It’s New Year’s Eve which can only mean one thing: there’s still time to squeeze in one last Got Mail? blog. And don’t worry I won’t pull a Reilly and devote the entire piece to Tiger Woods. In fact, it’s my goal to steer clear of all Tiger questions period. Despite being asked completely loaded quandaries such as, “Which mistress thus far has been the hottest?”
Loaded of course being the gun my wife would be pointing at me should my tongue loosen.
Let’s do this.
If you could give any athlete a New Year’s Resolution, who would it be and what would you have them accomplish.
And of course by accomplish, I mean give up on after three days like the rest of us. Also no copping out by saying “win a title.” Make it good Bates.
Ben: Hmm. I like this question, but I can’t stop at one. Since it’s about to be 2010, here are ten resolutions for ten different sports personalities.
1.) Mark McGwire – Come out strong in the spring with the press conference he has to have in an effort to get the monkey off his back. Not because he owes it to us, he doesn’t owe us anything. Rather, because actually addressing his past will free him from himself. Whether it brings Cooperstown into the picture or not.
2.) Dwayne Wade – Find a way to ignore Chicago’s quest to pry him from Miami. Seriously Dwayne, you play basketball in Miami freaking Florida. You live the third most desirable/ luxurious state, behind only California and Hawaii. You have ALREADY won a title and yet somehow constantly are overlooked, meaning less pressure is thrust upon you. PLUS should you commit to the Heat early, they are the one team (the Knicks don’t count) who can currently afford to sign a second max contract alongside you. Should LeBron and Bosh pass, there’s always Amar’e. Or wait another year and take a run at Carmelo and Chris Paul in 2011.
3.) Blake Griffin – Not to break any more bones and develop the knees of Stretch Armstrong while he’s at it.
4.) Urban Meyer – To stop returning Brett Favre’s phone calls.
5.) Adrian Peterson – Sucker punch Brett Favre in his dentures. Just kidding. Really, to get a handle on his fumblitis. People didn’t pay it any mind this year, because the Vikings won a bunch of games, with his quarterback’s success and then feud with their coach being the focus. Plus he scored 17 times. But he has put it on the ground seven times, through 15 games. They didn’t notice last year (or just didn’t care) because he rushed for over 1,700 yards (though he fumbled nine times). But people will start paying attention soon, should this disturbing trend continue.
6.) JaMarcus Russell – Shouldn’t try to break the world record for most Dairy Queen Blizzards consumed in a single summer again.
Also, Super Sizing doesn’t make you super JaMarcus. Just an FYI.
7.) Pete Carroll – Send weekly packages of rat pellets dipped in white chocolate sea-gull droppings, to Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo for corrupting Joe McKnight. They seem dumb, maybe they’ll confuse them for yogurt raisins.
8.) Manny Ramirez – To not get pregnant. I know, I know, seems impossible considering the circumstances.
9.) Pablo Sandoval – Try not to mistake Tim Lincecum for a large piece of beef jerky, after sampling from Lince’s private stash.
Come to think of it: Stay away from Lince’s private stash.
10.) Joe Buck – To leave and never return.
How jacked are up for the Pacquiao/ Mayweather fight that will… wait won’t… wait… yes I think it will… happen?
Ben: It has to happen. If it doesn’t I will have lost all faith in boxing.
Is the fight going to happen in the ring or the court room?
Ben: Possibly both. Pacquiao seems to be ready to do what the masses always clamor for whenever an athlete is accused of performance enhancers: Sue. Sue for a lot of money.
Will he actually see the lawsuit for defamation out? I don’t know. Mayweather’s camp could come out and apologize for everything, saying it was a misunderstanding based on frustration over the testing policies or something and maybe Pacquiao will be content to embarrass him in the ring.
Which is going to happen.
This is clearly just posturing for the fight to promote interest for the Pay-Per-View sales. Not that the fight needs it. I mean, just LOOK at this rocket-left-brick Pac-Man threw at Ricky Hatton (Skip to the 2:23 mark, go back and watch the entire video, and then re-watch the left-hand overandoverandoverandoverandover again.) It gets better every time. I am gasping for breath, I am so overwhelmed at the power of that punch. Just insane.
Mike Leach, TX (but not for long)
So what am I: crazy nut-job or misunderstood motivator?
Ben: You are unemployed.
But if I had to pick between those two options, which is very nearly impossible at this stage, I’d probably lean towards misunderstood.
If the reports that doctors cleared the kid to play, but he was milking his injury because he’s a softy, are true; messages do have to be sent. Does that mean locking a kid in a tool shed? Probably not the best idea. I’d much rather go the shameless humiliation direction of having the kid run laps all practice, with the word “wiener” painted on his chest.
Juvenile humor? Sure. Vulgar? Yeah maybe a little, but come on, it’s college. Fall asleep at a party and you will wake up with much worse things written on your body.
I would just find it funny.
Chris Ruval, Jersey
A month ago you mentioned that you wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets got in on the Matt Holliday bidding. Looks like you weren’t too far off. Big name left fielder, just the wrong one.
Ben: Yeah it just seemed to fit. They had an opening in left, needed to spend money for the sake of fans and were completely embarrassed last year. Usually when a big market team fails that spectacularly, the team tends to go overboard with free agency.
Is $60-million over four years too much for Jason Bay? Probably. But in a brand new ballpark, which according to most, housed no better than a Triple-A team last year, the Mets were backed in a corner. The biggest surprise was that Bay was willing to go to New York.
You have to believe he regrets not taking the Rex Sox offer at least a little bit.
Doesn’t the NFL need to lighten up on Ochocinco? This is borderline ridiculous. Fined over a sombrero?
Ben: In a way I’m with you, but in a way I’m not. I’m not sure if Ocho is a distraction to his team per say, but clearly the NFL isn’t fond of “look at me” antics, so he is a distraction for the league.
Still, I find it slighty terrific that to dare the league NOT to fine him, The Ocho teased the idea of tossing a sack of money into the stands. It’s his way of sticking it to the man. And you have to respect it. Hey, the way he figures, he’d have to pay the money anyway, why not keep it from the NFL and give it to his adoring fans? Not a bad idea.
Only knowing the NFL, they would still probably fine him.
Did you get what you asked for this Christmas?
Ben: No. I asked for new ownership for the Dodgers. We still have one or both McCourts. Irritating.
Now I need another Festivus to air my grievances.
Chad Jolla, NYC
Biggest surprise of the MLB offseason?
Ben: The biggest player surprise would be Cliff Lee getting dealt. Making only $9-million in 2010, it’s shocking the Phillies dealt him to cut payroll. A lot of experts believed instead of cutting payroll by dealing Lee, they could have waited and dealt Joe Blanton. Maybe they could have, but it’s no sure thing that a team would have wanted him in a salary dump, even at a modest $5.48-million next year.
So knowing that, why not just eat the $9-million and make a serious run at another World Series? Wouldn’t they make that back in merchandise and playoff revenue?
With that said, the biggest team surprise has undoubtably been the Mariners, thrusting themselves in the conversation for best in the West.
They got Lee via trade, signed Figgins, gambled on Milton Bradley (though it only cost them Carlos Silva, so let’s all agree to call that a win) and could potentially even resign Adrian Beltre.
After getting lulled into mediocrity the last few years, it felt like Seattle came out of nowhere, stepping up and getting these guys. It has been impressive. I don’t say it often, but good stuff Seattle. You’re moving up in the world.