Is Trot Nixon Even Worth Minimum Wage?

As August comes to a close, we're seeing five series happening that have serious playoff implications. Post season hopes and dreams could very well live or die this week. With that being the case, I feel it's time to check in with my new most favorite person ever: Freekin' Willy.

In this follow up to his thoughts on Eric Gagne's early troubles with the Red Sox, Willy chimes in this time on all things Trot Nixon, J.D. Drew, and of course ham & eggs. Look out, J.D., you're now on Freekin' Willy's "shit list" and that is not a place you want to be. Trust me, I know from experience.

Sadly, Willy once again threatens us with a video every day, but has yet to deliver the goods. Then again, we probably shouldn't get him started, if we know what's good for us.

Two Hours of GameDay? Not So Fast My Friend

Around this time every year, for as long as I can remember, I get excited for football. Sure, baseball is going on, but it's the dog days of summer, it's been going on forever and by this point the Yankees are usually (knock on wood) a lock for the playoffs. So my attention fades slightly from America's Pastime to America's Passion. I look forward to the NFL, inasmuch as I can before wanting to kill myself from the ridiculous coverage of it at this point.

But more than the NFL, I look towards the college football season. It's a special time, a time of hope, a time to look forward to Heinz Field and drinking some whiskey. It's a time of bliss before the realization by mid-November that the entire premise of NCAA Division One (Bowl Subdivision) football is kind of a joke.

But that's alright, it's not about November. It's about now, and a fresh new season, where I haven't had to deal with an amazing amount of hype quite like ESPN has put into the NFL throughout the entirety of the League's off-season. That is until The Big Lead hepped me to this USA Today article, and just how The World Wide Leader is getting ready for this year's college football season: A 25-hour long pre-game show!

FANTASTIC! I was just wondering how ESPN was going to handle that much anticipated Louisiana State - Mississippi State match-up. It's good to know that we'll have every angle covered. I was somewhat excited to go to that first Pitt game on September 1st, but fuck that. Now I'm excited that I'll get to watch The University of Hawaii Fightin' Rainbow Warriors practice at 3:00AM.

ESPN is also reporting that the 5:00AM-7:00AM slot will cover Kirk Herbstreit's morning primping routine. While the afternoon-hours of this death march will be filled mostly with College GameDay's "Greatest Hits." Favorites such as: "East Coast Bias (Hey! Check out that Pac-10)", "The Regular Season IS a Playoff", "That White QB Sure Is A Great Heisman Candidate", "The Wearin' This Goofy Mascot Head Twist", "That Sign Implies An Opposing Player's Homosexuality! HA HA HA!” and "Whorish FSU Fan.”

But why just once? In the words of Puff Daddy, "Shit, we can do this every weekend." Can we shoehorn 'round-the-clock coverage of Saturday's Big Game in between NFL Live? No? We can't? Well alright, I guess we'll just have to settle for this being a one time thing and move on with it.

Can you just promise to not hype anything more than this for the rest of the season? No, you can't? Alright then, fair enough.

Gan-yeezy, You Did It Again!

In the second game of tonight's double header, the Red Sox once again went to the recently acquired Eric Gagne (who happens to be from Canada. Canada!). And, once again, he blew the save and lost the game. This puts Gange's ERA since he's arrived in Boston to an even 15. Now I'm not going to say that Boston fans might be a little angry about this, but, well, here:

And that was posted on August 13th, after the LAST time Gange blew a game. Tito didn't fix it, so apparently this guy is going to make a video every day. And we're going to have to watch it. I'm pretty sure this is proof: there is no God.

Are You Ready For Some (Pre-Season) Football?!

It's Thursday Night, which means several things: 30 Rock, the start of my weekend, and - as I'm sure everyone in America is well aware - MLS soccer on ESPN2. All season long, ESPN2 has been giving us one game a week, every Thursday night. It's been great, you know, because I can actually watch soccer on basic cable. And there's usually nothing else on, so that means the bars will toss on The Beautiful Game sometimes as well.

But that is not the case tonight. There is no MLS on ESPN2 this evening. This is because ESPN had the rights to show NFL games, in this case an NFL preseason game that ESPN will pretend is a Monday Night Football game. It's the National Football League's world, and the rest of us are just paying rent. And that means ESPN has to preempt a game on ESPN2 just because the NFL is on ESPN.

How long until the NFL backlash begins? How much longer can ESPN pretend that football is the only game in town before people get sick of it? I thoroughly enjoy the (REGULAR) NFL season, but ESPN is straining that relationship. ESPN is somehow making me hate sports I used to love.

Now, granted, this is not going to ruin my whole night. It's not as if I plan my week around MLS Thursday Nights. I'll probably just go to the bar like I normally do. But I would enjoy watching some soccer if I got the chance. Of course, that won't be the case tonight. On a day in which much of ESPN's programming (from SportsCenter to Around The Horn/Pardon The Interruption) hyped the "arrival" of Beckham - and his one goal, one assist performance in last night's L.A./D.C. SuperLiga match - they have decided to cancel the one opportunity most people will get to watch an MLS game this week.

God forbid someone would want to watch a regular season game of "their" football over an over-hyped, meaningless, preseason game of "our" football. I'm just glad to know that ESPN has gone ahead and made the decision for me tonight. I know I was going to have to think long and hard about if I wanted to watch some soccer (which I get once a week) or some third stringers fight for their spot on Kansas City's special teams unit. Thanks again, ESPN, for looking out for the fans.

Where Do We Go From Here?

On September 11, 2001 an event changed this nation forever. It was noted, almost immediately that nothing in America - or even the world - would ever be quite the same again. The date, 9/11, is a number now burned into the annals of time, reflecting a national tragedy for eternity. It will forever conjure up memories of not only one of the most grim days in American history, but also a time before that, a time that was a little simpler, a time where terror didn't reign supreme.

Almost six years later, we can now add a second number to that list: 756. From this day forward nothing will be the same. An innocence of a nation has been lost. On August 8th, 2007, Barry Bonds became the All-Time Home Run leader. The past cannot be changed, but we as a nation must look forward and ask ourselves how - if ever - can we recover from such an event.

Now some people - naive people, possibly communists - will look at 756 and say that it's just a record, that it's just a game, that it means very little in the grand scheme of things. But these people simply cannot grasp the staggering change that has happened. A man who cheated has sullied baseball, the national pastime, America’s game! A man who allegedly used steroids, a man who isn’t very nice to the media, a man who is generally kind of a dick has tarnished a once great record. The once honest game of baseball has been torn apart, and the very, very few who have cheated (namely Bonds) have changed the outlook of the game forever. Hank Aaron's home run record was baseball's JFK, and last night San Francisco became the new Dallas.

We, as Americans, had so little to worry about until shortly after mid-night (on the East Coast) a baseball pierced the night sky and landed beyond the outfield wall in right-center. At that moment, cries rained down throughout the country. San Francisco was nearly destroyed. A nation was changed for the worse. Bonds raised his arms in triumph; America bowed its head in defeat.

How will we look back at 756? Where will this day be remembered in the history books? What will our reaction, as a nation, be? Will this be remembered as a time - like many before it - when America awoke to fight back against evil and the tyranny of the large-headed? Or will this be remembered as the first step in the downfall of our great country? Will the 756th straw be the one to break the camel's back?

As of today, we simply cannot afford to worry about the future and what it holds for us. We must not change our daily lives. We must collectively put our heads down and push forward, no matter how hard it is in the wake of 756. We all feel terrible, and I know my heart goes out to the people of San Francisco, who suffered through this tragedy, as well as Hank Aaron and his family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

But this is not the end of a nightmare, it is merely the beginning. The America you knew and loved is no more. Baseball has changed and - as always - so has this great country. Maybe somewhere down the line we will be able to learn from the events of 756, but now is not the time to sit and ponder. We cannot let a tragedy, no matter how great, get to us. We must perceiver. We must continue our lives just as they were, for if we don't, then Barry Bonds wins. And we simply can't let that happen.

Bring Back Oak!

Charles Oakley is one of the most feared players in the history of the NBA. He was an enforcer for several different teams, and remains - to an extent - Jordan's enforcer to this very day. And Oak wants back in. According to the NY Daily News, Oak is trying to make a comeback!
I'm not saying I'm better than guys who play every day. But I can play 20 minutes a night. I understand the game. I can shoot, make free throws and defend. A lot of teams don't have a general on the floor. I'm not trying to steal from anybody. Give me a tryout and if you don't think I can do it, then just cut me.
The Cavs have to go after him. Screw Anderson or Gooden, Oak will strike fear into the hearts of the East. No more will LeBron be pushed around as he was this past post-season. He can be like the grizzled old guy in Above The Rim. Who doesn't want that? C'mon!

[Via TrueHoop]

The Greatest Person Ever

So, we haven't been updating around here quite as often. Not a whole lot of news going on, and the little of it that is coming out is just depressing:

Will Mike Vick play again? I don't know. Maybe. Probably not if he goes to jail, but you can't keep him out of the league if he walks.

Barry Bonds is on his way to breaking the Home Run Record, which is making many, many people very angry for a reason I can't quite understand. Yeah, he probably cheated. But so did a lot of people. Most likely including a bunch of pitchers he took yard, too.

The NBA is fixed! We wuz robbed! At least this will help bring focus to a group of people who are all terrible at their collective job.

As for Major League Baseball? We're in the dog days, a few deals happened at the deadline, not a whole lot going on. The Cubs look good. The D'Backs have been playing well, and I'm going to stop writing before I mention the play of a certain twenty-six-time world champion and I go McCarver on them.

This post isn't about the depressing side of sports over the last few weeks. This post is about the good side of sports, the fun side of sports, I speak, of course, about Agent Zero, and his party time NBA blog. If you haven't been keeping up, here are some things you missed:

  • He is trying to knock down 100,000 baskets over a 73-day span. He's almost one-fifth of the way there, after almost two weeks
  • He feels that the U.S. Under-21 Men's Basketball Team does not look as if they are under 21 years of age
  • He's got his shot back, but he compares his ability to jump right now to the vertical leaping ability of Chucky Atkins
  • He still holds a grudge, of sorts, against Duke for defeating his Arizona Wildcats and thus winning the NCAA Championship when he was in college
  • DeShawn Stevenson is officially Gilbert's "Partner in Swag"
  • He feels his teammates are getting silly haircuts, but that's fine by him.
  • He has been named one of the 50 Best Latino Athletes
  • He once drove a rental car into the Hudson river just to practice escaping
  • And, finally, he doesn't believe in shark attacks
I know you’re making a weird face as you’re reading this. OK people, a shark attack is not what we see on TV and what people portray it as.

We’re humans. We live on land.

Sharks live in water.

So if you’re swimming in the water and a shark bites you, that’s called trespassing. That is called trespassing. That is not a shark attack.

So there you have it: the thoughts of the greatest person in history. Now we can go back to bashing Mike Vick, the NBA, Barry Bonds, cycling, soccer, the pinch hitter, hot dogs filled with cheese and anything else we can possibly be upset by for no apparent reason. Hooray!


The last few days have seen several big name deals in both Major League Baseball and The Association. Mark Texarcana to the Braves. Gagne to the BoSox. The Big Ticket heading to the Celtics. Even, to a lesser extent, a deal that sent Wilson Betemit to the Yankees. For better or worse these deals are what's being talked about. They make sense to a certain extent for every team involved. That is, all but one deal.

The Pirates have been having yet another rough season. They've been God-awful since the All-Star Break, and now they've added Matt Morris to their starting rotation. The thirty-three year old right hander, who has gone 7-7 this season with an ERA of 4.35 has just become the highest paid Pirate of all time. Let me repeat that: Matt Morris is now the highest paid player the Pirates have ever had. Simply stunning.

Why was this team, 2-14 since the break, out there looking to add pieces like this? What possessed Dave Littlefield to look at that rotation and think "You know what we need? An aging, sub-par starter who we can give a whole lot of cash to." So Dave went to the phone, he called around, and he found Matt Morris, pitching poorly as of late, but in the second year of a three-year $27 Million deal. A match made in heaven, really.

Maybe it was that walk-out protest that fired up the front office. Maybe they were sick of being chastised for not spending any money. So they went out, and they got somebody they can spend $10 Million on next season, when their payroll will likely be in the $50 Million range. Pirates fans can no longer complain that their team isn't willing to spend any cash, I just have the feeling this isn't quite what they wanted.



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