Sticking with the theme of picking All-Star teams and the game itself on the horizon for this upcoming Tuesday, here what is without a doubt my personal all-time favorite moment. Granted this is a giant homer pick with a huge pregame ceremony culminating in Teddy Ballgame’s dramatic entrance from the bullpen and the game itself being played at Fenway. More than that, it features, in my opinion, the most dominant starting pitcher of our generation. There are without a doubt others in the debate, but my money’s on Pedro Martinez and will be every time. It’s no secret that I have a huge man crush on Pedro, but just like that shitty TV show on ESPN, numbers never lie. From 1997-2003 (a span of seven seasons) there was only one year in which he did not post an ERA below 2.40. You’ll have to forgive him for his dreadful ’98 season when he had the astronomical ERA of 2.89. In these seven seasons, Pedro compiled over 300 K’s twice, won three Cy Young awards, and got absolutely robbed of what should have been an MVP award in ’99. Speaking of ’99, that brings us right back to the clip above. The game’s MVP that year became the first and only pitcher to strike out the side to start an All-Star Game. He then proceeded to strike out two more the next inning. To add to the legend of this man, this was right after the classic home run race of ’98 featuring Slammin’ Sammy and Big Mac. Steroids be damned, both were a part of the Boston Massacre that Pedro laid down in those first two innings that evening. This game and this moment was electric. Will another pitcher ever be able to duplicate a performance like this? Pedro ain’t walking through that door.
Author Archives: wweir
The AL has been filled with surprises all season. The big spending Angels have floundered around the bottom of the AL West for most of the 1st half before a recent surge. Meanwhile the low budget A’s have moneyballed their way atop the division for the 2nd consecutive year. In the Central the Tigers stand atop, but the revitalized Tribe lead by new manager Tito Francona are lurking close behind. Then there’s the AL East which for small stretches has seen all 5 of its teams hold winning records. The Blue Jays made the biggest off-season noise but haven’t climbed out of the cellar, while the “rebuilding” Red Sox have the best record in the AL. I know this team has already been announced but without further delay here are the BA AL All Stars: Continue reading
Are we really half way through the baseball season already? I’ve been so wrapped up in the NBA and NHL playoffs going on that baseball has been an afterthought for a good portion of the past 2 months. Now don’t get me wrong, the season is long as shit, so there still are a solid 3 months of baseball watching to go. With the season being half way over that does mean that the mid summer classic is nearly upon us. For my money’s worth, the MLB All-Star Game is the best one in sports. Hands down! The NBA has no one playing defense and everyone either jacks up a 3 or is part of an impromptu dunk contest. Which is fine, but we’d all much rather have guys like LeBron and KD putting on that show the night before. Until those marquee NBA players stop being pansies this ain’t changing and the game itself will continue to blow. In the NHL there’s no checking and that overwhelming intensity that we just witnessed all season is put on ice for this exhibition and games typically end with scores approaching or breaking double digits. As for the NFL, we don’t even need to touch the on the Pro Bowl. Check out this clip, and that’s all you need to know. Aside from the fact that the MLB All-Star Game “counts” (which is still extremely absurd) this is the one professional sport where their mid season showcase can still resemble the sport all the guys chosen for the game actually play. So without further ado, here the National League BA All-Stars:
*These teams are not MLB regulated, so it’s my rules and my teams. I will keep with tradition and ensure that every team is represented by at least one player. Continue reading
Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward of all time. Period. Way before he was set to appear in his fifth NBA Finals was this fact cemented. Malone, Barkley, McHale, and Garnett are all great in their own right but none of them can hold a candle to TIMMY. He’s been the catalyst for four championship teams over the past 16 years and has had the Spurs in title contention for every one of them. He has never had a team win less than 50 games, and he’s always been the team’s main superstar. TIMMY has never been the flashiest player and therefore doesn’t accrue the attention that high-flyers and media goldmines like Shaq, Kobe, and LeBron have gotten over the years. Thus the nickname “The Big Fundamental” is quite fitting. No flash and no showboating. Just results. To think that Tim Duncan was an All-NBA First Team performer in his rookie year and is again in his 16th season is absolutely mind-boggling! The man is everything you could ever want to teach a kid learning to play the game to emulate. So here is an ode to those fundamentals and his signature bank shot with a guest appearance from the great Red Auerbach. No, they aren’t in the clip together talking or running drills , but you’ll see what I mean, just watch the damn clip!
I remember the days when I used sit around and debate which team had the better shortstop? Was it the evil empire and their golden pretty boy, Derek Jeter? Or was it the sweet stroking and quirky Nomar Garciaparra of my beloved Red Sox? As time passed, the answer became clear and there was no doubt who the superior player was. If you take into account Jeter’s off the field stats, this matchup doesn’t even deserve consideration. But, during the late 90’s and early 2000’s there was no fiercer argument between the great rivals and their two stars on field accomplishments. Since those days, each team has remained competitive and dominated the AL East for most of the past decade. However, a new positional debate has arisen as perhaps the top two second basemen in all the game reside in the hallowed dugouts of Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano. Who ya got? As the Sox and Yanks get set to renew the rivalry once again, let’s break down the careers of two premier second basemen in the game. Continue reading
By Mark McDonough
I don’t watch golf. I know nothing about golf, unless you’re referring to the version with windmills you hit the ball through. (Once at Pirate’s Cove in Cape Cod, the Augusta National of mini-golf courses, I ran and then fell down the giant hill at the end and cried. It was a rough day for me, but for everyone that saw a fat kid rolling around with his putter, it must have made their summer.) Continue reading
It has to suck to live in Seattle right? Unless you’re really into mildly rainy days all the time or are a grunge rock enthusiast (I’m not even sure this is still a genre of music). What else has there been to cheer in the last 15 years? Your baseball team has had 4 of the greatest players of all time and had zero success. For christ sakes, you guys at one point had a team that consisted of Jr., The Unit, A-Rod, Edgar Martinez, and Jay F-ing Buhner! Still don’t know how Steinbrenner let that last one get away. Then Ichiro came along and was one of the greatest hitting machines known to man, but all of his teams followed suit and won nada. Then you have the Seahawks who’s prized moments centered around Shaun Alexander, the Guinness World Record holder for fastest to go from “best player at his position to completely washed up” and was being wing manned by Matt Hasselbeck. Enough Said. I’ll concede that this franchise has a bright future, so hold on until at least the fall Seattle sports fans, where undoubtedly something will happen to make you wanna cry all over again. And please let that something be Richard Sherman getting eaten by a wild cheetah at the zoo. Not a well thought out scenario but any type of carnage towards that man I would relish greatly. Now we have what was once the Seattle SuperSonics home and the city that could have had the NBA’s 2nd best player and a franchise with championship aspirations for the next decade. Instead they got nothing. This city was willing to settle for the freaking Kings! They’re that desperate! Maybe if they play their cards right they can get the Bobcats instead. Or is that playing your cards worse than even before? Well, anyways the Kings are staying put in Sacramento and for a stretch in the early 2000’s they produced some of the most entertaining basketball we’ve ever seen. So here’s an ode to second place (or 3rd or 4th sometimes) and a cheers to Sac town for getting a chance to watch their dysfunctional group of current head cases and reminisce on the old days. Come to think of it maybe Sacramento should’ve moved on. The “glory days” were a decade ago and the future doesn’t look promising. Is it possible everyone lost in this scenario?
Irrational is defined as being without logic. Well that sure as hell describes this team. These specific breed of ballers have that inexplicable swagger that can single handedly pull teams back from the dead and then dig their teams graves quicker than TBS can make another show that needs to be canned before reaching season 2. A synonym for this squad could also be the “We just don’t give a f*ck, we always think we’re the best players on the court no matter what you think!” team. A little wordy, so we’ll just stick with the title. Bill Simmons touched on this topic during an article last week but in honor of the Bulls game 1 upset led by the captain of the all irrational confidence team, Nate Robinson, I present to you the BA Style All Irrational Confidence Team:
Where else would I start than besides the captain? Nate has been a volatile player ever since he entered the league out of the University of Washington where he starred not only on the hardwood but on the grid iron as well as a shut down corner. As we’ve all seen Nate’s got some of the best hops in the game being the only 3 time slam dunk champion at the mere height of 5’9. As I’ve debated over the past couple of days with several friends, you either hate Nate or you love Nate. I am firmly entrenched on the Nate Love team and I don’t care who knows it. A little man who can drop threes and has hops in the open court that a man of similar height such as myself could only dream of, is a recipe for me to be a fan no matter what downsides the pip squeak may bring with him. Also, for the rest of you Celtics fans still reeling from that first round exit from the Knickerbockers, here’s a sample of Nate’s greatest moment from the infamous “Shrek and Donkey” game. Continue reading
This ain’t a funeral yet ladies and gentleman! Celtic Pride lives on to fight another day. I know we here at BA have already sentenced the Celtics to death, but the homer in us can’t help but be freaking amped that they’ve forced a Game 6. In honor of their attempt to do the impossible, we look back at another Boston franchise who was the first to achieve the 0-3 comeback in their respective sport, the Boston Red Sox. Probably the greatest four days of my sports fandom occurred during this October stretch. I still remember where I was for each of those games and the emotions that were evoked with each Dave Roberts stolen base, Papi walkoff, Schill strikeout, and Johnny Damon grand slam. I don’t know if these Celtics have that type of magic and aura around them like that special group of self-proclaimed idiots did back in 2004. The Knicks have more or less lost the past two games than the Celtics have really won them. They are the better team. But here’s to making history and living to see one more day of the KG/Truth era.
So the NFL Draft was this past weekend, but it already feels like it was about three weeks ago because of how effing long it takes (three days? cmon!). As we mentioned in Friday Fives, this draft wasn’t the strongest in name recognition, but it was fairly deep. Like I said, this freaking draft would have taken about six months off my life if I watched the whole thing. I have no clue how McShay and Kiper do it year round and make these mock drafts that cover all seven rounds. This stuff has to give them a permanent chubby right? Here’s my quick takeaways from the past NFL weekend:
– If you were a big guy in the trenches coming out of college this year, you probably got picked. The first seven picks were all defensive or offensive linemen! This was definitely one of the weirdest first rounds I’ve ever seen. Only one QB or RB was chosen. And by that I mean zero RBs.
– Barkevious Mingo is straight out of the Key and Peele senior bowl.
– Either the Bills are geniuses with the pick of E.J. Manuel at sixteen or they’re a team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since ’99 and hasn’t won a playoff game since ’95. Hint: It’s the latter.
– Will Geno Smith’s NY green room sleep over have his career looking more like Brady Quinn’s or Aaron Rodgers’? My money is on neither but closer to Quinn. Let’s call his ceiling Aaron Brooks and move on.
– Not so fast my friends! Speaking of Geno, I really like what his new team, the Jets, did this past weekend. Great first pick with CB Dee Milner from ‘Bama – not quite Revis but a good place to begin rebuilding the secondary. This was followed by a solid selection of Sheldon Richardson from Mizzou with the pick they acquired in the Revis trade. Finally they got a QB that can potentially replace Sanchez in Smith, a tremendous value at thirty-nine. Then in the later rounds they invested heavily in the offensive line to sure up the shakiness from last year. Don’t worry Pats fans, the Jets are still a long way from challenging the big boys again.
– TAVON AUSTIN!…….PERCY HARVIN?…….MAYBE!!!!! (Gus Johnson voice). Nice pick by the Rams finally getting Sam Bradford some more talent so we can all see him explore his potential. I seriously have no idea how good he is despite being a number one overall pick. Not quite a bust yet, but it’s getting damn close.
– Jarvis Jones = Defensive Rookie of the Year
– Monkey see Bengal do. Bengals nabbed pass catching TE Tyler Eifert from the Golden dome to pair with Jermaine Gresham. Not quite Gronk and Hernandez, but mix in the deep threat on the outside of A.J. Green to open up the middle and this pairing could be dangerous.
– Did Manti Te’o get drafted or was that just made up? Very curious to see how his season plays out. Glad a big market team like a New York or Philadelphia didn’t take him. According to Tiger: “winning takes care of everything“; can it take care of looking like a complete asshole? (Why does it say gullible on the ceiling? Did ya look? Manti did)
– Wasn’t Matt Barkley supposed to be a top pick last year if he came out in a loaded class? Fourth rd.? At least he went to Philly where if he gets to play the fans will let him ease into his new role. Here’s hoping Vick saves the kid a Philly beat down.
– The Patriots really like the Rutgers pipeline of their secondary huh? First McCourty a few seasons ago and now Ryan and Harmon in the 3rd round this year. Harmon was expected to be a pick much later in the draft. Let’s hope the hoodie still has some magic left and can get one last Lombardi for himself and beautiful Tom.
– UMASS ALERT: Not quite Mr. irrelevant but big shoutout to Dorchester native and UMASS alum Michael Cox on getting a shot with the New York Giants. Cox = Offensive Rookie of the Year!*