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My Take On ‘Lance The Liar’ & Time Wasting Interviews

By bullpenbrian - January 18, 2013 - 2:00 am Leave a comment.

Livestrong? More like Liestrong.

What a worthless coward. Lance’s doping isn’t even the worse part. The despicable treatment of his sport and the shameful behavior towards his teammates, specifically those dismissed from the team who failed to adopt the doping program, his fans and his foundation are unforgivable.

Lance tells Oprah “he’s now paying the price.” What ‘price’ I’d like to know? Besides relinquishing his cycling awards and repaying a pittance of money he unfairly earned, nothing has changed. A half-truthful interview does little, if anything, to repair the damage.

It’s not that I’m against second chances, lord knows I’ve needed a few, but I doubt this scumbag could do anything to re-earn the trust of anyone. If Sir Lies-A-Lot wants to do any favors he can crawl into a hole and disappear. What a slime ball disgrace.
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It was nearly four years ago we watched Alex Rodriguez sit down with Peter Gammons on national television to come clean on his his use of illegal performance enhancers.

The most troubling part of that interview, however, was Gammons resistance to push A-Fraud with follow-up questions. But as Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News points out:

Make no mistake, once Gammons landed the interview with Rodriguez, his job was done. This was a huge coup for the Worldwide Leader. The rating, compared to a normal SportsCenter broadcast, had to be monster. That’s the important thing to remember here. Ratings and buzz rule. So what if you gain access by kicking your own credibility to the curb.”

Thankfully, Oprah pressed harder and dug deeper on Lance than Gammons did on A-Roid, but neither interviewer did justice for demanding a straight answer.

If I could hand pick the interviewer for both these clowns I’d go with Bob Costas, who remains one of the best in the business. His strong opinions have obviously made him a lightning rod for many viewers, but more importantly, there’s no denying Costas shows zero hesitation in relentlessly asking the tough questions, as he did grilling Jerry Sandusky in November of 2011.

As an aspiring broadcaster in college I often respected the bulldog interview approach of Jim Gray, who David Halberstam, an American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, named as one of the 50 greatest sports broadcasters of all time.

Gray’s interview techniques, at times, became so confrontational it even made the viewers at home squirm. But Gray’s lines of questioning were also fact based and spot on…that is until ‘The Decision’ aired by ESPN on July 8, 2010 when Gray fed LeBron James softball questions about joining the Miami Heat vs. remaining with his home town Cleveland Cavaliers. Much like Gammons, unfortunately, Gray sold out to the ratings.

My hope is the art of skillful and proper interviewing will return now that sports fans have grown more accustom to ‘tell-all’ sit downs with athletes who have disgraced themselves and their sport (Pete Rose, A-Rod, Lance etc.). Perhaps just landing the exclusive interview the next time around (which we shouldn’t have to wait long for) won’t be enough to simple juke the ratings any longer…after all, what haven’t we seen or heard before during these time wasting publicity stunts?

For starters, hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is a refreshing idea.

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Soto, Aramis & Peter Gammons

By bullpenbrian - July 27, 2011 - 1:15 am 1 comment.

It’s been an up and down season offensively for Geovany Soto. But the catcher has steadily improved since returning from a strained groin and trip to the DL in mid-May.

Soto’s hit so well as of late Mike Quade inserted him into the cleanup spot Tuesday night in Milwaukee. He went 1-for-4.

Since his DL return, Soto is batting .258 with 6 HR and 15 RBI. But the real progress has come during the last week with Soto hitting .333, including a 12-for-33 mark during the recent homestand.

However, as I’ve said before, Soto’s true value, as with any catcher, isn’t his offensive numbers. It’s what he does behind the plate for the Cubs’ pitching staff…a thinned-out rotation that posted seven quality starts over the 10-game homestand.

The 28-year-old backstop is doing a fine job calling games, blocking pitches in the dirt and gunning down nearly 30-percent of would-be base stealers. None of which can be overlooked.

Soto’s been a model of progress since his off the field troubles two years ago and a guy I hope the Cubs hang onto for years to come. Whatever comes of Soto offensively is simply icing on the cake.

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All About Aramis

Aramis leads the Cubs with 9 HR and 22 RBI this month, which is also the most home runs this month in the majors.

In addition, Ramirez leads MLB with 9 HR coming on the first-pitch, including his first inning 2-R blast Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

That’s the most first-pitch home runs for a Cubs since Derrek Lee clubbed 11 in 2009.

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The Cubs are 15-25 against the N.L. Central. That ties for the second-most losses against a team’s own division with Baltimore, Colorado and Kansas City.

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Peter Gammons

-“If the Cubs put Garza on the market, they wouldn’t get what the Rays got,” said one GM on Monday. Sam Fuld has really helped. Nineteen-year old shortstop Hak-Ju Lee is hitting .324 with an .822 OPS in the Florida State League, and one scout who watched him recently says “he has a chance to be a star.”

Outfielder Brandon Guyer is hitting .305 with an .875 OPS in the International League, has already hit one homer for the Rays and plays hard all the time. Fireballing right-hander Chris Archer has had an inconsistent Double-A season, but throws 92 to 95 mph with a 90-mph slider and likely will be an important player by 2013, possibly at the end of games.

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Casey McGehee

-Brewers infielder cherishes time with son who has cerebral palsy.

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Wire Watch

-Yankees activated 3B Eric Chavez from the 60-Day disabled list.
-Orioles activated DH Vladimir Guerrero from the 15-Day disabled list.
-Tigers outrighted 3B Brandon Inge to Toledo Mud Hens.
-Reds recalled Yonder Alonso from Louisville Bats.

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