Archive for the ‘Alex Rodriguez’ Tag

Red Speedo: Class Athletics

Studio Theater in Washington, DC is showing, Red Speedo, a play that sparked thoughts of David Mamet’s best works. Like Mamet, the play looks at people from the lower rungs of American society who are trying to reach the American Dream. They have limited talents and few assets and need to maximize their chances at success in the one shot that they have.

The title character has that shot in the swimming pool. He is attempting to qualify as an Olympic swimmer and he knows the limits of his talents. He has chosen to take a path of performance enhancing drugs that raises questions about his morals and his talents. What will his brother, who has been his sponsor, and representative think about his choices and what will he do? More significantly, he has a coach who is struggling to keep the swim club financially afloat. Will he discover this indiscretion? The lead’s love interest also has an intriguing back history and perspective to be taken into account as well.

We’ve had many of these athletes who has crossed this line, beginning with the Oakland A’s Bash Brothers to San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds. Most notably were cultural icons, like cyclist and philanthropist Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. All deny the activity, worse they fight their accusers to the point of ruining them financially and their reputations, all while knowing that they did take the drugs.

What’s more compelling about the job that playwright Lucas Hnath and director Lila Neugebauer have done is that they have shown how the thinking of the athlete works to justify the taking of the drugs. They have shown how others surrounding the athlete come to terms with tacitly and knowingly accepting this behavior.

The set was sharp, you could smell chlorine when you walked up the staircase. The performances by Frank Boyd, Harry Winter, and Laura C. Harris were strong. Of particularly note was Thomas Jay Ryan, as the older brother.

What made this play powerful was the inclusion of today’s class system in the U.S. Though warped, the older brother’s disquisition on the need to be rich in the US was worth the price of admission.

Bummed Yankee Fan

I watched and felt the disappointment. But I’m already sick of all the tired columnists and reporters in the NY Daily News, NY Post, and ESPN who can only see Yankee failure and not Detroit’s success.

Love to see one of the reporters hit Benoit’s nasty sinker that he threw to ARod to strike him out in the seventh. The best ARod could have done was foul it off his foot. Maybe he could have done that but this year he didn’t. That doesn’t make him the main reason the yankees lost.

At least there are a few columnists who can see more clearly.

“A lot of people at Yankee Stadium were enraged at A-Rod … those people are idiots”

Oct 7, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Alex RodriguezReuters

We had a nice little burst of Yankees rage this morning, with writers who blamed everyone (A-Rod) for everything they could think of, never once acknowledging that (a) the Yankees, on the whole, out-pitched and out-hit the Tigers in the series; but (b) sometimes the ball just bounces the wrong way for you and anything can happen in a five game series.

Larry Koestler of The Yankee Analysts, however, supplies us with a healthy dose of sanity this morning, putting the Tigers victory over the Yankees in reasonable perspective. He notes that A-Rod was likely still feeling the effects of his nagging injuries, and notes that the numbers bear that out.  He notes that A-Rod wasn’t the only hitter who stunk up the joint. He also takes the seemingly crazy position that, hey, the Tigers actually won this series, it wasn’t simply a matter of the Yankees losing it.  Credit Max Scherzer and the Tigers’ pen for (mostly) limiting the damage and preventing those big Yankees innings we all assumed would happen last night.

This may be less satisfying for all of you than blaming A-Rod.  It does, however, have the added benefit of being true.

NBA: Losing Big Money

Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonis announced before his group made their bid to buy the Washington Wizards that the National Hockey League is in better financial shape than the National Basketball Association. I thought it was partly a negotiating ploy but also knew that the NBA was negotiating a new agreement with the players union in 2011.

Parade Magazine ran a story on the $400 million that owners in the NBA lost this year. Many tried ploys like inviting groups to perform at halftime and charging them and their supporters full price for the tickets in order to fill up empty arenas for a game.

Here’s the article link: Below are the six suggested improvements.

1. CHANGE THE FOUL-OUT RULES.
“Instead of ejecting a player after six foul,” says agent Steve Mountain, who represents Orlando’s Jameer Nelson, “assess a technical for fouls six and seven, and eject after eight. This would keep the best players in the game longer.”

Really, how often do the best stars foul out of games and usually not until the very end of the game. Seems like a lame fix that causes a loss in strategy.
2. INCREASE SCORING.
“Shorten the 24-second shot clock to 20 seconds to make for more possessions,” Falk says. “Or create a four-point play. People thought the three-point shot would destroy the game, but it added to it instead.”
Many people I know think the League lacks defensive effort from players as is. They like the NCAA games which have more intensity and less scoring.


3. RAISE THE AGE LIMIT.

“You should have to be out of high school for three years to play in the NBA,” Falk says. Playing college hoops would allow athletes to develop a fan base that they could carry with them into the pros.
Don’t buy this argument.
4. ENCOURAGE QUIRK.
“There’s a reason why Charles Barkley, who is retired, is still getting endorsements,” says Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim, who has covered the NBA for 13 years, “and, say, Tim Duncan and Carmelo Anthony aren’t. Today, the players with personality often have the color bleached out of them.” Blogger Bethlehem Shoals of FanHouse.com advises, “They should Twitter all the time. It could be a lifeline to these guys’ personalities.”

The NBA chose to market by personalities since the Magic Johnson Larry Bird era so they lost a lot of fan support for particular teams. Now they need to market the game also solely by personality. However, they need more personalities such as Le Bron James and less of the Gilbert Arenas (post gun scene) that do not have the same ability to play to mainstream US and international markets.
Many have told me that they do not like Kobe Bryant because he comes across as arrogant. This is certainly a problem that other sports have as well, such as the dislike of ARod by many. However, ARod’s personality can be encompassed by the larger Yankee team and Yankee fans will continue to support the team even with some individual players on it that they do not like. Can the same be said for NBA fans?
5. CHANGE THE TRADE RULES.
“Eliminate or significantly reduce rules that require salaries of traded players to match up,” Mountain says.

6. SHORTEN THE SEASON.
The NBA’s season comprises 82 games. Reducing the number of contests could make each one matter much more to players and fans alike. As Falk explains, “In pro football, there are only 16 games, so every game is critical.”

Would like to see this happen in Hockey and Baseball too but what are the odds, particularly if team owners are already losing money.

My Suggestions:

1. Reduce Ticket Prices

Who can afford the face value of tickets to a professional basketball game? The article talks about people who have lost their jobs, geez I still have my job and I don’t want to pay $150 for a mid-level ticket.

Reducing the cost will bring in more people and that can help build back their interest in both the sport and the team.

2. Change the Playoff TV Times:

Start the playoff games at hours when most people can stay up to watch the entire game. Cut down on the introductory talk (not a half hour) and limit the commercials so the games do not go three hours.

Changes coming in the next contract are going to make the game quite different. I imagine that many of the guarantee contracts are going to be bargained away and that will lead to more inspiration out of players and probably more despotic moves by owners.

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Movie Stars and Athletes

An intriguing article on Alex Rodriguez and his latest tribulations.

a_rod

The writer suggests ARod needs to get a handle on who he is and be that. Easier said then done.

He’s right that movie stars can’t be seen as cheaters in the way that athletes can.

They can have affairs and leave one woman for another (as long as their in the same star orbit) and face little condemnation whereas everyone jumped on ARod for leaving the wife.

They can jump on couches and get arrested for driving while intoxicated (as long as they don’t issue racist/anti-semetic remarks while gonig to the police station).

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Yankees Torre Book Reviews

So, one group wants to say the nice parts of the book aren’t being discussed yet.

Another says, the analysis is insufficient to explain why the team wins the world series four times from1996-2000 and no times afterward

The Yankees had great teamplayers during the 1996-2000 era; up to 2003 at least. None of these guys, even Jeter can combine the defense, hitting for average, and hitting for power that ARod does, which is partly why he carries on like a superstar.  However, he does appear to be overly concerned with status and stature.

Very good defense: $5 million a year; high average: $10 million a year; hitting for power: $13 million a year; being comfortable in your own skin: priceless.

Money or Attention

The reactions to Torre’s Yankee tell all book are as swift and severe as one might expect.

Some see the book as diminishing the Dodger manager’s reputation.

Of course, those close to ARod are denouncing the book and the stories about their man as part of a vain effort to retain some of the spotlight.

I can not see the logic of the last item, because Torre gets plenty of press out in the LA media and the baseball world.

Did he really just want to set a few things straight like pro-Torre people have argued.

Seems most likely that the money had a greater motivation than either of these other rationales.

Yankee Dramas

Is there any reason now to read Torre’s book. Here is one juicy set of slices from Torre’s tell all on his Yankee years.

The only thing that is not here is the answer to what did ARod get out of being with Madonna?

Given what this says about his fascination with being liked and understanding why Derek Jeter is so well liked, could it be that he wanted to date like Jeter?

Torre Tees Off

Yankee fans had to expect this sometime soon. The organization dissed Torre at the end of the 2007 season. Despite being known as a gentleman, why would not Torre come out with a book that damns members of the Yankee organization.

The big surprise is the bashing of GM Brian Cashman.

The big news is the nickname that teammates had for Alex Rod. (A-Fraud)

Alex goes to therapy and it sounds like he is doing the right thing for himself after hearing about his jealousy over Derek Jeter.

Yankees Holiday Gifts

The Holidays are for giving. So three of Major League Baseball’s free agents learned.

The Yankees just signed Mark Teixeria for $180 million over eight years.

This after getting pitchers AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia for $82.5 million for five and $ 161 for seven.

Along with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, NY owns the four largest player contracts in the sport.

The Teixeria move surprised many analysts although several regular columnists knew that the Yankees needed hitting and the slugging first baseman offered them their best chance.

As a fan I am thrilled because the team needed a big bat. But there is still something to be said for raising great players through the farm system instead of throwing wads of cash around –says more for your baseball acumen.

Most importantly, I hope this keeps the Yankees from giving a contract to Manny Ramirez, who made his name mud with most fans by forcing his way out of Boston through giving limited effort on the field and in the dugout.

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