RIP Earl Weaver And Stan Musial

Last Friday was a bleak day for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Earl Weaver and Stan Musial both died last Friday. One did not have to be an Orioles’ fan to realize that Weaver was an outstanding baseball manager. Stan Musial may just be the most underrated player in the Hall of Fame.

    Rest in peace, Earl Weaver.

    Rest in peace, Stan Musial.

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens and to the San Francisco 49ers. I look forward to watching you play in the Super Bowl in two weeks. Please excuse the fact that I will do my best to ignore any and all of the tedious and repetitious “stuff” that will be written about your upcoming game over the next two weeks. And for the record, I do not care even a little bit what Mom and Pop Harbaugh will be doing before, during and/or after the game.

I did not watch the Lance Armstrong/Oprah Winfrey confessional last week; I have only seen snippets of the interview and read all that I really want to read about it. In the instant that Armstrong admitted that he had been “doping” during his days as a champion cyclist, he rendered the rest of the conversation moot. Anyone who had followed the story for the last 15 years or so knew at that point that he had lied, violated the rules of the sport he participated in, threatened others who might reveal his perfidy and put forth a false image to the public. So, once you knew that instantly, why was the rest of the interview even interesting? Here are a couple of takeaways from this whole situation:

    Lance Armstrong should be the President of one of the world’s Anti-Doping Agencies. None of them has ever had a testing regimen that caught him so he just might teach them a thing or three about how to run a testing program that actually works. Imagine having a set of drug-sleuths who actually were effective at catching drug cheats…

    Who might be the best person to conduct the interview/confession for Oprah Winfrey wherein she reveals that she is a narcissist? Paging Barbara Walters…

Here is a comment from Scott Ostler in the SF Chronicle regarding this hopefully concluded matter:

“So glad I watched the Oprah interview. Next time I’m feeling like a low-life creepy guy, I will cue up that interview and feel a bit better about myself.

“On the liar scale, Armstrong makes Barry Bonds look like a guy who answers ‘Heck, no!’ when his wife asks, ‘Does this dress make me look fat?’ “

Meanwhile, the Manti Te’o saga marches on treating sports fans to the “news” equivalent of the Chinese water torture. Here is the way to end that bit of nonsense:

    The “girlfriend” did not really die. Te’o made that up because he was too embarrassed to admit that she dropped him and then she eloped with DB Cooper to a remote part of the mountains in the Great Northwest where she and Cooper were married by Judge Crater in a simple ceremony with Bigfoot and Jimmy Hoffa as the witnesses.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel had an interesting way of looking at the imaginary girlfriend story:

“Now we know who was sitting in Clint Eastwood’s empty chair: It was Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.”

I would have guessed that the St. Paul Saints of the American Association with Mike Veeck on board as part of the management team would be the team to capitalize on a Manti Te’o promotion for a game. However, the Florence (KY) Freedom of the Frontier League seems to have beaten the Saints to the punch. On 23 May, the Freedom will hold “Manti Te’o Girlfriend Bobblehead Night”:

    The first 1000 fans will receive an empty box.

    A section of the stadium will be set aside for people to sit with their imaginary girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses.

      [Aside: I have no idea what the team might do with their “Kiss Cam” on that night, but if I were the camera operator(s), I would be very careful …]

Staying with the absurdity theme that seems to dominate much of today’s rant, Scott Ostler had these notes in the SF Chronicle recently about the IOC consideration of a new sport for the 2020 Olympic Games. Seriously, if the thread that ties many of these items together is absurdity, how long could I possibly hold out without including something about the Olympics?

“The IOC will hear presentations from seven sports and choose one for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. Baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, squash, sport climbing, wakeboard and wushu.

“Why not just combine ‘em all into one sport?

“Wushu? That’s a martial art. Serious suggestion to IOC: Combine all martial arts (judo, karate, etc.) into one event. Let the competitors bring whatever kicks and holds and tricks they have, may the baddest man or woman win.”

Finally, here is a comment from Jay Leno regarding the moment when he realized that Lance Armstrong had to be using PEDs in the Tour de France:

“The year he won the race on the stationary bike.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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Comments

  • Ed  On January 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Ah, but small towns think small – the Brooklyn Cyclones have announced “Fictitious Friday” – starting with a petting zoo (unicorn, minotaur, and mermaid) a pregame Beatles concert, and for the main event, Sidd Finch is facing Roy Hobbs and the New York Mammoths. They are talking to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster to throw out the first pitch.

    Real press relase… and they worked baseball in. Gotta love working in the Sidd….

    Olympic UFC? Then we should get rid of racewalking and differing swimming disciplines – “Race is from here to there. Run or swim how you like. Skip or dogpaddle if you want.”

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Ed:

      Missed the Brooklyn Cyclones announcement until you mentioned it here. GREAT stuff. I love minor league baseball’s promotions and their creativity.

  • rugger9  On January 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Good rant, as always. It’s a shame Weaver passed away, I had hopes that during the All Star Week the umpires would play a ball game and Weaver and a few other managerial hotheads would be the umpires and they couldn’t therow the real umps out of the games. I guess it would have been too loud an explosion…

    On Lance, there’s talk of him running for Congress in TX, a natural fit down there… but your suggestion that he be put in charge of the WADA in its various forms has been done before, it’s why Joseph P Kennedy was the first head of the SEC when FDR put it together.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      rugger9:

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Will Rogers used to say that all politicians were liars and crooks. The best liars and crooks at the local level went to the State legislature or the Governor’s mansion and then the cream of that crop found their way to the Congress of the US. If Lance were elected to Congress, he would be in the company of 534 other folks who are comparable to him on the “Liars Scale”.

  • Doug  On January 22, 2013 at 6:39 am

    With all the noise about his girlfriend, the fact that Manti Te’o is such an ordinary football player has mostly remained out of the news.

    After the Lance interview, I walked out to my garage and washed my bicycle. It wasn’t really dirty, but I felt it needed cleaning. I have ridden that bike hundreds of miles while defending Lance.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Doug:

      I read a mock draft recently to see where Manti Te’o fit in terms of general thinking and he was supposedly going to go in the top 15 picks. Then I checked my notes from watching college football games and did not come to the same conclusion. He seems awfully small to play linebacker in the NFL…

  • Doug  On January 22, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I was not an Earl Weaver fan, but Stan Musial was one of my all time favorite players. Is there a hitting coach today who would not have changed his stance? And ruined it?

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Doug:

      And all of those hitting coaches would be completely wrong…

  • rugger9  On January 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Manti Te’o was basically exposed by Alabama with the added problem that most NFL teams have lines that big and fast Combined with the circus about his “girlfriend”, the whole sordid tale will drop him deep into the draft and any team he does land with will give him a very hard time indeed. All of those Heisman voters should look at themselves closely in the mirror, but probably won’t.

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