Monday, May 4, 2009

From Pacquiao to Teixeira, I Want Answers Now



Questions after a weekend of boxing bashes, Derby dashes and general sports clashes:

How can I land Teddy Atlas' job? Dude picked Ricky Hatton to beat Manny Pacquiao. No wonder Atlas sports a mashed nose. The bone must've jammed back in his brain.

The only thing the Hitman hit was the canvas in Round 2. That was after Pac-Man planted his feet for the longest period in boxing history and hooked Hatton silly.

The ref's immediate stoppage made it a TKO. By technical, that must mean technically Hatton was a boxer.

In reality, this was a knockout a 3-year-old girl could've seen coming. I asked little Bianca at a boxing party when Pac-Man would win, and she put up three fingers. Close enough.

When it came to Pac-Man, what was with the Atlas shrug? The old Mike Tyson trainer must've been too busy pondering his next ESPN dollars to have any sense. Ax the guy and hire me.

How do I get Michael Buffer's job? I mean, how tough is introducing boxers? Promise, I can handle "Let's get ready to stummmmmbllllllle."

What's with HBO averting its gaze from the round girls? You know, the high-heeled, hotly garbed babes trotting in the ring with posters in case you forget what round it is. Instead of feeding us the babage, HBO zeroes in on sweaty faces of boxers and corner men.

One word for this pay-per-view trade-off: ripoff.

How can I replace the Kentucky Derby's voice? There was Tom Durkin on NBC noting every horse down the stretch. Except the one passing them all. When he finally said Mine That Bird, he had long clinched the roses.

One of the truly blown calls. I'm ready to stand in.

Does Barry Melrose have it good or what? Couldn't cut it as Tampa Bay's coach in the shortest tryout in NHL annals. So he's back breaking down hockey for ESPN.

Remember that ESPN broadcasts no hockey games. So Melrose spends, oh, two minutes a night chatting after catching action on the tube. And makes tons. I'm in the wrong business.

Amid the Manny and A-Rod hysteria, what to do about steroids? Legalize them.

Even if the Lakers make the NBA Finals, how do they handle LeBron James?
Nail him on a steroid charge.

Why did the Lakers’ bench go from NBA tops to flops by playoff time?
They traded Vladimir Radmanovic. With him starting, L.A. sizzled with a second unit starring Trevor Ariza. Now that Ariza fills Rad’s starting spot, no one’s left to spark the reserves. That’s why those 15-point leads vanish faster than you can say Luke Walton.

When will Orlando Hudson see straight? The Dodgers' second baseman recently bitched that baseball doesn't field enough black Americans. Something's coloring his juvenile outlook if hasn't caught on that blacks are filling MLB rosters. Only the talent comes mostly from Latin America.

Maybe Hudson is too pretentious to notice such teams as the San Francisco Giants, whose left side of the infield is as black as their caps. Only the third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, hails from Venezuela, and their shortstop, Edgar Renteria, is a Colombian.

Then there's the obvious shift down the road from Hudson's Dodger Stadium. The Angels won the 2002 World Series with two black regulars, L.A.'s own Garret Anderson and Puerto Rican Bengie Molina. Now they have two white regulars, Floridians Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis.

When will teams' radio networks get with it? They feed the waves with pabulum whenever callers question talent and strategy.

That's why it was a breath of fresh air when Adam Dodge spoke up as a guest partner with Jeff Biggs on the Angels' KLAA. When a caller rooted for a Reggie Willits return to the Angels' outfield, I was expecting the knee-jerk response: "You're right, buddy. The guy's scrappy. Bring him back."

Dodge was different. He dismissed the idea. Said enemy pitchers had figured Willits out.

Dodge, a writer for Angelswin.com, sounded honest and compelling. That's a double play that radio should embrace. Advice for Biggs: Don't dodge him.

When will teams quit shelling out for losers? Take Mark Teixeira. Puts up huge numbers in Texas. So fantasy baseball types call him the second coming of Lou Gehrig. The Braves buy into it. They get worse. The Angels get sucked in. They go nowhere in the playoffs. The Yankees are sold on him. They're foundering.

The only pundit who blew the whistle was Phil Rogers. He's my old pal who covers baseball for the Chicago Tribune. Right after the Angels landed Teix last summer, Rogers shared his Texas drawl on KLAA and tattled on that down trend. Cut through the Bill James ratings -- Runs Created, Approximate Value -- and you can see Teixeira simply helps his teams lose.

Remind you of other Yankees? Maybe Bobby Bonds and A-Rod?


Bucky Fox is an editor in Southern California who runs BuckyFox.com and is the author of three baseball books, including "The Highflying Angels: Their 50 Greatest Hits, Pitches and Plays"

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