Mid-week Inspiration Break

I was diagnosed this week with a sinus infection and tonsilitis.   I missed three days of work, couldn’t sleep for two days because my throat hurt so bad, and basically felt so terrible it felt like I’d never be healthy again.  Then, while staring blankly at some random digital channel yesterday, I was introduced to someone who put all of my recent woes into perspective.

Meet Seun Adebiyi.

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Ladies and stat nerds unite: in celebration of F-Gut!

Stat-nerds have been falling all over themselves in adoration of Franklin Gutierrez’s astounding CF defense, which is so stunningly awesome that the Mariners are hanging on to him for four more years. But don’t leave the F-Gut lovin’ to the statheads* – he’s someone the Ladies… can appreciate as well. Behold:

He is the WORLD. It says so right on his jersey.

*I, much like Crane, proudly belong to that set of people. Give me FanGraphs or give me death!

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Rest in peace, Chris

I’m not going to pretend I know much about Chris Henry. I know enough that he spent his career in Cincinnati, that he played for West Virginia, that his 2009 season was cut short by a thigh injury, and that he was working hard to turn his life around. You already know that.

But when I look beyond the drama, the career stats and the lost potential as a player and a person, I know enough to say that this is simply heartbreaking. Children have lost a father. A family has lost a son. A team has lost a valued colleague.

Our thoughts are with Chris’s family and teammates.

Ladies… Hero: Brendan Burke

This article is a long one.

It’s a long one, and it’s an important one, and it’s the only article from a major media outlet that has ever made me cry.

By coming out, Brendan Burke is standing up and showing the entire LGBTQA sports community a level of courage that very few other athletes have ever shown. And by accepting him and supporting him and loving him, his father is sending the message that there’s nothing to be afraid of with gay athletes. That having a gay man in the clubhouse is no worse than having a black man there or a Jewish man there, which is to say, there’s nothing wrong with it at all.

And you know, maybe as a queer girl and as a Maple Leafs fan, I’m biased. But unlike homophobia, my bias won’t hurt anybody.

So congratulations to Brendan Burke, my hero of the year.

Brendan and his father Brian

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.

Trash Talking With Twitter

It’s no secret that athletes love Twitter. And fans love that so many athletes are a part of Twitter. I’m sure for many people Ochocinco’s Twitter is a daily source of entertainment. Athletes use Twitter for anything and everything; most of the time it is all in good fun. But it seems that some are using their Twitter account to rant and do a little trash talk. Now, I’m not uptight and have no problem with a little bit of trash talk before a game. However, I do have a problem when it is so incredibly corny or just straight up wrong. I think that if any athlete is going to use their Twitter to talk a little smack about their opponent, they should really do a better job than these people.

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Know your girls and join the fight!

PhotobucketI know it’s off topic, but can we talk about the girls for a second?

According the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), one in nine Canadian women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. I am quite certain the American statistics are not that far off. There’s 10 of us Ladies… and so many more of you. I don’t know about you but I don’t like those odds at all.

October is generally known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But for many individuals, the awareness isn’t limited to a month – it’s a 365-days-a-year affair, particularly for those who fight the disease, who have survived, and who are advocating and raising funds for better research, education and resources. Continue reading

Thank you, Ted Kennedy, from the Ladies of Ladies…

We here at Ladies…don’t like getting into politics. The love of sports is supposed to bring people together. Politics, it seems, always drives people apart. We’re stepping away from that policy today for one reason and for one reason only. You see, we here at Ladies…are, well, ladies. We’re ladies who grew up after Title IX passed, and we have, in no small part, Sen. Ted Kennedy to thank for that.

Whether we competed as high school athletes or not (I ran track until the track season started running headlong into the school musical season, and who can resist greasepaint and the roar of the crowd?), it doesn’t matter. We like sports, and we like watching sports, and like knowing that women can excel at sports. Without Title IX, could we have watched Brandi Chastain tear off her shirt after the women’s World Cup championship in ecstatic glee? Without Title IX, could we have watched Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh dominate in two straight Olympic Games? Without Title IX, would we be able to see Venus and Serena mop up the court, match after match? Maybe. Probably not.

Frankly, it’s interesting that most people think of Title IX in terms only of athletics. (Understandably, since most of the challenges under the law have come in the field of athletics.) That’s not all Title IX did, though. In fact, the original statute never even mentioned athletics. It reads “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” It has been used to ensure equal access to education, and to prevent discrimination against either sex in the classroom. It applies to every aspect of academic life, from your college dorm to your ability to get care at the student health clinic. And ‘you’ means all of you, not just us ladies.

So thank you, Ted Kennedy. We may or may not have agreed with your stances on the issues. We may have voted for you, or we may have campaigned against you. But all of us grew up under Title IX, and for that, as ladies, we thank you.

To plunk or not to plunk – baseball’s “unwritten rules”

First it was the locker rooom charging anger of Prince Fielder, now it’s Ozzie Guillen threatening retaliation.

Plunking batters has become all the rage lately and it’s led to a lot of comments dismissing the process as “just baseball.” But is it?

I’ve had this conversation a few times this season, since the Brewers are second in the NL, fourth in MLB in hit batsmen, with 47. (The Dodgers are second to last, having been hit 23 times, so maybe that’s why they’re so angry about each one.)

What do we think about these “unwritten rules?” Do you agree with them? Are they part of the game?

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Ladies… Linkups: It IS Friday, right?

Yeah, we miss hockey. So much that we’re reading debates like this: does advertising belong on unis? [Four Habs Fans]

Who the Farnsworth would go a year without sports?! This guy. [Waittillnextyear.com]

Props to Miss Minda for alerting me to the kitty cat at Kaufmann. Did you not see it yet? Mrow! [MLB]

Doc Holliday’s thoughts on the ever problematic fifth spot in the Yankees’ rotation. Amen, dude. [3:10 To Joba]

Finally, do yourself a favour this weekend and rent “Pretty In Pink”, or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, or gosh, the brilliant “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. Kevin Smith said it best on Twitter Thursday when he called John Hughes “the man who spoke for geeks way before anyone else did”.

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Remember, in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The Ladies… play MLB GM: Call up Lenny DiNardo?

If I had a nickel for every time I wanted to do Royals General Manager Dayton Moore’s job, I’d have…a shitload of nickels. I’d love to think GMDM totally reads all the Royals blogs out there, and considers our suggestions. That’s proooobably not the case at all, but just in case: Hey GMDM, call up Lenny DiNardo! He could help your bullpen! And he’s a lefty!

Oh, and…he looks like this:

We have the Omaha World Herald to thank for this work of art.

We have the Omaha World Herald to thank for this work of art.

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Ladies… Linkups: Gettin’ You Through the Weekend

I don’t know about you, but the MLB trade deadline has exhausted me. There were a lot of trades this year, so my head’s kinda spinning.  My beloved Orioles only managed one little trade with the Dodgers for Mr. Flat & Breezy, so I’m not too upset. Thank God I’m not a Pirates fan. Yikes! You can check out everything that went down here

Enough about the trade deadline, let’s see what else is happening around the sports world. If you have some time to waste, take a trip with me after the jump for some time-wasting goodness!

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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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Hockey Hotties on the Rise

NHL.com has inspired me! After doing Top 10 features on the Finns, Russians and Swedes (oh my!), I thought the Ladies… could get in on the Top 10 action.  While my choices are less stats based and more looks based, I still think the following hotties are names to remember for next season.

So without further ado, here are 10 hotties on the rise.

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The Complete Statistical List Of Pitchers More Deserving Of An All-Star Selection Than Tim Wakefield

I am going to take so much flak for this, and you know what? If I cared, then I wouldn’t be writing this post. Good morning. I think I’m going to go take it out on the street while the rain still falls.

Listed with RAR and FIP are all AL pitchers who 1) didn’t make the All-Star team, 2) have BABIPs over .250, and 3) have a greater RAR than Tim Wakefield.

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Yippee! Adam Frey is cancer-free!

Adam Frey, the Cornell wrestler who we told you about, shared this good news on his blog today:

I can proudly say that I beat cancer.  It is undetectable and my tumor marker is zero.  It feels great to sit back and say this: My name is Adam Frey, I am 22 years old.  I am a cancer survivor.

Obviously, all the Ladies… are quite happy for Adam, and we can’t wait to see him out on the mat again.

DON’T LEAVE ME!

Last night was a sad night in basketball and today is my mourning/hangover period. Stupid San Antonio. Stupid defending champs. Stupid Manu Ginobili! (I irrationally dislike him. It’s mostly the name I think.) Now it’s time to face reality. He’s gone. I can’t believe he’s gone. How will I watch the rest of the NBA season without his smile? His speed? His almighty awesomeness? Chris Paul, I mourn the loss of thee on my television set.

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Goodnight Lou*

It’s that time of year again.

When I avoid sports news for weeks because it’s just too painful, lose a whole section (309) and row (L) of comrades until the fall, get my fix from a crummy little arena where my brother and cousins like to play, and– gasp– have to start paying attention to baseball.

For me, and the rest of these teams and their fans, hockey season is over.

So join me in lamenting and saying goodbye to four fine teams. Because there was nothing worse than seeing Henrik Lundqvist cry.

Come back, Jaromir!

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Wrestling the Bout of His Life

Adam Frey lived the normal life of a college wrestler. He worked out like a madman, worried about making weight, set a goal to win a national championship, and when that didn’t happen, he cheered on his teammate who did. Of course, life had a different plan for Adam, the 141 lb. wrestler for Cornell University. A few days after wrestling at the NCAA Championships, Adam survived a terrible car accident just to find out that he had cancer.

Too cute to be cancer-iffic!

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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night

 

In Memorium…

We’d like to take a few moments today to honor those teams in the NHL playoffs which have left us already this year. As a Minnesota Wild fan, I’m going through the stages of grieving that include both sadness and anger, among other, more irrational emotions. I’m wishing I had seen more of (make that any of) Marian Gaborik’s goal-winning celebration smiles during the last six games. 

Wild Celebration

But I want to remember the good times, the great plays, the hot guys – which got me thinking that others out there are doing the same for the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, and the Anaheim Ducks. Join me for the montage after the jump… Continue reading

NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Auctions – UPDATE

Yesterday I posted about the NFL’s lack of follow-through in their Breast Cancer Awareness auctions. The big sites like Deadspin, SportsByBrooks, Dan Shanoff, Larry Brown Sports, and MJD’s The Debriefing over at the Fanhouse picked up on the story and helped spread the word that maybe the League should do more than just throw pink on coaches and fulfill their promise to do some fund raising.

Not that we have anything to do with it, but overnight NFL Auctions has placed a few more items up for bid. (Buried on page three, but they are there.)

Take the time to check out and hopefully bid on towels, hats, and mini-helmets from Mike Holgrem, Marcus Trufant, Deion Branch, Julian Peterson, Lofa Tatupu, Patrick Kearney, and Matt Hasselbeck.

Would have been nice to have this all up when the pink ribbon campaign was up, but late is better than never. We’ll keep updating you as more items – hopefully – go up.

1 in 8 Ladies Will Develop Breast Cancer in Her Lifetime – UPDATE

The NFL heavily promoted their Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, but what did it add up to other than coaches and officials wearing pink ribbons?

One of their highly touted initiatives was the use of the special pink towels by the players in games on October 7. From the press release, Pink Gatorade Towels: Players will use special-edition pink Gatorade towels on the sidelines during the games. Players will autograph these towels and other pink merchandise, which will be put up for bid on NFL Auction, with proceeds going to breast cancer organizations.”

And this was the picture on NFL Auctions all month -

But where were the items? All month I waited to see what went up. You know what was auctioned off? Two towels. Two. A Peyton Manning signed towel and a Vince Young signed towel.

Two. Towels.

Now, I don’t want to accuse the League of window dressing and lip service, but in researching exactly what each team was doing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (The word “awareness” always infuriates me, who is not “aware” by now?) at least a dozen or so teams mentioned this auction. So what happened? Where are the rest of the items? Isn’t fundraising just as important – if not more so – than making sure all the refs are wearing pink wristbands? I took that screenshot on Monday and yesterday the pink ribbon was taken down. So was it really all a bunch of hype for very little?

UPDATE: Overnight NFL Auctions finally put more items up for bid.  Check out our post here for a full listing.  Thanks to SportsbyBrooks, Deadspin, Dan Shanoff, and MJD at the Fanhouse for helping spread the word yesterday. 

Each team also participated to varying levels with a few glaring omissions. (We know Brady and Belichick are all about the boobies, so the Pats not even doing anything with their cheerleaders or with the ZTA sorority this season is shocking.) Let’s look at the complete rundown.

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Requiem For A Catcher

We are gathered here today to pay respects to a fallen traded Cubbie. A guy who knew how to catch a ball (most of the time), and call a game (most of the time) and throw a punch (most of the time). It didn’t matter if the guy that needed punching was in White Sox black or Cub blue, his fists did not discriminate. A guy who went from being the face of the Cubs organization in cheesy McDonald’s commercials, to being sidelined in the dugout, all in the space of one month. We’re also here to honor his hot bod- all 6’3″, 210 pounds of it, including his great ass. Let’s not forget that lovely Georgia drawl, or those beautiful blue eyes. We certainly won’t forget that Irish temperament.

Michael Patrick Barrett, or “Mikey B” to those of us who crushed on him in the Friendly Confines, we will miss you dearly here in Chicago. At least we know, in our sorrow, that you will soon be reunited on the other side with your maker Greg Maddux (just please don’t let this trade turn out like the career-killing Todd Walker trade to the Pads).

In honor of Mikey B’s passing to the Pads, I’ve set up a picture memorial for him after the jump. Please feel free to leave your own respects in the comment book.

EDIT: He’s already been assimilated!

 

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