Sunday, February 19, 2006

Nasty Fracture

Manchester United teammates of Alan Smith walk away from the gruesome sight of his horrifically twisted and fractured lower limb.

Unfortunately, we're unable to provide exceptionally disgusting up-close photos just yet so this one will have to suffice for now: (you have to look close to see just how twisted the ankle is from the rest of the leg...)

Not only that, but Man U lost to Liverpool 1-0, to boot, knocking them out of the FA Cup and any chance of gaining any silverware this season. Pity, pity, hahaha. 85 years, Liverpool supporters waited to see this.


Meanwhile, at St James' Park, the Magpies were able to escape with a 1-0 victory over Southampton to advance to the next round of the FA Cup, thanks in part to Kieren Dyer's return to the starting 11, in place of the injured Shearer, who had a chance to play half manager for the day:


I suppose it qualifys as sports news when a 5'9 guy wins the NBA dunking contest. For lack of anything better to say about the NBA in any event:


Of course, the Winter Olympics appear to be ongoing but we at Sports Amnesia are proud not to have seen a single event, save for the ultra-exciting curling event wherein a bunch of people were sweeping ice in front of some sort of iron on ice - zzzz. I mean, jaysus, Spring Training just opened up, who cares about skiing and curling and ice hockey? Figure skating, maybe, just maybe for the fit birds but there simply aren't enough of them to merit watching, not unless you're into prepubescent contortionist acts, that is:


And as previously mentioned, yes, baseball is neigh upon us!

Pedro's Big Toe is one of the weightier matters as pitchers and catchers and a few early birds report.

Meanwhile, in Chicago and Boston, Greg Maddux and Curt Schilling are prepping on the comeback trail.

In Tucson, Ariz., the World Series champion Chicago White Sox picked Mark Buehrle to pitch opening day for the fifth straight season.

"It's nice to start opening day and then I can get my ring and enjoy it," Buehrle said. The White Sox's ring ceremony comes two days after the opener.

Buehrle has pitched more than 220 innings and made more than 30 starts for five straight seasons. The White Sox start defense of their championship against the Cleveland Indians on April 2.

How do you name your starting pitcher before seeing what's going on? What if Buehrle throws out his shoulder in his first spring training game of the season? What if they find some superstar who throws 300 mph and strikes out everyone he faces?

The first casualty of the spring was Cincinnati righty Josh Hancock, who was released by the Reds (how bad is it when the Reds release you??!) for being too fat.

Hancock, 27, missed most of last season with a groin injury suffered in spring training. Hancock and the rest of the Reds pitchers and catchers took physicals on Friday.

Manager Jerry Narron said Hancock, whose weight is listed at 207 pounds, reported 17 pounds too heavy.

"I have no clue what Josh Hancock was doing," Narron said. "As far as I know, he might have been running a marathon all winter long. He may have been throwing off the mound. But he was 17 pounds over his requested reporting weight."

Super Size me!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

World Baseball Classic

TO date, other than Fidel’s Infidels joining the field, it seems like the biggest stories are held within the names of the no-shows and the speculation of big stars getting injured. This may only be because there is no history of the World Baseball Classic to reflect upon, no memories of great moments, no Game Seven-type excitement to recall.

That’s a pity but a situation which will be rectified by the time the inaugural Classic is concluded.

For guidance have a look at voetball’s World Cup.

Can you imagine some massive international star, say Brazil’s Ronaldo or England’s David Beckham, turning down the opportunity to play for his country in the World Cup? It’s arguably the biggest sporting event in the world, not to mention a stage upon which to play yourself up for massive contracts and transfers. Much like March Madness, football players often parlay impressive performances in the World Cup into huge paydays.

Certainly there will be unknowns who make a big splash and some from Japan, Korea and perhaps China and Cuba, will be have a chance to cash in big but by and large, contractual obligations and the binding nature of baseball’s minor league system make the prospect of a staging ground for baseball millions less for the baseball stars than those in voetball’s World Cup, but there seems little doubt that once the Classic has been played a few times there will be no sitting out. There will be mad desire to participate.

As for stars getting injured, it’s certainly a possibility. However, consider this: do you ever see baseball players faking getting hit by a ball, diving to the ground, rolling and writhing from imaginary fouls like football players often do? In other words, who are more fragile, voetball stars or baseball players? And if voetball players can endure not only a gruelling season like that of the Premiership in England and THEN go on to play in the biggest tournament in the world with relatively few injuries, certainly baseball players still playing themselves into shape and perhaps not even taking the games all that seriously just yet, are not going to go falling like dominoes.

Pitching counts are limited – quite an important method to avoid costly pitcher injuries. 65 in the first round, 80 in round two and 95 in the finals and semi finals.

The wildcard is of course, Cuba. Having been allowed entry into the tournament by virtue of guaranteeing no profits (all go to Hurricane Katrina aid), the roster hasn’t been announced yet and even those who are on the roster might be tempted to jump ship as soon as possible.

Although there is no history of the Classic upon which to base rivalries, certainly China v Chinese Taipei in Pool A will be a high strung match, as well as Puerto Rico-Cuba (Pool C) and Domincan Republic against Venezuela in Pool D.

Holland, no doubt, stuffed in the grouping with Cuba and Puerto Rico will have a hard go at it but with Curacao star Andruw Jones and Randall Simon joining Shea Hillenbrand, it’s not a bad lineup. The rotation looked formidable with Kirk Saarloos (whose surname is at least Dutch) and A’s future ace Danny Haren – (Mark Mulder, invited but declined, it appears,) but regardless, they might be able to give Panama a run for their money to escape the basement of Pool C.

Sports Amnesia’s early pick for the Final Four is Cuba, Dominican Republic, USA and Korea.


Lombari's Last Speech

In case you missed it, Jerry Kramer, Packer legend and World Champion, author and chronicler of the Packer's seasons, has discovered the lost Lombardi tapes and placed them on his website both on offer and available in excerpts. Interesting place to visit, memory lane.

Kwan Pulls Out

Such headlines! There was little I was interested in watching about the Winter Olympics in Torino, but this just about seals the deal that I won't even bother betting on Olympic Hockey matches.

It's difficult enough getting worked up about these overhyped "games" as it is but with Michelle Kwan dropping out, or "pulling" out rather (what a curious way to put it, one speculates...over a groin injury, no less...) what else is left to get excited about, speed skating? Giant slalom? Or will I just content myself with following the coverage of Saddam Hussien's hunger strike.




Going back to this Kwan pulling out with groin injury, the Kawn Um School of Zen is the only remedy left.

But it's a sad day for The Kwan and the last remaining hope of establishing a casual interest in these Olympic events...

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Nothing like a two-week blitz of media hysteria and non-stories pervading the airwaves and newsprint like a migratory bird flu.

In the interests of maintaining a vague modicum of sanity it should be proposed that there should never be a period of longer than one week between the Conference Finals and the Super Bowl. Two weeks is simply too long. Too much time to hype, too much time to create news from non-issues, player mouths, player actions, and human interest stories that are in fact, not interesting at all merely exposing the desperate need to fill space with ink in a weak effort to forstall the inevitability of the end of football season.

That's right, folks. THE END OF THE FOOTBALL SEASON.

Adding another week in between is like making your girlfriend have sex "one more time" before you break up. It's meaningless and quite possibly only prolongs the agony of the inevitable.


Given that we at Sports Amnesia have done such a bang-up job in the postseason prognosticating department (4-0, followed by 2-2 and then bottoming out by getting neither the AFC or NFC Championships right) you might want to consider that we have done a massive amount, two weeks in fact, of research on this matter, talking to experts from a vast array of countries and fields, heart specialists, soothsayers, palm readers, and farmers amoung the many.

We believe that it was time to give quality prognosticating for a quality game, this Super Bowl which we will firstly predict to be one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever.

But say goodbye to Football for another season ladies and gents because after Sunday, there's nothing left but Draft Day to look forward to.



Pittsburgh Steelers 34
Seattle Seahawks 31