Archive for August 2012

Average Thoughts From An Average Sports Fan: 8-16-12 MLB Edition

August 16, 2012

With so much going on in the world of baseball I felt compelled to once again hit the keyboard and dedicate this entire column to “America’s Past Time”.  So without further ado, here we go…

Looks like we have some “Rotten Melk” in San Francisco…

Or I guess you could call it a “Melk Dud”.  No matter what silly headline you could give it as a newspaper editor it all means the same thing.  San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for 50 games for violating their substance abuse policy as he tested positive for the performance enhancing drug Testosterone.

Cabrera has brought much shame on himself and an organization that has already had more than its  share of PED controversy.  At a time when the Giants are fighting for a playoff berth Cabrera completely lets his teammates and the organization down by cheating and getting himself banned for the rest of the season.

The authenticity of everything he’s accomplished last year and this year is now clouded with doubt and cynicism.  This year he was second in the league in batting with an average of .346 and was the All-Star Game MVP.  With free agency on the horizon he no doubt cost himself  millions and millions of dollars in potential earnings.

As a baseball fan I am disappointed that once again another player has been caught cheating the game.  As a Dodgers fan all I have to say is, “Sucks to be you guys.  Go Dodgers!”

Time to celebrate something good…

In the form of Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez who Wednesday pitched the 23rd perfect game in baseball history in a 1-0 defeat of Tampa Bay. Hernandez was dominant striking out 12 Rays batters.

Hernandez is currently one of the games greatest talents and despite having won the Cy Young Award back in 2010 I believe he still flies under the radar to many casual baseball fans because he pitches for a team that has been flat out awful the last several years.  If Hernandez pitched in a major market he would be one of the most recognized players in the game.

Speaking of the Rays…

What is it about this team that makes them a magnet for being no-hit or having a perfect game thrown against them?  This is the second time they’ve had a perfect game thrown against them in three seasons (Oakland starter Dallas Braden tossed one against them in 2010).  Since their inaugural season in 1998 they have been either no-hit or been on the wrong side of a perfect game five times.  That’s the most by any team during that time span.

Let him play!  Let him play!

When I think of Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg all I can think of is the famous scene in the Bad News Bears In Breaking Training where the officials want to rush the Bears and Toros off the Astrodome field because it’s time for the Astros to start the second game of their doubleheader.

There has been talk all year of the Washington organization shutting down Strasburg for the season once he reaches a pitch limit of between 160-180 innings.   All Strasburg has done  is compile a 14-5 record with a 2.91 ERA while striking out 173 in 139 1/3 innings pitched.  He is arguably the main reason why the Nationals have the best record in the National League at 73-45.

If I’m Strasburg and management tries to take me off the field, I’m going Tanner Boyle on them and making them chase me down to get me off.

Quit your whining already…

According to a recent article by Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan some of the Boston Red Sox players went to team ownership and voiced their displeasure with manager Bobby Valentine.

I was not a fan of the Valentine hiring and thought the team made a huge mistake when firing Terry Francona.  Considering what Francona accomplished in bean town I thought he should’ve had a tenure as Red Sox manager that equaled those of Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston with the Dodgers.

As I write this Boston has a record of 57-61 and is 13 games out of first place.  Here’s a novel concept for the Red Sox players…how about focusing your energy into what you have complete control of and that’s performing better on the field and making the most of one of the most talented rosters in all of baseball!  It’s “weak sauce” to place all the blame on the manager for your under achievements on the field.  Just shut up and play already!

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

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From Uncle Luke To Coach Luke

August 9, 2012

Several weeks ago “The Average Joe Show” had it’s biggest guest to date when former 2 Live Crew rapper and free speech advocate Luther Campbell stopped by our show to let us know what he’s currently up to these days in the music world as well as share his thoughts on the Miami sports scene.

During his days with 2 Live Crew, Campbell had taken on many battles.  His biggest battle (which he won) was with the U.S. Government over freedom of speech rights associated with the content on the album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” released back in 1989.  That battle went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While on the show we discussed with Campbell a battle he was currently fighting with the Florida Department of Education to become permanently licensed as a football coach.  In recent years Campbell had been serving his local Florida community as the defensive coordinator for two seasons at Miami Central High before assuming the same role at Miami Northwestern High School.  The last few years Campbell had been able to coach under a temporary license that had been set to expire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Not every county in Florida requires their high school coaches to be licensed but to be a coach in Miami-Dade County where Campbell is from you have to be licensed by the state of Florida’s Education Practices Commission.  Once again Campbell was fighting for his livelihood.

While talking with Campbell you could tell how important the privilege of creating a positive impact on the lives of young men and giving back to the community where he was raised by coaching high school football meant to him.  I could hear the same passion in his voice that I heard once upon a time when he was fighting for free speech rights in the music world over 20 years ago.

A few days ago, Campbell’s latest battle came to an end and once again he stood victorious as Florida’s Education Practices Commission accepted a ruling from an administrative judge to grant Campbell a permanent license.

After reading the articles about his battles and hearing the struggles of his plight first hand I was very happy for “Uncle Luke”.  I knew how much this meant to him and I knew how devastated he would have been had the state of Florida taken coaching away from him.

Believe me, I get why some people are offended by the musical content on “As Nasty As They Wanna Be”.  It’s very adult oriented and deals with a ton of sexual themes.  I firmly believe that just because a musical artist writes about a particular subject matter that many may find offensive doesn’t mean they necessarily believe in the subject themselves or define who they are as people.

Campbell’s controversial music was made more than 20 years ago.  Those that were against his granting of a permanent license were doing so because of what happened in his musical career.  He is now in his early 50’s is and not the same person he was in his late 20’s.

Life happens and the way we see the world is forever evolving.   A person who has never been in prison should not have their actions as a young person forever held against them as they become older and wiser in the journey of life.

Because of his actions as a young man, Campbell is in a position to have a positive impact on a new generation of young men who desperately need it.   Most of the kids Campbell coaches are from rough neighborhoods and broken homes and are in desperate need of a positive role model.  Campbell provides that for them.  He is pointing them on a path to educational prosperity, which will enable them to positively impact their communities later on in life.

For Campbell, it isn’t about the money.  Based on the level of success he achieved in the music industry, I’m guessing he reached a level of financial prosperity long ago.  In my humble opinion what Campbell is doing is of the greatest good.  He wants to help people, is in a position to do so and asks for nothing in return.

Say what you want about Campbell’s musical past but society needs more people like him.  Not less.  Congratulations to the state of Florida for recognizing that.  However the biggest applause I have for the state of Florida is for recognizing Campbell for the person he currently is and not the artist he once was.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

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