Around the Arena (Championship Game ... Winner: ApolloSmieGirl)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by DarthIntegral, Apr 23, 2008.

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  1. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    <img src="http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0715/mlb_g_hamilton_412.jpg">

    The Legend of Josh Hamilton continues to grow by leaps and bounds. From #1 pick, to drug rehab, to story of the year, to stealing the show at the Home Run Derby, some are calling Josh Hamilton the "man to save baseball in the post-steroids era".

    What do you think? Hamilton going to "save baseball"? How far can this Disney story go? Any other thoughts on the Hamilton saga?


    (I hope the link above works ... it's labeled FREE Insider, but I'm an Insider anyways, so I don't know if it actually works, or if it is just free for a short time or what)
  2. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    He can save baseball in the same way that any great player can. Sports have to have heroes at all times. They are a necessity because cruel realities never stop their attack on the dreamlike world of athletics. Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Williams, Mays, Koufax, Bench, Seaver, Schmidt, Ripken, Griffey, Ortiz, Pujols. Those are names that capture the public's imagination and keep the magic of baseball, that wondrous awe that only greatness can evoke, alive. There's always something ready to destroy the game and leave it empty, be it the Black Sox Scandal, Ray Chapman's beanball, race, free agency, or steroids, but those legendary figures help the sport survive by making the game worth keeping around. Hamilton can be a part of that tradition, as can anyone with the talent and the drive.

    The story can go as far as Hamilton's bat will take him, which, based on Monday's performance, is a hell of a long way. Excluding either a relapse or an injury, what can hold him back? He could quite conceivably win MVPs and reel in megacontracts. Admittedly, I'd like to see fewer strikeouts and more walks, but the guy's got the talent for superstardom.

    I will say this, though. Even if he goes on and hits 500 home runs and wins 3 MVP awards, I'll still lump him in the same category as another ballplayer with those numbers: Mickey Mantle. That doesn't sound like a bad thing, but any appreciation of Mantle's greatness must be tempered by a disappointment in the potential that he did not fulfill due to his knees and his alcoholism. My view of Hamilton could grow quite favorable, especially if he becomes that great figure who helps keep the magic of baseball alive through Ruthian feats, but it always include the idea that he could have achieved more. Perhaps I'm being unforgiving, but I have yet to overcome that idea.
  3. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    Hey, good for him, winning the Home Run Derby. That's pret...oh. Yeah, that was someone else. But, hey, he's leading the league in home runs, ri...oh. Wait, not that either. Surely he must be in the running for some awar...no?

    Give me a break. So, because the guy was addicted to drugs, but is now a good player, he's going to save baseball? This guy is not Ruth. He's not Robinson. He's not changing baseball or America. He's just a showoff that hit 28 home runs in the first round. A nice story for the media to attach itself to for All-Star weekend. Awesome. He's saving his career, not baseball. Getting his 15 minutes.

    No, yeah, he's a nice role model. You can overcome something like a drug addiction and come back. That's inspirational to a lot of people who are in that situation. But saving Baseball? Come on. This is nothing but a good media piece. Something for the heads to talk about for a little bit. They, and everyone else who is not a Texas fan, will stop talking about Hamilton in a few months, or even weeks. Unless he happens to be a super-star. He seems to be doing well, and that's great for Texas, but I think I'll save the term "saving baseball" for someone who is actually breaking the game open, and raising it to a new level.


    It's sad to me that just because someone has screwed up, but then overcome it they are a hero. What about the guys that never screwed up?



  4. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I'm with you to a certain extent on that last point, EF, though I'll have to dispute your dismissal of the importance of the "good media piece". Where are sports without the radio, the newspaper, and the television? It's good stories that help build the game up, and every single one helps, especially in an age where the bad is all too well covered. It would be better if Hamilton was attracting attention exclusively because of baseball (if only for his own health), but isn't this good for the game, too? So much off-the-field junk is going on: Clemens' name in the Mitchell Report, Bonds' unemployment, A-Rod's divorce. Having a story where someone overcomes their past and fixes their life provides a needed counterbalance. I say, "Yes, he can save baseball by being the best he can be." Any great player can, and when coupled with the ability to fill the media's "off-the-field" quota, you've got yourself something particularly special.
  5. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    Well, to be honest I'm not fully behind everything I said, but I picked a side and went with it. Shh, don't tell Inty.



    And my point is that he's not a superstar player. He's good, sure, but he's not changing the game. Like you said, people don't walk him just because he's at the plate. His home runs this season are nice, but not overwhelming. The Home Run Derby is a sideshow, and he gave 'em a nice show. So, yeah, job well done there. But he didn't even win, and I think it's a bit unfair to the winner, who was smart and paced himself, that this other guy is getting all the attention. These are not hard pitches to hit home runs on, but you have to pace yourself. I'll just save the 'saving baseball' line for now. A nice storyline though, I agree with that.
  6. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I personally prefer the folks that hit a bunch in the first round and get too tired. More entertaining that way.

    I'd actually argue that he is already a superstar, or at least will be one shortly. SI.com's John Heyman even named Hamilton his first-half AL MVP. He leads the majors in RBIs and is hitting over .300, and he's on-pace for about 35 home runs and over 150 RBIs. That's excellent, and while his story is certainly helping his visibility, he's putting up the numbers to backup his claim on the spotlight.
  7. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    He added more of another notch to his name, rather than changing baseball. It's a great story, I'm giddy over having him as a player on my home team, but let's be honest, even if he does end up a superstar, more than likely it probably won't be for the Rangers. Our team is like a AAAA farming system for every other team in MLB.

    Still, it's a good story, and it's certainly been refreshing to have another story that cuts down talk about, Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and the rest of the scandals that have gone on the last few seasons.

    It's nice to actually see a guy who's gone through the fire, and redeemed himself and shown what he can do.

    I also think that the fact that he's completely open about his addiction makes him even more of an enduring story.

    Hear that Barry? Roger? Rafael? Mark? Sammy? etc, etc. If you face up to what you know you've done, and what everyone knowns you've done you may have actually been forgiven for being human and screwing up. Just like Andy Pettitte, Josh Hamilton, and Jason Giambi have.

    The crowds at games have increased, it's not a dead game, and if a few people took credit for their negative actions they might still be playing right now.
  8. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Good info from Onoto ... (+2)
    Biting cynicism from EF ... but good points all around (+3)
    And a nice touch from ASG, especially the forgiveness part (+2)

    Scoreboard


    EmpireForever: 25
    Onoto: 28
    ApolloSmileGirl: 27

    I'd ask for last words, EF, but ... well, too late.

    Showdown is next. Two enter. One gets VIPed, the other gets a game ban ...
  9. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    The British open is underway, and two surprising faces crept up to the top of the leaderboard.

    Greg Norman and Rocco Mediate. Both most famous for the majors they didn't win.

    Which of these two do you think is more likely to be in the mix come Sunday?

    Let's go to Onoto first ...
  10. darth_gersh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2005
    star 6

    Yes I know that kind of feeling. The Brewers were that for the last 25 years.
  11. Luigi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2006
    star 3
    Last words:


    NASCAR?!
  12. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I just got back from my birthday dinner and I'm too tired now, so I'll respond tomorrow morning, if that's all right.
  13. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    Rocco seems to be in a better position. Unlike Norman, Mediate has actually played through whole PGA events this year, and he's had reasonable success over his last four tournaments, with 2 top-10 finishes and finishing under par each week. Mediate's greatest strength is his excellent bunker play, and he is respected on the putting green. A good short game and putting stroke are requisite to any major championship hopes, but especially at the British.

    Norman was renowned as a long hitter, not as a putter (even the synopsis of his own book, The Way of the Shark, describes his putting as "wobble-prone"). Putting is something golfers lose with age, as the muscles involved are very fine and such delicate motor control becomes more difficult with age, and as Norman is 53, I don't trust him to have continued success on the greens any more than I would trust Grady Little to pull a tiring pitcher. There's just no reason to.

    The British Open has always been about three things: accuracy (not length) off the tee, good bunker saves, and crisp putting. Mediate fulfills those requirements better than Norman, and as he's been playing very good golf over the past month or so, I have to give Rocco the nod.
  14. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I'll give it to Norman, as he does have a better reputation as long driver, his experience excuses him to extent, for his putting. He's already taken the lead, and he has plenty of top ten finishes in his career. There's no reason to think he doesn't have the advantage. To be honest, I don't think most people even realized he was still playing professionally. He'll be a great comeback story when he takes this tournament.
  15. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    smh@the delay in these responses when the tournament is already nearly over. :p
  16. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Indeed, Marcus. But, really, I like the argument with more meat and more facts to back it up. So, point goes to Onoto.

    [image=http://www.tvthrong.ca/images/dwts/jason-taylor-edyta-sliwinska.jpg]

    Jason Taylor is dancing his way over to the Washington Redskins, in exchange for a 2nd rounder in the upcoming draft and a 6th rounder in the draft after that.

    Who got the best of this deal, ASG?
  17. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    lol, meat.

    Anyways, Jason Taylor got the best deal out of this, as did the Redskins who severely needed a player for his position, because the other players covering it are klutzes and got injured in training camp. Looking beyond Taylor's age, he's probably close to, if not downright, in the best shape of his career. He'll add a lot to the Redskins defense, and might even get another probowler opportunity.

    I'd say Miami was stupid to let him get away, but they're obviously rebuilding, considering the unspoken tension between him and Parcels, both parties are probably better off for this trade. Washington in the present, and Miami in the future(as long as what they got for Taylor works out).
  18. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    It's a decent deal for both sides. The Redskins upgrade their 16th-ranked Passing Defense, which should give them a much better shot at success, considering they had the 4th-best Rushing Defense last season. There's a risk that he'll retire after only one season, which would sharply cut into the value of the trade if they don't make a run at the Super Bowl this year, and that's part of the reason why I'm not going with Washington. The Dolphins got the best of the deal, I think, as they cleared the two remaining years of $45m contract, gained some decent draft picks, and avoided a PR nightmare.

    Washington is going to assume the responsibility for his entire salary, which will cut Washington's free agent and trade options, a another reason I'm choosing Miami as the deal-winner. Miami wouldn't be resigning him in two years, as the money would be pretty big and his age would be comparable in size, so they get value for him now and open up some space with which to handle other needs. Another benefit is that they lose a reasonably popular player at the most convenient time from a PR standpoint. He was in a little bit of hot water for skipping various team workouts to do Dancing with the Stars, and Parcells has not lost his "The Cool Coach Who Is Going To Make Everything Better" edge, which means that most folks will trust his personnel decisions. Expect minimal backlash. I cannot overstate how important that is to a sports franchise,a nd how much that will influence the timing of an organization's decisions.

    Those second and sixth round draft picks could be very useful. The 2006 second-round, for instance, has produced as many Pro Bowlers as its first round. (Funnily enough, the sixth round is the only other round to produce even a single Pro Bowler: Indianapolis' Antoine Bethea.) There are good players to be had at every stage of the draft, and the Dolphins will have two more opportunities to find quality players at a relatively cheap price. I trust Parcells and anyone who has to worry about him getting cranky to make some smart choices and take advantage of the cap space and the draft picks.
  19. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Jason Taylor got exactly what he wanted out of the deal, so I'd say he's the biggest winner. Point to ASG.

    Which means one final question for all the marbles ...

    And, the Seatle Supersonics, stolen from Seattle and placed in Oklahoma City, will be called the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to local reports.

    That name okay with you, Onoto?
  20. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I've lived in OKC and still have friends there, and the general consensus is that the team can call itself the Poodles so long as it plays in the Ford Center. Still, I rather like the name Thunder, and I think most fans will think it perfectly fine.

    Oklahoma has unbelievable weather. While it's most famous for its tornadoes, its thunderstorms are terrifyingly beautiful. It works perfectly from an "area-related name" standpoint, as the storms are common and ferocious. It also will allow good color options: gold, blue, black, white, silver, red, orange...you name it, it would fit in fine. Thunder is also fun to say. My first thought was Thor, Norse God of...the Oklahoma City Thunder! That's got to count for something.

    Here are some links to some fantastic pictures of Oklahoma thunderstorms. They're scary as hell, but they can be breathtaking.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmp1993/2542526932/in/pool-oklahomathunderstorms

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmp1993/2672109083/in/pool-oklahomathunderstorms

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/unripegreenbanana/2523867665/in/pool-oklahomathunderstorms
  21. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I'll take this from one of you men's perspective, and I'm going to laugh(Forgive me ladies), but it sounds like the name of a freaking WNBA team. Are they going to make them use funny coloured balls at home too?

    The Thunder is a bad, bad, bad, bad name for a team. I'd think it would be bad if it was the team name for a Jr. High basketball team. Even worse, the Jr. High girl's squad would have to suffer being called the "Lady Thunder".

    They'd had been better off calling themselves the OKC Okies. At least it would have been kind of poking(yet taking pride) in a stupid stereotypical nickname given to them by outsiders, like the Vancouver Canucks took in the NHL.

    To each their own though, I suppose. It's not much worse than the "Supersonics" I guess.

    And Onoto, having lived in Oklahoma for a few years, I'd think you'd know that the majority of it's population doesn't know what the hell a Norse God is. The Thor thing would go way over most of their heads. :p



    I still think they could have put a little more thought into it.
  22. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    I'm not sure Thunder can be justified in the NBA. Good, funny argument from ASG, she gets the point, and the win.

    I'll get you VIPed, you take some face time.
  23. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Very funny, ASG. It really does sound like a WNBA team, and I think it's the lack of a plural that does that to a name. The Liberty. The Sting. The Sky. The Sun. The Fever. The Dream. And now? The Thunder. Fits like a glove.

    Congrats. Well-fought and won. Now get some face time so Inty can do my paper toss!
  24. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    Oh, well. Congratulations.
  25. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I'm going to keep face time short today.

    Cowboys training camp starts tomorrow, prepare to have your asses handed to you this season. O:)[face_beatup]
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