So What IS the Problem With Women’s Basketball?

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A couple weeks ago, the other Ladies and I were groaning over a report suggesting some unorthodox but troubling ways to “fix”  women’s basketball. Playing the Women’s Final Four in China was a suggestion, as was banning tattoos – you know, because women’s sports should have to appeal to people who can only accept women who meet a narrow definition of acceptable female behavior instead of trying to expand it.

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How to Deal

AdamLevineTheVoice

This is how I deal with bad sports: Adam Levine.

Like Lady Bee, I’m still reeling from watching my beloved hockey team, the Washington Capitals, crash and burn on Monday night. It’s so bad, that I can’t even watch hockey. I know, it’s really bad. Since I’m used to this annual heartbreak, I can’t understand why, this year, I’m so depressed about it.

It’s not like the Caps don’t do this to me every single year. This year I was so indifferent about hockey. I was mad about the lockout, but as a season ticket holder, I was excited to get back to Verizon Center and spend time with my hockey family. That was what I looked forward to: happy hours, victory beers, inside hockey jokes, good times with friends and making fun of our players – not so much the hockey.

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Cosmo Thinks They Know NHL Hotties…AGAIN

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild

Hey Cosmo, Over here! Did you forget about me and my Minnesota Wild teammates?

Dearest Cosmo:

STOP NOW. JUST STOP. First of all, we started these hot guys in sports lists way before you did. Also, we’re actual female sports fans, so we, you know, watch games, monitor players and, for the most part, know who to watch for in a game.

I’m not saying that this new list of “NHL Playoff Hotties” is completely bogus, but you clearly don’t know what you’re doing. Granted, you did manage to include some obvious hotties, i.e. Henrik Lundqvist and Kris Letang, who you somehow forgot to include in your original list that we also called you out on.

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MLB Doesn’t Get The Streaming Thing. Again. Some More.

I have not really been keeping up with the Word Baseball Classic particularly well. The early games of course were over in Asia at odd times (although I have been aware of the hard luck Chinese Taipei team, since a friend who was raised in Taipei has been obsessing on Facebook). But here it is Friday night, there are finally games on in a manageable time zone, and two of those games feature Puerto Rico (featuring Cardinals Yady Molina and Carlos Beltran) and the United States (I am kind of a homer).

And then I tried to hit that little TV icon to “watch live.”

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Some background: I am an MLB.TV premium subscriber, I pay to access regular season baseball on my Roku, laptop, and smarphone. But I don’t have cable.

To add insult to injury, once I made it past the cable screen (I have a sympathetic cable-subscribing boyfriend), I got this:

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Yeah, see all that stuff about the Apple devices you are authorizing?  See anything there about Android devices? Guess what type of smartphone I have? (Also, as near as I can figure, this screen pops up every time you pull up a game. They are not only forcing you to set up an MLB.com account, they’re refusing to remember your log in.)

So, yeah.  Once again, MLB, you have failed basic internet streaming.

What fresh hell is this: NHL realignment

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No matter how I feel about the NHL, I can’t stay mad at this guy. (Source: Burnaby Beacon)

I’m sure there’s some sort of valid reason for this based on, I don’t know, a desire to keep the NHL “fresh” and “relevant”? On Tuesday reports surfaced of the proposed realignment for the league: a return to four divisions, seven or eight teams per division, new playoff format, same number of teams getting in (the top three teams in each division along with four wild cards.)

My reaction is mixed (never mind that I still haven’t watched a single NHL game this shortened season. No longer bitter, just uninterested.) I’m personally fine with the altered playoff format and the idea of a few wild card slots. The idea of four divisions, however, falls flat with me. What’s wrong with keeping it at six? I’m old enough to remember when the NHL was a four division league, but it was a much smaller league than it is today. How do you foster an effective division rivalry when your division is eight teams wide? Or does that even matter in the 2013 NHL?

This is still a proposal and subject to approval by the usual suspects. But what do you think? Does this realignment make sense to you?

Victoria’s Secret and MLB know exactly what women want to wear. Again.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Just...no.

Another one to file under Why Can’t We Just Be Women Who Like Sports?

I realize I’m not the target demographic for Victoria’s Secret Pink line for Major League Baseball, and even if I was I’m simply not a fan of large hydrofoil screenprinting on my tees. But news of Blue Jays’ third baseman Brett Lawrie participating in their product launch on Monday caught my eye (for one thing, Brett Lawrie.)

So I kept an open mind…until I heard about the undies (left) and read this quote from the team’s VP of business operations: Continue reading

Keep it classy, Boston.

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Francona at his last news conference with the Sox: classy to the end.

Like any true Yankee fan, I quietly snickered when the Red Sox essentially pissed away the month of September, playing crummy ball and falling out of playoff contention. It’s nice to have a little ammo for the next time someone makes a snide comment about the Yankees “buying championships”. Yes, because Carl Crawford came so cheap.

Then I read this feature today by Bob Hohler and…honestly, Sox fans, I don’t know why you haven’t taken the pitchforks and torches down Yawkey Way. Lackey, Beckett, Ortiz…I could go down the list of selfish bums but why bother. It will only make you angrier. And far be it for me to comment on selfish ball players (*cough*Rafael Soriano*cough*)

Selfish athletes can be found throughout the league, and baseball history is full of douchebag moves by douchebag owners and managers. This situation is, for the most part, no different. But…this crap about Terry Francona popping pills? REPREHENSIBLE. The man brought your organization two World Championships, slayed a supposed 86-year-old demon, dealt with effing Manny and this is how you thank him for his time in Boston? Dragging Francona’s personal issues out in public when the real problem is that you have $15 million pitchers who don’t have the decency and maturity to put down that bucket of KFC in the locker room and go support their teammates and stand by their manager when he obviously needed them most? Real classy, Henry, Werner and Co. Here’s a tip: when a staff member is dealing with personal issues – say, a crumbling marriage – try support and empathy you a-holes.

Here’s how awful this is to Sox fans: one good friend of mine is shunning the team he has supported his entire life on account of this.

And now that Theo heading to Chicago, this is likely Ben Cherington’s mess to clean up. Thankfully, he has a bright spot in Dustin Pedroia, who still cares…until he has an opportunity to leave town. Could you blame him?

Red Sox fans, you have given me hell over the years, but you don’t deserve this. Watching a team choke in September is bad enough, but that’s baseball. Watching the smearing of a beloved manager’s name is simply disgusting. And for that, I feel terrible for you guys.

Stop making me care about interleague!

Yankees

See, outside of October, this is just weird. (Photo: Reuters)

I know I’m supposed to let go my puritan ways and appreciate the “fun” and “excitement” that is interleague baseball. Yet after 14 years of interleague, I still find it weird. Not fascinatingly weird. Just uncomfortably weird. Is it just me?

My reasons are painfully obvious, but here they are for the record. Continue reading

Hit and Run: Things Which Are Ridiculous

 I wanted to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup last night, but couldn’t, because it was on Versus, which I don’t have. (NBC opted for Celebrity Minute To Win It, with Steve-O and some other guy from Jackass. If that’s a bigger ratings draw than the Stanley Cup, the NHL still has a lot of work to do.)

I believe I have made my displeasure about playoff games being on cable channels known before, but I still find it ridiculous.  So since I’m battling some serious writer’s block, here are other things which I am finding ridiculous today.
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Cliff Lee is the devil

(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Just to summarize:

8 innings pitched

122 pitches

2 hits

0 runs

1 walk

13 K

Bee’s line

1.3 glasses of merlot (contemplated drinking straight from the bottle at 7-0)

1/3 bag of Lays’ reduced salt chips

28 swears

8 middle fingers (mostly for Josh Hamilton)

 

Damn you, Cliff Lee. Damn you to hell.

(I hate that you’re so awesome.)

Hit & Run: Fantasy Football Disasters Edition

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Guess who writes for a sports blog and has Reggie Bush on both her fantasy teams, including one that is in such bad shape as far as running backs go that she is resorting to starting Fred Taylor and 3 WRs for week 3?  Yeah.  So.  (Though as someone who dates a Saints fan, I must note there’s a certain amount of relief among the NOLA fanbase that Reggie’s leg is “just” broken and he didn’t reinjure his knee.)

Injuries and fantasy football lineups thus being on my mind, I thought I’d take a quick survey of other developing situations around the league that might impact your fantasy choices this week.

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So THAT happened, which was nice.

OKAY, LOOK. It’s been a weird couple of weeks to be a Phillies fan. And by weird, I pretty much mean unutterably nerve-wracking. First Chase Utley needs surgery on his thumb and then Jimmy Rollins hurts himself and may-or-may-not have showed up in the clubhouse on crutches, so we all think the season is done and then Domonic Brown shows up all ‘Your Major League Pitching, I Laugh at You’ and THEN they go and trade for Roy Oswalt which means a Halladay-Hamels-Oswalt-and-those-other-guys rotation and THEN they go and win a game in hideously ugly extra innings BECAUSE THE BULLPEN SUCKS, even if it means the longest winning streak at Citizen’s Bank Park EVER.

I’m sorry, did you just get whiplash from that last paragraph? TRY LIVING THROUGH IT.

One of these days, baseball might actually kill me. Is the trade deadline over yet?

Five Words.

Dick. Move. Hall. Of. Fame.

Okay, look. I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy into hating the ever-loving hell out of Brett Favre for the monumental screw-job he handed Green Bay fans by first doing the ‘I MAY RETIRE OR I MAY NOT WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW’ dance and then the ‘LOLOLOLOL I AM SIGNING WITH YOUR RIVAL’ swan song. I really, really thought there couldn’t possibly be a bigger dick in organized sports than Brett Favre. I mean, the man singlehandedly held up football in Green Bay for a solid three years, and I’m pretty sure Aaron Rodgers still has Favre voodoo dolls in every room of his house.

That said? I’ve never seen an athlete so tone-deaf as to think that a nationally televised hour-long special to announce his free-agency decision smacked of anything beyond rampant egotism. That was horrifying in and of itself.

But a nationally televised hour-long special to break up with his hometown team in the most public manner possible? That’s an unprecedented level of douchebag.

Congratulations, LeBron James. You’re 2010′s entry into the Dick Move Hall of Fame. Good thing I don’t care about basketball.

Hit and Run: Full of Poop

Yes, the Ladies… have been a bit busy this week. I’m home early for the long weekend so that I can be present while my septic tank gets cleaned out. I can barely watch without stifling a gag, but such is the life of a homeowner in the quasi-sticks. Better than paying property taxes in town, I keep reminding myself.

Brett Favre

Yeah, I'm still not speaking to him.

Let’s kick off H&R in fitting style with this latest crap about Brett Favre. It seems that during a pep talk for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, he stated that if they could make it back to the College World Series, he’d return for one more season in the NFL. Continue reading

Charlie Manuel is a grumpy, grumpy old man

Now I’m a Mets fan (shocker!).  Therefore, it is programmed in to me to not like the Phillies or anyone managing, coaching, running, or associated with the organization. But come on, Charlie – you make it too easy to dislike you! The interwebs are abuzz with accusations of the Phillies stealing signs on Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies. They caught bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer with binoculars, on camera. Not a smart move. And yes, I’m sure it’s annoying to be under the heat lamp and have these accusations firing at you from all directions. But do you know what the lowest thing Charlie Manuel could have possibly done? Turn the blame and attention to someone else. And who might he have singled out?

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NFL: I have to root for WHO now?

Do not try to win me over with those abs, Jason. I'm not that kind of girl.

I hate Jason Taylor.

I am a Jets fan, so hating Jason Taylor is as natural as breathing.  Moreover, Jason Taylor has been a Dolphin since 1997, and I have only been a Jets fan since 2002. The Jets have been through 2 GMs, 3 head coaches, 5 starting QBs, and a whole mess of punters in that time — which means hating Jason Taylor has been one of the few consistent things about my Jets fandom.

So you can see how the past week has been a bit difficult for me.

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Oh, look! Another lesson in how to train your girlfriend-bot!

So on my commute home, I decided to play around on Twitter, where I stumbled across this gem. How to Get Your Girlfriend Into Sports.

Now, leaving aside that the obvious answer to this time-honored problem of being a sports nut partnered with someone who doesn’t enjoy the old athletic display is to just date someone who likes sports. God, men (and women) of the world, if sports are important enough that you have to condition your partner into liking them, FIND SOMEONE WHO ALREADY LIKES SPORTS. Your partner is not a puppy. Don’t train them like one. God.

Let’s address this nonsense point by point, shall we?

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This Just In: Darrelle Revis is Awesome, AP is Clueless

…in other news, kittens are cute and water is wet.  I know.  But (with all apologies to CuteSports), how exactly is Charles Woodson Defensive Player of the year?  By a 2 to 1 margin?

You have seen Darrelle Revis play, right?

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I have to do this eventually, I might as well do it now.

Well.

It was supposed to be the Yankees.

It wasn’t.

I’m going to miss you, you know. I’m going to miss that little sliver of hope that the rest of the team would play as well as they’d need to in order to deserve you, and I’m going to miss having someone to believe in every fifth day (or really, every day), and I’m going to miss everything about the way you affected the team and the city and the fans. Hell, I’m not just ‘going to’, I already do.

I’m not saying the Jays have nothing to play for anymore – just that it’s going to feel that way for a while.

So I’ll see you around, I guess.

I don’t know when I’ll be ready to say goodbye.

15 Yards for Fugliness: A Photographic Survey of Nike’s New Football Uniforms

Over the last few weekends, Nike has been previewing their latest attempt to “improve” athletic apparel on several premiere NCAA Division I (yeah, that’s what I still call it) football programs.  Now, perhaps these uniforms, designed to be ultra light and form fitting, are functionally a worthy advance, but from a sartorial viewpoint, well, my inner Tim Gunn was making this face. A lot.

A brief survey of some of Nike’s designs after the jump.

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Yes, Again: The (Last-Minute) Case For Tim Lincecum

There is a statistically-inclined rant after the jump that I think you all need to hear.

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Fail.

Whatever Rhoden is smoking, he’s welcome to share.

Still, what Major League Baseball needs is a great World Series, a Series for the ages. And with all due respect to those two other potential matchups, it’s a Yankees-Dodgers World Series that could take the game back to its roots at a time when baseball desperately needs to recover a portion of the trust, if not the innocence, that it has lost in the steroid era.

Really.

Huh.

Interesting.

Very.

Look, we’re not naive. We know someone on every team, if not most uber-successful players, at least dabbled in PEDs. Ramirez was dumb enough to get caught, and Rodriguez was dumb enough to think that because MLB promised to destroy the 2004 test results they actually meant it. Ramirez served his time, and Rodriguez got to eat crow in front of the whole nation. It’s over.

But baseball needs to be saved from itself and the whole steroids mess with…a World Series featuring players who featured in two of the biggest steroid-related stories of the last twelve months? That makes the kind of sense that’s not.

You know what would save baseball from itself and the whole steroids debacle? A steroids testing and punishment program with teeth. A great series between teams who have figured out how to play small ball and long ball. Hell, just give me some good baseball.

But this? Laughable example of head-up-your-ass New York homerism at best, whitewashing the serious offenses of the steroid era at best.

The Baseball Boredom Scale: NL Edition

What happened to September baseball this year?

This is the time for tight pennant races, epic collapses (or comebacks depending on your rooting interests), and crucial three game series against your division rivals with a wild card berth at stake.

Instead, it seems like this year’s playoff teams have been more or less solidified since the middle of August, if not longer — and the season doesn’t end until October.  Yes, there are still individual incidents like Jays-Yankees brawls to get excited about, but September is supposed to be about “playoff implications,” and the chance for even mathematically eliminated teams to play spoiler.

So with nothing exciting to examine in the baseball world, let’s attempt to quantify just how boring the divisional races (and wild cards) are right now.  First up, the NL.

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Why playing time is not an argument against voting a pitcher MVP

A hitter plays every day and hits once every nine spots in his team’s lineup.

A pitcher plays every fifth day and faces all nine spots in the other team’s lineup.

For example:

Albert Pujols has had 21 plate appearances in the last five games. For the season, he averages 21.3 PAs per five games.

Tim Lincecum had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.6 PAs against per game.

Joe Mauer has had 20 plate appearances in the last five days. For the season, he averages 22.1 PAs per five games.

Zack Greinke had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.2 PAs against per game.

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Summer Burnout

It’s the dog days of summer and my baseball team is out of contention. Sure, we’re still attending games, but my heart’s just not in it. When certain pitchers are scheduled to start, I find myself not even wanting to turn the game on. I go through the motions and I turn the channel on every night, but my heart’s just not in it.

By this point of the year, we’ve attended the majority of the games in our 20-pack, plus some others, as well as minor league games, and I’m just spent. The baseball season seems to take forever when you’re not gearing up for the end of the season, but winding down.

It’s too early to talk about the postseason stuff that might get me interested again. Roster moves and which free agents will get signed, who will end up in arbitration and what the team will look like next season are all questions that won’t be answered for another few months.

Basically, I’m burned out from 140 games in which my team failed to live up to expectations and I’m stuck somewhere between wanting to cry because my team got swept by the Reds and not being able to muster enough fandom to care.

But it’s not just baseball’s fault…

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So that happened.

One sentence. That’s all it took. Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.

Who cares about Manny Ramirez? Everybody already knows he’s a cheater and a prima donna manchild who will dog it on his own teammates to get his way. But David Ortiz? Big Papi? Say it ain’t so.

Oh, sure, the evidence was there. Anyone who watched him hit in Minnesota and then watched his complete turnaround as a hitter in Boston had to wonder. Was it enough to point to how much he’d drastically altered his swing once starting for Boston? Was it enough to chuckle when he told us that the only drugs he ever took were beans and rice? Was it worth it to ignore just how massive he was in Boston, how he became the ‘Big’ part of ‘Big Papi’? Could we just pretend all that wasn’t there because he seemed like everything that was right about a player- that he was a guy who’d put the whole city on his back with a twinkle in his eye, a gleaming smile and a swing like thunder? Well, yes. Yes, it was. Papi couldn’t be that kind of guy. He’s Papi, for God’s sake.

Well. We were wrong. And whether you believe his story that he had no idea he’d ever tested positive and doesn’t know how he could (even if you buy his cover that he may have bought some energy products from the Dominican in his youth) have tested positive for anything, or whether you so desperately want to believe this couldn’t be true, it is. Sure, nobody knows what he tested positive for yet. Sure, it was six years ago and there wasn’t a policy and accidents happen (just ask JC Romero) and blah blah blah excuses excuses. You know who else tested positive in 2003? Barry Bonds. Alex Rodriguez. Sammy Sosa. Manny Ramirez. Jason Grimsley. Not exactly innocent company.
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The Awesomosity of Roy Halladay, Part Trois

In which I am not any more repetitive than I need to be, when I say,

ROY HALLADAY IS THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL

ROY HALLADAY IS THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL

ROY HALLADAY IS THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL.

9 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 0 BB, 105-78 pitches-strikes.

He’s averaging 3.95 batters faced per inning.

Ricciardi, if you trade him, I will seriously consider getting my passport renewed so I can personally come up to Toronto and kick your ass. (Theoretically.) I mean, it’s just like, have you heard your fanbase, at all? And plus, read this. Like, just read it. You don’t need to go and make good people worried about stuff, do you?

Jerk.

Anyway, in the event of any further anger, y’all should go here and type in “JP Ricciardi” (or the name of whichever GM has wronged you recently) and just keep on clicking “Generate another Rumour” until you’re too busy laughing to bother remembering that your fist may have a date with a pillow on which you’ve taped a crude drawing of their face.

Also, look how well they’ve been doing without Vernon Wells! Looks like he doesn’t feel so Wells, eh? Oh damn I am funny. (/defense mechanism’d)

Good morning. This has turned into a rant. I’m going away now.