As fans, why are we always shocked when our sports gods prove to be very
human? The continual reports of cheating, lying, and ill-manners, not to
mention criminal behavior is enough to bring us to the jarring conclusion
that celebrity athletes may not worthy of our worship.
Hanley Ramirez is the biggest loser in baseball so far this season. During
a play last week, the Florida Marlins shortstop trotted after the ball as
if he was running underwater while the opposition sprinted for extra
bases. When his manager, Fredi Gonzalez, called out Ramirez for loafing on
the play, Ramirez responded in the press that his manager had never
actually played at major league level, so what does he know?
Hanley, your manager knows what every little leaguer learns by ten years
old: always hustle, never quit running until the play is over. Though
Ramirez is the face of the Marlins franchise and has signed a $70 million
contract to play for Florida, he apparently hasnt figured out that trying
hard is important if winning the game is your goal.
After his manager benched Ramirez and demanded an apology before the All
Star could return to the playing field, the relatively unknown Florida
skipper became everyones favorite manager.
When U.S. born cyclist Floyd Landis recently admitted to long-time steroid
use, he ended four years of continually refuting that drugs might have
contributed to his surprising win at the 2006 Tour de France (he was
disqualified afterward). Landis now claims he had been doping since 2002
when he joined the US Postal Service team, led by cyclings most prominent
steroid-denier, Lance Armstrong.
Landis is a multiple-loser this week: confessing to cheating with banned
drugs on the bicycle-racing circuit, lying for years about his drug-use,
and accusing Armstrong and others to be accomplices in the same doping
Landis is the same guy who wrote a book in 2007claiming that he won the
Tour drug-free and appeared on Larry King Live as recent as several months
ago to plead his case that he is clean. Even for those who have supported
Landis, he has no credibility left.
The New Jersey Nets not only were the worst team in the NBA this past
season, they lost in the draft lottery and wont pick first from the pool
of available college players as they deserve. The Nets new owner, Russian
billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, must suspect a vast right-wing Yankee
conspiracy to prevent his franchise from drafting either of the two best
Let me be the first to predict that Prokhorov will attempt to cast off the
Nets yoke of futility by signing free-agent LeBron James to the richest
contract in history. Prokhorov is rich enough to do it and will have some
cash left over from not needing to pay for the number one draft pick this
Prokhorovs vision of an international following for his team
(particularly in Russia) might be possible if he can bring the best
basketball player in the world to New Jersey - Czar James I.