Friday, April 30, 2010

Much Needed Changes to MLB All-Star Game

DPAll-StarGame The newly formed “Special Committee for On-Field Matters” may not have the correct pulse when it comes to fixing the issues in Major League Baseball regarding division realignment, but it has found a way to successfully alter the game’s midsummer classic.

The league office announced several changes to the all-star game that, to be quite honest, are necessary, reasonable, and effective for today’s game. After the 2002 debacle of a tied game in Milwaukee, Commissioner Selig was forced to stamp the gimmick of “This time it counts” with the winning league receiving home field advantage in the World Series. In agreement with many, the move seemed debatable, and is still a hot button topic today. However, the following changes I believe are great ways to keep the All-Star Game fun, competitive, safe, and most importantly for Selig and his league, interesting:

The contest always will include a designated hitter no matter where it’s played.

Many baseball traditionalist may not like this, but the fact of the matter is, this is the direction baseball is headed in the future. The argument about the pitcher hitting being “pure baseball” is becoming one that is tired. MLB baseball loves the DH because it provides more offense. More offense equals more interest. More interest equals more money. Also, the players love the DH. It provides rest, lengthens lineups, and extends the careers of many. In fact, the National League in MLB and the Central League in Nippon Professional Baseball in China, are the only leagues in the  world (including amateur and collegiate) that do not utilize the DH. Double-switches and strategy is already difficult enough, it has no need to burden managers in an All-Star Game.

I think it’s a great idea. You go through a lot of needless scorecard work if you’re in the National League. Unnecessary.

Tony La Russa – St. Louis Cardinals Manager

No starting pitcher who competes for his team in the previous Sunday will be allowed to pitch in the All-Star Game.

Another change that is a result of today’s baseball culture, rest days, pitch counts, pennant races, and millions of dollars are all reasons for such a rule.

"It makes sense. If you play a game on Sunday, I know as a manager I wouldn't want that guy to pitch on Tuesday. I'd want him to maybe throw a light bullpen, but that would be it. I think that makes a lot of sense. It's unfortunate because you might see a (pitcher) deserving of the All-Star Game pitching that day, but games are important during the regular season."

-Joe Girardi – New York Yankees Manager

Rosters have been increased to 34 players, by one slot designated for a position player. 

Expanding the roster is a great idea. More positions players will give managers a better opportunity to compete if the game goes into extras.

"I believe they're serious about it being a true competition, and to do that, if the game goes extra innings, you have to be able to compete. You get that problem where guys are excited about being there and they don't participate, so you want to have them play. That's where the extra guy you get to protect.

Tony La Russa – St. Louis Cardinals Manager

A Rule will allow one position player re-entry into the game in necessitated by injury.

A rule that follows up on the rule allowing catcher re-entry in the same situation. A great idea to get into the rule books in the event of an emergency. DP All-Star Game

With the mid-summer classic slowly on the horizon in July, the new changes should add some life and safety precautions to the event. However, some amendments not addressed and should be, are in regards to the fans voting of a DH in an American League park. Currently as is, fans will have the opportunity to select the DH for the American League team, while the National League DH will be chosen by the team’s manager. National League fans should be given this opportunity with the now permanent advent of the DH in the game. However, as stated before by Bud Selig, there will be several more changes to the game before he retires in 2012.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Blind Side (2009)

DPBlindSideReview What is it about?

The true story of Michael Oher, a caring, yet, traumatized and homeless boy who became an All-American and NFL football player with the help and guidance of a caring woman and family.

Who is in it? 

Sandra Bullock – Leigh Anne Tuohy

Tim McGraw – Sean Tuohy

Quinton Aaron – Michael Oher

Jae Head – S.J. Tuohy

Lily Collins – Collins Tuohy

Friday, April 23, 2010

Big Issues, Big Problems, and Big Mistakes From Ben

DPBigBenMistake It never ceases to amaze me the way successful athletes throw away a career. Over the past couple of years we have seen various ways, from peculiar to downright idiotic, that athletes have put themselves in a position to throw away a life’s worth of hard work, and a God-given talent available to so few.

The latest issue has been the allegations and controversy surrounding that of “Big” Ben Roethlisberger. Whether you are a football fan or not, the news coverage surrounding the case has been immense, as well as the details of what allegedly happened that night.

While Roethlisberger has not legally been charged for sexual assault, there are many other undertones and side stories that continue to hover over this situation. As the days played out, I have purposely refrained from commenting on the situation to allow the details, and quite possibly, the truth, to fall out. Nothing as of yet. However, there is one thing we can all conclude from the situation,  this is a rare occasion where the athlete might not have been legally charged or convicted, but his governing league knows, and has substantial evidence that he is.

The National Football League, which is often very diligent in its discipline (even more so under Goodell) has indeed suspending the two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback. While many question Goodell and the NFL’s ability to suspend Roethlisberger based on the legal proceedings, this is one of several sexual assault cases that have been steered the Steelers star’s way.

And while many may argue that until proven guilty, Roethlisberger should be allowed on a football field, one must take into several considerations why these sexual assault cases never pass several stages – the absence of valid witnesses. In order to prove any sexual assault case, valid witnesses must be available to testify what occurred. In this case, no one from Roethlisberger's camp will talk, and no one else in that bar that night will either in fear of being the person to bring down an NFL star. It’s a sad situation, but that is the reality of the situation.

However, luckily for Roethlisberger, this isn’t as bad as it could’ve been. There is no doubt that he has been reckless in handling his career off the field. It almost strikes other chords to think of a near 30 year-old superstar celebrity scowling college town bars for 21 year old girls. It’s evident of his lack of maturity.

Outspoken football legend and former Steelers quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, touched on Roethlisberger’s decisions when he stated:DPBigBenMistake1

"I hardly ever went in a club -- ever -- in 14 years in Pittsburgh. Count 'em on one  hand. I was petrified of the problems you can get into. And I almost got into -- it's there, believe me.

"There's nothing greater if you're single than to walk into a bar with beautiful women, and have them just fill your ego up. And you ask yourself, 'Would they pay any attention to you if you weren't, you know, who you are?' Of course not. Because I'm not that attractive, and neither is Ben. So it's nice that you can do that (Bradshaw flicks his arm, mimicking throwing a football).

"But he's got to be careful. Stay out -- I don't want to give him any advice, because he's not going to pay attention to me. He's got an image problem right now. Best thing to do is don't ever put yourself in that position again. When you're through playing football, do whatever you want to do, but right now, stay clean. Stay out of trouble. Stay out of bars. Keep yourself clean."

Bradshaw continued on, and further explained Roethlisberger’s lack of maturity:

"Our relationship is not any good. When I told him to park the motorcycle, he got pissed. Alright? Then he had the accident. And since then, there's, you know ... he doesn't like me, and I'm learning not to like him."

Ben Roethlisberger is immensely talented. He has rings and many highlight reels to prove it. Being traded should be the least of his worries. He has already been lucky enough to dodge what could have been several career ending occurrences (including his motorcycle accident that nearly took his life).

Now is the time for Ben to realize how real this all is. Now is the time for him to realize how fast that lifestyle can disappear. Now is the time for Ben to remove himself from the issues, the problems, and the mistakes.

For if he doesn’t get it it now, he never will.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Trucker (2009)

DPTruckerReview What is it about?

Diane Ford, a female trucker who leads a care-free life is forced to change her life when her 11-year old son whom she abandoned long ago shows up on her doorstep. Diane is now forced to change her life and come to grips with her past, present and future.

Who is in it?

Michelle Monaghan – Diane Ford

Nathan Fillion – Runner

Jimmy Bennett - Peter

Benjamin Bratt – Len Bonner

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Hangover (2009)

DPHangoverReview What is it about?

Four men venture over to Las Vegas before their buddy’s wedding for a Bachelor party they would never forget. After a wild night of partying and drunken misadventures, three of the groomsmen must retrace their night and use to the clues to find their now missing about-to-be-wed buddy.

Who is in it?

Bradley Cooper – Phil Wenneck

Ed Helms – Stu Price

Zach Galifianakis – Alan Garner

Justin Bartha – Doug Billings

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Reaction to Tiger Woods Nike Commercial



There has been tons of debate and many, many, comments over the recent Nike commercial with Tiger Woods featuring the voice of his father, Earl Woods.  While the impending return of Tiger Woods’ return to the golf course this week in Augusta is the main story surrounding Woods, many question his judgment in regards to approving such an advertisement. 

It is well aware that the repairing of the Tiger Woods brand is well under way. Tiger is attempting to “let us in” and humanize himself with the ad without having to speak or say so himself. However, the  biggest issue is in regards to the voiceover which is his late father’s voice.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Revenue Sharing: Levine – Where Has The Money Gone?

MLB Revenue Sharing Here we go again! More arguing about revenues, revenue sharing, salaries, salary caps, and how it all affects baseball in it’s competitive balance. These issue came to pass this week when Milwaukee Brewers principal owner Mark Attansio made comments regarding the Brewers ability, or inability, to resign their top stars, most notably Prince Fielder. The fireworks ignited when Attansio stated that the entire Brewers opening day roster payroll was less (and it’s true) than the New York Yankees starting infield.

After constantly being the target representatives for large market teams, Yankees president Randy Levine finally responded with words of his own. Levine stated:

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Unwanted Marriage. Unbelievable Treatment. Undeserved Exit.

DPMcNabb It is often said the city of Philadelphia is home to the worst sport fans in the United States. They are notorious for their jeers, harsh criticism, constant negative outlook, and lest we not forget, the infamous booing of Santa Claus. However, none of those descriptions truly describe Philadelphia until it was apparent how the city treated, and ultimately booted, one of the NFL’s best players and greatest class acts in Donovan McNabb.

McNabb, who began his tenure as a Philadelphia Eagle was booed horrendously on draft night, produced a body of work in his time in Philly that not only removed the question marks about his potential, but could land him in the Hall of Fame one day, was ultimately sent out of Philadelphia as if he meant nothing.

Year after year, besides the constant scrutiny from fans and even teammates (looking at you Terrell Owens), McNabb has done nothing but win and give the Eagles organization and the city of Philadelphia all he has had. From Super Bowl appearances to multiple NFC championships, a clean rap sheet with the league and his peers, to an even better rapport with those amongst the charity circles, Donovan has been what the Eagles thought he would be – a franchise player.

However, that was not enough for the city of Philadelphia. Actually, it seemed like a marriage the city of Philadelphia never wanted.

As I listen to the clips and sound bytes of fans on talk radio from Philly, I can’t help but wonder what exactly does the city of Philadelphia want from this guy? Most importantly, why is it an athlete that has accomplished so much treated as if he has never accomplished anything for the organization or the city?

I’m not from Philadelphia, so maybe I, and many of us who question not only this move, but the way he has been sent out of the city are not aware of the real and true reasons. However, as a sports fan looking into the warped sports community that is Philadelphia, I can’t help but wonder these things.

I can never imagine an athlete like Derek Jeter, Eli Manning, or David Lee being sent out like that here in New York City. Heck, good (but not great) players like John Starks and Paul O’neill still receive standing ovations, especially with Yankee fans taking the privilege of unofficially retiring Oneill’s #21 by not acknowledging any pDPMcNabb1layer that wears the number.

Look, the Eagles might have traded McNabb because they think he is finished. And to be quite honest, they have always done a terrific job of evaluating players towards the end of their careers. Eagles’ fans may also have their opinions that Kevin Kolb or even Michael Vick is the right QB to move forward with into the future.

In the end, Philly fans wanted a divorce. They always wanted McNabb out. And they got it.

In the end, Donovan McNabb’s exit out of Philadelphia may be one of the strangest, and most undeserving exits by an athlete in a city in recent memory – maybe ever.