Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Adventures of Mark McGuire and Doctor Obvious

The big news story of Monday was Mark McGuire’s admission that he had used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. While I doubt that the astute baseball observer would consider this news, this is confirmation of what we have long suspected. To me, it seems that this admission is ill-timed, and will present McGuire with quite a challenge as the new Cardinals hitting coach. Prior to his admission, my thought was that he would be a great hitting coach, although perhaps that wouldn’t be apparent right away. His advice would begin with “swing really hard,” or “try to take a walk.” If guys were struggling at the plate despite his genius advice, I assumed that he would take them to the back room, show them some “supplements” and wait for the transformation. By mid season, I expected that the Cardinals would be one of the best hitting teams in baseball, due to McGuire’s expert insight into the mind of the hitter, or something like that. Now that he has come clean, that will presumably prohibit him from offering his pupils the real secret to his success. Now what will he do? Maybe Poo-holes can teach the team how to hit; lord knows he’s qualified.

In the spirit of McGuire’s statement of the obvious, I have compiled a list of other admissions that I hope that we will see someday.

Cecil Fielder admits that he is fat.

So does Prince.

Gilbert Arenas admits that for the good of his career, maybe he should have left his guns at home.  So does Plaxico Burress.

Hillary Swank admits that she has shark teeth, but isn’t British.

Brett Favre admits that he will retire after this season, and then changes his mind. Chris Chelios keeps playing in the AHL.

Jay Leno admits that he has a big chin.

So does Brian Mulroney.

Kaley Kuoco admits that she is very hot.

Mike Milbury admits that maybe trading Bobby Lu was a bad idea. So does Mike Kennan.

Eklund admits that he has no insider contacts, and makes crap up (e5).

Mel Gibson admits that he's not down with the Phairisees.

My brother admits that the younger brother is always superior to the older brother.

Admissions that I’d love to see, but I’m not counting on:

Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa admit that they used steroids. Clemens and Bonds won’t because that would mean that they would go to jail; Sammy won’t until he unforgets how to speak English.

Derek Jeter admits that he is overrated and has never understood why everyone loves him since he is, after all, a douche-bag.

I can dream can’t I?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!/The Return of Chongs/Gilbert Arenas and a Closer Look at the NBA CBA

I don’t like the NBA. I can’t watch an NBA game because they are pretty ridiculous from start to finish. They begin with player introductions that make it clear that NBA basketball is not a team game, rather a bunch of guys who fill out a roster around a star or two. I have seen Labron throw caulk dust over his head, and Shaq pretend to be a bowling ball knocking down other teammates who pretend to be pins. This sort of stuff is fine for pro wrestling, but is embarrassing for a real sport. The actual game play could be highly athletic, but last time I watched it required little skill as most of the points were scored on dunks or close in tip-ins, meaning that the only qualities needed by the players are height and the ability to jump slightly. When fouled, guys react like they have been shot, or had their houses burned down, or both. Endings are anticlimactic as the last two minutes of close games are ruined by the timeouts that are called every four seconds to drag out a close finish over 20 minutes. Perhaps worst of all, one of the most dominant players over the past 20 years or so couldn’t a hit a free throw if his life depended on it, but his reality show was pretty cool.

Off the court, things are even worse. We’ve all heard about how former NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on lots of games, including ones that he was officiating. Recall that Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s golden boy, was accused of rape, and settled with his accuser out of court in 2003. Ron Artest was involved in beating up fans during a game, and admitted to drinking at halftime during his career. Latrel Spreewell tried to strangle his coach, and Jayson Williams was charged with murder/manslaughter in the death of a limo driver. And of course, around Christmas and New Years Gilbert Arenas admitted to storing firearms in his locker, and he and a teammate even allegedly drew guns on each other in the locker room during an argument about gambling debts.

The Arenas firearm issue brought one very interesting item to my attention. Apparently the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement between the player union and owners includes a clause that firearms are not allowed to be brought to the workplace. Now I would have thought that this would be fairly obvious, and wouldn’t need to be explicitly specified in the agreement. I would have guessed that most guys would know that they aren’t supposed to bring guns to work. I can’t think of very many workplace environments (other than police and military) at which weapons are required. I certainly don’t bother bringing any guns to my office job. So this has led me to wonder what else might be included in the NBA CBA. Fortunately, I was able to obtain said document, and here are 10 included clauses that caught my eye.

1. Please wear clothes when in a public venue. You do not need to wear clothes when showering, and you can wear pajamas while sleeping and swim trunks while at the beach or pool. Please wear your team uniform and sneakers whilst on the court. If you have a serious injury (such as a hangnail) and can’t play and still wish to hang out on the bench, please wear a cool suit.
2. If you need to pee or poop, please use the urinal or toilet. The urinal is for pee only, but you may pee and/or poop (or even vomit) in the toilet.
3. You are a professional basketball player. This means that you are paid to play basketball games, practice skills and drills, and participate in other team functions. You are paid in dollars, and this money can be exchanged for goods and services. The money that you earn can be used to purchase items that you want or need (e.g. house, car, food) or may be given to others to perform services for you (e.g. pay for someone to cut your grass).
4. Sunday is the first day of the week. In order, the days following Sunday are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
5. The team coach is in charge of setting the lineup, devising a strategy, making substitutions, etc. Please listen to what he says. The general manager is in charge of building the roster. Please listen to what he says.
6. Drugs are bad, m’kay, so don’t do drugs. M’kay.
7. A lot of people like to drink coffee, especially in the morning. Starbucks is a popular place to purchase coffee.
8. Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of 5 players try to score points against one another by placing a ball through a 10 foot (3.048 m) high hoop (the goal) under organized rules. You don’t need to worry about all of the rules, especially traveling.
9. String theory is a developing branch of quantum mechanics and general relativity into a quantum theory of gravity. The strings of string theory are one-dimensional oscillating lines, but they are no longer considered fundamental to the theory, which can be formulated in terms of points or surfaces too.
10. Many people like to have pets. Dogs are a popular choice as they are smart and affectionate, and can be trained to do tricks. Some people like cats because they are more independent and lower maintenance than dogs. My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

Who knew?