Chumpservations, Vol. 17: Aroldis Chapman, Troy Polamalu, Yankees-Rays and the persecution of Roger Clemens

The Reds think fast

Have you heard about the pitcher the Cincinnati Reds called up from their farm system?  His fastball has been clocked at 105 miles per hour.  That’s fast, people.  The Reds are hoping Cuban-born Aroldis Chapman can bring that heat onto a Cincinnati team that is running away with the Central Division.  In seven appearances so far, Chapman has yet to allow an earned run.  And all along we thought Stephen Strasburg would be the hottest young arm in baseball.

Speaking of Strasburg, his season is officially over, having undergone successful Tommy John surgery earlier this month.  When Strasburg came up in early June, Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said Strasburg gave him the opportunity to look like a genius every fifth day.  Not so much any more.  The Reds might want to keep McCatty as far away from Aroldis Chapman as possible.

I don’t know if or where they’ll ultimately assess blame for Strasburg’s season ending prematurely.  But rest assured his innings pitched, and those monitoring them, will be watched very closely next season.

Hair care extraordinaire

Pittsburgh Steelers safety and Head & Shoulders spokesperson Troy Polamalu recently insured his hair for $1 million.  I should have done that years ago before I started losing mine.  On a less surprising note, Head and Shoulders has not signed his teammate, accused rapist and former mullet-rocking Ben Roethlisberger to a similar deal.

American League Beast

Is anyone outside of Boston, New York or Tampa following the American League East race?  It’s been neck-and-neck to date with not even the injury-plagued Red Sox refusing to fold.

As is stands right now, the Yankees and Rays are both thirty games over .500 and have been jockeying back and forth all season for the best record in baseball.  The Yanks and Rays just finished a grueling three-game series, with those three games being determined by a single run, leaving Tampa Bay atop the American League East standing… for the time being.

With less than twenty games left in the season, the Rays have four road games remaining against the Yankees which may likely determine the division winner, and very possibly your American League champion.

If the playoff series between these two turns out to be nearly as exciting as this last series, the playoffs might actually draw some television ratings.

Stay tuned.  It should be a wild ride.

Major League Hypocrisy

Does anyone else think Roger Clemens will not go to prison?  So he lied to Congress… allegedly.  Major League Baseball lied to its fans for years and they built a statue in the commissioner’s honor.

Let’s take a step back and think about what we’re about to do here.  If Clemens is sent to jail, he’d be the most wrongfully imprisoned man since Andy Dufresne. We don’t penalize actors for undergoing plastic surgery to elongate their careers, so why lock up Clemens for having HGH stuck into his rear?  Oh wait, it’s because he lied about it.  I almost forgot.

Look, I don’t condone lying, or drug use, but I do think we have bigger fish to fry.  Making Clemens the lone fall guy for the steroid scandal doesn’t bring baseball fans any closer to closure.  It’s a pinky-sized band-aid over a gaping wound that refuses to heal.  If there’s anyone out there vehemently calling for Roger Clemens to be locked up, you need to either get a life or take some anger management classes.  Either way, reassess your priorities.

Bonds, Rose and Clemens, the greatest baseball players of our generation, might never be enshrined in Cooperstown.  Imagine Canton without Walter Payton’s bust or Springfield without Michael Jordan’s.  Seems asinine, huh?  Well in my mind, so does putting Clemens behind bars.  Let’s just leave this guy to his permanently stained reputation and cross our fingers that he doesn’t show up on Dancing with the Stars any time soon.

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25 Replies to “Chumpservations, Vol. 17: Aroldis Chapman, Troy Polamalu, Yankees-Rays and the persecution of Roger Clemens”

  1. I wish there was another team in the AL that could make a run at the Wild Card so The Rays can take the division and The Yanks miss out all together. Being the common Boston pessimistic sports fan that I am, I’ve already figured that team doing the spoiling is not going to be the Red Sox.

    The whole Clemens thing is crazy. The guy lied to the wrong people and now he is a martyr for the entire steroid era. Slink away into your slimehole with your billions of dollars you idiot, just don’t lie to the wrong people.

  2. Stache…

    The Sox have done the best they can but injuries took their toll. In fact, I think Francona deserves some Manager of the Year nods for even keeping that team competitive.

    And regarding Clemens, I don’t think any of us can say with any certainty how this whole thing will end up. But I fail to see how locking him up resolves anything.

  3. Did you see Bill James’ article about Clemens in He uses Clemens to castigate, well, just about everything. Quite a rant from a guy who I thought was primarily interested in OPS and other esoterica.

  4. It’s a crime I tell ya!

    No not roid dude pitcher from Texas…

    Tropicana Field has a seating capacity of 42,000 (or 45,000 if they open the covered seats) and not one of the Yankee-Ray games for AL East supremacy went over 30,000 in attendance?

    Either St. Pete should give up any claims to the Rays or the Rays’ ownership should just suck it up, pull a Al Davis, give the city and anyone else that fights it the finger and be gone.

    Although I’d hate to see it, they deserve to be someplace where the fans either give a damn or have enough money to attend at least the biggest games of the season…

    A few months back there was a baseball writer up north calling for the Rays to move to Hartford Connecticut… That would be something, setting down the Yankee’s and Red Sox nemesis right between to two! I’d hate to see it myself, but it would serve those two high spending teams right!

  5. Bobert speaks his mind and I am LOVING it!

    The next few years in the Tampa Bay area will be very interesting in regards to the team and a new stadium. Things will get worse before they get better.

    I actually wanted to go to Tuesday night’s game but didn’t. I’m not blaming the drive or the shitty stadium or ticket prices. I just like watching it on TV. Where else could I have seen the replay of Jeter weaseling his way to first base a thousand times over?

    Plus double Vodka-Red Bulls at the Trop are like fifteen bucks a piece.

  6. Chris

    Chapman has been mowing down batters faster than a hooker drops hers draws for a “John”. In the NL Central it’s now about when La Russa and the Cardinals will raise the white flag.

    The Justice Dept is looking for a ‘fall guy’ and why not Clemens ? Because in all probability the case against Bonds will either be come back with a jury nullified verdict. They’ve spent $15 million plus on the case and the evidence that they thought would convict Bonds had been suppressed because of the way it’d been obtained and presented to the trial judge.

    You asked who can sue Bush ? A number of people whom he’d signed endorsement deals with should they choose to do so ? Especially wherein they’ve used him and the Heisman as a way branding and selling their product. I’d stated that the way his statement had been issued showed his unwillingness to declare any wrongdoing on his part. However the NCAA findings show otherwise and it’s clear that he’s lied to them as well to the faculty at USC.


    tophatal ………. 🙂

  7. I’ve been excited about Chapman for awhile now, because of the obvious ties to my last name. I wrote a post awhile back hoping that he’d be the next greatest Chapman since Rex haha.

    I wonder how much Polamalu would get if someone ripped a chunk of his hair out during a game!?!

    What’s kind of crazy about the race in the east, is that they’ve been beating up on eachother pretty good, and now the Twins could snag homefield advantage for the playoffs, crazy!

    I’m tired of Clemens, and don’t care if he goes to jail or not. Either way I just want him to be out of the news!

  8. Vodka and Red Bulls huh? Sounds like fun.
    I’d like to go to more Rays games, but I’m just too lazy. Maybe I should switch from beer to Red Bull.

  9. I’m kind of surprised to see the Cards not even competing, Al. I’m guessing LaRussa’s act has gotten a little stale in St Louis.

    And finding a fall guy for the steroid, as you suggest, doesn’t solve the problem in my opinion. I’ll be interested in seeing what the next commissioner does, if anything, in regards to the players that allegedly ‘cheated’ the game.

    And did you see where has already removed Bush’s name from their list of previous winners? Their IT/website maintenance people wasted no time, huh?

  10. Nice, Chap. You, Rex and Aroldis definitely make my Top Ten Sports Chapman’s of all time.

    This last Yanks-Rays series was a blast to watch. I’m pissed I didn’t catch one of the games in person. Bodes well for an interesting post-season though. I know I shouldn’t be rooting for this sort of thing but I’d love to see a brawl between those two teams.

    And I’d prepare yourself for a lot more of the Clemens saga before we hear any less about him… unfortunately.

  11. Sweet, I’m on a list!

    Yeah, the series has been intense to say the least. It’s can’t wait for the four game series next week, should be a good one!

  12. Jon is right.
    Clemens had to chance to come clean in front of congress when he could have. Alternatively he could have taken the now famous McGuire-Chump route and remained silent. Admittedly either case would have brought on immediate pain, humiliation and possible banishment from the Hall of Fame, but in fact it would have kept him out of jail. Instead he lied to the wrong guys….and simply delayed the inevitable.
    Has anyone ever wondered why Clemens was a last minute commitment his last several seasons? Looking back there’s a strong possiblity that it was an effort to hide an off season juicing regimine…
    ..At the end of the day I can’t fell bad for the guy. He’s hardly the poster child or fall guy for the steriods era. The truth is he’s one of many to go down in this whole saga. Just one of the few who was dumb and arrogant enough to lie to congress about it.

    And don’t kid yourself, he’ll spend 15 months in a country club of a prison with the only worry being he won’t end up in the hall.

  13. Chris

    Now there’s talk that should he decide to leave the Cards then the Marlins might make a play for his services. Well at the moment I care as much about the Marlins as I’d care about fecal matter stuck to the sole of my shoe !

    Is Clinton Portis that much of a dumb a_s ? Or has that been the element that the the Canes have produced over the years when it comes to the IQ of several of their players ?

    Mayweather is looking at close to 40 years for alleged grand larceny , coercion of a witness and the threatening of their life never mind the fact of the allegations of sexual abuse and battery. All this to one of the several women who have kids by him. And he wants to be adored fans because of his exploits in the ring ?

    tophatal 🙂

  14. Chris


    If the Rays can’t sell out the Trop when the likes of the Yankees or Red Sox is in town then what leads anyone to believe that a new purpose built facility will bring about a change in their fortunes ?

    That’s just a simplistic wish on the view of the fans and the idiots behind the proposal. What feasibility studies that’ve been conducted are so flawed that it has become a running joke ! Politicians and the Rays’ front office who are behind this all are simply blowing smoke up everyone’s ass !


    tophatal …. 🙂 * 🙂

  15. Chris

    Is it really the persecution of Clemens or simply Clemens being an imbecile ?

    ‘melo to the Bulls in exchange for Noah ? Who’d be getting the better of that deal then were it to take place ?

    Starbury wants Iverson to come out of retirement to join him and make history in China by playing professional basketball ? I don’t think that’d go down to well with the Chinese authorities ?

    Barkley ‘fesses up that he took money from agents while he played ball at Auburn ? Nothing unusual there as I heard he’d laid to the ‘wood’ to at least 100 plus female co-eds while there ?

    Which stat is more believable in this instance do you think ?

    🙂 * 🙁

    Telling Tall Tales In The World of Basketball …..


    tophatal .. 🙂 * 🙂

  16. Liar North…

    You surprise me. If anything, I’d expect you to commend a person like Clemens for being able to persistently maintain a lie for so long.

    Can’t we just go ahead and make him the official spokesperson of the Liar North and South Club?

  17. Speaking of requiring services, I hear Torre is stepping down as Dodgers manager and might end up with either the Mets or Cubs. Interesting.

    I didn’t pay attention to the Portis story. I know he’s always prone to say something stupid ever so often but I give him a pass since he’s such a P-Funk fan. Comes with the territory.

    And Mayweather? Does anyone actually think he could beat Pacquiao? Run, Floyd, run.

  18. As we’ve talked about many times, Al, this whole business about the Rays leaving St. Pete is just getting started.

    Let’s just hope they can sell out a playoff game.

  19. ‘Melo for Noah, Al? You know I’m a Gator homer, Al, but I’d have to say Denver would be getting the raw end of that deal.

    Starbury and Iverson to invade China, Al? Weed must be cheap over there.

    And Barkley took money at Auburn. No SportsChump reader is surprised.

  20. Tampa still has a baseball team? Who knew…

    Actually, I wish the Padres and Rays could swap rosters. After a nice start to the season, San Diego is fading and might even end the year in 3rd place. Ouch.

  21. Drew…

    Easy, brother. Your bitterness about your Padres folding like a tent in the wind is starting to show.

    Although I’m first and foremost a Red Sox fan, I do live in Tampa now and can’t say I hate on the Rays. They’re pretty solid, top to bottom and might… I said MIGHT just be your next World Series winner.

    At least the Chargers looked like they’re supposed to today.

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