Sunday, July 29, 2007

Top 9 Other Ways Title IX Could Have Been Implemented Vis-à-vis Sports, In Increasing Order Of Unlikeliness

Editor's Note: This is part of what Klondike hopes is a monthly series of his opinions on sports. Click on the "If Klondike ran sports" label at the end of this article to check out the complete collection.

Editor's Note #2: For the love of all that's holy, please don't send me any hate mail. If you need to, ask me and I can give you Klondike's email address, phone number, home address, and/or license plate number.

#9: All sports, being inherently inequitable, could be eliminated entirely.

#8: Men and women could be integrated into a single team.

#7: Schools could segregate into men-only and women-only institutions.

#6: We could all just smile and nod, pat Title IX on the head, then ignore it and go about our business.

#5: We could redefine "sports" to include things like shopping, child-care, nagging, and feminine hygene.

#4: We could redefine "men" to include things like women.

#3: Every male player in every sport could tie a female player to his leg, in the manner of a three-legged race.

#2: A lottery could be held in each school. All members of the losing sex would undergo sexual-reorientation surgery.

#1: We could devolve as a species back into single-celled, asexual bacteria, where concepts like "sports" and "gender equality" are meaningless.

All the best.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Trade Rumors! Hooray!

With the trading deadline less than a week away , here's a quick look at trade rumors involving the favorite teams of some of this site's loyal readers. Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors, a very Gammonsesque source.

Boston Red Sox

Their fans invade our ballpark, and now I have to lead off the article with them? For some reason, the Sox haven't found a spot for Wily Mo Pena's talent, so he's a name that comes up often. In return, Boston may try to get Octavio Dotel or Reggie Sanders. With the high price the Yankees are being asked for Mark Teixeira (see below), the Sox have become the frontrunner for the Rangers first baseman. Presumably, Kevin Youkilis would move back to third and Mike Lowell would find a new home. (Interestingly enough, Teixeira started as a third baseman but moved to first when blocked by Hank Blalock. But I doubt he'll move back to the hot corner at this stage in his career.)
The Sox really want to improve their bullpen - why I don't know - with a guy like Akinori Otsuka of Texas or Chad Qualls of Houston. Boston was rumored to have scouts looking at Dodgers third base superprospect Andy LaRoche, but it is unclear who the Dodgers would want in return. Boston has wanted Bobby Kielty for a few weeks, and they may get him now that Oakland has designated him for assignment.
Looking ahead, the Red Sox may try to wine and dine Alex Rodriguez this offseason. That's what you call a slight improvement over Julio Lugo.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have already made some moves, shipping off Mark Barrett and replacing him later with Jason Kendall. Kendall brings veteran leadership, but his arm isn't what it used to, and the Cubs still don't have a receiver who can hit. They also shipped off Cesar Izturis and his contract to the Pirates to make sure Ryan Theriot and Ronny Cedeno get proper playing time.
What are the Cubs still looking for? The first thing is another bat in the outfield, with names like Adam Dunn, Xavier Nady, Jermaine Dye, Jeff Conine, and Ken Griffey, Jr. The presence of Dunn, Nady, and Conine on that list may also indicate that the Cubs are looking a bat that can play first base when Derek Lee is out of the lineup. Conine was rumored to be dealt straight up for Jacque Jones, but with Jones' improved play that may not happen. The Cubs are also looking at the pitching being made available by the White Sox, notably Jose Contreras. Zach Greinke of the Royals is a wildcard name. He's still only 23 and can pop the upper 90s out of the bullpen, but don't close the book on him as a starter yet. Still, I imagine his price will be high.

Cleveland Indians

There was a rumor that the Indians were looking at Kenny Lofton, but that was quickly squashed. Lofton quickly becomes disgruntled when he can't play center or bat leadoff. In Cleveland, both of those jobs belong to Grady Sizemore. Lofton would have played left and hit second. Theoretically, hitting him leadoff with Sizemore second would be effective, but I don't see Eric Wedge doing that.
The big thing the Indians are looking for is bullpen help. Specifically, they're looking at late-inning guys who can pitch the 8th in front of Joe Borowski, or fill in at closer if Borowski fails. The big name is Eric Gagne, but the Indians are not on the list of teams he wants to play for, and he wouldn't accept a "demotion" to setup man anyways. Octavio Dotel is another option, but Dotel is very popular and the Royals may set a high price because of that. The Indians are willing to trade prospects, but are not willing to trade can't miss guys like they did in the '90s with Brian Giles and Sean Casey. (The list of modern-day Caseys and Gileses includes Adam Miller, Franklin Gutierrez, and Ben Francisco. It may or may not include Aaron Laffey, who is rumored to make a showcase start later this week.) The darkhorse favorite among the blogging community is the very affordable and very effective Joaquin Benoit of Texas. The Indians are also looking at Jose Contreras, which is not a bad idea with both Clifford Lee and Jake Westbrook struggling.

New York Mets

The Mets are littered throughout trade rumors this July. It seems like everyone wants Lastings Milledge, or at least Carlos Gomez, so it will be interesting to see if the Metropolitans part with either of their young outfield talents. The White Sox have Jermaine Dye and Javier Vazquez, and the Southsiders have been looking for a centerfielder ever since trading away Aaron Rowand. (Coincidentally, they considered trying to reacquire Aaron Rowand earlier this year.) The Mets are looking at just about every reliever available on the market, including half of the relievers in the state of Texas. The Royals are asking for, surprise surprise, a centerfielder in return for Octavio Dotel. The Mets are also considering Chad Cordero, Akinori Otsuka, Salomon Torres, Brad Lidge, Dan Wheeler, and Chad Qualls. The Nats are asking for both Milledge and Mike Pelfrey for Cordero. The Mets are willing to trade Pelfrey if necessary, but he and Milledge are a lot to ask for in return for a guy who peaked last year and is already on the decline. But if the Nats throw Livan Hernandez in the deal, it starts to even out. Almost. Rumor has it that Lidge isn't available, but Wheeler and Qualls have been very popular names. The Mets may also try to pick up Mark Loretta from the Astros. Loretta has played all 4 infield spots this year, and he still hits well enough to be one of the best second basemen in the league. But the Mets may wait until the offseason and attempt to sign Luis Castillo. Reyes and Castillo up the middle and leading off the ballgame - imagine that combination! While we're looking at 2008, the Mets may attempt to dump Paul Lo Duca and add Ronny Paulino from the Pirates.

New York Yankees

Predictably, the Yankees are after the biggest names on the market. That means Gagne and Teixeira of the Rangers. But the Rangers are asking Philip Hughes and Joba Chamberlain for Teixeira. Those are the Yankees' two top prospects, which means that if they got rid of them, they'd have to shut down their minor league system for lack of players. The Yankees need help at first base, and have tried to offer Scott Proctor for Oakland's Dan Johnson. Johnson doesn't really hit well enough to play first base, and that's when he's actually doing well. Yeah, he'll survive in the Bronx. Another option is Troy Glaus, who could play first and back up Rodriguez at third. Speaking of backups, Mark Loretta and Wilson Betemit have seen interest from the Yankees, but I'm not sure why that's news. The Yankees have also scouted White Sox starter Jon Garland. Other than that, they're looking to dump payroll. Bobby Abreu has lost motivation again, which is sad considering his talent. Proctor and Rowdy Kyle Farnsworth are names out of the bullpen that frequently come up in Yankees rumors.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates are actually making some noise this July. They're openly trying to pry Jarrod Saltalamachia away from the Braves. Saltalamachia is blocked by Brian McCann in Atlanta, and the Braves seem reluctant to move him to first base despite a complete lack of production from that position this year. A lineup centered around Jason Bay, Adam LaRoche, and Salty would definitely be a step in the right direction for Pittsburgh. The Dodgers are also rumored to be offering Matt Kemp. Both the Braves and the Dodgers want starter Ian Snell. Considering the way Tom Gorzelanny has developed,that may not be too bad of a deal for the Buccos. There was also a rumor that the Blue Jays were interested in Jack Wilson, but I'm not sure why. The Jays are looking to upgrade offense at short, but Wilson has always been a defensive guy. Is he really that much of an improvement over John MacDonald? Toronto may have already changed its mind, but if this trade goes down, the Bucs may get Troy Glaus.

Seattle Mariners

The M's are in position to make a push at the wildcard, and they're going to make a run for it. They're trying to unload Richie Sexson, but no one wants to pay $14 million for a guy who's hitting .197. Looking to upgrade offense, the Mariners are eyeing Jermaine Dye, Dmitri Young, and Ken Griffey, Jr. The M's already have three 1B/DH types in Sexson, Ben Broussard, and Jose Vidro, so one of those would have to go if Young was added. Not to say that Young wouldn't be an improvement over any of those guys, because he would. But he's certainly no outfielder or third baseman anymore (if he ever was a third baseman). To support Felix Hernandez, Seattle is looking at Dontrelle Willis, who the Mariners vehemently deny being available, and Livan Hernandez. Even if Willis was available, Florida president burned the bridge to Seattle by publicly bad mouthing the Ichiro signing. Hernandez, of course, could possibly be packaged with Willis for some young talent.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

Editor's Note: Looks like I had some catching up to do.

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Topps is producing insert cards that commemorate each one of Barry Bonds' career homers. If you put all 745 of them together, they're slightly smaller than the size of his head.

Speaking of big things, Tony Gwynn said he plans to enter the Hall of Fame like he batted: at around 330.

According to a new study, Yankee Stadium sells 30,000 hot dogs during each home game, and only half of them are to Jason Giambi.

Most of the players on the New York Mets shaved their heads. Nothing brings fans out to the park like a big group of skinheads with bats. In a related story, John Rocker is now a Mets fan.

The Brewers recently gave away two free tickets to any fan willing to undergo a free prostate exam. Management must be getting fans ready for what it will feel like when they collapse.

Update on the NHL playoffs: they're still happening. Yesterday, some team beat some other team. Even Canadians would rather watch baseball.

And the NBA has the highest ever percentage of minority executives in men's sports history. If you count Isiah Thomas as an executive.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Sammy Sosa is closing in on 600 home runs. To celebrate, he uncorked a new bat.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played a three game series at Disney World in an attempt to increase their exposure in the Orlando area. Which makes sense, since they've always been a Mickey Mouse operation.

A recent survey of 464 Major League Baseball players named Barry Bonds the least friendly player in the game. On the positive side, it's the first time Bonds has won anything without cheating. And his approval ratings are still higher than George Bush.

The Phillies scheduled Danny DeVito to throw out a first pitch. It's the first time the mound dwarfs the man throwing off of it.

In football, Washington's Clinton Portis defended Michael Vick, saying dog fighting was not nearly as criminal as selling Redskins season tickets.

Another Cincinnati Bengal was arrested. Why should this night be different from all others?

Turning to basketball, Greg Oden wants to try out for the U.S. Olympic team this summer, assuming summer school ends in time.

Speaking of summer school, Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire will take classes at Arizona State this summer. Unfortunately, the classes will not be in anger management.

And Michelle Wie is looking for another chance to make the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, her parents took away her Play Station.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

The Nashville Predators might be moving north now that they’ve been purchased by a Canadian businessman. It's uncertain as to whether anyone in Tennessee will actually notice. This is the biggest scam pulled on Nashville by a Canadian since Shania Twain's career.

Nike is resuming soccer ball production in Pakistan. Who better to make toys for five-year-olds than other five-year-olds?

Former NBA player Henry James has been sentenced to five years in jail after being caught dealing cocaine while his six young children were with him. Worst Bring Your Child to Work Day ever.

Memphis small forward Mike Miller is donating $1 million to help ill children. It's not as generous as you may think. Most of the children became ill after watching the Grizzlies play.

Gary Payton is leaning towards retirement. We’d prefer if he fell completely into it. Payton said he wants to spend more time at home trash talking with his children.

Dodger Stadium now has an all-you-can-eat section where fans can feast on Dodger Dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos and soda. The seats will attract both fat people in LA. And make the Dodgers more appealing to David Wells.

And Michael Vick is continuing to deny reports that he was at a dog fight. However, it was difficult to hear him over all of those dogs.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

The University of Colorado has recently raised $125 million. The money will be used to bring the football program a higher caliber sexual assault victim.

FSN has reached an agreement to sublicense up to 10 college football games to Versus. The nation's fly fishing fans are furious. You remember Versus, don't you? It's the place where hockey went to die.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers is being accused of groping a stripper. Someone wants to get traded to Cincinnati.

Speaking of crime, the Sopranos series finale squashed Game Two of the NBA Finals. Viewers preferred to watch something they couldn't predict.

The Orlando Magic have signed Stan Van Gundy to coach the team. Billy Donovan applauded the club before changing his mind later on that day.

In golf news, 12-year-old Alexis Thompson qualified for the women's U.S. Open. Thompson now has as many Majors as Michelle Wie.

John Daly told authorities his wife Sherrie tried to stab him with a steak knife. Daly was thankfully able to defend himself easily while still finishing his t-bone. Thankfully Sherrie, like her husband, just missed the cut.

In other golf news, U.S. Open players are concerned about what many are calling golf's most perilous hazard: John Daly's wife.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Three-time boxing champion James Toney has tested positive for steroids. Officials became suspicious when his head couldn't fit through the ropes.

USA Today reported that 48% of Americans have played organized basketball, and the rest have played for the Knicks. The paper also reported that 1% of French athletes 11-years-old and under have already used performance enhancing drugs. The others just drink wine like they're supposed to.

Enrique Iglesias just released a new album entitled "Insomniac." If you shared a bed with Anna Kournikova, you wouldn't want to sleep much either.

Dikembe Mutombo, Edgar Martinez and Kyle Petty were inducted to Boise, Idaho's World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. Most overheard comment? "You've got a funny accent."

Speaking of humanitarians, Cavs forward Ira Newble recently met with 15 Darfur refugees living in Cleveland. That's the first time anyone has ever been excited to move to Cleveland.

Washington Redskins rookie LaRon Landry was unable to practice after being shot in the groin with a paintball. Too bad he didn't get shot in a less sensitive part of his body, like his head.

The Yankees made history by signing two 19-year-old players from China's baseball association. It was mainly historical because the Yankees signed pitchers that weren't close to retirement. The Yankees were hoping to get another 38-year-old, but two 19-year-olds will do.

And speaking of young, Tampa Bay outfielder Elijah Dukes is in trouble again, this time for impregnating the 17-year-old foster daughter of one of his relatives. Dukes swears she looked 18 – which would make her the 18-year-old foster daughter of one of his relatives. And that's TOTALLY okay.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Congratulations to Jeff Gordon and his wife on their new daughter Ella. Ella will be sponsored by Dupont.

The NBA's Paul Pierce and Austin Powers star Verne Troyer got into an argument after Pierce addressed Troyer as "Mini Me." Luckily it was just a small argument, and ended shortly.

LeBron James has been appointed commissioner of The Bubblicious Ultimate Bubble Blowing League. Because no one knows more about having a bubble burst than LeBron James.

The NHL is hoping that new league wide uniforms will help boost interest in the sport. All five people watching on Versus will really appreciate the effort.

Many baseball fans are still talking about Sammy Sosa hitting his 600th career homerun. Enough already – put a cork in it. Congratulations Sammy – to think how many empty wine bottles that must have taken.

Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks suspects that two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez may have used steroids. Hicks also suspects that the earth may indeed orbit around the sun.

A monkey will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before an upcoming game at Fenway Park. She'll be the hairiest creature to take the mound in Boston since David Wells.

And a woman spent one million dollars on a conman pretending to be Pedro Martinez. The man was proven to be a fraud when it was discovered he could pitch.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Congratulations to Craig Biggio, who became the 27th major leaguer with 3,000 hits. And it only took him 3,000 seasons.

A group of New York Yankees went to visit injured Iraq war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Because if there's anyone who knows about getting shelled, it's the New York Yankees.

Struggling Yankee reliever Scott Proctor tried to improve his fortunes by setting his equipment on fire. The Yankees are considering doing the same thing to Bobby Abreau.

In tennis, Roger Federer won his 50th straight match on grass. No one has played this well on grass since Ricky Williams.

The NFL has folded its European League after 16 years. Football fans in Estonia are crushed.

The Louisiana state legislature has voted to ban cockfighting. Looks like the Saints won't be playing the Falcons this year.

The Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to a $52 million contract with free agent forward Daniel Briere. To pay his salary, they'll be selling the franchise three times.

A couple in England gave their daughter 25 middle names, each the last name of a former boxing champion. It's the first time the birth certificate will weigh more than the baby itself. And the baby is already drooling and babbling like the best of them.

And Mike Tyson is livid that WBA Heavyweight champion Ryslan Chagaev is being called "the White Tyson" simply due to his similar physique. Chagaev apologized and promised that he'll also start eating babies.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

Congratulations to Roger Federer, who tied Bjorn Borg's record of five straight Wimbledon titles without a personality.

The Knicks are currently trying to land troubled forward Ron Artest, because they're not already enough of a train wreck. Good thinking. Artest should really thrive in a quiet, sheltered environment like New York.

Kobe Bryant apologized to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak for his disparaging comments about the team. Great that they could sit down face to two-face.

Grant Hill has signed a two-year contract with the Suns. The contract will cost Phoenix $3.8 million in salary and $10 million in hospital bills.

Olympic leaders have voted to create a new Olympics for athletes aged 14-18. We have that already - it's called "the Olympics."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Red Horse team driver Aaron Fike was arrested on charges of possession of heroin. It's nice to see that NASCAR is finally trying to reach out to an urban audience. Red Horse Racing is considering changing its name to White Horse Racing.

Washington Nationals pitcher Jesus Colome has been admitted to a hospital with an infection to his right buttocks. The infection seems to stem from Colome getting it kicked too much.

And former major leaguer Jim Abbott has been inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. I guess that's the sound of one hand clapping.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
Written by Steve Hofstetter, Adam Hofstetter, Cody Marley, Ryan Murphy, Rich Ragains, Elliot Steingart, and Chris Strait

In Nashville, DUI charges against former Titan QB Steve McNair have been dropped. Much like all the Titans passes.

The Carolina Panthers have signed Philippe Gardent, a former member of the French national bobsled team. Which is perfect in case the Panthers win it all, because Hell would have frozen over.

French long jumper Salim Sdiri was accidentally hit with a javelin at an athletics meet in Rome. Hey, hole in one!

In baseball, David Wells has been suspended seven games for arguing with an umpire. We're just happy Wells didn't eat him.

The New York Mets have designated 48-year-old infielder Julio Franco for assignment. To Shady Pines retirement home.

The Phillies became the first team in pro sports team to lose 10,000 games. Don't worry Raider fans, you've still got the only team to lose by 10,000 points.

Longtime major league umpire Shag Crawford has died at the age of 90. Dozens of managers assembled to kick dirt on his coffin.

Astros manager Phil Garner has said he's willing to use voodoo to get into the head of Cubs' right-hander Carlos Zambrano. Why bother? All Michael Barrett needed was his right fist.

Last weekend at the WNBA All-Star game, Nike donated $25,000 worth of merchandise to kids in DC. That's right - three pairs of shoes!

And NBA top pick Greg Oden will miss the next 3 weeks. Not because he's getting his tonsils removed, but because he's already fouled out.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

Sunday, July 15, 2007

35 Years of Title IX

June 23 marked the 35th anniversary of Title IX. If you're not a sexist pig, be sure to check out the many interesting articles on these sites:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Ask Hal

Those of you who know me well know that my favorite sportswriter is, or was, Hal Lebovitz. It all started with his "Ask Hal" columns, where the former player/coach/scorekeeper/umpire/referee would answer questions sent in by readers. That's why I was excited when I heard his best questions and answers had been compiled into a book. It's also why I was even more excited - honored - when the fine people at Gray & Co. offered me a free copy for review.

Ask Hal: Answers to Fans' Most Interesting Questions About Baseball Rules from a Hall-of-Fame Sportswriter, as its subtitle suggests, is limited to baseball questions. But it's still the perfect addition to my personal library. In this book, Mr. Lebovitz has an answer to almost any baseball situation you can think of. Also included are two "quizzes": one set of "fair vs. foul" questions, and one set of "does the run count" questions.

Example: The book came to my house while I was away on vacation. At the College World Series, Sarah and I posed these brain teasers to each other:
  • Name ten ways to reach first base.
  • If a batted ball hits a baserunner while they are still standing on the base, are they out or safe?
  • One out, runners on first and third. A fly ball is caught for the second out. The runner on third tags properly and scores. After that runner scores, the defense realizes that the runner on first did not tag, and they throw back to first base for the final out. Does the run count?
The final situation actually occurred at a CWS game. Sarah was not sure what happened, so she called me to ask if the umpires made the correct call. I guess that they did, and also guessed why they did. Do you know what they called, and why or why not it wasn't correct? And do you know the answers to the other two? If you think you do, post them on the message board. By the way, when I returned home, all three questions were answered in the first 44 pages of the book!

I've always been a Hal fan, and a baseball fan who has taken pride in knowing the rules and knowing how to keep score. So it shouldn't be a surprise that I have nothing but praise for this book. If you're any sort of a baseball fan, chances are you'll love it to!

Fun Facts
Courtesy Gray & Co.
Years "Ask Hal" ran in Cleveland newspapers:

Estimated number of questions asked during the entire run of "Ask Hal":

Most frequently asked baseball rule question:
Readers asked to have the infield fly rule explained and clarified more than any other in baseball.

Most frequently asked non-rule baseball question:
Did anyone ever hit a home run into the bleachers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium? According to Hal, this was asked about 50 times a year, "and the answer is still, 'No.'"

More Information

Book Website
Press Release
Sample Pages
About the Author
Where to Buy the Book