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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on Barret Robbins, AJ Pierzynski, Sidney Ponson plus more..

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posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 05:53 PM
The situation with Barret Robbins is really awful. Recall that he is the Raiders' center who suffers from bipolar disorder and who went off his medication and on a drinking binge the night before the last Raiders' Super Bowl appearance and then got disciplined by the league for testing positive for THG.

Now, he is in an intensive care unit recovering from "emergency surgery for wounds to his heart and lung" as a result of a fight with three Miami police officers in which he allegedly tried to seize an officer's weapon and was shot in the process. If the accounts are correct, he also did some serious physical damage to the officers in the melee and faces a multitude of charges if he ever wakes up. Robbins had reportedly been off his meds once again and had been involved in an "incident" in a San Francisco nightclub about a month ago. His estranged wife suggested that with regard to whatever charges he might face, "the insanity defense would be very well-taken." This is not a case of a jock behaving in a sociopathic manner because he is an egomaniacal spoiled brat; Robbins is obviously a man in desperate need of help under close supervision. Not all that surprisingly, however, his agent could not be reached for comment.

Speaking of anti-social behavior, this comes from a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. Catcher, A.J. Pierzynski's time with the SF Giants was not one full of harmony and fellowship among teammates. I have no idea what the problems are/were and I have no interest in trying to assess responsibility here. Pierzynski has moved on to the White Sox and now a story surfaces about an incident in a spring training game last year. Supposedly, Pierzynski took a pitch "south of the border"; the trainer came onto the field to try to attend to him and asked,"How does it feel?" At that point, Pierzynski reportedly kneed the trainer in the crotch and said, "Like this." Knowing that he was in discomfort at the time, I would be tempted to cut him some slack in such a situation, but that is an anti-social behavior of the highest order. Actually, it's a really low blow.

Let me comment on the latest spasm of activity from the "Gambling Is Evil" folks. Senator John McCain has legislation introduced, which would make it illegal to bet on collegiate sports of any kind. The fact that this is already illegal in 49 states and the District of Columbia and yet it happens all the time seems not to enter into the discussion here, but it will eventually. And according to a report in the LA Times, Dr. Myles Brand and his band of merry men at the NCAA have decided to reach out to the collegiate athletes and to college students in general to educate them on the dangers of gambling and the horror that it will introduce into their lives.

I have no problem with the NCAA doing that; it is an attempt at education on their part and I fundamentally believe that is what universities are there for. However, the NCAA has chosen to begin its anti-gambling/education campaign with programming on The Cartoon Network. Is that a brilliant stroke on their part because they have done research to learn that lots of college students spend lots of time watching cartoons? Or is it that they actually realize that many of the athletes involved in the "money sports" are not equipped to be college students at all and The Cartoon Network represents the level of intellectual connection that might effectively be made with them? You make the call.

Some folks seem to want to find fault with the new baseball drug testing procedures. The procedures are not perfect and so it is easy to poke at them and find things that could be improved, but they are clearly better than what existed a month ago. One thing that critics have focused on is that "baseball's dirty little secret" is not included in the testing regimen i.e. amphetamines. The critics who were single-mindedly focused on howling about steroids now shriek that amphetamines are even more prevalent and even worse. Here's what bothers me. Amphetamines are known as "speed" for a reason; and when a baseball game takes three and a half hours to finish; I can't bring myself to believe that "speed" is that big a problem...

Rick Ankiel has signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals for $400K plus incentives. He seems to have regained the ability to throw strikes and has done the rehabilitation to return from elbow surgery. In Puerto Rico this winter, he pitched 27 2/3 innings walking only 7 batters while striking out 31. He's only in his mid-20s so he has time for a comeback.

Sidney Ponson's winter in Aruba was less productive than Ankiel's. After his stint in the hoosegow there for menacing people with his personal watercraft and then punching out a person on the beach who just happened to be a local judge, Ponson is out of jail and is now in Florida. He says he will now make Florida his home and not return to Aruba. He complained that in Aruba, the people pester him.

"People (in Aruba) think I have to talk to them for hours. I go to a restaurant; I need to talk to a hundred people. People I don't even know, people that never talked to me in school, now they want to be my friend."

Memo to Sidney Ponson: If you show up in Baltimore fat and sassy again this spring and stink out the joint like you did last year with an ERA over 5.00, you won't have to worry about people talking to you in restaurants there. They might wave fingers at you or try to teach you the "Italian salute", but they won't talk to you. Not to worry...

The following is taken directly from a column by Sam Adams in the Rocky Mountain News:

"Former US Olympian (and proud new mama), Picaboo Street, is a scheduled guest Sunday on 850 KOA's Ski the Rockies show (8 to 10AM) with hosts Jon Lawrence and Biff America."


1. I'd rather have an examination by a proctologist than listen to a two-hour radio program on skiing.

2. Why would anyone name his or her kid, Biff America?

Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:

"We don't want to put undue pressure on a certain girls basketball player from Puyallup's Emerald Ridge High School, but was anyone ever destined to be a knee surgeon any more than Taryn Cartledge."

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon

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