Wednesday, March 08, 2006

By Dino Costa
March 8, 2006
Barry Bonds is a lying, cheating, arrogant, punk, who holds an illegitimate single season home run record.
Ditto for the home runs hit by Mark McGwire, and by Sammy Sosa.
If Bonds had any sense, if he had any dignity, he'd come clean on the steroid usage, and he'd retire immediately rather than to perhaps pass Babe Ruth and maybe even Hank Aaron, on the all-time home run list.
Then there is Bud Selig - the weakest looking and sounding leader that I have ever laid my eyes on.
Beyond expanding the playoffs to include a few more teams - please, someone let me know what Selig has done in managing the game of baseball and making it better?
I'm not buying inter-league play, because that's something that is highly overrated with most match-ups, and in addition, Selig ruined the uniqueness that Major League Baseball once possessed - with World Series teams having never met previously.
This stooge still hasn't allowed the Washington Nationals to be claimed by a legitimate ownership group, instead preferring to allow the team to exist as baseball's bastard child for the last four years.
Everything that Bud Selig does is reactive in nature, rather than anything resembling proactive.
This stupid World Baseball Classic has no juice, it is also causing team general managers to bite their lips to resist being critical of this event - as they cross their fingers and hope a pitcher doesn't blow out his arm - or an outfielder (hello Matt Holiday?) doesn't twist an ankle, playing in a tournament that couldn't be played at a worse time.
Bud Selig tells the Yankees to take down a sign apologizing for not having prime players available to fans because a Derek Jeter or a Hideki Matusi is playing in Bud's Baseball Classic. Fans coming down to spring training from far away states plan this excursion months in advance.  So the Yankees, realizing this, want to let some of them know that they're sorry some players aren't available.
Sounds like sound business public relations sense to me.
But not to Big Bud - who told the Yankees to yank the sign down...which they did.
I would have told Selig to come to Tampa and take the sign down himself, and if he did, I would have put another one up as soon as he left.
I don't even like the Yankees!
Selig has hid his head in the sand for years - knowing that players all across the major leagues were indulging in steroids - with players who would show up in spring training barely recognizable from when we last saw them only a little more than four months earlier.
Instead of policing the sport like a real leader would (Bart Giammati), Selig shows time and again that he is nothing more than a mealy mouthed buffoon whose reputation in Milwaukee is only slightly better than his reputation across the country.
Pete Rose had issues that Bart Giamatti took a strong stand against, he was vigorous in his pursuit of finding out if Rose was indeed guilty of all that his office had become aware of.
Giamatti had a genuine care for the game, for the fans, for the sport and its place in America's heart.
Giamatti understood that although a tough chore, if he had to rule Pete Rose ineligible to be a part of the baseball tapestry, he would do so, because of his love for the game and not allowing one player to be bigger than the entire sport.
Bud Selig by contrast, is an embarrassment as the face of major league baseball.
Why hasn't Bud Selig spearheaded an effort that should have been initiated years ago to get to the bottom of the steroid problem in his sport?
If not for the Congressional hearing last March which was the result of a Jose Canseco book, would Bud Selig and MLB have re-worked their drug plan as it pertains to testing for steroids?
Very unlikely.
So go ahead Bud, let this disingenuous creep, this blatant liar, this unapologetic and unrepentant jerk, let him break Hank Aaron's record, let him pass Babe Ruth this year and sully our game even more than its been over the last few years.
Bonds should quit for the good of the game - especially if this home run record means as little to him as he wants us all to believe. But he won't.
And Bud Selig should resign.
Someone tell Selig to write a book.
Tell him that a fascinating story could be told about how he was able to bring baseball back to Milwaukee after a one year run in Seattle after the 1969 season. Tell him he can call the book: Remember The Pilots?
If not - then tell Selig that we all are expecting him to be the first one at home plate to congratulate Bonds as he breaks the record and hits number 756.
The trade that sends David Aebischer to Montreal in return for goaltender Jose Theadore is somewhat confusing - although not totally unexpected.
Then again maybe it was?
Only last week Pierre Lacroix was quoted as saying that the Avs goaltending situation was in good shape - that he feels the Avs in goal were "excellent".
This trade to me, signals that Lacroix does indeed believe that his team can make a concerted run at going to the Western Conference finals, especially if the Avs are able to win the Northwest division and gain a number three seed in the playoffs.
It should also tell everyone that he didn't believe that Aebischer could be a goaltender who could get hot and carry a team the way he believes that maybe Theadore can, if not this season, then maybe next year...or the year after that?
"We are convinced that we are securing our goaltending position for many years,"  Lacroix said in a statement. "He is a proven, All-Star caliber netminder and at 29 he is entering the prime years of his career. Every year we are trying to reach the ultimate goal and this represents another sign to our fans that hasn't changed."
But if the Avs are going to win their division - they'll apparently have to do much of the work with goaltenders Peter Budaj and Vitaly Kolesnik - because Theadore is out until early April with a fractured right heel that he suffered last month while putting salt on the ice outside his Montreal home during the league's Olympic break.
Aebischer has better numbers this season than Theadore had with Montreal - but maybe Lacroix thinks that acquiring another goaltender from the Canadians will result in another Stanley Cup?
Only kidding of course, but Montreal, just like the Avalanche, are in a fight to make the post-season. 
Don't think that things can't change in a hurry for the Avs - especially now that they're going with two very untested goaltenders down the home stretch with a bevy of divisional games still on their schedule.
Right now the Avalanche have what can be considered a nice cushion, being only a point out of the divisional lead - and six points in front of the 9th place team in the West at the moment.
Montreal gets Aebischer and currently holds a 3 point lead over the 9th place Atlanta Thrashers for the last post-season spot in the East.
Can you imagine if Montreal goes on to make the playoffs in the East and the Avalanche fail to secure a spot in the West?
Lacroix has rolled the dice with this trade - the results should be interesting to see.

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