Could David Ortiz Retirement Help Sox Land Price?

David Ortiz

David Ortiz
(Photo by: Parkerjh at the English language Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

David Ortiz announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2016 season, this week. In this week’s podcast, Gene Gumbs wonders if that doesn’t improve Boston’s chance of luring free agent pitcher David Price to the team. It is no secret that Price and Ortiz have had some words in the past (mostly through the media), but getting them to bury the hatchet might be a little easier if Price knows Ortiz will be gone after a year, leaving him as one of the team’s leaders. Just a thought.

When he does retire, Ortiz will be one of the few who leave with some gas still left in the tank. Though many have been trying to bury him for years, Ortiz continues to amaze. Five years after his retirement, he should become the first player who played primarily as a designated hitter to be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame.

Look at these numbers:

  • 9 times over 100 RBI (one year with 96)
  • 9 times over 30 homers
  • .284 career batting average
  • .925 career OPS
  • 503 career homers (27th all-time)
  • 1,641 RBI (30th all-time)
  • 584 double (18th all-time)

All this from a guy who was once included as the player to be named later by the Seattle Mariners, and later released by the Minnesota Twins in 2002. And I don’t want to hear about PEDs. He has never failed a drug test. Well, there supposedly was one – but no one in MLB will tell him what he supposedly tested positive for. The rumors are simply petty and jealous comments by cowards on social media and the press. Prove it and I may change my tune, but I do not believe that proof exists.

And Ortiz may be even more beloved in Boston than Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, or Pedro Martinez – especially after informing everyone after the Boston Marathon bombing, “This is our f**king city.”

Maybe he’ll run for mayor. He just might win.

Also in this episode:

  • A look at the MLB awards
  • The assault on fantasy sports continues
  • Craig Kimbrel heading to the Red Sox
  • Olivia Munn the scourge of Green Bay?
  • NHL all-star game format is the dumbest thing ever
  • My pick for team of the week

Once again, thanks for listening every week. You can listen to the latest podcast here, or subscribe to it on iTunes to have it automatically downloaded to your iOS devices. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Is Online Fantasy Sports Gambling?

slot machineIn episode 32 of the podcast, host Gene Gumbs asks if online fantasy sports should be considered illegal gambling? In a word – yep.If a state does not have legalized gambling (like Nevada and NJ), I believe companies like Draft Kings and Fan Duel can absolutely be viewed that way.

In the wake of the New York State attorney general putting the brakes on the operations of the two companies in his state, you can count on my other states – and possibly the federal government – to get involved in this hot-button issue.

Here’s the deal… these companies lure people in with a “free” offer, but at the end of the day, if you want to continue to participate you have to fork over your money. They will try to tell you that it’s a game of skill, but unless you’re actually the one hitting/throwing/catching the ball, it’s complete luck. You have to be lucky enough to have the players you picked have a good day. That is no different than going to the craps table and hoping the dice roll your way.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for fantasy sports. It should be something done for fun online for free (as Yahoo and others have done for years), or in the privacy of your home with a group of friends over the course of the season.

For years, a group of friends and I put up 26 bucks a season for a Rotisserie Baseball team that we drafted. At the end of the year the winner got 75 percent of the till; second and third split the rest. My cousin and some friends run a free Yahoo NFL Pick ‘Em pool every year. The side bet is that the winner gets a case or bottle of his choice. That is what fantasy sports should be.

Daily fantasy sports is nothing more than an online slot machine for big corporations to take your money. They advertise that they give away millions a day and that you can win “big.” You have a better chance of being named the next pope. Just sayin’.

Also in this episode:

  • The recent incident in Missouri is an example of the polarizing of America
  • Scott Boras still doesn’t know when to shut up
  • Aaron Hicks headed for New York
  • The success of the Pirates and Twins in winning the bidding for Korean stars a good thing.
  • Jake Arrieta of Zack Greinke for NL Cy Young?
  • Remembering our veterans, as well as the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald
  • My pick for team of the week

You can listen to the latest episode here or subscribe to it on iTunes to have it automatically downloaded to your iOS devices. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Enjoy, and thanks for continuing to listen every week!

Gumbs Fires Up Baseball Hot Stove After End of WS

David Price

David Price leads the list of off-season pitching free agents. (photo by Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original version)UCinternational (Crop) – Originally posted to Flickr as “Blue Jays vs. Yankees: 8/8/2015″Cropped by UCinternational. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org)

In this week’s podcast, prior to lighting up the baseball hot stove, host Gene Gumbs puts a bow on the World Series and breaks down the decisions made in the dugouts and on the field in game five. In addition, the broadcast includes talk of the Fox coverage and the outlook for the two teams as they head into 2016.

It also talks about the beginning of the dark days – no baseball until March. God forbid the MLB Network actually show some live winter league baseball from somewhere in South or Central America! They’ll be too busy showing Mr. Baseball reruns with Tom Selleck for the 927th time.

The good news is that I’ve laid in a bunch of wood for the baseball hot stove! There’s quite a crop of free agents heading to the market this year, and the conjecture and rumors are always good to chew on. The list of pitchers is led by Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmerman, and David Price. The hitter brigade includes Chris Davis, Alex Gordon, and Yoenis Cespedes.

Here’s hoping the Red Sox are able to land a starting arm or two…

Also in this episode:

  • NASCAR must suspend Matt Kenseth for his despicable behavior on Sunday.
  • Fox Sports coverage of World Series less than stellar.
  • The Nationals hire Bud Black as manager – until they don’t.
  • Which unbeaten NFL team has the best chance to stay that way?
  • My pick for team of the week

You can listen to the latest episode here or subscribe to it on iTunes to have it automatically downloaded to your iOS devices. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Enjoy, and thanks for continuing to listen every week!

Matt Kenseth Shows Total Lack of Class at Martinsville

nascar-sprint-series-logoThere is no defending what Matt Kenseth did to Joey Logano during Sunday’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville. Kenseth intentionally wrecked the race leader with 50 laps to go, not only depriving Logano of likely his fourth win in a row, but also putting his chances of moving into the final four of NASCAR’s Chase in jeopardy.

This all goes back to a couple of weeks ago in Kansas when Kenseth was trying to block Logano, who had the faster car, from taking over the lead. Logano lifted a couple of times to avoid contact, but the third time he didn’t and spun Kenseth. It was clean, hard racing. It’s a simple as that. Kenseth, like a few other NASCAR drivers (Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart), thinks he is the only one who knows how to drive, and he obviously holds the manual for the unwritten rules for the sport.

What makes the wreck on Sunday even worse is that earlier in the race Kenseth got behind Logano and gave him a couple of taps in the bumper. Logano moved out of the way and let Kenseth go by. Message was sent and received – and that should have been the end of it.

Watch the video from Sunday. This is a no-brainer. All the announcers called it what it was, an intentional move, and NASCAR immediately said that they would not allow Kenseth to finish the race, even if his car was still operational. In addition, they quickly announced that the driver, crew chief, and owner were summoned in front of the sport’s governing body immediately after the race. So everyone knew exactly what it was.

Behavior like this is the kind of thing that drives fans away from the sport. Of course, I suppose for some bottom feeders this is the reason they like NASCAR. Those are the same people that drive like maniacs on our local highways and flip you off when you have the nerve to call them on it. They are the same people in the stands cheering Kenseth’s move.

If NASCAR doesn’t take a strong stand after this, something is seriously wrong. And it shouldn’t just be about today. They have got to stop this kind of crap. I’m tired of fist fights in the pits and garage after damn near every race.

I don’t like fights in any of my other sports either – and they are not tolerated (except hockey, which is another issue altogether). Time to clean up your act, NASCAR, or risk losing even more fans.