Tag: Dwyane Wade

Are the Philadelphia Phillies the Miami Heat Of The MLB?

Philadelphia has just acquired another ace in Cliff Lee. The lefty has arguably been one of the best postseason pitchers of all time. Lee will be joining a rotation that already consists of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. 

All of these pitchers are guys managers would be confident tossing on the mound in Games 1 or 7 of the World Series. The weakest of the four is Cole Hamels, who was the team’s ace when they won the World Series a few years back. The sports world should no longer be surprised seeing more than one superstar on each team. This past NBA offseason, fans around the league saw LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh “take their talents to South Beach.” 

Are the Phillies the Miami Heat of the MLB

Both teams have undeniable star power. The Phillies have the best rotation the MLB has seen since Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz were together in Atlanta. The Heat compiled three out of the five Eastern Conference all stars from last season. Both teams have enough talent on their rosters to where it’s almost impossible to miss the playoffs, but can both these teams achieve their goals of winning the championships of their respective sports?

Both teams have one very similar problem. The talent around them may not be enough. The Heat this season have been getting very little help outside of their “Big 3”. The bench hasn’t been scoring enough and the role players haven’t been helping out. Sure, the team is hot right now, but they haven’t really been tested since their winning streak has started. The three of these guys might not be enough to bring the championship to Miami…and the Phillies face a similar problem.

The pitching of the Phillies will be incredible this season. There is no denying that. They have the type of rotation where you wouldn’t be surprised to see back to back No Hitters or Perfect Games. Halladay and Lee are capable of doing both those things and they will be pitching on back to back nights. Oswalt and Hamels have both been aces for their teams in the last couple of years as well. The problem is the team around them…can they hit?

The Phils just lost outfielder Jayson Werth to the Nationals via Free Agency. He has been one of their bigger bats the last couple of seasons. The team was the oldest team in baseball last year and adding Lee doesn’t exactly make them younger. Jimmy Rollins has been irrelevant for almost two years now. Utley was injured for a quarter of the season and Ryan Howard experienced a significant decline in his OPS from seasons before. The team is going to struggle to provide run support for their star studded rotation. 

When you look at it closely, the teams are actually very similar. They might be playing different sports, but they both have the same problem. The talent on their rosters might not be enough to get them to the promised land, no matter how many superstars each team has. It certainly will be interesting to see how the Heat finish out the NBA season and playoffs, and how the Phillies fare next season through a grueling 162 game season and playoffs. 

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Yankees Message To Miami Heat: You Can’t Buy A Championship

“In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”

With that one sentence, a city that once loved NBA superstar LeBron James began to burn his jerseys, t-shirts and anything else with the number 23 on it.

He had become the second most hated man in the city, second only to Art Modell of course, the former owner of the Cleveland Browns that oversaw the move of the beloved franchise to Baltimore.

Meanwhile, 1,241 miles south of Cleveland, Miami has gone into a frenzy. The Heat have managed to land the three biggest stars of NBA free agency. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James have formed a mega team, with the goal of becoming world champions not just for this season, but for years to come.

According to bodog.com, the odds of the Heat winning are at 17/10, by far the best in the league. It would be one of the greatest shock moments in sports if the Heat were to somehow be stopped short of their goal.

It’s a sure thing, or is it?

The New York Yankees found out the hard way that building a championship team is about more than spending money and getting all the great talent available. With a payroll of $206,738,389 (yes, you read that correctly) the Yankees should roll through any team in the league.

Friday night, however, their season came to an anti-climactic end. With two outs in the ninth inning, New York’s $33 Million dollar man Alex Rodriguez took a called third strike against the Texas Rangers’ rookie closer Neftali Feliz. How much does Feliz earn a year? How about $402,000?

The Rangers have something money can’t buy: a core of hard working players that play the game in a fundamentally sound way. Their main offensive weapon is Josh Hamilton, a recovering drug addict who can’t even enjoy the champagne celebration for fear of relapse into alcoholism.

They believe in each other and have built up such trust in each other that they truly play as a team. Nobody is a star and everybody contributes. They are the definition of the word team.

So yes, on paper the Heat have the best team with all the superstars, so did the Yankees. Miami will have sold out games and a passionate fanbase, so did the Yankees. The Miami Heat expect to win the whole thing, and so did the Yankees.

When the 2010-2011 NBA basketball season kicks off don’t assume that Wade and company will be victors at the end. They play the games for a reason: just ask the Yankees.  

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Tiger, Elin, and 10 Of The Biggest Splits In Sports

With the news that Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren made their divorce official and with Frank and Jamie McCourt’s divorce starting tomorrow, August 30th, let’s take a look at some of the other big splits in the professional sports world.

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10 Rules For Being a Sports Fan In 2010

Over the weekend I was laying by the pool, taking in some rays and listening to my iPod shuffle, when, after a steady stream of calming, relaxing music, the Colin Cowherd Podcast popped up out of nowhere. So much for relaxing, huh?

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Cowherd’s work, but for those who aren’t, Cowherd definitely knows how to get a debate going. He’s equal parts stubborn and contrarian, but never ends a rant without making you think about something differently than you might have previously.

Even if you want to strangle him sometimes.

The particular debate Colin had on this day was whether or not it’s acceptable for adults to wear team jerseys, and at what age the act goes from “upbeat fan supporting the team,” to “weird old guy who needs to get a life.”

While a consensus was never officially agreed upon, it got me thinking: How have the rules of being a sports fan changed over time, and what are they in 2010?

Here’s my take on 10 of them.

1. Jerseys: Let’s start with jerseys, because it was Cowherd’s rant that planted the seeds for this article. I also think this is one of the most complex aspects of Fandom, with more caveats and loopholes than Lindsay Lohan’s parole agreement.

First off, let me say that I never wear anything but basketball jerseys these days (more on this coming). Just one guy’s personal opinion, but once I discovered girls right around the start of high school, I decided that once and for all, they had to stay in my closet. I figured it’d be kind of hard to lose my virginity while wearing a John Valentin Red Sox jersey. Call me crazy.

But my personal feelings aside, as an adult there is a time and a place to wear a jersey and support your favorite team, and it’s called game day. Wear your jersey to the game, to the bar to watch the game, or around the house if it brings you good luck.

I’m cool with that, but really only that. If you’re wearing your Reggie Bush jersey out to the bar on a Friday night, well I’m sorry, but really, you’re asking to go home by yourself.

Now, as I mentioned, there are a few caveats to jersey wearing. Here are a couple I came up with.

A. As I said, jerseys aren’t really acceptable on non-game days, but one exception I’ll make is for live fantasy drafts. A little weird, sure, but come on, you’re with a bunch of dudes, busting balls, and eating pizza. What are you supposed to wear? A polo and khakis?

Also, nothing quite says “I’m taking home the top prize,” like wearing that Bam Morris jersey you got on your 11th birthday. Nothing.

B. As Cowherd mentioned on his podcast, I think it’s acceptable to wear jerseys on a college campus, as long as you actually go to school there. You’re poor, it might be the most expensive thing in your closet, and if times get tough you may have to put it on eBay for beer money.

So enjoy it while you can. Besides, there’s nothing worse than the kid in your dorm who is indifferent to the team. Honestly, why even go to Syracuse if you don’t like basketball?

C. I mentioned basketball jersey’s are different than football, baseball and hockey jersey’s and here’s why: There’s no better alternative on a nice summer day than wearing a basketball jersey to the beach.

Stylish, without trying too hard. Just please make sure the jersey is up to date. A Tracy McGrady purple Raptors jersey isn’t cool. Believe me.

D. Those t-shirt, jersey thingies that are popular items at ballparks (the one’s with the team’s logo on the front, and a guy’s name and number on the back) are OK.

At first I wasn’t much of a fan, but they’ve grown on me, especially after my buddy Chris bought me an Alexander Ovechkin t-shirt/jersey thingy in Washington, and I’ve gotten a bunch of compliments. Thanks CP.

To me, the t-shirt/jersey is a lot like a mullet: Professional in appearance in the front, much more easy going in the back.

2. Autographs: My stance on autographs is simple: Unless you’re getting one for your kid, there’s never an excuse for anyone who has hit puberty to wait in line for an autograph. Period.

Simply put, if  your voice has changed and you’ve got hair under your arm pits, find something better to do with your time and energy. Even if it is spending six hours a day playing Madden.

After careful observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that adults who ask for autographs are one of two things.

A. Pathetic, in which case, I’m sorry that I had to be the one to break it to you, but you are. On a positive note, I’m sure you’ll find solace from your friends in the World of Warcraft chatroom later tonight.

B. A scumbag, since you’re only getting the autograph so you can put it on eBay later tonight and flip it for a very minimal profit.

Really, this is what your life has come down to? Waiting outside a San Francisco Giants spring training game to get Pablo Sandoval to sign a picture so you can sell it for $12 plus shipping?

Get a life dude. Or better yet, a real job.

3. Face Painting: Listen, I went to UConn. I went to a lot of huge basketball games. Nobody loves the Huskies more than me. Nobody.

But never once did I ever, even for 1/10 of one second, consider painting my face. I pray to God you haven’t either.

You don’t really want to end up like this guy? Do you?

(If you’re enjoying this article, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres)

4. The Wave: If you’re at a beach volleyball match, I get the wave. If you’re at the Little League World Series, I get the wave. If you’re at a WNBA game, I get the wave (since it’s probably the only thing keeping you from jumping off the second level balcony).

But at any real sporting event, there are very few cases when I’m OK with the wave. Mainly, if it’s late in the game, and your team has a comfortable (some would say insurmountable) lead. Then go nuts, and get the victory celebration going a little early.

If that’s not the case, sit down in your seat and watch the game.

The wave has become especially concerning at some recent Red Sox games I’ve been to. Because for some reason, it’s all of a sudden cool and totally acceptable to break out the wave right around the seventh inning, regardless of score or situation. And I really don’t get it.

Look, family of four from Manchester, N.H., I’m glad you made it down for the game. I really am. But we’re playing the Yankees. It’s a 2-1 game in the 8th inning. Jonathan Papelbon has been more erratic than Ronnie from Jersey Shore lately. And we’re in the middle of a playoff race.

How about you sit down so I can actually see what’s going on? Is that too much to ask?

I don’t know if it’s just Red Sox games, but the wave seems to be taking over sporting events for no rhyme or reason, and I don’t like it.

5. The YMCA: The flamboyant cousin of the Wave. Or is the Wave the flamboyant cousin of the YMCA?

I don’t know, but either way, don’t expect me to do it any time soon.

6. Signage: I’m all for signage, just as long as it’s original, creative or funny. My personal favorite is still from college, when at a UConn basketball game, a friend of a friend held up a picture of Denham Brown dunking a basketball, with the caption, “If it’s Brown, flush it down!”

Now that, my friends, is a funny sign.

I’m also OK with signage if it’ll genuinely rattle the intended target. This usually works best at basketball games, and usually involves childhood nicknames, baby mama’s (in many cases plural) or some not nice words about a guy’s mom.

Hey, anything to give your team the edge, right?

My only beef with signs is if they’re just not creative.

Like if you go to a tennis tournament, please spare yourself the embarrassment of the, “Maria Sharapova: Will You Marry Me,” sign.

Dude, I’m sorry, but poor Maria has been proposed to at every tour stop she’s taken in the past six years. To the best of my knowledge she hasn’t once said yes. And I doubt your pimply face and C+ average really offers her anything more than she’s already got. Unless she’s really into dudes who play XBox on Friday night’s and own four foot bongs.

If that’s the case then go for it. Otherwise, leave the sign at home. Please, you’re only embarrassing yourself.

7. Gambling: Look, we all love to gamble. And thanks to the Internet, it’s not a shady, back-water business, with a bunch of guys wearing top hats, smoking cigars, and betting on the “ponies,” anymore.

And thank goodness, because I really don’t look good in a top hat.

But unless we’re in a bet together, I really don’t want to hear about your bad luck.

I know that you the Clippers +14, they were up heading into the fourth quarter, and got outscored 42-4 down the stretch. And I’m sorry for you. But I just don’t really care.

Besides, why did you bet on the Clippers in the first place?

(Because of length, this is just PART of Aaron’s 10 Rules For Being A Sports Fan. To read the rest, please click here, or visit him at www.aarontorres-sports.com.

Also, for Aaron’s take on all things sports, be sure to add him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook.com/AaronTorresSports or by downloading his APP for FREE for your iPhone or Android!!)

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