, I rather enjoyed watching him take on the Mets, often ruining any fantasy their fans had of being competitive. Mr. Maddux received 97.2% of the votes, and I have a huge problem with this.

There is absolutely no excuse for why Greg Maddux did NOT receive 100% of the votes. I would love the opportunity to sit down with the 16 people who didn’t vote for him and find out why. After they gave me some outdated explanation, I would take their votes from them… And then slap them in the face with the ballots.

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From around 1992 to 2000, if Maddux was pitching against your team, you pretty much chalked it up a loss. Take away his pitching for just a second. From 1990 to 2002, he won 13 straight Gold Gloves. After an “off year” in 2003, he came back to win the award 5 more consecutive years from 2004 to 2008. That means from the ages of 38 to 42, well past his prime in a sport that has 20 year olds sprouting up yearly, he was still the best fielding pitcher in the game. He had 5 career home runs and made us all aware that chicks do indeed love the long ball. He was also an 8 time All Star, but let me say something about All Star appearances. I hold no credence to All Star game selections except for pitchers. Fans vote in the offensive starters with as much, if not slightly more, credibility than the BBWAA, and I had to endure watching the likes of Cal Ripken and Ozzie Smith well beyond their time. However, managers pick their pitchers, and when an opposing manager picks you, well, that is just respect.

In case you forgot how glorious the commercial was, check out Chicks Dig the Long Ball here.

Now, let’s look at that pitching. Any avid baseball fan knows Greg Maddux won 4 Cy Young Awards. But it wasn’t just that he won those 4 awards, it was how he did it. Let’s just look closely at 2 of the seasons he won the award. In 1994, he posted a ridiculous 1.56 ERA and came back in 1995 with a 1.63 ERA. In both of those said seasons, he lead the league with 10 complete games and 3 shutouts (talk about consistency). He finished in the top 5 in THE MVP voting in both the ’94 and ’95 campaigns. He was a one man wrecking crew and arguably the MOST dominant pitcher of his era, yet 16 people felt he wasn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer. And all I can do is ask why?

 

It’s pretty simple, actually. There is absolutely no criteria to be in the Hall of Fame. For SEVENTEEN straight years, Maddux finished with 15 or more wins and in only one of those campaigns (1990’s 15-15 campaign) was he not well above .500. He has 355 career wins. That’s eighth all time, folks. EIGHTH! Do you know how many pitchers have thrown a baseball? And even though The Professor was all about finesse, he still finished with 3,371 strikeouts, which puts him at tenth all time. (Incidentally, many thanks to baseball-reference.com for all of this information!) Throw in an unreal 3.16 ERA over a 23 year career and we are looking at one of the all time greatest pitchers to ever throw a baseball. And again, 16 people apparently disagree.

One of the problems today’s inductees are facing is the whole Steroid Era, and how certain writers will not vote for anyone who played during the era under the unfair assumption that everyone abused the drug. Of course, the Steroid Era is kind of shaky on its official start date. In June of 1991, then commissioner Fay Vincent issued a statement making steroids officially illegal in clubhouses. Is that the official start? Or was it in 1992, when Curtis Wenzlaff was busted for allegedly supplying the likes of The Bash Brothers with steroids? No, I think most consider the real start of the Steroid Era the post 1994 strike, when not just anabolic steroids but new supplements were being used. Well, if that’s the case, Maddux already had 3 of his 4 Cy Young Awards sitting in his trophy cabinet, so I’m not ok with that rationale.

Other writers have admitted they simply won’t vote for players because they feel that no one should be a first ballot inductee. Excuse me? That’s a blatant bias, and people with any bias should not be on a panel deciding someone’s fate. I was a high school teacher for a few years. I couldn’t just sit there and grade my students based on assumptions or biases. There were scoring rubrics I had to make that set certain standards, elements, and points each student had to hit in order to gain an A, and not only did I create it, I presented it to the students so they understood what their goal was. The Baseball Hall of Fame voting process has none of this. If it did, Maddux hit EVERY standard and stat he needed to, as he is top ten in two huge stats. On top of the numbers, he has the awards, the championship, he was never linked to steroids, he was liked by his peers, the fans seemed to think he was a stand up guy, and as I pointed out earlier, thanks to the longball, chicks dug him.

Maybe you feel like you wasted your time reading this, because at the end of the day, Greg Maddux is now in the Hall of Fame. But 16 people feel he shouldn’t be. And Craig Biggio, one of 28 people with 3,000 hits in the history of the game, isn’t. And nobody is really sure why.

I need to cool off. Until next time folks. Hopefully The NBA won’t have another Nickname Night by then.