General Sports

The Writer Formerly Known As JDWC

Turkey Day: The Cowboys are destroying Tampa Bay and I’ve already made the mashed potatoes for my mom. I have two options right now as I await my Thanksgiving feast.

1. Try to converse with relatives I hardly know
2. Reminisce about recent sports news

Hmm…tough choice. So what am I thankful for on this cranberry sauce-filled holiday? Besides the monumental feast, I am thankful for the opportunity to sit here and write about whatever I want.

Today we celebrate the past; back in the day when Julio Franco was still just a toddler, English pilgrims and Native Americans made peace and held a feast of massive proportions that would eventually become the staple of the third Thursday of every November (as well as Ted Washington’s daily snack).

Speaking of Native Americans, the Indian-related mascot debate has re-surfaced as the University of North Dakota football team was recently allowed by a judge to host a playoff game despite their nickname, the Fighting Sioux. They had to go to court over the nickname because the school was placed on the NCAA’s list of schools that had mascots considered `hostile and abusive.’ I understand the NCAA’s concerns, but does anyone else think they are going too far in their quest to not offend any Native Americans? Why aren’t the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves being bothered by the NFL and MLB?

If the NCAA is going to be so nitpicky, they might as well go for the kill. I would suggest suing the University of California Irvine because ant-lovers may be opposed to their mascot, the Anteaters. Or anyone who is against vegetables may not appreciate the Fightin’ Artichokes from Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. Some groups may choose to rally against the University of Tennessee because they do not believe in volunteering. Personally, I find the whole ordeal to be a little ridiculous and excessive.

Major League Baseball is contemplating a couple new types of technology. First, the Oakland A’s are planning to build a new stadium in Fremont, that would be completely high-tech and futuristic. Cisco Systems would be wiring certain seats with computers and installing new programs such as one that would allow fans to download tickets to their cell phones. On the flipside, there would not be as much seating available in the new stadium and ticket and concession prices would most likely skyrocket. I’m a lifelong A’s fan, and let me tell you, I’m not very excited about this anticipated move. First of all, they won’t be in Oakland anymore and will most likely have to add one of those Angel-tags onto their names (How does the Oakland Athletics of Fremont sound?). Secondly, I know the A’s are in dire need of a new stadium, but is it really worth it if going to the new one was nothing like an old-fashioned baseball experience, but more like a trip to a fancy mall?

MLB is also considering adopting an instant replay system. Oh for the love of QuesTec, I pray that they toss that idea out the window. I hate that football has it, I hate that basketball has it…basically I hate instant replay. It makes umpires and referees irrelevant and takes away from the storied traditions of baseball. The cons of instating instant replay: It would make the games take longer, it would make the games too perfect and players would have no reason to hate Angel Hernandez. The pros: We wouldn’t have to hear players, managers, or anyone else for that matter whine and complain about blown calls. Well you know what; it’s okay to have a good cry once in a while. I vote no.

Besides the new mall/shopping center the A’s are building, there’s news concerning management. They lost Ron Washington to the Texas Rangers and hired Bob Geren as their new manager. I think it was a mistake to let Washington, who helped turn Eric Chavez into a six-time gold glove winner, walk when he was available for hire there. Also, Frank Robinson and Felipe Alou, formerly of the Nationals and Giants respectively, will not return and were replaced by Manny Acta and Bruce Bochy. I don’t understand Bochy’s move to the Giants because from what I understand, he was still under contract with the Padres (Not that it’ll help the Giants anyway…). And the 37-year-old Acta is in to replace Robinson, 100 years Acta’s senior.

In other managerial news, Jeffrey Loria has his head so far up his ass that he let Joe Girardi, NL Manager of the Year, walk after a personal dispute. He’ll be replaced by Fredi Gonzalez. You know, Gonzalez, that guy that everyone’s heard of? Lastly, the Cubs finally fired Dusty Baker and seem headed in the right direction after hiring Lou Piniella and signing Mark DeRosa and Alfonso Soriano. Jim Hendry is finally spending money the right way for the Cubbies.

Gary Matthews, Jr. is a human highlight reel defensively. Apparently the Angels think he is superman on both sides of the ball, signing him to a five-year, $50 million contract.  Will Matthews, Jr. make the Angels better? Yes. Is he worth $10 million a year? No. Speaking of overpaid, the Dodgers signed speedster Juan Pierre to a five-year $44 million contract. Their year-by-year production and value out of Pierre will be a bargain compared to what the Angels get out of Matthews, Jr., but Pierre still does not deserve that much money. Will he help the Dodgers win the NL West? Without a doubt. Is he worth almost $9 million a year? Ask me again after the playoffs.

Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau, the 2006 MVP’s, make less than $400,000 each per season. Talk about bargains. Howard is a deserving MVP despite the Phillies falling short of the playoffs, but I’m not sold on Morneau. I think Derek Jeter deserved the award and that Joe Mauer and Johan Santana were actually more valuable to the Twins during their division-winning turnaround. Maybe the selection of Morneau wouldn’t bug me so much if he got a haircut (Seriously, have you seen the guy without a hat or helmet on?).

At work the other day, I was doing my job. I was watching football for seven hours while standing behind a counter pretending to be a customer service rep at a gym. Anyways, I saw a commercial for the new ESPN Visa! I can understand the video games, and the cell phones aren’t even that bad. But now they are just taking things too far. Now, you can call your buddies on your ESPN cell phone and ask them if they want to go buy the new ESPN game with your new ESPN visa card! Seriously, they should just join forces with Starbucks and total global domination would be theirs in a matter of weeks. Really though, ESPN must be making a fortune off all these new products and services they are offering, right? So why can’t they pay to make a better commercial than the new one with the NASCAR driver smashing a speed bump. C’mon guys, you’re better than that.

One last thing: I already despise George Steinbrenner, but if the Yankees build and move to a new ballpark, I might personally assassinate him. You can’t just tear down years of tradition. The House that Ruth Built will become the House that George Destroyed.

Well, all that tryptophan is starting to get to me and I’m feeling a bit like a turkey myself after ranting for two straight hours. Happy Thanksgiving to all and enjoy the BCSsters screwing yet another National Championship game! JDWC over and out.


4 replies on “The Writer Formerly Known As JDWC”

A’s I love the new stadium.  Fremont is in Alameda County as is Oakland so it’s not like they picked up and moved to Las Vegas as was threatened under the Schott-Hoffman regime.  Essentially if you live in Marin, Sonoma, Walnut Creek, etc. you are only an extra fifteen minute car ride away.  Plus from what I’ve read they are going to put a new BART station right near the new park.  Billy Beane is a smart guy.  The Oakland A’s are a brand name (as we are constantly reminded by the A’s Brand commercials).  I think there is only a 50-50 shot you see an Oakland A’s of Fremont tag.  I see them staying as just the Oakland A’s.  The New York Giants and Jets play in New Jersey and they don’t recognize that at all.  The Detroit Pistons play in Auburn Hills which is an even better example.

The new stadium will bring in additional revenues which will hopefully get us finally over the hump and win us that elusive tenth World Series.

Hell of an Article I disagree with you on a couple of things such as the A’s new stadium, and the fact that umpires a refs are worthless.  also, I definately disagree about not wanting to have Instant replay in Football.  Instant replay is great, they are double chacking the referees, not trying to take over the game.  but anyways, great article.  I’m voting to the front page.

Comments Thanks for the input guys.

Trevor – You make good points, but what about the whole baseball experience? When I go to watch my Fremont/Oakland A’s in the future I want to watch a baseball game, not go shopping.

Ux – Yeah I understand how they ‘double-check’ the refs and all that I just like it better when all the calls are made by refs not by instant replay so that there are always some imperfections…that’s just how it’s always been I don’t think it needed to change. I mean it makes the games more fair and all but without instant replay all the teams had that same disadvantage of the possibility of blown calls. Whatever though, I understand people approving of instant replay in football but I just really don’t want to see it happen in baseball…thanks for the comments

A’s I agree that the Oakland Coliseum had great character and I’ll miss playing there.  I think Cisco Field in the long run will make the A’s a better franchise as it will allow them to expand the payroll from $75 million to about $90 million.  That should help them keep guys like Nick Swisher, Rich Harden, and Danny Haren in an A’s uniform for a long time.  

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