The Junk #1

Originally posted on “Is It Sports?” by Ryan. After winning his own contest to name the random thought posts, he discusses the NHL, IRL, CSI, MLB, and all sorts of other acronyms

Alas, I have come up with my own name for my ranting, useless posts, calling them “The Junk” as we seem to refer to “the junk” more than is reasonable. Seeing as neither of us have done anything for the past three weeks, and there really isn’t a topic that needs a lot of time spent on it, I’ve decided to create the first installment of the “The Junk” (And yes, I did win the contest).

– I seriously believe that this is the year that the AL Central gets a Wild Card team, be it the Twins or the White Sox. It would be great if there could be another rivalry in the ALCS, this time with the most heated interdivisional rivalry nobody is aware of. I just want the Sox to berate the Twins by saying they just aren’t that good like they have been for the past few years. I’m sure every rivalry has some pretty ridiculous stuff said in it, but I just hear more from this one. And when you are on the winning end for three straight years, the talk always sounds a little more ridiculous.

– The NHL can learn a lot from the Indy 500. No, I’m not telling them to start putting smoking hot women in pads (although I wouldn’t mind body checking Danica Patrick, if you know what I mean), I’m saying when hockey eventually comes back, don’t tinker with the game, like many are planning to, advertise the drama of the game, promote the side stories. As a good friend of mine once said, “Hockey players are pretty.” There is no shame in bringing women to the game if it means better ratings and more money. Basically, advertise better.

On that same token, Indy Car has it’s fair share of problems as well. International, heated competition is the best in the world. I love the World Cup for this reason, and that’s why it gets better ratings than MLS. They need to reduce it back to one racing league and try to thrive on International ratings. Indianapolis has nothing going for it aside from the Indy 500, and it would be a shame to see it turn into a farce like the Stanley Cup has become.

To recap, The NHL and Indy Car need to get fans invested in the players/racers through aggressive marketing, they need to solve their problems which are fundamentally ridiculous since all they are doing is hurting their respective sports. Get fans to the game if you are hockey, and get more races on TV if you are Indy Car. Hockey games are more exciting than any other sporting contest anywhere, but only if you are sitting at the game. Following your team comes naturally after going to a couple games. As for open wheel racing, the races are tighter, the aerodynamics make strategy tantamount to success, and the best way to see that is on TV, not in the back page of the Sports section. Additionally, the advantage Indy Car has over NASCAR these days is that sponsors tend to last or a long time, lending itself to being easier to follow your favorite driver.

Most important, however, is let your history carry you. The Stanley Cup is a more historic, culturally significant trophy than the Lombardi in North America, and people cared about the Indianapolis 500 long before they did about the Daytona.

– Friends are sick of me telling them about www.bat-girl.com. It’s a Twins fan’s blog, but it’s so well written and funny that fans of any team can appreciate it.

– As a CSI fan, I must say that CBS has gone too far with LA, but I’ll get to that. The original is phenomenal because it has developed excellent characters, which liberates better plot lines and allows episodes to have high suspense even with less than shocking crimes. It feels the most like it could be a real Crime Scene Unit.

CSI Miami sucks. David Caruso is the worst actor to ever get a show into the third season, and no, I am not forgetting Tony Danza. This show tries entirely too hard to create drama without letting the show steer itself, like the original. They tried to sex this show up way too much, with David Caruso on the cast, no less, and eliminated the best members of the cast, like Tim Speedle early in the season. This show needs to be entirely reworked and David Caruso needs to get back to selling used cars.

CSI New York did itself a favor by hiring exemplary actors. Gary Sinise may be the best movie actor on television and it translates well. They don’t need to go out of their way to create stories, because crazy stuff happens in New York all the time. It’s believable and it follows the crime without having to force anything.

All this said, I have very low expectations of CSI LA. Aside from the every other spin-off sucks pattern, look at what makes Miami so terrible, a glitzy backdrop, working to make the crimes ostentatious (No, if anything gets nuked, it will not first be Miami) and bad actors. That defines Los Angeles. The edge, too that Las Vegas and New York have will be virtually nonexistent in the newest CSI manifestation. They should have stopped at the 3 and been happy with it.

– I’m not an NBA fan, but I do give it mad props, for without it, SportsCenter would be fifteen minutes and we would get more asinine college sports that nobody cares about like softball and baseball. Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball, but I don’t give a flying f*** about college baseball. I don’t even care about my own college’s team, let alone any in the country. Without the NHL, ESPN is turning into a sports wasteland. Wake up ESPN! Put pro sports on ESPN, like MLS or at least one MLB game a day. It isn’t hard.

– On the same token, where did Rachel Nichols come from? Has she always been there? Why is she in virtually every story they have on SportsCenter? For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, she’s the reporter who looks like she’s been carved out of white chocolate. And no, that does not mean I think she looks “sweet” or even that good looking. I’m not physically attracted to Hershey Hugs, and I can’t say that I am to Rachel Nichols either.

– Irrelevant to anyone else’s life, I have received some paperwork about a job on the local news in Columbia, SC. I don’t see myself lasting in a market where I would have to frequently refer to the Gamecocks.

– Interleague play is still a good idea. I think they have the best format, though they should do away with the rivalry thing. What they should do is what the NFL does, make the schedule performance based on the previous season. Have divisions compete against each other like they have on a rotating basis, but then instead of the rivalry, pit 1st place teams against 1st place teams. For example, instead of the Brewers twice, the Twins would play the Braves and the Cardinals. More difficult yes, but better baseball. For the record, and lack of anything better to do, here are all the match-ups instead of rivalry series for this year, focusing only on the AL, keeping in mind its AL Central vs. NL West, AL East vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL East this year.
NYY – ATL, LAD
BOS – PHI, SF
BAL – FLA, SD
TB – NYM, COL
TOR – WAS, ARI
MIN – STL, ATL
CWS – PHI, HOU
CLE – FLA, CHC
DET – NYM, CIN
KC – WAS, PIT
LAA – LAD, STL
OAK – SF, HOU
TEX – SD, CHC
SEA – COL, CIN

I like the idea, personally. There are a lot of good matchups in there, especially given what Ba
ltimore, Florida and San Diego have done this year. And Minnesota plays all three teams they have played in the world series this season under this format. And nobody would miss Milwaukee in interleague play. They would play a series against Arizona and Pittsburgh during the interim in this scenario.

-That’s it for now. Steve and I are trying to figure out ways to keep things up to date while I’m working with crappy dial-up. In the meantime, Spurs in 7, hopefully fewer. – Ryan