Monday, August 01, 2005

As Hazel Would Say "Buh Bye"

Hey all - from the usual suspects (aka "peeps" - the list is growing), to those of you that have been here before, to those happening on this page for the first time, to of know who if she's sneaking a peek...the vacation ended today (Civic Holiday in Ontario)

There was so much to write about this weekend -
  • the NHL draft and seeing Mr. Mario Lemieux on Friday night
  • the NHL draft and the obvious and the very surprising picks
  • some of the surprising moves in the NHL
  • the unravelling/breakdown of the O's - a team I thought could really do it this year
  • the controversy around Manny's day off and talk of trading him (ya if)
but anyone who logged on to the net, turned on a radio or television today knows that there is only one thing people are talking about - Rafael Palmeiro. I was stunned to hear that Rafael was being suspended for 10 games for contravening Major League Baseball's drug (steroids) policy. I found out today when I tuned in to sports radio today, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Skip Bayliss hosting the Jim Rome Show (thankfully Rome is gone for a couple of weeks) - Bayliss is pretty outspoken and has no problem voicing his opinion...a very well informed and well-thought out opinion from the times I've caught him.

Bayliss had gone on record as saying the didn't think Palmeiro was a Hall of Famer (even after the 3,000th hit) - while I'm not sure I agree with Skip, he had some compelling arguments to support his position. Well, maybe it was just me who believed Rafael when he spoke at that Congressional hearing this spring - but it seems that everyone listening to sports radio knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Palmeiro was lying and they "absoultely knew" that he was on steroids. Funny, when I think back to those hearings - the consensus was that Canseco was grasping at straws and a liar who couldn't be he, and if you can believe it...Jason Giambi are being held up as bastions of truth. Suddenly Jose isn't an idiot and a lying sack of crap - he's not even a rat or a snitch...nope, today he is a "whistleblower". Yes, you read that right Jose is a whistleblower. Now back when all this was going on...I said that while I didn't believe everything Canseco had discussed in his book - I also said that I didn't believe the other stooges who appeared before congress. I had said something to the effect that with Canseco "the fool can't always be wrong...sometimes the village idiot speaks the truth". Jose must be smiling right now...McGwire must be groaning...Sammy has forgotten more English...and Curt must be dying to give his two cents (it must be killing him not to be saying something - now that he's pitching again...he can talk to the media right?)

I feel bad for Palmeiro...I really do. You can go on and on about how he cheated, how his numbers mean nothing and his accomplishments are forever tainted, how he isn't a Hall of Famer...and so on. I'm not disagreeing with any of that - I just feel bad for the is a guy who's been pretty classy his whole career, now being mocked and having his integrity and character dragged through the mud, made the butt of jokes, a whipping boy for frustrated fans who long for the days of sports when there were "clean" (I've questioned why people feel so attached to records that they didn't set - who cares?)

Palmeiro was a guy that put together a very nice career (hell, 3,000+ hits and close to 600 HRs is a lot better than "very nice") - he was never brash or arrogant...he always seemed pretty quiet, pretty unassuming...a guy that went about his business. He's now pissed it all away (no pun intended...isn't that how they test?) ... his voice was shaky today as he read his prepared statement...I think he knows it's over and that he is in for a very very bad time at Major League parks other than Camden Yards (and maybe Texas). I wonder how many other major league ball players are getting a little worried - I mean...if Palmeiro tests positive - that to me is an indication that a lot more than 2 or 3% of major leaguers are "juiced". Isn't that right Curt? what was the number you originally had put it at? Major League Baseball brought down a big fish a month where he received so much notoriety and praise for his accomplishments - suddenly Alex Sanchez and Jorge Piedra seem like minnows in the ocean of steroids and performance enhancing drungs.

Our friend Hazel has been around Major League Baseball parks and ball players for a few years now...I wonder if she has an inside scoop (not that she could share it I guess...), if she's peeking - she would be given administrative rights to post on here (new and improved meaning to "Thoughts of Hazel Mae" - don't you think?). I wonder what her thoughts on Rafael would be... Major League Baseball says he's out for 10 games - somehow, I think it's going to be a lot more than that...and with his departure - the final nail in the O's coffin this year (I thought they might have a run left in them - hard to see it after this one).

While the weekend had so much to talk about - there was a shocker today...if you are part of Leafs Nation (I'm pretty sure Hazel still is - at least I hope) we have to say "buh bye" to Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk - both of whom said goodbye to Toronto and hello to the Florida Panthers (at least it wasn't the frigging Senators). Some members are happy to see the Leafs get younger, many are upset that they are gone...and some are showing sour grapes claiming that they were too injury prone. On behalf of Leafs Nation a very big thank you to both of them...Roberts for the grit, determination and excitement he brought this team over the last few years...and Nieuwendyk for taking a pay cut to try to bring a cup to Toronto (at least he killed the Senators last year).

I'm not happy to see either of them go...I thought that with the trade for O'Neill...they were a lock to stay. Nick Kypreos was on Sportsnet earlier...talking about what really happened (is it just me, or does Kypreos love bashing Leafs Management - I wonder if Hazel knows anything about Nick's hated of the Leafs - geez, he wore the Blue and White for a while). Kypreos painted a pretty bad picture of the negotiations with Roberts and Nieuwendyk...The Leafs lost a lot today...I hope that somehow this is the precursor to bringing in Naslund and Forsberg (though I'd be happy with Naslund)...or maybe...just maybe...clearing the way to bring Joe Thornton into the blue and white next year (is Hazel working on that? haha).

More on the NHL another a Leaf's a sad sad day indeed (I'm sure Hazel and the rest of Leafs Nation would agree). Thoughts? Comments? Who knows, JF Jr. might get wind of this - haha.


Seems that even with all the money David Beckham brings to Real Madrid (I still think he's over-rated and his ass should be glued to the bench)...he can't exert enough influence over Real's Manager to save Michael Owen's hide. Owen has now joined my man Figo as the odd men out at Real...with the signing of Robinho - Owen is expendable. Figo may join Owen's old team...Liverpool - or perhaps head to Italy where Inter Milan is said to have interest. Owen is left with the prospect of going to Man U (which will certainly make him a hated young man in Liverpool).

With the NHL gearing up for a few weeks of free agent "buh byes and hellos" - I include this last one for the amusement of Canadian sports fans. I read in Sunday's paper that Jody Vance has asked Rogers Sportsnet to let her out of her contract...stating that she felt it was time to pursue other opportunities. Vance was under contract until March 2006, but has seen her role drastically reduced over the last year or so (I won't get into why that is...but anyone following the story would know - Hazel must be cracking a smile over this one). Vance said she didn't know what she wanted to do just yet...wanting to take the summer off...and then maybe think of going back to talk radio in Vancouver. Let me get this straight...Vance is going to leave a national network (though in essence that decision was made for her last fall) to go to regional sports radio...riiiiiiiiight. Oh...and the person that "knew nothing about sports" left Rogers to head south to one of the biggest media markets in the US to host a nightly highlight show, solo I might add, and work for a network who owns a baseball team that won a World Series - whose next step is surely going to be national down there...sure beats sharing time with Jim Van Horne...huh Jody? I said, tonight's originally planned post had to be pre-empted by events of the day...stay tuned...tomorrow we discuss the NHL (yes again)...the weekend and the bike ride from hell...oh, and guess who reported to training camp? Terrell Owens (a favourite of Hazelspeeps) is back in Philly...but dammit, he isn't happy about it. So I'm calling it a night here...thank you for stopping by, I hope it was worth the time.

So, the song of the day on Hazelspeeps - for the way JF Jr. supposedly dealt with Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk...for Rafael Palmeiro (I hate to do it to him) who called Canseco a liar in front of a congressional hearing, but tested positive for Michael Owen who left Liverpool because he wanted to win European Championships and then watch Liverpool win this year (still kilss me) and most of all - Ms. Jody Vance...she knows why...(Hazel would know why...and Canadian sports fans would know why)...

Karma - Alicia Keyes

"What goes around comes around"

ain't that the truth? Ok...I'm outta here...I'm going out on a limb...I'm thinking Hazel's peeking tonight...with Jody Vance in the news...she's gotta be. hahahaha - Night Hazel.

Peesth out!


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