Archive for January 9th, 2009


Home Depot Has Rollbacks

As the economy gets worse and worse, cutbacks are taking place all across the nation, like at Home Depot who famously were very supportive of America’s Olympian athletes. Unlike most professional athletes, many Olympians are forced to shoulder the load of the cost of training and equipment on their own, which can be quite the burden. Home Depot for years has helped with that load by providing part-time jobs to athletes and providing them with full-time salaries and benefits. The athletes have rewarded Home Depot (and the country) by winning 145 medals since Home Depot began this program. Reportedly, the expenses come to about $15-20 million a year for Home Depot and they are being forced to shutter the program. Hopefully some other corporation will come up with an equivalent offer for these athletes but right now many of them are going to be scrambling to figure out how to pay for their training and equipment.



Play the Ball

During the Warriors/Jazz game the other night, a fan sitting near courtside blew a whistle, leading to everyone on the Warriors stopping and the Jazz getting an easy dunk. Now, I’m not going to get into the mindset of a toolbag who brings a whistle to a professional sporting event, particularly someone who has enough cash to sit courtside, but seriously, what are you doing? Did you bring the rest of your reffing equipment too? Are you hoping that one of the refs will get hurt and they’ll look into the stands, see your whistle and that’ll be your big break? What is the brain process there? Anyhoo. Check it out.



Corky, You Still Suck

After all the, justifiable, hooplah surrounding his non-vote of Rickey Henderson, embattled elderly sportswriter Corky Simpson who we discussed the other day now says that he made a mistake. According to Simpson, he “goofed” and forgot to include Henderson on his ballot. “Rickey deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and if I had my ballot back, he’d have a shot at unanimity — and I wouldn’t be hated by quite so many people,” Simpson said

However, I think he’s full of shit. That’s because fellow “Green Valley News sportswriter Nick Prevenas said he warned Simpson about leaving Henderson off his ballot when he filed the column, but Simpson told him he ‘wasn’t a Rickey guy and that he would vote for him next time.'”

So clearly Simpson doesn’t regret his pick, he regrets that he has been publicly embarrassed for selfishly marring Rickey Henderson’s legacy. That Simpson could pick Tim Raines and NOT Rickey Henderson shows that Simpson has some semblance of understanding regarding modern statistical evaluation which shows clearly the value that Rock Raines had on the ball field, but clearly something else was in play.

It is simply indefensible to not include Rickey Henderson on your ballot unless you are trying to be the person who doesn’t include him solely because no one has been elected unanimously. You know what, there is also no openly gay person in the HoF, does that mean no gay man can EVER be in? Just because the old baseball writers were morons and didn’t elect players when they should doesn’t mean we should continue that tradition.

You know, in the 40s there were players that local reporters might NEVER EVER see. The only interaction baseball voters may have had with those players were radio broadcasts and box scores. Today, we have access to EVERYTHING a player does on the field, we can see every time he makes contact on a ball, and not only that, but where he hit it, what type of pitch it was and what he does when the count is 2-0 and there are two men on in the month of June when the sun is shining.

Now there is simply no excuse for not knowing the players, particularly for something seemingly as important as the HoF. If the hall weren’t so important why would the BBWAA make its members take 10 YEARS before they are allowed to vote?

So, back to Simpson and his “apology” which to me is a big crock of shit. If Simpson valued his vote and the HoF he wouldn’t have put Matt Williams on the ballot, no matter how nice a guy he is, hey Corky, I’m a nice guy, put me on next year! Nor would he make an asinine anti-Mark McGwire comment invoking steroids while ignoring that Williams put up extremely suspicious numbers, was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and was found to have received syringes and HGH (at the LEAST) from the same dentist who was busted for providing other athletes with illegal substances.

That’s hypocrisy.

If Simpson really believed that Rickey belongs in the Hall of Fame, why wait on your vote? Sure, Rickey will get in without Simpson, but so what, that’s not a reason to not vote. I’m from Massachusetts, if I don’t vote for Ted Kennedy he’ll still get elected, but does that mean I should vote for someone else just to be nice? Or that I shouldn’t at all? That’s fucking childish.

No, the only thing Simpson is upset about is that his semi-retirement has been upended by a barrage of anti-Corky Simpson sentiment. The only person to blame though, is Simpson himself. I will agree that the vehemence of some of the commenters on his story is unnecessary, but that’s the internet, where assholes reign. However, Simpson knew that Rickey Henderson was going to be elected to the HoF, there is no doubt. There is also no doubt that in leaving Rickey off the ballot it was a conscious and purposeful act. There is simply no way you could look at the list of eligible players and not consider Henderson a Hall of Famer. Unless Simpson wants to admit that his mental faculties are no longer there and he is unable to come up with cogent thoughts, but I’m going to assume that is not the case since he still seems to form sentences together. If he has lost his wits, then his vote DEFINITELY should be taken away.

I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt that Simpson still has working synapses and so chose to leave Henderson off the list purposefully and maliciously. Also, how can you NOT be a “Rickey guy,” what more could you want from a player? He won MVPs, he set a nearly unbreakable record with steals, he set a nearly unbreakable record in runs, his walks record was phenomenal and only could be, and was, bested by one player, Barry Bonds. The only weak part of Rickey’s game was his fielding, but it wasn’t as though he was TERRIBLE, just in comparison to his prodigious lead-off ability it is lesser.

No matter what he says, Corky Simpson clearly put himself above the game, above the HoF. By purposely leaving Henderson off the ballot he willfully took away the opportunity to get someone elected unanimously, and maybe, hopefully, ending the era of hanging onto useless old traditions.

Unfortunately, Corky Simpson seems like just another useless old tradition too.

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January 2009