We All Fall Down: Eliminating Collisions in Baseball

Buster Posey’s gruesome injury during a hard collision at the plate has raised questions about the safety of the league’s catchers. Should the league ban the hard hits because it poses a risk to the vulnerable backstops? Do we want to treat catchers, previously known for their toughness, like quarterbacks in the NFL? Major League Baseball must answer this question in the near future and with Bud Selig at the helm, it is no guarantee they will make the right choice…

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Minor League Notebook Cinco De Mayo!

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Ways to End the NFL Lockout

Sacrifice Jake Locker to the Rancor (Jerry Jones)

Time to put that ridiculous scoreboard in Texas to use. Imagine Jake Locker being dropped from the center of Cowboys Stadium into a pit with Jerry Jones salivating and awaiting his meal. If Jake Locker can prevent being devoured (Luke Skywalker also overcame the odds), then the NFL owners must submit to the player’s demands.  More than likely, though, Northern America will witness Jones feast on the remains of a promising NFL quarterback, while Tony Romo dines in a box seat on 100 dollar pizzas.

Collect Refunds from Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf, and JaMarcus Russell

No greater theft in the history of the NFL has emptied the pockets of owners faster than these three busts. Maybe the owners would be more open to negotiating contracts if there was a return policy in place.

Tax the Poor

The poor already don’t have enough money, so why not take everything they have and give it to the NFL owners. Its not like beer, tickets, and memorabilia won’t take all their earnings eventually anyway.

VH1 Reality Show

Want to end the NFL Lockout quick?  Two episodes on VH1 and it would be game over.  Although, watching Roger Goodell and Al Davis breakdown the key issues in a jacuzzi may push it to three episodes,  the NFL Lockout reality show would garner usual ratings for a VH1 program.Meaning the only airtime it would get would be when Joel McHale makes fun of it on The Soup.

Threaten to Bring Back the XFL

Nothing would put the fear of God into players, fans, and owners more than the possibility of having to sit through the B-Movie version of the NFL once again.

Substitute all NFL TV Programming with the Movie Pathfinder.

Karl Urban still hasn’t watched this movie all the way through.  Gone would be the days of NFL Follies and Top 10 Quarterbacks of the 90’s on the NFL network.  No longer would viewers be able to watch Terry Bradshaw slowly succumb to Alzheimer’s on national television.  Instead the unlikely story of a Viking to finds out who he truly is, when he least expects it would drown out all memories of happier times.

Pray for a Release from Soccer Hell

What will fill our televisions without football? It could be soccer and that means one thing;  we have all died and we are now in purgatory.  Light as many candles as possible and hope that you weren’t too much of an asshole in your previous life, because that is the only way to won’t be stuck watching a sport for the impoverished.

Put it in a Bathroom with Ben Roethlisberger

What’s that NFL Lockout? You won’t do what I want and end? My friend Big Ben has a special present for those who don’t do what they are told.  Please step into this restroom here at Deja Vu and find out what awaits those who don’t just “go with the flow”.

You Can’t Tell Them Nothin’

Two young NBA prodigies hit the L this summer with no intentions of respecting their elders. Both cultivated their talents at the University of Kentucky and neither seems to care what you think.  John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins have already endured heavy criticism since entering the world’s premier basketball league.  Not surprisingly, each has also earned his fair share of praises as well.

Wall may be looked upon as a savior for the Wizards, but unless he can reel in his poor decision making skills, he will never be a premier point guard in the NBA.  Wall currently ranks 6th in the league in assists per game, but the amount of turnovers it takes to generate assists makes him an inefficient player.  Wall’s assist to turnover ratio is ranked all the way down at 34th in the league.  He publicly expressed frustration with John Calapari during his stay at Kentucky and it is not unlikely he won’t hesitate to do the same in the nations capital.  If Wall cannot be surrounded with talent within two seasons, The D.C. at the end of Washington will be representing the two most common trade components: draft picks and cash.

Cousins’ arrival in Sac did not mark the first time a talented player with a questionable past performed in Arco Arena.  Chris Webber rejuvenated a city and there were hopes Cousins could do the same. Although soon it may not matter as Cousins won’t need to win a Championship to head to Disneyland. The Kings are reportedly on the verge of relocation, with Anaheim as the premier destination.  Cousins would probably enjoy a change of scenery as he has already clashed with coach Paul Westphal.

Can two Kentucky products with flash a priority over substance change two destitute franchises?  The answer lies within veteran leadership, a commodity that neither player has at their disposal.  As the first two potential starts to be born in the 90’s, a lot is riding on the shoulders of Wall and Cousins.  In order to develop both prospects the Kings and the Wizards should be making a play for a quality veteran with a little tread left on the tires to help guide the Wildcat alumni.  However, that may be a waste of time as each player has proven in the past that when it comes to guidance, you can’t tell them nothin’.

Stick a fork in ’em?


Publisher, LADugout.com
Posted Aug 21, 2010
The Dodgers season is fading fast and it looks like 2010 will provide their first absence from the playoffs since 2007. Tyson Qualls analyzes what went wrong and if Dodger fans have a glimmer of hope for the future.
What Went Wrong?The injury bug dominated the Dodgers throughout the course of the season. Frequently injured Dodger, Rafael Furcal, had one of his best seasons as a Dodger derailed by his recurring back problems. Manny Ramirez has played a total of 61 games so far this season and Andre Ethier was on a triple crown pace before a broken pinkie disrupting his rhythm. Sprinkle in key injuries to Vicente Padilla, Russell Martin, Jeff Weaver, Reed Johnson, Chad Billingsley, and Hong Chih-Kuo and you have a squad playing at less than 70 percent during the course of the season.

Blaming injuries as the sole reason is hardly fair, however, as all MLB teams deal with hurt players on a frequent basis. The inconsistency of the bullpen also sent the Dodgers spiraling out of contention. George Sherril never regained last year’s form and Jonathan Broxton has temporarily relinqueshed his closer role. Both players contributed to arguably the best 8-9th inning duo in the league in 2009, but could not get an out during the second half of 2010.

The digression of Matt Kemp and Russell Martin weighs heavy on Dodger fans as the question now becomes similar to a Clash song, “Should They Stay or Should They Go”.

Kemp spent the better part of 2009 being hailed as a five tool, once in a decade player. This year has been different. His average slumped to .254 and he is on pace to post the lowest SB, average, RBI, and hit totals since becoming a full time starter. While it may be easy to attribute the lack of protection from an absent Ramirez as the main factor, it may be that the league has figured him out and he needs to adjust in order to save his career.

While this is Kemp’s first trip down disappointment’s path, Martin has become a regular visitor. In each of the past three seasons, Martin’s HRs, RBIs, average, OBP, BB, SB, and 2B have all decreased. The Dodgers should be looking elsewhere for a catcher if Martin cannot regain his swagger.

Wait Til Next Year

Overlooked in the drama of Frank McCourt’s ownership is the recent success of the Dodgers. While it is easy to point the finger at the divorce and blame McCourt’s penny pinching ways for this season’s failure, it should be noted that during McCourt’s tenure as owner the Dodgers have made the playoffs four out of seven seasons.

If McCourt can put the divorce behind him and show more commitment to winning,(signing prospect Zach Lee certainly helped) the future in Los Angeles may not be so bleak.

Clayton Kershaw has been giving Dodger fans a reason to go to the park throughout this season and will continue to be a force for many years to come. Kershaw’s 163 K’s have him trailing only Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, and Adam Wainwright in that category.

Manny Wood will be closed for good next season, freeing up 20 million dollars for the Dodgers payroll. Whether that goes to the team or divorce court lawyers is still up for debate. However, what it does mean is that the Dodgers won’t have to pay exhorbitant amounts for a player who appears for less than half the season.

Notes from the Dugout

Short Stop Rafael Furcal experienced a set back in his on-going attempt to return from the DL. No time table has been set for his reappearance in the starting line up.

Prospect Zach Lee will not pitch this season, but will be joining the Ogden Raptors as a spectator while they prepare to play in the post season.

Jeff Weaver is expected to return from the DL this week, while Vicente Padilla may be out for the season with a bulging disk in his neck. Travis Schlichting was called up to replace Padilla.

Think You Know More? Contact Tyson Qualls via email with tysonqsports@gmail.com