Big Lead Sports Bar


Mini Mailbag!

A few late-breaking links and some of your emails addressed...
--Our prayers might finally be answered. The Pirates may cut the cord with Tony Armas. That's $3.5 million well spent, guys.
--Dock Ellis, he of the "No Hitter on LSD Autographed Baseballs", will speak at the fan walkout pregame rally tomorrow night.
--Check out this story about Chris Benoit's Wikipedia page announcing the death of his wife 14 hours before the bodies were found.
--Pirates fans = so sick of their team, they buy tickets to leave the game early in protest
Penguin fans = so in love with their team, they force them to cut off season ticket sales in June
Some email...

Q from Stephen:

What is it with ESPN using these idiots who have a heart attack over everything, and feel the need to yell non stop. Stephen A Smith needs to lay off the Red Bull, he made the NBA draft absolutely unwatchable. Just wondering what your thoughts were.

A: Don't like SAS? Then watch the clip that The Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society Of Gentlemen put together last night. You'll feel a little better knowing you're not alone.

Q from Jan B.
Hello Mondesi,
I'm a new reader and love the site. Here's one for the mailbag: As a childhood Bucs fan who has rediscovered his love of the game, I'm thoroughly disappointed with my Fox Sports Network local coverage. Granted, our Bucs are having their eleven-teenth bad year in a row, but I'd like to speak with the network exec who thinks that more people will watch things like - "The 2004 Celebrity Poker Challenge" on a Sunday afternoon, or "International Redneck Fight League" on any given weeknight. Last time I checked, Sportscenter didn't cover either of those two so-called "sports", probably because nobody cares. Let me watch my Bucs, FSN. Also, if Bay goes to the All-Star game this year, it'll be a travesty. My vote for most-valuable-Pirate goes to Xavier Nady for performing in the clutch. Let's also not forget "Steady Freddy" - who is always just so close to .300. He may just be a "singles-and-doubles" hitter, but if you don't score runs, then you don't win games.
A: If I may address a few of your points:
1. FSN may have some weak programming, but their counterpart gives us plenty of poker, ample coverage of the spelling bee, and the hot dog eating competition. And who could forget their "news program" doing the "I Wish" segments? Nice idea, but not the time or place for that, in my opinion. If I'm tuning in for news, I want the news...not a tear-jerker. If it's a story that they've created, build a special around it and air it in primetime. Don't get me wrong, it's a noble cause...but why the need for the cameras? On some level I feel like it's exploiting the kids.
Unfortunately, both networks have to fill time, and there's just not enough good stuff to go around.
2. No chance of Bay in the All-Star Game this year, unless the Pirates tell people to change their cookies and stuff the online ballot box again this season. People are really down on Bay, and I'm one of them. Last night on the radio I compared Bay to new Penguin Angelo Esposito. Esposito is a guy who, from all indications, thrives when he's not the top dog. That's why I think he'll do well as a Penguin: he has immense talent but might not be the mentally toughest guy in the room.
Bay is similar: I think he has immense talent as well, but he's been thrust into a role that does not suit him. He's looked at as "the franchise" when he's not that kind of player. He's not a vocal leader, and from what I can see, he's not extremely emotional. Called strike three? Walk leisurely back to the bench, ho-hum...
It would be nice to see a slammed bat, even a glance at the ump after another called strike three. But that's just not going to happen. I'm not saying that a guy has to be Carlos Zambrano-style crazy to excel, but I'd like a little more Ian Snell fire out of Bay once in a while. In fact, I'd like a little more Ian Snell out of the entire roster.
Here's the bottom line: if Bay is on a squad with one or two really legit power hitters, he might hit 35-40 home runs. If Bay is protected in the lineup by guys like Adam LaRoche he'll be hitting .265 with 12 dingers at the end of June.
Q: from Bill H:
This walkout is not going to accomplish anything. I like the effort, but walking out between innings and standing in the concourse area? Come on. What happens after that? Do the protesters politely sit back down and watch the rest of the game?

I think if everyone smashed their bobbleheads in the concourse area during the walkout it would be way cooler. Or throw them on the field. Poor Bob Walk.
That sounds like the Simpsons episode where they threw Marge's free pretzel samples onto the field after Mr. Burns won the minivan giveaway. I felt sorry for Marge, and I'd feel sorry for Bob Walk.
As I said yesterday, I think the walkout is a noble cause, and I'm glad to see the passion of Pirates fans getting some national attention. Unfortunately, ownership still wins on some level, because fans are buying a ticket to get into the park, and ultimately, I don't think it will result in any long-term changes. But kudos for the effort and best of luck in the cause tomorrow night.
Got questions?


Anonymous said...

The Stephen A. Smith thing is one of the funniest pieces I've ever seen.

Well done, gents!

Free Pacman said...

According to ESPN, only about 100 people actually took part in the walkout. That's pretty disappointing, even if it was a bad idea.

Free Pacman said...

I mean 1,000. Wow, that's a big difference, but still too low.