One of the hottest names out there in MLB right now is Japanese player Shohei Ohtani. The “Japanese Babe Ruth” as some are calling him. This guy can pitch and he can hit and he wants to come to America and play with the best players in the world. Nothing wrong with that right? Well, here is the problem, this guy makes zero sense professionally. Athletes will tell you one of two things usually, one, they play to win championships. Ohtani will not tell you that. The other reason is to get rich, but again Ohtanti will not be telling you that either. No, Ohtanti says he wants people to like him and he wants to judge his career on the amount of applause he gets when he ends up retiring.
Who the hell does this guy think he is? You get referred to as the Japanese Babe Ruth which is arguably the greatest compliment ever and you do not care about money, championships or traditions? Now I get it, it’s a child’s game and he is playing for the love of the game but if that is the case, why not just stay in Japan? This guy passed on millions of dollars to come over here now instead of waiting 2 years. Again, I have no problem with this but what reason is behind coming here if it is all about the fans.
When Ohtani arrived the first teams he ruled out was the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins. It seemed like a very odd move but he made a statement that he wanted to play on the west coast because it was closer to Japan. I get it he wants the flight home to be shorter, no problem with that. However, like everything else this guy does he makes a statement that makes no sense he then says the Cubs and Rangers are still in the hunt. Ohtani, look at a god damn map, Chicago Illinois and Arlington Texas are not on the west coast they are both very much in the mid-west. Ohtani then said he wants to play for a small market team because he is afraid of the big cities. Odd move, like did he think that some place like Waco Texas would have a pro baseball team? But then he keeps L.A. on the list of possible teams he might sign with.
Ohtani sets off a lot of red flags for me and I would pass on him if I was a GM because another thing is his numbers are not as dominating as some think. When compared to guys like Ichiro, Tanaka, Hideki Matsui and other Japanese greats they dominated other players in Japan and was truly the best in their country. Ohtani said himself that there are so many more players that are better pitchers and hitters in Japan than him, this is what he said in an interview with Jon Morosi. The confidence is not there which is yet another red flag. Ohtani might come over and maybe he will be in the same conversation with Ichiro and Matsui but he has seemed more like a confused person rather than a legit pro athlete.
On Saturday college football fans everywhere watched as USC played Texas. A game with so much history behind it followed by an 11 year wait to see it happen again. This game was full of hype and everyone was talking about the last time when these teams played each other in the National Championship. For those who may not remember or are too young and did not have the chance to witness one of the classic games of all time. USC and Texas played each other in the National Championship game in 2006 and it was full of hype and stars. The game had three Heisman candidates playing in it and two of them ended up winning the award while in college. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush lead the way for the Trojans and Vince Young lead the Longhorns. The game was close and there were so questionable calls made by the referees but in the end Young ran it into the end zone with seconds left to beat the Trojans and end their historic run.
Fast forward 11 years and the feeling around college football is the same when talking about these two teams. Almost anyone you talk to will remember that game and talk about how exciting it was to watch. Now USC was ranked #4 going into this game and Texas had a new coach so everyone was excited to see what happened. The result, a double overtime thriller. The game was back and forth and in the fourth quarter within the final minute Texas scores to take the lead the stadium was stunned and USC fans everywhere were thinking “no, not again we were so close to redemption”. But here is where it got wild, Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold marched the Trojans down the field in the final 45 seconds and got into field goal range. Freshman walk on Chase McGrath nailed the 31 yard field goal to send it into overtime. Suddenly USC fans had hope and Texas was not sure what just happened.
Overtime was just as exciting, USC went on to score and touchdown and make the PAT all the defense needed was a stop. Texas ended up countering and scored to tie it up again forcing a double overtime. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger attempted a QB sneak near the goal line and ended up getting the ball stripped and USC recovered. USC was able to get the ball back into range for their young kicker and as the ball went 43 yards through the uprights the USC fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Another instant classic between these two teams the only difference was that now the Trojans were victorious.
In the end, it really does not matter if you were shouting “hook em horns” or “Fight on Trojans” because this game lived up to the hype and it was provided a sense of excitement that every college football fan across the nation loved. This game was exactly what everyone wanted and as the old saying goes “it isn’t over till it’s over” and this game reminded fans everywhere of not only that but how sports can make you forget about all that is wrong in the world.
On Friday, the now second longest consecutive winning streak in MLB history ended for the Cleveland Indians at 22 games. This was a remarkable thing to watch even if you are not an Indians fan. During this streak the Indians were on fire at the plate they outscored their opponents by 142-37 and they only were behind eight innings during the entire streak. They batted .306 as a team and their pitching staff was lights out with a 1.77 ERA. Corey Kluber was pitching just like Cleveland fans are used to and Jose Ramirez was able to get out of his slump and lead the team offensively during this incredible journey and guys like Lindor and Santana were the leaders the team tended to lean on.
The question is what does this all mean for the World Series runner up? Well, to be honest other teams should worry because they did this without some of their best talent. Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley they were all on the DL waiting to return and Bradley Zimmer broke his hand during the streak. With this being said, presuming the pitching staff continues to be consistent and the offense continues to produce runs this is a team that could make a deep run in October. But, here is the answer to the question, yes, the Indians will get major help when all their talent returns. However, as the A’s GM Billy Bean once said nothing matters unless you win the last game of the season.
This is still true today, the Dodgers have been having a historic season but if they fall short of winning it all, it does not matter, last year the Indians won 14 straight games but failed to win the last game of the World Series. The Astros and the Diamondbacks have had the best season for their clubs as well so far this season. As a baseball fan this has been a season to remember across the board with so many teams playing great baseball and new stars emerging in to the light. However, as I can say personally there is nothing worse than having such an amazing season and thinking it was your team’s year and then fall short of the title. With this being said, keep grinding Cleveland and keep believing in Believeland because sports is all about who gets hot at the right time.
What if I told you that Matthew Stafford would sign a mega deal that would make him the highest paid player in the NFL. Yes, Matthew Stafford, the QB for the Detroit Lions, the one who has a history of shoulder issues, the one who never won a playoff game and who’s best receiver currently is Golden Tate. Yes, that Matthew Stafford is now the highest paid player in NFL history with a 5 year contract extension worth 135 million dollars. The guy has a career QB rating of 86.8 and around 61% completion rate and is nowhere near a top 10 QB in the league.
The Lions need help in a lot of places which is not going to be easy to fill those spots when they dish out this kind of money to a tier 2 QB at best who has a history of injuries. With that being said Tom Brady will make around 41 million dollars at the end of his contract, Aaron Rodgers is set to make 110 million at the end of his contract, and these are two of the best QB’s in the NFL. I am not saying Stafford is a bum and can’t play, but I am saying that this is a guy who is likely not a Hall of Fame QB and is now the highest paid player in NFL history which is truly mind-boggling.
Furthermore, do not get me wrong if I was offered that much money I, like Stafford would take the money and run. However, from the front office standpoint I am not sure what they see in him that makes him worth that much considering they are nowhere near being a playoff contender like for example the Raiders. The Raiders gave Derek Carr a 5 year 125 million dollar contract which made sense considering what he has already done for that team and considering that team now looks like a playoff team and will for a very long time. Stafford has not done all that much for the Lions and I do not see him carrying that franchise deep into the playoffs or the super bowl.
Mayweather and McGregor are set to fight this weekend and what a fight it will be (maybe). The thing is the only one with something to lose is really Mayweather and the boxing world. If Floyd gets beat, then boxing is dead (even though it more or less is already) the talk at the water coolers will be all about how UFC fighters can beat boxers and it proves that UFC is better. However, if Mayweather wins, who will really care? The guy is 49-0 in his career and is arguably the best boxer of all time (even though his style of fighting is boring).
The rules that they agreed to will favor Mayweather however everyone is aware of the power that McGregor has. Mayweather is also 40 and McGregor is 29 and from a fighting standpoint Mayweather might be right, he isn’t the same boxer who beat Pac-Man a couple years ago, the experts are saying the fight won’t be all that good but yet they say it will probably set records for Pay per View. The reason is simple, if McGregor wins than many people will cheer because they hate Mayweather and hate the way he fights and whatever other reasons they have to not like him. Furthermore, it will make the UFC look better and Mayweather will no longer be undefeated.
If Mayweather wins a lot of fans will be upset. UFC fans will say “it would be different in the octagon” but the fact is it doesn’t matter these are the rules they agreed to and this is what they will fight. If Mayweather wins he will have beat Rocky Marciano’s record and become 50-0 and on top of that he will do it when he is 40 years old. The only thing is there should be an asterisk beside it because he would have beat the record against someone is not a professional boxer and with different rules then the ordinary fight. Let alone if one fighter does not get knocked out the judge’s decision will forever be challenged by either side (even though I think they favor Mayweather)
Mayweather is the last boxer that the ordinary fan will know. There is a huge fight coming up with Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin but nobody is talking about that fight and how it could be one of the best fight in boxing history. Reason being, because they are doing interviews together and not going on a world hype tour (and their names are not McGregor or Mayweather).
If there is not a ridiculous amount of trash talk then people seem not to be interested. I get it “if it bleeds it leads” and you always had a feeling that something could happen between these two on stage so everyone watched. This fight just does not seem like a good thing for the sport of boxing, there is too much on the table if they lose and too much controversy if they win, even if Mayweather wins by KO.
In part one we looked at the pros and cons of this trade from the Cleveland side. This time let’s look at it from Boston’s point of view. Boston ended up getting Kyrie which is arguably a top ten player in the league. However, Boston gave up some great talent which might hurt them down the road.
Losing Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder was really the only way they would end up with Kyrie however it might not have been worth it in the long run because we have seen Kyrie be the face of the franchise in Cleveland before Lebron came back and that was not pretty at all. Now I know that some will say “he was still a rookie and young” and other will say “he has matured since then” which is all true points but that is a big risk. Let’s remember when people play with Lebron they seem to get better we seen this with old D-Wade and even guys like JR Smith.
Kyrie has two years left on his deal which is good for Boston. If they can stay as the biggest threat to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference, then there is a better chance Kyrie will stay in Boston and they will have their man (providing he stays as good as he was with Lebron). However, Kyrie did not put Boston on his list of desirable teams he wants to play for which could be a concern because if he leaves after two seasons then Boston will have given up the farm for nothing in return. Another concern is how will he fit into Brad Stevens system in Boston, which is clearly different then whatever Coach Lebron decides to run.
The positive thing is Kyrie is an everyday player and has come up clutch in some big moments. The issue is Kyrie does not know what he wants, this is proven because otherwise he would have stayed in Cleveland for one more year and waited to see if Lebron left. If Lebron does leave Kyrie would have still had a lot of talent surrounding him and he would have been Cleveland’s guy. If Kyrie fits in the system and plays well with Gordon Hayward, then the Cavs Celtics will be the biggest rivalry in the east for a very long time. Kyrie has shaped up to become a terrific player, and could help Boston in a huge way and may be the piece they need to become the best in the east. Especially if Lebron leaves Cleveland and goes to the Western Conference and joins the Lakers like it is rumored.
I will admit that when I first heard about the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston I was not in favor of it. However, as I began to dwell on it more I have determined it is good for both teams (maybe). The reason I say maybe is because it seems more like a spider web of what if’s then having a clear winner.
First let’s start with Cleveland. The Cavs loved Kyrie and rightfully so, that guy was supposed to be the future after Lebron and he made in my opinion hands down the most clutch shot in Cavs history against Golden State in the 2016 finals game 7. Let alone his defense was lockdown, no doubt losing him is hard on the Cavs and their fans.
The Cavs got Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 unprotected first-round pick. Now to start with the positives, Isaiah Thomas is a star in this league and has even in talk for MVP last year. Furthermore, Thomas has proven he can play with a heavy heart and still preform, he proved this last year in the playoffs after the death of his sister. Thomas has also proven he can be the number one guy which is great for Cleveland consider all the rumors that Lebron may leave after this year.
Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic are both nice big guys to have on a team that seems is ran by all guards. Crowder can not only help in the rebound department but the dude can also shoot well for a guy of his size. The fact that the Cavs get the Nets #1 pick in 2018 is a plus because that is very likely to end up being a top 5 pick in the draft.
Now this is where it gets messy for the Cavs. Thomas injured his hip last season and decided against having surgery on it. This could set up problems because if Thomas goes down then ultimately the Cavs gave up Kyrie for Jae Crowder, which is not great if you are a Cavs fan. Furthermore, Thomas wants to be a max contract player which is a double-edged sword for the Cavs, if he stays healthy and Lebron leaves then the Cavs still have a young future player who has proven he can be a number one player on the team. However, if Lebron stays who knows if Thomas will take a pay cut. Thomas defense is also nowhere near the caliber of Kyrie which is an issue when playing a team like Golden State in the finals let alone the issue of the size of Thomas against a giant Golden State team.