It’s another edition of my midweek column featuring six flaming hot takes from around the sporting world. I’ll admit that it’s the dog days of summer, and the sporting world is really slow this time of year. But have no fear, I’m still dishing out some flaming hot sports takes for you to digest at the middle of your work week. So let’s dive right in.
1. Giancarlo Stanton and the new format made the Home Run Derby fun again
Monday night’s display of power by Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton at the Home Run Derby was nothing short of fucking phenomenal. The dude hit 61 home runs. 61 ding dongs, yabos, homers, bombs, whatever you want to call it. He hit the 10 longest homers in the Derby, and was smashing screaming line drives over the wall in a blink of an eye.
That is what everyone wanted to see in the Home Run Derby. Sure, Adam Duvall made a fun run in it, but his homers just getting over the wall were nowhere near as exciting as Stanton’s rainmakers falling all over Petco Park.
Like Brendan and I discussed earlier on in our back and forth feature, I was super in favor of seeing a pitcher in the Home Run Derby. And I would have loved to see Madison Bumgarner or Jake Arrieta on Monday night swinging for the fences, because it would have added some more pizzazz to the event. But overall, the new timed format and Stanton/Mark Trumbo hitting absolute bombs made it must-watch TV.
Even ESPN fucking it up by not having the camera on the longball all the time, and Chris Berman blabbering all night long could ruin the event. It was freaking awesome. I’m already looking forward to Stanton launching shots all over his home stadium in Miami next July.
P.S. – Even with his reduced numbers, the fact that Stanton isn’t an All Star is a tragedy. Dude is one of the five best players on the planet.
Editor’s Note: P.P.S. – The homerun derby is the worst event on the sports calendar every year, proably even worse than the Pro Bowl. There, I said it.
2. You are: Protecting Pedophiles
I don’t think you can say this with enough animosity, ever: Fuck Penn State, and fuck Joe Paterno.
Tuesday saw the latest bombshell in the ongoing disgusting investigation into the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, with testimony revealing that Paterno knew of the sexual abuse by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in 1976. I don’t care whatever any Penn State alum or supporter tries to spew out: Outside of Sandusky, Paterno should be held the most responsible for those deplorable actions at that despicable school, and his reputation should be forever tarnished.
No more arguments for his statue back at Happy Valley. The library at Penn State shouldn’t have the Paterno name on it anymore. And good for the Big 10 taking his name off their trophy way back when. This is one of the most prominent examples of a human being caring more about his stupid sport and program than the well-being of innocent children. Typing that sentence makes my fucking blood boil. Seriously – fuck Joe Paterno and fuck Penn State football. The more and more that comes out about this scandal, the sicker it makes me. Never, ever should we hear arguments for Paterno’s innocence. This guy was a monster, and I hope there’s a special place in hell for this scumbag.
3. Jordan Spieth continues to show how dumb it is that the Olympics are in Rio
Another top golfer pulled out of the Rio Olympics this week, as World No. 2 Jordan Spieth said no thanks to the Zika-filled golf tournament. I’ve said it once and I’ll keep saying it: good for these athletes for taking a stand against the corruption and awful decision made by the IOC to hold the Olympics in this city.
I’ve heard counter arguments that the real reason some of the top golfers aren’t going to Rio is because the tournament purse isn’t as big as what they can get on the PGA Tour during those couple weeks. That’s the case and that’s fine, but when golf was up for the Olympics a few years ago, the top players in the world were all for it. And I think if these Olympics were in a city that didn’t have so many issues, guys like Spieth would be going. Instead, we see more and more athletes pulling out. Good for them, maybe the IOC will take notice and not award the Games to places that clearly aren’t ready to host it.
4. The expansion Las Vegas NHL franchise should name a true Vegas-type player as its first ever GM
Principal owner Bill Foley announced earlier this week that the team
was getting close to naming the first GM in franchise history made a brilliant decision by hiring a member of the New York Islanders front office as GM (I fixed it for you, Tim). (Sidebar, my hope is that the team is named either the Knights or Aces) And once I heard that, a couple players came to mind as the perfect candidate as the GM of the new franchise. In no particular order:
Since you’re putting a team in Sin City and the city where pretty much everything is legal, why not have the architect of your franchise be somebody who likes to live life to the fullest – and sometimes under the influence of some sort of drugs. What can possibly go wrong? Why have some old pro or former assistant GM take over the team? Keep with the pattern and history of your city and just embrace the fact that these guys are going to need to stay away from partying 24/7 when hockey invades Vegas in 2017.
Just try to keep the powder to only the baby variety in the locker room and you should be good.
5. If you aren’t taking steroids and nobody gives a shit, does anyone care that the Tour de France is happening?
Fun fact that you probably weren’t aware of: the Tour de France is happening right now. Remember le Tour? That event in the mid 2000s that was sweeping the nation as American-hero Lance Armstrong won it seven straight years that capitavted the country and made cycling a fun sport?
Well he was a cheater, a really, really good cheater, who finally got caught and ruined the lives of basically everyone involved with his team and put a huge black mark on the sport to the American viewer.
So outside of the biker blasting a dude in the face for running alongside him from the early stages of the event, have you heard anything about it? No? Well neither have I.
Want my advice on how to make it watchable again? Have them do steroids, and other performance-enhancing drugs. It worked for cycling in the mid 2000s, and it sure as hell worked for baseball in the 80s and 90s, and it still works for the NFL, so let everybody do it. Riding that many miles on a bike everyday is simply inhuman, so why not have these guys doped up to the gills for this event? It made the Tour de France must watch TV in my childhood and a nightly recap on the news when Armstrong was taking home multiple yellow jerseys. Let’s do it again, and have it become big again back here in the US.
6. Brendan’s Camel of the Week: Bud Selig
As anyone with a long career in a position with a lot riding on it is prone to, Bud Selig made plenty of mistakes during his tenure as MLB Comish. For example, he presided over both a player’s strike and the steroid saga, two of baseball’s more embarrassing memories.
His biggest mistake, though, was making the All-Star Game count.
God god, what a terrible idea. I love the MLB All-Star Game every year. I realize that isn’t the easiest position to defend, especially given my hatred for the Home Run Derby, but I can’t help it. I love the introductions, the weird moments that seem to populate the game’s history, I love it all.
I just hate that it counts. Why ruin such a fun, innocent event with this arbitrary and nonsensical competitive element. I use a form of nonsense for a reason. I’ve never quite grasped why baseball couldn’t figure out how to decide who gets home field advantage come October. Every other organized sport in the world has pretty much a simple forward: the team with the better record or seed gets home field advantage, if applicable.
But baseball just had to be hipsters about it. First, it went back and forth, on a perpetual rotation between the AL and NL. Even as a young fan I asked: why would they do that?
Then the tie in the 2002 All-Star Game came. I actually think it makes sense to call it a tie. No reason to see anyone injured in an exhibition, and a tie fits the game’s quirky history.
But Selig caught hell for it. Then he decided to go completely in the other direction, assigning a great deal of importance to a game in which the starting lineups play just a few innings (if they’re lucky) and are decided by interent voters.
How does that make any sense?
Bud Selig, for deciding this fun and casual midsummer event should be turned into a manufactured drama-fest, you earn the ChinMusicPod.com Camel of the Week award.
That’s it for Tim this week. He’ll be back next Wednesday for some more flaming hot takes. Follow Tim on Twitter@culvey13 and Brendan at @MurraySportTalk for more, or to tell me us we’re morons. Either way, have at it.