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The Ramble: NFL Draft, Kenyon, Delmon, Pujols, and The Mets

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The second installment of the New York Post’s newest column, the Rip-Off, I mean The Rumble, is in Sunday’s paper and it’s even worse than the first installment.

The person who writes The Rumble is the guy who wears a Kiss t-shirt to a Kiss concert. Nobody should be that guy. Printing the crumbs dropped by the big writers at the paper is no way to produce a column. Name dropping only is name dropping if people actually recognize the name that is being dropped. Nobody cares which Knick scrub is dating which Supermodel de jour…

So all you copy cats at the Post, pay attention. Here’s the right way to do it:

The NFL Draft. The fact that the NFL Draft has become one of the biggest events in all of sports is due to the fact that the NFL, far and away, is the best professional sports league in the world. ESPN deserves a big assist here. As a matter of fact – as a football fan – with the exception of the college bowl season and March Madness I think that the lead up to the draft and draft day itself is better than any other sporting event. Better than the Super Bowl, better than the World Series, better, better, better.

Kenyon Martin. Mr. Martin, of Carmelo Anthony’s Denver Nuggets, was suspended indefinitely by the team for throwing a hissy fit over his lack of playoff game playing time. Great move by the team, and it’s been reported that the rest of the team is in complete agreement over Martin’s banishment. There are reports that the Players’ Union will file a grievance on Martin’s behalf. But since the Nuggets are 30-10 without Martin in the lineup, the other players on the Nuggets should have their union file a grievance in response to the original grievance, to keep Martin banned. The team has said that Martin will not be back on the floor, and that they’ll look for someone to take Martin’s virtually untrade-able contract. Do they have Isiah Thomas’ phone number?

Delmon Young. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ top prospect got called out on strikes, argued with the umpire, got ejected from the game and as he was walking back to the dugout threw his bat at – and hit – the home plate umpire in the chest. The International League suspended Young indefinitely. He should also be charged with assault and prosecuted. Not only did Young commit a criminal act, he is a coward. The Devil Rays must be very worried that this is their top prospect.

Albert Pujols. The St. Louis Cardinal is the best baseball player in the world. As Pujols set the major league record for home runs in the month of April, I wonder if broken down Barry Bonds is as jealous of Pujols as he was of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa? The difference in 2006 is that Bonds has no options to do anything that will put him back in the spotlight, at least not on the playing field. Limping across the Babe Ruth line doesn’t really count. Perjury, anyone?

The NFL vs. the NBA. The highest quality of play in all of professional sports, the NFL, versus the lowest, the NBA. Football is the only team sport where the level of play, from fundamentals to sport-specific skills, as well as the athleticism of the players, improves every year. Every aspect of the game of football – including complexity – has evolved at almost every level of the sport, and the NFL is truly the pinnacle where the game is played at the highest possible level.

The NBA, by comparison, has gotten worse over the years. The fundamentals of the NBA game have deteriorated and the game has devolved into a contest that revolves around one-on-one, stand-around play for the majority of game time.

The fact that high school kids are being drafted, being paid millions of dollars and playing in the league are NOT indications of the NBA’s strength, but of weakness. The fact that teams in the NBA draft high school kids and pay them boat loads of money to sit and watch is just plain stupid. By comparison, the best high school football players in the land wouldn’t have a prayer of making it through one NFL practice, never mind an actual game or an entire season. Just look at some of this year’s NFL first round picks, dominant college players who will still need a few years of seasoning before they can step on the field. Make mine NFL.

The Mets. No matter how well they are playing, why do I have this feeling that they’re going to get “Munsoned?”

Hall Of Famer, Or Not? Here’s a new feature to be included in The Ramble. I’ll throw out a current player – a baseball player most of the time – who is at the peak or towards the end of their career, along with my two cents with regards to his or her worthiness to be included in their sport’s Hall of Fame. I don’t want to turn this into a flame fest, but more like a corner bar discussion.

This week’s guest on Hall of Famer, Or Not is current Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. I say, “Not.” This isn’t meant as a slight against Schilling, for there’s no doubt that when he was on Curt Schilling was one of the better pitchers of this era. The main reason for my opposition is that if Bert Blyleven isn’t in the Hall with his 287 wins, 3.31 E.R.A., and his 3701 strikeouts, then guys who haven’t hit these numbers can’t get in.

There’s the “Mendoza Line” for lousy hitters. I’m establishing the “Blyleven Line” for pitchers in order for them to be inducted into the Hall. And besides the Blyleven Line, if Schilling – who currently has 196 wins and may wind up with 220+ – gets inducted into the Hall, does David Wells with his 227 (as of today) wins get in? What about my boy Koosman and Jim Wynne’s Rick Reuschel? What about Mickey Lolich or Kevin Brown? At some point players will have to live with just being considered among the best of their era.

So that’s it for this edition of The Ramble. I’ll see you real soon.

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About Sal Marinello

  • Hunter

    I agree, as a Red Sox fan, that Schilling does not deserve to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He simply did not step up when he was a Phillie, and he’s paying for it now. Maybe if he did he would get in. The Red Sox fan in me thinks that if he didn’t play with a dead man’s ankle in the Sox postseason to win the World Series for Boston, he could have made up the difference in ’05, but I’m not sure I believe it.

    With that said the fact that Bert Blyleven is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of the biggest shames in sports history, as any rational analysis of his career gets him into the Hall of Fame with ease.

  • sal m

    also, with schilling if the rationale is used that he had some great seasons, and that is enough to qualify then you open up the hall to even more pitchers and set up a different level of qualifications. for instance, ron guidry with 170 wins but 6 monster seasons could be considered. and he just doesn’t belong, nor do any players belong on the grounds of 4 or 5 great individual seasons.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I’ll always remember The Schill in the ’01 WS, even though he’ll probably be best known for the ’04 WS and the bloody sock.

  • http://ffnj ffnj

    What does “Munsoned” mean?Is that a lame attempt to say “come crashing down”?Ive never heard it put that way,but coming from the writer of this blog,its expected to have idiotic statements.Quit trying to use words in your blogs that are too big for you to even spell correctly too.Schilling is a HOF because he is a dominant pitcher of the last 15 years and a big money pitcher.

  • sal m

    ffnj:
    let’s see…where should i start telling you that you’re wrong on all counts…

    ok, first “munsoned.” this is a reference to a line from the movie kingpin, and it has nothing to do with the former yankee catcher. i’m not here to bring you up to speed on cultural references, so rent it or check out your local tv listings.

    second, try checking statistics before you shoot off your mouth. 15 years of dominance?
    2003 8-9, 2000 11-12, 1996 9-10, 1995 7-5, 1994 2-8, 1992 14-11? after you check out kingpin, check out the dictionary for the definition of the word “dominance.” you can report back and apologize at any time.

    and also feel free to come back just if you feel the need to be further corrected.

  • njff

    OK Sal like im gonna remember a line from Kingpin?The one i remember is the one when he said he milked the cow and drank the milk but the Amish guy said it was a bull.Do you milk bulls Sal?Sal it was never about the regular season with Schilling or his record on crap teams like 94 Phillies.He will undoubtedly make the HOF.And quit whining about Jerry Koosman.Schilling was 10x more dominant

  • sal m

    yes, you’re very clever…

    however, once again i have no problem correcting you.

    in kingpin, it wasn’t a line in the movie, it was the running joke – and the theme of the movie.

    and you can keep changing your position on schilling as long as the evidence doesn’t support your latest theory. your anger is keeping you from properly expressing yourself, but keep at it!

    i’m sure if you keep it up you’ll eventually hit on the right approach. after all even a broken clock is right twice a day!

    thanks for reading and for writing!

  • ForestG

    Steve Garvey definitely without a doubt should be in hall of fame

  • Cyril Morong

    I made a case for
    Rick Reuschel being in the Hall of Fame