Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - November 30, 2008



NFL: The game between the Steelers and Patriots is being touted as the true test of QB Matt Cassel's ability. It is no surprise he's been able to handle pressure being a USC alum and all. It seems like only starting QBs from the Trojan squad have issues (yes, you Matt Leinart and to a lesser extent, Carson Palmer).

I'll be watching the Bucs vs. Saints for sure today. The Saints are coming to Raymond James and I'm hoping the Bucs are gonna be on FIRE! I know someone else isn't hoping for the same outcome, but we can all still be friends. I'm still jealous that Sarah has tickets...man, I would LOVE to be at that game! Fire them cannons!

NBA: The Raptors come to Los Angeles today. Again, I know that not everyone wants the same outcome that I do, but we can all still be sports fans together.


Check out all of the mainstream game times and scores here


Today in Sports History

1948 - Baseball's Negro National League disbands

1993 - The NFL announces a 30th franchise - the Jacksonville Jaguars

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Charles Barkley Should Overcome His Shyness



Many find Charles Barkley to be an amusing character. He's got one interesting golf swing (see video above - Tiger Woods does a pretty funny impersonation of it as well) and he just lets those opinions flow. Most recently, he's been talking trash about LeBron James. (I know Carolyn, I know.) LeBron didn't take this lightly and fired back at Barkley. Ah, NBA feuds.

Here are some more on the opinions of Charles Barkley:

His personality overshadows his talent according to some

His issues with Allen Iverson

I even found a whole blog dedicated to Barkley quotes. It's a shame it hasn't been updated in over a year...

Here is another compilation of some real gems. Many are quite infuriating but they are mostly quite sad.

Sometimes, you just have to wonder...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Homeless World Cup Starts Monday!



It's finally here! Next week the Homeless World Cup starts in Melbourne. The event starts on Monday, December 1 and runs to Sunday, December 7. You don't need to buy tickets, just show up and enjoy!

I wish that I could make the trip to Melbourne, but have to settle to watch the action through what is put online.

The HWC has been a topic here for the last several months:

5 Questions

5 More Questions

Street Soccer Coaches

Street Soccer Athletes

Getting Involved

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You Blogspotting



I wanted to take this day to say a sincere thank you to all of my readers, guest posters, and interviewees. Thank you very much to everyone that links here and and contributes by commenting and sending me information via email. Thank you to my fellow bloggers that allow me to guest post, I really enjoy contributing!

Basically, if you are reading this - thank you!

Most of the country will be focused on the NFL today and awaiting John Madden's discussion of the turducken.

Here's some interesting reading to go along with your day:

Should Dogs Golf?

Right Here Waiting For You

5 year old basketball star!

I'm jealous of Sarah since she has some choice tickets

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - November 26, 2008



MLB: So the McCourts have found a new way to make an excuse to not pay big money for Manny Ramirez. They want to poise themselves as looking through the eyes of the fans. How? They are asking fans whether they want them to spend big money on one player in this economy or fund fields for kids throughout Los Angeles. I've got one for you - how about not funding that huge new mall that you're building at Chavez Ravine that is designed to suck more money out of the fans and use that money to fund your philanthropic efforts? Then you could do both - get a high dollar player and fund programs for kids. I know you must already be able to donate uniforms, catchers gear, bats, bases, and everything else to fund junior leagues. Please stop using the thinly-veiled concern. Why not take a pay cut yourself since you're so concerned about the local economy? Yeah, I better stop...I am just getting entirely too frustrated...

And just in case you thought it would be a dull weekend for baseball - don't turn off your radar too long. A number of moves are in the works. During this long weekend, the fate of Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, and several others could be decided.

Today In Sports History

1995 - Dolphins QB Dan Marino sets NFL record with 343rd touchdown pass

1996 - Less than three weeks after MLB owners voted 18-12 against ratification of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, owners voted again and this time approved it by a vote of 26-4. The landmark agreement brings interleague play to the regular season for the first time as well as revenue sharing among owners and a payroll tax on players.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where In The World Is Lisa Guerrero?



Other than her gigs as a correspondent for Inside Edition and TV Guide, Lisa Guerrero still has her finger on the pulse of the sports world. Since her appearance as a 5 Questions guest, she has kept her traditionally busy schedule that is her trademark. Besides the release of her production company’s first film, A Plumm Summer, she’s been occupied with a whole new venture – sports blogger!

Recently, Lisa started writing sports-related blog pieces for the Los Angeles Times. They are quite funny - such as observations reflecting that she feels right at home at Angel Stadium since everyone has her last name on the back of their jerseys. Much of her musings are tongue-in-cheek as she mixes pop culture and politics with sports. Lisa says that the blog has been a very enjoyable way to explore a new way of writing since she’s never really been a “writer”. Although she did write her own material when she was a sports reporter, this is a whole new ball of wax in comparison. Here, she is much freer to give her opinion and lace the content with humor. “It’s a bit like keeping a diary”, she says as she confesses that her favorite subject in school was creative writing. She doesn’t spend a lot of time worried about what the commentary after her posts are either. Basically, she puts her opinion and insight out there and lets the readers react. She gets fans reacting to her Times blog on her personal site most of all. I agree – the anonymity of the internet makes people quite brave. Lisa would rather hear what you have to say as yourself and not a screen name from what I gather.

Check out her place on the Times and you’ll see some of her recent gems like:

How It Came About

The Rally Monkey

A Commentary On Mark Cuban

A Gift For Your Daughters

Or you can just follow this link to get all the goods.

In addition, she has discovered that writing this blog has opened entirely new possibilities that she had not previously considered. For example - a potential book deal! I was immediately excited to hear about that. I would absolutely love to read about Lisa’s journey from Rams cheerleader to highly recognizable sports personality. And – she’s even collaborating on another writing venture – songwriting. Look for songs co-written by Lisa in both the country and rock genres. She claims that she had never realized how enjoyable it would be to write lyrics.

I had also previously reported that she would be working on producing another film. This is still the case but a large studio will be attached. The title at this point is “Slambook” and it is a very commercial teen thriller. They are in pre-production and still slated to start filming in the spring of 2009. I’ll give you more about that venture whenever I get the details.

In the meantime, check her out on the LA Times site and stay tuned – who knows where in the world we will find her next!

Monday, November 24, 2008

More Than 5 Questions With A Kicker



There have been a few stories of women and girls playing football with the fellas recently. Megan at …Because I Played Sports brought us the story of Kacy Stuart and I found the video above of another talented young woman that plays with the guys. About two weeks ago, coach Manny Ojeda called me to tell me about a new player that would be joining the Southern California Breakers this season that he knew I just had to interview. Her name is Joy Barry. She’s been playing soccer her entire life and has also been playing football with the boys and mens teams since she was in high school.

Joy grew up in Thousand Oaks, California and attended Ventura College. In fact, she was named a College Athlete of the Year in 1998 to the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame. She’s one of three children with a father that played football as a high school QB and briefly in college. Sports are definitely a life’s passion for this talented athlete that is another testament that good things also come in smaller packages. At 5’4 ½” tall, her ability is much larger than her stature. Her profession as a hairdresser allows her the flexibility to pursue her soccer and football dreams.

Being an early bird like me, Joy stopped kicking the ball long enough to talk to me at 7:00 am on a Saturday to answer a few more than five questions:

Did you start playing sports when you were young?

Yeah, I originally started playing sports when I was only 4 years old. I started as a soccer player and continue to play even today. I excelled quickly at the sport and was even put on teams with players much older (3-4 years) than I was.

How did you start playing football?


I transitioned to football during my freshman year of high school. I was asked to play since many of the players and coaches had seen me play soccer. They thought I was quite good and could really kick a ball so they had the idea that I would make a good place kicker. The head coach approached me to go and ask my parents if it was okay for me to come and try out for the team. My father was completely behind the idea and my mother was a bit protective thinking that her baby would get hurt.

How were you accepted by the other players on the team?

I was already popular from being a varsity soccer player as a freshman so I found that I was accepted for the most part. However, some of the guys were like, “are you serious?” They were the ones that looked at me like, “oh, she’s just some girl”. They didn’t believe I could actually kick a ball. I definitely won them over and won their respect. For example, I wasn’t just “the kicker” I participated in every part of practice and did all of the things that were expected from the entire team. I stayed the entire practice each time and participated in a lot of the drills since I would be expected to make a tackle if someone broke through. At about 5’4” and only 112 pounds at the time, I wanted to make sure that I could take a hit if I needed to. In fact, in my sophomore year I had to make a tackle. All I remember is my whole team coming over to me and picking me up to excitedly carry me off the field. The young man that I hit wasn’t so celebratory. He was actually quite embarrassed for the rest of high school since he was the guy that “got tackled by a girl”.

So the only position you played in high school was as a place kicker? How long was your longest field goal?

Yeah, I was used on kick offs and field goals. During practice I had a kick that was about 50 yards with the wind helping me. I don’t recall what my longest was for an actual game in high school. I was basically used for accuracy kicks. If there was a need for a very long field goal, which doesn’t happen so often in high school, there was another kicker on the team that would do that.

Did you play on the football team at Ventura College also?

I did. I was on the soccer team for my first year and then in my second year I decided that I would go talk to the football coach. I told him that I had played in high school and he wasn’t very welcoming. He let me try out and I was asked to be on the team since I was extremely accurate. And, like in high school – I did EVERYTHING with the team. I went through “hell week” and every practice. I never missed a practice. The great thing about that was that it really helped my soccer game. Since I was running around and doing all of this with pads on – once I took them off for soccer I felt so light and could really perform. Each sport basically complemented the other for me.

After college, where did you end up playing?


I continued to play soccer for different teams and leagues but really missed football since I loved it so much. I ended up finding the LCFL team the California Dolphins and the coach told me that I couldn’t try out. I told him that I would go play for someone else and when he had to play that team he would regret not having me on his team. He relented and when I showed him what I could do his whole attitude changed. I was the first woman to play semi-pro on a men’s team as a kicker.

After playing with the Dolphins I was chosen to an All-Star team that played the East vs. West in the league. This was in Las Vegas with 150 guys and I was the West Coast kicker.

From there I had met several coaches that tried to recruit me and I ended up moving to Chicago and playing on a men’s team for a year there. At the time I lived with the coach and his wife and the experience really helped me grow as a person. Here I was just a young lady from Thousand Oaks, California that was now in a completely different neighborhood in Chicago. Fortunately, I was accepted and had a great experience overall.

So what came after Chicago?

I came home and got my cosmetology license and just concentrated on soccer. I also ended up working for a friend’s restaurant for a while since it also gave me the flexibility to play soccer. I really had thought I was done playing football. However, a football team had come in where I was working and the coach recognized me and asked me to come try out for his team. Since I hadn’t kicked a football for a while I didn’t think I would still be able to do it but as it turns out I was better than I expected. I guess you just never lose that! So I ended up playing with them for a while and then played for another team in that league for two years.

How did you decide to try out for the Breakers and start playing with women?

I guess Coach Manny had been watching me play for a few years. He asked me a few times to come play with the women and I never took him up on it. I was so accustomed to playing with the men for so long and was accepted as “one of the guys” that it never occurred to me to play with women. It was really all I knew.

As you know, Coach Manny is a very kind and highly respected individual so I finally relented. As it turns out, I really love it. The team is really like a family and I’ve been having a great time. Now that I am starting to play with the women, I’ve realized that I would like to try other positions besides just kicker. I never had that option playing with the men. I’m very excited to see what this new venture brings.

I'll be sure to get some footage of Joy when the season starts and catch up with her for a follow-up interview. If you are interested in playing football on the Southern California Breakers you can find the information on their website here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - November 23, 2008



Seriously, as cliché as this sounds, I really cannot believe it is already November! I have some time off next week and then quite a bit next month that I will be spending catching up on my golfing. I haven't picked up a club in over a month and I think I'll be seriously embarrassed the next time I try. Time to get in some practice at the range. Pardon the ranting, the Sunday Sports Wrap is not intended to be about me waxing poetic about the coming end of the year or to complain about my golf game. There is a time and place for that...

NBA: The Los Angeles Lakers are still on fire and look to really have a strong record after the next nine games. Today they play the Kings here at Staples. I'd like to take this moment to thank Andrew Bynum for being THE MAN! Woohoo!

College Hoops: There are more women's and men's hoops today that I could possibly talk about. I'm too distracted by the NFL and NBA to have paid much attention to the NCAA yet so I'll just say "Go Pac 10"!

Today in Sports History

1988
- Wayne Gretzky scores his 600th NHL goal

1991 - Sacramento Kings end the NBA's longest road losing streak at 43 games

1997
- Annika Sorenstam wins ITT LPGA Tour Championship


Happy Birthday to You


Jonathan Papelbon, MLB pitcher (Boston Red Sox)

Reggie Green, NFL guard (Seattle Seahawks)

Jamie Sharper, linebacker (Baltimore Ravens)

Malik Rose, NBA forward (New York "Nicks")

Tora Suber, WNBA guard (Charlotte Sting)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tales From The Inbox - November 22 2008



Life Rolls On: "They Will Surf Again" events are over for the year but LRO has more events coming up:

Ready to Rumble? December 13

Mixed Martial Artist legend Ken Shamrock will headline a group of MMA fighters, pro boxers, kickboxing champions, skaters and surfers at the Extreme Sports and Artists Charity Event benefiting Life Rolls On Foundation. As UFC’s first Heavyweight Champion, King of the Ring and WWF Intercontinental Champion, Shamrock, a UFC Hall of Famer, has earned the nickname “The Most Dangerous Man Alive.” On December 13, at No Limits Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness in Irvine, CA, Shamrock will show a softer side, as he teams up with event host ConvictedArtist.com and others to help raise money for young people affected by spinal cord injury.

LRO Ambassador Briana Walker will represent LRO at this unique fundraiser, which will feature submission wrestling super fights, skateboard competitions, live bands, artist shows and more. There will also be a silent auction, showcasing original art, clothing, surfboards, skateboards, cosmetics and other phenomenal items. During the festivities, ConvictedArtsist.com will also recognize Surfrider Foundation for its outstanding work on the Save Trestles campaign.

ConvictedArtist.com was originally an art gallery founded by artists in 2001 and has emerged into a social art network that focuses on artistic freedom of expression and collaboration of talents, which include art, prose, exotic automobiles, and extreme sports.

With live music, food, cocktails and entertainment (plus a keepsake photo from the night), this is surely an event you won’t want to miss. For tickets and information, visit their website.

Tenative: The group is organizing "They Will Ski Again" to be held at Mammoth Mountain on January, 24 2009. Visit the LRO website for details and sign up for the newsletter to keep up with this an all other events.

************************************************************************************

Nike: Another press release made its way to me where Nike is launching a campaign based around women and sports.

NIKE SEEKS GAMECHANGERS TO INCREASE WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN SPORT

Those raising the bar to create more opportunities for women in sport will now be able to take their efforts to a whole new level. Nike and Ashoka’s Changemakers are offering an online competition for those elevating women in their communities through the power of sport.

The Nike Gamechangers: Change the Game for Women in Sport competition encourages people from around the world to showcase their game by outlining their exciting ideas for women in sport on their website.

“Nike understands the transformative power of sport and we know there are social innovators around the world doing amazing work in this area,” states Nike “Let Me Play” Global Director, Maria Bobenreith. “Through the Nike Game Changers competition we are providing an online platform to form a community of game changers and showcase their ideas and innovations around empowering women through sport.”

The Nike Game Changers online community is built upon a foundation of action and advocacy through sport and interconnectivity. Using their innovations, people from around the world can submit their ideas for social change while contributing to other entries, often resulting in new partnerships and friendships.

“The competition is driven by its member base through idea generation, nomination, digital voting, and blogging, making it organic and relevant to the audience,” states Changemakers’ Executive Director Charlie Brown. “Changemakers is excited to partner for this second collaboration with Nike, honing in on the global need to create more powerful opportunities for women in sport.”

The top 10 ideas are then chosen by a prominent judging panel including former athletes, celebrities, academics and social entrepreneurs. Members, fans, sports-minded celebrities and athletes then vote on the three most powerful ideas that each win a $5,000 cash prize.

The online competition launched November 12, 2008 and will showcase innovative solutions, encouraging members to comment, network and assist one another in making a difference. Submissions are welcome until February, 2008.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Always Looking For A Guest Post...



It has been a while since I’ve had one. A guest post, that is. I’ve been fortunate to have some great material from others around the blogosphere and around the world.

Linday from That Mutt introduced us to the world of rugby

Katharine Sinderson answered my plea for help with understanding cricket

Rob Mars from Athletic Women Blog told us about Brittney Griner

Carolyn from And One brought us the interesting world of toe wrestling and Los Angeles Breakers basketball

Casey from Bringing Hockey Back has helped me discuss the NHL on several occasions…hereherehere…and here…and will hopefully be back again

Daniel from LABallTalk talked about the Lakers with us last season

I'm always looking for an interesting guest post about sports. I especially enjoy having guests that talk about sports that are outside of the mainstream? If you are interested in writing a guest post email me through the "View my complete profile" link near the top of this page. From there - simply click the "Email" link. You can also leave a comment with your contact information if you prefer.

What are you waiting for? Email me about writing a guest post!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Blogspotting



No special theme - just some blogspotting:

Everyone is talking about Yuko, the young woman that will pitch in the Japanese pros.

Have you seen this test of strength?

I often feel like this about the teams I follow.

A nice recap of the MLB awards for the season.

Mascots have rules also.

Apply MBA tactics to sports here.

Should there be ties in football?


Today in Sports History

1969 - Pele scores his 1,000th soccer goal

1977 - Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears rushes for an NFL-record 275 yards

1990 - Sacramento Kings have their last NBA win on the road for over a year

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - November 19, 2008



Baseball: A woman was drafted to play professional baseball in Japan with the men as a pitcher. Her name is Eri Yoshida and she is only sixteen years old but throws a mean knuckleball! I am so excited about the possibilities here that I can’t even write about it! Okay MLB, you are out of excuses (actually, you've been out of excuses for a very long time)!

NFL: I just have to continue to point out that the Tennessee Titans are still undefeated. No one is making a big deal about it like the New England Patriots last year. They are quietly putting together one heck of a season. Remarkable. It just goes to show that any team can come up and win. No inflated payrolls or sneaky tactics. Good, old-fashioned football. I picked them to lose this past week in my pick ‘em pool since I was playing the odds. I mean seriously, to have a team go this long undefeated a season after a team won every game save for the Super Bowl has amazing odds against it. I would tell you the probability formula but I wouldn’t want to reveal just how much of a nerd I am. Other than that, I sink so bad at Fantasy Football this year that you would think this was the first time I played. Argh.


Today in Sports History

1984 - New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden is youngest to be named NL Rookie of Year at age 20

1989 - US beats Trinidad, 1-0, and qualifies for 1990 World Cup soccer finals - this was the first time the US qualified since the 1950s

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Euphoria That Is The Start Of The NBA Season



Aah…the start of the NBA season. Depending on who you listen to, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to take the title or the Boston Celtics will repeat. I’m personally pulling for the first scenario. Of course, I’m an extremely biased Los Angeles native (in case you haven't noticed). I’m still not over the Lakers playing like absolute dirt against the aforementioned Celtics in the finals last year. I mean seriously, it seemed like Kobe Bryant only played on half a tank of fuel at times. Eh, que sera sera…I just can’t get too worked up by the games so far. Yes, the Lakers are atop the West and the Celtics are atop the East. There are still MANY months of basketball to be played so I will reserve judgment on who will be the champs until I see more. Heck, who knows… maybe the Clippers could pull something out. Then again, maybe the St. Louis Rams will miraculously make the NFL playoffs this year and the Los Angeles Kings will be NHL champs. Yeah, I know…fairy tales.

Speaking of the Clippers, they have this very nice facility just down the street from me here in the LAX/Marina Del Rey area. I've been meaning to snap some pics of it and just haven't got it together to do so yet. What is interesting is that this building is not too far from the Lakers complex in El Segundo. For those of you not privy to the Los Angeles layout, both of these are close to LAX and pretty far from the Staples Center downtown where they both play. So my question is this – did the Clippers move closer to the coast and airport to be closer to the Lakers and therefore maybe getting some of their good mojo to rub off on them? Or do they just want to be closer to the wonderful breezes of the Pacific Ocean? Regardless, the new practice facility for the Clippers is modern and has a ticker on the outside so that you can catch up on team news. Maybe I’ll start seeing them around lunchtime like I do certain Lakers team members. Yeah, I really do see Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Luke Walton every now and then at the local lunch or coffee spot. In fact, Luuuke and his brother have a little restaurant nearby. I know – I’ve got a rough life.

Speaking of interesting NBA possibilities, it appears that everyone’s favorite Maverick - owner that is - is facing a heavy accusation of insider trading. As we know from the whole Martha Stewart incident, this is not something that the powers that be tolerate with much empathy. This story is at its preliminary stages so there isn’t a reason to jump to conclusions yet. Even Mark Cuban deserves a fair shake. How sad would it be to just have this turn out to be a witch hunt of sorts. It is no secret that he has rubbed some the wrong way but this is not a reason to assume his guilt so early. Let’s be civil folks.

Who are you watching this NBA season?

Monday, November 17, 2008

5 Questions - Random Favorites



Since this blog started I’ve done this segment of interviews that I call 5 Questions. I’ve talked to some very interesting people in the world of sports. I’ve also re-run favorites here and there, ran a contest, and done other summaries.

I’ve got several interviews brewing but I wanted to take a moment to share five of my favorite questions and answers that have been run so far. (I actually have more than 5 favorites.)

Lisa Guerrero

What do you consider the most significant event in sports that you have been a part of in your lifetime?


When Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1984, I was a placard bearer for the country of Belgium for the opening and closing ceremonies. In addition, I was basically a guide for many of the international athletes. At the time I was a Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader and I really enjoyed being involved with all of the other athletes and organizations to showcase Los Angeles. It was great that all Americans could come together on an international stage. I’ll never forget how proud I was seeing the whole community come together. The Los Angeles area changed traffic patterns so that spectators could get to all the events since they were spread out. It was a great indicator of how an economy can take time out to support sports.

Becky “Ocho Cinco” Leetch

Do you consider yourself a role model? If so, to whom? If not, why? What do you think makes a good role model? What would you tell young athletes about following their dreams?

Yes, I do consider myself as a role model. Every adult should. You never know who is watching you and who wants to emulate what you do. I just need to make sure that what I’m doing is positive.

I’d tell young athletes, and just the youth in general, is to follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, because of “XYZ”. If you want to do it, do it!! I’m only 5’ 1”. If someone would have told me that I “can’t” play football, I’d have more of an inspiration to do better and to prove them wrong!! I cannot begin to tell you how passionate I am about believing in yourself. Again, I’m only 5’1! I may not get to play much, but when I do, I play as if I’m 5’10”. My heart, and passion for the game supersedes my small stature.

Vanessa Santillan

Do you consider yourself a role model? What would you say to young athletes about following their sports dreams?


I think anyone that works with children/teenagers should automatically be a role model whether that be a teacher or coach. I work hard physically to make sure that I can be in the best shape I can for the game and I try my best to be a good teammate and athlete for the team.

I have the opportunity to really help develop athletes on a daily basis. I see young girls and boys who are reserved at times and hold themselves back because they don't want to stand out or don't believe in themselves enough. As a coach your job is not only to help a child get faster and stronger but also to help bring out their confidence so that they can have just as much fun playing a sport as you (the coach) does.

We play sports for fun and to feel successful. Young athletes especially need to make sure that at the end of the day they are having fun. If an athlete wants to take their sport to the next level they need to take advantage of every moment to get better mentally and physically.

Jane Schonberger

What are the most significant sporting events throughout history for women in your opinion? What is the most meaningful event that is sports-related that you have personally participated in?


Probably the most significant event for women in sports was Billie Jean King’s 1973 victory over Bobby Riggs. We all know she was at the height of her career while he was on the downward slope so the match itself wasn’t that spectacular but Title IX had just passed and the match sparked a revolution for women as well as a heightened awareness of female athletes.

The Women’s World Cup in 1999 was the first sporting event I attended where I could literally feel popular opinion shift. With nearly 100,000 fans in the stands, the most-attended women's sports event in history, the U.S. Women’s National Team held the appeal of rock stars. These players were Title IX babies who embodied the best of what women in sport stands for. And the match was incredible! It was as good a competition as any sporting event, male or female, I’ve ever attended.

More recently, Danica Patrick winning an Indy race put to rest the notion that women can’t compete against men. Drivers like Janet Guthrie and Lyn. St. James had already put a stake in the ground but Danica got the checkered flag and will go down in history.

On a far more personal level, I’m involved in supporting girls in our community via sports events with the Los Angeles Parks & Recreation Dept. and the Girl Scouts. And as a company, Pretty Tough sponsors girls across the country that are involved in both traditional and non-traditional sports. I find participation at this kind a micro level is extremely meaningful.

Fred Roggin

What would it take for more women to be viable sports reporters/broadcasters? I understand that sports are a “guy’s thing”, but can a sports-obsessed woman be readable and believable to men? What can a female do to be taken seriously as a sports authority?

The politically correct thing to say is, times have changed and women have the same chance. The truth is, times have changed and women have more of a chance. There's no question many women know more about sports than a lot of men but when you're dealing with a predominantly male audience it can tough to break thru. I've always believed that the best people succeed. If a woman is the best and can hang in there, she will succeed.

What has been your favorite question or interview so far?


By the way…

Today In Sports History


1968 – The famous Heidi Game took place. Read the link if you don’t know what this is.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - November 16, 2008



College Hoops: The NCAA college basketball season has started. Sports Illustrated had players from the women's and men's Dvision 1 leagues on the cover recently and the photo had mixed reactions. UConn is considered the hands-down number one for the women at this early point. North Carolina tops the men. The thing about college hoops - it matters who is still standing in March!

NBA: The season is really picking up and there are several games today. The Lakers finally lost a game and are at 7-1. You win some, you lose some.

I get caught up on all the day's games for mainstream sports on the USA Today page as I mentioned before.

Today in Sports History

1957
- Boston Celtics center Bill Russell sets an NBA record of 49 rebounds to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 111-89

1962 - Wilt Chamberlain of NBA's San Francisco Warriors scores 73 points vs the New York Knicks

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Go Take A Hike



I've always appreciated that I could participate in outdoor sports and activities throughout the entire year here in Southern California. It truly doesn't matter what month it is. You can either surf or ski and sometimes both in the same day. I have actually done that once many years ago. I woke up very early and drove to the mountains to get in some snowbarding. Afterward, I got home to my place on the beach and found some very nice afternoon waves to surf. If only every day could be like that.

Now that I have a giant bloodhound in the house I've been hiking quite a bit more. In the Los Angeles area we have several trails that are very nice with amazing views at the top. The slideshow above is from one of our recent Griffith Park trips. There are many other trails that are dog friendly. In addition, most trails are perfect for someone like me: I want to be outside without feeling like I'm in the middle of nowhere because I am not big on the whole camping thing. Definitely a city girl, I've got to be able to grab lunch at a dog-friendly outdoor cafe on the way home. Don't get me wrong though, you don't hear the sounds of the city when you're in the hills if you are one that has to "get away from it all".

Besides the trails at Griffith Park, there is also Runyon Canyon that is quite popular. This area has an off-leash dog area and plenty of friendly people. Of course, I can't let my bloodhound off-leash or he'll follow some scent wherever it takes him. That isn't exactly safe at the high elevations of the trails.

These trails are perfect for all dogs and their people that are well-behaved enough to be out around other dogs and people. The bloodhound loves it because he is quite the social guy that wants to be friendly with all people, children, and other animals. Hiking is great exercise for humans and canines alike! The bloodhound will never be interested in agility training so hiking is a great way for both of us to stay in shape and spend time together.

Here are a few links to find other great hikes in the Los Angeles area:

Local Hikes

LA Hikes

Dog parks, beaches, hikes


If you're in the area, drop me a note and tell me of any good dog-friendly hikes I may have missed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Smooth Soccer Blogspotting (with some football history)



Finally, someone has put together a comprehensive Premier League post: English Premier League for Dummies

There are more than enough good pieces at A Futebol Fan

Do you think Dider Drogba deserves criticism or praise?

Liverpool is out of the hunt for the Carling Cup

And this isn’t a blog – but I’ve written about the event plenty of times here on this blog: the Homeless World Cup. There is only about six weeks left until it happens!


Today in Sports History

1970 – One of the most tragic events in sports history – the Marshall University football team, coaches, and several others perish when their plane crashed when approaching the runway.

…on a happier note…

1993
- Don Shula becomes the winningest coach in NFL history when his Miami Dolphins defeat the Philadelphia Eagles

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tales From The Inbox - November 13, 2008



MLB: Joe Maddon is the AL Manager of the Year, a well-deserved honor. This is just another page in my case that the Tampa Bay Rays are a real franchise. The Rays site explains it well:

"Considering he was managing a team that plays in a division with the powerhouse Red Sox and Yankees while sporting the second-lowest payroll in the Major Leagues, it would've been very easy for Rays skipper Joe Maddon to accept mediocrity going into Spring Training 2008.

In fact, that's what the Rays had endured the previous 10 years of the franchise.

But, in his third season with Tampa Bay, mediocrity wasn't something Maddon was ready to accept."

As I mentioned on Tuesday - this team will be dangerous next year. I bet the Red Sox and Yankees won't take them so lightly any more.

What is also interesting is that the Chicago Cubs manager, Lou Pinella, got the nod for the honor in the NL. He was once the Rays manager but couldn't bring the team anywhere. I recall when he got to Tampa Bay - ticket sales went up a bit and fans were very hopeful. We all know how that ended...


Life Rolls On: The organization's recent Night by the Ocean was featured last night on FuelTV's The Daily Habit. If you missed it, you can pick up the rebroadcast at least twice today.

Their signature event, They Will Surf Again will pick back up next year.


Today in Sports History

1875 - Harvard-Yale game is the first college football contest with uniforms

1875 - The National Bowling Association is organized in New York

1974 - Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey wins the NL MVP

1992
- Riddick Bowe beats Evander Holyfield in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - November 12, 2008



Tennis: Venus Williams capped off the year with a victory in the final event of the season. Serena Williams was out due to an injury described as a stomach strain. Ouch. It just sounds unpleasant. I've really enjoyed watching the Williams sisters over the years. It seems like they've always been around and always will be.

Speaking of tennis icons, Billie Jean King was recently named "Global Mentor for Gender Equality".

Cheer: While some don't believe that cheer (or cheerleading, if you must) is a sport I'm not so quick to write it off. In fact, I included cheer squads in my sports articles when I was contributing to a local print publication. Think about it, these are very athletic people who practice several times a week. They engage in demanding physical activity for particular seasons. In addition, there are national champion titles at college, high school, and other age levels. Does this qualify it as a sport for you?


Today in Sports History

1933 - The first Sunday football game is played in Philadelphia ( it was previously illegal to play on Sunday). The local Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers (yes, the football team) by a score of 32-0.

1995
- QB Dan Marino breaks Fran Tarkenton's NFL all-time passing yardage mark of 47,003

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Take Five for Baseball



As the country is knee deep in the very interesting NFL season I thought I’d take a moment to talk about baseball:

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the Tampa Bay Rays are for real. Yeah, I know, they choked in the World Series. But really – they were at the very bottom last season. I mean the BOTTOM. That whole worst to first thing was going on. To even make it to the playoffs was a major feat and the first in their franchise history. They knocked off the precious Boston Red Sox on the way and totally owned the New York Yankees all season. In spite of what you may think – the Tampa Bay Rays are a real baseball team. They are on the map and deserve fans and recognition!

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was recently named the American League Rookie of the Year. Ha! A player from the Tampa Bay Rays! Seriously! Talk about validation. Longoria is only one of the many young stars that keep the franchise afloat. The lineup is chock full of the young and talented like Matt Garza and Dioner Navarro. On the other side of the diamond, first baseman Carlos Pena got a Golden Glove nod for himself. More validation. Hopefully the team stays mostly intact through this offseason so they can come back strong next year. The team can only get better. I’ll bet if they make it back to the World Series they’ll actually put up a big fight and perhaps even win the whole thing.

On the other hand, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to let the Manny Ramirez clock run. Let’s see where he ends up. We all want him to stay here in Los Angeles. With the Dodgers. The New York Yankees already have their wallet open if he doesn’t stay. In other news, the Dodgers decided to let Brad Penny become a free agent. Who will be next?

Speaking of the National League and the Dodgers, the playoff sweep of the Chicago Cubs didn’t stop catcher Geovany Soto from getting the NL Rookie of the Year nod. Congratulations to him.

The landscape of the MLB map is undergoing a change. I like to think it is for the better since teams that are not exclusively from the northeast corner of the country are making headlines. A similar migration of power happened in the NFL when the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers lost their stranglehold on NFL titles. It’s now happening in baseball. Fans tire of the same teams winning all the time. At least this one does. Let’s mix it up!

Monday, November 10, 2008

5 More Questions About The Southern California Breakers



As I mentioned in recent weeks, the Southern California Breakers are gearing up for the next season of women’s football. I caught up with Enrique Hernandez, the backbone that keeps the team going and member of their Board of Directors for an update.

1. What are the Breakers doing to prepare for the 2009 season this winter?

Back in September we started to have workout sessions at Velocity Sports Performance in Irvine. There was enough interest from the team to get together and workout on weekends. Vanessa Santillan, a Sports Performance Coach at Velocity and current player, was able to work out a deal with the facility so that she could bring the team in to work out as a group. It eventually carried over to weekdays and now we have two to three sessions available per week. They aren’t mandatory but it’s a good way for the players to start getting back into shape until regular practice begins January. We have also been inviting prospective players to join us and we have seen a handful new faces attend. Vanessa has done an excellent job with everyone.

2. What changes, if any, can we expect to see from the team in this season? If any?

The biggest change in the offseason was in our team management and coaching staff. The team is under new ownership and has established a Board of Directors that will run most operations of the team. Manuel Ojeda Jr. AKA “Coach Manny” who was our Assistant Head Coach last season, has accepted his new position of Head Coach. He has expressed enormous passion for the Breakers and wants to see us improve. He has brought us additional coaches who are knowledgeable and experienced in the sport and we believe they are a great addition to the Breakers. We are relocating to a more central location in Orange County for our home games so that fans from all over the county can attend. We think our fans will see a great deal of improvement both on and off the field next season.

3. How many of the same players will be returning? Do you find that the same core of women play every year? How large is that core?

Like any season we hope that all of our players from the previous one return. We find that some players do not commit until regular practices begin, but most of them will return. We have a good core of 10-15 players and every season we gain and lose some.

We begin in January and finish in June so time commitment is the biggest issue for most players.

4. The world of women's football is rather "small" so to speak in the Southern California area, is it not? How often to you see players changing teams or do you see the same core in each local squad?

The world of women’s football is rather small in Southern California and we think that exposure is the biggest issue. You can approach random people on the street and ask them they have heard of women’s football and they would probably tell you no. There are a lot of women who would love to play, but don’t know there is a team in Orange County or in the Los Angeles area; or even a national league. We have such a huge population in Southern California and women’s football is known to just a fraction of a percent of that population. In previous years we have not seen very many of our players jump to other teams. Our players develop a sense of loyalty after spending a lot time together on and off the field.

5. What are the team goals for the 2009 season? How will you get there?


One of our biggest goals for 2009 is increasing the level of enjoyment for our players and for our fans. We believe that enjoyment will guide us to the playoffs and possibly a championship. Our management team and coaching staff will be open to feedback from our players and our fans. Ultimately the player and fan satisfaction will help develop a strong team on the field and a good fan base off the field; two things that will make our organization successful.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - November 9, 2008



Well, I'm being predictable today and watching the NFL. Sure, there are a lot of other things going on in the sports world but I'm sticking to football today. I've got a ton of work to do so I'm flipping through the games in the background.

Will the Rams return to Los Angeles?

So what has happened to the St. Louis Rams? I remember when they played here in Los Angeles - they are starting to look like that old team again. That one that the other fans in the league made fun of. Now don't get me wrong, I am really not a fan of the team. Their late owner made sure that she complained incessantly about my city. She blamed us for having to move. Then, finally, she spent money on the team once she left. Oh, but she kept an office here. Interesting for someone that allegedly hated Los Angeles. Enough bitterness though...I wonder if they are going to come back? I would have to change my tune if they returned and root for them, eh? Why not? I miss having an NFL team. The new owner emphatically denies any truth to such rumors. You just never know...I've seen rumors denied before...

Will the Raiders return to Los Angeles?

Alright, we all know that Al Davis is crazy. His recent release of Deangelo Hall has many wondering if he is actually senile. When Jon Gruden was still coaching and the team was winning I would have loved to see them return to Los Angeles. Since the Super Bowl (losing) year where Gruden won against his former team with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Raiders have had a rapid decline into the absurd. If Oakland will release its stronghold on the team there are many Angelinos that will welcome them back with open arms. Heck, there are still The Raider Image stores in the city. You see locals wearing Raiders garb all over the place (myself included). If they return, I would hope maybe it would be because Davis decided to retire and sold the team. I'm sure there is as much chance of that as there is of myself growing wings.

What team do you think will move to Los Angeles?

Or will there be a completely new franchise?



Today's Schedule

Call me simple, but I use NFL.com to follow the schedule for the day.


Today in Sports History

1953 - The Supreme Court rules that Major League baseball is exempt from anti-trust laws

1961 - The PGA eliminates the "Caucasians only" rule

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wanna Be A Breaker?


Find more videos like this on IWFL Women's Football


The Southern California Breakers are gearing up for next season with workout sessions and tryouts. Of course, I will be at every home game as I was last season bringing the recaps, original pictures, and video clips. The video above is for the Seattle Majestics, another team in the IWFL.

From their website:

Tryouts


The Southern California Breakers will be holding tryouts for the 2009 season. If you've ever wanted to play football, now's the time. We're looking for quarterbacks, linemen, backs, and receivers. Don't miss the chance to live your dream. Come to tryouts!

Saturday, November 15th at 3:30pm
Velocity Sports Performance Facility - Irvine, CA

Saturday, December 6th
Time and location to be announced soon!

Tryout Fee: $30 (covers 2009 league registration)

Please bring copy of identification and proof of medical insurance. Wear comfortable workout clothes and tennis shoes for the Velocity facility. Please do not wear cleats. Tryouts will consist of power, speed and agility testing as well as an introduction to football specific drills. No previous experience necessary. You must be at least 18 years old to play. All you need to have is the will to learn, the courage to hit, and the commitment to your teammates!

Cash, check and PayPal will be accepted for tryout fee. Please arrive early to register. The Velocity Sports Performance Facility is located at 40 Tesla, Irvine, CA 92618. For questions, please email info@socalbreakersfootball.com.


Get Into Shape - Come Workout with the Breakers!


Take advantage of the weekly workout sessions at Velocity! Led by Vanessa Santillan, Strength and Conditioning Specialist and current Breakers player, the training is designed to improve speed, strength, and agility in preparation for the long season ahead. Additionally, the training will help reduce the likelihood of injury. Prospective players are encouraged to attend, but it is not mandatory. Cost is $5 a visit and workouts are scheduled on a week-to-week basis, typically on Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Please continue to check our website for the latest information.

Next session is scheduled for Sunday, November 9th at 12:00pm.

The Velocity Sports Performance facility is located at 40 Tesla, Irvine, CA 92618. For more information about attending, please email info@socalbreakersfootball.com.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tales From The Inbox - November 7, 2008



TRUNQ: Go to this site and rate previous guest TRUNQ to help them win an ISPO Brand New Award.

Also, TRUNQ will be one of the hosts of the upcoming ecolounge launch here in Los Angeles:

“Ecolounge launches November 20, 2008 in L.A., hosted by TRUNQ and Heliopower at Arbor Sports. A monthly mixer for the action sport and sustainable living networks, ecolounge is held every Third Thursday in L.A., Honolulu, and Augusta.

The L.A. launch party will feature free beer and networking from 7:00-8:00pm and a Snowboard Video Premier: "My Own Two Feet" from Protect Our Winters starting at 10:00pm.”

Surf Scene: In Maui? Check this out:

“The Fourth Annual Lahaina Town Clean Up will take place in Maui at noon on Sunday, November 16th at Kamehameha Iki Beach Park next to the 505.

There will be a skate park demo across the street hosted by The Lahaina Skate Co. Please bring any extra recyclable products from home to the event to drop off at the recycling center. In the evening there will be live music and the Hawaii video premier of “One Track Mind.”"

What is “One Track Mind”?
“One Track Mind is the latest 16mm movie from the creative collaborative Woodshed Films. Directed by Chris Malloy, One Track Mind explores the common thread that drives the most influential surfers from three generations to push wave riding to new dimensions. Experience the unique opportunity to sit up close and personal with the most prolific surfers of our time as they share the secrets that gave them inspirational and technical elements to be the best the world has ever seen.”

A similar event, the North Beach Shore Cleanup is on the North Shore of Oahu on December 8, 2008. Music and surfing will be included!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Basketball Blogspotting - November 6, 2008



The NBA season is off to a good start so it is time to do a basketball edition of Blogspotting. Yes, I am still spitting out that ugly taste in my mouth that was the Los Angeles Lakers performance in the Finals a few months back. The good news – this is a new season! Bring it!

First up, check out this incredible story about a high school basketball star

A great account of the Cavs vs. Mavericks game

An examination of the Pau Gasol trade a year later

Another examination, this one of some storylines for the 2008-09 season

Check out the newTrailblazers blog


What is your favorite basketball blog?



Today in Basketball History

1861 - James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was born in Ontario, Canada.

Happy Birtday to Lamar Odom

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - November 5, 2008



NFL: Yes, the Tennessee Titans are undefeated. Not just the first few weeks, but all the way in Week 9. Yes, let me clarify...the Titans are 8-0. Everyone's early picks have struggled at best and other teams continue to surprise. One team that is not surprising is the Oakland Raiders. It is so sad that this team has been at the bottom for so long. Ever since they gave up Jon Gruden they've been on a downward slide...

NBA: The Los Angeles Lakers continue to look like a force to be reckoned with. Of course, I'll continue to remain skeptical until later in the season. Just look at the aforementioned NFL - the season started out with high hopes for certain teams that are having many difficulties now. At any rate, the Lakers have won the first three games of the season with some by large margins.

MLB: The Los Angeles Dodgers have still not signed Manny Ramirez. It seems as though many like to put the blame on his agent. Again, he has the shrewdest agent in baseball...but seriously...why wouldn't he? I feel like a broken record discussing this...just sign him already! Please! For crying out loud...why should New York get all of the marquee players?


Today in Sports History


1971 - NBA's Los Angeles Lakers start a 33 game consecutive win streak

Happy Birthday to Bill Walton and Johnny Damon,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Read This - Go Vote



Here in the United States it is Election Day. Please get off of the computer and go vote!

If you must read, check these out:

Chicks in the Huddle has a rundown on who some NFL stars past and present are supporting.

ESPN recaps last night's game.

The Los Angeles Times recaps last night's politically themed halftime show and talks about what some say a Redskins loss means.

Okay, now go vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

5 Questions Contest - Answer Recap



A few weeks ago I ran a contest to get some feedback from readers. I’ve received several requests to publish some results to my surprise. I just want to thank everyone that sent in answers – I really appreciate your time!

Here is the synopsis of what you said:

1. What do you like most about this blog?


As it turns out, nearly everyone loves “Today in Sports History” the most. I’m glad since this is one of my favorites as well. Everyone pretty much likes the Monday interviews as well. I had several comments about the videos that are with every post as well. Most everyone “got it” that I am being humorous with the choices every chance I get.

2. What do you like least about this blog?

The only least favorite thing anyone came up with was when I cover a sport they aren’t a big fan of. Everyone who said that remarked that I shouldn’t stop covering every sport possible though.

3. Do you prefer my general G rating or would you prefer things to be a bit more shaken up?

Another overwhelming response of most everyone liking the cleaner version of sports but would be fine with a little shaking at times.

4. What would you like to see more of on this blog?


Again, most everyone wants more athlete interviews and coverage of women’s events and sports that get less media attention. I had a lot of requests for more guest posts also. I am always trying to find good guest post material so make sure you shoot me an email if you are interested.

5. What would you like to see less of on this blog?


I got a lot of “don’t change a thing” with this one. A few people wanted less of a particular sport but only because they weren’t big fans.

I thought I’d take a moment and make sure that those of you that are newer understood “the point” of this blog as well. First of all, let’s just be clear that everyone is equal in my eyes. I’m not concerned with your demographic whatsoever. I love all sports and don’t want to lock myself into categorizing this blog into anything more than that. The general label of "sports" suits me just fine. I like to try and make my own comments about sporting events because ESPN and other mainstream outlets already have reporting the sports news covered.

In addition, I’m fortunate to live in an area that has a lot of sports. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t give much attention to things that aren’t in the mainstream news. Because of the latter, I am able to cover local teams and other organizations and participate in some awesome events.

Finally, since I freelance for other print and online publications, this blog is my spot to cover whatever I feel the need to that day. No writing for a specific audience – just what I am thinking about sports.

Most importantly, I’d like to thank all of you who stop by. Keep the comments and email correspondence coming. Thank you.

THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - November 2, 2008



This would be that time of year where the big mainstream sports are all going on. We just finished the World Series (argh) and now we are treated to NFL, NBA, and NHL. I always like to check the USA Today daily sports scores to get the mainstream overview.

There is one Premier League match today and another tomorrow. Much to my dismay, I have not had much time to follow the start of the season but I do know Chelsea is on top for now. It is still very early on though.

And..as you may gather...I am a bit short on time today so I will get right to my favorite part of Sunday:

Today in Sports History

1988 - A Mexican radio station erroneously reports Mike Tyson dies in car crash

1990 - The first NBA game is played at the Target Center - Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks 98-85

1991 - The Nevada Wolf Pack makes the biggest comeback in NCAA football history (at the time), overcoming a 35-pt deficit in the 3rd quarter and rallying to beat Weber State 55-49

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Frank McCourt - Professional Procrastinator and Penny Pincher



Everyone is probably tired of my complaining about the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mr. Frank McCourt (I know I’m tired of doing it). When he first came to the city, he took all of the names off of the jerseys to be like the New York Yankees. Guess what? This isn’t New York. We don’t want to be New York. This is Los Angeles. We want to be Los Angeles. We love our city and we love our team. He learned his lesson and put the names back on the jerseys.

In addition, he almost immediately put in what I affectionately call the “poser seats”. The Field Box Seats used to be the greatest and closest to the field. The prices were actually within reach for a majority of fans. This was not enough for Mr. Greedy Pants. He had to add more seats on the field so that he could charge a few hundred for them every game.

This season, he ended a long tradition of fan ritual to go to the game early for batting practice. If you had a certain priced seat or higher, you got to watch Dodgers batting practice. If not, you weren’t let into the stadium until every last one of the team was off of the field and the visiting team was practicing. So much for happy childhood memories! Baseball with player interaction is only for the privileged few that can afford it. Also this season, he spent money on redoing the concessions area on the field level and took out some of the food choices but did put more restrooms (there, a compliment).

SO WHY ISN’T MANNY RE-SIGNED?? Yes, he has a high price but at least this would justify all the gouging that has gone on since Mr. McCourt has bought the team. Oh, and don’t blame his agent. If you were Manny Ramirez you would have the shrewdest negotiator in the business. Why wouldn’t you? He has a lot to bring and delivered from the time he came here. Other teams that have a reputation for big spending are starting to take a look at him.

So I’ll ask you nicely one more time, Mr. McCourt – please, please re-sign Manny Ramirez. Please also keep Rafael Furcal and the rest of the stars on the team.

Please!?