Monday, August 15, 2005

Who Knew Sports Fans Could Be So Angry?

Hey peeps and anyone else stopping by or happening on this page for the first time (here's hoping you check back). Monday entries are used to recap the weekend in the world of sports - I mean, would you anyone really want to check in to see Friday, Saturday and Sunday roll ups? I doubt it, but if I'm wrong - feel free to tell me you can't get enough of this page and we'll start this weekend (insert laugh track here).

I tuned in to watch a bit of the Jays vs Orioles on Sunday afternoon, I wasn't going to watch any of it, had better things to do than watch a couple of also rans in the A.L. East (it pains me to put Baltimore in there...I really thought they had a good thing going earlier in the season)...but Jamie Campbell (a former colleague of Hazel's from her days are Rogers Sportsnet) wouldn't stop talking about this being Palmeiro's first game back - so I had to watch his first at bat. I was saddened to see the reaction of the O's fans. A few weeks ago, I read something about Boston sports fans being the best sports fans in the U.S. (I always thought St. Louis had the best fans...but that's neither here nor there) - if Boston has the best fans, Baltimore has to have some of the worst fans.

What I saw on Sunday was, to sum it up in one word, "sad". There was a mix of cheers and boos, understandable but still not acceptable, but the good fans of Baltimore didn't stop there - that would have been too easy. What I saw was parents standing there next to their kids...lustily booing Palmeiro, encouraging their children to do the same (some had their kids holding up homemade signs denouncing Palmeiro). I think it was very week of Rogers to show that (apologies to she was a Rogers employee...but nonetheless) - what purpose did it serve? Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star wrote an article on Palmeiro and his return to the O's yesterday. Normally I like Griffin, he's a big Hazel Mae backer/booster - today's article was pretty harsh (calling Palmeiro a cheater) and didn't need to be written; like I said, normally I like Griffin, but today's article contained no new information, no new opinions or just took a shot at Palmeiro - something that is too easy to do these days.

I have never subscribed to that old adage "I paid my money...I can come and boo if I want." Everybody is paying the shot for something - and it doesn't give them the right to come boo you at your place of work if you screw something up. Palmeiro's infraction is more than simply "screwing up" - but if Baltimore fans were that disgusted and outraged they should have just stayed away (according to media reports - a great number left after his at was supposed to be Rafael Palmeiro day at Camden Yards). I have a lot of trouble thinking that anyone would support taking your kid to a ball game for the express purpose of booing an athlete. There is a perfect way to encourage or foster a love of the game in your kids huh? Hazel, if you are reading - feel free to chime in on this one. :-) (I gotta think Hazel wouldn't approve of that stuff)

Steve Simmons of the Sun mused that maybe Eric Hinske isn't as good as Jays fans want to think he is/can be - Simmons wondered if what Hinske has shown to date is all Jays fans can expect from him. If you have read some of the earlier postings - you'll know that I think pretty much the same thing. Hinske had a good rookie season..but what Jays fans can legitimately expect from him is a batting avg of .245 - 260, 15 - 18 HR, and maybe 65 - 70 RBI (depending on where he hits) all this to say - these number are not good enough for a player in a power position. The Chickenhawk made a big mistake by not getting rid of Hinske before the trade deadline - trading Hinske would be a case of "addition by subtraction" for the Jays. J.P. will never get rid of him though - that would be like admitting he made a mistake when he got Hinske...and he isn't going to do that. Suffer Jays fans...suffer.

The Red Sox keep rolling - but questions are starting to come about:
  • what to do with Foulke now that he is coming back (most fans don't want him closing) ,

  • what to do with Schilling, who wants back into the rotation even though he is getting hit hard in the pen (he blew a save against the Tigers tonight),

  • how comfortable is Matt Clement - he's been getting hit since back from the incident a few weeks back (remember I asked if he would be gun-shy when he came back)

  • what to do about Bellhorn and Graffanino.
I'm sure well all have an opinion - but who better to comment than Hazel? After all - doesn't she host the Sox show down there? (Still no sign of JZone up here - not without Hazel). Red Sox Nation - rest comfortably knowing that your bats will carry you to a division title this year (yes...I still believe the Yankees are too old and tired do make any serious run at the Sox). The playoffs may be a different story - you had better hope the "Hazel Karma" rubs off on them again.

What a weekend! No, Figo hasn't started his inaugural Serie A campaign with Inter Milan.
However, I had a couple of proline tickets that I started on Saturday and finished with Arsenal and Chelsea both winning - Arsenal threw a scare into me, waiting until the 80th minute to score...Chelsea (aka Portuguese National Team North) waited until the 92nd minute to score (I was on the verge of ripping up my tickets in disgust) - Hernan Crespo scored a beauty and made Sunday - a beautiful day!

Jose Mourinho showed himself to be a man of class (regardless of what the English press tries to make him out to be) - when Crespo scored that beauty, breaking the heart of Wigan's fans, Mourinho immediately went to Wigan's manager..shook his hand and told him that his side deserved a better fate. The commentators pointed out that it was a very classy thing for Mourinho to do. I'm sure Hazel would approve.

Speaking of Portuguese National Team - Manager Scolari has called up Portuguese wonderkid Joao Moutinho to play in a friendly against Egypt this week. Why is this signifcant you ask? ( even if you aren't asking) I will tell you - two reasons. One, Moutinho is seen as the future - a midfielder they will build their team around - with Christiano Ronaldo up front of course. But secondly, and from my perspective, more importantly - the game is to be played in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Acores - my favourite place in the whole wide world (click the link and check out the pic - "the gates of the city" - the homeland). Forca Portugal!

An interesting weekend to be a fan of the NHL - the free agent frenzy has calmed down a bit...which means that fans can now start voicing their opinions on how their teams came out of it. Funny story, I was at a birthday party on Saturday night, enjoying a nice tall frosty glass of Kilkenney Irish Cream Ale - when a guy I was introduced to five minutes before launches into a tirade and a verbal attack on me for being a Leaf fan. The guy went ballistic, screaming at me, telling me how much Toronto sucks, how we should be ashamed for signing "gimps like lindros and allison" and "goons like domi" - so he's screaming at the top of his lungs...mocking all Leaf fans and then he asks me what I have to say about that.

I looked him dead in the eye and said "Hazel Mae likes the Leafs" - he shakes his head and says "what? huh?... I'M ASKING YOU ABOUT THE LEAFS!!!! YOU P***Y - A***D LEAF FAN" - I should mention the guy was loaded and about 6'4" and 240 lbs. So, again, I look at him calmly and say "I don't care what you say...Hazel Mae likes the Leafs." A friend of mine heard me, starts laughing hysterically - the guy who was yelling at me looked totally confused...and asks who in the hell Hazel Mae is. I walked away laughing, afer telling him I couldn't talk to any Canadian sports fan who didn't know who Hazel was - I think he left to go find an internet cafe...cuz I didn't seem him after that. Why do people hate us Leaf fans? Has any member of Red Sox Nation felt this kind of hatred? I think Leaf and Red Sox fans have a kinship. Maybe I'm wrong - as usual, Hazel's perspective on this one would be most welcomed - she has the perspective of Leaf Nation - and she experienced the euphoria in Boston last fall.

I like the Leaf signings - while they didn't make a huge splash on the free agent market, I think they did as well as could be expected with the resources they had left - they didn't make any huge blunders. Allison could be the bargain of the year if he comes back and plays anything like he did in Boston - if he doesn't, no big deal...they don't have a lot of $ tied up in him. Same goes for the Big E - he may be the most intriguing signing of the summer. Lindros took a lot less money to come home to Southern Ontario - saying it was where he wanted to be (ahem....ahem - I hope Hazel shares Lindros' sentiment - hahaha). Lindros is coming back home to prove a point to the Rangers and the Flyers who gave up on him - to a lot of NHL fans who think he's washed up. If Lindros plays with Sundin and Jeff O'Neill - watch out! Lindros will be a point a game player and could once again be a dominant force in the NHL - especially if he plays on the wing where he won't get caught skating across the middle. Stay tuned Leaf Nation...I really think we got better this past week - as much as it hurt to lose Roberts and "Niewy" - Anson Carter or the man Leaf Nation affectionately refers to as "ALMO" (Mogilny) may be signed sometime this is one of them will be.

Todd Bertuzzi (or as someone on Red Sox Nation called him "Scott Bertuzzi") made a statement to the media today as he went to the Team Canada Orientation Camp - blah blah.

Well, that's about it for me for tonight. If you have made it this far - thanks for taking the time to read these random's hoping a few of them made you laugh a little - or at least a smile...especially Hazel if she's peeking. Night everyone - more tomorrow.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - tough one today...but for Leaf Nation and our hope that Eric Lindros will pan out the way we hope...

Elvis is Everywhere - Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper

When I look out into your eyes out there
When I look into your faces - you know what I see?
I see a little bit of Elvis in each and every one of you out there
Let me tell ya...

Weeeeellllllllllllllllllllllll Elvis is everywhere
Elvis is everything
Elvis is everybody
Elvis is still the king


It's definitely one of those novelty songs you have to have - that's it.

Peesth out!


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