Heid and Spencer Pratt Calling it Quits???

Season 6 of the hit HBO show “Entourage” returns on July 12th and has some big guest stars. “High School Musical” hottie Zac Efron joined the show and actually shot some scenes at the Niketown store in Beverly Hills today. None of the other cast members were there but a Niketown employee said Efron shot a scene talking on a cell phone and that he was really nice. Also joining Jeremy Piven and Adrian Grenier this season will be Tom Brady, LeBron James and Lil Wayne and they will all appear as themselves. I don’t know about you but I am ready for some good summer shows to start back up!!

Madonna is out and Kate Hudson is in when it comes to officially dating Alex Rodriguez (A Rod) from the New York Yankees. It seems that Kate and son Ryder followed A- Rod on the road to Dallas during a three game series against the Texas Rangers. A source says they stayed at the same hotel and even worked out together. It seems like love is in the air, now we will just see how long it lasts. Wonder how Chris Robinson, Kate’s ex and Black Crowes band member feels about baseball.

I finally got to see a monologue by Conan O’Brien and I am happy to say it was for his first “Tonight Show” gig. He was finally early enough for me to see him and I have to say he was funny. It was odd to not see Jay behind the desk but I think he did a fine job for his first night. The sketches were funny and he did a good job with guest Will Ferrell and Pearl Jam. I must admit though that my heart still belongs to Letterman. He is just my favorite and his show was funny as always. David Letterman had on Bill Cosby and his mom, who said, “Well Dave, I see you didn’t get the Tonight Show again.” You have to admit…pretty funny. I wish Conan luck in his new beautiful studio and everyone will just settle into to their favorite host or who has the best guest on that night.

The word of the day for Mr. and Mrs. Pratt is – WIMPS!!! It seems the duo cannot decide if they really really want to quit the NBC reality show, “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” or if they want to stay. Now I am not saying I could do it but I would NEVER sign up for that. What were they expecting….easy living since they are “celebrities” – it’s the JUNGLE? So quit your whining guys. Literally the first night, Monday, during the premiere they threatened to quit twice and did and then unquit and came back to Tuesday nights show. At the moment it seems like they quit but honestly I am not really sure. We will just have to wait and see. Here is a quote from Mr. Super celebrity Spencer Pratt himself…”Super- celebrities don’t belong in the jungle. They belong in Hollywood with the paparazzi.” That makes you really like the guy right?? That statement is so irritating for so many reasons… the first being that he thinks him and wifey Heidi Montag are super celebrities!!! Anyway more power to the nine celebrities’ toughing it out in the Costa Rican jungle for charity. Lou Diamond Phillips, Stephen Baldwin and Janice Dickerson are sticking around – for now anyway. Bye bye Heidi and Spencer…hurry back to “The Hills” while you still can.   

Baseball Ramblings As Crazy As The Weather

The Chicago spring tease is on and the snow that was frozen into impenetrable blocks of polar ice blocks is finally begin to melt and all I can think about is baseball, baseball, and baseball. I feel like ignoring the return of the steroid scandal (I thought that tumor was benign) and daydreaming about the bleacher seats and the box scores.

First off, the ESPN-verse may be focusing on the teams in their own backyard, but I think AL pennant winner resides in the confounding AL Central. I am calling the Twins number this season. The New York Yankees may have just completed with a bailout from Brian Cashman that would make George Steinbrenner proud and the Boston Red Sox may have kept a very solid team intact, but the Twins have that small market spirit and a winning front office that I think is due.

The NL Pennant will not go to the Chicago Cubs. I still implore Windy city baseball fans to enjoy Cubs bleacher seats, but the team has failed to take advantage of the reprieve most damned franchises have had in the 21st century. This is some deep-seated curse/culture that even the fiery Lou Piniella cannot exercise with his fire and brimstone tirades. No, the pennant will land with the New York Mets. I simply am not convinced that the Phillies have the pitching to repeat and believe that the Mets have the total package.

A-Rod will let the distractions from A-Fraud and A-Roid get to him and fall flat on his face this season. The seats may be new, but boos will be just as loud and the chants of Choke-Rod will continue to haunt him. I would not be surprised if he further assaults his reputation as a player by taking a swing at one of the judgmental New York Yankees fans. Watch for the Boston Red Sox to pull a Philadelphia Phillies sequel and score with another MVP. This time Kevin Youkilis will have a .300-30-100 season.

Still the best players will play for losing teams and not get a shot at the MVP. Kind of like last season with the Tigers Miguel Cabrera. Speaking of the Phillies, the will find that Ryan Howard will settle in to his nice big lucrative contract by breaking the single season record held by last year’s champ Mark Reynolds. He will also hit 40-plus home runs again so nobody will care and he will win the MVP.

Francisco Liriano will get lots of attention as he finishes as the Twins best pitcher with 20 plus wins and an ERA around 3.00. Because of the Twins Central Division title he will be awarded the Cy Young. In two years the Mets or the Yankees will sign him away to a contract worth $20 million a season.

It seems that the only individual award that a player on a losing team is able to bring home is the Cy Young. This trend in the National League will continue as the best pitchers are on terrible teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks Brandon Webb, the San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum, and the Cincinnati Reds Edinson Volquez will all have terrific seasons, but the league will have pity on Volquez for playing in Cincinnati and give him the Cy Young so he does not feel so bad about playing in the Great American Ball Park.

The day is so nice I cannot tell if these predictions are reasonable or if they are the ramblings of man drunk on the smell and feel of warm air. Hopefully I am too far off, but everyone should enjoy MLB tickets and celebrate the end of winter.

Kicking off Saturday with A-Rod and Primobolon and Ending Sunday with Lebron and Kobe

This weekend was one of extremes. It started with a Sports Illustrated expose that implicated New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez as one of 104 people who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and ended with an NBA match up between two of the best basketball players in a game that did not disappoint.

A-Rod has been taking body blows to his reputation as a player for the last few years. He was outed at A-Fraud in Joe Torre’s new book. He was known as Jeter’s-Rod for years by New York Yankees teammates and the media. Yankees fans have known him as Choke-Rod for his pennant-ending slumps. Even celebrity news had some fun, as he became Madonna’s-Rod after an apparent torrid affair with the ageless pop diva.

This latest alteration, from A-Rod to A-Roid, is perhaps the most damning blow. For all his personality deficiencies and his career failings, he was going to at least be the player that put Barry Bonds away after hitting home run number 763.

George Mitchell, the man Bud Selig tapped in 2006 to lead the steroid investigation, said that it was time to move forward after the internal investigation was finished. Fans were upset, but MLB was all for it and they went back to selling baseball tickets as if nothing had every happened. This story means baseball must once again address the issue of steroids.

Bud Selig now has to listen to nine more years of pointed questions from sports reporters as Rodriguez amasses enough home runs to be named the best slugger in history. Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez will now be two names mentioned in every discussion of what is wrong with the game. They are egomaniacs with an inability to relate the fans or their teammates. They are also among baseball’s many liars.

If anything, in a political reality where the ineptitude of internal regulation has come to full light, there will be a new call for transparency by fans as baseball’s highest executive officers try and answer the questions and fight any doubt by its fans.

Then the clock struck midnight and all the attention turned the double header on ABC. The last two teams to win NBA championships, the San Antonio Spurs and the Boston Celtics, met in the first game. They were a nice opening act, but the headlining game was between the last two players to score 50 plus at Madison Square Garden, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their first home loss of the season in this 101-91 victory. For the first three quarters the teams moved the ball poetically. It seemed to be basketball at its finest. The individual match up of Bryant and James was a bit of a bust. Bryant only scored 19 points as a flu that has been traveling around the NBA hindered his game. James only made 5 of 20 shots, but managed to play his patented all around game with 12 assists, eight rebounds and a total of 16 points.

The fourth quarter became an after thought as the Lakers continued to counter every big Cavs shot with a bucket of their own. Lamar Odom was by far the best player of the game for the Lakers. He scored a game high 28 points with buckets from the outside, from mid range, and from slam dunks on put backs. Big 7-foot-3 center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was the Cavs got o guy. He hit jumpers from deep and stood his ground in the post for offensive rebound and easy put back points of his own.

The game was a nice end to my carefree Sunday as I then got to look forward to another week of work and another week of reading A-Rod fall out.

Manny Ramirez, the Mets ARod?

Yesterday must have been a slow news day on the MLB scene. The only thing ESPN had to offer was a blurb about Joe Torre and his depiction of Alex Rodriguez in his new tell-all book about his time with the New York Yankees and the fact that Jerry Manuel would not mind having Manny Ramirez in the New York Mets outfield. Rather ho hum stories I thought, but then I began to make some connections and thought: why would Manuel want Ramirez?

General consensus is that Manny Ramirez single-handedly carried the Los Angeles Dodgers pitiful offense after the Red Sox just became to worn down to deal with the Manny-tude. The Dodgers did make the playoffs and much of it was thanks to Ramirez hitting an obscene .396, with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in just 53 games.

I personally think Ramirez should have won the MVP despite the fact that he only played a third of his season in blue at Dodger Stadium. Still, I think that the Mets would be foolish to pick him up. Why? Well just look at ARod. Manny may not be a poser like Rodriguez, but he is definitely a problem behind close doors.

The Yankees, despite having a payroll over $200 million, could not win a World Series. Before the Yanks had ARod they won four World Series and lost two more in eight seasons, but after he arrived the Yankees could rarely make it beyond the first round. There are sure to be other factors, but a $28 million cry prima donna cannot be a tiny issue.

Luckily for Mets fans the front office has not even considered the move. It probably helps that Ramirez wants to be the highest paid baseball player in the league at 37.

I think of players like ARod and Manny Ramirez as the personification of steroids. They give you an incredible boost in the short term, but in the long run the long-consequences are detrimental.

The New York Mets outfield is looking a little thin with Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church penciled in on the corners. Church is a solid vet while Murphy is coming off an impressive performance in limited action in 2008. With the Philadelphia Phillies playing to three-peat as NL East champions and repeat as World Series champions, I can understand the desire to add another high profile player.

Mets fans enjoying the first season at Citi Field should be comforted to know that they have first baseman Carlos Delgado, third baseman David Wright, and centerfielder Carlos Beltran to carry the load. If anything, I would think Manuel would want to add another pitcher.

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