Mark Sanchez and The Butt Fumble

Yes, you are probably reading this and thinking one of two things.

1. Did this writer just wake up from a coma and look up Jets highlights from the past 4 years and that was the first thing to come up?

Or

2. Is this the new way people look at the Jets? In a constant state of dysfunction highlighted by one of the most infamous plays in football history.

But I come at all 4 of you readers out there with a loaded question: Do you honestly think that a day goes by where Dirty Sanchez isn’t reminded of the butt fumble?

Whether it be someone walking down the street, UPS guy, the pizza delivery guy, friends, family, comedians, teammates, really anyone this guy comes in contact with it is more than likely to come up. Think about it…when someone says “Mark Sanchez”, first things that come to your head are butt fumble, Jets quarterback, and Rex Ryan tattoo (not really the last one but I can’t write about Marky Mark and not bring that up). So let’s say Sanchez sees 15 random people a day that he doesn’t really know. At least 2 or 3 of those people are bringing it up something in the anus region. Realistically, the only day he may have went without hearing about it over the past 4 years is when he was bedridden with the flu. And even then a buddy of his probably shot him a text saying, “hey, heard you’re a banged up but here’s something to make you feel better!”

I’ve heard people say that it’s unfortunate that he did it in New York, as he will forever be ridiculed for the incident that occurred on that Thanksgiving night.  However I disagree. Sure he could have done it in Philadelphia, but it wouldn’t of surprised me if his house was burned to flames with him in it later that night.  Maybe in Dallas where the fans would have been so embarrassed that some real Cowboys would have shot him up on the side of the head. Both scenarios he ends up dead, at least in New York he will only be forever grilled. Not to mention he plays for an embarrassment of an organization in the Jets…if he pulled this shit on the Giants, well, it’d may be a different story.

 

I Don’t Trust People Who… (Volume 1)

Before I start this, let me explain. Just because you do one or more of these things doesn’t mean I actually don’t trust you as a person. Most of these say nothing about your character. But these are just moves that kind of make me personally scratch my head. You might disagree and that’s okay, but if you have a real problem with it then chill out man I’m not even a real blogger, I’m just a college kid. So here goes. I do NOT trust you if…

-You knowingly leave the volume on an odd number

I think a lot of people can relate to this one. It’s a classic OCD move, but I just feel so much better about the TV or radio being on an even numbered volume. They say texting and driving is distracting, but it’s 10 times more distracting trying to get your radio on a certain volume (I like to keep mine on 42, shoutout Jackie Robinson.) Sure that’s kinda dangerous, but I’d rather take my chances than leave the volume on 41.

-You’re a guy who doesn’t drink beer

I’m not trying to go all alpha-male on you guys here and act like there aren’t valid reasons for guys who don’t drink beer. I’m not even saying beer has to be the drink of choice. If a guy would rather do rum and cokes or just rip shots all night than drink some beers, I can respect that. Some people drink tequila instead because beer is actually sorta kinda bad for you (I try not to think about it), and some people are even allergic to alcohol. But for guys who straight up don’t drink beer because they “don’t like the taste,” I do NOT trust you. That only works for girls (shoutout to all the girls who drink beer, you’re the real MVPs.) If your boys are cracking a cold one and your first instinct isn’t to join in, you definitely can’t be trusted.

-You call Gatorade by flavor instead of color


I don’t care if my kid gets a full ride to Harvard, cures cancer, and marries a Victoria’s Secret model. If I ask him what flavor Gatorade he wants and he says “lemon lime” instead of “yellow,” I’ve failed as a father.

-You prefer Starbucks over Dunkin

I’m a huge iced coffee guy. Dunkin is just waaaay better and cheaper. They actually make the drink for you instead of Starbucks making you add your own milk (big deal I know but you’d think for the price they’d do it themselves?) Also what the fuck is a venti size? Small medium or large, keep it simple, my tiny college blogger brain can’t process anything else beyond that. Plus Dunkin actually has edible food, too.

That’s it for Volume 1. Thanks for reading my irrelevant rant. Check back soon to see more people who I definitely don’t trust.

Why Robinson Cano is Even Better Than People Think

Robbie Cano, Don’t Ya Know.

Damn, I miss hearing that.

Earlier this week, Robinson Cano was named All Star Game MVP after crushing a homer to left off of a curveball from Chicago Cubs Closer Wade Davis, putting the American League ahead 2-1 in the top of the 10th inning, ultimately sealing the victory.

This got me thinking about Cano today for the first time in a while, and I realized how fucking good of a career he’s had. I mean this guy has been really, really good for a long time now. And I really don’t think people appreciate his play enough.

When I first started watching baseball, which was right before Cano got called up, it seemed that there was this unwritten rule about second basemen that went something like this; “good glove, make contact, run fast”. They were hitting either 1 (maybe 2) in the lineup, or at the bottom of the order, known for their gloves, not their bats.

Prior to Robinson Cano, the Yankees 2nd baseman was Tony Womack. Most people have never heard of Tony Womack, and he was solid, maybe even above average…for the time.

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In his 1st full season in the MLB, with the Pirates in ’97, he made the All Star team. He stole 60 bases, hit .278, but only had 6 homers, which led to his measly .700 OPS. He would not be an All Star in today’s game.

Now, Womack my be an extreme example of the old, prototypical 2nd baseman, but you get my point. Look at every single primary 2nd baseman who’s career was before Cano. Very few of them hit for power for the majority of their careers. Some had a few years where they did, but it was extremely rare.

Cano is already 3rd all time in home runs by a second baseman, trailing Jeff Kent and Rogers Hornsby (tangent: he might be the best 2nd baseman of all time. His statistics are unbelievable. Granted, he played from 1915-1937, but still, his WAR is 127, has over 1,000 career walks [compared to under 700 strikeouts], his career average is .358 (!), and his OPS is 1.010 [!!!]. He might not only be one of the best 2nd basemen ever, but players ever.). And some of the guy’s a few spots behind him are Hall of Famers like Ryne Sandberg, Craig Biggio, and Joe Morgan, but others are guys who would be impossible to hit a home run with in a video game, like Ray Durham and Damion Easley.

Look at slugging percentage and you get most of the same thing. Cano is a nearly .500 slugger, and no one else (besides Hornsby and Jeff Kent) is. His OPS is not that high, compared to others, because he does not walk a lot, which has always been one of the few flaws in his game, as his his base stealing, with only 51 in his career.
But that’s my point. Cano has not only been the best 2nd baseman since he became a regular, he has changed the nature and outlook of the position.

Image result for Robinson Cano

Take a look at the position since he broke into the league.
2nd baseman have consistently been hitting for power. 20 home runs for a 2nd baseman is not that rare anymore.

Last year, 13 2nd basemen hit 20 home runs, almost 1/2 of the league’s starters. 5 2nd basemen had over .500 slugging percentages. All the while, only 4 stole more than 20 bases.

The 13 2nd basemen with more than 20 home runs is more than Catchers and Center Fielders, and the same as Right Fielders and Shortstops. And even positions like Left Field and 3rd base don’t have too many more.

And as the saying goes, “chicks dig the long ball”, setting up these 2nd basemen to be their team’s leader, and even the face, or one of the faces of the franchise.
Jose Altuve is the 1B to Carlos Correa’s 1A. Daniel Murphy will go down as a Mets legend for what he did in the 2015 Playoffs, and he’s very popular amongst his Nationals teammates. Brian Dozier is probably the most popular Minnesota Twin other than Joe Mauer, and Jason Kipnis is combining with Francisco Lindor to form one of the most dynamic double play duos in the MLB.

These players are all part of the current crop of MLB’s power hitting 2nd basemen, and they’re only trending up. Their home run power is translating into star power, which is exactly what happened with Cano.

Cano was the best player on the Yankees his last few seasons. He finished with MVP votes in 2006, and then his last 5 seasons with the team from 2009-2013. He may not have ever been the team’s biggest star, thanks to some guy named Derek, but he became a household name, not only in New York, but across the country.

In those seasons, he hit at least 25 home runs, and slugged at least .515. He was as feared a power hitter as the next guy, all while still hitting for a high average and playing solid defense.

Aside from the juiced up numbers of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, 2nd baseman have never hit for as much power as they did last year, and seem poised to continue in the future. And these players seem as legit as ever, a far cry from the steroid-taking guys like Brett Boone and Miguel Tejada (who were very talented,but tainted   legacies only go so far and probably had something to do with their sharp declines). These players can be the face of their teams for years to come, and maybe one day they’ll be the power hitting 2nd basemen that the next generation of players look up to, just like Robinson Cano.

I Wish the ASG Were Better, but Let’s Appreciate It for What It Is

I would first like to thank the esteemed staff of “Below the Belt Sports” for allowing me to write for their blog.  As a 35-year-old joining a cast of college students, hopefully I can provide something different and positive in a “Danny DeVito” joining the “Always Sunny” cast sort of way.  Don’t worry, Danny.  I promise not to compare myself to you again.

Anyway, this is a sports blog, so let’s talk about sports.  I wish the MLB All-Star Game were more exciting.  I feel that way, and you feel that way; but guess what?  I am always going to watch it, and so are you if you are a baseball fan.  Yes, I tend to watch the opening ceremonies, introduction of players, and first few innings before losing interest amidst a revolving door of lineup changes.  However, it’s still the only good TV on a Tuesday night in July, and it’s still the best All-Star Game of the major sports.  This year, we even got the added bonus of a clean-shaven Joe Buck.  Honestly nothing is sadder than his attempts at growing facial hair.

Writers and reporters are always trying to come up with ways to improve the All-Star Game.  However, the only good one I have heard is infeasible.  This would be to have the starting position players play the whole game and use pinch-hitters only when strategically necessary.  This change would also have pitchers tossing more than just one inning.  From an excitement standpoint, I love this idea.  However, the modern MLB player is never going to commit to going to the All-Star Game to sit the pine for nine innings, and I don’t blame him.  The season is a grind, and four days of rest sure beats flying across the country to watch an exhibition.

Yes, people who remember baseball in the 1960s (No, I am not one of these people) remember a day when league pride was huge and the All-Star managers heeded Herm Edwards by following one mantra, “You play to win the game.”  (even if managers would have needed a Delorean and flux capacitor to know the quote)  I am sure the All-Star Game was more exciting when the two leagues were going all-out to win and when future Hall-of-Famers played nine innings. However, the other main reasons for the dip in All-Star Game excitement are good things for baseball.  Free agency, Interleague play, and vastly increased media coverage for regular-season games are the main reasons why players and fans alike get less excitement and interest from the All-Star Game than in the olden days.  In the 1960s, it was novel to see Hank Aaron face Jim Palmer.  Actually, as fans, it was novel to see Hank Aaron, period.  There were so few televised games, especially out-of-market games.  Now, we live in an era where players can change teams, can face each other in Interleague play (I am a purist who does not like Interleague play, but I’m in the minority there.  It’s not the hill I’m going to die on.), and can be seen 162 games a year in any market….unless your name is “Robinson Cano”.  Until last night, I thought that he had retired after 2013, and I had also assumed that the Mariners had closed up shop after the 2001 ALCS.   Anyway, Cano aside, I am glad that MLB has seen the afore-mentioned positive developments over the years.   That said, if the cost of these positive changes to the sport is a weaker All-Star Game, big deal.

The truth is that I have watched the past 28 All-Star Games, after last night.  All of those games have been during the era of massive amounts of substitutions.  They have all been in the era of free agency, and 21 have been in the era of Interleague play.  Yes, I am more likely to lose focus on the All-Star Game than on a Mets game.  Sure, the games themselves are not always that compelling, but there are still great moments – Cal Ripken Jr.’s homerun in his last All-Star game, Torii Hunter robbing Barry Bonds of a homerun in that same 2001 game, Ichiro legging out an inside-the-park homerun in San Francisco, Dan Uggla striking out AND making three errors all in extra innings at Yankee Stadium, and The Artist Formerly Known as Matt Harvey electrifying Citi Field in 2013.  I love the NFL and NHL every bit as much as I love MLB, but no moments from their All-Star Games have any staying power.  I might space out at times during an MLB All-Star Game, but there are plenty of years where I don’t even try to watch the Pro Bowl or NHL All-Star Game.  I will add that I am not a huge NBA guy, so I cannot speak for moments in the NBA All-Star Game.  However, at least the NBA has the benefit of being able to have the top guys on the court at the end of an All-Star Game.

Anyway, I wish the MLB All-Star Game were more exciting, but let’s stop trying to improve it.  It is what it is.  Thank goodness World Series homefield advantage no longer rides on it.  I would have preferred to give homefield advantage to the team from the league with a better record in Interleague play (to re-establish a modicum of league pride), but I am perfectly fine of giving it to the team with the better record (as is done in the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final).

Sure, the MLB All-Star Game is not what it once was, but let’s just enjoy it for what it is now.

Below the Belt Welcomes Michael Walker

BTB Sports has been in commission for about two months now, and it’s been even better than I thought it would be up to this point. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t some huge success or anything. We only have 69 (lol) followers on Twitter, 59 on Instagram, and get about 150-200 page views a day (492 is our best but who’s counting?)

But there have been some really cool highlights since we started up in May. Getting retweeted by popular Yankee blog River Ave Blues or interviewing the #2 finisher in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, just to name a few. Well, now we can add another to the list. We have officially added Ramsey High School’s own Michael Walker to the BTB team.

I was lucky enough to have Mr. Walker as a teacher for both my junior and senior years at RHS. Going to his Economics or Pre-Calculus classes was always a pleasure, even though those are probably two of my least favorite subjects I’ve ever had to learn. Mr. Walker is the only teacher I ever had who would talk sports or quote Anchorman with us, all while making sure we knew how to draw Supply and Demand curves before the AP test.

He is also known for his legendary Facebook statuses, which are always very relatable and informative, whether they’re sports or life related.

This is actually what gave us the idea to ask Mr. Walker to write for BTB in the first place. He can also remember the major details of every day of his life since like 1994, so “This Day in Sports History” articles seem imminent.

For all of my fellow RHS grads, I’m sure you’re as excited as I am for this. If you didn’t go to RHS and have no idea who Michael Walker is, it’s almost foolish that you’ve read this blog up to this point, but I promise you’ll enjoy his writing. So join me in giving Mr. Michael Walker a warm welcome to the best mediocre sports blog in America, and be sure to check out his very first post today at 5 PM.

 

USC Signs 6 Year Old for Class of 2033

Not really…but it’s clickbait. My point starts with the video below:

It's never too early to start recruiting 🏈

A post shared by Bleacher Report (@bleacherreport) on

9 YEARS OLD?!

At 9 years old I was still learning what deodorant was (for those who know me know I didn’t learn for another couple years), let alone being able to consciously decide what college I wanted to go to.

It’s really just taking advantage of kids who have no clue what is going on in their life and literally took the first offer they got.  It’s scummy, but I guess college sports are just that competitive now, which is sad.

And the worst part is, these kids can get these offers retracted if the school doesn’t feel they are up-to-par when their time to finally go to college comes. So essentially, these 9,10, and 11 year olds are telling their friends right now they are Division 1 commits and are riding the Gravy Train for the rest of their lives. But, for some reason, if they decide they don’t want to play football for the next 25 years, or maybe their bodies don’t develop in the ideal way, then the college can say “We don’t want you anymore” and leave the poor kid with a broken heart and no clue where to go in life. There’s no accountability from the college’s end, and all the responsibility falls on the kid to force himself to now be a Division 1 athlete.

This is like calling shotgun from inside the store just because you don’t want anyone else to get it, and you know that the rules CLEARLY state the car has to be in sight, but you do it anyway because you know you’ll get it.  It definitely does not give everyone a chance to have a horse in the race.

And for those saying the kid committed to this and he is just as responsible if something goes wrong, HE IS NINE YEARS OLD. Wouldn’t you take this offer at 9? If someone offered me McDonald’s at 9, I took it. Now someone offers everything you ever wanted. Uh, yes please.

College should not even be a thought until you’re at least 14 or 15 years old. This is absurd, and although the title is extreme, I can absolutely see something as insane as that happening in the near future.

 

Why Conor McGregor Has Already Won…

Image result for mcgregor mayweather

We’re still over a month away from August 26th, but the anticipation for Mayweather v. McGregor is growing everyday. For months, talk of this fight happening seemed like a bunch of BS, giving people like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. something other than basketball or football to talk about on their talk shows. To be honest, I didn’t think Floyd would ever actually agree to this fight, but sure enough, the deal is done and the most anticipated boxing match in awhile is officially taking place.

Now I was never a big fan of Floyd Mayweather. It’s hard for me to like a guy who has made a career off of winning extremely boring fights, and even harder to respect a guy who has had domestic violence issues and constantly has to flash his money on social media as if we don’t know how much money he has actually made off of his fighting career. Now obviously Floyd’s fights are so boring because he’s so downright good at defensively dancing around the ring and timing his strikes, and Conor McGregor is not the most frugal guy either when it comes to his lifestyle. But it’s just so difficult to dislike a guy who represents his entire country and family in everything that he does, and it’s so easy to hate a guy like Floyd.

Image result for mcgregor ireland

Before this fight was ever official, me and probably just about everyone else who doesn’t live under a rock already knew that Floyd would win, hands down. Most likely Conor would barely even touch him in the process. But regardless of the outcome of the fight, Conor McGregor has already won, and here’s why.

First of all, McGregor is insane, in a good way. For starters, he and Dana White literally pulled a LaVar Ball and spoke this fight into existence. Not only is McGregor a world renowned name and a certified UFC great for having held a belt in two weight classes, but he is actually crazy enough to give that up in pursuit of fighting the greatest boxer of our generation, who is a calm 49-0. Regardless of the outcome of the fight, his stock will be higher than before. No one expects him to win, but if he does he will have taken down one of the greatest boxers in history, and if not, he will still help contribute to what will probably be the biggest pay-per-view event of all time, smashing any numbers he would’ve done in the UFC. Sounds like a win-win.

Image result for mcgregor mayweather ppv
Image from FightNights.com

Secondly, he wore a custom pinstripe suit to the first fight press conference, with the pinstripes containing “f*ck you” up and down the suit. That’s probably the most amazing thing ever. Shout out to Conor’s tailor.

Image result for mcgregor fuck you suit
Image from BlackSportsOnline and ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Next, he’s the most savage trash talker ever. Sorry Peyton Manning, I absolutely loved your Kevin Durant joke at the ESPY’s, but nothing tops an amped up Conor McGregor starting a “F**k the Mayweather’s” chant, then going up to Floyd Mayweather’s face and stating that he dresses like a bum because he can’t afford luxuries due to his tax problems, and then asking why he has a school bag, because he can’t f**king read. *Insert Funk Flex bomb here*. I mean I loved it when 50 Cent took to Instagram to call Floyd’s third grade English skills into question, but Conor flat out stood next to him and said “you can’t read”. You can watch the entire rant below, courtesy of UFC on Fox.

Lastly, Conor McGregor is a people’s champ. He completely disrespected Floyd in two press conferences, had crowds chanting his every move, and he’s fighting a fight that everyone expects him to lose, and no one cares. Every single Irish person on this Earth flat out loves the guy, and so does everyone else, because he’s batsh*t crazy, and he doesn’t back down from anything. He came from nothing, and he never forgot his roots, his country, or his family. After this fight, he’ll return to the UFC where he is treasured, and he will continue to draw big money in his events. People will only love him more following this bout, and if he overachieves he’ll become a legend. So whether or not he even comes close to touching Floyd in the ring on August 26th, Conor McGregor has already won.