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Josh to Angels may Benefit the Rangers NOW

The Texas Rangers may have gotten an early Christmas present this offseason – even if most seem to view it as a lump of coal.

 

Earlier this month, Josh Hamilton finally completed the decision he clearly had made a long time ago, that being to leave the Rangers. But he gave the dagger an extra twist by signing with the division rival Angels, for roughly 125 million over five years. The fact that he never gave the Rangers a chance to match the offer when there was supposedly a verbal agreement to do so more or less confirms that signing back with Texas was never really in his plans.

 

With that, everyone is making the same predictions. Of sure, in 2-3 years, the Angels will regret the backlog of  that contract, but for the next two years, Josh will make the Rangers pay. And the Angels have already wrapped up the 2013 World Series.

 

Where have I heard that before?

 

But hold the phone. Clearly DFW is a place where people love to predict failure on their teams as much as wackos love to predict the end of the world (at least predicting failure for teams not named the Cowboys).

 

One of the biggest reasons I’ve soured on the idea of signing big-name free agents is the track record of how often it fails, both in the short AND long term. There’s a long list of players who get the big deal and then proceed to mail it in the rest of the way, at least until the chance for the next big deal comes. Rangers have already been burned too many times by the likes of Chan Ho Park and Kevin Milwood.

 

First, look at the team Josh went to. Los ANgeles of Anaheim Orange County SoCal or Whatever is the ultimate destination for mail-it-in players. Gary Matthews Jr., Hideki Matsui, Vernon Wells… for now, it even looks like Albert Pujols has decided to take it easy now that he has the big bucks and a new home on the sunny California beaches.

 

And everything Josh did over the last month of the season is a pretty big indicator that he was already beginning to mail it in. His misplayed fly ball in Oakland became the target of critics everywhere along with his hitting plummet in September. Has his drop off already begun?

 

This is a pretty big accusation toward someone who was one of the most feared hitters in the game for the past five years. But we’re also talking about someone who, by his own admission, doesn’t even really like the game he plays. Josh rarely watches baseball on TV, even to check the scores. It’s clear that, especially after giving the Rangers their first “hometown discount,” he was gunning for the big payday all along. WIll he truly be the same player now that he got what he wanted?

 

I will not just shelve away the memories of what Josh Hamilton did with the Rangers. They would not had emade the World Series twice without him. But I do feel it was time to move on. And the Rangers may find themselves better off with what they have, while the Angels – the Yankees of the West – may very well find year another prize free agent they poached to be fool’s gold.

Mavericks have tall order with defending champs in town

Posted at Examiner.com

A lot has changed, less than two years after the Dallas Mavericks raised the NBA Championship trophy on the Miami Heat’s home floor.

In the season since the Mavericks spoiled the anointing of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Co. as the greatest team in basketball history, the Heat shrugged off those doubters and claimed their own trophy in 2012. The lionizing of the team began roughly an hour later and hasn’t stopped.

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To Forgive is Human, At Long as He’s a Cowboy

I try to talk about things other than the Dallas Cowboys on this site. And I definitely don’t like writing here about things not actually related to sports. But sadly, here we go.

No, I don’t have a ton of sympathy for Josh Brent, who’s reckless, uncaring actions left his former Illinois college teammate dead on the streets of Irving less than two days before the Cowboys’ game in Cincinnati. No, I don’t have a problem with the NFL office, desperate to put humanity in a league completely devoid of it, saying no, they don’t want a killer on their sidelines.

The crash that killed Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown was not an accident. It was completely preventable. Josh Brent had to know full well he had no business getting into the driver’s seat. He wasn’t even allowed to drive had he been sober – all he had was a suspended out-of-state driver’s license. His decision to drive with a BAC of twice the legal limit was a clear statement that his friend’s safety was not a concern. If it was, he’d have swallowed his pride and called a cab. If Dwayne Goodrich had ever spoken to Brent. it’s clear he didn’t get the message.

Yes, I’m sure he gets it now. And yes, I’ve heard all the pleas from Brown’s mother.

And before you judge me to be some holier-than-thou, glass house living, cast-the-first-stone prick, full disclosure: I have never been a perfect driver. But every time I have gotten a traffic ticket, I wanted to cut my license into a million pieces and never get behind the wheel again, because I knew my recklessness endangered the lives of everyone else on that road. But never have I gotten behind the wheel intoxicated; in fact, the horrors that have come from drunk driving are among the big reasons I don’t drink at all. (And NO, I’m not calling for a ban on drinking, don’t try to pin that on me.)

Is my anti-football, anti-Cowboys stance clouding my own judgement? Always possible. But maybe I’d be a little more sympathetic if I hadn’t seen such lack of sympathy toward others of late for being in less-than-worse situations.

Earlier this year, former Mavericks guard Jason Kidd was also in a drunk driving crash – one that thankfully everyone walked away from. Because he had signed with the Knicks just weeks earlier, he was prime fodder, and he was a target of ridicule for the Dallas area Twitterverse and airwaves.

But it’s not just related to athletes. Jane McGarry lost her job as the long-time news anchor at KXAS NBC 5 after being arrested for drunk driving. If my Twitter feed was to be believed at the time, some hosts at a certain sports radio station I don’t listen to humiliated and basically verbally abused her for the incident. (Again, I can’t verify that personally, but I have seen that station to be jerkasses toward women, especially those in media, sports or both.)

That same station also appears to still ridicule their former employee Gregg Williams, fired in 2007-08 for getting hooked on drugs. Greggo’s former co-host still won’t speak to him.

Then there’s the hate relayed at athletes for nothing more than actions on the field. Nellie Cruz still gets vitriol for Game Six in the 2011 World Series, as if people assume he meant to misplay that fly ball just to ruin THEIR lives.

And then of course, there’s the other Josh. Josh Hamilton lackadaisically dropped a fly ball that cost the Rangers the division, said bye-bye to the Rangers and signed a cash-laden deal with the hated Angels, saying in his press conference that the team and the fans in Texas never really wanted him. Cue the few baseball fans in North Texas taking after Cleveland fans and burning Hambone jerseys.

All of the above committed acts that the people in DFW apparently believe to be unforgivable and deserving of scorn.

None of the above acts led to the death of a human being.

Josh Brent’s did. He gets support and forgiveness.

Yes, he’s sorry for his actions. Supposedly, so was Jovan Belcher after killing his girlfriend. If Belcher hadn’t fired one last shot at himself, should we have then forgiven him for putting nine bullets in his baby’s mother?

My own preferences and biases can and do cloud my own judgment, probably much more than they should; I have never denied that. But you can’t tell me other are biased in the opposite way when that offer an olive branch to someone with blood on his hands and vitriol toward others who don’t.

You want me to be forgiving of people like Josh Brent? Try being a little more forgiving to others who don’t make tackles for the Dallas Cowboys and made mistakes with less devastating consequences.

Sidekicks have already returned to their winning ways

Originally posted at examiner.com

What rust? What growing pains?

Less than two months into their revival, the Dallas Sidekicks are clearly on the fast track to rejoining indoor soccer’s elite.

The Sidekicks stand at 5-0 in their premiere season in the Professional Arena Soccer League, and they just appear to be getting better. In some cases, better than they’ve been in their entire storied history.
Statistically, that was the case Saturday, as they set a franchise record for goals scored in beating the Texas Strikers 21-1 at he Allen Event Center. This included a record seven goals in the fourth quarter.

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Poor overtime play leads to three straight losses for Mavericks

Originally posted at Examiner.com

You can blame the loss of Dirk Nowitzki, you can blame the lack of a defensive effort. The fact is, the Mavericks are still struggling to close out games.

The Mavericks dropped down to 11-13 after an 0-3 road trip over the past week that included two overtime loses. Dallas has now lost seven seven straight overtime games. More…