Wednesday, August 01, 2007

We Weren't Buying It Then - And Aren't Buying It Now

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

We're on vacation this week - so our updates will be somewhat sporadic and later than usual.

The big news up here, if you discount J.P. Ricciardi's inaction yesterday, is that LA Galaxy superstar David Beckham won't be taking the field on Sunday as the Galaxy visit Toronto. Beckham, who is nursing an ankle injury, is listed as doubtful for the game - this of course has created a major headache for the Toronto FC, who have issued a statement to fans in order to prevent any calls for a refund. It reads as follows:

"Consistent with all sporting events, we are not in a position to guarantee that any player will appear in a match. As with any other player under contract with either club participating in the game, should Mr. Beckham be unable to play in the game no refunds will be issued for tickets purchased. Fans should be aware that Mr. Beckham has been rehabilitating an injury. His status for Sunday's game has not been determined by the Galaxy at this time."

Ok, we have to ask now. Why would Toronto FC 's management feel the need to issue a statement like this? All season long, the FC's fans have been held up as model fans - "knowledgeable fans who love soccer and will support the team through its growing pains" (or something to that effect).

So the question we have to Toronto FC is - Why issue such a statement? Surely, knowledgeable fans who love soccer would understand that injuries are part of the game? If your rabid fans love the game so shouldn't matter that Beckham won't be taking the field right? Surely they would have bought tickets had Beckham never signed on to play in North America.

We've had doubts about the "rabid fans in Toronto" - the FC's ticket marketing campaign centered around this game. Fans were told before the season that the team would not sell individual game tickets to the Galaxy - that the only way to guarantee your spot was to buy season's tickets or a three-game pack which would include the Galaxy game. The over-the-top reaction from FC fans has struck us as artificial and manufactured from day one - actually, we are wondering how many of these "fans" are actually paid cheerleaders - we are having trouble believing that there are that many devoted MLS fans in the Greater Toronto Area - or Canada for that matter.

So Toronto FC built their marketing campaign on Beckham coming to Toronto - and now seem somewhat surprised that fans are more than a little pissed that he won't be playing. What did they expect?

We've said it before and we believe it more than ever now - we're giving it two more years before the FC plays to crowds of 5,000 or less.

Speaking of Beckham - we love football (yes, "Football") here, we really do - and we have the utmost respect from the legends of the game. However, sometimes we wish they would shut their pie-holes about the game's current players and stop being so bitter about the fact they didn't make the coin today's stars are making. The great Pele, who has a negative opinion on everything that isn't Brazil has shared his opinions on Beckham.

Pele, in his own special way, has taken a shot or two at Beckham - while we aren't necessarily disagreeing with what he is saying, we can't help but remember he was on over the hill, way past his prime, marquee star who whored his football reputation to play for the New York Cosmos way back is Beckham really that much different than Pele was?

Pele's great career can't be questioned (though we aren't prepared to say he was the best ever), but his motives for sharing his views on today's players should be. Pele should follow the lead of other former stars who promote the game and talk about positives. Portugal's Eusebio (who blew Pele away when they played head to head) has always encouraged today's players to better than their predecessors and always speaks about the positives of the game. We really wish the media would stop talking to this guy.

In Other News

The MLB trade non-waiver trade deadline came and went - a few trades of note, but nothing that we would consider earth shattering. Since we all have an opinion and everyone has read the analysis on the trades, we don't have much to add. We will say kudos to Theo Esptein for pulling off a trade with Texas that see Canadian Eric Gagne head east for three non-roster players (essentially...since Gabbard's few starts aren't enough to deem him a roster player). GMs always say that a great trade is one where you can get an established player without losing anyone off your current roster.

Michael Vick is talking about playing in the NFL in the future...this guy needs a reality check.

Sad news from San Francisco where coaching legend Bill Walsh passed away - we hated him when he was on the sidelines with red and gold, but we respected him...which is saying a lot as Cowboys' fans.

The Oakland Raiders are officially the dumbest organization in the NFL - signing Daunte Culpepper is a joke and clearly demonstrates that they haven't a clue of what it takes to win. Enjoy Culpepper you chumps.

That's about it for this abbreviated (maybe not huh?) post.

New York Yankees LF Hideki Matsui hit two home runs and drove in five to lead the Yankees to a 16-3 win over the White Sox...we mention that because it was good for the Maeple Leafs in the yahoo pool

Atlanta Braves 2B Kelly Johnson also hit two home runs and drove in five to power the Braves to a 12-4 win over the Astros.

Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz hit two home runs in a losing cause last night - we don't normally give it up for players on the losing end of the box score...but it was Ortiz (who we like) or Gary Matthews Jr (who has "questions" surrounding him) - Big Papi wins everytime.

We'll add up the totals later tonight. Today'suggestions:

Cincinnati over Washington - yuck, I know. But you have to look for value and today, Rockstar Bronson Arroyo is good value over the Nats. Lay $100 on the Reds - $125.

Atlanta over Houston - we've been woe to back anyone named "Buddy" but Carlyle gets our support over Wandy Rodriguez who has been awful on the road this year. Lay $100 on the Braves - $155.

Detroit over Oakland - we'll go with Robertson over Braden today...especially after Tigers dropped one last night to Dan Haren. Lay $100 on Detroit - $120.

In case you are wondering - ya, we suggest going against Josh Towers too!

That's it for today gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We're Out.


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