Forget pit bulls. I’d take those pups over the Baseball Writers Association of America any day. They’re more gentle and understanding.
But not to worry. My people have my back this week.
If I’m James Harrison’s toddler, then Felger Nation is the neighbor who comes across the yard, pulls the pit bull off my leg and tosses Baby Felgy to safety while Buck and McAdam try and gnaw their way through the fence.
Let’s get it on!
Felger You DB!
You know why I love the Baseball show? It's the way you and the BBWAA are constantly one contested topic away from the whole set erupting in open warfare. I bet the shipping lane negotiations between North and South Korea are less volatile.
And obviously last Saturday's show was no different. The skirmish over Lugo vs. Green was moronic. Lugo has less range than Vin Diesel, can't turn a double play to save his life and honestly doesn't look like he cares as long as the ``girls are still looking at him.’’ How can Buck and McAdam not see that Lugo is playing like he’s on a slip-and-slide and that it’s getting on his teammates’ nerves? Green is getting to more balls, (not many but more) and is clearly better at the dish.
But this was just the opening act for the steroid speculation hissy fit that followed. Why do Buck and Sean feel compelled to defend these guys anymore? It's obvious that baseball had a decade of players who marinated their careers in the sauce while MLB pretended not to notice while running ``chicks dig the long ball’’ ads. Fans have a right to be skeptical of any player at this point. And next time you see them, ask Abner Doubleday and Captain Charisma if Ortiz having to pass WADA compliant testing for the WBC in the preseason might have anything to do with his legendary slump?
Huge sports night on Tuesday. You had the Penguins pushing Detroit to Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals in maybe some of the best hockey I have seen in a while.
You had the Orlando Magic taking Game 3 from the Lakers in the NBA finals despite the fact that Dwight Howard is getting molested more than female commuters on a rush-hour Tokyo subway car. At this point Derek Fisher would have to be trying to finger-bang Howard before Joey Crawford and company feels compelled to call a foul. The Sox thump the Yanks in a game that saw Josh Beckett return to snarling-ace form and will surely lead to an investigation to see if David Ortiz's bottle of Clear Eyes didn't actually contain a BALCO's formulation of the product.
And oh yeah, MLB also had its draft that night. That's some top notch marketing right there, eh Mikey? Baseball wants to get its amateur draft some much needed pub so what better way to do it than burying it behind not one but two league championship games and a full docket of its own prime time games, including Sox vs. Yanks. Only Bud Selig could find a way to have his own sport (expletive)-block the ratings for his draft's prime time debut. I'm not a MENSA member but here are a couple of things that should have donned on MLB before this year’s draft: Don't compete against your own product. Move the draft to the night before the All Star break and have the draft in the game’s host city. And let teams trade picks. This should be a no brainer. Half the fun of the draft in the NFL is all the rumor and speculation of teams jumping up and down for various reasons. But in MLB, we make a team like the Nationals either decide to take Stephen Strasburg or pass on the best player because the prospect of negotiating with Scott Boras has more potential financial pitfalls than bailing out Chrysler. Let the Nationals trade Strasburg to a team like the Yankees for a slew of picks and young talent and really rebuild their franchise.
And please, dear Lord, keep Bud away from the podium. A-Rod's steroid press conference had less uncomfortable pauses. And the fact that Bud is less telegenic than Pete Rozelle's corpse doesn't help either. Can't they get someone with at least a molecule of charisma to run the show?
I wonder if McAdam is available.
A: I wanted to get to Mike right away this week, for obvious reasons. You bring that much heat -- less range than Vin Diesel? -- you don’t deserve to wait.
More on the “hissy-fit” later in the bag. I wanted to hit on one thing first that I found interesting related to Tuesday. Here are the TV ratings in Boston that night.
Red Sox-Yankees on NESN….14.91
Lakers-Magic on Ch. 5………….4.0
Penguins-Wings on Ch. 4…..… 3.55
Obviously, with the Sox-Yanks going on, most fans around here were watching baseball. Only the hard-core NBA and hockey fans were watching something other than NESN. And that audience broke relatively even. The hockey game was fantastic, you’re right. (How badly would the B’s have been smoked by the Pens had they gotten by Carolina?) But it’s still hockey. And this is still town that hasn’t had a deep playoff run in 17 years. And yet the NHL Finals is competing with the NBA Finals. More indication that hockey is fighting its way back here.
Lord Douche bag,
As I navigated the nether regions of my cable system in the epic search for the NHL's ``Two Teams, One Cup’’ finals, I heard that Patrick Pass is inextricably back in town. This leaves me wondering - Who does the best reenactment of the Zapruder film:
A) Patrick Pass when he hurts his hamstring.
B) Kevin Youkilis when he is hit in the backside by a changeup.
C) LeBron James when nothing happens whatsoever, but the ref happens to be looking.
A: You left out, D) Dickerson when Paul Pierce declines to do the postgame interview with him.
If only the patriots had your crystal ball and unlimited salary cap, life would be so much easier. They could be like the Yankees and sign anyone they want for whatever the player asks for but unfortunately with a cap only a couple get to hit the lottery. Revisionist history is always on your side when saying they could have re-upped a couple of years ago when in reality they are fighting to stay at the cap every year. They have a lot of players coming into the last year of contracts on both sides of the ball and Belichick will have to part with guys he does not want to lose. I just wish he had your magic wand to make it all work.
PS, did you really mention Asante in the same sentence as Ty Law? My lasting memory will be of that missed interception and Asante just standing by as Rodney tries to knock the ball away from Tyree. Ty Law would have joined Rodney and laid the second hit that would have jarred the ball loose.
A: Poor Pugs, you still believe that baloney about the salary cap, don't you? Listen, these owners can sign pretty much whoever they want whenever they want. There are enough loopholes in the cap to drive a truck through, and the Pats have driven convoys through them in the past when they wanted to. When they think a guy is worth the money, they sign him. Period, story over. I don't know if they've ever lost a guy that they truly, truly wanted to keep. If they felt Wilfork was worth what he was asking, they'd give it to him -- just like they did with Seymour and Brady.
Branch, Samuel and now Wilfork (so far) -- it has nothing to do with the salary cap. GET THIS THROUGH YOUR HEAD, PUGS: THE PATS DIDN'T THINK THOSE GUYS WERE WORTH THE MONEY. Not cap money, but actual, cold, hard currency. Most of the time they're right. In the cases of Branch and Samuel, they were wrong. We'll see what happens with Wilfork.
The larger point is that the Pats feel the need to make these young players serve out their rookie contracts, when it seems the smarter play would be to lock up the good ones earlier. Letting guys like Eugene Wilson and Ben Watson go to the end of their rookie contracts make sense. Those aren't key guys. But Wilfork is another matter entirely. It was obvious that Wilfork was going to be a force in this league the second he put on the pads. The Pats need him to play the defense they want to play. They had six years to figure out his next deal. And the guy has to hold out? And now the Pats either have to break the bank, take him to war with the franchise tag or lose him all together? How is that good business?
P.S., I know you hate to hear it, but by the end of his tenure, Samuel was doing many of the same things Law did. Samuel isn't as good as Ty, but he was a worthy successor. Oops, I forgot. You liked the Ellis Hobbs/Deltha O'Neal era better.
Subj: Rodney Harrison
I hope that this email makes your next mailbag. I agree with what you said on CSN last week about being happy to see Rodney retire. He definitely wasn't the same player and I wouldn't want to see him not be able to make plays after watching what he did for six years. People always think of Rodney as this dirty player that played past the whistle, or that he was a cheap shot artist, especially after all the fines and the polls from players that said he was the dirtiest player in the game.
I have a different memory of Rodney. Last June I met him at Logan Airport at about 5:30 am. He was going home after a weekend mini-camp and I was one of four advisors taking a group of 18-year-olds on a mission trip to Mexico. We were on our way there to build a house for a poor family. Some of the kids were asking him tedious football questions. However as soon as he so us wearing the same shirts he started asking me questions about what we were doing. He wasn't interested about talking football but he was more than happy to talk to me about what we were doing. It was almost as if he was the fan and I was the athlete. He was also quick to show us pictures of his family that he was so eager to get back to. He was truly down to earth and very respectful and appreciative of what we were doing.
This is the Rodney that I will remember. As great and intimidating as he was on the field, he was just as humble and down to earth of the field. I truly believed he embodied the ``Patriot Way,'' and he created, as Teddy Bruschi said, the ``Rodney Way'' for the DBs. He will be missed. I can't wait to hear him on NBC, especially after the few comments that he has already come out with.
Thanks for your time,
A: Awwww. Thus concludes the touch-feely portion of this week's mailbag.
I understand your points about how the Pats have mishandled Vince Wilfork, and that there is a good chance of history repeating (Deion Branch, Asante Samuel) with another depressing free agency departure of a talented impact player.
However, I think there is a major difference between the Branch/Samuel situations and Wilfork -- namely health and obesity. Wilfork is an injury waiting to happen, and at this point, a huge contract is too risky (not the case with Branch and Seymour). The guy is way too fat for maintaining a long NFL career.
I understand in a 3-4 defense that having a massive presence at nose tackle to stuff the run is critical, and Wilfork definitely fits that bill (it may just be the only thing he fits into). That’s what makes great 3-4 nose tackles -- the Vince Wilfork, Ted Washington, Pat Williams, Shaun Rogers types.
But if you look at the best NHL defensive lineman in history in terms of sustainable greatness, the Wilfork nose tackle types are not on top of the list. Instead, it’s the strength/quickness/speed guys that have the most impact for the longest time. Players like Mean Joe Greene, Reggie White, Deacon Jones, Richard Dent, Alan Page, Merlin Olsen come to mind.
The big fat guys aren’t worth the money because it is usually short lived success. And I am not trying to personally attack or insult Wilfork, I actually think he’s one of the nicest people on the team (regardless of what Brandon Jacobs thinks). If he took off 50 pounds, he’d be a better player and would last much longer.
A: Not a bad point by you, John. Another issue that’s related to his weight is the amount of time he’s on the field. He’s not a three-down player. There are times he’ll be out there in passing situations, but it doesn’t happen very often. Seymour, for all his faults the last couple of years, can play all situations. Wilfork isn’t in the same category, and that no doubt hurts his value in the eyes of the Patriots. Do they want to pay top-dollar to a guy who may only be on the field for 30-40 of the 60 defensive snaps?
It’s becoming more and more clear that the Pats may not want to. But that doesn’t mean someone else won’t.
Rodney Harrison was the best safety of his era not named Ed Reed. Too bad people think John Lynch is a HOF player and Harrison is a notch below. From 1996 to 2006 Rodney had more interceptions, twice as many sacks and the same number of forced fumbles. Lynch has NEVER recorded more tackles than Rodney in a season where Harrison wasn't on IR. I repeat....NEVER! In fact Rodney recorded almost twice as many tackles as Lynch during four of Lynch's pro bowl seasons. Teammates and coaches LOVED him and opposing teams HATED him. They voted him the dirtiest player in the league, which is code for: You hit people too hard, so the diva corps of NFL receivers got together and voted you the least popular guy at school. I guess we knew he'd never be prom king, but this is atrocious. He was a first- and second-team All Pro selection in `03 and `04 despite not being voted to the Pro Bowl. If he were a pit bull he wouldn't be discriminated against like this.
John Lynch is not a better safety than Rodney Harrison. He never was. Sorry haters, but I can't find one stat that makes me think Harrison was not the superior player in every category. He is so despised that someone paid to sponsor his stats page just so he could say Rodney is a dirty cheat. Check this out.
Ray Lewis doesn't invoke that level of hate and he was on trial for murder.
To all the, ``he's a cheater’’ people -- quit whining and grow up. He took HGH. I don’t care. He apologized and showed contrition. It does nothing for me but confirm my suspicion that he is smarter than Bonds or Clemens, who boldly perjured themselves in the face of superfans and suck-up baseball writers who were waiting in line with hugs and kisses if they simply came clean. It's irrelevant to me.
News flash for people who feel like drugs are bad -- mmmm-k? If the majority of players in the league wanted to eliminate drug use, you wouldn't see it anymore. It's tough to call out fellow players for ``cheating’’ when any number of them are taking HGH with the same frequency as 5-hour energy shots. Sorry, but corking a bat feels more like cheating to me than taking androstendione, HGH or greenies -- and my guess is the majority of players feel that way too.
Rodney is not Bill Romanowski. He’s not Jack Tatum. He's not Albert Haynesworth, or even Big Sey for that matter. He's never spit on anyone, stepped on anyone's skull, or successfully put someone on permanent disability. So save the sermon about being a cheater, grandma. Rodney was a hard ass pro on the field. He's a Hall of Famer. He's not the dirtiest player in the NFL, just the most hated. And if he's a dirty cheater, then I hope Brandon Meriwether and James Sanders have picked up all the tricks of the trade.
A: I’m sending this e-mail to the Hall of Fame selection committee in five years.
Subj: Green Teamers
I was flipping around on TV the other night and settled on ESPN Classic showing of last year's NBA Finals Game 4, where the Celtics came back from being 24 down. What struck me were a couple of things:
1.) The point guard was Eddie House down the stretch. If memory serves, this was in response to Sam Cassell being ineffective. Rondo did not play in the entire fourth quarter. How insane is that?
2.) James Posey. James Posey. James Posey. Hitting huge 3s. Playing D on Kobe at one point and then playing D on the sugar eating/addict Lamar Odom.
I guess my point is that if the Cs had signed Posey, even without KG, they would have beat Orlando and had a decent shot against LeBron. None of the Green Teamers mention the loss of Posey. He was a better defender and shooter than Scal, who was thrust into a prominent role. Add a better Rondo and Baby (who did not play in Game 4 last year vs. Lakers) and things might have been different this year. The window of Green 18 is closing, and my opinion is that Posey might have been a difference this year even without KG. Without KG the Cs gave up 10 more pts per game. You do not think Posey could have cut that in half? Even playing 20 min per game?
See what Tanguay says. He loves Scal.
Ottawa, IL (via Methuen)
A: Go ahead Gary.
GT: First of all, without KG, the C’s gave up an additional 14 points per game. James Posey is a nice complimentary player. The Celtics made the right move in not sacrificing salary cap space in the future in trying to keep a role player. Without KG in the lineup, Posey would not have been the difference in beating Cleveland. How did Posey do with New Orleans? Did he help them get to the finals? No.
Subj: Papelbon pacing himself?
I can't believe that Papelbon is ``pacing'' himself. Did he have to pace himself in past seasons? Does ``pacing'' himself mean throwing four more pitches per inning this year than last? Is throwing a Daisuke-esque 19 pitches per inning this year preserving his arm better? I can't even count how many times he has been unavailable this year following outings in which he throws an astronomical amount of pitches. Call me crazy, but I'd rather my closer be lights-out and throw a more reasonable amount of pitches.
A: And I’m sure you'd rather your closer be 25 the rest of his life. And throw 97-mph fastballs on 9-of-10 pitches. What Fantasy Land do you folks inhabit? Papelbon can't be that guy forever. Unless you want him to be like Brad Lidge or BJ Ryan, or any of the other dozens of closers who came on like Nuke Laloosh only to flame out with arm trouble or head trouble.
So, yes, Papelbon has to pace himself a little more now than he used to. And going forward he may have to pace himself even more. That sort of makes sense to me.
Dice-K stinks. Pure and simple. The Red Sox should forget about salary and politics, keep Brad Penny and dump Dice-K. Even pay a portion of his salary to trade him.
Last year’s 18-3 was a joke. Pure luck. Every Red Sox player must cringe every time Dice-K takes the mound. I know I do.
A: If I’m the Sox, I wait it out with Matsuzaka. It's been bad this year, obviously, but I don't think we've reached the point where you say it's time to give up. We haven't reached Lugo territory, in other words.
I just think they have to leave him alone. Let him pitch the way he wants. Let him work out between starts the way he wants. Let him train in the offseason the way he wants. We're not going to like the way it looks and it may drive the Sox crazy, but I think you have a better chance of getting more out of him by just letting him do it his way.
Subj: Rob Bradford and the AL East
Bradford was prematurely proclaiming the AL East to be a two-horse race just this past week. He denounced Tampa's chances and stated that NYY and BOS would be the two teams competing for the AL East playoff spots. Now, I can easily see the slimy Bradford dancing around this one, but with that aside, do you agree with this? I definitely do not. Tampa is poised to compete to the end just like last year.
A: I've said this many times. I think Tampa is a team to reckon with for the next 5-10 years. They have a ton of young talent, especially in the pitching department. Go look on Baseball America. David Price is just the tip of the iceberg. They aren't going anywhere. But I always felt this season would be a step-back year for them. Just a gut feeling. A lot of things broke right for them last year, and these things have a way of evening out with young teams. This is unscientific, I know.
But here's one item to support you, BHL. A lot of baseball people swear by run differential, believing that the teams with the best marks invariably finish at the top of the division. And as of Wednesday night, the Rays had the second-best run differential in the AL East at +46. That's even though they were in fourth place, two games under .500. The Sox were +50 and the Yankees were +26, for what it's worth.
To: Michael Felger
Use your influence to find out what Theo does with his thumb when he sits down. We all know where it is when he's standing.
A: Why the anger? I’m all for criticizing and calling folks out when they deserve it. And when it comes to the shortstop thing, for example, Epstein deserves it. He deserves it on some other items as well. But again, why the anger? In Epstein’s first six seasons as GM (this is his seventh), the Sox made the playoffs five times, the ALCS four times and won two rings. Do you think he sucks? Or that he has his thumb up his ass? Get a clue, dude.
Subj: Hey Felgy, remember me?
Back in '08 I told you about the two Red Sox vehicles that were ready for trade-ins: Julio `YUGO' and Big `JALOPY!' If you can't trade em' in, scrap 'em!
A: I definitely don't remember you, Vin. It's going to be hard to “scrap” Ortiz, you must admit.
Subj: Proof to support your claim that Buckley was wrong about steroids
I agree with you that David Ortiz being on steroids is a POSSIBILITY. You didn't say that Ortiz was 100% on steroids -- but I guess Buckley and McAdam only hear what they want to hear.
Anyways, on the show, Buckley denied that he was ever wrong about players being on steroids and said that he has never stuck up for Manny. Here is a video of him talking about Manny, and how he isn't on steroids and that he is just a ``great pure hitter.''
A: Thanks for the clip, but I didn’t need it. Baseball writers like Buck and McAdam have been saying the same things for years. We’ve all heard them. Scolding anyone who claimed baseball had a problem. Vilifying Canseco. Defending player after player while saying “there is nothing to suggest’’ that a given star was using. And, as we all know, they’ve been wrong just about every time.
You think they’d learn by now. Giving these players the benefit of the doubt is a noble gesture, but it almost always blows up in their face. The baseball writers first told us that the problem across the league wasn’t nearly as bad as Conseco, Caminiti and others were making it out to be. Wrong. They told us A-Rod couldn't be dirty; there was “nothing to suggest” he was using. Wrong again. Roger worked harder than anyone else. Um, totally wrong. Manny was a natural, as Buck said. Wrong once more.
Here’s what they don’t understand: No one is asking them to accuse anyone of anything. That’s risky business if you like your media job. I’m not going there, either. But when they go in the other direction, when they throw out as they did on Saturday that there’s “nothing to suggest’’ steroid use -- then these guys just look like they’re in the bag. There’s nothing to suggest Ortiz used performance enhancing drugs? Really? What about his working out in the offseason with Angel Presinal, a Dominican trainer so tainted by steroids that he was banned in major league clubhouses over eight years ago? Am I allowed to be skeptical of that one?
I heard Dale Arnold say something about this the other day, and I have to say, he has it right (seriously). He said he’s been wrong on so many guys in the past that he’s done declaring whether he thinks a player is clean or dirty. He’s certainly not going to accuse anyone of being a user absent facts; but he’s also not going to assume someone is clean just because there’s “nothing to suggest” otherwise. The benefit of the doubt, in other words, is gone. Sounds reasonable to me.
So when it comes to steroids and baseball, it turns out Dale Arnold has a harder opinion than these baseball writers. Think of that for a second.
Hope I can help you expose the frauds that Buckley and McAdam are, sucking up to baseball on Ortiz and Steroids. It’s hard to say out loud he did steroids due to being sued, but here are few arguments one can use.
Other than Palmeiro being a bonehead, there are no real players on the list (of players who tested positive) until Manny in 2009. Note: Palmeiro tested positive earlier than they announced and baseball allowed him to continue playing until he got his 3,000 hit, which was wrong.
I have heard the union would give a heads up to players t hat a test was coming. Baseball and the union did not want any big names to come out. Hey, Bud Selig still won’t admit he knew anything about steroids. Palmeiro was just dumb
So let’s see if I have this right: Over a hundred players tested positive when there was no punishment for a positive test, and the next year a total of 12 players test positive. Be honest.
Manny was busted because John Henry is in bed with Bud for letting him buy the Red Sox. So when Manny shot his way out of Boston they went out of their way to get him. You know they tested him a little better than the average player. Under normal testing they would not have caught it because the testosterone was a little higher. Plus they went after the paper work trail.
Ortiz is just a little older and may not be the age he says he is. Not in the best of shape. Plus no longer taking steroids.
Also, Clemens would retire every year so he could use steroids during the summer. Then he’d cycle off and resign for big money. You can’t test a retired player.
A: Not sure Buck and McAdam would agree with your commentary. But who cares? There is only one word for your Manny and Clemens conspiracy theories:
I love Big Papi, but I am convinced he was a steroid or HGH user. There are obvious signs that it was possible: The Dominican connection of friends, the trainer that he knows in The Dominican who is linked to steroids, his spike in performance coming from the Twins, his drop-off-the-cliff-performance now, and more. When I heard you last Saturday I tried to call in but could not get through. Sean McAdam was saying ``Why would he have stopped? If he was avoiding detection for so long, why we he stop using steroids now?’’ The only plausible answer is that he had to for health reasons. We all know that steroids can cause long term health decline if used for prolonged periods of time. One of the possible health issues that PEDs can cause is heart problems. Do you remember two years ago when Ortiz had to be admitted to MGH because of heart palpitations? This happened twice! I think he was warned that if he kept using he was going to have more life threatening health issues ahead.
(Please do not print my full name)
A: Why ever not, Dave?
You better watch out. The BBWAA is going to be on your ass because you didn’t square up to the camera and put your name to your skepticism.
Anyway, as for McAdam’s question -- if Ortiz was taking steroids, why did he stop? -- how is anyone supposed to know that? It’s unanswerable, which is why Sean asks it. The whole thing is murky, isn’t it? Does Sean think that when you stop taking steroids their benefits end that week? It’s my understanding that the benefits come on a lot quicker than they wear off. Beyond that, why would any pro athlete stop taking the stuff? There are a million reasons. It’s bad for you. Maybe it’s a health scare. Maybe it’s getting a big contract. Maybe it’s losing a source. Maybe it’s increased scrutiny.
But, again, who could know any of this? Who knows what Ortiz took or didn’t take? Who knows when or where? I’m not making those guesses. All I’m saying I’m skeptical and I don’t know. There’s no benefit of the doubt.
The only ones making guesses are the baseball writers who insist to us these guys are clean.
And just for the record, I like Ortiz a great deal, too. I know it may not sound like that recently, but this really isn’t about him. Ortiz seems like a good guy and has been a great player for this team. He has a spirit and a joy for life that’s easy to root for. He’s a winner. I hope he turns it around, and I don’t blame the Sox for being patient with him.
All together now:
There was another pit bull attack in Lowell yesterday. A girl was bitten in the face.
My parent’s Yorkie attacks everybody and everything. They make no attempt to train it. No one cares. It weighs six pounds and can chew on your hand all day without you noticing.
A: It’s the timing remarkable? For the second straight week, I take on the dog nuts in the b-bag mailbag. And for the second straight week there’s a pit bull attack the very day the thing is posted. Actually, this week there were two in the Boston area. (Click here and here for the stories.)
Funny, but the dog kooks never mention these stories to me.
I have to say I go back and forth on you. I enjoyed you back in the day, now you drive me nuts sometimes. Just like my wife. But I digress...
Your pit bull article was great. The responses have been fantastically loony. Hey, I love dogs. I had the best mutt a family could have for 15 years growing up. I hope to get another some day. I've also had the (dis)pleasure of living near two pit bulls. Once, one stared me down (no leash or owner in sight) while I was out shoveling. Needless to say, that wasn't pleasant. The owners were, shall we say, an excellent combo of the imbecile/creep platter you mentioned.
My favorite part of these emails has been the people who've said how goldens, labs, pomeranians, chihuahuas, etc. all have more instances of attacks/bites that ``pit bulls.’’ OK, fine, you may be 100% right. I won't argue.
But I ask a simple question...WHAT HURTS MORE? WHEN A PIT BULL BITES YOUR NECK AND WON"T LET GO OR WHEN A 2.5 POUND POMERANIAN NIPS AT THE BACK OF YOUR HEEL? WHAT WILL DO MORE DAMAGE? I think pretty much rests your case right there.
A: As Mike showed, it feels much better when you go all caps.
Isn’t the best pit bull ownership analogy the ‘game’ of Russian Roulette? No sane person would ever play Russian Roulette, right? It doesn’t matter whether the gun has eight chambers, 80 chambers or 1.8 million chambers. The downside is too high. Owning a pit bull is like playing Russian Roulette with a gun where you can’t count the chambers. Some pit bulls may have more chambers than others but all have a bullet in them. Just because most will go their whole lives without going off doesn’t mean they were or are safe. This just isn’t the case with most breeds.
BTW, this pit bull topic is pure gold. When can we expect to read about your glowing tribute to NASCAR?
A: NASCAR? It’s not a sport, and it’s the most boring thing on the air. I’d rather watch anything other than a bunch of cars making left turns. I mean, anything. Women’s hoop. Figure skating. The NBA. But those toothless goobers really don’t harm anyone like the dog nuts or the members of the BBWAA do. It’s not like I see a NASCAR dude on the sidewalk and feel the need to grab my daughter’s hand and cross the street.
Why do people get so bent out of shape when an athlete (read: Tom Brady) goes on vacation or gets married? I don’t get it! How does a vacation, getting married or visiting his son make him any less dedicated to his job? If anything, don't you think an athlete is more likely to slack or have less dedication after signing his first pro contract or first big deal?
A: I don’t think people get bent out of shape when an athlete goes on vacation or gets married. I think they get interested when it’s Tom Brady. Is there even one other Boston athlete who gets his picture taken away from his field/arena? Brady is a totally unique case, Mike.
Subj: Best in Boston
Who are the top three sports journalists in Boston (one radio/tv personality, one beat writer, and a best editorialist) and why? Could answering this question get you even more vicious feedback than your pit bull article?
I'd be interested in getting some perspective on who the best of the best is from an insider and you're probably the only one with the guts to answer this publicly. I was going to ask who the worst was, but figured that was pushing it.
A: Love to give you the worst, Kevin. Actually, some of us already have the list compiled, but we don’t call it the five worst. We call it “the top five biggest vaginas in the Boston sports media.’’ No joke. The list exists. I’ll share it some day, I promise.
As for the best, here’s my take.
When it comes to reporting, what the Herald (led by McAdam) does to the Globe on baseball is embarrassing. It’s a nightly drubbing. And, of course, Mike Reiss has become a voice of record in this town, which is no small task. Karen Guregian has always been a very good reporter, but let’s face it -- since Feb. 2, 2008, the Herald has a lot stacked against it when it comes to the Patriots. On a strictly fact-finding basis, McAdam (Sox) and Reiss (Pats) are the best.
Of course, those guys don’t exactly scratch the itch when things are going poorly for the teams they cover or the subject matter gets uncomfortable (ahem, steroids). When it comes to editorializing, I’d mention Gerry Callahan. I think he’s extremely valuable to WEEI because he breaks from the conformity of opinion that exits from most of the hosts on that station. On most days, you can pretty much predict what everyone is going to say, but not Gerry. He thinks differently and takes chances.
Cedric Maxwell is also huge in this regard. He’s not afraid. And, of course, an angry Ron Borges on the Patriots or an angry Dan Shaugnessy on anything are must-reads.
As for the best, pure “broadcaster,” Ordway is really good. Voice quality. Pacing. Delivery. Timing. When it comes to that stuff, there’s Glenn and then there’s everyone else. You all know that Glenn isn’t too risky with his opinions. But if you tune in and just listen to the way he’s talking, if you only pick up the tone, you’d think he’s delivering the most important piece of information you’ll hear that day. It all sounds newsy and urgent. No one else really duplicates it.
You get paid for your knowledge of sports, not your sex appeal. Where did you ever get the idea of half unbuttoning your white shirt on ``Sports Tonight?’’ If you had boobs, there might be some interest.
A: This is a serious issue. There is a fatal design flaw with most dress shirts when it comes to that second button. If you use it, the shirt is too tight. You look dorky, like you should be wearing a pocket protector. If you open it up, there’s the man cheese issue. As most of you can tell, I’ve decided to err on the side of the hamburger meat. If I could only find that shirt where the second button was a little lower, then I could avoid feeling like a dweeb (Tanguay) while not subjecting you to my dogpatch (Dickerson).
Subj: Your dog rant
I let my 14-year-old shih tzu read your column shortly before I had to put him to sleep due to natural causes. He looked at me funny, barked, and sneezed. Loosely translated, it means, ``Felger you dog-hating DB.’’
A: So now I know why Buckley sneezes all the time when I’m around.
Felger can be seen on Sports Sunday on Comcast Sportsnet, Sundays at 10 p.m. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.