Barry Bonds, Tim Duncan, Alex Rodriguez, Peyton Manning and the Skip Bayless Double Standard?

Does Bayless Flip Flop on the Criteria He Uses to Judge Who is Best?

(This blog was originally posted on the Yahoo Contributor Network on May 11th, 2011. As of 7/31/14 YCN has taken down all of its content)

When asked on ESPN’s First and Ten on May 6th who is the best baseball player of all time Skip Bayless answered Barry Bonds. He discounted Bonds’ alleged steroid use. He sloughed off that Bonds ” — wasn’t that great in the postseason”.

Here is what Skip has had to say about other great athletes:

On Peyton Manning – He calls him the greatest regular season quarterback of all time but eliminates him from the greatest of all time QB discussion because of his postseason performances.

On Tim Duncan – Includes Tim Duncan on his list of top ten greatest basketball players of all time, and the first factor he mentions as to why is because of the four championship rings he won with the San Antonio Spurs.

On Alex Rodriguez – Before Rodriguez wins a World Series with The New York Yankees, Skip dubs A-Rod as A-Fraud, because of his poor playoff performances.

Now follow me Skip:

  • If Peyton Manning has won a Superbowl MVP…
  • If four NBA championships put Duncan in the conversation…
  • If A-Rod was A-Fraud in your eyes before winning a World Series…

Since Barry Bonds did not win a World Series than how is he not a fraud when his postseason numbers are not any better than A-Rod’s in the same sport? Or comparable with Manning’s for his sport? Not to mention how you discount Lebron James in basketball for what you call his lack of clutch gene.

By your own logic and past arguments how can you rate Bonds the best? Further, it is a gross understatement when you say Bonds was not that great in the postseason. Pre what the consensus was for Bonds’ PED use, he was terrible in the playoffs in his Pittsburgh Pirates days, especially when you apply the stringent standards that you do Skip when talking about superstars in any sport.

At best, if you do want to discount PED use (which I wouldn’t) I can see how you would reach the same conclusion with Bonds that you do with Manning and call him the greatest regular season player you ever saw. Because I don’t discount alleged PED years, I would take Ken Griffey Jr. as my best from Bonds’ era.

For all-time greatest? I’m sticking with The Great Bambino, Babe Ruth. Ruth would have probably hit over 900 home runs but he was too busy accumulating more complete games and shut outs than Pedro Martinez.

Look at it this way, when their careers are done I can see a modern-day debate between Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriquez for who is better. Now imagine one of them pitching and winning over 90 games and having a World Series pitching e.r.a. of under one. Who ya got under those circumstances?

What Babe Ruth accomplished would be like Tom Brady intercepting more passes and running back more punt returns for touchdowns than Deion Sanders.

Ruth is in the “who is the greatest discussion” with just his hitting. His pitching ends the debate for me. It’s to prisoner of the moment to say never as far as what we will or won’t see again in terms of an athlete. But the Babe, and a baseball player that dominant as a pitcher and a hitter tops the list of least likely to ever see again.

Published by Jeff Schubert

Jeff Schubert is the Host/Executive Producer of the show Filmnut that airs on thestream.tv. Each webisode provides an in-depth interview about the making, marketing, or distribution of film, TV or new media…

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Dear Rashard Mendenhall: I Encourage YOU to Think

Your Reaction to American’s Reaction to the Death of Bin Laden is Laced with Judgments

(This blog was originally posted on the Yahoo Contributor Network on May 5th, 2011. As of 7/31/14 YCN has taken down all of its content)

Rashard, considering the timing you’ve posted some stirring tweets regarding the reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden. Since one of your tweets is, “I don’t have an ignorant bone in my body”, you cannot use the excuse that these are your personal feelings that you posted on a private page. As a star running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers you are a celebrity and you know that what you post on Twitter is for public consumption.

Regarding 9/11 you tweeted: “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.” Ignorance is the absence of knowledge. Is that what you are claiming to be regarding 9/11 or are you implying that you are a truther who believes the U.S. did 9/11 to itself? If so, to what do you base that judgment?

Regarding God you tweeted: “I believe in God. I believe we’re ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge.” I respect your religious beliefs Rashard. Ultimately God offers the final judgment. However, we humans still have to hold each other accountable for our actions and behaviors. Don’t we? Besides any opinion in the absence of absolute facts is a judgment of some kind.

YOU apparently are judging the NFL when YOU compare it to or say it “parallels” slavery. Which you did when you tweeted: “Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other”.

YOU are judging President Clinton, Bush, Obama the U.S. government and everyone who has served over the last fourteen years when you say we don’t know what really happened on 9/11 and infer a possible U.S. involvement and thus a massive cover-up.

On OBL’s death itself you tweeted: “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”. I didn’t celebrate it because his death won’t bring back the thousands of people whose deaths he is tied too. However, not only is OBL tied to the deaths of thousands, he declared war on this country, your country, and if he had his way he would have killed millions more.

This war on terrorism has cost us a significant amount in blood and treasure. Given what he has done, what he has said and claimed responsibility for, and what he would have done if given the chance, the fact that he can no longer harm us is cause for celebration.

As for hating a man we never heard speak, well unless you think it was someone from Saturday Night Live dressing up as him, we did hear him speak in those videos he released. And since these videos were authenticated and also presented by the Arabic network Al Jazeera, than if it’s not him they must be in on the conspiracy too.

Another tweet on judgment: “Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves.” Judge me all you want Rashard, since I never plan to murder anyone, commit any acts of terrorism, or commit any crimes, I fear no judgment. It is the guilty, and the hypocritical who should beware. And if I err in any capacity or can benefit from an accurate judgment, and such is bestowed upon me, then hopefully I will have the ego strength to accept, learn and grow from such a judgment. This too, I do not fear.

On the sentiment that OBL should burn, you tweeted: “For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn … I ask how would God feel about your heart?”

On its own this could spark an interesting philosophical debate. In the context of your other musings it is tinged with judgment and with the intent to make people feel guilt or regret.

In evaluating (a precursor to judgment) others’ reactions to the death of OBL, is not any conclusion, positive or negative, a judgment? For better or for worse, isn’t judging part of the living, growing, and the evolutionary process of human consciousness? We could spend hours debating the judgment of behavior versus judgment of the person but judgment, to some degree, is it not inescapable?

Let me ask you Rashard, when the towers went down what were you tweeting then? What have you tweeted about Al Qaeda? About OBL? About radical Muslims when they burn the American flag, drag soldiers in the street? What is in your heart about your country that you tweet this way about it and its people? What do you tweet about her enemies? Or, do you view her as your enemy?

Another tweet of yours: “There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to think.” This can be interpreted as an arrogant statement Rashard. We are all ignorant on one thing or another. Me? I’m ignorant about a lot. There is no shame in that. To be ignorant of nothing is to know everything about everything. Is that what you are saying about yourself?

Now that I think about it, I don’t encourage you to think, I encourage you to get some therapy. I say this not with hate in my heart, rather with compassion for a talented, thoughtful athlete who sounds like he has some noble but perhaps misguided spiritual beliefs and unresolved issues towards his own country and the people in it.

Good luck to you sir — peace on the journey.

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Update: Rashard Mendenhall issued an apology yesterday that you can view here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6478438
(This article was originally published on May 3rd. Date change is a reflection this update)

 Published by Jeff Schubert

Jeff Schubert is the Host/Executive Producer of the show Filmnut that airs on thestream.tv. Each webisode provides an in-depth interview about the making, marketing, or distribution of film, TV or new media…

In the NFL Lockout is the Media Reporting or Taking Sides?

If the Opera Isn’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings Than Justice Isn’t Decided Until the Last Level of the Court System Has Ruled

(This blog was originally posted on the Yahoo Contributor Network on May 1st, 2011. As of 7/31/14 YCN has taken down all of its content)

A philosophical question that has been asked for ages is if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? I would like to rephrase the question as follows: If a hundred thousand trees in the forest fall how far away can you be and still hear it?

We have a lot of media these days and when they say something over and over again, in all of their forms, TV, internet, newspaper and radio, it tends to amplify the emotional resonance. When I was growing up, a sports labor dispute during that sports off-season might be newsworthy but nothing to stop the presses over. A lockout (prior to a season starting) would kick it up a notch but nowhere near the decibel level it is today.

Yes it is hard to feel sympathy and easy to feel antipathy when billionaires fight with millionaires over how to divide their pie. However, in the end it’s a business just like any other business and the fact that more money is involved doesn’t change human nature. Two sides will fight not necessarily for what is fair but for the most they can get. Neither willing to show their hand or offer their best deal until who has what leverage is revealed and or desperation sets in. Leverage is where the courts come in.

As many of you know by now it has been widely reported that the lead attorney for the NFL players, Jim Quinn, has minimized Friday’s order to reinstate the lockout instituted by the owners. His quote is that it is a: “Routine grant of stay and totally expected”.

Yet given the media’s response you would think Roe V. Wade was just overturned. Like a bad a reality show or Charlie Sheen’s life, this off-season lockout is a story that the media has sunk its teeth into.

As for their coverage…

Question: who populates a good percentage of sports talk and news shows on ESPN, FOX Sports and talk radio? Answer: Former athletes and sports journalists that are fans of sports, who also work side by side with former athletes and want to interview current athletes.

Question: How do people who cover sports make money? Answer: By covering sports! So if a sport goes down, that can’t be good for business.

Thus there are potentially multiple conflicts of interest in covering the collective bargaining negotiations especially when you factor in that benefits to ex players are part of the negotiations! This doesn’t guarantee biased coverage but it does suggest you should look out for it.

Anyone with a high school diploma ought to know that typically between a plaintiff and a defendant either side will brag in-between rounds of court decisions based on who gets the favorable ruling. However, the media should act responsibly and not act, editorialize, or cheer-lead (like some are doing) as if it is over after the first ruling and between levels of the judicial system.

I wouldn’t have expected the owners to cave on their position after Judge Nelson’s ruling any more than I would have expected the players to had she ruled differently. The weird thing is from the outset, Minneapolis was always viewed as a friendly venue for the players and St. Louis for the owners.

The lifting of the lockout and its subsequent stay were nothing to get hyperbolic about. To paraphrase Miami Heat President Pat Riley, this labor dispute will get interesting when someone loses on their home court.

Until ultimate leverage is determined we are looking at preliminary rounds of negotiations. When the courts are done or as games are in jeopardy than the test of wills and negotiations will truly begin. That is when we will see who is willing to negotiate in good faith. Chatter before then is gossip and speculation. If it does get that far than bring on your wall to wall to coverage, bring on your hyperbole, and shine your spotlight on what both sides are willing to do and not do.

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For the record… I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that when a collective bargaining agreement expires, if players have a right to strike, owners should have a right to lockout.

I say this while I agree with the players about keeping the season to sixteen games over eighteen, and I agree with the players that if the owners want them to give back money based on their finances then some degree of opening the books by the owners should happen. On the owners side I agree there has to be a rookie wage scale but given the short career expectancy of players there should be some combination of performance bonus and or opt out restricted free agency based on performance for the player.

And all the talk of a publicity hit and damage to the game is nonsense. In the end the game will be fine because people love it, they bet on it, there are twenty year waiting lists for season tickets for it, and the same media that rants about it will pump it back up once the games begins because that’s what they do.

Published by Jeff Schubert

Jeff Schubert is the Host/Executive Producer of the show Filmnut that airs on thestream.tv. Each webisode provides an in-depth interview about the making, marketing, or distribution of film, TV or new media…