Monday, June 13, 2005

Part 1: Iron Mike, we hardly knew ye

As you all know by now, Mike Tyson quit his fight in D.C. against the relatively unknown Kevin McBride. I personally was not at the fight, but the general consensus is that Tyson would come out strong at the start of each round and then fizzle out in the middle. Despite the fact that it was apparent that he was outmatched early on, two of the three judges had him leading on the scorecard. That's right folks, he quit a match that he was winning! After an obvious low blow, a head-but and multiple attempts to break McBride's arm, Tyson realized at the end of the 6th (maybe even before then) that he was overmatched and simply did not come out for a 7th round.

After the fight Mike claimed that this would probably be his last fight since he did not want to "disrespect the sport" by losing to C class boxers such as McBride. But we all know that in a couple of moths he will be back in the ring, unfortunately not because he wants to, in fact I don't believe he has wanted to for a while, but more because he has to. He is still over 20 million dollars in debt and the only hope he has of fiscal solvency depends on him fighting at the very least 5 more times. Which is here my sympathy comes in (nh).

I am a Tyson fan and supporter. Growing up he really did go through a lot, while I know that that does not excuse his behavior, it does make it easier to sympathize. All of his life he has had people take advantage of him and his affinity for violence. Ultimately I do believe that he is now contemplating the legacy that he is leaving the sport. 20 years from now what will people say about a guy that at one time was "The baddest man alive."

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Can we get a little love?

Last week the Nationals, for the first time in their history, secured first place in their division. The NL East is, by most people in the know, is considered the toughest division in baseball. The Marlins are two years removed from a World Series ring, the Mets added Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez in the offseason, the Braves are prennial contenders for the playoffs, and the Phillies are.....well I dunno about the Phillies. Understandibly the Nats did not get any love before the season. Everyone (including this guy) predicted that we would finish the season in fifth place. After all we are just the Montreal Expos in a cooler uniform and infinitly better city.

I had no problem with people not showing us any love before the season started, but now that we have climbed to the top how about a little bit of props. MLB, which still owns the team, only allowed for a 50 million dollar payroll. Yet somehow GM Jim Bowden put together a very solid pitching staff anchored by the highly underated Livan Hernandez (9-2) and Estaban Loiza (3.4 era). We picked up Jose Guillen from the Angels and last years RBI leader Vinny Castilla. Not to mention one of the best SS in the league in Christian Guzman. And now a team that admittedly has trouble scoring sometimes, is at the top of the toughest division in the league.

They are on an 8 game winning streak, but I can not turn on the ESPN without hearing someone bashing them. Around the Horn did a segment on them and 3 out of the 4 panelist basically called them a fluke. I dont hear anyone on Baseball Tonight giving them any props either. The only people showing any love are Washingtonians Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. Wake up people, this is one of the best stories of the young MLB season. A team that a couple of years ago was in danger of being contracted is now at the top of the toughest division in baseball. New city, new team, first place in the divison. Can we get a little love.