Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1,972 Wins

30 For 30: Pete Rose Here Now. Great short film by ESPN. Put. Him. In. The. Hall. Of. Fame.

Waterworks Wednesday: Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin must be shaking his head in disbelief. All that brain power and time invested into creating the fragile and intricate invention of the bifocal glasses; and now, we wear frames with no lenses as a fashion accessory! 
Don't get me wrong, I love this movement of young NBA basketball players dressing very... savvy. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Griffin, LeBron and Wade all seem as though they have enlisted the same stylist. Each possesses a similar distinctive style: a hybrid crossed with geeky and hipster. I am personally obsessed with the Ray Ban look that Durant pulls off every night (... with lenses, though).  
What I don't get is wearing empty frames as an accessory. I don't get wearing items dug out of your kid's costume chest to your job. I just don't understand why Wade would rock this look after a colossal loss. It gives the impression of distraction, apathy, and a lack of seriousness. 
What do you think of this look? Is it enough to make Ben Franklin shed some waterworks?    

Monday, June 4, 2012

Crowning the Zero

Yesterday I was way too excited about the Hero of the Week to focus on bashing any ill-advised sports figures. To be honest, I am going to be all warm and fuzzy on the inside for some time due to Santana's amazing performance on Friday night. I just see Johan's face, and I can hear his "Yeah baby! Believe it!" in my head, and I smile from ear to ear.

But I can't let this feel-good story prevent me from calling out the losers who just don't get it. That is why today I am going to name the Zero of the Week, which happens to be the biggest jerk in NASCAR.

This week's Zero:

Kurt Busch

I am not sure if it is Kurt's intention to wind up racing late models again for $3000 to win, but he seems to be playing it that way. NASCAR is not a sport with a minor league, or a d-league for that matter; you're either in it, or your not. 
Owners, sponsors, and the media can only be patient for so long. A driver with blatant anger management issues and a total disregard for consequences is not going to be a NASCAR driver for much longer. 
Kurt Bush's drama has existed for years, dating back to a 2005 confrontation with Phoenix police after being pulled over for suspicion of drunken driving.
Last year, many thought Busch reached his ultimate low, verbally abusing members of the media, ultimately resulting in an artificial apology video and his imminent departure from Penske racing. 
But I will argue that was not Kurt's low. This is. 
Kurt, you are a grown man. Grown men learn from the mistakes they made when they were younger. They don't make excuses. They don't throw tantrums on a monthly basis. They don't try to fight members of the media who are just doing their job. And they definitely don't act as if they are bigger than NASCAR. Grown men show up to work and get the job done. 
Kurt, I am an eternal optimist, but you are going to be out of the job you have dreamed of since the first time you raced Las Vegas Speedway Park. And you have no one to blame but yourself.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hero/ Zero of the Week

This weekend has been thrilling for fans of baseball, especially if you are a fan of the NY Mets. Weekly, I like to discuss a single Hero and Zero of the last seven days. Tonight, I am going to stray from the exact make-up of this feature simply because I have so much excitement for what transpired at Citi Field on Friday night. (It is worth noting, I am pretty excited about everything that has gone on at Citi Field this series so far.)

So here it is, this week's Heroes:

I could sit here and name every player on the Mets roster that contributed to the first no-hitter in franchise history, but I don't have to do that. We all know the team effort that took place, and like Johan did, we thank them all. 
But with that being said, there is one young Met, who sacrificed his body to preserve the no-hit for Johan, the Mets, and NY fans, that deserves to be recognized. A boy from Queens, growing up a Mets fan, Mike Baxter made a fantastic catch in the outfield, only to slam full force into the wall and exit the game with injury. This was the play that truly solidified the gravity of the night before that last out. 
So, thank you Mike Baxter, for laying it all out to make the dream come true for that little boy from Queens and all those other life long fans out there.

Dear Terry Collins: I know I am not Sandy Alderson. I am not Fred Wilpon. And I'm defiantly not Tony LaRussa. But I need to say, you did good. Without your courage, history would not have been made on June 1, 2012. Santana may be your Hero, but here at Into The Stands, Terry, you are a Hero.

And lastly, this week's biggest Hero is the one and only Johan Santana. Johan's return to the mound this season has been storied, with solid pitching, lack of run support and wins, followed by a shut out, and a no hitter, earning him the nickname No-Han. Friday night, with Josh Thole, catching, Johan threw a career high 134 pitches, nearly 20 more than Collins' pitch limit for the recovering left hander, clearly adding to the drama of the event. 
Johan accomplished what Met pitchers such as Seaver, Gooden, Ryan and Darling could not do for the club. His heroics will extend well beyond this week, beyond the season. He will forever be a Hero in Mets History.

Mike Stobe