Don’t Worry A.J., We’ll Take That Door Down

July 19, 2010

Just when the Yankees thought they had gotten lucky, receiving news that A.J. Burnett’s injured hand would not keep him from missing a start, more bad news came their way; Andy Pettitte is now on the DL for at least a month with a groin injury. The Yankees look like the best team in baseball right now, but Pettitte’s injury has to make the organization at least a little uneasy. After the Cliff Lee deal slipped through the cracks a few weeks ago, the Yankees are in need of another pitcher in order to feel very confident in the second half of the season. With Sergio Mitre (Sergio who?) being the man who will supposedly take Pettitte’s place while he is on the DL, the Yankees need to find a pitcher before the trade deadline. In my opinion, they should aggressively pursue Houston’s Roy Oswalt. Oswalt has made it publicly known that he wants to play for a winning team, and that just isn’t going to happen any time soon in Houston. Also, the Yankees have the prospects available to make a deal with the Astros, who are in dire need of rebuilding tools, possible. If the Yankees were to land Oswalt, they would be getting a starter who is arguably just as good as Cliff Lee, and much better than Mr. Mitre (with all due respect to Sergio, of course). If it were to happen, talks of an “unbeatable” Yankees pitching core would likely resurface. I’m not saying I want to see it happen; I’m just saying that if I were the Yankees, it’d definitely be something I’d be thinking about doing.

Maybe the Heat organization should tell their superstar trio to stay as far away as possible from all media personnel. Ever since Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh hooked up in South Beach, everything they say is being examined under a microscope. Take for instance what Dwayne Wade said on Sunday. In explaining how the media will blow every losing streak the Heat have next season out of proportion, Wade made the mistake of claiming that “you all are going to make it seem like the World Trade has just went down again”. Uh oh. Now, I am aware that Wade should not have worded his response differently, but the fact of the matter is he is right. He hit on an extremely sensitive topic, which wasn’t necessary, but the media will do exactly what he said. You can’t tell me that when the Heat drop a few consecutive road games that ESPN won’t be speculating as to whether or not there are locker room issues, and that the Cleveland sports media will be screaming “Karma!”. My advice to Dwayne Wade is, next time you have a legitimate point, don’t try to use fancy wording.

This isn’t all the surprising, but the Reggie Bush case opened the floodgates to the NCAA investigating student athletes receiving illegal benefits. The NCAA is now investigating the University of Florida after an allegation that former offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey took money from a sports agent sometime between last year’s SEC Championship game and the Sugar Bowl. If the allegation is found to be true, then the Gators may have to vacate their Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati. If the NCAA thinks that they are curbing this kind of behavior by imposing that kind of punishment, they are mistaken. How exactly will Maurkice Pouncey be affected? Will he have to give back his Sugar Bowl ring or any of the other goodies that he received from the Sugar Bowl? No. Will he have to give back the money he received? Not if the NCAA imposes punishments that they have dished out in similar cases in the past. The point is, it’s all well and good that the NCAA is trying to curtail this kind of activity, but they aren’t really punishing the right people. The University of Florida shouldn’t have to shoulder the blame; Pouncey should. The fact is, these kinds of things are happening at the big-time football university near you, and very few people know it’s happening until those involved are long gone. Until those who actually committed the infraction are punished, this type of thing will continue to occur.

– K. Becks

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