Major League Baseball

The Questions and Answers Of Sports Biggest Stories

Tom Brady and Peyton ManningI sit in front of my TV or my computer and yes even my cell phone every evening in search of something sports. I must have the news, the scores and hear the latest sports rumors. I sometimes exhaust myself just thinking about it, but at the same time know full well that if I am going to write about it that I have to study it hard.

In the year plus that I have been writing articles here at CamelClutchBlog, I have made many new friends, a few enemies, and have acquired some very faithful followers. Let’s face it world, there is not a person anywhere in any capacity that has all the right answers, and well some people are always out to slam an opinion or a story. It is the backbone of what keeps sports great, the ongoing debate of who is truly right, and who is truly wrong. The opinions of all of you count. Whether you’re judging one of my contest, or reading an article or looking for advice, it is always nice to hear from you.

So why the big intro? Yes “why” is the word, as you will see in my latest article. I come to you the fans with many “whys?” and answers for them. I will take a look at some of the bigger stories we have all been following, or being forced to follow by the big sports networks. With all due respect to ESPN, we knew NBA free agency had started, but you did not have to force it down our throats like an Italian mother forcing that 7th meatball on us at dinner. So here for you is my Q and A of the sports world. Remember as always to sit back and relax, enjoy and well, chime in at the end. Thanks loyal readers.

Why did LeBron James sign with the Miami Heat?
So easy to just give a few word answer like to win a championship, but there is more. A few years back the Boston Celtics started a new trend in the NBA, which is so lovingly called “The Big 3”. Yes teams making moves and reconstructing contracts to bring 3 superstar players to 1 team in hopes of winning it all. Boston got its title, and the Lakers, with Kobe, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom have gotten there’s as well. So Miami has tried to go over and above what those teams have done. 3 mega-stars all on 1 club. You can’t help but wonder what kind of money is left and who they can possibly bring in to help, but the philosophy is help won’t really be needed. James walks away from Cleveland, but the question remains: Were they not good enough, or is he not good enough to be the leader?

We will know in a few months, won’t we?

Why has Ilya Kovalchuk not signed with an NHL team yet?
This one is even easier, it all has to do with some simple factors:
1. No team is ready to lay down 9 or 10 million dollars on one player. Today’s NHL salary cap just does not allow it to happen and have enough dollars to field a quality team.

2. Kovalchuk is trying to get max dollars and a long-term contract before the NHL goes back to the tables for a new collective bargaining agreement in 2012. The NHL is actually considering lowering the cap, and the players have brought in former MLB union hard baller Don Fehr to work the negotiations for them. 2012 will be ugly for hockey players without deals, so trying to get 4 or 5 years bodes a lot better then 1 or 2 year deals teams are sending Kovalchuk.

3. He still feels that the KHL in Russia is a bargaining chip. He feels that the threat of him playing there, like goalie Evgeni Nabokov chose to do, will scare NHL teams into grabbing him. It would be a terrible loss for the game to have one of the top 5 offensive talents walk away, but he is talking crazy at the wrong time. No team is in panic mode for a guy of his asking price.

Why did the Yankees walk away from the Cliff Lee deal?
When you get right down to it, you have to know the Yankees are the “really hot chick” of baseball. If they want you, they will in fact get you. Okay, so maybe not in trade, and the Yankees were not thrilled with the asking price of Seattle. So what they chose to do was let him go to a Texas Rangers team that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. What does that mean? Well when Lee decides he wants a $15 million dollar contract next season as a free agent, who do you think will come with the offer, the broke Rangers, or the “more money then God” Yankees? Yes wait a year and just pay him, don’t lose prospects. A pretty smart move if you ask me.

Why is Pedro Martinez not playing baseball this season?
Anyone who followed him last year saw that he still has a lot better stuff then a lot of 20somethings in the game right now. At the beginning of the free agency period, Martinez was rumored to be looking for a $5 million dollar-a-year deal, and wanted a few years of commitment. The result? You see it, no team has bit. Pedro’s name is not even being mentioned as the trade deadline approaches, and one can not help but wonder if his days are over. He looked good for the Philadelphia Phillies last year, but maybe at a million hes much more attractive then at 5 million.

Why no Terrell Owens in the NFL?
Perhaps all the crying and media hoopla finally caught up with him. If you remember last off-season, no one was that hot for him either. Buffalo was a last stop effort for him, and he did little to amaze. The big market teams appear to be done with his act, and the small clubs just can’t afford locker room “cancer”. He has done the reality shows, he has spoken up, and he has worn out his welcome. Jose Canseco make room, your football equivalent is on his way to join you on the next “Surreal Life”. Owens’ skills did not seem razor sharp either last season, if you remember it took him 3 weeks to catch a pass.

Why do we not see more Natalie Gulbis?
The most beautiful young lady (in my opinion anyway) to hit the pro golfing circuit perhaps ever seems to find very little air time. Her name did get out there recently when she spoke in defense of her former boyfriend, NFL QB Ben Roethlisberger, as she spoke of him as a true gentleman, and not the image of sexual animal that he was being alleged as being. Face facts here, sex sells, and so does an athlete worth looking at. Tennis has nailed it a few times, first with Anna Kournikova, who despite never winning any major events, found herself as the games female spokesperson, and now with Maria Sharapova, who is actually a very good player too. Yes, womens golf is not a big crowd gathering sport, but maybe with the spice of Miss Gulbis it will be. She did have a weekly show on The Golf Channel, but really, we don’t flood to that either. Who ever is the marketer for the LPGA should really get an act together, and promote this star. Her skill may not make her number 1, but heck Pam Anderson can’t act all that well either, never stopped Baywatch!

Why is the UFC sitting on its hands with Brock Lesnar?
I am not a big follower of UFC, but I do have to say that it continues to grow in popularity. This being said, it is still a far cry from boxing. You did not have to be a true fan to know Ali, or Sugar Ray, or Hagler, but you would still know the name if you heard them, and they did get endorsement deals. In Lesnar, the UFC has possibly its best chance at making a household name out of one of its champions. Anyone who followed wrestling remembers the big, scary, Lesnar, and also knows his ability to be hated by the masses. Here is a powerhouse of a man in the biggest upcoming sport, and it just does not seem to mean much to an average person. Grab this guy some kind of deal. Get him in some hyped up press conference where he spits on babies and calls himself “The Greatest Of All Time”. I want more Lesnar, not so much more UFC. He is the anti-hero, much like his former WWE buddy Stone Cold Steve Austin, and look how many people bought into him. It can not be possible that he could be bigger in a fake sport then a real one, can it?

Why are more underachievers being celebrated in sports?

From umpires blowing calls for perfect games, to soccer players missing big goals, to race car drivers who don’t drive well but look good in commercials for Go-Daddy, we find ourselves more, and more holding people in high regard for doing the wrong things. A country honors a soccer player who misses the biggest shot of his life with a big homecoming. An umpire who causes a perfect game to fall by blowing a call so badly, and now becomes a hero for being “regular” instead of a winner. I am not all that concerned about the people who get it wrong. Yes, they are human, but ask “Average Joe” if losing a multimillion dollar deal will end up in a company picnic in his honor. We have become very passive, and nonchalant about what goes on in our sporting world. People flock to crown the Miami Heat as champs because of who they sign before hitting the court. A third place game in World Cup takes center stage. Hey, the whole thing with sports is being paid a lot of money in exchange for being able to handle the rigors of failure. I have a hard time feeling sorry for millionaires who can’t get it right. What is wrong with society today? Since when has trying been enough? I’m puzzled, and know I will face heat for this, but it is getting absurd!

Why do Peyton Manning and Tom Brady not have new contracts?
Much like the earlier story with Kovalchuk, it has to do mostly with a bargaining agreement. Currently the NFL does not have one, and teams are spending less money because of it. We all know they are the 2 best quarterbacks in the league, but looking at Manning who is 34, and Brady who is 33, the teams they play for may be hesitant to lock them in for many years and lots of dollars, without knowing what the salary cap could look like in the future. Both of these men, being ultimate pros will go to work, and know in time something big should come, but until the NFL crosses T’s and dots I’s it will be a tense time at the negotiation tables. Look Chris Johnson, look how real NFL men do it. The money will come, first get a deal for your league.

Why does the LFL not flourish?
It beats me? Beautiful women playing my favorite sport sure does sound great, however not too many TV networks have stepped up to buy this league and market it. Yes, the game has some different rules, and you will have to get to know the stars in time, but if you have ever checked it out, it is hard-hitting and plays at a good pace. Society likes to stay close-minded, and buying an all women’s league never goes over well. I still can not name a single WNBA team, and am not in a hurry to. This, however is different. It is sexy and tough at the same time. It is not trying to duplicate the NFL, but build a standard of its own, and sell us on women and football. Picture if the NFL cheerleaders mud wrestled at half-time, more of you would watch, wouldn’t you? Well some time this season, give the LFL a try. I can not promise mud wrestling, but will go out on a limb and call it the best women’s pro league today.

Why do we care?
Okay everyone, in a nutshell, sports brings us together. We love our teams, we love to hate the visiting team. We love a cold beer, and a good game. It does in fact hurt many of us when our favorite player leaves to go elsewhere, or when our team does not win it all. We love to embrace fellow hometown fans, or shoot the guy sitting next to us a “whats up?!” We will never stop watching, and once a fan, will never stop caring. Yes they make a lot of money, but what they do, very few of us can. I write these articles, I feel free to slam people I do not think do a good job, and I also take the time to praise great performances. It is a huge business. We buy the jerseys, the tickets and the merchandise. We go out to support them in big numbers, eat over-priced food and go crazy for our team. Do I want to live in a world without it? No way, and frankly I hope I will never have too.

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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