Don’t Let A-Rod In

By Brian Jones

Thankfully (and mercifully in some circles) Alex Rodriguez will be gone from the Yankees after Friday’s game. He’ll go home to Miami and rest, reflect and hopefully stay out of public view until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. He’s got his money and a new job title and he won’t be around the Yankee organization every day any more.

 

In my opinion, that’s not enough. There have been some rumblings about putting A-Rod into one of the most sacred places in baseball history: Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. I cannot be any clearer on this (and I speak for most of, if not all, of Yankee Nation when I say this): DON’T LET A-ROD INTO MONUMENT PARK.

I mean, ever. Don’t ever let him in there. That is hallowed ground in Yankee history. It is a place to remember and praise the immortals. Names like Ruth, DiMaggio, Munson, Jeter and Mattingly are out there. Legendary baseball and Yankee figures, MVPs, world champions, baseball pioneers and Hall of Famers make their home there. Alex Rodriguez does not belong there. Not now, not today, not ever, I cannot express this enough.

He’s an admitted cheater of the game of baseball and outside of being a contributing part of the 2009 World Series-winning team he’s done nothing to merit entrance. He won’t be remembered as a Yankee great, he doesn’t have  that landmark moment in his Yankee career. He’s not going to be remembered as a beloved player in Yankee lore and, quite simply, he doesn’t have caché or the makeup of what makes a Yankee a Yankee.

The organization owes him nothing. The fan base despises him. Baseball fans (for the most part) don’t particularly care for him or like him as a player. It would be an insult and disgrace to every inductee in Monument Park to allow Alex Rodriguez to be celebrated in this fashion. He’s got his new, shiny “job title”, he got a ring and he’s getting the remaining salary on his contract. That’s more than enough. They have gone above and beyond to give him what he wants (even after he lied to them and threw then under the bus several times). He doesn’t deserve this. 

Don’t let him in Monument Park.

Do all championships matter?

January 15th, 1967
Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi enjoy a cigar together. They have just won their 4th championship together, it’s a back to back championship  (they would 3-peat a year later) they had just won a game they had considered a formality. To us now it was a way more important game. It was Superbowl I. This date divides NFL fans like no other. Imagine what Vince and Bart would have thought if this game, that meant so little to them at the time, would matter more then the 3 championships they had already won. That this one was more real then then the one they had won just the year before.

…do all championships deserve to be counted in any sport?

In 2020, just 4 years from now, the NFL will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary. That NFL season will crown a champion at Superbowl LVI  (56). That leaves 44 championships that happened before the Superbowl. Do those presuperbowl championships count? This question divides many NFL fans. If you enjoy a good argument go to a group with a Packer fan (the NFL leader with 13 if you count presuperbowl) and a Steelers fan (the NFL leader if you only count Superbowls with 6) and ask them if championships count before the Superbowl era. 

This begs the question; do all championships deserve to be counted in any sport? Should we count World Series titles from before the league was integrated? NBA championships from before the NBA and ABA merged? Stanley cups from the original 6 days? College football National Champs from before the playoff system (or before the BCS)? Any heavy weight boxing champion since Lenox Lewis? 

Here’s the argument for why they shouldn’t count in the various sports. 

Baseball

So we can talk about how pitchers pitched in 3 and 4 man rotations on 3 day rest. Or how there was no such thing as specialized relief pitchers, set-up men, or closers. Let’s focus on the integration of the league. 

Stars like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson would have dominated in any league or era. Had they not been stuck in the negroe leagues, how many MLB records would these two hold? How much would the influx of these stars affect who won world series? How can you say you’re the World Champs if half the best players in the world play in a different league?

Basketball 

Which  NBA team drafted drafted Dr.J? The Milwaukee Bucks. Thing is he signed with a team from the ABA. As did so many of the stars of basketball. The two leagues champions both can legitimately claim to be the world champs. They didn’t play each other so who is the true champ?

Hockey 

Six teams. “6.” How can you call yourself the champion of anything in a 6 team league?

College Football

Here’s the one the argument is easiest. Before the BCS sportswriters just picked a champ. The top 4 teams rarely had played each other in the season. There were multiple champions in several seasons. There were years that a one lose team was champ over an undefeated team. 

Even the BCS era can be debated. Could the 2007 Florida Gators really have beaten the USC squad thats almost entire defense has made a nfl pro bowl? How can anyone justify having the championship game being two teams from the same division of the same conference? 

The NFL

Really there is no reason other then calling it the superbowl to start counting then. It started at the end of the second Packer dynasty, how can you say that the 66 or 67 Packers are intrinsically better then the 65 or 63 Packers? Many will tell you 1932 is the true start of modern football. You can make the argument that football wasn’t the game we know until 1981, when the west coast offense proved that a pass first offense can win, and transformed the league from a running back driven league to a quarterback driven league. You can even argue that nothing before 1993 and fee agency really can count. Deion Sanders, Charles Haley, and Reggie Whites free agent moves definitely changed who would win the championships for the next few seasons.

This all seems legit. The athletes back then weren’t as big or fast as today. The number of teams they had to play was so small how can they be considered champs? There were other leagues playing so how can one leagues team be the true champ?

So why should all championships count?

Simply put those other leagues weren’t as good. The NFL and AFL had agreed to merge in 1962. They had drafted as one entity from that point forward. The AFL (then the AFC) wasn’t able to actually compete with the NFL until 1969. That’s 8 years of building on equal terms before they compete with the NFL. When the NBA and ABA merged the ABA contracted 2/3rd of its teams. They entered the nba as essentially ABA all star teams. They didn’t dominate, these all star teams didn’t even win a championship in the NBA. 

It comes down to this you play the teams they put in front of you. You beat them and you are the champion.

Can players play in any era? I’m sure Dick Butkus  would still be a pro bowl middle linebacker today. Jim Brown would still be a star. Deacon Jones could lineup with JJ Watt.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robinson or Bill Russell would still dominate.

With their style of play, Jerry West and Pistol Pete Maravich would probably be bigger stars today then in their era.  Lou Gehrig and Ted William’s bats would have been feared in any era. 

You can only play the teams they put in front of you. You beat them and you are the champion. Period. If you win a NFL championship in 1941 and you win a championship playing in the NFL in 2011 you’ve won the exact same thing. What would you say if in 2027 they decide that all championships before instant replay don’t count, since they cannot be accurate?

You can’t pick and choose. You can’t say that college football championships only count from the BCS on and then say that all World Series count. You can’t say that all NBA championships count but only Superbowls count for the NFL. 

Either all championships count in all sports, or you have to draw a line in every sport. How does that line change if those teams were the best in the world in their time? 
J.Russell Zinn 7/28/16

Brewers Getting Hot Just in Time for Summer

The Milwaukee Brewers started out the season at a very slow pace, but seem to have found some chemistry at the right time.

The Crew has won five of seven games in June after finishing out the month of May with a record of fifteen wins and fourteen loses.

Tonight’s win over the A’s which gave them a sweep in the two game series, has helped them climb to just three games below .500 with a total record of 28-31.

The beauty of all this comes from the fact that this is a rebuilding team that refuses to be held down.
It’s comprised of prospects that were brought in to lighten the load of the heavy contracts who filled up the roster.

However, the way these guys are playing, it’s not gonna take long before they start signing decent contracts of their own.

 

They’ve done it with savvy coaching, gutsy pitching, power hitting, small ball, and defense, in spite of dealing with injuries, and they’ve done it against some very good teams.

Last month the Brewers nearly swept the NL Central Division Chicago Cubs as they took two of their three games and lost the other game 2-1 in 13 innings.

They’ve done it by just having fun.

They aren’t perfect, but they aren’t intimidated by anyone either.